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 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:19 pm

Image

"Pah! Gimcracks and gewgaws!"

Lepus' distain of Miss Ravenscroft's device (and technology in general) is swiftly replaced by his concern for their predicament, not least William and whoever else is encased within the spider's webs.

"'tis a bad thing that happens this day..." he snarls as he draws his dagger. "A pox upon the one who did this beast!"

Cursing loudly and trusting his amulet he rushes forward to stab the spider. Hoping to get on close to avoid the liquid web he aims for it's head.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:18 am

Image

Henry fires a second shot at the giant spider. "It's all right, Ivan," he says. "I know how you feel about them. I'm beginning to understand why."

Spoiler:
Would Ivan's Brave asset give him a bonus?
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:27 pm

jp1885 wrote:
"Pah! Gimcracks and gewgaws!"

Lepus' distain of Miss Ravenscroft's device (and technology in general) is swiftly replaced by his concern for their predicament, not least William and whoever else is encased within the spider's webs.

"'tis a bad thing that happens this day..." he snarls as he draws his dagger. "A pox upon the one who did this beast!"

Cursing loudly and trusting his amulet he rushes forward to stab the spider. Hoping to get on close to avoid the liquid web he aims for it's head.


Spoiler:
DEX = 15
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
16


Perhaps because the webs dangling everywhere spoil his aim, Lepus just barely misses his target, the dagger whispering through empty air.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:43 pm

Mr. Handy wrote:
Henry fires a second shot at the giant spider. "It's all right, Ivan," he says. "I know how you feel about them. I'm beginning to understand why."

Spoiler:
Would Ivan's Brave asset give him a bonus?


Spoiler:
That's an excellent question. That would make sense, since it's supposed to add a bonus to "fear effects".


Gathering up all the courage that flows through the veins of his Cossack ancestors, Ivan dashes forward with his sword, striking at the beast with a wordless cry of rage.

Spoiler:
DEX = 9
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
7


Damage
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d6:
2


The tip of the sword strikes home, if not deeply, yet sufficiently for thick black ichor to flow down its blade. The Russian draws back as his master fires another round.

Spoiler:
dex = 10
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
12


As luck would have it, the bullet passes harmlessly past the creature as it prepares to spray its infernal web at its attackers.

Spoiler:
same random targeting as before
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d6:
4
dex = 12
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
13


The creature attempts to encase Doctor North in its sinister trap, but the nobleman is able to dash out of the way as the webbing is cast upon the floor, without effect.

Meanwhile, the distraught Miss Ravenscroft, as if drawn to the defense of the monster, aims her device at its attackers.

Spoiler:
same random targeting as the spider
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d6:
3
dex=9
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
3


It would seem that the Fates possess a macabre sense of humor. The invention shoots its blue-white bolt directly at the entrapped soldier, who can only await its effects helplessly. Ah, but irony of ironies! The webbing itself serves as a sort of protective shield, rendering the galvanic weapon harmless.

The seriously wounded, but not yet incapacitated, spider wriggles its legs at the invaders, ready to face their attack.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby jp1885 » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:15 pm

Image

With his anger directed at the creator of the monster, rather than the monster itself, Lepus is loathe to be the one who administers the coup de grace and leaves the creature to the others.

Instead, judging her the most dangerous at present, he turns his attention to the mania-driven Miss Ravenscroft. Slipping off his grotty coat, he recalls a trick taught to him by a drunken matador from Ronda during his wanders through Andalucia...

"Ho!" He yells, scooping off his tricorne and feinting to the woman's left with it whilst with the other arm he swoops his coat from the right, dropping it over her head.

If this manoeuvre succeeds she will be temporarily blinded (and not a little nauseous), allowing him to bring his weight down on her outstretched arm and hopefully knock the weapon from her grasp.

If it fails, well the drunken matador never stayed conscious long enough to elaborate...
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:07 am

Image

"Focus your attacks on the spider!" calls Henry to the others as he reloads his pistol to fire it again. "If we slay it, that may break the spell she's under."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby SunlessNick » Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:12 pm

William makes an attempt to break free of the webbing, in case Miss Ravenscroft's galvanic device has somehow damaged it.

