About the Scenario – This adventure takes place on the island of Martinique, in early May of 1928. The story begins in the capital of Fort-De-France and should end in the mountains to the north, along the road leading to the city of St. Pierre. The title refers to a Martinique proverb, “L’homme est pour le purgatoire, la femme pour l’enfer”, which translates to “A Man to Purgatory, A Woman to Hell.” This means that men are punished for their sins but women are dammed for them. It involves a missing man, his vengeful mistresses, his wife, their secret, and La Diablesse, a creature of Martinique’s folklore.
A Few Words about Martinique – This rugged island of the Lesser Antilles is part of the French Republic. The climate is tropical, drier in the south with lush rainforests to the north (where this scenario takes place). It is a small island of just 436 square miles and home to 227,800 people in 1927. Its culture is a blend of French and West Indian Traditions, much like it’s citizens, a majority of whom a mixture of African, Carib, and French ancestry. The official language is French but everyone also speaks Antillean Creole (or Creole Patoris), a mix of French and Carib leagues. The currency is the Franc, their economy is agriculture in nature, and one of its major exports at this time are bananas.
Background – Lucas and Suzelle Chauvet are a wealthy couple living in Fort-De France. Lucas owns a successful advertising company, Sunrise Marketing. Suzelle inherited a large fortune from her father (Marc Bannais), who amassed great wealth through the sugar trade and retained it with wise investments. The couple has a 3 year old son, named Liam, and an unusual marriage.
Lucas is a well-known womanizer and philanderer. Although he tries to keep this discrete talk of his activities abound. Some rumors imply that Lucas fathered a child with his wife’s nurse, Audrey Delor. The nurse is unmarried and has a 2 year old daughter named Chloé who bears a strong resemblance Liam. Most assume Suzelle knows but turns a blind eye to her husband’s misdeeds.
While many people whisper behind the couple’s back they do nothing to socially ostracize them. The Chauvet’s are major underwriters to several charities in Port-Du-France. Because of their good public works most ignore the couple’s private life. That is until Lucas Chauvet vanished.
Lucas has been missing for three days now, with no signs of kidnapping or foul play. No money was removed from the couple’s bank accounts so the authorities don’t suspect Lucas has run out on his wife. Most suspect him to have met with a dark end, possibly from a jealous husband or angry lover. A few whisper that his wife may have finally had enough and taken drastic actions to escape what could only be a humiliating marriage. The police don’t seem to be taking the matter too seriously, much to the chagrin of Suzelle Chauvet. She hires her own investigators to find her husband, and dispel rumors that she may be involved in his disappearance.
Keepers Information – Lucas Chauvet is dead, his body lies strangled in the mountains, just off Route de la Trace (Highway N3) linking Fort-Du-France and St. Pierre. Neither Suzelle Chauvet nor her nurse Audrey Delor had anything to do with his death. An aspiring model and mistress of Lucas, Yasmine Marlu, lured him into a deadly trap.
She was angered that her plan to seduce Lucas away from his wife had failed. She blackmailed him, demanding money for her silence. Yasmine arranged a meeting around midnight on Barnet Way, on a lonely stretch of road between Port-du-France and St. Pierre, leading to the abandoned Orphanage of St. Sophia. The forests surrounding St. Sophia, as well as the building itself, are haunted. The ghosts are harmless but the area is still a deadly, particularly to philandering men.
A creature known as La Diablesse (the devil woman) hunts this remote region, and her origins is connect with the Orphanage of St. Sophia. Yasmine, who grew up in this area, knew the legends of La Diablesse and her hunger for lustful men.
Lucas Chauvet did not trust Yasmine, suspecting she might rob him or continue extorting money from him for years to come. Her threat to go public with their affair and shame his wife demanded action. So took a pistol with him, along with the money she demanded, in case things got out of hand. While not a violent man he was determined to protect Suzelle, Liam, and Chloé reputation. So he went to meet her on Barnet Way at midnight to finish this one way or another.
Lucas became the latest victim of La Diablesse. The creature lured him off the road and into the jungle were she strangled him. She then pushed his car down into a ditch and concealed it with branches. Lucas’ corpse is now rotting a couple of hundred yards off Barnet Way, not far from the Orphanage of St. Sophia. Yasmine is in the area, looking for either Lucas’ car or body, in the hopes finding the blackmail money he promised to bring her.
The “Complicated” Marriage – Suzelle and Lucas had an understanding. While they loved one another as the dearest of friends there was nothing romantic between them. Suzelle was in love with someone else, her childhood friend Audrey Delor. Lucas and Suzelle’s marriage was a sham, which allowed Suzelle and Audrey to live and raise their children together. Lucas knew his true nature would monogamy impossibly so this arrangement worked well for both. Lucas fathered both women’s children as a favor, but after became a loving parent to both (Suzelle and Audrey welcomed his involvement). Lucas’ death is the last thing Suzelle or Audrey want, as it threatens the security of their unusual family. Many people think Audrey’s child is fathered out of wedlock by a mysterious man named Alex Balmey, but this is not so. No such person exists; as Alex Balmey is in fact Suzelle Chauvet, who sometimes disguises herself as a man.
