Monster Hunters

Chapter 6 - The Sleeping Dragon

Sir Mosely spends some time interviewing for a new manservant, and also spends some time “interviewing” the ladies. Sophie goes out hunting for training hornets, and Selwyn spends time in the libraries researching the third rakshasa. A few days pass uneventfully.

However, one day after Sophie returns from the nearby jungles, her friend Amal, the manager of the docks comes up to ask about all the treasure that Sophie had recently found. He’s not particularly subtle about it, and a few heads turn in the cafe where they’re conversing. He asks for Sophie’s help in hunting the remaining treasure, and she tells him she’ll think about it.

Selwyn isn’t able to find too much information about the third rakshasa, despite finding many subtle clues about the previous two demons. In fact, it looks like perhaps the information has been systematically removed from the palace libraries. A few inquiries later, and Selwyn has a name: Janak, an old caretaker who’s been around forever, but nobody seems to remember seeing. He apparently only comes in late at night.

After Sir Mosely hires his new manservant, a young man named Satish with a good head on his shoulders, one of the palace maids comes to inform him that the Grand Vizier has been struck with a coma. Sir Mosely goes to investigate, and finds Sir Potter, Chief Lieutenant Udit, and a comely doctor named Brinda, alongside a few guards. Sir Mosely shoves Udit out of the way after he tries to prevent Sir Mosely from accessing the Grand Vizier’s chambers. He discusses with Brinda the Grand Vizier’s condition, but neither can find any physical sign of foul play. Brinda asks him out to dinner later that evening.

Messengers are sent to find Sophie and Selwyn, who both arrive and also examine the Grand Vizier. As Selwyn pulls open one of the VIzier’s eyelids, he is struck and paralyzed by a demonic force on the other side. He is frozen for thirty seconds or so before he is released.

Some more discussion ensues, and the three split up to do some more research. Sophie heads out to speak with her mystic friends to see if any other occurences have happened. Mina the Mystic knows nothing, but has a vague feeling that the creature behind this is ancient—far older than the city. Sophie also goes out on the town and discovers that a few other people have recently fallen ill, and they appear to be clustered around the palace.

Selwyn returns to the library to research sleeping illnesses, and discovers that similar reports have plagued the city ever since it has begun, but they’re allkept relatively quiet. He then begins his night-long vigil to wait for Janak.

Finally, Sir Mosely meets up with Brinda for dinner and a night of companionship. He wakes up in the middle of the night after a terrifying nightmare, which still makes him shudder. He also discovers that his companion Brinda has fallen fast asleep and will not wake up.

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Chapter 5 - Chudumani's Downfall

Sophie heads across the pile of rubble to investigate whether Footsie is really dead, or to find out any information about what happened to him. As she is going, the rubble is shifting and moving strangly underneath her. She nearly falls, but catches her feet at the last minute. “I’m all right!” she signals to Sir Mosely and Selwyn, who are engaged in a death glare contest.

Selwyn investigates the rubble, and discovers that the monkeys he blew to pieces are still moving, and are trying to crawl out of the rubble. Sir Mosely continues the death glare contest, and wins wihtout too much trouble.

Sophie discovers the body of Footsie, and Sir Mosely goes to help take care of him and prepare him for burial. The party hears a popping sound, and Sir Mosely sees a large creature hulking in the shadows. Some of the monkeys crawl out of the rubble and begin to stare at them, but do not attack.

A deep, low voice begins laughing at the party, and threatening them. SIr Mosely fires a shot off at the hulking creature, and wings him, but then he teleports away. Selwyn hides and begins drawing a binding circle which he plans to lure the rakshaka into, and prevent him from leaving. Sir Mosely plays golf with a few of the monkey heads, who briefly attack, and then run a short distance away and resume staring at the party.

The voice begins talking again from a different location. Sophie begins using her monkey harness to start a fire. The rakshasa teleports again, this time right next to Selwyn, in the form of a large, hulking gorilla towering over his head. Sir Mosely gets a shot off, but due to some trickery on the part of the rakshasa, hits Selwyn instead of the demon.

Selwyn finishes his binding circle, and engages in melee combat with the demon, who is now contained in the circle next to him. Sophie continues building her fire, and Sir Mosely watches in amusement as Selwyn gets pummeled by the gorilla several times. Finally, Sir Mosely strides up and finishes the beast with a pair of flaming torches. The remaining monkeys are burned by the fire.

