"All aboard!" cries the conductor of the 10:01 a.m. local to Woodland Centre, the village where Aunt Primrose has her estate.
As is necessary when you travel, Rory takes his sporty two-seater automobile, while you take the train. You have charge of the suitcases, as Rory's small car would be unable to carry even half of the necessaries that a well-mannered gentleman and his servant need in order to maintain proper decorum and elegance for several days away from home.
With six bags in hand, you jog down the platform at a good clip. Paddington Station is bustling this morning, and the taxi that brought you here was unaccountably slow. And so you are cutting this a bit closer than you would have preferred.
Working your way through a veritable obstacle course of humanity, you attempt to reach the train before it pulls away. But the flood of people that you must plunge through is vast—small children who seem to have dropped a coin under a bench, tour guides pointing up towards the great steel and glass arched ceiling for an enthralled crowd, families having their picture drawn by a caricaturist, station workers measuring the platform with a tape measure—and the conductor looks like he is getting ready to shut the door.
You simply must not miss this train: the next one isn't for two hours, and it would not do to arrive late. It would reflect poorly on Rory, and then he would not have the proper attire for this afternoon's fox hunt.
Just as you are nearly within hailing distance of the conductor, a man sporting a bushy ginger beard turns to the woman he is walking with, drops to one knee in the middle of the platform directly in front of you, and begins to propose marriage. The conductor takes out his pocket watch, compares it to the great clock at the center of the platform, and then clicks it closed with a satisfied nod.
What do you do?
1. Shout for the conductor to hold the train.
2. Charge straight through the joyful couple.
3. Slow down and wait for them to finish, so as not to spoil the moment. Perhaps I will still be able to make the train.
Don't reply to this one. Sorry about weird formatting. iPad.
Name: Alfred Pennyworth
Soothing: 41% Abrasive: 59%
Aunt Primrose: 46%
Col. Firesnuff: 21%
Ready Monies: 60
Leaving this here so you reply to this message, not the stats. This is the start of chapter two. Enjoy.
gonna go with option 1
Option 2 so I can hopefully piss someone off
Option 3. Our classiness extends past our occupation. We shall be patient!
And it looks like I managed to accidentally reply to the stats anyway. I voted #2.
I accidentally replied to the top comment.
Normally I'd sue for 3, but as far as Butlers go, we're clearly more Lurch than we are Jeeves. 2 is the way to go. From our previous choices, we're clearly minmaxing for being bold, silent, and violent.
With a keen eye and equally practiced feet, you weave expertly through the couple, jostling them only slightly. Unfortunately, the bit that you jostle turns out to be the bearded man's hand. The diamond ring bounces out of his hand, onto the platform, once, twice, and then vanishes from sight.
The woman swoons, and the gentleman shakes his fist at you. "You come back here this instant! I intend to file an official complaint," he shouts. "You haven't heard the last of this, I assure you!"
But you are on the train, and the door is shut. You made it.
The conductor directs a worker to stow your luggage, and then reaches for your ticket.
You and Rory discussed your travel plans last night, and based on Rory's financial situation at the moment, you argued that the best way for you to travel would be…
1…the most luxurious way: first class. (will cost 10 readies)
2…a civilized, but economical way: second class. (will cost 5 readies)
3…the cheapest possible way: third class. (will cost 2 readies)
Option 2. Got to save that money, but we're not a peasant.
Ooh, 2 is the best choice. I'll go with that. But I'm sure we'd meet some savory company riding cheap and dirty....
You explained to Rory that it would be best to make some concessions to economy, while not wholly sacrificing appearances. The second-class car is well-appointed and perfectly acceptable for your purposes, as you explained to him.
"Nonsense, Pennyworth," said Rory, slapping his knee with vigor. "You ought to travel in the finest style. First class for you."
"But sir, if I may bring up a sensitive subject, the matter of your finances…"
"You are more valuable to me than mere money, Pennyworth. A price above rubies, as the fellow says."
"Thank for for your kind words, sir, but I would prefer to travel second class."
"Ah, Pennyworth, always looking out for me, even at the cost of your own comfort. Very well then, second class it shall be."
You hand the conductor your second-class ticket, and he leads you back to the nearly full second-class carriage. The carriage is primarily comprised of rows of green padded seats with corded luggage racks above them; cheap prints of the Old Masters hang from the walls, framed in dull gilt. A single steward serves this car, selling small snacks and beverages from a tray.
You take your seat in the corner: here, there are four seats clustered together, two facing two. Three of the seats are already occupied by what looks like a governess and the small girl she is escorting. Together, they read from a primer, sounding out the words together. But you are far more struck by the passenger by the window, who is…
1...an extraordinary-looking woman in her twenties with long black hair, dyed purple at the ends.
2...an extraordinary-looking man in his twenties with long black hair streaked with dark purple.
#2, if only because the introduction of *any* woman at this point, especially a good looking one, could lead to Rory to rush into breaking his engagement or misundertandings/jealousy, etc.
Option 2. The woman sounds like a witch, no thank you.
Remind me to send you the tumblrs and the playlists and fan art devoted to this character.
I think it might have. Some chemist back in the 1850s accidentally made purple dye (William Henry Perkin, thanks Google) which led to textile and hair dyes, though not sure when the hair ones were introduced, and dying hair was really popular in the 1920s (at least in America.) Not sure if purple hair dye was specifically a thing in Britain, but it seems theoretically possible.
