Session 3 — Rivalries

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Strange things are afoot in the world of Antarctic expeditions, and our stalwart explorers set about figuring out what exactly is going on that is causing them so much trouble.

Here's a look at my 15" MacBook Pro and 27" Thunderbolt Display during a game. I use my 27" as my primary display, on which I have the 2nd edition manuscript open (which I've highlighted and annotated as needed), a 'todo' list for the chapter(s) we're playing, Skype (which I wish I could turn into a much smaller horizontal strip), Chrome with Roll20 open and Call Recorder for Skype running.

On the MacBook to my left, I have the soundboard and Nicecast, which is broadcasting the Soundboard audio stream (I don't really need that open) and finally Numbers, with my investigator matrix, where I can quickly look up the stats for all the investigators.

On Caustic Soda

When we were going through the manifests, the question about what exactly the caustic soda was being brought along for? So I wrote Chaz Engan, who wrote me back that: "Caustic soda is intended to absorb CO2 in the air renewal systems when flying at altitude".

So there you have it. It's also what Tyler Durden uses to mark the hand of the narrator in Fight Club, should that sort of thing somehow come in handy.

Moore's Letter

As part of the invitation package, I wrote a letter from Professor Moore to prospective explorers and crew, detailing himself, as well his and Starkweather's relationship and the expedition's ambitions and equipment. For Moore's handwriting, I used a font based off of Lovecraft's own cursive handwriting from The HP Lovecraft Historical Society. I then printed the letter on normal white paper, three pages, and folded it in thirds. 

From the offices of Dr. Moore
April 22, 1933

My Dear Sir,-

I must firstly apologize for writing you without us having been formally introduced, although I hope you will nevertheless find the time to read what I have to say, as I think it could be of great interest to you indeed. 

I am the latter part of the half-eponymous Starkweather-Moore Antarctic Expedition, of which I imagine you may have heard as we have seen a good deal of press in the last few months. And as you may then know, we're set to sail from New York later in the year and are currently staffing for expedition members for said voyage. As it happens, we are very much in need of a person of your particular skill set, and as I'm sure you understand, it would be the chance of a lifetime for anyone in your position to join our efforts towards that far, desolate frontier at the bottom of the world.

I imagine that you are familiar with my business partner Mr. James Starkweather, renowned war veteran, guide, explorer, author, lecturer and, dare one say, man of the world that he is. We have known each other since he first led a Miskatonic expedition to the Himalayas in 1925, of which I was a part, it was later the subject of his popular book "Survival at the World's Roof” (1926), and he again joined another Miskatonic expedition I led to Costa Rica in 1930. We've since grown quite attached to exploring the world, one might say.

As for myself, I hold the Smythe Chair of Paleontology and specialize in geology and paleontology, having graduated from Miskatonic University Summa Cum Laude (my graduate thesis was "A Reassessment of the Age of the Earth") and received my doctorate from Yale (doctoral thesis was on "The Theoretical Compositional Dynamics of Asteroids, Drawn from an Analysis of the Composition and Organization of Elements in Meteorites"). As I noted above, I've taken part in several expeditions before, and I led a small expedition myself in fact, to the Arctic in 1923 where we drilled for ice cores; extremely fascinating stuff.

At Miskatonic I studied under, and later worked directly with Professor Dyer, whose name you'll undoubtedly recognize from the tragid 1930-31 Miskatonic Expedition to the Antarctic. The disaster that struck poor Professor Lake's party on the ice was most tragic indeed. He is missed dearly by us all.

The Precambrian findings, which you'll have heard of I'm sure, were nevertheless remarkable in the extreme! The implications of the fossil specifmens from Lake's site, even if they were, as some would suggest, exaggerated or misunderstood, could change our view of biology, geology, nay all of science even! And that's why we're going back.

We are outfitting the 7.5 ton steamer "Gabrielle", which will carry our nearly 50-person crew as well as our three Boing 247s, a Fairchild FC-2 monoplane as well as two improved Padodie ice melting drill sets and of course a whole gaggle of sled dogs! I hope you will excuse my excitement, but what I mean to imply, is that we'll be quite well-equipped for the otherwise forbidding and remote desolation of the South Pole. This is truly a state-of-the-art expedition, with equipment Dyer and Lake could only have dreamt of a few years ago, and we mean to make history!
Our trip begins in New York in early September, heading south along the American coast and crossing through the Panama Canal before the final length of our journey to Ross Island, home to Mts. Erebus and Terror, off the coast of Victoria Land in McMurdo Sound, where we will set up our base-camp. From there, as you have also undoubtedly heard, our intent is to make use of the aeroplanes to cross in-land to Lake's camp, if indeed we will be able to find it, and pay our respects. And then finally we'll cross over those famous, amazing peaks of the Miskatonic Mountains to the plateau beyond it, where we will plant our flag and “write ourselves into history”, as Starkweather is so fond of saying.

I hope sincerely that you will consider joining us in doing just that, and travel with us on this opportunity of a lifetime!
It falls on me to spread the message about our needs for experts to join us, so tell your friends! Geologists, biologists, physicists, zoologists, cartographers, radio operators, metereologists, glaciologists, oceanografists, polar guides, pilots, mechanics, doctors, mountaineers and so on and so forth! Our needs are many indeed.