The Cast of A Man to Purgatory, A Woman To Hell
Lucas Chauvet – Philandering husband, business owner, dead.
Suzelle Chauvet – Wife of Lucas, mother of Liam, lover of Audrey, seeks justice and resolution
Liam Chauvet – 3 year old son of Lucas and Suzelle.
Audrey Delor – Nurse and lover of Audrey, mother of Chloé,
Chloé Delor – Daughter of Audrey and Lucas, also rumored to be fathered by Lucas Chauvet
Yasmine Marlu – Mistress of Lucas, arranged his death
Florence Mathé – Nosey neighbor and gossip
Alex Balmey – Mysterious young man thought to be Chloé father, is actually Suzelle Chauvet
Chris Dillon – Photographer, business partner, and friend of Lucas Cauvet
Anthony Glissant – Farm stand operator, warns male travelers about Devil’s Road
Allison Rodell – Owner of abandoned Orphanage of St. Sophia, former lover of David Barnet
David Barnet – Wealthy local factory owner, died in 1902 in the Mount Pelée
Melissa Pluvar Barnet – Wife of David, seduced him with magic, became La Diablesse
Noemie Barnet – Deformed daughter of David and Melissa, murdered, ghost
Involving the Investigators – Investigators are hired to find the missing Lucas Chauvet by his wife, Suzelle. They are contacted by telephone or telegram and invited to her home to discuss the assignment. They can be acquaintances of Lucas and/or Suzelle or selected for having a reputation of being discrete detectives. Suzelle doesn’t trust the authorities to take this case seriously, and is fearful they may discover things she would rather not be made public (i.e. – the truth of their relationship).
The Local Police – The officer assigned to this case, Inspector Philippe Lavil, does not consider finding Lucas Chauvet a top priority. If investigators make a Persuade, Fast Talk, Credit Rating, or Charm check he takes a few minutes to speak with them. He says that there is no evidence of foul play and it seems that Lucas likely ran off on his wife, “probably for a long weekend or two with some lady. I’m sure he’ll turn up.” The Inspector can confirm most of the facts which Suzelle Chavet gives to the investigators (see below).
Most of the department is correctly busy trying to find a pair of bank robbers, the twins Jerome and Fabrice Jeannet. The pair are at large after fatally shooting a police officer, and wounding two others, during a high speed pursuit yesterday. “You’ll understand if tracking down cheating husbands isn’t on the top of my priority list”, he adds, but does give the investigators his card in case they need to contact him.
The Chauvet House – This two story house sits in a wealthy neighborhood of Port-Du-France, surrounded by manicured gardens. While the Chauvet’s employs four servants none of them are live in, with the exception of Audrey Delor, Suzelle’s full time nurse. Investigators are shown into the sitting room and offered coffee or tea before meeting with Suzelle.
A Meeting with Suzelle Chauvet – This plain looking woman of twenty eight appears tired and careworn. She is pale and tall, with a boyish figure, wearing modest clothing and no jewelry other than her wedding band. Suzelle introduces herself and thanks the investigators for coming. While she speaks good English she is much more comfortable conversing in French or Creole Patois. Her nurse Audry lingers in the next room, playing with Liam and Cléo while listening in.
After pleasantries are exchanges she asks if they’ll take the case. Unless they do she refuses to answer any questions. She explains, “While we are in the public eye for our charitable works our personal lives is a very private matter. I understand that to find Lucas you may need to learn certain details about him and our relationship which I am reticent to discuss.” If they refuse the case she gives the investigators 50 Franc (about equal to US dollars), thanks them for their time and dismisses them.
If they agree she offers them 500 Francs for finding Lucas, with 10 Franc per day for expenses, and a 100 Franc bonus if they find him before the end of the week (it’s Tuesday, May 8th, 1928), giving them 4 days. If they accept she gives them 100 Francs as a retainer and warns them if any information she shares with them is made public she’ll sue them. She then briefs the investigators on the following points:
- Let me start by saying I love my husband. I do not know where he is or what may have happened to him. I know people are saying I had something to do with his disappearance and my hiring you all is just for appearances. That is NOT the case.
- I know my husband is not a perfect man, but he is a kind, understanding, and generous, a wonderful father. No one on this Earth are perfect. Whatever his faults, I accepted them as he accepted mine. We had an understanding, based on respect.
- I am sure something has happened to him. He would have come home or contacted me by now. He has never been out of contact with me or the children this long.
- He left for work on Friday and called me from the office around noon to say he’d be working late. He said he might stay over but would be home lunch on Saturday.
