Diablotin 2 session 29

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Session date:
Diablotin date:


[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere, it is *finally* the night of your engagement/birthday party, the sixth of Tenth-month, and fortunately the repairs and refurbishing of your parents' house have been completed just in time.

[DiablotinNarrator] Your home is barely recognizable, so changed is everything. The grand rooms that have been empty and unused since before you were born have been re-opened, cleaned and decorated. The gardens have been weeded and trimmed to within an inch of their lives, and new plants added to fill in the inevitable gaps.

[DiablotinNarrator] In addition to the new staff your family has hired, they have brought in additional cooks, footmen, and maids just for this night, in order to cater to the several hundred guests they are expecting.

[DiablotinNarrator] Your mother has had you submit to countless fittings for new gowns, and has finally selected the one she prefers for you to wear this evening - an ornate confection of red trimmed with silver to match your family's coat of arms.

Dominik and Ysabeau

[DiablotinNarrator] Dominik, your mother has requested that you come to the party with the rest of your family - you are to meet them at home in order to take their carriages to Ilphere's. This would, of course, mean Ysabeau would be meeting your family...

[Dominik] . o O (had to happen sometime)

[DiablotinNarrator] Do you want to accompany her there, or arrange for her to meet you there?

[Dominik] (confiring with Ysa weither she wanted to face the family alone or meet at the party)

[DiablotinNarrator] Ysa, you arrive at Dominik's family's house. It is very large, and perhaps a bit grander than you expected.

[DiablotinNarrator] Dom, you note that there is an unfamiliar carriage stationed outside the door.

[Dominik] (any coat of arms I can recognize?)

  • Ysabeau expected it to be fairly large and grand, as he is from a noble family, after all.

[DiablotinNarrator] Your family's, but you're pretty sure it's not one of their usual carriages, unless they've just bought a new one.

  • Dominik looks around to see who he can question about the coach

[Ysabeau] (So am I there already, hanging out with Dom?)

[DiablotinNarrator] I presume you are arriving there together.

[Dominik] (ok that works)

[DiablotinNarrator] There are no doubt some footmen attending the unfamiliar carriage.

[Dominik] A new carriage?

  • Dominik asks the footmen

[Footman] M. Rademacher's, sir.

  • Dominik nods

[Ysabeau] . o O (*Which* M. Rademacher?)

[Ysabeau] Your father's?

  • Ysabeau asks.

[Dominik] Likely my father... he likes new 'things'

[Ysabeau] Ah.

  • Ysabeau is wearing a deep, rich reddish brown gown in homage to the autumn season. She wears a small amber pendant at her throat. Her hair, as usual, is elaborately arranged. Today, it is adorned with white roses, showing a tint of pink deep in the petals. For warmth, she has an off-white stole wrapped about her shoulders.
  • Dominik will escort Ysabeau inside

[DiablotinNarrator] You enter the house, only to see your father - well, your mother's husband, Darion Rademacher, looking almost a stranger in his own home.

[DiablotinNarrator] You've probably only seen him half a dozen times since you were very small. He might come into the city every two or three years or so for a few weeks, but that's about it.

  • Darion is a rather stout man of about fifty, with curling red hair and a receding hairline. If you didn't already know he was no relation of yours, you'd just have to look at him to guess...

[Darion] ...Dominik, is that you?

  • Darion says as you enter the hall.

[Dominik] Yes it is. I am surprised to see you.

[Darion] My sister asked that I come.

[Darion] Goodness, you've grown.

  • Darion looks up at you - he's shorter than you by quite a bit now.

[Darion] How are you doing?

[Dominik] Oh where are my manners... Father, this is Ysabeau Chanuier.

  • Ysabeau curtseys.

[Darion] Pleased to meet you, Mlle. Chanuier.

[Ysabeau] A pleasure to meet you, my lord.

[Dominik] Ysabeau, my Father, Darion Rademacher.

[Dominik] As to your question, I am doing as well as can be expected.

  • Darion makes a polite bow.

[Darion] Glad to hear it. And how has your mother been?

  • Ysabeau politely pays attention to the conversation.

[Dominik] Well also. Would it not be easier to ask her yourself?

[Darion] I'm sure we'll speak sometime.

[Darion] So, little Ilphere is engaged, and to a new Prince-Imperial no less.

[Darion] I'm sure her parents are very ...

  • Darion trails off a bit, as if searching for the right word.

[Dominik] Oh, they are most excited about the whole thing.

[Dominik] and she is not so little anymore either.

[Darion] Of course.

[Dominik] So how are things in the countryside?

[Darion] Quiet, apart from the occasional explosion.

[Darion] Which is how I prefer it.

[Ysabeau] Oh, are you an engineer?

  • Dominik takes a quick assessment to see if Darion still has all his fingers

[Darion] Ah, I tinker only - I'm far from an expert.

  • Darion does ;)
  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] My early years were spent in Greywatch, so I am familiar with the type.

[Ysabeau] What are you working on currently?

  • Darion smiles back.

[Dominik] Explosions are always more complicated in the city... hence wy Father spends so much time away.

[Darion] Oh, well, I wouldn't want to bore you with the details...

[Ysabeau] Please... I doubt it would be boring. But perhaps now is not the best time!

[DiablotinNarrator] Dominik, your siblings and their various escorts are beginning to gather in the hall.

[DiablotinNarrator] Jarvis, your eldest brother, is accompanied by Fredericia Hartzell, who gives you a polite nod of greeting.

[DiablotinNarrator] Theron has a young woman on his arm whom you don't recognize. She's quite pretty, short and slender, with long wavy dark brown hair, but her dress is a bit more trashy than most noble girls would be able to get away with wearing.

[DiablotinNarrator] Zivia looks displeased to be escorted by your cousin Petras Falgout, a tall, gangly, pimple-faced young man a few years younger than herself. You can only imagine it was your mother's idea...

[Darion] Well. Don't you all look well.

  • Darion says once his children are gathered. He is obviously trying to put a cheerful face on, and not entirely succeeding.
  • Dominik supresses the chuckle he feels about the whole situation
  • Sydona appears, somewhat belatedly, at the top of the stairs. She looks very elegant, if somewhat sombre.

[Sydona] Well, it looks as though we're all here. One big happy family.

  • Sydona says as she approaches.

[Darion] Hello, dear.

  • Darion offers his wife his arm, but she doesn't accept it.
  • Sydona zeroes in on the people she doesn't know.

[Sydona] You must be Dominik's... friend.

  • Sydona says to Ysa.
  • Ysabeau curtseys.

[Dominik] Mother, allow me to introduce Ysabeau Chanuier

[Sydona] A pleasure, Mlle. Chanuier.

[Ysabeau] The pleasure is mine, my lady.

[Dominik] Ysabeau, my Mother, Sydona Rademacher

[Sydona] Tell me, how did the two of you meet?

[Ysabeau] I'm a friend of Ilphere deQuessenet.

[Ysabeau] So it was quite natural that we two should meet.

[Sydona] Ah, I see. Would I know your parents? I'm afraid the name is not familiar to me.

[Ysabeau] No, I don't expect it would be. My sister and I lost our parents when I was 10.

[Sydona] How very sad.

  • Ysabeau shrugs.

[Ysabeau] One makes what one can of the stumbling blocks life throws in one's path.

[Sydona] Very true.

[Dominik] On that somber note, dont we have a joyous occaison to go to.

[Dominik] I see Zivia is eager as ever to go.

[DiablotinNarrator] Zivia frowns at you.

[Sydona] Of course. Let's make our way to the carriages.

  • Sydona will sweep out and let the rest of you, including her husband, follow.
  • Dominik will wait for the rest of the family to pass stepping in behind them
  • Ysabeau smiles up at Dom once everyone else is out of earshot.

[Ysabeau] [w] It's a wonder you grew up as well-balanced as you did.

  • Ysabeau teases.

[Dominik] [w to Ysa] you have not seen the end of it

[Dominik] [w] Zivia is mad at me but the sooner we get to the party, the sooner she can slip away from her date. She should be thanking me for moving things along

[Ysabeau] Well, shall we?

[Dominik] [w] And I cannot see what Fredericia sees in Jarvis other than a potential political ally

[Dominik] of course

  • Dominik offers Ysabeau his arm
  • Ysabeau allows Dom to help her into the carriage.
  • Ysabeau settles herself on the bench.
  • Dominik steps in after her, and sits beside her
  • Ysabeau waits until the footmen close the door on us before picking up the threads of their conversation.

[Ysabeau] Your father didn't seem so bad... aside from being absent most of the time, I suppose.

[Dominik] There is a reasons why hes not arround

[Dominik] and it mostly revolves around me

[Dominik] If my mothers family were not so well off, Im sure he would have divorced her

[Ysabeau] Have you ever met the man who fathered you?

[Dominik] No

  • Dominik says that with emphasis

[Ysabeau] (SM: you really don't want to meet him, either, or you're particularly pissed that you never have?)

[Ysabeau] (17 on my roll)

[Dominik] (whichever you think it is... that the reason)

[Ysabeau] (I don't know which it is, that's why I am SMing you... )

[Dominik] (then you cant tell :))

[Dominik] Its not a subject I like talking about.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I understand. I'm sorry for asking, if it troubles you that I did.

[Ysabeau] I guess I just want to know everything about you.

  • Ysabeau smiles up at him.

[Dominik] It was not your fault. I lead the conversation that way.

  • Dominik is warmed by the smile

[Dominik] You do look wonderful

[Ysabeau] Thank you. You as well.

[Ysabeau] I'm really happy that you agreed to go with me.

[Ysabeau] I've been grinning like a fool since you did. Murienne must think I am a lunatic.

[Dominik] as much as my mother "may" disapprove of you, and I say "may" as she is very good at acting the way she's "supposed" to...

  • Ysabeau shrugs.

[Dominik] I'm sure she was happy to see me going to an event with someone than alone like last time.

[Dominik] and for every frown she gave you, I'm sure she gave two to that trollip that Theron is with

[Ysabeau] She can disapprove of me all she wants. I'm pretty good at taking care of myself insofar as that is concerned.

  • Ysabeau laughs.

[Ysabeau] I hope I dressed at least a little classier than *that* trollop.

[Dominik] You did

[Dominik] no doubt

  • Dominik will gently touch Ysabeau's cheek, wary of the movement of the coach
  • Ysabeau 's eyes are shining with amusement at poking fun at herself.
  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Dominik] Be wary of Theron. Me bringing you has made it obvious to him that I have feeling for you.

  • Dominik changes subjects

[Ysabeau] All right...

[Ysabeau] What can I expect from him?

[Dominik] nothing direct, but he will try to maneuver to either hurt me directly or get to me through you.

  • Ysabeau raises an eyebrow.

[Dominik] we don't see eye to eye and its not above him to play petty games to hurt others

[Ysabeau] Very well...

[Dominik] Mybe nothing will come of it... maybe hes two self absorbed in his life to care... but I though I should warn you

[Ysabeau] Well, thank you, Dom.

[Dominik] I feel stupid letting you walk into this mess

  • Ysabeau reaches up to tap you lightly on the head.

[Ysabeau] Time to rearrange your memories, Dom...

[Ysabeau] I asked *you* to get me into this mess.

[Ysabeau] So I really only have myself to blame.

[Dominik] I could have said no

[Ysabeau] You *could* have, but I am glad you didn't.

  • Dominik takes Ysabeau's hand

[Dominik] so am I

  • Ysabeau rests her head on his upper arm, sighing happily.

[Dominik] any other deep dark family secret you want in on before the party?

[Ysabeau] Whatever you think I need to know to prepare for the siege, Dom.

  • Dominik gazes down at the top of Ysa's head, enjoying her presense.

[Dominik] well...I...

  • Dominik says distractedly

[Dominik] ... I guess we've arrived

[Ysabeau] Oh... really?

  • Ysabeau sounds a bit disappointed as she straightens up again.

[Dominik] relax, weve got a bit of a line to wait

  • Ysabeau pulls a curtain aside from a window to peer out at the deQuessenet manor.

[Ysabeau] Oh, wow... Ilphere must be so happy.

[Ysabeau] Look at it, Dom... just look!

[Dominik] Her mother is likely happier, although Ilphere is just as pleased to go along with it.

  • Dominik will glance out

[Ysabeau] It's like new life has been breathed into it...

[Ysabeau] The house looks so happy.

[Dominik] you could have your home redon too if you married a prince imperial

[Ysabeau] I wouldn't want a prince-imperial.

[Dominik] Good

[Ysabeau] And what's wrong with my house, anyway?

  • Dominik chuckles

[Dominik] Nothing is wrong with your house

[Ysabeau] Good.

  • Ysabeau and Dom's turn to disembark from the coach arrives, and they head into the house!

Alma and Cesar

[DiablotinNarrator] Alma, you are busy these days, dealing with the surviving tosher family and trying to help them find a place to live, work, etc.

[DiablotinNarrator] You barely notice, therefore, that Cesar is readying himself to go out to some party or other, until he presents himself at the door of your study.

[Cesar] Well, I'm off...

  • Alma looks up from her work.

[Alma] Will you be out late?

[Cesar] I don't know.

[Cesar] Probably not.

  • Alma nods.

[Cesar] I, uh... Alma, are you upset with me?

[Alma] ...

[Alma] I'm disappointed, César, but... the mistakes were mostly mine.

  • Cesar shifts uncomfortably.

[Cesar] I'm very sorry about what happened with Felise.

[Alma] So am I.

[Cesar] Is there anything I can do?

[Alma] If you hear anything, let me know. It's likely her mother and her husband have her again...

[Cesar] I will keep a look out, certainly.

[Alma] Don't pry... I'm not sure what they're willing to do to get their way...

  • Cesar nods.
  • Alma stands from her seat and walks to the door.

[Alma] I'm sorry I've been so chill with you lately. I've just been so busy, and anxious.

[Alma] I admit I was mad.

[Alma] But you're my brother, and you'll always be.

[Cesar] I understand. I behaved irresponsibly, and I'm very sorry that other people got hurt because of my actions.

[Cesar] I love you, Alma.

  • Cesar gives you a hug.
  • Alma will hug her brother back.

[Alma] It's a shame sometimes we learn our lessons the hard way.

  • Cesar nods.

[Alma] You have a good time, and behave yourself. :)

[Cesar] Yes, I should be on my way - if you're abed when I come home I'll try not to be too noisy.

[Alma] Thank you.

[Cesar] Good night, Alma.

  • Cesar departs with a wave and a smile.
  • Alma will return to her work.

Seth and Menard

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth, you are dressed in the new suit Menard (or his money, at least) has provided for you to wear, and are waiting for Menard to be ready himself.

[Seth] (where am I waiting, in my room?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (probably in his, he's just finishing up)

[Seth] Hey, hurry up! Are you a Wolf or an Ox?

  • Seth calls out.

[Menard] Shut up. When you get engaged, I won't boss *you* around.

  • Menard emerges.

[Menard] Well, that's an improvement. You don't look like you've been dragged backwards through an alley, anyway.

  • Menard says upon seeing you.

[Seth] And you don't look too much like a slab of meat that is being put on display.

[Menard] Why thank you.

[Menard] So, no date for you tonight?

[Seth] No ... I figured that you might need me for stuff, and I wouldn't want to have to brush her off time and time again.

  • Menard laughs.

[Menard] Too bad. If I'd known you weren't bringing anyone, I could have set you up with one of my superfluous cousins or something, heh.

[Seth] Ahh ... believe me, Kizer leftovers are not to my taste.

[Menard] Pft, they're not leftovers. These are the most eligible ladies in the Empire ;)

[Menard] You could be a duke or something before you know it.

[Seth] Ahhh ... well, I'll just have to see who's available at this event, I suppose.

[Menard] Going to pick someone up there, eh?

[Seth] Well, you never know what impoverished noble daughters will turn up at my feet, I suppose.

[Menard] To tell you the truth, I don't know that I'll need you around all night - after all, I'd hope to have some time alone with Ilphere.

[Seth] Don't you think it will be a bit crowded at the house for that sort of thing?

[Menard] What sort of thing?

  • Menard asks innocently.

[Seth] I hear they will be rather upset if you are caught "deflowering" your bride-to-be tonight. :)

[Menard] I didn't mean *that* sort of alone :o

[Seth] Sure you didn't. Sure you didn't.

[Menard] I have better sense than that.

[Menard] I'd at least wait until HUNDREDS of people aren't nearby :p

[Seth] Very good, then. My work here is done.

[Menard] :p

[Menard] Let's get going, we don't want to be late.

[Seth] Sure thing, boss! :P

Guillame and Aden

[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame, you are sort of unofficially going to the party with Aden - that is, you both don't have dates (*cough*) and so are sharing a carriage for convenience. That's it.

[DiablotinNarrator] However, this means that, for the first time, you will be meeting his family, who are also invited, being somehow peripherally related to the Imperial family.

[Guillame] (D:)

  • Aden_ will explain things a bit as you wait for their carriage to arrive at his house and pick the two of you up.

[Aden_] My great-aunt is also the Emperor's great-aunt. My grandfather's sister married his grandfather's brother. Our families don't, ah, always get along. That doesn't usually stop us getting invited to these things, though.

[Aden_] And of course, my aunt Martine is Chamberlain now, so that sort of helps.

  • Guillame tries to get all these house/family relatives straight in his head

[Aden_] My mother died when I was quite young, and my father has never remarried. He's sort of reclusive these days. I don't have any brothers or sisters. Some cousins, but they live in Greywatch.

[Aden_] But you'll get to meet my great-uncle and his wife - Lord and Lady Grey, that is. We'll be sharing their carriage, actually, since I don't keep one.

[Guillame] Ok...

[Guillame] The lineages in House Rat are a little more straightforward, so far!

[Aden_] They haven't had the centuries to become entangled - just give them time :)

[Aden_] Oh, here they are now...

[Guillame] Oh yes! I'm sure they will...

  • Guillame sits up straight
  • Aden_ says as a carriage draws up outside.

[DiablotinNarrator] The carriage stops to pick you up, and a footman jumps down to open the door for you.

  • Lord_Grey is a thin, cheerful-looking man in his early sixties, with curly grey hair that rings a mostly-bald head.
  • Lord_Grey 's wife is about the same age as her husband, slender and delicately-featured. Her long grey hair is styled in intricate braids that are coiled atop her head.

[DiablotinNarrator] There is also a young man in the carriage whom you don't know.

  • Guillame stands politely, and waits to be introduced/invited in...

[Aden_] Uncle, I'd like to present my friend M. Guillame Rionet.

  • Guillame bows

[Lord_Grey] Of course, pleased to meet you :)

[Lord_Grey] Aden, you remember your cousin Martan, of course. He's just arrived from Greywatch.

  • Lord_Grey says, indicating the other young man in the carriage.

[DiablotinNarrator] Martan is perhaps a couple of years older than Aden, mid-twenties or so. He is shorter and more slender than Aden, with brown hair and striking green eyes.

[Aden_] I...of course. Martan. How very... unexpected.

[Lord_Grey] Well, no time to delay - we should be going.

  • Guillame climbs in and takes a seat

[Guillame] I'm pleased to meet you all

  • Guillame says cheerfully

[Lord_Grey] Delighted, of course.

  • Guillame tries not to fidget

[Lord_Grey] The Rionets... Is your mother the duchess of Coindeliere, by any chance?

[Guillame] Yes, she is!

  • Aden_ seems a bit distracted during your ride.
  • Lord_Grey makes small talk, though.
  • Guillame will happily engage Lord Grey on any topic
  • Lord_Grey is intelligent and apparently quite well-informed on many subjects.

[Guillame] (Then I shall enjoy the conversation :) )

[DiablotinNarrator] Each in your turn, you arrive at the deQuessenet manor. It is lit up so brightly it shines like a beacon in the evening twilight. Carriages are lined up and down the drive and for some distance out the gates, moving up to drop off their passengers.

  • Guillame will ask Aden about his reaction to his cousin, as soon as we get a quiet moment

[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame, when you disembark from the carriage, Aden hangs back with you, letting the others go ahead.

[Aden_] I don't know what he's planning here, but it's making me nervous.

  • Aden_ says quietly.

[Guillame] Yes - you seemed glad that your cousins were in Greywatch earlier...

[Aden_] That's not the problem.

[Aden_] The problem is, I don't *have* a cousin Martan.

  • Guillame looks quizzical

[Aden_] Come on, we should go, or they'll wonder what's holding us up.

[Guillame] Wait... what?

[Guillame] So who is this guy?

[Aden_] I don't know.

  • Guillame stops his jaw hanging open and follows Aden.

The engagement party begins

[DiablotinNarrator] The ballroom is filling with guests, all milling about and admiring the décor.

[DiablotinNarrator] Mixed in among them are servants bearing trays of drinks and hors d'oeuvres, and a small orchestra is playing quiet background music at one end.

