The Crumbling Empire

The dead capital
London

As the two cars roared into central London the group were greeted with a view of the Palace of Westminter towering over the Thames. Yet the roads were lined with corpses, on which flowers grew. The sounds of Big Ben sounded out over a deserted city with only engine noise to compete with it.

As they headed into beautiful Chelsea the capital seemed erringly empty as they headed down the embankment and parked outside the residence of Content Not Found: null at 96 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea.
96 Cheyne Walk

The building seemed deserted with curtains closed; maybe the resident was like all the others that the group had seen so far, dead and lifeless, and nothing more than food for the ever multiplying plants. Richard swung the heavy knocker down upon the wooden door, its sound echoing out over the nearby river. With no answer he proceeded to test the door, it swung open before him and they slowly inched inwards to the dark hallway. The smell of flowers and potpourri wafted upwards as the group moved towards a heavy curtain pulled shut at the end of the corridor. Richard shouted out again and this time was greeted with call from the adjacent front room. “Who’s there?” came the call from the front room. Richard seemed surprised to hear the voice of his father. Maybe he had resigned himself to the fact that he may have been dead like all the others. “Father”, Richard shouted. “Get in here son”, his father replied. The old man did not seem that surprised to see his son, more troubled by the string of people he had bought with him. Richard remembered his manners and began to introduce the group. Sir Edward stumbled with the name of Richards’s wife, but it definitely seemed to be the old man Richard remembered. After asking for some tea from the kitchen Content Not Found: null told his story of how he had survived the apocalypse by drinking tea left in an urn from the kitchen and eating bread and canned meat from the larder. He had not seen any movement along the embankment or the river since he had gone to bed, late on the evening of the 1st. He remembered waking very late on the morning of the second, seemingly the staff had not come into work and he initially seemed confused as to why they had all failed to show for work.

As the sun was getting low in the London skyline Mark was eager to see if his father; whom lived in Camden was also alive and pressed to group to mount another expedition to north London in search of his father. They all climbed into the Hillman wizard and sped towards north London. Richard suggested that it may be a good idea to stop by the BBC radio offices as it was nearby. Mark agreed as there could be further survivors or information from around the globe as to what had happened. The darkness of the radio building greeted Mark and Agnes as they entered the lobby. The reception lay empty and as the two headed upstairs towards the news room they noticed bodies slumped in the corridors, flowers sprouting from the corpses. In the news room Mark found the news room and the great banks of teleprinters. He began to look into the news logs and it soon became aware that the disaster was a global event. It seems that the seeds had spread at a monstrous rate, far quicker than the winds could have possibly carried them. At first they had spread to Europe and Northern England, then further afield with some reports coming from the Americas and the Far East. It seems the colonies were concerned with the lack of news from London to begin with, and then they began to transmit reports of mass death among the population caused by plant seed infestation. Mark and Agnes collected as much of the teleprinter output to analysis later and left to meet the others outside by the cars.

The Langham hotel

While the others were in Broadcasting House Richard and James visited the Langham hotel nearby to scavenge for supplies from the extensive hotel larder and bars. James seemed interested in the various cans and brands that Richard selected for removal.

They packed the evidence and supplies into the car and then headed north to Camden and the home of Marks father Maj. Frank Golightly who had been to unwell to make the journey to Kent for his daughters wedding.

The car drew up outside the small residence at 13 Carol St. Camden. The door was slightly ajar as Mark walked up the steps outside the property. As he entered he could still smell the cherry tobacco his father enjoyed to smoke. Using his torch to illuminate the hallway he headed deeper into the property. The front room was devoid of any signs of life as if it had not been used in some time. As Mark entered the rear room he could make out a figure sat in a chesterfield chair. He cried out “Dad!” but there was no reply. Again he cried out, but as he rounded the chair to get a view of the person sat in it he saw that his father had died. Flowers now grew from the old mans body. A blanket still covered his legs as if he had wrapped up for the cold November weather.

