Forgotten Futures VIII
...And Frolics
Adventures In Victorian and Edwardian Children's Fantasy

by Marcus L. Rowland
Copyright © 2002, portions Copyright © 1993-2001

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The Clockwork Heart

THE Clockwork Heart is a city adventure for a group of children, preferably middle class and members of the same family or friends living in the same neighbourhood; a location in London is assumed, but any large city with public transport will do - just change things as needed to fit the city. The children of the Psammead trilogy would fit in very well. The children need no spells or magical equipment, but it won't be a problem if they have some. The Box (see Too Many Dragons) can be used if the children have it, and a few relevant clues can be pulled from it; see below. Arnold (see the worldbook) can be used, and may be able to provide a little help if asked. The setting is our world with occasional hidden magic, as in the Psammead stories. A map of London's underground railways is provided and can be printed if needed, but isn't essential. Three other plans should be printed for use by players, but should not be shown to them until they become relevant.

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Players' Information

IT'S Saturday. Yesterday was your [point at the oldest boy] birthday party, and your favourite Uncle George gave you a clockwork gunboat with a shiny brass key. It's a bit big to go in the bath, so today you're taking it to the boating pond in the park to see how fast it can go. It's very early, and you're the only children there. Gosh! It rockets across the pond and frightens a couple of ducks before ploughing into the far bank, its paddle wheels whirring round and churning up the water.

As you race round you're surprised to see Uncle George walking towards the pond. He looks relieved to see you, and calls you over and says "I'm sorry my boy, I made a mistake when I gave you that boat; somehow I gave you the wrong key, I'm surprised you could even wind it up. Here's the right one, let's swap." He produces another key from his pocket; it looks a lot like the first, just a little smaller.

The key is a bit loose, so you're happy to trade. As you grope through your pockets to find it you notice that Uncle George looks very pale. As you look he staggers and drops to his knees, then back until he is sitting on the gravel. He groans and says "quickly... help me... open my shirt... turn..." and sits there panting, unable to talk. You do as he says. Under his shirt there's an odd triangular brass plate, about two inches on a side, that seems to be glued to his skin in the middle of his chest. In the middle of the triangle is a hole, and you suddenly realise that it's just the right size for the key...

If anyone listens to his chest they will hear a soft "tick-tock", about as loud as a pocket watch. It seems to be getting slower as they listen.

Note: Anyone with MAGIC [0] sees a bare chest, no brass plate or winding hole, hears nothing unusual, and somehow can't understand what's going on even if they are told by the other children!

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Referee's Information

Uncle George's Secret
Optionally Uncle George's age isn't as well concealed as he thinks it is; some other members of the family realise the truth, including the parents of the birthday boy. They don't mention it because he is very generous to his family and friends, and sees to be obsessed with hiding the facts. They have no idea how he keeps himself so young, and are worried that he may be a vampire or have a picture in the attic like Dorian Grey. This option may be useful if the adventurers run into a situation where they need adult help and can't find anyone else to turn to; parents may not be quite as clueless as they expect!
UNCLE George (who is actually Great-Uncle George; give him a surname to match his nephew's family) is a wizard. Like many wizards he's proved his mastery of his art by removing his own heart and replacing it with a substitute; in his case it's a mechanical heart powered by a mixture of clockwork and magic. This may sound like a stupid thing to do, but there's a practical reason; while his heart is out of his chest it soaks in a special elixir which rejuvenates it, when he puts it back it rejuvenates him. He alternates a week with the clockwork heart and a fortnight with the real one. Currently he's holding his apparent age at forty, but is actually nearly eighty; more magic has stopped the rest of the family from noticing. There are drawbacks, of course; Uncle George is slightly less powerful as a magician while the artificial heart is in place, and has to be careful not to exert himself too strenuously since it doesn't automatically adjust to increase blood flow. Nevertheless the benefits of rejuvenation more than make up for the drawbacks.

The clockwork heart needs to be wound every morning, using the special key which his nephew was given. Unfortunately Uncle George is slightly absent-minded (not always a good trait in a wizard) and mixed it with the boat key when he was wrapping the present, and the boat key is too wide for the key-hole of the heart. Even more unfortunately, while he was looking for the key he discovered that the jar containing his real heart is missing. He must put the real heart in within a few hours; if he doesn't the spells that keep his body from reacting to the clockwork one will wear off and he will die. The spells can't be renewed while the heart is in his chest. To make matters worse, the delay in winding the heart will make him ill, so much so that he will ask the children to find it for him.

Uncle George is a good wizard, specialising in the nicest spells; protection against various forms of evil and injury, charms to ensure health and strength, an occasional extremely mild love potion (so mild that it doesn't destroy free will), and removal of curses. While most people have no idea that magic exists, he has a select but extremely satisfied clientele in London and the Home Counties. He explains his income by occasional work as a scientific journalist and consultant, and is genuinely skilled in this area. One aspect of his business - love spells - has led in part to the current mess.

Although his love potions are mild, they do affect perception. Anyone drinking such a potion sees the object of devotion through rose-tinted glasses, and may believe that the most humdrum remark is witty, that an average countenance is beautiful or handsome. Usually it doesn't matter, since lovers tend to rationalize or overlook faults even after the first bloom of romance wears off. Unfortunately this isn't always the case.

A year ago Agatha, Lady Templeton (Interests: hunting, shooting, and fishing) used one of his potions on the poet Augustus Brown (Interests: aesthetics, art, verse, vegetarianism, socialism). There was a whirlwind courtship and they married six months ago. As the spell wore off Brown began to regard himself as trapped in a marriage with a woman who is in many ways an embodiment of much that he detests; she's beautiful, rich, and genuinely loves him, and he is strongly attracted to her, but they have little in common. Since he realised this he has written no verse, and has come to regard most of the poetry he wrote since he met Agatha as the lowest form of romantic doggerel.

During one of their frequent arguments Agatha revealed that she had used the potion, and by reading her diaries he learned the source. Three days ago he went to see Uncle George, demanding that he break the spell; Uncle George patiently explained that the spell has worn off, any feelings he may now have are genuine. He offered to renew the spell and make it more permanent, and the poet was thinking about it when the telephone in the hall rang.

While Uncle George was out of the room, Brown began to look at the equipment and supplies in the room. Somehow his poet's mind was attracted to a thick glass jar containing a heart floating in sparkling gold fluid. As he touched it he felt a faint tingle of power - a residue of Uncle George's magic - and dozens of new and exciting lines of verse flashed through his head. Quickly he hid it in an inner coat pocket. When Uncle George returned Brown declined the offer, said that he'd try to work out his problems in his own way, and left.

Afraid that returning to his wife would spoil his concentration, Brown has gone to ground in a rented garret, where he is turning out several hundred lines a day.

