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River Of Shadows (1895)

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River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:57 pm

by Tsukiyumi » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:06 pm

September 21, 1895, 6:38 PM EST

Kingsport, MA

Behind the curtain of rain and sleet, the house seemed unremarkable, other than its size. It sat, alone, in the large clearing inside the grove of trees that ringed the property, windows cheerfully lit with dancing firelight in contrast to the gray evening outside. The last vestige of sunlight peeked over the horizon to the west, illuminating the dark cloudbanks in a rosy pink glow. Willem adjusted his low-brimmed hat, shifted his trenchcoat, and thanked the driver of the carriage with a shiny quarter. The man grinned toothlessly at his new treasure, before spurring the horses off, back down the muddy track they’d rode in from.

Willem bent, grunting as he lifted his pair of travel bags, and began his trek across the cobblestone path leading from the driveway to the house. With his cane tucked under his left arm, the journey down the slick stone pathway was arduous; several times, he felt as though his lame knee would give way beneath him, spilling him to the hard ground. Thankfully, he managed to get all the way to the staircase leading to the sprawling wooden porch at the front of the house.

As he started up the stairs, the heavy oak door swung open, and a smiling young swarthy fellow rushed out to help him with his bags.

“Welcome, good sir,” the man said, bending to lift one of Willem’s bags, “Allow me, sir. My name is Ibrahim; my employer, Doctor May, is inside. By your description, I guess that you are Willem Klein, the private investigator?”

Willem paused, and then chuckled a bit, “I am. And you must be Ibrahim Al-Salamis, of Kingsport by way of Tangiers, and under the employ of Doctor May for the last three years. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, sir, and I thank you for the assistance.”

It was the young man’s turn to pause, albeit briefly. He hefted the bags with ease, and motioned for Willem to enter the old house. He complied, carefully leveraging himself up each step using his cane and the wide wooden banister until he entered the foyer. Ibrahim took his coat and hat, and bade him forward, into the massive den beyond. Willem’s cane clacked along the tiled floor as they passed into the room, adorned with various paintings, a coat of arms, and what appeared to be an authentic suit of armor. Lavish leather couches and chairs filled the room, except for the center; here was a huge bearskin rug. At one end, the gargantuan stone fireplace fairly roared with flame leaping from the pile of timber inside.

“Welcome, Mister Klein. I’m not surprised at your early arrival. You were the closest, after all.” Alexander May rose from one of the high-backed chairs, an older man of moderate height and weight, with a salt-and-pepper beard longer than the receding hair atop his head. He paused, and executed a short bow before extending his left hand. Willem advanced, leaning heavily on his cane with his own left hand, and shook the doctor’s hand.

He shook his head, “I must admit, Doctor, that your invitation took me aback. I came on a whim, to satisfy my curiosity. Why, exactly, have you summoned me here? Where are the other guests?”

Doctor May grinned, “As I said, you are the first to arrive. The others will be here shortly, and I will explain my motives at that time. Until then, feel free to use the speaking tube in your room to summon Ibrahim; he will get you anything you need.”

At this, Ibrahim lifted Willem’s bags again, and motioned up the wide spiral staircase. As he started up the stairs, Alexander called after him, “I will be in my office, Ibrahim. Please show Mister Klein how to use the incandescent lamp and the speaking tube, and get him whatever he needs.”

Ibrahim nodded, resuming his trek up the staircase. Through the semi-opaque glass of the high windows, Willem watched great torrents of greenish lightning arc across the sky.

This is going to be one peculiar night indeed, he thought as he slowly ascended the stairs.


Last edited by Tsukiyumi on Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:05 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:03 pm

by Uzume » Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:39 pm
Newt stepped wearily out of the carriage, and nodded to the driver. Slinging his satchel over his shoulder, he made his way to the door and rapped three times with his shillelagh. He stood a head taller than the brown fellow who opened the door a moment later. The little man spoke, "Ah! You must be Newt. Please come in."

Newt followed the man inside, shaking the rain off with a shrug. "You the man wit the money?"

The man smiled, "No sir. I am Ibrahim, Doctor May's assistant. You are only the second to arrive; my employer will address that matter when the others have come. Until then, please follow me to your room, sir."

