Journal of Dr. Clive James No. 3 - Gaylord's Auction House - 10 January 1892

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Burning of Gaylord's Auction House

Scene 10. The Upstairs of Gaylord's Auction House

We resume the battle that had begun when our last adventure ended. Dr. James has come up the stairs, bringing two policemen with him. One policeman pairs with Mr. Bell to head off the auction workers approaching from the right-side hallway. One of the thugs fires at the other policeman, who then attempts to grapple the guy. Dr. James attempts to thwack the guy with his cane, but the dice aren't having it today.

Father Lester Moore, having been pistol whipped while trying to assist Dr. Rukhs, gets worked into a fury and attacks the leader of the thugs with his sword cane, with enough gusto to deliver a 13 hp wound. Robert Clark, near the vicar, also attempts to stab the leader, but he avoids Robert's sword cane.

Col. Deasy successfully grapples a thug. Robert attacks again, with another 13 hp of damage to the leader. He does get off a shot and hits Robert for 3 hp. Another thug shoots at Mr. Bell and misses, and then the police officer grapples him.

Finally the police and the party finish off the thugs, and Dr. James goes to Dr. Rukhs and cures minor wounds (1HP) to stop her bleeding, but she will need a doctor soon. Two auction workers look upstairs and go back down quickly when they see what's happened. They were probably cultists. The Vicar examines the body of the man who led the thugs and pistol-whipped him. He finds no ID but does find a letter on his person, described later in this write up.

Mr. Crabtree, the head of the auction house, comes up the stairs, thanking the police officers and demanding to know what happened. Crabtree at first avoids acknowledging that Georgina has been treated badly, with her purchase being destroyed: "all sales are final," he quotes from the auction house rules. Robert Ashton takes the high road approach to him (intimidate) saying how shocked he is that they were attacked and shot and treated so meanly in his establishment. Mention of a newspaper article is made, and Crabtree says he'd prefer that such news not get out to the public, paying us each £3. (What?!?! I can't believe we allowed ourselves to be bought off/hushed up so cheaply!! We must all be out of money!)

The head policeman of the auction house begins questioning members of the party, individually, beginning with Dr. James. Dr. James sticks to the story that we don't know what motive the thugs might have had other than theft of the purchased item. When asked for his name, he used the name of Alfred Adler, instead of his own name.

Meanwhile, Col. Deasy peppers Mr. Crabtree with questions and conversation, so that Robert can try to examine the vault behind three oriental tapestries. He finds a locked door with five dials on it. After that, Robert goes into Crabtree's office so the policeman can ask him about what happened. While in the office, Robert notices (Spot) that there is little paperwork in the office, and the shelves are full of bizarrely shaped human figures: heads too large, limbs too long; freakish really.

Mr. Bell is questioned, as are the other auction house workers not in the fight, and they are released. Vicar Moore is questioned, and the policeman knows him by name (being a popular religious figure in London). His story is that he was with Dr. Rukhs and when he saw her get thumped he tried to heal her, and he's shocked how he was attacked.

Col. Deasy, also known to the policeman, notices (Spot) that in the corner is a mirror, set at an odd angle, which can capture most of the room. And it seems to shine strangely in the natural light that enters the office window. He also notices that there is a clean looking ledge on the desk, and recognizes the desk as one that has a secret compartment.

Discussing motives and robbery with the policeman, he drops a piece of paper beside the mirror. While picking it up, he notices that it has a gate symbol drawn on the back.

Crabtree escorts all of us out of the auction house, clearly not wanting us there.

Scene 11: Leaving the Auction House

Dr. James, Dr. Rukhs and Robert Clark go back to revisit Dr. Vines. At this rate, he may give up his public practice and just let us support him. During this time, Col. Deasy stations himself at a spot where he can safely use his spyglass to see into Crabtree's office from a distance. He seems to be talking to the mirror, and then writes a note and places it in his shirt pocket. It's the end of the workday for Crabtree, so he leaves. Col. Deasy moves to watch his exit, and he sees Crabtree exit a carriage house, in a four-person Hanson cab. Traffic is such that Deasy cannot follow Crabtree's cab.

