The world beyond Darkness

Reinforcements
** GM's Update **

Sept 16, 1892

Our party has spoken to Father Batch and told him of their desire to take out the nest of these brigands, because of the magic amulet, if nothing else. Knowing they are unable to deal with it themselves, he sends them to Lyle Bleddyn at Bleddyn House Lodge to see if he has rippers available as reinforcements. He does, and agrees to go himself and bring Dr. Denton and Sister Castillo along. They return to the docks that evening, where Lyle uses his Vampire eye to mesmerize on of the thugs, and they gain entry…

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They are gone?
** GM Update **

Sept 15, 1892

Dirk discovered that 3 sailors have gone missing from the docks right across from The Hauntings. They decide to investigate and come up with information about a Shark gang and a few other clues. Following up on them, after deciding to return this evening, Darling discovers a report of increased violence at the cargo barge dock on the Graves Ends side, and they go to investigate.

Upon arriving, they see a longshoreman being surrounded by ruffians, and they become involved…discovering more about the Sharks…

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New Member?
** GM Update **

Thursday, Sept 8, 1892

In search of a new Ripper

Father Batch Comes to the characters, asking them to attempt to recruit Lt. Ronald Wilson, of the Home Guard Artillery into the Companions. It appears that he has had encounters with several dark occurrences and has survived each one. He also discusses a little bit of how the organization operates and it’s need for secrecy. It appears that they are unsuccessful in his recruitment, but there may be another issue afoot…

UPDATE

Lt Wilson sought out D.K. at the Hauntings and stated he had changed his mind…The set up a meting with Father Batch who has invited him to join the Companions.

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Go Go Gadget Silencer
DK Graypartridge

Interlude
Hurt. I hurt. I was exhausted but I could not sleep sleep. My body ached, my skin burned, my mind whirled with possibilities and images of compasses and wire cages.

Nothing for it but to get up. Bent over my little desk I wiled away the midnight hours deep in concentration and inspiration drawing up designs for a new device and a bit of a gadget for Adrianna.

After breaking my fast I headed out to visit one of my Grandfather’s old friends to beg some workshop space. Mr. Jerome was very happy to see me and kindly agreed to rent me time in his workshops to build my designs. It was delightful to focus on working with my hands again. Pieces fell into place and powers charged just exactly and I envisioned they would.

After a fortnight of magnifying lenses, singed hair and one nasty cut across my forearm that cost me an afternoon getting it stitched back together by a very handsome young doctor I have a new device to help with my work and a lovely little gadget that will keep the ringing blast of Adrianna’s gun from attracting attention. I look forward to getting a chance to try them out… although in all honesty I think the silencer is for myself more than the hope of avoiding discovery. I hate guns. They do such horrible things to people. But.

I’m tired. I still hurt, but it is easier to deal with now, especially since I am having afternoon tea with said handsome doctor. He says it is to check on my wound, but surely we would not need to have tea to do that. Pop Pop is chuckling at me. I think he still finds it humorous when I suddenly am reminded that I am female and then display those traits. But, never mind.

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Hopton on Sea - Suspected Black Shuck - Official Report
DK Graypartridge

Shortly upon arrival, after the sun had fully set, while interviewing the local residents in the coach house we encountered, first hand the so called “Black Shuck”. It was overly large, very dark in color and aggressive. It gave off an unnatural aura and took several shots to the head to actually put it down.

The following day we began following up on the surviving family members of the victims, retracing the most recent victim’s movements to the village church where we found a very deviant young boy in the charge of a brother of the Order of John of Patamos or the Ordo Appocolytica, admitted by his own words. His own aura was odd and he carried hidden beneath his robes an amulet that showed its own unnatural aura.

With the information gleaned from our interviews we surmised that the Black Shuck incidents coincided very closely with the arrival of Brother Smith. After dark we patrolled the streets of the village ending at the church, prowling the bone yard and watching for any sign of activity from the brother and his altar boy. Before too long the boy appeared and headed into the woods away from the village. Following we found him ensconced in a derelict farm house where a half dozen curs were chained. The boy did the oddest thing. He sat in a circle on the floor and burned a black candle while he played with a knife. I could not decide what he was doing, but it seemed to me at the time, and events later confirmed that he was waiting, but why in a protective circle I do not know.

After the candle had burned out he picked a dog and took it with him back into the woods towards the village. We followed, but lost him when he appeared to fall into a gully. Upon searching we discovered an opening into a tunnel that came up and out in the church bone yard beneath a new headstone and fresh grave.

