The Monster Hunters of Down Cthulhu

London Return

Early Morning, March 20, 1890

Staying at Paul’s house in the city (see the movie The Verdict). Wilberforce is saying his goodbyes but he does talk to Archimedes when we go to see him in the evening for dinner at his house. Says “I’m off to America, but I think I’ll see you for Christmas.”
Archimedes “Why do you say that.”
Wilberforce "I have a feeling there will be quite the meeting of minds at the Adventurer’s Club Christmas Eve Gala.

Schuyler says to Bif he’d love to be in a movie, if he ever has time. Bif is staying for rest and recuperation before returning to America.

We give a good accounting to Archie.
Red Cloud “Any word on the missing Mummy?”
Archimedes “No, but there have been a few murders that may be its victims. However, it is not mindlessly killing so if its here there must be a mind behind it.”
Asks us if we know when we are going to Transylvania but we don’t.
Archie “We know Dracula was destroyed, but it appears someone has adopted his personae and continue his reign of terror.”
Does not want to send us there half cocked and lacking info though.
“There is also something I may need you to do in China as well, but in the meantime, rest up.”
We ask him if we need to destroy the Hags in the future, but says they are not high on our list. Wait for the future.
He goes over investigator information about Scotland and Baron Hauptman. That hero Henry Hancock went to Scotland to rest and recuperate (oops!). Hasn’t been heard of for a while.
Archie gives us all the info on Silver Twilight, Look to the Future et al.

Jeremy shows Schuyler around the town and the pubs while we are here, and Schuyler asks to see Jack the Ripper’s murder sights since he’s a bit of a tourist. They also will go to a bareknuckle boxing match, guy in it has 32 KO’s.
Schuyler checks in at American Embassy.

Van DerNort continues academic pursuits.

Simon goes to local church, checks in with Templar cell. He’ll also hang with Jeremy/Schuyler after the first day or 2 of meditating and praying et al.

We also need some sanity bumps. Schuyler for sure.

Paul hits the social hotspots first, but also joins the others late night at times.

Paul receives invitation to a party next Friday March 28 by an acquaintence of Paul, John Bidwell. It’s a talk of London society currently. He can bring all of us.
Jeremy will play a part for fun: Oscar Pennyfeather, Scottish noble, saying his uncle is building that big bridge in Scotland.
Red Cloud plays these parties all the same, for a frolick in a tucked away bedroom with freaky English ladies looking for an exotic experience.
Schuyler wants the free food, drinks, cigars; and he can talk about his adventures to get the ladies attention. Ladies like danger, afterall.

Wednesday the 19th, note from Archie to come and see him awaits us first thing in morning. We go asap.
Says its important that we go to the party, something weird going on.
Schuyler “What’s going on?”
Archie “First, what do you know about bidewll? Wealthy entrepreneur in shipping and industry to and from colonies. Keen mind and sharp wit, important friends even in royal family. No family, conspicuously absent from society for sometime. Rumor of exotic illness and hospital until recently.”
Paul has heard the rumors, not sure if true, that Bidwell was actually in an asylum in Mercy Hill Gloucester. Knows of him because he and Paul are members of same Masonic hall.
Schuyler “Wilhelm should check into the asylum.”
Archie wants us to find out if anything dark has been going on all this time.
RC “Does anything in particular make you suspicious?”
Archie “Yes. First, something wrong in the Severn Valley in northern England. Mansauce is near there! I don’t believe in coincidence.” There are several hotspots of Mythos activity. 2 biggest are the Salem/Arkam area in America and this Valley. The same history of weird goings on, disappearances and such. He believes there is a connection. There is an asylum there, that is the Mercy Hill one. That’s the connection. Rumors say it was hushed by the Masons. He also has a new interest in the occult now.
These links tween Bidwell and Investigaror information can not be coincidence.
“Keep your eyes and ears open at the party.”

Train ride is 3 hours to asylum.

We leave the next morning, Thursday. Take growler cab who takes us to asylum, about 20 miles to Valley. Allbrook Asylum at hightest point of Mercy Hill, a smaller asylum. We can see the landscape for miles including Severn River and Valley, where the green color changes grimmer, darker.
Simon (failed sanity roll) sees what looks almost like and earthquake in valley then the land literally rolls as if something huge under the earth had turned over! The earth cracks and a thing comes out, then suddenly it passes as a vision would and is gone.
He has to describe it to all of us who saw nothing.
Schuyler “That’s creepy.”

Inside greeted by secretary. He says Dr. Campell does not speak of patients to anyone. Wilhelm tries but the guy insists that he can not see him, perhaps an appointment in a few days.
Jeremy steps up “We are here for the London Society of Alienists” and lays it on thick. He agrees to go personally ask the doctor. Returns and says the Dr. will see us.
Wilhelm, Jeremy and Schuyler go into room, the rest wait in lobby. Campbell welcomes us in. He and Wilhelm have both heard of each other so there is a quick kinship between them. Wilhelm just isn’t a great talker though but doesn’t say anything terribly wrong, and believes Campbell to be on the up and up.
This place only for wealthy families, pay so much for his discretion and his success in treating mental illness.
He apologizes a few times for being unwilling to speak of patients histories here.
Jeremy says our friend the son of the Earl of Mansauce. He;s concerned about his friend in London."
“Oh, the Earl is in my lobby? You didn’t say that. His property is very close.
Jeremy’s persuasion works, as usual. Dr gets Bidwell’s records and brings them back.
‘Bidwell ownes several mills, steamships, sailing ships, lots of trade with colonies. Recently returned from Australian joint venture for gold mines that failed. A few weeks after he came back in early August 1888, on 14 Nov 1888 4pm he was admitted here. Heavily sedated when arrived accompanied by Sir William Withy Gull, physician to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, head of his Masonic Lodge. He died in January this year.
’Gull brought him here himself, the great Gull. Bidwell seemed totally insane, as a savage beast. Kept sedated for protection of self and all. Occasionally produced queer clicking sounds. Then 17 January he fell into a coma. Awoke next morning totally calm and lucid.
Schuyler “What day did Gull die?”
“January 16.”
Did not let him out right away. Started telling us of vivid dreams of alien world but quickly stopped speaking of it. Kept him here until mid February. Butler picked him up and he left.
“I would like your opinion here, Dr. Van DerNort, on what happened here. For I am at a loss…. Healing powers of the mind itself can be amazing but I have no evidence for his sudden recovery.”
Wilhelm discusses the coma being a healing activity.
Campbell says that’s possible. He can see pressures could make a man so driven snap, but to become a savage animal?
Wilhelm brushes off the supernatural and possession as impossible rubbish, but does offer the idea of a Suggestion planted to make him act like he was.
Dr. says he also seemed a total mysoginist afterward. Did hate prostitutes but not women in general.
Jeremy and Schuyler look at each other: He’s the Ripper!
So, Jack the Ripper is throwing a party. That’s not going to be good.
Schuyler “So what did Gull have to do with it?”
Jeremy “It’s like Dr. Jeckyl and his potion.”
Schuyler “Yes, but that’s an odd link, the timing of Gull’s death and his recovery.”
Jeremy “Right, something else was going on with Gull.”

Campbell keeps angling to be invited by Paul to big Masonic Christmas event by Paul. Paul invites him to come to it and be Paul’s guest, spend a few days, do the great fox hunt and tree lighting. He is overjoyed!!!!!! He offers any help and assistance he can ever help us with as a Dr.!!!
A great connection we just made.

See Severn Valley tomb/Roman army story. Rick would know this.

Back to London that evening.

Upon arrival at train station, Paul is flashed the secret Masonic sign. Hands Paul a note and disappears into the crowd. It summons him to Buckingham Palace 8pm tonight.

Paul meets Henry Matthews, Home Secretary, after only 10 minute wait (very short for such an important man). They give each other Masonic sign. Talks about a lot of secret Mason stuff then comes to the point of us visiting the asylum.
“Why?”
Paul “Check on a friend.”
“John Bidwell?”
Paul “Yes.”
“Bidwell is a fellow mason. Not just a mason, he like you and I is a Royal Arch Mason.” That means Paul must keep anything secret, even murder and treason, a secret.
Paul “If something horrible is going on, I can stop it still w/o revealing who.”
“Something was going on, and our late Grand Master Gull put an end to it. I can’t tell you. Stop looking where you’re looking and know that your brothers will keep the situation inhand.”
Paul requests to be brought into the fold, as he could be useful.
That’s all.

Party; Friday March 28

Foggy, clammy, Big Ben chimes in distance. Other carriages there already at the house in St. John’s Wood.
A man inside entrance announces all esteemed guests “The Right and Honorable Earl of Mansauce and Company.”
Lavish house and party: champagne in flutes walked around by servants, chefs carving whole boar, string quarted in a balcony above 3 story ballroom. Bidwell has not appeared at his own party yet. See gov’t officials, business men, Home Secretary Matthews (gives knowing look to Paul).
Also, Maj Henry Smith, commissioner of london cops; plain looking and vivacious woman who offers hand to be kissed Annie Bassent (Theosophists society in America, Investigators spoke to her); Dr of Philosophy William Wynn Wescott of Vice Chairman of Golden Dawn;Florence Farr wizard of Golden Dawn; Robert James Lees (official psychic to court of Queen Victoria); his friend Godfrey Williamson (celebrated psychic); lots of people fawn around shipping magnate Nigel Stander (board of White Star); hrumphy man introduces himself to Paul as Col Albert Hardwick of Her Maj 7th Hussars; 3 talking together dressed more drab than rest: one a Dr friend of Paul works as a writer Arthur (novelist) Paul "I read your latest novel, its quite good’ Conan Doyle “Bases on real life you know, I know this Sherlock” (started writing stories after Holmes’ death) introduces Bram Stoker (says he has uncovered a story that he has to publish as fiction but insists it is based on what really happened) and H.G.Wells (been recently interested in science, has a few concepts experimenting with, including a device to travel into future).
A hush falls over the place, announcer “Mr. Henry Irving and Ellen Terry” 2 celebrated London stage actors.
Walter Sickert, artists.
Painter Aubrey Beardsley.
Wearing a dark cape, bald, shaved head, arcane symbol tatoos on his head: William Robert Woodman founder of Golden Dawn.
Oscar Wilde, with several young men hanging all around him.
Another man, not introduced as they do not know him, but Doyle upon seeing him says “East is east, west is west, and never the twain shall meet. Rudyard nice to see you.”
Paul freaks out to meet him.
We mingle as much as we can.
Jeremy:

Clock strikes 9PM. Gaunt, pale, frail man enters hall via main doors. Walks with cane, very old. It’s Bidwell!! Looks 30 years too old.
Smiles and waves shaky hands to crowd. Music and party continue, he starts mingling.
Paul gets to talk to him: he can tell from arm atrophy via straight jacket, and a level of malnutrition also typical for an asylum stay.
He gives short shrift to all the ladies. Asks Paul if he has any interest in occult, Paul says of course.
Invites Paul to a seance afterward. Probably led by Golden Dawn.
Frenchman walking by, actor, recognizes Bif. Bif says “Always glad to meet a fan”.
“Not exactly what I meant. I make a point to know all important artists in my business.” He is August Lumiere, owns largest film studio in Paris. Invites Bif to visit Paris in the near future to shoot an adventure film about the French Foreign Legion, he’d like Bif to be a main character.

11pm Bidwell thanks guests for coming and excuses self. By 11:30 only those invited to seance still there. Paul can bring 2 to seance with him: RC and Jeremy join him. It will be held in Bidwell’s upstairs library. Others can stay and talk downstairs.

13: Bassent, Farr, Wescott, Woodsman, Lees, Williamson, Bidwell, Paul, RC, Jeremy, Doyle, Sir Thomas Rumbelow, Sir John Williams (attending physician to Queen Victoria).

Just before midnight, butler enters library, closes drapes, lights candles and extinguishes gaslights. All seat and he exits room, locking doors behind him. Bidwell enters in black robe and holding crystalin cube. Looks like there is something inside. He puts the cube down "Are you ready to begin? Everyone joins hands.
Starts going on with occult rhetoric but nothing that makes sense, just repeats that he wants to send his mind out to contact “the others”; “Ye Kub Al over and over, Ye Kub, Ye Kub”. For 40 minutes nothing happens. He falls to table exhausted “Thank you my friends but the seance is a failure. If everyone would please leave me now, we can speak again tomorrow.”
Jeremy suggests one of the Golden Dawn members lead it, or the tatoo head man. He is very frustrated, declines and the Dawn members leave. We all go home. Bidwell is going to sleep.
In the ballroom, Schuyler suggests we hang around for the night and keep a watch on things. Jeremy fights tooth and nail to go home and go to bed. The othere agree with Schuyler so Jeremy “Oh, fine, Jesus Christ.”

Schuyler suggests Jeremy hide inside as the rest and us leave and let us in after the help is asleep.
“I did not join this group to get involved in life and death situations.” (ahem)
He grudgingly agrees, almost gets caught in foyer and considers letting it happen, imagines Schuyler yelling at him, so stays hidden against his better judgement. We hide outside.
After butler goes upstairs Jeremy hears a crash, butler “Master, are you all right?” then a lot more crashing.
Jeremy “Ok there’s something going on upstairs and I’m not going myself. Sounds like Bidwell’s breaking things and threatening his butler.”
Find door to library open, lying on floor inside is Bidwell, a slash across chest his lifeblood bubbling out. Wilhelm sees that he is dying, nothing he can do.
Simon “Who stabbed you man?”
“The Master!”
It looks like Bidwell but is the butler “He was acting just like he was before, I found him and I called Mr Matthews…to keep away…now he killed me…” DEAD.
A search of the house:
trapdoor to attic is open a bit, and doorway in back to servant’s kitchen is open.
Simon, Schuyler, Wilhelm to attic; Jeremy, RC and Paul downstairs.

Simon pushes attic door up with sword. They find nothing.
Downstairs find kitchen door open. Tell Jeremy to go back and yell upstairs we found his trail.
Paul and RC outside fast.
A man stands in yard, leaning against the wall. It’s a constable, Paul approaches as RC looks out.
He says “I was ordered to watch the house” by Det Sgt James Mulverhill, “need help” moves his hands from his belly and his stomach is sliced open, guts spill out and he falls dead to ground.
RC starts looking for tracks as a stout looking man steps into alley “Come here, show yourselves.” Shows us his badge, has a revolver.
“We were at party.”
“And you killed a constable?” Tell him it wasn’t us, has had this place staked out because he thought Bidwell was trouble.
He tries to get us back into house thinking we did it, we say the real killer is getting away your helping him. Mansauce throws his noble weight around and he says he’s going to search the house while we continue on.
He gives no response to Paul’s Mason sign. “Leave, all of you”.
As we leave, he puts his hands on Paul’s shoulders and puts his hand on Paul’s shoulders and gives him a masonic sign. Tells the rest of us to leave but for Paul. We do.
“What are you doing here?”
Paul quickly explains.
“I need to make some changes to the evidence in there. Get your friends to leave and come in with me.”
He does.
RC, with Schuyler’;s help, is able to follow a couple blood traces. We are pretty sure he’s heading for Lime House (aka Chinese district).
We continue on.

Back at the house

He thinks its Bidwell. Paul says its not. He insists it must be “I recognize him, this is Bidwell. That means he was murdered by his butler, the butler did it! Then my poor bobby out there was killed in the escape attempt.”
Knock at front door. He answers and its a man in street clothes, late 40’s with another man late 30’s. Insp Cleveland and Sgt Craig. Say they got an anonymous tip John Bidwell had been murdered.
“We’ve just gotten here. You can trust this man, Paul Warrington the XVII, Earl of Mansause, he is impeccable. You 2 search the downstairs, quickly. Upstairs to Paul “Find anything here that could incriminate us (masons)”.
They take the masonic ring off of Bidwell’s body. Paul finds his journal in library and pockets it.
Cop yells “We found the body, its up here.”

Find nothing all night in Limehouse. Meet at Paul’s. In morning look at journal. Starts 2 October 1887, Australia, looking for gold with partner.
Found crystal artifact cube, metal disc in center with unusual markings. Got it from an old aboriginal. Found by his ancestor in desert. Raved about a city of giants beneath the sand. Was told for family to guard it through generations. Old man would not let anyhone gaze at it. So he shot the man dead! Took it, the group slaughtering many natives to get it away.
December: one member has been trying to get them to return the cube, but look for lost treasure of giants.
Young Mortimer tries to steal it so got a beating.
November, London: found cube packed in trunk, had forgotten all about everything.
Nothing until this year,
Finally, free of his prison in Yekub.
None of us know of Yekub at first, Wilhelm then says Yekub is a planet ruled by a race of intelligent worms wholly evil.
Simon: “I may have seen one of them under the earth from the asylum.”
Last entry day of party. Seeks to return to Yekub, his ‘home’.

The crystal was not in the house, its missing.

Archie suggests Paul talk to Home Secretary again.
So something switched places with Bidwell, and the worm thing Bidwell was Jack the Ripper.

Diary says he was at a ball all night for 2 Ripper murders, including the double murder! All circumstantial evidence adds up but now, it’s not him! He was a gibbering worm but it was up to something else. It must be intelligent, and kept journal and pretending to be him. The body in his worm was around doing things as him during the murders.
Suddenly that last evening he went savage crazy.

Gull died of a stroke. Died in his sleep overnight.

Sunday March 30

A little checking by Jeremy today shows Bidwell was present at the other engagements during those 2 murders. Bidwell certainly thought he was the Ripper, and so do the Masons in the know.
Paul sends letter to Mulverhill we have proof Bidwell wasn’t Jack the Ripper.

He sends a note to the house that night to come to Scotland Yard right away.
Tells us to talk to a young Chinaman named Lee Tsao. Translater present.
Kid says saw white man, sound like the butler, walking in warehouse district of Limehouse. They decided to rob him. The man grinned, savagely cut one’s throat and snapped another’s neck. Lee fled screaming and cops picked him up. This just happened earlier tonight. They are going to investigate and want us along. Insp Cleveland says we can go. Mulverhill is not, has to talk to superiors at Masons about new info. They need to cover up any evidence that they did any tampering.

The kid said they saw the man come from a warehouse which we are going to raid. We all burst inside. Its half empty, not used a lot. Body lies crumpled on floor. It’s the butler, Hanson Bartlet. Strangled.
Wilhelm “It’s like a body snatcher.” Find a sleeping area.
Lantern beside blankets, and several books: World and Brit history, industrial and science history and astronomy. All stuff a worm not from around here would want. All from British Museum.
Checked out the day before, but for a couple special collection books that must have been stolen.
So, this isn;t the worm that was in Bidwell before, so needs info on world. It took a new body and strangled the butler. Tossing the place finds no other evidence.
Back to square one again.
Wilhelm finds one book different, as stolen one from the locked stacks “The Pnekotic Manuscript”!!! 1/3 complete, 2/3 of edition destroyed long ago.
Hear a ruckus outside, and police whistle. Chinese woman struggles with a bobby. He looks up, yells “I found her trying to sneak in!” She writhes and squirms, the cop gasps, drops the girl and runs. Body switch!!
We yell for the bobby’s to chase but they make for the girl, now the bobby.
Schuyler jumps out window and starts to hoof it. The other rush downstairs.
Wilhelm stops at chinese woman. Cop says “its me, its me, get…me!” In her pocket, is the cube!

A long chase until Schuyler trips it up with a thrown winchester. He dives on its back so that it doesnt look at him, pins it and slugs it a couple times 3/7. It slips out but some chinese had gathered and they stop it. Schuyler gut punches for 3, headlocks and they all carry it back to warehouse.
Unfortunately, questioning back at cop shop, it switched with one of the chinamen when they grabbed it!!

Home to sleep. Find Godfried Williamson waiting for us. Very nervous, keeps taking snuff. Been having visions since Bidwell’s murder. Cleveland refused to listen to him so came to talk to us:
strongest vision something to do with Duncan or Duggan, make him nauseous. Sees faceless men in his visions clearly but feels they see him all to clearly. They carry axes.
Schuyler “Tongs?”
In England, they call them Triads.

March 31

Very early morning. Loud knocking at door, butler answers and wakes us all up, Godfried is back again.

Schuyler “Another vision tonight?”
Did reading of tarot cards when he got home, they indicated Bidwell and the seance, he says there is something we missed.
Fog is dense, its quite chilly.
Go to big table, Williamson produces his tarot and pulls the Hermit and describes its meaning, but knows not what it means to us.
Suddenly door opens, and several figures walk in, all the others from seance but Bidwell. They were all drawn here by visions.
After they all enter, door shuts on its own and lock clicks.
Schuyler “Is this normal?”
“NO”
Repeat of seance, lights off, figure comes from den. Throws back hood nad its bidwell!
“There are forces greater than life and death. I’ve summoned you back here to show you the fruits of your labor” then pulls a crystal out. WIlhelm withdraws the other. Smoke of candles thicken, funelling into wall, forming a tunnel into infinity 10’ across.
He steps to opening and says “This is the key!”

Schuyler fires winchester 11. He grasps neck, the rotten shell of a man opens and one of the worms comes out.
Red Cloud, Simon,and Paul are at gate and attack it. RC miss; Simon hits 11; Paul crits 20 DEAD horrible nasty smelling ichor bubbles out, they writhe in death throws for several moment.
More worms coming from portal.
Red Cloud “How do we close it! Golden Dawn, Wilhelm, close it!!” The seance membes, led by Golden Dawn, chant and the gate closes.
Screaming outside, we look out window and see hundreds of the worms all over, crawling up buildings and down streets.
We charge into street hacking and shooting. They overtake us, pincers ripping us to pieces until….

We startle awake in bed. It’s that same morning. A knock at the door, its Godfried! Had a horrible nightmare, same as us. Feels it was a warning.
Another knock, the 3 golden dawn members, same dream. Soon the entire seance is gathered horrified and drinking brandy.
An alien invasion is coming.
Doyle “maybe the clue is in the dream. Afterall they did close the tunnel.”
Red Cloud “But then they were outside.”
“Maybe that was just to show you what would happen if we had failed.”
“Otherwise, where were they coming from.”
We closed the portal with the chant of the seance members. They say they chanted seance backwards, the chant that Bidwell did at original seance. We need to find out what he originally said."
“We need to pull it out of someone’s memory.”
Wilhelm is trained but does not believe himself to be great at it, but he tries. Otherwise, a Golden Dawn member perhaps.
He hypnotizes Williamson.
Yakub al nekron gharsh, Yakub arsh Necron, Klatu……

We write as he says it. Williamson says with eyes that have lost all sanity! It broke his mind. Golden Dawn hypnotist rehypnotizes him to forget all he experiences and he recovers in due time.
So, hiding in Limehouse. Williamson keeps having a vision of someone with blood on his hands, and these faceless men are constantly moving to shield him. The bloody man then turns into a wormlike centipede. This vision was last night. While he was insane, he had another, a great yellow dragon snorting fire, bathed in blinding smoke.
Schuyler “Maybe it took control of a Triad leader, and the Triad are shown protecting because they don’t know.”
A voice outside the room speaks, Sgt. Cleveland and Insp. Craig of cops.
Cleveland “You knows there is a restaurant that uses a dragon like that as its symbol” as they walk in.
Simon “What brings you 2 here?”
“WIlliamson came to the station babbling about monsters this morning, left. I didn’t believe him but followed him cause he was acting crazy. I’ve heard most of what you said. I’m not saying I believe any of it but I think if there is even one chance of a million we should do something about it.
He suggests a Chinatown visit today. Knows he saw symbol there before but not where exactly.

Breakfast is made for all. We leave for Chinatown. We stop at a pub nearby while Jeremy gathers information on the streets. He starts by 11 am.
We lunch, for by 1pm still no word from Jeremy.
Closer look at Pnakotic Manuscript:
Mentions psychic alien race using cubes to travel, cone being hid the device they found, for the worms use it to gain a foothold and later somehow swarm across space and invade the world.
At least parts of it are different from the investigator’s manuscript, Archie will say later when we show it to him.
We get word it is taking longer than expected. We invite the cops to dinner.
It is 7:30 in the evening before he returns with the word: House of the Yellow Dragon.
Schuyler “Really?”
Hidden down an alley, and is a front for an opium den. It is run by the Tong.
Schuyler “I knew it.”
Back to Paul’s to change into fighting clothes, then off to chinatown.
The cops will be in plain clothes, working class folk. We go in dressed like tuffs.
Lots of foot traffic, a dragon parade, sailors. Old man beggar, Jeremy notices after we pass that he says something to a street urchin who then run off and out of sight. Jeremy figures a cutpurse gang.
Then a stone bridge arching over an alley and sewer. As we are crossing, 4 young chinese step out at other end, blocking our path. Another 4 step out behind. They do this unobtrusively that only Jeremy notices. All have hands inside their padded jacket.
Jeremy to Schuyler and Simon next to him “We have company, chinese guys”. We stop until we are alone on bridge, as they let others pass.
Jeremy “I think they’re getting ready to jump us.” He offers to talk to them in Chinese, Schuyler suggests he try to talk them down. Maybe they don’t know who we are, but are concerned what strangers like us are doing here.
The leader pulls his hatchet in Chinese “We are gold dragon Tong. You tell them we need coin, payed, to let them pass.”
“How much?”
“1 gold sovereign a piece or you face our wrath.” Jeremy knows if you are going to be a member of the Tong, you must have a tattoo. Jeremy sees, as he flashes his hatchet, he has the tattoo but it is faded in places. It’s henna, fake!
Jeremy “We’d be happy to pay, if you were truly Golden Dragons.”
“Show him.” They do. All henna.
Jeremy “Let me see that.”
He does, Jeremy spits on it and wipes it off!
Jeremy calls their bluff again, bringing up the Tong’s wrath the comes to fakers.
They threaten to kill us anyway if we don’t pay.
Jeremy points out Red Cloud to them “He’s a savage warrior from the Americas and he won’t give his money up to someone whose scalp he’ll freely add to his collection.”
Schuyler says to tell them from this bridge, one of us can easily get away to tell the Tong of their offense. And if even one of us does, it’s curtains for them.
They relent.
Couple blocks later, Jeremy sees a couple of definite Tong who likely send word that we are here, but it may be that we are only strangers.
Next, street ahead narrows some. Traffic is about a third, and too many are simply lounging around waiting for something. Too few old folks/women.
Jeremy elbows Schuyler, who starts whistling a sad western ballad, his warning to the rest of us.
Between Jeremy and Schuyler they spot 8 total, staggered down the road, furthest wearing a cloak.
We prepare for a fight, Jeremy offers to try to tell them we are only heading for the opium den.
“Why are you and your men here seemingly waiting to ambush us.”
He says bring your men here and we’ll talk about it."
Jeremy says we don’t look forward to being surrounded, we’re just here for a good time.
He goes for Jeremy and grapples him, putting a wicked knife to Jeremy’s throat yelling to us in English “Dropee yu weapons, I cut head off!”
Jeremy quick as can be slithers free! He races back amidst us. Cops charge first 2, Sgt hits 4 , insp 8. Schuyler hits next down line 11;
Furthest throws open his cloak revealing 2 .45’s. Fires 3 shots: first hits rear chinaman, second crits him DEAD, third shot hits next rear guy 11. He yells “Drop those weapons, you’re all under arrest!” It’s the Mason Sgt. from the party house.
Paul helps Cleveland 9. Red Cloud bulrushes the tong in the middle of the road back toward the Sgt in the rear..
Schuyler is hit 6 and is charged 2; leader flanks RC and hits 7; cops are missed.
Simon moves to the Inspector’s man and hits 14.
Street empties of all but baddies fast.
Schuyler hits 6; RC turns on the leader 12/10 w/ tomohawks; The Sgt kills rear guy.
2 on Schuyler miss/3; leader on RC hits 3; Inspector kills his.
SImon rushes at the untouched on Schuyler and hits 15.
Schuyler crits 15 DEAD; cops rush in and Sgt hits 6/Inspector misses other on Schuyler and Simon. Paul rushes to the leader and hits 11; RC hits 7/8; shooter Sgt.hits RC’s for 8.
Tong who is surrounded hits Inspector 5; the leader shouts in Chinise something Jeremy says is “All hale Jukshabb (?)!” and misses RC.
Simon hits 16 DEAD; RC hits leader 9; Schuyler charges and misses him; Paul hits him 9 DEAD.
END Fight.

