Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:47 pm

Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude; Or, The Calm Before the Storm

Only a week after sending the letter to General Rainsford, a reply is received at the London quarters of Doctor North.

My Lord,

I have read your recent entreaty with much interest. His Grace the Duke of Northumberland and I share an interest in thaumaturgy and other esoteric arts, having had some small success with alchemical experiments. If this knowledge can be of some service to you, I am at your disposal. Although I do not have the pleasure to be acquainted with Mister Harcourt, I sympathize with his affliction, having witnessed much suffering among the brave soldiers in the service of His Majesty.

After some time in conference with His Grace, we are in agreement that a meeting to discuss these matters would be of benefit. He has mentioned your name to me on more than one occasion as a gentleman of rare genius, whose researches are not fully appreciated by the commons.

I look forward to making your acquaintance with pleasure. I am certain that His Grace shares the same sentiments.

Yr ob't serv,

Cha. Rainsford


Appended to the letter is a formal invitation to dine with the Duke of Northumberland a certain number of nights hence. It is made clear that any reasonable number of guests are also welcome, His Grace being famous for his large dinner parties and his generosity.

Spoiler:
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d10:
6


It will be not quite a fortnight since the guests left Harcourt House. During the next six days the adventurers may make whatever preparations they see fit. Being all currently lodging in London, it will be an easy matter for them to meet and discuss various matters of interest. Herr Hoffer has chosen to remain at Harcourt House, to assist with managing Mister Harcourt's affairs during his incapacity. Magda remains in a convalescent state and is slowly improving. Mister Dupray's condition is neither improved nor deteriorated.
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:05 am

Image

As soon as Henry receives the letter, he sends a message to each of the others and asks them all to meet at his lodgings so they can discuss matters.
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Rooter » Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:19 pm

Image

Lila has spent the past week since arriving back in London fully recovering from the injury she sustained at the hands of Violette Dupray, exercising with her weapons and attempting to focus on other matters. Yet her experiences at Harcourt House are never far from her thoughts.

Upon receiving Doctor North's message she responds immediately that she will attend.
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Priest » Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:56 pm

Image

It has been a week of relative boredom for Elizabeth. True she has been able to spend some time shopping and indulging in the latest gossip, yet she has missed the excitement of that time and with it the new friends she had made. So upon receipt of Henry's invitation her excitement soars. She speedily pens an acceptance and begins to plan her wardrobe for the meeting.
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:20 pm

It will soon be established that the following facts are well known to the general public about these two distinguished gentlemen.

General Charles Rainsford began his career as a young man during the War of the Austrian Succession, carrying the standard during the battle of Fontenoy, a major engagement during that long and complex conflict. He also served with distinction during the second Jacobite rebellion, as well as various periods of service in Gibraltar and Germany.

He was elected a member of the Royal Society some years ago and is known to be a Rosicrucian and a Freemason. He has corresponded with Illuminist groups on the continent and is considered to be something of an expert on the philosophical systems of the late Emanuel Swedenborg and the Kabbalist rabbi Hayyim Samuel Jacob Falk.

Hugh Percy, His Grace the Duke of Northumberland, served with the rank of Lieutenant General during the early years of the American Rebellion, but resigned his command due to disagreements with General William Howe. He is rather ill-favored in appearance, and afflicted with gout and poor vision. He has a reputation for a quick temper, but also for being generous and courteous.

It is expected that a formal dinner party held by such an illustrious figure will be nearly an all-day affair, with several courses served over many hours, as well as intervals of conversation, entertainment, and dancing. Due to the very large number of guests present, it will require some effort to have a private word with either of the two gentlemen. As well, it is also wise to keep in mind that fact the unexpected events may occur at any large ball or dinner, which could have an effect on one's social status.
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby maelstrom » Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:34 pm

Duncan sits cross legged on the floor.
The letter that slid under his door dragging him from his thoughts. He eyes the envelope, with suspicion, through narrowed eyes.
Has time passed so quickly?
He glances around his room, the half eaten bowls of food. The salt piles and magical markings on the bare wood of the floor, the candles burnt down to stumps.
ah.... maybe. how time fleets.
He stands, his knees aching with the effort of moving after so long in one position. The air is heavy with the scent of incense and burnt candles. He walks across the room, careful not to disturb the chalk and salt markings on the floor.
He picks up the letter and opens it. Reading Dr. Norths message.
"It would seem my little friend, it is time to return to the world" he says with a smile.
A shrill chattering reply emanates from the rafters.

maelstrom rolled 1d20:
13


maelstrom rolled 1d6:
1
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Rooter » Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:52 pm

Image

At Doctor North's lodgings, Lila is pleased to see the others again.

