Chapter 8: A house and a mystery.   Posted by Artemis.Group: 0
Artemis
 GM, 1316 posts
Thu 23 Jun 2016
at 16:35
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery
The next day Penny, Kate, Ian and Emma head to the Winchester estate. The name is quite coincidental considering Dean and Sam, but it seems there is no relation that you can tell. Ian is silent and uncertain around Penny, no doubt ruminating over his outburst the other day. He doesn't seem angry but he seems as though he doesn't know how to act normally again.

You take a hansom cab to the estate, which is a bustle with noise and construction. Workmen and carpenters endlessly banging away. How the woman could stand such constant noise is bewildering! It is a massive place, with odd levels and to your surprise a door that seems to come out of a second story wall with nothing underneath! Emma shakes her head and chuckles. So paranoid. She was worried that the ghosts of the victims of her husband's invention would come to haunt her so she tries to make this place as confusing as possible for them. She's rich enough for it I suppose, but if you ask me it's a huge waste of money. Now, the supernatural is no sticking point with her. She has an entire room just for seances! But she's not much in the know about demons and considering her fragile mind, I think it best we keep this simple. If I let slip that world is about to end she'd probably start building a summer home!
Penny Dreadful
 player, 947 posts
 HP 65/83 Def. 17/15/17+1
Fri 24 Jun 2016
at 13:17
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery
Stepping forth from the hansom cab, Penny gazed up and across the... structure. 'My word.' Penny exclaimed, for once almost dumbfounded. It was like houses upon houses, over and over and ever outward. Back home, an old manor house like Darkmoor Manor itself was often called the family pile, but this was quite literally a pile of houses. Darkmoor Manor had its quirks and peculiarities of design, but it had been built and rebuilt over centuries, as many of its kind were. This was plainly new and still in progress. The whims of a rich old widow with all kinds of fancies and no architect. American madness, Penny thought; Emma's explanation didn't change her mind.

Penny flagged a passing carpenter. 'Excuse me, good man, can I trouble you for a try square? ...Actually, I'll just purchase it, and a measuring tape, thank you.' Negotiating, she soon bought the second-hand tools from the bemused workman, certain she would need them eventually in this strange house.

'Well, how shall we handle this? From what I've heard, Mrs Winchester should be quite welcoming if we present ourselves as some novel new mediums.'


OOC: An image of the house before the 1906 earthquake reduced it in size:
https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--Dkr2Q9GA--/c_scale,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/wstx9zxrd7kdx0bqmtgm.png
Kate Piper
 player, 362 posts
Wed 29 Jun 2016
at 07:59
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery
Kate eyed the house in wonder. She'd taken a tour of the old place in the future, and was surprised at how different it looked. "Poor crazy woman," she muttered mostly to herself.

"I think that should work well enough," she agreed to Penny's idea. "After all who could resist such friendly faces?
Artemis
 GM, 1320 posts
Wed 29 Jun 2016
at 16:52
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery
Penny's purchase goes easily, though the worker looks amused that a woman would want such tools.

Emma answers Penny's suggestion. The fact that you are with me will help too. I've been friends with her for years. She would have made a good witch if she weren't just a touch off. Yes, mediums will do I suppose. Though be warned, she may try to test you. I can help with that though I think. And you... she turns with a frown to Ian who looks a bit out of place with the rest of you. I suppose you could be an attendent or some such thing. I think it best you don't talk though. Scottish accents ruin mystique. He looks a bit offended at this but decides to let it pass.

