Barnum Institute of Science and Horror

I've got two figures in that restroom!

April 13, 1894 1:15 pm

Dr. Everest went to setup equipment to develop his film – he would get things ready, and then do the actual work when the timing was right. Angus went with him to protect him. Annie, Douglas, and Elmer decided to check out the other unexplored rooms, starting with the cobbler’s shop.

Everest and Angus had to walk past the shop, and as they did, Angus heard sounds of labor from inside. But when Everest paused to check his instruments, the noise ceased, and his instruments showed nothing; so, he determined that it must have been Angus’ imagination.

Annie started prodding at stuff in the cobbler’s shop, and found that while the place was mostly dusty, the work table was very clean and there were shoes on it that looked like they had been recently worked on. She moved a shoe that was on a workbench – it was clearly recently polished.

Everest began setting up a darkroom in the storage closet in the front office while Angus guarded the door and watched the hallway.

Annie, Douglas, and Elmer moved on to the ladies wear shop. They saw lots of lady’s wear. The shop looks like its ready for business, but had been abandoned. Annie found a pair of footprints in the shop dust that lead behind the counter and stopped. The path of the footprints, Douglas noticed, was almost exactly the same as he and Angus had taken before finding the amulet. Sure enough, Annie checked the ground near where the footprints stopped, and she found a smudge, as if someone had grasped at something on the floor. This was very strange, since Angus and Douglas had actually found the amulet in the General store and were never in this store.

Having set up the darkroom, Everest and Angus opened the door at the L-bend of the hallway, which didn’t have a window and didn’t seem to have a shop space associated with it. He revealed a narrow hall.

Annie tried calling “Hello? Is anyone in here? We thought the museum was open and got locked in!” There was no response.

Everest followed the short hallway to another closed door on the right, and opened it. Within was a garbagey musty smelling room with tools, ladders, buckets, and rotting stacks of paper. In the far corner was a pedestal of angular fashion, with a plaque upon it. “A people… who are possessed of the spirit of commerce who see and who will pursue their advantages will achieve almost anything” G. Washington to B. Harris 1784.

Annie wanted nothing to do with the pedestal, dismissing it as some common furniture. She was much more keen on a pile of moldy rubbish that used to be blank paper.

She then went back to the cobbler’s shop and discovered that the shoe she had moved was back in place, and a hammer had moved. She took the hammer.

They all went to the archway leading to the museum. Annie found a Visitor’s Guide pamphlet describing what was meant to be in store. Everest found a book describing Barnum’s life.

Everest and Douglas left to develop pictures and peruse the Barnum book, respectively. On their way out of the room, the locket in Everest’s possession began to tremble. When he looked at it, the photo of Barnum became clear, and spoke to the pair of them. “You have to bring me back! They don’t understand!” Barnum’s face flew through Douglas’s, who gained a vision of an ancient ugly haggard black woman shrieking in his face, as well.

In the meantime, Angus and Elmer moved the bust of Washington from the hallway arch to the pedestal in the storage room. It seemed to fit and match perfectly.

“Eureka!” Everest exclaimed after he developed his photographs of the cafe. There were two shadowy figures; one figure hunched over near the center of the cafe (near where the fire started), another, clearly a tall man, stood near the bar wearing a black mariner’s coat.

Further study of the photograph lead Everest to believe that the mariner was the same person as the burn victim that had told him to GET OUT of the cafe, and that the hunched over person may be the same ugly shrieking black woman that Douglas had seen.

April 13, 1894 3:45 pm

Douglas had compiled a list of significant events in Barnum’s life P T Barnum the Great American Showman. The group pored over the list, trying to make connections between the odd events they had witnessed and the tragedies of Barnum’s life.

While Annie was focused on the list and Elmer and Angus were focused on other things, Douglas and Everest began discussing the disturbing message from the Barnum vision they had witnessed. At some point a black beetle with strange red dots that looked like eyes scurried onto the counter. Douglas did not see it, and became agitated when Everest started talking about bugs. The critter scurried off quickly as Annie tried to calm Douglas.

bug.jpg

Everest had another lost-in-time-and-space moment. He went behind the bar in the cafe and flashed back to before the fire, where he worked as a server. He observed that it was apparently the May 21, 1893 (the day before the fire), and at the time the topmost bust of the bust-arch was of Barnum.

He was gone a long time, and no one saw where he went. When Angus looked for him in the cupboards, Angus found the Red-Eyed Beetle again.

Looking near the place where the fire started, Angus found a dark spot. Annie confirmed this was very likely the origin of the fire.

When Everest returned, nearly an hour later. He recounted his tale, and when pressed for more details, tried to go back but was unable to.

View
Horrible circumcisions that forced them to leave

April 13th, 1894

Annie took a job to look at the museum. She told Douglas and Angus. The three of them contracted Dr. Scott Everest and and Elmer Mannerly to offer their expertise in the paranormal.

