A CRYPTWORLD INVESTIGATION
Investigation BackgroundThis special investigation case was designed to guide novice players through a Cryptworld scenario. The case is placed in an Any town USA setting in the 1930s. I call my Any town, Bayview. The town resides somewhere in the northeast region of the USA. The scenario is designed to accommodate any number of players.
Suggested starting character templates would be a private detective or reporter for ease of introducing the case to the players.
GM BackgroundThis case involves the ghost of Edwin Colby and the haunting of the Colby Building in downtown Bayview. The Colby building is located at the corner of Main and Stanley streets in downtown Bayview. It was dedicated in 1883 by Edwin Colby. The building housed a few shops on the first floor and the Colby Savings & Loan Bank on the second and third floors. The Bank failed in 1931 and shortly after Edwin Colby died. For the past 3 years, the building has stood empty.
Edwin Colby, the son of a successful Clothier built the family business into a Bank in the 1880s. He built this business into the most successful bank in Bayview by ruthless dealings. Signing loans at ruinous rates and foreclosing on businesses and farms. He resold these properties at a healthy profit. Faced with the failure of his life’s work when the Bank failed, Colby died of a heart attack at the age of 80 clutching the Business of the year award the Bayview Chamber of Commerce awarded him in 1905. He had no family and no one showed up to his funeral. He died angry at the people of Bayview for the closure of his bank. After his death, he became a ghost tied to the Colby building, his greatest achievement in life.
These events lead up to the present time of March 1935. The Chamber of Commerce now owns the land that the Colby Building is located upon. The Chamber of Commerce has made plans to renovate the building and turn it into a location for shops and apartments.
Use the following introduction if one of the players is a reporter at the Bayview Tribune. If there is no player for this role use Jamie Lane non-player character where necessary. The start for the reporter takes place on Monday, March 4, 1935, at 8:30 am in the Tribune office.
When you came into the office in the morning, the place was a beehive of activity because of a newsworthy event occurring right here in Bayview. Last night Mr. Gregg Greene was strangled to death. The location is even more lurid. His body was found at the tombstone of his dead wife in Greenview Cemetery. All of the available reporters on the Tribune are summoned into the editor’s office to go over what is known and to receive assignments. At the meeting is your editor, Arty Frendella, the top reporter, Eric Thomas, and the other reporters Lionel Newman, John Neal, and Alan Arnold.
John Neal has already gathered the basic facts at the police station. He explains that Mr. Greene was a foreman and architect for the Abrams Construction and Demolition Company. His wife died three years ago of natural causes. He was found Sunday night, lying in the cemetery by the caretaker. Early reports from the police at the scene suggest that he was strangled, and there were signs of a struggle. His only living relative is Julie Greene, who identified the body.
The assignments are given out and Thomas gets the big murder story as usual while the other reporters are assigned to minor stories. Since Thomas will be busy at the Police Station much of the day, Alan Arnold is to look into Greene’s busy dealings. John Neal is to go to the morgue and wait for a coroner’s report. Finally, either the Player’s character or Jamie Lane will go and check out the murder scene.
This start is for the player who has a private detective background. If there is no player filling this role use NPC Craig Maddox. This start occurs on March 3, 1935, at 4:00 in the afternoon in the detective's office on the second floor of the Tribune building.
You had just finished reading about the murder of Gregg Greene in the Tribune when you are awakened from your nap. There is a persistent knocking at the door to the office. Getting up to open the door you see a large woman in conservative clothes in the hall outside your office. You let her in as she introduces herself as Julie Greene, and says that, “someone has murdered my dear brother Gregg!”
From this introduction, the detective player should be able to play out an interview with Miss Greene. She knows the general information about the killing. Gregg was found in the cemetery last night and he was murdered. See also the Character Profiles section for more information. Tell the player that he usually receives between $25 and $50 per day plus expenses. The exact fee is dependent on how much he thinks he can get from the customer. Do not forget to remind the player that his/her old friend Jamie Lane (or another PC) at the Tribune might have some useful information.
Student at Bayview High
Assume the student is a senior at the local High School. The best way for a student to become interested in the case would be if a friend worked at the Tribune. Students could also become interested because they are classmates of Police Chief Amos Weatherby’s son Bill. No matter the introduction, a group of students will have a difficult time finding the resources available to other possible players.
A player could have a character who is a local resident who has had a run-in with an Abrams construction crew for buying out his home or business from the bank and evicting him. The character could have threatened violence on Gregg Greene making him/her a prime suspect for the police eager to find a scapegoat as the murder’s pile up. The character would be forced to investigate the murders just to defend himself.
|The Colby Building on Main Street|
Table of EventsThe following is a tentative schedule of events that could very easily be altered by the actions of the players. This is only used as a guide to events. If Edwin Colby becomes aware of the player’s characters he may change his actions to attack them.
DAY ONE – Monday, March 4, 1935
7:00 am – the police wrap up the on-site investigation of Greenview Cemetery, Greene murder.
8:30 am – the Tribune reporters receive their assignments from the Editor. Jamie Lane is sent to Greenview Cemetery.
9:00 am – Billy Blass (photographer at the Tribune), finishes taking pictures at Greenview Cemetery.
9:30 am – Eric Thomas sends Billy Blass too Springfield Police station to check for escaped convicts, inmates from the Insane Asylum, etc. Thomas will also suggest that Jamie Lane goes to Bayview penitentiary.
10:00 am - Detective Isaac Frank is assigned by Chief Weatherby to the case.
11:55 am – the police search the Greene apartment and they also do not find the telegram.
1:15 pm – Alan Arnold finds out about a gangland connection to Gregg Greene. In a search of the Greene apartment, he finds connections to local mobster Frankie DeLamo. The telegram (see site information) is not found.
3:00 pm – the Tribune goes to press, the headline is GANGSLAYING OF LOCAL CONSTRUCTION BOSS. The story by Thomas hints that the murder might be tied to a local mobster.
4:00 pm – a detective is contacted and hired by Julie Greene.
4:30 pm – Coroner’s report is released at the Town Morgue. It is covered by Tribune reporter John Neal. The Coroner is sketchy on the details and is kept on a tight rein by Chief Weatherby. He reveals only that Greene was brutally strangled.
8:30 pm – the Police bring in DeLamo gunman, Tom Chalmer on scant evidence and question him.
10:00 pm – the Police release Tom Chalmer.
DAY TWO – Tuesday, March 5, 1935
8:00 am – the police search the Greene apartment a second time. This time they are more thorough and they find the telegram.
9:00 am – the police arrive with a warrant and search the offices of Abrams construction. They find a key to a safe deposit box. The police also learn Greene used DeLamo’s men to remove people from foreclosed properties. He was also pressured to use Crawford Cement, a DeLamo front.
2:00 pm – the Tribune goes to press, MURDERED CONTRACTOR HAD DEALINGS WITH CRIME LORD. The Tribune story implies that Greene wanted to sever his connections with the mob and was killed to keep him quiet.
6:00 pm – if the players have not already talked with the coroner, then Lionel Newman jokes with Jamie Lane about the comment made by his contact at the morgue. The murderer had “dead hands”.
9:30 pm – Abrams foreman, Bob Krantz, on his way home from Police questioning about Greene, crashes his car into another car at the corner of Main and Clarence. He has his head nearly struck off. A power pole is knocked down in the crash and the electricity for the downtown is shut-off until 2:00 am.
