Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:54 am

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"Perhaps it would be more pertinent to ask 'what are you'?" Lila ventures, trying to recall if she has come across mention of such a clearly preternatural being in her readings.

Spoiler:
Intelligence 11 + 1 Demonology
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:41 am

Miss Davenport is able to ascertain from certain arcane authorities that the object in question is known, simply enough, as a Brazen Head; that it answers all questions put to it truthfully, but may express itself in a manner which can lead to misinterpretation; and that it will respond only once per day to each person who addresses it.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:01 am

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Lila explains her supposition to the others before turning back to the object. "Well, Brazen Head, I shall ask of you my question first. Mrs. Piper told us that you are her destruction and legacy. What did she mean by this?"
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:37 am

"My mistress won much knowledge, and prospered; she won more, and withered. Soon I will serve another."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby SunlessNick » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:14 pm

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Ines swallows, and asks "How did you come be what you are?"
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:35 am

"Before the world was, I am."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:26 am

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"From what you've said, Miss Davenport, and its own statement to me," says Henry, "this thing must be demonic. That was a quote from the Bible, where the man had thousands of demons in him. Jesus Christ went to cast them out, and they said that to Him. They pleaded with Him to let them go into a nearby herd of pigs instead, which He did. Then the pigs ran off a cliff to their deaths. Perhaps I should have Ivan ask the Brazen Head how it can be destroyed."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby SunlessNick » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:17 am

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"Safely destroyed," adds Ines.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:27 am

The faithful servant makes the inquiry as directed.

"Nothing can endanger he who can summon the Son of the Morning and bind Him to his will. Only the Light-Bringer can remove me from this plane."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:18 am

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"Meaning the devil himself, I presume," Lila muses. "I am not sure that destroying the head should be our aim, at least not until we have managed to ascertain the cause of Mrs. Piper's 'withering' if it is not from natural causes. While I am sure that Doctor North is correct in saying the thing is of ultimately demoniacal intent in its gifts of knowledge, the harm may lie in how the knowledge is used or misused. I think we need to ask it exactly what this knowledge was which Mrs. Piper supposedly won to render her thus if that is the case. Mrs. North, you still have a question remaining." As an aside, she adds. "I wonder if Mrs. Piper is intending to bequeath the head to one of us."

Spoiler:
Did Dr. North use his question when he asked who it is?
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:06 am

Spoiler:
That is correct.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:57 am

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"We only have one question left for the day, so we should use it carefully," says Henry. "Is it wise for us to gain that knowledge, however, considering the state to which it has reduced our hostess? Perhaps we should instead ask something about her condition, so that I can treat her. We'll probably get straighter answers from her than we will from that head."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:55 am

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Lila concurs with this suggestion.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:43 am

By this time Mrs Piper has recovered sufficiently to respond briefly to whatever inquiries may be made.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby SunlessNick » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:59 am

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Ines offers to find some water and light food for Mrs Piper, on the assumption that Miss Davenport and Dr North will better know what questions to ask her.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:09 am

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"I hope you're feeling better, Mrs. Piper," says Henry, doing what he can to ease her suffering and improve her condition, as well as examining her to diagnose what ails her. "Do you know how you came to have this affliction?"
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:22 am

Whilst engaged in conversation with the suffering lady, Doctor North is able to make a preliminary diagnosis of chlorosis, also known as the Green Sickness, from the peculiar tinge it produces in the patient's skin (although this may be more properly described as excessive paleness, with a slight yellow tone, rather than true green.) The disease is most often found in young, unmarried women, although obviously that is not the case here.

After further discussion, another symptom not so obvious is elicited, to wit: An aversion to normal food, accompanied by a unnatural craving to consume such substances as sand and clay.

As to how this condition came about, Mrs Piper is unable to say. As the most obvious cause for similar diseases is loss of blood, and Mrs Piper is quite well-informed as to preternatural sources of exsanguination, she has taken all proper precautions against such. To put it crudely, this was not the work of a vampyre. Minute examination does not reveal even the tiniest wound which might explain this loss of a vital fluid. (If one may raise a delicate matter, Mrs Piper is clearly beyond the age at which persons of the female sex suffer the Curse of Eve, so this cannot be the explanation either.)

Exhausted by this examination and discussion, Mrs Piper falls into a deep and restful sleep, after being persuaded to take some nourishment from the kind Ines.

A knock on the door, once answered, reveals Mister Crayle.

"Mrs Piper appears somewhat improved," he remarks, "although I am not hopeful for recovery. Her decline has been slow but steady. One can only pray and hope.

"By the by," he continues, "did Mrs Piper happen to mention anything about a certain item she wishes to bequeath to one of you? I am afraid she has been uncommonly vague on this matter, perhaps due to her illness."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:02 am

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"I believe we know the item in question," Lila says. "Although we are still hopeful something may be done to prevent Mrs. Piper's passing. I wonder if we might question the servants as to any trips she may have undertaken or unusual guests received around the time her symptoms first began."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:50 am

After some time spent questioning the few servants, who appear to be simple, honest souls, it is ascertained that Mrs Piper rarely received visitors, although she occasionally went on excursions (as the party may recall from their previous encounter with her in Lancaster.) Rather she spent a great deal of time composing letters and alone in her chambers. The first signs of illness were noted by Cook; it is not surprising that this most valuable member of the staff is of sharper wit than most.

"Year and more ago the mistress started turning away my best dishes," this formidable woman relates. "Have to coax her like a baby to eat, the poor thing. Now she be wasting away, bit by bit. No cause I can see."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:33 am

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"Did anything else unusual happen around that time?" asks Henry. "Had she gone on a journey shortly before it started?"
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