Here Be Dragons

Session 6: Serpents Abound
The Rustle of Unseen Wings

In Boston, the merry band once more met with the hole-y young woman, returning the majority of the stone (minus a few shaved samples—purely for study, of course!). This required some fast talking of Lucy’s doctor, as no one present had the necessary skills. After a bit of negotiation, the intrepid adventurers are off to Ohio with 2 new additions to their steadily increasing entourage: the doctor and our mysterious Acolyte.

One relatively peaceful train ride—despite debate on various subjects such as religion, politics, magic, and other sensitive topics that drove off the other passengers of their first class accommodations—later, our treasure hunters arrive in Chillicothe, Ohio, as short hour-long drive from the scenic Serpent Mound park. After spending the evening making merry &/or scoping out the area, the morning was spent acquiring trucks and cars large enough to hold the entire group. and the afternoon procuring extra supplies. As it was then to late to do any safe demolitions, another evening was spent enjoying the hotel’s amenities.

Bright and early (unGodly early, according to those hungover from the night’s festivities) the morning, the sun rises on the convoy pulling into the park. Our friendly neighborhood explosives expert, Henry Shetrone, after much consultation with archeologist Professor Currie and geologist Joe Simpson, cleared the path into a heretofore unknown set of caverns below the Mounds, excavating a rather steep and deep tunnel entrance.

The descent was uneventful if entertaining for the more athletically inclined. A bit of debate led to the left turn only idea, and the group, lanterns lit, set out. A discovery of a possible silver lode and a small, misty, almost tunnel-like offshoot in the second hour was duly noted in their journal, before being completely overshadowed by the discovery of a huge, cathedral-sized cavern with niches carved at chest height all around.

By breaking out every light source the troop had, they were able to light the room The mostly flat surface of the floor—completely cleared of any protrusions—sloped gently toward a rather large hole in the center. Despite the nagging certainty that it should go on forever, dropping a glow stick revealed that, while hundreds of yards deep, it did indeed appear to have a bottom.

As they did not have the gear for the descent, the rest of the tunnels leading off the chamber were next on the agenda. Repeating the left theme, they found a smaller cave with many vessels and jugs of oils, obviously native American in origin. While some of the vessels had decayed over the ages, enough were intact to light the cavern, allowing the troop to retrieve their lanterns and continue onward.

Counting back the marked passages, they again headed left into the a slender, dark, and winding tunnel. The darkness’ suppressing their normal tendency to chatter allowed them to hear the soft susurration of wings ahead of them when they had only travel a couple hundred feet in. Pulling back to the lit cavern, our adventurers armed themselves with guns and lanterns, and waited, staring into shadow.

After an agonizing eternity of seconds, they glimpsed the passing of a darker shadow in the dimness of the tunnel. It seemed to have more than four legs and huge wings that brushed the tunnel ceiling. Though it hesitated at the mouth of the cavern, it would not enter the light and instead moved further through the tunnel until it came to a smaller cavern, sheltered from the light.

Empowered by its apparent fear of the light, the George and Henry set lights to illuminate the passageway in that area, hopefully containing the creature until they could procure more impressive armaments.

With that settled , they found that the party had diminished by one—Martin Blount had vanished! They and the bodyguards split into teams to backtrack and look for him, only to find him just yards away in a tiny, dark crevasse. He was non-responsive to questions, remaining face towards what appeared to be a blank cave wall and mumbling in a strange, horrifying tongue that none of our linguistically-educated party members could identify.

With Martin Blount staring into the darkness and babbling, it was easy enough for him to be knocked unconscious. One party member down, the crew abandoned their forward progress, to go in search of more kerosene and bigger guns!

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Session 5: Mornings in Boston
Raising the Not Quite Dead

trip to visit the herbalists

Having removed several chips for experimentation, the group used a single flake of the shard to wake the young coma victim, and have promised to return the shard—minus those flakes, of course—to her, thus calling of the hoards of acolytes currently searching for the thieves.

buying a gun in the not-as-big city

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Session 4: Like a Speeding Bullet
Combat at last!

