Arrivals Expected and Unexpected

Enter the haunted world of the classic television series. Become one of the residents of Collinsport, and witness the beginning of the many curses to befall the Collins family.

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Re: Arrivals Expected and Unexpected

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:07 am

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It must be the book, thinks Victoria. "Are the cards always right?" she asks the Countess. "Can the future they reveal be changed by the knowledge of it?"

* * *

"I believe your feelings for me are sincere," says Victoria, deciding that she can trust Jeremiah because of them. "What I'm about to tell you, you must promise not to repeat to anyone under any circumstances. I wasn't kidding when I told you we're from two different worlds. My home is the year of our Lord 1967, almost two centuries hence. In a manner I do not understand, I have found myself in the past. I was living in Collinsport in my time, and the Collins family is still there, but there is much tragedy that will happen to the family in this time that I hope to prevent. I seek a way to return to my own time as well, though I know not how. Perhaps with your help it may be possible. Perhaps there's even a way you could come with me, and then the situation may change, though I cannot promise that will happen. I do not know whether I can alter fate. I know something of the history of the Collins family in this time, including your own history. The history I read said that you fell in love not with me, but with Josette, and that she returned your feelings. Whatever happens, you must not get involved with her! Doing so will lead to your death. It will break up the impending marriage, and Barnabas will kill you in a duel. I am also mentioned in the history. It says that I will be hanged as a witch. Other horrible things are due to happen this year, but if we work together, we may be able to avert them."
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Re: Arrivals Expected and Unexpected

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:10 am

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"Yes, of course," says Reverend Trask, bending down to help lift the dead man. "Mr. Stokes said that 'she' would kill him, and then he died. There is only one thing that could have caused his death, and that is witchcraft. There is a witch in this house, and she has been manipulating him. I must find her, before she causes further deaths."
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Re: Arrivals Expected and Unexpected

Postby SunlessNick » Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:58 am

VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:The woman settles herself into the most comfortable chair in the drawing room. "Just tell him Suki's back, and watch his face. That should be good for a laugh. You wouldn't happen to have a spot of gin about the place, would you?"

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"I... I am sure some could be found," says Millicent, unnerved by the woman's brazen manner. "I shall summon a servant to attend you."

In a slight daze, and perhaps anticipating that the encounter is to be a difficult one, she goes straight to the room where Nathan is speaking with Joshua and knocks on the door. Upon entry, she says, "I am sorry to disturb you Nathan, Uncle. Nathan, young woman has arrived at the house, and wishes to speak with you. She says her name is Suki. But she is quite unmannerly - perhaps is is another Nathan she seeks - I cannot see what tie she might have to one of your bearing."
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Re: Arrivals Expected and Unexpected

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:42 am

Mr. Handy wrote:
It must be the book, thinks Victoria. "Are the cards always right?" she asks the Countess. "Can the future they reveal be changed by the knowledge of it?"


"The future is like a river, my child," the Countess explains. "It may take many paths as it winds to the sea. We are swept along with it, but we can fight the current, even swim against it, if we are strong enough. The cards show you only one of several paths, perhaps the most probable one, but not the only one."

Given this advice, Victoria recalls that the Collins family history mentions that Ben Stokes lived to a ripe old age, dying in 1840. It seems that the future has already been changed, in a terrible way.

* * *

"I believe your feelings for me are sincere," says Victoria, deciding that she can trust Jeremiah because of them. "What I'm about to tell you, you must promise not to repeat to anyone under any circumstances. I wasn't kidding when I told you we're from two different worlds. My home is the year of our Lord 1967, almost two centuries hence. In a manner I do not understand, I have found myself in the past. I was living in Collinsport in my time, and the Collins family is still there, but there is much tragedy that will happen to the family in this time that I hope to prevent. I seek a way to return to my own time as well, though I know not how. Perhaps with your help it may be possible. Perhaps there's even a way you could come with me, and then the situation may change, though I cannot promise that will happen. I do not know whether I can alter fate. I know something of the history of the Collins family in this time, including your own history. The history I read said that you fell in love not with me, but with Josette, and that she returned your feelings. Whatever happens, you must not get involved with her! Doing so will lead to your death. It will break up the impending marriage, and Barnabas will kill you in a duel. I am also mentioned in the history. It says that I will be hanged as a witch. Other horrible things are due to happen this year, but if we work together, we may be able to avert them."


Jeremiah grows pale at these stark revelations. After settling himself in a chair and meditating for some time, he comes to a conclusion.

"I cannot doubt your word. The peculiar manner in which you speak, the strange clothing you wore when you first arrived, of a material similar to silk yet so different; all these things speak of another time. I know not what you mean by 'kidding,' or what all this might have to do with the raising of young goats, but I believe you are speaking the truth. There is only one possible explanation. You are indeed a witch, and you cast a spell upon me that I must love you and be your slave, but I care not! If this be Satan's work, then Hell shall be my Heaven!