- His partner, Chris Dillon, said Lucas left the office around 7pm and no one has seen him since. He was driving his own car, a blue Rolls-Royce Phantom (Roadster).
- No money has been taken out of our accounts and all of his clothes are here. If he was going to leave me and run off, he would have taken some money and clothing.
- I want him brought home safe. If that’s not possible and if he… if someone… If Lucas met a foul end I want whoever’s responsible punished.
Personal Questions – Investigators can ask Suzelle questions, but she knows very little. “Yes, I know my husband had lovers; No, none of them were every serious; No, I don’t know any details about his mistresses; Yes, I’m sure.” She does know he kept a little discretionary money in his office. If the questioning turns to the rumor that Cléo, her nurse’s daughter, might be Lucas’ child she’ll refuse to discuss this, saying “That’s a private family matter and has nothing to do with his disappearance.” However, it is clear to anyone making a Psychology roll that she is hiding something. She hinted as much when she slipped and said “the children”, instead of “my son” or “our child”.
If asked why she needs a full time nurse Suzelle answers, “I have a nervous condition that can cause seizures. I need to be constantly monitored.” Investigators making a successful Psychology roll, or somehow checking her medical records, realize that this is a lie and that Suzelle is hiding something. If asked about her relationship with her nurse she says, “Ms. Delour and I grew up together, and now I employ her full time. She’s my constant companion and close friend. Leave her out of this.” Those making a successful Psychology roll detect a lot of fear in Suzelle when speaking about Audrey.
Talking to the Staff – The staff of the house (Will Mona, the butler; Rudy Tardon, the gardener; Ornella Langil, the cook; Ketty Kittle, the maid) knows nothing of importance. They’ll say that the couple are quite close but not affectionate. They mention the couple has separate bedrooms but stress that both Lucas and Suzette are loving parents and how much Lucas adores the children, “even Audrey’s little one”). They comment, “The only way Lucas would have run off is if he took Liam with him”. They’ll say Lucas works long hours and isn’t home most of the week. Suzette spends her time with her son, her nurse, and her nurse’s daughter.
Speaking to Audrey Delour – If investigators speak to Audrey Delour, Suzette tries to be close by. The nurse, an attractive darker skinned Creole woman, seems nervous. She answers that Mr. Delour is kind and generous to her, and she is concerned about his safety (truth). If asked about his affairs she answers, “That’s between Suzette and Lucas, they have an understanding. I try not to judge people, there is too much of that in the world.” If asked about her relationship to Suzette she becomes more nervous, saying only that she works for Ms. Chauvet and that they are childhood friends. If asked about Cloe’ father she says it is none of their business, but becomes flustered. She denies that the child’s father is Lucas (a lie), and says she has a boyfriend who can’t currently claim the baby as his own (another lie). It is obvious to anyone seeing the two beautiful children together that they are most likely siblings.
Searching the House – Investigators asking to search the house for clues must make a successful Persuade check on Suzette Chauvet, who initially answers “If my husband was in the house don’t you think we would have found him?” Investigators who are allowed to conduct a search find no clues to Lucas’ whereabouts, but discover some unusual things about the house.
- The couple do have separate bedrooms, which are down the hall from each other.
- Suzette’s bedroom connects with both the nursey, where both children sleep, and Audrey Delour’s room.
- Investigators making a Spot Hidden roll in Suzette’s bedroom find a cosmetic bag hidden in the closet containing a fake moustache, as well as two white men’s suits, a hat, and a pair of shoes, all in Suzette’s size. This is evidence that Suzette Chauvett and Alex Balmey are one-in-the-same.
The Nosey Neighbor – As the investigators leave the Chauvet house they are intercepted by an older woman named Florence Mathé. She is a bored and lonely widow with the most exciting thing in her life is spying on her neighbors. She gossips her theories to anyone who’ll listen. Ms. Mathé wants to know who they investigators are, why they are here, and what Suzette is saying about Lucas’ disappearance. Investigators who engage her in conversation find her eager to share what she knows, or think she knows, about the Chauvet’s. She truthfully believes everything she tells investigators, although much of it is false.
Florence Mathé Rumors
- There is no love between the couple them due to Lucas’ philandering.
- Suzette remains in the marriage for the sake of her child.
- Suzette’ nurse Audrey has a lover, a young man named Alex Balmey, who sometimes visits the house. She thinks he might even have a key, as he comes and goes at odd hours.
- It’s obvious that Liam and Cloé are siblings; with Lucas either raping or seducing that poor nurse (“you know how men like that are…”)
- She thinks this was the last straw for Suzette and/or Alex Balmey, who had Lucas killed.
- Suzette is playing the concerned wife to cover her guilt.
- Florence hopes she gets away with it as Lucas deserved whatever foul end befell him.
