Diablotin 2 session 28
- Session date:
- Diablotin date:
[DiablotinNarrator] Having made your ablutions and changed into clean clothes, you return to the Society in order to discuss what has happened, and what you intend to do next - all except Ysabeau, who says she has to get home in order to make preparations for her sister's birthday on the morrow. [DiablotinNarrator] (You can meet together first, or with Vianca, as you wish.) [Dominik] (whatever) [DiablotinNarrator] (Guillame is fixed by now, as well ;) [Guillame] (thanks!) [Alma] (Might as well meet with Vianca?) [Ilphere] (can I bring Sanadhil back with me?) [Sanadhil] (no preference. And that was the plan sas :) [DiablotinNarrator] (Yes, you can) [Ilphere] (just checkin)
- Sanadhil arrives with Ilphere - he is dressed in fairly casual Cozovodë dress, and carrying a cane. His hair is cut quite short but stylishly. He looks somewhat tanned, if a bit drawn and thin still, but otherwise seems well enough.
- Guillame is dressed smartly but not ostentatiously, and still looks pretty shaken
[Ilphere] Ah, M. Rionet, are you feeling better...? [Dominik] You missed quite a time.
- Alma is dressed once again in her robes, hair in loose bundle on her head. Her cheeks are quite rosy and and she's slightly fragranced, perhaps to hide imaginary sewer scent.
- Sanadhil eyes Dominik, trying to figue out if he was talking to me
[Guillame] I think so... yes.
- Seth is sitting quietly in a corner for now.
[Ilphere] Oh wonderful.
- Ilphere smiles.
- Seth is sitting quietly in a corner for now.
[Guillame] What *did* I miss?
- Dominik is dressed in clean, fashionable pants and tunic with a vest. No armor, but he does have a longsword at his hip.
- Sanadhil nods to Guillame, but stays quiet
[Seth] Not much. Everything was fairly orderly after it happened to you. [Vianca] I hope you're all feeling slightly recovered. [Alma] Indeed, it is good to see you both feeling better, M. Rionet, M. Orecalo. [Guillame] Thanks... [Sanadhil] Thank you, countess. [Dominik] whats' going to happen to that statue? [Vianca] That is one of several matters for discussion before us. [Dominik] good as place to start as any [Vianca] It is obvious that it needs to be carefully studied. [Seth] Obviously it needs to be kept here at the Society, then, although more securely. [Ilphere] I agree...! [Alma] That is far from obvious, M. Argo. The society has insufficient security to protect such a dangerous item. [Alma] The Church is far more equipped to deal with an item of its nature. [Ilphere] The Church...! Certainly not...! [Ilphere] To have it locked in some dusty vault where it cannot be properly studied...! [Seth] With respect, it seems highly imprudent to discuss even the existence of this entity more widely at present. [Seth] Involving the church would of necessity bring additional figures in on the secret. [Alma] I'm uncertain there is much of a "secret" surrounding the statue, as it was not secret here at the society, and it has since run amok. [Alma] Additionally, the Church has a vested interest in understanding the nature of the creature, its power, and its purpose. [Seth] The knowledge that the statue is the same as the entity that 'ran amok', as you put it, is not yet known. [Seth] And in fact if it were known, that would bring the Society under great scrutiny. [Ilphere] IT was our expedition that discovered it, and it is to us to unlock its secrets.
- Ilphere nods to Seth.
[Sanadhil] indeed - I doubt anyne at the church has the specialized kowledge that those of us already involved in the investigation - of the statue and the people who created it - possess. [Alma] This goes far beyond finders-keepers. This entity serves an evil god, our adversary. [Alma] It is one of the Church's functions to protect the Empire against Evil.
- Alma looks to Vianca.
[Seth] An evil about which it apparently knows nothing. [Alma] The lack of security at the society is responsible for not one, but TWO, entities being unleashed upon the Empire. This *cannot* be allowed to happen again. [Sanadhil] the escape of the statue was not an issue of security, Countess [Alma] With respect, M. Orecalo, it certainly was. [Ilphere] Allowing this statue to be locked up by your church will do nothing to stop the Ophion...! [Sanadhil] I fail to see the relationship [Alma] Mlle. deQuessenet, simply being inaccessible to YOU does not make it "locked up," and unresearched. [Seth] If it was an issue of security, as you put it, then what is needed is greater security here. [Ilphere] WE are the ones who have the greatest knowledge and expertise required to decipher its origins! [Vianca] If there was a lapse in security in this case, it was due to M. Orecalo being permitted to examine the object on his own.
- Ilphere shoots back hotly.
[Alma] A day or two of study does not make one an expert. [Ilphere] A day or two?! [Ilphere] With all respect, *Countess*, I have devoted my entire scholarly life to researching the influences of extraplanar entities on our own world. [Vianca] Please, calm yourselves. This is a serious matter, but one in which I feel we can reach an agreement. [Seth] If you know of any priests who have several years of expertise in the study of constructs, I welcome their insights into my research. Otherwise, they should stay out of what they do not know. [Alma] What is needed is a policy here, that when an item of great power, and especially one of evil, is found, that it is not left to hobbyists and amateurs to decipher its dangers. [Sanadhil] I agree that it was unvise, mmme belden - yet I don't think that another body would have done much to mitigate the situation. [Ilphere] I humbly put forth that this *does* in fact, make me somewhat more qualified than some cloistered, narrowminded monks!! [Sanadhil] Things ony got truly out of hand after M. Argo was already present [Vianca] Stop this, all of you.
- Vianca says firmly.
[Alma] The examination should not have occurred. [Ilphere] I am neither a hobbyist nor an *amateur, Mlle. deBeziers, and I take *great offense* at your dismissive and patronizing attitude! [Seth] M. Orecalo, let us not be disingenuous. The difficulty was that none of us knew you what you were doing.
- Guillame sighs, and tries to pay attention
- Ilphere is very obviously angry.
- Sanadhil falls quiet, remaining calm, but raises his eyebrows
[Vianca] Sister Alma, the church and this society are not in opposition, nor would I want them to be.
- Ilphere seethes quietly.
[Vianca] Items of great power have been stolen from Church vaults in the past, and could be again.
- Sanadhil eyes Seth, but nods to Vianca
[Vianca] Even the Imperial vault itself is not completely secure. [Sanadhil] . o ( you people have no idea. Security! ha! ) [Vianca] This statue was not known to be an item of great power at the time that it was recovered. [Alma] Ms. Belden, I made an awful mistake, twice, in not involving the church, and since then two items have been activated and unleashed on the city. A number of people have *died* as a result of this. [Vianca] I understand your concerns, believe me. I too feel a great deal of responsibility for these events. [Alma] And frankly, the statue was magical, and in the focal point of a temple to an evil God. [Vianca] And yet I do not believe that denigrating our members' expertise or skill in handling such matters is productive. [Seth] Sister, if you know of specific specialists who happen to be priests, and are experts in the matters of the shadow plane or of constructs, please do tell us. [Ilphere] Thank you, mme. Belden. [Vianca] There are several members of the church who are also members of this society. If it would make you more comfortable to involve them in this matter, we can of course do so. [Alma] I'm certain that the Church will obtain assistance from such experts as are necessary to understand the item and its danger to the Empire. [Vianca] Sister, with all due respect, many such experts will be found here. [Alma] I'll be glad to forward their names! [Ilphere] Oh I'm *sure*...! [Seth] You speak of "the Church" as if it has an existence apart from the individuals who comprise it. [Seth] To whom, and to where specifically, would you plan to take it? [Alma] (Julie?) [DiablotinNarrator] (yes?) [Alma] (Who would I take it to? Do we have an inquisitor or something? :P) [DiablotinNarrator] (The Patriarch's treasury, I suppose? There isn't a specific officer in charge of evil statues or something :) [Alma] (There ought to be ]:|) [Sanadhil] (You shoudl be glad one isn't generally needed :V) [Alma] I did not have time to determine the correct individual to deliver the statue to in the short time since we returned from murdering the individuals under its control.
- Alma is obviously upset.
[Vianca] I would be glad to involve the church in the examination of this item, and in determining how best to control it in future. [Ilphere] Mme. Belden...! I hope you are not going to agree to simply hand it over...! [Vianca] No.
- Ilphere nods, relieved.
- Alma frowns.
[Vianca] Most importantly, I saw what happened to the Rod of Dust, 'safely' stored in the Patriarch's treasury. [Sanadhil] pardon? [Ilphere] (can I get a roll to remember that?) [Sanadhil] (you weren't to be bor for decades ;p) [Vianca] (sure K: history for anyone who wants to know about it) [Ilphere] (K; history) [Ilphere] (29!) [Alma] ... [Sanadhil] (26, guess I remember afterall :V) [DiablotinNarrator] (yep - rod to raise the dead, stolen/lost/otherwise disappeared and let Blackhope raise a bunch of undead) [Sanadhil] Was that the object that powered thr Blackhope rebellion? [Alma] Well how do you plan to make the society's dangerous finds more secure? [Vianca] It was... [Seth] That is an excellent question, Mlle de Beziers. But it seems to me that not all dangerous finds are the same.
- Sanadhil nods
[Seth] This latest one got up and ran through a grate in the cellar. [Vianca] I will personally examine each item that comes into the Society's possession. Any that I believe pose a potential threat to the safety of our scholars, or to the city at large, will be stored in a secure location, and taken out to be studied only with my express permission, and never by one individual alone. [Seth] Quite often, though, the best way to protect artifacts is simply to not have their existence widely known, so as not to tempt thieves.
