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Eternal Lies» Forums » Play By Forum

Subject: Eternal Lies Campaign. Act I [IC] rss

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Karl Larsson
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IC || OOC || wiki




This is the first IC-thread for my Eternal Lies campaign. Let me first warn that this thread will be full of spoilers for the campaign.


Current players are:
Nathan Lewis
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Lev
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Aaron S
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Beau Bailey
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Characters:
Dr. Paul Odko
Alfred Elliott
Dr. Ernest Wagner
Dorothy Astor
Dr. Evelyn Malley

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Karl Larsson
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Gathering the Investigators
Janet Winston-Rodgers put out her cigarette. She had gone over the letters several times now, she was certain there was no new information to be gleamed from them. If she was going to get to the bottom of this, the bottom that was surely sordid, she would need help. Her father had employed helpers, people that had talents in a wide variety of fields. While she had servants and helpers all around her, she had to look deeper for the kind of assistance she would need for this.

She had dug deep, and found five she trusted. Versatile in capabilities, trustworthy, she hoped they would be discreet. She could not go, so they would go for her. Go to find the truth, the truth about her father.

She had put wheels in motion. They would be contacted shortly, and hopefully she would soon meet them in person.

OK everyone, let's have som character introduction. I want something from each of you about your character. What is s/he doign right now. A good idea would be to include a source of stability. If you like, you can end with your character being contacted by Winston-Rodgers. The meeting she is arranging will be happening between Arkham and Boston, so the way you are contacted will depend on where your character lives. Telegram, mail, phone call, something more luxurious or sinister. Up to you.
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Nathan Lewis
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Alfred Elliott
The rain soaks Alfred's coat so deeply he may as well have left it at home. Dodging into the payphone booth, he dials the only number he thinks will make a difference.

Georgie, old buddy, I need some help! He is shouting over the din of the thunderstorm. The phone booth isn't even close to sound proof. Listen, I've got several guys that I'm tracking down at the wharf. Someone has been pilfering through crates of ... let's say, valuables. ... No, trust me, it's better if you don't know what it really is. He looks out of the phone booth warily. Anyways, ever heard of Twisted Guido De Luca? Of course you have, ya big shot. I think he's on to me and I need to get away quick. Can you get a message to Judy for me and let her know that I'll be back once the heat is off me. ... No, no, anything but the truth. You know how she handles that! Haha! I trust your judgment. Thanks pal, I'll see you on the other side of this thing.

-----

As Alfred opens the door to his hotel room, he takes off his soaked coat and plops into the recliner. He begins to nod off when the telephone starts shouting at him. Startled and a bit scared, he walks over to the phone and uneasily picks it up. To his surprise a lithe voice greets him and he instantly realizes it is Janet Winston-Rodgers. He could never forget that voice. Just how she knew to reach him at this hotel she never divulges, but her proposition seems like just the excuse to get out of town for a bit.
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Beau Bailey
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Dr. Evelyn Malley
Evelyn sits in the car thinking over the restaurant she had just been at with her father; loathe to enter the downpoar outside.

Why can't he see that I am not ready yet? I need to complete my research before I ever consider... someone else. My current path of study has appeared to be fruitful, but that's happened before. They usually end up a deadend. Once I am done, then I can try. Only then...

She gets out of the car, quickly putting up her umbrella as she goes to the mailbox. Grabbing the handful of letters, she walks up the steps to her apartment and goes inside. Evelyn tosses the letters onto the side table before heading into the kitchen to put the kettle on relishing the soothing pattern of getting her tea ready. Once the kettle is ready, she heads back to her sitting room and grabs the stack of letters.

Evelyn is nonplussed by the top address, The New England Journal of Medicine again? Looks like another rejection notice. Why don't they see the value in my research? They just are not willing to look at the less savory side of things. It doesn't go away just because they want it to! The following two letters appear to be very similar and she tosses them to the floor.

The following post card looks much more interesting. It features a beautiful shot of some Californian? beach. Flipping it over she sees the postmark indeed places it in California. Another one from Jeffery? I am glad he is keeping in touch, but this is almost flaunting his ability to move on.