"I fear gaining privacy with the esteemed general and the duke may prove no easy matter," she says. "It has been some time since I last played the games of high society. Be that as it may, I am sure we can each play a part in our approach so that the entire burden of introductions does not fall upon the good doctor."
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:13 am

Image

"Thank you all for coming," says Henry with a smile when Ivan admits them. "I am pleased to see you all - especially you, Elizabeth. This is my new valet, Ivan." He indicates the hulking servant. "I'm sure all of us will be able to contribute. I have kept to myself in recent years, but I still remember how to play the games of high society. I can give everyone pointers on etiquette during the time we have before the dinner. Mr. Rachman's knowledge of the arcane will no doubt be useful, as will your own knowledge of the supernatural, Miss Davenport. And of course, your musical talents may be of use, Elizabeth, in addition to your obvious charms."
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Priest » Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:33 am

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Elizabeth smiles at the assemblage, a smile that broadens in response to Henry's praise of her talents as well as his having missed her company. She has, for the occasion of the dinner party, purchased a fine dress of a glorious green silk, which she was assured by the dress maker, matched the green of her eyes.
"Dear friends, I will do my best to help us gain an interview with the Duke, whom I have heard is a most generous and polite gentleman. Of his companion, General Rainsford, I confess I know little other than his being a most gallant warrior. In their honour I have learned the musical piece by Herr Mozart presented to me most recently my rendition of which, I trust, may capture the gentlemen's attention"
She smiles again, her most beauteous and chaste smile which causes her eyes to flash like the ocean depths...
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Rooter » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:05 pm

Image

"I have no doubt that it will, Elizabeth," Lila says. She hesitates before adding, "For my part I confess I have always been better at the dancing than the conversation when it comes to such formal occasions. The minuet, the waltz... Though I hope I am not too out of practice."

Spoiler:
OOC:   Dancing isn't mentioned in my character creation but I'm just floating it as an idea based on her noble upbringing and the fact she has the lowest Charisma but the highest Dexterity.  
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:43 pm

Wruter wrote:
"I have no doubt that it will, Elizabeth," Lila says. She hesitates before adding, "For my part I confess I have always been better at the dancing than the conversation when it comes to such formal occasions. The minuet, the waltz... Though I hope I am not too out of practice."

Spoiler:
OOC:   Dancing isn't mentioned in my character creation but I'm just floating it as an idea based on her noble upbringing and the fact she has the lowest Charisma but the highest Dexterity.  


Spoiler:
Since successful dancing is based on an ability check against Dexterity, this is perfectly appropriate.


All agree that this raises an interesting topic for discussion. It is one of the great paradoxes of high society that it may look with disfavor upon those who are too conformist as lacking verve and style, but also disdain those who violate the myriad unwritten rules of proper behavior. To pass safely between the Scylla of dullness and the Charybdis of scandal is a difficult task indeed.

As a convenient illustration of this dilemma, brought up by Miss Davenport's remarks, it may be noted that the minuet, a stately series of movements, is perfectly respectable at all times, but may be considered somewhat sedate by the fashionable. Performing it well might earn one respect for propriety, but performing it poorly could result in ridicule.

In contrast, the waltz, newly imported from the continent and often thought of as daring, due to the closeness of the partners, presents different challenges. To perform it well may win one a reputation as a fearless innovator, while performing it poorly could render one disreputable.

Similar challenges may arise concerning many other aspects of such an affair. What should one wear? What type of wig and powder and headgear? (The way one dresses is, fairly or not, much more of a concern for the ladies than for the gentlemen. They take greater risks, but may win greater acclaim.) Equal consideration must be given to one's behavior during conversation, gaming, dining, and so on.
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Oct 15, 2016 5:17 am

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"I don't think we will gain a private audience by playing it safe," says Henry. "Yet at the same time, we don't want to be too daring. I think performing a waltz may have a better effect than a minuet."
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Rooter » Sat Oct 15, 2016 12:39 pm

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"Indeed, doctor," Lila agrees.

