Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Beast takes a Bite...

 I have not been around the streets of Babbage much lately, and of course everything seems to happen while I'm not there...

Gadget's "Beest Trap" has been tested by the beast itself, but sadly it has been defeated... And Nat got injured in the process, victim of the beast's ferocious appetite. Gadget managed to photograph the Beast, and Nat explains it all better than me in his journal.
He also told me about that hooded man Gadget and him met and who warned them about the beast. He seemed to know it very well and try to protect us urchins from it.
I questionned Nat about that man and he answered he looked like a monk, but able to fight, and that he had a huge belt, with a symbol on it. And that symbol, we already saw it last year on a stone behind Loki's shops in the cobblestone houses, and on the tombs in the crypt of Malkuth...

 Those tombs are the ones of three grand worshippers of Malkuth, according to the letter found on the table in the room Arthur Celtington was renting above Loki's shops in the cobblestone houses, across the canal from the Absinthe cafe.

When I asked Mister Underby about Old Gods last year, he told me that Malkuth was the God of our world, the material plane, and that there were ten worlds in total, all ruled by a different god, and that our world was the "lowest" one, where Malkuth was all powerful, but that in the nine other worlds, the other gods would beat him up. Also, the letter about the Worshippers of Malkuth says something about Malkuth being a kind of connection between our world and the others, which strangely reminds me of the gate opened by Jason Moriarty above the Old Imperial Theatre, three years ago... Maybe the gate has never been properly closed and some influences from the other worlds still manage to reach ours, "waking up" the beast inside the statue, or even letting it slip into our world whereas it wasn't there before?

About at the same time, or soon after, Mr Cleanslate intercepted a radio message from the Van Creed, stating that their headquarters were being attacked by hooded robed men... Seems too much of a coincidence to me. Those men must be Worshippers of Malkuth. Why attacking the Van Creed headquarters though? Do they have something to do with the Beast that the Worshippers of Malkuth are looking for? Did they bring it here? Or do they just have useful informations about it? Could be. The Van Creed seem to have files about everything and everyone..

Whatever the Worshippers of Malkuth do to stop that Beast, it is not enough, and Miss Bookworm and Mister Baroque found an awful puddle of blood next to a child drawing of the Beast and a teddy bear right in front of the City Hall... We believe it is poor little Victor Wunderlich aka Ally Wunder who got snatched by the Beast... Searchings of the sewers and catacombs have been carried out and the Babbage Militia has been warned, but for the moment, no sign of Victor...

Last of all, Mister Blindside, the archaeologist hired by Loki, seems to have disappeared as well...

And it all begins...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Urchin Beest Trap!

When I arrived in Babbage Square this evening, to check on the statue, I saw Gadget with his puppy Socks, talking with a gentleman and a lady.

(photo credit : Gadget Starsider)

He told me that a beast had tried to eat his puppy and a man in a black coat ran after it, telling him to stay behind.
I asked Gadget what the beast was like, and he said it looked like a giant baby covered in blood and it was saying "Gobble... gobble..." and it wanted some flesh.

(photo credit : Gadget Starsider)

Poor Socks looked very shocked!

Gadget thought that the beast might have something to do with the open statue, and I agree, now remembering what Mister Blindside the archaeologist said about the scar in the statue looking like some frightening symbol of womanhood. Was that "baby" born from the statue?

Either way, Gadget decided that he wanted to take a picture of it, and he found a huge photographic equipement. He also decided that we should trap the beast, and he started to set up some wires across the street.
He's not called "Gadget" for nothing. He's got all kinds of things in his pockets and can build ingenious devices in no time. 
He soon finished to set up his trap and then we thought that would be better to add a sign for the citizen of Babbage who can read, so they don't trip on the wire and get caught too.

Soon, the sign was ready and placed near the trap, and Gadget triggered it to demonstrate how it would work. Whoever would pull the wire on the ground by tripping onto it would trigger the trap and get entangled and then hung upside down from the rope above inside a big rope net.
And we got another confirmation that the trap was working well when Miss Adele walked by and got caught too because she didn't read the sign...

Then Jimmy arrived and we decided to add a bait for the beast to be attracted there and walk into the trap. Jimmy made up a fake puppy and perched it onto the warning sign, but then Miss Adele pointed out that the beast could snatch the puppy without even triggering the trap and finally Jimmy attached the bait dangling from the upper rope right above the wire.

Gadget set up his photographic apparel in front of the whole, and everything was set and ready for the beast to be caught!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Scar

 Yesterday night was the famous Bonfire and Fireworks night on the bridge between the Absinthe Cafe and the Old Imperial Theatre in Babbage Square.
Each year, Loki's celebration of the Fifth of November is attended by a major crowd of Babbagers, and this night was no exception.
The sky was set alight with rainbows of exploding rockets, and on its little raft on the canal, poor Guy Fawkes burnt to its death once more.

After that much applauded show, Jimmy decided to go back and see the Artifact, as it was just down the street from the bridge.

Soon, lots of other Babbagers followed him, and stumbled upon Mister Bernard Blindside, the archaeologist Loki had asked for help.
Mister Blindside was standing in front of the statue, staring at the bloody scar now ripping it open... He was gutted it got damaged like that, and even suspected it was a street urchin mischief night trick, but we swore we didn't do it. Which is true!

