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 VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:39 am

This appears to be a strategy of great virtue. It remains to be seen who shall undertake it, at what times, and in what manner concealed.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:09 am

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"I can stay with her during most or all of the day," says Henry. "That wouldn't look unusual, as I am caring for her and trying to treat her condition. Perhaps the best time to spring our trap is when I finally leave. The culprit may be impatient after waiting for hours for me to step out of the room and might not wait long after I'm gone, little knowing that someone else is lying in wait. The compartment housing the head would be a good hiding place, as it seems designed for concealment."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:52 am

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Lila concurs with this idea. "Given the compartment's small size it would need to be myself or Ines concealed there."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby SunlessNick » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:29 pm

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Ines expresses willingness, though she visibly shivers at the thought of spending the night with the demonic head.

OOC:   See also my comment in the OOC thread.  
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:25 am

The two valiant ladies agree to take turns concealed within the secret chamber, which may be kept just slightly ajar, in order to observe any skulduggery which may occur during the night, this being a tedious and difficult task which would greatly try the patience of a single individual.

Spoiler:
1 = Ines 2 = Miss Davenport
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d2:
1


At some point during the time when Ines keeps watch over the gloomy interior of Mrs Piper's bedchamber, lit only by moonlight penetrating the single window, a most peculiar event occurs. From the ceiling, through a small aperture which opens silently, a length of twine descends. At its end is tied a stone about the size of an infant's palm. It is lowered until it is just above Mrs Piper's forehead, where it remains for a time. Afterwards, it is raised from whence it came, there being no other evidence that it was ever there.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby SunlessNick » Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:59 am

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As soon as the aperture is closed Ines steels quickly out of the room and alerts the rest of the company. The miscreant must be in the space above the room, or just leaving it, and may be intercepted - she wonders if she should have tried to cut the twine and take the stone, but at least the culprit will be unaware.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:36 pm

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"Peculiar, indeed. Let us proceed quietly in order not to warn them of our coming. Can we identify which chamber lies directly above?"
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:37 am

Silent investigation reveals that the object descended from an attic, in an area directly above Mrs Piper's bedchamber. By the dim, wavering light of a candle, it can be seen that a complex clockwork mechanism controls the peculiar device's movements, as well as the sliding back and forth of the small aperture from whence it came. As of yet, it does not seem that anyone else is aware of the party's activities; apparently all other persons are sound asleep.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:22 am

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"I could probably sabotage the mechanism," says Henry, examining it. "I could just prevent it from opening - or maybe also cause it to make a loud noise when someone attempts to open it. Of course, now that we know that the miscreant uses the attic, we can hide there tomorrow night and catch the fiend. Still, there may be things we can do tonight. Whoever did this is likely to still be awake, and Crayle is my first suspect. We can see if he's in his room and whether or not he is clothed and awake, though that may arouse his suspicions."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:58 am

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"If the clockwork device is cleverly automated then perhaps the perpetrator does not need to be awake nor even to come up here in person," Lila suggests. "Can you ascertain if this is the case? If so, we can at least as you say disable it in order to spare Mrs. Piper from more harm even if we cannot expose the fiend. I should like to know what this strange stone is, though, and how it could cause such effects." She peers closely at the object in question.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:16 am

The small stone is of a black color with a metallic luster, and appears to consist of an assemblage of octahedral crystals.

The clockwork mechanism can be seen to be extraordinarily complex, even upon casual examination.

Obtaining any further information that this, or attempting to obtain the stone or disable the mechanism, would require great stealth to avoid producing an appreciable amount of noise. The same may be said of an attempt to observe the bedchamber of Mr Crayle, or, for that matter, any other member of the household.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:53 pm

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"If I were to sabotage the mechanism, or simply remove the stone, we'd risk making a lot of noise," says Henry. "It would require incredible stealth. Perhaps you should try, Miss Davenport, and I could walk you through what you would need to do."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:52 am

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Lila agrees. "Let us attempt to retrieve the stone so that it can be studied further."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:16 am

Spoiler:
DEX = 18; I don't think the True Innocent would be close enough during this expedition into a remote and secluded place to warrant the bonus point.
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12


The intended excursion is accomplished skillfully, Miss Davenport moving, as the saying goes, as quietly as a church mouse. She returns to her companions with the stone in hand.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:55 pm

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"Well done," says Henry. "We can examine the stone in privacy. I should be able to determine something of its physical properties, and in the meantime it will cause Mrs. Piper no further harm. It may be harmful to us, though, so we had best be careful with it."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby SunlessNick » Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:06 am

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"Does this machine remind anyone else of Roterstein's works?" asks Ines.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:58 am

While the others contemplate that provocative question, Doctor North is easily able to determine that the object is a lodestone, obvious from its affinity for iron and steel. It appears to be an unusually powerful sample of that extraordinary mineral, judging from the difficulty he has pulling his surgical instruments away from its grip. As to its purpose as part of the curious device discovered, that is not so clear.

Mrs Piper continues in her fragile condition, neither worse not better.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:40 am

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"The thought had crossed my mind as well," says Henry. "The alternative is that there's another fiendish, brilliant inventor around. Of course, whenever he comes up with a name for himself, it's always some translation or variation of 'red stone.' I'd recognize him if I saw him again - and vice versa. This stone is a lodestone, similar to one I have in my possession from that cabinet of curiosities, but this one is far stronger. Magnetism may affect the human body in unknown ways. Blood contains iron, after all. This may have been the cause of Mrs. Piper's condition, though she is not improving with it removed. Still, at least she is no worse, and she may improve with time. We may want to stake out the attic, in case the culprit returns to check on the device when it no longer functions. We could also ask further questions of the head, for whatever that's worth."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:58 am

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"I have been wondering why anyone would wish harm to befall Mrs. Piper. Since she has no great material wealth to obtain it strikes me that possession of the Brazen Head is the likely goal of the perpetrator."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:55 am

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"Yes, I think you must be right," says Henry. "If we could get a look at her will, we could see who she intended to get the Brazen Head."
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