Thursday, 30 January 2014

IV: Discussions and Diversions

Claspington, Brindleton, Kitson and Hodgkiss gather in the sitting room together, discussing art, France, Arabic phrases, and so forth.

Meanwhile, upstairs, Foxworth hits upon the plan of coming between the Baron's daughter and the painting. As soon as he does so, she becomes agitated. "No!" she yells and tries to crane her neck around to see it, half-standing. The look on her face is one of fear and almost physical pain.

"Please," the Baron hisses. "Stop! It has been tried! She will not tolerate it!"

Sunday, 26 January 2014

III: The Baron's Daughter

Hodgkiss examines the room he is in, but doesn't notice anything particularly amiss - it is a sitting room, with what looks like a low table, a chaise-longue, and some arm chairs, and a desk. It's dark, though, and there is no electric light in the room. He hears the door to the room next door opening and closing.

Downstairs, Claspington, Kitson and Brindleton are chatting to the butler about art. [Let me know what questions you'd like to ask Smith, if any, and if there's anything you'd like to do.]

Meanwhile, the Baron leads Foxworth up the stairs to the landing, and then opens the first of two doors, leading him in to a chamber lit by lamplight. It is a grand room, with a high ceiling, and expensive curtains.

Sitting in the centre of the room is a pretty girl, somewhere between 16 and 20, who is obviously the Baron's daughter. She is sitting in front of a painting, staring at it intently. Next to her is a trolley holding a pail of water and some glasses, and a plate of half-eaten food. There is also a bed-pan next to her.

"She's been like this ever since she saw the painting," the Baron said. "She eats and drinks in here, and...well, so you can see. If we try to remove her, she simply becomes impossible."

The painting itself is highly unusual. It is a collection of 11 people arranged roughly in a rectangle, viewed from above. Each is looking upwards towards the viewer. Their arms are linked together in a kind of web. Their faces are pale, and yet seem somehow to have a luminescent green hue lurking underneath.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

II: The Sending of a Telegram and Visiting the Baron Charles Segovia's Rooms in Newcastle

You head into Rothbury by horse and cart, driven by one of the Reverend's servants. It is a short journey, and from there you head to the post office to send your telegram. The woman at the post office tells you to call back tomorrow afternoon or the day after, when you may have your reply.

You then go to the station for the train to Newcastle, and arrive in the city in the mid-afternoon. The Baron of Segovia's residence is in the heart of Newcastle, in a large apartment with a doorman. On announcing yourselves to the doorman, he goes inside and reappears some minutes later: "The Baron would be delighted to see you," he says, although he somehow conveys the impression that the Baron actually would be anything but.

You are ushered inside and invited by the Baron's butler, Smith, into a plush sitting room with a log fire. A few moments later the Baron himself appears - a small, rather shrivelled man with squinty eyes and pince-nez. "Ah, delighted, delighted..." He says, knowing each of you. "To what do I owe the pleasure? And please, Smith, bring these gentlemen a drink. Brandy, sirs? Sherry?"

Thursday, 16 January 2014

I: The Meeting at Cragside, March 16th 1897.

The Manor at Cragside: a sprawling country mansion set in 400 hectares of gardens, forests, and trees, a short distance from the town of Rothbury. Recently inherited by the Reverend Gerald Foxworth from his deceased great-uncle, Sir Upton Foxworth, it has an extensive staff and is in excellent condition - all except for the chapel, which has fallen into disrepair.

You are gathered in Sir Upton's billiards room, at the top of the house. As well as housing a billiards table, it is where Sir Upton liked to retire of an evening and it is well-stocked with brandy, port and sherry, as well as smoking materials and a small library.