SAVE Rome

When in Rome
1936 Season 1, Episode 7

Act 1: Beware the Ides of March

Several days after the completion of their last case, the members of the Vatican City SAVE Office find themselves back to a somewhat normal day. It was march 15, 1936- The Ides of March.

A national Holiday, Il Duce’s recognized birthday, has allowed Liberty to take the day off, allowing her a bit of much needed leisure. With classes closed for the day Oliver and Lodewijk also have an uncomplicated day. Oliver spends his morning in one of the many gardens on the Vatican Grounds, While Lodewijk manages to make himself a delightful breakfast free from bother. Gerard, having purchased a trained falcon, traveled outside the city to become more familiar with his newly acquired feathered friend. Sven found himself at the Grace and Mercy Hospital, where his wife, Brigit Thofelt had just been released from care. Agostino worked in his lab, Father Fletcher conducted mass, and only Tomas was working at the office.

But little did they all know that this seemingly innocent day would transform into a dangerous and somewhat complicated start of an investigation into a missing American tourist family.

Act 2: The Raving Sister

Tomas, at the office, was assigned by the captain to handle a woman who claimed to be the sister of a missing American tourist. The woman, Sandra Westmoreland, was an American divorcee who had traveled to Rome after her sister and her sister’s family had mysteriously disappeared. The woman claimed that they had disappeared while touring the Vatican and claimed she had proof. She had been harassing the Papal guard for the last four days into finding her sister and had been reassured that a thorough search had been conducted on the grounds of the Vatican and that no missing woman, her family or their bodies had been found. With no evidence, and with claims from the woman bordering n conspiracy, the papal guard dismissed her claims. finally fed up with the constant irritation the woman caused, Captain Antorinno Descortes asked Tomas to speak with her, conduct a very basic investigation and assuage any concerns she had. While a thankless task, the captain hoped that Tomas’ rank as detective would be enough to dissuade the woman from continuing to badger the Papal guard.

Tomas interviewed to woman, gathering a few details, a very flimsy proof that the woman may, in fact missing, and acquired a photo of the woman. Her name was given as Doreen Stone. She was reported to be traveling with her husband David Stone and their son Inoch Stone. They were supposed by the concerned sister to have disappeared during a tour of St. Peter’s Basilica. The tour was conducted by Davio Torento.

After the interview, one of the Papal guard advised Tomas that a raving mad American woman was taken into custody after screaming about “killing her husband.” This woman could not be calmed and a detailed search was conducted with no evidence of foul play discovered. The woman had claimed to be in the catacombs beneath Saint Peter’s, which could not be substantiated.

With her mental state in question, the woman was transported to the Grace and Mercy Hospital Psychiatric ward for evaluation. The woman’s identity could not be determined, as she had no identification, nor was able to give her name when asked due to her ravings.

Thinking that perhaps there may actually be something happening, Tomas determined to look into it. He traveled to the Vatican archives where he spoke to one of the arresting guardsmen, and then even more concerned traveled to the Library of Esoteric Studies to find someone to accompany him to the hospital in case there was a supernatural threat.

Act 3: Grace and Mercy Hospital

Tomas and Lodewijk traveled to the hospital for the purpose of determining the identity of the woman sent there from the Vatican. on the way, they encountered Sven and Brigit Thofelt, who were just leaving the hospital after Brigit’s release.

Concerned that there may be a possible case, Sven, joined his fellow Envoys, and Brigit, enticed by the possibility of participating in a police investigation, proved to be helpful in making connections to key staff at the hospital, and allowing the group to gain access to restricted areas.

The group discovered that the mysterious woman had effected “self-release” from the hospital only two days before. She had apparently shattered her room window and jumped three floors to the ground below and escaped on foot. This behaviors was difficult to believe that it could be accomplished by a normal woman, further making the envoys suspicious of the situation.

With Brigit’s help the group met the mystery woman’s psychiatrist. Brigit managed to get a copy of the file from him and Tomas finally revealed the woman’s name to the Hospital as Doreen Stone.

The four determined to go to the Library to “discuss the case”, although initially Brigit was not supposed to be involved in the investigation.

Act 4: Joining SAVE

On the drive back to the library, Brigit began to question Sven about his involvement with SAVE. Explaining that she was attacked by a “deformed hunchback man, that growled” in an alley on the way home from Oliver’s apartment. She also explained that there was another man there, directing the attack. That man told her that the reason she was being hurt was “because your husband took something that belongs to me and refused to return it.” She was also told that it was “Sven’s association with SAVE” that was “the cause of her pain and that she should ask him about SAVE.”

Brigit used the opportunity in the car to question her husband about SAVE and the attack, and despite his attempts to keep the information secret, his wife realized that her husband was lying. She demanded that she be allowed to join, despite not knowing exactly what it was she was joining. Having technically met the criteria for membership, Sven agreed to put it before the group.

Upon their arrival at the club, a brief discussion was had and father Fletcher agreed that she technically qualified for membership and reluctantly agreed to make her a member of the Vatican City Office.

Act 5: Starting the Investigation

In agreement that there was an investigation possibility with the disappearance, the group determined to split into teams and attempt to gather additional information. Lodewijk and Tomas would return to the Hospital to take possession of a locket that belonged to Doreen Stone that had been located by the nurse there. Father Fletcher would speak to Father Stefan Morale, who was responsible for the maintenance of the crypts beneath the Vatican to see if there had been anything out of the ordinary. Gerard, Liberty and Brigit would visit Sandra Westmoreland at the Hotel Gambrinus in an attempt to gather additional information on the Stones. Oliver and Sven would meet with the Tour guide Davio Torento to determine involvement. Agostino would look into the history of the crypts to see of there was anything unusual there. pouring over old maps and overseeing a list of those buried under Saint Peter’s.

Act 6: The Interview

The interview with Sandra at the hotel was of questionable value. The group learned that her “timeline” of events didn’t quite add up, leading Brigit to postulate that she was the mistress to Mister Stone. Brigit managed to acquire a copy of the room’s phone calls and expenses, which proved less useful than desired. A pair of opera Tickets and a traveler’s check were also acquired, but led to no additional information.

However, some information was confirmed, and the suspected moment of disappearance was determined in the discussion. In the end, the interview raised more questions than it answered.

Act 7: The Missing Mother

As Tomas and Lodewijk were collecting the newly located locket that had belonged to Doreen Stone from the hospital, Lodewijk suddenly perked up and began walking down a hallway towards a room in the psychiatric ward,

The door to the room was open and a woman sat on the bed there singing a dutch lullaby. This is the same lullaby that Lodewijk’s mother sang to him as a child.

Lodewijk, aware that the lullaby was unique to his family, instinctively understood that the woman somehow was connected to him, but was amazed to find that she was in fact, his mother, presumed dead. Heidi Van Der Hoof had been in the hospital there in Rome for nearly a year. According to the doctors there, she suffered from acute amnesia. She had been found washed up on a beach, unable to recall any details of her past. With the hospital in Rome possessing the world’s leading experts in amnesia, she had been sent there for study and help.

The only thing she seemed to remember from her prior life was the lullaby that she kept singing. Lodewijk happened to hear the song and curious to its origins had discovered his mother there.

Though she did not remember him or anything about her family, or life prior to being found, Lodewijk was certain that she was, in fact his mother. He left her at the hospital, determined to acquire a proper home to bring her home and aid her in recovering her memories.

Act 8: Arranging the Tour

Meanwhile, Sven and Oliver arrived at the tourism office in the Vatican and were determined to talk with the tour guide. However, discovering that he was on his last tour of the day, Sven decided to book a “private” tour for the group by making a significant contribution to the Art Conservation fund at the Vatican. A tour was arranged at 6:00 pm that afternoon.

Act 9: The Tour and Attack

The entire office attended the tour. The tour guide retraced the route that he took every single tour, highlighting all the same areas and providing the same information. The normal tour ended and the special tour began.

This additional stop turned out to be the holy father’s private garden. The guide had managed to arrange it so that the group was able to see a portion of the Garden normally off-limits to the public. After a very brief and incomplete history and description of the garden, the group was encouraged to enjoy the garden for themselves.

Their enjoyment was short lived however, when a group of three individuals appeared at one f the gates. The center most individual directed the group to turn over the woman, pointing at liberty, and they would be unharmed. He then ordered his two associates to “bring the woman unharmed and kill the others.”

This began a desperate conflict, as these individuals raised Thompson .45 caliber Sub-machine guns and opened fire on the group. Agostino was hit in the opening burst, but was not killed. Return fire led to the discovery that the gun wielding individuals were, in fact, Flesh Constructs.

As the Envoys reacted, additional Flesh constructs arrived, bringing the total to eight. Bullets and swords seemed to do minimal damage to the creatures. Attempted to attack the leader proved fruitless as he was protected by some sort of ballistic shield similar to a protective sphere. Unable to pursue him, the group was forced to fight for their lives against the constructs.

Davio, the tour guide, angered by the garden’s defamation tacked one of the gunmen, although he did not understand tat the time that the creatures were not human.

Sven utilized his feat of Strength to slam the constructs into the stone wall surrounding the garden, destroying them. Lodewijk quickly realized that his powerful boxing strikes were also effective weapons against the constructs.

Father Fletcher used a Protective Shield to protect members of the group from incoming bullets, keeping the injuries down, while members of the group were able to return fire against the constructs with minimal effectiveness.

Lodewijk discovered that one of the constructs bore a dynamite explosive charge in its torso. The device exploded, knocking both Sven and Lodewijk down, but dealing minimal damage thanks to chance. Davio was knocked out by the concussion, but otherwise was unharmed.

Oliver rushed into combat using his talons, ripping the leg from one of the remaining constructs. In a moment of terrible revelation, the creature reached up to it’s face, previously hidden by it’s ragged cloak to reveal to grenade pins in its eye sockets. It pulled both pins, and exploded. The remaining constructs repeated the acts, devastating a portion of the garden even further. The Envoys, however were protected by Fletcher’s shield against debris and damage.

Shaken, the group returned to the Library to mull over this new discovery and to plan.

Act 10: Attack at the Library

Later that night, Lodewijk Oliver, Gerard, Agostino, and Liberty stayed at the Library. With concerns that the cult may make another attempt to grab Liberty, those members remained at the Library in case it happened.

Their concerns were well founded, as Liberty and Oliver, heard the sound of breaking glass from upstairs. concerned that something had broken into the library, they followed the sound upstairs to Agostino’s room, where they found a strange woman standing over a sleeping Agostino. The apparent course of the breaking glass was a broken glass water pitcher knocked from the bedside table.

Uncertain exactly what was happening, Oliver and Liberty ushered the woman out of the room and down stairs. A few oddly answered questions led liberty to head upstairs to awaken Lodewijk, Agostino and Gerard in case there were difficulties with the woman.

Things weren’t simple, however. The woman now revealed herself to be the missing Doreen Stone. furthermore, it was determined that she was not exactly as she appeared. Using some unidentified Evil Way ability, she created a willpower siphon between herself and Oliver.

Even as Liberty was arousing the other two members of the group, Doreen was draining Oliver’s willpower to the point that he fell into a deep sleep. As the other emerged onto the upstairs level, it became immediately apparent that something was terribly wrong.

Seizing the initiative, Doreen grabbed up Oliver with ease and threw him upstairs, slamming him into Lodewijk. Gerard responded rapidly, using his dart gun to fire at her. She watched the drugged dart directly from the air, displaying not only extreme strength, but also exceptional agility.

She then left up on to the upper landing where she threatened to grab Liberty. Liberty recoiled, and in a moment of desperation used her Psychic Sphere to assist in neutralizing the woman abilities.

Unexpectedly, Doreen’s appearance transformed into a Shimian Gorefiend. Lodewijk attacked her with a sonic attack, raising her ire. the creature’s horrible appearance temporarily struck fear into Gerard, who temporarily retreated to the end of the landing, as far as possible from the creature.

The creature grabbed Lodewijk and threw him across the library, causing him significant injury. Agostino, however drove his sword through the creature’s torso.

The creature recoiled in agony, grabbed the sword and threw it at it’s attacker. Agostino dodged the blade, which buried itself to the hilt in the stone wall of the library.

Liberty meanwhile retreated downstairs where she yelled for Luca. The guardian had been awakened by the noise upstairs and was just exiting his room when liberty advised him of the situation. Grabbing his crossbow, he directed her to hide in this chambers inside his circle of power, while he went to confront the creature.

He emerged from the downstairs to take in the scene. There he saw a woman, fighting the envoys with little difficulty. The creature has reassumed the appearance of Doreen Stone once Liberty’s interfering Psychic Sphere was not longer in play.

Using his crossbow, Luca fired two bolts into the creature. these dealt enough damage to destroy it. The creature lost it’s illusionary appearance and dissolved into a pile of ash.

Luca immediately knew what creature they were dealing with.

Inspection of the ash pile revealed the presence of a charm which had allowed the creature to gain access to the library past the wards. this concerned Luca considerably.

Act 11: The Bug Hunt

Luca administered his Convalescent Tea Blend to everyone who had been involved in the attack at the library and went on vigil to maintain a protected watch of the building as the envoys recovered.

The following morning, when all the remaining members of the office had returned, a discussion and plan of action was put together to handle the creature once and for all.

With Luca’s knowledge of the creature, the materials needed to put an end to the creatures. He gave the envoys the information on how to locate and destroy the Shimian’s skulls and by extension the Shimian itself. Knowing that the creature was most likely hiding in the crypts beneath the city, the group decided to begin their hunt there. Knowing that the crypts were labyrinthine, and that the group would require light, a plan was put together that would allow Oliver to lead the group and still take advantage of his excellent night vision.

Act 12: Into the Crypts

When night fell, the group made their way secretly to the locked gate leading into the crypt beneath Saint Peter’s Basilica. Father Fletcher used Oliver’s crowbar to snap the lock on the chain and the group made their way into the crypt.

The group had been in the crypt for nearly an hour, when a partial collapse of a portion of the floor separated Oliver from the remainder of the group. He found himself alone and the group was unable to climb down to reach him.

Seeing that there were two entryways into the room that Oliver had fallen into, the remainder of the group decided to split into two teams to make their way down to the room that Oliver had fallen into.

Oliver, however, did not stay put for long. After the remainder of the group had moved on, searching for a path down to him, Oliver heard something close by. Curious to get to the bottom of the situation, he moved towards the sound.

Act 13: Reunion

What he found was not what was expected. in a nearby area, he discovered a full-blown archeological dig taking place within the deeper levels of the crypts deep beneath the Vatican. The dig was under the administration of an old colleague, Josef Vestand.

The two met briefly where Oliver discovered that Josef was searching for an artifact known as the Gralis Eternatus, an item that was of significant interest to Cyprus Archer. It seemed to be the same artifact that Archer had attempted to hire Oliver to recover for him prior.

Josef had, oddly enough, found a very recent looking skull during his work. This skull was one of those in use by the Shimian Gorefiend. He also stated that he had seen two other, similar skulls. With a few short questions, Josef told Oliver where they could be located.

Satisfied, Oliver returned to the room where he had fallen through the ceiling and awaited the other Envoys.

Act 14: Recovering the Skulls

The other envoys finally reached Oliver’s location without any difficulty. The group then, using Oliver’s newfound information, began to collect the remaining skulls. The group located a second skull without difficulty. The third was located, placed upon what appeared to be an altar of some sort.

Act 15: The Final Skull

The Third Skull was located in a chamber that appeared to be placed upon an altar. The entry to the room was warded with Electrical Sigils. Luca removed his shirt and using his thaumaturgy, he disabled the Sigils by completely absorbing their discharge.

As the group moved into the chamber to grab the skull, the Cultist of Leinth, previously encountered, appeared and released the remaining Flesh Constructs against the group.

A general battle ensued, the Cultist retreating to a smaller adjacent room to remain safe from attack. As the group combatted the Flesh Constructs, the Shimian appeared and attacked the group as well. Now fighting on two fronts, the Envoys found themselves in a desperate struggle for survival.

The Shimian was defeated, but soon reappeared as healthy and vicious as ever. One of the Flesh constructs was armed with an explosive, which, although it detonated, seemed ineffective against the Envoys.

A Second Shimian appeared now, drawn by the apparent danger to it’s existence. As things became more critical for the envoys, this additional combatant joining seemed to be almost more than could be endured.

However, the tide turned, and the last of the Flesh constructs were defeated. The Cultist, an accomplished thaumaturge, joined the fight, continuing to press the Envoys as they were forced to split their efforts between the Shimians and his own attacks.

Act 16: Resolution

Desperate, the Envoys redoubled their efforts, and managed to defeat the Shimians, leaving them available to turn their attentions towards the cultist. He was quickly dispatched, but not before he was able to level his Death Curse.

Those close to you will die a terrible death, and you will all die alone and in agony.

With the Thaumaturge defeated, the Envoys turned their attentions to destroying the Shimian skulls.Even though the Shimians reappeared to attempt to defend their skulls, the group was ready for them and they were handily defeated. The Two shamans were destroyed and the city saved once again from creatures of the unknown.

1936 Season 1, Index

View
Sorrow Point
1936 Season 1, Episode 6

Act 1: Sorrowful Sunday

In the early morning hours of March 8th, 1936, the envoys of the Vatican City SAVE Office were going about their day-to-day activities without many worries to occupy their thoughts.

Oliver Merbach was undertaking his regular rounds as an ambulance driver, when he received a dispatch call from the central Coroner’s office. Dispatched to a crime scene, he arrived to find that a unidentified woman had been brutally murdered.

He met with Detective Davio Solente at the scene and was told that there were at least two other murders that had been committed using the same profile. In this case, the woman had been killed in her bathroom. The apartment that she had been found in was utterly destroyed. The furniture was overturned and broken. There were knives stabbed to the hilts into the walls, sections of wall stove inwards, and all glass items, except for the windows in the rooms shattered.

In the bathroom, the woman had been severely beaten. There were indications of both blunt force trauma and stab wounds, including an exceptionally large number of defensive wounds. Her face and spine were shattered, and were the most likely cause of death. After her death, the murdered eviscerated the victim’s lower abdominal cavity. it removed her kidneys, intestines, uterus, appendix, liver, spleen and bladder, arranging them between her splayed legs, which were dislocated at the hips to create a broader crescent between them.

A crowbar that was seemingly cut in half was apparently located on the scene, and Oliver overheard some details about it that led him to believe that it may be his crowbar. This belief was compounded by the fact that one of the mentioned features was the seeming presence of a fingered grip made into a steel. This was a feature that was, as best can be determined, unique to the crowbar that he owned. This made Oliver wonder whether he was somehow, although unknowingly, involved.

After picking up the body, Oliver then transported it to the Morgue, where he discovered that a new member of the ME’s staff was working. The man introduced himself as Viktor Franken. Almost immediately Oliver was on alert, being aware that the Story popularized by Mary Shelley was, in fact based on very real case work undertaken by SAVE Envoys. With this information and the detail that Doctor Franken seemed to be overly p protective of a very old looking leather bound journal, made Oliver seriously consider whether this man might be following in the footsteps of his somewhat infamous ancestor.

Oliver managed to confirm with the doctor that there were two other victims handled by the morgue on each of the two prior days with a similar pattern of murder committed upon them. Armed with this information, Oliver Made his way to the clubhouse to advise Father Fletcher of his discovery, already convinced by the scene of the crime that they may be dealing with something unnatutal.

Meanwhile, Agostino, Tomas and Liberty were attending mass at Saint Peter’s early that morning. At the point where the congregation arose to take the Holy Sacrament, both Liberty and Agostino declined to take the sacrament. As they were waiting patiently for the service to end, a Strangely dressed man seated himself next to Agostino.

The man did not introduce himself but gave indication that he knew or at least knew of Agostino’s past. He referred to his position as cardinal, his apparent extreme age, and knew his name. Likewise, he knew Liberty’s identity. The man invited Agostino, and Liberty as a +1, to a private party, indicating that there would be food, drink and a massive orgy. He provided the address to the party and then departed as mysteriously as he appeared. This man was Amias Regalis, and his exact intentions remain unknown.

Immediately after Sacrament, Tomas was called outside by Captain Antorinno Descortes and advised of a brutal murder of a Benedictine Nun, sister Teodora Quaranta. The captain explained that the sister was murdered in her private cell on Friday Night, and that despite a number of witnesses blocking the only exit, no perpetrator was seen or captured. As the cell was in the basement, offered no other means of escape and was completely devastated, members of the convent suspected demonic forces were at work.

The captain suggested to Tomas, that he employ Father Fletcher to assist with the investigation, since he was a Church recognized expert on Demonic Possession and forces. Tomas agreed to undertake the particular investigation, and the captain left the mystery in the Detective’s capable hands.

Act 2: Beginning the Investigation

Not surprisingly, Father Fletcher had already heard some rumors concerning the bizarre and seemingly impossible murder and took the time to advise Gerard Filippani and Lodewijk Van Beers of the mystery, suggesting that they may have a possible investigation upcoming if the rumors he had heard might be true.

Tomas Gessner, meanwhile had informed Agostino Selletti and Liberty Rothe about the situation, believing it likely that this was going to be an investigation that also fell under the pervue of SAVE.

Oliver having acquired a copy of a copy of the Gionali Italiani newspaper dated from the 6th of March detailing the Nun’s brutal murder in unusual language. Intrigued, and uncertain why he had not heard about the other murders confirmed by the new Coroner, Oliver decided to collect the previous week’s news issues. He was surprised to see that no other papers carried the story of the three known murders, except for the Gionali Italiani. He collected those three issues, each detailing a different brutal attack, and continued on his way to the Esoteric Library.

Upon his arrival, the group began to discuss the seemingly supernatural aspects of the investigation. It was now apparent that there were three confirmed murders, definitely related, and another that may or may not be related, save for the brutality of the situation.

Act 3: Nun in State

After discussing the situation, Tomas, Fletcher and Oliver decided to head to the Vatican City Morgue, to inspect the body of the deceased Nun. While they were there, Oliver and Gerard would return to the Rome Municipal Morgue and see if they could get the identities and addresses of the other two known murder victims.

Once they received that information, they would confer it to Agostino and Lodewijk, who would visit the sites to see what information could be found there.

Liberty would accompany Father Fletcher and Tomas to the Convent building to investigate the scene of the crime after they had inspected the body.

Upon arriving at the morgue, Tomas gained the Envoys access to the body. There they inspected the nude body of the nun, noting the incredible number of painful but non-lethal injuries she had suffered. A sister of the benedictine Order, sent to insure the dignity of the dead sister, was difficult to deal with, but was eventually removed from the morgue by Father Fletcher. After her removal, a strange black mucus like discharge was found. Additionally a series of bulbous cysts were found on her terribly swollen tongue. Fearful of some contagion. Oliver used a pair of his medical gloves to capture a sample of both the discharge and the contents of one of the cysts. These samples were taken to Gerard for testing and possible identifiaction.

Act 4: The Samples

Gerard undertook a series of chemical and biological tests on the samples recovered from the Nun’s dead body. On the strange black discharge, the material was determined to be both chemically and biologically inert. This impossibility led Gerard to conclude that the material was supernatural in origin, possibly originating in the Never-Never.

On the second sample, Gerard was able to confirm that the bacterium was, in fact, Yersinia Pestis a cause of the renown Black Death, specifically that originating from 1048 and responsible for an outbreak in Rome in that year.

Gerard destroyed the sample of the bacterium, and alerted the other SAVE Envoys to the danger. This allowed Father Fletcher to take actions to attempt to quarantine the convent and try to prevent the spread of this deadly and virulent disease.

Act 5: Identifying the other Victims

Oliver and Gerard traveled back to the Municipal Morgue, where they were able to inspect the bodies of the two bodies murdered prior to the murder of the Nun. The two acquired thw addresses of the two earlier victims, and were able to get a better understanding of the brutality involved in their murders.

With a firm connection now established between these two earlier victims, it was even more apparent that the group was, in fact, dealing with something of a supernatural nature.

