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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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby aine » Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:32 pm

"Especially curses that have a long history. The one we are interested in dates back to the 1640s! There must have been a few witches around then; do you have many records of that time?' Adds Isolde.
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby HoneyDog » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:07 am

The Librarian consults his files again.

“Here’s something which might interest you.”

He hands the companions an index card and directs them to where the book can be found. Shortly, it is in their possession. It is a slim volume, but has an entry on the family in question.

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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby Rooter » Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:41 am

"Gypsies, eh?" Percy muses. "An interesting people. I wonder if there are any still around in this 'many-cursed region' we're heading off to? Well, I suppose we shall find out when we get there."
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby Philulhu » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:57 am

”Bound to be some,” said Captain FitzWilliam. ”They got chased off the land whoever they turned up near our estate, so somewhere with large, uninhabited spaces would be right up their street, I should imagine.”

FitzWilliam recalled a number of run-ins his father had had with gypsies over the years. There had been plenty in Ireland. For the most part they had been peaceable enough but there had been a few rum ‘uns amongst their numbers...
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby aine » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:36 pm

"It's just as we thought!" Exclaims Isolde, reading over the shoulder of Captain Fitzwilliam. "And gypsies are notorious for casting curses. Although in this case they may be justified; oo, I bet he was a horrid land owner, mean to his tenants and servants; fancy flogging a young boy to death!"
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby Philulhu » Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:17 pm

”A gypsy and a horse thief,” said FitzWilliam. “He was lucky not to be hung... ...” He looked up, somewhat abashed as he realised what he had said. ”I mean, horse theft is a capital offence and the law has always taken a dim view of gypsies, tinkers and the like. But flogging a boy to death, that would be inhumane...”

Captain FitzWilliam lapsed into silence. His father was as landowner, and his father before him. He wondered how they would have reacted to a gypsy lad stealing one of their horses. He had a horrible feeling it may not have been so very different, a thought he found particularly sobering.
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby Raiko » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:57 pm

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"Do you think, Miss Beauchant, that it might be possible to help the boy's soul to find peace?" asks Melody, "perhaps that might end the curse forever."
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:09 am

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"The gypsy lad was at least entitled to a fair trial," says Alexander. "Flogging to death is indeed cruel. We'll need to look into the records of this incident when we arrive in Dartmoor. Not much information is here, and we mustn't assume what actually happened based on what little we read in this one book. Ideally, I'd want to speak to eyewitnesses, but that's clearly not possible at this point in time. We don't even know whether the lad was truly guilty, but either way, Allingham's descendants certainly didn't deserve premature deaths because of what their ancestor did, if indeed that's why they died. There are a lot of bad things said about gypsies, and accusations of being thieves and putting curses on people are among the most common. Not everything said about them is true. You should hear some of the things they say about us Scots," he adds with a grin.
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby HoneyDog » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:02 am

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There won't be much else you can do now as it's getting late in the day and you'll have to pack for your trip. I can start the new thread for the journey as soon as you're ready. If there is any particular special equipment your character wants to take with them, please decide before you leave.
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby Philulhu » Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:04 am

Captain FitzWilliam returned to his great-aunt Maud’s, troubled by what he had heard over the previous two days. He thought himself a pragmatic man, but he struggled to comprehend how a curse could have resulted in the premature deaths of generations of Allingham men. FitzWilliam had faced death in foreign fields - it was part and parcel of being a soldier, and something he had grown to accept. He couldn’t imagine though, knowing that you would die before your 40th birthday and that you would pass on that curse to any male children you might have...

News of his sudden departure had not gone down well with his great-aunt, who made it clear that her plans for a bridge meet later in the week had been thoroughly disrupted. Not having been able to give a full account of the reasons for his abrupt departure did not improve her mood, and FitzWilliam endured supper in a frigid atmosphere before he made his excuses and went to pack.

He thought carefully about what he might need as he sorted through his belongings. Underwear, shirts and collars and a couple of tweed suits (one everyday and one for best) were folded neatly and placed in his travel trunk, along with a pair of brogues and walking boots. An umbrella and tweed caps were added for good measure. The heavy cane that he sometimes used when his leg injury played up, was ready by the side of the bedroom door.

FitzWilliam sat back on his bed and thought about what else he might need. A map of Dartmoor might be useful and he made a note to pick one up at the earliest opportunity. He turned to his army trunk and pulled out his compass and a fresh notebook and pencil. As he did so, he saw his army service revolver, carefully wrapped in oilskin to prevent it rusting. He lifted it out of the trunk and felt the familiar weight in his hand. He sat and thought for a long while about what might await them in Dartmoor, then fetched out a cleaning cloth and set to work...
Last edited by Philulhu on Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby Rooter » Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:16 am

Back at his lodgings, Percy eats a hearty supper to fortify himself for the journey ahead then packs his warmest clothes and sturdiest boots, anticipating the winter conditions in Dartmoor to be as inhospitable as the others suggested. His reporters' notebook along with fresh tobacco for his pipe goes into his coat pocket as a matter of course then he turns in for an early night.
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby aine » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:36 pm

Once back in Half Moon St, Isolde writes a note to The Seekers of Enlightenment, saying where there are going and an address for mail. Then she packs her warmest clothes (still rather flamboyant) her stoutest boots and a heavy umbrella. She also packs her crystal ball, crystals, her pendulum, special candles and her favourite book on occultism. All this requires two boys to carry it to the station the next morning.
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby Raiko » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:27 am

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Melody makes some hot drinks for Dr. Campbell and herself when they return to the doctor's house, and then gets herself off to bed as early as she can.

Rising early as usual the next morning, she collects the early edition of The Times, prepares a hearty full-breakfast including some Scottish favourites such as a thick black puddling, and then wakes Dr. Campbell so he can enjoy his breakfast and newspaper before the journey to Dartmoor.

Once the doctor has eaten, she helps him to finish his packing.

For herself she has already packed a small bag with her best two dresses, some changes of undergarments and her small photograph of her mother. She puts on her overcoat and collects four candles, a hand-held candle carrier and a box of safety matches from the kitchen. She thinks of borrowing a small filleting knife from the kitchen as well, but decides against it - it's not as if you can stab a ghost!
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Re: Chapter 2: The Assignment

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:10 am

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Alexander is delighted with the breakfast and compliments Melody on her cooking. He packs a collection of portable scientific equipment, suitable for performing analysis of various substances, and he brings his shotgun and some shells in case he gets the opportunity to do some hunting while in Dartmoor. He also brings a lantern, musing that perhaps electricity could be used to power one at some point in the future. He relies on Melody to pack necessities such as clothing and toiletries; he may very well have forgotten had she not been there.
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