Clockwork-1888

Clockwork 1888 Session 24

Clockwork 1888 Date: Wednesday, May 24, 1888 to Sunday, June 10, 1888
With the defeat of the anarchists that were trying to destroy the Parthenon, it was good to have a relaxing shipboard trip back to jolly old England. But, word travels fast via telegraph and news of your discoveries and involvement in archeological finds in Greece and Crete seemed to open new doors.

Catching up on the London news, an archaeological expedition to Egypt discovered a lost tomb and had just returned to London with their trove. They appeared to have considerable difficulties during their expedition. That included local workers abandoning the expedition and a wagon accident that spilled artifacts on the road. Then, the death of their Egyptian adviser, Ahmed Said (an antiquities director at the Cairo Museum) delayed their departure from Egypt. And then, the shifting of crates on the voyage home caused the expedition photographer to break his arm.

The expedition leader scoffed at the rumors of a curse and the expedition finally returned to England. Your reputation, both in England and abroad, garnered you an invite to the reception at the British Museum on Saturday, June 9th. Such an invite is irresistible to ignore.

Attending the reception was Reginald Pierce, the museum director, Meredith Long, a museum archivist, and Dr. John Ainsworth, the expedition leader. Other expedition members included Robert Dunham, a young graduate fellow at the museum, and Ted Galwaith, the expedition photographer. Of note was Dr. Martin de Vreis, another archaeologist but not with the expedition.

From the aristocrats was Rebecca Ashton, a celebrated debutante from a wealthy family and recently engaged to Dr. Ainsworth. Accompanying her was her brother, William Wormwood Ashton IV, and his girlfriend, Theresa Delecta. Then, of course, there were also the typical reporters and other miscellaneous guests.

Fredryck knew of the Ashton family. Rebecca was known to be a fickle one but her station and appearance bade men ignore that. Her brother, William Wormwood Ashton IV, known as Willy in certain circles, was likewise a man of the family’s means. But, he was also reputed to have a thing for the ladies, fast ships, fast horses, drinking and gambling. The latter two have been a known problem for him.

This was not the first mummy that the museum had in its collection. But, it was the most prestigious. Dr. Ainsworth explained that the mummy, Tuthret, was a counselor in the court of Queen Hatshepsut, during the New Kingdom. He had died and was buried with full honors in the Valley of Kings.

The reception was a tiresome affair, for some, but the staunch museum associates couldn’t hide the drama that was lurking behind the scenes. Although the museum director, Mr. Pierce seemed oblivious, mingling with the museum associates you learned that Meredith Long has had a thing for Dr. Ainsworth for quite some time. But, her longing has gone unrequited. Mr. Dunham seems to have a keen interest in Rebecca Ashton that’s not returned, too.

And, concerning one Rebecca Ashton, who became recently engaged to Dr. Ainsworth, as with so many of the elite, she’s a fickle woman. Specifically, while her now-betrothed was away, she’d been seeing other men. The other men included Dr. Ainsworth’s rival, in archeology and love, Dr. de Vreis. Dr. de Vreis is also angry with Ainsworth for not including him in the expedition.

Interestingly enough, Willy met his girlfriend, Theresa Delecta, at the New Amsterdam Club through Tony Galioto. Fredryck had heard of Tony and the New Amsterdam Club, a gambling establishment geared toward elitists. There was no doubt that Tony handled Willy’s gambling.

Still, Rebecca was wearing some of the artifacts, saying that she was showcasing them for the museum. A quick eye noted that she seemed to think that some of the artifacts belonged to her. She even discreetly touted that Dr. Ainsworth had given some of them to her. Pierce and Ainsworth downplayed those rumors, however.

Near the end of the reception, Willy asked to speak privately with Dr. Ainsworth. They quietly left the reception and went to Dr. Ainsworth’s office. The din of the reception made it difficult, but a keen ear could tell that some angry words were exchanged between the men. Still, the reception ended without incident and people went home.

It was barely seven in the morning when Reginald Pierce, the museum director, came to call on Evgenia’s place of business. A security guard had found Dr. Ainsworth in a museum storeroom at 4:30 a.m. He was apparently murdered and some of the artifacts were stolen. Pierce informed that the police were already on the case due to the murder but he wanted the artifacts returned to the museum, and Dr. Ainsworth’s murderer caught, if possible. Evgenia agreed to meet him at the museum with the others. Sending local boys to inform the others, she prepared to leave.

The morning papers touted the news that Dr. Ainsworth had died. But, they reported that he died in his flat. Apparently, the press was told something other than the truth. Still, the press had no problem speculating on the potential of a curse on the tomb they had opened. After all, there was a slew of problems that occurred since the tomb was opened.

At the museum, you searched the storeroom scene of the crime and found a scrap of ancient cloth in Dr. Ainsworth’s hand. Your knowledge told you that it was most likely a piece of cloth from a mummy. You also could tell that Dr. Ainsworth was beaten and then strangled to death. Dr. Ainsworth’s coat and hat were missing. Pierce assured that the museum was working on a list detailing the missing artifacts and that they’d have it as soon as possible.

