Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundrums

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby SunlessNick » Wed May 20, 2020 6:08 am

William accompanies Lord Dunwich on this excursion, taking pistols, sword, and - if permitted - the blunderbus that proved useful against the fairies (he reasons that the creature seemed little hurt by the pistol ball, but the broader damage of the large weapon might prove effective).

Spoiler:
He still intends to do what I suggested in my previous message, but he is not so far darkened that he would abandon one of the others to possible danger.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Wed May 20, 2020 7:50 am

SunlessNick wrote:
VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:The Gypsies, as ever, journeying with a menagerie of trained animals, have come under suspicion.


"That may be so," says William of these suspicions, "but I am far more inclined to suspect one of our proven adversaries, such as Miss Ravenscroft and her creation, than newcomers who have nothing to gain by risking our ire."

Spoiler:
The village priest may know much of local legend, and he should be inclined to believe William's purported reaon for asking (which is not entirely false anyway).


Spoiler:
The village priest's WIS = 11.
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
1


There is a local legend that, many centuries ago, an ordinary man-at-arms set out on crusade with Richard Lion-Heart, and returned to the region unharmed by battle, and wise in the ways of the Holy Land. For no apparent reason, he soon became wealthy in both gold and land. In fact, he is said to have been a remote ancestor of the Altumbers, and responsible for their position and riches. Duncan's Cairn, named for the fellow, was built by him just after he became deathly ill in his old age. For what purpose, no one knows. Those few bold enough to attempt to discover treasure therein have not succeeded in making their way onto Lord Highdark's estate, that gentleman intolerant of trespass, and engaging the services of burly servants whose sole duty is to prevent such. This is, of course, merely rumor.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Wed May 20, 2020 8:20 am

jp1885 wrote:
Leaving his friends to investigate the unfortunate killing of the constable, Lepus suggests to Georgina that it might be a novel distraction for her child to have her cards read (no doubt after crossing certain palms with silver).

If this is agreed upon, he will carry the cat along too, so that the pair can be examined together.


Somewhat taken aback by the task she is asked to perform, the Gypsy shakes her head, but finally agrees.

"I not read for babe or beast ever, but will do."

Image

"Page is young one. Pentacles for rich. Babe is wealthy, I think."

Image

"I reverse Fool. No cats in cards, but Fool has dog. Cat is reverse dog, I think."

Having set out these cards to represent her clients, the Gypsy spends some time shuffling the other cards, laying them out around the first two cards, and mumbling to herself about their meaning. After some time, she reaches a final conclusion, drawing a card from the pack without looking at it, yet seemingly aware of what image it bears.

Image

"This one you seek. Is near."

As if unsure herself about what she means, she merely shrugs when further inquiry is made as to the symbolism of the Magician reversed.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Wed May 20, 2020 8:25 am

Mr. Handy wrote:
"Let's see if the Gypsies can reverse the curse," says Henry. "The scientific way is far riskier. In the meantime, I shall help look into the constable's death. I'd be ideally suited to examine the body. I too suspect that woman's creatures are the ones responsible."


Viewing the remains of the constable at the local coffin maker, it is immediately obvious that the unfortunate fellow's limbs were torn from his torso with great strength. Notable also is the fact that, if it were a beast who thus brought the man to his doom, it did not bother to feast upon the remains. The constable's pistol was discharged, it seems, but apparently to no avail.

The coffin is sealed and preparations are made for a proper burial.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Wed May 20, 2020 8:27 am

SunlessNick wrote:William accompanies Lord Dunwich on this excursion, taking pistols, sword, and - if permitted - the blunderbus that proved useful against the fairies (he reasons that the creature seemed little hurt by the pistol ball, but the broader damage of the large weapon might prove effective).

Spoiler:
He still intends to do what I suggested in my previous message, but he is not so far darkened that he would abandon one of the others to possible danger.


