Chapter 10: Finding the Key.   Posted by Artemis.Group: 0
Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner
 player, 333 posts
 HP 111/57
 Pretty but boy's clothes
Tue 10 Sep 2019
at 12:26
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
Alice nodded to Ian and Penny. She would help Penny ou the window if necessary and then out herself.
Artemis
 GM, 2069 posts
Thu 12 Sep 2019
at 23:43
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
You hurry along in the darkness, and as you leave you can see the house is a scuttle with lights on in the windows and people moving around inside. Yes. It definitely is time to leave Portland.

You rush back to Tabitha's summer house and pack up your supplies. There's no time to study the artifacts properly nor do much of anything but cram the wagon haphazardly and leave as quickly as you possibly can. Emma asks Alice to drive the horses while Ian leads on horseback so he can scout ahead. To make matters worse, it starts to rain. Hard.

By the time you find anything resembling shelter, you're all soaked to the skin. There's an old barn you can barely make out through the rain and the dark and Emma shouts in the din, pointing to it. Finally you manage to enter the musty place, which drips heavily from various leaks here and there but it's a great deal drier than it was outside. At least it looks abandoned too, so theoretically no one is going to bother you.

Emma bids Ian start gathering whatever he can for a fire and soon the witch has one crackling away, after having squinted at it to start it. Meanwhile Tabitha frets over the artifacts, which thankfully have been kept dry in her packs.

Well that was fun. Ian sighs, looking tired and drenched. What now ladies?
Penny Dreadful
 player, 1305 posts
 HP 56/98
 Def 17/15/17+1+1
Fri 13 Sep 2019
at 09:18
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
'Now... now I suppose we have a good, well-earned rest.' Penny answered Ian wearily once they were settled in the barn. It was a far cry from the hotel, and Penny was glad she'd thought to retrieve all her things and had travelled light anyway. It had been a desperate flight from Magda's house and then Tabitha's, and Penny did not like to consider she might be wanted in Maine as an accessory to the robberies and murders of two local wealthy heiresses. It just wasn't seemly. 'In the morning, we can try to get transportation down to New York.'

'Until then, we can begin to examine our ill-gotten gains. Which reminds me...' Fishing in her purse, she pulled out the Mayan knife, and looked to Tabitha. 'Tabitha, when you gave me this knife, were you aware that Magda would try to kill us for it?' she asked, her words carrying an edge of challenge to them. She wanted to know if the witch had tried to betray them.
Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner
 player, 334 posts
 HP 111/57
 Pretty but boy's clothes
Fri 13 Sep 2019
at 17:35
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
Arriving at the barn Alice went to one of the horse stalls to strip and wring out her cloths. She found an old blanket and wrapped herself in it to come to the fire. She sat and warmed herself. She was thinking about things other that what they had gotten. The witch’s face when she had killed her kept coming to mind. Had she acted rashly or harshly? Could some other solution have been found? What about the things they stole? Was it wrong to take them or right because she would use them for good and not evil? There were enough questions to keep her up late as she let the fire hypnotize her.
Artemis
 GM, 2072 posts
Tue 17 Sep 2019
at 17:19
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
Tabitha looks horrified at the accusation. Of course not! why would I want that? You lot are keeping me safe! Besides, I had no idea she'd gotten THAT rabid over her obsession with artifacts. I'm sorry that happened, but it worked out well for us don't you think? One less enemy to worry about right? she speaks rushed and nervous, as though terrified you won't believe her. Emma fixes her with a long, scrutinizing look. You and I have been friends a long time Emma. Don't test that friendship. If I find out you're lying, I'll take you down myself. These people and I may not be allied on everything, but they ARE my allies, and I owe them much. Be careful Tabitha.

I'm not lying! I swear it! she practically babbles. She continues like this a few minutes before Emma shushes her and proceeds to look through the artifacts you purloined, bidding her companion to help her determine their abilities. It turns out they have some very valuable qualities...

As this goes on, Ian quietly walks to the somber Alice and hands her a bottle of scotch. I know that look. Not sure exactly what's causing it but I have a few ideas. He then puts some more wood on the smoking fire, the wood burning fitfully considering some of it is soggy.

ooc: Ok, while I'm thinking about it, through the efforts of Tabitha and Emma, you'll determine you obtain the following goodies, many of which are also of historical note and value.

Alice: Every 4 rounds your new shotgun gives you a +5 to attack and damage rolls. The vial is a healing vial. One drop on your tongue heals 10 hp, though keep in mind the amount is limited so it only works 40 times. Not bad still. The copper cuff heats up when demons are close by.