The Vicar follows the body to the morgue, to learn what he can of the person. The mortician, John Underhill, tells him the body was brought in, with no request for an autopsy, and the deceased's brother picked it up. Mr. Rorshach of Mayfair picked up the body of his brother, Rufus Rorshach. Mr. Underhill noted to the Vicar that the brother did not seem distraught, and he didn't give a detailed description of his brother. Rather, he asked questions about the brother's possessions and seemed "uns-i-atisfied."

Scene 12: The Gaylord Club

Vicar Moore shows us the letter he took, while in the auction house, from the body identified as Rufus Rorshach. It reads as follows:

Miles will meet you off the 5pm from Euston station to Tutbury and Hatton on Wednesday 13. Julia will have one set of artifacts. I have one of the ringed artifacts, and my agents in London are securing the others. We will attempt the summoning on the full moon even without them. If you miss the train, meet us at Hardwicke House. RG

We know the schedule of the full moons for the year 1892. The next two full moons occur on these dates: January 14, 1892 and February 12, 1892.

It sounds like an attempt is about to be made soon. From studying train schedules, we know we will have a three-hour express ride by train to Tutbury/Hatton.

We check out the highbrow Kensington Gaylord Club. Dr. James notices that people with the £10 entrance fee are being turned away as not being right for the club. It's clear that the only ones dressed properly for such a place are Georgina and the Col. After chatting up the doorman, James Wilmaker, for a bit, Dr. Rukhs feigns a slip on the stairs or sidewalk, and Col. Deasy slips in while the doorman assists her and brings her inside for nurse her sprained ankle.

The interior of the club is done in white silk, the room has cozy booths with high back, each set into an alcove. The center of the room is dominated by a large wooden dance floor. A small orchestra is playing dance music – very modern, and frowned upon by proper London society. The women are all dress in expensive dresses, men in tails, and wives no where to be seen.

Inside, a Ms. Wilmet who takes cloaks, asks if the Colonel is here alone. Answering that he is, she informs him that she will send John over to see him soon. Soon, an unctuous John Gaylord (fat man, red cheeks, and white suit) appears and asks the Colonel if he'll be having dinner or entertainment in the upper floor. Calling him Col. Ramsay, Deasy informs Mr. Gaylord he'll be dining alone. The Colonel notices that there are about six other couples in the dining area, although he doubts that these women are wives.

During this time Dr. James, unable to do anything in the Gaylord Club, checks the pub across the street to see if anybody there might want to invest in some therapy. Eventually, Georgina is escorted out of the Gaylord Club, and she joins Dr. James in the pub. Meanwhile, the Vicar wanders partly down the block from the entrance to the club. A patron who gave the Vicar a few coppers looked annoyed, and shortly after he goes in the Gaylord Club, Mr. Gaylord comes out to speak with the Vicar. The basic complaint is that his nearby presence has the effect of diminishing the merriment of others. How would a small donation do… and how might he try his luck on a block of real ill repute? Also, there will be royalty arriving later tonight, and they sometimes report or complain to the Bishop. £2 later, the Vicar believes it's a good time for some wine… and heads over to the pub with Drs. James and Rukhs.

After a very good dinner, the Colonel considers the upstairs "entertainment" opportunity of a stunning blond, known as Melody. As the entertainment is out of his current price range, he declines and smokes a slow cigar instead. Eventually, Mr. Gaylord talks to a man in a dark corner, who begins to watch the Colonel. He soon walks past the Colonel's table, motioning him to follow him outside. He's wearing black. The Colonel eventually follows him to speak to him under a street lamp. Essentially, the man wants to be certain Deasy isn't with the Police.

In the newspaper, we learn more about events at Monkshood Manor: eleven bodies were found (so they aren't mentioning the dead undead bodies); Jevers was cleared; Sergeant Garside - still missing; Constable Wickham - still missing; Ms. Herringford - still missing

We also learn that we can't find Mr. Crabtree at the address where he is officially listed as dwelling.

