Dr. Timothy Carson (SteveR) - Geologist
Gwendolyn Thorpe (Tammy) - Tour Guide
Dr. Jennifer Dorchester (GM/NPC) - Palaeontologist
Alexander Valentine (GM/NPC) - Media Specialist
Thursday, June 14th, 2007
It is the early afternoon. Gwendolyn Thorpe is at the university library when she receives a call from Franklin Cartwright. He tells her there's a potential situation that she's needed for, and to report to the Home Office. The librarian shushes her, and she takes her textbooks and heads for the entrance. At the offices of Sophtel Marketing, Alexander Valentine is making arrangements to terminate his employment there. He receives a similar call from Franklin Cartwright, and tells his Home Office handler that he'll be there as soon as he can. Timothy Carson is eating lunch near a fish and chips shoppe when he is called by Franklin Cartwright. He says that he'll be there as soon as he can. Dr. Jennifer Dorchester has been working at the Home Office labs since just after lunch. An assistant to Franklin Cartwright, William Taraskent, comes by and informs her that his boss has called a meeting; there's a situation that has arisen that may call on their services.
On arriving back at the Home Office, Gwen sees that business is as usual, quiet and efficient. She searches the conference rooms, and finds Jennifer sitting in one of them, and joins her. Jennifer tells her that this is where she was told the meeting's to be held. Jennifer tells her she's glad that they're getting to go out to the field again, but Gwen tells her to be careful what she wishes for. Timothy arrives next, and joins the two women. Alexander arrives on the scene last, and it's only a short time later that Franklin Cartwright enters the conference chamber, accompanied by Sergeant Robert Denby who is dressed in military fatigues.
Cartwright says that ever since the first incursion by prehistoric creatures, the Home Office has monitored various sources for certain keywords, and says that recently something interesting fell into their laps. Apparently, a child has been found dead in the town of Cheatham, the manner of the occurrence quite odd, the death being blamed on a "giant crocodile". He says that crocodiles are not found in Britain, but Jennifer says that's not quite true; there have been some as late as the Pliocene period. Denby asks her what to expect, and Jennifer says, "Big, heavily armoured, and bite through a truck." And if it's from the Triassic, could be even larger, but not a Mosasaur [as they hail from the Cretaceous]. Gwen tries to remember what she knows of Cheatham from her tourist works, and recalls it has several lakes, meres, and ponds, but there are also two large lakes in Devon that could harbour such a creature. When she mentions what she knows out loud, Jennifer looks concerned. Tim mentions that there are mines in Devon, but that most of them are played out. Gwen wonders if the creature is hiding in one of the (flooded) mines, but Jennifer points out that crocodiles and their ilk wouldn't travel huge distances on land to find prey.
Gwen asks what the source of the information is, and Alexander says he's concerned that the press might jump on the story, and that it will draw journalists down to Cheatham. Cartwright hands him the article copy that they have in their possession. It shows the story appeared in the Cheatham Times of June 12th. It's been picked up by other papers, notably from North Bovey and Bovey Tracey, and then spread from there to the gossip papers and tabloids, finally hitting London. The body of a child, Mark Levy (age 10), was found at the edge of Cheatham Mere on June 11th. According to Exeter Medical Examiner Martin Holmes, "it looks like he'd been mauled by a crocodile." There are several zoos in Devon, notably the Peignton Zoo, the Dartmoor Zoo, and the closest one to North Bovey (11 miles WSW of the city of Exeter). So it's possible that an animal could have escaped from the zoo. Fortunately, there are no private zoos or sanctuaries in the area. Alexander suggests this is something they may want to look into.
Sergeant Denby says that he's from Devon. He tells them something of the geography of the county, but adds that the area around Cheatham is known for its bogs, marshes, and fens. He says that it will be a nightmare to search the area, and who knows where the Anomaly might be in all of that. Jennifer posits that perhaps they're dealing with some sort of plesiosaur, and the four characters engage in a good deal of speculation. The group concludes that they need to do some research on the area. Much of this, it's decided will fall on the shoulders of Gwen and Alexander.
The research done by the characters yields mixed results. Gwen is able to learn basic information about Cheatham (population, history, that sort of thing), but more than anything else, concludes that the community is boooring (well, at least until now). Tim is able to learn somewhat of the Cheatham area, and is able to determine that Cheatham Mere is roughly 12 fathoms (72 feet or 22 metres) deep at its deepest point, and lies within a couple of clicks of Cheatham. The mere is surrounded by woods, marsh, and fen, and is said to be an unpleasant place that has a deep mist over it at times. On the other hand, Alexander says, he's learned some interesting things about the place. To start with, the Cheatham Times editor is Maggie Hanrahan, an older woman who is/was a nuclear physicist by profession, and who served in World War II, and received a medal for something called Project Whitelight. The Constable of Cheatham is one Edward "Eddie" Harris. He's been on the job for 15 years, and his son, Tom, works as his deputy. Thirty years ago, Eddie disappeared for around 10 days. He came back with an interesting story: "I saw something that looked like shards of light. Then I saw a bird with flat wings that was 18 feet big." Jennifer utters an oath, and then tells the others that it sounds like Eddie was describing a pteranodon! Denby says this won't be an easy situation to deal with, as while most of the folks in Devon are friendly and all, being it's a tourist destination, some people in the more rural communities can be cantankerous and suspicious. So he thinks they won't receive a warm welcome in Cheatham.
As the player characters are making their final decisions, Sir James Lester enters. He tells them that they'll be conducting an experiment on behalf of Professor Cutter and his assistant, Stephen Hart. They'll be taking along a prototype of a tranquilliser weapon, to see if they're effective against prehistoric creatures. He also mentions that Cutter gave him a message for them: Anomalies can appear underwater! [See Episode 1.3.] Gwen tells the others that she can't SCUBA dive, and Lester jauntily says that she's about to learn, isn't she? After Lester leaves, Denby comments that at least the tranq weapons aren't one of Connor [Temple]'s experiments...
Sunday afternoon's game session of the Primeval RPG was a pretty good one, but as I mentioned in several previous blog entries, I've not been feeling myself the last few days, and it showed. Truth be told, I was somewhat unprepared for some of the questions that the players raised during the course of play, but part of that was not being able to anticipate some of the directions the players choose in their investigations. It was also partially due to the fact that I'd not had the time during the week to do the proper research on several subjects. All of that being said, I thought the Primeval RPG game session went better than I expected, and both Tammy and spross seemed to have fun during the afternoon.
I won't be running the game session this coming Sunday (as it's my birthday, and we're doing some Promised Sands 1st Edition character generation, but I am looking forward to getting back to the game in July.