Chapter the First: A Strange Invitation

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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Chapter the First: A Strange Invitation

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:42 pm

Chapter the First: A Strange Invitation; Or, The Mysterious Coachman

1788. A clear evening in late summer. The year as a whole has been unusually dry. England is at peace, at least temporarily. Rumbles of revolution are stirring in France. Prime Minister William Pitt (sometimes called "the Younger," to distinguish him from his father, who bears the same name) and Parliament are wrangling over the threat of Russian expansion, as the Tsar seems destined to triumph in his war with the Sultan, threatening the balance of power. A prison colony has been established in the fabled continent of Australia. The Daily Universal Register has changed its name to The Times. The Marylebone Cricket Club has published the revised Laws of Cricket. There are rumors that King George III is not entirely in his right mind, although he remains beloved by his subjects, who admire him as a good family man, devoted to his wife and children. But you have other concerns . . .

A coach driven by four black horses makes it way through the tangled streets of London. Often its way is blocked by other vehicles and by those on foot. Many of the narrow paths seem impassible, yet somehow the driver manages to arrive at his various destinations. He is a short, stocky, muscular man, with a dark complexion, a mass of tangled black hair, and an imposing mustache. His command of the horses is masterly. By hook or by crook he has found his way to you, whether your lodgings are known to all or kept private. When he finds you, he hands you a note written in a fine hand on vellum.

The person who bears this message is Davros, my trusted servant. Although you may not be familiar with my name, I assure you that it will be of great benefit to us both if you would be so kind as to attend upon me Thursday night. If you agree, Davros will return soon after sunset on that evening and convey you to my estate. Since my home is located at some distance from London and is rather isolated, I will welcome you as my guest for as many days as our business requires. With all due modesty, I can state that those who reside at Harcourt House enjoy comfortable accommodations and many forms of pleasant amusement. I remain,

Yr Obt Srv,

Wm Harcourt, Esq


Thursday night? That is only two days away; barely enough time to arrange your affairs, should you choose to accept this strange invitation. You will need to decide what to carry with you. Will there be others traveling with you?

"Will you come?" Davros speaks slowly, with a heavy middle European accent.

How will you answer him?
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Re: Chapter the First: A Strange Invitation

Postby Priest » Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:14 am

Image

Elizabeth Carrow reads the brief note once again, pondering the strange invitation. Modesty bids her refuse, but her curiosity rebels at the thought. Perhaps this Mr Harcourt is he who penned the declaration of love that she hides from her Aunt's eyes? Once again she studies the fine penmanship in search for a clue as to any connection.

She glances over her shoulder for eavedroppers, she knows her Aunt is out but there are always servants to tittle-tattle and run with tales, there is no sign of any listener.

"Sir, while I confess a certain desire to meet with your master, there are certain societal norms that needs be addressed. It is simply not done for a young lady of good reputation to meet with a strange man in a strange location without an acceptable chaperon. If such is provided and can be vouched for, then you may inform your master that I will be honoured to accept his invitation"
We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.
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Re: Chapter the First: A Strange Invitation

Postby maelstrom » Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:04 pm

DUNCAN.jpg
DUNCAN.jpg (11.93 KiB) Viewed 590 times


Duncan carefully reads the note and casts an eye over the man stood on his doorstep, searching for some sense of Davros or the man that penned the letter. The name signed on the bottom of the letter is unknown to him.

How has this Mr Harcourt come to hear of me, wonders Duncan? and to what end is the purpose of this meeting? As these thoughts occur, he becomes aware of a pulsing warmth across his back and a picture forms in this mind of his Grandfather sat across a fire from him beckoning toward a path leading into the forest. “The spirits weave us a tangled web, only by following these threads can you unravel their secrets, the trick is not becoming entangled”.

Duncan smiles and bows slightly towards Davros, Tell your Master I would be honoured to attend.
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Re: Chapter the First: A Strange Invitation

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:53 pm

MISS CARROW:

Spoiler:
Davros nods slowly, frowning a bit. It is apparent that his command of formal English is not perfect.

"I come back," he says, and departs.

The peculiar coachman is true to his word. The next evening he returns, this time with a passenger. He remains with the horses, to whom he often speaks softly in his own language. From the coach a girl, barely into her teens, emerges. She is dressed as a servant.

"Excuse, Miss," she says, with a strong Irish accent, and curtsies. "The Mister says I's to travel with you, if be willin'. I's Mary, if you pleases."

She curtsies again, apparently thinking herself to be in the presence of a great lady. She's a pretty little thing, with emerald eyes, red hair cut short with kitchen shears, and the clear, fair skin so often associated with her homeland. Her only decoration is a small pewter cross worn around her neck. No doubt she is a Papist.

"If agrees, I's to help pack and such. Oh, 'most forgot!"

She rushes back to the coach and retrieves a sheet of music paper. "The Mister says I's to give you this, if you pleases, Miss."

To your surprise, it is a page from the manuscript for Herr Mozart's opera Don Giovanni, which was premiered in Prague last year to great acclaim.

"Please, what say you, Miss?"

