Act 1: The Distraught Widow
On the Morning of Monday, January 28, 1936, Elsa Respighi the recent widow to the recently deceased famous opera and symphonic composer Ottorino Respighi, called for a cab to take her to meet with Father Fletcher at the Esoteric library in Vatican City.
It was by chance that the cab called was operated by Santi Nochese, a member of the Rome SAVE Office. While the remainder of his office was investigating an occurrence in Florence, Italy, Santi, unable to get out of work for two weeks, was forced to remain behind in Rome to safeguard the office’s headquarters.
When his cab arrived at the Respighi residence to pick up the recent widow, he was surprised at her requested destination. Being an envoy with SAVE, he knew that the library acted as a headquarters for the Vatican City SAVE Office, and that Father Fletcher was the head of that office.
Suspecting that there was a bizarre story behind the visit, Santi began an easygoing dialog with his passenger, uncovering a significant number of pertinent details concerning her visit.
Act 2: The Widow’s Story
After assuring Elsa that Father Fletcher had a well-deserved reputation as an investigator, he arrived at the Library on the vatican Grounds. Santi escorted the grieving widow to meet with Fletcher, where her story was told a second time.
Her husband, Ottorino Respighi, had recently died of a heart infection, after an injury sustained during a rehearsal of a symphonic performance. It seemed her husband fell, and a small sliver of wood from the conductor’s podium pierced the composer’s heart wall. An infection resulted, and this turn proved to be fatal. he died on Friday, January 23, 1936.
This was only the beginning of the problems for the Respighi estates, however. It quickly became apparent that Ottorino had been living far beyond his means. This placed them into significant debt. Despite this, no one was calling in his debts since they continued to benefit from his fame and favor. However, once this was no longer the case, upon his death, debtors all began to attempt to collect the monies that they were owed. This included attempts to take possession of his works, including an unfinished work that was interrupted by his sudden unexpected demise.
As a result of this, desperate for assistance, Elsa mentioned this sad state to a friend, who recommended that she contact a genuine Medium, Alec Sahib Roy, who apparently was able to communicate with the dead. This proof being that Roy could relay secrets only known by the deceased to their living relatives.
Desperately, she agreed and hired Roy to conduct a seance on her behalf with her deceased husband on Thursday, January 23, 1936. At this seance, Roy was able to convey some additional portions of the unfinished operatic work to Elsa (also a composer and Opera Singer). Although the piece remained unfinished, Roy suggested that the Spirit required additional time to compose the remainder of the piece and that additional seances would be needed to transcribe those additional pieces.
Somewhat relieved, Elsa returned home hopeful that completion of the work would be able to raise enough money to prevent bankruptcy of the estate.
Things, however, have since taken a turn for the worse.
The following evening, Elsa saw a specter that looked remarkably like her husband. The silent apparition knocked over small items, overturned papers on the piano and made a small mess. Over the course of the next few days, the damage and chaos worsened, culminating in the breaking of a mirror in the Hallway of the home.
Frightened, Elsa made contact with the Medium to inquire for assistance. The Medium assured her he could rid her of the spiritual disruptions, but only at significant cost. wary of a scam, Elsa began discreet inquiries into the possibility of conducting an exorcism to rid her of the spirit.
Her inquiries pointed her towards Father Fletcher. Who after some questions determined to investigate. Arrangements were put into place for he and his associates (the Envoys from the Vatican City SAVE Office), to spend one or more nights at the estate to determine exactly what they may be dealing with.
Because he had been involved from the outset, Santi was asked to join the investigation. He agreed.
Once the Widow left to return home, Fletcher gathered together the members of the Vatican office and gave them a briefing. The group divided into three and began undertaking different aspects of the initial investigation.
Act 3: Clientele
Liberty and Gerard were assigned the task of determining any additional clientele that may have been involved with Alec Sahib Roy. This would give them the opportunity to look for patterns, perhaps ask some questions of previous seance goers, and basically help to establish a modus operandi.
The Two uncovered a list of prior clients, all of which, with one exception were widows of deceased wealthy men. They shared several similarities. The only male client, a widower, had lost a wealthy wife. He also claimed to be a reincarnated Teutonic knight from the late middle ages. While eccentric, he shared similar beliefs in spiritualism to the other individuals with which Roy conducted seances.
In addition, information was revealed that the seances always happened in Room 13 on the 7th floor of the Hotel Gambrinus, a site already associated with other past investigations conducted by the Vatican City office.
It was revealed that the hotel had made arrangements for 200 pounds of dry ice, and some red lenses. Additionally an additional 100 pounds of dry ice could be acquired on short notice should it be needed. The Hotel mistook Liberty to be Roy’s new assistant, and thus was very forthcoming with details.
These discoveries pointed to at least a marginal amount of theatrics taking place during the seances. It was unclear whether such theatrics indicated a confidence scam, or whether they were ritualistic or theatrically designed to enhance an authentic seance.
Act 4: The Unnamed Store
Santi, Lodewijk and Sven set out on the way to the Fantasma Osservare Gionale newspaper’s offices. There they hoped to confront Roy, determine if there was some supernatural skill or entity there, or determine whether he was a charlatan.
On the way, they stopped by a small unnamed store, when they spotted a small stand selling the most recent copies of the newspaper. Desiring a copy for their investigation, they wandered inside, only to discover that it was a veritable cornucopia of spiritualist items, spell components, herbs, and thaumaturgical supplies. The sheer span of available items was impressive and covered many mythos’.
The shop, while an interesting find was not involved in the immediate investigation. They, therefore, noted it’s location and supplies, determined to revisit it at a future time.
They continued on their way to the newspaper.
