Transcript of Empty Children
- 1 Finding a mystery page
- 2 Studying the table
- 3 Investigating the Investigator's notes the first time
- 4 Investigating the Investigator's notes afterwards
- 5 Journals
- 6 Talking to Jimmy
- 6.1 After uncovering the mystery but before discovering the puzzle box
- 6.2 After discovering the puzzle box but before finishing the research
- 6.3 After finishing the research but before finding a bloodstained note
- 6.4 After finding a bloodstained note but before solving the mystery
- 6.5 After solving the mystery
Finding a mystery page[edit | edit source]
- You find [Item].
- (If this was the first for this mystery:)
Studying the table[edit | edit source]
- You find a badly scrawled note.
- Player receives a badly written message.
- (Short pause.)
Investigating the Investigator's notes the first time[edit | edit source]
- You find an investigator's journal.
- Player receives Investigator's note.
Investigating the Investigator's notes afterwards[edit | edit source]
- Nothing but faded pages of long-lost literature.
Journals[edit | edit source]
A warning letter[edit | edit source]
A Warning Letter
Citizens beware, this area is haunted! Each night I hear them, howling, screaming, dragging their spectral chains across the street. I dare not leave the house at night for fear of what stalks outside my doors. Do not listen to the naysayers, who think we're mad. I live this nightmare.
The Empty Children are real. And they are hungry.
I once believed they were just a ghost story. A rumour spread to keep small children in the warm safety of their beds at night. But now I know the truth and it terrifies me. The streets are haunted with the souls of the damned and none of us are safe. Even the vyres and the demons know not to walk these streets in the darkness. I see them avoiding these twisting alleyways during the twilight hours. They are right to fear, right to flee, because the children are hungry.Only yesterday did I see the true viciousness of their predilections. As I left my house at first light, to attend my market stand, I found the bloodied rags of their latest victim. There was nothing left save for clothes lying there on the street, as if all their flesh had been consumed in an instant. What creatures are these that they can consume a man so quickly?
A scrawled note[edit | edit source]
A Scrawled Note
I have seen them, the Empty Children, hiding in the shadows. Those dread silhouettes watch me with hungry eyes and I know that my days are at an end. They wait for me in the Wards district, in an abandoned house near the armoury. I don't know what it is that I have done to offend them - what foul sin I have committed to urge these beasts to hunt me. But they hunt me all the same.
As I walked home, a beggar grabbed my arm and warned me that they were coming. Warned me that I was next. The fear in his eyes was more powerful even than the stench he exuded. When I asked him what I could do to avoid them, he simply laughed.
'You would never pay the price.'I asked him again what it was that they demanded, but he just shook his head and laughed and then he stumbled off into the darkness. He's wrong, of course, I would pay any price to be free from these hungry ghosts. I left offerings at the door to that abandoned house, of bread, meat, fruits and coin. I can only pray that it will be enough.
A badly written message[edit | edit source]
A Badly Written Message
That trader you was talking about came by earlier and left some good stuff on the doorstep. Me and Ebony have been dishing it to the Empty Children as best we can, but we've put some of the gold away into the box like you said. I don't know why we ain't spending it though. That's a lot of bread we could be getting, maybe even some clothes for that amount.
Still, you're the boss, so we'll do what you say. I hope we can spend some of that gold soon, though. Would be nice to get some warm beds set up, you know? Much better than curling up in the streets where them vyres can find us. They got Jelly the other night, them vyres. Drained him white as a sheet. He's still with us, hard to get rid of Jelly, but he won't be the same for a while. I know there's laws and all, but the nobles see getting rid of us as cleaning up the city.
But enough of the same old grumbles. They're not news to you, I know. I got your puzzle box, but I don't know how it works so I haven't been able to get into it. Show me how to open it next time you're here.
Anyway, gotta dash, got another merchant to menace.- Dandy
The message in the box[edit | edit source]
The Message in the Box
Dandy, hope you enjoyed this puzzle box, I stole it from some demon trader. Real ugly thing too. I've got a list of tasks I need you to do for the next mark.
Go to the street near the bridge - you know the one - and lay out some old rags and some pig's blood. Should give the next mark a right old scare. Then you should take Ebony and Scamp with you and make some spooky noises. You know what scares these merchant types. Scraping metal (use a saucepan), chittering (get Scamp to do his ferret impression, he's rubbish but it's weird sounding) and the standard screaming.
