Chapter 3: Heart of Dartmoor

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 3: Heart of Dartmoor

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:51 am

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Alexander glances at Melody, unspoken communication passing between them from years of having worked together. He realizes that she may hear gossip that the rest of them won't by eating with the Allinghams' servants. "No, thank you, that will not be necessary," he says to Howard.
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Re: Chapter 3: Heart of Dartmoor

Postby HoneyDog » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:46 pm

The companions leave the parlour for the dining room, which means retracing their steps back through the corridor and in front of the stairs in the hall. The dining room is rather gloomy and echoing; the table is large enough to seat 20 guests, although it is hard to imagine such festive occasions in the current circumstances. Despite the gloom, it is well-kept and all the furniture is highly-polished and in good condition.

Already seated are two people. One is a very pretty young girl of 8 years of age, blonde-haired and blue-eyed. This is Ursula, and she curtsies to the guests shyly before she seats herself. The young lady beside is introduced as Mme. Josephine DuCray, Ursula’s tutor. Tall and slender, in her mid-twenties, her long auburn hair is tied back. She greets the guests politely and with a steady gaze. Her accent is clearly French.

After witnessing the introductions, Melody is lead from the room by a servant; she will dine in the kitchen.

Spoiler:
The kitchens are spacious and overlook the gardens and the moors, although of course it is too dark to see anything now. There are doors which Melody is told lead to the cellars where assorted foodstuffs and provisions are stored.

She enjoys a simple yet satisfying meal in the kitchens, surrounded by some of the staff, who are curious about her and ask her several questions as to her background and present employment. All are friendly and pleasant enough, although Melody might detect some tension around interactions with Mrs. Beddowes, the housekeeper. McKenzie is also present, as is a weather-beaten, grizzled man introduced as Gerald Smith, the gardener. Howard is upstairs, waiting on the company.


Spoiler:
Once everyone is seated, the meal begins. A few servants are in attendance and the guests are served a delicious and filling meal of soup, quail and roast beef, accompanied by red wine (if any of the companions are partial to that beverage).
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Re: Chapter 3: Heart of Dartmoor

Postby Rooter » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:46 pm

Being no stranger to causing outrage, Percy tucks in apparently undaunted by their host's earlier ire. "Bonjour, madame," he says, raising a glass of wine toward Josephine. "I trust the young lady's studies are progressing satisfactorily?"
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Re: Chapter 3: Heart of Dartmoor

Postby Raiko » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:24 pm

Spoiler:
While she enjoys her meal Melody happily talks about her background, answering all the questions with completely truthful answers. She explains that Dr. Campbell is a scientist and that she really enjoys working as his housekeeper and assistant, although she has only the most rudimentary understanding of his scientific research.

She hopes that the servants will reply with details of their own backgrounds, but doesn't press.

When she has spoken about Alexander's science she says, "It's because he is a man of science that Dr. Campbell is in the society, to prove that there ain't no such thing as ghosts. That would be why he brings me along as well, to show me how my head is full of superstitious nonsense.

"But Miss Beauchant, she can talk with ghosts for real, science or no science."


By talking honestly about her own and Alexander's differing views on the existence of ghosts, she hopes to hear what the servants have to share their own views about the curse and Lady Allingham's beliefs. Melody can't hide her own enthusiasm when she talks about Isolde, she is genuinely amazed and a little scared of the powers that the spiritualist claims to possess, claims that Melody herslf completely believes.
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Re: Chapter 3: Heart of Dartmoor

Postby Philulhu » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:23 am

Fortified by the red wine, Captain FitzWilliam decided to try to draw out Lady Allingham. ”Dinner was excellent,” he said. ”Was the food produced locally on the estate?”
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Re: Chapter 3: Heart of Dartmoor

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:52 am

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"It's a pleasure to meet you both," says Alexander with a bow before taking a seat. "It is good that you're getting an education, Miss Ursula. Have you any interest in the sciences?"
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Re: Chapter 3: Heart of Dartmoor

Postby aine » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:11 pm

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Isolde looks around the gloomy dining room and shivers, "This place has so much history!" At dinner, when there is a polite pause, she asks, "Lady Allingham, may I ask how long has the Allingham family been here?" She smiles politely to Mme. Josephine but says nothing about her own past as a governess.
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Re: Chapter 3: Heart of Dartmoor

Postby HoneyDog » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:34 pm

Spoiler:
“Yon Doctor should hae more o’ an open mind” says McKenzie sagely. “Thars things that man cannae possibly unnerstan’”.

Smith nods his grizzled head in agreement. “You say she can talk ta ghosts?” he asks, in his thick Devon accent.