Discussing the myriad potential social pitfalls with the others, she is cognizant of the care she will have to take in general and as a woman. She admires Elizabeth's choice of green silk and realizes that a visit to a tailor's shop is in order for her to obtain a dress more colorful and fashionable than the somewhat somber clothes she has become accustomed to wearing in the far from glamorous life of a hunter. Nevertheless she decides to forego the elaborate wig and powder--her complexion is naturally rather pale in any case--in favor of making a progressive statement by wearing her hair in a natural style and applying only a small amount of make-up.

Despite the seriousness of their goal she finds herself quietly anticipating the return--however brief--to the pomp and splendor of high society.
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Sun Oct 16, 2016 2:18 am

The day has come. As per the instructions accompanying the invitation, the festivities are to begin with a morning promenade at ten of the clock in the pleasure garden of His Grace's estate. It is a very busy place, with many persons of the upper classes strolling leisurely on the scrupulously maintained paths which wend their way among stately trees and hedges. Often a servant accompanies a master or mistress. Lone musicians wander through the crowd and vendors of beverages offer their wares. Conversations range from trivial to consequential. One may overhear gossip, assignations, biting witticisms at the expense of those not present, flirtations, philosophical musings, literary criticisms, and political arguments, to name only a few of the topics under discussion. In such a whirl of humanity, it is not entirely surprising that strange events are likely to occur.

Spoiler:
It is only fair to advise the players that this Interlude will involve several random incidents, not directly related to their quest. These may aid or hinder their progress, or be irrelevant. The manner in which they are addressed may have future consequences. The die rolls you will see here are for the use of your Presenter, that she may be as uncertain of what is to come as the players.


Spoiler:
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d20:
5


Spoiler:
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d20:
12


To the evident surprise of all present, a fox runs wildly through the crowd, as if in pursuit of its prey, or, perhaps, as if it is being pursued. Dashing this way and that, causing great excitement among the ladies (not to mention the tiny dogs carried by many of them,) it eventually races directly at the adventurers. "Tally-Ho!" shouts one comical fellow, although of course this is neither the time nor the place for a hunt.

In what manner will you react?
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Oct 16, 2016 3:29 am

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Henry steps aside to allow the fox to pass.
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:03 am

Mr. Handy wrote:
Henry steps aside to allow the fox to pass.


There are a number of other persons nearby.

Spoiler:
Please make an Ability Check against your Dexterity (plus one for the True Innocent nearby) to avoid bumping into someone.
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:02 am

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Henry tries to avoid other people, but he barely brushes against someone.

Spoiler:
Dexterity roll (10 stat + 1[True Innocent] = 11) to avoid bumping into someone:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d20:
12
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:58 am

Doctor North brushes against a heavily powdered and rouged lady, setting her elaborate coiffure awry. "Well!" she says, with a flounce of her fan, marching away before an apology can be offered.

The fox continues to scurry about at a rapid pace, often returning to areas where it has already been, as if it is confused by the large number of humans surrounding it. The other adventurers will most likely need to react to it in some way or another momentarily.
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Rooter » Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:20 am

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Conscious of the necessity to retain a stately composure Lila looks around for a servant, the nearest being Doctor North's hulking valet Ivan. "Good man, kindly apprehend that poor animal."
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:49 am

Wruter wrote:Conscious of the necessity to retain a stately composure Lila looks around for a servant, the nearest being Doctor North's hulking valet Ivan. "Good man, kindly apprehend that poor animal."


Spoiler:
If Ivan chooses to obey this request, he must make an Ability Check against his Dexterity to seize it; if successful, another must be made to avoid being bitten. He will have the one point bonus for being near the True Innocent. (If the first Ability Check fails, the fox will run off and not be seen again.)

If Ivan choses not to obey this request, the fox will continue its random scurrying and will disrupt the movements of the adventurers until it is dealt with in some manner.

Bitten or not, the first successful Ability Check will allow Ivan to retain the fox.

If retained, Miss Carrow may attempt to tame the fox with an Ability Check against Charisma. If successful, it will become her loyal pet. If unsuccessful, the fox will remain wild and must be dealt with in some manner.

Mister Rachman make attempt to cast an appropriate spell at any time if this seems appropriate.
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