[DiablotinNarrator] The double doors to the garden are open to permit a slight breeze to enter, keeping the room from becoming too stifling.

[DiablotinNarrator] Neither the Imperial family nor the hosts of the party have yet made their appearance.

Ilphere and her family

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere, you are still upstairs in your room. By the noise downstairs, it is clear that many guests have already arrived. You have never heard your family's home filled with this much activity!

  • Ilphere fidgets, full of nervous excitement...!

[DiablotinNarrator] Suddenly you can hear your mother's voice being raised in the corridor outside. You can't quite make out what she's saying over the noise from downstairs, though.

[Ilphere] ...?

  • Ilphere moves toward the door to listen, hoping there isn't a serious problem...?

[Justine] Lystain, you will not permit that crazy old woman to ruin this evening for us!

  • Justine is saying.

[Lystain] Be reasonable, dear. It's not as though I can lock her in her room.

[Justine] Why on earth not?!

  • Ilphere opens the door and pokes her head out as though she hadn't just been eavesdropping...

[Ilphere] Is there a problem...?

  • Justine is shouting at your father, who looks put-upon and frustrated.

[Ilphere] I heard loud voices...?

  • Justine stops when she hears you, and hurries over to you.

[Justine] Oh, Ilphere. Don't fret, darling, we'll sort this out!

[Justine] Your great-grandmother has decided to attend the party, even though I have told her and told her again that it will only be noisy and crowded, and she probably won't know anyone there...

[Ilphere] Well, she will know me..!

[Ilphere] And Ysabeau... and Menard...!

[Justine] Perhaps you can reason with her.

[Ilphere] How do you mean...?

  • Ilphere asks innocently.

[Justine] Convince her to stay upstairs? You know that we cannot rely on her not to make a scene...

[Ilphere] A scene...?

[Justine] I don't know - she could decide that the servants are trying to poison her, or ... or I don't know what!

[Ilphere] But I would be very happy to have her there...!

  • Cordovera appears at the end of the corridor.
  • Cordovera is dressed in a gown that was probably fashionable in her youth, but is now rather yellowed and tattered with age, and also rather too revealing for a woman past, oh, thirty or so.

[Cordovera] Ilphere, my dear, let me see you! Turn around...!

[Ilphere] Oh, hello Grand-Mère...!

  • Ilphere spins around dutifully.

[Cordovera] So pretty. Though these modern gowns seem like they would be ever so uncomfortable to me. It's not too tight, is it?

[Ilphere] . o O ( Oh dear...! )

[Ilphere] It is not so bad, no...!

[Cordovera] Oh good! You want to be able to dance at the ball, after all :)

[Ilphere] Of course...!

[Cordovera] Catch the eye of some eligible young gentleman... :)

[Justine] She already has.

[Justine] This is her engagement party, as we have told you.

  • Justine says wearily.

[Ilphere] Yes, I am to be married to Prince Menard, remember...?

  • Cordovera ignores her, focusing her attention on you.
  • Ilphere prompts gently.

[Cordovera] Of course, my dear. I'm so happy for you.

[Cordovera] I'm thrilled I could still fit into this gown... I wore it first for .. let me see, was it my cousin Elmera's fifteenth birthday?

[Ilphere] Oh my.. that is very special...!

[Ilphere] Are you sure you aren't worried something might happen to it though...?

[Cordovera] It does seem a little more fragile than I remembered.

  • Cordovera admits.

[Ilphere] I would be so sad to see that...!

[Ilphere] What about that red one that father bought for you last year...? Then we would match!

[Cordovera] ... well, perhaps that would be better.

  • Cordovera agrees.

[Ilphere] Oh, we will practically be twins...! :D

  • Cordovera chuckles at that.

[Cordovera] You're quite right, my dear. Look, you can still see where the Duke of Psyra spilled his wine on me, just here...

  • Cordovera points to a faded spot on the bodice.

[Cordovera] Of course, it was a good excuse for him to get his hands on me, hah.

[Ilphere] Oh my...!

  • Justine looks mortified.

[Justine] [w] Ilphere, are you sure this is a wise idea?

[Ilphere] [w] It will be fine...!

  • Cordovera allows herself to be taken back to her rooms to change into something more suitable.
  • Justine fans herself and looks worried.

Ilphere and Menard

[DiablotinNarrator] The party cannot truly begin, of course, until the guests of honour are present. The Emperor and his family (apart from Menard, of course) make their entrance first, to the fanfare of brass.

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere's parents enter next, looking a little stunned, but pleased at the turn-out.

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere, you and Menard have only a few moments to talk before you are expected to enter.

[Menard] You look beautiful.

  • Menard says hastily.

[Ilphere] You look so handsome...!

  • Menard gives you a quick kiss on the cheek.

[Ilphere] I am so excited... and strangely nervous...

[Menard] I am too.

  • Ilphere smiles happily...!

[Menard] Well, here we go...

  • Ilphere takes a deep breath!

[Ilphere] I am ready if you are... :)

  • Menard squeezes your arm.
  • Ilphere squeezes him back.

[Menard] Let's get this over with :)

  • Ilphere nods...

[DiablotinNarrator] Finally, Ilphere herself makes her entrance, on the arm of her fiancé, the Prince-Imperial, to the applause of all the guests. They look thoroughly enamoured of one another, and everyone seems very pleased for them.

  • Ilphere is positively beaming... :)
  • Lystain says a few words to the assembled guests.

[Lystain] Thank you all for coming to celebrate this joyous occasion. We're truly honoured to see all of you here tonight, and I hope you will join me in wishing Ilphere and Menard every happiness :)

[DiablotinNarrator] The orchestra begins play for the couple's first dance, though after the first minute or two everyone else can also join in the dancing.

  • Menard will escort Ilphere onto the dance floor.
  • Ilphere seems to float in her voluminous gown.
  • Ilphere is unused to being the centre of attention, so keeps her eyes on her fiancé...
  • Menard 's smile reassures you.

[DiablotinNarrator] It's still a bit of a relief when everyone else joins in, so not everyone is staring at you...!

  • Dominik will ask Ysabeau to dance once the event begins
  • Ysabeau is happy to join him on the dance floor!

[Ilphere] . o O ( Whew...! )

[DiablotinNarrator] You notice that even your grand-mere is dancing with a young gentleman, and looking as though she's having a wonderful time.

  • Ilphere smiles all the more to see Cordovera happy...!

[DiablotinNarrator] Dominik, you note that your contact in the Hush, Theo - Theodis Maez, in her more official life - is there as part of the extended Imperial family. Her brother, it seems, is engaged to Marl's sister Eglantine.

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth, your aunt Gwen is present, but being discreet.

Sanadhil and Theonee

[DiablotinNarrator] San, you don't know too many people here, apart from people from the Society, of course, but there are a few others you recognize, at least.

[DiablotinNarrator] One of them is the Chancellor, Theonée Deverara, concerning whom you so recently had a fascinating discussion with Ilphere and Vianca...

  • Theonee is dressed in loose-fitting trousers and a dark teal embroidered tunic, rather than the ball gowns that most of the women are wearing. She is about fifty years old, with long, wavy black hair with only a few strands of grey.
  • Sanadhil will watch her for a bit, subtly, to se if she is talking with anyone or what have you
  • Theonee seems mostly to be on her own.
  • Sanadhil will drift over casually, then
  • Theonee is sipping her drink.

[Sanadhil] (Was she announced as being the chancellor?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (probably, yeah)

[Sanadhil] (Okay)

[Sanadhil] Good evening, Chancellor

  • Sanadhil gives her a polite bow

[Theonee] Oh... good evening, sir.

[Theonee] Have we been introduced?

[Sanadhil] not yet, my lady. I am Sanadhìl Orécalo, a friend of Mlle de Quessenet's

[Theonee] Ah... a pleasure to meet you. Are you from Cozovode?

  • Sanadhil smiles

[Sanadhil] I am, yes.

[Theonee] Fascinating. I have long had an interest in those lands, but little opportunity to learn about them.

[Sanadhil] Ahh, well, I would be happy to teach you about them.

[Theonee] If only I had the leisure time, I would gladly take you up on that offer.

[Sanadhil] Ahh, alas.

[Sanadhil] I suppose your responsabilities must keep you quite busy.

[Theonee] Indeed, they do. It's quite a change for me, but I suppose it's important.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] what did you do before you were called to your position, if I may inquire?

[Theonee] By vocation and inclination, I was a scholar.

[Theonee] I tutored the current Emperor for a time, among other things.

[Sanadhil] In general learning, or in any specific discipline?

[Theonee] In his final year or so of study at the Castalia, he undertook a research project, and some of the documents he was interested in studying were kept at my family's estates. That was how I first met him.

[Sanadhil] How curious - I had heard he was a sorceror, but I am not sure of his specialization. What project was this?

[Theonee] He had an interest in quite powerful spells, far beyond his reach, or indeed my own. In particular, binding spells.

[Sanadhil] Hmm. I wonder what he thought he might ever use them on...

[Theonee] I believe it was purely an academic interest. He was curious about past instances where such spells have been employed.

[Sanadhil] Interesting - does he still discuss it much with you?

[Theonee] We have fairly little time for our own research these days, unfortunately - the Empire takes precedence.

[Sanadhil] Of course...

[Theonee] What brings you here, M. Orecalo? Are you a scholar as well?

  • Sanadhil smiles again

[Sanadhil] Indeed, yes - I came here to visit the Castalia, specifically, and am currently engaged in a number of research projects.

[Theonee] I see.

[Theonee] And are you finding what you came here to seek?

[Sanadhil] Ahh, I am finidnig many things - some expected, and other less so.

[Theonee] That's usually the way it goes :)

[Sanadhil] indeed!

[Theonee] Well, I wish you the best of luck in your research.

[Sanadhil] Thank you, it was a pleasure with speak you.

[Theonee] And you as well.

  • Sanadhil will give her another polite bow and let her get back to her anit-social drinking

Seth and Sanadhil

  • Seth waits for San to be done talking to Theonee, then attempts to catch him in a quiet corner.
  • Sanadhil will drift over Seth's way
  • Seth is dressed in a suit well beyond his means, very well-tailored.

[Sanadhil] Good evening, Mr. Argo.

[Seth] Ah, good evening, M. Orecalo!

  • Sanadhil is wearing a long Cozovodë-style jacket in dark blue silk, shot through with a patern of dark silver leaves. The long sleeves are turned back to serve as cuffs, showing the linging of matching silver-grey silk. Black trousers and boots complete the outfit.

[Seth] How good to see you recovered so well from your time of difficulty.

  • Sanadhil still has a cane.

[Sanadhil] Thank you - the time away did me good, I think.

[Seth] Are you here on your own this evening?

[Sanadhil] I am - and yourself?

[Seth] Yes. I am the secretary to the Prince-Imperial now, and I felt I should make myself as unencumbered as possible, for his sake, on this night.

[Sanadhil] Of course.

[Seth] I saw that you were speaking with the Chancellor a few minutes ago ... do you know her?

[Sanadhil] We only met just now. Ilphère had been telling me of her.

[Sanadhil] I thought it would be worthwhile to introduce myself.

[Seth] Yes, I suppose it would.

[Seth] Did you, ah, learn anything of interest regarding Mlle de Quessenet's speculations?

[Sanadhil] Not specifically, but I did learn something quite fascinating - Apparently she tutoed the emperor on a special research project while he was in his final years at the Castalia.

[Sanadhil] he was, apparently, fascinated by very advanced binding spells.

[Seth] Ah ... how ... disturbing.

[Sanadhil] indeed.

  • Seth tries not to look too horrified.

[Sanadhil] But it does in part explain her presence here, I think.

[Seth] I suppose ... although the Chancellor would be expected at any sort of Imperial wedding related event, would she not?

[Sanadhil] I mean in the more general sense - her selection, seemigly out of nowhere, for her position.

[Seth] Ah, her presence here in the city ... yes, I see what you mean.

[Sanadhil] precicely.

[Seth] Well ... that certainly is an interesting piece of information ... one that perhaps we should not spread too widely, due to the risks involved.

[Sanadhil] No, I hadn'rt planned to spread it far.

[Sanadhil] But I must tell Ilphère.

[Seth] Ahh ... not tonight, though. Surely not tonight.

[Sanadhil] no, not tonight.

  • Sanadhil agrees

[Sanadhil] She looks much too content.

[Seth] Nothing in this news is so urgent as to require its immediate dissemination or propagation.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I am well aware. You, however, asked.

  • Sanadhil smiles politely.

[Seth] Well ... yes, of course.

[Seth] And very glad indeed am I that I did.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I hear you have met her previously - the Chancellor, that is - what was your impression?

[Seth] Ah, I was very impressed, to be honest.

[Sanadhil] She is apparently quite intelligent

[Sanadhil] Apparently her duties have been keeping her quite busy, however

[Seth] Inevitably, given the imperial transition and all of its attendant complexities

[Sanadhil] yes, unfortunate, however, as otherwise it might be easy to pursue an acquaintance based on scholarly interests - or invite her to the society, for instance.

[Sanadhil] As it is, she is much less accessible

[Seth] One would expect that Mlle de Quessenet, or should I say, Princess Ilphere, would have considerable access.

[Sanadhil] One might hope, but we shall see,

[Sanadhil] It might depends on how and why she's being kept busy.

[Seth] Well ... we shall see, indeed.

[Seth] If you will excuse me, M. Orecalo, I see some people I really must speak to.

[Sanadhil] Good evening, Sir.

  • Sanadhil watches to see who you go off to talk to, but it is no one he knows, of course...

Dominik and Taralynn

[DiablotinNarrator] Dominik, you are sampling some of the delicacies on a nearby waiter's tray when a young woman approaches you. You recognize her as your brother Theron's date for the evening, the one in the rather tarty dress.

[Young_woman] Excuse me, you're Dominik, aren't you?

[Dominik] Yes I am. Nobody bothered to introduce you to me.

[Young_woman] My name is Lynnie Pine.

  • Lynnie looks over her shoulder as if worried someone might overhear, or be following her.

[Lynnie] Can we speak for a few moments?

[Dominik] sure

  • Dominik will move away from the common traffic with her
  • Lynnie will accompany you to a somewhat less-busy part of the party.

[Lynnie] Do you... did you know someone named Avery Veilleux?

[Dominik] I have met him yes.

[Dominik] Why do you ask?

[Lynnie] Have you seen him lately?

[Dominik] Not for a while, no.

[Lynnie] Oh.

  • Lynnie looks disappointed.

[Dominik] He was looking for you, you know.

[Lynnie] He was?

  • Dominik nods

[Lynnie] He was a, a friend of mine. But I haven't seen him in weeks. I'm afraid he's disappeared.

[Lynnie] The reason I mention it to you is only because he told me once that, if anything ever happened to him, it would be Theron's fault, and that I could trust you in matters that concern Theron... I thought you might know something about whatever might have happened.

  • Lynnie says hastily.

[Dominik] Theron's got you mixed up in a nasty crowd. Avery was spying on them, blaming them for your relations with Theron.

[Dominik] Is it true what he was saying?

  • Lynnie looks unhappy.

[Lynnie] Theron's been very good to me, but... I don't know.

[Dominik] Whats' he getting from you... besides the obvious?

[Lynnie] What was he saying?

[Dominik] He was saying he was worried about you, that Theron had you enthralled in some odd things and he wanted you back.

[Lynnie] :/

[Dominik] and he was taking actions to make that happen.

[Lynnie] I hope this isn't because of me.

[Lynnie] But you don't think Theron did anything to hurt Avery?

[Dominik] Answer my question first... what is Theron getting from you?

[Lynnie] Nothing!

[Lynnie] I mean... we sleep together, but nothing other than that. He hasn't asked me for anything at all - not like I'd have anything to give him.

[Dominik] And he takes you to those meetings.

[Lynnie] Sometimes, yeah.

[Lynnie] I don't really like to go, but ... I don't want to lose him, either, so I play along.

[Lynnie] But he hasn't gone back to them lately.

[Dominik] Theron wouldn't have done anything to Avery unless he saw him as a threat... which I think is unlikely

[Lynnie] I don't know. Maybe.

[Dominik] what is more likely is that Theron's meeting friends didn't like him poking around near one of thier prizes.

[Lynnie] I'm no prize.

[Dominik] No, no you're not.

[Dominik] Keep Theron away from those meetings.

[Lynnie] He's scared to go back.

[Dominik] He should be

[Lynnie] He saw something, I think, and it freaked him out.

[Lynnie] Listen, can I ask you something else?

[Dominik] If they come to him and try to convince him to go back, let me know. In exchange ill keep an eye out for Avery

[Lynnie] Thank you.

[Dominik] Sure, go ahead.

[Lynnie] I will.

[Lynnie] You go to these kinds of parties a lot?

[Dominik] On occaision... this year more than most.

[Dominik] why?

[Lynnie] Do you know that man?

  • Lynnie gestures to Sanadhil, across the room.

[Dominik] I know him yes. That is Sanadhìl Órecalo. Why?

[Lynnie] What do you know about him? I mean, has he been in the city long, or...?

[Dominik] He is from Cozovodë and works at the Castalia. How do you know him?

[Lynnie] I don't, not really.

[Lynnie] But he reminds me of someone I used to know, that's all. But I asked him about it once, and he said that wasn't his name, and I must be mistaken.

[Dominik] who did he remind you of? As far as I know hes only been in the city for a few months.

[Lynnie] Someone I grew up with. His name was Tristan. But I haven't seen him since I was twelve or so - I'm sure we've both changed a lot since then. I'm probably mistaken.

[Lynnie] Thank you for your help, Dominik.

[Dominik] Remember what I said.

[Lynnie] I will.

[Lynnie] And if you need to get in touch with me, here's my address.

  • Lynnie gives you her address.
  • Dominik checks to make sure it matches the one he already has

[DiablotinNarrator] (it does)

[Dominik] I'm sure I can find the place.

[Lynnie] Thank you.

[Lynnie] I should get back to Theron before he misses me.

[Dominik] I wouldnt metion talking to me, if I were you.

[Lynnie] Of course, I know better than that.

  • Lynnie will make her way back into the crush of the ballroom.

Ysabeau and Marl

[DiablotinNarrator] Ysabeau, while Dominik is engaged in conversation with this young woman, you are admiring the sights of the party.

  • Ysabeau looks quite happy, indeed.

[DiablotinNarrator] Excuse me, may I have this dance?

  • Marl says from behind you.
  • Ysabeau recognizes the voice and schools her expression before turning to face him...

[Ysabeau] (Bluff if I have to)

  • Ysabeau keeps her eyes modestly cast downwards as she panics inwardly.
  • Marl bows politely to you when you turn.
  • Marl is offering you his hand.
  • Ysabeau takes it, gathers her courage and raises her eyes to give him a pleasant smile.

[Ysabeau] Your Majesty does me too great an honour.

[Marl] Not at all, quite the reverse.

[Marl] I don't believe we've been introduced. I'm Marl - but I suppose you already know that.

[Ysabeau] On the contrary, Your Majesty, we met at your first Ball.

  • Marl escorts you onto the dancefloor for a waltz.

[Ysabeau] Ysabeau Chanuier.

[Marl] Of course, that must be it! I kept thinking I had seen you somewhere before.

[Marl] I'm afraid I'll have to get better at remembering names and faces in this job.

  • Marl says with a smile.
  • Ysabeau smiles to encourage him to remember it that way.

[Ysabeau] That would probably be a good skill to cultivate.

  • Ysabeau agrees.

[Ysabeau] It would be rather awkward not to remember some key diplomatic figure at the wrong moment.

[Marl] Fortunately, there is usually someone helpful at my ear to whisper a name if I happen to misplace it for a moment :)

  • Ysabeau smiles again.

[Ysabeau] One of the benefits of your position.

[Marl] Indeed.

[Marl] Are you here as a friend of the bride-to-be?

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] So, I understand congratulations are in order for you and Yanina Trueblood, as well.

[Marl] Indeed. We had known each other since childhood, of course, being of about the same age and rank, but it was only when we began to work closely together that I realized how strongly I felt for her.

  • Ysabeau nods.
  • Ysabeau possibly looks a little pale...

[Marl] I was fortunate that she accepted my proposal - she might have preferred to keep her job! :)

[Ysabeau] There's no way she could fulfill her obligations as your wife as well as keep her former position?

[Marl] I think some might consider it a conflict of interest.... I say, are you feeling all right?

[Ysabeau] I'm quite well, thank you. I am perhaps a bit overcome by the evening, that's all.

[Marl] It's very warm in here, isn't it.

[Marl] Let me help you...

  • Marl takes your arm, apparently to lead you to the terrace for some fresh air.

[Ysabeau] Some water is all I need...

  • Ysabeau checks to see how crowded the terrace is. Hopefully quite...

[DiablotinNarrator] Scattered people - not packed, but not deserted either.

  • Ysabeau hopes it's enough to prevent him from making a scene, then...
  • Marl will pick up a drink for you from a passing waiter.

