Persistent Memory

Session: And Just a Trifle to Spare
Our Heroes Head to the Great Outdoors
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Session: Tillamook - Come for the Cheese, Stay for the Gangsters
Our Heroes are Eluded but Learn to Live a Life on the Rails

Bay City, OR 4AM

Douglas finds himself standing barefoot in the road, struggling to reconcile two conflicting sets of memories that encompass the same three week period of time…one of being a patient at Morningside, and another of going about his life as usual. There’s a kind of ripple effect in experience that stretches over the consequent years, and then the two timelines merge at a point roughly a year before the night of the Eugenia Taylor estate auction.
-Douglas remembers being at Morningside in 1919, but also remembers starting at the paper in 1920…somehow both events are real though they don’t seem to correlate to each other.

Marion and Troy fetch Douglas’ shoes from the hotel. When they return, they pile into the car in pursuit of the man in sunglasses. There is no sound of a car starting, so they assume he is on foot. Clara is driving, Troy is shotgun, and Marion and Doug are in the backseat.

As they creep along the darkened streets, the car’s headlights glint off something metallic in the gravel next to an apartment building, so they stop to investigate. They see a fire escape on that side of the building has been semi-lowered (unhooked but not extended), the end still too far from the ground for a person to grab from the ground.

Walking over to the building, they don’t detect anything, no smell of smoke…of course it’s breezy now so that isn’t surprising…Marion gets on Troy’s shoulders to pull down the fire escape ladder. While they are busy with that, Clara looks down at the ground and sees taht the metallic glint they had seen earlier was from what appears to be a teaspoon that somebody has flattened and shaped into a scoop-like device. It is stained with a dark, dried liquid, which looks like blood. Scattered around it are some cigarette butts.

Marion then notices a dark, wet patch on the ladder, like clotting blood. The group hurries to the roof, but the creature has escaped. There’s no way a human could’ve gotten up the fire escape and away from the roof…all the buildings around are too far away. They suspect that the man in sunglasses is the same type of creature they encountered back in Forest Grove the night Troy got pulled into the nightmare.

They opt to go back to the hotel and get some rest, rather than chase after the horror in the dark. Everyone sleeps except Douglas, who is still wracked with existential confusion.

Douglas recalls a snippet of conversation with Roger/Steve at Morningside:

“That fella, he was a vet like you. Got him out. I can get you out, too. Good guy, kinda crazy. Named Troy. Let me know,” Roger/Steve had murmured to him.

After breakfast the next morning, the group heads to Tillamook in search of Mulligan. They decide to go to the railyard first. On the way into town, they pass a restaurant called Doug’s, and a hotel called the Siren by the Sea. Douglas notices more high-end cars parked around than one would expect, especially for a Tuesday morning in September.

Upon reaching the railyard, the group try to find out if anybody has seen Mulligan, without tipping Mulligan off that they are looking for him. Cara strikes out when she tries to convince the foreman that she is Mulligan’s sister, and that she’s looking for him because their mother is ill. Marion has better luck with a man named Charlie, who states that Mulligan caught the train to Skookum Lake the day before.

Clara and Marion then use their charms (and a wad of cash) to secure spots on the train to Skookum which is set to depart on Wednesday morning.

With nothing else to do and a day to kill, the group book rooms at the Siren by the Sea and lay low for the day.

They notice several men who don’t fit in…they, like their cars, seem a little too fancy for Tillamook. These men have noticed our group, too.

While Douglas is picking up food from Doug’s Diner, the rest of the gang are in the smoking lounge of the hotel. A young, sandy haired man asks Marion to dance. He introduces himself as Charles in a vaguely Irish accent, and proceeds to tell her that his boss is in room 211, while he himself is in room 213…he extends the offer for Marion to join him later for ‘bible study.’ He then mentions that his boss (who ends up being Mulligan) is away checking on the camp.

Armed with this piece of information, the group plan to search Mulligan’s room while he’s away.

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Session: Sitting on the Dock of the Bay
A sea side vacation

A brief description of Marian’s findings when she went over the invoices from the shipments:
-In Mid-March (before the fateful auction), there was a greater incident of items disappeaing in transit from the coast (Astoria, Bay City)
-In Mid-June (after the auction), things got sloppier…book-keepers were noticing. On the surface it looks like more varied items are missing.
-August 5Th, there’s a botched train robbery attempt in Carlton, OR. After that, things slow back down, still more obvious than the activity back in March. Notably, the targeted items weren’t very valuable.

