Diablotin 2 session 38

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[EvilNarrator] At its invitation, Seth, you have stepped into the stone of the Arch. It is not an especially thick structure, so you might have expected to be somewhat cramped, but instead, you find yourself standing in a vast room, so large you cannot see the walls. [EvilNarrator] The room is grey and cold, and milling around you are ... spirits? ghosts? People, at any rate, though pale and insubstantial ones. [Char] (do I recognize any of them?) [EvilNarrator] There are men, women, children, most of them human, but not all. Many wear odd clothing, of types you have never seen before, whether strangely old-fashioned or simply... strange. [EvilNarrator] No one you recognize, no. [EvilNarrator] They seem to pay you, and each other, little attention.

  • Char walks in, making sure to scuff the floor with his boot every few steps so he can find his way back to ... ???

[EvilNarrator] Looking down, you still seem to be your usual solid self. [EvilNarrator] Moving through the translucent crowd, you catch a glimpse of colour - not much colour, mind you, just a muted brown.

  • Char will follow it

[EvilNarrator] It's a woman wearing a simple robe, belted at the waist. She is on the short and stocky side, and her tawny brown hair is cut very short. [Char] (familiar at all?) [EvilNarrator] (nope) [Char] (definitely human though?) [EvilNarrator] As far as you can tell, yes.

  • Char makes sure not to lose her ... approaching closer.
  • Woman notices you as you approach.
  • Woman walks up to you.

[Woman] You... you're not like the others. Who are you? [Char] ... who are you? [Woman] My name is Belden. [Char] (have I ever heard the name?) [EvilNarrator] Yes, you have. You know that she was the leader of a human rebellion many years ago, and was sacrificed to the Arch.

  • Belden 's age is difficult to judge - one moment she could be twenty-five, the next, a decade older, and the next, an old woman, and yet her physical appearance doesn't change. It's something in the eyes, perhaps.

[Char] i am ... ch ... ar ... ch ... Seth. [Belden] Hello, Seth. How did you come here? Not the usual way, I take it. [Seth] I ... slipped between the cracks. Into ... the Arch. [Belden] Hm. I don't know what that means, but I'm glad to see you nevertheless. [Seth] How did you? [Belden] Well, you know.

  • Belden says with a wave of her hand.

[Belden] Are you from Andusk? [Seth] To some degree. [Seth] You? [Belden] Not everyone here is. [Seth] Where are the others from? [Belden] This ... room, or however you perceive it, is between worlds, outside of them and yet binding them together. [Belden] The Serpent is a god, after all, and it spans all worlds, though its power is less in some than in others. [Seth] Why are you not like the others? [Belden] I've often wondered that myself. It would be arrogant to think that my will was so strong that the Beast was unable to consume me fully. [Belden] No, I think it's because, in a way, it ate me twice. [Seth] Explain. [Belden] In two worlds, that is. [Belden] In Diablotin, its power was less, at least for a time. It could swallow people there, but not devour them whole. It subsisted on ... pieces of souls, not whole ones. [Belden] A part of me stayed here, after my passage through the lower Arch. When another me was given to the Arch in Andusk to be consumed, she - I - was united with that other self, and I believe that is what has permitted me to maintain my senses, my sanity... [Seth] Diablotin ... the word ... it is a city, like this one. [Belden] In some ways like. [Belden] In other ways, not at all like. [Seth] Tell me. [Belden] Tell you what? [Seth] About Diablotin. [Belden] It's a human city, capital of a great empire. [Seth] So these others here, are all from Diablotin? [Belden] Oh no... some, but not all. [Belden] Some are certainly from Andusk... others, I have never been able to ascertain where they may be from. [Seth] Aunt Gwen ... [Belden] Some relative of yours? [Seth] Yes. [Belden] If she was given to the Arch, then she could well be here. But there are so many, to find one amidst all of them would be a huge task. [Seth] To free them ... to free you ... us? [Belden] And even if you did locate her, they are... not people, not any longer. [Seth] They have no souls. [Belden] Perhaps, or perhaps they are nothing but souls. I don't know. [Seth] Hmm. And what am I? [Belden] As far as I can tell, you are a man. [Seth] I have ... he has ... dreams, or visions, of another world than Andusk, another city. Yet I am one with the city - it is my city. [Belden] Andusk is, or this other city? [Seth] Both ...? I don't know. Is there a way to get to Diablotin from here? [Belden] I've never found a way out, whether to Diablotin or anywhere else. [Belden] But perhaps you can get back out however you first got in. [Seth] Yes ... I will try. But first, I have questions. [Belden] I'll answer them, if I'm able. [Seth] You have been in both places, Saraknyel and Diablotin. Is one ... more real? [Belden] Hm, difficult to say. Both seemed very real when I lived there. [Belden] But now that I am here, I would have to say, Saraknyel is a shadow, in more than one sense of the word. [Seth] And the humans rule the Shadar-kai in Diablotin? [Belden] There are no shadar-kai in Diablotin at all. [Belden] Or none that I knew of.

  • Seth smiles widely.

[Seth] And in the time you have been here, you have never seen another like you? [Belden] Another who was... whole, after a fashion? [Seth] Yes. [Belden] No, but then, I'm certain I have not seen every person here. I believe that such a person would have to have been consumed by the Arch in more than one world, and perhaps it is quite rare for anyone to be *that* unlucky. [Belden] In Diablotin, the purpose of the Arch was quite different.. [Seth] Why did you pass through the ... lower arch in Diablotin? [Belden] To save myself, and my companions. [Seth] But they ... didn't make it? [Belden] They are here, but as faint shadows of themselves... None of them, thank the gods, must have been fed to the Arch in Saraknyel. [Seth] Who were they? [Belden] Kalman vak Andras, Boden of Gouge, Pavo Arsenios, Loch du Champe, and Falke Sathin passed through the Arch at the same time as I did. [Seth] Do you remember the time, before the you who was from Andusk was sent through the Arch? Or only since then? [Belden] Only since then, I think. [Belden] It's a bit hazy. [Seth] When I go ... you will be alone again once more. [Belden] Perhaps so. I can bear it. [Seth] Then I will go. [Belden] Very well. I wish you good fortune, Seth, wherever your journey takes you.

  • Seth will try to slip away, then.

[Belden] Do you worship ...the old gods, I suppose you might think of them? [Seth] I ... know of them. [Belden] Then, if you do not object, blessings upon you.

  • Belden makes a sign with her hand you don't recognize.

[Seth] Thank you.

  • Seth slips away?

[EvilNarrator] Yes, you can slip away, and find yourself back in the white room. [Char] (has anything changed since I left?) [EvilNarrator] (nope)

  • Char will look back at the Arch, as if expecting the voice to say something.

