The end of Soleil, 7/4/1005

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  • Rachel and her retainers are awaiting the arrival of their noble guests.
  • Analisa hides any nervousness well, and gets Janet to double check everything to make sure it is erfect while she waits with the baroness
  • Trolius has never been good at hiding his emoptions, but tries ^^
  • Rachel 's knights are present to serve as honour guard, and Analisa is present in her role as Chatelaine, as she will responsible for the guests' comfort.
  • Rachel 's freehold has been tastefully decorated with greenery and flowers from the local area since there is little money to spend on fancy things. It smells quite nice with the perfume of flowers.
  • Trolius will have advised rachel that *too* big an honour guard will make it look liek you do, indeed, have too many knights, and that won't help he 'let trolius stay here' cause ';D

<Diamond> (The sky seems to darken a little, and a black quill flutters down from the sky above the gate.

  • Rachel has Zahra, Trolius and Firmin.

<Rachel> (as honour guard) <Rachel> (No, trash Firmin, and put in one of the guards from Michael's place.) <Diamond> (Graneth :D) <Rachel> (sure.) <Diamond> ("because he has a name!") <Trolius> (yay!)

  • Trolius kids Graneth a lot ;)
  • Graneth 's armour is polished and spiffy and he is wearing fine Eiluned livery.

<Diamond> (The sound of beating wings can be heard, off in the distance. It seems to get louder and louder, until, in a swirling fury of black feathers, the Countess' party appears.)

  • Trolius too
  • Emily is standing by, not in livery today, to serve as a page.

<Diamond> (The party is attended by several pages and knights (including Gedwyn, why not), as well as two of the Countess' maids.

  • Analisa keeps an eye on the childling
  • Emily is behaving so far
  • Rachel steps forward to welcome her guests.

<Rachel> (The Countess' party is including Michael at this time?)

  • Trolius stands fairly smartly at attention ;)

<Diamond> (yes)

  • Diamond 's hand rests lightly on the Duke's.
  • Rachel curtseys deeply and courteously.
  • Michael carries, in his other hand, the same black staff he had the first time you met him. Janus has brought the scythe.

<Rachel> Welcome to Emerald Fields, Your Excellency, Your Grace, Your Lordships.

  • Diamond nods her head politely, and smiles that distant smile. Her eyes are cold.
  • Rachel nods courteously to each noble in turn, having named Diamond first since she is a lady. ^-^

<Diamond> (Nikolai smiles more genuinely, and waves subtly :D)

  • Analisa knows all the [proper decorum for bowing ans scraping ;)

<Diamond> We are honoured by your hospitality.

  • Diamond says with practiced formality.

<Rachel> It is my honour, Your Excellency, to host you here. <Rachel> I have set aside my office for your use.

  • Dovev hisses quietly.
  • Diamond 's eyes dart in his direction.

<Diamond> How thoughtful. <Rachel> Those of your retinue who are not immediately required in your presence are welcome to make themselves at home in the common areas; Analisa, my Chatelaine, can show yourselves and your retinue around. <Rachel> Emily here can serve as a page if you require anything from my staff.

  • Emily steps forward and executes a little curtsey.
  • Analisa curtseys deeply

<Diamond> That would be most appreciated. There are certain matters which we wish to see attended to at once.

  • Rachel nods and curtseys acknowledgement as well.

<Rachel> I will show you to my office then, if that is Your Excellency's desire.

  • Dovev turns toward the rest of the retinue.

<Dovev> <w> The Duke, Baron Gwydaine and I will attend her Excellency. The rest of you may go. <Janus> (Baron Lozano conceals his displeasure at having to wait, because he expected he would anyway... He strikes up a conversation with Lord Nikolai as they are ushered off, on the subject of knightly training at ROsehill..) <Rachel> Would you care for some refreshments to be brought to the office, Your Excellency? Your Grace? Your Lordship?

  • Analisa curtseys again and asks if the lords and ladies would ccare to come with her for some light refreshments in the orchard ^-^

<Diamond> That will not be necessary.

  • Rachel nods.

<Michael> We do thank you for your kind offer, Rachel... <Michael> But we are anxious to see this resolved.

  • Janus is looking around, a bit suspiciously
  • Rachel smiles understandingly.

<Rachel> Of course.

  • Rachel curtseys.

<Dovev> <w> How large is this office? <Rachel> It is the room you found me in the day you came by, Dovev. <Rachel> I teach classes in it; it is one of the larger rooms in the house. <Dovev> (I though that was the classroom... anyway, that is how large?) <Diamond> Excellent.

  • Diamond says crisply.

<Diamond> Let us waste no further time. <Rachel> I hope it will suffice. <Rachel> This way, if it please you.

  • Rachel leads the party up to her office; it's on the second floor.
  • Janus will walk beside Rachel, if it is possible.

<Rachel> (the stairs are right next to the entrance way, so it's not far; the office is right at the top of the stairs.) <Rachel> (It should be possible.) <Janus> (ok)

  • Rachel nods to Trolius and Graneth, indicating they should follow and act as sentries at the office door.
  • Trolius follows along, of course
  • Trolius knows what the Welsh expect from good qwuality guards, at least
  • Trolius will slack off a bit once you are inside the room, and we are not, though, becauuse that's the Trolius way ^-^

<Janus> <m> Have you cast any omens lately?