"I feel nothing for Josette but sincere friendship, and my best wishes that she find true happiness with my nephew. To interfere with their marriage is the farthest thing from my mind, so you need not worry on that account. Whether I am able to save you from the gallows, I do not know; but command me, and I will serve you."
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Re: Arrivals Expected and Unexpected

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:52 am

Mr. Handy wrote:
"Yes, of course," says Reverend Trask, bending down to help lift the dead man. "Mr. Stokes said that 'she' would kill him, and then he died. There is only one thing that could have caused his death, and that is witchcraft. There is a witch in this house, and she has been manipulating him. I must find her, before she causes further deaths."


Whilst making the necessary arrangements for the final disposal of Ben Stokes' mortal remains, the two men discover several items about his person that belong to other members of the household. Although Stokes was known as a thief, these things are of no great value; a hair ribbon, a bit of cloth, and the like. Given the fact that it would be just as simple a matter to steal jewelry and money as such items, this pattern of thievery presents something of a mystery.

"I am not much given to place credence in accounts of witchery," Joshua admits, "although I cannot deny that this tragedy suggests some such practice. Who, then, do you suspect of this wickedness? There are strangers in this house, you know."
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Re: Arrivals Expected and Unexpected

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:15 am

SunlessNick wrote:"I... I am sure some could be found," says Millicent, unnerved by the woman's brazen manner. "I shall summon a servant to attend you."

In a slight daze, and perhaps anticipating that the encounter is to be a difficult one, she goes straight to the room where Nathan is speaking with Joshua and knocks on the door. Upon entry, she says, "I am sorry to disturb you Nathan, Uncle. Nathan, young woman has arrived at the house, and wishes to speak with you. She says her name is Suki. But she is quite unmannerly - perhaps is is another Nathan she seeks - I cannot see what tie she might have to one of your bearing."


Lieutenant Forbes grows speechless at this revelation. His eyes open wide and his mouth opens. Without a word of explanation, he rushes from the room, obviously intent on locating Suki. The heavy doors to the drawing room slam shut, and only the hissing of whispered conversation may be heard from within. After several minutes, Nathan returns with Suki, holding her hand tightly in his own.

"Forgive my rudeness," he says, still a bit nervous. "I must admit I was taken completely by surprise. Miss Collins, Mister Collins, may I present my sister, Miss Forbes. I was not expecting you here in Collinsport, Suki," he says pointedly.

Suki giggles a bit. "Like a bad penny, I always turn up when you least expect me."

After the usual introductions are made, Lieutenant Forbes indicates that he shall escort his sister to the Three Bells, a local inn of higher reputation than the Eagle, which serves also as a tavern.

When the pair have made their farewells, Joshua remarks, "I would not have taken them for siblings. Nature plays strange tricks, does she not?"
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Re: Arrivals Expected and Unexpected

Postby SunlessNick » Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:57 pm

VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:When the pair have made their farewells, Joshua remarks, "I would not have taken them for siblings. Nature plays strange tricks, does she not?"
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"As you say, Uncle Joshua," agrees Millicent. "I found her manner alarming, quite unlike the Lieutennant's. I must apologise when I see her next."
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Re: Arrivals Expected and Unexpected

Postby SunlessNick » Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:08 pm

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Meanwhile, unaware of the commotion from downstairs, Josette asks her mother what the strange girl wanted to talk about. (She knows she should not be resentful of this Victoria, or pry into her, but no one wants to be upstaged during the preparations for her wedding).
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Re: Arrivals Expected and Unexpected

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:20 am

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"Thank you," says Victoria. "Is there any way the cards can help me identify my enemy?"

* * *

"Thank you," says Victoria, relieved. "I am no witch, though, but maybe someone else here is one and is responsible for this situation. I've never been in love, but I've known people who have been. It may seem like magic or witchcraft, but true love isn't. It's much better than that. I did not intend to make you fall in love with me, and I'm not sure why or how it happened. There is also the possibility that a witch did cast a spell on you to direct your affections at me. If I can be catapulted back in time, then witchcraft and magic may be real. Most people in my time do not even believe in them. Mine is an age of science. I think it is possible to change the future, and I think it has already happened. Perhaps a witch would have cast a spell to make you fall in love with Josette, but something altered her plans and she chose me to be the target of Cupid's arrow instead. That would mean that those dark fates can be averted. You shall live, and so shall I. History recorded that Sarah dies of an unknown illness this year, but hopefully that won't happen either. Not every change is good, however. Ben Stokes was not supposed to die, not for a good long time. The history I know records him living until 1840.

