Back at the club house we found ourselves in need of a doctor. Upon inquiry we made up some excuse nothing that seemed to match up with something plausible or even sensible. But in truth we weren’t sensible or in our right minds. We had seen something… that’s the best way I could have described it really. Plus that servant dying in a dreadful manner, we were out of sorts but we still had leads. The following day we got back into the search although to say the least we were a bit haggard.
Emily had in his haste from the apartment grabbed a black doctor’s bag which seemed out of place. It ha d various standard medical tools and two other things that were in the bag had some use and helped: a pawn shop ticket at the Pure Bright Emporium and an old dirty business card for a Mr. Joseph Salt MD. Besides that we had the theater where the program was from and the receipt from the gun shop as well.
I went with Emily to investigate the theater and gun shop while Tania and Jess went to talk with the pawn shop owner. Matt looked up the play in the news papers and any information about the doctor.
The gun shop owner was barely civil. Not rude or of that sort but blunt. He did find the record of the sale. Arthur had wanted the gun quickly and seemed a bit fearful of something, of what the Gun store owner had no idea. The crosses on the bullets were not done before the purchase it seemed. Finding out all we could that was useful we made our way to the theater.
Tania and Jess had left to go to the pawn shop, giving them an excuse of inquiring about the man since he had been giving aid to a sick young boy and had left his bag. Trying to find out more about Dr Salt meet some resistance until they mentioned “He died.” The pawn shop owner immediately went into some detail oddly interpreting the situation being the doctor was dead. They had found out the doctor ‘prescribed’ certain medicines for people that needed them, down on his luck and low on money he supposed had had something brewing to make money. Something had spooked him though and he had seemed quite distracted. Upon hearing all the pertinent details of the doctor the Father explained that there may have been a misunderstanding in that the one who died was the young boy. This seemed plausible since who would return a bag to a dead man. Paranoia quickly set back into the shop owner that ushered them out and locked himself away in his shop waiting for the doctor to come get him. From what the two had noticed and the visible pipe from the back area where the shop owner had been, the use of opium probably had to do with the man’s jumpiness and paranoid nature.
At the theater we found probably the most useful information. I forgot if he was the stage manager or in charge of the props but he seemed like he was in charge since when we asked questions he had answers. The play had been going well for a bit and there was a lady that had been seen coming to the play, very mysterious but popular in the social circles all the same. It seemed we had found the lady we should be looking for until he told us he had no idea where she lived or how to find her. The Director and Producer of the play Frendrick Milton had committed suicide and the play was on an indefinite hold. Old accidents had been happening for a week or two which was about how long the lady had been come to the play. Now I know what you’re thinking this isn’t really useful or even interesting. Sorry to all those thespians that are now out of a job and all that. What was helpful was the fact that he told us about people disappearing and never seen of again. There was one case of a survivor, Lily one of the former actresses in the play. I say former since when I looked at her there was no way I’d ever think of putting her on a stage in front of people. She had been a beautiful young lady a few days again was not in question. The white iris of one eye and the vacant look on her ‘good eye’ showed signs of either she had seen untold horrific sights or someone had accidently cracked her head open and removed part of a her brain. She seemed barely be able to understand there were people in front of her asking questions and for the most part broken. Lily was able to explain about Peter, Arthur, and Max that would come to the play and take her out on the town once the shows were over. Max upon inquiry was Bart Maxwell a young painter for the Royal Society. Supposedly he had done some of the paintings for the play. I noticed she was missing two fingers recently it seemed. I hadn’t even bothered to look closely at the Strawman so I guess I’d never know if the some of the body parts on it might have been the fingers of a young lady. When we asked her what she remembered about the abduction she couldn’t really remember how she was kidnapped, it was off the street outside the theater not even two blocks away, something had happened what she had no idea. She had awoken as she is now it seemed and left the place a house out on the strand. Lily had seemed to have had too much from reliving the moments; she started to shake her head as if confused on what was going on and where she was. Looking around I found someone painting and commented on his work leaving the poor girl in her thoughts or lack thereof. It didn’t really have an artistic feel to it but they looked okay. Upon inquiry of the more ‘exotic’ paintings he explained they were not his works. He did offer up an address we could find him. We meet back at the club house to discuss what we had found out.
