A Troubled Childhood

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Re: A Troubled Childhood

Post by supermooboo » Sun Mar 27, 2022 9:17 am

“It’s impossible to be good at everything unless you bring a friend or two.” ~ Alvin the Charismatic Baker

We still had a few loose ends to take care of in the room. “Worrysome was the heavy carbine. There was the one with a weird bolt weapon that attempted to activate a strange mechanism, but that turned out to be mostly a dud. And honestly it was Cusa who did the work on that one. It was a close call with the high rate of fire rifle however. The person had a way of aiming for just the right spot and it started to look a bit nasty there for a second. Well for a moment. Just a wee second really.” I realized I should probably be taking threats for what they were and decided to get a little serious. I’ve developed my own unique form of close ranged fighting since losing my arm. Won’t say it’s anything special. It really just involves pistol work and a swift series of kicks and headbutts as a follow up in rapid succession. Typically the series of blows is enough to end even the most above average ilk and this gunman was no exception. “I can still hear the sound of their shins cracking after my boots hit home. Just the price of messing with the Great Alvin Baker!”

The conflict quickly moved to a close following these final exchanges which allowed Bernhard to finish the work on the engine so we could get out of there. “Well not immediately. Made sure to loot the spoils of our toil first! That carbine had given me far too much trouble to leave in the hand of these hired goons. The googles we found were also a nice touch. I’ve been looking for a new pair for a while.” We quickly made our exit back through the tunnels and to an exit streetside where we could vanish into the night. It was a long day and with both Cusa’s welcome home party and the Drop Off for the Society tomorrow I had a big day planned. There was also the matter of Ms. Hannehman although I didn’t learn more about that until the next morning.

Come morning we decided to drop off the various items we had retrieved in the previous for Ms. Hannehman. We felt that dropping off the items at her lawyers office would be the safest drop point considering her house had already been compromised once. Upon arrival we were quickly ushered in and introduced to a new problem (and a new coworker). The individual in question introduced himself as a scientist of Natural Philosophy named Hastings. Elvish but conversation confirmed of the not snobbish sort. Red hair and clearly dressed well above the station of anyone I typically keep company with. Yet not one to stand on ceremony about it. “Needless to say I took a quick liking to the fellow and ended up exchanging thoughts on mechanics and other topics of creation I was familiar with. Seems quite handy with machines. Not really in the practical sense but in a book smart way that I tend to avoid. He answered some questions about some of the contraptions I have run across in my travels like this Weird Science poison sack. Had a dislike for the thing though. Something about ruining his ‘pure mechanical constructs’ whatever that means. Sounds like a load of bull to me but I’m not really one to judge. Smart guy, really. Oh and I should mention that he was there with Ms. Nesbit. Ms. Hanehman had been kidnapped.”

The heart of the matter was that Ms. Hanehman had received a telegram from Hut to meet up about the wrongdoings done to her. She did so and has since gone missing. Her last known whereabouts were at the Welsh Elephant. “We found this out by investigating her house. Hastings apparently has a thing for the telegram. Made quick work of the device and found out the last couple messages put out on the thing. Pretty impressive. Again, smart guy.” We made our way to the Welsh Elephant and I quickly made my way towards tracing where the trouble of the matter was. “For one the restaurant was closed for a death in the family. I could smell foul play though. I moved around back and sure enough there was signs that someone had broken in the back to gain access to the main area. Now I may not be one for danger at the moment but as I’ve said before I have a nose for trouble. It’s going to take a lot more than that to trick Alvin Baker.” Going inside with Hastings confirmed that Hut had clearly used this place as a front for a fake meeting with Hanehman. I would say it was clever of them but honestly Hastings was able to find a slip with an address written on it. “How daft is that! Clearly Hanehman was not lying that she was the brains of the outfit. Well at least idiots are straightforward to deal with.”

The next problem was that the address was in Eeling several miles away. And I mean it would be one thing if Cusa did not have obligations right here in the evening. This worked in my favor because I also had business at night and the party was the perfect excuse to explain away my desire for haste. “We ended up booking a car to make our way. Honestly this was new to me. Never had the shillings much less the pounds to afford this before. Really strange what a lucky break does for a guy. I really have more money than I’ve ever known these days. Best to count my lucky stars while I still do suppose.” Anyway we made our way to the address to find out it was in the rich part of town. “Okay I was a bit shocked. I was expecting a shady sort. I mean that’s where I would take someone after I kidnapped them. Certainly not a bloody mansion! And definitely not my own house. I was starting to wonder if these lot really were idiots. Well either way this got complicated fast. You can’t force your way into money. I’ve learned that the hard way more than once.”