OOC:   Strength = 12
Rolled: 20  


The effort is useless at best.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:26 am

jp1885 wrote:
With his anger directed at the creator of the monster, rather than the monster itself, Lepus is loathe to be the one who administers the coup de grace and leaves the creature to the others.

Instead, judging her the most dangerous at present, he turns his attention to the mania-driven Miss Ravenscroft. Slipping off his grotty coat, he recalls a trick taught to him by a drunken matador from Ronda during his wanders through Andalucia...

"Ho!" He yells, scooping off his tricorne and feinting to the woman's left with it whilst with the other arm he swoops his coat from the right, dropping it over her head.

If this manoeuvre succeeds she will be temporarily blinded (and not a little nauseous), allowing him to bring his weight down on her outstretched arm and hopefully knock the weapon from her grasp.

If it fails, well the drunken matador never stayed conscious long enough to elaborate...


Spoiler:
Interesting idea. Battle of Dexterity, I'd think. DEX = 15
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
12
DEX = 9
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
17


This clever ploy achieves its desired effect. Miss Ravenscroft falls to the ground, the galvanic device sliding out of her hand. The shock of this encounter produces a change in the woman, transforming her mania into its mirror-image, severe melancholia. She sinks to the floor, unmoving, not speaking, seemingly unaware of what goes on around her, only a faint trembling of her lips betraying any sensibility.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:33 am

Mr. Handy wrote:
"Focus your attacks on the spider!" calls Henry to the others as he reloads his pistol to fire it again. "If we slay it, that may break the spell she's under."


Spoiler:
as before, dex = 9 and dex = 10
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 2d20:
7, 16


As if his former display of fear guides his hand, Ivan once more strikes home with his blade, while his master's shot flies past its intended target.

Spoiler:
damage
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d6:
4


With a ghastly wet sound, the entrails of the spider spill out of its unnatural body, covering the floor with a sickening mass of ichor-soaked foulness.

Spoiler:
Because of Ivan's triumph, you may remove his spider phobia without further penalty.


The problem remains as to how to free the entrapped soldier from the sinister embrace of the dead creatures web. It will be remembered that natural philosophers tell us that, in proportion to its size, a spider's web is much stronger than steel; given the weirdly increased thickness of the web, one would expect it to be as difficult to break as a ship's cable. There is also, if the sense of hearing not be deceitful, another captured victim to be rescued, still crying weakly for aid.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:17 am

Image

"Well done, Ivan!" cheers Henry. "Hmm...on second thought, it appears that the giant spider did not entrance Miss Ravenscroft after all. It must simply be an imbalance of her humours. I've experienced such imbalances myself. The spider must have been merely a normal spider apart from its size. Now that she is calmer, perhaps I can work with her to find a way to remove the spider's webs without harming those within them. Spider's silk is stronger than steel. If it were steel, my aqua regia could dissolve it, but it is not made of metal in spite of its strength. Burning or cutting the webs would be too dangerous for those trapped inside them. Hmm..." He considers scientific principles that may be of help. "Ivan, your great might may be of use again. See if you can break William free from the webs without harming him."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby jp1885 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:44 am

Image

Lepus snorts as the woman falls insensible. As he dons his hat and coat he makes a mental note to buy the matador a drink, should they ever meet again.

"Aye, 'tis a mania that afflicts the fine lady. Mayhap she will be quiet for the nonce."

He gingerly picks up her weapon as if it were a loaded pistol and hands it to Henry before heading off into the cobwebs. Having pinpointed the weak cries beforehand, he steers for it's source whilst looking over the other cocoons for signs of life.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:13 am

Mr. Handy wrote:
"Well done, Ivan!" cheers Henry. "Hmm...on second thought, it appears that the giant spider did not entrance Miss Ravenscroft after all. It must simply be an imbalance of her humours. I've experienced such imbalances myself. The spider must have been merely a normal spider apart from its size. Now that she is calmer, perhaps I can work with her to find a way to remove the spider's webs without harming those within them. Spider's silk is stronger than steel. If it were steel, my aqua regia could dissolve it, but it is not made of metal in spite of its strength. Burning or cutting the webs would be too dangerous for those trapped inside them. Hmm..." He considers scientific principles that may be of help. "Ivan, your great might may be of use again. See if you can break William free from the webs without harming him."


