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...

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