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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Dark Seeker's Paper Chase IC

    For reference this is taken from Paper Chase written by Keith Herber, Mark Morrison, John Sullivan, L.N. Isinwyll, with Mike Mason, Dan Kramer, and Chris Spivey, thank you!

    Paper Chase
    “Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places”
    —H. P. Lovecraft, The Picture in the House

    Welcome to your next scenario of Call of Cthulhu, the Horror/Investigative roleplaying game of mystery wherein you, an ordinary person, shall encounter and confront the terrifying alien forces of the Cthulhu mythos. Now that you've gotten some experience under your belt concerning the rules and the way the game operates, we will enter into our first freeform scenario. This is still something intended for a beginner, so it's not going to be incredibly complex or puzzling (especially in comparison to something like Masks), but nevertheless, it is time to begin... welcome, to Paper Chase.

    ----
    Ossipee, 12:44 PM, September 4th, 1921.

    You've done it... you've made it. You're... alive. After hours of following the trail you collapse as in front of the first signs of a civilization not trying to sacrifice you in some time.

    The flames flicker over you, covering the grass, scorching your legs, and your face as you cannot scream, for your mouth has been utterly charred over. As you awaken in a grassy field, a butterfly resting on your head flits away into the cloudy blue sky above. You look around you. You are not in Emberhead anymore. You're somewhere else, somewhere... safe. As you rise to your feet and dust off your dirty clothes you realize... you're entirely without papers. As for the bike, you discarded the broken thing some time ago after a spill left it in ruins. But, everything will be fine with you arriving a couple days late, I mean, you were nearly sacrificed by an insane tiny village on the top of a cliff.

    As you think that in full you realize just how crazy that really sounds. It would almost be a better excuse to say that your dog ate your ticket. Who would believe you?

    You slowly trudge into the city, thick dark circles are under your eyes and your shoes are ruined at this point, and they were new as well. You wanted to give a good first impression during your gallery, even if the actual event was on the 2nd. People seem to give you a wide berth as you search for something, a telegraph, a phone booth, anything that would allow for you to contact the good people at Miskatonic who offered this in the first place and beg for them to excuse your absence. Eventually, you find one.

    Outside Ossipee, 6:19 PM, September 4th, 1921.

    The gallery was closed! They're unsure about a later showing! You have to... interview for the space to show off your work? They have no right! You angrily slam your foot into the side of the motor-coach, you made sure to get onto one with plenty of other people this time. The haughty woman to the left of you gives you a stern glance and shifts away from you as you do this. This wasn't at all how everything was supposed to go, but eventually, the twisting and winding turns of the road begin to allow for you to drift off. At least this driver is better than Silas.

    Rochester, 8:15 PM, September 4th, 1921.

    It's pouring rain, but all you can think of are the faces, of May, Silas, Mr. Winters, even little Ruth, they were all, to some extent involved in... ritual sacrifice, and for what? The bus lets some passengers out and others on as it continues towards Arkham.

    Portsmouth, 1:11 PM, September 5th, 1921.

    As you board the train to Newburyport and then to Arkham you happen to glance in a mirror. What happened? It's been nearly a couple of days since that whole dream occurred, but was it a dream? Some aspects are fading now, so it must be. It was just a festival with some weird rural townsfolk. "Altitude sickness." You think to yourself. That's the rational explanation for everything that happened. However... perhaps the answers are not always the rational ones?
    A cart comes by offering snacks, you go to by some chocolate BB bars when the sudden lightness of your wallet hits you.

    Newburyport, 4:27 PM, September 5th, 1921.

    It's a small communal village, you do not wish to explore further.

    Arkham, 7:30 PM, September 5th, 1921.

    You've arrived. You're nearly 3 days late from whatever hallucination-induced nightmare you experienced combined with calling every transportation company known to man. As you finally step off of the train, with nothing on you but a couple of scraps, you cannot help wonder. Why? Was it worth it? Why didn't you just go back? You could simply comply to your father's wishes, groaning about how he was right. And, at the same time, you just cannot explain it.
    As you're looking around, aiming to hopefully find a hostel or at least a comfortable park bench, a man comes up to you. He's in his late fifties with several tufts of white hair. He also has a bit of a scholarly look. As you approach you eye him curiously, "Hello there, my name is Mr. Rupert Merriweather. I was just walking by the station when I happened to notice a certain look in your eyes. I don't normally say this to people I just met, but, I feel a... kindred spirit with you, would you be willing to go to a cafe and talk with me for a moment?"

