The Fae and the Hambledon
Another session of Victoriana. Chad is out this session.
Lord Gavin goes to the Hambledon residence as previously agreed where Lady Hambledon welcomes him in. She explains that after her family passed in a carriage accident about nine months ago, she's had to take over family matters. Her family has long owned a castle, and she is now trying to restore it, but there's been problems.
Workers sent to the castle have been disappearing. At first they make some progress, but after a little while, no new status updates are sent. She has sent new workers several more times since, and each group has also disappeared. It's been six months since the first instance, and she needs to bring in outside help.
She also mentions that the last Hambledon to occupy it before her was Eric Hambledon. The castle was first built around 900 AD, but wasn't occupied by Hambledon's until the 1600s with Fredrick Hambledon.
We need only to make our personal arrangements, as she will be accompanying and has already made arrangements for travel. Father Amorth won't be coming. He's spending time with his wife.
Apparently, Edwin Ingram's assistant has sold some gatling guns to the Japanese.
We arrive at the castle, after a long trip by ship and by carriage.
The castle is very large and imposes itself on the surrounding country size. Much of the woodwork has rotted, although some of it has been repaired. The furniture looks like it was expensive at one time. The entrance area is almost completely repaired, and is filled with workman tools and cots.
Edwin Ingram escorts the lady to her bedchambers with her servants and luggage.
Music becomes to play from deep in the castle.
The rest of us head through the castle to find the music. As we pass a window, we see that instead of what should be dusk, an unnatural star filled darkness.
We find that the music is coming form the ballroom. The doors are shut, and at this moment, Edwin Ingram arrives, after having left Lady Hambledon at her bedroom, decided to investigate as well.
Lord Gavin opens the door, and they swing open on their own.
The ballroom is lively. Scores of empty clothing are dancing with each other, in addition to a dozen weary men also dancing. At the center of the room is two chairs slowly spinning around each other, with Adella sitting in one of them. Adella seems unconscious, and has a mark on her forehead of a celtic tree of life.
A mysterious woman greets us, tale and pale, with black eyes and one claw like hand. She greets us as friends, calls herself Aideen of the Fae, and bids us to come inside.
Sidney looks into the spirit world, and sees that the dancing clothes are ghosts surrounded with green mist.
Lord Gavin has already entered the room, and tries to investigate Adella, but Aideen stops him, saying there is no reason to disturb her guest.
Edwin Ingram, Sidney and I look around, investigating the bedroom, and other areas, but everywhere we go turns out just to be the ballroom again.
Edwin Ingram and Sidney tie ropes to themselves, and try to step in. I stay outside, so that I can pull them back out if they get into trouble. As they step through, the door slams shut behind them, severing the ropes before opening again,
Aideen sits back down on other chair, and one of the workers passes out from exhaustion from all the dancing, but she seems to not care.
Sidney talks to Aideen and finds that Aideen is willing to bargain to let Sidney go, for a penny, but Sidney would have to also throw away the rest of her wealth, which happens to be just another penny. Or to let Adella go, she will take all of us.
Edwin Ingram tries to bargain as well, but Adella is not interested in Edwin Ingram's humming.
Sidney is not yet willing to abandon her two pennies, so she investigates the room. She tries to throw an an item out of the room, but it seems unable to pass through the impossibly long distance to get to the doorway only a few feet away.
She looks around some more, and looks through a mirror. Through the mirror she sees that all the clothes are filled with tired people. In the mirror's image, Aideen is split in half lengthwise, the one half pale and dark, and the other half is golden haired and olive skinned. Adella can also be seen through the mirror, but she looks awake and scared.
Sidney pokes the mirror, and it ripples, but it is solid.
Lord Gavin tries to bargain with her next, and accepts his offer to dance as a bargain to grant him his freedom, and possibly that of some of the workers as well.
Somehow, he manages to dance well enough to impress her.
While Aideen is detracted, Sidney pulls Adella from her spinning throne and tries to remove the room through the mirror, but the mirror remains solid.
Aideen finishes her dance, tells Lord Gavin that he has earned his freedom and that of several workers, and then picks up Adella and puts her back in her chair.
Edwin Ingram offers his unnatural ability to stay in toon, and Aideen takes it. His freedom and six more workers.
Sidney offers to teach Aideen how to catch a star and says she needs outdoors and a lake to do it.
