Our group travels to Cheapside, to a tiny bedsit. The door is answered by James Beddows, butler and confidant of Professor Julius Arthur Smith. Beddows’ hands are bandaged. He ushers us inside. We crowd into the tiny room, where Prof. Smith lies bandaged and severely injured in the small bed. Their clothes still smell of smoke from the fire, and they seem to have barely made it out of the burning building in time.
Prof. Smith is hooked up to an IV, and his wounds seem to have been competently cared for, in the professional opinion of Dr. John Baker, M.D.. Dr. Baker seems impressed that Beddows was able to care for Prof Smith so well, when he has his own injuries, and makes sure the man’s hands are re-bandaged after we listen to Prof. Smith.
Prof. Smith haltingly and with great effort tells us about his dilemma. He had been researching an artifact called the Sedefkar Simulacrum. It is a statue, which supposedly contains great mystical power. It was broken up and scattered across Europe dome years ago. His goal was to re-assemble the statue so that it could be destroyed at the Shunned Mosque in Constantinople. He requests we complete his mission for him, as he can no longer do so. His home was burned by Turkish cultists who want to reassemble the statue for their own use. He tells us what he knows about the last known locations of the pieces of the statue, and Beddows copies notes of this and hands us a written copy.
Prof. Smith has arranged for us to travel on the Orient Express to retrieve the pieces, as the route it takes will pass through the known locations of the statue pieces and conclude in Constantinople. Along the way we should remember to check for telegraphs or messages at the stations. The messages will be sent to “Ruth”, so Ms. Post or Janet Blake should collect them.