Newt followed the man up the massive oak staircase, and down the hallway, elaborately decorated with huge paintings of scenes he couldn't quite describe. Finally, as they reached a doorway, Ibrahim turned, "Anything you require, do not hesitate to call for me with the speaking tube. If you have never used one-"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. I got it, Turk. I'll be fine." Newt said, tossing his bag to the side as he fell back on the four-posted bed. He kicked his feet up as he folded his hands behind his head. Ibrahim nodded silently as he backed from the room, and closed the door.

A silent, dirty tear ran down Newt's cheek. He'd never felt a bed so soft. Never smelled a room so sweet. He had come for the money, and now his only thought was, What am I doing here? Why me?


Last edited by Tsukiyumi on Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:05 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:04 pm

by Lighthawk » Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:16 pm
The rather frantic knocking, or more rather pounding, on the door conveyed a true sense of urgency that Ibrahim could not miss. As such he managed not to get knocked over and trampled by the alarmed looking woman that practically sprinted into the house as he opened the door. She paid the man no mind at all, but strode directly over to the fireplace, her eyes set firmly on the floor in a manner as to deny everything outside of her immediate field of view from existence. Her hands ran over her dark blue traveling dress in nervous fits, occasionally wrapping fingers around her long braid of dark brown hair. She seemed to be trying very hard to bring her breathing under control.

While Ibrahim was still trying to recover himself, two more individuals stepped inside. One was tall and still had some of the gangly length of limb of youth. His features were also youthful, except for his eyes, whose troubled depths looked out of place within that face. He was dressed in simple and functional clothing; trousers and a jacket, both of a light brown, with well worn boots.

The other was of middling height but more solidly built, with thick shoulders and a deep chest. He wore a heavy cloth bowler which he tipped off to one side before entering, shaking the water from the brim. He was hard featured, with a thick mustache that curled down around the corners of his mouth towards his chin. He wore a dark suit, though like his companion it was something simple and functional.

The latter gentleman turned his gaze to Ibrahim, while the former ducked his head and strode over to the woman.

"Terrible sorry about that," the mustached man said. "But the lady is most frightened of the rain."

"N-no, not a problem at all," Ibrahim recovered. "That would make her the lady Silvia Stanley then," he continued, falling into practiced routine. "And you her retainers, Mr. Claude Adams and Mr. Daryl Chambers, correct?"

Claude grunted an affirmative. "Keeps you well informed, doesn't he? Where is Mr. May anyway?"

"In his office for the time being," Ibrahim replied. "He awaits the arrival of everyone involved before making his intentions known. If you will, I can show you to the rooms we have..."

Claude waved off the end of the sentence. "Not now, thanks. The lady will need some time by the fire to compose herself." Reaching back onto the porch, Claude seized the huge standing traveling trunk they had brought along, wheeling it inside and waving off Ibrahim's attempt at aid.

"If there is anything you need..." Ibrahim started, but Claude interrupted him again.

"Something to take off the chill if you please."

"Of course," Ibrahim nodded, and headed off towards the kitchens.

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:06 pm

by Tsukiyumi » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:28 pm

September 21, 1895, 7:26 PM EST

“Thank you kindly, sir. Much obliged. Please be careful with those, they are very fragile.” Isabel smiled broadly at the driver as he set her suitcases down next to Nathan’s violin case. Nathan himself was attempting to hold her parasol to keep the increasingly heavy rain off of her. This notion was foolish, of course; the weak fabric had already torn in several places, and the ribs were bending backwards in the wind. She still found his effort impossibly endearing.
“Thank you for trying, Nathan, but I’m sure to be soaked regardless of your industry. Please help me with the bags instead, and put that silly thing away. I.. really need to get indoors; I’m simply drenched with rain.” Nathan had been courting her for six months, but she hadn’t been able to tell him how dreadful she felt in the outdoors. Even as they approached the porch at the front of the imposing house, she had to suppress an urge to run, just to get inside, and away from the awful expanse of black sky.

For a moment, she wondered whether anyone would answer the door at all, but her logic assured her: no one would expend so much effort to summon them here, only to leave them waiting eternally at the front stoop.

