Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:24 am

Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search; Or, The Hunted and the Haunted

Ines makes her way to the local village, engaging in conversation with various folk to see if any might have information about Guillaume.

Spoiler:
CHA = 10. Special note: Due to the Asset of Beautiful, a roll of 11 to 13 inclusive will mean that she has attracted male attention only.
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
2


The inhabitants are quite friendly and talkative. More than one reports that a man resembling Guillaume (who is difficult to mistake, due to his great size) was seen purchasing provisions, as if for a long journey. After this, he seems to have simply disappeared. No one seems to have witnessed his departure.

Meanwhile . . .

Miss Davenport attempts to track the missing man, searching carefully through the surrounding countryside for clues.

Spoiler:
WIS = 12
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
17


There does not appear to be any trace of him. This is most peculiar, as the tracks of many other persons, on foot or on horseback, are clearly visible, but none matching either Guillaume's very large boots, nor hoof-prints of a depth which would suggest an animal carrying such a giant of a man has passed by.

Puzzled by this mystery, Isaac pauses to meditate upon the problem.

Spoiler:
WIS = 11
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
6


It appears he has an idea.

"I have seen things like this in the land of the Berbers," he says. "The prints of camels -- you are familiar with that strange beast of the desert? -- which vanish suddenly in undisturbed sand. Persons seen clearly at a distance who disappear from sight without explanation. Whatever it was that Guillaume found at the Chateau seems to have given him some sort of preternatural power. I fear that makes him very dangerous indeed."
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Re: Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search

Postby SunlessNick » Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:15 am

VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:The inhabitants are quite friendly and talkative. More than one reports that a man resembling Guillaume (who is difficult to mistake, due to his great size) was seen purchasing provisions, as if for a long journey. After this, he seems to have simply disappeared. No one seems to have witnessed his departure.
Image

After offering her thanks, Ines makes her way to wherever Guillaume made his purchases - whether that be a village shop or farmer's residence - to inquire further. She will purchase something herself (perhaps it would be well to confess that this is not simply to foster friendly relations, but to fortify her for what is presumably a strenusous walk through the mountainous terrain) and ask whether he said anything about where he might be bound.
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Re: Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:59 am

Spoiler:
CHA = 10, same special note as before.
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
2


After some inquiry, Ines is able to determine that Guillaume obtained his provisions from a local merchant -- in point of fact, the only local merchant in this small community -- who happens to be married to one of the same Gypsy blood. With this bond between them, the information is soon shared that the missing man, while in his cups, bragged about his intent to make a great fortune for himself in England. Seeing as the fellow had no means of transport save his own two good legs, and did not seem wealthy enough to afford either a horse or a coach to take him to the sea, and thence across the Bay of Biscay, this was not taken seriously.
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Re: Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search

Postby Rooter » Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:18 am

Image

"Curious, indeed," Lila murmurs.

Upon their return to the Chateau, she reports that Guillaume appears to have vanished from the locality through some preternatural means. She inquires of his family if, having been given the means to travel where he might, they can think of any particular place or goal which he might have expressed some prior interest in.
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Re: Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:20 am

Upon questioning, Charlotte recalls that her elder brother often spoke of making his fortune in one of the French colonies in the West Indies. Undertaking such a venture would, of course, be a difficult and expensive task, one for which Guillaume was never prepared at any stage in his life.
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Re: Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search

Postby SunlessNick » Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:46 pm

Image

Ines offers her thanks again, and begins the walk back to the Chateau to report her findings.
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Re: Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:24 am

When the adventurers are all together, away from the members of the de Hautommes family and their servants, Isaac ventures an opinion.

"Based on the evidence I have seen, I suggest that Guillaume is in possession of an enchanted item which allows him to travel a great distance in an instant. I realize this seems fantastic, but I have seen things in the North African desert even more astonishing. If I am correct, my experience with such things allows me to speculate that he will not be able to make use of the item more than once per day, and that it will leave him in a state of exhaustion, requiring a full night's rest to recover. The distance he can transport himself in this manner does not exceed seven leagues. Obviously he cannot cross the vast expanse of the ocean this way. I suspect he will make his way to the port city of La Rochelle, which lies about ninety leagues from here, where he may attempt to obtain passage on a ship. This should take him something less than a fortnight. With a coach equipped with good horses and an experienced driver, you should be able to reach the same place at about the same time.

