Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:58 pm

After much frenzied commotion, the trapdoor is forced open, primarily by the efforts of the hulking Russian servant. A quick inspection of the mechanism reveals a design which is complicated rather than clever, consisting as it does of a large number of iron levers which continue into multiple places within the stone walls of the corridors hidden beneath the hermitage. The apparent intent is to ensure control of the trapdoor from multiple locations, as yet unknown.

Directly beneath the trapdoor is a room of considerable size. Narrow corridors run off into darkness in five directions. The stone floor reveals no obvious indication, at first glance, as to what direction the abductors may have fled. As an additional precaution, the miscreants have covered their nefarious activities with small lumps of foul-smelling incense which smoulder in the corridors, preventing the loyal vixen Lucky as well as the recently acquired mongrel from using their keen scents of smell to track Miss Carrow.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:20 am

Image

"Elizabeth!" calls Henry, looking around for any footprints or other trace of someone's passage. "Does anyone have a ball of twine or something of the sort? We could use it to mark our path so that we can find our way back and know when we've been somewhere before as we search."
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Rooter » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:51 am

Image

Lila peers at the floor of the chamber, attempting to discern any tracks indicative of which way the kidnappers headed.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:01 pm

Wruter wrote:Image

Lila peers at the floor of the chamber, attempting to discern any tracks indicative of which way the kidnappers headed.


Spoiler:
Tracking based on Wisdom = 12; no Demon Hunter bonus, as there is yet no evidence of a preternatural being involved.
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d20:
11


Based on her experience as a huntress, Miss Davenport is able to determine that the abductors took the path which leads in a southwesterly direction. Thrusting a lantern in that direction reveals no evident end to the corridor, which ends only in darkness. Given the facts that there is no way to tell, as of yet, how long a pursuit of the unfortunate victim may take, and that the miscreants have a considerable lead over the adventurers, it would seem wise to collect such necessary equipment from the coach as can be carried. The remaining driver, not eager to engage in the dangerous business of apprehending desperate criminals, prefers to continue with the mail to Paris. To the obvious relief of Ines, he will take the mongrel with him. (Fortunately, it is not extremely difficult to return to the interior of the hermitage from the underground labyrinth, there being a set of notches carved into the stone wall for this purpose.)

Once the party is prepared, the hunt continues. It is easy to imagine what the distressed Miss Carrow is experiencing.

Blindfolded and gagged with cloths that are curiously smooth and soft -- are they silk? -- the young woman is led, perforce, at a steady pace forward. The hands which secure her are firm, but seem to take great care not to cause any physical harm. Her captors never speak. The sound of her labored breath echoes from unseen walls. There is a sharp scent,as of decaying vegetable matter. Only her faith that her beloved will come to her rescue sustains the victim's courage.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:35 am

Image

Once they've collected the gear they need, Henry and Ivan lead the way down the southwest tunnel. Henry is determined to rescue Elizabeth, and he intends to let nothing stand in his way.

Spoiler:
Were we able to collect a ball of twine or something similar to mark our path?
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:33 am

The walls of this dank corridor are thick with fungus, pale in color, foul-smelling and with the texture of human flesh. It is possible to trace a path on the wall by scraping the fungus with the tip of a knife. So far the path seems to head straight forward, and at a slight decline.

The adventurers walk for hours. The floor of the corridor is wet and slimy, making it impossible to proceed with haste lest one slip and fall. Now and again signs that the abductors have passed this way are seen.

Fatigue begins to tell upon certain members of the party.

Spoiler:
CON rolls to avoid collapsing

Mister Witherly = 9
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d20:
3

Doctor North = 14
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d20:
19

Miss Davenport = 8
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d20:
19

Ivan = 11
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d20:
18

Ines = 9
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d20:
16

Lucky = 9
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d20:
9


In point of fact, only Mister Witherly seems able to go on without a period of rest. His eyes burn with passion, as if some quest other than the rescue of Miss Carrow has seized his soul.

"Wait here," he says. "I shall explore further and return." He disappears into the darkness.

Time passes, as it will. The adventurers catch snatches of slumber and refresh themselves with the water and simple victuals which they carry. Lucky, somewhat melancholy since the loss of her mistress, slumbers next to Ines, no doubt due to the inherent skill with animals gifted to those of her blood. Those who dream may behold phantasies of Miss Carrow's fate. Who knows but that they may be truthful ones?

The victim is unable to remain sensate, and drifts into oblivion while her abductors continue tirelessly. When she recovers she has no idea how far she has been taken, or what the destination may be.

