The Temple Vampire, episode 2

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

Played

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.

Plot

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…

Notes

* 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!