Diablotin 2 session 32

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Session date:
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Group discussion at the Society

[Diablotin_Narrator] It's early Eleventh-month, and Prof. Benalda Grenrake is making a presentation to the society on whether Emperor Cazimir actually used communication with the dead to write his histories, or whether he had access to documents that no longer survive. Afterwards, there is the usual assortment of snacks and drinks for people to enjoy...

[Guillame] . o O ( Snacks! )

[Ilphere] (what kind of snacks :V)

[Diablotin_Narrator] (probably some flatbreads, some meats, a smaller-than-usual assortment of fruits, and some sweets of the cookie/square variety)

  • Sanadhil eyes the sad assortment of fruit
  • Ilphere helps herself to the sweets...! :D
  • Sanadhil will snag some before it all disappears, and looks around to se who here is worth chatting with
  • Ilphere waves to Sanadhil...!
  • Dominik is lurking in a corner with a glass of wine
  • Sanadhil nods in return
  • Seth is also lurking, for now

[Sanadhil] Good evening, Ilphère

[Ilphere] GOod evening...!

[Ilphere] (oh how long is this after theo was found on the down?)

  • Guillame will take a fruit while there are some left, and look for Fern first.

[Sanadhil] What did you think of the talk?

[Diablotin_Narrator] (no more than a week, probably)

[Ilphere] Very interesting... I should like to know his research method secrets either way...!

[Sanadhil] indeed

[Ilphere] I am still looking for information on the possible relationship between early Rademachers and the arch, but past a certain point in time the information is just so sparse...!

[Ilphere] At least, the information available to me at present.

[Sanadhil] thogh i'm nt overly familiar with his work - i suppose that is the point of these things

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] do you think there is more to be had through some other means?

[Ilphere] Well I am certain there are books in the restricted sections of the Athenaeum, for instance, that might shed some light...!

[Ilphere] And ... there may be other methods, but I am not sure they are practicable.

[Sanadhil] ahh, I see....

  • Ysabeau pulls a book out of her satchel and starts reading it.

[Sanadhil] You you think Mlle. Siopette might be of assistance in accessing the restrocted collections at the Atheneaum?

[Ilphere] My next goal is to try and find Ruchard Rademacher's thesis on dream-travel... well, we shall see...

[Ilphere] Perhaps.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ilphere] There are also other persons who may be of assistance, but I am not sure yet how to approach them without revealing more than I wish...

[Sanadhil] oh?

[Ilphere] Well, the Secretary of State.

[Ilphere] Once I am married it may also be easier to ask the Chancellor for assistance... I have not really had the chance to talk with her or get to know her yet...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] well that will be soon enough, won't it?

  • Guillame approaches the shadow-exploring/sewer crawling group, having not found Fern.

[Ilphere] Soon yes, soon enough, I am not so sure...! ;)

[Ilphere] But how have you been...?

  • Alma chats with Theodore Sleyght.

[Ilphere] (brb bio)

[Guillame] Good day, Mlle De Quessenet, M. Orecalo

[Sanadhil] Oh, well enough. I might use ths opportunity to Speak with some of the members about the expedition...

[Sanadhil] Ahh perfect, good evening, M. Rionet

[Guillame] A pretty good evening so far, for sure

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I was actually just discussing something with mlle which might be of interest to yourself.

[Guillame] Oh, really?

[Sanadhil] Yes - we've been discussing planning another expedition to the Shadow Plane.

[Guillame] I do fear I'm easy to interest...

[Guillame] Is there a new objective, or simply further exploration?

[Sanadhil] Further exploration, with some more directed research.

[Guillame] Not that it'd make a difference - if the dates are convenient, I'd be delighted to accompany you.

[Guillame] Ah both, fantastic

[Sanadhil] They've not been set yet

[Sanadhil] But... before the wedding, I should think?

  • Sanadhil eyes Ilphère

[Ilphere] Well, I would think so...

[Ilphere] There is still almost a month and a half until then....!

[Guillame] Before Prince Menard forbids any dangerous excursions?

  • Guillame jokes

[Ilphere] Ha...! I hope he would not be so silly...!

  • Dominik finishes his wine and heads over to the food

[Guillame] Well indeed!

[Sanadhil] I'm not sure he would be successful, in anycase

[Sanadhil] but we are thinking of bringing a smaller, more focused team this time

[Ilphere] I would hope I can convince him that I am wuite capable of taking care of myself...

[Ilphere] :)

[Sanadhil] that as well

  • Ysabeau closes her book rather noisily and whips out a pen and some paper, and jots down some musical notes.

[Guillame] A smaller team? Less protection, or less scholars?

[Ilphere] Less hobbyists...!

  • Ilphere laughs.

[Guillame] Not that we aren't all scholars.

[Sanadhil] A little of both I expect.

[Guillame] I had wondered, actually, if any conclusions were drawn regarding the sleeper?

[Sanadhil] No.

[Sanadhil] We do want to investigate the spire more closely, however.

[Sanadhil] But We won't be interfering with her.

  • Guillame nods.

[Ilphere] Mlle. l'Averti will also be accompanying us...!

[Sanadhil] we're still working on our objectives, and we're open to suggestions and pther input, certainly

[Guillame] I don't think I've met her... she's a society member?

[Sanadhil] Yes

[Sanadhil] She has more experience with the Shadow Plane as well

[Sanadhil] In fact, she was the one who first suggested the possible existence of the portal

[Guillame] Then it seems only wise!

[Sanadhil] indeed

[Sanadhil] I would have liked to have her along the first time, but she had other commitments, unfortunately

  • Ysabeau glances over at the crowd chatting about a second expedition to the Shadow Plane.

[Ilphere] We should speak to Dominik about this... since he will have to accompany me..

[Ilphere] Dominik...?

  • Ilphere calls to him across the food table.

[Dominik] Yes?

[Ilphere] We are discussing a second expedition to the Plane of Shadow...

  • Dominik steps away from the table with some cheeze and a fresh glass of wine?

[Ilphere] I thought you should be included...!

[Dominik] In case something showed up that needed stabbing again?

[Ilphere] Well, if you want to put it that way...!

[Ilphere] Anyhow I am sure my parents would insist...

[Guillame] Yes, like more shadow-dogs, I suppose./

[Sanadhil] mmm.

[Dominik] appearances and all... I undertand. I need to keep up appearances too or else I may be called out for being slack in my responsibilities

[Dominik] The only real tests of my skills seems to be on these little expeditions anyway.

[Ilphere] Oh Dominik, I can never tell whether you want this job or not...!

  • Ilphere says with a bit of exasperation..
  • Ysabeau smirks a little.
  • Dominik smiles at the comment
  • Sanadhil sips some wine

[Dominik] So no date set for the shindig then?

[Ilphere] If you mean the expedition, then no...

[Sanadhil] Not as yet

[Sanadhil] Hopefully we will settle whose details soon

[Dominik] I would suggest soon.

[Sanadhil] that was the thought

[Dominik] that trick... to talk with the dead. I didn't catch it all. How does it work?

[Sanadhil] We may need to adjust the schedule based on navailability, and I'm told that there may be some bureaucratic issues involved in accessing the passage.

[Sanadhil] There are certain spells that allow for it

[Sanadhil] It may be possible to create an item that would allow for it as well

[Sanadhil] or use scrolls. I didn't quite catch what Mme Grenrake was suggesting the emperor used

[Dominik] what kind of spells? Priest stuff or Castalia magic?

  • Alma approaches from behind Dominik.
  • Sanadhil makes a spellcraft roll

[Alma] There are spells the Church can use to speak to the dead.

[Dominik] As for bureaucracy, I'm sure there is enough influence in the room with royal family to grease an entire rusted train.

[Diablotin_Narrator] (yep, clerical)

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] celerical, indeed

[Sanadhil] although it is possible, but difficult, for others to used scrolls from other school sof magic

[Alma] I'm not sure what benefit it would be, however, for the long deceased, as the body must be capable of some measure of speech.

[Dominik] so if you cut the tongue out of the body, it wont work?

[Sanadhil] Would skeletal remains suffice?

[Alma] It would be make it more difficult, certainly.

[Alma] Completely skeletal?

[Dominik] (gutted theo had no tongue... right?)

[Guillame] Maybe it could communicate by percussion?

[Dominik] tap once for yes two for no

  • Dominik laughs

[Sanadhil] possibly.... -_-

[Sanadhil] I was wondering whether or not you could use another spell, such as detect thoughts, once the spirit was summoned.

  • Ysabeau packs up her things and slips silently up to the group, stopping near Dominik.

[Alma] It doesn't work that way... it must have a mouth.

[Ilphere] Well, I need to find Ysabeau for a moment, if you will excuse me...!

[Sanadhil] However I'm not terribly familiar wth the enchantment

[Ilphere] Oh, there you are...!

[Alma] The tongue... I'm not sure that would prevent the spell from functioning completely, but it would surely make it more difficult.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Diablotin_Narrator] (She was pretty cut up - I don't know if I specifically said no tongue or not. We'll say it was removed.)

[Alma] As it would make it more difficult for the living to speak...

[Ilphere] Can I talk to you for a minute, privately...?

[Alma] .oO( What a strange question. )

  • Ysabeau shrugs.

[Ysabeau] Sure.

[Ilphere] Excellent...

  • Ilphere takes your arm...
  • Ilphere will go off with you to a less crowded corner.
  • Ysabeau allows you to steer her wherever you want to go.

[Sanadhil] You seem particularly interested, I didn't realize you took the talks so seriously, M. rademacher.

  • Seth waits about a minute after Ilphere departs, then joins the rest of you.
  • Dominik watches the two girls leave... having some naughty thoughts

[Ilphere] (lol)

[Dominik] I listen

[Seth] Ah, good evening.

[Sanadhil] Good evening, m. Argo.

[Alma] If Emperor Cazimir was particularly committed to speaking to the dead, I'm sure he could enlist powerful magic to reconstruct the bodies.

[Alma] Perhaps Wish?

[Dominik] If I was gonna wish for something, it woudl be for a bunch of whole bodies so I could talk to them

[Dominik] evening Seth

[Alma] There would be no prohibition against reconstructing a body which is to remain deceased, Dominik.

[Dominik] besides being really creepy

  • Sanadhil eyes Dom sort of obliquely when he adresses Seth informally

[Seth] It is indeed an extraordinarily morbid subject ... fascinating though!

[Alma] History is important.

[Alma] It really would be an excellent method.

[Seth] I can certainly think of a handful of corpses at a moment's thought from whose conversation I could profit.

[Alma] If time consuming, or expensive.

  • Dominik drinks his wine

[Alma] .oO( Really it would be... )

[Dominik] creepy, time consuming, expensive, and probably wouldn't make you too popular in the papers either

[Dominik] even if you could talk to the corpses, does the magic make them answer or could they just feed you a bunch of garbage

[Seth] Has it ever been prohibited, Sister Alma, from a theological perspective, to have such communication?

  • Alma thinks
  • Sanadhil shakes his head
  • Alma responds to Dominik first.

[Diablotin_Narrator] (Alma: no - theological position is that it doesn't talk to the soul, which is elsewhere, but to the imprinted memory of the body itself)

[Alma] The body sometimes resists the spell, but if the spell is successful, the responses are accurate, if cryptic.

[Alma] And there has been no prohibition on such things to my knowledge, for it is known that the spell speaks to the body itself, not the soul.

[Alma] You are not truly speaking to the deceased, but rather the body as a witness of the deceased's life.

[Alma] It is possible that, early in the history of the spell, this was not understood and it may have been prohibited, but I would have to see if that was ever the case.

[Sanadhil] . o ( is you are going to cast wish, you may as well just resurrect them :p )

[Alma] ( That is abominable! )

[Seth] I see. Very fascinating.

[Sanadhil] Does the injunction for raising the dead apply only to those who are considered to be within your cycle?

[Alma] (I'm guessing yes, Julie?)

[Dominik] so basically you can murder someone then use this magic to gleen everything they know, as long as the magic isnt resisted, and you're clever enough to figure out any evasive answers

[Alma] ... uh...

  • Sanadhil raises his eyebrows

[Alma] I suppose so, M. Rademacher. However it would take some time to learn "everything"

[Alma] A proficient cleric would only be able to ask a handful of questions a week.

[Diablotin_Narrator] (I think it would be frowned upon for you guys to do it, certainly! But if heathens want to resurrect themselves, well, there's probably not much to be done about it!)

[Alma] (29 on religion)

[Seth] Do your people resurrect the dead, M. Orecalo?

[Sanadhil] On occasion.

[Alma] As for those, like yourself, who are outside the Cycle... we would not really be approved of. The potential, if our assumptions were wrong... would be unacceptable.

  • Sanadhil wonders if anyone frm the temple masacre was rezzed

[Sanadhil] It is expensve, however

[Sanadhil] But certainly it accounts for some of the diamond trade between Cozovodë and Aveyrone

[Seth] It would be interesting to know what the Shadar-kai think, or thought, about the matter.

[Sanadhil] indeed

[Seth] Has everyone been apprised of the new expedition?

[Sanadhil] we had been speaking of it

  • Alma looks to Sanadhil.

[Sanadhil] everyone here, certainly

  • Sanadhil looks around the group

[Seth] That was what I meant.

[Sanadhil] I'm still not certain if all will be able to attend

  • Sanadhil nods to Alma

[Alma] I expect to attend again, M. Orecalo. I have made arrangements for things to be taken care of while I am gone. As long as it's intended to be a relatively short expedition again.

[Sanadhil] That seems likely - mqin of us have other obligations, alas.

Ilphere and Ysabeau

[Ilphere] I have been meaning to tell you, I have had some thoughts about that dream of yours...!

[Ysabeau] Oh yes?

[Ilphere] Well, despite its disturbing appearance, I do not think it is so bad, after all...

[Ysabeau] So what do you think it meant?

[Ilphere] The business with the comb is very strange, but otherwise...

[Ilphere] It seems almost like you are conflicted, afraid of changing who you are...

[Ilphere] The dream could be seen as a warning against the dangers of doing so...

[Ilphere] But...!

[Ysabeau] That's what

[Ysabeau] I had originally supposed it meant.

  • Ysabeau agrees.

[Ysabeau] But then the comb showed up in reality.

[Ilphere] It was the reflection who was killed, and not the 'real' you...

[Ilphere] Which is a good portent.

[Ysabeau] Hopefully...

[Ysabeau] I don't know how much I have changed, really, though.

[Ysabeau] I mean, I don't make a living that way anymore... but otherwise I am the same.

[Ysabeau] And if that's all I've changed about me, I'd rather not keep it, thank you very much. :P

[Ilphere] Well, you are much more than your job, of course...!

[Ilphere] I don't feel you have changed either...

[Ilphere] :)

[Ysabeau] So, you guys are going back to the Shadow Plane?

[Ilphere] Yes... Mlle. l'Averti wants to see the city, and the spire.

[Ilphere] So we shall be doing a more careful investigation of that area...!

[Ysabeau] Is there room for me?

[Ilphere] Well, I did not think you would be interested...!

  • Ilphere seems pleasantly surprised.

[Ilphere] Sanadhil is doing most of the recruiting... ;)

[Ilphere] Let's go and have a chat with him then, shall we...?

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ilphere] (back to main room then...!)

Planning second shadow plane trip

  • Ilphere brings Ysa back over to the group...!

[Guillame] Again, depending on dates, it should be fine. If we could fix a date sooner, I'd be more likely to be able to clear it.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Seth] Ah, good evening, Mlle. de Quessenet. We were just discussing the details of our trip.

[Ilphere] How wonderful...!

[Ilphere] I was just telling Ysa about it.

  • Alma nods to Ilphere and Ysabeau as they join us.

[Ysabeau] Good evening, Sister, all.

  • Ysabeau nods politely to everyone.

[Sanadhil] were you interested in accompanying us?

  • Sanadhil sounds a bit surprised

[Ysabeau] I should like to, yes.

[Sanadhil] hmm, very well then.

[Ysabeau] You'll need my songs to cheer you up in the gloom.

[Sanadhil] perhaps it will not be as reduced in number as I expected

[Guillame] It seems not!

[Sanadhil] although M. Renauld is still away.

  • Sanadhil shrugs

[Sanadhil] I think that settles most of the party, then

[Sanadhil] we can start planning in earnest - starting with dates

[Ilphere] Where is he, anyway...?

[Ysabeau] Supposedly, he's on a business trip.

[Ysabeau] But it seems like rather a long one.

  • Sanadhil raises his eyebrows

[Sanadhil] considering his busines.... indeed.

[Alma] ...

[Alma] He did leave rather abruptly, from what I hear. :|

[Sanadhil] Oh?

[Ysabeau] Maybe someone in his family is sick.

[Alma] I was told the trip was planned.

[Alma] Perhaps M. Renaud is simply absentminded.

[Ilphere] Perhaps he ran off with a beautiful lady...!

[Alma] .oO( He'd have better not. )

[Seth] Has he not been in contact with anyone since his departure?

[Ysabeau] No one I know of.

[Dominik] I can see one beautiful lady being enough for him... it was likelya dozen

[Ysabeau] You could go ask at his place of business, though.

  • Ysabeau suggests.
  • Guillame is trying not to join the speculation without actually leaving the conversation, so looks to see if Fern has turned up.

[Alma] I recently spoke with an acquaintance of M. Renaud's, and he said this trip was expected and was not concerned.

  • Alma looks a little disapproving.

[Dominik] hopefully he'll be back before the new year

[Alma] I'm sure whatever it is must be important.

  • Alma looks unconvinced.

[Ysabeau] I am, too.

  • Ysabeau looks convinced.

[Sanadhil] In any case, If you'll excuse me.

  • Sanadhil nods to the assembles and will escape to go have random conversations with someone else, possbly Elisabet

Dominik and Ysabeau

  • Dominik will break away from the crowd at the food bringing Ysabeau with him, if she is willing
  • Ysabeau is.

[Ysabeau] So, another trip to the Shadow Plane.

[Dominik] apparently

[Ysabeau] I wonder how this one will go.

[Dominik] I admit I was not expecting you to be interested in such a trip after the last venture into the sewars

[Ysabeau] I told you once I'd rather know what I'm facing than be ignorant of it.

  • Dominik nods in agreement

[Ysabeau] And I promised you in the sewers that I'd be behind you every step of the way. And you are going.

[Dominik] I won't complain about the company

[Ysabeau] And someone's got to remind them that they said they'd leave the sleeper alone.

