Friday Game Notes are a weekly post of the random and essentially unedited setting and character notes I wrote before the game. This was written for my home group and was never meant to be seen online. BE WARNED!
The Bitter Servants rule the roost when it comes to Arkham, but their stronghold is over the North side of town with a lesser grasp on the graveyard picked South, University and French Hills. The Bitter Servants also holds a huge sway over Bolton and the Steel Mills there, which Mr. Radcliffe owns. The Mills have become the recruiting grounds and fortress for the mob.
The mob has several money making schemes going. With alcohol back on the market legally, run running has disappeared. Instead gambling rigging, gun running, and insurance schemes are all big. The Bitter Servants, a small mob in the scheme of things, makes most of its money from their smuggling. The Steel Mill creates a perfect way to ship items all over the country and with war looming Radcliffe’s nearly prescient preparedness has made the mills an invulnerable institution. Radcliffe has slacked on political levering and has felt the burn of Commisioner Stanley for some time.
The mob also focuses a lot of its time on insurance schemes. A pair of mobsters come into a shop and offers “protection” to the owners. Once they have bullied the citizens into paying up they take a monthly toll out of their profits. Radcliffe has an odd obsession with doing these on small shops, some of the least profitable places in Arkham. Radcliffe pays a Printing Shop to print a catalogue of all the shops they take money from and he distributes it to his mobsters requiring them to tell him if any shop changes or if they notice a shop not on the list.
Any organized crime in the area is the purview of the Bitter Servants, but more likely the mobsters will look concerned, constantly watching brick buildings.
The Bitter Servants are mostly physical in their intimidation, trashing shops and smashing windows. They will try not to do any threatening directly but if needed will send some faces to warn people not paying their protection money or shirking on some other duty.
When something is more important the Bitter Servants step aside for Radcliffe’s pet Robert Cohen, a maddened undead sorcerer. Cohen acts but looks nothing like a dog, baying and waddling on all fours at times. He is morbidly obese, and his long period of death has left most of the fat rancid and rotting. He collects organs from his victims to experiment with preservation.
Locations In Arkham:
Assorted Brick Shops
- Extortion/protection rackets
- Downtown, Upper North Side, Midtown
- Safe houses/storehouses/stakeouts
- Guys on the street keeping an eye on shops and other things
- Searching sewers to find Danger Dogs
Tikal Coffee House
- Alice Huff (new)
- Private rooms
- Neighboring buildings
Devon Halfway House (PnT)
- Recruitment of out of luck types
- Meeting place for smugglers
- Maxwell Hank
Smith & Jones (PnT)
- Closed down restaurant
- Back up meeting place
- Weapon storehouse
Frank Printer & Copiers
- Printing pamphlets
- “street watch catalog”
Lower South Side
Allison’s Guest House
- Mrs. Allison
- Moreen – Liam’s favorite
Roger & Sons Locksmiths (PnT)
- Roger Loche
- Lock picks, skeleton keys, etc.
- Door installation
- Student housing
- Recruitment of young ambitious types
- Safe house
- Drug and alcohol sales
St. Mary’s Teaching Hospital
- Laila Hardwick
- Drug supply
ACC Ruins (PnT)
- Easy to access private location to threaten or dispose of bodies
Nighjacks Gentlemen’s Club (PnT)
- High class club
- Drug and alcohol sales
Mr. White (vanished)
Having appeared suddenly in 1922 Mr. White formed the Arkham Cattle Company, a massive monopoly on meat in Massachusetts and surrounding states. The company also had a strange focus on stocks and trading, which was only seen as suspicious when Mr. White vanished in 1929 in an almost engineered collapse of the company just weeks before the New York Stock Exchange collapsed beginning the Great Depression.
Mr. White himself was most likely an avatar of Nyarlathotep, explaining the extreme privacy he upheld and his strange practices within the company. His only employee who knew explicitly his identity was his middle man to the rest of the world Mr. Radcliffe. But Mr. White set Radcliffe up for a fall, and now Radcliffe’s goal in life is to hunt down Mr. White’s “brother” Butwan Noire.
Mr. White also used the ACC to run the Long Pork Club, a club of rich eccentrics who wished to eat human flesh. Catering to this interest he used one of his warehouses to ship the meat around the state. When the ACC collapsed the LPC was scrapped leaving many hungry. Aldrich Cornstuck recently involved decided to restart the club himself in 1933.
The ACC Lot
When the Arkham Cattle Company collapsed the building that housed its many offices was sold off to other buyers. To everyone’s frustration every business that inhabited the building failed one way or another, and eventually it fell into partial abandonment. In an attempt to make new jobs the city purchased the hulk and began to destroy it for new development. However this too failed and halted with three and a half floors left. The ruin remains inhabited by homeless and a lot of trash, a major eye sore in Arkham. To Radcliffe’s conniption the Danger Dogs graffiti the building whenever possible.
