Trail of the Mummy
Wednesday, 28 March, 1934
The traveling exhibit of a mummy arrived in Chicago for a two week showing, beginning Tuesday the 13th of March until Tuesday the 27th of March, 1934. This was the body of Akh (Axe), a lesser known priestess of Isis.
At 5:00 am on Wednesday the 28th, head curator Miles Jennings arrived at work to supervise the dismantling and shipping of the exhibit. He was shocked to find the bloody remains of Klaus Huntsman: the night watchman and custodian. He also discovered that the mummy had been stolen. Mr. Jennings has asked the Investigators to look into the matter, hoping to delay the attention of both police and press for fear of scandal.
A group devoted to understanding the wisdom of ancient Egypt has stolen the mummy of Akh and partially re-awakened her with the blood of Klaus Huntsman.
The leader of this group is Dr. Thomas Fulger, MD, retired. Sixty two years old, Dr. Fulger fears death and seeks a way to cheat it. He doesn’t worship Isis nor does he hold any special esteem for Akh personally. He seeks a means to immortality.
The ceremony to resurrect Akh involves feeding her, at midnight, the blood of a living human heart; this partially awakens her. This must be done again for each of the next three nights. The fourth feeding must be on the night of a full moon. She received her first feeding, in the museum, at midnight on the cusp of Wednesday the 28th. Therefore, she will feed again at the midnights which begin Thursday the 29th, Friday the 30th and Saturday the 31st–the full moon.
The victims are: Tuesday night-Klaus Huntsman, Wednesday night, a hobo from either the Hobo Camp or the Railroad Tracks, Thursday night a hobo from either the Hobo Camp or the Railroad Tracks, and Friday night-Lucinda Heyworth. The bodies of the two hobos, killed in the same manner as Mr. Huntsman, will be found caught on a snag in the Chicago river. The Investigators will learn of this in whatever manner suits the Keeper.
Stability and Sanity do not apply to Akh. Her other statistics, per stage of re-animation, are as follows.
After her first feeding, as Tuesday the 27th becomes Wednesday the 28th, she remains immobile and shows no indication of reanimation (though mind reading would indicate a vague awareness). Her Heath is 0 and any hit harms her.
After her second feeding, as Wednesday the 28th becomes Thursday the 29th she occasionally moves slightly and moans. Her Health is 6 and her Hit Threshold is 3.
After the third feeding, as Thursday the 29th becomes Friday the 30th, her wrappings are removed, her organs are replaced and her dried flesh sewn shut. She now appears as a living but very skinny and ill human. Her Health is 12 and her Hit Threshold is 4. At this point she can walk at half normal speed but cannot perform any tasks nor defend herself in any way.
At midnight of the full moon, as Friday the 30th becomes Saturday the 31st, events occur as depicted in Winstead Mining and Conclusion.
The three remaining ceremonial feedings are to take place in a collapsed shaft (number 12) of the now-defunct Winstead Coal Mining Company, outside of Braidwood, Illinois. Dr. Fulger has recruited many local hobos to dig out the shaft and, once he reached a collapsed area filled with dead miners, raised them as zombies and made them help as well.
A Simple Search reveals the display was not in any way damaged. Mr. Huntsman’s keys are attached to a ring on his belt loop. There is very little blood on the floor near Hunstman’s body or spattered on the walls. What there is has been smeared, indicating it has been largely wiped up. A mop, mop bucket and large sink in the janitorial closet show blood, indicating the killers cleaned up after themselves. A small trail of blood drops leads to the back door and into the alley, where it disappears.
A point pool in Anthropology, Archeology or History reveals that, in addition to her body, Akh’s canopic jars are also missing. These clay jars contain organs the dead are thought to need in the afterlife. The heart, considered the seat of the soul, is left in the body.
A point pool in Medicine reveals the watchman’s abdomen was very cleanly and precisely cut, the sternum carefully cracked and the heart removed. This was the work of a surgeon and time of death is approximately midnight.
The scent of incense is heavy in the air. A point pool in Anthropology, History, Occult or Theology identifies this as frankincense, often used in rituals in ancient Egypt.
If asked, Mr. Jennings will tell the Investigators Akh means “Soul,” or “The Blessed Dead,” or “Ancestors.”
