It has long been known that Chinese immigrants living and working in London's docklands have imported their own brand of organized crime.
The Tongs control most Chinese businesses in London and the police have identified at least four different Tongs controlling everything from petty crime to prostitution. They believe that drugs,particularly opium, are directly controlled by the Tong known as the Rising Dragon, its leader the mysterious Doctor Cheng.
However, the police are far from making any arrests and have yet to identify Doctor Cheng. While his activities remain confined to the Chinese community they are not persuing their investigations that zealously...
Dr Cheng is a woman, a nite club illusionist called Lin May and her hold over her Tong comes from her skills as a necromancer. Lin May is extremely beautiful and twice as deadly. Cold and cunning she is the perfect femme fatale. She demands absolute loyalty of her companions but in return will help them any way she can. To her enemies, and those that break her loyalty, she is death.
While leaving the mundane world of criminal activities to the other Tong leaders Doctor Cheng offers a highly specialized service to the decadent rich in the shape of her Theatre of Death. To thrill hungry little rich kids, the Theatre is the ultimate decadence. A place of excitement and death not available anywhere else. Once a month a huge warehouse is turned into a great theatre to which the cream of Europe's elite flock. The only way in is by invitation, and invitations are both scarce and expensive. Once there, guests participate in all manners of death, violence and sexual perversion.
The main attraction is Doctor Cheng's illusory performance, but the audience is 'warmed up' first by a vicious display of fighting between newly dead celebrity zombies. The zombies are newly reanimated by Cheng, and the more famous the better. Cheng has connections in very high (and very low) places that supply her with corpses.
After Doctor Cheng's performance there are other delights to amuse the guests, including a bizarre game involving taking vagrants from the street and offering them three boxes. In two are death, the other riches. Each box has a glass back so that the audience can ghoulishly watch the poor tramp make his choice.
In other, curtained, sections guests participate in perverse sexual practices both with each other and the staff. Opium taking is commonplace, Doctor Cheng presides over it all. Her guests arrive loaded with money, most of which is spent during the night.
All the staff are dead. Some are almost fresh and barely marked, others are rotting heaps of flesh. All wear simple white aprons and many serve drinks or opium. Necrophilia is common in the Theatre of Death.
Doctor Cheng herself is constantly flanked by two bodyguards. Zombie fighters dressed in ancient, ornate armour in the manner of her ancestors. They protect here against her guests, for occasionally in their opium induced haze they forget themselves. Cheng has no real need for the guards, but it helps to impress her guests.
The guests themselves will discourage investigation into the place. All of them have much to lose should it be discovered that they frequent such a place. Curious individuals can make themselves many very powerful enemies in a matter of minutes. The police will never raid the place, Doctor Cheng's guests will see to that. Several Scotland Yard Inspectors and prominent members of Parliament will crush any investigation before it starts. The remains of corpses, those that cannot be re-used, are dumped into the Thames and never seen again.
1 Lin May is the head of a small sect of The Corpse Eating Cult of Leng. After the Theatre of Death has finished she, and her cult, fall upon the zombies and feed on them. They chant and worship their foul god for many hours before the Theatre of Death is truly over.
None of the 'normal' clientele know of the cult and none would do anything about it. After what they have been doing, are the cult rites that much worse?
2 Lin May's necromantic and illusory skills have their origins in Chinese black magic. She is aware of the power of the Great Old Ones and their followers but provided they do not intrude on her territory she takes no action. Her arcane arts are more than a match for most cults and if recruited she would make a powerful ally against the forces of darkness. However, making her acquaintance (let alone recruiting her) is not easy.
3 Doctor Cheng worships Nyarlathotep. During her illusory act she works her audience into such a frenzy that the Outer God is summoned to the Theatre of Death. From the moment he appears the Crawling Chaos -in the form of the black man- sits by her side. Her dream is to become Nyarlathotep's bride, something which the god has promised many times. He has yet to deliver, but Lin May continues holding the Theatre of Death in his name. Perhaps soon he will make her dream come true.
Copyright (c) 1990 Garrie Hall