The Laundry

The Wild Hunt

From Lexicanum

Day 1


Friday morning – after the last mission’s disaster involving trees the party have spent the last few weeks keeping their heads down as memos pass over them with the intensity of a bombardment before a world war 1 attack. Missions are assigned, only to be cancelled and reassigned. Upcoming Pan-European committee meetings require the entire office to work through the night only to cancelled at 20 minutes notice because of the Belgians, it’s always the bloody Belgians. Then on Thursday, Bankett over in Recruitment lost the plot completely. They dragged him out of his office. He was screaming that there were demons in his filing cabinet, which is utter nonsense. The only demons in his office were in the secure server at the back. Overwork and stress claims another victim. Anyway Friday morning the party are summoned to HR. Hillary Roper, your HR manager, smiles like a shark that is desperately trying to be nice but isn’t quite getting it. ‘You’ve all been working very hard lately, very hard indeed and I’ve got a memo here from Med & Psych suggesting that you all need some time off. So, I’ve arranged a little break for you all. Here’s the brochure.’


‘It all sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Just the sort of relaxing trip you need to recover. While you’re down there, by the way, there’s one tiny little job we’d like you to do. You see, Security Management want you to assess the retreat centre for future use by the Laundry. It’s easy: just poke around while you’re there, make sure the place is secure, and the staff aren’t spies or cultists or, you know, a front for a money laundering scheme or something.’ A mere formality you understand; the important thing is to relax and unwind.

The arrangement is that the party will catch the late morning train down to Exeter and rent a car to drive to the village of Hesstock.

Welcome to Hesstock
The journey to Hesstock was uneventful and as the party enter the valley see Hesstock village itself:

You’ve been to places like Hesstock village before, but they were behind security cordons and used to contain Deep One Hybrids. There’s a definite Dunwich vibe to the whole place. Hesstock village consists of a church, a pub, a village shop and a handful of houses that would best be described as ‘sullen’. Modern life has certainly not reached here yet. You’re faintly surprised that they’ve even got electricity. Grey rain washes over grey slate roofs and cascades down gutters. The gutters didn’t start out grey, but they’re working on it. Suspicious villagers stare at you with hollow, suspicious eyes. By comparison to this lot, the squamous inhabitants of Dunwich were party animals. A newish sign points up the hill, directing you to the Satori Centre.

As party drove over the medieval stone bridge to enter the village the party felt their wards prickling slightly as if they had entered a warded zone. Angus, who was driving, was a bit surprised by this and as a result clipped the wall of Image result for 1970 mild bitter cornwallthe bridge. The party got out to check the damage which was fortunately minor but they did notice however that there had been a nasty accident recently with skid marks and impact damage on the wall of the bridge.

The Huntsman's RestThe party decided to stop at the pub, The Huntsman’s Rest which they discovered is very much a local pub for local people, as they entered the conversations stopped and the regulars stared at the party. Standing their ground. The party spotted that, like the rest of the village, the pub seemed to be rather stuck in the 1970’s so Gideon ordered aWatneys Mild half of mild whilst the rest of the party had a selection of soft drinks and crisps. After a bit the locals started to ignore the party and returned to their drinks and conversations.

After finishing their drinks, they decided to proceed up to the Satori centre.

On the way to the Satori centre an old lady came up to Paul and threw water over his face and then tried to make a sign of the cross on his forehead. A very large bloke then appeared introduced himself to Paul as Ed apologised for his mother and dragged her off.
Hello, I must be going

On the way up to the centre the party passed through an old stone gateway in a crumbling wall—it must have been very impressive a long time Manorago but now it’s covered in thick moss. Off to the right, through the trees, the party glimpses the stately Redvers House, which looks like it, too, has seen better days. To the left, though, the party saw the shiny new  centre with three cars parked outside.

A door opens and two figures emerge. The taller guy has to be Dr. Greg himself. He is in his sixties, wearing a long tan-coloured robe and sandals. He looks like an American Jesus, if Jesus spent a lot of time on tanning beds and smoked a lot of dope. Clinging to Dr. Greg is another man; he’s wearing a business suit but carrying his tie in his hand. Greg peels him off when he sees you and waves. ‘This man...’ says the smaller guy, ‘this man changed my life. This is a NOOSE! He made me see it! I’m free now! Free! He changed my life!’ He breaks down in tears again, burying his nose in Dr. Greg’s armpit. ‘One sec, guys’, says Dr. Greg. Again, he unwraps the other man’s arms from around his waist. ‘Look, Jeremy, it’s time for you to go. But you remember what you saw in the sweat lodge, right?’ He pushes Jeremy towards one of the cars. ‘Be you, Jeremy. Be you.’ ‘Welcome to the Satori Rejuvenation Retreat Centre! You think of yourselves as the guys from Capital Laundry Services, right? That’s just where you work, not who you are. I am Dr. Greg and I’m here to help you find you.’

