Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Themerlinhawk
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Lord Alexander Northam




February 1st, 1883 6:59 AM


The dreary dark of the early morning cloud cover kept the manor largely silent. While the staff moved silent, wary of disturbing anything receding into the shadows as the night fled the sun, one member of the family stalked the halls. Feeling the frosty interior of his bed and bedroom Alexander moved like a ghost returned from the otherside of the veil. His footsteps barely disturbed the thick carpets of the hallway as he walked. Moving with purpose he slid by doorway after doorway. Some of them held secrets lost to time, others he know life or death stirred behind them. With hope he would beat the rays of the sun to the kitchen where he could sit in the low warmth of the ovens and enjoy tea in peace.

peace.

It was such a strange word and such an elusive concept of late. It was really his own fault. If he had simply let the estate pass into the care of his sister-in-law or one of the other estranged siblings he might have maintained some facade of peace at least. Lost along the banks of the Bosphorus or trudging the sands somewhere. But no...such was not the case. He had come home to dreary old London and then on to the Manor. Drawn as though by some unheard calling. Whispers at the edge of his mind.

It had been a...sullen...homecoming. Dour faces had greeted him and his new bride. Those who had perhaps thought him gone for good. Those whose routine and delicate way of life had been upset by the passing of his parents. And then upset again by his own appearance blushing bride in tow. The thought of Cora being blushing though almost made him snort. The woman was not what he had expected from the file his families solicitor had provided for him. Though perhaps in the end it was for the best. The Manor was a hard place to live and someone with a frailer constitution might have been immediately put out by its. Eccentric. Nature.




Drifting as though on an unseen breeze he made his way through the dining room towards the kitchen. The hairs on the nape of his neck stood on end and he turned slowly as though he were being drawn by some unspeakable force. Turning on his heel he scanned the room eyes dancing across large paintings, white table clothes, and dark hardwood furniture. There was something amiss and his animal brain had picked up on it. The warmth of the kitchen was just inches away. Safety. Security. Tea. It tugged at him. All he had to do was accept. The door of the dining hall was ajar. No doubt a servant had left it so. Perhaps that was all. Three long tables. Eleven floor length paintings. Six dozen chairs. The various essential cabinetry for running a dining room. Turning to the door of the kitchen he put it out of his mind until his hand was reaching for the door. In that instant he frozen and cold sweat prickled across his neck.

The dining room only had ten paintings. Five on each wall…

In a spine tingling wave every hair on his arms and back stood on end and he turned slowly to confront the oddity. As he did there was a gust of air and the door at the other end of the hall cracked shut. Startling he leapt and furriously counted the paintings again.

eight…
nine…
ten…

No eleventh painting. His brain refused to acknowledge what he had seen. He refused to look at the double doors out of the dining hall. There had been no portrait of a tall woman dressed in dark colors. There had certainly been no sight of a dark cloth like the hem of a dress sweeping out the door as he had turned.

Firmly convincing himself of the fact Lord Alexander Northam did the only sensible thing and beat a hasty tactical withdrawal to the interior of the kitchen. There he could rally his nerves and his senses in the safe warm glow of the fire.

It was clear somethings about Manor North would never change.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by AXIS
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Rhoslyn Artenfell





Rhoslyn awoke early that morning unable to contain her need to move around. Upon removing herself from bed Rhoslyn heard a scurry of what sounded like ghostly footsteps. Her ears twitched, perking up to assess the noises. The noise disapated and everything seemed to return to normal for this moment, but Rhoslyn knew it would only last for the moment.

The servents' quarters were quiet this time of the morning, most who worked in manor North were either beginning their duties or finishing them up, so for now, she was all alone. Rhoslyn removed her night clothes, dawning her maids attire. She wore a red and black plaid dress, it was a quite short dress, but it allowed her more room to move around. She never had trouble finding her matching bonnet, since the thing nairly left her hair. Once her attire was proper she left her quarters to start her morning.

Rhoslyn crept into the main hall beginning to move along the walls as she dusted her way down. This was how she began every morning, she would always start with dusting the entire manor from top to bottom, since it took the least amount of time. After dusting she would prepaid the kitchen for the cooks than she moved on to her other duties. This morning however was different.

Rhoslyn was about halfway through with her dusting when something caught her eye. There was a mirror in one of the rooms that haddent always been there, atleast as far as she remembered. The young female looked into the mirror and could see the evil inside herself. She staired into the mirror removing her bonnet and assessing her freakish ears. As she combed her fingers through the pointed animalistic ears on her head something inside her became apparent. Never before this moment had she felt that she was a monster but something made it feel that way.

Suddenly there was a loud crack of a slamming door that echoed across the house. Startled, Rhoslyn snapped from her trance readjusted her bonnet assuring her ears were contained and proceeded to make her way to the kitchen.
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Morwenna
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Morwenna

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Lady Northam



Cora sighed a huge sigh of relief when she finally got a moment alone to herself in her room. It was all so much for her to take in. She had no idea what to expect when being betrothed to Lord Northam. But she was beginning to understand why everything was kept so vague from her. But she was a bit relieved that her new husband wasn’t in a rush to share her bed. She immediately unlaced her corset and tossed it on to a chair in the corner taking in a deep breath. She had no idea why she felt so compelled to keep up with all of the latest fashion trends, but was much relieved when she could just be by herself alone and be comfortable. The night was her favorite time because she could get away without having all eyes on her and could wear less restrictive clothing. While the attention that being young and pretty garnered her, it also was like living under a magnifying glass for her. So she seized any opportunity she could to shed the pretenses and expectations put upon her. She sat at her dressing table in her long chemise/night gown braiding her hair into long braids before bed staring casually into the mirror. She thought she kept seeing someone behind her in the mirror just out of the corner of her eye but would turn to look at what was just her empty room. Something felt just off about this place.

