[IC] Chapter 1: Eton

When the Provost of Britain’s most prestigious college for boys is bequeathed a parcel of land in a rural backwater he’s never even heard of, the venerable old man calls upon a select number of friends to look into the matter.

Why was Dr. Preedy mentioned in the last will and testament of the Squire of Wergyn Hall? Where are the ruins of St. Wergyn’s church, of which he has become the unexpected custodian? What is the truth behind the strange tales and legends that haunt the benighted countryside?

Set in the 1900s, The Provost of Eton’s Inheritance leads the investigators from the rarefied air of the college cloisters to the wilds of the English Marches, in this 7th edition Call of Cthulhu adventure inspired by one of H.P. Lovecraft literary heroes: the master of the ghost story, M.R. James.

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[IC] Chapter 1: Eton

Postby jp1885 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:55 am

Eton.jpeg

Eton College, 7th September 1909, 8 a.m.

"…and so I shall deem it most pleasing if you could visit my office, where I can elaborate on this unusual matter further.

Yours most sincerely,

Dr. Aubrey Preedy,
Provost,
Eton College"


Thus ends the letter you have recently received from your old acquaintance Dr. Aubrey Preedy: the current Provost of Eton.

Quite what this ‘matter’ is, the missive does not say, which is intriguing enough, knowing how old Preedy famously dislikes vagueness and mystery, preferring cold facts and logical thinking to ‘nebulous speculation’ as he would put it.

If nothing else, the note prompts you to reflect on your connections with Eton, thoughts and feelings at this present time and perhaps your relationship with the other people who have been addressed.

Spoiler:
Here’s your chance to write a little introductory passage for your character. Feel free to explore their feelings, maybe have them say something and interact with other PCs and NPCs. There’s no real bearing on the game at this stage other than to get you used to RPGing by forum. Do this via the 'post reply' button below.
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Re: [IC] Chapter 1: Eton

Postby LTD1969 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:59 pm

Ah yes, the old Alma mater. The place looks just the same. Nice to see some things remain constant in this ever changing modern world of ours. I wonder what the new millenium wil bring....but I digress.

This note of Preedy's is rather a rum do. Not like him to be so vague, if not downright mysterious. Still, one finds oneself at something of a loose end at present. A change of scene from marking undergraduates' essays also wouldn't come amiss. This business of Preedy's might be just the ticket to chase away the cobwebs. A change is as good as a rest eh, what?
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Re: [IC] Chapter 1: Eton

Postby Whitehorse » Sat Jul 27, 2019 11:36 am

Grigori threw his opera hat with a thwack to the recesses of his storeroom, aiming ineffectively for the gargoyle that already sported a boater and an array of striped ties, and sat back - holding the envelope to the light to see if it would reveal something of its contents. All he could tell was that Preedy, of all people, had sent him a note. With a sigh, he straightened his back, as if in the presence of his old master, ripped open the envelope and began to read the perfect italianate handwriting.
Well... what to think... of the provost's requeat, which was all the more striking for its uncharacteristic nature. Certainly a visit to Windsor was called for. He looked at his trunk for a moment in contemplation. What should he pack for this time of year? What would aid him in this rather undefined venture..? And who else would he find there, for it seemed likely that he was not the only old-boy Preedy had called upon.
He shrugged. Perhaps this would be interesting. He was certainly not averse to doing the provost a favour or two, if only with an eye to their possible return sometime...
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Re: [IC] Chapter 1: Eton

Postby speshul » Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:33 pm

Tom is bit of a fixture around Eton a working class soldier turned driver, no one gives him a second glance, is it because he isn't one of them, or is it is he is powerful ugly. Of course some of the students titter and gossip behind his back. His permanent scowl due to terrible facial scarring from a shrapnel wound in the war seems to quiet them pretty quick, he appears angry and unapproachable constantly.
Quiet and non nonsense he likes to be invisible. The college has been good to him, even helped with experimental facial surgery. Tom is fiercely loyal despite not actually liking most of the people here. He thinks they are stuck up, impractical and often a waste of good air, just like the officers in the way who led many of his men to their death.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tom is there early waiting outside in the grounds having a cigarette, leaning against a massive oak tree deep in shadow, he watches the world to go buy, keen to observe who may be arriving and size them up. His uniform, age and scars mark him out for those observant.
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Re: [IC] Chapter 1: Eton