Lets get our mans.
Option 2.I don't wan't Rory to be influenced by this wench. Better make her a man.
Is that Karen?
Now we simply must take option #2.
I wasn't sure what to pick here until I saw Cricket's impeccable logic.
I think my vote goes to number o-
Wait a fuckin second, what time period is this? Did they even know how to make the color purple without rare arabian insects back in the age of High English Aristocracy? Have I been wrongfully assuming this wasn't at some point between 1890 and 1940?
Non-insect/snail purple dye was made in the 1850s and so purple textiles and later hair color were possible. In the 20s (in America) hair dye was a huge craze.
So it seems possible, but I would still guess it's highly unusual.
Option 1, sir. Pretty sure that even the briefest bit of buggery would earn you either time in prison or chemical castration in this day and age… I’ll take a nice, old fashioned pair of hooters, thank you very much.
...an extraordinary-looking woman in her twenties with long black hair, dyed purple at the ends.
You halt in the middle of taking your seat as you notice this strangely coiffed woman, who, you now see upon closer inspection, has several ear piercings. You do not mean to stare, but it is difficult not to notice someone like her—you take in her black dress spangled with white gems, her long, many-buttoned black gloves, and her tall black boots.
As she looks around the carriage to see who is entering, her hair moves, revealing a small tattoo of an autumn leaf behind her ear.
You have never seen anyone who looks like her before, and you become aware that the other passengers in the carriage are doing their very best to express their disapproval at her outlandish appearance or to ignore her steadfastly.
Leaning back languidly against the seat back, she sits up straighter as you approach, and then smiles at you with authentic pleasure in a way that strangers do not do, as she sees you looking at her. "It's the only seat left," she says. "You'll have to sit in it. And I assure you, I'll make it fun for you."
You can see that she has noticed your eyes flicking to her tattoo, and she lifts an eyebrow in an amused fashion.
1. I sit down next to her. "Nice to meet you. I'm Alfred Pennyworth."
2. I sit down after a long pause, shudder a bit at her garb, and offer her only the barest of nods.
3. I sit right down and turn towards her. "What charming hair."
Option 2. Thot begone!
We just plowed through a couple getting engaged - being polite is not our strong suit. And Pennyworth definitely would not be giving his name in case that man on the platform really does launch an investigation. And complimenting an unusual woman on her hair seems the sort of thing to cause misunderstandings or accidental engagements.
Option 3... In fact, that hair looks familiar. Were you, perchance, Master Dick's little emo friend during his rather unruly Teen Titans phase?
Are we all sure we want to continue being abrasive? We may benefit from attempting to improve other stats.
Option 3 was the only other option that had any votes.
Option 1 would have been my first choice.
I sit down after a long pause, shudder a bit at her garb, and offer her only the barest of nods.
"Ah, so it's like that, is it?" she says. "That's too bad." You look away from her, across the aisle, out the window on the other side of the train, and watch London slowly recede, as you start your journey towards Woodland Centre. The governess looks up at you and gives you a sympathetic smile.
"I'm Haze Vermillion. Now you know my name. What's your name? This is called being polite. You should try it."
With infinite patience, you turn back towards the woman beside you.
"My name is Alfred Pennyworth. How do you do?"
"I am well, thank you for asking. I should warn you in advance that you are going to be very charmed and disarmed by me. I can't help it. It's my blessing and my curse. Many times people dislike me at first sight, but I can tell that you'll come around."
1. "Will I really?"
3. "You know, I think it's worked. I'm charmed and disarmed!"
Option 1, Ma'am. And I am afraid I was disarmed long before I met you. My former employer had a rather drastic aversion to guns.
Alfred carries a shotgun around anytime there is trouble at wayne manor!
My mistake... I hang my head in shame at my lack of Alfred related trivia. :(
No, it's just a very unexpected little fact. No one else who works with Batman gets to use guns. Only Alfred.
Because he's special! ^_^
I wish the last choice had been up longer, alas,
3, c'mon guys are all of you that rude. She has a tatoo wow are we raelly trying to piss off every single person we meet.
Given how many times we've called Fisted Dave a faggot, I'm more surprised that he's even asking the question if we're that rude.
"Will I really?"
"Oh yes," she says. "It will be marvelous. And we'll both look back on this exact moment, and reminisce about it, and I shall say that you were a terrible brute when you first sat down, but then after we got to talking, all was well. That is how I believe it will go. In time to come."
"It seems unlikely. But I suppose stranger things have happened."
"Stranger things will happen, unless I miss my guess. They usually do. But this isn't a strange thing, this is a nice thing, or a nice thing in the making."
Haze takes out a paper bag of chocolate biscuits and offers some to you. "It's very dark chocolate. Really, the only way for right-minded people to eat chocolate."
1. "None for me, thank you."
2. "I'll just take one."
3. "Why don't you eat one first?"
Who knows where the chocolate has been.
3, Guess we can't all follow the crowd sometimes.
?, sorry im kinda busy at random times, anyway I picked it not because everyone picked something else but because if where gonna eat something from a stranger they should eat it first.
And why would i rage quit sure you guys can be mean but the writing quality here is amazing.
1. Accepting chocolaty things from strangers on public transports has led to some of the worst moments of my life.
With seven votes for #1, I'm calling this.
"None for me, thank you."
