Diablotin 2 session 52
- Session date:
- Diablotin date:
[Diablotin_Narrator] In the week following the devastating fires, the Emperor took action to alleviate the suffering of the citizens of Diablotin. Using the new teleportation circles, he sent envoys out across the Empire, commanding dukes and duchesses to send surplus supplies to the city.
[Diablotin_Narrator] Food is coming in, though so are reports of sporadic violence in the provinces, as locals, nearing the end of a difficult winter and with their own stores running low, refuse to 'donate' grain to the Imperial granaries.
[Diablotin_Narrator] Meanwhile, some of the homeless, particularly those who managed to salvage some goods or money, have left the city, travelling downriver to Théville or Ariège, or by train to Bonivent and further south. Others, less fortunate, are depending on the charity of the church or their neighbours for shelter in the still-chilly weather of Third-month.
[Diablotin_Narrator] There have also been problems with looting in the area in and around the burned-out ruins; several looters have been caught and summarily executed by angry citizens, but that does not seem to deter the most enthusiastic - or desperate. Tales(probably greatly exaggerated) of merchants' houses with safes and basements full of melted gold coins spur them on, despite the risks.
Dominik and Katia
[Diablotin_Narrator] Dominik, you have been paying occasional discreet visits to Laurine. She is now less than a month away from giving birth, and seems eager to have her confinement over with, so that she can get back to normal, or something like it anyway.
- Dominik is happy to see things are going well
[Diablotin_Narrator] After perhaps half an hour or so of conversation, she grows tired, and so you leave her to rest.
[Diablotin_Narrator] As you are descending the stairs, you encounter an old woman in a gown of such pale violet it is almost grey. She is short, with neatly trimmed fine silver hair and an even stare.
- Old_woman looks you up and down, as if evaluating you.
- Dominik nods a polite greeting
[Old_woman] So, you must be Dominik Rademacher.
[Dominik] Aye, that is me. You have me at an advantage as I don't have your name.
- Old_woman offers you her hand.
[Old_woman] Princess-Imperial Katia Dyess-Talavera-vak Andras, daughter to the Duke of Teruel and Duchess of Ventana, may their souls rot in the Void, and widow to the Dukes of Wray and Sarande, whose souls are, I hope, perfectly fine.
- Dominik will take it
[Katia] Also, if my fool of a son is to be believed, your grandmother. You may call me Mme. vak Andras for the time being.
[Dominik] Very well Mme. vak Andras. I there something you wanted of me?
[Katia] Well, I was going to see how Laurine was faring, but I'm delighted to have this chance to speak to you instead, young man.
- Katia smiles in a not-entirely-reassuring way.
[Dominik] She is tires so it sleeping.... if your desire is to question me, then lets have it.
[Katia] Come, join me for a while. They keep the best wines in the back parlour, for the family instead of for company, but it seems you count in the former category.
- Dominik will accompanie Katia
- Katia settles into a wing-backed chair in the blue sitting room, and indicates that you should help yourself to the contents of the sideboard.
[Katia] I'll have just a tiny glass of the Montbasilac '28.
- Katia instructs you.
- Dominik will take a strong wiskey for himself and pour her the wine.
- Katia waits until you've settled yourself in, takes a sip of her wine, and nods approvingly.
[Katia] So, how did it feel when you found out you'd fucked your sister?
- Katia asks conversationally.
- Dominik reacts like he had been struck.
[Dominik] What kind of question is that?
[Katia] Call it a morbid curiosity on my part. Did you feel guilty? Horrified? Aroused?
[Dominik] I felt guilty and betrayed.
[Dominik] If you must know.
- Katia nods.
[Katia] You did not know of your relationship, so you have that in your favour at least.
[Dominik] Like I would have acted in the way I did... we did, if we had known.
[Katia] And yet, from anything Alestin tells me, you would still have married her, if you'd been allowed to do so. So the idea cannot be too abhorent to you.
[Dominik] There was more at stake than just me and Laurine.
- Katia takes another sip of her tiny glass of wine.
[Katia] Mm, indeed.
[Dominik] I wouldn't have let what happened to me happen to my child if I could do something about it.
[Katia] So your concern was mainly for the child.
[Dominik] I care for Laurine as well. She shouldn't have to go through this alone.
- Katia seems to accept that answer.
[Katia] What do you think will happen to her after this?
[Dominik] I don't know.
[Katia] Keeping the child will be ... difficult for her, to say the least, but I believe she's strong enough to endure it.
[Dominik] You're damn right she's strong enough.
- Katia smiles at that.
[Katia] Yes. Women can endure quite a lot when it's necessary.
[Dominik] I've met plenty of strong women. Many that are stronger than some men that I've met.
[Katia] In my day, they'd have taken the child away at birth, and her life would go on as before. In some ways, I'm sure they would have thought they were doing the right thing for her.
[Katia] But perhaps this is the better course for all of you.
[Dominik] Things don't change that quickly. Are they considering it?
- Katia shakes her head.
[Katia] I don't believe so. Alestin hasn't the spine to dare.
[Katia] Elena... I wouldn't put it past her, but she knows her daughter would never forgive her.
- Dominik nods
[Dominik] well they better not consider it
- Dominik shakes his head
[Katia] It doesn't do much good to conceal a scandal if the participants aren't willing to keep quiet about it.
[Dominik] concealing a scandal...
[Dominik] I'm not a subtle man, and an opportunity has arrised with the meeting of you that I need to ask you a personal question or two
[Katia] Go ahead. I've asked you things that are rather personal, and you answered honestly, so I suppose you've earned it.
[Dominik] It has to do with actions that your late husband, Kalman vak Andras had taken in a similar situation, say around 2220
[Dominik] I'm not sure how many of his secrets he confided in you, but I had to ask.
[Katia] He was not yet my husband at that point, but we were ... close. I may be able to help you.
[Katia] What did you wish to know?
[Dominik] There was a child born by Theonee Deverara... that was taken away. Do you know what happened to the child?
[Katia] That poor girl...
[Katia] It was - she was, for I think it was a girl - was born in Greywatch.
[Dominik] I know Kalman vak Andras was involved in the situation. There are people looking for that child. She may be in great danger.
[Katia] From whom?
[Dominik] All I know is that those involved in the Cult of the Black Downs are looking for her. I don't really understand why, but not knowing makes me act cautiously.
- Katia considers for a long moment.
[Dominik] I can understand if you don't want to trust me... you barely know me.
[Katia] If, as you say, she is in danger, I have no way of knowing whether you are one of those who mean her harm.
[Dominik] Please, I'm not a schemer or a plotter.
[Katia] You don't seem the type, no.
[Dominik] Listen, there are sides in this and its hard to figure out who to trust. I wouldn't knowing put this girl in danger. You have my word on this.
[Katia] I would speak to Reverend Father Velten du Champe, if I were you. He might be able to tell you more. And, moreover, he's much more qualified than I am to determine if you are trustworthy or not.
[Dominik] Thank you.
[Katia] If he approves of you, then... perhaps we may talk again.
[Katia] You seem like a nice boy. You remind me a little of my first husband... which I suppose is reasonable enough, since he would be your grandfather.
[Dominik] I'll be honest, my knowledge on my new liniage is limitted.
- Katia smiles.
[Dominik] Good whiskey
- Dominik finishes his drink
[Katia] I'm sure there are books you can check out.
[Katia] Good luck, Dominik. I hope that you can find what you're looking for.
[Dominik] thank you Mme vak Andras
- Katia nods politely, and you are dismissed.
Guillame and Aden
[Diablotin_Narrator] Guillame, your mother agreed with your suggestion of offering accomodations to some of the homeless people of the Place d'Iena, although the servants are keeping a wary eye on them so they don't rob you blind.
[Guillame] (Prudent, if unfortunate)
[Diablotin_Narrator] Alesia is also suspicious, and keeping to her rooms, but Silvia seems to be looking on it as a chance to practice for her future role in the church, going about cheerfully and offering to pray with people, mend their clothes or or cure minor wounds that they incur.
[Diablotin_Narrator] Some of your guests have developed a bit of a hunted look when they see her coming, but so far everyone is managing tolerably well.
- Guillame is delighted to see her so invested
[Diablotin_Narrator] You have also been keeping busy with the organization of the Levellers' public meeting at the Castalia, which is very soon, and of course with the preparations for your upcoming wedding.
[Diablotin_Narrator] Aden is also very busy with work, but makes sure that he manages to see you when he has a free hour or two.
- Aden_ stops by your family's house for a short visit.
- Guillame shows him in
[Aden_] I wish I could stay longer... I only have a short break between meetings, but I needed to get out of there for a little while.
[Guillame] I can't imagine...
- Aden_ gives your hand a squeeze.
[Aden_] Can we walk in the garden, do you think, or would you be too cold?
- Guillame tries to think whether any of the drawing rooms would be unoccupied...
[Guillame] The garden would be fine... I'll just put on an overcoat
- Guillame does so
- Aden_ smiles.
[Diablotin_Narrator] The rain has stopped for the time being, but everything in the garden is wet and grey, apart from the bench under the gazebo where you can have a little bit of privacy (though not so much as you would in summer, when it would be covered with thick greenery...)
[Aden_] I wanted to talk to you about something.
[Guillame] ... oh?
[Aden_] I keep trying to find the right time to bring it up, but there never seems to be a right time, so...
[Aden_] Well. Do you know Zivia Rademacher?
[Guillame] Any time is better than never...
[Guillame] (Not very well...?)
[Diablotin_Narrator] (yeah, other than generally who she is, I don't think you know much about her...)
[Guillame] Not closely, but I know who she is?
[Aden_] She's a cousin of Princess Ilphere's... they're a respectable family.
[Aden_] I think you know her brother, Dominik...?
[Guillame] Yes, I know Dominik, and the Princess, from the society.
- Aden_ nods.
[Aden_] She... well, I've been considering the possibility of marrying her, but I wanted to talk to you about it first.
[Guillame] I wondered if that was where this might be going...
[Guillame] Is it too much to assume that you'd still want to see me?
[Aden_] Oh, of course I would!
[Aden_] And I believe she suspects how things stand, but of course I'd explain everything to her so that if it wasn't ... something she was able to accept, she wouldn't be stuck in an unbearable situation.
- Guillame cracks a massive grin
[Guillame] Well, then I'd be happy to see you marry whoever you pleased
[Aden_] But I think she would understand. She's mistress to the Emperor, after all. Or at least, she used to be - I'm uncertain if she wishes to continue in that, uh, position.
[Aden_] I don't know how much she likes me for me, and how much she likes me for what I can provide for her. I think a little of both?
[Guillame] Well, so long as you trust her and would be happy to live with her, that's all the advice I'd give. I suppose I haven't done enough to find that out for my marriage yet, but... trust was earned between us very early.
- Aden_ nods.
[Aden_] She's a smart girl. Ambitious, yes, but also practical. I rather like that about her. I think we could be happy together.
- Aden_ looks as though he still has something else to say, but is anxious about it.
[Guillame] Haha, just make sure she's not getting the better of you! I don't trust any of the palace-people with you
- Aden_ chuckles at that.
- Guillame tussles Aden't hair
- Aden_ blushes a little.
[Guillame] ... were you about to say something?
[Aden_] There *was* something else...
[Aden_] I... we haven't slept together, but there've been some, uh... some interludes. She can be quite... forward.
- Guillame nods, straight-faced
[Aden_] I felt awful afterwards, Guy. I felt as if I'd betrayed you, and I knew I had to tell you what was going on. But I do want to... I mean, it wouldn't just be entirely for show, you understand?
[Guillame] I... I'll try not to get too jealous...
[Aden_] Are you angry with me?
[Guillame] No, no.
[Guillame] Not angry. I just miss you these days.
[Aden_] I miss you too.
[Guillame] It seems like we have so little time...
- Aden_ nods.
[Aden_] Look... how about, before your wedding and everything goes crazy, we take a couple of days just for us. We could go away somewhere if you wanted... or whatever.
[Guillame] But... I mean, so long as we have to keep playing this "appearances" game for our own reasons, this was always going to happen.
[Guillame] That would be lovely, Aden
- Aden_ sighs.
[Aden_] I wish things were easier.
[Guillame] Considering the ways that I can see that this *could* be easier... I don't.
- Aden_ takes your hand and holds it between his.
- Guillame smiles
- Aden_ smiles at that.
[Guillame] While I have you here...
[Guillame] Do you know anything about what happened at the grain store?
[Aden_] Gods, that was such a catastrophe.
[Aden_] It seems like the fires started there - accidental, is what the guard investigators are saying.
[Guillame] Well... there's more going on than that, for sure.
[Guillame] There were levellers there, for a start...
[Aden_] I had that feeling...
