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).