[EvilNarrator] It remains silent. [Char] thank you

  • Char slips through the cracks, speaking 'Diablotin' just in case as he passes through.

[EvilNarrator] You emerge back into the tunnel, where Cornelia is waiting. [Cornelia] What happened? [Char] the arch is a portal [Char] to a place of great sorrow [Cornelia] Hmph. Tell me something I don't know! [Char] tell me ... of diablotin. [Cornelia] It's a word I heard in a dream. I don't know anything else about it. [Char] tell me about the dream [Cornelia] We should get out of here... I can tell you more later. [Char] yes.

  • Char remains silently pensive as we leave.

  • Char will go immediately after ditching Cornelia to see Mother Alma.
  • Mother_Alma is meditating in front of her coffin-cum-altar.

[Char] i am here. [Char] need to speak now.

  • Char sounds almost breathless, if such a thing is possible.
  • Mother_Alma rotates to face Char, her onyx mask in place.

[Mother_Alma] I have recovered my brother. [Char] irrelevant. [Char] i have been within the arch. [Mother_Alma] What? [Mother_Alma] Vrag's Arch? [Char] not sure. yes. perhaps. [Char] nash took me to a place. [Char] a symbol on a wall. [Char] a word: 'diablotin'

  • Mother_Alma scans her memory for the word.

[Char] a chamber with an arch, beneath the one that lies above. [Char] a voice, a deep voice, and visions of things long past.

  • Mother_Alma watches you intently from behind her mask.

[Char] it invited me into ... it. [Char] i slipped between its cracks. [Char] and into another realm. [Mother_Alma] There was a realm within the stone of the ... under arch? [Char] a giant room, filled with the leavings of those who pass through it. [Char] And one, one whole woman. [Mother_Alma] A sewer? [Char] not a sewer [Char] the leavings ... of souls. [Mother_Alma] And one soul was... intact? [Char] yes [Char] one who had passed through the arch twice, in two realms.

  • Mother_Alma looks Char over to see if he appears inebriated or under the effect of anything.

[Mother_Alma] (SM 27) [Char] (Bluff -2 + 1d20 ... yeah, I fail.) [Mother_Alma] How could she be devoured twice?

  • Char is clearly upset but not obviously under any effect or anything.

[Char] in two worlds. this one, and one called diablotin. [Mother_Alma] (sec) [Mother_Alma] So not a plane then, some sort of... parallel? [Char] yes, one of many. like spokes of a wheel, with this room, the arch, at the centre. [Mother_Alma] ... [Mother_Alma] This is... unexpected. [Mother_Alma] I find it difficult to accept. [Char] yes. [Char] this woman, she is Passeth Belden, who once fought on the side of righteousness. [Mother_Alma] Mother Passeth? [Mother_Alma] You spoke with Mother Passeth? [Mother_Alma] Within the Arch? [Char] yes.

  • Mother_Alma looms nearer.

[Mother_Alma] You must take me to this Arch. [Char] i cannot. [Mother_Alma] Why? [Char] i refuse. [Mother_Alma] Do you not understand the importance of this? If Mother Passeth lies within, aware of secrets which may help us fight against Vrag, we must speak with her again. [Mother_Alma] I must see this Arch and confer with Mother Biatrix and the others. [Char] you cannot enter the arch. only i can. [Mother_Alma] Are you certain? [Char] perhaps you could enter the chamber with the arch. [Char] but i entered it, went within the stone. [Mother_Alma] That is not necessarily unique to you, Char. [Char] there is more. [Char] how did nash know what was there. [Mother_Alma] I have not spoken with Nash about the Arch before. [Mother_Alma] Does she have access to city archives we do not? [Char] she knew where to go, knew there was a symbol on the wall that i had to pass through [Char] knew that the word to bypass it was 'diablotin' [Mother_Alma] Why does this concern you? [Char] how would she know any of this [Char] how would she know the symbol was there without seeing it [Char] how would she know the password [Mother_Alma] We cannot know that. But why would she expose the Arch to you, if she meant harm? [Char] and how could she know what lies beyond [Mother_Alma] Regardless, it is not as if we can confront her with only your word the under-Arch even exists. [Mother_Alma] Why do you resist showing me its location? [Char] there is more. [Char] when at the arch, the voice, it showed me things, visions of the past. [Mother_Alma] And? [Char] it showed me first a vision of a man, familiar yet not, Laeken of the Wolf. [Char] who sought parlay and reconciliation with the filth, long ago. [Mother_Alma] I do not know that name. [Mother_Alma] Did he have a family name? [Char] none that was spoken. [Mother_Alma] What does this suggest? That we were betrayed by the Shadar-kai, or by this Laeken? [Char] perhaps. [Char] there is more. [Char] a second vision. [Char] a dark queen and her daughter. [Char] a sacrifice of blood and shadow under the arch. [Char] makes the babe tal-antar. [Mother_Alma] And the importance of this? [Char] the arch showed it to me. [Char] could it be the filth-queen's ascension. [Mother_Alma] Perhaps, but is this important to us? of value? [Char] there is more. [Char] belden spoke to me of diablotin. [Char] it is a real world, not like this shadow place. [Char] there are no filth there at all. [Char] humans rule their own empire [Char] she, the twice-anointed, spoke of her first journey through the arch. [Mother_Alma] Ah, glorious. [Char] her boon companions, all lost but her in a vain attempt to save themselves. [Char] cast themselves through the lower arch. [Char] their names redound in this place also. [Mother_Alma] Other parallels? [Mother_Alma] Who? [Char] Boden. Kalman. Loch. [Char] two others, i knew not. [Char] Pavo. Falke. [Mother_Alma] Loch, the Irrdin'errin? [Char] loch duchampe. yes. [Mother_Alma] The other names I do not recall. [Mother_Alma] This is not of... immediate use? [Char] i wonder. [Char] kalman, he is sympathetic to us. [Char] or so i have heard. [Mother_Alma] Who is he? [Char] he is filth, in this place. [Mother_Alma] But not in the other? [Char] there are no filth in diablotin. [Mother_Alma] Yes... [Mother_Alma] ... hard to imagine. [Mother_Alma] Now... why do you resist showing me this Arch, from which you saw these stories you expect me to believe? [Char] because it is my place. mine alone. [Char] if you want my further help, you must accept that. [Mother_Alma] Your place? [Char] yes. [Mother_Alma] How do you justify this claim? [Char] i don't have to. [Mother_Alma] You act to withhold the counsel of Mother Passeth from us, without justification? [Char] no. [Mother_Alma] For some sort of... personal claim to insight? [Char] think of this, mother. [Char] i know i can enter and leave freely. [Char] you do not know that. [Char] what if you entered and could not leave. [Char] what would be served by that. [Mother_Alma] That would be something for us to discuss. [Mother_Alma] All we do has risk, Char. [Char] i am not interested in that discussion. the risk is mine to take. [Mother_Alma] You do not have the right to make that decision for all of us. [Mother_Alma] Do you even know what questions to ask Mother Passeth? [Char] you wish to discuss theology. how quaint. [Char] all around us is evidence that this world has no real substance. [Mother_Alma] Is this your objection then? The fear of us doing something foolhardy? [Char] you, not us. [Mother_Alma] It is a foolish fear. [Mother_Alma] I will consider this ... negotiable in the meantime. [Char] remember this. [Char] i did not have to tell you any of this. [Char] i chose to do so. [Char] perhaps wrongly. [Mother_Alma] You look to a reward for doing what is right? [Mother_Alma] Praise? [Mother_Alma] You came to me because I want them gone from this plane, as you do. [Mother_Alma] It would benefit you to remember that you are not alone in this, and that you are only one man. [Mother_Alma] A confused and damagaed one, at that. [Char] you do not see. now there is another way. [Char] i do not want them gone from this plane. [Char] i want us gone from their plane. [Mother_Alma] You think we are in the Shadow Plane? [Char] there is little hope of ultimate victory in our present battle. [Char] you, with your wisdom, surely know that. [Char] but to go to this place, to diablotin. [Char] there are no filth there. [Char] no war to fight. [Mother_Alma] You avoid my questions, Char, and it disconcerts me. [Char] i do not know the answers. [Mother_Alma] What of the other Kingdoms of Man? [Char] let them care for themselves. [Char] they are not my concern. [Mother_Alma] You hope, then, that we could evacuate the humans of Andusk to this "Diablotin"? [Char] i do not know. [Mother_Alma] No options dismissed in a situation as dire as ours, then? [Char] i informed you of this as a courtesy, alma. [Char] you are not my leader. [Char] i do not take orders from you. [Mother_Alma] It is in your best interest to work with the undercity. [Char] yes. [Char] ask. [Mother_Alma] Then please, take me to the Arch. Name your conditions. [Char] i will consider your request. [Char] later. [Mother_Alma] Will you truly? [Char] why would i lie. [Mother_Alma] To placate me. [Char] correct. [Mother_Alma] You will consider my request in a reasonable timeframe? [Char] yes. [Mother_Alma] (sm 27 again) [Char] (he is not overtly hiding anything) [Mother_Alma] Very well. [Mother_Alma] I am willing to cooperate in order to placate your concerns of ... hasty action. [Mother_Alma] Thank you for relaying this information. [Char] we will talk again soon. [Mother_Alma] Enjoy your day, Char. [Char] i will.

