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DM Zyren's Heart of Madness (Inactive)

Game Master Zyrenity

A broken tyre forces a group of travellers to be stranded in Dunwich a nice village...at first sight...but pretty soon they find out that there are some strange things going on...


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Welcome everyone-I know what to expect, you know what to expect, isn't it nice and familiar here?^^

13th of July 1927 - Somewhere in Massachusetts

The brand new, red and adorned with chrome Chevrolet bus rumbles over the dusty street, barely broad enough for the large car. The driver, a man of Irish heritage from Boston, with the name Patrick, had told you last night that all streets leading south from Boston to New York were chockfull, but he knew some kind of secret shortcut along the murky Miskatonic River. After following the road for just some miles westwards, all the way south would be clear and free until New York.

The heat of about 35 degrees celsius is draining the last salty beads of sweat out of your body and since there is not a single cloud to be seen, you guess this will become the longest and hardest busride of your whole life.

While the landscape here is normally green, consisting of deep woods, moors and marshland, this extreme summer has also changed the surroundings. Now, the trees look like candles to be lit and the mires have turned to dry plains. Sometimes you see the corpses of deer and foxes died of thirst or starvation. You wonder why the animals didn't drink at the nearby river, yet when you look at the strange greenish brown broth, you're not sure what is worst, drinking or...

As the car hits a stone, which must have been half-hidden beneath a bushel of dry grass, you firstly are jolted out of your thoughts and secondly you hear the driver cursing as the bus comes to a sudden halt.


Oscar had dreaded the trip back to Boston; New York had become his new home the last couple of years, and the apartment he had rented had the best bed he had ever slept in. Even with the shadows lurking in every corner, he thought. His eyes were firmly planted on the notebook in his lap; he wanted to submit an article when the Irish Patrick had told them of the secret shortcut.

The summer heat was unbearable, and the sights were far beyond abstract; having travelled across the US, from the west coast all the way to Boston, he had never seen this natural oddity. If only I could draw...or had my camera...

The corpses leave a void in his belly as he peers out the window, scribbling notes in a half-arsed manner. When the bus jolts the first time, he smashes his head into the back of the seat in front of him. With a soft spasm he raises his head, huffing for air. Was it the shadows? Where is everyone?

When he hears Patrick's rancid profanities, Oscar peers at the other passengers, clutching his notebook.


Oh de holy f+%&, I knew dis would happen one day, de boss is gonna kill me, holy Patrick have mercy with my soul, bah!

The short red-haired man leaves the driver's seat and walks around the front of the bus where he crouches and vanishes from your view.


Dotting. I will most likely be slow getting into this game, because I am going AWOL so soon.


Dot


Male Human Defensive Option

Going to be an interesting ride for Oscar, thinks he is going to Boston but will in fact arrive in New York (which is where he thinks he just left?), that is going to be super confusing :)

James had spent most of the trip staring vacantly out of the window and calculating primes in his head to keep himself occupied. His worn black briefcase nestled in between his leg and the wall of the bus gave him a sense of security that had been absent for the last few weeks and he was on the verge of nodding off in the stifling heat when the bus jolted and came to a sudden halt.

He sits up with a start and frowns at the driver's foul language and the frown deepens as the man disembarks and disappears around the front of the bus. His first day at his new job would begin tomorrow and if he didn't arrive at his newly rented apartment before the superintendent went to sleep he would have to sleep in a hotel, an extravagance his dwindling funds could not support.

Standing with a yawn and stretching out his lanky frame, James picks up his briefcase and makes his way to the front of the bus. Stepping off the bus he pulls a handkerchief from his jacket pocket and wipes the sweat from his face before stepping around to the front of the bus to see what the problem is.


Hah, yeah, I mixed that up^^ Let's presume we were driving to New York, lol.

The red-haired driver is lying on the ground inspecting the tire

Oh damn dis sonuvab!~%%uvastone has ripped de whole tire apart, Mr. Fitzgerald is gonna kille me should we ever reach New York, hey you dere, sir, you know anyding about cars?