Checking the security log garnered additional information. Of course, the guests not associated with the museum left at 6 p.m. when the reception ended. Mr. Galwaith, the expedition photographer, left with the guests. Dr. de Vries left at 6:15 p.m., shortly after the reception, Mr. Dunham signed out at 6:20 p.m., Mr. Pierce at 6:30 and Meredith Long at 9:45 p.m. But, Robert Dunham returned to the museum, to retrieve some papers from his office according to the security guard, and left again at 10:45 pm.

The next logical place was Ainsworth’s flat in London. Arriving, they ran into Detective Mike O’Connor, from Scotland Yard. After exchanging formalities, the detective allowed them to join him in the search of Ainsworth’s flat. He’d heard stories about a team that had assisted the Yard on some cases prior to his arrival less than a month ago. Plus, their story abut working to recover the artifacts for the museum checked out, too.

A search of Ainsworth’s flat revealed several artifacts and keepsakes from the expedition, a few carefully bundled letters from Rebecca Ashton and a receipt from a jewelry store for a deposit on a diamond ring. The letters from Rebecca don’t convey a great deal of emotion or affection. The buildingʼs doorman confirmed that Dr. Ainsworth had been spending most of his time since his return either at the museum or with Miss Ashton. Also of note was that Ainsworth’s hat and coat were not in his flat. Still, they made notes of the artifacts at the Ainsworth flat and moved on.

The doorman of Rebecca Ashtonʼs building confirmed that Ms. Ashton returned to the building sometime after 10 p.m. last night. He also confirmed that Dr. Ainsworth has been a frequent visitor. If asked, the doorman also reported that her other visitors have included her brother, Dr. de Vreis, and Tony Galioto. But, she wasn’t in at the time. She’d gone to see her brother, Willy.

On the way to Willy’s flat, they picked up an evening paper. Egyptian police have arrested a man in the death of Ahmed Said. The police believed that Said was murdered over a gambling debt. At Willy’s, they found Rebecca, feigning distraught, Willy, and his girlfriend. When asked, Theresa confirmed that she was with Willy throughout the night.

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Clockwork 1888 Session 23

Clockwork 1888 Date: Wednesday, May 24, 1888
The tunnel split into two directions and they could hear voices down each direction. It was almost as if they converged at some point farther down. So, Fredryck and Archibald continued down the main tunnel while Evgenia, Priscilla and Dracona took the branch tunnel. Shielding their lanterns in the dark tunnels, the women soon came to an intersection. Listening, they decided to continue along the tunnel they were on rather than split up, again.

Archibald and Fredryck approached as quietly as they could. Luckily, the man was busy placing the dynamite in the far wall of a tunnel Y so he wasn’t facing them. They had forgotten to agree on a signal to inform the women that they were in position and ready. So, they waited a few moments, watching the man load the dynamite into the hole and put the wires in place.

The women could see light coming from around the corner ahead and doused their lantern when they were in dim light. Peeking around the corner, they saw two men positioning dynamite in opposite walls of the tunnel. Evgenia noticed that the man giving orders was speaking Russian. She fired at the oclosest man but stayed mostly around the corner for cover. Priscilla shot the same man, dropping him, and moved out into the lit tunnel. Dracona moved up and lashed out at the remaining one with her whip but didn’t connect.

Archibald looked at Fredryck, “That’s the signal,” he said as he urged Fredryck into combat. Fredryck rushed to the man and dropped him with a single blow of his sword before the man even knew what hit him. The women were at the other end of a tunnel passage that had two men preparing dynamite in the center of it, one on their side and two on the far side.

The man left standing shot Dracona as did one of the two men in the center of the tunnel. Evgenia shot again and so did Priscilla, dropping the last man at their end of the tunnel. Dracona spotted a plunger box near the men in the center of the tunnel and dashed forward, grabbing it.

The man near the box didn’t like Dracona having possession of his plunger and he pistol whipped her, cursing her in a foreign language. But she held tight to the box, kept the plunger from depressing. Archibald had observed the man wiring the dynamite and decided it might be a good idea to pull the wires out of the dynamite packed in the tunnel walls. Doing that to the one near him, he then moved to the other wall, preparing to disarm that next. He called out to the others, instructing them to pull the wires out, too. Fredryck ran up to the men in the center of the tunnel.

Evgenia moved out from around the corner and shot the man who had fired. Priscilla moved up and shot, too. The man who had fired stepped back and fired at Fredryck but missed. Dracona stepped back and ripped some of the wires from the plunger. She just grabbed and pulled, not sure what wires were for what. The leader didn’t like that and he tried to wrestle the plunger from her. But, Dracona was determined to not let him have it as she strong-armed him. Archibald ripped the wires from the dynamite near him, moved to the other site and pulled the wires from it, too. Fredryck stepped up and dropped the center shooter.