From outside a sound slowly built up as a vehicle approached. The group quickly ran outside and as the sound grew louder a motorbike passed the end of the road and by the sounds came to a stop just outside of their view at the end of the road. Rushing down the street they saw a bike had stopped and a man dressed in livery of the General Post Office had dismounted from the bike and was removing items from a pannier on the left hand side of the vehicle. As the group looked dazed from the shock of seeing another person on the streets the man reached into the bag and pulled two letters from within. “Are you Mark Golightly?” said the man. “I’ve a letter for you and a Mrs Agnes Bartlett. Do you mind signing for them?” The group asked “Who are you?”, the man replied “”/characters/bill-shakespare" class=“wiki-content-link”>Bill Shakespeare. Pleased to meet you". After introducing himself the group questioned him on what he was doing, he replied in utter calmness that he was delivering the mail as that was his job. The two recipients signed for their letters and franticly tore open the aged strange envelopes. Inside were two further letters from relatives detailing how they were coping, but how life was somewhat different from before. The group enquired if there were any other letters and the man replied that he was not sure, but if they call into the sorting office during the morning opening times of 09:00 to 12:00 he would check through the undelivered mail and see if there were any further correspondence. Bidding the group farewell the man kicked over the motorbike and span the bike round before heading off southwards into the dusk skyline.

The group headed back to Chelsea and Edward Bartlett. The returned with tales of what they had found throughout the city and the postman on his motorbike. The old man was eager to hear the tales and took in all the information that was told. Later that evening after a meal of warm meats and vegetables washed down with some port and other drinks the group sifted through the findings from the BBC. Having been on their feet since the early hours of the morning they retired early hoping to get a good nights sleep.

In the morning they awoke refreshed and ready for adventure. London was as it had been the previous day, dead and deserted. The only sounds were sea birds and other fowl in the Thames and the odd dog barking. The power station over the river had ceased bellowing clouds into the sky and lay dormant before them.

They informed Richards father that they were going to explore the South side of the river and left after the filling breakfast. Over Battersea bridge towards the sorting office on Lavender Hill. The building was a standard GPO sporting office. The heavy door lay open, odd in a deserted city. Inside a large counter lay before them with a solitary brass bell on its surface. Mark rang the bell, soon Mr Shakespeare appeared and invited them into the rear sorting area. They were greeted with rows upon rows of wire cages all neatly numbered SW11 to SW20. Beyond the cages lay an area signed unsorted parcel storage. There, at the back was a small office now seeming converted into a living area. Bill explained that this is where he now lived and had begun sorting and trying to deliver the mountain of parcels that lay before them all. Bill offered the group a cup of tea and began brewing up a large tea pot on a gas burner just inches away from his bed and stacks of jumbled letters. After the pleasantries the group enquired as to where the letter Bill had delivered to them had come from. He indicated that there was a large box in the store room and that this was where he had found the letters. He offered to recover the box and hand it over to the group. Soon they were presented with a well mad and seemingly very old wooden chest, now quite battered and far from good condition. The chest was empty apart from a plate in the roof of the container indicating that it was once the property of a Chester Crispin. Mark asked Bill if there was any records of items being left at the sorting office and bill produced a few large books details all mail deliveries. After a while sifting through the data Mark discovered that the chest had been donated to the Royal Mail in 1855, by relatives of Chester Crispin, a Victorian dilettante and sometime explorer. Richard thought that Chester Crispin may have been a member of the Royal Geographical Society so suggested that they should head to Kensington to research the explorer.

Bidding Bill farewell and asking if he wouldn’t mind calling in on Richards father if he is ever passing Chelsea they headed towards Kensington. At the Royal Geographical Society they searched through documents dating from the 1800s and discovered that Chester Crispin had been an a rather unsuccessful explorer, first performing archeological digs in England before going further afield to Egypt and darkest Africa. Finding nothing of note on any expedition he retired through ill health to his family estate in Hertfordshire. They decided that there may be further clues at Fanham’s Hall and decided to head there after another nights rest. Prior to leaving Kensington they stocked up on supplies in Harrods and took some provisions for Richards father as well.

The following day they headed out of the deserted capital northwards towards Cambridge on the A10. They soon arrived at Ware and found the hall just to he east. The impressive building was surround by fields of white flowers bellowing seeds skywards. As the Investigators turn up the driveway, they hear music. It is swing music, loud and distorted, played through a gramophone at exceptional volume.

