Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:24 pm

The residents of the town are unfamiliar with the objects found at the standing stones and the barrow, and do not seem particularly interested, beyond the value of the silver itself.

As requested, Doctor North will examine the metal disc.

Spoiler:
INT = 12 + 1 TI = 13
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d20:
2


His experience with antiquities enables him to determine that the markings upon it are Druidical runes. He will attempt to render a translation.

Spoiler:
INt = 12 + 1 TI + 3 Gift for Languages = 16
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d20:
16


With great effort and much concentration, Doctor North is able to deduce that the meaning of the runes is something to the effect of "May [he? it?] [remain? rest?] forever."

Since Miss Davenport has already demonstrated her familiarity with the French language, she is able to confirm that the letter acknowledges the paternity of the young woman's unborn child. However, there are other sections, apparently unknown to her, which suggest, in an indirect way, that it would better for her to forget her lover and care for the infant without aid from the father's family.

Having delighted the innkeeper with her performance, Ines and her companions are given their rooms as promised and retire for the evening.

Upon arising the next morning, the inn is in something of an uproar. It seems that the body of the elderly man staying at the Six Poor Travellers House was found near the standing stones just after dawn by a local farmer. There being no signs of violence, he is thought to have succumbed to consumption, although there remains the possibility of death by misadventure. A constable, who seems bored by his duty, has been sent to question the new arrivals at the inn.

"Seems some here were seen at Kit's Coty House yesterday. Know anything about it?"
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Wruter » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:25 pm

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"Myself and Mister Witherly visited there yesterday afternoon," Lila replies. "There was no sign of aught amiss." In the back of her mind, however, an awful suspicion begins to dawn. The wording on the metal disc ... what if it were some form of enchantment binding someone or something to the grave ... something that was now free to roam and take life, because she had been so unheeding in Mister Witherly's company.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby SunlessNick » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:25 pm

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If the constable directly asks Ines whether she knows anything of the matter, she will give a true account of seeing the man at the Inn, together with the hour at which she last saw him there. However, the usual treatment of her people being what it is, she will not volunteer this information without him speaking to her first.

The same dark suspicion rises in her mind - she heard Miss Davenport's account of the finding of the objects, and Dr North's translations.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:19 pm

There being no evidence of robbery (the fourpence awarded to anyone staying at the House still within the dead man's purse,) the constable (who regards all of her blood as petty thieves) takes no interest in Ines, dismissing her entirely. Upon learning that one learned in the healing arts is present, he asks if Doctor North would be so kind as to conduct an official examination of the body. (It is evident that the constable's only concern is to have the matter completed so he need no longer bother himself about it.)
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:10 am

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"Of course," says Henry to the constable. "I'd be pleased to examine the body. Lead the way."
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Wruter » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:15 am

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"I would accompany you to observe," Lila adds quickly.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:09 pm

After a short time the party arrives at the site of the standing stones. A few curious idlers come along as well, so the constable thinks nothing of the fact that all the adventurers are present.

Spoiler:
INT = 12 + 1 Scientific Knowledge + 3 Profession +1 True Innocent = 17
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d20:
14


Upon examination Doctor North is able to confirm that the man was suffering from the last stages of consumption. The signs are clear; the pallor of his skin, the wasting away of his limbs, and, most telling, traces of blood within and around his nose and mouth. Otherwise there are no apparent signs of any injury. Although the exact cause of this dread disease is not known, it is thought to arise from some impurity of the blood. (A certain Benjamin Marten proposed more than half a century ago that it was the result of an infestation by a certain animaculum, of the type discovered by Anton van Leeuwenhoek through his famous microscope, but this hypothesis has been roundly rejected by natural philosophers of less fantastic imagination.)

Although a terribly common disorder, with perhaps as many as one in four Londoners fated to succumb to its ravages, and known to be transmittable from person to person in some unknown manner, it is only rarely communicable after a brief encounter with one of its victims.

Spoiler:
1 = the constable
2 = Doctor North
3 = Miss Carrow
4 = Miss Davenport
5 = Ines
6 = Mister Witherly
7 = one of the idlers
I will roll 7 d20; any roll of 20 will mean that person has acquired the disease.
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 7d20:
11, 5, 10, 18, 16, 10, 14


All present are careful to minimize their contact with the dead man, and will be free from acquiring the disease.

It is obvious to all that the victim's bulging eyes, wide open mouth, and arms thrown above his head suggest that he died suddenly, in a state of stark terror. Perhaps he felt the fatal grip of consumption bearing him away just before he died. Why he should have chosen to spend his last moments in the vicinity of the standing stones remains unexplained. The constable is satisfied with a finding of death by natural causes. The body will be taken care of by those who perform this unpleasant task for the indigent, and the body will be taken to Potter's Field. All present are free to go about their business.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby SunlessNick » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:45 pm

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Ines recalls the man coughing frequently the previous night, and makes mention of this detail, to Dr North rather than the constable.

