April 27, 1924
After seeing how thoroughly mad Roger Carlyle had gone, the party decided to leave him in the care of the asylum. The group then traveled back to Shanghai to continue following leads. A search of the library for information on the half of the strange warding symbol given to the investigators by Jack Brady yielded nothing.
April 28, 1924
Jack Brady had also told the group that The Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan was being translated by a scholar named Mu Hsien. The party went to Hsien to see what information had been revealed to him so far. Hsien was still several weeks away from completing the translation, but he did have some information to impart. The Order of the Bloated Woman, the Chinese arm of the Nyarlathotep cult, was actively working to summon their goddess to Earth, but before the summoning could be successful some sort of poisoning of the sky must occur. Hsien then told the party that it was too dangerous for them to meet him in person anymore and he gave a false name for which the party could leave messages at the Shanghai post office.
The party then decided to investigate Sir Aubry Penhew’s ship the Dark Mistress. At the harbor master’s office they were able to determine the ship had a British registry. Later the party spotted the actual ship tied up by the docks near the warehouse of known cult member Ho Fong. After some careful observation, the investigators determined the ship had six crew members all of whom were wearing the same medallion.
The party then took a trip to the abandoned warehouse where the New China paramilitary organization performed its training and had its weapons cache. Although cautioned by New China’s leader Chu Min, the party decided to attempt to sneak onto the ship that night. Min was able to supply the party with a silencer.
That evening the party decided to split up. James and Afaafa would attempt to keep the captain of the ship, a known alcoholic, busy while the others attempted to sneak onto the ship. As the ship’s captain, Jules Savoyard, stumbled off the ship to head to the nearest bar, Afaafa noticed that the man had visible symptoms of radiation sickness. At the bar, Afaafa plied Savoyard with drinks and attempted to get Savoyard to divulge some interesting information. Savoyard was more interested in Afaafa’s being a woman than in any questions she had to ask.
Afaafa eventually invited Savoyard back to her hotel room but soon came to regret the decision as the captain was deeply intoxicated and extremely unattractive to boot. Desperate to get out of the situation, Afaafa signaled to James who had been watching surreptitiously. James attempted to whisk Afaafa away, but the drunken Savoyard took exception to another man intruding on his private conversation with an attractive woman. Savoyard pulled out his pistol, but James beat him to the punch and fired first. Savoyard was hit and grievously wounded, but before collapsing to the ground managed to return fire and injure James.
Meanwhile, at the Dark Mistress, Courvoisier bungled his attempt to sneak onto the gangway and alerted the crew who came out to give hard looks at the interlopers. Not discouraged by their setback, Jon decided to instead attempt to sneak into Ho Fong’s warehouse. He easily picked the lock and sneaked into the shadows cautiously avoiding the five guards sitting around a table in the middle of the warehouse playing cards. Jon slowly made his way to the offices of Ho Fong. While exploring the first floor portion of the office, Jon discovered a loose stair. Quietly prying the tread from the riser, Jon found himself looking into a storeroom. Jon lowered himself into the storeroom and struck a match to examine its contents. He was able to glimpse several horrifying statues and obscene paintings, but his interest was immediately attracted to several crates marked “A.P.” Despite the risk of alerting the guards, Jon pried open one of the crates and revealed machined parts made of aluminum. Despite his meager knowledge of physics, Jon miraculously recognized the items as being parts to a rocket.