WWU Call of Cthulhu

Session 7: Shanghai Pt.1

Arriving in Shanghai, the investigators first wanted to obtain a guide and set up a base of operations. They hire Li Wen Cheng, known for our purposes only as “Lee”, a devout christian convert and well educated young man. They decided to begin their search at the Stumbling Tiger Bar in the Lantern District. There they meet Fergus McChum, a squat Chinese-Scots, the proprietor of the establishment. McChum fills them in on a couple different fronts: Ho Fong, he says, is a saddistic and dangerous man. Not someone to be trusted and definately someone to avoid if at all possible. The steamboat known as the Dark Mistress is operated by a degenerate and horrifying crew, flies a Union Jack, and is owned by the wealthy Alfred Penhurst (though no one ever sees this man). A cult known as The Order of the Bloated Woman operates in Shanghai. And lastly he weaved a tale about Grey Dragon Island, a small dot of land off the coast of Shanghai so named because of its persistently steaming volcano. The Isle is avoided by almost everyone, but is occassionally frequented by Ho Fong’s private yaght and The Dark Mistress. Getting all of this information from McChum required a lot of time and bribery, since apparently Jack Brady had saved his life and that meant a lot to him. As a final bit of information, he beleived that Jack Brady had gone to Rangoon to make a deal with Charlie Grey (This information later proved to be incorrect unfortunately). While in the bar, the investigators also met a member of the Imperial Japanese navy, Captain Isoge Taro. Isoge was pretending to be drunk at the time and listening in on Their conversations with McChum. Once they saw through his ruse he became much civilized and demonstrated excellent English; he proposed that they meet on the docks at midnight, as he was very interested in exchanging information about Jack Brady. The investigators decided that it couldnt hurt to make the meeting and see what they could learn. At the docks that night, they caught site of The Dark Mistress Speeding away from port (at a much faster rate than seemed possible for such a craft), but it quickly faded into the darkness. The meeting with Isoge revealed that he was in command of the Japanese destroyer off the coast and had been sent nominally to keep Chinese uprisings in check. On top of this he had heard rumors that an awesome new weapon was being developed by a Chinese faction. The rumors say that an American ex-marine (Jack Brady) is somehow involved. He knows that a fanatic militia is training in an empty warehouse on the south side of the river (along Chung Shan Road) and that Jack Brady has some connection to it as well. The group occupying the warehouse is known as “New China” or the “Firm Action Party”. Isoge describes them as fanatical and highly dangerous. At this point the group decided that it would be a good idea to check the Shanghai Courier for additional leads. This proved to be somewhat helpful, as the Courier did provided a great deal of leads, but many of them ran cold eventually. First the investigated a murder that took place in a flower girl house. This proved to be fairly amusing as Lee was extremely uncomfortable with the situation, especially when Melbourne decided that the best way to get information from the girls was to purchase their “services”. After much questioning and piecing together, the group deduced that the girl had been slain by a Hunting Horror (a hideous bat-winged snake creature often used to assassinate), but also that she was not the intended target. The intended target was Choi-Me Ling, apparently Jack Brady’s girlfriend. She had dissapeared recently and this is where the lead died. Another story in the Courier wrote of 3 monks being attacked by a “mobile fire” (reminiscient of fire vampires). This lead was almost completely useless, but it was learned that the monks were seen speaking with a European (Jack Brady) prior to their deaths. The final lead led the group to a Purple Star Astrologist known as Mr. Lung. This produced a very bizarre “interview” with him, as he led them through many peculiar rooms, all the while acting very strangely. In the end it turned out that he had mistaken them for demons after his soul, the true demon creature was a cat who the investigators had let into the house at the very begining of the tour. When the cat-demon revealed itself Melbourne lapsed into a murderous state and shot Mr. Lung in the head before using the Dread Curse of Azathoth to drive the beast yowling from the house. At this point the players were getting distracted and it seemed about time to stop, but one more thing had to happen. Melbourne snuck back to Mr. Lung’s in the dead of night and turned his corpse into a zombie. The prize was steep (sanity and health) but Melbourne had gained a new servant. His fellow investigators were not too pleased with their new companion, but there was little they could do to deal with it. Heidi was especially disturbed (due to her phobia of the living dead). Now many questions remain: Where is Jack Brady? What is the Cult’s role in Shanghai? Is Melbourne’s mind too far gone to save?

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