[Ysabeau] Thank you.

  • Ysabeau accepts the drink from him... what is it?

[DiablotinNarrator] (wine)

[Ysabeau] (Also, what was Yanina's job...? chief sorceress or something?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (Secretary of State)

[Marl] There, is that any better?

  • Marl asks once you are outside.

[Ysabeau] Yes, thank you, Your Majesty.

  • Ysabeau smiles nervously and takes a sip of her wine.
  • Marl keeps quite close to you.

[Ysabeau] (How close...?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (he was probably holding your arm, but has let it go so you can drink - so about that close)

[Ysabeau] . o O (I'm more grown up than I was... I'm dressed better. I am more filled out...)

  • Ysabeau tries to calm herself down and relax a little.

[Marl] There...

[Ysabeau] I'm sorry... I must be rather tedious, when all you were looking for was a nice dance.

[Marl] Not at all. I hate to think that I've caused you such distress.

  • Marl gently touches your hair, just brushing a strand of it back from your face.
  • Ysabeau takes a step back from him.
  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] I'll be quite fine now. You should go in and enjoy yourself.

[Ysabeau] Thank you for your assistance.

[Ysabeau] . o O (Go away!)

[Marl] Very well...

[Marl] I hope you enjoy the remainder of your evening, Mlle. Chanuier, and I hope we'll have the chance to meet again soon.

[Ysabeau] (SM! What does he mean by that?)

  • Ysabeau curtseys to him once more.
  • Marl bows again before departing.

[Ysabeau] I hope you enjoy your evening as well, Your Majesty.

[Ysabeau] (20 on my SM roll... I am so suspicious)

[DiablotinNarrator] (feel free to be :)

Seth and Livianne

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth, you are keeping to the edges of the ballroom for the time being, while chatting to San.

  • Livianne makes her way over to you.
  • Seth makes his excuses with San and then heads over to her.

[Livianne] Seth, how pleasant to see you here.

  • Livianne is wearing a flattering gown of green silk that sets off her eyes.

[Seth] Hello, Livianne. You look lovely.

  • Livianne smiles at that.

[Livianne] Are you enjoying the party so far?

[Seth] Yes, quite a bit. And you?

[Livianne] Very much.

[Livianne] I hope they will be very happy together.

[Seth] I've never seen Menard happier.

[Livianne] Nor have I, at least not since he got his first pony when he was six.

  • Seth laughs.

[Seth] I remember ... what was its name again?

[Livianne] Didn't he call it Blackie or something creative like that?

[Seth] He has never been renowned for innovation, it's true.

  • Seth smiles broadly.

[Livianne] No, indeed.

[Seth] I had rather been hoping I would have a chance to speak to you.

  • Livianne swallows the last of her drink, and sets down the empty glass.

[Livianne] Oh?

[Seth] I have just learned some information that may be of interest, or possibly concern, to His Grace.

  • Livianne nods.

[Livianne] Here, or somewhere else?

[Seth] Here.

[Livianne] All right. Tell me.

[Seth] The fellow I was just speaking with, his name is Sanadhil Orecalo, a scholar of Cozovode origin here in the city for some months.

  • Livianne listens attentively.

[Seth] Apparently he was speaking with the Chancellor this evening and she just happened to blurt out to him that the Emperor was, during his studies, involved in some sort of scholarly project with her ... to do with advanced spells relating to binding powerful creatures.

  • Seth speaks in a low but relatively calm voice.

[Livianne] I see... No, I don't know that I do.

[Seth] I'm not sure I do either ... but the fact that a dragon was released from a binding spell at the time of Marl's accession ... it could be used against him.

  • Livianne nods slowly.

[Seth] And the Chancellor, one of His Majesty's closest advisors, has just informed a representative of a foreign power of this fact.

[Seth] Does that make any sense to you?

[Livianne] Perhaps she doesn't see any significance to it.

[Seth] Perhaps not ... she has always struck me as an eminently intelligent woman.

[Livianne] Are you suggesting she's trying to sabotage the Emperor?

[Seth] I have no idea. For that matter I have no idea whether it could be true that the Emperor was involved with the release of that entity.

[Livianne] Personally, I doubt it.

[Livianne] It put him at personal risk, for one thing - he could have died, just as others did that day.

[Seth] Certainly that appears to be true, yes.

[Livianne] But I'll file the information away, in case it proves to be important.

[Seth] At any rate, I can only imagine that His Grace is well aware of His Majesty's ... past hobbies. That these hobbies are now a matter of gossip ... perhaps he does not know this, and perhaps he should, no?

  • Livianne nods.

[Livianne] Though, in truth, couldn't anyone find out about Marl's research by poking around at the Castalia?

[Seth] I don't know. If they could, wouldn't it have been discovered earlier?

[Livianne] Perhaps it has been.

[Seth] My primary concern is that M. Orecalo is not altogether trustworthy. He recently was involved in some ... matters that lead me to question his judgement.

[Livianne] I see...

[Livianne] Well, thank you for your insight into this matter.

[Seth] Was there anything else, Livianne?

[Livianne] Not unless you intended to ask me to dance.

[Seth] Ah, how rude of me!

[Seth] May I have the honour ...?

[Livianne] Certainly.

Sanadhil and Ysabeau

  • Sanadhil will sip ou to the terrace for a breath of fresh air

[Sanadhil] Ahh, good evening Mlle Chanuier

  • Ysabeau looks... not so great. Like she might possibly faint or something.
  • Sanadhil gives Ysabeau a polite bow, but straghtens quickly
  • Ysabeau tries to compose herself.

[Sanadhil] Are you well?

[Ysabeau] Master Orecalo!

[Ysabeau] Oh, me? You gave me a bit of a fright, that's all.

  • Ysabeau smiles.
  • Sanadhil raises his eyebrows

[Sanadhil] My apologies.

[Ysabeau] It's quite all right.

[Ysabeau] Are you enjoying the evening?

[Sanadhil] So far - I know only a handful of people here, but I suppose that only makes for more opportunities

  • Sanadhil smiles
  • Ysabeau smiles back.

[Sanadhil] and you?

[Ysabeau] i'm having a wonderful time. I'm so happy for Ilphere and her prince.

[Ysabeau] Don't they look lovely together?

[Sanadhil] They do, indeed.

[Sanadhil] Very lucky.

  • Ysabeau nods enthusiastically.

[Ysabeau] ...

[Ysabeau] I'm sorry, I'm a bit of an idiot tonight.

[Sanadhil] how so?

  • Ysabeau smiles apologetically.
  • Ysabeau lowers her voice conspiratorially.

[Ysabeau] Don't tell anyone, but my secret hope is to see everyone happily married, so tonight is particularly gratifying to me.

[Ysabeau] Unfortunately, this also has a bad habit of preoccupying my thoughts, rendering me something of an idiot.

[Sanadhil] ahh, one pair off to a good start then.

[Sanadhil] What about yourself?

[Ysabeau] Difficult to say...

[Ysabeau] And yourself?

[Sanadhil] Ahh, I can't imagine it.

[Ysabeau] No? That's too bad.

  • Sanadhil shrugs

[Ysabeau] I'm glad to see you're so well.

[Sanadhil] It would be complicated.

  • Sanadhil doesn't seem to perturbed

[Ysabeau] What relationship isn't?

[Sanadhil] thank you.

[Ysabeau] I was worried about you...

[Sanadhil] that's very kind...

[Ysabeau] I would have liked to have visited, but you are such a modest man. I thought you probably would not have appreciated it.

[Sanadhil] Ahh, well, i solved the diellma for you then - I spend some time away.

[Ysabeau] Where did you go?

[Sanadhil] Down to the seaside, at Colwyn Bay, and around the area.

[Ysabeau] Oh, lovely!

[Ysabeau] On the train?

[Sanadhil] Unfortunately, yes - it was expedient, and i didn't think I could handle an extended period of traveling.

[Ysabeau] Oh, I'd love to travel on a train, personally...

[Sanadhil] They're terrible noisy filthy things, though i suppose they are better than the river boats

[Ysabeau] Oh, well I suppose they're not everyone's cup of tea... My father used to help make them.

[Sanadhil] Ahh, my apologies, i meant no insult!

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] It's all right.

[Ysabeau] You didn't know.

[Sanadhil] They are convenient, I will allow them that

  • Sanadhil smiles
  • Ysabeau shrugs.

[Ysabeau] He used to make some of their furnishings, or something... I think. Carpentry or upholstery.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ysabeau] He never really spoke about his work to us. Well, I was only a child, and never thought to take much interest in it, until he was gone.

  • Dominik will wander out on to the terrace, looking for Ysabeau

[Sanadhil] The cars themselves can be quite elegantly fitted - it is a shame the luxury is wasted once they are set in motion....

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I'm sorry, it is difficult for me to let go of my biases in this regard, it seems!

[Ysabeau] It's all right... Oh dear, the wine must be getting to me... I'm getting all maudlin.

  • Sanadhil smiles

[Sanadhil] It's quite fine.

  • Dominik will approach the two

[Dominik] I've finally managed to track you down, Ysa. Eevening Sanadhil.

[Ysabeau] Dom!

[Sanadhil] Good eveing, Mr. Rademacher.

[Dominik] Enjoying the party?

[Sanadhil] Indeed. Yourself?

  • Ysabeau smiles, looking a bit relieved by his presence, perhaps.

[Dominik] It's been interesting, to say the least.

[Sanadhil] oh?

[Dominik] I turned my back and Ysabeau had wondered away from me.

[Ysabeau] More like you and I were both asked to dance by others!

  • Ysabeau says with feigned indignation.
  • Dominik shrugs

[Sanadhil] That is the way of these things, i understand

[Dominik] Mine wasn't much of a dance in that sense. How was yours?

[Ysabeau] It was fine...

  • Ysabeau smiles, perhaps a bit too brightly.

[Dominik] hmmm.

[Dominik] Have you had many interesting dance partners, Sanadhil?

[Sanadhil] A few ladies have honoured me with their requests.

[Dominik] Your a unique catch at this place. I'd expect a few more.

[Sanadhil] We shall see what the evening brings

  • Ysabeau wisely keeps quiet, considering the last time we three had such a conversation.

[Sanadhil] I haven't decided how late I will be staying

[Dominik] Still feeling a little under the weather?

  • Sanadhil ignores any innuendos Dom is attempting to insert

[Sanadhil] Somewhat - the last party I attened took rather more out of me than I expected, as well.

  • Ysabeau shrugs.

[Ysabeau] Some people just are more comfortable in smaller groups of people.

  • Ysabeau says kindly.

[Ysabeau] Murienne is rather like that, herself.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Dominik] I promised Ysabeau I would tour her through the reworked gardens. We're used to the evening's chill now, semes like as good a time as any.

[Dominik] If you don't mind, we'll take our leave of you.

[Sanadhil] Oh, of course. Enjoy yourselves.

[Ysabeau] It was nice seeing you, Master Orecalo.

  • Sanadhil says pleasantly.

[Sanadhil] You as well, Mlle Chanuier.

[Ysabeau] Thank you, Master Orecalo.

[Ysabeau] Perhaps you will honour me with a dance later?

  • Sanadhil gives her a little bow, and a nod to Dom
  • Dominik nods goodbye to Sanadhil

[Sanadhil] I should like that.

  • Ysabeau smiles, and gives him a little curtsey.
  • Ysabeau looks up at Dom and smiles at him.
  • Dominik will take her hand and lead her away

[Dominik] So what happened?

[Ysabeau] Nothing much...

[Ysabeau] He was perfectly gentlemanly, really.

[Dominik] Sans?

[Dominik] He usually tries to appear to be.

[Ysabeau] Well, he's good at it.

[Ysabeau] I'd have had no reason to worry about it at all, if I didn't have such memories of him.

[Ysabeau] He did touch my hair, and say that he hopes to see me again soon, though.

[Dominik] who are you talking about?

  • Dominik is confused
  • Ysabeau realizes her mistake.

[Ysabeau] The... the Emperor.

[Dominik] what about Marl.

  • Dominik almost growls

[Ysabeau] He asked me to dance with him.

[Ysabeau] Well, it's not something I could really have refused, without making a scene.

[Dominik] and you don't think he remembers you.

[Ysabeau] He doesn't...

[Ysabeau] He didn't even remember me from his last Ball.

[Ysabeau] Which kind of makes me more worried.

[Dominik] Yet he found you both times

[Ysabeau] Well, Dom... not to sound haughty or anything... but I have been told on numerous occasions that I'm quite... attractive.

  • Ysabeau says awkwardly... she normally isn't one to brag about her looks.

[Dominik] thats why I don't buy him forgetting you from the first ball

  • Ysabeau looks up at him.

[Ysabeau] Come to think of it, how do you know about that anyway?

[Ysabeau] Did Ilphere tell you?

[Dominik] She mentioned him coming on to her, wanting her close, and also mentioned you had some bad history with him, and you saw him at the inaugeral ball.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] She has it mostly right.

[Dominik] He's a nasty piece of work thats for sure. I don't like him having eyes for you.

[Ysabeau] I don't either, Dom... not when I know what he's capable of.

[Ysabeau] Altheo doesn't think he could remember from back then... and he doesn't seem to, truly.

[Ysabeau] Maybe he wouldn't find me as appealing if he did remember he's already...

  • Ysabeau doesn't elaborate, as you probably don't want to be reminded of all the people I have likely slept with.

[Ysabeau] So that's why it makes me more worried.

[Dominik] Dammit, what the hell am I going to do to keep him away?

  • Dominik is not hiding his anger very well

[Ysabeau] Dominik...

  • Ysabeau catches your hand in hers.
  • Dominik feels like a caged animal while you hold his hand

[Ysabeau] Don't. Please don't even try. I would be... it would be. I don't know what he'd do to you if you did.

[Ysabeau] And I'd be devastated if something happened to you because of me.

  • Ysabeau knows that's not going to sit well with you. But it's true.

[Ysabeau] Please. That would make it all so much worse.

[Ysabeau] He might not even do anything.

  • Dominik seems to deflate as the energy drains out of him

[Dominik] I wont do anything to him... for now.

[Dominik] If he touches you...

  • Dominik puts a hand on her cheek
  • Ysabeau 's eyes fill up with tears.

[Ysabeau] Do you... do you really care for me *that* much?

[Dominik] I wouldnt say it if I didn't

  • Dominik will brush away the tears

[Ysabeau] I just... I never... I never dreamed anyone could, knowing what I've been...

  • Dominik will pull Ysabeau close to him and kiss her
  • Ysabeau kisses him back, quite passionately.
  • Dominik pulls away from the kiss still holding Ysabeau

[Dominik] I wanted to kiss you all night.

  • Ysabeau is still crying, hardly believing this could be anything other than a very good dream.

[Ysabeau] Then do... do kiss me all night.

  • Dominik will start trying

Guillame and Portia

[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame, although it's a lovely party, you can't help but wish that you and Aden could relax, be yourselves. It's not as though you can dance with each other, after all.

[DiablotinNarrator] However, Aden has no shortage of partners who wish to take him for a turn about the floor, and so he is kept quite busy.

[Guillame] . o O ( Ah well, I suppose it can't be helped )

[DiablotinNarrator] You are slightly surprised when Portia Larache, the Duchess of Corcyra, approaches you rather than him for a dance.

[Guillame] . o O ( I wish he had a few *less* plentiful partners, though... )

[Portia] M. Rionet, is it not? I remember you from the Coronation ball - you dance quite well, if I recall correctly. Would you care to try again?

[Guillame] Why, I'd be delighted, of course!

  • Portia is a very beautiful woman, tall and blonde, about twenty-two years old - and unwed, as your mother would no doubt optimistically remind you if she were here.
  • Guillame remembers well
  • Guillame bows and takes her hand
  • Portia is a graceful dancer.

[Portia] How is your mother?

[Guillame] She is well... dreadfully busy as always, but well.

  • Portia nods.

[Guillame] Always something to arrange for one sister or other, or for the estate

[Portia] Of course - I know how it is.

[Guillame] And your family? How do they fare?

[Portia] I have very little family - some cousins, aunts and uncles, but I rarely see them these days, being in the city more often.

[Portia] I understand they are well, though.

[Portia] So, you are here with M. Olivier? You are close friends, I take it.

[Guillame] Yes, pretty close these days.

  • Portia nods.

[Portia] Yes, some teatime conversation with your mother led me to believe you two are quite close indeed.

[Guillame] Are you here with anyone tonight?

[Portia] No, I came alone.

[Portia] Listen, Guillame - may I call you Guillame?

[Guillame] Of course!

[Portia] I am of an age where I have begun to think of marriage. However, the things I would look for in a husband are... not so easily found, perhaps.

  • Guillame listens carefully.

[Portia] I would prefer a partner who will not... trouble me, in various ways.

[Portia] If you take my meaning.

[Guillame] I believe so... maybe we could step outside, to hear better?

[Portia] Of course.

  • Portia will accompany you outside.
  • Guillame will make smalltalk until we find a little privacy
  • Portia waits patiently until you get somewhere reasonably private.

[Guillame] So, Portia, if you don't mind me asking... why would a woman as lovely as yourself not wish to be... troubled?

[Portia] I have my own interests, and I am quite contented with them as they currently stand. An attentive husband might... interfere.

  • Guillame nods

[Guillame] I sympathise, truly.

[Portia] I thought you might.

[Portia] Of course I don't expect you to make your decision instantly.

[Guillame] So, unless I have jumped to conclusions, you are proposing that we engage in a courtship, the better to each protect our own interests?

[Portia] Precisely.

[Guillame] Well, I'll say now that the idea is very pleasing to me, and I'm sure would be to my mother, too. I'm honoured, to be frank.

[Portia] Well, thank you.

[Guillame] But, as you say, I'll need to think on it, and to discuss it with my... close friends.

[Portia] Of course. Take some time to consider, and then come meet me for tea one afternoon to let me know what you've decided.

[Portia] Good evening, Guillame.

[Guillame] Good evening!

Sanadhil and Yanina

[DiablotinNarrator] Sanadhil, you are slightly surprised, perhaps, when the Emperor's fiancée approaches you.

[Yanina] M. Orecalo, what a lovely surprise!

[Sanadhil] Good evening Mlle Trueblood.

  • Sanadhil smiles

[Yanina] It's been far too long since I've seen you. Would you care to dance?

[Sanadhil] Of course.

  • Sanadhil offers her his arm

[Sanadhil] I would be honoured

  • Yanina will join you on the dance floor.

[Yanina] I haven't seen you lately. Have you been busy?

[Sanadhil] Ahh, I took a trip to the seaside - I had been feeling somewhat under the weather, and it was quite restorative.

[Yanina] Oh, where did you go?

  • Sanadhil will give the name of whatever resort he wound up at

[Sanadhil] It was quite charming.

[Yanina] It sounds delightful.

[Yanina] But are you quite recovered now?

[Sanadhil] Indeed.

[Yanina] Wonderful. So we can expect to see you next week?

[Sanadhil] Next week?

[Yanina] At the full moon...

[Sanadhil] Ahh, of course...

[Sanadhil] I dn't believe I hve anything else scheduled

[Sanadhil] (sm)

[DiablotinNarrator] (you can roll)

[Sanadhil] (17 :/)

[DiablotinNarrator] (She seems interested? Not sure)

[Yanina] Wonderful, I look forward to seeing you there.

  • Sanadhil smiles

[Sanadhil] I am sure it will be a very engaging evening.

[Yanina] I certainly hope so.

[Yanina] Thank you for the dance, M. Orecalo.

[Sanadhil] You are very welcome, Mlle. Trueblood.

Ilphere and Menard

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere, you have been busy all evening talking to people and dancing, it seems. But you finally manage to seize a few moments alone with Menard, out in relative privacy of the garden.

[Menard] Are you having a good time so far?

[Ilphere] Oh yes...! Are you...?

[Menard] Oh, it's a lovely party. But I'd rather spend the evening with just you :)

[Ilphere] Yes... at least we can have a few moments...! :)

[Ilphere] It is such a lovely night...

  • Menard nods.

[Menard] Ilphere, I have a birthday gift for you... I hope you'll like it.

[Ilphere] Oh...! You didn't have to get me anything...!

  • Menard produces from his pocket a small box.

[Menard] I wanted to.

  • Ilphere looks at it curiously...

[Menard] Go ahead, open it :)

  • Ilphere obliges...!

[Ilphere] (what is it? :D)

[DiablotinNarrator] Inside is a necklace, a silver chain set with an onyx.

[Menard] I know it's not much to look at, but ... I went through the treasury for hours trying to find something good for you.

[Ilphere] Oh...! It is beautiful...! Thank you!

[Menard] It's a pendant of nullification, apparently. That means that you can order it to, uh, I guess negate an attack against you, if there ever is one. I think if you have it, I might worry a bit less.

[Ilphere] Oh... you are so sweet...

