Vienna to Belgrade.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
GM
 GM, 89 posts
Sun 5 Aug 2018
at 20:57
Vienna to Belgrade
Following Amelia's short exchange with him Menkaph asks Ellie to join him in her cabin and she makes her excuses. They leave, her arm through his, with Menkaph's ever present shadow a short distance behind.

The rest of the day passes fairly uneventfully with you passing time either by yourselves in your cabins or in polite conversation with the other passengers. Of Menkaph, other than a brief sighting at lunch, there is no further sign.

The train pulls into Vienna at 5.50pm and here several passengers from the other sleeper carriage change. You are all relaxing in the salon car with a drink when two men enter - clearly looking for you. One is a heavy-set, smartly dressed Turk in Western dress and the other a tall, thin man smartly dressed and with the refined air of an aristocrat. His hair and beard are slightly dishevelled as if he has been travelling for some time. The thin man looks at you quizzically and raises an eyebrow in question...
Amelia Meadowcroft
 player, 45 posts
 Player; Soren
Sun 5 Aug 2018
at 21:48
Vienna to Belgrade
Amelia smiles at the thin man. "Sind Sie vielleicht Baron von Hofler?" she asks in German. "Mein name ist Amelia Meadowcroft und das sind meine Freunde". She indicates the rest of the group.
Captain Roderick Barrington
 player, 40 posts
Mon 6 Aug 2018
at 04:53
Vienna to Belgrade
In reply to Amelia Meadowcroft (msg # 2):

Roderick bows slightly in greeting. "Pleased to meet you Baron. My name is captain Roderick Barrington. I am sorry that my language skills are inferior to the skills of Ms. Meadowcraft."
Dr Kasim Polat
 player, 8 posts
 Allah yahmini
 'iinaa last khayef.
Mon 6 Aug 2018
at 21:48
Vienna to Belgrade
Dr. Polat politely waits as his much paler companion is greeted by the group; when there is a chance, and hopefully just before the conversation picks up without him entirely, Kasim touches the brim of his boater hat and introduces himself.  It cannot help but be noticed that he clutches a book overflowing with many pieces of note-paper in his non-saluting hand, and at any small instance wherein the gesture would not be TOO impolite, he can be seen glancing back into the tome with a look of no small distraction.

When introductions among the group are made, Kasim makes a point to smile broadly at each in turn, offering his hand if appropriate.
GM
 GM, 90 posts
Sun 12 Aug 2018
at 19:56
Vienna to Belgrade
The Baron, for the thinner man is none other, nods stiffly at your greetings and responds in heavily accented English for the benefit of those present not Amelia's equal linguistically, "It is a pleasure to meet you all. Julius Smith speaks highly of each of you. Are you familiar with Dr Polat?" indicating Kasim at his side "He joined me here in Vienna."

He then motions to gather you all closer and speaks in a much lower voice, looking over his shoulder for any eavesdroppers as he does, "Julius has also told me about your unusual mission and even more unusual...cargo. Perhaps you should let me know about your experiences so I can hear them firsthand and then, when the time is right, I could examine this artefact in your possession? I will give you any assistance I can render."
Dr Jean-Louis Saroch
 player, 60 posts
 Physician & Surgeon
Sun 12 Aug 2018
at 22:51
Vienna to Belgrade
Saroch greets the two men, the Baron, then Polat.

"Before we exchange any other information, you should know thar we have made the trip from Paris with an apparent foe, one called Menkaph and his henchmen and a pair of, perhaps innocent, companions."

He describes all of that group in a few trenchant phrases.

This message was last edited by the player at 22:52, Sun 12 Aug 2018.

Captain Roderick Barrington
 player, 41 posts
Sat 18 Aug 2018
at 18:06
Vienna to Belgrade
"Pleased to meet you Dr. Polat." Roderick further adds "I was personally involved in a dangerous situation when some ruffians tried to rob Professor Worth. It's clear that our foe has no regards for human life."
GM
 GM, 91 posts
Mon 20 Aug 2018
at 20:47
Vienna to Belgrade
The Baron strokes his beard as Barrington and Saroch fill him in on events, "Hmm, that is dark news indeed. The name Menkaph is unfamiliar to me but Smith mentioned their may be opposition to your task. As a result I did not come unarmed." At this he taps his breast pocket in a suggestive fashion and you can see the outline of something solid underneath, "However, that would seem to make it doubly important the artefact is secure - I assume it is difficult to keep it out of prying hands in such close quarters? Perhaps we should examine it in the privacy of someone's compartment?"
Dr Kasim Polat
 player, 9 posts
 Allah yahmini
 'iinaa last khayef.
Mon 20 Aug 2018
at 20:56
Vienna to Belgrade
Kasim, too, seems to drink in the story more intently, his countenance taking on a darker pall once the Fez is mentioned in detail, and the fate of one Matthew Pook.  He clutches his copy of mad Arabian writings a little closer, but makes sure not to interrupt the telling.  When the Baron offers to retire the group to a more private setting, Dr. Polat seems almost perceptively eager; a close eye will notice him fondling a bit of gold around his neck.
George Banks
 player, 58 posts
 Slip me some
 Jib
Tue 21 Aug 2018
at 21:01
Vienna to Belgrade
George takes a subtle look at the gold around the good doctor’s neck.  He doesn’t completely trust him, although he realizes he’s probably just being paranoid... which is understandable, under these circumstances.

At least he’s off the bloody train!
Captain Roderick Barrington
 player, 42 posts
Wed 22 Aug 2018
at 14:41
Vienna to Belgrade
Roderick watches the surroundings to see so that no one is following the party. Anyone they meet can be a spy.
GM
 GM, 93 posts
Thu 30 Aug 2018
at 19:51
Vienna to Belgrade
You leave the salon and head up the train towards Saroch's cabin where the Fez is currently secreted. As you do so you pass another new passenger entering as you leave - she must have joined at Vienna alongside the Baron. This is a young, exotic lady dressed in a purple kimono embroidered with a large scarlet dragon. She is heavily made up beneath a short bob of dark hair. She bows slightly from the neck at you as you pass by.