Then we asked lots of questions and Mister Blindside told us he estimated the artifact to be about seven to eight hundreds years old, according to his data, and that it was made of tough ceramic. A very well made ceramic too, suggesting that who ever had this made was of a high order. The blood though, if it was blood, appeared to be fresh.
And the heartbeat was gone.
Mister Holmes examined the scene, with his detective ways, and concluded the scar was made from the inside and not from the outside. He also said he would analyze the blood to find out if it was human, rat or something else.

Then everyone started to think aloud and give their hypothesis of what could have happened. Some wondered if something was inside the statue and broke free, or if someone opened it and released whatever was inside. Others shivered thinking the blood on the floor came from someone who was standing in front of the statue when it ripped open. There was a huge discussion about how on Earth it could have open from the inside, if the heat of the torch nearby could have helped the ceramic crack open, and if the thing was frozen inside and the blood flew out while unfreezing.

Then Mister Blindside observed it almost looked like a case casket for mummification and I jumped on the occasion to state that was my opinion too. I do think there was a mummy of some kind inside. With a beating heart. And blood obviously. And eight hundreds years old I guess.
But people wouldn't believe me and said mummies were dried up and organs removed and yadda yadda, and Mister Blindside added that it could not fit because the artifact was not Egyptian, and that early Medieval Dark Age did not have mummification.

Then Brother Riddler reiterated his hypothesis of the thing inside being frozen, and then they wondered how it could have survived the burning process of the kiln. And Miss Janus said the ceramic could have protected what was inside from the heat.
Mister Holmes said the scar was made from inside, and I believe him, because he must know. And Miss Aeon suggested that something or someone could have woken up the thing inside, even if they didn't rip the statue open themselves. And I agree with that too.
Mister Blindside then noticed we were refering to the big opening as a "scar" and found it interesting because it did look like one, and then he added something I'm not quite sure I understand : "or perhaps a terrifying symbol of womanhood". That remark got Miss Janus scowling so I guess it wasn't very nice.

Nat thinks that this is all related to Triky's death, as it happened at the same place. I told him the statue was eight hundreds years old and Triky died only last year... He replied that maybe he knew it was there, and maybe it gave him power joining his soul there. I'm not really sure, but thinking about it, Triky's death could be the trigger that slowly awakened the thing inside the statue.

Anyway, Mister Blindside is supposed to go to the library this morning and said he would report his findings to Mister Holmes and to Miss Janus I think.

In the meantime, we've got a monster of some kind wandering in the streets of Babbage... And maybe the one who woke it up?
Jason Moriarty's body was never found, was it...?

See also Miss Chernov's Journal !

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Raising from the Dead

 Jimmy and I went back yesterday night to the place where the statue was half buried, to see how the work of Mister Blindside the archaeologist was progressing.

The statue had now been totally dug out and raised vertically as if it was standing.

Jimmy said that he thought the heartbeat we could hear was louder than the last time, and also even faster. I can't say if it was faster, but that is possible. Although it may be louder only because it was still half buried before and so the sound was harder to hear?

Rich joined us soon after and he too was creeped out by the statue. To me, it more and more looks like a coffin. Although the "hole" in place of the face intrigues me...
Maybe Jimmy is right and it is more like a medieval knight statue. It would explain the bump in the front, looking like he is holding a sword under his robe.

While exploring the rest of the site, I discovered a very little hole in a corner, beneath the broken floor.
Jimmy, Rich and I wriggled down the hole and soon found ourselves walking in a dark, damp narrow way, from which we could smell very strongly the nearby sewers.

 We reached a deadend, but as Jimmy stated, that looks like a good new hiding place!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Living Statue

Yesterday night, Jimmy and I went to the site behind the Old Imperial Theatre where Loki's old factory exploded last year, and where Triky died...
Loki had told us about some kind of pottery he found there while cleaning it up, and he called an archaeologist named Bernard Blindside to tell him what it was and if it was worth some money.

 The rumbles were delimited by thin string lines and two little bottles had been left there, as well as digging trowels or something.
The "pottery" itself looked more like the emerged part of a stone-made statue of some kind. Like a hooded robed figure, a priest maybe. Jimmy said it looked like a medieval statue. Maybe a knight. I thought it could be a coffin too, with a skeleton inside.
We got closer to examine it better, and we started to hear a regular sound, definitely coming from under the statue, or maybe inside it...

The sound resembled a heartbeat.

Later, Caspian and Miss Sky and Mister Scottie joined us, and they too heard the heartbeat. Mr Scottie thought it might be a machinery inside the statue, and that it could have been triggered recently because nobody noticed the sound earlier.
I don't know. As Jimmy remarked, so many strange things happened in the last years, why not a statue with a beating heart?
Miss Sky looked at the statue and said the whole block could be the heart itself, as it was vaguely shaped like one.
Once again I don't know.
But I know I won't be sleeping in the hideout anytime soon. It's much too close to there and I don't want a live statue to come strangle me in my sleep!

I hope we can meet Mister Blindside soon. Maybe he can tell us how old that thing is, and WHAT on Earth it is.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Escapades grand opening (ex-Goony Island) on Friday 17th September 2010

Also check out Loki's teaser here.
Parcels are for rent (I am building a windmill on one of them) and cabins too. See the plots available on the website and sign up on the forum to get all the latest news!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

SteamHunt 2nd edition

The second annual Steam grid wide Hunt will be starting on 1st March and lasting for the whole month.