    The man seems friendly enough, as you were hoping oh so long ago the citizenry of Arkham would be. And yet, part of you has been scarred by the events prior. Can you truly trust this man?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Paul tries very hard not to believe what happened really did, but deep down he knows it all really did. The burns were more than enough proof of that. Not to mention the nightmares, and the smells of burning flesh whenever he closed his eyes.

    He's unusually quiet for the next day, struggling to make some sense of it all. The worst part was in some way the villagers had been right. The sacrifice really was protecting the town. And when it had failed, it had been destroyed. Or maybe the fire had just gotten out of hand; he wanted to believe that, but he couldn't bring himself to.

    When he finally arrives in Arkham, the stranger's introduction unsettles him. After a moment he gives a smile, but it is tired and clearly forced. "A pleasure. I am Paul Turner. Forgive my state, I have been through an...ordeal lately. I would be willing to talk with you Mr. Merriweather, on two conditions. First,if you would be so kind as to buy me a drink. Secondly, I would prefer if we spoke in a public place. Recent events have made me a bit less trusting than I would like to be."

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    The man chuckles as you mention your terms, but nevertheless smiles, "Splendid, there's a public cafe just around the corner here. They have the most wonderful cookies. And don't you worry, I'm the one who's inviting you, no need for talk of bargains or bones or greed."

    Rupert is right, it's merely a short walk as you find a wonderful little cafe with a couple of lights on. At least here people actually go out after dark, like a normal town. "So, what brings you to Arkham, Mr...?" As you're seated a waiter comes by and hands you a small menu of food and drink associated with french cafes.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Paul relaxes somewhat as they enter the cafe.

    "I do apologize for my cheapness, but recent misfortune has seen me lose what funds I brought with me. I will pay you back for this, once I am able."

    Paul is famished and orders a sandwich and coffee. Then makes that two sandwiches.

    "Paul, Paul Turner. I'm an artist, and some of my paintings were due to be exhibited. Unfortunately I was...delayed." He brings the coffee to his lips, a shake in his hands being apparent.

    "After my carriage apparently broke down I found myself in a small town called Emberhead. A village, really. It's not there anymore. The people there were hospitable, at first. And the town had some lovely scenery. But after a time, well..." He trails off and looks up at the older man wearily. "I don't believe you'd believe me if I told you."

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Mr. Merriweather shakes his head, "It is no problem at all. Do not worry about it." He then looks intrigued, "You're an artist, though, Mister Tuner? Where were your paintings to be exhibited? I'm sure you could try talking to the curator. The people of Arkham are quite reasonable people, I assure you."

    However, as your tone becomes darker Mr. Merriweather becomes intrigued, "Well, I do not wish to pressure you, but Mister Turner, do not worry. I have heard many a strange tale before. I used to be a professor of cultural anthropology, see. I studied the ancient egyptians, along with their interaction with the Roman Empire during the first century. Why that was my specialty! The syncretic elements of the cult of Isis alone..." His face is alight with wonder. However, he then gathers himself. "My apologies, sometimes I have a slight tendency to ramble, but the point stands that I've read quite a few things in this long life of mine." He chuckles a bit to himself as he finishes.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    "I was supposed to have an exhibition at Miskatonic, but it's been canceled; I'll have to appeal to the gallery curator personally. Hopefully he is as reasonable as you say.:

    "There are tales and then there is truth, Mr. Merriweather. I studied the odd and occult as a hobby, thought it all nonsense of course. But now I am not so sure."


    "The villagers of Emberhead were involved in a cult, you see. I was to be the sacrifice; burned atop a large Beacon. I'm given to understand this took place every year for who knows how long. It was only thanks to the warnings of a young child that I even knew something was amiss, but by then it was too late.

    "Somehow I was able to break out of the chains and escape the ritual. I had thought at the time the townsfolk were all made, of course. But I stayed and watched the Beacon burn, and something went wrong. Something rained down from the heavens, and the whole village burned. I barely escaped with my life, but so far as I can tell everyone died." Paul closes his eyes for a moment, still seeing Ruth in front of him. "And I realize now that me escaping caused the ritual to fail, and doomed the town. It almost makes sense now, why they did what they did. If they hadn't, they would all perish, as they did when I fled." He sighs.

    "In any event, you likely think me crazy now. But I swear that's the truth."
    Last edited by Dark Seeker; 2019-11-26 at 06:27 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    The sandwiches and coffee arrive.

