Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:31 am

"It seems to me 'twas just after the mistress came back from Lancaster that she took sickly. What might have happened there, bless me if I know."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:35 am

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in order to leave no stone unturned, Lila avails herself of the opportunity to investigate Mrs. Piper's chambers for any clues, looking over the contents of her writing table and bookcases and even the window sashes for any signs of entry.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:42 am

Spoiler:
General search based on WIS = 12 + 1 for True Innocent = 13
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
16


If there is anything of interest in these areas, Miss Davenport is unable to locate it. It may be very well hidden from prying eyes; or, of course, it may not exist at all.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:19 am

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"Thank you," Henry says to Cook. "I'll go see how your mistress is doing." He returns to Mrs. Piper. "Did something unusual happen on your trip to Lancaster, or perhaps on the way back?" he asks her.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:39 am

"Unusual!" Mrs Piper makes a sound halfway between a cough and a laugh. "Sir, ever since I lost Mr Piper to an inhuman fiend, I have known nothing but the unnatural. Would that I could know again what it is to be unacquainted with the nether world which goes unnoticed by so many!

"As I recall, it was at Lancaster that I had words with Miss Davenport, who shares an interest in opposing these forces. Since then I have followed your most worthy actions. I need not speak of the methods used to keep myself aware of such matters.

"I returned here directly from Lancaster and was occupied for some time with arranging household matters; engaging persons to perform necessary functions and the like."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby SunlessNick » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:52 am

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"Engaging whom?" asks Ines. "Who is new to the house?"
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:14 am

"Why, let me see," muses Mrs. Piper. "That would be Mister Crayle, I believe. Yes, I was in need of a clever and reliable person to handle matters of finance, and he has proven to be an invaluable aid."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:42 am

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"I was wondering what might have happened then because that's when it seems your symptoms started," says Henry. "If we could find out what caused your condition, that may go some way toward treating or even reversing it."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:59 am

"As to that, I am unable to assist you. If this affliction is associated with some experience, none comes to mind."

After this further interview, Mrs Piper is once more fatigued and wishes to rest. As she is a courteous hostess even in her time of suffering, the party is invited to partake of victuals and stay the night, the manor possessing sufficient guests rooms to accommodate all.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:55 am

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"I for one would be pleased to stay the night and further consider the matter," Lila says, mindful of perhaps being able to question the Brazen Head further on the morrow. "Will you also be staying, Mr. Crayle? And, forgive me if you cannot answer, but I wonder does the unfortunate Mrs. Piper have an heir set to inherit her no doubt valuable estates and fortune upon her passing?"
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:10 am

"I am in residence here, Madam. Mrs Piper's affairs requiring much time, we have found this to be a convenient and pleasant arrangement. As to the inheritance, I am afraid that, despite my best efforts, it is not quite as extensive as one might expect, Mrs Piper being of charitable nature, although I believe there are several curious items made part of her legacy. I am not privy to the names of her heirs, but it is my understanding that they are a numerous and varied lot, Mrs Piper having no issue nor other close kin."

All arrangements being made, the guests enjoy a meal of better than average quality. It is a sad fact that Mrs Piper is unable to join them. Cook, much concerned, reports that she accepts only a small amount of gruel.

The night passes uneventfully. In the morning it can be observed that Mrs Piper's condition is worse, the unnatural tinge of her skin more pronounced. She also refuses all nourishment, and is unable to communicate intelligibly.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby SunlessNick » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:56 pm

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While they are alone - perhaps during the night - Ines confides to Miss Davenport that she suspects Miss Piper's condition is the doing of someone in the house rather than an intruder or an event that took place in Lancaster. Mr Crayle is the only newcomer Mrs Piper mentioned, though Ines is uncertain how much opportunity he would have to afflict her in secret.

During the day, she mingles with the female servants, playing the part of Miss Carrow's maid, and tries to glean if any have only recently been taken on (considering that someone of Mrs Piper's class might perhaps have neglected to account for domestic staff when answering the Gypsy's query).
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:46 am

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"Before we turn in for the night," suggests Henry, "Elizabeth should ask the head a question. Perhaps how Mrs. Piper's condition can be cured?"
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:27 am

Conversation with the servants reveals that Mister Crayle is the only new member of the household staff. Being of a somewhat higher class, they do not have much contact with him, but he is generally thought to be a quiet sort of fellow, neither overly familiar nor proud of his position.

In response to Mrs North's inquiry, the Brazen Head makes answer thus:

"Triturate a handful of dried foxglove leaves and dissolve in a dram of aqua vitae. This will end her suffering after it is consumed."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:00 am

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"I should have suspected the Brazen Head would answer thus," says Henry. "End her suffering indeed! Foxglove is a deadly poison."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Rooter » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:16 am

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"Mrs. Piper's condition is worsening," Lila says urgently. "We must act swiftly if anything is to be done to save her. She might not see tomorrow. Ines may well be correct in her suspicions concerning Mr. Crayle. I suggest one of us should keep a watchful eye on him. In the meantime, given that Mrs. Piper's symptoms such as the consumption of sand and clay appear to defy natural science I shall attempt to discern if there is any potential preternatural involvement." She heads off to consult the book on demonology she carries with her for any references to such strange cravings.

Spoiler:
She has one 'Book on Demonology' listed in her equipment though I am not sure if this is sufficient for the purpose.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:11 am

Spoiler:
This would seem a reasonable use of the Demonology skill. INT = 11 + 1 Demonology + 1 True Innocent = 13
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
5


Careful research into such bizarre symptoms reveals that no such behavior has been associated with any form of the preternatural. Rather it seems to be strictly a question for Natural Philosophy, whether it be the result of imbalance in the four humours, a phrenological abnormality, or some other natural cause.
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:19 am

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"I'm not sure what more I can do for her that I'm not already doing," says Henry. "We do have another set of questions we can ask the head, but given our previous results, I wouldn't expect it to yield much. Still, perhaps one of us could ask it what caused her condition. I have a feeling that if we could figure that out, we may be able to reverse it, or at least to buy her some more time. It could be that Mr. Crayle is responsible in some way, but we will need more information about him."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby SunlessNick » Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:08 am

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"Perhaps one of use should watch her during the night," suggests Ines. "If her problem is of this world, it must be illness of poison, and if it is poison it must be given to her somehow."
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Re: Chapter the Fourteenth: A Respite From Turmoil

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:02 pm

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"An excellent suggestion," says Henry. "Of course, poison could just as well be administered in the daytime. We should make sure that at least one of us is with her at all times, and we should post a watch at night. We may want to take shifts for that, and it might be a good idea for whoever is on watch to hide. A visible guard would be a deterrent, but that wouldn't solve the problem. We want the culprit to show up so we can catch him in the act. Otherwise, he may just wait until we've gone. We can't guard her forever."
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