It's Saturday, time for another Victoriana session, after Dan cooked us some breakfast.
I skim the newspaper. There are two articles of interest. The first is that Eria Halburger is dead. She was the former fiance of Inspector O'Reilley. The other is that Skippo Mundus of Albania conquered Greece.
Perhaps I'll do some more research today. I've discovered some more useful information about Celtic gods. Badb is somewhere between celtic god and faerie, and has much to do with darkness and fear. The celtic symbol branded on Sam was a symbol often associated with protection spells, although it's a torch not a broom.
A servant interrupts my random thoughts with a message from Father Amorth.
Someone is knocking on Father Amorth's door. It's someone he knows from the church. Diamian Coburn works for the bishop of London, and he has a matter to discuss. Father Amorth lets him in.
There are disturbing reports around London about disappearances and strange sounds. One disappearance in particular is of Mrs. Francine Ericson's husband Thomas. The police believe he ran away but the bishop wants an Inquisitor to investigate.
Father Amorth agrees to investigate, and dispatches messages to myself and the others.
Father Amorth tells of the case he's been entrusted with. A murder most foul he says. We take Lord Gavin's carriage and go to visit Francine Ericson, who lives in the Islington area.
It's a middle class area, and Sidney checks around the local chimney sweeps to see if anyone saw anything. She fines a chimney sweep named Burt, and he's working with some children to teach them out to sweep. She asks him a few questions, and finds out that Mister Ericson is a regular at the local pub. One of the children saw him the other night. Missus Ericson is generous. Oh, and Mister Ericson likes the tracks for some reason.
Meanwhile, Edwin Ingram and Father Amorth visit Mrs. Ericson. A plump dwarf answers the door, her eyes red from crying. Father Amorth announces he is here to investigate. She thanks him, and says the police haven't been much help, as they say he ran off to Miss Sallyworth up the street. Have they talked to him? Did they talk to Miss Sallyworth?
Her husband, Thomas Ericson, is a horse beastman, and he has brown fur with a little white spot on his forehead. She misses him dearly. Father Amorth and Edwin ask some questions to find out more about him. He's a banker, and he spends a lot of evenings at the Frost in the Forest on Kildonian road. His coworkers are often also there.
Father Amorth tells him he'll be in contact as soon as he find any useful information.
Father Amorth and Sidney go to the Pub. There's a few men here. The bartender is tending the bar and watching the room.
Father Amorth goes up to him and tells him that he is missing one of his flock, a horse beastman. The bartender pretends he doesn't know anything about any beastmen, clearly trying to ignore the rat beastman drinking in a corner. Father Amorth gives up and leaves.
Sidney gets a beer and listens in on the room. There's talk about the war in Greece. One guy brings up the ripper for no reason. Sidney leaves, and on the way out, smells a familiar smell on the rat beastman. It's opium.
After Sidney and Father Amorth have left, Edwin Ingram goes in. Despite being a LOCAL HERO nobody recognizes him. Edwin hums a tune and goes up to the bar and tells the bartender this is a nice establishment and orders a pint of bitter. He nurses it, and talks to the bartender, telling him he's thinking of building a gun shop in the area. The bartender mentions a Ms. Johnson who disappeared, and to stay out of the way of a tall man dressed in black. He doesn't know the man's name, but he's very pale and kinda gaunt. Surely not related to one of our party.
We discuss what to do next. Lord Gavin and I decide we'll visit the bank in the morning. Edwin Ingram, Sidney and Father Amorth want to see if they can find anything about the man in black in the area, so Edwin and Father Amorth end up at an opium den.
Father Amorth pays a shilling and gets in. Edwin tries to follow but the ogre doorman recognizes him and blocks his access. He knows Both the ogre. He rips open his shirt, revealing an M on his chest. He decides he doesn't like Edwin, and so Edwin flees the scene.
Father Amorth is inside, and talks to the owner. The owner is obviously deeply into his own product, and he doesn't seem to know much, and what he does know is probably not real. He remembers a beastman, but obviously not one we know about. Maybe a demonic horse beastman. He paid well.
Father Amorth asks about the man in black, and the owner thinks he's a fairy tale, and fairy tales are real. He rambles about butter and clams.
Father Amorth leaves the madman.
The newspaper mentions more disappearances in Northeast London. Lord Gavin and I go to the bank. It's the third national bank of London, and there are inspectors there talking to the bank manager.
I interrupt their conversation, asking to speak to Ericson. As expected, we're told he's not here, but we're directed to one of his colleagues, an eldarin named Billy.
We speak to Billy, and he mentions that Ericson took a temporary leave of absence. This seems a little too scripted.