  • Char slips away.
  • Mother_Alma turns back to meditate on this...

[EvilNarrator] Willem, you are in your rooms, resting but not asleep, perhaps mentally rehearsing your sermon for tomorrow... [EvilNarrator] Your focus is broken, however, by a soft chittering noise in the corner of your room. [Father_Willem] . o O (The righteous shall take their rightful position as the caretakers of the w... ?)

  • Father_Willem sits up slowly

[EvilNarrator] Probably a rat - there are so many of them around, after all...

  • Father_Willem smiles, and tries to spot it

[EvilNarrator] You manage to spot the creature without much difficulty. It's very large, black-furred, with eyes that glint red. [EvilNarrator] Were-rat, almost certainly, in your expert opinion.

  • Father_Willem puts his hand on Calathangas, just in case, but keeps smiling

[Father_Willem] Hello, little avatar...

  • Wererat approaches you, sniffing cautiously.
  • Father_Willem offers it a clenched fist to smell

[Wererat] *sniff sniff* [Wererat] squeak?

  • Wererat seems non-hostile.
  • Father_Willem grins wider, and touches the wererat on the side of its snout, gently, with the fist
  • Wererat sort of climbs up onto your hand with its front paws.

[Father_Willem] I wonder which one you were... no matter. You are welcome here, although I shall likely not feed you.

  • Father_Willem lifts it, and turns it gently to examine it.
  • Wererat struggles, and suddenly turns in your hands into a naked shadar-kai girl. The shift throws you off-balance for a moment and she kind of lands on top of you, awkwardly.

[SK_Girl] Oh!

  • Father_Willem pushes her off, a little roughly, and fails to suppress a cruel chuckle

[SK_Girl] It's you! What did you do to me?!

  • SK_Girl 's body has quite a few scrapes and bruises, and her black hair is disheveled.

[Father_Willem] I gave you a gift. [SK_Girl] A gift? What do you mean? [Father_Willem] I saved you, the only way you deserved to be saved. [SK_Girl] But I can't go back, not like this! [Father_Willem] Ah, but you will. Maybe you'll save others, no?

  • SK_Girl looks confused.

[SK_Girl] Save them from what? [Father_Willem] Abomination. It's not a full salvation, like your... mother? Grandmother? No matter. Hem. Like she received. But you will enjoy the glory of the lord's work, while her salvation is rather more passive.

  • SK_Girl looks as though she might cry.

[SK_Girl] Who are you? [Father_Willem] I'm the midnight killer. I think that's one of your names for me. But I'm so much more... [SK_Girl] Oh. My name is... was... Si'atha. [SK_Girl] I suppose you can call me whatever you want. [Father_Willem] Si'atha will be fine. [SK_Girl] No... I'm not her anymore. I'm what you've made me. [SK_Girl] It's all so strange... but so beautiful too. Things I've never seen before... [Father_Willem] It is beautiful, isn't it?

  • SK_Girl nods.

[Father_Willem] Tonight, I will put you in the care of Raina. And tomorrow, you will be a part of the sermon. And then maybe we will send you home if you are bad. [SK_Girl] Oh please, let me stay with you. Teach me. I'll serve you, I'll do anything you want... [Father_Willem] We will see.

  • SK_Girl kneels before you hopefully.
  • Father_Willem takes her to find Raina.
  • Raina_ is sewing in the other room - mostly sewing things to random other things, not mending, but hey, it keeps her busy.

[Father_Willem] Hem.

  • Raina_ looks up.

[Raina_] Oh. A guest. [Raina_] She's naked. [Father_Willem] Yes. You will care for her tonight, I believe.

  • Raina_ points out.

[Father_Willem] Hem?

  • Father_Willem hadn't really paid attention.

[Father_Willem] Is she cold?

  • Father_Willem asks Si'atha

[SK_Girl] A little. [Father_Willem] Then Raina will find you a little clothing

  • Raina_ finds a shift for her to wear, and the girl pulls it on. It doesn't look very warm, but it's probably better than nothing.

