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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:48 am
by jp1885
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While Henry and Miss Ravenscroft work on the elixir, Lepus does his part in keeping watch, but also looks out for anyone with inky marks around their eyes, lest they have been spying on them from the secret room.

When the young master is restored to his proper state, Lepus is loathe to speak up first, knowing how little regard the hotheaded young fellow has for people of his ilk.

Instead he casually eyes the man's unusual walking stick. Now that it is the correct length, perhaps he can make out some of the markings?

Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:22 pm
by SunlessNick
"Alone? You saw no one else?" asks William, evidently impatient at the young heir's hostile manner. "And show some gratitude - Lord Dunwich has worked for many days to restore you." [If Miss Ravenscroft is present for the application of the elixir, he wil say "Lord Dunwich and Miss Ravenscroft"]

Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:35 am
by Mr. Handy
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"If you do not remember what has happened to you or who has done this to you," says Henry, "perhaps I can help you recall it. Have you ever heard of Mesmerism? It is a technique that can free suppressed memories, and I can attempt it if you wish."

Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:19 am
by VictoriaSilverwolf
Spoiler:
INT = 15 + 1 for Esoteric Knowledge
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
12


Whilst the others are in conversation, at times heatedly, Lepus is able to draw near the young man's walking stick and study the curious runes carved upon it closely. From his experience with such arcane matters, he is able to determine that they are designed to enable the one who bears them to perform some manner of preternatural effect without possessing either inherent sorcerous abilities or acquired knowledge of the magical. There is also a warning, however, that such power does not come without serious cost. As to exactly what ability the carved stick grants, or what penalty it demands, only the wielder thereof may know.

Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:29 am
by VictoriaSilverwolf
Spoiler:
A couple of CHA saves attempted:

William CHA = 11
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
19


In response to William's inquiry and admonishment, Harold responds with sneering disdain.

"I said I was alone, and I am not in the habit of having my veracity questioned by one of lower station. As for gratitude, I hardly think it due to those who have, in some unknown manner, enticed me into a senseless state and then awakened me, will-I nill-I, as if I were a lamb being brought to slaughter! Speak truly, man. Was it laudanum you use to thus capture me within my own home? Is it ransom you demand?"

It is evident from this speech that he is entirely unaware of his strange transformation, and considers himself only to have been insensate for some period of time.

Indicating Miss Ravenscroft, who stands off to one side, observing in a wide-eyed fashion, he continues "As for that woman -- I do not say 'lady' -- I am only too well aware of her disdain for common morality. Obviously harlotry has proved insufficiently profitable, and kidnapping has been added to her crimes."

Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:47 am
by VictoriaSilverwolf
Mr. Handy wrote:
"If you do not remember what has happened to you or who has done this to you," says Henry, "perhaps I can help you recall it. Have you ever heard of Mesmerism? It is a technique that can free suppressed memories, and I can attempt it if you wish."


Spoiler:
CHA = 9, with good manners and bad reputation cancelling each other out, I'd think
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
12


Still suspicious of those of whom he suspects no good, the heir refuses to cooperate in any manner.

"And if you resort to brute force," he says, brandishing his walking stick, "I warn you that I shall defend myself, despite my infirmity." The reference is obviously to his slight lameness, resulting in a limping walk.

Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:30 pm
by jp1885
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Alarmed that his friends' efforts are serving only to agitate the volatile young heir, Lepus seeks to pour oil over troubled waters.

"Nay my lord," he says, holding his hands out in a placatory manner. "'tis not us that accosted you. We found you lying, as if dead, near one of the sealed rooms nearby. We brought you hence, as the lady possessed certain smelling salts needed to rouse you."

"Old Lepus took her for a physician of some sort - a thousand apologies if her presence disturbs you. Mayhap a more familiar location will soothe the young master; allow us to show you the way out of this place and thence to a joyful reunion with your fine family."

With much bustle and bumbling, he will suggest that his friends help Henry to the exit, whilst Lepus assists by taking hold of the hopefully bewildered man's stick. As he leaves, he will test a theory by passing along the wall that connects the room to the hitherto un-entered chamber and seeing what transpires.

Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:06 am
by Mr. Handy
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"You are not a prisoner here," says Henry. "You had been before, but we rescued you. We merely brought you here to recover, and I am pleased to see that you have. I want to know who is responsible for the state in which we found you as much as you are, and we will be glad to help you investigate. If you had something to drink before you lost consciousness, I can perform scientific tests upon whatever is left to determine if laudanum - or some other harmful substance - was indeed in it. You are in fact in your own home. Your father has been very worried about you, and he will be very pleased to hear that you are alive and well."

Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:51 am
by SunlessNick
"And for my part, I apologise for my outburst," says William. "I had not anticipated what in hindsight is a natural reaction to having been insensate throughout your ordeal."

Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:41 pm
by VictoriaSilverwolf
Somewhat mollified by these explanations, and the fact that, soon enough, he finds himself within more familiar areas of Highdark Hall, Harold allows the adventurers to accompany him back to the welcoming arms of his family. Many astonished exclamations follow his account of having lost all memory of his whereabouts for several days.

During the brief journey from the hidden room to the public areas of the manor home, the party becomes aware of a certain notable fact, to wit: That Harold does not permit Lepus to hold his walking stick, and reacts with seemingly unwarranted alarm at the merest touch of the Gypsy's hand upon it.

From brief contact with the stick, Lepus is able to sense that it has some connection with the room which, heretofore, has remained impossible to enter; but what this might be is unclear.