Lucy, heading home for a short side jaunt, arranged for her father’s NYC luxury train car to be attached to the southbound train towards Boston. Unfortunately, the time in NYC and upstate New York had given others enough time to track them down.


(to be continued)

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Session 3: New York, New York!

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The zeppelin flies across and into New York City’s docks and our intrepid adventures disembark, over seeing the careful transfer of the cratefuls of Egyptian antiquities, and 1 extra crate, full of stolen goodies for the uneventful trip to Lucy’s home away from home, a lovely and expansive (for New York, anyway) townhouse in Manhattan.

Settled in to Lucy’s gorgeous home-away-from-home, the group split up to accomplish a number of goals in as short an amount of time as they could.

The geologist, Joe Simpson, spent several hours over the course of a few days in a dingy but well-equipped lab beneath the Museum of Geology studying the slender crystalline shard. None of the test provided answers for why the crystal seems to pulse almost like a heart beat and emits a very faint glow in total darkness. He did find that it produces noticeable amounts of energy without generating actual heat, though it feels warm to the touch, and that it is marginally less hard than a diamond, as well as resisting all known acid and shatter tests.

While he was there, he also ran tests on the Ebon Tablet and the Obsidian Blade, and located three out of four of the Mica Sheets needed to reach their next goal. The Obsidian Blade appears to be an extremely old sacrificial knife used to kill both human and animal sacrifices, but had no other strange properties aside from being obscenely sharp. The Ebon Tablet actually reduced the amount of ambient heat and light around it in a way that he was not yet able to pin down. He was able to trade the Tablet for the sheets of mica as an indefinite loan.


(to be continued)

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Session 2: Up, Up, and Zeppelins Away!
Around Half the World in 5 Days

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Courtesy of Lucy’s daredevil tendencies and cognizant of the ticking clock, our troupe of intrepid treasure hunters returned to Cairo to arrange their trip home in record time, pausing only long enough to get their treasures crated up before piling onto one of the newfangled fixed wing aeroplanes and ‘hopping’ over the Mediterranean to Frankfort, Germany, and the transatlantic Graf Zeppelin. At $590 US dollars (the equivalent of about $10,300 US dollars in 2014) a ticket, and calling in several favors, Lucy was able to secure enough rooms and cargo space for their return.

Exhausted from their time in Egypt and the harrowing, turbulence-filled flight to reach the zeppelin on time, the group spent their first night catching up on food and sleep, not venturing out until late morning the next day. While most of the team spent the first few days socializing and picking up information, the professional scholars, antiquarian George Salby, and archeologist Professor Currie retreated to their cabin to study the scrolls the group had liberated from the tomb, much to their intellectual interest and emotional dismay as the scrolls were full of very disturbing information and imagery.

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After spending time among their fellow passengers, Lucy and her bodyguard Martin in the first class lounge and dining room, geologist Joe Simpson, Henry Shetrone, George Salby, and Professor Currie in the lower lounge, our adventurers met for a late breakfast in Lucy’s stateroom to share thoughts that among the passengers were the Omega team of treasure hunters; the young female victim whose chest had been sliced open (see session 1), still in a coma but strangely still alive despite all medical expectations; and the doctor who had taken responsibility for her.

After some discussion, the group split up again to explore: Lucy, Professor Currie, and Martin off to see the doctor and his young patient, and Henry, George, and Joe to ascertain how best to raid the other team’s finds.