If the creature responsible for this atrocity is about, it is evidently in hiding, as the adventurers do not encounter anything save the villagers and their domesticated beasts.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Wed May 20, 2020 8:32 am

By the later afternoon, the Gypsies are ready to earn their bread by playing wild music on exotic instruments, performing feats of acrobatic skill, singing, fooling the eye with legerdemain, demonstrating the tricks of trained animals, and so forth. They invite the Altumbers and their guests to join in on a vigorous dance. The parents of young Artemis are present, to watch over their child. Georgina demurs, but Henry, being of that blood, agrees enthusiastically.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby SunlessNick » Wed May 20, 2020 11:30 am

VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:Viewing the remains of the constable at the local coffin maker, it is immediately obvious that the unfortunate fellow's limbs were torn from his torso with great strength. Notable also is the fact that, if it were a beast who thus brought the man to his doom, it did not bother to feast upon the remains. The constable's pistol was discharged, it seems, but apparently to no avail.
Between WIlliam's experience with violent death and Lord Dunwich's scientific expertise, is it possible to determine whether there are (or are not) marks of teeth upon flesh or bone? It seems both men are of the same mind in this, but it would be as well to have a phsyical indication to show others.

William also asks the villages where the unfortunate constable's body was discovered, and if any know what business he was engaged in just before his death? (The latter might appear not to be his business, but he will add that it may provide a clue to the man's murderer).


VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:By the later afternoon, the Gypsies are ready to earn their bread by playing wild music on exotic instruments, performing feats of acrobatic skill, singing, fooling the eye with legerdemain, demonstrating the tricks of trained animals, and so forth. They invite the Altumbers and their guests to join in on a vigorous dance. The parents of young Artemis are present, to watch over their child. Georgina demurs, but Henry, being of that blood, agrees enthusiastically.
It may not exhibit quite the dignity apppropriate to a captain in the army, or the brother of a baronet, but William's more libertine side assuredly compels him to take part. Especially if there are beautiful gypsy lasses alongside him.


VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:
Spoiler:
The village priest's WIS = 11.
Original post: VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
1


There is a local legend that, many centuries ago, an ordinary man-at-arms set out on crusade with Richard Lion-Heart, and returned to the region unharmed by battle, and wise in the ways of the Holy Land. For no apparent reason, he soon became wealthy in both gold and land. In fact, he is said to have been a remote ancestor of the Altumbers, and responsible for their position and riches. Duncan's Cairn, named for the fellow, was built by him just after he became deathly ill in his old age. For what purpose, no one knows. Those few bold enough to attempt to discover treasure therein have not succeeded in making their way onto Lord Highdark's estate, that gentleman intolerant of trespass, and engaging the services of burly servants whose sole duty is to prevent such. This is, of course, merely rumor.
Spoiler:
"A remarkable story," says William. "He must have performed with great honour and valor for he and his line to be so blessed."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby jp1885 » Wed May 20, 2020 1:28 pm

Image
VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:Image

"This one you seek. Is near."

As if unsure herself about what she means, she merely shrugs when further inquiry is made as to the symbolism of the Magician reversed.


"The Magician reversed, yesno? Who wouldst represent such a character?" muses Lepus. "Yon scientist Lord Henry or mayhap the parson?"

Knowing that his friend is already working on a scientific cure the the babe's condition, the wanderer seeks out the vicar to ask if the infant can be re-baptised. He will confide in the other Henry, the baby's father, and ask him to accompany him to lend credence to his request.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu May 21, 2020 3:09 am

Image

"This must be the work of at least one of the creatures," says Henry to William. "Let us examine the scene of the crime and see if we can find any tracks to determine which way it went after it did the deed."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby SunlessNick » Thu May 21, 2020 5:39 pm

"Indeed, Your Lordship," says William. "Miss Ravenscroft has clearly not taken advantage of your merciful offer to take herself and her creation away from here."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri May 22, 2020 4:24 am

Image

"Quite so," says Henry. "By now she may have made a female creature as well. I just hope that they are sterile."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu May 28, 2020 9:40 am

SunlessNick wrote:
VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:Viewing the remains of the constable at the local coffin maker, it is immediately obvious that the unfortunate fellow's limbs were torn from his torso with great strength. Notable also is the fact that, if it were a beast who thus brought the man to his doom, it did not bother to feast upon the remains. The constable's pistol was discharged, it seems, but apparently to no avail.
Between WIlliam's experience with violent death and Lord Dunwich's scientific expertise, is it possible to determine whether there are (or are not) marks of teeth upon flesh or bone? It seems both men are of the same mind in this, but it would be as well to have a phsyical indication to show others.