Uncle George doesn't yet know what happened to his heart; it might just be somewhere in the house. When he realises that it is stolen, there will be several suspects. Eventually he will need help to recover the heart; with the clockwork heart in place he isn't going to die immediately, but the delay in winding it makes him too ill to do much without help. Once it's recovered there is still the problem of Augustus Brown's unhappy marriage to be solved, and another thief lurking in the wings. The children can help with all of these difficulties.

Things to pull from The Box
If the adventurers have The Box (see Too Many Dragons) they may think of trying to pull out clues. A few are available, with their relevance in italics below, but they should be mixed with some irrelevant items:
  • A wedding cake model of a bride and groom. If anyone askes for a more detailed description they look normal but are turned away from each other. Suggests an unhappy marriage.
  • A quill pen. Suggests some sort of writer.
  • A broken heart-shaped wooden box. Suggests the heart may be in danger - not true, but it may motivate the children - or, if seen metaphorically, suggests that someone has a broken heart.
  • A toy huntswoman riding side-saddle on a wooden horse. A pointer to Lady Templeton.
Remember that objects from the box tend to stay around for several hours, so the children only have one or two chances to use this; they can get more by destroying the things they get, but total destruction needs fire, a big hammer, etc. and shouldn't be too easy. If they wait until they have zeroed in on Augustus Brown the clues can be more helpful, as described below. If Uncle George sees The Box in action he'll be fascinated, and want to try it for himself. Every time he tries he'll pull out a top hat containing a rabbit, more evidence that whatever strange power is behind The Box has a very odd sense of humour...

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At Home With Uncle George

IF Uncle George isn't wound up:

The remainder of this adventure assumes that he does get rewound before it's too late!

The key will turn clockwise only, and is no harder to wind than any other clockwork mechanism. After a couple of turns the tick becomes faster and Uncle George reaches to take the key and continues turning for another twenty turns or so, saying "Phew, that's better," adjusts his clothing, and tries to stand. He staggers a little, and needs a child or two to support him. "Hmmm..." he says "shillings all round, I think," and starts to hand out coins.

The children probably have some questions. He'll try a few simple evasions at first ("you think you saw what???"), but he's still groggy, too weak to walk the few hundred yards home without help, and sooner or later he'll admit the truth if they keep pestering him. After all they're children, nobody will believe them if they start to gossip.

Remember that Uncle George doesn't know what's happened to his heart yet, he only knows it's missing, so all that he can tell them on the way home is that he took his heart out to rejuvenate it (he'll probably have to explain what that means), and must have mislaid it somewhere.

George _____ M.A. D.Phil F.R.S.
By Appointment Only
No Hawkers - No Tradesmen
Uncle George lives in a Georgian house which has been divided into flats. He owns the house and occupies the ground floor (which is actually raised about five feet above street level) and has exclusive use of the walled garden, where he grows flowers, vegetables, and certain herbs useful in his work. A small brass plate above the door-bell describes him as a "consultant". If anyone's curious, the other residents are colonel Horace Slocombe (Indian Army, retired) and his man-servant Ranjit on the first floor, Mr. Arthur Noakes (a director of the Great Western Railway) and his wife Ursula on the second, and four medical students (Horace Judd, Brian Russell, John White and Harry Carstairs) in the basement; the flats (apart from the basement) share a common entry hall and stairwell but are otherwise self-contained. None of the occupants of the other flats have anything to do with the loss of the heart, but the medical students can be a useful red herring; they have several specimens in their flat including a preserved heart in formaldehyde, which is just visible through one of the basement windows.

The marble-floored lobby contains stairs to the upper flats and a locked store-room shared by the three main flats. The store room contains nothing of interest, just empty trunks and other junk that is too big to conveniently store in any of the flats.

Uncle George's flat originally contained the reception rooms for the house, with servants in the basement and bedrooms upstairs, so all of the rooms are brightly lit with high ceilings. There's a bedroom, dining room, and lounge, and a study (Uncle George's magical workshop), built as a conservatory. The conversion to flats replaced another main room with a kitchen, pantry, bathroom, and WCs. There's access to the garden via a terrace outside the dining room, lounge, and study.

There are two servants, Mrs. Gillings the cook and Joan the parlour-maid. The children will have met both on previous visits to the house; both are kind to children, and Mrs. Gillings makes excellent cakes. Neither is aware that Uncle George is a magician; he has used a few minor spells to ensure that they have no curiosity about his work and stay out of the study. Even if they hear someone talking about magic they won't take it in, and will miss-hear it in whatever way does the least harm; for example:
 "Uncle George is a magician and he's lost his heart!"
 "Yes, I'm sure he's a very good mathematician dear, he'd need it for his science. His hat's on one of the coat-hooks, I think."

Don't portray either of them as spell-bound zombies; they are entirely normal, except that they have this one blind spot in their minds. The children will also find it difficult to enter the study until Uncle George invites them in; something seems to make them lose interest unless their MAGIC plus Wizardry can overcome Difficulty 6. Unlike the adults they will somehow know that something is keeping them out.

Uncle George's first idea is to search the flat again; the children can help. They won't find anything, of course, just comfortable well-made furnishings, a few paintings and sculptures, and all of the usual fittings of a well-appointed home.

Meanwhile Uncle George stays in his study, slumped in a chair, and seems to be exhausted. It's a fascinating room smelling of bee's wax, eucalyptus, and strange chemicals, which bubble and hiss in strange apparatus on two laboratory benches. The walls are lined with shelves, cupboards, and drawers below high bottle-glass windows. The sloping roof is made of translucent green glass supported on ornate wrought-iron beams. From the beams hang several gas mantles and a stuffed crocodile. The floor is a polished marble mosaic inlaid with an intricate pattern of metal strips forming various arcane symbols, which won't be recognised by anyone without considerable knowledge of the Golden Dawn and other Western magical societies. In the unlikely event that one of the children has such knowledge, they'll know that the symbols are used to protect the participants in ritual magic. They must be activated by another spell to to be effective.

The furnishings include a mahogany desk, two laboratory-style benches with gas and water supplies and racks of china, earthenware, and blue glass bottles and jars labelled with Latin names, some ornate floor-standing candle sticks about five foot high (the candles are white and have a sweet smell of honey and beeswax, which is reassuring if anyone is looking for signs that he is a black magician), a full-length mirror mounted to swivel on all three axes, a tripod-mounted brass astronomical telescope and a large brass brazier and cauldron on a wheeled stand. There are dozens of huge leather-bound books - most are just volumes of Punch and other magazines with the names obliterated to make it look like they are magical texts, which helps to impress Uncle George's more ignorant customers, but there are a few genuinely magical tomes. Most are in Greek, German, or Latin, the only one in (old) English is a learned treatise "On thee use of thee horn of thee Unicorne"; while it describes genuine magic, all of the spells require a unicorn's horn and Uncle George doesn't have one. A glass-fronted case contains an astrolabe, an expensive-looking wooden plate camera, a stereoscope, a big brass microscope, and a large Wimshurst static electricity generator with green glass and brass Leyden jars. These are again mainly impressive props, although Uncle George does occasionally need them for his scientific work.