Myrtil's Mess is participating and offering a cool animated clockwork shoulder squirrel as a gift (I'm number 86 on the list of stores in the hunt!!! And there are about 120 if I remember well...).

There is a poster you can click to get more infos at my store in Babbage, with a group joiner and a box of freebies for the Steam hunters.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Children !

The next Aether Salon of Babbage ( will be a talk and debate on what it was like to be a Victorian child and what it is like to play a victorian child in SL.

Miss Saffia Widdershins will give a very interesting talk, and Jimmy and I will also be there to explain our views on the victorian kids roleplay and answer questions.

If you are interested, come next Sunday 17th January at 2pm SLT :)

Babbage Palisade & Academy of Industry :

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Your soul or your life (Spoiler again...)

!!! WARNING !!! :

Please read this first.

The blog entry that follows contains informations, and speculations about the New Babbage Chronicles Roleplay, Shadow of the Thirteen.
If you do not wish to get informations without trying to retrieve them on your own, or if you don't want to be influenced by my ideas on the case, please consider not reading any further...

Otherwise, well, just go on !


So yesterday evening, everyone gathered in the City Hall to hear what Mr Renfold had to say.

Quite a lot of citizen were there, all wondering why Mr Renfold had asked for an emergency town hall meeting.

Mr Renfold was waiting for everyone to arrive and settle in, while being as unpleasant as usual :

Jesper Renfold: quite a few children here, do they really contribute that much to the interests of New Babbage?

In the end though, he started to explain :
"My fellow Babbage residents for whom i am of service to, i have been sent by the Van Creed to inform you of the great Peril that might fall upon new babbage unless we act quickly.
As you might well know, objects have fallen from the sky, containing automated mechanical clockworks.
The Van Creed were worried at first due to the fact the moon seemed unaturally bright.
We have collected many articles of knowledge that date back to the great fire. Only a few items survived the fire, and some have pointed to a great threat coming from the moon.
Now it has come to my attention that some of you may have acquired information that connects directly with what is happening, and i believe that if we do not work together now, then we may be facing a catastrophe of the scale of the great fire."

You can imagine that the citizen were starting to fidget in their seats and speaking all at the same time, asking questions and wondering about what it was all about, or staying silent and thinking about what they had discovered.

The Captain Skusting talked about the rocket that had crashed into his Ruby's pub, and Mr Renfold asked him more about it. Mr Skusting explained what had happened and also told us about the automatons, that he was calling "live" barrels, as one of them had attacked him.

Jesper Renfold: yes ok, this is what we feared, we believe someone was expelled from not just Babbage, but from the world. We believe this person has abilities or scientific knowledge to raze Babbage to the ground.

Cries of surprise in the audience followed that statement.

Jesper Renfold: those 'live' barrels as you call them seem to be searching for something.

Again, people reacted in different ways. Some of us were already suspecting what the automatons may be searching for, but we said nothing.

We had learnt in the past not to trust the Van Creed, and the people new to town had been warned by the older residents. Mr Renfold would have a hard time getting us to give him informations...

He continued :
"I just feel that perhaps im waisting my time, you all waist your time with such folloys as treasure hunting, that when it comes to the real threat.... well, im just frustrated.
Some of you already know about the 13 club.
The Van Creed have worked with the 13 Club in the past, they are a great source for ideas and technologies years ahead of anything in Caledon and Steelhead.
There where many great scientists in the 13 club, one such scientist was Sir Willard Steamweaver.
Am I right in thinking some of you have heard this name already?"

Mr Renfold's piercing eyes were scanning the audience, waiting for our reactions.

Some of us said they had heard, some that they hadn't.

Mr Renfold went on :
"The Van Creed is not responsible for what the 13 club does, we are just interested in what they do and how it can enrich the lives of New Babbage residents.
The Van Creed have dealt with impossible men before, such as Jason Moriarty.
But what has us most concerned is the myth that Sir Willard Steamweaver gained immortality through his experiments.
So the question is how do we defend ourselves from a man who is immortal?"

After a wave of shock and excitement, the answers started to come from all sides :

Nikolas Souther: An ectoplasmic echo, perhaps. Some scientific remnant of his experiment gone awry.
Stargirl Macbain: The automatons are scanning for immortals?
Dierdre Maven: Destroy his soul?
Beq Janus: we trap him
Breezy Carver: Nods Beq
Myrtil Igaly: send him back to where he comes from?

Wallis Graves: If, as the notes suggest, he was using vampire and werewolf extractions he may have other abilities besides simply living longer.

Mr Renfold nodded :
"Capture him."

That seemed easy to say though, but not that easy in reality... And we soon pointed it out :

Beq Janus: Mr Renfold, if we were to capture Mr Steamweaver, or the creature that claims to be him. Would we be in danger by his presence alone?
Nat Merit: the question is, do we give him his soul or try to keep it from him?
Myrtil Igaly: Good question Nat
Nat Merit: because some of us think we know who the automatons are scanning for
Dierdre Maven: I think his soul was in the box that Arthur let out
Nikolas Souther: Nor may he desire his soul back in the first place.

