Peter Granger (Steven P. Ross) - Artist (Painter)
Aislinn Drohan (Tammy Powers) - Auction House Providencer
Brian Hartigan (GM/NPC) - Courier Deliveryman
March 24th, 2014 (Monday)
It's a late March spring morning. At the offices of Walkers Fine Art & Estate Auctions, Connie [Johnson] greets her boss, Aislinn Drohan as she comes in for work, and says she looks better than she has been. Aislinn says the weekend did her good. The two discuss whether she's ready to handle the Fowlkes estate, and Aislinn says that she's eager to get started on it. Connie says she's got a meeting in 10 minutes, and then she wants to meet with Andrew Howarth, the intestate lawyer on the Fowlkes deal. Connie sets out to make that happen, and Aislinn goes to her meeting with one Thomas Andover.
Peter Granger arrives at the Woodward Studio in the Glebe, and sets to work on a landscape painting of a forest scene that looks up a hiking trail with light coming through the trees; there is dark imagery in the work and some purple-hued sections that portray a demon (perhaps?). He takes a break, and looks around to see if Jean Richard is in the studio today. Seeing him in his alcove, working on a painting, Peter goes in and says "Hello", and walks around the artist changing the light (who mutters the word "cochon"), and looks at the painting: a church scene in golds, reds, and blacks, still in its infancy. Jean's hostile reception/reaction drives him out, and Peter goes to the kitchen and makes some coffee, before returning to his own area and continues his painting. He realises that church imagery and scenes are imposing themselves on his artistic vision of the forest. He stops painting, and turning, sees a bogey (!!) in the corner of the room! Peter looks frightened, and turns away, blinks several times and turns back, and the bogey is gone (or perhaps never was there). He hurriedly starts to pack up his painting materiels but stops and goes to look in the corner again. There is nothing. Peter starts to think he's seeing things.
After she comes out of her meeting, Connie informs Aislinn that they can go to the Fowlkes mansion to meet with Andrew Howarth, and do a visual inventory of the items that will be for auction sale. Some time later, Aislinn and Connie drive up to the Colonial mansion, to find that several cars are parked in front of the stately, somewhat rundown building. Aislinn's research indicated that the Fowlkes family is multi-generational, with the estate going to the 36-year-old son, Daniel Jr.. The family is worth over $300K, but are nouveau riche, so she's not expecting any pattern or style to the collection of items. She and Connie don't really know what's going on the auction block yet, hence the meeting with Howarth. As they emerge from the car, two men approach them. One of them is classy and stylish, who introduces himself as Andrew Howarth, the other is more sleek and somewhat young, but also stylish, and Aislinn meets Daniel Fowlkes, Jr..
Once inside, Aislinn finds the house to be tasteful in its decoration, if a bit haphazard. They meet up with Muriel Fowlkes, Daniel Sr.'s wife, a grey-haired woman of old blood, somewhat hoity toity in her attitude. It's decided that the Fowlkes and Andrew Howarth will lead Aislinn and Connie on a tour of the house and the various items that are available. An hour later, with the tour complete and official photos snapped of various items, the party adjourn to one of the conference rooms on the ground floor, where the former master's manservant, Clarence, serves tea. Connie excuses herself to go to the bathroom. As Aislinn suspected, there is no pattern to the items in the collection, and the fact it is mostly nouveau riche diminishes the value somewhat. There is primarily Inuit items that are interesting to the right collector, and Native American items that can be quite profitable. Several of the interesting Native American items are to be found in the study and in the museum wing, called the Exhibit Hall. Muriel tells Aislinn that there is the problem that Vanessa, Daniel Sr.'s daughter is contesting the will. When Aislinn asks if the contesting of the will will prevent any of the items being auctioned off, Muriel and Daniel Jr. become stone-faced, but she learns that Daniel Jr. will take care of that matter at Muriel's insistence.
Connie returns, and after some tea, Aislinn inquires about whether there is any furniture. The group head to the attic to check it out, as most of the furniture that is to be sold is there. They climb up the drop-down ladder to the attic, Muriel remaining below as her old bones won't allow her up there any longer, stating that Daniel Jr. is her proxy, a fact confirmed by Howarth. Clarence joins the group with some old fashioned, bulky flashlights. They find some good furniture, some of it promising and worth a good penny, notably a couple of pieces made by Chowapurthi of Bombay, Inc. which can sell for a good price of around $3,000 to start. They see lots of insects and Aislinn suspects termites but there's no sign of them, though there are some dead rats. Clarence says they can open the attic to get the furniture out, so that's not a problem.
