Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:30 am

Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration; Or, The Disturbing Message

All preparations being made, the midday feast in celebration of the Baron's birthday commences. The meal is a long and leisurely one, consisting of many small courses, served with ales, wines, and mineral waters of good, if not outstanding, quality. Between the various dishes gifts are presented to the Baron. All in all it is a pleasant, if rather sedate, affair. A notable fact is that there are no hot foods served. Although the fishes, soups, meats, and vegetable dishes are unobjectionable, one may wish that the host did not have such a taste for comestibles served at room temperature or cooler.

Whilst the meal continues, one by one the Baron's family offers their gifts. The Baroness presents a set of fine quills, with which the Baron is quite pleased. A little later Charlotte rushes out of her seat, bestows a kiss upon her father's cheek, and gives him several sheets of paper. It will be learned, in time, that these contain a rather ridiculous tale which she has composed, some nonsense or other about a princess rushing off with her pirate lover in search of adventure. The Baron grins at this silly offering, and it is obvious that Charlotte is, as they say, the apple of his eye.

In stark contrast, Stephan does not rise, nor does he have any object at hand to present. He merely speaks softly and with exaggerated courtesy.

-- In honor of this occasion, I hereby pledge my continuing obedience. --

The Baron is somewhat taken aback by this and does not respond, as if uncertain whether his younger son speaks with sincerity or insolence. Raquel, sensitive to the awkwardness of this moment, takes the opportunity to present the handkerchief which she has embroidered, which the Baron accepts with much praise for its fine workmanship.

Some time passes before Isaac offers a small vial or urn of unusual design, inscribed with strange markings. As he explains in greater detail than is perhaps wonted, the slow but relentless hand of Time has fused the lid and body together, so that it would be difficult to open the container without damaging it. The object is therefore assumed to be of great age, and is offered as a curious antique. The Baron seems bemused but appreciative.

After accepting Doctor North's generous gift with gratitude, and enjoying the delicious treats prepared by the ladies, the Baron rises, as if about to make a speech. Before he can say anything, however, a bespectacled servant of advanced age, who evidently serves his master as a clerk, interrupts him.

-- I beg your pardon, but this message has just arrived. It is marked most urgent. --

He withdraws as the Baron breaks the seal of the letter and reads it. As he does so his face turns pale, then red. He tosses the paper into the fire (which, it will have been observed, does not warm the room very much.) He then whispers something to his wife and leaves the room. The Baroness stares blankly into space.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:22 am

Image

"Baroness, what is wrong?" asks Henry, concerned. "Is there any way I or my companions can help?"
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby SunlessNick » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:38 am

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Do most people remain seated or rise from the table in the wake of this startling event?
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:50 am

Events having occurred so suddenly, the other members of the family remain seated, looks of surprise on their faces.

Spoiler:
CHA = 9 + 1 for True Innocent = 10
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
8


Convinced of the sincerity of Doctor North's concern, the Baroness reveals the sad truth of the matter.

"It is Guillaume! He writes to say that he has deserted the army! Oh, the shame of it!" With that she wipes away a tear.

Hearing this, Stephan rushes from the table and hurries in the same direction as his father. Charlotte goes to comfort her mother as best she can.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby SunlessNick » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:58 am

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Ines glances around the people at the table, looking for anyone who seems like they may have insight into what is happening.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:07 am

Spoiler:
WIS = 11 + 1 for True Innocent = 12
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
9


Ines is insightful enough to notice that, although Raquel seems truly shocked by this revelation, Isaac is unperturbed, as if this event does not surprise him at all.

-- Come, daughter. -- he says to Raquel, apparently forgetting that the Gypsy understands Spanish. -- I have preparations to make. --

With that he leads her away from the room.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:19 am

Image

"If we find him quickly," says Henry, "we may be able to convince him to go back before it is too late. Then he would only be absent without leave for however long he has been gone. I wonder...perhaps Guillaume is the one who told those other soldiers about the abandoned area of the Chateau. He may be with them even now, or if not, they may know his whereabouts. If we locate them, we could locate him. Failing that, we know of their interest in that part of the Chateau, and that they will attempt to gain entry."
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby SunlessNick » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:44 am

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"Did not the note on the map mention his name?" says Ines, in English (in the hopes that the Baroness will not understand and suffer the further blow that would come with this revelation).
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Rooter » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:22 pm

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"Indeed," Lila concurs, watching Senor del Garazoga depart with mounting unease. "Perhaps Charlotte, who seems to know the various nooks and crannies of the area well, may be able to speculate on her brother's whereabouts and reasons. For my own part I believe an exploration of the chapel in particular is in order."