[Raina_] What will we do with her, hm, hm... [Father_Willem] She will be presented at sermon, and then we shall see.

  • Raina_ strokes the girl's face.

[Father_Willem] She is an avatar... no, a servitor. I made her to serve rat, and so she shall serve us.

  • Raina_ nods eagerly.

[Raina_] And we can play with her. [Father_Willem] If it pleases you. [Raina_] Can we hurt her?

  • Father_Willem addresses Si'atha

[Father_Willem] Raina is a prophet. [SK_Girl] I am honoured... [Father_Willem] Hurt her? I expect so.

  • Raina_ claps.

[Raina_] Pretty doll, her hands and feet and head can come off...

  • SK_Girl looks mildly alarmed at that.

[Father_Willem] They can indeed, but they shouldn't - she has work to do. [Father_Willem] So many more to make...

  • Father_Willem thinks

[SK_Girl] More like me? [Father_Willem] After sermon, you will attend school. [Father_Willem] That will be for the best.

  • SK_Girl nods, listening.

[Father_Willem] Then back to attend Raina. [Raina_] Yes, attend. Attend, attend, attend.... [SK_Girl] As you wish.

  • SK_Girl says humbly.

[Father_Willem] Her name was Si'atha. She says she wants a new one. I leave it to you to foretell whether she deserves one, and what it shall be.

  • Father_Willem returns to his chamber.

[Raina_] Ooh!

[EvilNarrator] Following the sudden (if perhaps not unexpected) death of Leonien Kizer, nearly all the notables of the city have gathered for his funeral, to be held at the Grand Temple on the Holy Island. [EvilNarrator] Pheria, Sen, and Ysstvelt should all be in attendance. [Pheria] @_@ [EvilNarrator] The temple is ancient, its stones weathered by the centuries, and yet still very beautiful, with its sinuous curves and of course the Arch so close... [EvilNarrator] Today, it is crowded with people, both human and shadar-kai, come to mourn the late Lord Kizer, or perhaps just to catch up on gossip and hear the reading of his will, which will take place after the ceremony. [EvilNarrator] Within the windowless temple, it is normally very dark, though as a concession for human worshippers, a few magical lights illuminate the interior, showing its carved walls. [EvilNarrator] A balcony circles the upper level of the temple, where the lesser-born folk who wish to pay their respects have gathered. [EvilNarrator] Leonien's body lies, decorously wrapped in grey linen, on the slab at the centre of the temple, watched over by star-robed priests. [EvilNarrator] There are no seats in the temple, and people mingle freely before the ceremony begins. [EvilNarrator] Just about everyone who is anyone is there - members of the Irrdin'erin, easily spotted in their masks, nobles both shadar-kai and human... [EvilNarrator] Leonien's family, of course, are all present, Marel, Menard, and Livianne amongst them.

  • Ysstvelt masters her hatred for this place as she does whatever Marel expects her to do while here.

[EvilNarrator] Pheria, in the time before the ceremony begins, a masked and hooded figure approaches you. He is shorter than you by several inches, and a few wisps of white hair are all that are visible between hood and mask. [Loch] Lady Phéria Kesset.

  • Loch 's voice is dry and raspy, as if something is rattling in his throat.

[Pheria] (is he glowing like crazy with evil spells? :V) [EvilNarrator] (glowing like crazy, for sure...) [Pheria] (do I know it's Loch, basically) [EvilNarrator] (yes) [Pheria] (what's his correct title... lord DuChampe?) [EvilNarrator] (Councillor Duchampe, maybe :) [Pheria] Councillor DuChampe...! [Pheria] I am so pleased to see you...!

  • Loch inclines his head slightly, with the faintest of creaking noises.

[Loch] I don't believe we've been introduced, but I see you already know me. [Pheria] You have a certain... unmistakable air about you...

  • Pheria smiles disconcertingly.

[Loch] Heh. [Loch] I've heard so much about you, it's a pleasure to meet you at last. [Pheria] Likewise, yes... [Loch] Tell me, Pheria, has anything unusual happened to you lately? [Pheria] Oh, unusual things seem to happen to me all the time... [Pheria] Why do you ask...? [Loch] Any odd dreams? [Pheria] In a manner of speaking...!

  • Pheria laughs lightly.
  • Pheria suddenly focuses sharply on Loch.

[Pheria] ... Are you... one of us? [Pheria] @_@ [Loch] Hmm...

  • Pheria asks in a low voice.

[Loch] No, not one of you. [Pheria] But you See... [Pheria] As he does, as she does... [Pheria] You See, don't you... [Pheria] How...? [Loch] I've always had particularly clear sight. [Loch] I suppose you have probably heard that I was ...quite ill lately.

  • Pheria nods...

[Pheria] Indeed... And that you made a very dramatic recovery... ;) [Loch] Why, fortunately I did. [Loch] But during my ... illnesss... I learned certain things.

  • Pheria tilts her head to one side, listening intently.

[Loch] [q] I know that this world is not real.

  • Pheria nods rapidly...

[Pheria] [q] It is a dream, yes... but the people here... they do exist... I am most perplexed...! [Loch] [q] Shadows, all. [Loch] [q] Shadows in a dream. [Pheria] [q] Shadows... of what? Another world...? [Pheria] Another dimension...? @_@ [Loch] [q] Yes. But you... you and a few others... you are not shadows alone. [Pheria] Yes, I know... but not who. [Pheria] [q] Will a spell of True Seeing reveal them...? [Loch] [q] Perhaps.

  • Pheria will cast one if no one is looking at her too closely...

[Pheria] (and then look around the room to see what I can see) [EvilNarrator] (oh crazy - this might be nuts ;) [Pheria] (hee hee hee :D) [Pheria] (castinated!) [EvilNarrator] (just checking exact desc, sec) [EvilNarrator] The room is lightened, of course, because you don't see the magical darkness anymore. But all around you, you see people's forms change. There are people under disguise spells, there are undead, there are dragons... [Pheria] Goodness...! [Pheria] :D [Loch] Interesting, yes? [Pheria] (who's a dragon?) [Pheria] Fascinating...!

  • Pheria agrees.

