Diablotin 2 session 11

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[Narrator] It is Sixth-month in Diablotin, and summer has erupted, rather like a boil, with humid weather and an exciting miasma of smells! [Narrator] Thankfully the nights are still cool enough to sleep, and the Ousel is still running high and fast enough after the spring rains to carry away most of the city's sloughed-off residue before it has a chance to ferment. [Narrator] Guillame, as Aden promised, you receive a handwritten note from him, inviting you to the next Levellers' meeting. He also suggests (tactfully) that you dress down and arrive on foot.

  • Guillame will check that Janelle isn't completely horrified with the idea of me going to the meeting

[Narrator] She is probably not thrilled with the idea, but ... if Aden is going to be there, then it's probably all right. [Narrator] I mean, he's a reputable young gentleman, he wouldn't invite you anywhere inappropriate! [Narrator] *g* [Guillame] (well indeed) [Narrator] So, off you go then... [Narrator] Their meeting-place is in Rhenea, on a narrow street called Kynaster's Alley. It doesn't look like much – a rather run-down building that might once have been an alehouse or cookshop earlier in its existence.

  • Guillame will sort out something from when he used to hang out with poor kids

[Guillame] (for clothes) [Narrator] ('k) [Narrator] Inside, the room is lit by flickering oil lamps, not by magic, which makes it rather warm and somewhat smoky. There is no central table, but merely a few mismatched chairs, stools, and crates for people to sit on. [Narrator] There are about a dozen people present - none looks older than, say, 25 or so. Slightly more men than women. Many of them eye you curiously, and perhaps a bit warily. [Narrator] Most are dressed in nondescript clothing, though one young woman wears the dark green robes of a cleric of Bear, and there's a small, scrawny man in Castalia robes. [Narrator] You only recognize Aden, Thea, and one other man, a member of the Antiquarian Society named Theodore Sleyght. You don't know him very well, but you do recognize the face, at least

  • Aden_ comes over to greet you. He wears a simple linen shirt and trousers, no hint of his noble status visible (except that he's clean :p)

[Aden_] Guillame, glad you could make it :)

  • Aden_ shakes your hand.

[Guillame] I wouldn't have missed it.

  • Guillame smiles
  • Aden_ smiles back.

[Guillame] There are a few less here than last time I saw you gathered... [Aden_] Oh, yes, well, this is just the, ah, core membership, as it were. The rallies always attract much larger crowds. [Aden_] Go ahead, make yourself comfortable :) [Aden_] Things are fairly informal here - we don't stand on precedence or give a lot of speeches or anything. Save those for the public, eh? [Aden_] We hope that anyone who's here doesn't need to be converted.

  • Guillame chuckles.

[Guillame] I'll grab a chair... or a crate.

  • Aden_ nods.
  • Guillame finds a crate.

[Aden_] I just want you to feel free to speak up if you have any thoughts. Don't worry about being polite ;)

  • Aden_ takes a seat on a somewhat wobbly chair.
  • Thea stands once everyone seems to be in and the door is barred.
  • Thea wears a light cotton gown with a faded floral print. Her long auburn hair is caught up in a coiled braid.

[Thea] Thank you all for coming. [Thea] So. We all know the main problem at the moment - since the elections went off more or less smoothly, people figure there's no hope of changing anything until the next time around. [Thea] And that might be in fifty years or more, if the Emperor's health and luck hold out. [Thea] It's hard to keep people motivated to pursue change that they might not live to see. [Thea] We need to work on ways of breaking the ground, so to speak, so that when the next cycle does arrive, the people's minds are ready for larger changes. [Thea] One point that's been raised is the issue of greater representation for the people. A Great Council that hardly ever meets, comprised of nobles who inherited their seats there, most of whom couldn't care less about the people they're supposed to speak for... [Thea] So, we demand more frequent meetings of the Great Council, as a first step. Consultation on matters of importance - budgets, taxes, changes to the law, that sort of thing. [Thea] And, because no doubt many nobles will object to being called away from their manor houses and parties to actually *work*, we propose that they have the option to send representatives in their stead. [Narrator] "*Elected* representatives. We don't want them just appointing lackeys to carry out their duties." [Narrator] Interjects a young man with frizzy brown hair.

  • Guillame turns to look

[Thea] The system of choosing representatives is bound to be complicated, Jehan, but I agree that we should push for elections wherever possible. [Narrator] "Even if that happened, though, it wouldn't oblige the Emperor to actually listen to them, or abide by anything they recommend." [Narrator] Says a young woman with short-cropped brown hair.

  • Guillame nods

[Thea] No, Nais, but if they go on record as opposing a particular decision, and we make sure that news is disseminated as widely as possible, the Emperor's popularity will start to plummet. [Aden_] I don't know that he's very concerned with his personal popularity. [Thea] Maybe he should be. [Thea] Also, we need to get our visibility back up there. We were doing so well just before the elections, and now... back to nothing. [Thea] Avery, can you do anything about that?

  • Aden_ is now known as Avery
  • Avery is a slender, heavily freckled young man with red hair.
  • Avery shrugs.

[Avery] I can see. It would help if there was actually something to report. Even just a rally or something. [Priestess] My concern is that more people will get hurt if we try any large-scale rallies, especially so soon after the election.

  • Priestess interjects.

[Priestess] The guards might not view it very favourably. [Priestess] And after what happened, I don't know that we'd even get much of a turn-out.

  • Castalia_guy speaks up.

[Castalia_guy] What about some more sedate public meetings? Call them, I don't know, discussion forums or something. Give people a chance to ask questions, voice their concerns, and address them ourselves. [Castalia_guy] Rent a lecture hall at the Castalia - we need a space that looks respectable and authoritative, not just a tavern or something. [Guillame] I'd agree with that. [Thea] Those are good points. Can you arrange something like that, Rickard? [Castalia_guy] I don't see why not. [Guillame] I'd also say that if you're going to have a rally, the guards need better briefings than last time. [Thea] Tensions were running high then. I don't think something like that would happen a second time.

  • Thea seems a bit defensive about that.

[Guillame] Meybe you're right - it was a tense time. But I think they were pretty scared, too. Not defending their actions, of course. [Aden_] We don't know what orders they were operating under. We can advise them of our intentions, but we can't control them - and, truthfull, if the crowds are large, we can't control them either.

  • Guillame nods.

[Thea] That's why I think Rickard's suggestion of some public meetings is a good one. It's less likely to get out of control. [Guillame] Yes - sorry to move off that topic - it's a good idea. [Aden_] If we can get the Castalia behind us, or at least some number of them, that would be a huge boost. [Thea] Students are always disgruntled about something. We can probably tap into that.

  • Guillame grins at that.

[Narrator] The discussion continues for about an hour or so, people voicing various ideas and suggestions for further action.

  • Aden_ approaches you as people mill about afterwards, preparing to leave.

[Aden_] Not the most thrilling meeting - no one threw anything at anyone else this time - but I hope you found it informative nevertheless. [Guillame] I'm glad no one threw anything! [Aden_] Why do you think the furniture here is so battered? ;)

  • Aden_ is joking, you hope!

[Guillame] I did find it interesting. Nobody seems hot-headed or stupid. [Aden_] No, well, we pick those we admit into these meetings fairly carefully. [Aden_] We don't want this to devolve into just an airing of grievances, or a shouting match. [Guillame] I'm flattered ;)

  • Aden_ smiles.
  • Thea approaches the pair of you.

[Thea] Aden, are you busy after?

  • Thea lays a rather proprietary hand on his arm.
  • Guillame smiles politely

[Aden_] Oh. [Aden_] Um. No, I'm free.

  • Aden_ smiles at her.

[Aden_] Thank you again for coming, Guillame :) [Guillame] I was very glad to be here - it was good to hear you talk, Thea. I'd like to come again, if I haven't offended anyone? [Thea] Not at all! [Thea] You'd be welcome any time. [Guillame] My thanks.

  • Aden_ shakes your hand again before you depart.

[Narrator] Ilphere, things have been quite up in the air ever since the ball and its aftermath! You are trying to keep a level head, but it's very difficult under such circumstances! Your mind feels cloudy - perhaps it's the stress... [Narrator] (i.e. you're still at -2 Int ;) [Narrator] Matters are not helped when a carriage draws up one afternoon. Peering out the window, you can see the insignia of a gold wolf running on a blue field, topped by two gold bars. [Narrator] The count of Desperée is apparently paying you a visit! [Ilphere] . o O ( Oh no...! )

  • Justine hurries in to find you.

[Justine] Don't worry, dear... everything will be all right. [Justine] Your father will speak with him first, dear. It will give us a little time to make you presentable... [Ilphere] Presentable...!

  • Ilphere sniffs.

[Justine] Well, more presentable :) [Ilphere] I hardly feel like 'presenting' myself...!

  • Ilphere calls for Hali.

[Justine] I know, but... oh.

  • Justine frowns at the bird.

[Justine] You're not going to take that thing with you, are you? [Ilphere] Why not...? [Justine] Because! It might... make a mess on the carpet. Or peck at him. [Ilphere] . o O ( And so what if he does..! ) [Ilphere] Hali doesn't mess on the carpet...!

  • Justine sniffs disapprovingly.
  • Ilphere feeds the bird a bit of cracker left over from lunch.

[Justine] Well. [Justine] Just... keep it under control.

  • Justine busies herself fixing your hair, trying to avoid the bird.

[Ilphere] [AA] She doesn't mean to be so rude...! [Justine] Don't fret, dear. Your father and I will be nearby if you need us!

  • Ilphere says quietly to her familiar.

[Ilphere] Yes, Maman...

  • Justine hustles you along to your father's study, then.
  • Lystain and his guest both stand as you enter.

[Lystain] My lord of Desperée, my daughter Ilphère.

  • Ilphere curtseys dutifully.

[Ilphere] My lord.

  • Kaladon bows politely, which gives you a clear view of his bald spot.
  • Kaladon is slightly shorter than you. He is not *bad*-looking, precisely...just rather ordinary, though his clothes are fine. Thin and with a rather weak moustache, he is not exactly every girl's fantasy!

[Kaladon] Mlle. deQuessenet, it is a pleasure to meet you. [Ilphere] Thank you sir. And I you. [Lystain] Well :) Isn't this nice :) [Lystain] Excuse me for a moment...

  • Lystain and your mother will depart, leaving you alone with the Count.

[Ilphere] . o O ( What! Father!! You traitor..]! )

  • Kaladon clears his throat.

