Horror on the Orient Express - Total Recap!

The Blood Red Fez - scenario 3
London, Sunday 7th of January 1893

The Investigators were back in London after the horrific Doom Train adventure. Perhaps it was not all bad. They had learnt a new spell, Doom Gate, and dimension travelling offers a great last resort escape.

They were now ready to leave for their continental trip, picking up the missing pieces of the Simulacrum. Tickets and train waiting at Victoria station. Hermann Müller started reading Professor Smith’s diary. The German occult author, and active NSDAP member, was a secret type not sharing all his thoughts with the group. Rumors had it he was financed and backed by SS chief Heinrich Himmler himself, an avid occultist. As Hermann started reading the diary, the group of investigators swirled in time and place. Suddenly they were back in the heart of London. But something had changed. It looked different. People looked different. They had traveled back in time and plane to London of 1893.


They had all their equipment and gear ready with them. “The diary was the key to travel to another time and place. Instead of experiencing Professor Smiths writing, we will now experience it first hand. Be ware.” Hermann checked his weapons, as did the others. Frank Patterson, tough ex London Detective; Colonel John Williams of the United States Marine Corps; and Lord Fyrom Squibb, English aristocrat. They were now seasoned investigators of the occult and the mythos.

A bell-boy came running over the street towards them. “Sires, Sires, important message for you!” It was a message from Professor Smith. Please hurry to 5 Durward Street. For God’s sake hurry and bring a gun.

“Slum area. Rough neighborhood. Be vigilant.” Said Patterson, one hand firmly resting on his revolver.


Arriving at Durward street Professor Smith granted them. “Please follow me”. They ran inside and up the stairs. But previous to enter the building, Frank Patterson noticed someone further down the block observing them, wearing something on his head…

Upstairs they saw a human male, passed out on the bed in a a dark room. Doctor of Medicine Hobbs was attending to the man. Several days of mysterious chanting and screaming had been taken place here and the landlady, a Mrs Grim was clearly upset.
The man wore a blood red fez that had grown physically stuck onto his head. The investigators tried removing the fez but a terrible nausea hit them as they touched the fez and they could hear whispers inside their heads. When studying the fez closer they also heard a humming sound from inside it and noticed unearthly hieroglyph-like signs on it that seemed to glow through the fabric.

Suddenly the young man started screaming and a ghastly wind blew out the candles, blackening the entire room. The man had turned into a vicious monster and grabbed poor Dr Hobbs and bit him ferociously in the face like a wild beast. Professor Smith managed to flee the room in panic but the investigators attacked the creature to save Dr. Hobbs.


The battle was fierce, poor light and super human strength in that vile monster was a challenge. But the Investigators defeated it and collected the blood red fez that had now fallen off the dead creature.

Professor Smith took care of the authorities and Dr. Hobbs was immediately taken to hospital disfigured for life. Smith and the investigators brought with them the mysterious fez and went to Smith’s estate. Gathered in his large living room, in front of the fire, he told them that the young man was a student Matthew Pook, sent by his friend Professor Demir of Istanbul. “We are up against a very dangerous Turkish cult. I need you to travel as fast as possible to Istanbul with this fez, hand it over to my friend and ally Professor Demir in Istanbul, and make sure it is for ever destroyed.”


The investigators agreed. The Orient Express would leave tomorrow evening, leaving some time for research. A powerful ally of Professor Smith, Baron von Hofler, will join the investigators in Vienna, continuing with them all the way to Istanbul. Baron von Hofler is not only a trusted friend and ally of Professor Smith, he is also the financier of this mission.

As the investigators got ready for night and watched out the windows, they could see a small group of men wearing fezes observing the house.


The estate was like a fort and the investigators took turns in watching over night, and the others locked inside their rooms. Professor Smith would do some further research and they agreed to meet for breakfast 9:00 am at The Oriental Club.

To be continued…

The Doom Train - Scenario 2 - part 2
The investigator's make it back!

The sight of Randolph Alexis in the midst of human remains bothered the investigators. The man was obviously a maniac. even more disturbing the remaining watch with the initials of his son, Albert Alexis. Devouring his son the ultimate step of insanity.

As the investigators parleyed the crazed senior Alexis, the zombie ghosts of the past started climbing the roof and advancing down the hallway. There were many of them and the investigators braced themselves for a fight for their lives.

Players were lucky with their Sanity rolls, making them all for only -1 for witnessing the arrival of the Doom Train in Henry Stanley’s room; -1 for watching the undead; and the mandatory 3 for getting to grip with their situation. “0” penalty for making the San-roll seeing Alexis senior train tracks.