[EvilNarrator] No one you know ;) [Pheria] (hee.) [Pheria] (what about Sendhel) [EvilNarrator] He looks different - thinner, short hair, and pale-skinned. [Pheria] Sendhel's an elf..! [Pheria] and pink...! [Loch] Then is he one of ...you? [Pheria] (s/pink/pale) [EvilNarrator] (aw, pink was awesmome ;) [Pheria] (Well I didn't know if I could see colours) [Pheria] (if I can, then leave it) [EvilNarrator] (oh.. yeah, I don't think there's any reason why not) [Pheria] (oh wait we're not in the s/p) [EvilNarrator] (right) [Pheria] Yes... yes it's possible! [Pheria] Oh you *sneak* Sendhel!! [Loch] Well. If there is any other way I can help, do let me know. I find all of this fascinating, as an intellectual exercise. [Pheria] I have been contacting the outer planes for guidance... [Loch] Risky, that. [Pheria] I must know...! @_@ [Pheria] I have been trying to scry the other me... [Loch] Oh, of course - but I always found with those sorts of things, you wind up with nearly as many lies as truths. [Pheria] But her will is strong. [Pheria] Do you think you might have more success...? [Loch] How frustrating. [Loch] I could make the attempt, I suppose. [Pheria] She is called... Ilphère. [Pheria] I am so curious to see what the spell will yield.

  • Loch nods.

[Loch] I will attempt it, and send you a note to let you know what I learn, if anything. [Pheria] Thank you... I shall do the same...! [Pheria] This has been most illuminating...! [Loch] Likewise.

  • Pheria looks around the room again, taking in the menagerie.
  • Loch makes a slight bow to you again before he leaves. It's a little unsettling to think about what might lie behind that glossy mask...
  • Pheria nods respectfully.
  • Pheria will beeline for Sendhel (when it's not his turn).

[EvilNarrator] (hee)

[EvilNarrator] Sendhel, you have been surreptitiously gathering information that might lead you to Cesar's current whereabouts - presumably the undercity somewhere, if he has not already fled Andusk entirely. [EvilNarrator] You know, of course, that to simply walk into the undercity would quite possibly mean your death - even if you were to disguise yourself, your skin colour would not win you any friends there. [EvilNarrator] And so you have been seeking what information you can glean from sources above-ground, but who are well-informed about the activities and secrets of the under-folk. [EvilNarrator] One name keeps cropping up in your conversations - the shadar-kai nobleman Kalman Vak'andres. The rumour is that he is somehow involved with the human resistance, but nothing has ever been proven. [EvilNarrator] He is, fortunately for you, in attendance at Leonien's funeral rites. He is still relatively young, equivalent perhaps to his late twenties, with tight-curling black hair and medium-grey skin. [Sendhel] . o O (Pretty...)

  • Sendhel will make his way over towards him casually

[Sendhel] (maybe run into him at the driks table or something ;p) [Sendhel] (not litterally) [EvilNarrator] (sure :) [Sendhel] My Lord Vak'andres, I presume? [Kalman] You presume correctly.

  • Kalman looks mildly surprised that you're talking to him, but smiles nevertheless.

[Kalman] Do I know you, sir? [Sendhel] Not yet, my lord... [Sendhel] I am sendhel

  • Sendhel smiles charmingly

[Kalman] I don't believe we've ever met, and yet you seem strangely familiar to me...

  • Kalman smiles back.

[Sendhel] (I asume I have also heard rumours that he had a gladiator lover :V) [Sendhel] oh? [EvilNarrator] (well, a gladiator "good friend", maybe? ;)

  • Sendhel is actually surprised by that :o

[Sendhel] (hee) [Kalman] Well, perhaps we met at a party once. [Sendhel] Well.... I was wondering if i might have a private word with you, on a matter of personal busines. [Sendhel] This may not be the most appropriate venue, but I simply can't let the opportunity slip by me... [Kalman] Personal business? [Kalman] I suppose so... [Sendhel] I would be most grateful...

  • Sendhel smiles again

[Kalman] Here, or somewhere else?

  • Sendhel will look around for somewhere a little more secluded

[EvilNarrator] (well, there are probably various nooks and such in the temple) [Sendhel] Somewhere else would be better. [Kalman] Well, I can't leave just now, but we could probably find somewhere a bit quieter, at least. [Sendhel] Of course, my lord, that woudl be fine. [Sendhel] over this way, perhaps?

  • Kalman will accompany you to a secluded alcove, then.
  • Sendhel tries to quiet the part of his brain that is screamng that this is a terrible idea

[Sendhel] I do not wish to take up my lord's time unecessarily..

  • Sendhel says demurely

[Kalman] Oh, by all means, don't worry about that.

  • Sendhel nods

[Kalman] I have more time than I know what to do with.

  • Sendhel smiles at that, but will supress his usual style of repartee for now

[Sendhel] Well, then perhaps I might persuade you to aid me. [Kalman] What aid do you require? [Sendhel] I'm trying to find someone who is....very dear to me.

  • Sendhel says with a sad look

[Sendhel] A Gladiator... bis name is César. [Sendhel] His sister came, and took him away. [Kalman] I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about.

  • Sendhel nods

[Sendhel] Of course not. [Sendhel] But I had heard that you have certain... connections....

  • Kalman holds up a hand, quickly.

[Kalman] Shh.

  • Sendhel nods

[EvilNarrator] A shadar-kai gentleman with a beautiful young woman on his arm is approaching the two of you. [EvilNarrator] You notice Kalman noticing them, and sighing ever so slightly.

  • Raina_ is now known as Davilas
  • Sendhel gives him a slightly curious look
  • Davilas is handsome, but there is a sneer about his mouth that gives him a cruel look. His hair is pale grey, pewter rather than silver.

[EvilNarrator] Apart from her black hair, which falls past her waist in three elegant braids, the woman with him bears him a distinct family resemblance. [Sendhel] (Do I know him/of him?) [EvilNarrator] (Of, certainly...) [Davilas] Kalman, how delightful to see you. [Davilas] This is hardly the time, Davilas. [Davilas] (ww) [Kalman] This is hardly the time, Davilas.

  • Sendhel smiles politely

[Davilas] Oh? I do apologize if I've interrupted your flirtation with this ...*very* pretty boy. [Davilas] I wouldn't have thought him your type. You always fancied the more brutish sort, didn't you? [Davilas] But perhaps you got enough of the rough trade with your pet gladiator, and now that he's dead you're after something a little, hm, softer. It's understandable... [Kalman] You dare speak of him?

  • Kalman asks, seemingly calm but with anger in his eyes.

[Davilas] Ooh, still touches a nerve, does it, even after all these years? How adorable. [Davilas] Well, I shan't keep you from your new ... friend. Farewell, Kalman. [Kalman] Farewell.

  • Kalman says through gritted teeth.

[Kalman] [m] Als, die in a fire.

  • Sendhel waits until he is gone
  • Sendhel raises his eyebrows slightly

[Kalman] Ahem. I apologize for that. Old bitterness dies hard. But I should still have held my tongue. [Sendhel] What an.... unpleasant gentleman..

  • Sendhel says sympathetically

[Kalman] He saves his unpleasantness for certain... special friends, I suppose ;)

  • Kalman rubs his eyes, which you notice have dark shadows beneath them.