Act 5: Fantasma Osservare Gionale
Alec Sahib Roy is the sole editor and author of the Fantasma Osservare Gionale, a small newspaper-like publication costing 5 lira. This newspaper discusses spiritalism as well as ghostly classifications, and include a significant number of advertisements for Seances, lectures and books written by the author.
The journal is printed in an office located across from the Cimitero Dei Dannati, a place known to be the final resting place for murderers, heretics, non-Catholics, suicides and other unsavory people.
Tomas, visited a book store to acquire a copy of the most recent Ghost Observer’s Journal, only to discover that the author was quite prolific and had written seven books that sold well and another thirteen that were only marginal successes. Of these books, the most important was, “A Journey through the Mystical Teachings of Atlantis. In this book Roy explains how several mystical teachers, including Ghengis Khan, Alexander the Great, Plato, Socrates and the Dali Lama, imparted to him the great wisdoms of the age, granting him the power to see and communicate with spirits of the departed.
Upon arriving, the Envoys gathered and set off to investigate the newspaper. They entered the offices and at the initial outset, thought them to be empty. Several copies of the Newspaper hung framed from the wall. The newspaper published three times a week, and had been in business for a year.
During their time there, they discussed a strategy to use to interrogate the Medium should he arrive. However, before that strategy could be implemented, Roy seemingly appeared out of nowhere. No one saw him enter the room, nor heard him walk;k up to the group.
As a result, he had partially overheard their strategy and stalwartly refused to participate in any attempt to be interrogated. Frustrated by the investigators, Roy threatened to call the authorities. As he reached for the phone, Sven reached down and casually crushed it using his Feat of Strength Discipline.
Amazed at the display of power, Roy quickly became more compliant.
After questioning the Medium, it seemed as if he were an authentic medium, although it was unclear whether he was also an Ectomancer. It was also unclear whether he was acting alone, or if he was being manipulated or controlled by another force or entity. Some aspects of the Medium’s story were wildly impossible, especially concerning Atlantis and some of the people he met there. It was clear, however that he had some knowledge of spirits and may have been unknowingly using arts, such as incorporeal or communicative.
Act 5: Driving in my Automobile
Leaving the newspaper offices, the envoys drove a short distance in Santi’s cab before parking to discuss their findings. While parked, a sudden rain of stones the diameter of a Lira coin rained down in an isolated 20-foot globe around the cab. This dealt some damage to the window and mirrors and dented the body, but did not injury to any of the envoys. The stones seemed to evaporate within minutes of the event, as they could not be recovered or found.
Additionally, the name of Santi’s deceased wife had been mentioned at the Newspaper by the Medium. This was a creepy turn of events, as Santi’s wife had been dead for nearly two-years. While sitting in the cab, the radio suddenly sprang to life, playing “Thank you for all the Memories” a song that was his deceased wife’s favorite. In addition, the radio played the song “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday.
The songs also played from the damaged phone handset as well. leading the party to suspect the phone may, in some way, be involved in the strange manifestations.
The party dropped off the damaged cab for repairs and then headed back to the clubhouse to share their experiences.
Act 6: Death Records
Meanwhile, Oliver made an in-person visit with Ignazio Marchetti, the head of the Rome City Morgue system. After a brief conversation, he acquired the coroner’s report for Ottorino Respighi, confirming the cause of death. He also acquired the address of the accident where the injury took place.
Act 7: Back at the Clubhouse
The various groups regrouped at the Vatican City SAVE Office to discuss their various findings. During that meeting, Fletcher advised that group that he could confirm the presence of a series of Thaumaturgical Ley Lines in the nearby cemetery and near the office occupied by the newspaper.
In addition to this, the Atlantis Book written by Roy, was discovered to be written in a pattern that when transcribed to musical notes, created the Major Triad. This caused some concern for the completion of the unfinished opera piece asked for by Elsa Respighi. Was it possible that some nefarious plan was underway to expose thousands of individuals to some nefarious mind control through the opera?
Act 8: The Ars Medievalis
Looking for any information on legendary mist shrouded islands as mentioned by Alec Sahib Roy in his book, Lodewijk Van Beers and Gerard Filippani visited a couple of libraries in Rome with the hopes of gathering some insight into the details mentioned in the book.
The first library they visited at the University of Rome was not helpful. The second, the Vatican Secret Archives denied them access. However, the third, a medieval library known as the Ars Medievalis located on the palatine hills provided a potential source of excellent information.
They traveled there, taking note of an archeological excavation at nearby Trajan’s Forum. There they made note of the presence of Indra Dietrich, commanding the excavation. knowing she was one of the members of the Abiectio Venatores, they made a note and determined to undertake an investigation at a future time.
Arriving at the Library, they gained entry. There they met the Ars Medievalis Librarian, a strange, somewhat forgetful man running the establishment. They were unable to gather the information that they desired, but they did gain the impression that the Librarian was perhaps under the influence of some unknown force. This marked him as a possible person of interest, and a possible subject of a future investigation.
Act 9: The Abandoned Fiancé
Oliver visited the shop below his apartment, to borrow a camera for the upcoming investigation at the Respighi estate later that night. Upon his arrival, he was advised that his “sister” had arrived and was in his apartment waiting for him. Intrigued and somewhat paranoid, Oliver made his way to his apartment only to discover that the mystery woman was his ex-fiancé Elsa Mannhoff.
Two years prior, after his return to Berlin, Oliver had suddenly disappeared, leaving her at the altar. Elsa never forgot him, and eventually, through the use of a private detective managed to track him down to Rome.
Once he had been found, she made arrangement to move to Rome, take on a job at the university there and rekindle their relationship. This complicates things for Oliver, who understands the dangers associated with working with SAVE.
