Dexter Maskelyne: We were making quips about Varney. How is that not confirmation?
Julian Carey: Quips == truth.
Julian Carey: But yes, Julian had just confronted Claude and decided not to shoot him yet.
GM: Claude: “I assure you, Mr. Carey, we are not enemies.”
Julian Carey: “I hear that a lot from people I’m pointing a gun at.”
GM: The air was distinctly getting colder, and a foul charnel odor was detectable. I think I had implied that there’s someTHING on its way down the tunnels.
GM: Claude: “To get to the other side of the city by this route alive…you need a guide. You will need me, Mr. Carey.”
Julian Carey: “Start walking. Or I’ll try leaving your body behind as a distraction for whatever that is.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “Probably not a sommelier. They’re never around when you want them.”
GM: Suddenly, out of a primordial miasma, appears a grotesque humanoid creature. Distorted features, long, dirty claws, a filthy long coat.
GM: In a serpentine, ragged voice, it says…“Dexter?!”
GM: “It has been a while since I’ve seen you! How’s life?” It moves forward for a warm embrace. Well, a cold one, as it has no body temperature.
Julian Carey: “We should probably give them some privacy.”
GM: Claude backs against a wall, visibly frightened. “I meant no trespass in your domain, Lord! I was merely guiding these vessels to their destination!”
GM: It waves a claw. “Oh Claude, none of that now. Dexter is an old friend! I’m elighted to see him.”
Julian Carey: “So . . . is this an ex? You seem like his type.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “I’m… not sure if I’m insulted or not.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “One of us probably should be, though.”
GM: (I’m willing to let you whip up the explanation! My default answer is that you were former classmates for a study abroad at the Scholomance)
GM: (and or are ultor/passers for each other in The Cabal)
Nick2 (Dexter Maskelyne): Sounds good.
Dexter Maskelyne: “Byron Kline; meet Julian Carey. Also our hostage, Claude.”
GM: “Dexter and I spent a semester under Lake (i can’t remeber the lake) studying goetia a few years ago!”
GM: He shakes your hand. His claws are clammy. “Pleased to meet you Mr. Carey! Your exploits are quite wel known to the Pavane.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “It was only supposed to be studying, and not practicing.”
Julian Carey: “Glad to hear it. Fame always make espionage more exciting.”
GM: Byron: “Bah! You had your own Pride squealing like a pig in Madame Mortimore’s brothel, as I recall, after class. Ah, those were the days.”
GM: Byron: “Well, Claude, you played your role, but it’s my understanding that dear Emily arranged for you to deposit these two into her tender mercies, yes?”
GM: Claude, deer-in-headlights: “…No…”
GM: Byron: “Claude.”
GM: Claude: “Yes.”
GM: Byron: “Well, don’t do that. They need their blood. To live.”
GM: Wait, no. Emily is too mundane a name for evil vampire seductress.
GM: We’ve got a Byron…
Dan1 (Julian Carey): That could be the joke.
Dan1 (Julian Carey): Tiffany.
GM: (No, I have another Tiffany planned and I don’t want to confuse myself. Emily it is.)
GM: Bryon: “You are not aware of this, Mr. Carey, but I am the reason you are here. Indirectly, of course. I had an arrangement with Mrs. Carey that is in need of rescuing, and you are the man for the job.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “What, Claude was going to betray us? Julian, did you see this coming?”
Julian Carey: “No, that’s why I didn’t draw a gun on him a few minutes ago and of course I did.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “Well, damn.”
GM: Claude: “Was I really that obvious?”
Julian Carey: “That was not a good accent.”
GM: He’s dropped the decent-but-not-perfect Parisian accent for the obviously Prussian.
Dexter Maskelyne: “One of these days I’m going to see you taken aback, but if squid people from Neptune’s third moon won’t do it I’ll be damned if I know what will.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “Those were funny chaps; we should see what they’re up to these days.”
Julian Carey: “Decomposing, mostly. But I assume they had family.”
GM: (a lot of gambling and Mah Jong in various cesspools of the Orient, according to reports)
GM: Byron: “Anyway, Claude here has betrayed your wife as well, endangering his country’s little operation for Paris.”
GM: Byron: “I suggest we kill him. You may deal him a merciful execution, or I might indulge my rather sanguinary appetites , if you’ll permit.”
GM: Claude: “Wait, no! Don’t kill me! I was under orders!”
Julian Carey: “Oh, they all say that. Right before the plummet into a bottomless pit.”
Julian Carey looks over at the bottomless pit
GM: Byron: “It’s not actually bottomless, I”m afraid."
Julian Carey: “Figure of speech.”
GM: Byron: “Fair enough.”
Julian Carey: “Anyway, I can’t promise I won’t shoot you in the back of the head, but more detail won’t hurt your odds, ‘Claude’.”
