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


Exploring Ptolus
jdeleski said:
"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).
"I am here to do both."
Martin then smiled the smile that melted a thousand hearts.

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First Post
Jim thanks Hubert, and tells him that he will be in touch before he leaves New York.

Not being the kind of man to pry, Jim allows Amanda to back gracefully out of the conversation. Though she has certainly presented some major misgivings, he allows her to simply make pleasant conversation. "Where am I going to go? Why the Empire State Building, of course. Marvelous feat of engineering it is. Boy, I wish I could have seen the holes they blasted to mount that baby into the ground." Realizing that he's being a dry expert again, he quickly back peddles, "I can't imagine the view they have up there. Must be breathtaking. I hear there's even a cafe at the top."

Seeing the men approach, Jim excuses himself and breaks off from the conversation. "Professor Moore." he says, approaching the man, "James Poole. I remember you from your lecture series at Northwestern some years ago. I just wanted to say what an honor it is to have this opportunity, sir." Jim says, shaking the man's hand vigorously, as if he had just met Babe Ruth or the like. "I was always quite fond of your papers questioning Alfred Wegener's continental drift theories, being quite opposite the data that Arthur Holmes collected. I mean, aside from problems such as specimen selection and lead isotopes, I still feel that radioactive dating was the only reliable geologic timescale. And I quite agree with you on your points." Again, the ever inquisitive geologist in James Poole comes out, even in theses somewhat inappropriate social settings.


First Post
Science! (a quote from Thomas Dolby)

Bobitron said:
"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.
Professor Pabodie immediately appears to get excited, reaches into his vest and produces an already-prepared diagram. He shows it to Vittorio, leaning close and using a Vittorio's pen as a pointer, saying "As you've guessed, my astute friend, the original drill did indeed use a counter-bearing apparatus to dampen vibrations, but I've now perfected the design for your upcoming expedition! The motor itself is now counterweighted with a gyroscope and has been better insulated from the drill pipe and bit. You are, no doubt, also aware that our primary concern is to withdraw a clean core sample, and I've made great progress in this regard by improving the drillbit teeth patterns, not to mention adding improved protection from the elements at the drillhead cover. Professor Dyer suggested some of these changes during our earlier expedition..."

Frank Pabodie is in his element, providing scientific information to an interested peer, and continues for as long as Vittorio is willing to listen.


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First Post
Camille's Delivery

Taokan said:
Rushing over to the man [James Starkweather] 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.

"...and, oh Jim, you should have seen the look on the face of the tribal chief! I... James Starkweather stops midsentence at the interruption, looking down at the letter pushed in front of him, and then turns to look at Camille. He notices Camille's fashionable evening dress, makeup, and styled hair, and makes the assumption that she is a guest of this affair, not a hotel staff member. He smiles with a slightly perplexed look and without yet accepting the letter, says to Camille "I'm sorry miss. It's probably my fault and would be terribly rude of me to have forgotten, but have we met?"


First Post
Mrs. Broughton Continues Mingling

The Shaman said:
“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.”
Mrs Broughton continues a lively discussion with Paco about his plans and follows up with a few more questions about his experiences in the U.S. After about 10 minutes of earnest discussion, Hubert Broughton comes to get his wife, asking if she would mind joining him to meet an old friend. Mrs Broughton smiles at Paco, and says "Please forgive me, Mr. Guerini, but I must join my husband. And please don't hesitate to contact me, or my husband, if you need anything while you are in the city. Godspeed, Mr. Guerini."

With that, she disappears into the crowd with her husband.


First Post
Lockhart. Mrs. Lockhart

Zut! That was probably the one thing she was expecting him to ask and hoping he would not. Camille was a dreadful liar, and assuming Starkweather knew Mrs. Lockhart, which was a fair assurmtion, she would be instantly discovered if this charade continued. Plus, lying rankled at her honor, and sooner or later said honor would force her to do something very stupid.

Fingers twitching slightly, Camille smiled sweetly at him. "Oh, I don't think so. I was brought along as a guest by one of the others. However, I can't stay and will be leaving for my rooms fairly soon. Do you think I could speak with you after the fundraiser? I am very interested in the expedition and I might not have time to speak with you about it here."

Allowing the hand holding her letter to drop back to her right side, she smiled at Monsieur Starkweather. "I'll give this to you later then, won't I?" Inclining her head slightly in leavetaking, she drifted into the crowds toward the bustling throng.
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First Post
The Mayor's Address

Ten minutes after James Starkweather and Professor Moore arrive, the hotel waiters and waitresses begin moving through the crowd asking everyone to please be seated so that the event may begin. The music dies down and the crowd of well over one hundred guests begin to disperse to all ends of the room, settling into their chairs and politely greeting newly-noticed tablemates.