Paul “Mulverhill, what are you doing here?”
Still protecting Mason secrets, says appears red handed monster is not what we think it was (i.e. the Ripper).
He came for the sake of the widow’s son. Paul acknowledges, and he disappears into the alley.
Wilhelm says ‘Jukshabb was a purple cone, smoking into a sphere in mid air like translucent ivory. Maybe a god, old one. Does appear on material planes here and there, so it is written’.
ed by the worms of Yekub.’
So these Tong are worshipping this being perhaps.

We continue, streets we go on are empty.
Ahead, the House of the Yellow Dragon. Pic of dragon is faded, but the name is in Chinese on the outside.
We enter and are greeted by Matre di. “Honorable sirs, how may I assist you this evening?”
We say we wish to ‘chase the dragon’. There are no tables, only booths with curtains. From inside we hear other noises but eating. It’s a brothel.
Past one corridor and another, feel like we go in a circle and he opens a booth. curtain. 2 6’ tall shirtless, rolly polly chubby Chinamen. He pulls a rope and the back wall opens “Enter and go upstairs.”
We do. A long corridor ends in a door.
Forward we go, no door know so we knock. Panel opens, beady eyes peer out, and it opens. Guang Lun is the man, a huge guy, bigger than the 2 guards put together; long single braid of hair to waste; from neck down totally covered in tattoos.
Jeremy “Fine tattoos.”
He tells us to leave weapon on the shelves and wracks, so we do. He motions us through another door, same as last. The man looks past us at Guang then opens the door. It’s 10 shillings/man and we are in.
Fairly large room w/ bunkbeds on the walls. Asians, whites and even a few blackmen are here, many sailors. Some asleep, some awake. Several old men and old crones walk around and supply the users.
Huge statue of Buddha against one wall. Jeremy rubs his belly for luck. An old man waves for us to come to one corner, and we are given a pipe by an old woman.
We look around, but no obvious way to go further.
Couple more sailors arrive after 15 minutes.
30 minutes, and a gentleman arrives w/ a giggling young Chinese girl, maybe 14 and they get a bunk, pulling a curtain after a few round of pipe.
45 minutes pass, then an hour, several have now left, some KO’d Chinese ones are carried out by real Gold Dragon Tong toughs. They stack them in the alley to make room, but not the whites as that would cause trouble.
Hour and a half now, it’s about 1am says Paul’s watch. More are leaving than coming in. We fake like we’re asleep.
At 2 and half hours, man w/ a long stemmed pipe pokes each of us. Jeremy is keeping the closest lookout, fooling the man while still watching. Jeremy sees the man move his hand on the wall, a hole opens and someone says something to him, then it closes. He charges another pipe for another customer.
Inspector, Paul and SImon is feeling the effects of the place, -1 to int/wis/dex. Wilhelm is -2 each.
We hear a creaking, Jeremy sees the Buddha moving aside revealing a room, a weird machine withing, lots of moving parts, sparks and a strange odor, high pitched sound whirring and humming.
Jeremy taps Schuyler in bunk above “I think we gotta get out of here”.
3 men step out of machine room, walking toward us. One with a strange gait = the worm!!
Jeremy acts like he startles awake, grabbing his head like he is having a bad reaction.
Worm guy "Wait my friends, you have something that I wish to purchase from you. If you are willing to deal you will leave here unharmed and healthy. Refuse, you will not leave this room alive. Main door opens and about a dozen hatchetmen enter, taking the customers out of the room.
We all get up, our jig up.
“The fewer that witness our transaction the better. You have the cube.”
Jeremy “We don’t have a cube.”
“Yes you do. I know it’s with you. Do not try my patience”
He snaps his finger, a line of 10 beautiful maidens, 1 white; 1 black; rest chinese, nude but for sheer silk tops.
“What do you desire? Any dream you have ever had we can fulfill. Unlimited drugs, women, gold.”
We conjecture that he can’t take it from us, that he has to be given it willingly for some reason. He says we are fools, snaps his finger, and more guards enter.
Wilhelm “It appears we are at an impass.”
SImon “Clearly we will not give you the cube.”
Wilhelm “And clearly you will not take it from us.”
Paul offers him to let us leave, and we won’t kill you right now.
At the entrance is the monster of a man from the previous room. We are backed into one corner, the 3 bodyguards directly across from us w/ the worm. Behind them the other guards.
Another secret door opens and a tall Chinaman with long fingernails like talons walks out. In a mild mannered voice "Now you shall feel the wrath of Lo Ping.
Jeremy “That’s the head of the Tong, he usually operates out of America.”
One of the guards goes to him, telling him of the new god they found to worship on Earth. Lo Ping’s hand cuts, and the guards head falls followed by the body “I AM YOUR GOD ON EARTH.”
Another says as they back up “Master, you don’t understand. This is gar greater than you, anyone.”
Lo Ping stares at him, slowly waves one hand back and forth, shows him his palm, and the man’s heart stops instantly.
“Those of you that are left will back away and allow the white devils to leave” to us now “The cube, if you don’t mind. I have means to destroy it, do you?”
Paul “No.”
“Than either give it to me, or follow me. In intend to rule this world, not the worms. Come to me, now.”
The worm man to Lo Ping"You used to be the power here, now I am! Kill them all!!"
Lo PIng “Ching Ri forward!” A double line of men race into the room from where he came from. Each has a right ear that is only ragged flesh, all different races. 10 total
Jeremy says there are only rumors of the Ching Ri. The most feared of his minions, fanatical assassins. Orphans taken young from worst slums on earth, to secret mountain citadel where they are trained. Final test is their right ear is nailed to a post, they must rip away from it. Anyone who cries out are instantly killed. Each is trained in 2 weapon fighting, sword in each hand, also carry a revolver.
The hatchetmen and the Ching Ri clash, the assassins taking a quick and obvious upper hand.
it’s us against worm and his 3 main guys. Schuyler pulls out his boot knife, handing it to RC. Jeremy gives his hidden dagger to Paul. More men come file in every round or 2, but they all go for the Ching Ri.
He sends his 2 bodybuard hatchetmen and the huge tong who has a sword at us first.
Simon goes for the Hulk swordsman with bare hands, but one of the assassins tosses him a sword, perfect throw and perfect catch of a Chinese butterfly sword, and hits 11.
Another hatchetman races in through the main door “Kill the Ching Ri!” faking out the hatchetmen who he then kills 2 of “I am here master, it is Lee Ho Phuk!” He joins the fray.
Paul attacks guard 2 and hits 8.
Lo PIng turns 2 hatchetmen on each other, who fight themselves. Jeremy heads for the door, hoping to get to our equipment.
Worm stares down Paul, who is dazed for 1 round. Guard 2 hits Paul twice 11 total. Simon is hit 8/miss. Inspector helps Simon w/ brawl miss; Sgt Cleveland helps Paul brawls 4; last guard hatchets RC 3/4/miss.
Jeremy and Wilhelm continue down hallway, door is open. No one is there. They reach the weapons. The door out of there to the downstairs flies open, and the Mulverhill comes hurtling through the air and smashes into the wall. A large man appears, not as bit as Hulk fightng Simon but big, with no weapons just bare hands.
Mulverhill fires 2 bullets, missing twice, emptying one gun.
Simon hits Hulk 8; Paul is dazed; Worm casts at Paul again but fails, Paul is now back as well; SImon is hit twice by Hulk 5/13; Guard 2 ignores Paul and goes at the cop but misses twice; RC hits 9/Schuyler 3; he attacks RC 3 times miss/miss/4.
Mulverhill fires 9/miss “Get weapons to your friends I’ll hold him off.”
They grab weapons and move into the hall. Hulk Jr attacks Mulverhill for 4.
Simon hits Hulk 10; Paul hits guard 7; Worm tries to daze Paul again but fails; Hulk on Simon hits twice 26 but (card) he is instantly healed; guard 2 stay son Clevelend 3/3/miss; Cleveland fumbles; Insp hits 5; RC misses, Schuyler hits 7/miss; Guard 1 attacks RC 5/4/3.
Mulverhill follows us but turns and shoots at Hulk Jr hit 8; Hulk Jr rushes Mulvahill and hits 8.
Simon misses; Paul hits; Paul makes save again vs Daze; Hulk vs Simon hits 13/5; Guard 2 attacks Paul miss/6/miss; Cleveland recovers from fumble; Inspector misses; RC hits 11; Guard 1 vs RC hits 3 time for 19.
Mulverhill retreats 5’ through doorway and hits Hulk Jr. 13; Jeremy tosses Schuyler his rifle who catches and aims at Worm. Jeremy moves to behind our line. Wilhelm moves and hands Simon his Long Sword. Hulk Jr full attacks Mulverhill miss/9; Simon drops the butterfly sword and attacks now with his own sword 16; Paul hits guard 2 for 7; Schuyler hits Worm 12 as he casts at Paul again, ruining his spell; Hulk vs Simon hits 8/9; Guard vs Paul miss/miss/miss; Insp. hits Hulk 3; Cleveland hits 5; RC hits 7; he attacks RC 4/4/miss, RC w/ card heals all damage.
Mulverhill uses his brawl/Mart.Arts as well now vs Hulk Jr 4/crit 22 KO’d; Jeremy moves to give Paul his saber; Simon hits again with longsword 20 on Hulk; Wilhelm moves to RC w/ tomohawks; Paul now with his saber miss; Schuyler hits Worm 17; he draws a pistol and fires twice 10/miss; Guard 2 vs Paul miss/miss/miss; Insp. gets his club and pistol from Wilhelm; Cleveland misses; RC hits 9/8; he attacks RC 8/miss/ 4.
Mulverhill reloads; Jeremy gives Cleveland his stick and pistol; Simon helps RC and hits 12; Paul his guard 2 for 7; Schuyler hits Worm 11; he charges Schuyler but misses his touch attack, he’s trying to transfer himself; Guard 2 vs Paul 5/6/miss; Cleveland clubs Paul’s guard 7; Insp aims at Worm; RC misses/misses; he attacks RC 3/3/miss; Mulverhill readies at Worm; Jeremy shoots Worm w/ derringer 6; Simon on RC’s again hits 12 DOWN; Schuyler hits Worm 19; Insp hits7 DOWN; Mulverhill hits 10/6;; Guard on Paul 3/miss/miss; DEAD!.Cleveland hits Paul’s 8, RC hits him 12; the guard vs Paul miss/3/miss.
Jeremy’s derringer hits Paul’s 11 DEAD.
Now only 6 assassins left with Lo Ping. “Ah, my faithful enemies, together we must still save our planet for our species. Can you sense it? The great evil on the other side of that wall.”
Feels like a black hole of evil on the other side of the wall in the machine room. Simon, concentrating, can feel it. He wants to test its power by sending one of his men inside. He rushes loyally into the room, his head just explodes withing seconds.
Schuyler wants to blow the room up, but Lo Ping wants to see what it looks like. He puts a mirror on a stick, and sends for a bunch of his other lackeys from downstairs who converted back to him upon his arrival. Mostly women. He has one step intothe room and angle the mirror just right, and is immediately killed.
It is a huge sphere, about 9’ in diameter. Just sitting there as if balanced atop a silver pyramid.
Lo “There is a god there what do we do. Do you have dynamite?”
Paul “No.”
Schuyler “I have something better, detonite. 2 packs.”
Lo says we can’t kill it, may even "outlive me. It’t trying to take us over and its getting stronger by the minute, as is its radius of influence. Its halfway across the room.
He says we have 5 minutes to destroy it. We must put the explosives on the pyramid.
Schuyler explains you simply set the charge, turn the know and it goes off in 30 seconds.
We discuss how to do this, Lo says everyone needs to go, to give it many targets, the second rank has the charges.
It’s our 6, Mulvahill and the 5 assassins. He’s willing to send 3 of his in the first wave, Mulvahill volunteers as well as Jeremy and Schuyler. Jeremy and Schuyler have the explosives.
First wave charges, Jeremy makes the save to be controlled. Then Mulvahill fails the save and drops to the ground, snorring. Then Jeremy again makes the save! Assassin 2 fails, and his head explodes; then assassin 3 fails and takes 22 damage DOWN.
Paul leads the second wave in.
Assassin 1 on first wave makes save. Then WIlhelm in takes 20, assassin in 2nd rank DEAD; then Schuyler is slowyed.
Now assassin in 2nd row takes 22 DEAD;.
Explosives are put on and set. RC grabs Mulverhill. Simon drags Schuyler with him. Just then, Lo Ping steps around the corner and starts firing mental blasts at it. It directs its energy at him until he is down.
First attack fails; second fails; third fails; fourth fails; fifth fails; sixth does 21 damage, but Lo makes threshold save; 7th fails and deals 16 damage; 8th attack fails; 9th attack fails; 10th and last attack fails. He holds it back the entire time!! We get out of the room.
First explosion does 26, second 21. The blast stuns the god!
Simon charges in. He feels his mind throbbing, trying to make sense of what happened as it keeps missing his mind.
Schuyler starts firing the winchester. His DR is difficult to breech. Simon starts hacking away at it.
A bunch of us rush the machine to start ripping it apart.
Lo Ping starts to try to probe its mind, to stun it longer.
On round 5, men of Lo Ping arrive with 3 shotguns w/ 6 shells each. Mulverhill is awake now and gets one, as does Paul and the Inspector. They start firing.
The whole room shudders after round 5, costing all 1d4 sanity.
Lo Ping “The monster is afraid!”
Another d6 sanity all around. We hears screams from even downstairs as people loose sanity. Pieces are falling off the building.
Lo “The creature is terrified!”
After the 8th round of a Simon hit, 2 crits from Schuyler, and all shotguns hitting it implodes into nothingness.
Another d10-4 sanity.
All allow sanity checks for half.
We gain 2d8 and 1d10 however for completion.

The building stops shaking.

April 1, 1890

We hear news body of cop who is in the woman’s body was found in the Thames, dead.

View
A Horrific Return on the Orient Express

Next Day

Before we leave, Schuyler suggests that we talk to the OE officials about informing the staff of who we are, and there may be more trouble and that we need leeway and freedom of movement while on board.
Off on the Express in search of Makryat.
Simon “What if we tell everyone on the train before it leaves, its the express train back to London. If you’re looking for a leisurely ride depart now.”
Only car with room on the Calais coach. Must share berths with others.
Simon takes front room. Sees heavy set guy with gray here, Senior Martinelli, Italian. An opera base. Going to London to sing.
“Good to meet you. Just had some appauling news, I’m heartbroken.” Mentions Katarina’s death.
“I was a personal friend of hers.”
He speaks very highly of her. “As a fan of opera, could you do me a favor? I was assigned the top bunk, and being heavy as I am…”
Simon agrees to trade bunks.

Next, Schuyler is with Jack Gattling, syndicated columnest. NY times.
“Oh, a gentleman from the times. I’m American myself, so to speak. The NW territories.”
“We have to stick together.”:
’What’s been your business here?"
“I was in Paris and heard about this brew haha on the Orient Express, murders, vampires. If I could just find out what really happened I’d put it in every paper in Europe. Say, I heard there was an American involved. What’s your name.”
“Mr. Grim”
“Hmm, sounds familiar. If you hear of anyting interesting on this trip, let me know.” Also thinks countess on board having affair with German industrialist Kurt Groenig. Wants to prove it but but OE staff are big on discretion “Count isn’t much of a man, and very cosmopolitan about wife’s pursuits.”
“Why don’t you just let them do what they’re doing.’?
“If it were some fish monger no one would care, but Groenig is at the top. The count and countess are old money and I love the idea of dragging them through the mud.”

Paul is in with Sir Robert Harrow, adv. and man about town. Tall, strapping, very English. Bristly mustache and crooked grin. Big game hunter to member of Parliament. Conservative. So, they have much to talk about. He’s pleasant enough, but there’s something about him Paul just doesn’t like, surprisingly. Kinda guy you wouldn’t count on in a crisis. Paul is going to lose sleep, the guy talks about his adv’s incessantly and sits up reading and smoking with insomnia. He hasn’t had a lady for a while, and there are 2 next door. He asks them to his room for conversation and spot of gin.
Alayna Constanza: quiet and exotic beauty, medit. Obviously well off financially. Wanted room for self but now sharing with Bif’s girl. They will continuously fight off Sir Robert’s attempts at ‘getting inside’. Robert offers Paul to make it a duo, but Paul says her American friend is a close friend of mine.
He still doesn’t back down. “I know lots of tricks I can teach them.”

Next car, Count and Countess Henre Mathau Debrusi and wife Emanuelle. He is stout and hearty, drinker’s red complexion. She is half hi sage, red hair green eyes, sophisticated and attractive.

Next, Groenig (handsome, young, wealthy, does spend much time around Countess and is friends with Count); with Rama Hotep. Mysterious wealthy Egyptian, deals in Antiquities from Alexandira. Overweight.

Next: a single, Wilhelm in 13.
14: Lord Margrave with Jeremy. He’s tall, snobby Englishman. Thickman, this stouch. Likes bowties and butterflies and money. Can speak endlessly on all 3. Rumors of affair with del Garda in next compartment.

Next: Dona del Garda by herself. Wealthy, and has a secret. For some reason seems to be in love with Margrave.

Next: Dantone Szofbic, with RC. Small rotund balding man with bifoculs. Know nothing about him and speaks little.
Conductor of our coach is Emille Sucard.

Bif and Wilbeforce are on a different car.

We are on our way at 4:30 PM.

We hang in salon car.
Dinner is served by car the first night. Constanza is invited to sit with us by Bif’s chic, Gattling and Harrow sit themselves down at Paul and RC’s table.
With girls is Bif and Simon.
Schuyler, Wilhelm, Wilberforce and Jeremy all together.

Recording

The table of our 4 drinking water start feeling a bit woozy, stomach cramps. Wilhelm is ovecome with nausea and cramps. Projectile vomits.
Schuyler calls for medical assistance. Check the water. The matre de is shocked, water should not have been served unless requested, water around here not safe. The water they serve is always bottled. Carafe was waiting at the table when we sat down.
Wilhelm is escorted to his room.

After, we go to club car as we pass Turkish frontier later in the night. Bif sits sharpening knife on a leather strapping, staring at the Harrow.
Jeremy “I’m thinking Harrow and the girl are not him. We need to find out if, in that love triangle, any of them act wierd.”
RC “Good idea.”

We see interplay of other passengers. The trio are acting normal.
Wilhelm “Who is smoking?”
Most of them are, Wilberforce “but who may be smoking who doesn’t.”
Schuyler “What about the type of cigarette he smoked in Constantinople. Maybe he’s smoking the same.”
Paul “Maybe in that same, arrogant haughty way.”
Only one person, Sucard the conductor. Schuyler tries to bum one from him. Gives me a funny look, then pulls out his cig (has initials on it) case full of gold tipped Turkish cig’s, just like the ones the villain smoked.
He smiles at me and says “Sometimes people should learn not to allow their habits to follow them.”
Schuyler “Why would you stop smoking just because your going somewhere else.”
“Smoking should kill you Mr. Schuyler.”
Schuyler “Could kill you, too.”
Now 12:40AM as we stop at Greek/Hungary border for check point. He excuses himself to perform his duty.
Schuyler signals it was him and he and Simon follow. No one in the corridor. Door at other end is banging open and closed. Door to next car is locked.
Schuyler “I’ll go left, you go right.”
No where to be seen.
Schuyler yells for others to get out and look for him. Schuyler jumps off looking for any place he could find a private spot to change bodies.
Simon and Schuyler go right, left goes Jeremy and Paul left away from platform. Bif stays with Wilhelm. RC and Wilberforce also search outside. Constanza starts walking top of train looking around. Locked Bif’s chic in room to keep her safe, Bif and Wilhelm with them.

To left, they see 4 guys in heavy wool coats approach, heavily dressed even for the cold, faces covered.
Jeremy “Hello gentlemen.”
They say hello in Turkish and pass our guys by.
Jeremy “What are you gentlemen doing on this side of the train? Sir, whenever the personal assistance of a Duke speaks to you, you don’t ignore him.”
They turn and attack with garrotes. Face covers fall away and they have scars of skin cult!
The cultists go for ball kicks doing 1 to Simon. Paul deflects his mans kick into his buddy 3 and stuns him 1 round.. They miss Jeremy. Constanza spots this and leaps down upon one of the ones on Jeremy and hits 2, flanking him. Jeremy misses with derringer.
Paul kills stunned guy with guys own knife.
OE men run for gunfire.
One attacks Paul with sap miss. 2 on Jeremy fumbles, other misses Costanza.
They begin to run. Paul’s AoO hits 7. Jeremy fires 2nd shot but misses “And don’t come back!”
Costanza “Gentlemen, I think we should make ourselves scarce.” They run for front and cross enter a train car, then exit on other side.
Train about to leave so we have to board. Costanza speak to Paul and Jeremy "It is a shame you were not able to find Mehmet.
We ask how she knows about him.
“I didn’t want to tell you all this, but…”

Recording

Conductor, of course, missing. A replacement comes from one of the guards.

Deformities again.
RC pimples on abdomen.
Schuyler gets black fungus on rt leg up into my loins.
Simon gets skin tightening in lft leg, and swelling bulging veins on in chest.
Jeremy gets thick ropey hair sprouting from left leg
Paul gets dead skin on left leg.
Wilhelm gets creeping and moving skin on abdomen.

Time for sleep. Simon goes into cabin, roomate already in bed. Hears a drip as he climbs up. Checking, finds a pool of blood as his throat slit. No parts missing. He was sleeping in what should have been Simon’s bed! Simon just goes to bed.

Gattling and Schuyler go to their room at same time. Gattling screams and feints at a bunch of skin on floor. The conductor’s empty skin. So he never left train, but duped us by opening back door then ducking into the room to hide. Informs the others.

RC goes to sleep. Light sleeper that he is, wakes to a noise from bottom bunk as a shadow rises. Danton stands up. Quietly see him in soft light of stars brings down a case he carries. Opens it silently, taking out a razor, screwing 2 pieces of metal into a one shot gun. RC readies scalping dagger. Puts gun in pocket of robe and razor in other pocket.
RC gets up and looks out. He stopped at Hotep/Groenig’s room.
Picks door lock, looks around, and turns out the light so corridor is dark. RC rushes and he turns and sees him. He quietly shuts door and moves toward RC with a grin.
RC “What are you doing?”
“Just out taking the evening air.”
RC “With a razor and snap together one shot? Which one are you here to kill?”
“Shall we retire to our room to discuss this?”
Back in room, he says was hired to kill Groenig for great deal of money, there are interests that would like to take over his company. Offers RC a deal, but RC of course declines.
“I’m afraid I’ll have to kill you.”
He goes for RC, who sidesteps and grapples for 7. He misses twice with dagger. RC grapples 6. He hits once 3. RC grapples 7. He misses twice. RC misses. He misses twice. RC misses. He fails to break twice. RC grapples 6. He breaks grapple then hits 2. RC stabs 15 (makes threshold). He misses twice. RC stabs 8.
RC “Give up.”
He misses twice. RC misses. He misses twice. RC stabs 8. He misses/hits 2. RC hits 9. He misses twice. RC hits 9.
“Still don’t want to give in?”
He hits 3/miss. RC misses. He hits 2/miss. RC misses. He misses twice. RC hits 6. He hits 2/miss. RC hits 7. He’s bleeding badly. He hits twice for 7 total. RC misses. He hits crit 7/3. RC misses. He hits 3/miss. RC hits 7 KO’d.
RC ties him up to the lower bunk lying down and goes back to sleep.

Next Day

Morning comes and we are outside Sofia. Wolf pack paces train. RC alerts officials to assassin. Simon informs them of dead man. They lock assassin up.
Not much happens all day. Couple attempts on our lives form a cultist here and there but nothing that threatens us.
Simon insists on killing everyone, crash train off a cliff or bridge. We all jump off!
Wilberforce says ‘I think he’d take someone with their own room."
Not us, not Bif’s girl, not Costanza, not assassin.
We watch for del Garda getting distant from Margrave.
Simon attempts to hit on her. Says she’s not that kind of woman, then turns and leaves. Simon sees a line down the back of her neck! It’s him.
Simon enters dining car to tell others. Elderly woman sits across from Simon, eyes staring right into his. It’s Baba Yaga, the oldest witch from the hut in the woods. We see her house running next to the train. See her in her hut, this is an image of her as she can’t cross iron.
Simon “What are you here for?”
“You’re too late. The evil one has changed his skin again” and she disappears and hut stops.
Get conductor, opens del Gardsa’s room and we find her skinless body and her skin.
Simon “Who else came and went in this hallway?”
“No one but the count. He visited her.”
Simon “Where did he go?”
“Of course, he must explain this. Find him in bed but his body with no skin. Let’s go find the Count. Gattling walks by as this is going on so he’s taking copious notes.
Conductor “Train must stop to investigate. I must speak to the chef du brigade. You can come with me if you wish” a scream. Out the window a body on the tracks, the engineer.
Train picks up speed. Train goes around a wide bend. We can see the engine now, become a living fleshy creature!
We fully equip and make for the front. We fly right past the next border. At next station, a barricade is put up but lightning flashes from the creature and destroys it.
Simon and RC make for engine creature, Paul and Wilhelm lead search for Count.\
Wilhelm "They have evoked a mask of Nyarlathotep. That is what the living train is.
Whole front of train taken over by cultists. Passengers hearded and barricaded at front of train.
So, we all go for front.
Simon breaks open the door. 4 cultists wait with axes and rush him: miss/hit 2/miss/miss. RC rushes in next, 2 large rocks fall from above as he pass from one car to the other miss/6. Simon hits 14, RC hits 16, at other end of car Count disappears through door for front of train.
Paul shoots crit a rock thrower DEAD. Schuyler hits other as he jumps at Paul 19 DEAD.
Inside, 2 attack each of us. Simon missed twice, RC miss/hit 5.
Paul enters car. Simon hits 16, RC hits 12, Paul hits 11 and 11.
Simon is missed, RC is hit 9, Paul is hit 6/miss. Wilhelm shoots one of Paul’s but misses.
RC hits 13, Simon hits 16, Paul cuts 11 shoots 13. As train goes around a bend the train jolts and a feeling of static. A new car is attached to train, made of stone, looks like gothic cathedral in miniature. As we pass Lausanna. Schuyler shoots undamaged on Paul 7.
Paul is missed twice; Simon is hit 4, RC is missed. Wilhelm hits Paul’s second 4.
Schuyler shoots same 9. RC hits 15. Simon hits 18 DEAD. Paul shoots 22 DEAD and cuts other 13.
2 left. RC is hit 4, Paul is missed. Schuyler shoots RC’s for 19 DEAD and RC and Simon advance through car. Paul misses twice. Wilhelm hits him 7. Bif shoots him on way by to follow Simon and RC crit 16 DEAD to larynx.
We enter cathedral car. Stained glass, tolling bell as if from vast distance, incense.
Inside is far too vast compared to the car. Luxurious, tables with suckling pit and beef, haunting melodies, tapestries, servants everywhere. Stairways go upward, halls leave. Dozens of people at a masked ball, one dressed as the Red Death.
Young page invites us up to throne room. “The jigsaw prince has offered a truce.”
Simon “I just want to know where the Count is.”
“Then come and talk to the Prince.”
We follow. Sanity checks, Jeremy and both MIke’s fail. 2 lost for others.

