Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Priest » Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:35 am

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Smiling her most beautific smile, Elizabeth curtesies, "Why thank you your Grace, amidst such treasures I am humbled that you should desire such a small trinket and will readilly discuss with my companions a trade".

Before turning away she indicates the looking glass, "This mirror, could you explain its purpose for it looks such an ordinary thing?"
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Rooter » Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:47 pm

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Still feeling dejected following the dismissive reaction to her opinion, realizing that she should have known better than to speak openly of such things since most men--and indeed women--were not as progressive in their outlook as the good Doctor North, Lila distracts herself by examining the various oddities on display. Her curiosity is drawn to the strange book. "Sir, might I inquire as to the provenance of this item?" she asks their host.

To Elizabeth she murmurs, "I should be quite willing to exchange the black rose on your behalf if this vial is of importance to you."
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Priest » Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:32 pm

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Maintaining her focus on the seemingly inoffensive looking glass, Elizabeth whispers to Lila, "I would not ask that of you. We are sure that the rose presents a puzzle that we are unable to explain as yet, while Mr Harcourt was more than a little dismissive of gypsy potions, claiming them to be in many cases to be innefective or even dangerous to the imbiber. If we are indeed to make a trade for one of these", she indicates the strange items arrayed before them, "Then I would sooner part with the elixir than your rose"
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Sat Nov 05, 2016 6:06 pm

The mirror is a small one, easily held in one hand. It is of Renaissance Venetian manufacture, crafted by a very skilled artisan. The glass and the silvering behind it are without visible flaw, producing an unusually clear reflection. When held at an angle to a clear sky, the glass seems to nearly disappear.

Although it forms a portion of His Grace's collection primarily for its beauty and quality, there is a quaint legend associated with it. The noted -- some might say infamous -- occultist Count Alessandro di Cagliostro (if, indeed, that be his name, little known for certain about that mysterious gentleman) is said to have had it in his possession at one time, and used it for the purpose of detecting and capturing invisible spirits. If there be any truth to the story, breaking the mirror would release these malevolent phantoms; a fate far worse than the traditional seven years of bad luck.

As for the strange book, not much is known. Experts in the art of bookbinding have examined it, and suggested that it was bound four or five centuries ago, possibly in the skin of an auroch, a type of wild cattle no longer known to exist. It appears to be a colorfully illustrated compendium or catalog of natural philosophy, with many detailed drawings of flora and fauna. Besides the text, which is written in letters (if such they be) bearing no resemblance to any known alphabet, the most peculiar thing about it is the fact that the plants and animals portrayed are unknown to science. Whether it be an fantastically elaborate hoax or a mystical treatise remains a matter of speculation.
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:35 am

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"I have two of them as well," whispers Henry to the ladies. "I would part with one if you like, and then you can still keep yours." He examines the objects in the cabinet. "This small meteorite looks interesting. Where was it found? Does it have any magnetic properties?"
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:37 pm

"Meteorite?" says General Rainsford. "A curious word, one I have not heard before. A derivative of 'meteor,' I take it. It seems then, my lord, that you accept the possibility that a stone may fall from the sky? I am sure you are aware that Monsieur Lavoisier, whom I believe you mentioned in your enlightening lecture on the colors produced by flaming substances, is of a contrary opinion. If I am not mistaken, such also is the view taken by Mister Jefferson, a noted scholar --"

"And an infamous rebel," His Grace interjects. "Let us not allow the statements of a Frenchman and a colonial influence us, gentleman. Whatever the origins of this unusual rock may be, let us examine its properties."

Spoiler:
About 86% of meteorites are stony chondrites, 8% stony achondrites, 5% iron, 1% stony-iron.

Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d100:
1


It seems that, among the various objects said to have fallen from the heavens, this is one of the rarest types. It contains iron and nickel alloys as well as silicate minerals. Thus, it does indeed have magnetic properties.
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Nov 08, 2016 5:20 am

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"Indeed I do accept the possibility that rocks may fall from the heavens," says Henry. "It is a logical conclusion drawn from Newton's theory of gravitation. The Earth must exert a huge gravitational pull, and thus any passing small rock could be drawn to it. Yes, this particular specimen is most interesting. It does indeed have magnetic properties, as you can see." He dangles his pocketwatch near the tiny stone, and there is a slight tug as it is pulled towards it. "It is a lodestone. There are very few like this, and you are most fortunate to have one in your collection, Your Grace."
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby maelstrom » Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:01 pm

"A truly fascinating collection your Grace, it must have taken some time to gather "

He peers eagerly at each item in turn. Recognising the rattan resin, he points it out to Henry as something used at home to help close wounds, amongst many other uses for the sticky substance.

