Posts tagged Cthulhu RPG

Eternal Lies – Session 15

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 20, 1934: In Axum, Eritrea, Chantelle went to interview BARTOLO ACUÑA for a second time. It was early morning. As she approached the house at which Acuña was staying, Chantelle glanced through a window and saw an old man looking back at her in fear. He was Acuña’s host, whom Chantelle had glimpsed before. He signaled her with his eyes that something was wrong inside the house.

Chantelle stopped to listen. She heard the sounds of angry men speaking English. Only a few words reached her—something about hanging something. Chantelle could not get a good view without exposing herself, but she guessed that there was a small group of people present. She made a hasty exit.

So many TTRPGs…I love the huge variety of settings and styles

Still acting as tour guide, ABAI led Dorothy and James to Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion, (Tsion Maryam). The attached Chapel of the Tablet is rumored to be the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. Virtually no one is allowed access to the Ark, but James’ heartfelt plea allowed him to briefly visit the chapel. (Dorothy’s offer of a sizable donation was declined.) The priest accompanied him, and he found the Ark under armed guard. He witnessed a strange shimmering effect in the air of the chapel.

Chantelle returned to the house at which the group was lodging. Luke had woken just recently to find that the false journal he’d had planted has been stolen. Dorothy told him what she’d witnessed at the house where Acuña was staying. Luke spoke briefly with their host DESTA EJIGU in her garden.

The group shared another meal with Abai, who remained nervous. At night, James made his way to the tents by the Northern Field of stelae. He stole into the large screen tent and found a small typewriter and desk set up near a dinning table. He stole some documents, including an image of a cartouche and a letter from HUSAIN SOLIMAN to SAVITREE SIRIKHAN. James noted that there were other men stationed about, including someone sleeping in the back of the large tent and at least one other man in a small tent. He approached the entrance of an ancient tomb and overheard men talking about leaving Axum.

After James returned to the house, the group compared notes. They heard cries up the street. A crowd was gathering around the house where Acuña had been staying. The archaeologist and his host had been beaten to death. Acuña’s body was left hanging from the ceiling of the house. As local law enforcement agents approached the Investigators, Dorothy saw a few trucks driving away into the night, presumably carrying away Soliman and his companions.

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Eternal Lies – Session 14

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1934: In Axum, Eritrea, James “Tick Tock” Cohan continued to survey the street, while his companions interviewed Spanish archaeologist BARTOLO ACUÑA inside a nearby house. Tick Tock asked the group’s guide ABAI whether he knew of any strangers in town. Abai passed the question to a local woman, who confirmed that there was a group of foreigners in town, including the large angry man Tick Tock had already met.

the Investigators continued to interview Spanish archaeologist BARTOLO ACUÑA. He described the Ethiopian dig that he and missing cultist GEORGE AYERS led from 1924-1926. Their entire crew was lost when a volcano erupted near the ancient chamber they’d unearthed near Dallol. Ayers and Acuña were off site, visiting the Compagnia Mineraria Coloniale (CMC) in Mersa Fatma. Once the dig was halted, Acuña returned to Spain in exasperation, while Ayers headed back to Dallol, only to disappear. Acuña told Luke that the only possible remnants of the ancient chamber would be buried with the workers lost at Dallol.

Acuña said he’d fled Spain recently, as Franco asserted power there. He traveled to Eritrea to help remove one of the ancient obelisks here. When asked about Oxford-educated archaeologist HUSAIN SOLIMON, who also seems to be in Axum, Acuña was dismissive. In particular, he objects to Solimon’s ideas concerning door-like carvings in the bases of the some of the obelisks and the idea that they might open onto actual rooms. Acuña alluded to controversy concerning the deities to which the obelisks are dedicated, as well as the chamber at Dallol. Acuña believes the obelisks to have been associated with something called GOL-GOROTH, while the chamber at Dallol and its mouth-like inscription were emblematic of the unnamed PRISONER OF GLAAKI. Glaaki itself is a monstrous being venerated by medieval cults in England’s Severn Valley.