Act 6:The Apartment and Business

Arriving at the building where the two prior victims, Donata Ricci and Concetta Salomon, were murdered, the group gathered to make a detailed investigation of the scene.

Liberty, Agostino, and Gerard investigated the scene of Concetta’s murder, her laundry Lava e Secco. there they discovered the shattered remains of her business. Heavy machinery was overturned, a number of items broken and scattered around the room. The Laundress was drowned in a large wooded tub, the only of three to survive the assault. Gerard took a sample of the water found in the area with the intention of testing it for any further pathogens.

Other than complete disarray there were no real clues to be had.

Meanwhile upstairs, Oliver, Lodewijk and Tomas met Antonio Basimatti, the neighbor that had attempted to come to the aid of the other murder victim Donata Ricci. They discovered that he was the maintenance man for the building. He helped them gain access to her apartment for inspection. He also gave them access to Concetta’s apartment.

He advised the Envoys that a priest, Father Jamie Hammersmith had been missing for a day or so, since they were looking for anyone that may be missing. And directed them to meet Giulietta da Vinci, a woman known for her herbalist and midwife skills. It was suspected that she was a Cunning Woman.

After investigating the scene of Donata’s murder, no new evidence was forthcoming. The obvious similarity between the murders was in the brutal nature of the attacks and the destruction at the scenes. It was not surprising that the local police were so frustrated by the investigation, as the scenes were so chaotic it made a timeline nearly impossible to establish.

Act 7: The Cunning Woman

With the information provided by Antonio, the group made their way to the apartment of the Cunning Woman, Giulietta da Vinci. She answered the door, asking what sort of business that the Envoys desired. Once it was established that they were not there for her services, she invited them inside and readily answered their questions.

She indicated that she did not know of any other women missing form the building. Oliver felt that since two of the murder victims were from the same building, it was likely that the fourth victim, the body pick up made earlier that morning may be a woman also from this building. However, Giulietta was unaware of any other missing women.

She did mention, however that the priest that lived across the hall , Father Hammersmith, had not returned home last night. She was of a habit of observing his movements because she found him handsome although out of reach.

She told the Envoys that the father was attempting to study, “some sort of witch book” at the Vatican. This immediately made a connection to the dead Nun, who worked in Document control. Giulietta also mentioned that a few days prior, Hammersmith had visited an old crematorium, the Crematorio Punta di Tristezza , or Sorrow Point Crematorium . She told the group that ha had been sick and suffered from nightmares and fever after his return from that place. She had given him herbs and medicines to nurse him back to health.

Act 8: The Priest’s Apartment

Pith_Sketch_1.jpg

Oliver and the others decided that it was in the best interest of the investigation to inspect the apartment in which the priest resided. Oliver jimmied the door and the group was immediately greeted with a display of ranting and half drawn images on every available surface. Although the words and symbols were incomprehensible, it was exceptionally apparent that the Priest was in some way affected by something powerful and violent. When the investigators took into account the raving son the walls and ceiling, the fever and nightmares he suffered and the brutal attacks on people he was connected with, it was hard to believe that the priest was in some way not involved, willingly or otherwise in the events that had transpired over the course of the last few days.

Pith_Sketch_2.jpg
In the apartment was located a journal. In that Journal were a series of drawing, which the envoys believed represented the creature or creatures that they may be dealing with.

These images were violent looking creatures, perhaps wraith-like in appearance. They seemed somewhat ephemeral, although obviously dangerous in their appearance. Because of the frequency of the drawings, there was little doubt that the group was dealing with a very terrible creature that had somehow influenced or manipulated the priest into direct or indirect actions resulting in the murders.

Act 9: The Confessional

Pith_Painting.jpg
While the majority of the envoys had gone to investigate the apartment building. Father Fletcher had been summoned by Father Gavino Sabbadin, a confessor at the Vatican.

Fletcher was told that Sabbadin had taken the confession for Father Hammersmith, and had become exceptionally disturbed by the words that the confessor had spoken to him. When the afflicted priest became violent, attempting to rip through the confessional screen to attack Father Sabbadin, the papal Police were summoned.

Hammersmith was arrested, and upon inspection of the confessional booth, a strange painting, rendered in blood and black grease pencil was discovered. Fearful, the Papal guard had the hapless priest transferred to the Castel Sant Angelo, a prison for supernatural entities held by the church.

Father Fletcher was summoned because of his expertise. He had the confessional brought to the Library of Esoteric Studies where it could be studied and kept secured against potential supernatural influences.

When the Envoys at the apartments called the Library to inform Father Fletcher of the Hammersmith discovery, he advised them that the priest had been arrested.

The group reconvened at the library, determined to plan their next step of the investigation. They still needed to identify the creature responsible, determine how to destroy it and hopefully save Father Hammersmith in the process. Additionally, they wanted to prevent any further attacks against women that may be forthcoming as a result of the creature’s influence.

They realized that they still needed to investigate the newspaper, hopefully leading to the identity of the mystery author of the new articles detailing the murders, investiogate the copy of the Malleus Maleficarum that hammersmith and Sister Teodora were both connected with, visit the Crematorio Punta di Tristezza and hopefully make a visit to the Castel Sant Angelo to meet with The Warden in an attempt to gather additional information and perhaps interview father Hammersmith directly.

It was very much likely that Father Hammersmith was the connection between the four murders that had occurred, although why these particular victims were chosen is still unclear.

With much to do, the Envoys began to feel the pressure associated with a difficult investigation limited by time.

Act 10: Divide and Conquer

Upon Gathering at the club house, the Envoys decided to make another attempt to contact Sven, who was believed to still be attending to his injured wife at the hospital.

Liberty was able to make contact with him, and after a brief conversation Sven agreed to join the group to assist with their investigation. Knowing that whatever force was active was strong, it was believed that Sven could assist in dealing with that strength because of his strength feat discipline.

Once Sven had arrived at the library, and had been brought up to speed, the members discussed their next course of action. It was apparent that there were some significant leads to follow, and it was simply a matter of determining who was best suited for the tasks needed performed.

Act 11: The Malleus Maleficarum

The only connection that the group had between Father Jamie Hammersmith and Sister Teodora Quaranta was a tenous connection with a very old early copy of the Malleus Maleficarum stored in the Vatican Archives.

It had been discovered that father Hammersmith was in Rome in an attempt to prove or disprove that this specific early copy of the book was or was not written by the author to which it was attributed. It was also known that in order to gain access to this book that he had to gain the approval of Sister Quaranta. This was the only connection known between the two.

To follow up on this connection Liberty and Miguel visited the document control office, previously operated by Sister Quaranta. There they referenced the copy and pulled it for inspection. What was discovered, was surprising.

Mallillumination.jpg

The copy of the tome locked in the Vatican Archives appeared to possess illuminated panels which, although disordered, were accurate visual representations of rituals and alchemical processes that were well known to be used by dark cabalists. This made this version of the Tome unique, and may have been the reason that Father Hammersmith desired to inspect it.

After Miguel confirmed the accuracy of the images, Liberty pulled all the request for the viewing of the book. Not surprisingly she was able to uncover that father Hammersmith had made five requests over the last three years, approximately once every six months, to inspect the copy. Sister Quaranta had denied his request. It was no clear that he had traveled to Rome with the hopes of convincing the sister with a face-to-face conversation in an attempt to persuade her.

Liberty also learned that roughly 10-years ago, Father Fletcher had also researched the tome, although it was prior to his ordination as a priest and was likely around the time that he was working on his Masters of Theology.

Armed with this new information, the group returned to the library to await the arrival of the remainder of the group to discuss their discovery.

Act 12: The Gionali Italani Offices

Lodewijk and Sven traveled to the offices of the newspaper, Gionali Italiani, for the purposes of attempting to track down the author of the articles that had appeared in the journal concerning the three brutal murders that they were investigating.

After landing a brief meeting with the Editor in Charge, they managed to acquire the name Altus Diabello. They were told that the man was exceptionally eccentric and that he generally only wrote crime and murder pieces for the paper on occasion. They were also told that the paper had agreed not to edit any of his work. Also it seemed that the readership appreciated the odd writing style that he provided when he did submit articles.

With a little convincing, in the form of 1,000 Lira, the Envoys were provided an address used by Diabello.

Deciding to follow-up on the information they had received, the two, along with Hamm, traveled to the address provided. There they learned that Diabello had rented the entire top floor (4th) of the small boarding house for his use.

Upon entering the building, they quickly were tipped off that the man was eccentric, and the exact scope of that degree of eccentricity was beginning to become apparent.

Directed to the Forth Floor, they ascended the stairs to arrive at a very richly appointed waiting area, where they were asked if they were present to interview for the circus, an easy mistake to make because of Hamm’s presence.

Denying that they were there for that, the two expressed their desire to meet with “His Lordship” on another matter and were shown in to see him.

Eccentric was hardly an accurate description. It seemed that Altus was in the process of firing an entire circus, and re-staffing it fresh for a traveling show to begin in Moscow next spring. His ostentatious dress and appearance, were coupled with an elaborate room that was closer in appearance to the throne room form the palace of Versailles than a parlor room in a boarding house.

That Altus was obviously rich was an understatement. Gold adorned a great deal of the room, and his lordship obviously loved mirrors.

Despite the eccentricity, Lodewijk and Sven were able to finally manage to get him to answer a few questions about the articles. But most importantly they were able to identify Viktor Franken as the point of contact for the writers information.

With this revelation, the two envoys left the meeting, intent on returning to the library and sharing their interesting visit with the remainder of their group.

Act 13: Castel Sant Angelo

The most dangerous of the visits undertaken was to the Castel Sant Angelo, a supernatural prison where Father Hammersmith had been taken after his outburst and violent attack during his confession.

Tomas, Oliver and Gerard undertook this trip with the intention of meeting with Hammersmith in the hopes of gaining some insight into what may be happening to him, or more specifically what may be possessing him.

Their situation really began on the approach to the Castel, when they made their way along the Angel’s Causeway, a long stone bridge flanked by the stone statues of two ArchAngels, Michael and Raphael. Upon reaching an invisible threshold, Oliver became aware that the powers protecting the Castel were observing him with keen interest. The Threshold began well away from the prison building as a whole.

Once inside and on the actual grounds of the Castel, Tomas provided a letter written by father Fletcher to one of the papal Guard, and indicated that they wished to see The Warden.

After a few minutes they were escorted by papal guard to the preparation room. There a single Bordanian Monk observed while they stripped and dressed in approved robes.

Once they had changed they were escorted to see the Warden. The meeting wasn’t exceptionally pleasant, but the purpose for the visit was granted, although at their own risk.

The three Envoys were escorted to an interrogation room and told they would be allowed 3-minutes to speak with the prisoner, Father Hammersmith.

Once the father had been show in, it was very apparent that he was being harassed by a supernatural entity of some sort. While it wasn’t clear, and his answers to questions weren’t always direct, the father for the most part seemed marginally cooperative.

Attempts to illicit the name of the entity possessing or influencing him were unsuccessful, and everything went sideways when Oliver requested to “look behind” the father’s ears. Suddenly the father seemed to enter a state of panic, and called for the door to be opened so he could return to his cell.

Undeterred, Oliver attempted to tackle the Fathers he could forcibly look behind the afflicted man’s ears. This, however did not go as expected. Father Hammersmith, showing incredible alacrity and strength, kicked the nearly 250-pound solid oak table across the room into Oliver’s mid-section.

This immediately escalated into a direct confrontation.

As the father attempted to escape back towards the door, which had just opened because the 3-minutes had expired, Gerard, determined not to allow the father to escape, tripped him up sending him sprawling to the floor.

Enraged, Oliver let onto the prone Father’s back and using his teeth, bit off the Father’s left ear. At this, Father Hammersmith seemed to become empowered and easily stood from a prone position bearing all two-hundred of Oliver’s pounds on his back as he did so.

Not wishing to be dismounted violently, Oliver gabbed on for dear life. It was at this point that Father Hammersmith became fully violent. With little effort, the father reached up and crushed both of Oliver’s hands, breaking eight of his fingers and dislodging him.

Not to be deterred by this show of strength, Gerard, grabbed the father’s arm in a firm two-handed grip. Almost immediately, Gerard felt an intense burning and both his hands ignited in a roar of flames. Releasing his grip, Gerard struggled to extinguish the flames which were rapidly engulfing both hands.

Realizing that things had now escalated into a very dangerous realm, Tomas used his Binding Word Discipline in an attempt to hinder the Father. This immobilized his physical form significantly, but the Father was not finished.

His visage transformed taking on a terrible aspect which through it’s aura struck fear into Oliver who found himself suddenly desirous of escaping the room.

The father’s body flaked away into a swirling mass of Ash, taking on the rough appearance of the images that father Hammersmith had detailed in his personal journal and on the walls of his apartment.

The swirling mass of Ash, flowed across the room, engulfing Tomas, burning his surface skin and eliciting an unintended inhalation. The ash burned its way into his mouth and nostrils, and forced itself down into his lungs. This caused him to sputter and choke.

With Oliver attempting to escape from the room, Gerard incapacitated with his burnt hands and Tomas breathing cinders and ash, it appeared that Father Hammersmith was finally able to regain control of whatever was possessing him.

The father returned to his normal state and with some apologies rushed from the room, ending the encounter.

The group were released from the interrogation room, recovered their personal effects and returned to the Library badly injured.

Act 14: Aftermath

As everyone, except for Father Fletcher, returned to the Library it became very obvious that Lucas medical skills would be needed. Liberty collected him from his laboratory and upon seeing the three envoys, just returned from the Castel, immediately went to work attending to their injuries.

Gerard’s hands were so badly burned that Luca determined that they needed to be immediately amputated. Given a choice between visiting a hospital or having Luca perform the surgery, Gerard selected Luca’s assistance over that of the trained surgeons.

Using leather straps, some medical forceps and a hacksaw, Luca amputated both of Gerard’s hands just below his elbows. despite this, Gerard felt little pain, since Luca had provided him with an Opium pill for pain and a sedative tea to help with anxiety. With both hands removed, Luca then wrapped the stumps with a bandage and applied a soaked medicinal mixture to those cloths to close the wounds. With little time passed, Gerard’s recently amputated limbs had closed and stopped bleeding.

Next Luca turned his attention to Oliver’s Broken fingers. Having previously witnessed Oliver’s incredible healing abilities, he was uncertain why Oliver had not healed this seemingly inconsequential injury, compared to other worse injuries he had recovered from. Luca sett the bones of his fingers and almost immediately Oliver’s bones began to mend themselves, indicating that the bones simply needed to be placed in their correct position before the healing could commence.

Luca then gave Tomas an herbal tea that quickly healed his lungs restoring his ability to breathe back to normal.

Act 15: Red is Dead, Long Live Red!

Oliver, feeling an intense hunger realized he needed to leave the library for a moment. After stepping outside he summoned Red, who inexplicably attempted to keep his distance from Oliver. This uncharacteristic behavior was exasperated by Red’s seemingly threat display and warning calls, which were directed at Oliver.

Oliver attempted to entice the Raven with a treat, but this was ineffective. Finally, resorting to a more direct approach, Oliver produced a “shiny.” Red, unable to resist such a treasure, approached.

Suddenly, without any warning, Oliver found himself ripping Red apart and consuming him as he struggled under the brutality of the attack. Stunned, Oliver dropped the half-consumed carcass of his companion and watched in a mix of dread and terror as a murder of crows and ravens gathered and began to Dirge the loss of Red.

When the display was finished a larger, more prominent Raven presented itself to Oliver. Depositing a human finger at his feet, the stately Raven “bowed.” With an indication of acceptance, The Raven alighted on Oliver’s shoulder.

In an odd turn of events, Oliver reached out and gently stroked the bird, calling him “Red”, as if nothing had happened.

However, it quickly became apparent that something had taken place in Oliver. He became aware of the physical state of health of a pair of priests as they passed him on the Vatican Grounds.

He was instinctively able to identify which of the two was infirm and frightened. he was also able to tune into some of the more animalistic senses, knowing the hormonal state of his fiancé, when returning home.

Act 16: A Jaunt into the Countryside

After the evening’s difficulties, the group reassembled at the Library to await Father Fletcher’s return from his late night arson.

Upon his arrival, the group determined that they the next stage of their investigation was the Crematorium at Sorrow Point.

The group discussed what they may find and took a few steps to minimize any threats they may face.

The crematorium was located 15 kilometers outside the city of Rome, to the south. The group traveled in the Murta until they reached the turn-off leading to the crematorium.

The drive to the crematorium was very broken and decrepit. The Murta made it’s way through a thick underbrush growing up through the unused road, bumping along over the difficult trek.

After a few minute the group encountered a flat wooden bridge that spanned a narrow but deep water channel. With the Crematorium located on a promontory,this small stream effectively isolated the crematorium from the remainder of the world at large.

Not certain that the bridge, which had been damaged by a fallen tree limb would be sturdy enough to support the Murta, everyone, except Oliver traversed the creek on foot. During this, Liberty discovered the remains of an unearthed human skull. Perhaps a body that had been hastily buried on the site when the facility was shut down.

A brief inspection of the area, however revealed that there were more bones than could belong to a single body, leaving the group wondering if mass graves were somehow in use here.

Oliver managed to traverse the bridge with the Murta, but immediately thereafter, the bridge collapsed, leaving the group wondering how they would leave the area should it be necessary.

Act 17: Crematorium at Sorrow Point

Further down the road was the crematorium. The building was a large two story structure, topped by six very tall make stacks. It was constructed from masonry and stone. The building was surrounded by a rusting wrought-iron fence. The gate to the fence was chained closed. Tomas, using his strength feat, snapped the chain and locks to allow the party entry to the building’s courtyard.

The front portion of the building were body intake and offices. Two massive roll-up doors dominated it. One of them was heavily dented. The door leading into the office was missing completely. exposing the office interior to the elements. All the windows on the building were in disrepair, many shattered.

Signs of scavenging animals were present on the site. A group of scattered human bones, most likely taken from some of the shallower graves in the area were strewn about the offices.

Leading from the offices were a large pair of steel french doors. They were pinned in place and heavily corroded, but still quite solid. From the offices a strange repetitive creaking sound could be heard. This round was unidentifiable, although everyone somehow felt that they were familiar.

A sudden explosion of sparrows startled the group, almost forcing Gerard to flee in terror. Lodewijk managed to calm him. After a few minutes of cursory inspection, Oliver unlatched the doors.

One of the doors fell with a massive boom, once again sending Gerard, and this time Oliver, into a near panic. The group was able to calm their colleagues, although noting that something unnatural was probably responsible for the heightened fear that the two felt.

Act 18: The Burning Chamber

The massive burning chamber lay beyond the double doors. Holes in the ceiling allowed the introduction of weather into the chamber. As it had just begun to rain, the sounds of falling rain was to be heard.

An inspection of the room, from the doorway, led to the discovery of the source of the strange creaking noise. Suspended from support bars, high above their heads, hung the bodies of six individuals who had been hung by their necks until dead. Around many of their necks hung a placard that bore the words, “JUDEN”.

A thick layer of ash, dust and bone fragments covered the floor of the burn chamber. six massive furnaces were placed around the perimeter of the room. There were connected to the burning elements and a massive smokestack chimney leading up to the roof.

The group moved into the room, aware that the area was a potential trap and exceptionally dangerous for them. Many different creatures of the Never-Never would be able to draw a great deal of power from the events that surrounded them.

Act 19: The Cinder Constructs

Two members of the group approached one of the burning pits, since the closure to the pit was ajar. As they reached it, they looked inside, revealing a terrible sight.

Within the pit were several burned remains, which was somewhat expected, but atop them were other remains- these were more recent, consisting mostly of body parts, number ing perhaps in the tens of people.

Suddenly a voice, barely louder than a whisper filled the room, speaking some terrible hex. This disembodied voice seemed feminine and spoke he following curse.

With these words I seal this hex
those without sleep, you will not rest
Full of anger, Full of hate
Rip these fools from their fate
Arise by one and then by two
Bringing darkness over you
Pain, suffering, evil too
Bringing darkness straight to you
With these words, I do bind
Weaving chaos in your mind
Hex of anger, hex of hate
Bring them down, I will not wait
So make it now manifest!

With these words, small swirls of human ash began to coalesce into humanoid shapes. Sparks and cinders began glow in the malevolent eyes of the summoned creatures. A pack of Cinder Constructs had just been summoned.

Arriving between the envoys and the exit, and fearful of the consequences of making any physical contact with them, the group found themselves trapped. Able to avoid the somewhat lumbering creatures grasp, Tomas managed to slip through the enemies lines and reach the offices. The others, however were unable to do so and found themselves greatly threatened.

Father Fletcher realized that there may be a ladder inside the smokestacks to facilitate cleaning, and dropped into one of the burning pits to confirm his finding. Confirmed, he called to the others indicating that this was their best means of escape.

All the envoys remaining in the Burning Room, quickly followed Father Fletcher, escaping any further attacks made against the group. The Cinder Constructs, unable to negotiate the burn pits or the climb, instead turned their attentions to the still reachable Tomas.

Tomas, realizing he could not negotiate the room and reach his fellow envoys, retreated out through the front door and into the rain. Surprisingly, as the cinder constructs followed him into the elements, they were rapidly destroyed by the rain, effectively ending the threat to the group.

Act 20: Escape

The group emerged from the smokestacks and made their way across the damaged roof. Tomas, meanwhile, had reached the Murta and then drove it to the edge of the building. This allowed the group to safely reach the ground by using the roof of the Murta as a platform.

Afterwards, the group attempted to leave the area, but the damaged bridge made egress impossible. Oliver attempted to find another crossing, but he could not locate a suitable ford. Considering everything available to them as an option, Oliver realized that the large door leading into the burring room would serve as a suitable bridge to span the gap.

Returning to the building, the group quickly recovered the door and driving back to the site of the partially collapsed bridge, used it to span the gap between the banks. Oliver then drove the vehicle across the gap and the group returned to Rome.

Act 21: Visiting the 9.

Now realizing that they were looking for a witch, or even potentially a coven of witches, the group decided to make contact with The 9.

Liberty and Agostino travelled to the headquarters of the 9. There they met with Belkino, who when asked about things happening in the city, gave a few theories to Liberty and Agostino on what may be the cause.

He also indicated to the two that there were several covens in the area. he directed them to the Veneficas Forum, telling them the means to gain access to the market.

Act 22: The Veneficas Forum

Returning to the library, Liberty advised the group on the existence of the Veneficas Forum. Realizing that they had a good means by which to gather solid information critical to their investigation, the group decided to head there and conduct some questioning, to see what they could uncover. Only Father Fletcher decided he should stay away from the Forum, due to his obvious religious affiliation.

Upon arrival the group encountered Able, who offered to act as their guide. It was believed that Able was a member of the Unseelie Court. They safe-vouched his cooperation with a bribe of an excellent quality hand-rolled cigar. In return Able agreed to introduce them to two contacts who may be able to answer some questions for them.

Act 23: The Satyr

The first person they were introduced to was [Malphaseus, a Satyr, most likely a member of the Wyld Fae. In exchange for a human finger, provided by Oliver, secretly to the Satyr, Malphaseus agreed to give them some information.

This information was centered around the acknowledgment of a coven that was once comprised of several members, but its now currently only a single member remaining. The others having been hung at the crematorium and their power diablarized by the last surviving member of the coven. They also confirmed that the person responsible was a woman. There was additional confirmation that the three murders were conducted by the coven. The forth murder was now confirmed as a murder committed by the Blackened Denarii Sonnellion. The last was a normal human committing a very brutal act.

The group had been granted only a set number of questions, and with those now exhausted, the group was now set to meet the second contact that they had contracted with Able.

Act 24: The Janii

The second contact that Able introduced the envoys to was/were the Janii. they were known as Jem and Ini. A Janii is a mythical creature that is the basis for the Janus god mythos from Roman Mythology. It is unclear whether either Jem or Ini are capable of seeing the future or the past, but they are very knowledgeable.

