Diablotin 2 session 31

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Session date:
Diablotin date:


[DiablotinNarrator] It is drawing near to the end of Tenth-month. The lines for bread and other foods are long, and it's difficult not to think: if it's this bad now, what will it be like by the time the middle of winter rolls around?

Alma and Danyel

[DiablotinNarrator] Alma, in addition to the troubles preoccupying you at home, you have been busy performing more funerals than usual at Nine Elms.

  • Alma wonders why that might be.

[DiablotinNarrator] You are just concluding the rites for a young woman, a mother of four who passed away suddenly, when you notice a new arrival at the entry of the church.

  • Alma has a heavy heart, but does her best to be strong and supportive for the family and children (.oO(;_;) )

[DiablotinNarrator] He is a young man, and you catch the glint of his blond hair in the sunlight from outside.

  • Man quickly takes a seat at the back and does not interrupt your ceremony.
  • Alma looks up briefly to make sure he's just observing and continues.

[DiablotinNarrator] When you complete the service and the grieving family have departed, he approaches you.

[DiablotinNarrator] You can see that he wears the sign of the Order of the Spoke.

[Alma] Good day, Spokesman :)

[Man] Sister Alma de Béziers?

[Alma] That is me.

[Man] My name is Ser Danyel Rackley, and I am in the service of Reverend Father Theron. His Eminence wishes to speak with you at your earliest convenience.

[DiablotinNarrator] The Rackleys are an important noble family in House Owl, you would know.

[Alma] (Theron is the RF of the Order of the Owl?)

[Alma] :o

[DiablotinNarrator] (correct)

[Alma] Certainly...!

[Alma] Do you know what this is concerning?

[Ser_Danyel] I'm afraid I don't, Sister.

[Ser_Danyel] Are you prepared to go now?

[Alma] Yes, I will have my aide free my afternoon...

[Alma] Did you ride here?

[Alma] We can take my carriage, or I can meet you... where?

[Alma] (nm, there's probably some OwlVatican)

[Ser_Danyel] I walked. Is that acceptable for you, or would you prefer to take a carriage?

[Alma] No, that would be fine, Ser Danyel.

  • Alma will go out and tell Marielle she must cancel any appointments, to tell Sagesse and Felise, etc.
  • Ser_Danyel will wait patiently until you're ready to go.
  • Ser_Danyel is rather handsome, you can't help but notice... ^-^
  • Alma will enjoy the walk with such an upstanding gentleman.

[Alma] (:P)

  • Ser_Danyel makes polite conversation on the walk.

[DiablotinNarrator] You are escorted through the streets of Rhenea, across the Bridge of Tears, to the Imperial Isle, where the members of the Council of Reverends meet and conduct their business.

[DiablotinNarrator] Your footsteps echo on the marble floor as you enter the head of your Order's chambers.

  • Alma brushes herself clean of any dust from the walk.
  • Reverend_Father Theron is a plain-featured man in his late sixties with wavy salt-and-pepper hair.
  • Reverend_Father is accompanied by an even older priest who seems to serve in the role of secretary, a portly priestess of middle years, and another Spokesman, this one tall and rather fat.

[Reverend_Father] Sister Alma, thank you for coming so promptly.

[Alma] It was no trouble, Your Eminence.

  • Alma bows as expected, if expected, etc.

[Reverend_Father] How is the young woman, Felise Lozada? Is she recovering well?

[Alma] I believe so, Reverend Father. I think it's a matter of time and making her feel safe again.

  • Reverend_Father nods.

[Reverend_Father] I'm glad to hear it.

[Alma] (I am assuming that Beatrix or I have passed on the cult info, in this case? I wasn't sure if Beatrix was going to do it herself or tell me how.)

[Reverend_Father] I am still concerned, however.

[DiablotinNarrator] (yes, we will assume it's been passed on as part of de-geasing Felise)

[Alma] (Cool)

[Reverend_Father] How much do you know about this cult that calls itself the Order of the Black Down?

[Alma] For Felise, or concerning her mother?

[Alma] (nm that.)

[Alma] Only that which Felise has told me.

  • Alma will repeat the more germane details.
  • Reverend_Father nods, listening.

[Reverend_Father] Initially, the Council believed them to be ... misguided, but essentially harmless.

[Reverend_Father] I, however, no longer believe this to be the case.

[Alma] If nothing else, Earric Boyne is a corrupting influence...

[Alma] I believe Felise's sister, Viviane... is in need of saving.

[Reverend_Father] I do not know the source of the corruption. It may be that it is wider-ranging than one individual.

  • Alma nods.

[Reverend_Father] Sister Alma, I know you have served well at Nine Elms. Brother Phineas has had nothing but praise for you.

[Alma] Thank you, Your Eminence.

[Reverend_Father] And your efforts to aid Mlle. Lozada also speak highly of you.

  • Alma nods modestly.

[Reverend_Father] I am going to bring down these heretics - demon-worshippers - and I believe you would be a strong asset in this fight. Will you help me?

[Alma] Of course, Your Eminence!

[Reverend_Father] I know you are busy with your duties, and I have no wish to take you from them.

[Reverend_Father] But you have regular contact with Felise Lozada, and that may be of assistance in learning more about this group's activities and intentions.

[Alma] I believe my duty is to protect the souls of the Empire, and trust in you to know where I may best direct myself.

[Reverend_Father] Good..

[Alma] What shall I do to begin?

[Reverend_Father] Do you feel you have learned everything you can from Mlle. Lozada herself?

[Reverend_Father] I understand her memory is ... shaky on certain matters.

[Alma] Yes, the time of her abduction seems to be blanked...

[Alma] I chose not to press Mlle. Lozada on particulars, so there is perhaps more information I could learn. I will speak with her again and see what else she might be able to tell us and let you know the results.

[Reverend_Father] Thank you.

[Reverend_Father] I will delegate Ser Danyel to assist you in any matters where you may require his skills.

[Alma] Thank you, Reverend Father.

  • Ser_Danyel looks mildly surprised.

[Reverend_Father] No, thank you, Sister Alma.

  • Alma withdraws respectfully, etc.?
  • Ser_Danyel will accompany you, since he's been told to.

[Ser_Danyel] I don't know how I'll be able to assist you, Sister, apart from protecting you from any dangers you may face. Is there anything you would have me do at present?

[Alma] So I will repor...

[Alma] Oh, no... you mean you're assigned to me in particular?

[Alma] I assumed I would be reporting to you.

[Ser_Danyel] I don't think that was what he meant...

  • Alma looks surprised herself.

[Ser_Danyel] I think I'm to run errands for you. Or do the dirty work, if any.

[Alma] Well, at present I can't think of anything. Perhaps it would be best if you came over for tea, we can discuss what it would be best to do, and you could meet Felise.

[Ser_Danyel] Of course, Sister.

  • Alma will walk with Ser Danyel to her home :]

Guillame and Aden

[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame, you have certain matters that you need to discuss with Aden.

[DiablotinNarrator] When you arrive at his house, Aden is apparently just preparing to depart - a cab is waiting outside.

  • Guillame waves to catch his attention
  • Aden_ is still inside, but checking his hair, cravat, etc. in the hall mirror.

[Aden_] Oh, Guy, glad to see you.

[Aden_] Do I look presentable?

[Guillame] Yes, very! Erm, might I assume that this is a bad time?

[Aden_] Well, I'm just on my way to the palace. But if you'd like to come with me for the ride, I could do with the moral support.

[Guillame] Certainly, if you'll have me along!

[Aden_] Of course :)

[Guillame] . o O (Where will I go from the palace? Ah well, I'll work something out.)

  • Aden_ will go and get into the waiting carriage.

[Guillame] I suppose you're going to discuss the treasurer position?

  • Aden_ nods.
  • Guillame follows

[Aden_] I'm going to accept the offer. I've thought it over, and I suspect that either way, I lose, but at least this way I might have some chance of helping people along the way.

[Guillame] Well, hopefully we're being paranoid about him putting you on a leash, but in any case, you could always quit.

[Guillame] Just...

[Aden_] Hm?

[Guillame] Just stick up for what you believe in.

  • Aden_ nods.

[Aden_] If I refuse, then it looks like I don't want to work within the system to try and make things better - which is what I've always said I want. I lose face with the Levellers, with the public... The government can paint me as a radical.

[Guillame] . o O (I'll tell him to watch his back maybe on a day he won't already be nervous.)

[Guillame] You're right, of course. You have to give him a chance.

  • Aden_ nods.

[Aden_] By choosing this path, I hope that I can do some good, at least, even if Marl can then point to my presence on the Inner Council as evidence that he's listening to the concerns of the people, and ignore everything I say.

[Aden_] But it will mean that I'm effectively cut off from the Levellers' meetings.

[Guillame] And if he does, then you can rail against him a bit and then quit.

  • Guillame nods and sighs.
  • Aden_ has a hint of a smile at that.

[Aden_] I'll need you, as much as you are able, to be my eyes and ears - and my voice - within the Levellers. Can you do that for me?

[Guillame] I can - at least, I can so long as they accept it from me. But I still don't know my full position on everything, so I'd be a relay, mostly.

  • Aden_ nods.

[Aden_] I'm sorry, I never asked - did you have something you had to talk to me about, or were you just coming by for a social call? :)

[Guillame] Well, a bit of both. I went to meet with Portia, and the whole proposal seemed pretty agreeable, but I can fill you in on all the details, and we can talk about any concerns we have, at some time when you're not off to accept a new job!

  • Guillame takes a breath.

[Aden_] Well, whenever you like! I'm curious to hear how it went.

[Guillame] Of course, but today is really about you, methinks.

  • Aden_ takes your hand.

[Aden_] All right.

[Aden_] I wanted to let you know - I'll have rooms in the palace, but I'm going to keep my house as well. I expect I'll need the breathing space.

[Guillame] That sounds very nice! I hope... you ... have the time to use it!

  • Guillame winks
  • Aden_ grins.

[Aden_] I'll make time.

[Guillame] You'd better!

  • Aden_ pulls you over for a kiss, ignoring for the moment the fact that his hair might get messed up.
  • Guillame tries not to mess up his hair

[DiablotinNarrator] The carriage drives on... to destiny!

[DiablotinNarrator] (And will take you back to non-destiny when it drops Aden off ;)

[Guillame] (Huzzah!)

[Guillame] (Destiny is stressful)

Alma and Ramon

  • Alma will suggest to Felise that she invite Ramon over for dinner one evening, and will speak to him after Felise retires.
  • Ramon will be delighted to spend an evening with his sister, and is very grateful to Alma for looking after her.

[Alma] I'm just glad she's doing better.

[Ramon] As am I - I'm terrified that she could be so fully bewitched.

[Alma] It is quite a powerful enchantment, but one that is known, and breakable.

[Alma] Before you go, Ser Ramon, I wanted to ask you about M. Renaud.

  • Ramon nods, happy to take your word for it.

[Ramon] Altheo? Why?

[Ramon] I mean, what would you like to know?

[Alma] It was he who approached me to take care of Felise... he suggested it would be better not to let you or the Duke know, to protect against magical methods of information gathering...

[Alma] When your mother visited me, I sent someone to find him, but they were told he was away. I've received the same response for weeks.

[Alma] It seemed to me rather... irresponsible of him to leave without telling me, and the timing seemed more than coincidental. I admit I'm a little worried.

[Ramon] I haven't heard from him in a while recently, but that's not unusual... I hope he's well.

[Ramon] To be honest, I've been too busy worrying about Felise.

[Ramon] I can let you know if I have word of or from him?

[Alma] I understand... so was I... but it's been weeks and I've begun to worry I've been blind to another issue.

[Alma] Please do.

[Alma] I think they learned of Felise's whereabouts through our mistake, not through learning of M. Renaud, but I just... worry that perhaps...

  • Alma trails off, perhaps a little awkward at the idea of implying misdeeds of Ramon's mother.
  • Ramon doesn't seem to be thrown by it at all

[Ramon] Hang on, there was something. I think he's away on business... that's why I haven't heard from him.

[Alma] That's what we were told but... it just seems odd that he wouldn't let me know first.

[Ramon] Supposed to be gone for months, if I recall. I knew there was some reason I hadn't been too worried about him!

[Ramon] It's possible that something could have happened to him, but I think I'd have heard about it. He has people who expect contact from him...

[Alma] Well that's good.

[Alma] Even though I suppose it's a little vexing.

[Ramon] Hah!

  • Ramon blurts before he can stop himself

[Alma] Well...

  • Alma gestures dismissively.

[Alma] I'll take it up with him when he returns I suppose.

[Ramon] That's probably for the best

  • Ramon regains his composure

[Alma] .oO( $#$!#%! )

  • Alma will move on to other conversation until Ramon leaves.
  • Ramon will enjoy the conversation, and thank Alma for the meal and time with his sister.

Seth and Cornelia

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth, you are in your rooms at the palace when there is a knock on your door.

  • Seth goes to answer, hoping he is not too disheveled.
  • Cornelia Nash, the Warlord, is standing there with her hands clasped behind her back. She is a tall, handsome woman in her mid-sixties, with grey hair in a tight braid, and a pair of blue-tinted spectacles.

[Seth] Ah, good afternoon, Warlord. What an unexpected surprise.

[Cornelia] M. Argo. A word with you, if you please.

[Seth] Ahh ... certainly, please come in.

[Cornelia] I'd rather walk, if you'll accompany me.

[Seth] Of course, Warlord.

  • Cornelia strides off, then, evidently expecting you to follow.
  • Seth will walk beside her, perhaps half a step behind.

[Cornelia] How are you settling into life in the palace?

[Seth] Quite well, thank you. Although I freely admit that I shall feel much more relaxed once Prince-Imperial Menard is married.