Outside the Hall are other cars. Clearly, nobody has tried to flee. As they get closer, the Investigators hear shouting and laughter over the music. Inside, a riotous party is in full swing. Half-empty champagne flutes cover the polished tables. There is frenzied dancing in every room, as two gramophones, playing different music, compete to be heard.

The partygoers are all women, dressed with fashionable absurdity. The party’s theme appears to be “flowers”. One woman is dressed as a sunflower. Many others have imitation flowers woven into hats. Most of the flower costumes are white. After a few knocks at the door the group is greeted by the party’s host Florence Crispin, Chester’s daughter and the owner of Fanham’s Hall. In the dim, artificial light, she appears young. In direct light, she is clearly over forty and slowly decaying. Like the others, she is enjoying herself. She invited the group inside but asks the men to stay in the parlour as the party is for women only. Agnes mingles with the partygoers noticing that they are all drunk and quite a few have dilated pupils, which explains the frenzied dancing. It seems these people are taking cocaine. Florence offers to lend her a party frock and shows her to a dressing room upstairs. She leaves Agnes to pick a dress and join the party downstairs when she is ready. Looking around the first floor Agnes finds the family library and within it are books written by Chester Crispin. All are vanity productions: he paid a printer to produce them. He recounts his expeditions, but they are absurd, with erroneous geography and fairytale elements. You doubt, for example, that he killed a unicorn in India. Richard tries to go upstairs under the pretence of delivering champagne from the kitchen. He discovers an attic entrance but its looked and is soon discovered by Florence who sends him back to the parlour to wait. Searching through the rear of the house he discovers the butlers quarters and within it the main keys to the house. Taking the attic key he passes it to Mark who believes he can use the dumb waiter to gain access to the upper floor without gaining suspicion from the partygoers in the stairwell.

The plan works flawlessly and Mark is able to gain access to the attic. There he finds old boxes of possessions some marked as being the property of Chester Crispin. Searching through the heavy chests Mark discovers Chester Crispin’s papers. Most are nonsensical scribbling. However, he mentions caves near Brichester, in which he found the letters. Intriguingly, he says that he did not take them all leaving some still within the caves. Richard decides to investigate the outsides of the house and looks for the kitchen entrance. In the kitchen he finds many boxes of supplies. Certainly, the women have everything they need to survive for a while, including food and medical supplies. Outside he hears the unmistakable chug of a generator an in an outbuilding finds a medium sized generator and a good amount of fuel cans required to run it for some time.

Meeting up again in the parlour the group bids farewell to Florence and her collection of revellers and head off towards Brichester and the caves of Goatswood.

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The fall of Dover

The sound of gunfire woke Agnes like a cracking of a whip. She did not recognise her surroundings, but recognised her clothing that was sat on a nearby chair along with some of her husbands clothing. She dressed quickly and opened the room door. It was obvious that she was in a hotel, but the electricity was not working so she took the hurricane lamp that was by her beside and proceeded downstairs. There in the lobby was her husband Richard, a younger man, and a woman. They were busily tying a man to a chair with a length of rope. Richard seemed relieved to see her as she was to see him. He quickly introduced the other people and informed her of the crash she was involved with and the stranger case of the flowers and the near apocalypse that seemed to have occurred. She had trouble processing what he was saying, but she knew he could be trusted and had never been one for straying far from the truth.

The Russian sat tied to the chair blabbering in his native tongue. Luckily Mark had learnt some Russian hoping it would be of some use as a journalist. The Russian identified himself as Borris Topper and through his ranting Mark managed to discover that he was not a sailor as it first appeared but had been a scientist who had worked for the Russian agronomist Lysenko. They had invented a plant that had spread rapidly and had been repackaged as a weapon which the British government had purchased. Between his sobbing Mark discovered that Lysenko may have discovered the plants in a meteor that had landed in Russia, but Borris did not know the exact details.