Mr Jennings will state the only person with keys to the museum besides him and Mr. Huntsman, is a docent named Amanda Evans. She locks up at 8:00 pm when the museum closes. Her apartment is a fifteen minute walk, or five minute taxi ride, and Mr. Jennings will give the Investigators her address.
A one-point spend in Evidence Collection (or simply looking in the trash) reveals the contents of a trash can in the lobby. Among various meaningless crumpled papers are three, Hewitt brand, cigarette butts. Miles Jennings assures the Investigators that smoking is prohibited in the museum, neither he nor Amanda smoke and neither did Mr. Huntsman.
Amanda Evans’s Apartment
There is no answer to a knock on Amanda’s door. A Point Pool in Locksmith or a difficulty 3 Mechanical Repair test opens the door. The Investigators may also speak to Edward Thompson, the superintendent of the apartment building. A reasonable story and a one-point spend in Reassurance will get him to allow the Investigators into Amanda’s apartment unaccompanied.
Amanda lies, bound and gagged, on her bed. Other than being a little roughed up, she is fine. She tells the Investigators that she arrived home from the museum about 8:30, after stopping at a grocery. At about 8:45, there was a knock at the door. When she answered, two men forced their way in. One, quite large, covered her mouth and held her, while the other, a smaller man bound and gagged her. The small man smelled strongly of cigarettes.
The large man lay her in her bed while the small man dumped out her purse. She heard her keys jangling and the small man say “Got ‘em.”
The Investigators can find two witnesses near the museum. One is Frederick Whipple, 32, owner of a watch and clock repair shop at one end of the block. His normal hours are 9:00-6:00 but he is often in after closing.
Mr. Whipple worked late that night. As he was crossing the alley at 12:28 am to get to his automobile, he saw four men coming out of the back door of the museum. Two were shabbily dressed, one large and one small. The small man was smoking a cigarette. The third was a very clean-cut young man in spectacles and the fourth was a distinguished-looking, older gentleman. The two shabbily-dressed men were carrying a large wooden crate (3’x3’x6′ and containing Akh) which they placed in the back of a white delivery van with no markings.
This was of particular note to him as he had meant to see the Akh exhibit and never made it in, which he regrets. He assumes these men were packing the exhibit for transport to its next location. If asked, he will state he saw no need to check the license plate on the truck.
The other witness will only be seen at night, with his taxi idling at the other end of the block, in the alley. This is George Devon, 24, a cab driver who stopped briefly at the end of the block for two reasons; he saw four men coming out of the back door of the museum, which had provided him many fares over the last week, and He was checking on Danny, a hobo who frequents this alley. Mr. Devon explains that he is familiar with many of the local hobos and he checks in on them now and then to see if they’re alright, give them a sandwich, etc.
He further explains that he knows two of the men, other than Danny, in the ally, “Big Bill” and “Cigarette.” two local hobos. He noticed that Bill waved Danny off and Danny scurried away down the alley. He tells the Investigators Bill is not a bully and is, in fact, protective of his fellow hobos.
The other two were a very clean-cut young man in glasses and a distinguished-looking older gentleman. Bill and Cigarette were carrying a large wooden crate (3’x3’x6′ and containing Akh) which they placed in the back of a white delivery van with no markings. If asked, he will state he saw no need to check the license plate on the truck.
Bill and Cigarette re-entered the door to the museum and Mr. Devon drove off to find Danny, though he was nowhere to be found.
Mr. Devon will tell the Investigators the location of the local hobo community-near a bridge on the outskirts of town.
This is the classic image of a hobo camp: unshaven men in the best clothing they can beg borrow or steal (including fingerless gloves), a fire in a thirty-gallon drum, etc.
The hobos, represented by “Stick” Wilson, are mostly non-threatening, though will reveal nothing unless provided with at least one of alcohol, cigarettes or food and the promise of more.
Stick will tell the Investigators that Big Bill and Cigarette (he always has cigarettes to pass around) have been hanging around an old guy and a kid with glasses. Both are very clean and talk like they are from a college. They always show up in a fancy new red car, driven by the old man.
The old guy has been talking about religion–not the usual Jesus stuff but they’re not sure what, and asking if anyone is interested. All they really know is he says something about “axe.” They don’t know if this is a god, a person, a place etc.
