Diablotin 2 session 72
- Session date:
- Diablotin date:
Sanadhil and Yanina
[DiablotinNarrator] So, San :) How would you like to try and see the Empress?
[Sanadhil] I suppose I can send her a congratulatory note on the borth of her son, with peroperly bsubtle-ish undertones of 'when you are feeling up to it I would love to see you again'
[DiablotinNarrator] OK. You will receive a note back a few days later, in her handwriting, saying that you are welcome to visit and pay your respects in person on [insert date here].
- Sanadhil will arrange to do so, then
[DiablotinNarrator] (fortunately for you it's not the day of your first class or something ;)
- Sanadhil will dress appropriately for a social bisit with the empress
- Yanina will receive you in her sitting room, which is adjacent to her bedroom. Servants are present but non-conspicuous and, you assume, discreet.
- Yanina looks well, if perhaps still somewhat pale. She is seated by the window, which is open to let in a light breeze, and wears a loose dark green gown.
- Sanadhil will smiles and bow politely when he sees her.
- Yanina smiles when you arrive.
[Yanina] M. Orecalo, how kind of you to visit.
[Sanadhil] Very kind of you to receive me.... I'm glad to see you looking so well.
[Yanina] That's sweet of you to say - I know I look wretched.
[Sanadhil] hardly possible.
[Yanina] It will be a while before I can fit back into most of my gowns, I suspect :p
[Sanadhil] How terrible
- Sanadhil says a tad wryly
- Yanina smirks.
[Sanadhil] Your son is doing well, I trust?
[Yanina] He is quite well, thank you. Would you care to see him?
[Sanadhil] I wouldn't want to disturb him if he is sleeping....
[Yanina] He is, but he's a sound sleeper - just looking at him won't bother him at all.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] Well, I would be honoured then
- Yanina gestures for one of the servants, who will take you in to the adjacent bedroom to see the baby.
[DiablotinNarrator] The Prince-Imperial is sleeping in an ornate gilded cradle. He has a tuft of red hair and a peaceful, if somewhat wrinkly, expression.
- Sanadhil looks at him, and then smila at the mother
[Sanadhil] Your hair, then...
- Sanadhil says quietly
[Yanina] It seems so... probably just as well.
[Sanadhil] (is that her way of saying that who knoes whose kid it is? ;p)
- Yanina says mildly.
- Sanadhil nods
[Yanina] Well... you probably don't want to stare at a sleeping baby all day.
- Yanina says with a smile.
[Sanadhil] he looks well..... but I confess I am more interested in his mother, yes
- Sanadhil returns said smile
- Sanadhil steps out of the baby room @_@
[Yanina] How are your studies going?
[Sanadhil] Oh, very well.... I've actually recvently taken a post at the Castalia :)
[Yanina] Oh, that's splendid! Congratulations :)
[Sanadhil] :But it if it my other studies you are interested, there is a matter Phedre wished for me to speak to you about as well...
[Yanina] :Oh? Do tell.
[Sanadhil] Thank you, it was a very sudden appointment, but shoudl provide some very intersting opportunties
[Yanina] Can I offer you anything? Something to drink?
[Sanadhil] :She wants to know if you would be interested in becoming more active in the service of The Serpent.... of Ophion.
[Sanadhil] That would be lovely.
- Yanina nods.
- Yanina 's servant brings you a glass of dry white wine.
[Sanadhil] Thank you
[Yanina] :I would want to know what it would entail... more meetings?
[Sanadhil] I hope you will be back in public life soon?
[Sanadhil] :More discrete meetings with a more select mebership
[Yanina] I believe so - there will be an official celebration of Leolin's birth, of course, in a few weeks' time.
[Yanina] :Similiar in ... nature?
[Yanina] I understand you're probably quite busy with your various obligations, but I'd be delighted if you could attend the party.
[Sanadhil] Ahh, of course - I expect that will give people something cheeries to look forward than other matters that have been in the news of late
[Sanadhil] and yes, i would be honoured :)
[Yanina] Yes, it's been rather grim, hasn't it... treason and the threat of war are not pleasant topics.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] :More serious in focus, typically:
[Sanadhil] :Though I thin k it cold truly open your mind...
[Yanina] :Hm... it does sound intriguing. Would it be very risky?
[Sanadhil] :She think s that the visions and dreams you have mean that you could personally contribute more to the greater goal of returning Ohion to power. There would be risks, but not ones that are insurmountable without some planning
[Sanadhil] no, and not on top of a second year of poor harvests
[Yanina] :I would be glad to assist, if I can. It might be a little while before I can get away... will that present any problems?
[Sanadhil] :We can work with that, though I can help you as well.... if you need an excuse to be discretely absent...
[Yanina] :That could be helpful, yes. We'll confer about this, then?
[Sanadhil] :Yes.... though i would be happy to spend more time with you in any case.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] A party seems just the thing
[Yanina] I hope that it will lift a few spirits, yes.
- Yanina will continue to make secret plans with you on when/how she can get to a meeting, then :)
Guillame and Aden
[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame, you arrive home one afternoon to find Aden waiting for you. He's pacing, looking upset.
[Guillame] Aden! Is something wrong?
[Aden_] Guy, thank goodness - I thought you'd never get here and I'd have to leave without you.
[Aden_] I received word from Greywatch. My mother...
[Aden_] ...she's dying.
[Guillame] What? How?
[Aden_] She's been sick for a long time... I expected it, I suppose, but still...
[Guillame] I didn't realize...
[Aden_] Will you come with me?
- Aden_ seems anxious that you might say no.
[Guillame] When do you leave?
[Aden_] Now, if you're able... otherwise, I guess you could follow later...
[Guillame] I'll have to make arrangements - for Silvia, especially... I'm sorry. I will follow as soon as I can.
- Aden_ nods.
[Aden_] I understand, of course...
[Guillame] I'm so sorry, Aden
- Aden_ looks unhappy, but nods.
[Aden_] If you can get away, you can take the teleportation circle to Val des Fentes... I'll let them know to expect you.
- Guillame gives him a big hug, suddenly
- Aden_ hugs back, tightly.
[Aden_] I should get on my way... I hope I'll see you again soon.
[Guillame] You could tell me about it, before you go, if you want to.
[Guillame] If it would help...?
[Aden_] I ... I don't know if there's much to tell. She's had a swelling in her breast for years, there's not much the priests can do about it... I guess it just keeps spreading, somehow, inside her...
- Aden_ bites his lip.
- Guillame listens, and just holds him
[Aden_] She's gotten weaker and weaker, and there's a lot of pain I guess... they can help with that, anyway.
[Guillame] It sounds like an awful ordeal for you both
[Aden_] It's ... strange. And ... I hate to think about such things at times like this, but I don't even know what will happen with the succession.
[Aden_] My father's still alive, technically he's still duke as they've never actually divorced, so...
[Guillame] Well, you
[Guillame] 've got yourself a pretty good role on your own sweat
[Aden_] I'm not angling for it, but on the other hand, I .. don't think my father should have it either.
[Guillame] Maybe somebody at the palace could help?
[Aden_] I don't know what arrangements my mother might have made. It could be that it ends up in the hands of the Chancellor.
- Aden_ leans his head against your shoulder.
- Guillame strokes his hair
[Aden_] ...I should go :/ I don't want to leave, but I don't want to be too late, either.
[Guillame] Yeah, you shouldn't be late. I'll be with you soon - I'll send some runners right away, and see to Silvia's arrangements myself
[Aden_] ...I love you.
- Aden_ says, holding you for a moment longer before letting go.
[Guillame] . o O (Where could she stay? With Portia, or Ysabeau maybe?)
[Guillame] I love you too!
- Aden_ hurries off, then.
- Guillame drafts some letters with instructions for running the estate in his absence, and goes looking for Portia
- Portia can be found. She looks as though she's getting ready to go out.
[Guillame] Hello Dear... bad news, I'
[Guillame] m afraid
[Portia] Oh? What happened? :o
[Guillame] Aiden's mother is dying...
[Portia] Oh dear... I'm sorry to hear that. Is she ill?
[Guillame] Yes; apparently she has been for some time.
- Portia nods.
[Portia] Send my condolences, of course.
[Guillame] He's asked me to go and support him there
[Guillame] I will, of course
[Portia] Oh... certainly, I understand.
[Portia] Silvia will be fine with me for as long as you need.
- Guillame is visibly relieved
[Guillame] Thank you very much
[Portia] No need, my dear. After all, this is family.
