Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishings

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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

Postby jp1885 » Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:39 am

Image

"Hah, even old Lepus be known to be wrong at times," the hedge wizard chuckles. "The most obvious answer oft be the right one, yesno?"

He exits the chamber, leaving the horse to it's own tiny devices.

"So how to press anon?" He jerks a grimy thumb towards the wall which seperates them from Miss Ravenscroft's labaoratory. "Shall we visit the fine lady? Mayhap there be secret doors thence?"
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:33 am

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"Yes, capital idea," says Henry. "She has knowledge of this place that we do not, and she is highly intelligent. She will no doubt have ideas of her own."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:37 am

There being no evident means of access to the secret laboratory other than the hidden staircase used before, short of smashing through the wall, the adventurers make their way back down, then up again; an exertion of the body which will prove, no doubt, salubrious to health.

Miss Ravenscroft is located at work, frustrated in her efforts to produce more of the two elixirs. She listens intently to what the party has discovered.

"Evidently some person has absconded with the remnants of the elixirs and has experimented with them. It interests me also that Master Harold is not to be found, although I cannot say that his absence troubles me overly, as he must, for the sake of propriety, entirely disavow any knowledge my existence, yet cannot remain ignorant of it.

"As far as the two small rooms which must exist to the north and south of this workroom, it seems that entry therein cannot be obtained through the wisdom of mind or hand. I have, of course, previously deduced that such must be present, but all my efforts to uncover a subtle way therein have failed."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby jp1885 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:37 am

Image

Lepus is still perplexed at the lack of access into the mysterious rooms.

"Mayhap, fine lady, a fresh pair of eyes be in order? Pray permit us to search this room."

If Miss Ravenscroft agrees, he will inspect the north and south walls of the laboratory in the same manner as the tiny horse room. This time however, reckoning that young master Harold is involved in all of this, he mutters in a mix of gypsy and faerie languages as he does so, hoping that somewhere within the polyglot jabbering, an opening charm may be happened upon.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:33 pm

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"We may simply have to slay the giant spider in order to get past it," says Henry. "Actually fighting it would be risky, but perhaps we could burn it out or poison it instead."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:47 am

jp1885 wrote:
Lepus is still perplexed at the lack of access into the mysterious rooms.

"Mayhap, fine lady, a fresh pair of eyes be in order? Pray permit us to search this room."

If Miss Ravenscroft agrees, he will inspect the north and south walls of the laboratory in the same manner as the tiny horse room. This time however, reckoning that young master Harold is involved in all of this, he mutters in a mix of gypsy and faerie languages as he does so, hoping that somewhere within the polyglot jabbering, an opening charm may be happened upon.


Spoiler:
wis = 18
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
12


Perhaps inspired by whatever invisible beings dwell in the vicinity of Highdark Hall, a mystical intuition comes to mind, suggesting that some other person or persons -- or, indeed, perhaps something of intelligence yet not of human form -- has made use of preternatural power to pass beyond what seem to be, to natural senses, solid walls. In what matter this may have happened, be it through the rendering of the barrier permeable, or the body of the enchanter immaterial, or through some form of transportation between hither and yon which does not require one to pass through the space between, is impossible to tell.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:06 am

Mr. Handy wrote:
"We may simply have to slay the giant spider in order to get past it," says Henry. "Actually fighting it would be risky, but perhaps we could burn it out or poison it instead."


"A bold plan, my Lord," Miss Ravenscroft says, "if this creature be as formidable as you suspect. I confess myself afflicted with the vice of curiosity to an unusual degree, and wish to behold the brute myself. If you undertake to destroy it -- although, if truth be told, I would prefer to capture it alive, and subject it to study -- I shall accompany you." (It is not very surprising that Miss Ravenscroft states this as fact, rather than requesting permission, as she does not always display proper feminine modesty.)

"I possess," she continues,"a small object, crafted from various metals, which retains a quantity of galvanic fluid. When brought into contact with living tissue, it produces an effect akin to that produced by those curious eels which attack their prey in a similar manner."

She allows the others to examine, but not touch, the device in question, which resembles nothing so much as a lady's jewel box. She is careful to handle it only while wearing black lace gloves.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby jp1885 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:03 am

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After inspecting the walls, Lepus joins the conversation between Henry and Miss Ravenscroft.

"'tis my belief that passing these walls is not a simple thing unless thou knowest the magick for it. Still, the spider, or the chamber it dwells in, might hold an answer."

He fishes the pilgrim's amulet from beneath his noisome clothing.

"Old Lepus shall assist thee. This shall protect me from the poisonous bite of the creature - least supposedly."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:20 pm

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"Fascinating," says Henry, looking over the device, though he knows better than to try and touch it. "Yes, that should be just the thing to defeat the spider. There must be untold applications for that kind of power. Ivan and I are ready when you are, Miss Ravenscroft."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby jp1885 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:23 pm

A thought occurs to Lepus as they head back to the web chamber. Grabbing a bag, he pops into the tiny horse chamber to collect some miniature horse dung.

Thus they have a sample from both enlarged and shrunk creatures, should they need to brew new potions.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby SunlessNick » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:42 am

William readies his pistol again, in case this device of Lady Ravenscrot's fails to stop the creature.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:10 am

As the brave adventurers return to the webbed room, Miss Ravenscroft, eager to confirm what she has been told, pulls the door open wide. It can be seen that the expected creature, a spider of prodigious size, as if it were Arachne herself, after her transformation by the jealous Athena, dwells therein. It currently sits within the heart of its web, high in a corner of the room, its eight limbs swaying slowly, its many eyes glittering like so many rubies in the light from without. On the floor, just beneath its body, may be seen several compact structures of webbing, resembling the cocoons from which moths and butterflies emerge. These are of various sizes, some smaller than an infant's hand, some as large as a great hound. From somewhere in the room, its exact position difficult to determine due to some strange distortion of the sound, comes a voice of extraordinarily high pitch, as if a pixie or some such sprite were to speak. So high is the tone, and so weak the voice, in fact, that its words can barely be understood.

help me . . . help me . . .

