Peter Granger (SteveR) - Artist (Painter)
Aislinn Drohan (Tammy) - Auction House Providencer
Brian Hartigan (GM/NPC) - Courier Deliveryman
March 25th, 2014 (Tuesday)
Peter Granger goes to the Castleton Gallery down on Queen Street, in order to talk with the owner, Roger Whitson. The gallery is busy with customers, so Peter goes and looks around at various paintings, as he has to wait. When they finally get some time to talk, Whitson says that he knows nothing about James Kinawa, other than that he's an Native American artist. He tells Peter that the Castleton doesn't specialise in Native American art, and suggests that he check with one of the three Ottawa art galleries that does. Whitson turns the conversation to Peter's own works. They talk about his current painting on display, "Girl in a Field of Poppies", that should retail for around $2K, but he tells Peter that he can't get more than $50 for it, as Peter hasn't produced a new work in almost a year. Whitson wants Peter to take back the piece of art, so that he can use the space for another new, up-and-coming artist. They arrange for a time when he'll pick up his piece, and Peter lies to Whitson saying that he's got another piece that will be complete in about three days, but Whitson is wise to the lie (as Peter's agent would be working hard to get the piece placed in a gallery if there was a new piece). As Peter prepares to leave the gallery, he spots a dark-haired, slightly built Slavic man watching him. When Peter goes over to talk to the man, the Slav walks away, ignoring him. Peter leaves the Castleton Gallery.
Aislinn Drohan goes on-line and does some research on arachnologists in the Ottawa area. She learns there are two, an assistant professor, Samantha Harris at Algonquin College, and a full professor, Toby Ragnarsson, at Carleton University. [She spends a Light Token, flipping it Dark, to get a Low Success.] She calls Algonquin College, but learns that Dr. Harris is on a two-year sabbatical. She has better luck at Carleton University, and makes an appointment with Dr. Ragnarsson for 1:45 pm on March 26th (the next day) at his office on the second floor of the H.H.J. Nesbitt Biology Building. She decides to take a break for lunch, and returns to the Walkers Auction House. The main receptionist, Margaret, greets her, and she gets a note from Connie saying that she's working on uploading the photos from the Fowlkes collection - there's over 2,000 of them - so they won't be ready until sometime mid-afternoon. Back in her office, she does some research on the Fowlkes connection to the Algonquin, and learns that one of the Fowlkes women, Janice Twofeather Fowlkes, born 1895 died 1959, was an Algonquin, and that there has been Native Indian blood in the family line since that time.
Peter goes to the main branch of the Ottawa Library. He does some research on the "Firehawk at the Falls" painting, and finds two sources of information - but both are in a Native American tongue! He tries to look up other information about the painting and when it was painted, but there's no other source of info on the painting itself. He tries to find out if James Kinawa is still alive, but learns what he had done before - and something new: while Kinawa is not an extraordinary artist, his work has a strong basis in Algonquin arcane lore and occult practices. He abandons that line of research, and looks up Native American Indian galleries in Ottawa, and finds three...but the one that draws his attention is the Sunderland Gallery, the proprietor of which is Robert A. Kinawa. He tries to print out the American Indian articles he'd found earlier, but the printer cannot do so because of the fonts involved. Peter takes a screen print of the articles on his mobile phone [a Dark Token is added to the table]. He has the feeling that he's being watched, but dismissing the feeling, heads over to the Sunderland Gallery - which is located some four blocks from where he was at the Castleton!
At mid-afternoon, Connie Johnson meets up with Aislinn, and the two go over the lists of merchandise available from the Fowlkes estate based on the photos that were taken. The initial appraisal was accurate, in that the Native American Indian pieces are highly saleable, and could be quite lucrative, but the Inuit items are of average quality, though can fetch a good price from collectors. The two spend the next several hours looking at the 2,000+ images and making notes on the items, and this confirms Connie's initial report. She discovers that the missing piece that was stolen the previous night is a 10" tall clay jar (actually a goblet, as Connie realises) that has a spider image on a wheel of life carved/embossed on it. However, a separate photo of the attic exhibits shows that the spider lined vest is missing from the photo taken. Aislinn recalls the myths and legends of vampires where people and objects don't appear in mirrors or pictures. She notes and accurately sketches the goblet with the spider image outline from the photo. By this time, the two realise it's early evening, so Aislinn and Connie head over for the drink that Aislinn promised the latter, as well as some dinner at O'Reilly's Pub.
Peter arrives at the Sunderland Gallery, which isn't all that busy, and wanders around a bit. All of the plaques for the Native American paintings are in various Indian tongues (including Algonquin), though there are also several non-Native American pieces of art on display as well. He meets Robert A. Kinawa, the son of James, and inquires about various matters. Peter learns that Robert knows his name, and who he is. He learns the gallery opened in downtown Ottawa in November, 1979, and that it has a specific interest in artists of Native American ancestry. He learns that James Kinawa's art pieces first started appearing in the gallery in 1996. His most (in)famous piece, "Firehawk at the Falls", was purchased by Daniel Fowlkes in June, 1997. Well, actually given, as James gave the painting to Daniel Fowlkes! He learns from Robert that the painting in question is a large, 40" x 10" oil portrait that depicts a phoenix-like bird engaged in cleansing a valley that has stick figures in it with fire. He also learns that James's own tribe shunned him over this painting, as they felt that he was giving away secrets of the tribal medicine men. The painting was controversial, to say the least, and James was exiled from the tribe. Robert tells Peter that he doesn't know when the painting was created, but he believes it was some 3 to 4 years before it went on exhibit in the gallery. Peter tells him that he's there as part of doing an appraisal on the painting, which is in the Fowlkes collection, but that he doesn't know who his agent's client is. Robert isn't happy about the appraisal or the fact that it might go to auction. Peering around, Peter notices the Slavic man watching him through the doors of the gallery. When the man sees he's caught his attention, the Slav moves off down the street. Rather than pursuing the man, Peter asks if he can wander around the gallery and see what they've got on exhibit, and does so. He finds five other paintings with James Kinawa's unique signature on them - including what must be a copy of the "Firehawk at the Falls" piece, but valued at $20,000! "I'm sorry that you saw that, given your questions about the painting" comes a male voice from behind him. [Flip 2 Dark Tokens to Light.] The next thing he recalls is shaking hands with Robert Kinawa as he leaves the gallery [all memory of his experience in the gallery forgotten, and replaced with faux memories]. Peter heads for home.
Back at home, Peter calls his agent, Jerry Townshend, but Jerry won't tell him who the client is that he's doing the appraisal for, though he does say that the commission is a significant amount of money, given the (estimated) value of the painting. He tells Jerry what he learned about the painting and at the Sunderland Gallery, and Jerry says there must be some mistake. There are no phoenixes in Canadian Native American mythology, and that James Kinawa's son, Robert, died in 1988 at the age of 6. So that couldn't have been his son.
Sunday afternoon's gaming session of the Chill 3rd Edition RPG was one of the more enjoyable game sessions with spross and Tammy, though there were still some frustrating moments, although the former was definitely more involved, though it was clear he had a lot of indecision about what to do at times. Both players and their characters learned some pivotal information, though I'm not clear yet as to what they'll do with the info and about the info. There was a bit of good roleplaying, but not a lot of interaction between the players this session, sad to say.
I'm not sure whether we'll be gaming next Sunday or not, but whatever the case, I'm looking forward to running the next session of Chill 3rd Edition with the Sunday group.