"More for me," says Haze, eating one in two bites. "Are you never any fun, or do you just not like chocolate?"
"I'm simply not hungry at the moment," you respond.
"Then let us have a civilized conversation at the very least."
Haze looks out the window for a moment. "I'd really like to open the window and lean out. But I hear that you get all sorts of soot in your face if you do that. Too bad. It's getting stuffy in here."
You look out the window as well. London has long since been left behind, and you cross pastures and long-grassed meadows, still wet with dew, gleaming in the late morning sun. A lone cow lows at you, as cows do.
"Tell me, Alfred, if I can break your reverie, what is your favorite season?" Haze says.
"I'm just wondering what your favorite season is."
1-Winter Winter is so Britain's weather
Option 4, Ma'am. So many fond memories of standing outside in those cold, rainy months, holding an umbrella for Master Bruce as he stood over the grave of his parents... I think that's pretty much all I did for a few years, until he finally grew out of his emo orphan phase and began his dressing up like a bat phase... That one he never grew out of. Still, every man needs a hobby, don't you think?
NEVER!!! We might be a slightly clumsy and retarded Alfred, but we still have a responsibility to the proud name of Pennyworth!
4, clearly. That's when all the best fashion is. You can layer and the prints and fabrics are both comfy and fitting, plus theres a plethora of textures to choose from! All the cute sweetness of fall with all the warmth of winter! That's my thoughts.
Welp mine is genuiley summer so.... I pick option number 3.
#4. Autumn has several features that might make it attractive to Pennyworth: It's bold (nature showing off, but in a sensible and not gaudy manner.) It's got harvest festivals which give great opportunities for friendly brawls. And rainy days would give him ample opportunities to make coffee, carry umbrellas (which are weapons in a pinch, after all,) try his hand at cooking new dishes, etc.
Well Halloween is in autumn so I'll go with 4.
"I suppose it would be autumn," you say.
Haze brightens. "There are so few of us willing to admit it outright. I'm working on a season-related theory about people. Mostly people will say summer or spring, and those people are quite normal."
The little girl across the seat from Haze pipes up. "I love summer! We go on holiday in summer."
"Of course you do," says Haze, smiling. "But autumn attracts a very particular sort of person."
"And that is?"
"Well…why do you like it?"
1. "I suppose because it's so fleeting."
2. "I like the autumn colors, I suppose."
3. I offer a detailed and eloquent response involving the change of light and the transition into the world's slumber.
4. I always enjoy the coming of the cool weather."
5. "It's hard to explain. I just…like it."
3 -To get Haze bored and be smug about our Buttler superiority
Option 6, Ma'am. It's the season when those bloody bats finally go into hibernation. I shudder to recall how many hours I spent scouring the bat cave of their droppings.
Failing that, Option 3... If only to try and redeem myself for my imbecilic choices earlier on.
4. A very practical answer.
3, I like sounding fancy
3. Here's to hoping Alfred has enough brains to pull it off. If not, then we get ourselves an entertaining read.
I tried to say that before, as stats and where and when you meet people change the story a lot. Same applies to the characters.
Option 3 sounds like fun.
#3.Got to make use of all those poetry books we probably read back when learning Brighter, Better, More Beautiful Butling.
I offer a detailed and eloquent response involving the change of light and the transition into the world's slumber.
"Why, I suppose it has something to do with the descent of the seasons of growth and bountiful harvest into the frost of winter. The colors of the leaves are the heraldry of the failing light, a cenotaph for the dying year, but oh, what a death it is! Nature steals away what she has so freely offered, but gives us in return beauty, which itself dies away. Warmth fades. Life fades. The sun fades. Color fades. The beasts and birds know this, and hide their little selves away, suggesting that we too must do likewise. O autumn! How can I begin to speak of what it means to me?"
Haze makes a sound, which at first you think is a hum of agreement, but then you realize that it is a soft snore.
She leans against the window, breathing deeply. Then, as the train hits a slight irregularity in the track, the car jolts, and Haze shifts, her head coming down lightly on your right shoulder. She continues to sleep soundly, even comfortably.
1. I slowly and lightly move her head back to the window.
2. I leave her head right where it is and let her sleep.
3. I whisper, "Wake up, Haze. You're on my shoulder."
4. Irritated, I quickly stand up before anyone sees.
1-is a giiirl
#1. We want to avoid looking or being overly familiar with her, which both 3 and especially 2 will do. 4 would solve nothing, since there isn't any other place to sit and standing would just draw attention. It also risks waking her up. There's a little girl near us who has already interacted with Haze as well, so she's bound to notice anything odd and blab to her mother. This isn't the platform where we can make a hasty and anonymous escape, we are pinned in the eye of the gossiping masses.
Screw this annoying bitch ass
We've already proved she is dumber than mentally challenged Alfred and has no attention span
we must up our rudeocity
2, let her rest peacefully
I slowly and lightly move her head back to the window.
With care, you lift Haze's head back to the window, in the process noting how soft her hair is. The governess lifts both eyebrows and is clearly mentally writing a pretty juicy letter to her best friend about the scandalous head touching she just witnessed.
Success. Haze remains asleep.
A gong sounds, indicating that a light meal is now available for second-class passengers at this time. Leaving Haze to her own devices, you stroll to the refreshment car, and purchase some very acceptable sandwiches and a bowl of potato salad.