  • Rachel shows the important folks into her office. There is a large desk with a comfortable chair behind it; other comfortalbe chairs have been placed around the room. There is a table to one side with chilled wine and lemonade and a few sandwiches and sweets and things, it seems refreshments are already present after all.

<Rachel> (just a sec, Hazel) <Rachel> (She'd probably have tried to cast it on Soleil again) <Rachel> (Whether I got anything from it, I don't know) <Rachel> (She wouldn't have cast one on herself)

  • Rachel nods almost imperceptibly.

<Janus> <m> There is a chill in the air. I have an ill feeling.

  • Diamond glides around the desk and settles into the chair, regarding the occupants of the room with a detached, queenly air.
  • Michael stands beside her.
  • Dovev hovers in front of the desk, fingers steepled.

<Dovev> <w> We are alone, yessss?

  • Rachel nods to Janus, also not very noticeably.
  • Dovev scans for boggans, etc.

<Rachel> Yes, we should be. <Diamond> And unheard?

  • Diamond asks archly.

<Rachel> Unfortunately, my household is not warded, Your Excellency.

  • Rachel says apologetically.

<Rachel> So there is no guarantee of that. <Michael> With your permission, baroness, I will see this room secured.

  • Michael offers helpfully.

<Rachel> Of course, Your Grace.

  • Rachel nods acquiescence.
  • Trolius outs a cup against the door ;D

<Trolius> . o O ( damn! ;D )

  • Michael draws out a long, thin blade with the crest of House Eiluned carved into the pommel.

<Michael> (I recall there being french doors on this room for some reason. Is that correct?) <Rachel> (No) <Rachel> (They are solid wood doors. <Michael> (I meant double ones) <Rachel> (The only windows overlook the lawn) <Rachel> (Oh, yes, they are double) <Michael> (not necessarily glass ones.. with knobs or latches?) <Rachel> (knobs)

  • Rachel tries to hide her nerves.
  • Rachel glances at her father briefly to see if she can get a hint of what's to come by his demeanor. Diamond is too good to show anything, but Janus is not so controlled. ;D
  • Janus looks tense. What else is new?
  • Michael moves towards the door, muttering something under his breath. He lightly traces some symbols across the doors, then balances the blade on the two doorknobs.

<Michael> There... neither sound nor sorcery shall pass into this room.

  • Trolius puts the cup away ;D

<Rachel> (Hee, Lannie) <Rachel> (You can talk to Zahra at least. ;D) <Diamond> So. <Rachel> (We probably can't hear you guys either.)

  • Diamond taps a fingernail on Rachel's desk.

<Trolius> (yeah, but Julie is writing porn for me ;) <Diamond> I expect you know quite well why we are here. <Rachel> (It is clean and bare for Diamond; a lantern on one corner, with some parchment and a quill and ink if she needs to write anything down) <Diamond> I understand you had Sir Trolius compile a little book report. <Rachel> (Am I expected to reply or to remain silent at this point?) <Diamond> I also understand that you have been quite aware of the identity of the creature which attacked my seer. <Diamond> And that you continue to harbour it, and its accomplice. <Diamond> Isn't that right? <Dovev> <w> sssss... <Janus> ¬¬ <Rachel> I did ask Sir Trolius to see if he could learn anything for me, yes, Your Excellency. Because I wished to have some information confirmed before making any conclusions. He was not successful.

  • Diamond 's eyes flash.

<Diamond> Your audacity is almost impressive. <Rachel> As for the creature, I could not conclude that he was responsible for the attacks until news of the second attack was brought to me by Dovev. <Diamond> If you had provided *us* with the information the second attack would not have *occurred*.

  • Diamond 's words drip ice.

<Rachel> Yes, Your Excellency. In hindsight, if I had then Kolya would have been spared. <Diamond> Your mismanagement of this situation is no longer relevant.

  • Rachel nods, keeping her composure.

<Diamond> We will take charge of the matter, and see it put to rest.

  • Diamond looks to Dovev.

<Dovev> <w> Bring us the sluagh girl. <Rachel> (I am being ordered to bring her?) <Dovev> (or have her brought...)

  • Rachel glances at the Duke.

<Dovev> (I mean, they probably don't expect you to fetch her personally) <Rachel> The doors will open for me? <Michael> I shall open them.

  • Michael says agreably.
  • Michael lifts the blade.
  • Rachel nods.
  • Rachel asks Zahra to fetch Sleet, and then turns to Trolius. She gives him a hard look. He is to fetch Sleet as well.
  • Trolius nods
  • Zahra will grimace only slightly and nod

<Trolius> :/

  • Trolius will head downstairs
  • Zahra goes too

<Diamond> (should I be Sleet? :o) <Trolius> Sleet?

  • Sleet steps forward.
  • Sleet looks first at Zahra, then Trolius.

<Sleet> <w> Come to walk me Spanish down the hall, I see... <Trolius> :/ <Sleet> <w> I appreciate the gesture. <Trolius> ... <Trolius> Your presence is requested, yes. <Zahra> ... <Sleet> <w> Let us go to meet the monster, then.

  • Trolius nods
  • Zahra just frowns
  • Trolius tries to ignore Zahra's annoyance/disgust ^-^
  • Zahra figures it's your own fault.
  • Trolius loks kind of forlorn, hmmm
  • Sleet glides up the stairs, her tattered gown sweeping the stairs behind her.
  • Trolius will escort you upto thew room.
  • Sleet hesitates at the door.
  • Zahra escorts as well

<Sleet> ...