She knew she was accustomed to more “newer” accommodations than this…so she tried to convince herself that it was all just the oldness of the house getting to her and all of the rumors she had heard from her friends when they found out who she was betrothed to. Even though it wasn’t some bright gas lit mansion with freshly adorned shiny colored paints and wall papers, it still drew her in and had a certain charm to it with all of its antiquities. But it was definitely not home to her. Every corner of the estate was a mystery and she was ever curious to explore. Her new husband wasn’t very forthcoming with information, so she was also keen to uncover more about him and his family. She definitely came to understand why there had been so many rumors swirling around the Northam Estate, though. It was rather unique and had a rather unearthly vibe…but rather than buying into the gossip, she was curious to find out just how many of those rumors were true for herself. She brushed away the eery nagging feeling in her gut telling her to stay in her room and instead waited until she knew she was well alone to sneak out and explore by herself. She couldn’t help her insatiable curiosity to find out what secrets hid behind the walls.

She quietly crept along the hallway, candle in hand trying to not disturb anyone as it was the middle of the night. For being so late though, she swore she could hear a piano playing somewhere quietly deep within the house. Her love of music had persuaded her to follow the sound…although she couldn’t quite make out where it was coming from. At first she would head down one direction just to dead end and find nothing…or the music would fade away. But she finally found her way into what must have been an older more unused part of the estate by the appearance. The fixtures weren’t as well polished and maintained, and the rugs didn’t have the appearance of being rather worn and walked on like the others. The music grew louder drawing her further in. She approached a set of double doors and as she turned the latch opening them…the music had simply stopped. There behind the doors was the piano inside of what must’ve been a sitting room and conservatory. But whoever had been the pianist had simply vanished. The hair on the back of Cora’s neck stood on end…she glanced about the room trying to rationalize where someone could’ve gone and where they could be hiding. She knew older houses had secret passages in them…so she started pressing on the walls hoping to find some secret door to no avail.

She glared back at the piano…unsure what to think but with a chill ever increasing up her spine she decided curiosity was most certainly getting the better of her and quickly scurried back to her room. She rushed over to her lavish four poster bed and proceeded to hide well under the covers like when she was younger and her siblings would tell her ghost stories. She could hear the piano faintly in the distance again and Cora buried her head deep under her down pillow to drown it out…praying she’d drift off to sleep soon. She really was beginning to wonder what she had gotten herself into
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by TootsiePop
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TootsiePop 𝗌𝖼𝗋𝗎𝗆𝖽𝗂𝖽𝖽𝗅𝗒𝗎𝗆𝗉𝗍𝗂𝗈𝗎𝗌

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Nicholas interacting with Rhoslyn @AXIS

Mrs. Northam and Little Nicholas




Pale, porcelain skin looked ghastly under the dreary dawn sky, as a scrawny, yet elegant hand gently brushed the hedge of the Manor's maze. Josephine's black robe vibrantly stood out in the land of the neglected green. The dry winds of the night that held faint whispers dissipated as the songbirds hid the spirits that roamed and wondered. Without the former Lady, the one who loved to tend, potter, and weed, the charm that was the Northam's gardens became creeping mildew and curling leaves. No paid gardener could love the grounds like her mother-in-law did. Perhaps, Josephine thought, she could take up gardening and make the house resemble that of an old oil painting she made for the late Lady, years ago. That is, if she is deserving.

Of course, plants were not easily controlled like her paintings were. They had a mind of their own and like a child, they could display one's failures and weaknesses. If she doesn't feed them, they could die. If she doesn't give them light, they could die. If she doesn't wish them well and have faith they will grow, optimism being the best fertilizer, they could die. Many things factored in nurturing a garden, and as of recently, no one was worthy enough to take care of her like the late Lady once did.

Let the Manor mourn.

Unfortunately, the Widow hadn't slept well. When does she ever sleep well? Many nights she is cursed with imagery, never failing to keep her awake. She could feel the spiders of the house weaving their tales that only the dead could read. She imagined the walls adorned with blood, dripping, flowing, streaming to the floor... flooding the house, giving it a cleanse. She was waiting. The Manor was waiting. This place, such a fascinating spectacle, wanted the residents to think of her, as any angel would. And think, they did.

When nightfall came around, it felt like Jo could feel the atmosphere, that was her home, speak to her. The raven beaut didn't want to lose touch, even if the Manor didn't belong to her. The Manor, and all that surrounded her, was magical and it only took a willing heart to be given a glimpse of her beauty. The garden was part of her humble brilliance and like a phantom, Josephine explored it. Passing the jewel of the grounds, a large, tempting pear tree, one of the few plants that thrived, the young woman found herself knelt in front of a rose bush. Her gaze was fogged and part of her didn't know how she ended up here.