It's an enjoyable enough meal for train fare. The thought of Beauregard, Aunt Primrose's temperamental but exquisite French chef, buoys you. You will soon have the opportunity to enjoy his cooking for several days, and the thought gives you considerable pleasure.
A businessman lunching by himself coughs and folds over his newspaper, with a crisp flick. The headline proclaims that the well-known sneak thief "Light-Fingered Lou" is rumored to be operating in the vicinity of Woodland Centre. The businessman coughs again.
"Next stop, Brooks Crossing, where we shall pause for twenty minutes, followed by the last stop, Woodland Centre!" cries the conductor.
Placing your napkin down on the table, you prepare for the end of your journey.
You suppose you could return to the carriage you just came from and spend some more quality time with Haze, perhaps, if that is the right term for it. On the other hand, it might be interesting to take a look into the third-class carriage, which your ticket entitles you to do. Or…you suppose…if you are clever enough, you just might be able to sneak into the first-class carriage, which your ticket certainly does not allow you to do.
1. I return to second class.
2. I sneak into first class.
3. I investigate third class.
Gotta up the stealth skills
#3. I'm sorely tempted to have Pennyworth sneak into 1st class, but I don't want to risk it going wrong espectially for such a short time. He could always persuade Rory to let him ride first class on the way back.
But in 3rd class Pennyworth might pick up more information on Light Fingered Lou, which sounds like a diverting side mystery.
Option 2 I agree with Mizal
2-It is the most appropriate for this character behavior.
Going to go with 2 to improve stealth.
1, I shall provide no reason for my reasoning. Since somebody will find away to bash it.
Doing things on a whim with no thought or reflection? Foul, base, beast you are!
Really at this point Fisted Dave, we've already written you off as a complete faggot so we don't really care.
Option 3. No knowing what sort of unsavoury types I might find in third class... I must make sure Master Rory is safe from these dastardly peasants!
I sneak into first class.
You have seen second class. It has, you suppose, its charms. But you would much prefer to spend the rest of your journey in first class, and you intend to see if you can make that happen. You wait for a moment when nobody is looking, and then make your move.
You wait until the conductor passes through the aisle, and then duck behind him to grab the door that leads to the first-class area.
The perfect crime. Almost.
"May I help you?" The conductor has turned around.
1. "Whoops! I seem to have gotten turned around. I'll head back to my seat."
2. "No, all is well. Just heading back to my seat here in first class where I belong."
3. "To be perfectly honest, I'm not in first class, but I wanted to just look around here. If that's all right."
Oh, the woes of being a retarded butler... Option 1, I suppose. I won't make a fool of myself further by trying to bluff my way into first class with the I.Q. of Forest Gump.
We did improve our skullduggery, though. Practice, practice!
2- This character is Brass and bold. And the trainman is far below our level, So as Smug. Britain Buttler, we should display our Superior level.
More likely a persuasion check... We're screwed. >.<
The advantage of this game is that fail all these checks is not punished. You gain stats and see a hilarious scene. So win win
Well, the *reader* isn't punished. Others might be...
It is me, Gower, lol. As always roleplaying as selfish bastard lol.
#3. The conductor only has to ask for our ticket to catch us out in a lie, and we aren't dressed as some fancy nobleman he might be nervous about asking. And 1 just seems like we were trying to sneak in and got caught - it's just a bit too obvious.
But there is no reason to be rude to the conductor, and he is a working man which we can respect. (I think pointing to the sleeping Haze and her strange attire, and slipping him money to upgrade to first class and avoid any 'awkward misunderstandings' might have been a better solution. There is a point where frugality takes a back seat.)
Maybe Gower will let us seduce the conductor.
Option 3 wins the tiebreak:
"To be perfectly honest, I'm not in first class, but I wanted to just look around here. If that's all right."
He frowns. "You've got a lot of nerve, trying to sneak into first class," he says loudly. "I've got a mind to call the train detective on you and have you written up. Now get back to where you belong."
"Of course, sorry about that," you say, abashed, and head back to your seat, people staring and pointing at you as you go.
Returning to the second-class car, you make your way back to Haze in the corner. By now, the little girl is eating some sesame crackers, while the governess writes in a leather journal.
Haze lights up when she sees you, and pats the seat next to her, which you accept.
Some time passes, and you find yourself lulled by the thrum of the train and the pulsing of the railcars over the track.
Finally, Haze turns to you with a devilish smile on her face. "Look at that," she murmurs, motioning with her chin.
At the far end of the car is a small table, at which two businessmen are sitting, working on some document together. One man stands, stretches, and walks out of the carriage, towards the refreshment car. He leaves behind him a full glass of champagne, sitting on the table.
"That looks good," Haze says, softly, so that only you can hear. "I have an excellent game to pass the time. Why don't you get that champagne for me?"
"You mean, a glass of champagne just like that?"
"No, I want that exact one. Get it for me. I wonder if you can." Haze practically hugs herself in glee. "I would be very surprised if you couldn't."
1. "Simplicity itself. I shall be right back with it."
2. "Why don't you do it?"
3. "I'd be more than happy to order some champagne for you, but I am not really the sort of person who goes about stealing glasses of champagne from perfect strangers."
4. "Absolutely not. I'm not going to steal champagne for you."
#4. I would be tempted with number 3 if it just said, "Sorry, I'm not the sort of person who goes about stealing champagne for perfect strangers." Because if we say it as is, Haze might then ask us to make good on ordering her champagne.
