08 September 2011

CoC: 08 Sep 2011 [Day 05]

CHARACTERS
Alexandrite Simon Addison: Parapsychologist, male, age 36. Speaks Latin. Yearly income $7500. Originally from Sheffield, England.
Ruth Day: Professor of archaeology/anthropology, female, age 34. Speaks Egyptian. Yearly income $3500.
Mabel Agatha Thujone: Waitress at a speakeasy, female, age 19. Left-handed. Yearly income $2500.
Frank Joe Franklin: Farmer/Mechanic, male, age 22. Yearly income $3500. DECEASED.
Declann Clifford Winters: Ex-soldier (Airman for the Royal Flying Corp), male, age 33. Yearly income $20,000.
Ashleigh Kyllingmark: Dilettante and wannabe-hero, male, age 21. Speaks Mandarin. Yearly income $4500.


SPECIAL ITEMS
- Africa's Dark Sects (book)
- A large, empty, coppery bowl with unrecognizable runes that seem to squirm
- African devil mask
- Carved African sceptor with Egyptian hieroglyphics
- A headband with runes, which protect the wearer from nightgaunts
- The zebra pelt the above five items were wrapped in
- Whatever other items the investigators wanted to steal from Ju-Ju House
- Three articles from The Scoop
- Record of Roger Carlyle's mental health records

- Vial of green liquid from Miles Shipley's house


SPECIAL NOTES
In 1925, £1 = $4.87, although it began dropping over the next few years. In 1931, £1 = $3.69.
To look at inflation, the 1925 equivalent of one modern US dollar was $0.08.
The 1925 equivalent of one modern pound was six pence. (At the time, 12 pence in a shilling, 20 shillings in a pound - 260 pence in a pound)



HEALING RULES
First Aid: Immediately restores 1d3.
Medicine: Immediately restores 1d3.
All living creatures heal naturally - 1d3 HP per game week until all HP have returned. First Aid and Medicine skills can speed recovery (1d3 HP for First Aid, 2d3 HP for Medicine). Each treatment is specific to one injury. Medicine supersedes natural healing; once it's applied, all injuries heal at the Medicine rate, but Medicine must be applied each week or the rate returns to natural healing. (2d3 medicine healing instead of 1d3 natural, not in addition to).


TODAY'S SESSION
23 January 1925, Saturday

The investigators head to Miles Shipley's house in late evening, deciding to see him prior to going to face monsters. The filthy house is in need of major repair, and located in a shoddy environment. It's a two-story brick house. They ascend the two steps up to the door as the rolling fog parts to grant them admittance. A small gardner snake juts out across the yard.

Frank walks up the steps and hits the doorbell. Despite his punch, the doorbell doesn't ring. He pounds the knocker instead and only a dark, empty echo greets him. A few minutes later, faint steps creak toward the door. Frank knocks again. The door opens and an elderly woman answers it. Frank asks if Miles is there and the woman says her son is indisposed but we can look at his paintings for a downpayment of 35 pounds. Declann attempts haggling with her but fails and she shuts the door and bolts it shut. Mabel takes a look at the boarded-up windows and discovers that the windows are not only boarded-up, but barred shut. Declann knocks again but the old woman says the bobbies are on the way if we don't leave. As she shouts out for us to leave, her voice rises a few octaves.

Declann offers to pay and the woman asks that they send Mabel in with the money alone because she doesn't want strange men in her house at night. Declann asks if they can come back later and she says yes. Ashleigh asks if 11a.m. is alright and she says yes. Ashleigh bids her a lovely evening and she returns in kind.

As they're leaving, Mabel hears a door open and footsteps - like boots - heading away, seeming to be from the house we just left. Ashleigh and Declann follow the steps - belonging to a man wearing a half-unbuttoned, white, paint-splattered shirt - down a back alley where a group of women are present. He exchanges quiet words with one of the women, propositioning her back to his house. Declann accidentally kicks a can, sending it clattering down the street. The whore jumps in surprise and Miles Shipley stares at Declann with bloodshot eyes. When Declann pretends to be drunk and asks if he's the painter guy Shipley, Miles shuffles away more quickly with the girl toward his house. Ashleigh quietly asks Declann if they should try to talk to the girls or follow Miles, and Declann offers to talk to the girls if Ashleigh follows Miles and the girl to see if he locks the door behind himself.

Declann flashes his cash to the girls, who are not helpful. Meanwhile, Ashleigh hears them go into the house; the door does not shut or lock. He hears the girl trip over something, giggle, and then let out a bloodcurdling scream that echoes down the street. He's frozen for two seconds before running forward in the third, reaching the door, and looking inside. He sees a bundle in the darkness - cloth-like, almost - about three feet in. Curious, Ashleigh lunges in and grabs the bundle, which looks like whitish fabric. As he pulls it toward him, he sees what appears to be skin... and then a mane of white hair. He drops the old woman's skin like a hot potato and backs away hurriedly, squeaking and gasping and rushing back to the front. Breathless and disturbed, he blurts out, "Th-- old-- woman-- skin-- dear god-- her-- her-- bloody hell! Tea!"

To his shock, Mabel and Frank immediately bolt for the very back door. They get to the base of the steps at the back door and see a glow of red eyes - and then Mabel immediately turns, pulls out her gun, and blasts a hole in Frank, killing him messily. Declann reaches them next and sees Mabel and Frank - then sees Mabel's gun pointed at him next. Declann prepares to dodge, Ashleigh does the same as well - mimicking Declann's gesture in his sheer uncertain panic - and then the monster steps out of the doorway. About 5' 6" tall, what looks like a humanoid serpent with fangs dripping acidically steps out. From the fangs hang a garter, and he holds knitting needles, brandished like swords. Upon seeing the monster, Declann feels a heavy weight that seems to crush into his psyche; he feels an overwhelming desire to flee in panic.

Stumbling out of the house in what appears to be a drugged haze, Miles stumbles out of the house wielding a butcher knife. Mabel opens fire on Declann next, but Declann dodges. Declann runs, dropping his gun; Alex grabs the gun and fires at the monster. The air about a foot in front of the monster ripples as the bullet bounces off of it. Confused, Ashleigh runs after Declann. The monster hisses at Alex, who then feels a strong suction in his mouth. The suction ceases after a few moments, and Alex is left feeling like he's lost a part of himself (metagaming-wise, four magic points).

