Book the Second, Chapter the Sixth: A Welcome View of Sun

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Sixth: A Welcome View of S

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:09 am

Both the experience of the hedge wizard and the researches of the natural philosopher will yield the same information; to wit, that a denizen of Faerie, whilst in the mortal realm, cannot bear to hear its own name spoken aloud, and will flee back to its ethereal kingdom. Furthermore, all such names always take the form of a descriptive adjective combined with a natural object; par exemple, Brightflower or Yellowmoon. As to the precise name of the fae creature in question, that is not obtainable from either memory or text.
The objects left by the peculiar fish must be intended as a clue to aid the adventurers in their quest for this information.

Meanwhile, after rejoining the loyal Russian, who is much relieved to find that no permanent harm has come to his master and his companions, the party rejoins the Altumber family in the manor home, where all seems at peace for the nonce. There are, of course, many inquiries as to where the guests have been, and what they have been doing, given the length of time they have not be seen by anyone in the household.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Sixth: A Welcome View of S

Postby jp1885 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:39 am

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While Lepus describes their recent adventures to the family (with as much miming, capering and gibbering as to render the tale incomprehensible), he considers the clues hawked up by the magical fish. When he and his friends are alone, he relays his ideas.

“Old Lepus has a notion, so he has, that the acorn may relate to the oak that sits on the isle amid the Misty Tarn. We knowest that evil spirits lurk therein, but do we not have a sigil to banish such things, hm? Dost anyone have a mind to go boating?”
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Sixth: A Welcome View of S

Postby SunlessNick » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:47 pm

William is willing to follow where the experts in such matters lead.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Sixth: A Welcome View of S

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:43 am

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"Yes, that sounds like the thing to do," says Henry. "Perhaps her name is Silveroak."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Sixth: A Welcome View of S

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:44 am

There being general agreement as to the wisdom of returning to the Misty Tarn and the small islet therein, where may be found a giant oak tree of great age, the party makes it way thence. As may be recalled, the only boat available at the dock is able to bear the weight of two grown men only, with, perhaps, a young woman as well, at the most.

As ever, wisps of fog drift about the waters of the Misty Tarn, and do not follow the whims of the wind, but rather go their own way, and are not dissipated. All is otherwise still.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Sixth: A Welcome View of S

Postby jp1885 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:24 pm

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After ensuring that he has the rune inscribed on a scrap of cloth, Lepus peers through the fog, tugging at his beard as he ponders.

“Pssht! ‘tis an unnatural mist, yesno? Mayhap there be a long rope that we can fix to yon boat, so that the Russian can haul us back should we become lost. Old Lepus shall help to row - who shall accompany me, hmm?”
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Sixth: A Welcome View of S

Postby SunlessNick » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:54 pm

"I shall," says William, unwilling to stay back while two other men venture into possible danger.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Sixth: A Welcome View of S

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:38 am

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"Indeed, a long rope would be just the thing," says Henry. "In fact, we can tie the end off to a tree on this side to ensure it remains anchored whatever happens. If you need to be pulled back in an emergency, give the rope a good, hard tug. Once you've reached the far shore and gotten out, you could tug twice in succession to signal that you've made it. Then Ivan can pull back the boat and I can join you, though one of you will need to ride back with it. I lack the strength to row it on my own, and Ivan must remain here to pull the boat back if needed."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Sixth: A Welcome View of S

Postby jp1885 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:58 pm

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“Old Lepus shall remain on the island.”
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Sixth: A Welcome View of S

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:01 pm

This complex series of maneuvers having been agreed upon -- and perhaps, calling to mind the time-worn conundrum of crossing a river with a fox, a goose, and a sack of grain -- the adventurers all reach the small isle, the loyal Russian remaining upon the shore, ready to pull the boat back if alerted to an emergency.

All seems quiet for the moment, the isle being, if anything, more silent than one might expect, possibly due to a dearth of avian life in the vicinity. From here, it can be seen that the Great Oak is well-named indeed, for it towers above the heads of the observers to a much greater extent than the typical specimen of its type. At a distance above the ground, appreciably higher than a tall man would be able to reach with his hand, many holes are visible, of the kind wherein arboreal creatures are known to dwell; a fact which intensifies the mystery of there being no birds about.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Sixth: A Welcome View of S

Postby jp1885 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:02 pm

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Lepus casts his eye over the islet, puzzled that the lack of spirits, who no longer dance around as they did with the twins (or so he was told). Have they been driven off by his rune or have they joined the army Poppy spoke of?