He looks up at you expectantly.


Actually, he knows they're going back to New York. He was reflecting how he had dreaded going back to Boston, and is glad the trip is finally going back home. Oscar's a bit odd that way.

Oscar watches one of the other passengers leave his seat; the man looked strange. Most people do, don't judge - if he was out to kill me, he would have done so already...

He peers around the corner of the seat; the shadows aren't there. Scooting out to the edge, he looks down the hallway. There's an ache in his knee, and with a scared whimper he rises from his seat. The shadows fear the sun. They won't harm me outside. Think, Oscar, think, you know this...

Slowly he rises from his seat, walking forward, careful to avoid any eye-contact with the other passengers. The notebook his clutched tightly against his chest. When he steps outside, he exhales sharply, waiting for the ground to react... yet when the grass merely parts aside at the touch of his foot, he plants his feet on the ground.

Is there safety in numbers? Why don't I know? A little nervous, he walks up to the front of the bus, where the man with the briefcase and the driver, Patrick, are situated.


Male Human Defensive Option

James squats down next to the driver and examines the destroyed tire before standing once again and wiping more sweat from his forehead.

"Oh indeed I know quite a bit about cars. I could for example go into great detail on the functioning of simple heat engine such as the one your bus uses as a source of locomotion. But I believe you are asking whether I can change a tire? If so the answer is most assuredly yes, that is unless you have no spare available. I believe that if you also have in your possession a car jack it would make the task much simpler."

Placing his briefcase beside the bus, James removes his jacket and folds it neatly before placing it atop the case and well out of the way of any muck. He spends a few moments fastidiously uncuffing and rolling up the sleeves of his shirt before looking expectantly at the driver.

"Shall we get started then? Or are we to stay in the lovely spot all day?"


The driver crawls out from under the bus and squints up to you and the sun

Oh yeah, de extra tire ding, heh. Mr. Fitzgerald said "The bus cost a fortune you will have to do the first tour without spare parts, Patrick", now, dat does not look good, Mister.


Male Human Defensive Option

When the driver admits to not having a spare tire a momentary flash of anger passes across James' face before his features settle back into the friendly mask that they usually wear.

"No spare tire? Well that is damn foolishness on Mr Fitzgerald's part and I believe I shall have some very strong words with him when we finally reach our destination. For now though, someone is going to have to walk to the nearest town and seek assistance. Unless of course one of the passengers is hiding a spare tire in their baggage, which I very much doubt. Shall I inform the other passengers or do you want to do the honours?"


Patrick scrambles up and sheepishly scratches the back of his head

Oh Mister, if you coulde make it, dat would be great. The nearest village is...ummm

He pulls a map out of his hip pocket

Le' me see...Dunwich...mhhh never heard of dat.


Noting that since the driver got off nothing has happened, Murphy looks slightly agitated in the heat and adjusts his tie for the third time.

"That's just swell" he sighs out in a frustrated tone. He exits the bus to catch some (fresher) air and examine the predicatment.

"Whats going on here Jack? Whats the holdup already?"

Seeing one man with sleeves rolled up expectantly, and a driver looking sheepish, Murphy pieces it all together rapidly.

"is my journey about to involve a long walk?"

Still piecing together the character generation process - used the generator which was good, but seeing what skills are truncated


Guess what, I have just returned from the garage, because I had to get fixed...what...a flat tire

Sorry sir, but we...ummm...the tire, dere was dis stone an'...dammit. We can't procede, easy as dat.


"Then I guess it's walking. Swell"

Murphy looks around to see who else is looking like walking.


Patrick takes another look at his map and the fouldout information it has and comments

Mister, the next village is Dunwich, the map says "Population 373, settled in 1692. A small farming community in an isolated part of the Miskatonic Valley. Formerly the site of several large lumber mills". How does that sound?


"It beats 'sitting in a bus, population not many, middle of nowhere' am I right?"