Steadily, she reached for a rose, purposely wrapping that dainty hand of her's around the thorns of the stem. The sharp thorns pierced her fair skin. Her blood made a path down her hand and met the Earth with a sweet kiss. There was only minor flinching, and with a quick snip with the scissors in her other hand, Jo found herself holding a blooming rose. She dropped the scissors.

~


Tap-tap-tap-tap!

The tiniest of heeled steps could be heard rushing down the West hall, second floor. Dashing, daring Nicholas Northam had been knocking on his mommy's door but there was no answer, so he had to go on a great search to find her. MOMMY DISAPPEARED. Frightened of the large stairs, he turned his body around and crawled down. Slowly but surely, he found himself in the grand lobby. Rushing, speeding, as fast as... an exotic cheetah his grandpa would hunt, he found himself in the sun room, where she would paint.

She wasn't there... grrr.

His eyes scanned the room once more in frustration and found himself drawn to her muted painting on the easel. The paint that unpleasantly ran. Each stroke had a smudging quality and reflected the chaos inside his mother. Any adult eye would find her new phase of abstract composition as mad or as curious Not Nicholas! With a grin, the young boy greeted the art with a clap, "Good morning, grammy and gramps!" After staring at the art, as if it were talking to him, he nodded and puffed his blonde bangs out of his face, "I'll be back, I promise!"

Tap-tap-tap-tap!

Nicholas knew a boy that yelled was a boy without manners, so he'd have to find help quietly. His stomach did have the growlies, but he was going to ignore it until he found his dearest mother. From a distance, he could see one of the scullery maids, the one that wears red! Catching up to her, he grabbed the ends of her skirt, "Misssssss Rosieeeeee. Do you know where my mommy is?"
~

Humming to herself, a song she likes to sing at night, Josephine glided toward the family crypt to give her husband a rose. She enjoyed this silent peace to herself, regardless if those that watched from a distance questioned her sanity. It was truly unladylike to have not changed out of her nightwear, but her priorities were to serve her beloved, even after death. She needed to give him a gift.

Would he like the rose she picked out for him today?
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by AXIS
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Rhoslyn Artenfell





Rhoslyn was in her own world cleaning and dusting her way down the hall. Every so often she would hear someone talking to her but when she would turn turn there would be no-one there. Some time had passed and she knew there was much more to do.

Just then from what seemed like really far away came tiny footsteps. She stopped in her tracks unsure of what the sound might be. Than a young child tugged at her skirt. "Misssssss Rosieeeeee. Do you know where my mommy is?". Rhoslyn smiled, she recognized the voice of Mrs. Northams little boy.

Rhoslyn crouched down looking the boy eye to eye and smiled "hello there young Nicholas" she said setting down her duster. "I apologize, but I have not yet seen your mother," she paused for a moment than stood up "I'd be honored to help you look if you'd like" Rhoslyn gave the boy a big happy smile. She knew it was the right thing to do. He was an heir to the family after all.

Rhoslyns ears twitched a little as a cold chill came by. "come on let's begin our search shall we?" she asked calmly holding her hand out for the boy to grab if he so felt the need

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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by AtomicNut
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Mary Holly


Dawn at least. The darkness and the realms of spirits and wights finally retreated once more, giving reign to the realm of man and its exuberance, fruit of both mysticism and reason. Mary Holly never ceased to be amazed at the spectacle. Light and darkness intertwined, dancing a last movement before following one and another. Yet she did not dally. As a servant of the Manor, her day started before the weary eyes of the lords and guests had even begun to open. It was not uncommon for her day to be greeted by the moon or the morning star, as dawn closely break by.

Today even more so, as she had been assigned a increasing set of duties, fulfilling the renewal of the house brought by the new lord. He seemed quite the world adventure and the daredevil. And of course, no matter how much he tried to hide it, he seemed to loathe this ancient land of power and shadows. Morgaine thought to herself bitterly about how he had no right to hate a life blessed by birthright and silver spoons.

A small shift in the currents. A door creaking. Speaking of the devil, here he was, in the kitchen. His expression was not quite what Morgaine expected. Maybe a night terror, or a bizarre incident in the manor? Old places with so much hidden were known to sometimes... challenge the assumed reality of men. She brushed her attire a bit, and performed a formal salute to the lord, before speaking.

"A fair morning to you, m'lord. I did not expect you to come all the way to the servants' kitchens to break your fast. Have ghosts disturbed your sleep? She mentioned, smiling to hide her otherwise distance to the man. Her eyes rested on the concoction she had on the stove. An herbal tea of handpicked herbs, which she usually picked up whenever her tasks allowed her to. It had always been her morning greeting.

Even when she was a child and was living in the forest. Yet, pleasantries needed to be observed, so she served her master a generous cup of her brew, before pouring one for herself. "My special recipe. It should clear tirenedness and agitation, and it is a fragant way to start a new day."

@Themerlinhawk
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Themerlinhawk
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Lord Alexander Northam





Turning from the doorway of the kitchen the Lord swept his gaze of the handful of kitchen staff who had looked up from their work at his arrival. What was even more surprising was that one of them spoke to him. Usually he was greeted with dour silence everywhere he went. Blinking at the comment made by the young woman standing at the stove he shook his head. “Frankly if you’ve been living in this house for any amount of time. You’d best be careful talking about seeing the dead. They might come scare the life out of you next.”

Sniffing at the concoction on the stove he gave her another strange look as she offered up a cup of the stuff. Swirling it he eyed the other members of the staff for a moment. They all offered no indication of what exactly he’d been offered. “It certainly does not appear to be a black tea…” he sipped at it and swirled the strange taste in his mouth of herbs. That was when it finally hit him.