[Kalman] I haven't been sleeping well lately, but that's no excuse for rudeness. [Sendhel] Ahh... I apologize if our innocent conversation may cause you any further unpleasantness... [Kalman] No more than usual. [Kalman] And perhaps it's worth it :) [Sendhel] oh? [Kalman] [q] You spoke of a friend who is lost to you?

  • Sendhel nods and looks distressed again

[Sendhel] [q] taken away, quite sudently.... to the undercity :( [Kalman] [q] Lost, but at least still alive, yes? [Sendhel] [q] yes, i'm sure of it....

  • Kalman nods.

[Kalman] [q] What would you do, if you found him?

  • Sendhel looks a little lost

[Sendhel] [q] I.... His sister came to see me... one of the walking dead. She came to haunt me, and to tell me how terible I am, how I've ruined and corrupted him... [Kalman] :( [Sendhel] [q] I can't bear to think of the hate she would spread to him, the lies... I just need to see him again. [Kalman] [q] I'm not saying I know anything, of course. But a message could be delivered into trustworthy hands, and from there, it could find its way to your friend.

  • Sendhel nods

[Sendhel] [q] I would be so grateful, my lord...

  • Kalman nods.

[Kalman] [q] If you'll take my advice - don't leave anything unsaid, if you do see him again. Regret is a difficult thing to live with. [Sendhel] [q] I know it too well already ;_; [Kalman] [q] Very well.

  • Kalman pats your shoulder comfortingly.

[EvilNarrator] The funeral rites are beginning... [Sendhel] [q] Where shoudl I send my message?

  • Sendhel looks over

[Kalman] [q] A servant. I'll tell you where you can meet him.

  • Kalman gives you a meeting place and time...
  • Sendhel nods

[Sendhel] [q] Thank you, so much!

  • Kalman nods.

[Kalman] Now, we should be getting back, I think,

  • Sendhel nods, and will go with hi back to the main event...

[Sendhel] . o O ( I'll show you who loves César, bitch ]:| )

[EvilNarrator] The funeral ceremony is long and conventional - nothing out of the ordinary. [EvilNarrator] At the conclusion, Leonien's body is incinerated with a flame strike, as is customary. [EvilNarrator] After the ceremony has concluded, Leonien's will is to be publically read. Its contents are a matter of considerable interest, as one might expect.

  • High_Priest , having brought the will from the sacred archive, holds it up to show that the lord's seal is intact for any who wish to inspect it.
  • High_Priest then carefully breaks the seal and unrolls the document to read it.
  • Ysstvelt waits with mild curiosity and a certain dread.

[High_Priest] "I, Leonien Kizer, being of sound mind, do set my seal by this, my final will. [High_Priest] "As I fully expect that my grandson Marel has had me killed, I hereby bequeath all my estates, lands, and titles, and any other monies, goods, and chattels not specified below, to my dear grand-daughter Livianne. [EvilNarrator] Murmurs from the crowd at that. [High_Priest] "If I am wrong, and I have in fact died of natural causes, then clearly the young man hasn't shown enough initiative, and if I was murdered by someone else, then I hereby pronounce myself pleasantly surprised. [High_Priest] "Don't look so shocked, Marel. I'm sure she'll let you keep your bedchamber if you ask her nicely.

  • High_Priest looks vaguely scandalized at having to read this out loud, but proceeds after clearing his throat several times.
  • Ysstvelt is glad she is wearing a shroud so no one can see her smirk.

[High_Priest] "To my grandson Marel, beloved spew of my unwholesome loins, I leave the sum of fifty thousand gold, in order that he might debauch himself into oblivion. [High_Priest] "To my grandson Menard, I leave the sum of ten thousand gold, and my armor, weapons, and any other magical items on my person at the time of my death. Use them wisely, boy." [High_Priest] "To my cousin Falek, if he is still alive, I leave my regrets and the sum of ten thousand gold, a feeble apology but one that I feel must be made nevertheless. If within a year of my death Falek has not been located, then let the sum be distributed instead to the poor of the city. [High_Priest] "To Kex Argo, the sum of two thousand gold, as a debt repaid, with my thanks.

  • Pheria is trying not to laugh out loud.

[High_Priest] "As for my personal slaves, who have served me faithfully for many years, I hereby pronounce them freed, and gift each of them with the sum of five hundred gold in order to begin their new lives. [High_Priest] "And to my dear Ysstvelt, who has always given me the greatest pleasure and who has earned my sincere affection, I hereby bequeath...

  • High_Priest pauses, as if uncertain, evidently re-reading the document several times before finally proceeding.

[High_Priest] "... the sum of one hundred thousand gold." [EvilNarrator] There is a definite outburst from the crowd at that.

  • Sendhel raises his eyebrows, and glances around for her
  • Ysstvelt is on the alert for anything untoward.
  • Ysstvelt is rather shocked and does not make an effort to hide it.
  • High_Priest rolls up the scroll and makes a hasty exit :o
  • Marel just looks stunned.
  • High_Priest is now known as Livianne

[Marel] Livianne...

  • Marel says, turning to his cousin.

[Marel] Our deal's still on, isn't it?

  • Livianne just smiles.

[Livianne] I'll consider it, Marel. [Pheria] [m] Oh, oh oh... delightful...

  • Ysstvelt doesn't know whether she is actually free or not, since she wasn't, technically, one of Leonien's slaves when he died. And slave or free, suddenly having 100 000 gold makes her a target for a lot of people.

[Marel] There will be legal challenges, don't doubt it. [Marel] And you...

  • Marel says to Ysstvelt.
  • Ysstvelt turns to Marel.

[Marel] How unfortunate that he didn't free you.

  • Ysstvelt nods.

[Marel] Well, I have that consolation, at least.

  • Marel pinches you through your robes.

[Ysstvelt] It does present a conundrum, master. [Ysstvelt] (Do I know whether, as a slave, my gold is forfeit to him...?) [Ysstvelt] (Or are there any precedents for slaves owning property...?) [EvilNarrator] (you suspect it would be, but you're no legal expert) [Ysstvelt] Well, you are a very rich man now. [Marel] There is that. [Ysstvelt] I don't suppose you'd consider raising my allowance by a gold or two?

  • Marel laughs.
  • Ysstvelt tries to joke.

[Marel] We'll see. [Livianne] Marel, it's obvious what his intention was. [Livianne] He wanted her freed as well. [Marel] Then he should have been more careful. [Livianne] She can't bring a case in law for what ought to be hers, but I could.

  • Ysstvelt glances at Livianne, very cautious.

[Livianne] You can't seriously value her more than what I could give you.

  • Ysstvelt listens and watches the two of them closely.

[Marel] Oh, you're not just going to let me go and drink myself to death like Grandfather intended? And I thought you were so concerned about what *he* wanted.