With no regard for consequences, Miss Ravenscroft, her interest captured by this remarkable sight, approaches the spider with more of fascination than of fear, her eyes grown wide, speaking softly, as to herself.

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

Postby jp1885 » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:33 am

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Having lived among critters and vermin, Lepus knows a spider's food cache when he sees one. As his keen hearing picks up the voice, he instinctively tries to pinpoint it's location.

Regardless of whether he discovers which cocoon the voice is coming from, his first priority is to protect the fine lady.

"Be careful!"

He hisses, positioning himself between Miss Ravenscroft and the spider and praying that the amulet proves effective.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby SunlessNick » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:03 pm

"Somebody is in there," says William. "We must attack it now, with weapons or that device."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:45 am

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"Protect her, Ivan," says Henry, holding a pistol ready while Ivan has his sword drawn. "It may be beautiful, Miss Ravenscroft, but it's also dangerous. We must disable it before it strikes, and then rescue whoever has been miniaturised and wrapped up in one of those cocoons."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby Rooter » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:03 am

Returning from the stable, Vincent, lacking physical weapons, hovers in the doorway and murmurs an incantation to Beguile Miss Ravenscroft into heeding the words of warning.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:05 pm

jp1885 wrote:
Having lived among critters and vermin, Lepus knows a spider's food cache when he sees one. As his keen hearing picks up the voice, he instinctively tries to pinpoint it's location.

Regardless of whether he discovers which cocoon the voice is coming from, his first priority is to protect the fine lady.

"Be careful!"

He hisses, positioning himself between Miss Ravenscroft and the spider and praying that the amulet proves effective.



Spoiler:
wis = 18 + 3 for sharp hearing automatic success


The sharp ears of Lepus allow him to locate the cry as coming from within one of the webbed objects; in point of fact, one about the size of an apple, which, as misfortune would have it, lies directly beneath the body of the creature, as if it wishes to defend it to a greater degree than the rest of its horde.

Rather than displaying proper gratitude for the gallantry of her would-be defender, Miss Ravenscroft, evidently in the grip of one of her intermittent fits of mania, attempts to drive away Lepus with the use of her galvanic invention.

Spoiler:
dex = 9
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
15


The device produces what seems to be a tiny bolt of lightning with a noise something like that of a distant cannon. The minuscule, but blindingly bright, blue-white, jagged bolt fails to strike the quickly moving Lepus, and quickly vanishes harmlessly.

Miss Ravenscroft, successfully driven away from the spider by Lepus, holds the device in front of her, hissing in anger, apparently ready to strike whosoever might approach.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:17 pm

SunlessNick wrote:"Somebody is in there," says William. "We must attack it now, with weapons or that device."


True to his word, and seeing that Miss Ravenscroft is more likely to use her peculiar invention upon himself than the beast, the bold man of arms shoots at the creature with his pistol.

Spoiler:
dex = 12 + 3 for good shot = 15
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
5


damage
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d6:
2


The bullet strikes one of the spider's eyes. Thick black ichor flows from the wounded organ, dripping to the floor. The creature is injured, to be sure, but not mortally so. It lifts it abdomen so that it points in the direction of the intruders, ready to spray its unnatural web upon another victim.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:24 pm

Mr. Handy wrote:
"Protect her, Ivan," says Henry, holding a pistol ready while Ivan has his sword drawn. "It may be beautiful, Miss Ravenscroft, but it's also dangerous. We must disable it before it strikes, and then rescue whoever has been miniaturised and wrapped up in one of those cocoons."


Spoiler:
Ivan's phobia of spiders requires a saving roll on CHA = 9; I'll make to ten for the loyalty to Dr. North.
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
11


Trembling with fear, Ivan backs away, unable to enter the webbed room.

"I'm sorry, Master. Do not ask me to go in there."

Discouraged, but understanding of his manservant's terror, Doctor North fires another shot at the beast.

Spoiler:
dex = 10
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
2


damage
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d6:
2


The bullet pierces one of the creature's eight legs; more ichor flows. While the attackers reload their weapons, the spider shoots out its spray with extraordinary force. The thick white liquid blats through the air, hardening quickly on its way to its intended target.

Spoiler:
1 = Miss Ravenscroft
2 = Lepus
3 = William
4 = Doctor North
5 = Vincent
6 = Ivan
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d6:
3


Dex of the spider = 12
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
4


To the rapt horror of all, the dreaded webbing surrounds the body of the brave soldier, rendering him immobile. Struggle as he might, he can do little save breathe while trapped in its sinister embrace. The spider drops to the ground and moves towards its attackers.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:35 pm

Rooter wrote:Returning from the stable, Vincent, lacking physical weapons, hovers in the doorway and murmurs an incantation to Beguile Miss Ravenscroft into heeding the words of warning.


Spoiler:
Beguile adds 3 to base cha of 9 = 12
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
13


The spell has no evident effect upon Miss Ravenscroft, no doubt due to the fact that she is currently deep into one of her temporary spells of madness. She continues to threaten anyone who approaches with her arcane invention.
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