William also asks the villages where the unfortunate constable's body was discovered, and if any know what business he was engaged in just before his death? (The latter might appear not to be his business, but he will add that it may provide a clue to the man's murderer).


Close examination of the remains reveals no marks of tooth or claw upon the unfortunate fellow's body. Rather, it appears that some being of great strength merely ripped him apart. The constable was discovered near a cabbage field, that being a crop harvested well into the cold part of the year, the yield of which was suspected to be lessened by the acts of a thief. It was hoped that the discharge of a bullet, if not merely loud shouts of warning, would keep away such a petty kind of brigand, so the constable spent a cold, lonely night, warmed only by generous amounts of ale, watching for the felon. Perhaps he found such, to his doom.


VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:By the later afternoon, the Gypsies are ready to earn their bread by playing wild music on exotic instruments, performing feats of acrobatic skill, singing, fooling the eye with legerdemain, demonstrating the tricks of trained animals, and so forth. They invite the Altumbers and their guests to join in on a vigorous dance. The parents of young Artemis are present, to watch over their child. Georgina demurs, but Henry, being of that blood, agrees enthusiastically.
It may not exhibit quite the dignity apppropriate to a captain in the army, or the brother of a baronet, but William's more libertine side assuredly compels him to take part. Especially if there are beautiful gypsy lasses alongside him.


Spoiler:
DEX = 12
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
3


The Gypsies are greatly impressed by William's ability to lose himself in the dance, and many a pretty, dark-eyed lass, skirts a-swirl, moves near him, limbs flashing white in the light of the campfire. One in particular, who seems to be entirely ignorant of the English tongue, communicates by smiles and gestures that she would not take it amiss were the bold gentleman to accompany her into the surrounding trees, away from prying eyes.


VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:
Spoiler:
The village priest's WIS = 11.
Original post: VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
1


There is a local legend that, many centuries ago, an ordinary man-at-arms set out on crusade with Richard Lion-Heart, and returned to the region unharmed by battle, and wise in the ways of the Holy Land. For no apparent reason, he soon became wealthy in both gold and land. In fact, he is said to have been a remote ancestor of the Altumbers, and responsible for their position and riches. Duncan's Cairn, named for the fellow, was built by him just after he became deathly ill in his old age. For what purpose, no one knows. Those few bold enough to attempt to discover treasure therein have not succeeded in making their way onto Lord Highdark's estate, that gentleman intolerant of trespass, and engaging the services of burly servants whose sole duty is to prevent such. This is, of course, merely rumor.
Spoiler:
"A remarkable story," says William. "He must have performed with great honour and valor for he and his line to be so blessed."


Spoiler:
The clergyman shrugs. "Not that I ever heard such spoken of him. If the tale be true, he was in fact a schemer, far more hungry for treasure than for glory."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu May 28, 2020 10:03 am

jp1885 wrote:
VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:Image

"This one you seek. Is near."

As if unsure herself about what she means, she merely shrugs when further inquiry is made as to the symbolism of the Magician reversed.


"The Magician reversed, yesno? Who wouldst represent such a character?" muses Lepus. "Yon scientist Lord Henry or mayhap the parson?"

Knowing that his friend is already working on a scientific cure the the babe's condition, the wanderer seeks out the vicar to ask if the infant can be re-baptised. He will confide in the other Henry, the baby's father, and ask him to accompany him to lend credence to his request.


Upon learning of this request, the vicar is alarmed by the request.

"For what possible reason would it be necessary to redo the work of Providence? Do you believe that the Almighty's work be in error?"
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu May 28, 2020 10:12 am

Mr. Handy wrote:
"This must be the work of at least one of the creatures," says Henry to William. "Let us examine the scene of the crime and see if we can find any tracks to determine which way it went after it did the deed."



