Act III(b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'

In Leagues of Adventure the characters are all middle and upper class Victorians who go on wild adventures in response to wagers, handsome payments from rich patrons, invitations from adventuring leagues, or
simply out of sheer boredom. Opportunities abound to thwart dastardly deeds, discover lost cities, mingle with new cultures, and plumb the darkest depths of the globe.

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Act III(b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'

Postby Priest » Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:23 am

Act III (b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'


OOC:   The 'Club' of professor Hawthorne.  


The gentlemen’s club, of which Professor Hawthorne amongst many of the academic luminaries of the city is a distinguished member, is found off Regency Street. A typical Georgian building of three floors, it’s glossy black front door with suitable brass embellishments is reached by a short flight of marble steps flanked by wrought iron railings. To the right of the door is a large bell pull and a bronze plaque which identifies the establishment as the ‘Prince Regent’s gentlemen’s club; Home to the Cerebral Activities Society, London branch’ a further sign admonishes the visitor to ‘ring and await answer’. Above the door in a stained glass panel a Latin text reads 'cerebrum educatione est in escam' ('Education is food for the brain', I trust :) ).

Upon pulling the bell a quiet yet pleasant bell note is heard from behind the door. Within moments the door is opened to reveal a thin faced, somber looking gentleman in a splendidly maintained tail coat. He regards you momentarily in the fashion that only a butler of the highest caliber can. “Yes Gentlemen, how can I be of service?”
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Re: Act III(b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'

Postby DrPeterson » Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:59 pm

"We are guests of Professor Hawthorne, here is our reference."

Wellington produces the letter of introduction and hands it to the butler.


"I am Mr. Horatio George Wellington and my companion here is Mr. Arthur Cecil Klevendon. We would very much like to have a sherry in the parlour."
"He said we were all cooked but we were all right as long as we did not know it. We were all cooked. The thing was not to recognize it."
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Re: Act III(b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'

Postby Priest » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:12 am

The attendant looks you both up and down in that haughty manner that servants have, takes the card and glances at it. Obviously satisfied with both your appearances and the credentials, he bows stiffly and ushers you through the front door into a splendidly decorated lobby, complete with tiled floor, varnished oak and brass fittings (including the new fangled electricity lighting), and exquisitely upholstered leather and velvet furniture.

He indicates a side room of splendid proportion, panelled extensively with the same varnished oak as in the lobby, comfortably furnished throughout, in which at the time there are several well dressed gentlemen taking tea whilst perusing the broadsheets. In the same room there are two elderly men, both obviously asleep even though one has attempted to hide the fact by covering his face with todays copy of the Times.

"If Sirs, would care to find a seat in the library, I will ensure that their requirements are tended to forthwith" Once again bowing stiffly, he retires to a desk near the entrance.
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Re: Act III(b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'

Postby Tabs » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:14 am

Klevendon finds a comfy-looking armchair, then sinks into it and crosses his legs. "Ah, this is more like it, Mr. Wellington!"
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Re: Act III(b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'

Postby Priest » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:01 pm

The chairs, many of which are well stuffed wing backs, are indeed most comfortable and it is easy to understand why some members might fall asleep in them.

Within moments of your finding seats a smartly turned out club attendant carrying a silver tray and having a spotless white tea towel draped in a most exact manner across his lower left arm, appears and takes your order.

Looking around at the quality of the establishment whilst awaiting your order, you notice the sombre looking butler speaking quietly to an expensively dresses gentleman with a shock of white hair, which seems to have a will of its own and extends above his head in a series of wayward spikes, from the occasional glances in your direction you assume that you are the subject of discussion.

This is made abundantly clear when the said gentleman rises from his seat, pulls at the bottom of his waistcoat in an effort to retidy it, and walks over to your table,
"My dear sirs" he smiles and the hint of diamond is displayed amongst his otherwise brilliantly white teeth, "I am Lord Carrington - Fforbes, and have the honour of representing the committee of the Cerebral Activities Society" He indicates an empty chair at your table, "May I?"

