Mystery Solved!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 0 comments

Thanks to everyone who entered their solutions.

SPOILER WARNING this post contains the solution to the Mystery of "The Evil Eye of Africa" if you would rather try to figure it out on your own first you can start at the beginning here.

Here is Margaret Curelas of Tyche Books, with her announcement of the winners and the solution!

Keep your sightglass full your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ

 
"The Evil Eye of Africa"
By Jayne Barnard

A Guess-the-Murderer Mystery in Two Acts 

Steampunk Mystery Game Solution and Winners

Thank you to everyone for reading and submitting solutions to "The Evil Eye of Africa" Steampunk Mystery Game! Many thanks to Madame Saffron for reviewing entries. And, of course, our deepest appreciation to Jayne Barnard for writing the story and giving us such amusement.

Three intrepid detectives have solved the mystery: H. L. Dickson; Tim Ford; and James Prescott. All three submitted wonderful analyses of the mystery, and their solutions are presented below. Each poses several queries that we hope Hercule Hornblower will be able to resolve when he makes his arrest.

Now, the moment you have been waiting for...it is time to unmask the murderer of Baron von Boddy!

Report from the Parasol Duelling World Championships

Monday, September 15, 2014 1 comments

We have a new World Champion!

Saturday September 13, 2014 dawned grey and chilly in Calgary.

The previous week had seen an unseasonal and tree-damaging pair of heavy snow falls with temperatures dropping 27 degrees C in 12 hours!

Wed Sept 10, 2014
Two days before
the World Championships!

It was not at all certain that the outdoor venue at which we were to have the Championships would be ready.

The World Championships were scheduled to run at a major outdoor event called Little Big Street during the Beakerhead festival in Calgary, and right up to the Saturday morning it was unclear just what kind of conditions the contestants, judges, and spectators would have to contend with. Luckily as the morning progressed the temperatures rose and the clouds thinned. By the time the competitions began in early afternoon the day was quite pleasant and by the end of the competitions the new World Champion could accept her accolade under a bright September Sun.

Since there has never been a full formal Parasol Duelling competition, one that included all three sections of Compulsory Figures, Flirtation Trials, and Duelling, it took a bit to get organized but soon the competitions began.




There were nine competitors entered in the competitions. Two were Junior ladies who could not participate in the Flirtation trials but participated in the Duelling and Compulsory Figures. One lady competed in the Duelling competition only.

The entrants to the World Championships of Parasol Duelling 2014
L to R
Standing: Josanna Justine, Sarafina Kain, Cali Kyhn, Karen Siemens, Teigan Blondin de Boer, Lorna Vanderloh
Front: Briona Justine, Raven Hawthorne

The Judges
L to R
The Honourable Madeline Salisbury (aka Monica Willard)
Baroness Daniela Fawkes (aka Dana Teh)

Her Grace Doctor Christine Pearse Duchess of Argylle (aka Christie Vanderloh)
Chief Judge, and Black Sash, Madame Saffron Taxus-Hemlock (aka Jayne Barnard)

Photo by Grant Zelych

There were two Doctors for the event, myself and Stewart MacPhee.

My fellow Doctor
Dr. Portsmouth Adler (aka Stewart MacPhee)
Photo by Grant Zelych

The order of the competitions was Compulsory Figures, followed by the Flirtations Trials and then by the Parasol Duelling.

The Compulsory Figures were interesting. Each contestant must complete all three figures during the standard count, in the order Plant/Twirl/Snub, and they must make each figure distinct. It was a difficult job for the judges to determine the winner. The contestants did very well each completing all the figures in the six seconds allowed. There was a surprising amount of variation between their routines.

Each contestant ran through the figures three times before the judges.

Karen Siemens, in the guise of a Hungarian competitor, complete with accent and attitude to match, livened up the proceedings.  When I reminded her, pointing at her cuffs, that under the Brandenburg variations of the Hanoverian Rules lace was not allowed and she must remove them, she promptly replied "Really? My Lace? As you wish" and started to undo her blouse!

Once that misunderstanding was cleared up, with much laughter and chuckling from the crowd, the competition continued apace.