Between the two, they agreed to answer some questions and provide insight in exchange for some Tibetan Air Burial Soil. This substance is apparently a soporific, which induces Euphoria and unconsciousness in the Janii. Interestingly enough the effects only seem to inhibit the “half” of the pair that consumes the drug.

With Ini out, Jem was ready to answer questions.

The interview revealed many exceptionally valuable things. The type of Hex was identified. The practitioner’s gender as a woman was confirmed. The existence of a Felbound Pith was confirmed. The group was also told how the hex could be undone and as a result how the witch would be destroyed by the Felbound Pith that would be unfettered.

All they had to do was find three strings, each knotted, and then cut them. The rest would then self-correct. The witch responsible would be destroyed and Father Hammersmith set free. All they had to do now was identify the Witch, find the hex cords and cut them. Sometimes even simple things can be complicated.

Act 25: Revisiting the Facts

The group went over the details that they knew, still feeling that they had overlooked some critical detail. In discussing, they determined that they needed to d some further investigating.

Oliver revisited the journal, inspecting it a little closer, and came to the realization that several pages had been torn free from the back of the journal. Thinking that these may be a clue leading to an as of yet undiscovered suspect, or confirming the involvement of an existing suspect, the group decided that it was in their best interest to revisit Father Hammersmith’s Apartment.

Meanwhile Father Fletcher wanted to better search the Convent in case their were clues that had been missed in their earlier haste to investigate.

The group divided into two teams, leaving Gerard and Tomas to man the phones at the library should anyone need assistance or be delayed unexpectedly. Agostino was going to conduct some research.

h4: Act 26: The Apartment

Liberty, Oliver and Lodewijk returned to Father Hammersmith’s apartment. This time, a more thorough search was undertaken. While no real clues were found in the main living areas of the apartments, Oliver discovered a ceiling access to an attic loft. The group determined to investigate.

Just before doing so, however, Oliver realized that a small lamp in the father’s room did not match the decor and inspected it further. Inside the hollow base of the “Venus de Milo” ceramic lamp a folded and rolled sketch of a woman was found. This led the group to conclude that this may be a new suspect. This was one of the pages torn from Hammersmith’s journal. With two pages still missing from the journal, the group decided to investigate the attic access.

Act 27: The Artist’s Loft

The access led up a wooden ladder into a loft space above Father Hammersmith’s apartment. There, they discovered a space that the priest had obviously been using as an art studio.

Several partial canvases displayed incomplete paintings and sketches, waiting to be finished. The presence of skylights in the roof, provided excellent light for the artist, and a roman-style reclining couch used in classical nudes was also present.

This led the group to his art table, which was covered in sketches, mostly likely paintings to come. the last remaining missing pages were found. They contained nude sketches of the same woman. It seemed as if the group had discovered the priests reason for his practices of self mortification. He was tempted by the flesh.

An inspection of the recliner revealed traces of a woman’s cosmetic. This seemed to fulfill any suspicions of an inappropriate trust between the Father and their as-of-yet unidentified woman.

Act 28: Liberty and Giulietta

On the way out of the apartment, the three encountered Guilietta. A Libertine that Liberty already knew. They both attended private parties that Guilietta hosted for discerning participants.

With this revelation, it became apparent that she could not be a suspect. This meant that she was, in fact, at risk. Filling the criteria for the Felbound Pith, meant that she could be the next unsuspecting victim. this was especially true considering that she was recently mentioned to Hammersmith when the group interviewed him in the Castel Sant Angelo.

Oliver contacted the library to get permission from father Fletcher to bring her to the safer location. Fletcher gave permission through Gerard, who acted as a telephone relay between them. The only caveat was that no one “invite” her inside. Permission received, and armed with new information, the group headed back to the library.

Act 29: A Complaint

While the two groups were investigating, a call was received at the Library for Tomas. The call was from his boss’ secretary informing Tomas that the Captain needed to see him right away.

Tomas left Gerard manning the phones and reported to the office to see what it was that the Captain wanted.

Upon arriving, Tomas discovered that Sister Mary Magdelena the secretary to Cardinal Incenzio Montenegro was avidly berating Captain Antorinno Descortes.

It quickly became apparent that she was complaining about the fact that Liberty and Agostino, mistaken for Tomas, had gained access to the Malleus Maleficarum contained in the rare books section of the Archives.

Tomas was able to defuse the situation, much to the Sister’s obvious displeasure. he advised the captain that the access was necessary and was related to the investigation.

The sister was escorted back to her convent by papal guard and Tomas returned to the library, with a bit more information at his disposal.

Act 30: Regrouping

Armed with new information, and with Guilietta in tow. The group reassembled at the library, where they discussed their new findings. When Tomas mentioned the encounter with Sister Magdelena, and was able to identify her from the photograph and sketches found, she became the new primary suspect.

Having identified the most likely culprit the group realized that they still had to find the three cords and cut them in order to end Hammersmith’s suffering and stop any additional murders.

The group brainstormed possible locations and appearance of the cords, discarding unlikely items and locations using experience and intuition for the most part.

Guilty suggested that it may be something personal to hammersmith, rather than to the witch, and this immediately reignited a new round of discussions. The group identified a possibility after a short while, realizing that the knotted cords used by Father Hammersmith in his Opus Dei beliefs were perfect candidates. Liberty had seen one such cord at hammersmith’s apartment earlier that day. Another was recorded in storage at the Castel Sant Angelo, taken from the Father when he was incarcerated there. If there was third, they may well have their cords.

Oliver suggested that it may well be at the laundry, located in the same building as Hammersmith’s apartment. If the cord ended up in the wash, purposefully or accidentally it may be found there.

Armed with this information, the group decided to divide into three teams, leaving Guilietta to man the phones in case of emergency.

Act 31: The Prison

Father Fletcher, Lodewijk and Liberty decided to head to the Castle Sant Angelo. It was their intention to gain access to Hammersmith’s personal effects and see if they could locate a cord to confirm or discredit their theory.

Upon their arrival they had learned that a members of the Order of the Blackened Denarius had attempted a prison break prior to their arrival. They were stopped, but the remains of the battle were still visible. The three responsible were Oliver Cromwell, Armaros and Ramiel.

It was also revealed that father Fletcher and The Warden knew each other well enough for her to use the father’s first name.

The group received access to the items and were relieved to find that there was a knotted cord there. With one cord recovered the three headed back to the Library.

h4: Act 32: The Apartment and the Laundry

Meanwhile Tomas, Gerard, Oliver and Agostino made their way back to the building that contained the father’s apartment and the laundry. They divided into two teams, Gerard and Tomas headed to the Laundry, while Oliver and Agostino headed to the apartment.

In the apartment, the two were able to easily locate the single knotted cord that Liberty had seen in the closet. However, no other cords were found. The two headed downstairs, stopping to place the cord into the glove box of the Murta van.

While they were searching the apartment, Gerard had managed to pick the lock on the back door of the laundry and he and Tomas had gained entry. As the two moved into the room and began searching, the sound of a disembodied voice sounded. In a repeat of the ambush the group had encountered at the crematorium, all the clothing in the large room, which was a significant number of pieces, animated and surrounded the two, attacking them with brutal efficiency. The large tub of water also began to boil and it appeared as if the animated clothes were determined to drive the two envoys to the tub, perhaps with the intention of drowning them.

Tomas fired his pistol into the clothes as a means of altering his other companions, and then they attempted to fight their way out of the room.

Hearing the shot, Agostino and Oliver rushed to the back door where they took in the situation. Knowing they needed assistance, Oliver ran upstairs to Guilietta’s apartment where he called the library. he was forced to leave a message for father Fletcher with Guilietta. message delivered, he headed back toward the stairs, when there was a massive burst of flames below.

Agostino, thinking that fire may be the best way to handle these animated clothes, used his ritual magic to create a burst of flame. The spell was especially effective, igniting every suit of clothing in the area, adding to the danger for Tomas and Gerard.

Oliver arrived on the scene, and rushed to a nearby outbuilding to acquire a garden hose, which he rapidly hooked up to an outdoor spigot. The building was now beginning to burn and Oliver realized that innocent people in the building were both unaware of the danger and would probably be unable to escape the flames.

Attempts to extinguish the flames with ritual magic were unsuccessful. The building continued to burn.

Tomas and Gerard, meanwhile had suffered severe burns and were ignited by the attacks of the burning animated clothing suits. The two managed to escape the burning building and were attempting to extinguish themselves.

That was when Oliver noticed father hammersmith’s Cossack still hanging on the hook inside the Laundry. The third and final cord draped over the clothes hanger.

Activating some of his disciplines to help him with the damage he knew was coming. Oliver risked everything and rushed into the burning building to recover the cord.

Braving flames and attacks, Oliver ignited under the attacks of the creatures, but managed to make his way back out of the room. Once outside again, he made a fateful decision.

Act 33: Theron, Theron, Theron

Realizing that many innocent people were on death’s doorstep, Oliver called in his favor from the winter court far they had rescued prior. Theron arrived just as Agostino failed in a second attempt to use ritual magic extinguish the building. Although he succeeded in extinguishing Gerard and Tomas, although not without significant injury to Tomas.

With Oliver injured and beginning to feel the urges caused by his condition, Gerard nearly dead or dying, the situation looked grim. Oliver used his favor to have his friend’s healed of their injuries. Theron complied, restoring Gerard and Tomas to full health. This even restored Gerard’s missing hands.

Theron then took his leave.

Act 34. The Calvary Arrives

Having received the message left for them, Lodewijk, Fletcher and Liberty arrived at the building moments after Theron had departed and the fire had been extinguished. Oliver turned over the recovered cord to Fletcher and then ran off into the city, presumably to “heal” as he had been doing lately.

With no fighting and no other investigation needed. The group, except for Oliver head back to the library.

Act 35: Bum on the Hoof

Oliver, unable to control his hunger, discovered a homeless man in an alley and overcome with urges murdered him and ripped him apart to consume his flesh. Red was present and kept trying to get oliver to eat more of the poor man. finally satiated and guilty Oliver snuck into his apartment, washed and changed clothes, before returning to the Library.

Act 36: The Gathering

The group arrived. Oliver upon his arrival discovered that some of the ward in the area were affecting him. This was a certain sign that something had changed with this latest development.

The group went downstair into Luca’s area where they cut the cords with a silver pair of scissors inside Luca’s circle. nothing seemed to happen.

Act 37: Conclusion

Thinking that they had perhaps gotten it wrong concern began to set it. Suddenly the phone rang and a member of the papal guard was calling for Tomas. he advised that something “terrible” was happening at the convent.

The group hurried there and arrived in time to have the Sisters evacuated. In the prayer vestibule the black witch was finally suffering the same brutal murder that she had inflicted upon others. The creature had returned to exact vengeance. unable to open any doors until the attack was over, the group was forced to listen to the screams of agony and chaos that emanated from the room.

The witch was dead, the Pith banished and Hammersmith released from it’s influence.

1936 Season 1, Index

View
The Ancient Disciple
1936 Season 1, Episode 5

Act 1: Uncovering the Coven

Warned by members of the Order of Saint Giles, The Envoys of the Vatican Office begin to seek out the location of a Red Court Vampire Coven.

After following a series of leads, including the new wards that Luca had placed throughout the city to help him detect Thaumataurgy, the members of the Vatican City SAVE Office, along side two members of the Order of Saint Giles, Father Pedro Manuel Rogerio and his young assistant Giovanni Brullo tracked a coven of Red Court vampires to a derelict building on the outskirts of Rome.

Inside the building, they encountered a guardian of the Coven’s nest, a Bone Hound. After a brutal battle, the group moved forward eventually finding the entry way to the Coven’s Lair; A makeshift tunnel located in the basement of the building, leading directly into an ancient Underground Temple of the Roman Goddess Jana.

Act 2: The Underground Temple

The group made their way through the tunnels and into the excavated chamber that fronted the Underground Temple of Jana. On high alert, they made their way inside, only to find the temple apparently abandoned.

The only activity was centered around a strange pillar inscribed with glowing musical runes and symbols. The pillar pulsed with a bright blue light. fearing a trap, the Envoys and Father Rogerio spread out across the chamber seeking their unseen foes.

This, however, allowed Giovanni the opportunity to move close to the pillar. He touched it, setting off some unheard alarm. Within moments a flood of Red Court Vampires defended into the chamber, and a brutal conflict ensued.

With the Group seriously outnumbered, but holding their own, the leader of the Coven, Duke Jesus De Mendoza, appeared and was prepared to wade personally into the conflict, when Lysias one of the Pythia’s Spartan Warriors appeared, offering battle. Unprepared to take on such an opponent the Duke and the remainder of his coven retreated.

Determined to stop any Ritual that may be underway, Father Fletcher ordered Sven Thofelt, to topple the pillar. This created a magical discharge which knocked Tomas Migual Gessner unconscious.

While the members were tending to Tomas, Lysia advised the SAVE Envoys that the Pythia needed to see them tomorrow at the trevi fountain the following day at midday.

Act 3: An Unexpected Development

The following day began normally enough. Members of the Vatican Office recovered from the previous day’s conflict and many of them went back to work.

However, not everything was as it should be. Shortly after Tomas, arrived downstairs for breakfast, a second identical looking individual appeared. As there were now two Tomas’ and no way to distinguish them apart at that moment Luca Garige asked Lodewijk to contact the other members of the Office to aid them in deciphering the situation.

After a long discussion, it was decided that somehow they were both the same and different people, perhaps a result of some sort of Simulacrum ritual that had been interrupted by the destruction of the pillar. The two appeared to have their life-force intertwined.

Once Tomas, the original was identified, a fight broke out between him and Sven as a result of Sven’s decision to point a gun at the former up[on his arrival. The fight escalated, eventually involving, Lodewijk, Oliver and Gerard as well.

It was brought to an end by Luca, who threatened to deal with them all if they could not resolve their issues. He even offered to conduct a Code Duello if the involved parties felt it necessary.

As they all declined, the matter was put to rest. The second incarnation of Tomas, was asked to be called Mikael. It was suspected that he was somehow connected to the apparent lack of memory that plagued Tomas, meaning that whatever caused him may have been present prior and was only released to form a separate entity as a result of the magical discharge.

Luca was interested to see what his wards would make of the new version of Tomas, as if he were a supernatural being or entity of some sort, he would be seriously hindered or possibly harmed by them when attempting to return to the interior of the Library of Esoteric Studies.

Act 4: Meeting with the Pythia

The group arrived on time to meet with the Pythia at an open air bistro at the fountain. She greeted them all and curiously commented that it was finally nice to meet the “ new member ”.

She did not elaborate however, as a serious situation was beginning to cause her concern. She had been having vision that were disturbing lately, hinting at some great unidentified calamity to come. She had seen members of the Vatican Office, “ standing along a verdant river, surrounded by desert. “ She had thought originally that it was Egypt, but the group indicated that they had no interest in traveling there.

She then surmised that the group had, in fact been, in Kemet. As a result she suggested that the group travel there that very evening. She offered to have Lysias guide them and show them the means by which to enter the Realm, and also the means by which to return.

Act 5: Research

After the meeting with the Pythia, and the realization that the group would be traveling to Kemet later that every evening, the envoys decided that it would be a good time to conduct some research.

Each according to their access and abilities, either took care of setting personal affairs in order, or attempted to garner additional information on Kemet.

Act 6: The Book

Liberty returned to her office in the vatican to tie up a few open verifications, with plans to visit the Athenaeum Arcana hoping to find additional information on the Kemet.

However, before she could depart on that errand, she received a phone call from the Museum Director. She was advised that a call had been received by the minister of Art and Culture, advising that Liberty was to undertake a verification of a document for a visiting Nazi dignitary. Unable to get free from her office prior to this, she was forced to wait for his arrival.

The individual arrived at Liberty’s office and introduced himself as Kurt Heinrich Helck. He displayed an Indulge, indicating he was a member of SAVE and advised that he was from the Berlin Office.

He was accompanied by two SS soldiers, whom were told to wait outside the office. He revealed his SAVE affiliations to Liberty once alone, so as to not arouse the suspicion of the two soldiers acting as his escorts.

Helck then went on to reveal a very old book. It was explained that he had “stolen” it from a locked and warded box. He needed to know if the book was authentic, or if it was a cheap copy. He could only say that he suspected it was written by Edward Kelley, a renowned Alchemist.

The book was the Occultum Aegyptus Antiqua, and was written in a personal code, that was all but indecipherable without a key.

Liberty wanted to compare the book to other alchemical books written by the same author and called Father Fletcher to bring another of Kelley’s alchemical works from the Library of Esoteric Studies for comparison.

As such, when Fletcher arrived, he was introduced to Helck, and became aware of the book’s existence and the existence of the Berlin office.

Liberty confirmed that the book was authentic. Helck, in turn mentioned that several SS men, under the command of an SS officer, Oberstkaptain Stefan Vogel, had come to Rome some weeks prior.

He indicated that he believed that they had somehow managed to interrogate a captured Red Court Vampire in Rome. Helck explained that Udo Von Liebstadt a prior SAVE Envoy, was in command of a special artifact hunting division of the Abwehr named the Sturmreitter. Because of Liebstadts intimate knowledge of SAVE, the Berlin office operated in Secret and was forced to take extreme actions to insure their continued existence.

Helck, himself admitted to being a SAVE Envoy who had infiltrated the Sturmreitter, in order to keep a better eye on Von Liebstadt at the behest of London.

Armed with the new information, Helck took the book and was going to return it, hopefully prior to it’s being discovered missing.

Act 7: University Professorship

With some limited time, Oliver made his way to the university, where he spoke with Wilhelm Busch in regards to teaching a couple of university classes on Anthropology. Wilhelm accepted, and agreed to make the arrangements for Oliver to begin his courses on the next semester.

Act 8: Reach Out and Administer Drugs

While others were handling their personal affairs, Gerard decided to put his pharmaceuticals skills to work for the betterment of the group. Armed with a new Tranquilizer Dart Rifle, He crafted several specialized delivery darts with a variety of drugs. It was his hope to have these available in case he needed them to aid him in his desire not to cause harm to innocents during an encounter.

Act 9: Visiting Venatori

In an attempt to gain additional information on the upcoming journey to Kemet, Mikael travelled to an undisclosed Chapel to meet with his Venatori contact Father Josef Beuhler.

There they discussed Kemet in some detail, uncovering several interesting facts that would have otherwise have been unavailable otherwise. Unknown to Mikael, he was photographed by the Gestapo, exiting the church. They were watching some other individual located there and had taken note of his arrival and departure. This would cause an unpleasant conversation between Captain Antorinno Descortes and Tomas Migual Gessner concerning his involvement there. Tomas would explain that he has a twin brother and that it was this brother that had visited the Church, not himself.

Act 10: Disseminate Information

The Envoys, with the obvious exception of Sven, regrouped at the Library to discuss the limited amount of information available on the Kemet People and the location, also known as Kemet.

Very little solid information was available, but what was available proved very useful. It seems that the Kemet people were the inspiration, or perhaps were the Gods of Ancient Egypt. This information was confirmed through multiple sources.

In addition it was discovered that all the non-Kemet inhabitants of this realm were either Visitors or Spirits who had transcended to this realm. If spirits, they were known to possess a group collective, sharing information and protection among their numbers.

As for Visitors, they could have been from either the Never-Never or from the Real World. It was also revealed that fraternization with anyone in Kemet was also forbidden.

With the information shared, there was little to do but wait. So each of the members went about their personal business to return to the clubhouse at 10:00 pm.

Act 11: Uniform Search

Oliver upon being told about the SS involvement, decided to start looking for the bodies of the two SS men that Helck had mentioned he would be forced to kill. The plan was to acquire a uniform in the hopes of making it useable later if need arose. in the end, this avenue of acquisition was unsuccessful, but a visit to Liberty’s tailor revealed that he was able to provide a Corporal’s SS uniform the following day for Oliver’s Use.

Act 12: An Unfriendly Reminder

Satisfied with his acquisition, Oliver returned home to find a full-blown celebration underway at his apartment. A live band and nearly one-hundred people had gathered to congratulate him on his recent employment at the university. This was information that he had not shared with anyone.

In attendance was his fiance, Elsa Mannhoff and Sven’s wife Brigit Thofelt. Trying to disband the party proved unsuccessful.

As Oliver began to grow impatient, Cyprus Archer, Indra Dietrich, Mortimer Stroud, and Emeric Dane arrived. With at least one-hundred people at risk, Oliver was forced to listen as Cyprus requested he remind Sven Thofelt to return that which had been taken from him.

Cyprus then ordered Brigit to leave the party. Once she was gone, Cyprus offered Oliver employment to assist him in recovering an ancient artifact located somewhere on the grounds of Trajan’s Market.

Oliver refused outright, but Cyprus suggested that he “ take some time to think it over. “ With that Cyprus used some sort of mind control to empty the party of it’s guests, and forced Elsa to forget about the event.

Cyprus and his people departed.

Act 13: The Alchemist Gate

With all of the Envoys, except Sven, whose whereabouts remained unknown, returned to the library, the group prepared to meet Lysias at the Garden of Souls to be guided to the Alchemist Gate.

Arriving near 11:00, at the garden, they met Lysias. Less guided them with confidence through the maze and Labyrinth to the Alchemist Gate. There he explained the means to activate the gate, and the means by which they could return.

Act 14: Arriving in Kemet

The envoys made their way through the Alchemist gate and emerged in Kemet. There they were able to take in the living embodiment of Ancient Egypt for a short while before being accosted by guards.

A group of Spirit guards arrived and surrounded the group. Using an interpreter, they were advised that they were under arrest and would be taken to the Grand Inquisitor for interrogation.

Believing that their current situation was related to whatever threat the Pythia had warned them against, the Envoys disarmed themselves and accompanied the guards to the royal place.

There they were introduced to the Isan Nyat. Using the Feather of Truth, she interrogated the collected Envoys, to determine their complicity with a theft that had taken place in hemet a few days prior.

Satisfied with their responses, and knowing they were unable to hide the truth, she advocated for them with the High Advisor (and defacto ruler of Kemet) the Anubii Akhenet.

She was successful in having their lives spared. They decided to undertake the task of recovering the Ahk of the Kemet-Ra, which was believed to be located in four Canopic Jars which were, in turn, stored in a single Canopic Chest.

She explained that once she saw the jars, which would need to be photographed, she could tell the group which aspects were stored within them. She could then tell them what weapons would be needed to defeat the four aspects.

as each Aspect was defeated, the group would need to collect the enmpowered charms located in their respective Canopic jar and return them to Nyat so that she could restore them.

Having advised them of the task that lay before them, the group was escorted to the Alchemist Gate and returned to the Real World.

Act 15: The Mesha Stele

The Next evening, a phone call was received. members of the Sturmreitter, under the direction of Udo Von Liebstadt, had kidnapped Edward Vorgenberg, and had made the demand that Olivger accompany Lodewijk Van Beers to Edward’s art gallery. Once Oliver was safely on his way back to Berlin, where he would be recruited to the Sturmreitter Division, Edward would be released.

Liberty, Fletcher, Mikael, Lodewijk and Oliver all made their way to the Gallery. Once arriving, Liberty, Oliver and Jodewijk discovered that it was not actually Oliver that was wanted, but an object known as the Mesha Stele. This Stele had been recovered by Oliver during his fateful 1934 dig.

Oliver, however was not currently aware of the Stele’s whereabouts, as he had sent it to the University of Austria in Tyrol. It appears that it never arrived. The Sturmreitter had tracked the Stele back to Rome, and as Oliver was also there, they had assumed, incorrectly, that Oliver was in possession of the artifact.

With this clarified, it was decided that Edward would remain in the Sturmrietter’s care until the Stele was supplied. Oliver was given two weeks to do so.

Act 16: Big Badda-Boom!

After the meeting at the gallery, oliver and the other Envoys all returned home to catch up on some much needed sleep. For oliver, however, sleep would not be easy to catch. Awakened in the early morning by Red, it was discovered that a car was parked in the back alleyway behind Oliver’s Apartment.