This mark seems a little tougher than the last lot, so be extra creepy and make sure you leave them clothes in the right shape. They gotta look like someone was wearing them before they was eaten, not like someone laid out some clothes on the floor for someone to put on. We don't want old Mrs Potterington washing them for us again (note to self, ask Granny if she's got any more pig's blood spare).
With any luck this next mark will be even better pickings than the last one.- Scabs
A bloodstained note[edit | edit source]
A Bloodstained Note
What a delight it is to hunt again and with such an open invitation to do so. These so called 'Empty Children' have made an open declaration of war upon me and I am delighted to accept. They leave bloodied clothes at my door and screech outside my windows at night, clearly they want my attention and of course they do. Because they are Empty Children and they need to be saved.
We are all prisoners of the flesh. Caged within walls of bone and sinew. How sorry I feel for these wretched children as they walk these cold dark streets pretending to be monsters. As if being a beast is all they are worthy of.
Oh my poor, poor children. You can be so much more. I will liberate you from a life of wretchedness and transform your misery into art. Blood is a simple necessity for my people, yes - but I will be most pleased to show you how it can be so much more.
I have been wearing this human disguise for far too long. It will be so nice to spread my wings again.
Thank you, children.I have so missed the hunt.
Investigator's note[edit | edit source]
Another case of a vampyre being torn to shreds in some abandoned house. I've seen three cases like this in as many months. I don't know what could do this. A demon, perhaps, but why would they? There's no burning smell, no indication of ritual or contract. Another vampyre could do it - certainly they'd have the strength - but there's no blood loss and the vampyre clans have been working well together in the city. A human just hasn't got the strength for it, not even with the best weapons. Besides, it's more bestial than martial.
The wounds are like claw marks. The flesh is ripped and torn, not sliced. The blows are full of fury, not precision. It wasn't a trained warrior. It's like an animal attack did this. Certainly that would explain the wolf hair I've found lying around.
But the scariest thing are the footprints. Small, light footprints, like a child, or perhaps several children. There seem to be at least three sets of prints around the room, all converging on where the corpse ended up. But the footprints seem to deform and change, becoming paw prints like some dread animal. I've heard legends of people that could transform into beasts, but I've never seen anything so savage as this.
Finally, there's the message by the corpse. It was made in blood, like someone took a finger and dipped it into a wound to write. Four strange words. 'This is for Jelly,' though I have no idea why someone would commit such a brutal act over a dessert.I've got no good leads here. I'll just have to file it away with the other strange cases. The Empty Children strike again, I guess.
Talking to Jimmy[edit | edit source]
After uncovering the mystery but before discovering the puzzle box[edit | edit source]
- Jimmy: A story about monstrous children in Senntisten? Sounds a bit like a horror story.
- Jimmy: I wonder if there are any more references buried around the city.
After discovering the puzzle box but before finishing the research[edit | edit source]
- Jimmy: That puzzle box you found is a fascinating device. Something to really test the brain. I would recommend putting a team of researchers on it. Between us, I'm sure we can figure it out. It sounds like there's something inside. A message, perhaps?
After finishing the research but before finding a bloodstained note[edit | edit source]
- Jimmy: A really interesting puzzle, that. It had so many switches and sliding bits. It got really frustrating. But we solved it and found that message inside. It appears that they're trying to set someone up. Might be worth digging around some more to see what we find. Quite a neat little scam those kids had there.
After finding a bloodstained note but before solving the mystery[edit | edit source]
- Jimmy: Oh my, those poor children. It looks like they bit off more than they could chew. We can't leave the story there. We should see if we can find where they might have been taken. See if there's somewhere in the city that seems... particularly unpleasant.
After solving the mystery[edit | edit source]
- Jimmy: I can't say I'm disappointed to hear that monster got their comeuppance. It's interesting to learn that there were werewolves Senntisten[sic], though - and seemingly not yet under the yoke of the vampyres. Also, it highlights that the Zarosian Empire was only really great for its citizens. Those without citizenship didn't seem to be quite as protected as the citizens. Citizens would have been given access to education, health services and protection from the police. We know that vampyres, for example, were not allowed to feed on human citizens. We had assumed that everyone would automatically gain citizenship, but it's clear now that there was a separate class of non-citizens who were not so well protected by the state. Still...werewolf kids? That's pretty disturbing.