Cracking Bank Hall

Discussion of GMing 1879. Warning: Here there be spoilers!
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Slimcreeper
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

Cracking Bank Hall

Post by Slimcreeper » Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:43 pm

I don't know that this adventure is polished and finished, but here it is for your purview. I posted a bit of this in another thread (viewtopic.php?f=44&t=791). It's probably most interesting for the location; I did more research than necessary. I still don't know how to handle Engine stuff, really. I'm not including all of the GMCs, because it's awkward in the forums, but I'll post the troll.


The Fine Print
This adventure does make use of social skills. The players should be advised of this in advance. While GMCs can use social skills on the PCs, the player is always ultimately in charge of how he or she plays the character. However, the player should take in account the result of the skills in deciding the character’s reaction.
Knowledge of the Earthdawn roleplaying game is required to run this adventure as is.
This adventure includes elements of horror and suicide.

Outline
The party work as as investigative party for a law firm. The firm takes on a number of legal cases, but also has found employment in special cases for nobles who need something discreetly looked into. Lady Jane comes calling with Chastity to hire them to investigate a rumored secret gallery in Bank Hall. The players begin by playing the firm’s partners, then choose the adventurers that will go on the quest.
Lady Jane and Chastity will accompany the party. Lady Jane will use all of her wiles to ensure the party thinks well of her, including Seduction on the party member that seems most useful or dangerous. Chastity will be practically invisible.
Characters are on a train to Bank Hall, there is a murder. As Chastity was dosing Otto Grundle’s drink with splithee, a steward walked in and questioned what was happening. She knocked him out with her sap, but not without a struggle, then flung him from the train. The missing steward will come to the character’s attention, but the only witness merely saw the body being flung, not the perpetrator.
The staff at Bank Hall has been protecting the hidden gallery for centuries. They don’t even know why, only that they aren’t about to let the upstart Lady Jane get in to see it. They use all of the guile they can muster to play dumb and keep it secret.
The party will begin investigating the history of the Hall. They may go to the library, interrogate the staff, explore. Grundle will get sick, then his behavior will change quite dramatically. Unbeknownst to the party, Lady Jane has revealed to him that he is addicted to splithee and demanded that he do her bidding. He will follow a spirit to the basement ritual area. He will realize what he has been pulled into and will hang himself from a statue in the room.
At this point the party will penetrate the secret of Legh Keck Hall. Lady Jane, Chastity, and Mssr. Nice will follow them in. While Lady Jane discourses with the party, Mssr. Nice will activate the Troll by slicing his hand over a crystal held by the corpse of the troll.

Dramatis Personæ
Lady Jane Powys
PR 3 Elf Aristocrat
Lady Powys is addicted to splithee, and under the influence of the Sons of Thoth. After marrying Thomas Powys, 4th Baron Lilford, she had him killed and took over the Barony. She maintains apartments in London and has inherited an estate, Bank Hall, in Lancashire in the north of England. Feeling that there is no going back now, she seems to have fully embraced her role as an agent of the Sons of Thoth.
While she avoids physical combat if possible, if forced she fights aggressively, relying on Riposte and Avoid Blow to keep her whole.

Chastity Brown
PR 3 Dwarf Dodger & Lady’s Maid to Lady Jane Powys
Chastity Brown has been engaged with Lady Jane Powys since before LGF changed them both. Prior to waiting on Lady Jane, Chastity was a street urchin and thief. Having scrapped and hustled in order to rise to her new station, she became loyal to Lady Jane almost beyond speaking; in game terms Awestruck, especially since the lady retained her after the LGF.
She has Lady Jane’s complete confidence and is her ally in all things, including such dirty deeds as the Sons of Thoth require. While Chastity rarely has any moral qualms about what she is asked to do, she would like to see Lady Jane redeemed. Lady Jane represents all that is noble in the world to her, and Chastity is deeply pained to see her corruption.

Dr. Otto Grundle
PR 5 Dwarf Medium
Dr. Otto Grundle is a Prussian dwarf and a talented Medium. Unfortunately, he has caught the eye of the Sons of Thoth. Believing his abilities would be useful, they have dosed him with splithee.

Mssr. Clémente Nice
PR 3 Human Mage
Mssr. Nice is a Parisian, with all that that entails. An influential mage within the Sons of Thoth, he has few moral lines left, having happily trod plenty in his pursuit of magical knowledge. Locating Virjilorit’s remains was his life’s work and he will stop at nothing to form an alliance with the restored troll.

