The Strange Case of the Red Painted Woman
The Occult Verification Society (OVS) Flag B
You are Ronald Helping Chairman of the London Branch of the Occult Verification Society. The society is a collection of persons interested in occult phenomena from a variety of viewpoints. Whilst you personally believe that there are ghosts, spirits and demonic beings active in England, you also know that there area lot of charlatans trying to make money with fraudulent schemes. The society’s aims are to seek out and test reported occult phenomena so as to establish the actual truth. Some members are more interested in exorcising ghosts or destroying alleged vampires. Public safety must come before verification of the facts in their eyes. Professor Able Learning your archivist is of this faction. He is also your main collector of information regarding supernatural happenings. It is his study of ghostly happenings around the ruined church and graveyard of St. Radegund in Whitechapel that has led to the present operation. There have been reports of hauntings in the area going back to medieval times. For centuries these led to no one building on the plague pit meadows to the East of the church. These are now occupied by Knowe's Gentlemen’s Cricket Club pitch. However more definite recordings of hauntings have occurred after 1767. That was the year when in the middle of a marriage ceremony the roof of the church collapsed, killing thirty-four people including the bride. She, Cicely Turner had been seen as a ghost on three separate occasions in the churchyard shortly afterwards. Other sightings of her and some of the other victims were reported in the Whitechapel Remembrancer and more often in the penny pamphlets of the time during the decades that followed. Professor Learning has also heard a story that the night watchman at the Claypit Warehouses turns into a wolf at night! The somewhat unreliable source of this claim has resulted in the Warehouses not being burgled for over ten years. Something of a record in this locality!
Miss Leica Badamaru a lady originally from Romania, has with her friend Miss Cordelia Higginbottom, taken an interest particularly in vampire undead of the Dracula type. Leica claims that her family were traditional enemies of the vampires and she has a large antique silver bladed dagger designed to dispose of them. Miss Cordelia favours a small crossbow which fires silver tipped darts. It is Miss Leica who brought to your attention the Times newspaper letter leading to this action.
It is with considerable chagrin that I consider it
my public duty to write this letter. The facts are
that I have been for some time aware of unlawful
acts being committed in the St. Radegund Graveyard.
The local police have again and again turned a blind
eye to these. Last Saturday around 1 am. screams
were heard from the direction of the church. Visiting
it at 10am I found fresh blood stains on and around
the altar. Clear evidence that some unspeakable act
of sacrilege had taken place there. I reported this to
the Bogey Lane Station who ‘recorded’ the report.
After a repeat call Constable Legget was detailed to
accompany me to the Church. Despite it raining the
blood was still there showing as fresh as ever! The
Constable passed the information to his Inspector.
The next day he visited the church in company with
the Sexton Timothy Fowler who holds the graveyard
keys. The bloodstains were now gone! Sexton Fowler
told me that since there was no evidence of any crime
the police would take no further action! Thus are the
public served by these overpaid layabouts!
Miss Edna Gimlet 2 Knowe Lane Whitechapel.
Miss Leica claims that the blood remaining fresh indicates that it is from a vampire. Living human blood congeals fairly quickly and goes a darker red. She suspects that there is a Vampire Court at work operating at the St. Radegund Church. She says that back in Romania, the Vampires ran such bodies to act against any of their number operating against their public interest. She and Miss Cordelia believe that Jack the Ripper may have been a vampire gone insane. They claim that in Britain each vampire would collect four or five simple minded Bavaglinae or feeders. They would live off the blood of these without killing them for possibly years. As long as no one recognised the fang punctures they would escape notice. Leica’s family sources claim that Pimp Vampires run Bavaglinae strings of harlots in several Lancashire towns. Miss Higginbottom says that in Liverpool Chinese Vampires run the opium dens there, living off the addicts. Her youth was spent in Her Majesty’s Crown Colony of Hong Kong, where her father was a merchant dealing mainly in tea. She can speak some Chinese as a result. She suspects that there are Chinese opium den vampires in London. Thinking that the blood at the church might be that of Chinese vampires Leica and Cordelia visited Miss Edna Gimlet in order to question her. She would not admit them into the house! According to the proprietor of the nearby corner shop she had all her windows broken by youths after publication of her letter. She is now terrified of any more reprisals. Shop customers are sure that the youths were not locals. The only known Chinese in the area live at the Lilywhite Chinese Laundry in Bogey Lane. It has been there little more than a year. Miss Cordelia suspects that it will run an opium den at night. Mrs Elbow of the corner shop warned them that this was not a safe area for respectable women after dark for many reasons!
Professor Able Learning asserts that with you and himself to accompany them, they should be perfectly safe tonight. The Society has had difficulty in obtaining worthwhile supernatural happenings, and he says that if they cannot find any on this Hallows Eve, they might as well give up! His reading of the Tarot Cards has made him sure that ‘something of note’ will occur at St. Radegunds.
Your party meets on the Whitechapel High Street at the junction with Radegund’s Road. There is a real pea-souper fog tonight and you were a little late getting there. You start on Move AvD –1.
On this night it is very dark with a thick London Particular pea-souper fog. Visibility is down to six inches with recognition at three. This increases to nine inches and recognition at six inches near the lit gas street lamps.
To conceal identities in the fog players will move flags until meeting.
Mr Ronald Helping Lea, Activist, M0 6”, Fa 3/3/5, Ag +1, Th +1, Me +2, Mallet Bst –2 Stake Pst –3, Lockpicking D10 6+ to pick each move, any 0 lock cannot be picked.
Class VII, PI Respectable, Charm M0, F +1, Coercion 0 MC £9 – 11s- 5d
Speaks Latin, Romanian (P) Watch, penknife. Bullseye lantern
Professor Able Learning VLe, Activist, M0 5”, Fa 1/2/3, Ag -1, Th 0, Me 0, Silver cross of St Patrocles Bst –3, Deringer 2 silver bullets 3” 4+ st 0, 6” 5+, st –1, 11” 6+ st –2
Bag of reference books. Scroll of exorcism. Bottle of holy water.
Class VI, PI Respectable, Charm M0, F 0, Coercion -1 MC £2 – 7s- 8d
Speaks Latin, Romanian, Greek, French, German, Russian & Italian.
Miss Leica Badamaru Activist, Mo 5”, Fa 2/3/4, Ag –1, Th –1, Me –1,
Dagger Pst –1, 3 pepper sachets R 2” D10 -2 rounds blinded sneezing Mo & Me –2.
Class VII, (VI) PI Respectable, Charm M +1, F +1, Coercion 0. Watch
MC £2 – 2s – 6p Speaks Romanian.
Miss Cordelia Higginbottom Activist, Mo 5”, Fa 2/3/4, Ag –1, Th –1, Me –1, Dagger Pst –1, Class VII, (VI) PI Respectable, Charm M +1, F +1, Coercion 0. Watch
Hand crossbow 3” 5+ Pst –1 6” 6+ Pst –1, 11” 7+ Pst –2. 3 silver tipped darts
MC £1 – 7s – 5p Speaks Chinese Bullseye lantern, notebook & pencil
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