Chapter the Ninth: Paris

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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Re: Chapter the Ninth: Paris

Postby SunlessNick » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:22 am

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Ines dons her brass knuckles. She will not fight the crowd, except to defend herself or one of the other company - and she is going to stay beside one of Dr North, Miss Davenport, or Miss Carrow, for fear of the guards cutting her down otherwise.
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Re: Chapter the Ninth: Paris

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:16 am

Just as a hurricane is said to possess a central area of calm within its raging form, the adventurers, now gathered about Mister Witherly, form a tableau of sobriety in contrast to the chaos that surrounds them. Protected by the loyal Russian, with whom none of the interlopers seem eager to tangle, they are able to direct their attention to the stricken man. He speaks in a weak but commanding voice, his mood changing from elation to sorrow to an accepting calm from moment to moment, like a rudderless ship tossed about by a gale.

"My friends! Justice is done. Ah, 'tis sport to have the engineer hoist with her own petard, ha, ha! Oh, Emily! May all your sins be forgiven, and may I be punished for my own. It grows dim. My eyes fail. What dark rider is this who approaches? Welcome! I fear our journey will be a long and difficult one, my lord."

His gaze falls upon Miss Davenport.

"I had hoped that one day soon I might speak to you freely of my great admiration and affection, when time had served as anodyne to my mourning. Too late, all too late. Now I take my leave of you. What little earthly love I have left to give is yours, dear Lila."

With that the light goes out of his eyes. The ministrations of Doctor North are of no avail, as the violet beam of light has not done any bodily injury, but rather seems to drained the very life force itself in some arcane manner. Once again the words of the self-styled prophet return to haunt those present.

You will have what you desire, but only for a moment.

By this time the battle is nearly over. The rebels, having taken the body of Miss DuPray away, have retreated. Casualties are light, more damage being done to the palace than to persons. The party will be able to face the unpleasant but necessary duty of taking Mister Witherly's body away, and arranging for funerary services.

The ride back to the inn is a grim one, the blackness of the night matching the mood of those who travel.
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Re: Chapter the Ninth: Paris

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:02 pm

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Henry sighs. "It seems as though the Grim Reaper always wins," he says, looking downcast. "Even when he is held at bay, he gets everyone in the end. Still, at least Their Majesties are safe - for now, anyway. Roterstein's inventions do have a tendency to harm their users, though this one needed a little help."
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Re: Chapter the Ninth: Paris

Postby SunlessNick » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:16 am

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"And he still remains free to work more of that harm," says Ines dejectedly.
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Re: Chapter the Ninth: Paris

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:50 am

A handful of days and nights pass by. The bleakness of the weather aptly reflects the melancholy mood of the adventurers, whose victory over the madwoman has the taste of ashes in their mouths.

The necessary business of arranging for Mister Witherly's earthly remains is undertaken. The day of the funeral arrives, having been delayed for a while by the severity of the winter. At last, on a morning only somewhat less bleak than others, the funeral takes place. Laid to rest in foreign soil is one who knew not rest in life. The clatter of freezing rain mingles with the scraping sound of spades forced into hard ground and the murmured curses of the gravediggers. As the mourners turn away, the sound of hoofbeats, as if someone were riding away rapidly, are heard, although no horseman can be seen. Perhaps it is merely a trick of the dim light.

Upon returning to the inn, the party is momentarily diverted from their sorrow (and the chill in their bones) by an unexpected event. A letter from Mrs. Piper, who previously advised Miss Davenport as to the possibility of evil forces taking advantage of the troubles of the French government -- a prediction all too truly fulfilled, as all will agree -- has arrived. In what manner she determined where it must be sent, or, indeed, how it made its way across the Channel in such weather, remains unexplained. The contents of the letter only add to the mystery, as Mrs. Piper seems to have unknown sources of information. The letter is addressed to all.

My sincere condolences on your tragic loss. If I am able to offer any consolation, it is only that the power of wickedness has been weakened, at least for a while.

As Nature's unkindness at this season delays your return to England, I have taken the liberty of including a letter of introduction to acquaintances of mine who dwell in a warmer clime.


The adventurers will note that such a letter is enclosed in the same envelope, along with a lengthy description of those to whom it will be directed, as well as instructions for reaching their place of residence. In brief, the persons in question are the Baron and Baroness de Hautommes; their younger son Stephan (the older son, Guillaume, currently serving in the French Army); and their daughter, Charlotte. They inhabit a chateau in the foothills of the Pyrenees, which is fortunately not so high in the mountains as to make winter travel impossible.

If you are willing to call upon these persons -- and I do so advise you, rather than remaining in a place which offers you only sad memories and future peril -- I believe you will have sufficient time to arrive in advance of the Baron's birthday, which is to be celebrated in fine fashion. Also present, if truth has been spoken to me, will be a certain Isaac del Zaragoza, who is to be employed as the young Miss de Hautommes' tutor, as well as his daughter Raquel. You may dismiss this as the imaginings of a foolish old woman, but intuition tells me that Senor del Zaragoza will prove to be a person of great interest to you.

The remainder of the letter is filled with conventional pleasantries and good wishes. It does not require extraordinary imagination to "read between the lines," if one may coin a phrase, and come to the conclusion that Mrs. Piper has unrevealed reasons for making these suggestions.

Spoiler:
During this interlude it seems appropriate to advance all players to Level 3. Each character may raise one Basic Ability by one. If you can, edit your character profile in Dramatis Personae so I don't forget. I'm going to give everybody 24 hit points -- the maximum for 3rd level fighting classes like Demon Hunters -- regardless of character class, because I don't intend to kill anybody off. I'll try to remember add Damage Bonuses when needed; based on character class, everybody has +1 except Miss Davenport, who has +2. I don't think character advancement will apply to Ivan. Doctor North will have the opportunity to create the Mad Invention which produces the preternatural effect of Light, if that is still desired.
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Re: Chapter the Ninth: Paris

Postby Rooter » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:31 am

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Roused from her grief-stricken malaise by these mysterious tidings, Lila declares herself eager to leave Paris and its environs behind.

Spoiler:
I have increased Charisma to 8.
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Re: Chapter the Ninth: Paris

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:34 pm

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"Yes, I too have had my fill of Paris," says Henry. "Mrs. Piper's suggestions have proved accurate in the past, so I am inclined to heed her advice."

Spoiler:
Yes, I still want to create the Mad Invention that produces Light. We can then use it on the mirror to render it harmless. I'll add 1 more point to Intelligence, bringing it to 14.
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Re: Chapter the Ninth: Paris

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:10 am

Spoiler:
The Patient Reader will please proceed to Chapter the Tenth.
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