During this conversation, both Tick Tock and Chantelle noticed a strange man with a walking stick. He was standing across the street from the house where the interview was being held. He seemed to be watching, but was at a distance from which he could not be listening to what Acuña and the Investigators were saying. He noticed Tick Tock watching and turned to walk off. Tick Tock pursued, and the man stumbled, dropping a piece of paper. He made his way toward the field of obelisks on the north side of town, while Tick Tock stopped to examine the paper. It was a telegram from a Daniel Lowman in Bangkok, which mentioned the Severn Valley and a mysterious “she,” who seems to be in charge of the foreign visitors here.

The group made their way back to the house at which they would be bunking to compare notes and to eat. Abai joined them, at Chantelle’s request, though he would be sleeping elsewhere. He seemed nervous. He left after they’d eaten and agreed to return in the morning to show them the local sights. Chantelle followed Abai and noted that he seemed to be following a circuitous route toward the north side of town, where the obelisks stand.

Street scene from the area and time period of our adventure

At the house, the group planned their moves for the following day. Tick Tock and Dorothy prepared to go with Abai to visit local churches and to distract him from the activities of the rest of the group. Luke decided to author a fake journal, which would point possible adversaries toward sites that are not significant to their current investigations. He would work overnight and then sleep during the day while the other Investigators were going about their activities. Chantelle made ready to speak with Acuña further and to possibly feed him false information.

Overnight, an alien mouthlike opening appeared in Dorothy’s midsection. It spoke in her voice, but its words were nonsensical. The mouth disappeared, and Luke and Chantelle moved to comfort Dorothy. Their hostess came to see what was wrong and to insist that the men and women not mingle.

Early in the morning, Dorothy and Tick Tock left with Abai to see the sights. They stopped at the Axum Ministry of Culture to register as visitors. They made their way to the Cathedral of Tsion Maryam (St. Mary of Zion) in hopes of glimpsing the Ark of the Covenant, which is rumored to be here, and to keep Abai distracted.

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Eternal Lies – Session 12

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 15, 1934: The Investigators decided to travel to the Ethiopia to investigate some of the leads they’d turned up while in Los Angeles. In particular, they wanted to investigate the activities of two archaeologists: GEORGE AYERS and BARTOLO ACUÑA.

It appears that Ayers was a member of RAMON ECHAVARRIA’S cult. In fact he was part of the cult’s inner circle and was close enough to Echavarria to detect the fact that the cult leader seemed to be lying about the entity that the group was worshipping. Echavarria had pointed to GOL- GOROTH, an alien deity drawn to human depravity, but in truth there was another figure that Echavarria sought to contact. Echavarria referred to it as THE LIAR FROM BEYOND.

Whatever occurred between him and Ayers, Echavarria still approved of his associate enough to fund an archaeological dig at his recommendation. In 1924, Ayers joined Acuña on a trip to Dallol, in Abyssinia, to excavate some ancient ruins. As he was out of the country, he evaded the events that led to the death of Echavarria, along with many of his followers, as well as most of WALTER WINSTON’S group of cult-busters.

Nevertheless, while in Ethiopia, Ayers disappeared. Bartolo Acuña is still active and has re-entered Ethiopia recently at the behest of the Italian cultural ministry. He is there to retrieve an ancient stone obelisk from the ancient town of Aksum.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1934: FRANK KEARNS piloted the investigators to Massaua, known to be the most active Eritrean transportation hub. Acuña is said to be in the area, possibly in transit to Aksum, while Dallol lies deep in the Abyssinian desert. Traveling may be somewhat complicated, due to recent.

After their brush with annihilation, the Investigators are now armed with heavy firearms and have procured some explosives. Just in case. They got three rooms in the whitewashed, futurist Hotel Internazionale, an establishment that caters to Europeans and wealthy Ethiopians. Dorothy bought a lemon while they walked along the Massaua docks. A man who was unloading crates from a boat smiled to the Investigators, and they approached him. His name was JEROME. He seemed to extremely curious about the Investigators, but generally benevolent.

