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Preternatural Phenomena | 21st, 11pm onwards

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Darlene arrived to her friends doorway dressed in black muslin, a shapeless and non-descript costume, though she was not without the silver tiara atop her head. The tiara had been a gift from the Duchess, and would ward of evil, most especially that might enter the mind. Or at least that last  addition had been what Darlene imagined as she teased her curls to sit prettily around it. The young Viscountess had always thought her mind was her most vulnerable part. A mind that currently was filled with questions she might ask of the other plane.

She carried a freshly cut bouquet of moon flowers, white trumpet-shaped flowers that unfurl at night and reflect the moon's light, as a gift for the hostess. 

She was pale due to feeling both excited and nervous, while she'd been attentive to fixing her face with rouge to her lips - incase Thomas became present.  "Im not too early am I?" she asked as she was seen into Lady Ablemarles suite, with curious eyes wide as she looked around at the preparations made. 

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It was not too early.  Elizabeth was finishing up her own set of defenses.  A smallish maid was closing the clasp of a silver and agate necklace around the neck of the Duchess. Silver earrings matched her own silver tiara.  There was a silver belt around her waist as well.  "Enough Marie," the Duchess snapped.  "Get brandy for the Viscountess."  

Elizabeth eyed Darlene with a smile.  "The black is perfect," she purred, thinking it was an adventurous color for Darlene.  "You are a haunting beauty tonight Darlene," she added.  The Duchess wore a gown of blood red, so as to stick out to the spiritual word.  She would have worn white but was practical enough to worry what the dust and cobwebs might do to it.

She saw the tiara and looked for earrings and necklaces as well.  "You can never have enough silver," she observed.  "I have a small pouch of salt for you as well."  It was said that evil spirits avoided salt.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Elizabeth was on edge, she snapped at her maid when she was usually gentler.  "Yes and make it a big one!" Darlene joined in the Duchesses mood thinking it fun  (Though in fact, Darlene had never been a big drinker, so likely most would go to waste.)

"You think I need even more silver?" in a sober voice she asked, also enjoying the gravity of the moment. "Haunting was not the look I was going for, but – ooh! Did you feel that Elizabeth! A sudden draft!"  A chill crept up Darlene spine, and she had the delicious  sense that tonight was going to be very scary. Perhaps they would even scream.

Moving closer to look into the jewellery box as the Duchess looked for silver earrings, she asked, "Who do you hope we might contact tonight? Surely you do not wish for just some random.  My dear, I might be foolish to hope so, but I wonder if my Thomas might visit? Although he likely disapprove of mediums as much in death as he did life. Still, one can hope."  


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The maid scurried to the liquor cabinet. Unfortunately, there was no large goblet, so the maid poured the brandy into the standard one, but closer to the brim.  She returned walking slowly as not to spill a drop and get scolded.

The Duchess had a jewelry box of all things silver.  Darlene would see silver hair pins, earrings, rings, necklaces, broaches.  "If you see anything you fancy, it is yours," Elizabeth invited her best friend.  Darlene could have her pick.  Many had semi-precious stones attached.  There was a silver letter opener that looked like a small dagger.

"I shall make contact with grandfather.  He shall come surely if we are both present."  Darlene would attract the spirit for certain.  "Perhaps the Count can summon Thomas, but we need something that belonged to him in life," she advised.

When Darlene thrilled at a possible chill, Elizabeth froze in place, looking in all directions.  "Do you still feel it?  Maybe some spirit has sensed our being draped in silver.

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Darlene did not even touch the silver letter opener, her experiences with such was enough.  But her eyes honed in upon a silver filigree brooch in the shape of a circle depicting a tree, it's branches and roots almost a duplicate of each other.  "Oh this would be perfect, it is like the trees of Oakham."

“Thank you my dearest.”  Claiming that pretty thing she fastened it on her bodice near her heart. 

