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22 February 2016 @ 10:58 am
[CoC: HotOE] For a moment, there were roses  
Dramatis Personae
  • 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 started off heading to Charenton to check into the Comte de Fennelik's confinement there, only to find that the new director had little time for us and his secretary thought we were an imposition at best. While a donation got us access to the records, we ignored mutantur's overtures to commit larceny and ended up nearly being thrown out when the secretary saw Rosaline holding records from the previous asylum director, but the Countess and the Professor had enough clout that they were not only ushered down to the archives, they were left alone there. After a search turned up little, Professor Durand and Gianni went up to ask the secretary about further records and managed to get the name of the asylum's former historian (and Abbadelli snatched the record book while the secretary was looking) while Demir prowled around the asylum, eventually finding a room where it seemed someone had been walled in. Comparing it to the entries in the former director's logbook, it seemed to imply that a patient who had been walled in had been excavated and was somehow still alive...

The investigators also spoke to M. Mandrin after finding him leaving work, but they learned little, other than that the "new patient" had been treated with electroshock therapy--the cause of Dr. Delplace's death after a fault in the machine--and had not died. Curious.

After heading to the asylum historian's garret apartment and finding him long-dead, with a knife in his chest and a scrap of skin pinned to it with the Turkish words "The Skinless One knows" on it, the investigators headed out to Poissy, where the Comte's villa had been.

This is where I pulled a bit back from the game because I remembered exactly what we had to do down to the smallest detail, but the investigators spent the night in the local hotel and then went to the town hall in the morning, found the land use records and managed to deduce the location of the count's villa and that the land is currently owned by a Dr. Lorien and his wife, so the investigators headed out there and arrived after dark. They were able to use their new cover story--Professor Durand is writing a history book, Rosaline and Gianni are his research assistants, the countless is his...ah, "traveling companion," and Demir is her servant--and when they mentioned the statue, Dr. Lorien handed over a letter from one Edgar Wellington of Lausanne, Switzerland, who also wrote to inquire about the Sedefkar Simulacrum, but the good doctor hadn't had the time to reply.

After some time determining exactly where on the land the entrance on the villa's plans might be, and noting that all of the Loriens suffered from various ailments of the left arm, the investigators left and came back the next day, where they commenced to digging. They found the cellar and the terrible prison chambers within, and in the farthest chamber from the stairs were roses that glowed in a riot of colored light (and mutantur had rigged up his wifi light fixture for this occasion, which was wonderfully evocative) and the glowing left arm of a life-size statue. When the arm was removed, the roses all died and the Loriens' ailments seemed to get better.

The next day, the investigators boarded the Orient Express and spent the evening drinking with Caterina Cavallaro, who performed an aria from her upcoming performance of Aida and invited the investigators to attend her performance in Milan in three days. Then, as the first light of dawn tinged the sky, everyone staggered back from the salon car to their beds and fell immediately to sleep, and when they awoke, they were somewhere else....

Also, we have props! Collect the whole set!

Not visible here is the magnet in the statue, which will allow us to assemble it as we get more pieces. Half-visible on the left side is an artist's rendition of the rose chamber, with the vines weirdly entwined around skeletons and the blooms shedding their unhallowed light. And mutantur says there's more coming, since he backed an entirely separate kickstarter of HotOE props.

I actually wasn't looking forward to this session because I had very clear memories of what was going on and what we had to do. Fortunately, I only remember the broad strokes in Milan and I don't remember Lausanne at all, other than the [REDACTED] that happens in [REDACTED]. And the Dreamlands must be new! So like the previous new section in the 1890s, it'll all be a surprise to me.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Allicorn - The Upper House