Bill seems to really believe in what the guy is selling and Cigarette is going along because he’s kind of Bill’s sidekick, and thinks there may be money to gain.
(If the Investigators ask what brand Cigarette smokes, they are told “Hewitts.”)
Other hobos at the camp include: Boxcar Johnny, Blackie Jefferson (African American), Sue, Broke Nose Joe (tough-looking guy), Betty Jo, Jimmy Nickle, Dumb Tommy (deaf mute), Gary Bullets (shot during the Great War and a tough-looking guy) and Ricky Dog (always has several dogs around). Stick will mention that traveling hobos often set up temporary camp by the railroad tracks. There can be several other hobos as the Keeper desires and any of these people can become followers of Dr. Fulger.
Too much cooperation from the hobos will cause them to begin disappearing. Two certainly will, from either here and/or the Railroad Tracks, below–one early Thursday morning, after the Wednesday/Thursday feeding, and one early Friday morning, after the Thursday/Friday feeding. Their bodies will be found caught on a snag in the Chicago River, their abdomens very cleanly and precisely cut, the sternum carefully cracked and their hearts removed. The Investigators will learn of this in whatever manner suits the Keeper.
Here the Investigators will meet Pauley, Oscar, Jane, Nick and Freddie, plus whomever the Keeper decides. They are all “rail riders” and also report they have been visited by an old guy and a kid with glasses. Both are very clean and talk like they are from a college. They always show up in a fancy new red car, driven by the old man.
The old guy has been talking about religion–not the usual Jesus stuff but they’re not sure what, and asking if anyone is interested. All they really know is he says something about “axe.” They don’t know if this is a god, a person, a place etc. A few of the people from the camp have left with him, though people are in and out of this camp all the time.
News of a Kidnaping
At six o’clock pm, on Friday the 30th, the radio will broadcast a report of the kidnaping of a Lucinda Heyworth. Miss Heyworth, the daughter of a textile magnate, was seen by neighbors struggling in the arms of a large man who placed her in a white truck, or possibly yellow or blue. The truck then sped away.
Miss Heyworth lives in a very upper-class area and her neighbors are scandalized by this event. They can provide no further information. However, José Sanchez, the gardener of neighbor Miranda Carruthers, states the truck was definitely white and the driver was a small man who was smoking a cigarette.
Dr. Fulger’s minions will break into the local branch of the public library. This will occur in one of two ways.
Prior to Friday the 30th: If the Investigators visit the library prior to 8:00 pm on Friday the 30th, the place will be in chaos. The panicked employees and patrons, as best they can, will convey that three disheveled people (men and/or women at the Keeper’s discretion) entered the library, through the back entrance, about 10 minutes ago. One was horrible in appearance: decayed, stinking of rotting flesh, swarming with flies and with some of their intestine dangling from their abdomen. While everyone in the library was paralyzed with terror, the rotting person stayed in the lobby, unmoving and silent, while the other two went downstairs to the records section in the basement.
They soon re-emerged with a set of records, though no-one could tell what sort, then all three exited through the backdoor. The records section is a mess, with overturned shelving units and books everywhere. It will take an hour to restore order and determine the mining records for the Braidwood area are missing. Braidwood is approximately two hours to the South.
Head librarian Glenda Fawcett informs the Investigators there are five mining operations in the Braidwood area. Only one, McClusky Copper, is in operation. The four which are closed are Patterson Coal, Winstead Coal, Garrett Silver and Simmons Silver.
Otherwise: The above will occur at 8:00 pm on Friday the 30th. The Investigators can learn of this through police contacts, a radio report or another method at the Keeper’s discretion. When the Investigators arrive, they are attacked by two hobos. The decayed man and the mining records are gone.
The hobos are unarmed, with a -2 damage modifier, have a Hit Threshold of 3, and 1 or 2 hits puts them down. Questioned, they will state (truthfully) that they were sent to get these books, though they do not know what they are for.
It will take an hour to restore order and determine the mining records for the Braidwood area are missing. Braidwood is approximately two hours to the South.
Head librarian Glenda Fawcett informs the Investigators there are five mining operations in the Braidwood area. Only one, McClusky Copper, is in operation. The four which are closed are Patterson Coal, Winstead Coal, Garrett Silver and Simmons Silver.