The final letter in the stack bears the name Janet Winston-Rodgers. Confused, Evelyn carefully opens the envelope and skims the included contents. Interesting... This might give me the variety father was hounding me about. I can just tell him it's a vacation... of sorts.
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Lev
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This constant recording of data was beginning to take a toll. Sleep deprivation leads to hallucination and poor quality work. It was many hours past time for more than just a nicotine or caffeine break. Time to head home and let the always fascinating homeless, hungry and indigent fend for themselves for a few hours. He would return in a day or two for more in-depth discussions and examinations of the shattered minds that wandered the streets of Boston.

The complexities of the human mind and the fragile psyche seemingly has no bounds. I've so much important data to collect...

For now though, it was time to make the walk from the soup kitchens near the city's Government Center to his little flat on the corner of Beacon and Spruce Streets, just north of the Commons. Time for sleep and good food.

The communal telephone in the hallway rang soon after he arrived. The over-anxious longshoreman down the hall answered it on the 11th ring.

Doc, telephone's for you it's some dame calls herself Janet Winston-somethin'-or-other. She's been callin' since yesterday.

Yes, well I'll be right there, thank you. I was hoping for this call, now I may get some of my questions answered...
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Aaron S
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Dr. Ernest Wagner wakes up in terror, slave to the same recurring nightmare he's been suffering for the past few years. Darkness. Overwhelming darkness, with faint whispers - enticing Dr.Wagner; giving him cryptic clues.

Heart slowing down, he begins to relax.

With sweat dripping down his brow Dr.Wagner begins to collect himself.

Cairo... I'm in Cairo...

He gets up, dresses himself, and pours a glass of brandy. The buzz of the city waking up is all around him. Sitting down at his desk, he looks at the notes in front of him.

I-I was sure there would be something here. I thought this would finally be where everything came together... I was told I would find something of value in Cairo... Another dead end.

He angrily tosses the papers away, feeling deflated.

What if Jenny was right... What if I am going mad?... I'll go apologize to Arnold for dragging him here and then I'll go to a doctor after I get home.

He looks at the empty drink in front of him.

After getting a drink at the bar.

**********

At the luxurious hotel bar, Dr. Wagner drinks away his sorrows. Out of the corner of his eye, he notices a woman across the room giving him pitying looks.

After giving her a solemn smile, she approaches.

You look like you could use some company.

Hah. Yeah - That I could.

The women brushes her hair away from her face. What brings you to Cairo?

Chasing a dream.. well, er, more appropriately chasing a nightmare.

The woman raises her eyebrows inquisitively.

Sorry, sometimes I have a flair for the dramatic. I am an archaeologist by trade. You might think me crazy.. Hell, even I think I may be crazy now, but I've been searching for something for a while... No, I won't bore you with the details, but it's about ancient mysteries.. and the occult. Silly, I know...

The woman's eyes narrow and her head subtly shifts.

No, I don't think you crazy. In fact, you now truly have my attention, Mr.?..

Wagner. Ernest Wagner.

Charmed. I'm Janet Winston-Rogers, and I believe I may be in need of someone with your particular talents.


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Jason H
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Dorothy slams another map onto the table on top of a pile of different maps.

Talking to herself, or maybe to her books, Dorothy begins to loose her patience.

"I've got to find something. There must be something new somewhere."

"How the hell am I ever going to get this next book done without something new."


She has a stack of letters in the corner of the room from her publisher about drawing close to her new book's deadline.

With a howl of anger Dorothy slaps he maps to the floor.

"If only Walter had sent me something new..."

At that she runs over and goes through her fan letters and finds one Janet Winston-Rogers.

"Eh, I think this might be close enough."
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Karl Larsson
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Tuesday July 6th 1937 - The Mysterious Benefactor
 
 
 

One by one you arrive at destination of your invitation, a private airfield between Arkham and Boston. Everything seems dark and deserted, except for a hangar.

The hangar is strangely posh and comfortable in its little sitting area. Short folding bookshelves, full of encyclopedias, and portable tables covered in maps stand at the edges of a few overlapping area rugs, which define something like a parlor in the midst of the hangar. It’s like an expeditionary camp in the midst of the countryside, but with deep, broken in leather chairs and green-glass reading lamps to give it a feeling like some literati den. 

The rest of the hangar is a typically spare place, with a few toolboxes and maybe an antelope head mounted on a post. The plane is gleaming silver, without airline decorations. 