- Portia adjusts one of her pearl earrings and smiles.
[Guillame] Did I tell you that she's taking some... alternative lessons now?
[Portia] No, I don't believe so. What sort of lessons?
[Guillame] Well... Silvia is sort of... gifted?
- Portia nods, listening.
[Guillame] In the undercity they would have called her a Seer - she can sometimes hear thoughts, or dream the future.
[Guillame] It sounds a little crazy to explain it, to be honest, but my research suggests that this was a normal and celebrated, if rare condition pre-exodus
- Portia nods again.
[Portia] Is there anything I should ... watch out for, while she's under my care?
[Guillame] However, without guidance, it can take a toll on a young child - it can cause madness, for example.
- Portia says, sounding a bit wary at that.
- Guillame shudder
[Portia] Will I be able to get in touch with you if.. anything odd happens?
[Guillame] I was able to find her a tutor - she's pretty reliable, although she herself is touched by madness, as she didn't have a tutor herself.
[Guillame] I expect so - you can send a message to me through the circle to Val des Fentes
[Portia] Very well.
[Portia] You go ahead - don't worry about us.
[Guillame] My only main advice is not to lie to her - I've never done so myself, but I imagine it's a quick way to lose the respect of someone who can hear your thoughts.
[Portia] That... makes sense.
[Portia] I'll do my best, then.
[Guillame] Thank you Portia - I'm lucky to have such a good friend and wife.
- Portia gives you a brief hug.
- Guillame hugs her back more firmly
[Guillame] I've already sent instructions for the upkeep, but if anything arises that you want to handle, go right ahead - and if you have any questions, just send them on to me.
[Portia] I will. Give my best to Aden, too.. I'm sure this is terribly difficult for him.
[Guillame] I will - he'll appreciate it.
- Portia sends you on your way, then.
- Guillame gives her a peck on the cheek, and goes to throw together some provisions
Dominik and Theron
[DiablotinNarrator] Dominik, you are just getting ready to leave your mother's house. Stepping out the door, you find a young woman on the threshold, looking anxious and very pregnant. You recognize her as Taralynn, Theron's girlfriend...wife...whatever she is these days.
[Dominik] Hello. What brings you around to this doorstep?
[Taralynn] I...uh... was looking for Theron.
- Taralynn says, wincing somewhat in the middle of her sentence.
[Dominik] (is he home?)
[DiablotinNarrator] (you haven't seen him)
[Dominik] He's not here, and I do not know where he could be.
[Taralynn] Oh... void.
- Taralynn winces again, more obviously, and her hand on the railing of the steps is white-knuckled.
[Taralynn] Uh... can I come in?
- Dominik shrugs and lets her in
- Taralynn waddles in, looking around the grand entryway of the house.
[Taralynn] He didn't come home last night...
[Taralynn] I hoped he...uh... might be here.
[Dominik] I don't keep track of his movements. Lets find you a place to sit down.
[Dominik] Shouldn't you know where he is, considering your current situation?
- Taralynn takes another step and her water breaks on your family's lovely marble floor.
[Taralynn] Oh! Sorry.
- Taralynn leans on the bannister.
- Sydona appears at the head of the stairs to see what's all this racket.
[Dominik] You fool! If you where having the baby now why did you come here?
[Taralynn] Well, where was I supposed to go, stay at home alone?
- Taralynn shouts back at you.
[Taralynn] I didn't know it would be this fast.
- Sydona hurries down the stairs.
[Dominik] My oh so responsible brother has set things up wonderfully for you it seems
[Sydona] Dom, go and find your brother. I'll take care of her.
[Dominik] And how do you expect me to find the slacker? Do you know where he is?
- Sydona shakes her head, but is preoccupied with the girl in labour in her entryway.
[Taralynn] He... maybe... with Phedre. I don't know.
[Dominik] Fine! I'll track the imbicile down... you will all be staying here, I take it?
[Sydona] She's not going anywhere in this state.
- Dominik says as he heads towards the stables
- Dominik will ride off to Phedre's home, cursing under his breath the entire way.
[DiablotinNarrator] You make your way to Phedre's house, which is fortunately not terribly far away.
- Dominik will knock await the doorman or whoever comes.
[DiablotinNarrator] A servant comes to the door and eyes you a bit warily, since you probably look kind of terrifying atm ;)
[Dominik] Im Dominik Rademacher. My brother may be visiting and I need to speak with him if he is here.
[Servant] Please wait here.
[Dominik] It is rather important, so hurry.
- Dominik growls
- Servant departs, leaving you standing in another fancy entryway, this one fortunately not covered in sploosh.
- Servant returns a short while later with your absentee brother, who looks like he just dragged himself out of bed.
[Theron] ...Dom? Wha...?
[Dominik] You look well rested it seems. Glad to see it. Your... companion is making a mess of your families entryway since you is about to give birth to what I assume is your child.
- Theron goes paler, which mostly just means his freckles stand out more.
[Theron] I'll... uh, I'll hurry.
- Theron runs off to go get actually dressed.
[Dominik] Glad to see you take these things so seriously, leaving her alone with not help right before she is to give birth.
- Dominik calls out after him.
[Theron] Shut up!
- Theron shouts back over his shoulder.
- Theron returns a few moments later, still pulling on his jacket.
[Theron] Look, she said she was fine yesterday...
[Dominik] Take the horse, assuming you can remember how to ride. I'll make my way back on my own, and hopefully miss most of the messiness.
[Theron] I ... thought I'd be back sooner.
- Theron will take the horse, as directed, then.
[Dominik] I'm sure your hostess was keeping you well occupied.
- Theron ignores you.
[DiablotinNarrator] You going back to the house, or elsewhere, to avoid the inevitable scene? ;)
- Dominik will get himself a drink on the way back to take some of the edge off before finally returning home to see how far the disaster has unfolded.
[DiablotinNarrator] When you arrive home, maybe an hour or so later, Theron is in disgrace in the sitting room, and your mother and Taralynn and just about all the servants in the house are evidently quite occupied in Theron's bedroom.
- Theron is having some drinks of his own.
[Dominik] Events are still well under way I take it.
[Theron] Oh yes...
[Theron] I ... suppose she'll forgive me once it's out, right?
[Dominik] Women forgive much... but they never forget, or so I've heard.
[Theron] Mother, on the other hand, will never forgive me for this.
[Dominik] And why should she... you abandonded Taralynn with nobody to turn to when she was about to give birth to your child? What did the two of you intend to do when the time came anyway?
[Theron] She told me it was my bed that was going to be ruined, since I'd made it and was busy wallowing in it :p
[Theron] She... I didn't really ask, she said she'd made arrangements with a midwife, I don't know why she didn't go there.
[Dominik] because she wanted you to know and be there.
- Theron sighs.
[Theron] Well, she doesn't want me there now. She wants me down here, suffering :p
- Dominik helps himself to some wine.
[Dominik] At least you are here. Be thankful I found you.
[Theron] ...I am.
[Dominik] I should have just wandered off and had a few drinks and said I couldn't find you. It's what you would have deserved.
[Theron] Look, you don't understand... I meant to be home last night, I just...
- Theron rubs his face, blearily.
[Dominik] Just what? Found yourself in an inescapable situation?
[Theron] ...Rather, yes.
[Theron] Phedre's been very helpful to me, and I couldn't just...insult her.
[Dominik] And does your precious little Taralynn know what repaying the courtisies with Phedre likely entails?
[Theron] She knows.
[Theron] Believe me, she knows...
[Dominik] Oh how could I forget how you met.
[Theron] I love her. I really do.
[Theron] I don't know what I'd do without her...
- Theron glances up at some particularly loud screams from the bedroom.
- Theron finishes his drink, and helps himself to some more.
[Dominik] I'm not one to judge what people do in thier relationships... but if what you say is really true, I would have stayed with her.
[Theron] She said I should go... it was all right... she said... :/
[Theron] ...she said if she wasn't so uncomfortable, she'd come with me, to keep an eye on me -_-
[Theron] Gods, if something happens to her, I'd never forgive myself.
- Dominik shakes his head
[Dominik] Maybe in the future you'll remember that. I'm done talking to you.
- Dominik walks out of the room, bringing the bottle of wine with him
- Theron knows where to find more wine!
[Dominik] (the wine is for me)
[DiablotinNarrator] Not too long afterwards, you hear some commotion that seems to indicate the baby has arrived safely.