  • Cornelia nods.

[Cornelia] Not finding it too difficult, then?

[Seth] No, I should think not. The work is quite invigorating at times.

[Cornelia] How so?

[Seth] One has the opportunity to interact with the most remarkable people.

[Cornelia] That is certainly true.

[Cornelia] And how is your aunt?

[Seth] Quite well, thank you.

[Cornelia] Glad to hear it.

  • Cornelia walks you into the core of the palace as you converse. By the stonework, you can tell that this is surely one of the oldest sections of the complex.

[Cornelia] I understand you made an excursion to the Plane of Shadow not too long ago. How did that go?

[Seth] It was most extraordinary. It is quite remarkable that this portal had been lying unused for generations, right in the midst of the city.

[Seth] (how old is this section?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (want to roll? :)

[DiablotinNarrator] (I got a 19 for you...)

[Seth] (heh, cool)

[Seth] (19 + 14 = 33)

[DiablotinNarrator] (Probably 1500 years or so?)

[Cornelia] Indeed. I think we shall have to see about blocking it off - or at least, restricting access.

[Seth] One might look into purchasing the edifice.

[Cornelia] I already have.

[Seth] Ah, very good.

[Cornelia] Do you believe that it poses a security threat to leave it open, if we restrict access to it from this side?

[Seth] No, I don't believe so. The area beyond the portal is not populated in any meaningful way, in any case.

  • Cornelia nods.
  • Cornelia leads you down stairs and through corridors - it would be easy to become disoriented in this maze.
  • Cornelia seems to know her way around very well, though, particularly for someone who has only lived here a few months.

[Seth] I am certain that the Society will wish to make additional visits for research purposes, of course.

[Cornelia] What exactly is the nature of your research?

[Seth] My interests are in architectural history, and into the history of constructs.

[Cornelia] But how does this relate to the Plane of Shadow?

[Seth] In this case, there is a possibility that this portal was used in the past to transport one of the Great Constructs of the City.

[Seth] I produced a report to this effect recently.

[Cornelia] I see - I would be interested in reading a copy of that.

[Seth] I would be most pleased to have one sent to your attention forthwith.

[Cornelia] Thank you.

[DiablotinNarrator] Passing along this corridor, you go by a number of closed doors. It doesn't appear that this part of the palace is visited very often, judging by the dust.

  • Cornelia stops at a section of wall that you can tell at a glance is of much newer construction than its surroundings.

[Seth] Hmm, this is a very curious part of the palace, Warlord. What can you tell me about it?

[Cornelia] Well, I understand you are quite knowledgeable about architecture. Tell me, what do you imagine lies on the other side of this wall?

[Seth] (can I speculate?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (sure!)

[DiablotinNarrator] (It looks like a bricked-up doorway to you.)

[Seth] I couldn't say anything with certainty, based on the architecture ... but the tenor of our discussion so far leads me to wonder whether there is a portal to the Shadow Plane beyond.

[Cornelia] Hm, interesting theory.

[Cornelia] In fact, nothing is behind it - now.

[Cornelia] But fifty years ago, the Arch was just through here. Hundreds upon hundreds of candidates waited in those rooms we passed until it was time for them to be put to the test... to learn if they had what it takes to be a ruler.

[Seth] Really ...! Most fascinating.

  • Cornelia nods.
  • Cornelia runs her hand over the cruder stonework of the wall almost... affectionately?

[Cornelia] Is it truly better this way, do you think?

[Seth] It is not my place to offer such thoughts, Warlord. My opinion does not much matter.

[Cornelia] I'm asking, though.

[Seth] It seems to me, Warlord, that some risk discourages the utterly unqualified or avaricious from seeking the crown. A test of some sort seems judicious.

[Cornelia] ...Yes.

[Cornelia] I think we are in agreement on this matter.

[Seth] If it were me, fifty years ago, making the decision, I believe I would not have told the public that things had changed.

  • Cornelia barks a quick laugh.

[Seth] To maintain the appearance that the test had ... real force.

[Cornelia] The public aren't blind - they could tell the Arch had been moved.

[Seth] Of course - but that does not mean it had lost all its force: both real and symbolic.

[Cornelia] Too late to go back and change that now, though.

[Seth] Yes, quite.

[Cornelia] But that doesn't mean that nothing can be done....

[Seth] How so, Warlord?

[Cornelia] We shall see, M. Argo.

  • Cornelia pats the wall again and turns to leave.

[DiablotinNarrator] (spot check, Seth)

[DiablotinNarrator] (or rather, what's your spot? :)

[Seth] (14)

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok)

[Seth] Is this to become a habit, Warlord? You showing me architectural oddities?

[Cornelia] Would you enjoy that?

[Seth] I would, of course; I would enjoy even greater any insight you could give as to the purpose of such visits.

  • Cornelia nods, looking over at you.

[DiablotinNarrator] In the dimly-lit corridor, you can see something that had eluded you before. The Warlord's glasses aren't actually tinted - rather, her eyes are faintly glowing blue.

[Seth] I would be glad to be of service in any way I can, but I admit that I have an academician's curiosity.

[Cornelia] If we're in agreement that a restored Arch would serve the Empire, then I think we will have a great deal to discuss in future, M. Argo.

  • Seth tries to keep composed.

[Seth] I believe that we would, indeed.

[Cornelia] For instance - it was originally ... built? constructed? by inhabitants of the Plane of Shadow. Your research in that area could be quite beneficial.

[Seth] Certainly any information that comes to light regarding the origins of the Arch would be invaluable to the Society and to the Empire.

[Seth] Did you know, for instance, that the arch is not an obvious or a simple feature at all? That some societies have enormously complex architecture but lack arch technology?

[Cornelia] Fascinating.

[Seth] It may be that not only *the* Arch, but all Diablotin's arches, are ultimately of Shadar-kai origin.

[Cornelia] Hm.

[Cornelia] You would be well-compensated for ensuring that any relevant information that you find in your research comes immediately to me.

[Seth] I understand, Warlord. Certainly I will ensure that you are kept apprised.

[Cornelia] I appreciate that.

[Cornelia] Good day, M. Argo. I trust you can find your own way out.

[Seth] Of course.

Seth and Ilphere

  • Seth will send Ilphere a note asking her to visit him in his chambers at her earliest convenience.
  • Ilphere will come by but will have Dominik accompany her to avoid the impression of impropriety!

[Ilphere] (he can be waiting somewhere)

[Seth] Ah, hello, Ilphere! Thank you for coming so promptly. And I apologize for the note, but I wanted to speak to you in surroundings that I do not believe are being regularly observed by ... others.

  • Dominik will lounge outside the door of the meeting, assuring privacy (and listening in)

[Ilphere] Oh, I understand...~

[Ilphere] !

[Ilphere] Has something happened...?

[Seth] No ... not yet.

[Seth] How well do you know the Warlord, Cornelia Nash?

[Ilphere] (K nobles )

[Ilphere] (ah crap sec my charsheet isn't open

[DiablotinNarrator] (I roll you a 4 - you know who she is, but she's not a noble, so you don't know much about her apart from her job)

[Ilphere] Not particularly...

[Ilphere] Why...?

[Seth] I was speaking to her today, and I noticed that she always has a pair of remarkable spectacles, blue-tinted.

  • Ilphere nods...

[Seth] I was wondering about them, and whether they might be magical or of some import.

[Seth] And I know you have goggles that you often wear, also.

  • Ilphere nods again.

[Ilphere] (Can I think of any magic item that would fit that description?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (there are various other goggles that enable the wearer to see in the dark, for instance, but you're not certain)

[Ilphere] Well... there are certain similar items that grant darkvision... but I cannot think why she would wear them all the time.

[Seth] Yes, that would be odd.

[Seth] At least nominally, you know, she is the head of the ... Companions of Silence.

[Ilphere] (The hush?)

[Seth] (yup)

[Ilphere] The Hush....?

[Ilphere] Yes.

[Ilphere] What are you getting at...?

[Seth] I don't know, not really. She is a most curious individual. And given your ... well, your membership, or former membership, or whatever it is, in the Black Down cult, well, I'm not sure where I'm going.

[Ilphere] I don't attend meetings that require, ah, participation...

[Ilphere] But I hope to still have access to observe their other activities, yes...!

[Seth] Have there been any changes in their recent activities?

[Ilphere] Not that I am aware of... Sanadhil did not see anything out of the ordinary at their last meeting.

[Ilphere] So nothing extremely recent.

[Seth] Is his involvement more ... participatory, then?

[Ilphere] Yes... He does not have the same ... responsibilities I do.

[Ilphere] I suppose some would say he is less inhibited.

[Seth] Ah, yes, of course.

[Seth] How fully do you trust him?

[Ilphere] M. Orecalo?

[Seth] Yes.

[Ilphere] Quite profoundly...

[Ilphere] We are good friends...!

  • Seth nods.

[Seth] All right.

[Seth] Ilphere, I do not believe there is any immediate cause for concern on your part, apart from those you may already know about. But between the Shadow Plane matters and the Black Down cult, there are matters afoot in which we are both entangled.

[Seth] And I would not want any harm to come to you.

[Seth] Menard ... would not forgive me.

[Ilphere] I am not sure the two are not connected.

[Ilphere] I do not need coddling, Seth...!

[Seth] No indeed, and I apologize if my tone or words have given you reason to think otherwise, Ilphere.

[Ilphere] It is Menard whom I worry about... :/

[Seth] I think we must jointly agree that there are some things about which Menard must be left in the dark, if only to protect him.

  • Ilphere nods... :/

[Ilphere] In some ways, he is so innocent...

[Seth] Including this conversation.

[Ilphere] If you wish...

  • Ilphere isn't sure we've even really discussed anything..]!

[Seth] I think, so close to the wedding, it is best that Menard be allowed some small piece of mind.

[Ilphere] (can't he have a whole one? :V)

[Seth] (heh)

[Seth] I'm just glad I have you to speak about such sensitive matters.

[Ilphere] I am glad to be of any assistance I can...!

[Seth] Oh, there was one small thing else.

[Ilphere] Oh...?

[Seth] I have been doing readings in ancient history, more generally than my specialty in architecture.

[Seth] Have you ever heard of an entity, generally human in appearance, with glowing blue eyes?

[Ilphere] (what would I roll for that, and can I reasonably put together that he means the warlord?)

[Ilphere] (I do have the big fat INTs)

[DiablotinNarrator] (well, he did mention the blue-tinted glasses - it seems a reasonable leap of logic)

[Seth] (well, I am not exactly well endowed in the Bluff department either ;)

[Ilphere] (so what do I roll for the creature? planes? Arcana?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (um... arcana, I guess?)

[Ilphere] (23)

[DiablotinNarrator] (I can't think of any creature that has eyes like that, so... no?)

[Ilphere] I cannot...

[Seth] If you should learn anything, would you be so kind as to draw it to my attention?

  • Ilphere nods...

[Ilphere] Most curious...

[Seth] Indeed.

[Ilphere] Could it perhaps be a spell effect...?

  • Ilphere thinks out loud.

[Seth] It could be; I don't have the expertise.

[Ilphere] (only a 19 on spellcraft)

[Ilphere] Well, I shall see what I can find out...!

[Seth] Thank you, Ilphere.

[Ilphere] You are quite welcome...!

[Seth] Ah yes ... and, here are some papers for you to look over - wedding matters, you see.

  • Seth hands you a random stack of papers that he easily could have had delivered to you.

[Ilphere] Oh, so much fuss...!

  • Ilphere sighs.

[Seth] I'm afraid so.

[Seth] Thank you for stopping by, Ilphere. :)

[Ilphere] I shall return these as soon as I can...!

[Seth] Of course. Thank you.

  • Ilphere will take her leave, then.

Seth and Dominik

  • Dominik will grab Seth's attention at the Society.

[Seth] Ah, hello, M. Rademacher.

[Dominik] Dominik is fine. We've fought for our lives together, no need to be formal.

[Dominik] Is that alright Seth?

[Seth] Of course, yes, fine.

[Seth] What can I do for you?

[Dominik] To be honest I feel a little awkward talking to you about this...

[Dominik] Like I said, we've fought monsters together, but we haven't really even had as much as a drink together, except at huge parties

[Seth] Is Ilphere all right? :o

[Dominik] relax... its nothing about Ilphere.

[Dominik] Do you have time to get a drink?

[Seth] Uhh ... sure.

  • Dominik will drag Seth to the tavern across from the Society.

[Dominik] Here's to our health.

[Seth] Cheers!

[Dominik] Do you have any brothers or sisters Seth?

[Seth] Yes, two older sisters.

[Seth] Why, are you looking to marry one? ;)

[Dominik] A family... how interesting they can be.

  • Dominik takes a deep drink

[Seth] Euberthe isn't fetching, but she's passable.

[Dominik] No... no... I just bring it up so to help you understand where I'm coming from.

[Dominik] You see I have a sister... and ambitious sister, who is a constant thorn in my side.

[Seth] Ah, I see ...

[Dominik] Help me with this Dom... blah blah blah.

[Dominik] She has her eye on a particular prize these days.

[Dominik] Its the same prize she's had her eye on for months.

[Seth] Oh?

[Dominik] The biggest prize there is right now.

[Seth] Oh my ...!

[Seth] How ... vexing.

[Dominik] Mind you all she see's is prestige and station... probably power too, but its not like she would know what to do with it if she had it.

[Seth] So your sister is ... an idiot?

[Dominik] Not an idiot, but more ambitious than she should be.

[Seth] She doesn't recognize how dangerous it would be to even appear to be seeking an imperial marriage?

[Dominik] I'm sure she is aware of some of the risks.