You head to the front door It's far bigger than last I saw it Emma muses with a small smile. That woman... She knocks crisply and the door eventually is opened by a small woman, out of breath and irritable. The mistress is not expecting visitors today she grumbles. Emma ignores the tone archly. Oh I do think she will make time for me. Just tell her Emma Bently is here to see her. An old friend I assure you, you'll see she finishes confidently. With a sigh the servant disappears and after some time, around seven minutes actually, she finally returns and bids you to enter. I'll have you sit if you would. It takes too much energy to track someone down in this blasted place and my hands are full enough keeping tabs on the mistress! So if you could just sit and stay that would make my life much easier she gestures to some fine chairs in a room off the entryway. Looking around you see there are no hallways. It seems that one room simply leads to another with doors the only separation. An odd staircase goes up only to go back down again and another leads to the second story but the steps are so incredibly shallow you wonder at the odd design. Well, I suppose I shall take the lead but what will you two say about yourselves? I assure you, she will ask Emma demands once the four of you are alone again.
Penny Dreadful
 player, 948 posts
 HP 65/83 Def. 17/15/17+1
Thu 30 Jun 2016
at 11:40
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery
Penny tucked the tools inside her purse, wondering how to fit the try square, then gave up and passed them to Ian. 'Oh, come now, Ian's Scottish accent is perfectly lovely, and a Highland brogue will be quite popular in a hundred year's time. For witches and mediums, an accent from the depths of Europe speaks of old knowledge.' she commented idly, then switched accents sharply 'Nay, ee's thikky ole Deb'm mouth-spaich tha'll proper ruin misteek.'

Beside Kate and Ian, she followed Emma up to the house and the exhausted maid indoors, gazing around at the bewildering architecture, and checking Ian had the tape and square again for reassurance. She couldn't shake the feeling that there was more to this strange house than haphazard construction, that the geometry itself could well be something more than mundane mathematics.

She took a seat where directed, and conferred quietly with the others. 'With you and Kate, I think we have enough would-be witches and mediums. But Miss Penny Dreadful is already a noted London investigator of the paranormal, including those who claim to be mediums. I've exposed many as charlatans, a few as something more. I think it best I continue in my old role. In my experience, for every medium, there's a skeptic trying to expose them. It adds to the sense of authenticity – particularly if I accuse you of some hoax, only for you to defend yourself, me to splutter in outrage, that kind of thing.' she outlined. 'And Ian can be my man.' She meant a man servant or assistant, of course.
Kate Piper
 player, 363 posts
Tue 5 Jul 2016
at 07:10
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery
"Lucky, you get to be yourself. No lying necessary." Kate was envious of Penny's believable and true backstory. She would clearly have to lie about hers. "I'll be Kathryn Monrow and I can sometimes tell the future..." She flashed a grin at the irony.
Penny Dreadful
 player, 949 posts
 HP 65/83 Def. 17/15/17+1
Tue 5 Jul 2016
at 07:29
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery
'The truth is a refreshing change.' Penny agreed with smug good humour. She smirked at Kate's choice. 'So, the truth for you as well, then.'
Artemis
 GM, 1325 posts
Thu 7 Jul 2016
at 18:57
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery
Emma listens with a hint of amusement and nods approvingly. Alright then, well enough.

Several minutes pass before the beleaguered servant returns. Well you weren't wrong about knowin the mistress were ya? she pants with an arched brow at Emma. She wants you to come to her straight away. She's in the seance room. I'll guide you, just give me a minute... she leans against a wall a moment. Don't know why she had to build so many blasted stairs.

Soon you are following the woman through room to room, each beautiful and finely made but always something odd about it. Spiderweb windows and the number 13 are a reoccurring theme throughout and you could spend hours here and not see everything. At last you go up a narrow staircase and arrive at a blue painted wall which the woman slides away to reveal a secret entrance, motioning for you to enter before she leaves you. As you step inside you find yourselves in a small blue and white room with a small round table in the center, an oddly placed half window looking down at something, a coat rack wall with 13 hooks and a short middle aged woman who is looking at you intently. She is under 5 feet, has gray hair and is dressed elegantly with a serious watchful face. It has been too long Emma she gives a small smile and stands to embrace her friend. Emma smiles and returns the hug before turning and introducing you all as planned. You should know Sarah, Miss Dreadful is a bit of a skeptic. That's partly why she's here. To see this place for herself. I hope you don't mind Sarah gives Penny a long look before nodding thoughtfully. Very well young woman. You are welcome here so long as you remain respectful. You may not believe in the spirits but ignorance will not protect you from them. What exactly do you hope to find here?

ooc; There's way too much to describe. Feel free to skim at the link below.

http://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com/thehouse.cfm
Penny Dreadful
 player, 951 posts
 HP 65/83 Def. 17/15/17+1
Fri 8 Jul 2016
at 03:51
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery
On the circuitous route through the house, Penny marvelled at the architectural peculiarities, wondering what on Earth anyone had been thinking in building this place. Did anyone realise how strange and confusing it all was? This was a truly unique mania.