- Dominik will seek out his mother to get information
- Sydona is wearing a makeshift apron and looks rather harried, but is smiling.
[Sydona] It's a boy...
[Dominik] So they'll both live, then?
- Sydona nods.
[Sydona] It came out the wrong way around, or it'd probably have been born on our doorstep.
[Sydona] But she did well.
- Sydona sounds conflicted.
[Dominik] A grandson
- Sydona nods.
[Sydona] She says his name is Tristan, and I rather doubt Theron will argue with her.
[Dominik] No likely not. Is it his?
[Sydona] Well. A very good question, I suppose.
[Sydona] Hard to tell at this age.
[Sydona] If he says it is, then who am I to argue?
- Dominik shrugs
[Sydona] I... suppose I want them to be happy together. If that's what they want.
- Sydona says with a sigh.
[Sydona] Thank you, Dom.
- Dominik frowns
[Dominik] I don't need thanks.
[Dominik] And you least of all need to thank me.
- Sydona smiles.
[Dominik] They need to thank you
[Sydona] She already did... so there's that, at least.
[Dominik] Theron should be on his knees thanking me.
[Sydona] ... I wouldn't hold your breath on that one.
[Dominik] He has no idea how much he almost missed. He didn't deserve to be here and yet he was.
- Sydona nods.
[Sydona] I think he knows that.
[Dominik] Be sure to remind him of it several times before he makes his escape. I need to be away from this place for a while.
[Sydona] I don't know if he'll ever admit it, but... I think he knows.
- Sydona nods.
- Sydona gives you a hug before you run away.
- Dominik stiffens initially but will hug his mother before he leaves.
Ysabeau and Peran
[DiablotinNarrator] OK, Ysabeau, since you have a small amount of information now about your parents' pasts, what is your plan?
[Ysabeau] (Do I know that the person who owned the factory that burned down is named Peran?)
- Ysabeau would also check into the street names listed on her parents' marriage record.
[DiablotinNarrator] (wait, what?)
[Ysabeau] (My parents died in a factory fire, was the owner the guy you mention as being the dude they thought they could get work with in Diablotin? Peran, you called him in the email.)
[DiablotinNarrator] (oh, I see what you mean... no, the factory owner was not named Peran. So if they thought they could get a job with someone named Peran, evidently they didn't.)
- Ysabeau will try to figure out where the streets are and who Peran is and if s/he is still alive, then.
- Ysabeau can use a map to find Moss Lane and Thrawl Street, and could check tax records if there's no business license records for a mill owned by someone named Peran
[DiablotinNarrator] Thrawl Street is in Pearl City, you can determine quite easily. It's a fairly run-down area, even for Pearl. Moss Lane is a little place in Rhenea, near the edge of the Shambles.
- Ysabeau will also look up the recent censuses for Chanuiers and Fougeres
[DiablotinNarrator] You can find records of a mill on the river owned by someone named Peran Haupt.
[DiablotinNarrator] Moss Lane is small and would be searchable in under a day, certainly, even if you had to knock on every single door. Thrawl Street is longer and would take some time.
- Ysabeau will try to determine from census records if any living Chanuiers and Fougeres might live on/near Moss Lane and Thrawl Street, still. And whether someone named Peran Haupt still lives. Is his mill still around?
- Ysabeau would prefer not to knock on every door if she can help it, hence the census records. :)
[DiablotinNarrator] The mill is still there, yes. Census records are... overly optimistic ;)
- Ysabeau will try Peran Haupt at the mill, then...
[DiablotinNarrator] You could go to the temple nearest that area and ask of the priest if there is anyone of that name in the neighbourhood, they would be most likely to know.
[DiablotinNarrator] You make your way to the mill, which is a water mill on the river, grinding grain.
- Ysabeau will do that, then (and also Temples in the Thrawl Street and Moss Lane areas to ask about the family names). She will have let Martan and Murienne know what she was doing/where she is going and when to expect her back.
[DiablotinNarrator] It is busy enough, though at this time of year should probably be busier.
[DiablotinNarrator] A woman, maybe in her late twenties, is directing people there.
- Ysabeau dressed in a common woolen dress so she doesn't look too out of place.
- Ysabeau will approach her.
- Claudine is short, slender, with wavy brown hair and an apron well dusted with flour and grain husks.
[Ysabeau] Excuse me, Madame, I know you are busy, and I apologize.
[Ysabeau] Can you tell me whether this mill is still owned by someone named Peran Haupt, please?
[Claudine] We've got no work right now, if that's what you're here about.
[Claudine] M. Haupt is my father. He's still the owner, sure enough.
[Ysabeau] No, I wish I was here about grain to grind, I'm sorry. It looks to be another difficult winter. Is there any chance I could speak with your father?
[Ysabeau] I have reason to believe he may have known my parents.
[Claudine] He's a busy man.
- Claudine looks skeptical.
[Ysabeau] (SM: Is she asking for a bribe? If so, I'll slip her what seems a reasonable amount.)
- Claudine mostly seems to be wondering what your ulterior motives are. A bribe might smooth the way, though.
[Claudine] What's your name?
[Ysabeau] Before I was married, Ysabeau Chanuier.
[Claudine] All right. I'll take you to speak with him.
[Ysabeau] Thank you.
[Claudine] My name's Claudine, by the way. Claudine Rochin, or Haupt before I was married.
- Claudine says as she escorts you to speak with her father.
- Ysabeau smiles warmly to Claudine, but will be on the alert for funny business, since it may be known she's the new spymaster's wife.
[Ysabeau] Pleased to meet you, Claudine.
- Claudine smiles back, but a bit warily.
- Claudine leads you to a tall, brown-haired man who seems to be directing things inside the mill.
- Ysabeau will chat with her about the mill, etc. - small talk.
[Claudine] Father... This is Ysabeau Chanuier - she wants to speak with you.
- Ysabeau smiles and holds out her hand in greeting.
[Ysabeau] Good day, M. Haupt.
- Peran looks at you, seems startled, and doesn't give his hand in return.
[Peran] What do you want?
[Ysabeau] I'd like to ask you about Mathurin and Therese.
[Peran] They died.
- Ysabeau will drop her hand and be even more alert for funny business.
[Ysabeau] Indeed they did, but before that they lived.
[Ysabeau] It's their lives I'm interested in.
[Peran] You're their daughter, then...
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] And you were, I think, at some time, their friend.
[Peran] Mathurin was my brother. Half-brother.
- Peran amends.
[Ysabeau] He was?
- Peran nods.
[Ysabeau] They never told me about their families.
[Ysabeau] What happened? Why did they leave?
[Peran] No, well.
- Peran sighs.
- Ysabeau 's voice trembles a little.
[Peran] The girl converted and all, but his father - my step-father, that was - wouldn't hold with the marriage anyhow.
[Ysabeau] Converted? From what, to what?
[Peran] There'd be no sewer filth in his house, he said. She was a Rat, but they did the ritual that changes you into another House, thinking that'd be enough to change people's minds. It didn't.
- Ysabeau swallows, trying to digest that.
[Peran] So they left, I suppose they thought they'd go someplace and start over, where people didn't know or care where she came from.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] I was raised to believe I was pure House Owl.
[Peran] I imagine that's what they wanted.
- Ysabeau nods again.
[Ysabeau] What else can you tell me about them?
[Peran] Well, her name wasn't Therese Fougere, or least not until she converted. Rats don't have names like that, not most of 'em anyway.
[Peran] It was Tersa, I think. No last name, I guess in the sewers they didn't need 'em. She must've just made that one up out of thin air.
[Ysabeau] (Um... the Rats I know do... Knowledge: History roll? Have people from House Rat changed the way they name each other since they emerged?)
[Ysabeau] It means fern...
[DiablotinNarrator] (Rats who've assimilated have taken surnames, yes, and give more Aveyronnais names to their children. But older ones, or more traditional ones, don't have surnames.)
- Peran shrugs.
[Peran] I always sort of hoped they made good for themselves...
[Ysabeau] What were... my grandmother and grandfather named, please, if you don't mind?
[Ysabeau] They did, while we were away from Diablotin. I remember a very happy childhood.
[Peran] Mother's name is Gabby... Gabrielia, really. She went back to Haupt after her second husband died, think she had better memories of the first one.
[Ysabeau] The first one being your father, right?
[Peran] Her second husband's name was Aulin Chanuier, he's the one who'd be your grandfather, but he's dead these past five years.
[Peran] That's right. His name was Peran too, same as mine.