Act 10: A Talk with the Divine?
Each of the members of the Vatican City SAVE Office, received a visit from a mysterious individual. This individual implied, but did not confirm that he was God. He choose to appear to each member, thanking them for their help with “a friend of his”, presumably the Archangel Raziel.
He is able to grant them each a small “thank you" reward for their assistance. He is currently referred to as The Divine.
Act 11: The Respighi Estate
The Envoys from the Vatican City SAVE office arrived at the Respighi Estate late on the afternoon of January 28, 1936.
Upon their arrival, the envoys were given a brief tour of the estate house; this included Elsa Respighi’s dressing room, the Conservatory, her late husband’s office, the kitchen and the corridor outside the dressing room. All places where the apparition of the deceased husband had appeared.
After some initial questions, Sven decided to conduct an experiment. With the assistance of Gerard, the two set up an experiment that might connect the actions of the late husband’s spirit with the actions of a jealous nature.
Creating a simulated intimate moment with Elsa Respighi in her dressing room, Sven and Gerard were able to illicit a partially violent response from the apparition. This took the form of a violent impact on a mirror in the dressing room.
During this time, Sven noted an indistinct figure at the left corner of his vision. It could be that this may be a possible visual manifestation of Ottorino Respighi.
As this experiment was taking place the other members of the group also decided to investigate other portions of the estate.
Liberty headed to the conservatory, where she began to compare the musical notations that had been taken at the seance and comparing them with the known works of Ottorino Respighi. As she compared the notations, diction and marginal notes, it became readily apparent that the transcribed notes could belong to none other than the deceased conductor. This finding led some credibility to the possible involvement of the deceased man’s spirit being involved, although the actions were inconsistent with those of the deceased man, unless that spirit were somehow being compelled or tormented in some manner that would illicit the sort of activities the group had witnessed.
Meanwhile, Lodewijk and Tomas made their way to the office. There they made note of the unusual positioning of a mirror across from the desk. This led lodewijk to deduce that there could be a possible secret passage located along that wall. After much searching, however, the existence of such a passage or doorway could not be found.
As the two men were searching the office, they became aware of the sound of dripping water emanating from the fireplace. Curious, Lodewijk began to investigate the sound. Placing his head inside the fireplace and looking into the chimney, he was splattered with drops of liquid, which upon inspection were identified as blood.
Suddenly the door to the room slammed closed, and a massive gush of blood poured from the open fireplace and the mirror on the hearth, rapidly filling the room. The sudden event was so terrifying, that it left Lodewijk in shock for several moments, placing his life at risk.
The room rapidly filled with blood, the pressure of the liquid prevented the door from opening, by force alone. Tomas, struggled to get the door open, but defeated, he resorted to using a candelabra to punch a hole in the four-paneled door.
As blood rushed from the room, it was noted that the level of the liquid in the room did not lower, and that as the blood that flowed from the room, it seemed to rapidly dissolve once it struck the floor of the corridor.
To further complicate matters, A vague, slimy man-shaped manifestation grappled Tomas from behind, attempting to shake and strangle him as he attempted to escape the room. Lodewijk, recovering from his intense fear, grappled the creature in return, causing it to dis-incorporate, thereby saving Tomas from certain death. With the manifestation of the creature defeated, the blood in the room began to rapidly evaporate. within moments, there was no sign of the blood’s existence. Even the two envoys were dry and blood-free. Only the damage to the door remained a valid testament to the events that had just occurred. Tomas retain, finger-shaped bruises on his throat, consistent with an attempt at strangulation. Other than those marks, there were no other injuries to either party caught in the blood filled room.
It has been surmised that the manifestations both of blood and of the man-shaped individual were potential constructs made of Ectoplasm.
Meanwhile, Oliver had made his way out through the window of the conservatory and out to Ottorino’s cherished 1936 Cabriolet. The vehicle was kept in pristine condition, so initially nothing was found of any significance. A detailed search revealed only a pair of driving gloves, and a golf hat. It wasn’t until Oliver decided to search the hard to reach areas, that a significant clue was found.
That clue was a hand written note. The note was torn from a larger sheet of expensive, ivory colored hand-made quality paper. The folded piece read:
R. I know what you’re doing. You won’t get away with it. We need to talk. -O.V.
The identity of R was unclear, but it could be supposed that it either belonged to Respighi, or perhaps to Roy. The Identity of O.V. was a complete mystery, as the envoys had met no on that could be identified by those initials.
For his part of the investigation, Father Fletcher walked the grounds. There he discovered the Respighi family mausoleum. Inspection revealed that the lead seal around the outside of the brass entry doors had recently been removed, broken and pounded back into place, perhaps using a hammer and wedge. This was a strong possibility that someone had recently gained entry into the family crypt.
At the appointed time, all the members of the office reconvened in the conservatory. During their initial arrival, the Concert Grand piano began to play several excerpts from some of Respighi’s well-known early concerto for solo piano.
It wasn’t until Oliver’s arrival that the music stopped, and the party shared their various findings.
Act 12: The Carriage House
It was decided that additional information should be sought in the carriage house. To that design, the group headed across the drive to the carriage house where they encountered the Long-time Respighi Chauffeur Arnio Fabriagio.
During the conversation, it was noted that the building had a very strong threshold, no doubt a result of the long running tradition of the Fabriagio family’s residence there for many generations.
Some basic questions were asked, and during this time, it was discovered that Arnio had interrupted an attempted grave robbery two nights prior at the Family mausoleum. He advised that he had encountered a pair of men, who were working on the lead seal to the mausoleum. When he shouted at them, they fled, leaving a broken section of the seal behind. Dutifully, he retrieved a hammer and wooden wedge and repaired the seal, thank full that he had prevented any possible theft or damage to the remains of the family that he had served his entire life.
