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Collette Ravenscroft, MR James inspired Adventuress

Collette is a conventionally dressed 1870s woman in her 30s. Closer examination will reveal the cut and the ultra-modern materials used in her dresses allow much more freedom of movement than would be expected.  Her travelling set includes such diverse items as howdah pistols, a cut down buffalo rifle, aspergillum , silver-plated sword cane, holy water and hawthorn crosses.

Collette has a strong chin and upturned nose, her face is more forceful than pretty but is beautiful when she is animated. A wide ranging education and strong personality make her a popular guest at shooting weekends and dinner parties. She uses these social occasions to pick up stories that feed into her vocation. In her rare moments of quiet she appears tired and haunted.

Collette travels the Empire and Continent uncovering and detecting infernal traps and disposing of them.  Her social meanderings lead her to seek out the kind of half-blind antiquarian likely to blunder into such things and tease any stories they have (often at several removes) and research them. She is accompanied by her lady servant Agnes Braddock, an Irish born Liverpool washerwoman , heavy set with a fearsome right hook, more fearsome knee  and bulldog aspect who she met in her adventures.

Her seat of Aswarby Hall has an extensive library as well as the surviving Abney Papers, Canon Albrecht’s scrapbook (including a photograph of the missing page), the Alchemical works of Count Magnus it has sundry other works well known to fighters of the occult. Her daughter Abigail is being raised their with her with a  variety of unusual teachers from fallen exorcists, fencing masters, marksmen, classics tutors and church historians.

Collette is the daughter of a Stephan Elliot. As a young boy her father came to inherit his elderly cousin Mr Abney the country seat of Aswarby Hall via the unfortunate events details in the MR James short story ‘Lost Hearts.’ (Details here: http://ghost.new-age-spirituality.com/mrjames2.html)

Since those unfortunate events the Elliot clan has been dedicated to confounding the dark forces which Mr Abney had come to use for his own ends.  He dedicated his daughter’s life to those same ends. Collette met her late husband, Major Aubery Ravenscroft, Royal Engineers (retired) through her vocation and indeed lost him though the same method. Late at night when the veil between worlds is thin his voice comes to Collette with threats and promises which are not his own.

Variants

1920s Collette is an elderly lady focusing on her books. As mortality grasps at her perhaps the entities the books refer to start to speak to her, tempting her with immortality. Her daughter Abigail is a stout sensible looking heavy set spinster woman in her early 30s usually wearing a matching twin set and a cloche hat in matching pools with pearls and a stout bag. The bag contains a .455 webley and silver crucifix.

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