Diablotin 3 session 50

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Diablotin 3 session logs
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Summary

Session

Session date: March 12, 2017
Diablotin date:

Prologue

Hugo asks Eirini about Amanita's book

<DiablotinNarrator> All right, Hugo - you had wanted to talk to Eirini?

<Hugonel> sure

<DiablotinNarrator> Okay - I'll say that you had tried to get in touch with her last session but hadn't been able to reach her. However, trying again now, you do manage to get in touch and arrange a time to meet with her. Where did you want to meet?

<Hugonel> (someplace private - my house perhaps?)

<DiablotinNarrator> okay, that's fine

  • Eirini arrives at your house. Her hair has taken on a green tint for summer and she has it done up under a scarf, with sunglasses as well, perhaps to conceal her identity or at least make herself less noticable?
  • Hugonel is dressed in a loose-fitting white shirt with a grey and gold scarf.

<Hugonel> Hello, Eirini. It's been too long.

  • Hugonel smiles warmly.

<Eirini> Hello, Hugo... how have you been?

  • Eirini seems a bit nervous/skittish

<Hugonel> I've been well. It's been quiet for the last little while.

<Hugonel> Come in, come in.

  • Eirini enters your house

<Hugonel> How are you?

<Eirini> It's been a ... troubling time, I'm afraid.

<Hugonel> Oh, how so?

  • Eirini takes off her sunglasses and has a seat.

<Eirini> Troubles at home.

  • Eirini says vaguely

<Hugonel> Anything I can help with?

<Eirini> I don't know... Look, I don't mean to be rude, but what do you want?

<Hugonel> Are you in danger right now, Eirini?

<Eirini> That depends on what you want to talk about, and who finds out we talked.

<Eirini> I'm here because you've helped me in the past, but things are difficult right now, and I don't want to get into trouble.

<Hugonel> I need to ask you about the book that Amanita had.

  • Eirini seems to relax a little at that

<Eirini> What about it?

<Hugonel> What do you know about its provenance and its powers?

<Eirini> Something about a Dark Tapestry...?

<Hugonel> Yes, yes, that's it. Is it the Codex of the Dark Tapestry?

<Eirini> I think so. I heard something about that...

<Hugonel> Hmm ... who did you hear it from?

<Eirini> Linthira >.>

<Hugonel> Right, of course.

<Hugonel> It was through ripping a page out of that book that Amanita sent us to the First World, or at least, so it seemed.

<Eirini> I heard that it can open a temporary passage between the planes, but it's very dangerous to do so.

<Hugonel> Right. Do you know where she got it?

<Eirini> I heard there was an elf woman who brought it to her.

<Hugonel> Hmm, interesting ... I don't suppose you know any more about her identity?

<Eirini> Not specifically, but I think she was part of the Circle.

<Hugonel> The Circle? What's that?

<Eirini> The Circle of Brethren... they're, ah, an alliance between the various branches of elven and fey kind.

<Hugonel> Has it existed a long time?

<Eirini> Yes, but for a long time it was ... I don't know - hidden?

<Hugonel> Is it centered here in Diablotin, or elsewhere?

<Eirini> I don't know if it's centered anywhere... members work towards greater unity between the divided peoples. I think they travel where they're needed, or where they think they might find support.

<Eirini> If they have a headquarters, I don't know where it is

<Hugonel> All right ... and they have an interest in what's going on in the city recently?

<Eirini> Yes, certainly.

<Eirini> Any passage between the First World and this would be of interest to them.

<Hugonel> So you think they provided Amanita with the Codex in order to help her in her efforts?

<Eirini> Yes...

  • Eirini looks a bit more nervous

<Hugonel> And she still has it?

<Eirini> I'm not sure. I know Linthira wanted to take it from her. But I don't think she wanted to give it up, so... they were quarelling about it.

<Hugonel> Is that what you're nervous about, Linthira and Amanita quarrelling?

<Eirini> And Linthira and Eranthis... the only one she hasn't picked quarrels with is Eirlys, and Eirlys isn't speaking to anyone right now.

<Eirini> I think there's going to be a war at home :/

<Hugonel> After we got back from the First World I thought things would be better ... but they just seem to be quieter and more tense.

<Hugonel> Ohhh ... between the four groups?

  • Eirini nods

<Eirini> And she wouldn't be happy to know I've told you this much.

<Hugonel> I'm sorry to pester you with these questions.

<Hugonel> If she asks, I'm sure you can make up some excuse as to what we were doing in here.

<Eirini> well... yes.

<Hugonel> Is Diablotin involved in this war? What's it all about anyway, at the heart of it?

<Eirini> Ostensibly it's about the Irminsul and who controls access to it from the First World... but it's more complicated than that.

  • Eirini shrugs

<Hugonel> I'm sorry that it's complicated.

<Hugonel> I probably should stay out of your business entirely, except, well, Amanita pulled all of us into it.

<Eirini> I just want to stay here and not get involved... I went through a war too recently to want to join in another one.

  • Hugonel nods.

<Hugonel> Is the codex still part of her plans, do you think?

<Eirini> Amanita's?

<Hugonel> Yes, hers, or Linthira's, or ... anyone's I suppose?

<Eirini> Well I can't imagine it's not part of someone's plans... Linthira wanted it, and Amanita refused to give it up. But I'm not sure why she wants it, other than so that Amanita doesn't have it.

<Hugonel> All right. Thank you. I know it can't have been easy for you to come here today with all that's going on.

  • Eirini nods

<Eirini> Some of our people have gone missing... I don't know if they're just laying low until things blow over, or if something worse has happened. But I don't really want to find out first-hand either.

<Hugonel> Missing from this world, or from the First World?

<Eirini> This world. Those of us who have chosen to live our lives here ... well, we tend not to be too involved in what's happening in the First World. But sometimes events have a way of drawing us in.

<Hugonel> Right, of course. And for better or worse, I appear to have been drawn in too.

<Eirini> I'm sorry for that.

<Hugonel> It's all right. I asked for it, I suppose. I certainly didn't run away from it, and I've had many chances.

<Hugonel> I'm starting to suspect that my days as a cabaret performer are numbered.

<Eirini> I hope your days as a whole aren't similarly numbered ;p

  • Hugonel laughs.

<Hugonel> Well, let's hope not. Imagine the hordes of mourning young women at my funeral.

  • Eirini smiles a little at that

<Eirini> Well... should we find another reason for me to visit you, so that I can tell the truth if asked? :)

<Hugonel> Ahhh ... if you like? I don't want to delay you.

<Eirini> Oh I'm sure it won't take long.

<Hugonel> You'd be surprised ... or at least, I hope you will be.

  • Hugonel smiles.

Dorien and Misery go out to Lynwood to see if they can spot a tree

<DiablotinNarrator> Dorien, how much have you told Misery about what's going on? and your weird dream and so on?

<Dorien> (I would have told her everything, honestly. Everything I know.)

<DiablotinNarrator> okay

<Misery> Hey guess what I have?

  • Misery says when she comes into the apartment one day after work

<Dorien> A great ass?

<Misery> Yes, you are.

<Dorien> ;P

<Misery> Come look outside.

<Dorien> Ok...

  • Dorien will follow
  • Misery brings you out to the street where there's a rather nice car parked.

<Dorien> ...

  • Dorien looks at Misery quizzically.

<Dorien> Is it a friend's?

<Misery> I didn't buy it, don't worry. Mme. Severin loaned it to me for a couple of days, so I can do some running around for post-production work.

<Dorien> Wow... should you be parking it in this neighborhood?

<Misery> Probably not overnight anyway ;p

<Dorien> How long you have it for?

<Misery> As long as I need it, I guess. Practically, probably a week?

  • Dorien runs a hand over it and whistles.

<Misery> Maybe I can park it at your office?

<Dorien> Probably safer there. Wanna go for a spin?

<Misery> I thought you'd never ask :)

  • Misery hops into the driver's seat

<Dorien> Where we goin'?

<Misery> Wherever we want :D

  • Misery pulls away from the apartment once you're in the car, with a squeal of tires and a cloud of dust.
  • Dorien clutches the dashboard instinctively.

<Misery> IT'S FINE DON'T WORRY!

  • Misery says loudly over the sound of the engine, and shouts from passers-by who jump out of the way to avoid getting run down

<Dorien> Aaaaaah!

<Dorien> Ok...

<Dorien> ummm...

<Dorien> Sweety...

  • Misery makes liberal use of the horn

<Dorien> WATCH OUT FOR THE CABBAGE CART!!!!!