Miles charges forward at Alex, swinging his butcher knife - and completely misses. Mabel drops her gun, grabs her knife and steps up to shank Alex as well, slicing into him. Alex shoots at Miles, managing a glancing blow. He fires at Miles instead and manages to blast him unconscious. Losing Declann as the crazed man takes off, Ashleigh gives up and hurries back to back Alex in the fight. Alex blasts Mabel next, and knocks her unconscious as well.

Reaching the scene of disaster as an adrenaline-rushing Alex fights for his life, an impulsive Ashleigh bolts forward to punch at the snake-monster. The snake monster informs Ashleigh that he has lived for eons and will not be taken out by the likes of him, and lunges to chomp him but Ashleigh manages to duck. Alex - thinking he was out of ammo - hurries up to help Ashleigh this time and shoots at the monster with Mabel's gun. Ashleigh punches again, rippling at the barrier once more. Furious, the monster's eyes begin to glow once more as he glares at Ashleigh before hissing for the now-possessed Ashleigh to smash Alex's brains in. Torn between firing at Ashleigh about to beat his head in or firing at the monster who has obviously supernatural health, Alex takes his chances and fires Mabel's gun instead... and shatters the monster's shield apart. The bullet whizzes through and hits the monster in the chest, leaving a hole. The monster roars in rage and pain and disbelief, not having been hit in hundreds of years. Freed from the mind control, Ashleigh immediately punches the monster in the face and it drops down dead.

Alexandrite treats his own wounds first before turning to Mabel. The medicine he applies on her wounds fails to react, although he does manage to revive Miles - after tying him. Miles begins biting at him and calling him a murderer, saying he killed his mother. Alex snaps at Ruth - who had stayed nice and safe at the front door - to help him and Ashleigh drag everyone inside. Ruth retrieves the electric torch from Mabel and turns it on. Ashleigh flicks on a light switch and the lights come on. They're in a kitchen, with the house smelling like a muggy, heavy, humid rainforest. There's a door with a padlock and another opening that opens to a living room with stairs going up. Alex takes photos of the monster's body against the floor with no furnishings showing, and Ruth checks out the house. Ruth goes upstairs and finds two bedrooms and a lavatory. She checks out the first bedroom, which has a small bed, a hand-knitted quilt on it, and hand-knitted dresses hanging in the open closet. There is a sole high-heeled boot on the floor (likely from the hooker). The other bedroom has no decorations, a mattress on the floor (with nothing under it) and a closet. She tries the closet and finds it locked.

While this is going on, Alex finishes up photographing the monster. Alex finds two old-fashioned key hanging on the old woman's neck, and a set of normal house keys on Miles. Alex cuts the monster open and the hooker's other shoe and a bunch of sludge pours out. The shoe is sizzling. Alex, Ashleigh and Ruth goes upstairs. One of the house keys opens up the closet. There are a few jackets and a full suit hanging nicely. On the top shelf is a hatbox. Inside of the hatbox is a nice bowler; behind the hatbox, however, is a mahogany box. Ruth opens the mahogany box; there is a hypodermic needle and a small vial of strange green fluid. They take the vial. As Alex and Ruth discuss what to do, Ashleigh notices that there is no opening to an attic. Ashleigh goes to find where an attic entrance should be, and finds it stitched closed. Ruth uses her nail file to open the attic and a ladder comes down. She flashes Mabel's electric torch into the attic but can see nothing. She ascends cautiously.

Inside the attic, the skylights have been painted black to block light and there are several canvases. Ruth goes to look at the paintings - and turns away with her memory completely wiped (for an indeterminate number of months). She'll continue to have flashbacks to the paintings and acting peculiar, but still generally functional and able to create new memories.

Ashleigh calls up into the attic.

Corinne-as-Ruth: "Who are you?"
Brandon-borrowing-Ashleigh: "Uh... Ash."
Corinne-as-Ruth: "I don't know any Ash. I don't know... anyone."

At the voices, Alex walks out of the bedroom and approaches and asks what's going on. Ashleigh fills her in as Ruth descends the stairs. Alex goes back upstairs, grabs the electric torch she dropped, resists the peculiar urge to look at the canvas, and returns to the kitchen. He shines the torch down and finds boxes. He cautiously descends the steps. There's natural ground, and it's cold and damp. The basement has shelves everywhere, and on the shelves are large jars full of the green liquid. There are thick, leather-bound books with no titles. He approaches one of the boxes and the box has bottles of paints. Behind the box, however, he finds the outline of a doorframe and pushes it open warily. He finds a painting on a canvas of a small island. For a few seconds, he's positive he's standing inside of the painting, feeling the air and wind and water - and then by sheer luck he's back, but dripping wet. He goes back out to the basement, grabs paint, and splashes it over the wicked canvas.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Ashleigh politely introduces Ruth to Mabel.

Alex finds nothing else in the room and goes back out. He kicks a ceramic tub with a lid on his way over and picks it up; something thunks inside. He picks up one of the books and opens it, but finds the writing inside to be nonsensical gibberish he can't identify. He hauls the tub upstairs and has a polite exchange with Ashleigh where Ashleigh asks why he's wet and Alex responds that it's a funny story about a painting. Together, they agree, "Later." Ashleigh makes them a cuppa, and Alexandrite opens up the tub. Inside is the head of a blonde woman. Alex cautiously seals the jar and takes a sip of tea.

Once the tea is done, he goes to revive Miles, who screams about killing mother. Ashleigh holds up the green liquid and Miles instantly shuts up. After some prompted questions, he says that his mother is a beautiful, amazing goddess who once ruled the world before the ice came. She is one of the "last" - and when Alex asks who the "other" is, Miles says they're everywhere, in our skins. He paints to bring the others over, and came close once. The liquid is from Yuggoth.

Alex takes the vial of green liquid to keep for later. They empty out the green jars into the ground and Ashleigh burns the painting. They close the attic, Alex loots Frank's body (taking matches, a knife, $350, a mechanical repair kit and a machete), they untie him, Ashleigh picks up Mabel, Alex locks up the house, and Alex, Ashleigh, Ruth and Mabel head out, contact Sarah, and go back to her house. Sometime in the middle of the night, Declann stirs from his psychosis somewhere in the midst of London, manages to locate a telephone to call a very disgruntled Sarah, and get picked up.

