LONDON in AWE of Marvellous Contraption! CITY turns out to witness Amazing Zubmersible Ship! Anonymous Owner DEFIES Scientific Predictions!
Throughout the streets of the Wolfstack Docks, crowds have gathered, flocking to see the mechanical wonder many had believed to be impossible. For months, rumours that a well-regarded shipwright had been crafting in secret a revolutionary vehicle had been rife, but unconfirmed. Now, defying the word of the best scientific minds of the age, and even the quiet predictions of the Masters, Messrs Montague and Cristoph have revealed the single greatest craft of the mechanical age: a ship capable of travelling BENEATH the waves of the Unterzee, a miraculous ‘Zubmarine’.
Funded and designed by an as-yet unknown third party, the Ahab’s Revenge will attempt to demonstrate beyond any shadow of a doubt that it is the future of both luxury and utility by making a full 5-week navigation of the Southern Archipelago with 30 guests of all Classes and Social Rank, containing within its hull everything from a full library to staterooms and even its own coterie of private security. In spite of claims that the ship would suffer ‘catastrophic disaster’ the moment it attempted to submerge, the offices of the aforementioned shipwrights have been swamped with requests.
The reasons for the sudden rush have been well placed, with the departure date less than a week away. Under the command of the legendary Captain Ismarck, the Revenge will depart not a moment later than twelve noon on Sunday…
((Looking for a minimum of 5 players to join in this intrigue-styled game. I’ll make play turn-based as best I can, and everyone will be involved in this to some degree. And to add a little more excitement, one person will receive a message on their forum account, putting them right at the centre of the mystery…have fun…))
((This looks very interesting! I’ll probably join, but not until either late tonight or early tomorrow morning due to being incredibly busy))
((Count me in. Is there explicit charakter description and when do we start? ))
((A mystery? Sounds like work for the Amateur Sleuth! I think I’ll have a go ^^))
((Brilliant! Good to see so many eager people! I’ll start as soon as we can get two more people in on the mix; I’d join myself, but as a mystery game it’s probably more fair if I just GM rather than get Dorian involved :) As for character description, go wild! While you’re waiting, you’re more than welcome to add a character description, and if you want to elaborate on how you’re one of the lucky 30 that’d be great too))
((Ah, sorry. That was me. I was logged out.))
((I would very much like to try my hand at EBZ RP, but my characters are not terribly accomplished as of yet. I could bring an intelligent and usefully overeager redshirt to the table? If the story isn’t suited to that, I am quite content to make some popcorn and watch.))
((The great thing about RP’s is that characters become accomplished because of it :D That makes five! Time to start))
I’d be grateful if you’d let me in to the story (if it’s not too late). And is there a character sheet (of sorts) that has to be delivered?
edited by Andrey Shmarev Shmareva on 3/12/2012
((The more the merrier! As for character information, after I start the proceedings if everyone could write a brief character description as well as a reason they are among the other passangers that will be fine))
Rumours run riot throughout the streets of Fallen London, almost as quickly as those searching to confirm them. Several amusing incidents occur of overzealous society writers being dragged away by the constables as they raid lodgings looking to question one of the ‘Ahab Thirty’. Mercifully, from a combination of discretion and pure luck, you are able to continue with your preparations for the trip undisturbed. Sunday comes quickly. Almost as soon the bells of the buried city begin to strike out the eighth hour of morning there comes a sharp knock at your door. A man and a woman, dressed immaculately in rich velvet uniforms stand upon the doorstep.
They announce themselves as members of staff aboard the Ahab’s Revenge, though the derringers at their belts suggest they also double as something far more perturbing…if the simple fact that both concealed their faces behind French-styled masques had not already made such a statement… After a careful, if not too imprudent search for weapons (“strictly forbidden, begging your pardon…”) you are escorted to a waiting hansom and whisked away to Wolfstack docks. Your escort sweeps through the packed streets, filled with people all eager to see the departure of the now-famous Zubmarine. The crowd is a cross section of society: from the great and good to the low and disposed, urchins from the Flit, nobles from the palace, the smarter businessmen hawking wares to the spectators, and invariably pickpockets stealing from the hawkers. And high above in the offices of Mr Fires, a silhouette framed in candlelight watches over the whole scene.
Finally, the hansom pulls to a halt outside a set of docks, ringed with constables. The words ‘MESSRS MONTAGUE & CRISTOPH- SHIPWRIGHTS’ are splayed in still-drying paint on a large sign out the front. Almost the second your feet touch upon a red carpet, your vision is accosted by the flash of cameras, and you are gently shepherded away from the crowds of reporters towards the Ahab’s Revenge.