Finally, a young man of obvious Arabic features opened the heavy door, and Isabel rushed inside, apologizing in his native tongue as she passed.

“Most assuredly, Doctor Isabel Hodges, and her companion, Nathan Jefferies. Welcome to the May Manor. Allow me, sir.” With this, the man relieved Nathan of the suitcases, and his violin. Nathan stretched.

“’Twas a long journey, my good man. Thank you.” Nathan removed Isabel’s coat, handing it to Ibrahim before removing his own.

“Refreshments are available on request, sir. If you and the Doctor would care to, I can show you to your rooms…” Ibrahim paused, as Nathan wandered off toward the sound of conversation in the spacious den ahead.

“Don’t mind him, Mister… I didn’t catch your name. I am indeed Isabel Hodges, PhD, and I wish to know why I was summoned. I only responded to the telegram because of my colleagues’ reaction to Doctor May’s name. They say he’s quite renowned, or used to be, at any rate. What exactly is this meeting, and what is my purpose here?” Isabel finally began to calm herself, lapsing into her usual rambling banter.

“As soon as all of the guests have arrived, Doctor May will explain the situation, ma’am. Would you like your belongings brought to your room, ma’am?” Ibrahim smiled, but Isabel noticed his fatigue. He seemed quite tired.

“That will be fine, Ibrahim. Later, though; you seem to need a brief respite. I apologize for my impatience. I will join the guests already in the den.” With this, she gave a brief curtsy, and went to meet the others gathered. Ibrahim sighed, and then headed back to the kitchens to check on the meal he was preparing.

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:10 pm

by Mikey » Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:58 am
The two men bantered on the porch as the coach rattled away. "So, young Seneca knew nothing of this Society?" asked the larger of the pair.

"No," said the smaller man sullenly, "Professor Lapham didn't." He subtly but bitterly accented the title.

"Ach! du lieber Gott!" exclaimed the big man. "Everyone knows you have the brains, Robert. You just need to concentrate on your work rather than the reward. Settle and focus, and you'll have a full professorship in no time. Here we are," he finished as the door finally opened to his pull on the bell.

A quiet, dark man in butler's livery surveyed the pair through the doorway. "Dr. Zelman, no doubt," he nodded to the larger man, and continued while glancing at the smaller, "and you must be Professor Wessex."

"Associate professor," Wessex corrected him dryly as the duo followed him into the foyer of the house and began to hand him their hats and coats. Robert Wessex was of average height and build, unremarkable save for the thick black hair that was revealed as he removed his brown bowler. His tan ditto suit was capped by a slightly-askew bow tie.

"Never mind him," the doctor laughed. Zelman was a huge bear of man, stocky and barrel-chested with a hint of the paunch of middle age settling around his middle. He was well dressed in grey pants, a black sack coat, a striking crimson vest, and a neat four-in-hand tie. His face was round, charming, and genial, and dominated by a sandy-colored and meticulously-waxed handlebar moustache. As he removed his dark grey derby, his bald pate - circled by a fringe of the same sand color mixed with grey - only seemed to add to his air of affability. "Look, he can hardly even tie his own bow."

"It was only hurried because you wouldn't move along while I was wearing a day-cravat, you big pris."

"Well, a gentleman must needs appear the part," Zelman answered. "Please bring those to our rooms," he continued, indicated the compact case and the rather large valise their driver had left in the porch, as well as the small medical bag. Zelman strode forward and peered into the parlor at the small knot of people assembled there, coughed slightly, and said, "Lay out the tuxedo for dinner... it doesn't appear our company will require the tail coat."

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:10 pm

by Lighthawk » Sat Aug 27, 2011 5:22 pm
Claude paused, the tumbler of whiskey halfway to his lips, as he heard the front door open again, followed by muffled conversation. A moment later and footsteps headed for the den. He took a quick sip of the drink, and paused again; it was a damn fine vintage Ibrahim had brought.

His musings were pushed aside as the footstep's owner moved into the room, and Claude transferred the tumbler to his left hand, freeing his right to tip his hat in greeting.

"Good evening," he rumbled. "If one can be so optimistic as to call it good." He offered Nathan his hand. "Claude Adams."

