Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundrums

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby jp1885 » Fri May 29, 2020 3:09 pm

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Lepus agrees to take the vicar to see the child, pausing only to obtain a piece of raw meat from a kitchen, food stall or somesuch.

“Mayhap thou couldst baptise the child Henrietta, in honour of her father,” he says conversationally along the way, figuring that if she does indeed take on the characteristics of her namesake, then a brave person of Gypsy blood would would prove advantageous in later life.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby SunlessNick » Fri May 29, 2020 3:12 pm

VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:
Spoiler:
You are drawn into the woods by the tempting beauty, who quickly throws her arms around you. Before things can go any further, however, three young Gypsy men jump out from where they have been hiding, brandishing knives. At the same time, the woman slaps you across the face and begins shouting angrily in her own language. One of the men says "So you think to dishonor our sister? For that you must pay!"

There have been the remains of fawns found in the deer park, apparently slain and devoured by a wild beast.

Spoiler:
Which order are these incidents coming in? Is the dance before or after our excursion to the crime scene?

Anyway, William answers, "I would contest that my intentions were dishonourable. And I presume you fellows know better than to murder one of Lord Highdark's guests while on his land, especially one who seeks to clear you of a death of which you are already suspected, and thus this display is meant merely to frighten me. Nevertheless, you have played me well," nodding to the girl, "so I shall indeed pay." With that he offers some coins to all four of the Gypsies.


"We should darken our lanterns as we approach," says William. "The firelight will hide us from those nearby."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat May 30, 2020 4:12 am

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Henry nods and does as instructed.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat May 30, 2020 9:23 am

jp1885 wrote:
Lepus agrees to take the vicar to see the child, pausing only to obtain a piece of raw meat from a kitchen, food stall or somesuch.

“Mayhap thou couldst baptise the child Henrietta, in honour of her father,” he says conversationally along the way, figuring that if she does indeed take on the characteristics of her namesake, then a brave person of Gypsy blood would would prove advantageous in later life.


The Reverend Mister Frye responds to this suggestion with little more than a "hmm" or two, evidently lost in thought. Once welcomed into the manor home, he explains that he wished to extend greetings of the season, and to make inquiry of the infant's well being. (Such statements being entirely truthful, while not referring to the further purpose of the visit, thus sparing the clergyman's conscience while leaving the sensibilities of the Altumbers undisturbed.)

Young Artemis is discovered, as is not unusual, in her mother's arms. Upon the arrival of the visitors, she climbs out of Georgina's embrace, makes her way to Lepus, and grabs at the pocket of his cloak with her tiny hand.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat May 30, 2020 9:27 am

SunlessNick wrote:
VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:
Spoiler:
You are drawn into the woods by the tempting beauty, who quickly throws her arms around you. Before things can go any further, however, three young Gypsy men jump out from where they have been hiding, brandishing knives. At the same time, the woman slaps you across the face and begins shouting angrily in her own language. One of the men says "So you think to dishonor our sister? For that you must pay!"

There have been the remains of fawns found in the deer park, apparently slain and devoured by a wild beast.

Spoiler:
Which order are these incidents coming in? Is the dance before or after our excursion to the crime scene?

Anyway, William answers, "I would contest that my intentions were dishonourable. And I presume you fellows know better than to murder one of Lord Highdark's guests while on his land, especially one who seeks to clear you of a death of which you are already suspected, and thus this display is meant merely to frighten me. Nevertheless, you have played me well," nodding to the girl, "so I shall indeed pay." With that he offers some coins to all four of the Gypsies.


Spoiler:
Assume all of this happened after the initial investigation, but before going to the Deer Park. In any case, the Gypsies are completely mollified by the sight of the coins, snatching them up and rushing back to the camp of their own kind. It is probable that this is a scheme that they have worked upon outsiders more than once in the past.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat May 30, 2020 9:36 am

VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:
Mr. Handy wrote:
Henry nods and does as instructed.


Spoiler:
dex rolls Henry = 11, William = 12 + 1 for Soldier/Dangerous Situation = 13Invalid dice code!


Given the fact that the ravages of winter's fury have left many twigs and branches scattered about the Deer Park, it is not very surprising to discover that moving silently is difficult. Doctor North produces only the very quiet sound resulting from walking among dead leaves, but, as Fate would have it, William, despite his experience in approaching the enemy with stealth, steps on a dry branch, producing a cracking noise that, in the dead of night, seems as loud as a pistol shot.

The figure near the fire stands, outlined against the flames only as a silhouette of great size. A deep, loud voice is heard, crying "Who approaches? Who dares disturb my woeful existence?"
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby jp1885 » Sat May 30, 2020 1:26 pm

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As the babes crawls towards him, Lepus whispers aside to Reverend Frye.

“Observe. Be this the behaviour of a Christian suckling babe?”