  • Ysstvelt 's mind is spinning, trying to think of how to get out of this mess.

[Livianne] Let's put it to her. What do you want, girl? [Livianne] And don't lie just to please him, for the love of Vrag. [EvilNarrator] Both of them turn to look at you. [Ysstvelt] I would not mind being legally freed, and I have no idea what I would do with 100 000 gold, aside from be a target for every poor noble second and third child out there. [Ysstvelt] Perhaps we could come to some arrangement whereby I am freed, and the money is split between us? [Marel] Hmm. [Ysstvelt] The details of how much we each would get to be worked out. [Livianne] Well, Marel? Easier than a lawsuit, at least.

  • Ysstvelt turns to Marel.

[Marel] ... [Marel] I'll make up my mind tonight. [Marel] For now, she comes with me. [Livianne] Comes with you where, to my house? [Marel] I'll take her to Phéria's, then. [Livianne] Very well... have your little fun, Marel - but don't be stupid. She's just a slave, there will be others.

  • Marel takes your arm to leave, then.

[Ysstvelt] Indeed, you could buy many more with your share of the money. [Marel] My *share*, yes. [Marel] That bastard! [Ysstvelt] I am sorry that... it was not what you expected. I don't think any of us were expecting... that, master.

  • Ysstvelt sounds sincere.

[Marel] And Menard gets the... whatever it is! Damn, I don't even know -_- [Marel] You must know, though. [Ysstvelt] What? [Marel] Whatever he had that let him know when people were talking about him.

  • Ysstvelt shakes her head.

[Ysstvelt] What would you want with something like that? I suppose it could be useful... if it didn't drive you mad. [Marel] Was that what happened to him, in the end?

  • Ysstvelt shrugs.

[Ysstvelt] He seemed more and more fearful of others... [Ysstvelt] It is possible it was because of whatever he had. [Ysstvelt] I don't know, master.

  • Marel nods.

[Marel] Well, then, I probably don't need it. [Marel] I'll have to think about all of this...

  • Ysstvelt nods.

[Ysstvelt] I wouldn't ask for much, master... just enough to start a life for myself. If you want, we could press for equal shares, and then I'd give most of mine to you. [Marel] Oh, I'm sure you'd like that, yes. [Marel] And perhaps, if you please me particularly well tonight, I might even agree. [Ysstvelt] It is my honour to please you, master.

  • Marel just smiles at that.

[Marel] Now, let's go find Phéria so we can go home.

  • Pheria is in animated conversation with Sendhel.

[Ysstvelt] Yes, master.

  • Sendhel resumes a more general milling after the will is read
  • Pheria practically skips over to you.

[Pheria] Sendhel! [Pheria] Sendhel you *sneak*!!

  • Sendhel smiles

[Sendhel] Hmm? [Pheria] I saw you! [Pheria] I *saw* you...! @_@ [Sendhel] Saw me what? :o [Pheria] [q] You're... one of us... [Sendhel] one of who? [Pheria] [q] You can tell me... it's alright. [Pheria] I have seen it... [Pheria] You're all... pink. @_@ [Sendhel] darling... youre not making any sense. perhaps i've had too much wine?

  • Pheria reaches out her hand to lightly touch your face.

[Pheria] You don't know...? [Sendhel] (San is sooo much thinner than Sen....) [Pheria] You're like me... *special.* ]_] [_[ [Sendhel] Don't knwo *what*?

  • Sendhel smounds baffled and bemused

[Sendhel] clearly not, in any case :o [Pheria] You're one of us... you aren't a shadow like the rest... [Pheria] But you don't see, do you...? [Pheria] You are too deeply asleep... [Sendhel] Is this one of those things where you're not yourself? [Pheria] Yes... and neither are you... [Pheria] You're someone else... [Pheria] A half *human* Sendhel...!

  • Sendhel laughs

[Pheria] I could see... your yellow hair... yes, and thinner, yes... @_@ [Sendhel] I think that is one too many haves, darling... [Pheria] Half Cozovode, half human... [Pheria] No shadow in you... the shadow is a dream-disguise, so clever... [Pheria] So clever it fools even yourself... But I will lift the veil... @_@ [Pheria] DuChampe will help me... [Sendhel] he...will? [Pheria] Yes, he sees things as well... [Pheria] He is curious. [Sendhel] wel, of course... [Pheria] I will try to find your name for you. Perhaps that will help...!

  • Sendhel laughs again

[Sendhel] did *you* earn anythig more about 'Ilphere'? [Sendhel] (learn) [Pheria] I only want to open your eyes... [Pheria] Ilphere... I am Ilphere. [Sendhel] I mean, darling, if *you* don't know anything about who you..really are, then what can you expect from me :o [Pheria] The doors will open... [Pheria] I will find the sleeper... [Pheria] I have my suspicions.

  • Pheria rambles.

[Sendhel] I thought you were the sleeper?

  • Sendhel is so confused

[Pheria] This is not my dream... I did not make it... [Sendhel] . o O (I don't even knwo why I try to keep up with her @_@) [Sendhel] But didn't you say ilphere is asleep? [Sendhel] so, she is dreaming...someone else's dream? [Pheria] I think she is... [Pheria] Yes... [Pheria] She has... crossed over... [Sendhel] crossed over to where? [Pheria] There is... there is a spell... [Sendhel] the dream? [Pheria] The dream planes. [Pheria] She must be a wizard as well...! [Sendhel] of course? [Pheria] The spell of dream walking... [Pheria] She must have come here for a reason... but why...

  • Sendhel laughs

[Pheria] If I knew who the dreamer was... If I knew for certain... [Sendhel] maybe she wanted a vacation, darling ^-^ [Pheria] Haha... this place *is* quite diverting, after all...! [Sendhel] I can think of worse people to be than myself

  • Sendhel says dryly

[Pheria] But you are you... and someone else... [Sendhel] . o O (mostly....) [Pheria] You will see... [Pheria] There may be others. [Pheria] [_[ [Pheria] ]_] [Pheria] And if you prefer to be you... you could be rid of him if they leave... [Sendhel] what? [Pheria] If they go back... where they came from [Pheria] The piece of you that is him would go away. [Sendhel] and I would still be me? [Sendhel] and you will still be you? [Sendhel] just withough.. passengers? [Pheria] Yes..! [Pheria] There is a real Pheria Kesset, she said... but I am not entirely her...!\ [Sendhel] Darling, I am not made for thinking about these sorts of things, its rather all beyond me. [Sendhel] But if I'm still me, in the end, that's ll that matter, right? [Sendhel] I mean.... they'e not making us do anything, are they? [Sendhel] :o [Pheria] Of course, or course... [Pheria] I do not know what they want... not yet... [Sendhel] but... they're not?

