The Monster Hunters of Down Cthulhu

Orient Express: Lausanna to Milan

The Duke Asks Us Nicely

We have about a 5 hour ride. The scroll the original in Turko-arabian and Wellington’s English translation. Wilhelm reads it, losing 1 sanity but gaining 2 forbidden lore (see handout for sample passage). He’ll have to read the original to gain any spells from it if there are any. It is the gibbering testimony of a quite insane individual, Sedefkar the Osmani. Lived in Medieval Constantinople and speaks of the arrival of the White Destroyers. Paul and Geste both place the reference, through military knowledge, just before 4th Crusade at the start of 13th century. Simon says “When my boys were around.” Scroll concerns the Simulacrum in his possession and predicts losing it so makes a record of it in 5 scrolls. This is the 1st, the scroll of the head (thoughts and history of the author), one of 6 linked to the figure. There is also one for the left arm (containing a ritual which balances all this power, an ongoing sacrifice), right arm (ritual which awoke the stature and is the driving force of Sedefkar’s power), the legs (series of body effecting magics and the foundation which Sedefkar’s power was built), and the belly (concerning the worship of a being called the skinless one).
Most detailed and discernable portion deals with the torture and flaying of humans. But it is truly insane writing. After some rest, we go the the dining car. As elegant and sumptuous as always. Jeremy, Red Cloud and Wilhelm at one table, and the other 3 at another. Hear waiter say to someone “Will Monsieur be dining alone tonight?” A familiar voice, that of the Duke, which perks out ears immediately “No I think I’ll eat with my friends.” DAMN HIM.
Sits at Paul’s table “Gentlemen, if you’ll excuse my hurried bluntness I come to the point. I want the scroll. You’ll give it to me or I’ll destroy you. Answer promptly for I have little time.” Geste “I don’t think you’re a god of any sort in this world, so I say no.” Paul “Nor am I, but in this world I am the next best thing. An English Earl, and I say no.” Duke “Fine, we’re almost out of range, but we will meet again much to your detriment.” He comments on not being happy about us freeing the souls and does not appreciate us burning his house and his portal. Jeremy “My pleasure gov’nor.” Red Cloud “We are not here to make you happy.” The Duke “I don’t like your tone, you’ll never speak again. Wither” he says and tries some sort of spell on Jeremy as he reaches into his bag, pulls out a rope. Swinging it above his head, it drops around him in his chair and both disappear. Jeremy rolls a 20.
The only other person who notices Duke vanish is the waiter. “Gentlemen, what did that man do with my chair?” Paul “The man stole it.” Will i be getting my chair back?" Jeremy “I would say no. Our friend here will take care of the expense (meaning Paul of course).” Paul “He lied when he said he was friends with us.” Waiter “I am sorry, but when a man of obvious breeding makes a statement, I should take it as true until proven otherwise. Charles, bring another chair from storage. Gentlemen, kindly don’t let that happen again. We only have the one other in storage.” Charles appears with a replacement in a couple minutes.
Red Cloud “It is important that the Duke did not simply TAKE what he wants, but asked nicely for it instead. I think Geste is right about his power on this world.” Wilhelm "His last comment shows he also seems unable to travel far from Lausanna. We finish our lunch. We reach the north end of the Simplan tunnel and it is snowed in some, putting us about a half hour behind schedule. By this time we are in our rooms getting some much needed rest, at Paul’s insistence. Paul/Red Cloud in one room, Wilhelm/Geste in another, Schuyler/Jeremy another. When Paul opens his door, we all in the hall smell the stench of Fennelik from the room but it is empty. A quick look around finds nothing disturbed. No smell from other 2 rooms.

At the border with Italy, Italian police board to check passports. We do not have Italian permits for firearms. Geste speaks to the border commander, using Paul’s noble and military rank in his diplomacy, and secures us the proper papers for our weapons. Schuyler, Red Cloud and Wilhelm show there Visa stamps they had to get in France, being not the English Paul and Jeremy nor French Geste (they are not required them). We reach Milan station.

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