Chapter 8: The Final Day

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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Chapter 8: The Final Day

Postby HoneyDog » Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:09 am

Wednesday 10th August, 1881

6.30 am

Forby House


Not long after dawn, Forby awakes. After a quick breakfast, he asks the companions to accompany him to the quarry. Before they leave, he asks Bates to go to the village and fetch Dr. Jeffries.

“I fully intend to tell Jeffries exactly what happened” he tells the companions. “He’s long been a confidant of this family, and I’m sure that he’ll believe our testimonies, despite our fantastic tale.”

They set out towards the quarry. As usual, the day is already hot, but the heat seems less oppressive somehow. As they walk through the spinney, Forby calls out to Meddler, as his brother-in-law did not return to the house last night. However, there is no sight or sound of the cavalryman.

Forby has more vigour than at any time the companions have seen him. He ate a hearty, if rushed breakfast, and the colour is coming back to his cheeks. He walks and talks with more authority than before.

Reaching the quarry, Forby grabs the rope which is still attached to the boulder and gingerly walks to the quarry edge.

“Watch your step, and hold tight!” he warns the investigators.

Peering over, they can see that the water is calm and unbroken. Of the statue Icarus, there is no sign.

“He’s gone. I’m sure of it. But his secret has gone too, the treasure.”

Forby straightens up.

“However, the real treasure is that now my family are safe. The curse has been lifted. If that really was Christopher Lehman, he will trouble us no more. Words cannot describe the depth of gratitude I feel to you all. You have saved my family, and you can always count me as a friend and ally.”


Spoiler:
Roll Spot Hidden if you're looking at the water.
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Re: Chapter 8: The Final Day

Postby Philulhu » Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:16 pm

Vic studied the quiet waters, wondering if the creature was truly dead...

Spoiler:
Spot Hidden (25%) -
Philulhu rolled 1d100:
2
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Re: Chapter 8: The Final Day

Postby Mephistophilis » Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:46 pm

Harry Brown slopes down to breakfast looking rather sorry for himself. 'Mr Forby, I can only apologise for my behaviour yesterday night, I quite lost the run of myself after seeing that statue move. I am sorry I was not more help to you all'.

He decides that in the absence of Meddler he will keep his suspicions about the man to himself.

'Mr Forby, may I say you look a new man, quite invigorated!'

He agrees strongly with Forby about the loss of the statue, 'Short a family treasure but richer without a family curse'.

This was not the end Harry had been expecting after seeing the old mask by the quarry, but in some ways he is quite entranced by the significance of what he has seen. Proof at last of powers beyoind the grave.

With some trepidation he peers over the quarry edge.

Spoiler:
Mephistophilis rolled 1d100:
18
Hard success
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Re: Chapter 8: The Final Day

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Sep 19, 2020 3:12 am

Image

Alexander's eyesight is excellent as always. "And ye shall always be mine," he says to Harry Forby.

Spoiler:
Spot Hidden roll (67% skill) looking at the water:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d100:
9
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Re: Chapter 8: The Final Day

Postby HoneyDog » Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:03 am

Spoiler:
As they are talking, the companions notice something in the water. It looks like it might be a body.
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Re: Chapter 8: The Final Day

Postby Philulhu » Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:54 am

“Oh my word!” cried Vic, noticing the disturbance on the surface of the water. “Is that a body?”
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Re: Chapter 8: The Final Day

Postby HoneyDog » Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:29 pm

Spoiler:
Sorry Mephis I deleted your post by accident! I must confess, I've been drinking. I need to go to bed. Please don't be angry!

But actually they are already holding onto the rope, as stated above, so the suggestion wouldn't work.


Harry Forby looks down at the body. After a moment he cries out.

“Oh God! Is that John? He was wearing a green shirt, just like that!”

He recoils back from the edge.

“Not him too! Oh, Gertrude! Oh, this cursed family!”
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Re: Chapter 8: The Final Day

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:30 pm

Image

"The curse is over now," says Alexander. "He was its last victim."

Spoiler:
I actually still had the post in a cached browser page from before it was deleted. Here it is:
Mephistophilis wrote:Harry sees it too, 'Get the rope, we need to see what it is.'
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Re: Chapter 8: The Final Day

Postby Philulhu » Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:30 pm

”I’m really sorry,” said Vic, who put a consoling hand on Harry Forby’s arm.
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Re: Chapter 8: The Final Day

Postby Mephistophilis » Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:34 pm

'I'm sorry Mr Forby' says Harry grimly. 'We will attempt to retrieve the body.'
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Re: Chapter 8: The Final Day

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:08 pm

Image

"As am I," adds Alexander, lowering his head. "We can use the rope to retrieve the body. If we tie it into a lasso, like the American cowboys do, we can loop it around and then haul it up."
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Re: Chapter 8: The Final Day

Postby HoneyDog » Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:02 am

“And what do we hold onto while we performing this feat?’ says Forby, still looking at the body. “One wrong step and we’ll be down there with him. No, we’ll get help from the village. We’d best return to the house. I’ll have to tell Gertrude.”