02 September 2011

CoC: 01 Sep 2011 [Day 04]

CHARACTERS
Alexandrite Simon Addison: Parapsychologist, male, age 36. Speaks Latin. Yearly income $7500. Originally from Sheffield, England.
Mimosa MaiXue Mayberry: Police officer in homicide department, female, age 25. Speaks Mandarin. Ambidextrous. Yearly income $5500. Originally from Dahlonega, Georgia.
Ruth Day: Professor of archaeology/anthropology, female, age 34. Speaks Egyptian. Yearly income $3500.
Mabel Agatha Thujone: Waitress at a speakeasy, female, age 19. Left-handed. Yearly income $2500.
Frank Joe Franklin: Farmer/Mechanic, male, age 22. Yearly income $3500.
Saul Gideon: Safecracker, male, age 30. Yearly income $5500. Status at the end of the session: INCURABLY INSANE and located in a mental institution.
Declann Clifford Winters: Ex-soldier (Airman for the Royal Flying Corp), male, age 33. Cousin to Saul Gideon. Yearly income $20,000.
Ashleigh Kyllingmark: Dilettante and wannabe-hero, male, age __. Yearly income $___.


SPECIAL ITEMS
- Africa's Dark Sects (book)
- A large, empty, coppery bowl with unrecognizable runes that seem to squirm
- African devil mask
- Carved African sceptor with Egyptian hieroglyphics
- A headband with runes, which protect the wearer from nightgaunts
- The zebra pelt the above five items were wrapped in
- Whatever other items the investigators wanted to steal from Ju-Ju House
- Three articles from The Scoop
- Record of Roger Carlyle's mental health records



SPECIAL NOTES
In 1925, £1 = $4.87, although it began dropping over the next few years. In 1931, £1 = $3.69.
To look at inflation, the 1925 equivalent of one modern US dollar was $0.08.
The 1925 equivalent of one modern pound was six pence. (At the time, 12 pence in a shilling, 20 shillings in a pound - 260 pence in a pound)



TODAY'S SESSION
17 January 1925, Saturday

After the eventful events in the basement of Ju-Ju House, it's about half past two in the wee hours of the morning. Alex, Mimosa, Mabel, Frank, and Saul fetch Ruth, who'd returned home to sleep after the party, and the group return to Alex's flat. As they discuss what to do - sleep or examine the items - the ever-curious Alex begins playing around with their new finds. He puts on the zebra pelt, which does nothing. Then he tries on the mask - and despite its lack of straps, it adheres itself to his face. He sees only a mess of blurry images at first before one comes most chillingly into focus: an ancient elderly male with white hair and a long, braided beard, riding on a chariot being pulled by dolphins. When the man looks at Alex, the investigator sees the glare of countless eons burning into his soul. Then the mask falls unceremoniously off. Alex gets the feeling if he puts on the mask again he'll gain more knowledge and power, and if he knew the proper rituals he could communicate with what he saw... but decides to not do this right now. Saul tries on the mask... and then begins convulsing on the floor, more than completely mad. This quickly dissuades anybody else from attempting the same.

A sleepy but curious - and now disturbed, after watching Saul - Ruth examines the sceptor, which seems to tremble in her hands. She's able to read the hieroglyphics, which say, "The power is mine." While this is happening, Mabel looks about the room idly - and realizes that Alex is sawing at his wrist with his Swiss army knife, ever so casually. Frank leans over to take away the blade - and then a startled Alex jumps for his razorblade, finding his body moving of its own accord. Frank grabs at Alex but the man manages to break out of his grip, snatch his razorblade, and flee. Mimosa grabs at Alex, who breaks away again - and then Alex stops running to saw idly at himself. Mabel lunges at him, but also fails... Mimosa fails again... Frank fails again... Mabel fails again... and then Mimosa finally succeeds in getting the razorblade away and ties him up with one of the survival bracelets around her wrist.

Meanwhile, Ruth continues examining items, moving on to the bowl - the material of which she, in all of her years of study, can't identify. As the other investigators settle down to sleep with Mabel keeping an eye on the tied-up Alex,
Ruth begins reading the Africa's Dark Sects book for the next few hours. By the time she's done and the others awake, she discovers that she has developed schizophasia, with her words coming out as gibberish. Alex - who is still tied up for his continued suicidal behaviour but still being coherent in mind - assesses her to find that it should only last a few days. She also learns a new spell: "Create Zombies." She then examines the coppery bowl again, this time inspecting the runes - and vaguely recalls reading about the runes in Africa's Dark Sects. They seem to be related to a spell called "Send Dreams." As the rest of the investigators sleep on - except for the mentally shattered Saul, of course - she examines the headband next. The headband protects the wearer from a creature called a nightgaunt.

The investigators give up sleeping around noon due to Saul's screaming and shaking and crying. Alex wakes up awkwardly close to the window, having wriggled toward it in his fitful sleep. Mimosa confiscates Alex's potentially dangerous personal belongings, and Mabel calls Declann Clifford Winters, Saul's cousin.

Mabel: "So... you know how your cousin was fine yesterday? That kind of ended."

Declann arrives and Mabel lets him in. After an awkard conversation between the two,

Declann: "Listen, dollface, I don't have all day. I'm here to see my damn cousin."
Mabel: "Okay, assface, you can see your damn cousin! He's fucking crazy, by the way! I hope it's hereditary!"

An irate Mabel tries to convince Declann to try on the mask, and Ruth and Mimosa smack her. Mimosa then informs Declann that he really has two options: lock his cousin in an asylum where he will never recover and Declann will never know the truth, or come with us and investigate, because he will never believe us otherwise. After Mimosa swears on her badge that her words are truth, Declann decides to come along to find out what happened to Saul. Mimosa tells him to return by 7, dressed in a suit.

Ruth, Declann and Mimosa go to the party at the Carlyles' while Mabel and Frank stay by to watch Alex. They're stopped by tight security but the name of Ruth Day allows them in. They park and enter the enormous, impressively oppulent mansion, following the crowd to the dining hall. Bradley Gray spots them and shuffles over, taking them to the library. Erica is sitting in a beautiful gown, sitting beside Joe the bodyguard. They proceed to the couch, where a wary Erica - whom the still-schizophasic Ruth can deduce is hiding something - reveals little knowledge regarding Roger that we didn't already know, and denies knowledge of any belongings that might have been left behind by Roger. When prompted about the woman Roger was spending time with (and money on), Erica explains that according to Roger, she was a queen, or priestess at times. He was absolutely obsessed with her and spent days and days on end with her. He would also have horrific nightmares that would wake him screaming but wouldn't discuss their contents with Erica. As soon as Roger vanished, his room was cleaned out by one of the family's servants. Declann asks if we can go investigate with an escort, and Ruth asks - and is allowed - to examine the library. She finds a section of books of classic literature, a section on the occult, and a section of reference books with a book on Poe. As soon as she touches the book, however, Erica is there with a guard, asking her to leave immediately. Joe brings Declann back down and they are all escorted out. They leave.