  • Dominik nods

[Dominik] you're probably more convincing than I am

[Ysabeau] Only for certain things.

[Ysabeau] I doubt I would have much influence when it comes to research.

[Dominik] at least you've had some experience studying magic and may have a chance to know if thigns are going badly

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Dominik] I just have to rely on the words of others and make the best of what they say

  • Ysabeau smiles up at him, shaking her head slightly.

[Ysabeau] You could pick up some introductory courses at the Castalia, then you wouldn't have to rely on the words of others.

[Dominik] Me... sitting in a class in the Castalia.

  • Dominik shakes his head

[Ysabeau] Why not? I think you'd do pretty well in school.

[Ysabeau] You're not as dumb as you like to try to convince people you are.

[Ysabeau] There's more to you than muscle.

[Dominik] Classrooms are not me. I barely survived my tutoring when I was younger.

[Ysabeau] I didn't realize tutors were so violent.

  • Dominik laughs
  • Ysabeau smirks.

[Dominik] they have these vicious rulers and all these heavy books and they make you work with inks and quills

[Dominik] I get flustered just thinking about it.

[Ysabeau] My Dominik? Flustered? I can't picture it...

[Ysabeau] The truth is, I think you could do whatever you wanted, if only you had the will to do it.

[Dominik] I've got pleny of will. None of it is leading me into a classroom in the Castalia.

  • Ysabeau shrugs.

[Dominik] If you want to teach me about magic, I'm sure you could make me a willing student.

  • Ysabeau raises an eyebrow.

[Ysabeau] Can you sing?

  • Dominik laughs

[Dominik] Maybe if I'm drunk enough

[Ysabeau] If not then you'll have to learn to play an instrument before any of the magic I know will be of any use to you.

[Dominik] I don't need to know how to use magic, just some information about magic.

[Dominik] so I can know when someone is trying to mess with me or I can plan to use it.

[Dominik] as for singing... I'll leave that to one who is infinitly more qualified than I.

[Ysabeau] Flatterer.

[Ysabeau] I hope this trip won't interfere with any gigs... the party season is coming up. Although it will probably be a little subdued this year, what with the food shortage and all.

[Dominik] It's only flattery if I'm lying to you, which I am not, and am trying to trick favour with you, which I hope I do not need to.

[Dominik] thats' what we should look for in the shadow plan, an orchard of apples and oranges. Bringing them back would make us all heroes.

[Ysabeau] ...

[Ysabeau] Would you want to eat something that grew there?

[Dominik] If someone like Alma said it was safe, yes.

[Ysabeau] I suppose...

  • Ysabeau seems unconvinced.

[Dominik] I'm just saying.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I know. I just don't know whether *I* could eat it, even if Alma says it's okay. I really don't like that place.

[Ysabeau] Anyway.

[Ysabeau] I suppose you have to make sure Ilphere gets home tonight?

[Dominik] Im sure that wont take all night

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Dominik] Is there someplace you need to be in the morning?

[Ysabeau] School?

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Dominik] even if I was there to try and lure you back in bed?

  • Ysabeau looks at Dom a little sharply, then softens her expression.

[Ysabeau] I pay a lot of money to go to school, Dom... and I like it.

[Ysabeau] So yes, even then.

[Ysabeau] School is very important to me.

[Dominik] I never claimed it would work.

  • Ysabeau smiles again.

[Ysabeau] Well, as long as that's understood.

[Ysabeau] Would you like to come over?

[Dominik] How could I resist an invitation like that?

  • Ysabeau is pleased.

[Ysabeau] I'm glad. I'd like your company tonight.

[Ysabeau] Or well, pretty much every night.

Seth and Menard

  • Seth will talk to Menard at the end of dealing with a bunch of wedding stuff.

[Seth] There was one other thing ...

[Menard] Oh?

[Seth] Yeah ... do you know M. Orecalo, the Cozovode member of the Society who is friends with Ilphere?

[Menard] Not well... we've met, in passing.

[Seth] Ah. Does Ilphere speak about him much?

[Menard] She mentions him occasionally. Why?

[Seth] What has she told you about their research together?

[Diablotin_Narrator] (what *has* she told him?)

[Ilphere] (well probably just that we are collaborating on some projects; beyond that it depends on whether he would be interested enough to ask me)

[Ilphere] (I've probably told him we're planning to go to the SP again as part of that)

[Menard] I gather they're collaborating on some research... He accompanied her to the Shadow Plane, I know.

[Seth] Well, yes, he was with us. And we're planning a second trip ... very well-organized and prepared, of course.

  • Menard nods uncertainly.

[Seth] But I meant the other research. On the OBD.

[Menard] Oh.. that.

[Menard] I've heard a bit about it. It was my understanding that Ilphere isn't... er, that she just observes their meetings.

[Seth] Yes, and I absolutely believe that. M. Orecalo, however, is rather more participatory.

[Menard] I mean, I did wonder a bit, for a while, if there was something else between them, but I don't think there is.

[Seth] Oh, gods, no, I don't mean that.

[Menard] What do you mean, then?

[Seth] Well ... the thing is, that a lot of the stuff going on at the Black Down has very dark aspects ... I don't even know how much you want to know, but potentially it reaches up to the very top of the Empire's hierarchy.

[Menard] Well, Theodis Maez was a cousin of mine - distant, but related. Her brother's engaged to marry my sister. And they're saying this cult may have been implicated in her murder.

[Menard] I don't quite know if I believe that.

[Seth] Neither do I, but someone murdered her ... and there's more. I ... I'm afraid for all of us.

[Menard] Why? What do you mean?

[Seth] I mean that ... the Hush is clearly involved in all of this, and not just to investigate matters.

[Menard] What's "all of this"?

[Seth] And then we're sitting here, and you know I'm loyal, and of course Ilphere is loyal ... but M. Orecalo knows almost all of this, and he just showed up last year!

[Seth] It's pretty clear to me that the OBD worships a ... thing, Ophion, or whatever you want to call it, an evil thing of power. And then there are forces ... inside the palace and without ... that want to - well, *treason* is probably not a strong enough word.

[Menard] Seth, I'm sorry - I'm not following all of what you're saying. What's treasonous?

[Menard] Calm down and explain.

[Seth] Well, you know that the OBD has the power to affect minds ... really strong magic, not just simple charms. Right?

[Menard] Not really - I don't know much about what they do apart from the, ah, sex stuff.

[Seth] Well ... that's what seems to be the case. And did you know that your future sister-in-law is a member?

[Menard] Marl said she's quitting.

[Seth] You don't quit an evil mind-affecting cult, Menard! Even Ilphere, despite her minimal involvement, might not be able to get out so easily. And M. Orecalo ... well, who knows?

[Seth] And my point is not that I do know, but that if this association were discovered ... or if someone malicious were to let it be known, your brother's reign would be severely impaired.

[Seth] "Oh look, there's the emperor and his brother and their two demon cult brides!"

[Menard] I don't know that they're really *evil* - just misguided, perhaps.

[Seth] Who told you that?

[Menard] No one... I guess I figured it from some of the things Ilphere has said...?

[Menard] With this murder and everything, though, probably the cult will break up, or go quiet for a while, wouldn't you think? If they're smart, anyway.

[Seth] OK, you know that I like and respect Ilphere, Menard ... but she has such intellectual curiosity about these matters, it blinds her to other things going on. You must have seen that.

[Menard] Maybe.

[Seth] Honestly, I'm more worried about a cult that's working behind the scenes than one that's right out in the open.

[Seth] It's the other stuff I've heard, the fragments I've been able to piece together, that worry me more than who's fucking who up on the Down.

[Seth] How much do you know about how your brother chose his council members?

[Menard] He picked people he knew, mainly... Those he didn't keep, I mean.

[Menard] I think Grandfather gave him some advice on the subject - don't know how much he listened, though.

[Seth] Look, Menard. Ilphere and I ... we quarreled the other day, because I hadn't revealed everything I knew to M. Orecalo when the three of us were talking. I don't know why, exactly, but she trusts him more than ... well, more than just about anyone.

[Seth] But the stuff we're doing, it isn't idle research. It's political. It's *powerful*.

[Menard] Hm.

[Menard] Well, if he's only been in the city a year, it's unlikely he's involved in serious political stuff, right?

[Menard] I have a hard time imagining the old families and council members trusting a foreigner, anyway.

[Seth] He's a scholar of elven magic. They may have a hard time trusting him, but he would be very valuable to the OBD.

[Seth] And he's a representative of his people here in the city. Anything he knows could get back to them.

[Menard] Is what they're doing elven somehow?

[Seth] I don't know. It's very old - that's how it relates to all the Shadow Plane stuff.

[Menard] I've never had the impression the Cozovode care very much about anything we do. They aren't aggressive, they aren't inclined to invade, they don't have many diplomatic ties with us even.

[Menard] They probably think we're over here squatting in our caves, wrapped in bloody furs.

  • Seth laughs.

[Seth] Probably ... but look. This is maybe 10% about what M. Orecalo would do ... and about 90% about appearances of impropriety and corruption. I'm just looking out for the Kizer name here.

[Menard] I see what you're getting at.

[Menard] But really - I don't think people care about me. The things with Marl and Yanina are way more worrying than Ilphere and her little elf friend.

[Seth] Okay, I understand that. But I need you to understand that it's more than just 'her little elf friend'. The whole situation is getting very dangerous.

[Seth] Weird things are going on with the Warlord and/or the Chancellor. I don't know what exactly, but I aim to find out.

[Menard] Hey, that's fine. But ... can you patch things up with Ilphere? I don't want you two to be glaring daggers at each other during the wedding ceremony, okay? :)

[Menard] I mean, I want you to attend me, and it wouldn't do if you two are still at odds.

[Seth] That's up to her. She can be ... volatile. All I asked her was to be more cautious with what she's up to with M. Orecalo, and she acted like I had accused her mother of being a traitor.

[Menard] :/

[Menard] Do you need me to talk to her?

[Seth] No ... I should do it. I'm sure she'll come to you soon enough, saying how mean and suspicious I am. :/

[Seth] If she does, maybe you could encourage her to not shun me?

[Menard] Well, you are :p

[Seth] As always, I aim to serve. ;P

Guillame and Aden

  • Aden_ will plan to meet you at his house one evening, say, after about a week in the palace.
  • Guillame will go over as early as possible
  • Aden_ welcomes you in. He seems a bit tired and worn out.

[Guillame] Hi... oof! That bad?

[Aden_] Just... a lot to absorb in a short amount of time. Not enough hours in the day...

[Aden_] How about you, how are you doing?

[Guillame] Pretty well, all told. I guess I don't have a lot to report.

[Aden_] Oh, I don't know about that. We never really got to talk about your possible marriage, for instance :o

[Guillame] There's another expedition planned, but I'm not sure when yet. "Before the wedding", I'm told.

[Guillame] Oh, of course! Yes.

[Guillame] I forgot we hadn't talked about it - your new job seemed more important...

  • Aden_ smiles.

[Aden_] I don't know, I think this is pretty important too.

[Guillame] So, the proposal is pretty straightforward, I think - surprisingly so, actually. Portia has... pretty good reasons for not wanting a sexual relationship. She didn't explicitly say I could tell you them, so I hope you don't mind trusting me on that point?

[Guillame] I'll ask her permission to enlighten you.

[Aden_] I'm happy to take your word for it for now.

[Guillame] Thanks!

[Aden_] Do you think you'd be happy in this situation?

[Guillame] So we'd be keeping each other's secrets. We'd have a [ugh] socially respectable marriage, which I'm sure will make my mother very happy.

  • Aden_ nods.

[Guillame] I think so, yes. I like Portia, and I'd be happy married to her - especially as it will make it easy to be with you!

  • Aden_ smiles at that.

[Guillame] We discussed heirs, also.

[Aden_] Oh?

[Aden_] What did you decide, if anything?\

[Guillame] There were the options to find another father, or for me to er, "do my duty", I think we said. I don't know how I feel about either option - I'd like to be my children's father, but I'm also committed to you. However, we agreed that the decision is not pressing.

[Aden_] Well, true enough.

[Aden_] Of course it would be your decision - yours and hers, that is.

[Aden_] I wouldn't stand in your way if you decided you wanted to father children.

[Guillame] Thanks, again.

[Aden_] Well, as I'm sure you wouldn't if the situations were reversed.

[Guillame] As I see it, we'd be a family - you included, at least as far as the three of us were concerned.

[Aden_] Which, who knows, they may be some day.

  • Guillame digests that, and nods.

[Guillame] I suppose I wouldn't, at that.

[Aden_] Don't worry - there's no one but you right now :)

[Guillame] So, how was week one? Are you being pushed out of the loop already, or is the job actually worth having

[Guillame] ?

[Aden_] So far it's been a lot of being caught up to speed.

[Guillame] Oh?

[Guillame] Is there a lot that isn't public knowledge?

[Aden_] Well, a lot that the public probably doesn't understand, or even care about, maybe?

  • Guillame nods

[Aden_] I mean, before this week I wasn't overly knowledgable about the herring catch in Cap Irus, or the proposals to build rail lines extending north of the city...

[Guillame] I suppose not. There ought to nothing unimportant to the palace, after all.

  • Aden_ nods.

[Guillame] How are you coping with it? Do you think you'll enjoy the job?

[Aden_] It's ... overwhelming, right now. I suppose in time I'll feel less like I'm floundering. It helps that the others in the department all seem to know what they're doing, at least, and can advise me.

[Guillame] Advisors are good. Just be sure to keep your priorities straight! I'm rather fond of you being a hero!

  • Guillame winks
  • Aden_ smiles and gives you a kiss.
  • Guillame grins

Ilphere and Menard

  • Menard is always glad to see you, of course!

[Menard] Ilphere, guess what?

[Ilphere] ... What...?

[Ilphere] :)

[Menard] Se...*I* found a sort of... out of the way place...

  • Ilphere tilts her head to one side and smiles...

[Ilphere] Oh really...?

[Ilphere] What place is that...?

[Menard] I could show you, if you like,

  • Menard says with a smile.

[Ilphere] That might be nice... :)

  • Ilphere blushes slightly.
  • Menard will escort you on a pleasant-but-hasty walk through the palace, up some stairs, into some unused servants' quarters.

[Menard] (or at least that's what you presume they are)

[Ilphere] So nobody is in here usually...?

[Menard] I gather not...

[Ilphere] (what is it like in here?)

[Diablotin_Narrator] It's a tower - the unused rooms are on the top floor, so there's probably a nice view from the window. The decor in each room is plain - basically just a pair of single beds, a couple of chests, etc.

[Ilphere] The view is very nice...!

[Diablotin_Narrator] It's not filthy, but it also doesn't look like it's dusted every week or anything.

[Menard] I like the view wherever you are :)

  • Ilphere smiles...

[Ilphere] You are so sweet...!

  • Ilphere sits down on one of the beds.

[Menard] So...

[Ilphere] I am always so happy when we are together...

  • Ilphere sighs.

[Menard] Me too.

[Menard] Uh.

[Menard] Are you and Seth okay?

[Ilphere] Seth...?

  • Ilphere blinks?

[Menard] Yeah... did you have a fight, or .. are things sort of smoothed over now?

[Ilphere] I have not seen him since the lecture at the Society.

[Ilphere] Well... I would not say it was a fight exactly... I did not want to trouble you about it.

[Menard] Oh...

[Ilphere] Come and sit with me...? :)

  • Menard will do so.
  • Ilphere pats the space next to her.

[Ilphere] I know you are good friends so... I did not want to upset you...

  • Ilphere leans her head on your shoulder.

[Menard] He's worried about appearances. He explained it's not about M. Orecalo himself, but about the appearance of ... suspicious behaviour, and what it would look like if people found out about all of this, and... :/

[Ilphere] He has some kind of problem with Sanadhil ever since M. Orecalo gave this talk at the Society.

[Menard] Talk?

[Ilphere] A lecture, yes...

[Menard] About what?

[Ilphere] About the discovery of the portal to the Plane of Shadow.

[Menard] Did M. Orecalo discover that?

[Diablotin_Narrator] (http://wiki.rocksfall.org/rocksfallwiki/Diablotin_2_session_17)

[Ilphere] He and Seth did.

[Menard] So.. what was the problem between them, if they were working together then?

[Ilphere] I think that Seth felt that Sanadhil did not give him enough credit...?

[Menard] Oh. Is it true?

[Ilphere] I did not think so...

[Ilphere] That is just my guess, anyway... I haven't spoken to Seth about it, since we did not know each other very well at the time, but he has seemed more standoffish toward Sanadhil since then.

[Menard] Well. Regardless of whether that's what this is all about or not, I think Seth has a point - not about M. Orecalo in particular, but about your involvement in this cult.

[Menard] I'm not saying you've done anything wrong - but it might look odd to people if it became public knowledge, you know what I mean?

[Menard] If you and Yanina are both implicated in it...

[Ilphere] I am merely pursuing my research...

[Menard] Well, some might say it's an attempt to take over the government from within or some such nonsense.

[Menard] Not that I have anything to do with the government, but you know how people read into things...

  • Ilphere is quiet.

[Menard] I guess I'm asking if you have to pursue this research by attending their meetings.

[Ilphere] It will be exceedingly difficult to gather data if I am not there to observe what is happening.

[Menard] Well... do you have to gather data? About this, I mean. Couldn't you research something less... I don't know.

  • Menard shrugs helplessly.

[Ilphere] I am heavily invested in this project...

[Menard] People are saying they killed Theodis.

[Ilphere] I'm sure they are...

[Menard] And her brother is marrying Eglantine, and ... it's like everyone is involved with this voided cult!

[Menard] Was she in it?

[Menard] Do you know?

[Ilphere] Not that I'm aware of.

  • Ilphere moves to the window.
  • Menard looks unhappily at the floor.

[Menard] I've known Seth since we were children, and I'd trust him with my life.

[Menard] And I trust you too, of course.

  • Menard adds hastily.

[Menard] I just don't know what to do about any of this. I don't understand what's going on, and I don't want it to ruin things between us.

[Menard] Because I love you.

[Ilphere] ...

  • Ilphere bursts into tears...!

[Menard] Oh!

  • Menard jumps up and hurries over to you.

[Ilphere] Of course I love you...!

  • Ilphere sobs...

[Menard] I'm sorry, I'm sorry... please don't cry!

[Ilphere] but how can you ask me to give up my life's work...?

