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08 February 2016 @ 11:46 am
[CoC: HotOE] Library Use of Cthulhu 7e  
Yesterday (the ninth session, if you're curious), our Call of Cthulhu game returned to its normal time period as Professor Durand closed Professor Smith's diary as he finished recounting the story therein, all of which was told on the journey from London to Paris.

First, let's go back to our dramatis personæ, since mutantur was kind enough to send me a list of characters when I asked since I keep forgetting their names:
  • Demir Sadik, Turkish Revolutionary/Field Medic
  • Gianni Abbadelli, Italian Vatican Parapsychologist
  • Luc Durand, French Professor of Linguistics
  • Rosaline St. Clair, American Antiquities Dealer
  • Valentina Durnovo, Russian Countess/Gentlewoman
We made some comments about how every Call of Cthulhu investigation has two halves: the research phase, and the shotguns and molotovspetrol bombs phase, and this session was definitely in the research phase. Professor Durand and Графиня Durnovo--who were extraordinarily grateful to be back in a civilized country speaking a civilized language where the food is not as dreary as the weather blah blah French snobbery--spent almost the entire session in libraries. The Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, the Université de Paris library, and so on, chasing down information on Comte Fenalik and what happened to the Sedefkar Simulacrum or the Sedefkar Scrolls. To condense a lot of Library Use rolls into a shorter account, they first found that the Comte had been involved in an indiscretion with the Queen and was executed without trial, but further digging found that he had actually been committed to Charenton Asylum after his raving and screaming, and the lascivious and hideous parties conducted at his estate, were found to be obvious evidence of his madness. At the same time, Gianni and Rosaline went to the Louvre, where they found a sketch for an unknown painting, possibly depicting the said Comte. In addition, while they were touring, they heard a strange disembodied laughter echoing from somewhere in the nearly-deserted Revolutionary-era French art gallery...

With some more research, the group managed to find a manifest of the items taken from the Comte's villa in Poissy, but it was maddeningly vague, listing only "statue (incomplete)" with no indication of what happened to the statue or how it was incomplete. They also found the diary of the man who led the expedition to the villa to arrest the comte, depicting the comte's depravity.

The various documents the group found are reproduced at the Comte's HotOE wiki entry here, with no spoilers about his [REDACTED].

On Saturday, the group as a whole went to the Catacombs for a special tour, since Demir, Gianni, and Rosaline had never been and it had been years since Luc had gone. In the deepest part of the catacombs, Gianni caught a glimpse of movement in a pile of bones beyond a locked gate. Showing admirable CoC investigator behavior, Gianni picked the decades- or -centuries-old lock and the group slipped away from the tour, finding a strangely deformed man who called himself Guillaume and spoke an archaic form of pre-Revolutionary French. He seemed extremely nervous and only talked to the group for a few minutes before turning and burrowing down into the pile of bones. He vanished, disturbing the bones less than one burying oneself in them might be expected to, and after a few more minutes, Demir and Gianni went further into the catacombs looking for any tunnel or place where Guillaume might have entered from, but found nothing, and he had only said he came from below. Mysterious...

The next day was Sunday and everything was closed, but as other members of the group--except Demir, of course--went to Mass, Professor Durand went to the Université de Paris library and got further information for the next day's searching. After a couple more days of research, Demir taking time to go to a protest against the cruel depredations of the bourgeoisie and Professor Durand calling his daughter at his estate in Caen and writing letters to his sons, they had found scattered references to "the Underworld" but no specifics and had found that the Comte's villa had a secret cellar that was unmapped, but were unable to find the exact location. On one of those days, the group was followed home by the sound of dragging footsteps, but were unable to find the exact source amid the echoes in Paris's narrow streets (also, we repeatedly failed Listen rolls).

The session ended with the investigators making preparations to go to Poissy and look into the town hall records, hoping to find the location of the Comte's villa and [REDACTED] before going to [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] from [REDACTED]. Hey, I can't help it, as soon as mutantur said the word "villa" it all came back to mind.  photo emot-nyoron.gif

Though this is the new edition, so who knows what surprises will await me! Guillaume was a surprise, and I had to make a quick decision about Professor Durand's reluctance to talk to a strange mutant in a literal tomb vs. his eagerness to speak to someone who natively speaks an archaic form of French. I ended up dithering a bit too long, and I wasn't about to call out to him when he was burrowing into a pile of bones. I did get to call out to him in Latin, though, which is of course what you do to creepy tomb guardians. I know how the game is played.
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