- Sanadhil nods
[Dominik] Does the damned thing need to be whole to study it? [Ilphere] Well of course it does, Dominik...! [Vianca] Do you believe you can break it? It is my understanding that, once it sustained what would otherwise have been lethal damage, that it simply reverted to its statuette form. [Guillame] Of course, we could also make sure that in the event of something being taken or escaping, people are ready to pursue it... [Alma] Any information of use on its nature, its creators, and its powers, would need to come from an intact artefact. It should only be destroyed if it is determined to be too dangerous to even study. [Guillame] I mean, all things considered, that worked pretty well in this case.
- Vianca nods.
[Ilphere] Are you suggesting that the society hire security personnel...? [Guillame] Sure, or that capable society members remain available in emergencies. [Vianca] In the case of the necklace, it was stolen rather than disappearing under its own steam, so to speak. And consequently, whoever was responsible for that theft was obviously working to prevent its recovery - divination magics, for instance, were unsuccessful in locating it. [Alma] We were stupid, and kept an immensely powerful and evil object inside of a cabinet. [Vianca] Sister, again with respect, the cabinet's lock was not the only defense present. [Sanadhil] If enchantment magics were involved in the theft, secure locks wuld have been of little use. [Vianca] Because one of the society's members was apparently the one to actually remove the item, the magical wards were not activated.
- Sanadhil nods to Vianca
[Sanadhil] A prepared sorceror with the right training or magical objects might better protect themselves against enchantment, but there's no real immunity [Vianca] No security, magical or mundane, can ever be entirely foolproof. We have increased our wards since the time of the theft. [Sanadhil] or, for that mattery, against more mundane forms of trickery [Vianca] But, yes - humans being what they are, will always be somewhat vulnerable to mind-affecting spells and, as M. Orecalo says, trickery. [Vianca] And temptation, for that matter. [Vianca] I absolutely agree that the Church might be able to assist in the study of this artifact, and in its containment. And if, after its examination is complete, we decide that the safest place for it is in the hands of the Church, we will of course place it there. [Ilphere] . o O ( That will be the day...! ) [Seth] We should remember that the incident with the statue was highly unique. Not only was its nature not known to us, but it was released inadvertently due to a poor decision by one person. [Guillame] Which can pretty much always happen [Seth] There is no reason that the Church should somehow become the default keeper of important materials that we should happen to find. [Vianca] I don't believe anyone is suggesting so, M. Argo.
- Guillame is all but talking to himself
[Vianca] As it stands right now, it seems clear that the being is not truly contained, only dormant. Its hands are no longer bound, for instance.
- Sanadhil nods
[Vianca] Until such time as I feel confident that it is once more confined, I am unwilling to let it pass into any other hands. [Vianca] Anyone might be affected by its mind-altering powers, even the most well-intentioned or holy.\
- Alma nods in understanding.
[Vianca] I also think we need to understand very clearly how it was activated in the first place, so that we can avoid it happening inadvertently. [Sanadhil] That may be difficult to determine without recreating the process [Sanadhil] Though I have some theories [Vianca] Please, if you would care to share them. [Ilphere] M. Orecalo and I will be working to decipher the meaning of the word it said as it returned to its dormant state, which may yield some helpful information...!
- Sanadhil nods to Ilphere
[Vianca] Which word was that? [Sanadhil] I need further time to reflect, but I will certainly do so when I have time... [Ilphere] Kavreshar... [Sanadhil] (Oh yes, did you ever decide if it meant anythng in Shadar kai? :) [DiablotinNarrator] (you think you could translate it as 'world-burner', but you're not entirely certain if that's right) [Ilphere] We also witnessed its use in an echo of a binding ritual involving the serpent... [Sanadhil] I was thinking more on it on the way here, Mlle de Quessenet [Sanadhil] The best translation I can deteemine form what we know of the term would be something akin to 'World-Burner' [Vianca] It is a name? [Sanadhil] possibly. [Sanadhil] It's possible there are scholars of ancient history among the modern Shadar Kai who may know more.
- Sanadhil says with a slight stress on 'ancient history'
[Vianca] So the statue called out this ...word, name? as it was returning to its dormant state? [Ilphere] Yes. [Sanadhil] Perhaps an invocation [Vianca] And the same word was also involved in the binding ritual? [Ilphere] Yes. [Vianca] Hm. [Vianca] I wonder... could it be the name of the dragon-creature?
- Dominik glances around the room looking for something alcoholic to drink
[Sanadhil] that's one possibility [Ilphere] A very distinct one. [Ilphere] There was also a scrap of paper used as a component in the ritual, which bore its likeness. [Vianca] That is a necessary component in a binding spell - a likeness of the creature to be bound. [Ilphere] Indeed...! [DiablotinNarrator] Dom, there is some wine, no doubt :) [Sanadhil] The scene was set during some kind of disatser [Ilphere] Knowing the creature's name would give us more power in trying to locate it, isn't that right...? My specialty is not in divination...
- Dominik helps himself to a glass and offers to anyone who notices his action
- Sanadhil tries to remember whether it was flood or fire
[Vianca] It is always helpful, yes, knowing a creature's true name. [DiablotinNarrator] (Fire, San.) [Sanadhil] ('s what i thoght) [Sanadhil] A great fire... [Dominik] I know I'd be pissed off if my minions were yelling out my "true name" when they were in trouble [Sanadhil] It's impossible to know whether it reflected an historical, or future, or even a real event however, [Sanadhil] from what Mlle L'Averti described [Vianca] ...bound against its will by a blessing under flames...
- Vianca is leafing through her notes.
[Sanadhil] was that part of the proohecy? [Sanadhil] or.. the divination, rather? [Sanadhil] hmm [Vianca] Yes. Here it is: The soul-eater's servant, bound against its will by a blessing under flames, is confined within the stone of black hope. The star-crossed seek the key to the serpent's prison, while unknowing silence opens the door. [Ilphere] So Kavreshar is the herald of Vragg. [Vianca] Servant, perhaps. I think that makes sense. [Alma] Why would the construct cry out to the subordinate? Could it have known it was free? [Vianca] Perhaps. Perhaps it believed it could help it more directly that its superior, so to speak?
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] that seems reasonable.... [Sanadhil] though let us hope its cries were not heard, in that case [Vianca] Indeed. [Sanadhil] . o ( Stars... what *have* i started D: )
- Sanadhil possibly looks a bit pale, if you're looking really hard
- Sanadhil considers the 'star crossed' bit
[Sanadhil] I've always thought that the last bit implies the release was in some ways inadvertant [Vianca] 'unknowing', yes... it does not sound deliberate. [Seth] Is the 'soul-eater' the same as 'the serpent'? Are we confident of that? [Alma] I interpreted that to mean it was unintentional on the part of those bearing the item. [Alma] (er the dampening one, I forget its name) [Vianca] (the Disenchanter's Stone) [Alma] I interpreted that to mean it was unintentional on the part of those bearing the Disenchanter's Stone. [Sanadhil] I think that is someone were attemptng to release the creature, they would have aimed to do so under more controlled circumstances [Vianca] I would draw a connection between the servant and the serpent, M. Argo, but I do not know for certain if that is a correct assumption. [Seth] Hmm. [Ilphere] The One... may be the 'key to the Serpent's prison'... [Vianca] I think we should also consider the possibility that some of these words are proper names. 'black hope', for instance, could well be 'Blackhope' instead - the way the divination presents itself, such things are not always clear. [Sanadhil] indeed [Ilphere] The Star Crossed... may be the Order of the Black Down. [Vianca] What makes you say that?
- Ilphere thinks out loud, not really talking to anyone in particular.
[Ilphere] I attended a meeting as part of my research activities... [Ilphere] I saw visions in the stars. [Alma] ... [Ilphere] A serpent... [Vianca] What sort of visions? If you are willing to share. [Ilphere] The stars spun to form a coiling serpent. [Ilphere] And I heard a voice, telling me to find the One.
- Vianca nods, listening.
[Ilphere] Yes.. yes!
- Sanadhil listens
[Ilphere] And then later, it said that the One was within the palace walls...! [Ilphere] And that 'through her, my power will be made manifest...!' [Vianca] So, a woman who lives in the palace. [Ilphere] Why did this take me so long to see...?! [Vianca] This woman is 'the key'? [Alma] ... [Ilphere] Possibly... [Sanadhil] hmm [Seth] What is it, Ilphere?
- Sanadhil frowns thoughtfully
[Ilphere] No, I think that she is...
- Sanadhil eyes the assembled
[Vianca] This matter will require more thought, I see. [Vianca] There is another issue to be discussed - I would turn to it, if you are willing.
- Sanadhil opens his mouth as Vianca continues, but closes it.
[Vianca] That is, the question of what is to be done with the survivors of the incident. [Sanadhil] There were survivors? [Vianca] My understanding is that there is a woman, who may possibly have to face criminal charges, three of her children, and an infant who is not hers. [Guillame] Well, they must be provided for, surely? [Vianca] Certainly. [Vianca] We aren't about to turn them out into the street.
- Guillame nods
[Ilphere] ... [Alma] I will make sure the children are cared for while the woman's responsibility in this matter is determined.
- Ilphere 's eyes suddenly grow larger...
