Nathaniel – returned home to Savanah to rest and worked on his act. Increased Throw skill.
Jane – Worked hard and published research on child psychology. Increased Credit Rating.
Bonnie- Attempted to become sober. Attempted. Failed.
Barry- Had a good season and made some money.
Handsome- Rode the rails and seduced many a lady
Everyone receives a telegram from Jackson Elias, telling them of his return to New York on the 15th. It tells them he’ll be in touch and that he has been researching the Carlyle Expedition.
The party knows various things about the expedition and its principal members, and recalled a number of news stories:
Jane- As a Psychologist, Jane knows of Dr. Huston’s reputation. He began as a regular physician, but at some point left the field (and his wife) to study under Freud and Jung. After returning to New York, he set up shop as a sensational doctor who charged outrageous fees for his services (anywhere from $50 – $100 per hour). Some of his clients included Roger Carlyle and his sister Erica, who introduced the two. Why they were seeing him is unclear. Maybe it was the fashionable thing to do? It’s possible Huston accompanied Carlyle on the expedition because he needed continued treatment, but there may be more going on there.
Handsome McTavish- Handsome didn’t remember much about Ms. Hypatia Masters, other than she was a pretty young woman who frequently appeared in the society pages of the newspaper, and who also had a decent career as a photographer. He knew she was involved with a Marxist named Raoul Pinera, so he attempted to track him down. He was unable to find him, but found a gossip who told him that Hypatia decided to flee New York with Carlyle after becoming pregnant by Raoul and aborting the child, unable to face friends or family.
Bonnie- Bonnie knows that the Carlyle fortune is huge, and is definitely something she would be interested in stealing someday. She knows that the Carlyle Estate, where Erica Carlyle still lives and runs the family empire, is heavily guarded (Erica has at least one bodyguard) and lies just outside town. She also knows of the elder Carlyle’s reputation as a party goer (know your mark).
Barry- Barry knows of Jack Brady, the bodyguard of Roger Carlyle. Brady’s exploits before joining Carlyle’s services were well publicized before his association with the young playboy, and his murder acquittal was the talk of Barry’s circle’s for months. While never having met Brady, Barry is very impressed by his style and resume of destruction.
Nathaniel- Nathaniel knows of Sir Aubrey Penhew, and his Penhew foundation. Based in London, the Penhew foundation funds and plans archeological expeditions to Egypt and nearby areas, and helped plan the Carlyle Expedition. Penhew himself was a world renowned Egyptologist, whose work founded many new branched of Egyptology. His absence from the archeological world is a blow to the field.
About noon, Nathaniel receives a call from Elias. He detects that Elias is not his usual jovial self- something seems to be amiss, or shaken him. He asks that Nathaniel gather the group from the Mexico adventure, and meet him at his room, the Hotel Chelsea 410, that night at 8pm. He also requests that no one be told about this meeting. He hangs up without divulging anything else.
Nathaniel meets up with Jane/jade at her place of work, and asks her to track down Handsome and Barry to relay the message. Jane remembers Bonnie’s favorite alley hangout, and guides Nathaniel there. They agree to meet back up at the speak easy around 6. Nathaniel tells Bonnie about the meeting, and she comes, hoping for Elias’s hospitality.
Jane finds handsome at the train station, covered in oil and grime from handling a large train accident (his role playing, not mine). He quickly follows Jade (whose name he can’t really remember because he is terrible with names) and takes her to Barry’s place in Brooklyn, which is a door in an alley. Welcomed by the haze of cigar smoke, Barry beckons them in and hears of the meeting. He invited Handsome and Jade in the back room for a drink. Handsome and Barry trade moonshine whiskeys. Jade is just uncomfortable the whole time, but would rather be with these two guys as the men in the seedy establishment eye her. They return to the speakeasy, where they find Bonnie attempting to resist drinks with Nathaniel. Jade’s friend Ethel covers her shift for the night.
After some quick catching up and sharing information about the expedition, they proceed to the Hotel Chelsea, arriving about 7:30. They order a few drinks from the hotel restaurant (GM note- remember, it’s prohibition. There MAY have been some stuff that could be mixed in the back, but I should have been more careful about letting you drink in public. We’re not in Mexico anymore.) . Bonnie orders iced tea, while Handsome orders the finest drinks he can (under the counter, it was an artsy place), and puts it on Elias’s tab for room 410. The group proceeds upstairs to room 410.
