Paris: Les Fleurs Du Mal
January 9 - 17, 1923

Your train arrived in Paris on Tuesday around noon, and you hired a cab to take you from the station to your hotel. As you were checking into your rooms, Mac saw an old acquaintance of his sitting at the bar of the hotel's lobby. Zelda (stage name Madame Zelda) was a singer of some fame in the Boston area, and had embarked upon a European tour a year ago. Her tour ended a few weeks earlier, and Zelda has been relaxing in her favorite city since then. Surprised, Zelda asked Mac why he was in Paris, and after introducing her to the rest of you, you sat at the bar and explained the strange series of circumstances that brought all of you from New England to Paris (too bad you didn't have this summary). After listening intently to your story for over an hour, Zelda declared her interests in accompanying you in your investigations, which was just as well, because Melissa would have been bored for the rest of the game had she not.

After a quick trip to your rooms, you met back in the hotel lobby from where you made your way to the Bibliotheque Nationale.

At the Bibliotheque Nationale, you found that you must leave your passport, along with your papers from the reading room of the Museum of National History in London for verification. You were told that your library passes should be available the next day.

After a convivial evening with Zelda, you made an early start at the Bibliotheque Nationale, where you did, in fact, find your passes waiting. After several furtive attempts to communicate with staff members, a clerk at the desk recommended that you hire an interpreter from the Sorbonne, and before you knew it, he had phoned in a request on your behalf. Less than half an hour later, Remi Vangeim presented himself as your translator. At 50 francs a day, Remi was most delighted to work for you.

Mac, Professor Vaughan, and Remi spent the remainder of the day searching the libraries archives for information on the Sedefkar Simulicrum, and Counte Fenalik. The trio found a number of court histories that referred to a scandal in the queen's court on the eve of the Revolution, when a man of minor nobility was involved in an indiscretion with the queen - the man was Fenalik.

The next day, the trio discovered a diary from a member of the queen's court, in which you found that before the Revolution, Fenalik was quite popular amongst the aristocracy for his lavish, and often outlandish feasts. The queen herself frequented these feasts, but after some event, or events, she became angry with Fenalik. The king sent armed men to raid the house, which was destroyed, and arrest Fenalik.

On Friday, Remi suggested a side trip to the Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal in order to search for information about the raid on Fenalik's villa. After much work, you managed to find an account from the leader of the men involved in the raid. The armed men entered the villa, in Poissy, amidst a feast - or orgy, as the account described it - and jailed many of the attendees. Fenalik himself was captured, and beneath his house was found a dungeon, wherein the remains of many unfortunate victims lay rotting.

Saturday found you back at the Bibliotheque Nationale, looking for evidence of any unusual objects found at Fenalik's villa in Poissy, and for the fate of Fenalik himself. Unfortunately, the only additional information you could find concerning Fenalik was from the journal of Lucian Rigault, physician to the queen at the time of the Revolution. Rigault was asked to make an opinion of Fenalik's mental condition before the king, and when Rigault proclaimed Fenalik to be insane, he recommended that Fenalik be interned in Charenton, an insane asylum in Paris. Remi commented that Charenton was still open as a mental institute, and perhaps further information could be gained there, but alas, the next day was Sunday, which Remi requested off.

You awoke somewhat late on Sunday morning, and browsed an out of date English paper, when you discovered an article about the death of Dr. Delplace, the director at Charenton! This information hardened your resolve to visit Charenton, so you set off with due speed (after a prolonged, late breakfast).

At Charenton, you asked to see the acting director, Dr. Leroux, and while waiting to see him, you saw several crates with Dr. Delplace's name on them- one with the lid half off, revealing a journal of some sort. Dr. Leroux's secretary was siting nearby, however, and you left the crates be. Your meeting with Dr. Leroux was short, during which you asked when Dr. Delplace died (a week before), and if you could look through the patient records for the early 1800s. Dr. Leroux assigned one of the staff, Paul Mandarin, to help you with the old records search down in the vaults.

While looking through the records, you found that you sorely missed the talents of your translator, Remi, but with the aid of Paul (whom you bribed with the promise of a drink at a nearby bistro after work), you found Fenalik's admittance records... but strangely enough, no records of his death. You ended the day by buying Paul a drink at a bistro, and noticed fresh scars on his face. He told you that a patient had attacked him, but he wasn't injured badly... unlike a coworker, Guimart, who had been found a few days earlier down in an unused section of the vaults, with a terrible wound inflicted by a patient. When Guimart came to, he was raving mad, and is now a patient at Charenton.