I tell him I know he's missing, and I'm not here to talk about opening an account. We think he's been kidnapped, or possibly even murdered. Billy is alarmed by this, and confirms that he often goes to the pub with Mr. Ericson. He last went to the pub with him four nights ago.
Billy stops, suddenly suspicious why I'm investigating this. I tell him I work with Edwin Ingram, and he recognizes the name and is more willing to talk again.
I tell him he was last seen two days ago, and Billy tells me that he hung out with a rat beastman at the pub sometimes. Oh, and apparently the bank was robbed under suspicious circumstances, possibly using Mr. Ericson's access. I ask about the gaunt man in black, but Billy doesn't know of him. He does think it's worth telling us how shifty and untrustworthy the rat beastman is.
Lord Gavin and I return to my fashionable flat, and we discuss what we learned with the others. We agree we need to talk to the rat beastman.
Sidney returns to the bar, and asks about the rat beastman, saying he owes her money. He's not here.
She waits until around six, when the rat beastman arrives, just before she was about to leave.
Sidney talks to the rat beastman, and he feigns foggy memory, so Sidney offers to play a game of darts, with the loser sharing information. Strangely, the rat beastman is game.
Sidney's first dart is good, and while none of her others connect, she manages to score more overall. The rat beastman is good on his word, and tells Sidney that he sold Thomas Ericson some opium before. Apparently he was getting it for a shady black clad fellow. He last saw him with the black clad fellow two days ago and hasn't seen him since. The rat beastman indicates he isn't really willing to share more, unless Sidney has something else to offer.
Sidney comes and gets some spare change from me, where I am waiting in Lord Gavin's carriage, and then goes back in. The rat beastman is suddenly much more willing to talk again, and tells us the name of the black clad fellow. Aaron Bailor, at 876 Springs Row. He sometimes does business around here, and he bought several drums of salt from the rat beastman and several other odd chemicals.
Having all the information she needs, she drops a shilling in the rat beastman's drink and then leaves.
We take a visit to Aaron Bailor's flat.
Father Amorth can feel necromanctic energies here, and all of us feel uneasy. It's quiet and would be kind of nice. There's not much investigation, and electric lights can be seen in the house. Sidney can see dead spirits here, but they don't want to talk to her.
Father Amorth councils us on fighting necromancers. Don't look him in the eyes, and make sure to blow his head off. If we encounter any corporal dead shoot to stop, and don't aim for the head, as the dark magic driving them won't be stopped just because the body is headless.
We know on the front door, and get no answer, so Sidney picks the door lock. Edwin Ingramslams the door open and rushes into the hallway.
We follow Edwin, and out of a doorway, a blond haired gnome steps out. His double barreled shotgun is pointed at Jeff's chest, and in a squeaky voice yells "FREEZE!". He recognizes Jeff, and says "Mr. Ingram, we finally meet". He seems to think Jeff would make a good present for his master.
The gnome demands Edwin follows him, and he backs up back into the doorway, obscuring him from all of our view except for Edwin's. Edwin leaps out of the gnomes view as well, causing the gnome to fire his shotgun at Edwin. Luckily, he misses, and only makes a big hole in the wall instead.
We rush through the doorway to find the gnome has been knocked back ten feet and is now prone on the floor. Sidney forces him to look Father Amorth in the eye, and he finds himself mesmerized by them.
Father Amorth interrogates the gnome, and the gnome is not happy to share what he knows. He has no power or permission to do anything, and his master has been gone for two days. They had graverobbed themselves some corpses and besides raising dead and dominating his gnomish servant, he was also doing something with a skull. The basement is the ritual room, and that's where the salt went, and the bodies disappeared. There are two undead down there.
Father Amorth has the gnome go to the police and to attack them with his fists, and to not say our names. The gnome tells us that he really hates Father Amorth, and leaves.
Sidney looks for loot to steal. She finds some winter coat, some matches, and some cigarettes. I look around as well, and find a tobacco box with silver engraving that say "WBS".
We head downstairs. The stairs are rickety. Edwin Ingram notices the two zombies, and kills them, with Sidney and Lord Gavin's help. Father Amorth and I aren't really able to get through the narrow stairs.
With the two undead taken care of, we get a closer look at the room. In the center of the room is a blood stained table with manacles. There are boxes of chemical equipment, and table with chemistry implements set up. In the corner are several drums filled with massive amounts of salt.
I examine the chemistry equipment on the table, and find hydrocloric acid and puried water, as well as some electrolytes. I'm not sure what the exact chemical process being performed here, but I take some of the electrolytes.
Father Amorth finds a spellbook of deadly purity under one of the tables.
We leave, except for Sidney who hangs around the house in case he comes back.
He does, and Sidney watches as he comes back out and then burns the house down. He walks off and Sidney follows.
To be continued...