I'm going to be posting about the current adventure that I'm running at the store every other Wednesday from 5 - 7. This adventure is set in Victorian London, in October of 1890. We use the Cthulhu by Gaslight rule set. If you have any questions or want to get in, hit me up here or at the store.
In the first session, the players were introduced to the city of London, and made their way to explore whatever their hearts desired. As they did so, they were made aware of a rather important event that was occurring in the city, that being a performance by "Silas Tangier the Great" at a theater in SoHo. His act was garnering attention from people of every social strata, as it was whispered that Tangier not only was a capable magician, but also that he was able to do things that even the most impressive master of prestidigitation could not compete with.
Tangier's busquers had been out on the streets in full force in the weeks leading up to the show that is scheduled for the evening of the 23rd, and so great was the desire to amaze those of all social classes, the busquers have even been instructed to give out a certain amount of "free tickets", which some of the players characters have availed themselves of.
What is known about Tangier is little, except for the fact that he has black hair, a mustache, and on stage he dresses in a tuxedo. His posters all read a similar message to the effect of his show will let you see things no other magician wants you to see.
It is also unavoidable when hearing tell of Tangier to not hear tell of his rivalry with William Trowel, also known as the Amazing Prospero. Three years ago, there was a brief court case involving thugs hired by Trowel breaking in to Tangier's home. The matter was dismissed as quickly as it came up.
The day of the performance, the main ensemble of characters spent their day in (relative) peace. The cowboy made arrangements to live with London's one and only Consulting Detective, a Russian gentleman. Through the day, they were engaged in a near dust-up at the Miggin's Pie Shop, near to the Russian's flat. Also involved in the fracasse were a Blacksmith, A Welsh coal miner, an Oxford don, and a shopkeep of Lady's intimate apparel.
The strife was mostly due to a difference of cultural values and the importance of tea in the British Empire. It was diffused as the constabulary was called, and to hear some of the workmen tell it, "It's always fun to pull one over on 'em coppers."
Upon gathering relevant accoutrements (such as clothes, in the case of London's only consulting detective), the investigators make their way to the Lyceum Theater in scenic Soho. There are a variety of ushers who are escorting people to seats that are clearly marked by row and number, much to the consternation of a group of well-dressed gentleman who were coming from one of the local clubs. After much tutting and sucking of teeth, they relented in their mild (and gentlemanly) protests, and made way for their seats.
The jugglers, singers, dancers, and other examples of the pinnacle of vaudevillian art were excellent, though their performance rather quickly gave way to that of a rather loud Yankee, who made a habit of shouting and whooping at the stage, amongst other things to be discussed shortly.
The investigators were then treated to the performance of the magician, Tangier. His retinue of normal tricks proceeded to the delight and awe of the audience (with the exception of the Yankee and his friend - the detective of questionable repute, Kozlov). Much of the conversation between the two of them was spent debunking the performance. The performance however reached a crescendo when a cabinet was brought upon the stage, containing two facing and open doors. Invitations were extended to members of the audience to come and inspect the apparatus, and - beyond all belief of the rational world - two of the investigator's coterie were brought forward. An Oxford man of science and the detective himself.
With questionable catcalls from the man with boot and spur, the gathered audience members began to inspect the cabinet. Satisfied that there was nothing artificial, or abnormal about it, they retired to their seats and another woman was brought up, this time a larger more rotund woman. Though the dealings of her trade were kept to herself, the corsettiere did not recognize this particular woman which suggested a higher status.
The performance continued unabated, and with a swapping of one wand for another, the magician encouraged the lady into the cabinet, said some words of hocus pocus, and in a heartbeat, amidst laughs and gasps in equal proportion, there stood on the stage, emerging from the cabinet two women, both equally comported and the identical version of one another. They began to talk incredulously, each expressing the belief that they were, indeed, the real lady who had stepped in.
At this, the magician made assurances of their safety and sent the audience about the business of the intermission. The intermission passed with the investigators engaged in discussion amongst themselves as to how, possibly, this trick was done. The detective himself showed consternation bordering upon anger. It is to be noted that some more observant members of the crowd at this time saw a well appointed gentleman, Lord Gloucester, engaging in conversation with some individuals. Some of the investigators seemed to recognized this lordling.
Upon entrance once more into the great hall, the magician relieved the suspense by showing, to the delight of all, the woman safe and sound and...alone in the seats. Thunderous and nearly deafening applause was shortly broken by an invitation by the magician to perform his finale, the "bullet catch" trick. This trick, well known to anyone that was in the audience, involved the performer snatching a bullet from midair. The trick ended abruptly when the man selected to fire the shot shouted out the word "Fraternitas!" and ran from the stage, after which the magician fell back dead.
Pursuing a variety of different methods to do so (some more roundabout than others) various people inspected the body. The ingenue, Michael Caine [[Yes - yes it is Michael Caine.]] resisted this vehemently, as the notebook Tangier carried was to be his livelihood, as he wrote many of the tricks.
It was around this time that an inspector of Scotland Yard, one Lestrade by name, arrived. It is in this discussion between police, investigator, and arcane trick-creator that our scene dissolves for the moment...
This session began once more upon the stage at the Lyceum, staring at the body of the dearly departed. A scholarly gentleman examined the pair of wands that were being held by Michael Caine, and upon examination they were returned. Near this same moment, the coal miner fresh from Wales began to examine the scene with the aid of his mining lantern, which did indeed show a stark light on the body and the environment about it. It was examined by the scholarly gentleman, who suggested that one of the lenses was rather strange, bearing on it a sigil of pedigree perhaps older than that of Egypt's first kingdoms.
Through various and sundry means, the coal miner was compelled to reveal that he thought there was something of interest in the pockets of Michael Caine, and reported this to the other investigators. Amongst themselves, they resorted to gravely unmannered behaviour; the cowboy, detective, and blacksmith preparing to stage an ambush in the alley behind the theater.
This of course was not going to work unless it was guaranteed that he would be going out the back door, and to that end the corsettiere displayed remarkable skill as devotee of "light fingered crime" and began to exercise her womanly wiles upon Michael Caine, who became besotted with her.
Well (if oddly) acquainted with this practice, the gentleman informed one of the constables that Michael Caine was to be robbed. He of course had such devotion to the lady and her safety that he would not be persuaded of her guilt.
At least not until he was outside, and witnessed the assault that was prepared for him. He was knocked out, and his pockets rifled through. A watch was found and pocketed by the lady, and the notebook and various business cards were divvied up amongst the "gang".
<<Steve's Note: We will not be playing on August 22nd>>
I would like to point out that what keyed the gentleman off was not the actions of the Lady. That was just the icing on the cake. It was the fact that everybody else in the theater got up as one and walked out the back back of the theater. Shortly follower by an apparent Vamp. Just put two and two together. But then washed his hands of it.