[Ilphere] ... oh! [Vianca] That is very helpful, Sister, thank you. [Vianca] Do you believe that the woman is culpable in this incident? More to the point, do you wish to involve the guards, which may necessitate answering some uncomfortable questions of your own?
- Vianca asks all of you.
- Sanadhil nods to Alma but doens't quiet meet her eyes
[Dominik] Does anyone here think that those peoples actions where NOT influenced by that statue? [Guillame] Who was it? [Alma] I do not assume that all members of the group were acting under the influence of the statue. [Guillame] That survived, I mean? [Sanadhil] We don't know enough about it. [Sanadhil] It either didn't attempt or wasn't able to extert that kind of influence over myself. [Seth] They certainly weren't acting the way that M. Orecalo was acting. [Vianca] Her name is, I believe, Lyndall. I haven't been able to talk to her very much, however. [Seth] Low people, who live in those sorts of conditions, might be susceptible to a much more ordinary compulsion, if it promised them things. [Guillame] I didn't think she was one of the instigators - there was a lot of peer pressure in the group... [Alma] Indeed, I believe that Slate, if no one else, was unhappy with what was happening. [Alma] I could speak with Lyndall, and place her within a Zone of Truth. We could determine how events transpired, and decide from their whether the law need be involved. [Alma] (there) [Vianca] That might be best, if you all agree with that course of action. [Dominik] Do what you want.
- Dominik empties his glass and fills it again
[Sanadhil] I might be easier to convince her to speak with a charm as well [Ilphere] Well, I don't think the guard should be involved unless absolutely necessary... [Guillame] It sounds like a good idea [Alma] Perhaps. The spell will only prevent falsehoods, not deflection of silence. [Guillame] Although it might be work questioning her under her own free will, as a start? [Alma] or) [Sanadhil] perhaps [Sanadhil] As for the guard - I believe Mr Argo made several points earlier which cover why it would be best not to involve them at this stage. [Seth] They most certainly do not have the expertise to understand the sorts of things this statue could do to one's mind. [Alma] I think you underestimate the guard, M. Argo. [Guillame] No, I think he's right. They'd lock her up on suspicion, and that'd be that. [Vianca] I see no reason to delay on this matter - we cannot keep them here indefinitely, after all. If those of you who wish to observe are able to join us...
- Guillame nods to Vianca
[Ilphere] I would be interested in hearing her account...! [Dominik] I have no interest in watching you shatter that woman
- Sanadhil nods
[Alma] ... [Alma] I have no interest in traumatising her, M. Rademacher. [Dominik] I'm sure it will be totally unintentional. I take my leave of you. Your borrowed sword is in the corner Mme Belden. [Vianca] Thank you, M. Rademacher.
- Dominik finishes his glass and will depart
[DiablotinNarrator] (Are the rest of you staying for the interrogation?) [Sanadhil] (yes)
- Ilphere gets out a notepad and pencil.
[Alma] (It's more of an interview ... :|) [Seth] (sure)
- Vianca will show you to the room upstairs where they are keeping the toshers, under the supervision of Prof. Grenrake.
[Alma] Good evening, Professor Grenrake. Lyndall. [Vianca] Benalda, perhaps you could take the children out for a moment? [DiablotinNarrator] Prof. Grenrake will do so. She seems quite good with children, actually - the cookies probably help ;)
- Sanadhil watches them with a guarded expression
- Alma will find a seat near Lyndall.
- Vianca will indicate that you should go ahead and do your thing.
- Lyndall looks wary, but nonviolent.
[Alma] I expect you're quite worried about what will happen now. [Lyndall] Yes. [Lyndall] You'll take my children away?
- Guillame is concerned, but doesn't really know what to do to protect the toshers
[Alma] That depends. [Alma] I believe we've determined the best way to go about deciding that. [Lyndall] How? [Alma] I'd like you to tell me how you came to work with the statue. As a priest of Owl I have a spell that can make sure you are telling the truth. That way, we can trust that you are innocent, if you claim so. [Lyndall] ...all right. [Alma] Am I wrong in hoping it was not your desire to participate in the sacrifices? [Lyndall] I didn't want to. [Alma] Good :) [Alma] Let's begin then.
- Alma casts Zone of Truth
[Alma] (DC 17) [Alma] (That hits all of us! :D) [Ilphere] (saved :p) [Alma] Now, tell me how you came to obey the statue. [Lyndall] My man found it, brought it home. It talked to people in their heads... told them to do things. Poll said we should feed it... someone, to help it grow stronger, and it could help us then. [Lyndall] I didn't want to, but they killed Brassy - Slate's man, that was - and it liked that. And it grew so big then, I was afraid of it. [Alma] You were afraid they would kill you, like they killed Brassy? [Lyndall] I didn't know what to do but go along with everyone else, or end up dead myself.
- Alma looks up at the people assembled.
- Sanadhil SM's Lyndall
[Ilphere] What did Poll think it would do for you...? [Alma] (22 on SM) [Sanadhil] (23) [DiablotinNarrator] (she's telling the truth as she understands it, you think) [Lyndall] Give us things - riches, I dunno. Keep us safe. [Alma] Do you think Poll chose to obey the statue of her own free will? [Lyndall] Don't know.
- Alma nods.
[Lyndall] Are you going to take away my kids? [Alma] I would like ot think that won't be necessary, Lyndall, but I'll have to speak with the others about that.
- Lyndall seems to accept that answer.
[Alma] I'd like to use the spell another day, just to make sure, but today, I believe you.
- Alma looks to the others.
[Lyndall] All right.
- Sanadhil nods
[Alma] If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to speak with her for a while, if there are no other questions? [Alma] (Don't worry Julie, just gonna priest at her, not scene :P) [DiablotinNarrator] (ok) [Sanadhil] Go ahead.
- Vianca will retreat from the room with the rest of you, then.
- Sanadhil will leave
- Alma will sit with Lyndall and talk with her, about what happened if she's ready, if not she'll try talking about her children, etc. and act all comforting.
- Ilphere leaves.
- Guillame will go with the others
[Vianca] Well, I think Sister Alma has that situation in hand. [Vianca] As for the rest, I think we should all think on what we know about this matter, and perhaps reconvene in a week's time or so to discuss the matter further, if you are willing. [Sanadhil] very well. [Seth] For now, then, what is to be done with the statue? [Vianca] I will make sure it is as secure as possible - I would prefer not to discuss precisely where I will keep it, for safety's sake.
- Ilphere nods...
[Vianca] Thank you all for your efforts and time. [Sanadhil] Thank you again, mme Belden [Ilphere] Yes, thank you...!
- Sanadhil will withdraw, possibly with Ilphere
[Sanadhil] (solo to be continued after scene(s) ;)
- Guillame will return home, to rest
- Alma has made herself a cup of tea and found a seat in one of the common rooms to unwind a bit after a stressful few hours.
- Sanadhil emerges from the library after a few hours of reading
[Sanadhil] Ahh, good afternoon Countess. [Alma] Good afternoon, M. Orecalo. [Sanadhil] How is the woman... Lyndall? [Alma] As well as can be expected. I'm sure it's a great relief to have some good news about the future of her and her children, however she's been through a lot. [Alma] And you? [Alma] Your time on the coast served you well, I hope?
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] It was a welcome break, yes. [Sanadhil] The air is much healthier [Alma] Yes, that's something I noticed when I first moved here. [Sanadhil] I find the city very draining in general...
- Sanadhil settles/composes himself
[Sanadhil] I wanted to thank you for your assistance. [Alma] You're quite welcome. [Alma] .oO( I suppose that immunity to sedating magics has its advantages but... )
- Sanadhil nods, and seems briefly sort of at a loss
[Sanadhil] It was appreciated.
- Alma does her best not to seem like this is awkward either.
[Sanadhil] In any case.... I think I will return to my studies [Sanadhil] Good afternoon. [Alma] Very well. Please let me know if you learn anything additional about this "Kavreshar" [Alma] Good afternoon. [Sanadhil] of course
- Sanadhil will beat a polite retreat
[Sanadhil] (I shoudl really SM you though) [Sanadhil] (I think I will) [Sanadhil] (25 - to judge your level of awkwardness and how judgey you are trying to pretend not to be) [Alma] (Hrm.)
- Alma is perhaps trying to withhold the urge to reassure, rather than withholding reprimands?
- Alma also doesn't appear to be "hiding" anything in particular.
[Sanadhil] (so, she doesn't want me to know necessarily that she doesn't hold anything against me. gotcha ;) [Sanadhil] (I know what you mean though)
- Sanadhil will go back to the library for a shrt while, then probably gather his things and leave before you finish your tea
- Sanadhil nods as he exits but doens't quite make eye contact
[Sanadhil] (actually I lie, he seems quite entirely composed despite the fact that he probably barely took the time to sit for two minutes before putting everythig away) [Sanadhil] (on account I rolled bluff on a shim and got a nat 20 ;)
- Sanadhil will turn to find Ilphere if she is around still, or he can catch up
- Ilphere isn't too far.
