Mansions of Madness

The Plantation - Part 1
Session 1

Albert Andrews – Professor of Psychology, Chet Baker – Journalist, Dale Bateman – Student & Hudson Pratt – Artist, are all traveling from Providence RI to Arkham as the Professor is due to give a guest lecture at Miskatonic University the next day.

As they drive through the town a young black boy darts out into the road and is knocked down. the boy is suffering from an injured leg. Upon talking to him they learn that he is from a plantation down in South Carolina and that his sister has been kidnapped. The boy – Joe, convinces them to take him to Professor Albert Gist who is the brother of the plantation owner – Caleb Gist.

They meet at Professor Gist’s house and learn from the southern gentleman that his wayward brother is dabbling in voodoo-black magic. The student goes wandering on his own round the back of the house and gets promptly clubbed and knocked unconscious. Suddenly shots are fired into the house and an assailant barges in and tries to abduct Joe. The group singularly fail to stop the intruder but fortunately Professor Gist lands a powerful blow and frees the boy. After the attack the police come and statements are taken. Professor Gist persuades the group to accompany him south.

The group travel south by train, all the time aware their every move is being watched by strange southern folk. During the journey a massive zombie bursts into the carriage and begins to systematically throw the investigators out of the moving train window. Fortunately the quick thinking reporter pulls the stop chain, since the zombie succeeds in throwing most of them out; the artist receives a bad head injury – but once again Professor Gist saves the day and lands a powerful blow with a rifle butt and caves the creature’s skull in. Another chat with the law follows but eventually they arrive in Charleston where they spend the night.

The next day the Journalist does some background checks at the library and learns more about the dark religion of the former-slaves and a recent murder of a detective connected to the Gist plantation. Professor Gist’s friend, Elihu arrives with his brand new car and takes the group to the plantation. On the way they stop off at the sheriff’s office in Walterboro and Professor Gist informs the lawman that he is returning home for the next couple of days with the group.

They refuel at the general store and meet Reverend Hilson who is vehemently against the unholy practices that take place at the plantation. He warns the group not to go there. Joe leaves the group and says he will be back in touch and that his shack is the one with the blue door. The group then leaves the store and travel onwards until they reach the bridge and discover that some of the spans have been removed. As soon as the car comes to a halt shots ring out. The artist is hit again and suffers more damage to his tender noggin. Elihu receives a bad hit to the arm. The student returns fire. Suddenly there is silence. Two of the group quickly set about repairing the bridge while the other two cower in fear in the car; clearly things are taking a toll and they are beginning to fear for their safety. Brave Professor Gist ventures forward to discover the origin of the gunfire and discovers the body of the assailant. He is joined by the reporter and student who notice that the corpse is already turning black and the cause of death appears to be two puncture marks on the calf.

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The Plantation - Part 2
Session 2

The investigators repair the bridge and head into the plantation. They observe a large mansion that has seen better days and a run-down hamlet inhabited by share-croppers. They are met at the door by Old Ben the butler and also meet Aunt Bess the Gist nanny and house-keep. They then observe Elly, a very attractive but aloof maid. They meet Caleb Gist and are taken on an extensive tour of the plantation grounds before having a evening meal and enjoying some idle banter. The artist, Hudson, spends much of the next day resting and regaining some much needed health.

During the evening they check out the study and the inquisitive reporter, Chet, closely inspects the books that Albert Gist had shown interest in. Chet uncovers five occult tomes – an original Spanish language book written by a Franciscan monk about the snake worshiping religion of native indian tribes; an english translation of the book; two volumes of Papa Shapo and a diary of Findley Gist that detailed the horrendous experiments he conducted on unfortunate slaves. These books contained spells in relation to Kukulcan and Dambala snake worship and shook Chet’s sanity but also gained him some Cthulhu mythos awareness too.

Dale spots a strange man staring at him from across the garden but decides against approaching him. That night the investigators suffer torrid dreams of writhing masses of snakes and wake in the middle of the night to find an emissary of a snake god in their rooms. The Hougan snake priest appears to be unearthly and informs the investigators that they have been summoned to the plantation to perform the will of the Master. The snake god’s ritual offerings are being stolen by another party and the group is instructed to attend tomorrows ceremony and follow the route back to the offender’s lair and confront them.