In order of disappearance, they are:
1-A shipment of Napoleonic Era mirrors from San Francisco (nothing terribly fancy, they were the more common bourgeousie style)
2-a Korean book from 1797 on the subject of tea blending and cultivation; beautifully decorated and illustrated, referencing teas from all over the world, and including recipes for blends that incorporate non-tea ingredients, such as basil, tobacco, and cocoa
3-a leather mask from Guam titled “Bridge to the Ancestors from Water.” Marian recalls that this is one of the epithets used in the Cthaat Aquadingen in reference to the water people.
**Marian realizes that the trend in missing items goes back to February 14th with a more ornate Napoleonic mirror, and that the itmes are most likely earthquake salvage from the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco.


Douglas digs up more information on the possible victims of “Kate”:
1-Phelps, the most recent disappearance: a lot of blood and a bottle of bathtub whiskey were found in an alley near his house, which happens to be eight blocks north of where the little girl dropped the noted down th storm drain. This is a rough part of town. Next of kin are listed as Margaret (wife), and Charity (daughter…presumably the aforementioned little girl).
2-Thomas Carpenter (most likely the Thomas from the lamp-post note and picture), a dockworker who didn’t return home from work six weeks prior to Phelps’ disappearance. Caprenter is survived by his wife, Maude, and three (unnamed) children.
3-Owen O’Daly disappeared from an alley beside a known den of iniquity two months ago. His hand was found at the scene along with a large quantity of blood. This occurred while our heroes were in New Mexico. A trail of blood leading to a manhole had led investigators to think the body was dragged and dumped in the sewer, but no corpse was ever recovered.
4-Research turns up a criminal record for assault on shop-keepers with blunt weapons, suspicion of robbery, as well as an assault in Vancouver in which he was charged alongside Stanley Mulligan (August 1923)
5-Also finds notes from another journalist about reports from hobos of disappearences.
6-Owen O’Daley and Liam Weaver were questioned regarding Hayden Island Gang, but no charges were brought against them, and Weaver and Millugan were brought in and charged for patronizing a speakeasy in March 1923.
7-Doesn’t find anything on Patterson.
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Marian is shown the ledgers from the haberdashery basement. She figures that the one with shorthand and prices is for those items which went missing in February (the mask, the teabook, the mirrors). The second ledger (partially destroyed, from Bay Ocean Transportation) appears to be mainly operating expenses. There is also the note saying “Use mill rail lines” which she recognizes as being in Edmund Cage’s handwriting.

The group get Liam Weaver’s address from a phone book and decide to pay him a visit. He liveds in a rowhouse in a slightly seedy neighborhood in SW. They see a Ford with two men seated, neither of whom appear to be getting out any time soon. One of the men is recognized as having been in the room during our discussion with Patterson at the party. Clearly they’re already staking out Weaver’s house. The group then decide to go to the Paradise Rooms, a flophouse near the speakeasy where Weaver and Owens had been picked up in March ’23 (known as the Elysium).

While the group are standing outside the flophouse trying to decide what to do next, Clara spots a man with curly, auburn hair and an unbuttoned shirt walking towards them with a paper sack. He looks at her and starts to cross the street…then he sees Marian and makes a beeline away from her. Marian doesn’t recognize him. Douglas goes after him. He isn’t cooperative…Douglas threatens him, which doesn’t work, so Clara works her phchological juju on him, which seems to do the trick.
He is Liam Weaver.He tells the group that Mulligan is in Tillamook, and that he is involved in artifact theft…including some books. Mulligan is thinking that Kate has hellhounds under Portland.
-Weaver is the one who tossed Marian’s apartment, which is why he recognized her.
This is as much as we can get from Weaver. He’s scared and angry and uncooperative.
**This is enough information to give Patterson, but they decide to go to Tillamook and Bay City themselves.

While stopped for gas, they see a train with logs and lumber on a mill rail line, and it clicks…this is what Cage meant in his message.

The group checks in at a hotel in Bay City.

They ask around to see if anybody knows Mulligan, but they strike out.

