Sunday 9th December, 1894Edit
The group arrive at Castle Frankenstein, late at night, tired from their travels. The castle is now a hotel of sorts, catering to those with the money and desire to stay in a place with such a dark reputation. They opt to rest and recover from their journey and go about their investigations the following day.
Monday 10th December, 1894Edit
They meet the other guests over breakfast including a group of recently Graduated students (Norville Rogers, Frederick Jones, Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkly) a 'Very Bohemian' poet (Dieter Schenker) and an elderly couple (Herr Heinrich and Frau Gertrude FrieSchloss.
After Dinner, where Jones and Camilla are seated seperately at the 'Children's Table', the two 'youngsters' go off exploring the castle whilst the 'grown-ups' socialise. Belladonna is cornered by the poet, Schenker, who proceeds to try to teach her of the Bohemian Lifestyle, something she has no interest in whatsoever. Jeffery Sinclair is approached by Frederick with tales of game hunting, though it becomes apparent that he has no experience of such things at all. He is taken 'hunting' through the forests around the castle, where Jeffery spies a large, gaunt, humanoid figure.
Meanwhile, Jones and Camilla find their explorations taking them to a storage attic in the servants quarters. They are locked in accidentally, and take the time to search through the items in storage. Jones notices three paintings that all have the same 'full moon' in them, partially shrouded by the same tree. One is a painting within a painting, another part of a bleak landscape, and the third seen through a window in a 'group portrait'. Deciding that they are of some import Jones takes his pocket knife and cuts them from their frames.
Garvin notices the boy is missing, so he, Belladonna and Tim go in search of them. They are eventually found after the others become curious of the light they can see through a small window high on a roof section.
Tuesday December 11th, 1894Edit
Under the cover of 'taking in the history of the house' the group search for any more paintings that might contain the mysterious moon. One more is found in a dusty and apparently unused reception room, and another in the music room - but where the others all had but a single 'moon' the one in the music room has four! One in a portrait, one through a window, one reflected in a mirror and the last reflected on a highly polished floor!
Jeffery finds a secret passage in the smoking room during his search for paintings, but chooses not to follow it alone. Upon reporting to the others it is decided that the paintings are of paramount importance, and the passage can be explored later.
After Midnight they gather in the music room and align the four 'single moon' paintings with the 'four moon' painting, laid out on the floor. Camilla catches a sparkle of silver in a part of the painting caught in a shaft of moonlight, and when the curtains are opened fully a map appears in hidden paint, showing the full grounds of Castle Frankenstein, and marking out a folly in the woods specifically. It is decided to investigate the folly on the following day.
Before retiring the group decide to find where the secret passage goes. They cautiously avoid the butler who appears to be making late-night rounds, and then open the passage.
The passage winds through the castle, with more than one overlook into another room, and ends at an apparently blank wall. The ceiling is high here, however, and looking up, there are iron rungs in the walls. With some effort, the group climb up and find themselves on the roof. It is at this point that it is commented on that the passage is strangely dust free and therefore must be used regularly!
Up on the roof there is a chest stored under a small overhang, and a solidly locked door leading into the roof-space. Jones uses his skills to open the door, and within is found the remains of a lab! There are wires hanging from the ceiling, trailing through a smashed glass dome towards a surgical bench with damaged leather straps, now mouldered with age. Belladonna is mortified at the mould which has destroyed the notes and books in the lab, able to find a few references to 'Golem', but nothing that can be used for real research. She is also intrigued by what appears to be a mechanical man made of brass cogs and gears, that has also suffered from the elements.
Outside, it is found that the chest contains a telescope, and marks on the roof indicate where it has been set up before. The telescope is used to look out at the folly, thanks to the full moon granting light. The forest keeps the groups eyes off most of the folly itself, but the location relative to the map is confirmed.
Wednesday 12th December, 1894Edit
After a hearty breakfast, and having wrapped up warm, it is decided to walk out through the forest to investigate the folly. Walking through the snow covered forest floor Cheng-Lou gets his leg caught in a bear trap! Jeffrey opens up the trap and Belladonna, with the help of Camilla as her nurse, does what she can for Cheng-Lou's damaged leg.
They hear movement in the forest nearby, and are relieved when the sound turns out to have been caused by the Gamekeeper, a tall, gaunt fellow carrying a large shotgun. He suggests that they leave, as there are traps all over the area to prevent 'pests'.
Once more, frustrated with their lack of progress, they decide to wait until after dark for any further action.
After Dinner, the poet, Schenker, offers a book to Sinclair, a german folio copy of a play. He reads the first few pages and decides he must share the book with his companions. Upon seeing it, Belladonna goes into a frenzy, wanting to read the book, and Garvin draws a knife, threatening Sinclair. The book is a German Translation of 'The King in Yellow'. A fight ensues between the members of the lodge, during which Bella attempts to peel off her own face, but eventually sanity prevails and the book is torn up by Garvin and burnt in the fire.
