The Armitage Files is an improvised campaign structure. It uses a number of stock pieces, such as NPCs, organizations, and locations, that are strung together by individual GMs to fit player action. The adventures I create with it may or may not match any other GMâ€™s version of the campaign. That means that reading these posts may or may not offer spoilers for other game groups.
**You Have Been Warned**
It’s been a while between Armitage Files games for us. Over two months. To be honest, I was starting to worry that disinterest was going to kill the game, which would be a shame, because I’m really enjoying running it. But this past Saturday, everything was in place for us to get back together. I even sent out a tweet about how excited I was to get back to the game.
Shoulda known better, really. Within five minutes of me sending the tweet, I got a call to let me know one of the players couldn’t make it.
But I said, “Screw it! We’re going ahead with the game! If everyone dies, It’s your own fault!”
The other players were glad of that, too ((To be fair to him, the player who couldn’t make it had good reason, and I might have interpreted his attitude as apologetic if he’d been man enough to call me himself, instead of getting his wife to do it for him. 😉 She made it to the game, by the way.)), because they wanted to get back to the game, which had been left in a kind of delicate spot.
The investigators were stinging a little bit after their unsuccessful attempt at finding out what was going on with the APL, and seemed quite fearful of confronting them face-on again. In their discussions, they came to the conclusion that the leader, Fred Jahraus, and perhaps the other members who lived in the rooming house with him, were being possessed ((Or at least controlled.)) by alien entities. They started calling the possessing entities Tourists.
One loose thread they had was Wally Endore, the union organizer that they had previously met at Hutchinson Manufacturing, and whom they had seen visiting the Jahraus house. Rather than face Jahraus himself again without more information, they decided to try and figure out what Endore’s angle was – he had seemed fairly innocuous when they had previously met him.
They found that he had moved out of his previous rooming house in Kingsport, and had to track down the day foreman from the factory to try and find out where he was. Roxy, still sporting a fierce black eye from her encounter with Jahraus, implied that Endore was mixed up with something illegal and people who wouldn’t hesitate to blacken a woman’s eye ((She neglected to mention the fact that her shiner was self-administered. Oops.)). The foreman was appalled, and handed over the address of Endore’s new residence.
They did a little digging on Endore’s background, as well, finding that he was indeed a union organizer with a backing organization ((I jokingly called this organization the Collective for Undoing Labour Tyranny.)), and had been working in other towns and cities to help workers organize. Then they staked out his new digs, finding that it was in a neighbourhood controlled by one of the new gang bosses that had come to fill the void left by Diamond Walsh. To put the topper on this suspicion, they spotted one of the factory workers delivering an armload of APL newsletters to Endore’s rooming house.
They followed this factory worker back to his home, on the far side of the harbour ((Roxy is really starting to dislike being near the sea. It’s the way she can hear whispers in the waves that makes her want to stay away. Otherwise, she might walk out into the surf and vanish.)), near the foreman’s house, which they decided meant that they might have pulled the foreman into something far more deadly than he was ready for.
So, they went to warn the foreman about Endore. He took the news with poor grace, saying that he and some of the boys would go and explain to Endore that he was no longer welcome at the factory. Roxy did her best to talk him out of this plan, but he wouldn’t be dissuaded. The best she could do was convince him to let her pay for a night or two at a hotel for the foreman’s wife and family, just in case things followed him home.
And so we wound up with eight or so big working men, armed with axe handles, pipes, and chains, going to explain to a union organizer that he should leave town while he could. Dr. Solis went up to Endore’s room with the men, while Roxy went around the back of the house to watch in case he tried to make an escape. When Solis entered the room with the workers, he saw that Endore was indeed trying to make an escape. When he saw who had come in, he relaxed and tried to talk some sense to them.
Asking if he could put his shirt on, he pulled a gray-green stone from his valise and showed it to the men, causing them to collapse in shrieking heaps. Dr. Solis managed to avoid looking at the thing, and pulled his revolver, emptying it blindly at Endore. He managed to kill him, causing him to fall out his window into the back garden, near Roxy. Solis also managed to shoot two of his escort, including the foreman.
In the ensuing confusion, Roxy managed to grab the stone and put it in her purse, only looking at it a little bit – long enough to see that it was carved with the same symbol she and Moon had seen on the underside of the bench at the factory. Solis got the injured men back to the foreman’s house, and treated their wounds, while Roxy got another of the workers to fetch a sledge hammer to destroy the stone, still inside her purse. Smashing the stone caused everyone who had seen it to shriek in pain and begin to bleed from their eyes and ears, but they recovered over the next few days.
Endore’s body was not found by the police, which has caused some concern. The characters aren’t sure if he was really dead, or if he’s come back to life, or if he was possessed by a tourist, or if the local thugs just took it upon themselves to make the body disappear to avoid a police investigation in the area ((The thugs had asked, very nicely, that this little exercise in mob justice not leave any corpses around. If they had to take care of it, they might be unhappy.)). Solis and Roxy took the purse, containing the fragments of the stone, back to Miskatonic University to dispose of it in their institutional-sized incinerator.
And that’s when Dr. Llanfer gave them the next set of documents.