"I need two things most of all from you, aside of course from your discretion: your knowledge of your time, and your protection. All I know of 1795 is what I learned about history, but you live here and now. You know the times and the people, and you can instruct me and help keep me from making foolish mistakes. I've already used an expression from my time that nobody in this time would know. The word 'kidding' means 'jesting.' I must speak like someone from this time. I also have an enemy here, though I know not who it is. Perhaps it is a witch, whoever it may be. You might better be able to determine who in this house is hostile toward me. There's also Reverend Trask. I've seen him looking at me, and I know he's suspicious of me, but I've taken great care to give him no evidence. He does not seem the sort to stop until he finds his witch. If there is a real witch here, and we find out who it is, you might be able to direct his suspicions to the proper target. He'd never believe it coming from me."
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Re: Arrivals Expected and Unexpected

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:34 am

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"I was immediately suspicious of Victoria Winters," says Reverend Trask. "Her mysterious arrival, her scandalous outfit, and her convenient lack of memory all seem to indicate that she is not who she pretends to be. However, I have been watching her closely, and I have seen not a shred of evidence to implicate her. Perhaps she is merely being extremely careful. If she is guilty, she will slip up somewhere along the line, and I will be there to catch her at it. There is also the Countess DuPres and her infernal cards, which she uses for divination. I have warned her time and again about Satan's playthings, yet she refuses to repent. You know the women in this house better than I would, so perhaps you have some insight. One thing is certain: Ben Stokes said 'she.' While male witches - called warlocks - do exist, the witch in this case is definitely female. She has, however, already shown that she is quite capable of manipulating a man and getting him to do her bidding. I know not what wickedness she intends by directing him to steal these items, but witches can use personal items belonging to people in order to cast spells affecting them. Now that she has lost her catspaw, she will be on the lookout for a new one."
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Re: Arrivals Expected and Unexpected

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:43 am

SunlessNick wrote:"As you say, Uncle Joshua," agrees Millicent. "I found her manner alarming, quite unlike the Lieutenant's. I must apologise when I see her next."


After some time has gone by, Nathan returns alone, in a state of agitation not perfectly hidden. Making excuses to Joshua, he requests that he be allowed to speak to Millicent alone for a moment. With a nod, the older man withdraws.

When they are out of the earshot of others, Nathan says "I am about to subject myself to a greater humiliation than I have ever known. My -- my sister has fallen into desperate circumstances, the nature of which I would not dare to explain. I must be blunt. She is in need of money; a great deal of money. Having few resources myself, and being too involved in the dealings between Joshua and the Navy to interfere in their smooth operation by such an embarrassment, I find I have no one to turn to save yourself. If you could possibly extend a loan, I swear I would labor to repay it with all my might. The amount, I am afraid, is distressing. Suki is in need of one thousand dollars."
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Re: Arrivals Expected and Unexpected

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:03 am

SunlessNick wrote:
Meanwhile, unaware of the commotion from downstairs, Josette asks her mother what the strange girl wanted to talk about. (She knows she should not be resentful of this Victoria, or pry into her, but no one wants to be upstaged during the preparations for her wedding).


"Ah, she is a strange one, my dear. She wished to know if the future could be changed. It is as if she saw the Fates before her. Atropos with her shears, snip, snip! I fear that she is destined for great unhappiness, that one. But let us not speak of such things. Your Barnabas -- ridiculous name! -- I trust he is not overly grieved by the death of that manservant? I suppose the wedding must be delayed for a decent length of time, even if the fellow was merely a servant."
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Re: Arrivals Expected and Unexpected

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:12 am

Mr. Handy wrote:"Thank you," says Victoria. "Is there any way the cards can help me identify my enemy?"


"I will try, my child, I will try." After several minutes of shuffling and arranging the cards, the Countess shrugs.

"I cannot say. It is as if a fog were coming between me and the cards. It is most peculiar."

Later, Jeremiah agrees to instruct Victoria in the manners of the time, and to keep watch over her. The task is by no means an unpleasant one, and he takes those few opportunities which present themselves to take Victoria's hand, and to gaze into her eyes.

Spoiler:
Unexplained die roll
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
18


A few days later, the household is distressed to discover that Naomi Collins, the matriarch of the family, has succumbed to the same illness from which her young daughter briefly suffered. In her case, however, the effect is much more serious and does not improve with time. Barnabas, a dutiful son, is most upset, and swears he would do anything, even give up his life, to save her. The local physician finds that such usual practices as bleeding and the application of poultices is of no avail, and fears for her life.
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Re: Arrivals Expected and Unexpected

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:27 am

With the permission of Joshua, the Reverend Trask is allowed to search the rooms of the female members of the household, family and guests.