Evgenia shot the man accosting Dracona as he cursed them in Russian. “Sdavat’sya,” she called out – “surrender” in Russian. Priscilla shot at him, too, and a normal man would have dropped with that. Dracona again stepped back and pulled more wires from the plunger. “Ya ub’yu tebya,” he answered as he again tried to wrest the plunger from Dracona’s grasp. Archibald ran up to where the combat was occurring and Fredryck landed a sword blow that finally dropped the Russian.

They disconnect all of the dynamite, rounded up the anarchists and dragged them all out of the tunnels. The released guards had contacted the local police and they were just arriving. After a series of questions, they all went to the station where Alexos, Dmitri and Turner joined them to corroborate their story.

Eventually, they were escorted to a meeting with Charilaos Trikoupis, the current Greek ruler. “You understand that we are preparing for the Olympics here in October. We can’t have word of this getting out. If it does, every anarchist in the known world will be here trying to blow something up to advance their own philosophy.” He looked at each of them carefully. “You are not to speak of this to anybody. This never happened, none of it. This is a matter of national security.” He signed and put his seal on a bank note for each of them. “I’m sure that this will ensure your silence,” he said with a smile as he passed the notes to each of them. The notes were for Greek drachma but the amount was still quite sizable.

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Clockwork 1888 Session 22

Clockwork 1888 Date: Wednesday, May 24, 1888
Finding the wife still with the body, a young man soon approached and introduced himself as Alexos Konstantinos, the son of the deceased. Opening the briefcase they found papers and a small note that indicated a room at the hotel. They quickly made their way to the hotel to find Dmitri Kostos, the Greek archaeologist, and Geoffrey Turner, the Canadian historian/engineer, tied to chairs and being interrogated by a couple of thugs. After a brief battle, the thugs were defeated and the information they had gained was given by the pair.

Apparently, during the construction project that Alexos Konstantinos’ company was working on, he discovered an old tunnel. The tunnel ended in a room with numerous statues and they found 8 keys. Whatever the significance, the thugs wanted the information on the tunnel, the statue room and the keys. Leaving the pair and defeated thugs in the capable hands of the Greek police, they decided to head to the construction site and sent word for Alexos Konstantinos to meet them there.

Once they arrived, the pair of guards refused to allow them access unless given by Alexos. It was only a short time before Alexos arrived and the guards then grudgingly agreed to admit the PCs. Alexos went back to his grieving mother and the PCs went inside the fenced construction site. Moving into the site, the building walls had been completed but there was a tarp over something that suddenly moved and moaned.

Archibald and Dracona stayed back while the others investigated. Flipping back the tarp revealed two men, bound and gagged. At that moment, the “guards” attacked, stabbing Archibald and just missing Dracona. A battle ensued and the fake guards were dispatched. The real guards told about being attacked by a group of men. The PCs noticed nearly empty crates of explosives that the guards informed were not there, before. Getting the 8 keys from the fake guards and lighting lanterns to see by, the PCs headed down the tunnel.

After a second try, based on Aristotle’s model of the universe, they got the keys into the right statue locations and opened the secret door at the back of the underground room. They traveled some time but then started to hear voices ahead.

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Clockwork 1888 Session 21

Clockwork 1888 Date: Thursday, May 18 through Wednesday, May 24, 1888
A telegraph to Father MacGinnis informed him that they would be returning from Crete a few days late. After helping Kafouros and the town recover the remaining artifacts from the sunken ship, the find was announced to the world and they were credited with significant contributions to the discovery. The PCs agreed to accompany Kafouros to Athens, Greece, where the olivewood statue of Athena would be examined to determine its authenticity. As luck would have it, an archeological conference was being held in Athens, the next week. As it turns out, because the statue was authentic, the government of Crete agreed to return the statue to Greece for proper placement on the Acropolis.

Credited with significant contributions in the recovery of the statue, the PCs were heartily invited to attend the conference. The opening of the conference began with a tour of the Acropolis before returning to a pavilion with an open bar and hors d’oeurves. After an elaborate reproduction of the ancient pan-Grecian procession, the statue of Athena was adorned with a peplos. Then one of the people in the procession stepped up and began to chant a Homeric hymn to Athena.

Suddenly, a scream pierced the air. It took the guests a moment to figure out that it was not part of the show but the PCs were off as the voice called, “Help! Oh, my God, help me!” “This way,” Dracona and Evgenia called as they headed for the Parthenon. Archibald, Fredryck and Priscilla were not far behind. On the other side of the Parthenon they found a woman, the wife of one of the guests at the conference, standing over the body of her husband, Alexos Konstantinos, screaming hysterically.

Archibald calmed her while the others examined the man. He appeared to have had a heart attack but their keen search revealed a puncture wound on his left forearm near the elbow. Apparently, the man had been drugged with something to induce the heart attack. But, also of interest was the man’s briefcase which had scratch marks on its lock. It had been picked, opened and then relocked. His wife, although looking like a prime suspect, was genuinely upset at her husband’s death.