  • Misery clips the edge of the cabbage cart and sends cabbages spilling across the street as she swerves to avoid it

<Misery> THIS IS THE BEST!

<Dorien> WE ARE GOING TO DIE!

  • Misery swings onto a larger road, startling some horses pulling a carriage

<Misery> I think I'm getting the hang of this :)

<Dorien> Do you ummm.... have a license?

<Misery> Mme. Severin showed me which pedals do what, I'm fiiiiiine.

<Misery> This one's the go faster pedal :D

  • Misery demonstrates

<Dorien> AHHHHHHHH!!!!

  • Misery hurtles along cobbled roads not really meant for cars

<Dorien> Honey... sweetie... I love you to death, but I would prefer that not be literally!

  • Misery grins and demonstrates the brakes, just for you
  • Dorien slams into the dashboard, headfirst.

<Misery> Better?

<Dorien> Owwwwwwwwwww...

<Dorien> I thing I bwoke my node...

<Misery> Aww

  • Dorien rubs his face and looks around.

<Misery> You'll live, and chicks dig scars ;)

<Dorien> (Where are we?)

<Misery> (probably somewhere in Rhenea at this point)

<Misery> Anyway, I was thinking...

  • Misery says casually

<Dorien> ...yes?

  • Dorien asks warily.

<Misery> Wellll, you don't even know what happened with that tree thing out at that creepy hospital place. We could take a drive that way and see if we can see it.

<Misery> And it'd be in the country, there's nothing to hit out there ;)

  • Dorien considers.

<Dorien> I suppose it couldn't hurt just to drive by. I don't suppose... you'd let me drive?

<Misery> No way.

<Misery> What if you got in an accident? ;)

<Dorien> Right.

<Dorien> Silly me.

<Dorien> Just... try to stay on the paved roads...

<Misery> Okay - you'll have to tell me how to get there.

  • Dorien will do so.
  • Misery manages to get us out of the city with only a few more minor scrapes ;p Once out in the countryside, she seems happy to drive ridiculously fast and wave at sheep along the way.

<Dorien> (heeee)

  • Dorien relaxes a bit once there are fewer cars and people on the road

<Misery> See, this is nice!

  • Misery says over the wind blowing by

<Dorien> This I could get used to. We just need to keep you out of the city.

<Misery> I need a hat ;p My hair is going to be a mess.

  • Dorien opens his mouth and then wisely closes it.

<Dorien> Pretty sure it would have blown off several miles back

<Misery> So, once we get close to this place, do you think there'll be guards? Do we need to be stealthy?

<Dorien> We're not going in. Just driving by. See what we can from the road.

<Dorien> I'm pretty sure if there's a giant tree we can't miss it.

<Misery> Okay.

  • Misery sounds slightly disappointed at not getting to sneak ;)

<Dorien> (She can be dissapointed and alive ;) )

  • Misery slows down as we near the turn-off for Lynwood Manor and Evil Research Facility

<Misery> So it's down that way?

<Dorien> Yeah, if anyone asks, we just got lost on the back roads.

  • Misery stands up somewhat, trying to see better
  • Dorien holds on to the dashboard again.

<Misery> I don't see a creepy tree, do you?

<Dorien> slow down a sec...

  • Dorien will likewise try to stand up... carefully

<DiablotinNarrator> You can make out the roof/upper storey of the house from there, but you don't see a big glowing blue tree, or indeed any tree that doesn't just look like a regular tree. Certainly not growing out of the house - the damage to the roof looks like it's been repaired as well.

<Dorien> Yeah, nothin.

  • Dorien sits back down.

<Dorien> Weird. I wonder if they got rid of it somehow.

<Misery> Maybe.

<Misery> Or made it invisible or something...

<Dorien> Possible, I suppose. Wouldn't be that complicated to throw up an illusion.

  • Misery nods

<Dorien> Well, that was a bust.

<Misery> Well, it was a fun drive :) And we learned something, anyway.

<Dorien> True.

<Dorien> What say we go get food and then maybe cruise around some more?

<Misery> All right, sounds good to me. We could stop for a picnic somewhere :)

<Dorien> How much gas do we have, anyway?

<Misery> Uh... some?

  • Dorien sighs.

<Dorien> Ok, well... that first then, I suppose.

  • Misery nods
  • Misery will whisk us off to the nearby village to hopefully find gas and food ;)

<Dorien> :3

Ander and Aubrienne are questioned by the Vjestaci; Denise accompanies them

  • Ander has put on his big boy pants to go to have a friendly chat with the Vjestaci. He'll bring Denise definitely not because he's half-expecting them to jump him, and Janelle for moral support and as a witness ;p Aubrienne, you are there to help mediate the meeting.

<DiablotinNarrator> (and so that they'll get off your back ;)

<Aubrienne> (I have other things going on Vjestaci, jeez)

<Denise> (who doesn't, jeez!)

  • Ander is unusually a bit nervous about this - or at least, a bit visibly nervous.

<Denise> I got your back, boss

<Aubrienne> It'll be all right.

<Aubrienne> They just want in the loop.

<Ander> They wanna be in charge of the loop >.>

<Aubrienne> They can go suck an egg.

<Denise> yeah

<Janelle> Well it isn't like they can force you to work for them or something. Even if they tried to mind-control you, I'm pretty sure they can't make you give people the gift.

<Ander> ... thanks, that's reassuring.

  • Aubrienne smiles brightly.

<Aubrienne> About that...

<Aubrienne> How long does that take?

<Ander> Hmm?

<Ander> Oh, like a minute. It's fast.

<Denise> maybe not even that

  • Ander nods

<Aubrienne> How does it work?

<Denise> you gotta really want it, mostly, is how it works

<Ander> Well, I ask if you know what you're gettin' into, you say yeah, I touch you, an' then it just kinda ... happens.

<Aubrienne> Huh.

<Ander> At least so far - it's never not worked.

<Aubrienne> Could you do it now?

<Ander> For you? Sure.

<Denise> yeah, the knowin' what you're gettin' into part... Like, knowin' its dangerous, an stuff, I guess. We didn't know, like, the silver part before >.>

<Aubrienne> I'd been thinking, and I think I want the gift. I want some more skin in the game, and, though I'm still sort of leery about Rat, I trust you guys.

  • Denise nods

<Aubrienne> Silver part?

<Ander> Yeah, I guess it makes us vulnerable to silver, like were-creatures.

<Denise> yeah

  • Denise nods

<Ander> But if you're still good with that, then I can do it whenever.

<Aubrienne> What does that mean? It hurts us more when we're injured, or, like, it hurts to touch it?

<Denise> just if it hurts us

<Aubrienne> Well, getting stabbed or shot is already something I try to avoid, so that seems like a small tradeoff.

<Ander> heh

  • Aubrienne straightens and takes a breath.

<Aubrienne> Okay, yeah, I'd like the gift.

<Ander> Okay.

<Aubrienne> Please. ;)

  • Denise grins

<Denise> it's 'cause you saw me an' hettie, ain't it ^-6

<Denise> ^-^

<Ander> <r> Aubrienne, d'you accept the gift of goin' on four feet?

  • Aubrienne grins at Denise, then turns back to Ander with a serious face.

<Aubrienne> Yes, I do.

<Ander> <r> Knowin' that it might be a danger to you as well as a blessing...

  • Aubrienne closes her mouth with a guilty look at interrupting.
  • Ander nods to show he's done ;)

<Aubrienne> I accept.

  • Ander nods and reaches out his hand to touch your shoulder. You feel a little zing pass between you and suddenly you are transformed into a rat.

<Denise> :3

  • Aubrienne makes an "eeeeeeeeeeeeeee" noise that I think translates fine.

<Ander> :)

<Denise> you can just turn back whenever

<Denise> but you're real cute ^-^

  • Aubrienne will take a few moments to examine her rat self and then change back.

<Aubrienne> I think I could ride Prizrak when I'm that size. :)

<Aubrienne> (Seriously) Thank you, Ander. I appreciate this a lot.

<Aubrienne> (Less seriously) To think, I studied forever to learn how to cast a spell for that.

<Ander> Hey, it's my honour. I'm glad I could do it for you.

<Aubrienne> Okay, lets go face the music with the Vjestaci, hmm?

<Ander> Yeah, let's get it over with.

  • Denise nods

<Janelle> It'll be fine...and if it isn't, we'll deal with it.

  • Janelle says firmly
  • Aubrienne nods
  • Ander will head with you to the Vjestaci's headquarters, then, i.e. the back rooms of the Ratte social club :)

<DiablotinNarrator> Your aunt Svara is there, Aubrienne, along with the other members

  • Aubrienne will approach her if she's not otherwise occupied.

