“Team A” Eats Crumpets While “Team B” Does all the Work
After having discussed the situation with his Grace Rhetford Cavendish, the Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne, the party retired to bed. Nothing untoward occurred during the night that they were aware of.
Early the next morning, Duke Newcastle has six of men accompany Manley back to the town of Sunderland. Once there, they went to the mayor office to arrange the arrest of Captain Masterson and his men while Manley saw about the rental of a house for the party.
Manley rented an appropriate place and saw about its staffing and provisioning, making it generally known that Mrs. Thrimbles would be arriving from London in a week’s time.
Manley has also been given some messages by the party to send back home via the telegraph office. Upon his arrival at the office he found it a gutted shell. It turned out that several days earlier, the place had been blown up. Several bodies had been pulled from the rubble, many of them bearing suspicious wounds. The timing of the explosion would place it directly after the telegram communication with the party back in London.
A small reworking of reality here. Sorry everyone, I was out of focus last night as indicated by the number of times I had to backtrack as to what was going on. The actually time line for the place blowing up was after the party had received the second message telling them to come to the Walmsly Hotel. Not the initial message asking for help.
Manley met up with the Duke’s men and they returned as a group to the estate.
Meanwhile, at the estate, the party spent the day touring the farms and defenses of the Newcastle estate, having lunch, socializing with the residents, and whatnot.
Upon their return the Duke’s men reported that officers had arrested Captain Masterson and four individuals working for him. During the raid, the police were forced to kill Doctor Erasmus Leister who resisted arrest. There was no sign of Mr. Snakethrottle, Mr. Sawhill or Doctor Winifred Brooks. Captain Masterson and his men are currently being held on temporary charges awaiting further developments.
There was some discussion on what could they actually be charged with. Possession of Hyde, in itself, isn’t illegal and the party did not know what other evidence of wrong doing was found during the arrest.
It was decided the next day that Manley and Father Calvin would go back into town and do some further investigation as to the location of Dr. Brooks.
Going to the Walmsley Hotel, Manley approached a kitchen staff member in the rear in an attempt to gain information. The staff member seemed receptive until Manley asked for information regarding (paraphrasing) “…a doctor that wanders the territory around town…”. The kitchen helper refused to help and went back inside the hotel. Listening at the door Manley could make out the following phrase as the helper walked away, “…bloody Sandman baiting…”.
Deciding on a more public approach, Manley and Father Calvin (the Father disguised as a common labourer) went to the lobby and told the person at the front desk that they had a message for Dr. Brooks. The clerk looked concerned and went for the manager.
Taking the moment’s solitude, Manley and Father Calvin checked the registry. It showed an entry for Dr. Brooks from earlier in the week in room 314 but the name now had a definite line through it.
The manager arrived, informed them that Dr. Brooks no longer resided in the hotel and asked them to leave. He refused to impart any further information.
Manley and Father Calvin, undeterred, decided to find the local drinking hole. Asking the Doorman where a working man could get a drink, they were directed to a somewhat secret drinking establishment called Mrs. Pritches. There they made the acquaintance of a hotel maid who was more than happy to share the hotel gossip.
It turns out that a woman calling herself Dr. Brooks had checked in with a man (supposedly her husband) several days ago. Several other men joined them over the next few days, most of them young and strong but two of them really icky. The two icky men and Dr. Brooks left three says ago and hadn’t been seen since. The police raided the room yesterday and arrested everyone inside except for one person they shot. There had been some strange equipment broken and left behind which a different maid salvaged and sold to a fence by the name of Reuben Finch. Finch could be found at the Mackem Yarl, a drinking house by the river.
Manley and Father Calvin then dropped by the police station where they played twenty questions with the desk sergeant. Without revealing who they were they managed to ascertain that the prisoners had not yet been charged with anything or seen a judge. Along with Captain Masterson, the four others arrested were Carleton Fisher, Jasper Loomis, Mordecai Morrow, and Jonathan Lobb.
Leaving the police station, they made their way to the Mackem Yarl, set on a pier above the highly polluted Tyne River, in an area of town heavy with warehouses, freight yards, and factories. The Yarl was found to be an unpleasant bar, populated by prison guards and similar folk who had little welcome for outsiders. Telling the bartender that they were there to do business with Reuben Finch, a little bribery got them the information that he was currently talking with someone else and was behind a door. Manley and Father Calvin decided to wait.
The door opened and an individual came out whose presence intimidated many of those drinking in the bar. Dressed like a wastelander (rough leathers, over the should rifle, heavy boots, gloves), wearing a crumpled top hat, and still wearing his gas mask inside the building, the figure made his way through the room in a strange combination of graceful glide and jerky twitches. He was carrying a large sack over one shoulder.
Following him from the room came Finch, a heavily muscled thug with a thick neck and shaven head. In talking to him he revealed that the guy who had just left had bought the items recovered from the hotel. He warned Father Calvin not to mess with the guy, that he was seriously bad news. Finch intimated that he himself, a thug prison guard, thought the guy was not someone to mess with.
Father Calvin indicated that he was working for a person who was really interested in the kind of equipment that had just been traded and Finch suddenly seemed more willing to give more information on the person who just walked out. In fact, he almost seemed to get a perverse pleasure out of it.
He said that there are two of them, go by the names of Weston and Reed, and that they work for someone who lives in Newcastle, the nearby Necropolis. At least they come and go from there, taking things they trade for into the city and coming back with empty hands.
He also gave one last bit of advice. This is not a city to get sick in. This, combined with a couple of occasions where people had then spat on the ground after the party had mentioned doctors to them, may have left a few players wondering.