For this game the player characters were made up of the Inspector, Phillipa and their occasional companion Fred Wong. Picking up from the last adventure the disturbance in the TARDIS had awakened Fred from his long slumber and he stumbled into the console room to find the others unconscious.
As they came too they explained what had occurred in Roanoke. The central column wasn’t moving so they knew that the TARDIS had landed somewhere. While the Inspector checked the damage Fred decided to look outside.
They’d landed in a wood at night, near a early 19th century village which Fred decided was decidedly eastern European and a gothic mansion on a nearby hill. He returned inside the TARDIS to report his findings which confused the Inspector as the instruments indicated that the year was 1988 and that they were thousands of light years from Earth.
The time lord was worried that they’d slipped into E-Space but found that they weren’t currently able to leave. The Time Path indicator had burnt out and they’d need a replacement part. Something they didn’t have high hopes of finding if the locals were so early in their development.
Fred wanted to use his resourceful pocket trait to pull out such a part from his tool box but I shot this down. Firstly I don’t want them to simply eliminate story obstacles like that just by spending a story point and secondly it would be unlikely that a 51st century tech support guy would have gallifreyian parts.
Venturing into the village they headed for the tavern, a black tower on its sign, where they could hear the sound of life. They were relieved to find that they outwardly appeared to be human, although they noted that the translation circuits in the TARDIS made it impossible for them to know if the locals were actually speaking English.
The tavern keeper was friendly, giving them each a drink on the house. The tavern keeper mistook them from travellers from another settlement and was happy to explain that they were in Hammersmith and that Lord Graven Hammersmith ruled in his mansion on the hill.
Asking about where the settlement had come from the tavern keeper explained they’d originated on the paradise known as Earth. Their ancestors had been tricked into servitude by a demon in a black tower. They’d been a terrible earthquake and their ancestors had taken to the sea and found themselves washed up on a new world which they named Arcadia. Alien races had settled else where and the humans had spread out over the years.
Realising that these where the descendants of the colonists they’d met 400 years earlier the group decided to get something to eat. Just as the serving girl was returning with their food she began choking.
The Inspector spot depressions in her neck, as if invisible hands were throttling her although he couldn’t feel them. Unfortunately everyone failed their awareness check to spot the reflection in the mirror.
Instead Fred used a story point to find a device in his tool box that would induce a chemical coma. The people in the tavern, already unnerved by the disturbance, were horrified when it appeared that the serving girl had been killed.
The spectre was similarly fooled and stopped choking her. The time travellers were unaware of what had caused the attack but soon revived the girl. The tavern keeper explained they’d been similar attacks and the two popular theories were either it was the angry ghosts of those who died in the exodus or it was due to the ungodly devices created by the current Lord Hammersmith’s father.
Clearly they needed to go to the manor but the player characters were reluctant to go there at night, especially with a storm approaching. They decided to bed down at the tavern but as Phillipa was using the bath room she saw a ghostly woman in the mirror who started to choke her.
Luckily the Inspector and Fred heard the commotion and came to her rescue, smashing the mirror. The tavern keeper came to investigate the noise and when informed of what they’d seen explained that the deceased Lord Hammersmith had become obsessed with mirrors, so much so the manor was called ‘The House of Mirrors.’
Deciding that they couldn’t wait until morning the group headed up the hill, just as the storm struck, lightening flashing in the air and thunder shattering the silent night. By the time they arrived at the large ornate wooden doors they were soaked.
Ringing the door bell and played up the slowly approaching footsteps, to increase tension until Graven answered the door, lit only by the candle he was holding. He welcomed them inside, rarely having visitors.
In the study the Inspector noticed that Graven didn’t have a reflection and immediately became hostile, convinced he was a vampire. Phillipa gave Graven a quick medical check using her medical skills, an although she didn’t roll very highly, got a good enough result to tell he was human.
Puzzled by Graven’s ‘medical condition’ they found learnt that his father had told him he’d not had a reflection since birth. Seeking answers they entered the mirror chamber and allowed Graven to activate it to witness glimpses of alternative versions of themselves.
Graven’s lack of reflection had made the group very suspicious of him and watched everything he did like a hawk. I had to really play up his apparent innocence and reassure them that the machinery in the room was doing what he said it did.
Glimpsing the phantom lady in the mirror Fred resolved to try and enter the mirror to confront the apparition. Fred attached himself to a length of unbreakable diamond tether so the others could pull him back into the real world if he got into trouble.
Passing through the mirror, which ran over him like liquid silver, he found himself in a black void, shards of mirror hanging in the air. There were so many pin pricks of light it was like the blackness was filled with stars.
This void between worlds proved to be quite evocative. Easy to imagine, alien and unnerving. Spotting the grey skinned and bloody woman Fred followed her, deeper into the dark.
In the mirror chamber the Inspector and Phillipa felt a frantic tugging on the tether. Before they could pull it back in the light in the room flicked off and the spinning wall of mirrors slowed to a stop as the machinery shut down.
The time travellers were left holding the severed cord.
What’s happening to me?’ asked Fred’s player, frantic.
I replied that was for his two companions to find out.
To be Continued…