The Eyes of a Stranger

Victorian Horror. A fashionable London party, a murder in mysterious circumstances...

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Re: The Eyes of a Stranger

Postby Wruter » Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:38 am

Image

Spoiler:
OOC:   NPC  
Library Use = 80%
Wruter rolled 1d100:
49
James joins the others in their investigations and his scholarly eye spots something interesting among the books.
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Re: The Eyes of a Stranger

Postby HoneyDog » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:04 am

Ann Veronica joins in the perusal of the shelves, but the titles don’t look very forthcoming to her.

Spoiler:
Library Use 25: Library Use: 1d100 89
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Re: The Eyes of a Stranger

Postby Wruter » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:16 am

Professor Powell discovers a fine leather-bound book which upon perusal seems to be a daily log of Bidwell's life. Evidently this is the most recent ledger of Bidwell's journals, and at a glance recounts his trip to Australia. According to his notes, he went to Australia to sponsor a gold-mining operation which he expected to be quite lucrative. After many months the venture proved to be a dismal failure. Growing short of funds and patience, Bidwell returned to London.

Reading the journal:
Spoiler:
OOC:  
Wruter rolled 1d4+1 and got a total of 2:
1
 


You estimate that reading through the book will take approximately two hours.

OOC:   Alternatively you might wish to scan for any significant entries with a successful English roll.  

Meanwhile Miss Siddons' eye is caught by what appears to be a small jewelry box hidden at the back of a shelf. Inside is a single fine and expensive gold ring with a flat face bearing a symbol: a compass and square.

Looking at the ring:
Spoiler:
OOC:   A successful Know or History roll may determine if you can identify the symbol.  
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Re: The Eyes of a Stranger

Postby HoneyDog » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:36 am

Spoiler:
OOC:   Is it necessary to roll for the symbol? It's fairly well known. My grandfather was a member. :shock:  
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Re: The Eyes of a Stranger

Postby Wruter » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:00 pm

Spoiler:
HoneyDog wrote:
OOC:   Is it necessary to roll for the symbol? It's fairly well known. My grandfather was a member. :shock:  

OOC:   But would your character, in the Victorian era, be aware of it? Your grandfather or Miss Poole's? The scenario advises the roll but if you consider otherwise then by all means go ahead.  
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Re: The Eyes of a Stranger

Postby HoneyDog » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:16 pm

Ann Veronica

Spoiler:
She might well know, being the confidant of various wealthy men in her locale. But I'll roll anyway, for extra fun.

Ann Veronica Knowledge 55: Know: 1d100 81


The symbol on the ring looks familiar to her, but Ann Veronica can't place it.

She tries scanning the journal instead, and has more luck.

Spoiler:
Own Language (English) 65: Own Language: 1d100 49
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Re: The Eyes of a Stranger

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:00 pm

Image

Diane stares at the ring in puzzlement before she is suddenly struck by realization. "Of course," she says. "The compass and square is a symbol of Freemasonry. Mr. Bidwell must have been a Mason."

Spoiler:
Know roll (65% stat) about the ring:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d100:
65
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Re: The Eyes of a Stranger

Postby Wruter » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:17 am

From John Bidwell's journal

20 October, 1887. Our expedition has moved inland from Port Hedland to the small village of Cuncudgerie. A young local named Mortimer Wycroft is to act as our guide into the Great Sandy Desert. His father, the proprietor of a local outfitters', says the boy knows the area as good as any Aboriginal. After so many months here my enthusiasm is waning, but young master Wycroft is convinced that there are great things to be found in this infernal stretch of sand and desolation...

30 October, 1887. Still no hint of gold in this God-forsaken place, but Mortimer's enthusiasm sustains my faith and so we press on. Day upon day we trek into the sand and with each day I feel closer to finding that most prized of metals.

We did make one curious discovery today -- a queer artifact made of crystal. The thing is exquisite -- a cube of perfectly clear crystal with a metal disk embedded within its centre. Unusual markings run all along the disk, but they are of no language that I or any of my party recognizes. It appears to be quite ancient.