Clara talks to an accountant named Peter DuChamp at Bayocean Transportation…using the Taylor and Taylor business connection, she’s able to get the man to relax. He mentions that a man matching Mulligan’s description had been talking to people down at the railyard back in June, and that a security guard was fired for taking bribes in return for allowing certain items to be stolen. He then goes on to say that a ledger had also gone missing…sure enough, it’s the same one that was found in the haberdashery. Clara convinces him to compare his manifest records to the ledger and notify her with the names of the ones that would have been listed on the missing pages.

Douglas talks to George Krieger, a security guard at the railyard. Krieger is a self-important buffoon, eager to belittle others in order to build himself up, which makes it hard for Douglas to get a straight answer to his queries, but he is able to find out that Zalesky was the name of the fired security guard, and that Kriger had seen him arguing with Mulligan. Krieger mentions that Dave McClain is the security boss, and that Krieger suspects he is also on the take. Krieger also believes that Mulligan is at the new railyard in Tillamook…the Skookum Mill Yard (Skookum Lake is nearby).

Marian recognizes Skookum as a type of doll she has appraised from time to time, generally a small doll with an apple head and stuffed body. Skookum is also a word for Big Foot.

The group retires…girls in one room, boys in the other. Clara and Marian are awakened in the middle of the night by a smell…the same smell they had encountered in Simon Gatineau’s backyard, a scent of sweety, minty smoke. It’s coming in through the open window.

Looking out, they see a man smoking a pipe. He wears sunglasses, a nice suit, and is well-groomed. He looks up at the two women peering down from the window at him. Douglas is standing beside him. He is turned away from them. More notably, he is still in his day clothing, but barefoot.

Marian turns to go check on Troy. The pipe smoker sees her move away from the window, says something to Douglas, and walks away, leaving Douglas standing on the pavement in the dark.

Marian knocks on the door. Hears a shotgun being cocked. Asks Troy if Douglas is with him, which of course he isn’t.

the three go out to intercept Douglas, who is still standing on the pavement…apparently aware of something other than his three companions. He is perfectly still…facing the space where the sun-glassed man had stood.

Clara reaches out and catches Douglas’ arm


Douglas remembers talking to Simon Gatineau about the problem with the oceans and how there are things in the ocean that affect people badly if they don’t treat the ocean well. “The ocean is sentient.” Then the conversation ends and Clara is holding his arm and he’s barefoot in the street in the middle of the night.*

Douglas now remembers Morningside…and the bench…and Roger/Steve…and Clara……and Simon.

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Session: It's Got to be the Shoes
Our Heroes start the search for Stanley.

Our heroes leave the party with the following knowledge:
While the gala had seemed like just a social obligation, Mrs. Terwilliger emphasized the Argent Group and had angled Douglas toward endorsing Perkins-there had definitely been an undercurrent of mutuality (you scratch my back, I scratch yours).
-Douglas needed to get an article thrown together before the Sunday deadline, and would be needing to research the Hayden Island Gang
-Marian was going to research the missing items from the shipping invoices.

The following morning, Clara telephones Mrs. Terwilliger, ostensibly to thank her for the invitation to the soiree, but also to try to glean more information about the Argent Group, with a view to attending the next meeting.According to Mrs. Terwilliger, the Argent Group is more like a rotary club than anything, with business owners meeting at Risotto’s, a restaurant owned by Michael Kay; the next meeting is slated to take place there in six weeks. Our heroes think there’s more to this, as this isn’t anything like the setup for the Argent Group in Forest Grove.

Patterson’s pointed remark that Stanley Mulligan had liked shoes…that brought our group to recall Orchard & Hayward’s Men’s Outfitter, a now-defunct haberdashery located near Good Samaritan hospital. The business is owned by Rufus Clegg, who happens to be Samuel Clegg’s nephew. The location in question is closed, having been used at one point as a warehouse for the remaining location in NE Portland. In mid-1922, they stopped using it entirely and now it sits empty. The group suspects that it may be used for bootlegging.

Marian heads to the auction-house to go over the missing artifacts in hopes of figuring out what the common thread may be. She realizes that all the missing pieces were shipped through one carrier, Bay Ocean Shipping.

Doug goes to the newspaper to work on his article. While there he researches the Hayden Island Gang. First of all, it isn’t really a gange..there is no clear leader. It is loosely affiliated with bootleggers on the coast. Patterson, Mulligan, and the Smith brothers (Johnny and Marty who both died during the cemetery standoff).

Troy and Clara have lunch at Risotto’s, hoping to snoop around a bit, but they turn up nothing.

