Chapter 15: Atlanta
The game continued from Chapter 14: Sarasota.
For We are Many
game session #68
played on April 25, 2011
At 221B Baker Street, Thomas Carnacki initiated a séance that turned up the spirit of an old woman named Lucinda from Douglasville, Georgia, who warned the group ominously that "white fires" were going to burn Atlanta if they did not find "the ones betrayed by John Pemberton." While agreeing to open a business with Carnacki, the group opted not to bring him along to Atlanta, as Gant was fearful of leaving his mother alone. Walking through Atlanta, they encountered an antiques store run by William Wilson, who Elise had previously met twice, but again he had no recollection of her. He sold the group some enchanted items at a going-out-of-business discount, since he had just reaped a fortune selling the heart of Zemlak the Destroyer to their old foe Oliver Haddo. Caleb evaded three black youths trying to rob him, and grew interested in attending an exposition hall speech by Booker T. Washington on how to solve racial strife in the city. Asking around for Pemberton, they were led to a veterans hall, where Gant learned more about the 1864 fire by General Sherman that first burned the city down, Caleb was questioned by an old soldier that recognized him from the 1863 battle of Vicksburg (six years before he was born), Elise was flattered by Southern gentlemen interested in her accent, and Lyon got into a shoving match with a racist who wanted the "impurities" in the city sent back to Africa. Locating John S. Pemberton, they discovered that he was an innocent pharmacist who had invented Coca-Cola as a means of easing fellow veterans off of morphine; he realized that they might be looking for his uncle John C. Pemberton who was the losing general at Vicksburg. But he had died in Philadelphia in 1881, leaving the group no closer to an explanation.
Caleb for clever escape from the thieves
Elise for smart theories about Lucinda's warning
game session #69
played on May 4, 2011
At the library, Elise found a list of men from Atlanta who served at Vicksburg, while Gant learned that the battle had been the turning point in the war, causing deep resentment in the south. They narrowed their attention to four men listed as deserters after surrender: William Calhoun, Simon Mumford, Wendall Jones, and Smiley Merchado. When the group attended a speech on race relations by Booker T. Washington, an older man in the crowd looked frightened at the sight of Caleb and fled before the group could catch him, but learned that he was William Calhoun. The speech was interrupted by a fake skeleton in a noose, suddenly exposed on the stage. Washington mentioned that he had come home to another like it in his hotel, and was going to leave town just to be safe, interpreting them as threats by the KKK. Staying overnight at the Manor, Gant awoke to a ghost in the room, an older man who seemed to be hit by a train with his hands tied behind his back. In the morning, Elise and Gant paid the judge a visit, learning from him that Wendall Jones had died in a train accident two months ago and Smiley Merchado was in prison. Meanwhile, Caleb and Lyon entered an insane asylum where an old woman had screamed out for "Simon" at the sight of them on the street. When she calmed down, she claimed that Caleb was her long-lost husband Simon Mumford. The men went to the library to look up Mumford, and found a photograph of him: He looked exactly like Caleb in a Civil War uniform, and he had died on Caleb's birthday in July 1869.
Lyon for nearly catching William Calhoun at the expo hall
game session #70
played on May 16, 2011
Reunited, the group traveled to the hotel where Booker T. Washington had found a threatening skeleton in a noose. Lyon turned up a scrap of paper they believed was dropped by the person who did it, saying "Terminus, Thursday night," which was that night. Believing the judge to be in danger from someone targeting the four deserters from Vicksburg, the group devised a scheme to dress Caleb in a Civil War uniform and convince the judge that Simon Mumford's ghost wanted him to leave town, but they only angered the veterans who they asked for a uniform. In the end, they sneaked into the judge's office with Elise's dimensional portal magic, and found evidence that Smiley Merchado had died that morning at the hands of a racist fellow inmate. They also found a symbol drawn in ash underneath the rug; it was an alarm, intended to alert the room's owner to invaders. When they noticed a pigeon watching them, they attempted to block its view, and the office instantly became flooded from floor to ceiling. They escaped to the Manor just before Gant drowned. After drying off and fixing their belongings, they hired a driver to take them out west to the suburb of Douglasville, the home of the old woman Lucinda whose ghost had started their quest. Upon arriving at a cabin in the woods, Lyon's possessions evaporated into feathers, Gant was turned into a chicken, and Elise was trapped when her clothes were turned to metal. The spellcaster, a furious woman named Desdamonia, blamed "Mumford" for killing her mother and husband, and Caleb narrowly talked her out of killing him in revenge for what Mumford had once done. She canceled the spells affecting them.
Elise for plan to enter judge's office in secret
Gant for looking up Madden McNerney and Smiley Merchado
Lyon for finding the Terminus note
game session #71
played on May 19, 2011
Now convinced by Gant to help the group, Desdamonia explained that the four deserters had come across her mother in their long walk home from the war, and shot her in the street. They killed Des's husband and assaulted her through the night. When Calhoun found her spellbook in the morning, they panicked and told Mumford to kill her; he tied her up but couldn't kill her, and she swore to get revenge if any ever returned. She said that the most powerful magic in her book required the sole survivor of a blood pact, who would gain the life energy of the others. Now convinced that Calhoun had killed the other three men, the group went to the railroad station and walked out to the bridge where Jones died, confirming Calhoun's complicity by talking to Jones's spirit. A pigeon transformed into Calhoun and attacked the group with transmutation spells, suffering a serious wound from Caleb before escaping. Finding where Simon Mumford had been caged and drowned in 1869, the group heard his spirit drowning and Caleb worked hard to break open the cage and put his soul to rest. Caleb then understood what had driven him all these years to become an escape artist. Breaking into Calhoun's house, the group found paraphernalia revealing his membership in a group called the White Legion, and discovered that "Terminus" referred to the original railroad station that was the birthplace of Atlanta. There, they found a hundred Legion members following Calhoun's lead in a spell that would burn every African-American resident of the city. When the group showed themselves, Calhoun cast a spell turning them black and ordered the mob to kill them. Elise flung lit dynamite into the crowd, destroying the spell components and allowing the group a chance to flee, but Calhoun flew away with the spellbook. While the others reverted to their normal white skin, Elise stayed black and looked like a different woman entirely, mystified as to the reason.
Caleb for helping Simon Mumford's soul to rest
Elise for defeating the White Legion spell
The game continued in Chapter 16: New Orleans.