The Investigators visited the Gotti saloon, which was crowded with more Europeans and well to do locals. They eventually hired a guide, who claims to know the countryside, as well as the English, Arabic, and Italian languages. His name is ABAI. Luke ordered espresso, and his companions followed suit.

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Eternal Lies – Session 10

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1934: The Investigators decided to visit the mansion of deceased philanthropist/cult leader RAMON ECHAVARRIA once more. They found what might have been strange patterns in the plaster of the walls—similar to the mouth-like manifestations they’d seen at Joy Grove Sanitarium back in Savannah. But these marks were old and might just have been water damage. Wandering the grounds, Dorothy found a garden area that was featured in the pornographic photographs the Investigators had discovered previously.

Recognizing that most of the evidence they’d collected was pointing toward SAMSON TRAMMEL, the Investigators decided to investigate his mansion. Luke and Tick Tock made their way to Pasadena to surveil Trammel’s home by night. They found that the layout corresponded to the blue prints Chantelle had turned up earlier. Posing as stranded motorists, they positioned themselves on the edge of Trammel’s grounds. Tick Tock approached and noticed that a party was going on inside the mansion. The people who were arriving and leaving were a curious mix of the rich and beautiful and the destitute and disposable. Tick Tock also noticed more thugs in zoot suits guarding the place. He found one entrance that was out of sight. It led to a conservatory. The door was locked, and Tick Tock decided to leave it undisturbed for the time being.

Luke and Tick Tock had seen dead bodies being carried out of the mansion. They decided to follow a car that was carrying a body away. It led them on a long drive into the desert. They evaded detection and were able to see two men burying a body, upright, in the rocky sand. They stayed out of sight till the men left. They dug down to the shoulders of the body and examined its head and neck for signs of mouths. They didn’t find any, but noted that the corpse’s face was covered in a dried, translucent paste. They reburied the body and headed back to the Hotel Roosevelt.

If you ever get a chance, check out House on the Rock in Wisconsin…weird stuff

Meanwhile Chantelle and Dorothy tracked down Samson Trammel at the Cocoanut Grove Ballroom. He seemed to recognize them at this point. They played to his lascivious appetites and were granted an invitation to his mansion. The group met and made preparations to confront Trammel. Having a sense that they were entering a dangerous situation, many of the Investigators sent word of their plans back to their associates. Dresses and firearms were pulled together, and the group set out for Trammel’s mansion.

Back in Pasadena, the Investigators again found a party in full swing. Guards offered to park their cars in the carriage house next to the mansion, but Chantelle declined, saying the group could do so themselves. At this point, the Investigators caught a glimpse of CAPTAIN WALKER, leaving the upper floor of the carriage house. They could see what appeared to be a small personal residence set up inside. Walker made conversation with the guards and nodded at the Investigators, but did not speak to them.

Inside, the Investigators found a strange mixture of guests. Some seemed to be from other countries, while many were American. Some appeared to be quite rich, while others were very poor. Many of the guests were openly having sexual relations of various kinds. Samson Trammel greeted the group and offered them drinks. While everyone accepted what they were give, no one drank right away.

Luke and Dorothy snuck off while Chantelle and Tick Tock remained with Trammel. They pretended to be in search of a private area to have sex, while they made their way into the kitchen. Following a path they’d noted on Chantelle’s blue prints, they made their way to the basement, where they found another pocket of orgiastic activity. They crept through a wine cellar to a hidden area indicated on the blue prints. Inside, they found a broader, more disturbing orgy in progress.

To the strains of a peculiar ballad, groups of people engaged in depraved acts around a gargantuan, twisted mouth. It was about the size of a car, and from it, extended tongues and other body parts. It seemed to be participating sexually, while exuding a thick organic secretion. This substance was being harvested by blank faced men who were not participating in the orgy. Dorothy and Luke were both deeply shocked by this sight to a degree where they inhibitions crumbled—along with any sense of rationality. Luke went down on Dorothy, who eventually reciprocated with a hand job, as the chaos continued around them. (SAN losses of 19 and 12, respectively.)