In the the sitting area is the woman you know as Janet Winston-Rodgers. She seems as out of place in the sitting area, as the sitting area is in the hangar. She looks the part of a modern business woman, beautiful and sharp. Still, crow feet reveals she is not a young woman any more. Movement next to the plane reveals the presence of a second person in the hangar.


OK. Your characters will arrive here one by one, the means you can decide yourself. This is probably the first time your characters meet. Write something about their arrival, and what kind of impression they make on the others. By the end of their post they should be ready for the briefing. If you like, you can make it so that they arrive in the order of your posting,
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Adjusting his satchel, Alfred climbs into the driver's seat of his blue Model A. He pulls a map and gloves from his glovebox.

Let's see....between Arkham and Boston.


Looking at the map, he traces the road between Arkham and Boston and finds what seems to be the spot. He slips on his driving brown gloves and begins the drive. After about an hour of driving he pulls up at the deserts hangar. He leaves his satchel and camera in his car, tossing a blanket over them. He then removes and carefully folds his gloves and puts them away. He walks up to the strange sitting area, half expecting to find no one around.

Janet! He shouts, waving as he notices her sitting. She stands from her seat and walks towards him. Alfred embraces her in a hug that lasts a little longer than necessary.

So glad to see you again. I have to say, I was pretty surprised when you rang me. He looks around.

Well, I have my ways, as do you.

Just me? I thought you said there would be others.

Oh, there are more Alfred. They should be here soon. Did you find it okay?

As he looks around again, the movement catches his eye. Oblivious to the fact that she just asked him a question, he quietly asks her, Who's the creep in the shadows?
-----

Alfred has a high pitched, nasal voice with a very thick accent. He wears a nice, expensive looking brown suit. Knowing that the most important thing you can do in a first encounter with a stranger is put them on the defensive, he is ravenous about being the first to greet the others as they arrive. Without knowing that he is a PI, they might just see it as pushy only in a likeable kind of way. In conversations, he almost seems like he is two steps ahead, ignoring as he wishes and being blissfully unaware of things he wishes to not address.
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Lev
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The trip from Boston to the hangar was very interesting. Paul hitched a ride from a Teamster transporting "fresh" seafood into the Massachusetts hinterlands. It was an excellent chance for Paul to talk to yet another source of psychological data. Unfortunately, just like his longshoreman neighbor, the Teamster is a practical, steady man - not given to flights of fancy or peculiar ideas.

The practical all are so very uninspiring. Ahh, this may be along ride.

Not a moment too soon they arrive at the hangar. Paul tosses his latest subject a whole dollar bill and bids him adeua. Before walking to the hangar, Paul pulls out his little black notebook and begins to write notes about the driver. He slowly walks toward the hangar just to get enough light to write his entry:

Antonio Salvados - Teamster: Spent well over an hour in conversation...

He just happens to notice his patron and another man in the hangar talking. Not one to waste too much time, Paul hurriedly walks to Janet Winston-Rodgers and expresses his sadness over the passing of her father. They quietly chat as they embrace.

Why so tense Janet? Uh Mrs. Winston-Rodgers?

She tilts her head toward the other person in the hangar.

Oh.

Paul lights his pipe then as he draws in a a few puffs he sticks out his hand to the other man and says: Good evening, I am Paul Odko - a friend of the Winston-Rodgers family. And who do I have the honor of meeting?
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Evelyn had spent the previous night packing. It was a fairly haphazard affair as she thought carefully about each item she placed into the suitcase. The final item was a small picture frame that she holds onto for a few minutes. With moist eyes, she carefully wrapped the picture and places it very safely within the suitcase.

This morning, the journey has lost some of its luster.

Should I head away right now? I haven't been away too long before. Whatever father or Jeffery needs me? Wait... I cannot worry about them, I need to do what is right for me.

Taking her bag out the car, she prepares herself for the short journey to the airfield.

The drive is thankfully pleasant and requires enough of her attention that she can focus on the driving part and not her other thoughts.

As she pulls into the airfield she sees a few individuals moving around a Sitting room? that is within a small hangar. Turning off the engine, Evelyn sits for a few moments trying to make out the individuals inside. The woman is probably Winston-Rodgers, She looks very much like her father. You can see the same rigidity within the eyes. She does not recognize the others that are present

After taking what she believes to be an awkwardly long time, Evelyn opens the door and approaches the hangar. A man in a brown suit approaches her and quickly introduces himself.

