VII - Shadowland.   Posted by The Keeper.Group: 0
The Keeper
 GM, 124 posts
Mon 6 Jun 2016
at 14:53
VII - Shadowland
Adler keeps a close watch as she and Greer make their way into the trash strewn alley behind the Flagstone Hotel. She sees no one. The only movement on the street is that of a young couple entering Breaker's, their manner indicating that they are oblivious to their surroundings. Just as before, the loose plywood and broken window provide relatively easy access to the building's interior. As she and Greer enter, Adler hears a distant rumble of thunder north of the city.

The interior of the hotel smells of age and unchecked moisture. Greer retrieves a short mag lite from his belt and switches it on, the beam cutting through the gloom. Both investigators note the presence of recent, muddy footprints on the worn carpet, leading both in and out of the building. Perhaps a day old, the tracks were doubtlessly left by those seeking shelter from yesterday's storm. Listening closely, Adler hears no movement anywhere nearby. The Flagstone is silent, content to keep whatever secrets it holds its own.

Moving down the hall, away from the lobby, the pair pass a row of empty guest rooms before reaching a service entrance. Beyond it is a short hallway, with three doors lining the left wall. The hall ends in another door that stands ajar and appears to lead into an office area.

The first of the doors fronts a sizable kitchen, which appears almost completely empty. The second provides access to a large laundry facility. The third opens up on a concrete stairwell, which leads down into darkness.
Jane Adler
 player, 245 posts
Tue 7 Jun 2016
at 05:57
VII - Shadowland
Jane's flashlight cut across the doors and narrowed on the dark stairwell.  She threw Greer a glance before starting forward.  Her pistol was holstered under her jacket, but she didn't draw it.  Instead, she reached for the baton in her satchel, gripping the handle tightly.  She wasn't certain what they'd find down in the basement, but she wanted to be prepared.  Cautiously, she descended, having no qualms about climbing first down into the darkness.  She wasn't one to run away from other people's problems -- just her own.
The Keeper
 GM, 126 posts
Tue 7 Jun 2016
at 16:36
VII - Shadowland
Adler and Greer's flashlights provide the only illumination in the darkness that awaits at the bottom of the stairs. The small room at the foot of the steps has bare, unadorned walls and a single door behind and left of the staircase. The door stands open.

Beyond the door is a short hallway. Two doors stand open on the left side of the hall, which face another pair of open doors on the right. A brief glimpse at the doorways leads Adler to suspect that the rooms on the left lead were once food storage and a small wine cellar, respectively, while those on the right house boxed documents, metal file cabinets, and unused furniture.

The hall ends in an unmarked door, which is closed.

Adler does not perceive any movement in the basement. The only sound is that of intermittently dripping water.

11:12, Today: The Keeper, on behalf of Jane Adler, rolled 62 using 1d100.  Spot Hidden.

Shining her light on the walls, Adler notices several dents, scratches, and gouges in the sheetrock, which suggest to the detective that more than one physical struggle has taken place in the basement. By her estimation, some of the marks on the walls are no more than a month old.

Aiming her flashlight at the end of the corridor, Adler sees a single piece of graffiti spray painted in blue just left of the closed door.

"Let me sleep"
Jane Adler
 player, 246 posts
Wed 8 Jun 2016
at 05:10
VII - Shadowland
Creepy.  Jane threw another look at Greer, her features stark in the uplighting.  She pointed to the walls, running her fingers over the dented drywall, then shone her flashlight again at the writing and the door.  Tilting her head in silent query, she motioned to the wall, wordlessly asking if he thought they should go through.  She wasn't sure what the warning was all about, but it most assuredly signaled some sort of danger.
Colton Greer
 NPC, 33 posts
Wed 8 Jun 2016
at 13:11
VII - Shadowland
Greer is motionless for a moment, frowning as he considers the graffiti and the marks on the walls. Looking back at Adler, he gives a single nod, then moves to the closed door, shining his light in each of the open rooms as they pass them. Neither investigator perceives any movement within any of the storage areas.

Stepping up to the door, Greer presses his ear to its surface, closing his eyes in concentration.

07:17, Today: Colton Greer rolled 21 using 1d100 ((21)). Listen.

After a moment, he glances back at Adler and shakes his head.

Reaching down, he carefully tries the knob. The door is locked.

