Peter Granger (Steven P. Ross) - Artist (Painter)
Aislinn Drohan (Tammy Powers) - Auction House Providencer
Brian Hartigan (GM/NPC) - Courier Deliveryman
March 11th, 2014 (Tuesday)
Before splitting up for the evening, the player envoys discuss a few matters. Aislinn Drohan decides she will check out articles on the hiker's death. Since he knows something of hiking, Peter Granger will research Algonquin Park, lemurs, and monkeys. Brian Hartigan tells Aislinn and Peter that Halle (Whadjat) will provide the cover story for them when they go up to Algonquin Park. Brian talks with the two about Algonquin Park, hinting that he's been there before, and about the things they need to do: Look at the hiker death site, interview people/witnesses in the local town, talk to the two Rangers. He tells them the drive to Algonquin Park is about 260 kilometers, so will take roughly 2-1/2 hours. SAVE may put them up at one of the local hotels, so they're to remember to keep any receipts on expenditures, and bring hiking boots. :) They talk some more, and Brian gives Aislinn and Peter some advice on field work, and tells them to get some sleep, and he'll see them tomorrow.
Returning to his apartment, Peter Granger begins some research on Algonquin Park. He learns some of its history, the Park size, the East and West gates, hiking trails in the Park, services fees, the weather in the Park. He follow this up doing some research on the town of Whitney, Ontario, which is near the East Gate.
Back at home, Aislinn researches the death of the hiker. She learns his name was Steve Mason, he died on the 27th or 28th of February, the report appeared in the Ottawa Sun on March 1st. She also learns that Sasquatch/bigfoot hunters had been in Algonquin Park during the last part of February, as reported by Park Ranger Sam Thompson in the Citizen. Her research takes her deeper into sasquatch/bigfoot territory, and she finds "bigfoot sightings" in Algonquin Park, and odd pictures of "short, blurry creatures in the trees"; the commenters on said photos mostly conclude that they are fake. She looks into the Algonquin Park info, trying to find some means of having an excuse to get off work for a few days, and learns of the Cache Lake Historic Site at marker W23.5, that has a small auction house. She sends an e-mail to Cache Lake Auctions, inquiring about info on the company and requesting to visit them. She's interrupted in her research as Brian calls to let her know that Halle has okayed the mission. They'll be posing as business people from Triton Industries, a company that specialises in making oil rigs and equipment for oil rigs, looking to set up a company retreat at the Park; Brian will be security, Aislinn will be acquisitions, and Peter will be marketing. He tells her they'll be driving up in his SUV, and he'll be there to pick her up around 7:00 am.
Peter continues his researches on Algonquin Park, specifically about lemurs and monkeys, and learns that there are several at the Algonquin Park Preserve and Zoo in the Park. He also learns that the Park is home to black bears and wolves. There have been several bear attacks in the Park through the years, mostly maulings, with a total of three deaths. The attacks and maulings have occurred all over the Park, but there's no pattern to them. The last death was 10 years ago (in 2004), the previous one before that was 10 months earlier, and the one before that was in June of 1948. Peter receives a call from Brian as he's working, informing him of the trip the next day (see above). He's not thrilled to hear he's going to be handling marketing.
The next morning, Aislinn calls Walkers Fine Art & Estate Auctions and talks to her secretary, Connie, and tells her that she's pretty sick [she rolls a Colossal success on the attempt to convince her]. Some time around 7:00 am, Brian arrives and picks her up. They go and pick up Peter at his Glebe apartment, and then before hitting the road, go to the local Tim Horton's for some breakfast, and food and coffee for the trip. During the drive, the player characters talk, and they exchange the information they learned the night before. Brian wonders if "Ranger Gord" that Aislinn mentioned is Edward Gord, as he remembers a Ranger by that name from the last time he went to the Park. Aislinn and Peter learn several things about Brian during the 4+ hour drive, but aren't overly reciprocal.
