The Werewolves of Highgate

Cur­ruth­ers scores a bull­seye; Ant­o­nia takes the charge.

Played

21st Octo­ber 2010.

Dramatis Personae

Plot

As the leaves began to fall in the autumn of 1888, Lon­don was gripped by the lur­id tales of the exploits of Jack the Rip­per. The Min­istry, sus­pect­ing a super­nat­ur­al involve­ment, assigned its best agents to the case.

Cap­tain Cur­ruth­er­s’s team mean­while, was assigned to invest­ig­ate an appar­ently unre­lated series of attacks in North Lon­don. Tak­ing place on the nights around the full moon in late August, the assaults had been bloody but not yet fatal. They were centered on Highg­ate Cemetery and were reportedly car­ried out by a “large man-like beast”. Judging that a lyc­an­thrope was involved, the team, exclud­ing Marsh, who was suf­fer­ing from an unknown mal­ady, and Miss Spit, cur­rently assigned to work with the REG’s Psych­ic­al Research Team, went loaded for wolf.

Arriv­ing at the South Gate of the cemetery not long after night­fall, Curr­ruth­ers and Lady Ant­o­nia began scour­ing the mud for unusu­al tracks, while Pren­tiss warmed up for a fight and Miss Sharpe fiddled with her latest equip­ment. Cur­ruth­ers dis­covered the fresh prints of a large dog lead­ing into the cemetery and, on fur­ther invest­ig­a­tion, noticed that there were no front paw prints – the creature walked upright like a man! Now con­vinced that their tar­get was a were­wolf, the team ensured their weapons were loaded with sil­ver bul­lets and pressed on into the dark graveyard.

Des­pite the fog, the tracks were easy to fol­low and led straight to the far corner of the enclos­ure, as yet unused for buri­als. As the sil­ver fog snaked between the bushes, they spot­ted a power­fully-built humanoid fig­ure ahead of them. As it raised its muzzle to sniff the air, it became obvi­ous it was not human, and Cur­ruth­ers fired a single bul­let. The fig­ure fell and, as they drew closer to the body expect­ing it to rise and attack them, it became clear that he had pulled off an amaz­ing shot, hit­ting it between the eyes with a single shot from thirty paces – in the dark.

Unfor­tu­nately, they did not have long to con­grat­u­late each oth­er on their imme­di­ate suc­cess, as a snarling sound pre­ceded a rush­ing attack from the bushes to one side. Lady Ant­o­nia was clawed from behind and stumbled, saved from a mor­tal wound only by her heavy coat, as the attack­er rushed on towards Cur­ruth­ers. More shots were fired, and shrugged off, before they were able to sur­round it. Miss Sharpe finally got her Orgon­at­or work­ing and opened fire, catch­ing the beast in a cross­fire with Cur­ruth­ers and Lady Ant­o­nia. It con­tin­ued to fight, finally going down only when Cur­ruth­ers hit it in the back of the head from near point-blank range with his pistol.

Both were­wolves had rever­ted to human form upon death and, while one of them was naked in the tra­di­tion­al man­ner, the second wore a wolf­skin as a head­dress. The team decided to take both corpses back for fur­ther examination.

Notes

As before, this arc began with a simple fight unre­lated to the rest of the story. In part, this was neces­sit­ated by the award and expendit­ure of exper­i­ence at the begin­ning of the even­ing and it also provided an oppor­tun­ity for us all to refa­mil­i­ar­ise ourselves with the rules before we got in with the main plot.

There were two kinds of beasts involved here: the first was a wolf­man, the vic­tim of a were­wolf attack, while the second was an actu­al were­wolf, a human that act­ively seeks to become a wolf using magic. Rip­pers often provides dif­fer­ent levels of mon­ster like this, and it’s handy when you want to have a boss and one or more minions.

Cur­ruth­ers’ per­fect shot was the res­ult of an excess­ively high dam­age role – the les­son of this being that you should nev­er get to attached to a vil­lain in this game. Both sides spent large num­bers of ben­nies to aid their sur­viv­al dur­ing the fight and, for the first time, I finally felt able to try and act­ively kill the char­ac­ters (and that I did­n’t have to pull my punches).