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

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    Default Mobves' 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 second 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, 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, surely Arkham First Baptist 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 heels are long gone at this point, and they were new as well. You wanted to give a good first impression to the faculty at Miskatonic, even if the discussion of the grant money 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 church and beg for them to excuse your absence. Eventually, you find one.

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

    The position might have been filled? They're revoking their previous offer? You need an... interview? 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 as you do this and shifts away from you. 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 Newburport and then to Arkham you happen to glance in a mirror. What happened? It's been nearly a couple days since that whole dream occured, 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.
    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? 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 scholarly look about him. 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
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Mobves' Paper Chase IC

    I furrow my brow. I certainly don't feel ready to entirely trust the kindness of strangers after my experience in Emberhead. However...

    I really am on the end of my rope. & I don't seem to have any other options, broke in this strange city.

    I wearily decide to accompany the man to the cafe. That'll be a public place, at least.

    I flash him a warm smile. Pleased to meet you, I say. My name is Jerome. I'm new in town.

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

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    Default Re: Mobves' Paper Chase IC

    The man smiles as you accept his invitation, "Splendid, there's a place 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... Jerome?" 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
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Mobves' Paper Chase IC

    Bargains... Bones... Greed...

    The man's words seem ominous, despite his kindness.

    Much obliged, I say, sitting down across from him in the dim cafe. & my apologies... my name is Jerome Lance. But please do call me Jerome. I eye the menu hungrily but do my best to keep up a conversation. Have you lived in Arkham long, Mr. Merriweather? Do you often extend your generosity to ragged strangers on the street?

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

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    The Keeper definitely didn't add that in as a reference to something...
    ----

    He chuckles heartily to himself. "Oh I've lived here quite a while Jerome." He comments, nodding in the direction of the city proper. "And you'd be surprised the stories travelers tell concerning their journeys. I make nothing of a habit out of such things, mind you, but again you happened to have a sort of... spirit within you that resonated with me. So... um..." He gesticulates with his hands for you to continue. "what brings you to Arkham again, Jerome?"

    The waiter comes by asking for your order. Mr. Merriweather asks for the aforementioned cookies and some warm milk.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Mobves' Paper Chase IC

    I repeat Mr. Merriweather's order to the waiter before continuing the conversation.

    A new job, I tell Mr. Merriweather, as plainly as I can. I'm actually a man of the cloth. I came here to work at Arkham's First Baptist Church.

    I pause for a moment, paying careful attention to the man's reaction to this news.

    And what is it that you do?

    -----
    Last edited by Mobves; 2019-12-09 at 02:52 AM.

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

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    Default Re: Mobves' Paper Chase IC

    Mr. Merriweather nods, "Why that's just fascinating. Although I had heard that they recently took up a new assistant there, I'm quite surprised that they would have two new hires in the span of a week or so." You then scrutinize the man quite closely.

    Spoiler: Successful Psychology Roll
    Show
    Mr. Merriweather seems quite genuine in his statements. It seems as if he honestly wanted to talk with you and hear the story of a traveler.

    Spoiler: Hard Success
    Show
    There's nothing here, sorry...

    Spoiler: Extreme Success
    Show
    He does actually appear to be quite interested in your story. But then again, what else is there to talk about?
    ----

    This is how I shall be conducting most rolls in the future. Given that you now have the character sheet to yourself you can roll and compare such things. I may from time to time ask for rolls to be made at the end of posts and this constitutes something that should be done before you make any additional posts.
    ----

    Meanwhile, Mr. Merriweather continues on, "As for me, I was a member of the faculty here at Miskatonic. Cultural anthropology was my specialty; I studied the ancient Egyptians, along with their interaction with the Roman Empire during the first century. Why that was my specialty!" His face is alight with wonder.

    Your order is placed, and quickly arrives. The cookies are quite tasty, they are rather crispy and have a nice *snap* to them. Mr. Merriweather also eats them from his own order, enjoying their crumbly and delicious nature.

