Cthulhu Gaslight

Scribblings of a Scoundrel Part 1
Feb 15th Session

(Note: I can’t remember everyone’s character’s names so let me know and I’ll edit it.)

Fozwick put down his pipe and eyed the empty glass of Brandy with a sigh.

“Well there’s not putting off any further now…” He muttered to himself as he shuffled over to his desk and began to write.

I guess it all began around the time I hear about Sterling having gone missing. I had not heard or seen from Mr. Sterling Hothorn for some time. Finding out he died in an attempted kidnapping made things a bit off. Who dies by an attempted kidnapping before they even kidnap you? A bit of bad luck really I would think or just bad kidnappers, it’s a bit unsettling to think that that ‘sort’ would at least know what they’re doing if it’s their line of work and all. In any event it was around that time I was asked by Jess to look into a matter with her, a meeting with Lord Summers. A Baronet, member of the British Ministry, and connected to the Lords of London Bank wanting her assistance and help to say the least sounded like something that would tickle my interest. The task after talking with him and his assistant Mr. Clarence seemed easy enough although the investigation would have to be discrete. Find his missing son Arthur. It proved though to be a bit more strenuous then I had originally thought and quite far from simple.

Arthur Summers had gone missing, kidnapped it seemed by the look of his apartment Mr. Clarence informed us. A ransom note had been delivered, the delivery of one million pounds at the Hobbsend Train Station at 5pm for the return of Arthur seemed like it would have been the end of it. But the kidnappers never came for the money Mr. Clarence had waiting over an hour on the landing any further contact was never made. He, Arthur, had been gone for about eight days and we were to find out what had happened to him since the kidnappers had either never had him or god forbid killed him accidently. After getting the key from Mr. Clarence we found out he had been associating with a lady at the local Salons and Music Halls in his area of town, Eastington. Besides his apartment our only other lead really was talking to Peter Blalok, Arthur’s dearest friend and confidant. We were told it might not prove too fruitful since they had had a bit of a falling out. We went back to the clubhouse to find some more associates to spread out the work. I was in truth hoping to find him in an opium den somewhere out of money and lucid, it would have been a lot simpler then what we found out. Mr. Clerance gave us his card and told us he could be reached at Clerance, Storebridge, & Sons if he was needed.

Emily and Tania went to talk to the owners of the Lodging House, it was reputable and clean considering but with Mr. & Mrs. Giles living two floors away from the disappeared Arthur Summers they had little to offer from first had knowledge, they did point us towards Mr. Marcus Barelli, his upstairs neighbor, that had made the call to the local police about the disturbance. An Inspector Bridger had made the report which they had already known about.

They first inspected Arthur’s apartment on the way up, his downstairs neighbor, Mr. Travors, was supposedly somewhere abroad this whole time so the place seemed quite solemn and untouched. The apartment looked like someone had gotten into a fight in the sitting room. There was a shattered mirror by the front door. They found a handgun of substantial power in the bedroom with a receipt from JJ Finks in the Wend End. Odd and strange seemed to have a sit down for a meal it seemed since the bullets of the gun had crosses notched into each one. The only other thing they found at that time was a program for the “Duchess of Mouthe”. With that they headed to talk to Marcus Barelli.

Barelli was a foreigner not just in name. From Venice, Italy it seemed and had been the violinist for a local music group. Now on his own he was supposedly trying to create a name for himself writing a bit of inspiration down and becoming the next big thing on the social scene from what he told Tania and Emily. Oddly enough from what Tania said he’d be hard pressed to play his ‘songs’ anywhere… they just weren’t very good. He had no sugar or milk for tea and he seemed on edge and untrusting ever since he had opened the door. The signs where there he hadn’t left his apartment for some time, since anyone even a foreigner in London would have sugar and milk for tea. Maybe he was just poor…

He did recall the night in question, and that around 9pm a carriage had pulled up. The downstairs front door had opened, to Arthurs, and Arthur and a man started to argue. A second man had gotten out of the carriage and entered Arthur’s, he seemed ethereal it seemed to Marcus. After the gunshot everything seemed silent and that’s when Marcus saw them, three shadowy things. Long armed creatures taller than a man seemed to shed Doom into the air like the scent of a deadly flower.

There was a broker by the name of Jake Swilker that was found dead. He could have been the blackmailer but we had no way of knowing. The only thing connecting him was his last name began with the one letter signature on the ransom letter. Being dead usually did put a damper on collecting a ransom.

