A Thing Most Curious, pt. 4

Summoning a servant, I dispatched the bottle – well-wrapped in leather and shut within a tin for safety – and a note off to town.   Regrettably, the local chemist refused to accept the task I set for him.  His response, conveyed within the hour along with my own, returning, package, indicated that this work lay outside of his area of expertise but that he could recommend me to a colleague of such-and-such a name in London.  This introduced significant delay into resolution of the matter, if not as much as it might had I been limited to the connections of the folk of Wrydding.  While the village might have just the one chemist, there was another individual, if of somewhat questionable repute of residing at greater remove, quite knowledgeable in these arts,  to whom I gave my custom when occasion demanded.

A new missive penned and the bottle in question sent off once more, I returned to the matter of examining the box and its contents.  Using the pincers, I withdrew the keys and cylinder and set them aside, then lifted aside the blank sheet of tissue paper beneath them, revealing a post card beneath a bit of wool wadding. The un-obscured portion of the photographic image on the front depicted a large stone edifice in a style reminiscent of the early Renaissance, if my schooling had not entirely escaped me; most likely an abbey, if the visible fragment could be counted upon to provide any indication of the unseen remainder. The text identifying the location had been largely blacked out, excepting the initial letter, a capital ‘B.’

Reversing the card, both so as to not expose myself to any potentially poisonous residue and so as to avoid

From Frith's series

From Frith’s series

tearing the aged paper, I made out that it came from Frith’s series and carried a postmark date of 13 September, 1925, dispatched from the nearby village of Wrydding and arriving in Belgium by way of London. Addressed to Lord Andrew Redmayne, to be found in care of the Anglo-Belge Masonic Lodge No. 17 in Antwerp, the message read;


I’ve a simply marvelous idea-let’s have a Coelcerth party! I’m sure you’ll be back in time + we’ll have such fun-a bonfire, apple bobs + panto – how about that Italian thing Charles keeps going on about? We’ll invite the whole village! Be a pet-say yes-I must have some fun before your wedding!


It seemed likely this missive came from one Sarah Morgan, a young woman of questionable morals and highly effective methods who had inveigled her way into the Redmayne family affairs first with Sir Anthony Rossiter and subsequently (one hopes!) with Lord Andrew. Quite the social climber, and a ‘theatrical’ type, if records of the time were at all reliable. But what was this party to which she referred? And why was Lord Andrew with the Masons in Belgium? It seemed the more facts the box revealed the more questions I was to have. And still yet nothing hinted at the purpose of this bundle nor why it had been sent to me, and with such particular and inexplicable instructions!

My mind awhirl, I determined to set aside examination of the next layer of objects and set off for the village, intending to dig up anything that could be known about social events taking place at Grisleigh End in the Autumn of 1925, particularly any bonfire gatherings. Not that the Redmaynes would invite the commoners of the region, but those of the so-called journalist profession have forever found fascination with the doings of their betters. Doubtless some mention was made whenever the motor-cars made their way out to the old estate.

(To be continued)

(Return to part 3)

Characters of Grisleigh End: The Adventuress

Born to missionary parents in the Ukraine while on a cross-European journey, Gertrude Comfort-Smith has never called any place home for long.  Her formative years were largely spent in Japan, where she lived until her parents enrolled her at St. Trinian’s School for Girls to ensure her proper education.  Such a world-spanning upbringing made quite the intrepid young woman of her, encouraging a native bravery undismayed in the face of hazards known to turn older and more physically-stout individuals from their intended paths.  Some might even consider her interest in hazards to bodily health a shade foolhardy.

The Adventuress

The Adventuress

The sport of climbing draws her unlike any other form of divertissement, the lure seemingly growing in proportion with the degree of personal jeopardy.  It is from this penchant rather than any purely physical characteristic or ability that remove the capacity for such things as high cliffs, tall towers, and the proverbial burmese tiger trap to shake her resolve.  She laughs in the face of such dangers, even as she traverses them with relative ease.  Fools rush in, they say, but no less true is it that fortune favors the brave, and this young lady is most certainly that.

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Characters of Grisleigh End: The Dowager

Far be it from me to cast aspersions on another for, howsoever much they may be due and fitting, glass houses and all, you know.  So let me begin on a positive note by pointing out that the Dowager, hight Theodora Katerina Basilia Pavo-Kristatos, has a most discerning eye for integrity, value and character, for so have I heard her state quite unequivocally.  She has made it clear that she is unanimous in this on multiple occasions, and who am I to question the word of such a personage? Therefore shall I none.4Print 53 Dowager

Given, then, that Mrs. Pavo-Kristatos is sensitive to the finest gradations between degrees of class and breeding, it might strike one as odd that she appears wholly unaffected by the effects of an unsettling pong, even one so powerful as to drive other household guests and members from a room.  Some have opined that this undoubtedly stems from her childhood upbringing as a goatherd on a small island of Greek and Cypriot disputation.  Her youth among the odoriferous livestock gave her a nose of iron, so to speak.   Others differ and point, rather, to her unwillingness to acknowledge the existence of such low-born issuances as the vapors, she being of such refined breeding and high station and all.  For her to yield to the eye-watering presence of a great guff, so they say, would be utterly beneath her.  Yet a third group posit that her unequaled applications of Parisian powders and scents provides her an impervious sphere of floral bouquet, and that no hint of anything else, untoward or otherwise, ever reaches her ever-elevated nostrils.

Whether any of these chortling theorists are correct or no, she remains unmoved by these emissions.  Also, a keen observer might note the unusual frequency with which these winds blow in her presence.



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Grisleigh End joins the Indie Game Alliance!

Well, actually the Council of Creators, our group that is developing the Grisleigh End games, has joined.  The Indie Game Alliance is relatively new organization itself, with some pretty cool goals.  Firstly, and of greatest importance to Grisleigh End: Estate of Confusion, is the promotion of truly independent tabletop game developers such as ourselves.  What better raison d’etre might one have, eh what?

The thing that brought them to our attention is pretty nifty as well, however.  They’ve been building a self-supporting exchange of goods and services, with avid gamers earning in-Alliance credit by providing just those promotional services hardest for a new development studio to do themselves; representing and demoing Alliance member games at distant conventions and other events.  This is perfect for our needs, and I would guess for many other developers in our current situation – we have a game we need to show to gamers, but we can’t get to all of the venues that we’d like to due to time, costs, etc.  So we trade value with other people in the community, to the benefit of both parties.  Yay!  May the Alliance grow mighty!

The New Board is here!

Since we began, we have been producing all our game boards by hand.  For the past several iterations, this has required multiple steps:

  • Creating the board image file in GIMP.
  • Chopping the sizable (1GB+) file into many smaller ones (if you haven’t noticed, there’s a LOT of detail in the artwork) for print processing.
  • Printing those files as a stack of board sections at the local print shop. (I think we got it down to 16 pieces on the last run)
  • Lining up and gluing all those sections onto a cardboard backing (4’x3′ project/presentation board)

Tiresome and not prone to producing a final outcome that does justice to the art or effort involved.  Also, pricey.

Grisleigh End: Estate of Confusion Board ver. 6

Grisleigh End: Estate of Confusion Board ver. 6

What’s better?  Finding a printer who will do it for us, from the original (large!) file, for a price that’s close enough to local printing to make it a good deal. Yay!

So now we have (ta-daah!) the new board for Grisleigh End: Estate of Confusion.  Look for it at demos in your area.  Or (better) invite us to come demo where you and a bunch of friend will be!