The Laundry

Ye Livliest Awfulness

From Lexicanum

Day 1

Madman at the Gate

The team, after their exciting times of a few months ago, have spent the past few weeks attached to monitoring doing such exciting tasks as:

  • Jezza duty - Monitoring the Jeremy Kyle show for signs of possession which Angus has particularly taken to and in the process consumedSpiral Escalator vast amounts of malteasers.
  • Checking the phone that last rang in 1935 (red)
  • Check that the perpetual moving spiral escalator at Holloway road was still running.
  • Investigate lots of dead ends when certain keywords were pickup on the Metropolitan Police communications. Key words such as Cthulhu, tentacles, cult, ritual and so on.
  • Catch up on the paperwork

After days of this the team get yet another dead-end call from monitoring. Apparently, someone calling himself Lovecraft had caused a disturbance outside the American Embassy 4 hours ago. Contacting the police the Major established that the police office who dealt with the incident was a WPC Nadia Laytham based at Westminster station. On this information, the party, using public transport, headed off to Westminster station.

On realizing that she could offload the case to the Characters (embassy jobs involve mountains of paperwork) she was extremely helpful explaining the incident as follows:

She was the officer called to the US Embassy to take custody of some troublemaker. IC1 –White Caucasian, introduced himself as Howard Lovecraft, claimed to be an American citizen, but had no passport or other documentation and seemed confused. By the time she got there, this ‘Lovecraft’ was gone. She questioned passers-by, and got a description of Lovecraft: gaunt, thin-faced, dark hair, wearing a sweatshirt and tracksuit leggings. He left the embassy and went back to a nearby Tesco Express, where he argued with the spotty teenager behind the counter over the price of ice cream.

The party decided to review the CCTV footage for the area and ascertained that:

  • A tour bus with tinted windows pulls up outside a Tesco Express within a few minutes’ walk of the embassy. The driver gets out and hurries inside. Registration number: XLX7663.
  •  While he’s inside, the door opens again, and “Lovecraft” gets out. Lovecraft wanders off down the street. He’s wearing a sweatshirt with the letters C O B on it. He seems drugged or sleepy.
  • The driver comes back out, wolfing down a sandwich. He gets back in and drives off.
  • Following “Lovecraft” on CCTV, the characters watch him enter the American Embassy. He’s in there for around 45 minutes. He then leaves and goes back to the Tesco.A few minutes later a white van arrives, two men get out, and escort him into the van. They then drive off. Both men are in their mid-20s, wearing dark clothes and shades. One of them has something around his neck, like an amulet. The other may be armed – his hoodie rides up as he pushes “Lovecraft” into the van, and he has something tucked into his waistband.
  • The van’s plates are LC04 GNC.

Angus decides to visit the Embassy and ask the receptionist who reported the incident to the police. Despite being on foreign soil the receptionist was extremely helpful and recounted the events as follows:
She described the intruder as being very polite, but clearly disturbed. He spoke with a Boston accent. To get rid of him, she made him fill out a form. He couldn’t answer most of the questions on it, got frustrated, and left.

Angus took a copy of the form and left rapidly when a cold eye heavy wearing a dark suit with bulges, who was clearly a Black Chamber remote-controlled zombie, showed up. Inspecting the form, and checking with the office, he confirmed that the signature was identical to HP Lovecraft.

Meanwhile Lizzy checking out the coach discovered that it is owned by Abbot Coaches and that it was currently rented out to the Hermetic Trust.  Paul checked the Laundry records on the Trust to discover that:

The Trust is run by a nebbish named Agnes ‘Galadriel’ Barket; the Laundry vetted her secretly, and she’s just an enthusiast with no clue about the true nature of magic. They’ve bought a few occult grimoires, held a few lectures about spiritualism and imported various ritual items that are on the Laundry’s watch list – stuff like mummy dust, candles from a particular chandlery in Brazil that uses human blood in the mix, and oil of Ulthar.

Paul and Lizzy decided to pay the Hermetic Trust at it offices in the east end only to discover that it is above an Indian takeaway. The front door had a laminate sheet of A4 stuck announcing the Hermetic Trust in floral script with pictures of unicorns, wizards in pointy hats. On trying the door, they discovered it was locked at which point an Indian man appeared from the takeaway to ask them what they wanted and tell them that Agnes was only in in the morning. Paul and Lizzy decided to return in the following day.

Meanwhile Angus had returned and decided to see if he could trace the van to which he discovered the plates were fake. Undaunted he decided to follow the van on CCTV only to watch it leave CCTV coverage heading out on London towards Enfield.

