The Madness of Angels, episode 5

Pren­tiss flat­tens a stew­ard; Cur­ruth­ers shoulders the load.


3rd Feb­ru­ary 2011.

Dramatis Personae

  • Lady Ant­o­nia deVorea Heav­ily-armed Aris­to­crat (play­er not present).
  • Cap­tain Ben­son Cur­ruth­ersa Mil­it­ary Police­man.
  • Doc­tor Zephaniah Pleas­anta Sin­is­ter Sur­geon.
  • Miss April Sharpea Self-taught Invent­or.
  • Jack Pren­tiss – a Dodgy Ped­es­tri­an.
  • Mr Erasmus Rooke – the Boss.
  • Hende­r­son – a Ded­ic­ated Crypto­lo­gist.
  • The Chief Ver­ger of St Paul’s Cathed­ral.
  • Sev­er­al Mem­bers of Staff at the Cap­it­oline Club.
  • Lewis – an Unsuc­cess­ful Burg­lar.


Fol­low­ing their rebuff by the Pres­id­ent of the Cap­it­oline Club, Cap­tain Cur­ruth­ers and Pren­tiss determ­ined to enter the premises by oth­er means, opt­ing for the hitherto-unheard-of dis­guise of work­men mak­ing a deliv­ery. Acquir­ing some work clothes from a nearby shop, along with a long crate, they returned to the rear entrance to the Club. Knock­ing on the door, they informed the stew­ard who opened it that they had a deliv­ery for the Very Rev­er­end Green­field. When the con­fused young man dis­ap­peared off to con­firm this, they sidled in and, using the crate as a cov­er, headed towards the front of the build­ing. Find­ing their way up to the first floor (lounges and games rooms) and then the second (bed­rooms), they were caught try­ing door handles by one of the stew­ards. Their attempt to explain that they were try­ing to make a per­son­al deliv­ery was justly ignored as they were ordered back down­stairs. Pren­tiss lost interest and knocked him out. They dumped the unfor­tu­nate man in one of the bed­rooms they’d dis­covered, tak­ing his keys, but fur­ther explor­a­tions proved point­less as they were unable to dis­cov­er any­thing new.

Cur­ruth­ers and Pren­tiss returned to the Min­istry just as Miss Sharpe and Dr Pleas­ant returned from their own excur­sion. Meet­ing with Lady Ant­o­nia, they found she had con­tin­ued her research and had turned up some inter­est­ing inform­a­tion con­cern­ing Wren’s interest in sac­red geo­metry, although it seemed he was less inter­ested in using it for power, more as an archi­tec­tur­al aid. They dis­cussed the day’s dis­cov­er­ies and learnt of the col­lapse of anoth­er Wren church, before being inter­rup­ted by the some­what man­ic appear­ance of Hende­r­son, wav­ing some paper about. It tran­spired that he had decoded some of Greenfield’s note­book, hav­ing solved a kind of enciphered short­hand. He had broken his usu­al habit of wait­ing until he had fin­ished the whole job before report­ing the res­ults, real­ising that this was quite urgent. Look­ing at the most recent entries first, he had dis­covered that Green­field had been sus­pi­cious of the activ­it­ies of one Dr Jac­ob Soren­son, the Head Choir­mas­ter, who had been appoin­ted about six months earli­er. While Dr Soren­son had acquit­ted his duties as Choir­mas­ter admir­ably, he had also taken a very intense interest in the struc­ture and his­tory of the build­ing. He was forever being encountered in obscure corners of the gal­ler­ies, tak­ing rub­bings or draw­ing sketches; once or twice, he was found knock­ing on wooden pan­els and listen­ing to the echoes. He did noth­ing that was actu­ally inap­pro­pri­ate, at least by the [INDECIPHERABLE]‘s stand­ards, and Green­field had been advised to wait and watch by his col­league ‘ER’, but then his name turned up author­ising a dock­et for work on the walls: Green­field had been a bit bemused by this, as that should have been the Ver­ger­’s respons­ib­il­ity. The last entry in the diary men­tioned his plan to invest­ig­ate the site of the works after the masons had gone home to see if there was any­thing odd about them.

The team now real­ised that Green­field had merely dis­covered the plot, not instig­ated it.