Aideen turns the room to a unnatural starry darkness, and a lake appears.
Oh yes, Sidney will also need a bowl. She takes a bowl from Aideen, and dips it in the water. Everything disappears, and only workers and a dilapidated ballroom remain.
We investigate the castle. Adella is back in her room sleeping. We search the castle.
Sidney and I end up in the basement, where we feel a draft. We go and get a lantern, and find a heavy wooden door with iron banding. Beyond it is more dungeon and then...
Edwin Ingram ties a rope to himself, and investigates the basement, and finds a heavy wooden door with iron banding. He goes through, and falls the left wall for a while, and then doubles back. He comes across a heavy wooden door with iron banding that is now shut. He goes through and finds...more dungeon.
Lord Gavin pulls on the rope to try to get Edwin Ingram back, but the rope is slack and ends with nothing, as if the rope had come lose from Edwin.
Before heading through the heavy wooden door with iron banding himself, Lord Gavin leaves a note.
We all exit the dungeon from a cave at around the same time.
Our appearances have drastically changed. Sidney is suddenly literate and better dressed, Edwin Ingram is very wealthy and is carrying advanced guns, Lord Gavin is in a dress uniform, and I am as tall as a normal human, with various instruments and have a notebook filled to the brim with notes.
We look around and see a cliff with a waterfall. A path leads right up to the waterfall.
We take a path to the waterfall, and discover a cave behind it. We go into it and find ourselves on a London street, but despite how familiar it feels, none of us recognize the area.
Engineering and architect shops line the street, along with a library and a shop full of various games of dice and chess. The stone is sharply edged, both in the street and in the shops. At the end of the street is a shop that is labeled "Ingram and Taylor's".
We go to the fake gunshop, which is larger inside than outside. It's poorly lit inside, and there are tables with chessboards that have the black king in check mate. There are also card games laid out where the dealer has the losing hand.
A growling sound comes from the shadows, and three creatures step into view. The first is a tall scarred humanoid with a barbed club in one hand and a shotgun in the other. The second is a demon with a ram head. The final is a woman in a man's suit brandishing a large pistol.
A fight ensues, with each of us taking hits. Lord Gavin is bowled over by the ram demon, and Edwin and I kill the woman with the pistol. Sidney is charged by the tall humanoid, and stabs him in the neck.
Lord Gavin had brought out his sword, but is gored. He finally evades his attacker and tosses his sword to Sidney, who kills it. I am a very bad shot, but don't manage to hit any of my allies.
We take a look around the room, and see a door, which behind it has a ladder. We go up the ladder and find ourselves at the top of the waterfall near the cage we had seen before. Inside, is a golden haired faerie lady.
She greets us, her name is Aideen. She tells us that she's been imprisoned for quite a while since Eric Humbledon imprisoned her, and that here reality is not determined by laws, but by personality.
Aideen explains what had happened. Eric Hambledon saw Aideen in the forest, and became quite taken with her. Aideen was not interested in his advances, but Eric did not relent. After a decade of rejection, Eric resorted to dark magic to lock her away. Imprisoned, Aideen drove him insane trying to get him to free her, but instead he fled to the village.
The dark version of her that we had seen is her anger, but she is unable to suppress it while she is caged. To control it, we need to release her, and she adds that we must also kill Eric Hambledon, for he must still be alive if the magic is still binding her here.
We free her, and the world evaporates in a wooden door with iron bandings.
The marking on Adella's forehead has gone away.
We're in no condition to hunt this man, since we've been awake for quite a while, so we sleep.
We wake up. Adeen and Adella are chatting away.
Adella offers to come along to the village, since that was the last known location of Eric Hambledon, 150 years ago.
The village has long since been abandoned to the undead. At the end of the village is a church in poor condition.
We enter the church, and at the pulpit a man is standing. He's jibbering, and a zombie wipes the sweat from his face.
We announce our presence. He denies doing any black magic, and refuses to remember the past.
Lord Gavin shoots him dead. The zombies crumble.
Our grim task is done.
Adeen is wating for us at the back of the castle, and tells us that we can consider her a friend.
Adella tells the workers to get back to work.
We've gotten back to London and Adella has us over for dinner. There's another guest...it's Aideen, dressed in normal Victorian clothes.