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Butters

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Butters last won the day on October 8 2017

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About Butters

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    Down South
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    Call of Cthulhu and other horror style R.P.Gs

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  • RPG Biography
    Call of Cthulhu fan boy
  • Current games
    Call of Cthulhu sixth edition
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    United Kingdom
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    Is that laughter I hear?

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  1. Butters

    The Tainted lands.

    Thinking of running a game or two in and around the Tainted lands, my rough notes so far seem heavily influenced by the Alchemists Revenge (Book by Mr Cakebread) and the video game S.T.A.L.K.ER, just wondering if anyone else had visited the area around Naseby in their games of Rennaisance and how they handled the weirdness of the area?
  2. Butters

    'Lamentations of the Cthulhu & Chivalry' Campaign

    The morning after the night beforePart 5One gaming session ended up needing five session reports!The next day the CL.U.Ber's were woken up in the early hours of the morning by a very nervous Eric it appears that some very impatient men were waiting for them downstairs after ducking a variety of thrown objects Eric informed the groggy CL.U.Ber's that they said they were from some gentleman called Zeal For the lord Harrison he also somewhat hesitatingly mentioned that these men didn't seem the type to be kept waiting. The Doctor told Eric to take the men to the study telling them that they were to make themselves comfortable offer them a cup of hot chocolate or something then he was to wake Graves the Butler, apologise for the early summons but ask him to prepare a bath, lay out his clothes for the day and to unbox the larger of the travelling hats, he also tells the by now extremely worried Eric that he should also knock on the door of Mrs. Beeton and ask her if she would be so kind to lay out a light breakfast for the CL.U.Ber's oh and a straw for cousin Ralph, three or four courses should be enough. The house is again thrown into a state of controlled chaos as bleary eyed staff are dragged back out of their beds and back to work stoking the fading fires, boiling water and desperately trying to make the semi-cold pottage and the leftovers from last nights meal into an exciting three or four-course breakfast.After swiftly getting ready the somewhat sour CL.U.Ber's had a hasty meeting on the stairwell which wasn't ideal as all the noise had woken Mother and she was demanding attention from the harried Mrs. Beeton and Abigail (Doris had yet to fully recover) so the CL.U.Ber's were knocked first one way then the other by the tide of staff which headed into and out of Mothers chambers. The CL.U.Ber's took stock of things and decided that they hadn't done anything wrong recently but more than one of them cast a suspicious glance in Ralph direction but one of the few benefits of having been shot in the mouth was being tight-lipped about things.The CL.U.Ber's entered the study and prepared to see what the strange messengers wanted at this ungodly hour. The men were standing by the fire drinking spiced hot chocolate with cups from the third best plate set, the chocolate froth on their upper lips dispelling some of the heat from their glowering faces "What took you so long?" the larger of the two asked as soon as the CL.U.Ber's entered, he quickly wiped the chocolate from his upper lip before continuing "When the Lord Harrison summons you then you get a move on, it doesn't pay to keep him waiting" Luckily before anyone could say something that they would all regret later Wilhelm steps forwards and takes out a small brass globe from out of his pocket he flips a lid and looking down onto the now revealed watch face he takes a sharp intake of breath and then pointedly looks back up at the two men and very politely and as only a true Bavarian could says "Gentleman we are ready but it appears that it is now you and your hot chocolate that is keeping us now and if as you say the Scout Master General hates delays surely we should be going nien?" the men scowl but realise that they have no authority over the CL.U.Ber's and that their posturing had failed to scare them they huffed and grabbing their cloaks off the back of the nearby chairs headed out past the CL.U.Ber's and into the early morning. Wilhelm clicked his timepiece closed and with a grin turned to the others "Well as we are all awake now I guess we should join them, after all it wouldn't do to keep our lord and master waiting too long"The two men head out on foot casting the occasional glance behind them to make sure that the Party were following them but apart from the occasional demand to hurry up they remained silent and refused to answer any of the questions asked of them merely saying that the Scout Master would have all the answers and with a somewhat nasty grin they added that he would no doubt have questions for them as well. Getting no information from their guides Guilio turned to Ralph and asked him if he knew anything about these early morning summons and if his mysterious late-night errand had anything to do with it, Ralph just shook his head and pulling out his pipe made it clear that he didn't want to talk any further. So whatever Ralph did get up to last night was for the moment remaining a secret but he did look slightly worried though to be honest it was tricky to tell what Ralph was thinking with all that facial scaring. The guides take the Party across Norwich past the smashed windows of the old Cathedral and then under the grim cracked Castle walls from which still swayed the bodies of the Tenebrous hand. This worried some of the Party as they had thought that they were being led to the Castle after all that was the seat of power for the Army in Norfolk Thomas looked nervously around at the silent streets which whilst oddly quiet were still filled with the counties lost and the damned he turned to Wilhelm and quietly whispered that he thought that they were now being led towards Queen's road and after a brief pause he quickly added that their final destination was probably the large tower which guarded St Stephens gate and the road to London. After a further fifteen or so minutes of walking it seemed as his guess was correct as they turned into St Stephens street and towards the great tower that squatted there in the deep shadows at streets end. The two guides stopped at the heavily reinforced gate at the base of the tower and knocked out a rapid series of knocks as the the Party finally shuffled into position they were just in time to see a small hatch open up and a shadowy face mutters the word Talus, the shorter of the guides looks back over his shoulder and looking at the Party oddly replies "None escape the man of Iron" the shutter closes with a snap and after a pause where many bolts are heard being dragged across the gate it finally creaks open revealing the redly lit interior of Queens road tower. The guides stand aside and gesture the Party inside "This is where we leave you and next time we meet I expect there to be a lot less backchat" the taller one sneers he then calls for the the other guide to follow him reminding him that they had a long day ahead of them yet and they stroll off roughly heading for the Castle. The gatekeeper peers around the gate and looking at the Party says "Well what are you waiting for, a signed invitation from the Earl of bloody Essex? get inside you raggedy bunch of knaves , I'm going to burn me breakfast at this rate" The Party cross the threshold and enter the tower and as soon as they are all in the gatekeeper slams it shut and slides the thick bolts home. The Party find themselves in a slightly cramped waiting area surrounded by the towers thick stone walls, the stone chamber was lit by one glass lantern which filled the room in a weak reddish light. Guilio looked around scanning the walls and ceiling for any sign of decoration that could tell him what this tower was used for but the chamber was bare apart from a battered but plain table, he didn't even see any sign of the humorous graffiti which is normally scratched into these type of buildings by the bored troops, he found this oddly worrying. The gatekeeper turned out to be an old man who was dressed smartly in a black tunic with matching trousers and the Party can't fail to notice that a heavy falchion hangs sheathed at the mans belted waist. He walks past them and towards the only other door in this barren chamber, he suddenly spins around with the heavy sword held in a steady hand the Doctor staggers back raising his hands upwards "Hold on there you bag of bones we were summoned here" Ralph moved forwards but stopped when he noticed that the sword had been adapted, it had two small flintlock pistols built into the handle of the sword the barrels running alongside the flat of the blade and with a twitch these now point towards Ralph's broad chest. The gatekeeper grins a toothless smile and tells the Party that he should be addressed as Master Kronen and that no one armed goes any further and that being so the Party should now place any weapons onto the table there, he points to the plain and scratched table to the left of the gate. The Party still protesting if only for appearances sake place their weapons onto the table and after a lot of clunking and cursing they turn back towards Master Kronen who still stands there holding his blade at them he tuts and the blade suddenly swings towards Guilio "Aren't you forgetting something Mr Spaghetti?" Guilio's face briefly flushes red but through slightly gritted teeth he replies "I think everything is on the table, look" he points to a rather nasty looking blade "Even the my piccolo bastardo" Kronen steps forward and with the very tip of the blade he taps Guilio's arm which tings dully "The arm sonny boy lose the that fancy arm" The atmosphere goes tense as Guilio stands still not moving an inch staring down Kronen whose thumb rests on one of the hammers Wilhelm moves towards Guilio and whispers something to him Guilio lets out a long breath and suddenly smiles and nods "Of course Master Kronen how could I have forgotten, my apologies" he takes off his coat and with the help of the Doctor he disables the arm until Kronen is satisfied that he poses no risk. Kronen grins his toothless grin again and in a satisfied tone goes "Well now that everybody is finally ready lets see the boss" he unlocks the door and heads onto the stone stairwell behind and heads upwards and the Party swiftly follows behind.The Second floor is set up as a guard post and an armoury the racks are filled with strange clockwork muskets and a variety of bladed weapons, the Party also note the several small cannons placed on a rotating table which ran along the room walls on rails and which could be used to swiftly bring the guns to bear through the currently closed gun slits. Four men were in this chamber, two were looking out of spy windows with flintlock carbines close to hand whilst the other two seemed to be resting but their weapons were also close at hand and watched the Party pass by with hooded eyes. Kronen unlocked another door and they continued to climb the tower the next chamber was oddly squat the taller members of the Party having to stoop to avoid banging their heads. This room had been whitewashed to an amazing degree, every surface gleamed white the ceiling, the walls even the floor was all coated in this thick whitewash the only other things in this room was a small sink and in the very middle of the room a strange contraption of brass and copper sat. It looked like some kind of chair dreamed up by a victim of St. Anthony's fire and from the brief look they got as they were hustled past it seemed the chair was all sharp edges and gleaming points Wilhelm smiled as he passed whilst Thomas shuddered. Kronen led them up to the next floor which was the set up as the office of Zeal for the Lord Harrison in his role of Scout Master General....it was oddly disappointing, the room was bland and all business no colour anywhere just bare stone walls though an unlit stove was affixed to one of the walls just to break up the monotony. There were no paintings on the walls not even a military map of the county was displayed upon it to break up the rooms starkness, a few plain and simple chairs where arranged around the room a couple were stacked up by the door whilst a few more were placed in front of Zeal's impressive desk which seemed to be his only display of ego, it was a solid heavy piece of furniture and it had been worked upon by a skilled carver as it was dripping with intricately carved foliage, strange faces almost gargoyle like in expression protrude from each corner the desk it had a godroon carved edge and a leather covered writing top. And supporting it all were four heavy barley twist legs.The overall effect was of a slightly whimsical piece of furniture though one that was somehow solid and dark at the same time. The area behind the desk had been boarded over and the flat wall hid about a quarter of the chamber Wilhelm noticed a door which whilst not exactly hidden had been worked into the rest of plain wooden wall in such a way as to make it hard to spot. The man himself sat on a plain wooden high backed chair and seemed engrossed in a report that was in front of him, he didn't acknowledge the Party or Kronen he just continued to read the report turning the pages until he reached the last one and with a sigh he reached over for his quill and after scratching his name across the bottom of the last page he finally looked up "Ahh the illustrious CL.U.Ber's I hope I haven't inconvenienced you by asking you to come at such an early hour but we all have much to do this day" he turned to Kronen "Thank you, Kronen, could you get the eight o'clock ready for me" Kronen nodded and with a smart "Yes my lord" he headed back downstairs his keys clanking away as he went. Zeal turned back to the CL.U.Ber's "Gentleman please get yourselves a seat, we have much to discuss you and I "As the CL.U.Ber's settle themselves down Zeal takes out a dossier bound in red leather which he places onto his desk he then takes a fresh quill and dips it several times into a pot of ink he carefully opens the dossier and with a slight cough begins to question the CL.U.Ber's again about their recent adventures on the Island this time he seems very interested in how the soldiers died. This interview takes twenty to thirty minutes and it seems that Zeal is judging their replies with what was said during the original debriefing but eventually he seems satisfied enough and after blotting and sanding the paper he closes the dossier and returns it to the drawer in his desk, he then locks this up using a small key that hangs from a chain around his neck. He looks across to the slightly worried looking CL.U.Ber's and smiles his thin smile "Don't look so concerned gentleman I just want to make sure that everything is...............correct, now as a reward for clearing up the island you can decide where you will be going next" again that thin smile appears. He pulls out an envelope from out of his coat pocket and opening it carefully pulls out a couple of thick pages "Lord Ireton, Doctor Browne and myself had a very interesting