On returning to the house, the party is greeted by Gertrude and Dr. Jeffries. Seeing the expression on Forby’s face, Gertrude raises her hands in horror.

Gertrude, please come with me, dear.” Forby leads her into the dining room. Soon, there comes a wail of grief.

“Good Lord, what happened?” asks Jeffries. He indicates the door to the sitting room, and ushers the companions in. Gertrude has advised me of last night’s events. I’d like to hear what you have to say. I assume that Harry has just brought news of Lt. Meddler?”
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Re: Chapter 8: The Final Day

Postby Philulhu » Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:44 am

”He has,” replied Vic. “We found Lieutenant Meddler in the quarry. It looked as though he had drowned.”
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Re: Chapter 8: The Final Day

Postby HoneyDog » Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:57 am

”I see” says Jeffries. He regards the companions with a steady gaze, seemingly watching their reactions. “Please describe to me the events of last night.”

Spoiler:
Will you be forthright with the Doctor? For the sake of your collective sanity, of course it's not necessary to write a complete summary. Just say whether you will tell him what happened, or be loose with the details.
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Re: Chapter 8: The Final Day

Postby aine » Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:24 pm

“Dr Jeffries, you were frank and honest with us and so we shall be likewise; and although you may find what we are about to relate hard to believe, you will understand there were too many witnesses to belie the truth!”

Isolde looks to the others for their acquiescence and then goes on to relate the incredible story of last night.
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Re: Chapter 8: The Final Day

Postby Mephistophilis » Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:08 pm

Harry nods, 'It is important for you to know that what Mr Forby says is the truth.'
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Re: Chapter 8: The Final Day

Postby Philulhu » Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:50 pm

Vic nodded in agreement. ”Had I not seen it with my own eyes, I would have thought it were a fairy tale,” she said. “But it happened, right enough.”
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Re: Chapter 8: The Final Day

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:24 pm

Image

"It is true," confirms Alexander, "though I do believe there is a scientific explanation for it. It is my hypothesis that Nicholas Forby must have found some means of reanimating the corpse, possibly through some form of galvanism."
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Re: Chapter 8: The Final Day

Postby HoneyDog » Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:33 am

Jeffries nods, pursing his lips.

“I appreciate your candid responses. I will be talking to Harry, but I’m satisfied that this tale, however fantastic, is the truth. Even if just for the fact that the injuries sustained by Old Fred could not possibly have been caused by a human hand. No person could smash a man’s skull like that. It explains to me now the cause of Nicholas Forby’s death – his throat was crushed. And I imagine that Aleister must have come across the statue in its animated state, a sight which drove him mad, and led to his suicide. What madness did Nicholas unleash! I guess that we will never truly know his secret. At least now, it is over.”

He grimaces.

“Regarding the matter of Fred’s death, it appears I have one last, very unpleasant task that I must ask your assistance with. I believe that the simplest solution to the need to explain his death is to determine that it was sustained when he fell into the quarry.”

He shifts uncomfortably in his seat.

“As local doctor and magistrate I will be able to sign the death certificate accordingly. It pains me to create such subterfuge, and it is disrespectful to the dead. But it has to be done. Therefore I would ask you gentlemen to assist me in transporting Fred’s body to the quarry. People will assume that he and Lt. Meddler were walking there when the ground gave way. I will then get help from the village. It is probably best if you are all on your way back to London at that point. There is a train later this morning for Staines.”

Harry and Alexander assist Dr. Jeffries in this most unpleasant task, carrying Fred’s body between them. In the meantime, Vic and Isolde pack everyone’s belongings, and prepare to leave.

Harry Forby places Bates and the carriage at their disposal. Gertrude, her eyes red from crying, and a subdued George, wish the investigators well. Forby pledges the sum of 40 pounds to each investigator, and thanks them sincerely again.

As the companions are leaving, Forby holds up his hand.

“Do you feel that?” he asks.

A faint breeze is stirring the air.

“Perhaps we’re finally in for some cooler weather. Farewell!”

The End
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