  • Trolius will give her a quick embrace

<Trolius> (unknightly, maybe, but bite me! :p) <Sleet> <w> One never knows... perhaps I will be able to convince him. <Zahra> ¬¬ <Trolius> ...

  • Sleet says, not really sounding like she believes it.

<Trolius> maybe. <Trolius> ¬¬ <Trolius> I'm sorry.

  • Trolius says quietly

<Janus> They'll be here momentarily...

  • Trolius will knock, or whatever
  • Janus says to no one in particular.

<Trolius> (but you can't her us, because the room is sewalked against sound!

  • Janus moves to stand in front of his mother.

<Trolius> (we stand out here all evening and you are patiently awating us inside, adn rachel gets more shit for having unreliable people! ^-^)

  • Dovev will stand beside the Baron.

<Sleet> (I haven't re-warded the room)

  • Michael looks to Rachel.
  • Rachel moves slightly to one side.

<Michael> (are you going to tell them to come in? It is still your office, more or less) <Rachel> Come in. <Sleet> <w> Will you stand by me?

  • Trolius gives Sleet another look, and will open the door

<Trolius> If it is allowed...

  • Trolius sasys *before* he opens the door
  • Rachel has placed herself in a lonely position, across from Michael the traitor and diagonal to Diamond the usurper, but close to her father who, as far as she knows, hasn't done anything.
  • Rachel steels herself.
  • Sleet draws herself up, and steps inside the room.

<Zahra> . o O (Idiot.) <Janus> . o O ( Hm, she looks somewhat familiar... ) <Trolius> . o O ( Zahra must think I'm such an idiot. Wel... who cares! She doens't understand :/ )

  • Michael closes the door behind Trolius and Sleet, and replaces the knife.
  • Sleet is startled by the sorceror.

<Sleet> <w> Ah!

  • Zahra was thinking about Sleet, more, but heh.
  • Sleet jumps a bit.

<Trolius> (Does Zahra come in as well?)

  • Rachel looks rather icy herself, arming herself for the worst. ^-^

<Trolius> (which Sorceror?) <Trolius> (Michael?)

  • Zahra will escort her in, yes.

<Sleet> (she could have, in which case, just add her name to m's action) <Sleet> (yeah) <Sleet> ...<w> warlock...

  • Michael narrows his eyes very slightly.

<Sleet> <w> I didn't expect...

  • Rachel takes note of Michael's eye narrowing, being in a position to observe everyone's reactions.
  • Sleet looks around the room, looking more visibly frightened now.

<Sleet> <w> it will be more difficult...

  • Sleet says, mostly to herself.

<Janus> What will be more difficult?

  • Sleet jumps again.
  • Trolius clenches his hands nervously

<Sleet> <w> restraining... <Dovev> <w> sssss.

  • Dovev narrows his eyes, very perceptibly. ;D

<Rachel> . o O (Restraining Soleil? I suppose it would be. Both his murderers in the same room.)

  • Rachel 's eyes have darkened until they are as black as Michael's.
  • Sleet casts her eyes downward.

<Sleet> (one sec, please) <Trolius> ...

  • Trolius will keep an arm on Sleet's shoulder
  • Trolius knows what she is on about

<Rachel> . o O (And another traitor, too.)

  • Zahra is keeping a very close eye on Sleet

<Diamond> What is all this nonsense?

  • Diamond stands and walks around to the front of the desk, standing between Janus and Dovev.

<Diamond> We have no need for your hysterics. <Rachel> . o O (He never gave me any reason to trust him, though. And what was I supposed to do? I am no match for them, even if I wanted to fight them.) <Sleet> Ah!

  • Trolius doens't know if he is allowed to speak

<Sleet> <w> No...

  • Sleet looks up at Trolius

<Sleet> <w> You did not tell me they would all be here! I thought... I thought only the creature <Sleet> <w> nn... <Trolius> ...

  • Trolius frowns

<Trolius> . o O ( crap )

  • Diamond steps forward, a suspicious look on her face.

<Trolius> YOur excellency... <Diamond> What is all this?

  • Diamond looks at Rachel.

<Zahra> . o O (Why don't they ever ask *me* that...) <Sleet> <w> No, please don't...!

  • Trolius looks at rachel, too, or for someone to acknowdge him

<Trolius> ... <Rachel> I think perhaps Sleet and Trolius would be the best people to explain.

  • Sleet suddenly arches her back, and makes an odd strangled sound.

<Sleet> <w> !

  • Trolius catches her
  • Rachel nods towards Trolius, expression hard.

<Trolius> ...

  • Sleet falls into Trolius' arms.

<Rachel> . o O (Soleil, what did you think would happen? You are not as clever as you'd have me beleive.)

  • Anathene embodies.

<Trolius> ... <Anathene> (yeah, he's too angry :)

  • Trolius retrains him

<Trolius> He's trying to kill you, your excellency. <Trolius> (I'm good) <Anathene> (nono... not possessing sleet... manifesting. As in Wyrd) <Anathene> (hey... I'm trying to run 5 windows) <Anathene> (give me some frickin time) <Rachel> (hehe)

  • Trolius will out him in some sort of arm lock, and hopwe that he doen;t have command of her sluagh escaper from anything powers ;)

<Rachel> (Captain Obvious.) <Trolius> (oh. n/m) <Anathene> (ah... so you drop sleet?)