Fully alarmed and certain another Black Shuck was being made we burst into the church itself to discover the body of the cur on the altar with a pile of offal on the floor at its base. The Brother appeared to be conjuring so we all moved in to put a stop to him.

Blurred and frightening, the encounter involved Brother Smith using his amulet to burn us with “darkness”, to shroud him in mist that acted like a shield and to blind us within a wall of darkness. It ended with the dog rising as one of the large black beasts as we had seen the previous night but being ended with a bullet in its brain, with the boy, George Wilson, disappearing and the brother dead with another one of Adrianna’s bullets to his brain.

We had hoped to deal with the brother and simply make him disappear but we were not the only ones patrolling the nighttime streets of Hopton on Sea and the gun shots were heard. We made our exit before anyone could access the church and reappeared in the village claiming having gotten lost in the woods. Some suspicions were raised, but our answers seemed to mollify people and no one ever asked us for our identification.

The amulet is now in the hands of Father Batch and is believed to be a Profane Artifact which the brother used to protect himself and defend against us.

Georgie Wilson is still at large and an evil little boy that will wind up on the underbelly of the world doing nefarious deeds if no one intervenes and shows him discipline and love.

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Tired
After getting back to The Hauntings and talking to Father Batch I was feeling down and very lonely. Yet another person that I know was taken by these monsters. A few years ago Justin and I were not very close. Justin and my husband were close. After my husband died, Justin was there for me when I needed someone to pull me through the pain. I know just how his family is feeling right now. I’ve felt it over and over again. Maybe I should warn D.K. and Dirk not to get to close to me. It seems like anyone who gets close to me gets taken. But that just gives me reason, more drive, to continue to go after any and all of the monsters out there. Even though they don’t feel pain like we do when one of our own is taken, I can still feel the joy of taking them out one by one. We took a few out with this mission. I hope we brought some peace to the town. They might be confused right now but at least they will not have to deal with any more deaths because of the Black Shuck. For now I pay some much needed attention to my gun. I give it a good cleaning. Its seen more action then its use to lately. I need to keep it in good condition. Even though Father Batch perfers that we not use fire power, its my best ability and I plan on sticking with it whenever its needed. We are lucky to have gotten out of there when we did. We’ll have to work on being cleaner next time. When I finish cleaning all my stuff, I head to bed. It’s been several long days and I’m in need of rest. But rest is the last thing I get. I spend the night tossing and turning. I have one bad dream after another. First I dream about my husband dying. I see all the details of him getting attacked even though I was not there and don’t really know what killed him. After forcing myself awake to stop the painful memories I lie there for awhile. Once I finally get back to sleep I dream about my mom and dad sleeping in bed when a monster, some king of four legged creature, attacked and killed both of them. My brother, who was only 10, heard the noise and runs into the room. At his scream the beast turns on him and tore him apart. When I screamed out in agony I woke myself up. I was shaking and covered head to toe in sweat. I thought I was done with the nightmares. I haven’t had one in over two years. But I guess all the recent deaths have brought the painful memories back. All of the details of there deaths are things my own imagination has made up. I was not there for any of the attacks. Which only makes me feel worse. I wasn’t there to protect any of them. So now I must protect anyone and everyone around me. I don’t want anyone to have to feel the pain that I have. Dead tired I lie awake afraid to go back to sleep. Scared of what nightmare I will have next.
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Dirk's Inner Reflections

As Dirk settles back in at the Hauntings, he’s lost in his thoughts. He spends a good amount of time resting from the mission but stays mostly to himself. He’s polite to the other guests and doesn’t go out of the way to ignore anyone. He clearly shows, whether he’s trying to hide it or not, that he has a lot on his mind.

This business with devil dogs has me by the tail. I’ve been scared before but this has really put me on edge in a way that I haven’t felt for some time now. I keep trying to rationalize with myself that the shucks are not the beasts of my nightmares. I hadn’t been sleeping well for a while now. Hunting the source of the Black Shuck doesn’t help my apprehension, of that I’m sure.

I find now that Man and his evil are just a small part of this horror show. It’s a side show like those that came through towns every so often. Only these shows aren’t scripted and don’t feel somewhat ridiculous. I wonder if the creatures from those shows were just failed abominations. The things I’ve witnessed outside the circus tent are very dark and sinister. The monstrosities aren’t made up in a way to draw curiosity. They’re here to Hunt and to kill. It’s worse than that though isn’t it. They disembowel those they kill and use obscene science and magics. For some reason it’s not enough for them to just kill. They have to make it worse in whatever way possible but to what end? What is their true purpose?