Mr. Gerry Johnston
Human butler
Mr. Johnston takes enormous pride in the household that he has lead for some 30 years, and will let nothing disturb it. He learned of the secret of Legh Keck Hall from Lord Legh Keck himself, and has always honored his wishes, though he doesn’t understand the whys and wherefores.

Virjilorit
Undead Troll Nethermancer Effective Circle 6
His spirit was trapped in a crystal amulet adapted from the Soul Gems of the orks. While it has allowed him to reinhabit his body, it is not perfect. The finer parts of his personality have eroded away and he has huge gaps in his memory and pattern. Whether they will recover is left to the GM. When the characters meet him, he is filled with pain and rage and a hunger he doesn’t understand. His goal is to get away from the people that are pretty clearly trying to manipulate or kill him and sort things out on his own, but he might be convinced to temporarily ally with either party. He also might pretend to go along with one or another, then summon an Astral Maw in the middle of a moving steam carriage and make his escape.

Events

Enter Lady Jane
You are gathered in the meeting room around a massive mahogany conference table. The room glows with the most modern electric lights. You’ll be meeting with a Lady Jane Powys, Baroness Lilford, who has inquired about hiring the Faraday Firm to investigate matters relating to the estate of Bank Hall, in Lancashire.

The players will essentially be controlling GMCs in this first scene, so that they can ask whatever questions they like of Lady Jane. Not every member of the firm is present; as long as at least one barrister is, the players can choose from:

- Sir Faraday, Barrister. Already in his fourth decade when he was knighted for his service in the Crimean some 25 years ago, he seems to sleep through much of these sorts of meetings, only to wake with as start and ask sharply relevant questions.

- Adelia Blaiss, Barrister. Ms. Blaiss is in her middle years. One of the relatively few women to have survived the three years of dinners at Middle Temple, one of London’s four Inns of Court required to sit for the bar. She is sharp-witted and worldly and a real terror in the courtroom.

- John Williams, Barrister. A chubby man of Russian descent, he came to England as an infant. His parents died of a sudden illness when he and he was taken in as a foster child, then later fully adopted by Mary and Thomas Williams of Birmingham. He is quietly confident and given to punctuating his remarks with a piercing look and a raised eyebrow.

- Gerald Grier, Solicitor. A weedy man in his twenties, Mr. Grier has an encyclopedic knowledge of the law and precedence. He has little interest in sitting for the bar and having to argue before the court himself, but he loves to watch barristers that he has prepared upend their opposition.

- Fredrick Verne, Solicitor. Nearly as old as Sir Faraday, Mr. Verne is was the driving force behind the Faraday Firm’s expansion into discrete investigative services, which has proven to be even more profitable than the law some years.

- Johanna Mayer, Solicitor. A Prussian elf woman in her 40s, Ms. Mayer was originally brought in for her family connections, which opened up some valuable continental business contacts. However, she has proved to be a competent member of the team with a degree of expertise on occult and related matters.

- Felicia Kipling, Secretary. A solidly built and fashionably dressed dwarf woman who has been with the firm in one manner or another since she was 16, she is intimately knowledgeable about all of its history and persons.

Felicia Kipling announces the arrival of Lady Jane. She enters and raises the temperature of the room by several degrees. She is impossibly attractive and poised. Her dress is of a lovely pattern and latest fashion. Her smile, though businesslike, is warm and sincere. Her maid attends to her.

“Marvelous to meet you, messieurs et madames. Thank you for taking time to meet with me. I’m afraid I need a bit of outside help investigating a historical matter regarding my estate in Lancashire. As you may know, my dear husband passed just this last spring, leaving me with a rather large and storied property in the north, known as Bank Hall. We had spent most of our time in London, you see, and I have not familiarized myself with it. Now, given the circumstances, I find it necessary to take the household in hand and am getting a good deal of resistance from the staff, particularly regarding a hidden hall said said to contain some rather valuable artwork by Antonio Canova. For the purpose of resolving my husband’s affairs, I must make a complete accounting of the property.

She hesitates. “Also, I am afraid that some of the staff are keeping darker secrets. Activities not sanctioned by church or state.”


The following information is available, through investigation or knowledge tests:
The payment will be on hundred guineas or thereabouts. The exact number isn’t important, but it is more than enough to draw the attention of the firm.