The young Alexander was sitting on the end of his bed and holding a cup of something that smelled absolutely foul. He’d been sick for days and all his father had done was make him drink a series of gross teas. He’d seen the woman who was brewing them and she’d given him the willies. Still staring into the drink he finally drank the concoction.




Looking up from the drink at the woman offering him the drink he frowned at her as he took in her face.“Do you know. I think it’s been quite some time since I’ve had anything like it. I was much younger the last time. My father swore by the stuff this woman use to brew. I suppose in the end it worked since I’m still here.” Continuing to drink he finished it and set it down. Turning he looked over the kitchen. “Though I would still appreciate some decent english tea. I think I should perhaps bring something to my lady wife.” Pausing he looked at Mary again and frowned as though thinking on something. Opening his mouth for a moment he tilted his head. Thought for a moment more before holding up his finger. “...do you know if memory serves the woman I remember had red hair as well.” Contemplating for a moment he turned to the rest of the kitchen.

“Now. Teapot..”
@AtomicNut
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by GhostMami
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Lena interacting with Mary Holly @AtomicNut, Lord Northam @Themerlinhawk & Mrs. Northam @TootsiePop

Miss Lena van der Meer





Miss Lena awoke with the sun, as was usual for her. Though, to say that she woke was to say that she was sleeping in the first place, which was hardly true. Lena hadn’t slept a solid night since arriving at the manor decades ago. The spirits are far more active at night and they have always sensed her presence. Whilst Lena is on the cusp of consciousness, a weakened state, they poke and prod at her. Tugging at her hair, pulling the blankets down, sometimes the more benevolent ones tuck her in or even lay beside her. But when dawn arrives, Lena recalls nothing. The lack of sleep and eternal tiredness have become her new normal.

Having already gone about her morning routine, Miss Lena has washed, dressed, and properly made up for the day. Her long ebony locks were pulled up into a smooth bun and her fingers had just finished the task of braiding a final section to wrap around the band holding the rest of her hair up. She used a hairpin to tuck the braid securely in place and took a few moments to examine her reflection in the mirror.

Leaning towards the looking glass, judging the way her face powder was clinging to the fine lines and wrinkles around her eyes and mouth, Lena sighed. She had never been a vain woman before now. It wasn’t how she was raised and it wasn’t who she wanted to be, but… these days? She couldn’t help it. Every morning that she looked in the mirror, she could swear that she was starting to look more and more like them. Soon enough she herself would be a grey phantasm gliding up and down these halls, endlessly trapped in peculiar labyrinth that was Manor North.

There was no use dwelling on the inevitable though, not when there was work to be done. The hungry mouths of the manor would not feed themselves. Heaven forbid they feel the weight of picking up a ladle, let alone a pot or a pan. Miss Lena stood up from her simple vanity and put on a fresh apron before heading towards the kitchen. She entered it to find Mary Holly giving Lord Northam some concoction she’d brewed up. The shrew-like woman glared at Mary with a pinched gaze.

“What have I told you about using my best saucepans for your witchery?” The elder staff member scolded as she snuffed out the stove’s flames and used a cloth to lift the pot and bring it towards the wash basin. “You might know how to wash the dishes, but you can’t scrub away the evil, child.” Lena coldly poured the herbal “witches brew” as she saw it down the drain and left the pan to be cleaned before muttering under her breath. “The last thing this house needs is more evil…”

“Well, I do hope you left some of the herbs in the garden for there proper intended uses.” Lena remarked at her usual volume, more calm now. She grabbed a cloak and a basket to head outside and gather herbs for tonight’s dinner. On her way out, she bowed her head slightly towards the master of the house, “We’ll be having stew for supper tonight, Lord Alexander.” It was about as many words as any of the staff members could muster up when speaking to the newly returned heir. For the most part, they were a silent working bunch. There was plenty else to be doing rather than slacking off and sharing unnecessary niceties.

Lena wrapped the cloak more tightly around her shoulders before stepping outside and bracing against the morning chill. There was always a chill in the air on the estate grounds, but it was most noticeable at dawn and dusk. The old woman gripped her gathering basket and headed towards the herb garden. On her journey through the gardens, the sight of a pale phantom caught her eye. Lena turned to see a woman clad in a black night robe exiting the hedge maze.

That was no spirit, it was Mrs. Northam. Briefly forgetting her task, Lena watched the other woman curiously as she appeared to head towards the family crypt in a trance. “God have mercy…” Miss Lena remarked softly and shook her head before following her conscience after Josephine.

There was not much that could have prepared Lena for the sight she was to behold within the crypt. The widowed Mrs. Northam sat humming an eerie tune, clutching a rose as blood dripped from her palm down onto to the resting place of her late husband. Speak of the devil, a tall shadowy figure stood above the mourning woman. The spirit reeked of menace and ill intent and it wore a distorted version of Mortimer Northam’s face. Lena’s gut told her that he — or it — was to blame for the widow’s state. Haven’t you caused her enough pain, you whoring devil? Leave! Lena thought scathingly.