    Mr. Merriweather takes your whole story in, all the while snacking on the cookies which arrived for him. He nods every now and then, but for the most part, he simply lets you do most of the talking. Once you are finished he shakes his head. "Why, the utter horror that you have experienced Mister Turner. Such things change one's mind. A disaster like the one which you have desribed is horrible, and I myself am surprised I have not heard of this town 'Emberhead' ever before." He then gestures to the cafe, "Do not worry, I assure you, have whatever you would like. It is no bother at all for me to help someone such as yourself recover. I'm sure after a night's rest-"

    He then pauses and looks around at the darkened streets of Arkham lit only by the flickering streetlamps. "Actually, and I hope you don't mind my asking this, but where are you planning on staying?" Although he clarifies his statement, holding his arms up defensively "And do not worry, I'm not planning on sending ritualistic killers after you or anything like that. I simply want to make sure that you're able to recover. Mr. Vanderbilt is a good friend of mine, as we did some work concerning the anthropological impacts of ancient classical art, and I'm sure his gallery will be deeply blessed to have someone such as yourself contributing to it." He smiles, doing his best to cheer up the lost soul to whom he's speaking to.

    The sandwiches are rejuvenating, and you're glad to finally eat something nourishing. Honestly, over the last few days, it took all of your willpower not to call Father and go crawling back into his plentiful arms. Meanwhile, the coffee gives you an energy you have been sorely lacking over the long and exhausting journey from fire to freedom. However, as he's talking, you can't help but realize that Mr. Merriweather has not once called you crazy or insane. Perhaps this is him doing his best to be kind to the traveler who just shared his story, but maybe not.
    Last edited by zingbobco000; 2019-11-26 at 06:45 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    "Thank you." Paul says, relieved that he's finally getting a break. "I can give you directions to the town, though as I said, it's scarce but ash now. And if you would be willing to attest to my good character to Mr. Vanderbilt, I would greatly appreciate it. I would hate to lose an opportunity like the one he offered me.

    "I'm not sure where I'm staying
    ," he frowns at the realization. "I don't have any money after my misadventure. I don't suppose you'd know anyone who would be willing to take me in until I got myself settled, would you? I know I'm asking you for a lot, but these are exceptional circumstances, and I would be grateful for the help."

    He enjoys a nice meal in peace, enjoying the small talk with Mr. Merriweather, and some of his old personality starts to reemerge. The events of a few days ago were seeming more and more like a bad dream, and it was hard, sitting in this normal cafe, having ordinary conversation, that such a thing had ever happened.

    But one thing still angered at him, and he brings it up near the end of the meal. "I must say, I thought you'd find me crazy. My story is rather difficult to believe."

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    As you mention the lack of accommodations, Mr. Merriweather nods, "Well, my friend, I consider myself a good judge of character, and I value good-heartedness, and it seems quite clear from our conversation that you are just trying to make it in the world. There's a hotel on the corner of High and Garrison. Tell the man there, Mr. Erving, that I requested personally for you to head there. We go way back, and I'm sure he'd be willing to offer you a place there until you can get back on your feet, which I am certain will happen in no time at all."

    However, at your response he nods, "I meant no offense, Mister Turner. However, I've heard many a strange tale in my time, and I'd rather be trusting one the chance you'd be correct than ignore such signs until it is too late. You also most certainly have an air of honesty about you, and as I mentioned previously: I consider myself a decent judge of character." He smiles sadly, hoping that his lack of an outburst doesn't leave you upset with him.

    He then stands up from his chair and sticks out his hand, ready for a firm handshake. "Well, it has been excellent meeting you Mr. Brant. I am very glad to find someone concerned with the creative arts such as yourself, and I look forward to many more conversations with you! If you would indulge me, of course."
    Last edited by zingbobco000; 2019-11-26 at 11:20 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Just wanted to clarify Paul's not angry at Merriweather, that was a typo on my part. I think I meant his reaction gnawed at him. Hopefully we can retcon that.

    Paul smiles, the first genuine smile he has given all day. "Mr. Merriweather, you are a godsend! I shall take you up on your kind offer, thank you very much.

    "It is a strange tale, though rest assured it was stranger to have lived it. I'd be very happy to meet with you later. You'll know where I am staying, so do feel free to call on me at anytime. Are you retired now? You mentioned you were a professor, did you work for Miskatonic as well
    ?"
    Last edited by Dark Seeker; 2019-11-26 at 11:32 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Ah! Sorry, I was a little confused by that. I actually thought you met "gnawed at", but I was confused how that got to "angered." Nevertheless, that's all good. He's fine.
    ----

    Mr. Merriweather nods, "Indeed, yes. It was quite a time, back then." He smiles wistfully.

    Soon after he gathers his things, setting down enough money to pay for the bill. "I think I'd best be heading out now. It was wonderful to meet you, Mister Turner." He gives you a wink as he disappears into the darkness.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Paul leaves the cafe encouraged that things are looking up. In fairness, it would have to be quite dismal indeed for things to be anything but.