- Ysabeau smiles a little.
[Ysabeau] Would your mother want to speak with me, do you think? Would that be possible?
[Peran] I think she'd like that, yes.
[Peran] We saw your name in the papers now and again - wondered if you might be related.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] I have a sister, as well. She's in training to join the priesthood.
[Peran] She's got family there, then - my sister Vilana's a priest as well.
[Ysabeau] Is that so? I'll tell Murienne. Mama and Papa raised us religious, but when they died and I had to raise us both on my own, I had to make some hard choices.
- Peran nods.
[Peran] I never knew you existed. I saw their names in the paper, when the fire... but I didn't know about any children.
[Peran] It looks like you came out all right, though.
[Ysabeau] I guess you could say so.
- Ysabeau smiles a little more warmly.
[Peran] You look like her.
[Ysabeau] I know. So does Muri.
[Ysabeau] You look like Papa, a bit.
[Peran] Why don't you come to dinner with us, all the family, your sister too of course.
[Ysabeau] (SM: is that a genuine invitation? Or is he angling for something)
- Peran seems sincere.
[Ysabeau] I think I'd enjoy that - Murienne too. I would worry that we might draw too much attention to you, though...
- Ysabeau says, a bit uncertainly.
[Peran] Well, I wouldn't worry about a thing like that.
[Peran] You've met Claudine, of course, but I've got three other kids as well, and I know folks'll all want to meet you.
[Claudine] Please, come - I never had a cousin before :)
- Ysabeau smiles.
[Ysabeau] Neither have I.
[Ysabeau] When would be a good time? Where should we go?
[Ysabeau] What can we bring? Muri and I are both decent cooks.
[Peran] Oh, just to my house, say tomorrow night, so I give my wife a bit of warning? And don't you worry about bringing a thing.
[Ysabeau] All right - where *is* your house?
- Ysabeau will discuss final arrangements with them, etc
- Peran gives you the address, which is in Rhenea (but not on Moss Lane)
- Ysabeau will go home after chatting with them a bit longer, and tell Muri, Martan and Merrow about it... :O
Alma and Leonien
[DiablotinNarrator] Alma, the Duke of Friaul has invited you to tea, as he had previously promised.
- Alma sighs upon reading the invitation -_-
- Alma makes sure she looks presentable, and selects something nice to bring as a gift.
- Alma asks Beatrix what old people like. ^_^
- Alma arrives promptly of course.
[Leonien] Countess, so lovely to see you.
- Leonien says when you arrive.
[Alma] And you, Your Grace :)
[Alma] How has your day been?
[Leonien] Thankfully free of attempts on my life. So far.
- Leonien says dryly.
[Alma] Well you can rest assured I won't be trying to break that run -_-
[Leonien] I do appreciate it.
[Leonien] As I appreciate your previous efforts in preventing such attempts.
[Alma] No thanks are necessary, Your Grace, it was within my power, so I did it.
[Leonien] It was of this attempt that I wished to converse, if you are willing.
[Alma] Yes, certainly...
- Alma puts on her diplomacy face :)
[Leonien] The young woman who made the attempt - what do you know of her?
[Alma] Her name is Thea Vermillion, she was leader of the Levellers. She is an acquaintance of the Duke of Corcyra, and had gone missing some time ago. Which is why the Duke asked me to scry her.
[Alma] Aside from that, I don't know much about her, aside from her current situation.
- Leonien nods.
[Alma] Do you wonder if her motives were personal, rather than those of Kavreshar?
[Leonien] The Vermillion family is an old one, once prominent in House Wolf. They produced an Empress, Luxinie II, although that was nearly a thousand years ago now.
[Alma] Ah, yes, I hadn't made the connection.
[Leonien] More recently, though, they have fallen on ... I would say, difficult times.
- Alma nods, not recalling any Vermillions of note at present...
[Alma] (Any others, that is.)
[Leonien] Thea's mother, Sirine, was formerly employed as a prostitute. If Thea is her only child, then she would be the last of that line...
[Leonien] I do believe that she most likely harbours a personal animosity towards me.
- Leonien looks mildly uncomfortable.
[Alma] I do recall... animosity in my observance of her, but I assumed it was simply hatred for nobility...
[Leonien] It may be, but she would have had reasons to target me particularly, even aside from ... whatever Kavreshar's motives might be.
- Alma nods.
[Leonien] Her mother came to me for assistance. This was many years ago, of course... I felt there was little I could do for her. She was addicted to sheen, any money I had to provide would only be spent on feeding her habit.
[Alma] A tough situation :/
[Leonien] However, in a moment of ... intense stupidity and weakness, I did offer her some coin... in trade. She took it.
[Alma] I see...
[Leonien] I have no pleasure whatsoever in admitting this, Sister. It was a terrible thing to do. I should have just given her the money and bid her begone.
- Alma nods.
[Alma] And so you suspect, or know that... Thea is your daughter?
- Alma ventures...
[Leonien] I do not know. But... it is possible, at least.
[Leonien] Whether she is or not, I suspect would be impossible to prove, given her mother's... profession. But she may believe it to be true.
[Alma] (SM 49 since he's sneaky!)
- Leonien seems highly regretful and uncomfortable about this whole thing, but you do have to wonder why he's telling you any of this,
if it's so embarrassing...
[Leonien] I am uncertain if this has bearing on the investigation into her activities... but I felt obligated to inform someone, in case it was relevant.
[Alma] Of course...
[Alma] I'm not sure immediately what that connection might mean.
[Alma] Can you think of any particular reason that *Kavreshar* might wish to see you dead?
[Leonien] I have given that much thought. My only idea was that, perhaps, if this beast can assume another's form, it might be attempting to take my place and thus gain access to the Emperor.
[Alma] Yes, that is very plausible. Would the poison have allowed her enough time to get back to Kavreshar and have him take your place?
[Leonien] On the contrary, it seems to have been a very quick-acting poison. If that was her plan, then perhaps she intended to have him come immediately and remove my corpse, then take my place.
[Alma] Risky, considering you could have eaten as soon as it was brought...
- Leonien nods.
[Leonien] It is often my custom to work undisturbed for an hour or two after lunch, though - she might have counted on that time to enact her plan.
[Alma] If I had been thinking more clearly, I could have caught her...
[Leonien] Don't blame yourself.
[Alma] She was the perfect inlet to scry on Kavreshar...
[Leonien] If she can be located, she could be the perfect bait for Kavreshar.
[Alma] He's immune to divinations through some means. It was as if he was invisible when I was scrying Thea.
[Leonien] That does make things difficult.
[Alma] I've been unable to scry her since, but I will continue to try...
[Alma] It is also extremely troubling that she is with child...
- Leonien agrees.
[Leonien] I appreciate your efforts, Countess. I also have my people looking for her, and I trust we will inform one another of any further developments?
[Alma] Though I suppose that makes it all the more true that she could be of benefit to lead Kavreshar into a mistake...
[Alma] Yes, of course, Your Grace.
- Leonien continues to make polite small talk for the remainder of tea, then.
- Alma sips :3
- Alma doesn't at all mention him being murdered in the dream realm.
Ilphere and Loick
[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere, the Chief Sorcerer sends a message indicating he would like to consult with you at your earliest opportunity.
- Ilphere will oblige...
- Loick welcomes you effusively to his office in the palace.
[Loick] Thank you so much for coming, your highness.
[Ilphere] Of course...! I admit I am quite curious...
[Ilphere] What is it you require of me?
[Loick] I was informed that you might be of assistance in dealing with a ... rather unusual situation.
[Loick] If you would come with me, I can explain.
[Ilphere] Very well...!
- Ilphere is intrigued...!
- Loick escorts you to his carriage, to take you to his house.
[Loick] The Warlord and M. Rademacher recently discovered a young woman who is under some form of ... I would say possession.
[Ilphere] M. Rademacher ... Dominik?
[Loick] Yes, that's correct.
[Ilphere] I see...!
[Loick] They brought her to me, thinking that I would be best equipped to deal with her, but I'm afraid I have had limited luck so far.
[Loick] My assistant mentioned that she had heard you were quite skilled in dealing with extraplanar matters, and I believe that is what this may be.
[Ilphere] I have some experience, yes... I will do what I can!
[Loick] Thank you, I appreciate any advice you can provide.
[Ilphere] When you say 'deal with her,' though...
- Loick sighs.
[Ilphere] WHat is it that you wish done?
