The game started with the TARDIS rocking violently from side to side, sparks shooting out from the console. It sounded like the time ship was tearing itself apart. The Inspector could tell from the read outs they were trapped in a time fissure but the only ones he knew of were at the end of the 20th century in San Francisco and at the beginning of the 21st in Cardiff, yet they were currently passing through 16th century Denmark.
The TARDIS de-materialised around them and the Inspector and Phillipa found themselves underwater. After successfully making their co-ordination+athletics rolls they swum to the surface and found they were in a lake and saw the lights of a nearby castle.
They quickly realised that I was preventing them from using the TARDIS, as the Inspector’s player said, to ruin the plots. They swum to shore and made their way to the only sign of life they could see.
A servant let them in and they claimed that they had been ambushed by bandits and thrown in the lake. I had intended the fact that they were conversing with in Danish to indicate that the TARDIS was still in one piece because it was translating for them but this went unnoticed. From the servant they learnt that they were on the island of Hven and taken to see Tycho Brahe, first bumping into the tame elk.
Upon meeting Tycho and learning that he had a metal nose they were sceptical and then stunned to find out he was an actual historical figure. The Inspector rolled rather poorly in his ingenuity+knowledge check to know who he was, although he can’t know about every figure in human history, but was able to use references to Tycho’s uncle saving Frederick II to work out that it was 1580.
After being given a change of clothes they met Jepp the jester. At Tycho’s bidding Jepp gave one of his predictions, saying that men would fly around the world in metal birds and one day step on the moon.
Phillipa laughed at the idea of men on the moon, her player cleverly remembering she was from the 1940s, but asked the Inspector how the dwarf could know about planes. The Inspector said it was worth looking into.
At the observatory they saw that the night sky was wrong and Tycho said that Jepp had prophesied that ‘the crack between days would split the sky in two.’ As ominous as this was the players wondered where this was all going and that the plot was meandering.
I pointed out to them that they had just lost the TARDIS to a time fissure, met a dwarf who could see the future and were presented with evidence that something was very wrong with time. I wasn’t sure how they could miss the obvious link between the three things, even if they didn’t know how they were connected yet.
Asking about Jepp Tycho told the Inspector and Phillipa about how his mother had been burnt as a witch after they’d witnessed her speaking with a demonic figure who had vanished into thin air. It was said that as she burned her face changed 10 times, each one screaming louder than the last. This was a clue that the mother was Time Lord, her changing faces a sign of her regenerating. For the moment this piece of information would be stored for later.
Unconcerned with the loss of the TARDIS or the potential doomsday scenario they decided to retire for the night before they had Jepp take them to his mother’s cave. They were given a room each in the castle, normally used by students during the spring and summer, and a change of night clothes.
Phillipa awoke several hours later to find a ghostly version of herself. Her double tried to say something but no words could be heard. Panicked Phillipa called for the Inspector, who found the elk was standing outside his own room, blocking his exit.
Using presence+convince he briefly hypnotised the elk, in a trick taken from Crocodile Dundee, giving him enough time to get to Phillipa’s room. Just as he kicked open the door the ghost vanished, leaving a distinctive arton charge in the room.
Deciding they could wait no longer they found Jepp, rousing him from his troubled sleep. He said he had another vision, that everything was coming to an end. They persuaded him that they need to go to the nearby mountain to search his mothers belongings to see why this was happening.
Before they left they went to the kitchen so they could take food with them for the trip only to find a dead old woman in servants garb. A bracelet identified her as Sarah, someone who Jepp said was only 14.
They sent Jepp to summon Tycho who confirmed that Sarah was missing from her room. They announced their plan and Tycho agreed to go with them, providing the horses. They set off into the woods as the dawn rose several hours too early.
In the forest they encountered trees growing from seedlings to mighty oaks in seconds, only for them to rot and crumble, forcing them to dodge them. Not much further they encounter the elk, which had some how got in front of them.
It charged the Inspector, felling his horse. Phillipa was able to pull him on to her steed and they galloped on. The elk turned back as they approached the mountain, leaving the Inspector to wonder why he was being targeted.