[Menard] I'm not!

[Menard] I mean, you've only been working on this for a few months, haven't you? I thought you did research on magic stuff, not religious cults.

[Ilphere] ...A year...!

[Ilphere] My... work... is on... extraplanar influences... on this world... of which this cult.. is... a prime example...!

  • Ilphere chokes out between sobs.

[Menard] Is this for your studies at the Castalia? Don't you have to do some kind of big project to finish your studies there? I know Marl did...

  • Ilphere nods.

[Menard] I would just never forgive myself if all of this became a huge scandal and we weren't able to marry :/

[Ilphere] The Society... would support me... Vianca would tell them that we were only doing our research...

[Ilphere] Wouldn't you stand by me...?

[Menard] Well, yes...

[Menard] I'm more worried about Yanina, honestly.

[Ilphere] I heard Marl was going to make her stop going.

[Menard] He said that to me too, but ... what if she can't?

[Ilphere] If she continues to attend I am sure it will be of her own volition...

[Ilphere] She is quite... committed...

[Menard] Don't they use spells to control people's minds?

  • Ilphere wipes her nose unhappily.

[Ilphere] Not like that...

[Ilphere] They influence people to enhance the... experience at their meetings.

[Menard] I just mean... what if it's not a free choice she's making?

[Menard] How could we tell?

[Ilphere] Well, one could attempt to detect enchantments on her person.

[Menard] Could you?

[Ilphere] She might notice and wonder what I am doing... but I could try.

  • Menard nods.

[Menard] I'd never ask you to give up your work, Ilphere.

[Menard] I guess all I'm asking is that... maybe you can finish this particular bit of research soon and move on to something less... scandalous?

[Menard] I'm liking the Shadow Plane more and more ;)

  • Menard teases.

[Ilphere] I think that it is... coming to a head soon.

[Menard] Oh?

  • Ilphere nods glumly.

[Ilphere] I feel it...

[Menard] :/

[Menard] I don't want you to get hurt, Ilphere.

[Ilphere] I know...

[Menard] Are you angry with me?

[Ilphere] No...

[Ilphere] . o O ( not with you )

[Menard] Will you come back to the bed, then?

  • Menard asks hopefully.
  • Ilphere sits down and looks for something to dry her eyes with.
  • Menard offers you a hanky.

[Ilphere] Thank you...

  • Ilphere takes it and dabs at her face delicately.

[Menard] I was thinking we could push the two beds together if we needed... more room for anything.

[Ilphere] I... I wanted to talk to you about an idea I had, but now it doesn't seem very... romantic... I am leaking everywhere...!

  • Ilphere wipes her runny nose.

[Menard] What was your idea?

[Ilphere] Well... we are supposed to go to the Shadow plane soon...

  • Menard nods, listening.

[Ilphere] and I thought if I could talk to Ysa and Dominik, they might help me... If Dominik goes to her house when we get back, then my parents would never know that we had returned until the next day and I thought that we could... spend the night together...

[Menard] ...

[Menard] If you trust Dominik not to tell, then... I think it's a wonderful idea.

[Ilphere] I think I could... he has no reason to make my life difficult in that way...

  • Menard smiles at that.

[Ilphere] I just, I thought it would be nice...

[Menard] It would be. Very nice :)

  • Ilphere smiles a little, although her eyes are puffy and red.
  • Menard kisses you despite your puffiness.
  • Ilphere kisses him back and sinks into his arms, needing the comfort...

[Menard] Seth means well.

  • Menard says into your hair.

[Ilphere] . o O ( if you say so... )

  • Ilphere doesn't say anything, but snuggles into your chest...
  • Menard will stop talking about Seth, then :p

Alma and Megith

  • Megith is on duty in the confessional today at the Nine Elms Church.
  • Megith does her best to aid those whose hearts are heavy with sin.
  • Alma will wait until the Church's patrons are finished before going to speak with Megith.
  • Megith has dealt with incest, theft, lying, and succumbing to baser needs so far today, and is (a bit guiltily) hoping that there aren't too many more...

[Alma] Good afternoon, Sister :)

  • Megith smiles happily! No more confessions today!

[Megith] Good afternoon, Sister.

[Alma] .oO( Oh don't look so relieved... )

[Megith] How have you been?

[Alma] I've been well... busy, but well, and you?

[Megith] Busy, as you say!

[Alma] I was hoping you had a bit of time today. Something has been weighing on me...

[Megith] So many people come asking for food. I'm very concerned. It is only late fall and - oh, of course, Sister.

[Megith] Would you like to speak here, or in the rectory or elsewhere?

[Alma] If you're tired of sitting here, we can retire to the rectory :)

  • Megith nods.

[Megith] I'd like that... I know we're supposed to be humble and all, but you'd think they could put at least a thin cushion on this bench!

[Megith] If I knew how to sew, I'd make one myself.

[Alma] Maybe it helps keep us professional :)

[Megith] I think it makes us hurry things along!

[Alma] Well, I hope not :P

[Alma] I suppose we can't make it look like we're all comfortable when they aren't.

[Megith] Oh, I'd make a cushion for them, too!

[Megith] Seriously, when they're looking for counselling to mend the error of their ways, I think they deserve a great deal of our time.

[Alma] You could always ask Mme. de Laurier, I hear she's always sewing things for folks.

[Alma] She's plenty of time these days.

  • Megith nods.
  • Megith opens the door to the rectory and holds it for you.
  • Alma will head in first.
  • Megith follows her in and gently closes the door behind her so as not to disturb the few people praying in the church.

[Megith] So...

  • Alma will have a seat somewhere appropriate for a conversation.
  • Megith wonders what you need to talk about.

[Alma] Well...

  • Megith sits down beside her. The seats in here have some cushions at least.
  • Megith looks up at you kindly.

[Megith] (maybe down... am I taller than Alma?)

[Alma] (I'm on the short side.)

[Alma] I had to do something recently... something I'm not glad for. It's been bothering me and so I thought I'd like to talk about it. Out loud, you know, instead of up to the constellations :)

[Alma] I was out on an expedition with the Antiquarian Society, and we were attacked.

[Alma] Things weren't going well, and I made the decision to end someone's life.

  • Alma holds her holy symbol with one hand.
  • Megith nods, listening and looking supportive.

[Megith] Would you have died if you hadn't made that decision?

[Megith] Or someone else in your group?

[Alma] Possibly. It was chaos, and many were hurt or enchanted to attack others in the society. But... if I struck with a weapon, there's always the chance that they could survive...

[Alma] He wasn't the only one to die that day... but the others had that chance.

  • Megith looks pensive.

[Megith] So... you used a spell instead of a weapon?

[Alma] It was the touch granted by Owl to some of his priests.

[Alma] (Death Touch)

  • Megith nods.

[Alma] I didn't have time to meditate before the battle, so I didn't have enough spells to keep everyone healthy...

[Alma] I suspect this is the kind of question you can never answer.

[Megith] Well, Alma... I don't think Owl would have granted that spell to you, if It didn't expect that some of Its priests would need to use it sometime...

[Megith] I think in these instances, you just have to trust your judgment.

[Alma] I know there's no value in worrying endlessly about having done the right thing...

[Alma] Maybe even if it is the right thing, you should worry anyway...

  • Megith nods.

[Alma] I have to say it'd be much easier if they just didn't work if we were doing the wrong thing...

[Megith I think Owl would worry about you, if you didn't feel some sort of regret.

  • Megith smiles.

[Megith] The gods gave us free will for a reason - it wouldn't make sense for them to take it away when we choose to use the abilities they grant us.

[Alma] Well, it might, but maybe that's too easy...

[Megith] I think it's all part of the human experience...

[Alma] It's not terribly different when we heal someone in a fight and the other person gets hurt, really.

[Alma] It was just... that line...

  • Megith nods.
  • Megith takes your hand and squeezes it reassuringly.
  • Alma squeezes back.

[Megith] I think Owl would understand.

[Alma] Thank you, Sister.

[Alma] I hope so.

[Alma] May he fare better on the next turn of the wheel.

  • Megith nods.

[Alma] I can't imagine what it would be like to be a Paladin, having to make these sorts of decisions all the time.

[Megith] Me neither.

[Megith] I wouldn't be confident enough.

[Alma] You'll find the strength if you need it... but hopefully you won't ever.

  • Megith nods.

[Alma] Well, I should let you go so you can find lighter things to dwell on. :)

  • Megith smiles.

[Megith] I hope I was able to help, a little, Sister.

[Alma] You did. :)

  • Megith smiles again.

[Megith] Take care.

  • Alma will go and pray in the main chapel area for a while.

Alma and Danyel

  • Danyel is basically just hanging around your house these days - he has his own home, of course, he doesn't have to sleep there (unless you want him to ;)
  • Alma assumes he is not a transient or a beggar and politely sees him out each night :P

[Diablotin_Narrator] (unless you want the extra protection ;)

[Alma] .oO( He would be a good meats... protector for Felise.)

[Alma] (Curse you.)

[Alma] (If he suggests it, she might agree.)

[Diablotin_Narrator] (hahah)

  • Danyel might indeed suggest it.

[Alma] ... well...

[Alma] It might be safer for Felise, I suppose. Though I do have security already, there's no reason you shouldn't have a proper sleep.

[Danyel] I'm happy to stay if that would be helpful to you, Sister.

[Danyel] I don't want to inconvenience you.

[Alma] Well, I'm not sure that the Order has an interest in FElise still, but should they become more aware of our active role...

[Danyel] I would of course defend you with my life, if necessary.

[Alma] Well, that might be a bit premature. I'll talk with Felise perhaps.

[Danyel] Certainly.

[Danyel] Is there anything else I can help you with?

[Alma] I thought I'd make sure you were aware of everything I am, so that the Reverend Father is informed as well.

  • Danyel is a bit at loose ends, you suspect.

[Alma] I've had Marielle prepare us some tea.

[Danyel] Thank you.

  • Alma will sit with you in a comfortable sitting room.
  • Danyel sits and sips tea politely.
  • Alma tells Danyel what she's learned from Felise about the Order and Earric in particular. (Molester!)

[Danyel] How awful :o

[Alma] I know :(

[Alma] I've reason to believe her sister Viviane is... lost.

[Danyel] The poor girl.

[Alma] Perhaps she can be saved if we put an end to all this.

[Danyel] I would like nothing better.

[Alma] It turns out that some fellow members of the Antiquarian Society have been ... observing the Order.

  • Alma tells about Ilphere and Sanadhil (what Alma knows, at least)

[Danyel] Observing from afar?

[Alma] I do not ... get that impression.

[Danyel] ...

[Alma] M. Orecalo seemed to believe they were simply harmless, an oddity to observe, until recently.

[Alma] He also has reason to suspect Earric Boyne is not human.

[Danyel] If these people have the ability to control minds in that fashion, then ... can your acquaintances be trusted?

[Danyel] Not human?

[Danyel] What is he, then?

[Alma] Yes, he didn't say what reason in particular, or what else he thought he could be. But I thought it relevent.

  • Danyel nods.

[Alma] Did the Reverend Father tell you about my ... gift?

[Danyel] If he was deeply implicated in the cult, why would he reveal such information to you?

[Danyel] Yes, I know of your remarkable talents, Sister. I would be honoured to see you use them sometime.

  • Danyel says with a completely straight face :p

[Alma] A very good question. He appears not to be loyal to their philosophy, and considers that they are a threat. A reasonable stance.

  • Danyel nods.

[Alma] Whether we can trust M. Orecalo is one of my main concerns at the moment, as he has offered to help us, so long as we will keep him informed if we move against the Order.

[Danyel] So that he can make good his escape and not be caught, or so that he can warn them?

[Alma] Again, a reasonable request, that we would not ... sweep in with a hundred Spokesmen without informing him, if he's the providing us the information necessary.

  • Danyel nods again, but is looking concerned.

[Alma] You see, M. Orecalo came to me with his concerns about Earric. Clearly I'm involved with the matter of Felise, but why would he ask, if he was not concerned himself?

[Danyel] I don't know what ulterior motives he may have.

[Alma] .oO(...that was rhetorical.)

[Alma] Well, from that conversation I was unable to determine anything about Earric. I believe the items I examined belonged to Phedre Lozada-Boyne and Viviane Lozada. I could not determine where Phedre's soul lies, but Viviane's... at least I guess it is hers, appears lost :(

[Danyel] Lost to the cycle?

[Alma] Well, perhaps there can be redemption...

[Alma] He's twisted her, but who knows?

[Danyel] There is always that possibility, I pray.

[Alma] Indeed.

  • Alma moves on to tell Danyel about hte expedition to the Shadow Plane, the temple there, the visions, illusions, the Statue/Golem and the mission into the sewers, and that she's going back again :D

[Danyel] That seems a very dangerous undertaking.

[Danyel] I'd gladly go with you, if you wished.

[Alma] It's unlikely that they will be convinced not to visit again, and so they would benefit from the presence of a cleric. They might also discover something else relevent to Ophion... Vrag... and that may be relevent to the Order.

  • Danyel nods.

[Alma] Well... though some of them are accomplished casters, I admit there's not a lot of braun in the assembled scholars.

[Alma] ...

  • Danyel smiles ever so slightly at that.

[Alma] If the Reverend Father thinks it would be relevent, a Spokesman would be a good addition to the expedition.

[Danyel] I'm no great scholar, Sister, but I can swing a sword if the need arises.

[Alma] Well, that can be useful :)

[Danyel] I hope it will not be needed.

[Alma] Well, I hoped the same last time...

  • Alma tries to think of anything she's missing about the Order.

[Alma] I'll let you know what I learn the next time I meet with Sanadhil.

[Danyel] Very well, Sister.

[Danyel] Is there anything else I can help you with at the moment?

[Alma] As for my ability to discern information from objects... if you'd like to have me examine something, feel free to ask anytime. I'm quite interested in learning things about heirlooms, etc.

[Danyel] I'll see what I can come up with for you to examine, then.

[Alma] Alright :)

[Alma] I've some reading to do, let Marielle know if you need anything.

[Danyel] Certainly. Will it bother you if I play something in the music room?

[Alma] ... no, of course not. What is it you play?

[Alma] .oO( Well, I suppose unless you're bad at it... )

[Danyel] I dabble a bit - mostly keyboard instruments.

  • Danyel will take his leave, if you have nothing else.

[Diablotin_Narrator] You can hear him playing, faintly - he isn't awful, at least.

Ilphere and Sanadhil

  • Ilphere catches up with Sanadhil at the Castalia...
  • Sanadhil is not difficult to find

[Ilphere] Bonjour...!

  • Ilphere sticks her head into your workspace.

[Sanadhil] Bonjour :)

[Ilphere] How are the plans going for the expedition...?

[Sanadhil] ahh well.

[Ilphere] Have we agreed a date yet?

  • Sanadhil frowns a bit

[Sanadhil] I have a few in mind.

  • Ilphere nods...

[Sanadhil] I've been tryig to focus on some particular areas for research

[Sanadhil] what might be valuable to investigate

  • Ilphere nods...

[Sanadhil] The Imperial island, certainly, would be worth a look

[Ilphere] Oh, most definitely.

[Sanadhil] but that's still a broad area

[Sanadhil] in terms of undwerstanding the parallels between the two cities, and so forth...

[Ilphere] Listen... I wanted to make sure to talk to you before we go...

[Sanadhil] I can think of many interesting questions to pursue along that avenue, unfortunately the most qulifid person to consult is M. Argo... He's a find scholar but, well.

[Sanadhil] hmm?

[Ilphere] You need to be wary of Seth Argo... he has some kind of problem with you.

[Sanadhil] Oh I'm well aware.

[Sanadhil] I think he was slighted after I presented my initial paper

[Ilphere] I fear I made an error in sharing our findings with him, and for that I am very sorry...

  • Sanadhil sighs

[Sanadhil] he is well placed to be of assistance, if he were so inclined.

[Ilphere] He came to me the other day full of ridiculous rantings about how my friendship with you looks bad, and how you could be a threat to the empire and compromised by the order, and On and On...!

  • Sanadhil blinks

[Sanadhil] How fascinating...

[Ilphere] It was such nonsense.

[Ilphere] About how you are a foreigner and how do I know what your interests are *really*, and What Would People Think...!

[Sanadhil] I can't imagine they would care too terribly much - if my involvement is exposed, he should be more concerned with the rest of the information that woud accomany such a revelation

[Ilphere] And how he is 'A Kizer Man'... what does *that* even mean, I ask you, when Marl quite possibly wants to restore the Arch and do Gods know what!

[Sanadhil] .... well I certainly hope if doesn't mean he is aligning his interests with the Emperor :o

[Ilphere] I should hope not.

  • Sanadhil considers.

[Sanadhil] Hmm.

[Ilphere] He has some kind of issue with Menard, I don't know what...

[Ilphere] There is something I think that he is afraid to tell him.

[Sanadhil] When i first spoke to him after my conversation with the Chancellor, he seemed extremely disturbed at what i related

[Sanadhil] if he thinks the involvement of a 'foreigner' is so dangerous, perhaps it was *not* so much at the infpormation relayed...

[Sanadhil] well that is certainy true

[Sanadhil] Nash had some other reason for bringing him to the Arch room, and he knows precisely what it was.

  • Ilphere nods.

[Sanadhil] I don't know what to do about the matter however...

[Sanadhil] its troubling

[Ilphere] Well perhaps we will find some proof in this document of Yanina's...

[Sanadhil] if it came down toti, I could make him share the informatin, but unles handled very carefully, it would probably have unfortunate consequencs in terms of any future dealings

[Sanadhil] perhaps.

[Ilphere] In any case I thought you should know...

[Sanadhil] thank you.

  • Sanadhil looks down at the notes
  • Sanadhil pokes at them with the end of his pen

[Sanadhil] so inconvenient.

[Ilphere] I am sorry... :(

[Sanadhil] It's not your fault.

[Sanadhil] I realized there was a problem after my talk, I think it has been festering since.

[Sanadhil] I approached him then, but he woudl not admit there had been any slight, and so.

  • Sanadhil raises his hands.

[Sanadhil] thank you for alerting me, in any case.

[Ilphere] I thought it only right...

  • Sanadhil nods.

Sanadhil and Seth

  • Sanadhil will send a note to Seth at the palace, ostensibly re: meeting to discuss some details about the upcoming expedition
  • Seth will come, then, but will be sure to apprise someone at the palace where he is going, who he is meeting, and when he expects to be back
  • Seth will search out San at the Society.
  • Sanadhil has one of the study rooms booked and will be there, looking over notes taken from the initial expedition

[Seth] Ah, good afternoon, M. Orecalo.