The next day the group resist Caleb’s suggestion to leave early and happen to see Joe at the study window. The young boy informs them that his sister is being held under armed guard in their shack when suddenly his mother appears from the tree line and heads towards him. The canny investigators realise straight away that her movement is the same as the zombie they had encountered earlier and whisk Joe inside while the bold and protective Professor steps outside to ward of the undead woman. The old academic lands a series of effective blows with his trusty walking stick while the other two investigators begin to hurl objects at the creature. Being stupid and carried away with youthful vigour, Dale throws the terrified youngster into his mother’s arms. The zombie seizes its prize, turns and heads back into the woods, vainly pursued by the Professor. The group manage to see both the boy and his mother sink into the depths of the river – a scene that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

Wracked with guilt the group decide to make amends by freeing Joe’s captive sister but not before they foolishly promise Caleb that they will leave within the next hour. Unfortunately the locals are keeping too keen an eye on them and their movements are detected and their ways blocked. They return to the mansion to find a throng of people milling about outside and tables, food and drink laid out as if for a festival. They spot two strangers amongst the crowd but the reporter is off-form and fails miserably to communicate with them. Meanwhile the Professor asks the wrong girl for a drink and suffers the side effects from a dodgy mint julep. Albert Gist talks them all into staying for the night of the ceremony.

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The Plantation - Part 3
Session 3

The group decide that they will explore outside further but before they can leave the house Caleb returns. He is surprised and angered to find them still present. He warns them to remain inside the house for the rest of the night before locking himself in his room. The investigators quickly determine that the crafty plantation owner has snuck outside and that the assembled crowd has moved off into the night. They decide to follow but upon opening the front and back doors they come under fire. No sooner has the gunfire started then it stops and they discover that an unearthly large serpent has killed their assailants.

About to resume their journey in pursuit of the cult procession they are confronted by a deranged Elihu who has also made the mistake of asking Elly for a Mint Julep. Under the spell of the love potion he does his mistress’ bidding and stabs Professor Andrews in the arm and immediately attacks the others. Dale manages to land a solid crack on Elihu’s head with his rifle butt yet before the fight can commence further they are saved again by the huge serpent which strikes Elihu swiftly and lethally.

The group quickly race in pursuit of the procession once more via the sharecropper’s village and decide to check on Joe’s cabin en-route. In doing so they are confronted by the deceased boy and his zombie mother and a savage fight for survival ensues. Dale’s cowardice sends him fleeing in terror and he leaves his companions to face the threat alone. The zombie’s inflict terrible injuries to the remaining men and they come close to death. Fortunately they manage to subdue their attackers just in time with well aimed blows and pistol shots.

Bloodied and battered, except Dale (who has returned to face his companion’s ire and insults), the group finally catch up to the procession and follow it into the swamps until they arrive at a large clearing. They behold an awful sight and it is Dale who first realises that what they are involved in has nothing to do with Obeah or Dambala and this is soon confirmed by cries and praise to Yig – The Father of Serpents. The crowd of snake worshippers behold their priest, Caleb, atop of a monstrous granite altar. Amongst them walks Elly, the snake priestess, and the Serpent Man (The emissary). They also see that Joe’s sister, Cassy, is chained to the altar.

As the obscene ceremony commences the investigators witness a number of the attendant cultists suddenly being snatched from beneath the ground. The investigators remember what they were instructed to do by the emissary and quickly decide to follow the path of the hell-holes down into the bowels of the earth. As they filter one by one into the ground the professor and the artist witness the brutal sacrifice of Cassy at Caleb’s hands.

The group finally emerge into a dark cavern and are quickly greeted by screams and cries of distress from somewhere in the darkness ahead. They venture forth, determined to face the danger head on and are met with a terrible sight. In the large central chamber of a massive subterraneous temple they spot the abducted cultists being ripped and torn apart by the soulless reptilian homunculi of the ageless serpent sorceress, S’ssruxxa. Offended by the sight the reporter and artist venture forward but not before the impulsive student fires his rifle at the minor deity. Enraged, she responds with a powerful Mind Blast that sends Dale to the brink of madness. More homunculi emerge to protect their creator and they tear the artist apart before the others’ eyes. They are all about to meet the same awful fate when a surging carpet of snakes suddenly overwhelms the entire chamber and the awful and powerful great old one – Yig, materialises onto the earthly plane.