OOC: Either Adler or Greer may attempt to open the door with a Locksmith roll. The roll can be "pushed" if the initial attempt is not successful.

Alternatively, more forceful methods can be utilized to gain entry. :)

Jane Adler
 player, 247 posts
Thu 9 Jun 2016
at 03:09
VII - Shadowland
Jane dug into her satchel and pulled out a small hand-sized black case.  She unzipped it and folded it open to reveal a standard set of lock picks.  Biting down on her small flashlight, she pulled out one of the picks and wrenches and then knelt in front of the door.  The lock wasn't particularly difficult to pick.  After only a few exploratory bumps with her pick, she felt the last tumbler lock into place.  With a twist of the wrench, the lock turned and she gave the knob a twist.



19:36, Today: Jane Adler rolled 27 using 1d100.  Locksmith (56).
The Keeper
 GM, 127 posts
Thu 9 Jun 2016
at 16:29
VII - Shadowland
As Adler retrieves her set of lockpicks, Greer takes a single step back to allow her easier access. Keeping the beam of his flashlight trained forward, he draws his weapon with his free hand, a SW1911, and levels it at the closed door.

The "feel" of the tumblers, along with a few barely discernible rusty squeaks from the lock, reinforce Adler's sense that the mechanism is quite old. Turning the knob carefully, Adler hears a soft, but deep, metallic clunk as the door gives up its secrets.

Pushing it open, Adler is confronted with a large room, the walls, ceiling, and floor of which are all constructed from aged concrete. In isolated spots, cracks travel though the walls, moisture stains trailing from several of them. The floor is well traveled, black marks from the passage of countless feet covering several spots, almost concealing the pale gray of the concrete itself.

A pair of freestanding steel shelving units, marred with rust in a few places, stand against the left hand wall. A variety of tools and other implements line the shelves. Some of the items, such as hammers and chisels, appear quite old, antique even. Other items, like a first aid kit and plastic prescription pill containers, look virtually new.

A large basin, constructed from some variety of dark stone, stands against the wall on the right. It is almost as large as a bathtub and is fed by a large pipe which protrudes from the wall above it. A metal handle appears to control the flow of water. The basin is full, the water within it stagnant and almost black in color.

A section of the wall opposite the entrance is taken up with a mural. The painting is clearly old and flaking in spots, but the image it depicts is still vivid. To Adler, it is eerily familiar. The scene is that of a lonely lake on a moor at dusk. Ancient trees, their trunks and branches gnarled and twisted, line the bank. The dark water is disturbed, suggesting that something is moving beneath the surface. The mural is reminiscent of several of the paintings in Broden MacGregor's collection, but as Adler scans it, something else about the image, something she cannot immediately put her finger on, registers as unsettling.

Other sections of the walls contain writing, perhaps painted or inscribed with a black marker of some kind. Some of the script appears neat and precise, while other instances are wildly scrawled. Strange symbols, unfamiliar to Adler, are mingled with some of the messages and, at a glance, Adler has the sense that several of the writings are not in English.

In the corners of the room, as well as at the base of some sections of the walls, Adler notes that there appear to be be small piles of discarded possessions: clothing, watches. MP3 players, sunglasses, and other items.

In the center of the room, seemingly watched over by the mural, is a circle, roughly six feet in diameter, its border defined by a series of eight iron poles, set into the concrete of the floor, standing approximately waist high. In the middle of the circle, Adler can see a large symbol of some kind, likely crafted from the same iron as the poles, embedded in the floor.

Several electric camping lanterns hang from iron spikes driven into different spots on each of the four walls. The lanterns vary widely in condition, but a pair of them appear new. None are lit.

The room is quiet and unoccupied. Aside from the door by which she and Greer entered, Adler does not see any other exits.
Jane Adler
 player, 248 posts
Fri 10 Jun 2016
at 06:12
VII - Shadowland
What in the hell is this place?  Jane moved past the open door to shine her light about the room.  As with everything else about her case, the room was an oddity.  It didn't look like a place where someone would manufacture drugs.  It looked more like a torture chamber or some type of place for rituals.  She explored carefully, examining each area before moving on to the next.  While she wanted to take some photos, the room was dark and she didn't want to risk the flash.  So she contented herself with taking pictures with her phone, using the illumination from her flashlight.

