The Dreamlands Express left Zar and after a while the investigators went to check on the madman. He was well tied up in the baggage compartment. They tried to question him but he was long gone the poor soul. “He does not constitute a danger to the passengers but for now I rather have him separated from them until he gets treatment” said Boris with a firm voice
(89 % Psychoanalysis rolling 3 on 1d3 for Sanity Points).
They could again hear the scratching sound from inside Karakov’s trunk but neglected to open it due to the smell of mustard gas. Heading back Professor Scott lost 2 Sanity for seeing a Being of Ib stuck in the ceiling corner. They notified Henry who had his suspicions who it could be behind this.
Black Jack was still missing and the investigators were bothered about this. Eventually Henry and Black Jack’s mother came to the investigators as they were enjoying the swimming pool and drinks, asking if they could help ut finding him. The investigators got dressed and walked around in the train looking for Black Jack.
They visited Karakov and asked him about his injury to his right hand. He said he had grabbed his knife under duress due to artillery fire. No one else had heard the artillery but Ian played along. A Psychology check revealed that Karakov was nervous and afraid of something. But he was reluctant to share any more details.
The kitchen was self-served by invisible powers, cleaning, making the dishes and taking care of the cloths. Professor Scott stole a knife and armed himself just in case. The kitchen lacked flooring and the hideous beast inunder had an eye ramming about the hide. Unnerving they left and visited the cats who seemed disturbed as Blackjack was missing.
In the Ladies’ Parlor they again met with the lovely Zsusza who repeated her promise to sing for them after the banquet tonight. She seemed relaxed and joyful but got concerned when they asked her about Blackjack. She had not seen him since breakfast.
The Sarnathians had stopped singing and as the investigators entered their huge salon they were offered grapes, wine, and cheese. They told the investigators more about their errand. They were to travel to Sona-Nyl and there meet with King Kuranes for a verdict on arbitration between them and the Beings of Ib. A conflict would finally be resolved and the Beings of Ib were looking for war damage retribution from Sarnath. The Sarnathinas kindly asked the investigators if they could help them negotiate themselves out of these demands, or even better, “neutralize” the problem all together. Edvard Night & Day told them that killing the Beings of Ib would look bad and raise suspicions for the meeting with King Kuranes. The Sarnathians seemed to think that if the Beings of Ib were not to show up at the conference in Sona-Nyl they would benefit from it. As a gesture of good faith the Sarnathians produced two crossbows (using Dreaming skill) and gave it to Frank and Ian. "Perhaps these can aid you in fixing the problem?
Back at their cabin Professor Scott noticed traces of smeared blood on their trunk. He opened it and almost fell to the floor as if something had hit him. Blackjack’s little bodie lay their dead with three large stabbing wounds. There was not enough blood at the location so he must have been killed elsewhere and then put here to incriminate the investigators. But who wanted Blackjack dead and why blame the investigators? They investigated the area and found tracks leading to the window and out on both sides. Could be two different assailants or one that came and went different directions. The marks looked identical. Edvard climbed out and followed them along the outside wall to Madame Bruja’s compartment. Her curtains were closed but he managed to get a sneak peak of her sitting by her desk writing. The heart shaped valise by her side as always.
Edvard tried to follow the marks going the other directions but missed his Climb check, and even fumbled twice! He lost his grip and fell hard towards the ground as the train sped on along the rocky coastline. The player held his breath and spent 5 Luck Points. In the last minute before hitting those hard rocks further down, a swift tentacle grabbed him by his ankle and put him safely back. Henry was right. The train beasts were instructed to not let anything fall off the train. That would help them in finding the murder weapon and solve this hideous crime.
Returning back and informing the others Professor Scott lost in and ran over to Madame Bruja’s compartment busting her door open. The others ran after to stop him and some what of a frackas was initiated. Madame Bruja was greatly annoyed and shut the door violently. “Get out of my compartment!”
“We need to calm down and assess this meticulously” said Frank getting into his police detective role that he knew so well. “We have no evidence against Madame Bruja and the tracks do not only lead to her compartment, but also elsewhere. Let us investigate the other tracks and see where they lead to. Also we need to inform Henry about this” The investigators agreed and Professor Scott had cooled down. Henry was called and he gave the investigators the task of finding the murderer and as official investigators they now had the right to interview any of the passengers and staff, and search the entire premises. The Dreamlands Express was at their mercy for now.Hermann climbed out the train now and followed the other tracks to the window of Mironim-Mer. “I knew it” he concluded. “I always suspected him of being up to no good”. Hermann climbed back and the investigators went to Mironim-Mer without any further ado.
The investigators had noticed that the rug was pulled back and disturbed. Professor Scott pulled away the rug and there was traces of blood and a skin carcass. Mironim-Mer denied any knowledge of it. The investigators asked Henry to bring the cats and identify the blood. It was cat blood. They also informed that the skin carcass was from a Shapechanger. The investigators pressed Mironim-Mer hard and accused him of the murder. He then admitted under duress to the murder but told them he had been in an alien monster form and in that form he had killed the kitten. His yellow eyes caught a red iris or a red dot inside it and he was struggling with himself ushering a few words before collapsing unconscious: “….I was mesmerized…. Her enemy….”
The investigators considered the Sorcerer. Was it him again? And who was it that Madame Bruja feared? That some one who wanted something that was hers? Or was Madame Bruja the sorcerer hidden in a female disguise? After all “Bruja” means “witch” in Spanish.
Hermann rolled for Cthulhu Mythos and Professor Scott for Occult (89 %). Their presumption was that Mironim-Mer was possessed hence the red iris in his eyes. The best way to free Mironim-Mer was to find the creature possessing him and killing it.
To be continued…