Recording, Jigsaw Prince

We exit out other side of cathedral, a long way. We run for it. He makes a pass with his hands and we all speed up greatly, getting to back in moments.
Next is the coal car. There stands the count in the back of the living engine. He sees us. Simon sees him first. The Count hits him with a Fist of Yogsothoth 15 and he is launched backward. Schuyler hits him 14, as it goes toward him it desolves like an asteroid going through the atmosphere and a small piece hits him.
Paul is able to grab hold of his arm and pull him back up.
Wilhelm begins the spell. Simon shoots at him (makes attack magi) 13, it glows like the last but nothing disintegrates hitting him full on; Schuyler misses badly. He reaches in, pulls bullet out and throws it at Simon hitting for 19 with a gout of his own flesh.
As Wilhelm says the last words he has to stand up and face him. Count fails the save and screams, flesh beginning to fall off. He is left as a person without skin, many cuts where pieces have been added on and they start falling of in portions. The rest slowly melts into ooze. Engine starts to change back into an engine.

Schuyler takes the train controls. Several more bouts of health problems hit us all. We get to Calais. Searching inside yielded nothing. Under train we find a box welded on and inside is the Simulacrum.

Early morning, March 19

We arrive w/o incident. Our man awaits us in Calais! We are in terrible shape.
We have to sit in a circle and have to pronounce phonetically the words on the scroll.
Ritual succeeds! Unfortunately for our friend.
Still recording.
Mekhmet stands reincarnated.
Paul springs into action, missing with saber.
RECORDING STILL.

March 20

To London. Brotherhood of the Skin is absolutely no more.

View
Constantinople

March 10

We explain to those on board that we obviously can’t tell them a vampire attacked. Our story is that we were beset upon by viscous bandits; the 2 killed fell off the train.

In Constantinople the investigation begins. We are prebooked into Pera Palace, partners with Orient Express. Recommended by staff of train. Standard luxury hotel, native workers but European management.

Wilhelm and Simon talk about the tragedy of Constantinople’s fall.
Most of us are to be held for questioning upon arrival and the police arriving. Bif and Paul are left out because off social standing. They go back to train for out luggage at the 2nd fourgon.
The train is overrun with people. Cleaners, porters, lots of random people who shouldn’t be there. They find part of luggage there and part missing. They find the men in charge of this car, they say they don’t know anything. They’ve just been unloading what’s there. Paul sends Bif to the ticket office and Paul to talk to station master.
Master is very concerned and polite, starting immediate investigation to find it. Shall send it to hotel ASAP.
Paul “There was a very important cultural treasure with us. I will be going to embassy to let them know the job you are doing.”
He insists all possible avenues will be investigated.
The Express tells Bif they want to talk to Paul so he meets Bif there.
“I’m sorry sir, what little we can do we will. The first thing is, we have all of our personnel in the station actively searching. I have taken the precaution of hiring 2 PI’s to start questioning people. In addition I have notified the police as Mr. Baxter explained there was an item of significant importance. The police in this quarter have been alarmed. I will need a description of anything in the luggage, so that if anything is found being pawned or sold it can be identified. We are of course waving the entire fee for your stay at our hotel until your luggage is found.”
Paul does so, for anything important, and says the statue was to be sold once put together by an expert and is of little value apart.
All the other officials they talk to promise the same diligence.
The Orient Express, however, are mortified. Our luggage shows up at the hotel 1 hour later!!

At police, they don’t believe it. Passenger descriptions too different. Some have told of some savage beast. They want to know what really happened.
Wilhelm says that is not surprising for unexperienced in times of stress. Imaginations go wild. “One woman started attacking other passengers. Of course when one such as that hears a bulgarian warcry some will hear wolves and monsters.”
After more runaround and questioning, they let us all go.

When our luggage shows so fast, Paul offers great thanks. Chef Henri is there in person.
“:The staff would like ypo to know it was a great honor having you aboard and the battle with a vampire on the train will not be forgotten.”
Paul offers a grand dinner for them all, and asks about the pension for the dead engineer’s family. There is one, but small for the widow in Germany. The crew are taking up a collection. Red Cloud and Schuyler give what they can.
Schuyler checks in at US embassy to give report.

Then we all settle in at the hotel. We get some much needed rest.

March 11

We need a scribe to help research scrolls. Schuyler starts with embassy at secret service office. They say their 1 scribes are busy now, but they will be at my disposal if the time comes. Say go to grand bazaar in Stanbul and look for one.
So, Jeremy hits bazaar in Turkish disguise to look for a prospect. it’s a throng of merchants and people. He gets pointed to a group of scribes all waiting for business. Then he sees big nasty guys walking straight toward him. One of them walks right by him, and he and the other 2 meet at the scribes and beat the snot out of one of the scribes. Whew. Then they leave him bloody on the ground. The other scribes all made themselves scarce.
Jeremy goes up to him.

Recording pg 25 bottom

Scribe’s name is Fayer. He does speak English.
Fayer goes out to be a wonder, and the University of Constantinople staff is supremely helpful to outside academics. It takes late into the day to finish. It’s really just a college of general studies. Only undergrad work. They strive to become a university.
They find no mention of the brothers of the skin. In histories of recent city, rumors of a cult rumored to be cannibals. Said to gather at a ruined mosque of rosey tinture. No mention of Simulacrum, but yes on 5 scrolls that are in various parts of Europe after sack of Constantinople. However, the museum here has acquired all 5! Yes!
At one point Wilhelm looks out window and sees a grotesque creature looking up at him out of shadows, an amalgam of man and bear. 4 legs and 4 arms. As it turns to leave it turns out to be a man and a bear one standing in front of the other. A trick of light and shadow.

Red Mosque

An air of desolation, Grimy, dirty place. 2 studded closed doors appear to be the only way in. Some foot traffic. Schuyler suggests caution about trying to get in with lots of passing eyes on us. Simon says lets continue on and Jeremy and RC can come back via alley and sneak around, checking circumference.
No other entrance. They get Schuyler who fires his steampowered grapple to a window. RC and Jeremy climb up into the dome. We hear talking inside coming from room downstairs and smell hashish, entrance room through the double doors out front is below. They speak of the nice things they have acquired lately. Leader tells them to shut up “You never know who could be listening.”
Opening tween front and rear of mosque blocked by a tarp, formerly maybe a grand oriental carpet. Knock at front door. A man with a sack is let in “I have some more nice things here”. Dumping silver plates and silverware. Obviously expensive and European. Talk of selling or melting into ingots. Then thug small talk. No niches visible, yet at least. Appear to be street gang. A call to prayer from outside and they ignore it, one goes into corner and urinates “I piss on Muhammed; I piss on Allah”.
Jeremy “What if we return tonight acting like police. If they’re just thugs we may get them to surrender.”
We leave and make for hotel. Schuyler and Simon see a bear following the group! Then they notice a chain around its neck attached to a gypsy. They turn down a side alley. Jeremy decides to tail them. Once in alley barely sees rear of bear disappear around corner. He follows, 3 ways to go around corner but does not see them. Gypsy steps out of an alcove, the bear behind him “Take care my friends” in a raspy voice.
Jeremy goes back to rest of group and reports.

Whole group meet up at night for dinner. Fayer offers to show us the sights so we follow.
“If you really want to find out what’s going on in the city, ask in the bazaar.” But tonight, we spend some time out on the town.
Street cafe, belly dancers, drug peddlers,
Schuyler hands at belly dancers as the rest get up to move on. Simon decides he likes it too.

Recording.

Schuyler is ready and willing for ‘getting his ashes hauled’. Simon does as well.

Recording

Simon and Schuyler seem screwed.
Our ko’d prisoner lies, babbling about his friend and he being upstairs with their ladies and we tried to force ourselves on their women.
Proprietor, with an (ahem, fingers rubbing together by Schuyler) almost says he has no idea what happened, then changes his tune with the promise of cash and says we were the ones who went upstairs with the ladies.
They still say they have to arrest us for the one dead man now in Schuyler’s room. We are taken to be taken in for questioning. As is the ko’d guy. He has been edging closer and closer to the door, when he leaps out the door and races into the dark. After a scream, he is found clawed open and dead. Mansauce shows up and smooths the whole thing over with cash

Jeremy stops at the first hookah bar we come to. Wilhelm stays with him. Paul and RC continue with Fayer for ‘firewater’ at the next bar.
We go to find Jeremy and Wilhelm where they were left. We find them there safe. 4 or 5 suspicious looking men are in various parts of room as if closing in. Moments after the rest of us enter, they beat a hasty retreat.

Bif, Wilberforce, and his girl went there own way tonight. A small film culture in Turkey he, of course, runs into, and they wine and dine him.

March 12

Wilhelm goes to get access to scrolls as an academic, Schuyler as his translator:
Topkapi Museum is the pride of the city. Most closely guarded museum in the world. Secretary initially says to go away, they have no such items here. We get her to call for the ass. director who says we have to speak to a Dr. Zarap to get anywhere on this. We decide we’re willing to wait all day.
After 4 hours, he finally lets us in.
“What can I do for you gentlemen?”
Jeremy arrives and does some info gathering. He asks for restroom as a ruse and knocks at the door.
Recording

Jeremy goes to bazaar to gather info about Red Mosque, Shunned, brothers of the skin, hitmen from last night:
Person who knows about the hitmen would be expensive, hangs out in turkish bath on the waterfront in Para.
On shunned mosque, most say they don’t know anything until one person says that’s the old name for the red mosque.
On red mosque, talk to Beylab the Perspirer. He asks about Baylab, saying he hangs out in Turkish Bath on waterfront in Para.
On Bro of skin, if such a cult existed it could never thrive in Turkey though it could explain disappearances. Person to ask is Baylab. He likes foreigners as they pay more than locals.
Fayer says “You can’t talk to him. He’s notorious and not to be trusted. He’s dangerous.”
Now Jeremy looks into how to contact him: send a message to the Turkish bath announcing the time and day you will come. If he is not there that means he does not wish to talk to you. If you are late, you will never get to see him again.
Jeremy sends a note saying tomorrow at noon.

Back at hotel all meet.
(for spelling: Curse be to Garaznet the Thief.)
Bif “They’re has been a request made of us.”
Sir Douglas Rutherford wants to see Mansauce, Bif and Schuyler us at embassy immediately, he’s the British ambassador.
We are whisked right in, but will only see Brits, Americans or other Europeans. Fayer not allowed in, neither is RC.
Schuyler “What do you need of us Ambassador Rutherford?”

Recording

March 13

Noon, to the Bath to meet Bayeb:
Jeremy, Schuyler and Wilhelm go inside bath, the others wait outside.

Recorded until 6 min.

Into bath proper. He’s absolutely obese and big in general size, reclining and completely relaxed. A great heir of confidence, bald and moustache.

Recording: grave of the Kurd Grazanet, inside is the ritual to destroy statue. Both are 2 faced, for good or evil.
Naked women cultists armed with daggers rush in to kill us. 3 of them.
Schuyler “Jeremy get out of here, I’ll hold the assassin off” and readies an attack. Wilhelm charges women (her AoO hits for 3) and punches-4. Schuyler’s trip misses but assassin’s dagger misses too as he burns.
The chics miss Wilhelm, Jeremy runs for to get help into the next room screaming and his met by 2 cultist men. Our men outside hear and rush inside. As they are about to attack Jeremy, 2 gunshots go off. A Turkish man sitting there drinking and smoking reaches under his pillow, pulls out a Cold Army and fires at one-10/5. Jeremy takes total defense and they both miss.
Wilhelm notices the ‘women’ are actually guys disguised as women through the cult’s magic grafting and part swapping. A 2 more men in bath draw daggers. One stabs at a parton fleeing-hit ;and one at Wilhelm-6; the wounded patron flees.
Our men outside running through building, and guy behind counter is blocking front door to stop us with a big axe (he’s wearing the face of the real attendant). RC throws tomohawk-8; Simon charges. The readied attack misses as Simon hits-16. Bif draws knife and engages-misses in a vengeful rage.
Paul draws saber and revolver, fires and misses.
Wilhelm fumbles; Schuyler whips off his towel and goes to wrap it around the killer’s head in a grapple.
RC notices 4 more cultists coming after us from the street, and readies action.
Assassin burns badly buy breaks free of grapple.
Doorman hits Simon-16/miss; Simon crits-32 DEAD; Wilhelm hit by 2 false patrons but chics miss; gunman ally fires-kills his original target; Jeremy is missed (total def); 4 on RC hit. RC’s ready hits-29 DEAD, cleave-9; they miss/miss/hit-6; Bif rushes into warming room and attack’s Jeremy’s man-8; Paul moves to RC and crits-26 DEAD.
Endurance checks in hot room succeed for our 2. We hear a plop as Baylab is nothing but a skeleton with some grisle and muscle. SKin all melted off body and huge lump of burning skin just plopped off beside him. As a blob it starts wriggles toward us (both make sanity checks). Starts to spread thinner, still bubbling.
Wilhelm recovers from his fumble; Schuyler “Where the hell is everyone!” as he readies. The assassin rushes to grapple Schuyler who ducks and backdrops him into the skin blob. It begins to eat through his flesh by burning-14 then 10 from his own fire on him.
RC hits-12; Simon rushes inside to warming room and attacks same guy Bif did-crit DEAD; 3 chics miss Wilhelm; outside RC is hit-3; other misses Paul; our gunman runs into hot room and fires once at a false patron-12; they both rush at our gunman-8; Jeremy runs to his stuff and grabs his stip of daggers; Biff runs into hot room, loses 5 sanity as misses a shot at one of the 2 on gunman; Paul hits untouched cultist- crit 20 DEAD.
Blob makes to engulf the cultist and succeeds-17 DEAD. Spits globbet of sizzling flesh at Schuyler-barely misses and bubbles on wall.
WIlhelm punches-4; RC hits-15 DEAD and moves inside doorway. Sees hotroom is empty of villains. Simon reaches hotroom (makes sanity check) and attacks blob-12. The 3 chick on Wilhelm-all miss; Paul rushes inside; Jeremy runs into hot room (makes sanity check) and engages a wounded chic with knife-1; gunman step and fires last bullet at false patron-14; both of them rush Bif-6/crit 16 (makes threshold save) “I’m going to wear your face”. Bif steps aside and shoots him-11; Paul and RC rush in (Paul loses 4 and RC 3). Paul shoots wounded chic-10; RC engages one who Bif shot-15; Skin blob goes to grapple Simon: first try fails, second fails.
Wilhelm withdraws; Simon attacks blob-10; Schuyler attacks a chic and hurls hrim into blob by hrim’s hair-20 (makes threshold); she fails to escape, another 2 attack Jeremy-miss/5; Jeremy stabs a chic-miss; gunman draws knife and attacks one of 2 false patrons-7 DEAD and 14 to the other; He attacks gunman-miss; Bif shoots him-13; Paul attack’s blob with sword-12; RC hits last false patron-15; Blob kills the chic then fails to grapple Simon.
Wilhelm runs outside; Simon hits blob-7; Schuyler brawls Jeremy’s chic-7 KO’d; last chic steps back and pushes brass coal brazer over lighting some linen and starting a fire, but she burns her hands too; Jeremy moves and hits her-2; gunman stabs last false patron-crit 11/miss; that villain steps back sending a Fist of Yog as Simon trying to knock him into the blob, hitting for 10 but he resists the bullrush; Bif plugs him-5; RC moves to him-miss; Paul stabs blob-9 and shoots-7; Blob misses Paul twice but hit Simon-10/9 (into light wounds) leaving burning globs on him.
Fire all around = reflex DC12 or 1d6. Schuyler on chic-3; Simon scrapes off both blobs, cutting self; hrim (takes 1 fire) grabs flaming curtain (takes 4 fire) and tries to engulf Schuyler and Jeremy, hitting Schuyler-2 fire; Jeremy misses her; gunman stabs his guy-7 DOWN; Simon “Bif shoot blob!” and hits-14; RC (takes 2 fire) attacks blob-8; Paul shoots blob-8 and stabs-13 DEAD!.
Reflex DC15 or 2d6 this round. Schuyler escapes burning curtain; Simon runs out (takes 5); chick takes 9 fire DEAD with a fanatic cackle. All of us rush out successfully. We flee for hotel as if nothing happened.

Find boat to take us across to cemetery. We have to pay 10L out of Smith’s funds. THey insist on only taking 3. RC, Paul and Wilhelm go. Turns out they are pirates but we easily handle them, RC killing Hakim. Last one pilots us back to pick up others then to cemetary.
We find grave within an hour (card) and start to pry top block off. A crazy beggar appears talking crazy, and of brotherhood approaching.
Opening grave a skin blob attacks. We fight back, RC and Wilhelm dropping lid on it. Finally we finish it off.
Brotherhood arrives and captures us, ties us up in a line after promising not to harm us. There are far too man of them. They demand the Simulacrum, but Jeremy fools them, telling them that Fennelik was able to procure it from us on the train.
Ldr “NO! You let him live? You FOOLS!!! We must find him, you must bring him!!”
“I am a man of my word, we will not harm you. But you will suffer, oh you will suffer the agony a thousand deaths for allowing the Simulacrum to fall into the hands of that vampire. Now, this is the revenge for your audacious meddling. BRING IT FORTH!!”
Jeremy "Whoa, hey, I thought you weren’t going to kill us.
“We’re not. The children are!”
4 cultists walk up with this large oilskin bladder and dump out a 12 writhing kidnapped children in horrible torment, sown randomly together with twine at their arms, ears you name it, screaming. Bad sanity checks all around. The boy we are looking for is not there. Then several more cultists approach with 3 large tubs, full of the melting flesh beasts and they proceed to poor them on the children!! This is the worst sanity check ever. The ldr chants. The unutterable thing secretes all over the kids, and we see there mad, staring eyes, mouths through which shoot tendrils of skin. It all undulates and the kids become part of the beast!!
Bif fails the sanity check for 11, particularly horrified by it; RC makes it as does Jeremy; Wilhelm drops 14 and Paul 12; Schuyler fails for 7; Simon makes it.
The brotherhood are practically frothing at the mouths. The leader orders all to leave us to our fate, “and to our god”. They are all disappointed.
The beggar gibbers behind us. Schuyler “You have to free us, man!”
Beggar starts to cut our ropes with Schuyler’s bowie knife Not good,not good, nasty, foul oh foul! They’re not laughing (children), not laughing."
The mass is slowly rolling at us then we hear a huge roar and a dark shape appears behind the mass. It’s the huge bear from the city alleys, dives into the mass tearing and clawing. The mass engulfs it as it roars and attacks. It bursts through the mids of the thing and keeps slashing and biting but is taken down over the course of a couple minutes.
Meanwhile we gathered our equipment which they left nearby.
We turn on it as the bear is being defeated and devoured. Bif begins to fire wildly, Schuyler tries to get him to fight more calmly “Nobody gets away with hurting children in front of me!”
We blast it to destruction, what the bear left of it anyway.
The gypsy who owned the bear pulls up, our boat is gone “My name is Aktar, friend to gypsies. Come with me.”
Red Cloud “Was that your bear.”
He looks down for a moment, in tears.
Tells us story of his daugher, killing her, and fleeing to gypsies. Found out cult, has been following us.
“I can tell you the secret that you can destroy these men. They plan to gather in the Shunned Mosque whre they will perform the ritual and Salim will dawn the Simularum. You must keep it from them. I know a secret way into the very room in which the ritual will be done.
But, they don’t know we have the ceremony.
Schuyler “Then we have to give them the Simulacrum.”
Aktar “NO, unless you’re sure we can stop them. That would be playing with suicide regardless.”
AKtar “There was a breakin at the museum, they took all the scrolls.” This we know.
Red Cloud “We have the scroll of the head.”
Aktar “Without it they can not perform the ritual, w/o the Simulacrum the ritual is meaningless.”
Schuyler comes up with a plan of Wilhelm aiding Jeremy in creating a forgery of the scroll and letting it and the Simulacrum ‘fall’ into their hands. Change the wording, spell words, so that it won’t work. Then we can bust it up without worrying about stopping them before they finish the ritual."
Aktar “How long will it take?”
Bif “Where do we find the same kind of paper?”
Red Cloud “The man at the museum, he’ll have old papers like that.”
Schuyler "Old parchment, right he’ll have everything we need! "

March 14

Plan to take out cult. We get what we need from the museum, and Jeremy with Wilhelm’s arcane lore help makes forgery of scroll of the head.

Plant story amongst cops of Simulacrum being taken to train the next day in secret, with the scroll.

March 15

Afternoon, and they take the bait, stealing it and the false scroll of the head.

That night Aktar leads us through secret watery tunnels into mosque. We surpise from behind at ritural of over 300.
(notes flubbed for much of fight by stupid computer)
Start with Schuyler’s concentrated detonite charge killing 4 and wounding 3. RC Paul and Simon charge through gap to children.
Incorrect scroll backfires and a covering of skin closes his mouth to his surprise! Our 3 Kill 4 of red robes. Bif starts firing into crowd as Aktar charges in wildly and dies taking one with him and wounding another over first several rounds.
Next round, they kill other 2. Schuyler hits Salim 11, 19. His cultists drag him down after his old son booms from across the room branding him false. They begin to tear his skin off.
Cultists rush everywhere in chaos, gangs begin to Rush our 4 men in the room to grapple us down. Wilhelm starts firing into crowd. Over a few rounds, Paul and RC kill many with AoO as they try to gang grapple our 4. No grappling is successful. Shooting upstairs signals the Marines are battling others.
Gangs continue attack but grapples continue to fail. Schuyler climbs to second level and misses Salim’s son. A few start to try to reach him but 3 fail climb, 4 the makes it half way.

Wilberforce and Jeremy taken from rear and led to cells. They see in the shadows a man in rags of clothes. A torso, head, no eyes, one ear, and a working tongue. The rest, arms, legs, are gone. Patches are crudely wrapped over amputations, stained suit jacket thrown over shoulders, crimson stained blanket covers right shoulder and crotch. In a terrified voice “Who is, who is there?”Find Professor Smith!!!
Jeremy “Mehmet.”
He screams in terror “Noooo, nooooo!”
At that moment the door to cell opens, Mehmet stands there, the son. Lights a cigarette and puffs as he talks “Your frineds are down there massacring those poor fools, the military is coming. Looks like the power of the cult is broken. Until I rebuild it that is. So, did you recognize your friend over here?”
Jeremy “No, I did not.”
“You mean you don’t recognize Professor Julian Smith?”
Smith “Who’s speaking my name?”
“We’ve had a lot of fun here with Prof. Smith. Then of course there was my fascinating portrayal of him to you all in London. As the burned Smith.
It’s only then that Jeremy finally recognize the man, it really is what’s left of poor Professor Smith!!! A wreck of his former self. Mehkmet kidnapped him and took his place with his brotherhood power, Beddows was killed and replaced by one of his men. Mehnmet’s dad is the one leading the ceremony.
“We could have killed you at any time, but I needed the Simulacrum, whole. It’s power will make me like a god. My father threw me out of the cult because he feared I would take his power. And I did, that was I who helped your little spell along to remove his mouth and set his own followers to rip him to pieces. Also, the story you were told of the Simularum’s ability to be destroyed? Pure poppycock, there is no way. All was planned by me from the beginning. Having you find it, destroy the vampire, so that we could get it. I know I needed men who were strong and powerful enough to do my bidding, and stupid enough to fall for my plan. Now, with it under my control, I can wear anyone’s skin undetected, just as Fennelik did. I can be anyone, anytime anywhere. I will be a god! And you and your friends are the ones who made me so. For too long the brothers have been idle, limiting themselves to minor atrocities in the pursuit of petty evil. They slavishly serve the skinless one without seeing that he too is in our power to be used. With him we can hold dominion over the Earth. Do you wish to join me? If you kiss the ring I will make you the first of my followers.”
Jeremy does so.
“The first step of my plan with the power of the Sedefkhar Simulacrum is to assume the position of a man in power, great worldwide Western power. Perhaps the Prime Minister of England, Perhaps the Chancellor of Germany. We shall see. I leave for England at once, I’;m sorry I will not be able to see your demise. Unhappily, you will not be able to give your limbs in the service to the brothers, your corruption has already begun. IT began when the power of the Simulacrum was activated. Since you all have born it for so long, you will suffer. I shall let you out of your chains (he does now) so that you can experience the amusing ways your body will pervert at close range. Be sure to tell your friends that they too shall suffer this torment. As for myself, I am for the moment protected by the Simulacrum. It must be recharged soon, for the corruption will not begin in earnest for 100 hours. By then I shall have retrieved the ritual of cleansing so I will be whole again soon. As for you, by that time or shortly thereafter all of you wil become worst than beasts, a wholesomeless slime. Your slow and agonizing deaths carries with it much reward for the skinless one, when you cease to be flesh you shall be for eternity clasped in his putrid bosom. I left the Prof’s tongue in him so that he may wallow away the days enjoyably before the corruption unfortunately forces you to devour him. Meanwhile I shall dine on the Orient Express headed for England. Au Revoir” and he turns and leaves.
Jeremy “This is bad.”
They are alone now, not guards anywhere.
Wilberforce “What do we do with the professor?”
Jeremy raises the idea of a mercy killing. Wilberforce is not keen on that.

The door bursts open in an explosion at the top of the steps: The British troops finally reach us, 17 out of 20 there, and volley into the crowd. Its too much for the cult and they break, rush for back door. There forms a weird apparition, skinned and raw, wearing a cloak of joined loose skin. Sanity checks, Paul and Wilhelm both loosing the max 6. The troops are somewhat masked from the smoke of their rifles. Sir Douglas Rutherford comes into the room from the troops, rifle in hands and firing, blood of cultists and some from him upon him. From the kids cowering in the corner runs his son to him. He orders 3 troops to guard them with their lives. To the kids “None of you will ever want for anything again”.
The apparition has started killing cultists, now they are completely panicked. Some rush the soldiers and impale themselves on bayonets, others come to us begging for mercy. ITs skinles finger points at us "This is how many will appear before the task is done. Look well not at the skins which are the brother’s command, but at the hearts beneath which not even gods can conquer. Kills another cultist with a point of his finger, heart bursting from his chest, then another “These hearts are rancid and evil”. It steps forward to Paul.
Paul “Away fiend, I will shoot you where you stand.”
IT “You are good of heart” and passes him to the next cultist “We will never meet again”.
Paul “Oh good.”
“But we will be brothers, I can see it now. You will all be my brothers. For we are all many in one. Many in one. That one, (it half whispers) the Crawling Chaos.”
Jeremy and Wilberforce arrive from upstairs, carrying Smith, and gathers us, explaining what happened upstairs. The soldiers exterminate the cultists in the meantime.
When Smith hears they are all the cultists he starts yelling “Thank god, kill them all, kill them all!”

So Mehmet thinks he is going to be able to control Nyarlathotep.
Jeremy "If that bastard thinks that he can control Nyarlathotep from doing his business, he’s crazier than he appears, even.

One cultists has an eye too small for him, a child’s, and pleas to have mercy on them. Red Cloud begins to go for a scalping, but Paul stops him. Too much in their own vein to do it to them.
2 men who brought in the cauldron come near “Go ahead, kill us. For we are prepared to go to our god! We go to our god with screams of children in our ears!” Rutherford shoots him dead.
We are all drenched in blood.
Bif rises from a pile of bodies. He is literally a crimson man. He has been hand to hand ripping out larynx’s with his bare hands!! His sanity is at 19 at this point.

We have 100 hours before something unimaginably horrific happens to each of us.
Rutherford orders a Cpt to rush to the station and hold the train at all costs.
To us “Grab your things, quickly. We are going to force the train straight through to London, I hope you reach it in time to stop whatever affliction you now carry. Thank you, thank you for all you’ve done. I expect you to kill this Mehmet on the train.”
He believes we are capable of just about anything at this point
He gives us a charished heirloom, a gold ring with emerald to do as we ill, convert it to cash, whatever “If you ever need anything, down to everything I own, simply ask, my friends.”