With the thought of capturing and potentially interrogating one of the nazi’s in the car, Oliver made his way down stairs. The driver’s however spotted him and panicked. Losing control of the speeding automobile, they flipped the car, allowing Oliver to catch up with them.

As he dragged one of the Nazi’s from the car, a tremendous explosion ripped through the vehicle, sending him flying across the alley and into the wall.

Red, seeing this, went to the library to alert other members of the events.

Liberty and the others mobilized and made their way to assist Oliver. The crew arrived in time to see the police and fire services actively working to extinguish the burning wreckage.

The Envoys spotted Oliver, who appeared to be exceptionally badly injured. At Gerard’s prompting, he ordered the others present to “Run!” They did so, and as a result were spared possible destruction as Oliver began to lose control of his inner beast. Managing to avoid killing any of the innocent Police or fire workers present, Oliver consumed the remains of one of the Nazi’s to recover his strength.

Upon recovery, he made his way upstairs, where Liberty met him with a fresh change of clothes. No comments or remarks were made concerning his sudden miraculous recovery. As no one witnessed the consumption, there was no real way to question what had happened.

Apparently much better off, the group separated once again- returning to their homes for a little more sleep.

Act 17: The Search for Eddie

Although they had been told that Eddie had been taken by Von Liebstadt’s people, the envoys had not real proof that he had been kidnapped. Thinking on this, Lodewijk, Oliver, Tomas and Gerard decided to make their way to Eddie’s apartment to see if they could find any signs of his abduction that may lead them to his location.

The Envoys found signs of forced entry, although the initial investigation indicated that some sort of freezing had been used to defeat the lock and crack the door. This could have been a result of either compressed gas or thaumaturgy.

A thorough search revealed only a few archeology books showing images of the ancient Egyptian god Thoth. In addition a smeared drawing of the same god, done in camphor oil was found on the window leading to his fire escape. A good review of the apartments contents allowed Lodewijk to realize that one of Eddies favorite statues, also of Thoth, was missing. In it’s place had been placed a vase full of flowers from the Camphor tree. These flowers were considered sacred to Thoth.

Camphor_flowers.jpg

While these were interesting facts, they didn’t really do much more than create additional questions for the envoys.

Locating a hidden wall safe in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom, Tomas was able to open it. Inside the group found 250,000 Lira, Eddies’s passport and a ledger of illicit acquisitions and sales. Although these were interesting they were seemingly unrelated to his disappearance and so, they were replaced in the safe and secured.

Deciding that it was more likely that he was taken from his shop the group then headed there to conduct a more thorough search.

Upon arrival, Lodewijk unlocked the doors and the group entered. The office was searched, and although some pictures of bids on antiquities were found, it was determined that they were not related to the case of his disappearance. A large locked cell-like storage area was discovered in the back room. It was full of artifacts and items of value, although it wasn’t related to the kidnapping. It occurred to Oliver that perhaps Eddie might know more about the missing Mesha Stele than he did. Additionally it was likely that Von Liebstadt and his people wouldn’t realize they should probably ask Eddie about it. In a sort of Irony, they may have inadvertently kidnapped the only person in Rome who may actually know something about the artifact they were searching for.

Finding nothing of significance, the envoys deduced to return to the Library.

Act 18: The Divination

Meanwhile, Mikael prepared and cast a ritual tracking divination spell using the recovered Totenkopf ring as a foci. The spell was largely successful, as it pulled Mikael directly to the location of the owner. This turned out to be the Nazi Embassy in Rome.

At the outside of the building Mikael encountered a sort of Divination ward, that although powerful in some ways, was not entirely successful. The ward made the building look “blurry” and prevented him from seeing inside the walls of the structure, but it was not able to actually hide the location in any significant way. As a result, Mikael was able to ascertain that the owner of the ring was within the walls of the Embassy.

This would confirm Oberstkaptain Stefan Vogel as the ring’s owner.

Unable to gather any additional information, Mikael broke the divination to return to the club house.

Act 19: Best Laid Plans

The group of envoys discussed ways that they could identify Vogel, as none of them had seen him, and were therefore unable to recognize him. As this would become critical soon, Fletcher put forward a phone call that was intended to draw Vogel out to a Bistro, so he could be identified by the group.

Using the lure that he had acquired important espionage information concerning the operations of British spies in Rome, Fletcher called and set up a meeting with Vogel at an open air bistro. It was not Fletcher’s intention to actually make any contact with Vogel, but Oliver and Mikael would follow any transport leaving the nazi Embassy with the thought that it would contain Vogel. This would be subjective to the time that the vehicle left the embassy with an emphasis on departure to allow timely arrival at the Bistro near the appointed time.

Lodewijk and Tomas would take up positions in the nearby public park, Lodewijk playing his organ and Tomas reading a paper and eating lunch. This allowed them to be close and to also view Vogel’s arrival.

Gerard and Fletcher would be at the Bistro, playing a game of chess, to allow them to observe the arrival.

While it was never the plan to make actual contact, Vogel sent that portion of the plan out the window when upon his arrival, he approached and identified himself to Father Fletcher. It rapidly became apparent that Vogel not only knew who they were, but what they were after.

Gerard was sent away by Vogel, but Oliver seeing the situation left the car and made his way to the Bistro so that he didn’t leave Fletcher alone. The conversations between Fletcher and Vogel conformed that Vogel was behind the heist, that he had it locked in the Embassy and that it was going to be transported soon.

Although Vogel never said any of this outright, it was apparent that he was poor at hiding the truth when questioned. Vogel departed and the Envoys regrouped at the Library with a new agenda to figure out how and when the artifacts would be transported from the Embassy.

Act 20: Call Helck

While the majority of the team were dealing with Vogel’s appearance at the Bistro, Liberty had stayed behind at the Vatican in an attempt to make contact with Kurt Heinrich Helck. Placing a call to the Embassy, she was able to make contact with him and indicate she needed a meeting. Although Helck was not able to outrightly accept because of the possibility that his calls were monitored, he indicated covertly that he would attempt to make contact.

Act 21: Transportation

After reassembling at the library, everyone was brought up to speed on the latest developments. It was decided that the most likely means of transport was either by train or by aircraft. To those ends the group divided into teams, each given an objective. Before departing, Mikael provided everyone with a Charm of Calling that he had imbued with the ability to allow limited telepathic communication with the holders of the other charms. Although limited to only 15-words, the charms could prove a fast and efficient means to alert the group to new developments as they occurred.

Luca and Tomas would travel to the Embassy to watch the embassy and make certain that they did not move the item prematurely. To this ends, They used of the Murta vans belonging to the Library as transportation.

Oliver and Lodewijk would head to the train depot to determine whether they could locate any Nazi train leaving that may be in a position to carry the stolen artifacts to Berlin.

Fletcher and gerhard would travel to the airport to look for any signs of Nazi Transports that could be used to carry the artifacts from Rome to Berlin.

And finally, Liberty and Mikael would remain at the Library to await the possible arrival of Helck. This was in the hopes that he could provide additional information.

Act 22: The Train Yard

Upon their arrival, Oliver and Lodewijk made their way through the gate, using Oliver’s university papers as a means t get access to the train yard. Coupled with a story about checking on an important arriving archeological shipment, the guard let the two enter the main switch yard without much thought or scrutiny.

Once inside, They made their way to the yard master’s tower. There, they made contact with one of the conductor’s responsible for scheduling. After some discussion, the scheduler was unable to locate any cargo trains bound for Berlin leaving either that night or the following night. With only a passenger train making a regularly schedule trip via another German city, The two envoys determined that it was unlikely that the Nazis were using a train as the primary form of transport. The only option to do so would be some sort of secret train schedule that was unknown to the yard master.

Act 23: The Airport

Upon arriving at the airport, Fletcher and Gerard decided to split up to allow them to cover more ground quicker. Fletcher was to look into the chartered flights to see if any of them were booked by Nazis or headed to Berlin. Meanwhile, Gerard would make his way along the private hanger looking for any obvious signs that Nazis were preparing a plane for departure. It was believed that the most likely option would be some sort of military flight transporting the artifacts.

The two split up.

While Fletcher was unsuccessful in locating any private chartered flights that fit the needed criteria, Gerard hit pay dirt.

He encountered a hanger that contained a JU-88 Mid-range bomber. This aircraft obviously belonged to the German military, and gerard snuck into the hanger to see if he could gather any information related to the upcoming transportation of the artifacts.

To his surprise, shortly after he managed to hide in the hanger, a staff car from the Nazi Embassy arrived. The car contained two passengers, one was Eva Von Bock and the other was Oberstlieutenant Karl Sturmer.

Gerard was able to overhear several important details concerning the upcoming transport of the artifacts as well as the book and Von Bock’s transportation arrangements.

Realizing that delaying the flight would be in their best interest Gerard set out to sabotage the aircraft in some way in hopes of either delaying or preventing the aircrafts take off. Once the two had departed, Gerard snuck to the aircraft, and using his knife, punctured several of the aircraft’s hydraulic lines. It was hoped that this would prevent the timely take off of the aircraft.

Fearing discovery, Gerard managed to escape the hanger and regroup with Father Fletcher.

Act 24: At the Embassy

Although Tomas and Luca noted the departure and subsequent arrival of the car carrying Von Bock and Sturmer, they had seen no activity indicating a transport for the artifacts was underway. Determined to provide information to the other Envoys, even if it was somewhat sparse, Tomas returned to the library, leaving Luca, disguised as an old jewish woman, watching the Embassy for traffic.

Act 25: The Meeting with Helck

Meanwhile Helck arrived at the Vatican and met with Liberty and Mikael. There, the two envoys filled Helck in on the details he was missing concerning the book and the artifacts that had been stolen. He, in turn provided the departure time for the transport, the number of troops at the embassy, the location of the artifact in the vault at the embassy and provided information on Eva Von Bock and Oberstlieutenant Sturmer.

He also confirmed that the artifact would travel out of Rome by plane. Concerned at the seriousness of the situation, Helck said he would attempt to get himself included in the transport of the artifact, so that he could assist in any actions taken to stop the artifact from leaving Rome. He was determined to act as a last resort plan in the event that the Vatican City office was unable to prevent the artifact’s departure.

In return, he only asked that he not be accidentally shot by any of the attacking envoys. After sharing information Helck departed the library. Mikael voiced his distrust of Helck, noting that Vogel seemed to know a great deal about the vatican office already.

Act 26: Planning an Ambush

Despite their best attempts, the Envoys were still unable to reach Sven, who would have been very helpful to the efforts to ambush the shipment on it’s way to the airport.

looking at maps, the most likely route from the embassy to the airport was determined, and the most remote and direct portion of that route selected for the site of the ambush.

Oliver would steal a vehicle, which would be used to ram and disable the cargo truck carrying the artifacts. Should he fail, Father Fletcher would also be driving a vehicle, which could be used in a similar manner. in the event of success, Fletchers vehicle would be used to transport the recovered artifacts.

Upon initiating the ambush, all available envoys would rush the cargo truck, dealing with any armed guards and securing the artifacts. If possible the book would be acquired from Von back if the opportunity arose.

Once the book and crate containing the artifacts were recovered, the cargo would be transported to the burnt out remains of the Cinema dell Ombra, where the Canopic Jars would be photographed.

One or more of the envoys would return to Kemet, where they would learn what needed to be done to handle the aspects that had been captured in the jars.

Once the aspects were defeated, the empowered runes would be returned to Kemet for Reassembly and the Cosmos would be safe once again.

While the plan seemed simple on the surface, it was obvious that it would most likely prove more difficult to undertake in actuality. The Envoys separated, to prepare for their evenings activities.

Act 27: Sven’s Return

Sven contacted the club house much to the relief of the members there. He arrived bearing a florists card containing the message, “ My deepest Condolences. I hope for a quick and complete recovery. CA

Sven explained that he had been called away on urgent embassy business in Greece, and that upon his return had been informed that his wife had been badly beaten and hospitalized.

Upon his arrival at the hospital, Sven discovered a card accompanying some lovely flowers. The card was obviously from Cyprus Archer and was almost an admission of his involvement in the assault on Sven’s wife. Additionally it was a reminder that Cyprus wanted his Devil Head Cane returned to him.

Act 28:Briefing and Planning

Luca departed the club house to attend to Sven’s wife, taking some of his Convalescent Tea Blend along to administer it to her as a means of increasing her recovery from her injuries.

Meanwhile, the Envoys briefed Sven on the situation and gave hims some of the information on the upcoming ambush. Some fine tuning of the plan was made. The group departed the Library at approximately 8:45 pm with the intention of being in position for the ambush by sunset, which was scheduled for 9:25 pm that night.

The group found a suitable location and placed themselves into position to conduct their ambush.

Gerard took up a position on the top of a nearby hill. This was to allow him to make the most use of his newly acquired tranquilizer dart rifle, as well as act as lookout for the group.

Fletcher took up a position behind a large outcropping of rock near the roadway. His purpose was to deploy his impenetrable shield in the route of the moving convoy as a means of causing them to deviate and deflect the convoy down the hill, where it could be raided.

Oliver and Lodewijk, dressed as SS soldiers in uniforms acquired from a local tailor, parked a stolen black truck on the roadway around a curve of the road. The large bulk of this vehicle shielded the Murta from direct line-of-sight. Liberty was in the Van, ready to drive and recover the crate containing the Canopic Jars.

Tomas and Sven were nearby, ready to rush down to the vehicles to acquire the crate, while Mikael was waiting with Liberty to act as support if needed.

With everyone in place, there was nothing left to do but await the arrival of the convoy.

Act 29: The Convoy Arrives

Gerard, from his vantage point, was the first person to spot the 2-vehicle convoy as they approached Fletcher’s position. The lead vehicle, a staff car convertible, carried a driver, Oberstkaptain Stefan Vogel, Eva Von Bock and Kurt Heinrich Helck. The follow-up vehicle was a heavy miltary transport truck. It carried, two individuals in the front cabin and ten SS soldiers guarding the cargo.

Realizing that the group had not determined the signal that would be used to alert the arrival of the convoy, Gerard decided to throw a small rock towards Fletcher to alert him. Unfortunately it was unsuccessful. With the distance between the convoy and the group narrowing, Gerard decided to strike Fletcher with a second stone, in the hopes of guaranteeing the alert.

Unfortunately the rock struck Fletcher just above his left eye. Stunned and staggering, Fletcher stumbled out into the roadway, just as the convoy was arriving at the ambush point.

The driver of the car swerved. This sent the out-of-control car through the ditch, down an incline and into a stone wall bordering a nearby wine vineyard. The car narrowly missed the stunned Fletcher.

The truck, however, did not. The driver of the truck, distracted by the sudden deviation of the staff car traveling ahead of him, was distracted and failed to stop or deviate in time to avoid striking Father Fletcher. After the impact, the Driver panicked, lost control of the truck and sent it barreling down the hillside, slamming into the rear of the staffer below.

Act 30: The Raid.

Things began to quickly spiral out of control. With Fletcher terribly injured, Gerard and Sven rushed to his aid, stabilizing the priest using arts and medical knowledge.

Oliver immediately disembarked from the stolen truck and rushed down the hill towards the stalled Nazi transport, even as soldiers were disembarking from the vehicle. Oliver neutralized two of the guards and began ti gain entry into the back of the vehicle, sawing away at the tie downs used to hold the canvas top in place.

Meanwhile, Liberty rushed to recovery Father Fletcher, carrying him to the waiting Murta. Tomas headed down the hill towards the Nazi vehicle where he subdued a soldier.

Mikael tossed a flash powder concoction down at the soldiers, temporarily blinding them as they prepared to counter attack. This prevented any opportunity for them to cause either Tomas or Oliver injury.

Lodewijk, determined to assist, began to sing a new song that he had been working on. This piece caused a great many of the participants in the general struggle to become mesmerized for a short period of time. unfortunately Oliver, Gerard, and Tomas were also affected, along with Helck and the majority of the SS Soldiers.

Eva Von Bock, grabbed the book that she carried, the Occultum Aegyptus Antiqua, and began to call upon it’s power to aid her cause. However, she was stopped by Sven, who struck her with the flat of his blade. The book was dropped, and the ritual or incantation was interrupted, preventing whatever effect she had desired from being fulfilled.

As members of the group began to recover from the mesmerization, Vogel pulled some sort of glass capsule from his pocket. He threw it upon the ground and crushed it underfoot. Immediately a thick all encompassing circle of frost began to rapidly radiate outwards from his location.

The bitter cold stunned reduced many of the Envoys reflexes and stamina as a result of the total bitter cold. But for some the effects were even more serious. Several of the Nazis were encased in spikes of solid frost- the jagged spikes driving themselves into frozen flesh. This effect killed all but three of the nazi soldiers, and drove Vogel insane with anger.

Oliver and Tomas moved to fight with Vogel, while Sven and Mikael began to recover the crate containing the Canopic Jars and Chest. The flow of frost eventually encased Vogel, presumably killing him.

With hope lost, Von Bock attempted t flee with the book. She made it a significant distance before being stopped. Gerard, making an incredible long-range shot with his dart gun, struck her in the shoulder with a paralysis dart.

Eva collapsed between the rows of the vineyard, and Oliver went to recover the book. While there, he also recovered the dart used against her.

As Oliver reached the exfiltration vehicle, Von Bock arose, but did not pursue them. Helck, broken glasses in hand began to walk towards the airport with the intention of reporting the attack on the cargo, insuring his cover remained intact.

Act 31: Return to the Library

The Envoys drove the Murta back to the Library of Esoteric Studies, where they uncrated the Canopic Chest. They attempted to take the chest inside, but found that the wards around the library were preventing it.

They attempted to carry the chest into the garden, but found the same case to be true. Knowing they needed to photograph the jars contained within, the group decided to open the Chest. However, Oliver, upon reading some of the Hieroglyphic texts on the chest determined that only “ The Blood of the True ” could open the chest. Lodewijk, Gerard, Oliver all tried some of their own blood to open the chest without success.

Fletcher, now ambulatory enough to participate in the discussion, though that perhaps the blood had to come for an animal sacred to the Egyptians. The group, after some discussions determined to have Gerard go to the Zoo and acquire a Falcon. The falcon would then be sacrificed to the chest to see if that would open it. It did not.

Act 32: Reading the Book

Liberty, in the meantime, realized that the chest could not be brought into the library because it technically contained parts of a still-living being. The Book, however was not alive and as such could be taken into the library without difficulty.

She took the book inside and, placing it upon a table, decided to utilize her read object ability on the book.

Act 33: The Visions

Outergate_Portal.jpg

The first vision she received was centered around some sort of underground portal. This portal was glowing and surrounded by immensely powerful sigils. She watched as a woman, presumably Von Bock approached and was grasped by a series of tentacles and claws that suddenly emerged from the portal, drawing her through the opening. She watched as everything went black, but then reappeared with a the same woman laying in a pile of hundreds of bodies. Presumably the Nazis had sacrificed them and used their blood to open the portal. This portal most likely led to the Outer Gates, the realm inhabited by Old Ones and their Outsider servants. This was the means by which Von Bock was able to read and comprehend the text within the book.

The second vision was related to the creation of the text. In the vision Liberty saw Sir Edward Kelley working diligently to complete the third volume of a three volume set of texts related to the Occultum Aegyptus Antiqua, reliving that the text is not a single work, but a 3-volume set. In this vision she observed the scaly hand of a supernatural creature, presumably an Outsider, who seemed to be behind the creation of the texts. Kelsey seemed to believe that the purpose for the texts was to grant immortality.

The third vision was a vision relating to the location of the book as it was found by the Nazis. In this vision, Liberty saw a wall of stone brick being destroyed and a secret chamber being revealed. This chamber contained the book. Present in the vision was a very young Kurt Heinrich Helck, and an unidentified man, possibly Udo Von Liebstadt. In the vision it was apparent that Helck has a daughter that was being used as leverage to guarantee his assistance and loyalty. It was determined possible or perhaps even likely that Helck was forced to forget the book, as some items are capable of doing this. This may explain why Halck did not recognize the tome and brought it to liberty for confirmation of it’s authorship.

The fourth vision was centered around the ownership of the text prior to the nazi acquisition. In this vision liberty witnessed a Catholic cardinal, who was identified by a servant in the vision as cardinal Seletti. The cardinal was bricking up the book within the wall of a medieval Italian castle. It was apparent that he had burned other texts, although it is unclear if they were other volumes related to this tome, or simply other alchemical tomes. For whatever reason Seletti, bricked up the tome, hiding it until he could “ figure out what he had done and how to correct it.

The fifth and final vision was centered around the act that Seletti had referred to in the previous vision. In this vision Liberty saw the cardinal creating some sort of scroll. The book lay open nearby and several other alchemical texts were also present. Once the scroll was written, Seletti, cut upon his palm and added Blood to the scroll. Almost immediately Seletti collapsed into unconsciousness. The words from the scroll and from the tome seemed to impose themselves on his face and arms, pulsing with power before fading from view. A mention of “ The Blood of the True ” was spoken aloud by Seletti prior to his addition of blood to the scroll providing a possible hint to the means needed to open the Canopic Chest.

Act 34: Opening the Chest

With this new information provided by Liberty, it was believed that somehow either Tomas or Mikael could open the chest using their blood. This was based upon a remembrance of the use of the name Seletti upon the arrival at the Cinema dell Ombra. Also Fletcher suggested that perhaps it has nothing to do with a name, so much as the blood of a Thaumaturgist.

As Mikael was a thaumaturgist, it was further reinforced that he may be able to open the chest using his blood. Under some degree of hesitation, Mikael agreed to cut his hand and use his blood in an attempt to open the chest.

The blood worked, releasing the locks that kept the lid secured and allowing the Envoys access to the Canopic Jars contained within. Oliver photographed the four jars for the Kemet.

However, as they were aware that the garden containing the Alchemist Gate was exceptionally dangerous at night, and knowing that it was very close to midnight. The group decided to develop the photos at the Library and take them to Kemet the following day. This would also allow the recovery of injuries sustained during the fighting.

The four godhead figures present on the jars were:

  • Hapi, the baboon-headed god representing the north, whose jar contained the lungs and was protected by the goddess Nephthys ;
  • Duamutef, the jackal-headed god representing the east, whose jar contained the stomach and was protected by the goddess Neith ;
  • Imseti, the human-headed god representing the south, whose jar contained the liver and was protected by the goddess Isis ;
  • Qebehsenuef, the falcon-headed god representing the west, whose jar contained the intestines and was protected by the goddess Serqet.

Once the photographs of the jars were taken for identification, The envoys would be able to make preparations to overcome the four aspects of the Kemet- Ra and restore the natural order to the Cosmos.

Act 35: The Return to Kemet

With the photographs of the four jars developed, the group decides to travel back to the Alchemists Gate in the Garden of Souls. Rainfall hazards the journey, and the garden seems somehow respondent to the disruption of things taking place in Kemet. As the group approaches the gate, they begin to notice infestations of worms in deep furrows as they near the entry way.

Quickly performing the ritual movements needed to gain access to the gateway, they are immediately affected by the sudden appearance of blowing sand. In Kemet, the world was being subjected to a terrible scouring sandstorm.

The group made their way to the seat of the Cosmic Court, where they witnessed the weakening of the Kemet. Despite all of this, they were met by the Isan Nyat, who took them to a chamber where she identified the aspects from the photographs and advised the group that they would require weapon-wise to over come them, although she was unable to tell them which weapon would affect which of the aspects.

The items needed were;

  1. a weapon submerged in the blood of a ritual sacrifice for one solar day;
  2. a weapon ritually buried for one solar day;
  3. a weapon submerged in holy water for one solar day;
  4. a weapon purified by fire for 1 solar day.

The group had all of these items except for the ritual blood weapons. As the type of items that were considered weapons was irrelevant, then their true form was of no real concern. The group already possessed a dagger that had been submerged in Polywater for a period of time exceeding the requirements. Luca had an axe that had been buried for a period with his grandfather, before being recovered by his father. He also possessed an iron poker that had been purified by fire, as it was dropped in a forge during his grandfather’s lifetime.

