UPDATED WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT: BAM!
Okay, so here after many months is the narrative recap for session three of my wife’s Doctor Who Anew campaign!
In case you missed it or don't feel like finding them, here's Part 1 and Part 2.
Episode 3: The Sea Devils’ Carnival
The Dude, amnesiac-savant-who-is-actually-an-old-Time-Lord, played by D.
Doc Mox, biologist, played by G.
Professor Frazier, adventuring archaeologist, played by me.
Fattius, shapeshifting alien, played by M.
The Doctor, everyone’s favorite Time Lord, played by K.
Left stranded on the space station that would eventually become Satellite 5 after sabotaging much of its communication infrastructure, the Doctor and company ran for their lives. The Doctor had managed to discover that the Tardis had traveled to early 20th century Earth, and locked it to prevent any further travel. However, they were still stuck and running from and fighting Smilers. Fattius, the shapeshifting alien, had broken pieces of his old vortex manipulator, and with the Doctor’s and Mox’s help, planned to rig it up for at least one trip.
In the brief reprieves gained from Professor Frazier firing off rounds from his revolver and blasts from his squareness gun, the others managed to assemble a haphazard vortex manipulator. The Doctor was confident it would work, but only once. Doc Mox helped Frazier hold off the latest wave of Smilers while Fattius and the Doctor finalized the device.
“It’s ready, we need to go, now!” the Doctor yelled to them.
Mox and Frazier turned and bolted to their two companions holding the hastily assembled vortex manipulator. A blast from a Smiler knocked Mox off balance, injuring his leg. As the attackers closed in, the group managed to all get a hand on the device just as it activated.
A gloomy day. Afternoon. The party found themselves in a cemetery. The Doctor surmised that they’re on Earth, in the mid 1920s, apparently somewhere in New England. A quick scan with sonic revealed the Tardis in a not-so-populated corner of the graveyard, but the way there was blocked by a low wall with a gate, and a roped-off crime scene. They found police officers, and a pair of shoes with feet still inside of them, unattached to any legs. Most of the group found themselves disturbed by this. A flash of the psychic paper allowed them to pass, with Frazier helping Doc Mox limp along. They could investigate this later, but first they needed to check out the Doctor’s Tardis, now visible on a hill.
They entered the Tardis, relieved to be reunited with their transport. To the party’s alarm, colorful confetti exploded from all around them, and they saw colorful streamers and a banner strewn across the walkway.
“Welcome Home!” it read.
With no other surprises forthcoming, they investigated the console room. Some quick readings of data showed that about six months had passed since the Tardis landed here. Everything looked okay, but everyone was still uneasy.
“Who would steal the Tardis, only to bring it here and leave a surprise welcome banner?” asked Doc Mox.
“Well,” began the Doctor, “There are very few beings who could have piloted the Tardis, and even fewer who would dare to steal mine, and even fewer who would leave such cheery decorations about.”
As the party milled about, a noise from the door drew their attention. It had been left ajar, and a man had barged in! He was garbed in tactical gear and pointing a weapon that was far too advanced for the 1920s. Professor Frazier, who had still not quite let his guard down, instantly drew and fired his squareness blaster at the intruder. The Doctor cried out and tried to stop Frazier, but the archaeologist had been too quick. As the man in the doorway collapsed, the Doctor looked disapprovingly at the professor and Fattius quickly shut the door, making sure it was secure.
After a very brief examination, it was clear that Frazier’s aim had been a little too true, and the man was quite dead. As they checked the body for identification, its form began to shift into something not human.
“Graske!” the Doctor shouted. “Again? Or, before? Why would they be here? Does this have something to do with those shoes?”
He began fiddling with the console, trying to pull up any relevant data.
Mox and Frazier come to the conclusion that the Graske was some kind of mercenary or bounty hunter.
“But who would he be after?” asked Frazier.
Everyone looked to Fattius. His form began to shift into that of a Graske.
“My people put a bounty on me a few years back,” he said. “Looks like they’re starting to catch up to me.”
Fattius explained, rather vaguely, that he had been involved with an espionage organization back home until he was given a job that pushed what morals he had too far. Having intentionally botched the job, Fattius had been on the run ever since.
“I was helping a friend,” he said.
That seemed to be enough for the group, especially since Fattius had done nothing to harm them in their travels together.
Being that they were in a cemetery, the group thought it would be okay to simply put the body in some bushes nearby. What else could be done?
With the whole group back inside the Tardis, the Doctor continued checking logs on the console. The others milled about, chatting with Fattius, who had shapeshifted back into his chosen human form. As they did so, a strange holographic image popped up on the display. It was a tobacco pipe that seemed to have buttons on it.
“Since when did you smoke, Doctor?” asks Professor Frazier.
“I enjoyed a pipe here and there a long time ago, but this is a sonic,” he replied.
“It’s a sonic, and a pipe?”
“Yes, yes, and apparently it was made not all that long ago.”
“You made a sonic... Pipe?” asked Dr Mox.
“No, the Tardis did, and not under my control, whoever stole my ship new how to pilot it and how to program it to grow a customized sonic device,” the Doctor paused in thought. “The only sort of person who could do that would be-”
He was cut off by a sound at the door. A polite knocking, and then the door slowly opening.
“Hello hello?” came a voice.
The Doctor put his hand on Frazier’s shoulder as he reached for his blaster.
In walked an older, well dressed, ginger-haired gentleman. He held a tobacco pipe, identical to the one being displayed. Aromatic smoke drifted lazily from it and also flowed from his nose and mouth as the man spoke.
“How’s everyone doing? Took you a while to get here,” he said. When the group responded with nothing but confused stares, he continued, “I’m sorry about taking the Tardis, Doctor, I just had to get away for a while, you know.”
