Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

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Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

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30 Sept 2019 - It always starts on a train

Characters
Father Sean O'Malley - Demon Hunter
Mr Gerard Doyle - Raider
Colton - Gun slinger
Mr Joe Blue - Pugilist - added 28 Oct 2019
Mr Sean Hunter - Arcanist - added 25 Nov 2019
Ms Beatrice Nicole - Socialite - added 25 Nov 2019

O'Malley & Doyel, After traveling through Scotland, England & France end up in Toulouse France needing to travel to Berlin Germany - to hand deliver a letter to a Dr James Lallard

O'Malley - now has a contact in London & Parris / successfully researched information in Scotland, Parris and Toulouse
Doyel - now has a contact in London Paris & Toulouse / successfully researched information in Scotland London Paris & Toulouse

Colton, After traveling through England, Parris, Spain, and Southern France is also in Toulouse France traveling to Berlin
*** Need to make Cha checks to see if he made any contacts

The train ride to Berlin will take 31 hours plus time at various stops - total of over 2 days

O'Malley & Doyel meet Colton - the only other American on the train at least only one in 2nd class section.

Also meet

Mr Jarslav Hugo Masek - German finder of antiquities

Captain Ernst Siskovis - German (Saxon) Army officer / currier

Joseph Roy Laudon – corpulent German banker

Joseph & Alice Estra Weiss – Newly wed

Unknown name - Black bushy beard - overly interested in any other passenger with a currier bag

Unknown name - associate of above - Indistinct nationality

Unknown name - overly energetic in talking - Frenchman

Faced

Unknown - bulbous monkey like creature with poisonous tail and chameleon abilities
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by maximus »

Great session Les! I'm still wondering about the "snake" and what it put in that drink...

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

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Thanks glad you liked it.

I'm not sure I didn't bite off more than I can chew in doing a Poeish horror flavored game. I didn't think it would be that hard to keep it a creepy feel, but boy what sounds easy while you are reading Poe or Victorian Vampyre stories sure isn't easy in the RPG, at least not for me

However, with your 'snake and what it put in the drink' I at least hit the mark on that.

Once you make it out of story 1 into story 2, if you all haven't figured it out on your own, I'll let you know then. :twisted:

As a reminder if any of you all write your own recaps and takes on what happened, you'll get extra fate points, or extra exp to put to buying additional 'generic class abilities' (form a limited choice of them) or skill packages. It will be slower than normal (since it is a horror/Poe game instead of a standard fantasy game) but it will be a good way to give you all a bonus for the write ups without flooding a character with extra exp who happens to have extra time to do write ups.
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by Lurker »

Sorry about the com issues last night. Still not sure what the issue was. However, after we wrapped up the game I tried to open my e-mail and it was slow on that too. So, it wasn't a discord issue .... stupid Okie internet provider !

That said, planned on getting further, but with the coms issue maybe it was better we didn't. I'd hat to been in the middle of the fight with those coms issues !

For the recap - 7 October 2019 - Story 1 - It always starts on a train - part b

More information was gathered

Mr Jarslav Hugo Masek - German finder of antiquities
- slips into using past negative tense when he mentions a possible future event he implies he looks forward to.
- Finder of antiquities for the University of Berlin
- Is originally from Blansko (a Town in Moravian, Czech, Austria) and well educated in the University of Prague
- Sister Adelaid Masek - 17 year old - exceptional & intelligent - assisting Dr Jindrich Wankel in his archeological and cave exploration in and around Blansko - hasn't seen his sister in over 6 months
- Fiance - Yvetta (did not hear last name) - assisting Dr Wankel in his medical clinic - nickname for her is "Blond Angle"
- Dr Jindrich Wankel - in the Village of Blansko, is both a medical physician operating a clinic in the village and uses it to train medical Drs after their university work is finished, is the leader in the area for archeological mineral digs in the area, some months ago had some unknown exceptionally large find.
- Is himself Catholic


Captain Ernst Siskovis - German (Saxon) Army officer / currier
- Is an officer originally trained as a Light Cavalry officer
- Is form an influential important family but from the hinterlands of Saxony
- was reassigned as a currier and has been in N Spain / S France (Basque region) on a mixed work / holiday assignment
- Is actually an honest open friendly person
- Is more proud of being Saxon than German
- Dislikes French, especially argumentative hate spewing ones
- Has started an acquaintance with Masek


Joseph & Alice Estra Weiss – Newly weds -
- 2 weeks in S France on honeymoon
- Joseph's father is a professor of engineering and mathematics in the University of Berlin
- Joseph has recently finished his undergraduate studies at the University of Berlin
- and (thanks to the help of his father) received a position as an assistant professorship and teacher's assistant
- Estra is a Jewess


Unknown name - Black bushy beard - overly interested in any other passenger with a currier bag

Unknown name - associate of above - Indistinct nationality -
** the 2 have narrowed down their focus to the individuals of the group, Masek, Siskovis, and 2 other German travelers in their mid 20s to early 30s.

Édouard Drumont – - overly energetic in talking - Frenchman
- Newspaperman – Anti-Capitalism, Anti Jew – Pro Catholic & Government control
- Argued with Father Sean O'Malley when he did not agree with Drumont's anti-Semitism
- Is spending free time with Bushy Beard and his Acquaintance


bulbous monkey like creature with poisonous tail and chameleon abilities - figured out successfully it is an imp - developed a fanatical desire to hunt it down and trap it - it has thus far avoided been overtly seen and seems to be avoiding the inside of the lounge car at the least.

The Train has in the night turned to the East and is now traversing the foot hills to the N of the Alps
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

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Gained no new information about the NPCs

Spotted an imp again & tried to engage it. Eventually tried to clear the dinning car (And made a scene in doing so, & when Colton makes a scene he makes a scene for the ages !) to protect the riders from the little demon. It ended up escaping their efforts.

Noticed bushy beard in the corner having a silent 1 sided conversation

Stopped bushy bearded guy's associate in his argument with Masek . After the argument Masek stayed around others at all times and was never alone.

Father Sean O'Malley talked with Mr Jarslav Hugo Masek and gave him peace with an impromptu confession.

Besides making the scene Colton spent most of the time with Captain Ernst Siskovis

Mr Gerard Doyle tried once more to get some sleep but his slob fat cabin mate won again. So for the 2 nights in a row , he got no sleep

Just after midnight , as the train crossed a bridge and began a slow climb up the hill, Masek left the lounge car. Doyle noticed someone hit the ground and roll away, stand and run into the woods

A few minutes later, bushy beard guy got up and hurriedly eft. Father Sean O'Malley followed a minute or so later

An unnatural wolf how was heard by Doyle from outside despite the noise of the train, and his snoring cabin mate

Father O'Malley followed Bushy beard guy's associate up through the cars to the 3rd class cars in the front and then watched the associate and the 4 thugs jump from the train

A quick search of Masek's cabin showed 3 sleeping cabin mates and his bag carefully unpacked with possibly an item or 2 removed

Before the train crested the top of the hill, Father O'Malley, Doyle, and Colton jumped from the train

As the train crested the hill. another unnatural wolf howl echoed from the valley below, and this time answered by other wolves in the valley.

Knowing the servants of the dark evil, Father O'Malley realized the depth of danger they faced in the night dark valley ... and was shaken to the core.
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by Lurker »

Mr. Joe Blue - Black freed slave & a Pugilist - leapt from the train and joined the group.

The group moved along the ridge line and was able to get ahead of the pack(s) of wolves and the men below in the valley, but as they approached the last portion of the ridge, Mr Blue though of a dream he had that night and knew the rock he dreamed about dying on was in a clearing up ahead, so the group turned to cut off the men in the valley below.

After being ignored b a hunting wolf, a shot rang out through the woods off to the left of the group (from the clearing Mr Blue was worried about)

In the clearing, with his back to the rock that was in Mr Blue's dream, Mr Jarslav Hugo Masek had shot and killed 1 wolf, and was shooting at another.

A thug was seen at the edge of the clearing preparing to shoot Masek, but the group was quicker and 2 bullets dropped him before he could fire.

Chaos erupted as wolves and thugs attacked Mr Masek - eventually driving him up to the top of the 8 foot finger of a rock, and the group fought and killed wolves attacking them and rushing toward Mr Masek

A sound burst spell stunned the group, and Bushy Beard with exceptional speed and agility sprinted through the rock strung clearing to take cover behind the rock Mr Masek stood on. Then Busy Beard's associate attacked from the shadow with a knife - luckily missing Mr Blue's exposed back, and then retreated from the divesting blows of the black boxer.

A larger pack of wolves nearly overwhelmed the group, and kept them from rushing to the aid of Masek, as Bushy Beard drove a dagger into his side.

Captain Ernst Siskovis, uniform muddied torn, bruised, and eyes wide in fear, stumbled out of the darkened woods and was able to kill 2 of the wolves in the last pack, and the other 3 were killed by the group.

Bushy Beard cursed from atop the rock - in England English - pushed the dying body of Masek off the top of the rock, and magical fog began to fill the area.

Masek was found dying, but despite Mr Blue's and Captain Siskovis' attempts with 1st aid, died while saying
Blansko … home …Adelaid sist,,, Yvetta blond… love…. Word…must …

Father O’Malley preformed the last rite for Mr Masek

After his passing, the group found his currier case with various papers, a book, a journal etc, and a crumpled paper that had :
Copied this day, Ibn-Hayyan , Buondelmonti , transliteration cerae diptych, Seraph Hispana
written on it in 5 different languages

Also, they found Masek's pocket watch, cigar case, a packet of letters from home, his locket, his cross, & a silver compass needle with a black and white woven silk string tied around it

As Mr Doyel lifted it up, the needed was blown by the breeze, but then began to spin unnaturally fast, and then stop pointing to the ENE remaining perfectly still despite the light late night breeze blowing through the valley.

1 wounded thug was found critically injured slumped against a tree on the edge of the clearing

No sign of Bush Beard, his associate, or any Imp was found.

So ends the 1 st story – It always starts on a train
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by Lurker »

4 Nov 2019

Story 2

Woods Caves and a Town

Opening cut scene
A dank dark dingy cellar, the sound of umm pa pa umm pa pa music drifting from above, beer schnitzels and bread nearly over powers the musty moldy air, nearly but not quite. The squeak of rats and vermin adds a chorus to the Public house music from above, a dark disquieting chorus

Chains clink, a man stripped necked in the middle of the room, Chains locked to the shackles closed tightly around the mans wrists. The chain taunt through a bracket in the ceiling and down to a winch on the far wall. An exceptionally fat rat leaps onto the crank handle and the chains click even tighter.
The man struggling to breath as the chains stretch him to the point of barely keeping the balls of his feet on the damp floor.
“Did I not give you gifts ?” – a dark voice asks from the rooms shadows
Yes master – the stretched man answers and shivers
Were they not useful
Yes master
Were they not adequate
Yes master, of course master, your gifts are …
Then why did you fail – the dark voice cuts of the useless flattery
A sob is the only answer this time
You know, a gift give can always be taken back
A whimper
A tool can always be turned on the hand that miss wield it
A wolf growls from the blackest of the corners, into the dim light a wolf pads into view snarling fangs bearded hackles raised
I taught you to control them before, try now
A sob, … master …
No, Hummmm you see I control my gifts, always
The wolf lunges snaps, less than an inch from the mans neck
Before the chained man can screem
Now be careful, we do not wish to disturb the pleasantries from above. Lessons are best learned in contemplative silence
The wolf lunges again and again, jaws snapping hot breath and spittle show the chained stretched man just how close the wolf is
The chains clank as the man attempts to dodge without though but knows in his marrow that if the master wishes the wolf would bath in blood
Now a lesson in suability – the dark voice states, but only at a whisper
The wolf’s growl ends , the agressiveness gone in an instant, and a simple panting beast turns and disappears into the shadow
Rats scurry and squeak
Climbing, scratching nipping covering the stretched man
A gasp that will lead to a scream

Nooo no no … silence, learn, suffer in blessed silence, or ….
Rats swarm, clawing
The man quiets, teas of fear and horror stream down his face into his black bushy beard.
Minutes, hours ages pass
Now, my English dog, are you going to be useful
Master spoken in a whisper
Good, I want blood, and I want some seeds planted.
Shadow blacker than night swirl, move, are alive, the lock on the wrench snaps releases. The chain clatters and the man drops, crawls like a much beaten dog, to his cloths. Lifts his hands begging for the manacles to be released

***

The body of Mr Masek, and the wounded thug was being taken to an near by village, but on the goat trail in the middle of the woods the Imps harried the group as a misdirection with someone attacked from behind and drove a dagger into the back of the thug (Told you I'd clean up the lose string, but lucky all the rolls to spot were low enough for me to pull it off without getting the attacker killed).

A shot hit one of the Imps (great shot it was) but you aren't sure it killed the Imp or injured it. After the attack, the remaining Imp (and the injured Imp if he didn't die from the wound) fluttered off into the night as the assassin stealthed into the dark woods

The group made it to the local village that night and in the morning the Sheriff sent some people to gather the killed thugs

The Thugs were French/Spanish (Basque) and had nothing special - except for a hand written note written in English that read

“May my hand do the same to you, if not mine then I pray for another to be the tool of --- wrath”

Capt S was told that he had stepped into something bigger and darker than it may seem - nudging him one more step closer to being a fellow hunter of the Shadow

That day the group and the body of Masek was taken to the nearest larger town. Capt S took a few hours to figure out how best to get the body to the far Czech village of Blansko in Moravia

It will take 2 weeks, but there is a feeling in 2 of the group that time is of the essence , so the rest of the group - with paper work provided by Capt S that hints that he is more than just a common Lt Cav officer.

With some lucky rolls (and some very not so lucky) the group made it through the woods of SE Germany, across the border of Germany and Austria, and across Moravia.

You are now, the next Tuesday afternoon, on a hill of the Carpathian Mountains, overlooking the village of Blansko. The home village of Mr Jarslav Masek and the presumed location of his sister and fiancée.
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by Lurker »

11 Nov

In the village of Blansko

The group talked to a local priest - Father O'Malley will have been introduced to the local Catholic church leadership - holding on the role playing of this

The group was finally passed to the local medical clinic of Dr Jindrich Wankel. The walked into a medical emergency due to an iron foundry accident & helped Mrs (Dr) Yvetta Hlavacova (fieancee) in the emergency - 1 nurse was injured by the patient, but the group held him down and helped Yvetta in the surgery - during the surgery Father O'Malley used one of his miracles to help heal the patient and then his other one to heal the brused and battered nurse.

While she cleaned up the operating & exam room, the group went to Dr Wankel's other ware house and study - it is full of archoilogical finds, skelitians and all the tools used in exploring caves and doing local archeological work. Mr Doyel made a good impression with the Dr and got the grand tour of the place.

Joe talked to Adelaid Masek ( Sister) and told her point blank of her brother's passing. She was saddened but not surprised by the news

Yvetta and the 2 nurses from the clinic arrived and the group told her and Adelaid of making a friend of Masek and his passing (washing over the specific events and the fight in the clearing with the wolves thugs and the 2 others from the train). Yvetta was surprised by the news and her and Adelaid argued for a minute but then Yvetta broke down and cried in the arms of Adelaid.

The group then went to the family farm and gave the news to the elder parent, soon the extended family & friends were in the house starting the mourning process for the passing of Mr Jarslav Hugo Masek

The group was invited to stay until the body of Masek arrived and the family could have a funeral for him. They decided to stay in one of the small cottages outside the family farm house.

They saw Yvetta go into a deep grief and become unhinged (and missed getting ther skulls cracked by her) but were able to restrain her and calm her down before she truly hert herself of anyone else.

The next night Doyle had a dream
***

You are setting comfortably on a hill overlooking a village … no not a hill not a village … a park bench a flower garden. Beautiful comforting, wild flowers, sway in the gentle breeze, warm sun shine blankets all. At one end of the garden 2 rose bushes grow one golden yellow, perfect reflection of the sun shining over head. The 2nd, smaller but in a way more substantial, white roses just beginning to bloom, as white as the snow peaked mountains off in the distance. Flowers like bells actually give off a soft gentle music as if silver bells ringing joyfully in the distance. Wild flowers of all shapes and sizes blanket the garden. Red Yellow Blue purple, and other colors. Vibrant healthy bees buzz joyfully spreading through the garden, making honey, aiding life

From your left a man/shadow skulks toward the edge of the garden, as he approaches clouds darken the sunlight. But the darkness is wrong, there is a sickly green tinge as the sun’s light weakens.

The shadow man stops, 1 seed, foul corrupt decaying and rotting, is flung from his hand, 2 3 4 5 seeds are flung into the garden

The first lands far from the shadow, near the roses. and a malicious weed vine shoot forth, wrapping around the yellow rose crushing the thorn covered stems ripping the bush from the ground snapping roots, snuffing out the flower in an instant. Another vine snakes to the white rose, burrowing onto the ground invading the roots. The white flowers darken, sicken, turn a foul gray.

The 2 nd seed lands among the blue bell flowers wrapping around them, destroying some others twisting, what had been silver tinkling becomes a disharmonious brass clanging
The 3 rd lands among the fiery red flowers to far side of the garden spreading poisonous vines sickening all
The 4 th lands closer to you amongst blue and violet flowers also bringing them down into corruption
The 5 th lands and instead of slicking vines, grey vicious wasps spring up, chasing down the bees, stinging them killing them devouring the corpses , returning to the hive and ruining the honey

You set starting at a field dead decaying filled with brambles, weeds, thorns, and skeletal bare branched brush

You set on a hill overlooking a village, gray corrupted ruined hate filled

***
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

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2 new Americans arrive in the village of Blansko - both wealthy. Mr Hunter coming to meet Dr Wankel and see if he can see first hand some artifacts he see pictures of. Ms Nicole along with him as a long time acquaintance and also someone with a passing interest in antiquities.

They find Dr Wankel's warehouse, but the Dr and Ms Adelaid had left to begin working on the funeral arraignments for when Capt S arrives with Mr Masek's body. Mr Doyle and Mr Blue was in the warehouse and played host as best as they could until either the good Dr or his young assistant arrives.

Father O'Malley spent the morning with the village's under bishop. He is VERY impressive in the interview and has gained favor with the church leadership in the village.

Adelaid arrived, and was closely followed by Dr Wankel with Father O'Malley and rather quickly showed off some of the items in the ware house

The group, funded by Ms Nicole's DEEP pockets, had dinner and beer in the village, but eventually the group was approached by some of the local iron workers - they having seen the size of Mr Blue.

A friendly boxing match developed, and a very large sum was put on the table for bets.

Mr Blue, digging deep and pulling from his fate, fought hard and eventually bested the local strong man, though it was a close fight.

Mr Blue received a bigger purse than he had ever hoped to see in his life from the bets. However, he realized that many local workers had risk weeks of their pay on the fight. He pocketed a portion of the bet, but returned most of the money back to the local workers - this also gains favor for the group with the local common worker class.

The group headed to rest for the evening, Father O'Malley, Mr Doyel, Colton and Mr Blue (bruised from his boxing match) heading to the Masek farm house and Ms Nicole and Mr Hunter returning to their guest house (finest in the village) rooms.
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

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2 Dec 2019 recap

Mr Hunter & Mr Doyle spent the day Friday in Dr Wankle’s ware house assisting with inventory etc – taking time to do some digging on their own – again found a few items with strange symbols mixed in the decoration of the items – Doyle figuring out they are VERY early Middle East style, but not exactly anything he has seen before / Hunter seeing some as very early archaic basic/foundational mystical symbols

Father O’Malley & Colton spent the morning walking around the village guided by a local priest as Father O’Malley got to know some of the local priests and religious leaders of the different churches.

They met the local mayor and sheriff – angry at the arrival of all the bills being sent to the village from the groups rushed travel from Germany across the Austrian border to the local town – concerned about who was going to pay all the debts and if the group was swindlers with forgeries of the German documents . Soon enough, since they are with a local priest and being well received by the under bishop, the mayor becomes less hostile and eventually becomes more friendly with the group.

They are shown, by some of the local iron workers, one of the foundries and lend a hand with a crate that was nearly dropped. Making even a more positive influence with the local workers – do see a few workers unhappy and grumbling (at them at ???? not sure what the focus is)

They are asked to escort Ms Yvetta and Ms Adelaid up into the mountains to a secluded valley that Mr Meask would often take his sister and his fiancée . It will be a 3 + hour hike into the mountains.

On the trip they see below them a flatbed wagon drop off 5 passengers, and there seems to be an argument with 1 passenger and the driver – too far away below them to hear or see any specifics (everyone got low perception rolls here)

The go to the valley and Ms Yvetta and Adelaid wander through the valley going to old spots of remembrance.

Colton’s feeling of unease (since he as arrive here in Blansko – it brings up long suppressed memories of his youth in the Colorado Rockies) worsens as they explore the Valley

Mr Doyle and Mr Hunter discover a cave mouth high on the NE steep hill above the valley’s high mountain lake. Doyle easily scales the loose rock hill and attaches a rope to easy everyone else’s assent to the cave mouth. The rest of the group ascend, but Colton pauses at the cave mouth watching Yvetta and Adeliad below

Colton loses his hold on reality and flashes back to his snow covered mountain home and the morning of the event with his mother. He shoots at a charging bear, and then comes back to reality of the warm sun lit May afternoon. The shot surprises everyone and brings Yvetta and Adelaid to the lake. They soon follow the group up the rope to the cave. Colton follow the 2 ladies into the cave

Mr Doyle, Mr Hunter, and Father O’Malley explore the cave, and find a crack in the back wall. The opening is a passage to another inner smaller cave chamber – Doyle notices a lose rock and spikes it so others can pass safely.

The passage is blocked by another slab of rock (that doesn’t exactly match the stone of the passage wall. The 3 push against the rock, and when it gives way, Mr Hunter and Father Doyle sense/hear a pop as something breaks. The rock then easily pushes out of the way.

In the inner cave, the 3 find a small chamber covered in cave drawing and paintings. Some normal cave paintings others having a more special/unique/mystical subject – items of interest – a strange red hand with fingers too long (an extra joint and bone on each finger, and an extra thump next to the small finger / a white 7 pointed star / shadows fighting and killing people/ shadows being driven back by ??? / the 7 pointed star being used to harm/kill the shadows.

Also as they explored the cave they found the skeletal remains of a man seated on the floor of one of the niches of the chamber, a clean untarnished copper plaque as wide as a man’s hand’s width, and about half again as long as a man’s hand. 7 pointed star on one face of the plaque, 9 mystical symbols on the other face. They also found a broken clay tablet beside the stone used to block the chamber with more mystical symbols.

