IVC - The House of Mourning.   Posted by The Keeper.Group: 0
The Keeper
 GM, 151 posts
Tue 5 Apr 2016
at 16:26
IVC - The House of Mourning
A neighborhood that is well known in New Orleans for the wealth of its residents, Lakeshore Drive is lined with mansions that seem designed to provoke attention and admiration. Each are multi-storied affairs, most constructed in the plantation style, with sprawling, carefully maintained grounds.

The impeccable upkeep that marks most of the residences make Randall Fowler's home stand out. A two story mansion with a series of Greek style columns lining the front of the house, the house, although in good condition overall, shows telltale signs of neglect. Mounds of leaves cover portions of the covered front porch, as well as the drive that winds around to the rear of the home. A handful of weeds jut up from a lawn that appears in need of mowing. A pair of oak trees that screen the residence from the street have several overgrown limbs that should have been pruned months prior. The windows all have their shutters closed, a thick layer of dust visible on the shutters' slats.

The only thing that is new and colorful is the placard that is hung on the front door.



The grounds are noticeably quiet. Neither investigator sees any sign of the presence or activity of servants. The mansion gives the impression that it is completely unoccupied.
Colonel Travis
 player, 149 posts
 Age 54 APP 6 SIZ 12
Tue 5 Apr 2016
at 16:42
IVC - The House of Mourning
"Well, Mr. Hackett, how does one go about this?" he asked his companion as they arrived in the neighborhood and at the home in question.
Kirby Hackett
 player, 116 posts
Tue 5 Apr 2016
at 19:06
IVC - The House of Mourning
In reply to Colonel Travis (msg # 2):

"I think first we ring the front doorbell and see if there's anyone home."

Hackett walks up the front walk and does exactly that.
The Keeper
 GM, 153 posts
Tue 5 Apr 2016
at 20:02
IVC - The House of Mourning
Both men can hear the deep sound of the doorbell as it rings inside the large home. Moments pass without any response, or even the sound of movement within. Hackett rings the bell a second time, which meets with the same result.
Colonel Travis
 player, 150 posts
 Age 54 APP 6 SIZ 12
Wed 6 Apr 2016
at 17:15
IVC - The House of Mourning
Withdrawing a handkerchief from his pocket, he tries the door.
Kirby Hackett
 player, 117 posts
Wed 6 Apr 2016
at 17:40
IVC - The House of Mourning
Hackett turns to look down the walk and over the street in case of curious passers-by.
The Keeper
 GM, 154 posts
Thu 7 Apr 2016
at 02:02
IVC - The House of Mourning
The door swings open.

Beyond it, Travis sees a large entry way, decorated with a hall tree, a large mirror, a pair of French settees, and a few other pieces of tasteful furniture, all of which is covered in a thin layer of dust. The most imposing feature of the room is a wide wooden staircase that leads up to a balcony on the second floor. An oriental rug, crafted in a winding pattern of wine red and dark blue takes up the center of the hardwood floor.

To the right, the Colonel can see that a pair of doors stand open leading into a large room that is likely an area for dining and entertaining. The room is completely empty of furniture, but several wooden crates have been stacked inside, a short distance from the doors.

Further down on the right, below the overhanging balcony, Travis can see the entrance to a short hallway, which is lit. It is the only light that he can see on in the entire residence. Another hallway that leads to the left under the balcony is dark.

At the opposite end of the the entry way, Travis can see a pair of French doors that lead outside to a covered porch.

The house is quiet. Nothing stirs in response to the investigators' entrance.

Keeping watch on the street, Hackett sees no passerby, on foot or in an automobile. For the moment, Lakeshore Drive is still.
Kirby Hackett
 player, 118 posts
Thu 7 Apr 2016
at 04:27
IVC - The House of Mourning
Hearing the latch click, Hackett turns. He smiles at the Colonel, wiggling his eyebrows. Then he steps through the door, drawing his companion in with him. He closes the door and turns the bolt.

"This burglary game is easier than I imagined," he whispers, "I may take it up full time."

He steps quickly but quietly around to look into all the passages.

"Let's see what's in those crates." He moves to the crates, looking for any stencilled information about their origins or a bill of lading.
Colonel Travis
 player, 151 posts
 Age 54 APP 6 SIZ 12
Thu 7 Apr 2016
at 14:48
IVC - The House of Mourning
The Colonel was slightly unnerved by the turn of events that had started with finding Papa Screech's letter at his door. The other place had been open as well, as had this one. Either Fowler was trusting, absent minded, or someone wanted them to have easy access to places like this. He couldn't explain why the latter might be the case, so he dismissed the notion as a foolish fancy and looked about the place.

He checked the door to see if it could be locked behind them, and then also looked about the house to see if he could venture a guess as to where any other doors on the ground level might be found. It was an unconscious habit of his, developed in wartime. Wherever he was, he always needed to know the way out. Sometimes, that was all the difference between life and death.