    He makes his way to the hotel, his steps feeling 50 pounds lighter.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Note that there's generally going to be a one-month or so time-skip between scenarios to allow for me to describe external events and how they pertain to the game at large. Also, you're back to full health in the span of a week or so, given that you'll heal 1 HP/day.
    ----

    Arkham, 9:18 PM, September 5th, 1921

    You walk up and down the unfamiliar streets, searching for High and Garrison, until you eventually find it: The Greatview Inn. Stepping inside feels like a literal breath of fresh (this place must be air conditioned during the hot summer days), and as you meet with the receptionist, and subsequently mention Mr. Merriweather's name, she smiles and nods. "He's a rather kind man isn't he. He always helps out around town, of course his son won't have any of that. Anyway, here's your room!"

    Arkham, 10:58 AM, September 6th, 1921

    You rush up the steps to the doors of the faculty building for Miskatonic University. You cannot be late for this interview, especially after that... event led you to missing your original opportunity. In fact, you wonder if they'll even let you show your work, after all, they apparently had some people who had previously reserved tickets whom they had to refund. Nevertheless, there must be something you could work out.

    Arkham, 11:47 AM, September 6th, 1921

    Well, that was it. It's strange, they asked questions, but while they did, your mind was on something else: Emberhead. You cannot seem to get it out of your mind. Eventually you figured Orne library (the main library on Miskatonic's campus), being one of the greatest in the country, would have some answers, and while it does, it's not enough to satiate you.

    Arkham, 12:38 PM, September 10th, 1921

    You're painting a surrealist image of the natural world. How the mountains seem to swell up in an almost oppressive nature against the barren wasteland of the ground. You got the gallery confirmation. Apparently "Professor Merriweather," as he is called here, happened to recommend you, which cemented the showcase. You only have a couple of months to recover what paintings were lost earlier, but thus, time is of the essence.

    Arkham, 6:27 PM, September 14th, 1921

    You've managed to find a rather cramped apartment next to the university on Lich St.. Despite it's size it's rather cozy, and it is not like you had too much to set down when you got here.
    Every now and then, Mr. Merriweather (or Professor Merriweather apparently) calls you up and asks if you'd like to head to the cafe and chat about the study of ancient cultures. It's here where you realize (if you haven't already) that Mr. Merriweather, is extraordinarily knowledgable about tales of mysticism and ancient cultures. Meanwhile, you contribute what you can, sadly being less learned on the subject than he. However, he does bring up topics of interest to you: the view of the world, the way that color dances on the edge of a paintbrush, and how one can paint the screams heard in the French revolution. Either way, the conversations surely serve to brighten your day and are intellectually stimulating.

    Arkham, 10:35 AM, September 22nd, 1921

    You're continuing your painting when suddenly there's a knock-knock on the gallery door. In steps a grizzled but charming professor with a fedora. "Ah, sorry. Professor Jones, Archaeology. I'm told that you were an expert in painting?" You confirm this to be the case. "Ah, well, this was recently recovered and from what I've so far identified it appears to be some sort of ancient painting on linen. The color has, for the most part, worn away, but somehow there are still a couple fragments that stand the test of time. Might you be able to attribute this to any period, style, or anything like that?" He shrugs, "Sorry, the Art History head was out today, so I figured you were the next best thing. I've got my own ideas, of course, I just wanted a second opinion." He smiles winningly and gives your hand a good shake.
    It's not too hard to identify, based on the fact that the silhouettes are done in bold and they're quite flat, coupled with the oppresive symmetry, you're looking at something that most likely emerged from ancient Egypt.
    After telling your findings to Professor Jones he smiles broadly and nods, "Good, that's what I was thinking. Thank you for all of your assistance!"

    Arkham, 4:05 PM, September 26th, 1921

    You're reading in Orne Library, when suddenly a *tap tap* grabs your attention. As you raise your gaze from "Fire Rituals: from the Wicker Man to the Fourth of July, Why We Love Them" you notice that Mr. Merriweather happened to stroll up to your table. You also notice he has a cane, and has used it to rap on your desk. "Why you're still concerned with such things... I see." Mr. Merriweather strokes his chin, thinking and soon after continues. "You know, I used to be part of a club here, an extra-curricular society if you would."
    He stares off in the distance towards the myriad of bookshelves in the Miskatonic Library. "We used to have such fun gallivanting around, ah vigor. To be young and spry again, eh Paul." He then looks back to you, "Anyway, us old fogies fizzled out and stopped coming, but the club we originated from, now that's still going." He then strokes his chin, "You know, I think they're having a meeting this Friday night. You should go! I'm sure you'll meet some new people that way."
    He then looks at his watch and gasps. "Well, I'd best be headed off, Agnes will chew my ear out if I stay out to late, and Bertrand..." The man looks down then looks back with a bright smile. "Ah, I don't need to worry you with the details of my social life, farewell Mister Turner!"