The Investigators will be directed to Prof. Phineous Hamilton PhD Archeology/Anthropology, 40 years old and currently teaching Egyptology 350. Professor Hamilton is a portly man, in a fine grey suit and wears a monocle in his left eye.
If given the description of the clean-cut young man in glasses, he will state that this matches the description of Kevin Dennison, a graduate student and Professor Hamilton’s TA. Professor Hamilton goes on to say that Kevin is an excellent student and, about a month ago, he developed an exuberant interest in the structures of ancient Egyptian tombs.
He also tells the Investigators he hasn’t seen Kevin since around that same time, is therefore concerned he may be in sort of trouble and will give them the address of Kevin’s apartment.
If asked about a “distinguished-looking, older gentleman, he has no idea who this could be, nor is he familiar with any hobos. He does find them fascinating, however, and would like someday to study them and their societal norms.
Kevin Dennison’s Apartment
Kevin Dennison’s apartment is just off campus. There is no answer to a knock on Kevin’s door and he will not be here at any point in the scenario. A Point Pool in Locksmith or a difficulty 3 Mechanical Repair test opens the door. The Investigators may also speak to Paul Harrison, the superintendent of the apartment building. A reasonable story and a one-point spend in Reassurance will get him to allow the Investigators into Kevin’s apartment unaccompanied.
The apartment is clean, though with a thin layer of dust, and is otherwise unremarkable. There is no food in the kitchen, though on the table are several textbooks on Archeology, primarily Egyptology, as well as several on mining and structural engineering. The Investigators are aware mining is, and has been, a very common industry in Illinois. Also on the table is a map of Illinois, with four dozen areas circled, and a note indicating these are mining operations within a two-hour drive of Chicago.
As the Investigators emerge from Kevin’s apartment, they will see a shabbily dressed man watching them from down the block. They can run and catch him. Upon questioning, he will state he is supposed to watch the apartment and, if anyone goes in, to report to “The Professor’s” house. If the Investigators compel him, he will lead them to the house. He does not know “the Professor’s” name, though can tell the Investigators he drives a fancy, big red car. This man is from the Railroad Tracks and his name is Eddie.
Searching the hospitals will take a full day, or the remainder of the day the search begins, bringing the Investigators to Chicago General. Here they speak to Nurse Myrna Spencer, who will inform them the description of the older, distinguished-looking gentleman matches that of Dr. Thomas Fulger, a surgeon who retired one month ago. He had been talking about his own mortality and seemed sullen and depressed prior to his retirement. Nurse Spencer will tell them Dr. Fulger traveled to Egypt two years ago for a six month stay to study Arabic and Coptic.
A doctor accessing records and storage areas will find all records of Dr. Fulger have been removed and there is a full surgical kit unaccounted for. Never the less, Nurse Spencer will provide his address.
Chicago Times Newspaper
(Actually defunct at the time of this scenario)
Here the Investigators will meet Jimmy, an up and coming young reporter. Inquiring about a mine collapse in an obscure town thirty years ago, will cause Jimmy to holler back for “Barky.” He will then indicate for the Investigators to find their way through various filing cabinets and desks to a cramped, dusty little office, piled high with old newspapers. Hunched at a desk is an old man in suspenders and thick spectacles, over which he peers at the Investigators.
He will introduce himself as Clifford “call me Barky” Barrett and tell the Investigators to sit–which there is nowhere to do. Barky should be played as a bit senile and this scene will occupy at least half an hour of Investigator time. (Not actual game time.)
Despite many inquiries about the Winstead mine collapse, Barky will ramble on about his candy-apple-red 1930 Buick coupe, the stock market crash of 1929 and how it caused the depression though now things are improving, that things in Europe are looking scary again, blueberry muffins and that he really likes cherry cigars. Mr. Barrett’s car is parked in back. If shown it, the hobos can state with certainty it is not the “fancy new red car” they have seen.
When he finally snaps out of irrelevancies, Barky will recall that “A shaft at the Winstead coal operation collapsed about thirty years ago. The only man who survived was a fellow named Sam Woolery. I think old man Winstead put him up in a hospital, kind of the man, but I doubt old Sam’s alive today. Greensprings is the name of the place as I recall.”
