Friday 1st July, 1892 - Investigating Southend
Each of the Rippers does their own investigations in and around Southend.
Heads to the Docks area and ingratiates himself with some of the dockers. Gets invited out drinking and is taken to a Cock Fight where he spies the Man in the Red Sash! Meeting up with Garvin at the Cock Fight, they leave together.
Attempts to infiltrate the criminal element in the area, and finds himself directed to a foreman at the Docks by the name of "Fisk" - he goes to visit Fisk that night, at a Cock Fight he is holding. Upon meeting Rig there he puts himself forward as a former sailor (true) who stole some gemstones from his Captain (False, Gems were stolen from the Umbral Rooms) and some-time manager of Rig the Boxer (Somewhat True ...) Fisk agrees to fence the gems, and arrange a bout or two for Rig to prove himself.
Sir Robert and Mrs MacTannon
Spend time devouring the local newspapers looking for any hints of Cabal activitiy. They note a number of missing persons over recent months and years that all seem to go missing on the Spring Tides, with the most common occurences on the Highest Spring Tide of the year (this year falling on the 29th September)
That evening Mrs MacTannon goes to visit Mrs Jones, the widow of the most recent missing man, but when she brings up the subject, the door is closed in her face. She resolves to addend the same church at which the missing man was last seen the following Sunday.
Speaks with Barry the Grave Digger who was recruited to the Rippers during June's Strategic Missions. He tells of recent Grave Robbing that has occured.
Belladonna goes to look at the most recently disturbed grave.
Is called to work at the British Museum due to a visit from Dr. Nathaniel Stewart of the Cairo Museum of Antiquities and his assistant Daphne Monroe, and thus spends little time in Southend. Over the next few days he is being both a 'tourist' in London, and arranging an exchange of artefacts with the Cairo Museum.
Is busy with preparations for the following weeks offical "Ground Breaking" ceremony for the building of the Archway House, the cover for their lodge. Of course, much of the Sub-Basement area has already been prepared.
Goes to visit the local record office to look into the death of her Parents who lived in Southend and died, apparently of poisoning. The records she is able to access confirm this and go on to suggest that since they both died together the most likely cause was 'some bad food'
Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd July, 1892
The group gather in the rooms that they have secured and discuss their various findings. On the Sunday Belladonna and Mrs. MacTannon attend the Catholic evening service where they are welcomed by the Curate, Father Seamus O'Toole and invited to join the weekly women's group meeting, this coming Wednesday.
Monday 4th July - Friday 8th July, 1892
Further investigations are carried out.
Garvin and Rig
Garvin is called to a meeting with a man who is interested in setting up some fights with Rig. They are instructed to meet at a crossroads on the way to Great Wakering.
Upon Arriving only Garvin is permitted into the darkened interior of the coach that is waiting there. He talks with a man with a German accent who says he will prepare his fighter for a bout against Rig. Giving Garvin a silver ring with a Bat Motif he tells him that upon seeing this, Fisk will know that the bout has been accepted and will contact Garvin with a Date, Time and Location.
For the Rest of the Week, Rig is Resting and Garvin getting into his 'cover' of being a Groundskeeper at the new School. During this time he spots a strange figure in a long, dark coat and bowler hat watching the grounds.
Belladonna and Mrs MacTannon
Attend the Womens group meeting, Mrs MacTannon is given the cold shoulder by Mrs. Jones.
Later in the week they look into the provenance of the ring that Garvin was given. It holds no Hallmark, but is definitely Silver. Other than some loose heraldic reference, or perhaps the linking of Bats to Vampires, not much information is gleaned.
Saturday 9th July, 1892 - Many Meetings
The Groundbreaking Ceremony takes place.
Carstairs attends with Dr. Stewart and Miss Monroe, but does not involve himself in any other matters, as he has his guests to attend to.
Sir Robert Tries, and Fails to win the Coconut Shy. Belladonna fares no better.
Garvin and Rig spot the curious man in a Bowler hat moving around the grounds.
