2 - Tracking Down Ethan Blane

A book has been stolen and needs to be retrieved. A simple enough task, you think, as you get landed with the job. Or is it?

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Re: 2 - Tracking Down Ethan Blane

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There is no direct reply to William renewed knocking efforts; the chanting resumes and increases in tempo and volume. Loud enough that now he can make out some of the words being shouted from the other side of the door.

"Eegah!...Yogah!...Megah!...Gonah!...Seenah!...Ronah!...Yog!...Iä!...Thoth!...Iä!...Nyarlath-Hotep...Iä!..."
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Re: 2 - Tracking Down Ethan Blane

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"What to do?" A perturbed William looks around for another apartment door, and will knock at that one instead.
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Re: 2 - Tracking Down Ethan Blane

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After some time the door opens slowly and slightly.

William finds himself facing a middle-aged female face peering though the narrow space left by the slight opening of the door. The door chain attached to the track is clearly visible, obviously the resident isn't exactly extending an welcoming mat.

Her voice, somewhat tremulously, asks "Yes..?"

In the background the shouted ramblings of whoever is making that ruckus on James Daish's apartment can still be heard; from this distance William can no longer make out words.
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Re: 2 - Tracking Down Ethan Blane

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"Mr. Daish is unwell: hysteria, fit, madness, whatever. Is there a concierge? The man needs help. . . ."
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Re: 2 - Tracking Down Ethan Blane

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When William mentions Daish a transformation takes hold of the old lady's features. Her expressions of cautious fear turns into anger and a stream of words come spatting ferociously through her mouth.

"That Daish fellow? Tell me about it! The man is mad's as Alice's hatter. Ain't left his apartment in days. Days, if you belives me. And all that chanting and moaning and shouting at any and all hours, be it day or night! I've already called the superintendent, but he's a useless no good drunkard, he is. And now he's started it again with the chantin'. Why!...I've got half a mind to head to the grocery store, pick the phone and ring da police; or maybe my nephew Patrick. He'd come down, all the way up from Lane on the north side 'cross the river but he'd come for his aunt he would, and batter down that darn door and silence the fool with his fists..."

Then she seems to realize she's nearly shouting at a stranger who knocked on her door and her rant ceases abruptly. The woman takes a moment to compose herself and resumes speaking, in a calmer tone. Daish's sonorous ramblings can still be heard in the background.

"Say young Mister, you look hale yerself. Can't you do nothing about it? You could push the door open and see to Mr. Daish, the hinges ain't that strong. Not worth a rusted dime if ya ask me, damned superintended won't change or fix a darn thing on this building even if we tells him to get off...ahem, I mean as you said he's mad hysteric. Sick maybe! Lord knows what he's capable of doing. Likely keep to shout and scream 'till he drops, or worse!"

The woman's eyes clearly tell William she just wants her neighbor to shut up, by whatever means necessary.
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Re: 2 - Tracking Down Ethan Blane

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William considers walking away, returning to his bookstore, and posting the $100 back to Quincey.

. . . Instead he walks over to Daish's door and gives it a firm kick.
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Re: 2 - Tracking Down Ethan Blane

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William's kick is only partly effective, but sufficiently so. The door doesn't burst open but its old lock does give up the ghost and cracks under force, allowing it to be opened with a second push.

Doing so reveals the apartment beyond it, a small, cramped, single-room bedsit. Immediately noticeable is a naked man, whose features look very much like those on the sketch Quincey made of "Ethean Blane", crouching feral-like in a pentagram on the floor drawn in some dark brownish matter that reeks terribly...are those feces?! Besides the man an old, thick octavo book is lying open on the floor, and bones who look remarkably human from their size and make are arranged in bizarre patterns around the room.
Spoiler:
SAN roll (78%): [1d100] = 98

Boy, was this a bad roll! William looses 1 SAN point.
William is taken aback somewhat by this disturbing scene. The man suddenly leaps up, teeth bared and makes the motion of going for the book standing on the ground beside him.
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Re: 2 - Tracking Down Ethan Blane

