The investigators boarded the famed Orient Express as it prepared for a late night departure from Paris. The perfectly adequate dress and manners of our heroes earned them snobbish glares from fellow passengers, but the highly trained and courteous staff of the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits welcomed them aboard and showed them to their cabins.
Also on the train was the famed opera singer, Caterina Cavollaro on her way home to Milan after a world tour. Many of the passengers spent the night at a party in her honor, but Umar was absorbed in studying the letters they’d collected regarding Edgar Wellington, while Miss Crispin was absorbed in something else: a dream of a lupine shape pacing alongside the train, which was driven off by a hunting party lead by the medieval Prince who has haunted her dreams before.
Morning found them across the Swiss border, in the town of Lausanne. Miss Johnson, who had previously been recovering from her wounds with remarkable swiftness, took a turn for the worse and was confined to her bed. After a hotel was arranged for the night, they located the taxidermy shop of the Wellington brothers. They first encountered not Edgar, but his brother William, who was mute and disabled by war injuries. When Edgar himself arrived, Dr. Wilke launched into a pretense they were associates of Wallis Hilton the London student Edgar had been working with to translate and decode a strange scroll holding knowledge of the Simulacrum. Edgar was nervous and flustered, but became exciting by the notion of selling the scroll to them, claiming, with limited sincerity, to have grown bored with it. There was though another potential buyer, and Edgar suggested they all meet this evening to discuss offers and arrange a final deal.
The Investigators spent some time then seeing a few sites and encountered a local nobleman, Duke Messeraine — who strangely resembled the Prince Miss Crispin had seen in her dreams. They correctly surmised that the Duke was the other party interested in buying the scroll.
The time of the evening meeting came and went. A messenger from the Duke reported that he was delayed and sent a bottle of wine as an apology. A boy sent by the Investigators themselves returned to describe the Wellingtons’ shop as sitting dark, but with the door ajar.
They hurried over as quickly as possible — Dr. Wilke having over-indulged in beverages during the wait. In the rooms above the shop, Edgar was found dead on his bed, apparently from an overdose of a mysterious narcotic. Another bedroom, seemingly William’s, looked unused for some time. A hidden stairway was found and it led to a basement workshop.
Within, William lay comatose, hooked to a rack of strange machines — confirming suspicions that he was some sort of revenant brought back to life after fatal war wounds. Numerous books and letters showed that William had been attempted to translate The Scroll of the Head but had been frustrated by the cuneiform codes. What at first appeared to be the scroll itself turned out to be a fake, with no sign of the original. Edgar had been introduced to the drug that killed him by the Duke. Fantastic as it seemed, it appeared to transport one into a dreamworld version of Lausanne.
While clues were gathered and a sample of the drug located, William began to stir. Miss Crispin calmed him by reading from his favorite storybook. As the Investigators were leaving, William requested a pen and paper. Scrawling as best he could, William wrote that when he first awoke he had moments of relative coherence. Trapped in his current state, he was dependent on constant treatment from Edgar. William wrote that they should leave, soon, before his intelligence and control faded away. The Investigators decided it best not to tell William that Edgar was dead, and while worried about William’s eventual fate, hurried away.
The Investigators did some cautious experiments with the dream drug, finding that one could pass into and out of Dream Lausanne and that it was even possible to bring physical objects across the membrane between worlds. Umar and Dr. Wilke took full doses, and went to the dream-analog of the Wellington’s shop. They looked for the underground workshop, but in frustration found it does not exist in this world.
Meanwhile, the streets of Dream Lausanne had become filled with people… and other things.
All were rushing to the town square for the “Trial.” Swept along with the crowd, Umar and Dr. Wilke found a multi-level scaffold hung with plants, lights, and dangling bodies. Duke Messarine, now in full regalia as the Prince, was accusing Edgar Wellington of numerous crimes. Umar agreed to speak in Wellington’s defense, while a wheezing statue stood as Judge.
The Prince presented a series of outlandish crimes which Umar successfully deflected, with Dr. Wilke trying to win the crowd over to their side as well. The Prince grew increasingly angry, it becoming clear that he was primarily after the location of the Scroll. The Judge decided in Edgar’s favor and he was released. The Prince rallied the crowd to apprehend the intruders ,and the rampaging mob chased them through the city.
Distracting the crowd with illusions and gunfire, they managed to reach the Wellingtons’ shop. Edgar revealed the hidden Scroll and gratefully handed it over. He explained it takes only concentration to wake from this dream. He was though unaware of his dead in the waking world and only faded away into nothingness.
The Investigators then hurried to catch the morning arrival of the Orient Express in order to leave Lausanne far behind them.