After the initial reunion with the family, conversation returns to other matters. Dopple asks many questions of the heir, which elicit little information. He announces that he will return to the nearby village, to make further investigation, suspecting that some low criminal has made a thwarted attempt at kidnapping and has fled once its failure became evident.

After this, Harold spends much time speaking with Georgina, who welcomes him with many warm embraces and sisterly kisses. Their speech seems somewhat at cross purposes, the lad mostly anxious that his sister may have kept in communication with the exiled foundling -- a charge she denies wordlessly, by blushing deeply and shaking her head -- and the lass, guilelessly changing the subject by expressing much concern for the fate of Artemis, a question in which her brother shows little interest.

Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:25 pm
by jp1885
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As the siblings talk, Lepus draws his friends aside.

"'tis my opinion that the lad's cane be the key to whatever keeps the sealed room locked. A sinister thing so it is. There be more to the young heir than first appears. We must watch him..."

"Oh, and the poor horse! We must bring that noble steed back to it's normal self now we know the makings of the elixir."

Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:56 pm
by Mr. Handy
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"Yes, we'll need to make another dose of the elixir," says Henry. "While Miss Ravenscroft and I are doing that, others can keep an eye on the heir, and not merely to make sure he is not again abducted. It would also be good to try to find the missing cat. It will most likely either be much larger or much smaller than one would expect, though smaller is more probable. An extremely large cat would be difficult to hide, let alone feed."

Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:05 am
by SunlessNick
"Indeed," says William. "If he was alone in his room when he was taken, then it follows that he was deliberately targeted, rather than stumbling on the culprit by accident. We must also take care of ourselves - by his return, the culprit will know how much we have discovered."

Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:36 pm
by VictoriaSilverwolf
Several more days go by as a second dose of the Elixir of Augmentation is prepared. In the meantime, simple tests reveal that the small glass of brandy, which Harold is in the habit of taking each evening, was indeed adulterated with laudanum, explaining how person or persons unknown were able to administer the Elixir and convey him elsewhere.

Master Harold being the object of much interest by the adventurers, they observe that he never allows his walking stick to leave his side, even going so far as to take it into his bedchamber at night.

Spoiler:
His DEX, due to his limp is 6
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
19


The party note that, at times, he attempts to escape observation, but due to his infirmity, this proves impossible, and he displays obvious signs of frustration due to this, without making any spoken objection.

Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:26 pm
by jp1885
Image

When he is not keeping an eye on Henry, Lepus spends his time below stairs, quizzing the household staff about the young heir's daily routine. More specifically who prepares his meals and supplies his evening brandy. If he can pinpoint who doctored the fellow's drink...

As he listens, he whittles away at a piece of wood, carving a walking stick engraved with numerous mystical runes and occult symbols, to wit: a rune supposed to cure the user of chilblains, a charm (shown to him by a mad washerwoman) said to stop seams from unravelling, a mystic inscription that proports to make fisherman think the wielder is Danish and other such useless charms.

Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:19 pm
by Mr. Handy
Image

"Let's restore the horse now," says Henry. "We'll take it to the stables first. It'll be easier to transport it now than when it's full size."

Spoiler:
Can I "invent" fingerprinting? I've already some experience with it from Roterstein's lock, and the brandy bottle probably has usable prints on it.

Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:03 am
by Rooter
"Do you observe," Vincent remarks to the others in private, "that the behavior of Monsieur Harold with his stick is similar to the children with the doll, non?" When opportunity presents he will attempt an incantation to Detect Evil in the stick.

Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:41 pm
by Mr. Handy
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"That is an excellent observation," says Henry. "Still, that does not necessarily mean that the walking stick is host to an evil spirit, though it is worth considering."

Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:23 am
by VictoriaSilverwolf
jp1885 wrote:
When he is not keeping an eye on Henry, Lepus spends his time below stairs, quizzing the household staff about the young heir's daily routine. More specifically who prepares his meals and supplies his evening brandy. If he can pinpoint who doctored the fellow's drink...

As he listens, he whittles away at a piece of wood, carving a walking stick engraved with numerous mystical runes and occult symbols, to wit: a rune supposed to cure the user of chilblains, a charm (shown to him by a mad washerwoman) said to stop seams from unravelling, a mystic inscription that proports to make fisherman think the wielder is Danish and other such useless charms.


Such inquiry yields the information that the young man's nightly brandy is prepared by any one of several trusted kitchen servants, who have access to the cellars. (Gossip suggests that His Lordship tolerates a small loss of his wines and spirits to the servants, as long as this is kept to a minimum.) The glass of brandy is brought to his chambers by Jasper, the butler. It then remains there, to air and to warm to the proper temperature, for some time, during which it would be possible for a stealthy person to adulterate it without being detected, before Harold himself enters.

Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:30 am
by VictoriaSilverwolf
Mr. Handy wrote:"Let's restore the horse now," says Henry. "We'll take it to the stables first. It'll be easier to transport it now than when it's full size."

Spoiler:
Can I "invent" fingerprinting? I've already some experience with it from Roterstein's lock, and the brandy bottle probably has usable prints on it.


This errand of mercy is performed without harm to the beast, which appears to have suffered no harm from its transformation back to normal size.

Meanwhile, Doctor North is able to apply his previous discovery of the unique patterns found on the human digits, and the manner in which their image may be detected on certain materials, to view, and make an accurate drawing of, said patterns left upon the glass of brandy There appear to be at least three distinct groups of these patterns, from digits of different sizes, suggesting that the glass has been handled by three different persons recently.