Chapter 2: The Assignment

December 1880. The characters are tasked to assist in the case of a suspected haunting by a recently murdered landowner on Dartmoor. Investigations will drag them into a confrontation with an ancient horror, and a terrible curse.

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Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby HoneyDog » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:54 am

Tuesday December 14th 1880,

Somerset House, 10am


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The Society meets at the location of the General Register Office at Somerset House on another cold December morning. It will be Christmas soon, and a festive atmosphere is beginning to develop on the streets, but the companions are here on more morbid business.

They waste no time in beginning their search, and by lunchtime have made the following discovery: from the information that they can find, which becomes a little sketchy the further it dates back, from around the year 1640 all Allingham males of Bargrove have died before their 40th birthday. The causes vary but include illness and accident. Prior to that date, it seems that they had longer lifetimes.
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby Rooter » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:17 am

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"This certainly seems to stretch any notion of mere coincidence," Percy remarks to the others, frowning as he looks over the records. "Has the family always been resident in Dartmoor since the seventeenth century, I wonder?"
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby HoneyDog » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:18 am

Spoiler:
It would appear so.
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby Philulhu » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:31 pm

”That’s 250 years!” said Captain FitzWilliam, with a low whistle. He pondered for a moment. ”So what happened in 1640? That was the time of Charles I, wasn’t it? If this ‘curse’ has any credence, what could it be linked to?”
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby aine » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:39 pm

"More than a coincidence! I should say so! This can be nothing else but supernatural. It is a classic case. In the 1600s there were many witches and warlocks who could invoke a curse. Or, more likely it is a powerful spirit wreaking vengeance for something that happened around 1640. We must ask the barrister where the Allington's history is written down." Isolde paces about, full of enthusiasm.
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby Philulhu » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:01 pm

”Let us not be so hasty,” cautioned Captain FitzWilliam. ”Galton’s work on eugenics suggests that some traits may be passed from parent to child. It does seem unlikely to me that eugenics could result in the early death of so many male members of one family before the age of 40, but that does not mean that it could not happen. I suggest we look at the evidence first, before we reach any conclusions.”
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:27 am

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"Excellent point, Captain," says Alexander with a nod. "I can think of one other possible explanation: a feud between families. Perhaps there is another family that had a falling out with the Allinghams. 1640 was around the time of the Civil War. It could have been that one family supported the Cavaliers and the other the Roundheads, for example. This other family could easily have proclaimed this curse in revenge, though again it is not necessarily supernatural. They could have been deliberately acting to kill the male Allinghams before they reached forty, knowing it would be chalked up to the curse. No one person could be responsible for all those deaths through the centuries, but a family might."
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby aine » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:04 pm

Isolde merely smiles, secure in her own conviction. "I'm sure more details will be revealed this afternoon, until then we should keep an open mind. I often find that a medium is called in to help when all other possibilities, scientific or otherwise, have already been dismissed."
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby Raiko » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:02 am

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As she listens to the conversation, Melody wonders why the men find it so difficult to believe what Miss Beaufort says, when there is so much evidence that this is the work of an evil curse.
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby HoneyDog » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:43 am

Spoiler:
The appointment is at 2pm, so you have a couple of hours before you have to be in Knightsbridge. Is there anything else you would like to do?
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:24 am

Spoiler:
Is there enough time to do further research? If so, we could look into the history of Dartmoor circa 1640.
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby Philulhu » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:34 am

Spoiler:
Is there anywhere in London we can find out more about the family’s history?
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby aine » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:02 pm

"We have a date now, 1640." Says Isolde, "we should look at the local history around then, either in London or perhaps Plymouth or a local historian on Dartmoor. I don't know where we could try here, maybe the British Library or the museum."
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby Philulhu » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:05 am

”We could try the reading room at the British Museum,” replied Captain FitzWilliam, ”But I have a feeling that you may need a reader’s ticket, for which you normally have to apply in advance. I don’t suppose anyone has a contact there who could get us in?”
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby HoneyDog » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:07 pm

Spoiler:
I think all of this will take too much time. Why not move things to the lawyers office? It's about time you learned the nature of the assignment.
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby Philulhu » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:06 pm

Spoiler:
I’m ok with that.
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby Rooter » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:24 pm

"I'm afraid not, old chap." Percy checks his pocket watch. "I think we just have time for a spot of lunch before we're due at the King's Road office."
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby Philulhu » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:55 pm

”Fair enough,” replied Captain FitzWilliam. ”Let’s get a bite to eat and then we can hear what the barrister has to say.”
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:26 am

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"Right you are, then," says Alexander.
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby HoneyDog » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:41 am

After lunching, the society makes its way to the offices of Shearer, Hartley and Whigg in the King’s Road, an upmarket area. The inhabitants here are accordingly better dressed, although there is still evidence of London’s less well-endowed citizens in the form of the occasional beggar, and vendors selling matches and flowers. On the corner below the lawyers office a red-faced man sells roasted chestnuts, and that aroma continues with the companions as they climb the stairs, where it is soon replaced by the smells of furniture polish and tobacco smoke.

They enter a small foyer containing creaking leather furniture, filing cabinets, a painting of the Queen and a large desk behind which sits the receptionist, a smartly-dressed middle-aged man identified as Percival Jones. Ascertaining the companions’ identities, he soon shows them into the office of Morcombe Shearer.
Shearer is short and portly and in his 50s. He is balding, and what remains of his hair flies up in wings above his ears. A cigar smoulders in an ashtray on his desk.
Once the investigators are offered refreshments (he gives a curious glance to Melody), he begins.

“Thank you all for coming on short notice” he says. His speech is very clipped and abrupt – he is obviously a man who gets down to business. “I’m sure that you have some idea of why you have been asked here, but it is in connection with the recent murder of Lord Bargrove.”

After confirming that the companions are aware of the basic details, he continues. “As yet, the police have been unable to identify the killer or killers. Indeed, it seems that they have little to go on. The early leads have petered out, and none of the locals interviewed had any information. Unfortunately for him, it seems that Sir William was not particularly liked by anyone in the area. He took a very firm hand with the local tenants, too firm, some might say.” He pauses to puff on his cigar, and shifts in his seat.

He starts to look a little uncomfortable. Lady Allingham has not been pleased with the police investigation, and wishes for some new insight into the matter. The particular reason your erm, group has been contacted, is because she specifically requested people with err, expertise in the matter of ahem, hauntings. She believes that Sir William’s spirit is haunting Bargrove Hall, and he needs to be put to rest. We would like to request for your group to investigate this matter.”

He pauses, waiting for comments or questions.
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