- Bank Hall is located in Bretherton, Lancashire, England, over 200 miles north of London. Its history dates back to 1164 when a motte and bailey was built by Roger de Banastrae, who was later killed in the Banastrae Rebellion. The oldest portion of the current structure was constructed in 1608 by a branch of the Banastrae family. It was passed from the Banastrae to the Leghs in 1714, then to Thomas Powys, Lady Jane’s husband, in 1861.
- Lord Powys married Lady Jane in 1875, and died of food poisoning in 1878 at the age of 55. He was a noted ornithologist.
- Lady Jane is a member of the Barony of Willoughby, though not expected to inherit the title. She is noted for her charm and intelligence, and does not have any scandal attached to her name.
- When ever Lady Jane speaks with to the staff at Bank Hall, there is an impenetrable courteous barrier.
- George Anthony Legh Keck, who died in 1860, collected a great deal of artwork, as well as a significant collection of fine examples of the taxidermic arts. He had an architect make significant additions in 1832-1833.
- She has found references to Legh Keck hall, but cannot find the actual hall itself, and cannot find the rumored artworks.

The players will then choose which PCs are going on the mission.

The Train

Once assembled, the crew gathers on the Manchester Victoria Station to take the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (the L&YR) to Croston station. The party can expect to take two full days, staying one evening on a sleeper car. The Faraday Firm will of course cover all travel expenses.
Manchester Victoria Station has a two-story frontage and is one of the largest in Britain. It is managed by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway and connects the capital to the north country. Throngs of people from all walks of life brush elbows here. There are aristocrats boarding alongside shopkeeps and girls going to take on work at country estates, although they are not all boarding the same cars. Only a few of the cars are linked with vestibules, meaning passengers can walk safely between them while the train is in motion. They are a new innovation, and only available as the most luxurious accomodations. Lady Jane directs you to the end of the train furthest from the engine, where there is a string of 6 vestibule cars. The first is a rather plain crew and baggage car, followed by the kitchen car and a well-appointed dining car, then two sleepers and an observation car. It really is a small rolling hotel and is known as the Polaris Group. There is nothing like it on the rails anywhere in the world.

- The crew car is plain and functional on the inside. The staff of the Polaris group lives on board for a week at a time, taking off only on Sundays. It contains a small lounge, separate sleeping accommodations for 4 women and 4 men and a toilette. The rest of the car is given over to baggage.
- The kitchen car is a lesson in orderliness and tidiness, and also intense heat and sweat. There is a service window where the food is taken up, two ovens, several stoves, a refrigerated pantry, and all of the latest in domestic technology.
- The dining car serves breakfast from 6:00 until 10:00 in the AM, then lunch from 11:00 until 2:00, then tea from 3:00 to 5:00. It is closed for an hour while they prepare for supper, which is served from 6:00 until 9:00. The gentlemen typically take over the dining car at that point for brandy, cards and cigars, occasionally joined by several of the bolder ladies.
- The sleeper cars can accommodate up to 20 people each. The plush couches fold out into beds that are very nearly comfortable, and berths fold down from the top to convert to a second set of beds accessible by ladder. Heavy velvet curtains provide a modicum of privacy and there are two small toilettes, one for the men and one for the ladies. Riding in the Polaris Group is considered quite risque and adventurous. Both men and women sleep in the same cars, although naturally not in the same berths. On this trip the sleeping cars are only about three-quarters full, as one may pay a premium to have an entire couch to yourself.
- The observation car adds seating for up to 10 people. It is typically occupied by the servants of the real passengers in the sleeping car, though there are always a few pleasure-seekers on holiday. Most of the car is taken up with a spacious lounge featuring large windows that wrap around the sides and back of the car. It is always at the tail-end of a train to provide spectacular views of the countryside. The ladies typically take over the observation car at 9:00 in the evening for cocktails and cards, occasionally joined by several of the bolder gentlemen.

Porters shuffle your bags onto the train as you board, and a conductor settles tickets and accomodations with Chastity.

Passengers on the Polaris Group

There are a number of characters on the Polaris Group, mostly not consequential to the story. Some examples:

- Lord and Lady Plunkett, a couple of Irish nobles of the Louth Barony. They are elderly and hard of hearing, though they can read lips quite well.
- Sir Harold Brown, recently knighted because of his service in the Gruv.
- Jenny Smythe, a Fiddler who has no business being on this train. She is passing herself off as a wealthy banker.
- Hortensia Ward, an actual banker who strives to spend as much time on this trip talking shop with Jenny Smythe; it’s still very much a man’s world and she’s surprised to find a banker who is a woman that she hasn’t heard of.
- Janson, who refuses to give any other name, is a professional idler attached to an undisclosed duchy.
- Major Charles Henry John Chetwynd-Talbot, 20th Earl of Shrewsbury, 20th Earl of Waterford, 5th Earl Talbot, KCVO. 19 years old and in the process of eloping with Ellen née Palmer-Morewood, a much older woman of a common family. They are making the most unseemly doe eyes at each other the entire trip. (This was a real couple. He will bring noiseless rubber tyres to carriages in a few years, making a serious dent in the London roar, then investing in motor-cars at the turn of the century.)