On Monday, you met up with Remi, and decided on a trip to Poissy, to find the old site of Fenalik's villa. At Poissy, you and Remi looked through the town records, and found the address of a house that had been built upon the site of Fenalik's former estate. You also discovered the plans to the estate, of which you quickly made copies. You make your way to the house, and found an ancient brick wall, draped with bare rose vines, encircling a large yard, in the midst of which was a pleasant, two story brick house.

The door was answered by a friendly man, Christian Lorien, and after explaining that you were searching for artifacts left by the count of the villa that once stood there, he invited you in for tea and coffee. While sipping your drinks in the kitchen, you found out that Christian was the town doctor, and that he knew about the old villa, but had seen no trace of it since moving in. His young daughter, Quitterie, quickly attached herself to Zelda, and sat upon her lap for much of the afternoon. As you told Christian about your search, you saw a nasty wound on his left arm, which he said was caused by a thorn from the roses out front, but for some reason the wound became infected and refused to heal properly. Soon after, Quitterie spilled Zelda's coffee onto her arm and Zelda's lap, then screamed in agony. Christian took his daughter into another room to doctor her left arm, but you observed it had already inflamed to a bright red rash... strangely enough, Zelda said the coffee was only luke-warm. Christian returned, and you resumed your conversation.

When you mentioned the Sedefkar Simulicrum, Christian paused, and said the name was familiar, then he went upstairs to ask his wife, Veronique, who had been resting upstairs because she suffered from chronic arthritis. When he returned, Christian handed you a letter from an Englishman in Lausanne, Switzerland. The letter addressed the occupant of the house, and told how the man had obtained some rare scrolls that mentioned an ancient artifact. The man said he had traced the artifact to the house, and asked for any information concerning the Sedefkar Simulicrum. Christian once again said he had found no artifacts in the house, or around the grounds, but you pointed out that the villa had a basement, over which his house was most likely built. Christian displayed great interest and excitement about this possibility, and volunteered his help in your searches. He also invited you to stay for dinner, and even spend the night in a spare room.

Veronique joined you at dinner, and you saw that her left arm was indeed crippled from arthritis. Zelda postulated that the left arm of the Simulicrum must lay beneath the house, considering that all of it's occupants had ailments of their left arms. After dinner, you produced your map of the ancient villa, and quickly sketched a map of the current grounds. You made an educated guess as to the location of the entrance to the villa's basement, and made plans for an early rise.

The next day you began your search, and quickly located a buried entry way, but it required most of the day to completely unearth and open it. As the sun began to set, you entered a dark hallway leading back under the house. Tree roots had broken through the stone walls of the hall, forming interlocking hands that blocked your path. With some effort, you hacked through the roots and found yourselves in a large chamber, divided into sections by thick stone walls. Large cages lined the walls - many with the skeletal remains of prisoners - which lead to a large torture chamber. Beyond the chamber was another hallway, from which came an eerie glow. You followed the hallway to a small square room, where the black vines and leaves of some blasphemous rose bushes covered the far wall. Black ichor dripped from the abnormally long thorns, and the flowers glowed with pale yellow, red, and blue light. Beneath the rose bush, protected by the thorns was the left arm of the Sedefkar Simulicrum!

A strange mist formed in the center of the small room, and when Miranda Marabou picked up the arm, it began to coalesce into a definite form, but then, almost as if it hesitated, the mist dissipated, and fled back down the hall.

You took the arm back to the house, where you once again enjoyed the hospitality of Christian and his wife for the evening. The next day Christian dropped you off at the train station, as he continued on to contact the local authorities about the human remains beneath his house.

Back in Paris, you purchase tickets for the Orient Express to Lausanne, Switzerland. The train was scheduled to leave Paris at midnight, and as you arrived at the Gare De Lyon, you watched a large crowd gathered on the platform bid adieu to a young woman. Later, in the lounge car, you met the woman - who was none other than Caterina Cavollaro. When you mention that you plan to go to her home city of Milan fairly soon, she became very taken with you, she told you that she would make reservations for you in the best hotel in Milan, and she would personally show you the city when you arrive. After much merry making, you retired for bed around three in the morning to catch a few hours sleep, for the Orient Express will arrive in Lausanne at 6:30 AM!

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