It was then that they spotted the man in the dark clothes running away from the scene. After an intense chase through the streets of Athens, they caught the man. What he had taken from the briefcase was apparently passed off to somebody else. But, after questioning him and turning him over to the authorities for murdering Alexos Knostantinos, they returned to the scene of the crime.

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Clockwork 1888 Session 20

Clockwork 1888 Date: Thursday, May 18, 1888
After securely tying up the thieving smuggler that they spared, they took inventory. They found crates of potsherds, boxes of gold Trojan coins and the missing bust. The statue was not to be found, however. So, they loaded up crates of the precious cargo, their captive, and themselves into the dinghy and started to row out of the cave before high tide would close it off.

Emerging from the cave, night had fallen and as they came into view of the opening to the sea, they saw a ship just outside of the fjord. Suddenly, a series of lights flashed from the ship … a long flash, a short flash, a long flash. “More smugglers,” they presumed.

With some intimidation, they convinced their captive to give them the appropriate return signal. He tried to lie but, in spite of the foreign language, Archibald and Evgenia could tell when their captive was lying. Before leaving the beach, they left Priscilla, the captive, and the treasure on the small beach in the fjord and replaced the crates with crates of food.

Finally, all of the light signals were made and they rowed out of the fjord and toward the ship. As they drew near to the ship, one of the men on the ship called out to the dinghy. Archibald used his acting skills to verbally fool them enough to get the dinghy close to the ship. They could see one shipmate manning a Gatling gun, just in case.

As the men on the ship called out for the crates, leaned over the railing and reached out to grab them, Fredryck grabbed the one and pulled him overboard. Dracona tried to do the same but the man she tried it on was too quick. Evgenia wasted no time in shooting as she shot the man at the Gatling gun. But it wasn’t enough to deter him. Archibald popped the lantern open and shined it in the one man’s eyes that was letting down the ladder. Blinded, the man dropped the ladder and it unfurled on the side of the ship.

Fredryck jumped up, grabbed the railing, pulled himself over and drew his sword. the man near Fredryck stabbed at him and then tumbled back behind his comrade. Dracona moved to the ladder and climbed up, the man missing her as she slipped past him. The man in the water pulled himself up onto the front of the dinghy. Evgenia shot the Gatling gun man, again, but he still held his station. That wasn’t good because he fired at the dinghy. Bullets riddled the dinghy, Archibald, and Evgenia. Archibald had managed to get some cover with a crate but Evgenia went down and the dinghy was taking on water, fast.

With no room to maneuver, Fredryck ran around the cabin of the ship to try and come up behind them. Dracona breathed fire on the two men in front of her and one of them caught fire. The man closest to her struck at her with his knife, hitting her once. Archibald used the reliquary to heal Evgenia before he moved up to confront the dinghy intruder. Barely conscious, Evgenia decisively killed the Gatling gun man and then slid behind Archibald for cover. Archibald and the dinghy intruder exchanged blows as the dinghy got lower in the water.

Fredryck charged the two men with their backs to him, dealing a lethal blow to the first and adding to the wounds of the second. Dracona breathed on the man, again, and that finished him off. Archibald continued to have at it with the dinghy intruder and Evgenia shot the smugglewr and moved to the ladder because the dinghy was quickly going down.

Fredryck helped Evgenia on board as Dracona moved and breathed fire on the last smuggler, killing him. Archibald quickly moved to the back of the dinghy and clung to the ladder just as it went under.

With the battle over, they searched the ship’s hold and found crates of potsherds, crates of Trojan coins, and a crate containing the olive-wood statue. They found another dinghy aboard the ship and rowed into the fjord to get Priscilla, their captive, and the other treasure crates. They told Mani to join them in the cave with the gear they had left behind, and then they rowed back out to the ship and motored into the village harbor.

The gunshots had caught the attention of more than just Mani and townspeople were waiting for them when they returned. Included among the townspeople was Ionnes, the sailor they had originally rescued from his burning ship. He’d come out of his coma and was excited to hear that they had recovered all of the stolen treasure. Dracona turned the gold coin that they had found on his ship over to Ionnes.

There was much celebration in the village. The PCs were invited to stay, help in the recovery efforts for the next day or two, and celebrate with the townspeople. As a token of gratitude, they gave each PC a gold Trojan coin. The statue was to go to Greece in the near future for a conference where they would try to determine if indeed it was from the correct time period. That conference happened to be in Athens, where the PCs were to meet up with Father MacGinnis, again.

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Clockwork 1888 Session 19

Clockwork 1888 Date: Thursday, May 18, 1888
After seeing the sights at Knossos, they went to the town of the old sailor that they had saved. They could tell that the townspeople were not friendly at all and downright suspicious of them, even though they didn’t speak the language. A young boy had followed them but could do little more than ask why they were there. A pair of

Finally Dracona went into the tavern, bought some fruits, and offered one to a woman who had been watching them as she hung her laundry. The woman seemed to call out, back to her house, and a young man came out. He approached and said something in the local tongue. “I don’t understand,” Dracona said, “do you want a date?” She held out one of the fruits to him in hopes of some kind of friendly reaction.