    He then looks towards you, "Now Jerome, how did you happen to become involved in such priestly pursuits? I myself am not a man of God, I'm afraid, but I do find such devotion admirable." He smiles, finishing one of his cookies after a nice dunk in the warm milk.
    Last edited by zingbobco000; 2019-12-09 at 02:25 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Mobves' Paper Chase IC

    edit: psych roll: (1d100)[76]

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Mobves' Paper Chase IC

    sadly.... that's a failure !!!!

    ---

    Yes... I manage. The situation concerning my employment is.... Complicated. I hope to have it all resolved shortly.

    I smile broadly at the man. I'm happy to meet a member of the illustrious Mistkatonic University! I'm an amateur academic myself. I have a casual interest in archaeology. Perhaps I could attend one of your public lectures sometime.

    As for my religion... It runs very deep. & it comes from my family, as I suppose it often does. My older brother took over the family business. It didn't make much sense for me to pursue anything other than a life of devotion.


    Uncomfortable under such admittedly casual scrutiny, I attempt to turn the conversation back upon the man. Are you from here, Mr. Merriweather?

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Mobves' Paper Chase IC

    He nods along as you speak, submerging yet another cookie in his warm refreshing drink. "Ah, my good sir, I apologize. I've been retired for a while now, but I'm always happy to meet someone with an interest in understanding the greater world as a whole." Meanwhile, you eventually wind your way towards discussing your faith, and when you ask the subsequent question he looks off in the distance. "Well, Jerome, I've lived quite for quite some time, but no. I was not born here. After graduating though, I figured I might as well stay on as a faculty member, as the university happened to have an opening as an adjunct in the department. Eventually, this expanded to take on a full professorship, but regardless, if you're truly interested I was born in Boston."
    He then looks down at his watch. "Oh my, would you take a look at the time. I feel absolutely dreadful that I've stopped you from going to... erm... where are you staying, if you don't mind my asking?"

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Not at all, Mr. Merriweather, I warmly tell the man. My time couldn't be better spent elsewhere. I feel quite lucky to have had the chance to get to know you.

    I hesitate for a moment.

    In fact... I happen to be a bit down on my luck, if that wasn't obvious. I had a... very strange accident on my way here from New Hampshire. I'm afraid I might need to fight for my job with the church.

    In the meantime, I was just about to look for a place to stay when you approached me.

    Do you know of an affordable hostel in town? I'm a simple man, I don't need anything fancy. Just so long as it's.... safe.
    Last edited by Mobves; 2019-12-10 at 08:09 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Mobves' Paper Chase IC

    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 quite a ways 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."

    He then stands up from his chair and sticks out his hand, ready for a firm handshake. "Well, it has been excellent meeting you, Mister Lance. I am very glad to find someone concerned with the exploration of the spirit, and I look forward to many more conversations with you! If you would indulge me, of course."

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Mobves' Paper Chase IC

    I widen my eyes dramatically when Mr. Merriweather offers me the place to stay. "God bless you," I tell him, looking him in the eye. "I'm truly in your debt."

    I firmly grasp the man's hand & give it a warm shake. "I hope we've shared just the first of many cookies, Mr. Merriweather," I say. "Although you'll have to let me treat you next time."

    I follow the man out of the restaurant.

    "How might I go about calling upon you, Mr. Merriweather?"
    Last edited by Mobves; 2019-12-10 at 10:55 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Mr. Merriweather chuckles. "Of course, of course. Now, farewell my good boy; I do happen to have a phone at my home." As he mentions this, part of you breathes at the prospect of telephones. "Crestwood 432 should be able to reach me. I wish you a good night, Mister Lance." He gives a wink as he finishes his statement and walks off into the darkness.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Halfling in the Playground
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    I watch the man disappear into the darkness. Then I walk the opposite direction for a few moments before stopping to get my bearings beneath the first streetlight I see.

    Mr. Merriweather certainly offered me a warm welcome. But the people of Emberhead did too. If everything that happened in that town really was a bad dream, as I'd like to believe it was, it should be taken as an omen at the very least, if not as an outright message. I've never experienced a dream so vivid in my life.

    So I must be cautious... But at the same time, his offer is too kind to refuse. & it's not like I have very many options anyway.