[Dominik] To be honest, im mostly going through the motions on this, so I don't have to outright lie to her.

[Seth] What do you mean by 'this'?

[Dominik] Yanina is the target of her vexation right now.

[Seth] Oh dear.

[Dominik] I barely even know anything about her... she went to Castalia, and thats about it.

[Dominik] I guess I was wondering if you've heard anything about her, being so close to the palace.

[Seth] (have I heard anything?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (about Yanina?)

[Seth] (yeah)

[DiablotinNarrator] (I don't know! I can't keep track of what you guys know and don't know ;)

[Seth] I don't believe I know anything in particular.

[Dominik] it was worth a shot

  • Dominik takes another drink

[Seth] Are you helping your sister then?

[Dominik] its easier for me if I keep the appearance of helping her than if I don't.

[Dominik] I really don't care how she does, one way or the other, but it doesn't take a fool to know that if she does manage, somehow, to pull it off, it would be better for me.

[Seth] Does Ilphere know anything about her? They are both noblewomen of House Wolf, around the same age ... or then again, I suppose your sister is as well.

[Dominik] I was trying to avoid Ilphere on this whole situation if I could, but that doesnt seem to be an option.

[Seth] Understandable.

[Seth] Well, I will keep an ear open, and perhaps what I could do is when I speak to Ilphere next, I will ask her about Yanina.

[Dominik] I shouldnt be so worried. Its not like Zivia is very subtle in her desires in this situation.

[Seth] Has your family had a lot of connections to the Kizers in the past?

[Dominik] She's personally made a few connections with the Kizers in the past... amongst other families.

[Seth] I see ... Well, perhaps she does know what she's doing. As, I imagine, does Marl. The Emperor is surely not ignorant of your sister's intentions, which suggests that he has good reason to choose Yanina over her.

[Dominik] All this politicing and plotting is starting to frustrate me... I could use something to swing my sword at soon.

[Seth] I was rather hoping for some peace and quiet until the weddings are done.

[Dominik] you weild a blade well... don't you itch to try your skills from time to time?

[Seth] Yes, of course.

[Seth] I don't have much opportunity.

[Dominik] we should spar sometime... it'ld be good practice

[Seth] Sure - I'd enjoy that!

Sanadhil and Nycaise

[DiablotinNarrator] Sanadhil, you wished to speak with Nycaise concerning the Shadow Plane. You can arrange to meet with her at the Society's hall.

  • Nycaise 's head is bowed over her books when you arrive.

[Sanadhil] Good Afternoon, Mlle L'Averti.

[Nycaise] Ah, good afternoon M. Orecalo.

[Sanadhil] How are yo today?

[Sanadhil] reading anything interesting?

[Nycaise] An account of certain artifacts that I suspect may ultimately be of Shadow Plane origin.

[Sanadhil] oh?

[Nycaise] Nothing magical - merely mundane items.

  • Nycaise shuts her book.
  • Sanadhil nods

[Nycaise] I've been thinking about what we discussed last time, and I've made some preliminary inquiries with my contacts there, and so - I'd like to organize another excursion to the Shadow Plane.

[Sanadhil] That's excellent - it is just what was hoping to talk to you about.

[Nycaise] I don't want to step on anyone's toes - if you wish to be the official organizer, that's fine - but since we share this interest, I believe we should work together as much as possible.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] of course

[Sanadhil] what did you have in mind?

[Nycaise] I am willing to take you - and Mlle. de Quessenet, M. Argo, and whoever else you choose - to speak with my primary contact in the plane...

[Nycaise] ... in exchange, I wish to accompany you to Sarasagel the next time you go there, and I wish to see the spire you spoke of.

[Sanadhil] Of course.

[Nycaise] Good.

[Sanadhil] Now that we have abetter idea what is there, we can plan a more focused research agenda, as well.

  • Nycaise nods.

[Sanadhil] May I ask who your contact is?

[Nycaise] I would prefer to explain it to all of you together, once the excursion has been organized, if that is acceptable. He is a scholar, with shared interests.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Very well.

[Sanadhil] what would the meeting itself entail?

[Nycaise] I'm not certain, precisely. I would arrange an appropriate time and place with him, but the contents of the meeting could be dictacted by you, if you have particular questions.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I have to say, I would be most interested to return to the library there if at all possible.

[Nycaise] I'm sure you would!

  • Sanadhil smiles

[Sanadhil] Would that be at all possible?

[Nycaise] I will see what might be arranged.

[Nycaise] But it did take some time before I was granted permission to visit there, and, as I said, there are some sections I'm still not permitted to enter.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] was that arranged through your contact as well?

[Nycaise] Yes, it was.

[Sanadhil] Well, I suppose I shall have to be patient then.

[Nycaise] It may well be that once he meets you, his concerns will be assuaged.

[Nycaise] But I can't say for certain.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] well any advice you could give on how to appear reassuring would certainly be appreciated as well.

[Nycaise] Hm... I'll give it some thought.

[Nycaise] Dress in grey, black, or white?

  • Sanadhil nods

[Nycaise] They can visually perceive colour, but find it disconcerting.

[Sanadhil] I had guessed that much, but I'll reinforce it to the others.

[Nycaise] Beyond that, simple politeness will go a long way.

[Sanadhil] Well I hope I can manage that :)

[Nycaise] I'm sure you can :)

[Sanadhil] I'll speak to Mlle de Quessenet and M. Argo then, and let you know our plans.

[Nycaise] Very well. I'll look forward to hearing from you again soon.

  • Sanadhil nods. "Good afternoon, then. Thank you."
  • Nycaise bids you farewell.

Sanadhil, Seth and Ilphere

  • Sanadhil will arrange to meet with Ilphere and Seth at the society to talk about SP stuff
  • Sanadhil will just be reading in the library until one of you shows up
  • Seth will arrive, looking very harried and unkempt.
  • Sanadhil looks the opposite ;p
  • Ilphere bustles in with an excited air...!
  • Sanadhil looks up and closes the book he was reading

[Sanadhil] Good morning

[Sanadhil] Ilphère, M. Argo...

[Ilphere] Good morning...!

  • Ilphere chirps, as her familiar flutters up to perch on a doorframe.

[Sanadhil] Perhaps we shulsd adjourn to one of the private rooms

[Seth] Good morning, M. Orecalo! And what a pleasant surprise to see you here, Ilphere.

[Seth] Certainly.

[Ilphere] Yes, I think so...!

  • Sanadhil nods and will pick one not currently in use, then
  • Sanadhil waits for people to get somewhat settled.
  • Ilphere seats herself comfortably in one of the chairs...

[Seth] I've always liked this room. Very comfortable.

  • Seth sits also.

[Sanadhil] . o ( How odd. They're all pretty much the same o_O )

  • Ilphere clears her throat...!

[Sanadhil] Indeed.

  • Sanadhil glances at her
  • Sanadhil raises his eyebrows very slightly and SMs ;o

[Ilphere] (my feeble bluff gets me a 16)

[Sanadhil] (nat 20, 31 total, i know what you are thinking about you tart ;p)

[Ilphere] (yes it would seem so!)

[Sanadhil] Well.

  • Sanadhil glances at Seth and sms him too then :V

[Sanadhil] (less good, only 14 -_-)

[Sanadhil] . o ( cute :p )

[Seth] So, ah, what is the purpose of our meeting today?

  • Sanadhil clears his throat slightly

[Sanadhil] I have been speaking to Mlle. L'Averti about progressing in our investigations of the shadow plane.

[Ilphere] Oh..!

[Ilphere] What did she say...?

[Sanadhil] She has put forward an offer.

  • Sanadhil looks to Seth

[Ilphere] An offer...?

[Sanadhil] She is more engages with the modern Shadar Kai, and has contacts among them

  • Sanadhil explains
  • Ilphere prompts, leaning forward in her seat.

[Seth] I see ...

[Sanadhil] Ilphère and I had hoped to meet with some of their scholars, to see if they coudl offer some information about the abandoned city.

[Sanadhil] She is willing to introduce us to one of her contacts there, if, when we plan our next expedition to sarasagel, we agree to take her there, to the spire.

[Ilphere] That is quite agreeable to me...!

[Sanadhil] I thought it might be

  • Sanadhil smiles

[Seth] Yes, I think that could be arranged. One small difficulty might be that we may need to get in touch with the new owners of the portal.

[Sanadhil] oh?

[Ilphere] It was in an alley...!

[Seth] Yes ... apparently the Warlord has purchased that area, presumably on behalf of the Emperor.

[Sanadhil] because of the portal?

[Seth] Yes.

[Sanadhil] hmm

[Ilphere] Is it guarded now...?

[Seth] My understanding is that some sort of precautions are being taken, although their nature is as yet unclear to me.

[Sanadhil] That shouldn't be too difficult to determine.

[Sanadhil] How did you learn of this?

  • Sanadhil asks curiously

[Seth] The Warlord was speaking to me a short while ago, and asked me about our first trip. The subject of precautions arose quite naturally.

[Ilphere] The Warlord, hm.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Did she seem adverse to further scientific exporation?

[Seth] No, not at all, although I do think she wants to be sure it is done well. I am certain that we could make the case that we (and Mlle l'Averti) are the only ones well qualified to do the job.

[Seth] We are not hobbyists, after all.

[Sanadhil] Indeed.

  • Sanadhil smirks slightly
  • Ilphere smiles as well...

[Ilphere] How soon can we go...?

[Sanadhil] It is up to us to get organized - to figure out what other research we wish to conduct and so forth

[Sanadhil] and decide who else if anyone, we wish to invite.

[Ilphere] Well... M. Rionet expressed interest in returning.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ilphere] The others, I am not so sure...!

[Seth] M. Rademacher, though, surely?

[Seth] He is quite a swordsman.

[Ilphere] I supose it cannot be avoided.

[Ilphere] He was not very helpful last time.

  • Ilphere frowns.

[Seth] Well, from a pragmatic perspective, his presence will help appease your new in-laws.

[Ilphere] How so...?

[Ilphere] I doubt that Marl truly cares whether I am protected...

[Sanadhil] he probably needs it to look as though he cares

[Seth] I know that Marl is crass, but he is not an idiot.

[Ilphere] Well, perhaps...

  • Ilphere sighs.

[Ilphere] I think we can agree, at least, that it might be best not to include Sister de Beziers...

[Ilphere] If it is possible.

[Seth] Well ... well, that is an issue.

[Sanadhil] She may not have time, in any case

[Ilphere] I find her anti-intellectual attitude both counterprductive and offensive...!

[Seth] Certainly if we have need of healing, we need *some* Brother or Sister with our group.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] it might be possible to stock up on potions and scrolls in advance, but a more qualified healer would be a boon, just in case.

  • Ilphere nods...

[Sanadhil] Anyone from the church may possess similar reservations, however

[Seth] I would say there is a different problem.

[Sanadhil] oh?

[Ilphere] What is that...?

[Ilphere] (brb bio)

[Seth] We made some great concern about the Society being best equipped to deal with these problems, not outsiders. For us to then exclude the good Countess and to seek help from a priest outside the Society's ranks would be hypocritical.

[Sanadhil] true, though there are other members of the clergy in the society.

[Ilphere] Are there no other priests within our numbers?

[Seth] Three others, I believe.

[Seth] But all of more advanced years.

[Ilphere] How advanced? :/

[Seth] Jacona Gallion is, what, perhaps in her forties?

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] and she is probably the youngest.

[Seth] Onec Girouard and Rachelle Beaumont are at least a dozen years older.

[Ilphere] That is not *so* old...

[Sanadhil] As i said - it is entirely possible that even if she wanted to, the Countess would not have the time to accompany us.

[Ilphere] Well, we shall see...

[Seth] Well, perhaps we should ask both, and see if they would be available.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ilphere] I suppose so...!

[Sanadhil] if not, we can supplement our supplies with extra scrolls and potions, or find a suitable replacement.

[Sanadhil] as for the group to meet Mlle L'Averti's contact, that, I think, we shoudl keep considerably smaller.

[Ilphere] Yes.

  • Ilphere says firmly.

[Seth] Agreed.

[Seth] Perhaps just the three of us then?

[Ilphere] I think that might be best.

[Sanadhil] Indeed.

[Sanadhil] is there anything further to discuss at the moment?

[Ilphere] I have some news about the Order's search for the One.

[Sanadhil] oh?

[Ilphere] I spoke to Yanina recently...

  • Sanadhil glances at Seth

[Seth] Ah ... and?

[Ilphere] She has uncovered some information that may lead them closer to their goal.

  • Ilphere looks to Sanadhil

[Sanadhil] what is it?

[Ilphere] (SM 23, are yu mentally going 'nooo nooo not in front of Seth'?

  • Sanadhil is giving more of a *why* in front of seth

[Ilphere] (because he's at the palace!)

[Ilphere] Apparently she has seen a tract written by Kalman vakAndras about the moving of the Arch.

[Sanadhil] (well that they are looking for someone is'nt a surprise, it is moe of the yanina thing that has me a bit :o)

[Ilphere] It makes reference to a young girl, a 'keeper' of the Arch.

[Sanadhil] I see...

[Sanadhil] have you seen it?

[Seth] Where is it?

[Ilphere] At the Palace... She is going to show it to me...!

[Ilphere] The cult - or at least Yanina - now believes she is who they seek.

[Ilphere] She was only 10 or twelve years old... She could very well be alive today and would only be in her early sixties.

[Seth] Oh.

[Sanadhil] do you know if she has shared the information?

[Ilphere] I do not...

[Ilphere] It is possible she has not though... she seemed to have lost some confidence in Phedre

[Ilphere] I am hoping there will be some description in there that might narrow down a search...