The stories of its appearance were true. The only comparison you can think to draw its design to, would be the fanciful stories of the semi-mythical ‘Zee-Whale’: the whole thing sits in its berth at nearly 900 feet, a sleek angular design that bears the same shape as its inspiration, with tapered stabilizers and a rudder shaped like a tail. To top off this mass of steel-bound engineering, the Zubmarine bears upon the deck three serrated crests running from the fore to the forward hatch. A single huge ‘eye’ of armoured glass shines half-submerged in the black waters of the dock, and turbines lie half-concealed beneath solid steel shutters along the back aft. In all, the Ahab’s Revenge is an apt creation, with a design and name that seems to conjure forth the beautifully ironic, darkly brilliant, fantasies that must have occupied the fevered imaginings of its creator. It is into the belly of this artificed beast that you are led by the servants, through the hatch and down a set of grated stairs. You lose track of how far you have descended before a door finally opens up before you about halfway down, and you see before you the luxurious trappings that will keep you for the duration of the journey.
You walk down a beautifully lit hallway lined with murals and statues of such detail that you could be forgiven for believing that you were walking through a manor on the Surface…were it not for your strange escorts and the ever-present whisper of water passing by the hull outside. Just as you begin to relax, you find yourself standing in the Grand Atrium: a massive space, made twice as large by the soaring architecture and grandiose murals. The whole room is oval-shaped, with one entire wall composed of a two-level library, lined with doorways into the 16 divided staterooms that will become your temporary home for five weeks…the other wall holds the whorled shutters of the ‘eye’ porthole you saw outside.
“Please relax, and enjoy yourself” whispers one of the servants with a bow, “The Captain will speak to you before our departure”
You are not the first: most of the guests have already arrived, and are making themselves at home. Servants pass through with trays of drinks and light canapés, and somewhere a gramophone plays out the scratching tones of an orchestra. Your escort departs, leaving you alone among the twenty-nine others…
((Alas, the “strictly no weapons” policy will mean Blue will leave home his trademark tasselled cane. Well, little harm done - it isn’t part of his detective outfit anyway ^^ ))
“…So better beware, as tragedy could strike us anywhere, anytime”.
The solemn, weary voice of lady K*** echoes in the silence of the candle-lighted boudoir. I’m sipping spiced wine, thinking about a half eaten fruit fig. That’s the life.
“Please let me partake in your cures. Often the mere act of exposing a problem causes it to shrink until it becomes negligible”, I reply.
“So dear of you! It’s the ship, you know. Montague and Cristoph apparently have pulled through. The maiden voyage of the Ahab’s Revenge is due soon, and as a consideration for the services I rendered in the affair of the speckled scarf, I was granted a seat in what promises to be the event of the season. It’s an unparalleled chance to obtain stories enough to shine in every salon for the next two months at least!” Her words vanish in a deeply felt sigh. I’m getting puzzled. What’s with the sense of impending doom in getting a reserved seat in the zubmarine’s first trip? I let the lady continue undisturbed.
“Such a stimulating event! And I’m completely cut out of it. I told you about my paralyzing fear of enclosed spaces?”
Oh, my, didn’t she. At the nausea-inducing point, actually. So that was the conundrum in the end?
“It must be as distressing as earning a place in the first trip to the moon, and having to stay on the vessel all the time when everybody else lands”, I reply.
“I see you understand the entity of my spleen. I can’t go - and I can’t stay, contemplating the occasion I’ve missed. Why does everything need to be so complicated?” She seeks comfort in a deep sip of sherry.
“It doesn’t have to always be so. You see, sometimes the solution to your problem stands right in front of your gracious nose.” My answer fills her eyes with expectation. I decide to continue before she can give me one of her puppy eyed looks.
“You already know I’m versed in storytelling. If I had to witness such an event, my recollection of it would be vivid enough to suffice for any first person account at a salon, so you wouldn’t have to risk yous sanity at all.”
Comprehension creeps into her skull, as the plan unfolds.
“Oh - my - dear! REALLY would you accomplish such a task? For… For me?”
“Don’t exaggerate my role. I am no claustrophobic - the trial is much easier in my shoes. Just get me in contact, and it will be just like you were there in person.”
A bit of planning, then I recollect my pants and head home after a warm goodbye. Time to get ready.
