Horror on the Orient Express - Total Recap!

The Dreamlands Express
Scenario 5 - Session 1

It was Saturday 26th of January 1923 and the Orient Express would part from Paris 22:53 the same evening.

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Boris was carrying the first recovered body part of the Sedefkar Simulacrum in his bag. His body had started to ache and feeling uncomfortable. Apparently the sadistic magic of the Sedafkar Simulacrum was affecting him already. No matter what they still had to assemble all of the parts and find the ancient scrolls that would initiate the sacred ritual to destroy it. And it all had to be done inside the shunned mosque deep inside Istanbul. Probably surrounded by violent thugs and cultists. Piece of cake!

As they boarded the Orient Express yet again they were tired and went straight to their compartments. They changed and slipped into the velvet sheets. Soon they were asleep. Deep asleep. Deep…. Deep….. Zzzzzzz.

A town. Full with cats in the cobbled street and a mist hiding its features. Professor Walter Scott JR bent down and caressed a beautiful siamese. It purred. Ian, Boris, and Edvard were almost tripping over the cats as they were all around, 30-40 perhaps 50 of them. But as Prof. Scott caressed the cat the others dispersed and they could move freely along.

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They saw a sign, Ulthar. They had never heard of the town. As Ian produced his camera he was shocked to see that it had turned into a small toy, a carousel that played music. He tried to play it and out came four tickets to the Dreamlands Express.

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The players realized they had entered the Dreamlands. We hence added the skills Dreaming (1/5 Power) and Dream Lore (1/2 Cthulhu Mythos) to their investigator sheets. Unfortunately none of todays investigators had any Cthulhu Mythos so the Dream Lore skills were left blank at zero skill points.

The investigators:

Ian Flannery
Boris Vasilijev
Edvard Natt och Dag
Professor Walter Scott JR

As they approached the northern limits of the town they saw a platform and a train station. There was a VIP-section for cats and the large community of cats gracefully entered the velvet ropes that was entertained by staff from the Dreamlands Express. The investigators entered the platform and were duly greeted and tickets controlled. Strangely, there were no rail tracks just thick grass covered in moist and weird signs cut into it. There were three more humans waiting for the train.

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Above: MacKenzie, a jovial courier for the British government. Keen on food and drink, wanting to become a poet. At all times carrying a briefcase locked to his arm with a chain.

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Above: Karakov, a Russian arms dealer rumored to be in poor health. His arms deals supported the bloody conflict on the Western Front during the Great War.

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Above: Madame Bruja, from another time, another world. Dressed in Elizabethan collar from the 1700s. Difficult to engage and sticks to herself. Carries a heart shaped case at all times.

Suddenly the ground shook and something was penetrating the mist. A terrible monster train or rather huge beings clung together with tethering tentacles. Was it a huge spider king, a mass of shapeless octopus, or what was it? There were several of them and the tentacles moved it forward. Huge eyes and several maws that were full with razor sharp teeth, opened and blinked all over the jelly shaped body mass. On top of these entities there were carriages and ladders that came down for the passengers. “Hello, hello, welcome my name is Henry, how can I help you?

The investigators were flabbergasted as they fully recognized Henry from the 1893 Orient Express mission that thwarted the Blood Red Fez cult (see earlier posts). But this version of Henry wore a mask covering his entire face. Using Spot Hidden and Psychology they still were confident that it was him. Asking him about it he acknowledged he had been on the Orient Express “a long time ago” but did not convey further on the issue. Despite the mask they could see (Spot Hidden) that his face was deformed and discolored at the edges of the mask as if something terrible had happened to him. But they refrained from asking at this point.

Entering their compartment it was certainly in lavish style and Henry told them that there would be a welcoming banquet before sunset in just a little bit. The investigators should get ready and wear formal dinner attire. “The Dreamlands Express take you all the way to the Gulf of Noden where you can through away all of your fears.” Henry smiled seeming to be the same perfect servant as back in 1893 on the Orient Express.

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Get rid of all of my fears?” thought Edvard. His agoraphobia that he inflicted after having destroyed the master blood red fez certainly was not a pleasure.

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The investigators were put off. They only had the clothes that they were wearing. But they could use the Dreaming skill to create objects. They tried. All but Professor Walter Scott JR failed. The professor even failed terribly. Suddenly he wore a pink women dress! The others laughed. Henry was called yet again to help them out and the huge tentacles delivered their wanted clothing through the windows. The tentacles were swift and agile and clearly controlled everything within the carriages from the outside with their great reach.