I thought that Nat, Dierdre and Cyan were right. That Triky was Willard's other half of soul, and apparently, splitting his soul made him immortal. So, if, as Nat and Dierdre suggested, we gave back his soul to Willard... He would become mortal again and could be killed.

But... But that would mean that Triky would die too...

Mr Renfold was still talking about Willard :
"Some believe it was he who started the great fire. He might have even been the influence for the old tales of Angry Jenkins. There is articles suggesting he planed to use ....."

When suddenly...

Dierdre Maven: Oh bloody hell, not again!
Dierdre Maven: no no no no no!

A dark silhouette in a black hood, surrounded with live flames, had made its entrance in the round conference room of the Town Hall, opposite to Mr Renfold. We heard him shouting in a loud and inhuman voice :

Willard Steamweaver: MY SOUL, MY SOUL IS SPLIT

Everyone was frozen in their seats, horrified. Some little children were starting to cry.
Willard stepped towards the center of the room, flames raising more and more around him. He asked again, staring at Mr Renfold :

Suddenly, Mr Renfold erupted in flames and we all heard his groan of agony :

We had no time to do anything for him, not even throw a glass of water, as someone suggested. He was already dead... Leaving behind him a dust of ashes and his bag, that he had let fall on the ground in panick.

Willard turned towards us and asked again :

The fire was creeping all around him. The heat was starting to become unbearable.

Willard Steamweaver: FOR HOW I AM, WHAT I DID


Nat and Dierdre thought they knew who was Willard's soul. And I thought they were right... They started to ask carefully about the consequences if Willard was regaining his soul... Triky.

Nat Merit: what happens if we tell you?
Nat Merit: what would you do to him?
Dierdre Maven: What does your soul look like?

Nat Merit: if you have your soul, will you die or be stronger?

In his way, Willard answered their concern :

Which made them take their decision...

Nat Merit: I think we should tell him
Dierdre Maven nods at Nat

Myrtil Igaly: but Nat..
Myrtil Igaly: what will happen to his soul then..?
Nat Merit: I know
Stargirl Macbain tries to control her coughing, "Where is it!"
Dierdre Maven: Nat and I know where your soul is, kinda
Nikolas Souther: Then dear God, tell him!
Matthew Querrien: I agree!
Nat Merit: they'll both die in peace
Nat Merit: and we won't fry!

Dierdre Maven: It's an urchin in town

Suddenly, Willard turned towards the entrance :
"I can sense it, it is near."

I jumped on my feet and shouted :
"Noooooooo! DON'T TELL HIM!!!"

But it was too late. Willard had already rushed outside to go find his soul.

I ran out of the Town Hall and I tried to follow the string of people who had been faster than me and who seemed to lead towards Jefferson Way.
When I arrived, there was already a crowd outside of the old Loki's shop.

Willard was inside... And he had captured Triky...

From what Nat described later, Triky was looking terrified when Willard caught him. But now he was just laying on the snowy ground... inconscious...

Jimmy Branagh: 'ee's got Triky!
Myrtil Igaly: NOOOOO
Dierdre Maven: Good
Izzy Breadbin: IF he has his soul back, will he return from whence he came?
Jimmy Branagh: Are you sure?
Dierdre Maven: Yes
Nat Merit: he wants to die
Nat Merit: but Triky doesn't
Dierdre Maven: Triky is his soul Jimmy
Myrtil Igaly: we're not sure at all

I tried to step closer to the shop entrance, but the heat from the flames surrounding Willard and Triky was so hot that it made me suffocate.

Dierdre Maven: Myrtil get back
Myrtil Igaly: but we must stop him!!!!!!!
Dierdre Maven: Nat hold Mytril back
Matilda Twine watches, horrified
Jimmy Branagh: Mybee, but 'ee mye not go back.
Nat Merit: he's going to destroy babbage!

At this moment, the dark shape in the middle of the flames seemed to be turning his head towards us, and he asked :
"You understand this must happen yes?"

I shouted my answer :

Nat tried to reason me :
"Myrtil it has to or babbage will burn."

And Miss Dierdre replied to Willard :
"You need to be at peace."

At this moment, Willard exclaimed in a terrible voice :

And he vanished in a sudden explosion...

Bricks, pieces of wall were flying everywhere. People were screaming, terrified. The fire wouldn't stop. Some persons were stuck under parts of the building that had fallen onto them...

I managed to drag myself out of the chaos and ran towards Jimmy and Loki, who were standing in front of Mr Pearse's shop.
Loki was witnessing in despair the fall of his old shop. He asked where the "freak" had gone and where Triky was.
I told him Triky was dead and I burst into tears.
I couldn't believe it, that wasn't possible, we had to save him...

Myrtil Igaly: Triky is trapped inside him now
Dierdre Maven: Triky was not real, he was just energy made up to look like an urchin
Myrtil Igaly: maybe we can save him
Jimmy Branagh: Oy don't think so Myrtil
Myrtil Igaly: Triky was real!!!
Matthew Querrien: Tricky was half a soul.

I stomped on the ground, sending snow into the fire.

Soon, the Ladies Fire Brigade of New Babbage arrived, and managed to put the fire out before it damaged any other surrounding buildings.
They really were efficient and everyone congratulated them.

