Crabb conducts an interview; Marsh plays the mime.
1st October 2009.
- Lady Antonia deVore – a Heavily-armed Aristocrat.
- Doctor Hilary Crabb – an Army Surgeon.
- Professor Augustus Wyntermere – a Backroom Boffin.
- Rodney Marsh – a Partially-reformed Thief.
- Mrs Ellen Hawkins – an Impoverished Widow.
- Edie – a Lady of Ill-repute.
- Peter Hawkins – a Pale Youth.
- A small number of other Pale Youths.
Having beaten off a group of ruffians, the investigations team had made some progess in their research.
Once again, the group decided to split up to further their investigations. Marsh was to return to the dockside taverns and attempt to identify the mysterious onlooker and the gang members; the rest of the team would head back to Barchester’s crypt to look for more information.
Marsh’s enquiries proved to be successful. The gang-leader was identified as Jack “Nodger” Noakes, a former gang lieutenant from the Isle of Dogs, possibly moving into the crime scene in this area. Marsh also managed to get a lead on the woman, one Mrs Ellen Hawkins, an impoverished widow, now living on the roof of one of the local warehouses.
The doctor, professor and Lady Antonia headed back to Barchester’s lodgings, but after much searching they had little success, even after attempting to retrieve some information from the writing pad and blotter. The professor came to the conclusion that he may have memorised all his business information (a common skill amongst 16th century alchemists).
Marsh arrived at the basement and they exchanged information, before he returned to the tavern to talk to Edie and try to pick up more information. The others decided to look for the mysterious Mrs Hawkins, locating her residence after a few minor enquiries. Approaching the relevant door of the somewhat ramshackle row of back-to-back structures, Lady Antonia rapped on the door and, when it opened, informed the tired-looking middle-aged woman who opened it, that they were agents of the crown and wanted to talk to her. She immediately slammed the door, breaking the tip of Lady Antonia’s parasol (with which she tried to wedge the door open). A moment later, they heard a door open, followed by running steps, on the far side of the building and Lady Antonia and the professor set off in immediate pursuit, leaving the partially lame doctor to wait for them.
A moment later, the door opened and Mrs Hawkins peered out, spotting the doctor almost immediately. He took a slightly less confrontational approach, assuring her that she was not in trouble and gained entry. Over the ensuing conversation, he was able to determine that she had a very low opinion of Simon Barchester, believing he was responsible for the change in behaviour of her son, Peter, who had been looking to become the stockbroker’s apprentice. She had lost contact with her son, who was associating with a strange group of people and sleeping through the day. She was unable to explain the problem further than that, but pointed out that they might get a good look at him at the Dog & Duck by the docks.
The doctor left the house and met up with the others, who had been chasing an innocent stranger, and they decided to visit the tavern in question as it was nearing sundown. Once they had arrived, they spotted Marsh and his “friend” in one corner and took up a table at another near the door. It was not long before the generally convivial, if uncouth, atmosphere changed completely as a gang of local youths arrived. Generally pale, not very animated and uniformly dressed in dark clothes, they were led by a rather more spritely individual in fashionable dress. A number of people disappeared very quickly at this point, including Edie, leaving Marsh on his own.
As the gang approached Marsh’s corner, he decided to get out of their way, attempting to surreptitiously signal to the others that he was moving to another table. Unfortunately, he did this just as the gang leader (who matched Mrs Hawkins’ description of her wayward son) swung out into the middle of the room to announce something, stopping right in front of him. Hawkins decided to make fun of him and asked the “mime” to perform for the room at large. Marsh responded by trying to get out of the room and his assailant grabbed him.
At this point, the professor let fly with his entangling foam, catching Hawkins with it, but the youth proved impossibly fast and strong. He broke free, appeared at the team’s table and attempted to punch the professor, missing and sinking his fist into the brick wall. Lady Antonia produced her revolvers and let fly with both shot barrels into his side, but although the shot penetrated his skin, he didn’t even flinch, turning to grin at her. The group now decided discretion was the better part of valour and fled.
At last, the team meet their nemesis, the vampire Peter Hawkins, and find he’s a little tougher than they imagined.
This session also marks the first occurrence of Marsh’s now-classic ability to foul things up spectacularly in social situations. All it took was a simple roll of snake eyes…