A titan struggle between the great old one and the minor deity ensues and the surviving group members find themselves transported to a dream realm to witness the mating of Yig with his unwilling bride. The sorceress is killed in instantaneous child birth and before Yig departs with his young he passes judgment and bestows his blessings on the investigators. Chet, the reporter, has been the most loyal and is duly anointed as a follower of Yig and receives power and spells as well as the bonds of protection from the serpent god. The professor has also played his part well and receives a boon. The wayward student however is not so lucky. Yig is undeceived by Dale’s feeble denials and turns the young man into a Child of Yig – a huge serpent. Dale slithers off into the dark depths never to be seen or heard from again.

Chet and Professor Andrews emerge back to the surface and make their way back to the manor house to be greeted by Professor Albert Gist who informs them of everything that transpired that night, including the death of his brother by the arrival of Yig. Buoyed at having survived the terrible night the two investigators take the train back north to safety and to face the unsuccessful enquiries of Dale’s worried parents.

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The Sanatorium - Part 1
"Who are you people?!"

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The adventure begins with an innocent invitation from an old university friend of the Professor, the esteemed Dr Brewer, to stay for a week at the sanatorium on lonely North Island. The four investigators are duly picked up from the mainland by the old sailor, Ebenezer, who regales them with his fanciful tales of mermaids and jungle temples. Unimpressed, the group arrive at the island and leave the old salty sea dog to take the luggage up the cliff by himself.

The group are simultaneously attacked and met at the door by two inmates. Apparently the Dr is having a nap and the group are told to wait in the library, but they quickly smell a rat and a quick snoop into the adjoining living room reveals the hideously murdered body of Nurse Ames. Ignoring both the sounds of distant screams, chanting and old Blanches’ instructions, they head up to the first floor and conduct a quick sweep of the living quarters, the highlight of which is the use of their intellect and super-sleuthing skills to inspect a pair of discarded panties and determine that the Dr has been busy with Nurse Ames when off duty.

The group then decides that they will search the offices on the first floor and quickly discover that Dr Brewer has also been hideously sacrificed. The Dr’s office turns up a veritable treasure trove of information about the staff, patients and the good Dr’s research. They also find the Castro Manuscript – but can they find the time and skill to make good use of it?

Bombarded with new information the group heads downstairs at Blanche’s summons with the plan of sedating all the patients and thereby ensuring that they don’t become a nuisance. Some of the group spot a disturbing sight – a male nurse sitting at a desk with his head twisted back – but this fails to impress the jaded investigators and they don’t even bother pointing it out to their colleagues or checking it out (!!!). The group’s ham-fisted attempts at persuading the poor patients to take the strange new pills (being administered by the strange new people) serves only to alienate them from everyone, including Blanche, who they then attempt to assault. Prior to ransacking the patient’s belongings the group are plunged into darkness. They remember that they met a girl in the library and stop in to check on her and learn that she is Darlene, one of Dr Brewer’s “Special Patients”; they also learn that the outage is probably due to the outside generator not being maintained.

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The Sanatorium - Part 2
The thin veil of sanity begins to tear

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The group spends a few moments dithering about lights and locked doors before finding the bottle to venture outside. They decide to postpone visiting the generator and opt for checking up on Ebenezer down at the jetty. Upon arriving there they find the old sailor brutally murdered (they recover an occult symbol from his body) and there’s no sign of the boat or their luggage.

Heading back up to the sanatorium they spend a lot of time deciding on which side of the building they should take to approach the generator. They quickly check in on Darlene and learn that they’ve had a visitor – suddenly they feel safer outside and resume their journey. Rounding the back of the building they discover a dessicated cat and an open doorway into the sanatorium (making a mockery of any door locking activity). They make their way to the outhouse and generator, locate the fuel, discover that an axe is missing, successfully refuel and restart the generator.

About to return to the main building they hear once more terrible screaming and sinister chanting from somewhere on the island as well as a distant red glow. The investigators decide that they will confront the threat head on and travel into the woods towards the source of the terrifying noise. 20 minutes later they emerge from the woods and discover a sacrificial rock complete with the butchered remains of two men – who they learn to be James Shelly (bird-watching student) and Colonel Billings (senile patriot and sanatorium inmate). They then decide to follow the road around the island and back to the sanatorium – looking to discover anything out of the ordinary. The next thing they encounter is James Shelly’s wrecked campsite and the nearby ship wreck (recovering a journal and gun). They then come across a disused lighthouse but are unable to explore all its floors (deciding that caution is the wisest course of action). They then arrive back at the main building.