The following morning we made our way to the painters place. I wasn’t at the bare minimum of the standards I thought of someone doing artwork for the Royal Society but in truth I guess artist types needed it this way… Drab, dull, dilapidated, broken down. I guess that’s how they got inspiration, by living in a dingy environment that looks dismal and probably gave them a healthy daily dose of misery. While looking at the door and trying to figure out if we should knock the door looked like it was break apart upon touching it. None of us wanted to really touch it either it seemed until Emily sighed and grabbed the door and tried to open it. Upon realizing that the door wasn’t going to open he ripped it off the hinge and put it to the side. If the outside look bad the inside was worse, living in squaller it was amazing the young artist hadn’t died from the filth he was living in. We found some notes and things that outweighed the extreme level of filth we were in. The notes seemed odd mention that ‘she’ was gone but he would ‘create’ her again just like the lady had done with her tripicturial, there was mention of Shonabog whom I have no way of really knowing. As Emily, Tania, Jess and Myself looked around Matt had been watching the doorway when we noticed the wooden pictures, there as one with Lily on it and one with Arthur. It didn’t make much sense but from the notes and the wooden drawings I was at a lose but when we all came to a curtain in the back we were at odds to open it unsure if it would be worse or fill in the clues we needed to figure out what he was doing. Considering the odor coming from back in the corner I was surprised when Matt finally walked passed us and dashed it aside we were shocked. Usually he was not the bravest of us but the shocking part was the content behind the curtain, a bathtub filled with blood, a headless body of a young woman hanging partially in and above it was on a hooked chained from the ceiling. Various bottles were behind the bathtub on shelves that probably had nothing to do with bathing and were most likely unsavory in nature.
Between the notes, wood carvings, and the body whatever he was going to create was not natural. I thought of the strawman and its oddly shaped frame. The footsteps coming up the stairs took us by surprise though on what to do. The windows were barred from the inside; the only exit was the one we came in. Not escape or hide it seemed as Bart Maxwell stepped in with a bubbly laughing young lady of the night. Considering the time of day though still being morning I wondered how he had come upon her, “Hello I’m doing some very nasty ungodly acts that defy the laws of logic and decency. Would you like to come back to my place and be chopped up and used for an experiment to bring back someone who should be dead? I’ll pay extra.” As I thought of the fact we need to have a weird with him I decided he was more likely to run then enter a room full of intruders. His eyes seemed wild as I ran towards him and as I tried to restrain him he pulled out a cleaver. At this point the girl seemed to not want to spend any more time with the deranged lunatic man. Besides who keeps a meat cleaver on them for protection?
The angry artist seemed to become enraged with the threat of destroying his wood carvings it seemed because when the threat was made his crazed eyes seemed to dance in his skull. Lunacy had taken him, no questions, or worry of him running. With his focus on the paintings I took the opportunity to punch him. I’m not a boxer but it was quite the punch I thought until he just looked at me. Matt charged into the fray and punch the artist as well. I looked at him a bit shocked since it turned into him pushing the man’s shoulder. He was clearly out of his element at this point. Tania pleaded with the young man to see the error of his ways least his demonic wood carvings be destroyed was enough to let Emily’s sudden punch to land. We realized two things at this point; one thing was we did somewhat pat our backs at this point, secondly though it wasn’t doing anything. As I pulled my gun and fired at his leg he seemed to realize the levity of the situation as he stood still showing signs of insanity. Several doses of lead though reduced those signs. Searching the crazed man we found little which was fine since the Father explained he was going to burn down this place of unholy depravity.
As we waited in the carriage the Father eventually came in and sighed holding his rosary beads explaining that we should go.
The carriage ride back to the clubhouse for lunch and a stiff drink and time to collect our thoughts which raced by on the events that had just happened. The Artists place did need to be burned down in truth it looked dreadful and in its broken state no one would have wanted it. Requesting a carriage from the local church the Father got use ready for our trip to Pennyfort St to the residence of Dr Joseph Salt. Upon knocking on the front door a large man asked for our reason for visiting. I guess I should remind you Pennyfort St. is the most horrendously crime laden poor area of town. It also looked quite filthy but we weren’t there to clean up the neighborhood. Upon request to see Dr Salt we meet no major inquiry or meet with resistance. The doctor was a heavy set balding man, he seemed reluctant at first but promise of getting him out of the country loosened at thought of not telling us anything. He was the one who had sent the ransom but it was after the fact. Lady Beeragain had taken to performing weird rituals with a gem encased tripictirum. He had gotten Arthur on board to help him steal it but when the plan fell through Dr Salt let him take the heat when the Golems came for them. Mention of Baba Yogga and an address for where in the Strand we could find the Madam were all we could get out of him. He did warn us to not look at her true face. Puzzled on what that could mean we let his small room at the boarding house. Outside we saw the large door man or son of the landlady on the ground cut in two. Next to him was a strawman with two more looking at us from a little farther off. Our carriage was gone as well as the doctor. And people think I’m a scoundrel. We had a hard enough time escaping from one of these creatures now we have to deal with three with no escape carriage in the worst and poorest neighborhood in all of London. I didn’t know if I should have been shocked, angry, or fearful. I kind of felt a bit of all three.