From the Annals of the Paragon Society

The Starkweather Incident: Chapter Two
To End All Wars: Acts II & III

The group picks up The Red Fedora at the New York Sun, reconvenes, and heads to Hoboken. On the drive over they share/trade information. As they’re driving, Sabrina Blackthorne gets a visit through her deck of cards, and her grandfather’s ghost appears, asking, “Sabrina, dear, have you been engaging in necromancy?” He reminds her about the costs of necromancy, and leaves.

5434535314 6dc720f9c6After driving to New Jersey, The Paragon Society arrives at Starkweather Labs and sees three trucks emblazoned with the Starkweather Labs logo, being loaded with crates by half a dozen men in workmen’s coveralls. Dr. Meriwether comments they seems to be thugs, but don’t seem to be wearing guns. The Red Fedora assesses that Valerie Bloom must be inside (there are no good hiding spots near the building outside). They drive once around the warehouse, then park and walk in a fire door. The team immediately sees Valerie Bloom tied to a chair surrounded by men with guns. A brute is slapping her.

The Red Fedora shoots the light fixture over them, startling the brute. Meanwhile, Sabrina creates a sonic boom, stunning two of the men. Verity takes flight and pulls out her gun. Dr. Meriwether assesses the situation, and tries to identify the objectives of the men.

One of the men – Adler – pulls a luger and points it at Miss Bloom. Red Fedora says, “I can see your veins,” and points his gun at Adler.

Verity shoots a thug who flies backwards into one of the shaken men, knocking them both out. Charlie shoots at some thug with her trusty peacemaker.Synthetic pharmaceutical plant

Sabrina casts another sonic boom, taking out four thugs – one shoots at her, shaking her.

Several shots are exchanged, and a vat of flesh eating insects splits open, pouring over a man, killing him.

The Red Fedora shoots Adler but does no damage. Sabrina shoots a blast of cold at the bugs, putting them into torpor. Verity shoots Adler, and he flies back through the wall. Charlie takes the opportunity to run over and untie Bloom and escort her out.

Several thugs shoot but miss. Meriweather shoots a valve and releases a fluid which starts washing the insects down the drain. Sabrina shoots a magickal bolt and hits two more men.

Since all the men have been injured or stunned, Meriweather tells them to give up. The group questions a thug and Miss Bloom. T8900410 pharmaceutical plant spl

Klaus Adler was the Operations Director of the plant, and hired the mob to take the crates. The crates are filled with gas canisters, and they being taken to Lakehurst, NJ and were labeled “medical supplies.” He says the gas canisters will be released.

Meriwether spends a few minutes in Adler’s office trying to get a feel for his personality. He’s a vicious thug, but well-trained enough to keep that in check. He’s sadistic, overconfident, and arrogant, but knows his place in a hierarchy. Meriweather uses his profiling ability to figure out Adler’s next move.

Meanwhile, Miss Bloom says she was hoping to go Dr. Starkweather’s mansion next, but now must go file her story. She asks the group to go [to Starkweather’s house] and says she will try to meet them there later.

To Be Continued…

The Starkweather Incident: Chapter 1
To End All Wars: Acts I & II

March, 1936. Members of the Paragon Society are sitting in Ma’s Diner in downtown Manhattan.

Jim Black, an old schoolmate of Dr. Lloyd Meriwether had called asking to meet, saying he had information he didn’t want to give over the telephone. The group sees Jim crossing the street. A car screeches around the corner and tommy-gun fire rings out! People scream and dive for cover. Jim Black goes down in a hail of bullets.

The Red Fedora gets the license plate and model of the car, while Meriwether and Verity Derring run out to Jim. With his dying breathe he gasps out, “Starkweather… Nazis…”

The Red Fedora pauses to pay the bill, with an exact 12% tip. He walks to the street and shoots at the car.

800px duesenberg convertible sj la grand dual cowl phaeton 1935Charlie hops in the Dusenburg and takes off, with barely enough time for the Red Fedora and Sabrina Blackthorne to jump in. Verity turns on her jet pack and takes off after them.

Sabrina creates the illusion of a tornado appearing in front of the car as Charlie shoots and damages the steering of the other car.

