02 September 2011

CoC: 01 Sep 2011 [Day 04]

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 $___.

- 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

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)

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.


  1. I like mimosa reason for staying behind. Ash Should be a fun character, I like the idea of a board rich every man.
    Mabel is still alive, and not insane. This is really the biggest surprise so far.
    And one investigator down in four weeks, we are doing pretty well for are selves.

  2. @Adrian: He's not bored! He's just, erm... a bit impulsive. :3