Father O’Malley noticed a fine floating silver thread as it drifted past them out back into the main cave

Colton hears the howl of wolves and the growl of a bear from outside the cave and he crouches to attack whatever next enters the cave

He is shocked to feel a man’s hand friendly grasping his shoulder. He turns to see the cave changed – no longer cluttered with rubble and debris from outside the cave, now cleared and full of activity.

Some sort of vile celebration going on, and a small group of people fighting and die attacked by living shadows. 1 warrior having a bronze knife that was doing more harm to the shadows that the mundane weapons of those falling beside him. After the shadows engulf his head and kill him they rush to the passage at the back of the cave (where O’Malley, Doyle, & Hunter had gone) but the shadows were rebuffed and were not allowed to enter the passage.

The man beside Colton mentions …. And laughs that he will be entombed in darkness for eternity away from the light that he worships. Then invites, encourages, tempts, Colton to partake in the evil festivities in the cave.

Colton resists the enticement, and Yvetta and Adelaid scream – breaking Colton out of the vision and bringing him back to the current reality. Colton stumbles and slices his leg on a razor sharp untarnished bronze knife blade kicked lose form the rocks covering the cave floor.

He rushes to assist the ladies only to be attacked himself by the flittering darkness attacking the 2 unarmed ladies

Father O’Malley, Mr Hunter, and then Mr Doyle emerge from the passage into the main cave chamber. Mr Hunter and Father O’Malley both cast mystical spells (well Father O’Malley’s is a miracle) which surprises both since neither knew the other had mystical abilities.

The mystical powers drive back the shadows from Colton and the 2 ladies, one being destroyed outright, and the remaining 2 retreat back into the darkness of the cave. However, the shadows are nearly impossible to see in the darkness.

Mr Hunter calls forth mystical light to expose the moving shadows, while Colton pushes the ladies out of the cave into the sunlight and fires back at the shadows. Mr Doyle follows Colton’s lead and fires a round at them himself. The bullets, when the find their mark do damage the shadows but not nearly as significantly as would be expected if the target was a living flesh and blood target.

One shadow pushes through the holy barrier and attacks Mr Hunter, as he sends forth a mystical light into the 2nd shadow, killing it. Father O’Malley attacks the shadow herring Mr Hunter with the bronze tablet. Chasing it from its target, and destroying it.

As the fight ends, Father O’Malley notices the silver thread as it drifts over Colton, then the ladies, and disappear out into the sun lit sky.

The group takes time to inspect the cave – finding a cave bear skull, a wide bone and shell decorative belt (the leather is rotted and the item is in pieces, paint pots (from in the smaller inner room, and a few late stone age and early bronze age tools and artifacts (these bronze pieces are heavily corroded by the passage of time and the moisture in the cave (unlike the knife and the tablet). Father O’Malley carefully recovers the bones from the inner cave and berries them under the loose rock and stone of the hillside.

The group, and the shaken ladies, descend from the hillside back to the picturesque lake below.

As Colton climbs down the rope, he notices he is no longer unsettled. He is actually at peace …
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

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Damn, I missed out on a good game.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

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old school gamer wrote:Damn, I missed out on a good game.
Yeah, but that was just the opening introduction skirmish ... Wait until you all run into ... and the ... well you will see :twisted:
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by Lurker »

16 Dec recap

The group made its way down the valley – following a quicker, but steeper path than the goat trails they took to the valley – and out of ear shot of Yvetta and Adelaid had a hushed conversation about what exactly happened and what they saw and experienced in the cave.

Mr Hunter hoped to deflect any questions the young ladies had with misdirection and confusion.

When the group finally made it to the road leading back into the village, and had a chance to take a break and catch their breath from the difficult scramble down, the 2 ladies started to ask questions. Mr Hunters misdirection’s quickly lead to Yvetta implying that Mr Maesk had previously made similar statements and though her recently deceased fiancée may have gotten away with it, she wouldn’t accept those answers now.

Father O’Malley admitted the truth and gave more honest answers to the ladies questions. After he finished the ladies thanked him and hugged the group. However, as the young girl Adelaid hugged the Jesuit demon hunter he couldn’t help from keeping the memories of the time with the deceased Mr Maesk on the train and on the night of his murder from bubbling up. At this he thought ….

As the group made its way back to the village, they noticed a loose horse running through the woods – with a broken harness for pulling a load or wagon and not a riding saddle. After catching the horse and starting down the road, they eventually found a wagon and dead horse shattered at the bottom of a 20 foot ravine. A closer look showed a man on the edge of death and breathing his last, under the wreck of the wagon and a rock on top of the wreckage.

Mr Doyle with his expert climbing skills helped the strongest of the group down to the ravine floor and they quickly lifted the rock and moved him from under the shattered wagon. Father O’Malley relied on his fath to perform a miracle and save the injured man’s life. Ms Yvetta climbed down and expected the man’s injuries. Looking at the damage, she expected sever injuries, but found the man to be in better condition than expected. Though he was unconscious and delirious, his injuries did not appear to be fatal to the eyes of the Dr.

A look of understanding crossed young Adelaid’s face as she watched from the road above.

Again with Mr Doyle’s expertise, the group was able to lift the injured farmer out of the ravine, and as Mr Doyle and Ms Yvetta worked on making a travois for the injured man, the Yvetta and Adeliade was able to pay attention to his delirious ramblings. Things about moving shadows, a pushed log, spooked horses. Things that make no sense.

After hearing of his ramblings, the group investigated the accident. The rock that crushed the man was not disturbed by the wagon’s fall, the ground under where it had been was not moved from a land slide … a log 10 to 1 yards up the road was visibly pushed into the road … there were NO foot prints or marks near the log or the rock … something had pushed both but had left no physical disturbance around them.

The group hurried the man, as safely as the could, back to the village and Dr Wankle’s / Ms Yvetta’s clinic. He was made as comfortable as possible, but even with his miracles healing his recovery would be slow and painful. Yvetta applied morphine to help the man sleep and numb the pain.

The group dispersed to their own specific interests

Colton and Mr Blue retiring to local public houses and beer gardens – enjoying Mr Blue’s new found fame.

Mr Hunter and Father O’Malley had a long talk about their similar mystical powers, and the items they found in the cave. Items that Mr Hunter knows he can gain insight on with time and study.

After the talk, as the 2 left the bed room they had occupied during their discussion, Father O’Malley noticed Mr Doyle setting in the cottage’s common room. Blankly deep in thought, with the silver needle hanging from the black and white silk cord stock still pointing to the center of the village.

Father O’Malley asks his friend what he was thinking about, and in a blink of surprise the New York Irishman returns to reality here and now. He had been lost in thought of the strange events surrounding crashed wagon and injured farmer. When he blinked back his thoughts the needle relaxed and began to swing normally.

Mr Hunter, Mr Doyle, and father O’Malley were uneased by the needle and the thoughts. The 3 patrolled the village looking for anything any feeling anything out of the ordinary.

The next morning, a bright Sunday morning in mid-May, Father O’Malley prepared to take part in the village’s main Cathedral’s service. Mr Blue, dressed in barrowed cloths – barrowed but good enough to attend mass in – and Mr Doyle attended the mass and watched Father O’Malley performed his part flawlessly. The 2 as they attended the mass noticed a face in the crowded cathedral, just for a split second .. a face they had seen before … the glance was not good enough to see exactly who it was.

After mass, as the Jesuit priest talked with the local under-bishop, another new priest approached, carrying a letter of introduction, and a request to join the village’s church staff. The letter of introduction and the list of the priest’s education and posts was impressive. The under-bishop set an interview for the following Monday morning.

That Monday, Mr Hunter continued his studies of the bronze tablet and clay tablet, and Mr Doyle began his work with Dr Wankle of doing the initial basic survey of the cave. Activities that will take most of the 2 men’s time throughout the week.

That Monday, as the rest of the group went about their individual activities, Father O’Malley attend the interview of the newly arrived priest. The interview lasted hours, and as it went further along, the Jesuit began to pick out more and more corruptions hidden behind the newly arrived priest’s thoughts and beliefs. Things hidden and hard to pick out, but there for the well trained demon hunter. Also, as the interview progressed, the Jesuit noticed an imp carefully crawl through the open window and sneak into the back corner of the room. The imp settled back and watched the interview passively. At first paying no mind the watchful Jesuit. However, as the demon hunter began to quietly direct the interview down paths pointing out the priest’s flaws and corruptions, the imp noticed the danger the Jesuit posed and focus on him with hatred and malice.

Eventually, the Jesuit pulled out his bible, prayer book, and note book and quoted form his works and studies. He then asked the under-bishop to review the priest’s own items. Quickly, an aid to the under-bishop was sent to retrieve the requested books from the priest’s room. Soon, the books were delivered and nothing of note was seen in them. However, the quick eyes of the demon hunter noticed the crinkle of papers hidden in the priest’s bag. When this was pointed out, and the under-bishop began to search the bag, the corrupt priest panicked pushed down the parish priest nest to him, and fled out of the office and into the street.

As the priest fled, the imp focused at the Jesuit demon hunt with burning hatred, then dropped from the ceiling and flew out the open window – unnoticed by any other than the watchful Jesuit.

A parish priest followed the fleeing corrupt priest, but quickly lost him in the village street.

In the confusion, Father O’Malley advised the under-bishop burn the papers found in the lining of the priest’s bag – papers with 4 or corrupted blasphemous prayers – douse the ashes with blessed water, and bury them in holy soil. He then explains the village is under attack from diabolical forces and asks the word be passed to other local religious leaders in the village.

That afternoon, the village’s religious leaders gathered and father O’Malley made his case. Though he was met with suspicion the leaders agreed to be vigilant and watch for any other corrupting influences in their congregation.
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

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30 Dec recap

Retcon for an event that happened the Friday before the trip to the cave

One of the town’s 3 reporters for the local newspaper found MS Beatrice, Mr. Blue and Colton. Talked to all 3, and interviewed Mr. Blue following his boxing match from the night before. The interviewer was focused and clever, and MS Beatrice and Colton noticed that he drew out more info on the reason the main group was in the town – the murder of Mr. Jarslav Hugo Masek. He is interested in interviewing all the members of the party as they have time

He also mentions the owner of the newspaper just passed and his son inebriated it. He is a disinterested owner and pays little attention to what the 3 reporters working for him do.

MS Beatrice surprisingly offers to work a loan for him to buy the newspaper. The offer catches him off guard, and he will have to find a suitable lawyer in town. Expecting it will take a few days.

Now everyone is caught up with the events from the earlier games

Monday – while Father O’Malley is busy with the interview of the corrupted priest and the events of that morning – the newspaper man finds Ms Beatrice Mr Blue, and Colton again. However, this time he is much less focused and it is easy to see something is off and different with him today. He interviews Beatrice this time, and she turns the interview into a conversation and into … a way to pull info out of the interviewer. She finds out that over the weekend, someone else approached to new owner of the newspaper, has made a hefty financial donation, and is feeding the newspaper canned news stories from out of the area. There is also a slant to the stories that he doesn’t like, but he can’t put his finger on exactly what is wrong. Plus, he is worried that with all the canned reports coming in from out of town, that there will be no need for 3 reports on the newspaper’s pay roll and that he or one of his friends will be fired.

That afternoon, Colton and Mr. Blue start to notice friction building in the workers, and they are given some flyers that are being passed around the workers. They figure out the 5 local workers that are the busiest pushing the flyers, and take them to Beatrice – she, being able to read German, see they are anarchist flyers focused on stirring up resentment with the workers and causing trouble between the workers and the factory owners/managers.

The next day the group gets more of a sense things being moved in the town, stress being put into the events. One of the group catches a quick glimpse of the ‘Bushy Bearded Gentleman’ from the train, the man that murdered Mr. Masek. However, before he can be followed he disappears into the shadows of the alley. Mr. Blue and Colton spend more time doing their best, despite their inability to speak Czech or German, to get more information on what is causing the problems among the workers. They are able to pick out the some main leaders of the locals fanning the flames that are slowly building.

That evening, with the group gathered at the Masek family farm house, the mayor, the sheriff and 2 assistants arrive. There has been new info that does not outright blame the group of the death of Masek, but it casts a doubt, ad implies the group is more involved than it may appear at first glance.

Father O’Malley, suspecting ‘Bushy Bearded Gentleman’ as the source of the information describe him to the group, and the sheriff and the mayor honestly act as if they have never seen or heard of him, but 1 of the assistants there has a flash of reorganization at the description.

Eventually, the sheriff propose that to make sure the group is acting honestly, that a member of the group stay at the jail is a show of good faith, and that he or she be followed during the day, again for a show of good faith. He is very explicit that there is no charge of a crime against the group and that none are under arrest. But he trying to balance the group’s story against the hints and innuendo.

Father O’Malley volunteers to stay at the jail, and spends the night there – not locked up, given as much comfort as possible, but there in the jail none the less.

The rest of the group spend the evening visiting beer gardens, and the quick eyes of Beatrice notice a group of workers, disgruntled and unhappy, across the street, among them are some of the 5 that Colton and Mr. Blue described earlier She also picks out an additional man, older, graying hair, hard faced, nose flattened and mal formed from multiple breaks, though better dressed (slightly) than the other workers. There also looks to be a keener intelligence behind the eyes despite his rough features. He has to be the ring leader.

She raises her stein to him from across the street, and when he notices he is being watched, he shoots the attractive young American debutante a look of deep hatred, and disappears back into the alley.

Luckily, Mr. Doyle, a little while later, is able to find him skulking back through the worker’s section of the town. In the rougher area of poor folk. He spends time following him to various stops, talking to various people, handing out moor flyers. He is able to follow him to a house where the gray haired firebrand is staying. Soon, another younger much better dressed gentleman makes his way to the house, spends 10 – 15 min in the house (Mr. Doyle is too far away to hear or see anything going on in the house) and then the younger gentleman leaves and travels toward the better off artesian area of the village.

Doyle skillfully follows the young man, to another beer garden, mostly empty now due the that late Tuesday night, and sees him approach and talk to a seated gentleman. Even from this distance, in the dark, and with his back to Mr. Doyle, he knows it is ‘The Bushy Bearded Gentleman’

Doyle freezes and watches, soon enough the young man leaves, but before Doyle turns to go, he catches the slightest movement from the roof of the beer garden, another winged, scorpion tailed, chameleon like monkey creature … an imp setting sentry over their bearded foe.

Doyle makes his way, oh so carefully now, back to the jail, wakes Father O’Malley and warns him. The Jesuit priest is secure in his powers and training so says he does not need an extra set of eyes helping him watch, so he sends his friend back to the group, now all back at the Masek family farm house, to warn them.

The rest of the night passes uneventfully.

The Next morning, Wednesday, the telegraph arrives, Captain Ernst Siskovis plans on having the remains of Mr. Masek on the Friday afternoon freight train. It should arrive by around 1600, but that is iffy at best with it being in the far reaches of the Czech lands.

The family begins to finalize the plan for the wake the ceremony and the burial – that following Monday after noon.
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by Lurker »

27 Jan and 03 Feb recap

Father O’Malley survives an attack from an imp while he was sleeping at the jail

Captain Ernst Siskovis arrives with the body of Jarslav H Masek , and is approached by Ms Beatrice. Her forwardness unsettles him at first but once he realizes she is associated with Father O’Malley, Mr Doyle & Mr Blue, he is much more properly friendly to her.

The body is delivered to the family, and Capt Ernst spends some hours with the mayor and the sheriff clarifying the events on the train, answering questions they have, and vouching for the group – thus alleviating the need for Father O’Malley to spend the nights in the town jail.

He also brought the town information on suspect individuals associated with plots and anarchy movements across Europe. Working with the sheriff and the group, they are able to pick out one of the opponents they have been facing off with in the town – the younger man that has been focused on the news paper and spreading rumors of decent through the town’s artisans and business men.

The group continued to split the time between protecting the young Ms Adelaid Masek and Ms Yvetta. and hounding the busy bearded gentleman and his associates. Ms Beatrice and Mr Blue both are able to get information on the white bearded anarchist.

That night, an imp attempts to sneak into the Masek farm house but it is spotted by Colton and one other of the group. Lacking suability, the gun slinger drawn and fires on the nearly invisible winged monkey creature. The house erupts into chaos at the sound of a colt 45 blasting off in the sitting room. The 2 member of the group in the house rush the wounded imp and attack it, further injuring it. However, the little cowardly demon is able to escape out the window and flee into the family barn – later making good its escape.

The imp dropped scraps of paper it had been carrying . Colton hands the papers to Ms Adelaide who blanches as she reads the blasphemous and doubt causing notes. – unwittingly completing the task the imp was sent to complete. It was to hide the notes so that Adelaide and Yvetta would find them and their messages would poison them and introduce doubt to the 2 ladies.

The next Sunday, father O’Malley is informed by another priest that one of the faithful of the foundry workers confessed that he had been invited the other night to participate in some unspoken dark deed at the flop house that the white haired anarchist was staying at.

The group prepare a raid that afternoon, but fined an empty house. The anarchist had fled earlier in the day, leaving behind pamphlets and the like that incriminated him, and Father O’Malley found an attic room that stank of sulphur and brimstone – the room that the injured imp(s) had stayed in to recover from the injuries they had suffered by the hands of the group.

The group nervously prepared for an attack … Sunday night passes, …. Monday morning passes as the family prepares for the afternoon memorial service for Mr Masek …. The service takes place … the family goes to the grave yard for the burial … the family retires to the mourning diner provided by Dr Wankel and the village … nothing … nothing, but the worry settles on the group.

Ms Yvette and Ms Adelaide, along with 3 of their younger female friends retire early from the dinner. The food beer and crowd being to much for the ladies.

As the group leaves the town, crosses the bridge over a small stream, and begins to walk up the hill going to the family farm house, the wait ends

Ms Beatrice notices a black shadow and then another, blacker than night and malicious as they rise from the ground in front of the girls. She sings out a warning.

The girls warned a split second before the attack are able to avoid the shadows attacks long enough for Father O’Malley to call on his divine protector and rebuff the presence of at least one of the shadows – full strength shadows this time not mostly starved and weakened creatures they faced in the cave.

Being living shadows they are hard to see and fight in the darkness, so Father O’Malley calls forth a light that attaches to a tree limb above the group, giving them a good circle of light to fight in.

Gun shots ring out, as the group fights the shadows, and 5 or 6 thugs rushing from the buildings at the edge of the town to Colton’s waiting twin colts. A wave of malicious energy touches Mr Doyle, but he is able to shrug off the dark spell. Capt Ernst notices another foe on the right atop the hill and rushes forward firing time and time again – some shots going wide, others being stopped by some mystical power. Only to later fall stiff as a corps at the feat of the dark mystic.

Fist, knife, and bullets fell one of the shadows as the 2 nd one chased away by Father O’Malley’s prayer rushes back to the fight.

The quick eyes of Mr Doyle notice a shape flittering and jumping from limb to limb in the tree. An imp breaking the twig the light spell was attached to. His shot hit true, the nearly dead imp drops the twig and weakly flies into the night.

More shadows rush the group from front and from under the bridge.

A mournful soul chilling ear crushing wolf’s howl erupts from the center of the group. The 3 village girls are knocked unconscious by the malicious burst of fear and noise.

One then another shadow falls, though they are able to rake the back of Yvetta, and one of the group.

However, the last 2 shadows are more effective in their attacks. One raking Yvette and latching ahold of her. Beginning to suffocate her in its bleak shadow form. The other grabbing Adelaide and dragging her from the group and to the edge of the light. Another malicious wave of mystical energy brushes Mr Blue, but he too is able to shake off the ill effects of the spell

Mr Blue’s and Father O’Malley ‘s attacks are able to fell the shadow engulfing Yvetta before she succumbs to it dark existence – though she is gravely injured and severely weakened by the shadows attacks. Mr Doyle fires into the shadow before it drags the girl into the darkness (and becomes significantly more difficult to see and attack) and nearly kills it. In malicious hatred the demon slashes its quarry and then flees into the night.

The spell caster on the hill, seeing the carnage across the stream caused by Colton’s pistols, and that all his servants sent to attack the group and the girls had been killed or chased from the field calls an enveloping fog and flees himself into the safety of the night.

Yvetta and Adelaide are healed as best as the group is able to and the other girls are awakened – though one is severely dazed and mental damaged by the events. Mr Doyle is soon able to find the body of Captain Ernst. Laying stiff as a corps atop the hill. The weakest of heart beats and the faints of breaths show the Saxon Caption is alive, but his muscles are locked in rigor mortis. A little time later, the malicious spell wears off and the Captain is able to move again, though he is excused and drained by the spell.

The group barricades themselves and the 5 girls in their cottage, light every lamp they can find and settle down for the next attack … and despite their best efforts doze through the night. No attack comes, though in the morning they find signs where an imp had snuck on the ceiling of the cottage and scrawled a note of hatred on the window.

Yvetta and Adelaide, and the group were healed a little more, and Father O’Malley offered a blessing to the village girl that still suffered mentally from the events of the night. His prayer seemed to help the girl to mental mend from the attacks.

Yvetta, despite her weakened condition, wanted to go to the clinic to at least check on her patients. On the way there, the group is stopped by the sheriff and some of his men, and one of the mayor’s assistants. They are question about the attack the night before and give acceptable half answers. Mr Doyle notices the young well dressed nearly aristocratic man, one of the mayor’s assistants, blanching and becoming uncomfortable during the talk.

As Mr Blue and Mr Doyle escorted Yvetta to Dr Wankle’s clinic, Captain Ernst and Father O’Malley poured through the forms and paperwork the captain had brought with him from his 2 weeks of researching the events on the train. As the threads came together they narrowed it down to a name for ‘Bushy Beard Gentleman’ - Master James Dodd – a younger son (though younger only compared to his older siblings) of a well to do English business man and banker. A son rumored to be involved with mystical movements in England and possibly darker occultist groups.

Yvette spends same few hours checking on her patients, and the wagon driver is recovering nicely. As he talks, one of the young nurses wants to practice her English, so she translates what the driver is saying.

He tells of the odd group he brought into town, a white haired older man, a business man, a younger well dress gentleman, and a foreigner with a thick beard and funny accent. Despite thinking the younger man would set in the front and ride beside him, it was the bearded foreigner that did so and acted as if he was in charge of the group.

The wagon driver mentioned he picked them up alongside the road near an old abandoned way house some hours to the west.