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Re: A Troubled Childhood

Post by ChrisDDickey » Sun Mar 27, 2022 11:05 pm

Note: With one exception I always had phenomenal dice rolls this session, including a 26 to convince somebody to accept an invitation to a party and 5 straight awareness rolls in the teens. The one roll that was not well above step was the roll to spot two hidden goblins before coming in range of their ambush.

Cusa continues his story.

I turned into a pidgin and did a recon of the house. The garden was surrounded by an 8 foot brick wall (with broken glass on top). There were three gates, a main carriage gate (wrought iron) onto Clifford Road, a garden gate into a field to the north, and a back gate to a small passage to the south, these were both wooden with iron reinforcement and locks. The caretaker's cottage had signs of use, but we were unable to identify any of the people we saw as being the caretaker. The carriage house had no signs of recent use, no ruts or manure pile. I checked the chimneys, but none of the fireplaces below them were in use. 

I saw 3 men patrolling the grounds, a large sturdy ork, a human with a broken arm, and a red haired human. I checked the chimneys, but none seemed to be in current use. I checked all the windows of the house and spied Miss Haunaman in a small first floor bedroom. She seemed very grumpy and was dressed in a very infantilizing dress. I also caught a glimpse of a dwarf sized person inside the house. 

Checking out the gates in more detail, I was ambushed (in my pidgin form mind you) by two creatures that appeared to be dwarfs, dressed fairly normally, but with teeth like a shark! They attacked me with agricultural flails and did much damage before I managed to fly away. 

After I reported what I had observed, Hastings (weird scientist) pulled out a device that would render up to 5 people psychically invisible. Even after a quick healing spell from Rowen, I volunteered to guard the exit as the rest went in to rescue miss Haunaman. They invisibly climbed the wall and holding hands to keep track of each other, walked right past the patrol. Below the window I found, they scaled the shear wall of the building (using ivy and a rope). 

Arriving outside the window they saw that she was talking to a very bizarre woman. Miss Haunaman later told us that she was called Queen Pretty, and was queen of this clan of goblins. This was the first time I had ever seen a goblin (or rather earlier in the day when they had attacked me was the first time). Goblins like I said, look a whole lot like dwarves, but with teeth serrated like a bear trap and magical powers and an innate ability to be hard to spot when they want to be. Anyway, Bernhard and Alvin, after climbing to the window saw Haunaman talking to what looked like a very weird dwarf woman, with serrated teeth and an extra arm growing out from under her normal left arm, and and extra leg. Both limbs were sized for a human adult male, so were very large for her. I did not see her myself, but I am told she looked (and walked) very weird. Alvin and Bernhard could not help commenting on this bizarre creature to each other, and she apparently heard them through the glass (though could not see them), and went to the window to open it up. As soon as she did Alvin grappled her. Bernhardt suggested Haunaman slide down the rope, which she did. During the fight, Bernhard fell from the windowsill and broke one of his legs, and Alvin threw himself and the queen out of the window, but managed to land with her on bottom. She meanwhile was yelling in some strange language none of us could understand and that made the hairs on our necks stand on end. Hastings made Haunaman invisible, and they all ran (or limped) to the place we had climbed over the wall. As they were climbing over the wall I would see about a half dozen of these "goblins" near the front gate spraying paint around, so they apparently had a plan of action for invisible intruders all prepared (just like they had a plan for handling too inquizitive pigeons). Once everyone was over the wall we limped back to the steam coach and drove away!

Hastings, In addition to his device that turns people invisible, also revealed an electricity gun (stun) and a bottle of spelling salts that heals people (heal).

After a quick roll call in the coach to make sure everybody (still invisible) was present, and the coach was moving, I asked Haunaman if she wanted to get the constabulary involved in her kidnapping. She said she did not want to cause a scandal involving her firm. I personally felt that being kidnapped is much, much less of a scandal than kidnapping somebody, and that maybe accusing her partners of scandal might be a good tactic. But she was already involved in one scandal and did not want to add being kidnapped to it. Besides, she told us that her partners were already paying for their transgressions. It was Mr Hutts leg and arm that Queen Pretty was now wearing!

She told us the story from the beginning. She told us about receiving the telegram from Mr Grace, that Grace was willing to sell out Hutt, and to meet him at the Welsh Elephant. But when arrived it was not Mr Grace that was there, but Mr Hutt and Mr Head (the large Ork we saw patrolling) and a few others. There was a fight, in which Hanuman did quite well for such a small person, but she was vastly outnumbered and outmassed. She seemed quite put out, as if in her former form, she would have expected to defeat 4 adult males quite easily. 