- Sanadhil will make his way over, then
[Sanadhil] So, what do you think? [Ilphere] Yanina...! [Sanadhil] yes. [Sanadhil] I thought of her too. [Sanadhil] I can't imagiem that her unexpected engagement is any kind of coincidence [Ilphere] No indeed... [Ilphere] Do you suppose... the Emperor might be in on it..? [Sanadhil] I don't know enough about him to say - he may be vile, but that's not necessarily a connection [Ilphere] He is *very* vile, but that's true... [Ilphere] She is certainly looking for the One there... whoever it may be...! [Ilphere] I almost said something in there... [Ilphere] But I thought the better of it... [Sanadhil] i considered it, but I thik we need to be more discrete with this information
- Sanadhil nods
[Ilphere] Still, I think we should speak to VIanca. [Sanadhil] yes [Sanadhil] I am trying to decide if it would be worthwhile to mention it to Mr Argo - he well placed to keep an eye on her s well, i think [Sanadhil] and garners less attention than you [Ilphere] *That* is a brilliant idea. [Ilphere] Well placed, indeed...! [Ilphere] I am sure he knows about my involvement with the group, so it would not be revealing anything extra if I were to approach him about it...
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] I'll leave it to you then. [Ilphere] I will do so at the earliest opportunity... [Sanadhil] and Mme belden as well...
- Ilphere nods.
[Ilphere] You do not want to speak to her as well? [Ilphere] (answer quick then go toyour scene ;)
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] yes, I think so. [Ilphere] (yes you do or yes you don't )
- Sanadhil sounds a bit distracted
[Sanadhil] I shoudl let her know, at least... [Ilphere] Ah well... I will find out when she has a moment to spare. [Sanadhil] very well
[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere, upon your return home late that evening, you are presented with a note from your betrothed, delivered during your absence.
- Ilphere opens and reads it excitedly..!
[DiablotinNarrator] "My dear Ilphere, please do me the honour of joining me for tea at the palace tomorrow afternoon, in the Anguerne salon."
- Ilphere will arrange to have her reply sent first thing in the morning so that he knows she will be coming...!
[DiablotinNarrator] Seth, you return to your rooms in the palace, only to find a note waiting from Menard, presumably slipped under the door. [DiablotinNarrator] "Late night? Where are you? Oh well, come by for tea in the Anguern room tomorrow, if you happen to get this before all the tea's been drunk." [DiablotinNarrator] (should be Anguerne, oops)
- Seth will make sure he knows where that room is, then reply in the morning asking what time he should come.
[DiablotinNarrator] The salon you have been invited to is in a more out-of-the-way corner of the palace, rarely used, still decorated in the style of fifty years ago or more. It is not dusty or stuffy, however - an open window permits a brisk breeze to enter.
- Ilphere will arrive on time of course...
- Menard seems impatient, or possibly just nervous, when you arrive.
- Ilphere is wearing a new fall gown in dark shades of green, and her hair is piled up in an attractive chignon...
[Ilphere] Bonjour chéri...!
- Seth will show up in whatever isn't ridiculously worn out or soiled.
[Menard] Where were you? Are you all right? [Ilphere] (is Seth there when I get there?) [Seth] (no) [Ilphere] Yesterday...?
- Seth wanders in
- Menard nods.
[Seth] Ah ... hello ... ? [Menard] Oh, Seth, thanks for coming. [Ilphere] Oh I am sorry... I was with some other researchers from the society looking for an artifact that had disappeared and we were unexpectedly delayed by the high waters below the city...! [Ilphere] ...M. Argo...?
- Ilphere is surprised to see you.
[Ilphere] I did not know you would be here... [Seth] Ah, hello there, Mlle. de Quessenet. What an unexpected pleasure. [Menard] Your parents were worried about you when I stopped by to leave my note - and they seemed to think I should know where you were, or possibly be there myself, protecting you! [Ilphere] I am fine...! [Seth] Ahh, I should go ... I'll talk to you later, Menard.
- Seth turns to depart.
[Menard] No, please - you don't have to go. Does he, Ilphere?
- Ilphere feels a bit like she has been ambushed...
[Ilphere] Ah... non...? [Seth] Did you call us both here purposefully, Menard? [Menard] Were you on this expedition too, Seth? [Seth] Yes ... it was a very interesting piece of research. [Ilphere] My parents still engage M. Rademacher to accompany me as well, you know as much... not that I feel that is necessary; I am perfectly capable of looking after myself...! [Menard] I know, but they seem to think it's my job now! [Ilphere] Ah, they are impossible...! [Menard] And it all sounds very dangerous - you could have drowned. M. Rademacher can't save you from that, could he?
- Ilphere throws up her hands...
[Seth] We were never in any real danger. [Ilphere] I could be hit in the street by a cart, as well...! [Menard] Truly, Seth? [Seth] I'm sure there would have been danger if there had only been one or two of us, or if we were incompetent or untrained.
- Menard sighs.
[Menard] I don't mean to suggest you can't take care of yourselves, honestly. I just couldn't bear it if anything happened to you... to either of you. [Ilphere] Yes, we were also with M. Rionet, M. Orecalo, Ysabeau and a priest of the Owl... [Ilphere] I *am* sorry to have worried you...
- Menard nods glumly.
[Seth] I appreciate your concern, and of course with the wedding being so soon. But we can't hide away from our lives. [Menard] I know... Ilphere's parents are so anxious about this engagement party. You'll be coming to that, of course, won't you, Seth? [Ilphere] Mon cher, my parents are anxious bout everything. All of the time. [Ilphere] :/ [Menard] It rubs off :/ [Ilphere] I am sorry... [Seth] Well, of course I'm coming! Can't have you going into hostile territory without your right-hand man, Nardo! [Menard] Don't call me that :p [Ilphere] ... Nardo..? [Seth] Oh ... heh, it was just a name from, you know, when we were kids.
- Seth beams unapologetically.
[Ilphere] You have known each other for a very long time, non...?
- Ilphere smiles.
[Menard] I'm glad you'll be there, even if you are an idiot sometimes. [Seth] We were practically nursed at the same teat. [Menard] There's a nice mental image :p [Ilphere] I, ah... see! [Menard] Anyhow, I know you two aren't... I mean, of course you're not, I know you'd never... [Seth] ... never what? [Menard] Never mind!
- Ilphere looks puzzled.
[Seth] You didn't think ... oh my gods you *did*! [Ilphere] I do not understand...? [Menard] I didn't. Not really.
- Ilphere looks from Seth to Menard...
[Menard] It's just, if you keep disappearing together, people will start to notice, and they'll gossip... Marl said something along those lines, and it made me worry... Stupid, I know. [Ilphere] Oh, *Marl*...! [Seth] Then your brother's even more of an idiot than you are. ;P [Ilphere] Does he also think I am sleeping with Alma deBeziers, then...! [Menard] Well, you knew that :p [Ilphere] Argh...! [Seth] Now that's an image, let me tell you, Ilphere! :)
- Ilphere throws up her hands in disgust...
[Menard] He probably just said it to irritate me, that's all. [Menard] I know you would never do ... anything like that. [Ilphere] Bien sur que non!! [Menard] Er... there is that whole sex cult thing, though, isn't there?
- Menard asks hesitantly.
[Seth] Hey, now I'm not responsible for any of that! [Menard] Not you, her! [Ilphere] I do not really... Well, I do not attend the meetings that require any 'participation'... [Menard] Oh. [Ilphere] My interest in them is academic only...! [Menard] Well, all right then... [Menard] Maybe I could go with you sometime. See what it's all about. [Seth] Do you think that's wise?
- Menard is blushing, rather.
[Menard] Well, they wear disguises or whatnot, don't they? [Ilphere] Yes... but with some people you can tell anyway... [Ilphere] and then there is Earric... [Ilphere] Phedre's husband is... he is strange. [DiablotinNarrator] Seth, you find yourself distracted. The tapestry on the wall behind Menard is blowing slightly in the breeze from the open window, and as its corner lifts, you catch glimpses of a mural behind it.
- Seth shifts over to get a better look, while still seeming to be paying attention to the lovers' spat.
[DiablotinNarrator] It's reminiscent of the battle scene from your nightmare - a scene of armies clashing on a field. In the background is an oceanscape, littered with boats. It appears to be quite an old painting. [Ilphere] He seems to be able to tell who people are...
- Menard nods, listening.
[Ilphere] I would worry what would happen if he knew who you were...
- Seth goes right over and takes a good look.
[Menard] But he already knows who you are - and that we're to be married... [Ilphere] And... [Menard] Seth...? [Ilphere] ... M Argo..? [DiablotinNarrator] You are particuarly intrigued to note the figures of three of the Great Constructs among the combatants. [Seth] That's what I saw ... in my dream ... in the rope space. That, right there. And look - look at the Sentinels ... those weren't in my dream, as far as I can recall. [Menard] What are you talking about? [Seth] It's ... nothing, really, I guess. Just a bit of deja vu. [Ilphere] No.. tell me...! [Ilphere] It could have significance to what is going on... [DiablotinNarrator] You are all clustering around this mural now, peeking behind the tapestry to see it more clearly. [Seth] Just that this is what I saw ... when we had those dreams, in the rope trick. Or as near to it as makes no matter. [Ilphere] But without the Sentinels...? [Seth] Well, I didn't see the Sentinels in the dream. [Ilphere] (so how long do I have to mull it over before I can get a roll on dreamtelling...?) [Menard] It's the battle of Anguerne... [Ilphere] (K: history?) [DiablotinNarrator] (I think it takes like 1d10x10 minutes or something) [DiablotinNarrator] (sure) [Ilphere] (34) [Ilphere] (80 mins :/) [DiablotinNarrator] The Battle of Anguerne was fought in 1038 in the Iles Furneaux. The Empress Luxinie Rademacher put down the rebellion of the Nylander family who were then dukes of the Iles.