We wire all resources in London to look for this ritual we need. Search the toy train and search Mehmet’s shop!

We board the train. We have all the scrolls, but Mehmet has the only thing he needs, the Simulacrum.
RC feels pain, seeing open sores on his arms.
Schuyler arm itches, pimples all over his arm.
Simon, parts of skin start to discolor on abdomen like dying.
Jeremy, same as Simon but on chest.
Wilhelm’s face skin has started to loosen, hanging at his jowls.
Paul has same dying flesh as Simon/Jeremy on right leg.
It’s only going to get worse unless we can get to London in time, and they can find the scroll we need to cleanse our curses. Every 10 hours another affect hits each of us.

Smith says a creature they called a dimensional shambler came and kidnapped him.

In London

A watcher, 2 wang brothers in town, and a secret service agent find a scroll in the shop, closed since we were there, seems to be one of the scrolls.
Beneath it a handwritten transcript, written phonetically. The cleansing spell?
Who left it there for him? Fake Beddows probably.
News later came out that a body was found in Smith’s house remains, that of Beddows is probable.
A London cop ally of our will be waiting at the port at Dover to meet us, he is Watcher.

View
Vampire on the Orient Express
Fenelik makes is grand bid for the Simulacrum

March 9

Leave at night for Istanbul on train. As usual, fresh garlic for Simulacrum cases, windows of our rooms, entryways, bedposts.
First, have late dinner. From front, 1st 4 tables taken up by other people.
Our tables (first 2 listed have the windows):
Table 1: Bif, chic, Schuyler.
Table 2:Paul, RC, Jeremy
Table 3: Simon, Wilhelm, Wilberforce
Others at almost every table.
Hear subtle ‘LET me IN’ to beat of train sound.
Schuyler fails a will save and kind of goes into a stupor. No one notices.
Chic hears whisper in her head “It’s hot out side, let me in…” Sees red eyes outside in dark.
Biff rolls a 1, sees a person hanging from top.
She opens the window, wind rushes out, Schuyler snaps out of it “Fennelik’s here!!!” as chic is wisked out the window, terrible scream, blood explodes back into the window.
(Card)
No, Fennelik grabs her shoulder, just before she’s ripped out Bif snaps out of It as well. Bif quickdraws and fanfires, hits once-9.
Schuyler leaps across table, straddling Fennelik’s arm tween chic and Fennelic but fails to grapple. His arm pulls out and he disappears.
People are alarmed, scared, chef runs out with cleaver. One man draws derringer, another breaks a $10 bottle of champagne for a weapon, young Englishman pulls out a knife.
Jeremy and Paul succeed at crowd control.
Paul orders all to stay together in a group, Jeremy recommends all stay in dining car walkway.
People who look like they can take care of themselves are put in charge, RC and Simon and Wilhelm rush to gather people from their rooms and salon car. Schuyler runs for Engine, Bif with him, for driver and engineer; Paul and Jeremy stay with crowd.
Train has 2 shotguns in front fourgon. Schuyler and Bif grab them on their way.

  • Brigadier Postier (guy in charge of luggage); cleaner; chef du brigade (runs the train); chef du cuisine (chef); chef du train (in charge of sleeping cars); conductor for each sleeping car, the dining car, salon; controller (chef du brigade’s assistant); head waiter; matre di (chief of dining car); 6 waiters; approximately 20 other staff (engineers, firemen, dishwashers, baggage men, guards). 30 passengers plus us.
    All staff men of intelligence and discretion.

Schuyler and Bif successfully make it to engine, telling driver and engineer about an attack in dining car. The fireman is there as well. They are very wary at first. We keep train going for now. The 2 of them stay to guard the engine. Schuyler has the fertility statue.

The staff have come to believe there is a vampire on board. Many have any weapon they can have.
In the dining car, we keep the end door’s open to the kitchen/pantry and rear compartment. The accordian enclosures between each car were already closed, we keep those doors open as well.
A passenger bumps a light off, which makes Red Cloud think to spread candles out in case we need light. Chef and waiters bring out sandwiches, free champagne and wine to lighten mood. Which it does.
Paul in rear room, Simon and RC in dining area, Jeremy and Wilhelm in kitchen.
Things are hitting the top of the train. See small objects falling outside here and there, then a pitter patter from roof.
A foolish passenger goes to look out a window, opens it to see what is going on, puts head out and screams. Pulling back in there are 3 rats hanging on his head.
Red Cloud leaps to grab them and throw them back out. 3 rounds, all 3 are out. Guy wounded and RC closes window. Man’s face is badly scarred.
Dropping has stopped, It happened as we were going by a cliff. They must have lept from heights onto train.
Head cook has cleaver ready.
The passengers may be a burden here, not an asset. There is a 10 year old boy who is determined to go vampire hunting.
Paul hears lots of scratching at his door and roof. Paul wants to go for high strength alcohol for molotave cocktails. They have gnawed through leather accordian enclosure there. Rats are filling platform tween cars, but has to get rid of rats. Thinks to use scolding hot water from hot water unit. Builds damn with table cloth to form a damn so that the water flows out under door. Holes are appearing at the bottom of door as Paul busts brass valve off and the hot water flows. Builds up at door a bit as rats on other side scream. Paul opens door into a charnel house of scalding rats. Paul asks for volunteers to go for the alcohol. He gets 3 to join him and he leads them out. The others, all with d4 random weaponry, ready to kill rats as they try to come in.
Simon replaces Paul.
Paul has to go through 2 sleeping cars to get to the salon car, himself leading, running like the devil’s biting their arses. Last man in line barely evades a grasp as a door flies open and Fenelik misses, man’s shirt torn. Man yells “The vampire’s behind us!”
Paul stops and tells them to keep running. Red Cloud asks for a priest, and there is one! Send him into kitchen to bless sink fulls of holy water.
Fennelik comes for Paul, stopping suddenly just out of range. He gives the stare to Paul, who fails the save miserably “My friend, kill those 3” pointing to the staff. He walks in as they are pulling out liquor. Paul is going to kill them.
Suddenly, (card) the train breaks kick on for only a moment, causing everyone to fall. One of the staff with Paul is hurt. The rats are for all intents and purposes fall off train.
2 of the staff run over help Paul. As one reaches down to help him up, and Paul snaps out of it throwing the sword down as he tries to break the domination. He pushes the staffer away runs out the door and slams it shut, telling them as he goes “Fenelik has dominated me, stay away!” In a moment he is back under the influence. One of the other 2 locks the door. Paul starts trying to break door down. Marcel insists they leave him so they rip open the accordian and, arms full of liquor, go forward.
Fenelik “Did you do as I ask my friend?”
They fail to hear the staff on roof.
Paul “I’m trying now my lord.” As he breaks door down. He goes in and find finds the accordian open. Fenelik vanishes. They are just climbing into where rats were coming in as they see red eyes coming at them. The last man almost feels the breeze from Fenelik’s claw and they dive into the rear of the dining car!
Paul finds Marcel behind the bar, who holds his club up in defense. Paul goes to attack and breaks domination again, stopping in mid stab! He picks him up and says “let’s go”.
The 2 staffers tell Simon what happened and what Paul said.
Paul arrives with Marcel. He can feel he only has seconds left. Simon ties him up and removes his weapons.
A roar now from the back of the train, roar of anger. Passengers start to freak. A woman passes out. Another hysterical and wildly claws at people around her so; A man faints, another stabs guy next to him “die vampire”. Another man near kitches screams frantically and rushes through kitchen for door. The capable staff there subdue him easily “We’re all going to die. Let me go!” They ko him. RC ko’s the knife man and the scratcher.
From top of the train a wolf howls, but its Fenelik, as the train slows as it goes uphill.
Schuyler “Hit the gas!”
Fireman heat things up. Schuyler keeps a lookout for Fenelik. Speeding up train stopped about a dozen wolves from getting on but some definitely did. Bif takes a shot at the last wolf getting on and misses with revolver.
Dark figure appears atop the tender. We step on the 2 strings of garlic to let the scent out. Schuyler presents statue.
“You may have the statue but your friends don’t. And they will die.” The fireman is dominated as he looks to see. The fireman leaps down onto the track killing himself. Fenelik removes the domination while the man’s still airborn. Then he’s run over.
“Give me my skin.”
“You’re going to have to earn it.”
“How. What do you want me to do.”
“You’re going to have to kill me and all my friends.”
“I’ll kill one innocent every quarter hour.”
“We’ll be at the next stop before that matters.”
He starts coming toward us over the coal.
Bif tells engineer to blow whistle if things go south.
Apparently the holy symbol does not make him cower, but it is offending him. Wilhelm suggested that hitting him with it does deal holy damage. Schuyler ties garlic so it is hanging in entrance. He gets to it and…stops. He reaches in almost touching Schuyler, how touches him with statue-3 holy damage. It is not fast healing. He reels with a scream of anger. He lurks “come out.” He tries to dominate but I look away feeling what he’s trying.
“To Schuyle “Before I’m done you’re friends will be dead and you’ll beg for death. Youthink that because you have a wooden box on wheels you can stop me?”
Bif “We thing we can stop you because we have a holy symbol and heroes.”
He changes into a bat, flying above the train. He flies out out of sight.
Inside, no one is joking anymore.
Red Cloud goes to front door, SImon stays at rear. 2 guards with each. Jeremy and Wilhelm in passenger area now. Watching for wolf attacks.
Schuyler considers going back with statue, but Bif talks him out of it.
WIlhelm uses hypnotism to end domination on Paul while Fenelik was at engine. 8 molotov cocktails now ready to go. Paul in middle also.
Front door into kitchen bursts in, then Fenelik disappears. He’s probably allowing wolves in. Red Cloud readies and action, holding doorway.
1st, savage, leaps at me as RC lets out war cry. It drops. 2 others right behind attacks. 1st tries to bullrush but fails. 3rd misses a bite. RC hits 14, one wolf misses and second misses as they flank. A third races out of forward car and leaps for a bullrush. AoO hits-19 and overpowers the rush.
Glass shatters as one of windows halfway down dining car breaks crashes inward. Fenelik grabs a passenger and pulls him and pulls him out window. Everyone races away from windows into middle isle.
Chef Henri opens a window with cleaver in hand yelling in French from kitchen “Try that with me mofo! Take one my guests will you? Come and try that with me mofo!” The other ranking staff pull him away “It’s all right chef.”
“No its not! No passenger dies on my watch. No one!”
RC slaughters the remaining wolves with cleave.
18 vials of holy water is passed out to staff. Wilhelm’s kit has 4 vials of 2d6 holy water.
About 20 minutes goes by. Hear a yell from next car back. Guy who got grabbed rushes, clothes ripped, bloody. “Save me, save me!” toward Geste. Simon tops him at door, grabbing and panting but Simon stop him at arms length “Show me your neck, wrists.” Huge gash in neck, not blood. He smiles and shows his fangs. Simon (who IS a holy weapon) stabs him-16. The man’s body bursts open and falls to ground, then turns gaseous. Simon yells for Wilhelm, who follows the gas form. Simon joins him and Paul takes Simon’s place at door.
It goes through next 2 cars and into salon car.
RC hears more wolves, braces spear. 1st attempts another bullrush. RC hits 13. He misses his touch attack. 2 others from each side, both miss.
At salon car, man reforming in a crude box layed out on bar. Wilhelm does the staking. As it screams, wafer in mouth and beheading.
Wilhelm and Simon argue over the man’s soul. Wilhelm thinks he burns in hell, Simon disagrees.
Jeremy trying to keep the crowd calm, standing in middle of car facing each other.
RC kills 1st wolf, hits another-11. A new one goes for the bullrush. AoO hits-12. It misses. RC hits the new one -18, cleave the other-16 both dead. Another charges.
Bif’s chick, standing next to Jeremy, starts rushing for the window. Jeremy barely grabs he and holds her back. A couple passengers help subdue her.
New one goes for rush, RC AoO misses but so does it. The old one misses too. RC hits new one-18 DEAD, cleaves original-16. It hits 4, RC hits-17 DEAD.
Wilhelm and Simon race back as fast as they can. They hears a noise from roof of car, ahead of them. Suddenly Fenelik bursts from a room in front of us “Now I kill you both.”
Simon “I’ll kill you myself, vampire scum.”
Fenelik “French pig.”
To Wilhelm “Get ready to follow him to stake him, once I kill him.”
Paul hears what is going on from the rear door of the dining car.
Fenelik draws his rapier, Simon grins as he is a natural swordsman. Fenelik strikes twice-12,11. Simon retaliates-17. Fenelik is stunned by the huge gash.
WIlhelm quickly leaps in for a spring attack (card) wielding a stake and going for the heart (card takes away the penalty), impaling him in the heart then leaping back behind SImon!! Before our very eyes he begins to melt. Puss and disgust is spewing forth everywhere as he collapses in utter death. Wilhelm puts wafer in mouth, douses with holy water, and beheads him.

So, where is the head?
We stop train.
We think of coal car, cargo, and underneath train.
In the last fourgon we find a beautifully carved box, the right size to be a death box. Inside is dirt and the simulacrum head. We take it, spread dirt outside, break it up and burn box an the engine. His body is pulp. We diffuse in water and pour outside in the ground, spread well. The victim turned into a vampire was a personal assistant of a business man on train. We burn his body as well in engine. We continue and pull into Constantinople.

View
Sofia

As train leaves Belgrade, see old woman on tracks. Recognize grand mother of the 3 hags!
Simon “She cant get us.”

Wilhelm “Its the iron, she can’t get past the iron tracks. As tracks are laid, her world will get smaller.”
Little to go on from Smith in Sofia.
Schuyler “Churches have most of the records around here, I would guess.”
Geste “I would agree.”
Simon and RC pissing off back of car, concuctor appears and is annoyed “gengtlemen, were you urinating off the train?”. We say no as we straighten up, then 2 other men come out, conductor says ‘too crowded for you men, go back inside’. They bullrush RC, attempting to push him off train. Grab and hanging off railing. Conductor pulls out knife and covers Geste “quick Monsieur, behind me” to Geste.. They have brass knuckles on.
RC climbs on; Geste goes for a grapple on one and succeeds-6; other thug attacks RC-3; Geste fails to throw his man off train; RC punches his for 7; conductor goes for SImon’s eye-1; Simon resists being thown off; Simon throws his man off the train-dead; RC fails his grapple for damage; Red Cloud damaged-5;knife guy knicks Geste-1; RC grapples for 8; conductor resists Simon grapple; RC resists grapple dam; conductor goes for RC eye-pops his eye out!!!!-1wound, 3 fat (minus 2 to all checks right not); he misses AoO on Geste as he grapples-8; RC fails grapple for dam; conductor breaks grapple and leaps from train!; RC’s man breaks grapple and leaps off as well. It was a fake conducor.
We reenter train, real conductor is shocked. Wilhelm patches RC up.
2 of them were Turks.

Reading newspapers in club car, Schuyler sees picture in a paper of a dirty, elderly peasant farmer from Bulgarian paper! Its the head!!!
Wilhelm deciphers it.

‘Restart’! of recording.
Its the Brotherhood of Skill!

Arrive, Sofia

Winter still, time of troubles (red death), things are closing early these days. Find hotel, then take a walk around, RC bandage actross eye. Wind is bitter walking cobbled roads. Pass Islamic mosques.

March 8

To university to find head. Front desk clerk. Says his use of language partially unclear, come back in this afternoon perhaps we can have someone to speak to you.
Sofia has British and American consulates. Schuyler goes to consulate for a translator. He hears the word consulate and says “I’m afraid the English here have no real influence. I am a poor secretary. Any help is always appreciated (ahem). Rather than waiting until this afternoon, then waiting a day or more for appointment, I’m sure we can expedite this with the right motivation. For instance, we have an English department, I may be lucky enough to find the head of the department.”
Wilhelm “Anyone speak Dutch?”
“That would take a great deal of effort.”
Paul bribes him. “I think I can find someone right away.” He sends a note and an old man with gray beard arrives to meet us.
“Can I help you?”
Simon “We need to see the head that was dug up.:”
“I’m afraid that is not my department.”

Recording

Go to west checkpoint, Sgt says no steamcar at all. Not familiar to RC.
North checkpoint, Sgt salutes emphatically to the Inspector.
“Did any steamcars approach this checkpoint”
“No sir, but for 1.”
“Was it black?”
“yes.”
“did it leave?”
“Yes sir.”
"Why did you let it leave when we had a bulletin out to stop any black steamcar?
“It was not suspicious sir.”
“Who was in it?”
“A doctor.”
“1 man alone?”
“driver, a doc, and 3 other men. and quite a bit of blood.” He explained there had been aterrible accident, he ws racing to a nearby village
Schuyler then why would he have blood on him already
he said he had just come to an operating room
with all those other men? who were they?
Help?
You may be fired Sgt
said it was an emergency, and had a doctors bag! Otherwise I would have detained him."
“Did you look in the bag?
“No, he’s a doctor!”
Back and forth continues with excuses.
Inp apologizes for ‘what I have to deal with’.
to sge "did you notice anytibg else in the car
“A cloth bag, a large bloody spot. I thought I could make out the outline of a face in the cloth.”

Pick up the others and mount up. Wilhelm at library: couple facts:
bunch of cabes dot the river gorges 3 miles north of city
report for months of clandestine groups meeting in caves
several dissppearances in area
few people found with hesds and various body parts missing. Suspected mad slasher. The victims seem to be innocent farmers and villagers.
Bif “Perhaps they are perfecting their art”
Reports of some of missing people being spotted.
Cops going north, we go with him.
Simon ’Make sure your men are heavily armed."
All have nightsticks and pistols, half armed with rifles. 12 men plus him and a Sgt. who mucked the checkpoint up.
3 miles north, path gets narrow. Getting dark, shadows are deep in the pines. RC keeps recognizing things from brief visions. Thinks cave is only about a mile ahead.
Sudden vision: eye looking at some sort of altar, Eye turns quickly, blood spirting, body parts ripped apart by a black rushing blur I just can;s see. Suddenly RC feels intense pain and falls to the ground. Everything goes white and a face appears to me: Fenelik! RC feels terror of wearer of my eye and everything goes black.
Just ahead see the cave moments later.

Enter by lantern light. Steady drips of moisture, floor slimy from hot springs. Lots of vapor, stone age pictographs. Passage widens as it twists down hundreds of feet to its end.
Hear boiling ahead, smell of decay as we near the end.
Opens into huge rock cavern which RC mistook for a cathedral. 2 dozen bodies in black suits/red robes; pools of blood; some bodies have obvious non original parts.
RC looks for guy with his eyeball.
Far less blood than should be. Fenelik must have fed much. Lop off all heads and give last right. Strangely, some of parts are already decaying fast, the artificial parts.
Simon finds the man and says they eye not rotten, but obviously looking not quite fresh.
RC “How do we keep it fresh?”
Wilberforce “Can’t, no way to do it.”
Jeremy “Maybe the have tomes her, with the magic.”
We start to search.
15’ heap of skills. On top are layers of increasingly fresh heads.
Jeremy “From what the prof with the concussin said, it sounded like they may have been flying with some sort of magic. Let’s look for them.”
Searching, lots of cloaks shredded, but some in particular are terribly shredded.
Schuyler and Geste climb the skull heap. Geste gets paused half way up, skulls start falling out as he grabs for a hold and he falls 10’., skulls landing upon him. Schuyler makes it up. Sees little golden idol, RC saw such a thing in his vision. Now that RC thinks about the perspective, the man was up there when attacked. Schuyler crawls along, one finger goes into a liquidy eye socket. Finds a velvet pillow with an indentation in it, where the Simulacrum head rested but its gone. Also finds book. Brings book and idol down. Wilhelm checks out the book, its in Latin. No title, hand written notebook. Very old.
Geste recommends doing it here before eye has a chance to decompose.
Wilhelm finds the ritual. Its relatively simple, but complicated chanting that needs to be done (uses Power). Leader needs to make arcane lore check of 30, others can aid but with a DC 15. Each gives him 4 points. All aiding lose 4 power, comes back 1/day. Max of 10 aids. Simon and Wilhelm successfully aid. As does the Inspector.
Barely, with AP, the eye comes fully back. Ride back to Sofia.

View
Murders in Southern Belgrade

March 6

Begin investigation of murders as Archie asked.

The Mayor’s man, Inspector Ivan Boroslov, is waiting for us in the morning to take us to see mayor.
SInce we were here last, 2 more murders and another house destroyed. We visit last crime scene. Wilhelm goes by himself to visit asylum, man who drew the murderer (a monster), Oleg.
Bif and Wilberforce still with us.

At Asylum:
2 cops escorts him. Gate open, no guard, front door is ajar. Screams inside, 3 crazies tied up on floor of main lobby.
Wilhelm sedates the crazies. Figure appears, Wilhelm questions the orderly, strangely wearing armor. “Soon IT will come here, to feed. The Dr. said it will, and we will become its chosen.”
Leads them to cell area, mostly open and empty. Oleg remains in his locked cell. Says he’s not crazy, something wrong with the guards. Look at the scar under their hats. Dr. said it makes them more obedient.
Monster was invisible until it attacked. He saw it when it killed the cop.
Just then, scream from hallway. Door down hall opens and Dr. Crove steps out in operating attire. Walks toward Wilhelm and the cops. One of the cops approaches and questions him. Dr. says all is fine. Wilhelm starts to back up, and other cop follows.
Other cop continues to press Crove and when cop turns Crove slices his throat. Wilhelm frees Oleg with knife and the 3 of them run. Dr. does not follow. Front door now closed and locked. 3 orderlies moving in on them. 1 joins Wilhelm (card).

Battle.

All escape.

At last attack site:
2 cops escort us. Destroyed house belonged to Old Man Marchan. Kept to self, had been rennovating. No locals have seen interior.
Stench is horrible, unidentifiable but stomach turning. Bloody brush strokes on standing wall like something had used a body as a brush. Alley behind is where cops were killed. Wall pushed over from INSIDE, with tar like sludge all over them. We start searching and digging around.
In spot of library, find cellar entrance. WIlhelm shows up around now.
Oleg says smell is that of the monster he saw. Monster disappeared just when got to sewer, but it literally disappeared.
Orderly has no scar, just got job a few weeks ago. Probably was next in line for the op. They were leaving the tied up crazies as a trail into a passageway going down. Dr. was trying to lure something inside, he thinks. Passageway joined at a large cell room with 4 or 5 lunies in it. Dr. also performing experiments on the crazies, enjoys screams of flaying them alive and immersing them in tubs of cold water then heating it to a boil very very slowly. Marchan was a close friend of the Dr. and visited often.
We now have a witness!!
Other house destroyed was Baskerwelle, a hunchback and hermit. Supposedly had an extensive library. Found his body burned beyond recognition.
Jeremy asks around and there are those who have seen a visiting hunchback to Marchan’s. They say he spent a lot of time visiting an abandoned church. 1 cursed by the Catholics. Someone lives there though.
Basement has alcoves each with a stone sarcophagus, an ancient crypt that he dug into. It continues into the dark. We notice a terrible smell. Wilhelm believes it to be ghoul.
In remains of library find Mythos book: “The Black Arts”. 5 signatures on it. The Dr, Marchant, Hive, Myer, Baskerwelle.
We discover Hive to be an auithority on local lore and lives in the abandoned church. Myer is one of wealthiest men in city. Owns disillery and warehouse at river. Say he’s about to release a new brand of ale that is going to change the country its so good.

We send cop to get backup, we rush to asylum. 3 cops(ord. 1 tough/1 str) and the Insp. meet us there. 3 crazies have throats slit. RC opens doors as we go through, Simon 1st at the ready at the doors.
We move through double doors toward op. room. 2 lunatics hanging from straps in front of doors ahead, jacketed and shrieking at our approach. Wilhelm anesthatize them. Stairs beyond doors both go down. Periodic shrieks all around.
To op room, pass a door. Inside, 3 doors along left wall. Room full of restraints, buckles, blood stained torture tools and such. Red Cloud hears noise from furthest right door. Toilet behind door into a toilet room, 2 lunies playing cards, bloody, dead body between them as table. Fingers and toes bitten off as chips. We close it. Behind other 2 are closets, 1 with lingerie.
Back into hall. At op door it turns right. Open room but its not an op room, its a library. Lots of books on deformity, necrology, disease, and magik. Simon, Red Cloud, Wilhelm and Insp enter. Young girl body tied to couch, wearing garter, stockings, heals. Dead. Semen dripped from her, dozens of cuts all over. Finale was throat slit ear to ear, very deep. Can see vertebrae.
Up hall to door on right and hall to a door on left. Take right first: Lecture hall with man speaking gibberish at podium, 4 patients sitting listening. They look at us, podium shrieks something and patients stand with random weapons and attack. Speaker follows behind them, also a patient.
Red Cloud, Insp, Paul and Simon step in to meet them. Speaker is berserking.

Battle

Insp ID’s one as farmer Giles," gentle soul though slow minded. Loved rabbits. Now a frothing at the mouth maniac."
RC “Has he been here long?”
“6 months.”
2 doors lead out but we keep going.
Now to door to left at end of hallway. Room leads to a side entrance into alley. 1 orderly in room. He springs on Geste but misses. Orderlies have nasty barbed wire clubs, leather armor and cage helmets. Geste responds

Battle.

Cops are mighty impressed at our combat abilities.
2 more doorways. 1st is just storage room, including glass jars with human organs. Wilhelm says they are pickled in vinegar, snacks! 2nd has only an examining table in middle, blood stained leather restraints. Blood grooves around the outside edge. Several chairs around it. Likely Keeper sacrificial room. Slit down bottom half of table, a catch opens the bottom. A door leads out of room, leading to long hallway. We follow it 15’ and a hall goes right to a hall we were in before.
Last door in hall leads to lecture hall. Next door leads to a walled in rear lawn.
Next a door on right and door at end of hall. 1st is 15′ × 10′. Library on ancient history, astronomy, astrology and the like.
At end of hall leads into a very nice office with huge bay window looking into rear lawn. We search room, chair sitting across from Dr’s chair has hand and neck restraint. In a drawer, Wilhelm finds a false bottom with a femur made into a sort of bone wand. He takes it. Double doors lead out of room, as well as 2 regular door. Double doors lead to hall, another double door across hall into main area.
We double back to foyer and check the side rooms. On right, blackboard, chair with restraints. Appears to be an interrogation room. Door inside leads to an empty 10′ × 5′ room. Probably temp. cell. Room on left is a cloak room. Last door, 3 lunatics jump out at us. Frothing at the mouth like they have rabies.

Battle.

Back to office. 1st check door right next to the one through which we originally entered leading to stairs going down to a landing. Close door and open last door opposite original entry, into a small lounge. Door across room is locked. Jeremy opens it and steps away. Its another library. Simon enters first, immediately feels wave of evil sweep over him “I smell blasphemy.” Wilhelm enters to investigate the books: on cults, forbidden practices et al. Nothing worth the feeling we get, until he comes across a manuscript in a language none of us know. Profusely illustrated with odd otherworldly plants, then astrological signs, then nude women. Simon takes it.
3 halls left. First we take the right at the original intersection. Leads to a door and hall to left. Through door is L shaped room with equipment orderlies wear and 4 old shotguns. We take these.
Ammo:
16 less than lethal
47 buckshot
Also, 12 armors (d4minus1). Cops put armor on, Wilhelm, and Paul.

Continue to door on left and further on right. Left has bathtubs, orderly bathing room. Other door leads to hall door just to right an hall continues left into room with table and chairs. Simon leads the way. As Simon steps into room, 4 orderlies scream. Then 1st door opens and 3 more rush out. 3 cops and Schuyler are still not through door into hall. Jeremy is just into hall. First attacks Jeremy.

