Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:21 am

As the adventurers make their way out of the room safely, they each hear a woman's voice, which seems to come from inside their heads rather than from any external source.

BRING ME MY HEART
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Rooter » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:12 am

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Once they are without and the door of the chapel is closed, Lila shares her observations of the being's nature with the others, forcing herself to endure the discomfort of her icy injury. "It is plain that if we are to vanquish this spirit we must identify and satisfy its obsession, its heart. There must be someone in the Chateau who knows something of the history. But first I believe you owe us an explanation for your subterfuge, Senor del Garazoga," she adds, turning to the supposed tutor.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:24 am

"You seem to have me at a disadvantage," Isaac admits. "To be sure, I have not been entirely honest with you. I assure you, however, that I have no malign intentions towards anyone here.

"I must begin my story many years ago. During one of my excursions into the land of the Berbers, I acquired certain arcane knowledge from the wise women of the nomadic tribes of that region. They believed it impossible for any man to practice magic, so they considered my curiosity about such matters a source of much amusement. Whether this be true or not in that desert land, I cannot say. But after much practice and research, I was able to duplicate a small number of their miraculous feats here in Europe. By temporarily creating a Wall of Fire I was able to hold off the attack of the specter who haunts the abandoned chapel.

"As for my motive for entering therein -- would that I had not! -- I blush to confess that it was a matter of pure avarice. Through various sources which it would be tedious to relate, I learned that a great treasure is said to be hidden somewhere in this Chateau. To be precise, a diamond of exceptional size and quality. Over many months I was able to build a reputation as a tutor, and I made certain that the Baron was aware of my skills. My intent was to locate the fabled gem, if it truly exists, and claim a reward for restoring it to its proper owners. Doubtless the unfortunate soldiers heard something about the jewel as well, and sought it for themselves.

"As some small proof of my story, I present a sketch I have made of the supposed diamond, based on the description which rumor provides."

With that he withdraws a small slip of paper from the pocket of his waistcoat.

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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Rooter » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:42 am

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"One cannot help observe that this diamond appears to take the shape of a heart," Lila ventures. "If it does indeed exist then perhaps this is the heart of which the spirit speaks. It seems, Senor, that I at least will be joining you in your search for this treasure."
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:47 am

"I thank you for being so understanding. The question remains; how is it to be found?"
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby SunlessNick » Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:07 pm

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"Stephan seems knowledgeable of the Chateau's history and stories," ventures Ines. "Miss Charlotte did say to me that he has heard tell of the ghost, at least. She implied that he believed it, though I do not know if that is so."
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:13 am

"A fine idea," Isaac says, "but one which begs the question: How are we to find Stephan, now that he has left the Chateau in such haste? Shall we face the weather and make up a search party?"

It may be noted that a steady rain continues to fall, with distant thunder heard rumbling from time to time.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Rooter » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:54 am

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"We saw him quarrel with his father," Lila observes. "Perhaps it would be as well that we brave the elements to locate him since people do foolish things in the height of emotion and there may be other soldiers abroad."
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:51 am

Quickly gathering together the proper clothing needed for the inclement weather, the party sets out in search of Stephan. Somewhat surprisingly, when Raquel learns that they are going to seek out the missing young man, she insists on coming along (although she does not know the underlying reason the adventurers are in pursuit of him.)

Spoiler:
Miss Davenport is the only person present with Tracking experience; everybody else gets a -10 when attempting to do so, so let's see how she does first. There's also a -2 penalty for rain, but + 1 for at least one True Innocent present (more than one doesn't add any more of a bonus.) The +1 for Tracking by a Demon Hunter only applies to supernatural beings being pursued. WIS = 12 -2 + 1 = 12
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
6


Despite the rain washing away most traces of Stephan's path, Miss Davenport's experience with tracking allows her to guide the party in the direction he has taken. After making their way through rivulets rushing through the rocky ground, they discover him standing in a sort of small valley between two hillocks. He is soaked to the skin, water running off his bare head, although he seems to take no notice. Near him, seated on her black stallion, is Macaria, almost completely hidden under the hooded black robe she has been seen to wear before. It appears as if they are in conversation, but the rumble of thunder prevents them from being overheard.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:18 am