They check the charter and find that the next boat is leaving on Tuesday morning.

Alex's bout of insanity ends on Monday morning and he is no longer trying to kill himself. He calls up to make an appointment to investigate the records, provides a nonsense fabricated reason to pull up Roger Carlyle's papers, and is told to arrive with his appropriate papers of accreditation. ((While the game calls for credit rating, our Keeper overrules this because Alex does have a perfect 20 in education and a PhD in psychology.)) He gets a copy of Dr. Robert Huston's records for Roger Vane Worthington Carlyle and leaves. According to the records, Roger admitted to a recurring dream in which a distant voice calls him by the name of Vane, which is what he always thought of himself as. The voice belongs to a tall, dark, gaunt man with an inverted ankh on his forehead who sends Roger/Vane off into space before being drawn into another aspect of the gaunt man, a pulsating ball of yellow energy.

Also in the records is some clarity on the woman Roger had been meeting: she is called M'Weru, Anastasia, and My Priest. ((Anastasia - deathless, resurrection, revival?)) Additionally, in December the therapist is afraid of Carlyle threatening "exposure" if he doesn't "go" (go to Africa?). Alex wonders... exposure of what? What was Dr. Huston doing? "If I do go, all pretense of analysis surely will be lost" - Pretense? Hmmm...

The investigators prepare themselves for their trip abroad. They leave the coppery bowl behind, as it's too large and conspicuous to lug about, but take the mask, sceptor, headband, book and papers with them. It is decided that Mimosa will remain behind with the bowl to operate as their point of contact back in New York, both to have somebody they trust who knows what's going on and because her disappearance from work would not be so lightly dismissed. While Alex and Ruth regularly travel with their work and Frank and Mabel are relatively unconnected civilians Mimosa is tied into the legal system... but just as importantly, she simply doesn't want to do it anymore. She's seen the horror that drove Saul mad, and with the sinking feeling that creature was only the tip of the iceberg, she's content to wish the others good luck and wire them money or supplies or communications as necessary.

It's a four-day boat trip to Southampton on the southern coast of England, and the investigators catch an express bus from there to London. (During the trip, Ruth's schizophasia also wears off and she resumes coherent speech once again.) London is constantly covered in a thick layer of soot and fog from the coal, and it's the biggest and most crowded city in the world. The investigators drop off their stuff with Alex's well-to-do sister and brother-in-law, hiding the Egyptian artifacts in one of the secret hideaways of the large, old house, before going to meet with Mickey Mahoney. A mutual friend of Ruth Day and the late Jackson Elias, Mahoney runs a sensationalist newspaper called The Scoop, and will be our primary contact in London. He's a short, fat Irish redhead surrounded by a haze of cigar smoke. He's hired a local, Ashleigh Kyllingmark, to show them about the foggy, dirty, overpopulated city.

Ashleigh is a tall, broad-shouldered, comfortably-dressed but plain man with a dopey face, large nose and droopy eyes. The sort of man who could disappear easily into a crowd and go unnoticed were it not for his size, he is cheerful and enthusiastic and oh so ready for adventure. He longs to do heroic acts and uncover mysteries and marvels and protect innocents. A Londoner born-and-bred but lacking any urban sophistication the title may imply, his well-to-do family has all but given up on him making anything of himself and supply him with enough money to go play, leaving him to his own devices. If all else fails, he's willing to be a meat shield before going out in a blaze of glory. A follower rather than a leader, he's essentially an overgrown puppy.

Mahoney gives the investigators three articles Jackson had wanted: one on a tentacle monster that attacked Alan Groot, another about an inhuman monster in Lesser-Edale that shredded two civilians and almost got a third (Harold Short), and the third about a painter named Miles Shipley whose uncomfortably grisly paintings are selling for up to £300 (modern day equilvalent of $13,000). He says Jackson had seemed jittery as he researched into the death cults and wouldn't share much information with him. He also offers Mabel a job modeling on the last page of his paper for a handsome £15 (modern day equivalent of about $650). With that, Mahoney sends the investigators and their new tour personal tourguide on their way.

29 August 2011

CoC: 25 Aug 2011 [Day 03]

CHARACTERS
Alexandrite Simon Addison: Parapsychologist, male, age 36. Speaks Latin. Yearly income $7500. Originally from Sheffield, England.
Mimosa MaiXue Mayberry: Police officer in homicide department, female, age 25. Speaks Mandarin. Ambidextrous. Yearly income $5500. Originally from Dahlonega, Georgia.
Ruth Day: Professor of archaeology/anthropology, female, age 34. Speaks Egyptian. Yearly income $3500.
Mabel Agatha Thujone: Waitress at a speakeasy, female, age 19. Left-handed. Yearly income $2500.
Frank Joe Franklin: Farmer/Mechanic, male, age 22. Yearly income $3500.
Saul Gideon: Safecracker, male, age 30. Yearly income $5500. Status at the end of the session: TEMPORARILY INSANE.


TODAY'S SESSION
16 January 1925, Friday

At Alexandrite's flat, as they await the evening party that Ruth will go to, the phone rings around 4pm. The operator voice transfers a call from Miss Ewa Cowles. Anthony Cowles has vanished: he never came home from NYU, where he went after the brunch. The police have been notified. He'd been feeling very paranoid lately and people had been following him around - strange foreigners at the halls of the university, and a black Hudson parked outside of his university.

Keeper-Ad: "I don't want to be here until 11 PM talking about handjobs and how Player-Je's character is a whore who's had more filthy, diseased cocks in her than the Shanghai Hospital."

Mabel goes to meet up with Saul the safecracker.
Ruth and Mimosa go to Emerson Imports.
Alex and Frank go to NYU (where they find nothing).

Emerson Imports is a large warehouse. There's a large, wooden door on the side. It's a run-down neighbourhood on the docks with large windows and lights on inside. The streets are pretty deserted except for a few bums and some cars parked in the road. Emerson runs it. Him and his boys come in late and load things on boats and trucks (according to the bums). A tall man of Eastern European descent. Mr. Emerson is a rather good-looking man. We enter the warehouse through the front door, which was open, because Player-Da and Player-Co mistook the front door for an imports shop of some sort.