It seems his manners are as impecable as his dress, which you conclude is tastefull and not in the least ostentatious. it speaks quietly of wealth without vulgarity.

Taking your aquiscense for granted, he sits in the chair and leans across the table top to offer you a pinch of snuff from a gold and ruby studded box, "Soames tells me that you have a letter of introduction from Hawthorne over at the Natural History Museum. I must say that your coming was anticipated since not an hour ago a short note was delivered from the good Professor to apraise us of your requirements" He returns the snuff box to a waitcoat pocket, "Just tell Soames what you require. However may I say that the idea of any of this societies iluminaries being involved in any nefarious undertaking, frankly astounds me. Yet be that as it may...talk to Soames"

He stands, "If you will forgive me gentlemen duty calls. Soames will attend to you and I see your drinks are forthcoming"
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Re: Act III(b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'

Postby DrPeterson » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:32 am

"You are most kind, Lord Carrington, most kind indeed."

Wellington gladly accepts the snuff.


"Before you summon your man, might I inquire as to the nature of your own particular cerebral activity?"
"He said we were all cooked but we were all right as long as we did not know it. We were all cooked. The thing was not to recognize it."
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Re: Act III(b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'

Postby Priest » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:33 pm

Smiling, which again reveals that shine of diamond in his teeth, Carrington - Fforbes takes a ornately decorated watch from a waistcoat pocket, flips it open, to the tune of 'Rule Britannia' and glances at the time, "Indeed sir you may, I count myself amongst the architectural elite of the Empire. Why it is for a meeting of tha latest planning stage of the new Highbury Sewerage Planning Commitee that I must now depart"

He returns the watch to its pocket, "Frankly sir I am a little suprised and hurt that you do not recognise my name and my recent involvement with the construction of the new Airship terminal at St Pancreas"

If he is 'hurt' by your ignorance to his position in society he does not show it, he simply bows formaly and turns towards the entrance, "Ah Soames, be a good chap and attend to the needs of these fine gentlemen"

Soames bows, glances towards you, cocks an eyebrow expressively and says in a supercillious manner, "Indeed sir"
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Re: Act III(b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'

Postby Tabs » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:41 pm

"I'll have cognac, my good man," says Klevendon.

"'Highbury Sewerage Planning Commitee': Mr. Wellington, now that is a clue!"
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Re: Act III(b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'

Postby DrPeterson » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:17 pm

Wellington harrumphs at Klevendon's remark and reclines in his seat.


"Indeed, Mr. Klevendon, but a clue without a motive, is about as useful as tobacco without a pipe. Any idea's?"


He looks up as the butler approaches and clears his throat.

"I'll have a cognac as well, Soames, and some moments of your time when you're ready."
"He said we were all cooked but we were all right as long as we did not know it. We were all cooked. The thing was not to recognize it."
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Re: Act III(b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'

Postby Priest » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:40 pm

Soames favours the waiter with the spotless towel a glance to which the waiter nods and quickly disapears through a side door.

"How may I be of assistance gentlemen?" he speaks with the flat tone particular to the serving classes, a tone that speaks of boredom yet a professionalism that will see a job done correctly.
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Re: Act III(b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'

Postby Tabs » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:29 pm

It's Klevendon's turn to harrumph. "You are the Detective, Mr. Wellington! However, I thought a visit to the Sewage Committee may be profitable---" He stops talking and looks at Soames when he speaks.
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Re: Act III(b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'

Postby DrPeterson » Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:33 am

"I am, indeed." Wellington flashes Klevendon a wicked grin and then turns to Soames.


"Ah Soames, could you tell us anything in particular about the notables of this club? With cognac of this quality, I'd be more than interested in considering paying the admittance fee."
"He said we were all cooked but we were all right as long as we did not know it. We were all cooked. The thing was not to recognize it."
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Re: Act III(b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'

Postby Priest » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:16 pm

DrPeterson wrote:"Ah Soames, could you tell us anything in particular about the notables of this club? With cognac of this quality, I'd be more than interested in considering paying the admittance fee."