[Menard] Here, can I help put it on you?

  • Ilphere 's hand flutters to her chest...

[Ilphere] Please...! I would love to wear it now.

  • Menard helps fasten the fine chain about your throat.
  • Menard takes the opportunity to kiss the back of your neck as he does so ;)
  • Ilphere sighs happily...

[Ilphere] How long do you suppose we can get away with staying out here...?

[Menard] A little longer, maybe...

[Menard] [w] I wish we could be alone together tonight...

  • Ilphere blushes a little...

[Ilphere] [W] I... yes... I know what you mean...

[Ilphere] Three months seems so far away...!

[Menard] It's a long time... Do you think you can be that patient? ;)

[Ilphere] Sometimes... I just don't know...!

[Menard] I don't want to rush you, of course...

  • Ilphere giggles self-consciously...

[Menard] I just... if you wanted, you know, I'm sure we could find a way...

  • Menard says nervously.
  • Ilphere fidgets with her hands a bit...

[Ilphere] I don't know...

  • Ilphere repeats.
  • Menard nods.

[Ilphere] I am... I want to be, ah... alone with you... very much...

[Ilphere] But I have never done anything like that, you see...

  • Ilphere blushes again...

[Menard] Never?

[Ilphere] No, never...

[Menard] I mean... I thought, from what I heard... oh.

[Ilphere] About the Order...?

  • Menard nods.
  • Ilphere shakes her head...

[Ilphere] No... I have kissed boys before, but that is all...

[Menard] Oh.

[Menard] Well, I haven't done it before either. Not... not everything, that is.

  • Menard admits.

[Ilphere] really...?

[Ilphere] But you are... so handsome... and a prince...!

  • Menard laughs.\

[Menard] I wasn't a prince until a few months ago. And I don't know about handsome... Seth could tell you some stories, I'm sure.

[Ilphere] Well...

[Menard] I mean, he's much more experienced in this sorts of things than I am, and, uh.

[Ilphere] Seth?

  • Ilphere sounds incredulous

[Menard] Well, hm. Enough about Seth, I suppose.

  • Ilphere laughs lightly...

[Ilphere] I think perhaps we should wait... at least a little more... and I will think about it...

  • Menard nods.

[Ilphere] But I think I may die if you do not kiss me...!

  • Menard will do so, eagerly.
  • Ilphere kisses back enthusiastically!

The Lozada-Boyne family makes a scene

[DiablotinNarrator] There is a sudden commotion from the terrace that overlooks the gardens. Those of you on the terrace and in the gardens will see/hear it first...

[Man] You have no right! She's an adult, she left you of her own free will, and now look at her!

  • Man shouts angrily.

[Ilphere] ...?

[Ilphere] What's that...?

[Menard] I don't know... we should probably go see.

  • Menard says, a bit reluctantly.
  • Ysabeau is startled by the sudden outburst, which unfortunately breaks the mood...

[Ysabeau] What's happening?

[Dominik] Lets find out

  • Ysabeau gives Dominik a startled look and starts moving towards the terrace.
  • Dominik listens to the fight and will move to get a view

[Ilphere] I suppose...

  • Ilphere will hold onto his hand though...

[DiablotinNarrator] The target of this young man's ire, you are perhaps surprised to see, is Phedre. A young woman - her daughter, perhaps? - shelters nervously behind her.

[Ilphere] (how was she invited?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (you're not sure)

[Ilphere] (and do I recognize the man? can I roll k: nobs on him and the girl?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (sure)

[Phedre] You have no idea what you're talking about, you fool.

  • Phedre says coldly.

[Ilphere] (21)

[DiablotinNarrator] (The young man is, you think, Alma's brother. He looks something like her, anyway. The girl must be one of Phedre's daughters - you know she has two.)

[Ilphere] [w] I think that is Alma deBeziers' brother...?

[Phedre] We will be leaving now, so as to avoid any more of your ridiculous accusations.

  • Ysabeau follows Dominik as fast as she can, though with her short legs it is hard to keep up with his long strides.
  • Phedre and the girl turn to go.

[Man] Oh no you won't!

  • Man grabs the girl's arm to prevent her from leaving.

[Man] Come on, Felise, it's me, Cesar, don't you remember me?

  • Cesar pleads with her.

[Phedre] Take your hands off my daughter this instant.

[Sanadhil] (Cna those of us who are inside hear the commotion?)

[Ilphere] [w] Oh dear...

[DiablotinNarrator] The girl is struggling against him.

[DiablotinNarrator] (Yes, by now those of you inside can tell something is going on.)

  • Dominik will start to head up to the terrace by the fastest route
  • Sanadhil will come out to see what is going on

[Phedre] Release her at once, or I will make you release her.

  • Phedre snarls.

[Sanadhil] (and if I have a chance, i'll charm Cesar)

[Ilphere] (is the terrace on ground level or upstairs?)

  • Ysabeau will cast Detect thoughts once she's in range (60 feet)

[DiablotinNarrator] It's up from the garden.

  • Seth will go out to the terrace but will try to keep a low profile

[DiablotinNarrator] (okay, I think we should roll init for those who are trying to do stuff all at once here.)

[Sanadhil] (Okay)

[DiablotinNarrator] (if you're just standing by, you don't have to roll)

[Sanadhil] (13)

[Dominik] (5 - but I got a ways to go to get there)

[Ysabeau] (17 initiative for me)

[Ilphere] (15)

[Forthright] (25, but not really doing anything other than observing unless a huge fight breaks out)

[Guillame] (if there's a commotion, I'll come too)

[DiablotinNarrator] Okay.

[Guillame] (But I'm not getting involved until I can tell what's going on)

[Ysabeau] (That's why I am casting Detect Thoughts... 'cause I have NO idea what's going on... and that might help me figure it out)

[DiablotinNarrator] Who is actually trying to do something, rather than just observing? San, Ysa, Cesar and Phedre.. who else?

[Dominik] (im trying to work my way up to the terrace)

[Ilphere] (I'm not doing anything atm but I wanted a number in case I do)

[Ysabeau] (as long as the terrace is not more then 60 feet above ground, my spell will work with me below them...

[DiablotinNarrator] Okay. Seth holds, then Ysa, you can get your spell off, then Ilphere, Cesar, then San, then Phedre.

[Ysabeau] (OKay, I direct it towards the man and the two women in question.)

[DiablotinNarrator] At first you just detect presence or absence of thoughts. So, presence!

[DiablotinNarrator] There are probably more than the three of them in your area of effect.

[Ysabeau] (It's a cone though, so I'll direct its center towards the three in question... and try not to have anyone between me and them, if possible)

[DiablotinNarrator] Okay.

[DiablotinNarrator] Cesar is draggin the girl away, even as she struggles (though somewhat halfheartedly, those of you watching might think).

[DiablotinNarrator] San, your turn.

  • Sanadhil will charm Cesar

[DiablotinNarrator] DC?

[Sanadhil] Please release her

[Sanadhil] (10 + spell + bonuses + int yes? 18)

  • Cesar does so.

[Sanadhil] (heh)

[Sanadhil] perhaps this is not the place sir...

  • Phedre looks as though she still might tear him a new one, but will gather up her daughter in her arms.

[Sanadhil] If you'd like to come with me, we could discuss the situation?

[Cesar] No... perhaps not.. but she's under a spell!

  • Sanadhil nods
  • Sanadhil will go over to him and take his arm, directing him away from public scrutiny

[DiablotinNarrator] Okay, Ysa, you maintain your spell to the second round, and get, I dunno, maybe 8-10 minds in your range.

[Sanadhil] I see..... perhaps you could explain?

[Sanadhil] (And away from Phedre ;)

[Cesar] She's.... I don't know, but she ran away from them once, and they took her back or something...

  • Cesar lets himself be led away a bit.
  • Phedre is leaving with her daughter, unless anyone stops them.
  • Sanadhil will get as much of the story as he can from Cesar, while getting his carriage called for him and sending him home
  • Cesar is quite happy to tell his new friend the story!

[Ilphere] [m] Well! I wonder what that was about...!

[Ysabeau] (Can I zero in on the thoughts of the girl and the woman next round? Cesar is probably being led out of my cone)

  • Ilphere will get it out of Sanadhil later...
  • Sanadhil will be sympathetic and nonjudgemental, and not mention he Knows the family, especially if i find out yhe is related to Alma :V
  • Dominik will stop Phedre before she can leave

[Dominik] Where do you think you're going? I should even ask why you're here, but that doesn't matter.

[Sanadhil] (I will also tell Cesar that i believe him - because I do :o)

[DiablotinNarrator] Ysa, on the third round, you can detect their thoughts - the girl is thinking "nooooooooo don't take me away again, I was so close..." The woman is more along the lines of "Have to get out of here before this gets messy..."

[Phedre] Move out of my way, if you please.

[Ysabeau] She doesn't want to go!!!! The girl!

[Ysabeau] This is against her will!

  • Ysabeau uses her bardly presence to project her voice as far as she possibly can

[Dominik] I think you need to explain yourself a little better than that.

  • Dominik says to Phedre

[Ilphere] What in the world is going on...? :(

  • Ilphere covers her face with her hands.

[Ysabeau] That girl doesn't want to go with that woman!

[Phedre] This is madness. If she wishes to go with this young fool so badly, then let him have her.

  • Phedre drops her daughter's arm scornfully.

[Ilphere] And mother was worried about Grand Mère causing a scene...!

[Ysabeau] . o O (Sorry, Ilphere...)

[Phedre] A young man of another House - I never imagined that my family would be so disgraced.

  • Phedre says huffily.
  • Dominik will pull the girl away from Phedre

[Phedre] Felise, consider yourself disowned.

[DiablotinNarrator] You can do so.

  • Phedre departs in a fit of pique.

[Dominik] That was... very odd.

[Dominik] Are you hurt?

  • Dominik asks the girl
  • Ysabeau stops shouting and suddenly looks mortified that she has possibly ruined Ilphere's party.

[Felise] I... I think I'm all right.

[Felise] Thank you so much.

[Guillame] . o O (That was bizarre)

  • Ilphere makes her way toward the terrace...
  • Ysabeau looks for Ilphere to apologize!

[Dominik] You better come with me and exlain a few things... the host may be curious as well.

[Ilphere] (is Menard coming with me?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (yeah)

[Dominik] Where did that fool get off to?

  • Ysabeau spots Ilphere who was also coming in from the garden.
  • Sanadhil is robably not *too* far away with Cesar
  • Ysabeau makes her way hurriedly over to Ilphere, curtseys to Menard.

[Ysabeau] I'm so sorry, Ilphere!

  • Dominik will look for Ilphere at the same time head towards a back room

[Ilphere] Where has Sanadhil gone with M. deBeziers?

  • Dominik will nab a servant to tell him to fetch Ilphere and the fool who started the mess

[Ilphere] I want to know what this is all about...!

[Felise] I'm very sorry for the commotion.

[Ysabeau] I didn't think about what a scene it would make... I could hear her thoughts though and that girl was terrified of going wherever it was that woman wanted to take her.

[Dominik] You can explain in a minute.

[Ysabeau] I'm afraid I couldn't help myself...

  • Seth will keep an eye on Menard, or will try to
  • Ysabeau looks mortified and hopes Ilphere can understand.

[DiablotinNarrator] San, a servant comes to find Cesar.

[Dominik] (once I get to the back room - a study perhapse - I will wait for the rest to arrive)

  • Sanadhil will accompany him back to wherever this little conference is going to take place :V

[DiablotinNarrator] Okay, well, I guess Ilphere, Ysa, San, Cesar, and Dom will gather- anyone else being sought out?

[Ilphere] M. deBeziers I am sending for your sister...!

  • Ilphere says sternly.

[Cesar] I'm very sorry, Mlle. deQuessenet.

  • Cesar seems quite abashed.

[Cesar] It's sort of a long story.

  • Ysabeau is also quite red in the face still.

[Dominik] I know you're Felise, or at least I guessed that, but who are you?

  • Dominik points at Cesar

[Ilphere] Cesar, Alma's brother.

[Cesar] Cesar de Beziers.

[Cesar] Alma had asked me to keep an eye out for Felise... but when I saw her, she didn't even seem to know who I was!

  • Sanadhil will DM felise

[Ilphere] What interest does Alma have in what Phedre does with her children...?

  • Ysabeau is thoroughly confused by the strange turn of events and mostly keeps quiet, trying to put two and two together.

[Cesar] Felise ran away from her once. She .. it's not really my place to tell her story, but anyway, she took shelter with my sister.

[Cesar] Then they took her back - or at least, I assume that's what happened.

[Sanadhil] (detect magic that is)

[DiablotinNarrator] (okay, just have to look something up)

[Sanadhil] (okay)

[Sanadhil] (I am gogn to try dispell anyway ;)

[Ysabeau] This - Felise was terrified of going with her mother.

[Dominik] Is this true?

  • Felise has some magic on her, yes.

[Ysabeau] Her mother was more concerned about making a scene.

  • Dominik looks at Felise
  • Ysabeau confirms...
  • Guillame goes to make sure that no young ladies turned Aden straight
  • Sanadhil will wait the round to check school

[Felise] I think so... I don't quite know.

[Dominik] How can you not know?

  • Ilphere will DM also since it seems she has been mind-messed somehow

[Sanadhil] She is under the effect of some kind of magic...

[Ilphere] Hmm...

[Ilphere] I see...

[Dominik] Right.

[Ilphere] I can try to remove it...?

  • Ysabeau will Detect Magic herself when San mentions that...

[Ysabeau] (Spellcraft to figure out what it is?)

[Dominik] Ilphere, do you think Felise can stay here for now... so you can help her?

[Sanadhil] (We have to wait and find out school first ;p)

[DiablotinNarrator] (Enchantment)

[Sanadhil] It might be better if she returns to the Beziers

[Ilphere] (i don't have to wait if I don't wanna)

  • Sanadhil will try Spellcraft, then

[Sanadhil] (32)

[DiablotinNarrator] (it's still Enchantment)

  • Ilphere is going to try and dispel it.

[DiablotinNarrator] 'k

[Dominik] she stays here tonight, you help her, I "escort" Cesar here out... and tomorrow she can go wherever

[Ilphere] It may be that they will just use this enchantment to make her return to them later if we do not remove it.

[Sanadhil] (Oh - i meant to try and guess what spell :x)

[Ilphere] (25)

[DiablotinNarrator] (Enchantment, sort of medium-powerful - could be something like Dominate Person, or Mind Fog, or something of that sort?)

[Sanadhil] (Okay)

[Ilphere] (dispel was targeted on Felise in case it wasn't obvious)

  • Sanadhil will keep his spell going while Ilphere makes her dispell attempt to see if it works

[DiablotinNarrator] Okay - that will succeed.

  • Felise shakes her head.

[Ilphere] (do I need to make more checks or was there just the one spell?)

  • Sanadhil nods

[DiablotinNarrator] (just that)

[Ilphere] (k)

[Felise] Oh, thank you, thank you!

[Felise] I feel as though I can think again, finally!

[Sanadhil] That was successful - how do you feel, Mlle. Lozada?

[Felise] Much better, thank you.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ysabeau] Are you all right?

[Felise] I'm sorry to have caused such trouble.

  • Ysabeau looks concerned for her.

[Felise] I think I'm all right now, truly. My mind feels clear again.

[Dominik] party was getting stale

[Felise] I'll go... you should get back to your party. Cesar can take me, can't you, Cesar?

[Cesar] Of course.

  • Ysabeau darts Dominik a look and smirks a little.
  • Ysabeau knows you are joking.

[Sanadhil] Your carriage should be prepared.

[Ilphere] I should return, yes... Perhaps Dominik or M. Orecalo should accompany you home just in case...?

[Dominik] They shouldnt go alone

[Dominik] Ill go

[Felise] Oh.. if you don't mind, of course we would appreciate that.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I can accompany you, if you like.

[Ysabeau] And I...!

[Dominik] I prefer someone more attractive Sans, I think me and Ysabeau can handle it

[Dominik] she has magical skills too

[DiablotinNarrator] All right - those of you who wish can accompany Felise and Cesar back to Alma's house and drop them off safely.

[Dominik] Enjoy the party

[Ysabeau] Well, I'm not as accomplished as Master Orecalo...

[Ilphere] Well, you can sort it out... I really must be getting back. Please let me know what happens though..!

[Ysabeau] Maybe he ought to go, after all.

  • Ysabeau turns to Ilphere.
  • Sanadhil nods

[Ysabeau] Of course.

  • Sanadhil had been talking to his new best friend Cesar ;)
  • Ilphere will return to her betrothed...

[Ysabeau] Ilphere, I'm so sorry, again!

[Ysabeau] Have a good night if I don't see you...

  • Sanadhil shrugs

[Sanadhil] It us up to the two of you, of course

  • Sanadhil says to Cesar and Felise

[Cesar] I think we'll be all right with two others for protection.

[Cesar] But thank you :)

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Good luck, and take care.

  • Ysabeau is going by default then? ^-^

[Sanadhil] (yup :)

[DiablotinNarrator] The end, for now.


Ysabeau, Dominik and Cesar deliver Felise to Alma

[DiablotinNarrator] Alma, it is fairly late in the evening, and you are just on your way to bed, when there is some commotion downstairs.

[Alma] .oO( Oh César... )

[DiablotinNarrator] At first you think it's just the usual Cesar-returning-home noise, but you realize shortly that he's calling for you to come down.

[Alma] Coming!

  • Alma gives up her plan to pull a cleric's robes over her nightclothes and just hurries down.

[DiablotinNarrator] You arrive downstairs to see Cesar and Felise and Dominik and Ysabeau.

  • Alma looks a little alarmed to see everyone, but then realises she's looking at Felise.

[Alma] Felise!

  • Alma rushes over to her.

[Felise] I'm all right...

  • Alma will hug her!

[Alma] I'm so glad!

  • Felise looks a bit disheveled, but relieved.
  • Felise hugs you back.

[Alma] W- what happened?

  • Alma looks at César and then Dominik and Ysabeau

[Ysabeau] They were at Ilphere's party.

[Ysabeau] Her and her mother?

[Cesar] It's kind of, uh. I saw her, and there was some yelling, but things got sorted out in the end.

  • Ysabeau looks towards Felise for confirmation, since she knows none of these people.
  • Alma looks pained to hear that Felise was with her mother, even though it was expected at this point.
  • Felise nods.

[Dominik] I just intervened since something didn't feel right. What is the whole story here?

[Felise] I was under some kind of spell, I guess - it's all sort of a blur.

[Ysabeau] Her mother was trying to take her home, but he was interfering... at first we thought it was some cross-house romance problem but when I cast Detect Thoughts, she did NOT want to go with her mother...

[Ysabeau] You seemed pretty scared...

  • Ysabeau says to Felise.

[Ysabeau] I'm sorry I intruded on your privacy like that, but I didn't know what was going on.

[Felise] It's fine, I appreciate your help.

[Alma] Good evening M. Rademacher.

[Alma] Well, to keep it short, Ms. Lozada was staying with me for a time.

[Felise] Sister Alma was helping me... I've been having some, ah, troubles with my family.

  • Ysabeau nods, listening.

[Alma] When I spoke to your uncle, he hadn't heard from you, and we thought you must have been with them again :(

[Ysabeau] Your family?

  • Ysabeau tries to straighten things out in her head.

[Felise] I was... although I confess I don't remember very much of what happened :/

[Alma] Come in, come in everyone.

[Ysabeau] If you were here, and didn't want to go, how did you end up there again...?

[Alma] Marielle!

  • Alma apologetically wakes up Marielle and has her put on tea.
  • Alma takes everyone into a casual sitting room

[DiablotinNarrator] (Marielle will bring you some tea and snacks)

  • Ysabeau follows Alma in, glancing with concern at Felise. Cesar's kinda cute, too...

[Felise] I didn't want to get you into trouble, Sister. So I left... but when I went outside, Earric was waiting. I don't clearly remember what happened after that.

[Alma] You were likely enchanted/

  • Alma looks angry.

[Ysabeau] She was!

[Alma] I'm sorry Felise, I should have had Sagesse tell you everything would be OK.

[Felise] I suppose I must have been...

[Ysabeau] Sanadhil detected it on her, and Ilphere removed it.

[Felise] It was foolish of me to leave - I should have trusted you would take care of them.

[Alma] You were frightened... but it's OK now.

[Alma] You're here, and you can stay here, or go whereever you please.

[Felise] I hope so.

[Felise] I don't know what my mother will do now.

[Alma] I think we should talk to your uncle about pressing charges.

[Felise] Maybe... I don't know. It's all so much to think about right now.

[Cesar] You should!

[Alma] Of course, of course.

  • Cesar agrees.
  • Cesar is sort of bouncing in his seat out of excitement/nervous energy.

[Alma] Well... would you like to rest, Felise?

[Ysabeau] Will she be safe here? I mean, if they come looking for her again?

