This Monday three of my friends and I got together for another evening of Rippers RPG. My friend Thomas who plays journalist Langdale Pike was unable to make it, so I decided that his character had urgent business to attend to at the newspaper and was therefore unable to join the other characters on their mission to find the missing young men.
When we ended the last session the characters had two leads to follow. The Kensington Occult Society in Holland Park and the missing Mark Fowler's best friend Ms. Alison Harcourt. The characters decided that a visit to the society was first on the agenda.
When they arrived the Indian manservant was naturally not the welcoming to Sgt. Baynes, Father Green and Dr. Trevelyan, but they were let in to the withdrawing room to wait for Lady Foxborough. After an hour they were still kept waiting and Sgt. Baynes decided that maybe the servants knew something. So he asked for the restrooms and was shown the servants quarters below. After doing his private business, Baynes found the cook and helper quite interested in why the police was in the house. The only useful information that Baynes got was that Thursday evenings (today) is when the society meets for their sessions.
Baynes returned to the other two characters in time for Lady Foxborough who arrived shortly thereafter. When presented with the case, she had no idea that Mark was missing and had expected him to arrive in the evening. Baynes asked about the other members, Lady Foxborough stressed that she expected privacy and discression to be on Baynes agenda, and would not give any names except that of Emma Chamberlain the member who had recommended Mark Fowler.
Lady Foxborough had to break of because of another appointment and the characters left the house. After a quick lunch the characters decided that their next port of call should be the residence of Ms. Alison Harcourt.
The characters called at the address in Eaton Square, and were eventually greeted by Ms. Harcourt father Col. Harcourt. After initial enquiries about what business the police could have with his daughter, Col. Harcourt called for his daughter to join them. The interview was somewhat stiff as it was clear that Alison knew more than she was willing to tell in front of his father. With no new clues, but the knowledge that Alison knew more, the characters left the house. But as they were standing outside, Dr. Trevelyan and Sgt. Baynes noticed Alison in the window writing "5 p.m." on the window glass.
As 4.30 p.m. the characters returned to Eaton Square. Just in time to see Col. Harcourt leave in a hansom cab. As the clock got closer to 5 p.m. the figure of Alison Harcourt left the building and started walking down the street. When she turned a corner she stopped to talk to the characters who had started to follow her. She had quite a bit of information to give them:
- Mark had met someone special and was falling in love with the person
- This happened little over a month ago
- When Mark would go to the society meetings, his parents thought he was spending time with Alison
- He would take cab at 7.30 p.m. from her house every Thursday.
- Mark is homosexual
- Finally Mark had written Alison a letter detailing a meeting with the special person on the Monday where he disappeared. They were supposed to meet in Hyde Park.
Alison was very worried about what had happened to her friend, so the characters thanked her for her help.
After a short rendevouz at the Albert Memorial in Hyde Park, the characters returned to Holland Park in order to get into positions so that they could see the members of the society as they arrived.
A real peasuper was creeping into the streets limited vision to only 5 yards. Sgt. Baynes got into a position close enough to hear what was being said as the hansom cabs arrived - 4 in all. The people who arrived were:
- Mr. Mortimer
- Sir Henry
- Mrs. Chamberlain
- Mrs. Morton
Father Green and Sgt. Baynes decided that perhaps they could see something from the garden, so they scaled the wall and snug closer to the house when they got over. In order to fully see the members Baynes moved even closer, to the point where he was right by the window. From here he could see the members sitting around a table, eyes closed and holding hands. Lady Foxborough was doing the talking, at first trying to communicate to her husband and then asking him if he had been joined by Mark. At that point Mr. Mortimer open his eyes and found himself staring right into the eyes of Baynes. He screamed "There is an intruder in the garden!"
Immediately both Father Green and Baynes legged into the neighbouring garden and hid. Just in time before the Foxborugh's garden was crawling with servants. Trevelyan hearing the noises from the garden decided to move down the street so that he would not be detected lurking about close by.
Eventually the characters gathered down the street and Baynes told of Mortimer opening his eyes at the mention of Mark's name.
The characters went into position again, this time to try and get the address that the members wanted the cab drivers to take them to. Mr. Mortimer's address the one they really wanted. Trevelyan also hired a cab so that they were able to follow Mortimer.
Baynes succeeded in getting the address and the characters set after the hansom cab with Mortimer. He got of at a flat in Bayswater. After staking out the place for a few hours the characters decided to return to the lodge.
Next morning the characters returned to the flat, only to find out through the landlady that James Mortimer had left for work - banking in the city - and would not return only around six in the evening.
The characters then tracked down Emma Chamberlain, and found out that she had met Mark at a bookstore and that she had found him to be a nice young gentleman. Other than that she could offer no other clues.
The good sergeant decided that perhaps a visit to the parents of the other two missing young men could give some information, so he sought them out. Both set of parents could however not shed any new light on the case.