As Emma Bently and Sarah Winchester reunited, Penny gazed around the séance room, appraising the design and its secrets. 'The truth, Mrs Winchester!' Penny answered, with a note of pomposity in her voice that really wasn't hard for her. 'I have an open mind, I assure you. I honestly want to witness the spirit world, to see something beyond this mortal realm. But one must of course be sceptical and scientific. Before we can have proof, we must fully test all claims. Like those of this gypsy fortune teller.' Penny nodded archly toward Kate.

As Kate took the floor, distracting the wealthy and eccentric widow, Penny discreetly scrutinised Sarah Winchester, to discern if she was human or some creature, if she was unpractised in magic or a witch herself.


OOC: Scanning Sarah Winchester for clues:
11:48, Today: Penny Dreadful rolled 22,20,23 using d20+17,d20+8,d20+9. Sherlock Scan: investigate, sense motive, spot.

Artemis
 GM, 1328 posts
Mon 11 Jul 2016
at 18:32
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery
Sarah turns to scrutinize Kate now with interest. Fortune teller you say? How intriguing... Well if Emma has brought you here there may be some merit to you. Come, sit, sit she gestures to the small table eagerly. What do you see for me? Or perhaps you need to set the scene? I have a nightly seance here at midnight where I glean the plans for the house. The spirits are very opinionated you know she informs you with excitement.

As she talks Ian watches with great discomfort. He does not know what to make of this woman and seems grateful not to have to say anything. Emma gives your hostess a look of pity when she's not looking. Between this and Sarah's eccentricities you have to wonder if she has genuine ability or if she's just a bit touched in the head. Whatever she is though, there is real knowledge there. Her house is fraught with the occult.

Penny: You see that she is well dressed but her clothes are outdated and seem to have been repaired multiple times even though she surely has money enough to afford new ones. She also moves in stiff, careful motions, likely arthritis of some sort. Her eyes are sharp though, and miss little. Even now with Kate to distract her she is keeping an eye on everyone in the room. As you get a better look at the strange half window you see that it looks down on the kitchen below. From the construction you realize this would allow her to see the kitchen staff without them knowing it. Suspicious is another possible quality of Mrs. Winchester.
Penny Dreadful
 player, 952 posts
 HP 65/83 Def. 17/15/17+1
Tue 12 Jul 2016
at 11:58
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery
From what she observed, Penny was saddened to consider Sarah Winchester a woman who'd rather hang on to the past, in clothing, in house, and in memory, rather than change or move on. Yet she was not merely an eccentric and silly old dear, no, there was a sharpness and suspicion to her that made Penny wary. Just as well she hadn't claimed to be a medium; she had no doubt Sarah would see through that.

From the spying window, Penny strolled around the séance room. 'I must say, the plans for this house are... very interesting, to say the least.' she remarked, deciding not to creep delicately around the matter with Mrs Winchester, but instead to confront it head on. 'What do you expect to house in this labyrinth, the Minotaur?' she chuckled.

Penny started openly tapping the walls with finger and cane, listening for hollow spaces, unsteady sections, clicks and creaks, all sure signs of a secret passage. 'You don't mind, do you? The usefulness of a secret passage in a dedicated séance room is obvious, and this house is clearly riddled with them. Though having to go through a secret passage to enter is certainly novel... I remember a house in Somerset; a fraudulent medium had her accomplice make eerie noises from a priest-hole. Unoriginal, really. Of course, he wasn't aware the priest was still in there with him...' No medium expected a genuine ghost, she'd learned.


