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…

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Brainstorming (WARNING : 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 :op

I have eventually decided to take the risk and put on writing everything my friends and I have found so far about that body in the wall of the Imperial Theatre, as well as my ideas on the subject. Hopefully it will help me understand better and maybe the obvious will just jump at my face!

The Captain Skusting Dagger was there with Loki, Triky, Kaylee and I when we were examining the body, and he noticed that he looked burned. He was completely disfigured and yeah, seemed liked he was lacking a bit of flesh on the face... Although it didn't look totally rotten.

Only things we could still see was a torn scarf around his neck and thin spectacles on his nose.
Oh and, a piece of map on the ground just in front of him... I said that already, didn't I?

The map was showing the theatre, Loki's Absinthe cafe across the street, and the cobblestone houses across the canal from the cafe. Both the theatre and cobblestone houses were circled in red and a red cross was indicating the rear of the cafe.
And at the back of the map, it was written "'No.3 Cobblestone house'" as far as I remember...

So we decided to go take a look at those Cobblestone Houses... We crossed the canal and looked at the shops. Four doors. The third one from the left was giving on a staircase leading to a big room. Nobody inside but a bed, shelvings and a table in the middle.

A table covered in papers...
Covering almost one half of the table, was laid a big map of New Babbage, and next to it, several letters, one of which I spotted immediately because of the "Van Creed" symbol on top of it.
I read it and recognized the signature of my "old friend" Mr Jesper Renfold, the representative of the Van Creed in New Babbage, whom I had already met last year when Jason Moriarty had returned and was seeking the Cloud Angel.
The paper was one of the files the Van Creed seem to have on everything and everyone, and this one was concerning the Thirteen Club.

Another of the documents was a letter from a guy named Charlie and who was talking to his friend Arthur. The symbol on top of that letter was another one I seemed to remember from the past years... Maybe the Freemasons?

From the letter, it appeared that Arthur had left Babbage Square and wanted to come back to investigate on the Professor Alexander Eliot's murder two years ago, or just because he was interested in what the Professor was working on.

And his friend Charlie apparently found the room in the Cobblestone House for him.

Another letter was signed by Arthur himself. Arthur Celtington. And was directed to Jesper Renfold.

In the letter, Arthur was asking Mr Renfold for help from the Van Creed to give him informations about the Thirteen Club and its members.

He seems to have been searching the Professor Eliot's old room and have found a box with a picture of the "old god Malkuth" on the lid, but he didn't manage to open it.

There was actually a little box on the other side of the table... With a kind of skeleton drawn on the lid...

But that box was open. And empty.

And another symbol could be seen in the inside of the lid. A "13".

No clue as to what was inside or if there was something at all...

Apparently, Arthur did look for informations about that Malkuth, or maybe the Van Creed gave them, because the last piece of paper to be found on the table was a report about the Worshipers of Malkuth.

It tells of the ruins of a Monastery hidden below New Babbage and three grand worshippers buried there in a tomb filled with gold.
It says that the Monastery stood there before the Great Empire fell and that it got burnt to the ground by people seeing it as evil.
And it speaks about a quartet of old gods linking the world of Man and the other worlds : Malkuth, Yesod, Hod and Netzah.

My head was starting to hurt a little so I decided to go out and breath some fresh air.

Of course, I couldn't help but going back to the Imperial theatre and just while I was arriving at the back door, I saw Loki running away. Then I heard a voice I knew coming from inside and I rushed in...

Mr Jesper Renfold was there, in the middle of urchins and citizen, looking at the body in the wall. He was saying that the Professor Eliot would be proud of his grandson Loki, and then he recognized me and he even asked Triky if he had burnt any other school recently. Yeah, it was really like he knew EVERYTHING.

And then he turned to the body, got close, examined it and just said : "So this is where Arthur ended up."

(Photo credit : Nat Merit)

Arthur? Like the one from the letters? Seems like we may have identified the dead body in the wall...
But who killed him? And why? Or how did he land in that wall? And why is he so disfigured?

Something in the letters found in the room of the Cobblestone House made me run towards the Absinthe cafe and use the rope hanging in the back to get on the roof and then into the Professor Eliot's old room.
Arthur wrote that he had found the box there. And the cross on the map was right on the Distillery, above which the Professor Eliot's room is.

I looked a bit around and saw the letters dating back from when the Professor had been murdered by Jason Moriarty... I searched the bookcases full of dust and suddenly stumbled upon a piece of paper stuck between two books.