Spoiler:
Because of the extreme difficulty of breaking the web, I will judge that this requires Ivan to use his Feat of Strength for the day. With a base strength of 16, asset of Strong = +3, and Feat of Strength also + 3, this is an automatic success.


Grunting with the mighty effort required to burst the unnatural strands, sweat pouring down his face and arms, skin turning bright red, the mighty Russian manages to free the helpless soldier from his bizarre prison. Ivan gasps for breath, his reserve of strength sapped by this extraordinary effort.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:27 am

jp1885 wrote:
Lepus snorts as the woman falls insensible. As he dons his hat and coat he makes a mental note to buy the matador a drink, should they ever meet again.

"Aye, 'tis a mania that afflicts the fine lady. Mayhap she will be quiet for the nonce."

He gingerly picks up her weapon as if it were a loaded pistol and hands it to Henry before heading off into the cobwebs. Having pinpointed the weak cries beforehand, he steers for it's source whilst looking over the other cocoons for signs of life.


From the stillness of the other webbed victims, it seems likely that the creatures within have expired. The voice of the living human being -- for so it seems to be, given that it speaks intelligibly -- buried alive within the silken tomb grows weaker. It appears probable that suffocation will soon claim the life of the one inside. If only Ivan were not rendered temporarily incapable of super-human effort, due to his recent exertion, he might be able to free this unfortunate as well; but a full day of rest would be required for him to recover fully.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:07 am

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"Diamond!" exclaims Henry, now in a mania of his own. "It's the hardest substance known! That can cut through even spider silk, and I happen to have one as part of my Illuminator!" He opens up the device, extracts the diamond, and uses it to try to saw through the silk cocooning the tiny person, hoping to create an air hole initially and then free whoever is inside.

Spoiler:
Here is where I first conceived of how the Illuminator would work, complete with diamond.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby jp1885 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:32 am

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Lepus capers excitedly.

"Aye! 'tis a fine idea!"

While Henry disassembles his device to extract the diamond, the wanderer attempts to pry apart the strands to at least let some air into the cocoon.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby Rooter » Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:48 am

Meanwhile, Vincent tends solicitously to Miss Ravenscroft, assisting her back to her rooms.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby SunlessNick » Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:59 pm

"Many thanks, Ivan," says William, taking a few deep breaths. He goes to join Lepus, gently holding the cocooned figure so the gypsy has two hands to work with the knife and webbing.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:15 am

While the Frenchman escorts the now silent and passive Miss Ravenscroft to her chambers, where she collapses into a state of deep slumber, the diamond wielded by Doctor North cuts through the webbing, not without much laborious effort on the part of all concerned. Revealed inside, to the amazement of the rescuers, is the young heir Harold, in a swoon brought on by his struggle to breathe, but reduced to the size of a newborn infant, although otherwise he appears as he was in his normal state, all portions of his body in proportion, even down to his clothing and walking stick.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby jp1885 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:25 am

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"'tis as old Lepus suspected," the hedge wizard states matter-of-factly as he cradles the prone miniature heir in the crook of his arm, as one might cradle a baby.

"His meddlesome alchemy turned on him, says I."

He takes the opportunity to pick through the tiny man's clothing and study his walking stick, which he knows was given to Harold by gypsies and is thus of great interest.

"Mayhap we should search this chamber, yesno? Even if there be no more ways in and out, the favorite feline may be ensonced herein, hm?"
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Third: A Plague of Vanishi

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Jun 29, 2019 4:02 pm

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"Agreed," says Henry. Once he makes sure Harold is stable, he begins to assist in the search. "We'll need to find Miss Ravenscroft's concoction to restore him to his proper size, or manufacture more of it. When he awakens, he may be able to tell him who reduced him to such a state."
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