[Loick] The girl is Madelen Levernois. She's the illegitimate grand-daughter of the Countess of Ameron. It would be very ... unfortunate, if she died during these efforts.
[Ilphere] I see...
[Loick] Ideally, I would want the entity driven out of her body, and destroyed separately, or if not destroyed, then dismissed from this plane.
[Loick] I have had no luck in determining what this entity might even *be*, however.
[Loick] It is not a ghost, or the effect of a Magic Jar spell, for it has lasted much too long for that.
[Loick] There is a creature called, alarmingly, an intellect devourer, but again, that form of possession would only endure for about a week.
- Ilphere thinks...
[Ilphere] (roll k: planes?)
[Ilphere] (24 :/)
[Ilphere] (I forget if I have a destiny roll left)
[DiablotinNarrator] (you don't know of any possessing-type creatures, apart from ghosts already mentioned)
[Ilphere] I admit nothing you haven't mentioned is coming to mind... but perhaps if I were to examine her...?
[Loick] Of course.
[Loick] There are two other details, which I am uncertain whether they're relevant or not, but you ought to know everything I do...
- Ilphere listens.
[Loick] This girl is also the grand-daughter of Raimar Langevin. The Countess was his sister, and she took in his son and raised him as her own after the war. The son, Reginald, fathered this girl on a servant.
[Loick] And until she came into my ... care, she was working as a, uh, courtesan at a place called the Jewel Box.
- Loick says politely, as if you haven't heard of it.
[Ilphere] (Raimar Langevin was a contender for emperor wasn't he?)
[DiablotinNarrator] (yes - later started a war over it vs. Tristane)
[Ilphere] (Raimar Langevin was a contender for emperor once... so he would have passed through the arch. Hm... I wonder if that might be relevant...
[Loick] I'm not certain. But in any case, here we are...
- Loick says as you pull up to his house in the Grand.
- Loick escorts you inside, to an upstairs room. He unlocks the door. Inside is a naked girl with manacled arms, sitting and looking
blankly at a wall.
[Loick] The chains are dimensional shackles...
- Ilphere nods...
- Loick says hastily, in case you thought he was just being cruel ;)
- Ilphere peers at her curiously.
[Ilphere] (I'll cast detect magic on her I guess?)
[Loick] I attempted Break Enchantment on her, but no effect. I think the shackles are preventing ...whatever it is... from leaving her body, but to remove them might mean it escapes permanently.
[DiablotinNarrator] The shackles are magic - otherwise you detect no magic on the girl.
[Ilphere] There is no magical aura on her...
- Ilphere purses her lips.
[Madelen] Please, just let me go.
- Madelen says, her voice low and hoarse.
[Ilphere] What is your name...?
- Ilphere asks the girl.
[Madelen] Madelen. I don't know what's happening.
- Madelen seems scared, and sincere.
- Ilphere looks to Loick.
[Loick] I know she seems like a normal girl :/ Sometimes I ... worry about what we're doing.
[Ilphere] How was it determined that she *is* possessed?
[Ilphere] Or otherwise... not what she seems.
[Loick] The Warlord and M. Rademacher observed her speaking in a voice not her own, behaving... strangely. I have also heard this voice, and I firmly believe it's not human. It's as if it can only gain control of her occasionally, though, and other times she's herself again.
- Ilphere thinks.
[Loick] I wonder, if we took her into an anti-magic field, what would happen...
[Ilphere] Perhaps she could be enchanted or otherwise put into a trance state, and the other induced to come to the fore so that we might learn more about it...?
[Loick] Of course, that would also cancel the effect of the shackles.
[Loick] Hm..? Oh, perhaps, yes. Can you do that?
[Ilphere] I am no enchantress, sadly...
- Loick nods.
[Ilphere] I do have a friend who is quite skilled.
[Loick] Do you? That would be... helpful, if your friend is trustworthy of course.
[Ilphere] He is employed at the Castalia.
- Loick nods again.
[Ilphere] I trust him fully...
[Loick] Very well, then, I'm happy to have any help we can get.
[Ilphere] His name is Sanashil Orecalo...
[Ilphere] Shall I send for him, then..?
[Loick] Oh? I've met him. His girlfriend is my assistant :)
[Loick] If you can, please do.
[Ilphere] Oh yes, of course...!
[Loick] I had another thought, but it would require some ... additional spells.
- Ilphere prompts.
[Loick] What if there was a dimensional lock cast on a certain area. We take the girl into the area, remove the shackles, and cast banishment.
[Loick] It could force the creature out of her, but it wouldn't be able to leave the area.
[Loick] Then we might be able to get a look at it, and hopefully destroy it.
- Ilphere nods...
[Ilphere] Obviously we would want to be fully prepared... not knowing what its strength might be.
[Loick] It might also require whoever is doing this to be able to see and effect other planes - such as the ethereal, perhaps, if that is where this entity hails from.
[Loick] We could make use of items from the treasury, if necessary. They must have something that lets you see the ethereal, surely.
[Ilphere] I know of a priestess of Owl who can see spirits...
[Loick] Ah? Perhaps that would be of help too, then.
[Ilphere] She is a ... sensitive soul.
[Ilphere] One would want to make sure she is fully briefed on the situation before she sees the girl like this.
[Loick] Of course.
- Madelen begins to scream.
- Ilphere looks over.
[Loick] Oh dear... I hate it when she does that.
[Ilphere] (what is she doing, just screaming?)
- Madelen 's body throws itself to the ground and thrashes about.
- Ilphere casts detect magic again.
- Madelen does not seem to be doing this at all voluntarily.
[DiablotinNarrator] You still don't detect any magic on her apart from the shackles.
[Ilphere] I see what you mean... :o
- Loick nods.
[Ilphere] (Can I get another K: planes roll now that I've seen this in action? any bells rung?)
- Loick casts Hold Person on the girl, who falls immediately still of course.
[DiablotinNarrator] (you can roll)
[DiablotinNarrator] (You believe this is really weird. It's possibly, of course, that the girl is just crazy, but somehow you don't get that feeling. You don't know what could be causing it, but you think she's under some sort of external influence.)
[DiablotinNarrator] (possibly this is something no one has ever encountered before...!)
[DiablotinNarrator] (or at least, never managed to trap.)
- Ilphere shakes her head, mystified.
[Ilphere] I think we should call the Countess de Beziers...
[Loick] Very well. We'll do that as soon as possible.
[Loick] I appreciate your assistance with this matter, your highness. It's ... very troubling to me.
[Ilphere] This is like nothing I've read about in all my research... I wish I could have been more helpful.
[Loick] Even just knowing that it's something perhaps previously undiscovered is helpful!
- Madelen 's body relaxes as the hold spell ends and she seems calm again.
- Loick sighs.
[Ilphere] Does she not remember these spells...?
[Loick] She doesn't mention them, at least.
[Loick] Possibly when the other entity has control, it takes her over so fully that she doesn't recall what happens?
- Ilphere nods...
[Loick] I think it best if we proceed as quickly as possible, then.
[Ilphere] I agree...
[DiablotinNarrator] (And we'll end it there, so we can pick up with you guys trying to fix Madelen next time.)
Seth and Marl
- Seth has requested a private meeting with the Emperor, at his earliest convenience.
- Marl has agreed to meet with you.
- Seth arrives at the appointed time, pulling out some of his old court clothes for the occasion.
[Marl] Good morning, M. Argo.
[Seth] Good morning, Your Majesty. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me. I believe you will find what I have to say to be greatly to the Empire's advantage.
[Marl] Well, now I'm certainly intrigued.
[Seth] How much do you know about golems, Your Majesty?
[Marl] I admit it has not been an area I've studied. I know about Karik, of course, but beyond that...
[Seth] It is, among other aspects of the city's stonework and architecture, an area into which I have made particular investigations.
[Seth] I recently made a report to the Rhenean Antiquarian Society on the matter, providing some details but certainly not all. I have a copy available, if Your Majesty would like.
- Seth hands him a copy
- Marl accepts it, but sets it aside for the moment.
[Seth] However, this public knowledge pales in comparison with my recent discovery of the probably complete, but disarticulated, figure of the lost golem Schesutte.
[Marl] Where was this discovery made?
[Seth] At the Greysmoke Temple. Various parts of the body have been located throughout the temple. The head, as yet, has not been located but I believe I can find it, given the right resources.
- Marl listens.
[Seth] The arms, I located months ago, at the back of the church. Recently, during repairs to the church, its priests discovered the legs within a doorframe. Upon further investigation, I discovered the torso within a special and enlarged sarcophagus, and I believe the head lies beneath the torso.
