Chapter 6: The Death of Lord Bargrove

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 6: The Death of Lord Bargrove

Postby HoneyDog » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:36 pm

Saturday, December 18th

Bargrove Hall, 9 am

The companions managed a little more sleep than the previous evening, but still feel tired. The storm has stopped, thankfully, but the ground outside is frozen with frost, and it is another bitterly cold day. A light fog obscures the view of the distant moors.

The staff are in a mood of high tension, and eagerly gossip to the companions. Ursula’s nightmares and the storm have raised emotions, and the general air of anxiety seems to be spreading. Some particular tattle from the servants comes to attention – all of the chairs in the dining room were found turned around. Even more strangely, bones from last night’s dinner were found on the kitchen floor, shaped into a curious pattern.

The companions, bar Melody, meet at breakfast as usual, where Howard informs them that McKenzie will take them to the police station in Princetown whenever they are ready to leave.
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Re: Chapter 6: The Death of Lord Bargrove

Postby Raiko » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:10 pm

In the kitchen, Melody asks whichever servants are present, "What did the peculiar shape look like?"
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Re: Chapter 6: The Death of Lord Bargrove

Postby Philulhu » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:44 pm

Without causing any unnecessary delay, Captain FitzWilliam ate a hearty breakfast before ensuring he was suitably dressed for the cold weather. He hoped that they might visit the site where Lord Allingham met his maker so made sure he had warm socks and sturdy boots in case they had chance to look around.
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Re: Chapter 6: The Death of Lord Bargrove

Postby HoneyDog » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:42 am

Spoiler:
“It wasn’t anything you’d recognize” one of the cooks tells Melody. “Just like a swirling pattern. But the larger bones were placed outside, and the smaller inside.”

She shudders. “It gave me the willies, what with everything going on. We got rid of it sharpish.”
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Re: Chapter 6: The Death of Lord Bargrove

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:05 am

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"We should go examine the bones for ourselves before we leave," says Alexander. "The servants have instructions not to clean things up when this happens, so it should still be there undisturbed."
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Re: Chapter 6: The Death of Lord Bargrove

Postby Raiko » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:30 pm

Spoiler:
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"Oh dear," say Melody, "Doctor Campbell will be quite disappointed, he gave specific instructions not to disturb any clues.

"Do you think anyone be able to draw the pattern?"
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Re: Chapter 6: The Death of Lord Bargrove

Postby HoneyDog » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:42 pm

Spoiler:
“Oh, I don’t think so” says the cook, alarmed at the prospect of being blamed. She turns indignant.

“You can hardly expect me to leave bones laying around on the kitchen floor. I have food to prepare!”

“I saw it” says one manservant. “It was a swirl, like a snail’s shell, you know, tight in the middle and getting wider. Don't ask me to draw it though” he continues. "I couldn't draw to save me life!"
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Re: Chapter 6: The Death of Lord Bargrove

Postby Raiko » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:34 pm

Spoiler:
Image

Trying her best to ease both the cook's worries and her indignation, Melody says, "Oh no, don't worry. I'm sure the doctor will understand completely."

Melody smiles, "At least we have a good description of the pattern, although I think that Doctor Campbell would still have liked to have been awoken. Still it was an upsetting night for everyone already. Perhaps someone could get me next time? I'm hardly an important guest and so nobody needs to think twice about waking me.

"How large was the pattern? Was it here?"


She points to the nearest large section of floor.
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Re: Chapter 6: The Death of Lord Bargrove

Postby aine » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:27 pm

Isolde dresses for the cold with extra under layers and warm boots. She's not looking forward to today but perks up at the mention of the bones at breakfast. "Oh yes, we must study the bones; the pattern can be very telling! I'd like to look at the dining room too before we go out."
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Re: Chapter 6: The Death of Lord Bargrove

Postby HoneyDog » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:59 am

Spoiler:
You'll be in the dining room to have breakfast. The only strange thing was that the chairs were facing away from the table.