According to Emerson, Elias was interested in shipments from Mombasa. They import goods from Kenya and send them to the Ju-Ju House. Silas N'Kwame, who picked up his order that day already, is the owner of the Ju-Ju House, which is open late on Fridays but located in a bad neighbourhood and "his customers are dark-skinned foreigners and awful, mean men to boot." 1 Ransom Court - catch the train two stops over and get there. Emerson gave Jackson the card with Silas' name Tuesday night. Nothing in particular stood out to Emerson about what Jackson was seeking. He doesn't recognize the symbol from the skullcaps. Silas drives a Hudson.

Outside of the warehouse, Ruth and Mimosa run into Mabel and Saul (whom Mabel brought along) and fill them in. Ransom Court is a long, narrow alley surrounded by dilapidated tenements. There's a black Hudson parked in front of a store that says Ju-Ju House next to an abandoned pawn shop.

Player-CH: "Let's go in!"
Player-JP: "Um-- let's maybe... approach cautiously?"
Player-CH: "Oh, I'm not leading the way."

Besides the two presumably homeless black men in an alleyway, there's another black man hunkered down in the doorway of one of the tenements, head down. Mabel winks at the hunkered-down guy. Mabel idles in the car while Mimosa, Saul and Ruth head into the store. The store lacks any real order and everything is covered in very African-looking items. Behind the counter is a short man of African descent who appears to be ancient, his dark skin like old, cracked leather. Bloodshot eyes stare at us and his mouth is missing many, many teeth. Underneath his shirt is a large object hanging around his neck.

Player-Co-as-Ruth: "Mr. N'Kwame?"
Keeper-Ad-as-Silas: "Silas is the name."
Player-Co-as-Ruth: "Nice to meet you, Silas. I am a friend of Elias Jackson."
Keeper-Ad: <stares>
Player-Co: "Does... does he kill me?"

The guy who had winked at Mabel enters the Ju-Ju house, and Mimosa recognizes him as the guy who'd escaped down the ladder at the Chelsea Hotel. When Silas says he does not know Elias Jackson, Mimosa nudges Ruth and says pointedly, "If the man doesn't know Mr. Jackson, we should get. Going." She hears strange whispers and muffled, distant screaming beneath the room. We manage to get to the car just as five black men and one black woman start hurrying toward us. We drive off in the car Mabel had idling and take off. A black Hudson trails us, chasing us as we turn out of Ransom Court; however, Saul shoots them through the windshield, which causes enough distraction for Mabel to shake them.

Mabel (as Mimosa doesn't want to risk her accent being recognized) calls the police to tell them anonymously:
"Trouble at 1 Ransom Court. White hostages being tortured by blacks. Heard screams coming from under the Ju-Ju House. Would have helped but I'm a white woman there for a lark, heard screams, and ran."

Saul gets to the Carlyle house, goes in, gets shot down to 3hp, shoots someone else dead, and manages to flee.

Ruth gets to Suave Hotel at the suave party and enters without obstruction, welcomed by the bouncer and cops. She sees Erica at a back table, talking to a man named Bradley Gray (her confidante who works for a law firm) and approaches. Joe the bodyguard intervenes and urges her to leave. She does (eventually), and she's a block away when she feels a hand on her shoulder. Bradley Gray is there, cautioning her not to talk about Erica's brother, and invites her to a party tomorrow night. He says he will try to arrange a private meeting with Erica, and says she may bring guests. Their exchange ends.

Mimosa does not want to go to the Ju-Ju House. They've reported the screams to the police and know absolutely nothing about the Ju-Ju House. However, Saul wants to go anyway. It's about 10pm now - we arrive, and there are police, ambulances, etc. Of course, we leave. We return later to find most cars gone, but one cop car remains with a lone individual sitting inside. Mimosa saunters up to the car to see if the car's passenger is alive - intending to pretend to be lost - but finds the cop sitting inside, head at a 45 degree angle... sleepin. Saul sneaks into the Ju-Ju House with Mabel's electric torch, with Mimosa standing guard just inside the door. Saul sneaks into the curtained door behind the counter. There's a trap door on the floor with a carpet rolled aside, and another door in the distance. As it would make sense for the far door to lead to the exterior of the building, they go down the trapdoor with Saul sneaking first, then bringing Mimosa down. He gets to a door with warm blood leaking under the doors and on the doorknob, and bullet holes in the walls. The walls are covered in crazy symbols carved into the walls.

And then the trapdoor slams shut.

Mimosa carefully and quietly opens the door enough to peer in. In the center of the room is an African man wearing nothing but a shawl made of flamingo feathers, with his back to the door. Mr. Cowle is hanging off of leather shackles, dangling over a large pit in the ground. The pit lid (about 12" of solid stone with a hellacious heat pouring out of the hole) has been slid open. Two white men stand, one wearing dark blue pants of a cop. Both have their stomachs cut open and their intestines dangling out, but are not acting pained. Meanwhile, concerned, Mabel and Frank enter and find two more zombies guarding the trapdoor. They're drawn into combat.

Saul heads back to the trapdoor and Mimosa fires twice at the flamingo guy, but misses both times. Mimosa's third shot hits the guy. Then, a worm-like creature covered in faces comes out, attacks the flamingo guy, and kills him. Anthony continues to scream, going madder. Mimosa slams the door closed to keep the monster from coming after them - or at the least, slowing it down until they can get out - and rushes down the hall. Saul goes completely mad from the monster (losing 19 points of sanity). As she shoots at the lock on the trapdoor to blow it off, Mimosa hears ever more screaming, so intensely horrid and base that it's beyond human pain. She hesitates, wishing she'd thought to shoot Anthony dead rather than leave him to this horror, but her panic is stronger than her morals at the moment (especially with only four measley bullets left in her gun) and she grabs the debilitated Saul's torch and gun and shoves open the trapdoor to clamber out.

First things first: Mimosa heals Frank, who's now completely fallen and in her way. The remaining zombie (who had been following Mabel) now turns back toward Mimosa and the two intermittently attack each other and fail. Mimosa finally cleaves the last zombie.

Mimosa goes back down to check the now-silent room and finds it empty of bodies but the pit is still open. She sends Mabel back to get Alex, who comes down and helps them pull the stone pit closed. Mabel checks out the curtain on the other side of the chamber and Alex-- who is startled by the blood and two zombies but doesn't know that Anthony was down here-- approaches the lone table with various objects wrapped in zebra pelt. One contains a book called Africa's Dark Sects and the other holds an African devil mask made of some sort of wood. A bowl of a metal, coppery colour (but not actually copper) and a carved African sceptor with Egyptian hieroglyphics on it also rest, along with a headband of unknown metal with strange runes carved on it.