Apparently Mr. White’s “brother” Nyarlathotep enjoyed playing two avatars at once in the form of the ACC tycoon and Mr. Noire a bookish historian and antique salesman. He runs a small brick and mortar shop filled with stolen artifacts, mystical items, and information. The Arkham Conservation Cooperative was so named according to Butwan to annoying his brother Mr. White. However once Mr. White disappeared so did Butwan’s shop. Instead it appears whenever Nyarlathotep wants to sow seeds of chaos. Often the shop will be at the back of an alley or in between two shops that were once neighbors when someone needs help or crucial information.
Mr. Noire repeats everything said to him before answering himself, this is a symptom of his true form. (See The ACC below)
Radcliffe furious at his Dark Lord’s abandoning him is trying to track down the shop. Knowing that it will appear when someone is in need he has decided to force Butwan Noire’s hand, by setting Robert Cohen lose on GPS, and if he gets really desperate burning the city to the ground. The ACC shop will have to appear if the city has been demolished.
Sunken cheeks, with almost no eyebrows whatsoever. Almost alarmingly wide eyes as if he is always surprised. Thin lower lip but thick upper lip but his mouth is medium width. Fairly sharply tapering chin. He has a slightly lightening of his skin around his scalp as if he has wispy hair, but he doesn’t. A thick nose slanted down with fairly deep lines on his upper face. Small ears but flared out to the side, unnervingly unlike any normal person. He has a somewhat angular forehead.
Butwan Noire is hardly human, the person who stands behind the desk is really the lantern of an angler fish, a black tendril extends from under his pants back into the closed back room, a room that is completely filled with his noxious form. Should anyone try to get behind the counter he will desperately try to stop them and then will simply grab them and eat them.
- Never moving about much.
- Becoming agitated by anyone
Allies & Enemies:
Arkham GPS – Ally, Mr. Radcliffe – Enemy, Mr. White – Same person
The Arkham Conservation Cooperative is a tiny brick shop with dark green windows covered in dust. The shop never appears in the same place, instead popping up in an alley or between two other brick shops every so often whenever Mr. Noire thinks his services will aid to sow chaos around Arkham.
Patrons of Mr. Noire’s shop should expect aid in magical activities, maps of secret places in Arkham and cursed items. But Mr. Noire always is helpful even when he harms. He will introduce people to helpful contacts who might wish the customer harm in the long run, or will provide an item that will help them defeat one opponent while attracting something worse.
The ACC should pop up when the investigators feel at wits end. Maybe when they are being chased they enter an alley and discover the shop at the end of it, or perhaps out of clues they wander aimlessly around Arkham and find themselves staring into the dusty windows. If any investigators are part of the Bitter Servants or know of Radcliffe’s quest to find the shop they may find it useful to try to direct the mob here, however the shop will have disappeared already. The only way to stop this is to remove Mr. Noire from the shop, something a lot harder than it first seems.
Mr. Noire is a tiny man always bobbing behind his counter. Secretly Mr. Noire is just the tip of an angler’s lure. A grey tentacle snakes from under his apron into a back room, the back room, and in fact all of the rooms behind the shop are full of a grey mass with flattened tentacles. A mouth spits out the items and speaks the information that Mr. Noire then replicates for his customers. Whether this is actually Nyarlathotep or something else is up to Keepers. It is also up to investigators what they do with the creature, it can’t fight back, perhaps they will find it useful to try to remove it as a personal producer of magical artifacts. Doing this will quickly teach investigators how dangerous Mr. Noire really is.
It’s no mistake that Mr. Radcliffe (his first name is unknown) named his gang the Bitter Servants. As a devotee of Nyarlathotep while working for him in the ACC, Mr. Radcliffe has lost an unhealthy portion of his mind. And in so doing he has become possessed with the need to find his lord again. Mr. Radcliffe originally was the visible head of the ACC, his boss Mr. White never showing his face to the public. When Mr. White vanished from the company leaving Mr. Radcliffe to pick up the mess Radcliffe became incensed, revoking all of his promises to Nyarlathotep. Furthermore he decided he wanted to find Mr. White’s “brother,” a second avatar of the Crawling Chaos, Butwan Noire.
Knowing the rules in which Butwan Noire’s shop the other ACC appears he set out to find it. First by having his mob collect protection on every shop matching the look of the ACC. Next he makes his mobsters patrol the streets of Arkham in case it appears to one of them. But Radcliffe isn’t stupid, and knows the ACC wont appear that easily. So he seeks to make it appear to someone in danger, by putting them in danger. Knowing his magical assassin Robert Cohen has long wished revenge on Father Daville and anyone associated with him and the GPS he releases his faithful hound. He expects Cohen’s hunt will drive the GPS to the hands of the ACC, at which moment Radcliffe can strike.
Radcliffe’s obsession is a downward spiral as he gets more and more desperate to see his Lord again. Having worshipped the Crawling Chaos before he has been seriously affected by it, whether physically or mentally is left up to the players imagination. If a player is a member of his mob he will delight in ranting and raving in front of them about his hunt, though he has been keeping most of his plans from his gang. Eventually he will decide on a last option, burning the ACC out. He knows that most of his mob will not be pleased to destroy their entire city, so he will scheme to get independent criminals involved. He will probably try to strike a deal with the Danger Dog Gang as well without the knowledge of his mobsters.