The children will probably be especially interested in the tanks and cages on one side of the room; they contain rats, mice, salamanders, small bat-like scuttling creatures and purple lizards that don't appear in any zoology text book, snakes, huge green beetles, crabs, giant centipedes (or possibly millipedes), a small octopus that seems to watch the children with malevolent eyes through the side of its heavily padlocked tank, brightly luminous fish, an elephant about the size of a rabbit, and some hamsters. Uncle George won't let the children play with any of them apart from the elephant, which is extremely friendly and sulks when put back in its cage.

Uncle George last saw his heart on one of the shelves behind his desk. He's already checked the shelves and the drawers of his desk several times, but once he's made sure his wand is safely out of the way he'll let the children search again. There's nothing helpful to find, just an endless assortment of oddities such as playing cards with suites on both sides, unconventional geometrical instruments, postcards and stereoscope pictures from strange places such as Lhasa, Peking, the Plateau of Leng, Boston, Boca del Infierno California, and Havana, and peculiar dice with eight, ten, and even twenty sides.

Eventually everyone should agree that the heart is missing, and even if the search is extended to the garden (extensive lawns, some nice flowers, and a small magically-protected herb bed containing some very unusual plants) it won't be found. Extending the search to the basement and upper stories shouldn't be too easy, but there is at least one person in each flat, and if someone comes up with a good excuse (such as a missing kitten or a smell of gas) it ought to be possible to take a look. Nothing will be found, apart from the medical specimen mentioned above.

Sooner or later someone should think of asking Uncle George two obvious questions; has he any magical way of finding the heart, and has anyone had an opportunity to steal it? If nobody asks, Uncle George will eventually think of these things for himself:

Uncle George doesn't remember any of these visitors having a chance to steal the heart, but it should be obvious that he's wrong. Optionally the telephone rings while he's discussing it with the children, and he goes out to take the call. It's a wrong number, but it does suggest one way that someone could have been left in the room unattended. If this is pointed out to Uncle George he thinks a bit then slowly remembers that he was interrupted that way; he just can't remember which one, except that he's reasonably sure the client was a man.

While he's discussing this he pales and has to sit down again quickly, checks his pocket watch, says "I really ought to have put my real heart in by now, it's getting quite late," and taps his chest with his wand. There's a brief sparkle but he doesn't seem to feel much relief, and asks one of the children to hand him a jar of large green pills, swallowing three with considerable effort. "I think I'd better not move too far for a while... blast, how can I find my heart if I can't even get out of this chair. Hmmm... children, how would you like to help your old uncle...?"

Once again, it's assumed that the children want to help - if not, it's going to be a short adventure! If they don't help give a Bonus point to anyone who suggested making a heart detector or checking the visitors, but don't award any others. Uncle George thanks the children, sends them away, takes more pills,and sets out to find the heart on his own. He eventually succeeds, but by the time he recovers it he's extremely unwell, looking much nearer his real age, and goes abroad to convalesce, then spends some time studying in foreign parts. In all it will be more than a year before they see him again.

The remainder of the adventure assumes that the children decide to help him; they don't have much else to do on a Saturday, and there's magic to spur them into action!

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Out And About

THE aim of this section is for the children to glimpse a magical underside to London that they have previously overlooked and make some new friends, eventually finding the heart.

Uncle George gets out tram and underground railway maps, checks addresses and routes, and gives each child a stack of pennies for fares. Miss McDonald is local, of course, any of the other clients can be reached in about thirty minutes, and it takes about the same time to get from one client to the next. The map shows underground lines (the term is actually a misnomer; many of these lines run above ground, sometimes on embankments or bridges, for much of their length) in use or near completion in 1904, and is probably a little anachronistic in a campaign with an earlier date, but don't let this stop you using it! If the children live in Camden Town (as in the Psammead stories) the nearest station is Camden Road, and there are tram routes to all of the other locations. The sites can be visited in any order, but some sort of circular route probably makes the most sense. Don't worry about precise geography or the minutiae of street names, routes, etc., the aim here should be a quick sprint around the metropolis. A few transport details are provided below, but shouldn't be used unless people particularly ask for them.

If anyone worries about missing lunch, parents, etc. Uncle George promises to look after things, and will contact their home and say that he's asked the children to run some errands for him. If nobody mentions this Uncle George won't think of it, and the children will eventually be in trouble when their worried parents get hold of them...

Uncle George also gives the children some of his business cards, with a note on the back; "Please help the bearer of this card". He hopes that his clients will cooperate. He warns them not to be too specific about the item they're looking for; in the wrong hands a magician's heart could be very dangerous. The cards give his name, address, and telephone number (2458). While there are few public telephones in London in this period, the children may want to get in touch; most hotels have a telephone, but it will take some persuasion, and probably payment in advance, for a child to get permission to use one. Three of the clients listed below have telephones, but Uncle George doesn't have the numbers; he tries to avoid discussing magic on the phone since operators often eavesdrop on conversations.

Uncle George won't think of giving the children any additional magical equipment apart from the marbles described above. He doesn't have much prepared, and most of what he does have ready are things like love potions which aren't much use for the current situation. He can try to provide other items on request, but as he gets weaker he will be unable to devote much energy to his spells. Some examples of things he might provide are described at various points below.

Miss Eva McDonald doesn't work on Saturdays; she'll probably be at home or somewhere in the neighbourhood. Her home is within walking distance; it's likely that the children will start there, since it's the most convenient place to begin.

Her home is a boarding house; she isn't at home, and the landlady (a formidable woman called Mrs. Gibbs) has no idea where she is or when she'll be back. Needless to say she won't let the children in, even if they show one of the cards! The heart detector doesn't glow, but the house looks big enough that the upper stories and back might be out of range. There's access to the rear of the house from a back alley, but getting close enough to check would be trespassing - there's also a large mongrel dog roaming the back yard, which doesn't look friendly. There's no easy way to get near the upper floors without entering the house.

Let the children make at least one abortive attempt to check out the house (preferably ending in a near escape from an extremely fierce dog) before Miss McDonald returns home. She won't be particularly surprised to see the children, since the school is so close, although she doesn't usually encourage children to visit. Once they show her the card, and she realises that they are related to Uncle George, she will invite them inside. As she talks the children should realise that there is something peculiarly penetrating about her voice, an odd quality which seems to compel them to pay attention. In game terms the children must use their MAGIC plus MIND versus Difficulty 5 to interrupt her. As she takes the children upstairs she makes a remark about setting extra homework, to explain their presence to Mrs. Gibbs. She'll help the children to the best of her ability; unfortunately she doesn't remember if she saw the heart or not. Needless to say the heart detector doesn't show anything about her person or in her room. Before the children go she makes them promise not to say anything about her use of magic at school; she doesn't think the educational authorities would quite understand. Children who think of this as a blackmail opportunity should be encouraged to come to a sticky end; they have no evidence whatever that she has been using magic (and Uncle George won't back up any claim if they make it - he respects his customers' privacy), most adults won't take such claims seriously, and Miss McDonald wields a painful cane if provoked.

