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


Exploring Ptolus
jdeleski said:
"My name is Susan," says your partner as she sinuously follows your lead, "and who might you be, handsome?"

"Mon cheri, I am Martin LeBlanc and I am most definitely pleased to make your acquaintance."

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jdeleski said:
"Hello Mr. Liuzzi, my name is Frank Pabodie. I'm one of the professors of engineering from Miskatonic University and I overheard you introduce yourself as an engineer and mechanical specialist of the Starkweather-Moore Expedition. It's a pleasure to meet you! I invented the core drilling apparatus that your team will be using in Antarctica"

"Good evening, Professor Pabodie. Core drilling machinery, eh? I would be most interested in seeing the concept of how your machine operates. Does it use a counter-bearing apparatus, such as Miller's, or a dove-tail kickback pendulum, such as Polaski's?" He removes a pen and hands it to the Professor, lifting a glass of water off a nearby cocktail napkin to give him a drawing surface.

ooc: How's that for some BS about machinery? Laying it on too thick?


First Post
Father Rucker reread the letter he recently drafted to James Starkweather. After checking it for typos, he sealed the envelope, and called for his secretary. As Mrs. James entered the study Father Rucker replied:

“Mrs. James can you have a seat please. Mrs. James, I must inform you that the church has approved my leave of absence and I will be leaving for New York City this evening. I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for all of your hard work and your dedication.”

Mrs. James replied,

“Father you speak as if you won’t be returning?”

Father Rucker replies,

“If things go as planned, I will not be returning. I am hoping to accompany a team of explorers on an expedition to Antarctica. Since the announcement of this expedition the nightmares have returned. I have been convinced that for better or worse I have some part to play in this thing.”

Mrs. James begins sobbing and continues to stare at Father Rucker as he states,

“I have a sense of dread growing inside of me concerning this trip, and the events that befell the previous expedition. I feel the weight of Satan himself mounting against this expedition, and I would not be able to live with myself if another tragedy occurred.”

Mrs James began shaking.

“But Father you have risen to such prominence so quickly, and you are now viewed as the foremost authority on exorcism in the country, and maybe the entire Jesuit order. We need you here; I cannot bear the thought of you leaving. All of our members from the surrounding villages will be very disappointed at this news. Who will they now call when the demons and the possessed haunt them? And if Satan has cursed this new expedition why can’t you combat him through prayer. Father I don’t like the sound of this not one bit, what if something happens to you.”

The Fathers comforts Mrs. James and says,

“Child this is my destiny, it is the church’s wish that I accompany the expedition. For my part I do not expect to return. You must not repeat what I have shared with you this evening to no one. Mrs. James I have two final requests: the first is to insure that this letter is delivered to this gentleman in New York City special delivery; the second is that you and Father Brown must accompany the crate setting in the foyer to Boston. The Diocese was informed that I would be sending all of my notes on the exorcisms and strange occurrences in this region prior to my departure. The head of the Jesuit order has also deemed that the crate will only be opened in the event of my death. The two of you will be departing the train station for Boston one hour before I leave for New York City. We do not have much time.”

Mrs. James heads to the post office to mail the letter, and then home to pack her baggage as Father Rucker makes his final preparations for departure. At 4PM a carriage arrives, the crate, numerous trunks, Mrs. James, and Father Brown board the carriage, as father Rucker approaches the locked doors of the church. A small boy standing nearby hands the Father two sets of chains and a massive lock. The Father threads the massive chains around the hardware attached to both doors and applies the massive locks. He then begins to chant a prayer in Latin. After completing his prayer the Father bends down and hugs the young boy with tears in eyes and states:

“Lad you have been a great help to me, but now it is time for you to return home to your parents. Do not fear lad, my prays will always be with you and the spirits will not return to plague you or your family.”

The father reaches into his pocket and gives the boy a sizeable amount of money and says,

“Put this away, go straight home, and give your parents the money. Informed them that I have departed and at sundown they should begin burning the candles for the next seven days as we discussed. No one in your family should be outdoors after sunset for the next seven days.”

“Do you understand?”

The boy replies, “yes”.

As Father Rucker boards the carriage his heart feels so heavy, but he reins in enough of his emotions to tell the boy,

“May the power of God be with you”

Then the carriage pulls off.
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First Post
Pasting a smile on her face, Camille nodded agreeably to the door guard and added her little card to the large filing cabinet along the large wall; doing that, she attempted to copy a nearby fancy lady's glide into the ball room.

From what the guard had said, she had roughly half an hour befour the real Mr. and Mrs. Lockhart arrived. Hopefully she wouldn't need all of that time.

Now that she had finished the first part of her goal, she just had to find to find the expedition team, or preferably, that chauvinistic child. Peering about the room, she saw no one really standing out, but then again, she didn't expect anyone to.

She saw people flirting, or attempting to anyway, eating, drinking, chatting, dancing (ugh! Camille loathed dancing!), and turning her way... Camille froze. That had to be Monsieur Starkweather! He was exactly like she pictured him.

It was the bushy moustache, the smug look, his hair was even slightly thinning. Granted, he was kissing women on the hand, but smiling politely at them. He was too much of a politician to do otherwise. (Must... resist being sarcastic.)