He returned Hackett's smile, though he wasn't feeling any emotion that would warrant a smile. "We'll need to be quick," he said. "A sharp whistle if there's trouble."
Kirby Hackett
 player, 119 posts
Thu 7 Apr 2016
at 19:54
IVC - The House of Mourning
In reply to Colonel Travis (msg # 9):

"Well, if my mouth's too dry to whistle, I'll summon up a hearty yell."
The Keeper
 GM, 155 posts
Fri 8 Apr 2016
at 01:03
IVC - The House of Mourning
Glancing down each of the hallways off of the entry room, Hackett discerns that the short hallway on the left leads into what appears to be a formal dining room. Even in the gloom of the shuttered house, the writer can see a thick gathering of dust on all of the furnishings, suggesting that the room has been unused for some time. Hackett can see that a door in the northern wall of the dining room leads to another short hallway.

The hallway on the right leads past a pair of doors on either side of the hall before reaching what Hackett guesses are a set of unused rooms that once served as servants' quarters. To the south, the writer can see a door leading into the kitchen.

Before moving back to inspect the crates, Hackett's attention is momentarily drawn to one of the doors that flanks the right hand corridor, which is open. Hackett notices several muddy footprints around the entrance to the room. Peering inside momentarily, he can see that it is a storage room that is primarily empty, with only a few boxes stacked in one corner. Against the wall facing the door is propped a free standing screen crafted from iron and bamboo. Most of the footprints in the room are grouped around the screen.

Travis makes a circle of the first floor, noting that, aside from the front entrance, the only easily accessible exit are the French doors at the rear of the residence. Glancing into the backyard, the Colonel can see that the remnants of a once meticulously maintained garden surround a three tiered fountain, which is completely dry. A gate at the back fence of the property, as well as another that leads to the front of the home, are both easily accessible from the backyard.

The crates appear to be full of mundane items for the upcoming ball. Glassware, bottles of wine and champagne, yellow streamers, and folded tablecloths. Most of the crates appear to have originated from a restaurant supply company in Baton Rouge. The streamers were bought from a party decoration store in the Warehouse District. The crates containing spirits are, unsurprisingly, unmarked.
Colonel Travis
 player, 156 posts
 Age 54 APP 6 SIZ 12
Fri 8 Apr 2016
at 18:38
IVC - The House of Mourning
Travis moved down the hallway on the right, touching any doorknobs only using his handkerchief. He had an inclination to look at the kitchen and the servant rooms. He wouldn't go anywhere that was obviously dust-covered and unused, but any area with recent traffic was worth a look.
The Keeper
 GM, 158 posts
Sat 9 Apr 2016
at 16:23
IVC - The House of Mourning
Travis finds that the counters and stove in the kitchen are dust laden, suggesting that nothing has been prepared there for quite some time. There are some bottles of wine and liquor in the cold storage room and a few canned goods in the pantry, but nothing of real interest. The servants' rooms have a few pieces of furniture in them, but are obviously unused.

The hallway turns north, ending in a narrow staircase that leads up to the second floor.

Moving back to the entry way, the Colonel can see that the only room that shows any signs of recent use is the storage room that Hackett had noticed previously. A number of muddy footprints mark the floor in front of the door and inside. Very little is in the room itself. A handful of boxes are stacked in one corner of the room. The only other item within is a free standing screen, crafted from bamboo and iron, that is propped up against the wall opposite the door. A number of footprints are concentrated near the screen.
Kirby Hackett
 player, 121 posts
Sat 9 Apr 2016
at 16:36
Re: IVC - The House of Mourning
The Keeper:
A number of muddy footprints mark the floor in front of the door and inside. <snip> A number of footprints are concentrated near the screen.

[Does that door lead outside? Or is that the door into the room from the house? If the latter, are there muddy footprints in the corridor?]
The Keeper
 GM, 159 posts
Sun 10 Apr 2016
at 16:51
Re: IVC - The House of Mourning
OOC: The door leads into a storage room inside the house. Although it seems nonsensical, the dirtiest footprints are closest to the screen inside the room itself. Some prints can be seen at the doorway and the hallway, but the tracks are lighter in those areas.

A look at the orientation of the footprints suggests that the prints were made by individuals walking away from the screen.

Kirby Hackett
 player, 123 posts
Sun 10 Apr 2016
at 17:21
Re: IVC - The House of Mourning
Kirby takes hold of the screen and moves it to see whether it conceals another entrance.
The Keeper
 GM, 160 posts
Mon 11 Apr 2016
at 14:41
Re: IVC - The House of Mourning
Hackett moves the screen to one side.

Behind it, both investigators can see that a series of symbols have been drawn on the wall, the characters dark, the color of charcoal. The symbols are arranged in a rectangular pattern that approximates the size and shape of a doorway. The only symbol in the space where the "door" itself would be is the familiar, swirling sigil used by the Krewe on its posters.

As both men study the wall, they perceive, for a moment, that the area within the framework of symbols appears, for a moment, almost transparent, immaterial, as though the wall is an illusion that one could pass their hand through.

OOC: Would both of you gentlemen provide me with Occult and Spot Hidden rolls?