[Sanadhil] Hello M. Argo.

  • Sanadhil is cordial and reserved.

[Sanadhil] please come in.

  • Seth enters and takes a seat.

[Seth] I'm afraid I can't stay very long - the wedding details are numerous and complex.

[Sanadhil] Oh I'm sure.

[Sanadhil] I wanted to consult with you, prmarily in regards to the resarch program of the expedition.

  • Seth nods.

[Seth] Certainly.

[Sanadhil] One of the things that struck me most on the initial visit was the apparentl parallels betwen the cities.

[Sanadhil] I think it is worth exploring further, however much of the evidence in that regard requires a more extensive knowledge of Diablotin's development.

[Sanadhil] Which is more your specialty, of course.

[Seth] Yes, absolutely, I agree. Far more parallels, in fact, than I think could be possible under any ordinary theory of an ancient influence, followed by independent development of the two.

[Sanadhil] precisely, i'm glad we are on the same page in that regard at least.

  • Seth nods.

[Seth] What would you like of me?

  • Sanadhil tilts his head slightly, as though considering his words.

[Sanadhil] As we seem to be fated to share responsabilty in regards to this project, I wanted to be sure that it would be a topic of interest of you, and also to consider how the research ought best be pursued, and of course disseminated after the fact.

[Sanadhil] While much of the evidence for demonstrating a continued extra planar influence would surely fall on your own research, I expect that any explanations for such would likely require more metaphysical considerations.

[Seth] Yes, I agree fully.

[Sanadhil] I am more interested in the latter, to be clear, and I have some hypotheses on the matter.

[Seth] We must of course exercise caution with regard to some of the more ... relevant findings of the research, unfortunately, lest the whole matter be brought to a halt.

[Sanadhil] I agree

[Sanadhil] however I think they are potentially highly relevant to the situation.

[Seth] To which situation?

[Sanadhil] The influence of the entity once contained within the arch upon your society, past, and present.

[Sanadhil] I understand the delicacy of the situation, and I'm not, whatever you might think, interested in exacerbating or exploiting it.

[Seth] Ah.

[Seth] Let me be blunt, M. Orecalo, if I may.

[Sanadhil] Please do.

[Seth] Is it the case that the Order of the Black Down has as part of its mission the restoration of the entity, Ophion, or whatever you would call it, to some power here in the city?

[Sanadhil] That is what it claims. The details may be more complex. Why are you asking?

[Seth] My concern, M. Orecalo, is that I do not have enough information to know if you are earnestly researching this phenomenon in order to understand it intellectually, or whether you may in fact be involved in supporting this mission.

[Seth] I have reason to think that others, others whom we may have thought trustworthy, may be compromised. Why not you?

[Sanadhil] I am not interested in any power offered by the cult. Any power offered by their god is false.

[Sanadhil] . o ( and any other god... )

[Seth] And you have never, at these meetings, been subject to any of their mind-influencing magic?

[Sanadhil] No.

[Sanadhil] (which is even true! Its always thedrugs that get me -_-)

[Seth] Mlle de Quessenet tells me that your level of participation in the cult is far greater than her own. She trusts that this involvement is intellectual. I admire her trust. I do not share it.

[Sanadhil] Unlike Ilphère, i don'rt have vision which arounse the interest of the cult leaders to the extend that they are willing to excuse my lack of further participation.

[Seth] You're saying ... you must participate or else ... what?

[Sanadhil] Or lose the ability to learn more about them - and lose the ability to look out for Ilphère as well.

[Sanadhil] I suppose they might accept it if I simply chose to stop participation, but honestly... i don't know what happenes to people who 'lose interest'.

[Seth] But don't you see that this is getting so dangerous, and so close to matters of significance to the empire, that we must talk to others about this?

  • Sanadhil laughs

[Sanadhil] who do you mean, others?

[Seth] Anyone other than the three of us?

[Sanadhil] there are others who are aware of the situation

[Seth] Indeed?

[Sanadhil] Mr. rademacher has, in the past, been involved in lookign to Ilphère protection at these meetings.

[Seth] I'm not talking about M. Rademacher. We discussed all the reasons why he shouldn't be told everything, when we talked last time.

[Sanadhil] She and I have been discussing the matter with Mme Belden, as well, who has also provided me with some magical protection for continuing my investigatins once Ilphère was no longer attending regularly.

[Sanadhil] The Countes de Béziers has some knowledge of it as well.

[Seth] I must say, I am very surprised to hear that Mme Belden knows of these matters. In all of our discussions, neither you nor Ilphere has ever mentioned this.

[Sanadhil] Honestly, Mr. Argo, when we decided that it would be valuable to have your input in these affairs, your response was less that....supportive.

[Seth] In what way?

[Sanadhil] I can understand your decision to withold information, but impling to Ilphère that I'm some kinf od... dangerous foreign, what, spy? traitor?

[Seth] I regret if that was her understanding. My point was more ... abstract.

[Seth] Let us depersonalize, if I may.

[Sanadhil] oh?

  • Sanadhil listens

[Seth] If I told you that someone, recently arrived in the city, having no expertise in extraplanar matters, discovered some information that could potentially destroy an empire, or be used to his profit ... one would say, clearly, there is reason at least for some mistrust.

[Seth] It is not that I mistrust you ... but someone else who knew the situation might well.

[Seth] Add to that the threat of magical charms ... well, I'm sure you can see that the picture I'm portraying is unflattering at best.

[Seth] Now, add to that a close personal connection of this cult with two imperial brides ... If anything, M. Orecalo, I am trying to look out for you here.

[Seth] You do not know this city, its seedy politics, its espionage, its gossip. I do. I was born to it.

[Sanadhil] Honestly? No, I can't. I can't imagine how my involvement in any of this might seem at all significatnt when compared to other related matters that anyone who got close enough to the situation would uncover.

[Seth] But you see - I'm not talking about your actual involvement, whatever that may be. I don't care if you fucked Yanina and Ilphere atop the Down, and I don't think you did. But the implication is enough to cause grave injury - not only to you but to the Imperial family.

[Seth] I'm an Argo, and Argos are Kizer men. Ilphere is a Kizer, or near as can be. It's my duty to make sure she avoids any of this.

[Sanadhil] It of is her involvement you take issue with, why bring me in to it at all?

[Seth] Because it is her involvement with *you* that continues to bring this risk - she is no longer involved in cult meetings!

  • Sanadhil raises his eyebrows

[Seth] And because the Empire and its agents are clearly, and rightly interested in the matter ... it is not secure for any of us to continue to investigate the cult secretly.

[Sanadhil] You're operating under a mistaken premise in that regard.

[Seth] Oh?

[Sanadhil] She does not attend the common meetings, and is not requires to participate in an, ah, sexual activities.

[Sanadhil] In regards to other imperial agents.... what are your specific concerns? Do you know what these agencies are? Or their agents?

[Seth] I have concerns about the Warlord ... but that, at least, you have surmised. What exactly they are, I'm not even sure yet. But the Warlord controls the Hush, and the Hush is itself in some political difficulty of late.

[Seth] Yanina ... we think of her now as an imperial bride, which of course she is ... but also, so much more than that.

[Sanadhil] oh?

[Sanadhil] Are you referring to her current position?

[Seth] Well, she is a noblewoman in her own right, and Secretary of State. Very competent ... potentially very dangerous if compromised.

[Sanadhil] She is strongly in the thrall of the cult.

[Seth] All right. So ... let's take the perspective of ... oh, say, the Patriarch. Why would he believe that you, or Ilphere, are not in the thrall of the cult?

[Sanadhil] The church are only beginning their investigations, and I believe that the countess is heavily involved in their effort, on account of her association with Felise Lozada.

[Sanadhil] And she is wel aware of my involvement.

[Sanadhil] the church I'm les concerned with

[Sanadhil] other organizations, i know less about.

[Sanadhil] in terms of the Hush, I thik it is likely that nash is, to some degree, in league with the powers behind the cult.

[Seth] I almost hope that is true.

[Seth] If it is, it means there is one less faction to contend with.

[Sanadhil] indeed.

[Seth] But I have no evidence to suggest that this is actually the case.

[Sanadhil] If it is true, exposure of my investigations to the Hush would be primarily dangerous to myself.

[Seth] Please understand, M. Orecalo, that there are grave dangers to me in all of this.

[Sanadhil] To you?

[Seth] If our work is revealed, if all fails, then you simply return to your homeland, where even the Hush cannot touch you.

[Sanadhil] Well then perhaps we have something else in common :p

[Seth] Ilphere is about to be a Princess of the imperial family - this protects her from the worst of the worst.

[Seth] But I am ... nobody.

[Sanadhil] I'm not convinced I woudl be given that opportunity.

[Seth] Are you saying that you would like to leave the cult, but feel that you would be in graver danger in leaving than in remaining?

[Sanadhil] I'm saying that leaving would likely be dangerous. I don't have any particular desire to abandon my investigation, I simply recognizw the risks involved.

[Seth] When the Hush finds out about your involvement, they will not accept the excuse that you were afraid.

[Sanadhil] I'm not offering it as an excuse.

[Seth] No.

[Seth] I do want very much to believe that you are looking out for Ilphere in this matter. If anything were to happen to her ...

[Sanadhil] I understand.

[Sanadhil] she is not easily disuaded from her interests.

[Seth] She also continues to see this as primarily an intellectual pursuit, not a political one. In this she is gravely misguided.

[Sanadhil] I believe that she views the ramifications of what is going on here to potentially extend beyond the interests of merely your Empie, and I don't think she is wrong.

[Seth] Certainly the links between the OBD and the Shadow Plane investigations are disturbing, and worthy of further inquiry.

[Seth] But at the risk of imitating Sister Alma, we may not be hobbyists at fighting evil, but we are hobbyists in Imperial politics.

[Sanadhil] its not the order, as much as the entity they worship, but yes.

[Sanadhil] you seem to have more ties in that regard, being a 'Kizer man' and all.

[Seth] I know enough only to know that we are on shifting ground here, and we do not know when or where the earthquake will strike.

[Sanadhil] can you find out more?

[Seth] I can attempt to ... but just as you can only learn more by involving yourself in unwelcome affairs, the same is true of me.

[Sanadhil] You're a scholar, M. Argo. You should value the power of information.

[Seth] And you understand ... I have nowhere to run, and Prince Menard, for all his title and wealth, cannot protect me if I should fail.

[Seth] I do. And that is my concern, my gravest concern, indeed, right now, that we have so little.

[Seth] The fact that the Hush is apparently split in two concerns me more than twenty Ophions.

[Sanadhil] Then we clearly need *more* and not les, if you wish to have any opportunity to effectively protect the Kizer family.

[Seth] I agree.

[Sanadhil] Excellent.

[Sanadhil] What about the Hush, then?

[Seth] Which one, and what about them?

[Sanadhil] If Nash controls one group, who controls the other, and to what end?

[Seth] Well, that's complicated. Nominally Nash supervises the Hush, but Maze Olivier runs it. But if they have had a falling-out, Olivier may have taken his people out of the ordinary chain of command.

[Sanadhil] Who is he?

[Sanadhil] and what is his likely interest in all of this?

[Sanadhil] and, if we are fairly certain that Nash is working at interests counter tou ours.... whatever they may be..

  • Sanadhil says pointedly

[Sanadhil] Would there be any benefit in contacting them dorectly?

  • Seth seems shocked at all this.

[Seth] I ... I don't think you understand.

[Sanadhil] Explain?

[Seth] Maze Olivier, Lord Grey, is one of the most powerful men in the Empire.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Seth] The Oliviers and the Kizers ... there is history, not often friendly, over the past half-century.

[Seth] I am not at all as sure as you are that Nash's interests are counter to ours. I do think it is possible - but I do not have any real evidence.

[Sanadhil] What did she tell you?

[Seth] Nothing directly. She made some allusions that made it appear as if she were seeking my agreement that the Arch should be restored.

[Seth] That must not go any further than this room.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] restored in what sense?

[Seth] That was not exactly clear.

[Sanadhil] I see.

  • Sanadhil tries to remember what we told you about the cult, and rubs the bridge of his nose

[Seth] She asked me, if I discover any information about the origins of the Arch, while in the Shadow Plane, to bring it to her attention.

[Seth] I agreed - how could I not?

[Sanadhil] there is no way to restore it to it's pevious function that does not involve first restoring restoring the Ophion

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] which is, of course, counter to the interests of the empire.

[Seth] I suggested, half in jest, that the appearance that it had been restored to its function would in fact, have some effect.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Seth] That the fear of the Arch was always its true purpose.

[Sanadhil] that woudl be feasible, if it could be moved again, I suppose.... We need to find out about the Keeper of the Arch.

[Seth] I do not disagree with Ilphere ... that Nash could have been that keeper.

[Sanadhil] Mme Belden is trying to secue an Audience with Rab Belden to discuss what he knows of the moving of the arch, and *that* is to go no further than this room, either.

[Sanadhil] he may also have insights about the Keeper.

[Seth] I don't know much about M. Belden.

[Sanadhil] he was apparently involved in the moving of the arch, to some degree. He is Pasith Belden's widower

[Sanadhil] and Mme belden's brother in law, I suppose.

[Seth] Ah, I see. Well, I will be most interested to learn about that. Aside from everything else, the Arch is a remarkable piece of architecture.

[Sanadhil] Hm. Yes.

  • Sanadhil eyes Seth more critically and will *now* Sm him

[Seth] (you don't note any deception)

[Sanadhil] (21 to sense your general attitude, mostly towards me at this point)

[Seth] (not hatred)

[Sanadhil] (well that's a switch?)

[Sanadhil] Well.

[Sanadhil] How did nash react to your suggestin?

[Seth] She seemed amused.

[Sanadhil] hmm.

[Sanadhil] The Oder of the Black Down is a front - it draws in members on one premise with the intent of using them for something else

[Sanadhil] I wonder if Nash is not using the same tactics.

[Sanadhil] Claiming to restore the arch and the old ways of your Empire - a thing which is dangerous, if not completely infeasible - if order to gain support, when her aim, like the order, is merely to restore the Ophion to the arch?

[Seth] I wouldn't rule it out. It's the way the Hush operates. And if she was in fact the Keeper of the Arch ... well, then she is very good at keeping secrets and deceiving others.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] What else do you know about nash?

[Seth] Not much. Not yet.

[Seth] But I assure you that I aim to learn as much as I can safely.

[Seth] I am cognizant that you and Ilphere have much to lose in this matter as well.

[Sanadhil] Indeed. I think it would be beneficial for us all to be more forthcoming in these matters as well - if only for our own protection.

[Sanadhil] though that might require some level of trust.

[Seth] I believe that Mme Belden should be involved in all our discussions from now on. If she had been present along with you and Ilphere, I no doubt would have been more at ease. As it was, I felt I was expected to reveal information without knowing whether it was safe to do so.

[Sanadhil] I am not opposed to the suggestin - I can't say that it is feasible, however. She is busy with her own affairs. We can try to arrange it, if you insist, but it may limit our opportunity for comminucation on critical matters.

[Seth] All right. We will do what we can.

[Sanadhil] very well.

[Seth] And understand, M. Orecalo: If I detect changes in your behaviour that lead me to think you may be ... compromised ... I will not hesitate to do what I need to do.

[Sanadhil] Well I hope you might consider your options before pursuing too final a solution, M. Argo.

  • Sanadhil replies blithely.

[Seth] Of course.

[Sanadhil] Good day, then.

[Seth] Good day, M. Orecalo.

Ysabeau and Dominik

  • Ysabeau slips up behind a seated Dominik one day at the Society or the Castalia, not realizing that Ilphere is nearby.
  • Dominik is peering at a book detailing the construction of various locks
  • Ysabeau embraces him from behind and kisses him on the cheek.

[Ysabeau] Hello gorgeous.

[Dominik] Is that you Tessa?

[Ilphere] ...!

[Ilphere] Ah, hello Ysabeau...!

  • Ysabeau gives him a pretend punch.
  • Ysabeau is then surprised by Ilphere.
  • Dominik buckles over chuckling
  • Ysabeau blushes very red.

[Ysabeau] Oh, hello Ilphere...

  • Ysabeau removes herself from Dominik's person and straightens up beside him.

[Ysabeau] I thought he was quite alone...

  • Ysabeau tries to explain, flustered.

[Ilphere] Well...! Ah, it is just as well the two of you are both here...

[Ilphere] I need to ask you for a favour, on a personal matter...

[Ysabeau] Oh?

[Ysabeau] Sounds... interesting.

[Ilphere] Yes... you will probably think it is very silly.

  • Ysabeau shrugs.

[Ysabeau] I make no promises. ;)

[Dominik] Have out with it.

[Ilphere] You see... I do not have the opportunity to spend very much time with Menard... unchaperoned.

[Ilphere] But I thought mnaybe if the two of you would help me... after we return from the Shadow plane, if you went back to Ysabeau's house for the night then my parents need not know we were back until the next day...

[Dominik] and you would slip off and make Menard a very happy man.

[Ilphere] And then I could stay with him, yes...

[Ysabeau] You would never have asked that if you didn't know we were together.

  • Ysabeau sighs.

[Ysabeau] What do you think, Dom?

[Ilphere] Well to be honest, it would not have occurred to me, no...

[Dominik] Could have just asked me to sleep at an inn?

[Ilphere] I might have done that instead.

[Ilphere] But as you *are* involved...

[Ilphere] I thought it might be more agreeable... Was I mistaken...?

[Ysabeau] Spending time with Dom is very agreeable.

[Dominik] If that is what you want to do, who am I to stop you.

[Dominik] You might do better to plan for a room at a nice inn, if that is your intention... less palace eyes on you.

[Ilphere] We will figure something out... :)

[Dominik] and after an expedition you may want access to a nice hot bath.

[Ilphere] You are full of good ideas, aren't you...

[Ysabeau] Dom is. ^-^

[Dominik] that grey dust sticks to you so much.

[Ilphere] That reminds me...

[Ilphere] You had asked me to intervene with Menard to see if he might hire you...?

[Dominik] Did you follow through?

[Ilphere] No... I don't believe I will

[Ilphere] I would rather you work for me.

  • Ysabeau grins.

