Updated: Dec 5, 2022
We are playing Yuigaron's Sworn by Ghostlight tri-fold game available on his itch site. Check out Session Zero for more on the character, Detective Tiberius R. Remus, the city of Mónaþstone, and the Ebon Wood Effigy case.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Tiberius R. Remus, Occult Detective
Personal Case Notes
1 January, 1935 GLR
Cinder St. & Soot Rd., Downtown Mónaþstone
I arrived at the scene of the crime at 23:39 on Monday, 1 January. The city was a-bustle with holiday traffic. The main thoroughfare just north of the intersection of Cinder and Soot was packed with shoppers and revelers going about their New Year's festivities oblivious to the gruesome murder scene a block south. The rich scents of street vendors, and restaurants open late for the holidays wafted to my nostrils. Hot on the heels of this menagerie of culinary temptations was the smell of decay, death, and gore.
Redford Cawley, Police Sergeant, and one-time friend of mine, was on the scene when I arrived. As is usual these days, Cawley gave me the rundown of the scene in as few words as possible. It's at times like these that I kick myself for sleeping with his wife. Anora deserved better from me, even if she also deserved better than Redford Cawley, work-a-holic and all around lady's man. But I digress.
Ask the Oracle
Are Cawley and Remus friends? | 50/50 (4+) | 2 | no |
The scene report was as follows: victim (female sex worker, Adelaide Montegomery, aged 23) found murdered by as yet indeterminate means at 22:49. Evidence: ebon wood effigy of a woman found in left hand and a single piece of gold jewelry, a locket necklace.
Cawley wandered off after delivering the pertinents, a hard set to his round face. For my part, I set off down the short side alley to get a better look at the scene. A single low-wattage bulb provided the only light in the dark space, and that only occasionally. The flickering, I knew, would quickly bring on a headache. The Crime Scene Tech on duty, Selma Belright, stood from the uncomfortable looking crouch she was positioned in as I approached.
"Detective Remus," she greeted me. Selma was a kind woman, with a ready smile and bright brown eyes that radiated intelligence. She was new to the force, but had quickly proven herself an invaluable resource.
"Miss Belright," I said, offering her a slight smile. "What can you tell me about this poor girl?"
"Not much Detective. There's very little blood splatter. No disfigurement of the victim. It's not even all that clear what killed her."
Ask the Oracle
Is there blood-splatter? | 50/50 (4+) | 1 | no |
Is the victim disfigured? | Unlikely (5+) | 4 | no |
Is it obvious what killed her? | Unlikely (5+) | 2 | no |
Belright provided me with the same information Cawley had, albeit with a kinder and more animated tone. I allowed the tech to get back to recording the crime scene while I took a look around.
Examine |10 (+4 wits) vs...
As Miss Belright had said, I found no evidence on the pavement, walls or garbage bins in the alley. There was no sign of blood, or even of struggle. I found this to be exceedingly strange, but consistent with the other recent murders. When Miss Belright had completed the necessary photographs of the victim's body, I crouched down to inspect her more closely.
As Cawley and Miss Belright reported, there were no obvious wounds on the woman’s body. She looked merely asleep, her face placid and calm—not the face of a murder victim. It was as if Miss Montegomery had simply fallen asleep.
The glint of gold drew my attention to the woman's throat. There, laying upon her clavicle as neatly as if it were displayed in a jewelry store window, was the golden necklace from the scene report.
Examine | 10 (+4 wits) vs 1 & 2 = strong hit | +1 momentum, +progress |
Ask the Oracle
Is there a piece of evidence in the surroundings? | 50/50 (4+) | 1 | no |
Does the necklace hold a clue? | Likely (3+) | 5 | yes |
Reveal a Clue
Clue | 1d10 = 8 | a key |
The dainty gold chain bore a locket in the shape of a keepsake box. The 1 inch by 1 inch square box sported a tiny silver clasp on the front. I managed to flick the latch open with the tip of my pocket knife. Within, I found a small scrap of parchment, with the numbers 0847 scrawled in black ink, as well as a tiny key. I removed the paper and the key.
"What do you make of this, Miss Belright?" I asked, standing and moving closer to the woman.
She scratched her chin as she considered the key and scrap parchment. "The size of the key suggests some kind of lockbox. Perhaps a safety deposit box? There's a postmaster's office and a bank branch on Smoke Street."
Smoke Street was just beyond the stand of buildings in front of us. The alley, I suspected, cut through from Cinder to Smoke. I left the key and parchment with Miss Belright and strode down the alley, using my torch to light the way. Only thirty feet further and my suspicion was confirmed. The alley opened up to Smoke Street beside the busy Wick's Lantern Theater, about a block south of the Mónaþstone City Bank branch office.
"Miss Belright," I called as I drew nearer to the crime scene. "Is there a record of Miss Montegomery's place of residence?"
Miss Belright retrieved her satchel and flipped through the folders within until she found the one she was looking for. "Yes."
"Let me guess, she lives on Smoke Street?"
"Very good Detective Remus. Official records place her last known abode at 103 Smoke Street, Apartment 4G."
"Very good, Miss Belright. It stands to reason that Miss Montegomery would have banked at the branch on Smoke Street, don't you think?"
"Simple deduction would lead to this conclusion, yes sir."
"We'll make a detective of you yet Miss Belright."
The young woman's cheeks flushed with the praise. I had a reputation for being stingy with my approval, and downright miserly with my praise. But Miss Belright deserved every bit of approval and praise she received. The woman was a bright spot in the otherwise dim reality of life beneath the cracked moon. I did, and do, see much success in her future.
Ask the Oracle
Is there a record of the victim's residence? | Likely (3+) | 4 | yes |
Does the victim live on or near Smoke St.? | Likely (3+) | 6 | yes |
6 progress vs 5 & 1 = strong hit | Mark progress on case track |
Since the bank was closed for the holiday, and it was now well past midnight, I returned to the station and composed my official report. Tomorrow, I will investigate the bank for the box this small key fits, and pay a visit to Miss Montegomery's flat.
Thank you for following along with the investigation into the case of the Ebon Wood Effigies. Who is this murderer who leaves its victims placid and peaceful? Is it human? Ghost? Worse? Keep coming back to find out!