London 2 - The Oriental Club, Hanover Square.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
GM
 GM, 32 posts
Sat 30 Dec 2017
at 15:49
London 2 - The Oriental Club, Hanover Square
The Oriental Club has been a London institution since it's founding in 1824. It is open only to gentlemen of good reputation who have travelled, worked or resided in Asia, Egypt, South Africa, Mauritius or Constantinople.

As you approach you, even those of you familiar with the place, can't help to feel awed by it's fine whitewashed exterior which emanates wealth and privilege. The inside is richly appointed in fine mahogany and decorated with portraits of those famous for their exploits in the East. Above the main staircase is a life size portrait of none other than Clive of India.





The guest bar is less well appointed than the rest of the club, but only just. It's a cosy ground floor room with two large windows and a roaring fire – a small bar along one wall gives the room it's name and there are a number of sofas and comfy looking, though well-worn, seats. It could seat perhaps fifteen comfortably but at the moment there are only the four of you (when you have all arrived) and Professor Smith.

Smith is seated at a small table in the middle of the room. In front of him are a sheaf of papers and a small chocolate and peppermint striped hatbox which seems incongruously jolly in the otherwise very sombre room. Smith himself looks as tired and drawn as you've ever seen him, it's doubtful he's slept at all last night. That said he smiles with genuine warmth as you come in and ushers you into seats. He then ushers the member of club staff serving at the bar out of the room and closes the door behind them so you are alone. He sinks back into his chair and sighs deeply before speaking,
”My friends, I owe you an explanation though I fear I may only give you more questions than answers. I mentioned last night that I thought I knew who the poor soul who attacked you was and now I am sure, though it makes no sense. I believe he was Matthew Pook but Matthew was a student, a man in his twenties, and not the decrepit figure we saw. Though given what happened to him thereafter I suppose anything may be possible.”

He shudders at the memory before continuing, ”Matthew was studying under my colleague, Professor Demir, in Constantinople. Demir had sent me a telegram just last week to say that his student was following a man called Menkaph who had come to London with a sinister purpose. He also told me that this Menkaph had an item of darkness. He called it..” Smith casts his eyes meaningfully at the hat box in front of him ”the Blood Red Fez. I didn't know what to make of that but then the initial message was followed by a further communication where Demir informed me that Matthew planned to steal the Fez and return it to Constantinople. It would seem that he failed, or at least that success was more terrible than he could imagine.”

He shuffles through the papers in front of him and brings one to the top – you can see that they are telegrams, presumably the ones he is referring to. ”First thing this morning I sent a message to Demir to tell him what happened last week and see if he can shed any light on events. Just before you arrived I received this reponse.” He slides the top most piece of paper over to you.

Fez is very dangerous STOP Impossible to destroy STOP On no account wear it STOP Have trusted allies bring it by all speed to Constantinople STOP Will use what knowledge I have to destroy it STOP Warn them in no uncertain terms their lives may be at peril STOP I will meet them at Sirkeci Station END MESSAGE

As you finish reading you look up to find Smith looking at you expectantly, ”I hesitate to ask but I can think of nobody I trust more to get this...thing to Demir. So, can I rely on you?”

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:49, Sat 30 Dec 2017.

George Banks
 player, 7 posts
Sat 30 Dec 2017
at 21:10
London 2 - The Oriental Club, Hanover Square
George listens politely, trying not to let the puzzlement and doubt show on his face.  It doesn’t help that this place makes him feel like a rat trapped in a golden cage.

I’ll do whatever I can, sir,” he says finally.
Professor Harold Worth
 player, 18 posts
Sun 31 Dec 2017
at 06:34
London 2 - The Oriental Club, Hanover Square
A little worse for wear after last night's episode, and having barely slept himself, still Professor Worth attempted his best to remain alert and attentive as Professor Smith related the details of the case before them. The telegram from Demir had a certain intensity to it, especially the need to destroy the Fez, and in spite of its seeming impossibility, that he considered that he had possibly the means to do it. He had never met Demir, though he had corresponded with him some over the past few years, seeing as he was a well-renowned anthropologist and very knowledgeable of regional lore. He also had particular interests in darker, hidden matters. The man's various dissertations on cults and ancient religion exhibited a certain penetrating - if not at times mildly disturbing - insight into the occult.