    Arkham, 3:15 PM, September 30th, 1921

    You head towards Room U35. You're honestly quite unsure what you're doing. What even is this "Club" anyway? Either way, you stand here at a crossroads, shall you open it? Or depart and focus on living the rest of your life, you have a job, a home, some friends, it could most surely stay that way.
    However, should you decide to open it, your life will surely be changed... forever.
    ----

    Oh boy, that was long, but I hope you read all of it and enjoy. Again, I know it's very railroady, but that's kinda how I have to run the in-between segments, just to actually have everything make sense and ensure that the game does not drag on forever.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    No worries, I quite liked the overview you did.


    Paul is glad that his budding art career is saved and throws himself into supporting and showcasing his works. But in his private time, he tries to capture the scene he saw of Emberhead in flames, fires raging down from the heavens while the Beacon was alight. It's very dark, (far more so than his average work), and he knows he will never share it with the public at large. But it is his way of coping with what he saw.

    He enjoys his chats with Professor Meriweather, even if the man was rather cagey about his own past experiences. As for Professor Jones, he waves and engages in small talk with him whenever he happens to see him on campus.

    When Meriweather invites him to this mysterious club, Paul heads off to attend it. However, doubt plagues him. He had a strong suspicion that the type of club he was being invited to join would allow him to dwell more deeply into experiences like the one he had had in Emberhead. And he wasn't sure he wanted to.

    So Paul decides he's happy as is, and heads home.


    Forgive me, couldn't resist. Here's what really happens...


    But no, he had to know more. Part of it was curiosity, part perhaps loneliness. He wanted to know others had seen the things he had and emerged out the other side. But there was another part of him that realized he was doing this for selfish reasons. The art this experience had given him was some of his most expressive, and he knew this was in large part due to him having survived such a terrible ordeal. Not that he wanted to experience any more of them first hand. But if evil such as this was out there, real forces of unknown powers... he needed to know.

    He knocks on the door.
    Last edited by Dark Seeker; 2019-11-27 at 03:14 AM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Heh, I read that at first and I was like: Welp, I guess that's done.
    ----

    You knock on the door which does not seem to be actually fully closed, instead opening to let you see three people sitting in an cleared-out lecture hall, but with several empty chairs surrounding the table. "Well, I'm still not sure this is entirely our area of 'expertise', Lois. I'm a risk taker, fair and simple, but that doesn't mean I'm inclined to go rushing off after the first person who calls wolf!" A young african-american woman says to one of the other members. She wears fashionable clothing and seems to be filled with a sort of youthful vigor.
    "Lois," apparently the other student, flares up for just a moment. "Well ex-cuse me for believing there could be things in the world that God made other than us humans. Why, imagine the possibilities!" She is an young Italian woman with an athletic build and a stylish bob of dark brown hair.
    "Now now, settle down. While I'm unsure if this would truly be an exploration into the unexplained, the money would still go a long... oh! We have a visi-, Paul is that you?" As the third member of the group you recognize to be Professor Nevada Jones, in his casual clothes as opposed to the ones he normally wears as a professor (albeit he still has the fedora). "Lois, Jessie, this is a coworker of mine, well, sort of. He's an artist, helping Professor Vanderbilt with one of his galleries." He then turns back towards you. "Is there something I can help you with, Paul?"

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    "Professor Jones, good evening. I actually came here to inquire as to joining your club. Professor Meriweather recommended it to me, said I would find it of interest. Mind he did not say what it actually was, but I have some suspicions."

    Paul gives a polite nod and smile to the other students.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Professor Jones looks confused, "Professor Merriweather? I'm surprised he even knew about us." He strokes his chin for a moment as Jessie happens to notice you standing in the doorway.
    "Come in! We're always accepting new members, isn't that right Professor Jones?"
    "Hmm...? Oh yes, of course, forgive my absentmindness." Professor Jones tips his fedora in your direction.
    "Anyway, I say we go for it, what's the harm? We investigate it over the weekend, see what we turn up, and if there's nothing... well. Then that's it, case closed!" Lois seems to be very focused on whatever this debate is.
    "Sorry Paul for involving you in this, but let me explain. We received word from a friend of mine, Mr. Kimball, that he had a rather unusual break-in. Normally he'd contact the police, but it's rather strange and all, and given the nature of this society, I thought I should broach the topic of sending one of our number out there to explore."
    Jessie's eyes then dart back towards you, "Professor Jones, does Mister Paul even know what this society is? You mentioned having suspicions sir, but hopefully you weren’t just dragged in here for no reason."
    All eyes then await your response.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    "Based on my conversations with the good professor, I imagine it has to do with our shared interest in unusual phenomena. I have some experience with the subject, you could say." He holds back on telling them about Emberhead for now, not sure they'd believe him. "Suffice it to say I am far less skeptical of some things than I was just a few months ago.

