Terror on the Orient-Express – The Torso of Sedefkar
[WARNING : Contains spoilers of the Milano chapter of the “Terror on the Orient Express” Call of Cthulhu RPG campaign. Players are advised to skip this part]
Teatro alla Scala, Milano, Italy, Januarry 10 1923
Choura only dreamed of being there, on the stage of the Scala! Draped in a rich gown heavily decorated with numerous egyptian hieroglyphs, he was playing a high priest of Ptah. The costume was magnificent, only rivaled by those of the singers. It was a non-singing role but nonetheless a central one, keeping him close to the tenor playing Radamès. The Aida, Verdi masterpiece, was a bliss to listen onstage ! If only Cavolaro was there. He could swear that he heard her voice during the aria “ritorna vincitor” earlier. But enough ! All of his focus had to go in the role, he only knew the play from memory and didn’t actually had been directed. So far, it was a no fault, but the single mistake could cost a lot to him all all of the italian theater world!
Cihat in comparison was only wearing a simple soldier attire, a fake spear and a loincloth. He was pulled backstage before he could get on stage, and only could look Choura from afar. On the other side of the stage, he could saw one of Facia’s men, probably searching the same thing that us. While properly dressed, the goon seemed out of place and bored out of his mind. From the corner of his eyes, Cihat saw something move, and went investigating. A strange black smoke were oozing in a corner of the backstage… cautiously approaching, he heard a deep yet soft voice emanating from the dark smoke.
– Do you need help, my dear? I’m following you for a while, searching for the pieces of Sedefkar, and it seems you’ll need a hand to manage this Facia. He’s a brother of the Flesh, a dangerous man… Would you like me to get rid of him?
At the first rows of the room, Henry and Carl were searching for the participants of the Flavio Conti reception, screening the other spectators. Arturio Fascia was several rows behind them and they heard him sing during the aria with the voice of Cavolaro ! Henry was shocked, and looked again to the old woman next to Facia. The eyes, the proportions, the hair… It was beyond reasonable to deny the truth further: it was the lost Diva! After concerting with Carl, they stared to move and leave their seat. Henry has a plan, a hasty and risky one, but a plan.
By the time they manage to reach the central row, they saw Facia standing up, and precipitately leave his seats, rudely hustling the other spectator. Did he saw them? Carl took a look to the stage and understand the reason behind the sudden move of Facia. No time left, they will have to intercept him backstage. Facia left because he saw what was on stage. Radames was about to get his armor, ready to battle the Ethiopian army. Choura was the one who had to get it to him but when the approached the mannequin revealed in the light he immediately knew they found the missing torso of Sedefkar !
Pencil doodle on A6 sketchbook
Excerpt from the Terror on the Orient-Express Chaosium Call of Cthulhu RPG campaign