The investigators went to look around the train and entered the bath area. They were accompanied by a little black kitten called Black Jack and Professor Scott immediately was very affectionate to it. Henry arrived with some drinks and told them that Black Jack’s mommy Sophie wondered where he was and now could tell her that he was in good company with the cat loving investigators. Henry talked to Black Jack in cat language, making weird miaowing sounds. “Here in the Dreamlands the cats have their own language” he informed.

The investigators tried the nicely smelling water, a smell of roses and jasmine. Deliciously scented and salted. Nice drinks were served by Henry as well, wine of the most exquisite vintages and not from the world as we know it.

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After the bath they went to the Banquet Hall carriage together with their new acquaintances MacKenzie, Karakov, and Madame Bruja. MacKenzie brought his portfolio with him still locked around his ankle. It was apparent that MacKenzie and Karakov knew each other from before hand even though they kept a courteous distance. Madame Bruja kept her distance and the heart shaped box was in her hands continuously. The dinner was amazing and started with turtle soup. MacKenzie and Karakov enjoyed their wine and temperature and the sound of conversation rose accordingly. During a break between dishes, Ian approached Karakov by the window overseeing the vast landscape of the Dreamlands.

I wonder why he is carrying that briefcase with him at all times, and why is it locked to his arm? Would you know?Ian asked Karakov carefully when no one else was listening. Karakov smiled wryly. “I have no clue, but being the curious person that I am I would probably pay a handsome fee to anyone acquiring that very briefcase. Let us say…. 500 roubles?Ian looked at Karakov who kept his smile locked in position. Was he a communist spy perhaps? He looked nouveau riche with his fur jacket and fingers full of rings in expensive metals. “Perhaps when he sleeps…” said Ian playing along. “Sounds like a terrific idea” concurred Karakov. “500 roubles” he repeated and returned to his seat next to the presumptuous victim MacKenzie.

Dinner continued and the atmosphere went from good to great. Even Madame Bruja opened up to Edvard Night and Day who charmed her (Credit Rating). “He will not have what is mine. I know he wants it. I will never give it to him!” She talked in riddles and also mentioned she had lost her daughter in terrible circumstances. Edvard tried to pry further but did not succeed (failed Persuade roll). The cute little kitten Black Jack was carried out from the kitchen from time to time after a casserole or two hit the floor with a bang. Henry was very patient however and explained to Black Jack softly in cat language that the kitchen was off his premises.

MacKenzie was easier to parley and he admitted working for the British government as a courier traveling back and forth often using the Orient Express for fast connection. He had met Karakov there on many occasions. “But I don’t like him. He is a warmonger. Might even be a spy!Ian tried to ask him what was in the briefcase but the questions were not appreciated and Ian retreated from the subject despite his journalist core.

Time to get Karakov drunk”, Boris thought to himself and started a long row of toasts to the Russian revolution. Karakov drank and drank dutyfully and after couple of hours (opposed CON-rolls) they had to carry him to his quarters. Boris noticed that Karakov did not seem to be in great physical shape as he went under the wagon just a bit too fast. Boris and Ian took care of business. In Karakov’s compartment they searched the premises and found a receipt for checked in luggage in the baggage compartment wagon. They went there and looked for the trunk. A huge piece. It was locked with a padlock and tight ropes were all around it. Someone wanted it to be sealed to a great extent. They felt a weird smell. Ian identified it as mustard gas. What? Here on the train? They could also hear scratching noises from the inside and distant whining. Was somebody or something locked inside the trunk? Boris tried to stick a bayonet inside it but it was too tightly configured and he failed.

The little kitten Black Jack was as ever very curious and came up to them. Boris lifted the kitten up towards the trunk and he clawed and screamed obviously scared by the trunk and its content. The investigators returned to Karakov’s compartment and returned the receipt. They went back to the banquet where all were friends by now. Edvard escorted Madame Bruja to her compartment through the lavish gardens and fountains of the Ladies parlor wagon. MacKenzie was really drunk and started to look tired. Was this the moment? The investigators looked at each other. “Perhaps it is time to call it for the day?” MacKenzie nodded. Soon he would be in deep slumber and the briefcase perhaps lose from his arm…

To be continued…

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The Left Arm of the Sedefkar Simulacrum
Scenario 4, Fleurs de mal - session 3

Saturday, January 26th, 1923

The morning broke and reinforcements were due. Frank Patterson, Hermann Müller, Boris Vasilijev and Edvard Natt och Dag joined from Paris. The crypts under the house could reveal difficult challenges and just to make sure the group expanded.

As they went down the 18 steps toward the iron door they could tell rust and time had done its best to attack the door. Though buckled, the door still held. The investigators tried to force it open but failed (failed hard Strength check). They borrowed a crowbar and chains from Doctor Lorien and finally the crypt was open. Cool, damp air met them…

As they progressed they noticed the twined huge roots that sprawled around them and ended in finger like appendices. Strangely enough each one with five of those. The same number as human fingers… Frank cut away the roots as they impeded movement and large thorns looked unpleasant. Doing so he gut stung for 1 hit points and the wound burnt like salt had come into it.