Doug, Troy, and Clara resolve to ivestigate Orchard & Haywards. Eating dinner at Diane’s (a restaurant near Good Sam), they notice a note and flowers strapped to a nearby lamppost. Painted vertically on the lamppost is the query “Why, Kate?”. Upon investigation, the note depicts a man in a suit and high collar, and the words Thomas, I forgive you. Please come back. The handwriting on the note is different from the writing on the post. Troy notices a storm drain next to the post. He draws a connection between them, because the note was near the bottom of the pole.

Walking a few blocks up the street, the group notice a girl dropping something down a storm drain. She is joined by another girl and the two walk away. Clara decides to follow them. Troy and Doug try to see what she dropped.

Clara can see that the first girl has been roughed up, and the other girl looks like she has been crying.

Douglas and Troy find some crushed pieces of crayon near the drain, but nothing else. They see Clara walking away, and then they hear a car sputter and almost die, and then another one does the same thing in the same spot. When they watch for it to happen again, it doesn’t.

The little girls realize they are being followed and run away, darting down an alley. Clara tries to pretend that she wasn’t following them by looking in her purse, but it’s too late.

Troy and Doug join her…their attempt to find the girls is fruitless. They decide to move on to searching the haberdashery.

They break in via an upstairs entrance, using the fire escape. On the salesfloor, they find empty crates of Lime Crush, presumably used for transporting liquor. They go through a door and down a ramp into the basement. There they find a generator, a desk, a heavy, padlocked door, and two tables with hobo stoves on them.

Troy gets the generator started. The group now have light.

On inspection of the door, they realize that the hasp of the lock has been torn from the wall.

They find a ledger on the desk…the contents are written in some kind of shorthand, with amounts written in, ranging from 10s to 100s. Doug realizes that this is similar to the appraisal ledgers that Marian uses at the auction house. They grab the ledger to show Marian.

They also find an older ledger for Bay Ocean Transportation, Bay City, Oregon. Doug finds a page, presumably from this ledger with the name Pirreaux and a handwritten note to use Mill Rail Lines.

Clara remembers that Bay Ocean is one of the companies under which Taylor & Taylor’s taxes had been erroneously filed.

Troy finds brown paper sacks lying on the ground between the desk and the crates. They smell of potpourri and contain moldy, crushed leaves and flowers. Clara identifies these as amaranth/love lies bleeding, which is the same plant that had been used to reanimate the corpses of Phillip Pratchett and Benjamin Corbett, etc.

They light the hobo stoves and open the door. The passage on the other side is crude brick, with low, arched ceilings and a packed-dirt floor. Proceeding down the passage, they discover surgical coats hanging on the wall. The coats are moldy and foul, but don’t appear to be very old. The group surmises that the passage is connected to the hospital, most likely the morgue (where the escapade with Dr. Bell had occurred).

They reach a four-way intersection and opt to turn left, heading in the direction of the storm drain down which the little girl had dropped the unknown object.

Upon reaching the terminus, they find the run-off ditch for the storm drain. Clara sees and fishes out a piece of cardboard. On it in red crayon is scrawled: Dear Kate, please make Daddy stop.

Then the group hears a splash; something big…bigger than a rat…they decide to turn back.

Their flashlights die when they reach the intersection. They notice that the shadows are closer than they should be…they aren’t receding like they normally would. The hobo stoves still work. Troy shoots into the darkness. The three flee. They reach the basement room, blocking the door with the desk and tables.

They escape and get home safely.

The next morning there’s an article in the paper about someone being murdered within blocks of the haberdashery. It turns out to be the girl’s father. *note to Arthur: I can’t remember how we figured that last bit out*

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Session: Try the Pastry, it's Delicious

Our group, after deciding to reside at The Taylor Home en masse, head to the fundraiser for T. L. Perkins. Chamber music and vol-au-vents abound.

An effusive and slightly inebrated Margeret Jameson greets Marian Elliot, noting that she’s having problems acquiring certain collectibles. Marian noted that the Rosebloom Auctionhouse was having similar problems. A later conversation was promised.

Clara Taylor is greeted by Mrs. Violet Terwilliger, who thanks her effusively for her contributions and her family’s support for Portland businesses. She mentions how pleased she is to have women taking lead roles in society, complementing her on her position at Morningside.