GM: Claude: “I was to ensure you fell into the clutches of the Pavane.”
GM: Byron: “The other Pavane, he means. I am quite on board with the various plots.”
GM: Bryon: “Shall we walk and discuss matters? We still have far to go.”
Julian Carey: “And Abigail?”
GM: Byron: “If we do not tarry, I suspect we may still rescue her.”
Julian Carey: “Well, no time to waste.”
GM: Byron: “So, tell me Dexter, how has being alive treated you these past few years?”
Dexter Maskelyne: “Julian, I know I’ve asked this before,but tell me again: wives DO serve some purpose, other than to give you something to rescue when you grow bored, yes?”
Dexter Maskelyne: “So far it seems preferrable to the alternative, though I shouldn’t throw stones. You?”
Julian Carey: “If you’re very lucky, I won’t tell her you said that.”
Julian Carey (to Byron): “She got a new sniper rifle recently. Been dying to try it out.”
GM: Byron: “Well enough, though my life has not normally been this exciting.”
GM: Byron: “Well, if Claude’s compatriots haven’t managed to kill her, I imagine she’s killed them. Formidable woman.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “I’m just saying, I believe you’ve rescued her twice for every time she’s rescued you. You HAVE been keeping score, I assume?”
Julian Carey: “Yes, but you aren’t there for all of our outings. Particularly the more exotic ones.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “I dare say that if that counts as ‘rescue’ there’s quite a few actresses in Paris who owe me a good turn.”
Julian Carey: “Are you sure they were all actrESSES? Parisians can be tricky.”
Julian Carey (to Byron): “No offense.”
GM: Byron: “I am not a native.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “They were convincing enough for my purposes.”
GM: “I am actually starting to find this city rather tedious.”
Dan1 (Julian Carey): I assume we are all walking along?
Julian Carey: “I felt the same way until the revolt started.”
GM: Byron: “In any event, I shall summarize. In the course of coordinating its response to the various uprisings, the French security services and the Prussian made an arrangement. Stalwart Prussian monster-destroyers would handle France’s problem with the Pavane, local officials being too corrupt and the Church still angry over some trifle or another to send its own. In exchange, certain occult resources were to be granted to Prussia. Your wife was in charge of this operation.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “I enjoyed myself, when I was here last. Except for most of the times I was in a box.”
GM: “The Pavane, however, and its agents, corrupted individuals on both ends” – he motions at Claude – “and they have placed your wife in significant jeopardy with her organization.”
Julian Carey: “I was wondering why she packed so much kerosene. But didn’t want to ask.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “I’ve never approved in the trade of occult objects; far too dangerous. Much better to just collect them all some place and then never touch them again.”
GM: Byron: “The true irony is, of course, the Pavane were using their influence against the forces of radicalism.” He tut tuts.
Dexter Maskelyne: “I’ve repeatedly offered my apartment; but the Club doesn’t seem to take my generosity seriously.”
Julian Carey: “Probably just gunshy after that Silverstone disaster.”
Julian Carey: “Better to keep the things in the club house where we can all touch them and knock them over where everyone can see.”
GM: Byron: “Ah, here we are.” he points to a ladder. “That should take you into the basement of the Opera House. Mind the phantom. You should find the safehouse where Abigail is staying a level above.”
GM: “Now, if you’ll permit me, I intend to tear Claude’s throat out and drink his blood for sustenance. Unless you object…?”
GM: Claude: “I object! I object strenously!”
Dexter Maskelyne: “Would you rather be shot? That seemed to be your fate before.”
GM: Claude: “Well, yes! But I’d rather not be shot as well.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “Actually, Byron, would you mind if we shot him? It just seems more humane.”
Julian Carey: “I was toying with strapping him to that pendulum. But didn’t want to back track.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “You can do as you like after.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “Whatever for? He’d just be all swingey.”
GM: Byron: “Oh that blasted thing never works. Do you have any idea how complicated the gearing mechanism is on the pendulum winch?”
Dexter Maskelyne: “Or would you still shoot him, after?”
Julian Carey: “Isn’t a pedulum one of the simplest machines ever made?”
GM: Claude: “Don’t kill me, please! I was just following orders! You understand that, don’t you?”
Dexter Maskelyne: “It should be rather straightforward; a basic counterweight should do the trick.”
Julian Carey talks quieter as he climbs.
GM: Byron: “OH don’t get my started. Preacing to the choir.”
GM: Claude: “You can’t trust him, anyway! He’s a monster! He’s one of the Pavane!”
GM: Byron: “Only in the most literal interpretation of the membership roster.”
Julian Carey: “Believe me, we have no room to throw stones there. I don’t think we have any vampires, but we do have a giant spider who drinks the fluids from people.”
GM: Byron: “Oh! How is Joseph these days?”
