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18 April 2016 @ 11:20 am
[CoC: HotOE] CSI: Dreamlands  
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

Due to being sick last game I didn't attend, but I did get a rundown of what happened. The group arrived in Milan, where they found that Caterina Cavallaro was missing and the whole city was under a mysterious malaise because of it. One could say that they were sick at heart. The rooms at the hotel were still available, and the investigators got a tour of the Teatro alla Scala, including backstage. They were sure that the torso of the Sedefkar Simulacrum was there, but they didn't have time or opportunity to search for it. That night, the professor stayed up late reading the Sedefkar scrolls with the aid of an Arabic dictionary while the others went to sleep, and when they awoke, they were on the Dreamlands Express.

The first stop was scenic and picturesque Dylath-Leen, where two groups got on--a group of Sarnathi and a group of beings of Ib, who took up places on opposite ends of the train. The Sarnathi spent time tormenting the beings of Ib, squashing them into walls and talking behind their backs, and generally condescended to everyone within speaking distance. There was also a madman, who the group tried to feed moon wine to to wake up, which went poorly and caused him to be confined in the padded car near the beings of Ib.

After lunch, Rosaline saw something strange in her compartment, opened up a trunk, and found the body of the kitten Blackjack, foully murdered!

Around this time the professor's eyes began to give out and, putting aside the scrolls and the book, he went to sleep and woke up in the Dreamlands, where the rest of the group filled him in. Henri asked them to investigate the murder and offered to accompany them with some of Ulthar's cats, who were obviously interested in determining the culprit. Before they left the room, the discovered strange claw marks near the window, as though something had climbed from outside the train. Strange, since the tentacled monstrosities that bore the train along should be able to protect against such a thing...

Demir unfortunately had been contaminated by peeling a being of Ib off the wall (and OOC his player was absent), so he retired to the bath house while Professor Durand, Gianni, and Rosaline went to question the beings of Ib and the Countess went to question the Sarnathi. This didn't really get anywhere--both of them were convinced the other one had did it because of their inherent duplicity, savagery, and vile nature, etc. The being of Ib squashed near the investigator's compartment door hadn't seen anything and the Sarnathi really didn't care that much. The madman merely babbled without ever providing a straight answer and the cats had seen Blackjack before lunch, but pointed out that Blackjack was a curious kitten who loved humans and so went wandering off frequently. As such, the investigators decide to question the travelers individually.

First they went to Karakov, who was seen leaving lunch with an injured hand. At first he stuck to his story, but with further questioning he admitted that he had been spooked by the sound of the guns (none of the investigators could hear them) and returned to his room for the saber he keeps under his bed. In his haste, he grabbed it by the blade, and cut himself. His injuries matched the wound, but when the cats sniffed the blade, they determined that the blood there was not human...

Second was Madame Bruja, who I'm pretty sure at this point is [REDACTED]--which if true is good, because the [REDACTED] in [REDACTED] never made any sense in a Lovecraftian context--and Gianni and Professor Durand waited outside while Countess Durnovo and Rosaline questioned her. She was convinced that her mysterious enemy had sent a proxy onto the train to work against her and that it must be his work, but other than that her answers were all spite and old feuds and didn't actually provide any answers. The cats indicate that she smelled of old loss and bitterness and death, though they discretely waited until the Countess and Rosaline left the room before mentioning it.

Third was Monsieur M--he had a name, but none of us ever remembered how to pronounce it--where a series of revelations gave him away. The 58-year-old eagle eyes of the professor noticed a series of claw marks near the room's window, and though Monsieur M said he hadn't seen anyone coming or going, the professor also noticed that the rugs he was sitting on were strangely crumpled. Monsieur M moved when requested, and there was a small spot of blood on the rug underneath. The cats sniffled it and meowed at Henri, who exclaimed that it was cat blood, causing Monsieur M to transform into a hideous crustacean monster! It did not attack, though. It simply retreated to the other end of the room. When questioned it admitted to killing Blackjack, but seemed unable to answer any other questions.

Henri wanted it thrown from the train immediately, but the professor talked him down, reasoning that if they could not get any other answers they would never know the circumstances of the crime. Henri assembled all the passengers in the dining car, and the professor explained the crime and that Monsieur M would be confined in the padded car until a further solution would be reached. Henri suggested that either he could be extradited to Ulthar to be tried under Ulthar law--where, if you may remember, there is a remarkable law which is told of by traders in Hatheg and discussed by travellers in Nir which is relevant to these circumstances--or that it be confined until King Kuranes boarded the train. The king's wisdom is legendary, and when asked, the cats accepted that decision.

Then Henri suggested that it was time for the investigators to...wake up.

Because of mutantur's out-of-game circumstances, this was a shorter session than normal, only running about an hour and a half. As mutantur also pointed out, the murder isn't really that difficult to solve, especially with the cats sniffing around everywhere. Once I got the idea to use them as bloodhounds, it was just a question of making sure we knew where to point them. Or where to ask them to go and hope they did it. These are cats, after all.
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