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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Horror on the Orient Express: London
Dancers in an Evening Fog and the Doom Train

January 5, 1923: A year after their encounter with the mysterious and horrible in Norway, Professor Smith contacts his friends in London, Pendragon and Bullwinkle to be present at an exclusive event to be held in Kensington Gardens, the Challenger Lecture. Smith himself is slated to give a lecture. The professor also invited along his two foreign friends Ragnar, Norwegian soldier, and Marijan Zganec, a young Croatian fencer, eager to show off the best of English society. Introducing the four at the lavish banquet, Smith chatted with them before going to the podium to speak about his recent studies in “epiphenomena,” providing evidence to back his theory that so-called “hauntings” may represent transportations through time and space, including slides. The presentation was well received by the London audience. Chatting with Smith after the presentation, Pendragon and Bullwinkle expressing doubts, the four friends noted a strange, foreign gentleman watching them, but after nodding apologetically, the man disappeared. Asking around, they discovered that the mysterious man, they found that his name was Makryat, and had an invitation, but no one really knew him or how he was invited. The banquet over for the night, the four parted company.

January 6, 1923: A leisurely morning for the four, beginning with a perusal of the Times was interrupted the next day when each noticed an upsetting article. Prof. Smith’s house had been burned down and he was missing; also, a strange triple murder involving Makryat attracted Pendragon’s attention. The journalist immediately called upon his contacts in the police department to find out more about this; the detective told him that each body had a telegraph asking them to meet their signed by an “M.” That night, all four received cryptic messages from Smith, asking them to meet him in a poor section of London and advising discretion; each arriving at the destination soon after the other, they were invited by Beddows into a run down bed-sit where a hideously burned Smith (his luxurious mustache singed away) tasked them with a dark quest. Smith had been on the track of an ancient artifact of terrible power and evil, called the Sedefkar Simulacrum, which was also being sought by a cult of Turkish madmen. He had been attacked by members of this cult and forced into hiding, mandating his friends take his research into this vital matter and see it through to the end for him while he and his manservant Beddows fled. In order to fund the expedition, Beddows passed the group a valise containing one thousand pounds sterling to pay for their passage on the Simplon-Orient Express to follow the train of the Simulacrum. Accepting the money, they agreed to take on the task, wished Smith and Beddows luck, and left them to prepare for their escape.

January 7, 1923: The next day Bullwinkle researched the background of the Sedefkar Simulacrum in the British Museum Library while Pendragon followed up on police matters with the Norwegian and Marijan saw to travel arrangements. Bullwinkle found that the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris had information on the Simulacrum, while Pendragon was informed that the Makryats were not simply murdered but skinned. He also received the address of Makryat’s shop. Meeting up for lunch, the group went together to Islington to search Makryat’s shop. The Norwegian kicked down the back door of the antique shop and a search of the establishment turned up only one odd item; Makryat had sold a toy train once owned by occultist Randolph Alexis to one Henry Stanely several days previously, a man who just happened to have turned up missing the day before. Making their way to Stanley’s home, they were given a tour (for 6 pence) by landlady Mrs. Atkins, where they found odd streaks and a sheen of soot. Mrs. Atkins told them that the police had taken the train as evidence. Because it was growing late, the group opted to continue their researches the next morning.

