League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 1766

Chapter 2

The small rococo lounge was fine for a meeting room for the few converging guests, Hawkeye and Chingachook shared on ornate couch, while Jean sat alone in a corner chair. Juliette picked out a soft cosy couch and sat in such a way that invites anyone to join her; when nobody approached she stretched herself horizontally on the couch, coupling her sensual body movements with heavy breathing and a tittilating hum.

The Baron had done the introductions and was now at a cleared part of the lounge setting up his easels.

Jean's was an awkward introduction, he said little and quickly resumed his solitude, the trappers could both tell that he was overly reserved and secretive.

The Mohican would later whisper to Hawkeye "This Grenouille sees with his nose and keeps his mind in shadow."

Juliette was the opposite; during introduction the two trappers employed what little they knew of aristocratic etiquette, they both nodded then offered a simple compliment; the feisty woman after a curtsy stepped forward and seized one after the other and gave a passionate kiss to both. She settled for blowing a kiss when she was introduced to the nervous Jean.

The perfumer was interested in the new scents the Americans brought, but the lively young woman had a very intoxicating personal scent, he could make it out through the residue of his perfume she was wearing; oddly enough Senor Figaro's personal scent was also on her. During whatever time Jean would have alongside Juliette he will sample her engaging odour.

"Now your attention please." Began the Baron. "I have brought you all here together so you can join your individual talents and become a league. A league of such multiple talents that when given a purpose it would meet that purpose with distinction and be able to turn away any threat that endeavors to stop you."

The four guests didn't say anything only eyed each other.

"We have Chingachook, an expert Tracker." Munchausen indicated the Indian. "We have Hawkeye, a hunter and an excellent shot. We have Jean Baptiste Grenouille who can smell an odour from far away, identify it and locate it whether we are after it or it is after us. And with us is Juliette who is adept at getting out of trouble as much as she is at getting into it. I was expecting another member to join us today, a soldier, a renegade, but he has been unfortunately waylaid, he will join us soon enough. In the meantime we will proceed.

"This land has been living in a shadow of fear, as you all would have heard, a huge wolf has preyed upon woman, children and, when their alone, men. The victims are often torn to pieces or carried away to a charnel lair for devouring; those who have survived with injuries, and that is not many, virtually always end up insane. Many hunters have stalked this Beast, some claim to have put bullets into it, but it has always eluded them and attacked others only days later, showing no sign of injury."

The Baron placed sketches of the Beast on the easels, some showed a huge wolf standing on the scattered remains of its victim, others showed the Beast size in proportion to people and to a cow.

"This is the Beast of Gevaudan." Said Baron Munchausen. "One of you has already seen it. Jean tell the what you saw."

"It was big, black and fierce." Said the perfumer slowly. "What the sketches don't tell you is that its eyes are red, its jaw is big and can shred a person into mince within a minute, the smell is foul and it has a master."

"Quite right Herr Grenouille." Continued the Baron as he placed a sketched portrait of a pallid man with a v shaped forehead and a mean look, on an easel. "I didn't summon you here just to hunt a freak wolf, the Beast of Gevaudan is sponsored by a darker evil hiding somewhere in this countryside. This portrait is of the Beast's master, whom Jean noticed when he was attacked last night. His name is Joseph Curwen, he is a warlock, sinister, cruel and aligned with even darker entities that I am at a loss to explain.

"This League will not only be an effective pool of human resouces, it can be an extraordinary unit of heroic magnificence, that will leave its mark on the face of human endeavor for centuries. I accept that there will be frictions and incompatibilies among you but if we stay together for a few days, then the evil that infests this countryside will be vanquished, the people will be safe and all of you shall have the status of legend because you were part of this grand undertaking.

"If those among you wish to discuss their place in the League you can do so privately with me later today. Otherwise we make our first move tonight."

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