I think I read it twice before understanding anything, and I still read it today without being sure of what it means... Was this letter in the box found in Arthur's room? Or was a symbol found in the box leading to somewhere where that letter was? Who wrote it..?

It tells about the Great Fire of New Babbage and seems to imply that the causes evoked in the Archives wouldn't be the real ones. And the writer seems to think his soul may need salvation in the future...

And... It says the box shouldn't have been opened...
While I was reading the letter, Matilda came in, and I informed her about the recent events. The customers in the cafe beneath us were apparently hearing us because they suddenly asked me about the Van Creed I had mentioned. So I climbed down.
Loki was serving customers and the Father Pizarro was sitting at a table. Mr Wiggy Undertone and him were quite interested by knowing more about the Van Creed and I indulged their curiosity as well as I could.
And after a while... :
Father Pizzaro: How fascinating
Myrtil Igaly: Yeh... But you'd better read the book cause I don't remember all of it very well...
Loki Eliot: New Bababge is a hive of activity with science and invention, they are always watching to see what can be explited
Myrtil Igaly: they say it in the letter in the Cobblestone house
Myrtil Igaly: The Van Creed have files on EVERYTHING
Myrtil Igaly: they know all, watch all, control all
Father Pizzaro: Files on everything, you say?
Father Pizzaro smiles
Myrtil Igaly nods
Myrtil Igaly: Mr Renfold, he knew the corpse in the theatre
Myrtil Igaly: and he knows Loki
Myrtil Igaly: and he knows me
Myrtil Igaly: and he even knows Triky!
Father Pizzaro: One wonders how that would compare to the records the Church keeps.
Myrtil Igaly: Do you have files too?
Father Pizzaro: We do keep records to document history. As well as our research.
Father Pizzaro: As would any organization.
Myrtil Igaly: with an aim?
Loki Eliot: hey you dont think?.... nagh,
Myrtil Igaly: think what?
Father Pizzaro: With the aim of history.
Loki Eliot: well... i dunno, maybe jason is back?
Myrtil Igaly: he fell from the plateform...
Loki Eliot shudders at the thought
Father Pizzaro: Those that do not know history are doomed to repeat its mistakes.
Myrtil Igaly: he can't be back
Loki Eliot: yes but no body was found, and this is new babbage
Myrtil Igaly: but why would he come back anyway??
Myrtil Igaly: he must be weak!
Myrtil Igaly: do you think he killed that man?
Loki Eliot: most of babbage history went up in smoke during the great fire i ve been told
Myrtil Igaly: when was it?
Father Pizzaro: Good evening. Thank you for the conversation.
Loki Eliot: before we was born
Myrtil Igaly: Oh Father
Myrtil Igaly: Is that possible to take a look at the Church files?
Loki Eliot: thank you father for staying and listening :)
Father Pizzaro: I am sure some records were preserved in the Church vaults under the old city.
On this, the Father Pizzaro got up and left the Absinthe cafe. I wanted to follow him to ask him again if I could take a look at the Church records, and where they were keeping them, but he was quite fast and I lost his sight.

I then resumed my clues hunt.
The end of the letter found in the Professor Eliot's room mentionned the train station and something beneath its tracks.

I went to the Babbage Square train station with Matthew and Nat and we found a hole in the ground leading to a hidden crypt in a part of the sewers.

Three tombs were waiting there, overlooked by a great wall painting picturing Saints.

(Photo credit : Nat Merit)

The letter was saying that we needed to find the one who held the sword of flame, and indeed, we found three pieces of paper hidden behind the sword on the painting.

The writing on those letters was exactly the same as on the paper found in the Professor Eliot's room, and later discoveries convinced me that they had been written by the Professor Alexander Eliot himself.

While down there in the crypt, Matthew and Nat mentionned having seen the old lady wearing a huge bag we had already met in front of the Town Hall when we were examining the crashed barrel. They told me she wanted to stop them from going down in the crypt and saying that only the dead went down here. And then she told them :

"Oh you found the rabbit hole, nice down there, safe from the moon he wont find you down there, good little children."

And then she started rambling :

"Three, three... always three...
Father, Son, Holy Ghost.
Lover, Loved, Jealous.
The Sun, the Earth, the Moon.
Look out for the moon, as it wants you all."

At the end of the letters, cryptic words were supposed to lead us to the next clue. We eventually managed to find it (after passing in front of it a hundreds times without seeing it...) and this clue led us to another one, with which another letter was attached.

I know the Professor Eliot was working on the properties of human blood as it was actually Loki's blood that ultimately activated the Porta Terrarum device his grand-father had invented, when Jason Moriarty tried to open a gate to another realm and let the Old Ones enter ours...