[Marl] So it was deliberately concealed.
[Seth] Yes, although in fact, the torso was very clearly intentionally buried, although without overtly acknowledging the tomb's contents. It appears that Schesutte fell during riots inspired by the temple's construction, and was buried with honour by the priests.
- Marl nods...
[Marl] So, could it be repaired?
[Seth] Theoretically, yes. There would still remain the question of where its amulet rests. It could be within the Greysmoke Temple, but it could also be in any number of other places.
[Marl] And without the amulet, it's useless?
[Seth] It's a very impressive piece of statuary, but yes, inert.
[Marl] I see.
- Marl considers this for a moment.
[Marl] Even inert, it cannot be allowed to fall into the wrong hands, if there's any chance it could be reactivated in the future.
[Seth] Knowing my interest, the head priestess, Reverend Sister Teverya, contacted me when they found the legs. I then found the torso soon afterwards, and informed them of my interest in locating the head. So certainly the priests at the temple know of the possibility that Schesutte's whole body could be found. If they know, anyone could know soon enough.
[Marl] I assume since you have come to tell me about this, you do not intend to claim it as your own.
- Seth looks startled.
[Seth] To claim Schesutte ... as my personal property, Your Majesty?
[Marl] Well, to steal it, if you will.
[Seth] No, of course not!
[Seth] In any event it would be rather difficult to steal.
[Marl] And you moreover do not wish to leave it in the hands of the church.
[Seth] It is not my place to say. However, I will confess to having a great interest in studying the body, aiding in its reconstruction, and possibly having some role regarding the golem should she be reconstructed.
[Seth] I have a scarab that gives me some powers in that regard, and my long study of constructs has given me an intimate knowledge of their workings, if I might so humbly suggest, Your Majesty, that surpasses virtually anyone else in the city. What I lack, only, is the means to reconstruct her, both physical and magical.
[Marl] I see. We could perhaps provide the necessary assistance in this matter.
- Seth smiles.
[Seth] Hence my visit to you. I was certain that you would have those resources. In fact, it would be very interesting to know if Schesutte's amulet lies still within the Treasury, undetected all these years.
[Marl] It's possible. Although, if it was originally in the possession of the church, it is more likely that they still have it somewhere.
[Seth] I agree that that is also possible, in which case, retrieving it could be a ... delicate matter, since Schesutte was originally one of the giants assigned to the Patriarch's control.
- Marl nods.
[Seth] But I am no religious man, nor can I see myself working well under the direction of clergy, and so I do not think that approaching them would have been sensible. On the other hand, Your Majesty, you have known me my entire life.
[Marl] I would be pleased to have your assistance in the reconstruction of the creature, M. Argo. If you locate the amulet in the process, I trust that you will convey it to me posthaste. Otherwise, we will attempt to locate it through other means.
[Seth] How, then, does Your Majesty intend to proceed in actually retrieving the body parts?
[Marl] We will provide a team to help with the excavation and removal of the parts, to a secure location.
[Seth] There is a further way in which I may perhaps be of assistance, Your Majesty, in that process. I do not know if, prior to her retirement, the Warlord discussed my situation with you.
[Marl] Your particular... abilities? Yes.
- Seth nods.
[Seth] I am not certain to what extent the priests would like me traversing the walls of the Greysmoke Temple or using my powers to observe locations that are difficult to see.
[Marl] I'm not certain the priests could stop you.
[Seth] No, they could not. My powers do not come from the gods.
[Marl] If you are concerned, I will authorize you to do what is needed in order to complete this task.
[Seth] Your assistance would be greatly useful, Your Majesty.
- Marl nods.
[Marl] Consider it granted.
[Seth] Beyond that, I look forward to the opportunity to work on the reconstruction. This is, to say the least, a unique opportunity for those who study constructs.
[Marl] Indeed. Do you believe that, with studying this specimen, it would be possible to build more?
[Seth] It is difficult to say, as I do not know even whether it is possible to reactivate this one. But it may be so.
[Seth] Such an endeavour would be extremely costly, of course.
[Marl] Of course.
[Marl] Well, something to keep in mind as you proceed.
[Seth] Of course.
[Seth] Is there any other matter on which I may be of service to you today, Your Majesty?
[Marl] In fact, there is.
[Marl] I am given to understand that there was recently an attempt on my grandfather's life.
[Marl] Yes. One Mlle. Thea Vermillion attempted to poison him. She escaped.
[Seth] I ... see. Has the Duke requested my assistance in finding her?
[Seth] I have not had communication from him in some time.
[Marl] If he has not, I am.
[Seth] I would be glad to assist in any way, although my powers do not allow me to locate individuals.
[Marl] I understand. Apparently Sister Alma de Beziers was involved in thwarting this attempt - perhaps she has further information that might assist you in this effort.
[Seth] I ... see. Yes, I will certainly consult with them.
[Marl] Very well. Thank you for any aid you can provide in this matter.
[Seth] Of course, Your Majesty.
Ysabeau and Gabrielia
[DiablotinNarrator] Ysabeau, you and Muri have come to your newfound uncle's house for dinner. The opportunity to meet cousins and extended family is exciting and a bit nerve-wracking at the same time, but the Haupts seem quite welcoming.
- Ysabeau dressed carefully so as to make a good impression, but not too good. And despite Peran's insistence that we bring nothing, Muri and I will have brought several bottles of a nice wine as host gifts.
[DiablotinNarrator] Your cousins are a friendly bunch - Claudine will talk about baby stuff with you, Joline is mainly interested in whether you actually know the Emperor, Brannon wants to hear about your adventures, and so on.
- Ysabeau will put her bardic skills to good use, providing diverting and pleasing conversation, telling stories (not too highly embellished) of her adventures, and saying that she does know the Emperor a little as she is one of his composers.
- Gabrielia is a short, rotund woman with wavy grey hair and blue eyes amidst her wrinkles. She is mostly fairly quiet during dinner, but as you (as guests) and she (as matriarch) aren't permitted to help with clean-up efforts, she retreats onto the back porch of the house to get some fresh air.
- Ysabeau will do what she can to help Murienne feel comfortable with them, if Muri is feeling shy or whatever.
[Ysabeau] (Were we invited to join Gabrielia on the porch, or left to our own devices? ;) )
[DiablotinNarrator] Murienne is probably quite happy entertaining Claudine's children, so you can talk to Gabrielia on your own ;)
- Ysabeau isn't sure whether it would be rude to just follow her out, in case she wants to be alone... but her curiosity will overcome her.
- Ysabeau feels a little shy herself, following Gabrielia out...
[Ysabeau] Excuse me, Mme. Haupt... If it's not too much trouble, could I ask you about my parents? Or my father at least, if you didn't really know my mother...
[Gabrielia] Of course, child.
- Gabrielia indicates that you can sit down if you want.
[Ysabeau] Thank you.
- Ysabeau will settle herself down as best she can with her belly getting as big as it is, and arrange her skirts about her.
[Ysabeau] What was he like, as a boy?
- Ysabeau figures that's a pretty safe starting point, she hopes.
[Gabrielia] Mathurin was always the clever one... he taught himself to read when he was, oh, five or six, from his sister's study books.
- Ysabeau smiles.
[Ysabeau] He was good at figures; I got that from him.
- Gabrielia nods.
[Gabrielia] He was quiet, polite, well-behaved - never any trouble, at least not when he was young.
[Ysabeau] Isn't that the way?
- Ysabeau smiles again.
[Ysabeau] I hope he didn't cause you too much trouble as he grew older.
[Gabrielia] I suppose it is... Peran was the difficult child, but he's been nothing but good to me since he grew up and got married and settled down.
[Ysabeau] He strikes me as a good, steady man.
- Ysabeau agrees.
[Gabrielia] Mm... Mathurin and his father fought more as he got older. That was the main trouble.
- Ysabeau isn't sure that it would be polite to ask.
[Ysabeau] M. Haupt mentioned that M. Chanuier didn't... didn't approve of my mother.
[Ysabeau] . o O (Did you?)
[Gabrielia] That's so. He was... well, he didn't hold with many of the changes in the church and so forth. And he had a temper.
[Ysabeau] (SM: A temper as in he beat her/Mathurin...?)
- Gabrielia doesn't seem like she feared her late husband, but like she regrets his behaviour.
[Ysabeau] Was it all because of him that they felt they had to leave? Or were there other reasons?