Once they are back inside the lit sanatorium they decide to conduct a thorough search of the building, starting with the basement. Down below they discover a number of utility rooms, a staff sleeping quarter, and the special patients’ rooms. They find the mad poet, Allen Harding, wounded in his cell, seemingly delirious, a strange and familiar symbol painted in blood on his wall. They successfully treat him for his wounds but their attempts to learn anything from him are futile as he is currently too deranged to undergo the professor’s psychotherapy session. The group then decide to finish up searching the building and locate the laundry room where they discover a dying woman with terrible wounds – all these shocks and the pressure of the situation are beginning to tell on the investigators as Dr Freeman and the professor both begin to suffer from the toll on their sanity (suffering temporary paranoia and a form of schizophrenia respectively).

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The Sanatorium - Part 3
All the pieces fall into place

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The group debate what their next steps should be as dawn finally arrives. The good Doctor, despite his paranoia, advices everyone to take a shot of Benzedrine in order to avoid the necessity of sleep. He then wisely sets about administering to the needs of the surviving patients while Eileen shuts herself away in the library to make a concerted effort to translate the Castro manuscript. The Prof and Chet decide to make themselves useful and make breakfast for everyone but are attacked by deranged Blanche, who is fortunately not so deft with a kitchen knife. The prof loses it and near beats the old lady to death while Chet flounders around uselessly with his butter fingers. The Doc rushes to the old lady’s aid and manages to get her away to safety.

There is a brief search of the island once more and an Elder Sign is found riveted to the keel of the wrecked clipper and removed by the professor. Most of the day is spent with Eileen repeatedly trying to make sense of the manuscript and the Doc and Prof attempting to psychoanalyze the special patients. After many hours of unsuccessful attempts the investigators finally make some ground. Eileen learns from the Castro manuscript that “Those Who Wait” appeared in the land of the Pharaohs and visited destruction until they were confronted and destroyed by the priestess Annephis of the Temple of Bast. “TWW” moved by night, fearing Ra, and also shunned the rushing water. Annephis drove the creatures into the Nile using special stones that she carried.

The Prof and Doc spend considerable time with Allen Harding, the mad poet, and learn that he has summoned an entity through the gate on his cell wall and that it intends to devour everyone. Moving on to treat Darlene they manage to regress her through her previous lives and reach her incarnation as Annephis who then tells them they must drive the entity into the sea using the power of the Elder Sign.

Once more it is time to give the patients their medication and the group make the decision to move everyone downstairs for safety and to daub the doorways with the protective Elder Sign. Blanche is resistant to the investigator’s efforts and is forcibly sedated and moved downstairs but upon returning for Carla they find her cell door open and the room empty. Putting two and two together the group rush off to the sacrificial rock. As they approach the ominous place they see Carla being led towards the rock by the insane attendant, Charles Johnson. The group fires shots at Johnson and he calmly turns and walks towards them with his axe. The investigator’s keep firing but keep missing and finally Johnson reaches Chet and raises his axe…………

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The Sanatorium - Part 4
Behold the Apocalypse

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The investigators are in the thick of combat. Charles Johnson, the insane attendant, narrowly misses Chet with his wood axe but manages to deliver a near fatal blow to Eileen and a terrible wound to the Doc before finally being put down by the reporter. The group have to administer emergency first aid to half their number before rushing back to the sanatorium to perform life saving surgery on Eileen.

While Eileen is undergoing emergency treatment Chet wanders downstairs to the basement at the sound of frantic screaming and witnesses the manic street preacher, Leonard Hawkins, being plucked out from his cell by a gaseous semi-solid tentacle. Chet manages to save Darlene from a similar fate by successfully warding the creature off with the Elder sign pendant he took from Eileen. Depositing Darlene with the others up in the treatment room Chet returns to the basement to rescue the remaining two special patients. Allen Harding however, has been possessed by the cosmic creature and issues dire mocking threats prior to exploding in a mist of bone and gristle before Chet’s very eyes; the reporter only comes to his senses again when the Prof joins him and Blanche begins to scream from her cell. Armed with two Elder sign sigils the duo manage to save the deranged old lady from the multi-coloured alien.

Rushing upstairs they are able to see the full dimensions of their adversary – it is a gaseous multi-coloured creature half the size of the building. The group struggle to decide what to do next, and Chet unsuccessfully attempts to cast a spell to contact his serpentine benefactor. Amid the indecision the group soon find themselves under further assaults from their foe; it possesses Blanche and nearly succeeds in dragging the Prof over to the window to be consumed by the waiting creature and he is only just saved by a lucky blow (although he is shot in the process by the good Doc!); the Prof then angrily turfs the elderly patient out of the window to be absorbed by the monster. Wisely retreating into the corridor the group briefly experiment with Molotov cocktails and contemplate dousing the creature with tap water (which would have been futile as it is only susceptible to salt water!) when it is Darlene’s turn to be possessed and she makes an attempt to feed herself to the creature by diving out of the window; which she is prevented from doing.