For a few seconds Soames regards you with an unfathomable stare, "Indeed sir, you need not think to flatter me with your protestations of interest in membership of this club. I can assure you that your future potential membership is of no concern to me. However, I have been given full instructions by our esteemed Chairman Lord Carrington - Fforbes to furnish you with any information you should require that does not contravene the privacy of our members"

He coughs, politely into his hand, "I am certain you understand my meaning sir. Now if you would inform me of the information you require"
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Re: Act III(b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'

Postby Tabs » Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:56 pm

Klevendon thinking:   Does Soames believe we know more than we actually do?  


"Soames, since we are being blunt--er--is there an 'inner circle' of the Cerebral Society? and how does one attend any meeting?"
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Re: Act III(b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'

Postby Priest » Sun Nov 24, 2013 5:40 pm

Tabs wrote:"Soames, since we are being blunt--er--is there an 'inner circle' of the Cerebral Society? and how does one attend any meeting?"


Soames observes you with an inscrutable look that would grace the face of a Chinaman. "Inner circle?...Oh I see what you mean sir, there is no 'inner circle', unless one includes the membership committee and that meets once a month unless there is important membership business to deal with"
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Re: Act III(b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'

Postby DrPeterson » Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:55 pm

Wellington had little regard for this man and he had even less inclination to play into his game.
He sat back and watched the exchange between Klevendon and Soames, his lips pursed and looking rather cross.
"He said we were all cooked but we were all right as long as we did not know it. We were all cooked. The thing was not to recognize it."
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Re: Act III(b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'

Postby Tabs » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:14 am

Klevendon is a "bit stumped" after his "shot in the dark" failed to hit any mark. Soames would hardly confess to a satanic conclave of the hierarchy from the club and invite him along too, would he? Klevendon looks at the tight lipped Wellington, and feels a touch foolish. He changes tack: "Carrington - Fforbes has a meeting, the latest planning stage of the new Highbury Sewerage Planning Commitee, where is the meeting, pray?"
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Re: Act III(b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'

Postby Priest » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:46 pm

Tabs wrote:"Carrington - Fforbes has a meeting, the latest planning stage of the new Highbury Sewerage Planning Commitee, where is the meeting, pray?"


Soames considers the slightly flustered Klevendon, a slight smile curling the corners of his mouth, "Why I should imagine it would be taking place within the offices of the Highbury Water Treatment offices on Marksbury Street. However, I believe you gentlemen are here at the behest of Professor Hawthorne at the Natural History Museum in regards to a meeting that was held at these premises recently. Not wishing to instruct you in your business, but that matter, I would imagine, has little to do with his Lordships architectural enterprises"

There is something about Soames' manner that reeks of the arrogance of an inferior's victory over a superior.
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Re: Act III(b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'

Postby DrPeterson » Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:52 am

Wellington's voice is cold and his eyes are ice.

"Why don't you tell us then what you have been instructed to tell us, Soames."
"He said we were all cooked but we were all right as long as we did not know it. We were all cooked. The thing was not to recognize it."
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Re: Act III(b): 'The Cerebral Activities Society'

Postby Priest » Thu Nov 28, 2013 5:36 pm

Obviously impressed by the steely glint in your eye and the grim set of your lips, Soames issues a gentle cough quickly stifled by his hand, obviously a subtle attempt to diffuse a rapidly escalating situation.

From his inside pocket he produces a short list of names written in a neat and precise hand,

"Here is the list of members present during the lecture in question" with one immaculately manicured finger he indicates the list, which seems to include beside Lord Carrington-Fforbes and the good Professor Hawthorne around a dozen of the most respected members of the city's elite as could be hoped for.

To your quick scan of the names, there is none that stand out as being of the calibre to attempt such a deadly practical joke.

Soames, his face now showing the indications of servitude expected for one in his position, continues,
"These most honourable members were the only people present at that meeting. For this I can personaly vouch as I was attending in my capacity"

From the oak mantle beneath which a warming fire burns fiercley, an ornately crafted clock strikes two o'clock followed by a chime that vaguely resembles the hymn 'I vow to thee my Country'
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