“I’m Mani,” he said, “I’ll let you know later if I want a date,” he seemed to wink at Dracona. They finally found somebody that spoke English. They informed Mani that they wanted to check on the old sailor. Mani, too, seemed suspicious of them and explained, “The old sailor has not yet recovered. He’s still unconscious at the local medical care facility. Why’s that your business?”

“We had rescued him before his ship exploded,” they explained. “I see,” he seemed to warm a little bit. “Thank you for that. So, you want me to contact you when he recovers?” “Actually, we’re investigating what caused his ship to explode. There seemed to be evidence of foul play and we are the types to look into it,” they replied. “I’m sure the local constabulary will handle the investigation,” Mani answered curtly.

“Look, we found this,” Dracona said producing the gold coin, “when we rescued him.” Mani eyed the coin. “Can I look at that,” he requested. Dracona handed it over with, “you can’t keep it.” “Do you know what this is?” Mani inquired. Priscilla and Evgenia filled in their knowledge of the time period of the Trojan War, the time when the coin was apparently produced. Mani looked blankly at them, “so now you’re now looking to get more of these for yourselves?”

They assured Mani that they weren’t in it for the gold. They said that they were also the people who discovered the tomb of St. Andrew, some days ago, and that they turned over all that was found to the church. With the telegraph in regular use, word travels fast around the Mediterranean. “That was you?” Mani questioned. They assured him it was them and that their intentions were only honorable.

Convinced, Mani escorted them to the tavern. The people who had earlier shied away from them now smiled at them as Mani said something to the people in their native language. Mani asked that they have dinner while he checked a few things out. He assured them that he’d return and they’d discuss things further when he got back.

As they finished their meal, Mani returned and pulled a chair up to the table. “Okay,” he said, “let me tell you a part of the story that’s not so known. After the Trojan War, Helen was returning when, during a storm, one of her ships was lost. Nobody knew that it carried some of Helen’s treasure and nobody knew where the ship went down … until recently.”

Mani continued, “During a storm, Kafouros’ ship had sunk. When he went to try and salvage his stuff from his ship, he found it sitting upon another ship, much older than his. Kafouros had discovered the lost ship of Helen of Troy and has been helping to recover and store the lost treasures and artifacts. We want to keep this quiet so that treasure hunters don’t plunder it before it can be claimed for its rightful heirs. But, somebody must have learned of it. Recently, some of the artifacts were stolen and Kafouros’ new ship was destroyed.”

Mani then took them to where the artifacts are stored. They proceeded to search the place for some way that the thieves could have entered and found an acid damaged padlock on one of the skylight security shutters. Following that they also found the scrape marks that the thieves’ grappling hooks would have made on the roof edges. Returning to the interior, they located muddy boot prints that they then searched for outside. Following the boot prints they found themselves led to the shore.

The thieves must have gotten away via a small boat. They then proceeded to ask around until they found a shepherd that had spotted a ship farther from the shore. He thought it strange that the ship was flashing its signal light at the shoreline but didn’t think any more of it until they questioned him. The shepherd led Mani and them to where he was when he saw the ship.

They decided to check up the sloping hillside before heading down over the cliffs to the sea. As they searched, they located a small tunnel, barely 5 foot around, leading into the hillside. Looking carefully, they spotted a series of wires crisscrossing the tunnel a few feet in. Working carefully, they disarmed the trip wires and removed the attached grenades.

While they were clearing the tunnel, Dracona made some makeshift torches and, with the tunnel clear, they were ready to proceed. Dracona went first but found that the tunnel took a sharp turn downward. Fredryck obliged by tying off a knotted rope from his pack and bringing it in with him. Dropping the rope down and leaving the torch at the top, they proceeded.

Nearing the bottom, Dracona heard voices speaking in a foreign language and could see light coming from beyond a large passage. Try as she could, she didn’t land on the floor gracefully enough to keep her arrival quiet. She moved forward slightly in the darkness to allow Fredryck to continue down. But one of the voices was approaching.

Dracona moved forward, took a swig and prepared to light up the first person she saw. However, the person with the light moved up and suddenly she was exposed. A gunshot erupted from the darkness, the bullet striking her. Fredryck landed, pulling his sword as he charged the location where the gunshot had gone off. Finding his mark left the man dead on the ground. The others scampered down the rope and into the fray. Finally, the people in the cave were defeated. A second one with a lantern was spared so that they could gain information.

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Clockwork 18888 Session 18

Clockwork 1888 Date: Thursday, May 17, 1888
As calm as the night was, the journey to Crete was interrupted as the ferry rounded a large, unnamed rock and you got sight of a fishing trawler, aflame on the water. “I didn’t do it,” Dracona called out defensively. The ferry captain called for “all stop” and your keen eyes noticed a man on the floor of the wheel house of the trawler.