The envoys also learned that he was no longer able to drive, but instead held the responsibility to maintain and clean the vehicles owned by the Estate. He advise the group that the Butler was now acting as the driver for Mrs Respighi when necessary, although this was not always the case as the Madam sometimes resorted to the base practice of using taxicabs.
The group also discovered that Mrs. Respighi and the Butler, acting as her driver, had left the estate for the evening to attend a performance by the Widow Respighi. He was not certain where the event was, but believed it to be at the Teatro Reale dell’Opera.
Act 13: The Respighi Family Mausoleum
After the conversation with the driver, the group decided that the best time to investigate the Mausoleum was while the Widow was away. Deciding on that course of action, the group made their way to the Mausoleum, which was located beyond the grades of the estate house.
There, they were able to corroborate the condition of the seals, confirming the Driver’s account. Realizing they needed to know if anything had been removed or added to the crypt, They decided to open the crypt.
Oliver used his crowbar to remove the lead seal. Once removed, the large brass double doors were opened. Fletcher and Liberty remained at the doors, to prevent their premature and unwanted closure, while the other members entered into the mausoleum.
Signs of recent activity were present. The disturbance of dust on the floor was recent enough to warrant caution. As a result the envoys, moved slowly and cautiously through the building, moving to the lower level, where they located the burial urn belonging to Ottorino.
The black and pink Wedgwood Burial Urn was ornately decorated with a requiem written by the composer. The piece was not published, but the style, diction and transcription were easily identified.
Upon inspection, it was discovered that the urn was too light to contain the ashes of the deceased. As a result, Oliver opened the urn and peered inside. While some very small amount or human ashes remained within the confines of the jar, they were insufficient to account for the entirety of Ottorino’s remains. Ottorino’s wedding band and a Note from his wife were also present. It is believed that these two items were most likely placed in the Urn at the time that he was interred within the urn. Why these two items, of some value, were not stolen is unclear at this time.
Act 14: Take a Reading
At this point, it was decided that Liberty should use her Psychometry discipline Read Object to see if she could determine any additional information about the case. She selected the Cabriolet as her first object to be scrutinized and fell into a trance.
As the images began to unfold, it became rapidly apparent that Ottorino Respighi was taking late night trips. Originally it was thought that he may have a Mistress, as was normal for the times. This assumption however to be much more interesting. It was revealed that Ottorino was, in fact, visiting a Lover. That lover, however, was another man, not a woman. Other facts revealed that the vehicle had been at the University of Rome Music Conservatory, and that these trips had occurred late at night. In addition, it was revealed that at some point Alec Sahib Roy had also driven the car in the not too distant past.
The second item that was read was the hand torn note found in the car. This reading revealed that the note was written by a woman, wearing a red opera style cloak. It also revealed that the note was torn from a larger sheet which bore the Header:
Erato, Most high Priestess of the magnificent 9 greets thee in benevolence and peace.
She also revealed that the note was given to a man with a peculiar British accent that seemed not quite right. and the this man wanted to know who “she thinks she is…”
Act 15: The Respighi Library
With the mention of the name Erato, the group of envoys, led by Oliver decided to take a look in the Library. A cursory glance revealed that the library was organized by types of creative endeavors. These in turn corresponded with the paintings of four Muses located on the ceiling.
While these were very interesting facts, the group were unable to find any significant clues relating to the Muse Erato, or any of the other Muses painted on the ceiling of the Library.
Act 16: Next Day’s Plans
The group decided to return to the clubhouse, where they would await the following day’s investigations.
It was decided that they should somehow make their way to the seance scheduled for that next night. They also hoped to meet and possibly interview Evelyn Schiaffino. Additionally, it was believed that the offices for the Fantasma Osservare Gionale should be visited again, at a time that Roy was known to be occupied.
Act 17: Secret Communications
The following morning Liberty Rothe returned to her office at the Vatican museum. Her plan was to fill some of her available time with work, as she was aware that the days plans were not scheduled to take place until very late that evening.
Girabaldi advised Liberty of several important details. She was advised that Roy was born in British India. He also advised her that Roy was murdered in September 1935, killed by being stabbed 12-times with a hollow tube of some sort. The murder is unsolved, and no relations could be found to identify the body.
He was cremated and buried in the Cimitero Dei Dannati, which was located across the street from the offices of the Fantasma Osservare Gionale. An unknown benefactor was said to have placed a grave marker over his burial site.
The information may definitively prove that Alec Sahib Roy may, in fact, be some sort of returned spirit, or another creature of the Unknown. Liberty made her way to the Club house to share this newfound information.
Act 18: Listen to the Music
That same morning, Lodewijk Van Beers visited the University of Rome, music conservatory. his goal was to gain some additional information concerning Ottorinto Respighi. Lodewijk encountered a solo Cellist in the Music Conservatory Building, after a brief discussion, Lodewijk was pointed towards professor Respighi’s classroom at the end of the hallway.
Arriving at the room, Lodewijk easily gained entry. He surveyed the room, noting the small orchestral arrangement and a damaged podium. Remembering the description of Ottorino’s death, Lodewijk inspected the podium, taking note of the damage which seemed to be inconsistent with the damage that was described. Lodewijk then decided to inspect the concert grand piano. Sitting at the instrument, the moment that he touched the keys, he found himself suddenly compelled to play one of Ottorino’s early famous piano solo works.
Drawn by the sound of the playing, a man, Primo Arcuri, arrived. His acerbic demeanor and insulting nature were abundantly clear to Lodewijk. The man proved to be the Dean of professors at the University of Rome.