She looks carefully at the body - while the man would of course be more pale in death than life, can she recall whether his colouring or the state of limbs seem markedly different this morning than earlier? [Should I make a Wisdom roll for that, or would you prefer to?] Regardless, given the suspicion motivating this interest, and she suspects that of Miss Davenport, she will save her recollections on this point for when the adventurers are alone.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:03 pm

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"Most curious," says Henry, scratching his head. "Clearly he had consumption, but that does not appear to be what killed him. He died suddenly, perhaps of fright. Do we know anything about who he was or whence he came?"
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:23 pm

SunlessNick wrote:
Spoiler:
[Should I make a Wisdom roll for that, or would you prefer to?]


Spoiler:
I make a lot of rolls for the characters when I think it appropriate just to keep things moving along. Feel free to make any roll you think appropriate at any time. If I deem it not relevant, no harm done.

WIS = 11, + 1 for True Innocent = 12
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d20:
15


Ines attempts to make use of her inborn Gypsy feeling for events outside the ordinary, but nothing about the dead man reminds her of what has been spoken in whispers around the campfires of her people.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:26 pm

Mr. Handy wrote:"Most curious," says Henry, scratching his head. "Clearly he had consumption, but that does not appear to be what killed him. He died suddenly, perhaps of fright. Do we know anything about who he was or whence he came?"


This question being directed in general, the constable and a pair of idlers ponder it.

Spoiler:
I'll give these ordinary folks INT = 9 and 3 chances that somebody knows something about the man.
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 3d20:
2, 14, 6


One of the idlers, who seems more alert to what is going on in the town than most, has an answer.

"That I do, sir. Said he was wizard, might be Merlin hisself. Quite mad, course. Else why be dressed in rags and not ha'penny to his name if could conjure up what he might wish?"

The other idler chuckles at this. "Off with you," says the constable. "Spin your tales elsewhere."
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Wruter » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:19 pm

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While this discussion and Doctor North's examination of the body are taking place, Lila moves around, surreptitiously searching the ground for any tracks or signs of preternatural disturbance. The look of terror on the face of the victim is enough for her: she has seen such looks upon the newly-dead too many times before, including recently upon the unfortunate Herr Hoffer.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:22 pm

Spoiler:
Wisdom = 12 + 1 TI = 13
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d20:
18


If anything unnatural was involved in the old man's demise, the signs of it are not evident.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Wruter » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:35 pm

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Frustrated, Lila peers closely at the body in an attempt to ascertain what manner of creature might have inflicted such a death.
Spoiler:
Since she suspects the involvement of a supernatural creature perhaps a Demonology check would be appropriate?
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby SunlessNick » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:42 pm

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Do any of the idlers seem to be taking more than an idle interest in the scene?

OOC:   Wisdom = 11, Intelligece = 9 (Not sure which is appropriate)
SunlessNick rolled 1D20: 10 (mahap the reader will smile at the irony of this)  
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:51 pm

Spoiler:
Let's do both of them.
With the Affliction of Dull, the INT roll is a failure, even with the bonus for the True Innocent; INT = 9 - 3 + 1 = 7.
With the bonus for the True Innocent, the WIS roll succeeds. WIS = 11 + 1 = 12.


Ines, with her limited ability to reason about the motivations of others, is unable to determine if the idlers know anything more than they are telling. However, her experience with those who have been involved with uncanny events allows her to determine that neither of them has encountered anything out of the ordinary, to their knowledge; else there would be a certain manner about them, difficult to express in words, which is lacking.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:09 pm

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"A self-proclaimed wizard, eh?" muses Henry aloud. "I wonder what interest he had in these standing stones?"
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:20 pm

Wruter wrote:Frustrated, Lila peers closely at the body in an attempt to ascertain what manner of creature might have inflicted such a death.
Spoiler:
Since she suspects the involvement of a supernatural creature perhaps a Demonology check would be appropriate?


Spoiler:
INT = 11 + 1 Demonology + 1 TI -1 Unrequited Love = 12
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d20:
9


The fact that the body bears no marks of violence raises the possibility that the man was the victim of a Wraith, such a Spirit having the ability to drain life from its victim directly, particularly from one already weakened by old age and disease.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:30 pm

Mr. Handy wrote:"A self-proclaimed wizard, eh?" muses Henry aloud. "I wonder what interest he had in these standing stones?"



Spoiler:
INT = 12 + 1 TI = 13
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d20:
2


It occurs to Doctor North that such places are said to be sites of great Druidical magic, and that one with pretence to sorcerous abilities would be likely to seek them out.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Wruter » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:03 pm

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A Wraith would also explain the lack of tracks, Lila muses. When no one is looking she drops the engraved disc back into the soil beneath the standing stones, ridden with guilt for its removal. The fact that the old man would have likely died of consumption before long anyway is of scant comfort. But will this be enough to prevent the Wraith from striking again?
Spoiler:
There is no entry for Wraiths in the Player Manual. Perhaps Lila could consult the book on Demonology she carries in her equipment to learn more?
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