The Incident at Rowley

Game 1: The Group of Dicks.

March 31, 2017

Summoned to the Captain's office on a lazy Sunday, Detective Diamond, Spade, Hart, and Clubbs were given the task to head to a small Massachusetts town to investigate a mundane item stolen from the Governor's Wife's Cousin, a member of the Influential Morse family. The 2 experienced Detectives – Diamond and Spade – and the 2 rookies – Hart and Clubbs – asked few questions but proceeded to gather their items and make the long drive to Rowley, MA.

Arriving in Rowley after nightfall, the detectives had a late dinner at the local diner, meeting a rather untalkative cook and tasting some very delicious pies.  After the late dinner – paid for by the rookies – the detective made their way on a drive through the town.  Noticing the disturbing sight of no police presence after dark, along with the shoe factory fully staffed late in the evening, the detectives traveled to the boarding house for lodging.

With only one room – with 2 queen beds – available, Dean tried to charm their way into getting the second room as well, but was sternly rebuffed on orders from the Sheriff.  With the rookies sharing a bed, Sam claiming the other bed, and Dean sleeping on a mat on the floor, the evening passed uneventfully.

With morning coming, Dean and Sam woke up with the rooster while the 2 rookies soundly slept.  While Sam took his shower, Dean snuck over to the other room and picked the lock.  Examining the room, he discovered that while nothing immediately seemed out of the ordinary, one bed was ruffled.  Sneaking back to their room as Sam was exiting the bathroom, he spun a thin line about going jogging that Sam immediately saw through.  Letting it go for the moment, Sam woke up the rookies to start the day.

After a breakfast at the boarding house, the detective went and met with the rather large Sheriff and his two pale deputies.  After introductions were made, the Sheriff informed them that the other room was reserved as a potential crime scene as a potential suspect stayed their last Friday.  Taking the detectives through town square, they eventually went to the scene of the crime – the Historical Society.  As they walked the town, the sheriff brought up a mysterious stranger was scene in town prior to the theft: a man dressed in black with long black hair, and the odd event that nobody that interacted with him could remember any details about him.  Noticing the tire tracks and broken window on the exterior, the detectives and the sheriff made their way inside the musuem.  

Examining the scene, the detectives made a few discoveries.  Hart and Clubbs noticed that the glass was broken in an odd fashion, with all the glass pushed inwards, along with a long strand of black hair. Spade and Diamond focused their attention on the proprietor, Mrs Morse, and the history around the stolen object and the museum in general.  With Spade taking detailed notes and Diamond on a full blown charm offensive, they discovered that the only item missing was not of monetary value – the gold and other valuables were untouched – but was the former town landmark: a large boulder, previously residing in the town square, made of an odd and not regionally occurring rock.  After getting some more background information on the town and its residents, the detectives reconvened. With no known enemies or promising leads from the initial review, the detectives decided to take a different approach.

Deciding to split up to review other potential leads or locations of the mysterious visitor, Diamond and Hart went to interview the local firecracker journalist while Spade and Clubbs went to the General store, agreeing to meet up again at the library (also the jail and school) afterwards.

Clubbs and Spade did not determine much at the general store, except that the shopkeep's son was rather unhelpful and had a somewhat sour disposition.  Buying some beef jerky and leaving the man a $5 dollar tip, Spade and Clubbs found themselves with an hour left before the library meeting, and decided to head to the rather old and ill-maintained church.

Meanwhile, Diamond and Hart made their way to the newspaper office.  Finding the place deserted, Diamond sent Hart around the front to secure a perimeter…and then proceeded to pick the lock on the backdoor.  Exploring the office, they found a few newspaper articles dating back 3 years (all written by the same woman), a locked and subsequently blatantly picked file cabinet with a series of articles on the factory and the family tree, and 2 desks with telephones.  With Hart noticing one desk had a very large amount of dust accumulated, Diamond wrote a note to the reporter, asking for a meeting regarding the town and some information along with how to contact him.  As they exited and relocked the building, Diamond slid the note under the door and convinced Hart to take the remaining hour and investigate the church.

Meeting up unexpectedly at the Church, the detectives noticed the disrepair of the building as they entered.  Speaking the resident priest, they were struck by the sheer amount of candles lit in the building.  The resident priest described the diminishing attendance over the last 20 years, with the last service having no attendees and the church being kept afloat by regular small distributions from a trust.  Thanking the priest – and dropping some money in the collection jar – Hart and Diamond took 15 minutes to say a few prayers, much to the delight of the priest.

As they left to review the library, Clubbs broke off to take a second look at the historical society.  Sending Hart with Clubbs – over Hart's objections – Spade and Diamond interviewed the librarian over the mysterious individual, of which she was little help in recalling any specific details.  With Diamond retracing the steps of the individual throughout the library, Sam read through the library's pride and joy: a detailed accounting of Rowley's history.  

In the book, Sam found some juicy information regarding Rowley's history.  FInding out that the town was not named after the Rowley family but was rather founded by a renegade Catholic Priest, excommunicated for heretical beliefs. With that information in hand, Hart and Diamond both came to the conclusion that, if that church was the original church, it would have additional records.  

As the detectives went back to the church, Sam went into the back with priest to discuss the records while Hart, Clubbs, and Diamond examined the church.  Sam noticed that the majority of records over 20 years old were destroyed, and the dismaying conclusion that only a handful of marriages were done in the last 20 years since the current priest arrived.  Meanwhile, the other detectives came to a startling conclusion.  With Diamond and Hart's more religious upbringing, they began to notice some things off about the church:  votive candles were lit without a devotion made, there were no confessional booths, the cross did not have the catholic imaging of Jesus, the alter was made of wood and had no holy relics, no holy bible, and most tellingly that the tabernacle was missing from behind the altar.

As Sam was struck by something being off, the other detectives came in the back and began lobbing pointed accusations at the priest.  Quickly crumbling, the priest admitted to not being an actual priest, basing his actions on a book he acquired on the priesthood, and that he arrived 20 years and assumed the vacant role without the town questioning him.  As Sam mentioned the numerous felonies committed and proceeded to take out his handcuffs, the faux priest rabbitted, much to the rookies surprise and to Diamond and Spade's long sigh.









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