[Sanadhil] Do you tihk you could convince her to keep it as a confidence between the two of you?

[Ilphere] I could certainly try.

[Sanadhil] for now at least?

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ilphere] She is quite strangely ... familiar with me...!

[Seth] That might be wisest, yes.

[Ilphere] So with this information, can you think of anyone who might fit the description, Seth...?

[Ilphere] At least in terms of age.

[Ilphere] . o O ( someone with strange glowing eyes perhaps...!? )

[Seth] Many, certainly. I would have to give it some more thought.

[Ilphere] Ah, indeed...

[Sanadhil] (19 sm :p)

[Ilphere] (on who?)

[Sanadhil] (seth)

[Seth] (yeah, he's thinking of someone definite, for sure)

[Sanadhil] I see.

[Sanadhil] Well, be sure to let us know of someone comes to mind.

[Ilphere] It's the Warlord.

[Sanadhil] oh?

[Seth] I ... well, it could be her, yes.

[Ilphere] Shall we dispense with the games...

[Ilphere] I do not know why you are witholding information, M. Argo but it is very transparent...

  • Ilphere sighs

[Seth] I am concerned for all of our lives, that accusations are being made, and we don't have any direct evidence!

[Ilphere] Her eyes... you were trying not to tell me about them the other day, I believe...?

[Ilphere] No one is making any *public* accusations... but it bears very close watching...!

[Sanadhil] Please.

[Seth] It is true ... she wears blue-tinted glasses to conceal a blue glow in her eyes.

  • Sanadhil says, meaning 'yeah right, you're being petty and selfish, not grand and noble so get off your high horse you're not fooling anyone.'

[Ilphere] It is a singular mark.

[Sanadhil] We still need to see the text to confirm it.

[Ilphere] Yes, I agree.

[Seth] It is highly unusual ... and I have other reasons to think it might be true.

[Sanadhil] What might they be.

[Seth] When speaking to me, the Warlord took me to see ... the place where the Arch used to reside, below the palace.

[Seth] It was then and there that I noted her eyes.

[Sanadhil] could it have been a spell?

  • Sanadhil k:arcanas

[Sanadhil] (although Julie is gone...)

[Seth] It could have been - I don't know anything about magic.

  • Ilphere thinks (arcanas also since it is a different day now)

[Sanadhil] (31. Unles ut is actually spellcraft, in which case, 32)

[Ilphere] (20 only)

[Sanadhil] (yeah, I'll ask later)

[Ilphere] (rolled a 4 :/)

[Ilphere] It would have to be a permanent spell if she needs to wear those glasses all the time to hide it...

[Seth] If it's a spell, it works against the theory that she is ... somehow special.

[Ilphere] If it is her, I hope we can do something before Yanina figures it out...!

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Arcane sight does cause a blue glow

[Sanadhil] ot ca be made permanent as well

[Sanadhil] (it can)

[Ilphere] Hm, so it does, now that you mention it...

  • Sanadhil will cast it

[Sanadhil] did it look like this?

  • Sanadhil 's eyes glow blue, also tell me your delicious magic thingies

[Ilphere] (I have a new magic necklace :D)

[Sanadhil] (tell me more :V)

[Ilphere] (amulet of nullification)

[Sanadhil] (shiny, although that is way noe than the spell woudl tell me)

[Ilphere] (plus my goggles of minute seeing)

[Seth] No, it wasn't that bright; more of a vaguely visible glow. You could miss it easily, with the glasses.

[Ilphere] (well be more specific then :p)

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ilphere] Still a mystery then...

[Sanadhil] then likley not the same.

[Sanadhil] Wht did she show you the arch chamber?

[Ilphere] (brb bio)

[Sanadhil] (why)

[Seth] She asked me a number of questions about our trip to the Shadow Plane.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Seth] It was a very private secluded area, no one likely to be there.

[Seth] And her point to me was to ask whether the alley should be bricked up, just as the Arch room has been.

[Sanadhil] (26 sm :p)

[Seth] (all true, but not the whole story)

[Sanadhil] And?

[Seth] And I thought it was highly unusual that she would choose me to speak to at all, and that the manner in which she did so ... well, it was odd.

[Sanadhil] Surely she had some other reason for making polints that could have been made more directly with equal discretion elsewhere?

[Sanadhil] (points)

[Seth] I'm sure she did. She is very enigmatic. The last time I spoke to her, before this, she pointed out to me a section of ceiling that had been repaired to avoid a collapse.

[Sanadhil] That she wished to bring the arch to mind for *some* reason is enough food for thought for the moment. If you should happen to make some further connection we would be so very gratified if you would chose to share it.

[Seth] Of course, M. Orecalo, I will oblige.

[Ilphere] Yes, quite...

  • Ilphere is disappointed.
  • Sanadhil says with perfect grace, and no sarcasm and a bluff of.... 33.

[Sanadhil] (SM 20 tells me.... no you won't?)

[Seth] (we shall see! SM does not tell the future!)

[Sanadhil] (well, that you don't intend to ;p)

[Sanadhil] I may have an opportunity to speak to the countess - I'll let you both know her opinion on the expedition.

  • Seth nods
  • Sanadhil stands

[Sanadhil] Good day, then.

[Seth] Thank you for all your assistance, M. Orecalo. I must now depart - my duties call. Ilphere, I'll see you soon.

[Ilphere] Good day, Seth...!

  • Seth departs.
  • Sanadhil nods after him,a dn then given him a deeply anoyed look when he isn't looking.
  • Sanadhil rubs his temples and gives Ilphere an apologetic look

[Sanadhil] I must be off as well, I'm afraid.

[Sanadhil] Take care.

  • Sanadhil will head out as well

Dominik and Theo

[DiablotinNarrator] Dominik, you are doing some of your 'hanging around outside the Jewel Box' when a carriage pulls up in front of you.

  • Theo leans out the window.

[Theo] Hop in.

  • Dominik shrugs and does so

[Theo] The boss wants to meet you. We don't go for swearing-in ceremonies and the like, so this is as close as you're going to get.

[DiablotinNarrator] There is another man in the carriage, maybe in his mid twenties or so, with complexion, hair, and build that are remarkably similar to Theo's - a caramel skin tone and frizzy blond hair, and a small, slender frame.

[Theo] Dom, meet Danian. Danian, Dom.

[Dominik] Hi Danian

  • Danian nods in your general direction. You notice that he has a significant scar under his left eye, running down his cheek almost as far as his mouth.

[Theo] Bastard. Not mine, obviously.

  • Theo says by way of explanation.

[Theo] He's a half-nephew or something like that. Looks more like family than any of my legitimate nieces and nephews, though. Funny how that works out sometimes, eh?

[Dominik] Isn't it.

[Dominik] The scar hereditary?

[Danian] No, I got that from a girlfriend, not my mother.

[Dominik] blocking blades with the face is not a good practice.

  • Dominik jokes

[Danian] Yeah, I figured that part out.

[Theo] Be nicer to them, and they won't want to carve you up :p

[Dominik] I know how to be nice to a girl.

[Theo] Teach him, then.

  • Theo jokes.
  • Danian shrugs and laughs.

[DiablotinNarrator] The carriage draws up at a well-to-do home on Thorne Terrace in the Pav - not noble-quality, more like 'prosperous merchant' in appearance.

[Dominik] So what should I expect?

[Theo] Oh, nothing too terrifying.

  • Theo and Danian descend from the carriage and enter the house.
  • Dominik follows

[DiablotinNarrator] Inside, it doesn't much resemble a home so much as a library of some sort. The rooms you can see are quite sparse in terms of furniture, but stuffed with bookshelves, maps, scrolls, and the like. Curtains are all tightly drawn, and the place is lit with magical lights.

[DiablotinNarrator] In a room at the back of the house, you find a couple of elderly people - a short, thin man, balding, with a fringe of curly grey hair, and a slightly taller woman with chin-length hair, a mix of brown and grey. They are sipping tea and studying a large, detailed map of the city that is spread on a long table.

[DiablotinNarrator] Another man, this one fairly young, is seated by the fire, reading, and seems to be lost in his book.

[DiablotinNarrator] You feel as though you're towering over all these short folks!

[Theo] Boss - this is Dom.

[DiablotinNarrator] Both of the old folks look up, and the man gives you a smile and nod.

[Maze] Maze Olivier, Lord Grey. Pleased to meet you.

[Dominik] Dominik Rademacher. Pleased to finally meet you as well.

[Maze] Thank you for your assistance with the Silveira business. Invaluable.

[Dominik] Good to know flexing muscles still has uses.

[Maze] Oh, certainly. I hope you'll be able to assist us in the future as well.

[Dominik] well have to see, wont we.

[Maze] You're a cousin to Ilphere de Quessenet, correct?

[Dominik] I am yes

[Maze] And her bodyguard, or whatever term you prefer.

[Dominik] That is my current employment, yes.

[Maze] And will you be accompanying her in that capacity when she moves into the palace after her wedding?

[Dominik] That is currently undecided. I have approached her with a proposal in that regard, but the decision lies ultimately with herself and her future husband.

[Maze] I see... It might be helpful if we could ensure that you did.

[Maze] Why does she need a bodyguard, might I enquire? Have there been attempts on her life, or is her family just very ...protective?

[Dominik] Her family is quite overprotective. I was pressing the situation since it gives me good money and its not that difficult a job.

[Maze] Hmm.

[Maze] We could arrange for something that would make your presence seem more ... necessary.

[Dominik] And its given me a few opportunities to swing a blade, which I havent minded.

[Dominik] and how would you go about doing that?

[Maze] We could frame it as an attack by the peasantry against spoiled, rich nobles, perhaps.

[Dominik] You could try that, and it may work, but Ilphere is not enthused about having things forced on her, and as such may not be appreciateive of the protection.

[Dominik] a carrot might work better than a stick.

[Maze] What would you suggest, then?

[Dominik] hmmm...

  • Dominik considers

[Dominik] Rademacher family has interests with the royal family. My position could be pushed as a means to appease those of my family that feel like they have been snubbed.

[Dominik] I'll take the stance of forced acceptance and work a way with Ilphere to not be a hinderance to her while maintaining appearances.

[Maze] Hm... It sounds like a promising idea. I'll trust you to make it work, then.

[Maze] Another question - to what extent are you involved in the Order of the Black Down?

[Dominik] only cursory. I attended a couple of meetings as means to keep an eye on Ilphere.

[Maze] Does she ever attend without you?

[Dominik] I personally don't trust them or thier motives.

[Maze] No, well, of course not.

[Maze] We tried to get a man on the inside there once before. It didn't work out so well.

[Dominik] so far she has not, but if her interests continues to peak that may not be easy to accomplish without conflic

  • Maze nods.

[Dominik] So why the closeness to those two? Is there something I need to know?

[Maze] We have concerns about them. There are some who fear that they pose a greater threat to the Empire than they might appear.

[Maze] And anything I don't know enough about worries me.

  • Dominik nods

[Maze] Besides, the fellow we had infiltrate them... wound up disappearing.

[Maze] And that worries me even more.

[Dominik] May I ask who that was?

[Maze] Avery Veilleux. He had a girlfriend or something who was in with them, so he had a connection, but evidently it didn't work out.

[Dominik] I've met them both.

[Maze] Oh?

[Maze] I don't suppose *you* know where he is?

[Dominik] No I don't.

[Maze] Oh well - worth a shot.

[Maze] If you're willing to keep going to their meetings as long as you're able, to report back on what you see and hear, that would be very useful to us.

[Dominik] Its dangerous to do so without some sort of magical protection. They have mind influencing magics.

[Dominik] I would need protection.

[Maze] I'll see what I can do about that.

[Maze] And of course we can compensate you for your efforts, particularly if you learn something valuable.

[Dominik] That would be appreciated, considering the risk I am taking.

  • Maze nods.

[Maze] Well, thank you for your time, Dominik. I'm sure we'll speak again before too long.

  • Dominik nods

[Maze] Danian, Theo, stick around - I have an assignment for you...

  • Theo gives you a brief wave goodbye.
  • Dominik will ensure he has good recolection of the other people in the room before departing.
  • Dominik nods to Theo as he leaves

[DiablotinNarrator] As you're going out the door, you hear a woman's voice say "Strauch says he's found something...", but that's all you can catch before the door closes.

Ilphere and Yanina

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere, you receive an invitation, in lovely calligraphy, to join the Duchess of Creve Coeur, the Secretary of State, and your soon-to-be sister-in-law, Yanina Trueblood, for tea.

  • Ilphere will have little choice but to accept then...!
  • Yanina still maintains her family estate, of course, though she also has quarters in the palace. Her mansion is in the Grand, really not too far from your own family's home.
  • Yanina is there to greet you when you arrive.
  • Yanina is close to a foot shorter than you, very delicate and pretty, if a little on the old side (30!)
  • Yanina greets you with an affectionate embrace.

[Ilphere] Good afternoon...!

[Yanina] Good afternoon, Ilphere - I may call you Ilphere, may I not? We're to be related before too long, after all!

  • Ilphere is surprised by the familiarity but will return it.

[Ilphere] Of course...!

[Yanina] I'm so pleased you could join me.

[Ilphere] I was delighted to receive your invitation...!

  • Yanina takes your arm and walks you to the back of the house, to a large glassed-in sunroom that allows you to take in a view of the splendid gardens without being out in the rather brisk autumn air.

[DiablotinNarrator] A little table for two is set up already waiting for you.

[Ilphere] What a lovely view...!

[Yanina] It is... I shall miss it here when I'm living in the palace, but then, I suppose there will be other compensations! ;)

[Ilphere] Yes, I suppose so...!

[DiablotinNarrator] A maidservant serves you tea and a selection of fine pastries before withdrawing.