Postby bardie » Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:29 pm

Spoiler:
Edie enjoys the train immensely and watches as the scenery passes at the rate of knots before her eyes. It is a time to sit in peaceful reflection and organise one's thoughts. Why could Dr Preedy have called upon her? It had been a while since they had any dealings with each other and the curious note, whilst welcome, was completely unexpected. She hadn't realised she'd made such an impression and had assumed they'd not meet again. Still, she was excited to see him and to visit Eton - time had run away with itself and she had had no opportunity to return to the college in a while.
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Re: [IC] Chapter 1: Eton

Postby jp1885 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:45 pm

Your interest piqued, notwithstanding your wish to render whatever service you are able, you find yourself being led across the main yard and past the familiar statue of the school’s founder Henry VI by a senior porter.

The yard is ringed on all sides by venerable buildings reflecting the grandeur of the school. Boys of various ages head for their lessons; the younger boys scurrying about in shoals, avoiding the older chaps who, clad in frockcoats and top hats, guffaw as they saunter forth in the surety of their status as the future leaders of the country.

As you approach the heavy doors set between the twin pinnacles of Lupton’s tower the porter bids you wait while he sees if the Provost is in.
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Re: [IC] Chapter 1: Eton

Postby jp1885 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:51 am

You are left to your thoughts. Occasionally a pupil or member of staff walks by, some nodding deferentially while other glare disapprovingly at your audacity to be standing at the hallowed portal of the Provost’s office. Thankfully however, these gawpers keep their opinions to themselves and continue about their business.

Eventually the porter returns.

“The Provost will see you now,” he sniffs, before leading you through a series of nondescript passages to your old acquaintance’s lair. He holds the door open for you, nodding curtly before retreating into the corridor.

Dr. Preedy’s office is very much like its incumbent: rather large yet neat, well-organised and somewhat stuffy. It comes as a surprise then when the man himself bustles towards you from behind a cluttered lectern and, seizing each one of you warmly by the hand, bids you sit in the haphazard collection of seats that have been placed in front of his writing desk.

Seating himself, this normally emotionless fellow beams with sheer relief at the sight of your collective presence.

“It’s all too much!” he exclaims, waving a large envelope at you. “It’s the start of a new term and there’s still much to do; and now this!”

He slams a thick envelope down and then, as if startled by the noise, forcibly calms himself down.

“I suppose you’d like to know why I summoned you. Well to be blunt I need your expertise; each of you possesses certain skills that would, I am certain, prove most useful in solving this mystery. And by mystery, I mean this confounded will …”

He jabs the envelope with a podgy finger.

“I just don’t know what to do with it. ‘The last will and testament of Desmond Barneby, squire of Wergyn Hall’. Who is this fellow, who has the effrontery to bequeath me bits of land in such a cavalier manner? I’ve never heard of him before, let alone this ‘Wergyn’ place!”

He hands one of you the envelope.

“Well, what do you think? Will you look into this matter for me?”

Inside the envelope is indeed the last will and testament of one Desmond Barneby, squire of Wergyn Hall of the county of Herefordshire.

Cutting through the legal jargon (courtesy of Barneby’s solicitors: Harrison & Yem, judging by the headed notepaper), the upshot is that the Squire has died recently, leaving the majority of his estate to a distant relative: one Major Stephen Perryman.

However, there is one small, roughly circular parcel of land labelled as ‘O’Kent’s Boundary’, which has been bequeathed, as it states, to ‘the Provost of Eton College: the cleverest man I know’.

‘When I am gone my old friend, only you can put down that which is stirring’, it reads. ‘Go to JOK and see that the ‘walls’ are still strong. I dread to think what would happen if HE stepped across it again.’

“Was this Barneby fellow mad do you think? I suspect the man is referring to my predecessor, Dr. Arthur Sinclair. Some of you may remember old Sinclair – he had some ties to Herefordshire as I recall and had the bad manners to pass away suddenly last year.”

“Obviously Barneby was unaware of this fact and was vague enough in his dashed will so that this ‘O’Kent’s Boundary’ now legally under my care!”

He leans forward.

“I would like you to find out just what the deuce is going on here. Is this plot of land valuable? Would it be of any use to the school? Can we palm it off to someone else if need be?”

He fishes another envelope from a drawer and passes it to you.