Throughout the remainder of the day, Mr Doyle thought about it. Eventually putting 2 and 2 together and coming to believe that the description from the wagon driver and the Mayor’s assistant who nervously listened to the sheriff’s interview about the previous night’s attack was one and the same. As he came to this conclusion, Father O’Malley came to a similar conclusion that this was the young man he saw talking to the night guards while he was in the jail and who was there right before the shutters were opened for the imp’s night attack.

The group spent the evening at the beer garden that Master Dodd frequented, a beer garden for the more well off villagers. Soon enough the sheriff and the mayor arrive for an evening beer, and the group joins them in conversation.

Mr Doyle asks the right leading questions and gains more information on the young gentleman he was beginning to suspect. The answers, a young man from a family that had ties to the village, but had moved into Austria proper. A family that had become wealthy and influential. They had sent one of their sons to come ‘apprentice’ with the mayor to get more experience in the political arena, but be safely away from the political elite of the more urban centers of Austria proper. He arrived around 2 weeks ago with all the proper letters of introduction etc.

As the mayor and sheriff talked, Mr Doyle noticed the very same young gentleman walk into the beer garden, notice the group talking to the mayor, and then abruptly turn on his heels and leave.

Mr Doyle made a proper excuse and followed the suspicious gentleman, soon Father O’Malley and Mr Blue followed suite, with Captain Ernst staying behind with the Mayor and Sheriff.

The group easily follow him to his apartment , Mr Doyle hurries to cover the back exit as Father O’Malley and Mr Blue make their way into the apartment building

Soon enough they find the gentleman’s apartment and catch him unaware and ill prepared. A weak halfhearted fight from the gentleman ends with him holding his hands up in surrender muttering that it isn’t worth it.

Captured he admits to some of the groups accusations, and taunts the Jesuit priest just enough to make a point but not enough to call down his wrath. The group find enough incriminating evidence of his involvement with the anarchist spreading flyers amongst the common workers and the other man seeking to influence the news paper and spreading decent amongst the village’s well to do citizens.

The arrest is questioned by the mayor, but Captain Ernst is able to convince the sheriff of the soundness of the group’s reasoning.

The next morning, the group prepare to ride to the distant way station but are surprised when Adelaide comes from the barn, wearing her hiking cloths, and leading a horse saddled for the journey too. Knowing looks are passed, but none stop the 17 year old girl from coming. Plus, as she points out, she know the area and knows the way house the group described from the story told by the wagon driver.

The 4 hour ride is mainly silent except for the girl’s question to Father O’Malley about the notes … “Were they truly lies & are the ones they were going to find the ones who spread them ? The Jesuit’s answer satisfied the young lady and she resolutely rode on.

The way station was easily found, with Adelaide’s assistance, but over the 4 hours her courage began to fail.

Father O’Mally offered her the choice of going forward into the unknown and dangerous life – unknown to the priest the girl thought that it was the same path her brother had followed and died on & if he did she must also follow it – or remain here with the horses and ride back to the village and back to a normal life.

The priest heard his answer but not with his ears, the girl’s voice bubbled in the back of his mind “A normal like was never meant for me”

Captain Ernst and Mr Doyle lead the way through the woods, finding wolf and bear traps – set for men and not animals – and a trip wire set to make noise as they approached.

The group hesitated at the tumbled down wall of stones around the way station’s yard. The young girl tried to reach out and hear beyond what the others could hear, but her nerves got the better of her and she could only say she heard speech in the ruined building (so at least 1 person was in there)

A hasty plan, Capt Ernst would watch the back, O’Malley, Doyle, and Blue would move into the front, and Adelaide would watch the back of the 3 to make sure nothing attacked unforeseen as they moved to the house

Mr Blue snuck expertly to the house, but the other 2 tripped and made noise as they approached – they didn’t realize it, but those in the house were to focused on what they were doing to notice (stupid critically low rolls for their perception!) .

The ambush went flawless. The white haired and bearded anarchist was caught digging up a small crate of dynamite. The businessman accomplish was caught sprawled on his sleeping roll complaining, and Captain Ernst caught 2 thugs as they came from the woods carrying squires to prepare for dinner.

Surprised and overwhelmed the 4 surrendered.

Disappointedly, since Master Dodd was not there, the group dragged the 4 back to the village to be jailed with the young aristocrat conspirator.
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by Lurker »

The group tied up the 4 captives and began the ride back to town. A ride that would put them arriving late after sun set.

A ride that was slowed due to the 5 riders having to slow down to the speed of the 4 captives as they truged along. A ride that took longer and longer as the walking captives slowed more due to exhaustion from the forced march.

A ride hampered by a late evening summer thunderstorm blowing across the mountains. A ride that deepened Mr Blue's worry and concern. He KNEW they were being followed watched stalked, and that the storm had a malicious origins.

The group trudged its way back into the village well after midnight, and it took over an hour to rouse the town's sheriff and convince him of who the captives were and why they had to be arrested and jailed.

Eventually the group tumbled into bed at the farm cottage in exhaustion for a few hours of sleep.

The next day the group discussed what to do next

Stay and protect Yvetta and Adeliad … from what specifically and for how long …. Yvetta is recovering fairly quickly from the lingering effects of the attack by Master Dodd and his shadow demons.

Eventually, the old forgotten letter that was to be hand delivered to one Dr James Lallard was brought up. The Dr's last know location was Berlin - the destination of the train that started this series of adventures over 3 weeks ago.

Captain Ernst Siskovis himself must return to Berlin so knows the trains that will need to be taken, and be able to escort the group across the border between Austria and Germany.

Mr Blue … he has not future plans, no options, he is cut lose and free to travel as he will - on his non existent funds - so he has no specific place he must go to.

The group agrees Berlin it is.

The train will leave the following Wednesday morning early. So the group has 1 last evening in the familial comfort of the Maesk family farm. 1 last good Moravian rustic home cooked meal. 1 evening to reflect on the last 3 weeks events from the start of the train ride to now.

As the group says its good byes, Hands are shaken hugs are given. As each hug Adeliad, they feel a mental twinge a tug at the edge of their thought

Father O'Malley, attempting to ward off ???? and Ms Adeliad Maesk gives him a hug and says "Your path is dark, stay true to your path, rely not on ony your own strengths but also trust in your friends"

Master Gerard Doyle too tries to resist ???? and the young lass tells him in parting "Be careful, some books … the first page is not the truth of their story"

Mister Blue does not resist at all and the young girls hug lingers and a deep sadness fills her. On the edge of tears she whispers "I am so sorry for the darkness you have faced"

The conductor calls out and the group begin to climb into the setting car of the train, a backward glance sees Adeliad holding Yevetta's and Captain Siskovis's hands between hers at the same time as they give one last good bye.

As the train begins to pull out, a runner from the sheriff races to the train. Arriving a few seconds to late to deliver his message, he tosses into the setting car to Capt S. After he retrieves the note he gives a grim smile. "Well, all 5 of the captives are dead. 1 hung himself, 2 stabbed each other after attacking the 3rd, all 3 bled to death before a surgeon could arrive to stop the bleeding. and the old man died in his sleep"

So ends story 2 - Woods Caves and a Town

The train ride is uneventful as the group passes from the hinterlands of Czech into Germany - Captain Siskovis is able to smooth the border crossing and no one is searched or questioned when the guards see his official orders.

The arrival into Berlin is a little jarring. from the pastoral comfort of the last 2 + weeks to an new growing modern city. A city in the process of tearing down the old and outdated and modernizing itself with the influx of new wealth and political power for the young but powerful German empire.


Captain Ernst Siskovis hands the group a scrap of paper with his address, and another note in German - to show any local police man or soldier if they need his assistance . He orders a hackney cab for the group and give the driver an address of a hotel to take the group to. Telling them it is in easy walking distance to the Berlin university, and of good enough comfort.

He then disappears into the crowd of the city dwellers swirling around the train depot.

The group find themselves in a comfortable hotel - "???" - the Rose's Grace, are told of 3 establishments that serve the hotel's clients of business men, traders and mid level bankers associated with the hotel (and a 4th a little further away from the hotel but with better food and cheaper prices) a wash house to bath in, and they head to an off the shelf tailor to get new cloths, suits to better fit in the city.

A good meal, a few beers and they settle into a comfortable rest.
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by Lurker »

9 Mar 2020 -recap
Start of Masque of Red Death Story 3 - Big city dark allies and the Jakubow’s affair

Cut scene

A gentleman, sandy blond hair gray blue eyes, handsome, well dressed in the attire of one well off (but not truly wealthy) out on the town for an evening’s dinner and general comfortable entertainments. A lady, hair more pale blond, eyes ice blue, an alluring Nordic face, dressed in more finer cloths, dressed for looks not comfort or function.

The 2 set in a corner alcove of an artisan’s public house. A place to meet friends, see and be seen, and to begin an evenings activities.

The hum and clatter of conversation and drinks fill the air, a sideway glance from the gentleman verifies a 3rd individual is present in the crowd. A rougher man and despite his cloths bought to help him blend into the public house’s clientele, a man that does not fit into the crowd of business men and artisans.

“My good friend, the accented lady’s voice whispered – are you sure we need him here.

Yes madam, he is needed, his type are always needed. You need to learn …

the man stops as a serving maid brings a fresh pot of steaming water for tea and an extra cup , as requested. She looks confused at the box of tea leaves open on the table (most patrons are happy enough to drink the house blended tea and even if not, they normally would not be bold enough to set out an open box of their own tea. However, knowing her place as a serving maid, in need of a tip for attentive service, she does nothing more than blink at the couple, smile, give the slightest of a courtesy, and turn to go back to serve her other tables.

The man smiles at the serving girl and waits till she is out of ear shot.

You need to learn you are always in need of a strong arm nearby. There are many dangers, some hidden and need of particular … abilities which we are skilled in … others, more mundane and those are able to be handled by his type. Plus, when needed one such as he may be used as a … shall we say as a sacrifice to satisfy the hunters of those that oppose us. It is better to send a goat to the wolves while we find our way back into the shadowed safety.

The pert lady smiles at the thought and nods. Of course, I am used to my more sheltered service in safer …

The gentleman hold up a hand to stop the lady from continuing.

Speaking of your service, it is time to do so. Remember quietly, do nothing that draws attention

The lady frowns in concentration . Shivers at the thought of what she was about to do, it is difficult and dangerous enough doing this in a quiet drawing room, much less in a crowded noisy public house

The tea leaves drop into the hot steaming cup – a tea that would be death to any that drank it. The lady inhales the vapors once and breaths, once, twice …. As the 3red inhale fills her lungs, she relaxes … doesn’t notice the gentleman’s hand as it guides her hands down to safely place the tea cup on the table

The noises of the public house are gone, the sight of the swirling crowd fade

A gray void … nothingness … A noise quiet and terrible echoes around her causing her soul to shiver

A Gray glow surrounds her but the area is formless , She feels herself floating untethered, but then a tendril … she is caught . Every thought of hers sends out a vibration down the tether she is now attached to.

A swirl of consciousness in the gray glow, following the thought vibrations

Who are you my little girling? ???? Why are you here, floating alone in my parlor ???

Thoughts vibrate through her being, down the strand that holds her fast , a line that binds tightly

Oh now I know … the manling sent you.

The floating lady shivers at the focus of the consciousness on her

In the public house, a few smiles by the patrons bothering to notice that the gentleman slid from his side of the table to set next to the pale haired pert nosed lass ….

You my precious, attractive, girling are in danger here. … He sent you unprotected, I feel no circle of power around you, no warding to hinder my will. Now, let us decide, are you acceptable as a servant of my will or are you a delectable offering to slate my desire and curry favor for the young manling .???

The ice eyed girl shivered again in ecstatic horror as she is laid bare to the desires of the consciousness that bound her in the Gray Mist.

The gentleman turned ever so slightly, tucked his companion’s head to rest against his shoulder. To any watching it would look like two setting in a shadowed alcove and stealing a kiss before the rest of the evening’s entertainment.

Oh … delicious you are my girling. Corrupted enough to draw you here, but not in total, so a sweetness I can savor. An offering yes, but also a useful servant you may be.

Revolution at the ravishing of her consciousness, mixed with ecstatic desire at the power offered.

The gentleman carefully muffles the groan, moan, whimper of the lady tucked to his side. For once the man smiles. A thought, crosses his mind. - She needs to learn there are uses for a strong arm, and there are uses for an attractive lass of an adapt too.

Time, with a loss of meaning to the girl, slowly returns as the consciousness of the Gray Glow disentangles itself from the now more corrupted soul.

So, you will be useful, … possibly … prove yourself! Carry a message to the manling that sent you to tempt me.

He has good taste and knows my desires … One thing more I desire more than a sweetling treat of a lass’ soul.. My rival fails in his hunt for the Codex of Aster’s hand. The copies are well hidden. The Spanish slattern, and the English sowish bested my rival’s hunter & I feel someone new bested them twice. Oh delicious .

However, one may not need a copy of an old codex …. What was discovered before and hidden can be re invented by clever minds and cooperation (but the word , the thought the idea of cooperation causes revolution to hum through the consciousness in the Gray Void)

His loss will weaken him. His focus on our rivalry will wane. He will become more focused on those that bested his hands. His desire for the hidden translator will heighten. We have an opportunity . Yes we may ascend and he may descend even if slightly. Besting him will be sweet.


Go, find, acquire, or destroy. Flashes of images burn into the pale hired lass of an adept’s mind

A gasp as the lady returns to consciousness. A sob is stifled, but a tear escapes at the pain and glory of her raped soul.

The handsome man moves away from beside the lass, So, you were skilled enough to travel and return. You

The lady cuts off the man’s speech. Yes. And yes I was acceptable. Next time though, I will ward myself you will not … I will never again be your offering or scape goat.

The man now frowns. Maybe she is learning lessons better and faster than hoped.

We must send your useful tools to Berlin. I will tell them what is needed. What they are to find or kill. (and the thought that if they fail, the consciousness of the Gray Web will be unhappy with the ‘manling’ and not as much as it will be with the messenger. Now the lady smiles)

The 2 get up and weave their way out of the public house, soon after the strong arm follows the 2 out.

Unobserved from the corner of the public house a pair of green yellow eyes flash, a hiss. An monkey sized commeliaon like winged Imp scurries across the ceiling and filters out the door. The 1 man and the couple are followed. A rival may lose a hand but it may be more watchful than expected .

***

The group ends up spending 5 days searching the University of Berlin – Friedrich Wilhelm Humboldt University -btrying to find Dr James Lallard.

In the 5 days they:

Find where Mr Jarslav Hugo Masek worked in Berlin (in the Museum für Naturkunde -Museum of Natural history - and not in the Berlin University itself. Though the museum is closely tied to the university) . They inform Dr Karl Lorenze , curator of the museum, about the specifics of his murder. With that, and with a very good roll to see his disposition at that time, the museum is open to Master Doyle for him to review the items on display and back in storage as he desires - to a courteous point of course.

They are interrogated by a Captain detective of the “Geheimpolizei” secret police, triggered by Captain Ernst Siskovis' report on the murder of Masek - they end up letting slip interesting information about the events in Morivia but do keep from letting slip any interesting mystical information. After the interrogation they see Capt S and he walks them back to the hotel they are staying in. He is sad ans surprised they did not get his note that the Geheimpolizei were watching them and that they would probably be talked to - the note was delivered to their room by the bell hop that the Capt gave it to after the group left for dinner so they did not see it in time (due to a low roll at an inopportune time by the group)

The find :

Master Joseph Weiss who will help they try an track down Dr Lollard, and they find out one of his jobs at the University to to try and keep track of where the students and Jr facility staff stay.

Mrs Alice Estra Weiss, who is an assistant professor in the math department and staying in the area (with her husband Joseph Weiss) and offering tutoring to students that remained at the university during the summer. She also offers to assist in finding Dr Lollard.

They notice they are now being followed by an imp, and 2 night in a row try to lure it into their room (which fails due to very high rolls on my part for it to resist causing mischief to them and follow it's explicit orders). However, the group does realize that during the day it follows at a distance, so if they are careful and clever they can lose it, and then change rooms in the hotel to keep it from easily finding them.

They spot Mr Greer Lynn MacAulay – Mr Lullard’s agent - as he leaves the university late one afternoon, but can't catch him before the hacky cab rides off into the crowded streets.

The next day, they (thinks to a high roll) find Mr MacAulay again, and are able to track him down before he disappears into the university's building that houses the Philosophy and History.

They talk, he offers to take the packet off their hands to help speed the back to America, but the group refuses the offer. He then relaxes (a very little) and offers to introduce the group to the assistant chair of the school of philosophy, so they can further their studies for a few days while he prepares transportation for them all back to Scotland.

*** High roll on perception check showed he has an old injury to his L Arm and L leg (odd for a factor agent and lawyer) he walks with a knotted dark wood cane (very effective weapon) and it is topped and caped with silver (the hunter knows how useful silver is!)

As the group enter the Philosophy and History department, they see Professor Wilhelm Dilthey – (Senior professor and assistant chair in the university – Philosophy ) talking to an Indian (from India not American native) . The Indian ??student/professor you aren't sure?? sees the group approach, he smile and turns to talk to another gentleman there in the entrance hall (holding a satchel and sheets of paper)

As the introductions are made … a woman screams from the back of the building
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by Lurker »

Masque of Red Death Story 3 - Big city dark allies and the Jakubow’s affair

Running list of important NPCs

Captain Ernst Siskovis - German (Saxon) Army officer - carry over from Story 1 & 2 / stationed in Berlin and with ties to the military and police

Dr Karl Lorenze , curator of the Museum für Naturkunde (Museum of Natural history)

Name unknown , Detective Captain of the Geheimpolizei” secret police.

Mr & Mrs Joseph & Alice Estra Weiss - carry over from story 1 - bot employed at the university - he is tied to administration of the university and has access to addresses etc for students and junior staff / she is tied to the mathematics department.

Mr Greer Lynn MacAulay , Estate steward/Agent Factor of Master James Lallard

Professor Wilhelm Dilthey – Older gentleman – Senior professor and assistant chair in the university – Philosophy

Murder it is

Michael Rekshon – a Jewish grad student in the university of Berlin – specializing in ancient languages – working on a translation of the strange symbols – the murder victim . - His apartment has already been searched and ramshacked

Dr Rhuam Dhruv - India Indian – 46 year old – philosophy Sanskrit & India ancient languages specialist. Writer of multiple papers regarding ancient languages of India and the near east. Survived the attack.

Dr Harilal Dhruv – India Indian – 24 year old – philosophy Sanskrit & India ancient languages specialist – with his uncle Rhuam Dhruv, has been his uncle’s aide in his works.

Szmul Jakubow – another Jewish grad student in the University of Berlin – specializing in archology and ancient religion, working with Mr Rekshon in their joint research. Assumed to have witnessed the attack from hiding and fled the area. Whereabouts unknown.

Ms Emmy Sophie Pleuckur - Szmul Jakubow's ex-girlfriend - an aid to one of the lead mathematician at the school

ACF - Arthur Carl Fichte - Friend of Rekshon and Jakubow - initials found on 2 notes ; found as he was being 'mugged'

***
Jewish associates

Louis Bergson – older Cousin of Jakubow – gumshoe hunting his cousin

Ms Tamarel Fanny Sonnenberg – Louis' cousin - A skilled socialite and burglar - of the other side of the fence from Jakubow - helping in the search

Ms Mina Bergson - Louis' youngest sister - flower merchant to flower girls through out the city - hugely dislikes Tamarel / Tamarel considers her a gossip monger and is dismissive of her youngest cousin

Rabi Mendel Hirsch - older Jewish gentleman - a retired hunter of the dark - is willing to teach Father O'Malley miracles and prayers he thus far does not have access to.

***

Opponents

3x individuals from the low countries - no specific information

Name - Jon de'Vinn - no specific information


***
Key incites and prophecies

Father O'Malley, from Ms Adeliad Maesk "Your path is dark, stay true to your path, rely not on only your own strengths but also trust in your friends"

Master Gerard Doyle from Ms Adeliad Maesk "Be careful, some books … the first page is not the truth of their story"

Adeliad holding Yevetta's and Captain Siskovis's hands between hers at the same time as they give one last good bye when leaving Moravia

O'Malley - dream - 2 powers fighting in gloom 1 has a servant that is bestial wolf like / the other has a spider servant - He is caught in the middle of the fight.

Mr Blue dream - preparing for a fight in a clearing, a young girl is a spy and informs his old master of the preparations, the ones preparing to fight are caught and killed by …

Mr Doyle dream - Floating in darkness, a spiderweb there, a black and blue silken winged butterfly attracted to the light of his being, he and the butterfly are in danger from the web and the spider moving on the web toward them.
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by Lurker »

23 Mar recap

A murder it is

The woman’s scream echoed from the back (Back Left with a good perception check) of the college building

The group froze in place, and Father O’Maley and Mr. Doyle were the first to reach. The 2 sprinted to the source of the scream. A woman back against the hallway wall, staring wide eyed through a door way into the open room.

Father O’Maley heroically jumped between her and whatever danger was in the room, and Mr Doyle check to make sure she was uninjured.

Peering into the room, Father O’Malley saw a bloody body lying motionless on its back, white shirt stained red from the blood oozing from the stab wounds. A 2 nd body, older mid to late 40s, darker skinned – similar to the young Indian from India Dr they say in the entrance hall, suite jacket still on, crumpled on the floor on the other side of the table. Blood gurgling from his mouth and bubbling from the stab wounds in the back of his chest. His life quickly ebbing away.

The Priest rushed forward and reached out with a divine miracle and healed the most critical of the injuries, saving the man’s life.

Also, the open window in the back of the room allowed a breeze in, blowing papers, notes, materials around the room. Some landing in the blood pooled around the dead man on the floor. Strange (another high perception check) NO other window in the building was opened.

Mr Doyle notices on the table between the injured Indian Dr and the dark haired dead younger man, ancient clay tablets, papyrus pages, charcoal rubbed papers of ancient writings – the papers weighted down on each corner protecting them from the breezes – all laid out carefully. He stops and is instantly engulfed with trying to pick out the information on the tablets (a low perception check which kept him from assisting further in the first part of the investigation of the murder scene)

No enemy is present, the injured man is stabilized, Dr …. Arrives and begins to calm the hysterical female teacher’s aide in the hall, the younger Indian arrives and kneels beside the injured man – his uncle. Master Mac … pauses and then steps back, quickly observing the scene and then beginning to study Father O’Malley and Mister Doyle , their actions reactions, how the take in the scene . He does walk to the window glance out it into the open green between this building and the other university building next to it, and glancing to the L & R of the area.