After their exertions the group decide to retire and speak no more of the events of that evening.
Thursday 13th December, 1894Edit
There is a new guest at breakfast, a Russian by the name of Stefan Karlovich Dzhevetskiy, he intimates that he knows that the group are Rippers and has been following them for some time! They take him to a more private location and Sir Robert uses his mesmeric gaze to ensure that the Russian answers their questions truthfully. It transpires that he is a scientist, formerly in the employ of the Cabal! He was working on making a submersible ship for Dr. Jack to use in his search for Atlantis, but the Doctor took away all of his funding and cast him out after his researches did not bear the fruit that Dr. Jack was looking for. Since then he has been trying to find Dr. Jack to extract his revenge - and reasoned that since Van Helsing was followng Dr. Jack, and this particular group of Rippers were on the trail of Van Helsing, that he might be able to make an alliance of mutual need with them.
He is, haltingly, accepted into the group, and that evening, on the last night of the full moon, they head out to the folly again, careful of Bear traps. Within the folly, when the snow is cleared, there are carvings depicting the moon in different phases. Some are on a central pillar, and others arrayed above the large arches providing access to the folly. The men, and Camilla who is surprisingly strong, decide to align the moons by trying to turn the central pillar. Somewhat surprisingly parts of the central pillar will indeed rotate and when the moons are in alignment the floor beneath their feet begins to drop away, forming a long spiral stair that descends into darkness.
Jones, being the smallest, and also capable with such things, descends to find a locked door at the end of the stair. The door is soon opened, on screaming, rusted hinges, and beyond is a small room, barely five feet to a side, with a three feet tall and wide plinth in the middle upon which is a dusty wooden box.
Jones reaches out for it, and then stops with his hand on the box, sensing danger somehow. He asks that everyone else leave, then one returns to bring a counterweight that he can swap for the box. A suitable counterweight is procured and Jones attempts to make the swap. It is at this point that he realises the box is attached to the plinth with a string that runs into a hole in the top of the plinth that was previously hidden by the box. As the string is pulled there is a rumbling sound and the spiral stair begins to rise up again, to re-form the floor of the folly. Acting nimbly Jones leaps up the bottom step before it disappears and is able to make his way out of the folly.
The rising of the stair is not the only change that the pulling of the string has wrought, however. The central column that appeared to be holding up the ceiling is lowering, revealing a massive statue that was hidden in the dome of the ceiling. The sculpture is at least 12 feet tall, and strongly built in proportion (Belladonna's player played the 'Uh-Oh, we're going to need a bigger boat' Adventure Card upping it from Size +1 to Size +3!) They all back away from the folly and are perturbed, if not entirely surprised, when the statue animates and moves to attack them!
No matter what they group throw at the statue it seems to be unperturbed. Sir Robert empties both of his Gatling Pistols into the Hulking Statue, Garvin tries to work at cracks in the stonework with his knives, and Stefan, the Russian uses a strange pistol of his own design to fire what appears to be some kind of miniature artillery shell at the beast, that melts the snow all around it with a ball of flame!
The only thing that seems to have any effect at all are the snowballs which Jones is throwing that seem to distract the stone behemoth at the very least.
Cheng-Lou decides that there must be some kind of weak spot and suggests that it be looked for ... Belladonna and Camilla use a rope to hook around the statues head in the hopes of climbing up on it in search of a weak area. As the Statue swipes around it, further damaging Cheng-Lou's leg and knocking several others unconcious, Bella climbs up onto its back, finding an area of soft clay on the top of its head that has what appears to be Hebrew writing in it. Stefan moves close by and offers her his curious weapon. Before she can take it from him the statue grabs her and pulls her off it's back. As Camilla has hold of the other end of the rope she is pulled up in Belladonna's place.
She grabs Stefan's gun and shoots into the soft clay on the top of the statue's head, something goes wrong with the weapon, however and it explodes blasting out the stone creature's face, but also spraying shrapnel over a large area, hurting many of the Rippers. The Statue stands still now, a headless giant standing before the folly.
True to her medical profession, Belladonna attends to the wounded, with the aid of Camilla, though nothing can be done for Cheng-Lou's mangled leg. The group decide to sneak away in the dark of the night before their battered status can be noticed at breakfast, spinning a tale of an emergency that means they must make all haste back to England.
Friday 14th December - Monday 24th December 1894Edit
The journey back to England takes longer than expected - Jones manages to get himself thrown off the train from Berlin to La Rochelle, and Garvin travels back to recover him. Arriving in England they find the country in the grip of the coldest weather ever recorded and their journey back to Southend stalled in Southampton.
Friday 28th December, 1894Edit
They eventually return to Southend, where Stefan has a 'run-in' with Challenger - the two scientists are at loggerheads for several days.