The mysterious Mr. Corbitt

Posted: July 22, 2012 by mearrin69 in Gaming
Tags: , , ,

This past Sunday we created characters for Call of Cthulhu and began playing a short introductory scenario set in early 1928 in Arkham, Mass. MA asked the players to create two characters each, preferrably Arkham residents. LL and HG were in attendance and created their own characters. TG was absent due to car troubles so MA created a couple in his stead. We rolled dice for abilities and took them in order with no shuffling. Rolls for income were extraordinarily high, so there’s some cash among this circle of acquaintences. Here are the resulting characters:

Wilson Black (HG) – A veteran of the Great War, Wilson has a successful medical practice near St. Mary’s in the Campus district and is a visiting physician at that institution. Though he left medical school after only three years to enter the Medical Corps. during the war, Dr. Black learned his trade quickly and has, thus far, been able to pose as a true doctor…even though he doesn’t have the paperwork to back it up. Wilson lives well, owning both an estate on West Derby in Northside and a country estate overlooking the Atlantic between Arkham and Kingsport.

Dale Brewer (LL) – A graduate of Boston University, Dale is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Anthropology at Miskatonic University. He is also serving as a well-paid research assistant to Professor Tyler M. Freeborn and hopes to participate in the upcoming M.U. expedition to Australia. Dale is an excellent researcher and, in addition to his growing understanding of anthropology, is a budding geologist. He and his wife, Helen Brewer, rent a stately old house in the Campus district. Though he’s a big man, those who know Dale well know that Helen wears the pants in the family.

Helen Brewer (LL) – Like her husband, Dale Brewer, Helen is a graduate of Boston University. She’s something of an artist and sells enough paintings to nicely supplement her husband’s M.U. salary. With her deep “Southie” accent and brash attitude she feels more at home spending time with the “boys” at the speakeasy in Northtown or attending a reading at the Desolate Highway Cafe on West Armitage than attending a Rotary Club or D.A.R meeting. The couple’s freshly painted mailbox reads “Helen & Dale Brewer” and is the talk of the neighborhood…only slightly less so than the dearth of dresses and skirts in the young woman’s wardrobe.

Harland Doyle (MA for TG) – Residents of Arkham know Harland only as a wealthy newcomer from Boston and most assume he is the scion of some nouveau riche Irish immigrant family from that city. They’re partially right. Harland’s father, Michael “Mikey” Doyle, is a kingpin in the Boston Irish mob and Harland was an up-and-coming street captain until he recently ended the career of an audacious young DA and had to “go on the lam”. Now he’s hiding out in Arkham, though he’s by no means keeping a low profile: he recently purchased the substantial estate on West Derby (next door to Dr. Wilson Black) and Harland’s shiny new 1928 Mercedes-Benz SSK, custom-ordered directly from Germany, is often seen on the curb near the speakeasy in Northtown.

Sam Green (HG) – Recently moved from New York, Sam is a young private investigator just beginning to make a name for himself in Arkham. Although he’s only had his office in the downtown area open for a short time, Sam has already built a well-paying practice thanks to his silver tongue, backed up by not inconsiderable skill in his profession.

Quinton Nothnagel (MA for TG) – A recent graduate of M.U.’s archaeology program, Quinton is currently pursuing his Masters in the field and serves as an unpaid researcher for Dr. Francis Morgan, the chairman of the department. The lack of pay isn’t an issue for Quinton, however, as he is the only son of a wealthy Arkham family and receives a monthly stipend. The brilliant budding scientist has already advanced his knowledge of archaeology well beyond his current education level and has become something of an expert in history as well. Like Dale Brewer, Quinton hopes to accompany the upcoming M.U. expedition to Australia.

It was with this cast of irregulars that we began our investigation into the weird goings-on in legend-haunted Arkham.

The evening started quite innocently, at the Northside estate of Harland Doyle and a small social gathering that included Harland’s neighbor, Wilson Black, and some friends from the speakeasy and their family and associates. After a light dinner and a few tumblers of Irish Whisky (rather a 1913 Armagnac Dupeyron for Helen) the group retired to the parlour to enjoy Helen’s lovely piano-playing for a bit.

Harland brushed aside the drapes at around 7:30 p.m. to notice his neighbor across the street, Bernard Corbitt, returning home from his usual Sunday evening outing. Mr. Corbitt, a successful local businessman, engages in the “gentle art of botany” and had previously told Harland his expeditions center around “gathering cuttings and samples and such”.  This time, Mr. Corbitt’s efforts had yielded two canvas-wrapped packages – one long and cylindrical, like a small baseball bat, and one spherical, about the side of a small melon.

“Strange bird, that Corbitt.” remarked Harland, drawing a few of the others to the window to see. They all watched as Mr. Corbitt reached his front door and fumbling with his keys in the notoriously sticky lock, his packages under one arm. Just as he wrenched the door open his packages went flying. The spherical bundle rolled down the walk and bumped off into the grass, while the cylindrical rolled completely down the walk to the edge of the street. The twine holding it securely must have snapped or untied because, as it came to a rest, the canvas fell open revealing the bundle’s contents: a pale white object with several protrusions in one end.

Sam’s keen eyes saw the object for what it was and he gasped, “That’s a…a…” He couldn’t quite complete his thought so Dr. Black completed it for him, “A child’s arm.” Black’s revelation brought Helen’s piano playing to a halt and brought her, Dale, and Quinton to the window as well. The immediate impulse for many in that room, naturally, was to notify the authorities and Helen said so but Harland brought that to a screeching halt with, “Hey, doll! We ain’t gonna have no bulls crawling around here. We’ll go ‘have a talk’ with with him if you want…but no cops.”

And, so, the group made its fateful decision and crossed the street toward Mr. Corbitt’s pleasant estate. By now a light had come on in the basement, quickly obscured by drawn drapes. Harland and a couple of others approached the door while Helen, Sam, and the rest decided to see if they could peek into the window. Harland’s efforts at the knocker were met with no answer…but the group at the window, into which they could not see, were treated to strange gurgling noises and something like the crackling of electricity.

Both groups reunited to discuss the matter. Now it seems that, among some of the group of friends and acquaintances, there is a real fear that the unassuming Mr. Corbitt may be building some sort of Frankenstein’s monster down in his basement. Though Dale and Quinton have important classes and work tomorrow, Harland and Helen and one or two others have the day free and have resolved to return to investigate the situation while Mr. Corbitt is at his office.

Yes. I’m sure that’s a very good idea! We’ll again take up the strange case of Mr. Corbitt this coming Sunday!
MA

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