Upstairs, Chantelle continued her banter with Samson Trammel, while Tick Tock took a drink. Tick Tock was again seized by the disturbing pleasure of Nectar. Unable to control himself, he again turned to self-gratification. Trammel was amused and attempted to guide Chantelle into his office and

study. There she caught a glimpse of several old books and a strange painting of an alien landscape. Trammel’s conversation become more pointed and menacing, as he pressed Chantelle for information as to why she had come to Los Angeles. He made it clear that he knew the Investigators had come through Savannah from New York. Chantelle pulled her gun on Trammel, who laughed and indicated that other men had guns trained on her as well.

Chantelle gave up her weapon. From the stairs, Captain Walker threw gave her a glance. Trammel had her and the still transfixed Tick Tock escorted to the basement. The party was reunited, sort of, in front of the mouth. Chantelle and Tick Tock were disturbed by what they saw, but remained calm. (SAN losses of 3 and 1.) Trammel asked Chantelle what they should do next.

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Eternal Lies – Session 9

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 1934: Having questioned attorney ABRAHAM BUCHWALD about his connections to deceased cult leader RAMON ECHAVARRIA, the Investigators made their way back to the Hotel Cecil. Watches were set, and Tick Tock went to visit the bar and to dose himself with Nectar. He experienced a supernatural degree of sexual arousal. He relieved himself in the men’s room, while being watched, part of the time by another man. On his way back to his hotel room, he stopped at the car for further autoerotic experiences.

From the UCLA lot of books Dorothy and Luke have pieced together parts of two rituals—one involving the moon and another that theoretically allows for passage into the demimonde. When Tick Tock returned to their room, Luke noted his strange demeanor, but was unable to determine the cause for it.

Some new games I’m excited to run soon

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1934: In the morning, Tick Tock escaped to the car rental agency. He managed to exchange the sedan he’d visited the night before for a nearly identical car. [GM Note: he rolled a critical success.] Nevertheless, his companions were suspicious of his behavior. They visited the hotel bar and questioned the bartender. She told them that he had exposed himself to another man and soiled a bar stool in urine. She suggested that they check out of the hotel before the management went to the authorities.

Chantelle called JANET WINSTON-ROGERS and asked her to get access to the movie star OLIVIA CLARENDON, whom the Investigators have linked to Echavarria’s social circle in the 1920s. When Tick Tock returned, the group made its way to MGM Studios. Due to the influence of Janet Winston-Rogers’, Clarendon had agreed to be interviewed by them at her trailer.

Elegant and beautiful, she agreed to sign autographs for a star struck Dorothy and her friends. She told them of her past associations to Echavarria and to movie star RICHARD SPEND, both of who died in the 1924 massacre. She described Echavarria’s group as a mixture of a sex cult and high society party circle. As an up and coming starlet, she visited the parties a few times, without participating sexually, but quickly extricated herself from the scene. She claimed to see the manifestation of a large, inhuman mouth at Echavarria’s mansion. It was taking part in an orgy.

Clarendon also mentioned having contact with missing UCLA professor GEORGE AYERS, who also attended these parties and appeared to be a personal friend of Echavarria. Ayers gave her advice about ancient religions in connection with a part she was playing in a film.

The Investigators picked up stakes and moved to the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood. They discussed Nectar and had more of the drug delivered, after Tick Tock made some calls.

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Eternal Lies – Session 8

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 1934: Having taken some time to recuperate and study, the Investigators decided to return to UCLA. Having delivered, a very large donation to UCLA, they borrowed its copy of Unaussprechlichen Kulten. (It is ordinarily kept under lock and key.) They also questioned HAMISH MACDUNN, head of the UCLA History Department, about PROFESSOR GEORGE AYERS. They confirmed that Ayers departed for the area of Dallol in Abyssinia in 1924. While abroad, he contacted MacDunn and convinced him to buy up a lot of books, belonging to the recently deceased RAMON ECHAVARRIA. That lot of books, includes the volumes studied by Luke and Dorothy, as well as Unaussprechlichen Kulten.

