Chapter 14: Sarasota
The game continued from Chapter 13: Dunwich.
Entrance of the Gladiators
game session #63
played on March 14, 2011
Awakening from deep slumber, the group discovered that Alexandria and Lawrence had disappeared. When Caleb and Elise returned to 221B Baker Street to report this turn of events to La Lumière, they were fired for their mishandling of Kitty Hawk: A reporter named Chris Collins had interviewed the Wright brothers and reported to the world what Elise had told them about their future, something she had been forbidden to do. A visitor at the door turned out to be astronomer Gant Harrington, whose mother had sent him to this house to get help about "three-legged demons" that were going to devour London. The three of them interviewed her in Oxford but learned little. At the university, a chance encounter with a colleague, biologist Thomas Huxley, led them on a new mission: Huxley wanted to capture the Skunk Ape, a foul-smelling beast said to have just escaped from the Ringling Circus in Sarasota, Florida. Leaving Lyon at the Manor in case their friends returned, Caleb and Elise and Gant took a train to Sarasota and headed straight for the circus. Caleb performed an escape from a lion's cage to entertain the carnies, and Gant urged the liberation of an abused elephant. After seeing pink slime on the bars of the escaped Skunk Ape's cage and learning that a blonde German woman (old enemy Liesel Schreiner?) had been snooping around, the trio followed the animal's tracks into the foliage beyond the circus limits.
Gant for finding the discarded claw in the cage
Into the Woods
game session #64
played on March 22, 2011
Leaving Gant at the Manor and bringing in Lyon to help them hunt, the group paid the circus for some tranquilizer darts and then followed the Skunk Ape's tracks in the woods for hours. When they first met the smelly creature, it didn't like them, and they were unable to hit it with a dart: Its hairy belly instantly developed a hard scaly armor, then it deflected another in its back by sprouting a thick turtle shell. Spraying Elise with a mist that made her reek of a natural odor, the creature leaped high up into the trees, and they were forced to give up chase. They shot a wild boar in self-defense, then attracted a strange woman named Lota who wanted to eat some and cuddle with Lyon, attracting weird looks when she licked him and exposed clawed fingers. The boar meat also attracted alligators, who forced the terrified Elise to flee deep into the woods, where talking panthers warned her to leave before she saw things she was not meant to see. A senior hunter named Allan Quatermain helped fight off the gators, then discussed his experience hunting in Africa. All together, they came upon the Fountain of Youth, which Quatermain and Elise drank from, despite a scrawled warning from the pirate Gasparilla that it was cursed to make you outlive everyone and die a violent death (for age alone would no longer kill you). Luring the creature to the trap they had set, they managed to trap it in a net, but it stung Lyon with needles when he tried to grab it, and sprayed Caleb's face with ink to keep him from jabbing in another tranquilizer dart. Finally Elise trapped the creature for good inside a stone cage, where it suddenly seemed to drop dead.
Elise for catching the Skunk Ape in a stone cage
Beasts of Every Land and Clime
game session #65
played on March 29, 2011
The group came under attack from man-sized boars who walked on two legs and threw spears. Allan Quatermain was injured but survived with Caleb and Elise's help. Gant and the leader of the boars became locked in a personal duel. When Elise was caught in a net and dragged away, the leader ordered the tribe to leave, shouting "We got what we wanted," leading the group to speculate that the all-male tribe was looking for a mate. The group gave chase, with Lyon shooting down the leader and most of the others. Elise freed herself from the net using her terrakinesis, but inadvertently killed the prisoner they intended to question. After the skirmish, the group found Lota dead from trying to fight off the attackers, and the Skunk Ape's cage empty with the same bloody goo on the bars. Quatermain left to hunt down the rest of the boars while the group pursued the Skunk Ape. Hearing a piano, they followed the sound to a compound encircled by a fence that Caleb learned was electrified, while caged dogs howled at them. From a tree, Gant spotted a distant branch extending over the fence. Caleb used this to enter the compound and found a barn containing a variety of animals: Boars, hyenas, panthers, lizards, and a chimpanzee carrying a keyring. Lyon shot off the padlock and Elise pushed open the gate with a stick, allowing the group entry to the compound, where they joined Caleb in the barn. Lyon took a particular liking to a lion that thanked him for freeing it. The group approached the house at the center of the compound.
Caleb for tending to Allan Quatermain
Elise for freeing herself from the net
game session #66
played on April 11, 2011
The group had a long, strange conversation with the inhabitant of the cabin, an apparently mad scientist named Dr. Moreau who had created the many hybrid animals discovered in the area. Obsessed with Darwin's theory of evolution, Moreau set out to see if it was possible for an individual organism to evolve like a species. Reversing the effect of the Fountain of Youth, he discover that he could cause a body's cells to die and be regenerated instantly, allowing a creature to adapt to environmental threats instantly. He used his own assistant Montgomery as the test subject before he fled into the jungle, having lost all human intelligence. The woman Lota was a panther crossed with human DNA, who resented Moreau experimenting on her mate. Lyon's new pet lion, named Fang, was discovered to talk and possess other paranormal abilities. Gant became more suspicious of Moreau when he learned that his colleague Thomas Huxley had expelled Moreau from London, and urged the group to leave. When Moreau slipped Caleb and Elise a sleeping agent, Gant and Lyon returned from exploring the compound and became highly suspicious, locking him in a cage until the two recovered. He apologized and said he was merely seizing an opportunity. Still undecided whether to help the Skunk Ape return to human form, re-capture it for Huxley as hired, or just leave it to wander the jungle, the group left Moreau locked in his cage with chimpanzee holding the key.
Caleb for seeking information about Montgomery
Gant for useful questioning of Dr. Moreau
The Shackles of Humanity
game session #67
played on April 18, 2011
Outside Dr. Moreau's compound, the group was confronted by rival investigator Liesel Schreiner, an old acquaintance who made it her business to exterminate paranormal creatures. After questioning the group, she left towards Moreau's compound, and the sounds of gunshots were heard a few minutes later. The next morning, the group had difficulty finding the Fountain of Youth again, and learned that only someone not searching for it could happen upon it. Instead, they used Elise's sample of the water when Caleb cornered the Skunk Ape and sprayed it into his nose. The creature transformed into a British tourist named Edward Prendick, who claimed to have gotten lost in the woods and experimented upon by Moreau; Elise gave him money to travel back home. The group gathered the various remains of the Skunk Ape that they had collected and shipped them to Oxford, then traveled there to explain to Huxley that they had hired Americans via telegram to do the job for them. Huxley, though alarmed that his nemesis Moreau was still active, agreed to pay the group when the items arrived. Upon learning that Gant's mother was no longer welcome at the insane asylum, the group took her to London to stay at 221B Baker Street, where they were confronted by an old acquaintance named Thomas Carnacki. After the group's adventure in Boston had put his ghost-finding business out of work, he had returned to London to offer to work together in a new enterprise. Caleb was unconvinced of his abilities, so Carnacki began a séance to demonstrate.
Lyon for sleeping in the woods in case the Skunk Ape returned
The game continued in Chapter 15: Atlanta.