“Who are you?” asked the Doctor.
“It’s me, the, well, I guess I look a little different now, but, I am the Dude.”
“You were a Time Lord? All the while?”
“Yes, but, well, I had forgotten. Chameleon Arch and all that. Also what happened to me in that installation you found me in all that time ago scrambled the noggin a bit, too.”
“You stole my Tardis!”
“That you yourself stole, Doctor! Turnabout’s fair play, besides I gave it back, decorated it all nice.”
The Dude exhaled a large puff of pipe smoke as he talked.
The Doctor waved his hands to clear the air.
“Is that really necessary?” he demanded.
“What, you never seemed to mind in your younger days!”
“Who are you, really?”
“I abandoned my old names and aliases, Doctor. There’s a reason why I used the Arch.”
“I imagine so.”
Throughout this, Professor Joe Frazier was becoming very nervous. His only encounters with Time Lords other than the Doctor had not been pleasant. Years ago he found himself on an adventure with the Doctor and another companion, a rock musician.
The musician was the top billed rock star of his respective time, and went only by the name Rock. Rock, Frazier, and the Doctor had some rather dangerous and fun times together, until they accidentally stumbled into a scheme set in motion by none other than Rassilon himself. Through a series of subtle manipulations they had acquired the old Time Lord’s artifacts, and Rock had become possessed by Rassilon! Professor Joe Frazier watched as his friend and traveling companion tried to kill him and the Doctor, and Frazier had to physically fight Rock! The Doctor wound up having to cut off Rock’s hand to remove an artifact from him, and Rock was restored. They wound up dissembling and scattering the artifacts into different black holes across space and time.
That was a long time ago, things had worked out, but it left Frazier with the impression that, while the Doctor was alright, other Time Lords were a force to fear.
While the archaeologist was lost in his reverie, the Doctor and Dude were engaged in something of a philosophical debate. The other companions were simply in disbelief, but seemed to take the situation as it was.
After a time, in which neither Time Lord had really succeeded in getting anything through the other’s thick head, the Doctor finally asked the Dude, “So, what have you been doing for these past six months, and why did you pick this place and time?”
The Dude smiled, and puffed his sonic pipe.
“Making some friends, and something of a life for myself. I own a couple night clubs, speak-easies as it were. As for why I picked this place, well, when I was being held and experimented on, I remembered overhearing about how several strange stories seemed to connect to Arkham, Massachusetts. It interested me.”
At this the Dude seemed to look off into the distance.
“Strange things have been happening here of late,” he said.
“Like those shoes with the severed feet in them?” asked Dr Mox.
“Yes, it really has the authorities baffled. I must admit, it’s a little strange to me, too. I’ve been looking into it a bit, seems like a lot of things happen at the carnival.”
“The carnival?” asked the Doctor, typing some input into his computer. An image of a ferris wheel and tents appeared on the screen. “Not far from here.”
“Not far at all. I was on my way there to follow up a lead when I noticed you lot heading into the Tardis,” said the Dude.
“What lead was that?” asked the Doctor.
The Dude pushed a button his pipe and pointed it at the Tardis console. Data appeared on screen.
“Hm, well, yes, those sorts of readings shouldn’t be coming from anything around here in this time period,” said the Doctor. “Why don’t I accompany you in your investigation? If people are dying, I should probably do what I can to help.”
“It’d be a pleasure, Doctor,” replied the Dude.
Professor Frazier piped up, “Are you sure that’s a good idea, Doctor?”
“Joe, I understand your unease, but you must admit, severed feet in shoes is quite odd. Perhaps you’d like to come with us?”
“I suppose so, give me a moment,” Frazier said and headed off to his quarters.
“Maybe we can talk to the police, get some info?” suggested Dr Mox.
“Maybe, I’ve tried, but they’re a little clueless and not very helpful,” said the Dude. “They might not even talk to you, being you’re civilians and all.”
Fattius shapeshifted into a man in uniform.
“Well, you could always do that, too.”
With that, the party split. Dr Mox and Fattius made their way to the police station, while the Doctor, Professor Frazier, and the Dude made their way to the carnival.
Frazier kept his hands and fingers ready to pull either his revolver or his blaster should the Dude misbehave. As a human, the Dude wasn’t exactly an upstanding citizen. Now, as a Time Lord, Frazier expected even worse.
So he trailed behind as the Time Lords scanned the area, following readings from their respective sonic devices. It had become close to dusk, the carnival oddly empty and more than a little creepy.
On the other side of town, Doc Mox and Fattius went to the police station. Between Fattius’s disguise, some psychic paper, and some serious fast talk, the duo managed to requisition a police truck. They stocked it with various supplies, and made their way back to the cemetery where the Tardis was parked.
At the carnival, the two Time Lords seemed a little stumped about where to go.
“How about the fun house? It’s supposed to be fun!” suggested Dude.
The Doctor agreed, and to the fun house they went. Frazier wondered if this could get any creepier. Once inside, it did. They managed to locate a secret door. A strange smell, somewhat familiar to the Doctor, and reptilian? The secret door opened up to a long hallway, steeply sloping down. A figure stood in the shadows, silent. It turned and moved slowly down the hallway. As the Dude, the Doctor, and Professor Frazier all exchanged looks, they followed.
At the cemetery, Doc Mox and Fattius sat in the police truck, parked in view of the Tardis.
“I’m sure they’ll be back soon,” said Fattius.
*cue sting & outro music*
Session 4 coming whenever I get around to it! =D
RPG materials & musings, along with some fiction, poetry, & other randomness. Updated when you least expect it.