Main Event: The Séance
#1


Lord Madswitte's plan had spread through word of mouth alone, unlike the meticulous planning that her Ladyship executed for her last summer event. He made a jolly announcement at the head of the dinner table sometime last week; he had procured a medium who would lead an expedition of sorts into the spirit realm. It was to be held in the library, at the suggestion of the housekeeper, Mrs. Benbow. She reminded him of the collapsed passageway that was said to be hidden somewhere in that room, one such mystery that had captured the immediate interest of Dr. Dietrich as well. Kelvin immediately became convinced that a spirit must have done the deed, and it was only natural to hold the entire affair there as a result.

It's said that he's keen on having all who live in his house attend. Servants, guests, and family members are free to convene at midnight in the library together on the sixteenth of August. And if they're any good at subterfuge, even some townsfolk might be able to sneak in.
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#2
@Gordon Brandt
What a fortuitous evening! He needed a translator of the spirit language to convey all the messages that he knew were amassing and just waiting for his ears in every corner of the castle, and he had found one. A strange woman who had been recommended to him through the grapevine of servants. Apparently she was one of those travelers, settled in on a small property for trading her magical wares. It was only natural that she was at least somewhat attuned to the afterlife. That was the particular talent of witches, yes?

His trust in others was easy, and his faith in beliefs of his own making strong. It lead him into precarious positions sometimes, but what did he have left to lose in his life? Passing on his family name? That was already half gone. If he could not conceive with Colette, then René would be Marquess. A boy with no blood ties to him whatsoever. His ancestors would be shamed right out of their graves, then driven right back in again, back so far that they'd reach the underworld, cursed to sulk with Charon across the Styx forever.

The thought was always at the back of his mind, but in a secluded place that he kept fortified by many a brick and mortar wall.

At the moment, Kelvin was preparing. He stared into the mirror, where Colette kept her perfumes and jewellery. It was near midnight. The time, he had been told, that would be most fruitful for spirits to mill about. He wanted to look presentable. Not for the guests, no, but for the ghosts. Naturally.

"Brandt..." He trailed off, nearly forgetting what he wanted of his valet, adjusting the position of his cravat. "Ah... yes. What do you think? Will you join my little meeting? It's about time now to go downstairs..."
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#3
Mrs. Benbow made sure to get ahead of the crowd, out of habit of course, but a little of it was with compassion toward Madswitte himself. Despite their rather limited interactions, he was pitied overall by the staff, from what she could tell. He seemed a decent, if troubled sort. The plight of an ill mind was not the fault of the inflicted, after all.

She had the footmen haul a table from downstairs into the library to properly accommodate the affair. Kelvin had requested a circular one, for everyone to make room and set their hands down. Apparently this was good for spiritual vibrations. And it was her job to see to his wishes, no matter how barmy.

They had rolled it in through the door, it only just fit, and were now setting it down and upsetting the rugs mightily. "Hold there, watch that it doesn't snag!" She waggled her finger at a newer fellow, who was struggling to untangle the leg nearest him from the rather flimsy old Persian carpet under his feet.
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#4
As had become customary, Ezra was seated in a corner, scribbling with a pencil in his rather cramped and crowded notebook. Spectacles low on his prominent nose, completing the picture of attentive scribe. That wasn't exactly what he was doing here, but it was close enough. Mostly he was going to record Lord Madswitte's reactions. His notes had deviated from generalized history of the castle to the specific behavioural quirks of its master. His colleagues would not be impressed, but perhaps his application to the school in Germany might prove fruitful because of it.
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#5
Ophelia was still in her dinner dress, though it was as simple as her usual garb, when she had strolled into the library, hands fiddling at the ends of her plain shawl. She paced while she watched the preparations, her thoughts withheld behind an ever-present vacancy in her eyes and the stoniness of her face. A séance was rather irksome, how the marques hadn’t yet been carted off to the madhouse was very beyond her but still, it was a curious affair. She kept standing uncertainly, winding her fabric round and round her fingers.
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#6
Dr. Dietrich spent the afternoon attached to his usual seat in the library like a barnacle, entirely occupied by pretending not to notice the servants bustling about trying to prepare for the evening’s ceremony. He ignored it with the concentrated effort of someone who believed that if he ignored hard enough, the whole operation would just vanish from his reality.

He sighed, finally, turning around to see all his favorite chairs getting whisked away to make room for the oversized round table. The doctor watched Mrs. Benbow was trying to orchestrate the thing until he caught sight of his pile of books being moved along with the end table he had left them on. He leapt from his seat to chase them down. “Excuse me! That’s my property you’ve got there!”
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#7
He didn’t believe in ghosts, not one bit. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t do for a guest to deny a lord’s invitation. Besides, would the Lady Violetta be there… or one of her two sisters? Unfortunately, he didn’t have yellow stockings for the occasion. He had spent the entire day with his daughter, the nonsensical babbling of children made more sense to him than the possibility of ghosts. Amwolf was most excited to see the séance fail and of course just as he entered the library, his introduction to the event was of the doctor chasing down the footmen. What a strange collection of people, thought Amwolf. The most normal there was Meril Benbow and was the so-called property of the doctor’s not Lord Madswitte’s?  