As the two cars race through midtown traffic, Charlie pulls up and bumps the other car, knocking it into a curb, and causing it to roll end-over-end twice, killing all four gunmen in the car! A 000127 detail

Searching the deceased gunmen, The Red Fedora finds a note reading “help load tanks at 4pm, Starkweather Labs” on a piece of Starkweather Labs stationary and a business card for Valerie Bloom, reporter of the New York Herald.

Sabrina tries to raise the spirits of the dead men, but has no success.

The group splits up to research Starkweather Labs, Valerie Bloom, and Jim Black. The Red Fedora does research on Starweather Labs and Dr. Henry Starkweather while the ladies and Dr. Meriwether head to Jim Black’s apartment. The door to the apartment is ajar, and there are noises coming from inside. Sabrina casts a spell to paralyze the people in the apartment. Charlie steps inside, and discovers two men that are now stunned. Verity takes their guns and ties them up. Upon questioning them, it is learned that they belong to a gang run by Tommy Maddigan. The group leaves them for the police to deal with.

To Be Continued…

Prisoner of the Reich: Chapter 8
Nazis and Portals and Dinos, Oh my!

Dr. Wurmhausen looks triumphant as he says “I’ve been expecting you,” as a troup of Nazis file in behind him, and the sounds of footsteps are heard in the stairwell. He gloats that he sent the notebook to the team. He captured the professor as bait. The portal in the room was built by the Atlantians, and needs someone with Atlantian blood, and the group has brought him two! (He gestures towards Betty and Charlie.)

The team questions him about the portal and his plans, until Wurmhausen says “if you will not operate the portal willingly…” and shoots Rookwood in the stomach. There is a buzzing, and Wurmhausen explains he shot a bullet which is drilling towards Rookwood’s heart.

Charlie steps to the console and touches it. She is bombarded with images of other gates. She focuses on a ruin in a verdant jungle. The gate flickers and opens on the ruin. The see a small animal running towards the gate, and then it runs into the room. Two 30-foot tall dinosaurs follow it, throwing the Nazis into confusion.

The dinosaurs start eating soldiers, as Winterbourne crawls to Wurmhausen and demands that he stops the bullet. After a moment, Winterbourne realized Wurmhausen is panicked, and takes his gun. He looks at the switches, and flips one. There’s a pause and the whirring sound stops. Winterbourne picks up Rookwood, grabs Betty’s arm and heads towards the door.

Helen starts shooting up the equipment, while Charlie runs back to the control panel and uses the butt of her gun to break the crystals. She pries the crystal from the panel, and the portal closes.

The group runs out of the tower, and escape back to their airship.

Prisoner of the Reich: Chapter 7
On to Germany

Charlie shot at a Nazi, but missed. Helen shot the Nazi again, killing him. The first Nazi shot at Helen but missed. Charlie shot and killed the first Nazi, ending the battle.

Winterbourne comes forward and gives Betty first aid while the ladies begin repairs. Charlie looks in the periscope and sees the ship has gained more room.

The team searches the dead Nazis, taking anything that looks important, their rocket packs, bombs and ID.

After a brief discussion, Charlie took the Epitome up, gaining altitude and slowed down until the ship was over the Nazi ship. Helen drops two bombs out the port door as Charlie stops the blimp and goes up. The Himelswolf explodes in a huge, fiery ball!

* * *

Castle Wewelsburg is located in Westphalia. The airship floats in and the team sees a triangluar fortress. There are huge banners with the swastika drapped over the walls. The north tower has an early glow eminating from it. Charlie lands the the Epitome (using the cloaking shield to cover the approach) in a field to the west of the castle. After a short wait, a cloaked figure runs across the plain around the castle. He calls out a german number, and Winterbourne replies with the correct counter-phrase. The Cloaked Man says he’ll lead the group into the castle.

He leads the group thru dank secret passages and dark rooms. As they enter the tower, Charlie’s bracelet glows very bright. She takes it off and puts it in a pocket. The Cloaked Man tells them to take the spiral staircase up to the lab. At the top is an ajar door, thru which is the glow. The team sees Professor Rookwood, with a Nazi Scientist, Dr. Wurmhausen, pointing a gun at him…

Prisoner of the Reich: Chapter 6
Uninvited Guests

Winterbourne sees two of the jet-pack Nazis heading towards the engines, so he leaves the machine gun turret to go to the engine room.

