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Welcome to Charming, the year is now 1892. It’s time to join us and immerse yourself in scandal and drama interlaced with magic both light and dark.

Where will you fall?

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“Cheese and Crust” - an exclamation common among the lower classes. A perversion of the invocation of the name of Jesus Christ, though considered somewhat respectful for its veiling of the oath. — Bounce
Maybe a choice shade of grey - the closest thing she had to mourning clothes - as a symbolic marker that her relationship with Victor was dead.
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death by misadventure
#1
1 January, 1893 — Flint New Years Luncheon — Wellingtonshire, Hogsmeade

Victor Daphnel's body fell from the second story down to the cobblestones of the garden path just outside the back door, which was all according to plan. Victor fell also, which had not been planned. He had been huddled in the upstairs room with his brother waiting for the appropriate moment to make his death known to the world, and had envisioned that when the time came he would step straight through the balcony railing and drift down gracefully to the path and wait for someone to rush out and discover him, having heard the noise from the impact of his body hitting the ground. He was still very new to this whole not having a body thing, though, and he'd be (stupidly, he now realized) expecting resistance as he stepped through the half-wall surrounding the upstairs balcony. When there wasn't any, it threw him off balance enough that instead of drifting down towards the garden below he tumbled head over heels and fell.

He did not know how to stop falling. It wasn't as though he could catch hold of anything to slow him down, and while the ground was quickly approaching he realized with horror that he did not know whether that would stop him, either. Suppose he just fell straight down into the earth and kept going? Presumably he would stop eventually, but what if he were three meters below ground when it happened? Victor imagined himself trying to swim through dark ground, paddling without much effect through the dirt around him in the hopes of breaching the surface again. But suppose he got turned around down there, where there was no light and no obvious indication of direction, and went the wrong way? Suppose he went a hundred meters down and was never seen or heard from again?

He squeezed his eyes shut and thought please, and then he stopped falling. Victor had not been a spirit long enough to know whether the two things were related or not. When he tentatively opened his eyes, he was hovering horizontally about three feet off the ground, looking down at his own broken body. This was better than having fallen straight into the earth, no doubt, but it posed a new problem: he did not know how to right himself. He feebly tried to put a foot down to catch the ground and propel himself back to a vertical position, but of course his shoe didn't catch on the ground, and he was stuck floating there in mid-air, vaguely waving his limbs in the hopes that something would get him back into a standing position. Why had it never occurred to him that getting around as a spirit would be so difficult? Not that he'd had much contact with ghosts before now, and probably all the ones he had seen already had decades or centuries of experience with it. What a sobering thought that was.

Victor was distracted from his ongoing attempts to get himself into some more dignified position than diagonal hovering by the sound of a woman's scream, which he supposed meant it was show time.
Open to multiple people; no post order.


Fabulous set by Lady!
#2
His New Year luncheon gathering was going fine but a part of him still felt something was missing. Marcorvus didn't need to think hard on figuring why it was so and in truth he doubted he would ever feel things were back to normal. After so many years married to the only woman he truly loved, now that she was gone, life just wasn't the same.

Life must go on and he must still present himself in society as the highly regarded and respected wizard he was. He worked hard to keep up the Flint reputation and build a strong and solid future for his children. He certainly wasn't going to give in to any inclination to wallow in heartache any longer than socially accepted. He already went through two years of mourning and officially returned to society so was expected to attend and throw all the usual gatherings the Flints hosted. Still, he couldn't help missing his wife at these events, of knowing they all lacked the majority of her touch despite the servants having a very good idea how she liked things.

To his knowledge the gatherings he held have been received well, he had heard no negative gossip and people still accepted his invitations and sent out their own. Malcorvus was just as busy in social events as he was prior to the loss of his wife, though that was mostly due to looking for suitable wife material for his eldest son. In the end he won't stand in his way on choosing who he truly wanted to be with but it never hurt to ensure he was presented with the best possible choices.

He was talking with one of his guests when suddenly a scream cut through the general babble of conversations. This was no scream of offense or surprise because something unexpected appeared to startle a young woman. No, this was a scream of pure anguish and surprise. Immediately Malcorvus searched for the source and found a small gathering of people near the balcony and something on the ground. He wasn't sure what, at least not till he reached the spot.

"Make way please,' Malcorvus said firmly but calmly. Only when people stepped out of the way did he get a clear view of what happened. A body lay upon the flagstones, the position gave him the impression he must have fell from the second story balcony. The woman who screamed he recognized as the new wife of Victor Daphnel. The body on the ground unfortunately was the man himself.