Spoiler:
wis minus the usual -10 penalty for lack of training, but + 2 for the muddy cabbage field. 11, 10, and 18 minus 8 to yield 3, 2, and 10
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 3d20:
7, 11, 5


Lowering himself low to the ground, Lepus is able to barely make out marks in the muddy ground of the cabbage field that indicate the movement of a being proceeding in a shuffling manner away from Lowhaven, and towards the Highdark estate. In point of fact, once they are followed, it can be seen that the vagabond climbed the high wall surrounding the grounds, despite the many sharp spikes atop it, at the extreme southwesterly corner, and from thence entered into the wooded retreat of the deer park, at which point the trail is lost.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby SunlessNick » Thu May 28, 2020 4:13 pm

VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:One in particular, who seems to be entirely ignorant of the English tongue, communicates by smiles and gestures that she would not take it amiss were the bold gentleman to accompany her into the surrounding trees, away from prying eyes.
William will certainly accept such an offer.

VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:
Spoiler:
The clergyman shrugs. "Not that I ever heard such spoken of him. If the tale be true, he was in fact a schemer, far more hungry for treasure than for glory."
Spoiler:
"Whatever kind of man he may have been, I thankyou for indulging a moment of curiosity from this old man," says William.


VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:In point of fact, once they are followed, it can be seen that the vagabond climbed the high wall surrounding the grounds, despite the many sharp spikes atop it, at the extreme southwesterly corner, and from thence entered into the wooded retreat of the deer park, at which point the trail is lost.
"I suppose the creature has to eat," says William.
OOC:   Am I remembering right that there have been incidents reported at the deer park too?  
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby jp1885 » Thu May 28, 2020 9:36 pm

Image

Lepus looks askance at the vicar.

"Nay Reverend, but mayhap the young mistress is. Artemis be such an un-Christian name that methinks the mother was not in her right mind, as young women oft are said to be, when the name was chosen. Moreover, hast thou seen how the child behaves? 'tis more like a savage than one properly baptised, yesno?"

Later, while examining the trail of whatever savage monster tore apart the poor constable, the wanderer nods.

"Aye, if it be the creature I met in the orchard, then it's appetite will be huge. Mayhap it's lair be in among the trees in yonder deer park, hm?"
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri May 29, 2020 2:11 am

Image

"The creature or creatures must be feeding on the deer," suggests Henry. "We could look through the deer park for any signs of their passage or remains of deer on which they fed, or any trace of their lair."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri May 29, 2020 9:21 am

Spoiler:
You are drawn into the woods by the tempting beauty, who quickly throws her arms around you. Before things can go any further, however, three young Gypsy men jump out from where they have been hiding, brandishing knives. At the same time, the woman slaps you across the face and begins shouting angrily in her own language. One of the men says "So you think to dishonor our sister? For that you must pay!"

There have been the remains of fawns found in the deer park, apparently slain and devoured by a wild beast.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri May 29, 2020 9:23 am

jp1885 wrote:
Lepus looks askance at the vicar.

"Nay Reverend, but mayhap the young mistress is. Artemis be such an un-Christian name that methinks the mother was not in her right mind, as young women oft are said to be, when the name was chosen. Moreover, hast thou seen how the child behaves? 'tis more like a savage than one properly baptised, yesno?"


The Reverend Mister Frye ponders this for a moment. "I must examine the child," he says at last. "Although I suspect that the situation be more of the flesh than the soul, I shall do what I can. Take me to her."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eighth: A Brace of Conundr

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri May 29, 2020 9:29 am

Mr. Handy wrote:
"The creature or creatures must be feeding on the deer," suggests Henry. "We could look through the deer park for any signs of their passage or remains of deer on which they fed, or any trace of their lair."


It is quickly evident that someone has taken residence within the Deer Park, for it can be easily seen from some distance that a fire burns within the open area known as Broken Heart Glade. This is not terribly uncommon a sight, as members of the family, servants, and even passing vagrants have been known to make such use of the spot.
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