IC: Chapter 1 - NEW YORK, Starts 12th Jan 1925

New York - 12th to 27th January 1925

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IC: Chapter 1 - NEW YORK, Starts 12th Jan 1925

Postby Raiko » Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:13 am

Chapter One - New York, Starting 12th January 1925

It is the City That Never Sleeps. During the day ships, barges, tugs and pleasure boats ply New York’s bay and rivers, dashing beneath bridges and disgorging thousands of people upon the city’s shores. Each brings hope and dreams of a new life. At night the city blazes with myriad lights, diamonds dazzling in buildings that scrape the sky. Music, food, dance, dark rituals, and clandestine cults flourish beneath the mantle of New York City – Secrets of New York (Chaosium 2005)


Downing House - Long Island, New York
7:15pm – Monday 12th January 1925

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Downing House

It is a lovely, clear winter evening, Long Island is watched over by a moon that is no long quite full, and a million glittering stars. Already a crisp frost is starting to cover the extensive lawns of Downing House, the residence of the Downing family since before the Civil War.

As Elizabeth Downing looks out of the sitting room window at the tranquil winter scene, she hears the housekeeper enter the room behind her.

“Excuse me Miss Elizabeth, a telegram has just arrived for you.”

Opening the envelope, Elizabeth reads the short message in surprise. It is from an old friend who she has not met for several months, although that isn’t particularly surprising for this particular friend. However the content of the telegram itself is quite mysterious indeed.

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Postby coffee demon » Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:09 am

Andrei is sipping coffee in his upscale New York apartment. He's standing over his desk, where his most recent investment and financial statements are laid out.

The outlook is not good - so far, Andrei has had no luck with any of his business ventures in America.

"If this keeps up for another year, the family fortune will be down the drain", he thinks.

He thinks about Elizabeth, and what would happen to their relationship if we went broke. He could never let that happen. Or at least, he could never let her know.

He feels a headache coming on, and goes to the bathroom for an aspirin.
He changes his mind, pours his coffee down the drain, and makes a scotch instead.
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Postby Laraqua » Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:50 am

Maksim tosses bits of bread to pigeons in the park, looking over at the chess game two old people are playing on the park bench. He is bored out of his wits and eventually offers to buy a homeless man something from a nearby food cart just to have a reason to start up a conversation with someone and find out what this city has to do.

He considers having some of the scotch he keeps in his trenchcoat pocket but, knowing what a lot of homeless people are like, refrains from drinking it in case the man, Bernard was apparently his name, wanted to share. As much as he didn't mind the company of the poor and broken-hearted, he wasn't naieve enough to trust in their hygiene levels.

"America, home of the free," he mutters in Russian during a break in the conversation, tossing some more pieces of bread at a few pigeons.
Is it bad that I listen to this about ten times a day?

Oh, also, check out my new blog on roleplaying and running games: http://stwildonroleplaying.blogspot.com/
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Postby Decrepit » Tue Oct 24, 2006 3:32 am

It's already evening, but the time on the clock hardly means anything anymore to Dr. Caroline Ward. Her practice was genuinely starting to become lucrative, due in no small part to the referrals she'd received already from her friend and patron Elizabeth and Elizabeth's family. Caroline could probably get more patients than even she, a diligent worker, could handle, and it would be easy to get completely lost in the work. But she also craved the nightlife and the world of ease that Elizabeth had helped introduce her to.

No friends like wealthy friends, Caroline thinks, amusing herself. But it really wasn't about money with her and Elizabeth, not really anyway. Caroline had come to think highly of her friend, seeing beyond the scads of money and glamourous facade. Caroline suspected that Elizabeth meant more to her than Caroline did to Elizabeth, but it didn't really matter.

Come to think of it, it had been a rather long time since Caroline had heard from Elizabeth. The other woman was probably having a ball--literally--while Caroline labored away at a stack of files.

"Hope you're having a good time," Caroline sighs to herself.
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Postby imme » Tue Oct 24, 2006 4:05 am

An investigative team?! How exciting! I'm sure Jackson must be onto something quite interesting and involved if he's willing to share his work. And he's asking me to help! Hmm, who to bring? "Thank you, Dorothy. I'll be needing to send several telegrams myself. Oh, and I'll be needing to catch the next train into the city, if you could arrange for that."
"What do you mean 'at this hour'? I'm sure it's no later than 7 or 8 now."
"Fine, you can ask Johnny if he wants to accompany me, but I'm sure he'd rather rest his leg, he was complaining about it earlier today. Something about the weather change."

Elizabeth prepares the following messages to be sent out immediately:

"Dear Andrei stop There's a mystery to be solved, join my investigative team! stop We'll have a blast, I'm sure stop I'm coming into Manhattan now stop Warmly Ellie PS Are your pilot twins still in town?" That should take care of any brawn we may need

"Caroline darling stop Could you possibly break away from your work? stop I want to go adventuring and I need a doctor on my investigative team stop You'll love it, I'm sure stop If possible, meet me at my Manhattan apartment tomorrow stop Tata Liz" She'll be able to look after the brawn when they get themselves into trouble

"Dear Thomas stop I've got a mystery for you stop If you have the time tomorrow, please drop by my apartment so I can tell you about it stop Regards Beth" He's sure good at unraveling mysteries, and I think he'd have fun going on an adventure as well

And here I was, thinking I'd have nothing to do tonight. Elizabeth practically dances upstairs as she goes to put on one of her 'city dresses' and tell mother and father that she was going out to the city tonight afterall. She promises she'll come back later in the week for dinner again.

She'll catch a train into the city, and take a taxi straight to Andrei's place. (Or, if the trains aren't running this late, she'll just have her driver take her.)
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Postby coffee demon » Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:17 am

imme wrote:"Dear Andrei stop There's a mystery to be solved, join my investigative team! stop We'll have a blast, I'm sure stop I'm coming into Manhattan now stop Warmly Ellie PS Are your pilot twins still in town?"


Andrei sets the telegraph down on his desk. A mystery? Investigative team? It must be some kind of event Ellie's friends were putting on. It sounds like fun, though. Andrei grins - count on Elizabeth to introduce some excitement just when he needed it.

He starts cleaning up the financial statements in preparation for Elizabeth's arrival. He considers what clothes one wears to a "mystery adventure party."

One thing nags him, though. Why did he have to introduce Ellie to the Russian twins? He loved their company, but everything they said to Elizabeth seemed like a flirtation. Not only that, they would definitely do something embarassing in front of Ellie's wealthy friends.

He decides to ignore her query about the twins, and if she asks, he can say he left a message at their hotel. No harm done.

Andrei proceeds to select a record that Ellie likes, chill some wine, and listen to the gramophone.
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Postby warhammer » Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:13 am

Thomas is sitting in his office, leaning on the back of his chair as he calmly finishes his Xth cigarette of the day. The office is rather small and is often filled with smoke, even though it's always clean and has a lot of charm. Thomas's job as a defense attorney is starting to make good money, yet he never felt the need to move out to a bigger and less personal place - this is where he feels at home. Likewise, he is always dressed with taste, but dislikes wearing suits and never wears expensive clothes. He sports a "free" haircut which contrasts with the traditional well-combed style of the 1920s. But despite not spending much time on his appearance, he could be considered handsome in his own way.

A knock on the door is heard.

"Yeah?" says Thomas, and his associate Michael enters, quickly handing him a telegram before going back to work.

Oh, something from Liz, swell. Thomas thinks, reading with a smile. It had been a little while since they last went out together.

A mystery? This must be important if she won't tell me more in the telegram and asks to meet at her place. Either way I'll get to see her again, and she's not half-bad looking. It's a deal, I'm going.

Thomas packs his things and locks his office, saying goodbye to his associate on the way out.

"Mike, I probably won't be at the office tomorrow morning, something came up with that telegram. I'll keep you in touch, I'll most likely be back by the afternoon. Good night."

Thomas then has supper in a small restaurant nearby, before going back home and drinking a few shots of whiskey while reading a book. He will finish the evening going out to a pub smoking and listening to a live jazz band.

He will be ready to go to Elizabeth's apartment the next day, first hour of the morning, eager to know what's up.
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Postby thewhatchamacallit » Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:40 pm

Timour did his best to don his jacket while the Park Ave. socialite on his lips did her best to convince him to stay another hour.
“Oh, Arseni,” she cried in passion, using his middle name, the one he had given her at the department store. “Say something else in that wonderful Russian of yours.”

“I took $20 dollars and a few Cubans from your husband’s cigar box,” he said in silky smooth Russian.

She smiled and kissed him even deeper.

“I trust you won’t think poorly of me,” he continued in his native tongue.

She stopped kissing him and looked intently into his eyes, “I love that language. When can I see you again?”

He shrugged and opened the door, “my brother and I are leaving town shortly,” he replied in English.

She shot him a look that, if it had the power would have lashed skin from his bones.

“But I will be back in a few weeks, when I return we can spend all the time in the world together Anne.”

“It’s Helen,” she corrected.

“And what a beautiful Helen you are,” he breathed once more in Russian.

“Promise I’ll see you again,” she demanded digging her nails into his ribs.

“I would have it no other way,” he assured her as he backed out of the door and headed for the stairwell.

On the street he took his keys from the parking valet and leapt over the door of his black, convertible Big Six touring car and fired up the engine with an impressive, gasoline fueled roar.

Helen suddenly appeared on the street making quite the scene as she chased after him in her half-slip.

Timour watched her in his rearview mirror as he sped off, listening all the while as she called his name. Extending his left hand upward he waved a nice goodbye and smiled at himself in amused satisfaction.

Now he was off to find his brother, if only he could remember the name of that park?
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Postby Laraqua » Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:21 pm

Maksim introduced himself to the gentle-seeming family sitting on a plaid picnic rug and managed to persuade them to let him join them. It was a lovely looking middle-aged couple, very much in love, with their two young boys, baby girl, and twenty-something-year-old niece.

He learned that the husband was a doctor, the wife has knitted her children the sweaters they wore, and the niece was an unpublished poet. He asked to hear a few examples and was quite intrigued by the odd grammar English poems possessed. He told them a Russian poem, in Russian, in exchange, and translated it straight to English, amusing them with its nonsensical sentence structure. They had a nice conversation about mistranslations and the oddities of foreign languages, then Maksim offered to escort the neice, a young lady known as Dora, with the children to a nearby swingset.

He and Dora pushed the children on the swings, talking gaily of current events and even religion. He took a few of her views and slowly attempted to convince her of a different way of looking at things, trying to play the Devil's Advocate.
Is it bad that I listen to this about ten times a day?

Oh, also, check out my new blog on roleplaying and running games: http://stwildonroleplaying.blogspot.com/
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Postby thewhatchamacallit » Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:53 pm

Timour found the park with more ease than he had originally assumed he'd have. A lucky turn down a one way street dumped him onto an avenue that connected to one edge of the green area his brother had ask Timour to meet him at.

Gunning the engine he stopped along side the sidewalk and sat up on the back of his seat, using the heghtened vantage point to better see the faces of the park's occupants.

It took only a few seconds to spot his sibling near the swings. Maksim was with a pretty American girl and a set of children. Laughing to himself the Russia aviator shook his head and grinned broadly, when would his brother learn to pick women without so much baggage? He possessed the same good Rukov looks as Timour did, it could be far simpler to entice unattached women the same age and with the same figures as the one Maksim was currently courting. Women with less worries and who had experienced fewer heartaches.

One day he would finally pound that notion through his head, but for right now he merely wished to get back to driving and find a suitable party to quench his growing appetites for dancing and flirting.

With a long wail of his car horn he drew his brother's attention to his presence and began waving him over.
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Postby Laraqua » Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:05 pm

Maksim looks over at Dora after spotting his brother's car. He lowers his head apologetically, letting his hair flop a little before his eyes and giving a little coquettish smile that was both utterly innocent and, when done right, utterly devastating.

"Ah, my brother," he says, giving a rough nod in his brother's direction and raising his arms in an exaggerated shrug. "Perhaps we will find each other again."

"Oh, perhaps," she says with a giggle.

"Fate is counting on it," he says, gives an exaggerated bow and jogs off towards Timour. He waits until his brother moves into the passenger seat and then slides in behind the wheel. The waft of perfume mixed with aftershave hits his nose. "Off womanising again, I see?"
Is it bad that I listen to this about ten times a day?

Oh, also, check out my new blog on roleplaying and running games: http://stwildonroleplaying.blogspot.com/
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Postby thewhatchamacallit » Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:11 pm

"The pot tells the kettle," said the beaming Timour as he lit up a cigar and offered his brother one. "How is mommy and the kids? Planning a little instant family, just add Maksim?"
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Postby Laraqua » Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:15 pm

Maksim looks thoughtful for a long moment as he drives off. "Interesting turn of phrase. I wonder how that'd work out... I don't see many re-marriages." Realising what Timour actually meant, he glances over and gives him a friendly scowl as he pulled up at a traffic cop and waited for the signal to go. "And no, actually, Dora is the neice, not the mother. What about the woman you saw? You even bother to find out if she was a woman or was that a little too much conversation for you?"
Is it bad that I listen to this about ten times a day?

Oh, also, check out my new blog on roleplaying and running games: http://stwildonroleplaying.blogspot.com/
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Postby thewhatchamacallit » Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:22 pm

Timour slipped the pre-offered cigar away and reached over to mess his bother's hair in a good natured way. Maksim always could talk circles around his best jibes.

"I need a party, brother dear. Something fun and with music and gambling and free food if possible!" he roared in barely contained enthusiam. "Who do we know in town? That Andrei chap, from the old country. Let's see what he's doing, maybe we can meet up with that girl he knows. You know the pretty one with all the money."
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Postby Decrepit » Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:24 pm

Reading over the telegram again, Caroline smiles to herself, pleased at the prospect of seeing her friend again and leaving behind the paperwork for some fun--as all things connected with Elizabeth seemed to be.

Her smile drifted to a frown for a moment. But there was so much to do, and she had only a young assistant, Hazel, to manage the office; Caroline would effectively have to close up shop for the day--or more--to attend to Elizabeth's needs, whatever they proved to be. Knowing Elizabeth, it could take more than a day.

But Caroline owed most of her practice to Elizabeth and her family anyway; in more ways than one, she was endebted, even if she'd wanted to say no, which she didn't.

She would have to ring up Hazel, have her move all her appointments back, make referrals for the cases more serious than hangnails. Still, Caroline felt a little thrill at the prospect of some adventure.
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Postby Laraqua » Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:30 pm

Maksim's perpetual half-smile slipped into a broader grin as he spoke in his native tongue, as he normally did around his twin brother. "Ah, I sense our pal Andrei isn't so keen on having us near his scrumptious lady friend. It is your reputation, I fear, that will have us turned away from his very door. What with my impeccable record, he surely couldn't be worried about me."

"Let us go there, then, and see if we can't talk our way into whatever he has planned. You and I both know that I am more then capable of that... On that note, what have you found to do with your time? I've found this city exceedingly exciting on most days but today... I don't know. I just feel a certain restlessness about the air. And you?"
Last edited by Laraqua on Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Is it bad that I listen to this about ten times a day?

Oh, also, check out my new blog on roleplaying and running games: http://stwildonroleplaying.blogspot.com/
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Postby imme » Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:35 pm

Andrei opens the door to find Elizabeth grinning at him. "Did you get my telegram? I said I'd be coming .... what are you wearing?"

"Anyway, I'm gathering a group together to investigate a mystery, and I've told them all to meet me tomorrow at my apartment. Oh, will your twin friends be able to come? But it's not too late to go out dancing tonight! Why don't you change into something .... something ... why don't you put on that suit you were wearing last Friday?"

Elizabeth will dance around the apartment while she waits for Andrei to change, and then will drag him off to her favorite jazz club. She plans on dancing the night away, but will wake up the next morning none the worse for it.

"I've been missing traveling around. New York's great, but sometimes my feet just get restless, you know?"
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Postby thewhatchamacallit » Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:36 pm

Timour nodded, "I fear it maybe time to move on, little brother. I'm down to my last $20 and fear the growing specter of working for our keep looms on the horizon. Either we find gainful employment, liberate valuables from those unaware, a practice you know I frown upon or we push on to New Jersy, or perhaps up Canada way."

"Look see, there's Andrei's place. Isn't that that rich girl now, just going inside? Elizabeth, right? I dare say, fortune is smiling upon us my brother."
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Postby Laraqua » Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:41 pm

OOC: I assumed it was on the classic New York city street and thus there wasn't available parking right outside.

Maksim tilts his head and thoughtfully looks up at the building. "You realise, dear brother, that he might count as the unaware... Perish the thought, of course, but were we to require more funds, I'm sure we could scare up a nonexistent job opportunity or two. But yes, for now, let's see if there's something else on the horizon." He hops out of the car and trots to the front door. "Do me a favor and go park the car somewere that isn't illegal."

He takes hold of the door knocker and clanks it down, once, twice. He raked his fingers through his hair, straightened his tie and posed in his most evilly thoughtful manner. You never knew who might come to the door.
Is it bad that I listen to this about ten times a day?

Oh, also, check out my new blog on roleplaying and running games: http://stwildonroleplaying.blogspot.com/
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Postby imme » Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:44 pm

While Andrei is off changing, Elizabeth answers the door to find the Rukov twins standing there. "Aha! I was just thinking about you two. Mr. Rukov, Mr. Rukov, we're about to go out dancing, would you care to join us? Oh, and also I want to recruit you to go on an adventure, but I'll tell you more about that tomorrow .... assuming you're available to meet at my apartment?"
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