The winner of the Compulsory Figures Competition was Josanna Justine with her elegant, smooth and graceful display.

Josanna Justine
Winner of the Compulsory Figures
An elegant Twirl indeed!

The Flirtation Trials were run with three contestants at a time going through their routines together.  Each trial consists of the contestants doing one of the standard figures, elaborating on the move for the full count and finishing with a completed form in a tableau of sorts. The figure to be done is chosen by the judges and there is a trial for each of the standard figures.

Flirtations are a chance for the contestants to show off their creativity while still performing a complete figure. The competitors did not disappoint, with each figure being shown with elegant, tasteful but exotic positioning.
For this competition the audience is asked to participate by indicating, by applause, their favourite of the three in each trial.
A Flirtation Trial for the Plant
L to R
Josanna Justine, Teigan Blondin de Boer, Karen Siemens

 The winner of the Flirtation Trials was Karen Siemens who, with her Faux Hungarian accent and attitude, but also precise and controlled movements, wowed both the audience and the judges.


Karen Siemens Flirtation Trial Champion with Madame Saffron Taxus-Hemlock Chief Judge

A tea break followed the conclusion of the Flirtations, whilst the competitors warmed up for the Parasol Duelling competition itself.


Tea at the Judges table
The Duchess of Argylle and Madame Saffron Taxus-Hemlock
The light and the dark in amity.
With the preliminary competitions done and the Sun shining brightly the formal Parasol Duels began.
Here the skill and style of all the competitors, young and old(er) alike, was very apparent. These Ladies had been practicing intensely for this competition.


A hard fought duel in progress!
Cali Kyhn vs Simone 'Bronwyn' Haywood- Brazel
Photo by Grant Zelych

Sarafina Kain and Raven Hawthorne
The intensity of the competition is obvious!
Does anyone else hear the theme from the Good the Bad and the Ugly?
Once the first rounds were done there was a short period of deliberation and the judges revealed the Semi Finalists.
The Semi Finalists
L to R
Cali Kyhn, Sarafina Kain, Simone 'Bronwyn' Haywood- Brazel, Karen Siemens





The excitement of these final duels was palpable! Even spectators who knew nothing about what they were seeing knew something big was happening. After a couple of duels the final two contestants faced off to determine who would be Duelling Champion!

Here is a video of the final duel between Sarafina Kain and Karen Siemens. A full day's action came down to this one duel beneath the bright September Sun!


video


After the applause and huzzahs died down Madame Saffron Taxus-Hemlock, as chief judge, rose to present the competition champions with their sashes.
The Winner's Sashes
Hand embroidered by Emmelia Taylor of Grimm Fabrications


Madame Saffron presents the Parasol Duelling Champion Sarafina Kain with her sash!
Photo by Grant Zelych
The Compulsory Figures champion Josanna Justine with her sash.
The Flirtation Trials Champion Karen Siemens adjusts her sash.
Finally, as a hush fell upon the crowd, Madame announced the Lady who, based on the points from all three competitions, was to be awarded the title of the First World Champion of Parasol Duelling.


The New World Champion Karen Siemens receives her accolade!
Photo by Grant Zelych
And here they are: the winners and World Champion of the 2014 World Championships of Parasol Duelling.
L to R
Sarafina Kain, Duelling Champion
Karen Siemens, Flirtation Trials and World Champion!
Josanna Justine, Compulsory Figures Champion
Congratulations Ladies! 
Well done!

This was an interesting and complex event. One that demonstrated the full range of Parasol Duelling competitions. For being the first one ever, I think it came together very well and everybody seemed to be enjoying  the event and definitely got into the spirit of competition.




Ladies and Gentlemen, I salute you!

The 2014 World Championships
L to R
Back Row:Lorna Vanderloh, Christie Vanderloh, Monica Willard. Captean King, Peter Justine
Andrew Nadon, Sarafina Kain, Cali Kyhn, Kevin Jepson(me),Stewart MacPhee, Karen Seimens, Teigan Blondin de Boer
Front Row: Coleman Vanderloh, Rown(?), Raven Hawthorne, Jayne Barnard, Dana Teh
Missing:
Simone 'Bronwyn' Haywood- Brazel, Briona Justine, Jess Willard


And so the bright September sun set on the first ever Parasol Duelling World Championship.
Thanks for reading!