[Kaladon] I don't know how much you have been told, but... I have come to meet you in the hopes that you will accept my suit. [Kaladon] I have already spoken with your father... He has given me his approval to pay court to you. [Ilphere] You are very forthright, sir...!

  • Ilphere sits down.

[Kaladon] I'm a plain-spoken man, I'm afraid. I hope I haven't offended you.

  • Kaladon will sit as well.
  • Ilphere lets Hali nibble her fingertips.

[Kaladon] Your familiar?

  • Kaladon asks politely.

[Ilphere] Yes... Hali accompanies me wherever I go.

  • Kaladon nods.

[Ilphere] [aa] Isn't that right...?

  • Ilphere coos at the bird.

[Kaladon] My daughter is just beginning her studies at the Castalia. [Ilphere] Oh... Perhaps I know her...? [Kaladon] Talisse Escalera. [Kaladon] She's quite a bit younger than you, I would be surprised if you were in any of the same classes :) [Ilphere] (I assume the name rings no bells) [Kaladon] (nope)

  • Ilphere nods.

[Ilphere] How many children do you have...? [Kaladon] Two. My son, Errivan, has just recently come of age. [Ilphere] Ah, I see... [Kaladon] Mlle. deQuessenet, if you'll forgive my bluntness once again, I know this is likely not your ideal match. [Ilphere] To be honest Sir, I had thought little of matches at all until the election... and now I find myself batted to and fro between suitors like a shuttlecock...! [Ilphere] If you will forgive my candour, sir...! [Kaladon] Of course. You may always speak candidly with me. [Kaladon] I'm sympathetic to your situation. [Kaladon] But, if we were to wed, I would make sure your life was very comfortable. And that of your family, as well. And I would never dream of interfering in your studies. [Ilphere] . o O ( I feel like I am negotiating to sell something...! ) [Ilphere] That is a generous... offer... [Ilphere] I suppose you seek to gain my grandmother's land...? [Kaladon] That would pass to any children we might have. [Ilphere] Not your own...? [Kaladon] My children will inherit my own family's titles - I will be Duke of Mearim when my parents, gods shield them, pass away, and my son will become Count of Desperée. If he should be blessed with children before I die, then the county would pass to his eldest, and if not, then to his sister and her children. [Ilphere] I see... [Kaladon] We could draw up documents detailing all of this, of course, so there would be no confusion.

  • Ilphere nods listlessly.

[Kaladon] I'm sorry, Ilphere. I'm sure this is all very boring. But if I had come here with flowers and poems and promises of love, I would have been lying to you. [Ilphere] I also am sorry... [Ilphere] . o O ( If this offer had come before the election it would have been perfect...! :( ) [Ilphere] Why *do* you want to court me, then...? [Kaladon] My wife, may she find the Centre, has been dead five years. I admit that I am... lonely. [Ilphere] . o O ( All I am to these men is a warm hole with a title...! ]:( ) [Kaladon] And your family is of ancient and noble birth. [Kaladon] Your father and I were friends when we were younger, and I know him to be a good man. [Ilphere] Yes, he is...

  • Ilphere feels like crying or screaming, but just sits prettily.

[Kaladon] Of course, I don't expect you and your parents to make a decision on the spot. But I hope you'll consider my offer seriously.

  • Kaladon rises and bows to you once again.

[Ilphere] I shall, of course, sir...

  • Ilphere curtseys again.
  • Kaladon will depart, bidding farewell to your parents who were waiting out in the hall, definitely not eavesdropping.
  • Ilphere falls back into her chair when he has gone.

[Ilphere] [aa] What do *you* think I should do...?

  • Ilphere scritches the bird under its beak.
  • Hali is empathetic ;)

[Narrator] Ysabeau, you are busying yourself about the house one morning, tidying and considering getting out one of your dresses that needs mending, when there is a knock at the door.

  • Ysabeau straightens her skirts and pushes the kerchief on her head a little further back, and goes to the door.

[Narrator] A young woman in rather poor and grimy clothing is standing there, looking apprehensive. [Ysabeau] Dessa?

  • Dessa smiles.
  • Dessa is less scrawny than the last time you remember seeing her, and her long brown hair is carefully braided, though her dress is obviously second-hand and none too clean. She carries a small leather bag over her shoulder.

[Ysabeau] (Is Muri around?) [Narrator] (yes) [Dessa] Ysa? I, ah, heard you and Muri were around, looking for me, and...

  • Ysabeau calls Muri, and lets Dessa in.

[Ysabeau] Yes, yes. [Ysabeau] She misses you very much, Dessa.

  • Ysabeau smiles.
  • Dessa comes in.
  • Dessa frankly gawks at your house, even though it's not anything very remarkable.

[Dessa] This is yours? All this? [Ysabeau] Come in, come in. Would you like some tea or something? [Dessa] Oh... sure, anything is fine. [Ysabeau] For now it is. Hard to say what the future might bring.

  • Murienne comes into the room and gives Dessa a hug.

[Dessa] You don't even have to share it with anyone? [Ysabeau] I'll just go get some snacks for you two. Make yourself at home, Dessa. :)

  • Dessa asks, once she's settled into a seat.
  • Ysabeau pauses on her way into the kitchen.

[Ysabeau] It's got two bedrooms, one for each of us. A kitchen and this living area. But yes, it is a lot bigger than we used to have.

  • Murienne peppers Dessa with questions while you fetch some refreshments.
  • Ysabeau brings back a tray with cookies and tea.

[Dessa] That's really nice. Thank you. [Ysabeau] You're welcome. :)

  • Dessa helps herself to some cookies.

[Ysabeau] How have you been, Dessa? [Dessa] Things are ... well, they've been better.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Dessa] I've been doing all right for myself the past little while, since I hooked up with the Bonemire crowd. [Dessa] But now things are turning sour there too. [Ysabeau] We'd heard you were running with them.

  • Dessa nods.

[Ysabeau] Oh no, what's happening? [Dessa] The Hush are giving us a lot of shit. Shut down a couple rackets we had going on, just making life difficult. [Dessa] One girl ended up face down in the Ousel. It mighta been an accident, but no one really thinks that. [Ysabeau] Oh... [Dessa] People are saying Ninon can't keep us safe anymore. Some of them have already buggered off. [Dessa] And I don't know where I'd go if things get any worse.

  • Ysabeau glances over at Murienne.
  • Murienne looks worried about her friend.

[Murienne] You could come here!

  • Murienne blurts.
  • Ysabeau smiles.
  • Murienne then glances at you, realizing it's probably not her place to offer.

[Ysabeau] If you don't mind sharing your room, Muri... I'm not sure where else we could put her. [Murienne] I don't mind. [Dessa] It's nice of you to offer... but I wouldn't want to get you in any trouble.

  • Ysabeau replies, against her better judgement. It's not the largest house and Verity probably has no reason to believe Ysa would turn it into a Refuge for Wayward Girls.

[Ysabeau] What kind of trouble might that be?

  • Dessa shrugs.

[Dessa] Trouble with the Hush, I guess... or with, um, whoever's house this is.

  • Ysabeau asks, trying to gauge what they might be getting themselves into.

[Ysabeau] (I guess I'm unclear as to whether Verity actually owns it) [Narrator] (probably owns it, yeah.) [Ysabeau] (ok) [Ysabeau] Well, I'd be willing to talk to the owner about it on a more long term basis. But if you need a safe place for the next few days I think that would be fine. But you're right... I don't really want to attract trouble from the Hush or other gangs. Would they be looking for you? [Dessa] I don't really know.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Dessa] I don't need the space right away, though - it's not that bad yet, and I don't want to run out on Ninon before I absolutely have to. [Dessa] She's been good to me.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] All right, Dessa. Well, it is your life and I don't know the situation, so I'm not going to tell you what to do. [Ysabeau] But if you need a place, we are here for you.

  • Dessa smiles, looking relieved.

[Dessa] Thank you... And, would it be okay if I left a few things with you? In case I need to get out quick. I'd hate to lose them.

  • Dessa nods in the direction of the bag she was carrying.

[Ysabeau] I'd certainly look after some things for you if I know what they are and where they came from.

  • Dessa looks a bit embarassed at that.

[Dessa] Some things of my grandmother's.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] (SM: is she pulling the wool over our eyes?) [Narrator] (roll) [Ysabeau] (21) [Narrator] (You think she is possibly not telling the entire truth, no) [Ysabeau] Dessa... you just said you didn't want to get Muri and I into trouble.

  • Ysabeau says gently.

[Dessa] I won't! [Ysabeau] Was any of this gained illegally?

  • Ysabeau indicates the bag.
  • Dessa scowls.

[Dessa] I wouldn't bring that kind of thing here. [Ysabeau] Okay. I will take your word on it. [Dessa] All right. Thank you. [Dessa] I'll be back before too long to let you know what the situation is, either way.

  • Ysabeau says against her better judgement. But she remembers how many times she could have used a break.

[Ysabeau] Okay. [Murienne] Come on, let me show you my room, Dessa!

  • Murienne says brightly, trying to lighten the mood.

[Dessa] Sure :) [Ysabeau] I'll put this stuff in the chest over here. It can be locked.

  • Ysabeau shows Dessa where she intends to put it, and puts it in there.

[Dessa] I appreciate that, Ysa.

  • Ysabeau closes the lid and locks it.
  • Murienne entertains your guest for a little while longer, before she takes her leave, with profuse thanks.
  • Ysabeau has a bit of a bad feeling about all this.
  • Ysabeau doesn't want this stuff upstairs in their bedrooms in case something comes looking for it.

[Narrator] Seth, your Aunt Gwen is quite busy in the days following the ball, but you finally manage to commandeer her for a debriefing.

  • Gwen is back to her usual trousers, and sans ostrich.
  • Seth is also back to his usual unkempt and nondescript manner of dress.

[Gwen] Well, that was a complete and utter pisser. [Gwen] I hope you enjoyed yourself, at least. [Seth] Well, the food was excellent, yes.

  • Gwen gives a snort of laughter.

[Gwen] I suppose I should have expected it to be a bitch of a night, though. [Seth] I didn't notice anything untoward, really. What did I miss? [Gwen] This is what happens when a family with its own private intelligence network tries to suddenly superimpose it on the Empire's existing intelligence network. There are bound to be ...conflicts. [Gwen] I just didn't realize until then that it was more complicated than I thought. [Seth] Ah ... well, then perhaps I did notice. [Seth] At least, I saw you in a bit of a disagreement on the dance floor.

