The Madness of Angels, episode 3

Dr Pleas­ant shows his pow­er; Pren­tiss is near­ly brought down by a gar­den imple­ment.

Played

13th Jan­u­ary 2011.

Dramatis Personae

Plot

Pren­tiss was run­ning as soon as his feet hit the path, chas­ing after the bur­glar he had seen drop­ping past the study win­dow. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, it was dark in the yard and an unseen rake near­ly knocked him out. The thief took the oppor­tu­ni­ty to try and climb over the back wall, but his ini­tial leap fell short, squan­der­ing his advan­tage.

Cur­ruthers, hav­ing ascer­tained that the thief was being chased, head­ed for the front door, intend­ing to cut the vil­lain off at the end of the alley. Dr Pleas­ant and Miss Sharpe fol­lowed, leav­ing Lady Anto­nia to keep an eye on the study. That they might not pick the right end of the alley did not occur to them.

Hit­ting the ground on the far side of the wall, Pren­tiss dogged­ly renewed his pur­suit, catch­ing the bur­glar in a bear hug after he skid­ded in a pud­dle. Cur­ruthers and his team appeared at the near­est end of the alley, hav­ing made the right deci­sion, just as the thief broke loose, sprint­ing in the oth­er direc­tion. Pleas­ant react­ed imme­di­ate­ly, call­ing on Mal­phas, the Tow­er Builder, to inter­vene: a burst of blue light and an accom­pa­ny­ing thun­der­clap near­ly stunned the vil­lain, but he shook it off and ran on. Cur­ruthers calm­ly put a bul­let in his shoul­der, slow­ing him down enough for Pren­tiss to catch him again.

The team assem­bled and exam­ined their cap­tive: a shab­by look­ing lit­tle man with odd­ly rodent-like fea­tures. They found them­selves remind­ed of Marsh, although this was def­i­nite­ly not him. Attempt­ing to get some infor­ma­tion out of him, Cur­ruthers attempt­ed to per­suade them that things would go bet­ter if he talked. All the while, Pren­tiss loomed over them in an intim­i­dat­ing man­ner, although this was com­pro­mised some­what as Dr Pleas­ant attend­ed to his devel­op­ing black eye, mut­ter­ing about tasks that were “beneath him”. Even­tu­al­ly, offered a deal, the crim­i­nal, Lewis, admit­ted to being hired by a mys­te­ri­ous fig­ure. He had bro­ken into the house to steal sev­er­al spe­cif­ic objects and had been per­mit­ted to take any­thing else he want­ed in order to mud­dy the pic­ture.

He pro­duced a bag from under his coat and revealed a num­ber of odd objects: two sets of elab­o­rate black robes, an elab­o­rate chain of office (although not for any recog­nis­able organ­i­sa­tion), a pri­vate jour­nal. He also had jew­ellery and oth­er items of val­ue. He was sup­posed to locate a small sil­ver key, but had been unable to find it.

Extract­ing the loca­tion of the pub where Lewis had met his patron and where he was due to hand over the loot, the team head­ed back towards the West End. As they passed the Cathe­dral, they were accost­ed by a con­sta­ble, who informed them that they’d found the body of Mar­tin Gef­fey. Pleas­ant and April went with him while the oth­ers took Lewis on to the Min­istry. The body lay in an alley near St Paul’s, at the end of an increas­ing­ly wild set of tracks, as though he had stum­bled the final steps. Like the good Dean, it bore an expres­sion of ter­ror. Pleas­ant rapid­ly came to the con­clu­sion he had died of a seizure, prob­a­bly brought on by fear. Miss Sharpe used her Detecterona­tron, to hunt for spir­its, but was unsuc­cess­ful.

As the pair returned to the Min­istry, they caught a glimpse of Marsh. As they attempt­ed to hail him, they heard whis­tles and the pound­ing of heavy boots. Look­ing wild­ly around him, Marsh fled into the fog!

Notes

This was the first time I had attempt­ed to use the chase sys­tem, wide­ly tout­ed as one of Sav­age Worlds’ more use­ful fea­tures. It was a lit­tle con­fus­ing at first, as the whole thing is writ­ten in terms of car chas­es, even though it was explic­it­ly for foot chas­es as well. I found myself hav­ing to decide exact­ly what “Seri­ous­ly Out of Con­trol” meant for a pedes­tri­an (stum­bling) and exact­ly how climb­ing a wall might affect pro­ceed­ings. I’m still not sure the sys­tem reflect­ed Pren­tiss’ supe­ri­or pace well enough or the effect of attack­ing while run­ning, but it’s anoth­er sys­tem that will ben­e­fit from prac­tice. Next time, there will def­i­nite­ly be more obsta­cles!

Had Marsh been present, he would have recog­nised Lewis as a for­mer asso­ciate and prob­a­bly have got­ten more infor­ma­tion out of him. As it was, it was large­ly irrel­e­vant.

(* – play­er not present.)