Whether it be Lena’s mental scolding, the morning rays of light creeping into the crypts entrance, or simply the surprise of being spotted, Mortimer’s spirit faded away. Miss Lena dropped her basket then and rushed to Mrs. Northam’s side. “Goodness, dear Lady Josephine, what are you doing out here? Bleeding out and wearing naught but your sleeping robe, you’re gonna catch your death! Come now, let me see your hand.” She said kindly as she knelt down with a linen cloth from her basket ready to clean off the wound.

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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Morwenna
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Lady Northam




Sunlight poured into the bedroom just enough through the cracks in the curtains to disturb Cora’s already disturbed sleep. She spent the night hiding under the sheets and covering her head with her pillow trying to drown out her fear of the manor. The strange melody she heard kept playing over and over again in her head. Every time she’d finally fall asleep the tune would creep into her dreams and she'd wake herself up. She grumbled as the rays of light reminded her she couldn’t stay hidden all day. She crawled out of bed with a big huff. She heard people stirring downstairs reminding her she should look presentable and can't spend all day in bed or getting ready.

She had a rather extensive wardrobe designed to fit her particular tastes. All of her dresses had ornate perfume buttons sewn onto them to prevent her love of perfume oils from ruining their fabric (for reference perfumebottles.org/virtual-museum/18/… ). She threw on her undergarments hastily lacing up her corset…leaving it a bit looser than she normally would…and layered a green dress over it. She looked in the mirror…her lack of sleep showed. But she did her best to compensate. She undid her braids and brushed her long waves out. Too tired to do anything fancy…she suddenly missed having her sister, mother and maids around. They'd make the chore of getting ready each day go by much quicker. Her humble beginnings had made her very insecure, and she had procured an appreciation for finer things in order to try to fit in with those whose titles were their birthrights. She grumbled to herself while reaching for her hair pins...she wasn't thrilled with all of the pretenses and expectations put upon her by her family . She only pinned up the front of it…letting the rest of her long reddish blonde hair fall down her back. She dabbed her neck and her wrists with her own special perfume mix of orange, lavender, and rose oils from an ornate perfume bottle she kept in her top drawer making sure to saturate the special buttons on her dress with the delicate flowery fragrance . She pinched her cheeks to try to brighten herself up a bit before slipping on a pair of gloves in the same shade and fabric as her dress.

She crossed the room and was getting ready to head downstairs when she noticed something that wasn’t there when she went to bed last night. Laying on top of her corset she had thrown on a chair was sheet music. Cora knew before she even started to hum the notes what the tune would be. She shivered and then got a bit agitated in trying to rationalize it. Surely it must be her new husband or one of the staff trying to play some sort of elaborate prank on her to get under her skin. Sheet music still in hand, she headed for the door and made her way toward the commotion in the kitchen.

Lady Northam straightened herself smoothing back her hair over her shoulders as she entered the kitchen. Looking over at the staff standing around… “Good morning ladies. I’m starving…is there anything for breakfast?” She then turns... rather annoyed and curious to Lord Northam “Did you leave this in my room for me as some sort of joke? If so it wasn’t very funny keeping me up all night trying to scare me…and your piano needs tuned. Your A key is a bit sharp” as she holds the sheet music in her hand up to him.
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Lord Alexander Northam





At the sudden appearance of Lena, Lord Northam took a tact step out of the way of her sweeping presence. It was always a frightening thing to see with her despite his station he always had felt like he was in her way. Perhaps it was a holdover from his youth when she had been a spinster that the family had hired on to fill out the kitchen staff. All of the sudden the kitchen was feeling rather full. Watching as she poured at the ‘witches brew’ he shot a look at Mary to see her reaction. Lena was many things but tactful was really not one of them. At Least for now the kitchen seemed to hold the same protection it had in his youth. Perhaps that had something to do with Lena’s presence here. It was largely her realm after all.

With another sweeping move she left the kitchen on a mission to the gardens. It was nice to see that some things never truly changed. A slight grin curled the corner of his mouth as he watched the sweep of her skirts vanish out of the kitchen.

The banging out the outer door heralded the approach of another and as he turned he started again. It was his Lady wife. Still without any proper english tea he held in the exasperated sigh. It was clear that it was morning in Manor North as she immediately lit into him. He was about to tune her out as being obnoxious and childish as she started in about breakfast and then accused him of leaving some papers in her room. As he drew breath to inform her that there was no reason he would have had to leave such a thing in her room he heard something about his piano being out of tune.

“I don’t play Pi….”

He trailed off as he stared at her for a long moment. The feeling was back again. It was really starting to irk him that since he had returned it seemed like the thing happened atleast four times a day if not more.

“What Piano-”

The inquisition was cut short by the appearance of of Walter. The lanky, tall, slightly dapper, and perpetually dour english butler looked down at him from behind is spectacles. It was a rather impressive feat as Lord Northam was not short. It was just that Walter was tall. The man was the product of a welsh and Scottish family, no one was really sure how old the butler was. In all honesty Alexander wasn’t even really sure if he had aged since his childhood. The same lines were on his face and the same frame moved with assurity as it had some decades prior.

“Good morning Walter.”

The man sniffed gently.

“Good morning m’Lord. If you had rang I would have brought you the tea ma’self.” the brogue was only slightly detectable in his words. Years serving a proper english household had smoothed out the speech patterns. He realized that Walter was asking for an explanation without asking for an explanation as questioning the head of the household was a preposterous thing to do. Alexander silently scrambled for an reason that did not involved being afraid of ghosts and would explain why he was not enjoying what should have been his honeymoon.