While Mark concentrated on the Russian, the others sat the man he had dragged into the building with him down and offered him a drink. He looked dishevelled but quickly introduced himself as Dr. James Falk. He explained that he had been drinking the previous night and had awoken late to find his wife and others had been taken to Dover hospital complaining of severe pain post breakfast. He had rushed to the hospital but was overwhelmed by the epidemic that confronted him. His assistance was greatly appreciated by the hospital staff that were hopelessly outnumbered by the scale of the problem confronting them. He soon found his wife but had been unable to save her from whatever ailment had befallen her. He recounted how she had died in his arms around midday. As the hospital staff began to succumb to the outbreak he soon found himself alone surrounded by death. It was then that a heavily drunk Russian appeared. James had tried to talk to the man and offered him some assistance for the cuts on the mans forearms, but the last thing he could remember is the Russian swinging for him. He awoke bound and was then dragged from building to building looking for survivors, it was then that the Russian had spotted the lantern hanging in the hotel window and had decided to investigate.

The Russian indicated that he had a note book that would corroborate his story. Mark took a small notebook from the Russians chest pocked and showed the others. While the others did not speak Russian, Richard and James were able to understand that the pictures indicated that the plants evolve in a Lamarack method rather than a Darwinian one. There were details that the plants had come to Britain on a Russian cargo ship called Lysenco which had docked in Dover on night of the 1st of November and was due to be offloaded on the 2nd.

As the Russian began to sob again about the deaths he had caused some glasses on the bar rattled and a bottle tipped over on the bar. As the team stepped outside to investigate the rumbling they noticed that the plants had quickly begun to decompose the bodies they had sprouted from. Back inside they secured the Russian in a ground floor room and gathered some torches prior to driving down to the docks in the two Hillman minx cars they appropriated earlier in the evening. At the docks the water seemed milky white as it lapped against the shore. While bodies lay all around the seagulls ignored them and continued their squawking as they circled above.


At the commercial port they saw the Lysenco. It was secured at the stern to the pier but had somehow broken free of its mornings at the bow and had listed to port by a few degrees. On closer inspection Agnus noticed that there was some damage to the hull of the ship around the waterline as if the ship had smashed against a larger immovable object. They proceeded onboard and James left a lantern at the top of the gangplank so as to easily identify their exit point. The sound of shoes clanking on cold steel plate echoed in the still night sky and the rusting hulk swayed slowly as waves buffeted the ship. The group headed up the open stairs of the superstructure towards the bridge. There they were greeted by a ransacked room devoid of life. Charts and documents lay scattered throughout the room, which the group began to gather and organise so Mark could try to decipher what the papers said, looking specifically for a bill of lading that would tell them the cargo of the vessel. A letter written in English from a Lieutenant-General in the British Army ordering that the cargo be delivered at Dover for onward movement to Connaught barracks on the outside of Dover was found amongst the paperwork. The charts indicated that the Lysenco had sailed from the port of Arkhangelsk on the White Sea. Placing some charts and notes in a satchel they headed back to their cars and stowed the documents then proceeded back onboard. As the walked up the gangplank again they witnessed another earth tremor shake the port of Dover. Down into the bowls of the ship the descended as if entering a metal coffin.

With no electricity the ship seemed cold and foreboding which became worse the further they headed downwards. Eventually they came upon the bulkhead doors to the main cargo hold and proceeded inside. A walkway ran around the top of the massive cargo hold before steps descending into the murky depths. They could see the glimmer of water and debris moving in the bottom of the hold but this did not deter them as they clambered down the stairs into the inky blackness. The water was achingly cold but was no deeper than a few feet. Mark asked Richard to pass him a fire axe and proceeded to prize open one of the wooden crates, seeds spilled out into the milky water turning it a whiter shade of pale. Another stronger tremor rocked the ship which began to list further to port. The group decided to head back to the main deck fearing being trapped in the ship. As they stepped onto the main deck a stronger quake rocked the boat and in the moonlit distance they could make out the sea churning black, ships began to sway wildly getting dashed against the jetties like small toys being tossed around. A piercing sound erupted and they could see monstrous creatures rising from the waves, Richard seemed visibly shaken by the sight and Agnes pulled at his sleeves to get him to begin moving. They navigated the swaying gangplank and dived into their cars as the cliffs above them began to crumble and the surface of the roads began to buckle. Marks vehicle with Edith and James was first out of the port followed closely by Agnes and Richard in the trailing car. As Dover crumbled behind them they raced through the streets and up towards the open countryside. Behind them the air became thick with dust while the piercing sounds of monsters echoed in the dawn drowning any normal chorus that Dover was expecting. As they pulled up to a mile stone four miles from the port they looked back and through the haze and mist the town behind them had sunken into the sea which had now encroached three miles inland swallowing the town and surrounding countryside. No sign or sound of the monsters could be heard or seen all that lay before them was seas of white flowers sprouting in every field as far as the horizon.