discussion yesterday gentleman and we talked about a variety of things as you may imagine, for example, we did talk at some length about your recent activities and of these so-called old gods but what concerned us the most was this Constance Mallebeench and the fact that he is somehow still at large. We can no longer tolerate a black sorcerer destabilising things here in Norfolk, the harvests are poor all over but we also suffer under this unholy blight which is furthering the food shortages and when people go hungry they become weak and therefore open to the whispering lies of our enemies, enemies who wish to stir up trouble, to turn things back and bring the corruption of Monarchy back. Things are a little easier now as progress continues at an astounding pace in Great Yarmouth thanks to our actions there and already a few convoys full of dried herring have arrived at the city but the Mallebeench issue must be resolved, so here are your options gentleman" he ticks something on the first page.1.Papers will be issued to you which will allow you to join Richard Cromwell's escort, he is traveling to Oxford to meet with the Arch Alchemist the demon Rupert himself as it is felt that as Christians we should make at least one more gesture towards peace. Using the peace delegation as cover you will infiltrate Oxford and using Ptomely Exotica as a lure you will hopefully be able to draw out someone who belongs to this mysterious Ptonik Brotherhood. We want you to find out why they supported at least some of Mallebeench's activities and to get a feel for them as if they prove a threat to the new order they will need to be dealt with but for the moment we do not want to antagonise them unnecessarily. We just want information for the moment and them to pass on all they know or suspect they know about Mallebeench's plans and for them to realise that he is no longer worth supporting.2.Acting on the information supplied by Saul you are to head towards the area around King Lynn your final destination is the village of Holbeach St. Marks the ancestral home of the Mallebeench family. Whilst we don't think he would be foolish enough to stay in the area for long he may have at least returned there briefly to gather resources after we wiped out his network in Norwich. Again this is more of an information gathering exercise as we have only a poor picture of Malebeench and we need to know what drives him, what he is capable of and what resources he has remaining. Talk to whatever degenerate family still lives there, speak to anyone who knew him, fill in those blanks gentleman and we may be one step closer to capturing him.Zeal lifts his eyes up to stare unblinkingly up at the CL.U.Ber's and in a quiet tone of voice tells them "Of course if Mallebeench is there and you manage to capture him you will bring him here to me first, we do not need to worry Lord Ireton unduly after all he is still recovering from his injuries" Ralph shocks everybody in the room by suddenly jumping up knocking his chair over such is his enthusiasm and loudly calls out "Yes Sir, it makes perfect sense to bring the witch here after all you are the Scout Master General and therefore are the only person equipped to deal with the forces of Satan" he then noticing everyone's stunned expression looks somewhat sheepish and awkwardly bends down to recover his chair. Guilio wiping spittle off his rather smart coat smiles and nods adding "Naturalmente my lord, it is heartwarming to see that you shoulder so much of this burden to spare Lord Ireton its weight" Zeal slowly blinked his stare now fully fixed onto the Italian and said with only the slightest of hisses "I as you do live only to serve" his tone suddenly changes as he looks at Ralph "Thank you, Sergeant Norton, I appreciate your continued enthusiasm for this holy work I'm glad that you have proven that my faith in you was justified and that you can be relied upon to do what is needed, to keep our country safe, He looks at the CL.U.Ber's and slowly turns his head taking in each and everyone before continuing "I just wish more people were like you and realised that we must sacrifice much to make Gods word a reality. Now let's see what the last choice is shall we"3.We are interested in this Maestro character and what his involvement in all this is. Rimehart has suddenly remembered a little more about this mysterious gentleman and the False Chanterell painting and its become a cause for some concern. It appears that the" He coughs " so-called Maestro is a Dutchman living in the Netherlands, in fact, Rimehart was kind enough to narrow it down to the city of Amsterdam. He appears to be a wealthy individual and is well connected in certain areas of so-called polite society. As for the painting that has some interesting myths associated with it again according to Rimehart, the painting is by an unknown artist and is keenly sought out amongst those dabble in the dark arts because it is rumoured to provide a gateway of sorts to a different world entirely. Due to its black history several people have attempted to destroy it, and in fact several of them claim to have done just that but each time the painting reappears somewhere and the battle to own it begins again" This assignment is championed by Doctor Browne for no doubt his own reasons but cooler heads might think that annoying our fellow Protestants so early on in our new order might prove somewhat counterproductive but who am I to gainsay it? "So gentleman those are your options I suggest you take a moment or two to discuss which option you wish to take" he stands up and heads towards the door which he oddly taps before going through. He turns and says "You have five minutes gentleman I will need your decision quickly as arrangements need to be made" with that he steps through onto the stairwell and closes the door behind him. The CL.U.Ber's immediately fall into a heated discussion as what to do next and the fact that this is a rubbish reward for killing all those crystal children. The discussion was still going on when Zeal returns he went straight to his untouched desk smiled and sat down calling for silence "So gentleman what is your decision?" the CL.U.Ber's settle back down into their seats and all immediately begin speaking until Zeal silences them with a wave of his hand. It seems the CL.U.Ber's have settled on two options some want to combine option one and two by quickly going to Holbeach St. Marks possibly by Iron horse check out the area and then head onto Oxford where they should be able to meet up with Richards much slower moving convoy and escort whilst the others fancy going abroad and tracking down this Maestro fellow. Zeal asks for a show of hands and the option to go and visit Mallebeench's old home just won out especially when Ralph realised that this was Zeal's favoured option. So a happy Zeal was able to write out the orders and travel writs for the CL.U.Ber's to travel to sunny Holbeach St.Marks which was unfortunately dangerously close to the town of Kings Lynn which had until fairly recently been a Royalist stronghold. With the orders and other assorted paperwork completed Zeal dismissed them but reminded them that they had only a few hours left to them before they would have to make their appointment at the Castle to meet up with a troop from Edward Whalley's Iron horses. It was these men who would be transporting them to the winding station at Castle rising the troop would be stationed there whilst the CL.U.Ber's would travel onwards to Holbeach St. Marks by foot.The CL.U.Ber's got busy returning to the Norton mansion to pack and make ready, Ralph carefully packed away his two new grenadoes into his traveling bag and patted them thoughtfully whilst Guilio and The Doctor hastily pack some items for the journey before quickly heading out to the foundry to grab a hasty word with Doctor Browne. Wilhelm meanwhile collected his traveling bags and weaponry and with a wave headed out towards the marketplace on an errand of his own all agreeing to meet up at the Castle for the long yet exciting journey to the Wash by Iron horse. At the foundry gates the pair had to wait much to the annoyance of the Doctor as the guards checked their credentials the Doctor was heard to utter the infamous phrase of "Do you not know who I am?" which was answered by the clockwork armoured guard who sighed loudly and said "No I don't hence the reason why I asked you to hand over your credentials" but after a slightly strained conversation and with their paperwork being in order they were finally allowed through and onto the foundry grounds proper the guards also directed them to the foundry's old office which Doctor Browne had also managed to snaffle up. Thomas looked around at the bustling foundry seeing men, women and children all working away with a purpose. Cartloads of material were coming in and being processed into muskets, cannon and sundry other products for the military and as trading items as well it seems as it appeared that Norton Ironwork's was now strongly pushing for more contracts in the burgeoning and already lucrative slave trade. Thomas turning to Guilio says in a somewhat sad tone "You know I barely recognize the old place you know" Guilio nods understanding "Sì, lo so come ti senti come ho sentito lo stesso l'ultima volta che sono stato con mio padre presso le nostre famiglie Massoneria business, prima abbiamo perso la Chiesa" Thomas smiles "I have no idea what you just said old friend but it sounded very wise , come on lets see Doctor Browne, get your arm checked over and see what other surprises he has in store for us" the two head to the old office building where they are greeted by Rimehart "Good to see you again, I hear you are heading out with Whalley's wallies later this morning, I hope you brought a pillow with you as those wooden pillion seats are the devil themselves on the backside" smiling he takes the two CL.U.Ber's inside where they find Doctor Browne at a desk going through some paperwork, the room is like most things connected to Browne full of bizarre bits and pieces paintings, sketches, strange clockwork devices and the ever-present drifts of paperwork fill every area of spare space. He looks up and smiles as the three enter he rises and greets the CL.U.Ber's warmly "Its good to see you I'm glad you could find the time before you had to leave for the Wash, Rimehart could you have a look at Guilio's arm for me? you will find the watchmakers kit and the gauges over there on the elephants foot, now as for you Thomas what do you make of these?" he points to a low table by the window where two large muddy urns sit surrounded by sketches and open books. Thomas walks over looks them over and asks if its okay to touch them Browne nods watching him all the time his eyes never straying. Thomas picks up the heavily carved urn turning it carefully around in his hands it was surprisingly heavy and about 364 cubic inches in size which is very large for a funeral urn. The off-white body of the urn had a foliage design of vines and strange spiky leaves which was deeply carved into the body of the urn the two handles on either side took the form of human heads from which sprouted large horns liken that of a ram. The lid was cracked but otherwise intact and it to was heavily carved but with this time with the images of bees. Thomas traced the images with a finger as he half listened to Rimehart and Guilio talking in the background there seemed to be something here but he just couldn't quite figure it out so instead he finally and very carefully lifted the lid and looked inside there was a pause then he carefully replaced the lid and with a slight grunt returned the urn back onto the table. Thomas then took a look at the other urn on the table this one was slightly smaller and it was painted instead of being carved, the body was painted a lustrous cobalt blue which still gleamed and caught the light oddly even though Browne had yet to remove all of the mud and dirt from its sides. There was also writing across the top just under the rim Thomas looked back at the other urn and examined the carving again and after looking at it more closely he suddenly realised that there was there was indeed something written there hidden amongst the twisting vines but he couldn't make it out with and with a shrug he went back to the Latin inscription that ran around the lip of the other urn it was one word repeated over and over again in an endless loop, Dantium. He turned to Browne smiling "I'm afraid my Latin is somewhat rusty doesn't Dantium mean Donor or Bestower?" Browne placed a hand onto Thomas's shoulder "Close but I believe it means Giver" Thomas clicked his fingers "Well that puts a different light on things. Well, the first urn seems to contain the burnt remains of several people I'm guessing Romans from the urn? let's see what the other one holds" and with that, he lifts the lid on the shining blue urn. He looks surprised and placing the urn down he pulls out of his pocket his leather gloves turning to the frowning Browne he tells him that he had some nasty side effects recently from things he's touched. After checking that the gloves are on firmly he reaches into the urn and slowly pulls out a strange stone carving which appeared to be that of a hideous spider. Browne's eyes gleamed "Now that's the really interesting thing don't you think Doctor? never has any recovered hydriotaphia that has been recovered ever contained a sculpture such as the one you are holding" Guilio and Rimehart came over and they to looked at the spider and the urns or hydriotaphia as Browne insisted on calling them with a true sense of wonder. The insect was truly hideous to look at it, the sculptor had managed to capture something evil in its aspect but it was hard to pin down as the size of the spider creature seemed wrong, twisted somehow making the angles seem off the whole thing seemed somehow blurry at the edges. Thomas turns to Browne "So I'm guessing that these were the urns found in that cave system under the ruined Church?" Browne nodded "Yes after the demons were dealt with we searched the caverns until we could go no further and this is all that was recovered, Mallebeench was certainly interested in them but we have no idea why. As you have guessed one hydriotaphia contains the cremated remains of several Romans whilst the other just contains this one unsettling sculpture, nothing makes any sense to me" Thomas sighed as he replied "Nor to us Doctor, we do know that Mallebeench has been looking for something, some evil relic he believes will grant him power but for what reason we have no idea. The thing that confuses me is that he has lost and even given away valuable items without even batting an eye and if he can afford to give those items up so freely God knows what power he thinks the item he's searching for will grant him" Rimehart coughs "Well he was always a strange one, driven you know. I thought he was taking me to greatness but he never would reveal his cards to anyone, not Gahoon, not the Crows certainly not me. I guess the answers may lie in his past though something certainly happened to him that set him upon this course" Everyone stared at Browne's new Tinkerer who blushed and shuffled back a little he finished somewhat defensively "Well I'm just saying" Browne looked upwards towards the nearest church steeple "My apologies gentleman I've kept you longer than I had wished, you may need to run if you wish to make your appointment with Major Whalley" cursing the CL.U.Ber's did indeed run.
  3. Butters