The ferry captain wouldn’t get any closer, for fear of endangering his own vessel, but ordered the crew to help lower the dinghy for you. You scrambled down into the dinghy and rowed to the trawler, deciding that Fredryck and Dracona would be first to board the fiery ship.

When the dinghy arrived, Priscilla and Archibald threw ropes to temporarily tie to the ship while Fredryck gave Dracona a leg up. Getting aboard, Dracona saw that the fire was already around the engine room, dangerously close to the fuel tanks. So, she went straight for the cabin door, only to find it quite securely jammed shut.

Fredryck climbed aboard and tried to burst the door in, too, but it still held. “Use an oar to pry it open,” Evgenia called as she dislodged an oar from the dinghy. Fredryck remembered the crow bar in is ever-handy military pack and drew it, instead. “Once more, together,” Dracona informed as she readied herself to help Fredryck in one last attempt on the door before they resorted to breaking windows.

Together they burst the door inward. “I’ll get him,” Fredryck informed. But he spotted something on the floor beyond the fallen man. “Get that,” he pointed at the object as he got down near the man. Dracona got by him and found the item, a gold coin. She put it in her pocket and turned to help Fredryck.

Fredryck could tell the man was still barely alive with labored breaths hardly escaping his lips. So, Fredryck took the Cord of St. Andrew and tied it to the man’s arm. The man’s breath became less labored and Fredryck figured he’d best get them both out of there.

Fredryck shouldered the man in a “fireman carry” and grabbed the door to steady himself as he rose to his feet. That’s when he noticed the depression in the lock of the cabin door. Somebody had shot the lock of the door. That would explain why it was jammed so tightly. Still, he rose to his feet and moved too the edge of the trawler, debating as he moved whether to jump off or lower the man to the others.

Fredryck decided it was better to lower the unconscious man to the dinghy than to risk a dive into the Mediterranean with a 185 pound dead weight. Archibald and Evgenia helped receive the unconscious man while Priscilla steadied the dinghy. “We’re going to need to get out of here,” Dracona called. Once the man was aboard, Fredryck went over the side, twisting his ankle as he landed. But he got up to help Dracona get off the inferno as she unwound the ropes and jumped into the dinghy.

Archibald and Priscilla were rowing almost as soon as Dracona set foot in the dinghy. They were barely 20 feet away when the ship exploded. Debris showered the dinghy as its occupants covered their heads and the unconscious man. One piece even took a chunk out of the side of the dinghy but not enough to sink it or cause a major leak.

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Clockwork 1888 Session 16

Clockwork 1888 Date: Tuesday, May 15, 1888
In the morning they set off for the Church of St. Andrew. Father MacGinnis brought the icon with him, he never let it out of his sight or grasp after the attempted theft inEngland. The church is closed for renovations but Father MacGinnis is expected and you are admitted by the curator, Mr. Stephanos. Inside, you noticed the saltire crosses on the white ceramic tile floor and the paintings. Each of the paintings depicts a scene from the bible, both old and new testaments.

Father MacGinnis produces the icon and you noticed the scroll that St. Andrew holds. It has only three Greek letters on it; Alpha (A), Chi (X) and omega (Ω). Examining the paintings you find that there is only one saltire marked tile between the Garden of Eden painting (alpha) and the apocalypse painting (omega). Carefully examining the tile, so as not to be detected by Mr. Stephanos, you found that it seemed a little hollow underneath. But removing a tile would surely be looked upon with disfavor. So, Archibald and Priscilla went to distract him while Evgenia, Dracona and Frederyck worked on the tile.

But, Mr. Stephanos has a keen ear, in spite of his age, and heard the scraping as the tile was removed. Rushing over, he arrived just as Evgenia was removing the scroll tube from the hollow beneath the tile. In spite of his protests at the sacrilege, they convinced Mr. Stephanos to allow them to look at the contents of the tube before returning it to the hollow in the floor. The scroll inside was in ancient Greek and indicated that they needed to find the ruins of the old. Discussing it with Mr. Stephanos, he told them of the palace of King Aegeates, old ruins of little importance due to their extensive decay, not far from the church. Carefully returning the scroll to the tube and resealing it before depositing it in the floor, again, they thanked Mr. Stephanos and left for the ruins.

After a journey of less than an hour, they arrived at the ruins of the palace of King Aegeates. They combed over the walls of which only two or three feet at most remained. Ultimately, they found an omega faintly remaining on one segment of a wall and then an alpha on another wall beneath a pool of standing water. Thoroughly searching between the two they finally found, under the layer of dirt, a loose floor stone. Prying the heavy floor stone out revealed a stairway that led down into darkness.

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Clockwork 1888 Session 15

Clockwork 1888 Date: Saturday, May 9, 1888 through May 14, 1888
The first order of business was to inform the two ladies that had hired Yermak Investigations of the findings. It turns out that the engaged woman is actually the accounting firm owner’s daughter. She planed to confront her betrothed and ensure that he understands that she’ll not have him whoring after they’re wed.

