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Subject: Coal Mine Seven [IC] rss

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Karl Larsson
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IC || OOC || wiki




This is the IC-thread for my Trail of Cthulhu game.

Current players are:
Matias Dahlbäck
Finland
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Ed R
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Kris Vanhoyland
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“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” ― H.P. Lovecraft
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Characters:
Elizabeth Shaw
Archibald Radclyffe
Father Francis
Victor Naida
Andreas Baum

Current scenario
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Karl Larsson
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The story begins
The man turned the key, and pulled the handle to make sure the door was firmly closed. He turned to his compatriots and pointed at the bag lying between them. “Everyone is asleep; let’s bring it down into the mine. Quickly now!”

In the dark recesses of the mine there were many secrets. Some put there by humans, some having been there far longer. One had died because of them, more were surely to follow.



Henry Cronstedt hung up the phone. It had been more bad news from that horrible investment, Coal Mine Seven. This time it wasn’t just damaged equipment and delays, but rather something more personal. Young Jerry Lonzo, his second cousin, had been killed in an accident. Henry blamed himself, he had gotten the young enthusiast this job, but damn it, it was not really his fault. Why hadn’t the mine shut down by now? Orders to wind down operations had come months ago, but putting the place in order took far longer than it should. Someone had to look into this. Henry started to think about who he knew that would be suited for such a task.
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Karl Larsson
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Saturday 15th 1931
In one of the drawing rooms of the Arkham Gentleman’s Club, three friends were gathered. They were rather new acquaintances, having this social meeting place to discuss a common interest, everything ancient; in other words, history and artifacts from Egypt to China. The three men were Professor Archibald Radclyffe, archaeologist Victor Naida and from the police, the dabbler Andreas Baum. On this particular evening, they were discussing recent news out of Egypt. Discoveries made in an underground pyramid, appeared to indicate the presence of a new, unknown, cult, centered in the desert of ancient Egypt. Information so far was scant, but that didn’t hinder the tree in speculating.

Halfway through the evening, the three were interrupted by an associate of Andreas. A couple of years ago, Andreas had helped the man retrieve some paintings stolen from him. The affair had ended so cordially between the two, that Andreas was quite happy to see the man again. The man was Henry Cronstedt, the director of Cronstedt mining; a very rich man.

“Greetings gentlemen – no please, don’t get up on my account. I am just here to say hello to my friend Andreas.” He walked over and gave his friend a pat on the shoulder. “I know you are busy this time of year, but could you come by the office on Monday. I have some urgent business, and I hoped I could get some help from you before I involved the police. Actually, it is the sort of work you perhaps should get some help with. Perhaps you could bring your friends?”



Elizabeth was relaxing at home, she wanted to write something, but nothing inspired here. Funny how you sometimes want something so bad, but still can’t manage to do what you need to get it. When she heard the knock on the door, she knew it was time to get out of bed.

A couple of hours later, Elizabeth were doing research. Her friend Jenny had given her a lead, apparently Henry Cronstedt had called the paper and requested a journalist join a party of people on some sort of trip. Jenny didn’t know what it was about, but Henry had requested the press because he believed a journalist would have a calming effect for some reason. Elizabeth didn’t know what the story was, but she knew it was hers. The only thing she needed to was to show up on Cronstedt’s office on Monday, and pretend she was legit.



Father Francis was preparing for tomorrow’s service, when he saw Henry Cronstedt enter the church. The man was a good catholic, and had often donated to various good causes on Francis’ encouragement. Having donated to it heavily, he could often be seen around the seminary, but on a Saturday was unusual.

Henry noded politely to Francis as he got within talking distance. “Father, I am in need of your help. I have a business affair that has gotten horribly entangled, and I need fresh eyes on it. I have already found a couple of gentlemen that will investigate the business and… criminal… aspect of it, and I have gotten a journalist to come a long. As they often get people to be on their best behavior.”


Henry took a deep breath, but waved his hand as Francis is about to say something, “I know your services are not of this world, and the business is not what you do, but there is something else. There is a death, my second cousin. Regardless of what has happened to him; he needs to be brought home. You are a rock Father Francis, bring back Jerry, and help me clear this mess up. Come by my office on Monday, and I will give you the details.”



Sorry about all the Deus Ex Machinas, but now we are sort of on track. I am going to call the party: Arkham Investigators, that will be the name of the Wiki and OOC thread. Today is saturday, you are meeting Henry on Monday. What I would like from each of you now is an introductory post. Showcase your character. A good idea is to tell us a bit about what he does before the meeting on Monday; perhaps what he does on Sunday.