Battle

Search room the 3 came from and its sleeping quarters for 16. Could be 5 left. Opening door Jeremy tumbled to, its a guest room.
In big room, a door opens to outside, and 2 others enter into laundry and kitchen. The big room itself is a mess hall. Door from kitchen leads outside, plus a trapdoor in floor unleashing horrible stench of rot. 3’ deep funnel shaped ending in 1’ diameter hole. Perhaps garbage, body parts?
Now cleared out, we agree to descend via office stairs. Jeremy, Insp, Wilhelm, Schuyler.

Leads to iron, rusty door. Opens into dirt tunnel, perhaps into catacombs. There is a door just inside. Hall goes 15’ to an opening and a door.
1st iron door locked. Recall a beam in one of the closets upstairs so Geste and Schuyler go to get it to use as a ram. Nothing happens.
2 rounds to break door down, leads to 20 × 20 room, hall to right and door ahead. Lamps lit, furnished. Stone tiles are of a deep green. Hear, from hall, singing, maniacal laughter and screams of pain. 4 lunies in room are ready for us, but 2 each miss Simon and RC as our follow through carries us into the room.

Battle

Moving down hall, come to the bottom of the other 2 stairs, luny alarm at bottom of each. Chained to wall by their neck. They stretch to end of chains trying to reach us. Simon and RC each dispatch one. Left and right are halls going beyond sight. Iron door in front of us. Singing from left, screams of agony from behind door.
Open iron doors revealing 15×40 room, several op tables, stretching wrack, iron maiden, fire pit, stretcher, several empty cages. 3 nude people, crazies, tied to 3 tables. All have horrific but shallow wounds where patches of skin peeled off. They are then sown onto one of the other ones. 1 is dead. Another assistant doctor has cut the dead body open, elbows deep. Upon seeing us he pulls a lever releasing restraints on other 2 and yells “harvest their skin and you can keep your own for another day” translates the insp. He begins running for door on far side
RC with cleave puts lunies out of their misery. Paul and Simon rush the doc. He’s totally surprised (card). Paul hits 12, Simon 14.
Through door in the torture room: filthy matress, wooden chest, and a girl. May have been attractive at one point, now filthy, looks starved and abused badly. She’s sane. She’s cowering in fear. Wilhelm approaches her carefully, speaking low and soothingly. She is calmed and grabs Wilhelm for safety. Speaks English! Lived in village south of here, kidnapped one night on way home from tavern where she worked. Been in these 2 rooms ever since. She has done many horrific things, and had much done to her.
A door leads out of this bedroom. She says it leads to toilet. Its empty. Cops support her out. Seeing dead docs body, she pulls away and kicks him repeatedly and spits on him. She knows nothing of the place.
Back out in hall, we go toward singing. Ends at iron door with sliding peep hole. Inside is a cell but empty. Hall continues further past more empty cells until one has the singing. Inside is a woman sitting, faced away from door, brushing long black hair and singing a lullaby. She turns and looks. Face badly scarred, obviously blind.
“Who’s there?” in native tongue. Insp. translates that we are here to rescue her. She does not believe, play these games with her all the time. 1st girl starts comforting her, they start to cry together.
Schuyler says we have to get girls out, though SImon hates to stop. We pull back, inspector sends cops away with them to come back with reinforcements. In half an hour they bring back 2 more cops and men to watch perimeter of asylum as well as the magistrate to pass judgement on the Dr. They will burn him at the stake! Classic!
2 more cells have lunies who we get free. They have not been made homicidal maniacs like the others. 1 thinks he’s Vlad Tepes, another sits sewing with imaginary needle and thread. Making Crove’s burial shroud.
We move on.
Find more cells and a couple innocent lunes, viewing rooms into cells, an office and study. Door out of study leads to another lounge where we find Crove sitting. He welcomes us.
See recording.

More cells along way to creature: Ghoul one cell dives into tunnel at rear (same ghoul as before). Man in street clothes, stares with a vacant smile “Is it time to let me out yet?”
Jeremy “On our way out.”
“If you go that way you won’t be coming back. You have to let me out before the doctor comes!”
Jeremy “He’s not coming.”
“Oh yes he is.” Shows lobotomy scar “I was going to be one of attendants there. But doc said op didn’t take.”
Schuyler “In what way?”
“I’m not nearly mean enough, and don’t follow directions either. I don’t want another op. That one hurt. I can’t remember anything more.”
Jeremy “You’ll be ok.”
“My name’s Pluug, I didn’t know that. I thought my name is Ivan. "
Schuyler “I think you’re right, your name is Ivan. He was renaming you.”
Suddenly he looks at inspector wide eyed “He’s the man who brought me her. He did it!”
We stand surprised.
Insp “Wait, put that hat back on” to the man. “Oh my god.”
Ivan "I told him about the doctor. I told him the evil things he did and he laughed at me.
See recording.

Continue after cells through door to corridor ending in door into 15 × 15 room, 1 wall caved in to a huge sinkhole. Smell same as in kitchen garbage hole. We enter to look down sinkhole.
Paul, Simon and RC approach first together, to right insp and Jeremy start moving, to left schuyler and Wilhelm. Water at bottom, rippling slightly. A bulge appears before drawing back as eyelid to reveal and eyeball. We aim and the think leaps out and starts climbing up the side.
Recorded description
Battle

Find the manuscripts. We leave doc tied, gagged, jacketed and blindfolded. 4 cops drag him along with us to the church as its closer.
Over time church has been many things. Today known as Elmway church. Hive catalogues history of Yugoslovia. Lived here 15 years, reputation as man of knowledge. Doors unlocked, its cold an damp. Bookshelves along walls, draped statues, old altar now a table. No one answers our greeting calls. We leave doc outside with militia. Insp and 4 cops are with us. Simon goes back out and pulls gag off, asking where Hive may be.
“Check the back rooms, may be hiding back there.”
2 doors at back. We start with door on left: bedroom with cot, reading lamp, some pornography. 2nd door opens to storage room, door beyond there goes to a small leaky room, abandoned. Few inches water on floor.
Around other side of main hall is a 3rd door. Geste knocks but no answer.
Simon “Mr. HIve, this is you local Knights Templar. Come out now or we’ll burn you out.” No answer. Geste begins collecting oil from storage.
Inspector tries to stop him. We calm Simon down, Jeremy fails to pick lock on door.
Simon complains about not getting to kill doctor, not being able to burn church down…
Simon shatters door down. Small room with trapdoor in floor. Schuyler opens it. Ladder goes down to large low ceiling chamber. Many walls crumbled of an old cellar. Single pillar supports ceiling. Passage leads away to feing smell of ghoul, pool of water. 2 cracked pillars near tables. By those stands Hive mixing something with hands shaking. A strap of leather binds his mouth and around his head, covered in runes.
Geste walks over and starts to takes leather strap off face to Hive’s wining pleas not to.
SImon “What is this?”
“Runes of protection, copied from the Pnekotic manuscripts.”
See recording

Take him with us as more bait. Now to distillery. Still recording.
Battle

Kill creature, Hive and Myer dead. Crove ordered to burn immediately by magistrate. Wilhelm and Simon help build pyre. Rest of us gather wood pile for monster.

Simon “:The power of Christ compels you to burn and die.” The cloud does not kill Simon, and he lights it with the torch.
Made local heroes.
minus 9 shotgun rounds.

March 7

Next morning, leave on OE.

View
Arrive, Belgrade
Needs expanding, esp. at Shub village

9AM, Feb. 28, 1890

Get off train at Belgrade, papers checked etc. This is a crossroads of the world, many different people.
Following Smith’s instructions we want to start at museum. First, we get a 4 hourse carriage taxi, stop at a market for plenty of garlic to cover the Simulacrum pieces in as well as our hotel windows and doors, and then obtain a hotel. A letter awaits Paul under a Watcher codename of his Mr. Swellingwood.

As we cross the lobby, a shy girl crosses our path. Very pretty.
“Are you Paul Warrington?”
Paul “Earl of Mansauce, yes I am.” Suspecting trouble first, he kisses her hand like a gentleman. Temperature is normal, he signals to the rest. RC thinks to himself ‘maybe she just ate’.
Wants a favor “Would you let me accompany you when you go to visit Mr. Baxter.”
Schuyler “Bif?”
“Yes. It’s very important that I see him. Circumstances are such that it is difficult for me to do so on our own.”
We suspect trouble, and a villain.
Schuyler “What’s your business with Bif?”
“We were acquaintances on the train and I need to see him. At the moment he is a little unhappy with me.”
Paul says we can’t break the gentleman’s code. Schuyler says we can tell him your here, and if he wants to see you he can come down.
“Then, give him this message” hands Paul a note.
Wilhelm checks his small mirror in his pocket watch, and she is visible.
Schuyler “Stay here for a while and we’ll tell him you’re here.”
Schuyler, having become good friends will Bif personally, takes the letter to his room. He is greeted by a great bear hug, but then “I have some bad news (as he tears up”.
He says the opera singer has committed suicide over her voice lost. He tried all he could to keep her cheered up and patient for us to get a remedy.
“I want you to deal me in until we get those bastards!” He has taken this very, very personally as it was his job to watch over her.
Schuyler then gives him the note and explains our meeting with her.
The note calls him darling, and that she knows he needs his help where he is going. He goes storming downstairs, Schuyler following.
She exclaims emotionally “Bif!”
He picks her up, demands to the staff that she and her stuff are shipped to Paris, he’ll buy the ticket. Says he already has the blood of one innocent girl on his conscious, he does not want another.
She protests vigorously, demands to help him in any way she can. He protests, she says “But Bif you love me!” He says that in not the issue, it will be far too dangerous. He takes her to the station, tells a police officer to get her on the train and returns.
Bif “She’s a 22 year old maniac.”
Schuyler “In a good way or a bad way? Eh?”
Bif’s response is a good slug to the jaw. Says she is a Pittsburgh steel family socialite. Bored with that so she decides she wants to hang among the poor. Books 2nd class on OE and travels meeting people. When she meets one whose story touches her heart, she sends them money. Thinks she is doing good.
RC “So she has been taken advantage of.”
Bif “Well, in Venice, I just happened to be walking along and saved her life from a scoundrel. She falls for me, 6 years older than her. I don’;t want some kid hanging around with me. She’s a good egg. Did we get involved a little bit? Yes. Then the suicide happened, and I know I had to find you fella’s to take them on. What does she do? She follows me. I’m not going to watch her get killed.”
Apparently, though she has seen Bif’s movies, she thinks he is a guy who just looks a lot like himself. He told her his name is Gary Cooper.
Schuyler “If she comes back again, it might be better if she stays as close to us as possible.”
Bif “What are we going to do, arm her with a tennis racket!”
Schuyler “No, but she’s better off next to us than constantly following just behind, alone.”
Someone could easily use her against us.
Then we hear a voice “Darling.”
Bif gives in, admits who he really is “and you’re right I look a lot like myself” and she will now stay with us, close to us.
“Things couldn’t be better. Wait until Lucy back at home finds out I’m married to Bif Baxter.”

We separate from Bif to our rooms.
Wilberforce “Do you all want him along, really?”
Of course we do.
We garlic up the rooms first thing.
Wilhelm will get in some therapy with Bif over Brandy, concerning his failure with the singer. He is very broken up by it.

We all get lunch at hotel, Bif’s girl, Daisy, insists on buying. Paul insists she not always insist on paying. He enjoys being the man with the money “Nobody takes on the pocket situation around here.” She apologizes.

Schuyler speaks Turkish a little, so he can at least get us around and find places.
Bunch of young men out front of hotel, various languages. One says hello in English, Peter Richards, works as a guide “Want to see the sights?”
Schuyler “We aren’t here for the sights, on business.”
“Ah, then I can be some assistance. 2 dinars a day.”
He’s hired, and takes us to the Belgrade museum. Tells us little tidbits about the city and its history on the way; royal palace just being built; have cathedral, university, museum.
About 1/4 Turks.

Arrive museum. Paul translates at front desk, we show our creds. We are sent up to see our contact, Dr. Milonav Todorovic, the curator. We find him on a ladder, putting an arm on a large statue of Venus he is attempting to reconstruct.
We ask him about Prof. Smith, he says he has exchanged letters and talked to him in person once or twice. Good man. We mention a statue, in pieces, we look for. He thinks we are black market art dealers or from a competing museum.
Paul’s attempts to convince him otherwise fail, but Jeremy is able to mediate the situation easily.
“So tell me about the piece you’re looking for.”
We tell him more.
“I know a priest, who has had great luck at finding such things.” He can’t tell us where until we get permits to possibly dig and look for artifacts. He tells us where to get them, at The National Treasures.
Peter leads us there, and speaks for us, tell us to see under secretary of antiquities.
A sign on his door says he’s gone for a late lunch.
Paul says we’ll watch out, “Jeremy get to work.” Schuyler has a lock picking tool from the Secret Service and gains him entry. Jeremy finds the paper work in a few minutes.
Outside, Peter is edging away, unprepared for breaking of the law. “Gentlemen, you have to understand, I have a poor ailing mother to take care of. I can’t go to jail.”
Paul give him a tip to at least stay outside and not leave us altogether, he accepts. He says he’ll whistle if there is any trouble on the way.
Soon enough, we find several different papers that could be it, and 3 different seals it could be. Then a whistle from Peter. Putting everything as it was quickly, we get out. The under sec. walks up, Wilhelm introduces himself. He can speak broken English “Come, climb into my office. Take a bed.”
It takes a good bribe and confused conversation, but we get what we need.
We get Pete and move along.
Back to Todoravic to show him our proper papers. Says person we want to see is Father Filopovic, a village in the country of Oraszac . Gives us train schedule that goes nearby.
Back to hotel. Daisy had stayed, but she seems to be missing! Front clerk says she went to bazaar. Just then she walks in: kaki pants, shirt, high boots, pith helmet. She’s playing up the adventure aspect here. Says she found a fortune teller we should all go see. We have until the next afternoon before train leaves.
Bif scolds her for sneaking out by herself.

Fortunes (hard to hear recording here):
Paul: Sees something once whole, now apart; long journey;
Mentions Smith (?) I think she says beware of someone.
Iron, cold iron can save you.
? as old as man. “To beat the 3 you must” She begins to have a heart attack, blood pours from mouth. Writes with blood on tray in front of her: ???? stuff about holy something: water, wafers….
She dies!
It seems we have been duped by Smith all along! Is he involved with Fenelik? A follower?

Sneak out and into crowds. Daisy points out a vender with statues and pieces, one that looks like what we need!
Shopkeeper lets us see it, an arm, says got it from a source in a ruin around here “Just the sort of thing your one’s mantle.”
It feels like it could be the right weight. Wilhelm buys it, but is suddenly snatched out of his hands by 2 moustachiode men who bolt off. The shopkeeper yells after him and chases, we follow. It’s an Indiana Jones style bazaar chase scene!

Chase pg 19, bottom 2:31

Hire Urduk on after the chase, respects our power and wealth.
Paul “We are willing to hire you on, but your so previous employer were evil and worshiping evil gods.”
Urduk “Urduk only a good Muslim.”

March 1, 1890

We wonder all evening and morning about Smith. Evil? Dominated? A dupe in some way?
About to leave hotel when Paul gets a telegraph from Archie, for Mr. Swellingwood, in code: According to report from Iluminati agent, weird happenings in Mladenovic ?). Please investigate if you have time. A town on the way to Oraszac

Get on train. After a ways, Paul goes to lavatory. Upon his return there is a black rooster on his seat that refuses to move. He tries to pick it up and it remains friendly so he sits with it on his lap.
Paul “This is an omen?”
He relaxes with it.
At the town mentioned by Archie, we have a layover and check the place out, gather info. Assistant mayor is at station when we arrive. Sees our group and introduces self, asks where we are travelling? Doesn’t see a mix of our sort every day.
Learn that some think the Ripper has moved in, series of murders the last few weeks. Seven total.
Schuyler “Too active for Jack.”
Find that many think it is a gang, devil worshippers or pagans. No one drained of blood, people just ripped to pieces. One hut destroyed and the woman found dead and mutilated. That was the first. 2 or 3 people have seen ‘something’. One drew a picture but they feel his mind was affected for it is crazy (we get this from the mayor’s assistant who takes us to the police).
It’s a frightening sight to say the least. The man saw it exit from the sewers, kill one of the victims, and disappear into the sewers again.
A fertility god of pagan times is being worshipped in the rural areas, names Shub Niggurath. Could be followers of his. Soldiers patrol the streets now.
We say we will return soon to assist, as Archie’s note also said take care of our own business first.
The assistant mayor IS the contact of Archie here!! That’s why he met us at the station.
He says be careful in the village we are travelling to. About 1600 people in town and environs. Large church in village. Says priest there is really nice man, married to a younger woman. He is not IN THE KNOW of much of arcana. There is an old woman, very old, who trades in artifacts, lives on the slopes of Mt. Tekulia(?) with her daughter. The townspeople spit 3 times before mentioning her name.
The town performs dated fertility rites. They may just be using words that they know not the meaning of to try to help their crops, not necessarily a real cult.

March 2

At last station, 6 1/2 miles on bad roads to village. We get horses for the overland trek. Town is a good size, good country too. People stare, talk to each other of seeing us strangers. We make for the church first and Father Filopovic.
He has room for 4 (Bif, Daisy, Wilhelm, Simon). Later, meet Todar head of village and figure sleeping arrangements.
Spring planting rites are used. Not religious they say. The Father against it.
Gypsies in town.
Rite of the Black Goat. A black goat is a suspected aspect of Shub.

March 3

Ask more of the old crone in the woods and artifact we seek. Priest’s wife offers to guide us there.
On the way, notice odd painted piece of wood. Priest wife says to continue but we investigate. It’s a piece of a gypsy wagon. Schuyler finds more, and a smashed horse and a man and wife from the gypsy’s, woman speared to a tree. Their daughter, from the dance the previous night, also dead. Strange circular footprints, Schuyler says looks like elephant but, so strangely, tripedal; and far too large.
Red Cloud and Schuyler track it. Soon, we see something big, black with countless ropey arms. Legs trunklike. Priest’s wife is horrified, a wild rage fills her. Sanity rolls all around for small loss.
Wife whispers “Kill it, kill that evil thing! Are you cowards? Kill it!”
It gigantic, we smartly move on our way having no idea what it is or how powerful.

About 7 hours after leaving town we arrive at a whitewashed cottage.
They are evil through and through, and have been here for ages. NOT old one worshipers though, just evil Hags. They say only leaders of the rites in the village know what they are really doing. They want the worship of Shub gone so that the locals will worship them more again. Shub worship has also been here for centuries. The villagers seek better crops and animals.
The priest’s wife is one of the hags in disguise!
We tell them we want to eliminate the cult too, which will only benefit them. They want us to escort the wife back to the village, kill the head of cult, we get simulacrum piece. “Besides you face a horrible death in that town. We know what is in that town you came from” they refer to the mutilations. “A half human but looks much like its father, unlike its brother who looks like the mother.” She tells all but Wilhelm to go and she will whisper the name of the father in his ear. We agree and she whispers “Azathoth”. Killer is a blob thing.
They try to capture and eat us. Call the monster the ‘Dark Young’ and how foolish the town is for summoning it. We escape with a Simulacrum leg.
Paul says we will eliminate the Shub cult, and come back in a few years when we are stronger and more experienced and then eliminate the hags.
Ride back to village.

Once back, we all take a ride to talk. How to handle this?

March 4

We come up with a plan to get Todar’s house empty and spend the day watching and investigating/searching = Shub Niggurath worship!! The real deal!!! Find an idol of the outer god, the reality of the place it was hidden seems to bend as we find it.
Idol feels like slimy rock, only a little bigger than one’s hand, feels like it squirms in hand. Wilhelm says: Even the image of it can’t be still, the essence of creation! The black goat of a thousand young. Opposite of Yog Sothoth, destruction. Between them is the Universe balanced by them. The meaning of the ritual flashes into his mind, a harmless corruption of a ritual to Shub for crop/animal vitality. For most it was just a rite, but made just real enough by someone to summon the Dark Young to make a sacrifice of the gypsy girl.

Find out about ritual at the cave this night and ruin the entire affair: the sacrifice of Father Filopovic!

Sacrifice, as alien and insane as Shub’s reality and her rituals and power are, is actually antithesis to her domain of life giving essence.

Hag arrives at fight as the priest is in serious trouble. She has been married to him for 20 years and does have true feelings for him. The monster throws the priest to the ground and stomps him into a pulp (at least it did not eat his life essence/soul).

Wilhelm toys with taking the idol until we can dispose of it deep in the ocean or something, but in the end is too worried about potential possession and corruption.
Hag takes the body of her husband and leaves.
We have to then explain to Todar how of his sister, wife, and wife’s grandparents were all cultists and now dead. Still has sons, daughters and grandchildren.
Daisy says “I don’t think we can explain, I think we just leave.”
Jeremy “Yeah, I think we just leave town, leave him a note.”
Schuyler “Paul is too known, this is an international incident in the making.”
The hag says she will take care of it for us, she will have to become the new spiritual caretaker here (great! cough).

We mount up and ride over night to the station town.

March 5

Get train to Belgrade/other town nearby? Sleep all day in prep for beginning murder investigation here tomorrow, as requested by Archimedes.

View
Symbolism in the Dreamlands

Our luggage piled around the man outside, offers the full true history of the Simulacrum and what we can expect of Constantinople.
Dreamland Zagreb. Train gone in a whoosh. Crumpled paper where man stood speaking of graveyard. Fog all around, no sign of anyone. Leave our luggage in an alcove nearby and start walking. See huge church off in distance as fog parts at times, and river through town. We go in direction of church. Buildings look very medieval. Hear others in fog but see no one.
Road ends at a sharp left, we take it to larger thoroughfare. A white liquid flows down street, milk like, disappearing at a stone. Hear noise from it. Simon investigates, moving stone. Under is pool of milk, ground drinking it. Simon grabs it. Continue toward church.
Hear people. See lights on in buildings. Come to town square and another crumpled letter.

Continue on. Young man on hands and knees crawls, upturning any stone “It must be here” hear church bell toll 4:00. He’s searching for a silver ring. Offers to answer any question if we can return it to him.
He takes ring, “To find the stranger, must find the one who knows, and ask for ‘he that knows great men’s secrets’. Those must be the words you speak to he who knows. Can’t ask it more than once”. He runs off onto an iceberg on the river changing ‘Ohmmm’.
Continue on, getting colder. Frost on walls and street. Off to side, street full of people. Some turn and smile at us. All have blood running down chin. Woman lopes out of fog toward us, head twisting back and forth “I’ve seen a man ahead. A man, a head! Hahaha” then cries. “Ask the tide, and name the one you seek by proper title, and she will tell you where to find him.” So ask ‘the tide’ about ‘he who knows’.
She smiles, mass of blood runs out of mouth, leans head back “A head, a man, a head, ask the tide!!” falls backward dead.
Hissing ahead, beating of wings, slither of scales.

Keep walking, to griffon and serpent locked in combat.
Come to a bridge over waterway. Another opening ahead, a statue of the Madonna. A woman lashed to it with heavy ropes “Hear my crime, hear my crime! My crime was to show that any woman’s toil is just as great. My son, who is married to death.”
Tied up, she’s ‘the tide’. We ask her where ‘he who knows’ is. She continues to repeat herself. Ask her ‘he who knows great men’s secrets’. She says “He that knows great secrets…that man nair lives to see his beard grow white. He waits for you at the bridge to the great fort”.
Bells chime 4:00 again.
Image of the city flashes in our minds for a moment. See fort an bridge and church, so know our general area but not exactly where we are. We make for the bridge best we can. On the way, the bell strikes 4:00 again. Then, pitter patter of kids feet, running to us in cloaks. One girl, face pale, looks at us with a joyless smile. Inches closer, opens mouth bearing fangs!
We back away and she laughs a humorless laugh and they all run off. Then a moment after they round a corner a group of bats appears from below and flies off.
Ahead, clashing of metal. There, ahead, the street itself is like it is moving. Stones dancing. As we get closer its not the street itself but a battalion of miniature pikemen. They are mice soldiers fighting frog soldiers. Each group of mice dressed differently: eastern European peasants, arabs, spaniards, frenchmen. One frog wears high boots, sword slashing. Another armed with an axe smashing heads. There are about 8 all dressed in different styles.
Wilhelm “The frogs are us! We are wading through enemies by the hundred. We 6, Bif, and Wilberforce.”
Battle ends suddenly with the heroes killing a great rat leading the hordes.
Ahead is the bridge. Standing there is the man who was outside the train. “Come along, we haven’t much time” he urges us.
Into the church he leads us, up stairs. In distance through a window we see the train seemingly standing still. But, the steam is coming out of the stack in super slow motion. Wheels are ever so slightly turning over time.
Schuyler “Everything is happening here in a fractions of a second.”
So who drugged us in the real world? Probably the man who gave us wine at dinner.
Meet the rotund fat gentleman there, he “knows everything”.
Speaks of being in the lost city of Ihrem hundreds of years ago, travelled to ends of Earth seeking knowledge, The Truth. Secrets of the Universe, the Great Old Ones.
Wilhelm “A lost city in the Arabian peninsula.”
He says it is linked to the coming of Harbringer, and stopping it.
His face is sunken. Says learned everything about Great Old Ones. He paid a price.
Schuyler “Wilhelm, is this the mad Arab?”
Paul says “I think so.”
“Mad, they do call me. I am Abduhl al Hazrad! Those who wish to keep their sanity leave, those who wish to hear the truth, stay! Decide now!”
Schuyler leave, RC stays.
Jeremy leaves, Simon stays.
Paul and Wilhelm stay.
Words fly from his mouth in a black stream, cosmic voids, truths of the center of the universe, terrible mysteries and prophecies…..
Our brains feel as if swelling to bursting.
All who stayed lose 4 sanity but gain 4 Forbidden Lore!!
Its like our heads are obviously swelling!
Paul rushes out, followed by RC, leaving only Wilhelm and Simon.
They lose 7 sanity but gain 7 Lore!
Simon appears incapable of movement, eyes and ears weeping blood.
Wilhelm feels its time for him to go and jars him awake, Simon rushes out followed by Wilhelm pushing him along.
Mad Arab starts to shake and talks of the bell tolling magical 7 and possible imprisonment here, and we hear the train whistle "You are lost unless you run for if you do not return to your beds before dawn you are doomed to walk the land of this place with the rest of us!
Wilhelm bursts out with a bloody Simon, and WIlhelm is the same though he does not realize it. Their own blood.
Mad Arab from behind “Flee, flee for your lives my friends for now it is up to you to save humanity!”
So, the mad arab was gathering his info and wrote the Necronomicon for the good guys and for doing so is doomed to this place for eternity.
We rush will all haste for the train before the clock chimes 7AM, but the city is disorientating requiring an intelligence check to find a short route, a will save just to keep going rather than lose our minds to the place, fort save for the physical energy to keep going, and a reflex save for pure speed.
Wilhelm shouts for all to follow him, Schuyler agrees with his route. Simon and Paul. Simon follows but Paul cuts his own way. RC follows Schuyler but Jeremy takes his own way as well.
Jeremy and Paul are somewhat lost now, for Wilhelm was right!
Schuyler, Wilhelm, and SImon easily make it to the train first. RC through pure physical and will power makes it next. Paul jumps on as the train is starting to move, and Jeremy is within a moment from being lost before he leaps for the rear of the train, Simon and RC hauling him aboard exhausted.

On the train as we burst into our rooms to make it to bed, we see ourselves lying in bed asleep. Each of us faints and then awakens in bed confused, watching ourselves faint then disappear.
Knocking at doors, conductor says its 3:10, we are are already stopped at Zagreb and your bags are off. We say we aren’t departing at Zagreb, he double checks and finds the room numbers to be wrong, so they get our stuff back on and we continue.
The conductor says he had a dream of letting us off at Zagreb the night before. When he woke up, he thought it was real.

