19: Planning & Preparation

20th February 1925

Side Monsters 01
What Awaits Us?

London, England:

08:00  AM:

Despite all our careful packaging, disguising as machine parts and telescopic equipment the dismantled weaponry is mostly found. Only with a huge bribe are we able to bring it into the USA.

The dismantled machines guns and the flamethrower were hard to spot and got through but the Trench Guns, B.A.Rs and Tommy Guns were a major problem.

Still it was great to be home. By Friday February 20th 1925, we were all safely ensconced back in our beloved big apple.

Trent didn’t want to go back to work but did check in on St Niklaas Church to make sure everyone was okay. Father Van der Linde was doing fine. Afterwards Gibson met Trent in a speakeasy off-Broadway and reported over a Long island Iced Tea that Lucy Marijner was doing fine at Harvard. She was top of her class. After being in Europe for a few weeks he noticed the strange, bitter tang of Formaldehyde in the drink but was good enough not to say anything. Greg would be pleased by this news.

So pleased the old bastard might even smile. Maybe.

Natalja sent a cheeky postcard from Paris saying:

“Having a ball in Paris, glad you’re not here.”

However, she did add a concealed note in the layering of the postcard saying she could come over to help should the need arise. A clever one, she had figured out the gravity of what we were dealing with very early.

Irma was also recovering nicely at the sanatorium. His doctor even said that he could soon accept visitors. Poor Curtiss was still quite unwell. He would require a good deal more recuperation before he was ready for any active duties.

No word from Janey or her beau though. They had not returned from Switzerland so Trent renewed the line of credit providing her with all she’d need for the next few months at least.

Joseph went back to work. Someone had to keep the bootleggers in line. He also went back to Harlem. Well, he did like the dancing-girls…

Meanwhile, Greg went to see Emerson to discuss the best way to get to Shanghai. Then he visited the gunsmith. Again. Only after this did he ask about Lucy. He was a man on a mission.

Wesley busied himself with his studies in esoterica or his research into what exactly was being built using all those valves wires and titanium parts. His studies help him translate the Frisian scroll giving him useful information about the creature in the Mist at Misr house that was so hard to kill.

Gupta also went back to his studies at N.Y.U.

Trixie checked over the plane, got parts replaced or serviced and then painted the town red. Hell, she was due some R&R. After all London really smelled bad!

Simon Grand went back to his club. He too needed to relax.

We Make Plans; Its Shanghai Or Bust!

09:00 AM

After some deliberation, the investigators decided to go to Shanghai. It was felt that Penhew would be expecting them to go to Egypt so China was a safer option.

The UK authorities had promised to look at The Penhew Foundation’s finances with a view to restricting the flow of funds to Egypt. That could buy us some time.

Greg’s research showed that there was no direct trade route to Shanghai from San Francisco. However, via Emerson, we could charter a freighter, which would carry us, and all our weaponry and equipment with fewer questions asked than a standard liner.

As another piece of subterfuge, we also follow-up Trixie’s suggestion to fake a plane crash at sea. That way we would not be expected to turn up anywhere at all. We could use Joseph’s mob connections to buy the best fake identification, thus enabling us to travel incognito.

Meeting Erica, Do We Tell Her Too Much?

11:00 AM

While we planned all this, Erica Carlyle contacted us via her oily lawyer, Bradley Gray, requesting a progress report. Like we answered to her! She might still even be a cultist.

Trixie had a brain wave. Continuing her plan to fake a plane crash she called Erica and explained that we had a new avenue of enquiry that would take us to Scoresbysund in Greenland. However, Erica was eager for more detail so demanded that we meet her.

We met her at the Waldorf where she was accompanied by her minder Joe Corey.

During this meeting, after some pressing from Erica, who could see we were holding back, we decided to admit some of our suspicions. We told her that it was the belief of our murdered friend Jackson Elias that some or all of the Carlyle Expedition may have survived. While we didn’t know for sure that her brother Roger was alive, Jackson had met someone who had seen Jack Brady long after his disappearance. We also took a risk to inform her about Gavigan’s letter to Aubrey Penhew which we had found at Misr House in England. This was definite proof that Penhew was alive, as the letter had been penned the day we found it only a few weeks ago.

Erica opened up to us saying that Joseph Donelly reminded her of Jack Brady. While very different, people her brother Roger and Jack had hit it off almost instantly. She described him as loyal but vicious.

Erica then went back to the letter. She demanded to see it. Then when she’d read it for herself, she wanted to know who had written it. This caused us some sheepish looks but we eventually told her it was Edward Gavigan. However, we impelled her never to pursue any line of enquiry about this gentleman.