Sorry to rush you Nad, but I really want to get the first posts out there.
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andy scott
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Andreas reaches up and gives Henry a hearty handshake.
"Why yes of course Henry! I'll re-arrange my schedule. I'd like to introduce you to my friends here. This Professor Archibald Radclyffe and archaeologist Victor Naida. The good professor Radclyffe here teaches -blank- over at Arkham University. But he's quite the hunter! And Victor here (pointing with his pipe) is well traveled with many an archeological dig abroad."
(Then remembering) "except for that Indian burial dig you did up in the Green Mountains a few years ago! You found the most peculiar things!"
(Turning to Henry)
"How are those paintings? The landscape one, a John Constible if I remember correctly, was wunderbar!!"
"care to join us? we where just discussing a strange new cult discovered in Egypt!"

With that Andreas takes a big puff from his pipe and settles deeper into his armchair...
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Ed R
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What an odd request, he thinks to himself as Father Francis sits at his desk finishing the preparation for tomorrows morning mass. Henry is a good man. Gives freely to the church. Its funny though, I have never heard him mention this second cousin of his. I guess the least I can do is show up and hear what he has to say. he says aloud, though there is nobody else in the room. He then writes down a verse from the book of Philippians to try to include in tomorrows mass, "each looking out not for his own interests, but everyone for those of others."
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Matias Dahlbäck
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It is Sunday and Archibald is sitting in his study, mulling over papers written by his students, some brilliant, some not so brilliant, and all of them so utterly boring. With a frustrated groan he pushes back from the table and stands up, walking over to the window looking out over the quad whilst knocking a cigarette against the silver cigarette case he always carries with him.

His thoughts drift to the happenings at the club yesterday. An unusual favor to ask, and not one often presented to a professor of art history. Of course he had accepted. Any reason to get out of the weekly meeting with the rest of the academic leadership in this dreadful place, always taking place on Monday, and always going longer than necessary, simply because academics love to argue, and especially if they can argue about trivial matters.

Looking back at the table and the piles of paper, studying his workload through a cloud of tobacco smoke he snorts and turns away, grabbing his coat on the way out. "Sarah, be a dear and grade those papers. Nothing above an A- and for heaven's sake don't go lower than a D, I can't stand those groveling kids begging for a raise." he calls out to his assistant as he passes her desk in the next room.
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Kris Vanhoyland
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“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” ― H.P. Lovecraft
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"Yeah," Elizabeth double-checked the name she scribbled on the piece of paper, "Henry Cronstedt, with DT. What can you tell me about him?" Elizabeth listens for a moment to the voice on the other side of the horn, then answers, "Okay, thanks anyway." With an exaperated sigh, she severs the telephone connection.

No one seems to know anything about this guy, Elizabeth muses. She starts checking her Kodak box camera, making sure to pack enough rolls of film and her extra lens for close focus shots. She then leafs through her agenda, looking at her appointments for next week. There are only two entries.

Wednesday; 1 pm; lunch with Jennifer.
Saturday; 7 pm; appearance in the St. Regis hotel for senator Marlowe's birthday party.


Well, Jennifer will understand that I have to cancel our plans, and I'll hopefully be back before saturday.


Elizabeth pads through the house on her bare feet, stuffing everything she thinks she needs in a large leather travelbag, as she wonders where this trip will take her...
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Since Mr. Cronstedt appeared so suddenly with his case for Andreas, Victor has been unable to get him out of his head. His thoughts were rushing around in his mind, and he practically felt an itching sensation, if brain can itch. "Is that it? I mean, something that requires both - police and academics? This can be the very opportunity I was looking for, only not in the right place. So far dry university matters yielded nothing. Those diggings Andreas keeps teasing me with - nothing too outstanding. Now that Egypt stuff...." Thinking of Egypt made Victor groan - he suddenly remembered he still had to finish that damn article. Being an incurable procrastinator, he kept putting it off until there was no way escaping it. He sulkily continued his walk home. Vollens nollens, but he had promised Professor Moritz he would send in on Wednesday the latest. This will probably take the whole Sunday then...
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Karl Larsson
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Scene: Cronstedt's office - Monday 17th 1931
The group meets for the first time in the waiting room of Director Henry Cronstedt. It is a busy office, and everyone has the feeling that they will be left waiting, but as soon as everyone has arrived they are led into the Director's office. It is a large and tastefully decorated office, everything you would expect from a wealthy industrialist. The only things out of place is a rosary on the desk, and a statue of the virgin Mary in his bookshelf.

“Greetings gentleman, please have a seat. And ms. Shaw of course. Please, sit.” Cronstedt's voice is cheerful, but his eyes are grave. “I was under the impression that your friends were fellow police officers, Mr. Baum. But now I have learned that they are quite learned.” He nods to Archibald, “I am happy that Mr. Baum brought such a distinguished, acad... gentleman as yourself, Mr. Radclyffe. I hope you don't see my request as rude and below your station, I am quite happy you are with us. The same goes for you Victor. I hear you are accustomed to working in the ground; that will be helpful.” He looks around to the rest of the group, “And to introduce the rest, if you haven't already introduced yourself to each other while you waited. This is Ms. Elisabeth Shaw, a journalist from the newspaper down town. There might be a story here. If there is something foul afoot, those responsible deserve to be hammered in the press.” Then he looks to Father Francis, “Finally, there is my good friend Father Francis. I am a man of faith, and I do fear that there is souls at stake, and as you'll soon hear, the good Father will also be there to tend to the deceased.”

