21: Shanghai Notes 1

15th April 1925

Mu Tsien
Mu Tsien

Shanghai, China:

09:00 AM:


The missing Choi Mei-Ling (flower girl): where is she?

We decide to split into 2 groups to work through the list of experts.

GROUP 1: Trent, Joe, Irma, Wesley: Seaman’s Lodge

GROUP 2: Gupta, Simon, Gaidar, Trixie: The Monks of the Purple Lotus

We hire drivers. And head off to the respective locations.

Wes fails geology but Joe recognizes with Mechanical repair that the lodge was smashed in. It didn’t collapse. This was on the first floor. Facing the water. One really pissed guy outside. He speaks a bit of English. Trent and Irma go inside meanwhile. Chinese guy on reception has some English too.

Receptionist: “You need room.”

Irma: “We need to find some information on a b-b-b-b-b-uddy that lives h-h-h-h-h-ere.”

Receptionist: “I not working here at that time. It was middle of night.”

Irma: “Had our friend Jack stayed here?”

Receptionist: “Not jack! John! John Smith” (fits Brady’s description)

Receptionist: “He gone now.”

Pissed guy outside talks mostly about whiskey.

Drunk: “I was here! I saw what happen. No one believe me! It was huge big with ugly octopus head. Green! Maybe had wings!I don’t wanna see it again”

By the description we know that it was a Spawn of Cthulhu!!!!

Drunk: “You need whaling ship to kill it! It struck building and then went into water!”

That’s all we can get from this location now so we head back to the hotel and continue our research. Dragon Island is volcanic and surrounded by dangerous reefs, Wesley discovers.


The Garden of the Purple Autumn! There is a small garden in the small temple. Open to the public. The garden contains a shrine.

Bonzs asks what we want.

We ask about the three monks who died.

Monk: “They died in horrible fire. They were there to meet a westerner. They were great scholars. Scholars of ancient Chinese history.”

Monk: “The monks would come and pray here. It is a good place for Buddhist monks to meet. The fire was strange. It was like a sphere! Like ball lightning.”

Monk: “The western man ran away fast! I was calling for help.”

Who summoned the fire vampire?

Who is behind this?

Our two biggest leads are to the boat (The Black Mistress) and the island (Gray Dragon Island). But what are we going to do now?

Back at the hotel.

Old School Chum: “Simon old boy! Great to see you! See you at the party tonight?”

Old school chum?

Old School Chum: “What’s that Trixie like? We’re really looking forward to seeing you at the party!”

Old School Chum: “This is Shanghai there’s always a party! You don’t want to go to the Chinese opera do you? Hahahaha!”

Simon: “Do you know of Jack Brady?”

Old School Chum: “Don’t recall. Sorry? Don’t forget, no trousers for Trixie at the party! Dress code and all that!”

Old School Chum: “Many of them here are vastly wealthy! Ho Fung never heard of him. Toodle pip! We’ll get roaring!”

We purchase fire extinguishers.

A man comes up to us.

Servant of Ling Tan-Yu: “Mr. Bloomberg?”

He presents a letter with a strange symbol on it. It is the kite maker Ling Tan-Yu.

“He is an important man. Wealthy. His brother is a kumintang warlord (nationalists).”

Irma goes to the Shanghai Courier and looks up Ling Tan-Yu.

Trent calls the guy at H.S.B.C.

Mr. Burkin: “Hello this is Mr. Burkin. You’ve come through to the legal office.”

Trent: “I want to discuss another matter. Mr. Crowley might ring a bell. Would you like to meet?”

Mr. Burkin: “Of course! I suggest you join me in embracing China and meet at the Jolly Luck Dumpling House at 6pm?”

At the newspaper Ling Tan Yu shows up as a reclusive but rich philanthropist. He paid loads of money for esoteric Chinese stuff.

Later On That Afternoon:

13:00 PM:

We drive past the warehouse and there are lots of people with lots of guns guarding… They are repairing the warehouse. Trixie spots someone on a warehouse. It is someone looking right at her through a pair of binoculars.

We drive down to the catholic church. Meet Cecilia.

Trix: “Parlais vous Francais?”

Trixie makes her roll!

Sister Cecilia: “How can I help you?”

Trix: “You have special knowledge of things.”

Sister Cecilia: “I am a bride of Christ. As well as a historian. Courts of the Chinese Christianity and dignitaries and dynasties.”

“Intrigues in the courts drive much of the history of China. Not the people as the Communists would have you believe.”

“I have not spoken to Jack Brady or any of the people in the mission. What is it you actually came to ask me? There are many cults here.”

“Ah! The bloated woman! This is a later name for the cult of the Black Fan Goddess! These are devil worshippers! They gained strength via the imperial courts’ eunuchs.”

“The black fan is a traditional chinese symbol. Behind the fan she is beautiful but when it is removed she is hideous and vengeful and powerful.”

I don’t think they have much significance now. But they may still exist even though they were purged in 1542.”