This was certainly a race against time. The German author of the occult, and Nazi-party member, Hermann Müller, tried desperately to ignite the train track. The other three investigatirs fired at will with guns and even entered melee combat. The crazed Alexis senior laughed with eyes open wide. Did he want to die? The poor Henry Stanley shivered in the corner by the seats.

Herman Müller cracked the code and realized the 8-format track had to be elevated. As the melee battle almost turned disastrous, the Doom Train again changed dimension and the investigators could see dark, solid objects outside the window. The grey mists had vanished. Joy turned into fear as they heard the familiar sound of a train whistle coming from further ahead. Collision course.

“Quick! Hurry!” shouted a stressed Frank Patterson, still his .45 revolver in hand. “Jump out the train or we die!” Some hesitation among the players but a second full length train whistle from the meeting train convinced them. They brought Henry Stanley along with them but left Alexis senior behind. They all jumped and managed without major injury. Colonel John Williams saw Alexis senior jump out the other side of the train.

A huge collision rocked the English country side and fires were burning everywhere. Bodies of killed passengers were all over the place. Colonel Williams kept his cool. “Randolph managed to get out. We must track him down. Follow me!” Colonel Williams, Frank Pattersson and Lord Fyrom Squibb set out after him. There was a light veil of snow over the marshlands so they found him after less thaqn 20 minutes search. He was very old now, something had stolen his life energy as the train moved back to earth time. He was weak and frail.

As the authorities came for the crash later that early morning, the investigators handed over Alexis to the police and helped Stanley get back to London. This awful event was just one step to getting to the real issue. Helping their long old friend Professor Smith solve a Turkish mystery.

To be continued….

Please keep following our group as we play the world’s largest Call of Cthulhu campaign. The group consist of me Caligula and players: Christer Bermar, Mats Georgson, Henric Lau Eriksson, and Michael Padocka. More posts and updates will follow shortly.


The Doom Train - Scenario 2
London, January 4th, 1923

Something was mysteriously intertwined with that train set. Herman Müller researched and found that Randolph Alexis was a man of notoriety within the occult circles of London. This was an interest he also shared with his son, Albert Alexis. Father and son both disappeared mysteriously.

The investigators mounted the train set and started it. They paused suddenly to discuss yet again. “Are we sure about this” asked Lord Fyrom Squibb. No we are not, replied the German National Socialist and occult researcher Herman Müller. But it is time to find out.

So they let the train set continue running. Out of nowhere manifests a train with locomotive and all. Loud noise from the steam engine and the smell of burn coal fills the room. The train continued through the room and the from vanished into the far side wall. Inside the passenger compartments they could see moving silhouettes, and suddenly they were surrounded by zombie like people dressed in sluggish 1890s clothing. The investigators could also see someone pressing his face towards the compartment window screaming for help and banging the window as if trying to breakthrough. But nothing could be done as Herman was swept inside the main compartment wagon as if magic struck. The remaining three investigators had to make a split second decision whether to jump aboard or let Herman disappear with this train out of this world.

All for one, shouted the hardcore detective Frank Patterson and jumped the carriage. The other two followed instinctively. Aboard they managed to escape the undead that now threatened them and tried to attack them ferociously. “Quick let us move to the other carriage”. The doors opened and a middle aged gentleman offered his support. “Come here, you are safe with me”. The man showed the investigators into his private compartment and what a chock it was. Human remains were spread all over and the gentleman was apparently Mr. Randolph Alexis himself.

To be continuedcoc.jpg

Dancers in an evening fog - Scenario 1
London, January 3rd, 1923

Colonel Williams and Frank Patterson were clearly running out of patience. Who was this irritating mustache man who so eagerly watched their conversation with Professor Smith? And why did he run away when he was noticed? Time to find out. They were getting ready to bust the door to the antiques shop “The Crescent Treasury” when Frank suddenly put his hand on* Colonel Williams* shoulder. “Wait”. Again his Spot Hidden 99 % came in handy. There in the distance patrolling towards them a “bobby”, a London police constable. One of many that patrol the British capital at night and known for their notorious keen senses and also carrying a whistle pipe for fast back up. “We need to stall this oneFrank whispered.