Then someone told about the bag Mr Renfold had left in the Town Hall and documents they had found inside.

I was still sad and empty because of Triky's death, but I decided to head towards the Town Hall, to see what those documents were about.

There were two files into Jesper's bag. One concerning Willard Steamweaver.

And one concerning Margo December.

Both documents were very enlightening.

The file concerning Willard explained his theories on the way to achieve immortality. He had split his soul into two parts, and neither could die. He was immortal, and so was Triky.
But when both halves became one again, he became mortal again, and died...

The file about Margo was describing her as a brilliant scientist, and that was a pity to think that she had now lost her sanity. Maybe one day... Who knows...

Speaking of Margo, she reappeared while I was looking into Jesper's bag in the conference room of the Town Hall.

Dierdre Maven smiles, "Hello Miss December."
Loki Eliot: erm... hi grandma?
Dierdre Maven: The moon should no longer bother you Miss
Jimmy Branagh: That yer grandma Loki?
Matthew Querrien: No more three, Miss December. No more Lover, Loved and Jealous.
Margo December: i rememebr now, he felt me oh yes, he touched me, deep in to my soul
Margo December: but he wanted me in a bottle like a pickeld onion
Dierdre Maven: That doesn't sound good
Margo December: and he worked , did he yes, and pickled away, and that man
Margo December: the man who game me the musical box, for my thing, my things that are mine, that i lost
Loki Eliot: oh great my grandma is bonkers
Matthew Querrien: You're not exactly sane yourself, Loki.
Margo December: he was the one i gave my son
Jimmy Branagh: She's not! She very cute.
Margo December: the moon the moon has gone
Margo December: he is now one the moon is but one and he is gone
Margo December: for the one who was two could live for ever and ever
Margo December: but he took two and made one and is gone now for ever and ever
Beq Janus: Is Steamweaver still at large Margo
Margo December GASPS!
Nat Merit: steamweaver is ...was the moon
Nat Merit: he's died
Margo December: he is gone
Izzy Breadbin: Well then.. that settles that.. or does it?
Margo December sobs lightly
Beq Janus: he is gone.
Beq Janus: hmm
Fax Quixote: My condolences, madam
Jimmy Branagh: Awww
Beq Janus: and the barrels
Myrtil Igaly: apparently it does..
Dierdre Maven: He is at peace now ma'am
Beq Janus: they will cease now?
Myrtil Igaly: So Triky can't be saved......
Margo December: do you now why he is gone? hmm do you? hmm??
Nat Merit: he split his soul
Nat Merit: to live forever
Margo December: aww little triky
Izzy Breadbin: Was Triky ever truely his own entity, or simply a puppet?
Beq Janus: no ma'am
Nat Merit: now he's one soul
Nat Merit: and could die
Matthew Querrien: The two are one, Miss, and the one became zero.
Margo December: alex and triky, close they was, oh so sad it is
Myrtil Igaly: Triky was my friend..
Beq Janus smiles sadly at Myrtil
Margo December: you look so young for someone so old
Nat Merit: did triky kill Arthur?
Nat Merit: or did the box?
Jimmy Branagh: Yeh, 'ee wos a friend.
Matthew Querrien: Who, miss?
Loki Eliot: i dunno if i can handle a grandma whos like this
Myrtil Igaly: She's nice, Loki
Jimmy Branagh: Yeh, she's very noice.
Myrtil Igaly: I would like a grand-ma like that
Dierdre Maven: You should be nice and carry that big ole bag for her
Nat Merit: and she has lightening powers!
Beq Janus: can she not stay with you now
Margo December: loki, what a funny name, who in their right mind names their child Loki?
Myrtil Igaly coughs
Beq Janus: Margo
Loki Eliot: hey!?
Beq Janus: Miss Decmeber
Dierdre Maven: Your son did Margo
Beq Janus: Loki is your grandson
Beq Janus: Loki Eliot
Myrtil Igaly mutters : "Who in their right mind would call their son Halfrid?"
Margo December: i lost something once, long time ago, on a brige, and old brige
Nat Merit giggles
Beq Janus: Alexander was his grandfather
Matilda Twine giggles
Matthew Querrien: Myrtil! [surprised look]
Margo December: i know many stories you know, maybe you boys and girls would like a story?
Jimmy Branagh: Yes please ma'am!
Alaex Aeon: yes please
Myrtil Igaly looks innocent
Matthew Querrien: I'd love to hear one, Miss.
Dierdre Maven smiles
Nat Merit: yes please
Matthew Querrien sits on the floor and listens.
Margo December: there was once a man, yes a man

And suddenly, she ran off.

We thought she was going back to the Old Bridge.
Or maybe the short moment of semi-sanity was lost, and then she had forgotten what she was actually doing here.

But what she had said wasn't necessarily less true.
Willard was gone. And Triky would never come back...

Lots of questions remain though. The first one being the one that started all that : Who killed Arthur Celtington and why? Because he had discovered and open the box?
Will we know one day...?

I set up a memorial for my friend Triky, at Loki's old shop location.
With a candle, because he loved so much the fire.

I am still sad of what happened. And I will never forget him...

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Man in the Moon (Another Spoiler)

!!! WARNING !!! :

Please read this first.