- Ilphere traces her fingers across the mural...
[Ilphere] I wonder what it could mean... [Ilphere] I will think on it. [Seth] I don't know anything about battles ... was Anguerne an important one? [Ilphere] One would say so... [Menard] I guess so - without it, the Iles Furneaux would not be part of the Empire. [Ilphere] Empress Luxinie Rademacher put down the rebel dukes of Nylander there. [Seth] Hmmm ... Rademacher, you say ... [Ilphere] Yes... [Ilphere] . o O ( Rademachers everywhere... )
- Menard steps out from behind the musty tapestry, brushing past both of you.
[Menard] Look, I'm sorry, to both of you. Maybe we can start again, and do this right - actually have some tea :) [Ilphere] Oh yes...! [Ilphere] THat would be lovely...
- Ilphere steps out as well...
[Seth] Sure ... although if you have anything stronger, that would be even better.
- Menard laughs at that.
[DiablotinNarrator] You try to have a pleasant teatime together, then.
- Ilphere will take a few minutes after 'tea' to catch up with Seth...
[Ilphere] M. Argo... do you have a moment before I go...? [Seth] Ah ... yes, certainly ... Mlle de Quessenet. [Ilphere] There was something I thought of the other day at the Society, but I thought it might be better to be discreet than share it with everyone... [Ilphere] Listen... Yanina Trueblood is part of the Order of the Black Down... [Ilphere] Her sudden engagement to Marl may be no coincidence... I think she is looking for this 'key'. [Seth] ... is there any imperial bride who is not a member? :o [Seth] By which I mean ... err ...
- Ilphere waves her hand dismissively.
[Ilphere] You are at the palace now, non...? [Seth] Uhhh ... oui? [Ilphere] I would ask... if you can... perhaps you should keep an eye on her... [Seth] Ahh ... well, yes, one supposes that one does have certain access ... it could be done. [Ilphere] If who or what they seek really is here, and they manage to release the Ophion's power, well... [Seth] Well, yes. [Seth] Quite. [Ilphere] Do you have any idea, who might be a 'key'...? Someone with some unusual quality, perhaps...? [Seth] Ahh ... well off the top of my head two people who might be a key would be, uh ... yourself? [Ilphere] But I do not dwell within the palace... [Seth] Not right now, no ... but soon enough. [Ilphere] Who else...? [Seth] Ahh ... well, there is the Chancellor. [Ilphere] (who is that again?) [Ilphere] (I'm so terrible -_-) [Seth] (Theonee) [Ilphere] (oh of course.) [Ilphere] (I will roll K nobs to know that) [Ilphere] (I assume 17 is enough, it's not a secret...?) [Ilphere] The Chancellor...? [Ilphere] I don't believe I have met her, myself... [Seth] I have ... she is a very remarkable woman. [Ilphere] What is she like...? [Seth] Extremely perceptive, but also rather ... out-of-place in the court. [Ilphere] Théonée... [Ilphere] The one... [Seth] I don't know as much as Menard would, about her life and circumstances, but certainly I know enough to know that it is odd that she is here, acting as Marl's chancellor. [Ilphere] How so...? [Seth] Well ... her mother went mad going through the Arch ... and then was the, err, consort to the Empress Tristane. [Seth] Theonee was raised here in the palace as ... as a bastard, one might say, if you will pardon the expression, m'lady. [Ilphere] Was she... with child when she passed through? :o [Seth] I don't know, although I'm sure it would be simple to find out, just adding up the dates and so on. [Seth] One would surely be able to find her birthdate, and also the date of the succession. [Ilphere] If Theonee did go through the arch in her mother's womb... that could mark her in ways we cannoy begin to fathom..! [Ilphere] (cannot) [Seth] I hadn't thought about it that way. I suppose that could be true. [Ilphere] And do you recall what Vianca said about proper names... [Seth] Yes.
- Deb-sleeping is now known as Debbie
[Ilphere] It could be coincidence, but... [Ilphere] Ah, what to do...! [Ilphere] If it is her, and she does not know... she may be in danger... [Seth] I do know her, a little bit. Would you like me to speak to her? [Ilphere] If you could... but do be careful...! [Ilphere] Of course, I don't need tot ell you that... [Seth] Of course.
- Seth laughs.
[Seth] You know, it's funny ... [Ilphere] What is..? [Seth] When you approached me, I was concerned about what you were going to say ... but I did not expect that it would be on this topic. [Seth] I do want to apologize for my behaviour, earlier. [Ilphere] Oh, do not worry... I am just not used to seeing you in such an informal situation...! [Seth] I did want to assure you, although of course it does not need saying, but surely it bears saying nonetheless, that I wish you and Menard all the very best. [Ilphere] Oh, thank you...
- Ilphere smiles warmly...
[Ilphere] I cannot wait until we are married. I am sure my parents will still be insane, but hopefully they will be less aggravating to him then... [Seth] Ah, well, I wouldn't know about that ... but I also know that Menard will worry, for his own part, no matter what we do or say. [Ilphere] Yes... [Ilphere] :/ [Ilphere] I do wish people would not assume I am quite so fragile... [Seth] I do not think it is because of any purported fragility ... he is just a worrier, sometimes. [Seth] And despite his dashing appearance, he is not always the most confident around ladies of good breeding. [Ilphere] Ah... I find him charming... [Seth] Many do.
- Ilphere smiles happily...
[Ilphere] I am not used to such attentions myself... [Seth] I find that difficult to believe. [Ilphere] Well... many men find me... odd. [Ilphere] And well... I am not so much to look at as Ysabeau. I am too skinny, my mother always says... [Ilphere] But I do not want to bore you...!~ [Seth] Ah ... no, not at all, Ilph ... Mlle de Quessenet. Your conversation is delightful. [Ilphere] You can call me Ilphere if you like...! [Seth] I ... thank you. I believe I shall. [Ilphere] I need to return home I'm afraid... My mother is frantic about this silly party...! [Seth] Of course, my apologies for keeping you. [Seth] See you soon, Ilphere. [Ilphere] Yes, soon...!
- Ilphere smiles and waves as she bustles off.
[DiablotinNarrator] Dominik, you barely have the time to get cleaned up and appropriately dressed before your scheduled appointment with Opal. [DiablotinNarrator] You arrive at the Jewelbox with a few minutes to spare. [DiablotinNarrator] A servant shows you to a room on the upper floor, gives a tug on the bell-pull inside the door, and leaves you there, closing the door behind her. [DiablotinNarrator] The room is elegant and tastefully decorated. Its main feature is, as might be expected, a large bed, but it also contains a small table with two chairs and a cupboard well-stocked with refreshments. [DiablotinNarrator] It is lit with several shaded magical lamps, which cast a warm light over the scene.
- Dominik helps himself to a drink
- Opal enters the room through the far door as you are helping yourself. Her chestnut brown hair is intricately styled, and she is dressed in a clingy dress of shimmering blue-green fabric that accentuates her figure.
- Opal looks to be perhaps ten years older than you, but nevertheless still attractive. There is something about her that goes beyond conventional beauty - the bright gaze, the confidence with which she carries herself, all suggest that you're about to be very fortunate indeed.
[Opal] Back again so soon...?
- Opal says to your back.
[Dominik] excuse me? [Opal] Oh, I'm sorry, I mistook you for someone else. I do beg your pardon, sir.
- Opal curtseys.
[Dominik] It's fine. [Dominik] Would you like a drink? [Opal] I see you've found the drinks. Is there anything else I can get for you? [Opal] I'd love one, thank you.
- Dominik pours a second glass of wine and brings it to her
- Opal accepts it gracefully.
- Dominik takes a deep drink from his
- Opal sinks into one of the chairs.
- Dominik does so as well
[Opal] So, you're new :) [Dominik] I am... although you didn't think so. [Opal] My mistake.
- Dominik nods
[Dominik] You mind if we talk for a bit. I have a few curiosities. [Opal] Of course. We're in no hurry. [Opal] We have all night, after all.
- Dominik nods again
[Dominik] How did you end up here? Besides the obvious qualifications, that is, for you are quite beautiful.
- Opal smiles.
[Opal] A friend referred me to the Lapidary when an opening became available. She liked me, so I started soon after. [Dominik] I assume you've enjoyed your choice. [Opal] It's been an interesting few years, certainly. [Opal] I get to meet new people, and it pays better than the Castalia.
- Dominik chuckles
[Dominik] I'd say, the Castalia isn't known for it sallary, now is it. [Opal] Not in the least. I'd barely be a junior lecturer there by now if I'd stayed on. Too many scholars, not enough jobs to go around ;)
- Dominik nods
[Dominik] The pay is good here, but it doesn't seem like a long term carreer path. [Opal] It depends what you mean. [Dominik] A few years here is what most of the Jewels stay, is it not? I'm sure you've seen a few come and go.
- Opal nods.
[Opal] If you're smart about your money, a few years can be enough to support you comfortably for a very long time. That's not counting the ones who get married. [Dominik] I know you're smart, the Castalia doesn't let the simple minded in. [Opal] Smart and smart about money are two different things. Fortunately, I'm both ;) [Dominik] I'm sure your clientel will be sad to see you go. [Opal] Oh, perhaps, but they'll recover soon enough. [Opal] But in any case, I'm not planning to retire for another year or two at least. [Opal] Will that be long enough for you? ;) [Dominik] How can I judge? The night is just beginning.
- Opal smiles at that.