<Svara> oh, hi Aubrienne :)

<Aubrienne> Hi, Auntie Svara :)

<Aubrienne> How're things looking?

<Svara> Better now that you're here :)

<Aubrienne> That's nice of you to say, but I thought we were kind of doorstep darkening here.

<Svara> Well, I really hope this will help smooth things over.

<Aubrienne> Me too. I'm hoping we can placate folks enough to leave us alone.

  • Svara nods
  • Svara will gather people together and let them know we're here and ready to proceed with the friendly chat that is not an interrogation.

<Aubrienne> (heh)

  • Janelle and Denise can wait nearby but I need her window ;)
  • Aubrienne nods reassuringly to Denise
  • Lyth du Champe will call things to order, as the head of the Vjestaci
  • Denise just sticks close-ish to Ander unless he tells her not to

<Lyth> (assume everything is in Rat, from here on)

<Aubrienne> (I figured it had been since we walked in ;))

<Lyth> (yeah)

<Lyth> Thank you for coming to speak with us.

<Ander> Sure thing.

  • Ander tries to keep his tone neutral and non-annoyed ;p

<Lyth> There have been quite a few recent issues of concern to us, and we're hoping you can help us to settle them.

  • Lyth says to the group of you in general

<Lyth> At the insistence of several of our members, we agree to accept your answers as truthful, rather than using magic to compel the truth. We want to show that we trust you, as we hope you can also trust us.

<Aubrienne> -_-

  • Lyth smiles warmly

<Ander> Okay...

<Ander> That's real big of you.

  • Ander says with a smile in return

<Lyth> Hmrph, indeed, well. Let us hope this marks the start of a fruitful relationship. We are on the same side, after all.

<Ander> Mm.

  • Ander makes a noncommittal noise.

<Lyth> Let's get the big question out of the way right at the beginning: we have reason to believe you are the Wastelord. Is this true?

<Ander> Yeah, I guess I am.

  • Aubrienne resists the urge to magic up some fanfare and sparkles for that 'revelation'.

<Lyth> This is remarkable news, I'm sure you can appreciate how amazed we are to hear it.

<Ander> Sure, I appreciate the hell out of it.

<Ander> It's pretty amazing to me too.

<Svara> Can you tell us how you became aware of this?

  • Svara inquires curiously

<Ander> It's kinda a long story, but the short version is, I had a vision where I talked to Rat, an' he told me as much.

<Ander> So I guess he's got his reasons.

  • Aubrienne scans the crowd to read their reactions.

<DiablotinNarrator> (some murmuring, gasps of surprise, etc.)

<Lyth> I hope you won't take it amiss if we inquire further about that... "vision"

<Ander> I don't mind talkin' about it, but maybe just with one or two folks. I wouldn't wanna bore the whole council with the story ;p

<Lyth> I'm sure we would not find it boring, but we accept that.

<Lyth> Can you tell us what your new role entails? At least, to the best of your knowledge?

<Ander> It entails givin' folks tails. An' four feet, an' whiskers.

  • Aubrienne stifles a laugh.

<Lyth> You can give the gift of four feet?

  • Lyth leans forward with interest

<Ander> Yeah. To them as truly wants it, an' knows what they're gettin' into.

<DiablotinNarrator> There is a good deal of loud muttering at that

  • Aubrienne narrows her eyes at Lyth after hearing her phrasing.
  • Denise watches the crowd
  • Lyth gestures for quiet

<Lyth> This is... a momentous development.

<Lyth> We will need to discuss how this affects our people, and how best to proceed from this point.

<Ander> With all due respect, you can decide how you proceed for sure, but my own proceedins ain't up to you. I know what I'm here to do an' I'm gonna keep on doin' it.

<Lyth> Of course, but we may be able to assist you in your ...mission. Keep that in mind.

  • Lyth leaves unsaid the bit where they might also be able to NOT assist, and what that could mean.

<Ander> Believe me, I'm keepin' it there.

  • Lyth turns to Aubrienne

<Lyth> There's also the matter of the Deck, which concerns us greatly. As you know, we would greatly wish to examine it, and be sure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands. What can you tell us about it?

<Aubrienne> Honestly? I doubt I can tell you anything you don't already know. I have seen and handled the deck, but I'm not some kind of arrogant idiot who might try to use it.

  • Aubrienne pauses for a moment while keeping Lyth's gaze before continuing.
  • Denise stifles a smirk at that

<Aubrienne> It's powerful, and certainly an artifact of our people, but it is dangerous. Monumentally so.

<Aubrienne> I personally believe it is in the best interests of the Vjestaci and House Rat to keep the deck hidden.

<Lyth> We should consider the possibility that it came into your hands for a reason. That in fact it may not be unconnected with the Wastelord's reappearance as well. Our people are at a turning point - and we have these tools available to us to help us.

<DiablotinNarrator> (more murmuring from the crowd)

<Aubrienne> I would think of it more as a tipping point, and the deck pushes both ways. Using should only be considered under the most dire circumstances.

<Aubrienne> (Using it, rather)

<Aubrienne> The Wastelord was specifically empowered, and is able to exercise his own free will and judgement in the use of his gift. The deck, even if related, remains too unpredictable. It could ruin our people as easily as elevate them.

<Svara> I agree. We are not at the point where using it becomes worth the risks it would entail.

  • Aubrienne gives Svara a grateful look.

<Lyth> How can we be certain that the Deck is being stored safely? That no one else will make use of it?

  • Lyth asks stubbornly

<Aubrienne> Perhaps the fact that it hasn't been used thus far might lend some weight to our claim that it is safe and secure.

<Lyth> Very well. I suppose that will have to suffice for now.

  • Lyth doesn't seem entirely happy with that answer, but seems to realize badgering you about it isn't going to help
  • Lyth turns his attention back to Ander for a moment

<Lyth> Who have you given this gift to thus far?

<Ander> Now that definitely ain't my place to say.

<Aubrienne> You can't possibly expect him to answer that.

<Denise> :|

<Denise> >:|

<Lyth> My concern is merely to ensure that it's being used prudently and ethically.

  • Denise wonders if his is where things go bad?
  • Ander frowns at that

<Ander> It's been real swell chattin' with you, but I think I'm done with questions now.

<DiablotinNarrator> The assembly erupts into clamour as people call out to Ander for more questions, or shout in disapproval or dismay at his refusal to speak further, or just yell at each other ;p

<Denise> come on boss, lets' go >.>

  • Ander nods and will let you escort him out before they can mob him

<Aubrienne> Go, I'll try to calm them down some.

  • Janelle will also leave with you and Ander, Denise
  • Denise get Ander out, then

<DiablotinNarrator> (make a Str. check to shove your way through the crowd)

<Denise> !roll 1d20+4

<Denise> (oh wait I can't roll on myself, sec)

<Lan-cloud> !Roll 1d20+4

<Denise> (or at all because wrong comeputer argh, sec)

<Denise> (16)

<DiablotinNarrator> Okay - you manage to push your way through them since they're wussy sorcs ;)

<Aubrienne> (Heh)

<Denise> (should be 17 anyway)

<DiablotinNarrator> Okay

<DiablotinNarrator> You can get Ander and Janelle back out to the car and make your getaway, then.

<DiablotinNarrator> Aubrienne, things seem to be pretty chaotic at the moment, but you can try to get to your aunt and help calm things down

  • Aubrienne is going to try to make the point to people that they probably wouldn't want all the Vjestaci's dealings public, so maybe they can cut Ander some slack.

<DiablotinNarrator> (legit)

<DiablotinNarrator> I'll assume eventually people will settle down and talk more reasonably again

<Aubrienne> (She'll probably also try to take down names for folks that want to meet with him and say she'll see what she can manage.)

<DiablotinNarrator> okay

<DiablotinNarrator> sounds good!

<Aubrienne> (Ander, you have a two o'clock enrattening.)

Genevriel is hired by Veronise Calondres

<DiablotinNarrator> Gen, you've arranged with Polly for a time for you to go out to the experimental farm and have a job interview

  • Genevriel dreads the day, but spends some time boning up on knowledge they might quiz her about.
  • Polly will meet you when you arrive at the farm
  • Genevriel pulls up in Madds' car? ;)

<DiablotinNarrator> Yeah, that works :)

<Polly> Hi Gen, glad you could make it :)

<Genevriel> Hi Pol, it's nice to be out of the city.

  • Genevriel is dressed in a fashionable and professional-looking ladies' pants suit.

<Polly> Here, let me show you around a little, and then I'll take you to meet the boss.

<Genevriel> Extra time for me to get more nervous. Sounds good.

