Harry Potter and the Snake People (January 10, 2004)

"...London calling upon the zombies of death
Quit holding out and draw another breath..."
-The Clash, London Calling

ATTENDEES: Simon Moon, Christine Deimos, Dodge Coffin, Nathan Blank, Omeed Connelly, Jack Sims

Special Guest: Evan as Ryan Cahill

I honestly can't think of any vital information we figured out before we got out of town. Most of the fun happened across the pond.

This game is set pre-9/11, so the world is not all whacko yet and we can get things through the airport.

In london we begin our research by speaking with people with whom the deceased Jackson Elias had contact:  1) Mickey (something), The owner publisher of THE LONDON DAILY MIRROR.  2) Edward Gavigan, curator/administrator of the Penhew Foundation. 3) The Scotland Yard investigator who was working some cases Elias was interested in.

I set up the appointment with Gavigan and three of us met him at the Foundation. He was pleasant enough, did not seem to be deceptive, gave us a tour, showed us some of the artifacts retrieved from the dig in Africa where the CARLYLE EXPEDITION had been before taking off on Safari. We have a list of these things (with a detailed description of each item) but they would not allow photos of them and we have yet to really go over the list of items in detail to figure out what they do.

The Publisher of the MIRROR was a drinkin' smokin' lechin'-around guy, so naturally we liked him. Three of us met with him and found out what stories Jackson Elias had discussed with him. He sent us to his receptionist who got us the stories. Seems he was interested in four distinct (and only vaguely connected stories):

1) Miles Shipley, a Painter who had an exhibit a number of years ago that delved into the bizarre. Guess he painted not only places, but hideous scenes of graphic stomach-turning violence. The article lauded him as the answer to Surrealism.
2) An individual who claims he was attacked by something (was it in a bog?) that tried to 'take him over'. Haven't researched this one yet much.
3) Some ritualistic murders.
4) ...Wish I could recall the fourth lead. Unfortunately, I can't. But that's fine since we didn't really follow up on it this week.

The Scotland Yard detective met with three of us about the cases Elias wanted to know about. We promptly let him know that they might be connected to some stateside cases and who he should contact. In return he told us that these don't seem to be exactly the same and that they appear to be connected not to the Cult of the Bloody Tongue but to something like the Cult of the Black Pharoh (or Order of the Black Pharoh... Something Harry Potter-sounding). Black Pharoh.. that sounds familiar from previously in our game...

Most of us (all by Ryan) go to the home of Miles Shipley to check out his paintings. His feeble old mother shows us in. Miles is a freak (in true Armstrong fashion) and will only let some of us go look at the paintings. Simon, Omeed, and Dodge (Now there's a trio!) go into the room where the paintings hang. That's fine by the rest of us because the stuff in the hallway out front is weird enough. What the trio find are paintings that are actually quite the opposit of surrealist... they're Ultra-Real. When you stare at them you think you are actually IN the painting. After a time, with the proper rolls, you can manage to snap out of it. Simon decides to buy one, but does not have cash. Young Miles proceeds to freak out that Simon flashed some cash earlier but won't part with it (or doesn't have 5,000 pounds in cash) and throws us out.

Omeed goes back later in the game to purchase the painting. He waits until after Miles goes out. The old lady does let him in. She engages him in all kinds of chatter that slowly begins to cause him to blank out. Fortunately he comes-to just before she tries to stab him with a knitting needle. She's quite good at it too, and he manages to avoid her knitting needle just enough and grabs the painting and teleports out. She remains behind, pissed off, her forked tongue undoubtedly wagging.

Surveillance of Shipley leads to overhearing a conversation in which she tells Miles she "hungers" and he says he will feed her. Sure enough, he eventually goes out and hooks up with a prostitute. They go back to his place where he tries to drug her unconscious. As she slips unconscious, Jack Sims puts his might boot through the door! (Finally, one of Paul's characters takes down a door in one kick ;). Nathan and Simon go in. The rest of the group move up from the car one round behind. The old lady has turned into a serpent-woman; Snake body, Snake Head, human arms. Simon drags the unconscious woman from the room while the snakewoman tries to bite him and Miles tries to beat him with a fireplace poker. He gets the victim out into the hallway and I slam the door (which causes no delay). That's when the gunmen take over. A few well-placed shots and the snakewoman is so much wallet and boot-ready material. Miles, weaker and stupider, is more of a problem. Mostly this is because we're trying to take him down, not use lethal force. After a while we blundgeon him into submission.

It seems young miles uses a strange chemical that he shoots into his veins that allows him to see the visions he sees for his paintings. He also has managed to make a painting (foundin the closet) that is a gateway to the land of the snake-people. We destroy it along with all of the other paintings on hand. The snakewoman dissolves. We discover bones downstairs of dismembered people. We call the police to Miles' home and he is picked up as a serial killer.

So at this point we have...
1) Three other newspaper leads.
2) The location of the Dig outside Cairo where the Carlyle Expedition had been.
3) A painting (shipped to america) that may be madness inducing. Hope no one at fedex breaks open that box.
4) Numerous photos of the paintings (taken by me) that do not carry the same properties as the photos themselves. I can get good ultra-realistic shots of them so we can see the detail, but the photos are not imbued with my essence the way that the paintings are imbued with Miles'.
5) Viles of blue radioactive material that causes delusion. Apparently Miles used it a lot. That plus the snake woman likely drove him mad.