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They progressed down the corridor and discovered prison cells with torture racks and gadgets, and several skeletons. The worst was two skeletons chained together, one wearing the rotten remains of her bridal gown, and a bench in front for someone to watch the sadist torture of them. It cost the investigators 0/1d3 Sanity points.

The investigators searched through the six prison cells but hasted onward as they noticed a strange light from the far end crypt. Fearing a major hostility in the last chamber, Frank fired 4 rounds of his Mist Projector. Certainly no one would survive that (4d10 damage). The glowing stopped and they advanced. The last chamber was full of large roses with roots and thorns much bigger than normal. At their root were many skeletons and the roots intertwined them and went through their empty eye sockets and around their necks and arms. Behind them was a piece from a statue, a left arm. It looked pale and smooth almost like china. The scene caused 1/1d4 Sanity points.

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Boris used the axe again to lay a way clear through the branches. But he was stung as well and the little wound hurt surprisingly much. He grabbed for the left arm. A weird sensation went through his body and the feeling was rather unpleasant. What was that?

Mission completed and the investigators retracted and on their way back noticed a mist moving ahead of them. They tried to chase it but it went out the crypt and vanished into the thin air. Checking for Cthulhu Mythos, Hermann realized that vampires could transform and alter into a mist to hide and getaway. The plot thickening even more…

Back in the house they shared their experiences with Doctor Lorien. Apparently the Lorien family had now been relieved of their pain and troubles with their left arms. How peculiar as they still had them earlier this morning.

As morning turned into noon the investigators thanked Lorien and his family. Their trip had to continue and leave Paris for the continuation of their journey. They had collected one piece of the statue, yet five remained. And who was that Edgar Wellington from Lausanne, Switzerland who was looking for the statue as well? The train would pass Lausanne next so perhaps their was an opportunity to look him up.

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To be continued…

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Chez Lorien
Scenario 4, Fleurs de mal - session 2

The investigators now had two major leads. The asylum and what happened with the director’s awful death. Second, Poissy where Comte Fenalik’s old mansion had been. Perhaps something was still there in the catacombs underneath? Where the sadistic fornication and torture had taken place.

The investigators decided to go to Poissy and would take the next morning train. Only Lord Fyrom Squibb and Colonel Williams volunteered for the trip as the others were tired after eight days consecutive research and investigations. Joining them for breakfast was the Swedish Ambassador’s military attache Lieutenant Nilsson and a friend of his from the Paris Cavalry, a certain Captain Louis de St.Germain. “I know you are struggling with the French language and the locals, so please let me offer you the competent aide of my friend Captain Louis de St:Germain”. The French officer greeted them proudly with his large breast plate shining like the .

The snow clad forests surrounding St.Germain on the way to Poissy glittered in the sunny winter day. Captain Louis was pride to point out some high lights of his native country side. The river Seine was close to the tracks and in the summer young couples would flourish by the river banks. Today it was almost empty, minding the lone wanderer.

Arriving in Poissy they visited the city hall and with Captain Louis’ aide were eligible to search the archives. 4 hours later (and a successful Library Use) they were happy to have found some old prints of Comte Fenalik’s mansion and the address to the current owners of the property. A certain family Lorien. The husband being a doctor.

The house was surrounded by an old brick wall that was falling apart at certain places. But very large vines of rose bush with large thorns kept the wall mainly intact.

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They promptly visited the nice family and after a while noticed some weird things.

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The husband, Doctor Christian Lorien, had a really bad scar on the backside of his left wrist. And the lovely wife Veronique had her left arm badly twisted due to a serious case of arthritis. As they were drinking coffee their daughter little Quitterie got badly burnt on her left arm. The injury seemed somewhat exaggerated considering the mildly warm coffee. What was going on?

After the locomotion settled down, Doctor Christian told of a mysterious letter that came about six months ago. He showed it to the investigators. He had no idea who the person was or what he was writing about. Postal stamps and the authors indicated address suggested Lausanne, Switzerland as point of origin. Apparently the investigators were not the only ones looking for the Sedefkar Simulacrum…

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Above: The letter to the Lorien family

The investigators interviewed the nice family but nothing else seemed wrong (successful Psychology roll). They seemed genuinely nice. The investigators told the family about their mission to find missing pieces of a statue and they were allowed to search the house. They found nothing inside, but outside Captain Louis made a discovery. Stone bricks that could be the top of the cellar. He started digging and Colonel Williams joined him. They freed up the top of stairs leading down inwards toward the ancient cellar of Comte Fenalik’s old mansion.

