Magnus Institute

Cabalists in the Catacombs Part 1
The Investigation Begins

Paris France, April 21 1887

A call goes out from the Paris branch of the Magnus Institute to the main branch in London for assistance.  Woefully understaffed, they are in need of investigative help on a rather strange string of disappearances that have been affecting the rich and poor alike.  

Our intrepid investigators from the London branch arrive in Paris via train at 12 noon, and are greeted by Letticia Harrison, liason for the Magnus Institute Paris branch and public spokesperson who begins to brief them on the situation:

"As I am sure you are all aware, there have been a number of disappearances in The Catacombs below Paris.  Originally built to house the remains of Paris' dead, it has become something of a grim tourist attraction in the modern era.  This if of course frowned upon by the government, however the money it generates is helping the economy so they have turned a blind eye to it.

Approximately three weeks ago a stage magician by the name of Zeltran the Englightened held a very secretive show in one of the lesser known chambers in The Catacombs- very exclusive cloak and dagger tactics with only the most elite of the elite having received invitations to witness 'The Miracle'.  Reports state that he brought a skeleton back to life, but our investigations revealed that it was largely a hoax involving many wires, pulleys, and a very advanced puppeteer behind the scenes, so we dismissed it as such and let the charlatan continue on with his performances.

However, 2 weeks ago his shows took a turn for the more sinister from what we can ascertain from testimonies from the survivors.  Apparently, some masked individuals claiming to be 'Filliorum vas Samael', or 'Children of Samael (not very original of them is it?)', interrupted the performance and went on a murder spree.  Since then people of all walks of life have been going missing.  At first, it was a few errant vagabonds and vagrants, but as time progressed more members of the upper echelons of society have all gone missing as well.  We believe these to be connected due to the similar methods of death in the bodies that we have recovered, as well as the written invitations that were sent out to each of these nobles on behalf of Monsieur Zeltran.

This is quite impossible as Monsieur Zeltran was one of the first bodies that we recovered.

All of our regular field agents are currently dispatched all over the rest of France, save for a few of the more bureaucratic members of the organization.  Should these events continue to take place, then we run the risk of the public becoming aware of the supernatural and that cannot be allowed.  Our fair city has seen too much upheaval in the way of revolution and revolt and I dare say I will not be part of another one.  We must do what The Institute does best and put a stop to this before it gets out of hand."

A knowledge check reveals that Samael is a fallen angel who has become something of an angel of death.  He is sometimes called "Chief of the Devils" and in other circles known as "The Great Betrayer" and is a patron entity to those who seek vengeance.  His portfolio includes poison, fire, necromancy and death.

The investigation team start with investigating the bodies of the four unidentified corpses as well as that as Monsieur Zeltran in the Institute's morgue on the lower floors.  The unidentified corpses are all fairly unremarkable save for one thing:  

The all have this symbol carved into their chests.  This is revealed to be the sigil of Samael.

(to be continued when I don't have to catch a train)


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