The more we told her the more she wanted to know. We recounted our time in London. How we were followed by cultists then subsequently attacked. We admitted we were investigating a world encompassing conspiracy, which had so appalled Jackson Elias when he found out about it, that poor Jackson had a kind of breakdown.

However, what he found we believed to be true. Erica must leave it all well alone, as it is too dangerous for her to deal with.

What was said to her could go absolutely no further. Not even to her lawyer.

We then reluctantly lied to Erica; we reiterated that our next avenue of research would take us to Greenland. We could waste no time so were preparing to fly there in our plane.

We say our goodbyes promising that while we can’t confirm that Roger is alive we will do our utmost to find out.

Erica promises to back us. While we are independent, this whole enterprise had grown hugely expensive so we agree to her help with the proviso that we must have a free hand to take whatever course of action is necessary.

25th February 1925

Our Curtiss NC-4 Seaplane
Our Curtiss NC-4 Seaplane

The Plane is Made Ready:

06:29 AM:

Trent and Trixie oversee the re-fit of the plane. Poor Curtiss is still indisposed but good use is made of all his spare parts.

Joseph speaks to his mob contacts who reach out to the best counterfeiter on the East Coast. New identities and travel documents are created for all of the investigators.

The rest indulge in Arcane Lore.

Simon learns Dread Curse of Azathoth and Fist of Yog Sothoth.

Wesley learns Find Gate.

Greg learns Shrivelling.

Wesley had the Arabic scroll instructing the Send Dreams spell into English.

We test Tewfik’s and Gavigan’s pairs of sceptres retrieved from the corpses at Misr House. We find out that when crossed once a day they provide a boost of power. (Equivalent to 1-20 magic points)

In the evenings, Trent went back over his notes from our investigations.

We have three main clues about Shanghai:

Ho Fong Imports

15 Kow Yang Street


From our investigations in London, we know that the ship the Ivory Wind took packaged crates from the Penhew Foundation to Shanghai.

One of these was a statue of horribly disfigured humanoid woman.

This is the Bloated Woman, a vile twisted fertility goddess recognised vaguely by Greg from his arcane studies of the Cthulhu Mythos tomes. Beyond the name, little is known about this Goddess.

We know that the figurine wore a Chinese style hat. We also know that the statuette found was being sent to Shanghai.

The last clue was almost the first one we found. The three cultists who murdered poor Jackson Elias had gone through his things. One item they had taken was a match book for The Stumbling Tiger Bar, 10 Lantern Street, Shanghai.

Hand_Out_13Stumbling Tiger Bar – 10 Lantern Street, Shanghai

7th March 1925

Curtiss NC-4
Curtiss NC-4

Time To Crash:

10:00 AM

We make a show of all travelling to our seaplanes berth. With a little fanfare Trixie La Belle the intrepid aviatrix enters the cabin, soon joined by Simon Grand her navigator. Trent Duxford III, high society Private Investigator, then boards with his capable employee Joseph Donelly Wesley Freudlich-Foch, renowned physicist joins. Final person to board is the Prince of the Mahabharat himself, Gupta Singh leaving his N.Y.U ashram to help others seek enlightenment in the frozen north.

Gaidar is the last member of the party to join, being followed by a small dark cloud, issuing forth rain and tinny lighting bolts.

With Irma Bloomberg well again, Hirst has his ace reporter on hand to cover the latest escapade of these slightly unusual adventurers.

Irma made sure it was well covered, as we took off headed for a remote Greenland weather station called Scoresbysund.

Then disaster struck. Contact was lost with the plane. Parts of a wing were seen floating on the open ocean near a small oil slick. Apart from some items of clothing, nothing was found. It could only be surmised that the plane tragically crashed with all hands.

In actuality, we flew at night to a warehouse outside Boston where we stashed the plane. We then used our fake identities to board trains to New York. Then we drive to San Francisco in two large trucks containing all our weaponry, arcane books, medical and scientific equipment.

After writing our sterling tribute, Irma, too distraught at the loss of his friends, takes a leave of absence from his job. He too uses a fake identity and follows us taking the train to San Francisco.

It takes 8 days to travel to the East Coast.

Emerson’s contacts prove very helpful. We hire the freighter and crew. It will sail all the way to Shanghai via Honolulu taking around a month depending on weather conditions.

It is plain sailing. Despite growing trepidation, we had an uneventful voyage.

During our 4 week trip, we take the time to learn more spells:

Greg learns Send Dreams.

Trixie learns fists of Yog-Sothoth.

Wes and Joseph learn Find Gate.

Gupta and Trent learn Cloud Memory.

Joe learns Fists of Yog-Sothoth.

Greg learns Fists of Yog-Sothoth.

Gupta, Irma and Trent learn Fists of Yog-Sothoth.

Yegor Gaidar

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