    'Lamentations of the Cthulhu & Chivalry' Campaign

    Norwich NecessariesPart 4!The initial meeting with Zeal was fairly brief and to the point but unfortunately it was followed by several other much longer meetings afterwards with representatives from a variety of civilian and military departments all wanting to know how the island could be used to benefit their particular group, so it was already getting fairly dark by the time the Party made it back to Norton mansion and the comforts of home that they so desperately needed. The Doctor's Father still wasn't home as it appeared that he was still busy sorting out the flooded mine and performing good works with Katrina and Jane in the local villages. His Mother though was still in her darkened rooms and it seemed that she was pleased to see her son's return but only it seemed because she needed someone to fetch little Doris for her. Doris was her favourite scrubbing maid but who was for obvious reasons currently hiding and Mother did so hate it when she missed one of her twice-weekly bed baths. The Doctor fell back into his old household rituals and oddly enough he seemed much happier with the world as he chased down Doris and sorted out the rest of the numerous other small household issues which had mounted up during his Fathers prolonged absence.So whilst the Doctor got busy with the household chores and dealing with his Mother the others returned to their rooms and began preparing for a welcome rest in the comfort and relatively safety of the Norton mansion, Hot baths and changes of clothing were ordered large and hot meals accompanied by several bottles of wine were sent for and so the household swung into action and soon the mansion rang out with the sound of industry for the first time in a long time. After the initial burst of chaos, the household soon returned to a more normal tempo as the servants busied themselves with the demands of their returning guests. Some of the servants were a little concerned the following morning though about the screams and sobs heard coming from the from the young Masters room during the night and concerns were raised even higher over the reports of weird grunting sounds heard coming from the rooms occupied by Master Ralph, in fact young Eric the kitchen boy claimed that he had seen Master Ralph running around the grounds bare chested in the early hours of the morning which was strange enough but he also went on to say said that Master Ralph was muttering angrily to himself as if arguing with someone but he couldn't make out what he was saying possibly due to Ralph's facial injuries. Eric said he felt scared and after Ralph had run past his hiding spot for the second time and he quickly grabbed the kindling he needed and fled for the safety of the kitchens.So some of the servants were a little worried after hearing all of this especially after seeing poor Doris return from the room of the Mistress, she seemed to be in something of a daze which whilst it wasn't a total surprise, after all, she had spent several hours waist deep in a tub of warm soapy water armed only with a large broom for protection it did add to the staffs general feelings of unease. Though if a little uneasy the servants as a whole seemed happy enough to see the young Master and his strange friends back if only because it would distract their increasingly bored and angry Mistress. So it was a somewhat subdued breakfast that the CL.U.Ber's sat down to the following morning but it went fairly well apart from a few nervous ticks and twitches on the part of poor Doris and there was a much needed there was some tension-releasing embarrassment on Ralph's part as he dribbled out a lot of the porridge whilst trying to eat it seemed that he hadn't quite got used to the numbness in his mouth yet which made eating a messy though somewhat comical affair. After breakfast and a change of shirts for Ralph the Party had the rest of the day ahead of them to rest, repair and restock before heading out to their next assignment, the Doctor decided to spend time at home with his Mother much to the relief of the servants though after he received a dinner request from a certain Dr. Browne he did light a fire under them as it seemed that he wanted to really impress this fellow medical man, so staff were sent out to scour the shops and markets for any half decent ingredients. This the staff knew would be a right royal pain in their arse as even though supplies were now coming in from the south-east supplies were still fairly scarce and so good ingredients were at something of a premium. This scarcity was compounded by the fact that Norwich now had many extra mouths to feed as the town had become the headquarters of the somewhat hated Overseers of the Poor so Norwich was now was one of the few places in the county that people could still receive poor relief. The demands of the war, the failing harvests coupled with the effects of the blight had hit Norwich pretty badly and although the flood of starving peasants had slowed now to a trickle the narrow winding streets of the county seat were still clogged with people begging for alms making travel difficult and in some areas deadly. The area outside the closed and locked St Augustine’s gate was now filled with a huge stinking shanty town full of dangerous miasmas and desperate people so the servants had their work cut out for them but on the bright side, it at least got them out of the house and away from the Mistress. The other C.L.U.Ber's finished their breakfast and had wondered off on their own mysterious errands, Guilio and Wilhelm decided to head towards the Norton foundry, Wilhelm said he just wanted to have a good look around an English Ironwork's though Guilio did overhear him muttering something about Panzers and Gepanzerte Fausts whatever they were but with a shrug Guilio dismissed them as Wilhelm was a German Witch hunter and so was already pretty weird as far as he was concerned and besides which Guilio thoughts were elsewhere as he wanted to source a replacement arm and if nothing was available he still had hopes that someone at the Ironwork's could at least construct something for him if necessary . So off the two went and headed out through the press of heaving humanity pushing and shoving past them only when it was absolutely necessary to do so (Honest). And as they walked they chatted about their recent experiences and how they as foreigners were finding the English it seemed that the general consensus was "Bloody weird" even with all the pushing and shoving needed the stroll down to the riverside was fairly relaxing and soon enough the noisy foul smelling foundry could be seen squatting behind its high stone walls and what looked suspiciously like several new guard towers, even with the Charity fixed and assigned to policing duties in Great Yarmouth the military involved in Norton Industries still seemed to be taking it's security very seriously indeed. The foundries thick gates were open but guarded by a couple of deadly Ironsides who stood at attention either side of the gateway. Ironsides were Cromwell's own men who wore clockwork powered armour and wielded a variety of deadly and experimental weapons these two, for example, seemed to be carrying the fearsome rotating halberd. The CL.U.Ber's both swallowed suddenly unsure if this was such a good idea and were about to turn aside when a voice called out to them "Hello!" the voice suddenly dipped in volume as if the unseen person had turned his head to ask someone close by a question "That is those two fellows Willy and Guilio isn't it?" this was followed by another somewhat unhappy voice which muttered loudly "Well its certainly the Italian fellow my Lord" Looking around the CL.U.Ber's finally notice a black carriage which appeared to be heading down the road towards them and the gates, the beaming face of Doctor Browne suddenly appeared at one of the side windows and he started to wave at the CL.U.Ber's. Doctor Browne banged on the roof of the carriage and instructed the driver to stop as the carriage slowed down he quickly stepped out and quickly headed towards the two bemused CL.U.Ber's "Ahh Hello gentleman, its good to see that you two are alive and well" he tapped his nose and winked he continued his face becoming serious "I was just speaking to young Harrison this morning and it seems that you performed admirably under somewhat trying circumstances, you've performed a great service for the Republic" he pauses and suddenly he smiles again "Now are you here for the dreary Ironwork's or could I perhaps tempt you, two fine fellows, away to a Portuguese tea-house. It has some rather splendid snuff you know all the way from the New world you know" Guilio grinned guessing this Tea house was somewhat similar to the one that Saul and Thomas had stumbled upon during their chase of the cultist Arnholt "Ah Signore if only we could take you up on such a generous offer but I'm afraid time she is against us, and we have but only the one day before we must be heading out again and I had hoped that I could pick up something to replace by lost arm" he waves his stump for emphasis. Doctor Browne nods and suddenly leans forwards and in a stage, whisper replies "Excellent I was hoping you would say as much please get into my carriage and allow me and my new friend to escort you inside and show you something wondrous" his eyebrows raise to somewhat disturbing levels. Guilio somewhat startled reckons going in with Browne would at least make getting past the guards and possibly getting a replacement arm a lot easier so he nods and with a short but flamboyant bow climbs into the waiting carriage and finally meets Browne's mysterious fellow passenger. Guilio clambers into the shadowy carriage and looking into the corner furthest from the door he sees someone he recognises he quickly recovers from his momentary shock and greets him warmly "Ciao Rimehart me old china, I thought you were getting your necked stretched?" Wilhelm climbing into the carriage behind Guilio smiles good-naturedly but hearing what Guilio was saying makes a rather disturbing crunching noise whilst leaning his head to one side and sticking out his tongue.Rimehart the man who thought himself a member of Mallebeenchs untouchable inner circle sighed and weakly said "Hello Guilio it's good to see you again" Guilio smiled even wider "Si I am still alive and kicking though not smashing as many plates and fancy vases as I once did?" he playfully punches Rimehart in the shoulder knocking the ex-shopkeeper into the side of the carriage with a thump "Where are my manners? please let me introduce you to my good friend Wilhelm" he points to the German who is now sat on the seat opposite Rimehart then he continues "Wilhelm this is Rimehart a shopkeeper who used to consort with demons and warlocks, Rimehart this is Wilhelm a ruthless, bloodthirsty German who is currently employed as a witch hunter" Wilhelm leans forwards his large hat casting his face into shadow and softly growls "Guten Tag Herr Rimehart my name is Wilhelm Teufel and I have found you" Rimehart went even paler and started to babble as he desperately tried to scramble out of the door without appearing to whilst blabbering desperately "I didn't do anything honestly it was all the Mallebeenchs doing I swear!" Doctor Browne having remained outside to speak to the guards and show his credentials returned just in time to see Rimehart hanging half out of the window and Guilio and Wilhelm red-faced with the effort of not breaking out into laughter. Quickly taking it all in with a glance he broke out laughing "Rimehart get your bony arse back in here now you poltroon they are only fooling around" Rimehart looked back towards Browne a looks of horror, fear and then hope sweeping across his face in quick succession "What they aren't here to murder me then?" he asks plaintively and it was at this point that Wilhelm and Guilio lost it completely and the carriage was filled with guffaws and snorts of laughter, Wilhelm actually fell out of the now moving carriage much to the Guards amazement crying out in a heavy German accent "I have found you" Browne smiling and chuckling along finally calmed Rimehart down who immediately started muttering nasty things under his breath about getting revenge before shrugging and with a somewhat evil grin jumped down and went to help the German up saying "You bastards I owe you one now just you wait, I'll get you both when you least expect it" After explaining to the guards that everything was alright and it wasn't some Popish plot everybody eventually got back inside and the carriage resumed its journey towards the main foundry. Browne still grinning scolded the CL.U.Ber's and explained why Rimehart was still amongst the living instead of the mass grave alongside the Crows and the Tenebrous Hand. The carriage headed down towards the side of the foundry heading for the storage areas around the back of the site where evidence of the recent flooding still remained awaiting disposal, piles of sandbags and water soaked boards lay strewn all over the place and the carriage had to manoeuvre around them carefully it suddenly rattled to a halt outside a strange looking building that was low, squat and covered in strange red weeds the Driver leaned down and informed Browne that they had arrived at their destination. The Doctor his door and stepping down gestured to the heavily padlocked building in front of him saying "Its not much but its all mine thanks to the generosity of Nelson Norton" he steps towards the door and pulls out a large ornate key ring and picking a key he unlocks the hefty padlock which secures the oddly heavy door. The door easily swings open and a gust of hot moist air escapes from the darkness beyond, Browne quickly steps across the threshold and starts to walk down the corridor beyond calling out for the others to follow. Rimehart and Wilhelm are the next out and are chatting away quite happily now as it appears that Rimehart had spent some time in the Holy Roman Empire some years back as a mercenary it appeared he had briefly fought for Bernard of Saxe-Weimar before sustaining several injuries during the invasion of Bavaria, the conversation seemed to become very serious when Rimehart mentioned someone called Perchta. Meanwhile Guilio was bringing up the rear taking in the architecture of the building noting that whilst a little damp and more than a few puddles remained the building after the recent flooding the building itself seemed solid enough, in fact, it was built like a fort its walls oddly thick and low for a workplace and the few windows were little more than slits covered by thick iron bars but what really caught his eye was that the roof was weirdly thin especially considering the strength of the rest of the building this building had been specially designed for some purpose he just couldn't put his finger on it yet though.Guilios train of thought was interrupted as the doors behind him closed with a booming thud leaving only the dim light from the windows to illuminate their way through the otherwise dark building. Doctor Browne finally stopped at a door at the end of the corridor and again the time he pulls out the ornate key ring but this time selecting a strange rod which has a tiny silver cog at the top which he twisted a couple of times before inserting the rod into a hole at the top of the door, faintly the sound of something clicking away could be heard coming from the door before a final loud clunk which echoed out and the door swung open. The room beyond looked like some kind of workshop a furnace still glowed away in one corner, whilst the northern wall was covered in bottles and sealed pottery jars of a variety of shapes and sizes the other walls were partially obscured by the barrels and boxes piled up against them, the few open ones seemed to contain a mixture of cogs and gears or a variety of plants and rocks. And under the narrow slit window, a large workbench sat its top covered by a sheet. Rimehart edged past Browne and into the room he lit some lanterns chasing the shadows away whilst Browne walked towards the workbench and called Guilio over towards him he smiles and says "Guilio I have a choice for you and I would be most interested in seeing which you pick" he points to the covered table and with a magicians flourish pulls the sheet aside revealing two gleaming clockwork arms of weirdly differing construction, one was very life like it's clockwork hidden away under beautifully sculpted metal plates the fingers were fully articulated and to an amazing degree, the arm was a thing of beauty a true masterpiece of the tinkers art. The other was also a masterpiece but of a different kind it was designed for less subtle pursuits, it was brutal looking all black iron and blood red brass. It was covered with evil-looking hooks running down one side and past the clawed hand was a nasty looking clockwork powered sword which had an oddly serrated blade. Browne again turned to Guilio "So which one do you prefer?"Guilio drew in a sharp breath and after asking if it alright for him to examine them and after getting a nod from Browne he carefully picked up the brutal looking arm turning it first one way then another taking in its deadly power, he asked a few questions and Browne pointed out a few interesting features, the steel dart fired by a steel spring was particularly impressive as it thudded into the brick wall shattering its first layer before embedding into the layer behind. Guilio placed the arm back down onto the table and whilst congratulating Browne on constructing an impressive weapon he still reached for the sculpted arm and started to examine it with something akin to lust in his eyes. Browne sighed and said that whilst it was a beautiful object it surely wasn't practical for one such as him especially considering his current employment but Guilio shook his head and after examining the tiny clockwork which seemed to power the arm especially the clockwork that controlled the silvered hand he told Browne placing the arm back onto the table "I would pick this arm as my replacement" Browne looked at Guilio and nodded seemingly happy with the Italians decision "See Rimehart I told you there was more going on in Guilios head than just bloodshed, he still admires grace and beauty" he then picked up the arm and with a smile he turned to Guilio "Now lets see how this looks on you shall we"Meanwhile, Ralph had headed out to report to Zeal for the lord Harrison at the N.M.A headquarters based at the castle. After passing through several checkpoints he finally found himself in one of the lowest levels of the castle in a cold damp corridor standing outside a warped oak door listening to some muffled conversation and the occasional scream. After twenty minutes or so the door creaked open a crack and Zeal stepped through using a rag to clean the mess off his hands Ralph peeking behind Zeals shoulder can just make out the ruined wreck of a man tied to a chair before Zeal closes the door with a thud. He greets Ralph warmly enough though and without mentioning the man behind the door he leads Ralph down several corridors and a stone staircase before reaching another heavy door he opens it and steps through motioning for Ralph to follow which he does with some reluctance. The room is much like a stone monks cell of old, a cot lays alongside one wall with only a single thin blanket the wall opposite is filled with a bookcase full of ledgers and scrolls each one has a small wax tag affixed to it. The main items of furniture in this room are the large desk and its two rough wooden chairs. Zeal motioned to the chair in front of the desk as he went around the desk to the other side, sitting down he waited until Ralph was seated before he began speaking to him "Its good to see you Sergeant Norton, your efforts on the accursed island have been favorably reported to higher command" he then added somewhat cryptically "Amongst others" Zeal then chats to Ralph asking him how he felt about certain subjects and about the rest of the CL.U.Ber's he seemed particularly interested in how they reacted to the last mission and more importantly how they seemed to be coping now he seemed happy with the replies making notes in a leather book and apart from the scritch scritch of the quill and their voices everything else was silent they could have been the only two people alive in the world. After he had got the answers he wanted Zeal seemed very satisfied and thanked Ralph for his honesty and with a slight grin his zeal. Ralph replied that he was happy to help and that he felt that he had found his true calling in the CL.U.Ber's and their fight against the ungodly and in that cause he wondered if he might make a small request Zeal applied some powder and then a bloater to the page he had been working on and cautiously asked what exactly did Ralph want. Ralph lent forward a little and with a gleam in his eyes asked if Zeal could order the castles quartermaster to give him a couple of those new Dutch grenados. Ralph explained that he felt that he needed the extra firepower especially after witnessing the effects of the light rays produced by the Paladin and the Crystal children and in a lower tone he said that he was also worried about a member of the CL.U.B being captured hearing this Zeal seemed to make a decision and quickly dashed off an order onto a scrap of paper and handed it over to Ralph "This will get the grenados released, I'm relieved that you are concerned about the security of this realm and are prepared to do what needs to be done" handing the paperwork over he sits back down and tells Ralph that he is dismissed but that he should report back at eight bells as he had something of great import to tell him but which needed some arranging first. Ralph half listening stood up bowed and replied that he would return at eight bells he walked slowly back to the door and looked back to see Zeal busy gathering some sealable message tubes he stepped back out into the gloomy corridor and after closing the door he paused and then ran off towards the armoury with some would say indecent haste.The day passed and the CL.U.Ber's finished off their various errands equipment was repaired or replaced powder and shot was requisitioned from the N.M.A stores, as well as the rest of the supplies, used up during the jaunt to Yarmouth. Guilio, Wilhelm, and Ralph met up at Mrs. Lovett's pie shop for a slap-up feast, Wilhelm even had time to pop upstairs to Barkers to get a quick haircut. Thomas meanwhile was still overseeing the feast/banquet for Doctor Browne, he was also a little distracted by his Mothers constant demands for food, someone to cut her toenails and for someone to turn her over as the bed sores were coming back, Thomas much to one-eyed Harper's obvious relief went up with the shears the rasp and the larger of the three oven paddles. He did leave instructions though that the meal should be ready for five o'clock this afternoon and that a bath and his clothes be ready at four o'clock.The rest of the Party slowly made their way back to the mansion and passed the rest of the afternoon reading or playing games of chance before finally getting ready for the nights activities though Ralph did explain that he would have to leave around seven pm as he had a prior appointment that he just couldn't miss but he didn't elaborate any further.The town clocks struck five and a carriage pulls up at outside the doors of Norton mansion and the elegant figure of Dr. Browne stepped out and was ushered in by the liveried staff.The staff had worked wonders and had managed to produce miracles with the basic ingredients that they were able to purchase in the now dangerous markets of Norwich, never had so much been done with the humble turnip. The talk around the table was polite and just about the general state of things in the county and the country as a whole but by the time they got to the dessert course, Browne was asking some very specific questions about the CL.U.Ber's recent activities. Then as the plates were cleared away Browne pulled out a small thin box from out of one of his many pockets and slid it across to Thomas "I think you will find this interesting Thomas" the Doctor looked up from his second helping of pudding and after wiping his hands he took the box and opened it with a click revealing a green jewel surrounded by a latticework of very small and impossibly ornate clockwork. The Doctor lifts it out of its velvet padded container and took in a sharp breath as several fine copper wires trailed behind the latticework. Looking at Browne with a puzzled look on his face as he twisted and turned the device around one way then another, watching as the fine copper wires which dangled below twist and turn somehow under their own power "It's wonderous my lord it looks like some sort of ocular device but its complexity defeats me" Browne smiled "You are correct Doctor it is a truly wonderous contraption and for the moment a unique one. I have with the help of Rimehart have managed to decipher some of Mallebeenchs notes that you recovered and using them we have opened up whole new vistas of inquiry, Mallebeench is truly a genius if one who consorts with the forces of darkness but gentleman the things he has discovered could advance our understanding in so many areas by years, the Republic could become an unassailable power for good and we could finally make the great dream of making this world pure and truly godly a reality. And this" he indicates the clockwork device held in the Doctors hand "Is just a small example of what the future holds the device you hold will enable you to see clearly again, Doctor. All you have to do is simply remove your eyepatch and place the device over your wound with the serrated edge uppermost and the device will do the rest. I warn you though there might be some pain though as the copper wires burrow their way into your brain it will pass and what is a little pain to see again and better than you could have ever seen before?" The Doctor still watching the copper wire twist and move as in a gentle breeze looks up at the standing Browne and very firmly places the ocular device back into its box and snaps the lid shut with a snap. He stands up and thanks Browne for the fine gift but with a slightly worried expression tells Browne that he was unsure about using anything that was inspired by the works of Mallebeench no matter how fantastic they were and he slides the box back towards Browne expressing his thanks again. Browne appears to be about to say something more but with a somewhat strained looking smile just says "Well I think you are too worried devices are not evil only people are but it is your decision" he picks up the box and returns it to one of his pockets. A slightly awkward silence descends before Wilhelm calls out loudly for pipes and tobacco "Gentleman let us not have any disagreements between us we are all Freunde here and are we not blessed?" Browne laughs and slaps Thomas on the back "I'm sorry I get too caught up in the possibilities of my work sometimes and forget my manners" Thomas smiles back and nods understanding "I understand its quite alright I get that way myself sometimes, come on lets retire to the study and let the staff clean up whilst you tell us more of the current thinking in Parliament, can it be true that they may seek an accord with the Arch Warlock Rupert?
  4. Butters