Photo by Audra Balion

Keep your sightglass full your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ

For more information go to:
Madame Saffron Hemlock’s Parasol Duelling League for Steampunk Ladies

For background on the history and development of Parasol Duelling 
or click the Parasol Duelling tag.

The Rules for Parasol Duelling


Parasol Duelling World Championships 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014 0 comments

Saturday September 13

The first World Championships of Parasol Duelling is happening!

If you are in Calgary come on down and cheer the Ladies on in their efforts to be the World Champion.

To follow the competition live the official Twitter and Facebook hashtag is #parasolduel.

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ


Parasol Duelling World Championships

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 0 comments

The Excitement is building!

There is less than a week until the First World Championships of Parasol Duelling are held at Beakerhead in Calgary!

Many Ladies are signing up to compete in this elegant and exotic combat.

After much agonizing, and ladylike gnashing of teeth, Madame Saffron Hemlock has put out the format that the competition will have and I have posted it in its entirety below.

This will truly be a one of a kind event and I will post photos and the results right here so stay tuned!

For more information go to:
Madame Saffron Hemlock’s Parasol Duelling League for Steampunk Ladies

First Parasol Duelling World Championship event details

For background on the history and development of Parasol Duelling 
or click the Parasol Duelling tag.

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ



Parasol Duelling World Championships

Calgary, Alberta, CANADA
 1:00pm, September 13, 2014


The World’s First Parasol Duelling Championships will take place at Little Big Street, adjacent to Calgary Stampede Grounds, Calgary, Alberta, CANADA

Competition consists of three Elements, from which the competitors’ points are drawn to calculate World rankings:
1. Compulsory Figures – to demonstrate proficiency in basic positions and transitions.
2. Flirtation Trials – to demonstrate understanding of the social functions of basic positions as well as their  physical mastery.
3. Duelling – two-duel Round Robin followed by semi-finals and finalist duels.

Open competition; no pre-qualifying necessary (subject to change as wider pools of candidates seek to enter).

Pre-registration is encouraged, via statement of intent to compete posted on the event copy or emailed to Madame Saffron (madamesaffron@gmail.com)

Registration at the event will be accepted up to the start of the Compulsory Figures Competition.

Competitors may enter any one, two, or all three segments of the Championships; however only those competing in all three segments will gain sufficient points to contend for the title of World Champion. Junior Ladies, those under the age of 16 years, are not permitted to enter the Flirtation Trials.


Competition Format: Compulsory Figures: 

      These demonstrate competence with the three basic figures: the Snub, the Twirl, and the Plant.
     
Format: 

      Each competitor will perform the sequence of Plant / Twirl / Snub within the 5-count, holding in the Snub for the Doctor’s ‘Hold.’  Each basic figure must be completed in its entirety before moving on to the next. Judges may, at any point in a sequence, call a Hold to determine whether a parasol is correctly placed in any figure.
     
Scoring:
     
      Each competitor performs the sequence three times, for a score out of a possible 10 on each sequence. Their best score of the three sequences, as awarded by each judge individually, is aggregated for a category score out of 30. This counts toward both the category ranking and the overall title of World Champion.

Judges’ Note:

Each of these basic figures has both a physical and a social component. In addition to watching for correct completion of figures and smoothness of transition between figures, judges will consider the competitor’s communication of the social purpose of the figure as follows:

Plant: Every lady must at some time take a stand, either in defence of her person or her principles. The Plant says, “This far and no further.” Or, alternately, as if she is Gandalf upon the Bridge, telling the Balrog, “You Shall Not Pass.” But gracefully. And without raising her voice.

Twirl: A lady in a tete-a-tete with a friend creates a personal space behind her, into which nobody can stick their long nose or their over-eager ears without looking ridiculous. A well-place Twirl not only frames the lady’s face becomingly from the front and enhances the intimacy of her invitation to a tete-a-tete, it protects her rearward space from busy-bodies and the over-familiar hands of passing cads.

Snub: Self-evidently, a Snub enforces a forward personal space against riff-raff, upstarts, former friends, arch-enemies, and other undesirable persons.