[Aden_] That's... worrying.
[Guillame] They... we've been doing some food raids - redistribution, foolish heroics. There was a group there trying to take grain to redistribute.
- Aden_ nods slowly.
[Aden_] I know there were some remains found in one of the granaries... I think the guards' theory was thieves. Who didn't make it?
[Guillame] And... I don't think he's telling us everything, but it seems like it was a trap. There was much less grain there than there should have been, and their story is that someone locked them in and set the fires.
- Guillame tells him who was lost
- Aden_ closes his eyes, looking upset.
[Aden_] I'll look into this. See if I can find more that the guard aren't telling us.
[Guillame] Thanks Aden. I know you have so much to do up there.
[Aden_] This is important, though.
[Aden_] If there's something to it... well, for one thing, where's the missing grain?
[Guillame] That's exactly why I wanted you to know.
- Aden_ nods.
[Aden_] Thank you for telling me.
- Guillame squeezes his hand
[Aden_] Look - I want to be with you, tonight... Would you like to come to the palace?
[Guillame] I could... I'd feel better if we could go to your house, but if you don't have time for that...?
[Aden_] I have to be in a meeting early tomorrow morning... it would be easier if I stay over there.
[Aden_] Or else I'll be leaving you in bed before dawn ;)
[Guillame] Well... ok. I shouldn't stay there, though, so I'd be leaving you earlier from the palace.
[Aden_] All right... I just miss you.
[Guillame] There's just so many busybodies at the palace
[Aden_] I know it's not ideal, but I thought it might be better than nothing.
- Guillame makes a silly face
- Aden_ grins.
[Diablotin_Narrator] A blackbird flutters to the ground and hops over in your direction, tilting its little head curiously and looking at you with beady eyes.
[Diablotin_Narrator] It has a scrap of paper tied to its leg.
[Guillame] ... hello brave little bird...
[Aden_] ...a message?
- Guillame gently tries to pick up the bird
[Diablotin_Narrator] It allows you to hold it long enough to untie the note, then breaks from your grasp and flies away.
- Guillame opens the note
[Diablotin_Narrator] The note is grimy, written in smeared pencil, and seems like it's gotten wet as well. It takes you a few moments to decipher the words.
[Diablotin_Narrator] "The man with red hair can't be trusted. R."
[Guillame] . o O (Other than me...?)
- Guillame pockets the note
[Aden_] Anything urgent?
[Guillame] A warning, of sorts... against someone with red hair.
- Aden_ chuckles.
[Aden_] Maybe it was for me :p
[Guillame] Oh gods, I'm going to be suspicious and paranoid now.
- Aden_ strokes your red hair.
[Guillame] Haha, I'd agree, if I didn't know who it was from.
- Aden_ nods.
- Aden_ pulls out his pocket-watch to check the time.
[Guillame] Anyway... I'll come and visit you for a couple of hours, this evening.
[Aden_] Gods, I should be running - but I'll see you tonight :)
[Guillame] See you then!
- Aden_ gives you a quick kiss goodbye.
- Guillame grins, and frets.
Ysabeau and Marl
[Diablotin_Narrator] Ysabeau, you are at home, working on your Castalia project, when there is a knock at the door.
- Ysabeau checks out the window to see if she can see who it is, before going to the door.
[Diablotin_Narrator] Outside is a footman in Imperial livery, and a carriage waiting.
[Ysabeau] (How's my music coming... have I already passed it along to him?)
[Diablotin_Narrator] (I assumed that you are still working on it...)
- Ysabeau has no idea what he's here for then and considers pretending she is not home.
- Ysabeau remembers Ysstvelt's example and reminds herself she shouldn't let others control her with fear.
- Ysabeau composes herself and opens the door... it may be nothing.
- Ysabeau hopes.
[Ysabeau] Good afternoon, sir.
[Footman] Mlle. Ysabeau Chanuier?
[Ysabeau] In the flesh, sir.
[Footman] His Imperial Majesty Emperor Marl requests your presence at the palace for a private performance.
[Ysabeau] When? I'm not exactly dressed for an imperial audience.
- Ysabeau gestures with her arms to indicate her comfortable, older day dress and apron.
[Footman] Immediately, and your clothing is not a matter of concern. Do you require any assistance with transporting your instruments?
[Ysabeau] I only have the one, sir. It is rather large, though.
- Ysabeau shows him her floor harp.
- Footman will carry the harp for you, once you show him how to move it properly.
- Footman holds an umbrella for you so that you don't get wet during the few moments you are outside between house and carriage.
[Ysabeau] Do you know when I might expect to be back, sir?
- Ysabeau is trying not to show her alarm outwardly.
[Footman] I expect a few hours.
[Ysabeau] I'll need a moment to see to my dog, then, sir.
[Ysabeau] I'll be missing his feeding time.
[Footman] Be quick about it, then.
- Ysabeau finds Rye and casts Speak with Animals.
- Ysabeau asks him for a favour...
[Ysabeau] Rye, I'm going to see the leader of the human pack, and he might want to hurt me. He has before.
[Ysabeau] If I don't come back, I need you to find someone to help me. You might have to wait until my sister returns, and get her to let you out.
[Ysabeau] Do you understand?
- Rye licks your hand.
- Ysabeau writes a hasty note to Murienne explaining that she was summoned by the Emperor for a 'private audience.'
[Ysabeau] Thank you, Rye.
- Ysabeau pats him fondly.
[Ysabeau] You're a good boy.
[Rye] Come back soon.
[Ysabeau] I hope I will.
[Ysabeau] Don't forget what I smell like. You might have to help people find me. :)
- Ysabeau scratches behind his ears.
- Ysabeau pours some of his favourite kitchen scraps into a dish for him before rejoining the footman.
- Ysabeau washes her hands and gives her hair one last going-over.
- Footman is waiting outside in the rain for you with barely-concealed impatience.
[Ysabeau] Thank you, sir.
[Diablotin_Narrator] The carriage wends its way along your narrow street, onto the broader thoroughfares that lead to the Imperial Isle. The ride is very smooth, and the cushions of the seats are covered with a soft coal-grey velvet.
[Ysabeau] (Am I alone in the carriage?)
[Diablotin_Narrator] (yes, the footman rides on the back)
- Ysabeau tries to keep herself calm.
[Diablotin_Narrator] Within the walls of the court complex, the noise of the city dims, and instead you are surrounded with the sounds of bubbling fountains, rustling leaves, and genteel conversation.
- Ysabeau wishes she had Sending or a similar spell to tell Dominik... Her instructions for Rye will have to do.
- Footman helps you out of the carriage once it comes to a stop and escorts you to a waiting maidservant, who curtseys to you and leads you into the palace.
- Ysabeau tries to memorize the way she's led so she can retrace her steps if necessary.
[Diablotin_Narrator] The corridors of this wing of the palace are not as broad, the floors flagstone instead of marble - perhaps it is an older part of the building? Your footsteps echo as you follow the maid past heavy tapestries, up winding stairs, and through gracefully-carved arches.
[Ysabeau] Excuse me, miss...?
[Ysabeau] Can you tell me where I'll be giving my performance? Do you know if it has good acoustics?
[Maid] I'm afraid I couldn't say, miss.
- Maid stops eventually, outside a door where two armed palace guards stand. She murmurs to one of them, who nods, and she steps forward to tap at the wooden door. "The musician is here, sire," she says, loudly enough to be heard from within.
- Ysabeau smiles charmingly for the guards.
[Ysabeau] . o O (I doubt they'd come to my rescue, but I might as well try to butter them up.)
[Diablotin_Narrator] The door opens to you, and she gestures for you to go inside. The servant carrying your harp follows you in, and sets it carefully on the floor before departing.
[Diablotin_Narrator] The room within is a comfortable one, not overly large or ornate. The windows are narrow, the glass thick and wavy with age, and it overlooks the river, gazing across to the north. Rain patters softly against the glass.
- Ysabeau looks around to get her bearings and a sense of what lies ahead for her.
[Diablotin_Narrator] The walls are oak-panelled, giving a warm feeling to the chamber. A fire is lit, in addition to the subtle magical lights that illuminate the room.
[Diablotin_Narrator] There are bookshelves along one wall, and a pair of leather-upholstered armchairs across from one another. A scroll-top desk covered in papers sits between the windows, and a thick burgundy rug covers much of the floor.
- Marl sits at the desk, but stands to greet you when you come in.
- Ysabeau curtseys.
[Ysabeau] Your Majesty.
[Marl] Mlle. Chanuier, thank you for coming, I appreciate it.
- Marl looks... tired, mostly, but he smiles to see you nevertheless.
- Ysabeau smiles.
[Marl] Don't worry, I'm not expecting your grand composition to be completed yet. I know these things must take time.
[Ysabeau] It's not the sort of invitation I could have refused, I am thinking. Your footman was most impatient.
[Ysabeau] Yes, my work for you is progressing apace.
[Ysabeau] I hope you will enjoy it when the time comes, Your Majesty.
[Marl] I'm sure I shall.
[Marl] Today I just hoped that you might play for me while I work.
[Ysabeau] Of course, Your Majesty.
[Ysabeau] Where would you like me to set up my harp? Did you have any particular music in mind?
[Ysabeau] Something soft, I suppose, so as not to distract you from your work.
[Marl] I leave it to your discretion.
[Marl] If you require a different chair to be brought in, that can be arranged.
- Ysabeau looks for a good seat to set the harp by... if there's none, she'll request something suitable.
[Diablotin_Narrator] There is a low, armless sofa-like bench that could do.
- Ysabeau would prefer a single-seater. ;)
[Diablotin_Narrator] Then they can bring in a wooden armless chair for you.
[Ysabeau] That will do nicely, thank you.
[Ysabeau] Your Majesty, it will take me a few moments to tune my harp... one hazard of transporting it, I'm afraid.
[Marl] I understand. Take your time.
- Ysabeau will tune her harp and when it meets her satisfaction she will begin to play something soft.
- Marl turns back to the pile of papers on his desk and reads while you play. Occasionally he jots something down, more often seems absorbed in what he is reading.
- Ysabeau lets herself fall into the music so she won't think of whose presence she's in.
[Diablotin_Narrator] (make a perform check :)
[Diablotin_Narrator] You play very well - any tiny flaws in your performance are only noticeable to you, you suspect.
[Marl] May I ask you a question?
- Marl asks you after about half an hour, when you reach the end of one song and before you can begin another one.
- Ysabeau brings her attention back to him.
[Ysabeau] Of... of course, Your Majesty.
- Ysabeau tries not to betray her nerves.
[Marl] How would you say the mood is in the city? What are people saying?
- Ysabeau is surprised by the question.
[Ysabeau] I think... I think people are very uncertain. About the future, about their futures.
- Marl nods, listening.
[Ysabeau] I have heard good reports about your efforts to feed your subjects, though, Your Majesty...
- Marl sighs.
[Marl] I'm glad to hear that. It's not easy, but it has to be done.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Marl] I suppose there are some who... hate me?
[Ysabeau] Your Majesty... you cannot please all of the people, all of the time.
[Marl] No, certainly not.
[Marl] But is it worse than usual, I wonder...
[Ysabeau] Your Majesty, I am very young. I only remember one reign other than yours, and I therefore have little basis for comparison.
[Marl] Do *you* hate me, Ysabeau?
[Ysabeau] (SM... does he seem to know that I might have reason to hate him?)
[Diablotin_Narrator] (you can roll)
- Marl seems concerned that you might, yes.
[Ysabeau] Your Majesty... I do not hate you, though I am... afraid of you.
[Marl] I wondered if you might... well.
[Ysabeau] I suppose that is another price one must pay for power.
- Marl shrugs.
[Marl] You are a very attractive woman, and I won't deny that I have an... an interest in you. I could make your life very comfortable, if you were agreeable.
[Ysabeau] Your Majesty, you have a wife, and I have someone whom I love. Both are good reasons for me not to pursue such a path.
- Marl smiles slightly.
[Marl] Very well. If you reconsider, let me know.
[Ysabeau] Yes, Your Majesty.
[Ysabeau] May I ask what you're working on?
[Marl] These are reports from around the Empire... amounts of grain in storage at different sites...
[Ysabeau] How are things looking?
[Ysabeau] Will we make it through the winter?
[Marl] No matter how we shuffle it around, there isn't enough for everyone.
[Ysabeau] Can some be bought from outside the Empire?
[Ysabeau] Enough to tide us over?
[Marl] We have negotiated with the Cozovode... it's tricky, but it may be fruitful, yes.
[Marl] With the help of the church, I hope that we can make our way through the next few months, until an early harvest can be brought in.
[Ysabeau] I'm glad to hear it. I'll pray that we have a good growing season this year so that all these difficulties can be put behind us.