    "Now, I'm no detective, but if you believe I could help in some way I don't see the harm in going to talk to this friend of yours."

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Lois laughs and then adds, "Well, sort of Mr. Paul, this a society of discovery. We explore the unexplained. I guess afterwards we might tell stories about it, but it's been here quite a long time, with different students and staff members leaving and joining."
    Jessie nods in confirmation, "We deal with whatever strangeness lies upon God's great earth-"
    As Professor Jones cuts her off "Now Jessie, we're getting ahead of ourselves." He then looks back to you, "Now, we certainly have a wide variety of mysterious things in this world. However, in the end, much of the strangeness is more mundane than we originally anticipated." He looks then back towards Jessie and Lois, "Hence why I do understand Jessie's-"
    "But Professor, why not have a look, I'm sure that there's something there. I highly doubt an alumnus of this university such as Mr. Kimball would deceive us in such a way. It doesn't make any sense." She then turns towards Jessie, "And Professor Jones said we could use the mone-"
    "Wait a moment, you're busy this weekend with James, I have a paper to write on the Emancipation Proclamation, and Professor, you said you had a gosh-darned load of papers to grade!"
    The professor then strokes his chin, "That is true, Jessie, maybe I can..." He then turns towards you. "You know, I know you just met this little... Society of ours, but how would you like to go on an expedition to explore the unexplained? I'm not sure what you're doing this weekend, but I'm certain you would be well-compensated for your efforts."

    You are an artist, so your paintings could always wait the weekend. Albeit, you do recall that you were supposed to give an update to Mr. Vanderbilt on Monday afternoon (he's keeping tabs on you moreso than before given what happened last month), so best to head be back by then.

    (Thus your second statement comes in)

    Three smiles grow onto the faces of the club members. "Sounds mighty fine Mister Paul! Anyway, about the case, Thomas Kimball, an alumni of Miskatonic has been burglarized."
    Lois then chimes in "But this wasn't any ordinary burglary, no. Tha' burglar only stole books. There were a variety a' other valuables within the house, but tha' burglar only took a couple 'a his uncle's favorite books." Her voice then takes on a lower pitch, masked in mystery. "And the strange part is that his uncle, Douglas Kimball, vanished 'bout a year ago without a trace. Nobody's seen 'im since."
    Professor Jones then smiles as the two students retell the story, and cannot resist adding in a piece of his own. "Now Paul, Thomas has no idea if the two events are even related in the slightest, but apparently his uncle was a rather mundane fellow. Nothing ever happened to him, and the fact that these two strange events occured in the past couple of years and are associated with his uncle brought our attention." He then raises his hand to note, "We've helped people in the past, Paul. The Arkham Police Department sometimes calls on us, but Thomas lives in Arnoldsberg, a couple hours drive from here. I wouldn't expect any help, so I'm afraid you'll be on your own for this investigation. But it shouldn't be too bad right? Just try your best and see what you can find."
    He then hands you a coach ticket towards Arnoldsberg, "This was included in the request, I hope you don't mind a motor-coach drive. It should leave tomorrow morning. Hopefully that'll offer you enough time to return on Monday." The Society smiles, happy to have a new member of their group.
    ----

    Oh boy that was long, but you basically answered the question that would normally be interspersed in between their conversations (plus RPing multiple people makes things long ).

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    "I would be most interested. So long as I'm back by Monday, I've a bit of free time over the weekend."

    He listens carefully to the information provided. "Interesting. Sure, I'll take a trip out to Arnoldsberg and see what I can find out." Truthfully he expects the matter to be mundane, but he could never be entirely sure of that now, could he? "It was a pleasure to meet you all; I'll be sure to give an update on what I find out when I return."

    Sorry this was so short. And I know well the unique pleasure of roleplaying multiple NPC's. Once had to do 13 at once
    Last edited by Dark Seeker; 2019-11-27 at 05:29 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Eventually, after the discussion is all said and done, everyone returns back to conversing about the newest developments in the world. They all chatter for a bit, inviting you in to converse as well, and you cannot help but feel... appreciated. You have "coworkers," (other resident artists at Miskatonic) yes, but this is something a bit... different. It feels like you're almost like you're in Providence again, with all of your friends, but that's for later. What is most striking is that to be honest, the Society is incredibly informal. The members are just normal people who like to sometimes try and solve a couple of mysteries every now and again, and you cannot help but feel calmed by this fact. Maybe the world is more normal than whatever happened at Emberhead would suggest.
    Eventually, the time comes for you to depart, and thus, you all go your separate ways, but the Society is most certainly anxious to hear a report of what happened next Friday!
    ----

    Are you ready to depart?