She said that after the fight, Hutt and Head delivered her to the manor where Queen Pretty and the clan of Goblins were, and that the queen had said that the kidnapping was much earlier than had been agreed upon and that to move up the schedule would cost Mr Hutt and arm and a leg. Now I am sure that all of you know that something costing and "arm and a leg" is a common expression, meaning a  lot of money. Well let me warn you all that Fey are a very literal people, and when Hutt very unwisely agreed to pay an "arm and a leg" without nailing down exactly what she meant by that, she quite litterally took his arm and leg off and somehow attached them to her own body. Hauniman did not say exactly  how ether the removal or the attachment was done, but she gave the impression that Hutt crawled off to get a ride to a hospital, but that he would probably survive. Anyway, she seemed to think that Hutt was well repaid for all of his perfidy. 

When asked about Hutts deal with the goblins, she seemed to think that it was fairly straightforward, that the goblins had agreed to hold her in servitude for a good long while without killing her or letting her go. I personally was beginning to strongly suspect that there might  be much, much more to the situation than that. We warned Haunimann not to meet anybody alone, and to have guards with her constantly. She seemed very frustrated  by that advice. I invited her to attend my welcome home party at the magic society, and she reluctantly accepted. 

Alvin Baker said he did not have any party clothes, so asked to be dropped off at a tailor. I learned later that this was a ruse to quietly hire a horse for the night, as he had some quiet errands he wished to run later in the evening that he wished nobody else to know about. 

600 + 600 + 0 + 200 = 1400 + Journal
Last edited by ChrisDDickey on Sun Apr 24, 2022 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A Troubled Childhood

Post by supermooboo » Sun Apr 24, 2022 5:47 pm

"An Arm and a Leg you say? Unfortunately I can only keep half that bargain." ~ Alvin the One Armed Baker"

With our arrival at the estate where Hanehman was being held we needed a plan of action. Cusa first proposed he could scout as a pigeon. He returned with valuable information on the location of Ms. Hanehman and the best area of entry. She was on the top floor accessible by a window. There was ivy growing on the sides of the house so a bit of rope and some climbing efforts could reach there. With this new info Hastings, our new weird scientist friend, proposed turning us invisible. We agreed and Cusa, staying behind as watch, proceeded into the back entrance unnoticed. “Eh, invisible? I’ll admit I was worried. It’s not easy hiding the Great Baker after all. But it turns out this science stuff is quite good. Only thing was that we had to be touching our equipment for it to be invisible so there was a matter of the dangling rope to deal with.”

We made our way to our climbing point. On the way we spotted a group of bizarre dwarfs. “Well no. No dwarf looks like that. An insult that is really. An’ I’ll give it to anyone who says otherwise. These were deformed creatures in the shape of dwarves. Jagged teeth like a shark who needs to go to the dentist. And that’s not even the worst part of ‘em.” At the time I just figured they were dwarves but as Bernhard and I set up our rope and climbed up to the window I quickly changed my mind. Inside was a mockery of human given shape. “3 arms and 3 legs! Not to mention those arms were the size of an adult human and fit onto the shape of a dwarf. And the way they speak though those grating teeth. Against my better judgment I ended up giving a remark in disbelief. Bernhard joined me in this unfortunately. The creature overheard this, and thank the heavens for Hastings' science because despite this they still did not see us. Bernhard whispered and motioned a quick plan. I got it. They open the window, we make ‘em regret their life choices.”

This was not the original plan Bernhard had in mind. When the creature opened the door I grappled onto it hoping Bernhard would follow up but after a few words of warning to Hanehman he fell backwards off the window ciel. “Ouch, that looks like it hurts. There’s a trick to falling you see. Here let me show you how it’s done.” With the many armed, many legged figure still in my grapple I pushed them back into the room to allow Ms.Hahnemann room to descend down the rope. Turns out all those arms and legs were good for something however. “I’ve tussled with my fair share. Never met someone who could still give it to me while I had them in a hold like that. Maybe I should give it a go and call myself the Three Armed Baker? Nah, that would be stupid. Nobody would go for that.” Anyway, Hanehman managed to climb down but the commotion was starting to cause an alarm in the building. I didn’t have much time left so I decided to take a shortcut down the rope. “This is how it’s done Bernhard.” Still grappling , I jumped out of the window positioning the thing below me. “And what a thunk it made. I was fine, mostly, but I can’t say the same about the other guy. Still alive though. Surprising strength these things have. I’m still not exactly sure what they are to be honest.”

