What follows is session 5 of my ongoing Masks of Nyarlathotep game that I am running for four players. Nick Jones – Investigative Reporter. Sam Switch – Mechanic (who has a deep dislike for Henry Ford), Daisy Elizabeth Tillinghast – Cat Burglar (her cover is governess/nanny) turned businesswoman, John Bigbeautea – Occultist.
I hosted a rather brief play-by-post between game session for the players via Facebook Messenger, both publicly and privately. If you recall from The Journey: Masks of Nyarlathotep Session #4 (New York Begins) Daisy remained behind at Jackson Elias’ hotel suite to await the doctor. After her brief meeting with the doctor and two beat cops, Lt Poole arrived to take her statement. During her accounting of the evening’s events and the finding of Jackson Elias, both Daisy and Lt Poole got the sense that they might both be on the same team. Lt Poole confided in her that this murder was eerily similar to several other murders for which a man named Hilton Adams was on death row for. Another precinct’s detective, Robson, was the man that nabbed Adams; Lt Poole now suspects he might be on the take since Adams is locked up and another murder has occurred. Furthermore, he informed Daisy that a local folklorist by the name of Dr. Lemming had previously speculated that all the murders were ritualistic in nature and that this one fits that pattern too. At the end of this meeting, Daisy returns to the flat where the others await her return.
Session 5 opens with the investigators waking up, the morning after Jackson Elias’ murder, in Daisy’s Greenwich Village flat above her antique shop. The morning greets them in stark contrast to the horrific reality of the prior evening. The morning paper reveals that Jackson Elias’ death had already caught the attention of reporters and that his funeral is already scheduled. They don’t mess around in New York City. Armed with several clues and directions the investigators split into two groups. Divide and conquer, right?
The ladies head to Daisy’s seamstress who specializes in custom garments with very specific alterations. Daisy has convinced Sam that she cannot go around New York City in greasy coveralls while toting her large pipe wrench. It’s not proper form for a lady! Begrudgingly convinced, Sam agrees and they visit Ema Clancy at her shop. Custom ordering clothing was a new experience for Sam who is accustomed to buying and wearing men’s clothes, namely coveralls. Being measured in areas best left unnamed causes Sam to squirm; Daisy appeared to take some delight her discomfort. This short scene ends with Sam being fitted for a new pantsuit and winter jacket appropriate for the work she is now performing as an investigator. Albeit with a special leg pocket to conceal her wrench.
The lads made their way to the Murray Hill hotel where Dr. Mordecai Lemming keeps a long term apartment. A brief conversation with Steve, the desk man, goes well for them. They were able to confirm that Dr. Lemming does indeed reside at the Murray Hill Hotel, but he is currently out on the town. They also learn from Steve that Dr. Lemming is usually about the hotel after 7pm when he has dinner in the restaurant. They leave a message for the doctor with Steve. Steve surmises that it’s likely that he’s at his favorite haunt, a local cafe known for their pastries. Taking that as a sign of good fortune and they head to the cafe, just a few blocks away. The bitter cold is terrible and the inside of the cafe is warm and inviting. Over coffee, they surveil the room, but having no description to go on they are unable to locate Dr. Lemming. Bummed, but still motivated they return to Daisy’s flat to rejoin the ladies.
Before returning the Murray Hill Hotel, the investigators attend the funeral for Jackson Elias. Here they got the chance to meet some of Elias’ associates. Namely, his lawyer and publisher. The event was very solemn and short. A good man was laid to rest while his friends must carry on his work.
Our intrepid investigators return to the Murray Hill Hotel that evening to fin Dr. Lemming in his apartment. The doctor warmly greets them at the door. The apartment is cluttered with curios, fetishes, and bric-a-brac from Africa. The conversation with the doctor is pleasant and fruitful, albeit a little tedious at times. Dr. Lemming confirms the earlier statement by Lt. Poole that the murders and symbolism are rooted in some sort of African death cult. This confirmation doesn’t put the investigators at ease. All the while the good doctor continues to ramble on about his curios. When questioned about where one could find such things in New York City, he confides that his local source is a gentleman by the name N’Kwane at Ju-Ju House located in Harlem.
To be continued…
We’re using the amazing Mask of Nyarlathotep – Gamer Prop Set from The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society
The Journey: Masks of Nyarlathotep Session #1
The Journey: Masks of Nyarlathotep Session #2
The Journey: Masks of Nyarlathotep Session #3 (Peru Comes to an End)
The Journey: Masks of Nyarlathotep Session #4 (New York Begins)
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