But I didn't know he was also working on body regeneration or immortality. As I understand the letter, his friend Willard was most interested in those discoveries but the Professor Eliot was starting to realize they were far from controlling what they were attempting..

The last clue led us back to the Cobblestone House where Arthur had his room, and we looked around a bit before Jimmy finally found a stone in the back alley, holding the symbol of the Old Gods, that was drawn on the paper attached to the last clue.

He spoke the name of the Old God Malkuth and a noise indicated us that a door had been unlocked. Jimmy pushed the wall behind the stone and we followed him and fell into a dark and dusty crypt, full of scientific material...
(Photo credit : Nat Merit)

Three tombs again, were waiting down there, closely sealed, but on their lid, the same symbol as on the stone was carved. Could it be the crypt they are talking about in the letter found in Arthur's room? The worshippers of Malkuth? The tomb was supposed to be filled with gold then...

Instead we examined the laboratory, the curious torture chair in the middle of the room, and found a letter on the table.

A letter from Margo, the one who was supposed to be Willard's fiancee in Alexander Eliot's letters. She is writing to Willard, and calling him also Wilfrid. And she is saying that her child was from the Professor Eliot! Loki's grand-father!
Margo would be Loki's grand-mother!!???

Next to the letter, on the table, were laying several cylinders. We used the machine sitting on the end of the table to listen to them.

Here are the transcripts my urchin friend, Matilda Twine, and I, tried to make of the recordings :

First Recording :
This is Alexander Eliot.
Sir Willard Steamweaver had been conducting experiments on himself in an attempt to gain immortality. But the Thirteen Club had become very concerned with the ethics behind what he was attempting and sought to stop him, causing him to go into hiding.
I felt a loyal duty to help my long time friend. I supported him with food and money and also attended to his fiancee Miss Margo December while he was deep in his research.
During this time, I and Miss December fell in love. I do not regret this, I had secretely loved her ever since I had joined the Thirteen club. And to see her giving up so much for a man who had quite frankly lost the sight of what truly mattered in this world, it inspires the gentleman in me to take action.
Soon Miss December was with child. Our child. I went to Willard. I went to explain everything. But he assumed it was his child. And my cowardice prevented me from doing the done thing.
Before I knew it, I was returning home with a hangover.
Weeks went by. Months. And still I did not tell the man the truth. His research became more insane. More daring. Human testing! He started to talk about splitting a soul. About the Old Gods and Malkuth.
Eventually, Margo gave birth to our son Halfrid. Such a beautiful boy. I had never been so happy in my life. But in the back of my mind I knew that if Willard was ever to find out in his current state of insanity, it was dangerous for Margo and our son.
So I insisted Margo collect her belongings and made arrangements to leave the town at night. But I was foolish. I was foolish to not respect the love she once held for Willard and masking it as an errand before we left, Margo visited Willard's secret lab one last time.
This would lead to the greatest catastrophes Babbage has ever witnessed. For myself, the biggest heartbreak my life has ever had to endure.

Wilfrid Steamweaver's Cylinder Recordings :
Entry 1 :
So I have moved my lab to beneath the cobblestone house. Unknown to most it's a crypt to the Church to Malkuth. Left over from when the old (townsmen ?) destroyed the Church, killing its monks.
I actually have no idea what the date is. I have been hiding so long as time has left me. It's a dark crypt. And I find it ironic that my final discovery should happen at the place of Malkuth worship. But my work must continue if I'm ever to succeed and save us both.

Entry 2 :
I fear I should perhaps explain why I am here before I move on to the experiments in hand. My name is Sir Willard Steamweaver. A son of New Babbage educated in the Academies in Caledon. I'm a member of the Thirteen Club.
For the last 6 years, I have been studying the way to extend life and, more to the point, attain immortality.
I have gathered many notes on vampires and lycanthropy and researched the many scriptures and ancient beliefs on the subject.
And I do believe there is a scientific possibility.
Alexander, the great friend of years, has also been supporting me, while the Thirteen Club have turned their back on me. I thought the whole point of the Thirteen Club was to support brilliant figures like myself. The reason I left the Academy to come to New Babbage in the first place.
Not long now, a few more tests need to be made before I can start self tests.

Entry 3 :
Margo and I had an argument that ended in me losing my temper and striking her. Her judgement has become clouded due to what's being said amongst the Club members. Why does she not understand the possibilities we'll gain from immortality? I love her so much. But with this technology, we will always be together, forever. And never apart. - Sigh -
Alexander has told me he will take care of Margo and explain everything to her. Good old Alex. I've always been able to count on him. Since we were boys running through the sewers of Babbage. He's always been there when I need him most.

