Chapter 10: Oceanic
The game continued from Chapter 9: Salem.
game session #48
played on September 13, 2010
With Zemlak defeated, the group retired to bed for the night, where Elise found a key. Ignoring the clown face that had been magically painted onto Fayt the next morning, the group investigated in Salem and discovered that the key fit the warehouse that was central in Jaffrey Pyncheon's framing of Clifford Pyncheon decades earlier. They had it turned over to the sympathetic jailor to set the record straight. After discovering a revealing portrait of John that had survived from Ravenloft, they confronted the faerie Exra, who returned Fayt's face to normal in exchange for wine. With Salem now at peace, Theresa informed the group that the London cell had requested assistance, and she was needed in Boston, so she asked them to go. They traveled to New York and briefly reunited with old friends, while Alexandria and Gao escaped from goons in Central Park. The next afternoon, they boarded the ocean liner RMS Oceanic for a three-week passage, traveling first-class on La Lumière's tab. Lawrence drank in the bar and lost money on card games, but engaged some blue-collar blokes in friendship. Alexandria met London socialites Brenda and Tony Last, who were looking for their teenaged son. Elise learned about the ship from polite steward Lars McMurray, while Gao stayed behind in their room to study Eastern medicine with Qiu Jin.
game session #49
played on September 20, 2010
In the morning, Lawrence jumped in the frigid ocean to rescue a teenager, but he was dead by the time both were hoisted back onto the deck. Alexandria was awakened by someone climbing into bed with her, but found an empty room when she looked around. After a tour below decks, they stopped where a woman was sobbing about the dead teenager: It was Brenda Last, arguing with her husband Tony about their son's death. Someone had seen him with a teenaged girl named Dolly. The steward informed Elise that a Dolores Haze matching her description had jumped overboard and drowned on the previous voyage, and further investigation turned up several much older men who had been led to do the same. The captain thanked Lawrence for his heroism and spoke of a sick guard in the infirmary, whose body was rapidly decaying from an unknown but very dangerous disease. An Egyptologist named Lord Carnarvon asked around for John Sheppard, saying that he wanted to hire the man for another expedition after hearing that he was on board. Rumors spoke of a child laborer named Helen Fleetwood who was crushed under the ship's hull during construction, which may have caused further hauntings. Seeing a grimy girl on the deck, the women gave chase down to the boiler room, where they found six ash-smudged orphans stoking the fire. The boy they mistook for Helen's ghost accepted their gifts of food and money. Exploring on his own, Lawrence discovered clumsy inventor Wilhelm Röntgen, a genius physicist who had invented x-rays, but who needed a new assistant to work on his malfunctioning machines. After a machine blowout, Lawrence put out a fire, and discovered the remains of Röntgen's cat hidden in the wall; its body badly decomposed in a very brief timeframe. On the deck, Alexandria spotted Fayt talking to a woman matching Dolores's description and interrupted them; when Fayt wouldn't agree not to talk to her, Alexandria convinced a guard that he was assaulting her and had him hauled off to the brig. Tony Last pulled Alexandria into a private room and begged her to arrange for Qiu Jin to sleep with him. He explained that he loved his wife Brenda, but she wanted a divorce, and his committing an affair was the only way that she could receive the family fortune. Alexandria agreed to make the arrangements.
Alexandria for getting Fayt arrested to protect him
Elise for clever interrogation of the ship captain
Lawrence for extinguishing the fire in Röntgen's room
A Grotesque Romance
game session #50
played on September 27, 2010
Gao was dared by other girls to explore Oceanic's storage area where a wild animal was said to be loose. She found something that smelled very old, but a rich Brit led her out of the darkness. While taking a bath, Alexandria heard two men fighting in her bathroom and found a cross drawn into the steamy mirror. Lawrence discovered that during the night, Wilhelm Röntgen had died when his skeleton was removed and his body was reduced to a horrific puddle of flesh. Alexandria was accused of selling Qiu Jin into prostitution on board the ship, but satisfied the chief inspector and was released. Something kept placing Röntgen's x-ray machine in the group's room and turning it on. Lawrence was beaten up by an invisible assailant, who the group subdued before he could light Lawrence on fire. The invisible man was Jack Griffin, Röntgen's original assistant, who had been driven insane after an accident with the x-ray machine shifted him out of the visible spectrum; he had killed Röntgen's cat, then Röntgen, and now wanted Lawrence dead for taking his job. The group locked Griffin in the brig at the Manor, and arranged for John to take Fayt there as well, since the investigator's mental state was deteriorating in his cell. John warned that Lord Carnarvon had wanted his help to break into the storage area. There, the group found the British lord cowering in his car, where he had hidden the mummified remains of Ramla. Bastet, already angered by the murder of a cat on board, wanted Carnarvon dead for his transgression. The group defended themselves and then negotiated a truce with the Egyptian goddess, letting her take Ramla's body and leaving Carnarvon locked in storage with her.
Elise for subduing Jack Griffin
Gao for putting the clown nose on Jack Griffin to mark his face
The game continued in Chapter 11: London.
In the guise of their characters, the players write reports summarizing the chapter from their own perspective.