08 September 2011

CoC: 08 Sep 2011 [Day 05]

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.

- 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

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)

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).

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.

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