Horror on the Orient Express Nouveau

1 January 1923
Monday, London

We spent New Year’s Day in London, at the invitation of Professor Julius Arthur Smith. We attended the opening gala of the Maudslay collection at the British Museum. There, our party first met each other. Though we all had been previously acquainted with Prof. Smith, we hadn’t met each other before.

At the opening, Professor Julius Arthur Smith invited us all to attend a lecture he is to give at the Challenger Trust Banquet in two days time.

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3 January 1923
Wednesday, London

Tonight the members of our party separately attended a lecture given by Professor Julius Arthur Smith at the Challenger Trust Banquet held at the Imperial Institute in Kensington.

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The topic of Prof. Smith’s lecture was spiritualist phenomena. While he started the lecture explaining the techniques many modern spiritualists use to falsify such phenomena, he eventually segued into a discussion of events that could not be so explained. He focused on poltergeists, travelers, and hauntings as types of epiphenomena separated from human interaction: ie, they manifest with or without the presence of humans.

Three specific phenomena were mentioned in his lecture; the appearance of a Breton fishing boat, an apparition of a hansom cab in London, and the apparent ghost of a Norwegian woman who was observed descending a staircase. In these three specific instances, the phenomena had been both witnessed and photographed by multiple people and more than one angle. There is no evidence for falsification of the events. He theorizes that there way be some sort of dimensional opening or distortion that could account for these cinematograph-like events. The events all involved some apparent time-dilation effect, as they appeared to move in slow-motion.

At the dinner after the lecture, several of the party members become better acquainted over drinks. Halife İkinci Abdülmecit Efendi observed a man with a bushy mustache that looks like a native Turk, though the man quickly leaves after being noticed.

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4 January 1923
Thursday, London

Flora Post spends the day shopping.

Arthur John Evans, Jr. and his father Sir Arthur John Evans spend the day at the British Museum working on various research projects while in the city.

Other characters need to edit to add what they were doing their own selves!

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5 January 1923
Friday, London

The day begins with newspaper criers calling out a bizarre headline: “Man Dies 3 Times in One Night”.
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After perusing the papers more thoroughly, Flora Post discovers an article of more direct personal importance:
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Ms. Post travels to the home of Professor Julius Arthur Smith, arriving to see the police still surveying the burnt property. A postman appears to deliver a package, which Ms. Post intercepts and signs for. It contains a journal, which is to be looked through at a later date.

Alaistair Swanson, a detective with the Met, volunteers to work the Makrat case.

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6 January 1923
Saturday, London

The various members of the party continue to investigate the whereabouts of our friend Professor Julius Arthur Smith, and the strange case of Mr. Makrat.

Arthur John Evans, Jr. Visits the Oriental Club to see if any of the other members have heard from Professor Julius Arthur Smith. None have heard from him, and he is not staying at the Club.

Alaistair Swanson continues the investigation of the Makrat case, being joined in said by Fredrick Wellsworth the seer and Dr. John Baker, M.D.. They visit the antique store owned by Mr. Makrat. The sales records of the store indicate that the last sale before the apparent murder was of an intricate model train set to one Henry Stanley of Stoke-Newington.
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Halife İkinci Abdülmecit Efendi visits the Turkish Embassy, where he is allowed to inspect the passports and travel papers of the three apparent “Mr. Makrat”s. They are all determined to be forgeries, but good ones created from scratch, not mere copies.

Janet Blake checks in at the offices of the British Museum libraries, but no one there has seen Prof. Smith for some time. He has no books left in his name.

By late afternoon Arthur John Evans, Jr. decides to visit the Imperial Institute, and collect the calling cards of the others attending the lecture of 3 January, to see if any of them have heard from Prof. Smith. He visits Ms. Post, Janet Blake, Dr. John Baker, M.D., Fredrick Wellsworth, and finally Halife İkinci Abdülmecit Efendi. He also meets again with Alaistair Swanson along the way. As the group, all together for the first time since the lecture, discusses what they have discovered, a note arrives at their hotel.
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6 January 1923 - Evening Meeting
Saturday evening, Cheapside, London

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.

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7 January 1923
Sunday, London

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