In the real world, who drugged us? The rotund fat gentleman who offered us his family label wine at dinner! Chateau Guiraud lafon vineyards! French.
He played with hit watch chain, which had a lantern at the end of it, the conductor says he noticed.
How could it have been the Mad Arab?
The lantern is a sign of the Watchers! No one knows who the man was though. For some reason he had to kind of trick us, rather than tell us what was really happening/going to happen. Hmm. It’s a mystery unless it was Van Helsing, for some reason in disguise.

View
Trieste

We now carry the pieces of the Simulacrum in 3 large cases. We continue to garlic the seems of all windows and doors to our hotel rooms, and keep fresh garlic filling the cases which house the Simuacrum pieces. Wilberforce continues to travel with us to document our adventures. At 7:54PM we arrive in Trieste. We note a group of arab businessmen at the station, but not from out train. A heavily cloaked passenger gets off of our train, leaving in a different direction from us. Geste “Fennelik”. A wind is blowing through the city, howling and absolutely bone-chilling, debris flying all over.
Trieste 1890

Reviewing our information from Smith, we know we must seek out one Johan Winkelman at the museum. Wilberforce “What hotel should we stay at?” Jeremy “Well, since Paul’s paying, the best in town. Eh, Mansauce?” Paul “So long as they have lesser accomodations for the help.” We stay at the nicest in the city, the Savoy Excelsior Palace, for 5L/night per person. We hire a carriage to the Savoy, Schuyler passing out along the way. As we disembark, Jeremy notices a man nearby paying way to obviously no attention to us, obviousy doing a poor job of surreptitiously spying on us. Also, the arabs get a carriage and give their driver the same destination as we just after we instruct our driver. Coincidence? We mention the wind to the driver and he says it’s the “Bora”. It blows most of the winter, very forceful and cold but a typical winter phenomenon. As we pull away, the ‘spy’ is taken by a figure stepping out of the shadows and is enveloped in the black cloak of Fennelik…his first victim in Trieste.
At Savoy, we arrive with the arabs close behind and unload our luggage. The Turks, more specifically, talk (Schuyler able to understand) only of standard subjects for a tourist but for “What part is here? What part do you think will play?” Could they speak of the Simulacrum or would this be a red herring? Wilberforce says he’ll stay at the hotel when we go out and do stuff whenever we want a guard for the Simulacrum. We get 3 rooms, one part in each: Paul/Jeremy/Wilberforce with the torso, Wilhelm/Red Cloud with the leg, Schuyler/Geste with the head.
We sup at the hotel restaurant after locking up our rooms and eat heartily. We meet 2 other men supping, who overhear us speaking English. One approaches us. Paul “Yes, yes you can have my autograph”. Him “It’s good to hear the mother tongue. Here among the barbarians of Europe. I am Major Mortimer Feather” obviously of money. Paul and Schuyler have heard of him through the Adv. Club, and Red Cloud. They have been in the Mid and Far East. Reputation as explorers and rapscallion treasure hunters as well, selling there treasures to museums and such for the highest bidder Schuyler “What brings you to Italy?” “We are on our way to Egypt.” Schuyler “We have associates there as we speak”. “We go there to look someone up. Mind if I sit down?” We invite him to join us and he calls his friend over: fairy handsome, mid 30’s with an obvious military demeanor and packing a sidearm as well as a large knife. Red Cloud and Schuyler recognozes it as an authentic Bowie. Red Cloud “How did an English gentleman come across such a knife?” “This knife” as he takes it out and puts it on the table “This knife was a gift to me from a friend who is unfortunately now some 8 odd years passed. I was there when Custer defeated the Sioux but died in doing so. It was a gift from California Joe. I was a military observer of the Indian Wars for the Queen.” Geste “So who do you look for in Egypt?” Feather “Someone who will be very happy to see us though he does not know us. His name is Rick Rathbone.” Paul “Ah, Rathbone. I know him from the Adventurer’s Club.” Feather “Well it’s really Dr. Tarr here who seeks him out. We have something he may want. Among the tombs of Egypt there is a particular lost tomb. Rumors abound in the exporer community that Rick and his friend Fritz have a map that will lead them to the area. Knowing Rick, if he gets within a hundred miles of the treasure he’ll smell it out. We happen to have a map of the tomb itself.” Schuyler “that would be a boon”. Feather “Indeed, it could save lives. So we seek to catch up to him.” Red Cloud “Hopefully he is not too far ahead.” Feather “We are meeting a great hunter in Alexandria to help us, as the desert is not a terrain we are very experienced in. If Dr. Tarr’s information is right, Rick may be biting off more than even he can chew. At least we can warn him and a good enough adv. to be worth Tarr’s 4th book.” He writes like Watson, with Feather as the Holmes-main character though the brains and brawn are reversed. Feather’s instincts in action are amazing though Tarr is the ‘brains’. The hunter’s name is Cpt. Thomas Spalding. Tarr “Fritz will know Spalding.” We have a good evening with Tarr and Feather, who seem likable rogues. They would rub Paul, so serious about fighting evil, the wrong way over the long haul though. We turn in for the night.

Feb. 20

Wilberforce and Wilhelm need woken up, and they awake in a fog with a splitting headache, lethargic and sick. Both down a coupld cha. Red Cloud “Too much wine last night.” Jeremy “Better check yourselves for wounds”. Nothing is apparent though, and we make for the museum to find Winkleman. Wilhelm, who speaks Italian, will do the talking when English is not possible.
Museum employee, Wilhelm translating “What can I do for you?” We tell him who we seek and he replies “You want to see Heir Winkelman? Out in the garden.” Jeremy “Is there a problem with Winkleman?” Red Cloud “He seem surprised.” Guy “Well, he hasn’t had any problems for quite a while.” Jeremy aside to Paul “That’s cause he’s dead, I expect.” He points us to the garden. Wilhelm “Is he dead?” “He’s been dead for many years, his grave in the garden.” He tells that he was a German art historian and archaeologist, a pioneering Hellenist and called the Prophet and Founding Hero of modern archaeology, 1st to apply systematic study to Greco-Roman art. He was murdered here in Trieste on June 8, 1768 by a man named Francesco Arcangeli for some medals he received as a gift of honor by Maria Theresa, the last of the House of Habsburg. The garden must be a beautiful and relaxing place in the spring and summer. Many pieces the museum own are from Winkelman. We check out the grave but there is nothing of importance.
We hed for the library to research Winkelman further, Red Cloud along with Geste stand watch for the Turks or other potential trouble. There is an entire section of Winkelman’s complete collection! Some handwritten papers included. Wilhelm discovers in a letter to friends, he writes of a melancholy which has overtaken him, and he travels to Trieste to rid himself of his burden. Winkelman had befriened a worker at the hotel, to whom he willed much of his ‘estate’. Also a reference to a diary, purchased by a Giovanni Termona. Jeremy speaks to the librarian and asks him about Termona. They’re a well known family of scholars, still living in Trieste. Antonio Termona still lives in the ancestral home, he is able to show us where on a map. Only a few blocks away, actually. Jeremy “maybe Simon and Red Cloud should sneak it.” Wilberforce “You’re first attempt at the Termona’s is going to be breaking and entering?” Now evening, we make our way there just to scope it out. Typical city-villa, probaby a garden in an internal square, and neighbor buildings are right up against it. Jeremy “Should be easy to sneak into if need be.” Back to hotel for late supper. A commotion as the Turks enter, one of them wounded by a cut to the side and another favoring a similarly wounded arm. Remark to a hotelman that they were out siteseeing in the poorer parts of town and were beset by brigands. Policia are called, Turks say it happened so fast but they were scared off by the Turks yelling and people showing up. 4,5,or 6 of them. Tall or short, leader thin but maybe fat… Obvious tall tale in other words.
Also, there is an note waiting for us from Dr. Tarr “Had a jolly evening, and we hope your adv among the wogs are successful. We noticed when you left at least 3 different people dogging your steps, but didn’t appear to see each other. Whatever you are into be careful!” We find out the Turks are in room 206, and Schuyler thinks we should spy on them. One adjacent room is empty, all others around them are occupied. Jeremy picks the lock to the door like a pro. Schuyler “Excellent job”. Schuyler climbs from the balcony to the Turk’s balcony and listens in. "Shit this hurts. I think those bastards used a poisoned knife on me “Well there not going to ever again. Who do you think they were?” “I think they were after the same thing we are.” “Do you really believe part of it is here?” “Salim thinks so, and he’s not often wrong. He knows what he’s talkin about. Even if not, do you wanna cross him.” “No. Cross Salim and you end up with your skin flayed.” “What about those idiots upstairs (us). Seem to be running around in circes today. Justinian, will you follow them again tomorrow?” “I shall, but someone else was following them too. What if it’s the policia? They have secret informants out there. We don’t want trouble with them. And we wanna get home in one piece.” “By all the Old Ones, I don’t like this mission.” Schuyler thinks to self: Old Ones! “I think we need to tell Salim we need more agents. We need to make to. You don’t want to report failure to Salim. We must make do”. Wound-in-the-side “I’m only half as good as usual with this wound.” “That’s ok, we can still handle anything we come up against”. Wound again “There were only 3 tonight, next time there may be more”. “Well, I do not think we are there main targets. I think it’s the idiots.” “I can’t figure out what this scholar they seek has to do with this. What were the idiots doing there? And in that garden.” “I don’t know, site seeing!” “They’re after the Sim..” “No! Not even here can you say that.” “What good is one piece going to do them, they don’t have the rest. Salim would not even have found out about it without Mekhmet telling him.” “But he’s no longer with us.” “Salim is going to let his son in.” “I know how to handle it, let’s kill them all tonight, slit there throats in there sleep. Then we can blame our ‘failure’ on some cultists.” “And if we get caught? We don’t have the connections here like at home, we can’t make people disappear. You can’t just kill people here. If you weren’t so slow to get wounded…” They decide not to kill us and keep with there current plans.
Back in our room, Jeremy sets up a simple deadfall alarm on our balcony door and windows. Wilhem “I will do more research tomorrow.” Red Cloud “Should we follow who follows us tomorrow? I’d like to capture that Turk who is following us and interrogate him.” Schuyer “You’d probably be to obvious to follow someone.” Geste “Perhaps you, Schuyler.” Jeremy “Someone may be trying to poison us here as well, after what happened to Wilhem and Tom this morning.” Red Cloud “If it happens again, they must have people in the kitchen”. Geste “Tomorrow, Jeremy should disg. self and follow the Turks.” We sleep for the night.

Feb. 21

Red Cloud wakes up last, with same symptoms, suffering 6cha damage! Jeremy gets his disguise going and heds downstairs early to follow the Turks. Schuyer “If they stay longer than we do, you should stay with them.” Geste “You want a bodyguard, Wilhelm?” Wilhelm “I’ll be fine.” Schuyler “Paul should talk to the scholar Termano.” Red Cloud, Gest and Schuyler accompany him.
The Turks spend much of the day at the hotel salon having Turkish Tea and spending time taking turns visiting a few local prostitutes up in there room, though one leave behind out group to follow us. He decides to also keep his eyes open for any clues to a potential poisoner.

  • Note: Morning papers report of local laborer found night before with throat cut.

The rest of our group leaves together. Soon, a beggar leaps from an alleyway, looking at us through bleary eyes, then moans. No tongue! He reaches out with his arms, and both are stumps, healed by time. He tries to communicate with his moans. Schuyler “What do you want, money?” He shakes head no. “Are you looking for us in particular?” He nods yes and leads us into the alley. We spend a few comedic minutes trying to communicate. He goes to end of allie and begins to point across street to our Turk pursuer, who looks away (card to forget) just in time to not see it. He then point to another pursuer who goes running off. Red Cloud “We’re being followed, we know.” He nods yes. Red Cloud “Are you working for an allie or do you just know this by yourself”. He was a hero, and one of our pursuer-groups did this to him. His former allies are dead, all done by cultists. Tries to draw in the mud with his stump, but letters totally incomprehensible. He is desperate to communicate. Wilhelm starts to go through the alphabet but the man almost freaks out with frustration. Geste “Write the alphabet and he/we can point to letters to spell out our communication.” Finally he spells L-O-I-G-O-R. Loigor, and he slumps exhausted. Points again E-L-D-R-A-C-E. Geste “An Eldar Race”. He acts out his wounds, a cult of an eldar race did this to him. The pursuer who ran off is one of them, red hair but for one lock of black hair did he have. They captured his group and mutilated them, left alive to suffer his deformities. 2 have died since. Wilhelm ponders, "I seem to recall Van Helsing speaking of Loigor. They are either 2 symbiotic races or one with 2 forms. One an invisible vortex of wind anc consciousness. The other appears as a creature resembling a 20’ long draconic serpent. They’re all unforgiving and cruel, emanating an atmosphere of gloom. Been on earth since time immemorial, using inhumanly cruel discipline to keep servants in line. Schuyler “Did you actually encounter a Loigor?” He did, just one. The cult works for it, and many of them reside in the caves. His group specialized in hunting Loigor for the Iluminati, and gives us areas to avoid where Loigors are known to exist: Wales, Iraq, Rhode Island. The Loigor were extremely powerful just before the Hyborean Age. After Kull destroyed the serpent men, his Atlantian descendants did in the Loigor. Now they hide in caves under the earth as a dying race, though still working to bring back there great god. Schuyler “Maybe they create this terrible wind here.” The guy, a German, says they are the cause but it is not intentional. A side effect of there presence. Schuyler “Would you like to get back to Germany?” He would but knows the cult will never let him leave. He warns us they will try to destroy us all, but he’s love to get back to his sister in Dusseldorf. They are very powerful and we should not be seen with him, so he can’t help us. He goes away and we’ll have to try to find him when we leave if we want to send him home. We decide to stay together with Wilhelm.
-At the scholar’s house, we spot the cultist getting pulled into the alley he peers out of against his will. Wilhelm and Geste sees it is one of the Turks, the one who was following us.
-Meanwhile, at the hotel, a ragged boy gives the Turks a message and they leave, followed by Jeremy. They approach there friend following us, and Jeremy sees us get to the scholar’s house. The 4 leave the trailer and hed down a side street. He follows them, going around a block to a neighbor to the scholar’s house. One climbs to the roof and comes back down shortly. Tells the others something he saw (they obviously know this area). They go down an alley, sneak up on a man standing at the other end, and ambush him. It’s the cultist. They take him with a knife to his back through alleyways to the hotel and their room. Jeremy remains on watch in hotel lobby for rest day, but the Turks stay put.
-Back at Termona’s house, Paul, Schuyer and Wilhelm knock while Simon and Red Cloud wait nearby. and a man, right arm an empty sleeve. Wilhelm introduces us “We are looking for a historic journal purchased by one of your ancestors, of an historian named Winkelman.” In the rear, the Turk appears to be gone or well-hidden. Termona invites us in and has a servant get tea. “True, we have been interested in historic trinkets for some time, me and my family. What is it exaclty you are looking for?” Wilhelm “The journal of Johan Winkelman.” Termona asks for some credentials, and Wilhelm shows his doctorate and Paul his passport “No one has been able to read it as it is in code. Wait here, I’ll get it.” Comes back “If you think you’ll be able to decipher this, by all means take it. But I’d like you to come back if you do. A local man named Montinelli has been working on it, but has more eliminated patterns it certainly lacks.” It looks like a letter substitution code but no luck by anyone. He can’t give us any more details on Winkelman. We depart and Schuyler says “I can take it to the Secret Service office here, see if they can help us.” Paul “Did anyone notice what I did? His empty sleave kept moving slightly. Not often, but every once in a while it would twitch an move like something were in it.” Schuyler “Oh no, like a tentacle? Bending where an arm should not be bending?” Paul “Now that you mention it, yes!” Oh damn it!
At US field office, they say the place to take it would be Rome, they can get an agent to take it. Geste “We may have to work on this ourselves somehow.” Schuyer “I think that would take even longer. I’ll take it myself, this is too dangerous.” Geste “I’ll go with you in case of trouble.” They get the first tickets out of town.

The rest get fresh garlic for the night, and stop at a telegraph office, sending work of Loigor to Archimedes and to send a response, then for dinner at a restauraunt and get back to hotel after dark. Paul finds Wilberforce asleep in a chair. They check the case and the torso is missing. Wilhelm and Red Cloud see their case open in the middle of the floor and the piece missing. In the last room, the case open. On the bed the pieces are lovingly layed out together in place. Jeremy checks the windows, the latch on every one to open air, not balcony, was broken. Red Cloud “Fennelik”. Jeremy “Or Loigor”. We wake Tom up and he says he doesn’t understand. “All of a sudden I felt very tired, then heard a noise at a window. Right in the middle of the…air… just after dusk was a figure floating there with burning red eyes.” The garlic is gone from the windows. “Everything went black from there and I remember nothing til now, but a dream of an evil, evil man leaning over him caressing his face.” We are doing his work for him, assembling the source of renewed youth for him. The question is, will we be able to defeat him when he comes for them all, assuming we find them? We could stop with what we have, but we also know others, cults, seek the pieces for some unknown purposes.
Jeremy tells us what happened with the Turks and their prisoner. Since they still do not know we know they are following us, and they are opposed to the cult as well we do nothing with regards to them for now. Jeremy “Since they took and likely interrogated the cultist, his brethren will be looking for him. We know they are cruel and insidious, and may come at us in forse, assuming it was us.” Red Cloud “Unless it was them who jumped the Turks, they may or mahhy not know about them”. Red Cloud “Fortunately, with only one guy on us and him taken by the Turks, they may not even know the journal is not here.”

Feb. 22

Wilberforce is struck again with the sickness! What is causing this? None of us have any marks upon us. An reply arrives via from Archimedes, brought via messenger boy from the telegraph: Other than what Wilhelm already knew, it says there were definately aliens on our earth. Chief among them Ctonathoa. Existed as vortices of power in there natural state. We think came from another galaxy eons ago. Beware sleeping within range of a Loigor, for they draw nourishment from their victims in the form of psychic energy. Eventually they will wear you down, could be within miles. The effect is commonly called ‘Sleep Siphon’.
Downstairs to breakfast, the Turks are there as well…all 5. Jeremy decides to break into their room while they are all gone. Paul and Wilhelm stay at breakfast, Red Cloud acts as a lookout for Jeremy. In the room, Jeremy finds it seemingly empty of a captive. He opens a couple of large chests and within one finds a somewhat ripe dead body, but the skull lacking a face or hair. It does however still have the clothes on, that of the cultist from the day before.
Downstairs in the meantime, Wilhem sees in the paper reports of a few murders, serial style. Looks like Fennelik to us. Then the Turk facing away from us, a short fat man, turns for a moment and we see his face. It is the face of the cultist who was spying on us! A skin-mask with the black and red hair! But not a mask, it has replaced his own face.
Wilberforce “so now what do we do today?” Jeremy “We should go and invensigate Montinelli.” We all leave and about half way there we see police gathered on a nearby street with a crowd looking on. We go check it out and see them take a wrapped up body away. Jeremy asks someone in the crowd what’s going on. A woman answers in englixh “I saw the body it was horrible. Some poor begger.” Wilhelm “Oh no.” Jeremy “Was he missing both hands?” Woman “And his feet. There were cuts all over his body, and burns.” Jeremy “So they took him and tortured him even more.” Red Cloud “Probably for talking to us.” We hear a cop say “It looks like it took him hours to die.” A few crowd members recognize him as the crazy beggar who couldn’t talk.
Wind continues to blow as we move on toward Montinelli’s. We notice we are followed by a Turk and another seperate person. We are all being watched by 2 fascistas.
Montinelli’s is a seedy looking place. We knock and hear pounding like a a stick on the ground from the other side. A man with a walking stick and missing a leg answers “Can I help you?” Jeremy “We are here by recommendation of Senior Termano. We want to know of your work on the diary”. Jeremy and Wilhelm notices the same odd movements in his leg as in Termano’s arm, while Paul barely realizes the man is missing a leg at all. He says “It’s a simple code, yet i have not been able to crack it.” Red Cloud “Why not then?” Montinelli “I tried to use letter frequencies and such for the substitution, but I believe every so often he randomly changed it, sometimes right in the middle of text. It would be a painstaking process for most any scholar.” He as able to get the 1st page but it was typical diary entry stuff, then the second page was immediately a mystery. “Well, thanks for stopping by gentlemen”. Red Cloud “How long did it take you to get the first page?” Montinelli “A couple weeks”. Red Cloud “Do you have this first page? May we copy it?” Paul thinks we should not automatically trust the rendering he gives us. We go to telegraph, wire to Schuyler clue to code he mentioned. Get reply back “Progress being made. Tougher than looks”. Wilberforce “What do we do now?” Red Cloud “We have lots of time. We can research the amulets from Winkelman, and Wilkelman himself further.” Jeremy “I think the medallions.”
Wilhelm gets to researching: Though there were 5 medallions found on Winkelman upon his death, and though the woman who gave them to him said there were only 5 and only 5 were left to the museum, people who met him leading up to his death said there were 6. Before Arcengeli was executed, heard to say in courtroom to someone “I have failed in my mission.” But he was assumed only a homosexual like Wilkelman and his hotel friend were as well. Such things were not spoken about. Wilberforce “So, it appears there was a 6th amulet he was killed 4. So where did it go? Yet the murderer said he failed, so maybe he took the wrong one.” Red Cloud “We must go to the museum again”. We go straight there, but examining them shows them to be the authentic amulets given to him, the correct 5, so far as Wilhelm and the museum can tell.
We go back to the hotel, where the policia wait for us “Seniors, come with us please. You’re under arrest for murder.” Paul “That’s absolutely bazzar, I’ll have none of this.” Jeremy “Whoa, I was only hired on as an assistant by Earl of Mansauce. I have nothing to do with this.” Essentially he bluffs his way out of it and is pushed off to the side. Wilhelm, who was lagging behind with his handful of books, looks too inconspicuously scholarly (card) and they ignore him outright as he steps off to the side. Red Cloud “What murder?” Cop “There was a body found in your room, we were tipped off by the maid. A dismembered man with his face peeled completely off his skull. We suspect you of the murder of the beggar and the other recent murders.” They figure on the convenience of solving all of them in one action. Jeremy steps back in “we were all in the hotel here last night”. Cop “Well, you may not have killed the beggar, or the others, but you must have killed the man in your room we found in your tub.” Red Cloud remembers the trunks were part of the Turks luggage, not the hotel property. He suggests(card) that the Turks did it. Cop “I don’t like Turks any more than you do, but you need more than just that.” Red Cloud tells him they have followed us since we arrived and got into a fight in the streets since they have been here. He suggests they check the Turks room. We notice 3 of the Turks in the cafe laughing at the situation. Red Cloud “Why would a highly public English Earl come to town with a bunch of friends and start murdering people?” Jeremy goes straight upstairs and there are guards outside our room the body was found. He goes to the Turks room and listens at the door, hearing nothing. He picks the door and enters. It is empty and he opens the trunk, now full of clothes and only faintly stinks of the dead body. Their tub is cleaned but slightly stained red around drain. Jeremy checks out the hall, sees one well-to-do Italian gentleman lock his door and go down the steps, then locks door behind him and goes back downstairs, joining us again. Wilberforce to cop “Last night at dinner we overheard them talking communist dogma.” Cop “Communists!” He turns to a deputy and orders his men to immediately arrest the 3 Turks in the cafe. “Excuse me Senior you’re under arrest.” Turk “What for.” Cop bashes him over the head with the butt of his carbine “For being dirty communists!” The police go check out the room and return “My apology seniore’s. There is conclusive evidence in their room that that is where the murder was committed. It is obvious the filthy communists attempted to create a diplomatic incident with England by having us arrest an Earl of England for a crime he is innocent of. My apologies again” as they lead the Turks out…roughly. Jeremy “Only 2 of them left.” There remains the Turk who has been following us and the one with a new face. We get to sleep.