  • Genevriel cracks a smile.
  • Polly smiles back

<Polly> She really isn't scary, I promise :)

  • Genevriel chuckles and wishes there was an unobtrusive way to cast Magic Circle of Protection Against Evil.
  • Genevriel follows Pol around for the tour and will try to commit to memory everything she sees, in case this is the only chance she has of seeing any of it.

<Genevriel> (Anything worth noting?)

  • Polly brings you around the side of the building to see a few of the outside gardens, but doesn't spend a lot of time on them, just a brief tour, and pointing out a few things of interest - a plant that is being grown to produce an anti-burn lotion, another that they hope will improve crop yields when planted in fallow fields between seasons.
  • Genevriel curses herself for not having learned "Detect Evil"
  • Polly does not take you into the orchard with the weird trees with the blue sap however ;)
  • Polly 's tour seems very benign, anyway - nothing that seems suspicious from your point of view

<Genevriel> . o O (This is probably what everyone gets to see if they get a tour at all.)

  • Polly then brings you inside the building, leading you past some offices and lab spaces to a larger corner office where she knocks on the door.

<Polly> Mlle. Calondre? My friend that I mentioned to you is here - Genevriel Doucette.

<Veronise> Oh, yes, come in!

<Genevriel> . o O (Game time.)

  • Polly shows you inside, then.
  • Genevriel smiles confidently for Mlle. Calondre's benefit, and will extend her hand for a firm (but not too firm) shake if that is practical.

<Genevriel> Good afternoon, Mlle. Calondre; thank you for seeing me.

  • Veronise is quite young - probably only a few years older than you, Gen. She's tall, not as tall as you, but fairly tall for a woman, with frizzy dark brown hair tied back in a bun, and medium brown skin.

<Veronise> It's very nice to meet you - thank you for coming. I understand from Polly that you have some background in agricultural sciences?

<Genevriel> Yes. I can't claim any formal education, but my parents were both graduates of the Castalia horticulture and agricultural science programs.

  • Veronise nods

<Veronise> Well, often hands-on experience is more important than classroom learning.

<Genevriel> We were some of the settlers in Psyra; we had an olive farm. They taught me everything they knew, and I practiced grafting and breeding for specialized traits to assist my parents with our livelihood.

<Veronise> I see... were their lands affected by the war?

  • Genevriel nods.

<Genevriel> My family's farm was one of the ones attacked in Sixth-month. I was away at market selling our products at the time, which is why I'm still alive.

<Veronise> I'm very sorry to hear that. The loss of their knowledge, and plants that had been carefully cultivated for years, is truly unfortunate.

  • Genevriel is proud of herself for not breaking down.
  • Veronise sounds genuinely sympathetic, although maybe equally sad about the plants as about your family ;p

<Genevriel> Olives are fire-resistant; there are shoots in the orchard, but I'm not certain whether they are the scions or the rootstock.

  • Veronise nods

<Genevriel> In all likelihood they are the rootstock and so everything would have been lost.

<Veronise> Perhaps, but one never knows - maybe one day their work will come to fruition.

<Genevriel> I fear it would have to be started over from scratch.

<Genevriel> But one never knows.

  • Veronise nods

<Veronise> Nature can often surprise us :)

  • Genevriel might find out when the shoots she has planted in a pot in the apartment start bearing fruit in 10 or so years.

<Veronise> So, tell me - are you more interested in a position that would involve a lot of outdoor work, or something in the labs? We are somewhat short-staffed at the moment, so we have both positions available.

<Genevriel> I think I'd be capable of either type of work, but I'd find the lab work more challenging - in a good way.

  • Genevriel smiles.
  • Veronise nods, smiling baxck

<Veronise> I should say, even the lab positions do require some outdoor work, in taking samples or monitoring the existing plants

<Veronise> So we would not be keeping you penned up indoors all day :)

<Genevriel> That would be pleasant.

<Genevriel> May I ask what has caused the shortage of staff?

<Veronise> Oh, nothing out of the ordinary - several people recently left to take on other positions, which was fortunate for them, but less so for us.

  • Genevriel nods.

<Veronise> Would you have any difficulty in working perhaps some odd hours? I know that Polly mentioned you were hoping for a more regular schedule, so we wouldn't be requiring all evenings or overnight shifts or the like, but there might be an occasion where you would be needed to come in on a day off, or to stay late if work is unable to be interrupted.

<Genevriel> I think I could accommodate odd hours on occasion.

<Veronise> I'm sure you know there are some times when we can't predict when a certain plant might flower, or when it needs to be monitored very closely.

<Genevriel> I'd have to let my partner know if I'll be late coming home, though; he does worry.

<Veronise> Of course.

<Veronise> I doubt it would be a frequent occurrence, but since I knew it was something that you were concerned about, I wanted to mention it.

<Veronise> Did you have any questions for me?

  • Genevriel nods.

<Genevriel> Is there any sort of non-disclosure agreement? I understand that research facilities sometimes find themselves competing with one another. Also a dress code of any type?

<Veronise> Dress code is simply whatever you are comfortable in that is safe for wear in the lab. Nothing that would be trailing in fluids or catching on fire or the like.

  • Genevriel nods.

<Genevriel> No dresses then. Good.

  • Genevriel smiles.
  • Veronise nods

<Veronise> And yes, we would require you to keep some aspects of your work here secret. Anything of that sort will be made clear at the outset of a project, if it is something that's not to be discussed outside work. Not all of our projects are of that sort, but certainly some are.

  • Genevriel nods.

<Genevriel> What are some of the projects you're excited about now? The ones you can speak about, anyway?

  • Veronise smiles at that

<Veronise> I'm very excited about some of our projects to develop and enhance the natural healing properties of certain plants. I feel there is great potential for medical advancement there. For just one example, some of our technicians are at work on developing plants as painkillers, which would be a great help for many people if they work as well as our early tests suggest.

<Veronise> We work closely with many other teams - medical professionals, the military, and researchers from the Castalia, among others.

<Genevriel> I've got some background in herbalism, too; I'll be interested in learning what plants you are using for their healing properties.

  • Veronise nods

<Veronise> Then I think you would work out splendidly here :)

<Veronise> I don't mean to put you on the spot, but we'd be happy to have you.

<Genevriel> Really? That's wonderful. It'll be nice to work with Pol and meet others who share my interests

<Veronise> Great, I'll have the necessary papers drawn up and .. would you be able to start next week? or do you need a little longer to make arrangements?

<Genevriel> I would have to give notice at my current employers... usually they like to have two weeks' warning.

<Veronise> All right. Two weeks is fine.

<Genevriel> Excellent. I look forward to it.

  • Veronise will take your contact information and so forth

<Genevriel> (Likewise)

Lathra asks Princess Ilphere about her interest in dreams

<DiablotinNarrator> Lathra, you wanted to talk more with Princess Ilphere. I'll say you can arrange for a time to meet her at the Antiquarian Society, since she seemed willing to show you around there.

<Lathra> (Right, that's what we said before)

<DiablotinNarrator> The Rhenean Antiquarian Society is a large and somewhat ramshackle building in, go figure, Rhenea. The Princess will meet you there and show you inside.

<Ilphere> This is the meeting hall, and over here is the library...!

<Lathra> It's very nice!

<Ilphere> The library is really quite good - of course, it's improved a lot since I joined ... for instance, look here - a very rare copy of Hats and Headgear of the Aethalian Plains :)

<Lathra> Ooooh...

  • Lathra makes grabby hands, but reigns them in a little bit
  • Ilphere pulls it off the shelf and shows you illustrations of fancy hats

<Ilphere> The society does some very interesting work... well, *some* of the members do... others are mere dabblers...!

<Ilphere> But you never know what you're going to hear about at one of the monthly talks.... Or actually, you do, if you read the schedule, but who does that?

<Ilphere> I prefer to be surprised...!

<Lathra> How is one to get anything done when one spends all of one's time reading schedules?

<Ilphere> Well indeed - there are so much more interesting things to read...

<Lathra> Case in point - the mechanism on this fascinator...

<Ilphere> Are you a hat scholar...?

<Lathra> Merely an aspiring enthusiast, I'm afraid

  • Ilphere nods

<Ilphere> What sort of things do you like to study, then...?

<Lathra> I'm barely a scholar, I confess - I've studied the texts of my religeon, of course, and medicine a little... and I've some insights into the city as somewhat of a newcomer, but...

<Lathra> Any connections to academia are relatively recent, via aquaintances and, of course, interest in... recent events and experiences.

<Ilphere> Well, everyone must start somewhere...!