Lady Jane & Otto Grundle
Lady Jane will chat pleasantly with all of the party, without judgement as to their past or social level. She will make a series of First Impression tests on the party. She will seek out a Conversation with the most promising subject to further improve his or her Attitude, then Flirtation, and finally Seduction, which she will seek to consummate once they arrive at Bank Hall.

Grundle will speak with them briefly at the beginning of the journey. He is a Prussian dwarf Medium with a distracted air. He seems pleasant enough, but clumsy and hapless. It is important that they meet him at least once. He will be in the dining car at tea, with his paraphernalia spread out over an inconvenient number of tables. He will not notice their entrance at first, as he is fiddling with various pots and crystals and muttering to himself. Mind much of this stuff is not necessary for his abilities, but he’s more than half convinced himself that it is. He speaks English in a painfully polite and heavily accented manner.

Murder Most Foul
On the morning of the second day, the players will make a perception test. The one with the highest result will be looking out of his or her window at the sunrise and see the unmistakable sight of a body being flung from the train.
The steward, John Henry, has a social defense of 10, a Charisma step of 7, and Empathic Sense at rank 3. If he can be convinced of the truth, he will send a message up to the front of the train to stop and collect the body.

Clues:

- The scullery maid, Anna, is missing, and she was flung from the dining car. One of the windows was opened, and the resulting rush of wind made quite a mess of the breakfast service.
- There are several broken dishes indicating a struggle in the kitchen. Anna was overpowered without bloodletting by an opponent not much bigger than her.
- The coffee service is completely upended.

The police will investigate thoroughly and come to the conclusion that she committed suicide.

Troubleshooting
There will not be enough evidence on the train to reveal the identity of the killer. The engineer and conductor are completely unwilling to go off schedule over the death of a scullery maid. This is a mystery that will remain unsolved for now.

Another potential issue is that if the party is unwilling to work with the social system they will miss a lot of the excitement of the adventure. If that is the group’s style, simply add more combat at the end.

Exploring Bank Hall
Several carriages bear you from the station at Costen to Bank Hall. It is surrounded by rolling fields and formal English gardens in the poshest style. As it comes into view, only those of you accustomed to great wealth can keep your mouth from gaping. It is a 3 story brick mansion over 200 years old, with lovely architectural details and a clock tower rising 60 feet in the air. There are 2 concrete floral statues near the front porch twice as tall as a man, as well as a pair of stone lions. You are met by the butler, who greets you with flawless icy courtesy. As the groom takes the hall’s carriage and sends of the others, the footman and other help makes short work of bringing in the guests’ luggage. If they refuse the help, the staff’s cool and competent contempt will shift to shocked insult.

The party is brought into the two-story Grand Hall, with its sweeping grand staircase and led to a drawing room and provided with refreshments.

The aristocratic rooms of Bank Hall include:

- The Great Hall. Two story, with a sweeping stairway leading up to a balcony and the private quarters of the aristocrats.
- The Drawing Room, used for entertaining guests.
- The Parlour, often used by ladies for entertaining in the evenings
- The Long Hall, upstairs, with a great deal of fine art on display, mostly paintings.
- The Ballroom, near the Great Hall, fitted with magnificent crystal chandeliers recently converted to electric service.
- The Lord’s & Lady’s chambers.
- Guest Suites. Lady Jane will be in one of these as well; the staff has been 'unable' to prepare the Lord's & Lady's chambers
- Spare Bedrooms. The party will be given adjacent bedrooms
- Nursery
- The Chapel
- The Library.
- The Office, with an Engine Terminal and records going back over a hundred years.
- Billiard Room.
- The Smoking Room, for gentlemen.
- The Solar, a private living room for the Aristocrats
- Observatory, with telescope
- Taxonomy studio

The servant’s rooms include

- The Lumber Room, the place where unused furniture is stored. It is a large room.
- Kitchen and Scullery
- The Laundry
- The Servant’s Hall, for dining.
- The Servant’s Quarters
- The Still Room and Apothecary, for distilling liquors
- The Steamworks, Engine Room, Engine Archives
- The Garrets, unpleasant quarters in the attics
- Attics
- Servant’s stairs and semi-secret passages

