A systemless adventure for the 1870s.

Core Elements

1. Mr. Simon Bradshaw is a factor for a small firm of brokers in the City, married above his station to his wife Emily (née Sunderland), and living in respectable circumstances in London. He is also an unhappy man who, since his son was stillborn 18 months ago, is on a search for the answers to life. This led to him becoming involved with Mr. V.R. Rakramsingh, a diamond trader from the Hindu Kush, and then drawn into the circle of Mr. Alois Blunt.

2. His friendship with Rakramsingh is well known, and he has explained his regular evening absences to his wife as visits to that worthy. Rakramsingh is a Hindoo noble, who unlike many of his countrymen, does not hide his belief that, in spiritual matters, the West has much to learn from the East. He also entertains well, and is quite wealthy. Being in the diamond trade, and trading from his home, his premises are secure and carefully thought out, bravos are to hand, and he travels with care. To the paranoid, his arrangements could suggest something to fear, rather than a concern for his personal safety, and security of property.

3. In fact, Bradshaw has only called on Rakramsingh once in the last three months, the same period during which his wife has believed he has been spending up to three evenings a week at Rakramsingh's. Having met Blunt at a soirée of Rakramsingh's, he has been drawn increasingly into Blunt's occult circle but, knowing of the repute for debauchery and immorality (as well as hints of Satanism) of Blunt and his circle, he has concealed this from his wife. Rakramsingh is aware of this intimacy, although not that he is being used as an alibi, and is unconcerned - although he considers Blunt to be a charlatan and rogue, albeit an entertaining one.

4. Blunt's circle is something of a high-living one - Blunt himself living beyond his means in a townhouse owned by a benefactor - and Bradshaw's finances have become somewhat stretched in order to keep up, as well as pay for esoteric texts and the like. This has led to tension at home, and a certain mean-mindedness on his wife's running of the household.

5. Worse still, Bradshaw has been speculating with clients' money in order to rectify the situation, and give him the financial freedom to abandon trade. He has been doing so on the basis of 'mystical inspirations' - his analysis of his dreams. Results have not been good so far, and he is thrashing around deeper in debt. He is resolved to poison with Belladonna extract Captain Sunderland, whose only close relative is his niece, Emily.

Player Involvement

1. Captain Sunderland, who works in Stores in the Admiralty, has been advised that one of the PCs is a respectable, decent sort of chap with a good knowledge of India and Indians. He contacts them and explains that his niece is worried at her husband's ever closer involvement with a heathen foreigner (albeit one loyal to the Crown), and would like their advice on the nature of the connection, and how best to break it up.

2. Captain Sunderland can offer little more than his goodwill, and possibly an expenses paid holiday at his fishing lodge in Scotland upon successful completion of the task set.


1. Rakramsingh's house - secure, prosperous, and well guarded. The baying of hounds in a foggy night, and hands clutching at ankles where capture will lead to scandal and ruin.

2. Blunt's Georgian townhouse - one of a terrace. Rooms dedicated to esoteric literature, an 'altar to the intellect' for rituals, lush private rooms.

3. Dr. Ignatius Price, during a meeting or ritual at Blunt's house, denouncing the forces of 'unreason', revealing Blunt as a charlatan, and being beaten up by two of Blunt's heavier followers (unless the PCs intervene).


1. Exposure and shaming of Bradshaw to his family, allowing Capt. Sunderland to bail him out without public shame, and arrange for him to join a trade enterprise in the Colonies.

2. Preventing Capt. Sunderland being poisoned by Bradshaw, or proving that Bradshaw was responsible.

3. Meeting Dr. Ignatius Loyola Price, a rationalist, campaigner against the esoteric, and prodigious inventor of wonderful devices!

Bill Edge