Posted on March 13, 2019
The Horror of Hull
This is an adventure location from my English Civil War Lamentations of the Flame Princess campaign. It is intended to take place in 1642, and uses the alignment system from England Upturn’d (which you can find on the blog of the module’s author, Barry Blatt, here: http://expanduniver.blogspot.com/2014/04/cavaliers-and-roundheads.html). Some spells from Vaginas Are Magic! are also included.
Kingston-upon-Hull, or Hull, is a town build where the river Hull joins the Humber, in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Its population in 1642 was about 6000 people. On 23 April 1642, the Governor of Hull, Sir John Hotham, refused the King entry to the town, acting on the orders of Parliament to prevent the King from obtaining access to Hull’s arsenal. After fruitless negotiations, King Charles was forced to withdraw without entering the city. In July 1642, the King will lay siege to the town.
Sir John Hotham, himself a Parliamentarian, estimates that Hull is 5/7 in favour of the King in the present dispute. The wealthy elite, however, embodied by the corporation, is Parliamentarian in its sympathies. The town is mostly moderate (non-separating) Puritan in its religious allegiance, although the previous vicar did succeed in a few “Laudian” projects, including beautifying the churches of St Mary and Holy Trinity.
Sir John Hotham, 1st Baronet of Scorborough
Level 3 Anglican Fighter, Cavalier Republican, 52 years old
Sir John Hotham has been Governor of Hull once before, that time at the direction of the King. Parliament re-appointed him, and sent him with his son, Captain John Hotham, at the head of a troop of horse, to take control of the city and its defenses, to prevent the arsenal there from falling into the hands of the King. An old politician-soldier, he is regarded as untrustworthy and duplicitous in the finest tradition of politicians, and hard and heavy-handed in the finest tradition of soldiers. King Charles has pronounced him a traitor.
Captain John Hotham, the Younger
Level 5 Anglican Fighter, Cavalier Republican, 31 years old
John Hotham is an energetic cavalry commander, who fancies himself one of the more capable military officers in England, and believes that the coming war will give him a chance to prove it. He is held in higher esteem by Parliament than is his father, and keeps a close eye on his father’s activities in Hull. Their relationship has become strained by jealousy and distrust.
Reverend William Styles, Vicar of Holy Trinity Church
Level 1 Puritan Cleric, Roundhead Republican, About 40
Reverend Styles has recently been appointed as Vicar of Holy Trinity, having replaced the “Laudian” Reverend Richard Perrott, who died last year. He also holds the office of Lecturer, which comes with a generous wage. His appointment blocked the Archbishop of York from appointing another Laudian cleric. He has not yet removed the “popish idolatry” which Reverend Perrott had re-installed in Hull’s churches as part of the Laudian beautification project, but can nevertheless be relied upon for a zealous sermon in the finest Puritan tradition.
Peregrine Pelham MP
Level 0 Puritan, Roundhead Republican, 40 years old
The second Member of Parliament for Hull (the other member, Sir Henry Vane, is at this time in London serving as Treasurer of the Navy), Pelham is a former merchant and sheriff.
Alderman Henry Barnard
Level 0 Puritan, Roundhead Neutral, About 40
Not a Royalist as such, but as mayor opposed Hotham refusing entry to the King. He was replaced as mayor, but is still part of the core group of aldermen who govern Hull. He resents Sir John Hotham.
Alderman James Watkinson
Level 0 Anglican, Neutral Royalist, 61 years old
A former MP and Hull’s only Royalist Alderman, he was “invited to leave” the town shortly after Hotham refused entry to the King.
Lord George Digby, aka Jacques Berruyer
Level 1 Anglican Fighter, Cavalier Royalist, 39 years old
Intelligence +1, Wisdom -2, Charisma +2
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Lord Digby is a hot-tempered English politician. He is well-educated and accomplished, and very good looking. These should be considerable advantages to a politician, and Lord Digby might make a very good politician if not for his emotional instability. A restless, dashing romantic, Lord Digby has been described by a former friend, the Earl of Clarendon, as “the only man I ever knew of such incomparable parts that was none the wiser for any experience or misfortune that befell him.” Perhaps for this reason, he fled the House of Lords in February just ahead of being arrested for treason by order of Parliament. After sailing to and from the Netherlands, he was captured on his return trip from York to the Queen (presently residing in the Dutch Republic). At this moment, Lord Digby is disguised as a humble French sailor, and is held prisoner at Castle Hull.
