From Tatters of the King
Session Report - Played Monday 12th June, 2006
Tuesday 27th November
Withers fires - the shot seems to hit Lawrence Bacon but deflect away, hardly slowing him. As he closes on Withers the moonlight clearly shows his raised hands twisting, morphing and turning into the heads of a pair of hissing snakes!
Withers keeps shooting as Bacon closes on him, but the occultist hardly flinches. He reaches Withers and starts to flail his snake-arms at the Captain. Nathaniel Browne thinks better of attacking Bacon and instead goes to look at the remains of the vagrant – he immediately wishes he hadn’t.
Bereft of other ideas, Dr Bartlett hurls his Thermos flask, which ricochets off Bacon's shoulder and lands in the canal. Saunders steps in to aid Withers, firing a shot which rips through Bacon’s coat, scattering the contents of his pocket on the ground and caries on, nearly hitting Nathaniel in the process. Andrew begins to think better of firing into a melee with his skill in firearms. The combined brawl/gunfight is hard to follow in the dark night, but another shot rings out and Bacon yells – he’s finally hurt! Withers keeps dodging the snakes, his luck seems almost supernatural, until he realises he’s run out of bullets.
Saunders and Withers start pummelling Bacon, who pulls away from then, steps back, raises his arms to attack and treads on a loose stone on the edge of the canal path – it gives way under his bulk and with a cry of surprise he falls 10 feet to the cold water below, sinks like a stone and does not resurface.
Withers, miraculously unscathed, takes Saunders gun just as Browne hobbles up wielding a piece of wood he found in the alley. Withers empties Andrew's remaining revolver rounds into the canal, hoping to hit Bacon if he still lives, but there is no movement or sound from below.
Saunders checks the items that fell from Bacon’s pocket and finds a bone whistle carved in the likeness of one of the Springer Mound Monsters and the keys to Bacon’s shop. The investigators immediately decide to search the shop, before Bacon’s friends have a chance to miss him.
Letting themselves into Bacon’s shop, the group soon split up. Browne and Saunders explore Bacon’s personal quarters, while Withers and Bartlett check out the basement, a low, cluttered space from which comes a distinct smell of decay.
In Bacon’s study Browne discovers copies of ‘Le Roi en Jeune’ and ‘der Wanderer durch den See’ as well as a book titled ‘The Turner Codex’ which appears to be a translation of prayers and libations in the name of a being called ‘Hastur’, and which contains the full text of the verse that was carved on the stones at Clare Melford.
Saunders finds an intricately engraved chime or bell (later identified as the Chime of Tezchaptl) hanging from a hook. Shortly after he picks this up gunshots sound from downstairs.
As Bartlett and Withers have started to try to clear the basement of junk, they have disturbed something. There is a scuttling, a snuffling and a scrabbling as a horrible humanoid, dog-faced creature comes out of the darkness towards them. Bartlett, who has a clearer view, runs in terror, as Withers fires a shot into the darkness, hitting the creature, which yelps in pain. The unmistakable sound of more creatures coming up from the depths causes Withers to beat a hasty retreat. He initially considers setting fire to the junk in the basement to burn the creatures out, but a moment's thought makes him realise that these creatures were coming up from the ground beneath the house, most likely from the sewers (a rather disturbing thought!), and any attempt at burning them in their lair would be a true exercise in futility. He meets the others coming downstairs and tells them to flee.
The four investigators run into the night, returning to Browne’s home. A stiff drink is supplied to the extremely shaken Dr Bartlett, and they settle down to examine the spoils of their conquest of Bacon.
Wednesday 28th November
The next day, everyone is somewhat shaken and short of sleep. Browne decides to look for new accommodation, concerned at the possibility of a vengeful Coombes. Bartlett spends the day coming to terms with a new reality, and locks his basement door.
Thursday 29th November
A letter arrives for Dr. Bartlett. It is from Wilfred Gresty, thanking Bartlett for ‘the murder of Bacon’ and containing intriguing references to Hillary Quarrie, Nug's Farm and what appears to be a cult worshipping ‘the Goat’ (maybe Shub-Niggurath) in the West Country, whose leader, Atkinson has failed to sleep with Hillary and who Gresty intends to supplant as leader.
Bartlett catches the train to Hereford, for Friday’s release hearing for Alexander Roby. Although initially intending to be accompanied by Withers, due to recent events he asks him to stay in his house while he is away from home, and protect his wife.
He dines with Dr. Highsmith.
Friday 30th November
Bartlett testifies at Alexander Roby's release hearing and as expected recommends his release. Roby is not present, and after the hearing Bartlett asks Highsmith if he can accompany him to St Agnes Asylum to see Roby prior to Roby's transfer to the Kent sanatorium that Bartlett has recommended.
At St Agnes, Bartlett and Highsmith find the door to Roby's cell open, and the hideously disfigured corpse of Roby - or what appears to be Roby - slashed to death on the bed. The room is splattered with blood. Too much blood.
Highsmith goes to call for help and the shocked Bartlett attempts to make sense of the scene. He hears a movement and turns to see Lucius Harriwell entering the room, a bloody knife in his hand.
"It was the Devil. Is was the Devil." says Lucius. Highsmith appears in the doorway behind Harriwell, a fire extinguisher in hand, and cracks Harriwell of the skull with it, rendering him unconscious.
Detective Inspector Atkins arrives - Highsmith tells him that Harriwell said "The Devil made me do it." Atkins says "I told you so."
Despite the disappearance of the 2 nurses, it does indeed seem that Harriwell was the killer, and after his statement is taken, Bartlett is allowed to return to London.
Saturday 1st December
Shortly before lunch, Bartlett gets a call from Dr. Highsmith. Grahame Roby has arrived in Hereford to identify the body, and has stated that it is not his brother. It appears that the dead man is in fact Thomas Clarke and that Alexander Roby and Mark Evans have disappeared.
The investigators meet as arranged. During the ensuing discussion, the phone rings.
Highsmith is calling from the town of Leominster, where he has driven in search of Evans. Evans' apartment is apparently empty - he's let himself in.
The only thing of any interest his has found is a letter from the British Museum - nothing more interesting than a renewal form for a reader's ticket - which is addressed to Montague Edwards.
Continue to Session 7.
Link to come...