[Dominik] I don't think I would complain about that too much as long as we work out what it is you want me to do... and that I get paid ;)

[Ilphere] Excellent.

[Ilphere] It will be much the same save that *I* will decide when I need protection.

  • Ysabeau flashes Ilphere a very approving, you-go-girl kind of look.

[Dominik] Thats fine with me, as long as you'll take the time to listen to me when I think that you are mistaken.

[Ilphere] I will take your concerns under consideration... :)

[Dominik] Good.

[Ilphere] Now, one other thing...

[Ilphere] Ysa, how would you like to be in an imperial wedding...?

  • Ysabeau looks surprised.

[Ysabeau] What? Me...?!

[Ilphere] It would mean a great deal to me if you would attend me...

[Ysabeau] Well... of course - I would be honoured.

[Ilphere] Oh thank you...!

  • Ilphere hugs you.
  • Ysabeau looks a little o_O
  • Ysabeau hugs you back.

[Ysabeau] Hopefully I won't trip or something, ruin your wedding!

[Ysabeau] I could never forgive myself.

[Ilphere] I am only bveing allowed to choose one person out of the *ten* or so that they are having up there with me...! It will be wonderful to have you there

  • Ysabeau swallows a bit nervously.

[Ilphere] Well, I am sure everyone will be looking at my ridiculous dress, so don't worry...!

[Ysabeau] I had better brush up on noble etiquette, then...!

[Ysabeau] And refrain from using my vulgar street terminology, such as 'yeah.'

[Ysabeau] But yes, everyone will be looking at you, for sure.

[Ysabeau] You are going to be the most impossibly gorgeous bride.

[Ilphere] Oh well... I don't know about that... but thank you...!

  • Ysabeau hugs you again, and gives you a quick kiss on the cheek.

[Ysabeau] You will, honest.

[Dominik] now start talking about hair pins and dress colours so I can feel bored enough to go back to my book

[Ilphere] Oh Dominik...!

[Dominik] . o O (all the hugging and kissing is very distracting)

[Ysabeau] Oh Dominik, indeed.

  • Dominik chuckles
  • Ysabeau sticks her tongue out at him.
  • Ysabeau giggles.

[Ysabeau] You should have a corset that pushes things up, like this...

  • Ysabeau pushes herself up with her hands to demonstrate.

[Ilphere] Well I'll need it..!

  • Dominik takes a quick glance around to ensure there are no eavesdroppers on this conversation before returning his attention to the demonstrations

[Ysabeau] And off the shoulders...

[Ysabeau] Though it will be a winter wedding so you should have a stole.

[Ilphere] Sadly I really don't think I have a lot of choice... :/

[Ysabeau] Or maybe, since you'll be joining the Imperial family, you could have an ermine-trimmed cape.

[Ysabeau] Some girls are allowing a little bit of cleavage to show... but not the classiest ones.

[Ysabeau] Best keep that for Menard's eyes alone.

[Ysabeau] Too bad. ;)

[Ilphere] We shall see I guess... You will have to start coming to fittings, so you will likely see it before he does..!

[Ysabeau] I will?

[Ilphere] Yes, for your gown...!

[Ysabeau] Oh - of course!

[Ysabeau] ...

[Ysabeau] Do you know what colour the bridesmaids will be wearing?

[Ysabeau] And who else is in your bridal party...?

[Ysabeau] Maybe I know one or two of them already.

  • Ysabeau adds, hopefully.

[Ilphere] I don't even know yet... :/

[Ysabeau] Ah well. You've got me, anyway. :)

[Ilphere] They will probably be some shade of purple...

[Ilphere] The dresses, I mean...!

  • Ysabeau laughs.

[Ysabeau] I should hope so!

[Ysabeau] I hope it will be a nice plum or reddish purple.

[Ilphere] I honestly do not know...

[Ysabeau] But seriously, who cares? I get to see you exchange vows close-up!

  • Ysabeau twirls around.

[Ysabeau] It will be so romantic, you and Menard.

  • Ilphere smiles...

[Ilphere] I am looking forward to it...

[Ilphere] Well, to being married anyway...!

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Yours will be the first wedding I've ever attended!

  • Dominik has already gone back to reading
  • Ysabeau is so excited for Ilphere it's ridiculous.

[Ilphere] I hope it will be fun for you, then...!

[Ysabeau] I'm sure it will be!

[Ysabeau] ~I'm going to Ilphere's wedding...!


Sanadhil, Ilphere and Dominik

  • Sanadhil will have Ilphere meet him at the society then probably
  • Ilphere drags Dominik along!
  • Dominik is drug along
  • Sanadhil has oe of those there private meeting rooms again, so convenient [3

[Ilphere] (so many memories!)

[Sanadhil] me half wnders how many have been 'Christened' ;p

  • Sanadhil does

[Ilphere] Bonjour Sanadhil...!

[Sanadhil] Bonjour Ilphère, M. Rademacher.

  • Sanadhil motions you inside
  • Sanadhil nods to Dominik, but then mostly adresses Ilphère
  • Ilphere settles herself into one of the chairs.

[Sanadhil] I wanted to talk to you about the expedition, and some related matters

  • Dominik slips inside and closes the doorm
  • Ilphere nods...

[Sanadhil] For one thing, it seems likely that the Countess de Bésiers will be attending.

[Ilphere] Ah well...

[Sanadhil] we'll manage. she doesn't need to come to the Spire if she doesn't wish to

[Ilphere] Yes, c'est la vie...!

[Sanadhil] I've been speaking to her more also.... She came to ask me about the material I asked her to examine - how I'd acquired it, and why

[Ilphere] How did *that* go...?

[Sanadhil] It seems that because of the matter with Felise, the church is taking a more active interest in the cult, and she is involved in that investigation.

[Sanadhil] It went well enough

  • Sanadhil smiles

[Sanadhil] I am hoping that I will be able to arrange through her to have insight into whatever they are planning to do

[Ilphere] Hmmm.... well, that would definitely be useful...!

[Sanadhil] warning, at the least - ideally I could convince her to rely on me to provide them information.

  • Ilphere nods..

[Sanadhil] We shall see. She may continue to doubt my qualifications, but she accepted that at this point we are still the ones with the most experience in this particular case.

  • Sanadhil shrugs

[Sanadhil] I also spoke to M. Argo, ostensibly about the expedition...

[Sanadhil] After what you told me, it seemed best to make some attempt to clear the air, so to speak.

[Ilphere] ...And...?

[Sanadhil] I think we can manage a working relationship without too much tension.

[Ilphere] Really...?

[Sanadhil] he explained his concerns to me more clearly.

  • Ilphere raises her eyebrows in surprise.

[Sanadhil] I hope so. I doubt we will ever be friendly, but it is an acceptable, if not agreeable arrangement

  • Sanadhil frowns a little bit

[Ilphere] He is not *my* favourite person...

[Sanadhil] No, but he is useful.

[Sanadhil] and intelligent

[Ilphere] He went whining to Menard, did you know, about the whole thing...!

[Sanadhil] Ahh, I am sorry to hear that.

[Sanadhil] In any case.... Some of his concerns, while overexagerated, may be based in some real threat, apparently.

[Dominik] I don't understand, I thought Seth was supportive of Ilphere's and Menards relationship?

[Ilphere] So did I...!

[Sanadhil] Their relationship, perhaps, but not her nvolvement in the investigation, or with me, as a fellow investigator. Apparently he was under the impression that you were not attending cult meetings at all anymore.

  • Dominik chuckles

[Ilphere] Well his impression was mistaken and my relationship with Menard is between Menard and myself, or should be...!

[Sanadhil] I don't know - perhaps he is being protective in some round about way

[Dominik] He was worried about you?

  • Sanadhil half-shrugs at Dominik

[Ilphere] I neither want nor desire Seth's protection...!

[Ilphere] He put it into Menard's head that I should not be doing such 'risky' research...

[Sanadhil] Apparently it is some sort of family duty that he look after the Kizer family.

[Ilphere] I thought for a horrible moment that he was going to make me choose...!

[Ilphere] The Kizer family! Hah.

[Ilphere] Some family, I say...!

[Ilphere] Marl is practically a rapist, and may be planning to do Gods know what with the Arch...!

  • Ilphere waves her hands around as she talks, clearly still quite annoyed at the situation.

[Sanadhil] Apparently the Kizers have some sort of... ongoing feud with the man who runs the Hush, or part of it? And since they might have he resources to find out about your involvement they could ruin you? i don't know. I agree that his priorities are somewhat skewed...

[Sanadhil] wait - what?

[Ilphere] Hmm?

[Sanadhil] A rapist?

[Ilphere] You do recall when he threatened me, yes...?

  • Sanadhil winces

[Sanadhil] Yes, I apologize.

[Ilphere] Well I happen to know that he has harmed other women.

[Sanadhil] Hmm. I suppose it is not surprising, all things considered.

[Dominik] Maybe this would have been all simpler if Fredricia had gotten elected Empress

[Sanadhil] Perhaps.

[Ilphere] There is little point in contemplating that notion...

  • Dominik shrugs
  • Sanadhil looks to Ilphere

[Sanadhil] What do you know about the Olivier family?

[Ilphere] Not so much...

  • Ilphere thinks

[Ilphere] (/me rolls K: nob)

[Ilphere] (23?)

[Sanadhil] All I know is that Maze Olivier apparently runs the Hush, or part of it.

[Sanadhil] and that they have some sort of feud with the Kizers.

[Diablotin_Narrator] (they're new nobles, within the last generation or two, related to the Sathins and, somehow, to the Kizers. Maze Olivier is Lord Grey.)

[Ilphere] They are actually related to the Kizers...

[Ilphere] Although I can't recall the precise connection.

[Dominik] Gotta love Wolf noble politics

[Ilphere] ...and they are quite newly ennobled...

[Sanadhil] Apparently the feud goes back some 50 years?

  • Sanadhil shrugs

[Dominik] Something doesn't add up in your debate.

[Sanadhil] oh?

[Dominik] If Marl is doing something with the Arch... we know the Hush were involved in stealing that gem thing that released the big dragon, why would the Hush be helping him if there was a feud?

[Sanadhil] There is a split in the Hush

[Ilphere] Ohhh... that *is* interesting...

[Sanadhil] and the warlord now controls part of it

[Ilphere] Nash.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I believe that M. Argo is afraid that we might get caught up in *that* issue on top of everything else, if we proceed with out investigation

[Sanadhil] or if he sn't, I am now concerned.

[Sanadhil] if the Hush do have some blanket issue with all Kizers...

[Ilphere] Well, it goes back to Martan...

[Ilphere] But there was also something between the Duke of Friaul and his brother that might be related...

[Sanadhil] Hmm...

[Diablotin_Narrator] (you believe they contested over which of them would get the duchy)

[Ilphere] There was some conflict over which would inherit the title.

[Dominik] regardless of that conflict, the current conflict is going to get bloodier.

  • Sanadhil sighs

[Sanadhil] Which current conflict?

[Sanadhil] :/

[Dominik] In case you hadn't figured it out Theo was a member of the Hush. She worked for Lord Grey.

[Ilphere] Ohhh... :o

[Sanadhil] the woman who was found on the Down?

[Sanadhil] hrm.

[Ilphere] And if it was Nash's people who killed her, setting her body under the Arch is quite a message...!

  • Dominik nods

[Sanadhil] How do you know that?

[Dominik] I'm a Rademarcher. You think me and my family havent been approached in this whole thing.

[Ilphere] Who has approached you...?

  • Sanadhil frowns

[Dominik] Frederica Hartzell has talked to me. Void, she even was escorted to your engagement party by my older brother.

[Sanadhil] She is involved with the Hush?

[Dominik] although I suspect she takes after a Tristain fashion.

  • Dominik nods

[Ilphere] Which part?

  • Sanadhil blinks

[Dominik] She didn't win Empress did she.

[Sanadhil] so the Oliviers?

[Ilphere] So assuming that Nash is working with the Emperor...?

[Dominik] Thats what I've assumed.

[Sanadhil] that's concerning...

  • Sanadhil rubs his temples

[Sanadhil] on the other hand.... the necklace was stolen before the Emperor was chosen...

[Dominik] I'm sure Nash didn't wake up one day and decide that she wanted the Hush working for her. It's probably been building for years.

[Dominik] To be honest, the political intrigue frustrates me. I just want to know who to stab to resolve all this.

[Sanadhil] the intrigue it the only way to figure that out

[Sanadhil] if it must come down to such things

  • Sanadhil frowns

[Dominik] It always comes down to such things... hate to break it to ya.

[Sanadhil] We shall see.

[Sanadhil] What else do you know about the Hush?

[Dominik] not much more than what we've mentioned

[Sanadhil] In what context have they approached you

  • Sanadhil watches your reactions carefully

[Ilphere] Yes, I am quite curious...!

[Ilphere] I do hope it is not a conflict of interests...! ]:|

  • Dominik laughs

[Dominik] I fight. Thats what I do. Thats why I was approached.

[Dominik] Nobody comes to me for insight on the politics or secret doings of the Empire.

[Ilphere] (Sm)

[Ilphere] (haha... never mind, 6)

[Dominik] (23 on bluff :)

[Sanadhil] !roll 1d20+11

  • BalthCat rolls for Sanadhil: [ 1d20+11 ] getting [ 15 ] which, after the modifier [ 11 ] totals [ 26 ].

[Sanadhil] (tough shit sir)

[Dominik] (but thats the truth)

[Sanadhil] (no it is't, but if that's how Dom sees it...)

[Sanadhil] hmm.

  • Sanadhil leans back in his chair, thinking
  • Sanadhil nods to Dom, though

[Sanadhil] do you know if they are investigating the cult, or interested in it at all?

[Dominik] I don't really trust the Hush anyway, whoever is running them.

[Sanadhil] probably wise

[Dominik] Of course they're interested.

[Ilphere] How much do they know about it...?

[Dominik] Who can say?

[Sanadhil] do they know of your involvement?

[Dominik] My involvement? All I'm doing is looking out for Ilphere. Thats' the extent of my involvement.

  • Sanadhil will silent cast detect thoughts

[Sanadhil] if they kow that much, they know she is involved.

[Ilphere] Well why not, everyone else seems to...!

[Ilphere] For all Seth's worrying about it.

[Sanadhil] (Terry wanna make a will save? :x)

  • Ilphere throws up her hands in exasperation.

[Sanadhil] (Sas too...)

[Sanadhil] I think these are exactly the people he was most concerned about

[Ilphere] (17... what is the dc?)

[Dominik] (5)

[Sanadhil] (sec figuring that out :x)

[Sanadhil] (ahh insight into the rademacher mind :p)

[Dominik] (hope there is no semantic components in that cast of Ilphere might realise what your up to)

[Sanadhil] (Sas you can probably gtet a K: arcana to know I cast it though ;p)

[Ilphere] (22 on that)

[Sanadhil] (Probably noticed then)

[Sanadhil] (dc is 17 unless using metamagic increases?)

[Ilphere] (saved then!)

[Dominik] If anything, these are the people that are against Nash, whatever she is up to, assuming this so called split is real.

[Sanadhil] yes

[Sanadhil] (terrry yub me your delicious surface thoughts :)

[Sanadhil] (please :)

[Sanadhil] I was hoping that we could use it to our advantage

[Sanadhil] But I don't know how serious this issue with the Kizers really is

[Sanadhil] M. Argo is convinced it is a real issue - I have no idea if we can trust his assessment

[Dominik] : concern over how this whole political situation will affect him:

[Sanadhil] (Him = ??)

[Dominik] (me)

[Sanadhil] (okay)

[Dominik] I really don't know if much will amount from it.

[Ilphere] I do not know... I feel things are building, a turning point is coming...

[Sanadhil] yes.

[Dominik] Just curious but what is your final goal in all of this?

  • Dominik looks at San and Ilphere
  • Sanadhil looks at her

[Ilphere] Well it is not to restore the Ophion to power if that is what you are asking...!

[Sanadhil] Indeed - i would prefer to preserve a environment where I can continue to have additional goals.

[Sanadhil] (suuuuurface thoughts? :)

[Ilphere] I do wish to know more about it; what the cult hopes to accomplish by restoring it and so on...

[Dominik] :what side are they aiming for?:

[Ilphere] It will make for a most impressive final project if I can see it through to the end...!

[Sanadhil] hmm.

[Sanadhil] The cult...

[Sanadhil] I think the cult is just a tool

[Ilphere] I have so *many* questions though...

[Sanadhil] The members are being trained

[Ilphere] Yes, not the cult, I guess... but Earric, or that which he serves...

[Sanadhil] and if they restore the arch, they'll all march through it....

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ilphere] Some of them are drawn.

  • Sanadhil frowns anyway, thinking about it.

[Ilphere] Yanina dreams...

[Sanadhil] oh?

  • Ilphere nods.

[Dominik] Now I'm just confused.

[Ilphere] Her mother was a Rademacher.

[Dominik] Theon is plagued by dreams too. He colapsed at a dinner just a few weeks ago.

[Ilphere] Again...?

  • Dominik nods

[Ilphere] There is some connection between the Arch, the Ophion, and the Rademachers.

[Dominik] I concluded that on my own based on what I saw.

[Ilphere] It is just beyond my reach... I feel I am reaching, grazing it with my fingertips...

[Ilphere] I believe that Ruchard Rademacher found out something in his dream travels...

[Ilphere] Which led him to seal himself away.

[Ilphere] But *what*...?!

  • Dominik shrugs

[Ilphere] I believe that it was truly him that I saw.

[Ilphere] ... but I am rambling... and this is probably of no interest to you all...

[Sanadhil] The conection is certainly of interest....

[Dominik] its kinda interesting, if that was really my kinda think.

[Sanadhil] dream travels?

[Dominik] Listen, were into some strange events... and I'm kinda enjoying the ride, but if you want me to watch out for things, I need to know what im looking for.

[Ilphere] Ruchard's final project at the Castalia was a thesis on Dream Travel.

[Sanadhil] that does sound relevant

  • Sanadhil looks to Dom though

[Dominik] Thanks... I'll try to remember that when I'm asleep next

[Sanadhil] If you hear anything more about the hush, especially as regards their investigation or interest in the Cult - that woudl be a good think to share.

[Sanadhil] If you think they are using you to keep an eye on Ilphere, also, in any way that might threaten her person or her reputation

[Sanadhil] in any significant way

[Sanadhil] as for more concrete dangers, I don't know.

[Ilphere] Well, there's Earric...!