The group arrived at Elias’s door, and Nathaniel knocked, saying something like ‘Woo hoo, Elias! We’re here!” (Funny since he seemed like he wanted discretion. After a pause, there is no answer. Nathaniel lockpicks the door and cracks it, and lsitens. He is able to hear 3 men inside, and their exact positions , as they prepare for an ambush (Listen rolls of 01 are pretty nice). Barry, right behind him, hears 3 figures and sees one going for the fire escape, clearly not Elias. He shoots the man, aiming for the kneecaps. He succeeds, and the man falls down, unable to walk, and remains there for the rest of combat.
Nathaniel tries to knock out the man by the door with the butt of his knife, but misses severely, throwing himself off balance (98 is not a good roll…). Handsome looks for an impromptu weapon and finds a pointy umbrella, and tries to return to the combat. He attempts to stab one of the men, but misses. Jade fires a shot , misses, going through the open window to the rickety looking fire escape. Bonnie hangs back, as she is unarmed. With the group in the room, they now clearly see what kind of men they are up against- 1 African on each side of the bedroom (A1 and A2), and a white guy (W) writhing in pain on the floor by the window to the fire escape, all dressed in shabby suits wearing wooden and leather head pieces that have strange horns and braches sticking out, and carrying what look like long machetes (18” blades). A2 strikes Barry across the chest with his weapon, throwing Barry into a rage. He punches A2 back in the head, leaving him a little dazed. Barry then takes a point blank shot to A2’s legs, and he falls, while Jade attempts another shot at A1 who is about to assault Nathaniel, but misses again. The man tries to hit Nathaniel, but Nathaniel dodges at the last second and manages to score a coutner attack right into A1’s stomach (another roll of 01!). A1 falls as Nathaniel jumps on top of him, placing his knife at his neck. With the men all incapacitated, Nathaniel shouts, “Where is Elias!?” . Barry also tries to interrogate/ torture his prisoner by carving into his chest. All they hear from their prisoners is maniacal laughter and curses. Looking up at the bed, they see Elias’s body, head hanging off the side, with his entrails spilling out onto the floor and a strage symbol carved into his forehead. Barry then kills and disembowels his prisoner (San loss).
The group beings to hear approaching sirens. Bonnie begins searching the room along with Barry, and they notice an idling black Hudson roadster in the alley across the street .Barry notices the license plate, NYL7, as it speeds away. They find pieces of evidence that these men tried to remove as they searched them, as well as evidence on Elias and inside his briefcase (which they will compare notes on later back at the speakeasy). Barry decides that he will remove the corpse of the man he killed (A2), along with the now unconscious man he had shot (W), so he carefully brings them outside on the fire escape and luckily finds a dumpster right below him (Luck roll of 1! What’s up with these rolls today?!?). Barry definitely doesn’t want the police knocking on his door. Handsome and Bonnie also decide that they do not want to be involved with the police, so they follow Barry out the fire escape. Handsome decides to meet up with Barry the next day, while Bonnie heads back to the speak easy, catching a glimpse of Jonah Kensington, Elias’s Editor, heading toward the hotel. He does a double take when he sees Bonnie, but keeps going. Barry goes to a nearby touristy “I Heart NY” kind of shop and uses the phone to call one of his guys, a cleaner. The cleaner comes by and takes care of the bodies, avoiding all detection from the police.
Meanwhile, being credible people with good reputations, the Nathaniel and Jade hang behind to speak to the police. A few officers come running up the stairs and begin to swarm the room. Jade and Nathaniel are questioned by Lt. Martin Poole, who has been assigned the case, which began as a simple ‘shots fired’. Upon seeing the body, Poole’s demeanor changes, as he has encountered 8 other murder cases like this one in the past 2 years. Nothing connected the victims, they came from all kinds of backgrounds, and all of them had the same symbol carved into their foreheads. With Nathaniel and Jade’s reputations, he believes their story, that only they were meeting Elias, and that there were two or three other assailants, but they got away in a vehicle matching one that was reported stolen earlier that day. He will check out their arrival with the folks in the hotel to make sure the timing works out, simply to rule them out as suspects. He also asks for their contact information, as Nathaniel seems to be very knowledgeable in the occult, more so than their current consultant, a Dr. Mordecai Lemming.