At 6 p.m. the characters returned to Bayswater to seek out Mortimer. The interview was quick, but left Dr. Trevelyan convinced that Mortimer knew a lot more than he cared to reveal. Soon after the characters had left a hansom cab arrived for Mortimer. The characters followed in two other hansom cabs across London to Holborn, where Mortimer's cab made a brief stop at building before returning to Mayfair - the Brook's Street Gentlemen's Club. Father Green decided to jump of in Holborn to look around the building. Sgt. Baynes joined Trevelyan in one of the hansom cabs and followed Mortimer.
Father Green located the flat within the building that Mortimer had briefly visited and gained access by rampaging the door. Inside he found a three rooms, a small hall, a large bedroom and a small bathroom. A quick look around and the priest had located opium in the bathroom and a letter left on the bed. Green opened it and found it to read "Police on to me. Cannot do this anymore."
Then Green heard a key being inserted into the lock on the door! He hid in the bathroom, but the intruder could see the damage to the door, so he was prepared. The intruder jumped forward and a knife fight erupted. At first neither combatant managed to hit, but then Father Green made a decisive stab into the chin of the intruder, incapacitating him. A few moments later there was a knock on the door, and when Father Green opened he found a little old later standing outside asking what all the noise was about. Too late Green realized that the old lady had a kitchen knife in her hand. She initially missed and so did Green, but then the old lady scored a massive hit, incapacitating Father Green with one stab (no mean feat in Savage Worlds to do to a wild card). On the following check Ole, who played Father Green, managed to get Father Green to escape death, but had to roll a permanent injury and was unconscious for a number of hours. Ole rolled "Unmentionables", so for Father Green reproduction is no longer an option.
Back in Mayfair, Trevelyan found himself on the same street as his clinic and quickly decided that he could changed clothes at the clinic, head for the club and act it out as a potential new member. Sgt. Baynes kept an eye on the entrance to the club from outside.
Inside the club Trevelyan's bluff paid off and he was let into the club, where he quickly located Mortimer. The young banker was however having a trivial conversation about the financial markets. After about an hour Trevelyan left and joined Baynes.
When Mortimer left the two followed, but he only returned to the flat. Here Baynes got off and started another surveillance on Mortimer. Trevelyan returned to the lodge hoping to find Father Green there, but to no avail. He then decided to return to the last place he had seen the priest - the Holborn flat. Trevelyan managed to sneak inside and quickly saw that the floor had massive blood pools. Drawing his sword cane the doctor found Father Green lying in a pool of blood in the middle of the bedroom, another person watching over him. Trevelyan charged in and managed to incapacitate the intruder quickly. He tied him up and than started to use first aid on Father Green. He quickly realised that Green would need more extensive medical care, and dragged him into a cab. Trevelyan then used one of his connections within the London Medical Society and got Green to a surgeon who managed to stitch him up.
Knowing that he would need to act fast, he returned to the lodge, where luckily Sgt. Baynes had returned to. The two of them then rushed to the Holborn flat, where they found the intruder still unconscious. When he got around, Baynes started the interrogation learning nothing but the man's name Kincaid. Baynes then chose that more drastic measures where needed, so after a quick search he located the opium, andgot Trevelyan to administer it to Kincaid. Kincaid started to be a lot more easy get answers from and the characters learned that he worked for a Mr. Tanner, who paid him to take the drugged young men to a disused storage cellar in the St. Katherine's dock, and to clean up the flat as well, making it ready for it's next use. Sgt. Baynes arrested him and delivered at the police station.
Next morning Trevelyan and Baynes went to see Father Green. He was now awake but in bad shape. They told him about happened after he had passed out and that they now intended to confront Mortimer.
This being Saturday Baynes and Trevelyan found Mortimer at home and confronted him. After being convinced that he had never met Mr. Tanner and that their communications had been through letters. Mortimer was being blackmailed about his homosexuality and was order to participate in this horrendous scheme. Mortimer admitted that things had gone crazy and that what he was doing now was far worse than being exposed as a homosexual. Baynes arrested Mortimer and took him to the police station.
One final culprit had to found - Mr. Tanner, so Baynes and Trevelyan decided to go to St. Kateherine's dock. As they found the storage room and hideous scream came from inside. The characters decided that they needed back-up so they went to the local police station where Baynes managed to convince the desk sergeant that he needed help and got 6 constables armed with pistols.
Returning to the docks the group open the huge doors and almost stepped onto the corpse of an old man - torn to shreds. Death and decay was the next thing that met the characters as they found the corpses of three young men mutilated almost beyond recognition. Trevelyan used his psionic powers to sense that a great evil had recently been here and it left him wanting to get out fast. Who had killed Mr. Tanner and how that was the mystery that the characters were left with as the case of The Missing Men concluded.
A long session was over and it had again been a lot of fun to play. Only few moments of dread and horror, but a lot of investigating on behalf of the players. My players are really getting into their characters and are really enjoying the setting. I really wanted the adventure to show London, and some of upper classes and Victorian society and it's fascination with the occult. I had printed out a Victorian map of London, so that the players had an overview of the many streets names I threw at them and it seemed to work.