We left last session with the investigators arriving at Vienna Westbahnhof early evening at 17:50 pm Thursday 11th January 1893. Outside the window they could see Baron von Hofler arguing with a young woman in emotional distress. The argument ended with the Baron giving the young lady a good ransack and she left quicker than the rain drops fell over the imperial capital.
The investigators were eager to great their ally. Professor Smith was obviously impressed by the baron and also an important ally with his financial muscles and knowledge and expertise of the ockult.
Perhaps they were a little too eager as John Yip and Frank early on rolled “97” and “98” in Credit Rating and Fast Talk. The Baron sat down his feet and also later complained to Hermann about “Peasant Bavarians not knowing the difference between Göthe and Schiller”. He also seemed disturbed by the Russian contingent present as their cousins the Serb peasants were a nuisance to the Empire’s Southern parts. (Little did he know that this conflict would lead to the Great War in two decades time)
The investigators were invited to his compartment and just to make sure that he was the real Baron they asked for his passport, and also tested his knowledge of the fez. They presented one of the fake ones as the real fez, but the Baron complained immediately and apparently his knowledge was such that he easily could differ a fake from the real one. Content the conversation continued.
The Baron went through the Apocrypha of the Fez as the investigators had not broken its language barrier. The investigators gained +2 % Cthulhu Mythos and lost 1d4 Sanity. They were not entitled to check for spells, but are allowed to do so later when they have read the Apocrypha themselves. They still have their own ex with them.
The investigators told the Baron about their Whispering Fez tome that they found in the Myers’ compartment, and he was delighted. “I have to read it now!” he commanded but they agreed to wait until 02:00 am when Hermann was supposed to finish it.
Hermann continued his studies of the Whispering Fez. The real tome of the fez that as said to reveal all the secrets and perhaps even how to destroy it. We still cherish the “01” roll of Hermann’s player for Persian…
The investigators decided to tell the Baron about their time travel, or travel inside the diary of Professor Smith. He asked for technical evidence and Frank showed him his Tommy gun and Hermann showed the license of his Mercedes 1920s sportscar. The Baron replied that he would believe them. He was troubled by the fact that the professor was badly hurt in the fire. He continued that they rather believe him as well when he told them that this would be the most dangerous challenge they had ever undertaken with great Mythos powers working behind the schemes. “The fez is not just that ridiculous hat. It is also a portal to something beyond our own reality. Something that wants to come here.” He asked the investigators to be prepared to die for their cause.
Needless to say dinner was rather dull after their conversation. Frank, Lord Fyrom Squibb and John Yip joined the baron for dinner. Hermann continued the studies accompanied by Colonel Williams. Their compartment hid the treasures of the Blood Red Fez and the tome the Whispering Fez.
Also in the dining car was Aileen MacGregor, tending to Mrs Myers who was still in chock. Despite the investigators recommendation that she would exit at Vienna to see Dr Sigmund Freud, she decided to stay on the train hoping to save her greatly ill husband.
The Russians stuck to themselves parleying in crude French. The investigators were still not sure if the lipstick on Pytor Trubosky, the Count’s cousin, came from the Countess or her companion Karla Minkoff. They had seen a blond woman quickly disappear into Trubosky’s compartment in the middle of the night last night. They could not exclude MacGregor either as she had light red hair and in the dim light of the train corridor it was still a possibility.
They also spotted a Japanese woman dressed in purple kimono with a scarlet dragon, that stuck to herself. She nodded gently and courteously to the others. As Frank, and later John Yip, tried to get closer to her, they noticed that she had blue eyes…
Dinner was over and done and the Baron went to his quarters to get some rest as he was planning to take over the Whispering Fez. They agreed that the tome would be delivered to his compartment around 02:00 am and Hermann would knock a secret combination of 2-1-2.
Hermann and Colonel Williams remained in their compartment.
Frank, John Yip and Lord Fyrom Squibb decided to look into the Japanese woman. Something was wrong there. A Japanese lady with blue eyes? They slid a note under her door: “Quickly come to the Salon car. You know who I am”. And then they hid in the next compartment using their main key that they received from the Chef du Train, Patrick Rosseau. They listened carefully ears close to the door. They heard her door open, but then nothing. John Yip exited and went to the salon. There she was! They met in the passage between the cars and as she passed he pulled her black hair. It came off. A wig! She turned around and punched towards his face. John ducked away but she pulled a gun and told him to nack off. John used grapple to disarm her and was joined by his friends Lord Squibb and Frank. “Who are you? Cultists?” “What, hell no!” answered John Yip. “Are you?”. She shook her head. The guards went down. “My name is Ilsa von Hofler. Im the daughter of Baron von Hofler. My father is sick, very sick and also possibly dangerous. I have posted men in Budapest and the family doctor in Belgrade. I aim to kidnap my father and force him to Doctor Sigmund Freund in Vienna. Hopefully we can cure him there.”
The investigators were stunned.
Hermann was closing in on the last chapters of the Whispering Fez. His NSDAP pin was strictly attached to his black jacket. By the door, Colonel Williams was checking his .32 revolver. Somebody knocked on the door. Hermann and Col. Williams looked at each other. They expected no visitors at this time. “Who is it?” demanded Colonel Williams. “It is I, Baron von Hofler. Open up I have urgent errand with you.” It sounded like him and he had knocked the secret code as well 2-1-2. But why was he early? They had agreed to deliver the tome to his compartment at 02:00 am.
Colonel Williams opened the door. “We must progress with speed. Our enemies will strike soon. We must talk about this now” The investigators were concerned. Why this sudden change? Colonel Williams agreed to follow him to his compartment and Hermann stayed on alone, now only 3 hours from completion of the secret tome.
As Colonel Williams entered the baron’s compartment he was offered some obstler. “To the empire!” excelled the imperialist and downed a swig of purest fruit fluid. “Colonel Williams, you must understand that this is beyond even your worst nightmares. They are coming for us and they are coming now! Do you understand!!?? They are here!!! They will devour us!!!” The Baron worked himself up in a frenzy and Colonel Williams caught something growing in the Baron’s eyes, something burning red. That was the last thing that Colonel Williams remembered…
At the same time Frank, Lord Squibb and John Yip befriended the young woman claiming to be Ilsa von Hofler. They understood that the baron might pose a threat and hurried to Hermann’s compartment. “He left with the Baron”. The investigators pulled their guns and all of them headed for the Baron’s compartment. Ilsa and John Yip brought with them Ilsa’s laudanum and hypodermic needle, as well a rag with chloroform.
Frank opened the door with the master key but was fired upon immediately. The bullets missed him but surely the shooter intended to kill. What was going on here? As Frank threw himself to the ground the others stayed put. Was Colonel Williams still alive and who was firing at them from the Baron’s compartment? Why was the Baron behaving so weird all of a sudden?
To be continued…