With time tick­ing on to their appoint­ment with the employ­er of Lewis, they col­lec­ted the luck­less crim­in­al from his cell and headed for the indic­ated tav­ern. Upon enter­ing, they seated them­selves around the lounge so as to have all fields of view covered. Cur­ruth­ers then became aware that a famil­i­ar fig­ure was try­ing to catch his atten­tion from an inner door­way: it was Erasmus Rooke. Bring­ing them all into the private room, he paid off Lewis and sent him home. Sit­ting down, he explained that he had been the one that hired the burg­lar. Rooke and Green­field, it appeared, were both mem­bers of a group ded­ic­ated to keep­ing the world safe from super­nat­ur­al dangers, although Rooke refused to give any more inform­a­tion on this. Real­ising that Cur­ruth­ers’ invest­ig­a­tion would lead him to search the Dean’s home, and believ­ing that the regalia asso­ci­ated with the organ­isa­tion would cause an unne­ces­sary and point­less diver­sion, he had arranged to remove them. Unfor­tu­nately, Lewis had been caught before he could fin­ish the job, instig­at­ing the very situ­ation his employ­er had been try­ing to avoid. With the most recent reports from the team indic­at­ing the scale of the situ­ation, Rooke had decided to reveal what he knew. Between his inform­a­tion and what the team had dis­covered, they figured out the story.

It appeared that Soren­son had real­ised that an archangel was bound to the cathed­ral, in order to pre­vent its elab­or­ate struc­ture from col­lapsing. That archangel was also lend­ing its strength to the rest of Wren’s Lon­don churches. Over two cen­tur­ies of cap­tiv­ity, how­ever, the archangel had become some­what insane and was try­ing to escape. Soren­son wanted to release it and bind it to his own ser­vice, which would both col­lapse the churches and give him great power – assum­ing the archangel didn’t break free and lay waste to Lon­don first.

The team decided it was time to track down Soren­son. Head­ing imme­di­ately for the Cathed­ral, they con­tac­ted the Chief Ver­ger, dis­cov­er­ing that Soren­son had van­ished the day the Dean died. Obtain­ing his home address, they gained entry to the premises, find­ing that they had been deser­ted. Cur­ruth­ers did dis­cov­er a map, with a crude pen­ta­gram drawn out on it, centred on Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

Sus­pect­ing trouble, they gathered weapons and headed for Hol­born becom­ing aware of chor­al singing as they arrived. Ven­tur­ing into the park, they saw torch­light at the band­stand, which was sur­roun­ded by choir­boys, while two hooded fig­ures were chant­ing in the band­stand itself.

Find­ing their lines of fire obstruc­ted by appar­ently inno­cent choir­boys, the team closed for hand-to-hand com­bat. Pleas­ant did his best to put the choir­boys, who appeared to be pos­sessed, out of the fight blood­lessly, while Pren­tiss found him­self engaged in a fist­fight with the lar­ger of the two hooded fig­ures. Cur­ruth­ers brought down the chant­ing Soren­son with a double shot­gun blast, in spite of his magic­al pro­tec­tion, but it was too late, as a misty fig­ure began to form over the carved stone block at the centre of the ritu­al. Miss Sharpe’s orgon­at­or now became use­ful as it wore down the spirit’s still coales­cing phys­ic­al form, allow­ing Cur­ruth­ers to dis­perse it with a final blast from his firearm.

With the choir­boys appar­ently safe and both vil­lains under con­trol, the team returned to headquar­ters with the stone, appar­ently the focus for the spirit’s bind­ings. The her­oes passed on respons­ib­il­ity for the stone to Rooke who ulti­mately returned it to the church, in order to shore up the cathed­ral until it could be strengthened physically.


This epis­ode star­ted out fairly rushed, as I had prom­ised to fin­ish the whole thing this week. This meant that a num­ber of invest­ig­a­tions had to be com­pleted in quick suc­ces­sion and I was wor­ried it would­n’t be pos­sible. Luck­ily, des­pite the vast amounts of expos­i­tion, the play­ers put the details togeth­er very quickly. The final fight was nice and quick.

Next time, my invest­ig­at­ive plots will be bet­ter planned: I’d got so far with this one, then dropped the ball, hav­ing to play catch-up. Giv­en that the ori­gin­al idea was to not rail­road the play­ers, it came dan­ger­ously close towards the end.