Plus Pennyworth is a butler, not a petty delinquint.
I think you deserve a commendation for that excellent deduction of character. Good Job I am going for 1 as a matter of fact. But I was a little busy at the moment to respond immediately sorry.
2-At the rhythm this is going We won't be absolutely able to pass a simple check-in the rest of the game. I found it funny, but don't say is Gower fault the fact that character doesn't have a personality of a stat and one choice is all contrary to the previous
I want to understand this, but I didn't get it. Say that again, Mara?
What i trying to say this character has not a clear personality and jumps from shy to bold to silly to intellectual and we have to focus on a defined personality and at least a better stat
2 in the hopes she makes a fool of herself/but if she comes back with it successfully I will not be happy at her smugness
Option 4 pls
Option 2! Maybe we can turn Haze into Batman instead! (I hear there's a lesbian one of those flying around CW network somewhere.) ^_^
"Absolutely not. I'm not going to steal champagne for you."
"I am very disappointed in your inability to have fun," Haze says lightly. "But we shall let that pass."
"This is hardly about 'having fun,'" you retort, feeling that you have the winning argument here.
Haze doesn't seem to want to talk about it further, and changes the subject to more general conversation about the weather, which you participate in only sparingly.
At long last, with a deafening metallic screech and the interminable ringing of bells, the train comes to a halt at Brooks Crossing, a small village immediately before your own stop. Here, the train will load and offload packages; in twenty minutes, quite promptly, it will depart again. Here, passengers are encouraged to stretch their legs, enjoy the well-known La Bonbonnière et Château du Café, an adorable café known for its currant scones.
The station also has a number of other boutiques, including the Ye Olde Gifte Shoppe, which Rory asked you to look into during your journey. It seems that Aunt Primrose had mentioned seeing and liking a particular peridot-adorned hairstick at this boutique, and Rory rang up Ye Olde Gifte Shoppe and asked them to hold one for him until you came by to pick it up, so that Rory would have the perfect birthday present to give her.
You have plenty of time to go in and purchase it, and indeed, you are just heading there when you hear a plaintive call. From the window of La Bonbonnière et Château du Café, comes a familiar voice. "I say! Pennyworth! Pennyworth! Cooee!"
It's Figs, Rory's old chum back from his school days, about whose unhappy love life you became privy only a few days ago. He sits at the edge of his chair holding an open sketch pad and a set of pastels, which he snaps shut upon seeing you.
Figs can be best described as combining the least aesthetic qualities of an otter and a stalk of celery, combining a certain friendly-weasel-like facial quality with a long and lanky body. He wears a threadbare suit, in fashion perhaps ten years ago, dotted here and there with specks of paint.
"I can't believe it's you!" he shouts, leaping up, and jostling the cup in the hand of a chap sitting at an adjacent table. Figs reaches out his hand to shake yours. As if in slow motion, you notice that his hand is filthy, bearing a mix of the pastels he was working with and what you would guess are the remnants of a ham and cheese sandwich with mustard.
1. I shake his hand cheerfully.
2. I clasp my hands behind my back and greet him cordially.
3. I pretend not to see his hand.
#1. Pennyworth, being a good butler, should be carrying around plenty of kerchiefs and be well versed in the art of cleaning sudden stains. But if we put our hands behind our back, this leaping otter boy might mistake that as an invitation to hug. If we pretend not to see his hand, he might grasp it for us from the outside.
Basically, damage control. Hand stains can be dealt with. Cleaning a suit on the fly seems more problematic.
Option 1, sir. I have several years of experience in removing unseemly stains... The amount of guano I had to wash off Master Bruce's batsuit... I shudder to recall it.
1, nothing wrong with showing some emotion.
I clasp my hands behind my back and greet him cordially.
"Ah!" Figs holds his hand out for just a moment more, then drops it awkwardly. "Sorry. I'm not very good at greetings."
"Not at all," you say. "It's good to see you."
"Well, Pennyworth," says Figs, "It's been a while."
"What a strange coincidence," you say, "I've just been hearing about your…difficulties." You watch as Figs's delight at seeing you drains away, and he is left, a broken and brooding man.
"So you know all."
"You know of my despair." He picks up his teacup and runs his finger along the rim of it, in the process tipping it over and sloshing tea onto his trousers. "You know of my inability to see my one and only, my darling Mopsie, of whom no one is more worthy of adoration. But Pennyworth, if you are here, you must be headed up to Woodland Centre, to Ritornello, for the big fox hunt and feast!"
"Yes, I'm meeting Mr. Wintermint there."
He dabs halfheartedly at the tea spill. "Then…then you'll see Mopsie. You may enter, where I am barred entrance. Tell me, Pennyworth, would you embrace her for me? And tell her that you saw me, and that I do nothing but pine for her. Embrace her, and kiss her dewy brow for me."
1. "I don't think I'll be kissing her dewy brow, but I'll tell her you are thinking of her."
2. "I shall be certain to do so. And I shall ensure that she knows the pain you are in."
3. "Have you heard from her at all? Do you even know if she still loves you?"
#1. It's sympathetic and cordial without being overly familiar with either Mopsie or Figs.
Option 1, sir... And you know, if you REALLY want the lady back, there's only one surefire way to go about it... Get her a ruby the size of a tangerine! ^_^
option 1; let's not give him false hopes
"I don't think I'll be kissing her dewy brow, but I'll tell her you are thinking of her."