He tosses the raw bloody meat a short distance from the child.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat May 30, 2020 3:55 pm

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"My apologies, sir," says Henry. "We were trying not to disturb you. I am Dr. Henry North, Earl of Dunwich, and my companion here is Captain William Palliser. Perhaps we can be of assistance to you."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby SunlessNick » Sat May 30, 2020 11:03 pm

"He speaks far more fluently than did the creature we seek," says William quietly. More loudy he adds, "And with whom do we have the honour of conversing?"
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun May 31, 2020 8:51 am

jp1885 wrote:
As the babes crawls towards him, Lepus whispers aside to Reverend Frye.

“Observe. Be this the behaviour of a Christian suckling babe?”

He tosses the raw bloody meat a short distance from the child.


As expected, the infant quickly snatches the morsel and devours it eagerly, producing low, breathy sounds within her throat.

Georgina, observing this, merely smiles and says "What a fine appetite she has! She shall grow sound of wind and limb."

Spoiler:
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
18


The Reverend Mister Frye is not so sanguine. In point of fact, he grows sickly pale, closes his eyes, and drops into a swoon. Once revived with spirits of ammonia, he is shown to a chair, where he reclines awkwardly, muttering to himself. "Such teeth! Surely this is devil's work. I must prepare to perform the rite of exorcism."

These statements are met with disapproval by the mother of the child, who cuddles Artemis in her arms, and insists that there is no need for such Papery.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun May 31, 2020 9:09 am

When the pair of adventurers have announces themselves, the figure retreats to the opposite side of the fire, so that its form is blurred by the dancing of the flames.

"Approach no closer! To gaze upon my person is to know such disfigurement as would freeze the blood within your veins. I, most solitary and despised of creatures, cling to my weary existence, though I despair of finding even a single moment of rest. I warn you! I would destroy rather than be destroyed, for I fear oblivion even more than I loathe life."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby jp1885 » Sun May 31, 2020 4:29 pm

Image

Lepus scowls, not expecting such an over-reaction.

“Calm thyself Reverend; canst thou see thou art alarming the parents?”

Suspecting that talk of fae curses and wotnot will further alarm the vicar, he tries a little bamboozlement.

“Didst not the Bishop of Hereford write that exorcism if one so young can actually attract further devilment? ‘twas from his work that old Lepus got the idea of re-baptising yonder babe. Such a noble thing could be done here and now.”
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby SunlessNick » Sun May 31, 2020 7:57 pm

"Neither of us are strangers to sights that freeze the bood," says William. "We are seeking information, which you may have. Pray allow us to converse with you."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun May 31, 2020 9:43 pm

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"We have seen many things that you might not even be able to imagine," says Henry. "We would like to help you, if we can."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:31 am

jp1885 wrote:
Lepus scowls, not expecting such an over-reaction.

“Calm thyself Reverend; canst thou see thou art alarming the parents?”

Suspecting that talk of fae curses and wotnot will further alarm the vicar, he tries a little bamboozlement.

“Didst not the Bishop of Hereford write that exorcism if one so young can actually attract further devilment? ‘twas from his work that old Lepus got the idea of re-baptising yonder babe. Such a noble thing could be done here and now.”


Spoiler:
cha = 12; you have a large number of afflictions that should reduce this, but I'll just treat them like one, and subtract 3 = 9
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
18


Drawing himself up to his full height, the Reverend Mister Frye looks down his rather long and pointed nose and replies "I happen to be acquainted with the Right Reverend Folliott Cornewall, and I doubt one of his unsullied piety and reputation would deign to discuss theology with a person such as yourself. Think not to advise upon that subject, and I shall refrain from offering any opinions regarding beggary and ragpicking. Good day, sir!"

With that remark, he bows to Georgina and withdraws, perhaps to engage in preparations for the rite he suggested, albeit without the approval of the infant's mother.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:00 am

Moving about the fire in such manner as to reveal his form to vision, the figure is revealed to be a hulking giant, far taller and broader than is common, dressed in rough clothing that seems to have been assembled, catch-as-may-can, from various mismatched bits of raiment. His face is pale and doughy, with features that appear as if they were formed from clay by an unskilled potter. His limbs are thick and heavy, huge hands with stubby fingers and equally large feet wrapped in rags.

"Feast your eyes! Glut your soul on my accursed ugliness!"
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby jp1885 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:30 pm

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Muttering unpleasant things about the reverend and vicars in general, Lepus attempts to try, probably in vain, to counter the curse himself in the way he would remove gypsy curses.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby SunlessNick » Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:10 am

William's instinct is to ask whether this wretched being is responsible for the constable's death, but he forces himself to begin with a different question: "How did you come to be here? Are you one of Miss Ravenscroft's creations?"
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:40 am

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"I have seen worse," says Henry. "At any rate, I judge a man not by his outward appearance, but by what he has in his heart."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:07 am

jp1885 wrote:
Muttering unpleasant things about the reverend and vicars in general, Lepus attempts to try, probably in vain, to counter the curse himself in the way he would remove gypsy curses.


Spoiler:
There is no apparent effect upon the feline-like infant, nor, for that matter, on the babyish cat. However, an unanticipated phenomenon occurs, seemingly within the brain of the hedge wizard. It seems as if a voice, familiar from a previous encounter, fills his head.

free me and i shall undo this enchantment if you desire it the man of arms also may have his wish if he aids in my escape
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