    'Lamentations of the Cthulhu & Chivalry' Campaign

    If you don't remember, it didn't happen, Old Leg Humper Part 3 During the night the men's sleep was interrupted by screams and roars which seemed to come from the nearby mountain range the guard was doubled but after several hours the roars died down and finally, some men were able to get some much-needed sleep. It was a grey and sullen morning the next day the men were tired and troubled by the previous day's events and some of them needed a quiet word from the Sergeants before they would get up and ready. Ralph explained what the day's tasks were the pyres should have burnt down by now but the remains had to be disposed of the ash and bone and whatever corruption remained had to be buried the men were not happy but as Ralph explained the sooner it was done the sooner they could get off this thrice-damned island. The morning passed quietly the men wore soaked handkerchiefs as they first dug a long shallow trench and then used improvised gaff hooks to drag the bulk of the bone and ash into it a few men waded into the rapidly draining swamp to collect a couple of crystal children that seemed to have been missed in the previous days sweep and the bodies were dumped into the pit and quickly set alight it wouldn't be an enough to reduce the body to ash but it would have to do. By mid-afternoon, all was done the pit was filled in and the rest of the ash and burnt wood were scattered around. The area now had an eerie look that matched the feel of the place it truly now was a haunted, blasted heath. The Doctor was leaning on a shovel as one of the men came up to him and asked if he could have a quick word with him the Doctor picking up his sword belt nodded and indicated that he should walk with him. The Doctor leads the man into the jungle and finding a fallen tree sat down on it and gestured next to him "Take a seat friend it's been a grim task but it is behind us now so tell me what ails you" The soldier is nervous and keeps looking around him and tilting his head to one side as if hearing something he turns his worried face towards the Doctor "I...I can hear the men they are unsettled and worried. I can see their thoughts its as if my head is full of voices all shouting at the same time" the Doctor smiles a sad smile and reaches for his sleeping draught again "Nothing to worry about its just a reaction to this place, take a strong pull of this and it should stop the noise" The man grabs greedily at the bottle and drinks, the alcoholic mixture going down easily . The Soldier smiles "That's pretty powerful stuff Doc no wonder you're so jolly" the Doctor grins and tells him to finish the bottle and watches as the last of the tonic is consumed he then chats with the soldier and watches as he slowly falls unconscious I'm sorry son but this is for the best and leaning over he covers the mans mouth and then pinches the mans nose closed, the soldier jerks around a little and struggles but never wakes up, the Doctor waits a few minutes more and sadly stands up places a couple of pennies onto the mans eyes and walks back to the rest of the Group. Ralph and Sherfield meanwhile had organized a demolition group to collapse the Palace entranceway just in case it didn't sink beneath the swamp completely as the Doctor approached he saw Ralph leading another soldier to the one remaining tent that was used to store the powder and oil. Oddly enough the man wasn't seen again having disappeared in the jungle or so Ralph informed the Doctor when he inquired about it sometime later. Sherfield had set the charges with the last of the powder and played out a long length of match cord which with some fanfare was lit and fizzled into the Palace. There was a pause then an almighty explosion as the charges went off, everybody picked themselves off the ground where they had been knocked down onto by the force of the explosion and after making a few mwoop mwoop noises all glared at Sherfield and it looked bad for the Sergeant until he shrugged and with a wicked grin said "Well you didn't want to be carrying all that powder back to Yarmouth did you" there was a dangerous pause then Guilio started laughing "No Sergeant I did not those casks and barrels were far too heavy to carry much like your wife no?" the tension of the last few days were swept away with the explosion of laughter at this poor joke but it was enough and then Ralph and Sherfield gave the order to march for home, the much-releived men cheererd and within twenty minutes all was made ready and the march home began. During the march through the jungle, one further man had to be dealt with after reporting that his eyes felt funny and Ralph saw that the man's eyes now closed like a serpent. After Ralph returned to the column wiping something off his hands he seemed deep in thought and then called the Doctor over "I think I know what the cause of all this corruption is everyone affected was covered in the orange slime from the deep swamp" he looks down at his own stained clothing a strange look on his face "I guess we completed the mission but have been damned for it none the less" just then we break through the jungle and finally meet up with the men guarding the boats, Ralph looks at the clear water in front of him and suddenly shouts "You lot smell of shit and smoke, everyone strip and wash up I won't be taking a filthy rabble back to Yarmouth" seeing the stunned looks on the faces of the men he shouts again "I'm not fecking joking get in that water NOW!" he smiles but in a serious voice whispers to the Doctor whilst we are in the water I want you to burn any stained clothing we should be able to make good on th missing clothing by mixing and matching" he then strips off and with a loud whoop he runs into the cold waters and begins to splash around like a big kid. With some pushing and shoving from Wilhelm and Guilio, the rest of the men are soon in the water and horsing around with Ralph. After half an hour and several bars of soap later a pale, soggy body of men was assembled on the shore in a bizarre mix of clothing and looking at the Doctor who was in front of a bonfire "We thought it would be funny but it got a little out of hand.......you know how Italians are" The journey back was uneventful and it was a much-relieved band of men who marched back into the N.M.A compound the men were debriefed given enough scrip to buy several jugs of Old Leg Humper and a knee trembler or two if so inclined whilst the C.L.U.Ber's had a less fun reward and instead had to report to Zeal for the Lord Harrison on what had happened during the mission and why so many men were missing. The Debrief was a painful affair but Zeal nodded and congratulated the C.L.U.ber's on a nasty job done well he steepled his hands and softly started to talk "Well Gentleman it's time we left Yarmouth the ice is melting and soon the ships will be fishing again bringing in much-needed food. The disparate groups are now working with one purpose and I will be leaving the Charity and a company or two of the Clockwork regiment here as well to make sure everyone remembers whose really in charge of things now" Wilhelm asks about the island he mentions the loud roaring they had heard coming from the mountains Zeal shakes his head and tells him not to worry and that another group will deal with that. Seeing the C.L.U.Ber's shocked looks he smiles a thin tight smile "You didn't think you were the only special group employed by Ireton and myself did you" we fade to black with the sound of Zeals laughter echoing in the falling darkness.
  5. Butters