<Ilphere> And I'm sure there would be some interest in texts of your religion - the faith of Serpent is still poorly understood in many respects...!

<Lathra> Oh, I think perhaps that's as true within the churches as without

  • Ilphere chuckles at that

<Ilphere> Well yes - some would ask if we can ever truly understand faith...!

  • Lathra nods with a little more weariness than she'd like to show

<Ilphere> Oh dear, I hope I haven't insulted you...?

<Lathra> Not at all, not at all - it's something I've wrestled with a while, and while fascinating, I think we'd need a large bottle of Psyrene liquor to make any progress in furthering *that* research

  • Ilphere nods sympathetically

<Lathra> So what of your own research? What keeps Ilphere's mind whirring?

<Ilphere> I do know what that's like... Some questions one can delve into so deeply that it becomes difficult to extricate oneself, or to put what one manages to learn into something comprehensible to those who haven't been so immersed...!

<Lathra> Yes! Yes, that's very much what it's like.

<Ilphere> Oh, my own research is primarily on dreams...! Travel through dreams, dream planes, the source of dreams, the creatures who populate the dream realms... there's so much to explore there...!

<Lathra> Why, no wonder you've been so invested in our tree-and-seed problems

  • Ilphere nods excitedly

<Ilphere> Yes, it's one of the most fascinating puzzles I've come across in recent years...!

<Ilphere> An entity in the material world that spreads its seeds via dreams... fascinating...!

<Lathra> So... much as I hate to ask what must be the *most* common question... why dreams? I mean, I suppose some of the appeal is obvious, they're clearly a fascinating field, but do you have any specific reasons?

<Ilphere> Well, even as a child I had very strange, vivid dreams... I suppose they have guided my studies ever since...!

<Lathra> That sounds wonderful!

<Ilphere> Yes, wonderful but also sometimes far beyond a child's capability to grasp... Seeking to understand the things I saw and heard there has been my motivation ever since...!

<Lathra> I can barely imagine what secrets you might discover, as you unravel the truth of the dream worlds

  • Lathra peers into a nearby room
  • Ilphere turns to see what you're looking at

<Ilphere> Did you want to walk around a bit more...? There are some fascinating artifacts people have brought back from their travels...!

<Lathra> I'd love to!

  • Ilphere will take you around to see some more of the society's treasures then
  • Lathra will enjoy seeing them, and hearing the stories

Solos

Argent confesses his secret identity to Dorien

  • Argent is lounging in the small living room

<Argent> Dorien, need to talk to you about somethin'. Got a minute?

  • Dorien wanders into the small kitchen to grab a cup of tea.

<Dorien> "Hmmm? Oh, sure. What's up?"

  • Argent pauses considering for a second...
  • Dorien pours his tea into a cup and takes a sip.

<Argent> You ever wonder why I tried to rope everyone into going after Amanita?

  • Dorien shrugs and takes his tea to his comfy chair. "I guess so. I figured you just wanted to set things right. Was there some sinister ulterior motive?"

<Argent> setting things right seems to be an odd motivation for a waiter with a possibly shady background don't you think?

  • Dorien waves a hand noncomitally. "It's an odd motivation for a disgraced alchemist drug dealer too. I don't judge."

<Dorien> What's this about?

<Argent> ... I can see why you and Aubrienne are friends... what this is about is that I've been asking people to do some dangerous things for me, and I feel that I should come clean about why.

<Dorien> Ok.

<Dorien> Hit me.

<Argent> I'm an Inquisitor. I work for the Church hunting threats to Diabloton... monsters really.

  • Dorien looks blank for a second, then laughs.

<Dorien> Ok, but seriously.

<Argent> I'm serious. I have been since I started at Titania's and we met.

<Argent> I didn't really like decieving you, but it was what I was required to do at the time.

  • Dorien looks at Argent oddly.

<Dorien> You're an inquisitor.

  • Argent nods

<Dorien> Look, man, I want to believe you.

<Argent> And these days I'm trying to deal with the threat the Cyste is and the annoyingly inconvenient apparent alliance taking place with it and members of the Church.

<Dorien> You're serious, aren't you?

<Argent> why would I make something like this up?

<Dorien> I... have no idea.

<Dorien> So why are you living here? Why work at the cabaret?

<Argent> As I said, after the events at Claar's facility, I just don't feel right about keeping this a secret

<Argent> The Cabaret is a convenient place to watch I wide swath of society, looking for things not of this world hiding in the crowd.

<Argent> This place...well... its not like I get much of a budget... and it helps preserve the cover

<Dorien> And the Inquisition is ok with you telling me this, is it?

<Argent> probably not, but its my choice. I'm the one facing the threats. I do have some leeway in what I choose to do and not do.

<Argent> Again, I'm sorry for decieving you.

  • Dorien takes a sip of tea.

<Argent> and obviously I'm not some colour guard fanatic, if you were even worried about that

<Argent> I'm still me

<Dorien> So you're not going to report me to your superiors for "Unnatural acts" or something?

<Argent> from what I hear, they're more like, "just ok" or "good enough" acts, but why whould I report that to anyone? Its hard enough for me.

<Dorien> Because some of the things I've heard about the inquisition and their relationship with interplanars is... not good. And I won't lie, knowing that you're working with them is not exactly comforting to someone dating one.

  • Argent drops the joking around

<Argent> I understand why you would be concerned, and I can't deny the stuff you've heard about the inquisition.

<Argent> I joined to fight monsters, evil things that were hiding amongst us.

<Argent> I've spotted them and they are dangerous

<Argent> Shadar-Kai are part of Diablotin and aren't hear to cause harm

  • Dorien nods.

<Argent> that's not saying there are not bad apples in the bunch... but there are bad people too

<Argent> I've learned to keep an open mind and look for what people truely are

<Argent> I'm not some religious fanatic

<Dorien> I see.

<Dorien> You just work for them.

<Argent> The Church isn't as black and white as you're making it out to be... again its a group made up of individuals with thier own motivations and faults

<Argent> and I'm not trying to defend some of the bad things members who claim to be part of it have done.

<Argent> Look at the priests helping Claar

  • Dorien sighs.

<Dorien> Argent... I think you're a good person. At least I thought I did. But I don't really know anything about you, do I?

<Argent> you know what I've done to try and stop the evils that have been going on... you just didn't have the whole reasons why.

  • Dorien is quiet for a long few moments.

<Argent> I would understand if you don't want me around here any longer.

  • Dorien sighs.

<Dorien> I don't want you gone.

<Dorien> If nothing else I could barely afford this place on my own and it's nice having someone around who doesn't mind occasional explosions.

<Dorien> I'm gonna give you the benefit of the doubt.

<Dorien> I'm sure if you wanted to do something like turn me in or hurt... someone... you've had plenty of opportunities.

<Dorien> And I do think you're a good person.

<Dorien> But... I have to tell Misery. And she may not feel the same. I can't guarantee anything.

  • Argent nods

<Dorien> I suppose I should try to keep it under wraps otherwise, huh?

<Argent> I'm letting the others of our little expeditionary force know... again I feel its only fair to them.

<Dorien> That's decent of you.

  • Dorien says sincerely.

<Argent> Denise has known for a while, and I recently discussed it with Aubrienne

<Dorien> How did she take it?

<Argent> she seemed fine with it... better than I was expecting.

<Argent> Although she'll be disappointed your jaw didn't drop or there wasn't any swear words when I broke it to you.

  • Dorien grins slightly.

<Dorien> Sorry to disapoint.

  • Argent shrugs

<Argent> I'm not out of the woods yet

<Dorien> Who are you going to tell next?

<Argent> I haven't exactly worked out an order, to be honest

<Argent> It isn't something I've been really looking forward to since I made the decision to talk about it.

<Dorien> I can imagine.

<Dorien> I know what it's like living a secret life.

<Dorien> I guess most people do to some extent.

  • Argent nods

<Dorien> Maybe not... as extreme as you perhaps.

<Dorien> But you've always done right by me.

<Argent> I hope not... it can be kinda shitty at times

<Dorien> How's the pay?

  • Argent laughs

<Argent> greater good doesn't exactly pay well... the holy powers help though.

<Dorien> Like curing people? Can you fix hangovers? Things like that?

<Argent> I know a healing prayer or two... alas nothing that can fix hangovers... just minor injuries

<Dorien> Good. If you'd been holding out on my I would've been pissed.

  • Argent laughs

<Argent> you know Lathra can probably fix those

<Dorien> heh... well, until recently I'd barely talked to her honestly. If nothing else dimensional upheavals have been good for my social circle.