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:12 pm

by Tsukiyumi » Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:06 am
"Personally, sir, I've always enjoyed the rain. Helps me to compose." he took Claude's offered hand, "Nathan Jefferies. I don't suppose any of you have any idea why we're here either?"

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:13 pm

by Lighthawk » Sun Aug 28, 2011 2:58 pm
"I'm afraid our host is enjoying being cryptic and mysterious," Claude scowled. "Hasn't even come out to greet us yet, so we know only what was in the telegram, which wasn't all that much itself."

He seemed ready to continue on, but whatever tirade he might have launched was aborted as Silvia step up beside him, her elegant features composed in a friendly mask.

"Oh, Mr. Jefferies, this is Silvia Stanley. Ma'am, Nathan Jefferies," Claude said, making the introduction.

"And what does the rain help you compose Mr. Jefferies?" Silvia asked, holding out a hand.

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:13 pm

by Tsukiyumi » Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:39 pm
Nathan took the lady's hand, bowed, and raised it to his lips for a gentle peck, "I compose violin music, as well as some pieces for the cello and piano. I'm not world famous, but I have some notoriety in the New York area. My fiancee is the famous one... Now where did Isabel run off to?"

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:14 pm

by Lighthawk » Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:22 pm
Claude leaned a bit to see through the doorway, and gestured with his whiskey glass. "Assuming there isn't another woman of proper age for you within this household, I'd say that she is currently holding discussion with our host's servant about something." Even as he spoke, Isabel made her way towards them, and Ibrahim headed off...only to return a moment later as yet more guests arrived. "Seems we're going to have quite the gathering tonight," Claude noted dryly.

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:15 pm

by Mikey » Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:40 pm
Ibrahim turned once again to a thumping on the door, the mark of someone too excited, too rude, or too unconcerned to use the bell-pull. He opened the door to find a thoroughly sodden and dour-looking pair of largish men who jostled past him before a word was spoken. Swinging the door to, he paused for just a moment before identifying them. "Detective Wessex, a pleasure. This, then, must be Master O'Neill. Please, come in. I am the assistant of our host, Dr. May."

The detective peered around the foyer and parlor keenly, while the other man - a youth, in fact - gazed at the opulent surroundings with unabashed avarice. "Very well," Wessex answered, handing his overcoat and pork-pie to the valet. After a pause, Ibrahim turned to the young man and said, "May I take your hat, sir?"

"Oi, it's me only one!" O'Neill said in a piping but sharp voice. Ibrahim nodded diplomatically and retreated, adding over his shoulder, "Most of the other arrivals are waiting in the parlor, including your uncle. May I bring you something?"

"Free, right?" O'Neill muttered, then added more loudly, "A whiskey and a small bitter!"

The pair moved toward the parlor as the detective murmuired, "Uncle Robert's here?" He was interrupted by the professor's shout.

"Charlie? Is that you?" Professor Wessex moved forward to take his nephew's hand and clap him on the back.

"Hello, uncle," Charles Wessex responded with a distinct lack of enthusiasm. "Are many men from the university here?"

"No, just Dr. Zelman - you remember old Bertie - and myself." The professor frowned and added, "Odd, that. There are many people I'd have expected to have been invited to something like this but were omitted... Seneca Lapham, that young Copeland..."

"Well, the illustrious Dr. May wouldn't need much of a roll to fulfill his hopes of the 'best yet' annual gathering of the Kingsport Philosophical Society." At Robert's puzzled look, Charlie went on, "The esteemed Society has been in existence all of one month."

A number of heads in the parlor turned at this, but the next voice came from the doorway. "Very curious," said a deep voice with a minutely guttural accent. "Hello, young Charlie. I always said you had a head for academia, not police work."

"Hello, Dr. Zelman. My police work keeps me quite engaged, don't you worry. Ah- I beg your pardon. My, er, associate, Sean O'Neill."

"Associate?" Robert barked, looking over the young man in rough tweed trousers and vest with no coat and a simple patchwork flat cap. "Why, I'd swear he sold me a newspaper wearing knee-pants two days ago!"

While Zelman chuckled, O'Neill rounded on the professor. "Oh, knickerbockers, is it? How much d'you wager I'm not too young to bleed you, old man?"