[Yanina] Finally, we can speak freely.

  • Yanina says once you are alone together.

[Yanina] I didn't see you at the last meeting - I was disappointed.

[Ilphere] Well... I would have liked to attend. The Arch does fascinate me so...!

[Yanina] It's remarkable, isn't it?

[Ilphere] Yes... I have been drawn to it since childhood.

  • Yanina smiles at that.

[Yanina] You have been blessed, you know - your visions...

[Ilphere] Does no one else there see such things...?

[Yanina] I see some things... but never with such clarity as you have known!

[Yanina] What I would give to see the things you've seen, to hear what you've heard!

[Ilphere] I am hoping that more will be revealed...!

  • Yanina nods eagerly.

[Yanina] Phedre has visions too, of course... I think she sees more than any of us, but that makes sense, she's been chosen.

[Ilphere] By the Ophion, you mean...

  • Yanina nods.

[Yanina] Perhaps you've been chosen too.

[Ilphere] Chosen for what, though...?

[Yanina] Maybe to find "the one who will die and live again" - it came to Phedre in a vision, that this person is the one Ophion seeks.

[Ilphere] The one who will make manifest its power...

[Yanina] Yes... at least, that's what I believe.

  • Ilphere nods...

[Yanina] But between you and me, I wonder if perhaps Ophion has turned his attention to you - at least, I haven't heard that Phedre has had any new visions since you started coming to meetings.

[Ilphere] Truly...?

  • Ilphere is surprised.

[Yanina] Well, perhaps she is just keeping them to herself, I don't know.

[Ilphere] Perhaps; it might be that she is waiting for the right time to reveal something new...!

[Yanina] It could be.

  • Yanina agrees.

[Ilphere] Do you know when the next meeting might be...?

  • Yanina gives you a date.

[Yanina] But perhaps it's for the best that you weren't there last time - the guards came and broke it up, and we had to hide!

[Ilphere] Oh dear...! Do you think someone alerted them, or was it just bad luck...?

[Yanina] I don't know. I fear it was the former :/

[Yanina] We're not doing any harm to anyone, I don't know why they have to persecute us so!

[Ilphere] There is still a stigma attached to the Down...

[Yanina] The Down is only a symbol... it doesn't have any power of its own anymore.

[Ilphere] Of course not...

[Yanina] I know you understand all of this, of course - you're one of us :)

[Ilphere] What drew you to the Order, the Arch, if you don't mind my asking...?

[Yanina] Well... as you said, I've dreamed about it since I was a girl.

[Ilphere] Truly...?

  • Yanina nods.

[Ilphere] (do the truebloods have any Rademacher blood?)

[Yanina] (well, you're all related somehow...)

[Ilphere] (heh)

[DiablotinNarrator] K: nobles if you want to know more about her personal lineage...

[Ilphere] (yes pls)

[Ilphere] (rolled a 2, destiny please)

[DiablotinNarrator] ('k)

[Ilphere] (a 20, much better... 30 total)

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok, sec, checking something)

[Ilphere] (brb bio)

[Ilphere] (back)

[Yanina] (Her mother was Seva Rademacher before she got married - a cousin of your mother and Dom's father.)

[Ilphere] (oho)

[Ilphere] Many people outside believe the Order is only about sex... perhaps to some it is, but I wonder how many of us were drawn by something else, whether they realize it at first or no...

  • Yanina nods wholeheartedly.

[Yanina] I'm so afraid I'm going to have to stop going... :/

[Ilphere] Because of your marriage...?

[Yanina] Yes... and when the guards came, I was so worried they'd catch me, and it would be in the papers...

[Ilphere] Does the Emperor know that you are involved at all...?

[Yanina] Fortunately, M. Orecalo was able to hide me :)

  • Yanina bites her lip.

[Yanina] He knows, yes. He wants me to stop going - not because he's jealous or anything like that, I know about his other girls after all, but because it would look bad.

[Ilphere] (SM...? 20 on the nose)

[DiablotinNarrator] (she seems truthful to you)

[Ilphere] (k)

  • Ilphere nods...

[Yanina] We have been friends for a long time - it's not a romance between us, you understand.

[Ilphere] Ah, I see...

[Yanina] I knew you would.

[Ilphere] How did you decide to marry then?

[Yanina] Well, we work well together. And so when he asked me, I agreed -

[Yanina] I would have been foolish not to! Who doesn't want to be Empress, after all? :)

[Ilphere] Of course...! Where did the two of you meet?

[Yanina] Oh, we've always known each other, since we were children.

  • Ilphere nods...
  • Ilphere tries to fathom how anyone coud truly be friends with Marl...

[Yanina] Once we're married, we shall all have to have a getaway somewhere... wouldn't that be fun?

[Ilphere] Oh, yes..!

  • Ilphere 's stomach turns.

[Yanina] I'm so glad you're going to be there with me, Ilphere.

[Yanina] It will be good to have an ally like you within the palace, to help in the search.

[Ilphere] For the One...?

  • Yanina nods.

[Ilphere] It has been on my mind...!

[Yanina] Mine as well.

[Ilphere] Have you had any thoughts...?

[Yanina] Well, it is a woman, and someone who resides in the palace.

  • Ilphere nods.

[Ilphere] That much is known...

[Yanina] Beyond that... I've been trying to think of who might serve Ophion's will.

[Yanina] Or someone who is connected to him in some way...

[Yanina] And I found an account.

[Ilphere] An account...?

[Yanina] By Chancellor vak Andras, as far as I can tell, of what they saw when the Arch was moved.

[Yanina] And he said there was a girl there, a young girl of maybe twelve or fifteen years.

[Ilphere] In the Palace?

[Yanina] In the room with the Arch.

[Ilphere] How odd...!

[Yanina] What if she's still there? She could easily still be alive...

[Ilphere] What else did he say...?

[Yanina] I can show you the whole thing, if you like.

[Ilphere] I would like that very much...!

[Yanina] I can't really make a copy, I don't think, but I could show you if you can come to the palace.

[Ilphere] That should not be a problem...

  • Yanina smiles.

[Ilphere] !

[Yanina] Wonderful :)

[Ilphere] I shall look forward to it...!

  • Yanina clasps your hand in hers.

[Yanina] As shall I!

Alma and Sanadhil

  • Alma will stop into your office one afternoon, shortly after her meeting with the Reverend Father. She'll pick a time when you're the only one there.
  • Alma knocks politely.
  • Sanadhil 's door is slightly ajar, and he is sitting at a desk writing something or other.

[Sanadhil] Come in.

  • Sanadhil looks up

[Alma] Good afternoon M. Orecalo.

[Alma] Do you have a few minutes?

[Sanadhil] Of course countess.

  • Sanadhil sets aside the pen

[Sanadhil] Please, have a seat. You can close the door if you prefer as well.

  • Alma will swing the door shut and take a seat across from Sanadhil

[Sanadhil] to what do I owe this pleasure?

[Alma] I'd like to ask you a few questions about the Lozada-Boyne household.

[Sanadhil] Oh?

  • Alma nods.

[Sanadhil] Is this for Church investigations?

  • Alma looks perhaps a little surprised that came up so quickly.

[Alma] I am curious about the household because of the Order of the Black Down, but also because of Felise.

[Sanadhil] (26 Sm you question evader ;p)

[Alma] I assume from Phedre Lozada-Boyne's presence at Mlle. deQuessenet's event, and your ability to acquire some of their more personal effects that you are acquainted with them personally.

[Sanadhil] Well, I had nothig to do with her presence at the party - I was surprised to see her or her daughter in attendance.

[Alma] I was wondering what makes you question Earric Boyne's true nature...

[Sanadhil] Ahh.

[Alma] When you asked me to stop by, I was caught up in my personal involvement with Felise and didn't stop to think about how strange an occurrence it really was.

[Sanadhil] That is not anything I can produce any kind of meaningful evidence towards, I'm afraid.

[Alma] But you still suspect...

[Sanadhil] I do.

[Sanadhil] he seems to be the power behind the cult. He interviews all new attendees personally.

[Sanadhil] From what I have seen

[Alma] You have... heard something to that effect?

[Sanadhil] They host their meeting practically right out in front of my house.

[Alma] :o

[Sanadhil] They also keep a cult house nearby.

[Alma] (SM)

[Sanadhil] (18 bluff, bleah)

[Alma] (More than peeping out your window? :P)

[Sanadhil] Around the time of Empress Idaia's death, the nature of their cermonies changed

[Alma] Oh?

[Sanadhil] and i began to suspect that there was more to it than their better known reputation

  • Sanadhil nods

[Alma] Mr. Boyne was well established by then, though? He was not the new element?

[Sanadhil] no, he was not new.

[Sanadhil] Do you remember the prophecy that Mme. Belden provided us around that time?

[Alma] (I always forget them.)

[Sanadhil] I believe that part of it, about the star-crossed seeking... the key I believe? Related to the cult

  • Sanadhil thinks a moment

[Sanadhil] The star-crossed seek the key to the serpent's prison

[Alma] Yes, I recall that one, and there was another...

[Sanadhil] The soul eater's servant, bound in flames

[Sanadhil] bound against its will by a blessing under flames, rather

[Sanadhil] confined within the stone of blackhope - the stolen necklace.

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] The Order, you think they had something to do with that?

[Sanadhil] no.

[Sanadhil] if i am interpreting the prpphecy correctly - it is something they would have worked towards, but it was not their doing, in the end.

[Alma] ... unknowing silence.

[Sanadhil] yes

[Sanadhil] the disenchanter's stone

[Alma] So you think they are in contact with Vrag?

[Sanadhil] some of them.

[Sanadhil] most of the participants are merely pawns

[Sanadhil] I thik at best, earric is taking advantage of them in some way, and at worstm they are being groomed as some kind of sacrifice.

[Alma] ...

[Alma] :o

[Alma] So it is less the Order itself that is a danger, than Earric himself?

  • Sanadhil considers

[Sanadhil] The order is a tool that he is using, and it is dangerous in that regard.

[Sanadhil] Some people do take it more seriously, but I am dubious that many know what its true aims are.

[Sanadhil] Some of the members are surely powerful in their own right as well, and could provide him assistance in various ways - physical, magical, political, and so forth

[Alma] I'm assuming then, that you believe the Order, and Earric, are a danger to the city?

[Sanadhil] If they are trying to reinstae Vrag as some kind of power, then more than the city is threatened, i would say.

[Sanadhil] I do believe they are dangerous.

[Alma] I'm somewhat confused that you appear to have participated and are now telling me this...

[Sanadhil] why?

[Alma] Have you warned anyone else of their danger?

[Sanadhil] what do you mean by 'anyone'? the guard? the church? Are you still concerned that it is being investigated by 'amateurs?'

[Alma] ...

[Sanadhil] There is very little evidence to present.

[Alma] With all due respect, M. Orecalo, my statements the other night were made within the context of dealing with creatures of utter evil. In all honesty, I would likely make them again in the context of a cult worshipping a recently released evil wyrm.

[Alma] Would you consider dealing with cults... with Vrag... to be within your professional portfolio?

  • Alma makes a dismissive motion with her hand.

[Alma] I'm sorry, that wasn't necessary.

  • Sanadhil raises his eyebrows.

[Sanadhil] I don't think you can argue that my investigatios haven't been fruitful.

[Sanadhil] And I am in a better position than most to pursue them.

  • Alma appears to be considering what she says carefully.

[Sanadhil] Your basis for assessing my qualifications is what seems shaky to me.

[Alma] It's the matter of experience, not capacity, M. Orecalo, that concerns me. It's a matter in which I find myself erring on the side of conservatism.

[Alma] No offense is intended, or was intended the other night.

[Sanadhil] I understand that - however do you know of anyone else who might have experience with this sort of thing?

[Sanadhil] How many evil cults has the empire ever realy had to deal with?

[Alma] I can't recall any, to be honest.

[Sanadhil] Indeed.

[Sanadhil] That probably makes me more experience than anyone else available, at this point

  • Sanadhil smiles (friendly, not smug)

[Alma] On one level, M. Orecalo, it's simply a concern of mine because it's *dangerous* for you.

[Alma] I... suppose that it has taken time to establish that...

[Sanadhil] That I appreciate. It is dangerous, but I have been taking what precautions I can.

[Sanadhil] That is one of the reasons I don't want my involvement spread too widely, even at the Society

[Sanadhil] I am concerned in that regard for Mlle. de Quessenet as well.

[Alma] Ilphere?

[Alma] She has been investigating with you?

[Sanadhil] her involvement is more limited.

[Sanadhil] She did mention it at the society however - I thought you were present for that

[Alma] (Oh? Did I forget OOC or glaze it over IC and THEN forget it OOC?)

[Alma] (:P)\

[Sanadhil] (I don't remember :o)

[Alma] Perhaps I was unfamiliar with the Order at the time, I do not recall...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Alma] Would it be safe to say that, having told me what you have so far, you would be willing to keep me informed of what else you learn?

[Sanadhil] I can do that, if you are willing to let me know what other investigations the church is pursuing in to the cult, and appraise me if they are plannig to take any actions against it.

[Alma] A reasonable request. It's not really my place to agree, however, so I will have to get back to you.

[Alma] I admit I wasn't expecting to find you quite so... embroiled.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Neither was I.

[Sanadhil] There is a related matter I wanted to ask you about.

[Alma] Certainly.

[Sanadhil] I am planning another expedition to Sarasagel - the city in the Shadow Plane.

[Sanadhil] There may be more of use to learn there, with more directed study, that could prove useful.

  • Alma nods.

[Sanadhil] As before, it would be beneficial for us to have someone on hand with healing capabilities, if you are available, or might be able to suggest someone suitable.