With that he hops back on and grabs his case, looking more like a doctors bag.

"We'll get someone to come out with a spare, suppose it shouldn't be too long"


OK, great mister, seems like you know how to hande dings. But at least some of us have to stay here...or at least me, heh. I guess you all wanna grab a cool soda at de grocery store?

He looks back at the other travellers.


Male Human Defensive Option

"Certainly a cool drink would be most welcome and you should indeed stay with the bus. I don't know that all the passengers need to come along but I won't stop any who desire a long walk in this heat to accompany us."

James retrieves his briefcase and folds his jacket over his arm before standing beside the driver and waiting for the other walkers to be ready.

"Ah, I almost forgot to ask. Are we to just walk along this unpleasant looking river until we reach Dunwich village or does your map call for us to turn away from the waterway at some point in a our journey?"


Patrick looks to the west while trying to sweep the sweat off the back of his neck

It's easy mister, just follow olde Miskatonic River here and take de first bridge to your right dat leads across it. Den you are already dere...at least dat's how it looks on de map.


Male Human Defensive Option

"Right then, that sounds trivially simple, shall we be off?"

James glances around at the other two passengers stood at the front of the bus and sticks his hand out to greet the only other man that had spoken thus far.

"I believe that if we are going on this short excursion together we should at least know each others names. I am Dr. James Chilcott and before you ask, I am not that kind of doctor. I am a physicist."


Oscar listens quietly to the conversation as Patrick exclaims his frustrations. No tire? Did the shadows steal it...?

He ponders quietly, hugging the notebook tightly, and himself even tighter, when the man is suddently in front of him, with an outstreched hand. "Uh, I..."

What do I do!? His hand, it could be... but it's just a hand. He's a man, not a shadow to devour you.

Anxiously, he reaches out a hand to the alleged Doctor James and shakes it, rather weakly. "Uh, Os... Oscar. Oscar Pine."


Male Human Defensive Option

James spent a few days in his youth perfecting the firm handshake of a trustworthy and honest man and puts that practice to good use, giving Oscar's hand a few firm pumps before releasing him.

"Very good to meet you Mr Pine, very good indeed."

James turns slightly and offers his hand to the other gentleman, smiling the smile of a man totally at ease in his situation.


"The names Murphy, occasional journalist. I suppose we can head off if no one else is coming, give them a few minutes to make up their minds, but not too many, no point to making an unpleasant walk through a swamp into an unpleasant walk through a swamp in the dark"


Patrick looks around, puzzlement in his expression

Swamp? Waddaya mean by swamp? Looks rader like desert, heh...oh, de Miskatonic River? Yeah, you're right.


Male Human Offensive Option 3

As he dreads the return to New york but also fears to loose his courage with every mile he moves toward it, Daniels feelings are ambivalent. On the one hand, since he's stuck right now, he feels relieved, on the other hand he feels guilty about feeling relief, so setting out to do something exept waiting and pondering might proof healthy to his mind.

A dark haired gentleman, maybe forty years old, rises from his seat. He has an attractive face and seems to be in good shape, although his looks suggest he might have been through rough times, his suit is of good quality, but obviously has seen better days, as has the small suitcase he is carrying. Something about his looks is vaguely familiar. He speaks in a very clear, well accentuated voice as he says:
"Well, unpleasant or not, I would rather walk a few miles then sit in this bus. On a day as hot as this I expect this place to be as hot as a furnance in less than an hour, so I would love to accompany you.
My name is Tauber, Daniel Tauber. Pleased to make your acquaintance."


Male Offensive Option

Dr. Victor Alden has been engrossed in his novel and did not notice the problems until just a moment ago. He is a pleasant man with a build that suggests hard pursuits and rugged adventures, a shock of long almost white blonde hair peeks out from under a black fedora. He is wearing a white silk shirt, black tie, and a black suit. The only current oddity is he is currently wearing what appear to be black military issue combat boots. He is also carrying what appears to be an explorer's rucksack instead of a suitcase. He puts away his copy of The Land of Mists by A. Conan Doyle and exits the bus with his items.