10:00 pm – if no player reporter is available, John Neal is sent to the scene of the crash. Witnesses at the scene of the crash are questioned by police. Two witnesses claim to have seen a man thrown clear of the crash, who got up and walked away.
DAY THREE – Wednesday, March 6, 1935
7:00 am – the Police finish cleaning up the site of the Krantz crash.
8:30 am – Billy Blass reports that there have been no recent escapes from Bayview Penitentiary. Jamie Lane (or a PC reporter) is assigned to the Krantz accident.
10:30 am – Thomas and Newman cover the coroner’s report on Krantz.
11:00 am – Newman tells the Tribune staff that the coroner reports that Krantz died of strangulation moments before the car crashed. Police are calling it murder and they consider the two murders connected. Neal says that the Police are feeling a lot of pressure to make an arrest.
1:00 pm – the Police question DeLamo at his office. The only connection they can find between Krantz and Greene is that both are working on the Dupre House construction site.
2:00 pm – the Tribune goes to press, SECOND KILLING ROCKS BAYVIEW. Police have linked the Greene and Krantz murders.
3:00 pm – Alan Arnold talks to his contacts about Krantz. He appears to be clean with no connections to mobsters.
5:00 pm – the police get permission to open Greene’s Safe Deposit Box. They find that the box is full of counterfeit bonds.
6:00 pm – Detective Isaac Frank, voices the opinion that crooks associated with DeLamo may have killed the two men looking for the bonds that are worth $3000.
DAY FOUR – Thursday, March 7, 1935
9:00 am – the Police hold a press conference and suggest Krantz and Greene were killed by Gangsters because of the bonds but they emphasize that they have not yet linked Krantz to the bonds.
2:00 pm – the Tribune goes to press, POLICE SEARCH FOR KILLER.
5:00 pm – Alan Arnold calls Fred Williamson and agrees to meet him at the Dupre house in an hour.
7:30 pm – Fred Williamson is murdered while showing Alan Arnold around the partially demolished Dupre House. Arnold yells for help and his yells summon beat cop, Ted Shannon. The two discover Williamson impaled on a coat hook, with bruises about his neck.
7:45 pm – the Police patrol cars arrive at the murder scene, Detective Frank has the street cordoned off.
8:00 pm – Police beat patrolmen search the streets around the murder site. About this time reporters from the Tribune arrive on the scene.
8:05 pm – Police beat patrolmen hear screams near the hospital. The Police raced to the scene and find Jean Simpson strangled to death in an alley. First reporters and police on the scene listen as eyewitness Cathy Adams describes an incredibly strong man with a rotting face and hands.
8:30 pm – all the reporters from the Tribune converge on the hospital murder site, this area is also cordoned off as police search nearby lots. Police cars with sirens blaring and spotlights on race about downtown Bayview.
8:45 pm – the Police spotted a man running across Riverside road near the hospital, shots are fired in the air and the man is caught.
9:00 pm – Thomas, Neal, and Blass went to the police station to await the results of the questioning. Meanwhile, the police continue door-to-door questioning at both murder sites.
9:30 pm – Police chief Weatherby announces they have an unnamed suspect in custody who has admitted to killing all four murder victims, and Jean Simpon’s purse was found in his possession.
11:00 pm – the Police investigations clear up at Dupre House and the Hospital.
DAY FIVE – Friday, March 8, 1935
8:30 am – a press conference is held at the Morgue. Chief Weatherby tells the gathered press that the suspect is a drifter named Alan Clark. He was found with Jean Simpson’s purse and has given an elaborate full confession for the murders. Questions by reporters to the coroner and Detective Frank reveal that both victims were brutally strangled. Clark is a man of average height and build. The fingerprints at the Dupre House do not match those of Clark and the description given by Cathy Adams was of an above-average sized man. Clark has no connection to the victims.
9:30 am – the police securely board up the Dupre House to “keep out drifters”.
10:30 am – Detective Frank drops any suggestions that Clark is connected to DeLamo. Weatherby suggests that Clark killed the men because they wished to tear down the Dupre House in which he may have been squatting.
11:00 am – the press gather to hand out assignments. Thomas remains on the murder case and Jamie Lane is assigned to do a background on Clark. There is a fierce debate in the newsroom for a fitting moniker for the killer. They settle on the STRANGLER.
2:00 pm – the Tribune goes to press, MULTIPLE HOMICIDES LEADS TO ARREST OF THE STRANGLER.
3:00 pm – Greene's body is released to Julie Greene for burial.
DAY SIX – Saturday, March 9, 1935
6:00 am – the reporter assigned to research Clark’s background reports that little was found. Neal reports on the latest police releases.
8:00 am – the police announce they will bring charges against Clark for the murder of Jean Simpson only. Newman reveals that large sections of the coroner’s report are being kept secret. The secret parts apparently facts that positively connect the murders.
9:00 am – the Tribune goes to press, KILLER CHARGED WITH THE MURDER OF NURSE. The story questions whether Clark is really the killer.
2:00 pm – Neal reports that Detective Frank is looking for another suspect.
DAY SEVEN – Sunday, March 10, 1935
9:00 am – The Tribune is closed for Sunday. Reporters continue to investigate Alan Clark.
11:00 am – Weatherby and the coroner have a heated argument about releasing details of the autopsies.
DAY EIGHT – Monday, March 11, 1935
9:00 am – Jane Lane is assigned to go talk to Sam Ronald, Director of the Chamber of Commerce.
11:00 am – Jamie Lane is scheduled to meet with Ronald.
1:00 pm – if she can find him, Julie Greene fires the detective.
2:00 pm – the Tribune goes to the press, POLICE LOOKING FOR A SECOND MURDERER. No new leads.
4:00 pm – the Police conduct a careful search of the Dupre House and find the rest of the bonds.
DAY NINE – Tuesday, March 12, 1935
8:00 am – Chief Weatherby holds a secret meeting with the Mayor and the coroner to discuss progress on the case.
10:30 am – the police attempt to link the four murders and the suspect to the bonds.
2:00 pm – the Tribune goes to the presses, STRANGLER STILL ON THE LOOSE.
4:00 pm – the police conclude that the Simpson murder was likely not premeditated, but was done by the same killer.
10:30 pm – Sam Ronalds, of the Chamber of Commerce, is found murdered in his apartment by Kate Strikenson.
10:40 pm – the police arrive on the scene of the Ronalds murder. A message written in blood on the wall is discovered.
11:00 pm – a police search of the local area does not turn up any clues. The witness, Kate Strikenson, is escorted in police custody to the station.
11:30 pm – the investigation of the murder scene reveals that Ronald had met with three of the murder victims.
DAY TEN – Wednesday, March 13, 1935
8:00 am – the police take Mary Hughs into protective custody. The police cordon of Abrams Construction company offices and conduct a thorough search.
10:00 am – at a press conference, Detective Frank announces that the fingerprints found at the new murder site match those found at the Dupre House. The police announced that it appears one person killed Greene, Krantz, Williamson, and Ronald. They are uncertain about Simpson and are still sticking with Clark.
11:00 am – the press and the police are baffled at the motive for the killings.
1:00 pm – Newman gets his hands on (bribery) a leaked coroner’s report stating that the murderer must be immensely strong and suffer from some kind of skin disorder. Two of the victims struggled with their murderer and had dead skin under their fingernails.
1:30 pm – the police circulate a sketch made by Cathy Adams of the killer.
2:00 pm – the Tribune goes to press, GRUESOME STRANGLER REVEALED. It is accompanied by a sketch.