[Sanadhil] We were hoping to keep it within the society, but, ahh, you are the best qualified candidate

[Sanadhil] (read- you're not over 40 :p)

[Alma] (I'm not over 40?)

[Sanadhil] 9all the other priests in the society are 40 something or older :p)

[Alma] (Oh, haha.)

[Alma] (I'm in the Society ]:|)

[Sanadhil] (I said Other :P)

[Sanadhil] (oh, that wasn't what I meant)

[Alma] (but = and?)

[Sanadhil] I wasn't sure you would have interest in reurning, however.

[Sanadhil] (there)

[Alma] My only concerns at the moment are my duties in this plane. I will accompany you if I can, or find a suitable substitute.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Alma] THe plane has demonstrated itself to be dangerous, but also potentially informative... even into the situation at hand.

[Sanadhil] precisely.

[Sanadhil] Please keep me appraised, i do understand that your duties here are quite demanding.

  • Alma nods.

[Sanadhil] We may speak to sister Gallion as well, if she might be feeling up to such a venture....

  • Sanadhil sounds dubious though

[Alma] Perhaps the first expedition has piqued her interest.

[Alma] In all honesty, if I have time, it would not hurt for the both of us to go.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Alma] I trust you'd prefer to ask her yourself?

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] It would probably be best.

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] Well.

[Sanadhil] Thank you for coming by, Countess, i hope this has cleared up some of your questions.

[Alma] Yes, it has.

[Alma] Please, in the meantime take for granted that you can call on me for any aid.

[Sanadhil] thank you, I hope not to need to take you up on it :)

[Alma] Well, at risk of insulting you again, M. Orecalo, I believe that at some point this will go beyond you, even beyond me, if it is to be resolved. :)

[Alma] Unless you are truly of surprising calibre :)

[Sanadhil] Ahhh... we shall see :)

[Sanadhil] . o ( 'even' beyond you? :p )

[Sanadhil] Good day, Countess.

[Alma] And you.

Ysabeau and Merrow

[DiablotinNarrator] Ysabeau, you have arranged to meet your friend Merrow at his mother's tavern, the Dreaming Demon, near the Down in Rhenea.

[DiablotinNarrator] The Demon is a familiar place for you, and though it's somewhat run down and not the cleanest place, it has a cosy, inviting atmosphere about it.

  • Merrow is helping out behind the bar when you arrive.

[Ysabeau] Hi Merrow!

[Merrow] Oh, hi there, Ysabeau. Can I get you anything?

[Ysabeau] Hmmm...

  • Ysabeau looks up at Dom.

[Ysabeau] I'm not really thirsty, do you want anything?

[Dominik] An ale is fine.

[Merrow] Sure.

  • Merrow will pour you one.

[Dominik] I'm Dominik

[Ysabeau] Merrow, this is Dominik Rademacher. Dom, this is Merrow Harkless.

[Merrow] Nice to meet you.

  • Ysabeau smiles.
  • Dominik will offer a hand to Merrow
  • Merrow wipes his hand on a nearby towel, then shakes.

[Dominik] and you

[Ysabeau] So has the guard business slowed down so much that you have to hold down two jobs now, Merrow?

  • Ysabeau teases.

[Merrow] Oh, no, but one of the girls is off sick, and so I'm helping out tonight.

  • Ysabeau arranges her skirts on a stool at the bar.
  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I'm sure your mother appreciates it. :)

  • Merrow nods, with a smile.

[Merrow] How are you doing, then?

  • Dominik grabs a stool and sips his ale

[Ysabeau] I'm doing all right, thanks.

[Ysabeau] Murienne, too. She's seriously considering starting studies with the Church.

[Merrow] Glad to hear it. I think she'd do well there.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Merrow] Well, I've looked into those files like you asked.

[Ysabeau] Oh, you have?

  • Merrow nods.

[Ysabeau] Were they interesting?

[Merrow] They had some points of interest, yes...

[Merrow] Dessa's murder, I'm afraid, is one of those cases that's probably not going anywhere.

[Merrow] A girl like that gets killed in a place like that, the natural instinct is to say she was probably a whore who got on the wrong side of a customer, or a cutpurse who wasn't fast enough, or maybe she was robbed herself for a few coins. It happens :/

[Ysabeau] I have a pretty good idea who did it, actually, Merrow.

[Merrow] Oh?

[Ysabeau] But that wouldn't go anywhere either, since they kind of work for the Empire.

[Merrow] Hm.

[Merrow] Well, I can tell you this much - her killer attacked her from behind. He - I'm assuming it was a he - was taller than her, and cut her throat from right to left, so probably left-handed. Her footprints were visible in the riverside mud, but his weren't, which is... odd, to say the least.

[Merrow] It was over quickly - she wouldn't have suffered long. He'd have to have been covered in blood, at least on his knife-arm, and so he probably either had something to cover himself with afterwards - a cloak, say - or he has a safe place to go not too far from there. Or he's a caster, of course, and could get himself away by other means.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Merrow] That's about all there is. If she was someone important, they'd probably have gotten someone to cast a Speak with Dead on her, or something like that, but they didn't. I'm sorry.

[Ysabeau] It's okay. You did what you could, and I really appreciate it. I just wish there was some way to give her the justice she deserves.

[Merrow] I wish there was too.

[Merrow] As for the dragon, that's a whole nother mess, and the files alone would take months to go through, even those that I can access. I can tell you what I've learned, but I'm sure it's far from the whole story.

[Ysabeau] Anything would help.

[Merrow] There were rumours that the thing was an illusion. That's plainly false - I'm no expert in magic, but I'm pretty sure illusions don't do that much damage. And besides, the Disenchanter's Stone was right there, so how could it have been anything but exactly what it appeared to be?

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Merrow] There were six deaths as a direct result of the thing - Chancellor Armitage, Captain Harnage, Captain Tavares, the Countess of Myrina, the Count of Negives, and one unidentified body, burned beyond all recognition.

[Merrow] If they tried to determine its identity, I couldn't find anything about that in the files.

[Merrow] The presumption is that this dragon, or whatever it is, fled the scene. There were a couple of unexplained fires to the north of the Isle, which may be due to its passage, but might be coincidental.

  • Ysabeau looks puzzled.

[Merrow] But the files are still open and active - it's pretty clear that the guards assigned to this think the thing is still around, and still a threat. I don't know much more than that.

[Ysabeau] It would only have been members of the Grand Council there at the time, wouldn't it?

[Ysabeau] And some of the Palace Guard, I guess?

[Merrow] Well, them and whatever servants they brought.

[Dominik] I was there when that thing appeared

[Ysabeau] Well, that makes it difficult for me to understand why they couldn't identify that other body.

[Merrow] I'm not saying they didn't - just that there's nothing about it in the files. Maybe they have some reason for keeping the identity secret, if they do know who it is.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] You were?

  • Ysabeau turns to Dom.

[Dominik] at the corination, yes.

[Merrow] So you see - other people beyond just the Council members were present.

[Dominik] Although I cant add anything more that what Merrow has said. There was quite a bit of confusion.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] It just seems to me that if the body were a noble's or a servant's, the noble family or the master of the servant would have noticed someone was missing. And if it was a guard's body, the Captain should know who was on detail.

[Ysabeau] So you're right - either they're hiding who it was, or it was someone totally unexpected, who was just there to release the dragon or whatever.

[Merrow] If a servant ran off in the confusion, the family might not report them missing, but in general I agree with you.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] It would be neat to read those reports. I can think of a whole Society who'd love to be able to go through them.

[Merrow] Well, join the guards, then, I guess ;)

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] I'd make a pretty silly-looking guard.

[Ysabeau] Dom on the other hand, would be intimidating.

[Ysabeau] ;)

[Merrow] I don't know about that... you can be scary when you have to :)

[Ysabeau] Oh, thanks!

  • Dominik chuckles
  • Ysabeau frowns, but it's mostly an amused frown.

[Ysabeau] Anyway.. back to Dessa for a moment - I told you I'd let you know if I learned anything more. Vescan Corriveau seems to be working for the Hush.

[Merrow] He was the fellow who broke into your place?

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] So maybe he wouldn't be quite the same kind of danger to me as you originally thought, even though he has ties to some old criminal family.

  • Merrow nods.

[Merrow] I hope so...

[Ysabeau] And Murienne and I will be moving, after all.

[Ysabeau] We're looking for a nice apartment in Pearl, if you hear of anything. ;)

[Merrow] I'll keep an eye out.

[Ysabeau] Thanks!

[Merrow] Well, I should get back to work. Let me know if there's anything else I can help you with, though..

[Ysabeau] I will. Thank you so much.

[DiablotinNarrator] (are you and Dom leaving, then?)

  • Dominik finishes his drink

[Ysabeau] (I guess we will, after Dom finishes his drink...)

[Ysabeau] (I might chat about dogs with Merrow until Dom does that but we needn't roleplay it)

[DiablotinNarrator] You leave the Demon together. The night is dark, clouds obscuring the moon, and the Down looms above you like some ominous beast.

[DiablotinNarrator] (spot scores, both of you?)

[Dominik] (my spot is base 1)

[Ysabeau] (mine would just be my WIS bonus - +3)

[DiablotinNarrator] Okay - Ysa, as you glance up, the clouds part for a moment, and you catch a glimpse of something pale up there, beneath the black curve of the Arch.

[Ysabeau] (What sort of shape is it?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (it could be something lying on the ground - a cloth or something, maybe? Hard to see from here.)

[Ysabeau] Dom? Do you see that...? Under the Arch?

  • Ysabeau points.
  • Dominik squints but does not appear to see anything

[Dominik] No.

  • Dominik heads towards the arch to investigate

[Ysabeau] Where are you going?

[Dominik] To see what you saw.

[Ysabeau] Maybe we should mention it to Merrow, before we go?

[Ysabeau] The guards should know.

[Dominik] We'll be fine. Come on.

[Dominik] It could be nothing

  • Ysabeau looks hesitant, but goes with you...

[DiablotinNarrator] The climb up the hillside seems to take forever, and leaves you a little out of breath.

[DiablotinNarrator] You reach the top, only to be confronted by a horrible sight...

[DiablotinNarrator] Splayed on the ground, nude and bloodstained, is the body of a woman. She has been gutted like a fish. Only her face, with its halo of frizzy blonde hair, seems untouched and almost peaceful.

[DiablotinNarrator] Dom, you recognize Theo.

[Dominik] Void

[Ysabeau] Wasn't she - isn't that the woman who was with Vescan...?

  • Dominik draws his sword and does a quick cursory search of the area

[Ysabeau] Ok Dom... now we go tell the Guards...

[DiablotinNarrator] Dom, you don't find anyone else in the immediate area.

[Dominik] Go... go get the guards

  • Ysabeau turns so they're back-to-back, also trying to see if there's anyone here still.
  • Dominik will do a quick search of her... see if there is anything on her.

[Ysabeau] Not without you.

[DiablotinNarrator] Her body is totally stripped. And still warm to the touch.

[Dominik] [m] Void

[Dominik] Lets go.

[Ysabeau] One moment...

  • Ysabeau will cast Detect Magic just in case...

[DiablotinNarrator] You don't detect any magic on her. Some on Dom, though, maybe? :)

[Dominik] (Dom's sword is magical)

[Ysabeau] (His sword is all I see?)

[Dominik] (didnt wear my new breastplate out for a night of drinks... its a little too bulky)

[Ysabeau] All right, let's go...

[Dominik] Your spell find anything?

[Ysabeau] Just your sword.

[Ysabeau] Nothing on her...

[Ysabeau] Did you know her very well?

[Dominik] (what is Theo's family name?)

[Ysabeau] (Maez)

[DiablotinNarrator] (Maez)

[Dominik] She is Theo Maez. I know her. Not well.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Why would someone from the Hush be... like that, up here?

[Ysabeau] We should go tell Merrow.

  • Dominik nods

[Ysabeau] She's noble, too, isn't she?

[Ysabeau] A Maez is supposed to marry Marl's sister.

[Dominik] yes, the same Maez

  • Ysabeau is heading back down the hill.

[Ysabeau] What a mess.

[Dominik] We tell Merrow then I'm taking you home.

[Ysabeau] Where are you going?

  • Ysabeau heads towards the Dreaming Demon.

[Dominik] I'm going to contact the Maez family... they deserve to know.

[Ysabeau] (Damn, wish I had reason to not believe Dom)

[Dominik] Then I imagine ill be stuck chatting with guards for the rest of the damn night.

[Ysabeau] They'll want to talk to me as well.

  • Dominik nods

[DiablotinNarrator] You can head back and get Merrow, who will summon more guards.

[Ysabeau] (We do)

[DiablotinNarrator] (okay - then we'll end there...)


Seth and Aldrian

[Seth] Well, I will set off one evening when Menard is likely to be occupied for most of the night, and then take a circuitous route to ... wherever I'm going.

[Seth] (City Lore - are there any brothels that cater to man-on-man action that are known for their discretion?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (Squire's, in Pearl City, is the best well-known.)

[DiablotinNarrator] (There are certainly others, though.)

[Seth] (well ... I guess, what with not knowing any better, I'll go there and hope for the best. What are their prices like? Will CL tell me that?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (uh.. roll)

[Seth] 22

[DiablotinNarrator] (not 100 gp a night! Maybe more along the lines of 20-30?)

[Seth] (ok, I'll take 40 and leave the rest at home, for safekeeping, or future visits, or whatever)

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok)

[DiablotinNarrator] Anything else I need to know about your visit plans? Eg. are you trying to disguise yourself, walking or taking a cab, etc?