To the left of the road a small farm house stood alone in the sea of white. The group proceeded inside to see if any sign of life still existed within. Sat at the kitchen table two decomposed bodies sat, flowers sprouting from them. It was difficult to now discern male from female bodies as the flowers quickly decomposed corpses. Mark noticed a surprising itch in his left arm and rolled up his sleeve to investigate, he tool a step back as he discovered a small white flower growing out of a small cut on his forearm. The others steadied him and James sterilised a straight razor and began to excise the plant and the surrounding tissue. While Mark sipped on brandy and bit hard onto a leather belt the pain was excruciating but he maintained consciousness. They prepared a small breakfast and searched the grounds and house for supplies and equipment. After siphoning fuel into their cars to keep them topped up they proceeded towards Canterbury and London. At the ten mile point from Dover a post office van sat parked in the middle of the road blocking their movement. The nearby fence was smashed outwards as if a vehicle had exited cross country. As they inspected the van they noticed a small GPO marked box at the back of the vehicle inside they discovered two letters one addressed to Mark the other to Agnes oddly marked with the exact location on the road as well as the current date and time of 07:00.

The letters seemed to originate from members of their family but the handwriting seemed different from what they were used to. The envelope and paper seemed odd and very aged. How could somebody know the exact place the two were going to be and how did they know of the apocalypse that had befallen the world? After clearing the road they proceeded towards Canterbury. The city was empty with flowers swaying in the wind attached to bodies that dotted the streets. The group split up with Mark finding a chemist with a dark room to develop some film and Richard proceeding to the cathedral. He was greeted by a scene of utter devastation. It seems many of the local population had turned to god in their hour of need hoping some divine miracle would save them. The pews were all crammed with decomposing bodies, many more sat in the grounds of the great old building seemingly content with their fate. Richard lit a candle as James watched the situation from nearby.

The group found a bigger Hillman Wizard to replace one of the Hillman minx then stocked up on supplies from a nearby grocers before heading onwards towards London where many family and friends were last seen.

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The train crash
What has caused the apocalypse

Richard awoke with a throbbing headache. He was cold, very cold. As his eyes focused on his surroundings he noticed a small white flower directly in front of him, it swayed slowly in the cold breeze, and as it did so clouds of seeds drifted from the plant carried along by the wind. He then remembered he was on the 06:12 train from London to Dover to attend a wedding with his darling wife Agnes. He recalled that she had commented the unsuitability of the young couple while the train sped through the countryside, before she returned to looking out of the carriage window and occasionally writing something in that damn notebook that she carried everywhere.

As he stumbled to his feet he noticed that the sun was low in the horizon, he glanced at his watch, noting that the time was now 15:30 on the 2nd November 1936. The last he recalled was that it was 07:59 and that the train was just short of Dover. As he looked around the scene of destruction was everywhere. The locomotive had somehow left the track, followed by carriage after carriage. He could not remember the train speeding and pondered how the train had left the tracks. What had caused the crash? He cried out “Hello is anyone there. Is anyone there?” All around the vicinity of the train and as far down the track in either direction was scores of the small little white plants. Suddenly he heard a cry from one of the carriages further down the train. He could hear a woman’s voice crying out for help in one of the first class carriages. Richard quickly moved to the carriage and began to move the cold bodies from where the woman was trapped. As he freed her, he heard another shout from further down the train. It was a distance away and was very faint. He ran down the accident scene dodging bodies that had been thrown clear of their carriages and arrived at a 3rd class carriage that was now lying on its side. After removing some luggage and bodies he freed a young man from the wreckage who thanked Richard and introduced himself as Mark Golightly. Suddenly Richard remembered his wife who he was travelling with in the Pullman carriage near the front of the train. As his attention switched to her as he raced towards the carriage he thought how empty his world would be without her, and how he could still remember talking with her just a moment ago prior to the accident. The carriage had taken considerable damage being so close to the locomotive. He quickly moved body after body aside checking the faces of each one hoping to find her but also hoping that she was not like all of the lifeless bodies, he hoped that she was still alive. Finally he found her, unconscious but still alive. He cried out for help and was soon joined by Mark who assisted him with a makeshift stretcher made out of coats and a few pieces of table legs.