"Easy, O'Neill," Charlie warned in a quiet, dangerous voice. "You get no answers, and no cash, if I have to haul you to the poke again." The youth sulked at this, but the detective went on, "Just watch. You tell me if you see or hear anything connected to any of the Boston groups or any locals you know of, and you'll have a fine time painting South End red when we get back."

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:16 pm

by colmquinn » Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:10 pm
“This looks like the place” he muttered under his breath as he checked the invitation again in whatever was left of the light. “Are you sure this is the right address driver? Alright here and keep the change”.

He alighted from the cab and hurried to the door, almost dropping his small case and cane in the process but thankfully not getting overly wet in the shelter of the doorway. “Hmm to knock or use the bell pull” he thought to himself as he looked around the doorway. However a female voice from the darkness behind him startled him from his decision. “Be so good as to call the butler my good man, this weather is reminiscent of a monsoon”. A young lady moved up beside him in the doorway seeking shelter. “Sorry my young lady I did not see you there or I would have been more welcoming to you” he said. “The butler and an open door would be a more welcome sight right about now don’t you think” she said with a smile.

Ibrahim heard the bell pull and hurried to open the door, he was greeted by a man and woman taking shelter in the doorway. “May I be of assistance sir and madam?” “I believe I am expected my good man, S Walton Dobson” replied the man. Ibrahim examined the offered note and bowed slightly and nodded, “and your lady friend is whom?” “I am Miss Susana Smythe” she cut in before Dobson could reply “and I too have an invitation. Now if you would be so good as to direct me to someplace where I may dry off and change from these travel clothes I would be most glad”. The butler led the way, picking up the guests bags and walking towards the staircase “this way please and I shall show you to your rooms to allow you to freshen up”

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:18 pm

by Uzume » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:02 pm
Newt surveyed the room as he stretched, wiping his tear-streaked face. Another of the odd paintings hung on the far wall, next to a small, filled washbasin. He stalked to the basin, and furiously scrubbed his face and hands. As he used a small cloth to dry off, he noticed a small piece of stationary folded on the dresser near the door.

“Newt. Fret not, son; all of your needs have been anticipated. Undergarments and nightgowns are below, and in the armoire you will find sufficient attire. These are yours to keep.

- Dr. Alexander May.”

Opening the drawers, he found an assortment of average-quality underclothes. Carelessly, he plucked out a pair of skivvies, a buttoned undershirt, and a pair of woolen socks, and slung them on the bed. He undressed, and tossed his sullied clothes to the floor. Adorning himself with his new apparel, he savored the fragrance of freshly washed clothing, a smell so foreign it made his head swim.

At the armoire, he was momentarily overwhelmed by the array of outfits, but succeeded in fighting back more angry tears. Picking a simple ensemble of matching black slacks and a vest, he thought of discarding the ties, having no idea how to tie one, but decided to try anyways.

Surprising himself, he not only managed to do it properly, but almost expertly. He grinned for a moment, reveling in his success before a booming voice from downstairs tore him away from his reflection in the full-length mirror. He crept to the door, pressing his ear to the hard oak, and attempted to make out the new arrival’s words. All he could hear was muffled, jocular-sounding speech.

*********************************

Cookie sat in his buggy, a simple, homemade canopied cart, casually puffing on his cigar, ignoring the soggy, impatient-looking mule. He had watched other guests arrive in various groups over the last hour; he thought he may have recognized a number of them from his restaurant in Arkham. A number of scholars from Miskatonic University frequented the Rock Lobster, for he was known for his great food and conversation. He definitely recognized young Professor Hodges and her fiancée.

He decided to head inside after the arrival of the last two; a bookish fellow, and a well-dressed woman. A brief lull in the rain convinced him to make his move; grabbing his small leather satchel, he briskly walked up the cobblestone path. Three solid raps on the door, and a young swarthy man appeared.

“ Ah, hello, young man!” Cookie exclaimed, “Where is my friend the good doctor this evening?”

The man looked puzzled for a moment, “There are many doctors here tonight, sir, but I assume you refer to Doctor May; he is in his study at the moment, but will join us as soon as the remaining guests arrive. You must be Samuel Bell, or ‘Cookie’. I am Ibrahim. Please allow me to take your bag, sir.”