Gathering their strange new items and stealing a few choice objects from the store, the investigators leave to head back to Alex's flat to decide what to do with the objects before parting ways for the night. It's now about 3am on Saturday, January 17th.



NEWLY ACQUIRED ITEMS
- Africa's Dark Sects (book)
- Coppery bowl
- African devil mask
- Carved African sceptor with Egyptian hieroglyphics
- A headband with runes
- The zebra pelt the above five items were wrapped in
- Whatever other items the investigators wanted to steal from Ju-Ju House

18 August 2011

CoC: 18 Aug 2011 [Day 02]

CHARACTERS
Alexandrite Simon Addison: Parapsychologist, male, age 36. Speaks Latin. Yearly income $7500. Originally from Sheffield, England.
Mimosa MaiXue Mayberry: Police officer in homicide department, female, age 25. Speaks Mandarin. Ambidextrous. Yearly income $5500. Originally from Dahlonega, Georgia.
Ruth Day: Professor of archaeology/anthropology, female, age 34. Speaks Egyptian. Yearly income $3500.
Mabel Agatha Thujone: Waitress at a speakeasy, female, age 19. Left-handed. Yearly income $2500.
Frank Joe Franklin: Farmer/Mechanic, male, age 22. Yearly income $3500.



EVENING AFTER THE LAST SESSION
Alex knows Dr. Anthony Cowles and will meet with him for lunch at noon at Grafton Diner with curious friends. Mimosa will be working on Friday, so she will look into available police and public records on Roger Carlyle, Aubrey Penhew, Hypatia Masters, Dr. Robert Huston and Jack Brady. Ruth and Mabel will accompany Alex to the lunch. Frank will go to the lunch and sit outside, watching for anything strange outside.
Prospero House publishes books on curiosities - not bestsellers, but works that will last through the ages.


WEAPONS LAWS IN THE 1920s
From the 1920's to the 80's most of America banned the carrying of concealed guns. Where open carry was "more or less" legal doing so usually brought an arrest for "disturbing the peace" vagrancy, or some other handy charge. In the 20's when gun control laws began to be passed, concealed carry was possible for the wealthy and politically connected via being deputized by a friendly sheriff. Other places like New York had permit systems but again, these were strictly for the politically connected. New York was famed for issuing the most expensive gun permits in the world to Mafia figures who bribed the authorities. Ordinary citizens need not apply.


TODAY'S SESSION
16 January 1925, Friday

In the morning, Ruth calls Miriam Atwright, who did not know Jackson Elias was deceased. She asks about a book Jackson had mentioned recently looking for, and Miriam offers the title Africa's Dark Sects. One day, the book went missing - despite the building being locked - and an indescribably horrible smell remained, still lingering to this day. Miriam offers to let Ruth come down and check out the other books Elias was interested in - an entire collection on death cults and such.

In the papers, there is a suave party that will be taking place tonight at Suave Hotel - which Erica Carlyle will likely be attending.

Grafton Diner is a small diner near the Boston-Maine train station full of people wearing sweaters and long-sleeved jackets - academic types. It's quite easy to find Dr. Cowles, a large, fat, red-headed man laughing jovially to a beautiful young woman (age 20, named Ewa) - incredibly gorgeous, but in a rather fake, overdone way. Cowles is known to believe in the supernatural (rather than specifically study just the human worshippers), although not necessarily the specific deities people worship - but definitely in the fact that something larger is out there. Alex begins talking with Dr. Cowles while Mabel chats up Ewa.

The specifics of Cowles' research are on a death cult in Australia: a bat cult worshipping the Father of All Bats. Sacrifices were clubbed with clubs embedded with the teeth of bats, the teeth coated with a substance derived from rabid bats. The poison was quick-acting, but resulted in madness before death. Cowles believes the cult became dormant/extinct hundreds of years ago, but it was how he became interested in Elias' books. Cowles also had four over-exposed glass slides of men beside enormous blocks of stone.

Jackson Elias was at the lecture for the first part of it (the opening speech and about half an hour). He wasn't taking any notes, he was unshaven, and he'd been out of town for a long time - only very loosely in touch with Cowles for the last four years. He came in 1921 and they discussed notes for his last book Black Power, but haven't been much in contact since then. They've exchanged a few letters and lunches but not like it used to be - he seemed very consumed by whatever his latest project was. He spent some time in Egypt and London, but Cowles is not sure where else.

Ponape Scriptures are a most disgusting tomb from the Polynesian islands with more references to Cthulhu/Sand Bat-type beings that live in another place - in the water, or a faraway island. The cults that worship them are trying to bring them back. We see that in the sand bat cut. The other similar cults are scattered about the world. Cowles will return to Australia in July and offered to allow us to accompany him. We can also head down early - David Dodge is there right now and he'll share information with us (we obtain his contact information). Miskatonic University has the only known copy.

Africa's Dark Sects - Another tome, and one that describes different cults of northern Africa around Egypt and Kenya - including most stomach-churning accounts of sacrifice and blood rituals and summoning. This was at Harvard but went missing (as Miriam recounted).

Cowles had some names of cult leaders but is adamant about not sharing them.

Mabel learns from the daughter (Ewa Cowles) that Roger Carlyle was attractive and friendly but a failure in every way and utterly horrible for the family business. He dropped out of all of the top colleges just in three years, being influenced by some Negro woman - a self-styled poetess named Nichonka Bunay (nom de plume) up in Harlem. He would give thousands of dollars to her to do god-knows-what. The weeks leading up to the expedition, he changed, becoming withdrawn and short. He may have just been maturing, but the goals of the expedition may have been weighing heavily on him. Nobody knows why he went to Egypt, of all places. Erica Carlyle, meanwhile, has saved the textile business and brought the family back to top standing.

After bidding the Cowles farewell, Alex and Mabel meet back up with Frank and Ruth. While they're on the train to the publishing house, they read in the newspaper that an unknown Negro was shot and killed in the library of the Carlyle mansion. He was breaking in through the glass doors of the kitchen. (Maybe Africa's Dark Sects is in there somewhere?)

