My Rippers group and I got back together last night, for another evening of mystery/horror roleplaying. In the game almost a month and a half had gone by since the characters solved the murders in Lamport.
Due to the success, Sgt. Baynes was given permission to return to his native London to work and was made a detective sergeant working at Scotland Yard.
Dr. Trevelyan had spent the time recuperating from the horror, restoring his own sanity. Father Green had returned to the groups lodge on Commercial Street in Whitechapel, doing small jobs for his order. Finally Langdale Pike was able to catch up on his journalist work for his newspaper.
The adventure started of by Sgt. Baynes meeting Richard Fowler, an old friend of the family, for lunch in the West End. It soon became clear to Baynes that Fowler had invited him because he needed his help. It seemed that Fowler teenage son Mark had disappeared from the Fowler residence in Belgravia two nights ago. The police had been unable to provide any clues at to what has happened and now Fowler, while respectful of Baynes' colleagues, would like Baynes to look into the matter. Baynes is invited home to Fowler's residence in the evening, where the Fowler's will elaborate on what the know.
Baynes then spent the next couple of hours getting in touch with the rest of the group. Asking all of them for their help and to come to the Fowler residence in the evening. Having made sure that his friends would help him, Baynes then started to dig around Scotland Yard to find the police report that was made when Fowler reported his son missing the day before. Further investigations lead to the discovery of two cases of missing young men from the previous couple of months. The there was however no common thread to the cases besides the persons gone missing were all teenage men living in west London.
Once he had finished his article Langdale Pike had tried to see what he could dig up on Fowler in the newspaper archives, this did not amount to much except the fact that Fowler is a respected solicitor, and one of the Conservative Party's rising stars.
As the evening arrived the characters gathered outside the Fowler residence in Belgravia. Greeted by the butler Watkins the characters were lead into the withdrawing room where they were greeted by the Fowlers. The party learned that Mark Fowler is a quiet teenager, not many friends and only a girl Alison Harcourt can b considered a close friend. The teenager is devoted to his studies and his father hopes that he will become a successful solicitor in the future. The last person to see him was the butler Watkins who saw Mark retire to his room at around 8.20 p.m.. The next morning Mark was gone, his bed had not been slept in and the room bore no signs of anything wrong except Mark not being there.
The characters asked for permission to investigate Marks room, which they of course got. Searching the room Sgt. Baynes discovered that there had been no forced entrance through either the door or the window. Father Green discovered a number of occult books on the bookshelf, and when he open one of them a small note with the address 17 Holland Park fell out. Using his powers Dr. Trevelyan was able to locate an occult sign on the back of the bed's headstand - Father Green recognized it as an Elder Sign, used by ancient tribes to ward against the unknown horror of the world. Having searched the desk without discovering anything Langdale Pike started to investigate the bed and found a loose floorboard under the bed. Beneath the floorboard he found some candles, a box of matches and a mysterious effigy. When he picked it up he felt a sudden rush of evil, which he was able to repel though.
Dr. Trevelyan and Langdale Pike then proceeded to interview the entire household staff one by one. Trevelyan had been especially interested in the maid Hillary, since he to him looked to be in her early twenties but had been told that she had been part of the staff since the Fowlers purchased the house 29 years ago! To the rest of the group she appeared as a 50 year old. (Yes I got that from a certain horror TV series, that I knew none of my players had seen).
None of the other staff was able to shed much light on the matter of Mark disappearing. Trevelyan - again using his powers - found out that Hillary the maid was actually a ghost who had been shot 30 years ago, but decided that she could still serve the house and be loyal to the masters of the house, so when the Fowlers bought the house she made herself visible and offered her help. Hillary brought up the name of Alison Harcourt as the one person Mark would confined in.
In the meantime Sgt. Baynes and Father Green searched outside the house, looking for clues, but to no avail.
The characters then decided that they had learned all the could from the house. Before heading home to their lodge they decided to go around 17 Holland Park to see what kind of building it was. The found the house to be a large mansion, and Sgt. Baynes a bit curious decided to knock on the door to the house. A small brass plate on the door said "Foxborough". The door opened and a huge Indian man servant stood in the door. Baynes decided to intimidate the Indian, stating that he was on an official business looking into a missing young man. He succeeded in intimidating the man servant and learned that the house was that of Lady Foxborough and that she would be available after 9 a.m. the next morning.
After that the characters returned to the lodge in Commercial Street.
Next morning Pike got up early and headed for his newspaper to try and see what he could find on Harcourt and Foxborugh. He learned that Alison Harcourt's father is Colonel Royston Harcourt, a retired veteran from the Afghan War, and widower. Lady Foxborough lead the Kensington Occult Society a by invitation only group that has existed for five years, basically since Lord Foxborough died in 1887.
Father Green made the wise choice of handing over the mysterious effigy to his contact at St. Judes Church Father Larrimer, who would then deliver it to his order.
At this point we had to stop the game for the night. My wife's illness had gotten worse and I had to take her to the doctor.
It was a highly successful evening of play though, tons of investigation, not much horror, and a sort of return to civilization with London providing the background to the mystery. My players seem quite happy with the characters I created for them and seem to enjoy themselves as well.