This session summary follows on from last week's session, which you can read here. We were missing one of the original detectives, who was replaced with a voodoo priest, Le Ralf.
Player characters participating in this session:
- Nikara Vestal - a top secret investigator, but a poor shot
- Ramsey Gordon - a delusional patent scientist who talks to cats
- Ross Leboeuf - a medical doctor and a Veteran of the Concrete Jungle, nursing a comatose wife
- Le Ralf - an overconfident and corrupt French dilettante, a practitioner of voodoo magic
New Orleans, 1st August 1935
The detectives become increasingly convinced that Lucy the poodle is being held by the Black Hand crime syndicated at Sanzone's restaurant in the French Quarter. Canvassing of street level contacts uncovers the name of an Italian butcher who sells meat to Sanzone's. Luigi, a teenaged delivery boy is bribed to reveal that there was a poodle being kept at the restaurant, but it wasn't there when he made his delivery yesterday, although it was there the day before.
The detectives then decide to go back to their contacts again, seeking details on services provided to the US consulate on Dauphine Street. They locate a cleaner who tells them nobody lives there, it is purely used as an office by US diplomatic staff. Eventually, the detectives decide to stake out the consulate and see what happens.
Despite a somewhat amateurish effort, the watchers go undetected when a man leaves the consulate matching the description of the bearded man who burgled the Hayes house on the night of 23 July. He is carrying two suitcases and gets into a car. His cursory inspection of the street fails to detect Doctor Leboeuf gaping at him from the cafe across the way. NB: Leboeuf's player rolled a 2 on his Stealth, but the Agent rolled snake eyes on his Notice of d8 and his d6 Wild die!
The detectives scramble for their vehicles as their quarry's sedan pulls away, heading north. Again, he fails to notice his tails in the traffic, as they follow him north to Lake Pontchartrain. He heads east along Lakeshore Drive, eventually stopping at a jetty. As he is getting out of his car, Le Ralf pulls up and opens fire on him with his Thompson SMG. Although wounded, the agent takes cover behind his car. Le Ralf jumps out of his car and beats him unconscious.
As this is happening, a second, younger agent appears on a boat moored to the jetty and opens fire on the detectives. A shoot out begins, with Le Ralf and Gordon both taking hits while Leboeuf ties up the wounded agent.
Leboeuf searches the prisoner's bags, and finds a vial of clear liquid hidden in his shaving cream, as well as a US passport identifying him as Basil Zlonim. They drive to a remote woodland on the outskirts of town to question him. Threats of violence, including injecting the serum into him, seem to work and he reveals that:
- It was he who tried to buy the serum from Colonel Hayes originally, and he murdered Hayes when they failed to agree on a price
- He was approached by the Black Hand recently, offering to sell him the serum
- He broke into the Hayes mansion looking for the serum
- He finally paid the Black Hand $1500 for the vial
- He dealt with a Black Hand captain called Mike 'The Stick' Whelan
- He believes the serum to be capable of reanimating the dead: the Confederate government developed it for use in the trenches during the Great War, to keep the Allied armies in the field
The detectives find a phone at a roadside service station and manage to contact General Hebert who in turn agrees to put them in touch with the Texas Rangers. He arranges a meeting in the evening at the Absinthe House on Bourbon Street. Here they finally meet Andrew Dauterive of the Texas Rangers, who takes custody of the vial and the Union spy Zlonim. Leboeuf has extracted a small sample of the serum from the vial using a syringe in advance of the meeting.
Dauterive is grateful for the detectives' help in recovering the serum, and but is not interested in protecting them from the Black Hand, other than offering to help them to get out of town. He says dealing with the Black Hand is the job of the New Orleans Police Department, and openly admits many of them are corrupt.
|Andrew Dauterive - Texas Ranger|
The detectives sell Zlonim's car and gun to another patent scientist who is friendly with Gordon. They then send Luigi to Sanzone's to arrange a meeting with Mike the Stick at a Chinese restaurant off Lafayette Square the following morning.
2nd August 1935
The meeting with the Black Hand takes place. The detectives give Mike the Stick his $1500, claiming they got it off Zlonim/Zane, who double-crossed the Black Hand by murdering Herman Whelan and taking the cash. The Stick seems unconvinced, but accepts their story in the end. He agrees to return the poodle Lucy to Kathleen Hayes by the end of the day. He also tells the detectives he might need them for a job involving the Red Sect, a rival crew that the Black Hand has been locking horns with recently.
Lucy the poodle is duly returned to her mistress, who gratefully pays the detectives the rest of their $80 fee.