There are sounds of clanging and metal rending as Helen takes position at the starboard side and Pandora takes port side. Helen opens the door and shoots. Her shot blows one jet-pack Nazi back and wings the other. The one still holding on swings a crowbar at Helen. The other one flies back and shoots at Helen.

Meanwhile, Pandora tries to shoot out a porthole, but misses. She then sees Winterbourne heading for the engine room and decides to follow him. In the engine room, sparks are coming from the ceiling as a hole is being cut.

Helen continues to fight with the two jet-pack Nazis. She then hits both of them with one shot from her shotgun and they are both dead.

As two Nazis jump down from the hole in the ceiling, Winterbourne and Pandora shoot at them. They kill both intruders. One of them drops something that appears to be ticking.

The door of the cockpit opens and two Nazis enter. One greets Charlie and Betty in a German accent and asks them to raise their hands. Charlie complies, but as she turns around, she hits the steering wheel so the airship lurches to starboard. She then draws her gun. Betty moves towards one of the Nazis with her sword. Both Nazis shoot but miss.

Helen, still in the open doorway on the starboard side, manages to not fall out. She then decides to go see what’s happening in the cockpit.

Pandora picks up the ticking device. It is definitely a bomb!… but the timer has not been set yet.

The Nazis in the cockpit shoot again, missing Charlie but hitting Betty. Charlie shoots back and misses. Helen arrives and shoots the Nazi closest to Betty. He is knocked back into the control panel.

Prisoner of the Reich: Chapter 5
Air Battle!

Winterbourne flips a table to block the group’s retreat, and everyone heads towards the scholar and the new door.

It leads to an alley, where he pauses to introduce himself as Erich Reinhart before herding everyone into his car.

He tells them he’s a member of the Fifth Column of the Thule Society. Rookwood was also a member of the Fifth Column, but has been capture and is being held in Castle Wewelsburg in the heart of Nazi Germany.

Pandora realizes they’re heading towards the aerodrome. He gives Winterbourne a Thule Society pin and tells him how to meet someone in Germany.

Reinhart drops them off and drives away. As the team walks towards the airship, a half-track with several Nazi soldiers pulls up yelling at them to stop. The team runs to the ship and takes off!

Winterbourne takes over the machinegun turret as Charlie takes off. A Nazi dirigible swings into view, the Himleswolf. As the Epitome outpaces the the Nazi ship, a door opens and several planes drop out of the belly of the airship and begin strafing the team. Winterbourne is able to shoot down one plane, while the Epitome takes damage.

Ten rocketpack Nazis drop out of the same bay as the fighters pull back. They are armed with anti-personnel weapons and clearly plan to board the Epitome!

Prisoner of the Reich: Chapter 4
Bar Fight!

The group meets back at their hotel and discuss what they found. They ask the concierge about Wah El Zalam and he tells them it’s a bar in the “shady” part of town. He arranges for his cousin, Jassim, to be their driver.

That night, they go to the bar. Helen asks (bribes) the bartender about Rhinehardt and Rookwood, but despite the money, he says he doesn’t know either of them. Helen orders a round of drinks and the group sits down at a table.

Six German soldiers enter the bar, led by an officer holding some kind of gold rod with an animal headpiece. He scans the room and sees Betty and the others. He says that they have something we wants and if they give it to him, they can leave unharmed. Helen asks if this is their favorite table. Winterbourne asks the officer’s name and he tells them it’s Captain von Shrek.

The soldiers move towards the group and a fight breaks out. Winterbourne fights hand-to-hand with von Shrek. Pandora, Charlie, and Helen quickly escalate the fighting and start shooting at the soldiers. The soldiers start shooting back, and Charlie grabs Betty and starts to move towards the door. Von Shrek’s rod starts to glow and the eyes on the headpiece glow red. Beams of light shoot out and hit the other soldiers and seem to drain the life out of them.

At the end of the bar, a short, scholarly looking man with a German accent opens a door and says, “Come with me if you want to live…”

Prisoner of the Reich: Chapter 3
And it's off to Cairo...

The group returns to the Chrysler Building offices with Miss Rookwood. Her first name is Elizabeth, but she tells them to call her Betty. They all introduce themselves to her. Betty tells the group she fears her father, Prof. Albert Rookwood, has been kidnapped because he sent her his research journal which he would never part with under normal circumstances. He has been in Cairo, Egypt doing research on the lost city of Atlantis. Helen looks at the journal and the notes do seem to be about Atlantis. There are also some notes and photos of some other language she doesn’t recognize. He makes mention of a gate discovered and needing a key. Charlie asks Betty about the men from the train and she says she thought she heard one of them say they were going to be “sending her to see her father”. The group decides they will need to go to Cairo, so Charlie goes to makes the prep arrangements for the A.S. Epitome. They plan to leave the next morning.