Amwolf didn’t know who to greet first out of politeness, the young lady or the man in the corner. He first headed to the young lady as she seemed not as preoccupied but would further await the opportunity to at least offer the other man a nod or a greeting. Anyways, they had the entire night.
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#8
Overall, Gordon was enjoying himself even if he was focused on performing his duties to the best of his abilities. It was his first opportunity to dress a noble for any type of formal function, which was exciting enough, and then there was the entirely bizarre nature of the event itself which gave a rather sensational colour to what otherwise should have been a routine task.

Not that he hadn’t had difficulty keeping a straight face when the Marquess had made a vague remark about wanting to look his best for the ghosts when Gordon assisted with his clothing choice. He was trying not to let on that he thought the entire idea of ghosts was nothing more than an amusing story to tell on a stormy night. And he made a mental note of the comment, not that Dr. Dietrich wasn’t already aware that the Marquess was quite obsessed with the supposed haunting.

“Yes, M’lord?” Gordon moved to attend when the Marquess called his name and waited for Lord Kelvin to collect his thoughts, wondering what it was that went on in the other man’s mind and frankly quite glad he didn’t know. At the invitation, he didn’t bother hiding his slight smile. “If you wish, My Lord, I would be glad to attend. I’ll admit to being rather curious about how a Séance is performed.”
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#9
"Good man!" He patted Brandt on the shoulder in a brotherly fashion. This valet seemed less like a little son to him, more a brother and friend. All in all, better for things. He had to focus on the young Chastain children now.

"Come then, let us begin our enchantment." And he went out the door with enthusiasm, tracing down the hall and the stairs to find the library in full swing, servants gathering and mending and positioning things.

"Well. Yes, it's a good show so far, good show." He went over to Dr. Dietrich and smiled, then nodded to Lord Amwolf and Miss...Odd? Oddly. His guests.
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#10
Ophelia acknowledged the lord who approached and greeted her with an almost microscopic curtsy, thankfully she did not need to speak to him as she did not have much interest in what she anticipated would come from his mouth. When the Marques entered the room, she turned from exhausted and reserved to suddenly animated and wide-smiling, her hands were no longer winding her shawl tentatively, and she gave a much larger, respectful curtsy.
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#11
Amwolf was beyond annoyed, he had noticed the subtle change in the young girl the moment her eyes laid onto the marquess. He cleared his throat. “Lord Amwolf Bauer,” he said, voice loud and proud just to spite her. “And who, pray tell, might you be?”
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#12
It was more than obvious that Mack Heath had been in her room. She kept careful note of each and every belonging and its whereabouts. When her diary was left crooked on her nightstand, her ears turned red and her fists clenched, running over to right it and darting her gaze about in search of some hidey-hole of his that she had yet to have discovered and sealed off.

She nearly tore up the entirety of the room looking. But nothing. Kicking the wall with her shoe, and stubbing her toe in the process. Thank God no one saw that.

It made her nearly late for the stupid sitting spirit thing, on top of it all. Why she had any concern about arriving on time was anyone's guess, but she hurried out the door then. Her sling was still a hassle and annoyance, but she'd rather a healed arm than a permanently unusable one, so she heeded the Damned Doctor still.

At the doorway, she paused, taking in the sight of the bustling servants, keen and stupid, the nobler dressed folk, bored and stupid all except for Kelvin, and the few that she couldn't name. But they were all surely stupid too. For a while she remained staring, a sour look on her face, then straightened herself out and went through, plastering on a smile, albeit weak. She touched Kelvin's shoulder and bent knee, "It is good to see you in high spirits, my dear." It nearly hurt to call him that. And she pivoted away from him smartly, looking for someone else to latch onto. It wouldn't do to linger and float about unattached.
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#13
Amwolf caught Violetta’s smile as she turned from the Marquess, though he had asked the young lady next to him a question, he was ensnared by Violetta’s wonderful smile and her looks, the sling on her arm making her strangely more attractive. He couldn’t help but stare. Ah, sweet Lord, he was hit by Cupid’s arrow.
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#14
@Amwolf Bauer
@Ophelia Bysshe Oddley


The library was far more crowded than Gordon had been expecting, and he made the bold assumption that no one aside from Lord Kelvin and (possibly) the Medium he had secured believed that the evening would prove to be anything more than a diversion from their otherwise dull or routine lives.

In such a gathering, which included his social superiors, Gordon attempted to appear as inconspicuous as possible and blend into the background. Across the room he spotted a vivid head of brilliant red hair, and moved in that direction. Miss Oddley was at least known to him, to some degree. 

As Gordon approached the young woman, a well-dressed gentleman (which was putting his fashion choices mildly) made a terribly cutting remark towards Miss Oddley in response to nothing obvious. As striking a Lord would do his position a great deal of ill, Gordon resigned himself to merely staring steely daggers at the back of the man’s head. “This is Miss Oddley, My Lord,” he adds. “Surely you’re familiar with the name?”
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#15
"Doctor!" He nearly tripped over himself, saving face by placing his notes on the floor in front of him as if he'd meant to tip forward like that the entire time. Then skirting around the bustling central area to stand at Dietrich's side.

"Heaven. Good to see you, sir. What you think of this whole affair? A fascination, to be sure!"
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