Mr. Radcliffe owns the Bolton Steel Mills some miles north of Arkham. He uses this as a genuine legal business, though he occasionally uses it to store contraband or smuggle guns. He also has been preparing for the war by stockpiling huge quantities of steel and extra parts anticipating war time needs. While Radcliffe feels abandoned by his Lord it has profited him much. He also has a team of three lawyers working to find loop holes and hiding places for when the draft begins in 1941.
Weirdly no one knows where Radcliffe lives. He appears at Tikal or the Warrell mansion to boss people around, but otherwise never sees people any where he stays. He has someone drive him around when he has to do things personally but always requests to be let out on a seemingly random street corner when he is going home. It’s possible he is staying at a hotel and doesn’t want to risk someone attacking him, or that he sleeps in the ACC lot. Or perhaps he uses magic to go elsewhere. Maybe he doesn’t sleep and instead stalks the streets avoiding all life.
Stock Market Crash
Mr. White vanished and the lack of precise inhuman control left his army of accountants at a loss. Suddenly the market crashed. Only a few realized it was engineered right there on their own sheets. But everyone in the company were tossed into the void as the ACC went bankrupt and the US stock market crashed a month later.
Attempt on his life
A few of the accountants realized what had happened. Several committed suicide, sparking a news scandal. But one of them, Florian Volker, decided to take his desperation out on Mr. Radcliffe. Volker was already unstable and a pyromaniac. What happened next should have been predictable. He broke into the ACC building late at night and began lighting the upper offices on fire. Mr. Radcliffe who was still working there was nearly trapped in is office but managed to break out and escape badly burnt. He sustained a massive burn on his face.
After the attack Radcliffe put his full weight behind the legal pursuit of Volker and got him locked in Arkham Asylum for life.
Radcliffe is obsessed with finding the Butwan Noire’s ACC. He thinks Nyarlathotep treated him unfairly and he seeks his due payment. He has undertaken several methods to find the elusive shop. He has set his mob to catalog and watch any brick shops, hoping that sheer man power will lead them to discover the building. He also knows the shop shows up when people need help, the perfect moment Nyarlathotep can influence people. Do increase the chance of someone finding the shop he will soon decide to let Robert Cohen loose on the world. Cohen driven mad by his death seeks revenge from GPS and any surviving members of SOPI. His first target will be Djoric Daville and then any connected investigators.
Out of the pot into the fire
Once Radcliffe has decided his methods aren’t working he will seek a more destructive method to find the shop. He knows if Arkham is raised to the ground the ACC will be the last building standing. He will use some of his most trustworthy mobsters to set up places to set fires nominally to destroy Danger Dog property. But when the time comes he will have them set them all at once.
- Scratching at the bad burn on his face.
- Waving hands in the air
Allies & Enemies:
Robert Cohen – Ally, Butwan Noire – Enemy, Oliver Stanley – Enemy, Donavan & Delphi Dog – Enemy, Mr. Mallady – Ally
- Rant about ungrateful people – bosses
- Meets with Danger Dogs
- Asks Malcolm to smuggle flammables into the basement of a building.
- Asks Malcolm to drive him home, but then requests that he drop him off on a random street corner.
Frank Printers & Copiers
This tiny hole in the wall shop serves as Radcliffe’s cataloguers for his odd list of shops. The owner Frank is a young portly man who enjoys printing. He prints many amateur publications and pamphlets, Radcliffe’s is really no different. Radcliffe came to Frank’s shop to order the catalogue.
Maggot filled skin of a dead wizard keeping himself alive with magic and the harvested organs of others. Cohen plans on kidnapping a GPS member and torturing them into telling him more about Daville.
Robert Cohen once lived in Kingsport before being expelled by the locals. He moved to a cottage outside of Arkham where he began building up an arcane collection. In 1928 he was unfortunate in being chosen as the target for a Yithian Mind Transfer. Having used his magic to partially prevent being taken over he plotted to have someone trade minds with him and free him from the invader. This culminated with Father Daville, just prior to forming GPS, killing Cohen. Being the powerful magician that he was he kept himself alive.
He has liquid like skin, filled mostly with maggots which he has to feed. He takes parts of his victims and sticks it into himself. He has an open flap of skin down the front which he has sown buttons so he can open it up and put the parts in. He can use this to get into places by having the maggots pour out of himself and drag his empty skin through small gaps. He doesn’t control the maggots beyond being inside him and if he lets them go he has to attract new flies to lay their eggs.
So his mental power is connected to the skin and should all of his maggots be freed from his body he can’t move. He will essentially play dead and try to dominate anyone who tries to destroy his skin.
Keeping himself alive means a huge amount of concentration and Cohen has reverted to an almost dog like state. Radcliffe finding Cohen barely alive in his cottage helped him and in turn Cohen became an assassin for Radcliffe’s mob.