“I’ve taken the liberty of purchasing tickets to Hereford – the afternoon train at 3 p.m. – and have also arranged for accommodation at a local hotel. Oh, I’ve included a note of introduction to the Dean of Hereford Cathedral: Wentworth Leigh, or ‘knock-knees’ as we used to call him, too. He’s bound to know more about that particular shire than I.”

“Who or what is O’Kent?”
he continues. “Who was Barneby of Wergyn Hall? Indeed, what the devil is a Wergyn? What does old Sinclair have to do with it all? His papers are in the college library – I’ve told the Head Librarian to expect you.”

He smiles hopefully.

“You’ll help, I’m sure of it – won’t you?”

And with that, he nods to the porter.

“Show them to the library if you please.”

Spoiler:
This is where your adventure begins! If you want to roll a knowledge check to see what you already know about the things spoken of here (EDU, History, archaeology or anything else you think suitable) please do so now. I need to know the skill you're rolling against and what subject it pertains to.
Spoiler:
4 rail tickets, train to Hereford departing at 3 p.m: 1 each.
Receipt for rooms at the Green Dragon Hotel, Hereford
Note of introduction to the Dean of Hereford Cathedral
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Re: [IC] Chapter 1: Eton

Postby speshul » Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:12 pm

Tom pauses thoughtfully, he's spent the last few minutes eyeing up his new squad mates, they don't look like an entirely practical bunch. On one hand time away from in the country air could be good away from the establishment, however meeting new people and their judgement is always daunting. His face and nose show severe scarring from the reconstruction surgery and his is missing most of his left ear and has bald patches and scarring throughout his scalp, not that you would know his chauffer's hat is on as often as etiquette allows.

Not one for the library and not entirely trusting others to make valid preparations, Tom speaks up quietly "I'll make preparations and gather supplies, I assume we'll be away for a few days and might need to spend time on the estate, shall I assume the worst sir?"

To his new found colleagues "Gentlemen, I'll join you all in the library shortly" He nods / doffs his cap towards the lady and makes a direct exit and near marches to the stores and his room to collect up various supplies, including food, blankets, basic repair and mechanical equipment in the form of a canvas wrapped tool kit, crowbar, rope, Personally he will bring his army bed roll and blanket and ideally rolled up inside of it his Boer War Henry Rifle. A change of plain outdoor clothing is added on top of the food.

As he packs he sighs and start putting some of it back knowing full well he will be the one carrying it all.

He talks to himself quietly, "I bet it's a run down death trap, held together with incest, bad memories, disapointment and cobwebs, no chance it'll be intact with soft beds with a full wine cellar for the gentlemen and whisky for me, best pack some tools to break in, some for basic repairs. " grabbing his rifle "Maybe I'll get chance to go hunting, hear they have some nice deer in Herefordshire" He pauses to look at his army bed roll, still containing some faded red stains. "Kept me alive and kept me warm" he grabs his college issued car tool kit including various wrenches and spanners "Do they even cars in Herefordshire?" With a shrug he hoisted his bedroll overs his back, his heavy canvas tool bag and a faded military ruck sack containing some food and a bottle of strong whiskey and heads to the library hoping they will be nearly finished. "Got to do everything myself as usual" As he leaves the privacy of his rooming, his neutral face appears, half scowl half glare and he marches in silence heading back to the library.

OOC:   i am not sure on true social etiquette so i'm guessing, if in doubt Tom is trying to be appropriate, if he is being intentionally awkward i will make it clear
Also his APP is 35 hence playing up the scarring his is also standoffish but not rude making him slightly unapproachable. I have also NOT given any points into listen to represent some damage to his hearing.

I assume some of his tools belong to the College as his credit rating isn't that high  
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Re: [IC] Chapter 1: Eton

Postby jp1885 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:51 pm

Dr. Preedy looks somewhat alarmed at Tom's inference that there might be difficulties ahead and readily gives his consent.

"Yes, yes indeed Pritchard, by all means gather whatever supplies you deem necessary. Precisely the reason I chose a chap like you to tag along."

He pauses for a moment, knowing the driver's character and deciding whether to say what's on his mind or not.

"Just, ah, remember your station, hm?"

OOC:   Yep that's fine. I've no doubt Tom can lay his hands on whatever he needs, whether from his own possessions or from school stores.  
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Re: [IC] Chapter 1: Eton

Postby LTD1969 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:57 pm

Professor Garrett thinks to himself: Quite a motley crew old Preedy seems to have assembled. I wonder what their various fields of expertise are. That driver chappie looks like he might be useful in a fight and seems the organised type. Military background I gather. Not sure what Preedy wants with the Russian fellow, or myself come to that. Further explanation will no doubt be forthcoming in the libray.