After further debate it is finally settled that Chet is the only member of the team who is physically capable of escaping the monster. A plan is formulated to lead it to the docks where they hope to then drive it into the waters with the Elder sign sigils, but they correctly theorise that more signs are required and incorrectly, that another can probably be found on Johnson’s body which they had neglected to search. Chet heads out of the building via the back door and makes it to the corner of the woods before observing that he is being pursued. After an epic battle of wills Chet manages to search the body and finds nothing of use before succumbing to the alien creature’s powerful mind control which forces him to drop his protection and allow himself to be consumed. Finally the alien entity has absorbed the required amount of life force to permit it to ascend from the earthly realm and enter another dimension as an even more powerful being.

The terrible transformation turns night into day and rends the very earth with fissures. The ground begins to shake terribly and the sanatorium begins to collapse in on itself. The Doc, giving in to his own sense of self-preservation, abandons his patient and compatriots and manages to jump from the top floor of the building and scale a tree with impressive monkey-like skills, before racing down towards the dock where safety awaits, but ultimately to no avail – his extremely weekend condition means that he does not survive a heat blast and therefore tragically falls at the last hurdle. The Prof manages to maintain his cool under pressure and heroically attempts to save the lives of the others. He unwisely chooses to push Eileen’s trolley down the top flight of stairs and the gravely wounded and fragile Eileen dies as a result of the tumble. The Prof then rushes back into the corridor to rescue Darlene but his time has run out and the entire building collapses and buries them both. Fortunately for the both of them they are not conscious when the creature completes its transformation and ascension, which blasts the island with an explosive force that bakes and burns everything.

Everyone is dead. The other-worldly culprit has truly left the scene. When the authorities do visit the island the next day they are greeted only with a scene of utter devastation and a unsolvable mystery. The most plausible of the subsequent theories is that one or more of the patients escaped from their cells, ran amok and murdered everyone before setting fire to all the buildings on the island……

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Mr Corbitt - Part 1
"I fought the law and the law won!"

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The scenario starts innocently enough; six members of the Eagle Bond detective agency in Providence, RI are enjoying Sunday evening drinks and cocaine (wtf!) at Herbert Crance’s suburban house. They witness Crance’s erstwhile and super-friendly neighbour, Bernard Corbitt, return home in his car and struggle with his front door while holding two canvas wrapped objects. Bernard drops one of the packages and the more alert members spot that it contains what appears to be a small child’s arm! Bernard enters his abode and the investigators see his basement light go on.

The group discuss the disturbing scene and quickly come up with a coordinated plan in which two members will sneak around the back of Corbitt’s property and peak through his windows while two will knock on his front door and distract him and two will remain on watch from within Crance’s house. Reasonable enough – so far so good…….

Spitz and Perkins duly sneak onto Corbitt’s property without being spotted and determine that one of the basement windows has a blind drawn across it while the other appears to be an ordinary utility room. Meanwhile Crance and Burns knock on the front door and invite Bernard to come and join them over at the party – which he politely refuses before closing the door. Crance then seems to lose all sense of proportionality and decides to pick the front-lock in broad daylight. Bernard is shocked when his neighbour suddenly forces open the front door and lets himself in. After Bernard vainly utters threats to call the police the maniac detective attacks him and his demented and drunk colleague, Senior Investigator Burns, throws cocaine into Corbitt’s face. Fortunately for the local businessman the police arrive just in time. Crance quickly admits his criminal behaviour to the policemen and after a brief pat down which reveals their possession of firearms, narcotics and consumption of alcohol, they are promptly arrested. Bernard informs the officers that Crance lives just across the street and they proceed to knock on the door. Dorothy Haslett answers the door while Fields quickly sneaks out the back and heads back to the office. Dorothy attempts to placate the officers and explain her colleagues’ bizarre behaviour but the shrewd policemen detect the alcohol on her breath which provides them with the probable cause to enter Crance’s house and discover the scene of the party and the illicit consumables. A paddy wagon is then called for Dorothy as there isn’t enough room in the cop’s car.