Pushing for the Truth – Investigators may fixate on the mysterious Alex Balmey (no such person exists in public records), Suzette Chauvet, and/or Audrey Delour, especially if they realize the women are hiding something. Should investigators confront Suzette and/or Audrey they may reveal the truth. This should be handled delicately by the investigation, as the women are already nervous and heavy handed tactics will get them fired, thrown out, or possibly arrested. If handled correctly the women confide in the investigators (possible Charm, or Persuade checks) – that Lucas is the father of both their children. Lucase is just a dear a friend to them, and that they are the true couple. Suzette and Audrey are hiding their homosexual relationship from society’s judgmental gaze with Lucas’ help. This knowledge gives the investigators much power over the women, which is why there are hesitant to volunteer it.
The Offices of Sunrise Marketing – This business is located in a sixth story corner office near the center of Port-du-France. While a smaller advertising firm it does quite well. The only people here today are Patricia Buval, the office’s attractive secretary, and Chris Dillon, a photographer and Lucas Chauvet’s business partner. The office is currently in disarray due to Lucas’ absence. Patricia and Chris are busy answering phone calls, canceling appointments, and asking for deadline extension. They try to turn the investigators away unless they explain their investigating Lucas’ disappearance for Suzette Chauvet.
A Meeting with Chris Dillon – Mr. Dillion is a short, slender, well-dressed man of thirty. He’ll invite the investigators into Lucas’ office to talk, asking Patricia to close the office for the next hour and send her out for “lunch or something”. He then locks the doors and takes the phone off the receiver, explaining, “It’s been chaos without Lucas. I honestly don’t know how we’re going to manage things if he doesn’t turn up.”
Chris is deeply worried about Lucas. He hopes for the best but fears the worst. Chris knows quite a bit about Lucas’ personal life, being his closest friend. He’ll share the following with the investigators, but those making a successful Psychology roll realize he is hiding something:
Chris Dillon Rumors
- Lucas would never leave his wife and child, or be away from the office for so long.
- He is sure Lucas is being held somewhere, is incapacitated, or dead.
- Lucas has affairs constantly, usually with women applying for modeling jobs. He never has affairs with anyone working for the firm, only rejected models. Sometimes he rejects promising models just to have affairs with them, but always makes sure they get work with rival firms, adding“It’s hurt the business more than once, but it solve more problems than it creates.”
- He fixates on a particular woman for a couple of months before moving onto the next.
- Lucas is honest about his commitment to his family with his “play mates” and never allows his affairs to become serious.
- The two times things got complicated were with a married women’s husbands and a young model thinking she could break up his marriage. He bought his way out of those messes, giving them enough money to relocate to another country.
What Chris is Hiding
If pressed by investigators making a successful Persuade or Fast Talk roll, Mr. Dillon adds another bit of information –
- Lucas asked me to get him a pistol, something that couldn’t be traced back to us. I got one from someone I know and gave it to him. He said I could have it back tomorrow if everything went okay. I said, “Have what back?” (If asked for specifics he can only say it was a small American made revolver).
Clues in the Office – There are three clues to be found in the offices of Sunrise Marketing. They are found in The Employment Records, Lucas Chauvet’s Desk, and Lucas’ personal safe.
The Employment Records – Investigators searching the office records for clues find one with a successful Library Use or Accounting roll. If assisted by Ms. Buval, the office secretary, they get a +15% bonus to this roll. In early February a model was rejected and then picked up by a rival firm. Her name is Yasmine Marlu, and photos of her are in her file, showing her to be a stunningly beautiful creole woman of about nineteen. If asked about her, Chris Dillon confirms that Lucas was seeing her.
Lucas’ Personal Safe – The combination is known by Chris Dillon, and he freely tells it to investigators. Otherwise they must make a Locksmith or Mechanical Repaired roll with a -20% penalty. Inside the safe is a stack of twenty six folders, each containing 1D6+6 photos of rejected models, in stages of undress or nude, some quite explicit. The most recent folder contains photos of Yasmine Marlu.
There are legal papers here showing a secret trust fund for Cloé Delour, maturing to 500,000 Francs on her 18th birthday. There are four boxes of a fairly new product, Youngs Rubber Company’s Trojan Latex Condoms, imported from the United States. The last items is eight thousand five hundred Francs in cash.
If consulted Chris Dillon confirms that the nude photos are all rejected models who became lovers of Lucas, with Yasmine being the latest. He is unaware of, but not surprised by, the trust fund for young Cloé. He also says that Lucas usually keeps ten thousand Franc in his personal safe as a discretionary fund.
Lucas’ Desk – There are two clues locked in the desk, which requires a successful Locksmith roll to open, or breaking into the desk (STR 10). Inside is a large envelope with the remains of a burned letter. Almost nothing of the letter remains, but careful examination of the contents reveals the following:
- The letter was made from gluing cut outs from newspapers and magazines.
- The following ten words (in French) can be puzzled out – alone, fork, pay, photos, press, scandal, St. Pierre, orphanage, truth, and wife. (These are all that is left of Yasmine’s blackmail demands).