The blog entry that follows contains informations, and speculations about the New Babbage Chronicles Roleplay, Shadow of the Thirteen.If you do not wish to get informations without trying to retrieve them on your own, or if you don't want to be influenced by my ideas on the case, please consider not reading any further...

Otherwise, well, just go on !

Big crazy day yesterday… What with crashing rockets and chasing around Van Creed representatives and scaring mad old ladies and floating flamed immortal man from the moon looking for their soul…

Ok, I guess that might be better to start from the beginning.

Yesterday afternoon, I met Cyan, who told me he heard about a rocket being crashed in the roof of the Ruby’s pub.
So we went to see…

That was one huge rocket, much bigger than the barrels…, crashed upside down into the balcony, its tip coming through the ceiling of the pub.

There was one round window and the door was open, letting us see a comfy inside with an all pillowed seat. Human sized.

Soooo clearly someone had landed here and left the rocket… Could that be the person who launched the automatons-containing barrels already? Willard? Did that come from the moon or like Triky seemed to think, were they “marshins” ?
Looking around didn’t give us any clue… No foot prints in the snow, nothing.

Going back to Loki’s Absinthe café, I learnt that Jesper Renfold had just left it. Apparently he had been to go see the rocket too and told my friends (who had been following him all the way to the café) that it wasn’t dangerous, but that what was inside, on the other hand, might be the most dangerous thing to befall New Babbage.
Questionned about Alexander Eliot and the body in the wall, his answer was :

Wiggy Undertone: What, may I ask, is of interest to the Van-Creed in this matter?
Jesper Renfold: in which matter? Alexander? bah, silly myths about old stories lost to time
Jesper Renfold: the objects falling froom the sky, thats another thing entirly
Wiggy Undertone: I'd heard about those. I found an empty barrel, nothing more.
Wiggy Undertone: Is there some connection between the barrels and the murdered man at the theatre?
Jesper Renfold: i would not think so, it has been seen that mechanical robots that somehow scanner you for some unknown reason, there is no reason yet to believe they would kill a man
Wiggy Undertone: What are they scanning for? Any idea?
Jesper Renfold: regarding the death of Arthur Celtington, it would seem he got into trouble while seartching for fantasies
Jesper Renfold: we have no idea what they are scanning for
Wiggy Undertone: I see.
Cyan Rayna: Actually he looks as if he was disfigured enough to not be able to really tell who he was.
Nat Merit: did you know him? you said Arthur when you saw him?
Jesper Renfold: no i did not know the man, should you boys be in a place like this?

While I was at the café, one of my friends spotted the bag lady outside, and we decided to follow her to ask her questions about the moon and anything she may know.
We followed her to the Port, where she was admiring a statue of a merman and confusing people, and we tried to talk to her. I asked her how she was called but she wouldn’t answer. She kept telling the same silly things over and over. She also kept walking one way and another, forcing us to follow her back and forth if we wanted to continue the discussion.

(Photo credit: Nat Merit)

At one point, she decided to leave totally and headed towards the Town Hall.
She was quite fast for an old lady and we had to run to catch-up.
Nat saw her coming from the sewers under the Town Hall and then we followed her in the little alley behind the Cobblestone houses, but there, we lost her…
So we decided to hop on our hover karts to be faster and started the hunt.
I can’t describe the long and silly hide-and-seek game we had to play with the bag lady, but it seemed like everytime we had found her, she disappeared again.
We flew until the Old Bridge, where Kaylee was working on her Reality-enforcing device and she shouted us that if we were looking for the old lady, she was headed towards Wheatstone. We landed next to Kaylee to ask her what the lady had told her, and she said :
Kaylee Frye: Something about putting something back before the moon returns
Kaylee Frye: And that she stood on the old bridge before it broke

Mr Tenk was standing along the canal a bit further and we went to ask him again what the old lady had told him. He repeated what Kaylee had said about the moon :
Mosseveno Tenk: she was going on about how she had to put something back before the moon found it.
And so we flew back up to head towards Wheatstone.

Finally, we saw her entering the sewers in front of Mr Salazar Jack’s Kahruvel Steamworks and landed in Jefferson Way.
We heard her talking with Mr Sixpence :

Nightshade Sixpence: those cylinder things?
Margo December: sent by the moon
Margo December: i can here them they are above
Margo December: they are coming
Nightshade Sixpence: who sent them?

Suddenly, Triky warned us that she was behind us, running down the street and we hopped back on the kart to fly towards the Cobblestone Houses.
We stopped there and rushed towards the back alley, where the entrance to the crypt of Malkuth was, and heard voices again, coming from beneath us.

(Photo credit : Nat Merit)

Margo December: now my things my things are all i have now
Nightshade Sixpence: what is this place for?
Nightshade Sixpence: can I see your bag?
Margo December: what place?
Nightshade Sixpence: this Lab
Nightshade Sixpence: how did you know to come here
Margo December: its dark and old
Margo December: i must put it back
Margo December: he told me when the moon returns to put it back
Nightshade Sixpence: you know what this equipment is for?
Nightshade Sixpence: who told you?
Margo December: ive put it back now

(Photo credit: Nat Merit)

Nightshade Sixpence: a music box?
Margo December: i like this song
Nightshade Sixpence: it is nice
Margo December: the man was so nice
Margo December: i remember him, he was so handsome
Nightshade Sixpence: alexander?
Margo December: he came to me when i was at the hospital
Margo December: they said i had an accident
Margo December: that i lost alot of things
Nightshade Sixpence: or willard?
Nightshade Sixpence: what accident?
Margo December: i...i.... dont rememebr
Nightshade Sixpence: where do you live now?
Margo December: he told me, that when the moon returned to put it back where it belongs
Nightshade Sixpence: the Moon?
Nightshade Sixpence: whats wrong with the Moon?
Margo December: it wants

We saw the bag lady leaving the crypt, and we agreed on not following her anymore. We went to the stone, said the words and got down into the crypt to see that thing she had to put back when the Moon returns.