Inside the house Lord Fyrom Squibb was entertaining Doctor Christian who was preparing dinner for tonight, Beef Bourgogne. In secret Lord Squibb was doing some skill checks (Spot Hidden, Occult, History) and reviewing his spells of the Cthulhu Mythos. Plutonian Drug at 1d8 Sanity Points for +1d6 Cthulhu Mythos somehow seemed attractive now… Lord Squibb was currently at 27 % Cthulhu Mythos.

Outside Captain Louis and Colonel Williams had dug out several steps of the cellar stairs. They would not be done before nightfall and decided to continue tomorrow in the morning light. Dinner was lovely and after they were served wine and cheese. Little Quitterie said goodnight to the investigators and her mother took her to her room. Veronique had barely come back before a scream came from little Quitterie’s room upstairs. The investigators ran all the way up and met little Quitterie at the top of the stairs, just outside her bedroom. “There was a boggie man in my window!”

The investigators dashed to the window but nothing there (failed Spot Hidden ). They ran down the stairs and out the main door. There were no tracks in the snow and no one there to be seen. Little Quetterie’s window was up on the 2nd floor and there was no way to climb up there, just a slate wall. How could anyone be looking in her window?

Preparing for the night the investigators took turn keeping watch. Captain Louis kept his gun close during the first match, and was replaced two hours after midnight by Colonel Williams. The night passed quietly and early at first sunlight they were out digging igen. Just before lunch Colonel Williams’ shovel hit an iron door. They had dug out 18 steps of the stair and all the way to the door to the cellar. Would they find the first part of the statue here somewhere?

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Comte Fenalik - Paris by night
Scenario 4, Fleurs de mal - session 1

Paris, Monday January 15th, 1923

You must go in haste” were the last words passed on by the manservant Beddows to the investigators from the severely burnt and suffering Professor Smith. Comte Fenalik was the last known owner of one of the missing pieces of the statue the Sedefkar Simulacrum. Professor Smith’s instructions were to reassemble the Sedefkar Simulacrum by collecting the six pieces scattered over Europe and then destroy it. The enormous evil power it possessed had to be terminated permanently.

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Above: The Sedefkar Simulacrum

The investigators arrived in Paris late at night and decided to rest for the following days investigations. The task force assembled constituted by Edvard Night and Day, Boris Vasiliskij, Professor Walter Scott JR, and Ian Flenning. The next day promised investigations at the magnifique Biblioteque National, but was thwarted by the administrative rules.

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Above: Biblioteque National

The investigators needed a letter of reference from their embassy and it would take 3 full days. “I will have none of this” proclaimed Edvard Night and Day, 13th in the order of Swedish Nobility, and marched towards the Swedish embassy. Arriving there he and his companions were treated by Swedish Ambassador Silverstråle (Silver Beam) and with a Credit Rating roll of “11” it was a success. The Ambassador and his adjutant Lieutenant Nilsson treated them to a full Swedish breakfast of porridge with blue berry jam and fresh milk, hard boiled eggs, fibre rich dark bread and a single round of aquavit from the rich fields of Southern Sweden.

The Ambassador was befriended by now and wrote a letter to the Director of the Biblioteque National to let the investigators have full access to the library. The investigations could now commence.

The French language was an obstacle with Professor Walter Scott JR being the sole practitioner in the group and at only 30 %. They decided to hire an aide. The librarians suggested a student, Remi Vaugeim, who would be at their service for a daily fee of about 20 to 50 francs. The investigators wanted him in good morale and hence offered 60 francs.

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On the 2nd day they discovered a diary of a certain Mademoiselle De Brienne (Players: see investigator’s diary for reference). She was at the Queen’s court and the diary told of excesses and terrible things happening not too far away… Whispers told of Comte Fenalik.

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With great joy for this initial lead, Boris Vasilji arranged for a loge at the Paris Opera to celebrate the partnership with Remi. Remi, however, seemed agitated and declared that these bourgeois excesses were not for him. Spot Hidden rolls revealed that his starched suit was worn and small holes in the shoes. Proud but poor. The investigators later found out that Remi wrote essays for l’Humanité and that a friend of his was shot in one of the many riots in the streets. Clearly a socialist activist. The investigators sighed of relief that Hermann was not with them at this particular point. Boris instead invited Ambassador Silverstråle and his aide lieutenant Nilsson. The evening was a networking success as the investigators were introduced to the brass and the rich and the famous in Paris.

The investigation continued but grinded somewhat to a halt. Remi suggested that they changed to Biblioteque Arsenal which was specialized on pre-revolutionary events.