    'Lamentations of the Cthulhu & Chivalry' Campaign

    For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light Part 2 With the Paladin defeated and the children dead an eerie silence descended and the remaining men and C.L.U.Ber's looked around in shocked horror at the devastation surrounding them, boulders and chunks of masonry had been carved into strange alien looking objects under the children's burning lights and the ground nearby was now cratered with huge holes which still smoked and steamed in the cold winters air. The silence was broken by the cry of seagulls who sensing the feast below start to descend in great swirling flocks and begin to rip into the flesh below. Curses and oaths soon joins the cawing of gulls as the men react to the birds and somewhere someone starts to sob quietly. Ralph steps forward and turns to the men "Right you thought you were through the worst of it didn't you? well you thought wrong we have to tidy up this ungodly mess, so steal your hearts and stiffen your sinews, first of all we need to bury those that have died and treat any that are hurting" He points to several men in turn who seem mostly unhurt and holding it together "Okay you four men get your spades out and lets get the graves dug so these brave lads can rest proper like" he walks over to a slightly stunned man and gently asks if he could borrow his spade the man nods and fumbles with his pack for a moment before managing to untie the spade from the cords securing it, he hands it over to Ralph his hands shaking a little. Ralph places a hand onto the mans shoulder and awkwardly pats the man "Whats your name son?" the man who looked a good ten years older than Ralph replied "William Drum, Sir" Ralph nods and tells him to go and see Sergeant Sherfield and tell him to break out the bottle he thinks no one knows about" Drum smiles and in a stronger voice replies "Yes Sir" and walks off to find the other Sergeant. Ralph then takes off his coat and rolling up his sleeves heads back to the burial party and without a word starts to dig. After a few moments a slightly unhappy looking Sherfield wanders over looks at Ralph and with a thoughtful look nods slightly then turns to the other men who are now resting in small groups and looking somewhat stunned, he also notices the Doctor moving through the groups, treating the injured and trying to answer the men's questions. "Well its said the devil makes work for idle hands and I be thinking we've had enough sorcery for one day" and with a loud shout of command he begins to issue orders. The men are split up into guard, lumber and retrieval parties, the men will rotate through each detail until everything had been cleansed. The guards are sent out fully armed and loaded and instructed to set up a loose skirmish screen around one hundred and thirty meters away and to shout out if they see or hear anything, the lumber detail unhook their hatchets and stripping off their cold weather gear begin chopping down the nearest of the strange trees and start to pile up and prepare the pyres. The few remaining men mainly those injured during the fight were tasked along with the C.L.U.Ber's with retrieving the bodies of the Paladin and the children those on the causeway and those in the rapidly draining slime pools either side of it. The rest of the day was spent in these gruesome and back breaking tasks. As the sun sank slowly beneath the horizon and the injured soldiers who were now on pyre duty finished pouring the oil onto the grey wood and the last few bodies were dragged or in the case of the Doctor and his clockwork powered automatic collector of far objects winched in the men whilst still in low spirits could at last see that the end was near and that soon they could return home to their loved ones and away from this haunted island but just as things were looking up a cry went up from one of the groups in the slime beds, they were just bringing in the last two bodies when Private Richard Van started to scratch himself, normally at first but soon hard enough to draw blood he kept muttering to himself "Too big, too big" over and over to himself. Some of the men building the pyres ran towards the group the C.L.U.Ber's included and were just in time to see the men with Richard run away from him and make a dash for the shore as Richard continued to mutter then yell "Too big, too big" as he somehow horribly started to shrink his voice becoming higher and higher all the while screaming too big.The men's morale fell and they as a whole they started to back away not only from the horrific sight of their friend shrinking but also from the Sergeants a dangerous air now hovered about them and hands seemed to be edging near to sheathed weapons. Ralph stomped past a furious look on his now heavily scarred face, the more recent scars seemingly glowing red from the heat of his fury and his muscles seemed to strain against his shirt. He splashed down into the orange muck and headed straight to where Richard was last seen but he now seemed too small for his clothing and all that could be seen was a frenzied movement of something under his breeches. Ralph spun around and started yelling about devilry and evil and the Lords fight against it the men on the shore paused and were drawn into Ralph's anger like moths to a flame and some of the tension left, no was.....redirected as Ralph reminded them that their enemy was Satan, the Devil and all his works, that they were doing Gods work here and now on this island so that their families, their loved ones would remain safe on blessed England and with a final curse hurled to all the demons of hell he spins back around and with a crash slams his foot down on whatever remained of Private Richard Van. The men were still sullen but were now in awe of Ralph and so they remained under orders and with only a small amount of muttering finished off their tasks, After speaking to a couple of the others Guilio and Wilhelm recommended that the men remove any clothing stained with the curious orange slime and throw them onto the pyres along with the bodies. This raised a few eyebrows but given the potential for becoming cursed the men quickly shed any garments so marked and soon the bodies and the clothing were burning away. Watched by a slightly bizarre group of fearful men who were wearing a mixture of winter clothing, uniform and in one unfortunate case his undergarments The Doctor then asked if he could examine the men after they had rested and before they returned to the boats. So after they had been moved away from the causeway to let the bodies burn down to ash and had eaten a somewhat rough and ready meal and one suspects had downed several drinks the men find themselves visiting the Doctor. Everything seemed fine until the Doctor got to Private Edmund Crew he seemed nervous and kept his shirt on telling the Doctor that he was fine, that all he had was a bit of an ache in his left arm but that's to be expected right? The Doctor led him to one side and when he was sure they were far enough not to be observed insisted the Crew take off his shirt telling him that if he didn't obey that he would be forced to tell Sergeant Ralph. Crew swallowing hard possibly remembering the Sergeant bathed in blood and swinging that great axe of his begins to unlace his shirt. Turning to one side he smiles at the Doctor "See Sir there ain't nothing wrong with me, fit as a butchers dog" The Doctor stands back and grips the butt of his pistol "Turn to face me soldier" he instructs, his previously humorous demeanor replaced with cold implacable certainty "You seem to be hiding your left arm Crew and that won't do" Crew shudders and starts to weep "Its fine Doctor, I don't feel no pain in fact I feel better than I have in ages...honest" The Doctor pulls out his pistol and aims it squarely at Crew and repeats his instruction to face him. Crew finally stands square on, and the Doctor gasps as he can now clearly see what he was trying to hide numerous small white grubs were writhing into and out of Crews lower arm. Crew seemed oddly protective of them which wasn't the reaction the Doctor was expecting. Crew seeing the look of horror on the Doctors face started to beg and plead "Its okay Doctor, I'm fine they don't hurt none, maybe a poultice or a tonic maybe? yes a tonic that's just the thing for me" The Doctor keeping the pistol pointed at Crew just shakes his head "You've got worms growing out of your damn arm Crew, I'm going to have to cut it off" Crew looks around him desperately, and quickly takes a step back "No Doctor I can't lose my arm I needs it I can't be a cripple I would be kicked out of the regiment" his voice raising in volume. The Doctor makes a decision "Okay, calm down if you want a tonic I will see what I've got but I still think its best to lose the arm" he steps back a few steps and then walks over to his medical box and keeping a wary eye on Crew pulls out a small jack of some cloudy red liquid. Standing back up he walks back towards Crew holding the jack in front of him "Take this it should re-balance your humours it also has a few other ingredients which should help draw the worms out" Crew reaches out but stops when the Doctor steps back and says "I would prefer if you used your other hand Private Crew" nodding and smiling sheepishly nods he takes the jack from the Doctor "So how do I take this Doctor, it wont hurt the little fellows?" The Doctor shakes his head "NO its just a mixture of red wine,Vinegar, Prunella all mixed with some nightshade water, its designed to draw out the worms, what you do with them afterwards is up to you, all you have to do is knock it all back and I will have to make up some more for you when we reach Yarmouth" Crew pauses and looks at the Doctor then smiles and downs the lot. Eight minutes later the sound of heavy snoring can be heard and the Doctor muttering to himself something about overdoing the P. silvaticum or some such then the snoring was replaced with low moans and grunting as the Doctor began to saw away. The others meanwhile had started to pack up after feeding the pyres one last time Ralph had planned to march into the jungle a few miles to make camp far enough to be clear of the smoke and more importantly the smell of roasting flesh. The men were packed up and their gear stowed for the march ahead and Sherfield was chatting with Ralph when Guilio spotting the Doctor coming out from behind a bunch of bushes, he was supporting the pale and still groggy Crew who seeing the others started to scream out and staggered away from the Doctor "He took my arm boys the bastard took my bloody arm, there was a tense moment as the remaining soldiers cast angry glances towards Ralph and Sherfield. The Doctor knowing something of his reputation cries out "Wait, lets not do anything foolish or hasty let me talk to the Sergeants" he was interrupted by Crew Yelling "There was nothing wrong with arm you all saw that didn't you lads? the mans blade happy" Ralph yelled for the men to be quiet and tells Crew to shut up and sit down before he falls down. Sherfield walks towards the Doctor his hand resting on his sheathed sword at his waist. "What is the meaning of this Doctor Norton? the man was fine he carried his musket and more importantly to my way of thinking *chopped bloody wood without a complaint*! the Doctor stepped back from the spray of spittle and then calmly placed one of his numerous sacks into Sherfield's gloved hand "Open it but do not touch" somewhat gingerly Sherfield teased open the top of the bag, let out a startled curse and dropped the bag onto the floor, hastily wiping his gloves with a rag then throwing the rag onto the floor as well. Ralph seeing the men had calmed down a little judged it safe enough to leave them and ask his cousin what was going on he arrived just as Sherfield dropped the bag. There followed a quick discussion and Ralph was shown the contents of the bag he then called over Private Derre. Deere nervously left the gaggle of men treating Crew and listening to all his wild stories of a blood mad Doctor and casting a hateful look at the Doctor reported to the Sergeants. Ralph looked to Sherfield who still somewhat pale nodded and Ralph spoke to Deere, he talked of the things they had fought the strangeness of the island itself and all the other horrors that had appeared recently in Norfolk he spoke that they now needed to put things right and to cast out the the demons summoned by those accursed Cavaliers out of the land so that they may finally put aside the sword and enjoy the rewards of peace and of a godly land. He then told a slightly puzzled Deere that the Devil was a trickster and so would try to turn good men against each other and that he would deceive some men into thinking they were well when they were in fact effected by the worst kinds of miasmas and curses he then opened the bag and ordered Deere to look in, he did so and fell backwards vomiting whilst screaming it was very messy but after everything had calmed down and the other men were shouted back into order Ralph and Sherfield spoke to the men telling Crew to shut up and telling the men that the Doctor had saved not only Crew life but probably his soul as well and if they didn't believe them they were more than welcome to ask Deere what he saw in the bag. The men huddled up and spoke to the vomit covered Deere who nodded and hastily filled in the men it was very noticeable that Deere who was Crews best friend was now keeping a wide berth of him now, and as he finished his report the other to stepped away from him looks of horror and disgust on their faces. Crew started to sob and tried to deny everything but seeing Deere's reaction and the look on sergeants faces convinced them that Crew was mad. The Sergeants seeing that the men were back under orders sighed and at last the order was made to move forwards and leaving the pyres burning away behind them they headed into the jungle. Ralph walked down the line and passed Sherfield who was speaking softly to Crew telling him to drop the issue that he would be looked after but only if he calmed down. Smiling but a little worried Ralph continued past in the gathering darkness till he found his cousin bringing up the rear he indicated that the Doctor should stop "Cousin I think the men are with us again so you have nothing to worry about there and Sherfield is talking to Crew but I would be sleeping with one eye open if I were you, at least until we make it back to Yarmouth." the Doctor smiles weakly and quietly replies "That might be tricky for me normally as I've only got the one eye but I know what you mean but I should be fine as I tend not to sleep that much nowadays, I burnt the arm you know but we need to keep watch something is foul still and its effecting the men and potentially us" Ralph nods and asks if the Doctor knows the cause sadly the Doctor shakes his head "It could be anything the whole island is damned and full of reeking miasmas, I suggest the men wear handkerchiefs or cloth over their faces when we return to the fires for the final burial.
  6. Butters