[Felise] I would, thank you... Is my former room all right?

[Ysabeau] ...

[Ysabeau] Say... did Altheo arrange all this?

  • Ysabeau puts two and two together.

[Alma] Yes, as a matter of fact...

  • Alma looks at Ysabeau oddly

[Alma] Do you know where he is?

[Ysabeau] No... I wish I did.

[Ysabeau] I only know about that because he asked me if I could put a couple noble girls up for a while... I never did hear from him about it again.

[Alma] ... well that sounds like what happened.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Alma] Excuse me, I'll see Felise to her room.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Of course.

[Ysabeau] Take care, Felise.

[Cesar] I'll see her to her room too...

[Felise] Thank you for all your help.

  • Felise says to Ysa and Dom.

[Ysabeau] I guess we ought to be seen to the door, then.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] You're welcome.

[Alma] Oh, yes, Marielle will see you out.

[Alma] Thank you both for bringing Felise home.

[Ysabeau] You're welcome.

[Ysabeau] Have a good night, Sister.

  • Alma will take Felise up to her room.

[Dominik] Yes good night.

[DiablotinNarrator] Marielle will show the two of you out, then.

  • Felise will allow herself to be led upstairs to her former room.
  • Alma will pull the curtains closed and pull back the blankets
  • Felise waits until Cesar leaves to get out of her ballgown and into bed :p
  • Cesar will probably hang around in the corridor.

[Alma] I'll be just downstairs seeing to making sure the house is safe, Felise.

[Felise] Thank you again, Sister.

[Alma] You're quite welcome.

  • Felise gives you a hug and gets into bed.
  • Cesar is indeed waiting outside when you leave the room.

[Cesar] Everything all right?

[Alma] Yes, yes I think it is!

[Alma] At least, I hope so.

[Cesar] I don't know if I did the right thing, Alma.

  • Alma leads Cesar away from the door.

[Cesar] But I couldn't just leave her there...

  • Alma hugs him tightly.
  • Cesar follows.
  • Cesar is surprised, but hugs you back.

[Alma] You were stupid, but everything turned out, so it's ok.

  • Alma is watery eyed.
  • Cesar smiles, relieved.

[Alma] They're willing to kidnap and enchant their own daughter, what do you think they'd have been willing to do to you?

[Alma] But I'm still proud.

[Cesar] I didn't really think about that at the time.

[Alma] If you can't do something smart, at least do something Right. :)

  • Alma hugs him again.
  • Cesar smiles.

[Cesar] Maybe we should put that on the family crest.

  • Alma chuckles

[Alma] Now, before bed, I need to look into protection for the house. Please talk to Marielle about hiring someone else for security.

[Cesar] All right.

[Alma] She'll know where to ask.

  • Cesar nods.

[Alma] Perhaps we might want to retain a service, rather than simply independants.

[Alma] That sounds good.

[Cesar] Very well.

  • Alma will go down and instruct the guard to watch the back of the house and begin looking through her books and notes on magic for tips on protection.

[Alma] (In the morning I'll get the full story of the party from Cesar and Felise - what she can relay - I assume?

[DiablotinNarrator] (her memory of events before the spell was removed are fuzzy at best, but Cesar can fill in what he knows, anyway)

Ysabeau and Dominik

  • Ysabeau waits until they climb back into the carriage before asking Dominik...

[Ysabeau] So, how do you know about Felise...?

[Dominik] I didn't really. Tonight was the first time I ever saw her.

[Ysabeau] You guessed who she was correctly, though.

[Dominik] But I do know her mother and anything she wants badly enough to make a public scene is worth looking into

  • Ysabeau laughs, a little.

[Dominik] I didn't even know who Cesar was until Iplhere told me.

[Ysabeau] So... this is all connected to that cult on the Downs?

[Dominik] That would be my guess

[Ysabeau] And who's Earric...?

[Dominik] Felise's step-father. Creepy bastard

[Ysabeau] What's Felise's last name?

[Dominik] Lozada, or Lozada-Boyne now.

[Ysabeau] Okay...

[Dominik] the stepfather being Earric Boyne

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Hmm.

[Dominik] something on your mind?

[Ysabeau] No. Just wondering what it all means.

[Dominik] Likely nothing good, that's for sure.

[Dominik] Hopefully Sister Alma can keep Felise safe.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Poor girl. :/

  • Dominik nods

[Dominik] Thanks for the help at the party. Made getting Felise away easier... even if it was a little embarasing for you.

  • Ysabeau shrugs.

[Ysabeau] You seemed to be taking it seriously. I didn't know what was going on. It was the logical thing for me to do.

[Ysabeau] I'm glad I did, even if Ilphere might be annoyed with me...

[Ysabeau] I'm not highly supportive of people being forced to do things against their will.

  • Dominik nods

[Dominik] Take some pleasure in thwarting someone like Phedre, she's likely made many do things against thier will... or at least think they were doing things willfully when they were not.

[Ysabeau] Are they pretty high-up then, I wonder? In the cult.

  • Ysabeau muses aloud, not really expecting you to know the answer.

[Dominik] you don't know? They run it.

[Ysabeau] Oh.

[Ysabeau] No, I didn't know. How did you come by this tidbit of information?

  • Ysabeau smiles up at you.

[Dominik] I thought it was common knowledge.

[Dominik] They creep me out.

[Ysabeau] ...

[Ysabeau] Have you been to some of those meetings...?

[Dominik] My job was to watch Ilphere and make sure she didn't get into trouble.

[Dominik] She went to one of those meetings and I followed her to makes sure she was safe.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Are there any pretty girls there?

  • Ysabeau smiles up at you with a mischievous look in her eyes.

[Dominik] They wear masks. How was I supposed to tell?

[Ysabeau] They say blind people can see a lot with their hands.

  • Ysabeau teases.

[Dominik] really now.

  • Dominik closes his eyes and starts to move his hands slowly in Ysabeau's direction.

[Dominik] How does it work?

  • Ysabeau catches his hand before it makes contact with anything interesting.
  • Ysabeau sighs.

[Dominik] apparently its a good way to find hands.

  • Dominik opens his eyes and smiles
  • Ysabeau looks pretty torn now, as her conscience descends.

[Dominik] what are you really asking me?

[Ysabeau] Well, mostly that if you spent time with any girls at the cult, I don't mind. It's not like I have any claim over you. But please do be careful, Dom.

[Ysabeau] But then...

[Ysabeau] Well.

[Dominik] The first time I went, I didn't know what to expect, and yes, it is a sex cult, and I participated in that part... but only that once.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] It's okay, really it is. Just that whole scene is creepy, so I will worry about you now.

[Dominik] You don't have to tell me that. I know its creepy. Been there first and and not too happy with how I felt afterward.

[Dominik] But I don't feel right letting Ilphere walk into that place without someone really covering her back.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I know... like I said, it's okay. That's your job, and who am I, after all? I just don't want something bad to happen to you, so *please*, be careful.

[Dominik] I know how to take care of myself.

[Dominik] and I am being careful

[Ysabeau] If they use mind-control magic, that gets rather more difficult. And I know you'll be careful.

  • Ysabeau smiles to try to reassure him.

[Dominik] Be great if I could have Vianca cast that immunity spell on me every night I have to walk in on those meetings, but I doubt that could be arranged easily.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] We should get back to the party and tell Ilphere what happened, like she asked.

[Dominik] and after that?

[Ysabeau] After that...

  • Ysabeau bites her lip and looks torn again.

[Dominik] What's bothering you?

[Ysabeau] I want to be with you, Dom... I really do. But I think before I allow myself too much more freedom, I think I need to discuss things with Murienne... and talk to Verity.

  • Dominik turns away

[Ysabeau] I don't want to break her trust.

[Dominik] Her trust...

[Dominik] So what you said earlier... what happened earliers was what?

[Ysabeau] That was what I want.

[Dominik] Its what you want.. but not what you have the freedom to do?

[Ysabeau] Yet.

[Dominik] And when does that change?

[Ysabeau] Oh, Dom...

  • Dominik looks back at Ysabeau

[Ysabeau] I'm going to talk to Murienne to see how she feels about having to move again. Because that's what it will mean.

[Ysabeau] I've already looked at what sort of places I can afford on my own.

[Ysabeau] Murienne is thinking of joining the priesthood, so that will help.

[Ysabeau] And if she changes her mind, I can always quit school so we can afford her tuition. I'm doing all right with my music, anyway...

[Dominik] Stop please...

[Dominik] I want to be mad at you... I feel so frustrated... but all I feel now is that I'm causing you to rip up the entire life you've struggled to make for yourself and your sister.

[Ysabeau] I know... I'm sorry. But I haven't been looking into this just for you.

[Dominik] I'm not worth it Ysabeau.

[Ysabeau] What do you mean?

  • Ysabeau touches your cheek gently.

[Dominik] I'm just an angry housless bastard from a viscious powerhungry noble family.

[Ysabeau] And I'm an orphaned former whore. Your point?

[Dominik] My point?!

  • Dominik will reach out and pull Ysabeau close...

[Dominik] [m] my point... I'm scared I'm gonna fuck this up.

[Ysabeau] [q] So... don't.

  • Dominik will kiss Ysabeau

[Ysabeau] [q] I don't know what the future will bring any more than you do, but the present is what we live in, and if there's any happiness to be had, we ought to take it...

[Dominik] [q] Do what you need to do... I'll be waiting for you.

  • Ysabeau kisses Dominik back.

[Ysabeau] [q] I haven't been looking into this just for you, you know... It's a step I need to take, and I think it's time to take it now, if I can.

  • Dominik nods
  • Dominik will hold her close the rest of the carriage ride
  • Ysabeau is happy to be with him.

Alma and Ilphere

  • Alma sends a message to Ilphere, saying she'd like to meet to apologise for the disruption of her party.

[Alma] (Or however one would phrase such a thing. And at Ilphere's leisure.)

[Ilphere] (my parents probably make me invite you over then)

[Alma] (Haha)

  • Ilphere will await her 'guest' at the appointed time then, at her home.
  • Alma will arrive promptly.

[Ilphere] (One of our new maids can show you in to the sitting room :V)

  • Alma is dressed conservatively, in a nice set of robes.
  • Ilphere wears a deep green gown with a grey half-length riding cloak thrown about her shoulders. She wears a deep black pendant at her throat, and has a large raven perched on her shoulder.
  • Ilphere has her many-lensed rose goggles perched atop her head, as usual.

[Alma] Good day, Mlle deQuessenet. You're looking well.

[Ilphere] Countess deBeziers. How lovely to see you.

  • Alma smiles graciously :]

[Ilphere] Please, sit...

[Alma] Thank you.

  • Alma will sit.

[Ilphere] Would you like some tea...?

[Alma] Certainly.

  • Ilphere will pour some for each of you, and offers you a tray of biscuits...
  • Alma takes one as offered and nibbles on it politely.
  • Ilphere sits back in her chair and lets the large bird nibble at her fingertips.

[Alma] I thought it fitting that I come apologise for the disruption at your engagement party the other evening. I know how important such things are, leading up to a wedding.

[Ilphere] Well, I am happy to see that Mlle. Lozada-Boyne was safe...

[Ilphere] [Hali][Abyssal] Corn?

[Alma] :o

[Ilphere] [A] No, no corn... :3

  • Ilphere offers the raven a biscuit, which it pecks at.

[Ilphere] Oh...! This is Hali.

[Alma] Your familiar, I trust?

[Ilphere] My friend...

[Alma] Ah... .oO( Is the term impolite? o_O )

[Ilphere] We have been together a very long time...!

[Alma] A very unique thing, to have a bird as a companion.

[Alma] Do you ever go hunting? I expect he would be quite helpful at that.

[Ilphere] Ravens do not generally hunt...

[Ilphere] They are mainly... scavengers...? Carrion eaters.

  • Ilphere smiles.

[Alma] He might if asked nicely? :)

[Ilphere] In any case, I have only been hunting once... a very long time ago, on my Grand-Mère's estate...

[Alma] It is not for everyone, and in the city a proper location is miles away.

  • Ilphere nods...

[Ilphere] So is Cesar involved with the girl...?

[Alma] But... as I was saying. I'm grateful you dispelled the enchantment on Mlle Lozada and were able to see she truly did not want to return with her mother. It was a good result, at least, though my brother could have been more tactful.

[Ilphere] He seemed very fond of her...

[Alma] No, no... he was just concerned. When Felise was staying with me, we had chosen to keep the fact in confidence. My brother invited some friends to the home, and one recognised her, it eventually got back to Mrs. Lozada-Boyne, it appears.

[Alma] He felt a certain responsibility for that.

  • Ilphere nods...

[Ilphere] I understand...

[Alma] I hope the rest of your evening went well?

  • Alma asks sincerely.

[Ilphere] Oh, yes, thank you... It was quite pleasant.

[Alma] I'm glad to hear. This way, perhaps the unpleasant can become a comical story to relate in the years to come. :)

[Ilphere] Yes, perhaps...

[Ilphere] What will become of Felise now...?

[Ilphere] Does she have other relatives willing to take her in, or will she remain with you...?

[Alma] Well, for the moment Felise will be staying with me. We'll speak with the Duke D'Olonne, her uncle, and then it will be up to her.

[Alma] We'll have to decide on what is the safest place, where she cannot be taken again.

[Alma] (20 on SM just to see if Alma can tell your mood?)

  • Ilphere nods...

[Ilphere] (sec, lemme find my bluff)

[Ilphere] (haha, you don't know :V)

[Alma] (:P)

  • Alma shifts in her seat quietly.

[Alma] Well, I should let you return to your day's business.

  • Alma takes another sip of her tea.

[Ilphere] It was nice of you to come by...

  • Alma sets it down on the saucer.

[Ilphere] I suppose I shall see you at the Society...

[Alma] Yes, most likely soon, though I may be quite busy.

  • Alma wonders if she should apologise for that as well...
  • Alma stands to leave
  • Ilphere will stand as well, and politely show you out...

Alma, Ysabeau and Murienne

  • Murienne is both nervous and excited to meet Alma.
  • Alma will invite them over for lunch on one of her /least/ busy days.
  • Ysabeau is nervous and excited for other reasons...

[Alma] (Possibly in the back garden if it's nice enough.)

[Murienne] (sure)

[Ysabeau] (nervous and excited for Murienne is one of those other reasons)

  • Alma meets them in the entryway when Sagesse lets them in.

[Alma] Hello ladies :)

  • Murienne will make a slightly awkward curtsey.

[Alma] It's nice enough today to enjoy the garden in the back :)

[Ysabeau] Hello, Sister!

  • Ysabeau makes a rather more graceful and polished curtsey.

[Ysabeau] That sounds lovely. Please allow me to introduce my sister, Murienne Chanuier.

[Alma] Good day Murienne :)

[Murienne] It's a pleasure to meet you, Sister Alma.

  • Murienne can't help staring at the elegant surroundings.
  • Alma will lead the two out via the back entrance.

[Alma] Sagesse, we'll be out back!

  • Alma grabs the first basket on the way out
  • Ysabeau is a little less wide-eyed and has seen a few elegant surroundings, and looks quite at ease.
  • Alma will set the basket on a low marble table surrounded by a few comfortable chairs.

[Ysabeau] Can I carry that for you, Sister?

  • Ysabeau offers on the way...

[Alma] No, that's fine.

[Alma] Have a seat :)

  • Murienne sits.
  • Ysabeau takes a seat at Alma's bidding, smoothing out her skirts.
  • Murienne folds her hands nervously.
  • Alma takes the top off the basket and sets a few things out.

[Alma] Help yourselves!

[Alma] Sagesse will be out in a bit with the drinks :)

[Ysabeau] Would you like anything, Muri?

[Murienne] Yes please.

  • Alma probably has sliced fruits and cheeses and some sandwiches made.
  • Murienne will accept one of the sandwiches.

[Alma] How has your day been?

  • Ysabeau selects some tantalizing tidbits of fruit and cheese for herself after passing the sandwich to Murienne.

[Ysabeau] Perfectly lovely so far, thank you.

  • Ysabeau glances at Murienne with a smile to encourage her to join in the conversation.

[Murienne] Fine, thank you.

  • Murienne says after swallowing her mouthful of food.

[Ysabeau] And yours, Sister?

[Alma] Good :) I've been looking forward to a relaxing lunch, rather than eating on the run :)

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] How are Lyndall and the children doing?

[Alma] As well as can be expected. Lyndall is having a harder time adjusting, but I think once she has a proper job and is in control of her life, she'll turn around.

[Alma] I think the kids are just glad to be out in the sun some days :)

  • Ysabeau smiles, a bit sadly perhaps.

[Ysabeau] I wish things could have turned out better for them.

  • Alma nods to Ysabeau :/

[Alma] I hear you have some questions, Murienne :)

[Murienne] Oh.

[Murienne] Yes, Sister.

[Murienne] I think I would like to join the priesthood. Is it very difficult?

[Alma] I wouldn't say that it's difficult, Murienne. Though it can be a big commitment.

  • Murienne nods.
  • Ysabeau will remain mostly quiet now, so as not to dominate the conversation. She's mostly there to support Muri, after all.

[Murienne] I've been working on my studies. I think I could do all right with the reading and writing parts of the church, at least.

[Murienne] And I want to help people.

[Alma] Ah, see, you're ahead of most students already :)

  • Murienne smiles shyly.

[Alma] Wanting to work is such an important part!

[Ysabeau] You have a lovely voice, too, so you'd be great at singing the Temple songs.

[Alma] It's not like working to live, it's living for the work.

[Murienne] So many people have such hard lives - I just would like to be able to make things better for them, if I can.

[Alma] That's wonderful :)

  • Ysabeau looks so proud of Murienne. ^-^

[Alma] And it may be that for you, the way to do that is through the Church.

  • Murienne nods, listening.

[Alma] It's important, though, to realise that it's not the only way to help people.

[Alma] The Church is also about serving the Gods. It's through their teachings, like the Almas Genara, that we learn to be Good. And doing Good is a part of that, but it isn't enough on its own.

  • Murienne nods again.

[Murienne] I want to understand more about the Gods, too. I know that you can never fully understand them, or maybe not until you go to the Centre, but there's so much I don't understand right now...

[Alma] Those are some of my very own questions!

[Alma] What is the nature of our world, or theirs?

[Murienne] And why do they let bad things happen...

  • Alma nods sadly.

[Alma] That is one of the most important questions asked, and there is no solid answer, unfortunately. We can only hope to understand and make peace with it. Some believe that the Gods chose not to intervene in our lives so that we might have free will.

[Alma] Free will, if there is always the promise of interference, is not very free, so they must step back and let us live our own lives. At a distance, through the Church, they may offer comfort, and will eventually accept our souls into the Centre.

[Murienne] I hope that's true.

[Alma] It may also simply be that we cannot truly understand the ways of the Gods. They exist on another plane from us, and do not think like we humans believe.

  • Murienne nods.
  • Ysabeau listens quietly; she can learn things from this conversation, too. :)

[Murienne] I know the Church doesn't have all of the answers. But it seems like at least they think more about the questions than most people do.

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] It's an important part. To understand your part in the world, you must understand Why.

  • Murienne nods.

[Murienne] I don't suppose *you* can just teach me to be a priest... you're very good at explaining things, Sister.

[Alma] Thank you :)

[Alma] I'm flattered, but, even if I could make more hours in the day to do such an important task, it would be unbalanced.

[Alma] Alone, we are all imperfect, and you need a well rounded experience with the Gods.

[Alma] That's the only way we can even approximate a view of the whole :)

[Murienne] I understand... I think.

[Alma] We can look into how to get you started, and I'll always be around to talk to if you have questions.

[Murienne] Thank you.

[Murienne] Is it, uh, very expensive to do the training?

[Alma] (good question!)

[DiablotinNarrator] (not as expensive as the Castalia... and Alma would probably know that they take some number of charity students per year)

  • Ysabeau glances at Murienne. What a question! We'll afford it no matter how much it costs! I can't let you down! ;)

[Ysabeau] (I'm not saying that, just thinking it)

[Alma] No, it's not as expensive as the Castalia, for example. There are also options if money is a concern. We can sort that out. It's not something that should get in your way :)

[Murienne] Oh. All right :)

[Murienne] Thank you very much for your time, Sister.

[Alma] Not a problem, Murienne :)

  • Alma nibbles on some carrotsticks.
  • Murienne will help herself to a bit more food, just in case ;)

[Ysabeau] I'm curious, Sister, how one learns which God to serve, as a priest?

[Ysabeau] We're both House Owl, but I know sometimes someone from House Owl might choose to be priest of Wolf, for example...

[Alma] It's really a personal matter. Most people feel a pull towards one God more than another, and into their Order they are accepted.

[Alma] I've heard of some people who take years to decide.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Thank you. I've always wondered.

[Ysabeau] Anything else come to mind, Murienne?

[Murienne] Not right now.