For the ritual blood sacrifice, Liberty visited the storage area for Incan artifacts and recovered a Spanish dagger used by Incan priests to sacrifice Spanish prisoners alongside several natives. She also acquired an obsidian ritual blade used by Incan priests for human sacrifice.

So armed, the group determined to travel with the Chest, and the jars contained within, to the Pantheon in Rome, where a number of factors made the battle easier. As the weather had taken on an aspect affected by a distant Volcanic eruption. The eruption was credited to Santorini, but in actuality was a smaller eruption much closer to home, Mount Etna.

A blanket of Ash and pumice was raining down on the city. This had began sometime before the group returned from Kemet. The eruption persisted through the fight between the Envoys and the four Aspects of the Kemet-Ra.

One of the primary advantages was that the Pantheon was mostly empty of adornment or obstruction due to it’s unique structural design. It was seen as a strongly built building, one hopefully capable of withstanding any significant power that may be unleashed during the battle. The last aspect was that due to the volcanic eruption, the presence of tourists was non-existent. This helped prevent the possibility of causing the loss of innocent lives.

Having now arrived, the group put their plan into action, hoping to quickly match the right weapons with the correct aspects and thereby defeat them.

Act 36: The Four Aspects

The first of the jars to be opened- The Canopic jar whose head was that of Imseti, the human-headed god representing the south, contained the Aspect of Divine Strength. Once opened the aspect took on the manifestation of an exceptionally well-muscled Horii. It became clear quickly that this was the Aspect of Divine Strength. The weapon that was capable of defeating it was the blood sacrifice weapon. As there were two of them, the group was able to quickly overcome the greatly weakened Aspect. The attacks of the Horii were physical in nature, using a massive war mace in direct assaults and displacing a massive burst of power.

The second jar to be opened- The Canopic jar whose head was that of Hapi, the baboon-headed god representing the north, contained the Aspect of Corruption. Once opened the aspect took on the manifestation of a swarm of biting black flies. With very little surprise, this Aspect was rapidly identified as the Aspect of Corruption. Although in a severely weakened state, the swarm alternately broke into groups to attack multiple Envoys. It was the weapon purified by flame that was effective against this aspect. Although they only possessed a single weapon properly prepared to fight this aspect, the group with support of arts was able to over come it. Some members of the group were affected by a slowing affectation that hindered their ability to fight the remaining aspects.

The third jar to be opened- The Canopic jar whose head was that of Qebehsenuef, contained the Aspect of Flame. Once opened the aspect took on the manifestation of the great solar disk. The aspect was most certainly the aspect of Flame, and as such possessed two searing attacks that made it exceptionally dangerous. The first of these was a pair of searing light rays that kindled clothing on contact as well as seared flesh. The second aspect was a burst of flame that spread rapidly around the room, attempting to engulf all those present. The Buried ritual weapon, the axe, turned out to be the weapon that was suited to the defeat of this aspect.

The final jar to be opened- The Canopic jar whose head was that of Duamutef, the jackal-headed god representing the east, contained the Aspect of Entropy. Once opened the aspect took on the manifestation of an ancient decaying mummy. This aspect was one of the most difficult to overcome in some respects. It possessed a dangerous touch that immediately destroyed the flesh of the individual touched. Additionally, it seemed to absorb energy, rapidly draining speed and vitality from those affected by this ability. It became apparent that the final weapon, that submerged n holy water was the weapon used to defeat it. Interestingly, only slow and deliberate movement seemed to deal any significant damage to this aspect, even with the specially prepared weapon.

Once defeated, each of the aspects were released and the charms used to hold them in place within the jars became empowered so they could be used in the ritual to restore the Kemet-Ra to his full self.

Act 37: The Ritual of Recombination

Hurriedly, after defeating all four of the aspects, the Envoys made their way by foot through the city to the Alchemists gate and returned to Kemet. Upon their re-emergence into Kemet, they were greeted by a city nearly completely engulfed by sand dunes.

With some difficulty they made their way through the city until they reached the half-buried seat of the Cosmic Court. Upon gaining entry through an upper floor, they were able to located a very weakened and seemingly aged Nyat. With her help they performed the ritual and recombined the Aspects of the Kemet-Ra.

At the moment of recombination, a beam of pure sunlight struck the darkened sounds in the sky, reinvigorating it. At that moment, the serpent of Chaos, Apep was revealed in a flash of light. The creature retreated back into his lair and the balance of the Cosmos was restored. Almost immediately the decay and difficulties that had affected the city began to reverse themselves.

Act 38: Rewards of Service

Once completed, the Envoys were escorted into the presence of the restored Kemet-Ra. There an expression of gratitude was given to them for their assistance. He also offered each of them a reward.

To Oliver, he granted a scroll that would contain the means by which he would be able to reverse the process that was slowing sapping his humanity. He also received the wall that had been located behind the throne.

To Lodewijk, he granted assistance in spiritually cleansing the Theater that ha had acquired earlier that year.

To Liberty, he provided a gem of Cosmic knowledge. By swallowing it, she gained the ability to possibly tap into the knowledge contained in the entire Human world, the lands of Kemet and the Never-Never.

To Tomas, he granted a powerful crusaders blade known as The Beheader. This powerful blade was forged in the blood of holy war during the siege of Tyre.

To Agostino, he granted a magical elixir that would improve the potency of his Thaumaturgy. He was also told that once the elixir was consumed, that from that moment onward his power could be increased by eating the heart of other Thaumaturges.

To Father Fletcher, he granted a holy symbol charm unique to the Kemet. This charm is a potent weapon and tool that can be used against certain types of supernatural enemies.

1936 Season 1

View
Lies from the Silver Tongue
1936 Season 1, Episode 4

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.

With this information, Tomas set out to meet Santi, Lodewijk and Sven in their investigation of the newspaper’s offices.

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.

During her time at the office, she received a telephone call from Girabaldi Triviati, at the OVRA. She had previously asked him to look into the unusual history of Alec Sahib Roy.

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.

Once in the seance, Liberty was introduced to two other attendants, Maddelena Lombardo and Natalina Lucciano.

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

During the seance, Santi Nochese, Sven Thofelt, Oliver Merbach, Father Martin Fletcher and Lodewijk Van Beers drove to the offices of Fantasma Osservare Gionale.

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

Murta_Van_1936.jpg

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.

1936 Season 1

View
The Clockwork Angel
1936 Season 1, Episode 3

Act 1: When it Rains…

On Sunday January 19th, 1936, roughly a week after the conclusion of the case involving the Felbound Umbra and the Cinema dell Ombra, the various members of the Vatican City SAVE Office have enjoyed just a little down time between cases.

While the group handled the more mundane aspects of their daily lives, Liberty Rothe headed for the Vatican Secret Archives, in order to return the Manichean Sigils the group had borrowed during the previous investigation.

To her complete surprise, at arriving at the entry way to the archives, the Papal Guardsman normally assigned to that post was absent. In addition, the normally always locked entry door to the Archives was ajar. Her suspicion and curiosity aroused, Liberty carefully made her way into the archives.

Act 2: Et Martyris

Inside, Liberty discovered the body of Vice-Prelate Cardinal Sergio di Venezzio, second-in-charge of the vatican Archives. The Cardinal had been murdered in the fashion of Saint Sabastian. The Cardinal’s hands were tied with a section of hemp rope, around a wooden pillar, he was then shot with three modern wooden-shafted arrows in the chest, and then finally his brains were bashed in using a very heavy medieval Manuscript named Etymologiae written by Isidor of Seville between 560-336 ad. The book measures 6- feet wide, by 2-1/2 feet wide.

After a quick look around for the missing guards, whom Liberty feared had also been killed, she left the Archives, locking the door behind her and sought out a member of the Papal Guard to report the murder.

The person she found first was Tomas Gessner. She advised him of the situation, which was reported to the Officer on Watch. The two were then told to report to the Archives to await the arrival of a special investigator.

Act 3: The Investigator

It did not take very long for the investigator, Timoti Kamana to arrive. He introduced himself as a “ Special Investigations Envoy ” on behalf of the Vatican. He asked few questions, instead allowing Tomas and Liberty, to spread out and assist him in looking for any clues.

While they were looking, he disappeared for a short while. Making the two Envoys from SAVE suspicious. This disappearance, coupled with the almost lackadaisical attitude towards the situation, definitely raised suspicions.

The investigator mentioned that his authority arose from the Secretorum, a section of the church of which neither Tomas nor Liberty had ever heard.

Act 4: Is this a Case?

Liberty returned to the clubhouse to see Father Fletcher to inform him of the situation. While she was headed there, Tomas headed for the Barracks to look into the missing guards, Ari Huismann and Michiel Millen.

The primary question quickly became whether the situation warranted SAVE involvement, or if it was simply a mundane, although unusual, murder. Per Society by-laws, SAVE envoys do not investigate events not created or connected to the Unknown.

Unclear on the exact situation in regards to the unknown, Fletcher authorized a very preliminary investigation to determine whether it fell within the prevue of the Society.

Act 5: Establishing Facts

Liberty contacted Oliver Merbach in the hopes of having Oliver intercept the inevitable call to have the body transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Rome. To these ends, Oliver made certain that should such a call come in for the pick up of a body at the Vatican that he would be the one to respond. The call, however, never came.

Lodewijk Van Beers returned from an economics lecture at the University of Rome to be informed of the unfolding situation. He began to posit a few ideas, and along with Father Fletcher, wondered about the involvement of the Secretorum.

Meanwhile, frustrated with receiving no call to recover the body, Oliver decided to head to the Vatican Secret Archives, in an attempt to bluff his way inside to view the body, which he assumed was still within. His attempts to gain entry were thwarted by two members of the Papal Guard. When Oliver reported this to Tomas, the latter made this way to the Archives building and easily gained entrance. There, the guardsman discovered a very old page ripped from a very early unidentified Medieval manuscript.

Act 6: Book of Raziel

The page was taken to the Library of Esoteric Studies, where Liberty Rothe was able to identify it as a page torn from an ancient manuscript. The page was known as the Sefer Raziel Segulot, which is only a small portion of the much larger and more powerful Sefer Raziel HaMalach. the Sefer Raziel HaMalach was also known as the Book of the Archangel Raziel, written by the Archangel Raziel. It was said to contain information on the binding of Angels and/or demons among other esoteric knowledge.

It was the discovery of this page, that convinced Father Fletcher that they finally had a case that SAVE could investigate. He called in Sven Thofelt to aid in the investigation.

Act 7: The Package

Sven had received a package at the Embassy addressed to him, but bearing no return address. He brought the package with him to the Library with the intent to open it there. It was postmarked as originating in Milan, Italy.

The package consisted of several pictures of Sven’s family, wife Brigit, sons Lars and Bjorn. His nanny Sister Mary Margaret, and his mentor, Donar Krigare. Though framed, the glass was brutally shattered. A note written on fine linen paper read,

I have warned you to return that which you have taken from me. This is your final warning, return it or face the consequences.
C.A.
P.S. You have a lovely family.

This was obviously a threat by Cyprus Archer against Sven and most likely referred to the Devil Head Cane.

Act 8: Gotta Hand it to You

As things began to wind up in the investigation Red brought Oliver the left hand from a recent corpse. Oliver, intrigued, asked Red to bring back “ a piece of clothing. ” The result was a piece of purple fabric, which Oliver thought could have possibly belonged to one of the missing guardsman.

Following Red down to the Aurelian Walls near the Vatican; Oliver, Liberty, Lodewijk, Sven, and Tomas discovered a hole in a section of the wall. It was from inside this gap that Red had recovered the hand and piece of fabric.

Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, Oliver began to disassemble the wall, enlarging the hole, much to Tomas’ disagreement. An argument broke out between the two, which came to blows. Lodewijk went to inform Father Fletcher of the situation, hoping he could defuse it.

However, before the two could return, a pair of Papal Guardsmen intervened. At this point the discovery of the body had to be brought out into the open, although Oliver and Liberty were able to avoid detection by the Guardsmen and returned to the Library.

Sven and Tomas were left to deal with the Papal Guard; with Father Fletcher and Lodewijk arriving too late to be of any use. Martin and Lodewijk managed to avoid becoming entangled in the situation.

However, the special investigator Timoti Kamana was called and interviewed both Sven and Tomas, remarking at the interesting coincidence that Tomas was involved in the discovery of both murders uncovered that day. Neither man was detained, but the body and any evidence that may have been gained from it were lost to the Envoys.

Act 9: Divide and Conquer

At the direction of Father Fletcher, the Envoys broke up into three two-person teams to pursue potential leads in the case. It was hoped that they could gain a great deal of information by splitting up and following the various leads that were available to them at the time.

Act 10: The Expert

The first team consisted of Lodewijk and Tomas, whose task was to track down a reputed expert on Saint Sebastian. This was intended to provide much needed background information that may be relevant to the investigation due to the similarities between the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian and the murder of the vice-prelate. This, coupled with the fact that the following day was Saint Sebastian’s Feast Day, made any additional information potentially useful.

They had previously discovered that a priest visiting from England named Giovanni Siempre had been conducting extensive research on the life and times of Saint Sebastian at the Archives. And while this fact isn’t particularly damning, when combined with the nature of the murder it makes the father’s involvement suspect.

After a quick visit to the Office of Personnel Management on the Vatican Grounds, Tomas acquired the address for the Father. He was staying in room 274 at the Hotel Gambrinus. This was oddly enough the hotel was a site of interest during the previous investigation.

The two arrived at the hotel and as they were about to make their presence known to the Father, overheard him talking with another man. At this, they decided to eavesdrop. They identified father Siempre as a member of the Venatori Umbrata along with another man they know only as Josef.

Despite this association, or perhaps because of it, they decided to make contact with the father anyway; questioning him about the death of Saint Sebastian. They also took a look at this artistic renderings of the Chapel at San Sebastiano Fuori Le Mura .

With information in hand and now aware of the involvement of the Venatori, the two headed back to the Society to reveal their findings.

Act 11: The Chapel

The second team consisted of Liberty and Sven. Their task was to visit the San Sebastiano Fuori Le Mura to determine the cause for the cancellation of the Mass for the Eve of Saint Sebastian’s Feast day. Normally cancellation of such an event would not be possible. Upon arriving, they met with Father Guiseppe Paladrone, who was the attendant at the chapel there. With some questioning, the two discovered the existence and suspicion concerning the activities of Father Giovanni Siempre, who had been studying the chapel’s relationship with the saint. They also learned of a terrible vandalism that had taken place three days prior, on January 16th. This vandalism occurred in the catacombs beneath the chapel, where the remains of Saint Sebastian were stored. His sacred remains had been desecrated and the arrow used in his martyrdom, stolen.

Liberty, already familiar with the contents of the page located in the Archives, reasoned that the arrow was a means to control some bound entity once it had been created. This gave further credence to the involvement of the Unknown in the situation. Armed with this new insight the pair returned to the clubhouse to disseminate their information to the other members of the Society.

Act 12: The Cardinal’s House

The third team consisted of Oliver and Father Fletcher. The pair’s task was the location and possible inspection of the missing body. Since it was not taken to the Rome Medical Examiner, Father Fletcher suspected that the body could only be in one of two places on the Vatican Grounds.

The first was a space reserved for the preparation of the bodies of deceased Cardinals. It was quickly determined that this was not the location of the body. The second, although much more unlikely location, was the Sacellum Sepulturam; a special preparation chamber where the corpse of the pope resided prior to it’s burial.

Normally open when there was no papal body present, the two were surprised to find it closed and under guard. After persuading the Papal guardsman, the pair were able to gain access to the chamber, where they found the missing body.

Cursory inspection was consistent with the means of death reported by Liberty seen at the scene of the crime. Unable to gain any additional insight, although suspicious of the hidden circumstances of the body’s location, the two decided to search for clues at the Cardinal’s residence.

There, they noticed several details that pointed to the cardinal’s potential practice of self-mortification, as well as potential sexual deviance. Further investigations uncovered a secret room filled with hundreds of files on esoteric items and texts. They also discovered a safe hidden inside a filing cabinet. Upon opening it, they uncovered a strange document with six symbols on it. It looks like this:

combination.png

Perhaps this was some sort of key to gain access to the fabled Athenaeum Arcana- believed to exist somewhere on the grounds of the Secret Archives.

Armed with this new information and discovery, the pair returned to the Clubhouse to share their findings.

Act 13: Cypher anyone?

Later that evening all the members of the club house with the exception of Sven, who had returned to check on his family, tried to work out the meaning of the strange symbols that had been found in the Cardinal’s hidden safe.

As it was a very small sample with no repeating symbols, mathematical resolution was impossible. Attempts to match the symbol to any known languages was unsuccessful. Attempts to find numerical equivalents were likewise foiled. After hours of effort, Father Fletcher suddenly had an epiphany.

He explained that he had once seen similar symbols etched, burned or stamped into the spines of some Medieval manuscripts. He explained that many of the monasteries with Scriptoria would mark their produced works, whether original or transcribed with special marks upon completion.

Once this leap of logic was made, Father Fletcher was able to refer to a reference book and identify the Medieval Scriptoria that matched the symbols on the document. In all there were six of them. Three of the six had been converted over into other functions, including a hospital for one and two Convents.

Of those six original, all were reputed to have at one time contained relics of saints. Amongst those was San Sebastiano Fuori Le Mura. It was determined that this could have been a shopping list of relics to be used in the rituals found in the Sefer Raziel HaMalach. This information also could be a strong indicator that the murdered cardinal was working with or for the Venatori.

Act 14: Counter-espionage?

Knowing that they were now suspect, the various members of the group decided to go their separate ways in an attempt to disrupt any attempts by Inquisitor Timoti Kamana to keep them under watch. Tomas went to meet with Cardinal Incenzio Montenegro. Sven went to work at the Embassy and then to spend some time with his family. Oliver made arrangements to rent a studio apartment at La Rarita. Father Fletcher went to attend to some of his priestly duties. Lodewijk and Liberty went to speak with Edward Vorgenberg to ask about possible;e black market connections to the missing holy relic.

Act 15: A Black Market Connection?

While speaking with Eddie about possible black market connections to Religious relics, it was revealed that although Eddie did not deal in such areas, that several supposed relics have been actively collected by Ivana Aleramici. It is possible that the missing artifact could have been stolen on her behalf. It is well known that she recently acquired the Helmet of Constantine I, a very significant early Christian artifact.

Also while there, the pair encountered Baron Ernhardt Von Schleissen, although not in connection with anything related top the current investigation.

Liberty and Lodewijk returned to the clubhouse to impart their new knowledge. It was possible that the group may need to travel to Piedmont in order to continue their investigation.

Act 16: The Prelate

Tomas was tasked with the job of interviewing Cardinal Incenzio Montenegro the Prelate of the Vatican Secret Archives and immediate boss of the murdered Cardinal Sergio di Venezzio.

Despite his best efforts, however, the Prelate offered very little in the way of useable information. This could be a result of obfuscation, misdirection or simply a lack of knowledge. It was believed that the Prelate knew more than he was saying, which made him suspect, although not necessarily involved in the murder.

Act 17: Return of the Inquisitor

After breaking up for their respective tasks, Oliver returned to the club house in an attempt to catch Inquisitor Timoti Kamana gaining unwarranted entry into the library. While that attempt was unsuccessful, as the other Society members returned before Kamana arrived, or Oliver simply missed his opportunity, Kamana did arrive at the clubhouse shortly after the last of the group arrived (with the exception of Sven and Father Fletcher).

A tense discussion ensued, which led to Oliver insulting Kamana greatly. Threats were leveled, and kaman left angry. Within minute of his departure, Tomas received a phone call from Captain Antorinno Descortes advising him of his immediate suspension from the papal guard. It was clear that Kamana had begun his display of authority.

Oliver was banned from returning to the Vatican grounds. The same was threatened for Lodewijk and Liberty’s position at the Museum was also threatened.

In addition, at home, Sven was contacted by the Swedish Embassy and told that Ambassador Birger Wedberg needed to see him immediately. Upon his arrival, Sven was greeted by Girabaldi Triviati although using the name Tiempe Giovanni and working with the GRU, or Military Intelligence branch of the Italian Army. Questions were asked and answered to Triviati’s satisfaction. It was readily apparent that should this not be the case, Sven would have been deported from Italy.

Act 18: A Secret Revealed

Concerned about the turn of events, Oliver sought out Father Fletcher at the Borromini Chapel where the Father took holy water nightly. There, while waiting for the priest, he met a homeless British man named David Wilmoore. The two seemed to get along well, and in the end, David advised Oliver that the Priest was not going to be at the chapel as expected, but would rather be at his home a short distance away.

Intrigued, and still eager to make contact with father Fletcher, Oliver followed David to Fletcher’s Home, where a surprising secret was uncovered. Father Fletcher was married and his wife was expecting a child. His wife’s name is Carina deVecchio. Oliver promised to keep the Father’s secret, which could ruin his career, and also advised Fletcher of Kamana’s threats against the group.

Fletcher assured Oliver he would handle Kamana.

Act 19: Handling the Beast

Fletcher called a meeting with Kamana to discuss the situation. While kaman initially thought that Fletcher was going to be repentant and perhaps forthcoming, he was quickly surprised by the ferocity that the Priest showed him.

Revealing some photographs of a compromised Kamana, Fletcher made it very clear that the Inquisitor now worked for him. He was able to get Tomas reinstated and promoted. Oliver’s ban removed, a new cage purchased for Red, A Gaudy golden “ throne “ sent to Sven’s wife, any threat of deportation removed, liberty received a diamond necklace, and Lodewijk received a trust of 100,000 Lira in an educational account for his use.

It made Kamana angry, but whatever evidence Fletcher had at his disposal, brought the inquisitor quickly into line. With the Inquisitor no longer a problem, the group was now free to investigate as they needed without further interference.

Act 20: A New Arrival

As the group are planning to leave Rome to undertake the investigation of a lead in Piedmont, Italy, father Fletcher receives two propitious phone calls. The first is from Sven Thofelt advising the group that due to duties at the Swedish Embassy, he will be unable to attend the trip.

The second call is from Elric Stone, who advises Fletcher that he is to expect a new recruit to join the Vatican City Save Office. The new recruit recently had a run in with the Unknown in Milan, Italy and was relocated to Rome for his safety. His name is Gerard Filippani, a veterinarian by training.

It just happened to work out that the group was planning on boarding a train to Piedmont less than a half-hour after Filippani’s arrival. Since they now had an unused ticket as well, they was no difficulty in making arrangements for the new arrival to travel with them.

After meeting with Gerard at the train station, advising him of the change of travel plans, and redirecting him to the train now headed for Piedmont, introductions were made. In addition, Fletcher provided Gerard with an Indalo, welcomed him to SAVE and provided him with their current case file.

The group discussed the current situation while they travelled to Piedmont, speculating on the parties involved, their overall motives and any perceived timeline of events to date. While this was an excellent exercise in logic, the truth was that little evidence was available and the group’s travel to Piedmont was a long shot, hoping to uncover some critical piece of information.

Act 21: Piedmont

Upon arriving at Piedmont, the group took a hired limo to their hotel, accommodations for which were arranged by Liberty’s people in advance of their arrival. Also arranged prior was a late lunch meeting with Ivana Aleramici’s personal assistant, Anslow Bernhart.

They met at 2:00 p.m. at the Hotel restaurant- Bernhardt arriving a few minutes late. At the table they discussed the possibility of previewing the Marquise’s reputedly impressive collection of early religious artifacts. The group was advised that there had been a few attempted break-ins recently, as well as a few death threats leveled against the Marquise.

This was the main reason for the screening interview and also the enhanced security at the Castello Monferrato. Anslow excused himself for a short while to call the Marquise to inquire about the request. Ivan agreed to show the group her collection.