Sir Waldo Pascoe lives in a leased apartment in the Station Hotel by Liverpool Street Station. Uncle George has no idea what he might do on a Saturday, since the Stock Exchange is closed. The station is accessible by tram, the underground railway (it's the unnamed station on the map East of Moorgate), and omnibus.

The hotel is an imposing building overlooking the station. Clientele ranges from travelling salesmen to the rich, and the decor is imposing throughout. Needless to say a group of unaccompanied children won't just be allowed to walk in and see one of the residents. The doorman will reluctantly conduct them to the desk, where a clerk sends a page boy to take their card up to Sir Waldo. A few minutes later he returns and ushers them to the gleaming brass lift, which takes them up five floors to Sir Waldo's apartment.

Sir Waldo is building what he intends will eventually be the largest 3" gauge model railway in Europe. It runs on wide benches around three walls of the largest room, with multiple tracks and an assortment of steam locomotives, model buildings, figures, animals, bridges, tunnels, etc. When the children arrive Sir Waldo is fuelling one of the locomotives with paraffin, and preparing to send it around the track. As soon as they explain their business he is anxious to help - he vaguely remembers seeing a jar that might have been the heart on the shelves behind Uncle George's desk, but isn't a hundred percent sure.

Before the children leave steam starts to hiss from the engine, and he says "Would you like to see how she goes?" Before the children have a chance to reply he taps the engine with a shiny silver ring he's wearing, which contains Uncle George's shrinking spell. Suddenly all of the childen and Sir Waldo are standing in the cab of the model engine, and the table has grown to a vast plain. He says "Help me heave on this", pointing to a huge lever, and starts to pull it, while jerking a chain dangling through a hole in the ceiling of the cab. There's a shrill whistle, and as the lever is pulled the engine rattles forward at what seems like twenty or thirty miles an hour, lurching heavily from side to side and bouncing up and down as it clatters over joints in the track and points. The noise is deafening, and anyone who is Sickly starts to feel somewhat unwell.

He shouts "I've set the track to take us once round the layout - should take about five minutes! I always wanted to be an engine driver, isn't this fun! I'm going to have to do something about levelling the tracks though."

The engine clatters into a long tunnel, and to one side the children glimpse the gleam of two huge red eyes. "Blast - we've got rats again! Hope none of them get on the line, that'd be a nuisance."

As the train comes out into the open air something huge looms overhead... the face of a gigantic cat, as big as the Sphinx to children reduced to 3" scale. It watches the engine pass then seems to focus on the tiny figures in the cab and starts to chase the engine, covering tens of yards (on the children's scale) with each pace. As the steam runs low and the engine coasts to a stop it howls, and reaches towards the cab with razor-sharp claws. It swats the engine, which lurches to one side as the rear wheels are derailed. Sir Waldo shouts "Quick - get out of the cab, I can't get us back to full size in here." He shoos the children towards the side of the engine away from the cat, tooting the whistle to keep the cat back as they climb down and run; optionally it is Difficulty 3 to get down without bruises or minor burns, since the toy engine wasn't really designed to allow people to climb in and out. Once the children are clear Sir Waldo leaps out to make his own getaway. He gets ten or fifteen (scale) yards before the cat scoops him up in one of its paws and starts to sniff at him. Somehow he gets an arm free and throws the ring towards the children, but seems to be too winded to tell them how to use it.

Hopefully this ends with the children shaken but more or less unhurt, and Sir Waldo extremely winded and wearing badly torn clothing. He wheezes "Gosh, what an adventure!" as he dusts himself off, and invites the children to come back another time to play with the trains "..but I'll make sure that the cat's locked out!"

Lewis Henderson owns Henderson's Emporium, a large department store in Oxford Street, and lives in a mansion on Holland Park. Since the store is open on Saturdays Uncle George suspects that he'll be there, but it's possible that he'll stay at home. The store is near Oxford Circus station and is on numerous tram routes. His home is near Notting Hill Gate station and tram lines, but Uncle George is right; he's at the store, supervising (or as most of his employees put it, "being a bloody nuisance"). Henderson is an obsessive micro-manager, who tries to oversee every detail of the company's operations from financial policy to the manners of staff. The store is a magical place to any child (especially its toy department), and the infrastructure of pneumatic tubes (used to move papers, bank notes, cheques, and receipts around the store), lifts, ventilation ducts and electric lights is endlessly fascinating.

If the children ask for Henderson, show Uncle George's card, and explain what they want, they will eventually be conducted to an unobtrusive entrance in the furniture department, past some offices, then up a flight of steps to his suite. The plan shows its layout, which may be important later in the adventure; for now it should not be shown to players. There's an outer office with a (male) secretary busy typing letters, where the children are kept waiting for a few minutes before being allowed in to see Henderson. The office is a large room dominated by Henderson's severely functional desk. Behind it is a large black-laquered safe with gilded hinges and a huge brass lock. A table holds a stock market ticker, a telephone, and a hatch for pneumatic capsules. There's also a bedroom and bathroom which Henderson often uses if he stays late at the store, although this won't be visible to casual visitors. The decor of the room includes an ugly oil painting of Henderson, several small (and mediocre) marble statues of ladies who seem to have forgotten most of their clothes apart from strategically-draped sheets, and shelves of bound ledgers going back to the beginning of Henderson's business nearly thirty years earlier.

Pneumatic Tubes
Pneumatic tubes are often used to move messages, bank notes, and receipts around the store quickly. The brass capsules are two inches wide and eight inches long, with a leather ring (1) at each end to make an airtight seal inside the polished pneumatic tube. If the ends are twisted an oval hatch is revealed or covered (2). A dial (3) at one end is set to indicate the ultimate destination. While it is possible to design an automatic switching system for them, in Henderson's Emporium all lead to the accounts office (which expects to receive most of the capsules); those which aren't intended for this office are re-routed into the appropriate tube by a bored clerk.
Henderson is warily cooperative, pumping the children for as much information as possible while answering their questions. Several times pneumatic capsules arrive, containing messages from his managers, or he interrupts the conversation to pick up the telephone and bark out an order to one or another underling, usually on the lines of "Tell Peters in carpets to tidy the sales desk, it's a disgusting mess" or "Give Miss Jenkins her notice, I'll not tolerate rudeness to customers". While talking he scribbles a note and pops it into a brass capsule which goes into the pneumatic tube system; although the children won't read it, it's addressed to Michael Piper, one of the less scrupulous store detectives, and reads "Follow the children I'm talking to; if they pick up a package get it and bring it back to me". By the time the conversation is over Piper and three of his lackeys are lurking and ready to follow them.

