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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"Has anyone tried to have the dogs pick up a scent?" asks Alexander.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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"No" admits Bates. "We were too concerned with Mr. Forby to be worried about doing anything like that."

"I don't think there's anything else to see here" Meddler interrupts. "Why don't we look around more of the grounds?"
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Harry Brown furrows his brow, 'so Mr Forby has not told anyone what he saw that night, why on Earth not?'.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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"All right," says Alexander. "I'd like to bring the dogs by and see if they can pick anything up, but we can do that later.'
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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“Right” says Meddler determinedly.

He leads the way back around to the front of the house to where the rose garden stands.

“We’re using water from the lake to maintain the garden” says Meddler. The roses themselves do seem to be in better condition than the rest of the grounds, but the earth is still hard and dry. Bees and butterflies go about their business collecting pollen.

There are various statues in the garden, but all are in bad repair.

“The statues are all the work of Nicholas Forby says Meddler. “He was interested in the Classics, so all you see are interpretations of those figures. I believe there was some kind of weakness in his casting technique, so all the statues have a tendency to crack due to cold.”

Looking around, the companions can see that this is true. Hydra is missing half of her heads, and Demeter’s arms have fallen off. Cupid and Psyche are depicted as kissing, but exposure has malformed their faces so that they appear to be devouring each other, a most unsettling sight. Medusa’s face has disappeared, which gives a sense of being perpetually watched by her.

In the centre of the garden is a life-size bronze cast of a naked man. As a result of decades of exposure, it is covered in verdigris, but it is in much better repair than the other statues. The figure is lying on his back with closed eyes and spread-eagled arms.

The base is surrounded by well-kept roses, but the title of the statue is revealed in bold, flowing letters;

‘ICARUS, After the Sea Left Him’

Beneath this comes further script;

‘Did I request thee, Maker from my clay
To mould me man?
Did I solicit thee From darkness to promote me?’

Spoiler:
All can make 2 rolls; History, Occult or a halved Know roll about the story of Icarus Know about the inscription on the base of the statue.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Vic walked around the statue. The inscription meant nothing to her, but she had heard of the myth of Icarus; it was a bête noire of Lord Armstrong, who dismissed such stories as a brake on progress.

She wondered how this might relate to Forby. What was it he had become involved in?
Spoiler:
History of Icarus (1/2 Know roll = 37%) [dice]0[/dice] Inscription (Know = 75%) [dice]1[/dice]
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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I thought Hydra's heads were supposed to grow back when they were cut off, thinks Alexander. While he has heard of Daedalus and Icarus and knows that Icarus died from trying to fly too close to the run, which melted the wax on the wings that Daedalus invented, he is unfamiliar with the details described here. He does know that he will be more careful than Icarus should he ever invent a flying machine.
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Know roll (90 / 2 = 45% stat) about Icarus: [dice]0[/dice]
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Spoiler:
Alexander can still roll Know for the inscription.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

Post by Mephistophilis »

Classical mythology wasn't really Harry Brown's strong suit but there was something quite unsettling about the figure. Reading the inscription on the base did jog something in his memory, perhaps from one of those gothic novels he read. It was definitely not from classical mythology though.
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Spoiler:
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Something about the inscription is familiar from Alexander's classical education.
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Know roll (90% stat) about inscription: [dice]0[/dice]
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Spoiler:
Occult 48[dice]0[/dice]know 37[dice]1[/dice]
Isolde walks slowly round the bronze. "Is this also one of his sculptures? It's quite different." She asks. "I wonder if this is Icarus; it doesn't sound like him. I've always imagined Icarus to be of the sky and this inscription sounds like someone from the dark earth."
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Spoiler:
According to the old Greek myth, Icarus was the son of the famous inventor Daedalus, who had been imprisoned by King Minos after giving aid to the hero Theseus that enabled him to kill the Minotaur. Daedalus created wings from wax, reeds and eagle feathers and escaped with Icarus. But Icarus, in his youthful enthusiasm, flew too close to the sun and the wax holding his wings together melted, and he fell into the sea.
Spoiler:
The inscription is from Milton’s [i]Paradise Lost[/i], a poem dealing with the Fall of Man. It is Adam’s lament to his stern, unyielding God.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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"I recognise the quote," says Alexander, "but it has nought to do with Icarus. It's from Milton's Paradise Lost. It's Adam's lament to God after his fall."
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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'It is indeed' says Harry, 'but I'll confess I first recognised it as being an epigram from the novel Frankenstein, it gave me the shivers when I read it there on the stone'.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Meddler suppresses a snort.

"Come now, a gentlemen such as yourself surely can't be dismayed at a mere quotation" he tells Harry. "What is your line of work, by the way?"
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Harry Brown coolly looks Meddler up and down. 'A mere quotation cannot harm anyone I'm sure. But it tells me something about the individual who inscribed it there on this sorry figure, and what it tells me is not something I like. He straightens himself up and meets Meddler's gaze. 'My work is as an inquiry agent and I have seen plenty of the darker side of human nature. As a military man I suspect you have had similar experiences'.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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"Aye, I've read Frankenstein too as a lad," says Alexander. "It was one of the things that inspired my interest in science. Not that I'd ever try to reanimate the dead," he adds quickly. "I merely wish to invent things that make life better. If I ever bring new life into the world, it shall be the way God intended."
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Vic was somewhat taken aback by the change in mood. Despite the heat of the day, a shiver ran down her spine. She read the inscription again.

”What is the significance of the quotation?” she asked.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

Post by aine »

"Well, Adam and Icarus have one thing in common; they are both fallen and this statue looks like it has fallen from the sky- look how his arms have flung out. Meddler, did Mr Forby paint any classical pictures as well as sculpt?" She has a good look at the bronze face to determine any likeness to anyone.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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The sculpture's face does not look familiar.

Meddler shrugs disinterestedly. He doesn’t seem to be concerned about Harry’s comments.

Stifling a yawn, he says. “As far as I know, Forby only sculpted.”

He looks at his watch, the significance of the gesture obvious.

“Shall we move on?” he asks.
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