[Seth] (it's not a short trip, take a cab, but I'll walk a ways away from the palace before hiring one)

[DiablotinNarrator] k

[DiablotinNarrator] Squire's is a fairly well-to-do establishment for Pearl, which means, you know, no drunks passed out on the floor or what have you.

  • Seth will not disguise himself, but will probably wear drab clothing, not his nice stuff.
  • Seth takes a look around - are there lots of other clients around right now?

[DiablotinNarrator] On the inside it looks like your average-to-nice bar, except, uh, no barmaids.

[DiablotinNarrator] There are probably about 15-20 men there, having drinks etc. Hard to know which are clients and which are employees!

  • Seth will go to the bar and order a drink, then, and wait for someone to approach him for his 'order'.

[DiablotinNarrator] Behind the bar is an older, dapper-looking fellow.

[DiablotinNarrator] (He will notice if you're standing around looking confused, it's his job ;)

[Seth] (yeah, a little confused, I'm sure)

  • Bartender waves you over to an empty seat at the bar.

[Bartender] New here?

[Seth] Uh, yeah.

[Seth] I'll have a beer.

  • Bartender will get you one.

[Bartender] Well, if there's anything I can help with, just let me know.

  • Seth takes a drink.
  • Bartender cleans a glass and waits for the inevitable question(s).

[Seth] Business looks to be good around here.

[Bartender] Good enough. Times are tough everywhere, but it could be worse.

  • Seth nods

[Seth] So, uh, how do you hire some ... business?

[Bartender] You talk to me. Give me some idea what you're looking for, I'll set you up.

[Seth] Ah yeah, so if, for instance, a fellow has a particular sort of person in mind, you can do that?

[Bartender] Within reason. If you need a House Lizard 18-year-old with blue eyes and a limp, maybe not.

[Seth] Ah, right, no, nothing like that.

[Bartender] You'd be amazed how specific some people can be ;)

[Seth] I suppose the sort of person I would like would be, uh, sort of thin, and uh, fair complexion, young, I mean, about my age, not YOUNG, you know.

  • Bartender nods.

[Seth] Not someone ... rough. More like someone ... who is gentle, I guess.

[Bartender] Mm-hmm.

[Seth] I, er, don't really so much know what I'm doing.

[Bartender] That's fine - everyone has to start somewhere, after all.

[Bartender] House doesn't matter, then?\

[Seth] Uh, no, I mean, I'm Wolf, so I guess, I mean, yeah, if there were someone, but I mean, it's not like I'm going to be marrying this person.

  • Bartender chuckles.

[Bartender] Not likely, no.

[Bartender] Most people aren't too worried about it, but the ones who are get REALLY uptight about it, so I always ask, just in case.

[Seth] Right ... oh, and money is not a concern, unless your rates are much higher than I have been led to believe.

[Bartender] I don't know what you've heard, but depending on what you want, it could be as high as 30 imperials.

  • Seth nods.

[Seth] That would be ... well, it would of course depend on the services being provided, one would expect.

[Bartender] Exactly. And that's between the two of you, really.

[Seth] Ah ... right.

[Seth] Uh, sir, may I ask, what should I call you, or is this not a names sort of place?

[Bartender] No, that's fine. My name's Karolis.

[Seth] Ah, pleased to meet you.

[Karolis] You too.

  • Karolis doesn't ask your name, naturally ;)
  • Karolis beckons to one of the other men in the room to come over and join you.
  • Boywhore is maybe about 18-19, tall and thin, with short light brown hair, brown eyes, and a fairly prominent nose. Not super-handsome, but nice-looking.

[Seth] Ah, hello.

[Karolis] This is Aldrian.

[Aldrian] Hi there.

  • Seth takes a stiff drink.
  • Karolis sort of waits to hear if this is what you're looking for.

[Seth] Uh, yeah, you look ... right.

[Aldrian] Thanks :)

[Karolis] I'll leave you two to get acquainted, then.

  • Karolis moves off to help other n00bs...

[Aldrian] So, first time here?

[Seth] Yeah. You work here long?

[Aldrian] Not too long. Less than a year.

[Seth] Like it?

  • Aldrian smiles.

[Aldrian] I like the work, yes. And this is a good place to work from.

[Seth] So ... uh, yeah, actually, the thing is, I'm not really sure what I want, because, uh, well, I don't exactly have a lot of ... practical experience with this kind of thing.

  • Aldrian nods.

[Aldrian] First time ever, then?

[Seth] Yeah.

[Aldrian] I sort of guessed.

  • Seth tries not to blush too much.

[Seth] It's just that there's sort of this fellow, a friend of mine, you see ... ah, never mind, you don't want to hear it all.

[Aldrian] If you want to talk about it, I'm happy to listen.

[Seth] No ... no, that's okay, I don't think so, I mean, not with ... someone I've just met.

[Aldrian] That's fine.

[Aldrian] Don't be worried. You can ask me anything. And if we try something and you don't like it, we'll just stop and try something else instead :)

[Seth] Okay ... well, yeah, I kind of think I'd like to, uh, try some different things, I mean, to see.

[Aldrian] I'm game for that :)

  • Seth finishes his drink.

[Seth] Okay.

[Aldrian] Ready to go upstairs now, or want a few more drinks first?

[Seth] No, I think that will be enough. I don't want to get so inebriated that I forget which end is which afterwards.

  • Aldrian laughs.

[Aldrian] You've got a sense of humour - that always helps ;)

[Seth] My friends don't seem to think so ... but then, many of them are imbeciles anyways.

  • Aldrian stifles another laugh.

[Aldrian] Okay then.

[Aldrian] Oh, what do you want me to call you?

[Seth] Uh, you can call me ... I don't know.

[Aldrian] Well, I don't have to call you anything, if you don't want. Up to you.

[Seth] Well ... no, that's all right. My name is ... Seth.

[Aldrian] Okay, Seth.

  • Aldrian takes your hand.
  • Seth will allow himself to be led ... aieeee!

[DiablotinNarrator] Have fun? :)

  • DiablotinNarrator will quiz Steve for details to be able to write the story ;)

Editor's note: We have it in writing: there will be a story.

Ysabeau and Ilphere

  • Ysabeau finds you... studying somewhere?
  • Ilphere is surrounded by various historical tomes, examining a reproduction of a woodcut portrait with her magical glasses.
  • Ysabeau makes a show of looking around... tiptoing up to Ilphere... peeking over her shoulder to see what the woodcut is of!

[Ilphere] (some dead Rademacher)

[Ysabeau] Is that Ruchard?

  • Ysabeau asks aloud.

[Ilphere] Hm, what...?

[Ilphere] Oh, hello...

[Ilphere] !

[Ysabeau] Hi!

  • Ysabeau grins, showing her dimples.

[Ilphere] No, this is before his time...!

[Ysabeau] Oh, who is it then?

[Ysabeau] A non-Imperial Rademacher?

  • Ilphere nods...

[Ysabeau] What are you looking him up for?

[Ilphere] Oh, just a little family tree research... curiosity...!

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ilphere] I have discovered I am not the only one in the line to have such strange dreams...

[Ysabeau] Oh, really?!

[Ysabeau] Who else does?

[Ilphere] Well, Ruchard, obviously...!

[Ysabeau] Oh, right...!

[Ysabeau] Anyone else?

[Ilphere] Well...

[Ilphere] It is not really my place to tell others' secrets...

[Ysabeau] Oh, some others who are still alive, then?

[Ilphere] Do you *swear* not to tell anyone if I tell you...?

[Ysabeau] I do, of course!

[Ilphere] Dominik's brother, Theron...!

[Ilphere] He is plagued by visions of wheels...

[Ysabeau] Really?

  • Ilphere nods.

[Ysabeau] That must be annoying. Why wheels?

  • Ysabeau looks puzzled.

[Ilphere] Rademacher means 'wheelmaker' in Archaic Aveyronnais.

[Ysabeau] Really? It still seems weird.

[Ysabeau] It would be so neat if we could travel back in time.

[Ilphere] In some of my visions the serpent appears a spinning, coiled thing... not unlike a wheel...

[Ysabeau] Really?

[Ilphere] Well... I am curious as to whether there might be a connection...!

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Seems plausible.

  • Ysabeau says, cautiously.

[Ysabeau] How would you find out for sure?

[Ilphere] Well, this is where I begin...

  • Ilphere gestures to the books.
  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ilphere] Looking for clues, between the lines...!

[Ilphere] And I may have found someone who can help me access more restricted materials within the palace.

[Ysabeau] Really?

[Ilphere] Yanina seems to have taken a liking to me...

[Ysabeau] Well, you'll be a princess soon, so it only seems fair -

[Ysabeau] Well, she'll be your sister-in-law. I guess it's good that you get along.

[Ysabeau] I hope Marl will be nice to her.

[Ysabeau] Say... Ilphere, remember when we had those dreams before... before the toshers all died?

[Ilphere] They have been friends for many years...

[Ilphere] Yes... quite well...

[Ilphere] You never did tell me what you saw...!

[Ysabeau] I don't know what you saw, either.

[Ysabeau] Um, has anything you saw in yours - have you seen it in the real world?

[Ilphere] Oh, I thought I had said...

[Ilphere] Well, in a manner of speaking.

[Ilphere] I saw the symbol of the statue upon my head.

  • Ysabeau frowns.

[Ilphere] I believe it signifies the potential for darkness within my own spirit...

[Ysabeau] How horrible!

  • Ilphere says matter of factly.

[Ilphere] Perhaps another link to this business of Rademachers and the Ophion...!

[Ysabeau] I saw myself. I was sitting at my vanity, combing my hair. But the reflection in the mirror wasn't moving the same way. And then she - I? - looked like she was being attacked from behind but I couldn't see who was doing it... there was blood on the frame and she slipped out of sight.

[Ilphere] The reflection or the attacker...?

[Ysabeau] The reflection - my reflection. :/

[Ilphere] How frightening...!

[Ilphere] What could it mean, I wonder...

  • Ysabeau nods.
  • Ilphere muses...

[Ysabeau] I thought at the time my subconscious was just warning me not to forget who I used to be...

[Ysabeau] But then earlier this month a dear, dear friend gave me a gift of a vanity set, and the comb that was part of it was the same one I saw in my dream.

[Ilphere] Truly...?! How uncanny...

[Ysabeau] It's magical, she told me... can change how you look. So maybe someone is going to pretend to be me, and kill me, or something.

[Ysabeau] I don't know... :/

[Ilphere] I will give it some consideration, Ysa...

[Ilphere] I have become rather practiced at reading these things, after all this time...!

[Ysabeau] Yeah?

[Ysabeau] Thanks.

[Ilphere] You are not the only one to have seen something from those visions in the waking world...

[Ysabeau] Someone else has?!

[Ilphere] I know M. Argo has as well, although I suspect he would prefer I did not mention it...!

[Ysabeau] Oh!

[Ysabeau] It's all so creepy.

[Ilphere] It is very interesting...

[Ilphere] I can see how it would disturb though...!

  • Ilphere adds quickly.

[Ysabeau] I kind of wish I hadn't gone to the Shadow Plane. Maybe I wouldn't have to worry about this stuff, if I hadn't.

  • Ilphere mentally crosses you off the expedition list :x

[Ilphere] I am sorry it bothers you so...

[Ilphere] I suppose I am used to these sorts of things.

[Ysabeau] Well, it's equally possible that I'd have to deal with this even if I hadn't gone. I don't know.

[Ilphere] Most likely all within range of the statue's influence in the sewer would have experienced the visions...

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I've just... I've just seen enough darkness that I had hoped, you know, that maybe it was my turn to enjoy some time in the light.

[Ysabeau] I was pretty naive to think so, I guess.

[Ilphere] Ah... :/

  • Ilphere flips her book shut, regretting having told you about her creepy Rademacher theories.

[Ysabeau] And things aren't all bad, really.

  • Ysabeau smiles bravely.

[Ysabeau] Murienne's doing well, and my musical career seems promising, and there's Dom...

[Ilphere] Dom..? Dominik...?

  • Ilphere frowns in confusion.

[Ysabeau] Oh!

  • Ysabeau blushes prettily.

[Ysabeau] We have started seeing one another...

[Ilphere] Oh, you are not serious...!

  • Ilphere is stunned...!

[Ilphere] ... *Really*...? Dominik...?

  • Ilphere repeats, a bit incredulous.

[Ysabeau] Yes.

  • Ysabeau smiles happily.

[Ilphere] ...Since *when*...? O_o

[Ysabeau] Oh, just a week or two...

[Ilphere] Well I am... surprised...

[Ysabeau] Really? Why?

  • Ysabeau asks curiously.

[Ilphere] I don't recall seeing the two of you together in a way that would suggest... interest...?

[Ysabeau] We went to your party together, Ilphere...

  • Ysabeau smiles, amused.

[Ilphere] Oh what? *Together* together...?!

[Ysabeau] Well, not quite. We only got *together* together since then, as I said.

[Ysabeau] But *I* asked him to be my escort, and he agreed.

[Ilphere] Well... I hope he will treat you well, or I shall be very cross...!

  • Ysabeau beams.

[Ysabeau] Dom's perfectly sweet with me, Ilphere.

[Ilphere] Good then...

[Ilphere] He is not so with me. :|

[Ilphere] But it is to be expected. We have nearly nothing in common, and to be forced to be around one another so much... it wears...

  • Ilphere sighs.

[Ilphere] Oh, I do apologize.... I should not complain to you about your beau...!

[Ysabeau] He has a strong sense of duty and wants to earn what he is paid, I think... so he might get a little overbearing at times, I suppose...

[Ilphere] In any case it will not be for much longer...!

[Ysabeau] Oh, really?

[Ilphere] Well, once I am at the palace, my parents will no longer need to protect me...