After a coupe of days there they found a report from Captain Louis Malon, who on June 1789, shortly before the revolution to come, was the officer in charge of the raid of Comte Fenalik’s mansion in Poissy, outside Paris.

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Apparently Comte Fenalik was a brutal sadist and extravagant sexual orgies and torture took place in his cellar. Captain Malon decided to arrest the fornicating lot and burn the mansion to the ground. At least the investigators had a geographic location now to investigate even though the mansion had been burnt to the ground, perhaps the cellars and other hidden areas could be recovered. They also had more leads to investigate.

The libraries were all closed so the investigators spent the day sightseeing. They went up the Eiffel Tower and Ian took a bird eye view picture of Paris. They also visited the Louvre and as they entered one of the large halls of magnificent art, they heard a cold laughter echoing from the other side of the hall. They approached but no one was to be seen. In that corner was a painting of an unknown man poised majestically holding a cain. Dark hair and with eyes seemingly staring back at them. The investigators interviewed the museum clerks but no one knew more of the painting then that it had been given to the museum by a secret giver and it was a replica of a painting owned by the former Queen Mary of France (Queen Marie Antoinette). Could this be a picture of Comte Fenalik himself? Ian took a photo of the picture for future reference.

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The investigations now moved back to Biblioteque National and with combined skill checks in Library Use and Occult found more traces and leads of the Sedefkar Simulacrum. Apparently there was literature available on this subject, a certain “The Devil’s Simulare” last known to be in Venice in the church San Maria Celeste. Obviously more leads were to be found in that tome.

The continuing investigation was now running almost a full week and more leads were discovered. A doctor’s journal where Dr Lucien Rigault told of Comte Fenalik being a writhing madman, thrown into an asylum called Charenton rather than execution. Why had they kept this a secret pretending to execute him?

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They also found an interesting news article about a Doctor Etienne Delplace, Director of Charenton, recently died in an accident. Could all this just be coincidences? Boris looked skeptical.

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Visiting the Charenton asylum and the new director, Doctor Leroux, the investigators were granted access to archives prior to 1810. After that all files are confidential out of respect for the relatives.

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However, waiting outside Dr Leroux’s office they noticed several boxes with material from the previous director and with a Spot Hidden Edvard identified and knicked the former director’s journal. That journal contained some really astonishing material.

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As the investigators headed back to their Hotel du Rhin, they passed by the German embassy. It was empty and had barbed wire and blocks of beton surrounding it, guarded by French soldiers. The French and Belgian occupation of the German Rhine valley was according to some an act of war and many feared hostilities again. Somewhere in the mountains of Bavaria an Austrian corporal was practicing on his speeches for the Munich beer halls…

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Children of the Blood Red Fez
The Blood Red Fez - scenario 3 session 8

Constantinople, 14th January 1893, approximately 03.00 am in the morning in Professor Demir’s house in Galata.

Professor Demir was exhausted. He had spent the evening and the night translating the ultimate secret part of The Whispering Fez. The message was clear. One of them had to commit a huge sacrifice and put on the Blood Red Fez to be able to destroy it and all fezzes. This was the only way to permanently shut the possible gate for that… thing… wanting to enter and devour our world.

The investigators were troubled by this sacrifice. Who would do it? Edvard Natt och Dag broke the silence. “I will do it.” Again silence.

The investigators discussed the matter intensively as Professor Demir withdrew to his personal quarters to rest. They found two positive alternatives:

1) Immediate attack on Nisra’s base on the island in the Southern Maramar sea under protection of the dull grey night.

Pros: Spring a surprise attack to achieve advantage and no external parties that might risk the ritual to destroy the fezzes.

Cons: Very dangerous as they do not know the size or capacity of the cultists in their base.

2) Consultations with the Sultan in Constantinople, hoping for his military aide in rescuing his kidnapped cousin.

Pros: Force projection enough to combat the cult.

Cons: Involving a third party risks the completion of the ritual to destroy the fezzes.

A majority favored the first alternative as they could not risk the Sultan meddling into the affairs of the ritual and the fezzes. They were afraid that the Sultan would confiscate the fezzes and the Whispering Fez tome. Such power has immense allure.

With the decision made they hurried down to the harbor and met with an experienced fisherman and local friend of Professor Demir, Nine-fingered Abdullah. He and his crew took the investigators some 12 miles out in the Southern Marmara sea and there it was the island of Princes. Nine-fingered Abdullah’s caique was a perfect vessel for a stealth attack, fast and silent. “If you are friends of the Professor, you are my friends. God Speed.”