The party was led into the reception area and has the receptionist input their details in the ancient computer – Dr. Greg apparently bought aDR. Greg computer in 1994 and has not upgraded it since but the party get a whole floppy disk to themselves (3.5’ blue). After the registration process was complete Dr Greg said:

Guys, we’ve got a few rules here at the Satori Centre. First, relax. Treat this place as your home. Do whatever you want. Be happy, and be good to one another. Second, no mobile phones or computers. You’re here to get away from the modern world. If you absolutely, positively have to make a call, you can come to me, but otherwise, you turn off the electronic leashes and be free for a few days.’

The party were reluctant to hand over their phones and computers which distressed Dr Greg who eventually gave in demanding them. The party discovered that the old stable block had been rebuilt into a dozen small bedrooms on the upper floor and his ‘workshop space’, offices and a breakfast room and kitchen on the ground floor. It is all pine and bare stone walls decorated with fashionable ethnic rugs and knick-knacks. Everything smells of incense and there is a constant background sound of relaxing panpipe music. Dr Greg suggested to the party that they settle in and come down once they are unpacked for a Group Therapy session. After this session, which Gideon found very useful, Angus and Emma decided to go down to the pub while Major Travis stayed behind to read, Gideon decided to walk the grounds contemplating the wisdom of Dr Greg and Paul spent the evening desperately failing to get a phone signal. Using the tried and trusted method of buying a round of drinks the locals started to open up to the party and they picked the following points:

• The new centre up at the Redvers House is the stupidest thing any of them have ever heard of. Dr. Greg came down to the village when he first arrived and offered a free course in holistic therapy; he has not shown his bearded face in Hesstock again, not after the mockery of last time.

• The Redvers themselves are strange indeed. No one goes near them and no-one wants to.

• There have been a lot more visitors around lately, probably thanks to that new centre. Why, there were those two hikers who vanished on the moors— they visited the centre before going out walking. And that poor girl who crashed her car on the old bridge, wasn’t she another guest at the centre? The place is obviously bad luck.

• journalist came by the pub yesterday, asking the same sort of questions. He said his name was Palmer.

Around closing time, at the centre, Paul and Gideon noticed that the temperature in the valley started to drop alarmingly and they both heard the sound of howling in the distance that struck them to the core and they hurried in just as Angus together with Emma arrived from the pub.

Day 2

The following morning Major Travis, upon discovering what was on offer for breakfast, went down to the local village shop to get all the ingredients for a proper fry up. This caused Dr Greg some stress but Gideon happily shared his breakfast of Granola which pleased him.

Just before the morning session a man arrived at the door and Dr Greg rushed out to see him. As soon as they start talking it degenerated into an argument and the party heard :

“and not the good kind of coincidence! Not the “synchronicity of the universal mind” but the “shit that doesn’t mean anything!’”

At which point the landowner appeared to order the unwelcome visitor off his property.

The morning session consisted of yoga which, unfortunately, resulted the slight injury to Paul & Emma from pulled muscles. Paul complained about it for the rest of the day. At Lunchtime Angus and Emma walked down to the pub whilst Major Travis continued to read, Paul nursed his pulled muscle (complaining) and Gideon decided to walk to the Manor House.

At the Pub Angus and Emma spotted the visitor from earlier who introduced himself as Francis Palmer. They then question him for a bit which revealed the following:

·         His research into the Satori Centre turned up the rumours about tax evasion and unethical behaviour involving Dr. Greg, so he started digging deeper which lead to discovering the deaths
·         David Kay visited the centre a month ago and was found frozen and splattered in his garden—the police are not sure if he froze to death and was then thrown off a roof, or fell off a roof and then froze.
·         Susan and Mel Richards visited Hesstock two weeks ago and went for a day treatment at the Satori Centre before vanishing on the moors.
·         Finally, Sophie Zolotas crashed her car near the centre survived but is in a coma at Exeter General Hospital.