Approaching the body, he crouched to check his pulse but found none. From the position of the body and how pale the skin was he hadn't expected to find any but what surprised him was how cold the body was already. That seemed odd but he didn't dwell upon it till much later. Taking out his wand he levitated all the items off a nearby table and summoned the tablecloth underneath to him. Settling things back onto the table, he put his wand away and draped the tablecloth over Victor's body.

"What happened?" he asked, his eyes settling upon the ghostly image of the very man who apparently fell to his death from the balcony. Glancing up he didn't see anybody else on the balcony but that didn't mean there hadn't been somebody up there who could have helped Victor fall, as in pushed him with murderous intent.

@Victor Daphnel
Tag others who are in the immediate vicinity

[Image: Flint-Siggie1-Sepia.png]
#3
Long had only come to support Ida. She had been so adamant that she attend, that even Long had felt obligated to support her. After the incident with their young friend in the park he felt she was entitled to a break of sorts - to have one less battle to wage against their father. One of her friends had made a point of supporting the idea as well, and that it would be a good idea to put her in the path of educated, pureblood gentlemen. It was just another thing he had to be envious of her for, but this wasn't what was envisaged.

A woman was screaming -somewhere Long couldnt work out where. There was a man laying spread eagle on the patio, his neck at an angle that was incompatible with life. He had been about to approach, to check for the pulse he was sure was not existent, when Mister Flint took the lead and controlled the situation with no small amount of aplomb.

'Up there' he indicated, rather stupidly to the second story, but started when he turned back to Mister Flint to see the recently deceased Mister Daphnel floating at hand, and realised he was the one that was actually being addressed, and the lawyer looked at the former healer expectantly.


#4
Victor had managed to get himself mostly upright, but that was all that could be said for him in terms of dignity before he was addressed directly by their host. Had there been any color in Victor's skin, his face might have paled at this point. He recalled having spoken with Mr. Flint before, and he'd come away with a favorable impression of the gentleman. Now they had summarily ruined his New Year's Luncheon. A death at the house, particularly that of one of the guests, would not cease to be a topic of conversation for some time. He felt he owed the older man an apology for visiting this on him — though of course it hadn't been personal. Mr. Flint just happened to have the most convenient party to stage a body. Victor certainly had not planned to need to stage a body.

"I — must have slipped —" he managed, eyes moving from the body draped in the tablecloth to the balcony. Thankfully his brother was no longer visible at the railing. Hopefully he was already off the premise, or would be soon. Jasper was the more incriminating of the pair of them, since he would still be wearing Victor's face, but having either of them spotted sneaking away from the party when they hadn't been present at it before would have been difficult to explain.

He ought to say something else, he realized. How had he felt in the moments after he'd actually died? It seemed to slip straight from his mind when he tried to recall, and he didn't know whether that was a permanent condition or only that he was feeling a little frantic and pressured now with so many eyes on him. He'd tried to mend his own neck, he remembered that — but the way he'd felt or what he'd been thinking were hazy now. But denial, he supposed he could play that. "Is it — that's — do something," he implored the gentlemen nearest the body. "Fix it."



Fabulous set by Lady!
#5
Malcorvus glanced over at Mr. Chang when he spoke and saw where he was pointing. He had already figured out where the deceased had fallen from but he nodded acknowledgement for Chang's information. Such a situation could settle anybody and he didn't find it admiss Mr. Chang hadn't realized he had addressed his question to the ghostly form struggling to float upright near the body.

Turning his attention back to Mr. Daphnel's ghost Malcorvus found it difficult to read the man in this form. Though he was skilled at Legitimens Malcorvus didn't use it on every person he met and talked to, instead he relied on experience reading facial expressions and tone of voice to tell if somebody was being honest. Besides, he didn't think it would work on a ghost anyway and didn't feel inclined to try and see if it would.

Reading body language on a ghost however was difficult as he could see the ring of curious guests surrounding them through Mr. Daphnel. Still, something in what he was saying didn't ring true but now wasn't the time nor place to press further details. Besides, this was the first time Malcorvus had encountered a newly formed ghost and the confusion and uncertainty may very well be typical for all ghosts. The moment of death may not be as clearly remembered especially if death was sudden.

Malcorvus glanced down at the covered body then looked up at the ghost once more, giving his head a slight shake. "Unfortunately there is nothing I nor anybody else can do. Your neck was broken upon impact, terribly sorry Mr. Daphnel."