[Sanadhil] yes, well, I'd hope that point had been made long ago.

[Dominik] What about Earric besides his innate creepiness

[Sanadhil] ...He is quite possibly a demon.

[Dominik] so how do you kill a demon?

[Sanadhil] Probaly a succubus, from what I've read.

[Sanadhil] I'm sure a sharp sword woud suffice.... if you have the opportunity

  • Sanadhil says a bit dryly

[Sanadhil] they have enchanting magics, if that is what he is

[Sanadhil] they can also drain experience from their victims

[Ilphere] (I'm gonna make a roll to know what hurts demons... asuuming it falls under arcana or planes?)

[Sanadhil] Through kissing, or sex.

[Ilphere] (33)

[Sanadhil] there is a possibility that he could be something else

[Sanadhil] though this seems most liley from what i could uncover. There is no hard evidence.

[Ilphere] Magic and magical weapons, or cold iron, are most effective against demons, of course...

[Ilphere] (can change this later if Julie says otherwise :V)

[Dominik] I'll look into finding a cold iron weapon then.. just in case.

[Sanadhil] very well

  • Sanadhil looks to Ilphere

[Sanadhil] I'd be curious to hear more about this dream travel, if you find the thesis, or any other material

[Ilphere] Oh I have read it...!

[Sanadhil] oh?

[Ilphere] I would be happy to show it to you; I would be interested to hear your thoughts on it..!

[Dominik] speaking of dreams... I had one when we were in the sewers... but we can talk about it some other time.

Seth and Guillame

  • Seth will send a note to Guillame asking to meet him at the Society
  • Guillame responds, arranging a date and time.
  • Seth will have arrived early and immersed himself in a stack of books on arches
  • Guillame will arrive on time or slightly early.

[Seth] Ah, good afternoon, M. Rionet!

[Guillame] And a good afternoon to you too, M. Argo!

  • Guillame bows
  • Seth closes up whatever he was working on.

[Seth] Thank you for your promptness. I must confess it is quite refreshing after dealing with the layabouts at the Palace all day.

[Guillame] Well, I was raised to meet expectations, I suppose.

[Guillame] It seems like everybody's at the palace these days!

[Seth] It does seem that way sometimes ... I have it on good authority that the remainder of the city does bear some rump population even now.

  • Guillame nods, with a smile.

[Seth] But, in any case, I have asked you here on a matter that does indeed relate to the Palace.

[Guillame] Really? Go on.

  • Guillame nods, and glances around for a chair.

[Seth] Ah, well, yes. At the engagement party, I noticed you speaking to M. Aden Olivier. Do you know him well?

[Guillame] I'd say so, yes - I count him a close friend.

[Seth] Ah, very good.

[Seth] Of course, his recent appointment as Treasurer has been a topic of some interests among certain Palace circles.

[Guillame] I'd imagine so...

[Seth] Certainly for the leader of a prominent anti-government group to join the government is ... irregular.

[Guillame] I suppose so. It's not so surprising, though - he's always been sincere in his desire to improve the problems he sees, and now he has the opportunity to work with the palace for the better.

[Seth] Was this a position he had actively sought out?

[Guillame] I don't believe so, no. In fact, he was pretty surprised, if I recall, to be offered it.

[Seth] Hmm, interesting ... Do you know whether he grew up here in the city, or elsewhere/

[Guillame] Might I ask as to your interest in his business? I'm sure he could answer these questions as well as I...

[Seth] Well ... yes, you deserve some answers.

[Seth] How much do you know about the nobility of House Wolf?

[Guillame] Some... mostly schoolboy politics, though.

[Seth] Well ... basically there is a very long history between the Kizer family and ... well, the Oliviers.

[Seth] Specifically, Maze Olivier, who has been for some time the leader of the Companions of Silence.

  • Guillame nods, listening carefully.

[Seth] As you know I am the secretary to Prince-Imperial Menard. As part of these duties ... and others ... I am trying to discern whether Aden's appointment bears the mark of his great-uncle's influence, or whether something else is going on.

  • Guillame nods again, clearly thinking it over.

[Seth] This is not just a ... a trivial matter, M. Rionet. There are powers at play here that bear deeply on questions that concern all of us.

[Guillame] ...

[Guillame] What do you mean?

[Seth] It has been a long time since there has been a true imperial coup ... but I fear we may be on the brink, and I am trying to discern who is on what side, so that I can stay on the right one.

  • Guillame nods again, a little shocked.

[Guillame] And how will you tell which side is... right?

[Seth] I honestly don't know right now. And it is very sensitive to talk about these matters with anyone, as you can clearly see. Which is why I could not simply approach M. Olivier.

[Guillame] Yes, I can see why you wouldn't want to do that, with the concerns that you have.

[Seth] It is clear that the Hush is divided into at least two factions, one controlled by M. Olivier senior, and the other by ... the Warlord, presumably.

[Seth] But no one is quite clear which, if either, is loyal to the Emperor.

[Guillame] I had no idea that there was such dissent already... I suppose it's all kept quiet.

[Seth] There's a reason it's called the Hush and not the Bellow.

[Guillame] Well, yes.

[Guillame] I think, though, that if Aden's family wanted somebody in the Emperor's employ, though, they'd pick somebody else. I gather they're somewhat embarrassed by him.

[Seth] Ah, I see. That is important information. Of course, it suggests that perhaps he is being used instead to shore up the Emperor's support among the rabble.

[Guillame] That's very likely, I have to say, regardless of his family's interest.

[Seth] Hmm.

[Seth] Have you ever had occasion to meet Maze Olivier?

[Guillame] Yes, once?

[Seth] What was your impression of the man?

[Guillame] He seemed sober, intelligent and reasonably friendly. We only shared a coach. with others.

[Guillame] That reminds me of something...

[Seth] Oh?

[Guillame] You've been investigating the Oliviers and Kizers?

[Seth] Well, you see, the Argos have been involved in this quarrel for the last half-century. So, yes, you might say that. :)

[Guillame] Well, a young man, about Aden and my age, was in the carriage as well. His name was Martan... do you know anything about him?

[Seth] Martan ... not sure. A relation?

[Guillame] A cousin, Maze said.

[Seth] All right ... why do you mention him?

[Guillame] Aden said...

[Guillame] Well, maybe it's none of my business.

  • Guillame looks Seth in the eye.

[Seth] I assure you, M. Rionet, if you are a good friend with M. Olivier, that it will become your business.

[Guillame] As I said before, Aden is a close friend. If I am to discover that you're working against him without good reason, I'll do anything I can to oppose you, understood?

[Seth] I would expect nothing less. But if M. Olivier junior is distant from his family, then I have no quarrel with him whatsoever.

[Guillame] Well, I wouldn't say distant - as I said, we shared a coach with the Lord Grey. But I don't believe they are close.

[Seth] I understand.

[Guillame] So, in greatest confidence, and to be discussed with none other than Aden or myself;

  • Seth nods.

[Guillame] Directly after we left the coach, I asked Aden about his uncanny reaction to Martan, and he told me that he *has* no cousin Martan.

[Guillame] I did not ask him further, nor has he elaborated, so it may well be a slip of the memory, or even a prank.

[Seth] Hmm ... a strange puzzle.

[Seth] I am certain that the Prince-Imperial will know. The Oliviers and Kizers are cousins.

  • Guillame nods

[Guillame] You'd expect so, certainly.

[Guillame] So, is there any good reason you'd prefer me not to relate this conversation to Aden? He is my friend, after all, and I'm sure if you discover anything he'd like to hear of it.

[Seth] The only reason I can think of that might convince you would be that it might endanger my safety.

[Seth] While you, and others of my acquaintance, are of the nobility, and thus enjoy privileges that I do not, there is some risk associated with my name being associated with any of this.

[Seth] But if you can find a way to convey information to him that does not involve me personally, then certainly you should do so.

  • Guillame nods.

[Guillame] Very well. I'd encourage you to speak with Aden yourself, however, as soon as you believe yourself able. And should you decide that you are not able, maybe you'd be willing to convey your concerns to me? If Aden's mixed up in anything bad for the city or the people, he'd want to know and to oppose it.

[Seth] Yes, of course, I shall do so.

[Guillame] Your research extends somewhat beyond constructs, M. Argo! I suppose you won't be able to write any papers on it, though.

[Seth] Alas, no. I will have to content myself with the peculiarities of my tiny subspecialty.

[Guillame] Speaking of which - have you heard whether a date has been set for the new expedition?

[Seth] I have not, although planning is ongoing. My understanding is that Mlle l'Averti may be joining us.

[Guillame] I'd heard that, too. Having an expert on the plane with us would be very useful, and I'm sure it'd be very valuable for her and her research.

[Seth] Indeed.

[Guillame] Meanwhile, my own research is suffering, I fear

[Seth] Alas, it is always the way.

[Seth] Well, let us get back to our own work, then, M. Rionet.

[Guillame] It was... enlightening talking to you, M. Argo. Thank you for inviting me.

Sanadhil and Alma

  • Sanadhil is at the society, reading up on various things in preparation for the expedition
  • Alma is talking with the Castalia student she has retained to work for us here at the society.

[Alma] Excellent, I'm glad things are working out well :) Good day.

  • Sanadhil probably bjust spends more time there after his 'illness', than athome, anyway
  • Alma turns to go, gathering her bag.

[Sanadhil] oh, hello, Countess.

  • Sanadhil says, looking up for his book as the student passes out past him

[Alma] Oh, good afternoon M. Orecalo. How are you?

[Sanadhil] busy - a state I'm sure you are also familiar with

  • Sanadhil pushes his hair out of his eyes and frowns
  • Alma laughs quietly. "Very familiar."

[Sanadhil] hmm...

  • Alma has stopped, rather than continuing to the door to leave.

[Alma] .oO( Talk first... )

  • Sanadhil glances around to see if anyone else of note is around

[Sanadhil] I was wondering if I might ask you a personal favour.

[Alma] Oh? Relating to...

[Alma] [q] Earric?

[Sanadhil] Someone from back home.

[Alma] Oh... I see.

[Sanadhil] I don't know if it is something that you could even answer, honestly.

  • Alma looks nonetheless interested.
  • Sanadhil smiles

[Alma] Oh? What sort of information?

[Alma] You're probably right though, I think you've heard all I can discern...

[Sanadhil] no... it came to mind after one of the conversations following Mme. Grenrake's talk.

[Sanadhil] The Priest who ran the monastery where I lived was unwell when I left.

[Sanadhil] . o ( ha -_- )

[Alma] I see.

[Alma] You wonder if he's passed away?

[Sanadhil] I wonder if he lives.

  • Sanadhil says with a smile.

[Alma] I'm afraid unless I have something of his that no one had considered their own, I can't learn what you're hoping.

[Sanadhil] ahh.

  • Sanadhil 's smile fades.

[Alma] I'm sorry.

[Sanadhil] I'm sure news will rech me eventually.

[Alma] If he gave you a keepsake when you left, all I'd be able to tell is his age at the time.

[Alma] If you do have something like that, you could perhaps have him scryed.

[Sanadhil] hmm.

[Alma] It is an ability I have recently come to understand...

  • Sanadhil considers
  • Alma also considers the difficulty of scrying someone she doesn't really know.

[Sanadhil] I suppose, it would answer my question, though it is possible he may be shielded from such things

[Alma] It would not really tell you if he is deceased, but if successful, you would know that he is alive.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Alma] You see, if his will is strong enough, he can throw off the effect of the spell anyway.

[Sanadhil] as with much magic...

  • Alma nods.
  • Sanadhil thinks for a moment

[Sanadhil] I suppose the only real investment is time...

[Alma] Well, the spell requires a surface to scry. The Castalia likely has a mirror for the purpose. I would need to find a font of Holy Water within the Church.

[Alma] Otherwise there would be a moderate cost to purchase a font.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I presume there must be such a thing -_-

[Alma] (I assume, Julie?)

[Diablotin_Narrator] (yeah, I'm sure there is)

[Diablotin_Narrator] (buncha nosy priests ;)

[Alma] (I was thinking it had to be 100gp worth of holy water, Alma should buy herself a font.)

[Alma] Yes, such things are available for those who are not able to acquire a font themselves.

[Alma] If this is important to you, I could make arrangements.

  • Sanadhil hestiates

[Sanadhil] It is mostly a matter of peace fo mind

[Alma] Peace of mind is important :)

[Sanadhil] there's no real need for you to inconveience yourself on my account

  • Sanadhil half smiles at your comment

[Alma] I'll see when I can arrange time with a scrying font and send you word at the Castalia.

[Sanadhil] Thank you.

[Alma] The rates some casters charge are quite atrocious... it would just be a bit of my time.

  • Alma looks around to make sure we are still alone.

[Alma] I also wanted to talk to you again about the Order.

[Sanadhil] oh?

  • Sanadhil 's attention seems to focus more, as his thoughts are called back to the present.

[Alma] Yes, I admit I left a bit uncertain, in our last conversation. I was honestly not expecting the conversation to go the way it did.

[Sanadhil] Uncertain as to what?

  • Sanadhil looks around

[Sanadhil] perhaps we coudl best discuss it in one of the study rooms?

  • Alma is talking softl

[Alma] y

[Alma] Certainly.

  • Alma will wait for Sanadhil to stand and lead the way.
  • Sanadhil does so, closing the volume he had open and briing it with him

[Alma] You asked my assurance that you would be informed if the Church made a move against the Order. I assume this is so that you are not caught up in such a thing.

[Sanadhil] yes - that was the idea.

[Alma] Was there anything else that you sought to gain from the Order at this point? Are they part of any research you're doing?

[Alma] I don't mean to cast doubt on your intentions, but this is quite important, and I must know that there are no other conflicts of interest.

[Sanadhil] I dont' know that i can separate the investigation from the reserch.... i'm not certain what you men by conflict of interest, but I do not support their goals.

[Alma] We essentially need as much information about the Order as you can provide. Such as, what sort of magic Earric and Phedre practice, whether any power seems to be granted by Vrag, and the like. It could be extremely risky if we are delayed if action is needed... if your research made you hesitate in bringing us up to date.

[Alma] I just need to know that won't happen.

[Sanadhil] I understand - I will do my best to provide you with what is necessary.

[Sanadhil] but I would like to know how the information is being used. I have also been led to believe that there are other parties interested in the matter - the Hush, for one. Or part of it...

[Alma] (looking up something)

[Alma] The Hush? Well, that's good...

  • Sanadhil sighs

[Sanadhil] possibly. Apparently there is some sort of internal dispute

[Alma] Within the Companions of Silence?

[Alma] Some have gone rogue?

[Sanadhil] yes, though I imagine that which are the rogues is a matter of perspective

[Alma] Anyway... anything to do with the Order that is outside the mundane is necessary for us to determine if they have any capacity to threaten with city, whether through Vrag, the Arch or somehow if they can communicate with that Wyrm. Their magic, rituals, anything odd...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I can prepare you a report, that woudl probably be easiest - and allow me to focus my thoughs on the issue as well.

[Alma] Certainly. I will contact you with the final word.

[Sanadhil] very well.

  • Alma looks relieved the conversation has ended well.

[Sanadhil] it is not entirely clear to me what *your* involvement is in the matter...

[Sanadhil] other than that you are involved in some kind of church investigation

[Alma] The Empire and her people are my duty.

[Alma] And it appears that chance has brought us together in a strange situation.

[Alma] If you hadn't come to me in the hopes of learning something about Earric, who would know you were willing to work to stop the Order?

[Sanadhil] Indeed...

[Sanadhil] Countess, you're still evading my question -_-

[Sanadhil] I would rather like to know who it is that *does* know this thing

[Alma] I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be evasive, I thought you asked about me personally.

[Sanadhil] ahh, My apologies.

[Alma] I chose to involve myself in informing the Church of the Order following Felise Lozada's abduction.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Alma] I would have done so sooner, however her family felt it best not to risk losing our chance of helping Viviane.

[Alma] It's a shame that isn't really a concern...

[Alma] (anymore)

[Sanadhil] how do you mean?

[Alma] I don't believe Viviane is simply under a spell or enchantment at this point...

[Sanadhil] ahh.

[Alma] A personal favour, M. Orecalo, would be to let me know if you learn anything about what has happened with Felise and Viviane.

[Sanadhil] of course

[Alma] Well, I'll let you continue your reading M. Orecalo. I hope to have word as soon as possible about helping each other.

[Sanadhil] ...

  • Sanadhil purses his lips slightly but nods
  • Sanadhil seems perhaps slightly frustrated/annoyed

[Alma] Have I offended you, M. Orecalo?

[Alma] (I'll SM that if you want, I just assumed cause of your face you weren't hiding it.)

[Sanadhil] I fear I am rather still more in the dark than I would prefer... Perhaps that will change once you've spoken to your contacts.

[Alma] It will, M. Orecalo.

[Alma] I simply don't feel it appropriate to make assumptions.

  • Sanadhil nods, and relaxes somewhat

[Sanadhil] Thank you.

[Alma] I do appreciate that could be frustrating, when you have already told me more than you needed. What I told you was the truth, however, that regardless of who else I may be speaking with, stopping Phedre and Earric has been a goal for some time now.

[Sanadhil] Of course, I understand.

[Alma] Well, thank you for your time. I hope to be more frank the next time we speak :)

[Sanadhil] I look forward to to it. :)

Alma and Sanadhil

  • Alma will meet Sanadhil outside the Greysmoke Temple

[Alma] (we are conveniently chosing not to talk about our potential arrangement, sinc eI don't have a response from Julie: P)

[Sanadhil] (hee)

[Sanadhil] (too soon ;)

  • Sanadhil will bring what he can of the items specified. The illustration isn't anything amazing, but it is recognizable as a distinct individual

[Alma] These will help.

  • Alma reads the information about him, studies the face, and holds the item that was once his.

[Sanadhil] (the item is a gold ring, inset with gems in a 5-pointed star, with some other motifs on the band))

  • Alma will lead Sanadhil towards the back of the large temple into a more private area where an ornate font stands on a pillar in the centre of a small room.
  • Sanadhil glances around the church with an idle curiousity
  • Alma will set the items in slightly depressed areas around the font.
  • Sanadhil smiles nervously ad looks up at the ceiling
  • Alma makes herself comfortable, as the casting time is quite long.
  • Sanadhil forces himself to be calm, and patient.
  • Sanadhil focuses on the differences in clerical casting to distract himself
  • Alma lowers a marble figure of the wheel into the center of the basin and begins to chant and gesture...
  • Alma chants and gestures a lot!
  • Alma approaches the end of the spell ritual and the water of the basin begins to glow very slightly.