"It would be lovely to hear your grandfathers wisdom again, he was a man of great vision." Darlene replied, while her hopes sunk.  "But I do not have anything of Thomas's."  Elizabeths reasoning made perfect sense, she could not even think of anything back in her room that she could send for that would be fit.

"It's probably better that he doesn’t talk to me any way, he would be unlikely to say anything nice." her husband was renown for lectures, and if he was watching over her still, he was unlikely to approve.  Still, she would have liked to have known his thoughts. 


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"Perfect," Elizabeth gushed at Darlene's choice.  She studied the brooch approvingly.

"Thomas can wait for our next calling.  Forensi has warned that it is best to focus on just one spirit at a time.  He has also warned that restless spirits in the castle may come to us unbidden.  Some could be friendly ... but some not." A chill ran down her spine in expectation.

"Did you find a friend or two to join us?  Will they be needing silver tonight?"

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She had said she would come and so here she was.

Dressed in dove grey silk and adorned with several items of silver as Darlene had stipulated.

A silver disc hung from a silver chain at her waist and in her hair she wore four small silver stars that glimmered as she moved.

Her face was pale and she was thinner - a thing Poppy had noted as she could now lace her stays completely closed with no usual gap - but she did not seem to have much appetite of late.

Her encounter with Lady Mountjoy had not gone to plan.

It had left her with no energy and little desire to do much of anything.

Poppy rapped on the door and stood aside.

She would never allow her Mistress to go out alone and once inside she would make herself scarce yet aware of the surroundings.

If there was indeed some mischief afoot this night then she needed to keep her own wits about her.

Cuddling up to a servant or two would provide her with household gossip as well as other things that might be useful at some other time.

She could not ever forget that their very lives were at risk. Even at such a place as this.

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"Oh certainly," Darlene agreed that her own wishes could wait.

Anyone who knew Darlene at that moment knew that she was lying.  She would not wait for months for Elizabeth to secure the Counts services again, no not she, she would pay the ceremony extra careful attention to the ceremony and then reenact it out when she was ready. 

"Yes I have invited two ladies, but no need for your jewellery box any more for I told them to arrive prepared.  One of the ladies understanding if not experienced in these things, while for the other it is a brand new field." Darlene replied, about to say more, when there was a knock.  " - but this might be them now?" 


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  • 1 month later...

Darlene smiled warmly towards Davina, although last time they had seen each other they had rowed.  But that was hardly any matter, for since then invitation had been sent, and Davina had accepted, more than that, she'd actually arrived.  As such Darlene held hopes that the other did not intend to make trouble for the group tonight. 

"This is Mistress Wellsley." Darlene was happy to introduce one to the other, then turned back to Davina to compete, "while you of course know of our hostess Duchess Albemarle. My what a curious place to first properly meet."

Hopefully this would not be the first out of the usual occurrence tonight. 

"I did wonder if perhaps Mistress Wellsley and your Lord Husband the Duke might be friends? It is entirely possible, I think they are close in age."  after a pause, she then added with a laugh in regards to both ladies feeling towards the men cited, "Not that that does much to recomend!"

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At the provided introduction Davina made a nice reverence her gaze taking everything in regarding the Lady's dress and decoration.

"Your Grace. Naturally I do but, until now, have not had any formal introductions."

This said in reply to Lady Oakham's assumptions.

"And as for His Grace  ..... there too I have not the pleasure."

It was certainly possible that Davina and the Duchess had crossed paths at several Court functions and perhaps exchanged a few words. But nothing like this.

She looked between the two woman as there was clearly an undercurrent in play but did not offer comment.

"How many are to join if I might ask?"

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Davina's name was revealed to the Duchess.  Elizabeth's face showed surprise.  The traitor!  Had she not told Darlene what her husband had said about Miss Wellsley?  She was certain she had.