Spoiler:
If appropriate, a Demonology check to determine if she recognizes a strong likelihood of a supernatural element at play in the persistent cold etc.
INT 11 + 1 Demonology + 1 TI
Rooter rolled 1d20:
13
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:55 am

As Doctor North agrees with Ines that the map did indeed mention the name of the Baron's elder son, Miss Davenport meditates upon the peculiar coldness of the Chateau, eventually coming to the conclusion that there is not yet enough information to determine if it be of a preternatural nature.

By this time Charlotte has accompanied her mother to another room, where they may commiserate in private. Meanwhile, the voices of Stephan and the Baron can be heard from behind the door of the study, although the adventurers are not close enough to make out their conversation.

The members of the family being busy with their own concerns, the party is free to make such plans as they see fit. It seems likely that they will not be prevented from exploring the abandoned portion of the Chateau, if they so desire. They may also wish to determine if they should invite Isaac along on such an expedition, he having expressed some interest. (It seems obvious that Raquel would not wish to come along, but Miss Carrow's devotion to Doctor North may be sufficient to persuade her to join him, if he wishes her company.)

The sound of rain can be heard from without, as well as an occasional rumble of distant thunder.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:41 am

Image

"Isaac expressed an interest in seeing that part of the Chateau," says Henry. "We may wish to invite him along. I am reluctant to expose you to possible danger, Elizabeth, but I would feel better having you by my side should you choose to join us. We definitely need to bring the mirror. If there is a spirit or spirits haunting those rooms, we will have need of it."
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby SunlessNick » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:43 am

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As soon as the company is alone, Ines will relate Isaac's seeming lack of surprise, and his words to Raquel. "He obviously has some design, but the incident on the road would be a strange strategy were he in league with the two soldiers."
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:10 am

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"Perhaps Guillaume has deserted because he is in love," says Henry. "He may be planning to marry Raquel, in which case he would need her father's permission. That would explain why he was not surprised. However, she does not appear to be aware of any such plans as yet."
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Rooter » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:14 am

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"The weather outside would seem to suggest now as a good time to explore within," Lila says. In preparation she will gather materials for torches, both for lighting and possible use as a weapon.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:49 am

The party's conversation is interrupted by Stephan storming out of his father's study, slamming the door behind himself, and rushing outside, with no thought of preparing himself for the storm. He rubs his cheek absently as he passes by, as if he has sustained some injury there.

When informed of the adventurers intention to explore the deserted portion of the Chateau, Isaac requests a few moments to gather together some items which may of useful. He returns from his room a little while later, seemingly just as he left; apparently whatever he carries is small enough to be concealed about his person.

"After you," he says. "Begin the search wheresoever you think best."

A long, dark corridor leads to the empty rooms, which are laid out at the end of it to the left and right, forming what would be seen from above as the letter T. Immediately to the left are a pair of servants' rooms, and to the left of them a storeroom. Immediately to the right is the old library; beyond it, three small bedrooms, evidently intended for children; and, finally the abandoned chapel.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Rooter » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:13 am

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Lila's attention is focused upon investigating the chapel and perhaps the children's bedrooms but she inquires if the others wish to explore elsewhere. "Best you keep a close eye on the Senor, methinks," she whispers to Ines.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby SunlessNick » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:45 pm

Wruter wrote:"Best you keep a close eye on the Senor, methinks," she whispers to Ines.
Image

Ines will do as Miss Davenport suggests - as well as a close ear for anything he might say to himself in Spanish. She herself will avoid saying anything in Spanish (or Calo) so as not to betray that she understands them.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:03 am

As soon as the the lantern illuminates the branching corridor to the right, a startling sight appears.

Spoiler:
CHA = 11
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
20


So shocking is it that Miss Carrow drops into a swoon before anyone else can react.

The two soldiers' bodies lie on the floor, their arms raised as if to ward off some attacker, their hands twisted into claws. Their skin is of a pale blue shade, and frost covers their clothing. Upon closer examination it may be seen that their flesh is frozen solid.

"Poor chaps," Isaac remarks. "Evidently they sought shelter here from the elements, and did not realize that this part of the Chateau was not warmed by fires. No doubt they arrived soaked with rain, and perished from the complete loss of phlogiston from their bodies. Requiescat in pace." After a moment of silence, he speaks again. "Shall we continue, or see to the proper burial of these two men? Should the Baron and Baroness be informed?"

Of course, the attention of the party is currently directed at reviving the unfortunate Miss Carrow.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:39 am

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Henry catches Elizabeth and takes out smelling salts to try to revive her.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:00 am

Spoiler:
Fainting is supposed to last 1d4 rounds, but since we're not really using rounds, let's try something else just for fun. CON = 9
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
3


As luck would have it, the smelling salts are quite effective, and Miss Carrow is quickly restored to her senses. She turns away from the frightening sight and seeks safety in Doctor North's arms.

"What . . . what happened?" she asks weakly.
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