[Sanadhil] (I don't think I get to see though)

[Alma] (Shush)

[Alma] (You don't see the vision but I have magically said that you see the water glow! :D)

[Sanadhil] (okay then ^-^)

  • Alma leans in over the water and gazes into it;.
  • Alma lets out a tired and disappointed sigh.

[Sanadhil] nothing?

[Alma] No. It could mean that is deceased, but it could also mean he is completely protected from scrying or divination, which you said is a possibility.

[Sanadhil] I understand.

[Sanadhil] Thank you, for your time and effort.

[Sanadhil] . o ( what did you expect, really.... )

[Alma] You're welcome, M. Orecalo.

  • Alma gathers his effects and hands them back to you.

[Alma] (Well, I guess only one is his)

  • Sanadhil takes them back, but will wear the ring.
  • Alma will escort you out.
  • Sanadhil will go off and think somewhere

Ysabeau and Dominik

  • Ysabeau stirs next to Dominik. She had dozed off. It's a little more chilly in her house than he might be used to since she and Murienne are economical with firewood/coal. Thank goodness for a nice thick quilt!
  • Dominik runs a hand through his hair, brushing away cold sweat as he watches her move
  • Ysabeau stretches and opens her eyes, smiling at him.

[Dominik] have a nice nap?

[Ysabeau] Mm-hmm. You?

[Dominik] I didn't sleep, but I didn't mind either.

  • Ysabeau covers her mouth to yawn before snuggling up closer to him.

[Ysabeau] Was I sleeping long?

  • Dominik wraps an arm around her

[Dominik] No. Just a few minutes

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] It's nice that you stayed.

[Dominik] Times are tough. Thought I would help you save some coal and keep you warm.

  • Ysabeau grins.

[Ysabeau] Sounds good to me.

  • Dominik nods
  • Ysabeau squirms upwards, more awake now, and gazes fondly at Dominik.

[Dominik] Assuming I end up with a chamber in the palace once Ilphere moves in, you may be able to visit me from time to time.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Possibly.

[Ysabeau] Even if not, you know you're always welcome here.

  • Dominik idly moves his hand slowly up and down Ysa's back
  • Dominik nods
  • Ysabeau shivers; she's ticklish.

[Ysabeau] Say, Dominik...?

[Dominik] yeah?

[Ysabeau] Did you dream anything, the night we stayed in the tosher's house?

  • Dominik stops moving his hand

[Dominik] Yes

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Me too.

[Ysabeau] What did you dream...?

  • Dominik is visibly bothered
  • Ysabeau strokes Dom's cheek gently.

[Ysabeau] Mine wasn't very nice, either.

[Dominik] They were just dreams.

[Ysabeau] I'm not so sure about that.

  • Dominik doesnt sound convinced either
  • Dominik will gently take Ysa's hand and move it away from his cheek then sit up in bed. He is chilled by the cold air but is ignoring it.

[Dominik] I was on watch... I guess it was in a place like the Shadow Plane. Everyone else was asleep.

  • Dominik stares straight ahead while he talks

[Dominik] I tried to stay awake, but I couldnt.

[Dominik] When I woke in the dream, I was covered in blood and my sword was out.

[Dominik] I looked around and I had slaughtered everyone while they slept

  • Ysabeau listens, her hand still on his side.

[Dominik] thats when I woke up.

  • Ysabeau nods, looking more sympathetic than anything.

[Dominik] for real this time

[Dominik] right afterwards I had to kill those toshers who were under the sway of that voided statue

  • Ysabeau sits up next to him.
  • Dominik looks down at Ysa

[Ysabeau] You think your dream was foreshadowing how they all died...?

[Dominik] I don't know. Its easier to accept if it was.

  • Ysabeau nods.
  • Ysabeau slips an arm around his back.

[Ysabeau] I dreamed I was sitting up here, right in front of my vanity. I was combing my hair. But my reflection wasn't moving the same way as me. Then she screamed and slumped down, leaving bloody handprints on the mirror.

[Ysabeau] I thought it was just a warning, not to forget who I was or where I've come from.

[Dominik] A dark warning

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] But then Verity gave me a vanity set and that comb was part of it.

[Ysabeau] Ilphere still thinks it's just what I originally thought, but I am still disturbed.

[Ysabeau] The comb is magical, it lets you change how you look. So I sort of wonder if something might happen to me.

[Ysabeau] And if someone might pretend to be me.

[Ysabeau] I don't know. Maybe my first instinct and Ilphere were both right.

[Ysabeau] But maybe not. I just don't know.

[Dominik] I'm not really someone who can help you figure that out.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Dominik] Its kinda creepy that the comb ends up being given to you.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] After I saw it in a dream.

[Ysabeau] I guess I just want someone to know, in case I start behaving radically different one of these days.

  • Dominik nods
  • Dominik shakes his head
  • Ysabeau turns her face so she can look up at you, smiling kind of ruefully.

[Dominik] its just so fucking wierd something, even just a small detail like a comb, comes true from a dream

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Ilphere mentioned that I'm not the only one who has seen something in reality that they first saw in their sewer-dream.

[Ysabeau] So that lends a little more weight to it, I think.

[Dominik] great.

[Dominik] I wonder what joyous part of my dream will end up coming true

  • Ysabeau shrugs.

[Ysabeau] Hopefully none of it.

[Dominik] I'd drink to that

[Ysabeau] I think we drank all the wine earlier.

  • Ysabeau says, a little distractedly.

[Dominik] something else on your mind?

  • Ysabeau glances up at him, smiling guiltily.

[Ysabeau] I'm going to go to some Revelators meetings.

[Ysabeau] But not because I sympathize with what they say about the Church.

  • Ysabeau hastens to add.

[Dominik] Revelators are who again?

[Ysabeau] The people who believe the Church is leading us all astray, and that there are demons disguised as humans in positions of influence.

[Dominik] ah right... the crazies who may actually be right... what is the world coming to.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I'm more interested to hear what arguments they have to support their claims that there are demons among us, and if there are ways to identify them.

[Dominik] If they actually had a means to spot a demon that would be really good to know.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Dominik] But if they did, why havent they used them.

[Ysabeau] Good question.

[Dominik] If you don't really believe them, why you going to a meeting?

[Ysabeau] I don't believe them about the Church, but like I said, I want to hear what they know, or think they know, about demons.

[Ysabeau] It's possible that only certain people could identify demons, and no one with that kind of power is involved with them because of their leader or because everyone is pretty certain they're lunatics.

[Ysabeau] Anyway, I just want to find out for myself whether they *are* lunatics or whether there might be a grain of truth to what they say.

[Dominik] so hear them out, see how out of it they really are. They safe?

[Ysabeau] I think so.

[Dominik] If ya need me, let me know

[Ysabeau] I'm mostly mentioning it so you don't think it's a radical change in my behaviour.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] Thanks, Dom.

[Dominik] I wouldnt want anything untowards happen to that face of yours... end everything else thats attached to it

[Ysabeau] ...

  • Ysabeau unthinkingly glances down at an old scar.

[Dominik] damn... thats not what I meant

  • Dominik will wrap his arms around her
  • Ysabeau looks back up at him and smiles bravely.
  • Ysabeau hugs him back.
  • Dominik will slide them both back under the covers

[Dominik] Look what I've done... you're cold.

[Ysabeau] A little, yes.

  • Ysabeau snuggles close to him.

[Dominik] A little... your nipples are like daggers.

  • Dominik teases

[Ysabeau] And you expect me to believe you don't *enjoy* having them pressed close to your chest when they're like that? Please.

  • Dominik smiles

[Dominik] If I wanted them even closer, all I have to do is...

  • Dominik tickles the small of Ysa's back

[Ysabeau] Aaaahh! No! Not fair!

  • Ysabeau thrashes about involuntarily to try to avoid the tickling and attempts to tickle him back.

[Dominik] A counterattack is it...

[Ysabeau] You leave me no choice!

  • Dominik snatches at the assulting fingers in an effort to evade, while drawing Ysa in at the same time...

Sanadhil and Guillame

  • Sanadhil will set up a meeting to talk with Guilame at the society
  • Guillame will make arrangements, and be present

[Sanadhil] good afternoon, m. Rionet!

  • Sanadhil smiles

[Guillame] Good afternoon, M. Orecalo! Are you well?

[Sanadhil] I am, thank you for asking - yourself?

[Guillame] Yes, very well, thank you.

  • Guillame smiles

[Sanadhil] I have been working on plans for the expedition

[Sanadhil] I'd like to focus on similarities between the two cities - Sarasagel and Diablotin

[Guillame] That seems a good starting point for examining Sarasgel.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] as part of that, i was hoping to see if there are any parallels to the Undercity

  • Guillame looks surprised

[Guillame] And... you'd like me to provide reference material? There's worryingly little available, but I'll do what I can...

[Sanadhil] i don't think a full exploration is necessary

[Sanadhil] but a starting point would help

[Guillame] Well, needless to say I'd love to.

[Sanadhil] Mostly at this point, even to know if there is any sort of undercity to Sarasagel would be good

[Sanadhil] here, we know the arch extended underground.

  • Sanadhil smiles
  • Guillame listens

[Sanadhil] I suspect that the city your house inhabited for so long *must* have a parallel, for that reason

[Guillame] It would make sense, for sure.

[Sanadhil] who knows - perhaps there may be something of relevance for you to learn there, as well?

[Guillame] I would be surprised if there weren't, to be honest.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] well, anything you can contribute that would give us even a place to start looking for an entrance.... that would be a good start

[Sanadhil] we'e goig to be looking for more specific parallels above ground as well

[Guillame] I'll compile my notes and references.

[Sanadhil] excellent, thank you

[Sanadhil] I am hopeful that this will be a prductive trip for all involvd

[Guillame] Well, I was happy to be involved merely as support, but it is already sounding very promising. Thank you for thinking of it!

  • Sanadhil smiles again

[Sanadhil] well i admit I am very intrigued at the notion myself - especially if the undercity there is still accessible... Assuming there is one

[Guillame] Yes indeed. Well, if there isn't, that in itself will be worth knowing.

[Sanadhil] indeed.

[Sanadhil] I'm getting quite excited about it all, in any case - 'm trying to settle a date for the end of the month, or possibly the very beginning of twelfth-month

[Guillame] I'll be sure to make arrangements.

  • Guillame talks about making some quick notes on how to spot entrances to the undercity, makes rambling speculations about what they might find and how maybe it would be more easily-accessible than the undercity in Diabolotin.

Seth and Ilphere

  • Seth will send a note asking to meet Ilphere at the Society.
  • Ilphere will show up because, well, this should be good.

[Seth] Ah, good morning, Ilphere.

[Ilphere] Good day...

[Seth] How are you?

  • Ilphere is wearing a grey gown with thin white stripes and black buttons. Her enchanted goggles are perched atop her head as usual.

[Ilphere] Quite well thank you.

  • Ilphere says cordially.

[Ilphere] You requested a meeting...?

[Seth] Yes. We need to talk.

[Ilphere] Oh...?

  • Ilphere raises an eyebrow.

[Seth] Well, yes, don't you agree that it would be for the best?

[Ilphere] I am not sure what you want me to say.

[Ilphere] I am quite willing to be civil for Menard's sake if that is your worry.

[Seth] No ... I am sure that is true, but it is not enough.

[Seth] I wish for you to understand that whatever our disagreements, that is all they are, disagreements.

[Seth] They do not affect my esteem for you or your research in the least.

[Ilphere] You upset Menard to the point where he is asking me to *discontinue* that research.

[Seth] Menard is frightened, because he understands some of the political consequences of the research.

[Ilphere] Or rather, he was going to... I convinced him not to force me into such a choice...!

[Seth] Good, I'm glad.

[Ilphere] *You* were the one who came to me saying we should not frighten him!

[Seth] We should not do anything that would give him reason to be frightened, rather.

[Seth] You had not told me that you had already enlisted the assistance of Mme Belden in your work.

[Ilphere] I did not have the opportunity.

[Seth] I mean, earlier. When the three of us met at the Society, I felt as if I were being put in a position where I was asked to take a grave risk in revealing information to M. Orecalo that I did not know would be safe with him.

[Ilphere] Well *I* still think your reflexive mistrust of him is quite bizarre.

[Seth] I apologize if I gave you the impression that I do in fact mistrust him. I do not apologize for noting that the situation is one that a reasonable person who does not know M. Orecalo could find to be extremely irregular.

[Seth] And for my own sake, I apologize for not making it clearer to you earlier that my involvement in this politically sensitive research must be limited by the fact that I am putting myself at grave risk here.

[Ilphere] My own parents approved of M. Orecalo enough to have him escort me to the Emperor's ball.

[Seth] I understand, of course. They do not know of his involvement with the Order, and that is my concern. Not that he does now appear untrustworthy to anyone, but that if we continue this line of research without an awareness of its sensitivity, that it will potentially be disastrous.

[Ilphere] Sanadhil and I are quite aware of the need for discretion.

[Seth] You must understand, that I did not know, at the time the three of us met, that he would be there, or that I would be asked to reveal very sensitive information to him.

[Seth] We don't know each other very well at all.

[Seth] Fortunately we were able to speak recently, and come to some terms.

[Ilphere] So I have been told...

[Seth] I do not like surprises, Ilphere, and all of my concerns, as bizarre as they seem to you, are oriented towards the avoidance of the loss of my employment, my friends, and my home ... losses which are more than just hypothetical at this point.

[Ilphere] Well, perhaps you should discontinue *your* research if you are so concerned about deniability...!

  • Ilphere sighs.

[Seth] I have considered it ... but you and I both know that this is too important to simply let go.

[Ilphere] Well precisely...!

[Seth] It does require that we be more aware of the activities of the Companions of Silence, as well as other factions ... and that we find allies, trustworthy and powerful ones, that will ensure that we are not strung up for treason.

[Ilphere] I have been pursuing this research since before I even met Menard. And I would continue it even if my position were not so privileged. I daresay it might have been easier to do so...!

[Ilphere] Sanadhil is in contact with the Church, through Sister deBeziers...

[Seth] Do you trust her?

[Ilphere] I do not know if I count them as trustworthy, no.

[Ilphere] So far our best ally, in my opinion, is Vianca Belden, but I do not know that she meets the criterion of 'powerful...'!

[Seth] Given my conversation with Cornelia Nash, there is virtually no one at the Palace, save Menard, who is obviously trustworthy.

[Seth] The Chancellor, perhaps ... although she is very enigmatic.

[Ilphere] I do not know that *either* faction of the Hush has the empire's best interest at heart...

[Seth] No, indeed, although either one of them may believe that they do. And that is almost worse.

[Seth] Oh, that reminds me.

[Seth] I had a question, that perhaps you could answer.

[Ilphere] The Chancellor... really the only thing that would indicate she would help us is that she isn't obviously against us...!

  • Seth nods.

[Seth] I am sure that you know more than I do about the noble families of House Wolf. I was wondering if you knew the Lord Grey and his family at all.

[Ilphere] You are the second person to ask me that.

[Ilphere] I do not know them very well personally, but I have some knowledge of them, I suppose...

[Seth] Do you know of a young man, perhaps our age or a little older, of that family, by the name of Martan?

[Ilphere] Olivier...?

[Seth] Probably but not necessarily. Perhaps a relative through the female line.

[Ilphere] (30 on k nobs, natural 20)

[Ilphere] (sooo I assume that there is no such person afaik!)

[Diablotin_Narrator] (There is no one by that name in the Olivier family, Sathin family, other associated families, etc. Well, apart from the dead one, of course ;)

  • Ilphere frowns slightly

[Ilphere] No, there really is not... no Olivier, Sathin, none of them...!

[Seth] Hmm, how odd.

[Ilphere] Well, except Martan Kizer, but he is... long dead...

[Seth] Yes, of course.

  • Ilphere frowns again.

[Seth] The reason I ask is that I was speaking to M. Rionet the other day. I was interested in the Olivier family, and in particular the connection between Maze Olivier and Aden Olivier, the new Treasurer.

[Ilphere] Do you happen to know what he looked like...?

[Seth] No, not really ... M. Rionet met him, though.

[Ilphere] It's probably nothing but...

[Ilphere] Ah well.

[Seth] But ...?

[Ilphere] Ysabeau had a friend, or her sister did...

[Ilphere] And she was killed, murdered...

[Seth] Oh, how tragic.

[Ilphere] Soon after someone broke into Ysa's house and went through the dead girl's things.

[Ilphere] The only thing they actually stole was a lock of hair, from a locket containing a portrait of Martan Kizer...

[Ilphere] Ysa was asking me one day what spells one might use that for...

[Ilphere] And they are all very bad...!

[Ilphere] But possibly the worst is resurrection...

[Seth] To what end?

  • Seth seems taken aback.

[Ilphere] I would not have the first clue...!

[Ilphere] As I say it is probably coincidence...

[Ilphere] nonetheless...

[Seth] Well ... no, here is the thing.

[Ilphere] I would feel better if we could get Ysa to show the picture to Guillame...

[Seth] The reason M. Rionet mentioned it to me is that I asked him about the relationship between Olivier senior and Olivier junior (they are great-uncle and great-nephew).

  • Ilphere nods...

[Seth] And that M. Rionet had the opportunity to be in a carriage with both men, plus this 'Martan'. Who was described by Maze Olivier to Aden as his cousin. But the trouble is that Aden knows of no such cousin, or so he told M. Rionet later. And he was rather perturbed by this revelation by his great-uncle.

  • Ilphere furrows her brow...

[Ilphere] How perplexing...

[Ilphere] We should go find Ysabeau.

[Seth] This was at your engagement party.

[Ilphere] He was there...?!

[Ilphere] :o

[Seth] I don't know about you, but if I were going to resurrect someone, I would not then parade them about in public..

[Ilphere] No indeed...

[Seth] But on the other hand, men of M. Olivier's power and influence do not have much to fear.

[Ilphere] Something strange is going on there, though...

[Seth] Indeed ... but I reiterate that we must proceed with extreme caution - especially if your concerns turn out to have some validity!

[Ilphere] Well I don't think she will give the portrait over without an adequate explanation.

[Seth] No, and I would not expect her to. Who else knows about this portrait? And how did her friend come to be in possession of the portrait?