<Argent> and think of the stories for the kids.... "you think you want to be a bird, well I was a bird and let me tell you it aint all feathers and flyin'!"

<Dorien> Yeah. A lot of it is squawking and being hit in the head by a sentient beard.

<Argent> Hahaha!

Denise and Ander grab a beer and debrief after the meeting with the Vjestaci

<Denise> how do you think that went, boss?

  • Ander makes a sort of frustrated eyeroll

<Ander> I guess it coulda been worse.

<Denise> I weren't sure what all you were gonna say...

<Denise> think they'll be quiet?

<Ander> I thought on it a lot. I think they will, at least for now - they ain't wrong that in some regards we're on the same side. They won't wanna bring any trouble down on our folks through this. Plus, they're a secretive bunch anyhow, it comes natural to 'em.

  • Ander takes a swig of his beer
  • Denise nods
  • Denise does also

<Denise> So if they make trouble, it'll be the quiet kind...

<Ander> Right.

<Denise> well I guess we're used to that >.>

<Denise> you gonna keep doin' what you were though, right?

<Ander> Some of 'em are pissed that I ain't gonna turn tricks for 'em, some of 'em might get annoying if they feel like they got a right to know more. Some of 'em might just want the gift, an' that I guess is fair enough.

  • Denise nods

<Ander> but yeah, I'm gonna keep on like I have been.

<Denise> that would make sense - they can come see you on their own though, if that's all

<Ander> yeah

<Ander> I figure some of 'em will, and some of 'em might pass the word on quiet to family and friends, as to what's goin' on an' who they gotta talk to.

<Denise> :/

  • Denise fidgets with her glass

<Denise> do you really think there's gonna be trouble? from them, or anyone else?

  • Ander looks at you more seriously

<Ander> I don't think they'd hurt me, Dee. Not like that kinda trouble, not from them. They might be pissy that they ain't the ones in charge of it, but I think they gotta understand how important this is for our folks.

  • Denise nods

<Denise> that's good

<Denise> but other folks, maybe?

<Ander> I don't know :/

<Denise> okay.

  • Denise nods, seeming maybe...reassured, or something
  • Denise still fidgets like she has something on her mind though

<Ander> Somethin' buggin' you?

<Denise> I guess, so, yeah :

<Denise> :/

  • Denise sighs

<Denise> I dunno, boss, sometimes I ain't sure of you really need me :p Like I know, bein' a deterrent for folks tryin' to start trouble an all...

  • Ander smiles a little at that

<Ander> You want I should get in some more trouble? ;)

<Denise> no!

<Denise> I know plenty of other folks makin' up for it :p

<Denise> It's just got me thinkin', I guess

<Denise> Like

<Denise> You know... all that stuff, with when I went to the first world

<Ander> Yeah?

<Denise> an then that other thing I told you about, a week or so back...

<Denise> an about those creepy folks from some other kinda place tryin' to take over - the Cyst, like we heard about in Ariege

<Denise> all that stuff

  • Ander nods

<Ander> What about it?

<Denise> well, there was this fella who was gonna go ask one of those faery queens about somethin'

<Denise> only she turned him into a tree instead, an' now he's stuck, 'cause he went to do us a favour

<Ander> Ahh :/ that's too bad.

<Ander> ... you feel like you oughta go help him out?

  • Ander hazards a guess

<Denise> right? An some folks are sayin', well, we oughtta go try an help him. An that seems liek the right thing to be doin' for someone who stuck his neck out liek that, but it means goin' back there, and who knows how long for...

<Ander> Are you askin' me if I think you should go?

<Denise> an, like, prolly if we went as ourselves it woudln't be the same as last time, were we were different folks, but it could still be longer than it seems...

<Denise> I dunno, boss, maybe?

<Ander> Or askin' if I'll be okay without you for a bit?

  • Denise sighs

<Denise> i feel like, if I ask you that, an you say yes, it'll just make me feel more like you don't really need me, but also, I feel I oughtta go, if I can. :/

<Denise> that's all

<Ander> Aww, Dee.

<Denise> prolly I'm just bein' dumb

<Ander> I need you 'cause you're you. You're like a little sister to me. Even if you... I dunno, got your fists cut off in an accident, I'd still want you around. You ain't just for protection, you hear?

  • Denise smiles a little

<Ander> Now if you're worried 'bout me, I can look at gettin' some other help for a few days, or even a few weeks, while you're off doin' what you gotta do.

<Denise> okay

<Ander> But that don't mean I don't need you around.

  • Ander reaches out to put his hand on your shoulder

<Ander> Okay?

<Denise> Okay.

  • Denise says more firmly, though she isn;t sure she really understands.

<Denise> I don't even know what we're doin' yet, but I'll let you know.

<Ander> Sounds good to me.

<Denise> Thanks boss :3

<Ander> What's the point of havin' thugs if I can't borrow 'em once in a while ;p

  • Denise will grin at that, though
  • Ander has this feeling he's going to end up seeing a lot of the Triple Daggers in the next while, and hides a sigh at that.

<Denise> (and I thik we're good ^-^)

<Ander> (keen)

Argent and Hettie find Servan Aigel's hidey hole

<DiablotinNarrator> Okay - Argent and Hettie are up :)

<Argent> (yeah!)

<Hettienne> (woot)

<DiablotinNarrator> So, you've been looking into some of the known contacts/family/associates of one Alec Derant, aka Servan Aigel. You've got an address for his mother, Aimee, and a place of work for his ex girlfriend, Elsa de Corvet. She works as a telephone operator, so you could track her down at/after work, or try to get to see his mother. Your choice :)

<Hettienne> (what about Jonas ;_;)

<Denise> (tell argent!)

<DiablotinNarrator> (oh, you can talk about Jonas too! I just figured there wasn't a plan going forward there yet)

<Argent> (any chance either of them live near a factory?)

<DiablotinNarrator> The ex girlfriend lives in the Castalia district, so probably not her. The mother lives in Rhenea, towards the north end, so that's probably near to some factories.

<Argent> when I had Aubrienne try some scrying, it was night and all she saw was a dark basement, but she heard a whisle of a factory, so thats something... try the mother's place first?

<Argent> (whistle)

<Hettienne> I guess...

<Hettienne> I ain't optimistic though. It seemed to me he'd cut ties with his past.

  • Argent nods
  • Hettienne seems more grumpy than usual today.

<Argent> if he grew up near there, it may be close to where he might hide... its the best I got so far...

<Argent> something eatin' at ya?

<Hettienne> Kinda.

<Hettienne> Denise didn't say nothin' to you?

<Argent> I havent had a chance to talk to her recently. What's going on?

<Hettienne> You know Bree an' me were supposed to go ask Jonas if he could find out about fae stuff.

  • Argent nods

<Argent> yeah

<Hettienne> He got got.

<Hettienne> Those fuckers turned him into a fucking TREE!

  • Hettienne is pretty upset, clearly.

<Argent> wait... a tree? Why did they do that?

<Hettienne> We sent him in there t'get fucked over.

<Hettienne> Because they're *cunts*!

<Hettienne> Now he's stuck in the fae realm and ain't nobody there gonna help him, and it's all our fault, and we ain't gettin' no closer to anything with all the rest of this shit, an just... what's the *point* anymore?!

<Argent> Well that's messed up what happened to Jonas, and we should so something about it. We are doing good, helping who we can, even if things feel frustrating.

<Argent> and believe me, I can understand the frustrated part

<Argent> I was all excited after freeing those folks from Claar, and now it feels like were moving like a snail.

<Argent> so feel frustrated, but I don't intend to stop

<Hettienne> . o O (I still don't even understand why this has gotta be our problem)

  • Hettienne looks unconvinced but doesn't say anything.

<DiablotinNarrator> So, heading to the mother's house to have a look around?

<Argent> (I guess so)

<Hettienne> (yup)

<DiablotinNarrator> Okay. You can take a trolley up to that end of town, it's not too far. Her house is located on a street called Windrush Lane. When you get there you can tell it's seen better days - there are some abandoned houses, or vacant lots, but still some houses that look like someone lives in them too.

<DiablotinNarrator> There are also some factories towards the north end of the street

<Argent> so how you want to play this? Old friends from the army?

<Hettienne> I dunno. You look pretty green for army.

<Argent> you could be the friend and I'm a young journalist writing an interest piece on people reconnecting.

<Hettienne> Alright...

<Argent> a story on where people went afterward kinda thing

<Hettienne> Let's get this over with.

  • Argent will head up to the house and see if anyone is home
  • Aimee_ comes to the door. She's middle aged, looks tired and possibly middle-of-the-day-drunk.