“With the introductions done. Let me get down to business. I would like for you five to help me in a delicate investigation. Two days ago I got word from one of my recent acquisitions, Coal Mine Seven, down in Pennsylvania. They tell me that my second cousin, Jerry Lonzo, died in an accident. I didn't know the lad well, but I got him the job as a favour to his mother. What makes me suspicious is that the chief engineer told me that it is impossible to get the body out. I want that boy buried properly! As accidents go, Coal Mine Seven has been nothing but trouble since I bought it a year ago. I ordered it to close down two months ago, but I only get excuses and delays. It is costing me thousands a day, and now the death of poor Jerry. Nothing should be as unlucky as this – I suspect foul play”


He pauses for a moment, and takes a sip from a glass of water, “I am sending five people. A priest, a journalist, and some good investigators. I am sure there is malfeasance going on down there, and I need good men of integrity and intelligence to find who the villain is. Does all this seem doable? Will you help me?”


OK. I am just going to go through some stuff about the structure of the game. This is NOT something you need to know to play the game.

You are now in a scene. The scene is a core scene, which means you have to go through to finish the scenario. There is also a core clue here, it is: There is something going on in Coal Mine Seven. There might be more clues, there might be none. Each core scene will have one or more core clues that leads to another core scene. There might be other clues, those will give information about the case, or even lead to alternate scenes. You can always finish a scenario by getting the core clues and going to the core scenes. But to really excel, you have to get more clues. Also, there is always the opportunity for background clues. Going to the library, records, that sort of thing. The most important thing: Just play your character, and it will usually work out fine.
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Matias Dahlbäck
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"Oh my..." murmurs Archibald, but wheter it's in response to the sad tale of poor Jerry Lonzo or the visage of Elizabeth, well, keep guessing. Occupying himself with knocking a cigarette against his case he shrugs a bit. "My condoleances. Of course one sees the need for help. A man should be getting a proper burial, that's only cricket, yes? But if I may, I know so little about the business enterprises of today, did the mine in question function all right before you purchased it? I would venture yes, otherwise it would have been a rather unwise investment. May be you overbid someone else who is now eager to take the mine off your hands for a paltry sum?"
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Karl Larsson
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Director Cronstedt nods, "That is very acute professor. Yes, it was an investment I didn’t have high hopes for. You see, we bought a company called the Pennsylvanian mining Gesellschaft.” He turns to Elisabeth and smiles, “That is German dear, the company was established by Germans.” He returns his gaze to Archibald, “I bought the company, and all its seven mines. The last one, this one, I had little hope for, but it came with the bargain. I made small investment, to find any new coal there, but they find none, and it is now nearly depleted. I don't think I will be able to sell it, but the equipment, once it is no longer in use can be sold for a little fortune. But of course, there has been substantial wear and tear.”

Don't be afraid to post over each other. If one asks a question, don't wait for me to answer that before you post your question. I will sort it out, and it is quicker.
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Matias Dahlbäck
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Archibald whistles softly, having lived in the belief that one bought mining shafts one at the time and not as a baker's half-dozen, if you will.
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Ed R
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Father Francis stands up and walks over to the statue of the Virgin Mary. It appears to be quite old. "Pardon me Henry, where did you come by such a beautiful statue as this?" while waiting for a reply he thumbs at his Rosary Beads as he cites a "Hail Mary".
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Cronstedt seems momentarily distracted by Francis' question, "Oh, that. You are right, it is quite old. It was my mothers. It was given to her by my father when my brother died in infancy. It gave her much solace. I don't know where he got it. Probably bought it for a fortune at an auction. That was his way; I have my faith from my mother."
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"Faith, faith is good..." Victor murmured silently, shifting from foot to foot near the window. He felt uneasy in the presence of Elizabeth, as he usually did when a beautiful lady was around. He tried to concentrate on Director Cronstedt's story. "Seven mines, you say. Any particular significance to that number bei der Gesellschaft?"
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Kris Vanhoyland
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Elizabeth nods politely to the other people in the room, but otherwise seemingly ignores them, apart from a sideways glance now and then. She starts scribbling down details on a small notepad, then chews a bit on the tip of her pencil, as if in thought.

