Peter Granger (SteveR) - Artist (Painter)
Aislinn Drohan (Tammy) - Auction House Providencer
March 26th, 2014 (Wednesday)
Aislinn Drohan walks over to and arrives at Paterson Hall. She asks a passing student, and gets directions to the Religious Studies department. There's a faintly pleasant, interesting odour to the place, including incense, and it calms her down somewhat. She is able, through the department's secretary, to see Professor Richard Whitefeather (his office is Rm B342). When she enters his office, at first he mistakes her for one of his students, Louise, and after exchanging pleasantries, the two get down to business. Aislinn asks him what he knows of Iktome/Unktomi, and when Professor Whitefeather asks her why she wishes to know, she tells him of her work. He says he knows of Walkers Auctions and had heard of the robbery at the Fowlkes estate through the newspaper story. Aislinn learns that Iktome/Unktomi is the spider trickster spirit and cultural hero for many North American Indian tribes, and is notable among the Algonquin. From one of his reference books, he shows her a representation of the trickster spirit; she sees the red, yellow, and white patterns, and notices the wheel of life symbol on the necklace he wears, that is similar to that found on the goblet/chalice from the Fowlkes estate that she sketched. He excuses himself, as he's got to get to a class. She spots what appears to be a spider-like tattoo on his inner left wrist. Aislinn takes one of his business cards as she leaves, and watches him contemplatively as he walks away down the hall.
Peter Granger arrives at the Woodward Studio. and sees that there is no sign of the guard, Tim [Ronstad], which is odd. He enters the Studio and sees and hears that there's no sign of anyone, but there's a strange, earthy smell in the air. As he goes into the studio proper, he stumbles over a body on the ground, that of student Randall (Randy) White. Examining Randy, he determines that he's still alive, but pale, though there's no sign of any injury on him. He notices a spilled cup of coffee on the floor near him. He heads for the nearest phone, but finds another student, Sandra O'Connor, slumped by it, in the same condition. He quickly looks around the studio, and finds three others - Pierre Tremblay, Sangita Mason, and Roger Townsdale - all in the same condition. He reacts badly to this [Horror Resolve check success, and takes -5 WPR], but manages to calm down. Peter calls 911, and the person on the other end of the line takes all manner of information from him. He tells her that there should be a guard present, and speculates on the situation with her. When he peers into his own workspace, he discovers that the guard, Tim, is lying in a pool of blood, a single gunshot to the head, and quite dead. The workspace looks like a massive windstorm has struck it. The woman on the other end of the line tells him that the police and EMTs have been dispatched, and that he should go and find somewhere safe to wait. Before he can react, the phone goes dead and the lights go out [Haywire EWD, turn a Token Light]. He seeks shelter, but while he waits amidst the silence and the quiet, a coffee cup rolls up against his foot. As he waits, he feels a slimy, cold feeler of a creature caress his cheek. [He fails the Revulsion check, and takes a Minor Trauma, cannot act, and loses -10 WPR.] He smells a very strong earthy odour. The limb of the creature wraps around his neck and starts to strangle him [he takes a Serious Injury, -20 STA]. The world starts to fade out, and Peter thinks he's dying [Terror check, Colossal Success, no Trauma, turns a Dark Token to Light].
Aislinn returns to the offices of Walkers Fine Art & Estate Auctions, and learns from the receptionist, Margaret, that the police are waiting to talk with her. She's questioned by Detective [Roger] Hainsey, but she learns there's nothing new in the robbery investigation, though he tells her there was a sticky red substance found on the file folder divider, but that it's not blood; the forensics team is still looking into that. The interview ends on a good note, and Detective Hainsey leaves. Aislinn goes to her office, and Connie informs here that there's someone there waiting to see her, a Derek Stoneheart. He's a Native American rights activist, and an art critic.
Peter wakes to find an EMT hovering over him. He tells Peter that he's fine, and when he asks, Peter learns that both Pierre and Sangita have been taken to the hospital for precautionary measures. The EMT tells Peter that the substance found in him and the others was mescaline or peyote, and that it was in the coffee. Peter and the others are questioned by the police (who arrived on the scene while he was seemingly dying), and he comes across as detached and a possible suspect. His most recent actions (based on Sandra's observations) lend weight to this suspicion. However, with no real evidence of who drugged the coffee and who killed Tim Rondon, the police take the group in for questioning, and then fingerprint all of them before releasing them. Peter and the students are all told that the Woodward Studio is off limits for several days, much to Sandra O'Connor's annoyance.
Aislinn enters her office, and meets Derek Stoneheart. He's rather charismatic and handsome, and she scents a mild, earthy odour [she turns a Token Dark and gains a +10 to the TN of the PCN check]. Stoneheart and Aislinn engage in a few pleasantries, before he gets down to business: he wants to acquire the "Firehawk at the Falls" painting from the Fowlkes estate in a private sale. She asks if he's the one who had Peter Granger hired to do the appraisal of the painting, and he admits that he is; she also realises that Stoneheart is somewhat perturbed that she knows of this. He offers her a bid of $200K for the painting, an excellent price, but not being familiar with the worth of James Kinawa's works, she doesn't know what the painting is worth. Aislinn tells Stoneheart that she'll have to talk to her superiors and to Daniel Fowlkes Jr. and see what they have to say. Stoneheart says that she should go to the Sunderland Gallery, owned by James Kinawa's brother, Robert, and check out the artist's other works to get an appreciation for his art and perhaps for their value. He tells her that he wants the painting for sentimental value, and that he's on a mission to acquire it. Aislinn and Stoneheart exchange business cards, and she sees that his reads,
DEREK R. STONEHEART
First Nations Activist
He tells her that he's out to protect the First Nations' treasures, and that the painting is an important part of their heritage. Changing the subject, Stoneheart asks if she's seen Peter Granger's works, but she says that she hasn't, "only some sketches". He asks her to get in touch with him if there are any other items from the Fowlkes's collection that might interest him in her opinion. When she asks what he's looking for, Stoneheart tells her primarily First Nations paintings, pottery, vases, clothing (and headdresses), and the like. Aislinn tells him she'll get back to him about the painting bid in the next day or two. Stoneheart thanks her for her time, and leaves, getting admiring glances from Connie as he does so.
Sunday afternoon's session of the Chill 3rd Edition campaign was enjoyable for the most part, though there were a few frustrating moments (notably the interrogations by the police of spross's character). I wasn't sure how much gaming we'd get in because of the freezing rain forecast for the afternoon and evening, but it failed to appear so the players got in almost four hours of gaming. A good session. Things are progressing nicely, some interesting information has been revealed, and the stakes have been raised somewhat (though the players may not be aware of it).
Overall, a good session of Chill 3rd Edition marred only by a couple of events and sequences of poor roleplaying. I'm looking forward to the next session of the game.