All of this is a lot to take in. This underworld existed right beneath our noses. Well my nose at least. Our dear friend D.K. seems to have had a much earlier head start but I’m starting to wonder at what cost. And that Adrianna. Well she’s as direct as her shot. There’s more to her, that’s for sure. Something’s driven her to this lifestyle and made her a stone hard fighter. I can’t say I ever met a woman like her and I think it best to not get on her wrong side.

At my core there’s a definite part of me that wishes I was still naive to it all, believing it as nothing more than scary stories to tell by the camp fire. I once thought that the most evil thing conjured in this world was a man’s actions in desperation. A desperate man is truly a dangerous man. I’ve seen men cornered become almost something unnatural. Before, I’d call it Feral or Savage. Now though, I’m awakened. I chuckle at the thought, as unnerving as it is. I’m awakened physically and mentally. Even in the dead of the night thanks to my nightmares. The scary stories aren’t just stories anymore. These things exist now. No, they always have. I wonder how many other stories I thought were created to scare little children are in fact a reality. I cringe at the thought. My eyes have been opened to a world that is more dark than I ever thought possible. It’s not the same place anymore. I used to live in a Savage world. Not anymore, it’s much worse now. It’s so dark, I don’t think there is a word to describe it. It’s a World Beyond Darkness.

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Dirk's Watch

One quiet evening when only DK and Adrianna are sitting with me, I decided to tell them a bit about my family history. I explain that I had left the Army and upon doing so, was disowned by my family. They had much higher expectations of me.

I pull out a pocket watch and explain that I found it next to my seat on the train during our return.

“Father Batch found me lost and suggested there was a home in a place that I hadn’t yet looked. He said I had to become lost before he could find me. He told me that I was raised to be something and just because my circumstance changed, it doesn’t make me someone else. He said I have a purpose in this world and no matter what circle I fit into, I have to fulfill that purpose. So I’m like this watch which has no inscription and is undecorated. I was found and brought to the Hauntings so that my purpose could affect those around me.” In the quiet moments after, we could all hear the ticking of the little watch in my hand.

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Aftermath - Hopton-on-sea
** GM Update **

August 19, 1892

Our fellows return to London after some near misses.

After speaking with the new Brother and his new altar boy, it is decided to come back after dark. Upon arrival, they see Georgie, the Altar boy leaving the village. What they find when they follow him, is a dilapidated building with several mangy curs inside. Eventually he takes one back to the church, and what they observe is horrifying. They end up in a life or death struggle with Brother Smith…but they are nearly caught…

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Dark little village by the sea
DK Graypartridge

Something evil runs deep in this village.

Our arrival was late, the trip on the whole, uneventful. However. The Black Shuck didn’t wait long to make an appearance… more appropriately I believe I should say A Black Shuck… We weren’t halfway through our most welcome hot dinner than a horrible howling commenced outside and Adrianna jumped up and ran to the door. A large, snarling black dog was outside the door and he appeared to want in very badly. It took far too many bullets to put it down. I captured its image in glass, its aura not of the natural kind, but there was nothing else to indicate just what it might be.

In the morning conversations and questions lead us to the church and its new parson and alter boy. Never a more odd pair have I seen. The boy’s reputation is reprehensible, yet he put on a truly wounded and woe-is-me aire. The pastor isn’t even ordained yet and a more radical revelations-end-of-world believer I have never met. I cannot help but believe that these two are directly involved or responsible. The Black Shuck showed up around the time of the new parson, who just happened to be preaching devil hounds and brimstone fire.

But. We still have no real lead as to who, what or why. Retiring to the inn we rest now until dark. We must needs find these evil black dogs and who controls them.

The others rest, but I feel impotent. I have nothing but my camera. No tools, no gadgets, not even a place where I might fabricate something… even if I knew what sort of gadget would be helpful. I have spent time in meditation and opened myself to the spirits of the area. There are hundreds. They all clamor for attention, but not one of them can agree on where the root of the problem lies. Even Pop Pop shrugs his shoulders and can’t pick out a thread from the cacophony.

What I need is something to to divine the trail. No. What I need is something to focus my energies… a hat… no… a lantern… something that will change color when the aires and vapours change… Ah but for a workshop.

But never mind. I should rest now, like my new friends. My new friends who seem refreshingly free of tagalongs. Perhaps those who are drawn to this business don’t collect tagalongs… too pragmatic perhaps?

Quiet mind. Quiet. Sleep is what is needed.

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