He approaches the great oak, doffing his tricorne and bowing deferentially. Repeating the way he communicated with the blasted tree, he opens his mind and utters polite greetings in a mix of languages. Then he begs permission to approach, so that he might inspect the oak more closely; starting with the roots.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Sixth: A Welcome View of S

Postby SunlessNick » Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:01 pm

William casts his eyes about the company, remaining alert for more worldly threats.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Sixth: A Welcome View of S

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:30 am

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Henry keeps an eye on their surroundings, curious about the lack of birds.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Sixth: A Welcome View of S

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:33 am

Lepus is able to observe that the thick, tangled, and numerous roots of the ancient tree, much like the fabled serpents sent by Poseidon to punish the unfortunate Laocoön and his sons, create so complex and interwoven a series of nooks and crannies as to baffle the eye with dark recesses, some so small as to bar admission even to a vole, others large enough to permit a person of no great size to enter. Otherwise, there appears to be no response to his entreaties.

Meanwhile, the ever-vigilant William detects, at no great distance from the mighty oak, a pile of pebbles, arranged in such manner as to suggest intelligent agency rather that the whims of Nature. It is notable that they possess, even in bright sunlight, that peculiar quality oft observed in opals and pearls, of having a sort of inner, pale glow.

Whilst this occurs, Henry's expertise in natural philosophy enables him to notice that, although no members of the avian tribe are to be found hereabouts, there are evident signs of the remnants of nests, and even of shattered eggshells, scattered about the oak, broken in such a way as to suggest a fall from a great height.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Sixth: A Welcome View of S

Postby jp1885 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:38 pm

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With the acorn tightly gripped in one hand, Lepus gingerly inspects the various gaps and holes around the tree. Taking care lest something untoward happens, he tries to ascertain whether any such nooks are occupied. He will also look for scuffs and scrapes on the bark, to see if the tree has been climbed recently.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Sixth: A Welcome View of S

Postby SunlessNick » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:09 pm

William will point out the pebbles to Lord Dunwich, in case his greater education can make something of their arrangement. Do the eggs appear to have been broken recently or some time ago?
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Sixth: A Welcome View of S

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:18 am

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Henry lets William know what he's discovered about the broken nests before going over to examine the pebbles, trying to discern if there is any pattern to their placement, such as if they spell out words.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Sixth: A Welcome View of S

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:33 am

jp1885 wrote:
With the acorn tightly gripped in one hand, Lepus gingerly inspects the various gaps and holes around the tree. Taking care lest something untoward happens, he tries to ascertain whether any such nooks are occupied. He will also look for scuffs and scrapes on the bark, to see if the tree has been climbed recently.


Soft chittering sounds, and an occasional glimpse of an eye reflecting a ray of sunlight, reveal that some small creatures reside within the living labyrinth of the tree. There is no evidence that the oak's bark has been disturbed in any manner.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Sixth: A Welcome View of S

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:36 am

SunlessNick wrote:William will point out the pebbles to Lord Dunwich, in case his greater education can make something of their arrangement. Do the eggs appear to have been broken recently or some time ago?


It is evident that certain of the damaged eggs, judging by their completely empty shells, have fallen some time ago, and have had their contents consumed by such creatures as are fond of such subsistence. Others still bear traces of their liquid interiors, suggesting that they have been broken a brief time ago.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Sixth: A Welcome View of S

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:39 am

Mr. Handy wrote:
Henry lets William know what he's discovered about the broken nests before going over to examine the pebbles, trying to discern if there is any pattern to their placement, such as if they spell out words.


The patterns thus formed as more in the nature of simple geometric formations, rather than anything as complex as attempts to communicate messages. A common pattern is that of a square-based pyramid, such as the renowned ancient monuments of Egypt. They are, of course, much smaller, being nowhere more than a span in height.
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