Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:48 am

Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil; Or, Chaos Viewed From Afar

Summer, 1789

Many an English heart is filled with gratitude that Providence has seen fit to place its owner upon that peaceful isle, now that the Continent has erupted in disorder. France seems to stumble on the brink of revolution, as may be illustrated by an assault on the Bastille, a fortress, armory, and prison symbolic of royal power.

England has its own woe. King George III is subject to fits of madness. Heaven be thanked that he retains the love of his subjects.

Peace reigns in the homes of our adventurers. After a simple but merry June wedding, Doctor and Mrs North enjoy the blessings of Hymenaeus, whilst their erstwhile companions better themselves with study and practice.

Doctor North:

Spoiler:
If one may raise a delicate subject, do the newlyweds intend to produce issue? One may assume that Doctor North is acquainted with ways to prevent this, as well as ways to make the dangerous business of childbirth less hazardous, although not entirely without risk.


Ines:

Spoiler:
You may choose to train an animal of any reasonable kind -- e.g. a raven but not a tiger -- to perform tricks and otherwise serve as a loyal companion. Or, if you prefer, you may add an additional form of entertainment to the skills of singing and dancing, such as juggling, legerdemain, fortune telling, etc.


Miss Davenport:

Spoiler:
You may acquire and become skilled in the use of any reasonable additional weapon, either preternatural -- e.g., silver bullets, ashen stake, etc. -- or natural -- e.g. a sword, crossbow, etc. In addition, you may choose to become an expert in the nature and weaknesses of a particular class of preternatural being -- e.g. revenants, spirits, fairies, monstrous animals, monstrous humans, etc.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby SunlessNick » Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:40 am

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Spoiler:
While the care of Dr and Mrs North is no doubt the best Ines could ever hope for, one can only assume that a dragon's venom makes for a difficult convalescence. During that time, the Gypsy girl practices legerdemain as a means of keeping her body active before she is strong enough to dance again (she also thinks about ways to incorporate feats of conjuring so as to add spice to her dancing routines).
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:43 am

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During this time in her home city of London, Lila acquires a new pistol with a supply of silver bullets and works on improving her marksmanship for any challenges which may lie ahead. Following her recent travels she also focuses her preternatural studies on that class of being called spirits, knowing that preparation is essential and that this time of respite will not last for ever.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:27 am

Spoiler:
While Henry is afraid to lose Elizabeth and/or a child in childbirth as he did Julia and their son, he does want to have children. If Elizabeth would rather not, he will use his medical knowledge to prevent it. If she does wish for children as well, then he will rely on his medical expertise to reduce the risks.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:24 pm

Mr. Handy wrote:
Spoiler:
While Henry is afraid to lose Elizabeth and/or a child in childbirth as he did Julia and their son, he does want to have children. If Elizabeth would rather not, he will use his medical knowledge to prevent it. If she does wish for children as well, then he will rely on his medical expertise to reduce the risks.


Spoiler:
Since Elizabeth is now an NPC, I have to go with my best interpretation of her character. It seems to me she would want a child. We'll deal with that situation a little later; say, Spring of 1790.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:44 pm

It so happens that Doctor North, Ines, and Miss Davenport all receive a missive from the same party. Aside from the individual greetings, the content is the same. (Ines may require some assistance in deciphering the letter, but this is easily obtained.)

I am directed to inform you that Mrs Henrietta Piper, with whom I believe you are acquainted, at least indirectly, is not long for this world. She wishes to receive you at her home at your earliest convenience.

In haste,

Hezekiah Crayle, executor.


Attached are brief instructions as to the best path to take to the aforementioned domicile. The Piper manor lies in the Surrey Hills, a particularly scenic, but somewhat isolated, area south of London, perhaps a day's ride.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby SunlessNick » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:55 pm

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"Is this the lady who directed you to the Pyrennes?" asks Ines of Miss Davenport.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:18 am

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"I may be able to help her," says Henry. "It sounds unlikely that I can preserve her life, though I can but try, and failing that I can at least make her last moments more comfortable."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:56 am

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"Indeed," Lila replies to Ines. "Mrs. Piper has also given warning and advice in several other affairs of the preternatural. She clearly holds some special insight. i for one am curious as to how we may assist her and it is well that Doctor North should be on hand to ease her passing. Let us proceed forthwith."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:22 pm

The journey to Mrs Piper's manor house is a slow and pleasant one, through rolling hills and past many a folly erected to please the eye of the traveler. The home is a modest but admirably situated one, located upon a rise which allows one a fine view of the large depression whimsically known as the Devil's Punchbowl.