When killing the mob’s enemies Cohen uses his magic to brutally kill victims and then removes organs and parts he needs for himself. Then he consumes the good bits that are left. Many a body has been found by the Arkham Police desecrated and spread about as is a massive slug has torn the person apart. While outside of his house on the bank of the Miskatonic Cohen keeps his body human shape, but when alone he lets the flesh slip and slosh, turning his legs into a rolling mass.
Cohen’s one goal in death is to murder Father Daville and all of his associates. Radcliffe maintains that he will eventually allow this, but insists that Cohen control himself in the meantime. He has promised he will be let lose on Daville soon.
Cohen’s magic is a brutal one, when attacking personally he will wrench into peoples bodies and rip them limb from limb with extreme supernatural strength. But with GPS and Daville he seeks a greater revenge, one where his victims learn to fear him. At first he brutally attack some of the less involved GPS members with shocking brutality and an open view of his magic. Next he will detach sections of himself and animate them to attack GPS and Daville. At night they will try to sneak into people’s houses and in the morning will leave huge puddles of gore and pus stinking up the place. Finally he will stalk his victims personally, letting himself be glimpsed until he can catch them alone. He will do this when Daville is in his church. And he will brutally murder them.
Allies & Enemies:
Father Djoric Daville – Enemy, Mr. Radcliffe – Ally
Cohen’s magic is a brutal one, when attacking personally he will wrench into peoples bodies and rip them limb from limb with extreme supernatural strength.
- Putting limb inside himself
- Stealing newspaper
- Maggots in little piles near where he is
Cohen can leave a large part of his flesh behind and fill it with bugs to act as a spy or advance troop.
They can wrap around a targets legs and start climbing up them to cover their mouth and fill their mouth and nose with bugs. It can also go for their eyes.
It can also use its bugs to attack the limb as it touches someone’s legs. But if the target brakes away it could destroy itself.
His body can shape and reform as it wants. His fists turn into thick sledgehammers to slam his opponents. He can also open his skin with the buttons he’s sewn on his skin and can spew worms and maggots on a target.
Punch: 50% 1D8+1D6
Spew: 30% but covers all the area in front of him so still hits anyone not dodging. The maggots do 1D6 per round inside the pile.
His magic is violent and messy, he doesn’t bother with spells but just throws scythes of matter across.
Scythes: 45% 1D10+5 It smashes any limb it hits, severing it savagely if they fail a luck roll.
The Arkham Ripper
Cohen has been under Radcliffe’s employ since 1929 when the whole ACC Collapse occurred. Radcliffe had gained all sorts of arcane knowledge from his time with Mr. White and was desperate to save himself during the collapse. One of the assets he looked for was Cohen. Mr. White had sent other magicians to work with Cohen to ultimately be betrayed leading to Cohen’s death in 1928. But Radcliffe knew Cohen was more powerful than that. He came and helped the still growing worm filled carcass become human again with generous helpings of human meat.
While Radcliffe was forming his new steel business and criminal empire in Arkham Cohen did his dirty work, blazing a path through rival gangsters and union organizers alike. Between 1930 and 1935 he did the most killing nearly a dozen people.
A carny performer and superb sharp shooter Radcliffe excited her ire when he robbed her troupe of all they owned. When America came knocking looking for a shootout he stuck Cohen on her.
Cohen wanted some new limbs so removed her leg skin leaving the muscle and bones. She was found, legs skinned and arms broken hung up on a traffic pole just outside of Arkham.
- The papers dragged up the America Wheelock mystery after Jepson and friends were murdered. The Papers reported “Crime Sprees On Rise! Group Third Victims this Month!” They made especial mention of the arrest of the troupe before the killing.
- Maxwell Hank remembers being involved in the scheme to fleece America and her troupe. Together with the growing Bitter Servant gang offered America a plot of land. They then called the police when the carnies had been having a big party. Once all of the troupe had been taken to cool off in the drunk tank the BS stole in and took everything of value. America went looking for trouble after that and it’s no wonder she got knocked off.
- According to the coroner’s report the leg skin was removed in a very precise manner and maggots and worms had already begun eating the body, despite being hung up on a lamp post.
- The carnival America was part of still exists, but is far to the west of Arkham. However Sammy Sax the current head will respond to letters. He recalls that Radcliffe offered the troupe the spot and provided the booze. The cops arrived hours after the party started and the whole show was hauled off to the drunk tanks. When they returned the camp had been ransacked. He remembers fondly that America was on the warpath, wielding her rifle like she would shoot every man, woman or child that might be involved.
A bootlegger of great skill in the 20s Stephania was one of the first ladies to try to get involved with the Danger Dogs. The Dogs were taking on strays and after her husband had slit his wrists after the prohibition had dried up. Her story pulled a lot of news after she robbed the train between Arkham and Boston making off with the jewels of fifty of the richest New Englanders.