"Smith, I must ask - how was it that you found Matthew, and was he already in the... state that we saw him in last night? Had he already donned this accursed fez? Do you know anything more of this Menkaph that Demir mentioned? He did say that the man himself had come to London on sinister purposes?"
GM
 GM, 33 posts
Mon 1 Jan 2018
at 11:38
London 2 - The Oriental Club, Hanover Square
"Well, I was summoned to that boarding house last night by the Metropolitan Police - apparently Matthew had gasped my name to Dr Hobbs just before he had passed out. When I arrived the scene was much as you found it so I'm afraid I do not know when he may have put that cursed item on."

Smith fishes two more pieces of paper out of his selection,
"I'm afraid I know little more about this Menkaph then I have already told you. Here is the first telegram I received from Professor Demir at the start of last week. He slides the top document over to you.

Have been keeping tabs on cult activity STOP A man named Menkaph has come into possession of a terrible item known as The Blood Red Fez STOP He is travelling to England on some mysterious purpose STOP One of my students based in London has volunteered to follow him and report END MESSAGE

"And then I received this on Friday." He slides the second piece of paper on top of the first.

My student Matthew Pook has elected to try and steal the Fez STOP I have warned him Menkaph is dangerous but he will not listen STOP I fear for his safety STOP He has your name and address in London STOP Please aid him if you can END MESSAGE
Professor Harold Worth
 player, 19 posts
Mon 1 Jan 2018
at 13:57
London 2 - The Oriental Club, Hanover Square
"Hmm, so it seems Demir possibly sent this young Matthew himself to track down the cultist. Whatever he may have learned or known of Menkaph has died with him sadly. Still, apart from the task of returning the fez to Constantinople, which I am certainly willing to aid with, I wonder if possibly we ourselves should attempt to investigate this cultist's whereabouts or purposes here in London before we leave."
George Banks
 player, 8 posts
Mon 1 Jan 2018
at 20:03
London 2 - The Oriental Club, Hanover Square
“Cursed items?  Cultists?  Crikey!  I feel like I’ve been chopped, spiced and stuffed into a ripe little bag of mystery.  What do these people want with this fez, anyway?  What’s their purpose?”  He shrugs his shoulders the way he would if he were confined in a tight space.

This message was last edited by the player at 20:04, Mon 01 Jan 2018.

GM
 GM, 34 posts
Sun 7 Jan 2018
at 15:07
London 2 - The Oriental Club, Hanover Square
Smith shakes his head sadly, "It is quite the mystery Mr Banks but I'm afraid I simply do not have all the answers. This fez is a particularly disturbing piece of headwear but I cannot discern any purpose it may be put to - nefarious or otherwise."

"I have taken the liberty of looking into the most expeditious way to get to Constantinople. The Orient Express can get you there in three days - at least as fast and certainly more reliable than a ship. The cost of such travel would normally be somewhat prohibitive but I'm contacting one of my associates to see if they can assist with that, I would hope to know more by tomorrow."