“aahhh...I was…” he paused before looking up at Walter who seemed to loom at little closer at the beginning of the sentence. “...just going to bring my wife a spot of tea this morning in bed and I thought that perhaps I could retrieve it myself. As there was no one readily here I thought maybe I could…” he trailed off as he was about to suggest that he was going to circumvent the household staff. For him it was of no consequence as he had been making his own tea for years now but thing were different in this strange microcosm that was Manor North.

“You- You know Walter you appeared just in the nick of time I was going to go looking for someone to handle the preparations. Unfortunately the tea in the bedroom will not be happening though as Lady Cora appears to be an equally early riser.” This seemed to satisfy the old butler who began the process of preparing the tea. Taking up a spot next to one of the engaged ovens Lord Northam watched the butler work and as more kitchen staff came in he watched as the house’s ancient heart began to beat again. Like it was pushing thick sludge through its veins.

Turning to look at his wife he shot her a serious look that seemed to say: We’ll talk later.

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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by AtomicNut
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Mary Holly


Mary's instinctive reaction to the lord's rememberance of the brew and her own mother's hair was to shuffle ever so slightly, trying to avoid the undeniable striking appearance of her ginger locks. "I reckon..." She started to elaborate, before the crusty old tornado of frowns and chastising that the head maid ruined her favourite piece of herbal knowledge. She just grinded her teeth and smiled as the old woman denounced her evil practices and ruined to waste one of the favourite drinks of the former lord, and what could have been one of the new one.
"Keep doing that, and I swear to the Mother of the forest that you shall find hemlock in your next dinner old bat."

Fortunately,the old head maid left as she came, and the Lord's attached wife had come in one of her fits. She had seen it happen several times. Sometimes people used to the dazzling world of the civilization would find themselves oppressed by the heavy atmosphere of the woods. Like caged birds in a strange environment they'd restlessly move at every single shade and never realized that the heavyset reality of theirs wasn't as heavy set. Stupid silver-spoon fed lords and ladies who were clueless.

"I'd take that as compliment, my lady. After all, the Lovesick Pianist died trying to passionately woo his love with that piano, only to be never paid heed. So he kind of does that to beautiful ladies." Mary Holly replied sarcastically. She had heard tales of spirits too, and she wasn't entirely sure if it had been just a flight or fancy of the lady, but she really loved twisting the knife at any chance she could get.

"Food... let's see. We have some bread and cheese... I've not managed to get much milk lately I am afraid. The cattle is restless cause that rascal of One Eye is moving ever closing to the mansion. Guess there's something that can even scare wolves in those woods." Mary Holly added, as she skillfully brandished a knife to produce a frugal meal with bread, cheese and strawberry jam. "There was a lot of berries this last year, so i picked a lot of those in the woods and made jam. I hope it will suit your lordly tastes." The maid bowed.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by TootsiePop
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TootsiePop 𝗌𝖼𝗋𝗎𝗆𝖽𝗂𝖽𝖽𝗅𝗒𝗎𝗆𝗉𝗍𝗂𝗈𝗎𝗌

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Nicholas interacting with Rhoslyn @AXIS
Josephine interacting with Miss Lena van der Meer @GhostMami

Mrs. Northam and Little Nicholas

The little boy slyly grinned when the maid acknowledged him. He was sweet and gentle, yet that smile and bright fire in his wide eyes, full of curiosity and intrigue, shed light to the mischievousness that festered within him. "Do you enjoy cleaning, Miss Rosie?" Without hesitation, he reached for her hand, his sea gaze never wavering from her face. When their hands touched, he squeezed her's, as if he was an adult giving her loving comfort. Did she really need it, though?

His head turned toward the kitchen, where he could hear chatter. Food was surely being made, wasn't it? He hadn't eaten. But, that could wait. He didn't need the other adults to interfere with his search and he especially didn't need to see the woman that was taking all the attention in this house. A lady his mother didn't like. The lady that had his uncle's 'assumed' affections. The lady that would be considered most important to the Manor. At least, until she died.

Rather than let Rhoslyn lead, he pulled her in the way he believed his mother was at. "Maybe she's smelling daddy's clothes in the basement." That was rhetorical. "We should check the basement!" When Nicholas grew older, if he ever did reach the age of a man, his ambition could be the death of him. As he tugged onto her hand, they walked back to the lobby and when they reached the big door that led to the dark basement, he looked at Rose's face still with that questionable, warm smile, "Do you think the basement is scary? Tootz told me there's buried treasure. Do you believe him? I believe Tootz knows my home better than anyone! Better than mama. Better than uncle. Even better than Miss Lena! And she's ancient!" He giggled, the worry for his parent evaporating, as his true intention was slowly but surely showing.

Snapping back into the present, Josephine sluggishly, tiredly, turned her head to the guardian of the house, "Catch my death?" She drifted into consciousness, and back out. Focusing her eyesight on her female companion, she turned her hand over that held the rose, realizing she was bleeding. Confusion was written all over her face. How did she get here? Why was her hand bleeding? Was she visiting... her husband? "Maybe... I'm already sick." She whispered breathlessly.

She didn't mean to worry anyone. Her body felt weak. Was she sleep walking again? Her skin looked sickly. It was cold and she wasn't dressed at all for her day. She looked malnourished. With shaking words, shivering lips, she softly asked Lena, "Am I a good person? Was I a good wife?" Questions that haunt her. Perhaps, that's why she found herself in front of the crypts.