[Ysabeau] He'll be disappointed... I think it gives him a certain sense of pride and satisfaction to have a source of income that doesn't come from his parents...

[Ysabeau] Hopefully he can find something else. :/

[Ilphere] Well, he can find similar work elsewhere I am sure, with a charge who actually wants his services...!

[Ysabeau] Yeah...

  • Ysabeau seems concerned but hopeful.

[Ilphere] I must confess...

  • Ilphere says hesitantly...

[Ilphere] He did approach me about asking Menard for a job... but I am reluctant. Especially now...

[Ysabeau] Especially now...?

[Ysabeau] Because of me?

  • Ysabeau looks confused and a bit alarmed.

[Ilphere] Well... I am already grown tired of being babied. To continue being shadowed and coddled by my cousin would do little good for our relationship...

[Ilphere] And if that came between *us*, well... I would be very sad...!

[Ysabeau] Well, perhaps he coddles you because that's what your parents expect him to do. If you were his boss, things would be quite different. But you must do what's best for you.

[Ilphere] Ah but *I* would not be.

  • Ilphere says, not without bitterness.

[Ilphere] They say that there is equality between the sexes in Diablotin, but it is easy to see that is not truly the case...

[Ilphere] Not always, anyway...

[Ysabeau] Oh.

[Ilphere] It is Menard he is asking to work for, not me.

[Ilphere] It would not occur to ask if *I* would hire him.

[Ysabeau] Maybe I should go thump him on the head a few times.

[Ilphere] No, it is alright...

[Ilphere] Let's talk about something more pleasant...!

  • Ilphere chirps.

[Ilphere] Has he met your sister yet...?

[Ysabeau] Oh yes, ages ago.

[Ilphere] And does Rye approve...?

  • Ilphere winks.

[Ysabeau] He's been teaching us to fight without weapons, both Muri and I.

[Ysabeau] He hasn't actually met Rye yet! He's only dropped by my house once so far, and Rye was up with Muri in her room at the time.

[Ysabeau] Rye didn't bark or anything when Dom came to the door...

[Ysabeau] Some guard dog!

  • Ysabeau laughs.
  • Ilphere laughs.

[Ilphere] Getting soft with age, perhaps...!

[Ysabeau] I doubt it, he's not that old. Just a year and half or so.

[Ysabeau] To be fair to Rye, he did react appropriately when Vescan broke into our house.

[Ilphere] Well that is what you want...!

[Ysabeau] He didn't bark, but he was awake and growling, and he helped me catch him.

[Ilphere] TO be nice and quiet when there is no threat, and kick up a fuss when there is..!

[Ysabeau] Yes, Rye is a good dog.

  • Ysabeau agrees.

[Ysabeau] I really love him a lot.

[Ysabeau] His blue tongue is so funny-looking...

  • Ysabeau muses

[Ysabeau] Well, I know Hali is NOT a pet, but how is she doing these days?

[Ilphere] Oh, quite welll...!

[Ilphere] She is up on one of these shelves...

[Ilphere] Hali...?

[Ysabeau] We need to change the topic before I melt into fond reminiscences and pratings over Rye.

[Ilphere] (you can hear wings fluttering from above your head somewhere)

[Ilphere] (also I need to get to bed)

Seth and Ilphere

  • Seth will arrange to meet with Ilphere to discuss 'wedding details' at the palace.
  • Ilphere will show up then, with the bunch of stuff you gave her last time...

[Seth] Ah, good morning, Ilphere. Ah, I see you have been busy1

[Ilphere] Yes... !

[Ilphere] Most of this looks fine to me but I did make a few notes...!

[Seth] Very good. I'll see to all of this this afternoon.

  • Seth says, perusing your notes.

[Ilphere] (probably just a couple mispelled names and such)

[Seth] I, uh ... had also been meaning to speak to you about a couple of other matters.

[Ilphere] Oh...?

[Seth] Well ... I got the sense, the last time we spoke, that you might be upset with me. I wanted to apologize if this is the case.

[Ilphere] Well... I was, perhaps... disappointed...!

[Seth] You must understand, it was all very shocking, to learn the extent of M. Orecalo's involvement with much of what we were discussing. Not that I was ignorant of his involvement, of course.

[Seth] The two of you were clearly part of conversations to which I had not been party.

[Ilphere] M. Orecalo and I have been collaborating on the project for some time...!

[Seth] 'The project' ... this is I suppose the problem. 'The project' is potentially a plot to overthrow the Empire!

[Ilphere] Yes, it is looking that way...!

[Seth] And ... well ... okay, here is the thing, Ilphere.

[Ilphere] When we began we certainly did not realize the full scope of the group's intentions...

[Seth] I'm an Argo, and Argos are loyal Kizer men, and always to the Empire, but especially when a Kizer is on the throne. And soon enough, you will be a Kizer, or near enough. So in that way, we share a common allegiance.

[Ilphere] Yes...

  • Ilphere waits to see where this is going...

[Seth] Also, I understand why and how our own particular research interests come to align with this particular problem ... but it is much more difficult to see where M. Orecalo's interest lies, and where his loyalties lie.

[Seth] He has not exactly been warm to me, either.

[Ilphere] M. Orecalo is a very private man, and guarded... that does not mean that he is attempting to ... to... do whatever it is you are implying...!

[Seth] No, no, you misunderstand.

[Ilphere] His *interest* is scholarly, as is my own...!

[Seth] I am sure that it is. But now that the stakes are so much higher ... I am concerned that his involvement is appearing more and more unseemly.

[Ilphere] He was originally intending to study the cult's use of enchantments and illusions in influencing its members.

[Ilphere] Unseemly?

[Seth] Well, yes ... given that it was he who released the entity at the Society, and given that he is the only foreign member of the Society, and given that he has so recently arrived in Diablotin. People will say terrible things. And you, as a soon-to-be Princess, must surely guard yourself against the appearance of impropriety.

[Ilphere] Impropriety...? What are you suggesting...?

  • Ilphere 's eyes flash a little.

[Seth] I'm saying that a reasonable person could believe that M. Orecalo has ill intentions in this matter.

[Ilphere] I disagree completely!

[Ilphere] I have known M. Orecalo for some time. He *teaches* at the Castalia, for the gods' sake...!

[Seth] Not all who go to the Castalia are pure of heart or intention.

[Ilphere] The incident with the statue was an accident.

[Seth] Likely so - but suggestive of poor judgement. He did, of course, then, experience a severe malady ... if this were known ...

[Seth] And so too, M. Orecalo's involvement with the cult, as you said to me the other day, is less 'scholarly' than your own. That he is more ... involved? His motives, perhaps less pure?

[Ilphere] I did not say that it was less scholarly.

[Ilphere] M. Orecalo is simply willing and able to engage in a greater depth of participant observation than I...!

[Seth] You know very well that he is fucking young women on the Down, Ilphere.

[Ilphere] Yes I do, and what of it...?

[Ilphere] Most likely so is the Secretary of State!

[Seth] And he is doing this solely out of a scholarly motivation?

[Ilphere] I did NOT come here to have you badmouth one of my closest friends, M. Argo.

[Seth] I am attempting at this point to avoid what may well be a major scandal, Ilphere - one that if known could even threaten your marriage!

[Ilphere] Did you actually have any *business* to conduct here or did you merely wish to slander Sanadhil

[Ilphere] Because if that is the case then we are *quite* finished.

[Seth] My business is not to slander him - but to point out that the appearance that he is engaged in inappropriate behavior is now considerable, and from multiple lines of evidence.

[Ilphere] I do not particularly *care* how it apppears to you.

  • Ilphere says hotly.

[Ilphere] Good *day* sir.

  • Ilphere gathers her skirts to leave.

[Seth] Good day, Ilphere.

  • Ilphere flounces.

Ysabeau and Seth

  • Ysabeau drops by the Society one afternoon.
  • Seth is there looking at ancient military history books, trying to make sense of them.
  • Ysabeau is happy to see him as she has been wanting to ask him something extremely urgent!

[Ysabeau] M. Argo!

  • Ysabeau calls cheerfully.

[Seth] Ah, hello! How lovely to see you.

  • Ysabeau bustles up to him, beaming.

[Ysabeau] How fortuitous that I should find you here!

[Seth] Ah, well, I do find my way over here now and again, even with my duties.

[Ysabeau] You've been so busy lately, it seems.

  • Ysabeau agrees.

[Ysabeau] Do you have a moment? And can you keep a secret?

[Ysabeau] [w] Ilphere's not around, is she?

[Seth] No, she's ... at the palace, I imagine. And of course, your words will remain in confidence.

[Ysabeau] Excellent...

[Seth] What is it?

  • Ysabeau tucks a loose curl behind her right ear.

[Ysabeau] Um, well, I was talking with Ilphere recently, and she mentioned that you're a good friend of Prince Menard?

[Seth] Yes, that's true, we've been friends since childhood.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] You'll be *perfect*, then.

[Seth] Oh?

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] See... I am in a bit of a fix. I could never afford anything worthy of being given to a Prince and Princess Imperial to celebrate their wedding, so I have been composing an instrumental piece for them, instead...

[Ysabeau] I've got a melody all worked out for Ilphere, you know, something that reminds me of her.

[Ysabeau] But I don't know the Prince at all. Well, aside from being introduced to him at their engagement party.

[Ysabeau] But it is pretty well impossible to take the measure of a man in the time it takes one to curtsey and say "Pleased to meet you..."

[Seth] Ah ... what would you like to know?

[Ysabeau] Well, just what kind of person he is, his personality and all. I really wish I could have the opportunity to formulate my own impressions, and have suggested to Ilphere that it might be fun to spend some time with both of them...

[Ysabeau] But I'm sure you are well aware of how busy they are.

[Ysabeau] And while Ilphere is quite fond of me, I think... I'm really no one at all to the Prince, so it is probably quite presumptuous of me to hope that I might make an acquaintance of him.

[Seth] He is ...hmm, well, he is bright of spirit, a loyal and trusted friend, not at all given to the machinations of political life that wear on a man's soul.

[Seth] Ahh ... he is always thoughtful in his gifts to others.

  • Ysabeau nods, listening thoughtfully.

[Seth] He is ... I have heard it said that he is considered handsome by some.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] What is he interested in?

[Ysabeau] Ilphere loves the pursuit of knowledge, does he as well?

[Seth] Ah, no, he is no scholar.

[Seth] He is a man of action.

[Ysabeau] Oh, martial arts?

[Seth] No ... more like hunting, horses, that sort of thing. Sport.

[Ysabeau] All right! That's helpful.

  • Ysabeau smiles encouragingly.

[Seth] I'm glad I could be of assistance.

[Ysabeau] Is that all?

  • Ysabeau frowns cutely.

[Seth] Ah ... well, that is all I can think of immediately.

[Ysabeau] Very well...

  • Ysabeau looks pensive.

[Ysabeau] Say... if you could paint a picture of him, how would you portray him?

  • Ysabeau tries a different tack to get more out of you.

[Seth] Ah ... I'm not sure what you mean.

  • Ysabeau giggles.

[Ysabeau] You're an architect, you must have a decent imagination. So, how would you portray him if you painted a portrait of him?

[Ysabeau] I'm really stuck, here...

[Seth] I don't understand - you are not painting him, you are writing a piece of music.

[Seth] He is tall, blond, not especially muscular. I believe he frequently wears green?

  • Ysabeau laughs.

[Ysabeau] Ok, that's a good start.

[Ysabeau] What kind of pose would you put him in?

[Seth] I don't know. What kind of pose would you put him in?

[Ysabeau] I don't know him, so that's why I was asking you.

[Ysabeau] All right, maybe trying to get you to paint a mental portrait of him will be fruitless.

[Seth] I suspect so.

[Ysabeau] Hmmm.

[Ysabeau] All right... I didn't want to ask this question, really, in case it places some constraints on my own creative endeavours, but, if Menard were a piece of music, how would you describe him?

[Seth] Ahh ... I really couldn't say, Mlle Chanuier. I've never described anyone as a piece of music.

  • Ysabeau sighs and looks disappointed.

[Ysabeau] All right.

[Seth] I'm sure he will be very happy with whatever you write.

[Ysabeau] If I can ever figure out *what* to write.

[Seth] He's not hard to please.

[Ysabeau] You don't understand...

[Ysabeau] It's not just about pleasing, it's about getting it *right*. Really, truly right.

[Seth] All right, I suppose I don't understand then.

[Ysabeau] Ilphere's like my best girl-friend, and I want to give her something really special.

[Seth] Well ... perhaps what you need is to give Ilphere her vision of Menard, rather than... the actual Menard, if that makes sense.

[Ysabeau] Well, it's supposed to be for both of them... :/

[Seth] After all, it wouldn't do to write a piece of music that alluded to the Prince-Imperial's childhood bedwetting ...

  • Ysabeau laughs.

[Ysabeau] You do have a sense of humour buried deep down in there somewhere...

[Seth] So I have been told.

[Ysabeau] Maybe I'll have to include some little tinkling sounds in Menard's theme, and only you and I will know what for.

[Ysabeau] ;)

  • Seth laughs.

[Seth] Well ... I will leave the artistic decisions to you.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I think that's probably for the best.

  • Ysabeau teases.

[Seth] Well ... it has been most pleasant speaking to you, Mlle. Chanuier. I am sorry if you have not obtained what you had hoped.

[Ysabeau] Not at all. I'm sure I came at you out of the blue with my line of questioning. Thanks for your help.

[Seth] You're most welcome.

[Ysabeau] Have a good evening, M. Argo.

[Seth] And you as well.

  • Ysabeau flashes you one last smile before bustling off to look for something in the library.