The party finds a small collection of treasure in the beast’s lair, along with Selwyn’s signet ring. When they return to town, Selwyn takes care of the crates of monkeys, harvesting the preserving liquid from them in an attempt to pursue the necromantic arts. Sophie uses part of the treasure to buy Rada passage back to England, and Sir Mosely plots against Selwyn. He also hires a new man-servant for the remainder of his time in India.

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Chapter 4 - The Monkey Palace

Shortly after the dead- and come-back-to-life monkey is killed again, the group hears the sounds of a struggle coming from next door—-Footsie’s room. Then, they here a yelp and a popping sound. Sir Mosely dashes next door and discovers the door is wide open and Footsie is gone. Selwyn continues analyzing Madhukar’s journal, and finds a few references to a jungle palace, which he recognizes from some of his readings.

Meanwhile, next door, Sophie notices a small monkey is in Footsie’s room, and finds a small note attached; the wax seal on the note has been stamped with Selwyn’s ring. Inside is a note from Chudumani, informing Sir Mosely that Footsie has been taken in exchange for the monkey Mosely took, and letting Sir Mosely know that if he wants Footsie back he has about 6 hours to get out to the jungle palace.

The party makes some plans; Sir Mosely hires some guards and an elephant for transportation. Sophie builds a catch-all monkey harness to keep control of the small monkey messenger. Then they head out. Selwyn procures a large barrel of gunpowder from the palace armory.

After some hours of journeying in the dark, they finally arrive at the jungle palace, where Selwyn “forgets” to warn Sophie about a pit just as she falls in. Sophie’s able to use her monkey harness as a parachute to avoid taking damage. One of the guards dies.

They begin exploring the temple, and Selwyn goes off on his own while Sophie and Sir Mosely are side-tracked by the sound of sirens, and decide to investigate. The sirens turn out to be a trap, and poison darts shoot out at them. They evade them, but one of the guards accompanying them dies.

Selwyn finds a large room that is packed with monkeys. On the far side of the room, he sees Footsie, bound to an altar. He tosses the barrel of gunpowder in and ducks as the entire room blows itself sky-high. The guard accompanying him is killed, though Selwyn evades getting crushed by any of the falling rock. Footsie is not so lucky.

Sir Mosely and Sophie are trapped in the room, but are freed as an enormous explosion shakes the area. The last guard dies. They meet up with Selwyn and learn that he has killed Footsie.

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Chapter 3 - Monkeys, Monkeys, Monkeys!

Selwyn leaves early in the morning to investigate Madhukar’s shop; it’s an old, creepy place with lots of ivory sculptures. As he’s investigating, he finds a journal of Madhukar’s where he rants and raves about the new religion the foreigners are bringing to India. He also finds mention of two other names that appear repeatedly: Shruti and Chudumani. While he is investigating the journal, a small monkey appears from nowhere and steals his signet ring.

Sophie visits Rada the following morning, and promises to try to get her on the return journey to England. Rada is doing better than the day before, but is still pretty broken up.

Sir Mosely meets with Sir Potter about Potter’s clandestine shipment; there are five wooden crates that smell horrible in the back of a warehouse. At first, Sir Potter refuses to show the contents of the crates to Sir Mosely, but Sir Mosely threatens him and learns that Sir Potter is under a great deal of gambling debt and had taken this job to pay off his debts. The crates were for delivery to a Baron Strange in England. Sir Mosely promises to take care of all of Sir Potter’s debts, and opens a crate to find it packed full of mummified monkeys.

Sir Mosely takes a monkey, as well as some of the embalming fluid, which he does not recognize—-it is not the normal liquid one would use to preserve corpses, however. He also gathers several letters from Sir Potter that describe the location and meeting plans for dropping off the cargo.

Back at the palace, Sophie and Sir Mosely are investigating the monkey, when Selwyn appears. Selwyn quickly identifies the liquid as a magical liquid that is used most often in necromantic rituals. Sophie is performing an autopsy when the monkey springs (back) to life and attacks. It is surprisingly vicious, but the party manages to fend off its attack and kill it (again). Selwyn rushes to a high tower to see if the other monkeys at the dock have come to life, but all is still for now.