Did she not deserve the house because she failed at being everything Morrie needed? Her mind was foggy but the dream played back like a distant memory. She saw his voice vibrating and entangled within the wind. She felt his kisses against her neck and his light touch down her stomach. She heard his desire and lust for her. His undying love for her. He was calling her to him. He shouldn't be dead, she should be.

Moments like these, she wanted to collapse on the dirty ground. She wanted to give up. Her eyes peered past Lena's face and to the kitchen lights. Her sorrowful, lost expression momentarily switched to annoyance, as she teethed, "Are they awake?" She didn't like her brother-in-law, or his naive, lady wife. They cared very little for this place and shouldn't be permitted to even walk the halls, let alone dine within it, among everyone else as if they've always been here.

She despised change.
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Rhoslyn Artenfell


Rose became werry. She was very unsure of what was going on right now. The young boy was acting strange. This child was not acting as a child should. She could sense something in the air was different. Once they passed the kitchen and she saw everyone else there she became more concerned. She was about to tell him where his mother might be when he began dragging her. Her concern heightened "little lord where are you trying to take me?" she said with much concern

As they approached the main lobby she could sense something strange. Something almost evil, no, more than anything it seemed sinister. Just than Nicolas pulled them over to the basement. It seemed as though he wished to go down. She was concerned. She didn't know how to respond. He was a lord and she was a servents. Was she even allowed to tell him no?

She looked down to Nicholas [/color=violet] "i....i don't know about this little lord"[/color] she said as her voice began to shake. "that doesn't seem like a safe place for children" her voice trembled. She wasn't initially scared to go in a basement, but, this one made her feel very strange. It wasn't necessarily fear that was causing her to tremble. Her ears twitch for all sorts of reasons. Something made her want to go down, and that's why she knew she couldn't go. She recognized the boys tone. He seemed to have no concern for his mother anymore but Rhoslyn tried to use his mother. Maybe that would snap his focus. "I think I heard your mother and the others in the kitchen. Maybe we should go there. And get you some breakfast.?" here words came off as a statement and a question.

She stared down at the basement door. Her body trembled with excitement and that scared her more than anything else.
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Lady Northam





Frustrated with her husband Lady Northam snatched the sheet music back out of his hands and did her best to hide her annoyance and frustration with the help. Seething with inner turmoil she darted a cold glance at Mary Holly @atomicnut…tearing a piece of bread off of the end of the loaf she had been cutting with her finely gloved hand… "you can keep your woodland berries. This should suffice to hold me over…I know how to eat with more than a silver spoon” the words laced with sarcasm to denote that she was well aware of how she was often viewed.
Cora already knew she was caught between worlds upon marrying Lord Northam but their demeaning glances reminded her of where she once was. She was well aware of what her life was like before her father made his wealth…that’s what made her so difficult to marry off. She knew she didn’t fit in with those born of their titles. She also knew that nobody looked beyond her newer wealth and privilege. With rank came privilege and with privilege came…expectations.
During her childhood there were no expectations of Cora other than to get an education so that she could have a respectable future. She remembered life before servants and maids and how she yearned to be like the wealthy…but as much as they looked down their noses at those lower than them…it wasn’t love and adoration that they were met back with. The rich thought the poor lowly and dirty and the poor thought of the rich as pompous and arrogant.
However, she knew what it was like albeit briefly to taste that sweet in between of freedom - the laissez faire of being neither under scrutiny by a title or by lack of finances. The period of time between neither being under House Prideaux or Lord Northam during finishing school/college was fresh in Cora’s mind. Her unwillingness to settle into her “proper” place coupled with being the main heir to her father’s fortune would be what landed her here at the Northam Estate in the first place…being stared at with a mixture of loathing and envy by people she barely knew. And what little they do know of her is that of “Lady Northam”…not the girl formally known as Cora. She was after all Lady Northam now… merely yet another possession belonging to the Northam Estate…like all of the other antiques and fineries that have come here for their funerary she thought.

Cora gritted through her teeth trying to stifle her emotions as she shot back at Lord Northam @Themerlinhawk without so much as looking at him as she crossed to leave the kitchen “Whatever you desire dear Husband. After all isn’t that what you married me for? To be able to buy whatever your heart desires? I’ll be up in my room.” With that Lady Northam exited the kitchen holding her head as high as she could muster.
Lady Northam trapsed back up to her room clenching her skirts tight in her fists huffing all the while under her breath “What piano?! What does he mean what piano? Who owns a house and doesn’t even know what’s in it?? And all of these women?! Showing their legs even! The Queen mother would be fit to be tied! I bet he just loves having a house full of women under his command. The kind of women who end up bearing poor titleless bastards and die scullery maids!” She reached her bedroom not caring that she slammed the door behind her “What piano?! The nerve! I didn’t keep myself up all night!”