January 8, 1923: Bullwinkle began by continuing his research at the British Library, looking up Randolph Alexis and finding some odd things about the occultist and his family; Alexis himself was killed in a terrible 1897 train disaster near Liverpool while his son disappeared under suspicious circumstances years later. Much to his horror, Bullwinkle’s research was interrupted when he stumbled upon the skinless corpse of a man who appeared to be sleeping at the desk directly behind his, completely dressed and positioned seemingly without notice. Before the police could arrive the aristocrat pocketed a piece of leather upon which a cryptic Turkish message had been written. Meanwhile, Pendragon spoke to the police about the missing Stanely and his ill-fated train, and was told that it had been loaned to the London Train Spotter’s Association for “expert” evaluation, before their interview was cut short by the discovery of the corpse at the British Museum. Trailing the police to the scene of the crime, the police finally identified the man as James Beddows, Smith’s manservant and main suspect in his disappearance, to which Marijan reasoned they “must not have recognized him without his skin on,” causing Pendragon to laugh uncomfortably. Leaving the museum before the police could bring them further into question about their involvement, the group headed to the Train Spotters, where Arthur Butter warmly welcomed them. Butter, worried about his friend Stanley’s strange vanishing invited them to the next meeting of the association and allowed them to inspect the model train, which he confirmed was an accurate reconstruction of the train which had killed Alexis in 1897. However, the occultist had put strange magics into it and once Marijan switched it on and the train went around its convoluted track for several minutes, it summoned into existence a spectral locomotive which passed through the solid walls of the basement, expelling steam, smoke, and passengers dressed in Victorian fashion. The spirits dragged Marijan aboard the train, while Stanley called for help from aboard. The Norwegian too leapt aboard before it pulled away from the “station” leaving nothing but the smell of coal smoke in its wake. Butter, Pendragon, and Bullwinkle were struck dumb and could do nothing but wait to see if their colleagues ever returned.

Meanwhile, the Norwegian and Marijan found themselves beset by ghostly passengers who attempted to overpower them and who seemed immune to the blows from their swords. Fortunately, one passenger retained his free will and drew them into another carriage which was barricaded against the dead. Introducing himself as Randolph Alexis himself, he had aged nothing since 1897 and explained that a failed spell he had cast and separated the train from time. Surviving through the cannibalism (he had devoured his son who had constructed the train in an attempt to rescue his father), the crazed occultist calculated the year to be 1911. No one bothered to correct him. Stanley just wanted to be free of the terrifying place, stating that he no longer had any love for trains. Alexis mentioned that he had nearly figured out how to escape but was still missing something, showing them a tableau of horrors, a pile of organs and viscera laid out to resemble a train. Marijan realized what Alexis had been missing in his design, certain elevation to portions of the track, and the occultist yelled with triumph, comprehending his mistake. Tossing a few bone fragments under the organs, he asked Marijan to push a heart across the design whilst he chanted his spell in order to break the spell that had created the Doom Train. Amazingly, the plan worked and the four living people (as well as the train itself were returned to reality on the track from which it had disappeared twenty six years before. Sadly, the 1897 to Liverpool reappeared directly in front of the 1923 line returning to London, and the two, along with a terrified Stanley and a greatly aged Alexis, leaped from the train to safety before history repeated itself in a tragic and disastrous train crash. Aiding Stanley, who had broken his leg in the crash, the group walked to a nearby village, and, sending a telegram to their comrades in London, they rented a car and returned.

January 9, 1923: Ragnar and Marijan return from the countryside and later attend the Train Spotter’s Banquet, where Butter is happy to hear that Stanley made it out of the odd experience mostly unharmed, though he is saddened to hear of his new dislike of trains. Butter, and the rest of the train spotters speak enthusiastically of the Simplon-Orient Express and the luxury the group will expect on the journey. They even mention one of their members, Walter Partridge, will be riding the line this year as well. The trip to Paris awaits.

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Nightmare in Norway
Session 2 (12/12/10)

Session 2: 12/12/10- Nightmare in Norway (2)

Returning for a dinner of reindeer stakes, Arthur Pendragon attempted to find out more about Herr Schmidt, the German ornithologist and chatted him up at dinner, while Madeline Dupont invited Whiskerstrop and Sir Bullwinkle to accompany her hunting again the next morning, showing Bullwinkle the hides. Meanwhile, Pendragon bribed the maid Helga to keep a tab on Schmidt for him after she threatened to inform him of his snooping. Finally, Bullwinkle cleaned up against Prof. Smith at bridge.

