Peter Granger (SteveR) - Artist (Painter)
Aislinn Drohan (Tammy) - Auction House Providencer
Brian Hartigan (GM/NPC) - Courier Deliveryman
March 12th, 2014 (Wednesday)
Over lunch in the Mad Musher's dining room, the player envoys discuss what they need to do:
1) Look into the matter of Steve Mason, the hiker, and find out more about him;
2) Find Ranger Edward Gord, and learn what they can from him;
3) Find out if anything unusual has happened in Whitney;
4) Figure out what's going on with the body part in the photo that had bite marks in the flesh and the fact that Mason's body was found stripped to the bone;
5) Determine what the local police know;
6) Look into the matter of lemurs/monkeys dragging off the bones/body parts;
7) Where was Steve Mason's body taken for autopsy - or was it?;
8) What's become of the arm with the bite marks on it?;
9) Where was Steve Mason hiking when he was killed? And was Mason hiking with someone else at the time?
After finishing lunch, they thank the server, Hailey, for her service. Aislinn Drohan mentions her strange feelings and the case of vertigo she had on the balcony, and Hailey says that's the ghost of the original owner of the Musher after his possession by the Algonquin chieftain at the time. Apparently, he only frequents the second floor. Peter Granger inquires if there's anywhere that he can learn more about the local folklore, and Hailey tells him there's the info centre deeper in Algonquin Park at the main Visitor Centre, but there's also the Information Centre and Library on the reserve. There's also the Cache Lake Historical Society that might be able to help as well. Aislinn learns from Hailey that Steve Mason was staying at the Musher, he was on vacation, and on his own, that he was an experienced hiker (12 years, at least), and had been into Algonquin Park many times and knew the trails well. She asks about bear movements in the Park, but Hailey says she needs to talk to the Park Rangers.
Brian Hartigan says that it's time to get going, and they need to split up to cover all the information they are looking for. He says that he'll go into Whitney and talk to the police and some locals and see what he can learn. Aislinn says she'll go out to the Visitor Centre, and see what she can find out and hopefully talk to the Rangers that might be there. Peter says he's going to the local oufitters, and when Brian and Aislinn ask why, he says to possibly set things up for an overnight camping trip. They're dubious about this, but it's close to 2 o'clock pm so it's time to get going. Brian says that he'll take his SUV into Whitney, and says he'll meet them back here at the Musher around 5 pm. He pays the bill, and then walks out.
Aislinn goes back to her room, packs a small pack with what she thinks she needs for the rest of the day, and goes back down to the main reception area. There are five patrons, and she grabs some pamphlets and brochures about various activities the Mad Musher and Algonquin Park offer. She checks the small bulletin board, but there's nothing out of the ordinary other than one notice of a reward for finding some missing cats by a Hiram Crocker. Brian Marshall, the old codger from earlier, a Scot, interrupts her thoughts. She asks about a shuttle or lift to the East Gate, and when Brian asks why she wants to go there, she tells him the cover story and says she wants to arrange some tours and the like. She learns that he's Davey Marshall's father, and BrianM agrees to drive her up to the East Gate in his jeep, but can't wait around to bring her back. He tells her to talk to Mr. Mahoney in Algonquin Park Marketing about tours and the deals, but also says she could arrange a package deal with the Mad Musher, despite the "shite's that happened". BrianM clams up, but Aislinn persuades him to spill the beans. He agrees to do so, but only while they drive up to the East Gate.
Peter leaves the dining room table, goes back to his room, and grabs what he feels he needs for the day's trip. He goes down and checks the weather at the desk, but Davey Marshall takes him to task about being a marketing man and his choice of clothes (notably the purple toque!). Peter walks to Whitney, and arrives none the worse for the wear, though he doesn't spend any real time admiring the scenery on the walk for its possible landscape paintings potential. He finds the outfitters, Jones' Outfitting Enterprises, easily enough. He goes into the store, which isn't that busy, and alienates the owner/clerk, Joe, who becomes suspicious of him. He tries to learn some information about Steve Mason, but his inquiries make no ground. The local Sheriff comes in and talks to Joe, who gestures at Peter, and then regards him for a moment, and the Sheriff buys a hunting rifle, and leaves. Lamely, Peter purchases a couple of trail bars, and leaving the store he sees the Sheriff watching him from the police car.