Entry 4 :
The research has not gone to plan. Something is wrong but I can't figure it out. To make matters worse, I have had no time to see my fiancee in weeks. Alexander assured me she is fine. A little under the weather perhaps, but nothing to worry about. Ah, I am frustrated.

Entry 5 :
Alexander tells me that Margo is with child! We celebrate with a fine glass of Absinthe. It's not long before we are on the floor laughing. This news is such a boost of my confidence. Now I have a child to save along with myself and Margo.

Entry 6 :
I've started human tests on vagrants that no one will notice missing. Tests indicate that the strange reaction to the chair will cause the human body to deteriorate almost immediately. I'm missing something obviously, yeah. I'm not sure what.
I'm quite positive I can get things back on track.

Entry 7 :
All tests suggest I'm on the verge of a breakthrough. The last subject showed signs of no body deterioration although he has been horribly disfigured by extreme heating of the body. I believe I have finally fixed this issue and am ready to try it on myself.
Oh! If Alexander and Margo were here, to see my final days of triumph!

Hearing about that man's experiments made me remember about Jason Moriarty, and even the Professor Eliot.
The Professor Eliot did test something on Jason, who was his apprentice at the time. Even if Jason was a volunteer, that's still human testing...
And later, after Jason became a werewolf and started to drift apart from the Professor's views, he tested his own version of the Porta Terrarum device on urchins he thought nobody would notice if they disappeared. He killed Lucas, the little ghost of the theatre... He killed many more kids...
And that Willard was just the same. Just trying his experiments on people and throwing them away without a second thought when that failed.
All that happened in the past. Long gone past. But Arthur was certainly not murdered that long ago... He did come, seeked answers, and found a death I imagine more horrible than anything he could have thought of.
His death awoke the past, and more important, it means that someone who knows the past... or someone FROM the past, didn't want him to find out.
We must know.
I walked to the Old Bridge near Iron Bay and found Mr Underby's house. I knocked on the door but he wasn't home. I left a note for him to meet me at the Absinthe Cafe because I had questions to ask him.
I saw him later that day at the Cafe and he accepted to answer my questions.
Myrtil Igaly smiles uncertainly : Hello Mr Underby and thank you for accepting to meet me
Myrtil Igaly: Let's have a seat?
YoYo Underby: How may I be of service?
Myrtil Igaly nods : I will be short
YoYo Underby: You wanted to know about the Old Gods?
Myrtil Igaly: I heard that you were well versed in the Old Gods history
YoYo Underby: Yes, I have some knowledge
Myrtil Igaly nods : Please
Myrtil Igaly: I was just wondering if you knew anything about a god named Malkuth
YoYo Underby: Yes, he is the god of this world, the material plane.
Myrtil Igaly rummages in her pocket and takes a little piece of paper out. She looks at it and adds : "And... three other gods named yesod, hod and Netzah?"
YoYo Underby: There are ten worlds in total, all ruled by a different god.
Myrtil Igaly: OH..
Myrtil Igaly: You mean our world is under the rule of Malkuth but there are nine other worlds out there?
YoYo Underby: It should really be Netzatch
YoYo Underby: And yes.
YoYo Underby: The other nine are worlds "above" ours, in a sense.
YoYo Underby: Some call them heaven, but it is a sloppy sentimental word.
Myrtil Igaly: oh...
YoYo Underby: And not at all accurate.
Myrtil Igaly: and what about those three other gods I told you? Are they related especially to Malkuth?
YoYo Underby: They can be brutal, and also beautiful.
YoYo Underby: Yes.
Myrtil Igaly: Why?
Myrtil Igaly: What is their relationship?
YoYo Underby: The worlds are tests for folk like you and I.
YoYo Underby: Well, Malkuth is all powerful here, but in other planes these other gods "trump" him in stature if you will.
YoYo Underby: He is something of a custodian of this world.
Myrtil Igaly: Oh..
YoYo Underby: I'm afraid I must go for now... perhaps we can talk again soon.
Myrtil Igaly nods
Myrtil Igaly: Thank you again for talking to me
YoYo Underby: It was a pleasure talking with you.
YoYo Underby: Not a problem miss.
YoYo Underby: Good day.
Myrtil Igaly: Good day to you