  • Gwen nods

[Gwen] Lord Grey. [Seth] Ah, I see. [Gwen] I don't have any proof, of course, because what kind of spymaster would he be if I did, but he's the force behind the Hush. [Seth] And, uh, what does that make you? [Gwen] What I always was - the Kizer's right hand. [Gwen] But it's not just me and my associates versus the Hush; the Hush have their own internal problems too. [Seth] Right ... such as? [Gwen] Evidently, the Warlord thinks that because she's the Warlord and there aren't any wars at the moment, she should also be dictating to the Hush. [Seth] Ah ... yes, I spoke to her at the ball. [Seth] She asked me to convey a message to you, Aunt Gwen ... and I don't know, something about her makes me think we should take her seriously. [Gwen] Oh? And what did she have to say to you? [Seth] That ... uh, your unsanctioned activities would no longer be permitted. [Gwen] o_O [Seth] And that you don't know the entirety of the situation. [Gwen] She can't tell me that to my face, hm? [Seth] I suppose not. She also pointed out to me, or well, rather, asked me to look at the ceiling of the ballroom, and I noted a small discrepancy with one of the chandeliers. [Seth] She told me it was because it had been rigged to fall, but they had fixed it just in time. [Gwen] Well, she would. She wants to seem important.

  • Gwen seems dismissive.

[Seth] Isn't she? I mean, as Warlord? [Gwen] Pft. Warlord runs the military, the guards... she should have enough to do without meddling in other people's business. [Seth] But what about that chandelier? [Gwen] You just have her word for it. Maybe it's always been crooked. [Seth] Maybe ... [Gwen] And what kind of stupid plan is that anyway, drop a chandelier on the Emperor. [Gwen] I could come up with something better in my sleep. [Seth] She didn't say that was the plan. Who knows what the intention was? [Seth] (SM on her?) [Narrator] (roll) [Seth] (never mind) [Narrator] (heh) [Narrator] (her Bluff score is through the roof anyway ;) [Narrator] (if she did happen to be bluffing you, that is ;) [Gwen] Someone with a grudge against sparkly things, then. Whatever. [Gwen] I don't trust any of them, but it's pretty clear I have to choose a side regardless, or one or the other of them will get fed up with me and try and have me offed, and I don't want to deal with that hassle right now. [Seth] (what do I know about our family's relations with Lord Grey, if anything?) [Narrator] (well, you've heard the name before, but so far as you know your family don't have dealings with him personally) [Seth] Well ... what are we doing, then? [Gwen] I don't know. [Gwen] The Hush worry me. They're not accountable for their actions. The Emperor just basically has to trust that they're doing what's in his best interests - or those of the Empire. [Seth] Couldn't he replace Lord Grey if he wanted? [Gwen] I'm not sure that would do any good. The title isn't what's important. [Seth] Hmm ... I guess so. [Seth] I also spoke to the Chancellor at some length at the ball, if that's relevant at all. [Gwen] Oh? I've heard she's sort of... odd. [Seth] Yes, well, odd in a certain way, a scholarly way. [Seth] Not the sort of person you expect to have as chancellor.

  • Gwen nods.

[Gwen] I wonder what he was thinking when he chose her... [Gwen] I mean, I know he's sort of a scholarly type himself, so maybe that's it, but... [Seth] Perhaps as an outsider, someone who lacked her own network of ties, and could be trusted to a greater extent? [Gwen] Maybe.

  • Gwen seems skeptical.

[Seth] Well ... I don't really understand the court, Aunt Gwen. [Seth] Not really. [Gwen] Honestly, I'm still getting my head around it. [Gwen] And I've been working on it for 30 years. [Gwen] I think I've decided, though. I'm going to sign on with the Hush, at least in name. I'll be able to get a better sense of what they're doing once I'm in - and whether it serves the interests of the Kizers or not. [Seth] All right ... I trust you, but I'm worried about all this. Especially the Warlord. [Gwen] It might or might not get Cornelia Nash off my back.

  • Gwen nods.

[Gwen] Believe me, I'm worried about her too. Mainly because I have no idea what she's planning. [Seth] You know ... [Gwen] Yes? [Seth] She invited me to join the guard, or something. If I helped her, maybe I could learn about what she's planning. [Seth] I find that older women generally trust me readily. [Gwen] o_O [Gwen] Yeah, except for the part where your last name is Argo. She'd be keeping an eye on you - not letting you keep an eye on her. [Seth] Well, I suppose there is that. [Gwen] I'll think about where you'd be best placed, Seth. [Gwen] After all, I don't look likely to have any children of my own at this rate, and... all this could be yours one day ;) [Seth] "All this" ... you make it sound like a title or lands or something. [Seth] I don't even know what 'it' is. [Gwen] My job. My network.

  • Gwen smiles.

[Gwen] My responsabilities.

  • Seth smiles.

[Seth] Well ... you have not made it sound like the best job in the world, but ... if it helps the family, I'd be interested, Aunt Gwen. [Gwen] Good. [Gwen] One of these days, I'll have to introduce you to the boss, then.

  • Gwen claps you on the shoulder.

[Gwen] You're a good kid, Seth. [Seth] Ahhhh ... thanks?

[Narrator] Dom, you are out one afternoon and you run into your old friend Tymon. [Dominik] Ho Tymon

  • Tymon is in his Spokesmen tabard and has grown a kind of crappy little moustache since last you saw him.

[Tymon] Dominik! [Tymon] Good to see you :) [Dominik] It's been a little while. Quite a fancy tabard you have there. [Tymon] Oh, heh.

  • Tymon looks a bit embarassed.

[Tymon] It's.. they make new recruits wear them all the time, for a while. [Dominik] So whats it like being a Spokesman recruit? [Tymon] Well, it's hard work. [Tymon] Lots of training, of course. And studies on top of that, when you think your body's about to give out. [Dominik] Do they give you time to sit down and have a drink with an old friend? [Tymon] Fortunately, they do today.

  • Tymon will accompany you to get a drink, then.

[Dominik] Good to hear, as I would have felt embarassed to have drug you along unwillinging.

  • Tymon smiles.

[Tymon] So, how is your family?

  • Dominik rolls his eyes

[Dominik] As bad as they always are. I'm not living at home anymore at least. [Tymon] The same as usual, then. [Tymon] Where are you living? [Dominik] I'm staying with the deQuessenet [Dominik] I'm the bodyguard of thier daughter Ilphere. [Tymon] Oh, really? [Tymon] That's interesting. [Dominik] Not as noble a calling as a Spokesman, but it passes the time. [Tymon] You know, you could join the Order - it's not as noble a calling as all that ;)

  • Dominik chuckles

[Dominik] funny you would say that. I thought they would want those of pure heart and virtue. [Tymon] Well, I think we're supposed to aim for that, yes. They don't mind if you don't start out that way, though ;) [Tymon] And there are some folks who take a ...more flexible view of the matter. [Dominik] The only enemy of the realm that I'm aware of is that big dragon from the corination, and I have no desire to see it anytime soon, so I think I'll pass on the Spokesmen. [Tymon] That's fair enough! It's certainly not for everyone. [Dominik] any chance they've already found and killed teh dragon and just arn't telling anyone? [Tymon] I haven't heard about it if that's the case. [Tymon] I think they'd let people know if they had, though. They're very worried about it.

  • Dominik nods

[Dominik] So what have they been doing about it? [Tymon] Well...

  • Tymon looks around, in case anyone's listening.
  • Dominik leans in to listen

[Tymon] I know they've set some members to investigating it. I don't know exactly what they're doing, but I guess it's fairly secretive. [Tymon] Of course they want all of us keeping our eyes open and reporting anything out of the ordinary. [Dominik] sounds conspiratorial. [Tymon] I suppose it is, rather. [Tymon] I think they have reason to be concerned about some of the people involved in it. Council members and the like. [Dominik] hmmm... all the way to the top. [Dominik] sounds like a mess.

  • Tymon nods.

[Tymon] I don't know many of the details, of course, I'm not high enough in the Order to be in on those conversations. [Dominik] you walk the same halls though. I'm sure you hear the rumors.

  • Tymon sighs.

[Tymon] [q] The Warlord. [Tymon] That's what some people are saying, anyway.

  • Dominik nods

[Dominik] dangerous [Tymon] She's dangerous either way. She's trying to pull the Order under her jurisdiction, or so I hear.

  • Dominik shakes his head

[Dominik] what a mess. [Tymon] We're a military force, I suppose is the argument. [Tymon] But we've never answered to anyone but the church. Even then, not always... [Dominik] I carry a sword, doesnt mean I'm at the warlords beck and call.

  • Tymon laughs.

[Tymon] Well, not yet! ;) [Dominik] I suppose if she is looking for excellent fighters, she might track me down.

  • Tymon smiles at that.

[Tymon] Well, with your family relatively close to the Emperor, she might at that.

  • Dominik frowns

[Dominik] not if they have a say. [Tymon] Sorry. [Tymon] I didn't mean... argh. :/ [Dominik] speaking of my family... my brother Theron has been acting... a little strange. [Tymon] Stranger than usual? [Dominik] amazing as that sounds, yes. [Tymon] How so? [Dominik] I saw him with a black envelope and mutters words about Ophin or something like that.

  • Tymon looks puzzled.

[Tymon] Maybe it's some new club. [Dominik] My reaction too. [Dominik] But this seemed different. [Tymon] I don't know - your brother travels in different circles than we do. [Dominik] maybe its just some new scheme of his. [Tymon] Maybe.

  • Tymon agrees.
  • Dominik shrugs

[Tymon] Speaking of schemes, I heard that your sister had her sights set on a crown...

  • Dominik rolls his eyes

[Dominik] I don't think its her eyes she uses to aim her desires.

  • Tymon sighs.

[Dominik] Her and Marl have history. She's just being Zivia and using it to her advantage.

  • Tymon nods.

[Tymon] It's too bad. [Dominik] Too bad? I should be ecstatic if it works... my family will be in such high standings

  • Dominik drinks deeply

[Dominik] Those two deserive eachother. [Tymon] Oh, I know. I mean, obviously that would be great for you if it works out.

  • Tymon seems a bit wistful, even so.

[Tymon] I should probably get on my way, Dom. It's been good talking to you. [Dominik] It was a pleasant surprise Tymon. [Tymon] We should do it more often.

  • Dominik nods
  • Tymon finishes up his drink.
  • Tymon bids you farewell and departs, then.