Troy Valjean points out Michael Kay, noting that he saw him several times in Forest Grove. At least once he saw him driving away from the house he’d bought for(?) Simon Gatineau, with a mystery companion in the passenger seat.

Meanwhile, Dr. Peter Evers seems to recognize Troy from across the room, but Clara breaks his line of sight. The Doctor gets distracted, and a possible awkward moment is averted.

Douglas Ryder attempts to speak with Mr. Perkins, but apart from getting some vague platitudes and some semi-amusing anecdotes about being a dentist (and some lackluster analogies between dentistry and running a city) doesn’t walk away with much. Trevor Clegg seems to make it a point to avoid Douglas.

EDIT: More to come if all goes well…

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Session: Revisting The Talking Board

Talking board session. Write-up at some point.

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Session: My Dinner with Cthulhu

A month has passed, and things have returned to something resembling normal…

  • Douglas Ryder has been keeping a fairly low profile since the incendiary story about Castronegro. Now that the furor has calmed, he’s been assigned to a political fundraiser for a replacement city commissioner. He sees various familiar names on the list, including Margeret Jameson, Trevor Clegg, and Michael Kay… as well as Clara Taylor.
  • Speaking of Clara Taylor, she’s been promoted to a position of “Assistant Administrator” at Morningside Sanitarium, functioning as Dr. Gilbert Harp‘s right hand. A right hand that’s suddenly dealing with several government inquiries about the hospital’s practices. The line of questioning has been quite breezy and civil… for the moment.

Troy mentions that he has been sleeping well at the house, but had been awakened by the planchette falling off the talking board. He also mentions that a design similar to that on the talking board was painted on the ceiling in the vestibule (hidden by the pressed-metal ceiling). The other three tell him about the symbols/ writing under the wallpaper. The group realize the markings are directly above the round basement chamber.

As she is leaving to go to Eugenia’s house, Clara discovers a stick figure which may or may not be meant to represent Eugenia. Marian’s assessment is inconclusive as to whether it is a threat or protection. No match is found for the scrap of crocheted matarial that was wrapped around the fetish.

Marian says that she has figured out that the house is built in a manner similar to the talking board with the marked chambers working as a sort of pipeline or portal for the energy to collect in the ovoid chamber, and the walls serving as a protection from outside magic.

Douglas shows the group the severed hand he received as an anonymous “gift” after the completion of the New Mexico ordeal. Upon investigation of the hand, Clara notices marks on the wrist identical to those on Douglas’ wrist. Marian notices that while the hand appears to be 10-20 years old the jewelery is new; she also recalls the male in her “future” vision was missing a hand.

Clara has received a few phone messages; one is from Eugenia’s lawyers, requesting tax documents, the other is an invitation to a fundraising dinner for T.L. Perkins for city commissioner. It turns out that Douglas has been assigned to cover this same fundraiser for the paper.

The group get a call from Mrs. Violet Terwilliger - all four have been sent invitations to the fundraiser.

A newspaper from a prior run at city commissioner (lower right): From the Oregonian(?), 1918.

Next Game:
Seance/ Talking board and the gang goes to a party.
outside of game
- Is it Douglas’ hand? Results on research/ x-rays?
- Is Troy able to identify the pelt used for the “hair?”
- Is Clara able to find the tax documents?

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Interlude 1: Crack'd from Side to Side
A Glimpse of things to come.

Out flew the web and floated wide-
The mirror crack’d from side to side;
“The curse is come upon me,” cried
The Lady of Shalott.

A new generation of investigators, all experts in their fields yet ostracized due to extreme and abnormal views, are drawn together by Dr. Laxshmi Agarwal. At a hastily-organized room at OHSU, she presents an argument for an investigation off the coast of Oregon. In summary, her findings are as follows:

1) Small — HANG ON NEED TO DO OTHER THINGS

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Session: Under Cover of Dynamite
The Lair is Invaded. A Beast is Slain. Its Master Flees While the Town Burns.

Consolidating two sessions here:

Our Beleaguered Investigators try the front doors of Bernardo Diaz’s decrepit home but find them barred fast. A brief search around the estate leads them up a tree (literally) and through an upper-story window. The home is largely abandoned… except for the primitive creature burning books and records in the library. Firearms make short work of the beast, and Marian recovers several tomes for later perusal.

Then OH HAY LOOK A QUARTER

(To be continued…)

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TBD
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