[Gabrielia] I didn't know your mother so well, but I think there were problems in her family too. I think they wanted to get away from all of that and start over.
[Ysabeau] Did she ever mention any names of her family members to you? It's turning out difficult to track her down, since she was House Rat and only went by a first name, when she lived here...
- Ysabeau realizes that the "they" may have been Peran Haupt Sr. and some of Therese (or Tersa's...) relatives.
[Gabrielia] Mm... Tersa was her name then, I guess she changed it. I'm sorry but I don't know any of her family's names.
[Ysabeau] That's all right.
[Gabrielia] Seems to me she said once that her mother was a scholar. Maybe she was at the Castalia, I don't know.
- Ysabeau nods slowly, confirming a suspicion she had been forming.
[Gabrielia] I wish they had told you about us...
[Gabrielia] You could have come here, after they died.
- Ysabeau shrugs.
[Ysabeau] It's all water under the bridge now, Mme. Haupt... If it's any comfort, I think they meant to. I interviewed some of their friends in Val des Fentes, which is what led me to M. Haupt's mill.
[Ysabeau] One of our old neighbours overheard them arguing before we left. I don't remember that fight, myself...
[Ysabeau] My father thought he might get work at M. Haupt's mill. And he is reported to have said "Surely they'd forgive us, if they saw the children."
[Ysabeau] I suppose he must have meant his father, and perhaps some of my mother's family.
[Gabrielia] I suppose so.
[Ysabeau] I'm glad that you and my... my uncle didn't feel that way.
[Ysabeau] I wish I knew why they didn't come to visit, at least, when we first got back here.
[Ysabeau] But I suppose there are some things we may never know.
[Gabrielia] I can't say. I wish they had...
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] It's all right, really. I mean, it *is* sad that we didn't get to meet each other until now.
- Gabrielia nods.
[Gabrielia] But you've done well for yourself - you go to the Castalia, you have a position at court, you're married...
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] Exactly. I would be a very different person today if I hadn't lived through all the experiences I've had.
[Ysabeau] I'm happy with who I am, so I'm not sure that I would want to change it, if I even could.
[Gabrielia] That's a good way to look at things.
- Gabrielia agrees.
[Gabrielia] Our lives don't always turn out the way we planned, but still, who's to say whether they would have been better another way?
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] I'm glad we found out about each other eventually.
- Ysabeau smiles.
[Gabrielia] So am I, dear.
- Gabrielia reaches out to pat your hand.
- Ysabeau will squeeze hers gently.
[Ysabeau] (Do I know she went to the Castalia, too, by now?)
- Gabrielia hasn't mentioned it, no.
[Gabrielia] You won't let that baby get in the way of finishing your studies, now, will you?
- Ysabeau grins, placing her hand on her belly.
[Ysabeau] I'm trying to finish up my thesis before the baby gets here.
[Gabrielia] Good, good.
[Gabrielia] I never finished with mine - Vilana came along, and then I was just too busy. I always thought I might go back, but I never did.
[Ysabeau] You went to the Castalia, too? What did you study?!
- Ysabeau looks pretty excited. :D
[Gabrielia] Illusions, mostly. I was interested in silence spells, that was what my research was on... or would have been, if I'd ever been able to finished it.
[Gabrielia] My first husband was a student there as well.
[Ysabeau] Oh? What did he study? And you know what, it's never too late to go back. If it's something you'd really like to finish, you should! :)
- Gabrielia smiles.
[Gabrielia] It's all right. I've probably forgotten most of it now in any case.
[Ysabeau] I bet you'd pick it up fast enough, again.
- Gabrielia chuckles.
[Gabrielia] As for Peran, he studied Divination. Made a good enough living doing translations for folks, and identifying items.
[Ysabeau] I'm serious! You should do it if you want to. It wouldn't hurt to try. :) Divination is pretty interesting; I have a friend (a priestess) who does some, but of course hers is divine, not arcane magic.
[Ysabeau] I dabble in a little translation myself, just from Middle Aveyronnais and Cosovode... songs, mostly.
[Gabrielia] Well, maybe this evening you might sing a few for us - I'm sure everyone would love to hear you.
[Ysabeau] It would be my honour and my pleasure.
- Ysabeau will talk about her thesis, a little, and maybe Gabrielia can help her get over some writer's block. ;)
Alma and Felise
- Felise has been staying with her uncle of late, but stops by to visit you regularly.
- Alma is always glad to see her, and probably grateful most days for an excuse not to be busy or worrying.
- Alma has Sagesse or someone make us some tea and snacks.
- Felise seems a bit preoccupied of late, but is cheerful.
[Felise] Alma, may I ask your advice about a personal matter? Since now you're married and so on ;)
[Alma] Oh... well, certainly, though I haven't been married that long :)
- Felise giggles.
[Alma] What sort of advice are you looking ofr?
[Felise] Well... it is about gentlemen.
[Alma] I see...
- Alma takes a sip of her tea ^_^
- Felise is a little shy talking about this, you sense.
- Alma may blush a little herself.
[Alma] Well I will do my best to give any insight I can :)
[Felise] Since you introduced me to the Duke of Brissarthe, he has been... paying court to me. I think.
[Alma] Well it seems he liked who he met :)
- Felise nods.
[Alma] You're not sure though? About his intentions I imagine?
[Felise] I think his intentions are honourable.
[Felise] But I'm not certain whether *he* is.
- Alma considers that.
[Felise] Well, one hears rumours.
[Alma] Oh, about his loyalties?
- Alma asks, preferring to be vague -_-
[Felise] About his ... behaviour.
[Alma] ... such as?
[Felise] With ... other ladies.
[Alma] I see...
[Alma] So you think his intentions with you are honourable, but are concerned about these rumours?
- Alma sounds a little uncertain...
[Felise] He's been very proper with me. I mean, he hasn't... tried anything. But sometimes he looks at me in a way that reminds me of... of how my mother's husband looked at me sometimes. Like he was hungry.
- Felise says in a rush.
[Alma] I see...
- Alma asks reluctantly... "Is there anything ... unusual about the rumours about his past... relationships?"
[Felise] I don't really know what would be... usual. I know gentlemen have greater freedom in these sorts of matters... :/
[Alma] Well, I suppose I could listen to gossip today as an exception... :)
[Felise] Do you think your husband had many romances before you were married?
[Alma] (That's a good question. I think Alma would have been open discussing that sort of thing with Danyel. What would he have told her? :P She might not ask for a*number* or anything. He was pretty clearly at least somewhat experienced :P)
[DiablotinNarrator] (he would have told her there were a few previous girls, making it seem like the number was low, maybe 2-3?)
[Alma] Well, we actually talked about that at one point...
[Alma] Yes, yes. I don't think that's the sort of thing anyone should *automatically* hide, or find shameful.
- Felise nods.
[Alma] It's all in how you go about your business ^_^
[Felise] About whether he's treated them honourably?
[Alma] I think if you are respectful and careful, then what is there to say?
[Alma] Yes, precisely!
[Felise] Well.... I don't really know about that.
[Alma] You don't know, or you hear or suspect there was a problem?
[Felise] Some of the things I heard, I don't think *I* would find them respectful...
[Alma] Leading them along?
- Felise shrugs.
[Alma] Well maybe I'd best just hear it blunt in order to form an opinion?
[Felise] All right...
- Felise blushes.
- Alma steels herself... .oO( This is gossip, it may be no more true than his plots against the Emperor... )
[Felise] I heard that he sleeps with many different women, and ... sometimes gentlemen too, maybe. And it never sounded like a serious romance, but just... frivolous carrying on.
[Felise] Parties and that sort of thing.
- Alma nods.
- Alma waits for the debauchery...
[Felise] My cousin Ida told me, uh... she slept with him.
[Alma] Yes, I suppose that might seem odd.
[Felise] She ... made fun of me for thinking that he was serious about me.
[Alma] Well pardon you for not having her "experience" :P
[Alma] Was there anything else?
[Felise] She said he was probably just looking for a proper, modest wife to show on his arm, but that he'd keep seeing other people behind my back, and ... that he wasn't going to change.
- Alma nods
[Felise] And, there's another thing.
[Felise] There's another young man who has paid me a few visits. He seems very nice - but he's not a nobleman.
- Alma smiles that you're meeting gentlemen :)
[Alma] Does he have a trail of rumours following him too? :)
[Felise] No, no.
[Felise] He's a musician, and his father owns some railroads or something of that sort? They're quite rich, I gather.