Did I hear that you are all headed down to the next town? He says in a heavy english accent. If'n so I think I'll walk with you good chaps as well if you'll have me. I'm Dr. Victor Alden of Cornwall. What might your names be if I might inquire? He mops his face dry with a white silk handkerchief.


Patrick eyeballs the second newcomer for a moment and then arches an eyebrow

Nice boots ye got mister. An' no, Dunwich ain't a town. As I just read aloud, it's a pretty isolated village...but I guess you Englishmen usually don' listen to an Irish bus driver, huh?

He shrugs and crawls back under the bus.

Everyone ready to depart for Dunwich - I mean after you've all made everyone's acquaintance?


"Names Murphy, and I am ready when you boys are"


Male Human Offensive Option 3

Tauber, Daniel Tauber. Pleased to make your acquaintance, sir. I would be happy to go, if you are all set.


Male Human Defensive Option

James shakes hands with each of the new arrivals as they descend from the bus and introduces himself again.
"Dr. James Chilcott at your service. And now that all the proper introductions have been made shall we be off?"
Not waiting for a reply he sets off in the along the river bank, determined to make New York by the evening if he had to carry the tire the entire way back himself.


Male Offensive Option

Dr. Alden shakes hands with anyone who presents them. He then throws his rucksack over his shoulder and proceeds down with the other doctor. So my good man, what is your area of expertise? he says pleasantly.


Male Human Defensive Option

Enjoying the slight drop in temperature after being cooped up in the bus James strolls easily along the bank of the Miskatonic as he answers Dr. Alden's polite query.
"My area expertise lies in the field of experimental and theoretical quantum physics. I'd explain further but saying that much tends to turn people off the subject rather rapidly. How about yourself, are you in fact a master of the medicinal arts or a doctor by dint of having a doctorate, as in my own case?"


Male Human Offensive Option 3

Daniel takes a deep breath, then steps out of the bus, the first steps seemingly a bit insecure. As he settles to the same speed the 'good doctors' set, the insecurity seems to fall off.


Only now, being reduced to walking speed, you notice the stench of murky Miskatonic River. Actually it smells like a whole swarm of tuna has died in it recently, which has now slowly started rotting in the burning sun.

The lay of the land around you remains the same: In the distance you can make out large woods and some hills to the north, but since the heat shimmers above the ground and blurrs your vision you're not sure if every shadow on the horizon is real.

After about an hour of walking you reach a junction which to your right leads across the Miskatonic River right into a small village.

There is a withered and rusty road sign, reading Dunwich, America's proud Capital of Lumber and Petrol Production.


Male Human Offensive Option 3

Looking at the sign, then the village, then the sign again, Daniel shakes his head:
"I wonder when they made this. I hope this Dunwich even has a garage or gas station where we can find a spare tire"


"Well so far I can't say I appreciate the location. No wonder no one had really heard of the place, who'd come here out of choice?"


Male Human Offensive Option 3

"Well, I overheard that you are a journalist. Would this not be the perfect subject of a story about Americas decline? Those stories seem to be very popular these days."


Male Offensive Option

What a quaint little town. I bet there's a lot of history here. Though I must say I find it hard to believe that this little hamlet is capital of anything much less lumber and petrol. Victor continues on into the town assuming everyone is coming too.


"I...I dunno if it would be printed... I wouldn't pass an article of a place like...like this. The papers don't...don't sell much if it's about the declining America..."

Oscar has skittered after the others nervously, and is visibly not liking the sight of this town. He does follow, clutching his notebook as tightly as he always has been. No shadows, take it easy, you can do it...


Together you walk across the bridge into the village proper. You pass a first crossing (Main Street/Backwater Road/River Road) and obviously the first skew wooden buildings seem to be deserted. Surprised you walk on and soon reach a large buiding with a sign on the front that reads [i]Osborn's General Store[//i]
Outside stands a hand-operated gas-pump while to the west of the building, mostly hidden by overgrown trees and shadows, is a small cemetary.

