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How to Host a Murder: The Duke's Descent
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How to Host a Murder: The Duke's Descent

Episode 9

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Manufacturer(s): Decipher Games

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Product Description

June 11, 1931
"Lofty" Aires, Duke of Airesborne, Killed In "Attack" Balloon Crash
      Lofton "Lofty" Aires, twelfth Duke of Airesborne, and his son, Lord Lightern Aires, were killed yesterday while testing the duke's prototype "attack" balloon. Observers report that the balloon plummeted out of a cloudy sky into thick woods close to Airesborne Castle, killing both the duke and his son. The duke's brother, Drafton, succeeds to the title. "Drafty," as he is popularly known, is in poor health and remains secluded at Airesborne Castle.
      Lofton received much attention several months ago when he presented a proposal to Parliament to defend the coast of England with an army of armored balloons, "constantly aloft, constantly alert, and threatening death to all intruders." Though the proposal was easily defeated, Lofton persisted in the study and development of the balloons, which he stated are "critical to the well-being and security of our nation."

It was one such balloon that the duke and his son were testing on the morning of the crash. A spokesman for the Aires family declared, "The duke had developed an advanced version of his armored balloon and was in the process of testing it when the accident occurred. Whether the crash was caused by a malfunction in the balloon or its weapons systems is not presently known."

Observers of matters concerning the nobility point out that it is not clear who will be Drafton's heir, since he has no children. In cases where the duke has no natural heir, he may nominate his heir from his immediate family, according to the Royal Grant of Privilege, bestowed by Queen Elizabeth when she created the Duchy of Airesborne in 1597. It is understood that the new duke has already made plans for a family council to invoke this privilege.

Spendwell P. Roppwash, Melissa C. Loudbanks, Lance Sallot, Damselyne D. Istresse, Rogan S. Coudrell, Gwendolyn O. Veere, Lonsford Glost Aires, Evonne B.N.Aires.

Spendwell is an "ace" pilot who distinguished himself during World War I, flying combat missions over Germany in the legendary Sopwith Dromedary. Credited with shooting down seven enemy aircraft, he acquired the nickname "Spinner" from the acrobatic aerial maneuver he performed to escape the clutches of the dreaded Fred Barron. Since the war, he has been involved in various air-transport ventures and is currently raising funds to launch a commercial airline, Spinnair.
Costume Suggestion: Flying jacket with "wings" insignia, aviator cap, goggles, scarf, heavy canvas trousers, boots.

An internationally respected aviatrix, Melissa's ambition is to be the first pilot to fly around the world. Her marriage to G. Rynder Loudbanks, a wealthy banker, brought together the heritage of the noble Airesborne family and the "new" city money of the Loudbanks. Tragically, her husband died shortly after the wedding in a fall from her airplane. Undaunted, she continues to pursue her goal with great fortitude. Her friends and family call her "Misty."
Costume Suggestion: Flying jacket, aviator cap, goggles, scarf, leather trousers and boots.

A young aristocrat of noble bearing and inclination, Lance is the future eighth Duke of Sallot, a family with ancestral links to the Airesbornes. His father, the seventh duke, is frail in body and spirit, and Lance has already been managing the family estates for several years. Fair-haired, handsome, and an excellent swordsman, he will be a magnificent catch for some fair maiden but is, as yet, unmarried.
Costume Suggestion: Elegant attire, possibly featuring the Sallot family crest (black tie would be appropriate), sword.

Damselyne, known as "Dame," is the older sister of Misty Loudbanks. Delicate and beautiful, she has been courted by some of the world's most eligible bachelors, some of whom have performed heroic deeds to rescue her from the many difficulties she constantly experiences. They have all earned her thanks, but none has won her heart.
Costume Suggestion: Evening gown, fur coat or stole, tiara.

A successful entrepreneur, Rogan has overcome the financial disadvantage of being born a young branch on the family tree by earning his fortune in the building trade. He is influential and highly regarded due to his skillful combination of distinguished heritage and business acumen. An elegant dresser, he frequently wears a long, black cape and is usually seen smoking a cigar. He has recently acquired a Rolls-Royce motor car.
Costume Suggestion: Elegant attire (possibly black tie), long black cape, slicked-back hair, wads of "money," cigar.

When Lofty Aires married the young, beautiful and spirited Gwen, all England rejoiced at her happiness. To become Duchess of Airesborne had been Gwen's lifelong dream, and she was doubly rewarded when the duke presented her with the magnificent Airesborne jewels on their wedding day. Although he was over twice her age and she was his fifth wife, Gwen did all she could to make a success of the marriage. Sadly, they did not live happily ever after, and she had been living apart from the duke until his death, when she returned to the castle.
Costume Suggestion: Evening gown, masses of jewelry-the Airesborne jewels (the more absurdly ostentatious and pretentious, the better).

A descendant from a long-lost branch of the family tree, which he believes has precedence over the existing heirs, "Lon" read about the death of the twelfth duke in the newspaper and has returned to the family seat to stake his claim. Being an excellent hunter and avid sportsman, he is well-schooled to assume his "rightful" position. He is also an expert on genealogy, having studied at the Institute d'Affairs Genealogie in Paris under Professor Throux D. Agees.
Costume Suggestion: An extraordinary "hunting hat," i.e, a rubber duck stuck on top of a hat, hunting jacket to go with hat.

Lonsford's voluptuous wife, who has accompanied him on his quest to return the Airesborne line of succession to the proper branch of the family tree, "Eve" clearly has the attributes to make a fine duchess and has been quietly supporting her husband as he makes his claim. Of French ancestry, she has a lilting French accent.
Costume Suggestion: Evening gown, prominent jewelry.

Product Information

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.5 in 2 reviews

The coolest thing in the world!
February 28, 2004

This game is better than sex! I played it like, five times. This is one of the hardest games in the series, but also the easiest.

Affecting accents is a must for this game, so make sure you invite somone with a hungarian accent. Purple toga's help too.

Also bring Sherry (wine, not a girl)

Don't Get Dooked by the Duke
March 02, 2003

This game was a lot of fun. It was far from simple, but it was intriguing. I really liked all the characters; each was a likely suspect to the crime. You need to pay extremely close attention to the story. It has an interesting twist at the end. Although complicated, it is definitely one of the better games in the series.

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