Father O’Malley begins to investigate the area. They do have a small window of time to investigate before the police arrives:

To the side of the office the attack took place in, there is a large storage area, with tables full of clay tablets, papyrus, copies of ancient writings – eventually Mister Doyle is able to assist in the investigation and picks out they are strange to be together. They are cross cultural and cross time. Spanning from ancient Celt Iberia, through the Mediterranean area, into the near east, and across into India – taking up an area conquered by Alexander and dominated by the Greeks and Romans.

In the back, 2 neatly folded suit coats and hats placed on a small table – 2 suite coats, but only 1 of the attack victim was not wearing a suit coat

In the storage area to the R of the double doors between the storage area and office, behind a table a clip board with a list. The table was a perfect hiding place to avoid being seen by an attacker in the office

In the corner behind the table a note:
To Ms Emmy Sophie Pleuckur - On this day that my work is becoming fruitful I must thank you once more for your mathematical inputs. Our history was not as was hoped and our paths were forced to diverge, but I will be eternally grateful for your help and insight and your tutoring in the mathematical skills.

In the back of the storage area, another double door, one slightly ajar, leading to the side hallway, which leads to a stair well going down to the basement and up to the 2 nd, 3 rd, and 4 th floors of the building, and an exit to the side of the building. A perfect escape route for an attacker, or someone fleeing from the attacker.

Mister Doyle begins to place things together on the ancient tablets. It isn’t the normal writings on the tablet that is the focus. It is strange outlier symbols and marks on the periphery. The notes – that aren’t ruined by blood – point to mystical meanings and representations of the symbols. He has no mystical training so can take the information no further att this time with a quick glance at the ancient writings. But given enough time maybe something.

Out the open window, a 12 foot drop to the green gras below. 60 feet to the back of the adjacent building, to the left a walk way going to other buildings of the university, to the R the busy thouralfare surrounding the University – a bit of luck spent and Father O’Malley makes sure NO ONE in the area is focused on the open window. However, a slightest of movement, nearly invisible, similar to the bulbus winged imp creatures they have recently face. Similar, but not exactly. The movement was different, the shape strange.

Mr Greer Lynn MacAuley … frowns when that is described. When asked, without thinking about trying to hid his experience as a hunter which he normally would (I rolled a 1 on that) He says that there are numerous things that can hide of mask themselves. Mentioning imps, or mystical practitioners that have the ability. However, without more information, there is no way to be specific

The police arrive and the groups access to the murder site is restricted to a point. As they are being interviewed, one of the deceive sergeants recognizes the group – he was in the … building the other night when they were interrogated by the Captain Inspector of the Secret Police. A runner is sent and soon enough the same Captain arrives and the group is re-interviewed by him – a low roll on the Captain’s part saves the group from needing to make saves to hide any information from the inspector of the secret police.

As all are interviewed the group finds out :

Michael Rekshon – a Jewish grad student in the university of Berlin – specializing in ancient languages – working on a translation of the strange symbols – the murder victim .
Dr Rhuam Dhruv - India Indian – 46 year old – philosophy Sanskrit & India ancient languages specialist. Writer of multiple papers regarding ancient languages of India and the near east. Survived the attack.
Dr Harilal Dhruv – India Indian – 24 year old – philosophy Sanskrit & India ancient languages specialist – with his uncle Rhuam Dhruv, has been his uncle’s aide in his works.
Szmul Jakubow – another Jewish grad student in the University of Berlin – specializing in archology and ancient religion, working with Mr Rekshon in their joint research. Assumed to have witnessed the attack from hiding and fled the area. Whereabouts unknown.

Also they are able to picture the attack – someone sneaks in quietly through the open window – the student(s) and Dr would be focused on the work on the table and not notice him/her/it . The attacker quickly efficiently brutally kills … , attacks …. (they can see where his head struck the table and disturbed some of the tablets from their German like precise placement on the table) then stab him in a way that would specifically keep him from calling for help & crushes his wind pipe too for good measure. Either when the female teacher’s aide walked down the hall, or began to scream, the attacker fled out the window. During the attack, …. Must have hid behind the table, (and presumably dropped the note to … there)

They are able to talk to both Dr Rhuam Dhruv (before he is taken to a hospital to recover from the attack) & Dr Harilal Dhruv to get a more complete understanding of why the Indian Drs were there in Berlin – bringing ancient Indian artifacts to the University & trying to get access to other items stored there or preferably return some of the items from India back to their country) and why they were talking to the 2 Jewish students (asked to by letter before coming to Berlin, asked to help in the translation and re review the 2 students’ work thus far).

Mr Greer Lynn MacAuley is satisfied with what he has seen of the group and their skills as hunters and investigators. He explains he does have pressing matters he must attend to, so he cannot stay and assist the group further. He does say that he will arrange open ended tickets from Hamburg to Scotland, and give the name of a hotel they can stay in and pick the tickets up in the German port city.

***
The investigation of the Jakubow’s affair

The next day, they talk to Mr Joseph Weiss. about assisting them find the missing students, and are invited to a dinner at the Weis House that evening.

Mr Doyle , aided by Dr Rhuam Dhruv, spends the day going over the un ruined study notes, pouring over the ancient tablets and writings, and with the young Dr Dhruv. With the study notes, assistance from the young Indian Dr who is more specialized in these matter, (and with a high roll) Mister Doyle is able to start to get the feel of the research Rekshon & Jakubow had been working on. Plus with his recent exposure to mystical paintings in the Moravian cave, Doyle is able to understand that the symbols being discussed are in fact dealing with mystical items. With enough time, special in-depth knowledge of arcana, and time, Yes these symbols could eventually be decoded. It is nothing he and Dhruv could do in the limited time they had before the collage would place the tablets and writing back in the archival storage, but Rekshon & Jakubow Were well down the path to unlocking some of the secrets.

Secrets that some would kill to have or kill to keep undiscovered.

The Indian Dr and the New York antiquities specialist began to quickly make charcoal rubbing of the more rare and unique tablets – to take back to their respective schools and museums.

A lead is followed to its end. It does not provide all the information hoped for, but it does at least give a light to the type of people that would be involved and a motive for the murderous attack.

At the Weiss house that evening – having a nice relaxing dinner at their residence instead of a hotel sandwich or a restraint dinner – they discus the murder and again ask for assistance

Ms Emmy Pleuckur – Mrs Alice Estra Weiss know her personally. She is a gifted female mathematician. She is an aid to one of the lead mathematician at the school. She stayed in the area to tutor younger students and some attempting to gain admission in the university after the summer break. She will be easy to find. She remembers that Ms Pleuckur dated a Jewish student a few years ago. Unfortunately, tomorrow will be Sunday and she will not be at the university assisting the math professors or tutoring students.

Mr Weiss will continue to assist in finding Szmul Jakubow. However (thanks to a nat 20 roll) he has already located Rekshon ‘s address. A location some distance away from the college, in a lower middle class/upper working class area, but luckily not in one of the ethnic ghettos or areas dominated by minorities and foreigners.

The group decides to waste no time and plans on going to Rekshon ‘s apartment this evening. However, not being from Berlin and not speaking the language, the do decide they need local assistance. Luckily, they do have the note with Captain S’s address.

At the cost of a few marks, a runner is sent, and quickly returns with Captain S (good perception check let them know he arrived much to quickly to have been relaxing at home, needing to change, and then catch a hackney cab to the hotel) Also, he is dressed in darker civilian clothing – but does have his service pistol under his suite coat.

As the group talk over coffee in the hotel lounge, Capt. S admits he had heard of the group’s involvement in the investigation. He had planned on visiting them that evening after dinner, so he was more prepared for the runner than he otherwise would have been.

As they travel across the city, the group informs him of everything, not bothering to hold anything back.

The apartment is easy enough to find, with Capt. S’s assistance, (failed perception causes the group to fail to notice the door had been kicked in but carefully closed so no one casually passing by would notice the damage)

As the push the door open, knocking over items cluttered behind the door, Father O’Malley uses a miracle and calls forth a flicker of light (Capt. S puts away a candle and match muttering about forgetting that the good father could do that)

The room is a jumble, chairs tossed, tables overturned, books strung on the floor. However (with a very good perception roll) a note is found : From someone with the initials of ACF - inviting Jaubow & Rekshon to dinner and play

The group returns to the hotel

Another lead explored to its end, with little to show for it except some initials

The next day, Sunday, Father O’Malley sends a runner to Mr Weiss asking for assistance in finding someone that fits the initial ACF , and goes to mass and take a day of rest.
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by Lurker »

Father O’Malley’s dream

You are standing in the dark … however all is not utterly dark, it is as if you glow, slightly . Your merest presence pushing against the dark gloom

The gravel and dirt path under your feet crunch as you move, what little you can see is a desolate land. It is hard to gage how far you light pushes into the gloom, at times it feels as if it is mere feet from the tip of your nose to the edge of gloom, other times yards or more. However, even at its furthers reach your light falters too soon for you to be comforted by it.

Outside the light you can sense movement – feel it feel it more than you can see it. Shapes of … men … some maybe, others are not man like at all

What do you do ???

As your divine powered light amplifies you inner light. It pushes further into the gloom.

Some of the shapes do not notice you, but others do. Some notices and stop what they are doing and begin to watch you observing you. Others sneer at you and turn away ignoring your presence, To them you are insignificant, you do not warrant even the effort needed to be observed

Others notice and react, rushing forward attacking

What do you do

As you pray, and reach for your weapons, your hand falters. To slow to react. However the divinely enhanced inner light around you thickens with the prayer.

The rushing monsters cannot pierce the light surrounding you. They push against it, buffet it and you can feel their pressure and oppressiveness of their existence, but they cannot reach you to harm you.

Perception check

Your perception raise above all surrounding you and you see the swirling above you

In the swirling maelstrom above you, there are 2 greater presences. No more than 2, but 2 close to you other lesser things serve them or are drawn to either of them . They direct a thing here or there to pressure you, but they focus on each other. Their presence is hate filled – they hate you and your light, but they hate each other and each other’s existence as much or more

As you watch them, observe their directions of the lesser things around you, you know you are caught in the war between the 2 / between the greater powers in the dark .

You see the 2 and their forces swirl around you. You are not the object of the war, but a bystander … none the less you are in danger.

Your hand finally reaches the hilt of the bowie knife at your side. Tightens on the hilt.

One opponent a man, no a wolf, no … the form flows man, wolf mix of the 2 back forth, it is a beast

The other, a nightmare spider, not as strong, but clever, …. Spinning webs, laying traps, sending other to die to weaken the wolf and give her an advantage.

You hear the crash as a window is shattered … an old church …. Grand tall gothic spires pointing up in the dark gloom. The stained glass timeworn – predating the war between protestant and catholic. Glitters shines in the gloom. Shatters. Beauty destroyed. The ages old messages in the glass destroyed

What do you do

The thought of rushing to the church and its safety proposal you through the gray desolation. Without movement of your legs, you are backing towards the safety.

Your back is to the old walls. Movement surrounds you. Wolf Spider circling you circling your light hating you but hating each other more. Not willing to give an opportunity to the other .

The spider casts a line of web into the shards . A whip, glittering with the glass,

What do you do / roll init

You are to slow before you can draw your knife or call out a prayer the glittering whip snaps over your head. Striking out at the wolf/man/beast. It leaps to the side to avoid the glittering shard covered whip.

The beast leaps closer to your light. Using you and your light as a shield from the next attack.

Another web snakes forward gathering more shards of glass glittering in your light.

Make a dex check

You find one leg entangled in a web, stuck, powerless to move. You stumble, fall to the ground, and begin to be drawn toward the spider

The wolf beast leaps forward. Landing on you, pressing the light down into you. Uses you as a spring board to leap at the spider foe

The Lord is my Shepard … He leads me … Lo though I walk through …. I shall not fear

Mr, Doyle awakes to hear the priest asleep in the other bed in to room, groaning, yelling out the Psalm

He shakes the priest away, and is knocked back from the nightmare filled priest for his efforts.

Father O’Malley pushes back the nightmare, sleep, fights his way to consciousness.

You are awake
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by Lurker »

30 March recap

The Sunday is spent in relaxation. Each of the 3 going to follow their own respective religious preferences. Using the day to rest, reflect, strengthen themselves from the previous events and prepare for that which they will soon face

Monday, they finally meet Ms Emmy Pleuckur :
She hasn’t talked to Jakubow For over a year, possible almost 2 years. They were dating, but their studies took up time, there were issues with him and his family with her being a non-Jew, plus she was not interested in converting so the relationship was doomed from the start. Nice enough, but became almost obsessed in his research over the year. She doesn’t completely understand how her math skills helped him

They have no further luck that day on following down additional leads

Tuesday
Mr Weis (thanks to a high roll) finally has Mr ‘s address – it is off in the Jewish district

The group wastes no time and sends a runner to Capt S

He arrives (in uniform) in a hackney cab and gives the driver directions to take the group close to the address they have

He admits he will be little use to them since he looks like a German, he is in Uniform, and …. Well this is a an area that will cause more problems than it will solve.

The area tends to be self policed by the local minority that dominates the area. They take care of their own if they are stealing form their own. They will provide the police individuals that are steeling from others (or they will protect them form the authorities it just depends). The Police only interfere if they are forced to and that is at great reluctance and with little profit from the efforts.

Capt S give the group directions as best as he can and also tells the group where the 2 closest police precincts are located if things take a turn for the worst.

The group finds the apartment with little difficulty Though they are watched by the local Jewish population. Watch observed (whispered about) but not impeded.

A 4 story ramshackle tenant building. Common rooms – kitchen communal water closet and the like – on the first floor. Further up the building, more run down apartments

The correct room is found.

Mr Doyle goes to open the door, but stops something is off …

Mr Blue notices a spider web as if it had been cut from a garden and carefully laid perfectly on the top corner of the door. It is a single web cut and placed there and is not a few strands of a dusty cob wed.

The group hesitates, but then fling open the door (breaking the strands of the web (Father O’Malley feels the flash of an echo of malice as the door is thrown open). – YES This was an alarm ward that you triggered and alerted those hunting Jakubow to your presence at his appartment

The apartment is what one expects of a poorer college student. Mix matched furniture, mix matched dinning wear – the kitchen is communal on the 1 st floor – a living room and 2 bed rooms – papers notes news papers etc clutter the room

1 bed room bed night stand etc, no cloths (spare room) / the other Jakubow’s room more cluttered, books (these include Jewish religious books) and letters – family etc – An armoire with cloths

Rooms are cluttered but don’t look as if they have been tossed – his perception check does show that the rooms have been searched very carefully and put back into order to appear undisturbed.

The only item of note they find is another note an invite for dinner and relaxation prior to your big day – dated 4 days ago, and a bill for a play initials on note are ACF similar to what was found in the murder victim’s apartment
After 30 minutes, and carefully going back over the room to hide their own search efforts, the group leaves and goes to make their way back to their hotel.

As they leave, Mr Blue (thanks to a fairly high perception check) spies a man across the street leaning against a wall, striking a match, lighting a cigarette, ever so slightly out of place amongst the Jews in the area

Father O’Malley (thanks to an even higher perception check) notices a warping of light, a commeliaon like blending of the background, th slightest of movement on the wall of a building across the road.

The group make their way back toward their hotel. Carefully watching the man out of place … he follows, gets even with them, stops to talk to a person here, of pick up a ite there on a merchant’s cart there, falls back behind them a little and then follows again.

Before they make their way out of the Jewish ghetto, 20 – 30 feet ahead, they see an young lady ( a few years older than them but still well in her 20s) on the side of the side walk, yelling at a parting cab. Passer byes look annoyed an part as they walk around the lady. (thanks to a high perception roll) they notice a young boy against the wall of the building behind her, eyeing her, and they see a man in the mouth of the alley watching the boy …

The lady straighten, picks h up her large shoulder back, straightens the black and blue silk scarf covering her dark black curly hair and begins to walk up the street (going in the same direction the group is going)

They are within 10 feet of the lady, the boy rushes out grabbing her bag, tripping her and causing her to stumble.

Mr Blue reaches to grab the boy (who tosses the bag at him and turns to rush to the alley) Mr Doyle rushes to catch the lady before she falls

Father O’Malley (thanks to a high very high perception roll) has time to think …. Ambush !

The boy darts into the alley,

The lady pulls a stiletto from her coat sleeve and places the hilt against Mr Doyle’s side – in a very fatal place if it was the blade and not the hilt)

A man steps behind Mr Blue and pulls back the 2 hammers of a sawed off shot gun

A short stocky man steps in to the elbow of Father O’Malley

The lady talks in German, and then French to Mr Doyle who looks blankly at the (apparently deadly and fairly handsome despite the danger) lady holding a knife to his liver.

The short stocky man at the elbow of the good Father also speaks in German then French – O’Malley knows French so can answer him and say they are American. The stocky brutal Jew switches to broken English

They Don’t want to kill the group, but they will, they need to talk.

Initially the group is taken to a corner coffee vendor and it is explained that the lady and the stocky man are cousins to the missing Jakubow. They have been watching his apartment. They want to know why the group went to the apartment, how they are involved.

Father O’Malley does notice something odd … another bending of light, floating across the street toward the building they are next to … like a bending of light around an upside down balloon blending with the late May summer blue sky.

Satisfied with the answers, they are asked go to eat and have a more in-depth private talk.

The group splits up Mr Blue and Mr Doyle go with the lady, she leads them around and ends up coming up behind the man that had followed the group from the apartment. Talking in French, the groups isn’t sure what she says, but from the tone she is scoffing or mocking him. She then leads them to a restaurant with Yiddish writing on the window and a Jewish symbol swinging over the door.

Father O’Malley goes with the rest of the Jewish group and eventually, he arrives at the same restaurant (he and the stocky Jew both are fairly certain they are not followed)

Introductions are made

An alliance is proposed with both groups helping each other look for Jakubow. Both groups agree they are not each other’s opponents, they can help each other and they agree.

The meet Captain S later that evening – forgetting to send him word so he was worried they had been attacked, killed, kidnaped, lost in the Ghetto or anything else.

As they talk with the Army captain, they realize they are working with the police and another side of the equation … and then realize they are just 2 sides out of multiple groups involved.
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by Lurker »

Mr Blue’s dream

You are standing on the sidewalk the noise of the city surrounds you, people walking by (strangely avoiding brushing against you as if they sense your presence without seeing you and automatically avoiding you)

Voices babble along you can’t understand them, but you can sense the flow of normal conversation, as people walk the cool summer night air. Across the street, as you watch horse drawn wagons and trollies pass, you see an ale house, a pub, a beer garden, well lit , comforting. Music fills the air , Ummm Pa Pa, piano, music flows morphs

What do you do ???
As you look around confused , things shift, … ever so slightly … the city is there, the people there, the wagons and trollies there. But the babble of voices have changed … French, Creole, … yes there is English too. You understand the words now, People talking of work, politics, life …. Comforting
The cloths are different, less of the wool suits and heavy coats in Germany. Lighter cotton linen southern
The breeze drifts past you … hot sultry humid .. the music on the evening air is different too … no ummm pa pa, … brass horns , drums …. Jazz !
You hear in the background behind everything a buzz … Zakidas, June bugs … a sound you haven’t heard in so long .. You recognize this place New Orleans … The thought halts you. This is a dangerous place despite the homely comfort.

What d you do
As you glance down, hands sliding into you pockets, cold comfort of your brass knuckles sliding around your fingers … , the city passes away, you are in a clearing in the fields and woods. You look around, … You know this clearing you grew up near it … you KNOW the danger you are in now !
In a panic you look left, right, straining to see a light … lights in toe woods, lights , … no just lightning bugs … You don’t notice them until they are close to you … you see shapes walking in from the night darkness, shapes become people, clothed in rags and rough work cloths … people become familiar … you know these people.

A torch is lit, then another and another, a lamp sputters to life. The dark clearing is now lit. Shadowed faces can be seen in the warm reds and yellows of the torches and lamps

Slaves you saw when you were young, There the slave in charge of the livestock, the horses and the oxen that puled the plows and wagons, there the slave in charge of the cutting crew, the ones that broke their backs cutting the tobacco leaf, There, the old man that tends to the slaves sick and injured … There you see him, your father The clearing is full, some of them dead years before you were born and you only know through stories, but there they all are.

Now Children running here and there, carrying bowls of soup, rice and beans bread, and glasses of water, tea, & … what your mother would not let you drink. There you see yourself, among the children, proudly carrying a bowl of beans to you father and your uncle. You remember their strength, determination.

The men talk, it is time to stand up, it is time to fight, and not at the master’s whims. It is time to prepare …

This is the night before the attack on the master. You remember the fear and pride

Perception check
You see one young slave girl. A little younger than you Mousy, unnoticed, but she watches EVERYTHING … she sees everything, she hears everything. She walks around the group carrying food and drink like all the other children. You see her stop, she picks a wild flower here. Then another, she walks around the group picking more flowers. One man smiles down at her pats her head affectionately as she binds to pick another flower. You see her drift into the darkness .

What do you do
You are blocked by legs, bodies, the men clumped together talking, blocking your way. You lose sight of her foe a moment, then
It is too far away, she is out in the woods, in the dark, and over all them men talking, but you, you HEAR her whispering in the wooded night to someone. She tells all the secrets. All she saw all she heard

What do you do
Your yelling goes unheard, the men are talking of important things, ignoring your young boy voice … your scream chokes in your throat … no one will listen, will head your warning

As you gasp from your fruitless yell, You hear movement in the woods despite your efforts the men ignore you … you aren’t there you are handing out beans bread. You are a good boy making your father proud . You aren’t you there with them. But you see
There from the master’s house, but slowly, a dark creeping noise spreads through the woods. Slowly, as the men talk, ready themselves, screw up their nerves. The clearing is surrounded.

From the far side of the clearing the master steps out of the woods, holding the little girl’s upstretched R hand. Her arm is full of wild flowers, but they are all now blood red, the green leaves and stims dripping putrid filth.

His cold eyes gave through the crowd, at first none notice his presence, He smiles, but the smile does not touch his eyes. A glint of white in his smile. You know what that is from.

but slowly one head here turns and sees him, freezes in fright, then another, another . fear spreads like a plague through the men. Stopping them, holding them in place.

The men that killed the master so you and those like you would be free stand unmoving

The master lifts the girl up by her arm, she squirms at the pain of it, lifts her then kisses her forehead, now smeared with the same blood and filth covering the flowers. She drops to the ground, spilling the flowers whimpering at the pain of her dislocated shoulder .