Competition Format: Flirtation Trials:

    These demonstrate the three basic figures in their natural habitat, the Promenade, where ladies would interact with each other and with gentlemen, as well as repelling cads and other uncouth persons. The basic figures are expanded upon to serve the purposes of social intercourse, either attracting or rejecting friends, acquaintances and potential suitors.

Format:

    Each competitor performs three 5-count sequences, each sequence elaborating on a single figure and ending in an artistic variant of that figure.  The judges decree the order in which the sequences are performed, and may vary that at will so long as each competitor performs a Plant sequence, a Twirl sequence, and a Snub sequence.

Scoring:
     
      Each competitor is awarded a mark out of 10 from each judge for each of the three sequences. These marks are averaged for that judge’s score. The three judges’ scores are added together for a category score out of 30. This counts toward both the category ranking and the overall title of World Champion.

Judges’ Note:  Junior Ladies, those under the age of 16, do not compete in Flirtation Trials, as Her Britannic Majesty believes very young ladies should remain invariably demure in public, and not attract attention to themselves. If there are sufficient Junior Ladies registered in advance for a formal competition, a suitable alternate to the Flirtation trials can be scheduled. In all other aspects of competition, including duelling, Junior Ladies compete as equals with their elders.

Competition Format: Duels

    These establish the competitor’s ability to read and react to changes in their social environs.

Format:

Each combatant is assigned two opponents in the opening round, and will duel with each in succession. Standard duelling format: overseen by The Doctor, duelists begin back to back, pace out as directed, turn, and commence to duel for the count of 5. At the hold, the winner is determined. Each combative pair duels three times, with the best two of three determining the winner of that combat.

Scoring:

Duelling points are as follows: each individual duel win gains 5 points; each loss gains 3 points. With six duels against two opponents in the opening round, a combatant may gain up to 30 points. These points determine who moves up to the semi-finals and count towards the overall title of World Champion.

In the semi-finals, combatants are assigned two opponents at the same scoring of 5 points for a win, 3 points for a loss.

The highest-scoring combatants (those with the most wins overall) advance to the Finals. The winner of this round is the Duelling Champion.


World Champion: Highest total points added across all categories.

Mystery Part XXI

0 comments

The murderer unmasked?

We come to it at last!

The final post of Jayne Barnard's "The Evil Eye of Africa."

In which our intrepid investigator holds the traditional summation with all the suspects together in the manor of the late Baron Von Boddy!

If you think you have solved the mystery email your deduction to:  madamesaffron at gmail.com.
We will be accepting your guesses and deductions until midnight on Sunday September 14th.

Madame Saffron (aka Jayne Barnard) will be drawing from all the correct solutions for some prizes from Tyche Books!

 The first post is here.
A list of all the characters is here.

You can get all the posts by clicking on the mystery tag.

Good luck with your sleuthing!
Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ

"The Evil Eye of Africa"
By Jayne Barnard

A Guess-the-Murderer Mystery in Two Acts 


Act II: Hercule Hornblower Investigates

From the Case Journal of Hercule Hornblower: 

August 30, 1898




It is time.
As  I have collected all the images from all my spiders old and new, I have assembled all the suspects and will now put to them the questions of my little gray cells.






Madame Midas-White: Did you or did you not know the research that guided Baron von Boddy on his travels was in fact stolen? Did you kill the baron to silence the man you believed the only one who might challenge your claim to a treasure you had invested so much to recover from its desert hiding place? Or, when he refused to refund to you all the money he had cost you by claiming all his purchases in England and Egypt were made with your approval, did you shoot him for ruining your perfect record of money-making?





 




Professor Plum: You stole the research into the Nubian mask from Professor Indy Brown, is it not so? Did you come to Boddy Manor to claim your share from the baron, and kill him when he refused to split the proceeds? Or, if he had failed, to kill him before he could confirm your theft and see you ejected from the highest university in the land (yes, I know Cambridge will argue that it is the highest, not Oxford, but for the purpose of this discussion…)







 


Colonel Cardsharp, er, Mustard: You claim to have been the oldest friend and the trustee of Baron von Boddy, and you were missing from London when he reappeared here and vanished again. Did you, being desperately short of money and on the verge of being thrown out of the very regiment where you had accumulated so many battle honours, kill your old friend for the treasure he may have brought back from Africa?