“I have seen occasional references but it is not my main field of expertise. Mu Tsien is a respected scholar he would know about this. But all this stuff is to me pure and simple Satanism! It is all really vague but this is about Avatars in ancient times.”

Trix: “We are here because of Jackson Elias. A friend of ours. He was murdered and the trail of his murder brought us here.”

Sister Cecilia: “I will pray for his soul.”

We then decide to go to the museum to see Mu Tsien. Lots of narrow streets lead to it. Trent, Trixie, Simon and Wesley. An elderly lady answers the door of the museum.

Trent: “We would like to talk to Mu Tsien.”

Mu Tsien: “Gentlemen. Welcome. I am very busy.”

Wesley: “What do you know about the Bloated Woman Cult. Formerly known as The Goddess of The Black Fan”

Mu Tsien: “This is the least known and insidious aspects of the cult. They worship Nyarlathotep.”

Trixie: “We have seen them. We believe there is a white man here in Shanghai who is fighting them.”

Mu Tsien: “Throughout the coastal regions of China they were able to wield powerful magic against his enemies. The order still exists and has grown more powerful. More brutal and powerful than the triads. They use sickles to mutilate their victims and then garland their idols with their limbs. They plan to poison and rupture the sky. A year later their gods will appear.”

Wes realizes they are using centrifuges and radium to disrupt the atmosphere!

Mu Tsien: “H.G Wells wrote about Winston Churchill doing something like this.”

Mu Tsien: “The order of the bloated woman is big and growing.”

A young man enters with tea. We quickly change the subject. After he is gone we continue.

Trent: “Ancient magic that can help us break the ritual? What are we looking for?”

We show him a picture of Jack Brady.

Mu Tsien: “You must try and find him.”

Mu Tsien: “Were you involved in killing those cult members? They moved to the coast and joined the most dangerous pirates and controlled large areas of territory. It is very dangerous for you to come here. They are everywhere!”

Mu Tsien: “Is it true that you are fighting bad people here in Shanghai?”

Says Lee Wen Cheng to Simon.

Simon: “Yes but are you not also fighting evil? Is that not the Christian way?”

The Jolly Luck Dumpling House:

18:00 PM:

Trent is meeting with Roland Burkin. But he has backup. First Wesley and Trixie as a couple in the restaurant and Simon outside in a car.

There is a white man sitting in there on his own. Looks a bit down at heel.

Trent goes in.

Trent: “Mr Burkin I presume?”

Burkin: “Let me guess. Duxford? Bankers like something a bit more aspic. I am an adventurer – I haven’t gone native but I like to try something different.”

Burkin: “Lap sang souchon? It’s a tea.”

Trent: “I’ll just get a coffee.”

Burkin: “Not here.”

Trent: “I got a Jewish friend.”

Burkin: Forgive my appearance but I have no wish to be kidnapped.”

Trent: “I like to test myself.”

Burkin: This is the place to do it. Mind if I order for you?”

Trent: You order but don’t tell me what it is until after.”

Burkin: “Sure, what’s the worst that can happen. Apart from shitting blood and pissing glass.”

Trent makes an occult roll.

Burkin: “You’re a thrill seeker aren’t you? I want to get in the shambala. Crowley said: Do what thou will.”

Trent: “You called me a thrill seeker.”

Burkin: “I didn’t mean to cause offence. Just taking a measure of you. What have you found?”

Trent: “It will break your mind. Crowley just touches the edges of it.”

Burkin: “I like drinking, fucking, eating everything. You gotta understand Taoism Confucianism, Tsung Tsu, Buddhism. Some real obscure stuff.

Burkin: “There is a darker evil.”

Burkin: “There are people in this city but you don’t want to meet them. You don’t want to have anything to do with them.”

“They are known as the Order… They worship this goddess. A beautiful maiden but also hideous.”

“They started as a secret society but now they are a devil worshipping triad who cut off peoples limbs for fun.”

“I wouldn’t have anything to do with them. Oh my god. You’re looking for someone. Don’t do it. Tell them you cant do it.”

“The only people they fear are the green gang. But I heard they kill in weird ways. Eviscerated. Burnt to the bone.”

“I’m trying to understand an ancient civilization. They let themselves become corrupt and weak and inward looking. Life is fabulous but it is cheap here.”

Trent: “I’m scared of no man.”

Burkin: “What about the plural. They recruited a lot of people. Do not go to the Shanghai club.”

Trent: “Indeed.”

Burkin: If I can help you I will. But you already know more than I do. You need to talk to a Japanese guy and Mu Tsien. They can help you”.

Trent: “I am looking for something deeper. An American. A tough guy.”

Burkin: “Find him and get the hell out. The key to exploration is knowing yourself and your limits. I suggest you consider this.”

“Rice cakes?”

Trent leaves.

Burkin: “Good luck tough guy!”

Wesley and Trixie stay – watching Burkin until he leaves.

NEXT: The Party…

Journal Wesley

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