Free to go, Nathaniel and Jade leave the hotel, running into Jonah Kensington on their way out. They tell him the whole story, and he asks them to meet him, along with the rest of the group, the next day at 3pm at his office, as he has a proposal. They agree.
Returning to the speakeasy, Jade and Nathaniel encounter Bonnie, who, with Ethel’s help, has successfully deciphered the confusing English on the letter she found on Elias’s body (another Luck roll of 01, geez!) The trio drinks a lot and crashes at the speakeasy, shaken by the events of that night.
The following morning, with wicked hangovers (cured by Bonnie, who just knows how these things work by now) Jade calls Barry’s place, and gets in touch with Barry and Handsome. They all decide to meet at 2 at the speakeasy to consolidate the clues they found, prepare for their meeting with Kensington, and discuss potential courses of action (see list of leads below).
At 3pm, they arrive at Kensington’s Prospero Press, and find him exhausted and distant, staring at Elias’s latest manuscript and pouring over his notes. He tells the group how shaken he is, and how he worries for his own life and the lives of the party. He suspects that the police are correct in assuming it was a cult murder, and believes that possibly some of Elias’s old enemies had caught up to him. He knows that it must be a powerful group, as Elias had been clearly shaken and was spouting some wild theories, ever for him (that the leaders of the Carlyle Expedition were alive, for one). Before continuing further, he presents his proposal.
Jonah Kensington, as a tribute to Jackson Elias and his work, and for his own health and safety, wants this final mystery solved. He anticipates that group will need to extend their investigations past New York, and asks if the group would be willing to travel. They agree, as long as the price is right, and worth justifying quitting their current jobs. He agrees that they should be duly compensated, and promises the group $1000 up front to take this case. They accept, on the condition that if anything were to happen to Kensington that his resources would become theirs. Kensington accepts this proposal. Their findings will be relayed back to Kensington periodically so he can record their progress, and coordinate other logistics related to travel or additional personnel. He gives the party Elias’s notes from Nairobi and London, which show a clear change in his mental health. The London notes are absolutely disturbing and difficult to read compared to the flowing pen of the Nairobi notes. The notes suggest the group will find more leads in London, so Kensington refers the party to Mickey Mahoney of “The Scoop” Newspaper, and Inspector Barrington of Scotland Yard, and the group agrees that London will be their next destination, after resolving whatever cult activity seems to be present in New York.
The party bids Kensington farewell, and regroups at the speakeasy, while its members discuss the many leads they have and what their next step is.
Lt. Martin Poole, NYPD
Jonah Kensington, Prospero Press
Names – Erica Carlyle, Miriam Atwright (letter to Elias), Anthony Cowles (brochure on Elias), Silas N’Kwane (Emerson imports card)
Places – Medical Affairs Board (Huston’s files on Carlyles), Emerson Imports (Business card)
Other- Symbol on Elias’s forehead
Names – Edward Gavigan (Director of Penhew Foundation), Mickey Mahoney (editor of the Scoop, from Kensington), Insp. Barrington (Scotland Yard, from Kensington)
Places- Penhew Foundation, The Scoop Newspaper, Scotland Yard
Other- Elias’s Disturbing London Notes
Transcription: “Many names, many forms, but all the same and toward one end… Need Help… Too big, too ghastly. These dreams… dreams like Carlye’s? Check the psychoanalyst’s files… All of them survived! They’ll open the gate. Why? …So the power and danger is real. They…many threads beginning… The books are in Carlyle’s safe… Coming for me. Will the ocean protect? Ho Ho no quitters now. Must tell, and make readers Believe. Should I scream for them? Let’s scream together…”
Names- Faraz Najir
Places- Street of Jackals (Najir’s shop), Carlyle Expedition’s Stops
Nairobi, Kenya –
Other: Elias’s Nairobi notes, Nairobi letter (names and places here)
Cowles lecture’s subject is cults in Australia
Other: Stumbling Tiger Bar Matchbook, Photo of yacht surrounded by Chinese junkers (DAR…)