The Mayor walks down an aisle to the front of the room, waving to a number of guests and stopping momentarily to say a few words to folks who say hello to him along his way. Upon reaching the front, he steps onto a slightly raised platform to the left of the band and takes his place at a podium outfitted with a Western Electric microphone. James Starkweather and Professor Moore are finding their seats at a table close to the podium area. “Testing… Testing… ” booms the Mayor’s voice from the public address system, followed by an earsplitting, discordant shriek. The mayor winces and looks over in the corner at an attendant who is busily adjusting knobs on a large metal box. After a short time, the shriek subsides.

“Good Evening!” the Mayor announces, smiling broadly, this time his voice is at a tolerable volume and without the accompaniment of the unearthly screech. He gives a nod of thanks to the gentleman working the knobs. “Ladies and gentleman, thank you all for joining me tonight, here at the magnificent Amherst Hotel, to hear from the leaders of the Starkweather-Moore Expedition. Let me first thank Misters Starkweather and Moore for allowing me the priviledge of providing a few opening remarks at this august event, in such admirable company. I’m surrounded by captains of industry, elite members of academia, and intrepid explorers, one and all; truly a wondrous gathering!"

“I first met James Starkweather long ago in England while he was attending Oxford University. One day I joined a colleague to watch a rugby game and spied one particular player who stood out, seeming to blast through his opposition over and over. Here was a player who excelled at a tough, brutal game, and I decided to talk to him afterwards. When he had showered and dressed, I asked him why he would choose to play such a vicious game and why he thought that he was so good at it. His face and hands were covered with bandages, and he responded in trademark Starkweather fashion: while wiping a spot of blood from his nose, he stared at me for a moment with his blue-grey eyes, and said that he “loved a challenge and would go to hell itself before he’d let anyone keep him from his goal!”

The Mayor gave the crowd a few moments to quiet down.

“I’m sure that our expedition leaders will regale us with tales of courage and bravery in the face of terrible danger, and of the extent of monumental risks and challenges that they will face. What you won’t hear from them is talk of failure. Or excuses. Or of a lack of will or confidence. We are amongst giants, ladies and gentleman, giants of science and exploration.”

Here the mayor here diverges into political rhetoric about his opponents and their lack of courage and foresight …blah, blah, blah…

At one point, you tune back in to hear him say “And this is not just a daring undertaking, but also a magnificent accomplishment of engineering. This effort can be compared to building our incredible Empire State Building … at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro! And the pay is terrible!”

Here the Mayor launches into fairly detailed descriptions of the expedition costs and the fact that most of the team members are volunteers, then his tone of voice signals that he’s getting ready to wrap up his speech.

“It’s up to we in this room to ensure that this expedition has the opportunity to make history. Up until this point, both James Starkweather and Doctor Moore have shouldered the burden of collecting and paying for this expedition from their own resources. It is now time for us, the community, to show our support. I ask that you dig deep and provide them with whatever means you are able. This is surely a worthy endeavor, one which won’t soon be forgotten.

Thank you."
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First Post
The Dance Ends

Morpheus said:
"I am here to do both."
Martin then smiled the smile that melted a thousand hearts.
"Oh, my darling Martin! You are a charming soul." Susan contentedly dances with Martin for long, luxurious minutes, smiling and laughing at Martin's creativity on the floor, occasionally cooing in delight. Unfortunately, a hotel staff member interrupts their spontaneity and informs them that they must take their seats. The pair giggle and ignore the waiter, but moments later, the band brings their lively tune to an abrupt end.

Susan purses her lips in a pouting expression and says "Dear Martin," running her hand down his neck and settling on his shoulder, "I do hope that we'll see each other again after the boring lectures are complete?" Susan leans forward and upward to give Martin a kiss on the cheek, her perfume flowing with her to surround him, and then turns and merges into the crowd, as a swaying, glittering red cloth might sink and disappear into a dark pool.


VIttorio stands and applauds with the rest of the guests after the Mayor finishes, then turns back to Pabodie's description of the gear. Looking across the table, he sees that Paco's conversation has finished and politely excuses himself from the engineer. "Not due, of course, to any lack of interest. I am proud to associated with your fine equipment."

Turning to Paco, he smiles and extends a hand. "You must be our guide. Mr. Guerini, correct? I am Vittorio Liuzzi of Modena. I am very pleased to meet you. I noticed we are bunked together in the hotel." The use of the term 'bunked' seems rather out of place amidst these opulent surroundings, but gives insight into the man's nature. Luxury has little place in his life.

"Have you met Mr. Starkweather yet? I thought I saw him enter before the speech."

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