[Narrator] Sanadhil, following the ball, you are left feeling weak and drained, even worse than usual. [Narrator] As is your inclination when your symptoms are at their worst, you hole up in your home until it passes. [Narrator] After four or five days, however, you've read every book in your house and you're going a bit stir-crazy, so you decide to risk venturing out to the Society. But you deliberately pick a time when you hope there won't be many people around, very early in the morning. [Narrator] Even the relatively short walk from your house to the Society's meeting hall leaves you out of breath and aching.

  • Sanadhil will go just sit in the library for a bit, to recover

[Narrator] You enter the hall, which is, as you had hoped, deserted at this hour of the day. Well, you presume that Prof. Grenrake is in her living quarters, but more than likely, she's still asleep. [Narrator] The library is quiet, with the first rays of sunlight barely filtering through its windows. [Narrator] You are just eyeing one of several volumes that might hold your interest when you notice something odd on one of the tables.

  • Sanadhil will have a closer look

[Narrator] It looks at first simply like an unrolled scroll. But as you look at it more closely, you see that the upturned surface is black and seems to be... moving somehow.

  • Sanadhil will watch it for a moment, then cast DM

[Narrator] (okay) [Narrator] It's magic ;) [Narrator] (you can roll for school) [Sanadhil] (22) [Narrator] Strong conjuration.

  • Sanadhil will cast read magic and see if he can follow the flowing script

[Narrator] There's no script visible on it - it is as if you're gazing into a deep well, or a portal of some sort. [Sanadhil] ...

  • Sanadhil will set something on it

[Narrator] (like what?) [Sanadhil] (a quill?) [Narrator] The quill falls through and vanishes from your sight. [Sanadhil] ...

  • Sanadhil will see if he can pick the thing up?
  • Sanadhil will lift it by the edges if possible

[Narrator] You can lift it - it seems heavier than a scroll should be, but not too heavy. [Narrator] As you touch the strange object's surface, you feel a chill pass through you [Sanadhil] ... [Sanadhil] (can I see anything in it?) [Narrator] You can vaguely make out some forms, yes. Possibly a wall? It's very dark in there, though. [Narrator] (forms like items, not people)

  • Sanadhil will turn it upside down

[Narrator] The back appears to be parchment. [Sanadhil] (nothing falls out?) [Narrator] Nope. [Sanadhil] (can i make a k: arcana to see if I know what it might be?) [Narrator] Sure! [Sanadhil] (20) [Narrator] You don't think it's something like a bag of holding/portable hole kind of item. It's more as if it's a gateway to somewhere else - judging by the vague things you can see, somewhere rather different than here. [Sanadhil] . o ( a portal for something small, or insubstantial.... )

  • Sanadhil will see if ht can hold it to a window or soething and see if that rovides any more illumination to the inside?

[Narrator] You can see .... books? A library, perhaps? But everything is very grey, even with the light from the window. [Sanadhil] (its not a reflection of this place is it? no help from my low light vision?) [Narrator] No, and no.

  • Sanadhil will take something else, maybe aonother quill and stick it part way in and pull it back out

[Narrator] It goes in and comes back out, seemingly unscathed.

  • Sanadhil will then roll it up and have a loot around the library to see if there is anything else in here

[Narrator] The rest of the library is as usual. [Narrator] The scroll, when rolled up, looks like a normal scroll.

  • Sanadhil will unroll it then, and watch it for a little longer,,,,, and then if it there is no change, he'll srt of lightly skim a finger over the face of it

[Narrator] You run your finger over where the surface of the scroll should be...Suddenly you are swept from the familiar surroundings of the library into a strange shadowy landscape. [Narrator] Everything around you is in shades of grey. The air is cool and still, a marked change from the warm summer weather you left behind. [Sanadhil] Ah! [Narrator] You are in a building, but not the one you left. This one is made of some white stone, pierced by windows at intervals, but without any evidence of seam or mortar - as though it was formed out of one solid piece. It's very tall, so tall you can't see the ceiling. [Narrator] Looking back to where you think you came from, you can see a small... opening, or portal. Through it you can make out the Society's library, but the colours are all drained from it.

  • Sanadhil will listen for any sort of life

[Narrator] You believe it is a library, of a sort. Through the gloom you can make out rows upon rows of books, codices, scrolls, and even some clay tablets, spiralling upwards into darkness. [Sanadhil] (23) [Narrator] You don't hear any signs of life.

  • Sanadhil ventures towards the stacks, looking back fairly regularly to see if the portal is still there

[Narrator] It is still there.

  • Sanadhil checks out the books!

[Narrator] The language is not one you recognize. [Sanadhil] (comprehend languages!) [Narrator] (okay) [Narrator] (ah... does that have a verbal component?) [Sanadhil] (sec) [Narrator] (yep) [Sanadhil] (yeah) [Narrator] So, you begin to speak the words of the spell, when suddenly you hear a noise.

  • Sanadhil will finish the spell if he can

[Narrator] A figure in black rounds the corner around the stacks. [Narrator] You finish the spell. [Sanadhil] (has the figure seen me? for sure?) [Narrator] Well, you're the only thing made of colour here. You probably stand out. [Sanadhil] (oh, heh :x) [Narrator] You'll only have time to look at a few books before the person reaches you. [Narrator] Or you can make a break for it, obviously ;)

  • Sanadhil will do so, and maybe grab one if it looks interested before backing towards the portal?

[Narrator] You manage to tuck a small volume into your sleeve before the figure obviously spots you and runs toward you. [Narrator] (hm... how fast do you think you can run, gimpy? ;)

  • Sanadhil will do so, and maybe grab one if it looks interested before backing towards the portal?)

[Sanadhil] (that's not the right line)

  • Sanadhil will cast invisibility

[Sanadhil] (I was just checking the duration on the spell)

  • Tymon is now known as Figure

[Figure] [w] Sanadhil?

  • Figure reaches you just as you get the spell off. It's Nycaise, from the Society.

[Sanadhil] (a: do I get the spell of, and b: do i recognize the voice?)

  • Figure is now known as Nycaise

[Nycaise] [w] Where the void are you?

  • Sanadhil will see if he can slip around her back towards the portal before he speaks and breaks the spell

[Narrator] (Move silently might be in order) [Sanadhil] (11 -_-)

  • Nycaise whips around as your foot scuffs on the ground, and grabs you.
  • Nycaise is quite strong - compared to you.
  • Sanadhil will cast charm person if he can?

[Nycaise] [w] Out, now!

  • Nycaise is hustling you towards the portal.

[Narrator] Not in an armlock, I don't think.

  • Sanadhil isn't really string enough to resist being hustled

[Sanadhil] [w] what is this place?

  • Nycaise basically shoves you through the portal and follows close behind you.
  • Sanadhil tries not to have a coughing fit :p
  • Nycaise wears a close-fitting suit of black leathers, has her hair covered, and bears a long blade at her hip.

[Nycaise] What were you thinking? You just walk in on other people's research?

  • Nycaise rolls up the scroll quickly and tucks it away.

[Sanadhil] Research in to what? [Sanadhil] It was hardly evident what that... thing was

  • Sanadhil gestures at the scroll

[Nycaise] Other planes. [Nycaise] Did you touch anything over there?

  • Nycaise is calming down slightly, but still seems perturbed.

[Sanadhil] I looked at some of the books

  • Nycaise nods.

[Sanadhil] why? [Nycaise] Because, librarians can be touchy, whatever plane they're on. [Nycaise] You don't look well. Do you need to sit down? [Nycaise] I'm sorry I was rough with you. [Sanadhil] ahh [Sanadhil] thank you

  • Sanadhil will sit

[Sanadhil] where was that? [Nycaise] The Shadow plane. [Sanadhil] hmm.

  • Sanadhil makes a mental note to ask Ilphère

[Sanadhil] fascinating [Nycaise] Yes, well. [Nycaise] Fascinating and dangerous. Don't mess about with it. [Sanadhil] it hadn't been my intention - I apologize

  • Nycaise nods.

[Nycaise] Apology accepted. [Nycaise] If you're all right, I'm going to go now. [Sanadhil] I'm fine, thank you.

  • Nycaise departs, then.
  • Sanadhil will waity a bit, then glance at the volume he scammed

[Narrator] Its title is apparently "The Citadel of Light". [Narrator] (we have to be moving on...) [Narrator] (but I'll presume you read it ;)

  • Sanadhil will take that home to read after skimming some books on the hadow plane at the library, ywa ;)

[Sanadhil] (yes)

[Narrator] Altheo, you are busy at the Boar this morning. There was a wee bit of a scuffle in the bar last night, and some cleaning up is needed before the place will look presentable for patrons again. [Narrator] Marissa helps, of course, but most of the girls are busy sleeping - they've all had far less rest than you have. [Narrator] Add to that a growing space crunch, to the point where you're concerned that if many more girls show up you might have to start turning them away, and you're somewhat preoccupied.

  • Altheo makes a mental note to look into buying another place.
  • Ser_Julian strolls in.

[Ser_Julian] Goodness, did somebody die? [Altheo] Not last night no.

  • Altheo says, half joking.

[Ser_Julian] How was the ball? Did you enjoy yourself?

  • Altheo will reach for a bottle of whiskey and pour them both a drink despite the early hours.

[Altheo] I did! [Altheo] It was quite the night. [Ser_Julian] Good, good. [Ser_Julian] Anything useful?

  • Altheo says in a way that is both good and bad.
  • Altheo glances about.

[Narrator] Marissa is probably nearby, but otherwise you're in the clear. [Altheo] (Have I had a chance to tell him about Nestor thinking there were demons in positions of power?) [Narrator] (yes, I believe you guys talked about that before)

  • Altheo talks quitly over the drinks.

[Altheo] (quietly) [Altheo] Well, it turns out Ramon's family is mixed up in some sort of sex cult. [Ser_Julian] o_O [Ser_Julian] I guess that's probably why he's expendable, then. [Ser_Julian] But he's not involved personally, is he? [Altheo] Oh NO!

  • Ser_Julian looks relieved.

[Altheo] not at all. But he may need to sneak his sisters out of the house.

  • Ser_Julian nods.

[Altheo] Hide them from their mother and her new husband. [Ser_Julian] Lovely. [Altheo] yeah. [Altheo] :/ [Altheo] But nothing that furthers our investigation. [Ser_Julian] Ah.

  • Altheo says quietly.