  • Anathene storms forward.

<Diamond> !

  • Rachel dartsd in front of Diamond.

<Trolius> (probably, alas) <Anathene> (before anyone can do anything further...)

  • Trolius decks A in the jaw
  • Zahra will make a grab for Sleet, so she doesn't hit the floor.
  • Rachel glares up at Soleil defiantly and tries to intercept any attack on Diamond.
  • Anathene throws Rachel aside. He draws back with his left hand and drives his fist into the Countess' stomach.

<Rachel> (How hard was I thrown? Can I get up?) <Trolius> . o O ( craaaaap! )

  • Diamond goes flying, with a shocked look on her face. There is a loud smash as she crashes into the glass window behind her... The window cracks, but does not shatter... Diamond slides down to the floor, leaving a red smear on the broken glass.
  • Diamond 's eyes are open and unblinking; blooddrips from her mouth.
  • Janus cries out in dismay!
  • Janus rushes to his mother's side, dropping his weapon.
  • Dovev hisses loudly, and seems to grow larger.
  • Michael steps forward...
  • Rachel struggles to rise.

<Anathene> (rachel, you're okay) <Anathene> (you didn't get the SHP :D) <Michael> So it is you. <Anathene> So it is!

  • Trolius will restrain the Dead-sihe if he can

<Anathene> And what will you do about it, wizard?

  • Anathene sends Trolius flying away with another swat.
  • Michael sets his jaw grimly.

<Trolius> (how flying is flying?)

  • Rachel stands and glances at the Duke for some sort of direction but he is probably too busy.

<Trolius> (rachjel flying or Diamond flying? ;)

  • Janus is trying to get Diamond to respond.

<Janus> (Rachel)

  • Trolius gets back up quickly, then
  • Diamond spits up a bunch of blood, and flops backward like a rag doll in her son's arms.
  • Diamond shivers violently.
  • Trolius will try and figure out what's going on, and thinks that if Michael doesn't have things in control, no one will
  • Anathene lifts off the ground, hovering in mid-air.

<Sleet> <w, weakly> please, stop... <Rachel> Anathene. Stop.

  • Trolius picks himself up off the ground

<Sleet> <w> We could have ... gone... <Anathene> Ah, Rachel <Anathene> I'm afraid I'm quite tired of pretending to care what you think...

  • Zahra growls a quiet "Shut up" at the sluagh she's holding

<Trolius> (does Zahra haev Primal?) <Rachel> You never had me fooled to begin with. You are just like them. <Michael> You have made your final mistake... <Zahra> (erm, probably only 3 dots) <Michael> Do you not recall that I hold your name? <Zahra> (yeah, 3... checked) <Analisa> ('k) <Analisa> (Is jhanus healing i\his mom yet or what> ;)

  • Michael cracks the end of his staff against the floor, and a series of glowing runes appear in rapid succession above it.

<Trolius> (If not, I'd be tempted to send for someone...?)

  • Janus is trying to remove a gem from Diamond's throat, but it is slick with blood...

<Janus> !

  • Diamond 's mouth moves soundlessly. Where her lips aren't smeared with garish red, they seem tinged with blue.

<Anathene> Ha! <Anathene> I am hardly what I was.

  • Rachel glances over at her grandmother and isn't exactly sure that she cares, which is rather a sobering thought.

<Michael> You are not so different.

  • Rachel returns her attention to Michael and Anathene.
  • Michael begins to chant something that sounds familiar to Rachel from the time she observed Janus Naming Alexander.
  • Rachel glances at Michael for direction but he's probably much to busy to notice, and what can she do anyway?
  • Anathene laughs more loudly.

<Trolius> (are the doors unopenable, or what?) <Anathene> Go ahead, cast your bones. While you weave your little spell, she'll die! <Anathene> (they are warded) <Trolius> (against being opened?) <Trolius> ... <Trolius> >:|

  • Dovev growls.
  • Trolius will go over toe htr countess
  • Trolius will chronos her
  • Dovev suddenly vaults up on top of the desk.
  • Trolius will slow trime for her
  • Diamond blinks. She is cold to the touch. The blood on her lips is freezing to her skin.

<Trolius> . o O ( hey it worked for me ) <Janus> She grows cold!

  • Janus says, panicked.

<Trolius> this should buy solme time...

  • Janus finally looses the stone, and begins a bunk for Primal.
  • Trolius smashes an old poketwatch for his bunk, and spends some willpower

<Anathene> Not cold enough...

  • Anathene extends his clawed hand towards Diamond, and the Countess jerks violently. An unpleasant cracking sound emanates from her ribcage.
  • Michael continues to chant...
  • Rachel rushes up and tries to knock Aanthene's hand aside.

<Dovev> <w> Enough... <Analisa> (but sloooowwwwllllllyyyy....) <Rachel> Anathene! Tamara's daughter. That's Tamara's daughter.

  • Dovev extends his hand, quick as a lightning strike. His nails grow into spears, piercing the ghost's body.
  • Anathene looks shocked.

<Rachel> Tamara who loved you. Tamara who wanted a child more than anything. <Rachel> More then anything except you.