Henderson doesn't remember seeing any particular jar; he didn't pay much attention to the study, he was concentrating on his conversation with Uncle George. Once he has extracted as much information as possible from the children he dissmisses them with an indifferent "Afraid I can't help," and has one of his underlings escort them from the premises.

Once they leave the store Piper and his lackeys try to lurk and follow the children unobtrusively; every time they leave a building or get on or off a train or tram give one randomly-selected child a chance to spot Piper, by noticing some feature (such as a stain on his trousers or the chain of his pocket watch) that doesn't change despite his disguises. The lackeys stay further back and should be harder to spot. If the children challenge him he'll deny that he's following them, and attempt to conceal whatever feature they have spotted (if they say what it is) when he next changes his disguise. If they try to report him to the police he'll show the investigating constable a card that identifies him as a retired policeman, and say that the children are mistaken. The police won't doubt his word. Once spotted he should be a constant lurking presence, try as the children might to evade him. Even if they think they have succeeded, one or more of the lackeys will manage to stay on their trail. The children should have no idea who he represents or what he's after.

TroubleshootingIf the children never see Henderson, his lackeys have been watching Uncle George and his associates all along, since Henderson wants to steal the secrets of magic. Piper and his colleagues guess that the children have been sent out on some magical errand and decide to intercept whatever they are carrying. It's a flimsy excuse to involve Piper in the adventure (apologies that I couldn't come up with anything better), but it ought to satisfy a child.

The children may also visit Henderson's home. It's an ugly modern red-brick building on the edge of Holland Park, a few minutes walk from Notting Hill Gate station. It's a little larger than Uncle George's house and isn't split into flats. There are various servants present including a butler, housekeeper, maids, and a cook; none of them are prepared to let the children in, even if they show Uncle George's card, and the house is too big to be checked properly from outside. If anyone tries to get in without permission the servants will catch the intruder and telephone the police; if they claim to be on business for Henderson the butler will check with him before calling the police, but even if he knows that they are on Uncle George's business, Henderson will not allow them into his house, although he won't have them arrested. There's nothing there in any case.

Augustus Brown Esq. lives on Cheyne Walk, part of the Chelsea Embankment of the Thames; Uncle George knows nothing about him, except that he is a poet, and is married to Agatha, Lady Templeton. The nearest station is Sloane Square, about half a mile away, there are nearby tram and omnibus stops.

Lady Templeton is at home when the children arrive, Mr. Brown is not. Since she's a customer of Uncle George she will have the children admitted as soon as they show his card. It should soon become obvious (through her tears) that her husband hasn't been home since Thursday; she has no idea where he is, and has already contacted the police, hospitals, etc. Needless to say there is nothing useful to be found in the house, and no sign of the heart. It's suggestive, since Brown may have gone to ground somewhere if he has the heart, but doesn't actually prove anything. There are numerous photographs of Mr. Brown around the room, he's handsome and somehow looks like a poet, and she gives the children one of the prints.

If the children decide to look for Brown and ask about his former home (the Chelsea house belongs to the Templeton family) she'll tell them that he used to live in a studio apartment near Baker Street station, but he sold it when they married. When last seen he was wearing a grey suit. If they say they are going to look for him she entreats them to tell him that she loves him and is sorry that she didn't trust him to return her affection; this may need explaining to the children, who will probably regard it as mushy grown-up stuff. She can provide his former address, of course, but has already checked and he isn't there.

The Amazing Alexander lives on the Harrow Road in Paddington, on Saturdays he can usually be found in one or another of the local street markets, where he performs feats of strength for the crowd. The main markets are Church Street and Bell Street, both near Praed Street station, and the Portobello Road near Notting Hill Gate station. There is a tram route serving all three markets and his home.

The children should run into him soon after reaching the area; he's lifting a cart when they notice him. His dog Rags carries a bowl around the crowd, who drop in pennies and ha'pennies. A sign on a luggage trolley holding dumbbells and other equipment identifies him as The Amazing Alexander.

Alexander isn't very bright (largely because of a brain injury many years earlier) and has trouble with long words, but once he understands that they have been sent by Uncle George he will do anything he can to help them. He doesn't have the heart, but wants to help them look for it; in fact he insists on it. He is sure that the heart wasn't there when he saw Uncle George, and can haltingly describe the contents of the shelves in photographic detail. He leaves his equipment with a friendly publican at a nearby pub and joins the search. He doesn't appear to have much to offer except strength, and the support of a somewhat dishevelled adult and moderately fierce dog if they need them, but he is very strong and will instantly spot Piper's face regardless of disguise once he has seen him.

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Hunt The Thimble

MR. BROWN has disappeared somewhere in London. How can the children possibly find him? Adults might try systematic enquries or the Police. Children have problems with these methods, most notably the fact that adults don't take them seriously and won't pay much attention to their requests.

Without further information there is no easy way to narrow down his location by normal means. Fortunately there is another option; the children can try to locate him magically. There are many possibilities, and the referee should try to ensure that whatever approach is used has a good chance of working.

Sooner or later the children will catch up with Augustus Brown; after all, he's not really hiding as such, and he's rented rooms in his own name, he just hasn't given anyone his new address. As they approach the door of the house the heart detector lights up. Brown isn't expecting visitors, and will be horribly surprised when a group of children arrive at his door, especially if they are accompanied by a strong man and/or Sherlock Holmes!

While the children probably can't force him to give up the heart (unless Holmes or Alexander is helping them) their appearance and the implication of magical resources at their disposal are a good start towards persuading him to give it up. Some arguments that ought to help:

Role-play as much of this as possible, and don't make things too easy for the children; Brown really wants to keep the heart, he has written more poetry in the last few hours than in the last several months, although most of it is more romantic than he would like. One answer might be to suggest a compromise; Uncle George could let Brown work near the heart when he isn't using it. The children probably won't think of this for themselves, but Uncle George might if consulted. Eventually this scene ought to end with the children in possession of the heart and preparing to return to Uncle George.

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Stolen Heart

IF the children saw Lewis Henderson his "detective" Michael Piper and lackeys should be on their trail. If they didn't, Lewis Henderson has been having Uncle George watched with a view to hijacking his magic, and Piper and his lackeys just "happened" to have decided to follow the children.

Piper has probably been spotted. It ought to be obvious that he's after something, most likely the heart.

The children will most likely run for the nearest route back to Uncle George, leaving Piper behind, but Piper knows where they are probably going. He and his lackeys will "borrow" a passing cab and set off for the station or tram stop nearest Uncle George's home, arriving there a few minutes before the children.

