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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Forby looks irritated. His eyes glow.

“What’s the point of the treasure if it stays hidden? What good does it do anyone? Dash it, man. I thought a scientific man like yourself would be more helpful than that!”
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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"Oh, believe me, I'm interested and quite willing to help," says Alexander. "I was merely curious why you seem so pressed for time. Is the brain fever worse than it seems? I'm worried that you may be in such a hurry to find the treasure because you fear it is your last chance."
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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“With the treasure back, everything will be well again! Everything will return to normal! You mark my words!”

Forby thumps the table for emphasis, making the tea cups rattle.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Vic glanced around at her colleagues. Forby’s behaviour was certainly of concern.

”How would we find this family treasure?” she asked.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Harry Brown catches Vic's eye and exchanges a worried look. Forby is clearly quite disturbed. He studies Mrs Forby and John Meddler to see how they are reacting to this outburst.

Belatedly Harry realises, rather disappointedly, that this talk of treasure is more likely to be a fever dream. What was Dr Campbell thinking dragging them all here he harrumphs to himself. He's been sent on enough of these wild goose chases by rich men who would have been better off engaging an alienist than an inquiry agent. Still sometimes there's a few bob can be made along the way if you know where to look.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Perhaps Forby senses some skepticism, as he calms his nerves a bit.

“As you can see, I am invalided. So the income the treasure would provide would be invaluable. It is a large emerald, hidden somewhere in or on the grounds of this house.”

He turns towards the fireplace, and indicates a painting hanging above it. At this distance, the companions cannot see the contents closely, but it appears to be a portrait of a man sitting at a desk. He is holding something green in his hand.

“My grandfather, Nicholas Forby. Can you see his hand? It is the stone. It is here, somewhere. I will share with you some of its value if you are able to find it. The clues must be here somewhere, but we have been unable to unravel them.”
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Alexander approaches the portrait and takes a closer look. "What can you tell us about your grandfather?" he asks. "Anything we can learn about the man and how he thought may help us deduce where he hid the emerald."
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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“He was an artist, he worked in metals; mainly sculptures, architectural embellishments, and friezes. His handiwork is all over the house and estate. He had a special casting technique but the method seems to have been lost”.

Forby waves his hand.

“His folios are here on the shelves. You might learn something from those.”

Before Alexander can reach the portrait, Meddler adds, “Maybe you can learn something about the ghost, too.”

Gertrude turns and glares at Meddler, while Forby is unable to suppress a shudder. Bates, attending at the back of the room, coughs.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Harry Brown perks up. 'Ghost Mr Meddler? How intriguing, do tell us more'. Hearing the cough Harry casts a sly glance at Bates.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Meddler turns to Harry, his face blank, seemingly undeterred by the reaction he’s aroused.

“It’s just a local legend. Supposedly, a green furred man is responsible for the death of Harry’s grandfather."

“Enough John!” snaps Gertrude, her composure breaking. Meddler says no more, looking abashed.

Forby begins to rub his temples.

“I have a headache coming” he complains. “I think I’d like to retire.”

He grabs the walking canes next to his chair as Bates moves to help him up. With Gertrude’s help, they walk Forby to the door.

“Please excuse us everybody” Gertrude says over her shoulder. John, why don’t you show our guests around.”

They leave the room.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Vic waited until the Forbys had left the room, then said, ”A green-furred man? Is this linked to MrForby’s illness?”
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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"I ken not," says Alexander. "I dinna believe in ghosts, but there are creatures that exist that are as yet unknown to science. A man with green fur could be one of those - or it could simply be a man wearing a green fur coat." He goes on to the portrait to inspect it closely after the interruption.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Meddler watches as his relatives leave, and replaces his teacup on the saucer. He shrugs at Vic’s question.

“This latest bout was brought about recently, I don’t know why exactly. Bates was with him when he took a turn; he might be able to tell you more.”

As the companions come closer to the painting, they are able to discern further details. Nicholas Forby is sitting at the desk adjacent to the window, seated in the very invalid chair which is now by the door. He is a small, dark, twisted figure, and his eyes seem full of pain. A white, drawn, sharp face is adorned with a small goatee. Before him is an open folio on the desk. The green object in his hand seems to be a stone, and looks the size of a hen’s egg, although Nicholas’ hand covers most of it and it is hard to make out. In the gloom over his left shoulder another face is visible; flat, sullen faithful and pallid. The painting is signed by ‘Christopher Lehmann’.

The portrait has a heavy ornate gilt frame, cast in much the same style as the other molds visible about the house. Its surface is cracked and holds a remarkable patina.
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All who gaze upon the portrait can roll Spot Hidden.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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"It certainly isn't a pleasant painting." Remarks Isolde. "One would never surmise it was an emerald unless Harry had said so. I wonder whose the face is, the one behind his grandfather." She looks carefully at the folio in the painting. "We should have a look at this particular folio if possible."
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32 [dice]0[/dice]
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Vic approached the portrait and studied it carefully. She glanced at the pile of folios on the desk, then back to the painting. ”Could this be one of the ones on the desk?” she asked, studying it carefully.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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"Aye, my thoughts exactly," says Alexander, his keen eyes picking out all the details. He pays particular attention to the folio so that he can identify it. "The other man in the portrait could be a servant, always standing behind his master should he have need of him."
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Spot Hidden roll (67% skill) examining the portrait: [dice]0[/dice]
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

Post by Mephistophilis »

'I'll go and have a chat with our Mr Bates' says Harry Brown. He peers closely at the painting and runs his hand lightly over the surface. 'Interesting composition, I'm not familiar with Christopher Lehmann, do we know anything about him?'
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Spoiler:
I never wrote that there are folios on the desk. All the books are on the shelves.
“The servant is Baines, who was with the family for a long time. He passed away some years ago” calls Meddler from behind them. Lehmann was an artist friend of Nicholas Forby, but I don’t know anything about him. His portrait is hanging in the corridor.”

The painting is not detailed enough to make out anything written in the folio. But our companions’ sharp eyes notice something written in the frame.

“An Iron Dog with eyes of fire shoots sparks in Apollo’s bower”
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You can roll Occult or EDU x2
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

Post by Mr. Handy »

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Something about the line sounds familiar to Alexander.
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EDU x 2 roll (36% stat) about the writing: [dice]0[/dice]
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