Operation Piercing the Darkness
Lucas Finch, British mathematician
Patrick Richardson, British sportsman
Rev. Calvin Reed
Frank Moore, British Martial Artist
Philip Murphy, British former thief
Col. Roger Marsden, New Zealand Marine
SOE call in the investigators for a rather more mundane mission that what they're used to. Crothers wants them to safe guard a politician, Thomas Watson, his wife Nancy and their daughter Abbey. He believes that the politician has attracted attention from some sort of foreign power and may be assassinated. Their meetings with Crothers have tended towards the adversarial with neither side trusting each other to any great deal. They however fail to to get any more information out of Crothers. They are also called in to see N
Entering Network N's HQ they meet a couple leaving, obviously on another mission for N. N has heard word that a hunting enthusiast, Colonel Aberneathy is running hunting trips in the London underground that may be connected with the increase in ghoul activity and a number of disappearances. They are to stop these trips, eliminate the Colonel and his team, preferably without anything being tied to them. He is often found in The World Explorers club with his entourage.
They meet with Thomas and his family and immediately set up rotations of guards round the house. They also agree that one of them will remain with Thomas when he goes into his office the following day. They question his wife and she passes on that she is concerned and that there was a strange incident with visitors to the house. The Summersbys had come for dinner the previous week and when they had left she had noticed that they appeared to have a shadow round them or another image.
The next day one of them accompanied Thomas on the tube system to work and had to defend him against an attacker, who appeared to be a WW1 veteran. Another member stayed in the house while a third group went to meet the Summersbys. They met them but didn't get much information, and they appeared to be in a hurry to go so they were written off as a red herring. The member left in the house discovered that Thomas was on a committee looking at religious standards and had received correspondence compelling him to side with Lord Summersby on a cult known as the Brotherhood of the Skin represented by a member of the Turkish embassy. Once their return they switched things up and a different member stayed behind. They decided to scope out the underground station. This lead them to staying till the stations closed and trying to break in. What followed next was chaotic, ridiculous and hilarious as they failed at hiding from the police who chased them into the station, they faked leaving to throw them off the scent, getting locked in, spent the next 45 minutes discussing whether they could set fire to a mop as no one thought to bring a torch (result of said conversation: They couldn't!), got lost and scared in the tunnels, and finally left having learnt that they had gone to the wrong station!
The next day was in a similar vein as one group went to the Turkish embassy and spooked the Brotherhood of the Skin member forcing him to lead them to his master. What followed next was a disaster of an interrogation in which they tried to shoot him at close range, fluffed got attacked by his fellow cultists and legged it having learnt very little. The next group attended the explorers club and met with Aberneathy. They arranged to join his hunting party in the underground but he remained cagey about the nature of the hunt. They then ignored this thinking it was sorted until three later when they take part in the hunt.
That night two of the investigators stayed up to guard the house. They heard Abbey enjoying a midnight tea party with her dollies. One of them looked outside in time to see a thick fog rolling in covering the street and making seeing outside next to impossible. One of them opened the front door, took a step outside and ran back in, bolting it firmly behind them. They then heard a disturbance from Abbey's room. Running up they heard her talking still to one of her dolls remarking how lovely it was that she had grown so tall. Opening the door they find themselves face to face with a doll with its limbs twisted out of proportion and stretched with its porcelain hands, smashed and reformed so they are normal sized but the chips of china suspended in some unnatural force, the hands now wrapped round the little girls neck! Its at this point things go a little wrong for the two heroes. Col Marsden had a serious sanity wibble, forcing him to copy the actions of his fellow helper Philip Murphy. Philip takes a shot at the doll, but his gun malfunctions jamming in the process, he throws it to the ground. Marsden then takes a shot with his pistol. He also has a shocker but not enough to cause his gun to malfunction but enough to possibly hit someone else in the room... that perhaps was being held by the doll... which he did... Poor Abbey! He then threw his perfectly working gun on the ground. The rest of the investigators come running in and while some stabilise Abbey the others attack the doll. They are able to destroy it and find out the doll was a present from the Summersbys. The Watsons take Abbey to hospital with some of the investigators.
There two different groups try to kill the Watsons. One group is made of up of Turkish men. They attack head on and the investigators lock themselves in the ward with the Watsons and two nurses and a doctor. Thomas Watson has been stabbed by the first group who are now engaged by the investigators who were left outside. However in the room, Patrick Richardson notices that the attention being delivered by the Doctor isn't in the best interest of the patient. He stops him, only for the doctors face to begin to melt like modelling clay off his skull. The same thing happens to the two nurses revealing men instead of women. The fight continues with the investigators trying to defend the patients and kill the attackers. They manage it and make the decision not to search them.
The Watsons are now in secure custody with all requiring medical attention, psychiatric intervention or both! This frees the investigators up to go on their hunt. They meet Aberneathy and he divides them, some will go to one site while the others will come with him to a different site. The ones at the first site are tailed by some of the investigators. There they find them hunting ghouls. Part of their mission from N was re-establish wards to keep the ghouls from leaving this part of the tunnel system, which they do before hearing a scuffle and finding one of Aberneathy's hunters. They question him and find out where the second site was.
At the second site they trek through underground tunnels before branching off onto a disused section. There they encounter an entity that appears like a giant spider made from human skin and its multiple legs are a mishmash of men and women's. The gestalt attacks the party and is able to heal from their gunshot wounds although powder that the Col. throws has some impact. Throwing their lanterns has more impact and the flames begin to burn holes in the entity. Accompanied by the investigators from the ghoul site they defeat it, taking some serious damage in the process. Following the tunnel along they find an abandoned station and signs that people had been here. Going up to the ground level they find themselves in a gentlemans club known as the Old Guard Club. But it has been abandoned by its owners the Summersbys. They have managed a victory but not a total one, questions still remain!
Keeper's Thoughts: So this was a bit of a weird one! I tried everything to get them to investigate the Old Guard but they just wouldn't bite! As a result they completely missed big chunks of the storyline including missing out on taking out one of the bringers of chaos. The final conflict had one of the guys taking a minor huff as he felt he was being picked on (he made bad rolls and I was rolling well) which I didn't handle well, I flubbed some rolls so his character didn't die. Still a fun one but as a keeper its now given me a bad guy that I didn't expect. The idea was that the Summersbys had an idea of how they felt the war should be being fought but as they were too old they were being ignored. They had adopted one of the Bringers from Von Smitt's orphanage and she was a very powerful, but very juvenile, witch. She had stolen some of the spells from the Brotherhood of the skin and had been stealing the youth from people in the underground to give to her parents cronies, the Old Guard Club. The Old Guard Club was suddenly being rejuvenated by these new youthful members and were starting to take important positions with in the war effort except from one old soldier who was still resisting. The club had bought the abandoned tube station and the Summersbys had put their daughter in a playroom in the station while the club existed on ground level. Anita Summersby, the daughter, had been experimenting with the brotherhoods spells and had made the gestalt and was trying to make a second to send into the underground during an air raid with the intention of creating a large sacrifice to the Tick Tock Man.
Next our heroes head for Paris, France and the mystery of the Winter Box!