Radcliffe saw Stephania as a dangerous foe or a potentially excellent ally. He set up a meeting and had Cohen lay in wait in case she refused. Cohen took her brain and tongue to feed his worms. Her body, split open and missing the head was found still illuminated on the Bolton turn pike by her car.
- The news reported the murder as a mob deal turned bad. Not inaccurate for once. Ironically it is usually left out of the Arkham Ripper lists of victims because of this.
- The papers have a lot more to say about Stephania’s train robbery in her death reports than anything else.
- Maxwell Hank recalls the time period as fraught while the strays of the city were teaming up against the organized criminals. Stephania was one of the ones trying to band together a lot of the hobos, but her death put a stop to any respectable union and the newly formed rabid Danger Dogs took over.
- The coroner examined what was left of the body, stating that the head had been removed with an unknown tool. (It was the worms) It was pocked through like someone had used a gouging tool over and over again in uneven lines across her neck. The head was never found. The torso had been gutted but the organs left. Maggots had already begun laying eggs in it.
- The meeting place where Stephania was killed still teems with the fat white worms.
Jepson Mathews and Friends
Mr. Mathews was a poor Louisiana man who had come up to Arkham to make his way as a petty criminal. Bringing some friends with him they set up shop in an out of the way shop front in the Markey District and proceeded to target every shop on the block. Radcliffe had been setting up his street watch in the same area and instantly saw red. He sent Cohen around to the shop.
Cohen massacred four men in the shop and a pregnant woman who happened to walk in the open door thinking it was the neighboring dress shop. The police originally blamed the killing on Jepson since he had been so butchered it had been impossible to distinguish his body parts from the body parts of his friends. But further examination quickly proved his innocents.
- The newspapers reported on the case as “Mad Black Kills Fellow Criminals” but later was toned down to “Five Found Dead, Remains Mixed.” Later articles connecting the killing to the crime spree of murders followed.
- Papa Warrell remembers Jepson and his crew. He remembers Radcliffe asking him to figure out someway to set up a shotgun to hit anyone coming in a window before scraping the whole idea.
- The coroner had a field day over the bodies. The nearly dog meat like remains had been thoroughly mixed, Jepson was at first considered missing until they managed to find his scalp mixed with the scalp of another of the men. The coroner’s report explains that at least three different organs, the spleen, large and small intestines of three of the different men were missing, but it was ignored since the bodies were so destroyed.
- The shop where Jepson and friends were killed has long been cleaned and sold to new owners. However the potted plants outside (visible in photos of the shop in the papers) are ravaged by worms. Nothing seems to grow without being devoured.
Hadley Leavitt & Charlene Rey
Mr. Leavitt and Charlene Rey had been having an affair. Rey was one of Radcliffe’s favorite girls and an excellent money maker in his dance clubs. When he discovered that Mr. Leavitt a travelling businessman from Oklahoma was promising to take Charlene Rey away he sent Cohen to have them both murdered in Mr. Leavitt’s Arkham Lodge hotel room. To this day they keep Charlene Rey’s name on the room’s booking because the room is supposedly haunted.
Cohen left both bodies in a horrible state, ripping Leavitt nearly in half, his liver and kidneys were missing and his eyes ripped out. Charlene’s pretty face had been torn open and her skull removed, her chest had been ripped open revealing her blackened smokers lungs. It was after this event that the name Arkham Ripper began being used.
- The newspapers billed the killing as a lovers quarrel gone bad, claiming that some jealous man at Charlene’s dance club, Nightjack’s Gentlemen’s Club. However when someone tipped the press off about the missing organs of Jepson and America’s cases they coined the name “Arkham Ripper.”
- The Lodge continues a “ghost stay” program for Charlene’s room. They point out the blood stains on floor and walls. The story claims Charlene’s ghost visits the room begging for her skull back at 3:33AM every night. They also include the fact that both bodies were covered with worms which apparently was ignored by the coroner and police. Staff claim that a large homeless man burst into the hotel that night and forced his way past the hotel PI. He then went up to Charlene’s room. Guests next door heard bangs but since Charlene had many guests they didn’t worry about it. The room below finally called hotel staff when blood started to drip down from the ceiling.
- The coroner’s report do corroborate that Charlene’s skull and Leavitt’s liver, kidneys and eyes were missing. Charlene’s torso had been ripped open but nothing had been taken out. Apparently Charlene probably would have died of the lung cancer in a year or two regardless.
- The janitor of the Nightjack’s Gentlemen’s Club is the only staff member still there. An elderly black woman by the name of Susan still mops out the bathrooms and cleans the stage. These days the club is nearly empty, with a few last elderly regulars coming to see the tired out dancers. She remembers that Charlene was popular in her day, even fancy men like Mr. Radcliffe would bring her flowers. But Charlene had always wanted to get away from it all and Leavitt promised that to her though Susan suspects that he had been lying, it was dragged up in the news that he had a wife and kids in Oklahoma.
Brock Bloxam was one of Radcliffe’s hopeful money makers. Brock showed up looking for work at the Bolton Steel Mills and punched a hole through a steel pipe during a fight that very night. Radcliffe immediately had Mr. Mallady offer him work.