- Opal sips her drink.
- Dominik idly eyes his empty glass and sets it down
[Opal] Another drink, or are you ready to move on? [Dominik] How descrete are these meetings? I know, no names... but what else? [Opal] Well, of course we do tend to learn things about our guests. But I've never heard of anyone talking - to the tabloids or writing a tell-all book or anything of that sort. [Dominik] at least not yet
- Dominik chuckles
[Opal] Indeed. But this place has been around quite a long time. They've either been very lucky, or they have some security measures in place. [Dominik] too many of the right people enjoy this place [Opal] That is quite true. [Dominik] I am done drinking for now [Opal] All right :)
- Opal stands and offers you her hand.
- Dominik will take it
- Dominik stands as well
- Opal leads you over in the direction of the bed.
[Opal] It can be quite a powerful position we jewels find ourselves in.
- Dominik follows willingly
[Opal] But it's like Chancellor vak Andras said: "Those who hunger for power are also those who least deserve it." [Opal] He was talking about the election of the emperor, but I find it applies to so many situations, don't you? [Dominik] I am much inclined to agree with you...
- Dominik thoughts wander to his brother
- Opal begins helping you out of your clothing.
[DiablotinNarrator] You pass a very enjoyable night, then.
- Dominik still bears some bruses from the previous days fights
- Opal will be careful of them, but not too careful.
[DiablotinNarrator] Sanadhil, when you return home this evening, you cross paths with Auguste Vautrin, the man who rents the house next to yours.
- Auguste is a bluff, stocky, fair-haired man of about 40, dressed in paint-spattered clothing and carrying a portable easel and canvas, and a box you presume contains his brushes and paints.
[Auguste] M. Orecalo, good to see you're back! How are you? [Sanadhil] I am well, thank you. [Sanadhil] and yourself? How goes the painting? [Auguste] Good, good! [Auguste] I was just up on the Down, painting the sunset. [Auguste] Been a few disturbances of late, eh? Everything settled down now?
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] For now, in any case... [Sanadhil] What do you know of it? [Auguste] Oh, just what one overhears, you know. [Auguste] I heard you were taken ill. [Sanadhil] ahh. [Sanadhil] ... [Sanadhil] Well, I am much recovered. [Auguste] Glad to hear it! [Auguste] Care to see some of my latest efforts? [Sanadhil] Certainly [Sanadhil] Your interpretations are always very intruguing
- Auguste invites you into his house, which is structurally identical to yours. His downstairs is mainly given over to his studio, however.
- Auguste 's paintings line the walls, stacked several deep in some places. They are strange and striking, even disconcerting to the eye, thick-slathered paint in harsh colours that bear little resemblance to the scenes they are alleged to depict.
[Auguste] Here are some of my most recent works...
- Auguste pulls out several canvasses. Although they are different, all share a common feature - a prominent circle, oval, or ring-like shape, painted with heavy strokes of black.
[Sanadhil] what is this? [Auguste] I don't quite know. [Sanadhil] no? [Auguste] I suppose I should make something up before I try to sell them, eh? :) [Sanadhil] perhaps... where were the scenes painted? [Auguste] Oh, mainly here, or on the Down. [Sanadhil] what inspired you to include it?
- Sanadhil asks, curious
[Auguste] It's hard to say... [Auguste] These things just sort of... come to me. [Auguste] For a while I was painting lots of red squares. Maybe this is a new period in my work ;)
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] (Is it at all reminiscent of the arch?) [DiablotinNarrator] (Well, the ones that are solid circles/ovals, not so much. And the Arch is white these days, not black.)_ [Sanadhil] (right) [Sanadhil] Interesting as ever [Auguste] Glad you appreciate them - so few people do. [Sanadhil] you must have some market for them, surely! [Auguste] Oh, a very few - but if I had a true market, I wouldn't have so many cluttering up my studio! [Auguste] Here, you take one. [Sanadhil] Oh, that's very generous, thank you [Auguste] You'd be doing me a favour, getting it out from underfoot.
- Sanadhil smiles
[Auguste] Do you want one of these new ones? Or an older piece? [Sanadhil] hmm
- Sanadhil turns around, looking at the mass of paintings, and settling his gaze on one of the more intriguing new ones
[Sanadhil] the new ones are qute intruguing, with that ring [Auguste] Well, help yourself :)
- Sanadhil will pick it the canvas
[Sanadhil] Well I am redecorating anyway.... [Auguste] Enjoy! [Sanadhil] Thank you, Good luck with the next batch.
- Sanadhil will ake his creepy painting home?
[Auguste] Thank you - and good luck with your studies. [Auguste] (I'll try to find or make a depiction of the creepy painting before next time ;)
[DiablotinNarrator] Alma, you wanted to bring your concerns to Sister Biatrix? [Sanadhil] (cool. if there was one with stars in it he probably would have picke it, but otherwise, whatever :V) [DiablotinNarrator] (there is probably one with white spatters that could be stars ;) [Sanadhil] (good enough)
- Alma does!
- Biatrix can be found at home, or you can invite her over to your place.
- Alma will make plans to invite Biatrix to dinner.
- Biatrix will come when invited.
[Alma] Good evening, Sister :) [Biatrix] Good evening, Sister. How are you? [Alma] Ooh, well all things considered. It's been a busy few weeks.
- Biatrix nods.
[Alma] And how are you? [Biatrix] Oh, I'm well enough. [Alma] Hopefully dinner will be to your liking :) [Biatrix] I'm sure it will be :) [Biatrix] I had been wondering how you were faring, as I haven't heard from you for a while. [Alma] I know, it's terrible. I've just had so many things on my plate... with the heat wave and the Society and the expedition! Sometimes I feel guilty going to bed at the end of the day.
- Biatrix nods.
[Biatrix] You can't overtax yourself for too long, though, or you'll do no good to anyone. You'll only make yourself ill. [Alma] Oh, I think I'm fine aside from not being able to visit you more often.
- Alma dismisses such a silly suggestion as he working too much.
[Alma] (her) [Alma] (:P)
- Biatrix smiles at that.
- Alma will thank Sagesse as she begins serving the first course.
[Biatrix] Well, what has been keeping you so busy?
- Alma will update Biatrix on anything she may not already know about the Society, the expedition, the figure, etc.
- Biatrix listens attentively.
[Biatrix] How disturbing... [Alma] I must be content in leaving everything in Vianca's hands. She's certainly capable, I just... [Biatrix] It's natural to be concerned. [Biatrix] Even to feel responsible, in such a situation. [Alma] Twice! [Alma] I was foolishly optimistic. [Alma] I knew in my gut, both times, that it was a bad idea... [Biatrix] If you had not taken these items into the Society, both times, what would have happened? [Alma] I would have tried to take them to someone in the Church to be examined safely. [Biatrix] And they could as easily have been stolen from the church, or activated accidentally, couldn't they? [Alma] Possibly. [Alma] I'd hope we'd be more careful with such clearly evil objects. [Biatrix] That people choose to do ill, or are compelled to do so by forces outside their control, is not something you can take responsibility for. You'll drive yourself mad. [Alma] Well, hopefully with Vianca taking personal responsibility it won't happen again. [Biatrix] I hope so as well. [Alma] Now, the other matter... [Biatrix] Yes?
- Alma tells how Altheo asked her to take care of Felise, and what Alma learned of the Order of hte Black Down. How Phedre visited and FElise and Altheo have both vanished.
[Alma] She's not with the Duke D'Olonne, and he fears she may be with them again. [Biatrix] Dear me...
- Alma looks quite agitated at the idea.
[Biatrix] That *is* worrying. [Alma] I asked him if it was time I tried bringing the cult to the attention of the Church. [Alma] So I was hoping perhaps you could help me there. [Biatrix] Of course. [Biatrix] I'll consider who might be best to broach the subject with on the Council of Reverends. [Alma] Thank you :) [Biatrix] Not at all - it's a matter of grave concern, obviously. [Alma] I'm worried this spreads beyond these girls. There's word at the Society that they might even be involved somehow in the Wyrm's release. [Alma] It is just conjecture but...
- Biatrix nods.
[Alma] I shudder to think of what Felise could be experiencing right now :( [Biatrix] Indeed... the poor girl. I hope she's merely run away, terrible as that would be... [Alma] One would think she'd have replied to my Sending scroll, at least... [Biatrix] I would hope so too - but perhaps she knows that sometimes Sendings can be faked, or come from some other source than where they appear to come from, and was fearful that it might be a trap.
- Alma nods.
[Alma] Sorry to heap all this on you, Sister. :} [Biatrix] Please, it's all part of the job ;)
- Alma smiles.
[Alma] Well thank you, anyway :) [Biatrix] I only wish I could do more.
- Biatrix offers you a pat on the hand in consolation.
[Alma] I wish I knew what to do at all! [Alma] :) [Biatrix] You are doing your best - that's all anyone can ever do. [Alma] Ah, Merci Sagesse. [Alma] She found us a nice berry tart, a Southern recipe. [Biatrix] Ooh, lovely :)
- Biatrix will enjoy the remainder of the meal, then.
[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame, when you arrive home, you find a message has been delivered from Aden, asking you to stop by his house at your earliest opportunity, because he has something important to discuss.
- Guillame sighs, and makes ready to head out once more
- Aden_ seems pleased to see you, but looks anxious too.
- Guillame smiles to see Aden
- Aden_ welcomes you in.