3:00 pm – the police send Alan Clark to a mental facility in Boston.
4:00 pm – the police reveal that all of the victims, with the exception of Simpson, were connected to the Colby Building renovation.
5:00 pm – Newman assigned to go through the Tribune vault for a quick background on Edwin Colby.
7:00 pm – the Police carefully search the Colby building and find nothing suspicious. They find the Bank Vault is locked.
DAY ELEVEN – Thursday, March 14, 1935
8:00 am – the Police bring in a safecracker to search the vault in the Colby building. They find a body that has been dead for more than a year.
10:00 am – the police confirm that the body found at the Colby building is not a new victim but rather the corpse of a man who went missing a year ago.
11:00 am – the reporters of the Tribune have a meeting to compare stories on the murder investigation, the Colby building, and the missing man.
2:00 pm – the Tribune goes to press, STRANGLER STILL SOUGHT, COLBY BUILDING LINKED TO MURDERS, MISSING MAN FOUND DEAD ONE YEAR LATER.
6:00 pm – the Coroner tells Franks that the prints of the corpse match those of the prints found at all of the murder scenes.
7:00 pm – the police announced to the press that they have credible information that the strangler has left the area. The coroner discusses the burial of the strangler with Franks.
Colby realized near the end that his actions had put his building in even more jeopardy. When the police search the building, he stays quiet. When Amos Weatherby and Lieutenant Franks are alone in the building, he writes a message in blood on a wall, “STAY OUT.”
The police close the investigation quickly. Thomas raises a fuss for a while about the inability of the police to find a killer. Eventually, the story leaves the front page. A few weeks after the Strangler’s body is found, it is carefully buried in Greenview cemetery.
The Bayview Historical society, bid to have the Colby building declared historically significant and receive a lot of support from the police, Chamber of Commerce and the Mayor’s office. Having ensured that his building will be left alone, Colby remains quiet for the near future. If the players have not completely figured out the mystery by this time, they likely never will.
Research and InvestigationThis section covers the information the players can learn by investigating at locations, doing research or by questioning witnesses.
Places to Investigate
Murder Sites are designated below. Some of this information is dependent on the time sequence.
1. Greenview Cemetery (location is on Walker road)
This is a small cemetery, with about 500 tombstones marking it. One roadway transects the cemetery from north to south with frequent paths leading west and east. Located near the cemetery entrance, is a small one-story caretaker’s shed. The caretaker is Murray Whiteman. If the characters arrive at the cold, windswept cemetery on Monday, March 4th the murder site will be apparent by the trampled grass above the grave and the flashbulbs left behind by the Police photographer and Billy Blass. The gravestone is that of Edith Greene, and says “Loving Wife to Gregg 1889-1927”. Only a “C” result on the investigation skill at the grave will reveal anything. With this result, the player will note a porcelain lapel pin of the moon. The pin looks a little worn but it does not appear to have been exposed to the elements for long.
2. Car crash scene (location at the corner of Main and Clarence)
Bob Krantz crashes into a parked car near the corner of Main and Clarence at 9:34 at night. Moments after the crash, as people begin to arrive on the scene, the parked car lies on its side, while Krantz’s car blazes on fire upside down in the middle of the street. A power pole is knocked over and lies on top of the car. The power is out across the town until 2:00 in the morning. The police arrive on the scene at 9:45 and seal off the block until 11:00 when the cars are towed away. After 11:00 traffic is allowed through but a police cruiser is stationed here with the power company employees. The street is not completely cleaned up until 7:00 in the morning. This is a commercial district so there were only a few people in the surrounding buildings to witness the crash. Then the power went out and the car burst into flames. The following witness statements are possible to uncover using investigation.
The first witness claims to have heard the crash, looked out the window and saw a man in a dark coat and hat, climb away from the car before it burst into flames. The man walked stiffly east down Clarence Street.
Another eyewitness was enjoying a snooze in the alley when he was awakened by the crash. As he went to investigate a man in a tattered trench coat and a dark hat walked by the alley headed east down Clarence Street. The man walked as if in a daze and his face was horribly burned and disfigured.
The last eyewitness was driving on Main street when an oncoming car suddenly lost control and smashed full speed into a parked car. By the time the man stopped, the car had burst into flames.
3. Dupre House murder scene (location on Clarence near Riverside)
More details are given on this house in the Dupre House section. On Thursday at 6:00 at night, Fred Williamson arrives at the Dupre house to take stock of the progress of work Krantz had completed on demolishing the house. At 6:30 Alan Arnold arrives and asks Williamson a few questions about Gregg Greene, Krantz and the Abrams Construction company. Around 7:30 as Arnold pokes about outside the house in what used to be the living room, he hears a groan from the house. Arnold asks Williamson if he is alright, then hears a thud. Arnold waits for a few moments then enters the servants’ quarters and sees Williamson hanging from a coat hook. Arnold runs out into the street as fast as he can move, spots a beat officer Ted Shannon down the street and screams for help. The two men run back into the building, discover Williamson again. Shannon blows his whistle. By 7:45 that night, Detective Franks arrives, police cars cordon off the street between first and fourth avenues. Beat patrolmen search the murder scene, and officers go door to door questioning people until 11:00 at night. Clues that can be discovered at the scene are mentioned in the section detailing the house. The police do not turn up any clues in their interviews.
|Dupre House on Clarence Street|
4. Hospital murder scene (located at the corner of Vine and Caroline Streets)
The murder site is a streetcar stop one block from the hospital on the north side of the street. Around 8:05 on Thursday (March 7) night, Jean Simpson was murdered. Sprawled on the sidewalk around the corner from the stop, on Vine Street is the limp body of the victim. Cathy Adams and Jean, both off-duty nurses, were standing at a street corner waiting for the 8:15 westbound streetcar to take them to Morrison street. Jean was searching through her purse for a light when a darkly, clad man slowly walking toward them turned to go down Vine street. Jean ran up to the corner and asked the man for a light, he ignored her so she reached out and tugged on his arm. He turned partially, and Jean screamed as she looked into a decayed and lifeless face in the street light. He reached for her, she struggled and he grabbed her and carried her around the corner. The man then lifted her up and snapped her neck tossing her lifeless body on the sidewalk. Cathy came to her wits and began screaming for help as the man slowly walked north down the alley. As Cathy directs the police toward the alley, Alan Clark spots Jean’s purse on the ground, snatches it and runs to his shelter. In the alley, the police spot Clark, fire shots and trap him. The coroner’s wagon removes the body of the victim at 9:00 and the police remain on the scene until 11:00 that night. Players will have to act fast if they wish to question Cathy Adams. She will be ushered into a police cruiser at 8:50 and will not be released until 4:00 the next morning. The police will drive her to her home. Players with Master tracking ability may be able to find the killer’s tracks and follow them back to Dupre House or north up Vine street before losing them on the hard pavement.
5. Ronald Bungalow murder site (located on Allerton street)
Sam Ronald lives in a small, brick house. He is found strangled in his front room, atop a table set for an intimate evening for two. At 9:00 on the night of Tuesday, March 12 he is killed. His body is discovered at 10:30 that night as county clerk Kate Strikenson lets herself in with her key. She runs to the neighbors, who saw her come to the house, and they call the police. The police enter the house at 10:40 and discover the body, and a message written in blood on the wall.
There are many clues at this site:
A message is written in blood, “Paid in Blood” but the body has not lost any blood. He died because his neck was broken.