The afternoon session consisted of Guided Meditation (with panpipe music) which upset Major Travis whilst the other members oddly, all dream of the same forest; that of Wistman’s Wood.

In the late afternoon the party heard sirens and after going down to the village discover a police car, and an ambulance with an old Ford Sierra crashed on the bridge. At the point the party got there they saw the body of Francis Palmer being dragged from the remains of his car. Gideon commented that it is clearly an accident blackspot.

Angus decided to seek out old mad Madge, who indeed turns out to be mad. Meanwhile the party decided to get Gideon to use his Thaumometer to see if there were any hot spots. He duly wandered around the village to discover that:

·         The general level of magical energy was much higher in and around the village then normal.

·         That level dropped off back to normal levels beyond the old stone bridge

·         The church was no different to the rest of the village

·         The level increased towards the Manor house and Wistman’s Wood

Angus then checked out the Church to discover it was perfectly normal other for there being no evensong.

In the evening, after a few halves down the pub (there were now regulars to the joy of the publican) the party made its way back to the centre after discussing the day’s events. Yet again the temperature started to drop in the valley but this time they heard the sound of hunting horns and hounds. Looking at towards the manor Emma spotted four figures on horseback make for the wood. A few minutes later ribbons of light shot up above the wood shortly followed by ghostly figures on horseback together with headless hounds. That strange manifestation then rapidly disappeared to the south towards Exeter. The party then hurried inside. Later that night Paul, being unable to sleep, spotted 4 horseback figures leave the wood going back to the Manor House. He noted that they were not carrying anything

Day 3

In the morning Angus and Major Travis decided to attend church which they discover is a fairly standard affair but very well attended.

Later Emma decided to phone, from the call box with the Major shoving in 20p’s to order, the Hospital to check on the progress of Sophie Zolotas only to be passed around various switch boards to be interviewed by a gruff man who ascertains her basic details and where she is. He then informs her that she is to stay where she is and a police car would pick her up. Sure enough 20 minutes later a police car with two police men invite Emma and the Major to step into their car at which point they are whisked off to Exeter…

Much to their surprise they were taken straight to Exeter general hospital where they were further surprised by the large presence of police and familiar anonymous looking unmarked vans. The police took them to see to an agent Davies who took them to see Director Grey who was the Exeter HospitalLaundry officer in charge of the Exeter office. The Laundry had converted a back series of storage rooms into a temporary field office. Director Grey explained that last night, though a second story window, something smashed into the room of Sophie Zolotas. Ms Zolotas was in a coma after a recent car crash in the village of Hesstock. She was in a deep coma and was not expected to recover hence she was surrounded by her close family waiting for the inevitable. The family members were all in various states of shock and only some members were in a state to talk but they all stated they were attack by headless hounds which is interesting in that some of the family had large bite marks consistent with very large hounds. When the police when back into the room Sophie was gone however on the CCTV there was no sign of her leaving with or without help. Emma reviewed Ms Zolotas medical file which stated the following:

Her injuries in the crash were enough to knock her unconscious and possibly cause her coma but her doctors have also found a fungal infection in her brain. It appears to be a form of aspergillus flavus; they also found dirt-encrusted scratches on her hands and forearms, suggesting that she had been pushing her way through brambles or holly bushes. The fungus might have entered her bloodstream there but aspergilliosis affecting the nervous system is very rare except in the case of patients who are already immuno-compromised. Her brain activity is extremely erratic, suggesting ongoing degradation of her nervous system.

Director Grey stated, because of the increased recent increased activity in and around Exeter his team was overstretched therefore he could offer no support other than requisition of supplies. The Major and Emma also spoke to the London office who confirmed that they were now seconded to Exeter temporally to investigate Hesstock. The Major and Emma then took full advantage of the Exeter office supplies but Director Grey made them sign requisition forms so the equipment would be charged to London. Director Grey was clearly very busy trying to put a lid on the incident so the Major and Emma left going back to Hesstock using transport supplied by the police who moaned about the strange multiple incidences as well as acting as a taxi service for “spooks”.

Meanwhile back at the centre Gideon and Paul went into Dr Greg’s quantum tunnelling session. Dr Greg was very upset there were missing members but started anyway explaining that this was about reality tunnels and how this will help them transcend into other reality perspectives. Dr Greg distributed some materials covering different life perspectives. Needless to say Gideon chose a child and the session started with Gideon taking to it like a duck to water and even Paul getting into swing of things. As Paul transferred to a new reality he felt like something non-human was watching him whilst Gideon thought he saw a spectral figure momentarily as he transferred.

