01 June 2012

Session Recap, 21-Apr-2012


The investigation of the MacAllister building continues. Many of the paranormal occurrences seem to be tied to The King in Yellow, but the play itself is impossible to find. Even information about it is in short supply.

The investigators have some good ideas, such as going out into the artistic community. Only one person, a theater director at small Bohemian theater, has ever head of it -- and only due to a former friend ranting and raving about it shortly before he was committed.

They return to the building that night and continue to explore the mysterious floors that appear only at night. A few experiments are conducted that seem to establish that continuity and persistence of reality is hazy at best -- items left at certain places are sometimes there upon return, and sometimes not. The same door, opened in quick succession, sometimes opens onto two completely different rooms.

They retreat to the local eatery and discuss. Although not directly related to the plot, they learn the tragic backstory of how the father of the neighborhood deli owner was banished from England and brought his family to America in shame. (Backstory listed in the first comment, below.)

Going back into the building the following night, strange things continue to beset the investigators and slowly drain away their sanity. They focus on two things: Finding the missing girl, and trying to discover who or what is behind the play. Many of the strange events in the building have some kind of puppet imagery -- is there a puppet master? If so, who? There is some concern, entirely justified, that finding out might be physically or mentally fatal.

Some specific events:

- A dog, a large mastiff, is found running down a hallway on one of the night floors. It appears friendly. Sir Richard puts an improvised rope collar and leash on it, and takes it out of the building. He lodges it in a kennel. So apparently things can be brought out of the night floors. Are there any consequences to taking things out of the night floors into the real world? They certainly didn't feel any barriers being broken.

- A locked and shuttered window is found in a living room that opens upon a dining room with a similar locked and shuttered window at the other end. That window opens upon a conservatory with a locked and shuttered window at the other end. That window opens upon a tea room, and so on. The rooms appear to go on endlessly and clearly cannot be contained within the building's external walls in any way.

- A hole is found in a wall that leads into a large series of caves. George Platt wanders them, marking his path with chalk. Unfortunately his chalk marks appear to be getting altered by someone or something and now he is truly lost. He comes upon a room with a series of alcoves, all containing ornate and unique bottles. A strange sommelier hails him and hands him a bottle with Platt's name on it, and a corkscrew. When Platt takes them, the sommelier collapses into his robes -- his hands, feet, and face were nothing more than crude mannequin constructions, but there was no substance to him. Platt opens the bottle and hears a whisper: "You are the cause of your friends' death." Or maybe it was "friend's death;" it's impossible to know which one for sure. Platt's electric torch starts flickering and he is barely able to find his way out back into the night floors.

- They find an elderly man claiming to be the manager. His name is Henri de Cavaldo Castaigne, and he has never heard of ARTLIFE, Cynthia LeChance, or any of the actual managers. Castaigne has a slight accent and claims to be from a country called "Carcosa." 

- Professor Hawkins finds a large mirror. In the mirror, he is wearing archaic party clothes. Behind him, visible only in the mirror, is a large crowd of similarly-dressed people. At the back of the crowd but standing apart from it, is a huge and tattered figure, draped in yellow robes, whose face is completely obscured by a ragged hood. Is this the mysterious King? What is underneath the hood?

Again a retreat to the outside before dawn. More questions than answers. Luckily they have all the time in the world, right?

1 comment:

  1. The tragic history mentioned above:

    This is the story of Irving, father of Moishe. Irving was a tailor in London during the Victorian era. His shop was in the same neighborhood as a prominent cathedral.

    One Sunday, the Queen was heading to the cathedral for a service where many foreign dignitaries were in attendance. Unfortunately, her dress caught in the carriage door and ripped. There was no time to go back to the palace. Disaster loomed! But one of her handmaidens noticed that Irving's shop was open -- all the Gentile shops being closed, of course -- and Irving was called upon. He masterfully repaired the Queen's dress and she was able to attend without embarrassment. A few days later, Irving received a message. The grateful Queen had decided to honor Irving by knighting him!

    Irving was very nervous. He had heard that in the knighting ceremony of the time, it was customary for the recipient to speak a few words in Latin. Irving did not know any Latin, so he went to a Christian priest and asked for help. The priest taught him the pater noster, and helped Irving practice it many times until Irving was confident that he knew it.

    Well, the day of the ceremony arrived. Irving went to the palace and was taken to the throne room. There were many other candidates for knighthood there, so he took his place at the end.

    The ceremony began. The Queen worked down the line, having each candidate step forward. She would administer the oath, dub the man, and have him rise as a knight. Irving got more and more nervous as each other man executed his part of the ceremony perfectly.

    Finally it was Irving's turn. He stepped forward and went through the ceremony. It got to the part where he had to say a Latin phrase, and his mind went completely blank! So he blurted out the only non-English phrase he could think of:

    "Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam."

    The Queen stepped back and exclaimed, "Why is this knight different from all other knights?!", and promptly banished him from the kingdom.