At this point Hastings turned Hanehman invisible and we made our escape. “There was a lot going on behind me but I was focused on getting out of there. I wanted some time to think about what I just saw.” After a comical scene where a group of invisible people tried to get into a car without stepping on each other (Hanehman in the front) we made our escape, rather cleanly I might add. “Turns out those things were calling themselves Goblins, and the nasty armed one was named Queen Pretty. Not much in the way of taste, but regardless, no one had an explanation of what those things were other than perhaps some kind of new being from the rabbit hole. Well at least Hutt got what was coming to him. Turns out the price for speeding up things was an arm and a leg. Literally. The extra limbs on Queen Pretty were Hutt’s very own. It seems these Goblins aren’t ones to speak in riddles at least.” With the questions mounting of what exactly was the plan and the events to unfurl next we decided that nothing will be solved now that can’t be solved in the morning. Cusa still had his party to think about and mine my own. Cusa proposed to Hanehman that she join us at the party so we could ensure her safety. She agreed and said she just needed to stop by her house to change and freshen up. As for myself, I needed some preparations of my own. I got out early in one of the many boojum districts on the way and secured some clothes and a horse. The night is young and this Baker is going to have a long night.

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Re: A Troubled Childhood

Post by ChrisDDickey » Mon Apr 25, 2022 1:14 am

Old Cusa continues his Story.

My welcome home party was a resounding success. All my friends were there. There was an abundance of food and drinks from cultures all over the world. Mrs Aulakh, the landlady, was the life of the party. She demonstrated dances from her youth in Pakistan. Bernhardt really hit it off with the band of brothers from India, who had joined the guild after I went to the Gruv, and whose names I never caught. Bernhardt later confided to me that he never could decide if there were three of them or more. Alvin talked about clockwork with Allet from Lapland, and I met several new people, including one Clario Santarossa (Italian practitioner of Benandanti secret society).

I did not notice him leave, but I learned later that Alvin Baker made excuses that he was feeling poorly and was going to his room and left very early. Rather than go to his room he got his rented horse and rode to Bethnal Green, there he apparently met with a gang boss named Scantly and delivered a bag with a canister of dinosaur pituitary glands! When he returned to his horse he was approached by a person who claimed to be a Police Inspector who questioned him and made vaguely threatening comments. This set Alvin in something of a confused panic, and he went back in to talk to the gang boss a 2nd time, which did no good and looked very sketchy. 

Meanwhile, PC Campbell showed up at my party, and asked to speak to us about the Bang Snuff case. I was pretty tippsy by then, and that is when we discovered that Alvin was not there, and was not answering the pounding upon his door. None of us had a clue how much trouble for Alvin it would be that he was missing. 

The next morning we all met up at Hanuman's, and learned that her court case would be heard the coming Friday, and that she was hopeful she would not need our services after then. Before we left Miss Nesbitt (Hanuman's secretary, and secretly the person who was Alvin's contact with the gang in the Gruv) interrogated Alvin, who reportedly reported his meeting with Scantly. She was concerned about the police knowing about the dropoff, and was very worried about all the loose ends. I was still totally clueless. Clearly both Alvin and the Police were much better informed than Rowan, Barnhart and myself.

AP:350 + 300 + 100 = 750 (+100 to Alvin)  + journal
Last edited by ChrisDDickey on Sun May 08, 2022 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A Troubled Childhood

Post by supermooboo » Sun May 08, 2022 5:53 pm

“Shit” ~ Alvin Baker

Not much to say about the predicament I find myself in.

“It’s a simple story heard anywhere. Kid grows up worse for wear. It’s not even about the part of town being particularly bad, it’s not like I grew up in the slums or anything. Well, for different definitions of slum I guess. The Baker’s have always struggled to get by and that’s a reality that hasn’t changed even as I am now a successful associate of a famous firm. Because life doesn’t give a shit about your average Joe. And you can wash the shit off a man, but there’s no removing the stains. Shit stains like the average dreg who’s just trying to make a way in this world don’t have much of a chance.”

A liquid stain covers the next part of text and Alvin has crossed out a bunch of text making it illegible. Deciding better on going into the details. Alvin continues differently.

“People might look at my life and think I was given a chance, but this was a false chance. I had to risk everything and for what! I lost an arm, my future at a close, my only choice between what’s right and what I have to do. That’s no choice. That’s life. A one way street with many paths that all end up at the same place.”

So now I find myself with the Yard, the Society, and even my own Associates on my back. The deal for the Society having been successful but the police having pretty much only me as a suspect. “It’s bullshit! All bullshit! It wasn’t me who did that. It wasn’t me. That person who did that is not me.”