She threw herself on to the bed and screamed into her pillow like a child throwing a temper tantrum when they didn’t get what they wanted before her anger gave way to frustration and tears. Cora wanted so badly to go back to the safety and freedom of her old life. She enjoyed all of the attention and gifts she was lavished with by various suitors trying to win her affection. She enjoyed being able to come and go as she pleased and most of all she enjoyed having no serious expectations placed upon her. She knew what being admired, adored and even loved was and knew Lady Northam was none of those things in this house.
Cora knew that her words had been a bit barbed toward her husband…that she was as guilty as he was for choosing to marry to preserve money and status over love first but she refused to accept that they were both prisoners of the same design. All that Cora could see were the expectations that came with being “Lady Northam” and how unsure she was that she could live up to them and be a decent wife and eventually mother like was expected. She was rather overwhelmed at the thought of having children with someone who she barely knew. In Cora’s mind her womb and future heirs held more value to others than she did and she had no idea what to do with that.
Cora did her very best to try to push her feelings down and compose and straighten herself out of fear Lord Northam could come barging through the door at any moment. She knew she was in no position to feel sorry for herself when so many others would give anything to trade her places, but Cora couldn’t help but feel very much a prisoner held captive by this house and her “expectations”.

The haunting piano and strange melody that Lord Northam didn't even know existed crawling constantly in her mind...Lady Northam went to her closet and took out her violin. She delicately took off her gloves and began rosining her bow. She then cradled the violin into her neck and began to lose herself to its strings...strumming the notes off the sheet music that had been left for her.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Scarescrow
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The sun came out from the shadows of the oaks of Manor North. A faint breeze, carrying with it a hint of saltiness from the harbor nearby before being neutralized by the lines of yellow tulips that ran along the pathway from the entrances to the main gate. Below, white columns of smoke arose from the cafes and the fisherman boats, only to disappear into the clear blue sky. The sound of locks being open and doorknobs being twisted, leather boots fall and canes pressed firmly on the cobblestone on the other side of the walls, following by the greetings from the gentlemen's and their hat tips as they making their ways to the only cafe in town. The heave and ho from the fishermen and their broad smiles with filled pockets joined by the women and children as a line is started to form before the processed factory. For the rent is high and lives are miserable, all hands will be needed.

Letting himself to rest under the shade of a pine tree, Victor allowed himself to catch a breath before getting back inside the manor. It is true that the sight outside these walls is spectacular when seeing up here. The dock, the houses, even the factories seem like matches boxes when gazing from such distance. How troublesome those people must be, he included, in their struggle to live. It used to bewilder him when he first came here, how small and insignificant human can be on a grand scale of things. Seeing the sight unfolded itself before him. Seeing how… beneath the creepy layer of Manor North laid a mismatch beauty and complexity. Seeing his nation’s glory and might. But, just like Uncle John put it, “you’ll grow old with it.”

Although thirteen years of work had made him jaded to such beauty, it had not taken his sense of pleasure and appreciation for his own work. Feeling the warmth of the sun; enjoying a cup of tea while smelling the white lilies; seeing the garden’s pathway turn to white during summer; reading a good book inside the greenhouse, welcomed by the orchids imported from Singapore and the hydrangea that will always bloom despite the seasons. The Spanish bluebells would dot the background of the manor during the early spring rains. And when all trees died and wither away as fall came, the Bougainville he had prepared all years long would bloom like resilient flames against the icy death. But the most spectacular of them all happened in winter. When the wind howled and the sea blackened, tread the manor’s ground and you’ll see your feet are in a sea of snow that is the height of your toes. Cyclamen. Pansies. Hellebores. Snowdrops. All sort of flower bloomed in the season you thought plants die.

Remarkable, isn't it?

But currently, he is hungry. He had woken up for 3 hours. He had worked for two hours. Timothy should have been helping him since six. Yet, here he is, all alone and doing half the boy’s pay.

Pulling out a pocket watch from his pocket, Victor checked to see if Miss Leva had awoken yet. Usually, the lady would wake up earlier, sitting somewhere in the kitchen with today’s newspaper on her hands. A cup of tea, or coffee for some grumpy day she had, would sit beside her while the kitchen would waft with whatever she prepared. Victor adored her cooking. Somehow, scramble eggs, a meal that he had grown sick off during his serving time, just taste like something wonderful in her hands.

But still, reminiscing is for the latter. There are still works to be done, things to be taught (if Timothy ever decided to show up early), and more flowers to prepare. If he is not mistaken, the Lord’s sister would like the lavender to be more … light. Less gloomy, he presumed. Maybe a shift in the flower’s color tone? A little sunlight should the trick. But still, all of that is after today’s breakfast.


Just as he was readied to open the door that leads to the kitchen, the sound of something shrill and obviously furious reached Victor’s ears. Having served in this manor for more than a decade, Victor calmly stepped aside from the door and placing his right hand over his heart. His head lowered, no need to face the lion when it is challenged. The gauntlets, which is probably now stench with the smell of fresh grass and moisture dirt, are left outside. Boots were put back inside the shed. Overall, there were not that much to be left criticized by whoever is running rampage on the other side of the door. And indeed he was left alone as Lady Northam making her exit from the kitchen. Her head was probably so high that she sees the ceiling above her than taken notice the gardener beside her. Even worse, the lady failed to notice the bread crumbs on her gloves. Pity her.

Without much thought to the brief encounter with the Lady of the House, Victor entered the kitchen with the hope of his belly being satisfied. But no food. Not even a waft of smell. There was no tea, no coffee, no milk either. All that there is is a pot in the sink, Mary, a piece of unfinished bread, and bread crumbs all over the floor.

“So, no breakfast?” Victor asked, hoping that Mary would said that Miss Lara is just late or something. He is hungry. And he would rather to not eat what he can cook by himself.

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