After quite a while a scream of terror, coming from far along the corridor, fills the air. It is the voice of Mister Witherly. It is soon replaced by the sound of uncontrolled sobbing, as of one who is unable to bear what has befallen him.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:06 am

Image

Henry springs to his feet. "Quickly, we must proceed!" he says.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby SunlessNick » Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:16 am

Image

Ines threads her fingers into her brass knuckles, and takes the corridor at a run.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Rooter » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:46 am

Image

Lila's heart pounds as she sprints forward, her legs lent fresh strength by that awful gut-wrenching sound. Almost without thinking, her dagger is in her hand. She wants to cry out to George but her throat is tight with dread.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Tabs » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:52 am

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Keep your eyes shut, thought Elizabeth Carrow, maybe it is just an awful dream--maybe... She screwed her eyelids tightly, hoping beyond hope for a rescuer, and repeated the Lord's Prayer again.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:18 pm

The adventurers hurry as quickly as the slippery floor of the corridor allows. After a time which seems longer than it truly is, they arrive at a place where there is a large alcove to the left of the main corridor. By now the sobbing sounds have ceased. The interior of the alcove is lit in an eerie manner by the lantern which Mister Witherly had carried, and which now lies at an angle on the floor. (It is most fortunate that it has not been extinguished, and that there is no flammable material on the stone floor of the alcove.) Mister Witherly himself lies near the lantern, his body crumpled in a dead faint. This troubling sight is not all that draws one attention.

In the center of the alcove there stands the figure of a woman, her features made unnatural by the light coming from below. She is absolutely still. There is nothing particularly unusual about her appearance. In normal circumstances she would seem to be a person in late youth, of moderate social class and means, dressed in simple clothing. Although the fact that she remains utterly without motion is strange, it is not at all clear why Mister Witherly should have reacted in such an extreme manner.

There is no sign of the coachman who disappeared.

Miss Carrow:

Spoiler:
At last you have been brought to the intended destination. The abductors let go of your arms and remove your blindfold. You are in a large room carved from rock, lit by tapers hanging on the walls. The way from which you came is now blocked by a heavy wood door, near which the hooded and silent abductors stand guard. A person arrayed in a suit of armor of the style worn by French soldiers some centuries ago stands before you.

"We meet again," the mysterious armored person says, in a voice greatly distorted by the suit's faceplates, but strangely familiar.

OOC:   INT = 9
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d20:
3
 


Of course! It is the voice of the madwoman Violette DuPray! What fiendish plan does she have for you now?
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Rooter » Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:29 pm

Image

The eerie stillness of the woman raises Lila's warning instincts. There is something unnatural about the entire tableau. Despite her concern for George's safety she pauses to study the woman in the alcove, attempting to discern what manner of individual she may be.

Spoiler:
I will attempt to use Demonology to determine if I identify any preternatural source please.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:56 pm

Spoiler:
INT = 11 + 1 for Demonology = 12
Victoria Silverwolf rolled 1d20:
9


After much careful meditation upon this peculiar situation (including, as an example, consideration of the fabled zombi which is spoken of by practitioners of vodou in the French Caribbean islands), Miss Davenport becomes convinced that there is nothing of a magical nature about it. If one may speak informally, it does not smell of sorcery.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby SunlessNick » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:47 pm

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Ines gingerly reaches out to touch the figure.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:51 pm

Ines is surprised to discover that the woman's skin feels extremely cool and smooth, as if she were made of glass.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby SunlessNick » Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:13 am

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Ines relates this development to the others.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:37 am

Image

Henry examines them both with a trained medical eye, looking to see if there's anything he can do for them. He takes out his bottle of smelling salts, first attempting to revive Mr. Witherly.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Tabs » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:53 am

Image

Spoiler:
"Violette DuPray." She tilted her chin in defiance,--no hope, no fear,--"What are you doing inside those ridiculous metal plates?" and tried to calm her heaving breast.
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Victoria Silverwolf » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:12 pm

Mister Witherly revives, choking and coughing, as the smelling salts are applied. His manner upon regaining consciousness is strangely subdued, as if nearly all emotion has been torn from his soul. His features are ashen, and a streak of white is newly present in his hair. When addressed, at first he only murmurs inaudibly.

When Doctor North approaches the woman with the intention of awakening her from this strange trance, it becomes evident that her flesh is rigid to the touch and without warmth. One's first impression is that she is merely a clever mannequin or life-sized poppet. Upon closer examination, as a lantern is held near her face, it is obvious that no artisan, no matter how skilled, could have captured every delicate pore and every downy hair which appears upon her skin. No trace of respiration or pulse can be detected, nor is there a drop of water within her unblinking eyes.

During this inspection Mister Witherly recovers his voice and rises to his feet. "How did he know? 'Before they fall, she will die.'"

All present recall the mysterious words of the self-proclaimed prophet.

Miss Carrow

Spoiler:
Violette raises her faceplate. Her hair is roughly shorn, leaving only stubble on her exposed scalp.

"You are not to address me by that name. I am Jeanne."

She shouts in French (a language with which Miss Carrow is not acquainted.) Half a dozen men dressed a French soldiers of the three centuries past enter from a pair of wooden doors on the opposite side of the room. They are armed with crossbows and short swords.

"Now we wait for your friends."
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Re: Chapter the Eighth: Across the Channel

Postby Rooter » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:26 pm

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Some form of embalming? Lila wonders. "You ... knew this woman, Mister Witherly?" she inquires hesitantly.
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