Horror on the Orient Express

The Doom Train

"Let's start the campaign by making everyone jump off a train!"

Before Eugene and Bella left for Paris to board the Simplon-Orient Express, they decided to investigate the triple homicide of “Mehmet Makryat”, suspecting that it had something to do with the attack on their friend, Professor Smith, and the Turkish man who had been following them at the lecture. After conning the police, Eugene and Bella learned three things about the homicides:

  • each corpse contained an identical telegram sent from Paris, saying “MEET ME IN LONDON AT ONCE URGENT M.”
  • Mehmet Makryat’s shop and home were at 3 Brophy Lane, Islington, but the police found nothing interesting
  • Each of the three corpses had been partially skinned — one, the torso, one, the arms, and the last, the legs.

Eugene and Bella decided to look at Makryat’s shop and home for themselves. Nothing was immediately suspicious. Eugene noticed that Makryat’s luggage was gone, as were most of his clothes. Meanwhile, Bella looked over Makryat’s ledgers, and saw that the last item purchased as one Wrightson special-commission train set, sold to Mr. Henry Stanley for one pound. The train had been purchased from the estate of Randolph Alexis months before. No other trains, toys, or anything of the sort had ever been sold or purchased in the shop.

The next morning, Bella and Eugene read in the newspaper that Henry Stanley had disappeared. The landlady heard a scream around 8 o’clock, went to Stanley’s room, and when he didn’t answer, she opened the door to find him vanished and the room full of smoke. No trace of him was recovered. The police were unhelpful, believing that Stanley had faked his own disappearance. The only advice that the sergeant gave them was the address of Arthur Butter, president of the London Train Spotters’ Association, who had possession of the train. They then chose to spend some time in the library, researching parts of the case. They learned that Randolph Alexis, the original owner of the train set, was an occultist with links to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight. His son, Albert Alexis, was also a member of these groups. Alexis senior died in a train derailment while traveling to Liverpool in 1897, while Albert disappeared from his home in 1917 — all that was left was a few drops of dried blood, and a room full of smoke.

Eugene and Bella went to visit Butter, and managed to take the large train set back to their hotel room. Although they tried running it a few times, nothing happened, and so they decided to go back to the library the next day. When they arrived, however, they found a man sleeping in the room. When they tried to wake him up, the skinless corpse of Beddows collapsed to the floor. On him was a note in Turkish — derisiz bir inkar edilemez olacak – translating to “The Skinless One will not be denied.” The library was closed after discovering the body, and Eugene and Bella returned to their rooms.

After letting the small toy train run a few more times, a large, spectral train was summoned in their hotel room. The steam made the walls bubble, and ghostly passengers crowded around Eugene, dragging him into the train. Bella managed to jump aboard, and as they ran to escape the passengers, they found Randolph Alexis and Henry Stanley in the second class cabin. He was attempting to recreate the train set, in order to put the Doom Train (as he called it) back in the real world. With help from Eugene and Bella (who killed Alexis when it became clear the man was insane) the Doom Train came back to the real world, and the three survivors made it to a nearby town.

If Eugene and Bella are ever in a bad situation, they can now recreate the pattern of the Doom Train and create their own Doom Gate — although there is no guarantee that their attempt will go any better than Alexis’.

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