Pandora calls some of her police and reporter contacts to see if anyone knows about a contract being put out on Betty and/or Albert. She finds out there was something about a job that involved snatching a girl and putting her on a boat. The payer was anonymous, but was involved with local people from some kind of an ethnic group or club, possibly German.

Helen leaves the building to make a phone call. She speaks to Rick Thompson and finds out he was hired by a man named “Bucher” who’s associated with a German-American organization, although Rick suspects it’s really a front for the Thule Society.

Left alone with Betty, Winterbourne finds out from her that she was adopted at age three and originally came from somewhere in the British Isles.

The next morning, the group meets at the offices. From there, they descend in the private express elevator to the sub-basement where there is an old subway tunnel. They board the Paragon Society’s secret train car, which takes them immediately to the Seaport where the A.S. Epitome is docked.

The flight to Cairo takes several days and is uneventful. Winterbourne takes some time to teach Betty how to use a gun.

Upon arrival in Cairo, the port commissioner greets them and asks them to pay a “docking fee.” Helen negotiates it down from $5 to $1.20. The group takes a cab to a nice hotel and checks in there. After getting settled and freshening up a bit, they go to the Al-Konbas Hotel, which is where Professor Rookwood was staying. Helen and Charlie go off to speak with some of the local laborers and Winterbourne, Pandora and Betty head into the hotel.

Helen and Charlie find out that Prof. Rookwood talked to many of the laborers but he was mostly looking for information. He seemed to be doing more research than actual digging. He inquired about a German dig a few months back that was located south of Cairo. The ladies also find out that there have been some German men asking about Prof. Rookwood as well.

Meanwhile, Winterbourne, Pandora, and Betty speak to the front desk clerk, Cedric. He tells them Prof. Rookwood does have a room at the hotel, but his bill hasn’t been paid for over a week. He says he hasn’t seen Prof. Rookwood in at least a week. Winterbourne pays up the bill and Cedric gives them the key for room 324. They go up to the room and it is neat and orderly. Prof. Rookwood’s personal items are all still there, including his walking cane. There is a thin layer of dust on everything. Pandora spots a pad of hotel stationary and Winterbourne uses a pencil to reveal the message, “Meet Rhinehardt at Wah El Zalam.”

Prisoner of the Reich: Chapter 2
Grand Central Station

Sebastian goes to the balcony and sees Pandora approaching a group, and at the same time notices Clive (of Rick Thompson’s Fortune Hunters) on the far balcony looking on. Winterbourne walks down the stairs, pauses at the shoe shine, gives the boy a dollar, takes a box of polish and throws it at Clive on the far side.

Pandora walks up to the group around the girl and asks the thugs, “Is that Miss Rookwood?”

They reply they don’t know any Rookwood

Pandora turns around to see if any of her compatriots are around. She sees both Sebastian and Charlie heading towards her, but when she turns back the men are moving off. The three gather and follow the group. Sebastian walks up to the last thug, yanks down his jacket and pushes the man in to the thug next to him. They both fall down. Pandora grabs the girl away from the me and asks, “Are you Miss Rookwood?”

The girl squeaks out yes.

Charlie jumps between the other thugs to protect the girl

Charlie finally remembers where she’s seen one of the thugs before – he’s Miles Redfern who has worked for Rick Thompson.

Pandora grabs the girl and runs for a door. She nearly runs into a police officer.

Helen is following another group surrounding a girl.

Prisoner of the Reich: Chapter 1
Needle in a Haystack

NYC Paragon Society HQ 75&76th floors of Chrysler Building

Mrs. Wu head of NYC Office brings Charlie a telegram from E. Rookwood, that he’s being followed and wants us to meet his train. The group heads across street to Grand Central Terminal. The train has already arrived, so the team splits up to search.

Pandora sees a girl in a private school uniform look up when she pages E. Rookwood, surrounded by thugs. She goes towards them.

Sebastian goes to the balcony and sees someone across the way with radio headphones.


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