“No thanks,” Cookie replied, “I’ll take it to my room, but if you could, please have someone bring my mule and cart to the stables. Also, I have a large traveling chest in the back of the cart that I will need brought to my room, my good man. I’ve journeyed through the day; I’d like to freshen up before I see so many associates. Can you please have a lady draw me a bath?”

Ibrahim smiled, “Sir, all one needs to do is turn the knob. For hot water, turn it to the left. Allow me to show you to your room, and I will fetch your things.”

Cookie clapped the man’s shoulder, returning Ibrahim’s smile as they headed up the stairs.

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:22 pm

by Tsukiyumi » Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:02 pm
• Keeper’s note: this entry is for Uzume and I. Maude is her character, Fiorina is mine.

September 21, 1895, 7:56 PM EST

“Quite a magnificent house, that.” Fiorina remarked. The carriage sloshed its way up the muddy drive, jostling the two women as it plowed through a veritable curtain of rain.

Maude peered curiously out of the carriage window; a cold chill ran briefly up her spine. She noticed what appeared to be an old mine entrance or cellar door at one corner of the house, covered over by cordwood. After a short pause, Maude pursed her lips, and responded, “Hmm… Quite.”

The two had met on the last connecting train out of New York; Fiorina had initiated conversation, as she had noticed Maude holding another invitation in her lap. They shared a similar history, being widows, and both enjoyed a good hunt; Maude wasn’t a talkative person by nature, and neither was Fiorina, but the coincidence was too much to ignore. Neither knew anything about Doctor May, or the Kingsport Philosophical Society, and neither knew why they, of all people, had been invited.

The driver stopped, and opened the door before proceeding to help the ladies with their luggage; Maude carried her own travelling art kit and rifle case, and Fiorina declined help with her satchel. The three trudged heedlessly through the rain, the driver struggling a bit with the pair of valises Maude had brought. He headed back for Fiorina’s large trunk as soon as they were under the awning over the porch.

“Welcome Mrs. Fiorina Spencer and Mrs. Maude Brewster. I am Ibrahim. Please come in from this dreadful weather.” The young man opened the door after Fiorina used the bell pull.

“Thank you, sir.” Fiorina remarked absently, admiring the obscure artwork and artifacts that adorned even the foyer. She handed him her hat almost as absently, and waved to her trunk, “Please bring this to my room, Ibrahim. I am a bit peckish; when does dinner begin?”

“Shortly, my lady. Would you like me to take your things as well, Mrs. Brewster?” he asked.

“If you would be so kind,” Maude responded with a polite smile,” I would like to see my room as well.”

As Ibrahim gathered her bags, Maude examined the den beyond the staircase. A fair-sized group of people were socializing in the lavishly decorated room; she nudged Fiorina lightly, pointing to an old grandfather clock on one wall. Behind it was an old dumbwaiter, completely blocked off.

“Why do you suppose they’d cover over the dumbwaiter?” Fiorina asked.

Maude shrugged, making a mental note of it. She also noticed that a number of the artifacts around the room reminded her of things she’d seen on a trip she’d taken with her father to the Great Victoria Desert in Australia as a child.

“I shall see you at dinner, Maude. I’d like to see if anyone else knows why we’re all here.” With that, Fiorina wandered into the den.

Maude headed up the stairs after Ibrahim.

******
Once inside the privacy of her room, Maude quickly glanced around, and found a sufficient place to put her prized possessions. She used her own lock to secure her rifle and art kit in the armoire. Looking in the mirror, Maude adjusted the wide brim of her hat, and smoothed the wrinkles from her bodice. Even for a small woman, she looked rather intimidating in her plain black dress, wide brimmed hat, and the Colt Peacemaker snugly nestled in her shoulder holster.

With an approving nod, she turned to one of her satchels at the foot of the bed and grabbed her smoking pouch. The pipe was a beautifully elegant piece her husband had made for her during their courtship. With practiced hands, she packed the bowl of the pipe, and lit it with a match, puffing as she headed back downstairs.

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:24 pm

by Tsukiyumi » Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:16 pm

September 21, 1895, 8:00 PM EST

Ibrahim activated the speaking tube system, routing it to all rooms:

"Dinner will begin in thirty minutes in the dining hall behind the den. Please be punctual."