The subterraneans areas include:

- The Buttery and Wine Cellers, which maintains a constant cool temperature.
- Undercroft, storage rooms for food

The grounds include:

- The Bank Hall Lodge, a gatehouse near the Bank Bridge to the west of the property over the Douglas River
- The Bank Hall Farm, an extensive farm house and outbuildings dedicated to agriculture. It is actually a separate organization within the Bank Hall organization.
- Bank Hall Barn. 246 feet long.
- The Conservatory, a walled garden with a greenhouse.
- The Solarium, with hundreds of windows and an indoor garden
- Arboretum, a collection of interesting and unusual trees.
- Snowdrop carpets, managed woodlands with a carpet of white flowers in the spring.
- Extensive formal gardens and a kitchen garden.
- Coach House and forge.

Carriage Drive - connects Bank Hall to the town of Bretherton.

- The New Lodge, on Carriage Drive.
- Crossford Lodge - Head Gardener’s home, on Carriage Drive
- Gamekeeper’s Lodge & aviaries, on Carriage Drive
- Bank Hall Windmill, 3 stories
- The Douglas River.
- The Cemetery

The amenities include:

- Central steam-powered heating, augmented by numerous fireplaces.
- ndoor plumbing & hot water.
- Gas lighting fixtures in much of the house and electric in the Ballroom. Candles and lanterns are still used in parts of the servant’s areas.
- Steam-driven elevators and dumbwaiters.
- One-way electric intercoms to the servant’s hall.
- The four great clocks.
- Business Engine to manage all affairs.
- Difference Engine security on unused halls and all exterior doors at night.
- Horse-drawn Carriage, Steam Coach, Riding horses.
- Observatory with clockwork-driven telescope.
- Daily newspaper delivery & telegraph service.
- Hunting & fishing

Interacting With the Staff
There are several full-time servants: the butler, housekeeper, footman, two housemaids, one laundry maid, a cook, two kitchen maids and a scullery maid, a groom and stableboy, a head gardener and several assistants (there are 18 acres of gardens), as well as a full-time engineer and gamekeeper to maintain the amenities. When there are aristocrats in full-time residence and they are entertaining regularly, they may take on additional staff.
Everyone on the staff is Unfriendly to the party and Hostile to Lady Jane. Though they will not under any conditions become violent to the Lady of the house or any of her guests, they are icily polite and unhelpful. Cooperating with the party in any way will require a Large Favor of the staff member in question. Each piece of information will be a separate Large Favor. Even if the individual is favorably inclined towards the PC, he or she wouldn’t want to be ostracized by the other staff members. The party may revisit this event multiple times, especially if they gather new information or improve the attitude of the staff in any way.

Any threat of violence will be a Minor Scandal. Any actual violence will be a Moderate Scandal.

Information from the staff, presented in no particular order:

- They honestly cannot say where Legh Keck Hall is.
- They have never trusted Lady Jane, and they loved Lord Powys.
- The old apothecary of Bank Hall has retired to the Bank Hall Farm, where she is tended by her grand niece. She had made a bit of a stink when Lord Powys died, but it didn’t come to anything.
- Some remember the old priest mentioned in the Lord’s journal, and that the apothecary had cast suspicion on him.
- Access to any one of the servant’s areas is a Large Favor. If the party forces the issue and isn’t granted the favor, it is a Minor Scandal for the party.
- There is a semi-secret servant’s stair that hasn’t been used in recent memory.

There is one piece of truly valuable information. The kitchen maids saw Chastity put a few drops of something into Mr. Grundle’s drink. She threatened them with the loss of their job if they told anyone. They are terrified of losing their position, so sharing this information will be a Large Favor

Speaking to the Apothecary
If the party makes it known that they are going to interview the Apothecary, Chastity will slip ahead of them and smother the old lady with a pillow.
If they do speak with her, they will discover that she found the priest nosing about in her stores and that her store of arsenic was missing. The police at the time dismissed her testimony as the product of hysteria.

Searching the Mansion
Many of the rooms are locked, either with Engine or traditional security, and the staff is playing dumb. They claim to have lost the keys, or that the machinery is broken, or that they are going to go get the person who can open the door in question and then just never return. Forcefully opening doors and drawers and the like will be a steadily escalating Scandal. The first time they are caught, it will be minor, then Moderate, then Serious. At that point, Lady Jane will ask them to leave and they will have failed the mission. However, the party may try to access any of the rooms in the home or locations, though most of them will not provide any clues.