<Aimee_> Yeah?

  • Hettienne puts on an earnest-looking smile.

<Argent> Hello

<Hettienne> Bonjour Madame... Sorry to bother you, but I'm lookin' for an old friend o' mine an', well... is this where Alec Derant lives?

  • Aimee_ looks puzzled.

<Hettienne> My name's Joanne Bordelais, we were in th'service together... up til he got hurt. :/

<Aimee_> Not for a long while... You know my boy?

<Aimee_> Those bastards, draggin' decent folks off to fight in some pointless war...

<Hettienne> Yeah :/

<Hettienne> You got any idea where he's at? This feller here is doin' a piece on vets reconnectin' after the war... He convinced me I oughta try an' track Alec down.

<Hettienne> I remembered how he described your house, so I thought maybe...

<Argent> Names Jean Vendi, I really hope you dont mind us coming to see you like this.

<Aimee_> He came by one time... lettin' me know he was alive, I guess. But he said I shouldn't oughta worry for him now, he's got folks lookin' out for him. He was always such a good boy, takin' care of me, lookin' out for his little sister...

<Hettienne> He ain't been back since?

  • Hettienne looks disappointed.
  • Aimee_ shakes her head

<Aimee_> Did he ever tell you how when Aronne was just a little slip of a thing she disappeared, an' he was the one who found her? Such a caring brother, wouldn't give up searchin' even after so many others had...

<Hettienne> He talked a lot about her.

<Argent> such dedication

<Hettienne> Maybe she's seen more of 'im...

  • Hettienne knows she hasn't though, boo

<Aimee_> I was half-mad with fright at not knowin' where she'd got to. Turned out she fell through a floor in an old building an' he pulled her on out of there, safe an' sound...

<Argent> was that around here?

<Argent> in this neighbourhood?

<Aimee_> A couple streets over, on Barrow Hill Road.

  • Aimee_ points vaguely west-ish.

<Hettienne> (is that a factory district?)

<Aimee_> (yeah, it would be near to some)

<Argent> Well that's good background at least

<Aimee_> But he was such a good boy... I just hope he's safe an' doin' all right. If you do run into him, let him know his mother misses him?

  • Aimee_ rambles a bit drunkenly

<Hettienne> I will, Mme. Derant.

  • Hettienne says sincerely.

<Argent> well if I can help these to reconnect, it will be a good day indeed.

<Hettienne> Thanks for your time... You take care.

<Aimee_> You too, honey...

  • Hettienne waits until we're away from the door to cmment.

<Hettienne> That motherfucker has left a trail of shit wherever he's been!!

<Hettienne> His ma', his little sister, Serge-Yves' boy...

  • Hettienne swears profusely in Rat.

<Hettienne> Let's rout him outta his fuckin' hole and set his fuckin' face on fire!!! >:E

<Argent> oh im in full agreement

<Argent> so lets check it out and see what we can find

<Hettienne> A'ight

<Hettienne> you a rat yet?

<Argent> alas no

<Hettienne> Damn.

<Argent> I found my folks though... hell of a story for another time

<Hettienne> I can go in an' sniff around

<Hettienne> Ain't no one gonna notice one more rat in this part of town.

<Argent> true and neither of them know me so I'll be fine if I'm careful about how I wander

<DiablotinNarrator> You head over to Barrow Hill Road, then?

<Argent> (Yep)

  • Hettienne will slip in between a couple houses to rat it up when we get to the right area.
  • Hettienne is now known as Rattienne

<Argent> (I'll Greater Longstrider Myself when we have cover)

<DiablotinNarrator> The houses here are if anything more run down than on Windrush Lane. Still, there are clearly people who live in some of them, for their cheapness or proximity to several factories - grimy children play on the street and some women stand around on the step of one of the houses, chatting.

<Argent> (and before Hettie rat's away Ill barkskin us both)

<DiablotinNarrator> (okay)

  • Rattienne looks for a house that appears abandoned,

<DiablotinNarrator> There's one that looks more decrepit than the others, with no stairs going up to its door because they've rotted away. probably no one lives there... probably.

  • Rattienne will rat on in there, stealthily.

<Argent> (Ill wait outside while Rattienne checks things out)

  • Rattienne listens and sniffs around.

<DiablotinNarrator> Hettie, you can rat in there and have a look around. The building is definitely empty - no furniture, anything worth stealing has long ago since been stolen. But there's a sizeable hole in the floor of the main room, and from there you can smell some more interesting things... food, people...

  • Rattienne will see if she can find a way down there other than just ratachuting

<Rattienne> (holes in the walls maybe?)

<DiablotinNarrator> (you can squeeze into a hole in the floorboard and work your way down inside the wall. it's wet and gross but you can do it.

  • Rattienne does so.

<DiablotinNarrator> Down in the cellar you can peek out to have a look around. There are a couple of cots, like military issue, and some remnants of food, which are currently being nibbled by some other (actual) rats. No people currently, however.

<Rattienne> (HOw recently occupied does the space seem? Like how fresh are the food scraps?)

<Rattienne> (How strong is the scent?)

<DiablotinNarrator> But definitely signs that someone, or two someones, have been staying here recently. The food seems probably not more than a day old.

<Rattienne> (anything in here wirth stealing, jooc?)

<Rattienne> (worth)

<DiablotinNarrator> Nothing like valuables, no. Maybe a couple changes of clothing, in canvas bags, and there are a few odds and ends like a shaving kit, hairbrush, that sort of thing.

<Rattienne> . o O (So their stuff is still here... a good sign)

  • Rattienne will clamber back up and outside, then find somewhere to de-rat and meet up with Argent.

<Argent> (I will have tried my best not to stick out like a soar thumb.... I do know what Im doing... while I wait for Hettie)

<Rattienne> Hey.

<Argent> Did fortune favour us?

<Rattienne> That's their hole all right... They been there within the past day.

<Rattienne> There's clothes an' stuff left there, too, so it looks good for them comin' back sometime.

<Argent> well then, lets get some help, and come back when they may be around.

<Argent> I'm not itching for a fair fight

<Rattienne> they probably like to come 'n go when it's dark.

<Rattienne> That's what I'd do.

  • Argent nods in agreement

<Argent> the girl was sleeping when we scryed after work

<Argent> we come back late, we should catch em

<Rattienne> Alright.

<Rattienne> Round up the thugs :p

Gen tries sleeping without an active Pleasant Dreams spell

<DiablotinNarrator> Was your plan to not cast it on both of you, or just on one at a time?

<Genevriel> (My plan was not to cast it on me; Madds still gets it.)

<DiablotinNarrator> okay

<Genevriel> (He doesn't need to try to see if he can understand what the voices in his head are saying... At least I don't think he does.  ;) )

<DiablotinNarrator> heh

<DiablotinNarrator> Did you want for him to stay up while you sleep, in case anything unusual happens? like if you talk in your sleep, or seem agitated or whatever?

<Genevriel> (He was going to make himself available for cuddles if I wake up screaming, but I don't think we actually discussed whether he was willing and able to stay up for a while to watch over me.)

<Genevriel> (It would make sense, but Gen wouldn't want him to not get to sleep at all.)

  • Madds can offer to stay up for an extra hour or two, just to make sure things seem all right.
  • Genevriel nods.

<Genevriel> Don't push yourself too hard, though.

<Madds> I'll just sit up and read, it's no trouble.

<Madds> And don't be afraid to wake me if you do wake up after I've gone to sleep and need to talk.

<Genevriel> All right.

<Genevriel> I wish I had a Comprehend Languages spell to cast your way, in case I say something in Celestial.

<Genevriel> But, failing that, here's a notepad and pencil. If you write down what it sounds like, I might be able to figure out what it actually is.

<Madds> all right, I'll do my best.

  • Madds gives you a hug

<Genevriel> You are a clever person; your best should be pretty good.  :)

<Madds> heh

<Genevriel> I hope I can actually get to sleep; I'm anxious because the nightmares really were awful, so I might waste all your time tossing and turning.

<Genevriel> The simple solution would be to drink myself into a stupor but... best not.

<Madds> No, that probably wouldn't help...

<Madds> I mean, there are other ways to get to sleep... but maybe not that relaxing for either of us :)

  • Genevriel looks confused.

<Genevriel> Knocking me out?

  • Madds can't help but laugh at that

<Madds> I meant sex, but if you'd rather, I could probably find a mallet somewhere.

<Genevriel> I thought you couldn't...?

  • Genevriel looks even more confused.

<Madds> well I still have hands and a mouth that work.

<Genevriel> Oh, I'd rather not. That kind of sex makes me itchy.