  • Anathene looks down at himself.
  • Anathene turns briefly to Rachel.

<Anathene> Shut up!

  • Anathene looks down again.

<Anathene> ... What is this...? <Trolius> ...

  • Anathene tries to push himself off Dovev's claws.
  • Trolius stands up, since janus is now primal-ing Di
  • Trolius watches the Dovev scene
  • Zahra does as well, still holding Sleet
  • Dovev hisses. Flames shoot out along his fingernails and engulf the ghost.

<Anathene> <Sleet> <w> No...!

  • Rachel stands close to Anathene still, between him and Diamond.

<Anathene> What... is this devil?

  • Anathene struggles, wreathed in flame.
  • Trolius backs towards Sleet
  • Anathene seems unable to move.
  • Anathene screams his fury.
  • Rachel watches him with a mixture of pity and anger.
  • Dovev withraws his claws; Anathene remains wrapped in the fire...
  • Dovev hops back off the desk, toward Janus and Trolius.
  • Trolius stops beside rachel, though

<Rachel> (Does the fire throw any heat?)

  • Dovev looks at the Baron with strangely animated eyes.

<Dovev> (no) <Dovev> <w> Give her to me. <Janus> ...

  • Dovev stretches out his arms.
  • Kolya has a litl fiut, back in wales, gurks, and falls over ^-^

<Kolya> (little fit)

  • Janus carefully shifts his mother's dead weight into the embrace of the dragon. The hand which which he had been supporting her weight literally drips with her blood.
  • Rachel reaches out tentatively to touch Anathene.

<Janus> What can you do? <Trolius> (but she is dying much more *slowly* now, anyway.,... ;)

  • Trolius stops her
  • Anathene tries to jerk away from her, but is paralyzed.
  • Sleet whimpers...

<Sleet> :( <Sleet> <w> This is not what I wanted...

  • Rachel pulls away from Trolius and continues reaching toward Anathene.
  • Trolius stands back and feels completely useless

<Dovev> <w> I will keep her warm. <Zahra> You made your bed, now lie in it.

  • Trolius kind of hopes she gets burned :p
  • Sleet crawls towards Trolius.
  • Zahra tells Sleet.
  • Trolius will go to wards his pair of white-haired lovers ^-^

<Sleet> <w> I thought I could control it...

  • Sleet says desperately
  • Sleet gets to her feet.

<Trolius> I know...

  • Zahra resists the urge to bitch her out, knowing this isn't the time or place.

<Dovev> <w> The Duke will name it. You will bind it.

  • Janus blinks.

<Rachel> (Does the fire burn me too? ^-^)

  • Dovev gently shifts the countess' weight so that she lies against his chest. He then pushes the thumb of one hand deep into the flesh of the other. A thick black substance with a green oily sheen wells up in his palm.

<Dovev> (no) <Dovev> (it hot, but you don't blister or anything) <Rachel> (ok) <Dovev> (+is)

  • Dovev grabs Janus' hand and smears the blood into it, black on red.

<Dovev> <w> Do as I say.

  • Dovev hisses.

<Janus> (a look of understanding passes over Janus' face)

  • Janus gets to his feet.

<Rachel> Anathene... in some strange way I do care for you. But the seed is strong, you said. And so it is.

  • Rachel leans forward to kiss him on the forehead.

<Rachel> Don't struggle. It will only make it worse.

  • Trolius frowns at rachel

<Trolius> . o O ( stupid stupid stupid! )

  • Anathene struggles harder. His eyes are mad with hate.
  • Rachel stands up and goes to Diamond's side.

<Trolius> . o O ( gonna make it worse on yourself >< )

  • Trolius goes to sleet

<Rachel> Can I help?

  • Janus glances over at his father, and then at Anathene.
  • Anathene floats lower to the ground.
  • Rachel asks Janus.

<Janus> Stay with Dovev.

  • Rachel nods.

<Janus> Stay away.

  • Janus seems to be concentrating on something.
  • Janus walks towards Anathene, and lifts his bloody hand. From the smear of black in his palm, a wisp of steam, or possibly smoke, curls.

<Trolius> ....

  • Trolius stands back with sleet and Zahra
  • Janus looks briefly at his father.
  • Michael suddenly stops chanting. A new set of runes, similar to the first set, dance above his staff.
  • Dovev holds the Countess against his chest with his uninjured hand.
  • Rachel crouches next to Dovev.
  • Janus takes up where his father left off... but not exactly. The words that fall from his mouth sound like they could not possibly be pronounced by human tongues. ..

<Rachel> Is there anything I can do? <Rachel> Heather Balm, or anything?

  • Janus walks slowly toward the ghost, hand outstretched. Blood is dripping from his lips, and the sound of his voice hurts your ears.

<Trolius> ('s that Ancient Formorian dialect ;)

  • Trolius winces

<Sleet> ...

  • Rachel concentrates on Diamond.
  • Trolius concentrates on Sleet ;)

<Anathene> devitlry! deviltry!

  • Anathene screeches hysterically.
  • Rachel reaches out to brush a lock of her hair from her face.

<Sleet> <w> what... is that... <Rachel> . o O (Blood magic.)

  • Sleet covers her ears

<Sleet> <w> Terrible music...

  • Rachel tries to cast a Heather Balm on Diamond. It probably doesn't help any, right?