Professor Indiana Brown: You lost your own original research, the product of many years’ labour, to the baron. You were laughed out of the most illustrious university in the English-speaking world (yes, I know all about what Cambridge would have to say on this subject). You were beaten to a treasure and the undoubted fame that would rightfully have been yours. Did you come here to confront the baron on his secretive return, and kill him in a fit of your undoubted American temper?






 




Sir Ambrose Peacock: Perennial financial distress is your lot. You gambled away the last of your own fortune to Colonel Mustard – and nobody would blame you for wanting to murder HIM – and your hope of marrying another fortune was misled by a female fortune hunter of convincing guise. Did you kill your uncle to inherit his estate, and any treasures he may have accumulated in his latest African adventure?












Lady Peacock, you loveliest of liars: You tried to induce the baron to marry you in Cairo, or, failing that, to take you with him on his treasure hunt. When that failed, you lured his feckless heir into marrying you instead, that you might inherit that treasure by another route. Did you come here to Boddy Manor to silence the baron before he could reveal to his nephew your true nature, if not your true name?

Lady Peacock?

Where is that young woman?



Mystery Part XX

Saturday, September 6, 2014 0 comments

 The Lady disagrees

Here is the next post of Act II of Jayne Barnard's "The Evil Eye of Africa."

The first post is here.
A list of all the characters is here.

You can get all the posts by clicking on the mystery tag.

Remember that if you think you have solved the mystery email your deduction to:  madamesaffron at gmail.com.
Madame will be drawing from all the correct solutions for some prizes from Tyche Books!

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ


"The Evil Eye of Africa"
By Jayne Barnard

A Guess-the-Murderer Mystery in Two Acts 


Act II: Hercule Hornblower Investigates

From the Case Journal of Hercule Hornblower: 

August 28, 1898



 Colonel Mustard has fallen from formerly valiant warrior to vile seducer and worse. In my collection of images from the parlour spider-eyes is recorded a scene between himself and Lady Peacock that concluded with overt violence, from which the lady defended herself adeptly.


There are, however, a number of good views of the lady’s jewels, and it comes to me where I have seen them before: in a report in Cairo, from the jeweler who left the gems with Baron von Boddy “on approval” and never saw their return.

Can it be that the lovely and delicate Lady Peacock, who married Sir Ambrose within three days of meeting him, is the same woman as the mysterious widow the baron dallied with in Cairo?

What does she know of the baron’s quest? Has she too come seeking the treasure? Were she or Sir Ambrose, singly or together, at Boddy Manor when the baron’s ship came to rest here for that brief interval from his telegram to his death?

Click here for the next installment.

Mystery Part XIX

Thursday, September 4, 2014 0 comments

Threats!

Here is the next post of Act II of Jayne Barnard's "The Evil Eye of Africa."

The first post is here.
A list of all the characters is here.

You can get all the posts by clicking on the mystery tag.

Remember that if you think you have solved the mystery email your deduction to:  madamesaffron at gmail.com.
Madame will be drawing from all the correct solutions for some prizes from Tyche Books!

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ

"The Evil Eye of Africa"
By Jayne Barnard

A Guess-the-Murderer Mystery in Two Acts 


Act II: Hercule Hornblower Investigates

From the Case Journal of Hercule Hornblower: 

August 25, 1898





Professor Henry Walton Brown Jr., of Indiana, USA, has joined us today.

 I discovered him in the parlour, threatening Professor Plum with a revolving pistol.
 

 In the trunk I saw yesterday was a map such as Indiana Brown, in his ill-starred Oxford speech, claimed to have created, and a hand-drawn sketch of a mask such as he claimed he had assembled from ancient written descriptions. These resemble most closely the pages seen in Baron von Boddy’s photograph of the Eye of Africa mask. I am convinced Brown could identify them as his own property.

It is indisputable now: Professor Plum perfidiously stole his fellow academic’s research and sold it to the baron.

Click here for the next installment.

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