Spoiler:
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 8d20:
8, 11, 9, 17, 11, 11, 12, 2


At first, this procedure yields only minor indiscretions on the part of these persons. The pious lady Abigail, no doubt unwilling to display even a trace of avarice, possesses a small amount of money, kept hidden within a book of prayers. Perhaps even more venial is the fact that Sarah, amongst her few possessions, has somehow managed to secure several marbles, playthings more proper to boys than girls.

Of more interest, it seems, is the fact that the maidservant Angelique is in possession of a few small vials of what seems to be powdered vegetable matter. She explains that these are curative plants native to the West Indies, designed to alleviate such ills as may distress her mistress.
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Re: Arrivals Expected and Unexpected

Postby SunlessNick » Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:46 pm

VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:She is in need of money; a great deal of money. Having few resources myself, and being too involved in the dealings between Joshua and the Navy to interfere in their smooth operation by such an embarrassment, I find I have no one to turn to save yourself. If you could possibly extend a loan, I swear I would labor to repay it with all my might. The amount, I am afraid, is distressing. Suki is in need of one thousand dollars."
Image

"I grieve at your poor sister's misfortune, Nathan," says Millicent, distress easily evident on her face. "Naturally, my Uncles exert charge over my inheritance, but I can appeal to them to aid her." Sadly, however, her mother's growing illness quickly claims her attention - she spends her days praying for a change in her condition. Should Nathan press the matter, she teafully begs him to allow her some time.
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Re: Arrivals Expected and Unexpected

Postby SunlessNick » Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:52 pm

VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:Your Barnabas -- ridiculous name! -- I trust he is not overly grieved by the death of that manservant? I suppose the wedding must be delayed for a decent length of time, even if the fellow was merely a servant."
Image
"He feels the proper responsibility that a master should, to those in his care," says Josette. "But no more than is seemly." One must presume the illness of the elder Mrs Collins also imposes a delay on the wedding. Josette dutifullly prays for the recovery of her future mother-in-law, feeling a little guilt that she also has a selfish motive for doing so.

She will of course vouch for Angelique when the Reverend Trask finds her herbs.
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Re: Arrivals Expected and Unexpected

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:13 am

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Victoria discreetly speaks to Jeremiah in private about Naomi. "Medicine has advanced greatly by my day," she says. "While I am no physician - though women in my age do have that profession - I know enough of the basics of science to be able to teach them to children. If I could observe her symptoms, I may be able to identify the illness and come up with a course of treatment that would work better. I cannot promise anything, but I can try.'
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Re: Arrivals Expected and Unexpected

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:15 am

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Reverend Trask is not completely convinced of Angelique's innocence, though he has no conclusive proof against her as of yet. He resolves to keep an eye on her and see if she does anything to warrant further suspicion.
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Re: Arrivals Expected and Unexpected

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:39 am

SunlessNick wrote:
"I grieve at your poor sister's misfortune, Nathan," says Millicent, distress easily evident on her face. "Naturally I have no command over my family's finances, but I can surely appeal to my father to aid her." Sadly, however, her mother's growing illness quickly claims her attention - she spends her days praying for a change in her condition. Should Nathan press the matter, she tearfully begs him to allow her some time.


Spoiler:
A slight clarification: Millicent is a distant cousin of the other Collins. Her only close relative is her young brother Daniel, their parents both deceased. She is, in fact, an heiress, in charge of a considerable sum of money; in the eyes of the law, however, even the boy Daniel might be considered to have power over her fortune, if he so chose.


As days go by, Suki frequently pays visits to the Collins mansion, often wearing a new frock, generally brightly colored in a gaudy manner, and of expensive, if not overly tasteful design. For one said to be in distress, her mood seems bright, even gay. Nathan, meanwhile, is often moody and sullen, as if some great burden weighs upon his mind.
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Re: Arrivals Expected and Unexpected

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:55 am

Eager to prove her good intentions, Angelique makes use of the powders, stirred into a small amount of sherry, as a tonic which she induces Naomi to swallow. She is surprised, and not a little impressed, when Victoria suggests a similar concoction, made from willow bark, to relieve pain and fever. The remedy proves to be greatly effective, as do the herbs administered by Angelique. In point of fact, Naomi's recovery appears nothing less than miraculous, no doubt aided by the sincere prayers of those in the household.

There is much joy. It is all the more distressing, therefore, when Barnabas makes a shocking announcement. His face is very pale when he speaks to the assembled family and guests, having previously warned that it was necessary for him to speak of serious, even grave, matters.

"I am about to wound many for whom I feel nothing but respect and affection," he begins, in a sad tone, "But it would be even more injurious if I were to remain silent. Josette, dearest, I am unable to marry you." Observing that he has caused much distress to the woman who loves him, and to nearly all others gathered about, he hurries to continue. "I will wed Angelique." He collapses into the nearest chair, nearly faint. Angelique rushes to his side, stroking his forehead with many a whispered word of affection.
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