Brock however suffered from a massive temper and accidentally killed a local Bolton girl, only 15 years old, named Madelina Oakley during a drunken brawl. Radcliffe was worried that the police might track Brock’s illegal activities back to the Steel Mills so had Cohen pay him a visit. Cohen simply took Brock’s hands. By the time his body was found hanging in a barn outside of Bolton his whole body was riddled with big fat white worms.
- Any roughhouser in Arkham knows about Brock Bloxam and his death. Rumors abound about his fights being fixed or a bet going bad. But most of the stories revolve around his being killed by the Arkham Ripper. They claimed the Ripper liked stealing the best bits of people, America’s legs, Charlene’s face, organs from Jepson and friends, and so on.
- An article around the same time mentions a missing Bolton girl named Madelina Oakley. She was never found.
- The newspapers reported on his suicide that someone had taken his hands and he had killed himself since his best parts were gone. A few of the papers connected it to the Arkham Ripper but struggled to rectify the discrepancy of his survival.
- Mr. Mallady remembers hiring Bloxam on Radcliffe’s orders and he set up plenty of illegal and legal fights for the man. But Bloxam had a mean streak a mile wide and a thing for kids. Mallady is sure the real killer was a dad who was seeking revenge for his daughter.
- A photo of Bloxam hanging in a barn with his missing hands still remains in the Arkham Historical Society. Notable is the fact that there appears to be no ladder or chair in the barn. Seems unlikely that he could have hung himself considering he had no hands to tie the knot.
- The barn was long destroyed. The ground there is still ravaged by white worms.
- Graham Oakley still lives in Bolton, though he is nearly eighty. He still hopes his daughter will be found but suspects that she is long dead. He remembers she was spending a lot of time out at the time but hadn’t worried about it until she vanished. When he checked with her friends they said she had been going out to a dive bar near the mills and had been getting in with many rough folks.
Al Pitman & Family
A union organizer from the Steel Workers Union Al tried to get the workers at Bolton to join up but was chased away when there were threats on his life. His contact there Señor Castilla sold him out to Mr. Mallady and Radcliffe sent Cohen to the Kingsport house where Al was hiding. Al and the family he was staying with all were killed. Cohen took an arm and a leg from Al’s body.
- The papers report that “concerned locals” checked on the house and discovered the gory scene. Al and the family had been ripped apart limb from limb and Al’s torso had been partly eaten. They mention the missing limbs as well. The “Arkham Ripper” had gone abroad.
- Señor Castilla still works at Bolton but as a senior manager. He recalls that Al had come to him to get him to join the Steel Workers Union. He told Mallady who he knew had crime connections.
- Locals of Kingsport are incredibly close lipped about the event and refuse to let anyone into the house, even though no one new has moved in. Dr. Gardener the local coroner said he examined the body, and despite the horrible conditions they were normal. No worms or missing parts.
Cohen lives nearly on the bank of the Miskatonic just East of French Hill. The house, a large sprawled wreck is on a raised lot, and its dark windows, cracked by unwise children, glare out at the street. Cohen has kept the house ice cold to preserve his body. Newspaper that Cohen habitually steals fills the corners of the rooms giving the impression of rooms filling with grey nothingness. In one room, which Cohen fills with ice, are two large chests filled with organs from Cohen’s many victims. Cohen must replace his own often, however he hasn’t perfected the ability to preserve organs for later use and is experimenting with various solutions.
At home Cohen doesn’t worry about keeping his form human, instead he lets it deteriorate into an almost slug like mass that he slides about the house with. Anyone invading his house while he is there will find a pair of large ballooning pants by the door that he abandons when he arrives home.
Radcliffe’s right hand man. Mallady is the hammer of the gang. When a rival gang tries to muscle into their turf or a cop has been getting in the Bitter Servants’ hair Mallady is the man who leads the charge.
Mallady ran the ACC’s human meat business. Mr. Mallady has always known what the ACC is up to and he is close to Radcliffe. Mallady was originally the number fudger hiding the Long Pork Club accounts from the world. But Mallady went mad when Mr. White abandoned the ACC and kidnapped his partner in crime Mr. Crawley. Crawley, a dedicated worshipper of Nyarlathotep, under torture told Mallady everything about the ACC’s true purpose.
Mallady still has Crawley locked up in his attic. He force feeds and tortures the poor man, keeping him on the edge of life.
Mallady is a wildcard. While he is Radcliffe’s war general he also is his bitterest enemy. Radcliffe wants revenge on Mr. Noire, Mallady wants revenge on Radcliffe. But Mallady is smart and he is playing the long game.
Mallady runs the Bolton Mills as foreman. He is the real fermenter of the union strikers. Mallady, whose worship of Nyarlathotep has been ruined by Radcliffe’s quest for revenge, has sworn vengeance. He has been cruelly overworking whichever workers he thinks will make the most trouble for it and encouraging others to seek out union help.