The master’s smile is complete, still not touching his cold black eyes. 2 points of white gleam from his smile … no word is uttered, a slightest of nods.

The woods spring to life, men, beasts, shadows, things of nightmare burst from the tree line rush into the clearing

You awake ….

Mr Doyle awakes, thirsty, setting on the edge of his bed, pours a glass of water. A light from under the door connecting his room to Mr Blue's .. no noise, no disturbance. Simply tamped down lamp light. A shrug, The Irishman rolls back into bead and is soon asleep.

Mr Blue scribbles down notes about his dream as the facts of it drift away like mist on the breeze. Soon He too yawns and crawls back into bead for an hour or little more of sleep before the late May sunrise awakes the city of Berlin .
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by Lurker »

6 Apr recap

Wednesday

Ms Beatrice and Mr Blue take time to find Ms Mina Bergson, talk with her, about the investigation thus far, asking her about her cousin – she has little information about his university friends and associates. They also learn she is a huge gossip. Plus, she give Ms B. information on the Jewish community’s upper crust

Father O’Malley and Mr Doyle do not make significant headway in the investigation (sorry I can’t remember what you all specifically did that day). But they do get a list of 9 addresses for hostels and houses that tend to rent rooms to poorer students.

Both groups notice they are being followed. They don’t look like anyone from the German police or the Jewish associates.

That evening, talking with Captain S, they find out that Ms Pleuckur was found dead in her apartment. – He heard her name come across a report from the police, but nothing exceptional mentioned with it. There is no flag of foul play . He also explains the 9 houses are in lower middle class areas within walking distance from the university and are not in any overtly dangerous areas.

Thursday

Following Mr Blue’s dream, Mr Blue and Ms Beatrice find a trendy gypsy store front advertising palms and cards read, futures exposed, secretes uncovered.

With a series of questioning and a card reading, they get – You are facing multiple enemies, dangers coming from an unknown location, with trustable friend, and with diligence and effort the dangers will turn out well

They also purchase 2 silver necklaces with pendants of mystical origins – the one for Ms Beatirce is significantly more ornate.

Father O’Malley and Mr Doyle are more successful today talking with Mr Weis. He has put 2 & 2 together on the initials ACF – it isn’t a senior professor or chair holder like they had asked him about. It is Arthur Carl Fichte. Grandson of an influential professor and chair of the university’s philosophy and theology. He himself is more drawn to history. He is less focused on his continuing education and earning his Dr and gaining a professorship than Jakubow & Rekshon are/were. He is coasting through his work. – Mr Weis also gives an address – in a nearby comfortable middle class neighborhood.

The 2 groups meet for lunch and decide their focus should be Arthur Carl Fichte. After lunch they head to the address, again noticing they are being followed.

As they walk down the street to the address, they notice a gentleman their age, dressed in a comfortable suit – as opposed to the other business men bankers and the like in more stuffy suits – strolling down the afternoon street, reading the paper in his hand as he walks. (With a good high perception check ) Also, groups of 2 men here and there focused on him . An ambush

As the gentleman walks past one of the groups leaning in a side walk way between 2 houses, the 2 step out one grabs him and pulls a knife. Putting the blade against his back (but not stabbing). – Thanks to 6 horrible rolls on my part, none of the group notices the hunters approaching, so they are caught flat footed themselves.

The muggers loosely surround the gentleman, but without hesitation, Mr Doyle pulls his revolver and fires. Striking the main mugger in the shoulder. Ms Beatrice yells for the muggers to stop and surrender, Mr Blue charges forward and punches the already wounded thug, and he puts himself behind the gentleman and the thugs attacking from behind. Father O’Malley charges forward and puts himself in between the gentleman and the other thugs in front.

The thugs look confused, spin around and …. (again lots of very low rolls on my part) flee ! They turn and run like a covey of quail. Scattering in all directions. 1 even foolish enough to run towards Mr Doyle and Mrs B. Mr Doyle shrugs and fires at the man. Striking him, but the thug – despite his foolish run closer to the hunters – is nimble enough to avoid Ms B’s attempt at tripping him. He turns and runs into the street. Dodging horse drawn cabs and wagons.

Mr Blue continues to fight the injured thug, who drops his drawn knife and attempts to flee, but is unable to easily escape the African boxer. Father O’Malley , with all the thugs running away, turns and calms the gentleman who is on the edge of panic. Even using one of his prayers to calm him.

Mr Doyle chases the thug into the street and the 2 begin to fight as horses and wagons pass to the L and R. Ms Beatrice fires at the thug, barely missing Mr Doyle, grazing the thug and striking a stone post across the side of the street.

Mr Blue continues to fight, but the thug, despite the gunshot wound and the damage taken in the melee, is nimble enough to get away and start to stumble down the street.

A horse drawn buggy nearly plows over Mr Doyle, who is quick enough to avoid the charging panicked horse. However, the thug he is fighting is not so lucky and is knocked down stunned by the horse – he is lucky enough to avoid the wheels that would have crushed him . Ms Beatrice fires at the prone thug and grazes his side.

Mr Blue charges and tackles the fleeing thug. Plowing him to the ground and knocking him unconscious. As Mr Doyle leaps atop the other remaining injured prone stunned thug. Pulling the knife from the thug’s belt and tossing it aside. Quickly the 2 thugs are restrained and tied up.

Ms Beatrice (with an exceptionally high perception check) notices the individual who had followed them, standing surprised back behind them, turn and move quickly into the crowd. Then she notices movement on top a roof across the street, invisible, a blur of light, backing away from the edge of the house .

Whistles echo from around the area. The police … There is a minute or 2 before they arrive.

Doyle yells at one of the thugs, who has no idea what the American is saying. Ms Beatrice jumps in and begins to talk in French and then German . Still there is little reaction but the thug does at least pick up a word or 2 as she speaks German. Asking who they were, what they were doing, did they know Arthur Carl Fichte. No answer though

However, Next to Father O’Malley the gentleman reacts. Surprised, she is asking about him …

The group ask him to come with them quickly – to avoid the police – he flatly refuses. He doesn’t know them, doesn’t know what is going on, and they DID just shoot 2 men …

Father O’Malley – using a fate point at a critical juncture – calms him and reassures him they do not mean him any harm and are looking for his friend Jakubow. He still does not agree to follow the strange gun wielding individuals, but he will meet them this evening at dinner – (High perception check does show he isn’t lying to them and does plan on meeting them)

The police are approaching … running through the neighborhood, whistles blowing, Billy clubs drawn. Rushing toward the sounds of gunfire and panicked horses and screaming people. The group runs and though there are some close calls they are able to avoid the Police and make their way back to the hotel.

As the walk down the street, Mr Doyle and Mr Blue notice something … a familiar walk, a person back turned to them walking away from their hotel … they know that silhouette, that walk …

Mr Doyle, in the room lays to stretch out on his bed for a rest after the gun play and fisticuffs. Under his pillow … a note:
enemy enemy friend in a triangle - 1 word Latin, one word Gaelic, one word (friend) in English. On the reverse of the note a hotel name and room number.

The hand writing is familiar
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by Lurker »

Doyle’s dream

You fall into a fitful exhausted sleep. As you drift into oblivion you jerk awake. The room is dark, the darkness grows filling the room in gloom. Your vision is clouded and you can no longer see your surrounding but you feel your bed supporting you in the darkness. As you roll in bed, looking into the gloom, you feel the bed drift away. You are now floating in darkness, nervous, uneasy. Darkness surrounding you.

You attempt to jerk yourself awake …. but you are awake … this in your reality … you cannot awake from wakefulness

Slowly your eyes adjust to the gloom, or your existence is producing a glow lighting the gloom.

Difficultly you peer into the darkness. As you drift through the darkness You look around

A gentle breeze pushes you through the darkness you drift and sail on the currents of air in the darkness.

Perception check

and ahead of you a spider’s web . you cannot tell if it is a giant web to catch you a human, or if you yourself are small as a fly .. you can’t tell if you are there and in danger of the web, or if you are only seeing this before you and knowing it is there but not made for you.

You see the web but where is the spider

Perception check

The breeze slacks, your drifting slows

All around you only darkness and the nearly invisible web, waiting to snag the unlucky prey that stumbles into it .

As you look around a butterfly fluttering around you. As if you’re presence is a light drawing the butterfly.

You struggle against … reality … but this is reality … you are a drift alone in the gloom

The butterfly nears, a comfort settles . You are not alone here. The comfort of its presence, the smell of the perfume it spreads as it flutters by. Perfume from flowers that it has recently visited. Somewhere there are flowers, somewhere the gloom ends. Where unease was, a little comforts grows

Preception check

The butterfly flutters close by you see it jet black head, gray body with blue and gray silken wings shimmering in the light of your existence

Once twice the butterfly flutters by you. You notice you have drifted closer to the web … or has the web drifted to you ???

The butterfly continues its dance. Passing around you, then closes oh so close to the web. You are powerless to stops its whirling it dancing
This time it passes through an opening in the web

As the flittering beauty passes by a 4 th or is it the 5 th time its luck fails. It is to close to the web

Dex check

Your quick sure hand shoots out catches the butterfly before a wing brushes the web

Your hand brushes the web, you feel the hair on the back of your hand touching the web. So dangerously close.

You feel the web through the hair on your hand vibrate. Movement

You see a gray presence smoke like yet spider like skittering along the edge of the web,

With the butterfly so near you again smell the flowers it drinks, you hear a music …

The spider draws the gloom into itself, becoming more … the web vibrates as the spider moves closer

What do you do – ,,,

You wake screaming throwing the hotel covers off

Father O'Malley, as you are on the edge of sleep, you hear your roommate twitching moving in his sleep. In the evening darkness you see him twitch jerk as if fighting

The bedside lamp glows brighter

You see Mr Doyle as he sets up in bed screaming throw off the sheets … as you watch hem fight back to wakefulness, you see a gray smoke web covering his waking form … the spider web drifts away dissolving into the lamp light.
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by Lurker »

20 Apr 2020 Recap

Just realized I didn't post this last week sorry

The group nervously looks at the note Friend, enemy enemy … a hotel name and room number … one more thing added to the ever growing list of items to look into.

There is 2 hours before time to meet Mr. Arthur Carl Fichte for dinner. What to do with the time.

Soon, it is decided to do a little research in the University of Berlin’s library. However, a little over an hour is not a lot of time, so …. They do realize there is research material there that they can use, and eventually they will have fruits for their efforts if they take the time needed, but right now it is seeing the ice floating above the water and knowing there is a large iceberg under the water, looking for the right needle in a stack of needles. Time will be needed to get the answer they are looking for.

The dinner with ACF is interesting. He is a very nervous man, but all in all a boring scholastic that is happy enough to teach history in the school his grandfather help found. He has no unique or special information or insight into Jackabow’s research. He is shocked to hear of his friend’s ex-girlfriend’s death (and thanks to some low rolls on the groups’ part & some low rolls on my part) and works himself up into a near panic . Realizing his life is to in danger, thanks to the group’s low rolls, he talks himself into leaving the city as quickly as he can. It will take a day to put his affairs in order and be ready to leave, but he should be able to catch a train to his family’s lake house by Saturday morning.

The repeated glasses of wine do nothing to calm his nerves and stop his hands from shaking, and the group is not convinced he is safe, or in a condition to get himself home safely, so they escort him back to his house. A nice attached residence a few doors down from the scene of gun play in the streets earlier in the day.

ACF’s old lady house servant clucks over the distraught, and fairly well drunk, professor and helps prepare him for bed. At least he is not home by himself. That should lesson the danger he is in.

The group leaves, but ‘You realize we are being followed’ one (I can’t remember who made the perception check) of the group noticing someone follow the group from dinner.

The group strolls along the residential road way. The thug following hesitates … does he watch the house or follow the group ??? A low roll makes sure he ignore what he should do and he decides to follow the 3 Americans along the less than military strait roads here in the upper middle class residential area.

A bend in the road gives the group a chance to scatter and set up an ambush before the thug catches up. As the thug hurries around the road he glances up and sees Father Omalley’s failed attempt at hiding (but fails himself to notice Mr Doyle & Mr Blue hiding too. He stops frozen in place (again thanks to a very low roll on my part) he hesitates.

Mr Blue and Mr Doyle sprint out from their hiding places and are able to cut off the thug’s easiest path to escaping back up the road, and Mr Blue quickly tries to grab the thug. Though he is scrawny, he is wiry and is able to keep from being grappled for at least a few moments. Mr Doyle readies to chase the thug down if he some how breaks free of Mr Blue’s grip. Father O’Malley comes up behind the thug and smashes the hilt of his bowie knife into the back of the thug’s head. Stunning him.

Mr Blue finally get a solid grip on the thug, and Father O’Malley punches him in the stomach knocking the air from the thug and finally convincing him that fighting is not a valid option. Mr Doyle checks the road to see if there are any witnesses, or any other thugs following . None, but again (a very high roll) picks out the shift and bend in light, the nearly useable movement from a roof top, … They are still being followed but not by a common thug.

As the group talks to the thug, they realize he does not speak any language they know and they do not speak any language he knows … If only they know someone that could help question their captive and spoke multiple languages common in and around Germany … Yes Captain Savoskis may be of assistance.

The wind their way back through the city, and are careful to notice the invisible stalker following along and floating at times, behind them.

As they come to the entrance to the hotel, the quick eyes of the group spot 2 more individual watching from across the street, but these 2 they have seen before, They are once again being watched by the secret police.

They also notice Capt S setting in the lobby nervously setting and staring into the half drank glass of beer. Lost in his thoughts he doesn’t see them enter the hotel, doesn’t see them approaching (yeah rolled very low for his perception checks) and is surprised when they stop in front of him.

He starts rapid firing questions about gun play in the streets of Berlin and …. As he is talking he notices they have the thug held tightly … “Well that answers those questions. My friends what have you gotten tangled into now?” the German captain asks.

An explanation of them being followed, and then capturing the thug, but being unable to talk to him, is all the German needs to hear in the lobby. He leads the group with the thug in tow out and down a few blocks. A quick glance behind shows yes 2 of the secret police are very carefully very skillfully following (one of the groups rolls was 22+ so they were lucky to see them)

An old locked up store front. Captain S unlocks the door and leads the group to a back office. The group watch their friend step into his full form of a German Officer. Harsh commanding voice. Cold uncaring anger look on his face, and a slap here and there to emphasize a point.

After 30 min, Capt S finishes his questioning and learns that the thug is a foreigner, a Romanian, and he and others were hired to follow different people including ACF, the party members, and others. He doesn’t know who hired them, only his ‘gang leader’ has seen them and talked to them, and he finally tells Capt S that the leader’s name is Ruv. Capt S and the group knows the thug is holding back a fact here or there and he knows a little more, but without more time and more rigorous questioning, Capt S doesn’t think he can get the information. He does have a little skill in questioning and intimidating commoners, but the art of interrogation is not his specialty.

Capt S takes the thug to the local police station to be held for a few days, longer if they can drum up some charges, and the group heads back to their hotel.

That night Mr Doyle has a dream that disturbs his sleep, but other than that noting of note happens.

The next day after breakfast, the group decides to investigate the death of Ms Plucker. Out of nowhere, as they walk down the side walk, a lady out of the crowd behind the group and unexpected slides in between Mr Doyle and Fther O’Malley. She slides her arms into theirs and begins to chatter away in French. A surprised glance and they see a well dressed black curly haired lady with a silk scarf covering her hair, and a smiling face with a nose slightly to large to be truly beautiful, but attractive in her own way.

Doyle curses under his breath Ms Tamarel Fanny Sonnenberg. The trigger of the trap that caught him unaware just a few days ago.

She invites them to go to a local park and talk for a minute. A short walk later and they are setting on a park bench, drinking mediocre coffee from a street vendor, and Mr. Blue purchases some flowers for the lady. The flowers twinge a memory drifting around under the surface, something from the dream … Something he can’t quite remember clearly in the morning summer day light.

She asks if the group has any new information to share with her cousin Louis Bergson on their mutual hunt for Szmul Jakubow . They explain how they located ACF, stopped him from being mugged and escorted him safely home from dinner and catching the thug following them/him. After the group admits they were involved in gun fire and fight that stopped the mugging of ACF, and captured the thug the night before, she is pleasantly surprised.

She was unsure that they would actually be capable or useful, but with those shows of skill, they may be even more than minimally useful in the hunt. Gun play, 4 of them fighting off 6 men, and then later ambushing someone following them. Yes more skilled and impressive than expected indeed !

She lets the group know that the Jewish associates had gotten word that some foreigners from the low countries were in the area hiring local thugs to do some looking and searching. Everyont that were hired were from different groups except for the Jews and the Gypsies.

She lets the group know that her cousin Louis Bergson would like to meet them tomorrow (Saturday) at around 1000 and gives them an address in the Jewish neighborhoods. She disappears into the crowd with a smile.

The group make their way to Ms Pluckers apartment. A comfortable flat on the top floor of a 3 floor (plus an attic above) apartment house. Quick talking (high rolls on CHA for once) gets the group into the apartment and the middle aged lady renting the apartments leaves them to their investigation.

They find a note book with strange mathematical notes and with a stack of letters – they can’t read the letters but do catch …’s name – they tuck the note book and letters under their coat.

Father O’Malley notices a section of the ceiling slightly ajar and searches the space above. An empty attic, little more than a crawlway. However, in the darkness he notices a large mass of a nest of a spider web. A spider web nest out of place. Larger than any natural spider the priest had heard of. Also, form the nest, lengths of strands spreading out this way and that, strange. As he looked it reminded him of telegraph lines coming to a station hub. Strange indeed. From the nest the priest is able to estimate the body of the spider was at least a foot if not 2 feet around.

After searching the apartment, the group heads back to the university. Starting in the library and then in the museum, they focus on researching what has been following them, drifting nearly invisibly and skulking from roof top. All afternoon, and until it is nearly time for the museum to close, by the time they are finished. However, with Father O’Malley and Mr Doyle both working at it, they put the pieces of the puzzle together (more good rolls on occult research). Imps and the like can come in multiple forms all governed by the form and nature of the greater power they serve. There are multiple possible forms however, with all the evidence, this specific type of Imp has been forced into the form of a spider.

It explains the movement of the thing as it follows them, plus the method of Ms Pleucker’s death. Yes a spider imp explains much.

As the 2 studious members of the group research, Mr Blue is bored … he eventually notices some workers moving crates … yes good manual labor. He lends a hand, and despite having difficulty in communication he is able to help. You don’t need to speak to figure out move this crate here, open that box there, and unload those contents carefully. A good day of good honest work … a tinge in the back of his mind, but nothing to be worried about is lost as he works.

That evening the group makes their way to the bath house. Father O’Malley and Mr Doyle blink in surprise as Mr Blue makes his way to a bath instead of the normal shower … surprise turns to worry as he sets soaking in the tub, ritualistically going through stretches of hands arms, neck, back, … worry turns to fear as they hear the ex-slave from Alabama starts to mumble words in flaunt Latin …

As the priest approaches, mumbling a prayer of blessing, and worried about there being something wrong with Mr Blue, possibly demon possession or something else. Mr Blue answers his thoughts. A nat 20 makes sure his new skill kicks in at full effect, better than I could hope for !!!!

He then answers what Mr Doyle is thinking too. Minutes go by as the 3 talk in the bath house, with Mr Blue seemingly able to read his friends thoughts, but as worry sinks into the one time slave as he notices echoes of thought of those around him, he panics and silence crashes in and his ability to read others’ minds ends – for now.

The group makes their way back to the hotel, and as Mr Doyle enters the room, he notices through the door connecting the 2 rooms, a small statuette and other small items scattered on the table where Mr Blue had tossed aside his coat that afternoon after coming back to the room when they finished their research at the university.

A small statue of a man no more than 8 inches tall. Specific details rubbed off the statue from years of wear. A statue of a Man in standing a wooden stick in one hand and the other out as if giving orders, unclothed except for a Greek or Roman undergarment and heavy sandals.

8 small, no more and an inch each, sections of a hollow bone cut in half and carved. Strips of cloth and leather. An ancient version of ‘brass knuckles’ …

When asked Mr Blue does not remember ever seeing them before and has no idea how they got into his coat pocket to be spilled on the table next to his bed.

The night starts with multiple questions and worries about what is happening with Mr Blue, and more questions to the murder on the university and disappearance of Szmul Jakubow than they have answers.
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by Lurker »

27 Apr 2020 recap

The group spent a restless, but uneventful night. Father O’Malley went through the rooms and gave a basic prayer to at least calm the nerves of the group. He also spent some time praying over water and produced 2 vials of holy water in case they face more mystical foes in the next few days.

The next morning the group decided since it was a Saturday, and they had time before they met Tamarel Fanny Sonnenberg and …Louis Bergson at 1000, they would have a better breakfast than their normal bread cheese and cold meat from the hotel lobby.

As they walked out of the hotel onto the sidewalk, 2 men from each side of the door and another from behind them walked up (I rolled high on their check to not be noticed) one of the 5 waived and a large enclosed black cab pulled up to the side walk. The group blinked in surprised

The door to the cab opened, setting inside, the German Secret Police Captain, cold unsmiling, setting in the back L corner of the 2 seat taxi. A movement of his hand the only invite for the group to climb into the taxi.

Moments pass, do they fight and run, do they argue, do they willing comply, what to do. Seconds tick by. Willingly comply, no, but with a little resistance they do realize there is little they can do but climb into the cab with the cold faced secret police Captain.

Ms Beatrice is the first to climb into the cab, noticing that the Captain made no gentlemanly offer to assist a dainty lady . IT should bode ill, but none repulsed, she flutters her eyes, makes a few words of small flirty talk . Relying on her beauty and wealth to pull her through this difficult situation. … a cold stare is her answer.

Mr Blue hops up to set beside the cad driver, one of the plain closed police behind reaches to stop him, but the slightest shake of his head no from the captain let the policeman know to let the black ex-slave climb up and not be forced into the tight confines of the cab.

Mr Doyle states to follow suite and climb up alongside the ex-Alabama slave, but a heavy hand on his shoulder stops him. He reluctantly climbs into the cab to set alongside Ms B.

By now, passersby are noticing things, whispers and rumors are spreading. A group of secret police stopping and ‘nicely’ forcing a group into a cab is not normally seen especially outside of this nice of a hotel

Father O’Malley is the last to climb aboard. Once the door is closed, the Captain reaches over, using his hard wood cane to slide the curtains shut. The group is alone in a darkened, stuffy, cramped cab, facing a cold faced captain of the German Secret Police.