[Ilphere] I do not recall how she got it... As far as I know she has shown myself and my great grandmother...!

[Ilphere] Grand-Mère told us it was Martan Kizer.

[Seth] I see ... well, I must be honest, I wouldn't have thought anything of it ... except that you say that someone killed for that lock of hair. And that is the sort of thing that the Lords Grey are well-known for.

[Ilphere] Indeed...!

[Seth] And while they would surely not kill an Imperial princess, they might well kill an elven scholar, or a member of the Argo family, with whom they have had some difficulties in the past.

[Ilphere] So you're saying that *I* should approach Ysabeau and M. Rionet. :p

[Seth] I am saying that Ysabeau would also be in danger, and possibly also M. Rionet ... and that it may nonetheless be important to speak to them.

[Ilphere] Well Lord Grey was apparently *flaunting* Martan to Guillame...!

[Seth] Or at least to Aden.

[Ilphere] If it is the case that he has ... done this, it is almost as though he wants to be discovered...

[Ilphere] He brought him to an Imperial engagement party...!\

[Ilphere] And has him calling himself 'Martan'... it is not very subtle.

[Seth] Yes ... that suggests that he believes himself to be immune to the consequences of this action ... or that we are wrong, and this Martan is just some distant relation.

[Ilphere] Well, I intend to find out...!

  • Seth nods.

[Ilphere] Anyhow, if I meet Ysa and Guillame at the Society, that is hardly going to ellicit suspicion.

[Seth] True enough.

[Ilphere] And then we will know.

[Seth] Yes.

[Seth] I would be happy to attend if you feel it could be useful.

[Ilphere] Certainly...!

Ilphere, Ysabeau, Guillame, Seth and Sanadhil

  • Ilphere will shortly thereafter send some messages to Ysa and Guillame asking if we can meet at the Society.
  • Ilphere will ask Ysa to bring the locket, of course...!
  • Guillame to the rescue!
  • Ilphere sends one to Sanadhil too, why not
  • Sanadhil will certainly come, he spends half his time there as it is
  • Ysabeau wonders what this is all about.

[Ilphere] Oh Ysa, I'm so glad you could come...

[Ilphere] Do you have it...?

[Ysabeau] Of course. You asked.

[Ysabeau] What is this all about?

  • Ysabeau frowns prettily.

[Ilphere] Maybe nothing...

[Ilphere] M. Rionet...?

  • Sanadhil nods his hellos

[Ilphere] Oh, hello Sanadhil...!

[Ilphere] :)

[Seth] Good day.

[Guillame] Hello Mme De Quessenet. So, what *is* this all about?

[Ilphere] A mystery, of course...!

[Ilphere] May I see the locket, Ysa?

[Sanadhil] A mystery?

  • Ysabeau pulls a folded piece of velvet out of her satchel and unwraps the locket, showing it to Ilphere but not letting it go.

[Ilphere] Open it please...?

  • Ilphere is trying to contain her excitement...

[Ysabeau] There's nothing inside...

[Ilphere] M. Rionet... does this person look at all familiar to you...?

  • Guillame takes a closer look
  • Ysabeau wonders what this is all about, and shows it to him.

[Ysabeau] Do you know something about Dessa's death?

  • Sanadhil watches in mild puzzlement, hving no idea what this is about
  • Ysabeau asks Ilphere a bit impatiently.

[Ilphere] Well, you recall our conversation about the contents of this locket...

[Ysabeau] The hypothetical contents, yes.

  • Ilphere eyes Guillame...

[Guillame] I still don't see what this is... oh!

  • Guillame glares at Ilphere briefly.

[Ilphere] M. Rionet this is very important...!

[Ilphere] Have you seen this person...?

[Guillame] Someone resembling him, maybe. Really, you're going to have to explain your "mystery."

[Ilphere] This person is dead... It's Martan Kizer.

  • Ysabeau nods, a bit frustrated-looking, perhaps.
  • Guillame 's face drops

[Ilphere] I am afraid your friend was killed for that bit of hair, Ysa... :(

[Ysabeau] I already knew that, supposing he wasn't lying.

  • Ysabeau looks pained.

[Ilphere] I am sorry...

[Seth] This is ... are you sure, M. Rionet?

  • Seth pales.

[Ysabeau] Will you please enlighten me?

[Guillame] Well, no, I'm not sure it's the same person, but there's definitely a resemblance, and he was using the same name.

[Ilphere] Ysa, there is a possibility... that someone really did resurrect Martan Kizer.

[Ilphere] For what reasons, Gods only know.

[Ysabeau] Someone from the Hush?

[Ilphere] Well... yes.

[Ysabeau] May I put this away now?

[Sanadhil] who is.... or was Martan Kizer? What is his importance?

[Sanadhil] or... both I suppose - is and was...

  • Ilphere nods to Ysabeau...
  • Ysabeau does.

[Ysabeau] He was a noble from House Wolf. Duke of Friaul, he died when he was in his forties.

[Ysabeau] He used to work for the Emperor Silveira, but lost his position when Emperor Enzephir came to power.

[Ysabeau] He was the Lord Chancellor for Emperor Hugolin Silveira.

  • Sanadhil listens

[Ysabeau] Even though Emperor Enzephir fired him, they seem to have been friends.

[Ilphere] He was at the centre of some scandal surrounding his younger cousin, Mercy.

[Ysabeau] There was a little more in the history books about how he ably led his family and such...

[Ysabeau] He was Mercy Hartzell's guardian when her parents died.

[Seth] When the Kizers speak of him now, which is rarely, they get a look about them ... it is like reverence mixed with shame.

  • Ilphere nods...

[Ysabeau] Some people blamed him for Mercy Hartzell's death.

  • Ysabeau agrees with Ilphere.
  • Guillame listens

[Ysabeau] I don't really know much more.

  • Ysabeau looks to Seth to expand on what he was saying.

[Seth] Nor do I.

[Seth] And I am highly perplexed as to why anyone would want to resurrect him, given the obvious risks

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ilphere] As am I...

[Ysabeau] It doesn't make much sense.

[Ilphere] We need a more conclusive identification...

[Sanadhil] Does anyone know when the Hush was founded?

[Ysabeau] There are plenty of Kizers around still, it's not like they need to rekindle the family line.

[Sanadhil] Perhaps he has some historical connetion to them

[Sanadhil] or, at lest, they may know something of him that we do not

[Ysabeau] So what do we do now?

[Diablotin_Narrator] (the Hush was founded less than 50 years ago)

[Ysabeau] If there really is someone resurrected, the Church ought to know.

[Seth] I believe that the Kizers not only would want to know, but ought to know. They may be able to shed light on matters.

[Ilphere] You say that like they are a unit...

[Sanadhil] indeed...

[Sanadhil] I do wonder who you mean at times

[Seth] Well, no, not quite like that.

[Ysabeau] ...

[Seth] But the Duke of Friaul does hold considerable sway over all of them, including the Emperor.

[Sanadhil] Ahh.

[Ysabeau] We should tell Sister Alma.

[Ysabeau] But we should confirm it's him, first.

[Seth] How would we do that?

[Ysabeau] Unless M. Rionet's testimony is enough.

[Sanadhil] Only if he were more certain, i expect

[Ysabeau] That's what I feared.

  • Ysabeau nods to Sanadhil.

[Ilphere] Sister deBeziers does have that strange talent...

[Ilphere] If only we could somehow obtain something of his.

[Ysabeau] She has already looked at the locket.

[Sanadhil] I don't know what it woudl tell her in this matter

[Ilphere] Yes, but it did not belong to him...

[Ilphere] I confess I do not know how specifically she can determine things...

[Sanadhil] she can determin age, moral leaning, and house, for certain

[Guillame] There's still a strong chance it could be some long-lost cousin with a strong resemblance.

[Sanadhil] if, as you believe, brining him back from death removes him from the cycle, she would sense that

[Sanadhil] (bringing)

[Seth] Yes, I agree, and that is why I suggest going to the Kizers first ... they will surely be able to sort out that possibility, M. Rionet.

[Alma] (Sex and species!)

[Ilphere] M. Rionet.. I have spent far too much time looking at family histories lately and I can tell you... there is no 'Martan' in any branch of the Olivier tree...!

[Ysabeau] She knew it was given to a woman from House Wolf by her lover, then passed down two generations to Murienne's friend.

[Ysabeau] I suspect the lover was him.

[Sanadhil] perhaps an illigitmate cousin?

[Ilphere] It would still be strange for the Oliviers to name a child after Martan Kizer.

[Ysabeau] The Oliviers mostly live in Greywatch, don't they?

[Sanadhil] If you say so.

[Ilphere] The two families have been feuding for decades now.

[Ysabeau] Dessa's last name was Underdown, and so was her grandmother's, I believe.

[Seth] What an interesting name.

[Sanadhil] indeed..

[Alma] monkeys are rather entertaining

[Ysabeau] Her grandmother gave it to her. So I am not certain whether the grandmother would have been his illegitimate child, or his lover.

[Ysabeau] From what Alma said, that it was passed down two generations, she was probably the former?

[Ysabeau] Anyway, I don't think she was related to the Oliviers.

[Seth] All of this is highly speculative at present. I propose that I go and speak in confidence to the Duke of Friaul about this matter, then return with whatever I can learn.

[Sanadhil] What are the Kizers likely to do if this is true?

[Seth] I do not know.

[Seth] Perhaps nothing immediately.

[Sanadhil] the church, presumably, would want to act immediately?

[Seth] One would presume, yes.

[Sanadhil] would they be able to?

[Seth] I don't know, although Sister Alma might.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ysabeau] ...

[Sanadhil] I am scheduled tgo speak with her about other matters...

[Ilphere] It may yet be premature, though...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Seth] Well ... it should go without saying that this is a most confidential matter. Anyone who would resurrect the dead is a powerful danger.

  • Ilphere nods...

[Ilphere] Whatever theor motives may be.

[Ilphere] (their)

[Ysabeau] So you'd rather nothing be mentioned until you've run things by the Kizers, M. Argo?

[Seth] Unless someone else has a different plan, yes.

[Sanadhil] I can't think of anything

[Ysabeau] I'm... not sure I'm comfortable not telling the Church, but telling them...

[Sanadhil] we have no proof, in any case...

[Sanadhil] also

[Sanadhil] If it is ressurection

[Sanadhil] they woudl have needed to find a cleric willing to cast the spell

[Seth] Yes, that is something to consider.

  • Ysabeau looks quite uncomfortable.

[Sanadhil] and the fuds...

[Sanadhil] though perhaps that would not be an issue

[Sanadhil] (funds)

[Sanadhil] however

[Sanadhil] it woudl need to be in diamonds

  • Sanadhil frowns

[Ysabeau] If it's the Hush I'm sure they could manage it.

[Sanadhil] and if he died in his forties....

[Ilphere] It would be... problematic, yes

[Sanadhil] then he shoudl appear to be that age still, though I suppose there are other spells that could disguise, if not reverse that

[Ilphere] Unless they had a second spell to rejuvenate him

[Ilphere] But that would require a very powerful caster indeed...!

[Seth] Well, at the risk of sounding paranoid ... we are in some serious difficulty here.

[Ysabeau] [m] I'll say.

  • Sanadhil frowns a bit but keeps his mouth shut

[Sanadhil] . o ( only if you actually care what they are up to.... )

[Seth] Well, this has been very ... enlightening. Thank you, Ilphere, for arranging this meeting.

[Sanadhil] Please do let us know what insight the Duke has to offer.

[Ilphere] I only wish it could have been more conclusive...

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] If you'll excuse me...

[Ysabeau] I have an audition to go to.

[Ysabeau] Good day, everyone.

[Sanadhil] good day, mlle Chanuier.

Ilphere and Theonee

  • Ilphere will spot Theonee while waiting for Menard... :V
  • Theonee is walking briskly down a palace corridor. Her long black hair is coiled in a braid and she is wearing wide-legged trousers and a blouse rather than a fancy dress.

[Ilphere] Oh...! Excuse me...?

[Theonee] ...Yes?

  • Theonee pauses.

[Ilphere] Lady Chancellor...? I am sorry to bother you... but I had been hoping for a chance to speak to you...

[Ilphere] I am Ilphere deQuessenet...

  • Ilphere introduces herself.

[Theonee] Oh, yes. What can I do for you?

[Ilphere] Well, I hope you won't think it is too odd... You see, I work for Nicosa Siopette at the Castalia Library.

[Theonee] Yes?

[Ilphere] We have been trying to replace our copy of the Emperor's final paper, as it has gone missing... My friend M. Orecalo told me that you had worked with him on it...?

[Theonee] Oh, yes, well, he consulted certain records held at my family's estate.

[Ilphere] Well, we were wondering if, since you had helped him, you might have a copy the Castalia could borrow, so that it could be transcribed to replace ours...?

[Theonee] Ah... I'm afraid I do not. A shame - you say it's gone missing from the library?

  • Ilphere nods...

[Ilphere] Would you happen to know offhand which faculty members sat on his committee? Perhaps one of them might...

  • Theonee considers.

[Theonee] I believe he mentioned that Benedict Lescarbeau and Tavin Devele were on it... I'm afraid I can't remember the others.

[Theonee] Emlyn Cunningham, perhaps? I don't know.

[Ilphere] Ah, thank you... I shall have to chase him up...!

[Theonee] Do you wish me to ask the Emperor about securing a new copy for the library?

[Ilphere] Well, I don't know that I wish to bother him just now... he must be terribly busy with all that is going on...!

[Theonee] I'm sure he is, but if he has a copy lying around, it might only take a moment's work for him to have someone run it over to the library for copying.

[Ilphere] Well, I am sure Nicosa would appreciate that very much... Thank you...!

[Theonee] Not at all, Mlle. de Quessenet.

[Ilphere] It was lovely to meet you, Duchess...! :)

[Theonee] And you as well. I'm only sorry I could not be of more assistance.

[Ilphere] That's alright... I hope we will have the chance to speak again sometime...!

[Theonee] I'm sure we will. Congratulations, by the way, on your upcoming nuptials.

[Ilphere] Oh, thank you...! :)

[Theonee] Good day, mademoiselle.

[Ilphere] GOod day...!

  • Theonee will depart, then.

Guillame and Aden

  • Aden_ is relaxing after a take-out dinner at his house.
  • Guillame has been a little on edge tonight.
  • Aden_ stretches and puts his feet up.

[Guillame] So, how was today? Have you finished your mountain of training and research?

[Aden_] I doubt it ever really finishes... But I'm feeling a bit less lost, anyway.

[Guillame] Good! Have you actually had to take part in anything yet?

[Aden_] We've had a council meeting - it went... better than I feared, at least.

[Aden_] I rather expected them to ignore me completely, or worse.

[Guillame] Well, it's great if they didn't!

[Aden_] Yes. And I was only told my ideas were foolish, impossible, idiotic, a few times.

[Guillame] Oh dear.

[Aden_] It's all right, I was braced for it.

[Aden_] I shall just have to prove to them that they're wrong.

[Guillame] That's the way

  • Guillame grins
  • Aden_ smiles back.

[Guillame] I'm worried about something, Aden.

[Aden_] What?

  • Aden_ asks, growing more serious.

[Guillame] It's to do with your family - your... cousin... from the party.

[Aden_] Oh.

[Aden_] What about him?

[Guillame] Well... where to start?

[Guillame] Some of the scholars at the society have been discussing him, and they have a theory that he's some kind of resurrection of the previous Martan Kizer!

[Aden_] o_O

[Aden_] I... I don't even know what to say to that.

[Guillame] Yeah - it's crazy, I know.

[Guillame] But apparently some of his hair was stolen from an antique locket shortly before we met him.

[Aden_] An antique locket?

[Guillame] And they've been researching some crazy cult, or cults - I'm not certain of all the details.

[Guillame] Yes...

[Aden_] Where was this locket?

[Guillame] I'm not sure.

[Aden_] Well.

[Aden_] He's some kind of protege of Uncle Maze's, no doubt. Maybe even a bastard, I don't know and didn't really want to ask in front of my great-aunt.

[Guillame] They showed it to me - the portrait was similar-featured to the Martan I met. And... well, you said that you didn't *have* a cousin Martan.

[Aden_] I don't.

[Guillame] Yes, understandably.

[Guillame] Anyway - I really didn't know what to say, but I wanted you to be aware of it, at least.

  • Aden_ nods.

[Aden_] Well, I appreciate the concern, but I really think it's far more likely he's some by-blow of my uncle's than that they've brought Martan Bloody Kizer back from the dead :o

[Guillame] More likely for sure, and I surely hope so.

  • Aden_ puts an arm around you.

[Guillame] There are mystical forces in play in Diabolotin though, for sure. I just wanted to make sure you knew...

[Guillame] There was some suggestion also that the Lord Grey had manipulated you into position, but I'm not really sure that's more likely than the Emperor playing politics.

  • Aden_ chuckles at that.

[Aden_] I won't say he's not pleased as punch that I'm on the Inner Council, but he doesn't have that smug, self-satisfied look I'd associate with him having gotten his own way.

[Guillame] Ha! That's telling.

[Guillame] I told you I'm going back to the shadow plane, right?

[Aden_] I think you mentioned it, but I'm afraid if you told me the details I've blanked on them.

[Guillame] Probably not - it's hard to describe the details without thinking of hundreds of conflicting and non-connected theories, so I doubt I bothered. I'm always worried about talking about other peoples' research, too - in case they want it kept quiet until they've written it up.

[Aden_] When are you going?

[Guillame] Mostly we're just following up on our tentative conclusions.

  • Aden_ nods.

[Guillame] At the end of the month.

[Aden_] Will you be gone for long?

[Guillame] Well, it'll depend on what we find, I suspect. We're not planning a long expedition, but if there's something critical, we'll probably stay longer. However, after last time, I'm more confident that we should at least *be able* to return!

  • Aden_ nods.

[Aden_] That's good!

[Guillame] Well, indeed!

[Guillame] I've started making arrangements with Portia, too. Nothing much yet, though.

[Aden_] No announcements in the papers yet? :)

[Guillame] Not that I've heard of! I suppose my Mother will make one!

  • Aden_ nods.

[Guillame] Maybe I'll be able to leave most of the arrangements to her :P

[Aden_] Well, let me know when a date is set, so I can plan to be there ;)

[Guillame] Of course!

[Guillame] . o O (I wonder if I can get away with having you as the best man..?)

  • Guillame snuggles in.