The trio congregated outside the Pullman carriage. The lady introduced herself as Edith Peel, but seemed shaken somewhat by the scene of the accident as well as the destruction and death around them. Mark took some sensitive pictures of the scene and wrote some shorthand notes in his reporters’ notebook. Edith picked a flower and noted the release of pollen or seeds from it, she remembered some of her biology teachings, and noted this plant was very different from anything she had read about or seen before. She placed the flower in her bag and readied herself for the short walk to Dover. Richard found the guards carriage and took a first aid kit and gathered his and his wife’s possessions prior to leaving the scene. Mark and himself carried the stretcher down the line.

A signal box at a road crossing soon greeted them. No sign of life emanated from the box so after setting down the stretcher they proceeded up the stairs. They were greeted by a ghastly image of the signalman doubled over in a corner of the signal box, white froth spilling from his mouth and a broken teacup on the floor next to the man. Edith examined the body and noted that a mixture of seeds and saliva caused the froth. It seemed probable that some kind of plant had germinated within the signalman causing his death, seemingly in some excruciating pain to the man. Richard took a small electrical lamp from the signal box to provide some illumination as night drew in. He also tried the telephone, which seemed dead; maybe the line had been cut. He quickly checked outside the building, but the cabling seemed fine. The group proceeded down the A2 into Dover noting the milestone saying two miles to Dover. Mark noted strange clouds moving quickly above him; odd as the wind at ground level was non-existent. They soon came across a stationary car at the side of the road. Inside were two bodies slumped over; the male driver had seemingly shot his partner prior to turning the gun on himself. The couple had died hand in hand, but what could drive people to such actions? They carefully and respectfully removed the bodies and placed Richards’s wife, Agnes on the back seat where Edith kept a steady eye on the unconscious women. Mark started the car and proceeded towards Dover. Richard placed the revolver in the glove box and informed the others of its location. They soon passed a family sat on the side of the road, all dead. This time it seems they were aware of the situation and decided to take matters into their own hands. Beside one of them was a flask, which Richard identified as containing bleach. What could have forced these people to take their own life and that of their children? Flowers were everywhere as they proceeded towards Dover. None of them had seen flowers like these or such an abundance of a single species.

They stopped at the Red Lion public house on the outskirts of Dover and were greeted with more grisly scenes. The pub was packed to capacity; bottles of spirits, and beer filled the tables where people sat slumped, and motionless, all as cold as the air outside, they must have been dead for some time Richard surmised. Most had the white froth around their mouths. At one table there was a box of rat poison, which had been mixed with beer. Seemingly some of the occupants had committed suicide rather than face what had caused the others to die in such pain. It seemed obvious that they were aware of some impending doom and were unable to act to prevent it other than seek this solution.

As they approached Dover erringly the town seemed devoid of life, no lights, no sound of habitation at all. They noted birds singing and the odd cat scurrying about, but all they saw was evidence of mass death in the streets of Dover, bodies strewn the pavement all seemingly with the white froth emanating from their mouths.

They found the Crown hotel where they were all to attend a wedding the following day. As they entered the heavy wooden doors closed behind them and the bell rang to alert the receptionist of an arrival. There was no reaction as they entered the hotel this time though. Using the torch and an old hurricane lamp Richard had found in the cellar of the Red Lion they explored the hotel. Mark used the ledger in reception to find his sisters room and raced up to the second floor. He braced himself as he opened the door, but there was no sign of her. Edith explored the ground floor and was greeted with a scene similar to the Red Lion pub, many people had gathered in the hotel bar seemingly to drink themselves to death. Richard proceeded to the third floor only to find the body of his late father-in-law dressed in his №2 military dress with a revolver at his side and a bottle of scotch at the table. After clearing the bar and placing the bodies in a store room the group took some supplies from the larder and using a coal fire in the bar cooked themselves a meal. They drank of what spirits remained as well as ginger beer and tonic water. Richard noted the odd milky white colour of the tap water and decided it may be better not to drink the water. They found a battery powered wireless in one of the rooms but they were greeted by only static. As they explored the hotel they discovered Marks sister in a room. There she lay with her groom to be, naked, surrounded by champagne bottles, but with the ever-present white froth around their mouths. Mark was obviously shaken somewhat by the findings, but took some solace from the reassurance of the other two.