While half of the investigators are carted off by law enforcement, Perkins and Spitz emerge from their hiding place behind the greenhouse and head back to Crance’s house. The front door is locked but the back is fortunately open. They decide that they will wait until dark and then gain entry by breaking into Corbitt’s basement utility room. Darkness duly descends and armed with paper and jam the duo break the basement window and are about to enter when something scuttles across the room and out the interior door with much banging and crashing. Lights come on and the pair flee back to safety behind the greenhouse. The basement lights remain off but the rest of the house is lit. After many minutes pass the pair decide to venture back out and peak through the downstairs windows, discovering nothing out of place. They then move back to the utility room basement window where a nasty surprise is waiting for them. Perkins only has time to see Corbitt standing in the room before he is thrown 13 feet through the air, landing unconscious in the vegetable patch. Witnessing the strange and shocking sight, Spitz pulls his gun and fires into the basement window, narrowly missing Bernard, who ducks for cover. Realising that he has probably woken the entire neighbourhood Spitz decides to retrieve his comrade and drag him back over to Crance’s house. He deposits the still unconscious detective on a couch and peeks out the front window in time to witness a police cruiser pulling up; Bernard answers his door and points over to Crance’s house. Spitz attempts to exit the house but another cop car pulls up and a foot pursuit ensues before Spitz is caught and arrested. Perkins is carted off to hospital (under arrest, naturally).

Next day dawns with nearly all of Eagle Bond behind bars. Dorothy is smart enough to be contrite and her lawyer advices her to plead guilty to the misdemeanor charge which she duly does, copping a $25 fine. Burns also realises the error of his ways and complies with his lawyer’s advice to plead guilty, receiving a $50 fine. Crance however continues to display increasingly bizarre behaviour, repeatedly stripping down, and mocking the duty sergeant with dumb insolence – causing the irritated officers to beat him with abandon, which results in injuries severe enough to warrant a trip to the hospital.

The situation for Perkins and Spitz is even more extreme. They have both been charged with attempted burglary and attempted murder. Following legal advice Perkins denies everything but fails to convince the judge – he makes bail with $100 but will have to stand trial. Spitz is firmly banged to rights and after making unsound allegations about Corbitt has to undergo a psychological evaluation; The judge refuses bail.

Eagle Bonds’ boss eventually learns that most of his employees have engaged in a drunken drug fueled party during which they suffered group delusions about Crance’s neighbor, which resulted in them repeatedly attempting to break into his property to kill him. He warns those fortunate enough to have been bailed that they are in danger of being fired if they slip up again. Perkins’ lack of contrition and the seriousness of his offence causes him to be suspended.

Gray (almost the sole hero of the piece), having been lucky enough not to have been arrested during the previous debacle, and managing to avoid a serious beating from his colleagues despite dobbing everyone in to the boss, strangely decides that it is wise to loiter outside Corbitt’s house as well as harassing him. Unsurprisingly the fine members of Providence’s police force quickly swoop down to arrest yet another member of the Eagle Bond detective agency (which is increasingly appearing to be a front for organised crime).

The questions remain – Will Eagle Bond’s crime wave continue? Will the investigators manage to stay out of prison or keep their jobs? Will any of them actually learn anything at all about what is going on?

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Mr Corbitt - Part 2
More like The Apprentice - Part 2

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It’s a new day (Tuesday) and Dorothy and Burns manage to turn up to work where the boss convenes an office meeting and states that if the investigators get into anymore trouble they will be fired. He asks where Gray is but no one knows.

Crance decides to calm down a little but blows his phone call on Corbitt (who’s not in to take it). Crance’s lawyer advises him to plead guilty to the breaking and entering charge which he does in the afternoon, receiving a $100 fine. He returns home and phones the boss, informing him of his intention to quit and move to New York. The boss puts him on a fortnight’s sick leave and has Gladys collect Crance’s license and gun.

Gray makes a call to the office and Gladys relays to the boss that the junior detective has been arrested. The police interview Gray and issue him with a caution and instruct him to stay away from Corbitt’s street. Upon his return to the office Gray receives a reprimand and final warning from the boss.

Perkins, now with lots of spare time on his hands, decides to go to the doctor to get a medical opinion on what has caused his injuries. The doctor is at a loss to find the cause. Perkins then spends the rest of the day in the library searching for the possible cause, happening upon books on medicine, poisons, animals and magic. Perkins decides to study books on magic (taking out fives books) but learns nothing.