"No, not 'thinking of her.' Pining. It is driving me mad to be shut away from her. Where all may see her but I…where she may laugh her silvery laugh, which has the sound of…hm…"
"Yes, exactly. Like tintinnabulation. I wish I could hear it again. It sounds like this." Then he attempts to mimic the sound of his love's laugh, an attempt that does not go over too well with the other customers in the café. A seeded roll and an orange wedge fly at Figs, bouncing off of his sketch pad, but he pays them no heed.
Figs looks out the window of the café. "There's something I need to tell you." He drums on the table for a moment, and you wait attentively for him to muster up the momentum to speak.
Figs chews his lower lip for a moment. "I'd better tell you straight out, Pennyworth. I have a notion. I've been turning it over in my mind all day, but I'm not quite sure how to effect it. My running into you is a godsend, though. You can almost certainly help me figure this whole dashed thing out."
"Tell me all."
Figs reaches under his seat and pulls out a sturdy tube. "For the past several months, I have been hard at work on a piece of art. I think it's brilliant, I really do. It's every bit as good as the things they hang on museum walls, that's for certain. I really believe that if only Aunt Primrose could see my work—without knowing that it was I who painted it—she would be utterly convinced of my talent, and be willing to accept that I could possibly provide for Mopsie. But since she is predisposed to hate me, she naturally will not look upon my work with other than a jaundiced eye."
"I see the conundrum."
"And so, I ask you, Pennyworth, knowing that you are resourceful beyond measure, to help me to get my masterpiece before her eyes, and to deceive her into believing that it is the work of one of the Old Masters."
"That could be tricky."
"Well, it doesn't have to be an Old Master. It could be passed off as an up-and-coming genius whose works command fantastic sums abroad. As long as she is unaware that it is mine, she will judge it fairly. And then, when she praises it, I will swoop forward and say, 'Ha ha, 'tis I,' or something like that."
1. "Of course. I will assist to the extent possible."
2. "I'm afraid that this task would fall outside of the area of my responsibilities to Mr. Wintermint."
3. "But why do you need me? Where do I come into it?"
In the grand scheme of things, I feel that goof was relatively minor. My conscience is clear.
Never again will Alfred Pennyworth fly second class with those lower class...well, scumbags.
Also, should we make gentle love to Mopsie under the stars while we're at it?
In any case, 3
"But why do you need me? Where do I come into it?"
"Ah, that's the crucial point. I've thought all this through. It's foolproof."
"Of course it is, sir."
"You must take my painting, make your way into Aunt Primrose's art gallery, find a suitable frame, and insert my own art into it. Then, you must hang it on the wall as if it had been there all along."
"But surely she will notice a new painting."
He removes the rolled-up canvas, and spreads it out on his lap, displaying it to you.
Your first impression is that it represents an indescribably ugly…baboon? A fiendishly deformed millipede wearing a wig, perhaps?
Then you see, at the bottom, in Figs's looping handwriting: "A loving portrait of Primrose Patterson."
Figs looks at you in a highly energized state, eyes bugging out with anticipation at what he is certain will be your breathtakingly positive response to his artwork. "What do you think?"
1. I fight to maintain a neutral expression in the face of such a grotesque portrait.
2. I abruptly try to change the subject.
3. I attempt to tell Figs what a wonderful likeness it is.
Option 2- it won't work but still...
#2, perhaps the subject of a different plan - not that Pennyworth should be 'required' to follow Fig's plan, anyway.
Lmao this is great
I abruptly try to change the subject.
It is difficult to formulate a response to Figs, considering the rather visceral response you are having to the portrait. You move your chair slightly to avoid having to look directly at it, but he moves it to allow you to have an untrammeled view.
"I…I…" you stammer.
"Good, yes? Note how hard I worked on her chin. I probably spent two weeks on the chin alone. It's as though she were right here next to us at this very moment. Are you quite all right, Pennyworth?"
"Great Scott!" you cry. "It occurs to me that I mustn't forget that the fox hunt is this afternoon! I do hope I've packed the appropriate hunting togs for Mr. Wintermint!"
"A fox hunt?" says Figs, distracted by your outburst. "Today?"
"Yes. And I will not have much time to dress Mr. Wintermint. The correct outfit is crucial to create the appropriate atmosphere."
"Indeed. Now, as I was…"
"Have you ever been a-hunting?" you persist.
"No, I haven't."
"Let me tell you a bit about it," you say, and launch into an elaborate story about hunting horns.
Soon Figs has forgotten that he asked you what you think of his painting, and merely looks pensive.
Figs rolls the painting back up and stows it safely in its tube. "This is a matter of life and death, Pennyworth. It means everything to me and Mopsie. Will you take my painting and get it somehow into Aunt Primrose's art gallery, and lure her in to see it and comment on it?"
1. "Yes, I'll take it."
2. "I'll take it, but I would need to ask Mr. Wintermint's permission before doing such a thing."
3. "I certainly shall not! I am affronted by the very notion."
4. "I apologize, but I cannot."
2-She says no , but we look like cool good guys
I’m kinda curious to see what Aunt Primrose will say.
Option 2- I guess it'll probably raise our stats with Figs a bit?
Hard to pick between 1 and 2, but I think #2 wins out. We are Rory's butler after all, not Fig's. Rory might even be able to help with (or bungle) the plan. Or we can come up with a new and better plan together.