Ms Beatrice starts to mumble and work up her nerve to bolster the flagging spirits of her friends. A fridgid look and a raised finger “No fraulein, this is not the time for that”

He continues

"So, we must talk. Your friend Captain Ernst Siskovis, is now being talked to, yes I think you would say being questioned. So far he is being honest. Will you be wise and do so also?"

The question thinly vales a threat and puts out a disturbing fact … Their alley so far, a Captain of the German Army and a member of an old Saxon family with some political influence and connections, is being questioned. Is he arrested? Is the questions simply questions or something more … brutal ???

The police captain continues, cold, mater of factly

"Gunfire in the streets of my city. And witnesses describing 4 individuals, a woman, a large black man, and 2 others. Very much fitting your description. Why would you be firing guns and why were you in that neighborhood ?"

The group tries to miss direct – does not work; tries to makes excuses – more hard direct questions, admits to it, but highlights their being there and stopping a mugging . They are the heroes of the event – More questions they do not persuade the captain so easily

"And again that evening, you were again there, you apprehend someone, why, you take him to your friend Captain Siskovis. Why"

More attempts at misdirection, and half truths.

The Captain already knows much and answers their half-truths with facts they had hoped to avoid

He knows more about the events, he knows about Mr Arthur Carl Fichte, He brings up Ms Emmy Sophie Pleuckur

Mr Doyle takes a breath and tries to regain control of the situation (spending a fate point) he realizes the Captain already knows all the facts that he is asking about, he may not know completely they why, but he knows more than they want him to. Also, he is making a statement. They are watched, he can nicely invite them to talk, or he can be not nice. This is his city and his secret police and they are aware of much of what is going on.

Plus, Mr Doyle realizes this is all triggered because he was the one that first pulled a pistol and started the gun play. Had he been less willing to blaze away maybe they would not be sitting in the cramped stuffy dark cab facing the cold faced captain of the German Secret Police. Actions have consequences ! That cold hard fact sinks in

After the questioning, taking a little more than 30 min, the cab pulls up outside the hotel. The secret police hop down from the back of the cab and from beside Mr Blue. The door is opened and where once the Captain was cold, he switches to smiling nice, helpful, courteous. Another message to the group. Be helpful, be on the right side with him, and he will be a friend …

Mr Doyle hops down, smiles and puffed up like a peacock himself, 2 can play at this game. If there will be rumors about them being picked up by the police, then let there be more rumors about them not being arrested and the police being nice to them when they are dropped off.

Ms Beatrice, as she gets down from the cab, instantly starts flirting with 2 of the younger members of the secret police. They smile and enjoy the attention, then as she walks away they turn see the cold hard stair of the captain and his hard frown, and the 2 young police blanch at the frown. Will they be transferred, will one of their sisters be moved from the school she is teaching in to a more remote rural school … What ill will does that frown hold for them ?!!?

There is still an hour almost an hour and a half before they are to meet the Jewish associates. A hurried breakfast, and a walk to find a bakery with a good German Chocolate cake – Ms Beatrice knows that gifts of food is the best way to build good will, and after the morning they have had so far, they need some good will.

After finding an acceptable cake, the group hops a cab, open to the air and much more comfortable than the cab ride earlier this morning, and gives the address to the driver.

The cab pulls up to the address in the Jewish neighborhood.

Mr Doyle and Father O’Malley, shaken from the morning’s events, blink in surprise – very low rolls there. The address is a smallish but very well maintained Jewish synagogue. Not what was expected ! The quicker eyes of Mr Blue pick out that though it is nice, the windows at least on the sides of the building they can see are boarded over. Ms Beatrice with the quickest eyes of all, also notices the nearly useable movement from a building roof top. A spider Imp skulking watching … did it follow them … was it there waiting … ???.

The group hops down form the cab and stands at the large open double doors to the walled courtyard. Not sure what to do.

In the courtyard, Ms Tamarel Fanny Sonnenberg from a cluster of young well-dressed ladies looks up and the shock on Mr Doyle and Father O’Malley’s face, she smiles ! A cat that just ate the canary and stole the cream may have rivaled her mischievous smile, but barley

Ms Beatrice bravely leads the way into the courtyard. Here and there clusters of well-dressed men and women, the groups self segregating between the sexes. Ms Sonnenberg with her cluster of friends, all very well dressed, good dresses wool and linen with touches of silk here and there especially scarves covering their heads.

Quick eyes in the group also pick out Ms Mina Bergson with friends of her own, purposely avoiding her older female cousin

Finally the group is spotted by Mr Louis Bergson and his associates. A look of complete surprise crosses his face when he sees the Americans standing there in the court yard. Surprise, then a glance at his cousin, realization at the prank pulled by the dark haired beauty as she laughs behind her hands and whispers secrets to the ladies around her. All of the female eyes focused on the 4 Americans.

One of Louis’ associates peels off from the group around the leader of the assoicates, and heads over to a cluster of older gentlemen, all wearing the shawl showing they are learned members of the comuntiy and Rabbis. Mr Bergson comes over to the group welcomes them and shakes the hands of the group. Making an excuse for his mischievous cousin and invites the group to stay, set with the other ‘God fearers’ – non Jews that are there to listen to the lesson – in the chairs clustered around the multiple open doors around the synod.

An elderly Jewish gentleman, comes over, starts to speak in German then switches to English. Apologies, his English is rusty, but he is glad they are here, and will do his best to translate as the scriptures are read and the debate/lesson begins. As the group slowly agrees to stay and accepts his offer to translate, Ms Beatrice again notices the slightest of movement now in a tree overlooking to courtyard watching … the spider imp is closer and focused.

The older Rabi looks over at Ms Tamarel Fanny Sonnenberg and comments

“She is I am think interesting. Not best. Causing troubles, often. Not bad , loves to be making people dances on toes… entertains life. Yes bad, but that can be good too. "

Quick eared members of the group realize it is an old man reminiscing about earlier days and the sideways smile of attractive mischievous girls and missing youth and reminiscing about his own earlier adventures.

The lesson begins, and the rabbi setting amongst them translates the scriptures – Elisha follows Elijah in the ministry and that it had a cost for him to pick up the older prophet’s ministry. Things must pass on from older to younger, but the younger always pay a price as they follow the path started by the predecessor. Then after the scriptures are read, the rabbis begin to discuss. As he translates the rabbi setting with the group begins to comment on the other rabbis’ commentary . Soon the debate is passed to younger men who pick up the points of the debate.

Father O’Malley notices one of the young men – surprisingly very German looking not the Yiddish looking black hair like most in the synagogue - picks up a point of debate. The Rabi setting with them lets fatherly pride show as he translate the points the German looking young man is making.

As they talk, some in the group notice a faintest whisper of sulfur … as does the rabbi setting with them. After a second the old Jewish man pulls out a silver watch but when he opens it, besides just a watch there is a small silver mirror, instead of the normal picture or ornamentation in the other half of the watch cover.

A mumbled Jewish Prayer and then he begins to look around behind him using the watch mirror. There a large spider scurrying back and forth along the furthest court yard wall . Body nearly 2 feet around, with legs adding another foot on each side. Gray black foul looking. But skittering back and forth pained by the Synagogue and the scriptures echoing through the air. Yet, trapped by an order to follow the group.

The Rabi uses the mirror to look around but only see the one Spider Imp. He then notices Father O’Malley also watching the reflection in the small silver mirror

A pat on the Catholic’s knee, the old man whispers “You see it too. I thought I recognized the feel of you. It has been years but I have known those like you. We share common beliefs you and eye. I have a little experience with the fight”

The lesson goes on and the group watches and waits. How do you kill an Imp in the middle of the lesson and not draw attention. Mr Doyle reaches down to is revolver ... and pictures the Captain of the Secret Police waiting for them as they walk out of the court yard or when they arrive back at the hotel. Wisely he does not follow through with the urge to draw the colt and blast away.

As they watch and resist temptation to cause a scene, they also notice the eyes of Ms Mina Bergson locked on the group. Not looking around whispering to other young ladies around her like Ms Tamarel Fanny Sonnenberg and not focused on the lessons from the rabbis like more devout people in the congregation. She is looking watching focused on the group.

Soon, the Spider Imp can no longer bare the pain of the consecrated ground and the lesson on holy writ and is forced to override it command to follow and watch and flees out of the court yard. Scurrying away and leaping across the road and it disappears into the shadow of the alley.

As the lesson finishes The Rabi shakes hands with the group, hesitates and gives his name to Father O’Malley. Explains if the Catholic priest needs a little guidance from other than his Mother Church he is welcome to come and talk. Giving the priest his name, and jotted notes on scriptures and an old Jewish prayer. – Ideas and research that would open another miracle to Father O’Malley once he gained more experience – the true seeing spell

As they are talking, Ms Tamarel Fanny Sonnenberg again appeared and slides her arm into Mr Doyle’s and this time Mr Blue’s. “My friends Our last coffee was drank under a cloud of distrust. Shall we have another one on better terms ? I will make a small amends for … well I will buy the coffee and maybe we can become more friends”

She seems to honestly be kind and not being mischivious and she is offering to buy the group some good coffee instead of maneuvering them into buying her some. Plus, there is the good Chocolate cake the group bought earlier, so they reluctantly agree to go along with her.

This time instead of a corner coffee vendor or a hand pushed coffee cart, the group heads to one of the better coffee salon in the Jewish district. The salon’s staff look sideways as the cake is produced and cut , but a smile from Ms Sonnenberg, and the knowledge she is often there and she or those with her always tip well, makes sure the staff does nothing other than frown and mumble about inferior cake from some other baker when they have exceptional cakes pies and pastries on the premise.

The next hour she encourages all present to talk among friends, to tell their stories, talk relax let the worries of the recent days be forgotten for a few blissful moments.

As the group talks, translated by Ms Beatrice for those that don’t speak French their tongues loosen and stories begin to be told.

A very high roll for her to use her charm ability, and low rolls, some very low indeed, and the group lets information slip.

Ms Beatrice admits she is a firm believer in the occult and mystical powers, and not just a fashionable weak believer in the trendy spiritualist, and that she believes some occult movement is behind the murder, the missing Mr Szmul Jakubow and the death of Ms Pleuckur. She finally lets slip that she is at least passingly attracted to Mr Doyle – Ms Tamarel Fanny Sonnenberg agrees with the young socialite on her assessment of the young archeologist and finder of antiquities.

Mr Blue lets slip that he is actually more comfortable here in Europe than he is in America. There is less outright racism … he is more welcomed … Ms Sonnenberg smiles at the thought, but hides the humor. They are in a Jewish section of the city, within 3 miles she know of another even poorer section that is made up of Poles and another even poorer still made up of gypsies. All segregated, none, not even most Jews would be accepted in the German social circles, not even the most wealthy of the Jewish bankers of Jewelers easily gain entrance. Mr Blue is missing the fact that he feels welcomed because he is welcomed by his friends at the table, and they are welcomed here because of their uniqueness and usefulness

Father O’Malley admits that he too expects the occult is involved and that they have seen occult entities, even seeing one in the courtyard of the synagogue, Finally, he lets slip that he is beginning to doubt the honesty of Captain Ernst Siskovis .At the mention of a Saxon Officer of the German Army, Ms Tamarel Sonnenberg focuses and gets more information. Mentally noting he is someone she needs to make an acquaintance of. The cat may have another bird she needs to start stalking.

Mr Doyle admits that he believes Ms Tamarel Fanny Sonnenberg’s cousin Jakubow was working on occult works and may have been putting together a spell book himself. Also he agrees that there is without a doubt a mystical tie to the events. Finally that he dislikes spiders normally, however, these mystical demonic spiders and the murder of Ms P by the Spider Imp shakes him to his core. He starts to drift into mentioning his dream from the other night but controls his tongue enough to hold that secret in.

As they talk, these bits of information fall like bread crumbs for her to pick up and store for later, but they do not even notice they are leaving a trail for her to follow.

Though, as they are talking, Mr Blue has an idea … if he can spontaneously begin to read others thoughts while soaking in a bath tub, maybe just maybe he can focus and read her thoughts … (a natural 20 here at a most important time) … Yes he can read her thoughts as they talk –

She does not even realize she is being read as she is reading the group, and none notice the blank face of Mr Blue as he stairs down into his coffee cup.

She is shocked at the group’s belief of the occult and the fact that they are sure they saw a ‘spider imp’ in the courtyard of the synagogue. She and her cousin Louis Bergson are hugely loyal to their family and are truly worried about their cousin Jakubow. They have no idea on who is behind the attacks – both mundane and mystical on Michael Rekshon and Jakubow at the university and against ACF and Ms P. She also agrees with Ms Beatrice on her interest of Mr Doyle. Also, a bubbling thought, she truly dislikes her cousin Ms Mina Bergson. There is something she can’t put her finger on, but something about the young flower seller that she does not like in the least. She hides it and plays nice due to loyalist to Mr Louis, but if it was up to her, she would turn her back on the young Ms Mina Bergson and never see her again.

There are a few thoughts bubbling around the attractive Jewish’s mind that Mr Blue can’t quite capture (I do roll high enough a few times to keep some secrets secret form his probing mind). However, as his focus falters, he realizes she is significantly more skilled at the arts of charm and influence than Ms Beatrice, and more surprisingly, she is as skilled at being a 2 nd floor burglar as she is at being a socialite. That is new surprising and interesting information that few if any anyone else knows.

As noon approaches, Mr Lousi Bergson and a few of his closest associates come into the coffee shop. Seeing the group with Ms Sonnenberg, he comes over claps Father O’Malley’s back and shakes hands with everyone

Again, giving his female cousin a narrow look, he apologizes to the group for her mischievousness and any imbursement she has caused. He hopes they are all still on friendly terms and admits he and his associated do need the group’s assistance.

The coffee finished the cake eaten, and ruffled feathers smoothed (and secrets found out by both sides) all is well or as well as it can be on a late May Saturday afternoon in Berlin, while investigating 2 murders an attempted mugging, and a missing person while knowing Spider Imps, and more than likely other occultist are the opponents, and then how does the Secret Police fit in. Yes all is well … for now.
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by Lurker »

11 May 2020 recap

As the group prepared to leave the coffee shop and started to head back to the hotel, for once their coffee paid for by someone else, they made their good bys from Mr Louis Bergson, Ms Tamarel Fanny Sonnenberg, and the other Jewish associates, they hesitated

They are tired of putting out fires and being on the defensive. They want to take the fight to those following them and harassing them

Who can they use ? The police, possible, but the police would have (or think they hold an) advantage. They would not be equal and do not want to be entangled with the secret police more than they want.

Captain Ernst Siskovis …. Again, he may be compromised and be unduly influenced by those very same secret police.

The group looks at the Jewish associates preparing to leave. They are allies themselves, and everything (including Mr Blue’s recent power to mind read) points to them being honest allies in trying to find the missing Szmul Jakubow

The group ask the Jewish leader and Ms Tamarel to stay, and they begin to plan and plot.

How do you trap a target … the Jewish associates are experts, as they have shown the group recently, at that skill.

First you need bait, Ms Tamarel quickly points out that Mr Blue, he is too big and intimidating for bait, that leaves Mr Doyle, Father O’Malley, or Ms Tamarel or other of the Jewish associates. The group balks at that, One of them should be the bait no any of the Jews.

Ideas about pretending to be drunk and seeming to be an easy target are kicked around. Ms T scoffs at that. In her accented French she points out

“You have never thus far show yourselves to be imbibers in excess. You have tended toward caution and watchfulness. Except for a few moments you let slip your guard “– she uses her tone to remind them that she is the bait that was used to lower their guard and reminding them of their first meeting on less friendly terms. – “To all of a sudden and for no reason change will alert the fish and scare them away from the hook. Plus, this is not the wild west of America, so groups of people walking down the streets of Berlin drunk and rowdy calls the attention to the police – another reminder about the watchfulness of the secret police.”

Eventually, Father O’Malley is the pick, especially with tomorrow being Sunday so it will be expected he is to go to church for mass.

Mr Blue, he will be hard to sneak through the city walking around. Ms Tamarel knows how to take care of that.

Who will follow Father O’Malley to watch and be there to help him as he trolls for the fish. Mr Doyle says he will be able to do that, he has a little skill in blending into a crowd. Ms Tamarel points out he is a novice at best in that. She will go with him to help him blend in and improve his skills a little, plus the smile says she will enjoy a stroll with the young Irish finder of antiquities.

After Mass, Father O’Malley will leave the church, and go to the East. He will then follow different people with red scarfs, if followed he will lead the fish to a trap.

The Jewish associates do ask about those invisible spider demons, not bothering to hide the doubt in their voices.

Father O’Malley knows trapping one is possible but outside his skills. He can drive them away and his holy water can injure it. It isn’t the best option, but it will be enough. And the group reiterated that yes the spider demons do exist and are dangerous.

A plan made the group heads back to their hotel, the rest of the afternoon and evening should be rest and preparation.

They do send a runner to Capt S and invite him to dinner, room service for safety, and a conversation.

He arrives at the appointed time, and is notably nervous and unsettled

As the group talks he pulls a letter, official orders actually, ordering him to be a lesion to the Berlin Secret Police transferring him from his attaché appointment. He says it was accept that, or be transferred to a remote post. Not even his influential family name can help. He does say that the Secret Police Caption did over state it when he talked to the group that morning and that he was not being interrogated, at least not in the implied harshness they assumed.

The Saxon Captain does muse about the strangeness of providence. When Father O’Malley apologizes for the difficulty they have caused him, the officer is back to his normal self and waves it off. “Our fates were tied together a little over a month ago when we leapt from the train that dark night.”

As the group talks, Father O’Malley give specific information on the Spider Imps, Mr Doyle notices the Saxon Officer unconsciously reach for a Lutheran cross he has started to wear since he as arrived in Berlin, and he touches something in his coat pocket (Father O’Malley remembers a token from a pale haired Dr given to him as they left the small M town nearly 2 weeks ago)


Capt S dos say that his appointment is a 2 edged sword, the negative is his forceful removal from his previous posting. However, he is now an officer himself in the Secret Police and that does give him power nearly equal to that that the Police Captain that has been harassing the group. Plus, he is able to direct his own investigations.

The Group discus in depth the death of Ms Emmy Sophie Pleuckur. As the Demon imps are discussed, Father O’Malley mentions giving him holy water, but the officer waives off the water and pulls from his coat pocket a flask with a Lutheran cross and says he has already prepared for that. Father O’Malley realizes that though he is only a soldier and an officer, with limited experience with the dark wars, he has spent time on researching on his own and he is leaning heavily toward his German Lutheran faith in this new arena of combat against the war on darkness

After dinner, the Saxon Captain leaves the hotel and is in significantly better spirits that he was in when he arrived

Through the night, Mr Blue focuses on his statuette. He can’t remember where he got it and how it came to be in his room, but … there is something about it.

As he focuses and then relaxes and drifts off to sleep, his dreams bubble up. He is a gladiator in Rome, or Greece, somewhere ancient … others train with weapons, he trains with his fist elbow and knee. Different faces stand barking orders, giving instructions, but all master of fighting, all teaching. Behind all , the statue in a niche in the wall. A home shrine, candles burning around it. Fighters using it to focus, learn train, pray for luck in the arena, thank the gods for their success. Generations of lessons of the ancient art of pankration taught in front of the statue. Words sweat blood toil effort success and failure imbibe the carved stone figure of a master of the arena. Lessons absorbed and ready to be retaught.

The ex-slave from Alabama awakes with 2 bits of information. The statue can help him as he further progresses in the arts of fisticuffs, and he not only can read other’s mind, he can read the history of objects too.

The next day dawns bright and warm. Sunday, the day for te mass and the day for catching a fish.

Father O’Malley makes his way to mass, dressed in his full Jesuit regalia – sticking out in the predominantly Lutheran Berlin – arriving early, he gives confession – valance toward man, jealousy of the Jewish knowledge and power of the Rabbi, wrath to the forces of evil. The priest taking the confession, seeing Father O’Malley is a Jesuit, is not overly surprised at most of the confession, though jealousy of the rabbi’s knowledge is something he wasn’t expecting, so he cautions moderation in the wrath to evil and use of violence to man only to defend fellow man, believers, and support the mother church. For the rabbinic knowledge, he advises caution. To make sure the knowledge is true and holy and not to look for short cuts in gaining knowledge. That can corrupt even the holy most knowledge.

Ms Tamarel helps Mr Blue be snuck out the back of the hotel into a laundry wagon – a few coins to the poor maids help that along – and he is taken from the back of the hotel unobserved. Ms Tamarel and Mr Doyle leave through the front door, and easily notice a member of the secret police watching – as much as to let them know they are still watched as it is to observe them. The young lady, dressed finely in a black and gray tailored dress and a blue and black silk scarf covering her black curly hair leave on a slow comfortable Sunday Morning stroll

Doyle’s quick eyes do pick up a Spider Imp that starts to follow them, as Ms Tamarel starts to give the young Irishman pointers on how to go quietly and unobserved in crowds. Though there is difficulty in language, she using French and he only understanding Italian, the pointers that the Irish finder of antiquities are learning are sorely needed.

They make their way to the Catholic church before mass is over, and settle down to watch. Ms Tamarel, the observant lass that she is (I rolled very high here) picks out the thug that had followed Father O’Malley and was waiting for the priest to leave.

As mass is over and the crowd leaves the church, Mr Doyle and Ms Tamarel easily pick out Father O’Malley, but the thug they are watching that should be watching the priest misses him (rolled a nat 1 here, followed by more 1s and low rolls)

The priest slowly makes his way to the east, and the thug is watching the wrong street … the priest disappears around a bend in the city streets …. Doyle notices the Spider Imp watching from a roof top scurry off following the priest.

Mr Doyle and Ms Tamarel also notice a gentleman sitting drinking coffee quickly fold his newspaper and stand looking around in frustration as the Spider Imp leaps from roof top to tree from tree to wall and follow the Catholic priest. The man sends a a boy off, a runner to get the thug and bring him to the correct road to follow the priest yes I rolled A LOT of 1s and less than 5s here, and it almost derailed the plan)

Who to follow ??? Ms Tamarel points out the man that had been drinking coffee or the thug hurrying to follow the Irish priest.

Mr Doyle decides to follow the thug as the coffee drinker turns and disappears into the crowd going up another street . It is a quick look, but Mr Doyle may remember a thing or to about him if they meet again (a perception of 15, not a lot but something may be remembered).

For a good 10 min Father O’Malley wanders down the road, but with no one following him … is the plan foiled. Did something go wrong ??? Then, he hears from behind him, someone rushing to catch up, and then slowing to tail him (again rolled low for his stealth check. I need to hire better thugs !)

