Posts tagged Trail of Cthulhu

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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Eternal Lies Session 1

OCTOBER 31, 1934: The PCs (hereafter referred to as “Investigators”) were all invited to the Rogers Building, a 700’ tower in Manhattan. Janet Winston-Rogers, a young corporate executive and socialite was requesting their help in determining what drove her father, Walter Winston, into decline and death. At one time, Walter was a world-traveller and avid scholar of the unknown, but he suffered a nervous collapse in 1924.

The Investigators who attended the meeting with Janet are:

  • LUKE DAVIS, 29 y.o., American occult archaeologist, NYU. Consulted with Walter in the past. Janet is hoping he can provide insight into her father’s drive toward the esoteric.
  • DOROTHY “DOT” HOWARD, 23 y.o., American socialite and occultist. Walter served as a father figure as she began her occult explorations.
  • CHANTELLE PERRAULT, 28 y.o., . She is Walter’s secret daughter and Janet’s long-lost half-sister. Janet is hoping that she might have some insight into the part of Walter’s life that his family was unaware of.
  • ARTHUR ROWE, 28 y.o., American painter. He was the student of Douglas Henslowe, a former associate of Walter, who escaped the strange events of 1924, before suffering an emotional collapse. Douglas is the scion of an old Southern family, and artist, and socially progressive.

Janet mentioned her father’s interest in the occult and the mysterious traveling he took up as a result. Walter worked with a group who were somehow opposing “bad people,” as he put it. Apparently his efforts in this area led to some sort of disturbance in August, 1924. Neither Walter nor Douglas was ever the same after. Walter retreated to his mansion in Aylesbury, Massachusetts, where he fell into a state of depression and paranoid anxiety. He died in July of this year.

Other details that arose during the meeting:

  • Janet’s mother died in 1932. Her death may have been linked to alcohol abuse.
  • Janet recently inherited two fortunes. Her husband, Horatio Rogers died in February 1933. Then Walter passed.
  • Walter refused to discuss the events of August, 1924.
  • Over the years since then, Walter received a handful of letters from Douglas. These remained unopened until his death, when Janet decided to read them.
  • The letters from Douglas pled with Walter to corroborate a narrative about the events of August, 1924. Lacking word from Walter, Douglas (and his doctors, apparently) will never be sure of what really happened.
  • Douglas mentions the possibly meaningless loss of someone’s life. He also mentions someone engaging in immoral behavior.
  • In the last ten years, Walter felt he was being observed by unseen agents. Janet reluctantly admitted to occasional similar feelings. In particular, she noticed strange movements in the mansion’s shadows.
  • Luke Davis scrutinized the office and noticed a mouth with jagged teeth emerge from a wall. It licked its lips and smiled at him. Then it disappeared.
  • Between them, Dorothy and Luke intuited that there might be some sort of occult voyeurism at work. Locations might be “tagged” to allow someone to look in on the amorous behavior of someone else. The entire practice is reminiscent of ancient sex cults.

The Investigators agreed to help Janet determine what happened to Walter. They compared notes in Dorothy’s car, noticing another automobile, whose passengers seemed to be watching them. Janet gave them the use of her private plane, the Silver Sable, which is piloted by Frank Kearns. He is a cheerful man, who appears to have a deep devotion to Janet. After the Investigators de-briefed, he flew them to Savannah, Georgia. Janet had suggested that they go here.

The Investigators took up residence at the DeSoto Beach Hotel, just outside Savannah. Dorothy and Luke checked in with people back home, while Arthur asked a bartender about his deepest fears. Everyone set out for one of the addresses from which Douglas sent his letters. It turned out to be the Joy Grove Asylum, an institution where Douglas has lived, on and off, for the last ten years. His ancestral estate is the other address from which he sent mail. It is nearby as well.

When they left the DeSoto, the Investigators noticed they were being followed by a fairly nice car. It was full of people in suits and fedoras. It pursued them through rural, swampy territory. The Investigators pulled up at the asylum, ready to question Douglas.

My online gaming setup…tiny room, everything in reach

Another installment in a week or so…

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