[Alma] Sounds like M. Tourigny.
[Felise] That's him :)
[Alma] He's a member of the Society and performs with Ysabeau :)
[Alma] Do you like him?
[Felise] I don't know him that well... but I like what I know of him.
[Alma] Hmm, you mean his prospects or his character?
[Felise] I mean his character.
- Alma nods
[Felise] I don't really know what his prospects are. I suppose he'll inherit his family's business.
[Alma] So I suppose you're wondering which of the two gentlemen is a better candidate?
- Felise nods.
[Alma] Well I think the first question is... What do you want from him?
[Alma] Are you looking for a marriage, or more?
[Alma] Or less!
[Felise] Not less :o
[Alma] I suppose you could be looking for less at the moment :)
- Felise shakes her head.
[Felise] I don't think I could do that.
- Alma nods.
[Felise] I suppose I would like a husband who cares for me, and that I care for in return.
[Felise] And... I don't know if I entirely believe Ida. She might just be jealous, and saying things like that out of spite.
[Alma] Well, that could be a complicated issue of its own. Did HE make her jealous? :)
[Felise] I don't know. I mean, she wouldn't have wanted to marry him, probably - I don't think she is the marrying sort, at least not yet.
[Felise] But maybe jealous of the attention?
[Alma] Or less optimistic that he could be tamed?
[Felise] She wouldn't care about that... I think she'd be just the same if she*did* marry.
[Felise] She's slept with just the worst sorts of people, I hear :p
[Alma] Oh dear...
- Alma waves her hands as it to waft away the gossip!
[Alma] I think we all want a partner who cares about us, and who we can care about. But there's a difference between just being married and finding "the right one".
[Alma] I'd say you have the luxury of trying for the latter.
[Alma] Do you NEED a husband, or a child?
- Felise nods, listening.
[Alma] So do you want more?
[Felise] I think Uncle Adrius would let me stay as long as I wanted, and... he's re-written his will to make me his heir.
[Alma] (SM on her, 43. Is she like... reluctant to say she wants love?)
[Alma] .oO( Shit. )
- Alma looks pensive at that.
[Felise] I just don't know whether either of them really like*me*.
[Felise] Whether Symon just wants to marry into nobility, or whether Loick just wants a wife he can present to proper society.
[Alma] Well that, unfortunately, is life. Short of using magic, it's often hard to know the motives of others.
- Felise nods glumly.
[Alma] I do think the Duke is a good man.
[Felise] I'm just not as good as you at telling when people are sincere.
[Alma] We all have limits, and there's always someone who will come along and challenge us -_-
[Alma] My thoughts on the Duke's past behaviour is that it could just be his past, AND he could be searching for a wife for his arm, AND he could be looking for the right woman on his arm.
- Felise listens.
[Alma] He could be realising that he wants something more permanent, for himself or out of duty, and simply have begun looking for someone who will fill that role, still courting you for you all the while.
[Alma] But I think it's important that at a certain point you both be honest about his ... needs.
- Felise blushes at that, but nods.
[Alma] If you want more than just a marriage, then he needs to be willing and able to provide that.
[Alma] If he isn't, or can't, then you tell him Thank You and you'll call him when you're forty :)
- Felise manages a little laugh.
[Alma] Of course maybe you'll decide you just want a stable relationship with a good and influential man who would make a good partner in life in most ways, even with his flaws.
[Alma] But I think that if you do make that choice, that you do so accepting him as he is.
[Felise] I don't think I could be *part* of that sort of life, if he was carrying on that way. But maybe I could ... ignore it.
[Alma] Be sure before you set a date for the wedding, is what I'm saying.
[Alma] There's no point at all in you two chaining yourselves to each other if you're going to resent each other.
- Felise nods.
[Alma] The same goes for Symon, of course. Though I suppose if you're just going to get married for the sake of getting married, I'm not sure why you'd chose someone who isn't a nobleman.
[Felise] I like him better, as a man. He seems... kinder.
[Alma] I suppose if you are to inherit your uncle's title that it might cause a bit of a stir if you were to become involved with him...
[Felise] I think the tabloids would have a lot to say about it :/
[Alma] They're garbage anyhow!
[Felise] I know.
[Alma] They were so awful about me and Danyel at the Imperial Weddings!
[Alma] And here we all so respectably married.
- Felise nods.
- Felise smiles.
[Alma] Well, there's still a lot of time to work out all these details. You can keep getting to know them both, as long as they don't think it's too serious... and if you chose to be with a common man, then that's a bridge to cross later.
[Felise] I feel a bit bad about leading either of them on... but you're right.
[Felise] I know I don't have to decide right now.
[Felise] Neither of them has made a proposal, after all.
[Alma] Precisely. And just be honest...
[Alma] If they can't handle that you want to get to know them better before things become serious, then they're not worth having...
[Alma] Well, unless you're just getting married for appearances.
[Alma] Then you go with the Duke :)
[Felise] Next time I speak with the Duke, I think I'll ask him about some of the rumours. Maybe he can explain them...
- Alma looks unsure
[Felise] Or do you think that's a bad idea?
[Alma] I don't think I'd put it that way, exactly...
- Felise looks anxious.
- Alma mulls over the right words.
[Alma] Perhaps you could let him know that you're not courting for marriage... but instead for a partner?
[Alma] No, that would sound a little mean...
[Felise] Would that give him the wrong idea?
[Alma] I suppose maybe partner isn't the right word either...
[Alma] You see, you are not alone in finding this all difficult :)
- Felise nods.
[Alma] Perhaps if put another way, asking about his past affections could be the right way to go.
[Alma] You're looking for a partner and a commitment, not just a marriage for the papers?
[Felise] That sounds good.
- Alma looks a little flustered
[Alma] Of course not a commitment /now/
[Alma] I think maybe you'll have to work on your script with someone else :)
- Felise giggles.
[Felise] You've helped me a lot, Alma. I have a better idea what factors I should be considering now.
[Alma] I'm glad.
[Alma] I think you should do whatever you think will make you happiest... we'll be here to support you either way :)
[Felise] Thank you. I knew you would be :)
[Alma] And if need be I can always threaten them for you :)
- Felise laughs.
[Felise] Well, if you do happen to talk to either of them, maybe you could ... well, don't tell them I was asking about them! but maybe you could bring it up, subtly, and see if you think they are sincere?
- Alma considers it seriously anyway :)
[Alma] You know, I'd been thinking something along those lines myself :)
[Felise] Would you? Oh, thank you :)
[Alma] I was just worried I'd seem a little imposing :)
[Alma] Maybe a little fear would do them good?
[Felise] Oh, don't scare them off ;)
[Alma] I like to think I only scare the ones with bad intentions.
- Felise smiles at that.
[Felise] Thank you, Alma.
- Felise gives you an affectionate hug.
- Alma returns it!
[Alma] It's good that you've got some nice gentlemen to entertain you on boring days :)
[Felise] It's funny, I suppose I thought that gentlemen weren't very interested in me. But apparently all it took was moving out of my mother's house, and then out of yours ;)
[Alma] Well, being seen at social events like weddings helps :)
[Alma] Have them take you out, and maybe you'll get even more callers :)
[Felise] I don't know what I'd do with more! Two is plenty.
[Alma] The others are just backup should neither be fitting for you.
- Felise chuckles.
[Alma] I'm serious!
[Alma] These are the first two, there's nothing at all which says the best is among them.
[Felise] Well, how many suitors did you have? ;)
[Alma] I tried my best not to have any :P
[Alma] I thought all that business was a few years away... working out who to talk to, what family's were right...
[Felise] That didn't work out...
- Felise teases.
[Alma] Well, I did rebuff Patric Arguelles as /some/ form of suitor :P
[Alma] I got lucky. I admit it. It's unfair how easily it happened.
[Alma] I feel obligated to help on that basis alone :)
[Felise] I'm very hapyp that it did, though. You two seem perfectly suited :)
[Alma] It gives me more time to worry about César :)
[Felise] Oh, Cesar... he's a sweet boy. I hope he'll find someone more appropriate for him than I would have been :)
[Alma] We spoke about such things a few months ago and he spoke of seeing himself with children someday... I felt so relieved... the light at the mouth of the cave :)
[Felise] That's marvellous :)
[Alma] Now if he could only think of something to do with his days.
- Felise nods.
[Alma] .oO( I suppose I should be glad he isn't prepared to lead soldiers... )
- Alma chats s'more :3