Dr. Fulger’s Home
Although Dr. Fulger’s home displays his upper middle-class status, the lawn is somewhat overgrown and a month’s worth of newspapers litter the porch. In the driveway sits an immaculate, dark red, 1930 Cadillac V16 convertible. There is no dog present to confront the Investigators.
A point pool in Locksmith or a difficulty 4 Mechanical Repair test opens the front or back door. There is quite a bit of mail inside the front door. (Mail is delivered through a mail slot in the door.)
The inside of the two-bedroom, one bath house is dusty, the toilet and shower have been used, towels and empty toilet paper rolls lie about and the trash can is full. The kitchen has uneaten food on the table, dirty dishes in the sink and the garbage can is overflowing.
More importantly, the house is inhabited by two hobos of the Keeper’s choice and one filthy, decayed man, crawling with maggots. Viewing this man requires a Difficulty 4 Stability Test, with failure resulting in a loss of 4 Stability.
They will attack the Investigators. The zombie will fight to the death, but the hobos will surrender or escape if necessary. They are all unarmed, with a -2 damage modifier, and have a Hit Threshold of 3. One or two hits drops a hobo, and three or four drops the zombie–at the Keeper’s discretion.
The hobos view “The Professor,” who’s name they do not know, with a mix of fear and awe. They can describe him and “the college kid” fairly accurately. They know he is planning a miracle greater than these living dead, fully resurrecting someone really important, they believe. They know nothing else.
If the Public Library event has occurred, three very large notebooks lie on the floor in a corner. They are marked as the records for the Winstead Coal Mining Company in Braidwood Illinois. The first notebook indicates it held the records for shafts 1-4, the second, shafts 5-8 and the third, shafts 9-12. (From Chicago, it is 31.3 miles SW to Romeoville, then 31.8 miles S to Braidwood.)
These notebooks are empty and it is clear that many sheets of paper have been thoroughly burnt to ash in the fireplace.
The only remaining papers are a few stapled sheets. Reading these reveals that the company shut down after the collapse, thirty years ago, of a shaft in which seventeen miners were trapped. The only survivor, Sam Woolery, was outside at the time of the collapse. He suffered emotional trauma and Winstead paid a very large sum of money to ensure his care at the Greensprings Care Center.
The house contains a library/study. In this room, on a desk, is a very large, very old-looking book (in Arabic). This is book-marked by a receipt from “Oriental Imports” for an incense burner and four ounces of frankincense. Next to this book is a small, cloth bag containing frankincense.
There is also a notepad and pen. The notepad contains copious notes–translations of the book. These notes name the book as “The Bringing Forth of Departed Spirits,” and describe a four-day ritual, culminating on the night of a full moon, for resurrecting the dead.
Greensprings Care Center
After several minutes of rambling, including thinking one of the Investigators is his niece/nephew, asking if he can go for a walk and stating he doesn’t want to take his medication, Sam Woolery will mention “the books,” and “what a kind man Mr. Winstead is.”
Sam states that after the mine closed, Mr. Winstead had a small warehouse built where he stored his remaining equipment and a full set of the mining operation’s records in an office there.
Sam tells the Investigators where the warehouse is, a twenty minute drive North of the nursing home, in the warehouse district.
This is a moderately large structure made of cinder block. It has a metal front door, one window in the corner of the front wall (which looks into the office) and a loading dock in the back with a large metal sliding door and a standard metal door.
The metal front door is ajar, the lights are on inside and voices can be heard discussing the fact that it’s time to go.
More importantly, standing outside the door is a decayed man with peeling flesh, crawling with maggots and surrounded by flies, one eye dangling, and holding a baseball bat.
Viewing this man (zombie) requires a Difficulty 4 Stability Test, with failure resulting in a loss of 4 Stability. He will attack the Investigators, fighting to the death, doing +0 damage with his bat.
The hobos will only fight if attacked. They are all unarmed, with a -2 damage modifier, and have a Hit Threshold of 3. They are happy to surrender, will thank the Investigators for “killing that god-awful, scary thing,” and state (truthfully) they were sent to get these three books, though they don’t know why. 1 or 2 hits drops a hobo, and 3 or 4 drops the zombie–at the Keeper’s discretion.
