Sunday, January 24, 1923
Investigators: Frank, Hermann, Professor Scott, and Ian.
The investigators took up positions within the shop lest the other buyer would arrive. He could be a potent spell caster. Frank hid behind the giant stuffed bear with his .45 Automatic ready aimed towards the door. Ian had a gun and brass knuckles waiting for any intruder just next to the entrance. Hermann took up a more defensive position behind the counter with his double-barrel shotgun. Scott was upstairs glancing through the curtains on the 2nd floor and at the same time guarding Edgar’s unconscious body and William who now as hooded and in a catatonic-like condition.
Ian heard steps getting closer. So did Frank eventually. They signalled each other to confirm probable contact. On the 2nd floor Professor Scott saw a big, round man wobbling towards the entrance of the taxidermy shop. He wore expensive clothes and used a cane to balance himself better. His walk was funny, odd.
Above: The Jigsaw Prince
The man approached the door and stopped for a second. Then he looked up to the window above but Professor Scott hid behind the curtains. The man poked his cane at the door and the door opened up. “Hello any one there” he called in English with French accent. Ian put his hands in front of his mouth and replied: “Oh yes we are here please come in”.
The man walked forward into the store then fell heavily due to the trip wire installed by the investigators. The game was on and we checked for initiative:
3) The Jigsaw Prince
5) Professor Scott
With the sole antagonist lying down Ian preferred to save his bullets. He hit the man hard in the back of his head and managed a special hit for 8 total damage. However the blow failed to cause damage to the head and instead no damage at all seemed to effect the target. Ian got worried and rolled off his target. Hermann stepped forward and emptied two slugs in the man. Both hit but again no injury. Not even a drop of blood or a so much as a sigh from the big man. Suddenly he rose up. “It will be a pleasure to cut you all into pieces” he said and looked at Ian. He muttered just a few short verses and crucifying pain hit Ian all over as if flames were eating him from the inside. His flesh turned blackened (missed opposed POW-roll even though using a lot of Luck Points). Ian took 15 hit points damage and fell to the floor dying.
Hermann rolled for Cthulhu Mythos to identify the spell. It was Shrivelling_. This guy was a major spell caster no doubt. With a few words Hermann shout out to Frank who was next to act. "_Lethal spell caster!!!" Frank immediately understood the grave danger. Next round the spell caster would probably kill another one of them. Frank aimed with his .45 Automatic carefully against the opponents head, just between the eyes, and pulled the trigger. Perfect hit! (“01” after spending some 20 Luck points). The spell caster fell dead to the floor. The players were cheering but not too much as Ian was still dying. Professor Scott managed his first First Aid roll and at least prevented a CON-roll for death. But now they only had an hour before his wounds would go critical again. They needed a hospital!
The Lausanne hospital was some 20 miles off and they did not have time to move on foot encumbered with Ian and Edgar out, and William severely handicapped.
Above: Lausanne 1923
They went for the Cathedral and as they got closer Edgar suddenly woke up. With him was the Sedafkar scroll in a water-tight leather tube. It also contained the English transcript. Mission completed. The investigators asked Edgar for help and agreed to pay him 1500 dollars for his help. 1250 that he wanted for the scroll plus an extra bonus of 250. Edgar assured the investigators he had many friends at the cathedral and could assist them in finding an automobile or a carriage for fast transport.
Above: Edgar Wellington
Sunday morning in Lausanne was indeed a sleepy affair everything was closed and no traffic in the streets. Adding to that there was this international conference in town over the end of the Ottoman Empire with the new state Turkey negotiating Italy, France and the United Kingdom for it’s new statehood.
Edgar’s friend Agathon helped the investigators to the hospital and Ian was rushed to the emergency unit. Edgar asked to leave with his brother William and the investigators agreed. Agathon drove them back home. Ian was hospitalized for almost four hours and the others took up watch positions in the reception, the canteen and Professor Scott just outside Ian’s room. Suddenly a police car pulled up outside the hospital entrance. Frank signalled to Hermann to rush and warn the others. Two police men come into the hospital, one senior officer and one regular police offer. Frank hid behind a newspaper. The policemen talked to the reception for a short while, then rushed towards Ian’s unit. Too late, Professor Scott and Ian were already out the backdoor heading for the tree line. Hermann joined them and Frank remained hidden in the shadows of the reception far corner. The police men ran back to their car and started patrolling the nearby road and houses using a mobile search light.
It was a cold morning and the investigators were contemplating what to do. The train had left them and they needed to reach Milan for the opera they were invited to. They checked their travel guide for airline routes and checked the Orient Express time table. What should they do? They were also discussing all the events they had lived through these days. Professor Scott got stuck on Comte Fenalik. “The Comte Fenalik is the epitomy of evil. His crimes and his story implies he might be behind the life and death as we understand it. Remember the laughing picture in Le Louvre. I am sure he is bound to the painting somehow and perhaps he can trick death itself. Comte Fenalik is our man.”
Above: Picture of Comte Fenalik
With those words the investigators took a break in the cold Sunday morning, wrapped up in a thin layer of snow that had blown down from the Swiss Alps. On the other side of the mountains was Milan and the Orient Express waiting for them. How would they get there in time?
To be continued…