    'Lamentations of the Cthulhu & Chivalry' Campaign

    For the wages of sin is death Part One The Party spends several days resting and catching up with the news from Yarmouth and beyond, the peace treaty seems to be holding and more and more people are reporting to the N.M.A compound to sign up for work details. And there was even more good news as it seems that a few more supply convoys had made it into the town in the Parties absence. The largest has arrived only hours before and had been sent from London by Cromwell himself. Food was still sparse but at least most people now got at least one hot meal a day and the extra troops helped with the issue of security, not only in the town itself but also the surrounding countryside where some people had turned to brigandship to survive, robbing and killing their neighbours just for a little extra food. There were also hard to diminish rumors of cannibalism in some of the more remote villages, it was said that Cantley has a lot fewer residents now and not all of them died in the ice or in that last desperate search for the rumored pot of gold that's guarded by the Gnomes at Callow pit. So with the increase in security and food the town of Great Yarmouth was slowly returning, it may never be the same again but homes were being rebuilt and the first few fishing boats had been patched up and were almost ready to head out and start bringing in that much needed extra source of food. Far to quickly the break was over and the still-battered Party began to assemble their equipment, blades were sharpened, pistols and muskets cleaned and tested and stores ordered and assembled into the two hastily converted row boats which now sported crude skis attached to the sides of their hulls. These skies lifted the boats just off the ground so they could be dragged over the ice and snow, if with some difficulty. The Party were also introduced to the men that would be assisting them in their destructive endeavors, they were from Sir Bernard de Gommes Companie of Pioneers & Fireworkers so not only were they skilled in explosives but also well used to the backbreaking demands of a Pioneer. The twenty-nine men were led by a tall gaunt man whose face on the left side was a mess of red scar tissue and the eye whilst still, there was just a milky orb. Noticing the stunned expressions of the Party and Giulio's more worried one the man nodded slightly and with a wet rasp of a voice introduced himself as Sergeant Francis Sherfield "Do not be fretting Sirs" he gestured to his face "This was no fault of mine, my hands are steady and my work is true" he coughs and spits onto the floor then raises his hands "See I've all my fingers still, the face is down to some dastard who threw a grenade at me during the siege of Bristol" he smiles a gap toothed grin and continued "He won't be doing that again as he accidentally impaled himself on my sword shortly afterwards, so rest assured I knows my business, Now these fine men with me might be rogues and rascals but they are solid and dependable and will serve you well.......in whatever it is that needs doing" he coughs and again spits onto the floor then almost as if remembering that he was a red coat straightens up and salutes. The Party is somewhat staggered by the whole thing but they must admit the men do look to be in good health and well provisioned for the task ahead. The Doctor turns to Ralph and makes his excuses to leave as it seems he had something to pick up from the Mechanical Preacher that had accompanied the recently repaired Charity and the company from the Clockwork Regiment. Zeal for the lord Harrison stepped out of the Listing Sausage and with his gaggle of advisers, runners, and local bigwigs already in tow like some kind of slightly confused flock of sheep and walked across the courtyard towards the Party and the pioneers. Seeing Sergeant Sherfield he sighs a little but maintains his stern expression, he quickly scans the yard and noticing the Doctors absence makes a brief inquiry and then nodding steps back and addresses the men. "I am glad that Sir Bernard de Gomme was able to spare some of his best men for I am sure you will be tested during the course of this mission but keep true to your faith and follow the orders of these men and you will do yourself and your country proud. Know this, you will be doing the Lords work in these next few days and in doing so you will be an integral part of his plan, Sergeant Sherfield will lead the first section of men whilst the newly promoted Sergeant Ralph Norton," he points to a horrifically gurning Ralph his chest swelling with pride (Doctor Owen “Hacksaw” French had worked wonders but Ralph's face was still a purple and black mess of scar tissue and bruising) "Here will lead the other fifteen men, and as you can see he is already keeping up the noble tradition of Sergeants in the service of Sir Bernard de Gomme" the men smile and a few even laugh, a slight smile briefly flutters across Zeal's normally stern features "I know some of you are curious to know why we are sending you with these men and to the island that has so recently appeared off the coast but for operational reasons all I can tell you is this, you will be taken to several locations on the island where you will assist these gentlemen in the destruction of certain objects. These objects must be completely removed by fire or powder and afterwards you will report back to me and only me and if successful you will be rewarded for your service, it just remains for me to wish you well and to remind you that you are doing Gods work" he then clicks his fingers and one of his clerks rushes forwards and hands Sherfield a bundle of orders. Another clerk heads over to Ralph and hands him yet another bundle of orders these closed with the personal wax seal of Harrison. The clerk takes a few steps away mutters something and then walks back to Ralph and fishes out of a pocket a length of orange fabric and handing it over explains that it's his sash he also hands over a length of lace and pointing to Ralph's somewhat battered hat says "Erm the lace is meant to go on your hat sir to denote that you are a man of rank, but you might want to get a slightly less........ crap looking hat first, otherwise this lace is going to look pretty silly Once all is ready and the Doctor has returned from his errand carrying yet another bag this one strangle thin the group heads out onto the frozen sea and the creaking ice. They make pretty good progress at first but the further they get from the shore the Ice becomes more unstable and their path becomes less direct as they have to sweep around the weaker sections. After several hours they pass the Juliana, The Spanish ship is being slowly crushed by the now moving ice and it's no longer a safe place to rest so giving it a wide berth they pass by, keeping a wary eye on the below. The group continues to travel onwards towards the island tired and cold but too scared to make camp on the thinning ice. They almost make it to the islands sandy black beach without any further incident but one of the columns point man cries out "Sergeant Norton, riders approaching" Ralph halts the column and telling the others that they should leave things to him he strides out to the front to intercept the riders. As they get closer Ralph recognizes them as Paladins of the Fall he hails them and takes a step back looking up he squints and gasps as he notices that high above the Paladins and their strange mounts a strange box somehow floated above them crackling with a strange low growl as it twisted and turned in unseen winds. Ralph took a deep breath to steady his nerves and hailed the Paladins again the Paladins ride closer before they reign in their strange riding beasts and looking down at Ralph tell him to let them pass as their weary vigil is over. Ralph swiftly spins on his heels and gives Sergeant Sherfield the signal to fire, Sherfield shrugs and looks a little confused but then in a loud strong voice bellows "Attention! Column will form line " and the men begin the maneuver into line with much stamping of feet which was a bit of a worry considering the ice. Seeing the armed men spreading out in front of them the Paladins speak to Ralph again in their strange crackling monotone "Will you not let us pass? our long weary vigil is over and we only seek somewhere to live out the last of our days in peace" Ralph looking a little embarrassed and worried replies as he reaches for his hatchets "You can not leave the Island there is no rest for you anywhere else" The Paladins look at each other and start to sing a weird high pitched and undulating song which causes those who hear it discomfort, the Paladin nearest Ralph speaks for the final time "Our brother was right we were foolish to hope we could trust these pale beings" and pulling out his double bladed pole-arm spurs his mount into a charge closely followed by the other rider who also pulls out a similarly deadly blade. Hurtling towards Ralph with surprising speed who with a choked scream throws his hatchets at the oncoming riders determined to sell his life dearly, one hatchet thunks into one of the beasts causing it to swerve to the left with a grunt of pain thus narrowly avoiding it from riding Ralph down and then the Paladins are past a stunned Ralph and into the men beyond who desperately bring their just loaded muskets to bare, Sherfield cries out Aim and Fire all in one breath and twenty nine muskets bang out and the increasingly small gap between them and the riders is filled with lead and the occasional ramrod. The Paladins continue to sing as the musket balls slam into them and their beasts, their ornate armour crumpling and splitting asunder from the sheer violence of the volley. One Paladin is thrown by his beast as with an oddly human scream it collapses a yellowish liquid flowing from its numerous wound's the Paladin rolls and with a leap he sweeps his blade in a wide deadly arc which luckily misses the men, only slicing into the air but causing the nearest men to take a step back. The Other Paladin was about to slam into the line but Sherfield proved he was no fool and had placed himself just in front of the line and in the Paladins way and with a grim smile on his scarred face he lowers his symbol of rank and his Spontoon plunges into the last beasts breast killing it instantly causing the last Paladin to be hurled from its back to land with crushing force onto the ice. The men nearest don't give him a chance and without orders flip their still smoking muskets over and then down go the heavy musket stocks into the body of the still struggling Paladin, smashing into him over and over again cracking armour and bone. Sherfield pauses lights his pipe and then walks slowly over to the men "Enough" he then drags off one of the men "I said ENOUGH! Salter you break that fecking musket and it's coming out of your wages" the men with deep ragged breaths step back forming a loose circle which has a smashed and somewhat flat Paladin in its center. The Party leaves Ralph to explain to the men what the hell had just happened and from what little was overheard it seemed he was going down the tried and trusted devil/demon route. The Doctor and Guilio started to examine the Paladins, carefully removing their rent and bloody armour to expose their strange greyish flesh beneath. It was clear that they were far from human their eyes were golden globes, their fingers ended with golden nails, and their skin was tightly drawn across their gaunt bodies the Doctor also found evidence of surgery pointing out to Guilio the stitch marks which faintly crisscrossed the Paladins bodies. Whilst the Doctor and Guilio tried to figure out what the Paladins really were Ralph and Sherfield had managed to calm the men down and was letting the demon and the Mongolian (Don't ask) explanations sink in. Wilhelm meanwhile was also busy he had grabbed a small cask of black powder from the boat and had headed off to the islands black volcanic beach where he started sprinkling a healthy amount of the powder onto the islands sandy beach. Nodding to himself he then walks back over to the chatting men and has a quick chat with a couple of them, he makes some strange bird noises and flaps his arms weirdly and two of the men finally push past him and head off towards the beasts with a grinning Wilhelm following swiftly behind. All three then start to drag the strange beasts towards the beach and onto the black powder, the beasts are piled together and Wilhelm then tips a lot more powder onto them and then ordering the men back he continues to pour a thin line of powder out as he walks back towards the ice, Looking around and judging that the distance was good enough he replaces the casks cork and making sure it was clear of any loose powder replaces it back into the boat. With a large grin he then places his unloaded Donderbus down close to the line of powder and gives spark, the powder hisses a bit as it becomes damp from the ice but it then suddenly it takes and with a spluttering fizz a flame races towards the beach and the pile of beasts. When it strikes the greater quantity of powder there is a mighty whoosh as the powder ignites and very quickly the beasts are engulfed in a raging inferno. Wilhelm then turns and calls out to the Doctor and Guilio "Gentleman if you would be so kind to finish your examinations and let us return these demons to the fires of hell where they belong" The Doctor stands up and nods, the Paladins are swiftly dragged to the now blazing pyre and with a great cheer and with the singing of Psalm 91 the Paladins are thrown into the fire to rejoin their mounts for the final journey. With the strange Paladins blazing away and with things looking quiet for the moment Ralph left Sherfield to get the men back into column for the march inland and he went off to collect his other hatchet from the ice having already pulled his other one out of the beast. The others fell into a somewhat heated discussion about the recent events, the Doctor, in particular, seemed upset saying that the Paladins could have been pointed in the direction of France at least after all the original one had seemed a decent enough chap. The men were hustled into a marching column and Private William Frank who had suffered a nasty cut to the chest was called out by the now returned Ralph "Son, I need you to go back to the Listing Sausage and tell the Scoutmaster that he needs to send patrols out along the coast, tell him that er.....people are leaving the island and heading to England. Tell him we have stopped a couple of Paladins from making the crossing but there is no way of telling what has already made it over. He quickly scribbles out a note and hands it to Franks explaining that it would get him past any patrols and into the Listing Sausage but placing a meaty paw onto Private Franks shoulder he growls "Now lad you are only to report to the Scoutmaster himself the report is for his ears only, understand?" Private Frank nods and taking a deep breath turns and starts to walk towards Great Yarmouth. The men are brought back into marching columns and the slack is taken up on the sled boats "The men are ready and awaiting orders" Ralph casting one last look at Franks nods and orders the men forward past the still blazing pyre and towards the island's jungle. It seems that things have changed since they were last here the weather was no longer wet and humid but much like the weather in Great Yarmouth and the cold seems to have had a detrimental effect on the foliage as it was no longer lush and vibrant but grey and brittle and whilst this made clearing a path through the jungle easier it was still an ill omen. It was several hours of back-breaking work to drag the sled boats over the uneven ground towards the Pinnacles the men having to take regular water breaks to catch their breath all the while the CL.U.Ber's kept a wary eye on the jungle and the darkness beyond watching for any signs of an ambush or worse but soon enough the two towers could be seen looming through the trees ahead. With one last effort the sledge boats were dragged to the base of the tower and Ralph gave the order to halt and to make camp and with an audible sigh of relief the men dropped the ropes and started to build a basic camp and soon the smell of bacon and peas was wafting around the nearby jungle from the men's small cooking fires. Ralph and the CL.U.Ber's maintained a loose guard around the camp and allowed the men to rest for soon they would need their strength again both their physical and spiritual. After half an hour had past Sergeant Sherfield was called over and spent the next fifteen minutes with the CL.U.Ber's getting a plan of action nailed down, the men would be split into small working groups and tasked with the jobs that needed doing from guarding the camp to bringing the supplies up to where they were needed as well as the men needed to actually demolish the heathen lies that adorned the towers. Sergeant Sherfield and his chosen men would be in charge of destroying the monolith via blasting so all that it remained to do was for someone to scout the towers before the work could begin. So two soldiers were called out and told to get their light kit together as they were the lucky ones who would be going in first. The men armed with several Wheelock pistols which hung down from a wide leather belt and with sword and dagger in hand stepped into the tower of the monolith and were soon lost to the darkness within. The men left behind were kept busy though as supplies needed to be unloaded from the boats and soon plates were cleared away all but one fire was put out and the men were back in line in uniform and armed with the tools they would need for the tasks ahead. After a somewhat tense thirty minutes the scouts reappeared and reported that the towers were clear, the bodies of a man and a woman had been found and there were signs that someone had set a large fire on the ground floor recently but there was no sign of life. Ralph asked about the monolith whilst the others carefully watched the scouts reactions, the monolith was still there but from their report, it didn't seem to have done anything weird. The CL.U.Ber's were happy that all seemed well and the order was given to start work. It was early evening by the time work started and the shadows were drawing in as the sounds of pick and hammer rang out across the still silent jungle there was even the occasional bang as several charges boomed out destroying any particularly hard to demolish murals. The work continued through the early part of the night until all but the monolith was naught but rubble and dust, the CL.UBer's kept a close eye on the men as they worked looking for any sign of possession or deviancy the Doctor, in fact, got the men singing as he thought it would not only help with the work but act as some kind of early warning as if a man suddenly stopped singing and seemed a little confused he could be whisked away and if necessary dealt with before he started to spread blasphemy. So soon the once quiet jungle rang to not only the sounds of demolition but to the strains of the Collier rant, As me an' me marra was gannin' to wark, We met wi' the devil, it was I' the dark; Aw up wi' mi pick, it being I' the neet, Aw knock't off his horns, likewise his club-feet. Foller the horses, Johnny me laddie, Foller them through, me canny lad, oh! Foller the horses, Johnny me laddie, Oh lad lye away, me canny lad, oh! The work continued till all but the monolith was naught but rubble and dust and that would have to wait till morning, the weary men crawled into their blankets after a hasty meal of cheese and biscuit were soon fast asleep. They had done Sir Bernard de Gomme proud and shown why they were rated the best men in the company. As the pale sunlight crested the horizon it found the somewhat grumbling men already up and dragging the sled boats to the next destination. So far the Paladins were the only other living thing encountered by the group unless you counted the huge flocks of seagulls which now suddenly seemed to be everywhere rending the air with their strange cawing that sounded like demonic laughter as if mocking the efforts of the men below. The only ones left at the monolith tower were Sherfields chosen men and the C.L.U.Ber's who were several hundred meters away in a hastily dug pit and watching as Sergeant Sherfield backed out of the tower spoiling out a length of match cord from where it was wrapped around a wooden wheel. Carefully making his way into the pit he cut the match cord from the wheel and muttering a few calculations he finally turned to the other "Ready men? you may want to duck into the pit itself and plug your ears this might be a bit on the loud side what with the explosion being contained by so much stone and what have you" getting a nod from everyone he laid the end of the match cord down and with a grin said "Lets see how special number 5 works out" and with a spark of flint sets the match cord alight and after watching it burn its way to the towers entrance way he uses the flint once more to light his pipe and seeing the others already with their fingers in their ears sighs and shouts "Should be about ten minutes yet" Nine and a half minutes later there is an almighty boom which showers the Party in dust, debris and the occasional stunned seagull, climbing out of the pit the Party waits for the dust to settle and to look upon the damage done. Several moments pass before the dust clears enough and whilst the main body of the tower still stands the floor that held the monolith and the floor below are gone blasted back into whatever infernal realm they came from. Sergeant Sherfield coughs and turning to the awestruck C.L.U.Ber's shrugs and in a loud voice says "I may have slightly overestimated the powder in those charges, but hey jobs a good un, right lads?" After everybody had dug themselves out of the pit and could finally hear again they quickly did a quick search of the area just to make sure that nothing larger than a shilling remained intact of those strange carvings, nothing but grit and dust was found it looked like the monolith and the strange carvings had been destroyed completely. There was nothing now left to corrupt anyone else who happened to stumble upon these unholy towers. The column continued to plough through the jungle and its strange dying vegetation and finally made it to the shore of the bay and still, nothing, no further signs of the Paladins or any rogue Crystal children even the strange lights from beneath the waters had faded away leaving the waters still and at least looking peaceful. The boats were set up for a water crossing and soon the cries of "Stroke, stroke" were ringing out as the Party made the crossing in style this time. The journey across was uneventful much to everyone's relief and the boats were soon dragged up onto the opposite shore and pegged down. The Palace was only a short walk away from here so there was no real need to drag them any further. The supplies needed were unloaded, the barrels of oil, pitch, and powder were divided amongst those going to the great corpse logged marsh that surrounded the Pale ladies Palace. Four soldiers were instructed to remain with the boats and to set up a camp they were also handed over a message tube that contained their orders if the main group failed to return by the next morning. The remaining men and the C.L.U.Ber's then headed out towards the Palace the Doctor again had his new bag strapped to the rest of his gear and was smiling as he whistled a somewhat jaunty sea shanty. They made good time through the jungle unburdened as they were from the necessity of dragging the sled boats any longer and soon the Palace towers could be glimpsed up ahead and before they knew it the jungle began to thin out and they were soon traveling over scrubland and with the Palace causeway just ahead. Wilhelm was on point and just as he was about to crest the final hillock before the marsh and causeway came into view he suddenly stopped and threw himself down onto the ground, the column which was about thirty meters behind him halted and the men gripped their swords tightly. Guilio came up to the front and quickly spoke to Ralph and Sherfield a decision was made and Guilio went ahead keeping low to the ground at first but dropping down to the ground and crawling the last few meters until he reached Wilhelm. Tapping Wilhelm's boot gently to let him know he was there the Italian whispered "Whats the hold-up?" Wilhelm pulled back a little bit without taking his gaze off whatever he could see up ahead and in a low whisper he filled in the Italian "There is a sorcery up ahead, one of those Paladins is floating in the air surrounded by Crystal children oh and that strange box thing is back" Guilio asks how many er.......things are ahead of them and Wilhelm crawls forward again and taking off his gloves begins to count, "It looks like there are around thirty Crystal children in groups of three surrounding the floating Paladin, the box thing is floating above them all, the children seem to be tied? to the Paladin by a strange fleshy rope?" Guilio nods slightly wide-eyed but whispers"Let's go back we need to tell Ralph and the others" The two make it back safely and gathering the C.L.U.Ber's and Sherfield together they inform them of what lies ahead there is some heated discussion but Ralph angrily crushes the other options seeing them as too cowardly and instead stomps off and orders the men into a loose firing line and orders them to make ready. When everyone was loaded and ready the Doctor stepped forward and gave a rousing if slightly long-winded speech in an attempt to prepare the men for what they were about to see. Ralph shakes his head and interrupts the Doctor "Enough, men there is evil ahead and it's our task to cleanse it obey your orders and you will make it through. Shoulder your muskets, prepare for combat and forward march" The men walk forward in line the CL.U.Ber's take position on the flanks and they walk forwards to the crest of the hill. There is an audible gasp from the men as they lay eyes on the Paladin and the strange children "Steady men" growls Ralph "Make ready I want a good volley to clear this causeway" The Doctor steps out "Wait! its the Paladin we met earlier, Claymon's friend remember? let me try to talk to him at least" he starts to walk towards the Paladin his hands raised as he calls out "It's me the Doctor you remember from earlier, can we talk?" the Paladin slowly spins to face the Doctor and tilts his head to one side as from the box floating above him a loud crackling voice booms out "Truly have been betrayed our vigil has ended and all for naught, I told my brothers that they would find no help from you fiends, it is the end" The Doctor starts waving his hands desperately from side to side "We come in peace" he tries to say something more but whatever it was is drowned out by the sound of muskets firing from behind him. Groups of children fall from the causeway ripped asunder by the murderous volley the order to reload goes out as from beyond the musket smoke the children can be seen turning to look at the group.The strange rope that links the Paladin to the children suddenly pulses with a light that hurts the eyes and the children begin to scream out as beams of blazing blue light leap out from their now glowing eyes and whatever the lights hits immediately bursts into flames. Five men are killed in the first attack before the others run to cover, Ralph meanwhile screams an oath and instead runs forwards, across the scrub and onto the causeway itself beams shoot out but he manages to avoid them by desperately jinking left and then to the right. He slams into the children and starts striking out left and right with his hatchets aiming for the central child in each group. He slashes throats and crushes heads and it seems to be working as the other children in the cluster collapse as soon as the central child is killed. And Ralph seems to be too close to them now for him to be targeted by the blazing light. The other C.L.U.Ber's having taken cover behind some fallen masonry which is already starting to bubble and shatter under the beams desperately prepare a cask of black powder as a makeshift petard "Will this work?" asks the Doctor as Sherfield attaches a short length of match cord to the cask he shrugs "Maybe, at least it should give us some time to pull back at least" the match cord is lit and with a hasty shouted warning to Ralph of "Jump!" the cask is rolled down towards the causeway. The cask rolls down bouncing up and down over the uneven ground but it was aimed well and with the cord still smoking behind it eventually rolls to a halt under the floating Paladin. Ralph looks down as it passes him and with a curse of "You Bastards", leaps off the causeway and down into the swamp below. The explosion is somewhat disappointing but it's enough, as with a crackled screech the Paladin and the strange box fall from the sky and land wetly and in several pieces onto the causeway beneath. The remaining children look up and scream as their glowing crystal infused heads suddenly explode.
  7. Butters

