We decide to stop by and pick up Nikolai first.
We also note the statue torso, which is currently set up as a dressmaker’s form, is pretty much Miss Barrington’s size. Convenient, and creepy.
The torso is still glowing. It’s about 7:20PM, and just starting to grow dark. Benito leads us to the ‘secret’ door — merely a modern door with a lock. It opens to a narrow stairwell leading down.
Flavio speaks Italian and French, Benito just speaks Italian. Flavio leads most of us (not Hassan and Miss Barrington) down into the catacombs.
As we move down, we can hear agitated voices, speaking in Turkish. The four men are angry, some of them are concerned that their brothers are dead, and want revenge. Others are saying that if somebody was able to kill their brothers, they need to flee the town. There does appear to be one of the Salim’s in charge, telling them that they should stay and guard our ‘patron’ until our ‘other patron’ returns.
Hassan and Miss Barrington come down and join the fighting team while Nikolai goes up with a gun to watch our two captives. I scout ahead. 15-20’ below the cathedral floor, I come to a room with an old stone altar — an ancient room, easily 2000 years old, of Roman construction. There is just one way in and out of this particular room, it’s 30 × 30 squarish. The altar has a… sleeping? Miss Cavallaro on the altar. Torches around the room provide light, but not a lot. There are 3 Salim’s in the room, completely identical, and one Salim who doesn’t… look right. The weirdest thing about him is that his tongue is a little long, and becomes tentacle-ly at the end — forked into 5 ends. He looks… odd. Like he’s wearing a Salim suit. They have knives, but no firearms that I can see.
Beddington and I open up with handgun and shotgun. The lieutenant Salim draws his knife, orders an attack, and charges. Barrington walks up next to me and shouts at one of the base Salim’s to lie down, and he does. The lieutenant attacks Miss Barrington but misses, and Hassan caves his head in with the wrench. One comes after me and another one goes after Hassan. For some reason inspired, I dodge like nobody’s watching. Beddington drops a Salim with a point-blank shotgun blast. I miss my Salim with a shot but Amanda walks up behind it and puts it down with a couple of well-placed kidney punches.
We find a journal on the ground — the Journal of Father Roberto Fludd. It’s contemporary. There are rituals bookmarked in the journal. It describes 4 rituals:
- The ritual to transfer organs
- Controlling… ‘skin’?
- Control Salim
- A recipe for brewing a mead to transfer consciousness into another body — i.e. immortality
The transfer organ ritual requires an hour. The mead brewing will take a week on the other hand. Both will be required in order to put Miss Cavollaro right again. The Salim says “My mistress sleeps so that my master can achieve immortality.” “Killing the mistress will complete the ritual.” “My master becoming immortal will also complete the ritual.” We generally suspect that Angelica is in the Dreamlands, or some part of the Dreamlands like Dream Lausanne.
Nikolai goes off at roughly 9pm to look around and find a doctor for Miss Barrington and Hassan. Amanda, Beddington, and I go to Arturo’s library to see if we can find the instructions for other rituals. Arturo’s house has hundred of books. We find, in a wall safe, scrolls written by Mehmet Makyrat. It is an annotated copy of the Scroll of the Belly. It appears to have included in it a spell of worship, which Miss Bennington will have to read. Also there are telegraph records between Arturio and Salim Makyrat in Constantinople — we have the telegraph office.
Nikolai succeeds in bringing back a half-aware doctor to treat our wounded. We start discussing options while Miss Bennington reads… and learns… from the scroll of the Belly. The spell caster needs the voice… so we need to move the voice box. 63 magic points to break the ongoing spell.
We decide instead to kill Cavollaro’s body, but compensate for it by restoring her voice box. A ritual later, which several of us participate in, and her voice is restored. The doctor says Miss Barrington needs surgery and a hospital stay… or we need to case Summon Healer. We may possibly screw up the dreamland near where Angelica is when/if we kill her body… but acceptable loss? She’s almost certainly not on the Dreamlands Express. While we discuss what to do, Nikolai visits the dreamlands (because apparently he can do that?) and sees that she is in the Dreamlands, standing in front of the alter in the room we’re in.