Allies & Enemies:
Mr. Radcliffe – Secret Enemy,
Why does Mallady want Radcliffe dead?
- Did the financial collapse impact his family?
- Did his insanity “caused” by the ACC cause him to hurt his family?
- Mr. Mallady has branches of white oak trees tattooed intertwining about his arms. None of the branches cross, they follow the lines of his veins.
- He keeps a statue of the Black Man in his closet in his office.
A rail line runs alongside the Boston-Arkham Rail Road line for a mile or so outside of Arkham and then cuts North to the small town of Bolton. Several lines all meet at the Bolton Steel Mills. The mills are a forest of smoke stacks belching sold grey puffs to the heavens. The steel mills did poorly when they were built, but the 40s have been a boon to them, something Radcliffe, with his knowledge of the future knew well as he prepared the business. He has stockpiled huge stockpiles of raw ore and coke while it was still cheap and he has hired lawyers to keep his laborers away from the draft.
Radcliffe keeps the mills mostly legal leaving the mob boss a fortress to retreat to if the law ever moves in. He occasionally uses the mills to destroy incriminating evidence, especially marked weapons. For this he keeps one furnace hot for the less pure metals this will produce. Radcliffe hires half of his workers from Bolton but ships the rest from Arkham, especially the cheap labor of the new Puerto Rican residents of North Arkham. Such a wide hiring practice also helps Radcliffe hire for his mob, choosing the smartest and strongest to work Arkham’s streets.
- The Mills is hammering the metals into odd shapes. Spirals or pyramids or melting them into spheres. The workmen seem to think that they are “for the war effort”
Out in Bolton Mallady has a pleasant house to himself. It has a steep roof broken up by a single gable with a tiny attic window. There in the space under the roof Mr. Mallady has Mr. Crawley his one time partner locked up. Blood has stained the boards around the small wooden chair where Crawley is chained. The chairs seat has a hole in it and a bucket is kept underneath to catch Crawley’s filth. A tool kit sits on a rickety table inside the door with saws, hammers, and teeth scrappers stolen from an Arkham dentist.
A gag has been fitted to his mouth which Mallady only removes when he needs to force feed him. Crawley has told Mallady everything he knows long ago.
Vernay is Benoit Anguis’ son and at 29 is a good staunch laborer, drinking beer from the bottle and works hard at the Bolton Steel Mill. He is aware that the Bitter Servants have a contingent of criminals at the mill, but refuses to join them. He spends most nights drinking with other workers at the Bolton Workers Lodge.
Vernay in general disproves of his sister, Silvae’s writing and equally his fathers. He has abandoned the pagan religion of his parents and instead considers himself agnostic. “Hedging my bets so to speak.” Despite his unhappiness with his family’s line of work he still enjoys his father’s company and pities Benoit’s ugliness. He occasionally invites Benoit to come drink with him in Bolton and visits Arkham himself.
- Takes great satisfaction from his job at the Bolton steel mill. He often comes home to lament his sister’s work with Benoit, but also disapproves of Benoit’s books as well.
- He reads seldomly and drinks beer from the bottle, he stays at the workers lodge in Bolton, but spends holidays at home with his parents.
- He is very laddish and occasionally invites Benoit to come drinking with him and “the boys”
- It is very possible Vernay will be approached to join the Bitter Servants. He will probably refuse, depending on how Benoit has been treating him, and will be beaten badly for it. He will later come to his father to complain.
- If Benoit is too crazy Vernay will go to Monty, Benoit’s brother.
- Problems with Radcliffe, or questions about Vernay being involved in the bitter servants. He also seems the sort to join the army.
- It is very possible Vernay will be approached to join the Bitter Servants. He will probably refuse, depending on how Benoit has been treating him, and will be beaten badly for it. He will later come to his father to complain.
- If Benoit is too crazy Vernay will go to Monty, Benoit’s brother.
- Vernay also seems the sort to join the army.
Mama & Papa Warrell
Mama now constantly stares upwards to the right of whoever she is speaking to. Papa stares directly at the person he is talking to but picks at his face.
Mr. Radcliffe’s left hand man is Lucy Warrell and hers is her husband Sebastian. The Warrells are the recruiters and organizers of the gang. They hand out jobs and keep track of the people and money of the gang.
Radcliffe is a busy man and can’t dedicate his entire time to planning jobs or assigning patrols to his mobsters. For this he uses the Warrell couple, Mama and Papa. Mama is very much the unofficial head of the Bitter Servants and passes out the duty roster. Mama also heads the Warrell family branch of the Bitter Servants, some of its heaviest hitters. Assassins, fast drivers, and the worst shake down men all have Warrell blood. Mama and Papa are both oblivious of Radcliffe’s schemes, and of the more magical side of his business.
Papa’s brother Markus Warrell was killed in London at the Misr House (see Masks of Nyarlathotep). Many of the Warrell’s harbor a huge hatred for cults and their activities.
Allies & Enemies:
Mr. Radcliffe – Ally
- Mama now constantly stares upwards to the right of whoever she is speaking to.