The painting was of great interest.  After her jaunts to the museums, she took several minutes to study it, searching for any of the same elements as MacGregor's paintings.  The dark water was there, but what about the dark, mysterious figures?
The Keeper
 GM, 128 posts
Fri 10 Jun 2016
at 14:05
VII - Shadowland
Moving around the circle of iron rods, Adler is able to examine the mural more closely. A moment's study confirms her suspicions: from behind the tortured looking trees and within the scattered undergrowth, the detective spots the familiar figures, positioned as though they are either welcoming one who is approaching the lake or preparing to ambush them.

Looking carefully at some of the figures and comparing them to the images of the painting from The MacGregor Collection, Adler quickly determines that they are painted in the style of the mysterious Calder Abbott, including their gray skin and black, reptilian eyes. The match is so close, it almost appears that Abbott himself composed the painting.
Colton Greer
 NPC, 34 posts
Fri 10 Jun 2016
at 14:14
VII - Shadowland
Greer scans the room slowly before returning his handgun to its holster. Moving over to the shelving units, he begins to look over their contents as he retrieves a pair of blue vinyl gloves from his jacket pocket and puts them on.

After a moment, Adler hears him mutter, "You've gotta be kidding me."
Jane Adler
 player, 249 posts
Sat 11 Jun 2016
at 07:31
VII - Shadowland
Tearing her eyes away from the painting, she moved over to join Greer at the shelves.  "You found something?" she asked quietly.  She shifted her light to the shelves, searching the various tools collected there.
Colton Greer
 NPC, 35 posts
Sat 11 Jun 2016
at 16:40
VII - Shadowland
Greer holds up a glass vial between his thumb and index finger. It is similar to the vial that Adler discovered upstairs in the third floor room that Scott Curran used as a lookout. Etched on its side are the words "Black Rain" in Gothic lettering.

The vial is full of dark liquid, which holds a vaguely violet tint when light is shone on it.

He shakes his head. "I can't use it as any kind of evidence, since I didn't even have probable cause to walk in here. But I can get it tested. Finally have a sense of its composition and maybe its origin."

Reaching into his jacket with his free hand, he produces another pair of vinyl gloves, which he offers to Adler.
The Keeper
 GM, 129 posts
Sat 11 Jun 2016
at 16:42
VII - Shadowland
Glancing over the shelves, it is difficult for Adler to discern any order to their contents. Hand tools: chisels, saws, planes, and hammers, most of antique manufacture, are scattered on the steel surfaces along with a modern drill, circular saw, and Dremel tool. On one shelf, seemingly by itself, is what appears to be a Scottish dirk, its long blade concealed within a black leather scabbard. Modern medical supplies, including gauze, bandages, pain killers, and a suture kit lie amongst the various work implements. A trio of plastic bags on a lower shelf hold a white, powdered substance that Alder guesses to be cocaine. A handful of empty ”Black Rain” vials are also present. On the top of the left hand shelving unit, Adler spots two open boxes of plain wax candles. Several of the shelves have a thin coating of dark sawdust and iron filings.

At the foot of the shelves are several pieces of clothing: primarily discarded shirts and jackets, though a couple of pieces of footwear, a metal lighter, and a leather banded watch can be seen within the chaotic pile.
Jane Adler
 player, 250 posts
Sat 11 Jun 2016
at 19:18
VII - Shadowland
Jane took the gloves with a nod of thanks and pulled them on.  Looking back over the shelves, she took note of the dirk and snapped a photo of it.  Another tie to MacGregor?  There was no telling if it was the same blade that had been in the painting, but she didn't think they were really that common.  Crouching down next to the clothing, she began to look though the pile, searching for personal items, wallets, or anything else that might provide identification.  She couldn't help but wonder if the clothing belonged to the perpetrators or the victims.  Is one of these Scott's?  Aidens?
The Keeper
 GM, 130 posts
Sat 11 Jun 2016
at 20:14
VII - Shadowland
As Adler begins to sort through the pile, her hand finds something hard beneath the first layer of clothes. Drawing it out, she sees that it is a broken laptop computer, the screen completely destroyed. As she examines it, she notices a sticker on the bottom of the unit which indicates that it a refurbished laptop from an independent shop in Over-the-Rhine, Borderland Computing.
Jane Adler
 player, 251 posts
Sat 11 Jun 2016
at 20:35
VII - Shadowland
Jane frowned at the computer, closing it and flipping it back over.  The screen was shattered, but the hard drive might still be intact.  She made room in her satchel and tucked it inside.  After another look through the pile of clothes for anything she might have missed, she took the lighter and watch, and then rose to her feet and continued her examination of the room.  She didn't know what to make of the sink full of stagnant water.  Wondering if this was, indeed, where they were making or storing the Black Rain, she took one of the empty vials and dipped it into the water to take a sample.  Who are these people? 
The Keeper
 GM, 131 posts
Sat 11 Jun 2016
at 22:09
VII - Shadowland
Through the vinyl gloves, Adler can feel that the water is incredibly cold, as though it came from a frozen lake in the deep of winter. Examining the captured liquid in its vial, the detective notes that it appears as dark as that in the container Greer discovered, but it lacks the strange violet quality that she observed.