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Chapter 2 - Sir Mosely's Grand Ball

Selwyn has learned from his investigation that most of the murders that have been happening in the city have been occurring near the arts district. Moreover, Sophie goes to the palace, and speaks with the head of housekeeping, and learns that Rada was never at the palace, and had sent a messenger saying that she was quite ill.

Sophie learns the location of Rada’s home, and goes to visit. After some cajoling, Sophie learns from Rada that she and Sir Paterjee had been having an affair, and that he was going to take her to England with her. Rada confirms that she had not been at the palace all day.

That evening, the grand ball in honor of Sir Mosely begins; it is a very fine party. Of particular interest is the large ivory statue that had been the instrument of Sir Paterjee’s death, which is now on display in the center of the affair. Sir Mosely sees a large snake-like creature briefly speaking with the Grand Vizier, before disappearing. He then speaks with the Grand Vizier himself. Selwyn arrives at the ball and blends into the background, keeping an eye out for Kopi or Madhukar to arrive. Finally, Sophie arrives about 30 minutes late, due to her visit with Rada.

Chief Lieutenant Udit Paratha approaches Sophie and Sir Mosely, asking for any sign of Selwyn; apparently, Udit had received an anonymous report that Selwyn had been seen at the scene of some destruction, where three thugs and some significant structural damage had been caused in the warehouse district. Sir Mosely intimidates Udit into silence, threatening him with repercussions if Udit continues to place the agents of the Crown under suspicion.

Meanwhile, Selwyn sees the entrance of Madhukar, and follows him around. He learns that the artist is harboring some vendetta against the British, and then Madhukar spots him and begins to chat with him. During the course of the conversation, Selwyn manages to insult Madhukar, who shouts angrily, causing a scene. Madhukar storms off to find Chief Lieutenant Udit, pointing and gesturing at Selwyn.

Sir Mosely moves over to intercept Madhukar, but by the time he arrives, Madhukar has disappeared. Sir Mosely suspects an elderly woman, and pulls her into an alcove where he proceeds to strip her of her clothes. Sophie and Selwyn both approach as the elderly woman transforms into an exceedingly attractive—and now mostly naked—young woman. Simultaneously, Sir Mosely’s tiger statue and the large ivory statue in the middle come to life. The tiger statue claws and gores at Sir Mosely’s face, while the Ganesha in the middle begins to trample the crowd as it makes a beeline for Sir Mosely.

Selwyn intercepts the ivory elephant statue and damages it severely, while Sophie and Sir Mosely attempt to bind the young woman. The woman finally turns into a large beast with four arms. The beast resists the attempts to bind it, but Sir Mosely finally distracts it by provoking it into drinking the large quantities of human blood that have been spilled by the elephant statue. Finally, Sophie shoots it in the back of the head, killing the rakshasa for good.

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Chapter 1 - Impaled by Ivory

Sir Mosely, Selwyn Blacke, and Sophie McAndrews step off their ship, the Windsweeper, in Surat, and can see the scaffolding of the factory in the distance. The city is in an uproar, and the expected welcoming party is not present at the docks.

Sophie meets up with an old friend of hers, Amal, who has recently been promoted to manager of the docks. He tells her that Sir Henry Paterjee was found dead in his office this morning. She asks about the rakshasa, and Amal nervously tells her not to talk about it and that he doesn’t know anything. She also meets up with the mystic, Myna, who informs her that around a dozen people have been killed and confirms the rumors of rakshasa involvement.

Meanwhile, Selwyn heads to the seedier parts of town to meet with his own contacts. He tracks down a smuggler named Ravi, and finds out that he was killed last week in a warehouse. Going to the warehouse, he discovers the scene of the scuffle; it appears as though Ravi was attacked by three different assailants, but only one set of footprints leaves.

Finally, Sir Mosely heads to the palace to meet with the Grand Vizier; she meets a young cleaning maid named Rada, who tells Mosely that Paterjee has been killed. Finally the Grand Vizier appears, and Mosely learns of the old man’s superstitions. He agrees to put on a welcoming party for the three later this evening, and suggests that Mosely check out the scene of the crime.

On her way to the scene of the crime, Sir Mosely meets a young merchant girl who insists on giving him a small carving of Balachandra, the tiger god. The girl introduces herself as Kopi, and Sir Mosely gets the impression that she has come into a fair bit of wealth that one wouldn’t normally expect for a person of her age. Sir Mosely invites her to the party this evening, and she says she will see him there.