  • Ysabeau will make small chat with Alma and Murienne, then...
  • Alma will tell them she'll get in touch with the "next step" for Murienne.

[Ysabeau] (We enjoy a nice luncheon together! Yay!)

Ysabeau and Murienne

  • Murienne has a lot to think about.
  • Ysabeau tries to find a suitable time to talk to Murienne about what has been on her mind.
  • Ysabeau also has a lot to think about and most of it is Scary.
  • Ysabeau will broach the matter with Murienne some evening, not necessarily the same day that they visited Alma...

[Ysabeau] Muri?

[Murienne] Yes?

[Ysabeau] I need to talk to you about something important...

[Murienne] All right...

  • Ysabeau settles down on the couch and tries to think where to begin.

[Ysabeau] All right.

  • Murienne sits down beside you.

[Ysabeau] Well, I like Dominik a lot.

[Ysabeau] He likes me, too...

[Murienne] Are you getting married?

  • Ysabeau looks surprised, and laughs.

[Ysabeau] Um, not that I know of.

[Ysabeau] Usually one courts for a while before one marries, and I should hope that if I were marrying someone, I'd tell you that I *love* them a lot.

  • Murienne nods.

[Ysabeau] Anyway...

  • Ysabeau sobers up as the last trace of her blush from Muri's comment fades out.

[Ysabeau] Well, it's been getting to me more and more, how little I get to see Verity, and how it's really only when she has the time and inclination...

[Ysabeau] I was so happy when Dominik agreed to go to Ilphere's party with me!

[Ysabeau] Happier than I've been in a long time...

[Ysabeau] I love Verity so much, but I'm starting to get resentful, and that's no good.

[Ysabeau] I don't know...

[Murienne] ...

[Ysabeau] I'd kind of like to see what could happen with Dom, but I'd have to be honest with Verity about it. I couldn't lie to her so cruelly, anyway.

[Ysabeau] But of course... that would mean she probably wouldn't want to be with me anymore.

[Ysabeau] And so this...

  • Ysabeau looks around at the house.

[Ysabeau] Well, you know.

[Murienne] We would have to move?

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Probably.

[Murienne] well... if I'm going to be going to school anyway, I won't be around as much. As long as we have somewhere to sleep, I don't mind.

[Ysabeau] It would probably be a much smaller place. An apartment, instead of a house.

[Murienne] As long as we're not on the streets again, it will be fine.

[Ysabeau] Are you sure?

  • Murienne nods.

[Murienne] Will you be happy with him?

[Ysabeau] I feel so badly... this would be the third time I've made you pull up your roots in as many years.

[Ysabeau] I think I would be, yes.

[Ysabeau] But would you be happy?

  • Murienne considers for a moment.

[Murienne] If we do all of this, and then he hurts you, I'd be ... very angry.

  • Ysabeau throws her arms around Murienne and hugs her.

[Ysabeau] Oh Muri...

[Ysabeau] I hope nothing like that happens. But I don't really know. Who can see the future?

[Murienne] [m] No one.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I wish I could... I'm really kind of scared. You know, of changing everything yet again, of breaking the news to Verity, and all.

  • Murienne nods.

[Ysabeau] I don't really know how to end things, like a normal person would...

[Murienne] You should do what you think is best.

[Murienne] I trust you to take care of me. You always have.

  • Ysabeau starts tearing up again.

[Ysabeau] Okay, but you, don't be afraid to tell me if you really aren't happy about things, okay?

[Ysabeau] Because you're the most important person in my life.

[Murienne] All right.

  • Murienne hugs you.

[Ysabeau] I love you so much, Murienne.

[Murienne] I love you too.

Ilphere and Ysabeau


  • Ilphere is waiting for Ysabeau in the garden at her home, feeding corn to Hali.
  • Ysabeau shows up after classes on the day prescribed.

[Ilphere] Oh good, you're here...!

[Ysabeau] Of course! Did you think I wouldn't come?

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] Chanuiers don't break their promises!

[Ilphere] Oh of course...!

[Ilphere] I have just been impatient...!

  • Ilphere sets the little bag of corn down on a bench, where the large bird hops down to peck at it some more.

[Ysabeau] So, what did you need to talk to me about?

  • Ysabeau asks curiously.

[Ilphere] Well it is...

[Ilphere] It is a bit embarassing...

[Ysabeau] Oh, well... your secret's safe with me!

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] I never did mention a word of the other secret you told me, the one you said never to mention to Dom, even though I recently found out that he's in on it anyway!

[Ilphere] He told you...?

[Ilphere] Oh... I think at that time he was not, though...

[Ysabeau] Ah, I understand. :)

[Ilphere] I could not get rid of him long enough to pursue my studies alone...

[Ilphere] But... that does not matter...

  • Ilphere frowns though...

[Ilphere] I wonder who else he has told, though..!

[Ysabeau] He didn't tell me, either. I put a few things together after the scene with Cesar and Felise at your party.

[Ilphere] Ah, I see...

[Ilphere] Phedre, yes...

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Poor girl.

[Ilphere] Anyway...!

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Anyway!

  • Ysabeau grins.

[Ilphere] I have a problem...

[Ysabeau] Oh?

[Ilphere] I don't know what to do about Menard...

[Ilphere] Or, with him... I don't know...!

[Ysabeau] ...

[Ysabeau] I thought you loved him...?

[Ilphere] Oh yes, I do...!

  • Ysabeau is confused. Sounds like you want to be rid of him now or something!

[Ilphere] That is, sort of my problem...

[Ilphere] Well, maybe problem is not the right word...

[Ilphere] Listen, Ysa... you know I never planned for this... I always knew I would have to get married, and have a baby, but it was more like... some unpleasant and unavoidable fact of life that one must accept, like getting pimples when you are thirteen...

[Ilphere] And then I would do it, and get it out of the way, and I could carry on with my work, you know...?

[Ysabeau] Mmm-hmm....?

  • Ysabeau is still not entirely certain *what* the problem is.

[Ilphere] But I did not expect this, not at all...!

[Ysabeau] You think he's going to interfere with your studies...?

[Ilphere] Oh almost certainly...!

[Ilphere] But...

[Ilphere] It isn't, well... I find I do not mind so much...? But it is very distracting...!!

  • Ilphere says earnestly.

[Ysabeau] (SM to figure out what the hell you're trying to say in your roundabout noble language)

[Ilphere] (roll it, I'm not bluffin')

[Ysabeau] (23)

[Ilphere] (the hormones, I have them)

[Ysabeau] Oh... !

[Ysabeau] I still don't quite understand what the problem is... if he's so distracting... just go for it.

[Ilphere] I just... I don't know...!

[Ilphere] I am afraid somehow that... he might think less of me if I do not wait. That it would be, I do not know... cheap?

[Ysabeau] Ah... well. You don't have to do *that* to have fun, you know.

[Ilphere] And I... I do not know what I am doing, really... I am used to very much being in control, and knowing what is going on... and it is scary...!

[Ysabeau] Well, you don't have to give up control completely. In fact, I'd advise against it. You'll have the most fun if you're open with him about what you want, you know, TELL him what's nice and what you fantasize about and all that.

[Ilphere] You know I have never even seen a... a man before, without anything on... outside of anatomy plates...!

[Ilphere] I don't know what I want...! D:

  • Ysabeau looks around.

[Ysabeau] Is there anyone possibly within earshot, or can I speak plainly?

[Ilphere] Hmmm...

[Ilphere] There are a lot of new maids...

[Ilphere] Perhaps in Cozovode...?

[Ysabeau] All this trying to think of how to say things without really saying them is rather difficult.

[Ysabeau] Well, in Cozovode, I only know the clinical terms which are kind of... not hot. But so be it.

  • Ilphere listens with an air of eager desperation...

[Ilphere] !

[Ysabeau] [c] Very well, you want in his pants but are not sure you should.

[Ilphere] [c] ... Yes...!

[Ysabeau] [C] What I was trying to say is you don't have to have intercourse with him - you know, in a way that would make you technically deflowered - to have fun with him.

[Ilphere] [c] No...?

[Ysabeau] [C] No. There are lots of other ways to enjoy one another's bodies without losing your maidenhead. Is it just losing your maidenhead before your wedding night that has you so troubled?

[Ilphere] [c] Well, just that I wanted it to be... special... not sneaking around and such...

[Ilphere] [c] But on the other hand I... want it very much... @_@

[Ysabeau] [C] All right...

  • Ilphere blushes deeply...!
  • Ysabeau tries to figure out how far Ilphere is willing to go, not an easy task with this blushing beauty here.

[Ilphere] [c] Does it hurt a lot...?

[Ysabeau] [c] The first time...?

  • Ilphere nods, looking worried...

[Ysabeau] [C] I'm not the best person to ask about first times, because I was very young, myself. But I've talked to a lot of other girls about it.

[Ysabeau] [c] It *can* hurt, but not everyone does... The most important thing is for him to help you get ready for it.

[Ilphere] [c] So... what should I do...?

[Ysabeau] [C] Don't let him go right to that, right away. You have to play with each other and get him to arouse you, arouse yourself, whatever.

[Ysabeau] [C] Um, have you ever had a fantasy about someone, him, maybe, and noticed how wet you get down there?

  • Ilphere blushes again...

[Ilphere] [c] Oh! Ah... yes...!

[Ysabeau] [c] Yes? Good. You want to be wet like that before you even think of letting him penetrate you.

  • Ilphere takes out her little notepad.

[Ilphere] [c] ... and what else...?!

[Ysabeau] [c] Okay, once you're at that level, you'll want to guide him into you, and if he knows what he's doing, he'll do it slowly but with firm pressure.

[Ysabeau] [c] You know, so he doesn't tear your hymen roughly all at once. That's what normally would hurt a virgin.

[Ilphere] [c] But what about before...? What am I supposed to do...?

[Ilphere] [c] Oh... ! I do have this book Sanadhil gave me, do you think that would help...?

[Ysabeau] [C] What book is that, pray tell...?

  • Ilphere opens up her school satchel and pulls out a book of erotic elf poetry.

[Ilphere] He gave it to me for a wedding present...!

[Ysabeau] [C] But your wedding is months away...

  • Ysabeau skims through a few poems.

[Ysabeau] [C].... Master Orecalo gave you a book of erotic poetry?

[Ilphere] [c] Perhaps he knew I would need time to study...!

[Ysabeau] [c] Better keep that from Dom... it will only renew his suspicions.

[Ilphere] How do you mean...?

[Ysabeau] [c] Well way back when I first met Dom, he asked me to introduce him to Master Orecalo. Little did I know, it was to make sure Master Orecalo was not taking advantage of you.

[Ilphere] Sanadhil...?!

[Ilphere] But that is ridiculous...!

  • Ilphere seems honestly perplexed that anyone would think that.

[Ilphere] We are good friends, and colleagues... that is all...!

[Ilphere] [c] It is no different than if you were to give me the book, or say, counsel me what I should do with my husband...!

[Ysabeau] [C] Sometimes a man and a woman being good friends is all that's needed to start rumours flying. Dom was looking out for you, and your family's interests. He was doing his job.

[Ysabeau] [C] Anyway, that book has some good ideas, for sure.

[Ilphere] [c] Well, he shan't have to worry about it much longer...! Soon I will be free of my 'nanny'...!

  • Ysabeau hands the book back to Ilphere.
  • Ilphere clutches it to her chest...

[Ilphere] I am so lucky...

  • Ilphere sighs...

[Ysabeau] [C] Did you want to know what you can do without losing your maidenhead, too, or do you have that all figured out?

[Ilphere] [c] Oh yes...! Tell me..!

[Ysabeau] [c] All right, well, there's more than one place a man can penetrate, as long as Menard is comfortable with that.

[Ysabeau] [c] He may not be, seeing as that's how gay men do it. But it does feel nice.

[Ilphere] What.... in the... behind...? :o

  • Ilphere covers her mouth quickly...!
  • Ysabeau grins like a cat.

[Ilphere] [c] Wouldn't that hurt *more*...?

[Ysabeau] [c] No... you work up to it, too. And if you do it that way, you'll need some lubricant.

  • Ilphere takes notes...
  • Ilphere looks a little worried though.

[Ysabeau] [c] You can get it easily enough at a healer's. Or I could pick some up for you. No one will look twice at *me* buying something like that.

  • Ysabeau says, with perhaps a hint of bitterness.

[Ysabeau] [c] For both ways, it helps if he gets you ready with his fingers...

[Ilphere] [c] I don't know about this, Ysabeau...

  • Ysabeau smiles.
  • Ilphere says worriedly...!

[Ysabeau] [c] Okay, so anal doesn't appeal. Not everyone goes for it. Don't worry.

  • Ysabeau_ smiles reassuringly.

[Ysabeau] [c] There's always oral sex.

[Ysabeau] [c] Do you know anything about that?

[Ilphere] [c] In theory...!

  • Ysabeau wonders how dismally undereducated noble girls really are... Well, at least some noble girls...

[Ysabeau] [c] All right. Well you can pleasure him with your mouth, and he can return the favour.

[Ilphere] [C] So I just... put it in my mouth...?

  • Ysabeau giggles and covers her mouth.

[Ysabeau] [c] That's very bare bones, but if that's all he wants...

  • Ysabeau teases.

[Ilphere] [c] Oh Gods Ysabeau I am going *mad*..!

[Ysabeau] [c] No... okay well back up a little. To perform oral sex on him it usually helps if he's already erect. To do that you might have to warm *him* up a bit with a handjob.

  • Ilphere nods eagerly...

[Ysabeau] [c] Some young men don't need much warming up, though.

[Ysabeau] [c] Okay, so hand jobs... Again, a little lubricant is helpful. You don't want to chafe him - his penis will be very sensitive and that might not be very pleasant.

[Ysabeau] [c] You can use commercial stuff or lick him a few times to get him slick. Or, in a pinch, use some hand lotion or something.

[Ilphere] [c] I see...

  • Ilphere is becoming more distracted...

[Ysabeau] [c] Are you all right? Is it too much at once?

[Ilphere] [c] Do you see my problem...? It is impossible to concentrate...!!

[Ysabeau] [c] If I'd known this is what is what you wanted to ask me about, I'd have suggested you come to my house.

[Ilphere] [c] Why...?

  • Ilphere asks innocently.

[Ysabeau] [c] I have... some items you could use to practice techniques on.

[Ilphere] [c] Items...?

[Ysabeau] [c] Yes... like artificial penises. Dear stars, I wish I could use the slang I'm used to. This is so stilted.

[Ilphere] [c] Oh I see..]!

[Ilphere] [c] I wish I could just see him now...! @_@

[Ysabeau] [c] Handjobs... okay, the most important thing with ALL OF THIS is that the two of you communicate with each other. You can't be too shy to tell each other what feels good and to give directions if something *doesn't* feel good.

  • Ilphere nods again...

[Ysabeau] [c] So you take a hold of him and stroke him up and down the length of his... penis. Damn it, I wish I could use the slang. This is so unsexy.

[Ysabeau] [c] Ask him if it feels nice or not, that's a good way to get a dialogue going. He might tell you to squeeze a little, or loosen up a bit... hopefully not the latter.

[Ilphere] Thank you for helping me with this... it must seem very silly...!

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] [c] It's fine... we used to share tips with each other all the time. I just wish I could speak Aveyronnais with you instead.

[Ilphere] [c] I will let you know how it goes...!

[Ysabeau] [c] Okay... there's a lot more to know, though...

[Ysabeau] [c] You'll know you've done well if you get him to come. You do know what happens then, I hope...? Some girls like licking it up. Up to you.

[Ilphere] [c] What does it taste like...? :o

[Ysabeau] [c] Kind of salty.

[Ysabeau] [c] For variety, you can use your whole hand, or a few fingers like you're milking a cow... um, not that you've ever done that, I suppose.

[Ilphere] I take your meaning, though...!

[Ysabeau] [c] Some men like you to play with their testicles too, but others are really touchy about that. And there's a spot just behind the testicles, between them and the anus, that some men find very erotic, but others really hate you touching it, so you need to find out what he likes.

[Ilphere] But listen, my mother will be coming down soon, she usually takes the air out here in the afternoons...

[Ysabeau] [c] Okay...

[Ilphere] [c] We can talk more another time...

[Ilphere] Would you like to have some cake...? :)

[Ysabeau] [c] You should come to my house if you want more advice... We can talk plainly and use words you might want to actually use with him... he doesn't understand Cosovode, does he?

[Ysabeau] [c] Plus there's the... artificial penises.

  • Ysabeau makes a face, that's such a cumbersome way of putting it.

[Ysabeau] I'd love some cake, thank you.

[Ilphere] [c] I don't think he does, no... I would like to see one, at least..!

[Ilphere] Well let's go inside then... :)

[Ysabeau] [c] They can be pretty fun, too! ^-^

  • Ilphere will take you inside for cake and less raunchy conversation :V

[Ysabeau] It is getting a little chilly, isn't it? The wind must have picked up.

Seth and Menard

  • Menard can easily be found, since you live down the hall :p
  • Seth wanders in with a stack of papers.

[Seth] Who knew that being your secretary would be such a pain!

[Menard] What's the problem?

[Seth] Apparently now that you are getting married, you are actually popular!

[Menard] What on earth is all of that :o

[Menard] Ha ha.

[Seth] Mostly requests for money.

[Menard] Tell them I only spend money on whores and booze now that I'm an Imperial.

[Menard] And even then I get most of that for free :p

[Seth] Very good, sire.

  • Seth bows.

[Menard] Oh, and drugs. Don't forget the drugs.

[Seth] Who could forget that?

[Seth] So, uh ... when you actually get married ... Ilphere isn't going to drag you off to her family estate out in the wilds or anything, is she?

[Menard] I.. don't think so?

[Menard] I mean, we'll probably go somewhere for our, uh, honeymoon.

[Menard] But we'll come back, don't worry ;)

[Seth] I'm sure she'll have lots of opportunities to expose you to the results of her latest research. :)

[Menard] Gah.

[Menard] I thought maybe the other night, we might... but nooooo. And I have to be all patient and whatever, because, you know, I'm not an asshole :p

[Seth] So ... cultists yes, fiance no? That doesn't seem fair.

[Menard] She says she doesn't actually, uh, you know, cult it up with them.

[Seth] Really?

[Menard] Well, not, um, nakedly.

[Menard] Or whatever.

[Seth] Really!?!

[Menard] She just observes, I guess.

[Menard] Maybe she takes notes. I don't know.

[Seth] You know, if it were any other hot noblewoman, I wouldn't believe it ... but with Ilphere that might be exactly right.

[Menard] Yeah. It's sort of a relief, really.

[Seth] Maybe she'll wear her goggles to check out your tackle. :) And take notes.

[Menard] Fuck you :p

[Seth] Defensive, are we much?

[Menard] Then she can use them to look for your sense of tact :p

[Seth] You didn't hire me for my charm. Your dear cousin frequently points that out.

[Menard] Which cousin? huh?

[Seth] Oh, Livianne.

[Menard] o_O

[Menard] What are you doing with her? Are you two, you know...

[Seth] Not yet ... ;)

  • Menard makes a 'poky poky' gesture.\

[Seth] She likes me though. You can tell.

[Menard] Really.

[Seth] Well ... no, not really.

  • Menard snickers.

[Menard] Do you want to marry my cousin, Seth? I could probably arrange that, if you'd like a ball-busting bitch as a wife ;)

[Seth] I think I'm done with ball-busting bitches.

[Menard] So what do you want instead?

[Seth] Ahh ... that is the eternal question. No woman can tame my heart!

  • Menard laughs.

[Menard] What does your heart have to do with it?

[Seth] Honestly, you'd need to be paying me a lot more for me to catch someone worthy of me.

[Menard] Pft, you need someone who's impovrished and desperate.

[Seth] Is that what worked for you? ;P

[Menard] Seems to have.

  • Menard says cheerfully.

[Seth] Bastard.

[Menard] Jealous? ^-^

  • Seth cackles.

[Seth] I'm sure I'll be mediating your marital disputes soon enough. :)

[Menard] You could get married, though, if you wanted. Our kids will have to grow up together too, right?

[Seth] Well, I suppose. I really don't want to turn into my dad, though. Seriously.

[Menard] Are you really afraid of that?

[Seth] Ahhh ... well, it has been said that we possess some traits in common.

[Menard] Well, just don't marry your mom :p

[Menard] Or, you know, someone like her.

[Seth] Uhh ... yeah.

  • Menard laughs.

[Seth] I don't know what I want.

[Seth] I don't seem to have any sense when it comes to these sorts of things

[Menard] Well, if you figure it out, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

  • Menard says casually.

[Seth] Yeah ... I'll keep that in mind.

[Menard] I wonder if Ilphere really is going to keep her legs together until the wedding night...

[Menard] Three months ]_[

[Seth] Tell her it's an experiment - that'll get her all wet and interested.

