From Tatters of the King
Session Report - Played Monday 29th May, 2006
November 9th 1928
After dinner - the investigators decide what to do next. They have leads to Lawrence Bacon, Malcolm Quarrie and Edwards and have been told of the 'Nine Teeth' prepared at Clare Melford. Over port and cigars they make their plans.
The decision is made to drive to Clare Melford on Saturday.
November 10th 1928
In Japan, the Emperor Hirohito is enthroned. In England, the four investigators drive, in Saunders' Cowley, to Suffolk. The day is cold, but clear, with snow on the ground. They stop in Clare for lunch at the Plough Inn before heading into Clare Melford.
In Clare Melford they visit the Railway Inn and meet the landlord, Dick Blair. He only moved to the village in early 1926, so is no help with regards to the events of late 1925, so they start to talk to the locals.
Talking to one of the locals, Saunders and Browne hear of Springer Mound, and another team of archaeological students who visited it in the pre-war years. They find out that Springer Mound is on the land of Harold Jennings, who has kept a part of his land uncultivated and does not take kindly to strangers.
Nathaniel Browne asks Blair, the publican, if he remembers anything peculiar happening in the December of 1925, but it turns out that he did not move to the town until some months later. One of the barmaids, however, overhears the conversation and approaches the investigators' table to tell them of 'the night of the curse' on New Year's Eve 1925, when 5 locals (4 elderly and 1 small child) all died of apparently natural causes. None of those who died were in good health, but that they all died in one night is particularly odd. Browne asks whether any strangers were seen to visit the town on or near that night, but none is remembered.
It is decided that a walk past Jennings' land on the public footpath is in order. While examining Springer Mound from a distance, the investigators encounter the bellicose Jennings and his large, vicious looking dogs, Henry and Lucas. Jennings is unfriendly and basically warns them off.
The group drives to nearby Long Melford and finds rooms for the night at the Ox Tavern. There they find locals who remember a large bearded man fitting the description of Lawrence Bacon who stayed in the village with a group of 'well-to-do Londoners' at New Year 1925. These men left the village on the evening of New Year's Eve and did not return. That night five people died in Clare Melford.
November 11th 1928, Remembrance Sunday
Withers has to leave for Windsor first thing on Sunday to be back for the Armistice day ceremonies. he catches the train from Sudbury with Bartlett and the two men spend their day with Withers' regiment at both the ceremony and the extended drinking session that follows.
In Suffolk, Saunders and Browne decide to take a walk to Springer Mound from the Long Melford side. Trudging through fresh snow, they climb the hill where they discover a viscous pool of tar-like liquid that smells like rotting fruit.
Browne puts his foot in a hole hidden under the snow and falls heavily, spraining his ankle. The hole proves to be large enough to have held a standing stone. Looking down into the heavily overgrown area on the other side, Saunders sees several large stones lying on their side amongst the bushes and goes down to examine them, leaving Browne to rest.
There are nine stones, each a large granite obelisk of recent manufacture, engraved with lines of poetry, or ritual, in English. Saunders has just noticed a reference to 'Hastur' when an angry Harold Jennings appears, with his dogs and starts waving his shotgun at Saunders.
As Saunders puts his hands up and tries to explain himself, Jennings fires - either a warning shot or an accidental discharge - and hits one of the stones. Saunders turns and runs. At this point, one of the two flying creatures seen above the Mound on the previous day, drops like a stone from the sky, straight past Saunders and Browne, and swoops towards Jennings.
Harold Jennings screams, tries to raise his gun and is hit by a horror beyond imagining. Saunders stops running, turns around, and gets a clear view as the monster rips Jennings' throat out in front of him. Saunders continues his flight towards Browne, shouting 'Run, run!'
The thing that kills Jennings is taller than a man, part insect, part reptile, with huge leathery wings, sharp claws and a head like the skull of a horse, yet filled with knife-like teeth.
As Saunders and Browne flee across the snow, Browne hobbling on his bad ankle, the creature rises into the air, circles once then flies back down in the direction of Jennings' farm. Browne and Saunders make it to the Inn in Long Melford and immediately ask for a doctor.
They are directed to the local GP, Doctor Elsworth. On Saunders' frantic insistence Elsworth calls the local constable, PC Smith, who arrives in minutes. Saunders tells him that Harold Jennings has been attacked, maybe killed, by his own dogs. Smith borrows a shotgun from Elsworth and asks Saunders to direct him to the site of the attack.
On Jennings' land, they locate the corpse of the farmer, and almost immediately hear howls from the barn. Smith hurries towards the noise, but Saunders, who is unarmed, hangs back out of fear. He sees the policeman enter the barn, hears a gunshot, a scream and several indescribable noises - then flees in terror back to the village.
This time the police are called in force. Arriving within half an hour from Sudbury they hurry to the farm and discover the corpses of Jennings and Smith, as well as those of the two dogs. They conclude that the dogs killed each other after killing Smith, although there is some suspicion that a third animal may have left the scene and is now wandering the countryside.
Saunders and Browne are allowed to leave, and they drive back to London, badly shaken. On arrival they contact their friends and arrange to meet for lunch the next day. That night, both Saunders and Browne dream disturbing dreams.
Meanwhile, high above Springer Mound, two black shapes resume their tireless circling.
November 12th, 1928
In the morning, Withers instructs his private detective, Walsh, to confirm the background information learned about Edwards, Malcolm Quarrie and Lawrence Bacon, to check which if any of them remain at their former addresses.
That afternoon Saunders visits the Tavistock Institute and talks to Bartlett. Bartlett ends the interview convinced that Saunders is telling the truth, and shaken by the details that match the dream he had in Herefordshire - the smell of rotten fruit and the nine stone obelisks on Springer Mound.
Meanwhile, Withers returns to barracks to be confronted by a drunken, incoherent Peter Morrison. Morrison seems unsure what he wants, and leaves, but Withers realises that he very probably got Withers' card from Delia Morrison by force.
Continue to Session 5.
Session 4 - Total Running Time : 2h 09m (31 Meg)
Teeth of Winter - (Note: There are considerable edits on this recording as the group gets sidetracked on non-gaming subjects).