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Above: Nine-fingered Abdullah’s Turkish caique

It was barren and small like a hillock. On top of the island was an old beaten tower from the Byzantine times. There were some brushes and old stone walls, but otherwise not much to hide behind. The investigators decided not to land in the small natural sand harbor on the South side, but rather on the North-Western side by the rocks, somewhat protected from view behind the brush and more rocks.

Edvard climbed ashore and mounted a rope for the others. The landing was succesful and Nine-fingered Abdullah sailed out to wait for the retrieving signal.

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Above: The investigator landing marked with a red circle and their advancement towards the tower with a red line.

The investigators advanced and a team of four investigators mounted the tower. Edvard was first and as he entered the top with his climbing equipment he killed the sleeping guard with his bayonet. Now they had Edvard, Frank, Hermann, and Manfred up there and a hatch led down inside the tower.

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Above: Nisra’s tower and the base for the Children of the Fez cult.

On the ground Ian and Boris took positions by the main door, and Walter Scott JR positioned himself defensively just behind the stone wall with his rifle offering cover fire in case they all had to retreat.

Manfred pulled open the hatch on the tower roof and Frank and Edvard hammered Nisra and her Black Eunuch bodyguard with sprays of bullets. Both killed before they could respond. On the ground, Ian swung open the main door, but one of the cultists was alerted and fired his rifle back at Ian. Ian was faster and got the cultist good in the upper thigh, felling down with trauma damage. The gunfight was over in just 3-4 rounds as the cultists fell before they could respond. 5 of the remaining 8 was killed in the first round. A great success for the investigators. Master planned and executed.

Searching the premises they found three blood red fezzes and Nisra had a peculiar ceremonial dagger in black stone or exotic mineral/metal not previously known to the investigators. They rescued the prince stuck in the golden cage, covered in his own excrements and huge blisters all over his body. They also found Professor Demir’s son alive down in the cultists’ caiques. Mission completed.

Back in Professor Demir’s house some of the investigators went to sleep exhausted. Still up were Edvard Natt och Dag, Boris Vasiljevsky, Walter Scott JR and Ian Fenning. Edvard was focused. “We must destroy the fez now before it is too late.” He took of his Mi-go Bio-Armor (1 damage and 1 point reduced absorption to 5) and put on the blood red fez. The other three investigators saw him struggling. It was a battle of the will. Win or die, nothing else mattered now.

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For a brief moment Edvard felt immense pain and then a surge of power. His mental energies was sucked out of him (losing 15 Magic points immediately) and his sanity greatly challenged (losing first 10 Sanity, then again 1 for total 11 Sanity). But the fez spoke to him. It offered great powers and a glimpse of a greater being wanting to enter this world.

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Edvard now had to make a crucial decision. Did he want to take control of the blood red fez and become a true master of all the blood red fezzes, becoming perhaps the most powerful man on the planet; Or would he destroy all the fezzes once and for all, shutting down the gate to that greater evil being? Edvard hesitated for a short while that immense power within grasp, nauseating him…. but then he chose wisely and destroyed them all. The four fezzes lying next to him imploded directly, but the one he was wearing melted down over his face burning his skin with enormous pain and distorting it. (5 damage and -5 Appearance as he was marked by this).

Edvard Natt och Dag had defeated and destroyed the blood red fezzes and probably saved the world. A hero of legend was born.

Edvard Natt och Dag

With that we concluded the 3rd scenario which took us 8 long sessions. Still no investigator killed, but rather mauled. We awarded Sanity points according to the investigators successes:

1) Saving Mrs Myers for 1d4 Sanity points (they didn’t save Mr Myers and hence lost 1d4)
2) Saving Professor Demir’s son Barlas for 1d4 Sanity points
3) Defeating the cult Children of the Fez for 1d6 Sanity points
4) Edvard received additional 1d10 Sanity points for destroying the blood red fezzes

Skill points experience checks will be administered at the next session.

We will implement 7th edition rules next session.

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We will implement “How Sorcerers Do It” rules before the next session which allows investigators with spell casting ambitions to expend Sanity points for more Power and Magic points. I guess Hermann is a high potential candidate here.

See you soon in scenario 4 with 7th edition rules!

Caligula

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Caligula Campaign Rules
Playing the game

Playing a huge and long campaign as ours that include tens of players and several years of active gaming, you need to have structured campaign rules. The campaign rules are there to guide in decision making and also give transparency to players how we want to play the game.

This document is available for all my players on Google Docs and I will also add a link here for your reference: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XpK6-bdyrjSwudXiBdVgExyGKVGnmv8hfMSQusTxDVY/edit

Please note that we are currently playing the 6th edition rules and will change into 7th edition after the completion of the 3rd scenario of the Horror on the Orient Express. All investigators will be duly converted as per the official conversion rules.

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Welcome to read!