[Marl] If you need anything... let me know. No strings attached.
[Ysabeau] Your Majesty, that is a kind offer, but I do not wish to be seen as favoured by my neighbours. I have known worse deprivation than this, before. I will manage.
[Marl] If you say so.
[Ysabeau] I do. Thank you. Shall I continue playing?
[Marl] Yes, if you don't mind.
- Ysabeau turns her head back to her instrument and plays some more for the Emperor.
- Marl instructs the servant to see that you are compensated before you leave.
[Diablotin_Narrator] You leave the palace, confused but richer by a hundred imperials.
- Ysabeau is grateful she escaped without having the crap beaten out of her.
- Ysabeau will donate the hundred imperials to the Church's feeding efforts.
Ilphere and Phedre
[Diablotin_Narrator] Ilphere and Sanadhil, on this rainy afternoon you are going to pay a visit to the Lozada-Boyne mansion, Ilphere to converse with Phedre, and San to speak with Earric.
[Diablotin_Narrator] On the path up to the door, the rain drips from tree branches that are just barely starting to bud.
- Phedre welcomes you into her home, greeting Ilphere with a polite curtsey and Sanadhil with a peck on the cheek.
[Ilphere] It is lovely to see you again...!
- Sanadhil smiles as well
[Phedre] I'm sure we have much to talk about...
[Phedre] Perhaps it would be best if we spoke in private, your highness. Sanadhil, I believe my husband is in the library, if you wished for some company while you wait.
[Sanadhil] Ahh, very well then.
- Ilphere nods agreeably.
[Sanadhil] :Good luck.
- Phedre escorts Ilphere into her sitting room.
- Sanadhil will make his way to the study
[Phedre] Would you care for some tea, Princess, or perhaps you might prefer something stronger?
[Ilphere] Tea would be fine for the moment, thank you...!
- Ilphere smiles
- Phedre will have a servant bring in some tea, and make polite chit-chat while you wait.
[Phedre] Now... I understand you had another... vision, if you accept the term, recently?
- Phedre asks after the servant has safely departed.
- Ilphere nods gravely...
[Ilphere] What has Sanadhil told you about it...?
[Phedre] That you believe it indicates Kavreshar was responsible for the recent fire.
[Ilphere] I do...
[Phedre] Literally, or metaphorically?
[Ilphere] It is difficult to say, with these visions.
- Phedre nods.
[Ilphere] It is certainly possible that it has a literal meaning.
[Ilphere] I have also come to believe that it is a warning...
[Ilphere] That if the Serpent is not restored, Diablotin may fall to the same fiery fate as Aushinre's civilization... the one whose remnants came to Kholm.
- Phedre smiles faintly at that.
[Ilphere] (for what it's worth :p)
[Diablotin_Narrator] (you can roll)
[Ilphere] (26, I suspect, is insufficient)
[Diablotin_Narrator] (yea,h you're not sure)
[Phedre] Your highness, I would very much like to invite you to join a ... a study group, if you will. We are interested in many of the same questions you are asking.
[Ilphere] I would be most interested in sharing information with your... group, yes...
- Phedre looks pleased.
[Phedre] For reasons that are no doubt obvious, there are matters of security to be considered. Especially for a lady of your prominence, utmost secrecy is necessary.
- Ilphere nods
[Phedre] On all our parts, of course.
[Ilphere] I had been considering some particular precautions, but I would be open to other suggestions as well; I definitely understand the need for discretion.
[Phedre] Apart from general precautions such as disguises, the best solution we have reached is an oath that binds us together. It has been effective thus far.
- Ilphere nods.
[Ilphere] I had suspected something of the sort..
- Phedre nods.
[Phedre] If you are willing to proceed, I can make the necessary arrangements.
[Ilphere] I am.
- Ilphere says without hesitation.
- Phedre seems pleased with your certainty.
[Phedre] I look forward to speaking with you about all of this at greater length.
[Ilphere] When do you expect that will be, then...?
[Phedre] In a few weeks' time should be possible.
[Phedre] To gather everyone together sometimes takes... some scheduling :)
- Ilphere nods.
[Phedre] I will send you word via M. Orecalo when the time is nigh.
[Ilphere] I will be waiting... well, I would say patiently, but... !
- Ilphere smiles again.
[Phedre] I understand your eagerness!
[Ilphere] I will be looking forward to it. :)
[Phedre] Wonderful :)
Sanadhil and Earric
[Diablotin_Narrator] San, you proceed to the library, looking for Earric.
- Sanadhil lets himself into the room and glances about
- Earric is sitting cross-legged in a cushioned window seat, looking out at the rain. A book sits open on his lap, but he isn't reading it.
[Sanadhil] Good afternoon...
[Earric] Oh, it's you.
[Sanadhil] chairming to see you as well.
[Earric] Did you enjoy yourself?
[Sanadhil] At the... meeting?
[Earric] Mm. Did she use the razor? It's one of her favourite toys.
[Sanadhil] Its incidental.
[Earric] To you, I suppose.
- Sanadhil contemplates quietly
[Sanadhil] I can understand your being resentful...
[Earric] I thought you were going to help me.
[Sanadhil] And now you think I won't?
- Earric shrugs.
[Earric] Now I don't even know if you can.
[Sanadhil] That depends.
[Earric] Oh? On what?
[Sanadhil] On whether your particular heritage is something that is important to the rituals.
- Earric shrugs again.
[Earric] I don't know, I don't really know how it works.
[Sanadhil] I don't know either, yet
[Sanadhil] Though I intend to investigate
- Earric nods, but doesn't seem encouraged.
[Sanadhil] And even so - you're of no use if you are dead, and on that acciunt, at elast, I see no reason not to continue with my intentions in that regard.
[Earric] How sweet.
[Earric] I'm very moved.
[Sanadhil] I have a question for you, however. I suppose two.
- Sanadhil ignores his baiting for the moment.
[Earric] Come sit with me and maybe I'll be more inclined to answer.
[Sanadhil] I'll take my chances on your self-interest from here.
[Sanadhil] Do you think that it would be possible, if the Serpent were restored, for you, and any others in your position, to be reinstated?
[Sanadhil] Maybe that's not an appropriate term - I admit my understanding of the situation is limited. Phedre told me you used to be an angel..... unless that's a lie?
[Earric] It was all a very long time ago. I was young. Relatively speaking.
[Earric] I left all that behind me.
[Sanadhil] and you wouldn't go back, even if you could?
[Earric] I would have to see it to believe it.
[Sanadhil] (26 sm, though I expect that is true ;)
[Diablotin_Narrator] (you see no reason to disbelieve that)
- Sanadhil nods
[Earric] Aren't there some parts of your life you would rather forget?
[Sanadhil] of course.
- Sanadhil wonders briefly if forgetting the good parts would make the bad parts seem less painful
[Earric] Choices you might make differently?
[Sanadhil] I haven't always have many choices to make.
[Sanadhil] (haven't always had)
[Sanadhil] But there's no one who makes no mistakes
[Earric] What was your other question?
- Sanadhil thinks about the statue, though he's not sure *which* choice was the wrong one there... waking it at all, or something else along the way.
[Sanadhil] I wnt to know what things were like, before the serpent was imprisoned.... what happened after.
[Earric] Oh, that would be a very, very long story. And I'd definitely need some company before I could be persuaded to tell it.
- Earric pats the seat beside him.
- Sanadhil asks, remaining where he is for now
[Earric] Just company.
- Sanadhil will go and sit, then, though he does't really trust the answer
[Diablotin_Narrator] (ok... to be continued in a solo, then, so we don't run an hour overtime :p)
Seth and Guillame
- Seth arranges to meet Guillame at the Society one morning, early.
- Guillame will be on time
[Seth] Hello, M. Rionet.
[Guillame] M. Argo! How are you?
[Seth] I am well enough, I suppose. I had meant to speak to you some time ago, but the occasion did not present itself. Now I have additional matters to discuss with you as well.
[Guillame] Well, I am at your disposal, so lets chew through whatever matters you have.
[Seth] Hm. Yes, well, initially I had wished to speak to you with regard to the matter of the Gravonian inscriptions, and any knowledge that House Rat might have, or once have had, regarding the early history of the Arch.
[Guillame] Ah. Well, I may not have many insights on that front - I'm finding most of House Rat's memories to be exceptionally short at the moment.
- Guillame makes a note
[Guillame] I'll certainly inform you if I make any progress in that direction, though.
[Seth] Do you know the scholar Antje Dinh?
[Seth] I've been told that she is conducting investigations into the early Gravonian inscriptions. For myself, I do not know any Gravonian, but knowing more about the city's early history and architecture has become quite pressing for me.
[Guillame] More pressing than in your previous research?
[Seth] Well ... since our trip to Kholm, the issue of establishing where, exactly, the Arch came from, and what its relationship is if any to other systems of belief, has become a matter of some concern.
[Guillame] Oh, the arch? Well yes, I can see that.
- Guillame listens.
[Seth] In particular, the relationship of the Serpent to the Arch, if there is one.
- Guillame nods
[Seth] I do not have any particular insight to share, yet.
[Seth] I will likely simply need to seek out Antje Dinh on my own and speak to her. However, there is another matter about which I wanted to speak to you, something that has just arisen.
[Guillame] Ok... well, I have been keeping a view to any information regarding the old forms of religion and the arch in particular in my research, but I'm afraid that it's hard enough to find *any* information preceeding the exodus.
[Seth] Yes, I agree.
[Guillame] So, this other matter?
[Seth] Yes, somewhat related. I am seeking the dragon Kavreshar.
[Seth] And I have begun to wonder whether its guise in the city is none other than the individual calling himself Martan, or Martan Olivier.
- Guillame blinks
[Guillame] You may have to go into some detail, there... starting with this dragon... "Kavreshar"?
[Seth] What would you like to know?
[Guillame] Well... the only dragon I've ever seen is the one which erupted during the Imperial elections - is this the same?
[Seth] Kavreshar is, as far as we can tell, a 'hellfire wyrm', a rare sort of long-lived powerful dragon that can alter its shape into nearly-human form. And yes, that is the most likely scenario, that it is one and the same.
[Seth] It was released from the necklace whose whereabouts were of some interest to us last year, as you probably recall.
[Guillame] Yes... and that's the last I heard of it. I certainly knew nothing of its sort, or its name.
[Guillame] So you believe that it is guised as Martan?
[Guillame] His arrival was certainly timed for it...
[Seth] I believe it is possible. I had believed it before, but recently I have acquired some information that would tend to corroborate it.
[Guillame] It certainly seems possible. If it's true, then the dragon is either an excellent actor, or rather... lonely, and human-like.
[Guillame] Both of which also seem plausible.
[Seth] Apparently the necklace was involved in a criminal investigation led by ... if you believe it ... the Empress Tristane, Matriarch Pasith, Warlord Boden, and others, when they were guards together. More importantly, the necklace was asserted to have been stolen by one other than a very young Maze Olivier.
[Guillame] That's an awful lot of important names...
[Seth] Yes ... and the only ones still alive are Olivier, and, in whatever form she now exists, the Matriarch.
[Guillame] Did she have anything to say about it?
[Seth] The Matriarch? I have not asked her yet, although I shortly will be re-entering the Arch to speak to her on the matter.
[Guillame] So, how can I help you. Is there anything particular I can tell you about Martan, other than that... I hope... that you're wrong.
[Guillame] I suppose that's pretty irrational - if you're right, then I have no reason to feel sorry for him.
[Seth] Well, firstly, I thought I should share that information with someone in our group. And right now, I am not exactly on good terms with Princess Ilphere or M. Orecalo.
[Guillame] Is, um... no, I won't be so rude as to ask why.
[Seth] It is complicated.
- Guillame nods
[Guillame] Please, I should not have said anything.
[Guillame] It's personal, rather than professional, I take it?
[Seth] As for what I want from you, I was hoping to get some insight regarding whether Aden Olivier might know anything about this.
[Guillame] No, he doesn't, I'm afraid. He was suspicious of Martan at first also, but he doesn't know any more than Lord Grey told him, and me.
[Seth] But he does not suspect him any longer?
[Guillame] I don't think so. He hasn't mentioned Martan with concern in a while, and we've met socially, the three of us, from time to time.
[Guillame] I'll ask him again, though.
[Seth] Very well, I appreciate it.
[Seth] I did also wish to inform you of something.
[Seth] I have recently acquired the ability, while within the city, to remotely view any point I have seen before or whose location can be reasonably specified.
[Guillame] . o O (O_o)
[Guillame] ... is it something to do with Char?
[Seth] Well, yes and no. My powers within the city are now at least equal to his, and apparently greater.