Sir Robert 'meets' with Percival St. James-Smythe - a northern man, and industrialist, who has been told to come and stay by the sea "For his Health"
Belladonna meets his son, Bartholemew, apparently an aspiring actor, much to the chagrin of his father, who presses a folio copy of a new American play into her hands, insisting that she read it. It is titled "The King in Yellow"
Bonita spots an elderly gentleman having his pocket picked, and raises a Hue and Cry. Sir Robert runs down the thief, a young boy, who is carted away by the police. The victim turns out to be The General Sir Charles Harrington, GCB, DSO, MC. who invites Sir Robert to visit him the following afternoon. Sir Robert accepts, and intends to take Belladonna with him.
Fisk contacts Garvin with a message that simply says "Warehouse 9, Midnight, Tomorrow"
That evening Belladonna reads "The King in Yellow". She has read the first act, when Bonita persuades her to turn off the light and allow her and Mrs. MacTannon some sleep. Grudgingly , Belladonna agrees, although the book seems to have some 'call' upon her.
Sunday 10th July, 1892 - The King in Yellow
Over breakfast Belladonna is still reading "The King in Yellow" and trying to get all of the others to do so as well. But she is not successful. She continues reading through breakfast while the others talk. They are interrupted by a cry of "No Mask? No Mask!" From Belladonna, as a swirling pool of nothingness opens beneath the chair she is sitting on, and devours her!
Garvin and then Rig are not as stunned as the others, and see the portal. They dive in after her, and visit Carcosa, encountering and then defeating the King in Yellow himself.
On arrival, Belladonna sees a Greco-Roman Plaza, with a beautiful fountain, and a market.
Garvin, and then later Rig, who entered the portal slightly afterwards arrive to see the ruins of what must have once been a proud city now laid to waste. Where Belladonna sees beauty, and a bustling market, they see naught but decay and death. High on a hill overlooking this all, is a temple, or castle of some sort with towering pillars. They are somewhat unnerved as the moon rises in front of the temple, yet behind the hill at the same time.
Belladonna sees a masked carnival procession of some kind moving through the plaza and up the hill towards the temple. She joins the revellers that Garvin and Rig cannot see. Whilst attempting to break Belladonna out of her delusion, they are attacked by two mask-wearing creatures in grey robes. The 'Procession' continues up the hill, drawing them closer and closer to the temple, the mask-wearing creatures dragging Rig and Garvin along with them, they fight back, tearing the clothes from the creatures, revealing bloodied skeletons beneath! They seem invulnerable to harm, and drag them further and further until Garvin tears the mask from one and it crumbles to nothingness. After much consternation, the mask is torn from the other, but they are already at the brow of the hill.
The mesmeric voice of the King, draws Garvin over the brow of the hill, Belladonna following willingly, with Rig in tow.
The King, to Belladonna resplendant in his almost golden robes, wears a mask of a wise old man, but Rig and Garvin see the 'truth' an ambulatory figure of stone-like quality.
He offers the gift of immortality to one, and a return to their home for the others, Belladonna is ready to take the cup of blood-like liquid that is offered, but Garvin scatters the chalices, and the King attacks.
After a mighty struggle, they defeat the King, pushing him off a cliff and return to the real world.
When they return to the real world, the others ask why they dove under the table, and are then shocked that all three are injured and/or covered in gore.
The Remains of the Day
Sir Robert visits with The General Sir Charles Harrington and secures his support for the Rippers in their defence of Queen and Country to the tune of £50 per month, on the proviso that he is kept up to date with the actions of the Rippers 'in the field'
Belladonna and Rig investigate the use of Opium in regaining one's mental stability.
Later that Evening Rig takes part in a fight against 'The Kaiser' a moderately well known German fighter. He beats him, but only just.
Monday 11th July, 1892 - Sunday 17th July, 1892
Rig rests and recuperates in the care of Belladonna.
Sir Robert and Mrs MacTannon further investigate the grave robbings. They hear a scream and arrive too late to save the life of Victoria, one of the Rippers from the lodge.
Based on the wounds that Victoria suffered, they deduce that a pack of Cannibalistic Ghouls must be active in and around the graveyards of Southend. Who brought them here and why is another matter entirely.
What Carstairs is up to
Carstairs is growing closer and closer to Miss Monroe, who seems to be indifferent to his scars, and more interested in him as an adventurer and archaeologist. He takes her to dinner at the Ritz (buying her a new dress) and to Oxford to see a first folio of Shakespeare (she loves Shakespeare). She and Dr. Stewart return to Egypt on Saturday 16th.