An old Aboriginal had the odd cube and related to us the tale of how his great-great-grandfather was discovered delirious and clutching the curious cube after he had been lost for several days in the desert. The Aboriginal, apparently mad from exposure, raved about a great city beneath the sand -- a city of giants. There, supposedly, the savage had discovered the crystal. According to the story, the madman had been told by mighty spirits to guard the artifact with his life, and to pass it down generation to generation, ensuring that it not fall into the wrong hands. The crazed native died shortly thereafter, leaving the thing to his son. And so the cube, supposedly, has passed from father to son for generations.

The old savage refused to let me examine the thing, saying that no one must look into the crystal -- that to do so would bring great evil. He insisted that evil spirits had created the item to steal the souls of anyone who gazed into it.

The Aboriginal's refusal so infuriated me that I had no recourse but to shoot him dead and take the thing. Of course, his fellows put up some trouble, but nothing my companions and I couldn't handle. Most of the natives were dead when it was finally over -- damned fools. I carefully wrapped up the cube and packed it safely away for future study...


24 November, 1887. Mortimer suggested again today that we abandon our search for gold and turn our energies to discovering this legendary city beneath the sands. He truly believes this place exists and that there is much to be found there. The boy spends too much time in idle fancy.

1 December, 1887. Young master Wycroft tried to persuade me to return the crystal artifact to the Aboriginals today. This is his third such attempt since we discovered the queer piece. I think his nerves have gotten the best of him. This harsh environment has caused us all restless sleep and nightmares, but I told him that if he didn't have the stomach for the job I'd have to sack him. Still he counsels me to abandon our current objectives and look for this lost city of giants.

26 December, 1887. Caught Mortimer trying to steal the bloody cube today. That was the final straw. The boy has become more of a burden than a help -- we have yet to spot any sign of gold, and he yet insists on trying to fill my head with all his fanciful talk of lost cities. The lad is lucky that I am a gentleman and let him go with a mild beating. I reminded him of the old savage from whom I obtained the artifact, lest he trouble me again. I think perhaps it is time to return to Port Hedland and sail up the coast to a new location. Tomorrow we begin the trek back to the coast.

12 November, 1888. Today I discovered that queer crystal cube packed away in a trunk. I had completely forgotten about the damned thing since I returned from Australia. I recall now all of the troubles this artifact caused me with that Wycroft boy and the Aboriginals -- damned strange business.

[Dated a few weeks ago, this is the first entry made since 12 November, 1888.] Finally I am free of accursed Albrooke. I am appalled at how long I languished there -- a prisoner in that foul place. My only thought now is to return to Yekub. Oh, the sights! The life! There I was a god! I do not fully understand how it happened, but I know the crystal cube is the key.

[A few days later.] Curse it! So far I have had no luck in returning to my beloved Yekub. Damn -- is the bloody thing broken? Or was I truly mad? No. I must return there. Perhaps someone among the occult quasi-intellectuals can help me -- someone among them who truly has powers?

[Yesterday, the day of the party and seance.] For weeks I have sought the aid of mediums, psychics, and occult societies in my quest -- all to no avail. Tonight I will conduct my own ritual to try to activate the artifact. I shall gather the twelve most knowledgeable people in the field of the occult, and with them conduct a seance. I pray that their combined interest, knowledge, and power is enough to open the way for my return to glorious Yekub. Tonight I host a magnificent gala -- a gathering of some of the most creative minds in all of London. I shall pick twelve guests to participate in my experiment -- twelve to help me find my way home.

[This is the final entry in the journal.]

Everyone 1:
Spoiler:
OOC:   You may make an Idea roll at 1/2 (reduce your Idea score to a half) concerning the contents of the journal.  

Everyone 2:
Spoiler:
OOC:   Please make a Listen roll.  
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Re: The Eyes of a Stranger

Postby HoneyDog » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:29 pm

Ann Veronica

Spoiler:
Idea at half 45: Idea: 1d100 26
Listen 25: Listen: 1d100 7


Amazed and somewhat sickened by these insights into Bidwell's character, and full of wonder at what this mysterious city might be, Ann Veronica is on the verge of completing a thought when she thinks she hears something.
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Re: The Eyes of a Stranger

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:43 pm

Spoiler:
Idea = 65%; half rounded down to 32%
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d100:
67

Listen = 25%
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d100:
43


Gordon is horrified by the cold-blooded murder described in the diary. He is so disturbed, partly due to the knowledge that his own nation was founded on the slaughter of its original inhabitants, that he doesn't think about the strange things revealed in the rest of the journal, dismissing them as the ravings of a homicidal maniac. One of the women nearby seems to have heard something, but Gordon is oblivious to it.

