House of Mirrors, Part 3

inspectormark1After some fiddling Gravin was able to get the mirror chamber working again, promising that the power loss wouldn’t happen again. Not willing to let one of their own be trapped in the void the Inspector bravely volunteered to go in after Fred. Before he left he warned Phillipa to keep an eye on Gravin, leaving her with his sonic screw driver.

On the other side of the mirror the Inspector found Fred dangling over a pit, the dimensions of which were hard to determined as everything was the same featureless blackness. I explained that Fred had felt something push him from behind and he’d only just caught on to the edge of the floor.

In the mirror chamber the phantom lady again appeared in the mirror, accompanied by a werewolf and a man whose head had almost been decapitated, his head hanging on only by a thin strip of flesh.

Gravin pretended to be terrified of these creatures, clawing at the other side of the glass. Phillipa stepped forward, curious.

“What do you think they want?” She asked.

“You!” Gravin said, pushing her into the mirror.

The Inspector had just helped Fred out of the pit when they heard Phillipa’s scream, followed by a sonic blast and the shattering of glass. They came running only to see the frightful unreal creatures pass through the mirror, sealing the portal behind them.

Taking back the sonic screwdriver from Phillipa she explained she’d tried to use it as she passed into the void. All she’d done is destroy the mirrors in the nearby area. Trapped the three time traveller watched them talk to Gravin, only for him to break down in tears.

Searching the area they peered into the mirrors. While most just showed either the villagers or people on other worlds one did show the Inspector. He was on a space station, accompanied  by a Jamaican women and a tall thin man with a long scarf. The Inspector didn’t recognise them from any of his previous companions.

The other Inspector bundled his companions into his TARDIS, as flames spread through the space stations corridors. Just before he closed the door he spotted the mirror and gasped at seeing the player characters in the void. He didn’t have long to investigate as a fireball exploded towards him and he was forced to jump into his TARDIS and dematerialised.

The player characters had learnt something important, that they alternative counter parts could see them. They began searching amongst the mirrors for more doubles. The first one they found was the Inspector by Phillipa’s death bed. In tears the time lord scolded her for being so foolish to sacrifice her life for his when he has so many more than hers. With her final words Phillipa said it was worth the sacrifice.

From the void they contacted Sad Inspector and explained they were trapped. Although clearly upset, as was Phillipa at seeing her own demise, Sad Inspector was able to work out a plan to move his TARDIS into the same void, but said he’d need two other signals to lock on to. He also confirmed he had a spare part for the TARDIS, admonishing the Inspector for not being prepared.

The next window into another reality they found showed them an Inspector who had never left Gallifrey ,wearing his traditional robes and working hard on mountains of paperwork.

I asked the Inspector’s player to describe his incarnation but he left that up to me. I described him to be like Wilfrid Brambell from Steptoe and Son. Although he was appeared older that the current Inspector he constantly referred to his first incarnation as if he was a spotty teenager.

Inspector No.1 was perplexed when his mirror started shouting at him and wondered why his counter part would ever leave Gallifrey. They explained the situation and Inspector No.1 said he could try and ‘borrow’ a time capsule to enter the void. He even considered writing a paper of dimensional travel once he returned. After all, what is the worst that could happen? Exile?

Next they found themselves looking through a mirror into another TARDIS. This Inspector seemed to be more like the Master, dressed in black with a moustache and beard, cursing the Doctor for ruining his plans.

He seemed uninterested in entering the void, suspecting it to be a trick of the time lord and recognising Phillipa and Fred only as people he’d killed. Fred tried to bluff Evil Inspector, pulling out a device from his tool box that he claimed would destroy the universe if they didn’t get the help they wanted.

Evil Inspector called his bluff by using his sonic screw driver to shatter the mirror, cutting off their connection. The Inspector mused that he wouldn’t have been fooled either and they were probably better off without an evil version of himself.

Still seeking a final person to help they next found alternative versions of themselves enjoying tea with Sherlock Holmes at 221b Baker Street. This left Phillipa slightly agog that a fictional character was actually real. Holmes Inspector got the gist of what the problem was and promised to come help them, once they’d recovered the TARDIS from the bottom of the Thames following their adventure with the famous detective.

Not long after three TARDISES emerged, complete with their own Inspectors and one extra set of companions. This was an amusing scene with the multiple Time Lords interacting.

Sad Inspector embraced the Phillipas, making them promise not to risk their lives. Holmes Inspector and Inspector No.1 both theorised that since the phantoms were between dimensions they were half formed realities, the so called unreals. They needed someone real to take their place in the void to let them enter reality.

The other reality Inspectors would allow the player characters to emerge from the mirror and then engineer their own escape using their TARDISES to follow the path back to their own reality. Sad Inspector gave the Inspector the needed spare part and wished them luck, with Inspector No.1 telling him not to throw his regenerations away so quickly.

Back in the real world the time travellers confronted Graven who explained his nature. Remorseful about what he had done he promised he’d enter the void as well, to make amends for his ‘mothers’ sacrifice.

Taking the mirror from the study the group headed into the village, where people ran in terror from the unleashed monsters. Fred saw the werewolf running along a roof top and provoked it into leaping at him. Making his co-ordination+athletics roll Fred put the mirror between himself and the beast, causing it to pass back into the void.

In the tavern they found the phantom lady again strangling the serving girl, determined to finish the job. Phillipa attacked her, slamming the mirror into her but causing it to shatter due to a ‘Yes, but’ result.

With one more apparition on the loose, the axe wielding almost beheaded warrior, the Inspector got a tray and spilled water across it surface. They found the final unreal outside, knocking people down with his weapon.

The Inspector placed the tray on the ground and challenged the Unreal. The warrior ran forward and failed his awareness check to spot the tray. He stepped on it just as lightening flashed, turning the surface reflective. In an instant he was pulled back into the mirror void.

The group returned to the mansion to find it in flames. A note from Graven informed them that he’d already put steps in motion to destroy the mirror chamber. They watched as the building feel apart and a mighty explosion destroyed the equipment and sent shards of glass flying.

The villagers thanked the player characters for saving them and wished them luck in their travels. Before they left a senile old man warned that when the black tower fell the demon had already fled. This left them with the suspicion that Croatoan was free, although they weren’t sure how.

Returning to the TARDIS they installed the replacement part. To complete the repairs the TARDIS needed to return to the original spot it left Earth to re-calibrate itself. To this end they activated the fast return switch.

Little did they suspect what awaited them in Virginia.

This was a fun adventure and I was much happier with the end than last game. Everything seemed to flow naturally and encompassed the spooky Hammer horror inspired gothic locations to bigger science fiction ideas that let us explore some ‘what if’ scenarios that had the player characters reflecting on how their lives could have gone.

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