OOC: Search for more secret passages, 18. Knowledge (physical sciences - engineering) 21.

Knowledge (arcane lore) 24 - significance of the spider webs and number 13, etc.?

Kate Piper
 player, 364 posts
Fri 15 Jul 2016
at 07:42
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery
Kate sat readily in the seat Mrs. Winchester directed her to. "There is much that I can see already," she said mysteriously. "If this is a good time? Some people don't like to be read in public."

Kate new a little of Mrs. Winchester's history but would have to fill most of it in with her own flair.

OOC: Bluff: 19 (12+7)
Artemis
 GM, 1331 posts
Mon 18 Jul 2016
at 17:50
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery
ooc; Crap! I forgot to mention she is wearing a black veil. You can see through it though.

The spirits are the architects, not me. she answers Penny with a dark look. She doesn't appear to like light made of her home. She watches you like a hawk, not seeming to appreciate your exploring. What is it you want here Miss Dreadful? she ignores the rest of your words. You don't find another passage but you do see small hidden compartments which appear to have books, notes and things of the like in them. Judging by the way you are watched though it would be unwise to rifle through them.

She then turns to Kate. If you think you are able we can do it now, though I imagine you would wish to set the scene perhaps? I find more luck with a certain ambiance... she looks a bit hopeful at the prospect of her fortune being told and starts to pull out some candles and close the shutters to darken the room. I assume you can be respectful during this? she arches a brow at Penny.
Penny Dreadful
 player, 953 posts
 HP 65/83 Def. 17/15/17+1
Tue 19 Jul 2016
at 07:39
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery
Spider-webs, the numbers 7 and 13... They all had occult significance, but were notorious for it. Everyone knew that, and even the most amateur occultists made use of them. Penny couldn't draw any conclusions from these, and considered it only an architectural conceit. Now, if she saw anything from The Lesser Key of Solomon, she'd be impressed.

Penny turned away from poking at the walls; she'd find too many secrets there. 'Forgive me. As I said, I want to uncover the truth. I want to verify Mrs Bently's and Miss Monrow's claims. I shall only be too pleased to see proof of the spirit world, and I shall be the first to sing their praises. But I simply have to make certain first... You must understand, I have discovered too many frauds, been tricked by too many charlatans, to take any such claim at face-value.' she reiterated.

'I promise I will be respectful and silent until it is over – unless I see something amiss that I must catch in the act.' she assured Mrs Winchester. 'Ian, please, stand over there, will you, and keep a close eye on the proceedings.' she directed Ian to a spot near the wall, while she took a seat to give her a close view of Kate's show.

This message was last edited by the player at 11:38, Fri 12 Aug 2016.

Artemis
 GM, 1334 posts
Thu 21 Jul 2016
at 16:17
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery
Very well she nods at Penny with a touch more tolerance than before. Though if Emma recommends her I'm sure you'll find her genuine. I've known Emma for years she beams at the witch behind her veil. A truly gifted woman. I'm incredibly pleased to see you again. But I digress, I do not want to distract our psychic with needless chatter. You may all lunch with me afterward and I shall catch up then. She turns to Kate expectantly.

ooc: It's all you now Kate... ;P
Kate Piper
 player, 365 posts
Mon 25 Jul 2016
at 07:24
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery
Kate waited patiently for the candles to be lit. "Do you have an object on you that I might hold for a moment?" She asked politely. Kate had seen a fortune teller at work once or twice so she had an idea of how things worked. Hopefully she'd be able to come up with something believable.

"Some of your future is shrouded from my sight. What is it that you desire to know?"
Artemis
 GM, 1338 posts
Tue 2 Aug 2016
at 15:45
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery
Sarah hands Kate a locket and waits eagerly. Tell me if you see anything of my family, my husband and child? And what of me? How long do I live?
Kate Piper
 player, 366 posts
Thu 4 Aug 2016
at 06:04
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery
Kate fingered the locket feeling a moment of pity for the strange woman. Slowly she closed her eyes and let her shoulders relax.