[Seth] I am not Char, nor he me, just as you are not ... Father Willem.
- Seth leaves much unstated.
- Guillame nods, slowly
[Guillame] I... am glad to hear it. Please... endeavour to remain that way.
[Guillame] I... sometimes I think like him, Seth.
[Guillame] Like a bad habit.
[Guillame] I always catch myself, and correct myself, but it's unsettling.
[Guillame] So be careful.
[Seth] Yes, I understand. With me the situation is made more complex by the fact that I have his powers, and so it is easy to acquire his habits, whereas for you ... you are not faced by that problem.
[Guillame] If you need someone to talk to about it, I promise anything you tell me in confidence will go no further.
[Seth] Yes, I am certain that that is true. For now, I am well enough, although the chaotic events of late have contributed to some unrest among all of us, I imagine.
[Guillame] Of course.
[Seth] Very well. Thank you, as always. It is good to know that one still has friends despite all that has happened.
[Guillame] I'm honoured that you'd call me a friend - I wouldn't presume to know you well enough. But I'm certainly someone who understands... some of the more unique problems you're dealing with recently.
[Seth] Yes. Well. I should go.
[Guillame] Thank you for coming to see me, Seth. I suppose I'll send a note for you here, if I discover anything.
[Seth] Yes, I check here regularly.
Seth and Belden
[Diablotin_Narrator] Seth, you make your way to the chamber beneath the Down, prepared to enter the Arch once more and seek out the soul (or whatever it may be) of Pasith Belden there.
- Seth will use clairvoyance on it before going in there.
[Diablotin_Narrator] The room is empty when you view it.
- Seth enters in the usual (for him) way.
- Seth has a good look around to see whether anyone has been here since his last visit.
[Diablotin_Narrator] (ok, you can make a search check)
[Diablotin_Narrator] You don't detect any sign that anyone else has been there.
- Seth will slip into the Arch, then.
[Diablotin_Narrator] You slip into the stone of the Arch and find yourself once more in the eerie-but-increasingly-familiar emptiness.
[Diablotin_Narrator] You feel as though your search takes even longer this time, as you pass by hundreds, thousands of drifting shades, some human, others shadar-kai, others with forms unfamiliar to you.
- Pasith is meditating, as you found her last time.
- Seth approaches cautiously.
- Pasith looks up.
[Pasith] Seth Argo :)
- Pasith says, as she takes from her sleeve the carefully folded note you left with her.
[Seth] You remember. I am gladdened.
[Pasith] As am I.
- Pasith stands.
[Pasith] Do you have news for me?
[Seth] I am greatly uncertain what to call you. 'Matriarch' seems odd, yet all my life you have been thus.
[Pasith] Please... Pasith is my name, call me that.
[Seth] Very well, Pasith. I do have news.
[Seth] Rab went to the Church and had a priest commune with Ox regarding your situation.
[Seth] The answers were informative but perplexing.
- Pasith listens carefully.
[Seth] It appears that where we are now is neither Centre nor Void, but a previously-unidentified plane or realm within the Arch itself. Half your soul is here - that is how you are here - and the other half is in the Centre.
[Seth] This situation is why your soul has not travelled on to another incarnation.
- Pasith tries to remain calm, but seems alarmed/puzzled by this.
[Seth] While destroying the Arch, or trapping the Serpent once again within the Arch, would not restore you fully, destroying the Serpent completely would do so.
[Pasith] But.. how could anyone do that?
[Seth] No one knows.
[Seth] It is not established that this is the only way to restore you.
[Pasith] And no one knows what other effects it could have :o
[Pasith] Even if it were possible, my soul is not worth such a risk.
[Seth] If there were other good reasons to destroy the Serpent, I think it would be. But I agree with your analysis, that at present it is best to look for other solutions.
[Seth] One proposed to me by a priestess of my acquaintance is that the gods might not be opposed to Resurrection in this case.
[Pasith] ... I don't know what to think of that. It seems wrong, and yet...
[Pasith] I don't know if it would work, if the gods would allow it.
[Seth] That would not be a course that anyone would undertake lightly, but the knowledge from the Commune has obviously caused people to think differently about this issue.
- Pasith nods.
[Seth] One question whose answer's meaning remains obscure to me was that it was asked whether your current state of ... division ... was against the will of the gods. The answer given was no.
[Pasith] They... they willed this state upon me?
[Seth] But I do not know what 'the gods' will' is supposed to mean, in this case. The gods obviously tolerate or allow many things that they could prevent.
[Pasith] Yes, in the mortal world... This is very far from that.
[Pasith] I don't know what to make of that.
[Seth] Nor does Rab. But he wishes me to tell you that he loves you, and that he is doing everything within his power to be rejoined with you and resolve this situation. He does not accept the interpretation, as some might, that it is the gods will that you be in this state - even if it is not against their will that you are.
- Pasith nods, tears filling her eyes.
[Seth] I am sorry to ask you this, Mat ... Pasith, but I have a further question for you.
[Pasith] What is it?
[Seth] Have you ever heard of an entity known as Kavreshar?
[Pasith] No, I've never heard that name. Who or what is it?
[Seth] It is a great dragon, something called a hellfire wyrm, that appears to have been trapped in an object you know something about. A necklace whose robbery you were called upon to investigate, in your youth when you served as a guard.
[Pasith] The necklace!
[Pasith] I remember that.
[Seth] Did you or your compatriots know, or ever learn, that there was an entity trapped within that necklace?
[Pasith] I don't think so... It didn't radiate magic, I know that, but there are ways of concealing magical auras...
- Seth nods.
[Seth] And you found that one of the people involved was Maze Olivier?
[Pasith] He was just a little boy, caught up in things.
[Seth] Today he is one of the most powerful men in the Empire.
[Pasith] Really? :o
[Seth] Yes. He styles himself 'Lord Grey' and has a massive army of spies at his disposal.
[Diablotin_Narrator] The air around you seems to thicken, movements becoming slower and heavier, as if you are underwater.
- Pasith looks around, alarm on her face.
[Pasith] I think you should leave.
[Diablotin_Narrator] The space in which you exist, vast and formless, seems to be taking on a more distinct shape - as if it has edges that were not previously visible, but are now coming closer at a rapid rate.
[Seth] Why, what is happening? :o
[Pasith] I don't know. This happens occasionally... I'll be fine, but you have to get out, now.
[Seth] I will go, Pasith. Know that Rab loves you, even from afar, even with you in this place. He will be rejoined with you.
[Pasith] Tell him I love him too!
[Seth] I shall.
- Seth slips away.
[Diablotin_Narrator] You emerge safely.
[Seth] (anything weird with the Arch that I can sense?)
[Diablotin_Narrator] The Arch looks the same as always, impassive and engimatic.
- Seth does clairvoyance at the upper Arch.
[Diablotin_Narrator] It also appears normal.
[Diablotin_Narrator] But you do have a sense in this room that you are ... not alone.
[Seth] I am here. You know me, do you not?
[Diablotin_Narrator] The air feels thick and your skin seems to tingle, but you receive no answer.
- Seth notes the time in his sketchbook, along with his impressions of the sensation both within and outside the Arch, then departs.
[Diablotin_Narrator] The feeling dissipates as you leave the room.
[Diablotin_Narrator] Alma, things are quite hectic of late. You have been working extra time at Nine Elms, helping people who were left homeless and hungry by the fire.
[Diablotin_Narrator] On this particular evening, you, Megith, and Obern are in attendance. Megith and Obern have been there all day, and are preparing to leave, while you have only recently arrived. Brother Phineas had been scheduled to take the evening service of blessing, but he has not shown up.
[Alma] Good evening Sister, Brother :)
[Alma] (oh, recently, nm)
[Diablotin_Narrator] (why nm?)
[Megith] Good evening, Sister.
- Megith says quietly.
[Alma] (Made it seem like I'd been here a little while...)
[Alma] How has your day been?
[Megith] Busy, as usual.
[Alma] Where can I start?
- Megith always seems a little shy around you.
[Megith] The Palace has us making as much food as we possibly can...
- Alma nods
- Obern nods
- Megith indicates all the food on a table that is obviously from Create Food and Water spells.
[Obern] There's so many mouths to feed... but we'll do what we can.
- Alma steps over to the table to begin.
[Obern] You haven't seen Brother Phineas come in, have you?
[Alma] No, he is running a little late isn't he?
[Obern] if he is running too late, do you think you can manage the blessing as well?
- Obern says in a tone that suggests he sort of suspects that will be the likely outcome
[Alma] Yes... of course, you two deserve your rest :)
[Megith] I... I could stay, if I must, Brother.
- Megith smiles gratefully at Alma.
[Obern] Sister Alma's right.
- Obern sas to megith
[Obern] it's been a long enough day.
- Alma casts Create Food and Water as we converse.
[Obern] I'm not built for all this running around :)
[Alma] Has Brother Phineas been late often lately?
- Alma inquires, since Obern seems to expect him to be even later...
- Megith shakes her head.
[Megith] He's never missed a service...
[Obern] Not too late.
- Obern nods
[Megith] I'm a little worried.
[Obern] but still.
[Obern] I'm sure he has some important work, but the people need stability in times like these, and if we can't provide it, then who?
[Diablotin_Narrator] People are gathering for the service, the main room gradually filling as you converse.
[Alma] Do you think I should try a Sending if I don't hear from him, Brother Obern?
[Obern] It's a thought...
- Obern eyes the gathering crowds
[Obern] though I might not wait to do it, if I were you.
[Obern] At least, everythng shuld be ready for the service.
- Obern smiles to megith, gratitude for her assistance with that
[Alma] Yes, thank you both :)
[Megith] You're welcome, Coun- I mean, Sister.
[Obern] Do you need anything else before we go?
- Alma will cast Sending to Phineas Strauch. "Is all well? I will cover the service this evening, Brother Obern and Sister Megith have all prepared."
[Diablotin_Narrator] You receive no response to your message.
[Alma] No, I think everything is prepared :)
[Obern] well, then I hope all is well.
[Alma] I'm certain it is. :)
[Alma] Enjoy your evening, and bless you.
[Diablotin_Narrator] It is time for the service to begin.
[Megith] You too, Sister.
- Megith makes a Sign of the Wheel and heads home.
- Obern nods as well and makes the sign of the wheel
- Alma also.
- Obern will make sure Alma has a chance to get settled before taking off as well
- Alma realises she's a little nervous, not having prepared anything in particular.
[Diablotin_Narrator] The service goes fairly smoothly, despite your nerves.
- Alma covers helping your fellow man, frugality, speaks well of the Emperor because of the teleport pads
[Diablotin_Narrator] After the service, a young woman approaches you, with a little bouquet of somewhat wilting flowers.
[Woman] Excuse me, Sister Alma...?
[Alma] Yes, good evening :)
[Woman] Good evening :)
[Alma] Did you enjoy the service?
[Alma] .oO( As impromptu as it was @_@ )
[Woman] I did, you should conduct more of them!\
[Woman] I had hoped to put these on my father's grave, in the crypt, after the service, but the door is locked. Could you let me in?
[Alma] Thank you... I don't get to do many so feel free to give me some feedback :)
[Alma] (I assume that's alright.)
[Diablotin_Narrator] (it's actually a bit unusual... the crypt would usually be unlocked while priests are present, in case anyone wants to go down.)
[Diablotin_Narrator] (unusual that it should be locked, I mean)
[Alma] Certainly... Brother Obern or Sister Megith must have locked up for me, as I'm alone this evening :)
[Woman] Thank you, Sister.
[Alma] Who was your father?
- Alma will talk with her about her father while other patrons file out, until it seems alright to go into the crypt.
[Woman] Oh... Teven Marwill. I'm Anna.
[Alma] Pleased to meet you Anna :)
[Alma] (Do I recognise the House?)
[Diablotin_Narrator] (you think perhaps the family is House Lizard.)
[Alma] House Lizard, is it?
[Woman] Yes, that's right.
- Alma smiles.
- Woman smiles back.
[Alma] (I have keys to the crypt?)
[Diablotin_Narrator] Once the other people have left, you can escort her to the crypt door.
- Alma will unlock the door and step inside with a light.
[Diablotin_Narrator] The usual lights that illuminate the room are out - also unusual.
[Diablotin_Narrator] The staircase down is narrow, but safe enough with a light of your own.
- Alma goes ahead of Anna.
[Diablotin_Narrator] As you descend the stairs, you have an increasing feeling that something is very wrong here.
[Diablotin_Narrator] Your light flickers off the stone tombs, casting eerie shadows on the damp walls.
[Alma] Anna, dear, would you take this light back up for me? I just want to make sure nothing is amiss, perhaps they locked it because there's been some work being done...
[Woman] ... Of course, Sister.