The three meet at Sir Paterjee’s office in the factory; the local authorities are very reticent and nervous to enter the scene of the crime. Sir Henry has been impaled on the tusk of a large ivory sculpture of Ganesha, and bloody pattern has been painted around the room. Sir Paterjee’s heart has been eaten out of his chest. The party interrogates Chief Lieutenant Udit, and learn that the statue was made by Madhukar Madhura, and delivered about a week ago.

Selwyn goes to investigate the other murders; he learns that Ravi had recently come into a large amount of wealth. He doesn’t find too much information at the records office, but heads into the city to see if he can find other patterns to their murders. While he is exploring, he is attacked by three thugs armed with ivory knives. He throws one into the side of a warehouse, which brings the second story of the building collapsing around them. The other two assailants are killed, and Selwyn escapes with minor cuts and bruises. He takes one of the knives, a small blade with an ornately-carved fish handle.

As Sophie heads to the palace to try to track down Rada and learn more about her, she is stopped by a young girl chanting the following nursery rhyme:

“Three Rakshasa came to town/One brought statues tumbling down/Two ate monkeys night and day/Three slept always with his prey/Three Rakshasa came to town/Came to save us from the crown”

Sophie speaks with the girl’s mother, a spice merchant, briefly, and then heads on her way to the palace.

Finally, Sir Mosely went down to chat with Sir Wallace Potter, the deputy director (now director) of the East India Company in Surat. He is a bit shaken up, but after a few drinks manages to recover. He asks about a particular shipment that needs to be kept off the books of the Windsweeper, and Sir Mosely agrees to take a look at it in the morning. He’s planning to move up to Sir Henry’s office after everything there has been cleaned up, and he expects an invitation to the party that will be hosted in Sir Mosely’s honor later this evening.

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Character Creation

Selwyn’s History

In London, Selwyn is running across the rooftops and just got shot in the leg by one of the five or six guys behind him. And then, he runs out of rooftop! He turns around to face his foes, strikes the roof tiles in just the right place and all the tiles slide off and they tumble into Sir Merlyn’s garden. One of his foes gets eaten by a man-eating plant. He has a conversation with Sir Merlyn in the middle of a gunfight. Then Sophie falls off the roof. “There was a roof here last week!” she says. Some more gunfire is exchanged. Sophie is chasing a rare pterodactyl, which has come from the Americas (thunder birds). Sophie hears the bird in the bushes and runs off, and Sir Merlyn agrees to clean up the bodies to let Selwyn make his escape.

Sophie’s History

Sophie has returned from an expedition in Persia. It’s the grand reveal of her new “pet” manticore. It’s the first creature that made it all the way back under Sophie’s care. She introduces herself to Sir Merlyn, who thinks Sophie’s husband is the one who captured the beast. To Merlyn’s shock, Sophie goes up on stage to give the speech and to reveal “Manny the Manticore”, when she notices that the lock on the manticore’s cage is undone. The manticore lunges out, and Sophie is trying to hold the door against the manticore before it escapes. As it bursts out, Selwyn ducks out of the way of its volley of barbs, and leaves the room. Merlyn fires at it and injures it, but Sophie is able to calm it down and get it out of the room before Merlyn is able to get a second shot.

Sir Merlyn’s History

Sir Merlyn is en route to India with Sophie and Selwyn. He calls the others to his cabin and says “I haven’t been completely honest with you about the purpose of our expedition.” Selwyn interrupts and begins talking about the plague of creatures invading the region. He rambles about demons and rakshasas for a while, but Mosely states that the rakshasas guard riches. He’s also curious why this has started happening now. Sophie mentions old lore of cyclical occurences. Mosely reveals that he has been charged by the king to eradicate this threat in the name of the Empire. “This expedition is not without it’s—” and noises from above-decks interrupts. They go to investigate, and they see a storm of epic proportions whipping up and great tentacled sea creatures with googly eyes climbing over the deck. Mosely fires through one of the ghostly beings, and Sophie starts singing. Selwyn cuts the line and the sails knock the creatures off the boat. The ship is beset by a storm for the next three days and nights, before safely arriving in Surat.

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