"Why, hello! I am Dr. Evelyn Malley. Pleased to meet your acquaintance."

She then approaches Winston-Rodgers and greets here with a polite yet unexciting, "Mrs. Winston-Rodgers? I am Dr. Malley. I knew your father, but I believe that you already know that."

After the greeting, Evelyn eyes the other individual that is standing around and nods her head in greeting.



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Dr. Ernest cautiously enters the hanger.

I still don't know why exactly I decided to come here....Ah, that's right -- My alternative was checking myself into a mental hospital.

Sighing to himself, he walks towards the group he sees has already arrived.
While making awkward pleasantries he looks out for the women he met in Cairo - Janice.

Nice to see you again, Janice. Glad it's under... er... less inebriated circumstances this time... I look forward to working for you, he says as he tips his hat.
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Janet greets everyone as they arrive, but answers only the most mundane of questions. "Alfred, that is my pilot, you will meet him shortly."

She motions everyone to sit, before she begins she gives Ernest an icy stare, "It is Janet, not Janice."


“My father was a driven man. He’d made his own fortune in the pharmaceuticals business after the War and then spent a few years travelling the world, studying folklore, He was bent on battling something, but he wouldn’t tell us what it was. My mother and I was watching him get ever more distant, travel even more, having secret meetings with strange people, until he spent almost all of 1924 away from home. On the trail of some “bad people”, as he called them. It drove my mother to drinking.

Then something happened in August of 1924. He came back to us rattled and unraveling. He didn’t go on any trips after that, or meet with any of his former associates. He was never the same after that, nervous and paranoid. When mother died in '32, he hardly grieved, he just became more insular. He passed away last year, a shadow of himself.

That was when I found the letters – letters from a man named Dougles Henslow, who apparently worked with my father until August of '24. I think he must have been one of the people father met with at our house. He had written several times, always asking my father to write down what had happened, what he had seen. My father never did, he never answered. But he kept them, and it looks like he studied them closely.

All the letters came from one of two addresses in Savannah, Georgia. I think this man knows what happened to my father. I need to know… wether I should be apologizing for him, or defending him. I need to know if there is any work unfinished. If I am in any danger.

I will lend you my pilot, Mr. Kearns, and plane for the duration of your investigation, provided you don’t leave the country. Time is a factor, money less so.”


Now you have the chance to aks questions. If you do so, also provide an invesigative ability that matches your approach. Some of you abilities are interpersonal abilities. I have not noted which on your sheet, but you should be able to figure it out. Still, any investigative ability will do. investigative abilities are to the left on your sheet. Those on the right are General abilities.
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Sorry I forgot to post. I kept looking at the midnight mass thread and thinking "okay, nothing for me to post," and then forgetting to check for the second game we started.

Dorothy spends the night before her trip packing up some much needed things... and then remembers she should probably pack up some clothes and bathroom accoutrements as well.

She scrounges up what little cash she has right now to pay for the trip.

"I guess there goes this month's rent. Well, unless this trip really does payoff that is."

Getting out of a car holding a notebook in one hand, a briefcase in the other, and a filled up backpack on her back, she strides into the hangar. She decided that today might be a good day to make a nice impression, so she came wearing the attire of a professional woman at work. Dorothy grabbed her nicest blue sport coat, a short, but not too short, skirt, and some navy blue heels. With her auburn hair back in a pony tail she could almost pass for an average office employee.

Eh, this outfit feels terrible. How can people wear something like this. With every step I take I have to take small steps and land my foot just right or I might break my ankle... You can do this Dorothy. Walter has helped put you on the map and his daughter can probably help you stay there. You need this, so you better look good.

"Hello, I'm Dorothy Astor, and you must be ms. Winston-Rodgers. Nice to meet you. I assume the rest of you are to be my new traveling companions?"


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Nathan Lewis
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Is Janet wearing her wedding band, by the way?

Not feeling comfortable sitting Alfred paces nervously, though it's more of a tick than real nervousness.

I assure you Janet, judging from this lot, you have brought this matter to the right group of people. I mean, we've got a shrink, a bona fide doctor, an archeologist, an author and your truly.

Spend 1 point of Reassurance to let her know that I want this to work out for the best and any tiny bit of extra information she has would be useful for our investigation. Even if she doesn't seem to think it that important.

Scratching his shoulder, he realizes to his dismay that his coat is still slightly damp. Strange that it hadn't occurred to him previously.

