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05 January 2016 @ 10:00 am
[CoC: HotOE] The Shadow Out of the Cabin on the Left  
Last session was a bottle episode! Though in a sense, every session that takes place on the Orient Express is a bottle episode.

We knew that Hieronymus Menkaph was a villain and a fiend, and the conversations he had with the party clearly indicated that he knew we were there to thwart him, though he was villainously overconfident that we would not be able to do so. And indeed, for most of the first half of the session, we faffed around and didn't accomplish much. The copy of The Whispering Fez we were looking for was not in his room, our attempts to determine what was wrong with the shrouded and sickly Mr. Myers did not go as planned, and about the only things we did accomplish was to get Henri, the Belgian conductor in our car, on our side--which turned out useful later--and for Amelia Meadowcroft the tomb raider adventuress to get the chance to speak to Mrs. Myers without the presence of Menkaph.

Around halfway through, we finally got the ball rolling. I drew Captain Barrington's cabinmate Dr. Sirach (one of the other possible PCs that mutantur left out because he figured we'd need more combat potential) into our mission and asked him to check into Mr. Myers, which also didn't work but did get Mr. Myers out of his room. George Burns the ruffian used this opportunity to lockpick the Myers' door, though when he saw the living shadow coalesce out of the air he went mad and ran screaming through the car. The player of Dr. Polat the Turkish history then came up with the idea of causing a dreadful row in the salon car, relying on Henri favoring us over Menkaph to keep us from mundane reprisal. After a few failed rolls with Menkaph himself, Dr. Polat switched to shouting at Kapok, Menkaph's hulking-yet-wiry Turkish bruiser, and a declaration that his mother would be ashamed of him hit home.

As Kapok laid hands on Dr. Polat, Captain Barrington and Miss Meadowcroft barged into the Myers' compartment with a lantern they had acquired from Henri. Barrington held off the shadow at great risk to his own hit points while Miss Meadowcroft dove onto the bed, finding a copy of The Whispering Fez beneath the pillow! She retreated down the hall while Barrington swung at the shadow until it slipped out into the hall and vanished into the many shadows therein.

Dr. Polat returned to his room and Miss Meadowcroft gave him the book to read, while Burns drank in the Salon car. When Burns tried to return to his room, he saw two moving shadows in the car detach from the wall and come toward him, and he decided that getting blind drunk on an expense account was a much better use of his time.

We ended when a steady pounding on Captain Barrington and Dr. Sirach's door awoke most of the train car, and in the hall was Mr. Myer, who declared his generic rage and took a swing at Barrington--and as he drew back his fist, curtain.

Oh, also [REDACTED] showed up in Vienna and boarded the train, which I suppose is just foreshadowing to explain why [REDACTED] happens later? The whole sequence in [REDACTED] definitely seemed weird to me in the actual play I heard, though maybe the new version of HotOE integrates it better. Admittedly, it's not as weird as [REDACTED] showing up outside Belgrade, which is horror, but not mythos horror.

This reminded me of our Delta Green games, where I'd assume that the PCs would finish in a session, maybe two, and then it took them four sessions before they had to flee the city when MAJESTIC swept in. I'm hoping we can convince Henri, who already really dislikes Menkaph, that he's a terrible influence and get him thrown off the train. And next session, Professor Worth's player won't be absent, which is good since everyone should be there for Menkaph's downfall.

Maybe we can literally throw him from the train. I can hope!
 
 
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