The five boarded a carriage, driven by a grungy carriage driver. He took good care of the horses; taking the trip slowly with many breaks.

When they arrived at the museum, they were greeted by the curator, Prof. John P. Marshall, who showed them to the office. Entering the museum, there came a wave of heated wind and a sense of dread and bad omen. "Mr. Malone died in a cafe fire. It was tragic. Let’s continue. Escapees claim that “a glass of milk was knocked off a table and burst into flame!” Others say it was probably whiskey in the milk, and the fire was God’s punishment." He admitted that there have been roughly a dozen deaths.

Some of the group heard skittering. Prof. Marshall brushed off Angus’s concern.

Prof. Marshall grabbed an article from the Times Newspaper Article Nov 21 1893 that addressed some of the incidents; Annie sneakily grabbed a stack of papers, labeled “Leases”, from the desk drawer.

After a brief interrogation by Angus, which yielded little new information, Marshall left. Annie took the opportunity to read the lease agreements. Leases There were sixteen or so contracts.

On the floor level, the entrance door leads to a long L-shaped hall. Directly opposite the entrance is an office. The first leg of the hall ends at a door where it turns to the right. The second leg of the hall contains five suites and the exhibit entrance. Suites 1, 2, 3, and 5 have all been abandoned multiple times. Suite 4 has never been leased.

Douglas recounted a quick historical lesson, regarding the original Barnum Museum and the fire that destroyed it. A defective furnace under a neighboring restaurant was apparently the cause of the blaze:

He decided that Suite 5 was the most interesting, so the bunch decided to check it out. On the way toward the old Malone cafe, they passed the old cobblery, lady’s wear, the general store, and a store with chairs/tables rolls of fabric and debris. Finally they arrived at the end of the hall; the cafe to the right, the entrance to the museum to the left, and an “A-frame” of male busts at the terminus of the hall.

The five busts are: Winfield Scott – US Army General (bottom left); Christopher Columbus – Explorer (middle left); Grover Cleaveland – US President (bottom right); Elias Howe – Inventor of the Sewing Machine (middle right); George Washington – US President (top). Above it all “Great capitalist minds can only thrive when supported by great governmental leadership personal innovation, and discovery. – P.T. Barnum”.

Angus saw a woman walk into the general store. He tried to follow her in, but she disappeared. Angus found a locket where she seemed to have been.

zzz_pendant_front.jpg
zzz_pendant_Back.jpg
zzz_pendant_inside.bmp

Angus began to hear a voice “Help me. You must help me. They don’t understand. You have to bring me back. YOU HAVE TO BRING ME BACK!” and the face of Barnum lunged from the locket and passed through Angus’ face. The Irishman decided not to be responsible for this piece of haunted jewelry; he passed the locket to Douglas.

The gang headed to Suite 4 — the unlabeled room. Inside, skittering sounds emanated from a pile of debris. Annie found nothing of interest.

Dr. Everest got a feeling that he should develop some of the pictures he had been taking, and to get back into the cafe. When he went into the hallway, his compass went crazy and pointed again at the busts.

On further investigation of them, Angus noted that the sculpting style of the George Washington bust was different from the other four, and in fact, it was made of a different type of stone. Angus tipped up the bust for Doug to see. Carved on the underside was “T.W. 10-1892”. Other busts were labeled as “J.S.7-1890”.

Dr. Everest got some wash bins to try and develop his film. When he picked up the bins, he heard talking and glasses clinking, and looked up to see the cafe full of patrons. His compass started spinning like crazy. He ended up ordering a glass of milk from Geoff Malone, a dark haired gentleman with a clean shave. He struck up a conversation with another gent in a long black trench coat, who offered Dr. Everest a “spiced milk”, and started talking creepily.

As Dr. Everest tried to leave, behind him a glass of milk shattered, and flames erupted throughout the phantom cafe. He swiftly exited, unharmed and un-phased.

The rest of the group, still apparently discussing the busts, saw him flee from the cafe, as if from a fire, without the wash bins. After describing his ordeal, he went back into the cafe to get them. Angus went with him, for support, taking a seat near the exit. When he grabbed them again, he heard the creepy man’s voice again: “I thought you were leaving.” Turning, he now faced the man in the black trench coat: the face was horribly disfigured, wrinkled, red, and blistered by fire; the lips shrunk back to display charred teeth and blistered gums; a blackened eye oozing and hanging half out of the socket. “LEAVE! NOW!” Dr. Everest tried giving some lip, and the room suddenly burst into fire once more as the dark man quickly faded away.

Angus did not see the man, but did witness the room catching fire. They both fled, but Dr. Everest had to run through flames and smoke to escape. The others in the hall did not see the fire, but the evidence of a burn was very obvious when Dr. Everest escaped the cafe again. He was smoldering, with arm hairs singed, and light burns over his body.

View
Welcome to your campaign!
A blog for your campaign

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.