[Menard] Hahah. I don't know how to do the science-y talk all the girls love, like you do, Mr. Smooth :p

[Seth] Just throw in a few 'heretofores' and she'll melt for you. ;)

[Menard] I don't even know where we'd go if she *did* decide she wanted to fool around.

[Menard] Can we use your room? ;)

  • Seth laughs.

[Seth] Not like I'm using it for anything important.

[Menard] Just as long as you're not wanking in the closet :p

[Seth] Oh, of course not. I'll be over here wanking in your room. Much more spacious. ;P

[Menard] How much room do you need? :o

[Seth] Well, let's just say that you don't need any goggles to check out Mount Argo! :)

[Menard] >_<

[Menard] Mental picture.... do not want...

[Seth] Jealous?

[Menard] Well... since I'm the one with the hot financée and you're the one jerking off... no.

[Seth] Just you wait until I start abusing my power and ... start using your official stationery! Yeah! That'll show you! Hmph!

  • Menard laughs.

[Menard] Aw, Seth, I'm glad you're here.

[Seth] I'm ... glad to be here too, Menard.

[Menard] Really?

[Seth] Well, it *definitely* beats living in the Society library and not shaving for a week at a time. ;)

[Menard] Heh. Well, okay.

[Seth] And where would you be without me, really?

[Menard] It's just kind of weird having you be my, ah, servant. or whatever.

[Menard] Oh, totally screwed, no doubt.

[Seth] Pffft. I'm not your servant. I'm your eminence grise.

[Menard] Okay, think of it that way if you'd rather ;)

  • Menard snaps his fingers.

[Menard] Argo! Fetch me a drink!

[Seth] Fuck you, sire!

[Menard] SO hard to find good help these days.

[Seth] Ah, once you're married, you'll never lack for a wench to fetch you a drink.

[Menard] No no, you'll need to do it - she'll be too busy with other wifely duties ;)

[Seth] Ah, well, you'll just have to sire a brood to fetch you various things.

[Menard] Oh, is that why people have children? It makes so much sense now.

[Seth] Is there a better reason?

[Menard] Well, I hear the 'getting them' part is fun.

[Menard] Oh, gods, I think I'm going to die before three months is up -_-

[Seth] Yes, well, if you need any help in that department, I think you're on your own.

[Seth] If you want my opinion, though, she could use it, seriously.

[Menard] Use what?

[Seth] Use some loosening up.

[Menard] Oh. Yeah, I guess. She's pretty innocent, really, I think, sex cult and all.

[Menard] I don't want to, you know, hurt her or anything.

[Seth] Well, you could always just get her to suck you off. That might hurt you, of course, what with the teeth ... and the goggles. :)

[Menard] Very funny.

[Menard] I wonder if she would... maybe I could convince her it doesn't really count.

  • Menard says wistfully.

[Seth] Ahh ... I still say go with the scientific research angle. It's the only thing that gets her off, in my experience.

[Menard] You've gotten her off with scientific research?

[Seth] Well, she gets very animated and says, "Oh! Oh!" It's more or less the same thing.

  • Menard laughs.
  • Menard sort of discreetly readjusts, also :p

[Ilphere] (hot)

[Seth] Ahhh ... right, so, I should probably be going to attend to my duties.

[Menard] Yeah, you're not helping :p

  • Menard makes a noise something like "gnahhhhhhgnhnhn" and flops onto his bed.

[Seth] Uhh ... right.

[Seth] I'll, I'll be back later with some things for you to sign.

[Menard] [m] Give me ten minutes, anyway. Void.

[Seth] [m] More like three.

[Menard] I heard that.

  • Menard says to your back.

[Seth] Of course, sire. I shall return forthwith.

  • Seth departs and leaves Menard to his imperial wankery.

Guillame and Sanadhil

  • Guillame is probably on the way to either fern's office or the library
  • Sanadhil is in the library!

[Sanadhil] Good evening, M. Rionet

  • Guillame is searching the shelves

[Guillame] Hmm?

[Guillame] Oh, I beg your pardon. Good evening, M. Orecalo!

[Sanadhil] looking for anything in particular?

[Sanadhil] I feel I have bedome almost overly familiar with this place of late...

[Guillame] Mostly house history, maybe some folklore, I suppose. There's so little written down, I feel like I should be scouring all the other house histories, for ramblings and conspiracy theories!

[Guillame] How's your own research going? No further... animations, I hope?

[Sanadhil] No, I have ben more cautious...

  • Sanadhil sighs.

[Sanadhil] It is not an experience I would ever care to repeat.

[Guillame] I sympathise, truly!

  • Guillame half-chuckles

[Sanadhil] In any case - I find your house history has been interesting more of late, as it ties in with the early empire and the links to the Shadar kai

[Sanadhil] I keep meaning to pursue at last linguistic studies....

[Guillame] Yes - I must admit, I haven't done as much reading about the early history as I should - I've been focusing more on the time spent out of sight.

[Sanadhil] however as you say, there is very little written down

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I can see why it might be of more immediate interest

[Guillame] Well... I suppose it's of great interest to me, but I find that most scholars are more divested in how the house relates to the others. I began to focus on it in part because of the lack of material...

[Sanadhil] lack of material, or lack of available material?

[Guillame] I should have known that would lead to a rather hard-to-confirm line of research.

[Sanadhil] I suppose I assumed your people kept their own records

[Guillame] Not as much as you'd think, I'm afraid. I'm getting much more material from survivors than from records.

[Guillame] That is, maybe there are records buried under the city somewhere, but nobody I've spoken to has said anything to indicate to me that there's much hope of it.

[Sanadhil] that sounds intruguing

[Sanadhil] is the undercity still accessible at all?

[Guillame] It is, fascinating of course, but I'd feel more comfortable if I had other research to cross-reference. As it is, I worry that I'm just collecting golden memories and speculations... but I think I'm getting good material, truth be told.

[Guillame] The undercity?

[Guillame] Er... no, no - it's completely sealed off, as it stands.

[Sanadhil] ahh, that is unfortunate

[Guillame] Yes... I'd love to do a real excavation down there. I explored that possibility to start with, but it seems there's some kind of opposition...

[Sanadhil] a ward?

[Sanadhil] (sm ;)

[Sanadhil] (13 only :/)

[Guillame] No... more like political opposition, although I'm not sure from where.

[Guillame] Fern cautioned me against it.

[Guillame] Maybe if I make a name for myself as a scholar I could build some support, and maybe then I could arrange something. But who knows if I'll have the time for that...

[Sanadhil] Are they some of your House that don't want the history made public, perhaps?

[Guillame] Perhaps. I'm given to understand there may have been some kind of strife at the time that the house emerged, but I don't have all the details lined up yet - it may be as you say, certainly.

[Guillame] I know my father was keen to move on from the old ways - but I feel like there's no going forward without knowing your history, too.

[Sanadhil] Hmm, that does seem logical, yes

[Sanadhil] You are not a rootless people.

[Sanadhil] . o ( unlike some of us :/ )

[Guillame] Not at all - we certainly came from somewhere, and we know from where!

[Guillame] Hopefully, we will soon know more *about* that where!

[Sanadhil] do you mean in terms of your research? or the shadow plane?

  • Sanadhil asks for clarification

[Guillame] Oh, I meant my research, but the shadow plane is fascinating, too. Tell me, what is this link between it and House Rat? I haven't read of it yet...

[Sanadhil] So far it seems to be manly lingustic

[Guillame] There was evidence of our language there?

[Sanadhil] I haven't made enough study of the Rat tongue yet, but it is closely related to Shadar kai, and gravonian

  • Guillame tries to remember if he saw any rat writing on the excursion

[Guillame] Oh, indeed? That certainly is interesting...

[Guillame] Suggestive of a common root, or one derived from the other in some way?

[Sanadhil] at the very least, it sems possible that the separation between your people and those who formd the empire occured when Grsavonian was still a dominant tongue among the human population

[Sanadhil] It might suggest that your house has a closer tie to the native human population, rather than the invading groups that created the empire.

[Guillame] That's certainly an exciting idea! ... I'm sure to many it will be repellent, and to others romantic.

  • Guillame seems at first excited, and then resigned.

[Sanadhil] it would be easier to determine if there 8were* older records of your people

[Sanadhil] but since it is a period that interests me I hop to have the time to look in to the question more carefully in the future

[Guillame] Well, I shall be sure to let you know if I discover any!

[Guillame] Or hear of any, I suppose.

[Sanadhil] i would appreciate that

[Sanadhil] Are you planning to present any of your findings at the society or would that be unpolitic?

  • Guillame puts down his stack of disparate books and makes a note of it.

[Guillame] I'd love to make a presentation, but I fear it won't be soon. I don't have anything verifiable yet, even in terms of common properties in hearsay or recollections.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Well, you'll have to present something, wo't you, as part of your membership?

[Guillame] I don't really want to present a collection of rumours... though I suppose that may be the best I can hope for, for a first piece of research.

[Guillame] I suppose so. Fern hasn't told me as such, but I've heard that's the normal requirement.

[Sanadhil] it was my understanding

[Sanadhil] Perhaps you could present a review of the sources, and the questions you see as most pertinent?

[Sanadhil] some of the more experienced scholars may be able to give you some advice on how to work with what resources you do have.

[Guillame] Yes, maybe that's a good idea.

  • Guillame makes a note of that, too.
  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I'll let you get back to your work, in any case.

  • Sanadhil gestures to your pile of books

[Guillame] Er, yes. Maybe I have enough for now.

[Guillame] Thank you for your advice, M. Orecalo

[Sanadhil] there is no such thing as 'enough' books. And it was a pleasure to speak with you.

  • Sanadhil smiles
  • Guillame goes in search of the librarian, and has an earnest discussion in which he is firmly told that no, he cannot take the books off the premises, regardless of how little time he has to be at the society at the moment.
  • Sanadhil goes back to his readings about demon statues ;)
  • Alma pops out of the stacks and judges!

Sanadhil and Ilphere

  • Sanadhil arrives at the library, looking for Ilphère
  • Ilphere is nosing through some tomes on the reign of Ruchard Rademacher, and also looking over her Shadar-Kai translation stuff...!

[Sanadhil] Goodmorning, Ilphère...

[Ilphere] Oh...! Hello, Sanadhil...!

  • Ilphere looks up, smiling.

[Sanadhil] find anything of use?

[Ilphere] Well, yes and no...!

[Sanadhil] oh?

[Ilphere] I have deduced... well, I suppose one might say speculated, but I say deduced...

  • Sanadhil waits

[Ilphere] Ah, deduced that my dream imagery of Ruchard Rademacher in manacles, but not chained *to* anything, signifies a willing captivity, or possibly even self-imposed...

[Ilphere] So I am trying to find any clues as to what might have led him to that...

[Sanadhil] interesting

[Ilphere] It has been on my mind since the experience with the statue...

[Sanadhil] since then?

[Ilphere] You know, that ichor it produced resembled nothing so much as the juice from those berries in my vision.

[Sanadhil] Ahh...

[Sanadhil] How disconcerting.

[Ilphere] Yes... I thought so...

[Ilphere] Oh, and the ring of protection that Emperor Ruchard wore... suggests that he may have been imprisoned for his own protection...

  • Sanadhil grips his cane a bit more tightly

[Ilphere] I just wonder if there is some connection between him and the shadow city.

[Sanadhil] I don't know - i suppose it is possible

[Ilphere] The queen there, also asleep, also voluntarily imprisoned...

  • Sanadhil nods
  • Ilphere shakes her head...

[Ilphere] Well... how are you this morning..? :)

[Sanadhil] I wonder if M. Argo might be able to make a determination of the age of the illusion covering the entrance...

[Sanadhil] Ahh.

  • Sanadhil glances around the library, and frowns slightly

[Sanadhil] Perhaps we might adjourn to one of the study rooms?

[Ilphere] Certainly...!

[Sanadhil] There are a few things I wanted to discuss with you.

[Ilphere] Oh...! Have you made a new discovery...?

  • Ilphere asks as she moves toward the study.

[Sanadhil] I had an interesting conversation at your party, for one.

[Ilphere] Oh...?

  • Sanadhil nods as he holds the door open for you, closing it behind

[Sanadhil] The Chancellor was in attendance - I thought it was a good opportunity to introduce myself

[Sanadhil] She's a very intelligent woman and, I imagine, an accomplished sorcerer.

[Ilphere] I do recall seeing her... unfortunately I did not have the opportunity...!

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Well, you had other things on your mid that night, I'm sure

  • Sanadhil smiles.

[Sanadhil] In any case.

[Sanadhil] Apparently, the Emperor worked with her specifically on a special project when he was completing his studies at the castalia.

[Ilphere] What sort of project...?

[Sanadhil] Apparently there were records only available on her estate that he wanted to consult.

[Sanadhil] But they were investogating powerful binding magics

[Sanadhil] beyond the capacity of either to actually perform, she told me

[Ilphere] Powerful... binding magic...?

  • Sanadhil nods
  • Ilphere frowns...

[Sanadhil] I told M. Argo - he had seen us talking and inquired, and he seemed quite disturbed by the notion.

[Sanadhil] It would certainly be worth seeing if there is anything on record at the Castalia.

[Ilphere] It is indeed disturbing...

[Ilphere] Sanadhil... we must find this Rab person... and the keeper of the Arch...

  • Ilphere 's voice grows more urgent

[Sanadhil] oh?

[Ilphere] Some time ago, I spoke to Vianca after a lecture...

  • Sanadhil listens

[Ilphere] She had been talking to Obadiah about the arch, and I had overheard... so I was asking her if she thought it possible to reforge it...

[Ilphere] And she said that theoretically yes, but that it would be difficult...

  • Sanadhil frowns again

[Ilphere] The simplest way would be to *open a gate to another plane, and bind a powerful entity into it.*

[Ilphere] Ideally the same one which originally inhabited it.

[Sanadhil] Of course...

[Ilphere] Sanadhil... With the Arch intact - and without the power of the Rat to mitigate such a strong evil - its power would be terrible...!

[Sanadhil] (Do we know about the Underarch, or that it was *restored* to its place..??)

[Sanadhil] That *is* very troubling.

[Ilphere] (Vianca told me essentially that it was in 2 pieces and that now it's put back together)

[Ilphere] (so I guess so)

[Sanadhil] We don't know that marl has any interest in doing so...

[Sanadhil] his marriage to Mlle. Trueblood is the only connection

[Ilphere] What if he thinks he can use a reforged Arch to gain power for himself...?!

[Sanadhil] but that the chancellor may be wanted by the cult, and has familiarity with such things...

[Sanadhil] we couldn't allow it

[Ilphere] we must speak with Vianca at once, see if she has located the old Matriarch's husband... or the Keeper...

[Ilphere] This troubles me... deeply...!

[Sanadhil] It sounded like it wouldn't be very easy for her to find him...

[Sanadhil] but we can at least reinforce the importance.

[Ilphere] The spinning serpent I saw in the stars... like a ring, like the joined arch...

[Sanadhil] ...

[Sanadhil] yes.

[Sanadhil] Stars! of course...

[Ilphere] Like a wheel... Rademacher...

  • Ilphere frowns

[Ilphere] It *is* all connected, I feel it...!

[Sanadhil] Have ever told you about my neighbour?

[Ilphere] I am just missing the link... Somehow... there is something I'm not seeing...!

[Ilphere] Your neighbour...?

  • Ilphere looks puzzled.

[Ilphere] No, I don't believe so...

[Sanadhil] Auguste Vautrin

[Sanadhil] he is an artist, and likes to paint on the down..

[Sanadhil] You might appreciate hsi work, but it is certainly not very popular.

[Ilphere] He is inspired by the arch...?

[Sanadhil] All of the work he's produced lately has this... ring, an ovoid.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ilphere] ..!

[Ilphere] The Arch... it must be...!

[Sanadhil] he gave me one - it is at my house if you would like to see it.

[Sanadhil] He doesn't know why he is compelled to include them

[Ilphere] Yes, I would very *much* like to see it...!

[Sanadhil] but they all do.

[Ilphere] Has he told you if he... dreams...?

[Sanadhil] I haven't asked...

[Sanadhil] If you would liek to meet him, I'm sure I could arrange it

[Sanadhil] but I can at least show you the work I have.

[Ilphere] I would like that, thank you...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ilphere] I have become somewhat practised at interpreting visions...!

[Sanadhil] it may be all simply reflected in his work - you may be disappointed.

[Sanadhil] but still.

[Sanadhil] You will find that intriguing enogh

[Sanadhil] Speaking of the down...

  • Sanadhil rubs the bridge of his nose, frowning again.

[Ilphere] What is it...?

[Sanadhil] Apparently there is to be another meeting this Wednesday

[Sanadhil] I don't believe it is one you will be invited to

[Ilphere] Oh... there will be ... activities, then...

[Ilphere] ?

[Sanadhil] That is the impression I was given.

[Ilphere] Drat...! With all these pieces falling together, I wish that I could go... but I do not think I could get away with abstaining again...

[Ilphere] I see such things when I am there...

[Sanadhil] yes...

[Ilphere] I might have gained something that would help us...!

  • Ilphere is torn...

[Sanadhil] I don't believe I culd assist in, ah, covering for you, as it were, in any case.

[Ilphere] No... they know me now...

  • Sanadhil looks down a bit - not at you, in any case.

[Sanadhil] That as well.

[Ilphere] I had hoped that perhaps my telling them of my visions might entice them to let me keep coming so as to take advantage of my insight...

[Sanadhil] I...

[Ilphere] But perhaps not...

[Ilphere] .. What is it?

[Sanadhil] I admit that the idea of attending on my own causes me some anxiety.

[Ilphere] Why is that...?

[Ilphere] Earric...?

  • Sanadhil looks like he was about to answer when you interjected with that, and nods.

[Ilphere] What do you think he might do...?

  • Ilphere asks worriedly
  • Sanadhil shakes his head

[Sanadhil] In the past, it seems we were fortunate that we never both feel under the influence of the various enchantments and other lures of the meetings...

  • Sanadhil sighs

[Ilphere] You are not confident of resisting them, then...?

[Sanadhil] Maybe I am working mysef up over nothing - likely the meeting will be like most others, and nothing more ominous that anything found at a common bordello

  • Sanadhil says cynically

[Ilphere] I did have the fear that they might be angry over what happened with Felise, if they thought that you were involved...

[Ilphere] You know, there is a spell which would protect your mind from influence... Vianca cast it on Dominik... or was it Seth? Anyway, when we were to go after the statue.

[Sanadhil] I am concerned that because they know i had been attending with you, whose interest in their activity was, shall we say, a-typical, that they may try and take advantage of the opportuinity to gain access to information we might rather keep from them, for one.

[Sanadhil] That would mean disclosing my involvement more fully, at least to her...

[Sanadhil] Though likely she already knows.

[Sanadhil] I will try to speak to her about it.

[Ilphere] Well..almost certainly she does, after our conversation the other day...

[Ilphere] When we tell her this new information about the binding... perhaps she will be more willing to see that you are protected, particularly if it means you might have the chance to get us more information...!

[Sanadhil] Mmmm....

[Sanadhil] Well, we'll see.

[Sanadhil] It was Mlle truebloood who informed me of the meeting - she was especially interested that I would be there.

[Sanadhil] ¬_¬

[Ilphere] Be careful Sanadhil...

[Sanadhil] yes.

[Ilphere] She is Marl's fiancee, which makes her more dangerous for many reasons...

[Sanadhil] I am aware... ou thids is an interested she has expressed previusly.

[Ilphere] She is interested in you... personally...?

[Sanadhil] It is probably merely novelty.

  • Sanadhil says flatly.

[Ilphere] Oh, how insulting... >:|

[Ilphere] You know... you do not *have* to go, if you are really worried...

[Ilphere] We could try to find another way to discover what they are up to...

  • Sanadhil sighs again, rubs the bridge of his nose, again

[Sanadhil] I already told her I would be there - and I worry they might be *more* suspicious. I don’t know what they think now.

[Sanadhil] as far as the business with Felise goes - I don't think there is anything in it for them to hold against me - it anything, I seem more to be Phedre's ally through it

  • Ilphere nods...

[Ilphere] Well, as I said... please be careful..]!

[Sanadhil] I will.

[Sanadhil] I will speak to Mlle. Belden...

[Ilphere] Yes...

[Ilphere] And I must speak to her about the keeper...!

[Sanadhil] However, the morning after the meeting, would it be possible to meet with you, to ensure that I'm not under the effects of any lingering enchantments?

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ilphere] Yes, that is a good idea...!

[Sanadhil] I'm theoretically capable of detecting and dismissing them myself, but I may not think to.

  • Ilphere nods...

[Sanadhil] Thank you, then.

[Sanadhil] It would probably be best to meet here agin.

  • Ilphere nods...

[Sanadhil] But if for some reason I don't show up, perhaps you can come by my house

[Ilphere] Of course...!