The lady married to the doctor was not so composed. Initially she denied that her husband could have been seeing prostitutes. But, the evidence proved otherwise and she was quite hurt before she grew angry. Evgenia calmed her a bit but a tone of smite was still within her as she departed.

Still, with the open cases now closed, Evgenia went and informed chief Inspector Norrington that she’d be out of town for a few weeks. Norrington noted that the firemen could use some down time after the past incidents Evgenia was involved in. In the morning, Evgenia boarded the ship with Father MacGinnis and the others. On to Greece!

Arriving in Patras, Greece, the morning of the 14th, Father MacGinnis informed that they’d be taking dinner at an inn owned by some friends of his in Sela. They hired carriages and made the carriage ride to Sela along the coastal carriage way. Father MacGinnis had offered for the coachmen to join them for a meal while they waited for their return trip.

After good conversation over their seven course meal, they finally boarded the carriages and started back to Patras. But, the trip back was not to be as uneventful as the trip out. As they rounded a curve, the bleating of sheep warned that a flock was in the road. The drivers made their way around and through flock, careful not to injure any.

Then, on a hill near the coast, catastrophe struck as the carriage containing Evgenia and Dracona failed to slow its descent. They heard the driver curse as things suddenly went wrong, the horses broke loose from the carriage and the brake failed. Over the edge of the road it went, streaking down the side to the waters below, pitching the driver from his seat and the occupants all about the interior.

And then they stopped. But water was quickly coming in around the doors of the carriage. Evgenia and Turner pushed at the door, trying to open it against the pressure of the water. With a great heave and a torrent of water, the door opened.

After getting everybody out and to shore, they rigged the carriages together and pulled the one out of the water. It didn’t take a lot of inspection to discern that somebody had rigged the carriage disaster. But, everybody, including the coachmen, was at dinner the entire time. Somebody must have set up the disaster in advance.

Retrieving the horses that had stopped at the bottom of the hill, they lashed them all together and rigged the damaged carriage to the back of the other one. Then, they limped back to Patras. Arriving late, they turned in for the evening because they were due at the Church of St. Andrew in the morning.

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Clockwork 1888 Session 14

Clockwork 1888 Date: Saturday, April 25, 1888 through May 9, 1888
Upon returning to the quiet of her office/home, the Yermak butler presented Evgenia with a pair of calling cards. Two different women had come to see if Yermak Investigations could investigate the late night meanderings of the men in their lives. With the recent escapades concerning the murders and even zombification of women by the lunatic Archer and Falstaff, a few cases of cheating lovers would be a nice respite. Evgenia had the butler set up interviews with the ladies for the next day, if they could. Soon, her first meeting was set for 10 am and the other at 1 pm. She’d make her visit to Scotland Yard for statements after meeting with the ladies.

The first appointment was with Ms. Adeline Smith. Ms. Smith had come to Yermak detective agency to have her prospective husband followed. She wanted an opinion on her prospective husband’s faithfulness before she went through with her commitment to marry him. Producing a photograph, Evgenia thought the man looked quite familiar but she didn’t let on.

Ms. Smith told them that her fiancée is an accountant named Gilbert Jeffries. Evgenia made the connection. This man was one, she’d actually encountered before. He was the man that bolted out of the alley when one a prostitute (Nettie Miller) screamed after finding the body of Cassandra Hope. Mr. Gilbert was an accountant and engaged so he wanted to keep his involvement quiet. After ensuring he had no involvement in the murder, he was released. Coincidentally, his fiancée was now here asking about his potential for future faithfulness in their marriage. Without giving away her knowledge, Evgenia explained her fee structure to Miss Smith, who agreed to cover the expenses and pay the requested wage for the knowledge of her fiancée’s doings.

After tea, Evgenia met with the other woman, Mrs. Lynn Hynllek, which sought the services of Yermak Investigations. Her concern was for her physician husband, Jery, who’d been spending many late hours away from her – supposedly due to his work. She suspects that he’s not working all that time and would like the proof to back up or dismiss her suspicions. She’s not certain what she’ll do, yet, but she wants to know for sure so that she can make an educated decision on how to proceed.

The next two weeks were spent investigating the two men. Evgenia utilized her associates from the theater case to follow the two men and track their movement. Mr. Jeffries utilized dolly mops at least weekly, often twice a week. He’d proposition one, take her into a dark alley for service, pay and depart. He didn’t frequent any one prostitute and seemed to purposefully choose a different location and woman each time. What that indicates about his future fidelity was uncertain, but the records of his premarital deeds were kept.

The doctor seemed a bit more respectful of the ladies, if that’s at all possible. But, although he, too, went on late night forays into the seedier parts of London in search of female companionship, he at least paid for a room for the evening. He, too, changed partners for each encounter but in talking with the ladies, they each seemed to appreciate his generosity because although the room was paid for the night, he only stayed with them for about an hour. Of course, Evgenia also observed the doctor’s late night dealings with the scavengers. A physician needed to hone his skills and often bought cadavers for testing. The gentlemen that provided such specimens were not always reputable but it’s what’s to be expected at these times of scientific advances.

