Front of the estate:   Posted by The Caretaker.Group: 0
The Caretaker
 GM, 158 posts
Thu 23 May 2019
at 23:32
Front of the estate:

As your character arrives along the drive to the front of house, they will find a large parking area adequate for whatever transportation the participants bring.  A short walk from the main drive is a large stretch of lawn.  The cloud-like canopy of tent rustles lightly in the morning breeze.  Beneath it are a grouping of tables and a man with a pocket watch.



To the side of the tent is a large and well adorned buffet- fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, pastries, and several breakfast foods to delight the pallet before the game begins. Elmont Currier stands at the ready to answer your questions, should you have them as one by one the guests arrive.
Lilith Queen
 Participant 2, 2 posts
 Chess Genius
 Opportunist
Fri 24 May 2019
at 01:10
Front of the estate:
Lilly had arrived in a limo provided for her by the company responsible for her perfume line. Well, sort of. She used their money to pay for it and, truth be told, why not splash out? After all she was going to be a billionaire very soon anyway! Also it wasn't like she was going to drive herself, since she hadn't had the time to pass her test yet, not did she feel it was in need of rushing to do so.

Stepping out of the vehicle, after waiting for the driver to open the door, she took in the view, then headed for the tent which had been set up.

She was dressed in a smart looking black and white number, her favourite colours or non colours. She sported a bag over one shoulder, which contained everything she needed for what was presumably a one day event. Her phone, some make up and a pair of flats, in case any ridiculous athletics might be required during the 'event'. Also someone was dead, so black at least hinted at a show of respect, though why the person was happy to have strangers get their money was beyond her, they must have really hated their relatives!

She covered the distance at a casual pace, hands behind her back, bag swinging slightly at her shoulder. It was a black and white checked leather number with a silver chain. Aside from that, and beneath her visible outfit, she was wearing a swimsuit... just in case.

Lilly breezed along the row of snacks and food, eyeballing some orange juice and a croissant for future liberation, before introducing herself to the man with a watch. "Hello, Mr Currier I presume? I hope I'm not late." she said politely, knowing full well she was on time, "I'm Lilith Queen, would you like to see my invitation?" she asked with a friendly smile.

It was all very nice to look at so far.. and she idly wondered if they had one of those giant lawn chess sets.
Mr. Elmont Currier
 NPC, 1 post
Fri 24 May 2019
at 03:21
Front of the estate:
Mr. Currier moved around the tables in the tent, checking to see that all the preparations were done to Mr. Northhampton's specifications.  It all looked very nice.  He nodded and motioned for those that were setting up, that they had completed their work- at least until the guests needed them.

Taking off his glasses he cleaned them with a cloth that he carried in his pocket.  He scanned the grass carpet that surrounded him.  Beyond it he saw the approach of the limo.  He turned unabashedly as the woman exited the vehicle and made her way to the tent.  She wasn't in too much of a hurry.  Elmont knew the relatives of Mr. Northhampton.  This wasn't one of them- so one of those who had obtained an invitation.  The corner of his mouth raised slightly.  She certainly had confidence.

He nodded as she approached introducing herself.  "A pleasure to meet you, Ms. Queen.  You're right on time," he said.

As she offered the invitation, he took the card, scanning it with a pen light.  Beyond the gold embossing there was a hidden watermark that glowed bright blue.  Mr. Currier nodded.  "Seems everything is in order,"  He passed back the card and motioned to the buffet.  "I'm sure the other participants will be arriving soon.  Feel free to indulge, but be assured that there will be food and drink provided while you are in the mansion.  The dining room is always open for the participants and a chef on call.  If there is anything you don't see, please ask and the staff will do their best to provide it."
Lilith Queen
 Participant 2, 3 posts
 Chess Genius
 Opportunist
Fri 24 May 2019
at 03:53
Front of the estate:
"Thank you, that's very thoughtful, please call me Lilly. I wouldn't want to impose too much with extravagant food orders though." nodded Lilly when the catering was mentioned. "I suppose that you are going to wait until everyone arrives before explaining the rules of the game, unless of course there is a rule book or document or such to browse through beforehand?" she continued. She needed to know the rules, know what was off limits and what might be encouraged.

Rules were important. Knowing what you could do was just as important as knowing what you could not do.

"I presume we will be staying in the mansion for a while if the game isn't won quickly? I have some luggage with me, naturally. I was wondering whether I need my driver to bring it inside or whether some provisions have been made, with regard to the staff here providing some assistance? It's only a few cases." she asked sweetly.