Not much time later, there comes a sharp knock at my door. A man and a woman, dressed immaculately in rich velvet uniforms stand upon the doorstep…
((Blue reached a small renown as a poet and author for hire, especially welcome at the homes of wealthy society ladies. Phisically he’s a bit nondescript: not bad looking, but lacking significant defining marks. He speaks calmly, moves gently, seems to lack any sharp angle. He also usually dresses so to not stand out in the crowd he’s in. You can find his complete character sheet here: http://streetfelineblu.livejournal.com/433.html . For the trip, apart from clothing, he brought the items listed as “possessions always in his person” in the sheet, plus his Patent Scrutinizer and Luminous Neathglass Goggles.))
The seafaring servants were quite thorough in their search for any possible contraband that I could possibly carry and that was the first red light. I’m a supersticious man and when a voyage is going awry even before setting foot on the ship, the stars are not favourable . Still I gathered all my willpower not slap them across the wrists and muttered an approving nod accompanied by a polite smile. I was gratful that they wore gloves upon the inspection. They passed my regular literary vices and collection of tonics but politely told me that non of my mechanical contraptions could accompany me. Protesting that they were just toys and scale models would have done me more harm than good considering what was hidden inside.
After folding my several regular outfits and night attire I grabbed my suitcase and Gustavo’s cage and asked the hounds to carry the less precious luggage to the hansom. The working rat disliked voyages as much as much as the average citizen but pleading for his cooperation had been cheap this time.
Travelling by hansom is a surprisingly pleasant experience , the sophistication almost compensates the lack of speed but time was not of the essence for now. I had 45 days to complete my assigment inside this damnable vacation and my cards have to be played very slowly. I’ve looked at their masks. Blue eyes, hazel eyes. I don’t need to look at them any more so I close my eyes and retraced my earlier steps . A gambling fence ends up as my coworker’s father-in-law and his debts grow in a geometric progression. So he decides to make one last bluff and work for the second wife of the widowed aristocrat. The size of her pride can only be matched by her fear of betrayal so a letter with instructions and the fence’s pinky finger ring appear in 1888 August’s income balance sheet at my office in Mahogany Hall. I like her already.
The hansom takes a sudden as the servants instruct me politely to exit the transport and be kind enough to board the ship. My eyes widen as much as the onlooker surrounding me. It’s a beast, a mechanical god and my lip quivers at the idea of casing the whole ship…not ship, palace.
“Gustavo, be kind to these gentlemen”, I said to my friend, “and I expect him to be escorted to my premises.”
I keep my hands in my pockets and marvel at the opulence withing the halls of the monster. My head begins to spin at the sight of the marble statues. Such likeness to the human complexion that one would believe them to be victims trapped in time. Leaving such childish notions, I concentrate on my next task. Find the servant with the blood orchard and pick the instructions from his belt.
He tapped on his tie and straightened his cuffs. A pick sewn inside the tie and his trusty cufflinks. I’ve started with worse.
((I’ve reused the character from the possibly defunct beneath the neath thread. He’s a thief , pickpocket, safecracker, cutthroat, enforcer and accountant that landed on Mahogany Hall after his attempts to save his uncle’s fungal manure manufacturer granted him with a 2 year stay wearing a mask in New Newgate. Refuses vices of all kind, not a good orator, likes to part his hair down the middle , greedy , conservative , paranoid and doesn’t like dreaming but can take several beatings, phisicaly above the average , fairly good shot , has a keen eye and mechanically apt. Souls are a touchy subject to him ))
edited by Andrey Shmarev Shmareva on 3/13/2012
Gneiss was working in the dark room. He developed the pictures he made. He was always proud, when they turned out to be good. A year ago he was hired just for carrying the camera. But then the old photographer started working for the competition. It turned out, Gneiss was a good photographer himself. Unfortunately he didn’t get paid more.
Being a clayman he could work in the darkness of the room and the chemicals were no danger to him. Work was silent and peaceful today – until the door bursted open.
„Gneiss!“, his boss shouted. Gneiss looked on the pictures. They were ruined by the light. That made him sad.
„You are going on a journey.“
„GOING ON JOURNEY?“
„Yes, yes. We applied for two places on that boat…“
„One reporter and one photographer (which would be you). But now guess what: We only got one – and I repeat: one place.“
„ONLY SEND REPORTER?“
„No! It’s assigned to your name. And they won’t let anyone else take it. What kind of madness is this!“
„Didn’t you listen? The underzee zubmarine! Now, listen, Gneiss, you will be on your own. So take some good pictures. This is our chance, so don’t ruin it. Everyone in London will be looking forward to see pictures from within that thing. You take the pictures, we will make the rest up.