Caligula

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The Oriental Club
Game Keeper of Lore goes to visit

Unfortunately yesterday’s session was cancelled due to people having colds, traveling, and work, work. So instead I decided to contact the Oriental Club and ask to visit them. They are obviously a members only club, but I managed to convince them to open their secret doors to me, Caligula. I am after all the world’s most famous Game Keeper of Lore.

How did I convince them? I told them I was the Game Keeper of the world’s largest Call of Cthulhu campaign and that the Horror on the Orient Express campaign starts with scenes inside the Oriental Club. You might remember from scenario 1 and 2 that the investigators had meetings and cocktails with Professor Smith in the Oriental Club.

Here below is an original document sent to me from Nadya Adashkina, responsible for membership issues. I hope to add pictures from my visit as soon as possible.

Enjoy!

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The Blood Red Fez - Scenario 3 session 7
Konstantinopel

The Orient Express continued towards the final destination. Konstantinopel. The investigators were duly tired and decided to rest in their compartments. Frank and Hermann locked themselves up with the two blood red fezzes and the Whispering Fez tome. Many lives had been lost for these artifacts and they would not let them go.

They had made some new friends along the way. A German archeologist by the name of Manfred Schultz had affronted them and apparently had heard of Hermann Müller. There were also a couple of British people wanting to befriend the investigators. A Professor Walter Scott JR from Edinburgh, a Dr Erroll Murray from the Scottish highlands but born in Konstantinopel, a certain Ian Flannery ex-boxer now turned journalist from Dublin and Belfast. They had all entered the train in Budapest, except for Manfred who just entered in the Serb city of Nis.

Ian Flannery

Manfred Schultz

Dr. Errol Murray

(Prof. Walter Scott JR will be uploaded shortly)

The new friends were told about the very important mission and swore an oath to help the investigators bringing the artifacts to Professor Demir in Konstantinopel and making sure they would be destroyed for ever.

The last day was very peaceful as they passed through Sofia and later next day arrived in Konstantinopel at 10:43 in the morning. Konstantinopel was an impressive place with peoples and religions from everywhere. There were Albanians, Jews, Muslims, Europeans, black people from Africa, Armenians and exciting aromas and spices mixed with the sound of music and loud voices in many different languages.

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Above: Sirkeci station in Constantinopel

They said Au Revoir to the train conducteur Henri Peters who had become their friend. “I hope to see you soon again” he greeted them not knowing the investigators lost from their own time 30 years ahead…

Conducteur Henri Peeters

Professor Demir was supposed to meet them at the Sirkeci station but there was no sign of him. Professor Smith’s description was that of a 6 ft tall well built man in his fifties and no such person was to be found. A pair of youngsters however came towards the investigators in haste, pointing at them and whispering. “Are you friends of Professor Smith?” they enquired in broken English. They seemed nervous and the girl in her middle teens had a tear in her eye. “We are Toprak and Rana, children of Professor Demir. Our father has been attacked but survived, yet injured. Please come with us in hurry. The cart is waiting.”

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Above: Konstantinopel and the Bosporus

Professor Demir lived in a nice mansion in the fancy area of Galata in the outskirts of central Konstantinopel. The mansion was two stories high in white stone and gated. Well inside the professor greated them but was wearing a bandage around his stomach with a large dark spot underneath it. “We were attacked last night by several villains. They tried to kill me but my son Barlas intervened. They kidnapped him and left a note with three conditions for Barlas return.”

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Professor Demir was in pain but could move with his stick and some aid from his wife. The investigators were suspicious after Baron von Hofler’s psychosis on the Orient Express, and decided to not only interview Demir and his wife, but also look onto his wound. Dr Erroll Murray could vet it was in accordance with the professors claim. A deep wound from a sharp pointy object aimed to kill him. He was in no mortal danger but would need convalescence in his home for some time.

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Above: Professor Demir before the attack

The three demands to return the son Barlas were:

1) Return the fezzes to the cult
2) Return the Whispering Fez tome to the cult
3) The investigators must leave Konstantinopel on the next steamer or Orient Express and not interfere further in the cults business

The exchange would take place next midnight in the Kasim Pasha docks. The investigators were concerned that Professor Demir would yield to the kidnappers’ demands but he was solid. “I am no fool. I know for sure that they would never honor their word. They would take the artifacts and kill my son still the same. The only way out now is to find him before the Children of the Blood Red Fez kill him.”