Penny, your spectacles allow you a +4 to spot checks, to see things/people otherwise invisible, and also enable you to decipher other languages, even ancient ones. Handy eh? You also find a blue stoned ring that, when you shake another's hand or touch them with the gem, forces them to tell you the truth for three minutes, though very powerful beings can resist this. You also get a gun with the same benefits of Alice's.
Penny Dreadful
 player, 1306 posts
 HP 56/98
 Def 17/15/17+1+1
Wed 18 Sep 2019
at 09:17
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
'Yes, quite.' Penny agreed stiffly with Tabitha's insistence of innocence. One less enemy indeed – Magda was dead, another member of the cabal was eliminated. Had Tabitha set them up to be rid of them, or to be rid of Magda? Catching herself, Penny tried to halt her train of thought; she'd had too many surprises, too many betrayals and ambushes to be trustful, to not see all the possibilities. But it was not wise to be too suspicious either, to drive away allies like Tabitha. Besides, no one so cunning could babble so terribly in her defence. Abandoning her scrutiny and interrogating stare, Penny nodded to Tabitha. 'Forgive me, please, but I had to be sure. From this point on, we must be exceedingly careful. But I do believe and trust you, Tabitha.' she tried to reassure her. She returned the Mayan knife as a token of it.

She marvelled over the finds – true, magical artefacts, items of power. They should be quite useful as they proceeded. Moreover, the abilities they imparted were well-aligned with her own skills and profession, and useful for the quest ahead. Had God or some friendly power caused them to fall into their possession?


OOC:
17:00, Today: Penny Dreadful rolled 13 using 1d20+10. sense motive.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:50, Fri 20 Sept 2019.

Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner
 player, 336 posts
 HP 111/57
 Pretty but boy's clothes
Wed 18 Sep 2019
at 11:00
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
At Penny's proclamation of trust, Alice humphed and said, "About as far as I can toss you."
Artemis
 GM, 2073 posts
Thu 19 Sep 2019
at 17:56
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
Should you decide to use the spectacles on the now completed scroll, you will be pleased to find the words transform before your eyes into English, though the translation is a bit rough. It basically reads, "The caves of Qumran hold many truths. Copper shines brighter than the purest gold."

The only reason you can tell that this is regarding the key is the hieroglyphic depiction of two women kneeling before it. It's very brief but it is a location.

ooc: Ok, if you like you guys can roll knowledge checks to see if you know where the heck Qumran is etc. Let me know if you fill in Tabitha on stuff as she'll have something to say on the matter. She's looking at Penny eagerly as it is.
Also, let me know if you have any plans the rest of that night and such as well as any plans for preparations. I'm almost done here but not quite.
Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner
 player, 337 posts
 HP 111/57
 Pretty but boy's clothes
Thu 19 Sep 2019
at 18:31
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
Alice was getting a feel for the new shotgun. It was light, and fit well against her shoulder. It seemed to have been made for a woman, like her own custom stock on the shotgun she owned. The action on the lever was smooth, in fact she wanted badly to take it out for some target practice, but she elected to stay there with the others. As Penny looked at her glasses Alice said, ”Dang it girl, will you just read it to us? We wanna know as bad as you.”

14:35, Today: Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner rolled 9 using 1d20+6.  K:Theology.
14:35, Today: Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner rolled 13 using 1d20+6.  K:Streetwise.
14:35, Today: Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner rolled 11 using 1d20+4.  K:Arcane.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:38, Thu 19 Sept 2019.

Penny Dreadful
 player, 1307 posts
 HP 56/98
 Def 17/15/17+1+1
Fri 20 Sep 2019
at 13:13
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
Amazed by the magical translation, Penny raised and lowered the enchanted spectacles several times, watching the hieroglyphics twist into letters and back again. 'This is quite incredible.' she said to the others, quite aware she was holding them in suspense. 'The hieroglyphics have been transformed into our Latin alphabet, and into English words even. We shall hardly need Champollion's translation and the Rosetta Stone now.' She looked around for other texts to translate, wondering aloud 'I wonder what it would do with letters that are already English, or codes, idioms, or subtle variations in meaning... Oh, alright.' she relented, as she heard Alice's insistence and saw Tabitha's eager expression. She didn't need the glasses to translate either of those.

She looked again at the scroll, confirming her reading of the message, before whispering '"The caves of Qumran hold many truths. Gold shines brighter than the purest copper."' A small deception, but she didn't know who might be listening in.


OOC: I don't know what Knowledge skill covers geography, but I already know about the Dead Sea Scrolls. ;)
21:09, Today: Penny Dreadful rolled 23 using 1d20+8. Knowledge: History.
21:11, Today: Penny Dreadful rolled 24 using 1d20+10. Knowledge: Arcane Lore.
21:12, Today: Penny Dreadful rolled 28 using 1d20+10. Knowledge: Theology & Philosophy.