Wearing a courtly smile, the young Duchess nodded at the greeting.  "Yes, I have seen you about the Queen," she mustered as politely as possible.  With a look at Darlene, Elizabeth added "thank you for the introduction."  She would quiz her friend later.  Having a Catholic in the circle could present a danger.

She surveyed Baintree's sister for silver jewelry.  It did not look like she had enough, but Ablemarle held her tongue, having no desire to share some jewelry with the likes of her.

"There will be five of us in total.  Four ladies and Count Forensi," she replied to Davina.  "Midnight is almost upon us and yet we wait for your last acquaintance Lady Hamilton."  She was anxious for Anne-Elizabeth to arrive so they would not be late.  "whatever is keeping her I wonder?" Though tempted to leave without the other lady, it would eliminated the occult power of five.  Four would not do.  Her mind was racing for a substitute if Darlene's other guest did not arrive in the next few minutes.

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Anne-Elisabeth hurried through the halls,  hoping that she was not too late. There had not been much time to change between one engagement and the other. She was wearing so much silver jewelry … around her neck, her waist, her wrists, in her earlobes and on her fingers ... that she jingled as she walked. Even her purple gown was liberally shot through with silver thread and her elaborate hairstyle was amply adorned with silver pins. Her shoes had silver heels and buckles.


Though she suspected that the entire thing was a hoax, she preferred not to take any chances. If somebody was going to be possessed by evil spirits tonight, it certainly wasn’t going to be her.


When she reached the door, she knocked.  Her maidservant usually did it for her but she had left Bess in her room to cat-sit Crystal.  In truth, she just didn't want to see the look on her face.  Bess clearly disapproved of her mistress' latest adventure.


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The coolness of greeting was not lost on her by any means! But there was little to be gained after all by any comeback. Nor was the assessment of her own attire.

She was indeed rather understated in her own ornamentations when placed side by side but she was not worried in the least about any Spirit interference.

Or so she told herself.

it seemed that there was one left to arrive    ........

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fortunately for Darlene, she had no recollection at all of Elizabeths poor opinion of Davina (it surely was not the first time that the Duchess had noted lack of retention in her friend), so she carried blithely along. 

"Oh this must be Lady Cambray,"  Darlene moved towards the door to look out as the servant dutifully opened it.   And there stood Anne-Elizabeth "Oh there you are, we were just about to fret that some force against discovery had lured you away."  

Turning back to the Duchess she again spoke, "This is the friend I told you about, Anne-Elizabeth Deveraux, fresh-faced from the Caribbean.  I thought her presence tonight can only bode well, for you know how spiritual they are over there..."   a pause, and excitably she suggested, "Must we rush swiftly onward now, I would hate to keep the other realm waiting."  


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To Monck's eye, Darlene did not seem troubled by the Catholic's presence as part of the group.  Darlene was far too forgiving of foreigners and Catholics, at least to a member of the Ladies Order of St. George.  Elizabeth could hear in her head her mother's chiding voice about having anything to do with Catholics.

The arrival of the Jamaican lady was of interest to the Duchess.  Anne's skin was not as pale as what proper ladies should desire.  It made Elizabeth wonder if the lady was acquainted with witchcraft.  She had read a pamphlet that professed that witchcraft and necromancy ran through Jamaica like the Thames ran through London.

The new arrival had burdened herself with silver.  "Lovely," the Duchess declared warmly, assuming this was confirmation that Anne was steeped in lore.  Maybe there was reason for greater hope.

"We must fly," Ablemarle agreed with Darlene's rush.  "We must arrive before midnight or lose the window to the other world."  She was shooing the other young ladies out of her rooms as her maid, Marie moved up to present a black shawl to wear over her mistress' shoulders.  "It will be cold and damp milady."   Elizabeth accepted the additional article of clothing with ill-disguised impatience.  "Follow me," she bade her coven of ladies.  Marie had a lantern and struggled to keep up with her mistress to make sure the way was lit.


OOC~  Let's move to the seance thread.

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