I had to let Mr Underby go, even if I have more questions to ask him. I look forward to meeting him again. I am wondering what Malkuth is able to do. If his worshippers believed that he and the other gods could open gates to the nine other worlds above us.
I have also been to the library, to read the Archives of New Babbage, and here is what it says about the Great Fire :

The Great Fire of Babbage occurred a few decades ago. It is said possibly a third of the town was destroyed and another third damaged by the fire which started in what is now known as New Babbage. Most of Port Babbage, the canal district and Clockhaven were left untouched. Old Babbage, Wheatstone and Babbage Square had to be rebuilt. Many of the underground Sewer systems predate the building above. The fire was apparently started in just one street. A bakery was blamed, and also the Royal Oak inn which was at the time holding a reception for a young married couple. Some also believe that Angry jack had set fire to a street Urchin and let the boy run around setting fire to near by buildings as he scrambled in distress. Most believe the Royal Oak story though. Since most of the buildings were built just after the fall of the Great Empire, the materials used in those times where cheap wood structures. So it was no surprise that these houses took up flame so easy. "Before long the fire had swept through a third of our beautiful town, many of it's residents burnt to death trapped in their homes, many more left homeless and pennyless. So blinded we had become with our achievements since the Great Empire fell, that one small fire brought all our hopes and dreams crashing down" - John Stewert, journalist at the time of the great fire of New Babbage.

If we believe the Royal Oak story, we could imagine that Willard started the fire, and that the young married couple could have been the Professor Alexander Eliot and Willard's ex-fiancee Miss Margo December. But... But Alexander and Margo were supposed to leave the city. They wouldn't have taken the risk to get married in New Babbage knowing that Willard was around...

In the recordings though, the Professor Eliot seems to think that the Great Fire of Babbage may have been provoked after Willard read Margo's letter.

And in Willard's recordings, he mentions the fact that his experiments induce an extreme heating of the body leading to a disfigurement of the test subject... Burnt... Like Arthur. Would Willard have tried his experiments one more time and something would have gone wrong? Would he have set a fire unintentionnally? Or is it not his doing at all..?

And about Arthur... Did he found the crypt and decided to try the immortality experiment on himself, like we discussed with Nat, Jimmy and Matilda? Or... Did someone knocked him on the head and then tried the experiment on him? Maybe even Willard himself... He could still be alive. He could even be... immortal.

So many questions.

And while we are all running around looking for old stories, things keep falling from the sky. That is what Miss Breezy said she heard Jesper Renfold tell.

Satoshi, Nat and I followed Mr Renfold to Perdido Street, where another barrel had fallen from the sky and crashed on the ground. He seemed frustrated he couldn't arrive earlier to see what was coming from inside the barrel and he blamed it on me because I asked him about the bag lady, causing him to delay. But I had to know. Matthew said Mr Renfold was looking for her. I wanted to know why. She must be of importance...

(Photo credit : Nat Merit)

More barrels, more barrels. Everywhere in New Babbage. Jimmy and I heard one had fallen in the Academy and we rushed to go see it.
The barrel was crashed there, but also a kind of automaton with big pliers and a little propeller. It was hovering around, scanning people and saying "result negative".

It is apparently looking for something, or someone. Yes, most likely someone, since it is only scanning people. But it didn't find it yet.

Folded, the automaton could fit perfectly inside one of the crashed barrels. And there seems to be automatons wandering around every spot where a barrel is crashed.

What are they? Who are they looking for? Where are they coming from and who built them?

Those things are pretty dumb. They just go to the closest person to scan them and they keep pushing them around. They seem to be harmless though. No visible weapons, and they didn't attack us... And they do explode quite easily when one shoots them...

(Picture credit : Kaylee Frye)

Miss Kaylee made a map of where the barrels had fallen, to try and see if there was a pattern. But to me it looks pretty random. All over New Babbage.

I would assume the person sending them wants to cover the largest superficy possible to find the person he's looking for. Cause yeah.. I think someone is sending them. I think someone intelligent did build those things, because they are too dumb to be here by themselves.

The bag lady is awfully scared by the moon. She says it wants us all, that we have to hide. I was thinking... Maybe those barrels come from the moon? Maybe someone managed to travel to there and sends his automatons to bring him someone from Earth back? Maybe... Willard is there and wants his Margo back? It's silly I know.

Only things we can do is keep looking for informations, try to find that Charlie who wrote the letter to Arthur, try to find Willard and Margo... Loki's grand-mother. Maybe Halfrid Eliot, if he is still alive? Loki never talked much about his father. And watch the Van Creed. Why are they interested in the bag lady?

Oh, I hope she doesn't die...