Sunday, January 24
Active investigators: Frank, Hermann, Dr Mannerheim.
The wealthy businessman Flavio Conti had lost his mind. The traces pointed to his acquaintance the rich industrialist Arturo Faccia. Both men had strings to the La Scala opera. The investigators went back to their hotel in the Vittorio Emanuele galleria and planned. It was still early afternoon and the opera wouldn’t start until 7 pm that same evening. A knock on the door. They reached for their pistols, but relaxed as a Nordic gentleman, a certain Dr Erik Mannerheim, appeared. “I am a friend of Professor Smith’s. He wanted me to join ranks with you. He sent me a letter. I am sorry I could not join you earlier.”
Dr Mannerheim fought in the Finnish civil war for the white army, the anti-communists. His name revealed kinship with the famous military officer Von Mannerheim (who would many years later defend Finland against the Bolsheviks). Link: see Characters soon! He had a large trunk with him filled with not only medicine and band aid, but also heavy weaponry like Elephant-gun and 10-gauge shotgun. This doctor meant serious business! And welcome to our friend Sammy Almedal who joins our great campaign and plays Dr Mannerheim! :-)
All traces went to Signore Faccia and his large warehouse in the Northern outskirts of Milan. The investigators assembled their weapons and put them in one koffert that they had carried down to a waiting cab. They gave 20 dollars to the driver to make him happy and silent. As they drove up about 45 minutes to the empty industry area of Northern Milan, they saw the warehouse in the distance.
Four guards, well dressed, were outside the main doors on the front and back. Two at each place.
The investigators elaborated at length how to infiltrate. Here are some of the ideas:
1) Fake a fight to get the guards attention, then sneak past them.
2) Pretend to be members of the Turkish Cult since Dr Mannerheim speaks Turkish (89 %).
3) Make the cab car speed up towards the guards and scare them off.
4) Trying to sneak past the guards straight on.
5) Drive down the side alley pretending to get car engine malfunction and lure the guards there.
There were some critics to the early ideas, for instance nr 2 pretending to be cultists and speaking Turkish, but what if the guards didn’t speak Turkish? This was after all the Milan chapter of the cult and these were just the muscles, not the leadership. Point 3 counted on the driver being that crazy which they feared he was not. Point 4 was difficult in plain daylight and no obstacles to hide behind. At least one penalty dice. So they settled for nr 5, the alley and car trouble.
Dr Mannerheim was left behind as to be able to sneak past the guards if they were to follow into the alley. As the car sped up and turned into the alley, the guards simply remained in front of the doors, making a note in a pad. The plan failed. At the other side of the alley two other guards looked around the corner. Now there was at least four guards. Two on the front of the warehouse and two on the back. The investigators took up to reassess the situation.
“Lets front them and ask them to see Signore Faccia. “Lets tell them we have occult artifacts. There is no way around this, just head-on.” Dr Mannerheim was tired of the fuzzing about. Frank and Hermann agreed. The driver would drive up to the guards at the front and they would carry off their koffert pretending to have the artifacts within. Instead they would show them their heavy weaponry. A persuasion they could not resist.
The investigators managed to Persuade the driver to join their prank. They had also succeeded with a Credit Rating earlier, and given him 20 USD, so the driver was inclined to assist them and long as there was no evident crime or violence.
The car drove up and the investigators went out the car and got the koffert out. The driver tried to talk to the guards. They were stone cold and told the investigators to get away. The investigators asked the driver to tell the guards that they were there to see Signore Faccia and that they had the koffert full with artifacts for him. The guards knocked on the door and two more men appeared. One looked like a leader type. “Show me the artifacts!” he commanded brusquely. The investigators were caught between a rock and a hard place, and reached for the heavy guns. Combat commenced.
