The Harbinger and the Fountain

The Bethnal Green Butcher

Where Our Players are Introduced to Murder Most Foul

Our story begins with Jean-Reynard de Souisse in his private chambers contemplating his faith through the cleansing ritual of flagellation. At the peak of the pain a vision comes to him from high above. He is looking down at a woman he has just killed. He turns her over and begins carving a section of the skull out of her head. Mildly shaken, he returns to his room via a secret passage and finds a letter asking him to look into the murder of two parishioners, one a simple man named Joseph Marshall. The other, Daniel Dufrane, is the nephew of the French ambassador. It is this man primarily that the Church wants investigated. Daniel was a known hellraiser and great expense was made keeping his pictures out of the papers. Father Souisse questions Daniel’s widow who claims the last person to see Dufrane alive was his carriage man, Lucian Brielle. She seems obviously distraught at the loss of her husband and, in good wifely fashion, says nothing to discredit his reputation. Souisse converses briefly with Lucien Brielle, a tight-lipped man of service, who in a roundabout fashion mentions that Daniel Dufrane enjoyed frequenting an establishment called the Rocky Knave.

Across London, Stony Joe Smithson is training hard in a gym that teaches boxing to poor kids. He is interrupted in his training by a pale woman, Tabitha Wingate, the widow of Tom Paddock who was killed in the ring by Stony Joe’s fists of slate. She asks him for a favor to look in on a friend of hers, Wilhemina Toffin. She is worried that her husband may be abusing her and wants Joe to check on her. She gives Joe a picture of the husband, Gregory Toffin. He travels to Bethnal Green where the couple lives over in the East End where he grew up. He knocks on the door and Gregory Toffin answers the door. He seems a bit nervous and asks Joe if he would like some Tea, moving hastily to the kitchen. Joe says yes and, upon crossing into the kitchen, sees the mutilated corpse of Wilhemina. Gregory runs for it but is killed dead by a cast iron pan thrown by Joe. Looking upstairs he finds the children all slaughtered save one; young Sarah. Knowing an investigation of this sort is a bit out of his league, Joe returns to the Kerberos Club to solicit aid in his searching. He finds a kindly old man in the sitting room of Indian descent. The man, named Yada, kindly agrees to help him. They return to the scene of the crime and find the police there. Joe saunters up to the police officers guarding the alleyway in the back of the house and, making the first declaration of the game, sees that he knows one of the police officers, a man named Joseph Hennel. Opening his sight, Yada sees a black, snaking tentacle leading into the house but fading rapidly just up the street. He also sees a glowing rune inscribed into the back of Gregory Toffin’s head that looks kind of like an M or a backwards E. Gaining access to the house, Yada sees the spirit of one of the other children, a young boy. He tells Yada that his father was crying the whole time that he was killing the children and that he told Sarah to hide like a game of hide and go seek. They discover that Gregory Toffin spent a lot of time at the Rocky Knave, a pub located elsewhere in Be Bethnal Green. They head there next.

Inadvertently meeting up at the The Rocky Knave, Yada, Stony Joe and Father Souisse recognize each other immediately as members of the club and tentatively pool their resources. They meet a prostitute, Dana Nightingale, who enjoys making Father Souisse uncomfortable with sexual innuendo. Father Souisse is jolted by the recognition that Dana is the woman he saw in his vision. She tells the group that Daniel Dufrane is a regular customer of hers and that on occasion he met with a man named William Barlow who owns a textiles factory out on the northern fringes of Bethnal Green.

They head over to Barlow’s Weaves & Garments to find the factory getting close to closing time. A man named Gerard Couderc, a weaver, directs them to the office of Mr. Barlow. Mr. Barlow is extremely curt and short with the players and is generally not helpful.

As they head out Mr. Gerard Couderc drops a note asking for the players’ help and mentioning that Barlow is meeting someone tonight. The players pull away up the street and watch the factory as the people exit. Everyone seems gone but they did not see Mr. Couderc exit. Sneaking around the back they are accosted by nine unsavory looking gents who are quickly (and bloodily) dispatched by a stone thrown by the diminutive Yada. Stony Joe “knocks” on the side door and they enter into an Arboretum filled with strange plants. Moving through quietly, they see Mr. Couderc suspended over a large pot of soil with something moving in it. As they approach they see a man in a top hat with glowing red eyes who introduces himself as Mr. Scorn. His mere gaze causes waves of fear to wash over you. A large plant in the middle of the room rears up and smacks the living daylights out of Father Souisse. Yada scampers up and rescues Mr. Couderc and moves him to safety. There is still a very large and violent plant that must be dealt with. Father Souisse flings a spell, Chains of the Righteous (“Vinculis justorum”) and binds Mr. Scorn firmly.

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