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:22 am

by Mikey » Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:20 pm
Zelman looked around at the company, glanced down at his own dinner jacket, and snorted. "Gott in Himmel, Robert, but you were correct. I needn't have packed even the tuxedo, much less evening tails."

"Oh, be still, Bertie," Professor Wessex answered with a hint of annoyance. "Perhaps there's matters among us weighty enough to make wardrobe etiquette take a back seat."

"There is nothing important enough that it can't be discussed while manners are observed." While the doctor replied, a woman came down into the parlor wearing traveling dress and smoking a pipe. "Pardon, Fraulein," Zelman addressed her with the utmost charm in his voice but an expression of distaste on his face, "I love a good pipeful as much as anyone, but some of us are dressed for dinner and not in our smoking jackets in the proper lounge."

"Oi! 'Ere we are," piped O'Neill, "surrounded by the creepiest paintin's ever, a dumbwaiter hidden behind a clock an' not in the dining room or kitchens, and no rhyme or reason to any of the whole mess - an' this great ponce is worried about gettin' smoke on his coat!"

"Why, you little vantz," Zelman began before the detective cut him off.

"Gentleman, please," Charlie said in a quiet but cutting tone. "We are all a bit unsettled, no doubt. Why don't we all have an introduction and save our time over dinner for Dr. May?" He produced a pencil and small notebook, gazed around the parlor, and began, "I'm Detective Charles Wessex of the Boston P.D., South End. This is my... associate, Master Sean O'Neill. Here are Professor Robert Wessex and Dr. Bertram Zelman, both of Miskatonic University. Next?"

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:22 am

by Uzume » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:34 am
Ignoring the large man’s comment, Maude smiled politely under a cool stare and nodded toward Dr. Zelman. She took another pull from her pipe and extended her free hand toward Detective Wessex after exhaling, “Maude Brewster. A pleasure, Detective; gentlemen.”

She made her way into the den, heading for the array of liquors on the serving cart. She gracefully lifted the crystal stopper from one of the decanters, holding it to her nose. Deciding it was indeed a fine whiskey, she poured a long drought into a small glass. Keeping to herself, she wandered over to observe some of the relics in the room more closely.

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:23 am

by Tsukiyumi » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:16 pm

September 21, 1895, 8:04 PM EST


“Doctor, the guests have arrived, save for Mister Webb. The table is set, and dinner is almost complete. Shall I summon everyone now?” Ibrahim stood impatiently, waiting at the edge of Doctor May’s imposing oak desk. The Doctor continued working, seeming not to notice Ibrahim at all.

“Sir-” Ibrahim began, but was silenced by May’s raised hand. The Doctor continued writing in his ledger.

“Dinner is not until eight thirty of the clock, correct?” He spoke without looking up. Ibrahim nodded. “By all means, continue your preparations, and seat the guests who have arrived at eight twenty-five. If need be, I will explain the situation to Mister Webb in private later.”

Finally, the Doctor raised his eyes to meet Ibrahim’s. He looked worn, and rightly so. This situation would be trying of any man’s fortitude under the best circumstances, Ibrahim believed, and these were most assuredly not the best circumstances. He bowed, and exited the office without a word. He knew Doctor May needed to concentrate if this desperate plan were to have any chance of success.

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:25 am

by Mikey » Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:26 pm
Zelman raised the cordial glass which he had filled at the drink cart, lifted it, and gazed at the pale amber liquid with frank awe. "Curious," he muttered, then drained the small drink with obvious relish before refilling the glass.

"What is, doctor?" asked Detective Wessex.

"Bahrenjaeger," Zelman answered. "Dr. May has a full bottle of the liqueur displayed. It's uncommon even in my own country, compared to things like kirschwasser and schnapps; this is the first time I've seen it at all this side of the Atlantic." He sipped the cordial more slowly this time, and turned to Maude. "My apologies, fraulein. The prevalent ambiance of mystery has ruffled us all, no doubt, but I make no excuse for forgetting how to properly speak to a member of the fairer sex. I beg your pardon." As he finished, he executed an intricate continental bow.