You manage to cram into one of the cabins with Saroch's valise. All of you in one cabin isn't a comfortable fit by any means but it's good enough for a short period and it's the most privacy you're likely to get on board the train. As the valise is opened the Baron's eyes glitter like a child receiving a present and he seems to lose years in his excitement. Carefully applying a pair of white gloves he lifts the Fez out. It is as foul as you remember - the colour of old, dried blood and the smell is stomach turning in the enclosed space. In the dim light of the cabin you think you can see strange symbols stitched in the fabric.

The Baron turns the thing over and over in his hands with a thoughtful look upon his face, "My God, it is every bit as vile as I had imagined. Has anybody tried...putting it on?"
Amelia Meadowcroft
 player, 46 posts
 Player; Soren
Thu 30 Aug 2018
at 20:36
Vienna to Belgrade
Amelia recounts the horrible thing that happened to Mr. Pook and strongly advises agains anyone putting the fez on!
Dr Kasim Polat
 player, 10 posts
 Allah yahmini
 'iinaa last khayef.
Thu 30 Aug 2018
at 21:02
Vienna to Belgrade
Dr. Polat watches all of the proceedings with a dark eye; certain ..things that nip at the dark edges of human society had always seemed to be just out of reach during his academic career, but now, the combination of the book he had been reading coupled with this dreaded Fez, well, it was almost too much for the poor doctor.  He begins to recite something in Arabic under his breath, seemingly beneath his own notice.
Captain Roderick Barrington
 player, 43 posts
Thu 30 Aug 2018
at 21:24
Vienna to Belgrade
In reply to Dr Kasim Polat (msg # 14):

Roderick has not witnessed what the fez did to the late Mr. Pook, but the item makes him nervous. <purple>"What does those letters on the side say?" he asks no one in general.
George Banks
 player, 59 posts
 Slip me some
 Jib
Thu 30 Aug 2018
at 23:59
Vienna to Belgrade
“Did anyone else hear that?”  George stares intently at the fez.  “A very quiet whisper... I think it’s coming from inside it.”

His strong fingers clench and unclench, curling into claws, then straightening again.

Like there’s something living in there...”
Captain Roderick Barrington
 player, 44 posts
Fri 31 Aug 2018
at 15:05
Vienna to Belgrade
In reply to George Banks (msg # 16):

"I did actually. Moths perhaps?" Roderick suggests rather sheepishly. The captain does not relish the thought that the whisper is in some way supernatural, which he fears.
George Banks
 player, 60 posts
 Slip me some
 Jib
Sat 1 Sep 2018
at 21:39
Vienna to Belgrade
“Moths?  Blimey!”

His eyes, like the eyes of an opium addict, are glued to the fez.  He is unable to turn away.

His hands clench and unclench as though struggling to grasp something unseeable, untouchable.

It’s the Devil,” he says in a voice that has grown suddenly small.  “Satan himself...”
Dr Kasim Polat
 player, 11 posts
 Allah yahmini
 'iinaa last khayef.
Fri 7 Sep 2018
at 13:37
Vienna to Belgrade
Doctor Kasim stops his audible chanting, and cannot help but glance warily between George and Roderick.

"I, I must confess, I hear nothing of the kind.." he finally offers, unsure of how this will be received.

This message was last edited by the player at 13:38, Fri 07 Sept 2018.

Dr Jean-Louis Saroch
 player, 61 posts
 Physician & Surgeon
Fri 7 Sep 2018
at 20:16
Vienna to Belgrade
Saroch's face reveals his unease.

"I admit that I thought I heard a...whispering. Of course, that makes no rational sense, however..."
Amelia Meadowcroft
 player, 47 posts
 Player; Soren
Fri 7 Sep 2018
at 20:36
Vienna to Belgrade
In reply to Dr Kasim Polat (msg # 19):

"Me neither," remarks Amelia with a puzzled look at her two friends. "Can anyone deciper the symbols on it?"
George Banks
 player, 61 posts
 Slip me some
 Jib
Sat 8 Sep 2018
at 02:09
Vienna to Belgrade
Dr. Saroch’s comment confirms everything George already knew to be true.  The tension which has been building inside him becomes unbearable.  Something inside him snaps.

His face contorted with rage, he lunges for the fez, trying to crush the thing inside it with his bare hands!
Captain Roderick Barrington
 player, 45 posts
Sat 8 Sep 2018
at 06:25
Vienna to Belgrade
In reply to George Banks (msg # 22):

Roderick tries to stop George from seriously hurting himself by restraining him!
Amelia Meadowcroft
 player, 48 posts
 Player; Soren
Sat 8 Sep 2018
at 15:07
Vienna to Belgrade
"George! No!" cries Amelia.
George Banks
 player, 62 posts
 Slip me some
 Jib
Sun 9 Sep 2018
at 00:11
Vienna to Belgrade
George shuts his eyes and grabs control of himself.  He allows himself to be restrained.  He is pushed back.  But his fingers remain curled into claws; his hands won’t relax.

Dear Lord, forgive me,” he whispers.

This message was last edited by the player at 00:11, Sun 09 Sept 2018.

Captain Roderick Barrington
 player, 46 posts
Sun 9 Sep 2018
at 23:49
Vienna to Belgrade
In reply to George Banks (msg # 25):

"Hold your temper Mr. Banks. I'm certain that violence is no solution to our current problem. If I thought it would be possible I would be the first to cut this hat apart with my saber."