MacDunn said that Ayers disappeared while in Abyssinia, some time in 1925. He gave the Investigators a box of Ayers’ effects, including Ayers’ research notes, a travel itinerary for his trip to Abyssinia, and a signed photograph from movie star OLIVIA CLARENDON. Previously, the Investigators had linked the actress to Echavarria and deceased movie star RICHARD SPEND. Clarendon’s signature did not match that of a woman the Investigators met at the Joy Grove Asylum in Savannah, who claimed to be Olivia Clarendon.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 1934: Despite a dramatic wardrobe failure, Tick Tock arranged the purchase of 3 doses of Nectar from a Hollywood dealer. He decided to hang onto them and possibly use them later that night.

The Investigators made their way to the Los Angeles office of ABRAHAM BUCHWALD, Echavarria’s former attorney and collaborator in the Nectar trade. Dorothy and Luke engaged in a classic Good Cop/Bad Cop questioning of Buchwald, who revealed that he was an adjunct member of Echavarria’s “druidic” cult. He was ignorant of the details of that cult’s practices, but he attended sex parties, at which he encountered Olivia Clarendon and Richard Spend.

Buchwald admitted he had coordinated the Nectar trade, along with other business for Echavarria. He mentioned that Echavarria had told him to avoid the cult’s final gathering on the fateful night when Echavarria perished, along with many of WALTER WINSTON’S 1924 group of occult investigators. He told Buchwald to prepare himself for “the end.” Buchwald said that, at the time, Echavarria also told him he was deceiving those in his cult—that his “work went deeper than Gol-Goroth.”

Buchwald also acknowledged that he’d done some bookwork for sSAMSON TRAMMEL, who he believes has spearheaded the expansion of the Nectar trade. Trammel offered him a bribe to handle the transfer of Echavarria’s property, but Buchwald declined. The person offering the bribe, on Trammel’s behalf, was a CAPTAIN HECTOR WALKER—perhaps the same man Tick Tock played cards with on his first night in L.A.

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Eternal Lies – Session 6

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 1934: Overnight, the Investigators rested at the Hotel Cecil, setting watches in both rooms. Luke insured that the rooms were protected by hamsa symbols. While the others were resting, Tick Tock hit the bar. He struck up a conversation with the bartender there and noticed that the topaz that Dorothy had bought him at the occultist’s shop had taken on the appearance of an eye, watching him. The eye shifted into a grinning mouth.

Dorothy had a nightmare in which, once again, she was wandering the halls of Joy Grove Sanitarium, back in Savannah. She was dressed as a patient. The halls were dim and empty, but she could hear voices speaking in the distance. She glanced at the window of one of the patients’ rooms and saw her own reflection. Her eyes had been replaced by small mouths.

Tick Tock left the bar and noticed a man in the watching him from the hotel lobby. The man turned to leave, and Tick Tock followed him across the street to his car, which turned out to be the sedan that had been shadowing the group earlier. Tick Tock struck up a conversation with the man, who was large and belligerent. He seemed to know who all the Investigators were and where they had come from. He suggested that he’d been ordered to follow them and told Tick Tock that if they didn’t leave Los Angeles, harm might fall on them. Tick Tock mentioned his connections back east and eventually seemed to intimidate the man, who soon left.

A few other cosmic horror RPGs worth checking out

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 1934: The Investigators checked in with their various contacts. Chantelle sent word to her mother, while Luke checked in with his black market contact ELMER WICKER, who had acquired a copy of the 1909 edition of Communion Rites of Victorian Death Cults. He confirmed earlier observations about the stone that Douglas Henslowe had hidden in Savannah—that it is almost certainly an artifact taken from Abyssinia, where a war is brewing between the Abyssinians and the Italians. He mentioned Spanish archaeologist, BARTOLO ACUNA, as someone with similar interests who might be in the field there. Dorothy received money and a lecture from her grandfather. 

The group looked into movie star RICHARD SPEND, deceased in 1924. He appears in some of the photographs that were stored in Henslowe’s safe deposit box. His sister, YOLANDA SPENZEL, was found working as a live-in domestic at a mid-Wilshire mansion. She was bitter about the collapse of her brother’s career, which she felt was fueled as much by his participation in the orgies hosted by RAMON ECHAVARRIA, as he was by the advent of talking motion pictures. She mentioned other movie stars who attended these parties, such as OLIVIA CLARENDON, a currently popular queen of the screen.