Ronald as Director of the Chamber of Commerce had meetings with the Abrams construction company laid out three times in his desk calendar.
The Abrams construction company was contracted to assess the condition of the Colby Building.
Ronald appears to have carried out relations with at least two clerks, one at the county office and one at the Mayor's office.
Fingerprints can be found at the scene and are the same as those found at Dupre house.
The rear door to the backyard has been left ajar. Local residents report that two dogs in the neighborhood were howling around 9:00 that night.
Research SitesThese sites are detailed below with some of the information that can be found using the Research or Investigation skills.
1. Abrams Construction & Demolition Co. (located west of State Highway 2 on Marce Road)
This construction company is located in a small, ugly cement building on a fenced-off lot. Around the building are parked all manners of construction and demolition vehicles. Notable people who work here are the president Fred Williamson, architect Gregg Greene, foreman Bob Krantz, and secretary Mary Hughs. Depending on the time in the case some of these people may be dead. After Williamson’s death on Thursday, March 7th, the company lot will be padlocked shut. Williamson, Greene, and Krantz maintain offices on the site.
Williamson’s office is the largest and contains a desk, sofa, and several filing cabinets. The only information that can be found here is that Abrams does get a lot of materials from Crawford Cement, and has projects at Dupre House and the Colby Building.
Greene’s office search may locate papers detailing purchases from Crawford Cement and Praidafore Lumber. Meetings in a datebook note a meeting with DeLamo in December, February and one on March 2nd. The datebook also has Veronique Hamlin’s old apartment address in it. A pair of old, dirty coveralls are set over a chair. In one pocket is a matchbook from “Bob’s Pool Hall on Main” on the cover. In another pocket is a folded up map of the Dupre house showing the location of the secret compartment in the basement.
The office of Bob Krantz is small and very messy. His office is cluttered with survey equipment and broken mechanical devices. Greasy work orders and bill receipts are filed haphazardly in the desk.
2. State Penitentiary (located south of town on State Road 34)
The nearness of the State Penitentiary to Bayview will lend credence to wild theories about escaped convicts on the loose. If players have sufficient authority to get in and talk to Warden Jameson they will learn that the last escape from the Medium security prison occurred five years ago. The structure is a large stone prison, with a small administrative building nearby. There are presently 12 guards and 73 inmates held here. The structure is surrounded by a double ring of 12-foot fences patrolled by guards and dogs.
3. Police Station and Holding Cells (located on Clark Street and 3rd Avenue).
This large building houses the police administration, patrol cruisers, mechanics, detective squad rooms and the jailhouse. Bayview Police Station has a police chief (Amos Weatherby), two detectives and four sergeants. The desk sergeant is Adam Brooker, with a beat officer filling in weekends and nights. The police station has 10 patrol cruisers in service at this time. More information can be found under the appropriate player profiles.
4. Bayview Tribune Newspaper (located on Main Street).
The only town paper is located in an old building that has been recently renovated. The building is three stories tall, but the top story is rented for office space. The renters include a Real Estate agency, two lawyers, a dentist, and Craig Maddox, Private Investigations. The paper was established in May 1854 to fill the void left when the old Bayview Chronicle (1802-1835) went under when its founder died.
The editor of the Tribune is Arty Frendella, the top reporter is Eric Thomas. Other reporters are Lionel Newman, John Neal, Jamie Lane, and Alan Arnold. The Tribune is owned in part by Frendella’s brother Vince and the local eccentric publisher Charles C. Betts.
There is a fair bit of information to be found in the Tribune’s “morgue” or paper vault.
Wednesday, June 18, 1881. Young, successful businessman Edwin Colby begins construction of the Colby building on Main street.
Thursday, October 11, 1883. The Colby building opens with some fanfare. Edwin Colby also opens Colby Savings & Loan.
Tuesday, May 16, 1905. Edwin Colby is shown in a photograph on the front page being presented with a Brass Trophy by the Bayview Chamber of Commerce. Businessman of the Year.
Monday, November 9, 1931. The front pages are dominated by depression news. But also on the front page are the details of a bank run on Colby Savings & Loan started by rumors of insolvency.
Thursday, November 12, 1931. On the second page is an article on the death of Edwin Colby. Found lying on the main stairs in the Colby Building. Died of natural causes.
Wednesday, January 13, 1932. The Colby building is shuttered. The Chamber of Commerce takes possession of the land and the building.
Wednesday, November 14, 1934. There is a story on the front page about the Colby Building on Main street. The Chamber of Commerce owns the building and has hired engineers to check if it can be renovated.
Monday, February 4, 1935. On the second page is mention that the Chamber of Commerce hired engineers have reported that the Colby building needs to be torn down. The original construction was flawed and the foundation is not solid.
Wednesday, February 6, 1935. Details of protests by the Historical society to the plan to tear down the 52-year-old Colby Building. Once the largest building in town.
Monday, February 11, 1935. Abrams Construction to go ahead with plans to tear down the Colby Building.
Wednesday, July 15, 1856. Dupre House built by Silas George Dupre III a wealthy shipping magnate. He operates a ferry to Boston from Bayview.
Wednesday, January 13, 1892. News on the front page is that Silas Dupre III dies and debtors foreclose on his investments and possessions. The paper reports on the details of his scandalous life. He worked in shipping and railroad interests. It was revealed late in life that he was a wanted felon named Sam Bookner, who had participated in a number of shady deals. When he died his shady business deals had made him a pauper in an empty house.
Friday, November 1, 1878. Buried on the fourth page is a mention that police responded to a call on October 31 from High School students after they saw a “ghost” at Dupre house. The students were disciplined for bothering the police.
Wednesday, April 19, 1922. There is a fire overnight at the abandoned Dupre House. Half of the building was lost to the fire.
Thursday, December 12, 1929. The story on the inside pages mentions that the Dupre House is being demolished. The story mentions Silas G. Dupre III and his business problems. The story also mentions that his debtors sold the house to a Ronald Jacoby of New York in 1894. Jacoby, in turn, sold the house to Margaret Ullman in 1901. Fire damaged the house in 1922 and it has been an eyesore ever since. Pictures in the paper show the house as it looks today.
5. The Bayview Historical Society (located on Riverside Road at Tyne Street)
This building served as the Town Hall from 1805 to 1875. When the new City Hall was built it was converted to the Battlefield Park Museum. Later the museum was closed and the building became the Historical society in 1902. On the upper floors there are exhibits from the old museum. In the basement lie documents of the Bayview Chronicle (1802-1835) and the town records from 1756 to 1890 (beyond the time it served as town hall).
There are offices for the Historical society president Lawrence Blakentopp, museum curator Paul Ashfield, and society secretary Paula Townley.
The small museum is in the former council chamber and consists of rows of glass cases containing various objects from the last 300 years of the town’s history. Such things as old pistols, muskets, farming implements, money, bonds, and coins.
The town records in the basement are stored in wooden boxes and stored in a dry room off the floor. Unfortunately, the records have not been sorted and are impossible to search. The Chronicle records are carefully preserved in similar wooden boxes.
6. County Morgue (located in the basement of the Hospital)
This is the domain of the Chief of Forensic Surgery, Doctor Robert Samuels. Generally, players would have no difficulty getting to see the doctor for interviews. But during the period from March 5th until March 12th this will be difficult. During this time period, a Police officer is placed on the door of the basement morgue and characters are asked to wait for the next press conference. There is a service entrance to the morgue which is guarded by hospital security.
