Chapter the Seventh: A Difficult Quest

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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Re: Chapter the Seventh: A Difficult Quest

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:09 am

Spoiler:
CHA = 9 + 1 TI = 10
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d20:
17


The fellow does not seem impressed with Doctor North's impassioned speech.

"I never claimed to be a gentleman, sir," he replies, placing much sarcastic emphasis on the last word. Noting that his behavior is drawing much attention, he releases the orange girl, who runs off quickly. "However, since you object to my behavior so strongly, perhaps you will do me the honor of meeting me in front of this very theatre at dawn, where we shall settle our differences. Bring a sword or your apologies."

With that he exits the theatre, and a degree of calm is restored. The play continues without further interruption. As the lamps are turned up, it can be seen that the persons who have desired audience with Doctor North and Miss Davenport remain in their private boxes.
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Re: Chapter the Seventh: A Difficult Quest

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:23 am

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Henry returns to his seat. "As the challenged party, the choice of weapons should be mine," he says. "I shall have to see if I can convince him of that in the morning. My ideal choice would be a contest of riddles, as I have no wish to harm him. If it comes to swordplay, I shall have to patch him up if I prevail. Elizabeth, I will need to explain to you how to use my Cauteriser in case I am very badly wounded. Ivan shall serve as my second, and I can borrow his sword cane if need be."
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Re: Chapter the Seventh: A Difficult Quest

Postby Wruter » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:20 am

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"Pleashe excushe me," Lila mutters to her companions as the play ends, getting up and heading for the private box where she observed the lady with the fan.
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Re: Chapter the Seventh: A Difficult Quest

Postby Priest » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:18 pm

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Elizabeth looks horrified, the idea of spending a hour or two at the theatre was in order to relax after the recent events. Now it seems strife is to begin again, how dare this uncouth creature behave so abominably. She smiles at Henry and places a hand upon his arm, "Dearest Henry, you know what must be done and you are to honourable a gentleman to do otherwise. I do not fear that you are sufficeintly skilled to see off this crude bravo, but I pray you take care, for not all are as honourable as you". She smiles, though the concern is evident in her eyes, "Show me how your device works, but I pray to the good Lord that I have no need to use it"

She watches as Lila rises and departs for an assignation, noting a slighty uncharacteristic sway in her walk, "I trust Miss Davenport is okay by herself?"
We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.
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Re: Chapter the Seventh: A Difficult Quest

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:45 am

Mister Witherly and Mister Rachman agree to accompany Miss Davenport, in order to assure that her condition -- perhaps she is slightly ill? -- does not lead to any unfortunate consequences.

The lady in the private box proves to be Mrs Piper, a widow. She explains that her late husband was acquainted with Miss Davenport's family. Without going into details better left unspoken in open company, she states that Mister Piper was not incognizant of Miss Davenport's unconventional career as an enemy of evil. (There is an implication, not made explicit, that he may have succumbed to some such foe.)

"The reason I have asked you here," she explains, "is that there certain indications that sinister influences may be arising on the continent. A Herr Hoffer may have attempted to contact you with information relevant to these. Have you heard from him?"

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Doctor North and Miss Carrow proceed to the private box of Mister Beddows, a gentleman of imposing girth who puts one in mind of the late Samuel Johnson. He is accompanied by a nurse, a woman of middle years who stands by his side, ready to tend to his needs. His left foot rests on a stool covered by a pillow, and is encased in a shoe of special manufacture, evidently designed to apply as little pressure as possible to the affected member.

With little prologue, he says "It's this damned gout, sir. How it plagues me! I have had no relief from other physicians -- quack-salvers all! Does your leechcraft offer anything better?"
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Re: Chapter the Seventh: A Difficult Quest

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:44 am

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"I believe it can," says Henry. "Let me examine your foot. The solution may be as simple as draining excess humours, though it is likely that other measures will be required. If it were that simple, surely the other physicians would have tried it."
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Re: Chapter the Seventh: A Difficult Quest

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:46 am

Once the special shoe is removed, and the patient's stocking rolled up, with the aid of the highly efficient nurse, it is obvious that the joint just above the big toe is swollen, red, and warm to the touch. Conversation with Mister Beddows reveals that none of his previous physicians were aware of the recent rediscovery by Baron Von Stoerk, an Austrian, of the ancient Greek practice of treating gout with a derivative of the Meadow Saffron or Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale). Although effective, it is also a powerful purgative, and may cause severe disturbances of the alimentary system. Doctor North has a supply of this substance among the many chemicals in his bag, and must decide if the risk of unintended effects is worth the possibility of relief.
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Re: Chapter the Seventh: A Difficult Quest

Postby Wruter » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:55 am

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Lila grows somber at the mention of her recently-deceased colleague. "I am afraid the good Herr Hoffer has fallen prey to our enemy," she replies to Mrs Piper. "He spoke briefly of his pursuit across the continent, however events transpired before we were able to better our acquaintance. In any case, his tormentor is no longer." She recalls the note then with a sudden chill. "But you believe there is another?"
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Re: Chapter the Seventh: A Difficult Quest

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:25 am

Mrs Piper frowns. "I see. I am distressed, but I cannot say that I am surprised. Herr Hoffer was a man of great courage, but not always of sufficient caution." She pauses a moment to fan herself. "It will not have escaped your notice that there are indications that great turmoil may arise in France in the days to come. Unlike our own benevolent sovereign, the monarch of that unhappy land has become a tyrant. It will not astonish me if the people should rise up against him and replace him with another. There are forces at work which will take advantage of the chaos which will ensue. I would advise you to be alert for any signs of such activity across the Channel." She leans forward toward Miss Davenport. "Where one Nemesis falls, another one arises."

