Masks of Nyarlathotep: The MS Berlin
by, 22nd July 2010 at 01:52 PM (472 Views)
February 6, 1925 – MS Berlin
The investigators had the foresight to purchase a block of first class cabins, and they arrived giving each other the hairy eyeball because of their dreams. Gams and Tiny each had their own cabins, but Bedlam and Slick had to share. Because of this, Slick confessed his dream to the doctor and demanded to know if he was trustworthy; of course the doctor said yes.
The group settled into the glamorous life of first-class passengers on a 1925 liner. Bedlam discovered, much to his delight, that the cricketers Tom Goddard, Stan Nichols, and Thomas Mitchell were returning from a tour of America, and those athletes returned him shockingly drunk to his cabin that night. Tiny met the widow of a Pittsburgh police officer and struck up a shipboard romance, while Slick met, and was bored with, a Philadelphia bank heiress. Gams had perhaps the most interesting time, as she became the target for a charming, utterly caddish English lord. Louis Armstrong, on his way to some gigs in Germany, provided music in the ballroom.
On the second night, Tiny and Gams each had dreams sent to them by Nyarlathotep. Tiny dreamed/hallucinated that he followed Gams to the deck, where he saw her speaking to none other than Jackson Elias, who cast a magic spell before they disappeared down the stairs; for her part, Gams saw Tiny sneaking down the hallway with a pranga under his jacket. The dreams/hallucinations ended and the confrontations began, with Tiny and Gams hurling accusations at each other and Slick and the (drunken) Bedlam being drawn in as mediators. Although Gams’ story was inherently much more credible than Tiny’s, period prejudices made the men of the group treat Tiny as credible and utterly discount Gams as a hysterical woman. Though searches turned up no evidence to support either accusation (because there was none to be had), the seeds of mistrust had been sewn.
Steve returned to the group with a new character, an English antiquities dealer and artist named Jonathan Worthington III, who struck up a friendship with Bedlam and Slick and offered to cooperate with them in their future ventures. The cricketers provoked a good-natured brawl one evening by their comparisons of cricket and baseball, a brawl which the male characters all took part in. Slick met a charming young lady from Nebraska who was off on her big adventure, but a fumbled Fast Talk roll earned him a hard slap across the face rather than a foreign affair. Tiny had much more luck, spending a fine night with the police widow, and Gams finally crumbled under the relentless and skillful advances of the English lord and lost her virtue on her last night on the ship. Bedlam successfully resisted the advances of Tethys Bellingham, the charming and utterly unfaithful young wife of the aged Col. Chester Bellingham, a bloviating Englishman whom I played as a combination of Neville Goodenough (père) and the incinerated Colonel Herring from Horror on the Orient Express.
And so the merry band landed in Southampton, ready to wander across England, shooting and stabbing people and things and generally making a ruckus.