The second clue is a new looking roadmap, showing the roads between Port-Du-France and St. Pierre. While there is nothing written or circled on the map, investigators making a very careful examination do find an orphanage, the Orphanage of St. Sophia, on the map. It’s about 2/3rds of the way to St. Pierre from Port-Du-France, about three miles north of Route de la Trace (Highway N3), branching off onto a road called Barnet Way.
Researching The Orphanage – Investigators may wish to look into the Orphanage of St. Sophia. The following information can be found in any reputable library or record archives in Port-Du-France with a successful Library Use roll:
- The Orphanage of St. Sophia opened in 1903 and closed in 1915.
- The property has laid abandoned since 1915.
- The property has been owned by Allison Rodell since 1903.
- The property was previously owned by David Barnet, who build the house there in 1900.
Investigators making additional Library Use rolls can learn the following additional facts, depending on the topics they chose to research:
- David Barnet married a Melissa Pulvar in 1899.
- David Barnet was one of thirty thousand people killed on May 8th, 1902, when Mount Pelée erupted and destroyed the city of Saint-Pierre.
- Melissa Pulvar Barnet disappeared on May 9th, her body was never found.
- A death certificate is on record for a Noémie Barnet, for May 9th, listed as 1 day old.
- The Orphanage of St. Sophia is rumored to be haunted, as are the jungles surrounding it. There are stories of strange lights, disembodied voices, and moving shadows. There are rumors that this was why the facility was abandoned.
- Barnet Way is a dumping ground for criminal groups. The bodies of nine adult men have been found along the road since 1904. In no particular order – David Escoffier, Remy Gallois, Yannis Hauet, Kevin Jauffret, Nicolas Parquin, Alvin Balazac, Marc Roche, Julien Rapace, Alix Soyer.
On the Road to The Orphanage of St. Sophia – Investigators need to travel to the area around the abandoned Orphanage of St. Sophia to bring their investigation to a conclusion. This area is about 2/3rd of the way between Port-Du-France and rebuilding city of Saint-Pierre, along Route de la Trace. The starting place of investigators should be the turn off onto Barnet Way, leading to the orphanage. This brings investigators into another world, a place of dense jungle, lonely mountain trails, restless spirits and the hunting grounds of a demonic predator. Investigators find the road blocked, both by a locked chain (at all hours of the day or night) and a large roadside market stand during the day.
The Roadside Stand – These eight large tables filled with local produce, baked goods, and fresh juices blocks the road behind it. It is run by an older man named Anthony Glissant, who works here alone from 9am until dusk. A trio of strong local men (his grandsons) break down and set up the stand every day. Mr. Glissant, a hardy weathered man of nearly eighty, has lived in these mountains his entire life and knows much about the region darker history. Investigators who question him find him to be a wealth of information.
Mr. Glissant has not seen anyone matching Lucas Chauvet’s description. If asked if he’s seen anyone matching Yasmine Marlu’s description, he answers “Maybe, there was a young woman wandering around that I didn’t recognize”. If investigators show him a photo of Yasmine he says, “I think I saw her coming out of woods yesterday. I wasn’t sure she was real.” He also says that someone broke the lock on the chain blocking Barnet Way on Friday night and he had to replace it for Miss Rodel.
He’ll explain that Allison Rodell is the woman who owns most of the property along Barnet Way. He says, “Its private property, and she doesn’t like people wandering in and out. It’s not safe. We don’t want to see anyone get hurt.” Mr. Glissant can tell investigators how to reach Miss Rodell’s home, should they wish to speak with her.
If asked about the woods behind him, the area’s dark history, or the orphanage Mr. Glissant gives the following information:
- The woods along Barnet Way and the old Barnet place (the Orphanage of St. Sophia) are haunted. People here voices, see shadows moving all on their own, and are even touched by spirits.
- Men (but not women) who wander around at night sometimes meet unfortunate ends.
- The woods around the old Barnet Place are the hunting grounds of a La Diablesse, which is why nobody lives there now.
- He keeps the booth here and maintains the chain to block Barnet Way for Ms. Rodell.
- If asked more about La Diablesses, he tells them of the creature’s legend (see below).
- Miss Rodell knows more than he does, as she has owned the property for nearly thirty years now.
[Begin Boxed Text]
The Legend of La Diablesse – Once a bad woman wanted the love of a good man, but his heart belonged to another. She burned with desire and wanted him, no matter who she hurt or even if she could have him against his will. She sold her soul to the Dark Man so that the man would love her and only her. The bargain was set and the man was enchanted. He abandoned his true loved and married the bad woman.
