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…

No comments: