We started a new campaign, this time using Call of Cthulhu. The campaign begins on Feb. 6, 1920, in Boston. The players live in Newton, on the west side.
In this first session of the new campaign, the players met as part of a fraternal organization, which they joined as an upscale and somewhat bizarre speakeasy. On their first night, all of them — Etta Brandy (Attorney), Joey Fairbanks (Photojournalist & Sketch Artist), Benjamin Anna (Private Eye), Jonathan Putnam (Dilettante), Lillian White (Journalist), and Prof. James Apglwynn (Historian) — joined the organization as Neophytes. Most of the first session was spent meeting each other and gelling as a group.
Benjamin was haunted by his time in the trenches and drank too much, falling into a bitter introspection. An Irish priest, another member of the lodge, tried to comfort him, but failed. Benjamin passed out. The servants were going to let him sleep it off in the reception room, but Joey and Etta decided to drive him home. Etta broke her right arm cranking Benjamin’s Model T, and instead rode an ambulance to the hospital. That left Joey to take Benjamin home. Joey was not a great driver. After tossing his bike in the back, grinding the gears pretty badly, and bending the rear bumper on a tree, Joey got them back. Joey had also served time in the trenches, but it did not leave him as badly scarred as Benjamin. He struck up a friendship with the private dick the next day. Etta ultimately returned for her car and drove herself home.
Joey also connected with Lillian, as they were in the same field. Joey & Lillian in fact found a number of unsettling clues over the next few weeks. They found evidence of several missing people, including several young women and some sign of a missing baby in the distant past. Etta’s friend Richard Clark, also an attorney, was also missing and quite recently. Etta visited the distraught Agnes Clark, and learned that on the night that Richard disappeared, he had been at the lodge.
On Feb. 29, Etta and Joey met a parapsychologist and spiritualist named Nigel, an initiate of the Lodge. After learning of Etta’s mother’s obsession with her dead husband, and the influence it was having on her, Nigel suggested a séance at Etta’s house. She agreed, and Joey came along to take photos. Unfortunately, Beatrice (Etta’s mother) would not allow photos, even though Nigel would. Instead, Joey did some drawings. The séance was successful, with Beatrice’s husband inhabiting Nigel’s body, and he praised Etta for her success, something that Etta found comforting. Beatrice, however, was enraged and called Nigel a fake, attacking him physically. Joey drew a few pictures of this, and earned Beatrice’s rage as well. The next day, Etta and Joey attended one of Nigel’s public séances, along Prof. Apglwynn. Little came of it.
Jonathan shared his bad dreams with Mr. Scott, the head of the Lodge, who urged him to seek knowledge and use magic to control his dreams. Jonathan was reticent, but he did agree to fund the lodge for $20,000, an enormous amount. Mr. Scott ceased pressuring Jonathan and instead cultivated him as a patron of the magical arts. Jonathan also met the other two masters of the lodge, though he learned little.
Prof. Apglwynn made an early effort to conduct library research, but found nothing, and instead connected with the organization’s leadership, which promised to teach him magic. He rose rapidly in the ranks, something that unbeliever Joey found disconcerting.
Joey asked too many questions, and might have been at risk as the next to disappear, but then Benjamin decided to investigate the lodge late one night on March 6. He pretended to be drunk again, and although his performance was execrable, the servants bought it, and again left him in the reception room. After everyone had left, he searched the house. Meanwhile, Jonathan and his driver Edgar waited outside with his Rolls Royce Silver Ghost hidden in the bushes. Benjamin discovered a locked door in the basement and shot off the lock. Jonathan then entered the house, breaking one of the second story windows. Together they found a secret passage, but it was too late at night to do more and they decided to wait until they had a larger group there. Jonathan and Edgar left, and Benjamin went back to pretending to be drunk. That was the last time Jonathan saw Benjamin.
The next day, his companions learned that Benjamin had left the lodge in the morning, but apparently had driven off a bridge into the Miskatonic River. His hat and coat washed up on a dam further downriver, but his body was not recovered. The police judged that he was still inebriated, and assumed that was the reason for the crash. The Miskatonic has a well-known reputation for misery and not giving up the dead, but the police are dragging it nonetheless.
Next session, the colleagues will decide what their next step will be. Should they explore the secret passage, which Jonathan can tell them about? What about the third floor of the lodge, which the masters say is closed for renovation? Will Joey and Lillian share their findings with the rest of the group? Will Prof. Apglywnn, now a master of the lodge, continue to seek the secrets of magic?