Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundrums

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:18 am

Spoiler:
Lepus having thus gone his own way, and young Henry making haste to explore the moors for any evidence of wicked spirits -- his Gypsy blood convincing him that such do truly exist -- William is free to explore the ruined cairn in solitude. Among the shattered and scattered stones is a small vessel made of brass, much tarnished, bearing traces of a seal upon its opening, the bulk of which has been broken and discarded.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby jp1885 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:15 pm

Image

Lepus chuckles upon learning this information and, whistling good-humouredly, goes out in search of William. Upon finding the gallant soldier, he claps a dusty arm around the fellow and gurns an inane grin; all traces of former hostility vanished.

"Cease thy search, for I have discovered the nature of the 'three'. 'tis as Shahrazād herself did tell: the spirit, once released, granted three wishes! Yon monster has one and so will have two more. Be not glum that they were not thine, for if legend be true, such wishes shall be the beast's undoing, so they shall!"

He wheezes a laugh, treating his companion to a waft of noisome breath, before untangling himself from his person.

"Now, let us find our friend the noble scholar and see what has transpired, yesno?"
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby SunlessNick » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:57 pm

William seems also willing to forgo any grudge. "Given the creature's earlier demands, we can be sure that one of its wishes will be for a mate," he says. "Thus we need only face the question of one other."

Spoiler:
Is it ok say William searched the cairn and then returned in time for Lepus to find him?

If so, it seems that the chance to benefit from the "treasure" has passed him by. He will curse inwardly at the loss, but the situation must be faced for what it is before he makes any further plans. (Although it occurs to him that the coins may still be within reach).
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:44 am

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"Let us try the deer park," says Henry. "That is where I spoke to him before, and he was clearly living there."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:56 am

SunlessNick wrote:William seems also willing to forgo any grudge. "Given the creature's earlier demands, we can be sure that one of its wishes will be for a mate," he says. "Thus we need only face the question of one other."

Spoiler:
Is it ok say William searched the cairn and then returned in time for Lepus to find him?

If so, it seems that the chance to benefit from the "treasure" has passed him by. He will curse inwardly at the loss, but the situation must be faced for what it is before he makes any further plans. (Although it occurs to him that the coins may still be within reach).


Spoiler:
Sure, that's fine.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Tue Jul 28, 2020 11:11 am

As fate would have it, his fellow adventurers being in search of Doctor North, and that selfsame gentleman journeying with his unusual companions in their general direction, all meet together in the Deer Park, near the ashy remnants of the fire built by the creature. Fate, one may say; and yet, both Doctor North and Miss Ravenscroft (who is, by the by, is in a particularly irritable state of mind at the loss of her curious little flying objects, that lady's humors being as changeable as autumn weather) both report that they felt compelled, for some unknown reason, to bring the reanimated young woman here, and not to some other place. If truth be told, Miss Ravenscroft, having no nearer or weaker object upon which to direct her ire, has taken to speaking sharply to her new creation, accusing her of sloth and stupidity, and even striking the lass across the face once or twice; an action which produces only a dull sign of attention in the creature.

It is not so very much longer, after information has been shared among all present, that the elder creature arrives, but in such state as to not produce recognition at first glance, despite his great size. This may be explained by the fact that, instead of the rags with which he was previously arrayed, he now wears foppish attire, gaudily decorated, of expensive tailoring, and carries a cane upon which glitter gold and jewels. One might think him a French aristocrat, absconded from that unhappy nation after the bloody events of some years ago, who chose to continue the extravagant manner that so inflamed the common folk.

"And here is the second," he remarks, evidently in a merry mood. "Bring her to me. Now."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby jp1885 » Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:03 pm

Image

Lepus elbows William in the ribs at the mention of the 'second'.

He thinks the whole business an unnatural one and casts the occasional scowl at Henry for what he has accomplished. First one companion attempts to play him false and now the other readily tinkers with the established order of things!

Still, his ire is somewhat tempered by the foreknowledge that the brute and his bride will soon be gone, followed by whatever misfortune the three wishes shall bring.

"Here be your bride fine sir," he says, urging the scientists to hand over the reanimated girl. "Make haste to the majestic north and live in peace with thy companion."
Last edited by jp1885 on Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby SunlessNick » Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:34 pm

"I see you have busied yourself," says William to the Creature, his tone betraying a certain mirth. "Still, as Lepus here says, Lord Dunwich has fulfilled his promise to you."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:59 am

Image

Henry has treated the female creature with much more kindness, speaking to her as if she were his own child - which in a sense she is. He is not going to compel her to go with the other creature against her will, but rather gives her the choice. "This being is like you," he explains to her. "He was made the same way as you, and as far as I am aware is the only other one of your kind. He wishes to marry you, and to go with you to the far north, far away from anyone who might harm either of you. As you can see, he is quite wealthy, and thus able to provide for you. I have spoken to him before, and he seems a decent sort. Will you go with him?"