<Dovev> (you hear the sound of bones knitting coming from her body) <Dovev> (nice)

  • Dovev hisses softly.
  • Rachel glances up at Dovev, questioning with her eyes whether she should continue.
  • Janus takes another step forward, and presses his hand against Anathene's face.

<Dovev> <w> Sssshe is sssstill cold... <Michael> ...

  • Rachel nods.

<Rachel> I don't know how to make her warm again.

  • Michael seems transfixed by what Janus is doing.
  • Rachel says sadly.

<Rachel> I'm nothing compared to her, or to father, or grandfather.

  • Trolius would hold Sleet if he thinks he can get away with it ;)
  • Rachel moves in a bit closer, trying to warm Diamond with her own body warmth.
  • Janus turns his head towards Sleet, still chanting the words of blood. His eyes seem to look through her.

<Sleet> ...

  • Rachel casts another Heather Balm on Diamond.

<Sleet> <w> Trolius...

  • Sleet says, still covering her ears.

<Sleet> <w> ANathene...

  • Janus pushes the ghost towards Sleet, still holding him by the face.
  • Sleet tries to back away...
  • Rachel helps Dovev hold Diamond, pressing herself close to her grandmother, willing her warmth into Diamond.
  • Rachel directs the freehold to lend its strength to Diamond as well.
  • Sleet backs up against the wall.

<Sleet> ...

  • Sleet looks terrified.

<Trolius> ! <Trolius> No!

  • Janus pushes Anathene closer to Sleet... and then into her. The ghost struggles ineffectually, rendered seemingly powerless.

<Trolius> :o

  • Sleet jerks back.

<Michael> ... :o

  • Janus presses his palm into Sleet's face.

<Rachel> Dovev, would being close to the balefire have any effect on her?

  • Trolius would have hesitated towards moving between them, but, ah... not :/
  • Sleet makes a sound like a dying rabbit.

<Trolius> sleet!

  • Anathene seems to disappear into the sluagh...
  • Trolius is torn between his affection for her and his duty as a knight
  • Rachel huddles in closer to the Countess' body in reaction to the awful sound of Sleet's pain/death.
  • Janus suddenly steps back.

<Janus> ... If you want him, you can have him.

  • Trolius will be right beside Sleet.

<Trolius> ....

  • Trolius will support her
  • Sleet slides to the ground, unconscious. Her face is cracked and blistered, as though by a chemical burn.
  • no-one catches her, then

<Rachel> (Hehe, Michael has never seen his son's awesome power in action. i wonder if he is a bit jealous of Janus? ;D) <no-one> (whoops!)

  • Trolius does
  • Janus looks very tired, almost haggard. He cradles his hand against his chest as he turns away from Trolis and the sluagh.

<Rachel> (I think Michael would not have/know about blood magic.) <Rachel> (He might know about it, I suppose. ^-^)

  • Michael regains his composure.
  • Michael looks at Janus.
  • Trolius looks grim and kind of pale

<Michael> Get her to the castle.

  • Rachel pumps more Heather Balms into the Countess and wills her grandmother to come back.
  • Diamond stirs slightly, but still feels cold.
  • Janus nods distractedly.
  • Janus walks over to where Rachel and Dovev are clutching the countess.
  • Rachel renews her efforts, directing all the power of her freehold into the Countess' prone body.

<Janus> We must remove her to Aberystwyth... <Janus> Rachel...

  • Janus drops to his knees beside them.
  • Trolius carries the unconscious, burned Sluagh in his arms
  • Trolius watchesd
  • Michael walks over to Trolius, Sleet, and Zahra.
  • Zahra stands to face him
  • Michael looks down at the unconscious woman.
  • Trolius holds her kindof protectively
  • Janus brushes back a bit of bloody hair.
  • Michael lightly touches Sleet's face.
  • Rachel is concentrating very hard on the Countess. Glamour seems to throb through her.

<Michael> Do not be afraid. <Diamond> Ah... <Trolius> ... <Diamond> <w> so cold...

  • Michael peers intently into Sleet's face.
  • Trolius frowns slightly, but allowsa the Count 's scrutiny

<Michael> hm...

  • Michael looks up at the two knights.

<Michael> What do you think you have seen here this afternoon? <Janus> ... <Trolius> .... <Trolius> ¬¬ <Zahra> That spirit was destroyed... It's gone.

  • Zahra seems impressed and rather shocked

<Trolius> NOthing that bears repeating. <Michael> Indeed... <Michael> Baron Lozano is correct, you are quite clever, Sir Trolius, <Trolius> (tack a 'YOur Grace/excellency on that too )

  • Rachel presses closer to Diamond and pours everything that she can into her grandmother, casting two more Heather Balms, and then she collapses, looking pale and drawn.

<Rachel> <w> Take her. <Michael> Nonetheless, I must take certain precautions. I hope you won't be offended... <Trolius> (I can't remember which is which for count anymore :o) <Trolius> (I almost said cunt, hee!) <Rachel> (hee!) <Janus> .. Rachel! <Dovev> <w> Ah... <Rachel> (Count = Your Excellency)

  • Trolius looks over quickly

<Dovev> <w> She has expended the whole of her essence... <Trolius> (to Rachel)

  • Trolius loks back to Michael
  • Janus gathers Rachel up into a sitting position.