In the cave they found Ruthimia’s secret study, with a forbidden book written in old high gallifreyian. The Inspector knew it from legends but after failing a resolve check was not able to bring himself to read it. Things made a lot more sense to them now they knew she was a Time lady and wondered what she had done. It was also at this point they remember that her face had changed as she burnt and realised she’d been regenerating.
Telling Tycho and Jepp to stay in the study they explored further, finding the chronovore bound in chains at the bottom of a deep pit. Emitting a bright light the chronovore was almost demonic and between its great, clawed hands, was the TARDIS.
‘MAKE ME WHOLE!” Boomed the chronovore, a flash of light filling the chamber and transporting the Inspector and Phillipa back in time. This was amusing to play out the ghost scene from the other perspective, with Phillipa trying to communicate with her younger self only to find she couldn’t be heard and that when the Inspector entered the room she only became invisible, still trapped in her recent past.
Several years in the past the Inspector found himself outside the cave but heard a woman singing an ancient gallifreyian nursery rhyme. He sung the words as he entered the cave, showing Ruthimia that he was one of her people.
Although she was afraid the Inspector had been sent by Rassilon to kill her the Inspector explained that by biding the chronovore she had placed the future in danger. Ruthimia was evasive, refusing to tell him how to make the chronovore whole because it would cost her the life of her son.
The Inspector revealed that she was shortly to die but her son would be cared for. Ruthimia made the Inspector promise to protect Jepp just as the villagers entered. Before the Inspector could say anything he vanished, condemning her to her pre-ordained fate.
Phillippa watched as the past versions of herself and the Inspector went through the motions until they rode away from the castle on horseback. It was only when she found that the elk could see her she decided to climb on the beast, riding after the others into the forest, overtaking them. The elk could sense its riders foreboding about what would happen when they reached the cave and attempted to stop them, knocking the Inspector off his horse, as before.
Returning from the past the Inspector found himself in the TARDIS, the cloister bell ringing as fires raged throughout the time ship. He was unable to leave the ship without being exposed to the chronovore and he couldn’t move the ship in time for fear of taking the higher being with him. All the chronovore would say was ‘MAKE ME WHOLE!”
Catching up to the present Phillipa was able to see herself again. She witnessed the elk’s powers first hand when it turned the horse it had injured into a healthy young foal. Using the TARDIS telepathic circuits the Inspector was able to speak with her and explain what was happening, realising that both the elk and Jepp were the lost fragments that the chronovore needed.
Taking the elk into the chamber with the pit Phillipa watched as the beast glowed with the same light as the chronovore, which bellowed it was not enough. The Inspector was reluctant to sacrifice Jepp but he was trapped and Phillipa couldn’t see any other way.
Summoning Tycho and Jepp from the study Phillipa explained the situation. Jepp was reluctant but Phillipa explained that this was where he came from, where he belonged, and in re-joining he would save everyone.
Tycho similarly said he’d known Jepp for years and what ever he became he would remain a good man. Sadly Jepp accepted saying that it seemed right. He was half a man and deserved only half a life.
The elk kneeled before Jepp, allowing him to climb on his back. Man and beast shone with a bright light, the brilliance making it appear that they were one. The elk galloped forward and into the air above the pit. In a flash of light they returned to the chronovore.
Restored to full power the chronovore vanished like a dream in the light of a new dawn. Tycho, Phillipa and the Inspector found themselves in the middle of a hearty meal at the castle, the TARDIS standing nearby, fully repaired.
Puzzled servants explained that they’d returned two days ago and had been resting. They asked if the serving girl Sarah’s family had been told of her death. It was then that Sarah, 14 and very much alive, entered with their drinks.
Phillipa said she was very happy to see that Sarah was fit and well and Sarah replied that Phillipa had been telling her that for the last two days. The Inspector reasoned that when the chronovore left it had repaired some of the damage, letting them skip over two days of recovery.
Before they left Phillipa suggested Tycho write science fiction.
“No, my future is in the stars,’ Tycho said ‘and I have a feeling so is yours.’
With that they entered the TARDIS and vanished before his eyes, causing his metal nose to fall off in surprise.