On return of Emma and the Major tooled up (much to Gideon’s dismay he was refused a basilisk gun yet again) the party (except the Major whoWistmans wood found something better to do in the pub) decided to investigate the wood in the evening. Despite their precautions they rapidly got lost and after wandering around they were intercepted by Richard de Redvers dressed in tweeds with a broken shotgun cradled in his arm. He ordered the party off his land and pointed to the way out. Emma noticed that there was something very odd about his speech patterns; very archaic. On the way out Paul noticed a leather jacket hanging from the top of a stunted oak which he retrieved on climbing it. It was very wet, obviously being there some weeks, and searching it they found in a sheltered inside pocket a clip of business cards belonging to “David Kay. Architect”.

The party decided to investigate the manor house that night so they waited until they heard the hounds and hunting horns then they set off to the house. Once they got there they first investigated the kennels where they discovered a kennel that appeared little used. They then entered the house into a kitchen which appeared fully functional but old fashion. Angus noticed that in looking in the cupboards that he could remember they Gazettewere well stocked but couldn’t remember the details of what the stock was. It was if his attention slid off the details. On entering the hall the party saw a typical dark oak panelled room with lots of pictures of similar looking people in historic costumes but again the party found their attention slid off the details. Gideon decided he wanted to check out the bedrooms and ascended the stairs with the rest of the party reluctantly following. On setting foot on the first floor the party was confronted with a corridor with numerous bedroom doors off it. Taking the first door Gideon opened it to discover an empty guest bedroom. Paul heard from the second room noises of snoring and opening the second door discovered a rather impersonal master bedroom with two people in a four poster bed. After quietly shutting the door the party decided to retreat downstairs to investigate. Looking around they eventually found a library were Paul had great difficulty in reading the titles of the books on the shelves but decided to take one at random putting it in his pocket. Angus meanwhile looked at a newspaper and after an extraordinary effort managed to read the title and date; The Devon and Exeter Daily Gazette, 10 January 1923! At this point the party decided to leave where they saw the lights and hunters descend onto the centre before raising and retreating to the wood. The Party hurried back to the centre where they discovered Gideon’s room broken into whilst Paul discovered his pocket was empty.

In the morning Angus decided to go down to the village to meet Mad Madge again. After some general chat Angus steered the conversation on to the De Redvers to which Madge states that all he needs to know is in the church. Angus then hurried to the church spending some hours hunting through the church records until he found a 1713 entry for Richard, Mary, John, and Alice De Redvers all marked deceased with a note The Herla took him/her. Interestingly he found no further records for the De Redvers family after 1713

Day 4

London - an interlude

Lizzy was comfortably wearing her best stilettos (Jimmy Choos) as well as a low top in her cubical preparing the latest media presentation for a minister when she was summoned by her departmental boss.  Apparently there was an incident at Exeter General Hospital and up to now the local office was handling the local media but she was concerned that national media would pick it up therefore Lizzy was being sent immediately down to Exeter to assist.

After a 3 hour journal from Paddington Lizzy arrived at Exeter Station and was met by a police car who took her to the Hospital. There she met Director Grey, the local station chief, who was not happy to see her as he took her as personal slight that London felt his team could not handle Image result for jimmy choosthe situation. He therefore sent her to Hesstock to be with the other London lot. Somewhat putout she went to the Satori Center to be met by a few familiar faces. Dr Greg was surprised to get an unexpected visitor but arranged a room. He announced that there would be a yoga session starting in the afternoon at which point the Major decided to escape down to the pub for the rest of the day.

Meanwhile the rest of the party, after briefing Lizzy, decided it would be safer to explore the wood in daylight and after packing lunch set off. Lizzy changed out of her high heels and low cut top into some clothes that were almost appropriate (Leopard skin cat suit and gold trainers). Once the party arrived at the wood they took procautions to avoid getting lost:

  • Emma dropped bits of paper
  • Gideon dropped breadcrumbs
  • Angus marked the bark of the trees they passed (Gideon complained about vandalism)
  • Paul & Lizzy relied on GPS

