Années Folles: Crazy Years and Crazy Cults on the Continent

Horror on the Orient Express: Paris

Les Fleurs du Mal

January 9, 1923: Arthur Pendragon, Sir Harvard Bullwinkle, and Ragnar boarded the train for Dover, where they boarded a boat for Calais. The stormy weather badly effected Pendragon, who spent the entire voyage vomiting.
January 10, 1923: Arriving in Calais, the exhausted Pendragon and his companions continued on a rail trip to Paris, where they spent some time arranging a posh hotel on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees and exchanging money while Sir Bullwinkle visited the British Embassy in order to apply to research at the famous Bibliotheque Nationale. Meanwhile, Pendragon read an interesting newspaper article about the recent mysterious death of Dr. Etienne Delplace, director of Charenton Asylum and arranged an appointment with the current director the hospital for the next week.
January 11-14, 1923: While waiting for Bullwinkle’s application to use the library to be approved by the French bureaucracy, the investigators relaxed and explored the sights and sounds of Paris.
January 16 and 17, 1923. Two full days spent in the Bibliotheque Nationale, looking into the background of the Sedefkar Simulacrum. Fortunately, Pendragon was fluent in French. After much shuffling through papers and some good luck, they discovered that German noble the Comte Fenalik owned it just before the Revolution, after which he was condemned to incarceration at the Charenton Asylum and that his manor was in the nearby town of Poissy. Many horrible and strange things happened in this manor, which included a torture basement. Pendragon immediately connected this knowledge with the mysterious death of that asylum’s director and prepared for touring the asylum the next day.
January 18, 1923. Interviewing the director of the Charenton Asylum, a Dr. Leroux, Pendragon attempted to convince him that he was interested in committing his “brother” to the asylum, slipping in questions about the death of his predecessor, but his bluntness enraged the doctor, causing him to throw the investigators out of his office. Fortunately, Sir Bullwinkle was able to swipe Dr. Delplace’s journal while Ragnar distracted the secretary, Mademoiselle Rogniat. They spent the rest of the night plotting how to infiltrate the asylum.
January 19, 1923. After completing some research at the Bibliotheque Nationale, the investigators cased the Asylum, trying to figure out its weakness before they encountered disgruntled employee Paul Mandrin, who told them he would look into the asylum’s records for them, telling them thing’s at the asylum had been strange lately. While Ragnar walked the back alleys of Paris, in fact, he felt he was stalked by a strange horror only to find nothing there.
January 20, 1923. Taking the tram out the country suburb of Poissy, once a favored home for French nobility, to visit the allegedly bizarre home of Count Fenalik. Do a little research in the Poissy city hall, they found the location of the Fenalik’s manor and traveled there. Finding the original wall covered in rose vines, the original home had been torn down, replaced by a modern house, the Lorien residence. Knocking on the door, the investigators found the Lorien family, Christian, Veronique, and young Quitterie to be a friendly and courteous young family who were curious about the investigator’s curiosity, showing them that a Mr. Wellington of Lausanne had also been interested in their home’s past. Wellington’s letter showed that this man too knew about the Sedefkar Simulacrum. Also, the Lorien family appeared to suffering from many odd misfortunes. Lorien invited the investigators to stay for supper and use their spare bedroom before they could search the surrounding estate. That night, more strange things happened as a terrified Quitterie told of a horrible man at her window. Pendragon investigated, finding the apparition gone but a terrible stench remained for a few moments.
January 21, 1923: Beginning bright and early, the investigators searched the Lorien’s yard, figuring out where the stairs to the basement once where, and then digging. After a day of hard work, they found an old rusty door and Ragnar pried it open. In the scary basement, they discovered many skeletal remains and a strangely mutated rose bush inside of which was the left arm of the Sedefkar Simulacrum. Ragnar chopped away the rose bushes and retrieved the object, while Pendragon claimed an old copy of the Cultes des Ghoules. Informing the Loriens about what lay underneath their home, authorities were contacted to remove the human remains to consecrated ground, and the Loriens thanked them gracious before they left for Paris.
January 22, 1923: Spending the day speaking to Mandrin about the asylum and purchasing a chest inside of which they could keep the left arm of the Sedefkar Simularcum, they boarded the Orient Express as it left the station at midnight. Also on the train was the entourage of the famous Italian opera singer Caterina Cavollavo. She struck up a friendship with the investigators and sang a heart rending rendition from her next opera, Aida, to be performed in a week’s time in Milan, even offering them hotel rooms and tickets to Opening Night. Joining in the festive atmosphere of the Simplon Orient Express, Sir Bullwinkle played poker and managed to win a considerable amount from the Merchant of Death, Sir Basil Zaharoff. The Simplon-Orient Express continues into the night, the next stop being Lausanne, Switzerland, where the mysterious Mr. Wellington awaited.

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