7. Bayview General Hospital (located on the corner of Caroline and Vine streets)
The player could come here to interview co-workers of Jean Simpson or to visit the morgue.
8. New Town Hall / Town Library (located at Harwich and 3rd Avenue)
The building houses the Legal Library, Public Library, Courtrooms, and City Council chambers. The mayor of the town at the time is Thomas Zimmerman. The players will most likely be interested in the library. The library has one or two books on local history and a few books on ghosts and other creatures.
Ancient Superstitions in Modern Society. Reading this book will give players the basics of how to deal with a ghost. Many ghosts are held to the real world by a focus. If the focus is destroyed the ghost will be banished.
9. Moon Nightclub (1st Avenue)
The Moon Nightclub is located in the basement of a two-story brick office building in the heart of the town. The nightclub is by invitation only. The place features, dancers, singers, and alcohol. It is well protected. The offices above are used by DeLamo for his businesses.
Character ProfilesThis section covers the profiles and backgrounds of the main players in the case. Those characters marked with an asterisk will be murder victims.
Adams, Cathy (nurse at General Hospital)
A minor character, she is a friend of Jean Simpson and often rides home with her on the streetcar after their night shift which ends at 8:00. They both live in separate apartment buildings on Morrison Street. Cathy is a 27-year-old single woman who lives by herself. She witnesses Jean’s death on March 7th at 8:05 pm. She will spend the night at the Police Station attempting to convince the police that her description of the attack and the attacker have not been clouded by fear. She is reluctant to talk to reporters for fear of dismissal from her job.
Arnold, Alan (reporter at the Tribune)
A minor character, he is an overweight old man who was once a Real Estate agent for a local realtor. Arnold tends to get assigned to business stories or can be found running through Accounting records. He is generally disliked by his co-workers.
Ashfield, Paul (curator at the Historical Society)
Paul is a 34-year-old man who makes a modest salary looking after the museum and sifting through and sorting the documents in the society basement. Paul has a Master’s degree in History and a general degree in Archaeology. He is a very good source of information on local history as he has researched the town records extensively.
Barlow, Jordan (police officer)
Jordan works the beat around Battlefield park on Clark street. A fairly level headed guy, he can sometimes be convinced to divulge police information to reporters. He is 46 and should be promoted to desk sergeant as soon as the current one retires.
Belle, Albert (grocery clerk, Gigliotti Market)
Albert was a Bank Clerk at Colby Savings & Loan from 1920 to 1931. He worked his way up to senior Bank Clerk and now can barely support himself and his wife. He is pretty bitter about the circumstances. He can provide information about Edwin Colby’s character, describing him as mean and miserly.
Blass, Billy (junior reporter, photographer)
He is the junior reporter on the staff and not a particularly good journalist. However, he is good with the new cameras that have been circulated to the staff, so he is often sent to take important pictures. He generally, tends to do the leg work for Eric Thomas, so the later has more time to write stories. Jamie Lane, the new reporter at the Tribune, crushed his chances to advance to a full-time reporter so he dislikes her.
Chalmer, Tom (bootlegger)
Tom is a bootlegger for Frankie DeLamo, the local organized crime boss. Tom is brought in for questioning on the Greene murder since he and Greene have been seen in each other’s company at a few local spots. Chalmer often came by Abrams’s construction to put pressure on Greene, which was overhead by construction workers.
Clark, Alan (unbalanced drifter)
A rather beat up 42 years old drifter placed out of work by the depression. He used to be a bricklayer and has worked in a few public works jobs. He arrived in town by boxcar this year on February 12th. He is delusional and claims responsibility for the murders in an attempt to please the police officers holding him. He has a sleeping spot in a forgotten boxcar near the marina (there is an abandoned spur line of train tracks that used to go to the docks).
Cohen, Doctor Cindy (a doctor at Bayview General)
Cohen is a narrow-minded, middle-aged woman who is respected in the field of blood typing. She was forced to come to Bayview because bigger hospitals in Boston would not give her a chance. She does work occasionally with Doctor Samuels (coroner).
DeLamo, Franklin (Bayview Mobster)
The prohibition (1917-1933) produced much of the criminal organizations in the USA. In this small town, Frankie DeLamo controlled the liquor trade and smuggling during the prohibition period. Unlike in larger cities, the Police are not controlled by the local criminals. However, they tend to leave their dealings alone. DeLamo owned the two illegal sources of alcohol in town during prohibition. Bob’s Pool Hall has a back room where alcohol is purchased by local people and merchants. The Moon Nightclub is the other location. Now that prohibition is over DeLamo still owns most of the places where alcohol can be purchased in Bayview. DeLamo also owns Riverfront Brokers, Praidafore Lumber, and Crawford Cement. He has a connection to Gregg Greene through Riverfront Brokers through which he planned to buy the counterfeit bonds Greene located for $3000. He does not have any direct involvement in the murders.
Frendella, Arthur, W. (editor of the Tribune)
The Italian, beet-red faced editor of the Bayview Tribune has a short fuse on his explosive temper. He is not the most intelligent editor but manages the paper well enough to keep it profitable.
Godrich, Frank. (chauffeur)
A fairly burly man and a former bank officer at Colby Savings & Loan. Frank lost his job in 1931 when the Bank went under. He now chauffeurs Charles C. Betts around. He can provide some background on Edwin Colby.
*Greene, Gregg (Architect and Foreman at Abrams Construction)
Greene is dead when the players begin the investigation. Back in December 1934, he discovered a map to a hidden trove in the Dupre House. After hours he went back to the house and found a footlocker full counterfeit bonds. He took a sample of them and put them in his safe deposit box at the Bayview Trust Bank. He went to Frankie DeLamo to work out a place to sell the Bonds. DeLamo’s experts explained that the bonds were counterfeit but still valuable. After finding the bonds he continued to go to work as normal, including a meeting at the Colby building on February 18. For safety, he sent his girlfriend Ronnie Hamlin to Montreal. On March 2, 1935, he prepared a telegram telling Ronnie he would make the transaction, and before sending it he went to say goodbye at his wife Edith’s grave. He lived in an apartment on the second floor of a business on Main street.
In his apartment the following information can be learned:
No pictures of Edith only of Veronique Hamlin.
A plane ticket and an unsent telegram in a dresser drawer. The plane ticket is to Montreal.
Some women’s clothing in the bathroom and bedroom (Ms. Hamlin).
Greene, Edith M. (wife of Gregg)
She died in 1927 of a rare blood disorder. She was buried in Greenview Cemetery.
Greene, Julie T. (sister of Gregg)
Julie is the sister of Gregg Greene. She is Gregg’s senior by 12 years. She will pay the investigator for at least a week before getting impatient. She has not seen Gregg since February 16 and knows little of his personal life because the siblings were not close. However, she acts like she knew everything about her brother and that the two were inseparable.
Hughs, Mary (secretary at Abrams Construction)
A diligent woman, who has worked for Abrams Construction for six years and is very loyal to the company. She is 27 years old. She is not likely to answer questions. She knew that Krantz and Greene got along well. She also knows that Greene has been seeing a “horrible bloodsucker” called Ronnie Hamlin for the past year. She knows that Ms. Hamlin returned to Montreal about three days before Greene was killed. Mary will clear out her office after Williamson’s death and take a job for a local lawyer.
Lane, Catherine, Jamie (reporter for Tribune)
Jamie is the newest reporter at the Tribune. Jamie received national acclaim while working for a small paper in Indiana. She did an expose on migrant workers and their working conditions. She was later removed from her job for attempting to report on corruption in the Indiana Public Works department. Her reviews from earlier work and her writing style got her this job. She resents having to do bullpen reporting, having once been an investigative reporter.