The man was quick to decry that Elsa Respsighi was not to have a single item from her husband’s classroom or office without first paying her debt. It is unclear which debt or how much was being referenced. It was discovered that there were other attempts to break into the professor’s classroom in order to steal his personal items.
Once the argument with the dean ended, Lodewijk left the building and encountered a quartet being conducted by a young man emulating Respigihi’s style of orchestral conducting.
Inquiring, Lodewijk learned that the young man’s name was Donato Trevisano, and that he was a student of the late Respighi. The young man revealed that Ottorino was like a mentor to him. Lodewijk also learned that the young man was a friend of the Widow Elsa Respigihi. He also learned that Elsa’s maiden name was Castenello and that she had been a Professor of Greek Classical Literature specializing in erotic poetry.
A quick visit to the classic department confirmed this information to be true. Armed with this new information, Lodewijk returned to the clubhouse to share it with his fellow Envoys.
Act 19: The Seance
Three Envoys, Liberty Rothe, Gerard Filippani, and Tomas Migual Gessner, went to the Hotel Gambrinus. Their goal was to get one or more the the Envoys into the Seance that was to be conducted that night by Alec Sahib Roy. To do this, Liberty was depending on her ability to recognize a potential attendant to the seance, and get herself invited. Her station and the station of those normally in attendance would make this a very good possibility.
The plan was to take Gerard as well, so that she would not be in the seance alone. Tomas meanwhile had acquired the room next door, and would be recording the seances using a reel-to-reel dictaphone. He would also be nearby in the event that assistance was needed. As Roy had encountered neither Liberty nor Gerard, there was hopes that they would not be in any danger.
To accomplish their portion of the plan, Liberty and Gerard took up a prominent location in the hotel bistro, while Tomas prepared his room.
They were not seated for long when Luza Cabrese, an old college friend of Gerard’s arrived. She was surprised to see him, and began to reminisce over old times. During the course of the conversation, it was revealed that Luza, now an actress, had decided to attend the seance as a means to prepare for an upcoming movie roll. When Gerard expressed an interest in attending, Luza invited him to attend alongside her.
Leaving Liberty to find another way in, Gerard and Luza made their way to the seance on the 7th floor.
Liberty did not have to wait for much longer. She recognized Fiona Montesque arriving late, and realizing that she was headed to the seance. greeting her, and using her persuasiveness in her favor, Liberty managed to get Fiona to invite her to the seance. this was made easier, once Alec Sahib Roy was told that liberty Rothe was actually Elizabeth Rothschild. A very wealthy name that guaranteed her place at the seance.
With all assembled the seance began. Alec Sahib Roy, began the seance by telling the assembled that he would be using a fog machine and red lights to accentuate the experience.
Due to Liberty’s prominence, she was given the option to contact the spirit of her choice. Selecting her dead father, Alec Sahib Roy, summoned the spirit. Liberty made a single inquiry of the summoned spirit. The spirit made an accurate answer and satisfied that the spirit was authentic, liberty bid Alec to release him.
A second summoning, this time for contact with Fiona’s dead Brother Arsinio, took place. Again a single question was asked and accurately answered.
Shortly after, the seance ended. It was noted that the summoning was accompanied by a drastic decrease in temperature, so much so that the fog froze in mid-air and front appeared throughout the room in rapid swiftness.
This was an indication that the amount of power used to summon the spirits was significant.
Immediately after the seance, Tomas found himself visited in his room by the Spirit of his departed father. Concerned with the sudden appearance of the apparition, and wary of the spirit’s desire to embrace him, Tomas resisted.
Enraged, the spirit fun the Envoy into a large mirror shattering it. As it broke the mirror began to bleed from the cracks in the glass. Before things could get any worse, Liberty, hearing the crash from the room, stepped to the exterior of Tomas’ room and using her Psychometry Discipline Psychic Shield, suspended the spiritual attacks in the room, long enough for Envoys to escape.
Act 20: The Fantasma Osservare Gionale Offices
Knowing that the seance was now underway, the group split into three. Sven, and Lodewijk would head into the Cimitero Dei Dannati to attempt to find the grave site belonging to Alec Sahib Roy.
Santi would stay with the car, prepared to ferry the Envoys to safety, should it proved necessary.
Fletcher and Oliver would investigate the offices to see if any information could be found to shed any additional light on Roy.
Using a crowbar, Oliver gained entry into the offices. The two made their way into the offices. To make searching quicker, Fletcher focused his attentions on the front portions of the offices, while Oliver went to the back.
In the front, it was determined that there was a heavy layer of dust on everything. this was consistent with a lack of use. The only apparent disturbance seemed to have been caused by the Envoy’s earlier visit. An inspection of the typeset in the printing press, revealed that the date on the set was September 1935.
There were no other revelations to be found in the front section of the office, but the main offices in the rear proved to be more forthcoming with their secrets.
Oliver discovered several files with Obituaries in them. Those that were of prominent people were circled as points of interest. Books containing a list of the social registry of Rome were also found. In these several of the same names were marked and details of their families delineated.
A photograph was also found of Roy and an unidentified woman. On the back of the photo was the caption “ R. and O.V. at Opening. September 1935 “
A final item of interest was also found. In the desk there was a wooded monogrammed box for a Magnifying Glass. The monogram was “ R “ It was taken as a possible clue.
Finding no other clues Fletcher and Oliver left the offices to meet up with Santi outside.