Spoiler:
Josephine nods at Percy, casting a fond glance at her charge. “She does very well” she replies.

Lady Amanda addresses Fitzwilliam first. “We grow and raise some of what we need. Some of it is procured locally.” He mouth turns down as she says this.

She turns to Isolde. “This is the ancestral home of the Allingham family. They go back generations, at least to the 13th century”.

Ursula raises her head at Alexander’s question, smiles shyly, and goes back to her food. “I’m afraid we don’t really have the opportunity to explore sciences here, Doctor says Josephine apologetically.
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Re: Chapter 3: Heart of Dartmoor

Postby Philulhu » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:45 pm

”l’m sorry, Lady Allingham,” said Captain FitzWilliam. ”l sense my question has inadvertently touched a nerve.”

He glanced at Ursula and Mme. Ducray. ”We can talk of such things later...” he said, and lapsed into silence.
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Re: Chapter 3: Heart of Dartmoor

Postby Raiko » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:45 pm

Spoiler:
"Oh yes," replies Melody, "Miss Beauchant is becoming very famous in London, I'm sure she is the reason that our society has been hired, I'm sure she will soon be able to contact thr ghost."
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Re: Chapter 3: Heart of Dartmoor

Postby HoneyDog » Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:45 am

Spoiler:
"Well, ghost or not, there's definitely something strange going on around here" says another servant, a young woman.
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Re: Chapter 3: Heart of Dartmoor

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Oct 05, 2018 3:17 am

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"Well, if you or your young student would like a lesson while I'm a guest of Lady Amanda's, I'd be more than happy to oblige," says Alexander. "I'm Dr. Alexander Campbell. Doctor of Science, not of Medicine."
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Re: Chapter 3: Heart of Dartmoor

Postby HoneyDog » Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:28 am

“Oh!” exclaims Josephine. “I think we would like that very much! But of course, please do not let us distract you from your duties.”
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Re: Chapter 3: Heart of Dartmoor

Postby Raiko » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:36 am

Spoiler:
a young servant wrote:"Well, ghost or not, there's definitely something strange going on around here"

"Have you seen the ghost?", asks Melody, wide eyed.
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Re: Chapter 3: Heart of Dartmoor

Postby HoneyDog » Fri Oct 05, 2018 3:54 pm

Spoiler:
“Well, that’s the strange thing” says the young woman. “Nobody’s seen anything, but something is going on. The furniture moving, windows open… I think it’s one of these idiots playing tricks!” She laughs, regarding the other servants around her, some of whom laugh too.

Just then Mrs. Beddowes returns, and the room falls silent. She glares around the room, obviously suspicious of something. At this point, some of servants begin to start clearing away their dishes.
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Re: Chapter 3: Heart of Dartmoor

Postby aine » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:28 pm

Isolde looks up at some of the paintings of ancestors half shadowed by the flickering gloom, "it would be interesting to know more about them; should we ask Mrs Beddows for a tour tomorrow?"
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Re: Chapter 3: Heart of Dartmoor

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:49 am

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"It would be my pleasure, and I'm sure I'll have some time, at least after my duties are complete," says Alexander. "I can give you a sample now, while we sup. That's the beauty of science, it's all around us." He looks at the silverware. "Take your spoon, for instance. It's nicely polished, and you can see your face in it. Hold it up so the back the spoon is in front of your face, and you'll see it reflected on the spoon. Then turn the spoon around and look at the front. Your face is reflected again, but now it's upside-down. Because it's curved inward, or concave, the light bends around the surface so that the image is flipped."
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Re: Chapter 3: Heart of Dartmoor

Postby HoneyDog » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:39 am

Howard has been instructed to show you the house and grounds tomorrow morning” Lady Amanda tells Isolde. “As I said, you are to have full access. You might find information about family history in the library. Perhaps you can discover whether the haunting has a focal point?”

Ursula looks entranced at Alexander’s demonstration, and smiles broadly.

The servants begin to clear away the dishes. Brandy is offered.
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Re: Chapter 3: Heart of Dartmoor

Postby Philulhu » Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:42 am

Captain FitzWilliam took brandy when offered. The meal was pleasant but the atmosphere stilted. He understood that Lady Allingham grieved for her husband but it did not make for a convivial evening.

His leg bothered him and he wondered if there would be an opportunity for a quick stroll in the garden before bed to stretch it out.
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Re: Chapter 3: Heart of Dartmoor

Postby Rooter » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:49 am

Percy stifles a yawn. "My bed will be a welcome sight after all that traveling," he declares. He goes to the window and looks out to see if any snow has started to fall. "Let's hope the winter weather doesn't get any worse. I imagine it gets quite isolated up here, your ladyship. Are there any other neighbors apart from the village?"
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