The Investigators visited Ramon Echavarria’s old home in Highland Park. It was unoccupied, but the grounds appeared similar to the settings of some of the erotic photographs. They spoke to FRITZ MCDERMOTT, Echavarria’s former neighbor, a real estate executive, who told them about the strange parties Echavarria used to have in the 20s. He mentioned that there seemed to be very poor people mingling with the very rich. He also recognized SAMSON TRAMMEL’S business card with apparent distaste.

The Investigators moved to the address where the 1924 massacre, as identified by Yolanda Spenzel. They found an overgrown plot of land on the northern outskirts of Los Angeles. The area is currently under development, but this parcel is abandoned, containing the burnt remains of a barn and farmhouse. Arthur, Luke, and Dorothy identified occult symbols in the ruins that might’ve been used to summon something powerful and to focus occult energy on a specific point. The group noted that gasoline had probably been applied to the buildings, and further spread using Molotov cocktails. Chantelle fell into a ditch at the edge of the farm, where she found a head, mummified in some translucent glaze. It belonged to a balding man, appeared to be screaming and bore a second, inhuman mouth in the back of its neck.

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Eternal Lies – Session 5

NOVEMBER 3-4, 1934: While the other Investigators taking in the scene at the Cocoanut Grove Lounge, Tick Tock headed to a backroom for a game of poker. A small, serious group of players dealt him in and watched him closely as they played. One of them introduced himself as CAPTAIN WALKER. He questioned Tick Tock about what he was doing in L.A. He said he might send someone around to Tick Tock’s hotel room to offer him some employment opportunities. Tick Tock won big on a hand, and the game shut down.

Back in the Cocoanut Grove, John Barrymore bid Dorothy and Chantelle a good night. Arthur struck up a conversation with an ostentatious, fork-bearded man named CALVINO, who seemed familiar with the local occult scene. Calvino wasn’t especially friendly or open, but when asked about Hamsas, he did give Arthur a business card for the a shop he runs in L.A. Among other items, it carries Hamsa amulets.

The Investigators cashed out and headed back to the Hotel Cecil to compare notes. They made plans to head to the First Bank of Long Beach, but when they called to get information about it, they found that the bank had fallen victim to recent financial upheavals. Its holdings were now in the care of the newly formed FDIC. Nevertheless, they decided to head to the former site of the bank to see if they could find anything.

A mind-map from my last run of Eternal Lies

NOVEMBER 5, 1934: On the way to the bank, they were again followed. This time, only a single driver seemed to be in the car that was tailing them. He seemed to be taking pains to conceal himself, unlike the men the Investigators had clashed with in Savannah. The party seemed to escape his notice and soon arrived at the bank.

The building was largely gutted and had been occupied by transients. The Investigators searched the old area, coming up empty. They also questioned some of the people who were sheltering there. The Investigators donated some money to the people they met, with most of Tick Tock’s poker winning going to a young woman with a badly injured leg.

The Investigators called JANET WINSTON-ROGERS to update her on their progress. She agreed to put a call through to the FDIC to see that Henslowe’s safe deposit box would be waiting for them. They drove across town to the FDIC offices and were given the box, which contained coded books of account, a post card that identified RAMON ECHAVARRIA and someone named ABRAHAM BUCHWALD as being key figures in what appeared to be some sort of large scale—possibly criminal— financial operation. The box also contained photos of a group of people engaged in disturbing sex acts. The location was difficult to ascertain, but the Investigators identified two of the participants as Edgar job and fallen movie star RICHARD SPEND. Spend is probably deceased.

The Investigators stopped at Calvino’s Occult Curiosities shop. The proprietor was no more friendly or helpful than he had been at the Cocoanut Grove, though he did offer a few hints about the parties Ramon Echavarria threw in the early twenties. The group traded some barbs with Calvino and then departed.

