29 August 2011

CoC: 25 Aug 2011 [Day 03]

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.

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.

- 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

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