Now, how to get over to him with her letter... Ah! Rushing over to the man through the thick crowd and pulling her duplicated letter out from her concealed hiding spot, she handed the destestable man her letter. "Excuse me, sir, I have a letter for you. Here you are."

Camille's lips faintly twitched in the effort not to let lose some kind of remark. In her mind, she was resisting fairly well. However, if she said something now, she saw fairly certain the secousse would not allow her on the team. Oh well.
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The Shaman

First Post
“You are much too kind, Señor y Señora Broughton,” Paco replies, tugging slightly at his collar, then the sleeves of his suit, his discomfiture obvious.

The rest of the conversation around the table is lost on the mountaineer as he shares stories of his Patagonian adventures with the inquisitive Mrs. Broughton. Paco is thoughtful as he contemplates the journey ahead.

“There are still many mysteries in Patagonia, señora,” he begins, “so much that is unknown. So far it has been God’s plan for me to spend my time among the mountains of my homeland. But I believe that it is His plan that I should seek His hand elsewhere for a time.” He smiles. “Antarctica holds mysteries that are beyond what the mind of man can imagine. By His tidings I have been blessed to seek them out. I hope to honor God in the service of this journey to the great unknown.”

Paco is interrupted by the commotion at the door. He cannot help but stare as Starkweather and Moore, the figures who have so far been no more than names in news clippings, enter the room - a rush of anticipation flows through him like an electric current, but the vision is dimmed by a slight cloud. The mountaineer leans close to Mrs. Broughton, speaking as softly as he can amid the hubbub of the guests.

Señora Broughton, I do not wish to pry, but your opinion of Señor Starkweather...” He hesitates for a moment, unsure of how to continue. “You do not seem to think very highly of him,” he says directly. “If I am not being rude, may I ask why?”


First Post
Hubert Broughton's Insight

taitzu52 said:
Jim nods to Hubert, responding, "Well, best I could muster was the Corps of engineers. I'm no war hero, but I did my part like everybody else. And you know, that would be great if your gents could send me some clippings, or at least lemme come down to their office. I do love a good story." Jim's curiosity is getting the better of him as was his drawl. Being in the field at the time of receiving the invitation, he had little time to do any research on the man that Starkweather was.
Hurbert paused. "Story... Yes, if I remember correctly, our Commander Starkweather actually wrote a couple of books. When I get back to my office, I'll contact my friends at the Tribune and ask them to look through their files. If they find anything, I'll have them contact your hotel. In the meantime, you might want to pay a visit to the library." Hubert reached into his jacket, retrieved a well-worn pocket notepad and fountain pen, wrote himself a reminder, then said with a wink and a smile, "Just be sure to keep me in mind if you find something interesting in your travels."


First Post
Mrs. Broughton's Response

taitzu52 said:
The charming Mrs. Broughton lets her guard down, for some reason or another. Jim very quietly responds, "Forgive me for asking, but if you barely know him, how...." Jim is used to working for oil tycoons and other self made men, i.e. glorified thieves. He is simply curious as to what would make a proper lady risk so much in conversation.
The Shaman said:
The mountaineer leans close to Mrs. Broughton, speaking as softly as he can amid the hubbub of the guests.

“Señora Broughton, I do not wish to pry, but your opinion of Señor Starkweather...” He hesitates for a moment, unsure of how to continue. “You do not seem to think very highly of him,” he says directly. “If I am not being rude, may I ask why?”
Amanda Broughton looked decidedly uncomfortable for a moment, then flushed scarlet in deep contrast to the white pearls at her neck. "I...," she began, looked away, then returned her gaze to your eyes, "I honestly cannot speak more of the Captain. I'm afraid that he and I do not see eye to eye on many things." Then she brightened, "But enough of me and my trivial concerns! Are you planning to visit any sights in our city before you depart?"
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First Post
Susan's Dance

Morpheus said:
"Mon cheri, I am Martin LeBlanc and I am most definitely pleased to make your acquaintance."
"Ooh!", Susan purred as she spun away to dance at arm's length, the two of you linked only by your fingertips, then asked with a smirk "So are you here to spend money? Or are you planning to jilt me after we've only just met and go join those madmen on the ice?"

Job (the tortured one).
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The Shaman

First Post
“But enough of me and my trivial concerns! Are you planning to visit any sights in our city before you depart?” asks Mrs. Broughton, quickly changing the subject.

“That will depend on Señor Starkweather and the needs of the expedition,” the mountaineer replies. “I will have much preparation to make before we leave. I will spend time with maps and stories from Almirante Byrd and Capitán Wilkins, and the Lake expedition, ciertamente. I hope to visit your American Museum of Natural History, to learn more about our destination.” Paco smiles broadly. “I would like to return to your Shawangunks – ” he says the word slowly, transforming “-gunks” into “–hunks” following the pronunciation of his native Spanish “ – to climb and keep fit for the expedition, and perhaps to visit los cerros Adirondacks if time permits.” He glances about the table, and leaning in toward the señora, whispers conspiratorially, “And I would like to visit your Empire State Building before we leave.”
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