The Major and Emma decided to investigate the coach and they managed to trace it leaving the Armsby-Britt museum before its stop at Tesco. They, together with Angus, then decided to pay the Museum a visit

Arriving at the museum they discovered that it was in a large Victorian house set back somewhat from the main road. On entering the museum they discovered that it was like stepping back in time to the 1930s, and was crammed full of nostalgia for Empire and casual racism. Lots of portraits of stern moustachioed men machine-gunning African tribesmen or showing those Asiatics what-for, lots of tribal masks and spears and stuffed zebra heads on the walls. They soon encountered the curator, Mr Pratt, and speaking to him Emma noticed that he was glassy eyed as well as speaking with a slur. After ascertaining he was not drunk she concluded that he had been geased. The best that Mr Pratt could remember was there was a private coach party there that morning. Angus went into the office to check their records whilst the Major decided to investigate after picking up a catalogue.

Angus found that the museum had indeed been booked out by the Hermetic Trust and that there was a special request that a tablet be exhibited for the Visit. The Major looking around the museum noticed two odd items:

Uzaran tablet1.       there’s was a glass display case containing the damaged and incomplete tablet from the Uzaran temple at Ul-Chabar, with part of the Book of the Starry Door engraved on it. Which according the catalogue is not normally displayed.
2.       In the café there was another geased staff member behind the counter and at a table full of empty ice cream tubs appeared to be the man that they saw on CCTV at the American Embassy.

The Major approached the man and introduced himself. The man replied that his name was H P Lovecraft in an American accent. The Major, deciding he the man they were looking for, engaged him in conversation and determined that he was not entirely sane. He wittered on about his dislike of London, his writing and the need to get back to New England. Eventually the Major managed to get out something coherent about how he ended up here which went as follows:

·         Sitting in his room with a typewriter. A gentleman had commissioned a story from him. He felt like he had written that story already, under the title of The Light in the Tomb, but the gentleman wanted him to expand on certain minor details.

A nightmarish din, a place of steel cylinders and crashing noises and flashing lights, and then a strange oblivion. His arm hurt.
A dream of an alien landscape, seared by some tremendous heat where the sky was a seething torrent fire, and there was a strange black basalt city rising from the baked earth. Something terrible dwelt in that basalt city.

Then he found himself in this museum, looking at the Persian tablet. He felt dizzy and dreamed that he saw himself everywhere, as if he was unstuck in time and could see his past and future selves. It upset him so much he felt sick, and took refuge in a bathroom.

They contacted Paul who was by now back at the office to check out Laundry records on

  • The Uzaran cult
  • The HP Lovercraft book The Light in the Tomb

It had become clear to the Major that this person could not be the same as the man at the Embassy as he had been here all morning. The Major decided to take him back to the office along with the staff and the rest of the party so they locked up the museum.

Back at the office they confirmed that Mr Pratt and Ms Jennings have been geased and it will take months to unpick and, in relation to the man calling himself HPL:

  • Physically, this is a man in his late 40s, suffering from stomach cancer and malnutrition, which matches Lovecraft’s condition just before his death.
  • There’s a low-level thaum field, consistent with the afterglow of necromancy.
  • He’s got several drugs in his blood system. There’s a sedative, but also a lot of caffeine and methylphenidate, aka Ritalin. Someone was trying to overclock his brain.

It was agreed by the Party to restart the investigation in the morning (due to budgetary constraints on overtime)

Day 2

In the morning Paul & Lizzie decided to go to the Hermitic Trust offices whilst Angus decided to visit Ms Barket’s home and Emma as well as the Major decided to visit the Museum again.

Arriving at the offices Paul & Lizzie spotted the missing Van leaving the offices so got their cabbie to follow it, as they did so they called the Major who diverted from the Museum to intercept them. After a Fire Vampirebit the van spotted they were being tailed so tried to shake the taxi. Unfortunately for the van they had no change being followed by a black cab armed with “the knowledge” and so eventually they trapped the van in a dead end with the Major’s taxi in close pursuit.

Soon after the van stopped the back doors burst open and two intense balls of flames attacked the taxi watch on by the two occupants of the van. As the Major’s and Emma’s taxi was behind the first it could not reverse so took the brunt of the attack with the cabbie being killed (at his post to the last) meanwhile Paul and Lizzie abandoned the flaming taxi. The Major and Emma exited theirs and ordered it to leave.  The two Fire Vampires then attacked Paul & Lizzie rapidly burning through their wards. 

The Major deciding a gun would not help grabbed a fire extinguisher from the taxi and set to work. In the resulting combat the Major managed to extinguish the two vampires which caused the two hoods to also drop. 

Lizzie however was mortally injured in flames and only with the swift action of the Major wielding the fire extinguisher did she survive with only a melted nose.