Feb. 5th, 2017

dorchadas: (Great Old Ones)
Dramatis Personae
  • Demir Sadik, Turkish Revolutionary/Field Medic
  • Jazmina Moric, Croat Linguist
  • Luc Durand, French Professor of Linguistics
  • Rosaline St. Clair, American Antiquities Dealer
  • Valentina Durnovo, Russian Countess/Gentlewoman
The group borrowed a car and, after loading it up with weapons and alcohol to make Molotov cocktails, drove it toward the medial research facility. They told the guards at the city checkpoint that Jazmina was going into the countryside to visit a family friend, and while she couldn't provide an exact address, the soldiers let them through with some suspicion. Rosaline drove the car to a side street and parked it, and the investigators made their way through the woods to the building. After listening to the guard patrols and throwing a carpet over the barbed wire, Demir slipped over the wall and hid in the shadows. It wasn't long until the guard approached again, but the one-armed guard now had two arms--and one of them was the arm of a gorilla or some kind of monkey. Demir gasped, revealing himself, and the guard carefully advanced, but it wasn't carefully enough. Demir stabbed the guard to death and hid behind the wall as Rosaline slipped over the wall and the countess took her place on a box behind the wall.

Call of Cthulhu attack on evil farm

Our improvised miniatures during the battle. Notice the inked-in corpses of the guards. Photo credit to Demir's player.

Another guard walked around the corner but was shot to bits by the investigators. Demir, after a shot whizzed past his shoulder, turned and snuck around the corner of the building Rosaline and now Jazmina were hiding behind. At that moment, the door burst open and another čudovište appeared, this one with the clawed bear hands and the head of a sheep. The party opened fire on as Demir, hearing gunfire, began to move faster around the building.
[livejournal.com profile] mutantur: "You kind of hear, far off around that corner, a terrible bleating."
The other guard appeared behind the čudovište , but could not get a clear shot, and after a moment he turned and ran into another building in the back of the facility.

The čudovište bit Rosaline, but it fell under a hail of bullets and the professor shot it again as it lies on the ground. Demir arrived from his circuit of the building, and the party opened the door to the building they had been hiding behind. It was filled with animal cages--wolves, a bear, gorillas, sheep, cats, and dogs. Rosaline and Jazmina opened the prey animal cages, and with the keys that Demir found on the bodies of the guards, they opened the front door and let the professor and the countess in the main complex.

Carefully advancing on the final building, the investigators were ready when the door opened and revealed the final guard, who dropped as the professor shot him. Behind him was another čudovište, this one with human arms that ended in both human hands and the trotters of a pig, and the head of a wolf. A melee ensued, and at first, the guard and čudovište seemed to be getting the upper hand, with Rosaline, the professor, and the countess all being injured and knocked unconscious and the čudovište seeming almost to ignore the bullets that hit it. But the investigators prevailed, and Demir administered first aid to the party. Weapons in hand and at the ready, the the group opened the door and looked into the facility.

As expected, they saw Dr. Belenzada, standing in the midst of a group of twitching bodies, one a gorilla, one a pig, and one a human. All were dead, but all were clearly still moving, twitching and moaning in a way horrible to hear. Dr. Belenzada was wearing a medical smock, and carrying in his hand a strange knife. It looked to be made of ebony stone, with a bone handle, and it faintly glowed in the dim light of the room. The doctor shouted at the investigators that he had important research to be done, and otherwise continued his work. The professor told Dr. Belenzada that his research had already taken one life, and how much could it possible be worth it to continue if he led to more deaths? He brought up the use of chemical weapons in the Great War, but it was Dr. Moric's death that really got through. Dr. Belenzada dropped the knife and cried, sobbing about how Dr. Moric had come to him for help and he had shot him in the back like a dog. Jazmina managed to restrain herself from taking vengeance, especially when the doctor whistled into the darkness and six more horrific chimerical monstrosities shuffled out of the darkness. He shot all of them with a heavy pistol and then, before he could turn the gun on himself, Jazmina stopped him. She told him to turn himself in, to clear her father's name, and he agreed without hesitation. Then, after burning the bodies of the dead men and monsters, the investigators went to sleep.

In the morning, they discussed what to do with the knife they had found. It was clearly the Mims Sahis, the Serpent's Claw, and Demir argued that it would make a powerful weapon against the forces arrayed against them, specifically mentioning the čudovište who had taken so many shots to kill. The professor argued that it was too dangerous to be wielded, and that they had already seen it drive Dr. Belenzada mad. As well, he pointed out that they were being followed by Le Comte and by the cult, and what would happen if they got their hands on the knife? Jazmina stated that she wanted to fulfill her father's last wish, and that seemed like it swayed Demir. He agreed that they would go to the cement factory and leave town the following day.

The cement factory turned out to be a dead end, with the guards only grudgingly letting the investigators in and the foreman flatly refusing to throw anything into his equipment. He offered to write to Zagreb, where the owners of the factory lived, and Jazmina gave him her information. Of course, that was not the end of it, and while the professor, the countess, and Rosaline rested in the hotel from their injuries, Jazmina and Demir returned to the factory under the cover of night. They found the gate open and several bodies inside, all of which had been killed without much of a struggle, and some of whom they recognized--one at least was the reporter, or at least, someone who was now wearing the reporter's face. Neither Demir nor Jazmina were able to operate the machinery, and they didn't want to push random buttons and hope for the best. After searching the bodies and finding strange pouches containing herbs, bits of bone, and other, unidentifiable debris, and after Jazmina secured a promise from Demir that they would attempt to destroy the knife at a later date, they buried the bodies and left. They had to sleep in the wild, leading a patrol of Serbian soldiers on a merry chase, and did not return to the hotel before morning.

In the morning over breakfast, Jazmina checked the local paper and found a note that the National Theatre in Sofia, their next destination, had been destroyed by fire, but there was no particular note about deaths or further čudovište attacks. The was a note that the army had captured some local anarchists and the Orient Express was running again, so the investigators took their luggage, went down to the train station and endured the complaints from ssome of the other passengers who had been unable to board the first train through about how provincial Vinkovci was, and waited for the train. They were able to board and secure Jazmina a ticket, and as they settled into their compartment, Jazmina looked back. She noticed several policemen beating a man as a screaming woman tried to shield him from their blows, and could not help but notice that the man and woman were Croats and the police were Serbians. And as they pulled out of the town, they saw a convoy of army trucks leave the city. One truck, in which four pale faces were visible through the windows surrounded by soldiers, took a dirt path into the woods and did not return.

As they sat in the lounge car, Demir revealed that the knife had not been destroyed, but the professor accepted his reasoning. Demir further said that the knife remained wrapped and in the secret luggage compartment, and mentioned that he was carrying another object of power with him, from the Dreamlands, but not elaborate and no one in the group asked further. He then said he was going to sleep, as he had spent much of the last night running and not slept well, and the professor said that he had to make notes on the Chronicon de Tillius Corvus so that he could translate it for the group later. And then, the train left Vinkovci behind.
Annals of the Fallen
  1. Gianni Abbadelli, Italian Vatican Parapsychologist, arm torn off by čudovište in Vinkovci, February 8th, 1923.
I'm surprised that things went so well! I was expecting another death at least, but it turns out that overwatch is useful in more circumstances than while playing XCom. We got a lot of bonus dice that helped the shots of the countess, the professor, and Rosaline, who are not particularly good marks(wo)men. But we shot that second guard to pieces. It was the third guard and the last čudovište that gave us all the trouble.

Next session is Professor Durand's storytime, where we learn about a group of Roman soldiers. I've been waiting for this for literally over a year, so I'm looking forward to next time!

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