Everything I have said is merely speculative, of course. Make of it what you will."
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Re: Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search

Postby Rooter » Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:40 am

Image

"If what you say is true then we must depart without delay in order to apprehend Guillaume. We know that he is bent upon acquiring wealth. Who knows what mischief he might cause with such an item in his possession."
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Re: Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:49 am

There being no apparent objection to this idea, the party obtains a good coach and driver. The journey to La Rochelle is an uneventful one, the weather mostly clement, the roads in fair condition, and the inns of acceptable quality.

La Rochelle is a busy port city, vital to trade with the New World. It is not quite so prosperous as it was before the Seven Years' War, when France lost so much territory in that distant part of the world. Still, there are ships coming and going, dealing in sugar from the West Indies, furs from what little remains of New France, and, to the dismay of many, slaves from Africa. The city is also famed for its fine faience, this tin-glazed earthenware often bearing Oriental themes.

Once the party has arrived, and made arrangements at one of the many inns, they face the problem of finding Guillaume among so many teeming thousands.
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Re: Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search

Postby SunlessNick » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:23 pm

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"Where are the places where one could secure passage?" asks Ines. "He is a... memorable man."
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Re: Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:41 am

It is evident that the best place to seek information is at the docks, which are full of ships loading and unloading, arriving and departing, and sailing men from all over the world. As to the matter of whom to approach, and in what manner this should be done, that is up to the adventurers themselves.
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Re: Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search

Postby Rooter » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:56 pm

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"I suggest we begin by inquiring of the dock officials as to which ships are bound for England, and perhaps the West Indies, and thence inquire of those ships' masters if a man matching Guillaume's description has sought passage with them."
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Re: Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:36 pm

There are numerous small packets and the like bound for England. After much tedious inquiry, the adventurers discover that a man fitting Guilliaume's description has arranged for passage upon one such, Le Petite Fille, in two days. Similar questioning of the larger ships yields the information that Le Sirene, currently being refitted, sails for Trinidad (a Spanish possession, but populated with many French colonists) in a month or so, and that Guilliaume had made inquiries about sailing with her. Evidently he seeks to obtain a sum of money in England by some means or other, then return to La Rochelle to pay his way aboard Le Sirene. His current whereabouts are not known to the sailors questioned.
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Re: Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search

Postby Rooter » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:42 pm

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"Well, do we attempt to locate his lodgings here? Or perhaps it would be easier to simply return to the La Petite Fille in two days' time in order to apprehend him."
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Re: Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search

Postby SunlessNick » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:29 pm

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"Searching for his lodgings makes it no harder to return to the ship if we must," says Ines.
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Re: Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search

Postby Rooter » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:06 am

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"The question is how do we search? To trawl through every inn and lodging place in the town would seem impossible, especially if Guillaume does not wish to be found. I am inclined to spend the two days making arrangements for our own travel back to England unless there are any suggestions."
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Re: Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:29 am

There are many packets bound for England each day, now that the weather has turned mild. The party may wish to engage the services of any number of these, or, if they prefer, to board Le Petite Fille along with their intended target of inquiry.
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Re: Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search

Postby Rooter » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:59 am

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"If we were to book passage on Le Petite Fille for ourselves that would be a sure way to encounter Guillaume."
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Re: Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:44 am

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"Yes, we should certainly book passage for ourselves," says Henry, "but we should also search for him in the port in the time remaining before the ship sails. If we can find him before he leaves France, we may yet be able to convince him to return to his unit before it is too late. Once the ship leaves port with him, that will not be so easy. There are ways we can logically narrow down where Guillaume has lodged. We know he does not have much money, and he will have spent most of it on his passage to England. We should inquire in the cheaper inns first."
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Re: Chapter the Twelfth: A Lengthy Search

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:47 am

The arrangements are made for passage to England in two days' time. Meanwhile, inquiry reveals that those seeking inexpensive lodging convenient to the harbor generally make their way to an establishment of questionable reputation known as Le Joyeux Marin, located within sight -- and smell! -- of the docks. Upon initial inspection, it reveals itself to be a noisy place at all hours of the day and night, with frequent fights involving fists and knives, obviously ignored by officers of the law. Women of fallen virtue, particularly those who have lost the first bloom of youth, are often seen about the place. Many a sailor has lost his meager fortune or his freedom here, and just as many are those marked with scars or the loss of an eye or a limb. It remains to be decided who shall investigate the place and in what manner.
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