Duncan listens as Henry explains about the meteorite and is intrigued by the magnetism that he demonstrates. He looks over the ancient book with interest, in the hope he may be able to understand something in it. The mirror is a thing of beauty and obvious skilled craftsmanship. The tale of its belonging is interesting and sparks his interest.

Spoiler:
Duncan waits until the others are preoccupied with one of the other curios and quietly casts detect magic .
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Priest » Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:47 pm

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Despite the attraction of the mirror, Elizabeth manages to step aside and whisper to her companions, "Although I must confess a desire for the mirror, that has more to do with its perfection than any tale of supernatural powers attached to it. If any of you, better versed in the strangness of our needs, know of anything that we might find useful amongst these treasures, then I am quite willing to trade this elixir for it"

Then turning to the doctor, she smiles and whispers, "Thank you for your kind offer dear Henry. But I think what you may find from the study of these strange blooms may prove of more value than any worthless love philtre" His earlier words in regards to his late wife has deeply touched her, and makes his offtimes odd behaviour and moods more understandable.
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:37 pm

maelstrom wrote:
Spoiler:
Duncan waits until the others are preoccupied with one of the other curios and quietly casts detect magic .


Mister Rachman suffers from a slight headache.

Spoiler:
The level one incantation does one point of "non lethal" damage = 1/10 of a hit point lost.

The Detect Magic spell works automatically to reveal that there is something magical in the room. A successful Wisdom check will reveal details.

WIS = 17 + 1 = 18

Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d20:
1


His interest seems particularly drawn to certain items.

Spoiler:
The preserved fetus is that of a low level imp. Certain ceremonies can release it from its inanimate state.

The resin has preternatural healing powers.

The properties of the mirror have been accurately described in its legend.


His Grace has noticed that there has been much discussion about the black roses and the elixir. If the adventurers would care to offer both, he would be willing to exchange a pair of his curiosities for them. Of course, if they possess anything else of interest, that might enter into negotiations as well.

"I wonder if there is any way to test this alleged elixir for efficacy," General Rainsford muses.
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:35 am

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"Thank you, Elizabeth," Henry whispers back, basking in her glow. "You have no need of a love elixir anyway. If you wish a man to fall in love with you, all you need do is smile at him." He longs to say more, but this is as close as he dares come to confessing his feelings with others present.
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Rooter » Sun Nov 13, 2016 3:51 pm

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"I believe I should be willing to part with my rose in addition to Miss Carrow's vial," Lila offers, having been unaware that Doctor North also had possession of two of the flowers. "That is, if more than one of these objects are of interest to my companions. Mister Rachman, perhaps you have knowledge of some of these exotic items?" she asks, noting his gaze drawn to certain pieces in the collection.
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby maelstrom » Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:20 pm

Duncan turns to Miss Davenport
"Well Miss Davenport from what little insight I have gleaned. The resin seems to exude an aura of vitality and I can only presume it will bring more benefits than it normally would. Its exact properties would need some further examination. Given our groups proclivity towards attracting.... unrest, it may prove of use to us.

The mirror is an intriguing item and somewhat of a double edged sword. It may well work as his Grace has told and be able to capture a spirit, but it is fragile and if broken could release its prisoners. I cannot tell if it holds anything at the minute, or how many spirits it could contain.

The last is the jar holding that deformed thing. That creature, even though inert, is not truly dead, even now I can sense the malevolence that pervades it. If brought back, it will woo and coax one down dark trails. It is best left where it is or better yet destroyed.