Garrett moves to follow the porter to the library.
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Re: [IC] Chapter 1: Eton

Postby Whitehorse » Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:00 pm

Grigori takes the papers from the provost and examines them closely, trying to divine some further information from them. Despite the provost's surprise at Tom's suggestion that their might be 'difficulties', he though the old Boer War soldier likely had the measure of the enterprise. That capitalised 'HE' that should be walled off, seemed downright ominous.

Then with a furrowed brow, he tried to remember what he could of Arthur Sinclair (EDU roll)
Whitehorse rolled 1d100:
62
and also whether Wergyn Hall or O'Kent rang any bells (History 40%
Whitehorse rolled 1d100:
65
, Occult 25%
Whitehorse rolled 1d100:
68
)

As he follows the porter, he gives a little bow in Preedy's direction - 'So happy to be of assistance to you on the matter Aubrey... Perhaps we can talk about my loan of the Hilliard miniature when I return...
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Re: [IC] Chapter 1: Eton

Postby jp1885 » Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:37 am

Whitehorse wrote:As he follows the porter, he gives a little bow in Preedy's direction - 'So happy to be of assistance to you on the matter Aubrey... Perhaps we can talk about my loan of the Hilliard miniature when I return...


As you leave Preedy's office, he harrumphs with embarrassment, as if he'd forgotten all about the loan.

Spoiler:
You do indeed remember Sinclair, who taught arithmetic during your time at Eton and became provost after you left. A singularly bland fellow with no obvious interests, talents or vices, he somehow managed to suck what little joy there was out of the subject as you recall. However if memory serves, there were rumours that he had an interest in the supernatural and would spend the holidays in the countryside, not fishing or playing golf, as he claimed, but digging around ancient sites and such. All rumour and speculation of course, but none the less...
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Re: [IC] Chapter 1: Eton

Postby LTD1969 » Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:44 pm

Garrett will wait until we're assembled in the library before formally introducing himself to his new companions.
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Re: [IC] Chapter 1: Eton

Postby jp1885 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:56 am

Eton Library.jpg

Eton College Library

While Tom disappears to gather equipment for the trip to the provinces, the rest of you are led to the college library.
The library consists of a number of book-lined, two-storey rooms. The ground floor is crowded with reading desks and chairs, while the uppermost consists of a gantry running around each room, forming a small atrium to the floor below.
Small staircases provide access to these upper floors, whilst movable ladders likewise allow one to reach the higher bookshelves.

As it is still early and most of the students are beginning their lessons, the library is even quieter than it would normally be. Reading lamps have not yet been lit and the pale autumn sunlight from the few windows does little to dissipate the shadows that lurk between the shelves and pillars.

The porter bows, leaving you at a large wooden counter. Standing guard behind this edifice is a small, wiry man of indeterminate age. He stares at you with defiance, as if he were facing you from behind a barricade in revolutionary Paris.

“Yes? What do you want?” he hisses.

You may recognise him as the head librarian, Mr. Lewis: a weasel of a man who enjoys what little power he has over students and staff alike.

“The library is not open yet. Go away!”

OOC:   If you wish to access the library you will have to get past Lewis, accompanied by whatever interpersonal skill roll you deem appropriate (charm, persuade, intimidate or maybe even credit rating). Mr. Garrett, you have spent many an hour researching here and are on reasonable terms with the library staff. Therefore you are allowed a bonus die (i.e. 1d10*10 to roll an extra ‘tens’ die.)  
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Re: [IC] Chapter 1: Eton

Postby LTD1969 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:08 pm

"Ah Lewis, how absolutely splendid to run into you again after all these years, redoubtable as ever I see. I'm doing a spot of research for the Provost, so if you could see your way to letting an old boy spend a few hours in the library I'd be much obliged."

Attempting to use Persuade skill 50%

Rolled 3 and 1 on the tens dice so will take the 1. Rolled a 6 on the ones dice. Skill roll 16, a success.
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Re: [IC] Chapter 1: Eton

Postby jp1885 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:37 pm

LTD1969 wrote:"Ah Lewis, how absolutely splendid to run into you again after all these years, redoubtable as ever I see. I'm doing a spot of research for the Provost, so if you could see your way to letting an old boy spend a few hours in the library I'd be much obliged."