And so, after two weeks of constantly following the two men, Evgenia was collecting all of the observances and notes from her team of fidelity spies. They were dining in a nice hotel restaurant, the Palace of Midas. Dracona was chatting about a mime girl that took to performing on a corner near her usual fire breathing display. The mime had occasionally lured her viewers to Dracona’s performance and vice versa. But, it was Dracona’s ear that heard the sound of breaking glass. Then they heard the call for help. Evgenia quickly stepped outside and pointed up to one of the floors above the restaurant “It came from there,” she announced.

Quickly they left the table and ran up the stairs. One of the doors in the hallway was ajar and they found a priest on the floor, unconscious. Dracona splashed some water from the room’s flower vase and revived the priest. He looked around and cried, “They’ve taken the icon!” The sound of running footsteps on the floor above let them know where the culprits were heading. While Dracona and Fredryck headed up the stairs, Evgenia ran back downstairs and outside, again. She looked to the one side of the building and saw nothing but then quickly went to look to the other side. There, she saw the thieves, three of them, leap from the roof of the Palace of Midas and onto the roof of the next building.

Dracona and Fredryck emerged onto the rooftop of the Palace of Midas and heard Evgenia call, “This way.” Running to the edge of the roof, they could see the thieves on the next roof below and Evgenia pointing that she was going to follow the thieves from below. Backing up, Dracona bolted for the edge of the roof and leapt to the other rooftop just as the thieves jumped to the next. Dracona rolled as she landed and came up running. Fredryck was not so lucky and had to catch himself with his forearm against a stack pipe. Still, he managed to keep up.

They chased the thieves across three rooftops before the thieves started down a ladder on the side of a building. Evgenia rushed down the alley and called up to them on the ladder as the last one got on. They paused long enough for Dracona to catch up. She leapt off the roof and tumbled to a landing on the ground on the other side of the bottom of the ladder just as Fredryck caught up to them at the top of the ladder.

With both ways blocked, the first thief down the ladder decided to make a go of it. He jumped down and Evgenia and Dracona took swings t him as he tumbled past them. Coming up on his feet, he called to his cohorts on the ladder, “Throw me the painting!” Hearing that, Fredryck decided that there was no time to waste and went over the edge of the ladder, on top of the other two thieves. All three, the two remaining thieves and Fredryck, ended up in a heap on the ground with the painting still firmly in the grasp of the second thief.

Evgenia grabbed the painting and tried to wrest it from the thief’s grasp but he held firmly so she struck at him with the butt of her pistol. The third thief escaped the heap and got on his feet. Dracona, Evgenia and Fredryck focused on the thief with the painting. The thief that had tumbled past Evgenia was shooting wildly as the other one got to his feet. But the thief with the painting was quickly subdued and then the last one to the ladder fell, as well.
The thief that had tumbled past Evgenia decided that he’d leave as the bobby whistles sounded due to the gunfire. Unfortunately, the thief escaped the notice of the bobbies and apparently got away. With the bobbies in tow and the painting in their care, they returned to the priest’s room.

The priest, a Scottish man named Father MacGinnis, was ecstatic to have the icon returned to him. He identified the thieves that had been caught and thanked the PCs for their aid. They revived and questioned the two thieves and, after a little persuading, one of them said that they were hired by an intermediary, at a randomly selected location, to steal the icon. They didn’t know for what purpose but they had instructions to deliver it to a specific nondescript tavern where they were to receive payment.

Evgenia thought that they should keep the meeting, just in case the person behind it showed up. But, after examining the scene of the crime, they found that the door was locked, according to Father MacGinnis, but the lock was not picked or forced open. The thief said that they were given a key.

Father MacGinnis informed them that only 3 people in his company had a key to his room – himself, Geoffrey Turner and Kostas Dmitri. Father MacGinnis produced his and so he summoned the others. Only Dmitri could produce his key. Turner, when confronted about the missing key, claimed to have no idea as to what happened to it. He thought it was in his pocket but when he went for it it wasn’t there. Turner was quite distraught at losing the key and Evgenia sensed that he really had nothing to do with the theft of the icon.

Still, after the bobbies hauled the thieves away and everybody else cleared the room, Father MacGinnis expressed an interest in hiring the PCs as protection on the sacred journey he’d started. With the latest happening, he confided that he’s not so certain he can trust the others that are on the journey with him. He explained that he could provide a small stipend and would cover the expenses for the journey to Greece. But, he has arrangements for a private tour of the Church of St. Andrew in Greece only a few days from now. They are scheduled to leave London the morning of May 11th. Evgenia said that she could wrap up her existing cases by then and Fredryck said that he’d check with his commander. Dracona signed on immediately and the others were quick to follow.

Greece awaits!

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