We found the little music box on the table near the cylinders.

And after examining it attentively, we noticed a message inside the box... It was written :

My final words are located where the lion, sword, urchin and key meet each other under the watchful eye of the 13 club.

We decided to get out of the crypt and headed towards Loki's cafe to think about all that.
There, we sat together and started to think about the words we had read on the paper inside the music box.
Those were strangely familiar… Lion, sword, urchin, key. Yep, they were the clues we had to find and that led us ultimately into the crypt.
The sword first, on the painting of the Saints beneath the train station, then the lion, carved in the Palisade wall somewhere in the Academy area, just before the wall turned towards Clockhaven. Then the little urchin, stuck under the last bridge on the canal leading to the Vernian Sea, and finally the key, carved on the bottom of the lighthouse in Clockhaven.
The last words of the Professor Eliot had to be found at the point where all four clues would meet…
So we decided to draw a map, to find that point, and Cyan rummaged in his backpack and showed us a map of New Babbage that he had. As Nat said :
Nat Merit: the stupendous six are always prepared!

Cyan installed his map against the bar and we started drawing on it before the curious eyes of Loki who had no idea what we were doing.

Miss Dierdre Maven arrived in the bar, and she joined us, as she had found the music box too and jumped to the same conclusion.
We placed the four clues on the map, and drew lines joining them, forming a big cross.
The centre of the cross was roughly located at the end of Abney Park way, and we jumped on our feet, packed the map and started to run towards the place.

Once there, we started looking around. Triky asked what we were looking for and we took another look at the notes we had about what was written inside the music box :
My final words are located where the lion sword urchin and key meet each other under the watchful eye of the 13 club.

Suddenly, Cyan exclaimed he had found and he showed us the metal lamp post standing there on the pavement. On the bottom of the post, we could notice the symbol of the Thirteen Club…

Hidden inside, we found a map, clearly drawn by children and showing the location of their Fort.
And another cylinder. The second of Alexander Eliot’s recordings. Here is the transcript :
Alexander Eliot's Second Recording :

It took a while for me to realise what she had done.
We were about to get inside the steam carriage when all of a sudden there was an almighty cry. A sound not unlike a man crying his last breath before death.
I looked down the street to see Willard standing with his arms raised by his side. But this was not Willard as I remembered him. This was not a professor of science, this was not my friend since childhood.
This that stood before me was not even human. And yet, with familiar words, he spoke with resounding piercing truth :
"ALEXANDER, how could you betray me so viciously. And MARGO, all this, everything I have ever done, everything I have ever dreamt, I did it all for you, and this is how you show your love? "
A sick feeling of fear and regret sank through me, as I watched in astonishment as Willard's body erupted into flames, and I scrambled into the steam carriage shouting at the driver to leave with haste.
Looking out of the carriage window, I saw flames shooting through the air from building to building, then the carriage rocked and tumbled.
I held tight to Margo and our baby son, until the carriage came to a halt before kicking the door open.
The streets were ablaze, Babbage was an inferno! People were screaming, families running for their lives, jumping from windows to their deaths to escape the flames.
Chaos, utter chaos.
And above it all, I could hear Willard's painful roar of anguish.
I pulled Margo to her feet and made our way through the crowd of running, scared Babbage residents, towards the old bridge and to safety.
Building were collapsing all around, the screams of those trapped and burning alive ringing through our ears.
I saw an urchin kicked to the ground, unable to pick himself up, so I grabbed the scruff of his worn coat, and pulled him to his feet, before and herding him along with Margo.
The heat was unbearable as we ran down the cobbled streets. Men fought bravely to throw water from the canals onto the flames to stop them from spreading further through Babbage's beautiful buildings.
But the fire could not be stopped.
As we crossed the bridge, my name was called, and I turned to see Willard, his body ablaze.
"MY SOUL, my soul is split, I can not die! I am to live eternally broken because YOU took from me the one thing that completes me! I HATE YOU ALEXANDER AND I HATE YOU MARGO! I HATE YOU BOTH!"
With those final words, fire erupted from him and I would have been engulfed in flame if it were not for Margo.
Her research into the mind afforded her abilities that some still can not comprehend. It was as if a shield had been placed around me, and then, she was there beside me handing me our child.
"GO ALEXANDER, you must save our son."
There was no time for reflection, for goodbyes or considering other options.
She pushed me towards the bridge and I ran across.
One quick glimpse back allowed me time to see Margo and Willard locked in a fight of inhuman powers. Blue and orange lights flashing and lighting up the burning town around them. Then a large explosion caused the old bridge to collapse, and that was the last I ever saw of her.
A month later, I learned from a colleague that the 13 Club had captured Willard.
Being that he was apparently immortal and could not die, the Lord Masters decided that the best option was to banish him from this world. And so it was that Willard, or what was left of the man, was rocketed to the moon, where he is to this day.
And so, you know now the truth. The true reason for why Babbage burned.
It was not the result of any local accidents. It was because a group of men believed they could understand the power of gods. Like children playing adults with a loaded pistol, ignoring the simple things that often are taken for granted. The love and respect for your fellow man.
I still hold fondness for the memories of I and Willard as boys, when we used to play in the tunnels under Babbage.

