[D20 CoC] Beyond the Mountains of Madness Campaign - Prologue

Taokan

First Post
As it turned out, Camille didn't have much time to scan the room either case. Roughly six minutes after leaving Mr. Starkweather's company, the signal to sit down for the next speech was tapped out on a glass. Mentally shrugging her shoulders, she sat down in the nearest available empty seat and started munching on the uneaten dinner resting in front of her.

Perhaps there was still time before she made a subtle exit to hear another speech or two. If the rest of the speeches were about airplanes as well, she could be persuaded to at least pay some sort of attention to the speaker. Thought there was some irony in a half-heard tidbit from a previous speech. "...And the pay is terrible!” That figured. It wasn't like she was doing this for the money anyway...
 

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jdeleski

First Post
James Starkweather's Opening

“Good Evening!”, said James Starkweather begins with a smile, "Good evening and welcome. Thank you for such a warm reception."

Gesturing towards Dr. Moore, who is now seated at his table in the front, he says "And thank you, Professor Moore, for your extremely kind words. I couldn’t think of a better leader, or a more distinguished colleague, or a more loyal friend, to accompany me—and to help lead our team—on this expedition.”

Spreading his arms wide and looking out into the audience, he continues “And to all of you, my guests, it is indeed a great pleasure, and a humbling experience, for me to be here in such grand company. Tonight I am surrounded by leaders. Each of you have earned titles, and respect, and in some cases fame, in the conquest of new frontiers. Each of you has planted your flag in new territory, whether in business, or in science, or on a snow-covered mountaintop. You have each confronted the challenge of the unknown and have overcome it. Our expedition, with your help, will do likewise.

"Many of my expedition team are here tonight. To you, my team members, I'd like to now take a few moments and extend my warm welcome and hospitality. You've earned it! And," He winks and laughs, "you'd better enjoy it because this is as warm as it gets considering where we're headed! And to all of you who will not be joining us on this journey, but will instead remain behind in this warm... comfortable... pleasant... did I say warm?... city of New York, I urge you to take some time to chat with these individuals. They are truly the best of the best. And they have remarkable tales to tell.

"And now that the introductions are out of the way," he says with a grin, "it's time for me to provide a bit of information. Tonight I will first answer a question--the question as far as I'm concerned. Second, I will describe the challenge. Not just any challenge, but what I consider to be the major challenge of this journey."

First, the question. The question, very simply, is “Why?”. Any discussion of the Antarctic problem, except perhaps in scientific circles, soon comes up hard on the question: “…but what’s the use of it? What’s the value of snow and ice so many miles away?” It is sometimes difficult to answer that question, and it's not because the answer is necessarily lacking in logic or conviction, but more often it is that the asking mind has not turned its thought in that direction. As is natural in our own crowded affairs, we see things narrowly, especially in a matter such as this, in trite, personal and commercial terms of worth. Antarctica, a vast wonderland laid out on a giant scale, in which littleness has no place, cannot be judged or appraised according to limited values. When I speak to certain businessmen, they often reply “But where’s the money in it? Where’s the profit?”

"Candidly, at this moment the Antarctic is sleeping, so far as we can calculate its value to modern civilization. No one, except God, can tell how long it will remain sleeping. However, even with the little we do know of Antarctica, we know of vast treasures. Now, for example, in summertime, the southern continents waters swarm with Norwegian whalers who annually harvest a revenue of $15 million from their catch. On the continent itself, immense beds of coal were hinted at by Shackleton’s discoveries. Scott found copper. Economic minerals were found by Mawson’s party at Adelie Land, and Scott’s Northern Party found titanium. And these treasures pale in comparison to those that will reward the diligent scientist and observer who will add precious pieces of knowledge to the puzzle that we consider to be our world. Our expedition in the coming months will address all of these areas. And more!"

We will also seek to travel back to the campsight and last resting place of our colleagues from Miskatonic University, led by professor Charles Lake, some two years ago. We intend to confirm their amazing discoveries and to map and climb the Miskatonic Mountain range, reported to be the highest peaks in the world. Once we've reached those peaks, we will continue further. We will continue beyond the mountains. Beyond those mountains where we intend to perform an aerial survey of the lands on the far side of that range, into uncharted territory that has never before seen by the human eye. To uncover the secrets…

Starkweather stops midsentence. He stands staring towards the rear of the room; towards something, or someone, that has arrested his attention.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Bibliography Reference 5.
 