*Krantz, Bob (Abrams Construction Foreman)
The Abrams construction company’s top foreman. He is a friend of his co-worker, Gregg Greene. He recently worked with Greene on the initial demolition at the Dupre House and Colby Building. He is aware that Gregg has been seeing Ms. Hamlin for the past year but knew nothing of the counterfeit bonds scam they were working on with DeLamo. He had noticed that Gregg was particularly nervous this past week. Krantz is murdered on March 5 at 9:30 at night. There is nothing important at his office at Abrams Construction or his single home on 156 Russell street.
Maddox, Craig (private investigator)
This twenty-six-year-old detective is from Alabama. He is muscular and six feet tall. He will be hired by Julie Greene to investigate the murder of Gregg Greene. His office is located in the small corner office on the second floor of the Tribune building. If a player, has the private investigator background, Maddox should be replaced with the player.
Neal, John (reporter for the Tribune)
Neal is 35 and in the prime of his career of journalism, unfortunately, he is stuck permanently in Bayview. He has some contacts on the police force making him the best reporter for getting information from them. He is married and has three kids.
Newman, Lionel (reporter for the Tribune)
A rather strong-willed and aggressive old man often called grandpa behind his back, and even to his face. He is 74 years old and a fixture at the Tribune. He started work at the Tribune in 1876 as a gopher in the bullpen. He is continually forgetting to do his work, sometimes on purpose, but he is an institution in the Tribune bullpen.
*Ronald, Samuel (Chamber of Commerce Director)
Ronald is 43 years old and the owner of a Clothing store. He is also Director of the Bayview Chamber of Commerce. For the past seven years, he has been on the Downtown Improvement Committee. It was his idea to renovate the Colby Building into a new shop space. On February 18 while touring the building he gave the keys to Fred Williamson, president of Abrams Construction. When the three men are killed he assumes that the construction company he was dealing with has had a problem with the mob. After Williamson’s death, he breaks the contract with Abrams Construction and contacts a rival firm. He had planned a meeting with one of his young mistresses for 10:30 on March 12 but he is killed at 9:00 that night.
Samuels, Doctor Robert (county coroner)
The Coroner seems to almost live in the morgue. He reports the facts around death with little concern for how implausible they may sound. His reasoning is that eventually it will be explained when more facts are known. Samuels immediately notes that the victims of the strangler were lifted off the ground when their necks were snapped causing instant death. The Williamson victim struggled and has skin samples from the killer under his fingernails. This is also the case with the Simpson murder. The skin samples are those of a dead human. The skin has been dead for more than a year. Samuels believes that the killer must have a rare skin disorder or gangrene. Fingerprints found on the site of the Williamson and Ronald murder match those of the corpse found in the Colby building. Samuels is not sure what to make of this information.
*Simpson, Jean (nurse at General Hospital)
This 25-year-old nurse is a full-time employee at the hospital. She gets killed at 8:05 on the night of March 7 by an unknown assailant. She lives at a single apartment on Morrison. Neighbors and examination of the apartment reveal she had a regular boyfriend but nothing informative.
Strikenson, Kate (County Clerk)
Kate is an attractive 22-year-old clerk at the County offices. She has been having an affair with Samuel Ronalds for six months. She lives in an apartment for single women on Allerton Street. Her roommate is Catherine Robins. On March 12 at 10:30 at night, she discovers Ronald’s body. She is not a very useful witness to the police but she will be questioned from 11:00 until 3:00 in the morning.
Thomas, Eric G. (top reporter at the Tribune)
Eric Thomas feels that he is the best reporter at the Tribune and he is probably correct. He has the ambition to make it in a real newspaper in a big city. He is 33 years old and he hails from Springfield, Massachusetts. His home is on Ferry near Russell street. He lives there with his wife Kaye, who is a local girl. Eric is an aggressive reporter and he tends to place himself into the stories he writes to make his contribution seem that much greater.
Weatherby, Amos (Police Chief)
Amos is a veteran policeman who has been chief for 20 years. He is well-versed in local politics and is more than capable of keeping Mayor Zimmerman in line. He will not allow the Tribune to embarrass himself or the Police force. He is not above suppressing evidence and fabricating stories. He will draw the line at hard-nosed working over of people. Amos has one son, William (Bill) who is a student at the local High School.
*Williamson, Fred (President of Abrams Construction)
After Greene and Krantz are killed, Williamson is more worried about his company name then for anything else. Incidentally, he chose the name Abrams so he would be first in the phone book. He will be very cooperative with the police investigation but will keep up a steady no comment to reporters until March 7. On that night he agrees to show Alan Arnold around the Dupre house and he is killed by the strangler. He is survived by his wife Joanne and four children.
Whiteman, Murray (Greenview Cemetery Caretaker)
Murray is a 58-year-old caretaker at the cemetery. Although he knows nothing of the Greene murder case he can tell some pretty imaginative stories. An example would be as follows, “Two weeks ago I was making my rounds of the fence at night. I heard a scraping hose and I figured I had better check it out. So I followed the noise through the tombstones in the northeast corner until I came to a grave that had just been occupied you might say, a few days earlier. I could not believe what I saw. You see this horrible, hairless beast was sitting up in the freshly opened grave. As I turned to beat a hasty retreat I tripped over a shovel making a racket. This here creature pops out of the grave with a human arm in its hand. It looked like he had been chewing on it. Well, I took that as my cue to run like crazy for the shed. I could hear the thing behind me chasing me all the way. I got to the shed first and locked myself in. All night I could hear scratching and tapping at the door. In the morning the sounds stopped. When I stepped out to check the grave was undisturbed!” Murray does not actually believe any of his ghost stories but he enjoys the company and an audience.
Investigation SitesThis section details the two major places that players might investigate. The Dupre House and the Colby Building. The latter is where the case can be successfully completed.
The Dupre House
The Dupre house is located on Clarence Street and Andrews Lane. The house has been abandoned since the east wing was gutted by fire in 1922.
Outside the Dupre House
The Dupre house stands only 20 feet from the sidewalk along Clarence Street. Only the west wing of the house remains. The peaked two-story house rises to a large chimney. On the east side of the house, only the stone foundation remains and a lonely chimney. A large crane is parked before the east wing. All of the lower windows are boarded up. On the east side, a large hole leads unobstructed into the rest of the house. The house stands in darkness because of several large trees around it.
The house can be entered through the hole in the wall to the servant’s quarters (6) or the hole leading to the hall (5). The players can explore the yard, but the only thing of interest is the locked crane.
1 Entry Hall.
The door leads to a large entry hall which has been long-since emptied of any furniture. The floors are wood covered in sawdust. The walls are covered in peeling green wallpaper. There are three doorways in the room. The main door to the outside has wooden boards nailed over it. There is nothing of interest here.
This is a long, narrow hallway. Along the outside wall are boarded up windows, most of the glass in the windows is broken. A chair lies on its side near the broken remains of an end table. There is nothing of interest here.
This room appears to be a kitchen. Along the outside walls are large, boarded up windows. There is a large fireplace that was used for cooking and a permanent counter that has a metal sink. The water is no longer hooked up in this house so turning the taps does nothing. It is also apparent that this house never had electricity.
This chamber is in complete darkness. The room’s floor is bare, the stained wallpaper has lighter covered squares on it where pictures must have hung. Against one wall is a large stone fireplace that appears to have been cold for a long time.