The bad woman had all that she wanted. The man built her a large house and soon they expected a child. But the Dark Man does not make fair bargains. One day, while the man was in Saint-Pierre on business, Mount Pelée came to life and destroyed the city. The good man died and in her shock the bad woman went into labor. It was an ordeal that early killed her but the baby came and she thought, “At least I have a baby now”. But the child was horribly deformed, with the head of a calf and hooves instead of hands. The woman realized she had been cheated and went mad. She killed her daughter, fled into the woods, and tried to hang herself.
But the Dark Man found her can cut her down before she died, saying, “You belong to me now.” He made her a devil woman, La Diablesse. She lives still, ever beautiful but marked in the service of the Dark Man with the leg of a heifer hidden under her skirt. She appears at night on Barnet Way to unfaithful men, luring them into the jungle with lustful promises. There she abandons them to die, lost in the dark, or strangles them with her bare hands. At night the jungle is filled with the lost souls of her victims calling out for help and the old house echoes with the cries of her murdered child.
[End Boxed Text]
Meeting with Allison Rodell – This old woman of about seventy lives in a large lonely house on in the mountains. It takes about thirty minutes of driving (or 2 hours of walking) to reach her home along the main roads, half that time if one uses Barnet Way. She lives mostly alone, with only a single servant to care for her, an older maid named Grace. Miss Rodell is happy to receive visitors, and has Grace put out tea for everyone.
If asked about the property she owns, and its dark reputation, Allison Rodell repeats much of what Mr. Glissant has to say. However, when asked about the Legend of La Diablese, she knows a bit more. She names the “good man” as David Barnet, the “bad woman” as Melissa Pluvar, the “baby” she’ll say was named Noemie before her mother killed her, and the “true belove” who was abandoned as herself.
She explains that she bought the property after everything happened and turned the house into the Orphanage of St. Sophia to honor David’s life. But the cries of Noemie’s ghost were heard within the house and few people sleep peacefully within the place. Blessings only silenced the spirit’s cries for a few weeks before the ghost would always return much worse than before. It became impossible to retain staff so the orphanage was abandoned.
She would like to put “David’s daughter” to eternal rest but does not know how. If investigators state they’ll try to find a way to bring the ghost of Noemie Barnet peace, Ms. Rodell grants them permission to come and go as they please on her property. However, she warns them of being in the woods at night, especially if they are men.
Searching the Area – Barnet Way has not been maintained since the Orphanage closed down. The jungle has reclaimed much of it, rendering it impassable for vehicles. It little more than a wide, slightly overgrown trail now. The jungle shuts out most light, making the area dark and deathly silent. At night the restless dead arise (see The Trail of the Dead) and La Diablesse hunts. However, investigators searching this area can find quite much of interest.
Finding the Car – Investigates can find tire marks leading onto Barnet Way, although they soon vanish. Investigators can follow these tracks to where they seem to end, with a successful Track roll. Investigators searching the area where the tracks end and making a successful Spot Hidden roll discover a vehicle. It is a blue Rolls-Royce Phantom lying in a ditch off the side of the road, deliberately buried under a pile of broken branches.
The car is inoperable, having engine and suspension damage from being rolled into the ditch. Removing the Phantom from the ditch is impossible without the use of a tow truck or similar mechanical aid. The keys are still in the ignition and a leather satchel lies on the passenger side seat. Inside the satchel is a single ticket to Ladabee Haiti on a steamer ship, a loaded Smith & Wesson Safety Hammerless (.32 caliber revolver), and an envelope containing 1,500 Francs.
Investigators making a successful Track roll in the area find footprints leading away. They indicate two people walked away from where the car was pulled over and went into the jungle. One of them was a man in shoes, the other set is very strange, appearing to be of a barefoot woman but where her left footprint should be are hoof prints. Investigators failing the Track roll can make a Spot Hidden roll, allowing their eye to catch the glint of a silver drinking flask, with the engraved initials of LC, about five yards into the jungle. Investigators failing both of these rolls can make a Luck check, to allow them to notice the faint scent of a nearby rotting corpse from the east (see Finding the Body).
The Mysterious Woman, Yasmine Marlu – Keeper can have the investigators encounter Yasmine Marlu searching along Barnet Way, as they are. She is looking for either Lucas Chauvet’s car or body, in the hopes of finding the blackmail payoff he was supposed to be bringing her. However, she has not yet found either. If investigators locate the car and possess the satchel Yasmine tries to rob them at gunpoint. If they bump into her before without the satchel she fiends’ innocence, claiming to be “out for a walk”. She gives her name as Sigred Argen and denies being Yasmine Marlu.
While responsible for luring Lucas Chauvet to his death at the hand of La Diablesse, she is not guilty of his murder. However, she is by now desperate to find the money and fearful of being apprehended. If questioned by investigators, who know who she is and of her involvement in blackmail or the death of Lucas, she panics. She tries to flee through the jungle while wildly firing her pistol at the investigators.