As the children travel make it clear that the heart in its jar is a heavy awkward object. Make occarional rolls against BODY [1] to carry it; on any failure the carrier feels tired, on a second failure it has to be put down or passed to someone else. Eventually they will probably take turns, or make sure that the strongest or oldest child is carrying it. The jar is magically sealed and protected against breakage; if it is dropped the glass will crack but won't actually shatter, although droplets of golden fluid slowly seep out.

When they reach their destination Piper makes another obvious appearance, to get the children's attention (or lure Alexander away from them), while his lackeys lurk in the cab, one driving and the others posing as his fares. Once the children are on the move the cab drives past, and one of the "fares" grabs the child carrying the heart and pulls him or her aboard. The driver uses his whip to dissuade anyone who tries to board and get the horse up to speed, the other lackeys subdue the kidnapee and get the jar. The other children will probably try to follow, but the cab is fast and will soon out-distance them. Their only chance is if someone manages to leap onto the back and clings to it as it makes its escape, heading back to Henderson's Emporium. Meanwhile Piper makes his own escape, or tries to; if Alexander is with the children he won't get very far.

Give the kidnapee one chance to escape en route; this is actually in the interests of the kidnappers, since they only want the heart, but in the best traditions of melodrama they have somehow failed to realise this. If this attempt succeeds it should be in the West End of London, a few hundred yards from Henderson's store. The cab rattles away as the child escapes, but there's a chance for a quick child to follow on foot as described below. If the victim does not escape one of the thugs blindfolds him (or her) to make sure that they don't know where they are being taken. This is half-hearted at best, since they will remove the blindfold once the victim is inside the building, and there are several chances to notice Henderson's Emporium labels on boxes and barrels between the loading bay and the final destination.

There are five main ways to find the kidnapee and the heart:

Once the children know where the victim has been taken, they can try to organise a rescue. The obvious way to do this is to go to the police, and if they have adult witnesses (such as the cab driver above) they will probably get the help they need. The police will also intervene if summoned by a responsible adult. If they don't have adult corroboration the police probably won't take them seriously. Unfortunately Alexander doesn't really count as a responsible adult, as far as the police are concerned, they will think he's feeble-minded and easily led, even by children.

map of cellsPiper's plan of part of the staff area at Henderson's Emporium is accurate, but doesn't show that there are telephones and pneumatic tube terminals in the Accounts office and the Security office, that the entrance to the corridor from the furniture department is a closed door marked "staff only" and manned by a store detective, and that there is a small ventilation grille (much too small for an adult) between a store room and the cell. Piper (or one of the other detectives) has taken the heart to Henderson's office, a floor above, and is there trying to explain why he has just involved the store in kidnapping. If the children don't interrogate Piper they will have to blunder around without a map. Henderson's office is on the floor immediately above the accounts office, and a heart detector will glow in this office, the corridor outside, or the store detectives' office.

What happens next depends on the children and their resourcefulness. Rescue should be difficult but possible if they use their ingenuity; if necessary, change details to match the resources available to the children. For example:

By the time a rescue party arrives Henderson will have locked the heart in the safe in his office; while it looks impressive, it's simply a locked steel cupboard, BODY 7, with a lock that is Difficulty 8 to pick, Difficulty 6 to break. A trained safebreaker could have it open in minutes - in seconds if he checks Henderson's desk first and finds the key in the bottom drawer! Alexander could also open the safe quickly; with a couple of doses of his "tonic" and a dumb-bell in his hand he is more than a match for the lock. The safe also contains the real accounts for the business - the ones that the tax-man doesn't see - and forty pounds in notes and coins, Henderson's personal money.

Remember that Henderson has no idea of the heart's importance; he thinks it's simply something Uncle George uses to perform spells, not a matter of life and death. If he finds out the truth he'll try to hold the heart for a "ransom" of magical power. One answer to the problem might be to pretend to give in, make it clear that Uncle George can't perform any magic without the heart, get it back, then cast a spell on Henderson that will keep him from being a nuisance in the future. Uncle George won't think of this for himself - he learned most of his magic in traditions in which it is important to keep your word, and will be reluctant to break any promises he has to make - but the children may have some creative ideas in this department. Using Uncle George's shrinking spell on him is one possibility, the children can undoubtedly think of others. Uncle George won't let the children do anything too harsh, assuming that he knows about it; if any child does anything too vicious it should be considered a drift towards evil, with consequences possibly ranging from nightmares to seduction by the forces of Darkness and eventual damnation.

If the children don't want to risk a frontal assault, there is access to Henderson's office through ventilation ducts which are just large enough for a small child, or someone could be shrunk and sent through the pneumatic tube system (although getting out of the capsule before returning to full size would be a problem). To put any of these ideas into effect the children will have to avoid the store detectives.

There are many other possibilities; for example, if the children befriended dragons in the first adventure they may be able to call on them for help. The Empress Idris can easily burn out the lock, and all adult dragons have ample strength to rip the safe open. If they have one of the dimensional keys described as an example in the magical rules they might be able to use it to unlock the safe door, step through to another world, and step back to find the safe still open. If they are learning magic, or have begun to master spells without formal tuition, they may think of other answers. If they have visited Sherlock Holmes, or magically created him, his apparent absence is an illusion; he's around somewhere in disguise (you didn't really believe he had another appointment, did you?) and will save the day. If they created him, he vanishes once they have the heart.

Whatever happens, Henderson will not be the first to involve the police and other authorities; he has a guilty conscience about the heart and some other illegalities such as his crooked accounts. If the heart is recovered and he escapes without serious consequences he will think about making another attempt to steal the secrets of magic, which can be a good excuse to run another adventure, but his tactics will probably be very different.

Unless the children are unusually unenterprising this should end with the recovery of the heart and its safe return to Uncle George.

If nothing is done, or the children fail to locate the heart and abductee, Henderson orders his goons to give the victim a strong dose of laudanum (a powerful opium-based sedative) then dump them well away from the store. The victim eventually regains consciousness in a back alley a few blocks from home. They may know where the heart is, but hours will have been wasted. Uncle George is very weak; all he can do is suggest that the children try again (and check the suspects again if they don't know who has the heart, since something they said or did must have caused the theft). He breaks open a vial of glowing blue liquid and swallows it, saying "This will preserve me - when you have the heart, touch it to my chest.", lies back on his couch, and stops breathing, his skin glowing with the same eerie light as the potion.

With these delays it will be evening and the children will be expected at home; they can't do anything until the following day. Fortunately Henderson will leave the heart in his office for several days, trying to work out what to do with it, and once in his trance Uncle George won't suffer further damage. In that time the children should be able to find an answer.

