Scotland Yard does not make a habit of investigating ghost stories. When something like that comes up, they call on the Royals. (The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, but that's quite a mouthful, isn't it?) After all, those crackpots have plenty of time on their hands.
The Bleaks are what they call the section of London with all the burned out, falling down factories from the First Wave of Progress. Most of those companies were either consumed in the fires (literal and figurative) of the industrial boom, or else they moved on to larger, more advanced, more efficient facilities. "Steam, not smog," was the creedo of the Second Wave. Now the Bleaks are home only to those companies too poor, unscrupulous, or legally questionable to move to "Prog" (the Progress District)
The Bleaks are home to all manner of bizarre stories and urban legends. Most recently, workers and urchins have reported seeing a ghostly figure lurking at night. Dressed in a shabby coat and top hat, his head and hands are reported to be completely skeletal. The "Bone Man of the Bleaks," as he is called, has been blamed for a number of recent fires and other accidents in the Bleaks.
The Yard has dismissed these stories as rubbish born of the uneducated and overworked souls who eke out grim living in the few open factories within the Bleaks. The Royals, however, are most interested in the investigation. After all, they were right about the Spring-Heeled Jack, weren't they?
The Royals have dispatched Dr. Lucy Meridian, noted chemist, and Ms. Elliot Kelly, noted leg-breaker, to illuminate the mystery of this supposed skeletal man.