[Ser_Julian] Look, I have a bit of a request. I know you're a busy man, and we already told Alcina to cover the Revelators, but... I'm worried about that. [Altheo] How so? [Ser_Julian] If she really is one of them, and not just a casual visitor at their meetings, then I'm not certain we can trust her. [Ser_Julian] We just don't know where her paramount loyalty lies, you know? But I think we should. [Altheo] *nod* [Altheo] So what are you sugesting? [Ser_Julian] I'd like you to attend their meeting this evening - apparently it should only take a couple of hours. Just keep an eye on Alcina if you can, and try to get a sense of how serious she is about all of their claptrap. [Ser_Julian] Maybe we'll be lucky and she's just going there to meet a boyfriend or something. [Altheo] Well, with Nestor thinking the way he does...we do need an in with those people. [Ser_Julian] I know. I'm interested to hear if they actually name names of these alleged demons. [Ser_Julian] And, hm. Could you disguise yourself a bit? One of your girls here must know something about make-up ;)

  • Altheo nods.

[Altheo] I think I could do something with my hair. [Ser_Julian] All right. Thank you, Altheo.

  • Ser_Julian will finish his drink and take his leave.

[Narrator] Alma, Biatrix has invited you to attend this upcoming Revelator... meeting? service? ceremony? whatever it is, with her.

  • Biatrix picks you up in her carriage at the designated time.

[Alma] Good evening, sister :) [Biatrix] Hello, dear. [Biatrix] I admit, I'm rather curious to see what all the fuss is about.

  • Biatrix says as you travel along.

[Alma] I wonder where they get a lot of it... [Biatrix] The church is quite divided over them, of course. Some are for ignoring them and hoping they go away on their own, while others want to stamp them out rather more vigorously. [Biatrix] Brother Marlow - well, plain Marlow Stavenger now, I suppose - is said to be a remarkable speaker. [Alma] (Excommunicated?) [Narrator] Yes, kicked out of the church. [Narrator] They don't do that for just anyone ;) [Alma] He'll be there tonight? [Biatrix] He's the main event! [Narrator] Their meeting hall is in the Place D'Iena, at Steeplestone Close. The street is quite a narrow one, and it's crowded with people when you arrive. [Biatrix] Dear. Well, we'll have to leave the carriage and walk the rest of the way, I suppose. [Biatrix] It's quite a crowd, isn't it.

  • Biatrix says as she disembarks.

[Alma] It is...

  • Alma will help Biatrix with anything she needs carried.

[Narrator] The building itself is a refurbished theatre, quite modern in style, with a balcony and ample lighting. There is no admission fee charged, so it's quite busy. [Alma] .oO( Such a crowd, for a service? ) [Narrator] The place is fairly crowded, especially on the lower level, but you manage to locate seats. Anyone want to try to sit anywhere in particular?

  • Alma will ask Beatrix if she wants to sit anywhere in particular, should she want to be closer to speak, or hear, etc.
  • Biatrix is content to sit up in the balcony and have a view of the entire crowd.
  • Alma will find us seats there!

  • Altheo will sit farther to the back, better to see peoples reactions.

[Narrator] Back of the main floor, or balcony? [Altheo] (Main Floor) [Narrator] okay [Narrator] You find seats and settle yourselves. [Narrator] There is a loud burst of applause and cheers as the former priest Marlow Stavenger takes the stage. [Altheo] (And I'll keep an eye out for anyone that might recognize me, but I'll have had the girls do be up properly.)

  • Alma gets out a small notebook and a portable copy of the Almas Genara.
  • Marlow is not very old, perhaps about thirty or so, with a stocky build and rather old-fashioned long brown hair, tied back in an orderly tail. He is rather unprepossessing to look at, and yet the crowd seem to love him.

[Marlow] Brothers and sisters, it gives me such encouragement to see so many of you here tonight, to know that you're here to hear the truth! [Marlow] This is the truth the church doesn't want told. They think you're sheep, to panic and run at the first sign of danger. [Marlow] But they're leading you into that danger themselves, with their wilful blindness and their catering to worldly powers! [Marlow] So let me speak plainly, and say the words no one else is willing to speak. This Empire is failing! [Marlow] It's rotting from within, and all efforts to prop it up resemble nothing so much as the blasphemous creation of the undead - the crude semblance of life, but without a soul.

  • Marlow is a dynamic speaker, skilled and charismatic. He punctuates his sermon with sharp gestures, and somehow gives the effect that he's speaking directly to *you*, even in a crowd of hundreds.

[Marlow] The rot begins at the top, in the Councils who are supposed to guide us. Instead, they line their pockets with our silver and placate us with empty words and outright lies. [Alma] (SM: 18 for wwhat it's worth :p) [Marlow] But it's worse than that! The very world itself is not as the Church would like us to believe! [Marlow] It's easy to keep us docile by pretending that our only choices after death are the bliss of the Centre or the nothingness of the Void, a descent into the unknowing pool of soul-stuff from which new souls are forged. [Narrator] You think he genuinely believes what he's saying, Alma. Or if not, he's an amazing actor. [Marlow] Well, I stand here to tell you that the Void is gone! Nothingness would be a *luxury* compared to the torments that await the unwary at the end of their cycle of lives! [Marlow] I know - I've seen them! I've seen the lakes of fire and heard the screams of the damned! THERE IS A HELL, brothers and sisters, and it's waiting for the unworthy among us! [Marlow] They would have you believe that the gods of the Wheel are the only almighty entities in the world. But they have lied to you, constantly and knowingly, for half a century and more! [Marlow] There is another being - a force of incomprehensible evil, released from its imprisonment in the Arch and freed once more to wreak its will upon us. [Marlow] Its leagues of demons walk the streets in the guise of ordinary men and women, working to destroy us! [Alma] ... [Marlow] Even at the very heights of power, they plot and conspire! In the so-called Holy Order of the Spoke, on the Council of Reverends, in the Imperial Palace itself, there are forces of evil at work! [Marlow] The flaming dragon that destroyed the Hall of Worthies was only the latest and most obvious sign from the gods that we are in mortal danger, that our very souls themselves are in jeopardy if we continue on this path to ruin! [Marlow] The Almas Genara teaches us that "the eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend." Prepare to comprehend, my friends, and you will find your eyes will be opened! [Marlow] Lay aside the false teachings of the corrupt church; cast away the vanities and luxuries of the decadent court. Your only hope of salvation lies in opening your eyes and seeing the truth! [Marlow] Come up and let me open your eyes, brothers and sisters!

  • Marlow opens his arms and steps aside from the lectern. Gradually, members of the audience begin to rise from their seats and approach him for a blessing of some sort. He lays a hand on each of them, smiling all the while.
  • Alma watches intently.

[Narrator] There are assistants carefully stationed throughout the crowd. At the conclusion of the performance, they pass the hat around for donations.

  • Altheo will make one.

[Altheo] (Do I see anyone I recognize?) [Alma] (How far away are we seated?) [Narrator] Alcina is there, Altheo. To your surprise, you also see Mijanou there, in her most respectable gown. [Narrator] Alma - you're in the balcony, so you would have to get down the stairs if you wanted to go up on stage. [Narrator] Alma, you are surprised to spot the familiar stout, reassuring figure of your housekeeper Sagesse in the press of the crowd.

  • Alma looks to see what Beatrix thinks.
  • Biatrix appears content to depart without a blessing.
  • Altheo will watch both Alcina and Mijanou carefully.

[Narrator] Alcina goes up on stage for the 'blessing'. Mijanou doesn't. [Altheo] (Is there anyone that could be Nestor in disguise?)

  • Alma casts detect magic discreetly.

[Narrator] Roll spot.

  • Alma will concentrate on Marlow and his blessings.

[Altheo] (14) [Alma] (If I'm within the 60' or whichever, if not, I'll try to catch some of those who have come from a blessing.) [Narrator] Alma - looking at those who've come back from the stage, Marlow's blessings don't appear to bestow any lasting magic that you can see. [Narrator] Altheo, you don't see him, but then, he's apparently a pretty plain-looking guy. He would blend in pretty easily if he were in street clothes. [Narrator] After the blessings have concluded, there are some rousing songs of the uplifting damnation variety, and then people begin to depart. [Biatrix] Theatrical, but oddly compelling.

  • Biatrix pronounces as you make your way out, Alma.
  • Altheo will try and detect evil. Especially if I can catch some of the people with blessings and Marlow.

[Narrator] You don't detect any evil on him or those he's blessed, Altheo. [Alma] He seemed not to say it was so much the choice of the Gods that this has come to pass? [Biatrix] No, I think he believes it's basically all our fault.

  • Alcina makes her way carefully to the side of a balding, middle-aged man in a drab brown suit, as you follow her out in the foyer, Altheo.

[Narrator] Now that guy, he could be Nestor Dryden.

  • Altheo will continue trying to be inconspicuous, but watchful.

[Narrator] Listen check, I think, to hear anything they might be saying over the crowd.

  • Altheo will also watch for Mijanou.

[Altheo] (19) [Narrator] You can make out what she's saying, but he's turned away from you, and you can't hear his responses. [Alcina] They're looking into it. I don't know what to do! [Alcina] No, the orders come from the very top. [Alcina] I'm doing my best!

  • Alcina seems upset and angry.
  • Biatrix is now known as Mijanou
  • Mijanou approaches the man and takes him by the arm. Some words are exchanged that you can't quite make out, and then they depart together, leaving Alcina to fume and head off on her own.
  • Altheo follows Mijanou and the guy.

[Alma] I don't see how it all ties in to the Empire... the being in the Arch was freed by a few people... if that is what has taken the void from us, how is it the Empire's fault? [Alma] V [Narrator] They head out of the hall, down the street, and pick up a hired carriage - there are dozens of them waiting for the crowds to get out.

  • Altheo will grab one and tell him to follow them discreetly, flashing a appropriately large amount of gold.

[Narrator] Okay. Your cab driver follows their cab driver, and takes you to... The Rutting Boar.

  • Altheo chuckles under his breath, but pays the man and will get out.

[Altheo] (actually, I'll make sure they both exit first, not just the Mijanou) [Narrator] They both exit.

  • Altheo will take off his disguise then before coming in.
  • Alcina is now known as Biatrix

[Biatrix] Still, I would have liked the chance to speak with him. Maybe next time I ought to help myself to one of his blessings, so as to get a word in edgewise.

  • Biatrix says to Alma as you get back into her carriage.

[Alma] You could ask to meet with him... [Biatrix] Perhaps. [Biatrix] He's wrong in one particular, at the very least.

  • Biatrix seems oddly relieved, somehow.
  • Alma is not entirely satisfied that he's anything more than a great orator...

[Alma] Which? [Biatrix] He thinks there are only two options - that our souls go to the Centre, or to this Hell he's apparently witnessed first-hand. [Biatrix] There's a third possibility.

