Dresden Files Play by Post

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 The Octagon House

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Join date : 2012-08-01

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PostSubject: The Octagon House   The Octagon House I_icon_minitimeWed Oct 17, 2012 1:40 am

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The Octagon House

The Aspect: Gateway to Hades
Face: Victoria Garnet

One of the oldest mansions in downtown Washington, the Octagon House was designed by William Thornton, the first architect of the Capitol for Colonel John Tayloe, the wealthiest planter in Virginia during his time. The three-story house is remarkable for unusual shape and numerous architectural innovations that set it apart from other Geoergian and Federalist buildings of the time. It survived the burning of Washington during the War of 1812 by serving as a French embassy, and was afterwards used as a temporary residence for President Madison and his family due to the destruction of the White House. The house was later sold and during the Civil War served as a Union hospital. Finally it came to be designated as the headquarters of the American Institute of Architects but the institute actually meets in another building, so the Octogon House is mostly left unoccupied by the living except for the occasional tours.

Since before the Civil War the house as been known as a nexus of spiritual activity, one of several in Washington D.C. along with the Capitol itself. The first spirits to haunt the house are said two be two daughters of Colonel Tayloe who each on two separate occasions met their untimely end on the famed spiral staircase after a quarrel with their father over potential suitors. Now their light are said to be seen ascending the stairs, and imprints of bodies left on the landings. In addition to these the house is said to host a veritable miasma of spirits, from the ghosts of British soldiers in the War of 1812, to Civil War Union fighters, and from slaves to the First Lady, Dolley Madison. In addition to visual apparitions, slave bells have been heard mysteriously ringing in the house, as well as numerous mysterious footsteps, and disembodied screams, moans and groans.

Those in the know posit that the unusually high spiritual activity here is due to the powerful ley lines that intersect through D.C. because this spiritual energy fuels the spectres and draws them in. The barrier between our world and the Nevernever her is, consequently, exceptionally thin, and here spirits of the otherworld may cross over into ours with relative ease.

Victoria Garnet for all the world seems like little more than an eccentric elderly member of the American Institute of Architects who takes care of the property. But she is in actuality one of the most skilled mediums in the country and makes it her business to converses with the dead in order to monitor their behavior and attitudes to try and prevent these sometimes powerful individual spirits from clashing with the living.
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