I don’t have many options, but there is one thing I can control. I’m going to see if I can get out of this. Well at least I can comfort myself in knowing that success or not I’m still on the same one way street.

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Re: A Troubled Childhood

Post by ChrisDDickey » Tue May 10, 2022 9:50 am

Old Cusa nears the end of his story. 

The morning after the party we met with Ms Hauniman again. We discussed what we might say in Mr Hanuman's court appearance. We agreed that she would testify that Grace and Hutt had stolen certain items of her property, but that we would not mention our activities in getting them back. We again kicked around reporting the kidnapping to the police, but decided it was too late Though we did drop an anonymous note to the Welsh Elephant identifying the people who had broken into their establishment while they were absent as Mr. Hutt, Mr Head (We used their full names and addresses), and the occupant of the caretakers cottage at 122 Cliffield Rd, Ealing.
We agreed to investigate the false and slanderous depictions of Hanuman published in Small's Society Paper under the byline of Ms. Milstead. One of the stories included a photograph of a young girl that it identified as Hanuman, doing childish things. The girl in the photo was a somewhat likeness of Hanuman, but not exact. We advised her to have a professional photographer take some photographs so that she could submit copies to the court along with the newspaper photographs to show that the girl in the newspaper was an imposter hired for the sole purpose of slandering Hanuman. 

After that meeting, we went to a pub and there Alvin confessed to us his recent misdeeds that I have already recounted to you. Helping Mrs Nesbit smuggle the Dinosaur glands, delivering them to Scantly in Bethnal Green, etc. He told us that he had been recruited into the Hesperian Society in the Gruv by a barber called "The Butcher" who arranged for the Society to pay for his clockwork arm in exchange for Alvin joining them and doing them some favors! He seemed quite nervous about crossing them as he felt them to be both vicious and powerful. He did not trust the police, thinking they had probably been infiltrated by the society. We discussed that maybe he could be a double agent in the Society by arranging to smuggle glands from the Gruv to London in wild animal cages.

We went to talk to PC Campbell, and Alvin said that he had ridden to Bethnal Green the night before in order to investigate the Bang Snuff trade like Campbell had asked us to. When the guy claiming to be a police inspector had talked to him, he had no way to know whether he was a real inspector or not, or even if he was, if he was honest or not. So he had not told him anything, prefuring to report to Campbell or some other known person, and he certainly did not want to be seen talking to police just outside of the gang headquarters! We all reiterated our desire to shut down the Bang Snuff trade. We said that he would try to infiltrate the smuggler ring, but asked him to not put that in his reports as we wanted as few people as possible to know. 

PC Campbell suggested we also try to track the London side. They think that one of the distribution points is going to be run by a gang called the Florists, run out of a flower shop in Wapping. But the police don't want the Florist, they want his supplier, The chemist or alchemist who makes the Bang Snuff. They don't need us to arrest him, they want a location and proof. So we need to try that while still in London.

We went to the newspaper offices of Small's Society Paper and asked to speak with Ms. Milstead. The receptionist tried to put us off, but I hypnotized her. She admitted that Ms. Milstead had not come in that day. She said that Milstead had exchanged many telegrams with Mr. Grace. The telegrams mention "their arrangement". The receptionist seemed to think that they were sweet on each other. The two frequently met at Mabel's coffee shop nearby for coffee. I suggested that it was strange that Milstead had not sent a message that she would not be coming in, and volunteered to check on her to make sure she was OK. She gave us the address. 

At her flat, we rang the buzzer and a man on the intercom told us to go away. While Rowen and myself talked to the man who refused to let us talk to Milstead, Bernhardt and Alven went around the back and found an unlocked door. They entered the hallway and (walking right past the doorway that we were waiting at), climbed the stairs and broke down the door to Milstead's flat. Unfortunately one of her downstairs neighbors (a thin elderly man with glasses in the flat on the left) got a good look at us, which worried us when we heard the sounds of the commotion upstairs. 

Upon breaking down the door, Alvin and Bernhardt found quite a sight. Actually there was nothing particularly unusual about Ms Milstead, nor the half packed luggage (other than that the receptionist had obviously not been aware that Milstead was leaving on a trip), The 12 year old girl with a superficial resemblance to Hanuman seemed quite ordinary as well. Even the large menacing Snark was sadly not as uncommon of our typical experiences as one could hope. They were fairly surprised to find a very angry leopard. 

Notes: Finish the Society paper. Look into importing wild animals. Investigate the Florist. 
AP 600 + 600 + 100 + 500 special = 1800 + Journal

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