Chapter 7a: Darkmere (Percy, Alexander & FitzWilliam)

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 7a: Darkmere (Percy, Alexander & FitzWilliam)

Postby HoneyDog » Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:20 am

Reuben sets off at a steady pace, forcing the companions to hurry to keep up. The moor is freezing but the investigators soon start to warm up. The journey is not difficult, but the constant negotiation of small hills and the occasional stream makes for tiring exercise. Reuben constantly chides the companions for their slowness, often looking back with an impatient expression.

About two hours later, the blackish waters of the lake of Darkmere can be seen. Parked close by, and contrasting sharply, are five brightly painted objects, which soon reveal themselves to be Gypsy caravans. Horses are tethered nearby, cropping the grass before the snow will cover it. As the investigators approach, they hear the barking of dogs.

Soon, people begin to appear. Dressed in colourful clothing, they seem gaudy and carefree. Their expressions however are wary, and they regard the companions somewhat suspiciously.

One man steps forward, a large and powerful looking individual. He has a knife sheaved at his belt, and bears a strong resemblance to Reuben, whom he addresses in what is presumably the Romany language.

Reuben answers, and the man turns to the investigators.

Reuben said that you were kind to him, so we can extend the same to you. But what is your business here?” he asks in a gruff voice.
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Re: Chapter 7a: Darkmere (Percy, Alexander & FitzWilliam)

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:05 am

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"Pleased to meet you," says Alexander. "I am Alexander Campbell. My companions and I seek knowledge. Knowledge of the area, knowledge of the past. In short, we seek Reuben's great-great-grandmother, the wise woman."
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Re: Chapter 7a: Darkmere (Percy, Alexander & FitzWilliam)

Postby HoneyDog » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:02 am

The man regards Alexander for a moment, then motions to Reuben and addresses him again in Rom. Reuben scampers off, shortly returning accompanied by a wrinkled, diminutive woman, who nonetheless looks intelligent and alert.

“I’m Maria Petulengroshe announces. “I hear that you want to speak to me?”
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Re: Chapter 7a: Darkmere (Percy, Alexander & FitzWilliam)

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:26 pm

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"That's right," says Alexander, bowing respectfully. "I am Alexander Campbell. My friends and I seek knowledge of the local area and history, and nobody is likely to have more knowledge of that than you."
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Re: Chapter 7a: Darkmere (Percy, Alexander & FitzWilliam)

Postby HoneyDog » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:54 am

"Well, that depends on what you want to know" replies Maria mischievously.
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Re: Chapter 7a: Darkmere (Percy, Alexander & FitzWilliam)

Postby Rooter » Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:59 am

"Are you perhaps aware of the Allingham family?" Percy ventures.
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Re: Chapter 7a: Darkmere (Percy, Alexander & FitzWilliam)

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:35 pm

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They could hardly not be, thinks Alexander, considering how close they live. He remains silent for now, awaiting her response.
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Re: Chapter 7a: Darkmere (Percy, Alexander & FitzWilliam)

Postby Philulhu » Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:02 am

Spoiler:
I am following this, I just haven’t thought of anything useful to contribute yet.
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Re: Chapter 7a: Darkmere (Percy, Alexander & FitzWilliam)

Postby HoneyDog » Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:28 am

“I think you’re well aware of the fact that we know of the Allingham family” Maria laughs. “Our families have some history together, you could say”.
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Re: Chapter 7a: Darkmere (Percy, Alexander & FitzWilliam)

Postby Philulhu » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:45 am

”So we understand,” said Captain FitzWilliam. ”We have heard about the curse that was allegedly laid upon his family.”

”Did you know that the latest Lord Allingham recently died in most gruesome circumstances?”
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Re: Chapter 7a: Darkmere (Percy, Alexander & FitzWilliam)

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed May 01, 2019 2:35 am

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Why do people continually restate the obvious? wonders Alexander. Of course they're aware of it!
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Re: Chapter 7a: Darkmere (Percy, Alexander & FitzWilliam)

Postby HoneyDog » Wed May 01, 2019 5:55 am

“Of course!” says Maria. “All the male Allinghams die before they turn forty. That’s the curse which was placed upon their family. As to the cause of his death, I wouldn’t know about that. It was none of our people, I can tell you that. Why would we need to hasten the inevitable?”
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Re: Chapter 7a: Darkmere (Percy, Alexander & FitzWilliam)

Postby Rooter » Wed May 01, 2019 9:02 am

"But if the legends are true, then since Lord Bargrove was the last male heir, the curse is now fulfilled and you might consider helping us identify the culprits," Percy replies reasonably. "Perhaps all the previous deaths could be attributed to accident but this one was certainly murder. Do you know anything of Hob's Field, for instance, or druids in the area?"
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Re: Chapter 7a: Darkmere (Percy, Alexander & FitzWilliam)

Postby HoneyDog » Wed May 01, 2019 2:52 pm

Maria shakes her head. "The line could still continue. There's adoption, you know. The curse will be lifted when an Allingham man repents to us of the murder committed by his ancestor. Only then.”

“As to the death of the late lord, I can only repeat, it wasn’t us. This place is old; it’s been here far longer than any of our people. Who knows what it hides? I can only tell you this, because this is all I can sense; there is dark magic here. That’s why we don’t stay too long. It is a cursed place.”

She glances sidelong at Reuben’s father.

“You should leave now” he says. “We’ve said our piece”.
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Re: Chapter 7a: Darkmere (Percy, Alexander & FitzWilliam)

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu May 02, 2019 4:36 am

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"Before we go," says Alexander, "I'd just like to ask what you know about the standing stone in Hob's Field."
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Re: Chapter 7a: Darkmere (Percy, Alexander & FitzWilliam)

Postby HoneyDog » Thu May 02, 2019 6:01 am

“It’s a place we stay away from” says Mr. Petulengro. “Now, we’ll say good-bye”.
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Re: Chapter 7a: Darkmere (Percy, Alexander & FitzWilliam)

Postby Philulhu » Thu May 02, 2019 12:46 pm

”Sorry,” said Captain FitzWilliam, ”But before we go, do you know the significance of the standing stone in Hob’s Field? Is it a ward against evil?”
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Re: Chapter 7a: Darkmere (Percy, Alexander & FitzWilliam)

Postby HoneyDog » Thu May 02, 2019 3:35 pm

Petulengro’s jaw hardens. He says something in Rom to one of the other men, who hurries off behind one of the caravans.

Petulengro turns back to the companions. “I just answered that question. Now get out of here before we set the dogs on you. I won’t warn you again.”

The other man shortly returns, brandishing a ferocious looking mastiff on a short lead. The other men are visibly tense.
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Re: Chapter 7a: Darkmere (Percy, Alexander & FitzWilliam)

Postby Philulhu » Thu May 02, 2019 4:26 pm

”I asked if the stone was a ward against evil,” replied Captain FitzWilliam, calmly. ”You didn’t answer that question.” He paused for a moment, to let that sink in, then continued, ”But no matter, we will leave you now.”

He nodded a farewell and indicated to Percy and Alexander that they should leave.
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Re: Chapter 7a: Darkmere (Percy, Alexander & FitzWilliam)

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri May 03, 2019 3:26 am

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Alexander nods and follows Captain FitzWilliam out of the camp.
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