<Dovev> <w> We musssst go. We will take her with ussss. <Trolius> ...I uderstand, your excellency. <Trolius> ¬¬ <Michael> Just one moment, if you please.

  • Michael says over his shoulder to Dovev.
  • Zahra remains impassive

<Michael> I must ask you never to share what you have seen here, anything that you have learned here, with any soul whatsoever... Lest your tongue turn to lead in your mouth, and its poison drive you to madness, and death.

  • Michael gives you a friendly little Geas. :)

<Michael> (all 3 of you) <Trolius> ...

  • Trolius bites of a flippant response
  • Michael wipes some blood from Sleet's forehead, and touches each of your mouths with it as a bunk.
  • Rachel smiles faintly. Then her faerie seeming flickers and Janus is left holding a red-haired young woman. (Damn Woodrow women).

<Trolius> . o O ( must not be flippant in the face of high levels of sovereign.... ) <Janus> ... <Trolius> oO

  • Dovev frowns.

<Dovev> <w> We must go *now*.

  • Michael nods, and moves to lift the knife frmo the door again.
  • Dovev gathers up Diamond *and* Rachel, and sinks into the floor.
  • Trolius frowns

<Zahra> oO

  • Janus sits on the floor, looking numb.
  • Trolius looks at Zahra

<Janus> I know not... what to do.

  • Zahra looks back, uncertain what to do
  • Janus looks up at Michael.

<Trolius> ...

  • Michael clears his throat.

<Rachel> (The freehold seems quite chill) <Michael> Well. To begin with, we shall clean up this mess. <Trolius> yes <Trolius> ... <Trolius> Zahra, can you get Analisa? <Trolius> or Janet.... <Trolius> maybe Janet

  • Michael walks past Janus to the window. He taps on it lightly with his staff as a very minor bunk to Heather Balm it.

<Trolius> (She's the mute boggan ;) <Zahra> Yes... he doesn't look like he should be doing any cleaning. <Michael> That won't be necessary.

  • Michael says authoritatively.

<Michael> We can take care of this quite handily... <Trolius> ...

  • Michael looks down at Janus.

<Trolius> of course... <Michael> Although perhaps you might wish to join your mother.

  • Michael picks up Janus' scythe and passes it to him.

<Janus> ... Yes.

  • Janus nods absently.

<Trolius> . o O ( good god these ones are powerful oO )

  • Janus pulls the miraculously untouched quill pen from the desk, and draws a circle in the air with it before tossing it behind him. He disappears in a flurry of black wings.

<Rachel> (How nice of Michael not to take back his old scythe. ^-^) <Janus> (he doesn't really need it ;) <Trolius> (he has a nice Staff of Lordly might now ;)

  • Michael casts a few more assorted cantrips to clean up the blood and stuff, let's say.

<Rachel> (Diamond can attest to that...) <Michael> (lol)

  • Trolius mostly just has Chronos ;)

<Michael> Well. <Zahra> (heh) <Michael> If anyone inquires as to the absence of the baroness... <Trolius> (Sleet's still out?) <Michael> (yes)

  • Trolius nods
  • Michael walks towards the two of you.
  • Trolius is glad Sleet is light
  • Trolius shifts her weight a bit though
  • Zahra gives him a "need a hand?" look

<Michael> We shall say that she wished to view some documents at Aberystwyth which were pertinent to the Countess' investigation... <Michael> Or something of that nature.

  • Trolius shakes his head (assuming you mean me ;)
  • Trolius nods

<Zahra> (quite)

  • Trolius looks down at Sleet's face

<Michael> I'm certain that you are creative enough to come up with something plausible. Just as long as it's consistent. <Zahra> What do we say about her. <Zahra> ?

  • Zahra asks re. Sleet.
  • Trolius looks back up at Michael, now that Zahra asked what he was about to

<Michael> It looks unpleasant, doesn't it... <Michael> :/

  • Trolius pushes some white hair out of her burns

<Trolius> you don't say...

  • Michael takes a closer look.

<Trolius> >:/ <Michael> Such wounds heal stubbornly.

  • Trolius raises his eyebrows
  • Michael pulls a large, shimmery coin from a concealed pocket, and snaps it neatly in half.

<Trolius> . o O ( what, seen many burning blood wounds in your time? I'm not even going to ask >:P) ) <Michael> (the coin disintegrates) <Michael> Poor girl... <Trolius> ... <Sleet> <w> muuhhhh... <Trolius> Do you even know...?

  • Trolius asks Michael, kind of...
  • Michael looks at Trolius.

<Michael> hm? <Trolius> ...Their connection. <Michael> I have begun to guess.

  • Michael says noncommitally.

<Trolius> hm.

  • Michael looks about for something to use as a bunk.

<Sleet> ... Have you a match? <Sleet> (ww) <Rachel> (there are some on the mantlepiece) <Rachel> (Off on one wall) <Michael> Ah, there we are. <Trolius> ON the mantlepiece

  • Michael picks up a handful, lays them on the desk, then, using the same thin blade, cuts off their heads.

<Michael> Anathene was loved by few...

  • Michael says almost conversationally as he carries the match heads back over to the three of you.
  • Zahra considers what a giant load of horseshit this has all been.
  • Michael crunches the match heads in his fist, then sprinkles them over Sleet's face.
  • Trolius listens
  • Sleet cringes, but the blisters on her face shrink away, leaving only a red mark, like a sunburn.
      • Janus has quit IRC (Quit: Still the prettiest.�)

<Michael> And himself cared for an even more limited few... <Michael> You know of what I speak.