The three books in question are very large notebooks, marked as the records for the Winstead Coal Mining Company in Braidwood Illinois. The first notebook indicates it holds the records for shafts 1-4, the second, shafts 5-8 and the third, shafts 9-12.
A page toward the end of the shaft 12 section is book-marked. Reading this reveals that the company shut down after the collapse, thirty years ago, of shaft 12 in which seventeen miners were trapped. The only survivor, Sam Woolery, was outside at the time of the collapse.
Besides these books, the one other item of significance in the office is Winstead’s journal, lying on his desk. It is unremarkable except for the final page, on which Winstead states he paid a very large sum of money to “ensure Sam’s care at the Greensprings Care Center.”
Winstead Mining and Conclusion
There is no bus or train from Chicago to Braidwood late Friday night.
From Chicago, it is 31.3 miles SW to Romeoville, then 31.8 miles S to Braidwood. This trip is one and a half hours by car; Add twenty minutes if they are driving from the warehouse.
If the Investigators are going to arrive a little before midnight on Friday/Saturday, slow them down a bit to cause them to arrive at the dramatic moment. This can be accomplished by them being pulled over for a ten-minute stop for speeding, bad roads and poor visibility due to a massive rain/thunderstorm etc.
As the Investigators arrive at the Winstead mining site, they see light emerging from a tunnel disappearing into the Earth. As they approach this opening, they hear chanting and smell a mix of frankincense and overpowering decay. Should any of the Investigators understand it, the chanting is in Coptic and is a series of exhortations to Isis to re-awaken her daughter Akh (or praising her for having done so).
If the Investigators enter the shaft, they see two columns of fifteen men, many in miner’s gear. These men and their clothing are rotten, crawling with maggots, clotted with soil etc. Viewing this requires a Difficulty 4 Stability test. Failure results in the loss of 4 Stability.
All of them have their arms extended upward, palms to the ceiling, supporting the shaft. Here and there, a few of these men show partially cracked and splintered bone. This causes them to struggle to maintain their posture and the ceiling to crumble just a bit. None of zombies will fail, but if four are destroyed the ceiling will collapse, killing anyone in it and sealing the temple below.
If the Investigators arrive at the dramatically appropriate moment, they will witness Akh, seated on a sturdy, ornate, mahogany chair, feed herself with the fresh blood of the still beating heart of a human sacrifice. Nearby, on a makeshift altar, lies the bloody, splayed body of Lucinda Heyworth. This requires a Difficulty 4 Stability Test. Failure causing the loss of 3 Stability.
If the Investigators arrive within fifteen minutes after the end of the ceremony, Dr. Fulger and his people will still be present, and a Difficulty 4 Stability Test will still be required, due to witnessing the aftermath, but failure will result in only 2 Stability.
In either case, Akh will have resumed her living form, that of a strikingly beautiful, brown eyed woman with bronze skin and long, flowing, coal-black hair. Her Health will be 18 and her Hit Threshold 6.
At this point, she will have access to a sword leaning against the chair, and two spells (invented by the author). The sword may be used at Point Blank or Close Range for +1 damage.
One spell is Heal; this allows her, once per turn, to restore two Heath to either herself or another at Point Blank Range. Her other spell is Stun; this allows her, once per turn, to cause one target within Close Range to lose their next turn. On any given turn, she may use the sword or a spell, but not both. Remember that she will only fight if the Investigators attack her.
Either way, there will be six hobos standing before her and ready to defend her to the death. Behind them, near Akh, are Dr. Fulger and Kevin Dennison–both unarmed, though Dr. Fulger will vigorously exhort Akh and the hobos to defend him. They will surrender immediately if their protection fails.
Akh will be speaking in Coptic, asking what is happening and who all these people are; this can also be noticed if her mind is read. She is not evil as such, but will defend herself as much as possible.
Unknown to anyone, Akh died of a congenital heart defect. If she is brought back to life, she will have 5 years before she dies again, provided the Investigators do not kill her.
If the Investigators arriver after fifteen minutes past the conclusion of the ceremony, Dr. Fulger and his people will be gone. After this, they can be found at Dr. Fulger’s home, prepared for defense, and Akh will be convinced the Investigators are enemies.
End of Scenario