Unnatural History

Quentin dresses up; Lumby slightly less so.


Epis­ode 1: 21st May; Epis­ode 2: 28th May; Epis­ode 3: 4th June 2020.

Dramatis Personæ

  • Quentin Wedg­wood-Smythe, the Vis­count Wey­mouth – an Occult Schol­ar.
  • Lumby Jones – a Very Weird Sci­ent­ist.
  • Mis­ter Erasmus Rooke – the Boss.
  • Doc­tor Richard Mitchell – an Exped­i­tion­ary Palæon­to­lo­gist.
  • Alex­an­dros Helios – an Incom­pet­ent Nec­ro­man­cer.
  • The Great and the Good of Lon­don.
  • An Anim­ated Fossil Tyr­an­no­saur­us rex.
  • A Horde of Anim­ated Fos­sil­ised Beetles.


Episode 1

Fol­low­ing act­ive cam­paigns to be allowed to oper­ate in the field, the Vis­count Wedg­wood-Smythe and Lumby Jones were summoned from their respect­ive lairs (the Lib­rary and the Work­shops) to the Deputy Dir­ect­or, Erasmus Rooke. Rooke informed them that their requests had been approved and they were to begin field­work imme­di­ately. As juni­or Agents, they were to under­take a simple task, con­tact one Doc­tor Richard Mitchell, a palæon­to­lo­gist noted for his exped­i­tions to the less-developed regions of the world, and recruit him as a spe­cial­ist advisor for the Min­istry. This would be a del­ic­ate task, as they needed to get his agree­ment before explain­ing what the Min­istry was!

Mitchell was to be unveil­ing his latest gift to the Nat­ur­al His­tory Museum that even­ing, so they made pre­par­a­tions to talk to him there. As the event was a white tie event for the elite of the coun­try, Jones was going to need some clean­ing up! Even­tu­ally, Wedg­wood-Smythe got him present­able, and they caught a steam car­riage to Kensington.

The Museum was hold­ing one of its peri­od­ic fund-rais­ing even­ings (the con­struc­tion to Cap­tain Fowke’s ori­gin­al plans had put the insti­tu­tion in a fair amount of debt). The entry gal­ler­ies were full of aris­to­crats and busi­ness­men milling around and Wedg­wood-Smythe was dragged into con­ver­sa­tion by numer­ous acquaint­ances, des­pite his best efforts. Lumby did his best to look incon­spicu­ous until the ush­ers announced the start of the lec­ture in the main lec­ture hall.

Mitchell was intro­duced to the packed aud­it­or­i­um and regaled the audi­ence with out­land­ish tales of his exploits in Africa, fin­ish­ing with an invit­a­tion to view his latest dona­tion to the Museum, a full skel­et­on of Tyr­an­no­saur­us rex, which he had “acquired” in the Congo, from a tribe who wor­shipped it as a god.

Wedg­wood-Smythe was able to corner the sci­ent­ist fol­low­ing the view­ing, and began to care­fully explain his offer. It did­n’t take long before Mitchell got his intent and agreed enthu­si­ast­ic­ally, invit­ing the pair of them back to his office near the enty­mo­logy wing. It appeared he had seen a num­ber of strange things in the jungles and plains of Africa.

As he explained his exper­i­ences, and Jones examined the pre­ser­va­tion chem­ic­als on the shelves, a wave of dark­ness washed through the room. Mitchell slipped in the con­fu­sion and cracked his head on the desk, and there was a crash and a series of screams from the main part of the Museum.

Jones paused to check if Mitchell was ok, as Wedg­wood-Smythe rumin­ated the magic­al nature of the effect. Mitchell appeared to be ok, so they ven­tured into the enty­mo­logy wing, just in time to see sev­er­al cracked insect cases shat­ter, the insect car­cases inside them crawl­ing out on to the floor and advanced towards them…

Episode 2

Ini­tially, the duo were at a loss as to what to do with the horde of stone insects flow­ing towards them. Wedg­wood-Smythe tried to hit them with his cane, but had no effect, while Jones’ boots were sim­il­arly ineffective.