  • Michael shrugs.
  • Trolius nods

<Zahra> ... <Zahra> If we talk to each other, will our tongues still, ya know, turn to lead and all that? <Zahra> 'Cause I sure as hell would like some words of explanation.

  • Zahra says, testy
  • Trolius gives Zahra a kind of apologetic guilty look
  • Sleet frowns very slightly.

<Sleet> (ww0

  • Michael frowns.

<Michael> Mind your tongue, if you please. <Michael> There's no need to be rude. <Michael> You may discuss with Sir Trolius what you please. <Michael> So long as it goes no further.

  • Zahra nods firmly.

<Zahra> I will. <Zahra> >:/

  • Michael looks down at Sleet again.

<Michael> She will be alright, I think. <Trolius> I hope so. <Michael> I didn't expect this to turn out quite so explosively. <Trolius> ...I did. <Trolius> :/ <Sleet> She really thought she could control him... <Sleet> (GOD FUCKING DAMN) <Michael> She really thought she could control him... <Trolius> ... <Michael> Ah well, she wouldn't be the first

  • Zahra frowns at that
  • Trolius keeps his mouth shut
  • Michael looks a bit wistful.

<Michael> Where does she normally stay?

  • Trolius could take some more respoinsibility, but ison't about to tell mihcael that he could havedone better to porevent this, hmmm

<Michael> In the cellar? <Trolius> IN the cellar

  • Michael nods.
  • Trolius nods

<Michael> Perhaps you could take her there... discreetly <Trolius> I'll ake her

  • Trolius nods
  • Michael nods as well.

<Michael> ANd you might perhaps... stay with her a while. <Michael> She will probably be quite confused. <Michael> Although, I am sure that Rachel will take good care of her when she returns.

  • Trolius nods

<Trolius> ... <Trolius> I'm not sure that she will be staying here <Trolius> . o O ( let alone that I will ) <Michael> Well, she will be here until tomorrow at least, I would say. <Michael> Go on, now, before your arms give out. <Trolius> ... <Trolius> Thank you, your excellency <Zahra> . o O (What am I, chopped liver? :p )

  • Trolius will do so
  • Trolius looks at Zahra

<Michael> (you're the snarky one ) <Rachel> (hehe) <Trolius> (Yoiu;re not sleeping with the unconscious chick ;) <Michael> Good day to you both.

  • Zahra will follow Troilus
  • Zahra will bow politely to the remaining nobles as she closes the door behind her.
  • Trolius sighs, once we are outside

<Trolius> (and I need to go to bed :/) <Zahra> I'll carry her for a while, if you need a break. <Trolius> (I lost track of time :o) <Zahra> (so do I) <Trolius> It's okay.... she's actually very light :/ <Zahra> Hmph. <Trolius> I'm sorry... <Zahra> Yeah. <Trolius> I can... tell you more stuff now, I guess :/ <Zahra> ¬¬ <Zahra> Take her wherever you're taking her. <Trolius> okay. <Zahra> Since you don't need my help, I'll be in my rooms. <Trolius> ¬¬ <Zahra> Actually, no. <Trolius> no? <Zahra> I'll be going out to tell the rest of the party that they might as well not count on staying for dinner. <Zahra> *Then* I'll be in my room. <Trolius> ... <Trolius> I was kinf\d of hoping the Count was goign to tae care of that :p <Zahra> You think he'll bother to tell the staff? <Zahra> They're slaving away in the kitchens. <Trolius> yeah... <Sleet> (why would the rest of them leave?) <Trolius> well, he wouldn't want to put out the baron, see :p <Trolius> it would be rude <Zahra> (gee, I kind of assumed Nikolai might want to see his fiance :p ) <Trolius> and his son is with them, so... <Sleet> (well, Nikolai, hehe) <Sleet> (they're not engaged :o) <Trolius> ...ahhh crap! >< <Sleet> (I have so many fucking characters here I can't even remember what the hel;l they're all doing) <Zahra> What? <Trolius> Nikolai.. <Trolius> Rachel's boyfriend? <Trolius> Maybe the count will handle him too :p <Trolius> ... <Sleet> (So I guess they would go back) <Trolius> sure you don'[t want to just come down and hide in the basement with me? <Sleet> (maybe) <Trolius> :p <Zahra> No, someone needs to do what's needed. <Sleet> (Unless Rachel comes back( <Trolius> ...

  • Zahra says simply

<Trolius> ¬¬ <Zahra> So, like I said, I'll be in my room later, if you want to talk to me. <Trolius> fine. <Trolius> yeah. <Trolius> fine. <Trolius> .. <Trolius> éme takes sleet downstairs <Rachel> (What Count are you talking about? o.O) <Trolius> (and heather goes to bed!) <Sleet> (OK... Rachel is sending word that she is returning that evening... so some of them will go back, like DIamond's maids and a couple of the knights for instance, but Michael, Nikolai, and Lozano will stay) <Rachel> (There was a Duke, a Countess and two Barons) <Trolius> (Duke?) <Zahra> ('k) <Rachel> (Michael is a Duke.) <Trolius> (Duke)

  • Zahra checks on the status of the garden party, then retires to her room.