Dororthy spends most of the day working quietly to keep up appearances before slipping away to visit the library. She conducts a search on missing persons and children in the county over the last five years and learns that only a single adult is missing and there is no connection to Corbitt.

Burns escapes the office on the pretext of conducting case related field work and heads over to City Hall and the public records. His search of the indexes reveals that Corbitt was born in Providence and has always lived there, inheriting his house from his late father who died 14 years ago. He also learns that Corbitt is a widower – his wife seemingly dying in child birth some 10 years ago. He also learns that Corbitt has his own horticultural import/export business registered to his home address.

Burns heads downtown to the dancehalls to find out if anyone knows of Corbitt. It appears no one does. He pays a underworld source, Fat Tony, $10 to go ask some questions around town for him. Burns is joined by Gray and the uneasy pair agree to put aside their differences and conduct a joint investigation. Burns wants to know more about Corbitt’s business and decides that the docks are a good place to try. They locate and gain entry into a dockside speak-easy and proceed to question the rough-looking dockers about Corbitt (Burns pays a complete stranger $5 to ask questions about Corbitt around the docks). The dockers smell a rat – two well-healed gentlemen reeking of the establishment and who are not drinking are asking questions about someone and flashing money around. The couple leave the speak-easy none the wiser; on the walk back to the car they are jumped (by some of the dockers) and Gray is knocked out cold. The group surround Burns with cudgels and knives – there is no possibility of drawing a gun; Burns decides that he will feign fainting and sinks to the ground. The muggers strip both investigators of their licenses, guns, wallets, money, keys, watches and in Burns’ case, his shoes too. The muggers then flee into the night leaving Burns to summon help for his unconscious colleague. An ambulance eventually arrives, picking Gray up out of a puddle of his own blood and urine and takes him to hospital. Burns hot wires his own car and drives home to cry himself to sleep.

Herbert Crance makes arrangements to sell his house and spends the next few days staking out Corbitt’s house from his front room. Crance is in a bad way but refuses to eat and rest properly, determined to spot anything unusual. Corbitt is observed going into his basement regularly and occasionally leaves the house in his car for a few hours at a time.

The next day dawns and Burns phones in to say that he will not be in till later as he has been mugged. the boss takes the phone from Gladys and learns that Burns is still pursuing Corbitt and fires the senior detective. Burns tells the boss to shove his job and drops Gray in the do-do as a parting gift (payback!).

Gray spends the whole of the day in hospital and only manages to make a call to the office in the afternoon. He is clumsy in his explanation to Gladys and she duly reports to the boss that Gray was beaten up while investigating Corbitt with Burns. The boss sighs and tells Gladys that Gray is fired. Dororthy relays the news when she visits Gray at the hospital later.

As the week progresses Crance continues his obsessive surveillance of his neighbour, Spitz is rotting in jail, Dorothy (the only investigator who still has a job!) keeps her head down and tries to get her work rep back, Perkins has no cause to investigate further and spends his time recovering from his injuries at home. Gray also recuperates at home. Only Burns actively pushes on – driven by his irrational hatred of Corbitt (all his trouble started when someone thought they saw Corbitt drop a child’s arm – since then his life has come crashing down around him) he decides to follow up on the information he has already gleaned and research it at the library. The problem is that Burns is an old school detective who is most at home talking to sources, following people and fighting – he is absolutely clueless at conducting his own research, barely knowing how to read, even what books are or how to use a library. All this is born out by him spending the rest of the week (3 solid days!) going through the newspaper archives and turning up nothing at all (six consecutive failing rolls! what a player!). The library closes Saturday evening and as if by an act of god (or perhaps a weary Keeper who can’t bare the thought of two whole sessions passing by without a single player handout being found) Burns stumbles upon a obituary for Corbitt’s late wife – Lynn Meyers.

Jubilant at his find, Burns rings Herbert Crance and discusses his find. Herbert quickly mulls the information over and decides that they should locate Meyer’s parents and interview them to find out what they can about Corbitt. The pair also have the amazing idea that if they have unearthed one clue at the library then perhaps more can be found there. They decide that they will contact Gray and Perkins (who can both actually read, are familiar with books, and know what a library is) and get them to conduct the research down at the library.

Last week’s questions have now been answered: 1) Yes 2) Probably not 3) No, and 4) Unlikely.

There is now a new question: Is CoC designed to make the Keeper go insane for real?

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Mr Corbitt - Part 3
"There is a time to laugh and a time not to laugh, and this is not one of them."