Scene 13: Scotland Yard

Col. Deasy goes to his scheduled visit with Inspector Smythe. There he learns that Humphries is dead and that Wickham and Herringford killed Mrs. Hooper. Smythe says he thinks these events "have the earmarks of an underground cabal, run by Rufus Gladstone." We note the initials R.G. there.

The Colonel talks about "… shooting bodies what died years ago." The inspector again blames Rufus Gladstone. For their next meeting, due to Deasy's healthy distrust of the some policemen, they agree to meet the next day at a pub near the station for lunch.

Scene 14: Back to Gaylord's Auction House

The party decides to visit the closed auction house that Monday. The dogs are wandering about the property, but some drugged meat puts them to sleep. We muzzle them in their sleep. Robert and Dr. James use Robert's pickaxe to pry off the padlock on the back door. When we enter, Robert is shot by a young-looking thug (1 HP). The Colonel then rushes the fellow, brandishing his sword cane. During this time Dr. Rukhs come inside to tell us we're making some noise. And because the dice aren't doing him any favors at all today, Dr. James avoids this confrontation altogether and walks over in plain sight of the pistol-shooting thug to examine the pulley apparatus that connects a large, open-floored elevator between this floor and the second floor above.

The Colonel quickly dispatches the young thug and knocks him unconscious and finds no ID or keys to the place. Dr. James cranks the elevator controls to lift the others to the second floor, and then he joins them. There we see crates with Arabic writing on them: Deir El Bahri Rassul. Dr. Rukhs knows what this means.

We hurry past the crates and move toward Crabtree's office. Not trusting the mirror, we remove a tapestry with which to cover the mirror. As we move toward the door, it opens and closes. We rush the door. Seeing someone behind the desk, Robert and the Colonel jump the guy, rendering him unconscious. Dr. Rukhs notices a secret door to the left of the mirror, which is now covered with the tapestry. Dr. James listens at the door, hearing footsteps on stone, leading away. Opening the door, we see a wooden floor, with spiral stairs leading down. Following down, the stairs become stone below the ground level. They enter something like a sewer tunnel and we catch up with the person running away, fumbling with a set of keys at a tunnel entrance up a runged ladder. The Colonel successfully grapples the fellow. It turns out this escape tunnel leads to Avery Street.

Examination reveals that there are no portals to the mirror. Intimidation of the worker reveals that his name is Jeremy Wilkinson, and that the leader of the Cultists is the Great Old One. "Mr. Crabtree talks to the mirror. The mirror knows what happens. It talks to you; tells us what to think, how to live." Wilkinson fears the idea of breaking the mirror when Robert talks about that. "Crabtree keeps a changing combination to the vault in his pocket. The mirror tells him what combination to use. His carriage driver is Slavik, an unreliable day man."

The Vicar asks of Rufus Gladstone. Wilkinson says, "he's one of our leaders… he commands Mr. Crabtree. Mr. Crabtree will return in the morning."

We learn that we're missing a fourth guard, still in the building, but the quickly catch him. Rather that waiting until the morning for Mr. Crabtree, we decide to dynamite the safe (7 sticks of dynamite), and we place the mirror beside the safe, after we devise an escape through the tunnel to Avery Street. We fill a few sacks with the contents of the safe and take both ledges on Crabtree's desk.

Dr. Rukhs notices, as we're escaping, that 3 carriages have shown up with 20 men, including Crabtree's Hanson. They got there too quickly to have only recently been notified by authorities of the explosion. They knew somehow ahead of time that something was happening in the auction house.

Scene 15: Back at the Hotel

Ok, well it's time to take a new hotel, and we do. There we go through the sacks we filled with the safe contents. It looks like we have several thousand quid of loot, although we'll need to figure out how to sell it, quickly or slowly. Dr. Rukhs detects magic to attempt separating magical items from non-magical items.

She detects two magical items: a very nice sword cane, nicer than the first we found (+2); the Vicar takes it; a dagger with blue frosty mist, which Robert recognizes as a Dagger of the Arctic (+2); Dr. Rukhs takes it.

