This is a report of a play through of my Double Jeopardy adventure for the Cthulhu Hack and other Mythos game systems. This is designed to be an aid for potential games masters who are planning to run the adventure and therefore contains SPOILERS!
If you want to experience Double Jeopardy as a player stop reading now or you will spoil the game for yourself and others.
The adventure is suitable for beginning investigators. My party consisted of four players, each with two characters. Three of the players were very experienced Cthulhu players and the forth had not played a Mythos game before.
The top picture to the right shows the assembled party. The setting is 1980s Britain, specifically Woolwich just south of the Thames in London.
The party from left to right:
Angus Taverner, engineer and inventor. Lefty Barker, retired boxer. Alan Fluke, entrepreneur and hedge fund manager. Enigma Creedendce, semi-retired police inspector. Leroy Wilkie, London Underground maintenance technician. Robby Nelson, bus conductor. Gemima Doddlepuck, crazy cat lady. Melissa 'Honey' Jones, PhD student of ancient history by day, stripper by night.
An eclectic mix of individuals thrown together by their need to investigate and battle the machinations of the Old Ones and their servants.
The Adventure begins.
Newspaper article Reporter: Lewis Umney
Dead body found of living man. Police baffled.
Tom Charles a South African working in Britain as an English teacher at Woodhill School in Woolwich was found dead in a skip in the vicinity of Plumbstead High Street early this morning. The body was naked. The dead man was quickly identified by fingerprint records. However, as the police called at the deceased man’s address to inform the next of kin they were amazed to be greeted at the door by Mr Charles himself.
Enquiries are ongoing.
The investigators noticed the newspaper clipping about the strange case of the dead but alive man and decided to investigate.
Studying the photo in the paper they determined where the body had been found and set off to investigate the crime scene themselves.
They found the skip in the alleyway shown in the newspaper photo and searched around until they turned up a staff meal voucher for Woodhill school showing that Tom Charles had probably been in the alleyway recently.
The next stop was the police station to find out what the local bobbies knew. Creedence went in alone and took the investigation officer to the nearby pub for a liquid lunch.
Unfortunately the police really were baffled and Creedence found out nothing new.
He did find out that local homeless people were going missing and that another teacher from Woodhill school had disappeared recently however so it wasn't a wasted interview.
After the policeman left Creedence found a local paper and read of another strange incident about a man who, although badly injured, kept escaping from the hospital where he was being cared for.
Armed with their new clues the investigators went to Woodhill school, arriving just as everyone was heading for home.
The mothers and staff at the gate were chatty and happy to gossip. The investigators were told that a young mother, Sabrina Iredale, had caused a fuss the other day when she turned up late to collect her son and found he'd already left with a woman the staff claimed was her.
Intrigued with this new tale of a mysterious double some of the investigators found the woman's address in the phone book and went to interview her at home.
It was about this time that the strange hallucinations started that began to unnerve our heroes. they heard voices, sensed unnatural presences and felt people or things that weren't there touching them.
Sabrina told the investigators her tale and her son confirmed that he had 'walked home with mummy' even though Sabrina claimed it wasn't her.
The mystery was deepening.
The next point of call was a trip to see Sean Furness, the injured man who kept running away from the hospital.
Sean told the investigators his story of how he saw a double of himself and was so overcome with rage that he ran out into traffic heedless of the danger and got run over. Since then the rage has come on him again and again. each time he has left the hospital causing himself more injuries so that now he is confined in a secure ward for his own safety.
The investigators went to Sean's workplace, a used car dealership to see if his double was there.
The salesmen said he'd been in that morning but no one had seen him since lunch. The investigators knew Sean had been in hospital, handcuffed to his bed, that morning so his double was around somewhere.
As most of the team headed off to the morgue to look at Tom Charles' body Gemima bought a van and stayed around the sales lot to see if Sean's double would turn up.
At the morgue the investigators were convinced by the coroner's report that the body they were viewing really was Tom Charles.
The body showed signs of being in a fight and then being killed by a blow to the head.
It was time to visit the living Tom Charles.
Tom seemed friendly enough when the investigators visited him at home. He denied all knowledge of having a double and suggested there's been a mistake that would be cleared up soon.
The investigators thought he was lying, he looked like he's been in a fight and there were signs around his house that pointed to there being more than one of him.
Unable to prove anything the team left to see if they could find out more from other people they were planning on tracking down at the pub.
They decided to cross the river by the foot tunnel, a momentous decision.
They found there was construction work going on in the tunnel and Leroy got chatting to the workmen who regaled him with incredible tales of the strange things that were happening to them.
Shaken by the spooky stories the workmen told and suffering ever more frequent hallucinations themselves the investigators arrived at the pub where they met Lewis, a local reporter.
He told them about the disappearances of the local homeless in more detail and explained he was worried that the missing teacher, Rachel Eckersley, had been caught up in them somehow.
Our heroes also met the lead volunteer from the homeless shelter, Chris Edwards, who told them that the local vagrants had recounted stories of seeing strange people in the cemetery.