Act 22: At the Castello Monferrato

The group arrived just before 3:00 p.m. at the front gates of the Castello’s grounds. There they were searched for any weapons, their vehicles were thoroughly searched and checked for explosives. While the group made light of the situation, the security at the Castello was worrisome, should anything tho horribly wrong.

They were met at the front steps of the main structure by Anslow, who welcomed them and showed them to the Marquise. after a short exchange of pleasantries, the group took note of the various architectural icons and adornments that were predominant around the common areas of the Castello. Prevalently displayed throughout the structure were Cathar and Templar motifs, especially the Leviathan Cross. This was not surprising considering that the Marquise was a renowned collector of such items and icons.

Prayer_Labyrinth-sm.jpg

The group followed the Marquise and Bernhardt into the basement vaults of the Castello, where the collection of artifacts was stored. The collection included several early Christian artifacts, including the Finger of Saint Augusta, Axe of Saint Evasius, and the Helmet of Constantine. The vaults were broken into four distinct sections. The first section was early christian artifacts, the second was Cathar and Templar artifacts, the third section was Byzantine and Orthodox church artifacts. The final chamber was a collection of architectural items such as statuary, architectural capitals alter knaves, and a Prayer Labyrinth recovered from the ruins of a chapel in France.

It was the Prayer Labyrinth that immediately caught the attention of the group as within the meditative bulbs in the center of the labyrinth were the six marks found on the paper in the Vice-prelates secret safe on Vatican grounds. Noting their interest, Ivana told the group that legend had it that an exact match of her prayer labyrinth was said to exist somewhere on the vatican grounds, and that supposedly it held the secret to accessing a secret store of ancient Cathar and Templar artifacts known as the Athenaeum Arcana. She was however unable to ever confirm this myth to be true as she, being a Protestant was unable to gain access to the reputed location of the Labyrinth. She did tell the group that supposedly it was underground, and so would have been easy to miss by the uninitiated.

Pleased with her guests, she invited the group to dinner and to stay the night. She offered to allow them to explore the Castello and it’s grounds, although stipulating that they should not go anyplace that was “locked”.

The group agreed to stay and were show to their rooms.

Act 23: Splitting up

Once alone, the group decided that there was definitely some information to be found here. Too many items of significance were located here, and if the marquise was not directly involved, at least she may be a target due to her sizable collection of artifacts.

It was noted that during their tour Father Giovanni Siempre was mentioned as potential problem for the Marquise because he had been angered when he was told he could not view the Marquise’s collection.

As he had already been uncovered as a member of the Venatori, it became likely that the threat was related to that group.

The group decided to split into pairs to investigate the grounds. The ability to cover more ground quickly outweighing any safety concerns.

Tomas and Liberty decided to visit the impressive collection of books in the Marquise’s library on the second floor of the main wing. There were a number of books there of interest, several of which were not readily available anywhere else. Amongst them was a medieval Manuscript entitled, “ On the Nature of the Immortal Spirits that Inhabit the Bodies of their Descendants ” Upon removing this book from the shelf, Tomas Migual Gessner was immediately transformed into Agostino Raffaelle Mikael Selletti. Fortunately this fact was unnoticed by Liberty Rothe.

Lodewijk Van Beers and Father Martin Fletcher went back down to the vaults to get a better look at the prayer labyrinth located in the fourth vault. They were allowed to pass through the portcullis securing the vaults and made their way to the architectural vault in order to better study the labyrinth. There, deciding that they were most likely being watched, they undertook the journey in the labyrinth until they reached the center. There they regarded the symbols in the prayer meditation alcoves. It took a few minutes of review, before father Fletcher realized that they were looking at a map. The symbols were representative of specific monasteries, all located in Rome. My superimposing the location of the monasteries on a modern map of Rome and connecting them, any apex of crossed lines should indicate the location of the Atheneum on Vatican grounds. Unfortunately, as Fletcher explained this to Lodewijk, Anslow Bernhardt and some trigger men had arrived in time to overhear the explanation. It quickly became clear that Bernhardt was the true enemy and that Lodewijk and Fletcher were now in great danger for their lives.

Meanwhile, Oliver Merbach and Content Not Found: gerard-philippani went into the castle’s Garden maze to it’s center where an Oubliette was located. Arrangements had been made to provide a winch to allow Oliver to descend into the Oubliette and investigate it fully. While he was doing so, Gerard would wait at the top as a form of security.

Act 24: Things going Sideways

Despite being wary at the outset, the group quickly found themselves under attack.

Revealing himself as an enemy, Anslow ordered his guards to kill Fletcher and Van Beers in the vaults. He then left his men to the task, leaving to oversee the execution of the remainder of the group and to secure the marquise.

Taking the initiative, a fight ensued in the basement vault. Lodewijk and Fletcher dispatched the two guards and rushed to warn their comrades of the impending danger that Anslow posed. They however found their way blocked by the heavy portcullis. realizing that the guards would normally make a phone call to an undisclosed location to have the portcullis opened, the two were forced to come up with an alternate means of escape.

Their first attempt was to use the Axe of Saint Evasius as a lever. despite their efforts, the handle on the axe failed, forcing the two to move to more sturdily constructed items to aid in their escape.

Lodewijk retriever a carved stone 7-foot tall celtic cross from the architecture room while Fletcher acquired one of the marble columns used to display artifacts. Using the two as a fulcrum lever, they were able to lift the portcullis enough to prop it open. The two men then crawled through the opening and headed upstairs.

On the first floor, they encountered two of the guards roughly handling the marquise. They overheard an order, “ do not harm her, she is the last of her line. We need her. “ and a verbal salute of “ For the Brotherhood! “ Finally, it seemed that the actual perpetrators were uncovered.

The two men assaulted the guards, freeing the Marquise. Escape was suggested, and the Marquise revealed that there was a secret exit hidden in the Library.

At the Oubliette, the individual operating the winch, grabbed the crank handle and attempted to bash in Gerard’s skull with it. With Oliver at the bottom of the Oubliette, looking at a floor covered in human bones, Gerard was forced to handle the assailant alone.

Using a nearby grease bucket, Gerard was able to stagger the man, who losing his bearings plummeted to his death into the oubliette, taking the cranking handle with him. thinking quickly on his feet, Gerard grabbed a grease brush and using the handle began to crank the gears raying the winch. On the other end of the line, Oliver learned that something dangerous lurked beneath the layers of bones littering the Oubliette’s floor and began to climb the cable to hasten his escape.

Almost simultaneous to the attack in the Oubliette, Anslow and guards burst into the library. He ordered Liberty seized and Agnostino killed. Perhaps it was because of Liberty’s high profile that he needed to dispatch her in a different manner. giving his orders he left to handle other tasks. It is assumed that he left the Castello, as he was not seen again by any of the group prior to their escape.

Liberty and Agnostino found themselves embroiled in a fight for their lives. Agnostino, realizing he was ill-equipped for combat, grabbed the same book from the shelf, forcing Tomas to reemerge to better handle the situation.

Using a copy of Pliny the Elder’s first volume of Natural Histories Liberty fought off one of the attackers. Tomas, following suit, grabbed a heavy podium stand and wielded it as a weapon. The two guards fired their submachine guns, but destroyed nothing but invaluable manuscripts and ancient texts.

Once the two guards in the Library had been dealt with, the two prepared themselves for another assault, as they heard additional guards arriving from the first floor.

Meanwhile at the Oubliette, Oliver managed to extract himself from the pit and together with Gerard began to maneuver through the maze towards safety. realizing that there was going to be further violence, Oliver activated his Aeonia Discipline, to allow him to absorb significant injury.

This was excellent timing, as a Sniper appeared in the window of a nearby tower and began firing at the paid, hitting Oliver twice. To make matters worse, a group of four armed guards rushed into the maze to cut off their path to safety.

When the two groups came together, Oliver terrified three of them, sending two fleeing for their lives and a third frozen in abject fear. The fourth attacked them with a knife, knocking Oliver out of the fight and injuring Gerard. The guard was stunned during the fight, allowing Gerard to slip past him and head for safety, leaving Oliver behind, with a plan to bring back assistance.

About this same time, immediately following the rescue of the Marquise, Fletcher and Lodewijk split up. Fletcher headed towards the garden to assist Oliver and Gerard, while Lodewijk was headed towards the library with the Marquise.

In the meantime, the second wave of guards had reached the library and were ambushed by Liberty and Tomas. During the fight Tomas was temporarily knocked unconscious, leaving Liberty in a difficult situation. Fortunately Lodewijk arrived at that moment, and the two envoys managed to overcome the last of the guards as Tomas was coming around.

The three envoys and the Marquise located and opened the secret escape passage, and waited for the others to arrive.

Meanwhile in the Gardens, Gerard managed to exit the maze. Using the landscape to his advantage, he crossed to the Castello wall and scaled it. Placing himself outside the tower which housed the sniper, he waited for the right opportunity to deal with him.

At almost this exact same time, Oliver awoke in the Garden ravenously hungry. Seeing the guard still frozen in abject terror there, Oliver lost control of his will and in a fit of hunger and rage, began to consume the living man’s legs. The guard expired from shock, but the violence of the attack, and the subsequent feast of human flesh began to aid in Oliver’s recovery. Although not completely healed, Oliver was able to eventually recover his will and make his way out of the maze.

As Oliver began to leave the maze, the sniper took aim. The weapon suffered a malfunction, and it was at that time that Gerard chose to rush into the compartment and subdue the sniper.

With the sniper out of the way and any remaining guards fled, The two caught up with father Fletcher and made their way to the second floor Library. Upon arriving, they took the underground tunnel out of the castle into a series of old underground chambers. Eventually they emerged at the river, roughly a mile from the Castello.

They quickly returned to the hotel, gathered their belongings and boarded a train to race back to Rome.

Their only hope now was to reach the Atheneum before Anslow and his men, now identified as the Brotherhood of Iron, an assembled group of heretical cults whose singular goal is the destruction of the Roman Catholic Church.

Fearful of leaving the Marquise behind, the Envoys asked her to accompany them to Rome. An offer she accepted considering everything she had just experienced.

Just prior to boarding the train, Fletcher made a single phone call to Inquisitor Timoti Kamana, a known member of the Secretorum. As a member, he is in the best position to aid the group in dealing with the Brotherhood.

Act 25: Arrival at the Gates

Upon their arrival in Rome, the party rushed across the city to the gates of the Vatican. There, they discovered that their call to Inquisitor Kamana had born fruit.

The entries to the Holy city were closed, and under heavy guard by the Papal House guard.As a result of this, The members of the Vatican City SAVE Office, contacted Kamana for access to the grounds.

Kamana met them at the entry gate and together with his partner, accompanied them to the Vatican Secret Archives.

Act 26: Confrontation

Arriving at the Archives building, it quickly became apparent that the Brotherhood of Iron had arrived first. Entering the structure, they encountered armed members of the Brotherhood on the main floors of the facility.

Braving a withering fusillade of submachine gun fire from the upper balconies and from the far end of the library, the group made their way through the library, dealing with the adepts that threatened them.

Upon reaching the stairs and moving to the lower floor, it was discovered that the Brotherhood had taken Cardinal Sergio di Venezzio hostage as a means to slow any response to the Brotherhoods plans.

The group was able to overcome and eliminate the hostage takers and rescue the cardinal without injury or harm.

In return, Cardinal Montenegro revealed the access point to the Athenaeum Arcana, which was located behind a statue of Edmund the Martyr on the lowest floor of the Archives.

Act 27: Entering the Athenaeum Arcana

The secret passage behind the statue of the Martyred king, led the group to a hidden spiral stair. This stair led down 40-feet or so to the outermost perimeter of the Athenaeum Arcana.

It was in this location, the Vatican chose to house the most dangerous texts, artifacts and imprison some powerful creatures. As a combination Vault, library and prison, it was a dangerous place for the Brotherhood of Iron to be.

Upon arriving there, the Society realized that they had arrived too late to stop Anslow Bernhardt’s plans. The senior Knight of the Brotherhood had just completed the incantation that forced the Archangel Raziel into a set of Clockwork Armor. In this incarnation, Raziel would be forced to do Anslow’s bidding.

Also in the chamber were the missing Papal guardsmen, Ari Huismann and Michiel Millen. It was now apparent that they had not been kidnapped or killed, but had instead been working for the Brotherhood of Iron as spies.

Act 28: The Final Battle

A massive battle began, pitting the Vatican city SAVE Office, Inquisitors from the Secretorum, and Ivana Aleramici against two junior Knights, Ari Huismann and Michiel Millen; One senior Knight, Anslow Bernhardt; and an imprisoned and enslaved Archangel Raziel.

The armor worn by the Knights of the Brotherhood of Iron were specially designed mystical artifacts. These wards offered exceptional protections, some offensive capabilities and was amazingly light and tough. When combined with the Offensive capabilities of the Clockwork armored Archangel, it seemed as if the Brotherhood’s plan to destroy the Roman Catholic Church may actually be successful.

The battle was so ferocious, that several artifacts stored within the confines of the Athenaeum were inadvertently broken free from their vaults. Amongst them were several coins belonging to the Order of the Blackened Denarius. It was at this moment, however that the tide of battle turned.

With the presence of the Blackened Denarii, Sanja Mbondi, a Knight of the Cross arrived. With his arrival, the Brotherhood offensive capabilities began to falter in the presence of the Sword of the Cross, Esperacchius.

Sanja released the Archangel from his bondage, and the Archangel destroyed Anslow Bernhardt. The other combatants were able to overcome to the two junior Knights that remained. With the threat to the Papacy ended, Sanja gathered the coins that had escaped from their vaults for safekeeping.

Only one coin, Armaros, also known as Oliver Cromwell escaped.

With the threat neutralized, the members of the SAVE office closed the successful investigation. Inquisitor Kamana and Father Fletcher reached an agreement based on mutual respect and vowed that going forward the two organizations would remain allies in the face of future danger.

View
Cinema of Shadows
1936 Season 1, Episode 2

Act 1: The Gathering Storm

Unbeknownst to the Vatican City SAVE Office, their enemy the Abiectio Venatores had set in motion a vile plan to disrupt an important Mass to be conducted by the Vatican’s Assistant Secretary of State Cardinal Reiner Brohermund. The mass was an invitation only event, scheduled for 10:00 am on the morning of January 27, 1936.

The mass was to be attended by a large number of wealthy and influential people, including ambassadors and socialites. Amongst those attending was Ambassador Birger Wedberg, his Military aide Sven Thofelt and a small security detail. Once they arrived on the premises they were to be escorted by Papal house guards, Tomas Migual Gessner and Dante Margolis.

Word reached father Martin Ambrose Fletcher by way of Luca Garige, that the Abectio had been showing some thaumaturgical interest in the upcoming Mass. They had been using divination to see scraps of the future. For this reason, Father Fletcher acquired invitations for the members of the Society not already invited. This included himself, Lodewijk Van Beers, Hans “Oliver” Erich Merbach, and Liberty Rothe.

Luca would remain at the club house, in an attempt to acquire additional information and to perhaps also be able to backtrack the Abiectio to their lair.

Act 2: A Mass to End all Masses

As the attendants began to arrive at the Mass, the members of the Vatican City SAVE Office quickly began to recognize the individuals that had attacked them on New Year’s Eve. They easily identified Mortimer Stroud, Emeric Dane, and Indra Dietrich as belligerents in the recent attacks against them. They were also surprised to see Augustina Derusse, whom it now appeared had been transformed into the newest member of their vampiric cult coterie.

Using deduction, they were also able, for the first time, place a face to Cyprus Archer, leader of the Abiectio.

Minor interactions occurred, as the two groups recognized the other, and settled in for the next stage of the drama to unfold.

As the cardinal’s procession began to make their way towards the alter, Cyprus, through the use of Thaumaturgy, let loose a spell that caused people to become irrational and hostile to each other. The mass began to degenerate into a bar brawl, leaving the Envoys separated and fighting different smaller conflicts.

Oliver rushed into the center aisle, where he valiantly rescued the Cardinal, thinking that he was the target of the chaos, and quickly carried him from the chapel, into the administrative offices located at the rear of the rectory.

Dante and Tomas confronted Augustina, which resulted in Dante running her through with a Halberd, although to little effect.

Stymied by the crowd, Lodewijk and Liberty managed to reach safety, despite the madness sweeping through the chapel. While they were unable to directly engage the Abiectio, they were able to take in details that could prove important later.

Father Fletcher pulled a Stub-nosed .38 Colt revolver from his cossack and shot Emeric Dane five times. Although the bullets were not lethal to the vampire, they were Solomonic Bullets. As a result they caused extreme pain and Emeric withdrew from the conflict.

Noticing Cyprus tapping upon the marble floor with a Devil Head Cane, Sven interrupted him by using his Feat of Strength Discipline to overturn the pew Cyprus was seated upon. With his concentration broken, the spell unravelled and people became disoriented and confused.

Act 3: In the Back Offices

With the Cardinal disoriented, Oliver heard a noise coming from one of the back rooms of the chapel and decided to investigate. There, exiting through a back door, Oliver encountered Giovanni Brullo, the pickpocket and thief they had encountered just a few days prior.

The boy was in the act of stealing a bag full of tithes from the church safe, which he had been “ persuaded to open ” by an unknown man. The boy explained that while his “haul” was quite good, The Fuzzy Man, had made off with a Golden Cross that had been stored in the safe.

Checking once again on the well being of the Cardinal, Oliver decided that he was no longer in danger and returned to the chapel as everything was beginning to return to normal.

Act 4: The Not-so Veiled Threat

After the conflict had subsided, and it was obvious that no one affected was clear as to what had transpired, perhaps as a side effect of the interruption of the spell, the Envoys gathered to gather to quickly assess the situation.

It was then that Sven revealed that just a few moments prior to the outbreak of the Chaos in the chapel, that Indra, one of the Abiectio, had revealed that she knew the schedule on which Sven’s family was arriving in Rome later that day.

Now with a potential threat to Sven’s Family, the group departed the chapel, regrouped at the club house, with the exception of Sven who was forced to escort the Ambassador back to the Swedish Embassy.

Oliver revealed the theft of the cross from the safe, which was quickly identified as the Saint Augustine Cross.

Act 5: Two-pronged Approach

Needing to prioritize the safety of Sven’s family, The group split into two. The first group, consisting of Sven, Tomas and Lodewijk would head to the train station, in anticipation of foiling any attack that might take place there.

The second group, consisting of Oliver, Liberty, and Father Fletcher, would visit Sven’s home in an attempt to search for any signs of ambush or malignant magic waiting to harm the family.

A brief discussion was also had about the potential recruitment of Giovanni either into the SAVE office, or perhaps into the Order of Saint Giles as an assistant to Father Pedro Manuel Rogerio.

Act 6: Sven’s Home

Upon arriving the group spread out to search the home. An unsettling feeling was present in the basement of the building but could not be identified. Later upon his arrival Sven would confirm there was an unnatural unease around the basement.

In the main sitting room, an unusual table was spotted. The table bore Christian Angelic figures, was made of brass and topped with a green leaded-glass top. As Sven was known to not be Christian, the likelihood of this piece being anything but unusual was a foregone conclusion.

The table was later identified as a Thanatoic Table. Using the glass surface as a looking lens, an otherwise invisible door was revealed. This door, when opened, revealed a long hallway. This hallway, in turn, led into a mirrored room resembling Sven’s sitting room, but reversed.

The group decided to carry the table away and transferred it to the laboratory for Luca to study.

In the attic, an unusually shaped window was found. While it isn’t clear whether there was any special attributes to the window. It seemed out of place. It was apparently made from an old stained-glass window, although only one color of glass was present. The piece was very old, as all the glass showed signs of flow, and yellowing. It was also apparent however that the pieces had been rearranged, as the thicker portions of the glass (which should have been at the bottom) were not always positioned as such. It is generally believed to have some significance, although exactly what it is remains unclear. It was decided that the window would be removed at a future time for further study.

Act 7: At the Train Station

Sven, Lodewijk, and Tomas arrived at the train station with just under a half hour before the train’s arrival.

After some observation, it was clear that each arriving train could disembark on either of two different platforms. in the case of Sven’s Family, their train was scheduled to arrive on platform 7. This meant that his family could disembark on either platform 7 or platform 8.

Due to the unknown nature of the threat, it was decided that the team would divide and move to different locations in order to better be prepared for a variety of options. With this plan in mind, Tomas moved to the upper catwalk; Lodewijk to platform 8; and Sven to platform 7.

As the train arrived at the station, Mortimer Stroud made his presence known to Lodewijk. With a warning that Sven Should return “ what was stolen ”, presumably the Devil Head Cane, Mortimer left the platform without attacking anyone.

As members of the Thofelt family disembarked on platform 8, Sergeant Bjorn Lomborg and two escort soldiers appeared to make their way down the platform. They were originally assigned to escort the Thofelt family, so their presence was not unexpected.

However, as the three men crossed the platform, they all drew their sidearms as they approached. It was at this point that it became apparent that they had been manipulated in some way to cause the Thofelts harm.

Thinking quickly on his feet, Lodewijk attempted to signal the others with a loud whistle. However, the ambient noise and prodigious amount of steam prevented the others from either hearing or seeing his predicament. He then attempted to break the focus of the affected men by intoning a piercing High C-over-C sustained note. The shrill tone was not enough to interrupt the mind control, but it did burst several platform bulbs and break any suggestive enchantment that had been affecting the men. Realizing that perhaps what was needed was something somewhat disorganized, (after thinking back to the encounter at the mass earlier that morning), Lodewijk took a gamble and began to recite the Jabberwocky Poem because of it’s uneven meter and odd use of nonsensical language.

“ Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

‘Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!’

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought —
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood a while in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One two! One two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

‘And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe. “

The gamble paid off as the minds of the enraptured men attempted to make sense of the bizarre language used in the poem. They snapped out of their trances and were disoriented. They holstered their side arms and with no more threat seen, Sven dismissed the security detail and the envoys escorted the Thofelt family home.

Act 8: The Mysterious Body

As the group was leaving the Thofelt residence, Oliver was informed that he was needed at a local hotel where a mysterious body was found.

With Tomas to accompany him, the two men drove to the expensive hotel where they found the Medical Examiner outside the hotel with the body.

The body was on the sidewalk, covered. However, there were absolutely no injuries to be found. Inspection of the body revealed that it cast no shadow. It also held a Cinema del Ombra Ticket in his suit jacket pocket.

After loading the body into the car for transport, Oliver spotted a well dressed man, that piqued his interest. Oliver attempted to catch the man, who fled up a fire escape to the roof of the Hotel. He crushed several fire door handles along the way.

Upon reaching the roof, Oliver spotted the man, down below on the street, turning a corner. There was no apparent way for the man to have reached the street and further pursuit was impossible.

Act 9: Authentication Denied

In a seemingly unrelated incident, Liberty Rothe meets with Professor Athonio Fatrochini, who has been instructed to make introductions between Liberty and Kurt Heinrich Helck, a representative sent to Rome from Berlin on Nazi Party business.

It seems that The Nazi Propaganda minster Josef Spears is desirous for the authentication of a recently tectonic text to be conducted. In truth, he is not truly delirious for it to be authentic, just for Liberty to say such. Upon quick inspection, Liberty determines it to be a very poor forgery, and refuses to authenticate it, despite the continued insistence of Helck and his associate.

Demanding a detailed report, which is to include “how it should be”, presumably so the nazi’s can create a better forgery which may fool Rothe into falsely authenticating it, Helck departs unhappily.

The professor apologizes and returns to his office. Later Rothe contacts him and the two discuss the situation to include the possibility of performing “inconclusive” lab tests to prevent any deprivation of Liberty’s professional credibility. The conversation ends in an unresolved state, and Liberty is certain she will be seeing a new forgery soon.

Act 10: The Autopsy

When Oliver returned from his attempt to catch the mysterious Englishman, he noted that his companion Tomas Migual Gessner was nowhere to be seen. Being pressed by the Medical Examiner to transport the body to the morgue, Oliver left the Hotel Gambrinus without him. Although not without acquiring the key to the dead man’s hotel room. It was Oliver’s intention to return to the hotel at a later time, to investigate the room.

