The Temple Vampire, episode 2

Wyn­termere and Crabb go for a cof­fee; Marsh meets a lady of the night.


10th Septem­ber 2009.

Dramatis Personae

  • Lady Ant­o­nia deVorea Heav­ily-armed Aris­to­crat.
  • Doc­tor Hil­ary Crabb – an Army Sur­geon.
  • Pro­fess­or Augus­tus Wyn­termere * – a Back­room Boffin.
  • Rev­er­end Regin­ald Black­more – a Tur­bu­lent Priest.
  • Rod­ney Marsha Par­tially-reformed Thief.
  • Inspect­or Smythe – of the Yard.
  • PC Jack­son – a Stal­wart Bobby.
  • Edie – a Lady of Ill-repute.
  • Joseph – a Waiter.


Doc­tor Crabb rap­idly estab­lished that there were more pecu­li­ar facts about the corpse than its appar­ent age. The heart had been pierced by a poin­ted object of cir­cu­lar cross-sec­tion (inser­ted under the rib­cage), the skin and oth­er tis­sues were dry, as if they had been exposed to desert air for sev­er­al months, and the bones were brittle. What was more, the corpse was deteri­or­at­ing rap­idly. Pro­fess­or Wyn­termere estab­lished that the body had been found near the docks by the Inner Temple, and had been dead no more than two days.

Leav­ing the col­lapsing corpse, they decided to pur­sue their invest­ig­a­tions at the cof­fee shop fre­quen­ted by the deceased. Marsh opted to invest­ig­ate the water­side taverns…

Wyn­termere and Crabb vis­ited Van Hil­gers on the Strand and began talk­ing to Joseph, one of the waiters, who knew the vic­tim well. He turned out to have been quiet, suc­cess­ful and utterly without note. He was appar­ently not mar­ried and had picked up his father­’s job when the eld­er had died (as had his fath­er before him). He had a small num­ber of loy­al clients.

Marsh was on the verge of giv­ing up on a bad even­ing when he encountered one of the loc­al street­walk­ers, Edie, who knew Barchester. He was well-known in the area, liv­ing loc­ally, although no-one knew where. While he nev­er used their ser­vices, he seemed to look after the girls, ensur­ing that their prob­lems “went away”. Meet­ing up the next day, the team com­pared notes and began to for­mu­late the­or­ies: primar­ily involving vam­pires. Research­ers were detailed to invest­ig­ate loc­al church records of births and mar­riages. Marsh returned to the docks, trans­formed him­self into a rat using a mys­ter­i­ous talis­man and began sniff­ing around the crime scene. He rap­idly picked up an older scent of the vic­tim, loc­ated an old-fash­ioned key (flung to one side of the alley) and then found a match­ing door.

Return­ing to the oth­ers, he told them of his dis­cov­er­ies and they hur­riedly pre­pared for a fur­ther invest­ig­a­tion. The door lay at the end of a semi-sub­ter­ranean lane, set into the found­a­tions of a long-van­ished church. Using the key, they entered, dis­cov­er­ing a small, old-fash­ioned, but well-fur­nished apart­ment. Fur­ther in, they dis­covered what appeared to be an alchemist’s lab and they began to revise their the­or­ies. Pro­fess­or Wyn­termere took what appeared to be a journ­al and they left, lock­ing the door behind them.

Emer­ging from the alley, they found their way blocked by a dozen angry dockers…


* Play­ers not present.

The unavail­ab­il­ity of two of the play­ers, along with the intro­duc­tion of Pro­fess­or Wyn­termere, led to a more invest­ig­a­tion and role-play­ing ori­ented ses­sion. All of the play­ers present got to show off their spe­cial­ties and I remem­ber a lot of notes being taken. There’s not much more to say, oth­er than that I began notice­ably (and uncon­sciously) alter­ing Lon­don geo­graphy, adding ware­houses and a run-down dock­front to a gen­er­ally quite well-off area. Well, this is fantasy!