Fuck Figs and his nasty sandwich hands
A brand new sentence!
"I'll take it, but I would need to ask Mr. Wintermint's permission before doing such a thing."
"Wonderful, wonderful!" Figs says. "That's the feudal spirit! I knew you had it in you! You won't regret this, Pennyworth, not for a moment. Allow me to stow it with your luggage in the baggage car. It's the very least I can do. And you'll put it up on the wall right when you get there. Wonderful!"
"I must consult Mr. Wintermint on this matter before I do anything with it," you say. "I must be perfectly clear on that matter."
"I am very glad, very glad indeed," Figs says, not listening to you. He happily chatters away about Mopsie, as pleased as punch.
Unfortunately, after your conversation with Figs, now you have to bustle if you want to make your purchase at Ye Olde Gifte Shoppe, and you even break into a bit of a jog as you approach the shop.
You enter Ye Olde Gifte Shoppe, eager to make your purchase of the peridot hairstick, already anticipating the joy it will bring Aunt Primrose, and the relief on Rory's face when he sees that you have managed to provide him with an acceptable gift for her this year.
Ye Olde Gifte Shoppe is a small boutique, with interesting, locally-crafted, one-of-a-kind jewelry; the store gives the impression of having about three times the amount of merchandise than ought to be able to fit within its dimensions. Shelves stand against every conceivable wall, and atop each other, while additional shelves hang from the ceiling; the store appears to specialize in highly fragile and unstable objets d'art that perch shakily on these shelves. You work your way, with held breath, past a display of fine crystal figurines of the Archangel Michael, with long wings and swords which extend well beyond the figures' center of gravity and into the narrow aisle. Stepping lightly, you approach the counter.
The only customer in the store is an older gentleman, balding, with gray muttonchop sideburns, wearing a military officer's uniform, complete with tarnished gold-colored epaulettes, a swagger stick, and a number of colorful medals. One of the medals reads "Colonel Firesnuff, for Valour Beyond Measure."
He glances at you and mutters something about not being able to shop in peace without all and sundry coming in and clogging up the shop, and turns back to the salesclerk, an aggressively freckled young woman who gives off the distinct impression that she has just started working this job about five minutes ago.
"Let me see, let me see," he says to the salesclerk. "What do you recommend, girl? What would a woman with a certain brassy style want for her birthday?"
"We have some stained glass vases and some crystal bells with little jeweled clappers. And this lovely peridot hairstick."
"A peridot hairstick you say?"
"Excuse me," you say.
"Yes, yes, this looks intriguing."
The salesclerk lays the hairstick on a velvet mat on the glass counter.
"Oh, I think this will do admirably," says Col. Firesnuff.
You peer over his shoulder. He is looking at what appears very much to be the one-of-a-kind item that you requested via telephone to be held for you for Aunt Primrose.
1. I quickly grab for the hairstick.
2. I tell Col. Firesnuff and the salesclerk that the hairstick is on reserve for me.
3. I let Col. Firesnuff buy it and then attempt to pilfer it from him.
4. Col. Firesnuff got there first, so it's only fair to let him have it.
2- I reserved the stuff, so hell if the fire sniffer should go sniffing his own tail away from My present
Option 2- I reserved it so it's practically mine right?
3 would be the most fun, but I’ll go with option 2
I tell Col. Firesnuff and the salesclerk that the hairstick is on reserve for me.
"If I might interrupt for a moment," you say. "I believe there has been something of a mistake at hand, that together, we might correct."
"A mistake, you say?" says Col. Firesnuff, turning to you with chin lifted, as if sizing you up for single combat.
"What seems to be the problem?" says the freckled woman at the counter, retreating slightly into herself.
"Well," you say, chuckling a little. "It's actually a bit funny. You see, that hairstick is actually mine."
Col. Firesnuff snorts. "I beg your pardon?"
"You see, I reserved it via telephone not too long ago. And so you see, that one-of-a-kind gift is mine to purchase, not yours. It's a simple misunderstanding, is all. Miss, if you might simply check your records…"
The shopkeep makes hesitant noises, and pages back and forth in a desultory fashion in a ledger, until it becomes clear that she has no idea where to look or, indeed, how to resolve what to you seems a simple problem.
"I think you'll find that the 'finders keepers' rule is very much in effect here, my friend," Col. Firesnuff says, pointing a finger at you.
"I would insist that you remove your pointing finger from my vicinity."
"I'll do it if you ask me politely, but not if you insist," Col. Firesnuff huffs. "I never do things when people insist."
"There's no need for this to get out of control," you say. "Simple politeness…"
You hear a ringing sound. It is the cash register. An elderly lady using two canes has, unseen by either you or Col. Firesnuff, slipped behind you and purchased the hairstick.
As the elderly lady exits the store, the shopkeep shrugs dazedly at you. "I didn't know if either of you wanted it, so…"
"Incompetence!" shouts Col. Firesnuff. "You distracted me! Very well, very well. I'll just buy something else—something better." He makes his purchase, and storms off.
Catching a glimpse of the station clock, you are forced to grab the nearest item for Aunt Primrose's gift, which turns out to be a needlepoint wall hanging that says "GOD BLESS THIS HOME" with an image of a baby angel on it.
"All aboard!" comes a cry from across the station, and you are shaken from your thoughts. You look up at the station clock, which you now realize must be slow, as your train is beginning to depart!