(Miss Carrow, please roll a d20 against your intelligence, subtracting one from the roll for your musical knowledge.

In any case, if you decide to go with Mary, decide what you will take with you, keeping in mind the limitations of what can be carried on a coach.)

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

MISTER RACHMAN

Spoiler:
"Very good," Davros says. "I be back two nights."

(Mister Rachman, please roll a d20 against your wisdom.

In any case, please decide what you will take with you, keeping in mind the limitations of what can be carried on a coach. Please also decide on your two level zero spells and two level one spells, and what form they will take.)
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Re: Chapter the First: A Strange Invitation

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:04 am

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Dr. Henry North reads the missive, his curiosity aroused. Davros, he thinks. The name sounds vaguely Greek, and the Greeks were the fathers of medicine and philosophy. His master promises much, but he is vague about it. Still, he knows who I am and, presumably, what I seek in my research and experimentation. If he can be of help in any way, I must discover more. Besides, I cannot continue to spend all of my time shut away. "Very well, Davros," he says at last. "Inform your master that I shall attend him."
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Re: Chapter the First: A Strange Invitation

Postby Priest » Sat Jul 30, 2016 3:26 pm

Elizabeth Carrow:
Spoiler:
Intelligence: 8: 1d20-1 14
We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.
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Re: Chapter the First: A Strange Invitation

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Sat Jul 30, 2016 4:49 pm

Priest wrote:Elizabeth Carrow:
Spoiler:
Intelligence: 8: 1d20-1 14


Spoiler:
There is something about the manuscript that reminds you of something, but you can't quite put your finger on it.

"If Miss wishes," Mary says, "she's Auntie may go with, too."

(If you wish to run the aunt as a chaperone "everyman" character, that would be fine.)
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Re: Chapter the First: A Strange Invitation

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Sat Jul 30, 2016 4:54 pm

DOCTOR NORTH:

Spoiler:
"Very good," Davros says.

As he drives away he shouts a few words in his own tongue to the horses.

(Please make a d20 against intelligence, minus 3 for your gift for languages.

In any case, decide what to take with you, keeping in mind the limitations of what can be carried on a coach.)
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Re: Chapter the First: A Strange Invitation

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:44 am

Image

Henry can't decipher the language being spoken. He begins packing for the trip, taking a small trunk that will fit on the coach. He instructs his valet to lay out dress clothes, with some spare changes - he doesn't know how long he will be Mr. Harcourt's guest. His pistol is in a holster on his leather belt, pouches of powder and shot beside it, and of course he brings the Cauteriser, which hangs from the other side of the belt. He hopes he doesn't need it, but he always brings it with him just in case. He packs a medical textbook so that he has some reading material, along with his journal, pen, and ink so that he can write. The diploma is stowed with them, carefully rolled and bound with a red silk ribbon. The chemicals are also packed into the trunk, wrapped carefully so that the vials won't break in transit. His doctor's bag he plans to carry with him, slung over his shoulder by a leather strap, again in the event that it is needed. The locket he wears about his neck as always, and his cane with a golden lion's head he will carry in his hand.

Spoiler:
I think we're supposed to get an effective +3 to an Ability from an Asset instead of a -3 to the roll, but it works out the same.

Intelligence check vs. 12 (+3 bonus from Gift for Languages):
Mr. Handy rolled 1d20-3 and got a total of 14:
17
Doctor Who/Call of Cthulhu Campaign:
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Re: Chapter the First: A Strange Invitation

Postby Priest » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:10 pm

For a moment Elizabeth considers Mary's words,
Elizabeth Carrow thinking:   Hmmn,there is wisdom in that idea, and decency demands I accept. However my aunt would definately baulk at the inpropriety of visiting with a strange man of whom we have little knowledge  


Turning to the Irish lass she smiles sweetly, "I do not think that necessary, your services will suffice after all if Mr Harcourt meant any ill he would hardly have sent such a cordial invitation or supplied such a valuble service as yourself"

Even as she speaks she sees the flaw in her words, but her curiosity is piqued. She turns away and begins the process of packing a travel bag with her necessaries.

Best, formal, dress
The bonnet so admired by Mr Haversham, the local butcher.
With her goes the ring and locket (obviously) and, almost as an afterthought, the letter.
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Re: Chapter the First: A Strange Invitation

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:20 pm

Spoiler:
Patient Reader, you are invited to proceed to Chapter the Second for further developments. We may soon be joined by other adventurers, so other posts may be added to this thread and/or edits made.
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Re: Chapter the First: A Strange Invitation

Postby Rooter » Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:26 pm

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Lila Davenport, standing on the steps of the guesthouse where she had assumed no-one knew she was staying, eyes the man who purports to be called Davros slowly up and down. She is of a mind to throw the invitation back in his face but something arouses her hunter's instincts. She looks again at the note. Whoever this Harcourt is, he is clearly a man of means, and strange means at that. It is the strangeness which piques her professional interest. And, since he has sought to find her thus, Lila assumes he is also aware of her experience and abilities where strangeness is concerned. A potential client, perhaps.

If not, then she will be prepared.

"I will come," she says, then turns and heads back up the steps without waiting for a reply.
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