    Also, yeah, I remember something similar happening to me too lol.
    Last edited by zingbobco000; 2019-11-27 at 05:43 PM.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Paul greatly enjoys conversing with his fellow club members,and asks Jesse and Lois what they are studying.

    After a bit more small talk he heads home and retires early. After all, he has a big day tomorrow.

    I believe so!

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    You gather by the conversations that Jesse is a History student whereas Lois is a student of Mechanical Engineering.

    Arkham, 10:15 AM, October 1st, 1921

    (Quick Recap Boxed Text:) You have been contacted by Thomas Kimball of Michigan. It seems his house has been burglarized and some of his uncle's favorite books have been stolen. The mystery also has the added wrinkle in that his uncle inexplicably disappeared without a trace around a year ago. Mr. Kimball would like you to find out who stole the books, return them if possible, and, if somehow these two events are related, discover the whereabouts of his uncle and whether he is still alive.

    You board the coach, and you can't help but be slightly trepidatious considering that the last one you went on led to... well... you're not really sure exactly what happened. You are grateful, however, to notice several passengers have gotten on in addition to you. Anyway, it's time for a new journey.

    Just Past Ossipee, 12:18 PM, October 1st, 1921

    The coach crests over a hill with some slight difficulty, but eventually manage to crest it and make it through what appears to be the charred ruins of a town. You identify it to have most likely burned down in some kind of forest fire several decades earlier. It is at this moment when you realize exactly where you are. You're in Emberhead.
    However this doesn't make any sense. You remember being here a month ago. You're not entirely sure what happened then, but you're certain that you were definitely there. However, you have little time to ponder this utterly confusing turn of events, when suddenly, you're gone. You've headed down the hill. The charred ruins of what must have at one point been Emberhead stand alone, fading off into the distance.

    Arnoldsberg, 2:39 PM, October 1st, 1921

    You exit the coach, thank the driver, and begin to look around. You've been dropped off on what you presume to be the main thoroughfare of the town, which, while most certainly not that large, is still respectable. You happen to notice an actual police department (you silently thank whoever/whatever you would thank in this scenario), a real library (as opposed to one in the "village hall"), and even a newspaper, as a young boy eagerly runs up to you handing you a copy of the Arnoldsberg Advertiser for but a couple coins.
    You pull out the rest of the letter, as you eventually find yourself wandering the streets of Arnoldsberg until the rural (if it could be called that) elements fade away, and as you reach 218, Aylesbury St., all that's there is one lonely house next to the graveyard. You don't see too many other houses except this one for a couple hundred feet or so, as you notice the most likely reason: it's right next to the graveyard.
    As you knock on the door, you hear a voice from inside shout: "One mo-moment please!"
    Eventually, a young man opens the door, he looks around almost as if he expected several people but then extends his hand warily from the doorstep. "Hello there, I'm, well, I'm T-Thomas Kimball. Are you a-a member of... The Society?" He lowers his voice, as if it was some deep dark secret that the two of you were discussing in a crowd.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Numb, Paul asks the coachmen if he has any idea the name of this town, or anything about what caused the fire here.

    ***

    Visibly glad Arnoldsberg is a bigger town than Emberhead was, Paul makes his way to Thoma's house. To the young man's question, he smiles and extends his hand. "I'm a new member, but yes. Paul Turner, a pleasure to meet you. I understand you've had a spot of trouble recently? I'm here to help, if I can."

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    The driver looks confused, "These old things?" she asks, "They've been here as long as I've been driving."

    (Cut to current time)

    As you make your statement towards Thomas, he shifts slightly, seeming not to notice your outstretched hand. "Well, uh, yes. I'd like for you to look into the theft, and if maybe you could shed any light on my uncle's disappearance." He then realizes that you're still standing outside on the porch, and he suddenly grips your hand, shaking it quickly. "Oh, come in, come in, I'm so sorry. The break-in just has me a bit flustered is all, and it's not like the police are going to pay any attention to some missing books. Can I get your bags?" (presumably you have a briefcase or something similar for the overnight investigation).

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Paul nods, his mind trying to figure out what it all meant. But there are no easy answers, and he spends the rest of the trip quiet.