If not killed by the investigators during this exchange she slips off of a muddy trail, falling into a ravine and breaking her neck. Unless investigators make a successful Medicine roll to stabilize her she dies within minutes. If stabilized she must be extricated from the ravine and taken to a hospital. However those with a Medicine score above 40% realizes it is too dangerous to move her. Unless someone makes a critical success on an additional Medicine roll, Yasmine dies while being removed from the ravine.
Yasmine Marlu, Model and Treacherous Mistress
STR 55 CON 55 SIZ 50 DEX 70 INT 45
APP 80 POW 55 EDU 40 SAN 55 HP 11
Damage Bonus: none. Build: 0 Move: 9
Fighting (Brawl) 25%, Handgun (Colt Pocket Hammerless, .32 Caliber pistol) 35% (12/5) Damage 1D8+1
Skills: Charm 40%, Fast Talk 50%, Stealth 50%, Spot Hidden 30%,
If she is somehow captured alive and handed over to the authorities Yasmine Marlu is convicted of several charges, including extortion, caring a deadly weapon, attempted robbery, and possibly attempted murder (if she fired at the investigators). She is eventually sentenced to nine years, of which she serves five before being paroled in 1933.
Finding the Body – The body of Lucas Chauvet lies facedown, in a depression, under a tree covered with some leaves. It can be found with a successful Spot Hidden in the general area, or by following the trail from his car for about 200 yards. He has been dead since the night of May 4th, so his body is bloated and covered in flies. Viewing the body forces investigators to make a 0/1 point Sanity check. Investigators making a Medicine roll determine the time and cause of death, strangulation. There are more tracks of the barefoot / hoof footed woman here but they vanish after wandering about sixty feet from the body. The investigators may remove the body themselves or report it to the authorities who do so.
A Possible Ending – If Yasmine Marlu is dead or captured and Lucas Chauvet’s body is found, the investigators can go to Suzette Chauvet and claim their case is closed. However, this leaves the true killer, the supernatural creature called La Diablesse, free to continue its murderous ways. The restless dead along Barnet Way and at the abandoned Orphanage of St. Sophia, never find rest. Those ending their investigators without destroying La Diablesse receive no Sanity awards, and lost 1D4 Sanity Points for permitting the creature to continue its deadly ways.
The Trail of the Dead – Starting at dusk and continuing until dawn Barnet’s Way become filled with the spirits of the dead. Many strange and frightening things happen here, but in truth the investigators are in no (physical) danger. These are the ghosts of the men slain by La Diablesse, calling out for help. Each investigator has 1D3 strange experiences per hour, each costing 1 point of Sanity. 75% of the time these experiences happen only to them (example – One investigators smells perfume or sees a shadow while the others standing beside him do not). These ghostly manifestations last no more than a few seconds each and are determined randomly as follows:
Nighttime Manifestation on Barnet Way (1D8):
- Seeing a shadow figure moving of its own accord then vanishing.
- Hearing a man’s voice asking for help, saying they are lost, tired, hurt, or afraid.
- Smelling a woman’s perfume.
- Detecting a temperature drop of at least 20 degrees in a localized area.
- Seeing a glowing orb of light.
- Feeling the sensation of being touched, caressed, or grabbed.
- Smelling a rotting body.
- Seeing a moving mist-like billow of energy.
The Haunted Orphanage of St. Sophia – This large building is abandoned, its paint cracking, its windows broken, and mildew grows upon its walls. Old leaves cover the floors here, amid moldering furniture, and rotting papers. But the building is structurally sound and could be restored and valuable if the spirit haunting it were laid to rest. The ghost of a newborn baby, the deformed and murdered Noemie Barnet, haunts this building.
Noemie’s spirit manifests in three ways, determined at random (1D3), with the occurrences happen 0-3 times per hour (1D4-1). Unlike the spirits along Barnet’s Way, all investigators experience these equally. They are as follows:
- The Cries – The wailing sickly cries of a newborn child echo through the empty building for 1D3 minutes. Instinctually the investigators know the child is in pain, confused, hungry and cold. They feel a primal need to comfort the child but no matter what they do the source of the cries cannot be found (1/1D3 Sanity points).
- The Carriage – The investigators see a filthy baby carriage roll down a hallway or appear in the center of a room. They hear labored breathing within, half snoring and half animal snorting. If they go to the carriage and look inside they see a baby sleeping, with its face covered with a blanket. If they look under the blanket they see the baby’s features are a mix of human infant and newly born calf. The baby half cries, half bleats once before everything vanishes. Those looking at the baby get the impression that the baby wants to sleep but it cannot, because it has been rejected by its mother. If no one looks into the carriage the scene vanished in 2 minutes (1/1D2 Sanity points, 1/1D4 Sanity points for those looking in the carriage).