An old man with tanned and weathered face wearing an overall, leans against the gas station and grins as you approach

Ho, I guess ye didn't travel the whole way from Arkham on foot, huh?


Male Human Offensive Option 3

Daniel trys his best winning smile and approaches the man.
"No good man, we certainly did not. But our transport unfortunatly had an accident that cost us a tire. Might I inqire if you could sell us a new or at least a workable tire so we could repair that bus and get on our way?!


Male Human Defensive Option

EDIT: Oops, I was ninja'd. Never mind, I guess two people introducing themselves isn't too weird, especially in a place like Dunwich.

James frowns mildly at the sight of the tumbledown buildings and the obvious fact that the village of Dunwich is not doing well, but his face brightens as he catches sight of the general store and more specifically of the fuel pump situated in front of it. He quickens his pace slightly and arrives at the place ahead of the others, returning the weathered old man's grin with a smile of his own before answering his cheerful question.

"You are correct in your theory sir, we have only walked a few miles to arrive in your town. We are the erstwhile passengers on a bus headed to New York which lost a tire on a rock a few miles from this fair town and we have come in search of a spare tire and the tools to replace it."


Male Offensive Option

While the others introduce themselves to the old man, Dr. Alden will take a quick look at the town itself. He isn't going anywhere he is just looking to see what he can see from where they are.


The old man grimaces and answers

New York, eh? So ye're all from the bi' ciddy, eh? Me name's Jed, Jed Blair, proud veteran of the Spanish-American War, ye know? Got meself a bullet in'o me leg, heh...oh, wha' did ye say? A ti'e? Mhhh I have to look, but I don't think we got one. Hey, why don' ye get inside and buy yourself a nice cold pop, eh?


Victor:

You're pretty sure that behind the general store lies the cemetary and opposite the store is the town hall. Besides that there is quite a number of buildings (you guess about 100) strewn along the river bank and the hills beyond it.


Male Human Offensive Option 3

"Sir, I do hope you are mistaken and there is a tire somewhere among your wares, but I think a bit of shade and a cool drink while we wait for you to look would do us all good."

Daniel smiles to the man and bows a bit in his direktion as he enters the store, keeping the door open as he is sure his fellow travellers will not let this opportunity pass to escape the blistering heat.


Daniel Tauber wrote:
"Well, I overheard that you are a journalist. Would this not be the perfect subject of a story about Americas decline? Those stories seem to be very popular these days."

"Could be something the Globe or Times in interested in, normally they pay me for less salubrious articles... who died, who killed them, how, and why"

Murphy unpacks a camera from his bag and starts taking shots of some of the surrounds, then starts making notes on a flip pad. Names of stores, description of buildings and people. All in a methodical and detailed way, the trained eye of a detective.


@ Daniel:

Inside the store, dusty shelves and counters display a variety of canned goods, farm tools, newspapers and magazines, knives, flashlights, rope, chain, fishing equipment, rounds of ammunition, faded dresses on hangers, and common household items.
Above the cash box is also a sign of the U.S.P.S.
A group of men sit in the front part of the store around a small table and play cards (poker?). As you enter, one of them gets up, polishes his metal-rimmed-glasses and scratches his whisker.

Hey stra'ger. Wha' abaout a neyce cool pop? I'm Joe Osborn, the owner.


Shortly after you enter the store, you hear the huffing and puffing sound of yet another passenger from the bus. "Wait for me!" he cries, and rushes up to the door as it is about to swing shut. "I couldn't stay in that bus any longer," he explains as he steps into the store.

"My name is Charlie," he mumbles awkwardly at the group of strangers. He is dressed sharply, but not formally by any means, and many day's worth of stubble is visible on his face. He smiles broadly, "If you don't mind, that is."

Okay, character sheet almost worked out. At least the basics.

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