    'Lamentations of the Cthulhu & Chivalry' Campaign

    You forgot to add this at the end, Dr. Thomas Norton, A ruggedly handsome and heroic chirurgeon, a man of towering intellect and yet still so incredibly modest and humble. Surgery hours 11:00 am to 4 pm reasonable rates and a 5% discount to member of the N.M.A.
  8. Butters

    Targeted Attack question

    Not sure if this is the answer you are looking for but if someone rolled a successful targeted attack onto an unarmored location it would be full damage rolled so there would be more chance of causing a Major wound and if I was the G.M I might add a bit of extra spice for example if the person was slashed across the face I might give them a -10 modifier to represent blood flowing into their eyes.
  9. Butters

    'Lamentations of the Cthulhu & Chivalry' Campaign

    What I got up to on my day off, By Doctor Thomas Norton aged 27 and 3/4 The Doctor staggered on his breath coming in short sharp gasps as he desperately tried to keep the wagon in visual range but as he turns the corner into George street there is no longer any sign of it anymore it seems to have disappeared into one of the myriads of alleyways that branched off from George. "Curse it, all that effort wasted" the Doctor crumples against a nearby wall trying to regain his breath his lungs burning in the cold winters air. Lost in thought he almost misses his name being called out in a voice he half-remembers looking up he sees a stocky figure waving at him from the third alley down. Standing back up the Doctor starts walking towards the figure avoiding the debris and the occasional frozen figure still trapped in ice as he gets closer the details of the figure start to form from out of the gathering gloom and its someone he remembers "Pon my soul can it be you? by Gods grace it is you................Saul my old comrade in arms" the Doctor begins to jog forward his hand outstretched to grab Saul. "Feck off you dozy fustilarian, the bloody wagon you were so gamely chasing went down this here alley" he pushes back the slightly over-eager Doctor. Seeing the Doctors dismay he almost grins "Its good to see you to old friend but my time is short so if you want to finish this we have to be quick, explanations will have to wait" the Doctor grins "Sorry but its good to see you but you're right we have to finish this quickly" and he quickly fills Saul in and the need to catch this Martyn fellow" The two men stride towards the alley way making their way towards the glow of a fire and the smell of something cooking, About halfway down they can make out a smoky fire burning in the middle of the alley the shapes of two figures can be made out hunched over the fire and quietly talking amongst themselves, hard up against the alleys brick wall and just to the side of the men is the wagon it's sheeting no longer covering the crates but just piled up at the back in the glow of the fire it seems to be moving though. Saul gets his musket ready and steps to the side and out of the faint firelight he gestures with his head that the Doctor should go forward and check things out whilst he covers him. The Doctors smooths down his coat and heads towards the two figures "Hello gentleman could I warm myself by your fire as its a cold night?" the men turn and welcome him "Sure you can friend its not the weather to be miserly with the heat my name is Sam and this good fellow is Mathew" the Doctor introduces himself as he huddles close to the fire and they begin chatting after being offered a roast potato which the Doctor gratefully accepts and devours slightly burning his mouth in doing so but after all it had been a long day and he had not eaten since morning. The Doctor steers the conversation to the wagon and Sam tells him that it just pulled into the alley as if the devil himself was chasing it the driver a finely dressed fellow who sounded to be one of those low Dutch folks he leapt of the wagon and pulled back that sheeting to reveal his cargo which he then said we could help ourselves to if we would follow him. Now me and Mathew here are not the following type you understand but Gregory well he was worried about his family and suchlike and seeing the crates all full of food and warm clothing he straight up said he would follow. The Dutchman smiled and grabbing a bag or two-handed us a load of strange pamphlets and then saying something to Gregory they started to jog off, not being able to read that well we just used those pamphlets to start this here fire and taking some off those warm clothes we settled down to the first decent meal we have had since the troubles. The Doctor thanks them and after rummaging around in one of his numerous bags pulls out the bottle of rum given to him by the merchant Quin Lambert as the Doctor hands over the small dark bottle he asks what direction did the Dutchman go and Mathew pointed down the alleyway towards North-quay. The Doctor thanks them again and standing up heads towards the wagon the sheeting is still moving and the Doctor can hear the sounds of low moans coming from underneath feeling somewhat embarrassed he apologizes as he clambers past. Sam calls out "Don't you worry Thomas that's just young Megs way of keeping warm" this comment is accompanied by much lewd laughter and hand gestures. The Doctor laughs along with them but continues to check out the crates and the front of the wagon seeing not much to interest him he gathers up the pamphlets and after a quick examination sees that they are covered in the strange glyphs from the island taking two he takes the rest back to the fire. Laughing he quickly makes a large ball of the pamphlets and places it onto the fire causing it to roar with flame and throw out burning embers Sam and Mathew lean back and begin to complain but the Doctor still laughing explains that its for Megs partner after she finishes with him, Sam suddenly laughs "Ahh so you know of young Meg then? she is an energetic lass and does take it out of you somewhat after a trysting" Just then Saul makes his presence felt and all humour dies under his sullen glance "You finished here Thomas?" he snarls in a way which seems more of an order than a question. The Doctor pastes on his smile again "Do not fear gentleman this is just my er...bodyguard, yes my bodyguard a sour chap and no mistake. Well we best be off then it seems a pleasure to have met you both and Meg of course" and with that, they left the warmth and friendliness of the small gutter camp and headed back into the cold dark rows in search of a Dutchman and his fisherman follower. The two men stalk down the smelly and thankfully dark Row heading roughly north the ground still deep with mud, snow, and other unpleasant substances, Saul spotted a faint glow which seemed to be coming from just above the ground fearing some sort of sorcerous attack he pointed it out to the Doctor and pulled out a pistol. As they cautiously approached the faint glow resolved into a rusting lantern hanging over a basement doorway, the light shiny sickly down onto the worn steps the sound of muffled singing. The Doctor turns to Saul "So do we check this out or do we continue to the end of the Row?" Saul scratches at his stubble "Might as well see what is going on and besides I don't like leaving potential enemies behind" So the pair climb down the steps and through the unlocked doorway. The door opens up into a small dark hallway, heavy coats and cloaks hang dripping from pegs alongside both sides a single door leads out and a faint glow can be seen creeping out from under it. The singing whilst still slightly muffled can now be more clearly heard and both the Doctor and Saul relax as the can now identify it as godly music. They open the door and the candlelight basement is revealed beyond. The candles also illuminate the congregation singing along with a stern looking Minister who was standing on a most wondrous pulpit. This pulpit seemed to be made from the remains of ships, the dark oak beams still had barnacles and the tracery of seaweed upon them and a couple of ancient figureheads could also be made out their details though were blurred and made indistinct through times harsh caress. The Party makes their way to the back of the congregation and after a moment or two join in with the psalm. This seems to be the last psalm of the service as the song winds down the congregation break up into small groups who discuss what they have heard the Party move through the quietly talking groups and head towards the Minister who has gathered up the Bible and is making his way slowly down the pulpits steps. The Doctor reaching the pulpit first calls out to the Minister who is beginning to walk towards his flock, the Minister turns around the candlelight gives him a dark brooding look his pate hairless apart from a few wisps of grey hair above his ears, his skin lays tight across his skull like face and not an ounce of fat seems to be on the elderly man but still he radiates a strange strength. In a surprisingly strong deep voice he turns and looks at the two men "Yes my friends, what can I do for you" as he steps forward he stops seeing the armour and weapon glad Party clearly for the first time "You are not of my flock, if you wish us harm you will not profit much from it" The Doctor drops his arms to his side and open his hands palms forward, "No need to be concerned Minister we are godly folk and loyal to Parliament, no bandits or traitors here, we merely heard the singing and felt the call to join in" The Minister still a little suspicious asked a few more questions and the Party did their best to put his suspicions to rest they also asked a few questions of their own. The Ministers name was Maple and turned out to be a very intelligent and surprisingly jolly fellow and after talking with him for a little longer he does remember Gregory as a member of his flock though he doesn't remember seeing him today which apparently is unusual for him the Minister explains that like many in Yarmouth he is greatly concerned how he and his family will survive these trying times and so seeks solace in the words of the Lord" the Minister calls out to a young lady "Judith did you see Gregory Croft today?" The young lady shakes her head "I'm afraid not...oh no I almost forgot he did come in briefly with another gentleman but the other man quickly tugged him back outside" Maple tapped his chin "Now that is odd and worrying the only other place open this time of night is that diabolical so-called tea shop, Gregory is desperate to find work and food to help his family so he is easy prey for wicked men" The Party quickly get directions and promise to try to help Gregory if they find him there. The Teashop is fronted by Apple Johns Barbershop and on Bootless John Row.The Party thank the Minister and follow the last of the congregation back out into the filth and darkness of the Row and towards Apple Johns. The Barbershop is only a few minutes jog away the Row is dark and quiet apart from a few slightly unnerving sounds coming from a few ruined buildings further down but both the Doctor and Saul decide that it's just going to be rats, big rats maybe but just rats and so safe to ignore. The Barbershop is firmly closed, shuttered windows and locked doors but circling the property they find a short staircase leading down to a recessed door which has another lantern which seems partially shuttered only letting out a pale wane light. They nod prepare themselves and head to the door and then stop, suddenly unsure what the correct protocol is for this kind of thing. After a slightly embarrassing pause, the Doctor with a murmured "Sod it" pushes the door open and steps into a small chamber swiftly followed by Saul. The chamber has a door to one side whilst another sits behind a bar which has a skinny pockmarked barman standing behind it cleaning a pewter tankard. He looks up and with a terrible smile and with a short bow he opens his lanky arms wide and in a voice as thick as treacle greets the two newcomers " "Welcome to my humble establishment, come freely, go safely and leave something of the happiness you bring. I am your ever humble servant Brandon.....and now gents what will it be?" the Doctor smiles and steps up and looks at the chalkboard "Well the house special sounds interesting so... Brandon isn't a house special for me and one of those French lemon drink for my dour friend here" The house special appears to be a small snuff-box containing a whitish/green powder and a small glass of gin. The Doctor recognizes the powder as a concoction from the Spanish colonies and eagerly takes a powerful snort and then downs the gin. There is a pause the Doctor coughs, sneezes and then lets out a strange moan then he suddenly lets out a loud cry "Gadzooks this is bloody fantastic" yells the suddenly energised Doctor "I feel like a sexual stone lizard thingy, you know Saul those things they dig out from those sea cliffs" Saul shakes his head and as the Doctor comes down a little and asks the barman some questions he moves towards a dark corner where he can keep an eye on things. The Doctor finds out that two men had recently turned up one of which sounds like Gregory and they had booked a private dining room. The Doctor thanks, Brandon and tries to head into the main room but he is stopped as it appears more money must change hands and there is a strict no weapons rule which is partially enforced due to the reaction of a true Englishman to accordion music. The Doctor jumping around quickly hands over all his weapons apart from a hidden dagger whilst after some heated discussion Saul with some bad grace hands over his visible weapons, keeping his hatchets and some other nasty weaponry under his cloak and voluminous fur coat. After the payment is made and the weapons stored in the cupboard the two men step past a booth and into the main room. They are greeted by a scene straight out of Dante's Inferno, the room is large, richly appointed and has high thin windows which grace one wall, whilst a monstrously large fireplace dominates another, this provides much of the lighting for the room whilst also generating a huge amount of heat. The rest of the room is filled with large oak tables and accompanying benches which groan under the weight of all the platters of food and tankards which litter there tops. A large group of richly dressed men stands cheering, waving drumsticks around whilst quaffing from tankards at an oddly dressed man who seems to be wearing a hideous mask, this man? is the source of the annoying accordion music and he leads the clientele in a rather rude sea shanty. The Doctor takes a seat next to a group of semi-sober men and after ordering a plate of goose with all the trimmings he starts to ask questions in his usual convivial manner, his play is that he is a friend of Martyn's and that he had arranged to meet him here but due to work commitments had been unfortunately delayed and seems to have missed him. Saul meanwhile peels off to examine the main dining room with its shadowy booths and the corridor leading off from it. The last thing he hears as he walks down the corridor is the Doctor saying somewhat loudly something about how the accordion music doesn't seem too bad now and