She then brought out her phone and waved it about, "Might I ask if you have wifi... and if filming is allowed? Also... will you be participating as well, or will you be some form of referee... oh, I suppose that would be covered in the rules, so I should wait." she frowned.

She leaned in a little closer, looking about to make sure no staff were near.

"I hope I don't sound too excited, but this is pretty exciting. I know that's a little insensitive, given that someone has died to provide me with this opportunity, but it's what he seemed to want." she tilted her head.
Sissy Northhampton
 Participant 1, 2 posts
Fri 24 May 2019
at 04:30
Front of the estate:
The blue sports car's tires squealed as it took the curve pulling onto the main drive.  The vehicle picked up speed as it approached the house, finally skidding in a long C into a parking position in front of the house.  In a moment, the engine cut out and the door opened.

One shapely leg exited out through the portal followed by a second.  The woman who stood from the car lowered her sunglasses to scan the house.  Her heels moved to turn her body in a slow circle until she faced the tent.  Bending down, she pulled a hat from the back seat and placed it on her head with the utmost care.  The huge wide brim flopped lazily across one shoulder while the other edge pointed skyward.

Sissy Northhampton exchanged her driving sunglasses for the more fashionable frames and removed her driving gloves to set them on the front seat.  At last she grabbed her purse, pulling the cellphone from the holder.

Her head cocked once again at the mansion, she shook her head.  Uncle Jerry certainly knew how to make a statement.  She'd never been here.  None of the family had.  This was all part of Uncle Jerry's plan.  A plan she planned to take full advantage of.  Privately she wondered if any of her siblings or cousins might be joining her.  The web had been pretty quiet since the will was read.  It was amusing really.

Closing the car door with a slam, Sissy's heels clicked on the pavement until she reached the grass.  Her nose wrinkled and she look down at her heels.  A shame.  Taking a deep breath, she walked with short mincing steps toward the tent.  Stepping into the shadows, she scanned the space.  A woman was there she didn't recognize and the Lawyer of course.

"Mr. Currier," she gave him a nod, flashing the card.

She gave the woman in the tent a tight smile.  One of the interlopers.  Had to respect that.   She was the first one here.  Sissy liked her tenacity, just by the way the woman was carrying herself quizzing the hapless lawyer.  A smile touching her lips, she walked to the buffet and picked up a plate.
Benjamin Murray
 Participant 3, 2 posts
Fri 24 May 2019
at 20:14
Front of the estate:
<Intro Post>

Uber or Lyft.  That had been the question.  It had turned out Uber since there were more of them waiting near the airport when he'd arrived.  It wasn't a limo or a sports car, it was a Prius in a Magnetic Gray, so named because it looked like a magnet.  It was about the most boring color you could pick for a car, in his opinion, neither silver nor black (though he didn't like silver much either).  He liked the blue of the sports car in the drive.  Blue worked fairly well on sports cars (though decidedly less so on sedans).

None of that was particularly important information, just observations, which he suspected was one of the valuable skills to bring to the game.  He'd have to figure out some way to show the others that he had a few useful talents, the sort that might make them think to carry him along with them.  He wasn't sure how the invitations were distributed.  He assumed the non-family members were selected for some reason, either because they were worthy of some abstract ideal (based on the premise that if no one won the money was going to charity) or some less abstract measure of their intelligence.  She knew at least one was a chess whiz or something (according to social media), though technically she hadn't been given the invitation, she'd won it off some relative (which put Sammy's whole charade into question, why not just say you won the thing).

Point being, he figured there would be more than a few people who would want to 'work together', at least until they got close to the end where they could turn heel and sprint to the finish.  That was the ways these sorts of games worked if reality tv had taught him anything (it hadn't).  He was OK with that idea though since he'd be ready to turn heel himself at the end.  The beginning was all about alliances, not the puzzles.  Then again, they had croissants.  He amended his thought.  The beginning was all about croissants and coffee.

He left his bag near the door and finished his work on his phone, giving the driver a pretty good review (though he didn't write down any details, just gave a score), after all, he had croissants waiting.  He put on a plate (figuring the Northhampton sorts would find it gauche to just use his hands) and took a cup of coffee (with cream and sugar, which said what exactly?) before making his way toward the cluster of people.

