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Tatters of the King, Book 1: The Madman

Game Master James Keegan

The stars are right. Hastur's gaze gains brief focus upon the Earth, and things change.


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Just giving this a nudge.


Male Human

"Yes he has rather disappeared as though into thin air. Similarly our dinner with our good friend Mr Estus didn't really turn over much new, I feel rather as though we have exhasuted our chase... there seems to be a lot of small morsels of interest around, yet a noticeable lack of anything one could sink their teeth into"


Male

Lucian swirls a glass of American whiskey on the rocks about, an unlit cigarette dangling from his lips as he listens to Martin and Spencer's joint exasperation. He takes a properly dramatic moment to light his smoke before he speaks.

"We took a less direct approach to the entire thing - we visited one of those back-alley fortune teller types, just to see whether some talk of astronomy might be revelatory. Interesting, but ultimately unfruitful - though we do have Victor's wedding to look forward to shortly, apparently," he says lightly.

"On a more productive note, this little tidbit did fall into my lap as I was perusing the evening paper. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts." he pushes the evening paper to the other gentlemen.

Haita the Shepherd wrote:

"Second Murder Strikes Hereford Asylum!"

1 November 1928
On the evening of the 31st, staff at St. Agnes' Asylum for the Deranged in Weobley, Herefordshire discovered the brutally slashed remains of orderly Frederick Long. Long was discovered in the cell of one Lucius Harriwell, a patient at the asylum. The presence of two kitchen knives in the patient's cell and Harriwell's discarded straight jacket point to the inmate as a most likely suspect.

While police investigate the matter, Superintendent Charles Highsmith has stated that he "intends a thorough review of asylum security protocols and will be suspending all unsupervised visits to the grounds pending the police's findings."

Mr. Long is survived by his wife, Harriet and son, Rupert.


Male Human

Victor nearly spits his bourbon back into his glass at Lucian's marriage comment.

"Yes the psychic was amusing.. erm, not much else."

"I'm not exactly sure what we can do with this new murder. I don't think they would let us investigate at the asylum again. Maybe we can follow up by investigating this Lucius Harriwell?"


As Martin reads the paper he pales slightly. Once finished, he reaches for his glass and swallows the rest of his scotch in one gulp.

"Clearly there's something wrong at the asylum. Although I suppose it could simply be a ghastly coincidence." He doesn't sound like he believes it.


Male

Lucian's mouth twists wryly as Martin downs his drink. He follows suit and signals for another round to be brought to the table - it seems appropriate, given the discussion.

"So gentlemen, do we take it upon ourselves to crack the nuts within in asylum and see what we find? Or do we wash our hands of it as Pilate did? Coincidence or no, is it our problem to tackle?" He looks at each of them, his cigarette smoke curling lazily around his head.


Male Human

Victor accepts his second drink from the waiter with a nod.

"Well, we're already somewhat dug in. I would like to see this through, even if it's just to figure out where these damned visions are coming from. I don't know what our next step should be though. I suspect St. Agnes will be locked down for a while."


Male Human

"I agree, I would like to get to the bottom of the matter. There's just been too much going on, and we need to find out whom is behind it all, whether it has been some odd opiation of the disturbed or some other Machiavellian scheme we should find out what the devil its all about"

"Suppose the asylum is worth a revisit, think this time the questions might need to be a little more pointed"


Male

Lucian taps the paper with his finger. "They're apparently suspending all unsupervised visits, though... Perhaps some subterfuge is required?" His eyes twinkle mischievously. "I had some success earlier this week passing myself off as an author of the macabre - perhaps Martin and I, working in tandem, could be co-authors researching our latest grisly tale and intrigued by the stories trickling out of the asylum? You two could be our assistants, or drivers, or some other such business."


Male Human

"Or a couple of Detectives from the Yard perhaps..." Spencer lets the thought trail off.


Martin puffs thoughtfully at his cigar. "In any other circumstance I think the idea would have merit. But the administration at the asylum already know us. I don't see how we'd manage to avoid suspicion, especially so soon after we were there."


Male

"But don't you see, my good man, we have the advantage here!," the painter says excitedly. "While our familiarity with the administration may preclude our ability to deceive them, so perhaps detectives may be an impossibility, we'd simply be... disguising our interest in the asylum. I mean, it's not lying to say you're a writer, Martin, and I can certainly pass myself off as an artist of words for a brief conversation. Perhaps we're not actually writing a book yet, but perhaps later we could gather this tale into a tome."


Martin nods. "That's true enough. So long as we don't attempt to hide our identities, disguising our true intent shouldn't be difficult. I just don't know exactly what we'd hope to find. We'd be supervised throughout and security is bound to be extra tight. I can't see how we'd avoid suspicion, so early after our last visit."