In a book from the safe, we find an envelope with a note written muchly in Latin. It reads as follows, with the Latin being translated by Dr. James (Granted, the Vicar should have translated it in play, but I did so in after-game time.):

Oh joy… not pretty, is it?

We suspect that that we have intercepted a missive intended for Rufus Gladstone. But we don't know who V is at present.

Of note, Georgina Rukhs watches the auction house from a safe distance. When the police arrive, Crabtree turns them away. Later, a carriage pulls out, loaded and another replaces it. This happens again, until there are three carriages filled, so it seems we missed some valuable stuff that wasn't in the safe. Eventually, a carriage arrives with several barrels on board it, probably camphor, and is driven into the auction house. Gaylord's Auction House goes up inflames, and nobody comes to put it out. The three carriages move out in three different directions. Their driver tells them that they seem to just be randomly traveling

Dr. Rukhs and Robert Clark follow one in a hired cab. Georgina notes that the carriage arrived in much less time that the current travel time they've been following. The Vicar and the Colonel follow another carriage to the docks. The other two wind up at the dock, twenty minutes apart. They are at 112 Commerce Road, where there are stevedores and warehouses. Of note, Col. Deasy notices that the missing Sergent Garside is among the people working the carriages. Inside the warehouse we note there are large draft animals. Of note, Dr. Rukhs notices that 40 people went into the warehouse, but only 8 came out of it.

The Vicar thinks considers alerting the Newspaper, through his reporter friend, Montgomery Turnberry. The Colonel and Mr. Clark don't think this is a good idea. The Vicar will weigh these matters.

Since the note from V mentions black candles in a summoning circle, Dr. James suggests that burning down the decrepit church at Monkshead would probably be better than not, as we found black candles arranged there. If nothing else, we can prevent the summoning from happening there. And besides, the townsfolk around Monkshead could probably use another night of entertainment, in the form of another raging blaze.

Scene 16: Monkshead Manor

Back at Monkshead Manor: the police have little interest now in the much gutted and burned-out house. We see that the attic appears to still be in place, and there is a candle burning inside, downstairs. Peering through the window, we note that Jevers has moved himself inside the house, and he's partaking liberally of the late Sir William's scotch collection.

We plant the dynamite at the church's corners and the middle of its walls. With the explosion and flames, it neatly falls into its own mausoleum below. The townsfolk seem entertained. Of note, we did not talk to Jevers. It didn't seem to make sense to show up back at Monkshead Manor, and certainly it didn't after "the church got blowed up."

Scene 17: Liverpool and Tutbury

While back at the hotel, we make some decisions. First, we need money, so we should sell the loot from the safe. Second, none of this stuff would go unnoticed in London, so we decide we'll take it to Liverpool to fence it there. Third, we decide we should probably sell some soon at pawn, and the rest can find buyers. Fourth, to move all the stuff on a train, Georgina suggests that we put it into a coffin, and she will dress in black to stay with the coffin, "grieving for her dead brother." We note that Tutbury is along the route.

In Liverpool, we make the acquaintance of someone with whom we can fence the goods, a company called Samuel and Sons, Coffin Makers. We can sell some now, for £300, and we can sell the rest over more time for £600.

We go back to Tutbury to learn what we can of the town. We are greeted by a police line, questioning everyone about a missing girl: Penny Fletcher, 16 years old, brown hair and brown eyes. (Dr. James immediately suspects she's been taken for a sacrifice.)

A Constable White, an elderly man with a drooping mustache, questions us. When asked, Dr. James names himself as Mortimer Adler. Of note, Constable White takes notes and seems to write a description of Colonel Deasy. The Constable recommends we stay at the Tutbury Inn, and we thank him.

We walk a little further from town center and take up lodgings at the Castle Hotel on Station Street, in Tutbury. There, we easily learn about the nearby Hardwicke House, which is famous in this area. It's near the Tutbury Stone Circle. On asking further questions, we learn that a Nathan Hardwicke runs the house now, and it has badly gone to seed. Lately, however, some activity has been occurring there and it is being repaired a bit.

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