As the constable approached and noticed the investigators he asked for their names and addresses as he picked up his note pad. The whistle pipe hanging in a string around his wrist. “The Carlton” answered Patterson truthfully well knowing that the luxury hotel would ease the constable notably. “And what might your business be at this late hour out and about in the streets?” he followed up intent on clearing out any suspicions. “Actually we need to render your law enforcing powers, constable. My friend here was pick pocketed at the Challenge Lecture this very night at Kensington Imperial Institute where we were guests of honor to Professor Smith. My friend here, Colonel Williams is visiting from America and it is quite embarrassing as well as very upsetting that this happens to us.” The constable nodded. “Indeed we suspect the criminal to be of Middle Eastern or Turkish descent. Typical Eastern features.” The constable now looked aggravated. We cant have bloody foreigners running the Queen’s streets and harassing people!

Colonel Williams put more force on the poor constable. Surely they should break in directly before the Turkish criminal could run away? The constable hesitated but successful rolls in Credit Rating (89 %) and Persuade (89 %) from the Colonel made the constable agree. Act in haste! The constable kicked in the door and they searched the place. Lots of stuff but no signs of the perpetrator. Back door left open and traces in the snow. He got away. Upstairs they found dressers and wardrobes emptied. Was it a planned escape? They also found a ledger downstairs behind the counter and missing their Accounting rolls (base chance 10 %) I let them first roll for Luck and the note on the toy train happened to fall out of the ledger, followed by an Idea roll – something is deviating here regarding that said train. Lots of transactions but this train is the only toy.

The investigators thanked the constable and returned to their hotel with the ledger in hand.

At the same time Lord Fyrom Squibb and Hermann Müller discussed hauntings with the dear professor at The Oriental Club. The professor had not witnessed any hauntings himself but he was ready to go on expeditions together with his four friends. He looked forward to that. “My dear man servant Beddows would love to follow as well.”Beddows? How long had he served the professor? Was he to be trusted? The investigators checking all angles. “Oh yes indeed soon a decade that he served me most loyal and devoted.” The chit chat ended around midnight and they returned to hotel Carlton.

Gathered all four they now examined the ledger. and traced that toy train from the seller “the estate of Randolph Alexis” by The Crescent Treasury to the buyer Mr. Henry Stanley in Stoke Newington. Succesful rolls in History (Colonel Williams 69 % History and I think Müller has 89 % Occult, but not sure the player will fill this in later) and Occult made it clear that the Alexis family, father and son, were prominent in the occult community in this area. They also remembered that Randolph Alexis had died in a train derailment back in 1897 while traveling to Liverpool from London in the very same train model as the toy set. They also knew that the son vanished in 1917, 20 years later, with no traces just a room full of smoke. Neither body was ever recovered…

The investigators did not want to rest on their laurels. They asked the operator to immediately call Mr. Henry Stanley in Stoke Newington. Ring ring ring (for a long time!). Then suddenly “hello?”. A woman of age answered. The investigators asked for Mr. Stanley. “You better come here” the woman replied.

Stoke Newington was a short cab ride away. Mrs. Atkins greeted them at the door. Kind of nerving that a sign outside sold tickets to “the death room”. I like people who are greedy, Patterson thought to himself. They are easy to manipulate. Mrs. Atkins told the investigators that Mr. Stanley had disappeared couple of days ago after having his dinner here with her. He went to his room overjoyed with his new train model he had just bought. Then suddenly enormous noice from his room followed by his death like screams. What was the noise like? Industrial. Like a machine. An engine of some kind. The investigators asked to see the room and Mrs. Atkins agreed as long as they would not touch anything. By the way, Colonel Williams had traveled a long way and only had dollars with him. Could she help out counting his coins and receiving a generous fee for the service? Of course, she happily took the pouch with coins and left to count them. Mr. Stanley’s room was unwatched in front of them

What happened here? Ceiling clearly damaged from intense smoke and heat. Blisters on the walls and ceilings after heat exhaustion. There were bubbles under the wall paper as if though it had been steamed. Dark, sooty streaks that go from North-West to South-East. (here one player, Mats Georgson, noticed that the line of the streaks equaled the Liverpool-London express route. Well done Mats!) Everything in the room was coated by a thin layer of black soot. On the floral carpet there were parallel smudges that ran the same way as the streaks in the ceiling. Again North-West to South-East. Managing an Education roll they noticed that the streaks were exactly the same width as train tracks. What a coincidence.

We ended the session in Mr. Henry Stanley’s room and the players have lots of leads to follow up on. Next session is scheduled for Tuesday 13th October and I will be beck with more postings then. In the meantime please ask us questions or add any comments. I think the players will add their versions during the week as well. Thanks for your reading and dont forget to lock the doors. Remember they are watching us…


Campaign background and info

Yes it is me, Caligula, from the Wizards boards writing all those “Total Recap!” Chronicles. You might have picked up Red Hand of Doom – Total Recap or City of the Spiderqueen – Total Recap! But now we are setting up the biggest campaign of them all. Horror on the Orient Express – Total Recap!