The player characters finally arrive in Whitney, Ontario, and Brian drives the SUV through the small, 900+ people town, across the Madawaska River, and to the Mad Musher. A rustic lodge-like hotel, the Mad Musher is quite modern, and has a spectacular view. They unpack the vehicle and head towards the main entrance, where an old codger sits on the porch. Brian greets him casually, but the codger doesn't respond until Peter passes by, at which time he shouts, "Damn Yankee!" at him. Aislinn has a disquieting feeling about the place, sensing something is off, but she thinks nothing of it for the moment [and failed the Sense the Unknown roll]. They go inside to check in, and the desk clerk, Davey Marshall, remembers Brian from five years ago. Brian looks at Aislinn - do they have a potential problem with their cover? Davey is also somewhat inquiring/suspicious about Peter, as he doesn't come across as corporate (shaggy hair under a purple toque!). They receive their room keys, and head up to the three connecting rooms on the second floor.
The player characters find themselves with three adjoining, and connecting, rooms on the second floor. Aislinn goes and checks out the balcony from her room, with a magnificent view of the Madawaska River. She goes out onto the balcony, and touching the railing looks down, and suffers from a mild case of vertigo. She ponders if it was actually vertigo, or whether it's something precognitive. She goes over to the connecting door to her room's right, and bangs on it.
Peter has finished most of his unpacking, and unlocks the connecting door and goes into Aislinn's room. The two of them talk a bit, and Aislinn goes and knocks at the connecting door to Brian's room. They see he is still unpacking, and she spots two decent caliber pistols on his bed; he tells her that he was a policeman, but the pistols are his and that he's got permits for them. Sensing something is wrong with her, Peter asks Aislinn what's going on, and she tells him what happened and her suspicions. She uses her ability to Sense the Unknown [turning a Token Dark, and automatically succeeding] and has the impression that this place (the hotel?) is one where the Unknown has broken through from time to time. He tells her that the Mad Musher has a history of being haunted, as there is a possession story - the original owner was possessed by a spirit (probably an Algonquin chief).
Aislinn goes back on the room balcony, and suffers from a minor Trauma attack [she loses 10 WPR]. She reels back into the room in a state of severe vertigo, and collapses to the floor, with Brian rushing to her side. Peter goes out onto the balcony to check things out, and finds claw marks on the balcony. He informs Brian, but the latter tells him to take a picture. Peter uses his mobile phone and does so, but the phone goes crazy (it's possessed!). Meanwhile, Brian administers some smelling salts to Aislinn, and that seems to help her recover her wits and senses. Peter comes back into the room, and puts the phone on a table while he goes and gets pencils and paper. The phone starts trying to hop towards the balcony, and Peter grabs it and puts it in his pocket, and then goes out onto the balcony to sketch the claw marks. Brian comments to Aislin that there is definitely an Unknown presence in the room/hotel, but that he doesn't think it has to do with their "problem in the Park". Peter shows the other two the sketch he made, and the courier driver says he thinks it's a bird of prey's claw marks perhaps, and sure enough Peter finds a talon mark below the railing as well, indicating three-toed animal. There are also signs of scat on the balcony. The players decide that another team will have to deal with the haunted house, and Aislinn, Peter, and Brian head down to the Mad Musher's dining room, and grab some lunch.
Sunday's session of the Chill 3rd Edition RPG campaign went off pretty well, I thought, with matters starting to build and the player characters finally heading to the scene of the crime (so to speak). A good amount of research was done by the player characters, though spross's work in this regard resulted in a lot of extraneous to the case materials being dug up, but both players seemed to have fun though spross got a bit frustrated and defensive at times. There is still a whole lot of investigation for the player characters to undertake, of course, but I think the scenario is coming along pretty well, though there's not been a whole heck of a lot of roleplaying so far.
Overall, a good session of the Chill 3rd Edition, and I'm looking forward to next week's session of the game.