"Tell me Mr. Cronstedt, why is your cousin's body impossible to get out? What kind of accident was there, a mine collapse or something? Also, may I enquire exactly what his work entailed?"
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"He was a junior engineer. His exact responsibilities I am not sure about. The accident? They say he fell, and that they can't reach the body. But they are being very - vague - on how it happend." Cronstedt looks down into his glass of water. You wonder for a moment if this is a man overreacting because tragedy has struck within the family, but it is not your place to ask.
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"Ahh yes, Mr. Cronstedt. I didn't bring my colleagues at the police force, because, shall we say, not all of them are very discrete and my friends happen to be free (and more enterprising). So you think foul play eh?"

Andreas reaches down habitually and grabs his pipe from his pocket.

"So you think someone pushed your cousin down a shaft? Not an accident. hmmmm and you say this isn't the first accident to have happened? What other accidents have happened at this mine? Before you owned it and now after? Any accidents at the other mines? Any new hires or transfers or suspects in general? Not this Chief engineer, eh? Though I suspect he knows more than he's letting on. Maybe covering for someone."


with that he begins to lite up his pipe... "You don't mind if I smoke do you? Helps clear my mind to think..."
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Matias Dahlbäck
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As Andreas politely asks for permission Archibald stops his match midstroke and looks up, looking a bit sheepish, like a student caught cheating.

Folding one leg over the other he tries to regain some composure. "Seems right befuddling this. They keep their owner and master in the dark? I say sack them, sack the bunch, what? Let them find gainful employment elsewhere." says the professor and heir.
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"Well, there hasn’t been any real accidents, nothing more than you would expect from such an operation. The Germans are a very skilled people, you know. As for the other mines, I mostly own sand pits here in Massachusetts, so the coal industry is new to me. Still, they all seem properly run.” He takes out an ash tray and puts it on the desk. Listening to Archibald he tries to smile politely, “The working man, the miners, they are hard working. You don’t become a miner if you are afraid to get your hands dirty; which is more than I can say for some people right here in Arkham. There is also the union to consider in such matters. The engineers and administrators, well, they are a different lot, but they are highly skilled, and I do wish to retain some of them in my company. The chief Engineer is Floyd Wickham; he is extremely capable, but also independent, if you know what I mean. To help him govern the workforce, he has engineers, a clerk, and even a priest. They could all be up to someone, or no one, or perhaps a bad seed amongst the workers.” He scratches the bridge of his nose and says weakly, “I don’t know.”

Director Cronstedt takes out a small wad of money, a map and a set of keys. “This should cover expenses, and get you to the mine. If you go within an hour or two, you should be there before it gets dark.”

Not much more to learn, so I am wrapping up the scene. Still, feel free to ask away or post anything. Will the group leave right away? Wait until tomorrow? Do something before they leave?
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Scene: Coal Mine Seven
No one has said anything, so I am moving on.

You bid the director goodbye, and promise him to get to the bottom of this matter. Outside you find the car, and after picking up some supplies you leave for Pennsylvania. After several hours you reach cencalia, a town that caters to several mines in the area. From here you have to drive for another fourty minutes into the hills to get to Coal Mine Seven.

The mine is loctated in a small depression in the terrain, making it slightly locked in between two hills. At the entrance of the mine you see several wooden structures and large machinery. Before you get all the way there, however, you are stopped by two guards at a guard post. They refuse to answer any questions, and ask you to wait for someone in-charge. Getting through the guard post would be easy, you could just drive through it, or you could just sneak in though on one of the sides, but you are here on offical business, so you wait.

After waiting for almost fifteen minutes, you see a young man approaching on the path leading from the mine. He has dirty blond hair, and is ruggedly handsome, in his early 20s you would say. He greets you cheerfully. "Hi, my name is Jonathan Dawn, but please, call me Joe. I am the sites junior engineer. We have gotten word from HQ you are coming. Please come in, let me show you around." He waves you through the guard post.

Going to try to get a map up of the facility tomorrow.
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Kris Vanhoyland
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Elizabeth grimaces at the smokers, but doesn't say anything. Instead, she turns back to Cronstedt, and asks him, "Is it common for there to be a priest on site? That leads me to assume accidents like this happen quite often."
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“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” ― H.P. Lovecraft
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During the car ride, Elizabeth inquires with the men accompanying her, "Excuse me, could you all spell your names for me, and explain your occupations in daily life? It's for the article, you see," holding up her notepad.

Somewhat annoyed at being made to wait in a hot car, ELizabeth snaps at Jonathan, "You sure took your sweet time in getting here. I don't see why we had to wait out here like common rabble, seeing as we're here on explicit request from the person who owns this whole operation."
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The answer to Elizabeth's question to Cronstedt is that the priest isn't there for accidents, but rather has a calling. He ministers to several mines, but spends most of his time at number seven.
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In the car Archibald politely spells his name and hoes on to prattle on about his position at the universe, but the subject quickly gives way to various anecdotes from his true calling, that of a rugged outdoorsman. This he still claims, his office gut not withstanding.
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