Mabel enters the publishing house and pisses off the secretary, Miss Stephanie Stacy. Alex enters afterward and introduces himself as a psychologist from Leeds (he doesn't specify where but did get his undergrad at University of Leeds Institute of Psychological Sciences) who is interested in documenting the legends and lore of non-Western cultures, particular through oral tradition, particularly discussing beliefs of spirits and deaths. He's allowed in to speak to Jonah Kensington. Before he can get any further, Jonah Kensington is interrupted by a call from his secretary. "Yes, Miss Stacy. I'm with a - you need me now? Sigh. Alright." He steps out for a moment to see what Miss Stacy needs and Alex begins snooping at the desk while Mabel listens at the door. They find two bound books and a letter that reads:

August 8, 1924, Nairobi
Big news! Possibility that Carlyle Exp. members didn't all die - he has a lead. Blood and kisses, J.

They scramble to gather the materials just as Jonah returns. After a very brief exchange in which Jonah proves entirely unwilling to discuss Elias' work, and then reaches for his desk drawer, Alex and Mabel hastily take their leave - but don't make it out of the building before Jonah realizes what's missing from his desk. He calls for Miss Stacy to stop them from leaving, but Alex and Mabel manage - barely - to scramble out and flee.

Meanwhile, Mimosa has been asking around at work while doing her own stuff and finds the following information:
- Roger Carlyle: No police record/service, neglected by his father, always wealthy, Roger Worthington Kensington. Lawyers evaded paternity suit. Treated for alcoholism at 18, went back at 20. Graduated from one college, although allowed a gentleman's resignation from several others. He started getting more respectability until his sister showed him up, and he fell again. He began being around Nichonka Bunay, but there were no records on her. Began draining great sums of money and prompted great arguments with Erica.
- Dr. Robert Erlington Huston: Gave away his practice, divorced his wife after med school, studied Freud and Jung, considered eccentric and controversial and focused on the mind and sexual behaviour. Enjoyed fame and notoriety, charged exorbitant fees - popular with the women. Carlyle was one of his many patients. Before the Egypt trip, his fiancée committed suicide (Miss Bosh). There were whispered rumours that Carlyle did not want Huston at large while Carlyle was away in Egypt, probably thinking his ethics were not strong enough to resist exposing information about his patient. After Huston was declared dead, his records were turned over to the Medical Affairs Board of NY, the controversy of doing so reaching the newspapers. They haven't been destroyed because nobody has authorization to do so - this is at a time where psychology wasn't considered medicine, so there's debate if patient records were considered public or confidential information.
- Sir Arbray Penhew: Long family history of black magic and treason against the crown of England. Graduated with honours from Oxford, then moved to Egypt performing excavations. Created with founding several important branches of Egyptology and several important archaeological discoveries, particularly in Dashur, Egypt. Very rich and has homes in London, Cogswells, Monica, Alexandria, Rome and Athens. Made much money in the great war. Nobody knows about his private life: no family or heirs. The Egyptologist community holds him in high esteem. (Penhew Foundation, director David Gavigan?)
- Miss Hypatia Masters: Heiress of an armament fortune. Dark family history has been published in the book Masters of Corruption. Sucked in school, but was good at taking photos. Rumoured to be dating Roger Carlyle casually, and a Catholic Marxist. Got pregnant, had an abortion, fled the country so she wouldn't have to tell the Catholic Marxist. Nobody knows why she went on the expedition; she was absolutely useless.
- Jack "Brass" Brady: Long rap sheet: assaults, bar room brawls, petty theft, loitering, gambling, mopery (a bullshit charge to charge you with when you have no other charges to charge you with), public junctionist, and murder charge which got dropped to manslaughter. Was a marine sergeant who earned several awards and commendations and served as a mercenary in the Middle East. In a fight he choked someone to death. He went to jail and the Carlyles got him lawyers to get him out of jail. He became intimate friends with Roger Carlyle after that, and were inseparable. He acted as Carlyle's bodyguard. Called Jack "Brass" Brady because of the strange magical plate over his heart: covered in strange runes and inscriptions that have bounced two bullets off of him. His mother, a witch in Michigan, made it for him.

The bound book stolen from Kensington's desk reads: "Many names, many forms, but all the same and toward one end, need help, too big, to ghastly, dreams like Carlyle's, check his psychoanalysis' files, all of them survived to open a gate, so the power and the danger is real, many threads beginning, books in the Carlyles' safe, coming for him, will the ocean protect, no quitters now, must tell and make readers believe, should I scream for them, let's scream together." - These are probably from his time in London, his last stop before he came back to America.

TO DO in New York:
- Emerson Imports with Silas N'Kwame
- Psychoanalysis papers in the Medical Affairs Board of NY
- Party tonight (Erica Carlyle at Suave Hotel)
- Carlyle library - where a black guy was dead (hire a professional safecracker through Mabel? - according to Adrian, $150)

TO DO in Boston:
- Miskatonic University for the Ponape Scriptures

- Harvard Library for the missing Africa's Dark Sects to check out the noxious odour and examine the other books Elias was looking at


TO DO in London:
- The Penhew Foundation (director David Gavigan)
- The stitched-together book written by Elias was written in London

TO DO in Egypt:
- Kenya and Egypt trips near the Nile
- Faraz Najir - Street of Jackals in the Old Quarter (Cairo, Egypt)
- The Mountain of the Black Winds (massacre site)
- Find info on the Bloody Tongue, who worship a non-African god. "Sam Mariga, rr-sta"
- Nails Nelson in Nairobi @ the Victoria Bar: saw Jack Brady alive in Hong Kong in 1923

TO DO in China:
- Stumbling Tiger Bar
- Photo of a boat with Chinese junks - first three letters "DAR"
- Find Jack Brady

TO DO in Australia:
- Contact Anthony Cowles (if after July) or David Dodge (if before)
- Cult worshipping the Father of All Bats (thought dormant)
- Glass slides of men by blocks of stone
- Tale of the Sand Bat (Father of All Bats) from Arafura Sea in northern Australia


IMPORTANT NOTES & MISTAKES
- David Dodge, contact in Egypt
- Should have had Jonah Kensington escort us out so he couldn't poke around his desk while we were still in there
- We still don't know what the tribal marking carved onto Elias' forehead and worn on the skullcaps represents...

11 August 2011

CoC: 11 Aug 2011 [Day 01]

CHARACTERS
Alexandrite Simon Addison: Parapsychologist, male, age 36. Speaks Latin. Yearly income $7500. Originally from Sheffield, England.
Mimosa MaiXue Mayberry: Police officer in homicide department, female, age 25. Speaks Mandarin. Ambidextrous. Yearly income $5500. Originally from Dahlonega, Georgia.
Ruth Day: Professor of archaeology/anthropology, female, age 34. Speaks Egyptian. Yearly income $3500.
Mabel Agatha Thujone: Waitress at a speakeasy, female, age 19. Left-handed. Yearly income $2500.
Frank Joe Franklin: Farmer, male, age 22. Yearly income $3500.