[Alma] (Actually wait a second.)
[Alma] On second thought, I realised I've no light of my own.
- Alma escorts Anna back up and returns with the light on her own.
- Woman waits at the top of the stairs.
- Alma detects undead, spirits and invisibility alternately as she makes her way down
- Alma is presumably not surprised to detect a number of dead bodies.
[Diablotin_Narrator] Yes... many dead bodies. No undead, spirits, or invisible creatures detected within range.
- Alma must be paranoid...
[Diablotin_Narrator] One extra dead body, in fact. Spread out on one of the stone tombs is the body of Brother Phineas, gutted from throat to groin.
[Woman] Is everything all right?
- Woman calls from the top of the stairs
[Alma] ... Ms. Marwill would you please call the guard.
- Alma yells back up the stairs.
[Woman] Oh, of course! :o
- Woman goes to do so, leaving you alone with the dead.
- Alma says a prayer to the Gods for Brother Phineas
- Alma looks him over
- Alma casts Detect Magic in case there are risiduals
[Diablotin_Narrator] His body is stripped of clothing and anything he might have carried, and it's quite cold, as though it's been there for some time.
[Diablotin_Narrator] You don't detect any residual magic.
- Alma checks to see if it looks like he could respond to questions with Speak with Dead
- Alma steps back
[Diablotin_Narrator] The body is not "mostly intact", but the mouth is still.. possibly functional.
- Alma can't try until tomorrow anyway -_-
[Alma] (oh wait yes I can...)
- Alma saves SWD until she can think of proper questions.
- Alma instead tries to get an impression on the room
- Alma casts Owl's Wisdom
[Diablotin_Narrator] (ok, make your roll)
[Diablotin_Narrator] (hahah, ok then)
[Diablotin_Narrator] (will send you a write-up, easier than typing it all now)
[Diablotin_Narrator] (assuming you only maintain it for the murder, not trying to get earlier scenes?)
[Alma] (Actually I would go back a bit, just in case.)
- Woman returns shortly after with some guards, who will take your statements and close off the scene.
[Diablotin_Narrator] The End, for now...
[Alma] (Assuming that since Owl's Wisdom is only 11 minutes long, it doesn't apply on the second and after, 22, 34, 29, 26)
Sanadhil and Earric
- Earric waits for San to get settled into the cozy window-seat with him.
- Sanadhil seats himself warily next to the succubus
- Earric has his legs crossed, and sits facing you, leaning back against the wall.
[Earric] Well. How long before should I start?
[Sanadhil] How far back do you remember?
- Earric shrugs.
[Earric] I'm somewhere over three thousand years old - pretty far.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] Were there Angels involved in the religion here, before the Shadar Kai came?
[Earric] I don't think so. I think the humans here were... very primitive, before the Shadar Kai arrived.
[Sanadhil] were they involved here at all, then? or only in what is now Kholm?
[Earric] In the cities of Am in general.
[Earric] What is now covered by the Silver Desert, I believe.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] Why not here?
[Earric] There was no Arch here. No... channel of contact.
[Sanadhil] But after it was built?
[Earric] It wasn't built.
[Sanadhil] How did it come to be?
[Sanadhil] ....what *is* it?
[Earric] When one ceased to exist, another came into being.
[Earric] I don't have any better words in this language for what it is - a channel, a conduit, a portal?
[Earric] It connects worlds.
[Earric] All worlds have one - the same one, I suppose, in some sense - even the tiniest, like the little dream-bubble you visited.
- Sanadhil considers, trying to decide where to direct his line of questioning from here
[Sanadhil] The one here now - is it functionng as it should?
- Earric shakes his head.
[Sanadhil] Can it be fixed?
[Earric] Ahhh, that I don't know.
- Sanadhil nods
[Earric] If it were fully destroyed, another would come into existence - that one might be healed, I don't know.
- Earric stretches lazily.
[Sanadhil] how fully?
[Earric] That might have... other side-effects, though. It didn't go so well for Am.
[Sanadhil] What happened there?
[Earric] I was very young... I wasn't involved.
[Earric] They tried to ... harness its power, somehow.
[Earric] They were punished.
[Sanadhil] Kavreshar? or something else?
[Earric] I suspect as much. He was in charge of dispensing justice, after all. There were no doubt others involved as well...
[Sanadhil] Do you think he is a danger to the city here?
[Earric] Certainly. But ... I doubt he'll come with fire and sword. Things work more subtly now. Unless he's gone mad, that is. Which is entirely possible.
[Sanadhil] Fire, you say.
- Earric nods.
- Sanadhil gazes out the window, though I don't know which direction it is looking ;p
[Sanadhil] After the arch... appeared here, then what?
[Earric] (uh.. let's say west, if you want to see some hints of devastation ;)
[Sanadhil] Were the Shadar Kai alrady here?
[Sanadhil] (yes ^-^)
[Earric] No.. they came because it was here.
[Sanadhil] but they knew of it before?
[Earric] I think something happened to theirs. I don't really know - the Shadow Plane isn't somewhere I've spent a great deal of time.
[Sanadhil] Did the angels come with the arch?
- Earric unfolds one leg so it slides behind San's back.
[Earric] (or side, I suppose, depending which way San is sitting; )
- Sanadhil sits a litle straighter
- Earric smiles.
[Earric] Touch me, and I'll tell you.
- Sanadhil sighs.
[Earric] Just a touch.
- Sanadhil rolls his eyes in mild annoyance, and touches Earric's leg.... to push it a little further away from him.
- Earric puts his hand over yours momentarily.
- Sanadhil takes it away
- Earric smiles again.
[Earric] Some did.
[Sanadhil] And you?
- Sanadhil nods
[Earric] I wasn't old enough.
- Earric says with a hint of a smile.
[Sanadhil] how old were you?
[Earric] Oh... five hundred, six hundred?
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] So.... Am fell, the arch appeared here, and it brought the Shadar Kai, who enslaved the local population. How long were they here before the migrants from Am arrived?
- Earric considers that.
[Earric] It might have taken a century? Maybe longer... Several generations, at least.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] what did the angels do? here, particularly...
[Earric] They were... messengers.
[Earric] Sometimes their messages fell on deaf ears.
[Sanadhil] How do you mean?
[Earric] Not everyone is equally interested in listening.
- Sanadhil smiles patiently
[Sanadhil] Who wasn't listening? And to what message?
[Earric] I don't know the details - there was a conflict here, with the Shadar-Kai.
[Earric] And with the demons.
[Sanadhil] the shadar kai and the demons together, against the angels?
- Earric nods.
[Sanadhil] What little i know of the Shadar kai suggests that their worship, and use of the arch was..... very different in tenor than in Am, but that is a little surprising, still
[Sanadhil] What did the conflict mean to the Serpent? or the Center?
[Earric] I don't know that it was greatly perturbed. I certainly wasn't aware of what was going on, until everything fell apart.
[Sanadhil] how did things fall apart?
[Earric] There was a challenge from below.
[Earric] Or within, however you want to look at it.
[Sanadhil] I'm afraid I don't follow.
[Earric] Certain subordinate... entities... rebelled.
- Sanadhil admits, warily, wondering what Earric might for ask next :p
[Sanadhil] The Gods?
- Earric nods.
[Sanadhil] Rat, then.
[Sanadhil] or, before that?
[Earric] A necessary sacrifice, I'm sure they felt.
[Sanadhil] why did they do it? Do you know?
[Earric] Why does anyone do anything. Power.
[Sanadhil] power to what end?
- Earric gestures to the world around you.
[Earric] All of this.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] And.... what did they do with the angels?
[Sanadhil] Phedre said some were killed?
- Earric shuts his eyes momentarily.
[Earric] I'll tell you... for a kiss.
[Earric] (you can roll ;)
[Sanadhil] !roll 1d20+17
- BalthCat rolls for Sanadhil:
[ 1d20+17 ] getting [ 11 ] which, after the modifier [ 17 ] totals [ 28 ].
- Earric seems ... pained by a distant memory, perhaps.
- Sanadhil doesn't answer, or move.
- Earric opens his eyes, but doesn't say a word.
[Sanadhil] Did you choose this?
- Earric licks his lips.
- Sanadhil refuses to appear phased.
[Earric] Did you choose what you are today?
[Sanadhil] I chose my path, but no one has that much control.
[Earric] You have your answer, then.
- Sanadhil completes after considering the question.
[Sanadhil] You think the parallels are that strong?
[Earric] We can all choose our path. We can't all choose where it leads us... what it makes us.
[Sanadhil] then what was the path you chose?
[Sanadhil] And your options were limited to.... life a s demon, or destruction?
[Earric] If there was a third path, I could not see it.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] and it was the gods?
[Earric] ...I still didn't get that payment I mentioned.
[Earric] No... you've provided that, quite nicely.
- Sanadhil shakes his head
[Earric] No? Shame.
- Earric turns to look out the window.
- Sanadhil stands, and smooths his robe.
[Sanadhil] (or whetever he is wearing ;p)
[Sanadhil] I'm not a game.
[Earric] And I'm not a book you can read whatever you want out of.
[Sanadhil] Then I suppose we are of limited use to each other?
- Earric says dryly.
[Earric] I could ask much higher prices.
- Sanadhil tries not to feel too frustrated
[Sanadhil] true enough.
- Sanadhil sits back down, at least
[Sanadhil] . o O (How much of a whore are you?)
- Earric sits patiently.
[Sanadhil] But I already know what POhedre told me, on that matter.
[Earric] Fine, then.
- Earric says idly.
- Sanadhil sm's him again?
- Earric is taking a "sure, clearly you know all about it then" sort of attitude.
- Sanadhil eyes his, idley stroking his chin with one finger.
- Earric looks out the window.
- Earric put his arms behind his head and leans back.
[Sanadhil] So...... the refugess came, the tribal totems sacrificed rat, perhaps, to trap the Serpent, drove out the angels, and became gods?
[Sanadhil] Is Kavresahr dangerous to you?
[Earric] To me, personally?
[Earric] No moreso than to anyone else.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] So, he doesn't have any interest?
[Earric] Oh, I don't know about that.
[Earric] He'd probably want us.. me... on his side.
[Sanadhil] what are the demons, then, in relation to the center?
[Earric] They have no relation to the Centre. That's sort of the definition, in a way.
[Sanadhil] And kavreshar? Was he... or it?... always as it is now?
[Earric] He made his own choices.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] do you have any idea what he wants, now?
[Earric] Not in the slightest.
[Earric] I would imagine, in his position, I would want revenge, but it's hard to say.
- Earric doesn't seem to be lying about that.
[Sanadhil] (yeah, figures ;)
[Sanadhil] that seems.... almost reasonable.
- Earric smiles slightly.
[Sanadhil] for his imprisonment, or against the gods?
- Sanadhil waves his hand, its kind of conjecture
[Sanadhil] those responsible for the former are all long dead, but as I said.... *almost* reasonable
[Earric] Revenge is just another form of justice, after all.
- Sanadhil nods
- Sanadhil looks at him again, assesing what value the answers to the more personal questions might hold
- Earric looks back at you evenly.
[Sanadhil] . o O (you can't really pretend you haven't fucked him.)
[Sanadhil] . o O (Or that you dind't know exactly what you were doing)
[Sanadhil] if your offer still stands.
[Sanadhil] I want to know what happened to the angels.
[Earric] Ohhh, yes. It's standing right now.
- Sanadhil closes his eyes, hoping he isn't flush with nerves or embarasment
- Earric waits for you to come to him.
- Sanadhil already feels a little used, but leans over, carefully, opening his eyes again
[Earric] ...Give it to me.
- Sanadhil steels himself (ha), and will give Earric a quick, chaste, kiss :p
- Earric grips you either side of the head when you get there and doesn't let you back quite as quickly (or chastely) as you might have hoped.
- Sanadhil is unsurprised, but will try to slip away with some dignity
[Earric] When the Centre started to tremble, I hid.
- Sanadhil nods, blanking his features and wiping his lips, trying to ignore the pit in his stomach.
[Earric] I saw the walls part, the void gape open before me.
[Earric] I was afraid of dying. Before then, I'd never though about my own death before.
[Earric] There was fighting, but I had no part in it. I was young, as I said.
[Earric] Others of my kind were fleeing, those who weren't dying already. The only place to go was... out.
[Earric] I didn't know what would happen to me if I left, but it seemed better than dying.
[Earric] The barriers between worlds shattered, and I slipped away.
[Earric] There were a few of us, together... we were lost, alone
[Earric] The walls shut us out now, instead of keeping us safe within.
[Earric] I don't know how long it was before the demons found us.
[Earric] Captured, bound, brought before their lord... we were given the choice to join them.
[Earric] It was ... agony.