"The next available leaves from Paris on Wednesday night. You would need to leave London on Wednesday morning to catch it but that leaves plenty of time for following up what we know here. I have obtained an address for poor Mr Pook and intend to visit there this afternoon to see if I can find any details of next of kin, you are welcome to come with me or you may have other avenues you wish to explore."
George Banks
 player, 9 posts
Sun 7 Jan 2018
at 23:48
London 2 - The Oriental Club, Hanover Square
“If it’s all the same, I’ll come along with you.  You’re the brains of this outfit.  About the Orient Express, a three day train ride seems like murder... but I guess I can handle it.”  He smiles in a way that is not entirely convincing.
Professor Harold Worth
 player, 20 posts
Mon 8 Jan 2018
at 02:47
London 2 - The Oriental Club, Hanover Square
"Smith, I would be glad to accompany you in seeing what more we can find out about Matthew. Otherwise, I was thinking that possibly this legendary Fez may be something that I could make some investigation about in the library records of the British Museum. I know it seems like an obscure subject, but seeing as it seems to be connected to some kind of ancient cult, there may be at some record of it in antiquity..."
Dr Jean-Louis Saroch
 player, 21 posts
 Physician & Surgeon
Mon 8 Jan 2018
at 05:09
London 2 - The Oriental Club, Hanover Square
It had been a late night at St Bart's, attending to the injured Dr. Hobbs. But with Alan's assistance, Dr Sarnoch made it to the Oriental Club only a trifle late. He accepted a champagne cocktail gratefully and requested a plate of scones and jam, which he ate as he listened to Smith.

"Certainment I can arrange to be away for a week or so. And I will gladly come with you today to learn more about the unfortunate Mr Pook."
Amelia Meadowcroft
 player, 12 posts
Mon 8 Jan 2018
at 19:42
London 2 - The Oriental Club, Hanover Square
Amelia had been escorted into the guest bar with her head held high and an expression part defiance and part curiosity given women weren't normally allowed within The Oriental. She accepts a small cup of tea that she ships quietly whilst listening to Smith's tale and following plans. At several points she opens her mouth to question the incredulity of what is being said but the fresh memories of the night before and dull ache on her shoulder cut off all denials. However, once the talk moves on to The Oriental Express her face lights up, a small smile gracing her lips.

"I would gladly join this burgeoning company for the journey alone but this is clearly important to you, you can count on my aid." She says, leaving out her desire to get away from the dreariness of the city.

"As for the cost. I doubt it would be to difficult to convince my father to fund such an expedition. If we can contact him that is, I'm not entirely sure of his whereabouts at the moment, he does love to travel so. I daresay the difficult part would be preventing him from joining us." A slightly mischievous grin spreads across her face, quite unbecoming of a young lady.

"Although, what he doesn't know about can't hurt him I suppose. Either way, if you think I would be of any help I can clear my afternoon appointments and accompany you the search for answers. This evening I will check Father's records, see if he has ever encountered or heard tale of something like this Fez."
George Banks
 player, 10 posts
Mon 8 Jan 2018
at 20:09
London 2 - The Oriental Club, Hanover Square
George Banks notes Amelia’s mischevious grin, and reminds himself to watch out for left hooks and kidney punches.  This one looks like a handful!
GM
 GM, 36 posts
Tue 16 Jan 2018
at 18:39
London 2 - The Oriental Club, Hanover Square
Smith smiles broadly as everyone agrees to assist in his endeavour, "My friends, I thank you. I know this was no small request I made of you - especially with everything we saw last night. It seems we all have a plan for this afternoon to make some productive use of the time in London. If you will excuse me for a moment I shall put this" he indicates the hat box on the table "somewhere safe."

He leaves the room with the hat box and returns some ten minutes later without the millinery and with a fresh piece of paper.
"I've left the Fez in the Club's safe - probably a wiser choice than taking it around London with us. I've also just been passed this message from my friend in Vienna whom I had contacted about the travel arrangements - he thinks he may be able to assist, and not just with the practicalities. I need to respond to him swiftly, perhaps you could attend Mr Pook's address in my absence and bring me back anything which may let me contact his family?"

He scribbles an address in Lambeth on the back of one of his cards and hands it to Dr Saroch. With that, you head your separate ways.

OOC: No need to post in this thread - I'll be putting up separate threads shortly for the locations mentioned. If I've followed correctly Prof Worth is heading to the British Museum Library and everyone else is going to Matthew Pook's address. However, I'll leave the threads open enough that if you change your mind just post in the relevant section.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:56, Tue 16 Jan 2018.