Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:30 am

Macaria displays great interest at these words. "Do you understand what the stakes shall be for you?"
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:00 am

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Henry watches Macaria closely, Lila confirming the suspicion he had had of her all along. He hopes she knows what she is doing. He can think of intellectual challenges where one could at least force a draw, but none that would guarantee a win. However, Lila's greatest advantage is her nimbleness, so he is certain she will propose a dexterity-based challenge.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Rooter » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:09 am

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Lila hesitates again and looks over to Raquel. "Who among us may be willing to gamble their own life to save the life of this man? I fear a direct physical contest may be futile."
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby SunlessNick » Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:05 pm

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Ines swallows slowly. She has no wish to gamble her life for Stephan, but if Miss Davenport is putting her own at stake, as Macaria's words seem to imply, then the Gypsy girl will stand with her.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:46 am

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"I'm with you too," says Henry. "I feel like I've been struggling against her all my life. If it's to be me, then an intellectual challenge would be the way to go. I can think of a few that might be suitable. If it's you, then you'd definitely want a challenge where dexterity is tested."
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:30 pm

Whilst the adventurers consider the situation, Raquel rushes forward to confront the woman, pausing briefly to whisper a prayer. She takes Stephan's hand.

"I will gamble with you," she says.

"No!" Isaac begins to run toward her, but at a look from Macaria he freezes in his tracks.

"I cannot deny your challenge," she says. "What will be the nature of our wager?"

"Let it be a throw of the dice," Raquel replies. "I know I cannot defeat you at any game of skill."

"So be it."

From about her person Macaria withdraws a pair of dice, unusual in appearance. They are black, as if carved from jet. The pips appear to be tiny pearls. Upon close observation, it will be noted that the six, rather than being the ordinary two rows of three, consists of two pips set apart, above one central pip, which is itself above three closely set pips. This peculiar pattern might suggest a human face to one of vivid imagination.

Macaria tosses the dice upon the ground.

Spoiler:
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 2d6:
5, 1


"I have rolled poorly," she says. "Your chances are good."

With trembling fingers Raquel picks up the dice and makes her toss.

Spoiler:
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 2d6:
4, 4


"You have won, child," Macaria says. With these words Stephan seems to be released from a trance. He embraces Raquel unashamedly,

"You risked everything for me," he says. "A poor prize indeed."

As Isaac joyfully looks on, Macaria addresses the rest of the party.

"Is there anyone else who cares to challenge me?"
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Rooter » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:38 pm

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Lila shakes her head. "For myself, I have no personal quarrel with you, nor is there any service I would ask even were I to best you."
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby SunlessNick » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:37 pm

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"Is it-" says Ines suddenly, but she cuts herself off before finishing the question, obviously wrestling with guilt and temptation.

Spoiler:
The question was to be "Is it within your power to bring back those who have already been taken?" (Ines is thinking specifically of her mother - the unfortunate Mr Witherly also crossed her mind, but Miss Davenport will not ask for his restoration, Ines realises she has no right to force the question on her behalf)


Recovering herself, she says, "We have a mirror in our keeping. One that imprisons uncounted souls away from rest or judgement."
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:50 pm

SunlessNick wrote:Image

"Is it-" says Ines suddenly, but she cuts herself off before finishing the question, obviously wrestling with guilt and temptation.

Spoiler:
The question was to be "Is it within your power to bring back those who have already been taken?" (Ines is thinking specifically of her mother - the unfortunate Mr Witherly also crossed her mind, but Miss Davenport will not ask for his restoration, Ines realises she has no right to force the question on her behalf)


Recovering herself, she says, "We have a mirror in our keeping. One that imprisons uncounted souls away from rest or judgement."


Macaria raises an eyebrow at the unfinished inquiry from Ines, obviously unable to guess what the question might have been. She does evince an interest in the mirror.

"I would be most willing to ease you of the burden of caring for such an item," she says. "Is there some favor within my power that I might perform in exchange for it?"
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby SunlessNick » Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:01 pm

VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:"I would be most willing to ease you of the burden of caring for such an item," she says. "Is there some favor within my power that I might perform in exchange for it?"
Image

For a moment, Ines looks like she is about to say something else, but she replies, "There is nothing I would ask. But the mirror is not only held by myself."
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:07 am

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"Can you bring back someone from the other side?" asks Henry, summoning up the courage to speak to his nemesis.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:11 pm

"That is not within my ability," Macaria replies, "although there are some others of great power who have done such, not often to their pleasure. Even if I were able to do so, it would be a betrayal of my duty, and I would not wish to bring such dishonor upon myself.

"What I am permitted to do," she continues, "is to allow certain persons to pay a temporary visit to my realm, with the proviso that they will not be able to remember anything of what they experience when they return to this world. If any of you were interested in such an excursion, I believe the mirror would be fair payment."
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:45 pm

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"Thank you, but I am in no rush to go there, myself," says Henry. Not being able to recall the experience would defeat the purpose of such a trip for him. He turns to his companions. "Are any of you interested?"
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby SunlessNick » Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:52 pm

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Ines opens her mouth, but then looks to Miss Davenport before replying.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Rooter » Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:20 pm

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"I have no desire to visit your realm, either," Lila says. "However, as Ines has pointed out, we seek to place the mirror of souls out of harm's way. Perhaps you will accept the mirror from us now, in return for the promise of a favor at some future time of need from you."
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby SunlessNick » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:23 am

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Ines nods and says, "I too will accept this."
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:06 am

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"As will I," says Henry.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:37 pm

Macaria thinks this over for a moment, then slowly nods her head.

"Seeing that you are persons of honor, I cannot refuse an offer made in good faith. As long as the service I shall perform in exchange is within my power, and does me no dishonor, I accept. When you have need of me, call upon me. Be aware that I may appear in a different form. I offer you these final words of ancient wisdom: Be careful what you wish for."

With that, the mirror flies to her hand, as if it were a living bird. Multiple rays of gray light emerge from it and rush into the sky, only to be lost to sight. When they cease, the mirror returns to the adventurers. Later examination will prove it to be nothing more than an ordinary looking-glass.

With that, Macaria rides off at a pace which would seem impossible in this rough and hilly ground. Any attempt to follow or track her fails.

Upon returning to the Chateau, the party is witness to a tearful reunion between Stephan and his parents. There appears to be unspoken agreement that Raquel is now his betrothed, and this pleases all involved. After much subdued but quietly optimistic conversation, the Baron will reveal that his sole worry is the whereabouts of Guillaume. Isaac privately expresses concern about the nature of the item which the deserter found during his search of the abandoned rooms, suspecting that it might lead to no good.
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:34 am

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"My companions and I can look for Guillaume," says Henry. "If we find him, perhaps we can convince him to return to the army. Where was he last seen?"
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Re: Chapter the Eleventh: An Interrupted Celebration

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:12 am

After some questioning of all present, it is determined that Guillaume left the Chateau with no indication of where he might have been headed. It would require successful tracking, or possibly some other form of further inquiry outside the Chateau, to follow his path.
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