"It is difficult for me to see much from those who have already died. My talent lies in what is coming not the past. I am sensing that your husband and child are not here with us tonight but they will visit soon. You will be unaware of this visit but will feel peace when they are close. As for your death... You will not die in this house. You will pass away in another place. In the home of a relative I believe." Kate wanted to provide a peaceful future for Sarah. Even if it was a lie. No one really wanted to know when or how they died. To have that looming over them would be an awful fate.

"Part of the house will be destroyed in a disastrous earthquake." Was it the 1905 or 1906 San Francisco earthquake? "You will survive this disaster when many do not. I'm sensing that you are a survivor, you will live many long years after this terrible disaster."

Kate opened her eyes pressing her hand to her head as if in pain. "I'm sorry, that is all I can see for now." She passed the locket back to Mrs. Winchester hoping that what she'd said had been believable.
Penny Dreadful
 player, 954 posts
 HP 65/83 Def. 17/15/17+1
Thu 4 Aug 2016
at 10:47
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery
As requested, Penny waited quietly as Kate began her performance, trying to seem dubious at words she honestly did not doubt. She was impressed by her friend's – and mother's – show, and her forwards-looking psychometry was quite novel. If anything, Kate was too good – in Penny's experience, most fortune tellers made vague and open-ended claims that were as hard to disprove as they were to prove. An earthquake was disturbingly specific; obviously Kate knew the history of the future. Sarah Winchester's creation was completely bizarre, a grotesque, but she'd put so much of herself into it, it would be sad to see it all broken.
Artemis
 GM, 1340 posts
Thu 4 Aug 2016
at 20:34
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery
Sarah listens, taking comfort at mention of her family but growing pale at the earthquake. I see is all she says and she is silent a long uncomfortable moment. At last she gives a nod. Very well, I think that's enough for the moment. Now, Emma why are you really here? Surely you didn't come all this way simply for a medium? Emma gives Kate an uncertain glance but shakes it off and presses forward. You always did know me too well old friend. Yes, there is another matter. Do you recall that ring I gave you for safekeeping? I'm afraid the time to collect it is now. Where did you put it? Sarah listens to this with mild surprise. Ring...? Oh yes! That's right! Well I take my promises to you very seriously Emma. I had my workers hide it. Even from me. You acted as though the very world depended on its secrecy and I take such requests as they are given. I do not know where it is in the house I'm afraid. Only Cole would know that and he died last spring I'm afraid. Honestly, after all these years I didn't think you would need it back so quickly. You're welcome to search for it of course
Penny Dreadful
 player, 955 posts
 HP 65/83 Def. 17/15/17+1
Fri 5 Aug 2016
at 07:37
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery
Oh, good Lord, Penny tried to suppress an oath to God for hope and a groan of utter despair as the fate of the ring was revealed. Hidden, forgotten, and lost, somewhere in this labyrinth of a house? It might never be found! She tried not to show too much shock; it wouldn't do for a notorious sceptic like her to show too much interest in the occult. Yet she listened keenly for Emma's responses, while she thought desperately for a solution.
Artemis
 GM, 1344 posts
Tue 9 Aug 2016
at 15:18
Chapter 8: A house and a mystery


Well you're thorough, I'll give you that much Emma sighs. Very well then, it seems we shall be conducting a seance of our own tonight. Cole you say? I shall need his full name and as much information as you can give. I'm not wasting eternity in this labyrinth of yours. If you have an item of his it would make things that much easier. You are welcome to join us if you wish, though I don't want to intervene in your own nightly activities Sarah listens to this with excitement and shakes her head. Oh no, I would love to see you work! It was always like pulling teeth to get you to do a reading, how wonderful! And Cole's full name was Cole Michaels. His widow lives in town, you should be able to get an item off of her though you may need to be creative to get it. She never approved of spiritualism she adds with distaste. Nodding, Emma turns to the rest of you. I think a trip to town is in order. Anyone wish to accompany me?