- The Library - It is very extensive, offering +3 to any research tests related to life sciences, agriculture, or history. Also, they can freely consult the Bank Hall Wikipedia page.
- The Lord’s Chamber is secured with a high quality lock (TN 12), the key to which the servants pretend to be unable to locate. It contains the encrypted journal of Lord Thomas Powys (Awareness TN 8). The code is not very good, having only a TN of 7. His cypher book containing the keys is locked in his desk (Awareness TN 10). The drawer lock has a TN of 7. The last entry in the journal reveals that Lady Jane brought a priest with them to Bank Hall, and though he loves and trusts his Lady beyond measure, the priest comes off as an untrustworthy cad.
- The Office has a terminal linked via hydraulic lines to the Analytical Engine. It contains a safe (Lockpicking TN 18, Barrier Rating: Armor Rating)
- The Long hall is secured with an Engine Terminal. Once in, the party can use architecture, engineering, and similar skills to realize that Legh Keck hall must be parallel to the Long Hall, based on the layout of the mansion.
- The Lumber Room actually conceals the entrance to the Legh Keck Hall. Discovering this without any clues is very difficult, requiring an Awareness test TN 25. The room is stacked to the brim with unused furniture and poorly lit. It was never converted to gas lights, and lighting the candles poses a significant chance of setting the whole thing ablaze. They may use tracking to follow Grundle through (TN 8). They may use KN: Architecture and similar skills to determine where it is (TN 8).
- The semi-secret servant’s stair goes directly to the Legh Keck hall. It is secured in the Scullery with an Engine Terminal (Awareness 5 to notice, unless a servant points it out). Its exit in Legh Keck hall is a secret door (Awareness TN 10) in the paneling.

Engines and Clockwork
Bank Hall has a Difference Engine to manage security and other amenities as well as an Analytical Engine to manage the business of the estate. Lady Jane will not readily allow them access to the Engine, and the Estate’s Byron will actively oppose them, even if she clears them. She will only be slightly less overt about it.

- Business Analytical Engine. Doesn’t actually offer much for this adventure, unless an unscrupulous Byron wishes to siphon off some income. It uses the Small Firm Engine stats on p. 436 PG and has a printer, a card reader/puncher, and a data reel reader/puncher. All of its modules are in one room.
- Difference Engine in charge of security. It is in a room sealed with Engine Security. It is programed to lock the exterior doors at nightfall. It also keeps all secure doors to sensitive areas locked at all times. It can raise and lower both gates to the estate with telegraphic signals. It uses the Standard Door Security Terminal stats on p. 437. The room contains telegraph lines to the Bank Hall Lodge by the Douglas River Bank Hall Bridge to the west and the New Lodge on Carriage Lane to the East. It is also connected via intercom to several strategic locations throughout Bank Hall itself.
Engine Archive room for data reels. It contains records of all major purchases and sales related to the estate, as well as tax and business records. There is a complete accounting of the purchases of the extremely valuable Canova casts - several tons worth of artwork. There is, however, no record of its sale or removal from the properties. Locating the correct data reel requires an Awareness (TN 25) or Cryptology (TN 5) to decode the organizational schema. The room is sealed with Engine Security.
- The Clock Tower is a periphery for both engines. Its HW defense is 7. Its SW defense is 10. The tower is locked with both an old, heavy lock (Lockpicking TN 8) and Engine Security.

Linkages.
The clock tower is linked to both Analytical and Difference Engines via clockwork linkages. This was not the best security decision, but it is a very convenient way to ensure that time is standardized throughout.
Locate clockwork access panels in walls. Awareness (TN 10).
- To manipulate: Clockwork (TN 8)
- +2 to all Engine Programming TNs because of the difficulty in manipulating and interpreting the linkages.
- Purview: Time & Scheduling

Hydraulic linkages connect the security locks to the Difference Engine.
- Locate tube access panels in walls. Awareness (TN 10)
- Must first install Pressure Bypasses, requiring two Clockwork (TN 12) tests. Rule of One sprays oil everywhere. 1 success means Byron will be marked by oil if he uses it. 2 successes means flawless connection. If successful, +2 to all Engine Programming TNs because of the difficulty in reading the pressure lines.
- Purview: Security Doors, log of entries and exits

Telegraph lines connect the Difference Engine to the gates.
- Tapping correct wires Kn: Telegraphy (7). To detect tap, must beat the number of successes of the tap.
- Purview: Gates, log of entries and exits.