With an odd feeling of déjà vu, you race across the station and onto the platform, but the doors are already closed, and the train is in motion.
"Wait!" you cry. "Wait!" but the train does not wait, and you run as quickly as you can towards the slowly retreating caboose, and then…
1…I make a leap of faith.
2…Figs peeks out of the rear door.
3…I notice Haze perched on the railing of the caboose.
4…I have to stop, gasping for breath, crouched over, hands on my knees.
Although Option 4 would be pretty funny, I'm going for option 2. I guess Figs is preferable to Haze anyhow.
This is a difficult one. My first instinct is 1 - Pennyworth is bold, and nothing less than severe injury would cause Aunt Primrose to forgive us, so injuring ourself in a jump would not be the worst plan. Pennyworth is probably physically fit, and the train is still going slow.
Unfortunately, we don't know exactly what the distance is which is left to cover other than the next stop is Woodland Center. It does seem to be implied, however, that the train stops for 20 minutes in each stop. So we either have to catch the train now, or we have whatever time it takes the train + 15ish minutes to arrive (As we would need time to show our ticket and collect the bags.)
We could likely rent a horse and try to catch up, but that would only work if the next stop was pretty close, and we don't know that for sure.
But if we go for 4 we could give up being on time (call ahead to the station to have someone collect our bags) and instead repurchase a better gift. If we find something very suitable, and show up bearing tales of woe about incompetant common shopkeepers who dared to sell her specially ordered reserved gift, Aunt Primrose might change from anger to sympathy and Rory's reputation will not be harmed. After all, only the best gift for his Aunt, how could his buttler settle for less?
Unfortunately there is no way of knowing if that is the route the game would take, and I feel it more likely that we would end up having us needing to depend on Firesnout for a ride and forget all about buying a new gift. So in a way that seems the most risk-prone option, since what comes after is an unknown.
Number 2 may be useful - Figs could potentially help us, or at least pass a message that we missed the train and give us time to come up with an amazing excuse. This might actually be the most practical choice - Figs is as invested in us making it there on time and being in good grace with Aunt Primrose as we are. Figs, being a gentlemen, could even find a conductor and point out the train needs to stop to let him off.
The way the choices are listed is a bit harder in this one, since it isn't so much a choice of what we are going to do as our choice of reality.
Does Pennyworth make a bold leap, trusting in his physical prowess? Or does Rory's gormless gentleman friend come to our aid?
I think I am having to go for #2 in the end, since there are multiple ways Figs could potentially help us (physically if we jump toward him, telling conductor to stop train, passing a message if we miss it.) And I'm not sure chasing a running train is the best place to be bold. But then, Pennyworth is bold and should be physically fit, so this is a near tie.
I *love* this detailed write-up. This sort of thing makes running this fun.
"We could likely rent a horse and try to catch up," -- just did want to point out that this takes place in the 1930s. We might look a little funny on a horse.
Lol, yes, I suppose that would look rather silly. :) Although, Pennyworth did plow through a man proposing to his wife without a second thought. So maybe a little loss of dignity in front of strangers wouldn't overrule his need to be on time.
…Figs peeks out of the rear door.
"Golly!" says Figs, suddenly opening the rear door. "Pennyworth, what are you doing, running there?"
"Never…mind…about…that," you gasp. "Help me!"
Figs awkwardly hooks one leg on the railing, and stretches out his hands to you as far as they will go.
Trying very hard not to think about the way in which you are about to trust your life to Figs's competence, you leap…
…and Figs grasps your hands, hauling you back to the safety of the caboose.
"There now," Figs says. "All's well. One typically uses the door, you know."
"Yes, I know. Thank you, Figs. I owe you."
"Not at all. You have already agreed to do me a favor. The portrait, you know."
"Mm. Yes. I see."
"I saved your life. And you, in a sense, shall save mine. Ah, you wouldn't mind telling Mopsie, when you see her, that I saved your life, would you?"
And, as you lean on the railing, with Figs next to you, telling you something very detailed about the shape of Mopsie's ears, you travel the final leg of the journey.
*To be Continued in the Tally Ho, Chapter Three Thread*
So that ends Chapter Two. Chapter Two is a pretty branchy chapter. The biggest fork in the chapter is "making the train" and "not making the train." If you fail to make the train at the start, you have rather different adventures and meet different characters.
If you do make the train, you spend two time periods in the train, which you can spend in 1st, 2nd, and/or 3rd class for a total of six possible adventures, of which you get two per playthrough. Each of the six times/locations has a character associated with it and a different event that happens. Obviously Haze is the 2nd class car person you meet.
Then, no matter whether you made the train or not, you meet Figs (if you didn't already on the train), and have the encounter with Col. Firesnuff in the store. The big question there is whether you buy the hairstick, and if you didn't, did Firesnuff? In your case, neither of you did. But you also didn't case a lot of property damage in the process, so that's to the good.
Then, the final big choice is whether you made it back on the train or not. At this point, you have certainly met Col. Firesnuff and Figs, possibly Haze, and possibly two other major characters (who you lot did not end up meeting in this chapter). Trying to ensure that the players meet everyone, and spend enough time with them for their personalities to come through, while still allowing for forking (and thus *missing* people entirely) took most of the time in writing this chapter.
After writing this chapter I realized that this game was going to be *long.*