While Zelman made his apologies, Wessex walked over to where Sylvia and her companions stood. He placed his pencil to his notebook, looked up expectantly, and said, "And you, madam?"

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:26 am

by Lighthawk » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:11 pm
"Silvia Stanley." She gave Charles a bemused smile along with her name. "Is this the new fashion, trading names on paper? I can't say that it seems as charming as shaking hands, though I suppose you get fewer smudges on your fingers."

Beside her, Claude gave a significant cough.

"Oh bother, I'm just having fun you big grump," Silvia complained coyly. "The surly one here is Claude Adams." Claude grunted at the introduction but offered Charles a hand. "The quiet one is Daryl Chambers," Silvia continued, nodding at the young man by the fire, who gave a slight wave by way of greeting. "They're my..."

"Retainers," Claude quickly interjected in the momentary pause.

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:27 am

by Tsukiyumi » Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:26 pm
Willem finished cleaning his Colt Peacemaker, carefully stowing the oil and cloths back in the case. He stretched widely, his back producing a satisfying series of pops, and then moved into a slow sequence of exercises he’d learned in Kowloon. The leisurely, deliberate movements focused his mind, calming his nerves a bit, and enabling him to ignore the painting on the wall. Even thinking about it put his nerves on edge, but not while he was practicing Taijiquan.

Ibrahim’s voice came through the speaking tube, informing him of the time, and upcoming dinner. Willem paused, ceasing his practice in mid-movement, before freshening up in the filled basin, and then patting himself dry with a towel. He holstered the Colt low on his hip before buttoning his undershirt and shouldering his dinner jacket. He gingerly made his way to the bedside, retrieving his cane and resting his weight on it before heading out the door. His timepiece showed 8:05 when he left the room and headed down the stairs; he expected to catch a drink in the den before dinner, and hopefully have time to profile the other guests.

He had become increasingly curious about the reason for this gathering, and as he knew well, the best way to learn was to ask.

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:28 am

by Mikey » Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:01 am
Charles smiled politely, but humorlessly. "Beg your pardon, Ms. Stanley. Professional habit, you might say. I expect I'm working on a mystery which will be revealed quite plainly over dinner." He tucked the notebook away into a breast pocket, briefly revealing a snugly rigged S&W police model, and turned to the remaining occupants of the parlor - Isabel, Nathan, and Fiorina. "And whom do I have the pleasure of addressing now... and more generally, does anyone have an idea of what commonality Dr. May sees in our little company to inaugurate his society?"


Last edited by Tsukiyumi on Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:29 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:28 am

by Tsukiyumi » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:24 pm
Isabel curtseyed at the Detective, flashing a brief smile, “I am Professor Isabel Hodges, PhD, of Miskatonic University, and this is my fiancé, Nathan Jefferies, an expert with instruments both inorganic and organic.”

Nathan’s face flushed. He bowed slightly, “Musical instruments, of course. I am no expert, really…”

“Mrs. Fiorina Spencer,” the woman also curtseyed, but her face remained taut, “I believe we can rule out formal education as a commonality, Detective. I am merely a widow with some skill at hunting and tracking. I do not believe social standing is the denominator either.”


Last edited by Tsukiyumi on Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:29 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:29 am

by Mikey » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:53 pm
Charles glanced meaningfully around the room, and answered, "You are patently correct, Mrs. Spencer. I suspect our host's motivations will only become clear once explained." Meanwhile, Robert glanced up intently at Isabel's introduction.

"Dr. Hodges?" he queried uncertainly. "I must admit I don't recall the name, though to be fair I've spent a fair bit of time in the field. To what department are you attached, professor?"

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Re: River Of Shadows (1895)

Post by Tsukiyumi on Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:30 am

by Tsukiyumi » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:54 pm
“Actually, Professor, I’m also in the Archeology department, officially.” Isabel cast her eyes downward, wringing her hands lightly, “Though, to be fair to you, I spend a fair bit of time in the library, or traveling to examine… certain artifacts. I published a paper in June about the significance of particular ancient religious artifacts, and their… influence on modern society. I do doubt you read it, though. It was poorly received…”

Nathan took her hand, “My dear, your findings were quite apt. Whether your ideas are accepted by the scientific community as a whole doesn’t alter the merit of your work.”

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