Also during this time he attempts to track down Donnelly, and discovers that he has headed to Antarctica. A telegram is sent ahead to Stanley (Falkland Islands) in the hopes that Donnelly will get in contact when he resupplies there.
Monday 18th July, 1892 - The Curious Case of Cotterill and the Krauts.
Sir Robert recieves a telegram from a Lady Ameila Cotterill, requesting his aid in finding the murderer of her father, as she has heard he is a man of good character that knows how to look into such delicate matters.
Some research brings information on her father, Lord Arthur Cotterill, who is a partner in an arms firm, and has several patents with the War Office, has a house on Dartmoor in Devon.
Tuesday 19th July, 1892
Further research discovers that the last few patents that Sir Arthur has tried to sell to the War Office have not been accepted.
Wednesday 20th July, 1892
Meeting with Lady Ameila various pieces of information are gathered about the murder. The papers have been kept out for now, in the hopes that the mystery may be solved before the murder becomes public knowledge.
The group travels to Okehampton that afternoon, arriving late in the evening.
Reads an article in the strand about Fairies! There are several pictures, all claiming to be real. Gets in touch with the Editor of the Strand to find out who submitted the photographs but gets nowhere. Asks Gerald Harding to look into it, 'as a favour'. Harding agrees to help, but is busy with coverage of the General Election.
Thursday 21st July, 1892
Over breakfast Rig reads a newspaper article detailing an escaped lunatic from a nearby asylum. It states that he has already killed one man.
Investigations begin in earnest with a questioning of the Butler, a scouring of the Study in which the body was found, a search of the grounds outside the broken study window, and an interview with the local Doctor who performed the autopsy.
It appears that some papers may have been taken from the open safe, where there is some evidence that the lock may have been picked, and the window was broken from the inside.
One set of footprints leads to the open (not broken) window. A different set lead away from the broken window and a third set lead to and from the broken window.
This is followed by a trip to the asylum, and an interview with the Doctor there, a German by the name of Muelhoffer.
Rig walks accross the moors and encounters an ornithologist, whom he scares off the moors, accompanying him back to Okehampton where he then speaks with the station master in about 'foreigners'. Discovering that the German Military Attache came to visit, asking for directions to the Cotterill estate on the day Lord Cotterill died. Later, three more foreigners also German arrived, and left later the same day.
Returning to the Cotterill estate, they find Cotterill's business partner (with whom Cotterill had had an argument the afternoon before he was found dead) and interview him.
Belladonna returns to the Asylum to ask another question, and as she returns she spies a man moving around on the moor.
Dinner is served, and then all go to sleep, to prepare for further investigations the following day.
Friday 22nd July, 1892
Attends a meeting of the Board of Governors of the British Museum in the hopes of gaining funding for the educational establishment at the Southend Lodge. They will discuss his request further and reply 'in good time'.
Belladonna and Rig
begin the day by searching the moors for 8 hours, looking for Belladonna's mysterious figure, eventually finding Willy McTacvish – he bolts, and as they try to stop him the trauma turns him into a wolfman – but it is the middle of the day, and just before the new moon. During the fight he switches from Man to Beast somewhat randomly.
Garvin and Mrs. MacTannon
Deciding to head to the Asylum to perform their own interview with the Doctor, in the hopes that they might find some more information, he refuses to see them, but they still scope out the asylum with a view to breaking in later. Returning to their rooms they search the Cotterill mansion again, but only succeed in finding some love letters between Lord Arthur and his Wife.
Makes his way into Okehampton to deal with some important telegrams that he must send to keep up his social activities.
When McTavish is brought back he has an 'adverse reaction' to a painting of Lord Cotterill. It is decided that more information must be at the Asylum, but that with McTavish in hand, and now apparently not turning into a wolfman, he should be handed over to the police. Sir Robert takes him there while the others go to attack the asylum.
Much sneaking around gets rid of the external guard, and Garvin silently picks the lock on the door. They burst in, but are unable to silence the guards swiftly enough, and an alarm sounds.
