Chapter 2: Day One

During a sweltering August in 1881, one of the members of the Seekers of Enlightenment receives a letter from an old friend, requesting help in solving a family mystery. It will soon become a matter of life or death…

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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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"Aye, I'm ready," says Alexander.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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"Good!" says Meddler, perking up. As he leads the way out of the garden, he addresses Alexander.

"You've known Harry Forby a long time, haven't you Doctor? What's your take on the old boy?"
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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"Aye, Lieutenant," says Alexander, "we were old chums at school. He doesna seem himself now. He has mentioned the family treasure before, but it's only now he is obsessed with finding it and will brook no delay. It doesna seem healthy to me."
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

Post by aine »

Isolde follows, wishing she hadn't left her parasol in the boot room. She keeps a sharp look out for anything that could constitute a nook or bower or any old laurel trees.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Vic was slightly puzzled by Meddler’s attitude. He seemed bored of showing them around already despite the fact it was for the benefit of Harry Forby.

She watched him closely as he spoke, looking out for any signs that he wasn’t necessarily what he seemed.
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Psychology (50%) - [dice]0[/dice]
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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“I’ll take you to meet Old Fred, the groundskeeper” says Meddler. “He’s a surly sort, but he’s okay, I think.”

On their way to the west side of the house, the companions can see the Bay Laurel trees which flank the entrance portico.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Seeing the laurel trees, Alexander keeps his eyes open for anything that might qualify as an iron dog.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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The trees look like they have been standing a long time in front of the house. They offer some welcome shade from the hot summer sun, but that is their only seeming point of interest. Nothing that resembles an iron dog, or indeed anything iron or doglike is on or near them.
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Isolde notes that Meddler has turned his attention to her. He says nothing, but seems to thinking as he regards her.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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“An Iron Dog with eyes of fire shoots sparks in Apollo’s bower,” said Vic quietly as the approached the trees.

She looked around. “Are these the only Laurels on the estate, Mister Meddler?” she asked.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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“I’m sure I would have no idea” Meddler replies haughtily. “I’m not exactly a botanist. Perhaps Fred might be able to help you.”

The party reaches a small, modest cottage with a well-kept vegetable garden. Despite knocking, there is no answer.

“He must be at the stables” says Meddler. “Well, the only things to see on this side of the house are the mausoleum and an ice house up the hill here. Over on the other side is an old quarry, but apart from that it’s just woods and scrub.”
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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"It might not be a laurel tree," says Alexander. "It could be a reference to a laurel wreath. Is there anything like that at the mausoleum?"
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Meddler looks irritated.

“I’m sorry, I don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of this place, you know” he complains. “I’m only staying here temporarily. I can take you to the mausoleum if you’d like.”
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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When Meddler had his back turned, Vic rolled her eyes. His behaviour was boor-ish, to say the least.

”Shall we go to the mausoleum?” she said brightly. “Perhaps we’ll find the gardener there.”
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Meddler smirks.

“I doubt you’ll find much to garden in a mausoleum, young lady” he tells Vic condescendingly. Nevertheless, he sets off towards that structure.

Climbing up the hill in the sweltering heat is tough work, and the companions are soon very tired. But soon they come upon the mausoleum.

It is a large vault built of stone, and to say that it is covered in finely-detailed carvings would be an understatement – likenesses of trees, animals, people and mythological creatures such as centaurs and fairies abound. Two gargoyles, or they could be devils or frightful-looking angels – guard the entrance, which is pillared in the Corinthian style like the house. The back of the structure descends into the form of two tree stumps, with their stone roots apparently writhing into the ground. The building has a strong effect on those seeing it – the number of figures carved into the stone means that there are innumerable eyes watching those who approach. It is a most disconcerting sight.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Vic said nothing but did wonder if the mausoleum was where Meddler’s good manners had been interred... ...

At the top of the rise, she paused to recover her breathe and to gently pat her brow with a handkerchief. What she wouldn’t give for nice cold glass of Pimm’s, a deckchair and a parasol right now.

Putting her handkerchief away, she approached the mausoleum for a closer look.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Alexander also goes up to the mausoleum and examines the carvings, looking for laurel trees or wreaths and for dogs, iron or otherwise.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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There are images of dogs and of trees which may or may not be laurels. But there doesn't seem to be any connection between any of the pictures, and the stone doesn't react to touch.

The door is found to be locked.

"Harry has the key" informs Meddler.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

Post by aine »

Isolde stands with Meddler while the others look at the stonework. "Thank you for showing us round, Mr Meddler, it's very generous especially on such a hot afternoon. And you are a true friend to Mr Forby to stay down here with him. Do you not find it rather quiet?"
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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“It’s Lieutenant” says Meddler. “This is all temporary until I rejoin my regiment. May I ask what is your area of expertise, Miss Beauchant?”
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

Post by aine »

"My apologies, Lieutenant." Isolde replied. "I am a medium, I specialise in divining the supernatural forces in our world. I'm also a student of the occult." She smiles wryly, "Many people may have distain for my methods but there are many things unexplained by science. I have seen them." She looks into the middle distance and shudders.
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