We played the first session tonight with 4 investigators and they did well, advancing as experienced players do. There were a couple of decisions and events that was a bit surprising but I will come back to that shortly.

The investigators will be properly introduced of course, this will be done by the players. To summarize they are a nice blend of backgrounds, nationalities and competences but share the common goal of discovering the dark behind it all…

We started the campaign by playing the 4 introduction adventures in the 6th edition rules. They are quite entertaining and also classics having followed along for many editions now. The investigators managed them well, no deaths but some minor insanity issues. Corbitt’s house was close to a TPK but they managed to turn it around in the last gasp.

We will play Horror on the Orient Express as written with the options of skill experience checks after each scenario and PC succession at each station.

We look forward to share our experiences with all of you and please add comments, questions and what not. It will all be read and answered. We will also add pics, films and pods as we move along. Some of the investigators will actually be interviewed as they travel through Europe.

Lock the doors. Be careful. They are watching us. Right now.


Scenario 1 - London - 3rd January 1923
The adventure begins

So we needed to set up the story straight and together with the players I agreed that one of the investigators, Lord Fyrom Squibb, a member of English aristocracy, had previously been a student of Professor Smith. We needed a profound “hook” to motivate the voyage from the USA where the players had been fighting through the 4 start up scenarios from the 6th ed rule book. Before parting with the American shores they once more visited Dr. Henry Armitage to try and identify some of the stuff they had captured during their investigations. Using his laboratory at the Miscatonic University they still could not find out the origins of the silvery talc substance.

Anyways, the 4 investigators, now turned friends, sailed across the vast ocean to honor the old mentor and friend of Lord Fyrom Squibb. “Professor Smith is held in the highest regard at the English academia and his expertise in hauntings and parapsychology is second to none. There will be a lecture of his coming up in London and in retrospect of our horrid experiences lately I push for us to go.” The rest of the gang of 4 answered silently but the glances meeting around the dinner table said more than words. Of course they would go.

London was certainly chill this winter in 1923 and thin layers of snow could even be seen under the raw mist from the moist of river Thames. The group of investigators and friends were:

Lord Fyrom Squibb – of English aristocracy, holding a larger mansion in England, yet issues regarding liquidity. Snobbish dilettante.

Colonel Williams – American war veteran from the Great War. Powerful almost scary. Physical and hard.

Frank Patterson – English Detective from Scotland Yard. Intuitive and thorough in his efforts to find the culprit. The silent type.

Hermann Müller – German author from Munich, researching and writing about the occult. Very wealthy and holds a large private library in his home in Munich. Staunt member of the NSDAP – The National Socialist German Workers Party.

After a day of rest and promenades they geared up for the dinner party and lecture at the Imperial Institute at Kensington, London. Dinner chit chat was interrupted by an impressive lecture from Professor Smith. Applause. He was in a jolly good mood and after the lecture greeted the investigators with jovial outbursts and strong Balkan tobacco puffs. The friends cheered and laughed as well as congratulated him. Well done. Frank Patterson however never shuts down his alert system (Spot Hidden 99 %). His eyes carefully scanning the environment. Is somebody looking? Listening in? Someone who should not be there? There. A man with dark reflections and a heavy black mustache. Obviously a foreigner and staring right at the group. Patterson carefully asked Smith if he recognized the man, but as the group turned to look the man noticed their reaction. He carefully smiled and hasted away from the mingling crowd.

Disapproving of this hasty exit Patterson and Colonel Williams rushed after him. Surely they could ask the man why he was in such a hurry? Here we are all friends. Herman Müller and Lord Fyrom Squibb followed Professor Smith to The Oriental Club for drinks. For some reason they did not want to leave the professor alone. The Professor, meanwhile, was in a talkative mood fueled by gin and Balkan tobacco.

Where did he go?” Williams lost sight for a second or two. “Over there, he’s entering a London cab”. The two investigators were not late to follow and a chase on the icy wet London streets commenced. As the chase came into the Northern outskirts of London they suddenly found the other cab standing almost still. Footprints in the snow. “The Crescent Treasury” an antiques shop. They jumped off their cab and walked towards it. Closed, dark. No one to be seen inside. But the footprints were clear in the thin vail of snow on the ground and the door handle had been pushed down just recently.

He is there, we need to get in”. Colonel Williams would not go back now. “Lets kick in the door”.

Patterson nodded and slowly put his right hand inside the jacket towards his holster.


To be continued….

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