A general melee ensues, during which some of the inmates are set free and join the fight on the side of the guards. It is a hard battle, but eventually won, even with a hulking brute of an inmate present . Mrs MacTannon shows her magical might, and is almost straight away attacked by an invisible assailant. The battle starts to turn against the group, until Mrs Mac Tannon casts a spell that she previously could not!
The invisible fellow, seeing the battle turn against him, makes a run into the night, but the rain outlines his form, allowing Garvin to throw his cudgel with great accuracy, felling him. The guards are the next to run, though the inmates keep fighting. Soon all is done, and it is revealed that the invisible attacker is none other than Dr Muelhoffer himself!
Garvin ensures that there are no witnesses, bar one guard, who is kept in the custody of Rig, then explores the asylum while Belladonna tends to wounds. He does not find the medical centre for some time, to the chagrin of Belladonna who would have found the facility useful in healing the rest of the group, as some are left with injuries.
A brief reading of Muelhoffer's non-Rippertech related notes by Belladonna and Mrs Mac Tannon reveal that he was part of a plot to recover Lord Cotterill's Blueprints by 'any means nescessary' and they are to be returned to "The Master of Night" in Transylvania, via Germaby. There are many mentions of "The Night Guard" but none of the Cabal.
In Muelhoffer's appointments diary, the entry that was seen yesterday "Lady Henrietta, London, 7.30pm" has had an addendum "BP - Von S" added. This cements the groups opinion that Herr Oberst Von Steinhagen is involved in the plot, and that they only have until tomorrow evening to find this Lady Henrietta and stop the Night Guard from gaining the blueprints.
Back to London
The following morning they take the early train back to London, sending a telegram ahead to inform the London Lodge that they are bringing a prisoner, and that they also need to know where they can find "Lady Henrietta" an associate of Herr Oberst Von Steinhagen.
When they arrive they are met by a member of the London Lodge, it transpires that "Lady Henrietta" is not a person, but rather a boat, belonging to the German Government, that is due to leave dock at 7.30pm this evening.
Making their way to the boat, the group are met by none other than Clancey Trombley, the Birdwatcher Rig met. It turns out that he is a member of the British Intelligence Service.
Along with BIS the team raid the "Lady Henrietta" after agreeing (reluctantly) that Von Steinhagen cannot be killed, as his death would cause an international incident. Although his is captured, Von Steinhagen intimates that he does not work for the German Government, except as a cover, and throws himself on a grenade, in the hopes that his death will spark an international incident.
BIS clears up the death, and promise to be in touch with Sir Robert about his team of vigilantes later ...
During this time, Garvin notes a newspaper headline about a group of sailors that have seen a 'ghost ship' ... a three masted pirate craft. A riot caused by them has destroyed goods owned by Holme's father ... with the aid of BIS they release the men and five of the six are recruited to the cause over the next week.
Thursday 28th July, 1892
Carstairs recieves contact from Gerald Harding, informing him that the fairy pictures in "The Strand" were submitted by a family by the name of 'Cottingley' from Bradford in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
Friday 29th July, 1892 - Carstairs and the Little People
Carstairs Heads to Bradford and investigates the "Fairies". It transpires that the Cottingley Children Emily (16) and Elizabeth (10) are the ones who have taken the photographs and, indeed, appeared in them. They say that the faries and gnomes won't come out when there are grown ups about, so Carstairs hides himself, and indeed sees the girls play with an 'invisible' friend. The girls ask to go back to the Gnomes village, and are taken back 'for tea'. Carstairs follows. The girls, from their cries of delight to one another are seeing a quaint little underground village, with tea and scones set out. Carstairs sees something else entirely. Hunchbacked, malformed dwarf-creatures, living in squalor and serving human flesh!
Refusing to allow the children to eat, Carstairs attacks, and the spell on the girls is broken. After a tough fight, the dwarves are defeated and Carstairs frees the girls, and discovers that the creatures are in league with Dr. Jekyll!. He also finds various maps that show locations of other such 'Colonies' - but it will take some time to find exactly where they are.
Later that evening he returns to the grove and encounters the 'Fairies'. It transpires that they were under the thrall of the 'Little People' and he has freed them. They appear mischevious in the extreme, but generally not harmful, if they are left alone.
Saturday 30th July, 1892
Carstairs returns to London.