The Investigators returned to the Hotel Cecil to find that someone had tossed their rooms. It appeared that the culprits had searched their personal effects with precision. Some items were missing, including all of Dorothy’s travel funds. She called her grandfather to ask for more. He agreed to send the money, but lectured her on fiscal responsibility. Dorothy stopped at the front desk to lodge a complaint with the clerk there. Initially, he was dismissive, but a threat to sue the owners seemed to intimidate him. He promised to take steps to find out what may have happened.

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Eternal Lies Session 4

NOVEMBER 1, 1934: In Savannah, he Investigators left the decaying Henslowe Estate. A rain storm continued around them, as they made their way back to the DeSoto Beach Hotel. It had been a very long day. Dorothy Howard momentarily nodded at the wheel. She had a brief dream or vision in which she walked the Joy Grove Asylum’s halls, which were now empty. Inside the rooms she passed, she could see people moving. One of these patients came to the window of his room to stare out at her. He opened his eyes to look at her, and she saw two small mouths, whispering strange words. Dorothy woke at the wheel, before the car had any trouble.

The Investigators gathered in one of their rooms at the DeSoto Beach Hotel. Luke made the sign of a Hamsa on a piece of paper and stuck it to the wall, in hopes of protecting the group from whatever force seemed to be haunting Douglas Henslowe and Edgar Job—and which might be responsible for the strange mouth-like apparitions Luke had seen at various places since the investigation began.

With a little effort, the Investigators were able to open the box they had dug up at the Henslowe estate. It contained a key for another box—this one at the First Bank of Long Beach in California. Douglas had mentioned that he’d stashed some items there in 1924. In this box were a few other items—a strange volcanic stone, a diary from 1924, and a note for Walter Winston. Douglas seemed to have believed that Walter would’ve come looking for the box.

NOVEMBER 2: The Investigators checked in with their contacts, with Arthur Rowe writing to his friend Myra Banks to tell her what was happening with him. James “Tick Tock” Cohan checked in with his friend Joe Kelly to see if any more information had surfaced about the strange men who’ve been following the Investigators. It had been confirmed that one had been killed by Tick Tock’s associates in New York, and that he bore tattoos on him that were in Thai and that seemed to allude to a mouth or mouths. Dorothy Howard sent telegrams to her family, assuring them that she was fine and behaving in a proper fashion.

Chantelle Perrault also sent out a telegram—in this case to her mother, telling her what she’d found about Walter Winston’s past activities. Finally, Luke Davis checked in a dealer in black market antiquities, Elmer Wicker, to say what, if anything he could find out about the strange stone from the box. Wicker determined that it might be Abyssinian in origin, specifically from an area populated by the Afar people. He mentioned other digs that had happened there recently, including one led by a disreputable archaeologist named BARTOLO ACUÑA.

NOVEMBER 3: The Investigators reconnected with JANET WINSTON-ROGERS’ pilot, FRANK KEARNS, who flew them to Mines Field in Los Angeles. Along the way, they questioned him about his past travels with Walter Winston. Cheerful but guarded, Frank mentioned said that Walter was well-traveled. He mentioned stopovers in England and places “south of the border.” He said he’d heard about Walter visiting more distant or inaccessible locations like Southeast Asia and Africa.

Frank suggested some hotels for the Investigators to use while they were looking into the safe deposit box and possibly into the events of 1924. They settled on the Hotel Cecil, with its history of hauntings and strange deaths, in hopes of encountering real supernatural phenomena. Despite the beauty of the weather, they noticed prominent signs of the economic hardship inflicted on the area by the Great Depression.

As it was night, and the bank would most likely not be open, the Investigators decided to spend a night out. For the dilettantes and artists in the group, the natural stop-off seemed to be the Cocoanut Grove Ballroom at the Ambassador Hotel. Tick Tock and Luke went along. The former was looking for a game of cards and hobnobbed with some criminal types. The latter was just tolerating his companions’ interests, but met a young woman who insisted on buying him a drink and flirted with him somewhat aggressively.