„I TAKE PHOTOS.“
„Excellent… Now go back to work.“
That was a week ago. Gneiss has packed his luggage: His camera, the tools and substances needed to develope photographies and also some good wardrobe in his size. Patiently he had been waiting all morning in his small cellar room. He wore a clean shirt that might have been a tent before and an oversized jacket and a bowler-hat.
Then there came two masked individuals. They searched him and his luggage for weapons. Gneiss kept silent. Fortunately they didn’t take the chemicals away. Also they didn’t complain about the camera, too.
There was a hansom and it brought him to the docks. Hundreds of reporters were waiting there. Gneiss found this very funny, because these were his colleagues. But the boat was not funny. It was big and intimidating. The last time he was on boat was arriving in London. That was the start of a long unpleasant time. This time should be better.
Few minutes later he was inside of the vessel. He followed the escorts obediently. He saw statues. Humans pay lot of money for statues, they pay little money for claymen. In the end they reached a big room. He looked around. Shelves with books, art things, other people. The atrium was well-lit and big and imposant. Gneiss couldn’t resist any more: He build up his camera right where he was and took a picture. It covered a good part of the room and nearly all of the passengers of this voyage.
(Gneiss is a clayman who became a photographer for a newspaper. He is more intelligent than the average clayman. He is quiet and a good listener - even though he doesn’t understand everything people say. He wears the oversized formal attire of a middleclass man and a bowlerhat. He also has his camera with him.)
Miriam had seen it in the newspapers, of course, but when the foppish gentleman was explaining how he could on no account leave to go voyaging for five weeks, what with his aunt and his plant and his zee-zickness and his other obligations, she saw her opportunity, and seized it.
For the gentleman had approached her earlier in the party. He’d looked around furtively before pulling her out of others’ earshot. “Miss Fernsby! Forgive me if this seems indelicate, but I have heard that you are… associated with certain members of the infernal population.”
She had narrowed her eyes at this. “I have acquaintances of that nature, yes.” Certainly, she enjoyed the company of the devils she knew, and she liked to think that they were better than the devils she didn’t, for she was also a Shepherd. But of late a few of them had been discussing the beauty of her soul and the glories of Abstraction more than she was comfortable with, and she wondered if it was time to part ways. Still, she knew them and liked them better than this silly man.
“Oh, no, I did not mean to insult you. Quite the opposite, actually! I was hoping – I was – I have heard so many things about Abstraction and – and I would like to be introduced,” he said.
“Oh, well, I should think --” She stopped herself, the familiar weight of the pocket watch she carried suddenly much, much heavier. “I should think that would be quite impossible,” she said. “At the moment. I do apologize. It is only that there are so many people who – well – devils are quite picky about who they allow into their soirees.” This was true enough, and though he was terribly disappointed, she felt very morally upright, having prevented this man from losing his soul.
But now, as he was standing there rattling off reasons he found this delightful opportunity an inconvenience and a chore, she thought to herself, Who am I to interfere in the choice he has made? and also, He is so irritating that I suspect he deserves it, and also, occasionally, I might be a terrible person.
So when there was a lull in conversation, as he had driven off all the others with his dull conversation about cravates, she suggested that perhaps a trade of favors might be made; she would take him to an infernal party and introduce him, and he would give her his spot on the marvellous zubmarine.
And so she came to find herself on this dark and beautiful vessel, admiring the murals, looking forward to perusing the beautiful library, and wondering what in the Neath she had got herself into. The words catastrophic disaster resurfaced in her mind, from an article about the zubmarine she’d read weeks ago, but most of her nervousness was anticipatory, and besides, the music was good and those canapes looked delicious. She grabbed a drink and continued to look around.
((Miriam Fernsby is an amateur scientist and shroom-hopper who is permitted at Society functions due to her ability to tell bloodthirsty stories – but not too bloodthirsty. She is short, stout, deceptively sweet-looking, and will follow an interesting find or specimen right off a cliff. A recent Shepherd of Souls, she has ingratiated herself with devils partly because she wishes to learn more of Hell, but mostly because they are just so… charming. She has her bat Arantxa with her, her goggles and scrutinizer, some scientific equipment she can afford to lose, her pocket watch, several blank journals – one never knows when Science or Art will require a blank page! – and an assortment of clothes, with a particular emphasis on hats. One can never have enough hats.))