At some point (ideally involving the PCs as intermediaries or witnesses), “Jacques” will tell his gaolers, in broken English, that he has some important information to tell the Governor, which will help Parliament. Not long after, he will be interrogated by the Governor, and will secretly reveal his true identity to Sir John Hotham, trusting Hotham not to reveal him further and hand him over to face Parliament’s charge of treason. A few days later, in a further interrogation, Lord Digby will negotiate the surrender of Hull with Hotham, securing Sir John’s agreement that if the King comes again before the town’s gates with a single regiment and fires a single shot against the walls, the Governor will consider his duty towards Parliament discharged and admit the King. Like so many of Lord Digby’s negotiated agreements, this won’t actually pan out, of course, but Sir John Hotham will subsequently allow him to escape and flee to the King at Beverly.
Colonel William Ashburnham
Level 1 Anglican Fighter, Cavalier Royalist, 38 years old
Currently held prisoner in a comfortable castle cell, as befits a gentleman. He was taken prisoner on the same ship as Lord Digby aka Jacques Berruyer, but did not disguise himself. He will happily pay a reward (200sp) to any PC who facilitates his escape, and will add another 50sp if the PCs also affect the escape of his “loyal Frenchman”. If the PCs find out the Frenchman is really Lord Digby, who is wanted by Parliament, Colonel Ashburnham will increase the offered reward for helping both men to escape to a total of 500sp. Naturally, this payment cannot be made until both men are freed and able to escape to the King’s camp.
Mayor Thomas Raikes
Level 0 Puritan, Roundhead Republican, About 40
Newly elected mayor for the second time (last having held the post in 1633), Thomas Raikes is an able administrator and well-respected member of the community.
Alderman John Ramsden
Level 0 Puritan, Roundhead Neutral, 30 years old
A relatively junior alderman from a wealthy merchant family, who lives near St Mary’s Church. He imports exotic goods from the continent (Amsterdam mostly) and sold Richard Fox the Malleus Deus, Tales of the Scarecrow, and the Sword which is Uncertain.
Level 5 Anglican Magic-User, Roundhead Neutral, 32 years old
Armour 12, 12 hp, Morale 9, Strength -1, Intelligence +2, Wisdom +1, Charisma +2
Level 1: Goat Perversion, Charm Person, Summon, Hold Portal, Sleep, Shield, Spider Climb
Level 2: Change Self, Magic Mouth, Levitate, Speak with Animals, Phantasmal Force, Force of Forbidment, Knock, Stinking Cloud
Level 3: Howl of the Moon, Speak with Dead
Spells typically Memorized
Charm Person, Shield, Spider Climb, Change Self, Speak with Animals, Howl of the Moon
Elizabeth Mawson is the last survivor of a coven of witches which operated in the East Riding of Yorkshire. When Yorkshire was beset by plague in the late 1630s, many blamed the onset of the dreadful disease on witches. Hull was devastated by the plague in 1637, during the previous term as governor of Sir John Hotham. Most of Elizabeth’s coven was caught up in the subsequent persecutions, and after being interrogated under torture, were tried and hanged to the jeers of townsfolk eager to be avenged for the loss of their loved ones to the plague. More information can be found in this hand-out. Elizabeth fled the town and has spent the last five years seeking the proper spells to help affect her revenge. Now that Sir John Hotham is back, so is she.
Already in turmoil, having found itself the playing board for the opening moves of the English Civil War, wrought by political disunity, Hull has another enemy within its walls – a werewolf, or so assume the townsfolk. Almost every night, Elizabeth casts Howl of the Moon upon an unsuspecting man, who spends much of the rest of the evening running through the streets of Hull, howling at the moon and attacking people like a wild animal. When morning breaks, Elizabeth’s unwitting instrument has no knowledge of what he has done (although the blood on his hands and teeth should really be a strong indicator that they did something terrible), and the people of Hull find new victims lying dead in their streets.