February 7, 1922: Early that next morning, Helga informed Pendragon that Schmidt was leaving, and the intrepid reporter suited up and followed the German into the snowy mountains, trailing him as he photographed the nearby Norwegian military base for several hours. Meanwhile, Whiskerstrop and Sir Bullwinkle accompanied Dupont to Vikenberg to purchase rifles for the pair of them and then snow shoed up to the glaciers on Mount Nygaard, at one point making a sighting of a white figure in the distance and tracking strange bipedal footprints and a rank, terrible smell to an area of bare rock, loosing the tracks. At this point, all returned to the Olsen’s lodge, where Pendragon confronted Schmidt about his spying, being convinced that the German was on the case against “wolf men” in the Norwegian mountains, and telling the journalist he would explain more in the woods outside the lodge at eleven o’clock that night. Taking no chances, Pendragon again trailed the spy and stole a few of his canisters of film and his MP 18. However, a blizzard struck without warning, trapping the guests in the lodge. While Bullwinkle and Whiskerstrop reconvened for another round of bridge with Prof. Smith, Schmidt and Pendragon confronted each other and were about to shoot at each other when the “trolls,” mountain dwelling ancestors of the ancient Voormis attacked in revenge for Madeleine Dupont’s murder of two of their own. In the confusion the horrid ape-like hominids killed Whiskerstrop and badly injured Pendragon and Schmidt (who had given up their fight). Other guests barricaded themselves in other rooms, including Bullwinkle, who claimed Dupont’s rifle-shotgun to defend himself, while Peter Olsen defended his guests valiantly. During the fight, Dupont herself was killed, though she was not injured by a blunt instrument but was instead terribly withered and blackened. The survivors tended to the wounded and an inquiry was made into the deaths and injuries after the blizzard cleared.

Afterward: The survivor’s return to their daily lives in London, after having exchanged addresses with Prof. Smith, who was impressed at their pluck and curiosity at surviving the troll attack and flushing out the German spy. Peter Olsen apparently disposed of the troll bodies and blamed the blizzard on the deaths of Whiskerstrop and Dupont. Several weeks later, though, news from Norway reports the tragic murder of Peter Olsen by one Sven Lundgard, who was then shot dead by members of the Norwegian police.

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Nightmare in Norway
Session 1 (12/5/10)

February 2, 1922: By coincidence, three different individuals find themselves traveling to the tiny Norwegian village of Vikenberg. Arthur Whiskerstrop was asked by his old acquaintance Sir Eustace Cleary to stop a series of blackmail notes involving his cousin Edward’s death and infidelity in Norway, while Arthur Pendragon found himself on the trail of the same blackmailer, hoping to find out this secret in order to ruin Cleary’s chance to run for Parliament. Sir Bullwinkle was advised to make a trip to Norway by his physician for his health.
February 5, 1922: The three men arrived by train in Vikenberg (after taking a steamer from England to Bergen) where they met each other, and another pair of Englishmen, Dr. Julius Smith and his manservant Beddows. They then accompanied Peter Olsen’s sleigh to their destination, Olsen’s Ski Lodge, where they were introduced to their fellow guests, including the huntress Madeleine Dupont. Pendragon suspected her of having seen a “wolf-man,” while Whiskerstrop convinced her to allow him to help her in her hunt while Bullwinkle chatted with Prof. Smith.
February 6, 1922: Noticing that the suspicious German Schmidt was not at breakfast, the nosy Pendragon, aided by nosy maid Helga, searched his room and discovered a map of the nearby Norwegian military base, leaving just before he returned from his night skiing. Then, Olsen led Pendragon, Sir Bullwinkle, and Prof. Smith on a skiing trip to Vikenberg, while Whiskerstrop and Dupont went hunting for her “apes.” Disaster struck for them, though, when Whiskerstrop accidentally shot and injured a Norwegian soldier on a training exercise. The local police confiscated his weapon but were convinced to let him go after the accident. Meanwhile, Pendragon tracked down a man named Sven Lundquist, who had been “raised by wolves,” talking to him with the help of Prof. Smith, who knew Norwegian. Pendragon hoped to get the man to talk about the “man-wolves” he believed to be in the region, but found out only that something bad was happening at the lodge and that his family was angry. In the evening, everyone returned to the lodge where Olsen’s wife Karen had prepared dinner.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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