"We need to show this to the police right away," he says. "This may not be as simple a case of self-defense as it seems. The butler may have been seeking revenge for crimes of the past."
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Re: The Eyes of a Stranger

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:22 pm

Image

Diane is appalled to read about Mr. Bidwell's heartless massacre of the aborigines. She had had no idea of the man's character when she had met him, as it had not shown through at that time until he had attacked his butler. There is something else about the contents of the journal that occurs to her, and she also hears something.

Spoiler:
idea roll (70 /2 = 35% stat) about the journal:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d100:
30

Listen roll (55% skill) in the study:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d100:
26
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Re: The Eyes of a Stranger

Postby Priest » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:26 pm

Clergyman.jpg
Absolom Peredue Somerhayes

An enigmatic smile creases Absolom’s face, it would appear that the mumbo-jumbo recorded in the journal has had some mesmeric effect on his companions. Strange lost cities, giants, pshaw!! Simply the fantasies of unenlightened heathen primitives. Whatever the artefact had been he was sure that it represented nothing of reality to the rational mind. He glanced around at the others, an actress, an artist, a farmer, an academic, an antiquarian, and himself an aged member of the clergy, hardly the crème de la crème of the occult world as Bidwell had written in the journal. If he had thought we might help him return to this ‘Yekub’, whatever that was, he had been sadly mistaken. Yet his messing with the unknown had cost him his life, or had it been a simple murder based in greed for whatever wealth the artefact might bring to its possessor?

Spoiler:
Idea = 42%: 1d100 87
Listen 25%: 1d100 51
We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.
- Anais Nin
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Re: The Eyes of a Stranger

Postby Wruter » Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:27 am

Ann Veronica Poole and Diane Siddons:
Spoiler:
It occurs to you, looking at the dates in the journal, that Bidwell returned from Australia less than two months before the first of the infamous "Jack the Ripper" murders in 1888.

You hear the sound of someone coming upstairs.
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Re: The Eyes of a Stranger

Postby HoneyDog » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:33 pm

Ann Veronica looks closely at the dates in the diary. “He returned from Australia not too long before the Whitechapel murders started. Probably just a coincidence though.”

A sudden noise distracts her. “Someone’s coming up the stairs!” she says urgently.
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Re: The Eyes of a Stranger

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:23 am

Image

Diane nods, having made the same connection and heard the noise as well. "Put everything back," she whispers. "Let's leave the study before whoever it is arrives." She moves as stealthily as she can to the door, keeping an eye and an ear out for the visitor.
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Re: The Eyes of a Stranger

Postby Wruter » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:48 am

In the Study:
Spoiler:
OOC:   Please make a Conceal roll to hide your disturbance of the journal and/or the ring.  
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Re: The Eyes of a Stranger

Postby Priest » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:18 am

Clergyman.jpg

Absolom Peredue Somerhayes

Absolom makes haste to replace the magnifying glass, and hisses conspiratorially to Ann, “Quickly Miss Poole as Miss Siddons advises put the journal back where it came from, and let us be gone”

Spoiler:
OOC:   It would seem that Ann has the best Conceal of us all so it might be best if HoneyDog rolls :)  
We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.
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Re: The Eyes of a Stranger

Postby HoneyDog » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:40 pm

Ann Veronica

Spoiler:
Conceal 45: Conceal: 1d100 64


Ann Veronica attempts to return the journal to the shelf but instead fumbles it to the floor. Her face turns red in embarrassment.
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Re: The Eyes of a Stranger

Postby Mister Ginge » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:09 pm

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Cecil makes his way back out of the study door doing his bumbling Englishman's best to delay whoever may be approaching..
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Re: The Eyes of a Stranger

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:06 am

Image

Diane had managed to quickly return the ring to where she had found it, and now she positions herself strategically to block the view of anyone coming.

Spoiler:
Conceal roll (15% base skill) to keep whoever is coming from seeing:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d100:
12
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