BACKSTORIES
Ruth and Alex went to the same institution for their undergraduate degrees and remained in loose contact over the years. Alex's academic degree was formally in psychology, but he used the time at uni to to study about folklore, myths and legends around the world, as well as dabbling in Latin and medicine. He'd always intended to go into parapsychology, as nothing fascinated him more than the allegedly unexplainable. Everything had an explanation: it just wasn't always of the mundane human world...
Ruth lived near Frank, who used to come over and help with mechanical problems around her place. Despite their age difference the two came to be on amiable terms, and she knew the brawny man to be solid and reliable.
Ruth met Mabel through a friend of hers who secretly worked at the same speakeasy Mabel was employed at. This mutual friend felt that someone young and clever like Mabel should get out of this shady industry and pursue something proper in the real world, and contacted Ruth-- who, as a professor, worked with people of Mabel's same age-- to see if she might be able to help.
Ruth met Mimosa when there was a domestic squabble near her flat and Mimosa was sent to investigate. This was a few years ago, back when Mimosa was first starting out as a beat cop before transferring to homicide. Like with Alex, Frank and Mabel, Ruth collected Mimosa as well as a casual contact - and because it was never bad to have a cop for an acquaintance...
Ruth met Jackson Elias, writer, researcher and skeptic of death cults, through academic connections. Jackson is a feisty, friendly and self-made intellectual drifter who writes for Prospero Press of NYC, edited by owner/editor Jonah Kensington, who is also a mutual friend.


WEAPONS LAWS IN THE 1920s
From the 1920's to the 80's most of America banned the carrying of concealed guns. Where open carry was "more or less" legal doing so usually brought an arrest for "disturbing the peace" vagrancy, or some other handy charge. In the 20's when gun control laws began to be passed, concealed carry was possible for the wealthy and politically connected via being deputized by a friendly sheriff. Other places like New York had permit systems but again, these were strictly for the politically connected. New York was famed for issuing the most expensive gun permits in the world to Mafia figures who bribed the authorities. Ordinary citizens need not apply.


TODAY'S SESSION
15 January 1925, Thursday

The investigators are gathered at Ruth's flat on her request when the telegraph from Jackon Elias arrives, requesting their company that evening at 8pm in room 410 at the Chelsea Hotel. She informs them of the telegram she has received from her dear friend, eccentric writer Jackson Elias, notable for his works on death cults. It is a mild January, and there is a thin layer of snow on the ground as they head to the Chelsea Hotel. The neighbourhood is one Mimosa is unfortunately well-acquainted with: a sketchy area with ample crime and a history of unsolved homicides. The Chelsea Hotel is also one she is familiar with, having been here just a few months earlier for a homicide case on a young girl.

Outside, the area is quiet of people, although there are a few cars. One-- a common black Hudson-- is idling, but nothing about the area stands out moreso than its usual state of bleak moral decay. In the lobby, front deskman George Ramsey is sitting and reading a paper. The investigators head up to room 410 and find the door cracked open. Ruth, Alex and Mabel hang back while Frank and Mimosa go to investigate. Mimosa hears nothing, but Frank can make out a faint rustling inside. He barges into the room and is immediately attacked from beside the door by a shirtless Caucasian male wearing a skullcap bearing a strange symbol and carrying a long, sharp blade. There's blood on the carpet and a black man out the window, heading down the fire escape.

The Caucasian male attempts to disembowel Frank, who manages to block. Mimosa shoots at the guy who's fleeing, but with the cover afforded by the window, she misses. Another black man-- this one a towering 6' 6" and carrying a knife dripping with blood-- runs out of the bedroom and stabs at Frank. Mimosa grapples with the white male, distracting him briefly but unable to wrest the blade from his grip. Meanwhile, Frank manages to punch the distracted guy before getting badly injured by the new opponent. Mabel clips the 6' 6" giant with an illegal gun from her purse before Mimosa backs up, rearms her .32 automatic, and takes some shots.

When both men are down, Mimosa sends Ruth to go talk to Ramsey so she doesn't have to see what she suspects will be the messy corpse of her friend inside of the room. She enters and finds Jackson Elias brutally murdered, with the same tribal symbol from the skullcaps carved on his chest. Alex-- who has taken the peace to go treat Frank with the first aid kit kept in his ever-present messenger bag with his camera-- takes photos of the symbol and inspects the room.

While Ruth is going downstairs, Frank recovers, and Alex and Mimosa check out the bedroom (carefully not touching anything but with Alex taking pictures), Mabel loots the bodies. She locates an odd assortment of paperwork:
- a card for the Penhew Foundation (director: Edward Gavigan);
- a photograph of a yacht with a name starting with DAR, surrounded by Chinese junks;
- a brochure for a two-hour lecture by Professor Anthony Cowles entitled "The Cult of Darknes" ("tonight only" - brochure not dated - might Ruth or Alex know of this?);
- a matchbox for the Stumbling Tiger Bar (also Chinese);
- A card for Emerson Imports, with "Silas N'Kwane" in Jackson Elias' handwriting;
- A letter to Mr. Carlyle from Faraz Najir for Carlyle's agent to call his shop in the Street of Jackals in the Old Quarter from Cairo, Egypt (dated 3 Jan 1919)
- A letter to Jackson Elias from Miriam Atwright of Propsero House Publishers saying the book he sought is not in their collection
However, as of yet Mabel has not decided to share any of this information with the others...

On Ruth's way down, she is met by four officers on their way up. They ignore her, as a refined, respectable lady obviously would have nothing to do with the shots that had sent them over. The officers arrive at room 410 and Mimosa speaks with them. Lieutenant Martin Poole works with her in homicide, and is a hard-nosed veteran on the force who is known to be honest, by-the-book, upright, but a glory hound-- and this is his case. Poole grumbles that this is the ninth murder just like this in New York in the last few months - but the victims all vary widely. Rich to poor, educated to dunce, any age or gender or profession. Poole tells Mimosa that Dr. Lemming is working with the department on this case. Ruth and Alex recognize the name Dr. Mordecai Lemming from their work: a renowned folklorist, Ruth knows him to be an eccentric Manhattanite total crock. Amongst folklorists he's well-respected but with his own background being grounded in science, Alex has never met the man but is wary of his findings.



MISTAKES
- Should have more closely observed the idling black Hudson, perhaps for a license plate.