With that the interview concludes, and the party returns to their inn.
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Re: Chapter the Seventh: A Difficult Quest

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:07 am

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"I do have a medicine that would be effective for your gout," says Henry. "It does, however, have a side effect. It is a purgative, and it could cause serious trouble with your digestion. However, that is not a certainty. Even if it does, the distress would be temporary. Once your gout is relieved, or if it becomes too much to bear, you can simply stop taking the medicine. In time you will recover from its effects. If you are willing to accept these risks, then I will give you the medicine now and check on you tomorrow to see how it is working."
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Re: Chapter the Seventh: A Difficult Quest

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:49 pm

"I see, sir. Well, better men than I have been slain by their physicians. I shall send word of the effect of this poison, if by chance I survive it."

With that, Mister Beddows is assisted out of the theatre by his loyal and efficient nurse.

The night passes without incident. The party may make whatever preparations they see fit for the dawn encounter in front of the Grand Theatre (or if they wish to appear there at all.)
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Re: Chapter the Seventh: A Difficult Quest

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:32 am

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Henry instructs Elizabeth on the use of the Cauterizer. "I cannot demonstrate it now," he says, "for it only can be used once before I must refill it with chemicals in the lab. If the time comes to use it, flick the switch and rub it over the wound. There are two chemicals stored in separate compartments, and the switch allows them to mix and react, which generates heat. The heat will then cauterise the wound. It would be very painful, which is why it should only be used on someone who is unconscious to stop the bleeding. If the scoundrel will not assent to a contest of riddles, I intend to choose pistols. They are not the weapon he would choose, and they only fire a single shot that can easily miss, whereas with swords someone is guaranteed to get injured. I have my own pistol, and if he does not have one, perhaps he could borrow the one we gave to Miss Davenport."
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Re: Chapter the Seventh: A Difficult Quest

Postby Wruter » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:46 am

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Lila wakes with a pounding headache following her ill-advised alcohol consumption of the previous day, resolving never to drink with sailors again. Despite feeling more dead than alive she drags herself from bed to support the doctor in his duel.
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Re: Chapter the Seventh: A Difficult Quest

Postby Priest » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:23 pm

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Elizabeth looks horrified at Henry's words, but nods gravely. She fears to do it, but will not hesitate to save the life of this gentle man for whom she is beginning to have deep feelings, "Let us pray that it will not come to violence, but I fear it must, for I do not think the bully the type to settle for a mere duel of intellect in which he can but loose" She takes the device and carefully places in her bag.

She reaches out and gently, but firmly, squeezes the doctors arm, "If you must fight him, I beg you hold nothing back. Do not allow your kindness to hamper your arm or your eye"
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Re: Chapter the Seventh: A Difficult Quest

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:25 pm

As the first rays of the sun paint the columns of the Grand Theatre a lovely shade of pink, the party assembles. The challenger is accompanied by a servant in plain clothing, who acts as his second. Once informed of Doctor North's choice of "weapons," he seems simultaneously amused, surprised, and contemptuous.

Spoiler:
INT=12 + 1 ti = 13; the effect of caffeine having worn out
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d20:
6


Fortunately for all involved, Doctor North's carefully reasoned explanation as to why bloodshed should be avoided has convinced the challenger.

"Very well," the challenger says with a crooked grin. "As you have neither the heart nor the liver for manly combat, I shall bow to your whimsical selection, that you may have no need of hiding behind the skirts of your lovely companions. You may take the first 'shot' when you are ready."
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Re: Chapter the Seventh: A Difficult Quest

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:53 am

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Henry clears his throat and delivers his riddle, which he had thought up the night before:
"Round it is from base to rim,
A golden treasure lies within.
There are no doors to this stronghold,
Yet thieves break in and steal the gold."
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Re: Chapter the Seventh: A Difficult Quest

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:57 am

The challenger pauses a moment in thought.

"Perhaps you are eager to break your fast? I suggest that the mysterious object in question is an egg."
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Re: Chapter the Seventh: A Difficult Quest

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:59 am

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"Correct," says Henry, bowing. "Ask your riddle when you are ready."
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Re: Chapter the Seventh: A Difficult Quest

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:09 pm

After a brief period of thought, the challenger offers this bit of doggerel.

I know a tiny little man
Who marches straight ahead
When he reaches the end of the land
He'll be a woman instead!
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Re: Chapter the Seventh: A Difficult Quest

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:58 am

Spoiler:
I have an idea for what the answer might be, but it's not quite a perfect fit, which means it's probably not the right answer. I need to think about it some more. I haven't had much sleep in a long time, but hopefully I'll get some more tonight.
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