- Sanadhil nods.
[Earric] But it was life... I thought maybe, if I stayed alive, one day I could go back...
- Earric shakes his head.
[Earric] I was stupid, like every young creature.
[Earric] Once I was changed, I stopped wanting to go back.
- Earric sighs.
[Earric] Does that answer your question?
[Sanadhil] did you really?
[Earric] Really what?
[Sanadhil] Stop wanting?
[Earric] Never. But the want changed to... other things.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] Did the others make the same choice?
[Earric] Not all.
[Sanadhil] what happened to those that resisted?
[Earric] They held them until we were... changed, then had us dispose of them. I suppose it amused them.
- Sanadhil will soften his tone from distant/wary.
[Sanadhil] Of course....
[Sanadhil] How did Phedre find you?
[Earric] Our paths crossed on her travels.
[Sanadhil] so, coincidence, then?
- Earric opens his eyes.
- Sanadhil blinks
[Earric] I don't believe in coincidences.
[Sanadhil] What do you believe?
[Earric] Destiny. Fate. What's written in the stars.
[Sanadhil] (sm -_-)
[Sanadhil] And what do you know of that?
- Sanadhil asks, back on guard a little more
[Earric] Oh, very little.
- Sanadhil nods
- Sanadhil glances over at the study door
- Earric reaches a hand over to touch your arm.
- Sanadhil shies away instinctively
[Earric] I just... wanted to. Don't want you to go, that's all.
[Sanadhil] I can't stay forever. I'm surprised Ilphere hasn't come down yet.
[Earric] I never told anyone the last part... not even Phedre.
- Sanadhil regards him again, but can never trust his assessment, really.
[Sanadhil] . o O (Then why did you tell me?)
[Earric] You go, if you have to. I know you'll come back. Maybe next time, we should give Phedre a little show, hmm?
- Sanadhil sighs
[Sanadhil] I'm sure she would be deligted.
- Sanadhil stands again.
- Sanadhil puts a little emp
[hasis on the 'she'
[Earric] She wouldn't be the only one.
[Sanadhil] Thank you.
[Earric] Thank you.
[Sanadhil] (what's his tone?)
- Earric sounds grateful, ish? maybe a bit pouty, too.
- Sanadhil nods, and makes his way out of the study then, to inquire with a servant about her Highness
[Earric] (You can locate Ilphere, and depart.)
Ysabeau and Symon
[Ysabeau] (You have probably heard about the amazing musical stuff the expedition found... but Ysabeau has been HOGGING it all to herself, the selfish girl!)
[Symon] Meeting at the society or elsewhere?
[Ysabeau] (Society would be easy)
- Ysabeau is putting the finishing touches on some schematic diagrams of the ancient, fragile instrument.
- Symon knocks politely from the doorway to the workroom.
- Ysabeau almost jumps from her seat, she was so absorbed in what she was doing.
[Symon] I heard you were in today :)
- Ysabeau smiles hugely to see you.
- Symon smiles back broadly :)
[Symon] I haven't seen you around here in ages!
[Symon] I've been dying to see your find!
[Ysabeau] I know, I've been terribly neglectful of you.
- Symon will give you a warm hug
[Ysabeau] Well, it's all locked up because I'm afraid it will crumble into dust if anyone touches it.
[Ysabeau] But I have the key, here.
- Ysabeau pulls a silver chain from the neckline of her dress, from which is suspended a key.
- Symon looks excited :)
- Ysabeau smiles and gathers up her sheaf of papers.
[Symon] I heard you'll be having replicas made once the design is understood...
[Ysabeau] I need to double check my measurements, anyway.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Symon] I might commission one for myself as well... so fascinating... how old do you think it is?
[Ysabeau] That's what I'm working on... hey, you probably know a good luthier to take these to, since you get all sorts of ancient string instruments made up for you.
[Ysabeau] Oh, it predates the establishment of the empire, certainly.
[Symon] I want to kick myself once again for not going.
[Symon] Though I did hear you found some big lizard thing?
[Ysabeau] Yes, a frost salamander.
[Symon] I expect that has some sort of ice magic?
[Ysabeau] I'm *so* glad M. Walther sponsored M. Eichorn - he told me exactly how to take care of such creatures.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] The whole temple -that was the salamander's lair - was frozen. Good thing too...
[Ysabeau] I'm afraid that when we melted the ice the temple was damaged. :/
[Ysabeau] But we wouldn't have been able to see the murals and things there if it weren't for the ice preserving them for centuries, I think.
- Ysabeau shrugs.
[Symon] That could be... I wonder how long a frost salamander lives...
[Ysabeau] Generations may have lived there, hard to say.
[Ysabeau] But you know, we didn't find the instrument in the temple. It was in some funeral caves nearby.
[Ysabeau] Come see it!
- Symon follows
[Symon] I hear you used the same teleportation circles that the Emperor is using to bring in the extra food...
[Symon] I shouldn't say "extra"
- Ysabeau leads you to one of the Society's collections rooms.
[Ysabeau] We did use the one to Kholm, yes.
[Ysabeau] It was very convenient.
[Symon] Father is afraid the Emperor will start using them regularly for trade...
[Ysabeau] I doubt it... it's really quite expensive. I think he was just making use of them during the emergency state we're currently in.
[Symon] (sec I think I heard the doorbell)
[Ysabeau] I think he'd know better than to damage the economy by destroying merchants' livelihoods, Symon.
[Symon] It wouldn't be the merchants so much as my father's investments in rail :)
- Ysabeau unlocks a cabinet and pulls out a deep drawer which contains the instrument.
[Ysabeau] That, too. The circles aren't really big, you know.
[Symon] It *does* look really frail.
- Symon keeps his hands to himself.
[Ysabeau] A few people can go through at a time. I'm not certain that it would be economically feasible to have large-scale transport of goods and people through them.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] I'm really terrified to take off the strings...
[Ysabeau] But they're magic themselves, did you know?
[Ysabeau] You can store spells in them and cast them at a later date.
[Symon] I did hear... Strings of Spell Storing... I hear you get to keep them...
[Symon] Another reason to go treasure hunting with the rest of you :)
- Symon casts Detect Magic just out of curiosity.
[Symon] Two millennia old, at least, and the magic is still going strong.
[Ysabeau] I know, it's pretty incredible, isn't it?
[Ysabeau] I'm afraid that taking the strings off will spell the end for the wood...
[Ysabeau] It belonged to a Wolf... she wasn't a priestess, exactly... shaman, maybe?
[Ysabeau] Her name was Aushinre.
[Symon] There might be a way to protect it magically...
[Symon] At least in order to replace the strings.
[Ysabeau] She sang a song when we first troubled her spirit. It turned out to be a lost Bardic spell, which I have managed to figure out.
[Ysabeau] I'm not sure if I'll ever use it, though... oh, hmmm!
[Symon] A lost bardic spell? :o
[Ysabeau] I wonder if I could cast it *into* the strings and then use it when I need it...!
[Ysabeau] Oh yes, it makes people go blind.
[Ysabeau] But I'm not sure that you could manage it, Symon.
- Ysabeau grins misvhievously.
[Ysabeau] It takes a lot of preparation.
- Symon 's envy has crossed over a line, and now he looks a bit like a sad puppy,
- Ysabeau gives him a one-armed hug.
[Symon] I really must let Mr. Walther know I'd love to go with him if he goes again. I looked at the map of the place and you can't have seen it all!
[Ysabeau] You'll just have to make sure you go on the next expedition, Symon.
- Ysabeau laughs.
[Ysabeau] Great minds think alike.
[Ysabeau] We didn't get around to exploring the other funeral caves.
[Ysabeau] I had hoped we might, though I expect it's too much to think there might be restless ghosts of shaman from other tribes in them.
[Ysabeau] We really lucked out with Aushinre, may she find peace at the Center.
[Ysabeau] However, if music was practiced as part of the religion, then there may be other instruments.
- Symon compares the instrument to others he's seen.
[Ysabeau] Are there any more recent analogues to it, oh master of ancient string instruments?
- Symon provides an answer :B
- Ysabeau half teases, half seriously asks.
- Ysabeau pulls a mesuring device out of her satchel.
[Ysabeau] I just need to double check these measurements...
[Ysabeau] I thought I should get a decent artist to draw the instrument in detail... but I've got all the technical aspects noted here.
[Ysabeau] What else would a luthier need to know about it to reproduce it, do you think...?
[Symon] We might need to find out what kind of wood was used...
[Symon] I'm not sure exactly how you'd do that.
- Ysabeau takes a series of measurements, double checking them against her very basic diagram... she isn't a visual artist, so much. ;)
[Ysabeau] I've already thought of that. :) It's [blah].
[Ysabeau] Or at least, I'm pretty sure it is.
- Symon names off a few things the luthier has asked him in the past.
[Symon] Though a drawing might be a good idea...
[Symon] I suppose you- we'll find out.
[Ysabeau] Well... maybe I'll see if Mlle. d'Avin can draw it for me.
[Symon] An illustration would be great in any full report.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] I'm hoping I can use this to write my final paper for school.
[Symon] I was just thinking that you could probably get some sort of publication out of this :)
- Ysabeau smiles.
[Ysabeau] Well... have you filled your eyes or should I not put it away just yet?
[Symon] Sure :)
[Symon] I may paw through your sketches though.
- Ysabeau carefully closes the drawer and locks the cabinet once more.
[Symon] How goes things with your beau?
[Ysabeau] Oh, pretty good.
- Ysabeau blushes prettily.
- Symon smiles
[Symon] That's good to hear.
[Ysabeau] He told me he loves me!
- Ysabeau executes an exuberant and very graceful twirl.
[Symon] You say that like it's taken him a while :)
[Ysabeau] I'm just happy.
- Ysabeau blushes again.
[Symon] Good. You deserve it :)
- Ysabeau smiles fondly at you.
[Ysabeau] Thank you, Symon.
[Symon] I thought maybe you were saying he was one of those stoic types who never say what they're feeling..
[Ysabeau] He is like that.
[Symon] Ah, I guess that explains the delay.
[Ysabeau] He sort of accidentally told me that he loves me.
[Ysabeau] Well, it hasn't *really* been that long...
[Ysabeau] We've only been seeing one another for 5 months.
[Symon] Is that all?
[Symon] I suppose, now that you mention it.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] How about you? Any likely lasses or lads in your sights?
- Ysabeau smiles.
[Symon] I've been keeping my eye out for a lady, but I'm keeping my options open :)
[Symon] It's not very dashing to still be living at home, but laundry is so much easier :)
[Ysabeau] i was *wondering* if M. Silveira was more than just a friend... ;D
[Ysabeau] (he's the dude you sponsored into the Society at the year end meeting)
[Symon] No, no...
- Symon looks embarassed.
[Symon] N-nothing like that
[Ysabeau] (His Grace Loick Silveira, Duke of Brissarthe, sponsored by Symon Tourigny. His Grace is a student of his own family's illustrious history.)
[Ysabeau] Ah well...
[Ysabeau] Probably just as well to keep your options open.
[Symon] To be honest, I'm not really looking very hard... some women can be quite... eager when they find out who you are.
[Ysabeau] Yeah... :/
[Ysabeau] Just after your family's money?
[Symon] Well, maybe not in some sort of insidious way, but yeah...
[Symon] If that was what I wanted from a woman, I could just hire a prostitute.
[Ysabeau] You'll find someone lovely, some day, who doesn't think along those lines, Symon.
- Symon looks awkward.
- Ysabeau raises an eyebrow.
[Ysabeau] It's not quite the same thing, Symon.
[Symon] I didn't mean anything by that...
[Ysabeau] It's all right.
[Ysabeau] There probably are some prostitutes who are like that, but most are just trying to get by.
[Symon] I didn't even mean something like that... just that I want more than some sort of transaction.
- Ysabeau tucks a lock of hair behind her ear a bit awkwardly.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Symon] I want meaning.
- Ysabeau reaches up to pat your arm.
[Ysabeau] You'll find it, some day, Symon.
[Symon] I'm sure I will, some day :)
- Ysabeau sighs.
[Ysabeau] I hope this famine ends soon.
[Ysabeau] I miss playing with the consort at gigs.
[Symon] They'll have to push the farms info action as soon as they can this spring...
- Ysabeau nods.
[Symon] Not that I imagined farmers tended to dilly-dally.
- Ysabeau smiles.
[Ysabeau] I feel a little guilty about something, too...
[Ysabeau] More than a little guilty.
[Symon] What could you feel guilty about with everything going so well?
[Ysabeau] Well, His Majesty commissioned me to write a piece for him.
[Ysabeau] So I've been working on it...
[Ysabeau] I would have liked to come up with something that the Consort could play. But my muse is taking me in a different direction.