Hav­ing a sud­den brain­wave, the aris­to­crat began search­ing through the chem­ic­al jars on the shelves for poten­tial weaponry. The invent­or caught on quickly and joined him. It was­n’t long before they found some­thing that might do. Wedg­wood-Smythe began throw­ing jars, but had a great deal of dif­fi­culty try­ing to hit the beetles, which simply flowed around the hiss­ing puddles.

After a couple of false starts, Jones figured out how to dis­pense the chem­ic­al through his gas pro­ject­or and the pair of them finally began to score some dam­age on the bugs. Unfor­tu­nately, this res­ul­ted in the horde split­ting in two, with one half head­ing towards a group of museum guests. Many were injured before the Agents finally fin­ished off the beetles.

As they were check­ing on the vic­tims, they heard more screams from the main dino­saur gal­lery. Wedg­wood-Smythe went to check on the noise, and found that the Tyr­an­no­saur­us rex skel­et­on had come to life and was now threat­en­ing a num­ber of civil­ians in the gallery.

Real­ising the chem­ic­als would have little effect on such a large mass of stone, Wedg­wood-Smythe was moment­ar­ily sty­mied, but Jones decided the best start would be to attempt to stun it with one of his stun gren­ades. This was suc­cess­ful, so the Vis­count took advant­age of the lull to attempt to tangle the creature up in rope that some main­ten­ance staff had left nearby.

Episode 3

With the rope wrapped around the giant skel­et­on’s legs and tied to two pil­lars, Jones was able to line up a shot with his vapour gun. He hit the spine imme­di­ately beneath the skull, blow­ing it clean off and leav­ing the remainder to fall to the floor, inanimate.

As they began check­ing the crowd for ser­i­ous injur­ies, a tall sat­urnine fig­ure, wear­ing an elab­or­ately embroidered robe, strode through the door, and he was not in a good mood.

Wedg­wood-Smythe stepped for­ward, attempt­ing to ascer­tain who he was and what he wanted, but the man imme­di­ately began work­ing a spell. Unfor­tu­nately for him, Jones was quick­er, and he was stunned before he could fin­ish his incant­a­tion, wind­ing up in custody.

Before long, rep­res­ent­at­ives of the Law arrived, and Min­istry Agents began clear­ing up the mess, con­vin­cing the vic­tims that they had been the vic­tims of a sim­ul­tan­eous gas leak and exhib­it col­lapse caused by a sub­ter­ranean explosion.

Back at the Pal­la­di­an Club, Mr Rooke con­grat­u­lated the duo on keep­ing the cas­u­al­ties to a min­im­um and cap­tur­ing the cul­print, all while achiev­ing their mis­sion. Dr Mitchell had agreed to join the organ­isa­tion in a con­sultancy capacity.

Dur­ing the ensu­ing inter­rog­a­tion, the Min­istry dis­covered that the sor­cer­or Alex­an­dros Helios’s attempt at rais­ing an army from the neigh­bour­ing cemetery had back­fired spec­tac­u­larly, spark­ing the wave of nec­ro­mantic energy that had just rean­im­ated a num­ber of fossils with­in the museum. He was escor­ted off to an appro­pri­ate deten­tion facil­ity while they figured out what to charge him with.


New cam­paign, new Agents!

There are some revi­sions to the set­ting here as well, which I’ll attempt to detail later:

  • The Min­istry is now the Eso­ter­ic Branch of the Met­ro­pol­it­an Police, although it still refers to itself as the Min­istry of Blades, and oper­ates in secrecy. It is based out of the Pal­la­di­an Club in Mayfair.
  • The set­ting as a whole is much more steam­punk, with auto­matons and steam con­vey­ances, as well as weird gadgets.

The intro­duct­ory scen­ario is based on the Sav­age Worlds Rip­pers One-Sheet ‘Unnat­ur­al His­tory’.