  • Biatrix fiddles with the clasp of her bag, as if she's anxious.
  • Alma is trying to think of which she's about to say...

[Biatrix] Have you ever heard of the Seventh, Alma dear? [Alma] (Were they called that when they were revealed and executed as heretics?) [Narrator] (yes) [Alma] (shall I roll?) [Narrator] K: religion [Alma] (14) [Narrator] enh... maybe it rings some faint bell? [Alma] I... can't recall where, but it comes to mind? [Biatrix] Some souls return to this world after their cycle of lives is complete. [Alma] I thought you were going to talk of those outside the Church, like the Cozovode... [Biatrix] Ah, I don't know very much about them. [Biatrix] But I do know about the Seventh. [Alma] You know them to be true? Souls judged and returned to the world?

  • Biatrix nods.

[Biatrix] My mother was... is one. [Alma] :o [Alma] ... is? [Biatrix] I haven't seen her in many years, but I have no reason to believe she's not still living. [Alma] She ... would be quite elderly...

  • Biatrix shakes her head.

[Alma] (SM: 28 to see if she believes it, though I figure OOC she knows right :P) [Biatrix] They age much more slowly than we do. When last I saw her, she looked younger than me - and that was, oh, close to thirty years ago. [Alma] :o

  • Biatrix definitely believes this.

[Alma] ... why are they returned? [Biatrix] To do good.

  • Biatrix says simply.

[Biatrix] My fear is that, if it's true that there is a force for evil in the universe as powerful as the gods themselves, that there's no reason why ...it... couldn't do the same thing. [Alma] I just can't see the Gods ... willing such a thing to be. Are they not forgiving? Are we all not given chances to follow the Path? [Biatrix] I don't know. I think that, the older I get, the less I understand these matters.

  • Biatrix 's carriage arrives back at your house.

[Alma] Well, we've a lot to think about tonight, sister :)

  • Biatrix nods.
  • Biatrix seems quite weary.

[Biatrix] Good night, sister. [Alma] Good night. [Narrator] The end, for now... [Narrator] That's the last game before the new year - I'll post to see when people will be available in January for further adventures. And I'll probably be free for solos between now and then, too :)


[Sanadhil] (You'd have gotten a note smehow, at school, that I'm not well and not going to be around) [Ilphere] (well that's hardly an invitation for me to come over) [Sanadhil] (well, no but we could send more notes! But ultimately you'd probably have to coms see me) [Ilphere] (I would send one saying I hope you recover soon and that I should very much like to talk to you when you are feeling better, etc) [Ilphere] (...?) [Sanadhil] (In which case, you;ll get a thank you for your concern, nothing serious, look forward to seeing you, of course you are welcome to come by if you would like to, blah blah?) [Ilphere] (well in that case I will come by) [Sanadhil] (subtext of arrrgh i am SO BORED)

  • Ilphere knocks at the door...
  • Sanadhil will answer after a minute or so
  • Sanadhil looks very run down - thinner than before even, posture not quite as perfect as usual, etc... he is wearing loose fitting elven clothes, but even so he loks very thin
  • Sanadhil smiles, nevertheless
  • Ilphere is dressed in a dark blue and black striped dress, with her hair pinned up artfully and her pink glasses perched atop her head.

[Sanadhil] Mlle. de Quessenet, how pleasant

  • Ilphere also has Hali with her, and is carrying a small white box.

[Sanadhil] Please, won't you come in [Ilphere] Oh... I won't stay long if you are too tired...! [Sanadhil] I welcome the company

  • Dominik lingers in the background

[Sanadhil] It seems my library is not large enough [Ilphere] I brought you something... just some light pastry things from the shop by the Castalia...! [Sanadhil] that's very kind

  • Sanadhil shows her inside

[Sanadhil] Mr. Rademacher, will you be joining us?

  • Dominik nods

[Dominik] You've looked better. Nothing contageous is it? [Ilphere] To be honest... I wanted to talk to you about some things, that Dominik should propbably know also...!

  • Ilphere looks uncomfortable...
  • Dominik will come in

[Sanadhil] No, nothing contagious.

  • Sanadhil 's place is in a bit more disarray than you would have seen it previousy. not *messy*, but not as orderly

[Ilphere] I have not felt myself since the night of the ball either...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ilphere] Although to a lesser degree, it would seem...! [Dominik] I've been... off... too. [Sanadhil] Hmm.

  • Dominik struggles to come up with the right description.

[Ilphere] I feel just sort of... muddle-headed, like it's hard to think clearly... [Sanadhil] As though the effects of the Arch were eversing themselves [Sanadhil] thre is a price for everything

  • Sanadhil will take the box from Ilphere

[Sanadhil] Please, make yourselves comfortable

  • Dominik nods
  • Ilphere seats herself.

[Dominik] I'll stand for a bit. Sitting in the library all day. [Sanadhil] would you care for some tea? [Ilphere] Oh, no thank you... please don't trouble yourself on my account..!

  • Sanadhil nods, and will collapse into a chair with as much dignity as he can muster

[Dominik] do either of you know if this effect will pass? [Ilphere] I have no idea... !

  • Sanadhil shakes his head,a dn chokes back a cough

[Ilphere] I have had so many other problems...! [Sanadhil] I'm hoping no longer than a week [Sanadhil] What's happened, ilphère? [Ilphere] Someone told Marl about the Order... [Ilphere] Probably Zivia...! [Ilphere] And now he thinks I am ... like that... and what is worse... he doesn't want me to marry Menard now, he wants to put me with this old Count so that I'm close enough to... to...

  • Ilphere can't finish the sentence...!

[Ilphere] ANd Ysa told me he is even more horrid, that he hurts girls...! [Sanadhil] ....ahh.

  • Dominik frowns

[Ilphere] I do not know what to do... [Sanadhil] that's... I'm very sorry. [Ilphere] I am... I am very fond of Menard... :( [Dominik] Void...

  • Dominik is visibly angry
  • Sanadhil sems disturbed but doens't have the energy for much more

[Ilphere] If none of this had happened I would actually be *pleased* to marry the Compte..! He would be perfect... If I wasn't going to be *used* and beaten up by the Emperor...! And if I hadn't gotten so close to his brother...!

  • Ilphere covers her face in her hands...!

[Dominik] He's the damn emperor... what the hell can we do?

  • Dominik sounds very frustrated
  • Ilphere peeks up over her fingertips...

[Ilphere] There are things more powerful than emperors... [Ilphere] Oh...! What am I saying...?

  • Sanadhil coughs again
  • Dominik finds himself a seat

[Sanadhil] that is true, but they also have a cost [Sanadhil] I admit that i'm not familiar with the way these arrangements betwen families progress... [Ilphere] Would the cost be worse than being practically sold as a concubine to a man my father's age so that the emperor can assault me...? [Sanadhil] its possible, yes. [Sanadhil] Considering the proclivities of those who control the power I beieve you're thinking of [Dominik] Be realistic... what are you going to do? Sell your soul to the Arch? You can't be serious? [Ilphere] I don't know what I'm thinking... [Sanadhil] Who else have you spoken to about this? [Ilphere] I don't have any idea what to do... but I can't just float along and hope for the best, can I...? [Dominik] Can Menard help you? You seemed to be getting along well with him? [Ilphere] That doesn't happen...! [Ilphere] He doesn't know about the Order... [Ilphere] I did not know how I could tell him about that... [Ilphere] I think I should... If he hates me then this would be much simpler...

  • Ilphere stares down at her hands.

[Sanadhil] :/ [Sanadhil] the emperor is a sorceror, isn't he? [Ilphere] He studied at the Castalia, yes. [Sanadhil] what did he study, do you know? [Ilphere] He did not specialize in anything in particular... I do recall him giving some courses on illusions though...! [Ilphere] He graduated shortly after I began... [Sanadhil] hmm... [Sanadhil] It is possible that he could use magic to coerce you... but you need not be easy prey for him [Ilphere] No indeed...! ]:( [Dominik] like he would need to... Ilphere couldn't raise a hand to stop him from hurting her without being struck back 10 times worse. [Sanadhil] she's a sorcerer, she doesn't need to [Dominik] He wouldn't stop with her, he'd probably go after her family too. [Dominik] some fights can't be won by direct conflict, with spell or sword, and this is one of them. [Sanadhil] Im not saying she should fight him. [Dominik] She needs to find a way to get out of his attention without drawing his ire at the same time... however that can be done.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ilphere] Can it be...? [Sanadhil] possibly. [Dominik] I don't play these games.. Im not my brother or sister... dammit. [Ilphere] Nor do I... [Sanadhil] But if you appear weak and afraid, that will only fuel his interest' [Ilphere] I tried not to seem afraid...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ilphere] That seemed to make him more interested as well though... :( [Sanadhil] hmm. [Sanadhil] I don't know enough about the man to give good counsel.. But I suspect that the best you can do is to find some way to make him think that he cannot get what he wants from you, for whatever reason. [Ilphere] . o O ( Oh is that all...! )

  • Ilphere nods glumly.

[Dominik] Get Menard on your side. Tell him about the Downs so it can't be used against you. Focus on how its related to the events at the coronation. thats the best I can come up with. [Dominik] If it works you'll have an ally in a position to help you at least. [Ilphere] Yes... I have to tell him sooner or later, anyway...

  • Ilphere agrees.
  • Sanadhil nods

[Ilphere] He wants to meet with me again... I will do it then, the next time I see him...

  • Ilphere sighs.

[Sanadhil] perhaps he can tell you more about his brother as well [Sanadhil] if he knows anything that might cause him to lose interest in you more rapidly [Ilphere] Yes... [Ilphere] Something I could *use*...!

  • Ilphere narrows her eyes slightly...
  • Sanadhil nods

  • Menard will come by Seths place.
  • Seth opens his door. His hands are ink-stained, presumably from his latest project for his father.

[Seth] Ah, Menard ... what brings your Imperial Princelyship down here slumming today?

  • Menard is looking his usual dejected self.

[Menard] Escaping the horrors of imperial princeship of course.

  • Menard tries to smile a bit, but sorta fails.

[Menard] So what are you up to?

  • Menard says, noding at his hands.

[Seth] Ah, work. You do know about work, right? [Seth] Father always has something for me, just little things, draughting and such, to keep me busy and earn my pittance. [Menard] yes, yes, its that thing we make you pesants do so you don't get uppity. [Seth] Yes, exactly. [Menard] So you won't beleive the latest thing my brother has decided.

  • Menard says a bit bitterly.