[Symon] Ohhhh... it's nice of you to think of us.
[Ysabeau] It's going to be a symphony...
[Symon] That's ambitious.
[Ysabeau] I know, I know... the gods know I know.
[Ysabeau] I'm probably insane for attempting it.
[Ysabeau] Anyway... I don't know if I'll have any influence whatsoever but I would - I would, if I could, try to get you, Stefan and Jehan as guest musicians for the premiere, if you would want that.
[Symon] I imagine we would :)
[Symon] Any chance to show off :)
[Ysabeau] I can't promise you anything but I'll try.
[Ysabeau] The other thing is, just this week, an Imperial footman was at my door requesting me to play privately for His Majesty... well he was pretty impatient.
[Ysabeau] I was scared to death but I went. It turned out fine...
[Ysabeau] But I wish you were part of it. :(
[Symon] I'll bet he's used to people scurrying for the Emperor :P
- Symon gives you a light friendly hug
[Symon] Don't worry about it!
[Ysabeau] Are you sure?
[Symon] I'm sure we'll have lots of opportunity to capitalise on your new fan's status:)
- Ysabeau obviously feels very bad about their exclusion from the good fortunes she's been experiencing.
[Ysabeau] I hope so.
- Ysabeau hugs you back.
[Symon] I admit I haven't been trying very hard to promote us lately...
[Ysabeau] Well, how could you, really? I keep haring off and singing in operas or going on expeditions.
[Symon] Well, I was just suggesting that I'm not helping myself.
[Symon] Maybe Stefan and Jehan are off doing their own projects too...
[Ysabeau] I haven't seen them in a long time, either.
[Symon] I should check in with them and see. If nothing else I can mention your offer :)
[Ysabeau] We should try to get together at least once a week to practice, if everyone wants to.
[Ysabeau] I mean, no one's throwing parties right now anyway but I'd rather not be rusty when things pick up again.
[Symon] You know... for ten years down the road when you've finished your symphony :)
- Ysabeau smiles.
[Symon] We could perform for a bread line :)
[Ysabeau] Well, i hope it won't take quite that long...
- Ysabeau smiles.
[Ysabeau] You know, that's not such a bad idea, Symon.
[Ysabeau] It could cheer people up, and if anyone throws some coin into our lute-case, we could donate it to the Church to augment their charity work.
[Ysabeau] Would Stefan and Jehan be mortified to find themselves common street buskers?
[Ysabeau] Would you? ;)
[Symon] I would be glad to.
[Ysabeau] Well we could practice and try to spread some cheer at the same time, if we're all up for it, maybe.
- Ysabeau looks amused by the thought.
[Symon] The Church is handing out a lot of food as well, perhaps we could arrange a spot that's less... busky :P
- Ysabeau smiles.
[Ysabeau] It won't be the first time I've tried to busk, you know. ;)
[Ysabeau] Hopefully this time, since I don't actually need the money, I'll stick to it.
[Symon] Well, it might be risky for our isntruments to be in with throngs of hungry people when the food comes in :P
[Symon] (Shall we wrap up?)
[Ysabeau] (we can if you'd like)
- Ysabeau smiles.
[Ysabeau] Well, where is a 'less busky' place that we could play for people waiting in bread lines, then?
[Symon] (I think I may go xbox with some folks)
[Symon] I was thinking *beside* the booth, or what have you :P
[Ysabeau] Okay. Let's make plans to meet for supper this weekend, the four of us?
[Ysabeau] You could come to my house if you dare try my cooking. ;)
[Symon] Sounds like a plan :)
[Ysabeau] I'll look forward to it. Seventh-day at 6 bells in the evening.... would that work for you?
[Symon] Sure :)
[Ysabeau] Ok, see you then... hopefully one of us will see Stefan or Jehan and can pass on the message to them.
[Symon] Have a good afternoon :)
[Ysabeau] You too, Symon.
- Ysabeau gives you a friendly good-bye hug.
- Symon returns the hug and heads out
Alma and Ysabeau
- Alma happens to spot you as you come out from the lab where you're working on Aushinre's old instrument.
[Alma] Ah, hello Ysabeau :)
[Alma] Do you have a moment?
[Ysabeau] Oh yes, Sister. :)
- Ysabeau turns away from whatever she was working on, rubbing her eyes.
[Ysabeau] How have you been?
[Alma] Well enough, and you?
- Alma steps into the lab and closes the door for privacy.
[Ysabeau] Good, thank you. Busy, though!
[Ysabeau] No sooner do I wrap up one major project, then embark on another.
[Alma] Yes, it seems we're in no way lacking in adventure these days :
- Ysabeau shrugs.
[Alma] How goes your work with Aushinre's instrument?
[Ysabeau] Well, thank you.
[Ysabeau] Symon - M. Tourigny - was just here the other day and he gave me a few pointers about what kind of information a luthier would need to reproduce a similar instrument so that I can actually try playing it!
[Ysabeau] I think it will be lovely to know how it might have sounded.
[Alma] Yes, I think it would :)
[Ysabeau] But what can I do for you, Sister?
- Ysabeau smiles pleasantly.
[Alma] I've been meaning for months to talk to you about this, I've just been so preoccupied. We've been wondering about this other Martan Olivier fellow, and I thought it might be a good idea to try scrying to see what we could determine.
[Alma] I thought that since the portrait was once his, it would provide a good focus for the spell.
[Ysabeau] Well, I don't think we know that the portrait was Martan Olivier's...
[Ysabeau] We know it was Martan Kizer's.
[Alma] No, precisely.
[Alma] However, if I Scry Martan Kizer, and we see Martan Olivier, we know they are one and the same.
[Ysabeau] Oh, I understand.
[Ysabeau] Well certainly I will bring it in if you think it will help the investigations any.
[Ysabeau] I don't have it with me, I'm afraid... If you have time to drop by my house, though?
[Alma] Yes, that would be fine.
[Alma] I'm not sure if I can think of a way to prove that they are NOT the same individual, but at least there's a possibility of one result giving us an answer.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] Well, whatever you prefer, then. I can bring the portrait tomorrow if that's soon enough, or you could come to my house now if you need it quickly.
[Alma] It's not a terrific rush, it's been weeks after all.
[Alma] It's madness that all that has happened has made such a thing as a potential resurrection such a low priority...
[Alma] .oO( And that I might even be planning to perform one? )
[Ysabeau] Well, it's a mad, mad world, Sister.
- Ysabeau smiles wryly.
[Alma] I would give everything I have for a sane, sane world.
[Ysabeau] Oh, i don't know about that. Perhaps a little madness is necessary.
[Ysabeau] The world might be tedious and dull if everything were sane and orderly.
[Alma] I've never put much stock in that idea... that and "There can't be light without darkness."
[Alma] At least... there's a limit.
[Ysabeau] Well I suppose that is what separates poets and musicians from priests, then.
[Ysabeau] I can't imagine light without darkness. The one defines the other, and vice-versa.
[Ysabeau] But please, forgive me. We're both busy and I didn't mean to drag you into a discussion of philosophy.
[Ysabeau] Was there something else you wished to speak about, Sister?
[Alma] I seem to think there was, but I can't recall... I suppose you're here with Aushinre's instrument fairly frequently, so I know where to find you if I remember it :)
[Ysabeau] I am. :)
[Alma] You don't happen to know any Bardic spells which create food, do you?
[Ysabeau] No... I don't believe there are any.
[Ysabeau] Oh, wait.
[Ysabeau] There is one, but it's far beyond my abilities.
[Ysabeau] Some of my instructors might know it.
[Alma] Ah, yes, I think I know the one you mean.
[Ysabeau] It would feed a limited number of people.
[Alma] Fishing for food, I've been casting more spells for food than anything else -_-
[Alma] It's still not enough, really... but we're doing much better since the Emperor opened up the teleport circles.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] He told me he had negociated with the Cozovode, too.
[Ysabeau] I believe it will be tight, but we'll make it.... just.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Alma] He spoke of current affairs with you? :o
[Ysabeau] And we must pray that the growing season begins early or may the Gods have mercy on us all.
[Ysabeau] Well, I was playing for him and then he asked me something, so we conversed very briefly.
[Alma] Playing for the Emperor, you must be very proud :D
- Ysabeau blushes and nods.
[Ysabeau] It's an honour, indeed.
[Ysabeau] I only wish...
[Alma] Something weighing on you about having the Emperor's ear? :o
[Ysabeau] Well, I wish my friends had been invited to play for him as well.
[Ysabeau] I don't really like being singled out.
[Alma] Ah, your loyalties to the Quartet.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Alma] Well, I'm sure you can expose His Highness to the quartet's work in good time :)
[Alma] If his tastes are not fickle, then you will have the trust of his ear, and if they are, perhaps it could be a suggestion to extend your opportunity :)
- Ysabeau smiles half-heartedly.
[Ysabeau] I'm not sure I am cut out to be a courtier.
[Ysabeau] I don't know that I am wily enough to carry out a plan such as you suggest, Sister.
[Alma] It's not /that/ wily :)
[Alma] If he ever appears to be... looking for new music, you could suggest that he might be in the mood for a group performance.
[Alma] My ear isn't as polished as yours, but if the rest of the Quartet is as skilled as you are, then there's no reason to assume he wouldn't appreciate your performances as a group.
- Ysabeau smiles.
[Ysabeau] I shall take your advice to heart, Sister.
[Ysabeau] Thank you.
[Alma] I just think it's a shame to be worrying about guilt when you've got such an excellent opportunity.
[Ysabeau] Well, he only called for me once; he might not again, anyway. :)
[Ysabeau] I'm sure he has plenty more interesting people to talk to and many musicians to listen to.
[Alma] Oh, my goodness!
[Alma] I don't know how I forgot to mention, did you read the announcement?
[Alma] Ser Danyel and I are engaged!
- Ysabeau 's pretty lips round into an 'o' and she covers her mouth with her hand to hide a smile.
[Ysabeau] Oh, that's wonderful, Sister!
[Alma] Thank you :)
[Ysabeau] I'm so happy for you.
[Ysabeau] The two of you make a fine pair.
[Alma] Thanks :)
- Ysabeau stands up and gives you a hug.
- Alma hugs back happily
- Ysabeau holds onto your upper arms and looks at you gently with a warm expression.
[Ysabeau] That is really lovely news, Sister.
- Ysabeau lets you go.
[Alma] I'm not sure when we'll be having the whole to-do. Probably after the first harvest comes in, at least...
[Ysabeau] Have you set a date yet?
[Ysabeau] That's a good idea.
[Ysabeau] Oh you'll have such pretty children someday! ^-^
[Alma] I'm not even sure *where* it would be.
[Alma] Probably... someday :)
[Alma] Anyway, I was reminded because I was thinking how nice it would be if we have the ceremony in the city if you and the quartet would help entertain :)
[Alma] That is, if the Emperor doesn't have you monopolized.
[Ysabeau] Oh, I'm sure the lads would love to, Sister. I'll broach the matter with them this weekend when they come for supper.
[Alma] .oO( Oh, I hope she doesn't think I wouldn't invite her otherwise... and that I'm trying not to pay or anything... ... it doesn't matter there's months to straighten that out. )
- Alma smiles
[Ysabeau] Thank you for thinking of us, Sister.
[Alma] Nonsense, isn't it a step down from the parties you usually entertain? :)
[Ysabeau] Not at all, Sister.
[Alma] Well, I should let you return to your work...
[Ysabeau] And I to yours.
[Ysabeau] Please come by in the morning, if you will.
[Alma] Have a good day :)
[Ysabeau] I may be at home working on a musical piece during the afternoon.
[Ysabeau] You too, Sister.
- Ysabeau smiles.
[Alma] I'll try. :)
Alma and dead Strauch
[Alma] Alma would patch up his throat with Heal
[Alma] If it looks like speech would be damaged.
[Alma] Shall I roll that?
[DiablotinNarrator] I don't know if you can Heal dead people :o
[DiablotinNarrator] maybe Mending :p
[Alma] No, not ... really, but I assume it's "medicine" for our time, so she would be able to sew the throat
[Alma] I thought of Mending actually :P
[Alma] I could do a raw mortician roll? :P
[DiablotinNarrator] sure, that seems plausible
- Alma rolls
[ 1d20+6 ] getting
[ 5 ] which, after the modifier
[ 6 ] totals
[ 11 ]
- Alma waits for a real mortician? :P
[DiablotinNarrator] well, you can stitch him up - you have no idea if the internals of the throat/tongue will be improved, though.
[Alma] .oO( At least if it doesn't help, it won't heal wrong... )
- Alma casts Speak With Dead.
- Alma asks first, "Who attacked you in the sepulchre just before you died?"