Attempting to use Persuade skill 50%

Rolled 3 and 1 on the tens dice so will take the 1. Rolled a 6 on the ones dice. Skill roll 16, a success.


OOC:   I'll let this one slide, but please us the built-in dice roller (i.e. the dice button) for future rolls :)  
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Re: [IC] Chapter 1: Eton

Postby jp1885 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:49 am

"Ah, Professor Garrett, I didn't recognise you for a moment. Yes, the Provost told me to expect you and your..." he eyes Mr. Tereshchenko with evident distaste "...companion."

"If you would care to take a seat," he motions towards a nearby table, "I'll have Dr. Sinclair's papers brought up. Is there anything else you'd like to look at?"
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Re: [IC] Chapter 1: Eton

Postby jp1885 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:11 am

As you ponder on the direction of your research, Sinclair’s papers – all nine boxes of them – are deposited onto the large table around which you sit.

Thankfully someone has seen fit to label them, so perhaps those marked ‘college administration’ can be discounted, leaving a single box marked ‘personal correspondence’.

Opening this box reveals a jumble of letters and journals, all separated into binders and again labelled by category. Clearly Sinclair was very well organised.

Your eye is caught by a binder marked ‘Wergyn’, which contains a number of letters from the late Squire Barneby. It is clear that the two have been friends for some years and maintained a cordial correspondence, on Barneby’s part mainly recounting his hunting and fishing exploits and the day-to-day joys and frustrations of managing a large country estate. One might infer from his replies that Sinclair also vented his frustrations about administrating the college (amusingly, Dr. Preedy is often singled out for particular ire).

Another common feature is a shared interest in folklore. Barneby makes frequent mention of a frequently-consulted book: ‘Memorials of Old Herefordshire’ by Reade. He also writes often about conversations held with a Miss Coates, ‘from the village’. It appears that they often disagreed on certain points, but ‘found ourselves in concurrence about JOK and his lineage.’

Interspersed among these letters are a number of cryptic references, relating to this JOK and the requirement that he maintains ‘all four parts of the wall’.

In early letters Barneby is confident that ‘JOK and I are carrying out the task that we have inherited admirably’ and that ‘the ritual continues and HE is contained.’

However, in more recent letters a note of concern creeps into the text: ‘JOK is ill again and I had to burn the stubble last night. I’m afraid I too am not in the best of health and I am exhausted from the effort.’

‘I cannot rely on my tenants for assistance any more,’ one letter reads. ‘The wall is weakening and HE is turning them subtly against me. For instance I caught one of them trying to divert the water wall last week – something he would never dare do without my permission until now. It took all my powers of persuasion to stop him.'

Barneby’s final letter reads: ‘Oh why did I not sire an heir when I was young? Alas time has crept up on me. I think I must search for HIM while the ritual remains and the wall is strong enough to keep HIM down - curse his Norman soul, if he still has it! He must be destroyed, but oh, how I have scoured St. Wergyn’s time after time and yet cannot find the resting place! Perhaps I should pray to that saint and ask him how it was done!’

In the margins of this passage, Sinclair has written ‘Is he in Pearson’s Lives of Lesser Saints? Speak to Lewis.’
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Re: [IC] Chapter 1: Eton

Postby speshul » Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:17 pm

Tom returns to the library and walks to the main door quietly. Seeing Mr Lewis who definitely rates low down on his list of people to spend time around and with his mind full of plans he does his best to avoid him totally and then scowl and walk by.


Stealth at 50%
speshul rolled 1d100:
3

Intimidation at 20%
speshul rolled 1d100:
85


Once inside he will pause to look around not a room he is often but one which impresses and slighly intimidates him. Assuming he is allow he enjoys the silence for the moment he drops his pack in a quiet corner before making his way deeper in trying to find the others.

Spot hidden at 50%
speshul rolled 1d100:
6

Listen at 20%
speshul rolled 1d100:
52


Stealth to sneak up to the team quietly 50%
speshul rolled 1d100:
99
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Re: [IC] Chapter 1: Eton

Postby speshul » Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:20 pm

OOC:   Ha some awesome rolls! I imagine I got right in fine, snuck over and the managed to knock a stack of books over as I get close :) got to love silly dice based games  
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