All that remains is to get the heart back to Uncle George with the minimum of delay. If Henderson has been deterred this won't be a problem, but it's a lot more fun to have a posse of store detectives pursuing the children across London. They will be clumsy bunglers, of course, and should run into as many accidents as the children can arrange (see e.g. the Home Alone films) without ever getting close to the heart.

When Uncle George is given the heart, or someone touches the jar to his chest, the golden glow of the liquid becomes blindingly bright for a few seconds, fading to reveal a heart-shaped clockwork heart in the liquid, and Uncle George yawning and stretching, almost instantly revitalised as it works its restorative magic.

For now the adventure is over. If the children have done well they won't even be late for tea, otherwise Uncle George escorts them home and helps them make their excuses.

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Uncle George (a magician)
BODY [3/2], MIND [4], SOUL [3], MAGIC [3/2], Actor (impressive rituals) [6], Artist (writer) [5], Business [5], Linguist (Greek, Latin, Hebrew, German, Russian) [5], Mechanic (clockwork) [7], Science (biology, chemistry) [6], Wizardry [8/7]
Spells: Various transformations, love potions (mind control), Healing, protective spells, communication (with cats, toads, etc.). BODY, MAGIC and Wizardry ratings above are with his real/clockwork heart.
Equipment: Magic wand (+2 to MAGIC, not usually carried outside his workshop), removable heart and clockwork replacement, magical workshop and supplies, various potions as described above.
Quote: "Pass me the newt eyes, I'm almost sure they were on that shelf over there the other day..."
Notes: Uncle George (more properly Great-uncle George) was born eighty years ago but looks forty. As a boy he travelled widely with his parents, and stumbled into several magical incidents which launched him on the road to power. As he grew up he mastered wizardry and managed to retain some of his MAGIC, augmenting it with a wand and various arcane texts. When he was sixty he learned how to rejuvenate himself by removing his heart; today he looks forty, and is considering stepping up the process to restore more of his youth. Unfortunately there are snags; over the years his real heart has become one of the sources of his power; it is a magical "reservoir" and without it his MAGIC and Wizardry suffer. He is aware of this and tries to avoid working spells when he is using the clockwork heart. Anyone else handling the real heart in its jar feels a generally beneficial effect (improved vitality and creativity), but won't gain MAGIC. Additionally, he is unable to exert himself as much as usual when the artificial heart is in place (it reduces his BODY).
 Although most people have no idea that magic even exists, Uncle George is a successful and prosperous wizard. His advertising is entirely by word of mouth; one of his spells ensures that only those who will be prepared to keep quiet about it learn of his existence. Although most people regard magic and science as mutually exclusive, he uses chemical and biological techniques to prepare ingredients for his potions, and explains his income by occasional work as a scientific consultant and science journalist.
 Despite his rejuventation, with age he has become a little absent-minded, usually about minor matters. He's working on a spell to correct this, but can't quite remember where he left his notes.

Miss Eva McDonald (a teacher)
BODY [2], MIND [3], SOUL [4], MAGIC [1], Artist (piano, singing) [6], Athlete (hockey, netball) [4], Brawling [4], Linguist (French, Italian) [4], Science (Chemistry) [5], Scholar (history, geography, teaching) [5], Wizardry [1]
Spells: None, but has an enchanted chalk box in her classroom (the chalk never squeaks), a stone that repels cockroaches in her room at the boarding house, and wears a ring that enhances her "presence" and makes people pay attention to what she says (described above).
Equipment: Books, pile of slates, cane.
Quote: "Pay attention, class"
Notes: Miss McDonald is Scots and is pretty with piercing green eyes. She is "fey", someone who has remained sensitive to magic as an adult without herself being a magician. She could probably learn magic if she tried, but for the moment she's content to teach and buy her spells ready-made from Uncle George. Her Wizardry [1] (and that of NPCs listed below) is simply knowledge that magic exists.

Sir Waldo Pascoe (a financier)
BODY [4], MIND [4], SOUL [2], MAGIC [0], Business [7], Driver (model trains) [5], Linguist (Latin, Greek, German) [5], Mechanic [5], Wizardry [1]
Spells: None, but his home and office are protected against magical eavesdropping, and he wears a shrinking ring (described above) and a small talisman (disguised as a watch fob ornament) that makes it difficult to lie to him; use MIND plus MAGIC plus Wizardry to overcome Difficulty 8 to tell him a lie. He naturally has a fiery temper, but another spell (cast every six months by Uncle George) keeps it under control.
Equipment: Pens, notepads, telephone, model trains etc., automobile (with chauffeur).
Quote: "Now if I were to put in a number two track section just there..."
Notes: Sir Waldo is a portly businessman with plenty of cash and a liking for railways. He owns shares in most of the major railway companies, and is a useful person to know if you need financial information or want to travel around Britain extensively.

Lewis Henderson (a department store magnate)
BODY [2], MIND [4], SOUL [1], MAGIC [0], Business [7], Wizardry [1]
Spells: -
Equipment: Anything in a large department store.
Quote: "What is it? I'm VERY busy!"
Notes: Henderson is obsessed with his business, and lets it dominate his life. He knows no magic, but is aware that it exists (another of Uncle George's customers showed him enough to convince him) and feels that it could be very useful in the store. He has visions of magical automata in the windows and spells to stop fire and theft and keep an eye on his employees. Unfortunately he is somewhat mean, and Uncle George tailors fees to the wealth of the customer and difficulty of the task; the anti-theft spell he wants will be expensive, and if he sees a way to get the price down, or master magic for himself, he will seize it. He has several underlings (including some store detectives) who can be assigned to unusual tasks such as following the children; they know that they will lose their jobs if they fail.

Michael Piper (a corrupt detective)
BODY [4], MIND [2], SOUL [2], MAGIC [0], Acting (disguise ONLY) [4], Brawling [5], Detective [4], Drive (carriage/wagon only) [5], Marksman [4], Melee Weapon [5], Riding (bicycle only) [3], Stealth [3], Wizardry [0]
Spells: -
Equipment: Disguises (false beard, clerical collar, coat with reversible lining, etc.), handcuffs, truncheon (Effect 4), Police Benevolent Association membership card.
Quote: "Oi, you! Stop!"
Notes: Piper is a former Scotland Yard bungler, dismissed for numerous breaches of discipline and failures of duty, now working in the private sector. He's happiest when he's bullying someone; children are just about the size he's happy to bully. Piper has an inflated idea of his own abilities, especially his ability to disguise himself inconspicuously and follow people without being noticed. His favourite disguises are as a vicar and a bearded tramp, but both somehow look like someone wearing a fancy dress costume. He has three underlings with him, all have the same statistics but aren't trying to disguise themselves. They wear nondescript suits and try to stay in the background.