And I will always… Always miss Margo.

So Willard had really been rocketed to the moon…
And after seeing the rocket crashed into the Ruby’s roof, we suddenly feared he found a way to finally come back to Earth and… do what? Look for something apparently, if the scanning automatons were also his doing. Something or someone. But who? Margo? Something else?
Another thing that the Professor Eliot said made me listen attentively. That little urchin he took with him in the carriage… Could that be… Could that be Jason? We know Jason Moriarty was his protégé, and became his apprentice. That the Professor Eliot pulled him out of the streets and took him under his wing. That little urchin in the recording could very well be him.
But even after all the bad things the Professor Eliot had done, I could not help but feel some pity for him and some sadness for his and Margo’s destiny. Having to be apart at the very moment where they could have started to be together… And never see each other again anymore.
I was sad for Margo. She had lost her man and her son in one awful day. And if, as we thought, she is none other than the bag lady who left the music box in the crypt, then she had also lost her sanity…
Nat thought that those 13 club guys were awesome and Cyan added that we should make a new 13 club of urchins.
I agree.
Taking another look at the children’s map, we noticed the “13” indicating an entrance into the sewers, and decided to go and find the secret “Fort camp”.
At that point, Triky had gone to sleep and the others had ran far ahead of me, so they had already spent a fair amount of time exploring the sewers when I arrived next to the manhole labelled “13” in front of the Kahruvel Steamworks.

I was about to climb down when I heard an horrible cry, something almost inhuman, shaping itself into words resonating loudly in the foggy air :
Willard Steamweaver shouts: WHERE IS MY SOUL!!!!

I ran towards the train station, thinking that the voice was coming from there, but I saw nothing. Just heard the same cry again, louder, closer.
Willard Steamweaver shouts: WHERE IS MY SOUL!!!!

I ran back towards the sewer number 13 to get into the sewers, thinking that the voice was coming from down there, when I stumbled upon Nat, climbing back up. He was very pale and looked scared.
Nat Merit: did you see the clue down there?!
Myrtil Igaly: no
Nat Merit: OK
Nat Merit: I'm a bit freaked out by it

I was wondering what he was meaning, but my current concern was the cry I had just heard and so I asked him if he had seen the person shouting. He said he hadn’t, but heard him. But Dierdre and Cyan were with him in the sewers and they saw it. A hovering dark form engulfed into flames… Flames, as Alexander had described Willard in his recording…

Nat had disappeared again into the sewers, and I climbed down myself. I hopped on the raft floating there and started to sail inside the tunnels, looking at the children’s map to find my way around.
After a while, I had arrived under the Town Hall and spotted Nat, Cyan and Dierdre discussing together :
Nat Merit: he's the one in the crow mask holding a green bottle all the time
Nat Merit: myrtil, how long have you known triky?
Myrtil Igaly: hum
Myrtil Igaly: a few months
Myrtil Igaly: why?
Nat Merit: you not see the most recent clue
Myrtil Igaly: no not yet
Nat Merit: it shows us Willard was called Triky as a kid
Cyan Rayna: Has he always had a thing for pyro
Myrtil Igaly: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nat Merit: yes
Nat Merit: spelled Triky
Myrtil Igaly: where is it?
Cyan Rayna: Thats odd
Nat Merit: it's at the 'fort' shown on the child's map
Nat Merit: willard's looking for the other half of his soul
Myrtil Igaly: no...
Myrtil Igaly: he wants Triky
Nat Merit: and we have a pyromaniac urchin called the name he had as a kid
Nat Merit: we think he wants triky
Myrtil Igaly: yes that sounds right..

I hopped back on my raft with the others to go to the “Fort” indicated on the map, and we soon arrived in front of three dark tunnels entrances.

At the end of the first one, a wooden plateform was installed, against the wall, above the water, and boxes, wooden swords, a kind of table with a large drawing on it, covered it.

I jumped in shock when I noticed the inscription painted on the box under the table…

Dierdre Maven: What is trikys last name?
Myrtil Igaly: Jinx
Cyan Rayna: Nice.
Nat Merit: ji-- yeah
Cyan Rayna: Jinx...
Cyan Rayna: curse
Cyan Rayna: poor guy
Nat Merit: we think Arthur opened the box
Nat Merit: let Triky, Willard's soul-half out
Nat Merit: Triky burned him, maybe
Nat Merit: he does like fire
Nat Merit: a lot
Cyan Rayna: Or Willard soul took over the body of an urchin

Only thing we could do now was try to find Triky and ask him more about his past… Maybe tell him he’d better hide.

And go attend the extraordinary town meeting that Jesper Renfold had asked the Mayor to announce for the day after…