Professor Demir was thoroughly interviewed by the investigators and he told them about the Whispering Fez and that he could help them translate the last secret part of it. He also told them about the Children of the Blood Red Fez which was the name of the cult they had been fighting lately and killing their assumed leader Menkaph. But Menkaph was not their true leader he was just a henchman to the true leader. A certain Nisra the Daughter of Fate. She was their main rival. Nisra was the former pupil of an occult master called The Frenchman and he currently resided here in Konstantinopel in a luxurious mansion in the Stamboul neighborhood close to the Sultan’s palace. The investigators decided to send a patrol of four to visit the Frenchman and interview him. Manfred, Dr Ellroy, Frank and Ian took off in haste, while Hermann and Prof Walter Scott assisted (guarded?) Professor Demir in his studies of the Whispering Fez. Professor Demir also warned them of Selim Makryat who used to be an ally to Menkaph. He resided in an ancient fortress in Scutari, on the Asian side of the Bosporus. Selim Makryat was worshipping a being called The Skinless One and his cult was called The Brothers of the Skin. The investigators also clearly remembered Professor Smith’s warnings that he was an enemy on life and death to be feared.

The Frenchman

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The fantastic four arrived after a couple of hours to the Frenchman’s fantastic mansion with exotic gardens and peacocks walking around the impressive gourds. Guards in white dresses were all over the place but the investigators were received after a Persuasion check and pat-down, having to leave all their weapons in the foyer of the building. The Frenchman was in a white silk three piece suit and red scarf. He was smoking a hookah pipe and wore dark shaded glasses so his eyes were concealed. Behind him were two large guards with revolvers and yatagans (Ottoman swords).

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Picture above: Yatagan

The mansion was a domed residence building and they were now in a large room exits all over the place and opening up onto a wide balcony at the far end where the Frenchman was enjoying his hookah. The guards escorted the investigators inside and they were watched by prawling eye in the shadows in the many exits.

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The Frenchman spoke slowly and softly. Not wasting his words. “You came for information. What do you want to know?” The investigators asked him about Nisra and the circumstances regarding her cult. The Frenchman seemed to the point and answering their questions without any hesitation. Dr Errol and Hermann succeeded with Psychology rolls, Frank with a Persuasion roll and one or two investigators with Credit Rating rolls. The Frenchman’s answers can be summarized like this:

  • Nisra the Daughter of Fate was his pupil but she left him for Menkaph who promised faster succession to power
  • Nisra has kidnapped a prince, a distant cousin of the Sultan named Ramazan. Ramadan was degenerated and ambitious, and suffers from aggressive syphilis.
  • Nisra has her base on the secret tenth island in the Marmara Sea, called the island of doomed princes
  • Nisra has a black Eunuch as body guard and several cultists
  • Menkaph has no real power (obviously not knowing Menkaph to be dead, shot on the Orient Express by the investigators three nights ago)
  • Selim Makryat is a joke, he is nothing! Laughing him off…

The Frenchman had no interest in cold talk and cut the parley short. “I am certain our paths will cross again”. A stone cold guy, summarized Frank thinking of the most psychotic baddies he ever met during his time at the Yard…

Back in the warm and welcoming house of the family Demir, the investigators agreed to let Professor Demir study the last chapter of the Whispering Fez and after a nice dinner they gathered shortly after midnight to listen to his conclusions. The last part was in code where 75 % Persian and 25 % Cthulhu Mythos was demanded to unlock it. The last chapter was instructions how to destroy the blood red fezzes for ever and eternity.

The key points were:

  • One person must wear a blood red fez and doing so causes a great mental challenge and sacrifice of will power
  • If there is a master of the blood red fezzes, you must get eye contact with said master while wearing your blood red fez and defeat him/her with greater mental power surge
  • If there is no master you must challenge the blood red fez itself with greater mental power and risk causing damage to yourself
  • If you succeed in the mental power challenge all blood red fezzes are immediately destroyed and cannot be brought back ever

The blood red fezzes are the gate and the key to something that wants to enter this world. It must be stopped. (first part of the Whispering Fez tome, translated and read by Hermann Müller)

To be continued

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The new Call of Cthulhu computer game
The Hawkins Case

Waiting for our next session on October 25 I wanted to share this cool trailer for the new Call of Cthulhu video game with you guys:

https://youtu.be/SHbuE7rbDzs

The Hawkins case…

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Stockholm H.P. Lovecraft Festival VI
Team Caligula going for glory!

It is time for the 6th Stockholm H.P. Lovecraft Festival in Stockholm 20th to 23rd October. I will participate with 3 of my players in the two competitions available on Saturday:

At noon we play the board game Arkham Horror.

At 3 pm we play Call of Cthulhu 7th edition.

The competition is in front of an audience so we hope my Team Caligula will do good! So far it looks like myself, Christer and Lloyd are up for it. We need a 4th player from the group so I’m excited to see who will grab the last spot.

Please join us at the festival. Here is a link to the webpage: https://www.facebook.com/events/544033029133567/

Caligula

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