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The investigation resumes on Saturday afternoon. The investigators meet in a city park to discuss the new information and to formulate a plan of action. Herbert informs everyone that he is convinced that Corbitt is definitely involved in something unsavory and that they had all better find evidence of it in order to vindicate themselves and get their lives back. Herbert says that he recalls that Corbitt always leaves his house early Sunday afternoon in his car and returns several hours later – the group agrees that they will tail him using Gladys as all the investigators are known to Corbitt.

The next day Felix Burns collects Gladys from home after church; it turns out that Felix and Gladys have been having an affair for some time which enables Felix to recruit Gladys’ help with the assistance of Dorothy (some excellent roleplaying was done by Tim and Murray; well done guys). Felix drives to the end of Corbitt’s street and waits for movement. Perkins and Gray make their own way to the stakeout in the former’s car. Corbitt duly leaves his house at 1300 and is skillfully followed by the staggered convoy of investigator’s cars. Herbert maintains his cover by staying behind and doing some gardening. Dorothy visits the office to conduct research and locate Lynn Meyer’s parents.

Corbitt drives to the city dump, gets out of his car and is seen rummaging around the trash for almost an hour before he finds and retrieves two canvas bags similar to the ones he had last Sunday. The investigators manage to observe this but come perilously close to being discovered – fortunately having Gladys with them turns out to be a most fortunate move on their part. Corbitt is seen returning home by Herbert shortly after and the basement light goes on once more. The investigators who tailed Corbitt conduct a thorough search of the dump to see if anything else is there and manage to find a piggy bank and a broken toaster which can be easily fixed (mmmm, toast! :-P). Gladys is left sitting in the car for ages and eventually walks home in disgust.

Burns informs Herbert of Corbitt’s actions and then contacts Dorothy for the location of Lynn Meyer’s grave – the investigator’s have their wires crossed as Dorothy has located Meyer’s parents’ address which she gives to Burns. Burns also discovers that his wife has left him, taking their young son with her – she has had enough of his recent strange and violent behaviour. Herbert arrives at Burns’ house and is mystified and suspicious when Burns appears holding a spade, wittering on about his “missing” wife and suggesting that they dig up a suburban house (Lynn Meyer’s parents’ place).

It’s Monday and Gladys and Dorothy go to work – because they still have jobs, unlike everyone else. Perkins and Gray follow the agreed plan and spend the day researching Corbitt in the library. Unlike Burns both these investigators can actually read and manage to uncover two articles by closing time. One article reveals that Corbitt’s father was killed by bandits when they were both traveling in India – his body was never recovered. The other article concerns a professional nurse called Mona Dunlap who witnessed the tragic birth of Corbitt’s child and the subsequent death of the mother; the article reveals that the nurse was hospitalised at the city sanitarium. It’s too late to follow up on the new leads so Gray and Perkins head over to interview Lynn Meyer’s parents (amusingly most of the investigators refuse to allow Herbert and Burns to conduct the interview due to their previous poor performance together). Perkins leads the interview telling a bewildered Victor Meyer that they have been unable to get into contact with Corbitt in regards to a missing persons case. Victor can only tell him that Bernard was always a loving husband and a decent member of the community and they rarely hear from him anymore. To convince Victor to talk to them Perkin’s gave his business card to him and the older man assured the investigators that he would let Corbitt know that they had called!

The next day Perkins and Gray finally inform the rest of the investigators of what they have found and learned so far. They then head over to the city hospital to find out what they can about Mona Dunlap. After managing to convince the reception nurse of their legitimacy and a brief interview with a doctor the pair learn that there wasn’t any need to go to the hospital at all and they actually needed to go to the sanitarium. An hour later they arrive at the required location and once again go through a very familiar process of convincing a reception nurse of their legitimacy before having a brief interview with a doctor(!) This time however they learn that Mona died very shortly after admission and that the doctor still clearly remembers the case due to its oddness. Mona’s last words spoke of another son, hideously disfigured being born. The investigators now know that Lynn Meyer’s gave birth to twins before she died and that one of them survived.

This episode closes shortly after midday on Tuesday with Burns failing to convince Gladys to accompany him to the city cemetery with the intention of checking out Lynn Meyer’s grave; Perkins and Gray want to conduct some research into Indian mythology at the University library; Dorothy continues to work peacefully at Eagle Bond; Herbert Crance meanwhile ponders what all the information may mean and what their next move should be….

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