[Seth] Ah ... I can't wait to hear it. [Menard] So he's decided to marry Ilphere off to some old spokesman, and hasn't told my why or anything. [Seth] Ah ... well, probably something about money, don't you think? [Menard] I don't know. It just seems so unessessary.... [Menard] And I think I really like her! [Seth] Oh? Well, that's kind of unfortunate. [Menard] yeah...

  • Menard sorta glances around your appartment.

[Seth] What is it? [Menard] So... [Menard] I'm going to keep seeing her anyways. [Menard] My brother has really just gone to far this time. [Seth] Uhh, well, it wouldn't be the first time that a Prince Imperial had a noble mistress, I'm sure. That's your right. [Menard] No. well maybe. I'm not sure yet. [Seth] But you might think about finding a woman who isn't part of one of your brother - the *Emperor's* schemes.\ [Menard] But I need yoru help. [Menard] But I'm always going to be part of his schemes. [Menard] And I can't live my life like that. [Seth] Like what? [Menard] well, I was hoping since your in the Society with her, you might be able to pass on messages and things like that. [Menard] maybe help us set up meetings.... [Seth] Ahhhhh ... [Seth] You do realize that I am *not* a noble or a Prince-Imperial, right? [Seth] And that if I get involved in your schemes, your dear brother can simply have me disposed of. [Seth] We Argos have always been disposable to you Kizers. [Menard] Well, you'd be my Argo.

  • Menard gives you weak smile.

[Menard] I'll look after you Seth. [Seth] Yeah ... it's not that I don't believe that you want to, Menard. I trust you. But I'm not sure you *can* look after me. [Seth] Why not find one of us disposable peasants to mess around with? [Menard] well... [Seth] Or find a way to convince your brother that marrying Ilphere off to the old guy isn't the right thing. [Menard] beleive me, I'm going to try that too. [Menard] but, I don't think its about money. [Menard] I think he may want to have her for himself. [Menard] Like, take her from me because he can. [Seth] Ah. Well, then it's probably best to just forget about her. [Menard] maybe.

  • Menard sounds uncertain.

[Menard] I'll need to write her a letter at least. [Menard] If I do, can I trust you to take it to her at the society? [Seth] Well, yes, I can do that. [Menard] Thank you Seth.

  • Menard sounds a bit torn and disapointed.

[Seth] Not a problem. [Seth] Hey, why don't we find you a better woman? Someone without a pedigree. [Menard] maybe later [Menard] I should get going really. [Seth] All right. Just ... don't do anything foolish, okay? Even Imperial Princelyships can end up in scads of trouble over things like this. [Menard] Don't worry about me. I'm always the good one, remember? [Seth] Ah, yes. How foolish of me to have forgotten. :)

  • Menard will give a smile.

[Menard] Thanks for the good advice.

  • Menard will head out.


[Alma] Potentially in a side room when I'm hiding from a dance? [Alma] It'll mostly be chatty, not plotty, I imagine? :P [Ysabeau] (maybe after Altheo and I spoke, and before the drunk molested me)

  • Ysabeau is looking pensive.
  • Alma is dressed in her ball finery, which involves an expensive-looking fashionable dress which seems to be trying to squeeze Alma's cleavage out. Her skin is quite rosy from dancing and wine.
  • Alma sneaks from the main room into this side study and spots a seat near you.
  • Ysabeau is in her best dress of midnight blue, and with tiny white flowers in her hair.

[Alma] Good evening Mlle Chanuier, is this seat taken? [Ysabeau] Not at the moment, Sister. :) [Alma] Then I lay claim...

  • Alma fights with her dress for a moment before sitting down, her virgin drink in hand.

[Ysabeau] You likely have more claim to chairs in this building than I.

  • Ysabeau shrugs, looking amused.

[Alma] Few in the Empire aren't guests in this house :) [Ysabeau] But most here have some degree of noble blood. [Ysabeau] I'm just a tradesman's daughter. :) [Alma] Ah, but you get to say you earned your evening here :) I saw you performing earlier, in a quartet? I was too harried to listen long, but it sounded good. [Ysabeau] Thank you. We're The Vallon Consort. [Alma] I hope to catch you perform again sometime, when I can pay proper attention. [Ysabeau] We have a fairly wide repertoire, if you ever need to hire some musicians; we'd be happy to play for you pretty well anything you requested. [Alma] certainly ;) [Alma] I think I recognised one of your members, is he from the Society as well?

  • Ysabeau nods.
  • Alma looks to remember his name.

[Ysabeau] Symon Tourigny - we like to play ancient music. Symon and I are the ones who usually dig it up, with some help from Verity Arguelles at times. [Ysabeau] Jehan and Stefan are the other two members. Jehan is a composer, so we play some original pieces as well. [Ysabeau] But of course any musical group’s bread and potatoes are the current popular pieces so we're well-versed in those as well. [Alma] Ah, Symon. [Alma] Verity Arguelles is the wife of Adam Kolbe, no?

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] She's a talented musician, too. :) [Ysabeau] She actually helped us get this gig tonight; we're lucky to call her our friend.

  • Ysabeau seems to be really very fond of Verity Arguelles when she speaks of her. ;)

[Ysabeau] But I must be boring you with all this talk of music! My apologies; I get carried away when someone gets me going on the things I'm passionate about. [Alma] I can imagine this is a great opportunity for an emerging group such as yourselves...

  • Ysabeau nods enthusiastically.

[Ysabeau] We really hope it will land us a few more gigs.

  • Ysabeau agrees.

[Alma] And as for the topic, why spend so much time with so many people just to monopolise the topics myself? :) [Ysabeau] I suppose. It would be difficult to learn anything if we didn't ask questions and listen to others. [Alma] I haven't had the opportunity to speak with Verity Arguelles properly yet at the Society. I've met her in passing a few times, but I've been bustling about. Perhaps I'll catch you both sometime visiting the library. [Alma] I'm good friends with an... aunt of hers, Sister Beatrix Arguelles. [Ysabeau] Oh yeah?

  • Alma looks unsure as to the *exact* relation.

[Alma] They're a large family :)

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Alma] (At least it seems :P) [Ysabeau] I don't really know her family, so much. [Alma] (Would Verity have been here?) [Ysabeau] (She was, yes, with Adam Kolbe) [Ysabeau] Anyway, Verity attends most all the meetings, so you ought to pin her down at the next one. [Alma] There were a few here this evening, including Sister Beatrix, though I believe she's retired for the evening. [Ysabeau] No doubt... pretty well every noble in the Empire must be here. I've never seen so many glittering dresses in one place, ever. [Ysabeau] I don't often see this many people in one place, either - except maybe for the market days. [Alma] Each and every one uncomfortable -_-

  • Ysabeau laughs.

[Ysabeau] Not just your gowns... we poorer folk do our best to mimic you so I'm stuck wearing a corset and hoops, too. [Ysabeau] Just the fabric isn't as fine, and not so much lace, and no jewels. And only humble flowers.

  • Ysabeau pats the baby's breath in her hair self-consciously to make sure it's still there.

[Alma] The flowers are a nice touch though :)

  • Alma seems to have left out a lot of those "extra touches"
  • Ysabeau blushes prettily.

[Ysabeau] Thank you. [Ysabeau] I'd feel weird with orchids, anyway. [Alma] They'd be rather large in your hair :P [Ysabeau] I saw more than a few out there, though.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Alma] So much bother for one night...

  • Ysabeau shrugs.
  • Alma fans herself idly.

[Ysabeau] It's an important night for your folk. A new era, new possibilities. Marriages to arrange, plots to develop.

  • Alma seems to sigh inwardly when you mention marriages.

[Alma] Very true. In all honesty if it wasn't for appearances, I would sooner be at home reading. [Ysabeau] It matters for us, too, but less so... our lives go on mostly unchanged, unless the new Emperor decides to go to war or something. The Seven prevent that from happening, though!

  • Ysabeau makes the sign of the Wheel to ward away any sort of nastiness.
  • Alma nods, her hand going to her holy symbol.

[Alma] Hopefully nothing will change that :)

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] How late do you have to stay, if you'd rather be home?

  • Ysabeau asks curiously

[Alma] Not much later, I imagine. I've met and danced with quite a few people this evening. Should it seem like the crowd have bored of me, I will try to escape :)

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] I'm not sure how much longer I ought to stay. I doubt anyone would try to engage our quartet tonight... if they want us they could send a message some other time and they're probably too busy socializing to think about their own parties right now, anyway. [Ysabeau] So there probably isn't really much purpose to my staying. [Ysabeau] I suppose I should try to drum up a little business, though... maybe have a few more dances and drop our consort's name into the conversation. [Ysabeau] I wonder how the lads are doing? [Ysabeau] Symon wasn't very excited about doing public relations and I'm afraid I've been rather lax in my duties. [Alma] I do imagine most people will try to find out later who they saw performing, but it might not be inappropriate to play later in the evening? I have seen games being played before, and other late-night entertainment? [Ysabeau] Well, we were only engaged to play two sets at the beginning. [Ysabeau] I'm sure that the master of ceremonies would have made arrangements for other groups to play later in the night. [Ysabeau] He had quite a full roster of musicians. [Alma] Ah, well... [Alma] It has been nice to see you again, Mlle. Chanuier, but I think I'd best throw myself back into the frey :) [Ysabeau] Very well. Hopefully you can extricate yourself soon without causing a stir, and go back to your home and curl up with a good book! [Ysabeau] It was a pleasure speaking with you, Sister. [Alma] I will be far too tired this evening for that sort of thing, but I look forward to a very good sleep :) Enjoy the rest of your night :)

  • Ysabeau stands up politely to see you off, smiling.

[Ysabeau] Thank you, I shall certainly try.

  • Alma adjusts her dress and heads back out onto the dancefloor ot hobnob.

  • Ysabeau re-enters the ballroom after the fireworks
  • Sanadhil trickles back in and, looking to spot ilphere, sees Ysabeau instead
  • Sanadhil will drift that way

[Sanadhil] Good evening Miss Chaunier

  • Ysabeau is looking pretty as always and turning on her charm to lure people into dances so she can sell her quartet. ;)
  • Ysabeau turns to you and curtseys, smiling.

[Ysabeau] Good evening, Master Orecalo. [Sanadhil] How are you this evening? [Ysabeau] Well enough, and you? [Sanadhil] Quite well, thank you. [Sanadhil] That was a lovely display, wasn't it?

  • Ysabeau nods enthusiastically.