Dexter Maskelyne: “Surly.”
GM: Byron chuckles. “That’s old Joe.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “We’ve told him time and again, if he leaves his brood eggs where they can be stepped on, they will be stepped on.”
Julian Carey: “His latest vintage is surprisingly drinkable, though.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “but we don’t like to discuss the subject, because eventually one wonders where the eggs come from, and no good comes of thinking that.”
GM: And a few minutes later, you open up the door to find a shotgun barrel pointed at you, then lowered immediately. “Julian!” Abigail exclaims. “What the devil are you doing here?”
GM: She takes note of Dexter (frowning), Claude (DOUBLE frowning), and Byron (smilling)
Dexter Maskelyne: “Well sorry, Julian, I don’t think this counts as a rescue after all. No worries, you’re still ahead by my count.”
Julian Carey: “Saying hello. This isn’t the hotel but . . . hello.”
GM: “We’re tied. Morocco didn’t count.”
GM: Abigail: “I have to ask, why is Claude still alive? You know he’s planning on betraying you, right?”
Julian Carey: “I didn’t want to risk a gunshot before I knew if there were vampires . . . er . . . hostile vampires close enough to hear it.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “Lies! That’s a lie.”
GM: Abigail: “Ah, well, why not just let Byron eat him? It’s very quiet. A bit unseemly.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “He had this clever plan involving a pendulum, and then we got distracted debating Newton.”
GM: Byron: “You mortals have all manner of unseemly natural processes as well! I am hardly unique!” He brushes a maggot off his shoulder.
GM: Abigail: “I swear to god, one of nature’s simplest machines, and the Pavane can’ teven install it…”
GM: Byron waves his hand. “We’ve been over it!”
Julian Carey: “As usual, at length.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “Anyway, so good to see you, Mrs. Carey. Um, I’ve brought you some wine.”
GM: Claude: “Don’t kill me, please!”
Dexter Maskelyne fumbles for one of the unopened bottles.
GM: Abigail: “Your men tried to kill me, Claude. They shot at me. They stabbed at me. They set the building I was in on fire. It was a nice building, Claude. I liked the amenitijes.”
Julian Carey: “And fresh bread!”
Dexter Maskelyne: “Weren’t you going to kill us, Claude? It only seems fair.”
Julian Carey pulls out the bread before shooting Claude.
GM: Claude goes down like a sack of turnips. That have been shot.
GM: Byron: “A pity. I am a bit peckish.”
Julian Carey: “Well, I don’t like to wave a gun around without using it.”
Julian Carey: “We do have bread. If you eat . . . bread.”
GM: Abigail: “Anyway, dump his body back in the catacombs. The ghouls will get to him.”
GM: Byron: “I never eat…bread.”
Julian Carey: “Suit yourself. ’s good bread.”
Julian Carey casually reloads his pistol.
Dexter Maskelyne: “So, how badly did things go? What do we still need to recover?”
Julian Carey: “I see why you didn’t want to bring Cecily. I thought it was because it would be an ‘adult’ trip. But no. Vampires.”
GM: Abigail: “Well, things are bad.”
GM: Abigail: “I’ve been blacklisted, Prussia thinks I’m a traitor, the French government believes me an enemy spy, the Pavane have the occult artifacts, the Prussian hunter team is dead.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “Which ones are the Prussians again? Never mind; I’ll never remember. It sounds like we need to hit the Pavane.”
Julian Carey: “Well, you ARE an enemy spy, so I can’t blame the French for their insight.”
GM: Abigail: “I am not! This time they wanted me here!”
Julian Carey: “Were you planning on kidnapping any french scientists on your way out of the country?”
GM: Abigail: “Yes, but they had nor eason to suspect that.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “Past experience, perhaps?”
Julian Carey: “Lets move past this one. Occult artifacts and your being framed. The French can hang on to their misconceptions, no matter how accurate they are.”
GM: Abigail: “Right. We need to clear my name, destroy the Pavane enclave, and retrieve the artifacts.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “I hesitate to ask, but how dangerous are these artifacts in the wrong hands? Say, the hands they’re currently in?”
GM: “Oh, the scrolls of Nophru-Ka alone could unlease the nine Threnodies of Despair.”
Dexter Maskelyne: “Right. Medium evil, then. Easily managable.”
GM: Abigail: "I have no idea what that is, but I was informed by a very strern old professor of antiquities at the University of Berlin that it would be “very bad, ja.”
Julian Carey: “And we . . . don’t? want that?”
Dexter Maskelyne: “Well, it’s just shambles putting them back, after.”
Dan1 (Julian Carey): Dang. They hadn’t invented Theremins yet. I can’t have Julian confuse the two.
Kerberos Club: Strange Corners of the Earth
Dexter Maskelyne: We were making quips about Varney. How is that not confirmation?