He pauses, tapping his lip with his cigar. "I do wonder, though, if perhaps strange incidents like this are related to Dr. Highsmith's determination to see Mr. Roby released. Perhaps he was eager to get Alex out of the asylum before anything else happened."


Male Human

"Then we are settled? Back to the asylum. Lets try get to the bottom of this whole business, it has piqued my curiosity"


Back to the asylum? If so, give me an idea of when you plan to go. The winter of 1928 is shaping up to be quite severe- evening temperatures are already slipping below freezing with instances of sleet and freezing rain. Rail travel will likely be plagued with delays and driving from Hereford station to Weobley and the asylum won't be a walk in the park- if you're coming unannounced it will be rough finding transportation. Also keep in mind the nut house is kilometers distant on the Welsh border- as before, you'll have to stay the night.


Nudge. Not saying no to a return trip, just saying you need to consider accommodations before jumping on a train.


Male

Lucian will gladly foot the bill for accommodations and travel, putting the group in first-class carriages to help take the edge off of the inevitable delays. He's going to be pretty chipper - the idea of covert operations, skullduggery, and a mysterious rash of murders is pretty appealing to his slightly morbid romanticism.


Male Human

"If this weather takes a turn for the worse, we could end up being stuck in an asylum with a murderer on the loose. Something to consider before we jump into this."


Male Human

"Think I have been in worse positions, wasn't much more flash in the trenches. Let's make our plans and head forth"


Male

"I was actually in a situation once, when there was a lovely lass whom I didn't know was married at the time..."

Lucian then waxes poetic on a bawdy and slightly madcap tale of bedroom antics that culminates in him pretending to be a hansom cab driver for the woman's jealous husband and incensed brother, driving through the streets of London chasing a man that they thought was Lucian in another cab. It is unclear if any, some, or all of the story is true.

"...the bobbies arrived before they could dust him up too badly, and I slipped away before they could ask me for a ride back... So as you can see, Victor, if we need to make a quick get-away, I think you'll find me certainly capable of helping us outrun one straight-jacketed delusional."


Male Human

Listening intently to Lucians story with a look that is half amazement and half skepticism, Victor nods in agreement.

"You've thoroughly convinced me. With Lucian's knack for evasion and Spencer's experience, I feel safer already."

He has another swallow of bourbon. "So Lucian and Martin are writers, penning their next horror story. Spencer and I are assistants of some sort. Depending on whether or not the warden of the place is a fan of London theater, that may or may not work for me. I may be recognized. Perhaps the two of you are writing a play? That could explain my role."


Male

"Oh, excellent idea, Victor!," Lucian says excitedly. "At that point, I need barely disguise my intentions at all - with my extensive dabblings in all manner of arts, my declaration to be enamored of le theatre for a time will be hardly out of character for me. All we need is a proper disguise for you, Spencer..."


Male Human

"Should be easy enough to stop by for some more pedestrian clothing, I am sure there would be a likely shop nearby the East End offices that might have a few suitable orders of dress"


I don't know if you guys had a chance to look into the discussion thread, but my question is: are you all planning to go in disguise? It shouldn't be a problem to get another set of train tickets, nor should it be especially difficult for Lucian to wrangle some form of transportation in Hereford when you get up there. But just about everyone at the small rural asylum will know you on sight, especially the scarred Mr. Sixsmith and the dashing Mr. McAllistair. Earlier, you had said no disguises, now it sounds like you're getting disguises?


Male

"Ah! Producer!" Lucian suddenly says. "Spencer and I can be producers of this new play, keenly invested in what our writer and stage director are working on - entrenched in the creative endeavors so much so that we want to be overseeing their creative research at the asylum that has so captured their sense of the macabre!" He has a keen twinkle in his eye. "I believe that nicely explains all of our presences without requiring too much skullduggery - all we need to do is convince the warden that we aren't a bother to the normal operation of his asylum."

Sorry for creating some confusion - I didn't mean a literal disguise, more of a reason for Spencer to be there.


Male Human

"Well in that case I'm not sure if that much of a disguise is necessary, after all it seems likely that my Benevolent fund might be part financier of such a production, as well as being a sound connection to East End establishments which might then host the event... so no doubt someone with such a vested interest in the affair would be keen to ensure the idea was sound and not some flight of fancy of more creative chaps, hence my insistence of being there at the start of the endeavour eh?"


Male

"Precisely, my good man! We need not disguise ourselves... only mask our intentions!" Lucian gives an over-dramatic shudder. "My, this talk of subterfuge is quite exciting... Now, how soon can we leave?" He looks excitedly at his three companions.

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