Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:00 am

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"Ah, I've seen the man's handiwork before," says Henry. "For what purpose were you intended?"
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:13 pm

"I know not. I know only what I am told, and few speak to me save to command."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:51 pm

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"And our first command to you is a simple one, Golem," Lila says. "We are surrounded by snakes whose bites one whose body is of clay is presumably invulnerable to. Please destroy the snakes. Then it seems we may need you to escort us to Lilith's lair. She still has some kind of hold over Mr. Crayle which we must break."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:40 am

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"You are to obey the orders of these my companions as you would my own," adds Henry, in case the golem would normally only obey the one who gave it life.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:16 am

With lumbering steps the golem goes outside the house. It may be noted that the serpents do not attempt to enter, as if they are unable to do so. One by one, the golem grips the vipers in its giant fists and squeezes them until they are lifeless. Given the large number of serpents -- perhaps a hundred or more -- and the slow, methodical movements of the golem, it is obvious that it will take a great deal of time to destroy them all. Perhaps by daybreak it will be safe to emerge from the manor home.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby SunlessNick » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:24 am

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Ines asks one of the male servants to watch over Mr Crayle in the company's absence - "He must not be released yet, but please make sure he comes to no harm."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:01 am

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Lila nods. "We shall see how he appears on the morrow. With any luck once the snakes are cleared perhaps Lilith's influence upon him will too be gone."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:49 am

Members of the household managing to obtain some much-needed sleep, despite the unnerving sound of stone hands crushing serpents, and the angry hissing of said vipers, the morrow dawns. Without the manor home stands the golem, seeming to be no more than a crudely formed statue. Most likely the less sophisticated servants consider it to be no more than an unusually eccentric work of art.

Mister Crayle seems to have obtained some rest as well, despite his uncomfortable situation.

"I trust you have some explanation for this imprisonment," he states coldly, upon meeting the adventurers in the morning. "It is evident that you are not common thieves, and Mrs Piper appears to place great trust -- not misplaced, I hope to Heaven! -- in you. I have been informed, by the household staff, of an unusual infestation of venomous serpents during the night. What this peculiar phenomenon has ought to do with your inexplicable treatment of me, I cannot fathom."

It will be obvious to the party that Mrs Piper has kept Mister Crayle ignorant of all preternatural matters, as he evinces no knowledge of the golem. If there have been whispers amongst the servants, he has paid no heed to them.

Questions concerning the flame-haired woman produce only denials that he is familiar with any such person.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:09 pm

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"You have been unwell," Lila says. "An imbalance of the humors, I expect. It was necessary to restrain you in order to prevent your doing harm to yourself or others. Indeed, in a fit of madness of which you are evidently unconscious you attempted to elope with this flame-haired woman and set free a number of snakes from a traveling menagerie. I believe it may be safe to untie you so long as Doctor North is satisfied in his examination."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:50 pm

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"Yes," says Henry, "it was unfortunate but necessary to restrain you. You have my apologies for your treatment, but it was for your own good. You seem to be much improved this morning, so I see no reason not to release you provided you agree not to leave the house. Ivan will stand ready in case you suffer a relapse."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:52 am

This explanation appears to assuage Mister Crayle's suspicions, and he agrees to the stated limitations on his actions, having no particular business which would require him to leave the estate. The golem remains motionless outside, awaiting any further commands.

All would seem quiet for the nonce. It is only the next day that disturbing rumors circulate among the servants, which, as ever, eventually find their way to their masters and mistresses. It seems that a few boys -- there is no agreement as to their exact number -- have gone missing from the nearest village. Among them it seems, is young Peter, the apothecary's apprentice. The common opinion is that they have gone, as so many have, to seek their fortune in London or some other great city. One odd detail is that a very young girl claimed to have seen one of the boys go off with a "booful lady."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:43 am

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"Lilith must have lured them off to her lair," says Henry. "We're going to have to confront her there to rescue them. We cannot allow her to drain them and to increase her strength. Fortunately, we have a golem to help us,"
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:24 am

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"We must be prepared," Lila says grimly, paying a visit to the Brazen Head. "Head, what is Lilith's weakness?"
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:56 am

"Ecclesiastes, Chapter the First, Verse the Second," the Brazen Head replies, with some hesitation, as if the words are painful to pronounce.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:36 pm

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"Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity," quotes Henry. "While the text is speaking about how King Solomon saw everything in the world as vain and profitless, perhaps we need to take it out of context to understand what the golem meant. If Lilith's weakness is vanity, then we could try showing her her own reflection in a looking glass. That should serve to distract her."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby SunlessNick » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:16 am

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"We still have the mirror in which the spirits were trapped," says Ines. "Macaria may have robbed it of its magic, but traces of its past may remain to the eyes of a being like this serpent woman." After a moment she adds, "We also have the service she promised us. I do not know what she might be able to do against our enemy, but perhaps she can save the boys."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:01 am

It would seem that the adventurers have need of an agreed strategy; that if, indeed, the flame-haired woman be sought, and the mirror taken, how and by whom this might be done; and, if the mysterious Macaria's aid be sought, by whom and how such a request might be phrased.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:29 am

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"I believe it is to you that Macaria promised the favour, Miss Davenport," says Henry, "so it should be you who calls upon her if necessary. However, we had best hold that in reserve until we know it is needed. A powerful boon like that is not something to be used prematurely. Whoever holds the mirror should be one who is best able to resist Lilith's powers."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:59 am

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"The mirror seems a good idea," Lila agrees. "If the indications are true then one of Faith will be best able to resist her powers, hence I would suggest Ines or Mrs North. I don't believe it is yet a matter of life and death such as to involve Macaria. The boys will be of more use to Lilith alive than dead."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:11 pm

There being general agreement, the party makes preparation to confront their quarry in the place where she was once before encountered. As to the exact details of this excursion -- whether it be worth the risk to expose Mrs North to possible peril, or if her purity of soul may prove invaluable, to mention just one question worthy of discussion -- such may be decided upon at the time of setting out.

Howsoever this may be, the adventurers find themselves at the shallow cave in full daylight, as seems wisest. There is no sign that anyone dwells therein, although this cannot be determined with certainly without exploring the interior further.

(It is a curious fact that there is no sign of the many serpents slain by the golem, as if they had vanished like dew. The golem itself remains motionless, and could not be told from an ordinary statue, albeit of a particularly artless sort, by even the closest examination.)
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