<Madds> All right. I wouldn't want to make you itchy.

  • Genevriel looks relieved but also somewhat unhappy that she is unable to bring herself to do that sort of thing.

<Genevriel> I'm sorry.

<Madds> it's okay. it would probably just make me more frustrated that I can't do more anyway.

  • Genevriel nods sadly.

<Madds> But I was willing to give it a try if you thought it might help.

  • Genevriel isn't sure what to say...

<Genevriel> Thank you...

  • Madds smiles

<Genevriel> I should try to get to sleep.

<Madds> I'll be just in the chair if you need me.

  • Genevriel will lean down to kiss him sitting in the chair before laying herself down to try to sleep.
  • Madds settles in with a book
  • Genevriel curls up on her side; although Madds is tall enough himself that he might have got himself a custom bed so his feet don't hang over the end of the mattress. ;D

<Genevriel> (My 6'7" uncle had to... Madds isn't *that* tall, I don't think, but even my 6'4" brother hangs off a Queen-sized bed a bit, I think)

  • Genevriel tries to calm her thoughts to the point where she can sleep. It takes a while but eventually I suppose she must manage it!

<DiablotinNarrator> You manage to fall asleep after a while, yeah.

<DiablotinNarrator> You look around and see that you're at home, in the olive grove near your family house. It's a dark, overcast day, as though a storm is coming, and you know you're supposed to find Andri and bring him inside before it begins to pour.

  • Genevriel tries to think where he might be at this time of day...

<Genevriel> . o O (Chores all done; maybe with the horses?)

<DiablotinNarrator> You can hear him giggling and running around, so he can't be too far. In your dream he's apparently quite young, maybe only five or six.

  • Genevriel follows the sound towards him.

<DiablotinNarrator> He keeps darting just out of sight. You catch little glimpses of him - an arm here, a shoe there - but you can't quite seem to catch up to him.

<Genevriel> Andri!

<Genevriel> Andri, Maman said we have to go inside.

<Andri> You can't catch me!

<Genevriel> (What does *my* voice sound like? Childish or adult?)

<Genevriel> Andri, I don't want to play. It's going to pour; you'll catch your de-

<DiablotinNarrator> (you feel like you're younger - also when you look at your hands in your dream they seem uninjured)

  • Genevriel can't finish that word.
  • Genevriel feels sad.

<Andri> I'm going to hide with the tree lady, if you come and find me then you can meet her too!

<Genevriel> Nysha?

  • Andri just giggles and runs away again
  • Genevriel sighs and starts running after him, annoyed that he won't just listen.

<DiablotinNarrator> As you chase after your brother, droplets start to hit your skin - but it isn't rain. It stings, and has a familiar smell - it's beginning to rain alcohol.

  • Genevriel wrinkles her nose and keeps running after Andri.

<Genevriel> (How much of my child self am I? Gen didn't really "like" alcohol until she was at war, and then started drinking it only to numb herself to the horrors and stress.)

<DiablotinNarrator> well, it's a dream - you can be your child-self and also your current self at the same time.

<Genevriel> (True)

<Genevriel> (I don't think I'd start lapping it up, though, not yet anyway.)

<DiablotinNarrator> (heh, that's fine)

<Genevriel> . o O (This can't be good for the plants...)

<Genevriel> Andri, stop! Please. This isn't right.

<DiablotinNarrator> You run faster, trying to catch up to Andri. Eventually you come to a clearing - it doesn't seem quite like you remember from home, with a larger tree in the center. Andri stands there, with his back turned to you, facing a fey woman.

<Andri> I'm sorry, Genny, she wants me to go with her. She says I'll be safe there.

<Genevriel> I've heard that before. Nysha, if that's your name, he's just a child, not old enough to father babies himself yet.

  • Nysha opens her mouth to speak, but what comes out is a chorus of voices instead. They say, in echoing and overlapping layers, "But we are all one. We can be one again."

<Genevriel> ...

<Genevriel> Fey, elves, shadar-kai and Cyst, you mean...?

  • Genevriel hazards a somewhat horrified guess.

<Nysha> All one. Our people are all one.

<Nysha> You can become one with us as well. You are part of our whole.

<Genevriel> I'm not interested in being possessed, thanks.

  • Nysha reaches out her hand to put it on Andri's shoulder, and you see that her skin is mottled and grey and flaking, not pale green and smooth.

<Genevriel> (K:Nature to try to figure out what might be wrong...?)

<DiablotinNarrator> It reminds you of the Blight, somewhat - like an infection or a disease.

<Genevriel> . o O (Well, that's just great.)

<Genevriel> Andri, she isn't well. Come back to me, please.

  • Nysha grasps him and he starts to cry and struggle, but can't break away.
  • Genevriel will try to break Nysha's grip on him.

<DiablotinNarrator> As you struggle, you feel your hands start to burn, and, with her skin and robe soaked from the alcohol-rain, she bursts into swift blue flame.

  • Nysha screams in many voices, and tries to withdraw into the tree, but it also catches fire.
  • Genevriel starts to freak out because of the fire.

<Genevriel> Run, Andri! Run home!

  • Genevriel is afraid to touch him in case she sets him on fire, too.
  • Andri turns to you and you see that his face is a skull, bare bone and empty eye sockets.
  • Andri reaches out his hand to you.

<Genevriel> Run home, Andri.

<Andri> Come home with me, Genny. I'll take you with me.

  • Genevriel closes her eyes and bear hugs Nysha and the tree.

<DiablotinNarrator> They go up in an inferno but you feel cool, almost comfortable, as the flames engulf you.

<DiablotinNarrator> And with that, you wake up.

<Genevriel> (Where's Madds?)

<Genevriel> (Chair still, or in bed?)

  • Madds has dozed off in the chair
  • Genevriel sits up and stumbles towards him.

<Genevriel> Madds... Madds!

  • Madds starts awake

<Madds> hhgnh?

  • Genevriel is clearly upset and crying.
  • Madds jumps up to put his arms around you

<Madds> what is it? hey.. it's okay, whatever it was. I'm here, you're safe...

<Genevriel> The One... It might be the Cyst?

  • Madds looks puzzled

<Genevriel> And if it is... what am I?

<Madds> Gen... I know you want to understand this, but ... it was a dream. Are you sure you can believe it?

  • Madds strokes your back, trying to calm you

<Genevriel> I- I don't know.

<Madds> do you want to tell me about it?

<Genevriel> I burned it... her!

<Madds> Her who?

<Genevriel> The Cyst thing.

<Genevriel> Andri thought she was Nysha... Maybe she was Nysha... But I never met Nysha... So I don't know.

  • Madds brings you over to sit on the edge of the bed

<Madds> do you want a drink of water? or anything?

<Genevriel> I want to not be the servant of evil...!

<Madds> well... okay, that's fair.

<Madds> I know the Cyst has been on your mind a lot lately. Maybe your dream was inspired by those worries.

<Genevriel> I've done so much evil... Killed so many people.

  • Madds holds you close

<Genevriel> I should be dead, but I don't want to be, not anymore! I just want to be good. I just want to be happy.

<Madds> You are, and you will be.

<Madds> Nobody controls you - you're not a 'servant of evil' or anything else.

<Genevriel> But the One put me here...

<Genevriel> It's going to want something from me...

<Genevriel> I'm so scared, Madds, that when the time comes I won't be able to say no.

<Madds> :(

<Madds> I have to believe there's always a choice.

<Genevriel> But maybe I already made it, when I asked for help saving that boy.

<Madds> And I know you - you're one of the strongest people I know. Even if this 'One' tried to make you do something, you can resist them.

<Madds> It. Whatever.

<Genevriel> I'm scared, Madds. I'm scared.

<Madds> I know.

<Madds> I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried too - but we'll get through this. You aren't alone, you have me, and your friends, and we're here to help you.

<Madds> I think if you go back to sleep tonight, you should cast your spell - you need the rest. If you want to try this again, it can wait until another night.

  • Genevriel nods wordlessly and sniffles, still clinging to Madds. Maybe in a few minutes she'll be able to cast it, but not just yet.
  • Madds will keep on holding you and trying to calm you down for as long as you need.
  • Genevriel calms down sufficiently to cast it eventually, but she is extra cuddly tonight, afraid to let go of you, until she eventually falls asleep.
  • Madds doesn't seem to mind that :3

<Genevriel> (I think that's as good a place to end as any. And now I need to add a visit with August to my To-Do List)

<Genevriel> (Thanks for the scene, Julia. :) )

<DiablotinNarrator> (okay, sounds good :)

<DiablotinNarrator> (no problem!)