Act 21: The Cimitero Dei Dannati
At the Cemetery, Lodewijk and Sven located the Cloaked Gravestone which marked the grave site for Alec Sahib Roy. The pedestal of the grave marker was labeled “ RHEUSUS “ in large letters, and the name “ Alec Sahib Roy “ beneath it in smaller letters.
It was apparent that the grave marker sat atop a stone container. Using his restorative Discipline Feat of Strength, Sven moved the marker so that he could reveal the contents of the container beneath it.
The pit contained a poor representation of a Chinese vase with lid, painted in a poor Ming style. Surrounding the vase were a number of articulated snake skeletons. these were free of any flesh or sinew. They were also identified as belonging to asps. It was estimated that there were roughly 100- 150 skeletons present.
Using a sling, Sven lifted the vase from the pit, disturbing the circles of snake bones. A loud noise was heard coming from the infants section of the graveyard. A sudden haywire event burst the lightbulb in the flashlight and cracked the indicator of the EM Meter.
With the potential arrival of a creature of the unknown it was decided to withdraw.
The two made their way back to the car where everyone else was waiting for them. Before they could use the car to escape, however, a second haywire, killed the car’s electrical system and burst several street lamps.
with no other choice, the group began to make their way on foot back towards the club house.
Act 22: The Encounter
It was during their retreat to the clubhouse on foot, they spotted an upswelling of blood through the street. From the pool of ever growing blood, a dozen Blood Manifestations arose.
As they attacked the envoys, another manifestation, of Alec Sahib Roy appeared, dressed exactly as he had been attired at the seance. it seemed that the Envoys were going to be overwhelmed, but the manifestations exploded, showing the party with blood-like ectoplasm.
While all the envoys except for Lodewijk appeared to be unaffected by the bloody spray, Lodewijk, who was only barely touched was immediately afflicted by a necrotic wound where he was shattered. It was surmised that the reason for the injury was a result of being exposed to a similar blood-like ectoplasm in the Office at the Respighi Estate.
With the disintegration of the Manifestations, Roy also seemed to melt away. Perhaps he had overextended his abilities and had temporarily run out of power.
With no additional threat of imminent attack, the group found a pay phone and Fletcher made a telephone call to the Hotel, in an attempt to reach the Envoys there.
Reaching Gerard, Fletcher warned them of their encounter and arranged to meet at the clubhouse.
Act 23: At the Clubhouse
Upon arrival, the Urn was place into the fountain in the private garden behind the clubhouse. A discussion between the envoys was undertaken to share the findings and experiences. Once those discussions were completed, the Envoys turned their attention to the Urn.
Opening it, it was discovered that the urn was empty. This was suspect, however, as the urn should have been floating in the fountain, but was not. Close inspection of the urn revealed that an additional thick base of pottery was attached to the urn. It had then been disguised, although poorly.
Using his archeologists tools, Oliver removed the false base from the urn. It was determined that the base was abnormally heavy, so Oliver began to deconstruct it. The deconstruction revealed the presence of 13, mint condition Roman Denarii dating to the reign of the Emperor Constantine.
After the discovery of the coins, and a brief discussion the group decided to break for the evening and to resume the investigation the following morning.
Act 24: The Stone Mason
The group returned as a whole to the Cimitero Dei Dannati to do additional investigation of the gravestone and the grave pit.
After arriving, they took samples of the materials at the bottom of the pit, the strange lichen. They also took some photographs and spotted a maker’s mark on the gravestone, which they hoped would lead them to it’s creator.
Now that they had a maker’s mark, they had to work out how to connect the mark to the creator. Lodewijk and Liberty thought that the best option for an answer lay with Edward Vorgenberg, who ran an art gallery.
They traveled to his gallery, where a brief discussion with Edward identified the Maker as Antonio Sapienti, an exceptionally skilled stone mason and sculptor, who sometimes also created excellent quality classical reproduction statuary for the collector market. Edward gave them the name of his business and address.
The group traveled to the Stone Mason’s business, Eternal Rest Monument studio. A bit of discussion and a small processing fee revealed that he had, in fact created the grave stone. He also used human ashes provided by the commissioner of the piece as part of the concrete mix. This is not an unusual event, although he rarely works in concrete.
He revealed the name of his client for the piece as Olympia Vestri. He provided the envoys with an address.
Act 25: O.V. and The 9
The address led the group of envoys to the Headquarters of a group called The 9. A plaque near the door listed them as the “ Mystical Commission for Spiritual Consultation ”.
Olympia Vestri, also known as Erato, the High Priestess, answered the door and invited the group inside. A series of questions led her to share some information, but she began to grow quiet, when she realized that the individuals were not the people that she thought they were. She suspected them to be part of a group of some sort, related to esoteric studies. She refused to give any significant information until the Envoys identified their affiliations to her.
Normally a taboo, it was decided to reveal the existence of SAVE. Father Fletcher shared this information and almost immediately Olympia was more forthcoming. With no real barriers to the conversation, the Envoys began to explain their investigation and findings to her. She then proceeded to explain the events that led up to the death of Alec Sahib Roy, also known as Rhesus.
She explained that prior to his death, she had discovered that Rhesus was preparing to summon or link himself to some unknown entity of great power. When she confronted him, Rhesus became dangerous and stormed out of the building in a rage.
Concerned that he would do something terrible, she called together the other members of the 9, and explained the situation to them. They then discovered that Rhesus had begun a ritual in the basement of the consulting building.
The group confronted him, and a conflict resulted. It was believed that he was stopped from completing the link between himself and the entity. The 9 did not go unaffected however. Three of their members, in addition to Rhesus were killed in the battle. Melpomene, Clio and Solon were those that fell in the battle.