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taitzu52

First Post
Jim, smiling along though the whole speech, nodding his head in agreement, suddenly spots Starkweather's concern. He eases himself back in his chair, and turns his shoulders to look back at what has caught the explorer's attention.
 

jdeleski

First Post
The Curious Guest

taitzu52 said:
Jim, smiling along though the whole speech, nodding his head in agreement, suddenly spots Starkweather's concern. He eases himself back in his chair, and turns his shoulders to look back at what has caught the explorer's attention.

At the start of James Starkweather's speech, numerous guests continued returning to their seats through the rear doors, many of whom you assume were visiting the washrooms.

You turn and look to where James Starkweather's vision is focused, and you notice one lone guest who is late getting back to his seat and seems a little odd. This slightly pudgy, grey-haired individual, while dressed in a suit, is disheveled and is shambling towards the front of the room.

OOC - Starkweather noticed him when he was approximately at point X on the attached diagram. You get a better look at this individual when he is approximately at point Y.
Paco, James, Vittorio, and Martin are seated at table 35, and Camille is seated at table 14.



James recovers himself and says “Lawrence? Lawrence, you look ill. Are you OK?”

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Job (the tortured one).
 

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The Shaman

First Post
Paco politely nods and smiles as Mr. Rockefeller is introduced. He vaguely recalls a connection between the name and West Indian Oil Company, something overheard perhaps in Santiago or Valparaiso – he remains blissfully ignorant of the unimaginable wealth of the man before him, however, dismissing the connection as coincidence. He focuses instead on the broiled salmon – despite long hours in the cannery, the mountaineer never lost his taste for the flaky pink flesh.

The introduction of Peters Sykes gets Paco’s full attention. The Chilean introduces himself immediately to the man, noting the weathered man’s countenance. Mucho gusto, Señor Sykes,” he says earnestly, gripping the guide’s hand firmly. After Sykes is seated, Paco says “I am very interested in your experiences, señor. Are you as familiar with airplanes and motor sleds as Doctor Moore?” He smiles broadly. “My own experience is limited to llamas and dogs, I am afraid...”

After learning more about Sykes’ background – where he’s climbed, with whom – Paco is pleased at last to hear Starkweather introduced. He studies the man closely, his curiosity piqued by the man, his expedition, and the strong feelings he seems to arouse in others. The mountaineer continues to watch the expedition leader even after Starkweather’s abrupt pause.
 

Morpheus

Exploring Ptolus
Martin turns around and looks at the individual that is the cause of the disturbance.

OOC: Could we be any further back from the stage? ;)
 

jdeleski

First Post
taitzu52 said:
Jim, smiling along though the whole speech, nodding his head in agreement, suddenly spots Starkweather's concern. He eases himself back in his chair, and turns his shoulders to look back at what has caught the explorer's attention.
Morpheus said:
Martin turns around and looks at the individual that is the cause of the disturbance.
Result of Jim's observation
[sblock]Successful Spot Hidden roll: The individual who is making his way to the stage area is carrying something in his hand, but you are unable to determine what it is.[/sblock]
Result of Martin's observation
[sblock]Very Successful Spot Hidden roll: See the personal message that I sent.[/sblock]
 

Taokan

First Post
Drawn into the speech despite herself, Camille listens intently, occasionally shaking her head or making various sounds of agreement. She was paying enough attention that as soon as it was noticed that Starkweather's attention had wavered, Camille shifted around in her seat to see the problem.
 

Morpheus

Exploring Ptolus
Martin jumps from his seat-knocking his chair over. He starts to run towards the strange individual making his way towards the stage.
"He's got a gun!"
 

The Shaman

First Post
Paco doesn’t see the man at first, but the journalist – Martin? – leaping up from the table, shouting about a gun, snaps the mountaineer’s reverie.

Growing up among the working class of Valdivia, the Chilean encountered his fair share of tough characters. While never a troublemaker himself, living and working among fishermen and the cannery workers exposed him to a rough-and-tumble crowd.

The powerful mountaineer doesn’t hesitate, leaping from his seat and following Martin, his calloused hands balled into fists.
 

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