Security Vulnerabilities
- Security Access Cards - Code Rating 12. Each success grants +2 to Programming tests vs the Difference Engine. May be pick-pocketed or stolen from desks.
- Analytical Engine Punch Cards & Data Reels - Code Rating 7. Each success grants +2 to Programming tests vs the Analytical Engine. Generally under lock & key
- Encrypted Telegraph lines to London and Bretherton, used for some technical and formal business communications. They are not connected directly to the other Engines, but do use the same sort of punch cards.

Grundle Goes Off - an Eventful Dinner Party
It is important that Grundle speaks with the party prior to this event so that they get a baseline for his behavior. This can happen either on the train or in the mansion.

It is expected that the party will dine with Lady Jane and her guests at 6 pm. Dinner dress is expected. Missing dinner or not dressing properly for dinner is a minor scandal. Any characters from the train that the party connected with can be made to be guests; alternately Lord John Chetwynd-Talbot and Ms. Ellen née Palmer-Morewood as well as Janson will be visiting. Mr. Grundle is the only one required for the adventure, however. Mssr. Nice has been staying at Bank Hall for several months. He is charming and witty, but somewhat less tolerant of the company of those of lower social standing. He claims to be a cousin, third removed, of Lady Jane. He will need to make a Deceit roll, because this is of course a lie.

Your first evening was a hair rushed, as you only had a few hours before time to dress for dinner. Lady Jane stated that this was “an informal sort of affair,” meaning that all were welcome, and none would be judged for not having full aristocratic regalia. The meal is of the finest form, with multiple courses revealing the cook’s Burgandy roots. In contrast to Lady Jane’s warm demeanor, the servants are cold and icily proficient.

Dinners are a great opportunity to debrief and update the Lady. The first time they eat, Mr. Grundle is distracted but friendly. The second time he is easily irritated, and complains about every dish. Finally, he flings his plate against the wall and curses the bland and unsatisfying English fare, then storms out of the room. This is the last time the party sees him alive - so the GM must strive to have this happen before the party finds Legh Keck Hall.

An Unpleasant Success - Finding Legh Keck Hall
Whether the party finds the Hall through the secret stair or lumber room doesn’t much matter, but adjust the narrative if they found out that Chastity had dosed Mr. Grundle.

The must of a long-disused room impresses heavily on your senses. The room is dark, and long enough that you cannot easily see the other end. It almost seems that the dust is choking out the light from your candles or torches. The room is cluttered with large sculptures and the paneled walls are lined with paintings. Everything is draped in heavy dust covers except for one statue in the form of a man, or two men, standing at least 8 feet tall, and a large table or chest of some dark material. A number of candles seem to be arrayed around them, but you cannot make out any other details.

The hall is large, 15 feet wide and nearly 60 feet long, but it is so crowded and shadowed that it feels much smaller than it really is. Don’t describe or reveal the whole room at once. Whatever their light source, they will require perception tests to tease out details. The sculptures are full-size plaster casts in the classical style. Despite not being originals, they are extremely valuable. Hence the protective cloths. The exposed sculpture is of Perseus with the Head of Medusa - it is the only original marble. Hanging from Medusa’s head is the body of Mr. Grundle, rotating gently from a noose. The chest is a stone sarcophagus, its lid lying shattered on the ground. Inside is Virjilorit, a troll who lived during the last magical age.

The characters have a moment to react, and then Lady Jane and Mssr. Nice enters. Chastity also enters, but uses Stealthy Stride to remain concealed. Lady Jane will engage the party in conversation, thanking them for their help and pretending to be surprised about the sarcophagus. Mssr. Nice will approach the sarcophagus and offer a blood magic sacrifice to rouse the Troll by slicing his hand over a crystal held in the troll’s hands. As he begins to come back to life, terrible smell of sulfur and decay wafts through the air. He sits up ponderously and shakes his massive head. Cobwebs cover his face like old lace and various vermin flee his suddenly mobile corpse. He reaches out, almost thoughtlessly, and touches Grundle’s foot, who begins to twitch and writhe. Virjilorit will be bewildered and confused at first, tring to figure out what has happened.

The troll was a Nethermancer from the last magical age. While dangerous, he doesn’t have access to many of his powers. Lady Jane will use Spirit Talk and Diplomacy to try to convince the troll to enter into an alliance with her and Clément Nice of the Sons of Thoth. They want to learn his mystical secrets in exchange for introducing him to this age of marvels. He is angry that they have awakened him early, while the magic level was still too low for him to really thrive. If successful in their attempts to win him over, the Sons will attempt to slay the party to eliminate all witnesses. If they do not succeed, he will attempt to kill both them and the party. Chastity will remain hidden until it is advantageous for her to strike.