asking if anyone fancied an arm wrestle. Saul sighing loudly stalks off exploring the rest of the club he passes a couple of serving women and follows them back to the kitchens his gruff manner keeping the staff from asking too many awkward questions. He also hastily grabs a jug of gravy off a nearby counter and raises it up with a grin to one of the cooks when she started to walk towards him a question forming on her lips. Seeing the gravy jug she just tuts but turns back to her task of pouring sauces over the pork joints which were turning on the huge spit. Saul quickly notes down any other doors and with a final nod and with gravy jug still in hand he heads back out to search the last few rooms. He passes the door leading outside to the privy and then leaving the gravy on a handy side table checks out the rooms at the end of the corridor which are located right at the back and near a discrete staircase which seems to lead to the barber shop above. The first room is empty and is one of the private dining rooms mentioned by the barman, its rather elegantly decorated with a couple of plush velvet sofas lining the rooms shadowy sides, the polished dining table is surrounded by elegant chairs instead of benches rather risque paintings grace the thickly papered walls these paintings hint at what kind of ungodliness is expected to go on within these rooms. Saul shakes his head sadly gives the room one final quick visual sweep and seeing nothing of note leaves and walks quickly to the last room hoping to find some sign of the missing Dutchman and his salty friend. The Doctor meanwhile was having a whale of a time and could be now seen running around the main room flicking a rolled and wetted tablecloth at the posteriors of the gaggle of men running ahead of him, there seemed to be a lot of giggling involved. The Doctor had managed to keep some focus though as he had managed to find out that Marytn had been in recently and was accompanied by a rather ragged looking fellow but that Martyn seemed to be more interested in talking to Doctor Brass and they seemed to be hitting it off famously one of the Doctors new chums mentioned that he had tried to join in with the conversation but it had quickly turned to talk about something called a distillation furnace and the like and so he had quickly become bored and made his excuses he also remembered the ragged fellow had looked somewhat lost, to be honest. The Doctor with a final flick of his soggy whip suddenly remembered Saul and overcome with guilt quickly apologized to his new friends and staggered off in search of his less fun but also less forgiving comrade. Upon entering the final room Saul had seen a figure slumped in one of the padded high backed chairs, fearing that the man was just asleep Saul slowly approached one hand on his hatchet whilst a pithy excuse waited upon his lips if he woke the man. The excuse was unnecessary though as his eyes readjusted to the gloom of the room he could just make out the man's rough clothing and more importantly his lack of movement, the man's chest was still and no eyelids flickered. Saul taking a long sniff of the fishy odour which seemed to hang in the rooms still air murmured "Well I guess you're the fisherman everyone's been looking for" He leans over the body and quickly examines it discovering a single stab wound that went through the back of the chair and into Gregory's right side and from the amount of the still warm blood that soaked into the chair it looked like it pierced the poor mans liver. Saul rolled the body back into place and barely had time to step into the shadows at the sound of running feet which could be heard coming from the main room. The Doctor skidded into the doorless room took one look at the body slumped in the chair and for some reason yelled "Tag you're it" and then turning attempted to run back out of the room he instead crashed into the armoured form of Saul who had sidestepped into the doorway. "Doctor" growled Saul placing a hand onto his oddly excitable friend "I need you to sober up and fast" this demand was quickly reinforced with a sharp jab to the Doctors stomach which winded the somewhat surprised Doctor, but after vomiting rather copiously and cursing a lot he did seem to be more focused if somewhat resentful. Saul's apology just consisted of him pointing to Gregory and growling "I think I've found your missing fisherman but still I can see no sign of any Dutchman" The Doctor still casting a somewhat hurt look towards Saul had started his examination of the body noting down the signs of a life lived hard and at the mercy of the elements. He wiped his hands briefly down the man's shirt and coat, looking at the glittering flecks of silver now coating his palms agrees with Sauls assessment "Yes he does seem to match the description of poor Gregory doesn't he, but why kill him? he seemed to have been an ardent follower of Martyn" He too now rolls the body onto its side and notes the wound "The poor bastard never saw it coming did he a mercy I suppose straight through the damned chair and into his liver, it must have been a long thin blade, more of an assassin's tool than a soldiers" The Doctor checking Gregorys clothes finds a little loose change a fee odds and ends twine and the like and somewhat surprisingly a gold pound coin with the head of the fallen King Charles still clearly visible upon one side. Saul reached over the Doctors shoulder "Come on there is nothing you can do for him and the blood is still fresh so the Dutchman can't have gone too far and since he didn't get past us its the stairs to the shop I be thinking" As they turned to leave they spotted two men watching from the open doorway "Oh shit" said someone and then the fight was on. The two men remained silent as they rushed into the room brandishing cutlery which was somewhat unnerving but Saul wasn't too distracted as he waded into his opponent slamming down his hatchet with frightening force. The fight was a brutal affair the silent men dodged and twisted avoiding the blows of the Party but landing many a slicing cut in return. The Doctor tried to hold off his fork wielding opponent with his smuggled in dagger and he eventually managed to plunge it into the man's shoulder but the man barely acknowledged it and instead stepped forward and grabbed the Doctor in a bear hug. Saul meanwhile had got the measure of his opponent and hacked into him from left to right giving the man no room to manoeuvre and leaving him open to Sauls finishing move which ended up lopping off his head. The Doctor meanwhile was still locked in a deadly wrestling match and from the look on the Doctors increasingly puce looking face, it was a fight he was loosing. Luckily Saul now finding himself free casually spun around the turn ended with a thunk as his hatchet thudded into the Doctors attackers spine ending his life quickly and quietly. The Doctor collapsed rubbing his bruised throat and trying to control his breathing "Come on Doctor someone is bound to have heard the ruckus, we have to leave" barely had these words escaped Saul when a scream split the air, turning the Party saw a serving lady looking into the room but before she could suck in another lungful of air the Party had moved into action and were barrelling past her and into the corridor beyond. They quickly pass through the chaos of the main room and after a quick discussion with the barman eased with coin and a lot of luck they had just managed to recover their weapons and had just managed to get back outside before the serving lady had managed to fight her way through the patrons and tell her boss that they were now three clients down. The Party ran away quickly moved onto the house of Brass hoping to finally catch up with their prey. The Doctor lagged a little behind as he was somewhat busy trying to rub some foul smelling goo onto his bruised and battered throat but due to having to run at the same time most of the goo ended up all over the place. The night was their friend and the managed to avoid any more entanglements, the cold and darkness having driven most people off the streets. So the slightly out of breath Party following the directions given by the drunken patrons of the club make it to the other doctors house the many and rather gaudy (According to the Thomas at least) signs attesting to this fact. A low glow from a lantern can just be made out coming from the front upstairs window so after knocking and getting no reply the Party takes time out to have a discussion on the finer points of housebreaking, eventually, they just ended up kicking in the rear door and entering the house that way. They quickly search the lower floor just to confirm that it's clear and then head upstairs the creaking wooden stairs making a mockery of the Doctors attempt at stealth. When they reached the upper landing there was another timeout as they now discussed marching order and eventually, the Doctor sighed and opened the door into the room where the light was coming from. The Doctor jumped back a little and looked at his hand which seemed to be covered in some kind of sticky white paste "Bugger" said the Doctor before swaying slightly and then throwing up "Saul I think I've been poisoned, and I'm guessing from its effects its arsenic" panicking he rushes into the room and finding it empty immediately started to rummage around on a what appeared to be a worktable. Meanwhile, Saul leaving the Doctor to find an antidote makes his way gingerly into the room and starts to very, very carefully search the room making sure his gloves are tightly on. The room is a bizarre mixture of foundry and apothecary, shelf after shelf groan under the weight of jars and jacks full of powders and chemicals a few have rather unpleasant things floating in them, a stuffed crocodile hangs somewhat forlornly down from the soot-blackened ceiling. The room is dominated by a furnace of some kind the Doctor looking up from the worktable to Sauls questions pauses long enough to glance at the furnace and snaps "Its a distillation furnace Saul it's used to treat maladies of the mind apparently buts its complete nonsense" he returns to his pouring and shifting of various compounds as he makes a quick emetic. Saul notes that the desk in the corner seems oddly messy with papers covering its top and spilling down onto the floor beneath. using his dagger to shift through the papers he sees that the drawers are open and it looks like at least one somewhat large book has been removed. Finding nothing else of note he looks at the sweaty and shaking Doctor who is chugging away at a jug with a somewhat manic look in his eyes he checks out the last room. This room seems to have been the bedroom of doctor Brass, it too is messy and shows signs that someone has grabbed a few items and hastily packed them before rushing out. The Doctor staggered in and leaned heavily on the door frame but whatever he was going to say was cut off by loud knocking and shouting it seems the militia wanted a doctor. The Party had to flee once more passing through a slightly shocked clock makers house in the attempt. They managed to avoid the patrols and as the sun was rising palely in the east they finally managed to reach the gated N.M.A compound the Doctor in search of medical help and Saul in search of Zeal to pass on the information that he had collected on Mallebench. Mallebench was a local Norfolk lad from the Wash (Kings Lynn) and had studied at Cambridge but Saul wasn't able to find much else as Mallebench seems to have made strenuous attempts to muddy the waters concerning his past.
  10. Butters

    'Lamentations of the Cthulhu & Chivalry' Campaign

    I was just wondering if anyone else who views these posts was also in a long running Renaissance campaign, and what supplements and ideas from other systems they were using?
  11. Butters

    Grappling with a rules question.

    It all worked out in the end my character had a very sore throat but the other Player character was able to hack the attacker to bits so all good now I just have to worry about this contact poison I just touched.
  12. Butters

    Grappling with a rules question.

    I think I got a chance to dodge but failed so the grapple was a success he then inflicted pain and afterwards I had a few options I tried to break free. I rolled a 17 with an unarmed skill of 43 so a pass whilst the attacker rolled a 10 or 11 out of 35? so neither of us got a critical but I thought I had managed to break free. The others seemed to say that as written all it said was if the attacker succeeds then the grapple remains in place and he had succeeded so I remained grappled. Which i didn't understand as why was I even rolling?
  13. Butters

    Grappling with a rules question.

    Cheers man, I think the confusion is coming from how the grapple section is written to be honest, It then gives the two options of Grapple fails or succeeds so its unclear to me why there is even a roll off at this point and its also unclear how its similar to a normal opposed roll. This then effects the Break free action as its written as an opposed grapple roll instead of just an opposed roll so looking at the first section it looks to be just a straight pass or fail on the attackers part and what the defender rolls seems to make no difference. The other Players said that since the attacker didn't fail his roll the grapple remains in place even though I had also passed, I'm guessing because the description didn't mention that as an option. So reading it as is I would like to know, 1. The first section on grappling, similar to an opposed roll how? because at the moment it seems nothing like an opposed roll at all. 2, Break free should this be treated as a normal opposed roll and so all normal opposed rules apply? I think Grapple is the only time where an opposed roll gets the Similar qualifier and this seems to be the source of confusion at least on my part. Again thanks for the reply I was starting to think I was missing something obvious.
  14. Grappling came up during a recent session and I had a rules question as I was a little fuzzy on the whole procedure, As far as I remember my character was going to be grappled by a N.PC the N.P.C made the attack and succeeded he then choose to inflict pain then we both rolled an opposed Unarmed Combat roll to see if I could break free I passed but so did the attacker now this is where the fuzzy comes in I thought it was an opposed roll so whoever rolls highest under their skill wins which was me so I thought my character had broken free but the others said that as the attacker had passed even though it was with a lower roll the grapple remained. Now I admit I was a little miffed as I thought I had broken free but the main cause for my momentary gruffness was more to do with the fact that I thought I had understood the rule and it appears that I hadn't which always bothers me. So hopefully someone can explain and clear up my fuzziness so I will know what to do in the future.
  15. Butters

    'Lamentations of the Cthulhu & Chivalry' Campaign

    Hang on he's Italian, so is there even such a thing as an excess of alcohol consumption as far as he's concerned?
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