As they look around some more, Aislinn sees the gleam of what appears to be spider skin, and sees that it's a lined vest of a very large spider, with a red, yellow, and white colour scheme. She attempts a Sense the Unknown on the item, but gets nothing [she fails the roll], and then moving closer, touches it and uses her Postcognition Discipline [she flips a Token Dark, and gets a Low Success for a -10 WPR loss]. She sees images, from the point of view of the vest... the house museum/exhibit hall area... hears two male voices raised in anger... an old, gnarled hand picks up the vest... being placed in the attic... When asked, she tells the others that she just had a dizzy spell, as sometimes her postcog abilities affect her this way. She notes that the pattern seems natural, and that it's not painted on the vest. Aislinn takes a photo of the vest and the skin seems to writhe in the flash of light. She asks Andrew Howarth if he can do an inventory of items and how long it will take. Howarth says that the process is underway, but it won't be finished until the end of the week. Both Aislinn and Connie are all right with that, and Daniel Jr. gives her a set of extra keys to the Fowlkes mansion that he had made up. This will allow her to come and go as she pleases so she can check out items and get a better idea of what's available. The family, Aislinn and Connie learn, are not staying at the mansion as it's too painful.
Back at the Woodward Studio, Peter looks around his office and painting alcove but nothing appears to be out of order. He receives a call from his agent, Jerry Townshend, who says that a client of his wants an appraisal on a piece of Native American artwork that he's interested in purchasing. It's to be handled with an auction house providencer, an Aislinn Drohan of Walkers Fine Art & Estate Auctions, and it's to be handled tonight. Peter rings up Walkers, and asks to speak to Aislinn Drohan. He obtains her assistant, Connie Johnson's, number, and calls her, and after the transaction proves to be legitimate, arranges to meet with Aislinn at the Fowlkes mansion at 242 Corcoran Drive around 8 o'clock pm.
That night, Peter arrives at the Fowlkes mansion to find that Aislinn is already waiting for him in her car at the address given. The manservant, Clarence is waiting inside for them. They proceed to the exhibit hall area where the painting is, and locate it. The piece is a large piece on framed canvas, an Odawa work called Firehawk at the Falls", and is a lovely piece. Aislinn attempts a Sense the Unknown, but determines nothing about the piece of work, though when they search for the artist's signature they find it difficult to locate because of all the vibrant colours in the work, but find it in the bottom right corner of the painting. Peter is able to identify the strange signature as belonging to James Kinawa, but knows little about the artist himself. Aislinn asks Clarence about the documentation on the painting, but is told that it's in the time-locked safe, and won't be available until 9 am tomorrow morning. They also cannot make any mobile phone calls out of the Exhibit Hall area, as there is a security programme in place.
At that moment, there is a momentary chill in the air, and then the Exhibit Hall goes completely dark [1 Token flipped Light]. In the momentary use of their flashlights,
Aislinn sees something red, yellow, and white, and hears a "flitt!" sound in the air. She and Peter dodge blindly [and both get Colossal Successes, thus flipping 2 Tokens Light]. She feels a breeze whistle past her arm, but is distracted when she hears a voice say, "We have been discovered...we must flee." The darkness starts to fade, and she and Peter catch sight of a humanoid figure in a red, yellow, and white paint pattern, fleeing through one of the hall exits.
Looking around, Aislinn and Peter see Clarence lying on the floor near one of the exhibit cabinets, a head wound dripping blood onto the floor. Whatever was in the exhibit case is gone. There is something on the ground, and upon looking at it, Aislinn determines that it's a piece of tufted fur, similar to what she saw on the spider skin vest.
Sunday afternoon's game session of the Chill 3rd Edition was a mixed bag. On the one hand, there was Tammy's play and her really getting in to what was going on at the Fowlkes estate, and then there was spross who hemmed, "umm"ed, and indecisively played his way into a corner and did almost nothing for most of the game session. The afternoon was pretty much saved by the final hour of play or so, when the significance of certain stuff became apparent. My state of mind (due to the now-known-to-be bronchitis I'm suffering from) made me muck up stuff, using snakes instead of-- no, I'm not giving it away, go read the blog entry above if you want to know!-- and nearly screwing up the plot that way. I'm just glad that I was able to run a cohesive storyline (at least I hope it is! but Tammy will tell me if it's not, I'm sure!), and had a good afternoon where I could forget my own problems for a while. Though the frustration with spross reached a boiling point at one part of the afternoon.
Overall, I thought it was a decent session of the Sunday Chill 3rd Edition campaign, saved only by the last hour or so, though most of the time spent at the Fowlkes mansion game play was enjoyable enough. I think I'm looking forward to the next game session, hopefully on Sunday.