5. Ruined Hall
This hall does not have much of a roof and the wall to the outside has collapsed. The room is crowded with huge wooden beams, roof tiles and stone blocks from the walls. The floor is completely obscured by the debris. Both doors leaving this hall are boarded up.
Beneath a pile of debris is a stone staircase to the cellar. Roll a General Perception check for each player to see if they notice it. Players would have to make a General Strength check to move enough debris to access the stairs.
If Fred Williamson is with the players he knows the location of the stairs to the cellar and will inform them if asked.
6. Servants Quarters / Murder Scene
This room is a mess of debris of wood and roof tiles. One wall has collapsed to the outside and there is a hole in the roof. There is water damage on the floor and the walls. Two broken chairs are also stacked in a pile of garbage against one wall. There is a row of metal coat hooks placed about five feet off of the ground.
There is nothing of interest in this room at the start of the case. However, on the night of Thursday, March 7 at 7:30 Fred Williamson will be strangled and impaled on a coat hook in this very room. If this room is visited after that time then read the following description:
“The room is choked with debris that has recently been moved and searched through. On one wall of the room, there is a large, dark red stain on the wall surrounding one of five metal coat hooks. The white, tape outline of a body has been placed on the wall around the red stain. The room appears to have been traversed by a large number of people recently.”
Examining the coat hook reveals that it is badly warped and that the dark-red stain is dried blood. There is a recent crack in the wooden wall running through the coat hook.
The staircase makes all kinds of loud, creaky noises when a player walks up, but it is reasonably structurally sound.
8. Front Bedroom
The staircase goes up to an attic bedroom. Along the outside wall of this bedroom are three windows. The windows are not boarded up and some of the glass panes are broken. In the room is a large table with four chairs set around it, and against one wall is a bare metal bed with no mattress. The ceiling is sloped down to only four feet high at both sides.
9. Back Storage room
A short, narrow hall under a sloped roof leads to a dusty storage area with a few odd objects in it. Two open windows are set on the outside wall. In the room are a dressmaker’s dummy, a steamer trunk that is open and full of moldy women’s clothes, and another closed trunk. The closed-chest is locked and contains moldy men’s clothing and old business papers belonging to Silas Dupre.
The stone steps lead down about ten feet to a cellar beneath the house. The area is L-Shaped and cluttered with a few objects. There are three empty packing crates and an empty wine shelf on one wall. In the main area are two old sofas an empty cabinet and a few broken armchairs. Throughout the cellar, metal poles support the weight of the house.
Behind the empty wine shelf lies a wooden door that has been broken down. The wine shelf is hinged and can be slid open with little difficulty. A successful Perception check will reveal recent scratches on the floor made by the wine shelf moving. Once the wine shelf is swung open a broken wooden door can be seen. Beyond is a 5-foot square secret room. In the room are three walls of empty shelves and a desk with a busted open footlocker set atop it. A sledgehammer stamped with Abrams Con. & Demo lies on the desk. The footlocker contains 230 counterfeit bonds. These are Boston & Ohio Railroad Bonds. If they were legitimate they would actually be worth a fair amount of money as each bond is worth $10 US.
|Dupre House Floorplan|
The Colby Building
The Colby building was once the grandest building in Bayview. It is located on the corner of Main and Marion Streets. The building has been closed for three years. All of the ground level doors to the building are locked and those doors facing the street are also boarded over. The ground-level windows are also boarded over. Removing the boards is possible but this is the busiest intersection in town during the day and there are traffic and police beat patrolmen at night. The alley side door is locked but the lock is flimsy and could be forced.
The building is the haunt of the ghost of Edwin Colby. His ghost protects his building and the focus that holds him in the real world.
Edwin Colby (ghost) STR NA, DEX NA, AGL NA, STA NA, WPR 7 (105), PER 6 (90), PCN 6 (90), PWR 140, WND 0, #AT 1, MV F75 incorporeal, EXP 1,200.
Edwin is normally aware but incorporeal (unseen to the senses). However, he can affect his environment by using a number of unsettling powers. He is able to fly and move through walls unimpeded.
Manifest as a mist - Edwin can manifest as a vaguely humanoid misty shape for as long as desired at the cost of 5 WPR.
Supernatural Touch - Edwin can deal physical damage to a victim, he uses the victim’s unskilled melee score as the column for resolving the damage. If the result is a “C” the victim is paralyzed for one round.
Excise the Living - Edwin can terrorize victims in a 30-foot area. It costs 5 WPR per round and requires a specific check against the WPR column.
Message - Edwin can write messages in mirrors or on objects for a cost of 10 WPR General Check.
Move Object - Edwin can move small objects at a cost of 10 WPR General Check.
Edwin will use Excise the Living to chase most intruders from the Colby Building. Should intruders continue or advance to the 2nd floor he will take stronger measures. Suggestions have been made in the room key.
1. Entry Hall and Newsstand
The floor in the entry hall is tiled with green marble. Many of the tiles are cracked or missing. The large window in the entry is boarded over on the outside. There is a wooden newsstand in the entry. A few papers still lie on the stand dated January 4, 1932. There is a chalkboard on the wall to area 3. The door to area 3 is open.
Edwin could decide to lift up a piece of chalk and write a suitable message on the chalkboard. Such as, “I will kill you all” or the succinct “Get Out”.
2. Barber Shop
This was a barbershop. There are still posters on the walls showing male heads with various hair cuts. Three metal plates on the floor suggest the location of barber chairs that have been removed. On the interior wall between the room and the lobby, there are a number of plumbing fixtures and pipes suggesting that at one time there were sinks here.
The pipes will occasionally moan and gurgle. The eerie sound can be clearly heard throughout the first and second floors.
3. Storage Area
This was a storeroom for the newsstand. The room has empty shelves on the walls and some sandwich boards for displaying the latest editions. There are a few old magazines from 1931 stacked on the shelves.
The lobby is a clear open area. Hanging from the ceiling from a chain is a glass chandelier. Two dead potted plants are set against the storage area. There is a glass display cabinet built into the wooden base of the stairs to the second floor. The stair has a stained and faded red carpet tacked to it. The glass cabinet holds two wooden plaques denoting membership in the Bayview Chamber of Commerce 1920 and 1930. There is a space between them for an item that left a mark in the dust. The Chamber of Commerce award once rested here.
Edwin is capable of loosening the bolts holding the chandelier in place. This is a move that costs 20 WPR and is more of a desperation move.
5. Maintenance room
This room has bare brick walls on the outside wall. There is a wooden door leading to the alley beside the building. The door is locked but the lock is loose and can be broken open on a Strength General Check. There is a desk with a wooden chair in front of it and a narrow stair leading to the cellar. The cellar has not been detailed. It is an area without walls but a lot of steel supports. The boilers for heating the building and piles of coal cover half the area. Other areas are the power room and storage. The wooden desk was used by building maintenance and night watchmen. In one drawer is a ledger that was used to mark shifts for the watchmen.
The ledger’s early pages detail watchmen shifts in 1931. The shifts continue in the middle of the ledger into 1932. The ledger notes the building closure in January 1932. At that time watchmen shifts are added for days. Eventually, by May the watchmen shifts are again reduced to nights only with a single watchmen Emil Jacobson. Emil’s last few notations are from June 1933 and mention disturbances in the building. Strange noises, lights, and objects moving about. In particular, the brass trophy from the display case keeps moving upstairs to the office on the third floor.