"If there's anything I can do to help you settle your affairs, name it and I'll do what I can. For now, if you wish some time alone to process things, I'll arrange for my guests to move to the ballroom."

"I'm sure Mr. Chang can also be of assistance in his capacity as a Solicitor, perhaps not immediately but in the near future to help settle your affairs." Malcorvus glanced over at Mr. Chang, making sure he would be willing to assist should Mr. Daphnel wish to consult a lawyer.

[Image: Flint-Siggie1-Sepia.png]
#6

Long's brow furrowed, the answer was somehow unsatisfactory - slipped? He couldn't imagine the sequence of events, or the level of clumsiness required to fuck up standing that badly, but Longwei supposed he must have since he was standing, well floating here saying that that was the case. Long couldn't help but look from the transparent Asian man to the balcony above their heads, following the young man's eyeline to the black wroung iron balustrade, that glance seemed to shake something lose in him and he was begging for help, for someone to 'fix' him.

Long wasn't an expert, but he was fairly sure there was no way to do that. Fruitlessly, he looked around for a healer, but as no one has pushed their way to the front he assumed there was no one around, especially since Mister Daphnel was himself a healer and if there had been another nearby he was sure to have recognised them. Sympathy washing over him, his first instinct was to reach out and pat the chap on the shoulder, but his hand stopped, hovering in mid air, as he realised that would likely be unpleasant for both himself and the unfortunate Mister Daphnel.

It was a different response to Flint's matter of fact summation. The healers life was over - Flint was already moving on the settlement of his estate. Long blanched a little, but gave a nodding acceptance, his jaw set firm. 'It will be alright Mister Daphnel, is your family here? Should we call someone?' he was sure the story was already rippling through the guests, and it wouldn't be long until whatever family he had here learned of his fate and if that could be handeled delicately all the better.


#7
Victor allowed himself a moment of blank staring after Mr. Flint responded, which felt appropriate given the weight of the news he had (apparently to them) just been given for the first time. It bought him a second to think through his next reaction, too, which he desperately needed. He may have been planning this interaction for hours, but that didn't mean he was confident in how to proceed. He'd never had cause to practice acting skills before; he didn't know if he was at all convincing. Hopefully the shock of the situation would detract from any defects in his performance.

The way Flint moved on, all business, was something of a relief — it gave him an excuse not to linger too long in playing at emotions he wasn't sure of. Settling affairs — needless, really, because his father was still technically alive for all that he hadn't been seen in society for years. Family present at the gathering — his inclination was to say no, because his siblings were absent by design. One brother had pretended to be him for the sake of the charade, one brother had helped dump the corpse over the railing, and his sister was safely locked away at home — very far from anything that would implicate her in his death. They'd planned all that... but he realized with a pang of regret that when one spoke of his family, it was no longer just his siblings that counted.

"My wife," he said reluctantly, already regretting having to put Christabel through something so traumatic as discovering his body in the middle of a party. "My wife's here — somewhere."



Fabulous set by Lady!
#8
Malcorvus was aware Victor's wife was present at his party, he did see the guest list after all and was certain he had seen the two together at one point. Unfortunately he hadn't been able to meet every guest as they arrived, especially any who didn't arrive at the indicated time.

Leaving Mr. Chang to respond to Victor's question, Malcorvus took the opportunity to get the attention of his guests. "Please everybody, follow my servants to the grand ballroom where refreshments will be provided and your coats returned. Due to the unexpected tragedy I must call an end to the afternoon's celebrations."

Once the guests started moving away, Malcorvus was able to spot the distraught Mrs. Daphnel being led away by several others. He trusted his staff and family to ensure she was well taken care of so turned his attention to the more immediate problem. He had a corpse on his hands, a sour end to his day's plans. At last it didn't look to be a murder but he had his doubts this was just an ordinary accident.

"See to it the authorities are contacted, I'm sure they'll want to learn what happened sooner rather than later." He told one of his servants. Malcorvus could have used more direct means to notify law enforcement but didn't think it was necessary as he was certain he wasn't playing host to a murderer. Once the servant left to send an owl he returned to Mr. Chang's and Mr. Daphnel's side.

"The authorities will be coming here soon and I expect they will want to speak with you, Mr. Daphnel." Malcorvus said once he rejoined the two.

[Image: Flint-Siggie1-Sepia.png]

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