After finishing breakfast, the companions go to the kitchens, but are met by Melody with some bad news.
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Re: Chapter 6: The Death of Lord Bargrove

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:16 am

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"What's wrong?" asks Alexander, picking up on her emotions due to having been around her for so long. "Has a dog been at the bones?"
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Re: Chapter 6: The Death of Lord Bargrove

Postby aine » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:38 pm

"Maybe we should ask to have all the rooms locked at night. That would help contain any disturbances." Says Isolde as they walk towards the kitchen.
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Re: Chapter 6: The Death of Lord Bargrove

Postby Raiko » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:59 pm

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"I'm afraid that a cook tidied away the bones," says Melody, "I did say that you would be disappointed, and asked them again not to disturb any clues in future."

Despite her own disappointment, Melody tries to look on the bright side, "I did get a good description though! The bones were arranged into a spiral swirl pattern, like a snail's shell, with smaller bones in the middle where the swirl was tighter and the larger bones to the outside.

"She said that it scared her – gave her the willies she said."
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Re: Chapter 6: The Death of Lord Bargrove

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:25 am

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"A Nautilus pattern," says Alexander. "It occurs in nature, in snails and other creatures. It's an example of the Golden Ratio. It may also be regarded as special by occultists, but I have very little knowledge of that. Well, let us be off to see the constable, then."
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Re: Chapter 6: The Death of Lord Bargrove

Postby aine » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:43 am

"Yes, well I have made quite a lot of studies about that sort of thing and it would have been insightful to have seen the shape.
Goodness me, this household really hasn't been helpful. Not you, Melody, thank goodness you had the idea to get a description. I will have a word with the housekeeper later; we can't possibly conduct a proper investigation in these conditions!"


Isolde marches off to get her coat ready for going outdoors.
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Re: Chapter 6: The Death of Lord Bargrove

Postby HoneyDog » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:02 pm

Muttering in frustration about the inefficiency of the staff, the society dons their winter coats and mounts the carriage to take them to Princetown. The fog is slowly lifting, but the road is icy and McKenzie drives slowly with obvious care, barely breaking into a trot. Consequently the journey takes twice as long as usual.

The moors are bleak and overcast. The occasional cry of a bird can be heard, but it is hard to imagine any living creatures in this place. McKenzie informs the group that not too distant is the notorious Dartmoor Prison, home to some of Britain’s worst and most dangerous criminals. This seems like a fitting place for them, but the knowledge does nothing to dispel the mood.

Soon enough, they arrive in Princetown. There are more people here compared to Bargrove, and consequently the companions draw little attention. McKenzie pulls up at a small house in the High Street lit with a blue lamp. A bicycle is parked outside, and sure enough, Constable Hallifax is present within.

“Ah, good morning!” He greets the society as they enter. “I’ve been expecting you. I’m sorry, I don’t have enough chairs to accommodate you all.”

The police station is small and furnished very simply. Hallifax seems to be the sole representative of the law in these parts. He has a filing cabinet and a desk, on which lays a file.

“I must ask you all” he begins, once the ladies are seated, “to keep any information I give you confidential. The investigation is ongoing, and it wouldn’t do to have any details leaked. Do I have your word on this matter?” He addresses the group as a whole.
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Re: Chapter 6: The Death of Lord Bargrove

Postby Rooter » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:36 pm

Percy replies in the affirmative. Of course, as soon as the investigation is concluded everything will be in the newspaper with his byline but he keeps that thought to himself.
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Re: Chapter 6: The Death of Lord Bargrove

Postby HoneyDog » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:52 am

Hallifax has the companions write their names, occupations and addresses before he will share the information. He looks suspiciously at Percy, but decides to continue. He reveals some of the details of the murder.

The official coroner’s report states that Sir William had been bound upon the fallen standing stone in Hob’s Field, which is on his property. His wrists were slashed open, and then his stomach opened and the entrails drawn out. A sizable fire was lit around his body, which consumed some of the corpse. The weapon used for the murder has not yet been recovered, and the assailant / assailants are yet unknown.
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Re: Chapter 6: The Death of Lord Bargrove

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:23 am

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"Thank you, Constable," says Alexander, disturbed by the similarity to his dream. "We'll want to examine the scene. It must have been the blood loss that killed him, poor man. Who found the body, and when?"
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Re: Chapter 6: The Death of Lord Bargrove

Postby HoneyDog » Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:40 am

“Some of the Bargrove Hall servants, later that evening” replies the Constable. “They’d gone looking for him. Certainly, you’re welcome to visit the scene when you’re ready.”
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