[Sanadhil] I'm sure I'm being overly cautious

  • Sanadhil tries to sound dismissive

[Ilphere] I hope so... but it is better to be prudent...

[Sanadhil] indeed.

[Sanadhil] Thank you.

[Ilphere] I know you would do the same for me... :)

  • Sanadhil smiles

[Sanadhil] Of course.

  • Sanadhil says sincerely.

Sanadhil, Ilphere and Vianca

  • Vianca is working in her office. She has piles of books around her on her desk, some propped open in various precarious ways.
  • Sanadhil knocks on her door

[Vianca] Come in!

[Sanadhil] Thank you. Good morning, Mme. Belden.

[Vianca] Ah, M. Orecalo. How are you?

[Sanadhil] I am well enough, and yourself?

[Vianca] Oh, busy, as you can see. But I'm well also.

  • Sanadhil nods.

[Sanadhil] of course.

[Vianca] So, what can I help you with today?

[Sanadhil] I hope I'm not disturbing anything important... Mlle de Quessenet and I were hoping to speak to you about some further discoveries we have made.

[Vianca] Oh? Of course, I'd love to hear what you have found.

  • Sanadhil nods.

[Sanadhil] She should be along shortly

  • Vianca nods.

[Sanadhil] There was something else I wanted to ask you before she arrived.

[Vianca] Yes?

  • Sanadhil slightly adjusts his grip on his cane

[Sanadhil] The two of us had been involved in investigating the nature of the order of the black Down.

  • Vianca nods, listening.

[Sanadhil] But she will now be limiting her involvement to some of the more ritualistic practices...

[Sanadhil] I'm not currently situated to take advantage of the same limitations, however - which leaves me in the position of pursuing our investigations alone.

[Vianca] I'm not quite sure I understand, but I take your final point - you are continuing this alone.

[Sanadhil] They employ various mass enchantments and other mind altering magic to draw participants into the, ah, proper atmosphere

  • Vianca nods.

[Sanadhil] In the past, the two of us were better able to watch out for each other, but this isn't going to be possible now.

[Sanadhil] But because of the attention that some of Mlle's experiences have drawn from the cult leaders, I also feel that I am in a somewhat more vulnerable position now than previously.

[Vianca] Well, no one is forcing you to go, are they?

[Sanadhil] No - but I think there is merit in pursuing the investigation.

[Vianca] Well, no doubt you know the risks.

[Sanadhil] ...yes.

[Vianca] If you still feel it's worthwhile, then could you take someone else with you?

[Sanadhil] I don't know that I would wish to expose anyone else to the dangers, and it is also, it requires a certain level of discretion...

[Sanadhil] If you can think of a suitable candidate, I would not be completely adverse to the idea, but that wasn't preciely what I had in mind.

[Sanadhil] I was told that you know a spell that can more effectively block attempts to influence the mind.

[Vianca] Yes, I do.

[Sanadhil] I was hoping that with that kind of protection, I would be better able to safeguard myself.

[Vianca] It will last for a full day.

[Sanadhil] That would be perfect.

[Vianca] You would want me to cast it now?

[Sanadhil] If you could.

  • Vianca nods.
  • Vianca casts the spell. It only takes a few seconds and a few words.
  • Ilphere bustles in, right on time...!

[Sanadhil] Thank you, madame.

[Vianca] You're welcome. I hope it helps.

  • Sanadhil sm's her
  • Vianca seems concerned for you.

[Ilphere] Oh, Sanadhil..! You're here already...! Excellent!

[Sanadhil] Good morning, Ilphère.

[Vianca] Mlle. de Quessenet, good day.

[Ilphere] Good morning, Mme. Belden..! :)

[Vianca] I understand you have made some new discoveries?

[Ilphere] Yes... Has Sanadhil told you about them yet..?

  • Sanadhil shakes his head

[Sanadhil] No, we were waiting for you.

[Ilphere] Ah, I see... Well...!

[Ilphere] It is rather concerning...

  • Ilphere sobers up somewhat...
  • Sanadhil smiles, somewhat more relaxed, maybe, now that Ilphere is here and the topic is moving on
  • Sanadhil nods, putting on serious face again.

[Ilphere] Sanadhil had the opportunity to speak to the Chancellor recently...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Vianca] Oh?

  • Ilphere waits for him to tell this part...

[Sanadhil] A casual conversation at the engagement party - nevertheless the content was quite ominous

[Vianca] How so?

[Sanadhil] Apparently, she and the emperor worked together during his final years at thr Castalia, on a project studying advanced and very powerful binding magics.

[Vianca] Really? How strange.

[Sanadhil] I am hoping to find some records relating to the project, but I haven't had much opportunity to look as yet

[Vianca] I didn't know he specialized in enchantment spells.

[Ilphere] What worries me is a conversation that we had some time ago, after Obadiah's lecture here... If you recall, I had asked if you thought it possible to reforge the arch...

[Vianca] I had the vague impression - if anything - that he might be an evoker.

[Vianca] Yes...

[Ilphere] And you said that what would be required would be to open a gate to another plane and cast a powerful binding spell, an

[Ilphere] (whoops)

[Ilphere] ... using an entity similar to, if not the same one, that escaped from the Arch in the first place...!

[Ilphere] That, along with Marl's sudden betrothal to Yanina, who is active in the order of the Black Down...

[Vianca] Well. In theory, I think that would work. It would require a caster of enormous power, though.

[Vianca] Is it sudden? I was under the impression they were friendly...

[Ilphere] Well, unexpected, perhaps.

[Sanadhil] If it is not sudden, that is no more encouraging.

[Vianca] Well, I'm sure you know more about such interpersonal matters than I do.

[Ilphere] I fear that the Order is not simply a collection of misguided hedonists... Well, at least at the upper echelons.

  • Vianca nods.

[Ilphere] (SM .. does she think I am nuts or something?)

[Ilphere] (bleah... 14)

[Vianca] (No, I think she thinks you're engaged to his brother, you're a noble from that House, you probably know better than she does ;)

[Ilphere] There is the matter of Earric...

[Sanadhil] Yes.

[Ilphere] None of us truly know *what* he is, let alone who, or what he is capable of...!

[Ilphere] I am *certain* though, that the entity they are trying to evoke is the one that once resided in the Arch.

[Vianca] I think that seems likely, yes.

[Ilphere] If they were to succeed in restoring it to the unified Arch, and without the mitigating influence of the Rat...

[Vianca] That would be ... quite terrifying.

[Sanadhil] Indeed!

[Ilphere] I shudder to think what they... or what Marl might wish to use it for...!

[Sanadhil] I am fairly certain that whatever his intentions, they would be subordinate to Earric's plans.

[Vianca] It's difficult to know what purpose it could serve - I don't believe it could function as it did before, certainly.

[Ilphere] Have you had any success in locating Rab?

[Vianca] I was successful in contacting him with a Sending spell. I asked him to return to the city as quickly as he could, and he replied that he would do so. He thought it might take several weeks, though.

[Sanadhil] Well, that is something, at least

[Ilphere] Thank you so much...

[Ilphere] We will certainly be eager to speak with him when he arrives...!

[Vianca] It's no trouble... I will be glad to see him after all these years.

[Ilphere] I hope the journey will not be too taxing for a man of his years..!

[Vianca] I think he will manage. You should know that he is a very, ah, private man, however, and he may not wish to speak with strangers. All we can do is wait and see what he says when he arrives.

[Sanadhil] Of course.

[Ilphere] Oh I do hope he will agree...!

  • Ilphere frets...

[Sanadhil] Any advice on the matter that you could relay would be appreciate, if he will not meet with us, of course/

[Vianca] Either way, I will be sure to ask him your questions. I just don't know if he'll be willing to meet with you personally or not.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I hope that I can find the Emperor's Castalia records - at the least, it might give us some idea of what they will need to do, and how we might best sabotage heir plans.

[Vianca] It should be possible to find this project, at least, if in fact he submitted it.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Vianca] It would no doubt be in the Castalia library - Perhaps Mlle. Siopette could locate it.

  • Sanadhil looks to Ilphère

[Sanadhil] perhaps you could ask her, then?

[Ilphere] I shall ask her at the earliest opportunity..]!

  • Vianca nods.

[Vianca] If it turns out he did not submit it, then we'll have to consider other options.

[Sanadhil] of course.

  • Sanadhil frowns a bit at the possibility

[Ilphere] Perhaps the Chancellor would be willing to discuss it...

[Sanadhil] The chancellor is unfortunately very busy, or it might have been possible to learn more from discussions with her

[Sanadhil] You're welcome to try

[Ilphere] M. Argo might have more access...

[Sanadhil] You're more likely to encounter her casually.

[Sanadhil] yes.

[Ilphere] Well, we will investigate the Castalia's records first.

[Vianca] That seems like a good plan. Is there anything else I can help you with today?

[Ilphere] I think that is all... thank you once again...!

[Sanadhil] indeed, yes, - thank you.

[Vianca] You're very welcome.

[Sanadhil] We will leave yo to your work then.

  • Sanadhil gives her a little bow and offers Ilphère his arm
  • Ilphere graciously accepts...!
  • Sanadhil will walk her out then!

Ysabeau and Hettie

  • Ysabeau ventures into the Shambles to visit Hettie some day.
  • Hettie is at work, humming and wiping down some tables in her bar with a ratty looking cloth
  • Ysabeau steps into the tavern and checks to see how busy it is.

[Hettie] (not very - some guy half dozing with a beer in front of him in a corner, a couple of shifty looking gorls playing some kind of game of chance nearer the bar

  • Ysabeau heads over to Hettie.

[Hettie] Well! There's a sunny face for a gloomy day :)

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] Hi Hettie - do you have another cloth? I could help you with the rest of the tables.

[Hettie] oh, no need - doesn't do much good anyway.

[Hettie] pull up a chair - how are things? how's Muri doing?

  • Hettie asks more seriously
  • Ysabeau shrugs.

[Ysabeau] Makes the place look well cared for.

  • Ysabeau smiles again.

[Ysabeau] Things are all right. Muri is doing pretty well... she's thinking of becoming a priest.

[Hettie] Well, I try

[Hettie] doesn't do me much good these days :/

[Ysabeau] Oh, what has happened, Hettie?

  • Ysabeau looks concerned!

[Hettie] nothin's happened

[Hettie] just not as much to go around these days, even for a prospering place like this

  • Hettie says with a wink and a bit of a shrug

[Ysabeau] Well... hopefully things will perk up in the spring.

[Hettie] I hope so.

[Ysabeau] Maybe next year will have a good growing season and the droughts this year will just be a bad memory.

[Hettie] grain shipments ouhtta help once it rikles down to us nobodies

[Hettie] yeah, it comes and goes - I've seen it before.

[Hettie] never pleasant though

[Ysabeau] No, I guess not. And you're not a nobody, Hettie.

  • Hettie grins

[Hettie] well, I ain't a somebody like you, either ;)

[Hettie] How's that school going?

[Ysabeau] School's going fairly well.

[Ysabeau] Sometimes I wonder what I should concentrate on, though.

[Hettie] oh?

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Hettie] not all you were hoping for?

[Ysabeau] No, I wouldn't say that.

[Ysabeau] I'm just distracted by my friends' research which is sort of tangled up with all sorts of goings-on these days.

[Ysabeau] The things I'd like to study aren't much use in the current political climate.

[Ysabeau] Plus trying to do guards' work for them.

[Hettie] Sounds pretty distracting

[Hettie] want a drink?

[Ysabeau] [q] I'm 90% certain that it was the Hush killed Dessa, for example.

[Ysabeau] Um, sure. Cider would be nice.

[Hettie] the... Hrm.

  • Ysabeau pulls out her purse to pick out the coins needed to pay for the drink.
  • Ysabeau looks glum.
  • Hettie slips behind the bar and pours a cider
  • Hettie pours one for herself

[Ysabeau] Yeah, exactly. What can I do for her in the face of *that*?

  • Hettie shaker her head at you when she sees you puling your purse

[Hettie] Your practically family, dear.

[Ysabeau] Hettie, you just said a little earlier that business is pretty grim...

[Hettie] not *that* grim.

  • Hettie smiles stubbornly
  • Hettie brings the drinks back over to an empty table

[Ysabeau] If you're sure about it...

[Hettie] I am.

  • Ysabeau doesn't wish to insult her or anything.

[Hettie] pull up a chair, tell me what all brings you round to these parts

[Ysabeau] Well...

  • Ysabeau looks a little embarrassed.
  • Hettie raises her eybrows, and her drink

[Hettie] come now

[Ysabeau] You're the only woman I know who I could ask this sort of thing and maybe hope to get an answer...

[Ysabeau] I was just wondering if you ever had to break up with anyone?

[Hettie] Did I...

  • Hettie churckles

[Hettie] Well I didn't raise Garlan on my own for the fun of it

  • Hettie chuckles again, then sighs

[Hettie] Aye, I've left a man or two ¬_¬

[Ysabeau] How do you do it? I mean, especially if you still have very strong feelings for them...?

[Hettie] Things not working out for you so well these days?

[Hettie] Best to be straight about it. Don't leave any room for questions.

[Ysabeau] How straight about it?

[Ysabeau] I'm so scared that she'll hate me...

[Hettie] that's a risk

[Hettie] Sme folks don't like being left

[Hettie] they can't handle it - make up all sorts of stories about how you were horrible, even if you weren't.

[Ysabeau] She did tell me, a few months ago, that she expects I'll leave her someday...

[Hettie] If you're lucky, they keep 'em to themselves and their friends.

[Ysabeau] I didn't believe her at the time.

[Hettie] well if she's expecting it, might be easier

[Hettie] and since I take it she didn't want what you had gettign about, she'll likley keep quiet too.

[Hettie] are you goign to see her much?

[Hettie] after, I mean.

[Ysabeau] Afterwards?

[Ysabeau] I suppose that's up to her.

  • Ysabeau looks glum.

[Ysabeau] I'd like to. If I could have my way, I'd love them both. But that is probably selfish of me.

  • Hettie sighs

[Hettie] Lovers don't like to share, mostly.

[Ysabeau] I guess so. She was pretty clear about that with me, early on, anyway... she wouldn't tolerate me fooling around with anyone else.

[Ysabeau] I guess I can understand it if there's children to be made...

  • Hettie raises her eyebrows

[Hettie] Not with you and her there aren't, unless they teach you some really neat tricks at that magic school

  • Ysabeau laughs.

[Ysabeau] Yes, that's not what I meant.

[Ysabeau] I meant I understand keeping someone to yourself if there are children to be made, but not really otherwise.

[Hettie] ahh, right

[Hettie] some folks are just possessive.

[Hettie] so why *are* you leaving her?

[Ysabeau] There's a young man...

[Ysabeau] He knows what I was and he still likes me in spite of it.

[Hettie] right

[Ysabeau] I can see him more often, we can go more places together...

[Ysabeau] You know, parties and things. We don't have to pretend we're not together when we're in public.

[Ysabeau] Before my parents died, there were two things I wanted to be in life: a famous musician, and married.

[Ysabeau] I don't know for sure if things will work out that way... but I figure if I give up on my dreams, what's left to me?

[Hettie] well

[Hettie] dreams are one thing - what actually makes you happy in the end can be quite another.

[Hettie] but its worth goin' after - as long as you're looking after yourself

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Hettie] Are you sure of this man?

[Ysabeau] Sure in what way?

[Hettie] sure its *you* he wants, and not just what he can get from you

  • Hettie says with a knowing look
  • Ysabeau thinks about your question.

[Ysabeau] Well... he's a young man, and he definitely wants that. But I think he likes me for other reasons, too. Good ones.

[Hettie] You think?

[Hettie] Young men often don't know what they want.

[Hettie] They're easily confused.

  • Hettie snorts, thnking of her son.

[Ysabeau] We talk a lot. We're friends...

[Ysabeau] He wants to keep me safe. He worries about me.

[Ysabeau] He does what he can to comfort me when I'm down...

[Ysabeau] That's all good, isn't it?

[Hettie] That does sound pretty good.

  • Ysabeau looks relieved.

[Hettie] Well

[Hettie] I guess he's enough to make you want to leave what security you got

[Hettie] if things don't work out are you gonna be alright?

[Hettie] I don't wanna see you back in here for anything more than a visit.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] We've been getting steady gigs since the Imperial Ball... Murienne and I will have to move out of the house we're in, though.

[Ysabeau] I already spoke with Muri about that.

[Ysabeau] We'd be looking at a two-bedroom apartment somewhere, instead of an entire house.

[Ysabeau] But we can do it.

[Ysabeau] She says she might not be home very much anyway, with her schooling.

[Ysabeau] All the same, I feel badly for uprooting her again.

[Ysabeau] And I am pretty scared of changing everything again...

[Ysabeau] And if things don't work out, of being alone.

[Ysabeau] Still I won't know what will happen if I don't try, right?

[Ysabeau] And I think I'll actually feel a little better to be completely independent, financially.

[Ysabeau] You know, like I can really hold my head up and be proud.

[Hettie] that's a good thing

[Hettie] man or no man

[Hettie] You've earned your pride, I think - done well for yourself

[Ysabeau] Thanks...

[Ysabeau] I don't think I'll feel truly proud until I've seen that Muri will be okay, though.

[Hettie] what's this schooling you're talking about for her?

[Hettie] did you get her in somewhere?

[Ysabeau] She's thinking of joining the priesthood.

[Hettie] oh?

[Hettie] Well, I can see that.

  • Hettie muses

[Ysabeau] I took her to meet Sister de Beziers so she could ask the questions she had.

[Ysabeau] She seems keen to try it.

[Ysabeau] I hope she'll like it, and that she doesn't feel like she has to stick with it for my sake, if it doesn't turn out to be a good fit for her after all.

[Ysabeau] But you know, I doubt that will be a problem.

[Ysabeau] Anyway, if it is, maybe I'll have finished my time at the Castalia and she could go there, if she wanted.

[Hettie] yeah

[Ysabeau] If I'm able to continue making a living with my music, I could even stop going to school myself so that she could go.

[Ysabeau] I could always go back again later, once she is done, if I wanted.

[Hettie] You're a good sister, Ysabeau - I'm sure Muri wants to see you be happy for yourself.

  • Ysabeau shrugs.

[Ysabeau] I am trying, but it can really be a balancing act, I find!

[Hettie] I know how it goes

[Hettie] I wish you luck....

[Hettie] Muri's turned out pretty well though, so you must be doing something right

[Ysabeau] Thank you, Hettie.

  • Ysabeau looks a little embarrassed, but also pleased.

[Ysabeau] Have you heard from Garlan, lately? I worry about him...

[Hettie] So, to get back to your original question - what i said first stands.

[Hettie] be straight about it.

  • Hettie sighs

[Hettie] i don't know.

[Hettie] That Ninon girl has gone missing

[Hettie] and I'm not sure what's going on with the rest.

[Ysabeau] Oh no...

[Ysabeau] When did she go missing?

  • Ysabeau looks very concerned.

[Hettie] I don't know - few weeks ago, I reckon?

[Hettie] (I hope I'm not going to get in trouble with julie for this :V)

[Ysabeau] I hope the Hush didn't get her, too.

[Ysabeau] (why would you? Hettie would know, if anyone would, since her son runs with Ninon)

  • Ysabeau looks pensive.

[Hettie] he's got it in his head that he can keep things together, but I don't think its going well for him...

[Hettie] I wish he'd stay out of it, but it seems a little late for that now

[Hettie] I hope you're wrong about the Hush

  • Hettie sounds worried now

[Ysabeau] Hettie, would it help if I went and talked to him?

[Hettie] I don't know.... maybe?

[Ysabeau] I know how to get to the Bonemire.

  • Hettie shakes her head

[Hettie] he doesn't want to listen to any sense, it seems

[Hettie] You be careful around there.

[Ysabeau] I will.

[Hettie] ...You're not getting mixed up in this [q] Hush business...

[Hettie] Are you?

[Ysabeau] I've done it before... Dom might like to come, too. He came last time...

[Ysabeau] [q] Ummm... not really.

[Ysabeau] [q] When I found out that the guy who probably killed Dessa was with them, it rattled me. I don't want to get in trouble with the Hush.

[Ysabeau] [q] At the same time, I want to find out why she was such a threat to them that they had to do what they did.

[Ysabeau] [q] I need to understand why.

  • Ysabeau looks pained.
  • Hettie frowns in sympathy

[Hettie] that's trouble you don't need, honey

[Hettie] This is the Shambles, afterall - sometimes there aren't any answers.

  • Ysabeau nods sadly.
  • Ysabeau takes your hand and squeezes it reassuringly - maybe for her comfort as much as yours.

[Ysabeau] Thank you so much for talking to me, Hettie. I'll keep your advice in mind.

[Hettie] I hope its of some use :/

[Hettie] Good luck

[Hettie] I'll be here if you need to chat, no matter how it goes :)

  • Hettie squeezes back.

[Ysabeau] Thanks, Hettie.