[Guillame] Hello... is all well? Your note sounded both vague and serious... [Aden_] It is, I suppose. [Aden_] I met with the Emperor earlier today, as I'd hoped I might be able to, to discuss the risk of further unrest and famine. [Aden_] He seemed to listen to what I had to say, at least. He's aware of the problems, even concerned about them so far as I can tell, but also said that the situation was far more complicated than I knew.
- Aden_ paces as he talks.
[Aden_] I don't know what to make of him, to be honest. He's a very intelligent man, certainly, and I don't see him as someone who is heartless or detached from the outside world. I don't even dislike him, per se, but I don't trust him either.
- Guillame listens intently, but is obviously weary
- Aden_ takes a deep breath.
[Aden_] When I mentioned that he had yet to replace his Treasurer, in such a potentially dangerous situation, he asked if I wanted the job.
- Guillame blinks
[Guillame] Okay... [Aden_] I know, right?! [Aden_] I don't know what would have prompted him to make such an offer. [Guillame] Well, I guess it's one of two things. He either thinks you'd be a great treasurer - and of course, you would....
- Aden_ gives a little laugh at that.
[Guillame] Or, and this is how your followers will see it, he wants you to stop organising underground political groups
- Aden_ nods.
[Aden_] I didn't know what to say, I just stammered something about needing time to think. [Aden_] I haven't told anyone else about this yet - not my family or Thea or anyone. I imagine they'd think I should accept, but I'm worried... [Guillame] I have a doubt that Thea will think you should accept. Your family, certainly.
- Aden_ nods.
[Aden_] I don't know what Thea would think, to be honest - we haven't see eye to eye lately, and perhaps she'd be just as happy to get rid of me. [Aden_] I'm afraid I'm not qualified for the post. I'm afraid, like you say, that it will prevent me from continuing my association with the Levellers. [Aden_] I'm afraid that the Emperor will use me as a symbol point to and say 'Look, I listen to the people,' and then ignore everything I say, or worse. I'm afraid I'm being set up to fail. [Guillame] I... I'm torn on it too, though. I'm sure there's a lot of good you can do for the city as treasurer, but, on the other hand, if you aren't allowed to do that job fully, you'll be completely controlled by the imperial household. [Guillame] Exactly as you say. It's a real risk.
- Aden_ nods.
[Aden_] But it could be such an opportunity for change, if it's a genuine offer... [Guillame] Maybe you could impose conditions on the offer, and make the acceptance of those conditions public? [Aden_] Well, I could try that - if he refuses, I suppose I'd know it wasn't a genuine offer in the first place. [Guillame] So that if your council and decisions are ignored, people will know of it? [Guillame] Indeed.
- Guillame rubs his eyes.
[Aden_] I'm sorry... you look exhausted, and here I am going on.. [Guillame] No... no, it's important. [Guillame] I'd definitely talk to Thea about it, too. Get her opinion. [Aden_] Of course. [Aden_] It's not as if I'm going back to the palace at this hour of the night, anyhow - we can afford to sleep on the question. [Guillame] Of course! [Aden_] You look as though you could use some sleep, truthfully. [Aden_] Is everything all right with you? [Guillame] It is... I was afflicted by some kind of magical effect on an expedition with the society, and it was only earlier today that I was cured of it. [Aden_] Oh dear... [Aden_] I'm glad you're cured :o [Guillame] I don't remember much about it, to be honest - it was some kind of mind-altering spell. [Guillame] Thank you. [Aden_] Maybe that's for the best - not remembering, I mean. [Guillame] I suppose. I'm assured I didn't do anything terrible, but there were others who went quite mad and attacked innocents.
- Aden_ looks alarmed at that.
[Aden_] I'm glad you didn't do anything like that, then. [Guillame] As am I, indeed.
- Aden_ stops pacing and takes your hand.
[Aden_] Let's get you to bed.... I don't know if I'll be able to sleep, but you look as if you're going to collapse right here. [Guillame] That sounds great, thanks!
- Guillame whistfully thinks of his own bed at home, but resolves to enjoy the opportunity to have a nice night with Aden.
- Aden_ takes you to bed, then, and will actually let you sleep if that's what you want ;)
[DiablotinNarrator] The end, for now.
- Dominik will catch up with Ilphere the following morning
[Dominik] Ilphere, I need a talk to you about a few things
- Ilphere has just finished pinning up her hair to go see Menard later...
[Ilphere] Oh...? [Ilphere] What is it...? [Dominik] I was thinking about the arrangement between your parents and myself, and what your upcoming nuptuals will mean to them. [Ilphere] Oh, I really have no idea... [Ilphere] Have you spoken to them...? [Ilphere] It was their idea that I needed a 'protector', after all...!
- Dominik nods
[Dominik] I doubt they would continue such an arrangement, believing it is your husbands role to make such decisions. [Ilphere] Hm... you are probably right... [Ilphere] What do you mean to do, then...? [Dominik] That is a very good question... one that I have had some thought on. [Dominik] What I was thinking was to have you husband hire myself on in a similar role... although we could arrange it to be a little less continuous as your parents had desired. [Dominik] Thoughts? [Ilphere] Well... to be honest, I have never seen the need myself. [Ilphere] But...! [Ilphere] If Menard insists, then I *would* prefer someone I already know...! [Dominik] Exactly... you know I am skilled in arms, and have been descrete regarding your activities. [Ilphere] Yes... and I definitely appreciate that...! [Dominik] and you are entering an unfamiliar household... would it not be an advantage to have someone there who's on your side. [Ilphere] Well, M. Argo is there as well...! But I take your point... [Ilphere] With Marl so close by... and this other business...
- Seth has quit IRC (Quit: Client Exited )
[Dominik] I know it chaffs on you having others think you cannot protect yourself, but it could be an advantage to you to help support thier beliefs [Ilphere] Yes...
- Ilphere says thoughtfully...
[Ilphere] Yes, perhaps so... [Dominik] besides, who else is better suited to wielding an admantite sword, if a similar situation arrises. [Dominik] I'll leave you to think on it. Let me know what you decide. [Ilphere] I will give it some consideration...!
- Dominik nods and leaves Ilphere to finish her preparations
- Sanadhil arrives at the society a little before he is to meet Ilphère
- Ilphere comes to find you, then draws you aside into a side room...
- Ilphere has an air of excitement and urgency about her...!
[Ilphere] Oh, I am glad to have caught you early...! [Ilphere] I think I have found the key...!
- Ilphere says breathlessly.
[Sanadhil] Oh? [Ilphere] I was speaking to M. Argo... [Ilphere] And we were hypothesizing who might be a possibility... [Sanadhil] yes? [Ilphere] I believe it is the Chancellor...!
- Sanadhil thinks for a moment
[Sanadhil] I'm not sure I know who that is. [Ilphere] Her mother passed through the arch with Empress Tristane DIzon. [Ilphere] She was the Empress', ah, partner for many years. [Ilphere] It is possible - I have not had the time to verify the dates yet - that her mother was even carrying her in her womb when she passed through. [Ilphere] And she is called... Theonee...! [Sanadhil] Fascinating... [Sanadhil] (sec, rolling history) [Ilphere] (where?) [Sanadhil] (bah no cat)
- Sanadhil rolls 10
[Sanadhil] (that's 20 somethig, my sheet isn't quite open.... good enough) [Sanadhil] That was the last selection before the arch was moved...
- Ilphere nods.
[Sanadhil] It' [Sanadhil] it's very suggestive [Ilphere] As is the name...
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] Vianca was alive at the time, wasn't she? [Ilphere] You know, I believe she was... [Sanadhil] maybe she recalls something more - or knows more. Her husband, I understand, was related to the late matriarch. [Ilphere] Yes, that's right... [Sanadhil] Is, I should say. [Sanadhil] have you met her? [Sanadhil] The Chancellor, i mean
- Ilphere shakes her head.
[Ilphere] M. Argo has, though. [Sanadhil] what did he have to say? [Ilphere] He said that she had a certain unusual quality about her... [Ilphere] That she was very perceptive, but seemed rather out of place at court... [Ilphere] He found it strange that Marl would have appointed her as Chancellor, as well. [Sanadhil] hmm... [Sanadhil] do you recall when she was appointed? Was it at the beginning of his reign? [Sanadhil] or later? [Ilphere] (let me make a nobs toll :D) [Ilphere] At the beginning, I think...! [Ilphere] Almost immediately after his accession. [Sanadhil] It seems an off coincidence, then [Ilphere] Indeed... [Ilphere] And then his sudden decision to wed Yanina. [Sanadhil] (odd)
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] She was one of the few retained from the previous council, as i recall...
- Ilphere nods...
[DiablotinNarrator] (no she wasn't...) [Sanadhil] (Oh n/m then, I'm crazy o_O) [Sanadhil] (why did I think that/) [DiablotinNarrator] (he kept the Patriarch, about whom he has no choice, and the chief sorcerer and the treasurer. That was it, everyone else got replaced.) [Ilphere] (haha I was just assuming you were right ooc, I have a terrible memory for this stuff :/) [Sanadhil] (Ahh, I was confusing her with chief sorc) [Sanadhil] oh, no, I'm confusing her with the chief Sorceress
- Sanadhil shakes his head
[Sanadhil] Intriguing in any case - but Vianca must be expecting us [Ilphere] Yes...! [Ilphere] I expect this will be a most interesting meeting..]! [Sanadhil] Yes.