Spoiler:
I'm envisioning the male creature performing "Puttin' on the Ritz" as in Young Frankenstein.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:24 am

The reanimated female, being as of yet still in the early stages of her development, exhibits none of the familiarity with the world such as that shown Miss Ravenscroft's earlier creation. (It may be noted, by the by, that the aforesaid lady and her living handiwork eye each other in a way which suggests mutual suspicion and dislike.) Her reaction to her intended mate is one of apprehension, evidenced by a reluctance to meet his gaze. Given her ill treatment by her creator, it is not very surprising to discover that she only addresses that person with snarls and hisses. Due to the contrasting kindness shown to her by Doctor North, she clings to him with many an infantile mewling of affection. It is evident that all of this does not sit well with the elder creature.

"What manner of treachery is this? You ask me to plight my troth with this fool?"

He takes a step in her direction, which causes her to shriek with great volume, and to press her body closer to Doctor North.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby SunlessNick » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:43 pm

"You were little different in the first hours after your creation," William reminds the creature. "You must give her time to become herself, as you did."

Spoiler:
William is ready to reach for his pistol should the creature turn hostile - he has seen with his own eyes that it may be futile - thus should it come to combat, he will aim for the monster's knee, in the hopes of the injury at least hampering his movement.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:24 am

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"Indeed, she is just a child, though she appears full grown," says Henry. "She requires time to learn, as you did, though if you teach her it will go faster. Or we could teach her if you prefer. She needs to be treated gently, and with patience and respect, and she can learn to be a lady as you have learned to be a gentleman. I have done what you wished, but seldom do the things we wish for turn out as we expect them."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby jp1885 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:27 pm

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"Aye, 'tis good advice - take heed. Show the poor wretch gentleness and kindness. Show her manners as refined as thy clothing."

The creature thus advised, Lepus takes a step back and reaches slowly for an explosive globe, just in case the monster loses it's temper.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:47 am

Having lent ear to this proffered advice with many a sneer of disdain, the creature withdraws a few steps.

"Patience is a vice with which I have not been cursed," he remarks with evident sarcasm. "Do you think this finery the result of much hard labor? The bringing forth of this infantile creature from the grave due to the combined efforts of two mere mortals, no matter how gifted? No, indeed. Rather have I procured these things by my own free will, assisted by a source beyond mere mortal ken."

With that, he withdraws from a pocket of his coat what appears to be a small metal urn, much ravaged by age, stoppered with ordinary cork.

"Spirit," he intones, placing a hand above the stopper, "I call thee forth for the third and final time to do my bidding. Then may you be free to ravage this world as thou please."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby jp1885 » Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:07 pm

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Moving swiftly and without warning, Lepus hurls an explosive sphere at the monster. If he cannot incapacitate the brute, perhaps he can at least prevent him from opening the jar.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby SunlessNick » Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:49 pm

William follows Lepus's action, firing his pistol at the Creature's head.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:24 am

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Seeing that the time for diplomacy is past, Henry uses his Force Projector against the male creature. He doesn't want to kill him, but he does need to stop him from unleashing the spirit in the urn. "Ivan, seize the urn from his grasp!" he orders.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:59 am

Spoiler:
This is going to get complicated . . .

Lepus DEX 15
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
18


Perhaps because it was thrown with great haste, the sphere wielded by Lepus fails to strike its intended target, and instead lands at some distance in the woods. The sound of its ineffectual explosion startles the newly reanimated female, who takes off in another direction, and is soon lost to sight amongst the ancient trees.

Spoiler:
William DEX 12 + 1 for Soldier/Danger + 3 for Good Shot = 16
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
20


It may be that the selfsame noise caused William, normally a most deadly opponent with a pistol in his hand, to miss his target as well.

It is most fortunate that Doctor North's remarkable invention is in no way dependent upon the skill of the user, deriving its effect instead the inherent nature of its mechanism.

Spoiler:
automatic damage
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d6:
6


The creature, although bearing no wounds visible to mortal eye, has clearly suffered a severe internal injury, judging by his howls of agony and distracted manner. Given his great size, immense strength, and extraordinary firmness of body, however, this is not sufficient to render it completely incapacitated.

Spoiler:
Given Ivan's basic STR, Asset of Strong, and (presuming he will invoke it) Feat of Strength, for a total of STR = 21, a STR roll is an automatic success The creature's basic STR is 40 (!) so, wounded, I'd guess it's about an even battle to control the urn. Battle of die rolls, Ivan first.
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 2d20:
17, 19


The struggle between the loyal Russian and the mighty creature is as one fought by Titans, but at last Ivan is able to seize the urn and pull it away from his opponent. Filled with rage at his defeat, the creature roars defiance without words, and withdraws into the woods.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby jp1885 » Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:38 pm

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Commending the mighty Russian on his strength, Lepus asks for the urn, lest the spirit within tries to tempt Ivan.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby SunlessNick » Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:13 pm

William draws his other pistol, evidently eager to pursure the wounded Creature. "Can that weapon fire again, your Lordship?"
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