Feb. 23

Paul affected by the Loigor’s again, Red Cloud recovering well.
Jeremy “Simon and Schuyler, just sitting in Rome with nothing to worry about. Probably drinking good wine, letting someone else do the work while they relax and we suffer every night.” More info on Loigor awaits us: only sleeping humans effected, and the Loigor must know where they are sleeping so they are aware of our location. It is completely purposeful. There must be 2 or 3 of them depending on exactly how many people each Loigor can target.
Wilberforce “So what next?” We are lacking anything specific to do, so Red Cloud suggests Wilhelm gets to researching Fennelik/Simulacrum further. Red Cloud “Maybe we should try to lure the remaining Turks into a trap.” We decide for Paul to leave and see if he is followed. Several blocks later we see he is followed by 2 people, then they disappear for a moment and return with 2 more, then proceed to attack Paul. Probably the cultists the Turk’s killed. Paul pulls out his sword and makes some fancy intimitating moves, succeeding at making them all shaken. Then a second group rushes from a dark ally as we are running to the fight ourselves. One of the new arrivals takes down a cultist and the 10 of them proceed to beat the snot out of the 4 cultists. They wear the armbands of the fascists, they think our attackers are commies like the Turks. One cultist “Why do you beat us?!” A fascist “Shut up you fuckin’ communist” as he hits him with a club between his legs. It’s over quickly. The fascist leader says “Senior, we don’t much like foreigners here, but as foreigners go the English aren’t bad, and commies are always worst.”
Wilhelm discovers an obscure reference to a group called “The Brothers of the Flesh” who worship a being calld The Skinless One who appears to them as a muscular 8’ human without skin, sometimes with a 3rd eye in the center of his forhead. The Simulacrum has something to do with their worship. Supposedly, through their worship they have the ability to exchange body parts with the living. Or even steal from the dead. Like a face or voicebox, same as attacked Katarina. Usually done when person is alive. Not an exchange but a theft.
We get back to hotel before dinnner and find Schuyler and Simon waiting with the translated diary (see handout). A chilling account of Winkelman and Loigor, the amulet hidden and the caverns, and a dark ritual. Arcangeli was a member of a local cult seeking arcane artifacts of all kinds. Seems the amulet remains where Winkelman hid it, for he did not think he could recover it without being seen. Jeremy “Where could he have hidden it.” Paul “I have a feeling it is hidden somewhere around his grave.” Wilberforce “Perhaps”. Simon “Where could he have hidden it and why?” Schuyler “Maybe he gave it to the waiter and his family has it today. Handed down.” The Bora is blowing stronger than ever, taking down electric lines forcing the use of gaslight. In the diningroom, a we attend a nice gaslight dinner. As we eat the fish of the 3rd course, we begin to feel as if we are sinking but realize it is our tablel rising. It falls with a sudden boom. Everyone looks over and we play it off. Geste “A Loigor under our table, in wind form?” The chicken comes next, and as Paul cuts in it squirts out maggets, more than should fit in his chicken. Paul “Check please.” He spits out the food in his mouth and it’s maggots too. Everyone else looks upon him as if he has lost his mind. He shakes his head and they immediately disappear. He still doesn’t eat any more of the chicken. The meat comes next and red wine. As the waiter starts to pour, Wilhelm’s starts to fill by itself with what is obviously blood. It reaches the top and overflows. Red CLoud “Fennelik is fucking with us.” Schuyler “He’s probably laughing from somewhere.” Paul “I know this bull, I’m drinkin’” and he does but his glass rises into the air and crashes against the wall. Suddenly there is no blood. All a hallucination. Simon goes for the beef, and the knife burns arctic cold in his hand. He tries to hang on and it rises into the air. Geste holds on and actually leave contact with the floor and makes a coupld stabbing motions then fumbles from his hand to the floor. Geste falls back into his seat, about a foot off of it. Red Cloud suggests sleeping somewhere else to avoid the Loigors. As we stand up to leave, a pale man dressed in black slips into the kitchen. Paul “We should catch him”. We follow but he has disappeared and all employees insist they saw no one.
We hed out for other sleeping arrangements, Wilhelm carrying the diary. Soon, we hears whispers of his name but no one there while we await our luggage. Suddenly while no one else is in view, the temperature drops noticably, even in the cold. Wilhelm is thrown against a wall and a voice in German says “Wilhelm, diary” 3 times. In the carriage, his satchel feels suspiciously light and the diary is gone. We all look in in case it is another hallucination but we all see nothing. Geste “Forget this, we need to get rooms and not even worry about the garlic.” Wilhelm feels his 2nd satchel and it is heavy, inside is the diary. Hmm. We get to a cheap hotel and get rooms. We walk into Paul’s room and the gaslights go out. Red Cloud pulls his knife and coup stick as the room begins getting colder and colder, we can see our breath in the faint light from outside. The room gets extremely cold, fast. Paul draws his saber and Geste his longsword. Geste “Paul and Red Cloud draw your weapons, you other 3 stand behind us, pull a gun if you have one”. Paul “Already did”. Geste is slammed in the face by a pillow floating, which explodes in feathers then getting swirled through the air like a cyclone. One of Paul’s suitcases bursts open and his tuxedo leaps out and begins dancing around the room. Red Cloud gets his long hair grabbed and is pulled across the room backwards. The lights all come on, then some sputter and go off then others. Furniture begins to rise and move through the air about the room. Paul stabs his suit to no avail. Schuyler “That’s the suit you wore to Cantwell’s.” Geste is frustrated “We need to go out and find something to kill.” The door opens with a bang and the winds blow us out, tumbling into the haul as the door slams shut. A neighbor comes out “Don’t slam your door so loud” and goes back into his room. Paul loses a point of sanity over it. We realize Wilhelm is still in the room! Geste opens door: room is still in disaray but calmed down. Paul suit lies with a slash in the belly, Wilhelm sits in a chair opposite a man in another chair.Wilhelm turns to us and says “Meet our visitor and the cause of all this commotion.” The small pale man who left through the kitchen. Wilhelm says it’s Winkelman, the ghost of! Paul “You filthy Jew, what are you doing here?” He becomes almost completely solid as he begins to talk but his voice sounds as if from a long way away and he struggles to do so. “German, Latin, or Greek”. Wilhelm “German”. Winkelman “I can’t stay long, I must go back to my suffering.” Jeremy “Where are you suffering?” He pulls his scarf aside and we can see the huge gash of his slit throat, maggot strewn. Schuyler “What are you here to tell us?” Geste “Where’s the amulet?” He says he will take us to it, and it needs to be taken to the things in the cave. He knows nothing about the Simulacrum but that if there is an item that was in this town the Loigor likely have it. “They love such things and they may even trade the amulet for the leg, for the amulet is dear to them. I want you to give it to the Loigor. The filthy cultists only murdered me so they could gain favor from their masters. I don’t care who takes it to them so long as it is not them.” Schuyler “What do they want to free from it’s cold arctic prison?” Him “Ithaqua, the Great Old One.” Red Cloud “Then why would we want to give them the amulet?” Him “Their plot is thousands of years in the making. They need much more than the amulet. I was mad to ever start to research the Loigor and Thoqua. It led to my doom and eternal damnation.” Schuyler “In your diar The Tablet of ? is what?” Him “I can not speak of it. It is a forbidden book.” Schuyer “What are the creatures you spoke to in Reginsburg?” Him “Loigor also, who live outside the city. Again, deep underground. They are like maggots of the earth.” Red Cloud “Must we go to the caves in Austria?” Him “No, Loigors have a lair in the caves here, outside Trieste. Come with me, I will take you to the diary.”
We follow him and he moves quickly, enough so that we must rush to follow. Wilhelm ponders “If we must trade the amulet, I wonder if in 20 or 30 years another group of heroes will have to get the amulet to stop the Loigor’s plan?” He leads us to a boarded up villa, passing straight through the door. It’s a quiet and dark section of town, and so deadly cold no one is out. Simon and Red Cloud break the door in easily, Geste passing right through Winkeman with his momentum, who is waiting inside the door. It is an odd cold within, different from outside, makes us even colder and we smell death. As Geste passes through Winkelman, he feels an overwhelming sense to keep the amulet from the cultists. Lacking a light source, we head into the dark. Villa looks like it must have been a hotel at some point, a counter and reception desk rotting and covered in cobwebs. Winkelman leads us downstairs to the cellar, to the far wall of large cut stones. They are cut like steps, sloping up to the ceiling. Odd, we wonder why. He points to the earth of the cellar floor next to the wall and we assume we must dig. Lacking the equipment, Paul and Red Cloud hed back to the hotell for Wihelm’s ‘vampire kit’. We dig and find a stone, which we pry around then lift away. Inside is a mass of rotten leather, what used to be a bag and within is the gold medallion, a chilling visage with strange writings (see handout;), images seeming to move almost like a hologram. When Geste picks it up he feels a brief electric-like shock and a blast of frigid air sweeps past us all as if from the medallion, which Geste does not feel at all. Geste “I feel a desire to destroy this thing”. Red Cloud “Drop it in the bag”. Perhaps it protects the owner from cold. Geste hears a howling far off in the night, but no one else hears it. Red Cloud points behind Geste “look, look at his shadow” which is writhing a bit, not quite the form of a man, raising a clawed hand. He says “It’s the shadow of a Wendigo!” Schuyler “What? What does that have to do with this?” Geste “Don’t they have to do with cold?” Red Cloud “They are beasts of the Great Old One Athoqua, trapped in the frozen north somewhere. He sends his Wendigo down to destroy. I have been marked as an enemy, for I have killed one with Jake Washington. You (pointing at Geste) are marked as I am now. He will seek to find and kill you as he seeks to find and kill me. You and I are very different, but we now have a bond, we are brothers of the blood against Athoqua the Windwalker.” The cold is not bothering Geste at all while he has the amulet. He dons it and Winkelman says “Do not forget my quest. Fairwell” and he fades away. Geste “I have 2 ideas. We gather all our equipment and make for the caves. Or, we go to the tentacle-man’s house, the first one, and deal with him.” Schuyler “If we do that, we should take out his friend with the missing leg as well.” Paul “Let’s deal with the tentacles first”. We go to our hotel, fully equip, and immediately make for Termana’s house. Jeremy “Wanna go in right through the front?” He checks it but it’s locked so he picks it. Pitch black, but upstairs we hear chanting! Red Cloud “Draw weapons, the chanting will cover our approach”. Upstairs, we see flickering firelight from under the door. The language us unknown to us, and makes our skin crawl. Wilhelm peaks through the keyhole and sees several people, seemingly in a circle, including one across the room with a mass of tentacles writhing in place of his arm. The first one is only about 4’ in front of the door. Schuyler “Let’s break up this shindig. Try to obstain from gunfire unless necessary.” The door is unlocked and we open the door. In the midst of their circle of 5 is a pedastal with a glowing orb upon it. Next to it, straight ahead from us with one cultist between, is Termana with his arm of tentacles. He stares at the orb as if watching something, and for a second we think we see the villa we previousy came from. Jeremy “You’re a day late and a dollar short.” We charge cathing them offguard.

Geste makes for Termana with his cruciform sword-15, Paul to the cultist just inside the door stabs him straight through with his saber-12 DEAD it’s Montinelli, Red Cloud makes his way across the circle to a cultist behind Termana with his warclub and bashes his skull in-15 DEAD. He cleaves the one to his flank-13 DEAD. Wilhelm watches the hallway, with Jeremy wathing the stairs Jeremy at the ready, like Jeremy not caring if someone hears gunfire since he’s not a melee guy. Schuyler enters and moves on a cultist to the left of the door and the general melee begins. Geste hits Termana-10. Termana successfully casts defensively, using slithering, terrorific words. We do hear the words Cthulhu and R’yleh as the bodies of his 3 dead cultists rise as undead. They do so slowly, allowing Wilhelm to easily ID them as zombies. Red Cloud, now with 2 zombies on him, misses badly. The last 2 cultists attack, backing up 5’ from Geste and both cast Fist of Yogsothoth upon him. He saves against the first automatically(card) and makes the reflex save against the other as well, taking 17pts of damage. Paul attacks his zombie-12, Schuyler strikes one of the casting cultists and misses badly. Geste hits Termana-12 DEAD. Red Cloud missed and hit-3 by zombies, Paul is missed. Red Cloud hits a zombie-15. Jeremy steps into the room and fires his derringer at the other caster-miss. Wilberforce enters the room, pulls a hammer out of his pocket and swings at Paul’s zombie from behind-miss. One cultists steps back from Schuyler and casts, his arms morphing into snakes some 10’ long. They strike, each crits-17 total, fails one poison save for -2 str. The free caster looks straight at Wilhelm, who he assumes is the leader, and makes to cast. Wilhelm would fail the save, but (card) the caster sees him as too unassuming and goes for Wilberforce instead, losing sanity and falling to ground temporarily insane. Schuyler hits snakearms-3, Paul hits zombie-10. Geste attacks the cultist who just took out Wilberforce and hits-10. Red Cloud is missed by both zombies, Paul is hit-6. Red Cloud hits-19, Wilhelm moves in with his hammer and hits Paul’s zombie-6. Jeremy fires at Schuyler’s caster-miss. Snakearms hits Schuyler twice-6 total (makes both saves). Other caster, out of room to maneuver, casts defensively on Geste, who makes reflex taking 15. Schuyler hits snakeman-6, Paul hits his zombie-14. Geste hits his caster-12 DEAD, all 3 zombies miss, Red Cloud hits-14, Wilhelm hits Paul’s-4 DEAD, Jeremy moves to the orb and grabs it. Snakearms misses, Schuyler crits snakearms-18. Paul moves and attacks the zombies on Red Cloud that is unhurt-16, Geste attacks the same-14. Schuyler “I’m fighting a guy with snakes for arms, here! All the tough guys stick together, I see how it is!” Red Cloud it hit-5 and missed by the other. Red Cloud finishes one zombie, cleaves the other-18 DEAD. Jeremy flanks with Schuyler, Wilhelm draws his revolver and hits snakeman-9, Jeremy pulls his dagger and flanks snakeman-2 DEAD. Jeremy to Wilhelm “Yep, yep. We show up and save the day.” Wilhelm “These guys need us.” HaHa.

Our first encounter with true magical spellcasting caused sanity checks, Red Cloud losing a few (he is a primitive afterall). Schuyler makes his checks for the snakeman, avoiding a snake phobia. We make a thourough search of the house:
Notes that allow us to understand that these guys basically worship the Lloiger. Their physical changes were caused by the creatures. The Lloiger want the medallion, have been searching for it for some 150 years.
Paul recalls a quote from a book he has read mentioning Lloigar. They exist in 2 states, a serpent and a vortex. They can grow to colossal. 3 colonies believed to exist: Wales, Rhode Island, Iraq. Much depression where they live, as we have experienced mental losses of our own during sleep. Very powerful, we don’t want to fight them. They don’t seem to be on the side of Great Old Ones in general, but for their god Ithaqua.
So, we can perhaps trade the medallion for the Simulacrum piece. They need the amulet for Ithaqua, but their plot to bring their god back has been long in the making, unlikely the medallion is will be a turning point for them so, as bad as it sounds, we will have to give it to them in favor of the more immediate danger.
Sleep for the night, changing hotels in hopes of losing the Lloiger effects.

Feb. 24

Get train to caves next morning, actually a tourist attraction.
Guy on train smells of rot but its not Fennelik, quick bestial look at us (a la Bilbo). Geste, Schuyler and Red Cloud follow; fight on top of train car; the think is vulnerable to piercing, taking double the attackers strength bonus to dam (incl. melee smash and the like). Bad guy knocked off the train.
We have no idea who this thing was.
10 AM train pulls into station, about a mile from town, mile and a half from the cave. Being off season, only 1 tour a day, at noon. Old Luigi rides us to nearby town where we rent horses. Another group of 6 men departed train here as well, as well as a few individuals. Simon points out one of their hands seemed to be without fingers, a tentacle perhaps. Wilhelm says a half a dozen or so got off on the other side of the train and rushed into the woods.
Rent 5 horses, and mule for Jeremy. Freezing cold today. Reach caverns without incident. We buy tickets. Gold toothed ticket master smiles at us, name is Carlo. Leads us down trail to narrow gauge rail that leads into cave. Enrico, burly and bushy beard, leads the tour from front of trolley like car. Seats 12 max. Chain driven pulley runs the car down the track. Periodic electric lights.
First, jumped by 6 who got off train. They want medallion. They’re Lloiger cultists. Combat ensues. Another group fires into fight from darkness.
We move on, beyond where people normally go. Hear gunshots from behind toward entrance.
Find slide going down to Lloiger pool. We take Simulacrum right leg and leave medallion. Cultists attack as we make our way up slide but we escape. Rush back to outside into a gun battle between other 2 groups. We rush to horses and ride away leaving them to kill each other as a local police patrol arrives.
Ride to the town where we rented horses and get rooms, we will get train the next day back to Trieste to make orient express departure.
Bottle of wine sent to us at dinner, something rattles within. Overnight, terrible shriek in Simon’s room. Dead body falls upon him as he lies. Wilhem wakes up to see the person fall and another killed at window. They are Lloiger cultists. We think Fennelik killed them.

Feb. 25

Back to Trieste, feel like being watched whole time. Depression hitting us hard. Wilhelm psycho’s us over 2 days so we are willing to leave.

Feb. 27

8:14PM leave on Express. Fat old gentleman sends us bottle of his personal desert wine from south of Bordeux. Labelled in French “As a dream of the sap”. Waiter pours for us, sipping the vintage first for us and approving with enthusiasm. Dinner concludes and we go to bed. Night conductor knocks….
Dreamland visit!

View
Venice, Italy
The Boys Fight for Love, and a Leg of the Simulacrum

Veniceca.1890 sWe arrive at station, and as we deboard led by Maria, a pudgy, oily looking man approaches her. Tom “Her fiance?” Schuyler “Really, that fat grease ball?” Say how sorry he is for her loss, takes her by the arm leading her to a boat. See another man watching all this nearby growing angrier and angrier. He charges fatty as she pulls away from him. Then, 5 thugs in bright red shirts, the uniform of the Italian fascist thugs (wear red to hide the blood). Jeremy “That must be her suitor!” 3 of the 5 start working the poor man over. Red Cloud “We can’t stand for this” Geste “Stop that!” Paul “I say ruffians, unhand that man!” 2 unengaged block us “Englishman, mind your own business Englishman.” Paul pulls his dagger with Geste, Red Cloud and Schuyler behind him followed by Wilhelm. Paul blocks those 2 and the next 3 hed for the fight. The 3 thugs toss the man into the water. He flails, unable to swim. Schuyler jumps in to rescue him and Red Cloud and Simon move to take on the 3. Fatty runs over holding up his credentials “Don’t make a move, I’m a bureaucrat! You’re new here so I will forgive you for your interference. I am the 3rd, or 4th, most important man in this city in charge of the dept. of licenses and permits.” Paul “Are you in league with these ruffians?” “They are my associates.” Red Cloud “Why beat a man 3 on 1?” Fat “He’s an anti-Italian agitator who needs taught a lesson. Now if you don’t mind I need to see your passports.” For the next 15 min we stand as he goes over each one taking copious notes. “What is your business in my fair city?” Red Cloud “Travelling the Express.” Fat “I suggest you board again then. This city is not healthy for foreigners who choose to medal in internal matters. Why are you travelling?” Wilhelm “Going to Istanbul.” Paul “Seeing the Empire.” Fatty “Sightseeers eh? Our city has many sites but not for the likes of you.” Turns to Paul directly, inspecting his passport…then a change in tone “You and your companions are certainly welcome to stay your lordship”. A great bonging goes off from the clock of the main cathedral. Something feels familiar about it as it dies away. Hmm. Jeremy “Did that sound like the dreamworld bell?” Hmm. Maria to fatty “I do not wish to go to papa’s home with you.” Schuyler “We can take her home, I’m sure you have more pressing bureaucratic matters.” Jeremy “We can take her the rest of the way.” He sort of blusters off with his 5 Red Shirts back into their boat.
Note:

  • Ruler of Italy is imperialistic, but dictatorial swine and on the fascist side. Corruption rampant.
  • Simulacrum parts which we carry are kept in separate locked trunks.

We are to stay at the Gritty Palace, Piaze San Marco. A beautiful place worthy of Paul, and his pocket. Schuyler “How much does it cost?” Jeremy “What does it matter, we have Paul” hahaha. First we take her home. Her siblings (married sister and brother in army “so handsome, a dashing young captain”) are away. She will be alone. Her fiance Georgio accompanies us. In a way, he is a complete moron. He is simultaneously impressed by nobility and keeps talking about the ‘rights of man’, and thinks he can convince Paul to join the socialist movement for decent factory hours and treatment. “Gov’t is not something that should be hereditary, but voted for.” Paul “so I should give up my title.” “Yes, that is exaclty it. You should give up your title and work among the working people.” Red cloud asks what he thinks of America and Texas Rep. He doesn’t quite understand. He has socialism and democracy confused. Says republics are great, socialist rep even better. Happy the “south managed to escape the north that was oppressing them but at the same time sorry they won” since he’s against slavery. One of his great dreams would be to free them. Says if they would stage a Confederate-wide sitdown/walkout the gov’t would be forced to give them rights. “Violence is not the way to solve anything”. Wilhelm “Seems to solve alot for us.” Him “I know, I know. Sometimes the world forces one to do horrible things.” He stands in the boat “I want all men to be free, earn decent wages and govern themselves. I want all nobles to understand the evil of the sytsem, like Paul here!” Maria just sighs in love, looking at him. To Jeremy beside her “Isn’t he wonderful?” When asked if she believes him, she says that is man-talk. What she is interested in is raising good children. “After all I am only a woman.” Paul “But the greatest monarch in the world is Queen Victoria.” “Oh, she isn’t just a woman. She is a queen. Of course she is better.” Paul “I stand corrected.” We see groups of 5 or 6 redshirts all over as we float on our way. See a few push around a poor Jew in his yamaka. 2 that we had the fight with are following us trying poorly to be inconspicuous.
As we near her house Georgio says can’t go with us anymore. The redshirts making him nervous for they know him as an organizer and rebel. As we pass under a bridge he leaps onto the side into an alley. He trips on a cobblestone and slides into the alley as Maria yelps. Georgie “I’m all right my love” as he disappears. She says the fat man was Alberto. “He is old, 40! He’s fat and his breath stinks. Worst of all he spends his time hanging out with occultists. They mess with wigy boards and all that.” Schuyler “Is it an official order?” “No, just a goup of friends he hands out with.”
At her house we talk of her dad. Says he was not involved with Georgio’s politics. He didn’t much like him. Thought he was too young and poor. Just before she left to stay with her aunt he changed his mind and said Georgio would be fine for her because “that fat Alberto had came to court me for my marriage.” Sent her away to Milan to avoid Alberto’s power. So, Alberto could have not been happy with papa Giovanni getting in the way of Maria. She doesn’t believe the theory though, too young and naive. Only 2 servants to stay at the house with her. She offers tea and coffee. “We are quite wealthy, I have both.” Schuyler takes coffee as usual. Paul tea. Since it is now so late and we didn’t eat, she invites us to stay to sup and we do. She insists Alberto loves her and would never hurt her dad. Schuyler “There is a difference tween love and obsession.” Jeremy “W/o your dad, you would need a man. Alberto would conveniently step in.” Schuyler “What happens to your dad’s business now?” “My oldest brother, the army Cpt., would have to come back to run it.” Schuyler “No partners?” No. He is to be part of the attack on Abysinnia to take on M????. Now he will have to resign his commission to return. That will break his heart, but her 2nd brother she feels is not smart enough to do so. He’s a lawyer. Schuyler “Maybe you should sell the company and live the highlife yourself.” “I may. There are rumors the gov’t is going to nationalize many businesses including import/export. If that would happen, we’d lose everything.” Schuyler “Well, there you go. I think selling out is your answer.” Jeremy “Where is your bro?” “In Rome. He is a member of the Rights of Man. They bring cases of gov’t excess to the courts to try to curb the gov’t but he has no head for businesss. He just isn’t smart enough. I will have to get advice from one smarter than me. I will have to speak to Georgio.” All of us NONONO. Paul “Sell, sell sell. Give up this country and hed out now.” “But if I marry Georgio he will have the rights. Though my father left me with power of attorney.” We have a fantatsic authentic Italian dinner then get a taxi to our hotel. Absolutely magnificent and well worth the money.
Next morning

So, where to start for history on Gramanci? We ask the front desk man. Recommends electoral roles, post office and church baptism/marriage records. Geste/Wilhelm to church, Schuyler/Jeremy to post office, Paul/Red Cloud to electoral records. As we leave, a faint scent of rotting meat in the air. The canal waters look a bit oily, like a sheen on top with the smell coming from it. This just started this morning. When the tide goes out, the water freshens up. Georgio meets us and shakes all our hands, thanking us for rescuing him. Especially Paul for whome he removes his hat and bows. “I have a favor to ask. I know I shouldn’t after allthe help you have been so far but…how should I conduct myself in this situation?” Simon “Which situation?” “I think that evil toad has designs upon my fiance!” Wilhelm “He does indeed.” “I can’t just go and face him down, I’ll be thrown in jail or worse.” Simon “If you ask her to marry before the fat toad has a chance to do anything else…” Schuyler “Yeah, what’s taking you so long?” “I can’t ask a woman to live the life I live now. i have no money.” Red Cloud “If you marry her you will.” Jeremy “If you marry her you run the business.” “What do you take me for, a gold digger? I can’t marry her for her money. I have to have my own money first so when I go to her she sees i am not marrying her for her money.” Schuyler “Paul, give him a grand.” HAHAHA. Anyway… He seriously wants our advice. He is afraid to lose her if he waits though. Jeremy “What do you do for a job besides organize people.” “That’s what I do”. Red Cloud “Where do you get money to live and subsist?” Georgio “My needs are slight. Many supporters of the cause give me room and board. Sometimes I work odd jobs between my important work. That’s it. I’m afraid to say there have been times that Maria has given me money (it is difficult for him to spit that out) but I WILL PAY IT BACK!” Jeremy “I have a crazy idea to make you money. When you organize the people to stand up vs the gov’t, make them pay dues. They must put money into the org so you can grow the movement.” Paul “Whoa whoa, guys, we’re not trying to create a workers union here.” Schuyler “No, he just wants fairness and equality, he’s just using the wrong terms for it.” Jeremy “So you collect $, put some toward the movement and a portion as your own wage and expenses for heading the organization.” Georgio “But wouldn’t that be living off the backs of the people?” Jeremy “No no no, they need you to help keep the gov’t from oppressing them.” Wilhelm “You perform a service they need, and you get some compensation.” Jeremy “Once you organize this, you can go to the people who own the factories that if they can provide donations to their organization you can convince the workers to go back to work.” Schuyler “Wait whoa that’s just dishonesty.” Paul “Oh no we are not fommenting a rebellion here.” Georgio “This is too much, I must think. Then, if the noble lord would then help me figure the right path…” Paul “Why don’t we do this for now. I will pay you an honest days wage as a translator and guide while we are here.” Georgio “Oh no senor, I owe you too much already. I will do those things anyway.” Red Cloud “Your future fiance wined and dined us for free last night herself.” Georgio “Are you sure this is no charity?” Paul “No sir. A service we need for payment rendered.” He immediately jumps up to attention. “Georgio Gasparati at your service sir! Ah!” Red Cloud aside to Paul “He is a nice man but a dolt.” Georgio “Now you know Giovanni was not just mugged. He was murdered, and the fat toad did it.” Simon “We figured that out for ourselves already.” Georgio “As a fascista no one can touch him but if he goes after my Maria i will die before I let him have her.” Simon “I should not come to that.” Georgion “My family are hard working middle class. They are here in the city.” Schuyler “You can’t work with them?” Georgio “No, no they don’t understand all these things I learned at University.” He promises to do his best as guide and servant while we are here. Jeremy reminds us we need a couple more translators. Georgio says we will get a gondola and drop each of us off where we need to go, as well as 2 more friends as his assistants. He yells “Antonio” and a kid runs from around the corner “Get Marco and Guiseppe for me” “Tall Guiseppi or short Guiseppi?” “Short Guiseppi.” About 20 later the 2 approach. From the other direction approach 2 redshirts. Both groups spot each other and the redshirts cross on a boat to other side. They obviously have great respect for Marco who looks quite tough. Has parially healed cut on face and bulge on head from a club. Recently beaten by redshirts but “They know if they come after me they better bring 4. Last time they used 3, they ended up in the canal.” We will all meet for a meal later to exchange information.

  • Church w/Guiseppi: Simon finds that about 20 families have the Gramanci name. Wilhelm discovers the first name of the Gramanci that bought the leg. And the name of the current living ancestor is Antonio
  • Post Office w/ Marco: Write down addresses of any Gramanci’s who receive mail.
  • Gov’t electoral records w/ Georgio: Gets both home addresses and business addresses.

