Welcome to the Madness!
"I recall that the people went about with pale and worried faces, and whispered warnings and prophecies which no one dared consciously repeat or acknowledge to himself that he had heard. A sense of monstrous guilt was upon the land, and out of the abysses between the stars swept chill currents that made men shiver in dark and lonely places." -H.P. Lovecraft
The year is 1892. The place is London. It is the height of the Victorian Era – a time of British expeditions to the darkest corners of Africa; of wondrous steam-powered inventions of limitless imagination; of antiquarian investigations into the science and mysteries of mankind.
It is also the time of the Madness!
In the foggy back alleys of Limehouse and in the dilapidated warehouses of the Docklands, sinister forces are on the rise. For twenty years, gruesome murders, mysterious disappearances, and ritual slayings have become increasingly commonplace. While the rich and well-to-do marvel at the wonders of the Clockwork Age, Scotland Yard struggles to keep cultists in jail and stories from the public.
The Madness is a Realms of Cthulhu roleplaying campaign - read about it here.
You play the extraordinary ladies and gentlemen of the King of Clubs - read about them here.
Your current adversaries include the shadowy cabal known as the Haunting Hand - read about them here.
Voyage of the RMS Kraken
The sun has just risen. A persistent knocking at your door can mean only one thing - trouble.
You glance at the mantle clock as you move quickly down the hall - 6:30am. The sunlight through the front window tells you that it is another cloudy, grey morning in London. A young man stands on your front stoop, holding a newspaper, shivering. "Thought you might be interested in the Times, governor." He hands you the broadsheet with today's date - Friday, October 30. "The Times are important," you respond in the customary code. "Urgent, you might say, governor." Urgent? Trouble may too light a word for the situation.
Thirty minutes later, you sit in the briefing room at Baring House, the smell of tea and coffee fills the room. The Director turns quickly to the team. We have a mission and no time to waste.
In a little less than five hours, the RMS Kraken leaves port on her maiden voyage from London to New York. She is the pinnacle of technology, an ichor-powered luxury liner that claims to be able to cross the Atlantic in just sixty hours.
Two days ago, the Crown intercepted a rumor of a plot to blow up the RMS Kraken during the voyage. A bridge officer is thought to be involved, but with no details two undercover Inspectors from Scotland Yard - Angus Fishmane and Winston Hollow - boarded the ship to investigate. Both were veteran undercover agents. Last night, the body of Fishmane washed ashore just downriver from the RMS Kraken. Normally, this would have been handled by the Yard except for the condition of the body. Fishmane appears to have been frozen - but not by the icy waters of the Thames - more accurately the body was freeze-dried in a cocoon of unmelting crystals. Missing both feet and one hand, the fingers of Fishmane's remaining hand were broken off during the autopsy revealing a scrap of paper wrapped around a strange-looking key. The scrap of paper reads:
The condition of the body and the mention of a mythical beast - the Stoor Worm - prompted Sir Edward Bradford, Commissioner of Scotland Yard, to contact me several hours ago.
We do have one ally on board who is unquestionable in her devotion to the Crown, the Duchess of Roxburghe. She christened the ship at the launching ceremony several weeks back and is now the guest-of-honor aboard the ship, representing the Crown. She is travelling with family and an entourage whose identities and alliances are unknown.
Passage aboard the ship is sold out. However, the Duchess secured passage for you as a small musical group to play in the First Class Lounge as a substitute for a band whose leader fell ill with the flu and had to cancel.
The Duchess also procured a First Class suite for your band. Luggage is limited to five steamer trunks for your gear plus your instrument cases. Any additional equipment will be stored in the hold and accessible only by the crew during the voyage.
The ship will start boarding at 9:00am with departure at noon from the Royal Victoria Dock.
Questions, ladies and gentlemen?