[Ysabeau] I've never been able to see them so close before! [Ysabeau] They were always pretty far away from - me. I never heard the screaming ones before. It's almost like magic, isn't it?

  • Ysabeau bubbles.

[Sanadhil] I suppose so! [Sanadhil] I've sen displays back hope that incorporate some elements of illusion spells. [Ysabeau] Really? [Ysabeau] What did they use the illusions for? [Sanadhil] Cozovodë wizards are more versitile in their magic, they can afford spells for that kind of indulgence :) [Sanadhil] to enhance colours, add sounds, sometimes create animation effects [Ysabeau] Animation effects? Like, firework unicorns running across the sky or something? [Sanadhil] sometimes they are very blatant, but i find the subtler effects more engagng - they detract less rom the art of the fireworks themselves [Sanadhil] that sort of thing, yes [Ysabeau] Wow, that must be fascinating to see.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] still, I was curious to see what the empreor would pull out, and was not disappointed :) [Sanadhil] I don't suppose you have see mlle. de Quessenet around? [Ysabeau] I'm afraid not... not since I saw her dancing with the Prince Imperial. [Sanadhil] hmm... [Ysabeau] They make a lovely couple, don't they? I hope things work out for her. [Sanadhil] well, would you care to dance the, as the music seems to be srnking up once more? [Sanadhil] (Striking) [Sanadhil] I wish her the very best

  • Sanadhil says sincerely
  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] I'd be happy to dance with you. [Sanadhil] then i wold be honoured :)

  • Ysabeau smiles brightly and takes up the appropriate position for a lady.

[Ysabeau] You came with Ilphere, right? I think she mentioned something about that.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I had that honour also, yes

  • Sanadhil will take up boy stance

[Sanadhil] hmm... I'm still learning these dances, so forgive me if I'm lacking in grace. [Sanadhil] It's been a very educational evening in that regard [Ysabeau] We're well-matched then... I've never had much opportunity to practice these, myself.

  • Ysabeau is not a practiced dancer but she is pretty graceful.
  • Sanadhil is in the same boat, essentially

[Sanadhil] well, we'll have to wing it then [Ysabeau] I put all of my creative endeavours into music and singing, and neglected the dancing part. [Ysabeau] I don't know how often I'll be able to dance after playing my music; if it happens often enough maybe I'll have to look into some lessons. :) [Sanadhil] I can't say i've ever had any talents in that realm. [Sanadhil] not much opportunity for it, i suppose

  • Sanadhil muses
  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] Well, if you'd ever like to learn to play a stringed instrument, I'd be happy to teach you. [Ysabeau] I could train your voice, too, if you have anything decent to start with. ;) [Sanadhil] someday, perhaps! [Sanadhil] I'm starting to wonder if I'm not being overly ambitious with al my current projects [Ysabeau] Oh, I know the feeling. [Ysabeau] :/ [Sanadhil] you must be nearly finishd your studies by now? [Ysabeau] I haven't made much headway with my research on the stone and the necklace yet. We got this gig and we had to practice for it, so I'm afraid most everything else got dropped by the wayside. [Sanadhil] ahh yes, I was speaking to M. Argo about that earlier [Ysabeau] Oh, really? [Sanadhil] I'd ment to ask, but after the fireworks it completely slipped my mind [Ysabeau] Has he had any better luck? [Sanadhil] no, I think he's been busy with his own family affairs [Sanadhil] Apparently the Argos have some longstanding relationship with the Kizers [Ysabeau] Is that so? I guess he must be really busy running errands for them right now, then.

  • Sanadhil shrugs

[Sanadhil] i didn't enquire about the speific details [Ysabeau] No, of course not. [Sanadhil] He does seem to think the investigation is worth pursuing [Ysabeau] Really?

  • Sanadhil nods
  • Ysabeau looks rather gratified.

[Ysabeau] I hope to have more time to spend on it once this night is over. [Sanadhil] if yo do turn up anything of interest, i am certian he'd be very interestd to hear it

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ysabeau] I promised I'd share whatever I learn with him already. :) [Sanadhil] Well, then!

  • Sanadhil glances over your shoulder

[Sanadhil] ahh, there she is.... [Ysabeau] Oh...

  • Ysabeau smiles and releases you to Ilphere, then.
  • Sanadhil bows

[Sanadhil] Thank you for the dance, Miss Chaunier, I hope you enjoy the rest of your time here [Ysabeau] Thank you, Master Orecalo [Ysabeau] I hope you enjoy the rest of your evening, too. :)

  • Ysabeau curtseys
  • Sanadhil will go find Ilphère, and probably leave shortly afterwards

  • Ilphere shows up at the Society before going in to work at the Castalia library.
  • Sanadhil will meet Ilphère at the society early one morning, probably the day after he's finished his translation.
  • Sanadhil will try to get there extra early so he has a chance to recover from the walk
  • Sanadhil will be in he library, as it seems apt
  • Ilphere bustles in wearing a charcoal redingotte over a dove-grey gown.

[Ilphere] Oh good Morning M. Orecalo..! [Sanadhil] good morning Mlle. de Quessenet

  • Sanadhil still looks tired and work out, but there is an excited gleam in his eyes

[Ilphere] How are you feeling today...? [Sanadhil] Well, I find I am pleasantly distracted.

  • Sanadhil smiles.

[Sanadhil] me is still dressed in loose fiting, comfortable Cozovode clothing as well [Ilphere] Oh...? [Ilphere] Have you discovered something new with regards to our... project..? [Sanadhil] Well... I don't know about that, but I have stumbled upon something that i think might be of great interest to you. [Ilphere] What is that?

  • Ilphere is obviously intrigued...!

[Sanadhil] Do you know Mlle. L'Averti? [Ilphere] I have seen her around the Society, yes...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I believe she helped madame grenrake with some research involving that Necklace affair as well [Sanadhil] Well. [Ilphere] Oh really...! [Sanadhil] I ran in to her here the other day, in the most peculiar circumstances [Sanadhil] What do you know about travel between the planes? [Ilphere] (well I don't know :V!_ [Ilphere] Well, one would have to be in possession of a good deal of personal power, or a powerful artifact to achieve it...! [Sanadhil] indeed.... [Ilphere] Obviously I have never been able to do so myself, to my great chagrin... :( [Sanadhil] Apparently Mlle. L'Averti possesses the later [Ilphere] Oh really...! [Sanadhil] I came in in the early morning, and found a strange scroll lying on the table [Ilphere] Of what nature? Did you see it? What planes does it lead to..!? [Ilphere] A scroll...? [Sanadhil] It had no writing on it, but was instead a window to the shadow plane [Sanadhil] I had no idea what it was, of course [Sanadhil] I tried looking through it,testing to see if objects could pass through... [Ilphere] The shadow plane!

  • Ilphere repeats, eyes wide.

[Sanadhil] I don't believe my curiousity was misplaced, i any case! [Sanadhil] So I learned afterwards [Sanadhil] Eventualy I dared to touch the face of the thing, and found myself instantly transported to that plane [Sanadhil] It was very dark, as I'm sure yo can imagine [Sanadhil] but the place was apparnetly, like this, a library. [Sanadhil] I had very little time to look around - I cast a spell, I believe, to try and examie some of the titles, and the sound alerted mademoiselle. [Sanadhil] I didn't recognize her initially, and there was some, well, understandable confusion before she hurried me back here, took her scroll, and left. [Ilphere] Oh, what fortune you have...!

  • Ilphere says wistfully.

[Sanadhil] It was a startling experience, to say the least. [Ilphere] . o O ( To stumble by chance upon what I have wished for so long... ) [Sanadhil] I apologized for interfering in her research, though I'm not certain as to its nature [Sanadhil] You know so much more about these things than I do, and I find I'm left with many questions. [Ilphere] It souunds as though she has had far more success than I... [Sanadhil] Perhaps you should speak to her

  • Ilphere sounds a little deflated...
  • Sanadhil says encouragingly

[Ilphere] Perhaps...

  • Ilphere sounds unconvinced.

[Sanadhil] Why wouldn't you? [Sanadhil] the worst she can say is 'no' - she may be willign to share some of her experiences, at the least [Ilphere] I was hoping to make breakthroughs in the field, to make my name... [Sanadhil] I would love to know more about that place [Ilphere] But it seems I am trailing behind...! [Ilphere] A portal to another plane...!

  • Ilphere sighs.

[Sanadhil] all the better to discover what is already known [Sanadhil] (all the better reaason, even) [Ilphere] ...Will she be angry that you've told me about it...? [Sanadhil] I can't see that she has any cause to! [Sanadhil] She didn't ask me to keep it a secret - and frankly, she did leave her portal to another plane *lying on the table in the library*

  • Sanadhil shakes his head

[Sanadhil] if someone less savoury had found it she may well have been trapped! [Ilphere] Yes that *does* seem careless...! [Sanadhil] As i said, I am quite curious about the place - i have been reading much about the planes since, but I was hoping you might have some recommendations? [Sanadhil] I suppose I hadnt' really thought of them as beling.... like our own plane. having cities and libraries and such [Sanadhil] Mlle L'Averti also mentioned that it could be quite a dangerous place as well - which of course makes me curious about the denizens [Ilphere] Well, I can recommend some places to start, yes...!

  • Ilphere rattles off some titles.

[Ilphere] Many are not... [Ilphere] Some would be so alien as to threaten one's sanity...! [Sanadhil] I think I have skimmed some of them already [Sanadhil] ... well not those ones! [Ilphere] Well *blah* in particular is quite informative. [Sanadhil] . o ( I do have a pretty strong mind though... ) [Sanadhil] I will check it out for certain, thank you [Sanadhil] does it have much on the denizens, and other dangers, of the Shadow Plane? [Ilphere] (geez I'm just going to go ahead and say yes, and sorry in advance if Julie tells you no :() [Ilphere] I believe so, if I'm thinking of the right one...! [Sanadhil] ('s cool, what I'm lookig for may be sort of obscure anyway ;x) [Sanadhil] (if it is even real and not comepletely made up ;) [Sanadhil] excellent, thank you [Sanadhil] I would like to try and speak to her again, perhaps when I am feeling stronger [Sanadhil] At this rate I don't believe I'll be attending thr meeting this month

  • Sanadhil says with some disappointment

[Ilphere] Well, thank you for telling me about it...

  • Retrieving #changeling modes...

[Ilphere] I *will* talk to her, anyway...! [Ilphere] Perhaps at the next meeting. [Sanadhil] Good! [Sanadhil] I hope the conversation will be of some use to you [Sanadhil] I can certainly see why you find this all so engaging