- DiablotinNarrator is now known as Corpse
[Corpse] ...ghlgl... day... n... door...
[Alma] .oO( Blast! )
- Corpse draws out the word in a rattling whisper.
- Alma tries casting Make Whole just in case -_-
[Corpse] (you can't cast another spell in the middle of SWD)
[Alma] (Oh, crap. I assumed since it didn't say concentration :( )
[Alma] Who killed Theodis Maez?
[Corpse] (I just don't think it makes sense... )
[Corpse] ...thh..is.. one...
[Alma] (I assume he means Phineas.)
- Alma sighs
[Corpse] (you are certainly free to assume that)
[Alma] (I'd take a spell knowledge roll for SWD, or Divine Insight to help make it more certain.)
[Alma] Why was Theodis Maez killed?
[Alma] (His ring predates her murder?)
[Corpse] (yes, he had it since you met him)
[Alma] The murderers carved a circle or an oval onto Brother Phineas's back, what could that mean?
[Corpse] ...sign.... mkkk lkkk... cult...
[Alma] .oO( This is so ... not really helping. )
[Alma] Were you involved in the theft of the necklace from the Antiquarian Society?
- Alma makes the sign of the wheel.
- Corpse falls silent once more.
- Alma makes sure to lay to rest and gentle repose Brother Phineas' corpse, in the hope that she might be able to speak to it again in a week.
[Alma] .oO( Dare I ask? )
[Corpse] (did you want to report this to the guards, and/or ask them?)
[DiablotinNarrator] Since they knew you were casting it, they will probably be curious about the results.
[Alma] (That is a goooood question.)
- Alma will report her findings to an investigator, someone with rank enough that she has a reasonable expectation of discretion from them. She will ask to repeat the spell in a week's time if Strauch's widow can at all be placated.
[Alma] (sec while I decide if I tell all five answers)
[Alma] (Yeah, I do.)
- Alma discreetly wiggles her status-bum to get her way ^_^
[DiablotinNarrator] The lieutenant you talk to tells you that it's up to the family - they will no doubt want to bury the body, but if the guard tell them the investigation is ongoing, they could keep the body for another week...
[Alma] That would be best.
[DiablotinNarrator] They will do that, then, if you think you can get more info.
- Alma also has a real surgeon come look at his throat :|
[DiablotinNarrator] They are also quite interested in the answers you already got, even if they are rather... partial.
- Alma tries Make Whole
[DiablotinNarrator] (ok - you'll know if it worked in a week, I guess :)
[DiablotinNarrator] ok, what's next?
[Alma] I assume we found nothing via locate object, etc?
[Alma] I don't know any urchins to set up to watch for the ring
- Alma calls Maze... er wait wrong time
[DiablotinNarrator] hee - but you totally do
[DiablotinNarrator] you had tosher orphans in your house :p
[Alma] That would be a completely inappropriate task for them -_-
[DiablotinNarrator] you could track them down again ;)
[Alma] Alma probably keeps tabs during the food shortage :P
[DiablotinNarrator] it was their job!
[DiablotinNarrator] well, sort ot
[Alma] I should not be encouraging that sort of thing!
[DiablotinNarrator] they might appreciate the money ;)
[Alma] Man, Alma would totally try to get ahold of Altheo right now
[Alma] I suppose Alma could ask them to pass the mission on to someone else
[Alma] Ok, Alma will do that. :D
[DiablotinNarrator] find your urchins and ask them to... watch for the ring if it turns up?
[Alma] I give the lady who takes care of them now some imperials to find some people to keep an eye out for her (but keep herself and the kids out of it!)
[Alma] And that there'll be a reward of (reasonable amount) for a proper report
[DiablotinNarrator] sure, ok
[Alma] no child labour ^_^
[DiablotinNarrator] all right - what's next?
Alma and Ysabeau
- Alma has sent a message to Ysabeau letting her know that she'll be attempting to scry at Sometime, on Thatday.
- Alma invites her to her home in the Grand.
- Ysabeau shows up punctually.
[Alma] Now, I should have a benefit scrying with the portrait, as it is both a likeness and a possession of the late, or once-late, Martan Kizer.
[Alma] Unfortunately, short of grave robbery, I am not likely to find a body part to help focus the spell even more.
- Alma glances inside the portrait one more time :(
[Alma] I've some reading available for you, as it takes about an hour for the spell.
- Alma points to a pile of books and pamphlets
- Ysabeau eyes the books and pamphlets. What are they about? o_O
[Alma] (Just all sorts of things, history, gardening, the Gods.)
[Alma] (Not like, the last 12 copies of Awake and The Watchtower)
- Ysabeau pulls out a sheaf of papers from her satchel and settles down with a pencil.
[Ysabeau] Thanks, I'll look at them after I jot down this snatch of music that just popped into my head.
[Alma] Enjoy :)
- Ysabeau makes efficient use of her time by working on the Emperor's symphony some more.
- Alma sets the portrait on a shelf above the holy water font and begins to Scry Martan Kizer, the man in the portrait, who once gave it to a lover.
- Ysabeau glances up often to watch the spell-casting process with interest.
- Ysabeau is quiet and unobtrusive so as not to interrupt Alma's concentration.
[DiablotinNarrator] You scry as best as you can, but to no avail.
- Alma lets out an exasperated sigh
[Alma] Which is the worst result because it doesn't mean anything at all.
[Ysabeau] That's too bad...
[Ysabeau] Can you try again some other time?
[Alma] I can... though I'm not sure it would be of any use at all.
[Ysabeau] If I sang or played for you, it might help a little.
[Alma] I'm not sure that would help, unless you have anything that can... clarify the mind, and help focus...
- Alma says whatever the arcane bywords are for +WIS
[Ysabeau] No, I'm afraid not.
[Alma] If I think of something, I'll come around looking for the portrait again.
[Alma] Perhaps a ... quickly imbibed potion of Owl's Wisdom or something...
- Alma slumps down into a seat beside Ysabeau and will rather tiredly chat about other things :3
[Ysabeau] I could try charming young Master Olivier next time I see him.
[Alma] I doubt he'd reveal whether he's resurrected for a mere charm :)
[Ysabeau] If he's the original Martan, the gift of the portrait suggests he might have been something of a womanizer.
[Alma] (Want to extend this scene later, C?)
[Ysabeau] (not necessarily, it's just a thought I'm tossing out there.)
Alma and Danyel
- Alma nervously gets ready to see Danyel's parents @_@
[Alma] .oO( Robes, or a dress? Would one of those ridiculous dresses be better? )
[Danyel] (do you want to talk to Danyel on his own first, or just go straight into it?)
- Alma would ask for tips about his mother...
[Danyel] Well... Mother is very concerned with appearances. And she likes things to be ... well, the way she wants them to be.
[Danyel] But I'll be there - and I'm not going to stand for any mistreatment of you.
[Alma] I can understand that... I try not to bring Béziers into disrepute...
- Danyel nods.
[Alma] Do you think robes are best?
[Danyel] Maybe so...
- Danyel agrees.
- Alma nods, they are her nicest robes ^_^
[Alma] Do you think she'll have any... more political concerns?
[Danyel] You look very respectable :)
[Alma] I should hope so :)
[Danyel] Political how?
[Alma] The sort of thing we'd have arranged ahead of time... I'm not sure really.
[Alma] Like... our names, we didn't discuss our names...
[Danyel] Oh, hm.
[Danyel] You mean with regards to titles and so on?
[Alma] My family prefers to keep the Bézier name ...
- Danyel nods.
[Danyel] Well, I think Mother would be most concerned about what name the children would have.
[Danyel] But, I do have two brothers, so it's not as if I have to carry on the name all on my own.
- Danyel smiles.
[Alma] Well, she's not likely to bring that up today anyway, I suppose...
[Danyel] We can hope.
- Alma smiles.
[Alma] I'll just tell her I've stolen you away
- Danyel laughs.
- Alma hugs
[Danyel] Seduced me with your wanton charms? ;)
[Alma] .oO( Eeee! )
[Alma] Yes, I'm sure she'll believe that -_-
[Danyel] Well, they *are* very charming.
[Danyel] Don't worry - I've been dealing with my mother for twenty-eight years, I can handle this.
[Alma] Well we'd best get going then.
[Danyel] Yes... let's get it over with.
- Danyel will have arranged for tea with his parents - not a meal, in case things turn sour, so you're not stuck glaring at each other over the soup course.
- Alma is *so* wearing the choker and cape under her robes.
[Alma] (Well, if I can get away with it.)
[Danyel] (sure, robes are loose)
- Danyel escorts you to his family home in the Grand.
- Elsa and her husband Thymas are waiting for you, and welcome you into their well-appointed (but not ostentatious) house.
[Alma] .oO( The house is very sensible at least... )
[Danyel] Father, Mother, you remember Sister Alma de Béziers, I'm sure.
[Elsa] Of course we do.
[Alma] Good afternoon, Mr and Mrs. Rackley :)
- Elsa says politely, if a bit frostily.
- Danyel glances at you, reassuring.
- Alma seems to be taking it more in stride now that it's actually before her.
- Elsa pours some tea for the four of you.
- Elsa makes smalltalk with Danyel about family things, people you don't know, etc.
- Alma is properly gracious for the tea.
- Alma tries her best to remember who they are *despite* her efforts.
- Alma does her best to make polite comments when she does know the people in question.
- Elsa isn't able to ignore you and continue to be polite, but she doesn't address you unless she has to ;)
- Elsa does seem to mildly warm up, though, as you seem so respectable!
[Alma] You have quite a lovely home, Mrs. Rackley.
[Elsa] Thank you, Sister. It has been in the family for nine generations. My grandfather added the east wing... blah blah blah.
- Alma listens attentively
- Elsa seems to come from the more wealthy/illustrious background than her husband - she was a Deanda before she married, they're a very prominent family.
- Alma tries to talk more about her interests and family than bring up her ... significantly more provincial family -_-
[Danyel] Well, Mother... Alma and I wished to discuss a certain matter.
- Alma nods sincerely after Danyel.
[Danyel] I have asked her to marry me, and she's agreed.
[Elsa] ... well! I suppose, better late than never.
- Danyel frowns.
- Alma stiffens.
[Danyel] Mother, we have hardly delayed inappropriately. I have only known Alma a few months.
[Alma] .oO( Her house, her son, let it go, let it go... )
- Elsa sniffs slightly.
[Alma] Thank you, Mrs. Rackley.
[Elsa] When do you intend to be married?
- Danyel glances at you.
[Danyel] We hadn't set a date, we wanted to tell you first.
- Alma nods.
[Elsa] So there's no need to... rush?
[Alma] N... no. We thought perhaps late spring would be most appropriate.
[Elsa] Well. I suppose that would give me sufficient time to organize things.
[Alma] .oO( ... I suppose. )
[Elsa] We shall have the announcement drawn up to be included in the next edition of the Oracle.
[Alma] We were wondering which might be the best broadsheet for such an announcement, that's perfect.
[Elsa] Oh, none of the others would be suitable, my dear. Everyone of quality has their announcements in the Oracle.
[Alma] I admit that with my studies, I haven't been paying much attention to such announcements... I had thought marriage such a distant prospect when I came to the city.
- Alma smiles at Danyel.
[Elsa] It's a shame your parents aren't here to see this day. I'm sure they would be very proud.
- Danyel smiles back.
[Alma] Thank you :)
- Alma says, sincerely.
[Elsa] But we will welcome you into the family, of course. And we look forward to meeting your young brother as well.
[Alma] Ah, yes... César. I'm sure he would love to come visit some afternoon. .oO( URK )
[Elsa] My youngest son, Ciril, is close to his age. Perhaps they will be able to entertain one another.
- Alma smiles :) :) :)
[Alma] It really is a blessing that you live here in the city. I really am not experienced with planning events, and you know so much more about the city.
[Elsa] Don't you worry, my dear. I will take care of everything.
[Alma] .oO( Don't be afraid of that, Alma, be grateful. You don't *want* to deal with most of it... )
- Elsa stands to give you a little hug and kiss on the cheek.
- Alma is very, very careful to duplicate her "intimacy" level exactly.
[Elsa] Have you chosen attendants, or shall I select some appropriate young ladies?
[Alma] I haven't /quite/ decided on that...
[Elsa] Very well. Just let me know what you decide.
[Alma] Certainly :)
- Danyel takes your hand and gives it a little squeeze.
[Elsa] Would you care to stay for dinner, Alma?
- Alma squeezes back, pretty much relaxed.
[Alma] That would be lovely.
- Alma will send Marielle back to let the household know, etc.
[Elsa] Very well. I'll have another place set at the table.
[Danyel] (so you can meet the whole family, yay ;)