Darkest Nights – Session 1

Here comes the first session played in my current campaign. This was actually a couple of weeks ago, but this blog didn’t exist then. As I’ve said before, the campaign takes place in a mostly real-world 1840, spiced up with some occult plots and strange creatures.

This is run in my custom system that I will probably post things about at a later date.

The Cast

  • Edward Turner – British father, mother from India, went to British officer school. Left and lived a life as a Robin-hood-a-like on the ship “Tattersails”.
  • Bob – a half Asian with an enormous body. Called “Monk” by Edward, and is a sailor from the same ship as well.
  • Nathan Stark – dirt poor lower class bounty- and monster hunter, with silver knuckledusters. Followed by his wife, Maria.
  • Lucas de Pope – British officer turned mercenary, who went to school with Edward. Can see the spirits of the dead, and is accompanied by a speaking raven.

Welcome to Rozenburg!

The group is nearing Rozenburg on a ship coming from England. It’s very late (or possibly very early) and the rain is pouring down. When the severely delayed ship finally reaches land they gather up their bags and head down, being greeted by a certain Joshua Steele. He’s a trader in unusual objects that both Lucas and Nathan are acquainted with. He had been the one asking them to come, as a courier carrying a painting had been lost without trace just nearby.

They got all the information he had in a pub where they had themselves some breakfast, and received the advance payment before heading over to the appartement Joshua had rented, which they could use until the end of the month. Joshua himself went away on the same ship they had arrived on, headed for America.

The following morning (the 8th of February 1840) they went to begin investigations. They visited the railway office, to look up which train the courier had been going to Rozenburg on (as he was carrying the painting from the nearby town of Grimsby). After that they followed up by asking the family that had been in the same carriage about the trip, and they learned that there had been some kind of commotion in the courier’s compartment. This lead them to going to Grimsby, and asking the conductor  about it. He told them that the courier had accidentally hit his head in a sharp turn, but had been okay before being gone when the train got to the station. They had also examined the train carriage itself, but found nothing wrong with it.

The seemingly dead-end lead the group to examine the auction which had sold the painting, while Lucas’ raven would follow the conductor. There, they met an old lady and her lawyer, both which they proceeded to threaten for information, asking if she had murdered the courier. It was the sister of the old man who had died, and they had sold most of his old possessions. They managed to recover the situation and were told that there had been a strange man at the auction that had only bidded for the painting, leaving when he didn’t win it. Interested about the house itself, they went in to have a look. Sharp eyes noticed that there was spot on the wallpaper, were it seems the painting might just have hanged. In the same room there was a bookshelf, were there were occult books of all kinds. Nathan, somewhat knowledgeable about the dark arts, picked out the few useful ones, and bought them.

When they left the house, Lucas’ raven returned. It informed the group that the conductor had entered a café in the middle of town. Deciding it was worth investigating, they went there to check it out. Lucas took a peek through the keyhole to the private room where the conductor was. He saw the conductor, together with a man he assumed was the mysterious bidder from the auction. Bob smashed the door to take a look, and spotted the conductor… and an open window. Nathan and Edward leap out of the window and begin chasing the man. The conductor has his pocket pistol out, which goes off and harms no one when he is grabbed. Through a combination of threats and lies, Lucas and Bob find out that the conductor had delivered the courier to the mysterious man’s colleagues in Rozenburg. Now they had met to set up the reward.

Nathan gets the track immediately, and the begin running down the streets. They begin catching up to the man on a street overlooking cliffs and the sea. Edward makes a sprint for it and manages to reach the man, that promptly tries to leap off the cliff. Edward grabs his coat-tail, and flings him down on the cobblestones. They managed to wrestle him down, and Nathan locks him in handcuffs.

They meet up at the café (where the conductor has now been released), and enter the train to go home. During the ride, they try to get more information out of the captured man, but he only smiles and stares creepily. They leave him at the appartement and go out to investigate his accomplices. Bob is left to guard the prisoner (as the player had to leave).

Arriving at the specified house in the Rozenburg slums, they enter the flat, single story building. There is nothing out of the ordinary, just a regular set of rooms with beds and an office. The basement is next. Going down the land in a room which contains bags of vegetables (probably a cover, they decide). They enter the next room, and spot a tall, thin man, holding a red-hot iron brand. He’s wearing a bag on his head, and torturing a prisoner. Edward takes a shot at the man, hitting him in the shoulder with his pistol. A large fat man, he too wearing a sack, was just beside the door picking up a meat cleaver. After a mutual moment of surprise he charges them and is in turn shot by Lucas’ rifle which is then knocked out of his hand. A battle two-against-one follows, where Lucas and Edward fight the meat cleaver man with their swords, and finally manages to down him. During this, Nathan rushes in and beats the tall man down with his regular brass knuckles, and it was all over.

The chained the torturers and release the prisoner, who is the lost courier. He’s in a very bad condition, and they patch him up as well as they can before moving home by a hired horse carriage. They get him a doctor, and then sleep until the next day.

That morning, Nathan and Lucas have agreed that the scary man should be taken to a priest for an exorcism, despite Edward’s disbelief. They carry the man along to a church, and find a priest willing to do just that. He gets going, performing a full exorcism, including salt, holy water, and chants in latin. The man shakes in his chair, screams, falls down, and wakes up asking where he is. The group explain some of the situation, and ask who he is. He remembers nothing after accidentally getting stung on a broach’s needle. He had found it in antique store in the docks district, and it had drawn his interest. It was all very strange…

The session ended after this. I have the notes for the second session too, and I will put it up here in the coming days probably.

 

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