I’m afraid that’s about all I can tell you for now and as soon as I have nothing to offer his Grace in exchange, the choice is down to those that do."
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:40 am

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"I think we should definitely trade for the resin, then," says Henry. "The mirror may be useful, though also dangerous. The lodestone is of interest as well, though it may only be useful in limited circumstances. However, the items we have to trade are yours, ladies, so the choice is as well."
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Priest » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:55 am

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Elizabeth favours Henry with a smile, though disapointment radiates from her eyes, "Alas though I must admit to a desire for the mirror, I concour with Mr Rachman's assessment in that it is a fragile thing and if it does indeed function as his Grace tells, then that fragility may prove a danger. As for the other items I am happy to be guided toward the resin, if it is as Mr Rachman suggests, of possible benefit"

Matching actions to words she replaces the mirror on its cushion, though it will be noted with more care than she had used earlier when picking it up for study. "As for the creature in the jar, I find it a most disturbing thing and I for one would be most happy if I never saw the thing again. So, is it the resin then?"
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Rooter » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:08 pm

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"I agree, this would seem the most sensible choice," Lila concurs.
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:37 am

There is quick agreement from the two gentlemen, and the irregular lump of resin is given into the possession of Mister Rachman, who seems most familiar with it. The vial of the alleged love potion is placed into the cabinet of curiosities, to be examined at a later date. After some negotiation, it is also agreed that one of the black roses is a fair trade for the lodestone alleged to have fallen from the heavens. It is entrusted to Doctor North because of his knowledge of natural philosophy.

"Now," General Rainsford says, "down to the business at hand. I understand that you believe that His Grace and I may be of some use in the case of an unfortunate gentleman who has succumbed to an unusual illness. What more can you tell us?"
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:41 am

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"I can only describe his symptoms as a form of lycanthropy," says Henry, who wouldn't have believed it himself had he not witnessed it. However, these men are well studied in the occult and may lend it more credibility. "His son placed a Gypsy curse upon him, in revenge for bringing him into the world. Mr. Harcourt underwent a horrific transformation. He became bestial, both in appearance and behaviour. He fled from his home into the wilds, but we managed to track him down and subdue him, though some dogs were lost in the effort. The moon was full at the time, and his condition seems to be tied to the lunar cycle. When the moon waned, he reverted to his normal physical state, but when the moon is full again in about a fortnight, he will suffer the same symptoms again unless we can find a means to cure his aflliction, and I doubt any bonds will hold him then."
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:09 pm

There is much excited conversation between the two learned gentlemen. Many questions are asked, and detailed information about Mister Harcourt's unfortunate circumstances is elicited.

"The arcane ceremony in which you all participated seems to have been partially successful," His Grace ventures to suggest. "Without it, I believe that there would be no hope for the gentleman short of Providence. As the situation stands, however, I believe that earthly endeavors may be beneficial.

"From an alchemical perspective, Mister Harcourt is currently under the influence of silver and its patron orb, the Moon. You are no doubt aware of the many legends associating reversion to a bestial state with Luna and her symbolic metal. There are two methods which might be undertaken to combat this influence. The victim might be subjected to the influence of a baser metal and the symbols of its patron planet. The disadvantage of this approach is the influence it might have on the personality of the patient. Lead, for example, could easily make a person very saturnine (its patron being Saturn, of course.)"

"Allow me to provide you with a list of the baser metals and their patrons," General Rainsford says. He quickly writes out a list in a soldier's bold and simple handwriting.

COPPER -- VENUS

IRON -- MARS

TIN -- JUPITER

QUICKSILVER -- MERCURY

LEAD -- SATURN

"The lower the metal appears on the list, the stronger an effect it will have on the patient, for good or for ill. In any case, the metal would need to be ingested in considerable amounts."

"The other approach," His Grace continues, "would be to make use of gold and its patron, the Sun, in an attempt to raise the patient to a higher spiritual level. In addition to the great expense of obtaining a suitable amount of the noble metal, the intense power of the solar rays and their material image could have deleterious effects, much as fire may be either a useful servant or a fierce master."

"There is another factor to consider," General Rainsford adds. "One who has been subjected to this unnatural burden is likely to come under the influence of a malevolent entity. I would advise caution and watchfulness."

After more discussion, the adventurers are advised to seek out Mister Witherly. That moody gentleman has the manner of one who has dealt with situations not entirely dissimilar to that of Mister Harcourt.

"Good luck, my friends," His Grace says.
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Re: Chapter the Sixth: A Peaceful Interlude

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Nov 18, 2016 5:42 am

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"Thank you, Your Grace," says Henry. "You have been most helpful. We shall seek out Mr. Witherly as you suggested."
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