- The Phantoms – A ghostly nurse is seen rushing down a hallway, mouthing something, while carrying a baby but no sound it hear. A beautiful woman in a nightgown streaked with blood chases her, holding a cast iron frying pan. The mad woman is soundlessly screaming. The crazed woman knocks the nurse to the floor and the deformed baby tumbles out, having hoof like hands and a calf like face. It bleating in alarm, which is the first sound heard. The crazed woman then kneels over the baby and rains blows down upon it with the frying pan. The baby cries in fear, and pain, and the sound of the impacts of the frying pan can also be heard. There is nothing anyone can do to stop this and the whole scene lasts about a minute (1/1D6 sanity points).
Confronting La Diablesse – Investigators may decide to confront the Devil Woman and destroy her once and for all. She must first be lured out of hiding and then attacked. The fact that she leaves foot prints and strangles her victims should tell investigators that the creature does have a physical form. Both Anthony Glissant and Allison Rodell may be able to offer some advice about dealing with La Diablesse.
Advice on Dealing with La Diablesse
- Investigators should travel in groups, as there’s a better chance someone might resist her charms.
- La Diablesse never attacks women, as they are immune to her charms.
- The more virtuous a man is the greater his power to resist La Diablesse.
This advice, while meant to be a way to best dissuade an attack by the creature, is the key to luring her out. If a lone male investigator travels onto The Trail of the Dead there is a 35% chance per hour that the creature attacks, with an additional +10% per hour spent in the area. Attacks may happen between 10 P.M. and 3 A.M. For every additional man this drops by -20%. If a woman is present the creature won’t appear. So long as no other person is within 50 yards of the target they are considered to be alone. This means that reinforcements, even women, can be waiting nearby ready to charge in once the creature reveals itself.
La Diablesse Appears – The creature suddenly manifests, stepping out of a patch of shadows. She is dressed in a colorful dress, wears a wide brimmed hat and strong perfume. She is a beautiful woman, with a full figure, alluring voice, seductive eyes, and flawless caramel completion. Below her flowing skirts she hides her left leg, which is that of a cow. This was once Melissa Pluvar, but is now an evil seductress, a female devil, La Diablesse. The creature greets her victim with offers of the flesh and untold pleasures. All they need to if follow her and she attempts to charm her target.
In battle the Diablesse which was once Melissa Pluvar enjoys killing her prey with her bare hands, either with a grapple attack (to strangle) or powerful blows. Her preferred attacks in actual combat are not physical but magical in nature. Her combat spells are Cause Blindness (on those using missile weapons), Fist of Yog-Sothoth (on those attempting melee combat), and Mindblast (on whoever seems to be in charge, especially a woman). Create Mists of Releh she saves in case she needs to retreat, and Contact Nyarlathotep is known because that is the spell she used to communicate with The Black Man. If reduced to her last 5 HP the creature uses its high Stealth skill, possibly augmented by Mists of Releh, to attempt to escape combat.
La Diablesse, Melissa Pluvar
STR 110 CON 110 SIZ 60 INT 70 POW 105
DEX 55 HP 17
Damage Bonus: 1D6 Build: 2 Move: 7
Magic Points: 21
Fighting (Brawl) 70% (35/14), damage 1D3+ damage bonus
Armor: None, but takes minimal damage from non-magical attacks
Regenerate 1D4 Hit Points per combat round unless reduced to zero.
Skills: Charm 80%, Disguise (hide cow leg) 65%, Fast Talk 60%, Stealth 75%.
Spells: Cause Blindness, Contact Nyarlathotep, Create Mist of Releh,
Fist of Yog-Sothoth, and Mindblast.
Sanity Loss: 1/1D6 Sanity Points to see a La Diablesse, but only if her true nature is discovered, i.e. –her single cow leg.
In Closing – If the investigators destroy La Diablesse several things happen. First, all the spirits trapped in The Trail of the Dead are laid to rest, the supernatural disturbances end and never resume. Second, the haunting at the Orphanage of St. Sophia ceases as well as the ghost of Noemie Barnet also finds peace. Lastly, Allison Rodell is very grateful that her beloved David’s child is finally at released from its long torment. She expresses her gratitude by leaving half of her property, including the abandoned orphanage, to the investigators. She dies shortly thereafter, her responsibility in keeping people away from the area the only reason she had to live. She passes away knowing she can move on without regret.
Suzette Chauvet is no longer suspected of being involved in her husband’s death. She pays the investigators the agreed upon fee for finding her husband. Claiming grief she never remarries or accepts social invitations from interested bachelors. Suzette lives the rest of her life quietly raising Liam, kept company by her nurse. Both she and Audrey mourn the death of their friend, the father to their children. Liam and Cloé are both told the truth when they are pre-teens, that they are in fact siblings. This is made publish when Cloé turns 18 years old and inherits a small fortune from a father who she never knew.
For finding the body of Lucas Chauvet +1D3 Sanity Points
For bringing Yasmine Marlu to justice +1D3 Sanity Points
For destroying La Diablesse +1D6 Sanity Points
For putting the spirits of the dead to rest +1D4 Sanity Points