You wouldn't mind if we had a look at those letters, would you? Of course you know from that matter with your husband, uhhh, how important the tiniest detail can be to unraveling an entire mystery. Perhaps also your father kept some sort of journal of his travels? Probably wishful thinking. He mutters to himself.

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She seems to be put to ease by Alfred, she is still wearing her wedding ring

"I don’t know if my father ever wrote Mr. Henslowe back, but I rather doubt it. He wouldn’t speak about what happened in ‘24, and I doubt he’d put any of his thoughts into writing for scrutinizing by others. I’m not even sure why he kept these letters, when he destroyed everything else from his days meddling with the mystical."

She hands Alfred a bounch of letters.

Walter Winston went over the earliest messages in pencil, circling individual letters in certain key words, scratching sequences of numbers into the margins, and drawing lines from one seemingly random word to another. The letters are repetitive and often vague, below are some highlights.



Let me know if something is hard to read, and I'll send it in plain text.
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Nathan Lewis
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Is that last one purposely an incomplete sentence? More when I get home.
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Missing word is letters. It is an error in the book
.
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Dorothy turns towards Alfred.

"Can I see those letters?"

I'll spend a point of cryptography to try to analyze the circled letters and words in the letters if he lets me see them and I can get some time with them
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Dorothy feels certain she could find the code, if there is one. But she would need some hours to work on them.

Remind me of this when she has some free time to pursue it.
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Well this, uh, Douglas fellow seems to have hidden a book of whatever happened. Paying him a visit may prove, uh, fruitful. Dr. Odko, are you the Dr. he refers to in the Sep. 30th letter? If not, the psychologist community isn't so large that we can't figure out who either of these men's shrink was, or rather is.

Alfred pulls a notepad from his coat pocket and jots down the two addresses in Georgia.

Traveling to the South should be fun. They always love it when a yank shows up.
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Evelyn stands patiently watching the others in action.

They are all so immediately engaged on a task that is entirely new to them. Maybe one day I will be that way again?

She skims a couple of letters, but finds nothing that catches her eye.

Turning to Alfred she remarks, "Well, I think a trip sounds lovely. It will at least be a change from this miserable weather we are having right now."
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Paul is rather impatient to have a look at the documents. He quickly skims the letters and feels his frustration mounting. Then pulls out his notebook and transcribes:

August 1924
Dougles Henslowe
book: diary/journal FIND
Savannah, GA
513 W. Henry St.
23 Old Hope Rd.


Actually Alfred I suppose I could be the doctor who is referred to in the letter. It was a quite fascinating situation, the man built a psychological wall that was a marvel to explore and try to understand. You understand I can't go into specifics - confidentiality concerns. But I can say his family said he was never the same after those events in 1924. But I've always been curious as to what caused him to shelter himself psychologically to that extent.

A trip to swampy old Savannah sounds... delightful. At least we don't have to travel by rail.


Paul stuffs his notebook back in his jacket pocket and lights his pipe.

Oh Alfred, some psychologist find the word shrink offensive. You might want to try other, less contentious, terminology. Just a thought...
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That's funny, especially since I just found out it's actually an anachronism!

Uh, yeah, that makes sense. Sorry I just, uh, say the first thing that pops into my head sometimes.


Alfred fumbles for a cigarette and lights up and breathes deep.

Your father never let on about where he was in August of '24?

Just digging for more info. I'm hesitant to use too many points this early in the game, but I figure between all of us spending three or four collectively should suffice. The only thing Alfred would have to say to the pilot is chit-chat.
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Karl Larsson
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Be careful Damon. Unlike the BC game, there is actually a prepared story here. So prior knowledge of the events might actually step on the plot. be creative, but try to avoid those things I set up.

"I’ve never shared my father’s interest in the occult and he never shared it with me. perhaps I avoided it because I got to see what it cost him. To be honest with you, I’m not convinced that all the mysticism he preoccupied himself with is anything more than hokum. I’m not sure I believe in the supernatural."

The man by the plane steps out of the shadows, he looks like the adventerous type, a man kept in good standard, but now a bit older than he imagines himself to be. "This is Frank Keans, my pilot. If you want to go to Savannah, he'll take you there."

You want to go right away, or do some other stuff first. On the plane Dorothy can do the cryptography.
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