Dorothy, meanwhile, was fascinated by the robotic monkeys that hopped around in the trees at the Cocoanut Grove. She and Chantelle made their way inside, hoping to meet a celebrity. They were unable to locate Clark Gable, but found friendly John Barrymore, who bought them champagne and took in the floor show with them. Arthur made his way over to the bar area, where he engaged a group of bohemian types in conversation. One of them, LEE DEMPSON attempted to get Arthur to leave with him to engage in sex and/or drug use. Dempson was a visibly beat up and obviously high and mentioned drugs from Bangkok. His companions mentioned him leaving L.A. for a while and then returning in his current broken down state.

Everyone noticed the entrance of a handsome, well-dressed man who made a big show of inappropriately eyeing the women around him. He was accompanied by an entourage of large men in zoos suits, who seemed out of place in the Hollywood crowd. They positioned themselves around the room, appearing to keep an eye on the scene. We left off with the Investigators enjoying libations. The players did the same as we celebrated a real life 2020 presidential victory for JOE BIDEN.

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Eternal Lies – Session 3

NOVEMBER 1, 1934: Having wrapped up their interviews with Douglas Henslowe and Edgar Job, the Investigators decided to leave the Joy Grove Asylum. On their way out, Dorothy was accosted by a heavyset, disheveled patient who identified herself as the movie star Olivia Clarendon. She appeared to be delusional, as Clarendon is a sleek, polished Hollywood icon, but Dorothy humored her. “Olivia” signed autographs, and the group left for Henslowe’s ancestral estate on the outskirts of Savannah.

While driving along the marshy roads, the Investigators convoy of two cars was approached by the sedan that had been tailing them earlier. It moved to ram Dorothy’s car, but Chantelle fired a very large pistol at it. The car went off the road, and the Investigators escaped, shaken, but unharmed.

The Investigators arrived at the Henslowe estate, a decaying plantation. Various outbuildings stood in disrepair, and the grounds themselves were overgrown and being claimed by the nearby swamp.  To be cautious, they approached on foot, but they were detected by a trio of guard dogs. In the ensuing scuffle, Luke Davis was badly mauled. The elderly groundskeeper, JOHN CORUTHERS appeared and called his dogs off.

After speaking with the Investigators and reading the letter of introduction Henslowe had given them, Coruthers escorted the Investigators to his shack. There, he tended to Luke’s injury. He also answered a few questions about the Henslowe family. Douglas and his mother are the only surviving members of what was once a very powerful family. As the Investigators already knew, Douglas has been in and out of Joy Grove since 1924, when experienced some sort of breakdown. Coruthers expressed disdain for Douglas, while also making his obeisance to the family clear. They Investigators warned Coruthers about the men in the sedan, as they noticed it was parked up the road.

On the basis of the letter of introduction, Coruthers escorted the Investigators to the main house. The house itself was largely dilapidated, with some sections being closed off entirely. Coruthers asked the Investigators to keep away from MOTHER HENSLOWE, who was resting on her sun porch. The Investigators looked around a bit, finding a dusty gothic interior. They made their way to Douglas’s room, where they found an old shovel standing by the door, caked in old dried mud. Looking around a bit more, they also found a basket full of a strange mix of stuff, including twine and purple ink.

Using a photograph of the house that they found in a book Douglas had mentioned, (indirectly,) the Investigators determined that he had buried a cache of materials from 1924 in the family graveyard, here on the estate. They dug up a box holding, among other things, a key to the safe deposit box Douglas had mentioned before. It is at the First Bank of Long Beach in California. Meanwhile, Tick Tock had put in a call to an associate back in New York. He was trying to identify the men in the sedan that had been following the Investigators. Aside from finding out that they appeared to be Asian and had been seen in Tick Tock’s neighborhood back home, the contact was unable to tell him much.

A heavy downpour began falling. The Investigators turned to leave. Despite their attempts to sneak away—and to use Coruthers as a distraction—they were set upon by the thugs from the sedan. An altercation broke out, with guns drawn, but no shots were fired. The thugs seemed to be speaking a strange alien tongue and who were made up of a peculiar mix of White and Asian men (peculiar for the time and place). They threw a typed sheet of paper at the Investigators, and then left. The paper read “DROP THIS CASE. GO HOME.”

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