    Glancing behind my shoulder a few times as I go, I try my best to find my way to the hotel Mr. Merriweather mentioned.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    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.
    ----

    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.
    You look around the area, trying to determine whether or not this place will try and kill you like the last one did, but in the end... there really isn't any evidence that this is anything more than a nice hotel. A couple floors, a fire escape, and a back door comprise the general external features of the building.
    As you step inside the lobby feels like a literal breath of fresh (this place must be air conditioned during the hot summer days). Soon 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 Arkham First Baptist. You cannot be late for this meeting, especially after that... event led you to miss your first day. In fact, you wonder if they'll even let you on at all, after all, you were already asked to assist in a service, which obviously did not pan out. 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 the library, being one of the greatest in the country, would have some answers, and yet it's not enough to satiate you, or even come close to answering any of your queries.

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

    You're going over several files of students concerning their beliefs and any important information regarding sensitive subjects. You got the job, well... sort of. Apparently "Professor Merriweather," as he is called here, happened to recommend you, but this instead cemented your position as a junior chaplain for Miskatonic University. You realize that you're mostly talking with people only a bit younger than you (college and university age, of course), but for some reason, you feel nearly ten years their elder. Maybe it's because of what you experienced, or maybe it's just you, either way, you're unsure.

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

    You've managed to find a rather cramped apartment next to the university on Lich St. (sadly it seems the shop is quite small and has very little room to rest). 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 that Mr. Merriweather is quite knowledgable concerning the mystic tales and folklore of ancient cultures. While not as learned as he on the subject, either way, the conversations surely serve to brighten your day and are intellectually stimulating. You cannot wait to hear about the syncretic religions of the Mediterranean region and subsequent adoption of several Mesopotamian gods and tales in the cultures that followed across Eurasia (as an example).

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

    You're reading in Orne Library (the main library on Miskatonic's campus), 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 I hadn't expected for you to be reading such a book as that? What, are you planning on capturing me and burning me alive? Should I be worried?" Your chuckle sounds false in your mouth, but Mr. Merriweather 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 Miss Glass." 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 Miss Glass!"

    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.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Mobves' Paper Chase IC

    I’ve come to cherish my infrequent meetings with Mr. Merriweather. I don’t feel quite at home in Arkham… It could be the weather, it could be the new job, or it could be the result of whatever weird experience I had in that strange New Hampshire town. Whatever it is, meeting a few more like-minded people could be exactly what I need.

    Searching for some courage, I listen outside of room 305 for a few moments before gently opening the door.

    ---

    No worries! I'm glad you're back

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    You listen at the doors of U35.

    Spoiler: Successful Listen Roll
    Show
    You hear loud voices, some kind of discussion? Or a debate? Interesting.
    ----

    Note that this is how I'm going to be doing things in the future. Given that you have your character sheet, I'll be providing you with the responsibility of opening these spoilers should you succeed.
    ----

    Regardless of whatever you hear (if anything), you head inside. You open the door to see three people sitting in an cleared-out lecture hall, but with several 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 visitor!" As the third member of the group you see a man in casual clothes, but with a rather sporting fedora. "Lois, Jessie, it appears we have a guest here. Please, stop the fighting, would you?" He then turns back towards you. "Is there something I can help you with, sir?"

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Halfling in the Playground
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    H-hello there, I stammer, holding my hat in my hands. My name's Jerome -- Jerome Lance. Pleased to meet you.

    I take a step into the room.

    I apologize for interrupting. It's just I'm new in Arkham, y'see. I'm working as a chaplain at the university. I met a man, Mr. Merriweather, & he recommended I come by to meet you folks. Is that all right?

    I look searchingly between the three of them, desperate for a friendly face.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    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 absentmindedness." 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 Jerome 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 numbers out there to explore."
    Jessie's eyes then dart back towards you, "Professor Jones, does Mister Lance even know what this society is?"
    All eyes then await your response.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Halfling in the Playground
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    I graciously step into the room, still twirling my hat in my hands.

    Well… Not exactly, I say, I heard a few words from Mr. Merriweather, a few rumors here & there. Would you all be so kind as to tell me a bit more?

    I glance around at the trio. & what, I conclude, Makes this break-in so unusual?

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