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"Shall we approach?" asks Henry.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Rooter » Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:59 am

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"Stephan may not be in a helpful mood and Macaria has shown herself to be somewhat flighty," Lila suggests. "Miss Raquel, perhaps you could approach him on our behalf. I'm sure he would be pleased to see you. Naturally we would wish to ascertain his safety but also we are attempting to learn something of a heart-shaped diamond which is said to be hidden in the Chateau and a woman who once froze to death there."
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:48 am

Raquel is somewhat alarmed by this revelation but is willing to undertake the task requested of her. She walks toward the two, heedless of the rain. It may be observed that she is quickly engaged in impassioned conversation with Macaria, going so far as to kneel upon the sodden ground, her arms raised in entreaty. All this time Stephan remains in a passive state. At last Macaria gestures for her to rise, speaks briefly with her, then rides away. Raquel leads Stephan by the hand back to the others.

"She is a very strange woman," she says, her voice trembling. She pauses to make the Sign of the Cross upon herself. "She says she has come to take Stephan away, but for my sake -- Heaven knows why! -- she will allow him to remain for one more day. Let us return to the Chateau, where you may speak to him as you wish."
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby SunlessNick » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:51 pm

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Ines shivers in superstitious reaction to this.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:41 am

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"Yes, we should not stay out in this weather any longer than necessary," agrees Henry. "We'll catch our deaths." He glances uneasily back at Macaria. "I wonder if perhaps my initial impression of her was correct."
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:52 pm

The party returns to the Chateau, where they eagerly seek out a blazing fire in the main hall to dry out their damp clothing. The Baron, the Baroness, and Charlotte are not present, although it might be possible to summon one or more of them if the adventurers wish to do so. Worthy of note is the fact that Raquel remains close by Stephan's side, even going so far as to take his hand, and that Isaac seems to smile approvingly at this.

Stephan seems to come out a daze.

"Yes? What is it you wished to ask me?"
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:38 am

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"Have you heard anything about a diamond in the shape of a heart that may be somewhere in the Chateau?" asks Henry, preferring not to waste any time.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:37 pm

"There are some legends about a treasure lost somewhere within the Chateau," he replies,
"but I always thought that was only a story for the gullible."

At that moment the door leading into the great hall crashes open. As if Nature herself wishes to set the scene, the silhouette of a giant of a man is illuminated by a flash of lightning. The sound of the door slamming closed behind him is perfectly timed to match the sound of thunder. The man wears a military uniform, wet and filthy. He is of immense size and obviously of great strength. Staring directly at Stephan, he roars "I have come to claim what is rightly mine!"
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:25 am

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"You must be Guillaume," says Henry, hoping to calm things down with politeness and diplomacy. "I am Dr. Henry North, Earl of Dunwich, a guest of your father's."
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:55 am

Spoiler:
CHA = 9 + 1 for TI = 10
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
3


It is evident that, whatever his crimes may be, Guillaume still has respect for one of noble blood.

"You are welcome, sir. Forgive me if I cannot offer you more than a friendly greeting, but I have matters of pressing importance."

Having overheard his dramatic entrance and speech, the other members of the family rush into the room. Both Charlotte and the Baroness greet him warmly, but the Baron is less enthused.

"I suppose you have come to claim your inheritance," he says coldly. "I am resolved to deny it to you."

"Then you would award it to this mewling weakling," Guillaume says angrily, indicating his brother.

"Bah! Neither of you is worthy of the name of de Hautommes."

"I admit that I am not a strong or brave man, Father," Stephan says quietly. "What a fine set of heirs you have produced! A coward, a criminal, and a harlot!"

The baron makes for Stephan as if to strike him, but Raquel places herself between them. For a moment all is still, as if the room were filled with living statues; then, bowing to the assembled guests, he heads for the abandoned part of the Chateau.

"I will find it with or without your help," he says as he leaves the room.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:42 am

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"We should follow him," Henry says quietly to his companions.
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