Roy was cremated and his ashes and some blood was mixed into the concrete used to form the Cloaked Gravestone. In the burial pit, Belkino used an animal charm to aid in containing any potential spirit that remained. He also created a spirit jar, to aid in entrapment should a spirit attempt to reform after burial.
The group believed him dead and his spirit either destroyed or bound. They were very wrong.
Olympia called together the members of the 9 to answer questions for the SAVE envoys. As a result of these interviews, the source of Rhesus’ knowledge was revealed to be a black wrinkled leather-bound book. That book was a complete copy of the Galdrabok, which included the incantations and rituals used to bind a human or spirit to a powerful Outsider or Old One.
The book was located in their library. Liberty attempted to perform a Read Object on the book but was temporarily possessed by some force, and forced to speak in a strange unidentifiable language. She was stunned and unable to gather any information on the book. Upon inspection, Father Fletcher realized that he recognized the book. He hesitantly opened it to verify that it was complete. The immediate smell of sulfur and the strange undecipherable, yet understandable writings within were confirmation enough.
A side effect of his close contact to the book, Fletcher found himself compelled to keep the book. He was able to resist this urge with the assistance of the other nearby envoys.
Further interviews revealed that Rhesus (Roy) had acquired the book from the Ars Medievalis. It was rapidly decided that the book should be returned to the Ars Medievalis library as soon as possible.
Act 26: Mob Mentality
The Envoys and the surviving members of the 9 piled into the Murta Van with Oliver behind the wheel. With instruction from Ferard and Lodewijk, who had already visited the museum, the group set out to return the book. Before departing, Gerard had used a Tranquilizer on Father Fletcher, and Oliver had zipped him into a body bag to prevent any possible interference with returning the item.
Luca Garige had also joined the group when he had detected trouble with liberty’s attempted reading of the book. he had learned of her problem because she had been wearing the Thanatoic Pendant, he had given her weeks earlier.
Now packed into the van, the group started across Rome towards their destination.
The book, however, was not determined to sit idly by and allow itself to be transported back to the library. Using some sort of influence, it began to attempt to slow or stop the vehicles progress. It began to influence the passersby on the street. Under this influence, these innocents attempted to block the travel of the vehicle by jumping into it’s path.
When Oliver’s driving skills proved effective in avoiding these attempts, the book reached out and began to affect the drivers in other vehicles. These influenced drivers attempted to ram, crash and impact the Murta, in an attempt to prevent the group from reaching the Library.
Oliver managed to avoid most of these, but when the Van approached a busy piazza, his extraordinary luck finally ran out.
Act 27: The Piazza
A large group of children crowded into the street in an attempt to block the van’s progress. Oliver attempted to avoid them, and just managed to do so. He, however lost control of the vehicle, sending it crashing to one of the iconic fountains of Rome.
The front of the van was stuck in the basin, and the Book, seizing the initiative used all of it’s power to influence the surrounding crowds and nearby people. The books power managed to affect Gerard, Oliver and Lodewijk, as well as a large crowd and Adolis of the 9.
Fearing that the book might be seized by the crowd, Tomas attempted to spirit the book away, through the encroaching crowd and make his way to the Library. however, lodewijk and he became engaged in a brawl, preventing this course of action from taking place.
Sven rushed to assist, although he was unclear who was and was not under the influence of the book at this stage. Gerard, Oliver, Sven, Lodewijk and Tomas ended up on a general fight, In which Tomas, Gerard and Lodewijk were subdued. Those under the influence of the book were shown to possess a strikingly different aura when seen through the Thanotic Pendant. This fact, allowed liberty to guide the uninfluenced envoys and members of the 9, to overcome their afflicted companions.
Luca used his thaumaturgy to slow and hinder anyone attempting to reach the book, before this information was discovered. Adonis and Oliver became entangled in a conflict over possession of the book, but this conflict ended once the books influence ended.
This end of influence seemed to be a result of the book becoming fatigued, perhaps expending too much power to maintain it’s influence over so many people simultaneously.
The group tended to their injured, restoring those subdued to an ambulatory status. With their group mobile again, they decided to rapidly make their way through the streets of Rome, to reach the Ars Medievalis.
Act 28: Return to the Ars Medievalis
The group reached the Medieval library, where they turned the book over to the Ars Medievalis Librarian, who immediately placed it upon the shelf. restored to it’s position, the books ability to cause the Librarian to have a faulty memory seemed to be reversed.
A quick explanation of the situation with Roy, prompted the librarian to collect another book. From that book, he transcribed a Spell of Dissolution. When this spell was performed, he warned, Roy’s spirit would appear and attempt to destroy the conjurors.
They would be forced to fight him off until the person performing the ritual was finished, only then could Roy be destroyed and the link to the powerful entity severed.
With the spell and ingredients in hand, the group decided to return to the club house to discuss how they should proceed. They knew only that they would be performing the ritual in the basement of the 9’s headquarters, the same location that the binding between Roy and his mysterious Entity had been performed.
Act 29: Final Preparations
With the list of needed ingredients in hand, the Envoys from the Vatican City SAVE Office, decided that it would be easiest to divide up the task of collecting the needed materials between them.
With each member assigned a specific set of things to collect, they group separated and began the collection process. Of the items, the two most difficult were the, Breath of True Love’s Sigh and the Water from the Bottom of the Ocean.
Oliver was assigned to the acquisition of the Breath, and in order to best collect it, he turned to his fiance, Elsa Mannhoff as the source. knowing that she had been searching for him for the last two years, made her an excellent candidate. Oliver used his understanding of here personality, and brought her to their new apartment, now shared. There using a very passionate kiss, he managed to extract the sigh, and capture it in a crystal decanter provided by Father Fletcher.