We checked initiative (Dex) and got the following set-up including the inside cultists:
65 Cultist Guard 1
60 Cultist Guard 2 (front door)
60 Cultist Guard 3
60 Cultist Guard 4
60 Old Lady (inside warehouse)
55 Sig. Arturo Faccia (inside warehouse)
55 Cultist Guard 5 (front door)
55 Cultist Guard 6 (inside warehouse)
50 Dr Mannerheim
45 Sig. Flavio Conti (inside warehouse)
40 Cab driver
14 Andriani, Cult Guard boss
The initiative was heavily tilted towards the cultists with 8 out of 10 first actions. Frank knew he had to even out the odds numerically as well. He fired automatic fire (2 bursts x 3 bullets) towards them. He rolled a “96” and with skill value 39 it was a fumble. The Thompson machine gun jammed! The players were silent. One of the cultists ran up to Frank and hit him with a hard blow of his club for 6 damage. That was more than half of Frank’s hit points! “One more blow like that and he’s dead” cried his player. Hermann decided to retake the initiative. He fired two bullets with his 10-gauge and hit two of the cultists, including their captain, straight in the face. Gray brain tissue and bone splitter was all over the place. Hermann didn’t move a finger, just prepared to reload. With two cultists dead early in the first round, things started looking good. Dr Mannerheim applied First Aid on Frank for 3 hit points (rolled a 6 for max). The remaning two cultists ran inside, they also had only clubs, not a great challenge for the heavy arms that the investigators were carrying.
The cab driver sped off, wheels screaming. “Will he be a problem?” wondered Dr Mannerheim. “Not at all.” answered Frank. “He knows the fascists would hang him as well just for the 20 bucks.”
The investigators reloaded and Frank managed a skill check (Firearms machine gun 39 %) to fix his Tommy gun (took 3 rounds (1d6)). They headed straight for the backdoor. Hermann fired with his 10-gauge and blew out the lock and handle. The door was open. Inside they saw the rest of the cult. There were 5 more guards and an industrial spool that had been flipped over as a table. That table entertained three more cultists, two gentlemen and an elderly woman. The investigators thought they heard Miss Cavollaro’s voice coming from that very table. The fight ensued and as two more guards fell dead with their heads blown off (Hermann was on a high, rolling 3 straight crits with impaling damages at 30, 39 and 35), the rest fled out the Northern main entrance. The cultists at the table tried to make a last saving effort. Signore Faccia trend to parley, walking up to the brute investigators. He spoke with a feminine voice, that reminded them of Miss Cavollaro. “Ah finally you are here. How lovely. Let us talk about this in a friendly manner.”
Frank killed him with another head shot. Signore Conti fired back with his revolver .38, missing 3 shots and then it jammed.
The investigators shouted to him to throw away his weapon. He refused and Frank shot him causing a major wound and -2 hit points. Dr Mannerheim however applied First Aid (89 %) and Medicine (89 %) to stabilize him. Perhaps they could interrogate him.
A search of the premises found them a Cthulhu Mythos grimoire tome, a cultist skin knife for skinning humans, some weapons. The tome was bound in human flesh with parts of a human face on the front. It contained instructions and spells how to work and control human flesh.
Dr Mannerheim took the book. He wanted to study his first Mythos tome. Later he checked for Turkish (89 %), the language of the tome, and succeeded. He would need a full week of study to comprehend the full book.
The elderly woman was crying and in chock. Dr Mannerheim used Psychology (89 %) to analyze her and Psychoanalysis (89 %) to stabilize her and she regained 3 Sanity points (rolled 6 (3) on 1d3). Her diagnosis was “temporarily insane”. Something was weird with her voice, it sounded coarse as a man’s voice. Dr Mannerheim also found a huge scar on her neck as if a recent major surgery had taken place. The same scar was found on Arturo Faccia’s neck, the old industrialist.
Roll of the day: Dr Mannerheim passing his English check at “01” (Skill value 01). He later checked for experience and rolled 9, increasing the skill 900 % to “10”.
We rounded up the session and the scenario. The investigators were again successful, finding the Torso early on and rounding up the entire Milan chapter of the Brothers of the Skin. Further east, someone was watching them from afar. They were getting close. Too close….