At the Morgue a series of unpleasant tests were conducted on the corpse to confirm a state of death and not a state of comatose behavior. After confirming that the individual was, intact dead, although in a manner inconsistent to a state known by medical science, as it showed none of the characteristics of death that is should be displaying based on the known length of time that the victim is believed to have been dead.

Oliver left the Morgue and decided to return to his apartment, to determine if it was possibly safe to return there.

Act 11: What’s That Smell?

Upon arriving at the apartment building, Oliver was greeted by neighbors complaining of the awful smell emanating from his apartment. Being suspicious, Oliver called the Vatican City SAVE Office to give a basic report of the situation and his location. Lodewijk answered the phone and decided to head to Oliver’s apartment to assist.

Upon arriving Lodewijk and Oliver ascended the stairs of the apartment building to the fifth floor. There, outside Oliver’s apartment door, they could hear the loud sound of buzzing coming from within the apartment.

Deciding that they should inform someone again at the office prior to entering the apartment, they made another call, and this time advised Luca of the situation, requesting Father Fletcher’s aid. However, Luca had no way to contact Father Fletcher, and so contacted Liberty instead. Luca was also unable to reach Sven or Tomas. Luca also advised Oliver to wear some rubber galoshes and fill them half full of gin in order to help drive off any potential issues with the buzzing noise coming from the apartment. Oliver dismissed this as a prank.

Thinking the situation was serious, after the call was disconnected, Luca contacted the Rome SAVE Office for assistance. That office dispatched two envoys, Piero Adessi and Santi Nochese to assist them.

Oliver and Lodewijk decided to open the door to the apartment. This released a massive swarm of Corpse Flies, which bit both Envoys before dispersing. The collected envoys noted the presence of a Corpse Flower in the center of the apartment. The mysterious curse that had been inscribed on the walls was no longer visible, although it was unclear whether it was gone or just hidden. at the base of the plant, Oliver found a black envelope with his name inscribed upon it in gold foil. He pocketed the envelope for later inspection.

Liberty arrived a moment or two later, and informed Oliver and Lodewijk that she had seen “two men on the street with weapons”. She had overheard them commented about the fifth floor. This was the same floor as Oliver’s apartment.

The group decided to hide. Lodewijk and Oliver took refuge in an unoccupied apartment diagonally across the hallway from Oliver’s apartment, While Liberty went part way up the nearby stair towards the sixth floor.

The two men arrived and went directly to Oliver’s apartment. However, as they did not know what the Vatican SAVE Envoys looked like, and the Vatican SAVE Envoys did not know that the Rome Office was sending anyone, they did not make immediate contact.

Eventually the two groups met and introductions were made. Together they removed the Corpse flower from the apartment and kept the planter for further investigation.

Once the Rome Office Envoys left, Liberty employed her Read Object Discipline on the marble planter to determine some details about it (and by extension the plant) and it’s journey and arrival to Oliver’s Apartment.

In this way, it become apparent that there was a Necromancer involved, that it originated in South America, and that great care and expense was had to place the plant in the apartment.

Act 12: The Briefing

Sven and his family spent the day tackling domestic needs, such as furniture shopping, eating out and spending the evening with family.

In anticipation of the arrival of Sister Mary Margaret as a nanny and additional protector for the children, Sven made arrangements for her room and also advised Donar Krigare of her imminent arrival.

Other matters were discussed concerning the supernatural threat to the Thofelt family.

Act 12: Meanwhile Back at Base…

Lodewijk, Oliver and Liberty returned to the clubhouse and advise Luca of their findings. Luca revealed the complexity of the Thanotic table to them and also located and removed the Corpse Fly Larvae from Oliver and Lodewijk.

Oliver finally opened the mysterious envelope to reveal a Cinema del Ombra Ticket, identical to that of the one found on the mysterious body. With a now obvious connection between the events at the apartment and the mysterious dead man, it appears that a more focused investigation is on the way.

With a more focused approach to their investigation possible the group decided to break into smaller groups to follow various leads that they had in an attempt to narrow down the location of the Cinema.

Liberty used her Read Items discipline to determine some vague information concerning the invitation Oliver received to the Cinema dell Ombra.

Act 13: Divide and Conquer

Armed with new information, and a more focused approach to their investigation possible the group decided to break into smaller groups to follow various leads that they had in an attempt to narrow down the location of the Cinema.

Act 14: Zombie Check

Oliver and Father Fletcher made their way to the city morgue, where they investigated the “shadowless” body of the unidentified Englishman. Working with some information provided by Luca, and keeping in mind the previous presence of a Necromancer; the two decided to test whether the man may well be a Zombie.

Knowing that a rhythmic tapping would cause a voodoo zombie to move, they unzipped the body bag and using a metal pen, Oliver tapped out a pattern to see if there was any reaction. The test proved conclusively that he was not a zombie, leaving the party back at square one, as to what they were dealing with.

Act 15: The Hotel Room

Oliver and Father Fletcher then made their way back to the Hotel Gambrinus. There, they discovered that the victim’s room had been visited by a British gentleman claiming to be with the British Embassy. They took the elevator up to the 3rd floor room, 312, where they gained entry using the previously acquired key.

Investigating the room, at first revealed no distinct clues. However, after some time, a few odd facts were uncovered. First among them was the fact that the lights in the suite would not function with the curtain closed.

On top of that, it was determined that the victim, although clean shaven had no shaving kit in the room. His suitcase was open on his bed and in good order.

A return train ticket to Geneva identified the victim as Thomas Parroy, an international banker on business in Rome from his headquarters in Bern Switzerland.

Not finding any significant clues, Father Fletcher contacted [Agostino Raffaelle Mikael Selletti and asked for his assistance at the crime scene. While waiting for their help to arrive, they questioned the Valet and uncovered several clues concerning the car and driver used to transport Parroy to the Cinema.

Upon his arrival Agostino, acquired some Talc powder (a thaumaturgically inert material). He then used it to reveal a magical sigil on the curtain that was responsible for the lack of working light.

While this was inconclusive, it did point towards the use of Somnomancy.

Act 15: Pursuing The German

Remembering the information acquired during the reading of the planter used to convey the Corpse Flower to Oliver’s Apartment, Liberty and Lodewijk decided to visit Edward Vorgenberg, to see if he knew who the individual could be based on the scant descriptions available to Liberty from her reading.

They were in luck, as Edward was able to identify the individual by the description and by the automobile seen by Liberty in her reading. The individual was identified as Martin Gueshagen. His exact level of involvement is uncertain at this time.

Act 15: Inroads with the Venatori

After concluding their meeting with Edward at the art gallery, Liberty and Lodewijk made their way to Il Gato Nero, where they met with Maddie. They inquired about meeting with a member of the Venatori Umbrata, asking her to arrange such a thing.

Maddie agreed to set up the meeting, but warned the pair that since SAVE were not signatory members of the Unseelie Accords that she could only guarantee their safety at the club, and that beyond that, they would be on their own to remain safe.

The two envoys agreed to the dangers and a meeting was arranged.

They met with Sabine a ranking member of the Venatori Umbrata. There they inquired of her about Cyprus Archer and his gourd the Abiectio Venatores.

Sabine provided the two with a significant amount of information concerning the members of the Abiectio. She also shed some light on Cyprus’ history with the Venatori, some of his known powers, and his motivations.

She was somewhat dismissive of the information that he and the others were now Black Court Vampires. She was certain that Thaumaturgists once turned were thereafter incapable of using thaumaturgy. She agreed to bring this new, although unlikely, information to the Venatori Council.

A loose alliance was formed during the meeting.

Act 16: Making a Break for Freedom

As the others returned to the Clubhouse to share information with their other members, the Devil Head Cane ambushed Luca and attempted to escape from the clubhouse.

With Luca warning the others, the main exit is blocked and the search for the cane is undertaken. The can, apparently motive and capable of some degree of sight, evades immediate capture and heads upstairs.

With Oliver and the others in hot pursuit, the cane assaults Red and jumps from the third story window in Oliver’s room.

From there, Oliver jumps from his window, and the others chase the cane down the street. At the edge of the road, they encounter the exact car and driver that carried Thomas Parroy to the cinema on the night of his death.

The driver addressed Oliver directly and invited him to attend the cinema. Oliver declined but agreed to attend the next show. The car and driver Biel left, and would presumably return the following evening.

Act 17: Another Body

Father Fletcher was asked to contact the Rome SAVE Office to see if they had any knowledge of any British Envoys in the local area. The group was beginning to wonder whether or not the mysterious British man was possibly from the London Office.

During the call, which confirmed that Rome had no knowledge of a British Envoy here, it was discovered that there was another “shadowless” body being held by the Rome SAVE Office.

Interested and eager for additional information, the group made their way to the Rome Office building. There they met Lorenzo Dioli and Dea Murtas. They were given the Cinema dell Ombra Ticket that was found on the body. They were told that the body was that of another banker.

Act 18: Looking for the Cinema

Using information recovered from the reading of the ticket, the group divided into smaller groups and moved through a section of the city that was identified as most likely to contain the cinema. Despite hours of searching, the cinema was not found.

Act 19: Visiting the Cinema

With three tickets to the Cinema del Ombra Tickets now in their possession, the group decided to send Tomas, Oliver and Lodewijk to the cinema.

At promptly 5:45 pm, the Edolas arrived, guided by the Chauffeur Biel. The chauffeur conveyed the three ticket bearers to the Cinema. The Edolas was followed by Liberty and Father Fletcher following in Liberty’s car.

However, due to the nature of the Cinema’s existence, Liberty was unable to follow.

Upon arrival, Oliver and Lodewijk were told that their tickets were invalid and non-transferrable. However, upon insisting that they be allowed inside, they were permitted to stand in the mezzanine area.

Interestingly enough, Tomas was identified as “Mister Selletti”, and was told that his ticket was valid. It may be possible that in some manner his ticket had been unused, thus remaining valid.

He was shown into one of the private viewing boxes.

The play consisted of 4 complete acts, each ending in murder or some sort of sacrifice. The show was engaging and performed completely as a series of shadows. This unusual performance seemed somehow connected to the recent deaths. However, there was no outward indication that this was the case.

At the end of the show, those attending felt emotionally exhausted and compelled to return to the cinema the following evening.

Act 20: Preparations

Having the desire to locate additional tickets to allow the other two members of the office to attend the Cinema, Oliver, Lodewijk and Tomas began looking for additional victims of the Cinema hoping to uncover additional information. The party did not find any, but they did find Theron locked in a basement. While unrelated to the investigation, they did manage to extract an agreement for a future favor for each of them from the Fae.

However, while some members were looking for additional tickets, Liberty and Father Fletcher decided to acquire some Manichean Sigils in the hopes of using them to act as a form of mental shield. It was hoped that it would act as a form of protection against any sort of influence that seemed present at the cinema.

Oddly, both Father Fletcher and Liberty received an invitation to the cinema. It seemed that they would be joining the others at the theater at the next showing.

Act 21: The Encore Performance

The following day, at exactly 5:45 pm, Edolas arrived to carry the members of the Vatican City SAVE Office to the Cinema dell Ombra.

As with the previous show, there were several acts, five in total. They were similar, but not the same as those the day before. Oliver, and Lodewijk were issued valid tickets. As a result they all shared a cinema box.

As before, the show left the audience members emotionally drained and compelled to return to a future performance. It seemed, however that Liberty and Fletcher were not as radically affected as the other envoys. It is unclear whether this resistance was related to the use of the sigil.

Act 22: Meeting the Aciem Sinisteri

After the show, the Envoys were able to meet several of the acting troupe, the Aciem Sinisteri, performing at the Cinema. Some information was gained, but the exact nature of the threat is unclear.

With the information acquired from Sabine and their experiences at the Cinema it is apparent that they are dealing with one or more shadow creatures. Although these creatures remain unseen, it is likely that they are present in the Cinema.

The envoys returned to the club house to determine their next course of action.

Act 23: Final Preparations

With he prospect of some final performance looming on the horizon for the Cinema, and with a sense of growing dread that some terrible culminating event loomed large in their future, the Envoys of the Vatican Office began to plan for the inevitable showdown that they knew was in their future.

With scant little ability to affect travel independently to the pinched portion of the Never-Never wherein the Cinema resided, the group realized that they had little choice but to attend the theater on the terms set out by the creature or creatures behind it’s operation.

Another significant worry was the heavily depleted state of the Groups collective willpower. With Oliver, Lodewijk and Agostino in attendance for two consecutive nights, an unable to recover from their exhaustion, the very real threat of failure seemed imminent. To make matters worse, Father Fletcher and Liberty were only slightly better off after only a single performance.

With Sven away, dealing with Embassy business, it seemed that the group would be terribly ill prepared for the upcoming confrontation.

But a ray of hope appeared in the form of Luca. He had not remained idle while the group had been in attendance at the theater. Setting himself the goal of aiding the group in their recovery from their exhaustion, Luca concocted some Oil of Abramelin which he used to anoint the affected Envoys, so that they could then benefit from the consumption of his Convalescent Tea Blend and some much needed rest.

With the fortuitous arrival of Sven, now free of his embassy duties, at least one fully rested member of the group was now available. He arrived at the club house with news that his wife Brigit Thofelt had attended the Cinema the previous night without his knowledge. Now advised of the power of the compulsion to return to the cinema tonight, Sven agreed to attend alongside his wife and his fellow envoys to bring an end to whatever evil lurked within.

As the others rested, working on the address provided by Agostino Raffaelle Mikael Selletti for the Cinema, Sven and Luca decided to travel there and see what was in that spot in the real world.

Their investigation lead them to the burned ruins of the Valletta Royal Opera House. a cursory investigation by the two showed the place to possess a weakened veil between the real world and the never-never, thus making it an ideal candidate for the Cinema dell Ombra to manifest.

Additional information gathered from a homeless man nearby, pointed to a terrible fire that was responsible for the deaths of 135 people. The fire took place on October 23, 1934. This was further confirmation that this real world location was most likely the linked position of the Cinema in the Never-Never.

Sven and Luca traveled next to the Maria De Barboss Charity Center. There they met with a Catholic Sister running the center, where they received a great deal of additional information on the fire and destruction of the Opera House. They also made a tenuous connection to the Orphanage at the Boromini Convent. The Orphanage was the recipient of the female children hat surveyed the fire. This poses an interesting connection, as this is the same orphanage where Angelini Sophorina was discovered by Father Fletcher and Lodewijk Van Beers to have been a feeding victim of a Unidentified Black Court Vampire.

With more important issues at hand, Sven and Luca returned to the club house to awaken their sleeping companions and plan the remainder of the plan for the upcoming encounter.

Luca revealed two additional tools that would be of use to the group. The first was Haruspic Salve which would allow the group to recover some of their strength of will while in the Never-Never when applied to the closed eyelids of the recipient. Luca provided two doses to each attending envoy.

The second was the Thanatoic Pendant which would be used to allow Luca to remotely view the Cinema, when worn by Liberty Rothe. It also allowed the Envoys to pass verbal information to and receive information from Luca remotely.

Act 24: 5:45 pm Sharp

As expected, at exactly 5:45 pm sharp, the Edolas and driver appeared to convey the attendees to the Cinema. Upon arrival at the cinema, Sven Thofelt acquired a ticket to attend, so that he could be near his wife. However, rather than use a viewing box separate from the other envoys, the Thofelt’s decided to share a box with them instead.

Prior to the start of the show, Lodewijk Van Beers and Hans “Oliver” Erich Merbach attempted to gain access to the back stage area of the building. The lack of modern design forced them to attempt to enter the unused Orchestra Pit. However all efforts to do so were prevented by a vigilant attendant who insisted that he return to their seats.

Act 25: The Final Performance

The performance began with the introduction by the MC as expected. However, mixed into his introduction speech, was a sanctification recital in Mishnaic Hebrew. The translation, carried out by both Oliver and Agnostino was, “ My Lord/King/God I offer these purified should for your sacrifice. ” As the vast majority of the audience had no idea what was spoken, they did not become alarmed.

The show was divided into six distinct stories, the final being a sacrificial rite of the Cult of Dionysus or Bacchus as represented by a sexual conquest and ritual dismemberment of a male sacrificial figure portrayed in the fashion of the ancients rites on the Greek Isles of Lesvos.

As the scene progressed, it became apparent to the Envoys that the audience, including Sven’s wife were being driven towards and estatic and potentially homicidal frenzy. This frenzy was pseudo sexual in nature. It is only because of the recovery of their force of will that the envoys remained unaffected by the influence of the final act of the shadow play.

As the dismemberment commenced, the lights took on a deep crimson color and with the words, “ And now we begin our after party! ” by the MC, the entire Cinema burst into chaos. The MC then directed his outstretched finger towards the box occupied by the Envoys and alerted all the other Cinema attendants and the Servitor Felborn Umbras to the Envoys location. The confrontation had begun.

Act 26: The Final Act

In a bid to better protect his wife, Sven placed her in a choke hold and knocked her unconscious, knowing that she would not be a target in the upcoming battle if incapacitated.

Three of the Felborn Umbras slid across the cinema and into the box with the envoys. A battle ensued. The Umbras using their Chilling touch to great effect, while the Envoys deployed Flash bulbs and flaming weapon to cause the creatures injury.

A long difficult conflict left the envoys injured and drained of their willpower, but application of the Haruspic Salve aided them in continuing the fight.

Most of the Envoys engaged in direct combat, But Agostino attempted to create a projection circle to aid the party, but soon found out that the creatures were not bound to normal space as they could bypass the circle by melding through the floor. Using his extensive occult knowledge, he enhanced a mirrored compact to focus beams of light, and created a light capture circle to aid in maintaining illumination during the attacks. While not as effective as he had hoped in combat, the smallest of benefits began to add up to aid the Envoys in their struggle.

Lodewijk, having no real means to directly combat the creatures, made it his purpose to rescue as many of the audience goers as possible. Through the use of his persuasive and powerful voice, his efforts were rewarded by the evacuation of a large number of innocent people.

Things became a little desperate, when Father Fletcher’s Battery operated flash bulbs were damaged and failed to work properly. This removed one the most potent weapons from the Envoy’s arsenal. However, With Flaming weapons and the use of a flashlight, the three creatures were finally defeated after a long difficult fight.

This however, was only the second string.

Almost immediately upon their defeat, the entire audience, with the exception of the envoys were forcibly teleported back to their point of pick up by the Edolas.

This was followed by the sudden increase in darkness, as the master Felborn Umbra made it’s presence known. This extinguished all light in the immediate area, and prevented any light from operating.

This placed the party at a very distinct disadvantage and gave the creature maximum control over the conflict. Believing that the creature was located in the Orchestra pit, The Envoys began to make their way down the stairs or over the balcony to the lower level.

There, an unidentified British man, believed to be Richard Sandoval made his presence known to the envoys. Using a Shield of Protection to temporarily counter the darkness power of the creature, The man was able to provide valuable information to the Vatican City SAVE Office Envoys concerning the creature.

He advised them that the means to destroy the creature would be to destroy a black stone the size of a fist in order to destroy the creature. The stone was in fact a piece of Solidified Umbral Veil which sustained the creature. Of course, if the creature escaped, it would return in ten years time with a vengeance.

He directed them towards the Orchestra Pit, using the shield to protect them as they moved into position. When they were set, he dropped the shield and the Envoys were now ready to confront the creature.

Oliver ripped open the locked door leading to the Trap Room under the stage. It was this room that the Envoys believed contained the creature. They were not wrong in their assessment.

The creature and his two Witch doctors Biel and Machar were awaiting their arrival.

The creature coalesced around the black stone, taking on a terrible aspect while also offering a degree of protection for its own protection. As the Door was opened, the two men fired MP-36 Submachine guns, point blank into Oliver’s chest.

The Envoy, using his Aeonia discipline absorbed the impact of the rounds, protecting his associates from harm.

The minions were quickly dispatched, proving to be nothing more than weak shadowy renditions of their physical selves. Battle with the Master creature began in earnest.

Act 27: The Creature Destroyed

Multiple attempts were made to kill the creature. Agnostic used a Davidic Sling. This sling never misses a “between-the-eyes” shot, but the stone passed harmlessly through the creature’s head with no apparent injury. However, the stone lodged itself in the structure of the Cinema building. This, although unknown to the Envoys at the time, was necessary in order to completely destroy the creature. It became apparent that the creature was psychically connected to the Cinema dell Ombra, and that as long as the building remained, the creature could not be permanently defeated. This impact would bring about the destruction of the building within a few minutes.

Sven attempted to grab and crush the stone at the creature’s heart, but could not manage to make contact with the stone. The British man, using an impenetrable shield, locked the creature inside with the envoys effectively preventing his escape. As long as the creature was destroyed while the shield remained active, it’s destruction would remain permanent.

With each Envoy working hard to maintain the pressure on the creature, it became desperate and attempted to activate it’s Chill ability. Unfortunately for it, the creature was unable to do so due to the nature of the sphere. This would have significantly upset the Envoys chances of success had it worked.

Eventually, the killing blow was landed by Father Fletcher. Using the last five of his Solomonic Bullets, he managed to score a direct hit on the creature’s heart stone, shattering it.

This caused the creature to dissipate. The building collapsed upon the Impenetrable shield, leaving only a small portion of the floor, encased within intact.

Using the Thanatoic Pendant, Luca Garige was able to rip a hole through the Veil into the interior of the Sphere, allowing the Envoys and their new associate to escape directly back into the clubhouse. When the sphere collapsed, the final fragments of the Cinema were destroyed, ensuring the permanent destruction of the Felborn Umbra for all time.

Although a tough fight, the Envoys managed to overcome a terribly powerful evil creature of the Unknown and save countless innocent lives. Only in retrospect was it discovered that the acting troupe was actually a Cult of the Shadows and that they had managed to escape intact, although without their worshiped master. It is unclear what happened to the Edolas upon the destruction of the Cinema dell Ombra.

View
The City of Echoes
1936 Season 1, Episode 1

Act 1: Arrival

Sven Thofelt arrives in Rome late on January 16, 1936. The Lieutenant is to take up the official post of Military Attache at the Swedish Embassy in Rome. upon his arrival he was met at the train station by the Sergeant of the guard at the Embassy.

Sven was driven to the embassy were he was introduced to Ambassador Birger Wedberg. There job duties and responsibilities were discussed. Sven was provided his diplomatic papers and then driven to his apartment.

After arriving at his apartment, He met with Eldric Stone, the SAVE Envoy who had recruited him. Eldric advised Sven that he had been in contact with Martin Ambrose Fletcher, and that he was expected at the Vatican City SAVE Office to join the team there.

Act 2: Mysterious Disappearances

On the Morning of the 17th, Lodewijk Van Beers approached Father Fletcher with the information that there was a significant uptick in the number of disappearances within the last week in the Rondissimento 12, (12th District) Area of Rome. This area lies along a portion of the Tiber River, and is a decaying entertainment district. It contains a couple of Theaters, a Cinema, a burlesque, some bistros and Jazz clubs and a number of Brothels. The Housing in this district is dense and very squalid. Uncertain whether there was a connection to the Unknown, Father Fletcher determined to see if there had been any other indications of any peculiar events. This was especially in light of the fact that there were known to be Black Court Vampires in the City still.

Act 3: The Voiceless Soloist

Meanwhile Hans “Oliver” Erich Merbach is made aware of a strange case, whereby the body of a known Opera singer, Amelia Sontori is found brutally murdered. The murder was shocking enough, but one observation made was particularly surprising- She had no vocal cords. There was no indication that the vocal cords had been forcefully removed, but it appeared as if they had never developed or were somehow absorbed.

Upon inquiry, Oliver also discovered a second body, similarly murdered brutally, but missing their vocal cords in exactly the same fashion as the opera singer. The impossible occurrence of this happening twice was unlikely to be any sort of natural occurrence. As there was no indication that either victim was anything other than human, it was therefore determined that they must have been victims of an as of yet unidentified creature of the unknown.