"Good morning,"
he said to them as a group, saying it with a big dumb smile like he'd never quite seen anything quite so grand as a croisant on a china plate before remembering he hadn't actually finished his first bite, closing his lips around his teeth and swallowing.
Mr. Elmont Currier
 NPC, 2 posts
Sat 25 May 2019
at 01:14
Front of the estate:
"It's no problem Ms. Queen," Elmont nodded, emphasizing that he would not be showing any special privilege to any of the participants.  Mr. Northhampton's wishes were very clear and he worked within a narrow set of guidelines.  Last names, was a requirement. As noted as the woman in the heels passed across the lawn flashing her invitation.  There was no reason to check its accuracy- he'd handed it to her himself.

"Miss Northhampton," he said, with a polite nod, despite the fact she had looked away before he had replied.  Such was the way with Sissy.  If she had done anything different he would have questioned her authenticity rather than the card's.  All of the Northhampton offspring had a certain demeanor, but Sissy was a breed of her own.  He wasn't really surprised she'd taken... no grasped the chance to participate.

"Actually Mr. Northhampton's wishes were explicit.  I am to begin the game in approximately forty-five minutes whether or not the other participants have arrived.  Their loss is your gain, it seems." The shadow of a smile passed across his lips and was gone within moments.  "I will go over the rules before I unlock the doors to the Mansion; however you are free to look over the blue prints to the house if you like." He indicated the display of floor maps pinned to several cork board dividers.

(To access the maps: Go to the Game Maps above.  You can move through them by selecting them from the drop down and clicking view.)

"Actually," Elmont motioned to a large house on the side of the grounds.  "All participants will have accommodations in the guest house."  He motioned to the waiting attendants and two moved off to gather Ms. Knights possessions and move them to her room.  A second group of attendants moved off to retrieve the luggage from the car.  A third group turned as the new vehicle approached.

Mr. Currier paused, paying attention to the young man who exited the vehicle.  He hadn't learned about this one.  Perhaps someone new?  The card would have to be verified.

"I'm afraid that there is no wifi and there isn't any access to the internet while within the mansion.  Cheating," he said as if she should have thought about that before.  "As for filming...  We'll leave that to a vote with the participants who are here when it's time to open the doors.  They can have a say about whether they would like to appear on social media."


Mr. Currier chuckled, rubbing his glasses with the cloth once again.  "I'm afraid that I am simply a proctor of sorts.  Have no fear, Mr Northhampton has made sure I've been well paid."


"I'm glad you're excited, Ms. Queen, he said.  "Yes, Mr. Northhampton would be pleased."   

Stepping politely away from the conversation, he turned his attention to the young man who had just joined them.  "Good Morning, Mr...?  Welcome to the Reaches."

This message was last edited by the player at 12:51, Sat 25 May 2019.

Lilith Queen
 Participant 2, 4 posts
 Chess Genius
 Opportunist
Sat 25 May 2019
at 07:49
Front of the estate:
Lilly frowned at the lack of manners, refusing to use her name despite being offered the opportunity. Perhaps it was part of the rules laid out by his employer? Fortunately it seemed that making the guests struggle about with their luggage was not part of the set up though, and at least she would be receiving help in that respect. It wasn't like she had been over extravagant but they were going to be here for what, several months. She needed quite a few outfits and shoes to cover that period, even without resorting to the standard practice of celebrities which saw them never wearing the same outfit twice.

Nevertheless she maintained her own polite demeanour.

"Hmmm... thank you Mr Currier." she muttered as he mentioned cheating. There were plenty of ways to 'cheat' just using her I-Pad and what was already downloaded onto it. Still, she saw the need to sever an online connection. "So it's al right to film without including anyone else in the shot?" she pondered aloud, pulling out a selfie stick. She was certainly not one of the airhead crowd who wandered into traffic because they were so busy filming themselves and every detail of their lives, however she did need at least an intro clip for her channel and likely she could just do a podcast or something covering the rest.

She wondered how the vote would go, as she watched the staff carrying her luggage towards it's destination

When the Map was mentioned she took a quick picture of it with her phone.

When he detached from the conversation Lilly moved to the buffet, returning the "Good Morning!" given by the man who might soon be identified as Mr Murray, before he engaged with Mr Currier. She then spent a minute taking some shots of the spread of food and the mansion, giving a brief intro and explanation of where she was and that further filming would be decided by vote. Then she slipped away her phone, took a glass of orange juice (forgoing all but a small broken off piece of the croissant she had mentally selected earlier) and wandered over to the woman who had been identified as Miss Northhampton..

"Hello, Miss Northhampton? I'm sorry for your loss, this must all seem very strange. My name's Lilith Queen, but my friends call me Lilly." she offered her her hand. "Love the hat by the way. I was going to wear one myself, but I changed my mind at the last moment." she smiled.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:28, Sat 25 May 2019.