As we all meet up, Georgio and friends take leave, but will meet us in the morning. Wilhelm matches name with the correct addresses and confirmed by Paul and Red Cloud. We are looking for Antonio Gramanci’s, but there are 3 of them. Crossreferenced with gov’t records, only one is the owner of Gramanci Dolls and Models. A good connection, the Simulacrum being a statue. Next morning we will track it down. During the night we hear a scream from outside “MORTE, MORTE!” A woman runs down the street, and vanishes around a turn.
Next Morning

Waiters inform us the woman was witness to a grizzly murder. Her lover discovered impaled on a 10’ iron spike, his throat torn as if by a wild beast. FENNELIK!! A note for us from Maria at the desk thanking us for all of our aid and doubly for giving her love a job. Asks if we could push him into proposing as she is already 19yrs old. We decide to pay Georgios buds a pound a day, Georgio 2. Formal invite to her dad’s funeral at her home the next midmorning. Georgio and his boys arrive and we hed on our way. Smell is worse than previous morning, of garbage and rot. Water now vary sluggish and rather than oily it seems almost thick/mucousy. Simon “Someone is casting some sort of evil spell.” Wilhelm “I don’t think so. Fennelik’s very presence is likely causing this. Plague and disease and such things manifest from their very being.” When the tide turns away the water freshens again. Paul “Perhaps after he has slept a while is why it goes away during midday”.
We easily find the Doll shop, but it looks like it has seen better days and business. Knock and a man asks us our business. We ask to talk to Antonio and are led into a small backroom. Horsehair sofas, doili’s… Very itchy sofas. Display cases lining walls with historic Gramance dolls and manaquins as well as prosthetics. Antonio enters, elderly thin and dusty. Appears to have fossilized years ago. Georgio must translate. We are led into his office. Large leatherbound ledgers going back several hundred years fill the shelves. Obviously the family business for a long time. Georgio introduces Paul and his title to Antonio who is not a socialist but a capitalist! Paul speaks first through Georgio, telling him up front we are in search of a piece of an ancient statue, a leg precicely, supposedly given to a member of your family long ago. Jeremy says we are collectors from England, and he claims to be an archaeologist named Rick Rathbone…again. We tell him the short info Smith gave us. Paul rolls a shitty diplomacy check, and Antonio gets a bit huffy at our nosing into his family but not upset. He thinks we mock him a bit, Jeremy, er.. Rick settles him. Antonion says all know the story of his great grandfather and he felt this was a prank. He explains his ancestor Elvisi Gramanci was known as a notorious sorcerer and automoton maker. Jeremy “Really? That we did not know.” He of course was not a sorcerer, for such things do not exist, but people regarded his dolls as magic containers for his victims souls. And that he could create dolls modelled after political enemies which if stuck or burned would do so to the man. He also made his automotons, owls and humans which seemed alive. When the French came they recognized his excellence and they bought many for family back home. Nothing bad ever actually happened to anyone. He knows nothing about a leg though. Paul now, after Jeremy’s buttering, gets a 20. Antonion rings a bell calling a jolly, plump man who speaks English. “Allow me to introduce myself I am Sebstiono Gramance, Antonio’s nephew. I have worked here all my life. How can I help you?” Jeremy explains the leg to him. Schuyler “Could we possibly look at your ledgers?” After a moment “Absolutely.”
He shows us around the factory first, several workrooms, a warehouse of arms and heads and legs stacked on wires hanging from ceiling. Schuyler “If your ancestor were alive today, in out steam tech, he would have been considered a genius.” People making doll clothes and shaving wood on lathes. See 6 very old people, because they have jobs for life here, assembling pieces. He has a couple workers explain how they do their work… At the back of storeroom he says “Records you look for are here. But nothing of interest in these journals. What you need are the receipts.” He leads us further into storeroom, coming to a vault-like door. Unlocks it as we notice a lot of dust everywhere. “These are our records, perfectly catalogued.” It smells like the canal, as this part if under waterlevel. He apologizes for the state as it has not been opened for at least a decade. Only modern records in the office. It is a corridor lined with deep shelves, containing thousands of brass tubes with roman numerals keyed to year and month. Unfortunately they are completely out of order! Aaargh! First scroll we look at is marked ‘92. Inside it says 1592. So outside only marked with last 2 digits, not by century. Yikes. Lots of mold, very dirty and a bit dank. Gonna have to change clothes when we finish here. Sebastiano is embarrased by lack of organization, but he’s far to happy-go-lucky for it to get him down. He whistles operettas as he goes.
We get to work searching for the correct year. It is a long and monotonous search, but Jeremy finally finds it with Marco’s linguistic help. Record of an artificial leg in 1797 bought from a French soldier. Soldier left with a new wood leg and 100 lira, an example of his master’s generosity. Bought by the recorders master because it was made of some strange material. Wilhelm finds that in 1810 leg in statue of courtyard of Palatzo Retziani a nobles palace taken over by austurians damaged by lightning. Gramanci was ordered for unstated reason to replace it in 24 hours or be charged with treason; but if succeeded he would be tried as a witch. Then, a leg of the dimensions needed, made of an odd ceramic material, was found in the storeroom Gramanci fixed it to the statue so well none could find fault in it. Austrians convinced by the ealier purchase record of the miracle dropped all charges.
We go back to the front store to find a dozen redshirts who have forced their way in, threatening the old man and to burn down his shop if he helps the foreigners. He replies I care nothing for foreigners and I certainly would not go out of my way to help them. But I also don’t like beign pushed around in my own shop. This is not the neighborhood to come in pushing a shopowner around. Suddenly, behind the redshirts we see a group of guys looking even tougher than reds. The reds get nervous, and Antonio “I advise you to leave and do not come back.” One of the reds sees us at the back door as they back down and leave and says to us “This is not the end of this, foreigners.” Antonio “These are some of my good friends from the neighborhood,” pointing to the men with sticks and ax handles, “if you need help send someone to let me know.”
We hed back to the hotel. Find everyone excited about the statue of St. Mark wept blood during the evening service. Red Cloud “Fennelik.”
Next Morning

Next morning told of another murder, a gondola driver found torn to shreds in his boat, the remains drained of blood. People saying a maniac out there pretending to be a vampire/ghouls loose/a cult active. Waiter who showed us the paper says he knows some people who were out on the town, and my brother in law swears they saw Death pulling a gondola down the grand canal. Simon asks him description, and sounds like Fennelik allright. Outside, spell nearly drops some over. Paul takes out his handkerchief and sprays it with perfume. During smalltalk with a couple locals who speak English, they say water has leaked into some houses and basements of 2 churches. Couple of kids who played in the water now are ill, black blotches spreading across their limbs. Older people say it’s like the Black Death.
We go to funeral. Lagoon is even worse than canal. Many are queasy from sight and smell of it. Both Georgio and Alberto are there, spend whole funeral glaring at each other. Maria too upset to notice either. There is a reception afterward and we discuss not going as she seems ok and safe right now. We decide to go and put the leg off until evening. Food is quite good, and rather cheerful for a wake, but for moments of sadness for Maria. Finally, as we leave Georgio comes to us. Says does not want to provoke fatty anymore cause doesn’t want him to do anything to Maria. Georgio gets us a gondola to take us back to our house, but we say we need to make a sidetrip.
A short time later he says “This is not the way. Gondoleer, this isn’t the way.” Red Cloud “Uh oh” Gondoleer “No senor, this is exactly where you told me to take you.” Pulls over to the side, now in a very seedy part of the city. Gondoleer "Now get out of my gondola. We start getting out arguing, and see several redshirts come out of an alley toward us, and quickly. There are 12 of them. Soon as Georgio sees them, he grabs the gondola’s pole and yells “This time, I’ll save you my friends. Quick swim for your lives I’ll hold them off!” and he charges them. We can do nothing but join him in order to save his life. Some of them are brawling, 4 in front wielding clubs. Red Cloud pulls out his coup stick, Wilhelm uses his swordcane as a bludgeon “Form ranks!” Jeremy retreats to water’s edge. Paul, just before the club wielders, meets a clubber with his fist-3 then deftly(card)takes his club off him. The other 3 hit our front 3: Schuyler is hit for 6, Geste, Paul and Red Cloud are missed; brawlers are hanging back with the leader and subleader. We retaliate: Geste punches his-8, Schuyler does the same to his, Red Cloud with his coup stick hits-9. Wilhelm moves to the brawlers and hits one for 7 with his cane; 2 brawlers move in on Jeremy: Jeremy punches one-5, both miss him; 1 brawler misses Georgio who whacks him with the pole; Wilhelm is missed, the last doubles Paul and misses. Leaders still watching, the gondola is now gone. The clubbers miss Paul and Simon, Red Cloud is hit-7, Schuyler is missed; Paul hits same guy with his own club-7, Georgio hits again, Schuyler punches-8 then feints (card) and opponent loses next action and Wilhelm takes that card with another card and succeeds at the same thing then hits-7, Red Cloud hits-7 w/stick, Simon punches-7, Jeremy punches-3. Jeremy hit once-3, Paul is hit-3, Georgio is hit, leaders now move in and (card) are pulled in by Paul’s bravado, all other opponents follow suit after his snide remark on fascism: one leader hits Paul-9; 2 clubs who can move make for Paul with the others on him now: hit for 4,3. The disarmed one hits for 4. Red Cloud and Geste follow theirs and flank with Paul who crits leader-8 then (card) disarms a clubber, Red Cloud hits-8 plus the AoO-miss. Schuyler misses. Simon hits-6, Jeremy hits one-1, Wilhelm hits-6; Paul is missed by 2 subleaders and a brawler, Ldr misses once and hits-4. Georgio hits-4; Paul, now out of fatigue and stuck, hits-7. 2 with clubs miss, 2 disarmed hit for 5 and 6. Jeremy hits-3, Geste hits-8 KO’d, Schuyler misses, Red Cloud grapples a disarmed clubber around Paul with a chokehold-11 KO’d. Wilhelm hits-6. Georgio hits again with the pole. Paul is hit for 7 and drops KO’d. The rest attack their original targets: Wilhelm, Georgio missed, Jeremy missed twice, Ldr hits Georgio once; Clubber misses Red Cloud, 2nd clubber hits Schuyler-3. Geste hits Ldr-6, Red Cloud hits one of Jeremy’s-10, Schuyler hits-6, Wilhelm hits-7, Jeremy hits-1. Wilhelm hit by brawler-2, Jeremy missed, Red Cloud hit-4, Georgio missed, subldr misses Georgio, subldr hits Georgio badly and staggers him, Ldr hits Simon twice for 11 total; Schuyler (card) moves for free anywhere and helps Georgio hitting brawler-5 KO’d, Wilhelm hits-13crit KO’d, Simon (uses Crom card) on Ldr and hits-6, Red Cloud hits-11, Jeremy misses (uses card for a spirit attack stunning enemy for next round); Schuyler missed, Georgio missed, Wilhelm missed, Red Cloud missed by Schuyler’s former opponent; Schuyler hits-8, Geste on Ldr hits-8, Red Cloud hits-11 KO’d and cleaves Schuyler’s old opp-10 KO’d letting out a great Kiowa whoop, Wilhelm hits-5, Jeremy pushes stunned guy into canal, then gloats over him from edge, Georgio misses; Wilhelm is missed, one misses Jeremy, Ldr hits Simon twice-13 total, Georgio and Schuyler missed; Schuyler hits-3, Red Cloud flanks with Jeremy and hits-10 and Jeremy hits-5; Wilhelm, Schuyler, Jeremy and Red Cloud are missed, Georgio is hit; Schuyler hits-7, Geste hits Ldr-8, Jeremy-4 and Red Cloud-12 to theirs KO’d, Wilhelm hits-4 KO’d, Georgio misses. Now only the LdrvvsvSimon, and the 2 on Georgio and Schuyler. Georgio is critted and goes down KO’d, Schuyler is missed, Ldr hits Simon once-5; Schuyler misses, Red Cloud runs to Georgio’s-miss. Wilhelm hits Schuyler’s-8, Simon misses Ldr, Jeremy hangs back, looting the pockets of the downed villains and flags down a gondola in a couple rounds or so. Red Cloud hit by Georgio’s-3, Schuyler is missed, Ldr hits Simon once-4; Red Cloud hits-13, Schuyler hits-6 and Wilhelm fumbles flanking theirs, Simon hits ldr-6; Red Cloud and Schuyler are missed, Geste is missed twice; Wilhelm recovering, Schuyler hits-3, Simon hits Ldr-8, Red Cloud misses; Red Cloud is missed, Schuyler hit-4, Ldr misses twice; Schuyler hits-4, Red Cloud hits-9, Wilhelm hits-7, Simon hits Ldr-8; Red Cloud is missed, Schuyler hit-10, Ldr hits Geste once-9; Schuyler misses, Red Cloud hits-13, Wilhelm hits-7, Simon misses. Red Cloud is missed, Schuyler hit for 5, Ldr hits Geste once-9; Gondola arrives, Wilhelm hits-5 and Schuyler-3 KO’d, Red Cloud misses, Geste hits Ldr-8, Jeremy holds gondola with stolen money; Red Cloud is hit-9, Ldr hits Simon twice-11 total putting Geste deep into wnd pts; Red Cloud hits-11 KO’d, Schuyler moves to Ldr and hits-5, Simon misses him, Wilhelm charges in and hits-7; Ldr hits Geste twice-14 total taking Simon down KO’d; Schuyler hits-5, Red Cloud charges in with a great warcry and hits-12, Wilhelm hits-7 KO’d END. We pile into the boat and Wilhelm doctors up the badly wounded. We get back to our hotel.
After resting up well, we go to the house where the leg should be after dark. Georgio says he owes us again, but we insist he was just one of us this time. A regular hero fighting right alongside of us. Georgio says he has given up on socialism, he wants to follow in Paul’s footsteps as a hero. We remind him of his love and he says you’re right, but he must be part of combat. He plans to meet her at her balcony “like Romeo and Juliet, the Romance!” and he goes tearing off to her. Marco takes us and there is no statue. We knock on door and inquire as to it, and they say it was destroyed. The rubble was crushed up and reused but for the one leg. Wierdest thing you couldn’t break it. I am fairly sure they took it off to the clock." Red Cloud “Why the clock?” “Not sure but that’s what the workmen said, about 10 years ago.” We thank him and hed for the clocktower. As we get there it strikes the hour, and 2 doors open on the clock face. Death exits with an angel, then a turk fighting a winged lion, a soldier fighting an assassin, and finally a country lad and lass dancing- JUST LIKE THE PROCESSION IN DREAM LAUSANNA!!!! This is it! The turk, soldier and rustic lass all have legs, the rest are single solid pieces. We go back to hotel rest for the night. In our room we find something in the bed under the covers, the shape of a body. Simon pulls the cover and the parts of the Simulacrum lie there on the bed, newly polished! Fennelik playing with us, can’t stay away from his item. We had forgotten to garlic the room up. We put the pieces back in trunks and fill them with garlic first thing in morning. Make a note to always do so from now on. We all have terrible cramps all night in our left legs.
Next Day

Looting and citizen unrest increasing. Several deaths from the black spot plague, water getting worse, rats all over. No murder last night, he must have been happy spending time with the Simulacrum. Overall feeling of dread in the city.
Another note from Maria in the morning asking us if we could find Georgio. He never showed up that night. Schuyler “Oh shit. Not like we have nothing to do!” We know where he hangs out though so that’s the first place to look. We get there and there he is. Schuyler “Why did…” and we see he has twice the bruises we left him with. He was beat last night. He managed to get away but is pretty sure they wanted to kill him and “I did lead them a merry chase through the streets” still in good spirits. “I am now a man of action and I say we go and I ask Maria to marry me regardless of all else.” We agree wholeheartedly. As we hed for her house, her old maid comes toward us down the street. She runs to us frantically with a letter from Maria. She is held captive in her house by fatmans redshirts, and he says he is going to bring a priest to marry them. Georgio “We can’t let that happen. Though he forces her, he’s a fascista. His word will be taken. We must rescue her immediately.” Red Cloud “We need our capitalist friends.” Georgio sends Marco to get “brave men of action willing to take on redshirts in the light of day.” We tell him to meet us right back here, and we go to our hotel to get fully weaponized. A dozen toughs come to meet us in short order, some with ax handles, one with a chain…“Fascists holding an innocent girl hostage?” Schuyler “An innocent virgin at that.” Oh, man they get even more angry at that, slapping their weapons against their palms ready to scrap!
We head for the 4 story apartment complex. One group of 4 capitalists comes up to canal-side entrance in gondola, another 4 from rear street entrance. Schuyler climbs onto roof and from right side and sees it with knotted rope and sees it all clear, then drops it for everyone else to get up. Atop, we hear the capitalist attack “Hey what are you men doing here?” Looking down into courtyard, 7 of them make it to courtyard, and about a dozen redshirts come out from all sides with saps and a general melee begins in courtyard. We go down outer steps, led by Paul-Simon-Red Cloud and look in sitting room window, next to door, where 2 thugs with muddy feet up on coffeetable “This is going on longer than I thought, go check on it.” As the thug opens the door he sees Paul right there, who slugs with a fist-4 then again for 3 “A fist from England!”, Simon barges through the doorway, pushing Paul’s fight into the room and punches the thug still on the couch with his gauntlets (a cross relief at each knuckle which leave impressions in the skin)-9 who stands up and swings at Geste-4 but hit gain-4 by Geste, Paul’s thug crits-7 and he backpedals onto landing. Schuyler, in rear, looks over stairs and sees window on walkway under them, says to Jeremy “Wanna hop down and go in?” then climbs over stair railing and drops over edge and onto walkway. Jeremy goes downstairs and follows with Red Cloud to the window. Schuyler opens door and it is a bathroom. Georgio runs into the fight-room to door on far side. Simon hits again-7 “Taste Templar steal” , Paul hits-2; Thug crits Paul again-7 “You’re not gonna look so pretty anymore”, thug misses Simon. We hear movement on other side of door. Schuyler et al get into bathroom and open door, seeing 2 redshirts, one lying on bed quickly pulling pants up as the other does so at foot of bed on knees, at half mast and pants at knees. They’re GAY! Schuyler “Bugger, me!” Red Cloud runs in with warclub and nonlethals one on bed-20 KO’d, Jer Schuyler runs past and gut punches-6, Jeremy goes to door down short hallway and hear girl “I knew he’d come to rescue me” and a man says “Shut up!”
As Georgio throws open door to Maria’s bedroom, backed up by Wilhelm, 2 other thugs there with a bottle of papa’s best wine that they had been drinking. Her dresser has top drawer and her underpants are stewn about area. One has smashed bottle and attacks Georgio who yells “Leave her things alone!” Bottle misses and breaks against wall leaving only the stem which the thug drops. Georgio swings his club and hits the thug in the brainpan. Paul skillfully feints and gets his man offbalance, using that he deftly flips the man over the rail into courtyard below-7, Simon throttles his-10 KO’d and moves into bedroom. Schuyler punches again-6, and Red Cloud moves out to hall to check on Jeremy at doorway, now real quiet in there; Schuyler punched-3. In bedroom Wilhelm with swordcane as a club hits other thug-7, Georgio misses, thug says to him “I’m gonna make you eat this (referring to bottle stem)” but misses. Jeremy opens hallway door and tumbles through in anticipation of an ambush. The waiting thug still hits-3 with sap. Jeremy reaches another door in room, with a thug right in front of him unluckily who hits him-6; Paul hears men coming up steps from downstairs and moves to head them off. Simon moves into bedroom and assists Georgio-10. Schuyler hits gay-5 and gay misses. Jeremy attacked by both thugs, who have not seen Red Cloud yet and they both miss. Maria is on the bed tied and gagged. Red Cloud moves in and flanks first thug from behind-13 and Jeremy, remembering his beating on canal, pulls no punches and draws dagger on first thug-3; Paul examines his surroundings and grabs candelabra. First guy up, leadin 2 others, (card) stunned by surprise to see him as Paul charges hitting-2, Schuyler hits gay-7, Simon hits-9 KO’d. Paul hears voice at door downstairs “Holy mamma mia, whatsa goin’ on!?” it’s the fatcat fascist. Georgio hits Wilhelm’s commie-7 and Wilhelm hits him-3 and is missed. Gay misses Schuyler. Red Cloud missed by 1st thug, Jeremy missed by the other. Red Cloud hits 1st-9 and he reels, Jeremy punches this time-miss; The 2 following the stunned guy upstairs miss Paul, Paul misses, Simon joins the fight on the last thug in that room and misses, Georgio hits-6 and Wilhelm hits-2 and that thug misses Georgio, Schuyler hits gay-3 who hits back-2; Stunned guy on stairs comes to and misses Paul, the other 2 moves past Paul to his rear and surround him but miss. Red Cloud hits 1st-KO’d, 2nd thug misses Jeremy, who withdraws to bed and starts to cut Maria free; Paul drops candlabra, pulls pistol and fires at the knee-2, Simon crits last thug in bedroom-15 KO’d. Wilhelm run for the door to room where Jeremy and Red Cloud are, opening it right behind thug still up and crits-6, then Red Cloud hits him-12, and he hits Red Cloud-5. Shuyler hits homo-7 KO’d and moves toward bedroom w/Maria. All 3 on Paul pull knives, one hits-4. A few more moving up the stairs. Jeremy still cutting Maria free, Paul draws his saber as Simon gets to Paul and bullrushes one at Paul’s rear, slamming him20’ down and through the first, sending them plummetting down steps taking the next few coming up with them, who then trip up another few behind them, breaking the neck of one and leaving only 1 new thug still coming up who turns and retreats back down! Last thug in room with Maria is missed by Red Cloud and Wilhelm. The thug turns and runs toward Maria, Red Cloud missing with AoO. Jeremy misses him and he grapples Maria, knife to her throat and hand full of hair. Schuyler now just outside of doorway into the room. Jeremy “How are you gonna give us the girl if he’s leaving? We aren’t letting you go with the girl.” We give him our word we will let him leave the room if he leaves the girl alone (not mentioning Paul and Geste). Wilhelm (card) provides bluff bonus to Jeremy and he takes the deal. Wilhelm “You can go right out the door, down the steps and out the front door.” Thug moves to the door and leaves her with a push as he runs…right into Geste and Paul. The capitalists are all down and about half the fascists outside. The others at the bottom of steps flee and fatcat yells “Get back here!” and he flees with them. One capitalist and 1 fascist dead in courtyard, all others KO’d only. Some Ko’d start waking up, and a priest arrives and Wilhelm and Simon speak latin. The priest was coming to marry fatcat and Maria, asks why we are stealing this man’s bribe from him. “It was a forced marriage, not God-willing. She was being held captive here by these thugs.” We explain the situation. We may not like communists but we respect young and innocent love. Georgio thrilled by the action, has been completely changed by his time with us. The priest is convinced by Wilhelm, aided by Geste (extra aid bonus w/card), to marry the young couple himself but just barely.
Georgio torn, has wife to ctake care of w/o a job and also does not want to be a commie organizer anymore. They decide, as we mentioned before, to sell the business for a fortune.They travel to Milan until all is finalized. Wilhelm aids our capitalist buddies and they leave. Happiness from the fight quickly gone as stench of the canal begins for the evening. Lots of people in streets, a crowd beats an epileptic having a seizure. Wilhelm, Geste and Paul disperse the crowd and Wilhelm checks the man out, but he’s dead. A woman claiming she is possessed is being exorcised by a priest. A huge hound howls in the distance. We get back to hotel and lock ourselves in.
Next Day

Smells of smoldering wood from fires overnight in morning. Troops brought in to keep control as city is falling apart thanks to Fennelik’s presence or the leg, or a combo of both. Lots of talk of witches and such. Hotel manager comes to our breakfast table, warning us foriegners lives at risk and we should stay inside. Leaves a timetable of Orient Exp with timetable circled. We need to go to the clock and fast. Fatcat Alberto shows up with authorities and come over to us “These are the men, these are the ones who started it. There are dead men thanks to them, arrest them, arrest them!” Detective “Hold there, Mr. Raccini.” He sits and asks for our side of story “I hear there was unpleasentness at 73 Rue…whatever”. He speaks English, so Paul talks to him. Paul introduces self as Earl of Mansauce and Major in army, telling our side of it “This fat greasy toad had kidnapped and held hostage an wealthy Italian innocent woman, and her true suitor sequestored out assistance to rescue her. Senior Toad drew weapons on us first, such as knives which I can illustrate from the cut I have.” Cop “What’s this I hear about you drawing a sword?” Paul “After they pulled the knives, mind you.” Fatcat “Arrest them arrest them!” Cop “I’m sorry sir, but this seems like only an unfortunate incident.” Fatcat “But there’s dead men, dead men!” Cop “Mr. Racine there is no evidence of any of them being killed by these men. We know one was killed by commie agitators, and another was a commie agitator, and the other had his neck broke in an accident. Let me tell you gentlemen a story: Venice used tomake a portion of the lagoon illegal for fishing because bodies were routinely dumped there. Those were days of uncertain public order, such as now. The state wishes no incidence involving foreigners and that includes no undue arrests.” Racine starts to say something and detective stops him “There are murders going on in the city and some believe a supernatural origin. I think it is best you leave promptly ,tomorrow night at the latest. If you are not out of our fair city by then I will be forced to take more stern measures.” We assure him we will be on the Orient out of the city by tomorrow evening.
That night, we suit up and head for the clock tower. The night is foul, lashing rain and filth in the streets. Houses burnt down for reasons of ‘witchcraft’. We stick to alleys and dark ways. Mobs, troops and police compete to find the murderer. At about quarter after 10 we get to the bronze doors of the tower with lion-doorknockers. Paul knocks and a man aswers wearing a shawl, yawning. He is the caretaker and we can not go in at night. Schuyler"We must sir, it is a matter of life and death involving the cities current plight." Caretaker “No, I can not let you in.” Paul offer payment for his inconvenience, i.e. a bribe. He does it for a miniscule amount in English pounds. He leads us inside and says “Be very careful, its dangerous up there. It’s old and the gears will mangle you to death.” Simon leads the way up, shield and chainmail on, followed by Paul, Schuyler, Jeremy, Wilhelm, Red Cloud brings up rear. Carbide lamps light the way. 5 creaky, rotten, 500 year old landings between the flights. We spread out so no more than one person on a landing at a time. Windows have no panes. Jeremy “What the hell does this caretaker do, sit here and watch this thing fall apart?” Simon “He takes care of the whole palatzo at night, not just the clock. He’s more of the watchman than caretaker.” At top there is a locked trapdoor a steep stairway, small steps with stout railings. We tell Jeremy to try and get it open “This seems a very bad idea to me. If I unlock it I’m not opening it.” He fails first. Simon moves up and slams through it, almost slipping back and falling. He enters first. Very steampunk, vast slowly turningn cogs and wheels, hanging chains on other side with big weights powering figures that move out. Like a ponderous and inevitable motion. We see all the automotons in line on the track. Now about 10:30, and the whole things starts going and 4 of the figures go in and out as the huge bell chimes giving Red Cloud and Jeremy some hearing damage the next few days. After it all stops, only the Turk, general and rustic lass have separate legs. Geste “Check the Turk first.” Schuyler “Jeremy get your file and scrape the paint off.” Jeremy “File, I’ll give my file for someone else to scrape the paint off.” Red Cloud does and it is the leg we seek. the quarter til chime rings and as the door opens for the figures, we see a silouette on the ledge. It falls backward off the edge, and a few seconds later we see a huge bat flying away. After it all stops, we check it out closer. Looks to need a disable check to remove and Jeremy, after asking if anyone else can just chop it off he reluctantly tries, hesitant but succeeds just before the hour, after taking 20 as the rest of us keep a lookout around him. We start to leave here, Red Cloud carrying the leg out. As the figures move on the hour, the legless one falls over and the others seem to come to life in the shadowy light but not for real as they begin to operate. Gears start to grind and the structure start breaking apart and falling! We head through the doorway as pieces fall around us, all but Jeremy are struck. We rush down steps as fast as we can, Red Cloud trips and hits a wall at a turn hard-6. We reach bottom as it is evident entire tower crumbling and watchman is crying out for policia. We rush into darkness and make for the hotel for our luggage et al. After packing up and we are going down street, see behind us the police detective from earlier pulls up to hotel and goes inside. We try to decide whether to see if we can get a train tonight, get horses and ride for Trieste or what. Decide to send Paul to talk to detective to try to make restitution. Tell him we wanted to see the clock before we had to leave, while examining one of the figures it somehow came off the track and started a chain reaction. All we could do from there is escape. We stress the extremely poor condition of the tower. Detective “What possible reason could you have for going up there.” We decide to tell him that city’s problems are supernatural, and stem from a vampire." Det “You expect me to believe that a vampire is causing the sickness, the filth in the canal…” Schuyler “And he’s following us.” Det “Now you’re talking. You leaving would save the city then. Why don’t you just go off in different directions then?” Simon “He would be able to kill us individually then.” He is not sure what to believe, very unsure about what to do. As some restitution, Paul gives him the last of his yearly allowance and 200 from our Smith-cash. The next evening we board the train to Trieste. A reporter does come to talk to us about it, and Jeremy speaks to him as the official mouthpiece of the Earl. He makes the bluff check and the writer writes a mildly favorable story, rather than a drunken prank or something like that.
That evening we board the Express for Trieste, and as our luggage is being booked an elderly gentleman is wheeled on board nearby. Something about him makes us uneasy. Paul walks toward him and shakes his shaking hand. A very old man, and his eyes glow red as he looks at Paul! Fennelik!His handshake gives Paul a bruise on his hand an he pulls Paul closer. His other hand caresses Paul’s cheek as he says “You’re such a handsome man. If you were a little hunger I’d do you well.” Recall he did ‘like the boys’. His attendant pushes him away as he says “I’m sure we’ll meet again sir.”
So, we know he can for sure come out at dusk at least, though covered up well. Paul could see his hand blister some in the little time it was uncovered. He is effected by sunlight, garlic wards him off, he can become a bat and mist and a scythian fertility deity figure we hope. We all dream of a white human form that scuttles louse like over the exterior of the cars, with hungry red eyes. Then we see through it eyes as it watches us, discussing things, sleeping, brushing teeth… As the creature, we feel no more sympathy for us than a turkey or tomatoes. Paul in particular dreams he talks to Fennelik, feels connected psychically and understand his feelings perhaps from the touch. Fennelik has a glimmer of amusement at appraising us, our weakness, so yoked together by weakness they must be obscenely dependant on one another rather than be glorious in solitude and totally self sufficience. Then a huge want for the 3 pieces we have, then blackness before Paul wakes up. Wilberforce keeps some of us up half the night writing all that happened. In only a couple hours we are in Trieste.

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