As they head for the East Gate in his jeep, Brian Marshall tells Aislinn about some of the recent events in Whitney. Esther Hart and Megan Darkwin reported that small, boar-like shapes were lurking in the woods behind their homes on Jervis Crescent. A couple of days later, Daniel Harris spotted what he thought was a monkey in the forest behind his home. But as BrianM tells Aislinn, there are no monkeys in the Algonquin Park area, other than the ones at the local zoo. And if something had escaped from the zoo, they would most likely not look for it, because the animal(s) would likely get lost and die before they could retrieve it. BrianM tells her that Steve Mason wasn't killed by a bear. His bones were stripped clean, according to the Whitney Herald article, and was bitten and dragged partially into the woods. He says that he thought it might have been a wolf, as bears don't strip the flesh from bones, but the bite mark was too big for a wolf and too small for a bear. When he finally gets the truth about what she's doing there with her friends, as BrianM sees the Indalo bracelet Aislinn's wearing, he admits the truth to her: He's a retired SAVE envoy whose real name is Stig Larsson (though the name he used when filing case reports was "Stig Marshall"). She vaguely remembers something about him, but not much. BrianM/Stig tells her what he knows about Steve Mason (27 y.o. architect from Ottawa, experienced hiker for 12+ years, was on vacation); he was killed on the Seven Steps trail, which is of moderate difficulty. BrianM/Stig warns her that she and her friends need to keep an eye out for Sheriff Griggs, as he's been spooked with the strange things happening in his jurisdiction, and he's suspicious of strangers and newcomers. As they reach the East Gate Centre, he tells her that she can put his name into her report for SAVE, but that he's retired and not returning to active, or passive, duty. She thanks him for the lift, and he tells her to call the Mad Musher when she's finished if she needs a ride back.
Meanwhile, in the town of Whitney, Brian Hartigan goes about learning what he can about matters, trying to use his cover as security for Triton's company retreat project. Talking to various people, he learns a bit about the history of Whitney, and some of the shenanigans that went on when the bigfoot hunters descended on the town. Paying a visit to the Whitney Herald offices, Brian is able to go through some of the files of the newspaper from recent weeks, and learns of the report filed by Esther Hart and Megan Darkwin about boar-like shapes lurking near their homes at Jervis Crescent. Visiting the police station, he uses his contacts to learn a bit more about the Steve Mason incident. BrianH learns from Charlie Hadlock, an assistant coroner on loan from the Ottawa PD, that Mason was accompanied by another hiker, Jill Greene, but that she was killed outright in the incident; her body has already been returned to Ottawa, as there was "conclusive" evidence that she was killed by a bear (the bite marks and mauling). The weird part was that she was missing her shoes, as was Mason's recovered skeletal remains. Going over to the local outfitters, BrianH talks to the owner, Joe Hawkins. Hawkins tells him what he knows of Steve Mason, but that Mason wasn't on vacation; he told Hawkins that he'd heard some strange things about the Seven Steps trail area, something to do with criminal activity. Mason obviously met with an "untimely end" due to these criminals, who made it look like a bear attack.
At the East Gate block, Aislinn meets Darcy at the reception desk, who's quite enthusiastic about the whole cover story that the former gives her. She learns that Seven Steps trail is some 25 kilometers of moderate difficulty, in deep forest, and requires intermediate hiking skill and most likely a guide. However, due to the bear mauling of Steve Mason, a hiker, they'll need to get the okay from Sheriff Griggs to hike on that trail due to the ongoing investigation. When she inquires if any Rangers are present that she can talk to, she's told that Rangers Gord and Pelly are off-duty, probably to be found back in Whitney.
After Aislin calls the Mad Musher to get a ride back, once more to be provided by BrianM/Stig, she goes and browses a bit in the souvenir shoppe. She sees a low, dark form in the woods, and goes to the window to get a better view. She gets a chill down her spine. Using her abilities to Sense the Unknown [and she flips a Token Dark], she gets a creepy feeling and sees an almost afterimage (perhaps a postcognitive side effect?) of a lemur-like creature standing on its hind legs leaning against a tree, gnawing at what might be a bone. She comes back to herself when she hears a loud cacophony of voices. There's a Hodkins Tour Bus outside the centre, and a somewhat large group of people (maybe locals, or not?) get off the bus, and come past the souvenir shoppe, saying that "Becky really puts together a party, doesn't she?" as they walk to their various vehicles. In the meantime, Aislinn continues to wait for her ride back to the Mad Musher.
Sunday's game session of the Chill 3rd Edition RPG campaign went pretty well for the most part, though there were still some problems. The game session involved some decent roleplaying, saw a lot of answers to questions that the player characters need (but some information that still hasn't been obtained), with only a couple of supernatural elements involved in the game. That said, I think that spross has reached a crossroads in his gaming life, and has some decisions to make (notably about whether he wants to continue gaming), That said, he's been unusually unemotional, downright sullen, frustrated, and uninvolved gaming-wise, and this all came to a bit of a head after discussing matters once the session of play was done. However, I'm not going to say anything else about the matter here. Whether he'll be playing in future I don't know, but I'm not sure that I can keep the game going with just one player (Tammy).
Overall, the game session of Chill 3rd Edition was pretty good for the most part, but we'll see whether the game continues or not next weekend.