Friday, April 20, 2012

Cthulhu Gaslight: East Enders

Cast of Characters:
Thomas Roquefort, American, archaeologist and adventurer, recently arrived in London after an expedition to Egypt
Richard George Thomas Lumley, second son of the Earl of Scarbrough
Jasper Burnside, physician and in the last two years something of a hermit. It's common knowledge that he has lost someone close and there are rumours aplenty for those willing to listen (he's my character)

After the audience, the group splits and heads towards home. All except Richard, who does a spot of breaking and entering.

On Monday, Thomas goes to visit his friend Neil, a librarian at the university. They haven't seen each other in a while and spend some time catching up until Thomas tells of his latest adventures and is met with disbelief and then fascination from Neil. It turns out Neil reads German and can be of some assistance with the book by Dümichen.

Jasper goes for a walk, investigates Cleopatra's Needle without any obvious results and then meets with Lady Catherine to do some research at the East End. He finds that Catherine is fairly comfortable with that seedy and dangerous part of town, more than he himself is for sure.

explore the East End

They find a street urchin that taken them on a tour to the murder sites, all of them out in the open and with no guarantee of privacy. But if someone trusts his luck and the disinterest of the people in anything happening in dark corners, it's entirely possible to get away with murder there.

On their way, they come across a crowd gathered around a speaker standing on a cart who is shouting about the murders and how no-one is interested in them. He says that the trail of the killer leads right to the Royal family and the government. People are only too glad to listen to him and there's a definite atmosphere of civil unrest that prompts Jasper and Lady Catherine to leave. Jasper asks about the man on their way through the crowd and finds out his name is George Lusk. By the time they are a few streets away, the meeting is broken up by the police.

At the Dravot's Head, a pub Catherine knows, Jasper inquires after Lusk and is told by the publican that he has no proof for his theories, but that he has quite a following among the people of the East End.

When they leave the pub, they hear whistles at a short distance and go in that direction to find a number of constables doing their best to keep people back from yet another murder scene. When Inspector Fox arrives, he allows Jasper and Catherine to go with him. The body is that of a woman and she has been murdered like all the others, her throat cut and, as Thomas predicted, her intestines removed or at least that's what Jasper thinks, it's hard to tell without a complete autopsy. He looks up and sees a black carriage shoot out of an alleyway. Fox and Lady Catherine give chase, Jasper goes into the alleyway. He finds some drops on blood on the cobblestones, but nothing more. There's a shot and a few minutes later, one of the constables comes to get Jasper, his services are needed.

Lady Catherine has been hit by some sort of throwing weapon, a curved blade that has buried itself in her back. She's losing a lot of blood and she's already unconscious, so Jasper does what he can for her. She's transported to a physician known to Jasper who lives near here and there Jasper can finally remove the weapon. He stays the night with her. In the morning, Fox comes to take him to the yard and Catherine is left with two constables guarding her.

Richard and Thomas had met at their club to talk things over during that evening and are now summoned to the Yard as well.

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The plot thickens. The group spent much of the time apart from each other, but I suspect that things will be moving much faster when we meet at the Yard and compare.

Neil the librarian is a hilarious character that was created more or less on the spot between the GM and Thomas' player. He turned from merely a name into a lanky, red-haired Englishman with an overboarding and occasionally cringe worthy enthusiasm for the American way of life. It was like watching a bit of improvisation theatre. Well yes, good roleplaying always is, but I really enjoyed seeing this character emerge from just the concept of "is friends with Thomas because he likes the US".

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