The investigators headed for the common where they found a small group of the remaining homeless.
Gifts of food and money soon got them talking at length about their missing friends and the inhuman shapes they'd seen in the cemetery and on the common.
Despite fearing it would be dangerous our heroes went to the abandoned church by the cemetery and lay in wait to see what they could spot.
It wasn't long before people started arriving singly and in pairs and entering the supposedly abandoned church.
Sneaking into the church themselves the investigators discovered a secret door leading to a second crypt beneath the chapel.
Flickering torches illuminated the circle of chanting robed figures that filled the crypt. the walls were hung with ornate tapestries embroidered in mystical sigils and glyphs and there was a tunnel leading under the earth towards the cemetery.
As the ceremony reached a crescendo a shambling, pale figure emerged from the depths of the tunnel dragging a terrified woman with it.
The victim was strapped down to the altar and the woman who was presiding over the proceedings raised a bone knife above her head.
Creedence leapt down the final steps into the crypt and fired his revolver twice at the shambling figure which retreated into the tunnel.
He held the group of robed cultists at gunpoint whilst Melissa escorted the rescued woman, who turned out to be Rachel the missing teacher, to the surface and Alan phoned the police on his new-fangled mobile phone.
There was a tense wait before the police arrived during which the leader of the cult tried to make her escape into the tunnel. Creedence was forced to shoot her and she fell wounded to the floor.
When the police finally entered the room they took charge and hustled the cultists away.
Our heroes gave statements and learned that the cult leader was a local councillor (which surprised no one).
No mention was made of the shambling figure and the investigators had covered the tunnel entrance with a tapestry.
The police eventually filed out none the wiser.
Left alone in the crypt our heroes found a copy of Cultes des Ghoules, a Mythos tome, which Creedence decided to read hoping to get some information about the strange figure they'd seen emerge from the tunnel, had that been a ghoul?
It took him several hours to make any sense of the book and he was visibly shaken once he'd finished.
Whilst he'd been studying the rest of the investigators had uncovered a stash of grave goods worth a lot of money in a small chest as well as recovered the strange bone dagger the cult leader had been wielding.
Rested, the investigators resolved to investigate the ghoul tunnel. They were still perplexed that this seemed to have nothing to do with the dopplegangers they'd been investigating that morning.
Dressing in the discarded cultists' robes in the hope that any ghouls they met might be confused our heroes made their way into the tunnel.
After a while they came across some captive homeless people who they escorted back to the surface and safety.
Re-entering the tunnel our heroes continued. They were startled as a group of ghouls emerged from the darkness and Melissa got a bit hysterical. As the others smothered her shrieks the ghouls moved on unperturbed.
Eventually the party found itself in an ancient Roman crypt a long way from the church. They calculated they must be under the river by now.
In the crypt a horrifying alien tendril twitched with malevolent life on a tomb, visibly growing before their eyes.
There was a crudely dug hole in the roof that led to some exposed machinery. Leroy said it was the communications equipment the tunnel workmen were installing. The tendril was spasming in time to the clicking relays in the machinery. Somehow the electronics were giving the tendril life!
Each time it twitched the room seemed to split into two for a second before returning to normal.
As the investigators came to terms with this revelation a group of ghouls climbed out of a deep hole in the corner of the room.
The ghouls and the investigators faced each other warily. Creedence used his newfound knowledge of ghouls and their customs to speak to them.
It turned out the ghouls worshipped the tendril and were waiting for its owner to come across space and time to reclaim it.
This sounded like a bad idea so Creedence used a spell from the Cultes des Ghoules to destroy it while the rest of our heroes fended off the ghouls. As the tendril withered and died the wounded ghouls retreated down their burrow allowing the investigators to flee back along the tunnels unmolested.
Our heroes regained the surface safely and counted themselves victorious in their endeavours.
What new horrors lie in wait for them in the future?
Newspaper article Reporter: Lewis Umney
Injured man runs from hospital for the third time
A local man has broken out of a secure ward for the third time in as many days despite multiple broken bones and other crippling injuries.
Sean Furness, the victim in a recent road traffic accident, was being kept in a secure room in Woolwich Hospital after his previous attempts to leave exasperated his already severe injuries. Mr Furness’ most recent escape involved him jumping from a first-floor window into the car park below and crawling out of the hospital grounds with newly shattered and bleeding legs. Hospital staff retrieved Mr Furness and returned him to his room. He is to undergo further treatment.
“I was one of the first ones to experience it. We were working from both ends, as it were, and had tents on both sides of the river. It was pretty basic, if you wanted something from the other side, you just had to walk it through the tunnel. Anyway the foreman’s on the other side and he radios to ask me across.
So I walk through the tunnel – the ‘long walk’, we called it, funnily enough – and it’s slightly spooky because no one else is
down there, they’re all working on the lift shafts, and I get up the other side, find the foreman, and his eyes nearly pop out of his head. Says he only radioed like a minute ago and how did I get there so quick?”