Chapter 19: San Francisco
The game continued from Chapter 18: Paris.
game session #94
played on April 9, 2012
Caleb and Elise awoke upon being checked for signs of life by medical expert Sagesse la Roque and criminal Elijah Ivy. Though momentarily concerned about how they got to San Francisco, how three weeks had passed, and where Gao had disappeared to, their attention soon turned to a rich man beset by a swarm of rats in the street. When they rescued him, he told them his son Johnathan Meeker needed help with an insurance investigation. Meeker's sister Mirabella showed a flirtatious interest in the Incredible Caleb. Meeker explained that his company had insured a ship from Hong Kong called the American Dream that had crashed five days ago in the San Francisco Bay, but he didn't think he should pay out the policy since the crew seemed dead before impact, torn apart by a wild animal expressly forbidden as cargo by the insurance contract, and he needed proof. One survivor, Justin Drake, had been locked in a sanitarium after witnessing the crew torn apart, and another missing crewman may have swam to shore. The group accepted the job, but first stopped in Chinatown to meet a healer who sold a cure for Caleb's spreading zombification for a steep monetary price, and Elise sent a telegram to Mycroft Holmes in London. They researched Chinese folklore that might explain what animal traveled on the ship, and learned about recent disappearances at the wharf. Asking around, witnesses described screams of horror aboard the ship before it ran agound and burned. One woman saw a wolf-like creature swim to shore. Elijah's cousin recognized him and the group learned a little about Elijah's estranged parents. With the sun going down, Sagesse suggested that they wait until morning to take the Meeker family boat out to the shipwreck. Caleb spent the night applying the Chinese cure for his condition.
Caleb for pursuing a cure for his zombification
Elise for dispelling the rats with a voodoo charm
Sagesse for good questions to Johnathan Meeker and the detective
game session #95
played on April 16, 2012
Caleb was thrilled to wake up cured of his zombification, though he was still sore from the treatment. The group returned to the Meeker office for payment, but found it closed due to family emergency and had tea with their upstairs tenant, whose dirty apartment bothered Sagesse. At the sanitarium, they learned that "Justin Drake" was a case of mistaken identity: A stowaway named Casper had gone insane from things he had seen on the ship, which had to do with blood and rats, and was committed under the name of the ship's passenger. They tested him with wolfsbane to confirm that he was no werewolf. Caleb nearly got himself committed by boasting of his extraordinary talents. On Nob Hill, the group found the Meeker residence, where Mirabella was dying and needed a blood transfusion, which Elise, Caleb, and Sagesse's assistant provided. Her window had been open in the morning, but there were no signs of break-in. Hiring a sailor to pilot the Meekers' boat, they reached the ghostly wreck of the American Dream in the bay, finding it gutted by fire and half-submerged. On board, Elise questioned a ghost who spoke only of his lost love, and Elijah found the corpse of the missing crewman, undiscovered by the salvage party. While rats nibbled at their ankles, they learned that Justin Drake had been a paying passenger, bringing seven caskets with him from Hong Kong.
Elijah for finding the missing sailor's corpse
Elise for suggesting a wolfsbane test on the mental patient
The American Dream
game session #96
played on April 25, 2012
In the wobbling, half-submerged wreck of the American Dream, Sagesse found a crew diary describing Justin Drake's strange behavior. Caleb discovered a letter that informed Drake it was time to sail to San Francisco, sent by a creepy local businessman named Mortimer Toombs who they had once seen in the Meekers' insurance office. Elise found seven caskets deep in the black water, but only mummified Chinese corpses inside, with no signs of the supernatural. The group was nearly beset by a swarm of bloodthirsty rats, but Caleb dispersed them with fire. After retiring to their hotel for the night, the group read a newspaper over breakfast and learned that five elite socialites had disappeared overnight. Elise received a telegram from La Lumière asking her to see local agent Winfield Ambrose. When they paid him a visit, Ambrose explained that he had been researching the news as well and believed that were-rats were involved. Elise countered with her own theory that vampires were behind this. At the Meeker house, Mirabella was better and sought Caleb's affections in vain. Benjamin Meeker told them that Mortimer Toombs had insured his business, Club Nocturne, and gave them the address. Finding it at the end of a dark alley, Caleb could not talk the butler into opening the locked door. The group began devising ways to get inside.
Caleb for clearing a way past the swarm of rats
The Year of the Rat
game session #97
played on May 7, 2012
Caleb bribed his way inside Club Nocturne and sneaked about, finding a note from Justin Drake that his "brood" would awaken at midnight that night aboard the wreck of the American Dream. Elise, Sagesse, and Elijah followed a man through a dirt tunnel under the buildings and emerged in the basement, where he turned out to be the guard: He transformed into a were-rat and attacked, but Elijah quietly slew him. The group talked their way out of the club and realized that they didn't have much sun left. Hiring a sailor once again to take them to the shipwreck, they found the mummified Chinese corpses discarded, but new bodies in the submerged caskets: The five kidnapped socialities, who awakened as vampires and defended themselves, but were eliminated one after another by the more powerful group. After the group decided to lay in ambush for Toombs until midnight, they found their pilot dead and met their hunter: Justin Drake, who revealed himself as Dracula, the most powerful vampire on Earth. He spoke of his plan to create an "anti-qabal" for beings like him created by the Red Death, and was confused why the group would risk their lives to stop a plot they didn't understand. The conversation turned violent, and Dracula proved to be a far more powerful foe: Withstanding the group's damage, he snapped Elijah's neck, ripped out Caleb's throat, bit Sagesse in the neck and compelled Elise to stake her through the heart. With the rest of the group dead, Elise leapt into San Francisco bay, trying to swim to safety.
Sagesse for using garlic to weaken and injure Dracula
The game continued in Chapter 20: Falls Run.