Upon arrival the guests are greeted by Mister Crayle, a gentleman whose bespectacled countenance and severe manner of dress suggest a clerk and a Nonconformist. The few servants defer to him, as if he has taken over the duties of running the household.

"My Lord and ladies," he says by way of greeting, "thank you for responding to my letter in a timely manner. Mrs Piper is very weak. She wishes to speak to you privately. I will direct you to her bedchamber."

This done, he withdraws.

It can be seen at once that Mrs Piper, lying abed, is very thin and pale. Her eyes are watery, but she rewards her visitors with a smile.

"Good," she says. "You are here. Help me up. I have something to show you."

Although the guests may object to the wisdom of this, given her condition, she insists. With assistance, she is able to make her way to a corner of the room. By pressing on the walls in a certain way, a secret chamber is revealed. It is just barely large enough for a person of modest size, such as Mrs Piper, to enter. The interior is only dimly lit from without, but one can detect a peculiar object inside. It appears to be a metallic sculpture of a human head, resting on a pillar. No further details can be perceived without entering the tiny chamber.

"My source of wisdom, my destruction, and my legacy," Mrs Piper remarks, somewhat cryptically. She then falls unconscious, as if the effort of revealing this object was too taxing for her weakened condition.

Doctor North:

Spoiler:
As events proceed, it may be relevant to state whether Mrs North, née Carrow, has accompanied the other members of the party. Assume that she is not yet in a delicate condition.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:12 am

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Henry rushes to catch Mrs. Piper and has Ivan carry her back to the bed and ease her into it. Then Henry takes out his smelling salts to revive her.

Spoiler:
Yes, Elizabeth will come too. So far there is no indication that this will be dangerous.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:59 am

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Meanwhile, her curiosity piqued by Mrs. Piper's cryptic remarks, Lila steps carefully inside the revealed chamber to examine the metallic sculpture.

Spoiler:
I hope that she is able to fit inside the chamber with the description stating 'a person of modest size'. If this is unfeasible I will edit the post. I would guess the characters' physical sizes from largest to smallest to be Ivan, Dr. North, Lila, Ines, Mrs. North.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:26 pm

Mrs. Piper remains in an unresponsive condition, but her signs of life are stable. It seems wisest to return her to her bed for the moment.

Miss Davenport is able to squeeze into the small chamber, with little room to spare. The object is revealed to be made of brass, and has the shape of a nearly featureless human head, with only faint suggestions of nose, mouth, eyes, and so on. The pillar upon which it rests is unremarkable; it appears to be made of wood painted white, vaguely suggestive of marble.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:30 pm

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"Hmm." Lila gives the brass head an experimental tap.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:09 pm

This action causes a hollow ring to resound within the head, as one might expect; what is more surprising, however, is the fact that it also causes a dull, reddish light to appear in the small depressions representing eyes, as if they were filled with miniscule dying coals.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby SunlessNick » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:29 pm

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Ines draws a sharp breath. "Why does she show us this?"
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:56 pm

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Once he is sure that Mrs. Piper is comfortable in her bed, Henry examines the strange object, curious as to what causes the red glow.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:17 pm

Close examination (as best as can be done, given the limited room) reveals no obvious source of the peculiar illumination; it is as if the brass itself glows in this manner, but only in the places resembling eyes. By placing one's hand carefully over the spot, one can determine that there is no difference in temperature due to this phenomenon; the entire head remains cool to the touch.

After some time examining the object, the witnesses are startled to observe the place resembling a mouth move slightly. From within the head there is faintly heard a single word spoken in a resonant whisper.

"Ask."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:54 pm

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Henry has seen enough strangeness in his travels that things like this no longer startle him. "Who are you?" he asks the head, which seems a reasonable question with which to start.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:50 am

"My name is Legion, for we are many."
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