As she places the vial in her satchel, Adler finds her attention drawn to a section of the wall near the stone basin. Shining the beam of her flashlight on it, she can see that several messages are written there in different hands, all characterized by desperation:

"The water goes on forever. It takes you under."

"No one will ever know what happened to me."

"It is vast. And hungry. It is too powerful. No one can hope to stop it."

"I'm going to die out there. Alone. In the dark."

Colton Greer
 NPC, 36 posts
Sat 11 Jun 2016
at 22:11
VII - Shadowland
Greer steps toward the circle of poles, but pauses, frowning as he glances back at the door. He approaches it and pushes it, examining the side that faces the room's interior.

Turning to Adler, he motions for her attention, then shines his flashlight on the back of the door. Adler can see that the door is reinforced with vertical steel bands and is equipped with a pair of large, keyed deadbolts, enabling the door to be secured against intrusion...or escape.
Jane Adler
 player, 252 posts
Sun 12 Jun 2016
at 03:07
VII - Shadowland
"Shit," she swore under her breath.  Glancing to Greer, she asked, "You think this is where they bring them?  People they've taken?  But for what?" Glancing back behind them, she focused her light on the circle in the middle of the room and walked over to examine it more closely.
Colton Greer
 NPC, 37 posts
Sun 12 Jun 2016
at 06:05
VII - Shadowland
Greer frowns as he considers the question. "It seems like a possibility, especially with all the abandoned possessions, but..." He points to the shelving units. "There's quite a few things over there that someone who was trapped could use as a weapon." He nods his head at the door behind him. "And the deadbolts can only be accessed from this side of the door. It's almost set up like there's another exit in the room. Even though clearly there isn't."

"If they're keeping people in here, I'd think it's only for a short time. The question is, where do they go from here?"

The Keeper
 GM, 132 posts
Sun 12 Jun 2016
at 06:05
VII - Shadowland

As Adler approaches the circle of iron poles, she is able to clearly see the rusted iron symbol set into the concrete. Drawing nearer, the detective becomes aware of a subtle sensation, a steady vibration that she can feel within the floor, which seems to grow stronger the closer she comes to the circle. When she is only a pair of paces away from the nearest poles, she feels an unpleasant tingling in her limbs, not unlike being exposed to an electric current, and just short of painful. Examining the iron rods and the floor within the border they create, Adler cannot discern any apparent source for what she is experiencing.
Jane Adler
 player, 253 posts
Sun 12 Jun 2016
at 18:12
VII - Shadowland
"If I had to guess, I would say down."  She stomped the ground, if only to relieve herself of the irritating buzz.  "Something over here is electrified.  Either part of that shelving can be moved away or this part of this floor falls away to whatever lies beneath.  I'd assumed that this basement would somehow tie into the old subway tunnels."
Colton Greer
 NPC, 38 posts
Sun 12 Jun 2016
at 22:22
VII - Shadowland
"This section in the circle?" Greer asks, approaching a pair of the poles. He begins to step into the interior of the circle, then abruptly back pedals, a soft snarl escaping his throat.

16:25, Today: The Keeper rolled 2 using 1d4.  Damage.

"What the..." Greer mutters. He flexes his left hand, blood trickling onto his glove, a jagged laceration visible near his wrist. He frowns as he regards the collection of poles a second time.