Act 4: Piazza Beniamino Gigli

The center of the 12th District was the Piazza Beniamino Gigli. The centerpiece of the Piazza is the Fountain of Poseidon. The premier building there is the Teatro Reale dell’Opera.

It is in this Theater that Amelia Sontori, under the stage name of Bella Bassiori, acted as a soloist. Since the second body was also found in this area, the Vatican City SAVE Office Envoys determined that this would be a likely starting point for their investigation.

Sven, Oliver and Lodewijk decided to head to the piazza, while Agostino Raffaelle Mikael Selletti and Liberty Rothe decided to go to the Vatican Library to conduct some research. Their goal was to determine if there was a pattern to the events in a historical context, or if it was only a recent occurrence. In addition, Agostino had already identified a few potential supernatural creatures that may be responsible. The goal was to narrow down the possible belligerents, and also to uncover any clues as to a means to destroy said creatures.

At the Piazza, Sven infiltrated the Theater, where he overheard the stage director and manager grumbling over the loss of their star performer. The replacement as soloist fell to Maria Caniglia. It was unclear whether there was a direct connection to Amelia’s disappearance and subsequent death, but it is suspicious. As a fall back plan, Sven acquired tickets to the Premier of Franco Alfono’s Cyrano de Bereract to take place on January 22nd.

Meanwhile, outside, Lodewijk and Oliver took up positions to observe the square and see if they could spot any odd behaviors. They uncovered a woman who was looking for her husband. The man she was seeking was identified by Oliver as the second body in the Morgue. With this new information, confirming that the second death most likely occurred near the square, they were rejoined by Sven.

The three, then decided to investigate the alley adjacent to the opera house and also the River bank flanking it. There, they were accosted by a small group of petty criminals, intending to mug them. Sven revealed to the would be thieves that he was armed with a pistol, causing the criminals to rethink their intentions.

However, not one to let an opportunity pass, Oliver seized upon the idea that perhaps the locals may know more information. Between Oliver and Lodewijk, they were able to convince the leader of the small group of ruffians to reveal the location of another, as of yet, undiscovered body.

A local boy, most likely a pick pocket, led them to a storm drain entrance along the river bank, a short distance from the Theater, where they gained entrance to the storm sewer complex.

Act 5: The Third Body

Entering the storm drain system, Oliver and Lodewijk cautiously made their way to the body’s location as described by the boy. There they discovered the remains and made some observations. Wary of potentially gaining the attentions of the creature prematurely, they departed to return to the club house and there impart any knowledge they had uncovered to the remainder of the group.

Act 6: Library Run

While some of the members of the club investigated the Piazza, Liberty and Agostino attempted to undertake research at the Vatican Library. Liberty found a few vague connections, but nothing distinctly connected. No significant historical events seemed to connect to the supposed creatures. Agostino uncovered nothing significant during his research.

Act 7: Divination and Inquiries

Closer to home, Fletcher made inquiries with the Paris, Rome SAVE Office and Bern Save Office. The intention is to uncover any potential history associated with similar events. Or potentially to definitively identify the identity of the creature or creatures they are dealing with.

Luca Garige meanwhile began preparations to conduct several Thaumaturgical rituals designed to assist in revealing knowledge that would aid them in their investigations. He also began the process of consulting astrological charts in an attempt to ascertain connections with either lunar or astrological cycles. This was partially in response to the suggestion that the creature may be some sort of Siren, and that these tidal or lunar cycles could have some importance to the activity in the area.

Completing the Divination, Luca advises the other members of the society that they are looking for a place underground, near running water. While this information confirms suspicions, it doesn’t provide any additional information.

Act 8: Hook, Line and…

Lodewijk, Liberty, Sven, and Oliver decide that it may be worthwhile to attempt to catch a look at the creature. To accomplish this, they lay a bit of a trap for the creature, using Lodewijk’s voice as bait.

They travel to the Piazza at 8 o’clock that night, not long after dark. They take note of there closed businesses and shuttered houses, realizing that the local neighbors understand that something bad is happening in their area.

With the exception of the Burlesque and the invitation of the red lights over the brothel doors in the neighborhood, the piazza and nearby streets are abandoned. Despite this, the group decide to move forward with their plan to attract the creature in the hopes of identifying it.

Oliver and Liberty take up a position in the piazza near the central fountain, close enough to aid Lodewijk should he need it, without being too close to dissuade the creature from revealing itself. While Lodewijk walks around the piazza singing opera, and jazz in an attempt to draw the interest of the creature, Sven shadows him nearby, prepared to assist should Lodewijk be successful in his attempt.

Act 9: …Sinker

Getting no immediate response by circling the Piazza, Lodewijk decided to move down the alleyway adjacent to the Teatro Reale dell’Opera, headed toward the river front. This path would lead him close to the drainage pipe that they had explored previously, discovering the third body.

As head approached the far end of the alleyway, Lodewijk felt a pressure like a threshold, before suddenly losing his voice. A few moments later he was attacked by one of the creatures.

But there were more than a single creature. There were three of them.

The first two showed themselves first, attacking Lodewijk, and Oliver. Then switching their attacks to Sven, alternating back and forth between their targets.

The creatures showed exceptional speed, resilience and agility, rebounding from the walls of the alleyway to attack in unexpected directions. Sven managed to shoot them several times, while both Oliver and Lodewijk attempted a more physical attack.

During the battle, Liberty, seeing the speed of the creatures and being forward thinking, headed for the car to prepare an escape should things digress.

It was after she reached the car that the third creature attached. It seemingly leaped from some nearby height, landing on the vehicle and shattering all the windows. The creature then attempted to grab her through the shattered windshield.

Act 10: Advance to the Rear

Satisfied that they were not likely to win the conflict, the group managed to retreat to the car, although Lodewijk and Oliver were injured in the conflict.

They managed to escape when the sirens of police cars caused the creatures to retreat. Although the group noticed a rapid healing taking place in the span of a moment.

Despite an inability to destroy the creatures, the encounter allowed the group to successfully identify the creatures as Sulks.

Act 11: The Timeline

Now that the creature was identified, a rough timeline could be created. In this it became clear that any eggs laid by the Sulk would most likely hatch at the same time that the Premier of Cyrano d’Bergerac was being performed at the Teatro Reale dell’Opera.

If this is the case, there must be a connection to the drainage cistern located beneath the opera house. This means that at the height of the premier, the newly hatched Sulk young would emerge into the crowd, ravenous.

Act 12: Suppositions and Theory

The next question that arose was concerning how the Sulks came to be in Rome in the first place. It was suggested that perhaps some sort of Fae influence could be responsible, or that there could simply be a weakness in the veil.

It was further suggested that perhaps Father Fletcher may be able to make inquiries that may help resolve this question.

Aside from the causes, the problem has now arose as to how to stop the Sulks. They had made their nest in an area that would be noisy and thus make any guarding Sulks very dangerous. This is a problem that has yet to be solved.

Act 13: Inquiries at the Black Cat

After consulting with Father Fletcher the following morning, The group decided to pursue an inquiry concerning the Unseelie Court or Seelie Court. To those ends, Father Fletcher contacted Father Pedro Manuel Rogerio a known member of the Order of Saint Giles.

With information acquired from him, the group was directed to Il Gato Nero, a neutral territory between the signatories of the Unseelie Accords. There, they met Maddie and Raleigh.

Upon inquiry, a meeting was set up with the Summer Knight, Malcolm Sere. A short conversation ensued, which confirmed that the Fae courts were not involved in the presence of the Sulks.

He did however suggest that they talk to another party, who may have more information concerning how they came to be in Rome.

Act 14: Meeting Fate

The individual that they were to meet was none other than Pythia, the famous Oracle of Delphi. The party were escorted into her presence by two of her Spartan Bodyguards Denes and Lysias.

They discovered that the person responsible for the presence of the sulks, was none other than Cyprus Archer. In return for this information, Pythia secured the promise that Aja, a fellow seer and Cyprus’ prisoner should be brought to her unharmed.

She provided an answer to the Sulk sound problem, indicating at a mysterious object known as a Cineophone, an artifact currently located within the archives of the National Museum of Rome, could assist. Using her connections with the Vatican Museum, Liberty Rothe acquired the device and a single unused wax cylinder.

Act 15: Facing the Beast

Taking the time to be as well prepared as possible for the upcoming encounter with the Sulks, the group began to assemble their supplies. Rope, rubber hose and bell weights were included in the supplies. They would be used to aid in the necessary diving to search the individual cells of the Roman Cistern that were expected at the site of the creatures lair.

Home made phosphene flares were manufactured by Agostino Raffaelle Mikael Sellettiand Liberty Rothe. The flares would provide a much needed light source in the presence of a creature that may be able to interfere with more modern flashlights. These flairs were bottled in a series of twenty glass test tubes topped with cork tops. When exposed to water they produced phosphene gas that ignited when it comes into contact with oxygen in the air.

To better protect the Cineophone and cylinder from damage, Lodewijk Van Beers and Sven Thofelt acquired a second organ grinder box from a local music store. The mechanism was removed from the box and the cineophone was mounted inside. To help keep time under pressure, a high end metronome was also mounted in the box. A candle in a glass cover provided much needed light.

The plan was to enter the drainage systems via the entry way already identified by the group, make their way through them, and hopefully discover the location of the Roman cistern suspected to exist beneath the Teatro Reale dell’Opera.

Evidence indicated that this was the most likely location for the sulk nest. It was suspected that clusters of eggs would be located in the several deep water cells located in the cistern. Each cell was estimated to be fifty-feet deep and roughly ten to fifteen feet in diameter. With the possibility of perhaps thirty such cells located in the cistern, the task ahead would be daunting.

The group determined that the best date to confront the creatures was on January 20, 1936. On this day, the brothels, burlesques and other popular venues would be closed, reducing the chance of civilian casualties. Additionally, undertaking the attempt late at night, near midnight, the party would further prevent unwanted interference.

They arrived near their target and walked to the entry way. Gaining access to the drainage system was facilitated by the use of crowbar. Once inside, they began moving through the system, using the natural flow of water to guide them. It was they belief that the majority of the water would be channeled towards any Roman Cistern, if it actually existed.

They located the main feed line for the cistern and made their way down a slippery tunnel towards the main reservoir. However, the tunnel proved difficult to traverse and Sven Thofelt, Agostino Raffaelle Mikael Selletti, Lodewijk Van Beers and Father Martin Ambrose Fletcher all lost their footing and were swept off their feet and into the cistern proper.

Sven and Lodewijk landed in a deep water cell, preventing injury. Fletcher and Agostino however, were both injured in the fall, on the shallow walkway. Fletcher broke his left leg in the fall, while Agostino was speared through the lower left leg with a rusted iron bannister remnant.

While the others struggled to reach the cistern without losing their footing, some of the Sulks dropped from the ceiling to engage those unfortunate enough to have arrived unsupported by their colleagues.

Two Sulks dropped into the deep water cell, where the weighted ropes had dragged Sven to the bottom of the cell. He took note of a clutch of eggs, but was quickly more concerned with destroying the sulks that threatened him. A third Sulk dropped from the vaulted roof to attack Agostino, who shifted to Tomas Migual Gessner as a result of the shock.

Pulling himself off the rusted metal spike, Tomas Migual Gessner fought with the sulk threatening him. At the same time Sven found himself fighting for his life against two sulks underwater.

As the fight progressed, the other members of the group arrived. Hans “Oliver” Erich Merbach and Liberty Rothe located a medieval rusting iron rung ladder leading down to the cistern walkways.

They made their way to the bottom and engaged the sulks there. More sulks joined the fight, and in order to protect the cineophone from damage, Luca Garige utilized an indestructible shield and “fell” from the opening they had arrived from (thirty-feet above the walkway), and bounced safely to the bottom.

Sven found to his horror that beheading the creatures only slowed them down, as they immediately began to regrow their heads. As he rushed for the surface of the cell, a new combatant entered the fray.

A Brood Mother Sulk showed herself and batted the still protected Luca across the room like a billiard ball. She then moved to attack Tomas Migual Gessner who was closest to her.

At this point it became obvious that the party were not dealing with a simple breading pair or pairs. Once Luca was free of his sphere, he made his way to Lodewijk, who immediately began playing the Cineophone.

As the creatures turned their attention towards Lodewijk, Luca used his Indestructibe sphere once again, encompassing Lodewijk and himself, protecting them from attack.

To dissuade the creatures further, Luca, activated Pyromantic Thaumaturgy, encasing the sphere in a sheath of extreme flame. This had two immediate effects. First, the flames illuminated even the darkest shadowed areas immediately. This revealed a mass of at least forty sulks. These sulks became enraged, and scrambled across the vaulted roof, dropping to their deaths upon the burning sphere.

The sudden flames, distracted the attacking sulks, so that suddenly the group only found themselves facing the Brood mother. While this was better numerical odds, the creature proved to be exceptionally tough and competent opponent.

Dealing injury to Tomas, Oliver and Liberty, the creature suffered almost as much as it dealt, without any sign of weakening. Newly escaped from the deep water cell, Sven took in the scene and decided to undertake a risky gamble.

Placing himself against one of the ancient roman columns supporting the section of arched roof immediately above the creature, he activated his Feat of Strength ability and pushed over the massive granite column.

The column collapsed atop the creature, taking a portion of the floor with it. The debris crushed the Brood mother, and the lack of sound, resulting from the use of the Cineophone assigned it to it’s demise.

Oliver was injured during the collapse, but suffered only minor injuries due to his ability to absorb massive amounts of injury because of his Aeonia arts.

With the creature destroyed, Lodewijk ceased playing the Cineophone and Luca dropped the sphere protecting them. Only forty seconds of playing the device had occurred, allowing for it’s potential future use for a short time if needed.

Act 16: Destroying the Nests

Once the living guardians were dealt with, the party prepared to destroy the nests. Seeing that the number of eggs far exceeded their expectations, they found themselves under prepared.

The compassed ceiling turned out to be the floor of the basement storeroom of the Theatro Realle dell’Opera. Using the rope, the majority of the group made their escape from the cistern as Luca activated the flares and magnified their power using Pyromancy.

Increasing the flames to the point that he boiled out all the water in the cistern, burst the eggs and collapsed the Theatro Reale dell’Opera.

Act 17: Afterwards

The group returned to the clubhouse to tend to their wounds and take in some much needed rest. Luca administered his Vitae Tea, to aid in their rapid recovery. The group took stock of the situation, taking pride in the fact the knowledge that they had prevented the slaughter of thousands of innocents. The knowledge that all of this was orchestrated by Cyprus Archer and his Abiectio Venatores, left the group feeling uneasy, as they are now aware that the Abiectio will undertake the most destructive acts to gain power. There is no doubt that once Cyprus discovers their involvement in the failure of his plans, that the insane leader of the Abject will stop at nothing to destroy the Vatican City SAVE Office.

What with the Abiectio do next, and when will they strike?

View
The Initiate Ascendancy
1936 Season 1, Episode 0

Act 1: The Demagogue Speaks

Approximately a week prior to December 31, 1935, a gathering of the Abiectio Venatores, was conducted in an undisclosed location in Rome. Present at that meeting were Cyprus Archer, Emeric Dane, and Mortimer Stroud as well as several unnamed individuals believed to be members of the organization.

Indra Dietrich entered into the chamber, accompanied by a pair of individuals in charge of a chained seer named Aja. Aja was brought before the seated Cyprus and told to prophesy concerning the goals and plans of the organization.

Aja, after pausing for a moment revealed to those attending that a new group, a Vatican City SAVE Office and it’s members would be the eventual downfall of the Abiectio. She warned Cyprus not to interfere with the course of the future, although she admitted that it was always possible to change the future if the appropriate action was taken to lead to a different outcome.

Seeing this as an opportunity to change this outcome, Cyprus demanded details from Aja about the members of the yet to be formed SAVE Office.

Act 2: Not Your Routine Patrol

At the Vatican on December 31, 1935, two members of the Papal House Guards were patrolling the papal gardens of Vatican City. They were Tomas Migual Gessner and Dante Margolis. Recently there had been an increase in attempts to gain access to portions of the Vatican which threatened the safety and security of the Holy Father.

During their patrol, an unknown individual attack them, drawing them into an ambush. During the conflict, Dante was badly injured. Tomas managed to hold off the attacker long enough for reinforcements to arrive. During the attack, the assailant displayed an amazing strength, agility and speed. In fact the assailant was able to throw a full grown man dozens of feet and leap to the top of nearby buildings.

Unable to capture the assailant, he escaped.

Act 3: We Like to Party!

At a nearby New Year’s Eve Party, Liberty Rothe was enjoying free cocktails and drinks with her friend Augustina Derusse at the home of Fillipo Brunelleschi. The two women were discussing the available men at the event as well as shopping and fashion.

The two women separated when Liberty’s beau Alberto Bocchini arrived. As the two discussed a future encounter, Liberty noticed Augustina heading upstairs with an unknown gentleman. Sensing something wasn’t right, she followed the pair upstairs.

There, she passed by a pair of armed plains clothed, Nazi guards, providing security for some of the Nazi officials at the party and proceeded down the hallway. She detected some noise coming from the library and curious opened the door to witness a terrible scene.

The man was in the act of draining the blood from her friend, as if he were a vampire. Augustine uttered a weak recognition of Liberty’s presence. This in turn caused the “*vampire*” to release Augustina in surprise as apparently he had thought that Liberty was his victim.

Liberty fled, the vampire in hot pursuit. In a bid to reach safety, She screamed for the armed guards who reacted to the assailant. Though both of them were killed by the attacker, Liberty used the delay their sacrifice afforded to make her escape.

Act 4: Life on the Street

For the past weeks, individuals within the homeless community in the worst parts of Rome were under attack. several individuals simply disappeared, and due to their status, their disappearance went without investigation. Eventually word of these disappearances reached Lodewijk Van Beers, who immediately set out to get to the cause of these events.

Eventually his inquiries led him to a construction site for a future glass factory operated by Rossellini Realty and Construction. In some nearby condemned buildings scheduled for demolition, Lodewijk heard the cries of a young girl.

Entering the building he made his way towards the cries upstairs. There he discovered an Unidentified Girl and an abnormally large Stitched Man. They man attacked him, using an axe dating from the 13th century.

Lodewijk was able to escape the second floor but was pursued by the man. On the lower floor the man was joined by the unidentified girl. Both of which attacked him. With a little luck, he managed to escape the building and caught a street car away from the scene, narrowly avoiding death.

Act 5: Transporting the Body

Later that same evening Hans “Oliver” Erich Merbach was dispatched to recover the body of the two guards killed earlier at the residence of Fillipo Brunelleschi. Upon arrival, a second ambulance driver arrived to help in the recovery of the bodies.

After loading the two bodies into the back of the ambulance, Hans and the other driver, who called himself Mortimer, began the drive back to the morgue.

After a couple of miles of travel, Mortimer attacked Hans. The quick thinking driver, accelerated the vehicle and slammed into the corner of a nearby brownstone building, throwing the unsecured Mortimer through the windscreen of the car.

The individual was only moderately injured, but surprised by his inability to successfully overcome his opponent. With the possible arrival of police or interlopers, he retreated, leaving Hans unharmed.

Act 6: The Formation of the SAVE Office.

With communications to their own various contacts, Hans, Lodewijk, and Tomas were directed towards Liberty, as some sort of expert. As they arrived, almost all at the same time, it quickly became apparent that they had all suffered from similar experiences.

Last to arrive was Father Martin Ambrose Fletcher, a member of SAVE, who had been contacted by the head of the Papal House guard Captain Antorinno Descortes. Upon his arrival, he suggested that the group band together for mutual defense and to get to the bottom of the attempts upon their lives.

Father Fletcher indicated that he had a safe place on the Vatican Grounds. It appears that the Vatican City SAVE Office was in the process of forming despite Cyprus’ actions, or perhaps because of them.

Act 7: Hitting the Streets

The following morning the crew discuss the various options available to them. The crew determined that the commonality had to be their association.

Lodewijk and Father Martin returned to the narrow street where the Father had been accosted the night before. Using deduction and questioning some of the locals, their investigation leads them to the Borromini Rome Santa Maria dei Sette Dolori Convent, located just down the street from the site of the attack.

The pair discover there a young girl who seems to be suffering from the symptoms of vampirism. The girl was ill, and had not yet turned. Claiming that a case of Scarlet Fever was to blame, Father Martin managed to transfer the girl to a medical ward, which was, in actuality, the basement of the SAVE Vatican Office.

They turned the girl over to Luca, who managed to use his knowledge to significantly reduce the speed of the girl’s transformation.

Act 8: The Missing Driver

Oliver visited the Morgue and inquired on the other driver. While there, he discovered the death of Roberto Rossellini. The body had already been reclaimed by a law firm, and interred in the “family crypt.” The body however had been briefly inspected by the Medical Examiner, and so Oliver was able to inquire as to the nature of the injuries. These injuries appeared suspicious, further linking Rossellini to a potential Black Court Vampire.

Following up on the fact that the second ambulance driver never arrived to assist Oliver at the crime scene, but instead his place was assumed by his attacker, Oliver managed to acquire the missing man’s address. It was also discovered that his body and car had been found in the Tiber river.

Heading to the driver’s apartment, it was discovered that he lived in a run down condemned building. They uncovered a couple of clues, pointing towards the presence of a Black Court Vampire.There, they were attacked by the patchwork man. They managed to fight their way free, return to the clubhouse and recover from their injuries.

Act 9: Demolition Orders

The next day, it was decided that the group should investigate the construction site where Lodewijk had his original encounter with the patchwork man and unidentified girl.

Arriving at the construction site, the group made their entrance and headed for the building where the encounter occurred. The group made their way into the partially collapsed building where they discovered that the patchwork man, previously thought defeated, had been there and had repaired himself.

Their investigation had been cut short by the smell of smoke. The decrepit building that they were occupying had been set alight. Jumping from an upper floor window to the ground below, they party was set upon by a number of attackers, possible thralls of a vampire, bound to do their bidding.

The conflict was brutal, but the group managed to defeat their attackers but not without significant injuries.

Act 10: Regrouping

The group returned to their clubhouse once more to recover their heath, and to determine a plan of action. As members of the group discussed the options available to them, Agostino Selletti made contact with one of his contacts, Father Joseph. He learned a great deal about the possible Black Court Operations, the Covent of Borromini and Rossellini.
h3. Act 11: Connecting the Dots

The team dispersed to various location to gather additional information concerning the Rosellinni family.

During the course of their investigation it was uncovered that the family converted to the Lutheran religion in 1519. The eldest member of the family at that time was tried by a Papal Court for the alleged murder of Bishop Giovanni Di’ Medici, son of the current Pope Leo X.

The nature of the murder was crucifixion upon an inverted cross. The cross and body were readily displayed outside the gate of the Papal palace in Rome.

Despite the evidence, the defendant was found not guilty. Subsequently Pope Leo X, issued a family wide excommunication to the entire Rossellinni family in perpetuity. The feelings were such that he even issued a Papal Bull directing future popes to never reinstate any of the Rossellinni family members into the Catholic Church.

The location of the Rossellinni Estate and the Rossellinni Mausoleum were uncovered.

After some reconnaissance the group determined that the best place to make additional in-rounds was the family crypt.

Act 12: End of the Line

The party infiltrated the Resto del Santo Cimiteroand managed to overcome the adherent keeping guard there. They then made their way deep into the crypt, and on the lower level encountered a pair of Darkhounds.

After eliminating the pair, the party then encountered Roberto Rossellini Jr. After a difficult battle the Vampire was defeated. This saved Angelini Sophorina who had previously been in danger of transforming into a Black Court vampire.

Due to the difficulty in dealing with such a young vampire, it was determined that additional preparations were needed before any attempt was made upon the older Vampire.

At current it is unclear whether the elder vampire is Roberto Rossellini Sr or one of his ancestors.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.