London 1802: The Invitation

Monday April 26, 2010 at 5:30pm new campaign, london 1802, game session notes Comments (0) »

First Session

Game: World Of Darkness

Characters: George [Curtis], Gerald [Robb], Katherine [Sheri], Molly [Edie], Robert [Chuck]



Kathrine, Robert, Molly and Gerald had met before, but - apart from Gerald and Molly - were not well-acquainted. However, they all happened to be in Saint Paul's Churchyard on the evening of April 7th 1802, just after the last service of the day.

The square was crowded and people were beginning to disperse to their respective residences for the evening when an unnatural stillness settled over the square. The people all seemed to turn to look as two figures entered from the east - a well dressed man who was briskly walking through the churchyard and was being pursued by an overweight, staggering and obviously intoxicated sailor spouting slurred curses and threats.

The altercation between the two escalated when the sailor, obviously consumed with a burning rage, shoved the man into an unattended cart hauling barrels of pickles - sending one of the barrels through a nearby shop window and caused another to fall to the cobblestone street beside them. The distraction of the pickle barrels allowed the gentleman to escape to a reasonable distance, he pulled a pistol from his jacket and pointed threateningly at the his assailant. The sailor balked for a moment, but ultimately decided the man was bluffing and lunged at his target. The gentleman then shot him and the large sailor fell limply to the ground, unmoving.

The crowd didn't seem to respond to these events in any way apart from simply looking on, and the man did nothing further beyond looking around the square until a few of the Runners arrived and took the man and the body from the square. After they left the scene, the people in the square slowly began talking, moving and going about their daily lives again.

The four went back to their respective residences, finished their evening rituals and went to bed - falling into a hard, dreamless sleep.

When they awakened, they had one thought at the forefront of their minds - the events that transpired outside St. Paul's the night before. Something was wrong with what they had witnessed. None of them could put a finger on it, but something didn't add up. They each felt absolutely compelled to find out why. As they pulled on clothes and headed out they noticed something else - it was dusk. They had slept through an entire day. The concerns about commitments they may have missed, however, faded strangely into the backs of their minds almost immediately - there was something inexplicably more important.

They each made their way back to St. Paul's square independently, but on arriving they noticed each other. Apart from them however, there were unusually few people in the square that evening. As they took in their surroundings and thought back on what they had witnessed 24 hours before, a few strange inconsistencies started to bubble into their thoughts. They didn't remember hearing a rage-filled shriek and yet they got the feeling it was there - and that it filled the square. Conversely, they remembered seeing the gentleman shoot the sailor - and hearing the crack of the shot - and yet, they felt convinced that the pistol made no sound. In addition, some recalled seeing some odd, moving shadows cast about the square as the events unfolded. None of them could make any sense of this, however.

Their investigation of the scene only turned up more mysteries. They took a look at the area around the shop where the cart had been and where the sailor was shot. They found no evidence of blood or vinegar solution from the pickles on the ground. What they did find was some blood on the broken glass outside the now-boarded shop window and some strange white shell fragments scattered in a vague line in the square some distance away.

As they were discussing these oddities, they were approached by a well-dressed man who had the bearing and manner of a butler in every way. He approached them, bowed, reached into the satchel he was carrying and produced 4 heavy parchment envelopes. As he distributed them to the group, he told them "Sir Barnabas would be honored if you would accept his invitation".

The envelopes contained a letter written in fine, neat script which read:

To the Bearer,
You are formally invited to 1 Queen Ann Street for a delicious evening meal and polite conversation tomorrow, the 9th of April. Present this letter to the doorman at the entrance to the manor. Arrive at dusk.
Sincerely, Sir Barnabas

After a few moments, they noticed something else to the letter. Beneath the handwritten script, there was a watermark that contained something written in what looked like Latin or Greek. It took some time to locate appropriate reference materials to translate the strange message, but by lunchtime the following day, the group reconvened and Gerald read to them what the hidden message contained:

So, you like secrets then - and you have the wit to find them. If pleasant ignorance is not enough for you, you must dig deeper. I would caution you in this pursuit, however, as few survive such dark curiosity. I advise you to join the other guests and forget you found this message. If you are deaf to my warnings however, arrive at nightfall. The doorman will not enforce his instructions.

The group discussed for a while what they should do, but ultimately decided that accepting the bizarre invitation may be informative. Following the second set of instructions, they arrived just after nightfall. The doorman - who was the man who had delivered the letters - took their invitations and directed them to the west parlor on the left side of the entry hall.

The hall was dark apart from the dim light afforded by a candelabra sitting on a small stand opposite the doorway. Directly ahead of them was a dark stairway going up to a balcony overlooking the entrance hall. There was no light coming from the second floor and the chandeliers overhead were unlit.

The door to which they were directed, that lead to the west parlor, had closed about the time they were walking in, and they could now only hear muffled conversation coming from the other side and could see only a small strip of golden light issuing from the crack beneath it. Directly opposite the west parlor was another closed door, the gap beneath which also leaked a strip of light. No obvious sounds came from the other side of this door...

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