- Papa stares directly at the person he is talking to but picks at his face.
Common location for BS meetings. The Warrells have been in the gang since the beginning and have taken a bit of a ‘parental’ role, and their house has always been a safe place for members to go if they need a place to hide out for a few hours, a warm dinner after a big job, or even a bed to sleep in for a night or two.
Malcolm doesn’t live with his parents, he has a smaller place for him and his dog somewhere else in the city (not sure exactly where, probably more than a few blocks away but not super far), and although he doesn’t host people regularly he has a basement outfitted as a safe room with plenty of supplies.
Malcolm Warrell’s partner in crime. Liam is a chubby gun toting gangster. He constantly smokes and flicks ash everywhere. He speaks with a bad Italian accent and constantly tells bad dirty jokes.
He wears a sagging fedora and a brown (stained) coat over a shirt and tie. He keeps his gun tucked in his belt and no matter what people tell him he keeps six bullets in the revolver despite risking shooting himself in the foot or worse. “Well my wife wont miss anything anyway!” he loudly proclaims.
He is married to Doris, who Liam describes as a flabby breasted drooping old hag who is probably a witch. He claims she makes the best meat loaf in the world but he can’t stand to sleep with her. He often frequents a brothel on the lower south side. (His house is on the most northern street in this neighborhood as well. During the day he likes to stop by the dirty cinema downtown, the Disrobing Clown.
Liam isn’t a drunk, but just bumbles through life on a laugh, and he is genuinely fond of the red head Moreen at the brothel.
- Liam’s wife has been stalking him. He is terrified of going to the club and always leaves early and wanders around until it gets dark trying to catch her at it.
- Liam shows up to work bruised. As the campaign continues he becomes more and more battered.
- Liam lights his hand on fire while wearing fire proof gloves.
The house is not his own, the true ruler is Doris, Liam’s wife. Doris is a husband beater and terrorizes Liam. She beats him for coming home late or for skipping out on meals.
The house is a tiny town house with a wilted vegetable garden outside. Doris spends most of her time in the front room listening to a scratchy radio. There she waits for Liam every day.
An unattractive lady. She looks like a housewife who has run the laundry too many times. Her back is bent, her breasts sag into her stained flower print dress and she keeps her hair in curlers. She smokes like a chimney and coughs often. She almost always has a beer in her hand.
Philo & Tony
Philo and Tony are the mobster pair who rival Malcolm and Liam in their endeavors. Philo is a smooth talking ladies man, always happy to make a crack at Malcolm’s expense. Tony is the muscle, favouring a heavy lead pipe or baseball bat to a gun. They are good friends with many of the other mobsters.
Radcliffe likes to encourage rivalry in his gang, thinking it will make them do their jobs that little bit harder. He often will set Philo and Tony at cross purposes to Malcolm and Liam.
Allies & Enemies:
Max is the man on the docks. He gets sailors to “drop” crates off their ships when they come in for trade. He knows about almost all goods going in or out of Arkham. He’s also bored out of his skull and happily swaps facts with anyone who will divert him for a short while. He wont admit he works for the BS, never know who is a cop.Allies & Enemies:
Samuel Hunter – Contact, Mr. Mallady – Most Loyal Friend, Liam Arriguccius – Ally, Mr. Radcliffe – Ally/Secret Enemy
The Fish Bar
Down some steep steps to near where the Miskatonic sleepily laps the stone banks of the river a wooden shack leans against a dirty cinder block bar. A bare bulb swings above the closely crowded drinkers, all smelling of salt and fish. Maxwell Hank, hair greasy with oil, possibly originating in some sea creature dirties a stool at the end of the bar, occasionally clinking his mug with a nearby fisherman.
Michaela is an excitable bar tender with a thing for Malcolm Warrell. She is a brunette with a body that keeps a host of young male regulars in the Smoke and Handle.
Tikal Coffee House
Tucked in between some town houses on the North Side is this Arabian Style Cafe. It is run by Mr. Hakim, ironically one of the few Middle Eastern people who visit the cafe. Normally the bottom floor is packed with local Puerto Rican patrons looking for a dark coffee. The cafe also serves as Radcliffe’s meeting house. Two private rooms upstairs serve as council chambers for Radcliffe and Mama Warrell, many of the mob’s biggest decisions have been made here. The mob also owns the two houses on either side. They are kept empty for visiting crime contacts or if the mob needs some extra space.
Mama Warrell assigns mobsters to their jobs at the Cafe each night. Of late Radcliffe has insisted that mobsters walk the streets checking on “protected” brick shops. He is very specific, they must check every brick walled shop of one story only. Mama Warrell, nor any other member of the mob, know why Radcliffe is so specific. Similarly he has insisted that a couple of men accompany the mobsters to document the shops. This catalogue of shops include the color the window frames are painted and what the sign looks like. Recently Radcliffe has been sending out rough bound copies of this list to mobsters and has requested that they report any shop that looks different. The mob has extorted protection from all of the listed shops.