Artemis
 GM, 2077 posts
Thu 26 Sep 2019
at 20:44
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
Purest copper? Is copper particularly pure? What an odd saying. It must be some sort of clue, Tabitha frowns, looking fascinated already. And Qumran you say? That's a ways away for certain! Never have cared for the desert, but that's where all the interesting things seem to be I'm afraid. still, I can't think it would be very important. But then it must be, I suppose, if the scroll mentioned it. I've never heard of any caves though... she sighs, shaking her head.

Ian listens to all of this with growing apprehension. Desert? Did you say desert? He clearly does not relish the idea of going. Emma tightens her lips at this. I don't care for it myself. The heat never agreed with me. But I suppose you think we should go...? Right Penny? There's a hint of hope in her voice of course that says she wants you to say no.
Penny Dreadful
 player, 1309 posts
 HP 56/98
 Def 17/15/17+1+1
Fri 27 Sep 2019
at 13:25
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
'It makes sense. Pure copper is a pinkish orange, but gold is always brighter.' Penny insisted to Tabitha before she questioned it too much. The truth could wait until she had her hands on the copper herself. While the witches went for the gold.

'And it is in the desert,' Penny began, 'Because it is where all the Peoples of the Book began. Something about the desert, the air, and the heat, perhaps, or maybe it the sense of vastness and openness, that makes one closer to God... Qumran is in Palestine, close to the Dead Sea, outside Jerusalem itself. It's a site of some interest in archaeology circles. The noted French archaeologist Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau excavated some tombs there, oh, fifteen years ago or so. I remember reading of it, but I don't recall anything about caves... There is some risk from the Bedouin tribes in the area, but regardless of heat or raids, we must go. It is where the Key of Solomon lies, and we have come too far and have too much need to hesitate now.' she said resolutely.
Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner
 player, 338 posts
 HP 111/57
 Pretty but boy's clothes
Fri 27 Sep 2019
at 15:08
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
Alice nodded along. “We’ll need canteens, dark clothes, and y’all will need wide brim hats.” She went on, “In that part of the world people speak French and Arabic. Do any of you?”
Penny Dreadful
 player, 1310 posts
 HP 56/98
 Def 17/15/17+1+1
Sat 28 Sep 2019
at 07:25
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
'I speak French,' Penny confirmed, and tapped her new spectacles, 'And with these, I can read Arabic and the rest, at least.' It wasn't perfect, but it should be enough to get by, at least among the higher classes.

'But more to the point, we'll need passage to the Middle East. It will take us a week at least to cross the Atlantic via steamship. Unless we may use magic again?' she mused, looking to Emma in query. Her magic had gotten them from New York to California, but to go from America to the Middle East might be an order of magnitude more difficult.
Artemis
 GM, 2080 posts
Wed 2 Oct 2019
at 13:59
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
I don't speak anything but English and a smattering of latin, Ian shakes his head. Exorcisms you know, he adds with a grin. Emma too frowns at the question. I speak a bit of French and the like but Arabic? A hearty no from me I'm afraid.

Tabitha speaks up then. It's a bit rudimentary but I have passable Arabic. Of course, I'm not sure...am I coming with you? There is hope in her voice but also worry. Emma considers the question but falls silent, deferring to Penny. It's surprising how mellow the woman has become considering your beginnings with her but it's clear she respects the Englishwoman.

At the question of travel, Emma gives a slow nod. I think I can get you there. Just...not all at once. It's not a question of power mind you, rather practice. I'll have better luck if I skip us along a bit rather than try to fling us all the way there. I could do New York next and then I think... she pauses, I think I could manage Morocco after that. I'd need a few hours to study it. I've been there once, so that helps. From there I can skip us closer a great deal easier but if I do it wrong we'll end up in the middle of the Atlantic ocean...
Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner
 player, 339 posts
 HP 111/57
 Pretty but boy's clothes
Wed 2 Oct 2019
at 16:41
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
Alice nodded, ”Well I think time is of the essence. Honestly I don’t think we need two witches, but ultimately I’m here to support Penny so whatever she says I’ll support.”
Artemis
 GM, 2082 posts
Fri 4 Oct 2019
at 14:00
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
Heh. Why am I not surprised that you would want to eliminate a witch? Emma gives a dry chuckle. But you're right about time. We'll rest up and I think I can get us to New York come morning. From there we'll take a day, get supplies, that sort of thing. Unless anyone has objections?