The building has a men’s washroom with three urinals and three toilet stalls. Being a financial building from the 1880s, Edwin Colby never considered the need for a women’s washroom. There is a cracked and faded mirror on the wall to the maintenance room. It is above a wooden shelf.
Edwin will manifest as a rotting corpse of an old man in the mirror if anyone takes the time to stare at the mirror.
7. Bank Lobby
A pair of narrow wood and glass doors lead to a bank lobby. Etched in the glass of the two doors are the words, “Colby Savings & Loan Bank” and “est. 1883”. On the exterior wall are three round tables and a number of wooden chairs. On the interior wall is a wooden bank teller kiosk. This is a wooden wall six feet tall (not reaching the 12-foot ceiling) with a waist-level shelf and three closeable wickets for bank tellers. A three-foot-tall door at the end of the kiosk allows entry to the bank area. One of the windows overlooking the street is broken and is covered with wooden boards.
8. Bank Office
There are three wooden stools behind the bank teller wickets. In the center of the chamber is a large wooden table. Against the walls are wooden filing cabinets. Area 9 is a bank vault. In this room, the bank vault is a ten-foot-tall metal wall with a 1-foot deep door placed in its center. There is a large metal wheel and handle on the door. The door is engraved with the name of the company that built the bank vault (Diebold Safe & Lock Co.). If the players have entered the Colby building on their own (no police) the bank vault door will be ajar a few inches. The door can be pulled open easily to access area 9 if it is open. The wooden cabinets are almost empty. A few unimportant sheets of paper remain. All of the financial information was seized by the Bank Authorities when the bank failed. There is the smell of rot and decay in this room coming from the vault.
9. Bank Vault
The bank vault is a small room, 5 feet square and 8 feet tall. There are air vents in the ceiling of the vault. On all three walls are hundreds of lockboxes. Some of the boxes have been pulled out or lie on the floor. All of the lockboxes are empty. Slumped in one corner of the vault is the body of a man wearing an expensive suit. The man is clearly dead, his face is decayed and bone peaks through the flesh. His hands are decayed and thin. This body is that of the Bayview Strangler. In life the man was Elogio Cerruti, a gangster working for Franklin DeLamo. Elogio decided to burgle the safe in the Colby building two years ago. The ghost killed Elogio and made certain he rose as a zombie under his control. Elogio’s nickname was “The Bystander” because of his ability to disappear into crowds after committing heists.
Elogio Cerruti (zombie) STR 3 (45), DEX 2 (30), AGL 2 (30), STA 6 (90), WPR NA, PER NA, PCN 1 (15), PWR NA, WND 0, #AT 1/38%, MV L40, EXP 400. It only takes damage to current STA and has no wound boxes. When it reaches zero STA it will become inactive for 1d10 minutes, after which its STA returns to full. It can only be put to rest if its head is destroyed.
Edwin will wake the zombie to attack once intruders enter the vault. It is possible that Edwin will try to trap intruders in the bank vault by closing and locking the door.
10. Bank Clerks Office
There are five large windows in this room. Some of the glass panes are cracked but none are broken. There are four wooden desks sitting out from the outside wall of the building. A chair sits at each desk. Papers are scattered atop the desks. Along the interior wall are wooden filing cabinets. Some of the cabinet doors are pulled open. The documents scattered about in this room detail deposits or loan agreements. Most of the legal paperwork was removed when the bank closed.
11. Assistant Bank Manager’s Office
There are two, tall windows in this office. One of the windows is broken and there is a puddle of water on the floor. In the center of the office is an ornate wooden desk. There is a desk pad on top of the desk, an inkpot and quill and a pair of ledgers. The drawers of the desk have been pulled out and one is broken and lying on the floor. Most of the pages have been pulled out of the ledgers. The few pages remaining are blank.
Edwin will lift the quill, dip it in the inkwell and write threats in the ledger if anyone picks it up.
The door to area 12 has the words “Private” written on it. There is a wooden stair covered in a green carpet leading up to the Colby building third floor.
The stairs to the third floor come up to a room with a number of windows to the outside. Four dead plants rest in pots on the floor. The door to the rest of the floor has “Private” written on it. The third floor of the building was converted into the private quarters of Edwin Colby in 1915. He sold the family home and moved in above his bank.
14. Dining Room
There are two sideboards in this room along the wall. The sideboards are now empty but at one time held china plates and glasses. Three broken wooden chairs lie on the floor. The chairs look to have been dining room chairs. The table that once dominated the room is gone but there are marks in the red patterned rug to show where it rested. Two lamps hang from the ceiling.
15. Bank Owner’s Office
This room was Edwin Colby’s private office. The door has a frosted glass insert that has “Edwin Colby, Esq. Bank Manager” written on it. The door is always locked. It is a matter of some mystery to demolition surveyors of the building who would unlock it and find it locked again when they returned.
Inside is an empty bookcase, a wooden desk, and three chairs. There is a sliding wooden door to a private bathroom that is difficult to spot. Resting on the desk is a newspaper. It is a copy of the Bayview Tribune dated November 9, 1931. The paper has a front-page story detailing the failure of the Colby Savings and Loan Bank. Also on the desk is a brass trophy shaped like a large vase with two handles. It is attached to a wooden base. A metal plate on the wooden base is engraved, “Bayview Chamber of Commerce, Man of the Year, 1905, Edwin Colby”.
The brass trophy is the key to defeating the ghost of Edwin Colby. Every time the brass trophy is struck, denting it, the misty form of Edwin Colby will become more clear. He will react as if he has been struck with a powerful blow. Five blows to the trophy will flatten it and destroy the ghost. Edwin will fight directly against any intruders who reach his office. Now is the time he will use Supernatural touch and manifest.
|Edwin Colby's Office|
16. Living Quarters
This room was the living quarters for Edwin Colby for the last 16 years of his life. It was full of expensive furnishings that have been packed up and sold by the Chamber of Commerce at auction. Remaining are two green overstuffed chairs that stink of pipe smoke and a six-foot-tall painting on the interior wall to area 14. The painting shows a middle-aged man dressed in turn of the century topcoat, suit and top hat. The man is depicted standing in a drawing-room. He has a disturbingly intense stare. The man in the painting seems to move when people are not staring directly at him.
This room has no windows. It is dark and smells stale. In the center of the room is the cast iron frame of a bed. No mattress or sheets remain. The rest of the room is empty.
This is a simple bathroom with a toilet and washbasin.
The kitchen has an open archway leading into it from the dining room. The kitchen has two wooden tables a wood-burning stove and an empty metal icebox. In one corner a ladder leads to a trapdoor to the roof of the building. Hanging from hooks above one table are a dozen metal pots and pans.
Edwin will animate the pots and pans hurling them at any intruders who enter the dining room or kitchen. As a ghost Edwin does not have a Dexterity score so let victims roll a general dexterity check to avoid being struck by flying pots and pans. If they are struck roll a percent die and subtract it from 100 to find the Attack Margin. Use column 10 and the armed combat results to determine the result.
Closing the CaseShould the players solve the mystery and destroy the ghost of Edwin Colby the Colby Building will be gutted in a fire a week later. The Tribune will post pictures of the ruined building on the front page of the paper. Plans will be pushed ahead to demolish the building and it will be nothing but a memory within a month.
If the players have not been successful, the police find the corpse of Elogio Cerruti as noted in the timeline. The Colby Building will be noted as a historical site but no plans will be made to make use of the building.