If it looks like things might come to combat, Mssr. Nice will use Arcane Mutterings to shrink back into the shadows and Stealthy Stride to get the drop on a character. Alternately, he might use Shifting Sands to create new statues that block him from view. If he thinks he might get killed, he will try to flee and use Gilded Mask to disguise himself as a servant. Lady Jane is ready to die, and Chastity will defend her to the death. No one in this conflict is stupid, though. They will use statues as cover, and Lady Jane and Chastity in particular will work very well together.

The troll has several plays. It may try to play one faction against the other, then try to kill the survivors. It will try to stall while preparing Astral Maw and then shift to a Defensive Stance. It is also quite dangerous in physical combat. Finally, if it thinks it will be killed, it will try to transform into a krillworm and fly away. It will certainly not seriously team up with one group to kill the other; rather it will wait until the conflict is over before striking.

Cadaverman Grundle will need to make a Strength test (8) to break free from the noose, otherwise it will continue to dangle in place, attacking anyone who comes near other than Virjilorit. It has a Special Maneuver, Wrench Free. It can convert two successes on an attack test to automatically succeed on the Strength test, though in this case it is dragging the broken arm behind and is considered Harried.

Should the troll survive, it will be a very bad thing. It must consume the heart of a sentient being every week or lose 1d4 intelligence Attribute until it is simply a mindless monster.

Troubleshooting
Virjilorit is extremely dangerous, and if the Astral Maw swallows someone, they may well probably die. He isn’t heavily armored, however, and Astral Maw doesn’t do any harm unless it gets 3 successes. Astral Maw requires Concentration, so if he takes damage he must make a Willforce test against the damage or the spell dissipates, ejecting anyone still alive. If it looks totally one-sided, Mr. Johnston and Harold can arrive during the conflict. This may be a shifting conflict, with Virjilorit changing sides, withdrawing and attacking based on what he thinks is in his best interest. Grundle may also stay attached to the statue to make him less of a threat.

Denouement
Drawn by the sounds of conflict, the butler, Mr. Johnston, and the footman Harold come rushing in. Mr. Johnston is brandishing a quite serviceable revolver and an ancient sword, and Harold is gripping a stout club. “What the dickens? Lady Jane, what deviltry is this!” the butler exclaims, quite forgetting his decorum.

Depending on how the conflict resolved and the party’s inclinations, the adventure could wrap up in several ways. If Virjilorit fled, the party is at least partially responsible for releasing a horrendous fiend, although they may not realize how terrible. If Lady Jane is revealed to be a member of the Sons of Thoth and a participant in this vile ritual, she may be turned over to the Knights of the Grail. Mssr. Nice will almost certainly reveal his hand, but he will also fight to the death. The staff will readily believe any dark tales of Lady Jane and will happily telegraph the proper authorities. If it seems like fun, the board members of the law firm can debrief the party, with the players taking on the personas of both the adventurers and their employers.
Last edited by Slimcreeper on Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Slimcreeper
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

Re: Cracking Bank Hall

Post by Slimcreeper » Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:44 pm

Virjilorit
D: 7/d12 S: 12/2d10 T: 10/2d8
P: 6/d10 W: 6/d10 C: 6/d10
Initiative: 7 Move: 7
PD: 10 PA: 4
MD: 9 MA: 3
SD: 9 Social Level: NA

Karma: 12 Max: 12 Die: d4
Uncon: (50) 80 Death: (60) 96
Wound T: 15 Rec: 5 Durability: 3 (10/13)

Attack: Unarmed (A: 10, D: 12)
Armor: Tattered Chain (4)
Skills:
Languages: Troll (S & R/W), Throalic (R/W)
Powers with Karma: Spellcasting (6/12), Threadweaving (6/12), Willforce (6/12), Animate Dead (6/12), Cannibal Hunger (Virjilorit must eat the heart of a sentient being once per week or lose 1d4 from his Perception Attribute until he is a mindless monster. He only regains Karma by killing something with at least 4 hit points.)

Equipment: Soul Gem Amulet, tattered chain armor

Spells: Astral Maw (Threads 2 Weaving 10/15 Rng 10 yds Dur 6 rnds, Req. Concentration, Effect Step 16 test attack 1 per round, on 3 successes swallows target and does Effect test dmg each rnd until Strength test (12) to break free), Nightflyer’s Cloak (Threads 2 Weaving 8/13 Dur 16 minutes), Chilling Circle (Rng T & 2 yd radius, Effect 10 mystic dmg to all except caster, all move halved.)

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