The priest continues to follow various individuals wearing the noticeable red scarfs. Turning here, going down a road there, pausing at a baker to buy a roll and cheese, moving on down another road. For over an hour he goes and meanders closer to the edge of the Jewish quarter of the city.

Mr Blue setting leaning against a wall, hidden behind some crates, looking around to the 5 other Jewish associates setting or leaning here or there. The trap is set. Eventually, there in the street, the hard to miss (unless you roll a 1 like my thug did) Jesuit priest, walking lost in thought, behind him a thug following, failing to notice the ambush he is approaching.

The priest nearly misses seeing Mr Blue and the others set to ambush the thug, but after he passes he realizes he is at the right spot and he was successful at baiting a thug into the trap. He then notices a blur of movement from a roof top. Not only a thug but also a spider imp too.

The priest turns and speaks a prayer, (using his recently gained fate point to make sure the miracle was as powerful as possible) the holy words buffet and pain the Spider Imp.

Mr Blue rushes from hiding to punch the thug, but trips before he can strike home (I’m not the only one that can roll a 1).

Mr Doyle sees that the attack has started and sprints toward the exposed back of the thug – it is too far from him to get there and attack, but his sprint brings him into position to act quickly.

Father O’Malley grabs a glass vile of holy water and flings it at the spider imp – missing and the imp scuttles back to avoid the splash of the holy water.

Mr Blue scrambles up and punches the thug hard in his stomach. Knocking the air from his target.

Mr Doyle see the Spider Imp and quickly tosses his own flask of holy water, again missing the mark, but this time the splash catches the Spider Imp’s legs.

Me Tamarel rushing up, as quickly as she can in her fine well-tailored dress, sees the Spider Imp Demon. And freezes (a failed fear check here, so much for the experienced socialite thief) stunned by the realization that the group is correct about Spider Demons and dark powers. She is on the edge of an abbess staring at the reality that there ARE dark powers and she may be on the side opposing the darkness.

The Spider Imp, the holy prayer ringing in its consciousness and the burning holy water scalding its legs, turns and flees away over the roof tops.

3 of the Jewish associates come from hiding and begin to surround the thug, 2 attacks miss, but one does hit with a sap though it was a glancing blow at best.

Mr Blue dodges the thug’s knife attack and swings missing the thug himself. Mr Doyle cracks the thug in the back of the head with the hilt of his knife, stunning the thug.

The unmistakable click of a fire arm’s hammer being pulled back is heard, as the shaky hands of the young Jewess lowers a derringer to the back of the thugs head and utters a single word in German.

The thug drops his knife knowing he is surrounded and bested.

The group turns to leave and let the Jewish associates do their work, Mr Doyle noticing Ms Tamarel’s face still pale and hands shaking, but Mr Blue stays for a few moments

Digging deep (using a fate point to ensure success) he relaxes and reads the panicked jumbled thoughts of the captured thug

He hears a name Jon De’Vin – hears the thugs leader mention the foreigner from the Low Countries mention the name. He sees the Weis husband and wife. The couple that has helped them while they worked on the University’s campus. They are being watched, followed by the thugs.

The Jewish associates may get a bit of more concrete information, but Mr Blue has the info he needed.

The group looks around, with the shaken Jewess socialite and thief still shaken from facing a demon imp, it is only an opening skirmish, but yes, they HAVE taken the fight to their opponents. Shown they are not easy prey. The fight is started.
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by Lurker »

18 May Recap

To fill in info I forgot to mention 11 May 2020

At the mass father O’Malley noticed some of the windows at the church have been boarded over

After the fight Ms Tamarel Fanny Sonnenberg is shaken to her core. Having come face to the face with the realization that there are demon spider imps, there are dark things that do go bump in the night. While Mr Blue is doing his new ability to mind read, Mr Doyle takes time to carefully explain to her that yes there are the dangers in the dark but there are people like their group that fight them, and they have had success in their fight so far. After this she thanks him (in English)

***

After the ambush, and Mr Blue’s mind reading, the Jewish Neighborhood Protection Association takes the captured thug off for more in-depth “discussions” . The group and Ms Sonnenberg go off for a coffee – enhanced with a touch of Irish – to finish settling the lady socialite burglar’s nerves.

What next … a note ; enemy, enemy friend & an address, … warn the Weiss …. Return to the hotel and talk to Captian S … They realize that the hotel address on the note is between their current location at the edge of the Jewish section of Berlin and their hotel outside of the University of Berlin, and the Weis house is further away.

Weiss … wasn’t Alice Estra Weiss the new Mrs Weiss, Jewish ? Didn’t she mention that back on the train ?

As Ms Sonnenberg prepares to leave the coffee shop – the Irish laced coffee having improved her fortitude – the group mentions the Alice Estra to her. Yes she knows her and the Weiss family (a lucky roll by the group here !) , … She is not a close friend with the new Mrs Weiss, but she has met and talked with her before, she knows of her family … Yes she would glad to go talk to them, to warn them they are being watched by thugs hired by those from the Low Lands.

That leaves stopping by the mysterious hotel address

A normal hotel, slightly larger by 1 floor, but less clean and maintained than their hotel. Without a doubt a hotel of a little lower standing than the hotel Rose they are staying in, but nothing unusual or exceptionally shabby. A lobby open on the 1 st floor, here and there, people lounging, drinking coffee or beer, more lower-ranked business men and central European people than the clientele of their hotel. At the back of the lobby, 2 stairs one to the left and one to the right of the lobby.

At the front desk, Mr Doyle talks to the … yes there are room to rent, (the cost is a little less than that of their hotel) The rooms are moderately sized, 2 beds per room, access to a communal water closet … General questions asked and answered . However, the quick eyes (I can’t remember if it was a good roll or a fate point here) of Mr Doyle notice a name in the ledger Jon de’Vinn 2 rooms – 423 & 425.

The name from Mr Blue’s mind reading. Here renting rooms

As Mr Doyle makes his way back to the group, and they meander around the lobby, they notice another hotel worker come up talk to the …. They joke, they talk for a minute or 2, and …. Goes out the back of the loby, talking a break and having a moment to relax. No one in this lobby is watching them, knows they don’t have a room here, no one is paying them any attention at all. Time to act

The group makes their way up the stairs to the 4th floor, down the hallway to room 423 & 425 – rooms overlooking the back alley behind the hotel. (a natural 20 on a perception check) and the group notices spider webs covering the corner of the 2 doors. Reminding them of what they saw when they searched Mr J’s room.

This time, they are more careful, Mr Doyle pauses, meticulously cutting the threads of the web attaching it to the door, folding it up to the ceiling above, the one door is cleared of the web. (Again I can’t remember If it was a good roll or a fate point here too) . A little more work and the door is unlocked.

They hesitate, … do they go in now, or wait and come back later tonight ??? Is it to risky now in broad day light, or is it better ????

In for a penny in for a pound. IF they were going to wait then they should have left the webs alone

The 2 rooms are connected and the door between is opened. The one room they enter is cluttered 2 people’s cloths scattered around the room. 1 of average size the other mush more stout appearing, nearly as tall as Mr Blue and as broadly chested from the size of the cloths.

The other room, only 1 person staying there, a little more neatly kept. Cloths of a slighter man, and a little better quality than the other 2’s .

A quick search (a high roll here) Mr Doyle finds a list various names (including a note that more than likely refers to them as 3 foreigners) some the recognize, - Pleuckur, Fichte, Weiss - others they don’t. At the bottom of the list Sonnenberg. Newly added to the list. There are different symbols by the names, some with just one symbol, other names 2 different symbols. A line through Pleucker and Rekshon – both people that have been killed.

Close to the top of the list, just below the names of Rekshon & Jakubow , there are 2 Jewish symbols side by side. Nest to them another symbol not seen anywhere else on the page

In the list, there are also the addresses to the 7 student rental houses that the group got from the Weis. 3 of them lined through. They have already been searched

Besides the list, Mr Doyle finds a few addresses that may be important – he doesn’t know Berlin well enough to recognize the addresses.

Mr Doyle quickly copies the list and addresses

Mr Blue (with an earlier rolled of a nat 20) notices a movement on the roof tops across the alley. A spider imp staggering limping from roof to roof heading to the hotel they are in. The Imp they had fought and injured earlier in the morning,

The group hurries from the room before the imp can arrive, and Mr Doyle hurriedly replaces the lower edge of the web to the door.

(multiple low rolls on my part make sure that while they were breaking into the room and covering the tracks no one came into the hall to cause them any problems …)

As they make their way down one set of stairs into the lobby, they notice 2 men at the other stairs talking. Father O’Malley and Mr Doyle recognize each of them. Father O’Malley remembers seeing the one man, average height none descript and normal appearing, on campus at the Berlin University, the other a slighter man, nicer suite, spectacles and a bowler hat, the same man he noticed in the court yard cafe outside the catholic church earlier this morning. The man that reacted as the spider imp began to follow Father O’Malley, sent the boy as a runner to get the thug back on track to follow the Jesuit priest. (A roll of a 2 and 4 on their perception check let the group slip past unobserved).

As the group walks down the street away from the hotel, the quick eyes of Father O'Malley - always watchful for evil and dark servants - notices movement in a tree. Expecting another spider imp he is surprised to see it move and be a normal Imp … it watches for a moment then backs into the shadow of the tree it is perched in and disappears. (a low roll for my initial hide check and a high perception check spots it, but then my 19 roll helps it hide again before it ????)

The group spends the rest of Sunday afternoon and evening discussing their options and what they need to do & how best to do it

It all comes back to locating Mr Szmul Jakubow

As they return from dinner (I think, maybe from something else) a member of the secret police walks past and drops off a note

Have talked to the Weiss, they are protected. …. Moved to a safer place …Rekshons are better watched … I am able to better investigate Capt S.

That leaves the student rental houses, and the group of low landers has already marked off 3 of them.

Maybe watching them will be easier than finding J on their own. Time to turn about on the low landers and start watching and following them.

Monday morning the group sets up and starts to watch the next rental house on the list. Hours of boredom … however, just before lunch they notice 2 men walking out of the rental house. Both blond, one the average looking man they say Sunday afternoon in the hotel lobby, the other a hulking Viking of a man, nose broken and heald. A brute of a man that would give Mr Blue a run for his money.

(a low roll earlier on Mr Doyle’s check to disguise himself and blind into the area and an 19 on their perception check)

The average man looks up and locks eyes with Mr Doyle. A look of surprise, they turn and hurry down the street, quickly turn down a side road.

The group gives chase. ( some high rolls by the group keeps the 2 in sight as they try repeatedly to give them the slip.

Eventually, the 2 low landers turn into a side alley, one last desperate attempt to escape, the group rush in, Doyle leading the way, Father O’Malley in the middle, Mr Blue hurrying in last.

As the brute of an ex-slave steps into the dark shadows (I rolled a nat 20 for the hide check of the Spider Imp) a searing pain as something large sinks its fangs into his back. Poison courses through his back (a fate point saves him from being paralyzed for a few rounds) but he shakes off the effects. Ahead in the alley, the hulking son of a Viking steps out cracks his knuckles and smiles – an ambush is started

The group is quick to react, quicker than expected! Mr Doyle reaches for his gun, then thinks better and pulls his knife. Charging forward he slashes and draws blood. Father O’Malley begins to pray, attempting to cause the Spider Imp crawling on Mr Blue’s back to flee, but loses his concentration (a low roll to cast the miracle). Mr Blue grabbed the demon spider and tries to crush it, but the Imps blending into the darkened alley and its quick reflexes keep it out of the ex-slave’s grasp

The Nordic brute and the imp both miss their attacks

Mr Doyle slashes again but the hulking man he is fighting is better prepared this time and bats away the knife swing. Father O’Malley prays again and now a light springs forth above Mr Blue – negating the Spider Imp’s ability to blend into the shadows . Mr Blue, now better able to see the Demonic Imp again reaches out and attacks the Imp. This time connecting and doing significant damage (actually nearly killing it with the first hit).

With the fight starting to turn against the attackers, they decide to escape. The brute fighting Mr Doyle flings a crate at him doing no damage, but covering him in dirt and dust. Blinding him momentarily, and the thug turns and flees (Mr Doyle failed a dex check to avoid the dirty trick, so the thug escapes without Doyle getting an extra attack). The Spider Imp leaps from the grasp of Mr Blue, but the ex-slave is quick to react and strikes home as the Imp scurries up the wall. Mr Blue grabs the demon imp and drags it to the ground. A stomp to the hideous demon spider’s head . He squashes the Imp and kills it. Black green incur bursts from the imp, and then it dissolves into a sulfur and brimstone smoke.

The group gives chase to the fleeing blond haired brute running down the alley. However as the run, a magical demonic web fills the alley – a dex check for everyone, and Mr Blue makes it by 1 with the other 2 rolling higher – and they avoid being entangled. Though the thug does now make his escape.

The group rethinks their plan. No more waiting and watching, now is time for action. They go to the next rental house on the list.

They ask the lady of the house about a Jewish student …. She doesn’t recognize anything (rolled a 3 for her) but one of the maids that help clean the house hears and does remember something (I rolled a nat 20 for her) and she does remember someone like who they are describing a little over a week ago is when he left, but she thinks he left something she put aside …

Soon she returns with folded coat and a note book. The name …. On the note book

Father O’Malley blinks at the name, he knows it … yes .. the leader of the Jewish Neighborhood Watch Association, he quickly says that yes that is their friend and they will be sure to get the coat back to him.

As they leave the rental house, in the note book, they find a list of Jewish names and numbers next to them … Nothing they know or can figure out, but they know someone that should be able to understand it.

Turning onto the sidewalk, a horse drawn Taxi pulls up and Captain S steps out, had down reading through notes as he gets down (I rolled a 2 on his perception check – for a major NPC, he rolls a lot of LOW numbers) When he looks up from his notes he is as surprised to see them as they are to see him.

He asks if they have already checked in this rental, and when they say they have he invites them back into the taxi.

As it pulls out, he tells them how that yesterday when he talked to the Weiss, they gave him the list of rental houses, and they also mentioned they had been questioned by both the Captain of the Secret Police and another detective. Blond, a slight accent. He told them he was from Hamburg, but it was still a little off – well dressed with a bowler hat. Captain S says that he has been investigating the rental houses all morning. In 4 of the houses there may have been a student matching Jackabou but nothing specific, and that at each of the houses they mentioned a police investigator with northern accents, always 2 people, but not always the same people

(The last bit of information they needed – for the fate point Doyle spent earlier – the symbols on the list, some are thugs, some represent acting as police, etc.)

The rest of that Monday afternoon the group settled down to ready themselves for whatever comes next. Father O’Malley uses the time to talk to Rabi Mendel Hirsch. Finding out he has a history of fighting the dark. He is retired now and is glad to reminisce with the young Jesuit priest on all thins religious and dark hunting.

***

The investigation is nearing the end. All the threads have been found and gathered. Well not all, but most , and all the important threads that had to be found were – it was close on finding the jacket and the note book from the rental house. If you didn’t find it when you did Captain S would have found it and given it to you that night.

You all figured out the note – enemy enemy friend (the enemy of my enemy is my friend); you put together that there is the 2 groups of baddies (the wolf based one you faced following the train & the spider based one you are facing now) that hate each other more then they hate you (or at least the wolf does) so the wolf’s servant is dropping you a bread crumb to help hinder the spider’s servants

You have turned the fight back onto the spider’s servants (I wasn’t expecting that at all, so good job there!) and have captured one of their pawns and killed an imp to boot.
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by Lurker »

1 June 2020 recap

***
I messed up at the start of the game and put you back in the cab with Capt S, but from the notes, you spent the afternoon after the cab ride prepping for the fight and talking to the Rabbi. Sorry

Also, I looked up the name for the Berlin Secret Police detective captain – Capt Hennerk Holger – so I’ve updated the notes etc for NPCs you know.

After returning to the hotel, the group went up to their rooms to refresh and clean up from the fight in the alley , and spent some time discussing their next step (say that happened the next morning to bring it in line with the notes from the last game). Eventually deciding they need help deciphering the list of Jewish words and numbers they found in the Lowlander’s room. – Mr Doyle rolled high on his decipher roll so knew there was no pattern for him to pick up on and no hidden code in the names etc – He needed context on the names and numbers that he couldn’t get even if he spent a fate point – Fortunately, they had access to someone that may have the missing context. Mr Louis Bergson – the leader of the Jewish Neighborhood protection association – and cousin to the missing Szmul Jakubow.

They left their rooms and noticed a door open to another room down the hall, and a breeze blowing in from an open window … strange … Mr Blue is the first to notice a small stone on the floor with a small folded note tucked under it.
“You found them and truly have caused them difficulty. Good. The friendship has served it’s purpose and is now over”

As the 3 read it, and Father O’Malley noticed something. The hand writing matching the “enemy, enemy, friend’ note (which wasn’t enough without rolling a nat 20) but another previous note. The note found on the dead bodies from the fight the night they leapt from the train a little over a month ago.

“May my hand do the same to you, if not mine then I pray for another to be the tool of --- wrath”

Presumably this new note was written by the associate of ‘Master James Dodd - ‘Bushy Beard Gentleman’ -
The group, now realizing they are going to be facing 2 opponents, begin to carefully watching everything carefully as they travel. They head to the areas frequented by Mr Bergson and Ms Tamarel Sonnenberg. They roll high enough to have noticed anything visible following them. However, they feel … as if they are ahead of a storm but know the storm may break at any time …

Surprisingly, their 2 contacts with the Jewish Neighborhood Protection Association were not in their normal locations (some bad rolls here kept missing them) but eventually they located to lead of the protection association and were able to talk with him

First the group mentioned Ms Sonnenberg, but Mr Bergson hadn’t seen her in a few days, (he sends a runner to go track her down and check on her since she was involved in the ambush the other night, and the Low Landers had her name).

Then the group gives him the list of names and numbers. He spends some time looking at it and shows it to one of his associates. They recognized the names – all are Jewish families in the area – but can’t figure the rest out ( I rolled 4 times for them to put it into context and never got above a 3 …). He asks the group if he can keep it . They hesitate but then agree to leave it with him – Doyle knows he can’t get anything else from it, and it doesn’t have any occult meaning or symbology, so it won’t do them any good to keep it.

As they are talking, Mr Blue notices sounds, a light melodic humming, coming from the back of the building. He slowly starts to nonchalantly sneak toward the back (rolling painfully low) and some of Mr Bergson’s associates notice him.

When asked what he is doing, he says he heard something and wanted to see what it was. Mr Bergson blinks in surprise at that, and says it is probably his younger sister sorting flowers to send out with her flower girls in the afternoon. Satisfied, Mr Blue drops the issue.

When they arrive back to their hotel, the group noticed the same carriage/cab that they had been in yesterday with Captain S. As they walked into the hotel loby they saw Capt Hennerk Holger – the German Secret Police detective captain, and Captain Siskovis, talking to the hotel manager – who looked nervous facing 2 officers and one or both of them being in the feared secret police.

Captain Siskovis looks up at the group and waved them over, slid a small stack of marks to the hotel manager, and Captain HH without a word walked behind the counter into an office (the manager’s personal office), expecting the group to follow.

The group hesitated, worried about another interrogation by the police captain, but remembered Captain S mentioned he would have to talk to the secret police captain as they were leaving yesterday (one last time bubble I messed up restarting the game with them being back in the cab with Captain S instead of the next morning like I should have.) . After a few moments the group followed the German Police Captain into the office, followed by Captain S.

The group find out that:
The hotel room being used by the lowlanders were raided, and it appears they had left the room in a hurry shortly before the raid. They didn’t find anything of importance but at least now they were on the streets, and the police would keep a watch out for them
The Weiss family has been given police guards and the guards are on alert for any know thugs or the low landers
The Dhruvs are under tight security, now that Dr Rhuam Dhruv had recovered enough to be discharged from the hospital from the injuries he received in the attack. Capt HH says that It would be unseemly for Germany, Berlin, and the Secret Police, if important academic foreign visitors were further injured.
After the discussion, Captain S mentioned that since the fight has been taken to the lowlanders, it may be dangerous for the group to remain in the hotel. They are known targets, they have been the main focus on direct actions against the low landers, and they more than likely would move against the group. He suggest they move to another hotel – one provided by the police. He has already paid their bill at this hotel and can send hotel employees or police men up to pack for them.

Again the group hesitated, (but a good wisdom roll let them know that it is not a trick, both of the Germin officers were being honest, and yes, if they were going to ambush the low landers and raid tier room, they would more than likely retaliate and attack them) but eventually they agreed to the move, but refused the offer of assistance packing their rooms for the move – trust only goes soooo far.

They were moved to another hotel, in a section of the city on the N side of the university. A slightly more affluent area with more banking and business. The hotel itself was a little better than the hotel they had spent the last few weeks in, a water closet for every 2 rooms instead of communal for every 8 – 12 rooms. All and all a better hotel than they had been in.

After the move the group settles down and begins to prepare for the inevitable future. Father O’Malley counsels Mr Blue and gives an impromptu bible study for the ex-slave (a high religious roll & and a high Cha roll for Mr Blue resulted in Mr Blue getting a plus on his next fear save). Then Father O’Malley took time to go to confession and prepare himself for what darkness may come. Mr Doyle spent time reviewing all the charcoal rubbings and copies he and the younger Dr Dhruv had made, realizing the treasure trove he will be taking back to his museum. Mr Blue, after the bible study, started focusing on exercising, shadow boxing, and the like. As he did so he was surprised at little things that he did differently. Things not experienced but bubbling up from ancient memories.

That evening, Captain Siskovis met them for dinner and hand delivered a note. Surprised the group read it and found out it was from Ms Tamarel Sonnenberg. A quick note saying that she hopes they are well, that the Jewish Neighborhood Protection Association has new important information.

They realized they failed to send word to her and the Jewish associates that they had moved and give them a new address. Somehow she got the letter to good Capt S to get to the group.

The group with Captain S hurriedly made their way to the Jewish Association, again, feeling as if off in the distance a storm is brewing on the horizon, and watched to make sure they were not followed.

The group is met by Mr Louis Bergson and he explains that he was over thinking things. His cousin was well educated and cleverer, so he expected there would be a difficult code. However, Mr Jakubow kept it simple. It is a list of names that had marriage celebrations in open parks or court yard and times he would be watching. (Finally I rolled high enough for him to put it together, but the group had moved soooo they didn’t get the word as early as they could have).