In the course of their visit with the doctor, Lucy and her companions were a bit disturbed by the ease with which the doctor overcame the societal politeness that restricted discussion of the poor woman’s attack, medical condition, and wounds and carried on at great length and detail. While disturbing, his attention and lengthy discourse did give Professor Currie and the PI (Martin) a chance to look around. Finding little of note until Martin began looking through the unlatched medical bag, a ‘paper cut’ from the razor sharp edge of an obsidian blade hidden near the bottom had him paying closer attention. He also noticed a not-so-small incision in the lining of the bag, closed with a line of neat surgical stitches—not your normal patch. Using the newly acquired blade, Martin sliced quickly through the stitches and found a warm, faintly pulsating red shard almost as large as his open hand. With some sleight-of-hand, he managed to pocket both the thin, ragged shard and the larger and sharper blade without further injury and signaled that it was time for them to go.

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Below decks, the others had found that the other team’s storage area was in the same vicinity as their own, more private, storage area. A bit of flattery and some drinks later got the the schedule of porters responsible for the area. The evening before docking in NYC, Lucy, Martin, Henry, and Joe headed below to the storage area while George and Professor Currie spent the evening in the passenger lounge, conspicuously in sight and buying a few rounds for crew and new acquaintances—the other team included.

Dismayed by the sheer volume of extremely large antiquities the other team had in the hold, the below deck team decided to slip the porter a mickey so as to have no witness to the ensuing luggage shenanigans. A few hours—and much effort—later the group was in possession of a new crate of objects, including an engraved tablet of unknown material and origin. The material turned out to be the same material as the trap guarding the tomb’s inner sanctum, much to Martin’s dismay. Determined to proved that the blindness and voices he’d fallen into at the tomb was a fluke, he laid hands on the material once more.

Sadly, he was mistaken and, lacking the necessary ingredients for the cure, Lucy was only able to partially restore his vision, though it mercifully diminished the voices to almost nothing for the rest of the trip.

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Session 1: Hunting for Treasure
The Egyptian Sandbox

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Fresh off the dirigible from the United States, the fellowship of Gamma scavenger group retired to their hotel in Cairo ready to spend less ‘quality time’ with their fellows after days of being cooped up on the small airship.

Dilettante Lucille (Lucy, please) Vanderhaven retired to the comforts of her VIP suite while her bodyguard, Martin Blount, left his settling in for after he explored the security of the hotel and its surroundings.

After leaving their luggage in slightly less auspicious rooms, Joe Simpson, a geologist famous within scientific circles, and Henry C. Shetrone, a highly experienced ex-US military demolitions expert and sometime archeological dabbler, decided on dinner and drinks in the hotel bar, amidst discussions of rock structures and chemistry far more in-depth than their more (and less) cerebral fellows had any interest in.

Thus, George Salby the Second, junior antiquarian of Salby & Son Antiquities, preferred to find his dinner in less European surrounding, wandering through the bazaar in search of interesting things to ship home to his father while Professor Leroy Currie, world-renowned archeologist, was on the hunt for stories, maps, and any other leads that would help narrow down the location of the lost tomb of Nephren-Ka, where his team believed the Scroll of Nephren-Ka had been entombed with the fallen pharaoh.

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Here Be Dragons Prologue
Welcome to our campaign!

The large ballroom—a bit over-opulent and ostentatious by Lucy’s admittedly high standards—was full of an unusual assortment of people. Instead of the usual society darlings, blue bloods, and new money, most were attired in what was obviously their Sunday church-going suits, a random few not even that well dressed. This looked to be an interesting, and possibly scary enterprise if not for Martin, her trusty guardian. Even if he was still trying to talk her out of it.

Still, she recognized a few faces. Her father had contacts in almost every sphere of influence, from politicians to mining moguls, foreign policy experts and ambassadors to alienists and doctors, scholars and antiquarians to cutting edge scientists. She was an old hand at recognizing faces from across a crowded room or dining table.

Nipping behind a group of arguing academicians, Lucy managed to gain a few yards on her chaperone—long enough to order a drink stronger than he’d approve of. A rum and coca-cola wasn’t really a Rum and coke unless it had more than three fingers of rum, after all.

(to be continued)

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