Mr. Elmont Currier
 NPC, 3 posts
Sat 25 May 2019
at 14:03
Front of the estate:
Elmont gave Ms. Queen a wry look as she jumped to the conclusion that filming was a privacy issue.  He wasn't exactly certain whether she was being coy or whether she actually knew that filming the events in the house would provide her with information while she was outside the house.  His eyes darted to the other two participants.  One, he could guess what Sissy's vote would be.  The other... yet to be introduced... Anonymity was always an option at the Reaches.  As long as the invitation was authentic, if the young man didn't wish to give his name, it wasn't required.
Sissy Northhampton
 Participant 1, 3 posts
Sat 25 May 2019
at 18:54
Front of the estate:
Sissy turned her head as the blonde woman approached.  She took a long pause as the woman rather gushingly introduced herself.  Perfectly painted lips smiled as she removed her sunglasses, letting them slip into her handbag.

"Thank you, Ms. Queen... Lilly," she amended.  A man was approaching as well and she paused long enough for him to be included in the conversation.  "It seems we're the only ones that are clever enough to show up on time," she mused.  "Cecily Northhampton, she introduced herself, but you can call me Sissy.  Honestly I don't think I'd turn around at the name Cecily.  I am a niece of Uncle Jerry," she said.  "We weren't close," she added, despite it being a half truth.

No one could really say that they were close to Uncle Jerry over the past couple of decades as eccentric as he'd become.  She took a breath sighing. "Uncle Jerry was hard to be around during his later years- literally.  Closed himself off from the world."  Her eyes turned to the massive building.  "Here."

When the young woman complemented her hat, she smiled and touched the brim.  "Thank you.  Sun can be so harmful these days," she said.

"How do you do?" she asked the young man as he joined them munching on a pastry.  "I supposed I should say welcome to both of you- since I seem to be the only member of the Northhampton family so far.  Manners are manners.  Welcome," She reiterated enjoying the bit of play.

Finally she rolled the conversation back around to the first question Lilly had asked.  "Actually," she took a breath, "This is exactly what I would expect of Uncle Jerry."
Lilith Queen
 Participant 2, 6 posts
 Chess Genius
 Opportunist
Sat 25 May 2019
at 22:50
Front of the estate:
When Sissy mentioned the sun Lily shielded her eyes and looked skyward, then turned to look at the man who had been approaching.

She introduced herself with the offer of a handshake, then turned back to Sissy. "Thank you for the warm welcome. Do you have anything against being filmed or photographed, by the way? Mr Currier said that such activities would be down to a vote of some sort? I wouldn't want to offend anyone." she said genuinely, including whoever was present in her comment.

"I wonder how many contestants are expected? Forgive me for saying, but this set up does seem a little odd. All that money potentially going to strangers instead of his family? I do hope that you don't have any resentment towards us." she commented to Sissy.
Benjamin Murray
 Participant 3, 4 posts
Mon 27 May 2019
at 17:37
Front of the estate:
There was a certain something that came with wealth.  He spent enough time around it not to be wowed but you could never actually grow into it in a way that would make it seem like you truly belonged.  Cicily (Sissy) had been born into it, that much was pretty clear.  Lilly on the other hand... she'd rubbed elbows with it... was close to it but wasn't quite a part.  Did she want to be?  That was the question.  Well, it was a question.  They were a study in contract, curiously so.  He didn't think Cecily cared much about the money.  From what he understood, her family owned a chain of hotels (he stayed in them from time to time).  Then again, it was possible those hotels weren't doing quite so well.  That was something he'd learned over time, that people 'with' money didn't always really have it, they were just good at seeming like they did.  Did they ever actually pay for anything?  He glanced at the spread, wondering who paid of it.  The Estate, he assumed, which meant one of them, one of the participants, assuming anyone won.  It was still a distinct possibility in his mind that the money would wind up in the hands of charity.

"Ben.  Benjamin Murray," Ben answered Mr. Currier, smiling in a friendly way and saying it loud enough for the others to hear.  He was a little surprised to know they hadn't known or cared much about his name.  He assumed that Currier at least would have known each and every recipient.  The fact that he wasn't questioned more told him they didn't much care how the tickets found their way back to the estate (lower case e).  Seems Sam had been right on that count.

He'd only caught a fragment of their conversation, something about sunscreen, Uncle Jerry and photographs.

He shrugged at the last, like he was abstaining from the vote, no real preference for privacy or fame, letting the two people who found themselves happily on social media make the decision (which in hindsight was probably a bad idea but he didn't want to make an issue of it and get on their bad side before they'd even begun).