For the Water, Sven, Gerard and Lodewijk trade to Ostia, a port city only 45 minutes from Rome. There, they rented a small fishing vessel, and Sven dove to the 50-foot deep ocean bottom, where he captured the water in a special German drinking mug.
With these two most difficult to acquire components out of the way, all the items were gathered together in anticipation of the upcoming ritual.
While the collection of these items was underway, Agostino reviewed the ritual and made certain he was ready and able to preform it. As the ritual would be most potent at midnight, it was decided to perform it then, in the basement of the Sanctuary of The 9.
Act 30: Sanctum of the 9, The Ritual
Arriving at the location, the envoys from the Vatican City SAVE Office, joined forces with the remaining members of The 9. It was decided that since Erato was the only other thaumaturgist with ritual knowledge available, she would act as a backup to Agostino’s ritual casting, should it be necessary.
Lodewijk used his Sonitus discipline Soothing Refrain to aid the group from running in fear as they faced the full might of Roy’s spirit. To this, Belkino used an Aegis Salve to help resist domination attacks, Asia provided several Wings of Grace to aid in shifting fortunes during the battle, and Ivaro provided Bracelets of Ghostly Essence to grant temporary immunity to incorporeal attacks made against the wearer.
Prepared, the combined group made their way into the basement sanctum, where the circle of power awaited them. Liberty transcribed the incantations and sacred symbols of the circle, while Agostino made ready to undertake the ritual. All of the other members of the group prepared themselves to meet the coming threat and to protect the ritualistic to the best of their ability.
Act 31: Spell of Dissolution
With everything in order, Agostino began the ritual.
Within moments, Roy appeared and summoned 6 spirits into the sanctum. He immediately sent the spirits to interrupt the ritual, but they were intercepted by the combined forces arrayed against him. As the battle began, it became apparent that the normal means of dealing with the spirits was going to be ineffective. Father Fletcher discovered that Holy Water was an effective weapon against the spirits. As a result the others all doused their weapons in holy water. This began to turn the tide of the battle in their favor.
With Roy’s arrival, Lodewijk used his Sonitus discipline Sentinel’s Song to assist his fellow envoys in avoiding harm.
Within a few minutes, the group had managed to destroy two of the summoned spirits. So far, Roy had remained unengaged, but seeing that the ritual was soon to be completed, he unleashed one of his more dangerous attacks. Using his Blood Maelstrom, a variation of the blood manifestation, he caused a torrential downpour of blood-like ectoplasm to fall through the chamber.
This blood was dangerous, as those previously exposed to it would suffer necrotic injuries or death if they made contact with it. The group watched as Asia was dissolved in a gurgling scream of agony as she was inundated. The others all managed to break their Bracelets, making them immune from the maelstrom for it’s duration. In this manner, the others were saved from destruction or injury.
It was at this time that Agostino completed the ritual. Almost immediately the mambas of the group closed on Roy, attempting to destroy his now semi-solid form with the holy water doused weapons.
But victory was not destined to be had just yet. Roy recalled the remaining 4 spirits and using his Consume Spirit ability, enhanced his own power, resistance and abilities. While this did not make him immune to the attacks, it did grant him better longevity under the immense onslaught brought upon him by his enemies.
As the battle progressed, Roy turned to other attacks to help him in his struggle. He targeted Oliver with his Dark Seed attack, hoping to turn his formidable strength against his allies. The compulsion failed, however, most likely due to the Aegis Salve, worn by Oliver during the battle.
The next attack came in the form of Depression. This psychic attack caused Father Fletcher to knock himself unconscious as he struggled with suicidal thoughts. He began to strike himself in the head with a metal flask until he lost consciousness. Gerard, stabbed himself in the arm, also moved to a temporary feeling of self loathing. Erato plunged a ritual dagger into he thigh, almost ending her life.
For some, the Wing of Grace, prevented their emotional collapse into depression.
Weakened, Roy was beginning to get desperate. He used his Deepest Chill ability, plunging the room into unimaginable cold. This sudden cold snap caused frostbite on the exposed flesh of many of his enemies. The bitter cold slowed their movement and ability to act, and began to sap their stamina.
Despite this, however, the group continued to whittle away at the spirit, until he became desperate.
Near destruction, Roy used the last of his power to attempt to destroy as many of his enemies as possible at the moment of his downfall. At the moment of his demise, he activated his Chill ability. One of the most powerful attacks known, this ability can normally mangle an opponent for life, forcing their body to contort and shift into grotesque shells of their former selves.
The group, however all managed to somehow avoid this terrible fate. Perhaps Roy was too weak to fully power the attack, or perhaps they were just lucky.
This final desperate act marked the end of Alec Sahib Roy and permanently dispelled the link between him and the unknown entity to which he was tethered.
Act 32: The Aftermath
Plagued by Necrotic wounds brought about by the Deepest Chill attack against them, the group decided to seek out the Ars Medievalis Librarian located in the Ars Medievalis to determine if he had a possible solution for the persistent injury.
Upon arrival, they inquired and were told that the best way to handle the issue was to undertake a cleansing. this cleansing was specific to each person, and would be dictated by their faith or beliefs.
Armed with this information, the group separated to each conduct their personal cleansing.
Additionally, once the cleansing was finished, Sven purchased one of the 13 Roman Denarii coins from the reign of Constantine. The money was provided to the Widow Respighi. this allowed her to make it through the difficult financial problems plaguing her estate. She was also able to devote the time to completing her husband’s great unfinished work, Lucretia, which was dedicated to “ those Angels of Mercy, watching over me in my hours of greatest need. “
Oliver and his fiance were now living together in the new apartment, and it is yet to bee seen what the effect of that relationship will become.