Myself and Jess went to talk with Arthur’s friend Peter. We had been told his was a bit ill but after seeing him we could say that had been heavily downplayed. Stanley Baldwin his doctor basically told us he was just waiting for the boy to die really. Wrapped from head to toe in bandages stained brown (blood?), it seemed he had no more skin… His mother seemed distinctly determined to believe he’d be just fine though and that a trip to the mountains would do wonders for his conditions. Although it seemed apparent that was not the case he slightly crazed eyes implied she was also under some form of ‘medication’. When Jess had talked to Peter he seemed to only partially recognize her. It didn’t mean though he wouldn’t use the opportunity to ask for a favor by scribbling out in jagged letters on a page saying “KILL ME!”. When discussing things with the doctor he had let out a blood curdling wail. I had taken the opportunity to go upstairs and inspect his room. It looked clean but the dust over a week old implied he had been sitting downstairs for sometimes (until he would die it seemed). Slipping into his mother’s room I found her diary which I filched… Yes I’m a scoundrel and all that. You don’t think the old girl would just let me peruse it did you? I don’t see why not it was quite bland and gave up nothing of interest towards the case.

Talking to the Inspector seemed just as worthless. He was sure something happened, what, why and how though didn’t seem to be in his job description. Jess made the comment it was due to his low level of intellect that he couldn’t deduce much of anything.

The following day finding out Mr. Marcus Barelli was now dead as well far away from his apartment see odd. He didn’t seem the type to be social especially considering Tania and Emily description of him being an isolationist and paranoid. With our current leads of Marcus and Peter both dead and the police being of as much help as an accountant on the whereabouts of Arthur we decided to check Marcus Barelli’s apartment now that he was dead as well. On the way up we stopped at Arthur’s apartment again. Emily wanted to check to see if anyone had been in since the last time he was there. There had been but no one now. The broken mirror had a bullet we noticed in the wall behind it, which explained why it broke. A single arch of blood splattered lightly was found on the wallpaper as well. In the bedroom we found a bit of straw and there was the odd scent of a perfume somewhat floral in scent. A creek from above us had us swirling out of the apartment and upstairs. Well I should rephrase that, myself and Jess were outside. I spotted something moving on the third floor and I had remembered what Tania and Emily had said. Barelli had seen the figure but the figure had turned and stared straight at him. I pushed that out of my mind as I race up the stairs. Jess running behind me wondering what had gotten me out of the carriage so fast.

As we entered the room we thought we saw a man or something man like… it was man like but definitely not human. Tania called it unholy, a mesh of man living or dead and straw… animal bones sticking out in places in others they seemed to be a part of him. Plaster and wax seemed to help hold him together as well as I pulled out my gun and shot at him. What? If you shoot at something that doesn’t look human or beast you shouldn’t get in trouble for killing it right? I mean it looked like it had already died.

Unfortunately my bullet passed through it and I watched as the Father fainted. Muttering to kill the unholy abomination with fire before slumping to the ground next to me the Father fell silent. I repeated it as I pulled the Father out of the way. As Emily looked around and found a curtain rod to light on fire. Matt’s servant came in looking for something to throw at the beast. The squeek behind me at the site of the father passed out and the snarls from inside indulged Jess to decide the carriage downstairs was safer which is where she went. As the beast slashed at us the foolish courage of the situation sank as I watched Matt’s Servant, Guy, fall to the ground dead from a slash from the beast. Deeming one death was enough from our association I grabbed the still unconscious Father and made my way downstairs. The third floor was a blaze now as I put the Father in the carriage and I noticed his wounds for the first time. I ran back in banging on the door to the Giles as everyone else made their way to the carriage. As the door opened to a bewildered Mr. Giles I explained I had been going by and noticed his building was on fire. As his eyes went wide and he went to tell his wife to get out I ran back to the carriage for my own get away and we were off before anyone could ask questions. I did feel like a proper scoundrel in truth, I might as well have said, “Hello we’re investigating the murder of two of your tenants and set your house on fire. Go collect the insurance money and retire somewhere else before you’re killed next.”

We made our way into the night away from the straw man and fire, away to the familiar and safer of places to like our wounds and think.

Blast… I don’t even know the name of Matt’s Servant who died. Guess I really am a scoundrel.

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Scribblings of a Scoundrel Part 2
February 8th Session

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.

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