- Vianca is working in her office at the Society. She looks tired and somewhat frazzled.
- Sanadhil will offer Ilphère his arem, and proceed with her to V;s office
- Sanadhil will knock
- Ilphere graciously accepts!
[Vianca] Come in! [Sanadhil] Good Afternoon, Mme. belden. [Vianca] Good afternoon. How are you both? [Ilphere] Well, thank you... and yourself...? [Sanadhil] Still improving, thank you
- Sanadhil still has his cane. It's stylish.
[Vianca] Oh, a little tired, but I'm all right. [Vianca] What can I do for you? [Ilphere] Well... we have had some thoughts about the key, and the One...
- Sanadhil nods
[Ilphere] And we thought that you should hear about our theories... [Vianca] Ah, yes. I'm anxious to hear what you've come up with. [Ilphere] Firstly, Yanina Trueblood is a member of the Order of the Black Down.
- Vianca listens carefully.
- Sanadhil watches her reactions
[Ilphere] We are quite sure that she will be trying to find this person within the palace walls... [Sanadhil] if not keeping an eye on a known quantity [Vianca] That would make sense. [Ilphere] Furthermore, I believe I know who the Key is. [Vianca] Really? Who? [Ilphere] The Chancellor... [Ilphere] Theonee. [Vianca] I see... What is your basis for this belief? [Ilphere] Her mother was driven mad by the Arch. It is possible, although I have not yet confirmed the dates, that she was carrying Theonee at the time, [Ilphere] If that is the case, who knows in what ways it might have marked her...? [Sanadhil] it would have also been the last time the arch was used. [Vianca] That should be easy enough to confirm, given her... notoriety as a child. [Ilphere] There is also the matter of her name... Perhaps it is just an eerie coincidence, but... Theonee? The one?
- Vianca will go to her shelf, running her finger along the shelf until she reaches a particular volume, which she pulls down.
[Vianca] Hm. [Vianca] Yes, I see what you mean. [Sanadhil] If al the other arch candidates have passed away, that wuld make her a natural choice for a conduit of some kind. [Ilphere] After you spoke to us of names, I could not put it aside.
- Vianca leafs through the book.
[Vianca] So... her birthday was [blah, I don't remember]... which would mean her mother was no more than a few weeks, perhaps a month pregnant when she went through the Arch. [Sanadhil] so, it is possible, then [Vianca] I think this theory has merit, certainly.
- Sanadhil rolls 2
[Sanadhil] who were the other arch candidates at the time? [Ilphere] Marl's appointment of her, together with his sudden engagement to Yanina... there is something there that bothers me... [Vianca] Tristane, of course... Raimar Langevin was the third.
- Sanadhil npds
[Sanadhil] what happened to him? Is he still alive? [Vianca] I have no idea if he is still alive or not... he would be quite old, but it's not impossible.
- Sanadhil nods
- Sanadhil nods to Ilphere, though
[Vianca] But after the rebellion, he was imprisoned in the dungeons of the palace. [Sanadhil] so he could be in the palace as well... [Ilphere] There is something else as well... I do not know if there's anything to it...
- Vianca nods.
[Sanadhil] if he is still alive..
- Sanadhil looks to Ilphere
[Vianca] I seem to recall there was some gossip at the time that he could have been Theonée's father, but I don't know.
- Vianca also looks to Ilphere.
[Ilphere] A friend of mine came to me some time ago, and told me that a friend of hers who had, ah, consorted with someone from the higher echelons who was terrified because he thought there were demons on the council. [Ilphere] Somehow disguised as humans. [Vianca] o_O [Vianca] I don't know if that's possible. [Sanadhil] no? [Ilphere] (K planes for me to think/know if it is) [Ilphere] (18) [Vianca] Oh, it's possible they could disguise themelves as humans. [Sanadhil] not possible for the councillors to be demons, or demons to disguise themselves as humans?
- Sanadhil nods
- Sanadhil squashes thoughts of Earric
[Vianca] But it is my understanding, admittedly limited, that the Inner Council meet, at least sometimes, with the Disenchanter's Stone present. That would seem to prevent anyone on the council from disguising themselves magically - indeed, I think that's one of the reasons they do it. [Sanadhil] I see. [Vianca] That, and to prevent mind controlling-spells and the like. [Ilphere] Well, as I said... I do not know how much stock to put in it.
- Vianca nods
[Ilphere] She was unwilling to let me talk to her friend... [Sanadhil] Well, perhaps whoever it was, was comfusing demonic influence with an actual demon. [Ilphere] So I could not get any more details. :/ [Ilphere] Yes, that is certainly possible. [Vianca] It doesn't mean it's not in some fashion true - influence, as you say, or someone not on the Inner Council itself but nevertheless in a position of power.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] or willing collaboration
- Vianca nods.
[Vianca] I've also had a thought concerning the words of the divinations, though I don't know how much help it may be. [Sanadhil] oh? [Ilphere] Please go on...! [Vianca] The words "bound against its will by a blessing under flames". The last great fire in this city took place during the reign of Adrius Blessing, in 2128. [Ilphere] Oh...! Fascinating...!
- Sanadhil rolls 20
[Sanadhil] (28 to know anything about the emperor?) [Vianca] If he was somehow involved in binding the creature... well, I don't know what that would mean. [Sanadhil] (or his reign other than the fire :p) [Sanadhil] I wonder if *that* could relate to the vision we shared in the Shadow Plane during the expedition.... [Vianca] (Reigned from 2120-2137, House Ox. Generally considered a good ruler, v. pious. Not too much excitement other than the fire. He spent a lot of his own money on the repairs of the city.) [Ilphere] (I also will roll khist)
- Vianca considers the matter, twisting a strand of her grey hair between her fingers as she thinks.
[Sanadhil] Hmm [Sanadhil] he isn't know for being particularly interesting - only pious. [Vianca] He was a spellcaster, but not, so far as I know, an especially powerful one. His son Alexior was much more skilled - eventually head of the Castalia. [Sanadhil] *nods* [Sanadhil] was his son already a caster at the time of the fire? [Vianca] He would only have been a small child, if he was even born yet. [Sanadhil] then not him.... [Sanadhil] smeone else in the family, perhaps? [Sanadhil] it coudl be worth further investigation [Vianca] Perhaps. I don't know much about the extended family. [Vianca] This is only a theory, mind you, and not my own at that. But it was after the reign of Adrius Blessing that emperors started to have a distressing tendency to die early. [Sanadhil] hmm. [Sanadhil] very curious. [Sanadhil] it is worth looking in to. [Ilphere] (Do we know about the Arch actually eating bits of their souls?) [Sanadhil] I know there is someone in the society who studies the imperial lines... [Vianca] Matriarch Pasith - and others as well - believed that it was because the thing in the Arch was.. hungry. It could have been selecting those it believed would die, so that it would be, ah, fed more rapidly. [Sanadhil] hmm. [Vianca] After Blessing, there were three rulers in ten years. [Vianca] But I don't know if this is coincidence, or even if it's true, what relevance it has to events today. [Sanadhil] well [Sanadhil] if the bound dragon was a servant of the creature in the arch... [Sanadhil] perhaps losing that servant weaken it somehow, or lessed its influence in some other way? [Vianca] Or made it more desperate. [Sanadhil] yes, that too. [Ilphere] Yes, that makes sense...! [Sanadhil] with both it and its servant released, then.... [Sanadhil] I wonder how it feeds itself now, or if that is necessary...
- Sanadhil thinks about Earric, and eyes Ilphere
[Vianca] There is one other thing. Even discounting the possibility that Raimar Langevin is still alive, I don't believe Theonée is the last person to have passed through the Arch. [Sanadhil] no? [Ilphere] Who, then...? [Vianca] This is something, again, that the Matriarch told me. The Arch had a keeper, apparently. A young girl, or at least it had the appearance of a young girl. [Vianca] When they sought out the Arch in order to move it, the girl spoke to them, and then stepped into the shadow of the Arch and vanished.
- Ilphere looks at Vianca quizzically...
[Ilphere] What did she say...? [Vianca] I'm afraid I don't know. [Sanadhil] But she could have passed through... [Ilphere] Are any living who were there...? [Vianca] ... [Vianca] There is one I can think of who might know, but I don't know if I can reach him. [Ilphere] Who...? [Vianca] The Matriarch's husband, Rab. [Sanadhil] Oh? [Sanadhil] Hmm. [Ilphere] Perhaps a spell could locate him...? [Sanadhil] it may be worth the effort, yes [Vianca] I don't believe that would work. It's difficult to explain, but ... suffice it to say, I can try to get a message to him, somehow. [Sanadhil] Sending, perhaps, even if he is warded... [Ilphere] Thank you... that would be most helpful...!
- Vianca nods.
- Sanadhil nods, yes, thank you.
[Sanadhil] ("") [Vianca] Well... was there anything else you wished to discuss? [Sanadhil] I believe that was all [Sanadhil] Perhaps one of us should speak to professor Byrland about the Blessings...
- Sanadhil says to ilphere
- Ilphere nods...
[Sanadhil] We won't take up any more of your time - but thank you again [Ilphere] I am not sure how we would get the relevant information without divulging more than we might prefer, though... [Ilphere] Oh yes...! Thank you... [Ilphere] We shall be off. [Sanadhil] We will come up with something.
- Vianca nods.
[Vianca] Thank you for your help with all of this. [Ilphere] I am glad to be of assistance...! [Sanadhil] indeed.