    ***

    "Of course. I'm hardly a trained detective, but this is not my first investigation." He thinks back to Emberhead and the snooping around he did there. He hardly found much out, but it was better than having no experience with this sort of thing.

    "Oh, no thank you," he says, guarding his luggage and wanting a repeat of Emberhead. While Thomas could likely be trusted, it would be awhile before he felt comfortable offering someone else his belongings. "But if you could show me where I could store them I would be most grateful."

    Once he's situated, he puts on a smile and tries to appear more confident that he could get to the bottom of this than he felt. "So, where should we start? If you don't mind, how about you tell me a little about your uncle and his disappearance, and if I have questions, I'll jump in."

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    You see that the house is quite charming, it's rather large and spacious, with a wide variety of elegant furnishings. "This, well, this used to be my uncle's house you see."
    He then gestures for you to follow him and leads you down a hall to a room that looks rather unlike much of the rest of the house. It's cluttered and piled high with books of all shapes and sizes, and on all subjects, their only common trait is that it appears that at some point, they all were well cared for. "Meanwhile th-this was my uncle's study. I-I couldn't really bear to clean anything up, so most of it has been left a-as is. However, if you notice..." He points up towards one of the bookshelves and you see six clear dust outlines where presumably several books were. "A-a couple days ago, I heard something a s-sound from this room in the middle of the night, like someone shuffling around, only to discover these spots m-missing." He looks at you utterly confused. "I-I have no idea what anyone would want with my uncle's books, but the burglar d-didn't even take any of our, well, our actually valuables. S-so I didn't want to bother the police."

    Thomas begins to head back into the dining room for further discussion, however he suddenly wheels around. "Oh! I'm so s-sorry, I almost forgot. You can use this room here while you remain here." He leads you to a rather spacious but comfortable room that is decently furnished and you soon set your bags down inside. "I'm also of course, willing to pay if you're able to find any information concerning either the break-in or my uncle. Oh! Before you leave would you like anything to drink, or eat? I don't know how long the drive is, but Mary just made some wonderful lemonade."

    (Then cut to your question)

    As you discuss the uncle specifically Thomas looks slightly uncertain. "W-well, he'd always been a bit of an... eccentric, you se-see. He would normally j-just spend his time at family gatherings reading, but h-he still kept up appearances, balding, with a bit of grey hair, oh, an-and his large round spectacles, I re-remember those."
    Last edited by zingbobco000; 2019-11-27 at 10:03 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Paul enjoys a sandwich and the rather wonderful lemonade as he takes in Thomas' story.

    "I see. Did you happen to keep inventory of your uncle's books? do you know the titles of those that went missing, or at least the theme? Perhaps there was a common thread that connected them?

    "And what was your uncle's name again? Did he act any different before he went missing, like he was afraid of someone? I'm guessing it's not like him to just wander off and not return. Did he have any friends he spent time with that shared his interests? Also, would you mind if I investigated the library further? Perhaps there is a clue you overlooked."

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Thomas looks befuddled, trying to answer as many questions as he can. "I, um, you, well you see. I... I have no idea what titles were taken. Again, I've barely been inside the room, Mary and I just used it as a-a storage room." He hastily eats some animal crackers which he set out on a plate.
    "D-Douglas, his name's Douglas. And, well, again. I really don't know. I b-barely talked with him at, at all save for the occasional greeting w-when I'd see him. I d-don't think he was acting strange, any m-more than normal, I, well, I mean." As you mention the study he shrugs, "Er... be, well, be my guest. It's rather... messy in there. I didn't r-really look in there except for the, well, the markings. That's why, um, why I contacted you all, Mr. Turner." He trails off aimlessly, snacking on more of the crackers and lemonade.
    "Um... is-is there anything else? Or s-should I just work on my acc-accounts now and leave e-everything to you?" His eyes dart back and forth.

    Spoiler: Successful Psychology Roll
    Show
    There's no malice in his glances, it's more that he's quite jumpy.

    Spoiler: Hard Success
    Show
    It's almost as if he expects someone to leap from behind some corner of the house and terrify him
    Last edited by zingbobco000; 2019-11-27 at 11:25 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Paul is disappointed but not surprised at Thomas' lack of knowledge.

    "Again, as I said I'm knew to this club. What precisely made you think we were the right person to look into this matter? Do you expect anything strange has befallen your uncle or the missing books?"

    He examines Thomas closely.

    Spoiler: Psychology 40
    Show


    (1d100)[99]


    "Still, I believe I've enough to go on. I'll take a look at the room and call on you again if I have any further questions."
    Last edited by Dark Seeker; 2019-11-28 at 12:28 AM.

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