After a bit of hiking the party noticed that they were all developing headaches and their wards were being activated which they recognized as an effect of a misdirection ward. They continued and after a bit of heavy hiking the party heard hounds heading their way so they prepared (Paul hid at the back behind the loons waving guns). Soon a mud covered woman appeared being chased by 3 headless hounds. The party swung into action with:

  • Paul as well as Lizzy casting spells to try and banish the hounds,
  • Angus relying on his trusty PPK
  • Gideon swing a club (well actually a branch he found)
  • After dispatching the hounds Emma treated the woman, Mel, who told the party her story:

She and her sister Susan left Hesstock intending to hike to Moretonhampstead but a fog descended on the moor and they got lost. They were looking for a place to make camp when the Hunt found them. They were carried up into the sky and brought to the forest where they were buried alive in shallow graves by these crazy silver people. There were roots in the grave and they squirmed and burrowed into her skull, oh god. Then... it was as though something was trying to consume her mind. It reminded her of Dr. Greg’s talk about reality tunnels, only it was not a tunnel, it was a hole straight down and it was trying to make her fall into it. She clung onto the thought that she had to save her younger sister Susan and that if she gave in, Susan would die. She fought for so long and then the thing was distracted and she was able to pull herself out of the grave. There were dozens of other graves in the weird wood and she started looking for Susan but then those dogs arrived and she had to run...

Emma examined Mel to discover:

  • There were several small wounds on her head that were encrusted with blood and some sort of bark. It appeared that whatever bored into her skull spread out and could have extruded tiny tendrils into her brain. 
  • She was also coughing up a lot of blood and is suffering joint pain, which could be symptoms of aspergilliosis fungal infection. 
  • Finally, she was severely dehydrated, exhausted and in need of medical attention as soon as possible.

Mel agreed to guide the party to the location if they rescued her sister so they continued.

The party sneaked into a glade with a clearing in the shadow of a tor. The party noticed a couple of things whilst observing:

  • The trees in the glade were strangely twisted and misshapen and had luridly lush foliage in comparison to the bareness of the surrounding wood.
  • Up ahead, they spotted a silvery-skinned elf-like naked figure squatting over a pile of loose earth, patting it down as if she’s just finished burying someone in a shallow grave...

elvesThe Party decided to attack pressing their advantage of surprise. Lizzy decided to circle the glade stealthily unfortunately she stumbled and theroots Elf turned to investigate the noise. Gideon & Paul decided at that point, whilst the Elf was distracted to rush to the cave they had spotted. Unfortunately, again, Paul slipped and fell into an open grave whilst Gideon made it to the cave. The Elf through back her head and uttered a freakish ululating cry. Meanwhile Paul considered his position, on the positive he save his laptop (he had only had this one for a few weeks and bureaucracy to get a replacement last time still made his head hurt) on the negative he noticed that the roots were moving towards his head.

The Elf turned and charged Gideon attaching him with her claws. Paul meanwhile scrambled out of the grave and Angus used his trusty PPK on the Elf taking care not to hit Gideon.

Three more Elves then appeared in the Glade and attacked. Lizzy, who had advanced to help Gideon, spun around to confront the new threat. Emma decided to sneak up behind one elf and use her trusty syringe technique successfully creating the first High Elf.

Eventually the party succeeded in killing the elves and Paul took the opportunity to examine the cave whilst Gideon kept the elves from resurrecting and the rest of the party rescued the survivors from the graves. Paul noticed that the root system seemed to form a dispersed network which clearly used human brains to function.  Paul then proceeded to destroy the network.

Soon after the party managed to get a mobile signal and contact the Laundry who sent in help.

  • The Satori Centre is not approved as a retreat center for troubled Laundry staff.
  • The Laundry are extremely happy with the party and they all receive promotions
  • Further follow up investigations by the Laundry reveal graves dating back to primeval times in that glave
  • In Devon and Dartmoor, the local version of the Wild Hunt is associated with the dwarf oaks of Wistman’s Wood. According to the tales, the Hunt rides across the sky in search of sinners and the unbaptised.
  • Thousands of years ago, an entity—called the Herla, entered our reality and entered into a parasitic relationship with a stretch of primal woodland, sapping the life from the trees to keep itself alive. The roots of the trees interwove, forming a vast underground network. For hundreds of centuries, it survived in this restricted, weakened state until it learned to feed on humans, to use their minds to cast the spells needed to sustain it.
  • In order to impress itself onto the minds of humans, it needed those without strong preconceptions or beliefs hence the hunt for sinners/unbaptized