"Then again, don't they usually recommend people who win the lotto set up a blind trust to keep themselves protected from all the people who come out of the woodwork when their good fortune is revealed?" he wondered with the same sort of indifferent shrug.

"There was a woman who tried to get her name removed from the public record after having signed a ticket, for that very reason.  I believe she lost in court,"
he went on, still a bit indifferent, as though it was neither here nor there, just something Miss Queen might want to consider before she put herself out for there for all the world to see.  It seemed like a lose-lose situation to him and a problem whether you were seen as the winner or loser of the game.  Still, he shrugged for them to decide.

"What was that about Uncle Jerry?"
he asked Sissy curiously, before quickly catching himself and correcting, as though he's spoken out of turn.  "I mean your uncle?"
Sissy Northhampton
 Participant 1, 4 posts
Mon 27 May 2019
at 23:13
Front of the estate:
Four strawberries and an orange slice were added to the accumulation of food on Sissy's plate that consisted mostly of fruits.  Her nails tapped the edge of the platter as she eyed the pastries with a bit of longing.  Being stronger than the bit of flour and sugar, she picked up an apple slice instead, holding it like a used hankey.

"Hmmmm?" She looked over her shoulder as Lilly. "Well at the reading of the will, there were eight invitations including mine.  I've been told there are at least five more, but that number is a secret." She whispered the last word.  "Not even my people could find it out.  I'm sure a good portion of my family will rely on lawyers rather than show up- They'll lose of course- that's why I'm here."

She smiled turning to Benjamin as he asked about her Uncle.  "Uncle Jerry has always been fond of puzzles.  He liked people who could think, which is probably the reason he didn't care for most of the family- Most of them are rather... dense," she finished.  "Growing up, he would always have riddles and treasure hunts for us to solve.  Most of my siblings preferred to go play with their phones.  I promise if this house is anything like what he used to plan when I was little- this is going to be an adventure."

Picking up a strawberry, Sissy popped it into her mouth.  She nipped off the green cap and set it lightly on the plate.

"You're welcome to call him Uncle Jerry," she chuckled.  "It was kind of his... thing."
Lilith Queen
 Participant 2, 10 posts
 Chess Genius
 Opportunist
Tue 28 May 2019
at 00:42
Front of the estate:
"Pleased to meet you Mr Murray. I'm Lilith Queen, but my friends call me Lilly." she addressed the man who had joined the conversation. She didn't understand why he was talking about a trust being set up, but simply smiled and nodded where polite and appropriate.

Sissy did not seem to have an answer for the 'vote' thing, while Mr Murray just shrugged.

She supposed that meant it was all right?

"Strawberries?" muttered Lilly softly, as she saw Sissy eat one. A smirk almost forming on her lips. Sucking on strawberries, that was what girls did when they wanted men to stop thinking and stare at them. Nice tactic... a little early to be using it though, wasn't it?

She hadn't noticed them herself.

It was a fallacy, a mistake, to assume that fruit had zero calories, but it certainly had less than most of the other foods on offer. She looked about to see if there were any bottles of water, and picked one up. It helped to wash away the overpowering taste of the orange juice and distract her from any need to eat unnecessarily. Such a large spread was tempting, after all.

"It certainly sounds like you have a head start when it comes to insight on your uncle and his puzzles." she commented to Sissy.
Mr. Elmont Currier
 NPC, 5 posts
Wed 29 May 2019
at 00:42
Front of the estate:
Elmont nodded as Benjamin introduced himself.  Pulling out a spiral notebook and a traditional Bic pen he jotted the man's name down along with Lilly Queen.  They would be added to the potential candidates.  His office staff was on alert to watch the score and to get the paperwork drawn up before the winner of the contest could reach the door.  He knew there were more than a few side bets going on as well, but he'd never been much of a gambler.

Sliding the pen back into his suit coat pocket, he flipped through the notepad.  His eyes scanned the next set of instructions, before he tucked it with the pen.  An attendant in a white uniform hurried across the lawn to whisper in his ear.  Elmont looked at his watch and then nodded to the attendant brushing her away with a few words.  She hurried back to the other attendants.  It was clear from there gazes that someone else was coming.  Ten sets of eyes looked toward the long drive.

"Ladies and Gentleman, another Participant will be arriving shortly.  At that point I shall go over the rules and unlock the doors.  Is there anything myself or the staff can provide you before the game begins?  Anything except the solution that is," he chuckled.