ooc: Ready to move you along soon. So finish up here and let me know in general what you want to do in New York. I assume you're going to headquarters to fill in Victoria and such? If not, let me know. Also think about what supplies you might want. Keeping in mind of course that Alice has never been to the men of letters place etc.
Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner
 player, 340 posts
 HP 111/57
 Pretty but boy's clothes
Fri 4 Oct 2019
at 14:44
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
Oh yes, lets go to the MoL HQ. This will be loads of fun!
Ammo
Medical supplies
Food
Clothes so that we at least don’t draw too much attention in the Mid East

Penny Dreadful
 player, 1311 posts
 HP 56/98
 Def 17/15/17+1+1
Sun 6 Oct 2019
at 12:57
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
'Perhaps we might find a translator once we are in Palestine, or another member of the Men of Letters may assist us. Jerusalem is under the Ottoman Empire, so Turkish may also be useful when dealing with the authorities.' Penny had proposed on the matter of languages. 'Certainly, we may need a guide and bodyguards to reach Qumran itself. Four western women travelling with one gentleman may be... a target.' she considered with worry.

Alice's sniping at the witches and Emma's reply gave Penny time to actually contemplate the situation. Two witches would be very useful for their magic. Two witches would also be very dangerous should they decide to turn on them. While they were feuding, Penny could trust Emma and Tabitha to watch and guard against each other, but that feud had faded rather quickly with time, as it would with those who'd once been friends. They certainly seemed amiable now, with each other and with herself and Ian, if not Alice for obvious reasons, but was it all an act? 'Tabitha, we would welcome your aid, but I wouldn't force you to come. Of us all, you shouldn't be suspected of involvement in... recent events. You may return to your lighthouse, tell the police some story, and resume a life of peace and quiet.' But could she really do such a thing now?

'No, that's a fine plan. We'll return to New York, check in with Miss Green and share information and plans, and get whatever aid and assistance we can. I expect the opposition from Belial shall only grow much worse as we near our goal.' she warned, the others as much as herself.


OOC: Sorry, I missed this! That all works for me. Maybe we could get some more MoL NPCs to back us up? We're three of us to two witches, and I want to un-even those odds a bit. ;)
Artemis
 GM, 2085 posts
Tue 8 Oct 2019
at 15:19
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
Ian nods at Penny's suggestions. We have plenty of stuffed shirts that can babble just about any language you want. They'll be so excited to actually be going somewhere, I tell you now, it's going to get annoying, he made a face. Increasing our numbers isn't a bad idea though. If Belial gets wise to what we're doing somehow, we're going to need reinforcements.

Meanwhile Tabitha frowns at Penny's words. Well, in theory you have a point but honestly I don't want to take the risk. There are too many links that would make me suspicious in my fellow witches' demise. And I thought part of the deal would be that my help would put me under protection? I can't defend myself all alone! Besides, I'm rather curious about this golden scroll. That is...if you'll have me? she winces hopefully.
Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner
 player, 341 posts
 HP 111/57
 Pretty but boy's clothes
Thu 10 Oct 2019
at 12:28
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
Alice shook her head and sneered but bite her tongue. Two witches was two too many in her opinion. She huffed and looked at both of them, ”You sleep apart, and if I even think that you two are planning anything behind our backs, I’ll kill both of you. Believe it.”
Penny Dreadful
 player, 1312 posts
 HP 56/98
 Def 17/15/17+1+1
Thu 10 Oct 2019
at 14:10
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
'Indeed.' Penny agreed, one word covering a multitude of worries, that Alice would make good on her threat, that she would turn the witches against them, and that dead or enraged witches would be far more trouble than cooperative ones. 'But, I hasten to add, you have given us no reason to doubt you. And yes, that was our arrangement.'

'However, it is not up to us alone. I shall put in a good word with Miss Green, and she may be able to provide a Men of Letters safehouse for you, should you require it.'

Artemis
 GM, 2086 posts
Fri 11 Oct 2019
at 13:43
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
Tabitha swallows hard at Alice's threat, turning pale. Emma, however, seems unaffected, no doubt very used to such things by now. Well, if you'd rather I didn't come, I understand... Tabitha licks her lips nervously. I only thought, with my knowledge of history and the like, that I could help? Otherwise, I'd be happy to take up terms with this Miss Green person, she adds quickly.

ooc: Ok, I'm going to start up a new chapter now. Go ahead and finish up here should you need to. So is Tabitha coming officially or not? Either way is totally cool :)
Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner
 player, 342 posts
 HP 111/57
 Pretty but boy's clothes
Fri 11 Oct 2019
at 17:44
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
I think she is coming. I’m good unless Penny needs something.
Penny Dreadful
 player, 1313 posts
 HP 56/98
 Def 17/15/17+1+1
Mon 14 Oct 2019
at 12:40
Re: Chapter 10: Finding the Key
OOC: Sure, if you want to keep playing her, and if she doesn't turn on us. :)