More good news. The next night (Last Wednesday of May) a little after sunset would be the next time to try and find the missing Jewish scholar .

The group was glad to hear, but then caught on that the Jewish Association was planning on it being a simple affair and were not considering all the dangers they could face. The group offers to help ( high Cha roll on their side , balanced by a low wis roll by Bergson – he still does not consider the occultist issues as real) and hesitantly he agrees. However Ms Sonnenberg, having firsthand experience with the super natural opponents, is more supportive of their assistance . She joins in and starts to guide the planning.

She would scout the area and see if there were people watching the courtyard that did not belong, the group with a few Jewish Associates would come in from 1 street, and the remainder of the Jewish Associates would come in 2 other groups from 2 other streets. Plus, Captain S, with some police support, would be a few blocks away in case they were needed.

As the plan was discussed, Mr Doyle offered to go with her. He being the one member of the group that had skills in line with the socialite/cat burglar. With a little thought she agrees. Normally, she would have preferred to be alone, but having previously faced a spider Imp (and been frozen in fear) she does see the need for assistance in this.

All agree to the plan, and go their ways to spend a night and day preparing for the approaching evening’s activities.

Father O’Malley spends time once more blessing water – giving all the group at least 3 vials of holy water.

The next evening they all arrive at the appointed place at the appointed time. The outskirts of a poor area bordering the Jewish neighborhood and another ethnic section of the city.

Ms Tamarel leads Mr Doyle off down through the narrow dingy streets and eventually ducks into a dark alley way.

He is then surprised by her asking him to unbutton her corset – there must be something lost in translation between her French and his Latin. She turns her back and again asks for help undoing the restrictive garment (high perception and Doyle picks up the mischievous smile).

He eventually does so and is surprised to see under her fashionable clothing is a dingy workman’s shirt. As she pulls off her dress she is wearing old dirty torn workman’s pants. She laughs at his surprise and grabs a nap sack tucked away in the alley. She pulls out an old workman’s coat and hat, and she tosses them to the young Irish finder of antiquities, and a bag of soot. As she carefully tucks away her finer dress, coat and other cloths. She smears some of the soot on herself and then Doyle gets the hint and makes himself look like a soot covered worker. (he actually rolls higher than her here) and Ms T is pleasantly surprised at his disguise.

She pulls out some chimney sweep tools and tosses them to Doyle – 1 being a solid metal bar instead of a light thin tool to clean chimney – it will be an effective brutal club – and then leads off climbing up a ladder to the roof tops of the nearby buildings.

The 2 crawl and hop across the tightly packed buildings making their way to a spot to overlook the open yard the meeting will be at. (again Doyle rolls surprisingly high, higher then Ms T) and Ms T is again impressed by his agility at scurrying across the old roofs and hopping from 1 roof to another.

Eventually they find themselves atop a 4 story building looking down at a large yard. Some 200 feet long and over 100 feet wide. A court yard outside an old 3 story building being used as an orphanage. The orphans using the court yard as a playground and the individuals living in the area using it as an open market etc. All of that is in the light of day. In the evening gloom … a dirty dingy empty yard. A toy here and there left by the orphans, an old rope swing, a teeter-totter, over there. Crates boxes and the like scattered around. Everywhere trash and grime.

Doyle and Ms T both notice 2 men tucked away in the shadows below them and across the street. 2 men watching the court yard (a good high perception check by both, and I rolled a 4 for their hid check so). As they stand in the gloom below, one strikes a match to light a cigarette, the glow showing his face . Ms T Sonnenberg can say the 2 men do not belong.

She tells Mr Doyle to follow and then starts talking loudly, and making noise going down a ladder. Talking singing and in a voice a little deeper than her normal voice. Confused Doyle hesitates for a few moments and then follows along. The 2 men below look up watch for a second and then turn back to watching the courtyard (a very high roll by Ms T, and a passing roll by Doyle ) ignoring the 2 chimney sweeps climbing down from a roof. A young teenager singing and making fun of the older man slower following. A youth singing a drinking song …

The younger chimney sweep walks in front of the 2 thugs, and turns. A female voice says something that catches the thugs attention. Turning to look at Ms T the 2 are unaware of

Doyle slams one of the inattentive thugs with the metal club, stunning him and dropping him to his knees, but not completely knocking him out. The other thug turns in surprise to the attacker, and Ms Sonnenberg , quick as a snake, pulls out a sap and smashes the standing thug in the side of the head. Dropping him with 1 blow. Before the remaining thug can react, Doyle hits him again knocking him out with the 2 nd blow (I expected a little tougher fight here, but 2 very high attack rolls in the surprise round and high damage rolls, ended the fight quickly).

In the meantime, the 3 groups (one being Father O’Malley, Mr Blue and 2 Jewish associates) wait a good 30 min and then make their way to the courtyard.

As the group, supported by the 2 Jewish associates, make their way to the edge of the courtyard they notice Mr Doyle and Ms T, on the other side of the courtyard tying up the 2 thugs they had incapacitated. At the same time, they see a group of 6 thugs in an alley moments before they rush out to attack the group (another high perception roll keeps the group from being surprised).

The fight goes back and forth. Father O’Malley doing damage on his first attack, but then being hit or miss. Mr Blue Dropping a thug on his first attack, and then slowly whittling down the rest of the thug. The Jewish associates are not as effective as the group, but they do absorb some of the (few) hits by the thugs – I rolled middling to poorly for both the thugs and the Jewish associates, so for their part it was an equal match, but Mr Blue being able to swing the fight in the favor of the group.

As the fight drags on, they notice 2 more people along the edge of the courtyard, halfway down the 200+ foot clearing. Also they hear sounds of fights starting with the other 2 groups of the Jewish associates., and then later they hear gun shots from where Captain S and his police are waiting

As the fights go on, Mr Doyle charges out to help Mr Blue and Father O’Malley, leaving Ms T as she is slower to rush out of the concealment in the shadows they were in. However, as he runs, Father O’Malley notices a spider imp on the roof top ready to leap down. Luckily he yells out to warn Mr Doyle (kept me from getting a surprise attack there) before the imp jumps down. Doyle is able to avoid the imp’s attempt to land on him and knock him to the ground, but the imp does eventually get a poison laced bight into the Irishman (a fate point shrugs off the poison effect). Doyle using holy water and his pistol and Ms T, (after easily passing her fear check to again face a demon imp) coming up from behind using a stiletto eventually kill the imp.

A second Imp, seconds to slow to join the fight before the first imp falls to Doyle’s colt 45, leaps down and tries to trap Doyle and Ms T in a spider web. Doyle again out rolls the more experienced lady cat burglar and avoids the web, but Ms Sonnenberg is surprised and entangled in the spider’s web.

Again in the background the noises of fights increase, Mr Blue notices a flash of light like a lightning flash across the courtyard, (but no noise accompanying the flash so it was not a lightning strike) and Father O’Malley senses malicious dark magical chanting coming from the 2 individuals. He fights the thugs for a moment or 2, but then turns to sprint to attack the 2 as Mr Blue and the Jewish associates severely injure the 3 rd thug and he and the 2 remaining thugs start to withdraw from the fight.

Mr Doyle is able to quickly kill the 2 nd spider imp and Ms T Sonnenberg cuts herself free from the spider’s web.

As the female Jewish socialite cat-burglar pulls the sticky webbing from her cloths and hair , she looks at Doyle and in English says “You are more than a pretty freckled Irish face. You are handy and can at least walk in the dark and not be an oaf. I do have to say this is a good way to spend an evening, though”

Doyle realizes she has once again been tricky and been ahead of them from the start. Speaking English and knowing everything they said when they thought she only knew German and French. (But a failed perception check by Doyle here did miss something)

As she smiled up mischievously at the Irishman, she is engulfed by moving living evil shadow

The fight isn’t over.

Shadows attack Ms T Sonnenberg and Mr Blue

Doyle, not wanting to use the last vile of holy water attacks with his trusty pistol. Father O’Malley turns in his tracks from charging the spell caster and returns to help fight off the shadows. Using the ancient ceremonial bronze knife they had found a few weeks ago in the Moravian cave.

Luckily, Ms T makes her fear save, and other critical saves to avoid the worst of the shadows attacks . Plus she does a little damage with her knife, and is able to survive the focus of the shadow’s attack.

Father O’Malley missis his attack with the dagger, but then steps back and prays. His holy words echo out and push away the demonic moving darkness (I can’t remember if it was a high roll on the turn check or if you used a fate point).

As the group catches their breath from the attacks, a swarm of spiders and other vermin rush out of the alley and force the group to retreat out of the courtyard.

A few seconds later the spiders disperse and again the group rushes forward.

The courtyard is empty, though Mr Doyle (with a high perception roll) notices a man as he climbs up the sheer wall of a building and onto the dark roof top above. The man climbing up the wall as easily as a spider.

Moments later Capt. S and the police come running down the road. All of them bruised and battered, with Capt. S holding his pistol and a vile of holy water. Soon the other 2 groups of Jewish associates make their way into the courtyard too.

The fight was hard, but eventually won by the group and their allies.

As the check the courtyard, and the police bandaged up their more severely wounded (they faced the brunt of the attacks and all of them suffer from some damage), the area is cleared and safe. After a good 30 mins, a light is seen in a window; a lamp light and waived. Mr Louis Bergson and a few of his associates go to make sure who or what it is. 5 min later they come out with the wide eyed, and frightened, nearly paranoid, Mr Szmul Jakubow .

With a sigh of relief. It is over.
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: Ne'er-do-Wells' AA Masque of the Red Death

Post by Lurker »

8 June 2020 recap

The real end to the Berlin story

The group recovered from the fight and the safe rescue of Mr Szmul Jakubow

They found out the next train to Hamburg will leave mid-morning Saturday Morning (the route going direct to Hamburg every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday). So that gives the group a little time to recover from the fight, take care of final issues, and prepare to leave.

That Thursday day, the group is once again interviewed by Capt Hennerk Holger & Captain Ernst Siskovis. – Father O’Malley noticing that it has strangely became an interview on a mundane murders, attacks, and an attempted kidnapping, with all supernatural occurrences or events being normalized.

Also, Mr Doyle spends time talking with the Drs Dhruv, especially the younger Dr Harilal Dhruv – a man more his age and similar interests in antiquities (as opposed to the older uncle, with a focus mainly on transcribing and interpreting ancient languages (from India and into the near east). It may be good to have him as a friend sometime in the future.

Father O’Malley takes time to talk plainly to Mr Szmul Jakubow. Warning him of the dark dangers he has been toying with. The young Jewish graduate student – bordering on paranoiac from witnessing the attack, and being the focus of extra natural hunters – agrees and now understands (however, at the edges of his eyes a slight twitch … the knowledge of danger is there, but also the dark temptation is there to. Will the good Mr Szmul Jakubow be able to resist it ????

The group is invited to an evening of good food and entertainment by Ms Tamarel Fanny Sonnenberg “You have been in Berlin for over 2 weeks and have only seen the back streets alleyways and … well, we all know what else. Before you leave, you should see the better side of the city. Enjoy an evening with a friend”

The invite is to all, but her focus is on the good young Mr Doyle (who curelessly misses the slight flirtations she is casting his way – Mr Blue & especially Father O’Malley notice this though). A date is set for a Friday evening dinner and a trip to the play house for a variety show.

Thursday night the group dines with Captain Ernst Siskovis, at his apartment – a nice well-furnished private apartment in an well off upper middle class part of the town. The 4 story building having an apartment on each floor, rented exclusively to military officers.

A more private and personal discussion here this time with Captain S. Father O’Malley mentions other groups of hunters of the dark forces and suggests the good Captain introduce himself to them , specifically the …. . Captain S gives a half smile at that, and though he doesn’t know the name of the group specifically, he indicates he has been in contact with people and they may in fact be part of the group . He points to a brown paper wrapped package on his study desk – partially unwrapped – containing some old books or journals and some letters.

As the group talks, Mr Doyle mentions off handedly that he does need to learn German, especially if they are going to return any time in the future. Capt S replies with a smirk “I can think of someone that would like to teach you a little bit in German”

Friday, the group makes ready to leave Berlin and cleans up for the evening’s entertainment

Ms Tamarel Fanny Sonnenberg shows up with a fine carriage, dressed nicely in dark gray and black, with a blue and black silk scarf covering her curly unruly hair.

Mr Doyle realizes why she was so effective as bait to trap the group on their first meeting. Attractive in her own way, but not perfect (eye brows to thick and dark, nose to large, skin a little too dark to be considered a classic beauty but attractive none the less. Plus, her mischievous half smiles and cat like grace do more than make up for what some may consider inadequacies in her looks.

Again, Mr Doyle fails to notice the flirtations aimed at him, with the other 2 of the group picking up on the looks from her throughout dinner.

After dinner, the group goes to a play house. The entertainment is not a full production of a play , but a variety show. One act singing, another act s speech from Faust, another act a comedy, another music and dancers . Through the first set of acts, Ms Tamarel Fanny Sonnenberg , who was supposed to be translating the German speeches to the group stayed focused on translating them for Mr Doyle.

Through the first acts, Mr Doyle enjoying the company of Ms T fails to notice something, but Mr. Blue and Father O’Malley get the feeling they are being watched, and they notice a table back and to their left. 2 women and a man, spending as much time watching the group as they do watching the entertainments. Father O’Malley feels like he recognizes one of the ladies, but she is sitting in a way that her face is hard to see directly …

At the end of the first set of acts, an intermission is given and the patrons all get up, stretch, talk, take a chance to go to the water closet.

Mr Blue bumps into a stranger, from his looks a hand working behind the stage. A stranger that had never seen a black man before, a man impressed with Mr Blue’s size. He offers to share a cigar and a sip or 2 from his flask in the side street. Mr Blue hesitates, then notices the man is completely unrest, there is no malice in his actions, no suspicion of darkness around him. With this Mr Blue goes into the side street (little more than an alley snaking away from the play house) and has a smoke and a nip or 2 from the flask, and begins regaling some of his boxing stories. The new found friend more than likely only knows 1 or 4 words said by the freed slave, but his is happy enough being able to say he saw, talked to, and shared a drink with a black American boxer. (a failed perception check here missed something).

Father O’Malley and Mr Doyle talk quietly together about the table focused on them. However, they are interrupted by a member of the staff walking through the lobby, ringing the bell to give the 2 min warning that the 2nd set of acts would soon start. They also notice 3 ladies leaving the bathroom, 2 ladies assisting the 3 rd between them – the 3 rd appearing to have had a little too much to drink, head wobbling, walk unsteady being supported by the 2. (a fateful failed perception check here)

The lights flicker to show warn the acts will start, so they head toward their table … empty. No Ms T. strange

In the middle of one of his stories, Mr Blue notices the same ladies exit the play house, and go directly to a flat bed wagon. Push the drunken lady up onto the seat and hop up into the wagon and a driver – that had been setting their waiting – snaps his whip and the wagon takes off with a lurch. As the wagon goes, in the late May moon light, Mr Blue catches a glimpse of a silk wrapped head, Silk blue, black, shinny.

After a few minutes, Mr Doyle eventually finds a female member of the house staff and asks her to check the bathroom for the missing Ms T. (a low roll here slows down the process). As the minutes slip by, the females staff member returns from the ladies water clause and shakes her head no.

What to do …

Mr Blue, with growing unease heads back into the lobby of the play house and sees Mr Doyle and Father O’Malley talking as the female walks away.

All 3 together now are able to put together the bread crumbs. As they talk, Father O’Malley thinks back to when they checked the table and noticed Ms T had not returned from the water closet. That other table with the 2 ladies and a gentleman was also empty.

They run out into the side street and … stop ... How do you follow a wagon that leaves no tracks on dry heavily traveled cobble stone streets. How do you find a wagon in a city of wagons … How do you find a needle win a stack of needles (the last reminder to Doyle before it costs a fate point). A needle, the needle they found on Mr Jarslav Hugo Masek body over a month ago. A needle that is a compass to one’s fate / desire.

The group takes off at a jog, trying to catch the wagon that has had a good 7 or 8 min head start. However, (with a high wisdom check) Mr Doyle is able to stay focused and the magical silver compass needle guides them through the winding city streets.

After a 20 min run, leaving both Father O’Malley and Mr Doyle winded (2 unfortunate con checks here) the group sees a wagon pulled to the side of the road in an old derelict, rundown area of Berlin. Ill cared for (and some abandoned) buildings, A wide area in the road for carts, and vendors to set u an impromptu market in the daylight, but at night dingy cluttered and empty.

Father O’Malley notices a lady … old, young … hard to tell at this distance in the dark not overly tall, and slightly hunched over. Wearing an old tattered hooded cloak. Seeing the group running down the road she steps from the shadows and begins to speak in German. Pointing frantically to an old building across the road from the wagon.

After a few moments as the group slows from their run and get closer to the lady, still babbling away in German. Father O’Malley notices the voice. He has heard it before … but where … her cloths … yes the cloak and hood are old stained and tattered. However, the cloths below them are not nearly as worn.

A clattering racket from the building she is pointing to causes the group to pause … but then Mr Doyle looks down at the needle. It points to the building behind the lady.

“It’s a trap”, “Yes but where” “Ms T Sonnenberg is in that building” – the group hurriedly talk as the get closer with the lady. (A 19 by me, and she sees they aren’t’ buying her misdirection).

Before they can move an ear splitting wail bursts from between the 3 clustered there together (a sound burst is cast) and all stumble from the surprised attack and father O’Malley is stunned for a moment.

Mr Blue is first to react – being a runnier and having passed his con check during the run through the city streets – and sprints after the fleeing young lady who turned and ran into the building behind her as her spell goes off. Doyle is next to go, but is normally slower than MR Blue anyway, but still winded from the 20 minute run through the city streets.

The girl runs through the old abandoned building here and there knocking over stacks of crats or throwing abandoned furniture in the way of the chasing group attempting to slow them. As they run, Mr Doyle notices that here and there are things that would have been effective traps but they rushed in before the traps could be set.

The lady runs down stairs at the back of the building to the basement below. Mr Blue, followed by the still winded Mr Doyle run to the edge of the stairs but hesitate.

Stone stairs going down into the gloom below, a landing some 5 feet down with the stairs continuing on to the left – to dark to see anything else. However, quick eyes (I know Mr Blue, but maybe all 3 notice it) flickering candle light reflects off the old moist stonework, Father O’Malley notices a low chanting from below, and also picks out 2 other voices talking quickly.

Father O’Malley prays and a light appears cutting into the gloom below. They rush down – with Mr Doyle leading the way, (finally making his con check and is now recovered from the long run) but are frozen in place

Standing on the landing halfway between the ground floor and the basement floor, they see on the old crumbling stone work wall of the basement there nearest them, a painted stylized spider, and surrounding it a spider web. The paint black sticky tarlike, but in the paint glittering as if something shiny broken, ground up and mixed with the paint.

On a flat rock, the nude Ms Tamarel Fanny Sonnenberg lying there, a noose around her neck, with the rope up over a beam supporting the ground floor above the basement. A similar black line painted from her forehead, down her nose, down her chest and past her stomach, the same black and glittering paint

Beside her a cultist holding the rope, another reaching for a ceremonial knife tucked behind his belt, and besides them the lady they chased down – she seeing them, turning to run further back into the gloom of the basement.

Scattered throughout the basement numerous other cultists holding candles and chanting

(1 of the group - I think Mr Blue - failed the horror check, but spent a fate point to avoid the failure)

Mr Doyle finally shakes off his winded condition, and pulls his pistol and shoots the cultist pulling the knife. Hitting him and knocking him down – delaying the attack on the helpless Ms T for a round.

Suddenly a web appears, Mr Doyle and Mr Blue just free to avoid it, but Father O’Malley is stuck fast

The one shot by Mr Doyle finishes pulling the knife and winches from the gunshot wound as he stands up and readies to plunge the knife into the nude body of Ms T. The other cultist pulls back on the rope lifting her off her back though not completely off her feet. The young lady they had become friend with is now weakly, still in some form of a stupor, struggle to loosen the noose around her neck.

Father O’Malley bends fate she despite being entangled in the web, and not being a marksman, is able to shoot and hit the rope. Not a perfect hit, but the rope is damaged, strands of it are frayed and broken.

Mr Blue flings his knife at the one holding the rope but misses and nearly hits the weakly struggling Ms T. – He is good at fighting and running but not at football. He decides he needs to do what he is good at and go to fisticuffs

3 cultist rush forward to fight Mr Doyle and Mr Blue

Doyle ignores to one attacking him and shoots the knife wielding cultist a 2 nd time, this time killing him.

Then things get chaotic (meaning I can’t remember a blow by blow) But the big events are

A summon swarm is cast and focuses on Doyle and Blue – the 3 thugs fighting them back away from the vermin

The rope is shot a 2nd time – doing more damage (but another low damage roll keeps the rope holding by a strand or 2 for a few more moments)

Blue rushes the one holding the rope but misses – the rope breaks in a round or 2 after that dropping Ms T to the stone she had been lying on, but the noose still tight around her neck slowly choking her

The swarm is moved to attack the helpless Ms T, who can fight it or move to flee

Father O’Malley is shot at but is not hit and start returning fire into the gloom – finally breaking free of the web spell
Other spells are cast – a few evil eye spells, a cursed fate and the like, but all the saves were made – except one for Mr Blue who still had the 1 use talisman charm from the gypsies so that one didn’t take hold either.

Doyle soon grabs Ms T from the depths of the swarm of rats and drags her away, only to be chased by the swarm. However Mr Blue, quick thinking uses a flask of good spirits and a match to splash fire into the middle and in the path of the swarm causing it to break apart.

Eventually, some of the cultists (you all lose track of who is who and where they are in the gloom, so don’t know exactly who or how many ) figure bringing knives to a gun fight (or to fight a big black boxer with a knife or club) is not a good life choice so they run to escape.

2 cultist fight to the end – 1 being the main spell caster in the fight – and the one explicitly commanded to kill Ms T and offer her as sacrifice to pay for the failure to capture or kill Mr Szmul Jakubow , but he eventually falls to a gunshot wound from Mr Doyle, brutal punches from Mr Blue, and finally a sharp blade from Father O’Malley.

Ms Tamarel Fanny Sonnenberg is still under the effects of the drugs or the spell used to befuddle her mind so does not realize exact what happened and how close to a horrific death (what would have happened to her soul if she HAD been sacrificed) she was.

However all in all ; So ends Masque of Red Death Story 3 - Big city dark allies and the Jakubow’s affair
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

Knight Errant & Humble C&C Society Contributor
C&C Society

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