Agatha Brown, Lady Templeton (an unhappy bride)
BODY [3], MIND [3], SOUL [4], MAGIC [0], Artist (needlework) [4], Athlete (tennis, badmington, croquet) [5], Brawling [4], Marksman (shotgun only) [6], Riding [7], Wizardry [1]
Spells: None, but has used a love potion provided by Uncle George in the past.
Equipment: Chocolates and a supply of tear-stained handkerchiefs. Various dogs, horses, etc. in kennels and stables.
Quote: "Oh Augustus..." (sobs)
Notes: Agatha is an attractive country-woman of the "hunting, shooting, and fishing" fraternity, and most of her friends are baffled by her choice of husband. What they fail to realise is that she is a hopeless romantic, and was swept off her feet by his good looks and poetry. When he initially failed to return her affection she resorted to magic, which she now bitterly regrets. She feels (correctly) that she should have taken things more slowly, and that given time their attraction might have become mutual without the help of spells. Her main character flaws are impatience and over-fondness for chocolate; fortunately her sporting activities tend to burn most of it off, but in a few years she will have a much fuller figure.

The Amazing Alexander (a strongman)
BODY [5/7], MIND [2], SOUL [4], MAGIC [0], Acting (strongman act) [4], Athlete (weightlifting) [7/9], Brawling [6/8], [4], Melee Weapons (any large heavy object) [5/6], Wizardry [1]
Spells: 4 doses of magic "muscle" potion, boosting BODY and related skills by 2 for 1D6+1 hours. Although he has never tried it, multiple doses of the potion have a cumulative effect; two doses at the same time raise his BODY to 9, three or more to 10, although duration remains unchanged.
Equipment: Dumbbells, assorted weights, harness for pulling wagons etc. with teeth, a trolley for moving this stuff around the streets, and a dog (Rags) that carries around a bowl to collect coins when he performs.
Quote: "Hurrrrr..uppp."
Notes: The Amazing Alexander is a strong man with an unusual past; he began as a memory man, but was injured by a falling sandbag and suffered a skull fracture that left him with permanent brain damage. Fortunately he was also very strong, and learned to perform as a strongman. Although he still has a near-photographic memory he can only talk with difficulty, and can't express himself beyond the simplest of phrases. He also can't read or write. Now in his fifties, he has lost some of his youthful strength but somehow learned of Uncle George and became a customer for his potions. When he takes the muscle potion his muscles visibly swell; it's a slight change with one dose, more apparent with two, with three or more his clothing will probably rip as he exerts himself.

Rags (a mongrel dog)
BODY [3], MIND [1], SOUL [2], MAGIC [0], Actor [2], Athlete [4], Brawling [4], Detective (scent) [3], Linguist [1], Medium [3], Stealth [2], Wizardry [0]
Wounds: B[ ] F[ ] I[ ] I[ ] C[ ]
Attack: Bite, Effect 4, Damage A:B, B:F, C:I
Quote: "Woof!"
Notes: He's loyal to his master and has been trained to carry a bowl around in his teeth and guard it. People occasionally drop coins into it, which Master seems to like, if anyone tries to steal it Rags growls and refuses to let go, which usually seems to deter them. Apart from that he's a normal dog with no unusual tricks or traits, except for having a good "sixth sense" and barking if there's danger.

Augustus Brown (a socialist poet)
BODY [3], MIND [4], SOUL [4], MAGIC [0], Actor (reciting poetry only) [6/7], Artist (poet) [6/8], Linguist (French, Italian, Spanish) [5], Mechanic [5], Wizardry [1]
Spells: None, but when he is touching Uncle George's heart his poetic and dramatic skills are inspired and improved.
Equipment: Pens, notepads, heart in a jar.
Quote: "'My darling love I dare not tarry' - blast, start again - 'The people writhe in torment, the rich affix their chains...'"
Notes: Brown is trying to recover his revolutionary fire, with the aid of Uncle George's heart, but although he seems to have plenty of inspiration it mostly seems to be going into what he regards as "trashy love poems", not the social fury he tries to convey. He hasn't quite realised that he may be feeling real love for Agatha, which has changed his poetic priorities.

Sherlock Holmes (The Great Detective)
BODY [6], MIND [7], SOUL [5], MAGIC [0], Actor (disguise) [10], Detective [10], Marksman [8], Martial Arts [9], Scientist [8], Stealth [10], Melee Weapons [8], Thief [9], Wizardry [0]
Spells: None
Equipment: Magnifying glass, laboratory, small revolver.
Quote: "I see that your shoes were repaired in Aberystwyth..."
Notes: The Great Detective, optionally assisted by Dr. Watson and the Baker Street Irregulars. He doesn't believe in magic, but given sufficient evidence may change his mind. He doesn't do divorce work.
If Holmes has been created magically his supporting cast still exists, and any Scotland Yard Bunglers encountered will still treat him as the genuine article; the spell has altered reality in a big way. Once his contact with the childen ends he and his home will disappear, replaced by a shop and offices on the site, and grown-ups will forget that he was ever there.

To contents

THIS is potentially a moderately dangerous adventure. Award Bonus points for it, unless things have gone spectacularly wrong.

If the heart was recovered and Henderson didn't capture any other magical equipment give each child eight Bonus points. Subtract points if they lost some other magical device, such as The Box.

If the children also deterred Henderson from going after Uncle George in future they should get up to three more Bonus points.

Give individual awards for good role playing (especially effective portrayal of a child), creative bickering, making the referee laugh, or anything else that seems remotely appropriate.

If the children saw spells performed they can attempt to improve their Wizardry if they have enough Bonus points.

Additionally, Uncle George gives each child a shiny golden sovereign if they recovered the heart.

Finally, if they have done really well Uncle George will give them some training in magic. Bear in mind that he'll try to avoid teaching them anything dangerous or harmful to others; his spells will tend to emphasise self-improvement and helpiing others. His help means that the children who train with him may always try to improve their Wizardry skill if they have enough Bonus points.

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Further Adventures

IF Henderson is still on the prowl he will eventually make another grab for the heart, for some other piece of magic, or even for Uncle George himself. He may try to use the childen as pawns in this dangerous game.

HELPING Uncle George with his business might be a useful (and potentially lucrative) alternative to a normal weekend or holiday job, if the children are looking for extra money. Of course there is no way of telling what problems this might lead to.

UNCLE George has a wide circle of clients, ranging from the dregs of society to peers of the realm and one or two members of the Government. If there was ever a national emergency requiring magical help he might called in to help or advise, and could need a few bright children to assist him.

ONCE the children know that Uncle George is a wizard, will they be able to keep his secret? There are plenty of bullys around who will try to find out what they're up to, and there's an almost irrisistible temptation to boast about his powers. This could have embarrassing consequences.

FINALLY, Uncle George could work very well as a deus ex machina figure for adventures that don't otherwise involve him, if the children seem to be getting out of their depth. A friendly note containing a useful hint, or some other bit of magical or financial help, could be very useful.