They decided to see if there were any ships in the English Channel so proceeded to drive to the cliffs and the nearby fort. They stopped at the police station and investigated the interior. The cells contained a few unfortunates that had died of the white froth. They noted multiple entries in the police log with complaints of over crowding and scuffling at the hospital. The last entry in the log was 10:41 seemingly at this point the desk sergeant was unable or unwilling to make further entries. The barracks were unguarded and they easily got to a firing point that overlooked the Channel and Dover itself, the guns all unattended. The town seemed dead with only a small glow coming from a lantern they had left in the hotel window to attract others. The moon illuminated the sea, which seemed a milky white in the moonlight. There were a few marker buoys in the channel, but no movement from shipping or signs of life in Calais. Edith found the radio room in the headquarters building. Luckily the battery backup was still functioning and Richard scanned the airwaves for any transmission or replies to their calls for help. Static was the only reply the group received. The radio log noted a transmission from an amateur radio enthusiast in Helsinki who had fled the city from an invasion of white flowers to a nearby fort, which seemingly offered no protection and was soon overrun by the encroaching flowers; no further transmissions had been received. The guardroom contained a couple of rifles, which the group took and they returned to the Crown hotel.

Richard put a note on the door and refilled the lantern in the window hoping to attract some survivors who were still alive. Edith retired to a room on the second floor while the men sat and sipped brandy in the bar with a roaring coal fire. Around midnight they retired, Richard to a double room where he had placed his wife in a bed and lit a reassuring fire. He commented that a good night’s sleep would help the pair of them and it would be a lot better in the morning.

Richard and Mark were both awakened soon after falling asleep, Mark noted that it was just passed 02:00 as he remembered hearing a clock chime. The sound of the door opening and bell ringing had woken both of them, was it other survivors? They dressed and gathered their wits and soon met on the landing prior to descending the stairs. They could both hear a Russian speaking to somebody downstairs. Mark could hear some swearing coming from the foreigner and he cried out a greeting to the man in his native tongue. No reply came and the pair began to descend the stairs. The piercing crack of a shotgun woke Edith. Outside her room the Russian had let loose one of the barrels of the deadly weapon towards Richard. It struck him cleanly in the gut throwing him back into a nearby open doorway. He let out a cry of pain and threw his revolver towards Mark as he collapsed on the floor grasping his midriff. As Edith hurriedly dressed. Mark fired the short-barrelled gun towards the Russian, glancing the man who quickly unleashed the remaining barrel towards the journalist. This time Mark was prepared for the attempt on his life and ducked into a room before the shell destroyed a section of wall. As the Russian reloaded his weapon Mark repositioned himself to get a clearer aim on his target. The Russian seeing his adversary reposition himself had abandoned his reloading attempt and charged up the stairs towards Mark, who unleashed another round from the pistol. This hit him directly in the shoulder and he staggered backwards before gaining his feet again and proceeding ever closer to his target. Mark noted the smell of cheap vodka emanating from the man and wondered if this had affected his aim somewhat. The Russian swung the shotgun uncontrollably towards Mark missing him by some margin. Edith had rounded the corner of the stairs at this stage and leapt towards their adversary, sending him spiralling down the stairs. He struck he head as he fell and ended in a crumpled heap at the bottom of the stairs, unconscious.

As Edith secured the Russian she noticed that he had bought in another person into the hotel, an oldish man who seemed dishevelled and her hands were bound with rope. The Russian had dragged him into the room, but he now seemed relieved to see his antagonist crumpled on the stairs before him. Mark grabbed a first aid kit and tended to Richard. Edith also provided medical assistance to Richard noting that he was lucky to still be alive. They then turned their attention to the bound Russian at the bottom of the stairs and the strange man he had bought into the hotel with him.

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Welcome to your campaign!
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Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

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4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

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