((just waiting on Tara Lyn and Patrick Reding, if possible? ^^))
((Sorry for being much later than I’d expected!))
When Nora received word of her place among the thirty passengers of the strange Unterzee ship, she was ecstatic. There would be so much to learn, and perhaps it would somehow relate to her current studies, which were…well, perhaps a bit scattered, but still worthy of some notice. Obviously. Well, as long as she was able to speak on a few subjects while maintaining a certain level of erudition, she would be fine.
Even a few days’ waiting made her restless, but it paid off when she heard that knock on her door.
Nora detested being searched, but if it got her to the ship faster, so be it. Her own weapons were left behind, but she could improvise if it became necessary. As they looked through her luggage, she took the chance to study the “staff members” a bit. The masks were interesting enough, and the derringers were a none-too-subtle clue that they weren’t what they seemed to be. Were they the captain’s bodyguards of a sort, perhaps? If they weren’t protecting him or the passengers, why would they need the weapons? It was something she’d have to keep in mind.
With her remaining possessions in one hand, she made her way to the hansom. Aside from clothing and books, there were a few other things in her bag, but they wouldn’t be useful just yet. Her other hand clutched a bat’s cage. Malachi glared at her between its bars, though that wasn’t much different from any other day. What was different was where they’d be going-places unseen and unknown. They arrived at the docks and she stared in awe at the massive, strange ship. She wondered what thoughts and dreams had gone into its design, other than the obvious. As she boarded and was led through the halls, she took note of the lavish decorations. Once in the atrium, however, she turned her gaze on the fellow passengers. Yes, there could be much to learn here…
((I used my main character, Lenora, who is a rather obsessive scholar and looks at everything as a problem or mystery to be solved. She can come off as a bit manic at times, actually. The unnamed items in her bag are a scrutinizer, some papers (both blank and not), and a few odd articles of clothing. She dresses in a fairly simple manner and avoids attention much of the time, but is also known for making herself stand out at times-not necessarily in a beneficial way.))
edited by TaraLyn on 3/14/2012
[quote=TaraLyn]((Sorry for being much later than I’d expected!))
((no worries, just making sure nobody got left behind! ^^))
edited by Dorian Sharpe on 3/14/2012
“Don’t you think it stange they wanted both of us?”
Yana laced themselves up behind the dressing screen. “Don’t sell yourself short, Martin. You’re quite the gentleman yourself.”
Martin shrugged and stared out the window of the glassworks, near the heart of the Bazaar. “You know what I mean. This boat’s got a guest list tighter than the Duchess’ rump. 30 of the Neath’s luminaries, and somehow we’re the only married couple on the list? Something’s fishy, and it ain’t the barnacles.”
“All the more reason for a Special Investigator to be on board, then,” said Yana, stepping out. “What do you think, honey? Will this do?”
Rich midnight-blue satin spilled to the floor around their ankles, topped with a black jacket picked out with shining carved-glim buttons. Their blond hair was tied back with a black velvet ribbon, drawing attention to their inescapable brown eyes. A bronze badge shines on their chest: “Special Inspector. Yana.” No surname given. While not properly a woman (or man either… but that’s a story for a different time), in this outfit it would be impossible to consider Yana in any way improper.
“Amazing, as always.” Martin preferred a rough green suit, with shaved head and a decidedly low-brow black moustache. While Yana would have preferred him to dress up a bit more for the trip, he always preferred a more practical apporach, and wanted an outfit he could fight in if the need arose.
“Oh, you’re such a dear, Martin. In any event, I’m sure we can handle any problems that arise. We need to spend more time alone together anyway.”
“Of course. But Yana?”
“Please don’t let this turn into another mystery hunt. You need to lay off the mind-wrenching investigations for a while too. I worry for you.”
Yana hesitated. “I… I don’t think I can promise that.”
Martin shaked his head. “I knew it. You thought there was something fishy too, but you wanted to investigate it for yourself. Look, if this turns out to be something important and not just crazy, I’ll give you all the help I can give. But otherwise, please show me the same consideration and leave well enough alone.”
“I… Okay, Martin. I promise. You’re right, you should come before the deeper mysteries of the Neath. At least for this trip.”
“That’s all I ask. Now, let’s finish packing before the hansom arrives.”
edited by Patrick Reding on 3/15/2012
((Is that enough, or are you waiting for me to actually get them on the ship?))
edited by Patrick Reding on 3/16/2012