Chapter 13: Dunwich
The game continued from Chapter 12: Kitty Hawk.
game session #59
played on January 31, 2011
Leaving Lyon locked in the brig to ponder his betrayal, the group reported to Mycroft Holmes in London and discussed their performance in Kitty Hawk. Lawrence received a mysterious letter but wouldn't discuss the contents, and fled when confronted about it. Using the world map that Mycroft had issued her as cell leader, Alexandria tracked him to Salem, where he she telepathically compelled him to share the letter's contents: It seemed to have been written recently by his father Edward, who had been dead for more than a decade, and concerned a dream message from his mother Lily, who had once been magically absorbed into the Red Death in front of the group. Lawrence wanted to keep his family affairs private, but Alexandria brought Caleb up to speed about Lawrence's shame over once having had to kill his own father. Together, they returned to the village of Dunwich where Edward had lived. When the group had been there a month earlier, the town was overrun with violent, apparently undead townspeople who attacked on sight, but now the residents were tranquil and went about their daily business as if the town was not a decrepit ruin around them. After several encounters with creepy zombies who engaged in pleasant banter, the group found a violent resident: Jacques LeBeau, their former teammate, ambushed them in the school and attacked them with his magical spells, flinging metal objects at them and causing them to explode on impact, seriously injuring Elise and upending Alexandria and Lawrence. Caleb, called a "hack" by his professional competitor, was temporarily disoriented by a hallucinatory spell, but discovered Jacques's assistant Vivienne crying in her hiding place. She said that Jacques had saved the group's life but laid paralyzed in rubble for five days waiting for them to come back for him, and only she had returned; he was now bent on killing them in revenge. Elise couldn't bear to kill Jacques despite his disfigurement and derangement, so the group sealed him inside the school while Caleb promised to help Vivienne find a way to help him.
Alexandria for protecting teammates at her expense in La Lumière
Caleb for using paper to discover what the zombie was writing
game session #60
played on February 14, 2011
After the battle with Jacques, the group decided to fetch Lyon from the Manor in case his firepower was needed. Caleb noticed the north star blinking in the sky. The group walked to the ruins of the Tate household that they had escaped from some time earlier, and found little there remaining. Asking around town, they tracked Edward Tate to the police station, where the desk sergeant showed them to an interrogation room. They were ambushed by Mi-Go, slimy telepathic aliens who took control of Caleb and Lyon to demand answers about Cthulhu; they said the Great One had gone missing from Kadath and that Alexandria must have made mental contact with in the moment that she returned to Earth, bringing him along and allowing the Red Death to invade their realm. After tense negotiation, Alexandria agreed to give up Dupin's brain in exchange for Caleb and Lyon's lives and being told where Edward Tate had been taken: The hospital. In the morgue, the group found a letter from scientist Herbert West to his accomplice Joseph Curwen, explaining that he had successfully turned the violent zombies in town into docile civilians going about their former lives, in preparation to deliver the army of the undead to Curwen. The password to stop their aggression was "abhijna," which Curwen had used to describe Alexandria's potential; she looked it up in her reference book about mental powers to learn that it was a kind of omniscience acquired after accomplishing certain lesser feats, including "remembering one's former abodes." Using the password to stop Edward Tate from attacking on West's instruction, the group got him to describe the dream in which he saw Lily, which made it sound like she was in the Dreamlands. Edward forgave Lawrence for leaving and said he was sorry that he hadn't been a better father. Elise found West hiding in a mausoleum and captured him. West objected to the group's claims that he was an evil person, offering to take Alexandria back to what she described as the mother who died when she was little and the father she ran away from, but she declined.
Alexandria for decoding the meaning of "abhijna"
Method of Loci
game session #61
played on February 21, 2011
Elise mentioned her idea that the group begin their own paranormal investigation service for hire, which the others liked. Herbert West pleaded for mercy, but the group got wrapped up in their plan to reach the Dreamlands and left him behind with a resting Edward Tate, who Lawrence said no longer needed help. Deciding to take Jacques LeBeau to Arkham for treatment in the asylum, they returned to the school, which Caleb and Lyon entered alone. They found him dead in his wheelchair, his throat slit, with a tripwire connecting him to sticks of dynamite. The trap was set by Solomon Kane, who said the group had taken something from him; he sent Caleb to fetch Gao or he would kill Lyon. In captivity, it was Lyon who overcame Kane and shot him dead, winning his freedom. Vivienne was distraught over Jacques's death but thanked Caleb for trying to help him. In séance, Jacques's ghost apologized for his wrath and bestowed his magic supplies to Caleb. Returning to the Manor to sleep, the group woke up in a dreamscape, mistaking it at first for the Dreamlands. A bizarre series of dreams followed: Lyon hunting a lion with the prop of its baby lioness. Caleb being assaulted by an angry crowd in which a father egged on his daughter. Qiu Jin escaping from her grandfather's rice farm to travel to America. Lawrence being solicited by a teenaged prostitute in a pub and her pimp, her father. Elise being told by her father Tristan to get ready for a "client." Alexandria abused physically and verbally in a decrepit shack in preparation for her own "client," who turned out to be Joseph Blenk but claimed to be a doctor. The group pushed their way outside of Alexandria's shack and found themselves in Colorado, in a street dividing the shack and the Knight House, Alexandria's former brothel, populated by young women they had met in their travels. Were they still trapped in a dream, or was this some other place?
Elise for suggesting the paranormal investigation service
Lawrence for running with the lioness to save Lyon
Lyon for defeating Solomon Kane
game session #62
played on February 28, 2011
In this dreamlike place, the group encountered various people they had met in their travels or who Alexandria had known in her past. From the manifestation of a fellow expert in the paranormal, they learned that they were trapped in Purgatory, a place where they would travel when they did not confront the secrets posed in their dreams. The fact that their dreams had melded together indicated the power that Alexandria's telepathic mind now possessed; she was nearing abhijna, a state of knowing all things. Intrigued by the mandrake plants outside, Elise explained its folkloric tradition of growing from the semen of hanged men and used in magic spells. In a room of mirrors, Lawrence finally found his mother Lily trapped behind one, and Elise smashed the glass to free her, reuniting mother and son at last. From another manifestation of an old enemy, they learned that this place was partly made of the Red Death as well, which explained a red serpent that kept attacking, and that if they found a way to leave, everyone who had become real in this place would cease to exist forever. In a laboratory, the group found research indicating that a Dutch scientist named Jakob ten Brinken had engineered Alexandria from elements of a mandrake root, in an experiment to create a woman incapable of love yet drawn to sex. The group found a disfigured woman who Alexandria had known from her childhood neighborhood, and Elise deduced that it was her mother: Her face ravaged by syphilis, she had left home when her young daughter Alexandria no longer recognized her. After their awkward reunion and forgiveness, the group sought someone who loved Alexandria unconditionally, and found it in her "girls," the young women she protected in the Knight House; this action produced the key necessary to leave. Since Jill and Lily would cease to exist forever if Alexandria and Lawrence left, they decided to stay and find another way home. Caleb and Elise left to find Lyon and continue their adventures.
Alexandria for role-playing
Caleb for attacking the serpent
Elise for deducing the identity of Jill Knight
Lawrence for suggesting that the "girls" loved Alexandria
The game continued in Chapter 14: Sarasota.