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Spoiler:
SAN confuses me--always! Doesn't it work opposite to regular Skill checks? So, to succeed, one needs roll higher than the % ?
"Good God, man!" cries a disgusted William. Can he grab the book before Daish?--if there is a chance he will take it.
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Re: 2 - Tracking Down Ethan Blane

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Spoiler:
Tabs wrote:SAN confuses me--always! Doesn't it work opposite to regular Skill checks? So, to succeed, one needs roll higher than the % ?
Good God man! You are a keeper and you don't know this? :) SAN isn't a skill but it works like it: roll under or equal = success, roll over it = failure. What you are thinking about must be the Idea roll to avoid Temporary Insanity when you loose 5 or more SAN in one go; that is the one you must fail to avoid going ga-ga. The PC avoids temporary insanity but he won't be able to remember the event clearly later.
Daish is faster.

Realizing William's intent, taking advantage of the intruder being taken aback a bit upon seeing the interior of the apartment, and being already in an hyperactive state, the crazed naked man grabs the book and sprints to the only window of the room.

"No, no, NO!" he half-mumbles, half-shouts as he flees flight, "You shan't have it! You shan't have it! You shan't have it!"

With remarkable simian-like agility for a brute of his size Daish is already trying to make his way over the window sill when William gets to act. However, before he reaches the naked fugitive fate conspires against the lunatic tragically. There is a clattering of bones as the foot Daish is using for balance trips on a human skull lying near the windo. He overbalances on the sill for one terrible second before plunging headfirst from it.

As the man vanishes William hears one last shrieked "You shan't have iiiiiiiiiiii......." that the doppler effect makes sound ever more distant for a very short moment, before a sickening dry thud resounds from below. A short moment later a female scream expressing horrid surprise at seeing something can also be heard coming from the street below.

With his mind reeling from this terrible turn of events, William suddenly notices that the book didn't accompany the man on his fall. It is standing on the ground by the window, quite near the skull that prevented Dais from making off with it.
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Re: 2 - Tracking Down Ethan Blane

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Spoiler:
I am a Keeper only by name!
A stunned William reaches out limply to the naked lunatic as he topples from the window, and winces at sound of his demise on the sidewalk. . . .

His first thought is to run away, William longs to escape the corruption, the stink of faeces, in the room. Despairingly he fights off his instincts and rushes over to the dropped book, is it the Scipture of Shul?
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Re: 2 - Tracking Down Ethan Blane

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Spoiler:
No need for exclamation. I just assumed you were running something due to your Keeper tag. :)
Indeed it is the Scripture of Shull. The book looks exactly like Quincey described it, a leather-bound octavo in good condition for its age. The cover itself bears no title but it can be found on the first printed page: "Ye Scrypture of Shull, beeing ye gather'd knowledge bye a magician three scores of years agone." The print is dense and William sees that some pages have handwritten annotations, entered very recently.
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Re: 2 - Tracking Down Ethan Blane

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Hiding the book inside his jacket, William makes for a hasty exit. (He will return to his apartment, but take a circuitous route in case anyone had noted his presence at the scene.)
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Re: 2 - Tracking Down Ethan Blane

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William meets no one as he goes down the stairs of the building where Daish lived; there is a small crowd beggining to gather around something somewhere near the outside of the building but none seem to pay any particular attention to his leaving. After that William has no problem being circuitous around the mostly narrow and widing streets around French Hill, taking care to walk nonchalantly as to call as little attention to himself as possible. Before he leaves the area he thinks he can hear a siren wailing somewhere in the distance. Either an ambulance is en route, or one of the rare police cars of Arkham has been summoned to the scene. Eventually he makes it back to his own home without hindrance, still carrying the book hidden in his jacket.
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Re: 2 - Tracking Down Ethan Blane

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William puts a pot of coffee on the gas ring and prepares some sandwiches. Then he settles down in a comfy chair, exhales loudly, which turns into a whistle, and opens the cover of the book and begins reading.
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