  • Sendhel actualy sounds a bit concerned at the thought

[Pheria] I do not believe so... [Sendhel] . o O (I'm putting too much stock in her words.... she's mad!) [Sendhel] well, how reassuring then ^-^ [Sendhel] Just tell me if there is anything to worry about, hmm? [Pheria] Of course, of course...! [Pheria] Oh, here comes Marel... !

  • Marel will approach the two of them, with Ysstvelt in tow.
  • Ysstvelt tries not to show any sign of fear.
  • Sendhel smiles

[Marel] I hope it's no trouble for us to join you tonight, my dear?

  • Pheria turns and smiles...

[Pheria] I would be delighted...!

  • Ysstvelt smiles and gives you a formal bow of thanks.

[Sendhel] Hmmm, well have a lovely time, all of you! [Marel] Good, good... and as it may well be our last night with our pretty toy here, I think we should plan something especially fun, don't you? [Pheria] Shall I tell Triana to prepare the equipment...? [Marel] Absolutely.

  • Pheria smiles widely.

[Pheria] Wonderful...!

  • Sendhel sneaks Ys a sympathetic look while they are talking

[EvilNarrator] (moving right along...)

  • Ysstvelt gives him a somewhat wild-eyed 'smile' back.

[EvilNarrator] Alma, you wished to speak with Maze concerning your brother... [Mother_Alma] (Well, I figured I should update him on the story -_-)

  • Maze can often be found in the undercity's marketplace.
  • Mother_Alma will go to seek him out with Danyel, in her corporeal robes.
  • Maze greets you politely.

[Maze] How goes it, Mother? [Mother_Alma] I am well, and you, Maze? [Maze] Well enough, well enough. [Mother_Alma] Might we talk somewhere? [Maze] Of course. Where would you like?

  • Mother_Alma will suggest someplace more private.

[Maze] Certainly.

  • Maze helps himself to a small, withered apple from a stand before you leave the market.

[Mother_Alma] Have you heard the news about my brother? [Maze] I heard that he's here... is there something more than that that I ought to know? [Mother_Alma] There is something I need to discuss with you. [Mother_Alma] That is, aside from working out his future... whether he will stay here or whether he will try to leave Andusk. [Maze] Well... that is up to him, is it not? [Mother_Alma] Yes, but exploring his options ahead is best, I think. [Mother_Alma] The other issue ...

  • Maze listens, eating his apple.

[Mother_Alma] I have made a mistake. [Maze] What do you mean? [Mother_Alma] My brother asked me to speak with someone above on his behalf... he was having trouble adjusting to the thought of leaving his whole world behind.

  • Maze nods...

[Mother_Alma] His name is Sendhel, and he works in the Cozovode Embassy. Our discussion was unpleasant. [Maze] I'm sorry to hear that. [Mother_Alma] I put myself in a vulnerable position, and I realise that poses a risk to all. [Maze] Perhaps, but we risk much every day just by staying here. [Maze] I can't imagine you have made things very much worse. [Mother_Alma] Regardless... it should not have happened the way it did. [Mother_Alma] I felt you should know, should something come of it...

  • Maze nods again.

[Maze] Thank you for informing me, then. [Maze] Is Cesar settling in? How is he doing? [Mother_Alma] He is quite upset. He does not like the idea of leaving his friends, despite the environment they were in. And his time with this Sendhel was enough to form some sort of attachment. [Maze] Ah... that's difficult :/ [Maze] It's so much easier when they're sure they're better off here. [Mother_Alma] I have asked Mother Biatrix to give him counsel. [Maze] Then I hope she can help. [Mother_Alma] Eventually he will realise the opportunity he has, to be free.

  • Maze nods.

[Mother_Alma] No matter how comfortable it was, those friendships were bandages on an open wound. Eventually they have to come off. [Mother_Alma] And there is always the hope we can help some of his friends. [Maze] Yes... [Mother_Alma] Among the gladiators, that is. [Maze] You must understand, though, that if he wishes to leave, we cannot keep him here. [Mother_Alma] Of course, that is the meaning of freedom... [Mother_Alma] I have faith that he will make the right choice. [Maze] But we cannot allow him to return to them either, even if that is his true choice. He has seen too much here already. [Maze] I hope I can trust you to do what is necessary if it comes to that, Mother. [Mother_Alma] I understand. [Maze] Good. [Mother_Alma] ... [Mother_Alma] Has there been any news with regards to the raid on the Kizer household? [Maze] With the death of the lord, there has been some.. upheaval, as I understand it. [Maze] I think we would do best to strike before things settle down again. [Mother_Alma] If we strike before things with César have settled down, I may need someone to watch Mother Biatrix' quarters. [Mother_Alma] I assume someone suitable will remain behind? [Maze] Of course. [Maze] You need only let me know if you feel someone needs to stay with him. [Mother_Alma] If something should happen, I would like your assurance that, if at all possible, I be the one to handle things. [Mother_Alma] He is my brother, after all. [Maze] If that's your preference, then of course I'll defer to you. [Mother_Alma] Thank you. [Maze] Was there anything else? [Mother_Alma] No, that is all. [Mother_Alma] May Owl bless you. [Maze] Thank you, Mother.

  • Mother_Alma will return home with Danyel.

[EvilNarrator] The end, for now...

[Pheria] 1: Whose dream is this? [ElderGod] A: Queen. [Pheria] 2: Is she a threat to me? [ElderGod] A: Maybe. [Pheria] 3: How did Imraen's mother die? [ElderGod] A: Sacrifice. [Pheria] 4: What is the other Sendhel's name? [ElderGod] (oooh...hm.) [ElderGod] (just waiting on Heather for an answer to that ;) [ElderGod] A: Tristan Wray. [Pheria] 5: If I cast the Dream Walk spell on the Queen will Ilphere go back where she came from? [ElderGod] A: No.

[Sendhel] for the logs... [Sendhel] "My darling, I miss you so terribly, and I fear you will think so ill of me after that horrid encounter with your sister that I simply couldn't bear it if I couldn't see you again. Please, tell me if there is some place we could meet, and I will come and wait, for days or weeks if I must. Yours ever, Sendhel."


  • Sendhel is going to try and set up a meeting with Kalman
  • Kalman 's house is one of those big fancy ones, but fortunately you don't feel *too* out of place in such a setting.
  • Sendhel tries not to be too excited/nervous
  • Kalman will receive you in his study.

[Kalman] Hello again. [Sendhel] Hello indeed, my lord.

  • Sendhel smiles
  • Kalman smiles back.

[Sendhel] I wanted to thank you again for your assistance... [Sendhel] may we speak freely here? [Kalman] It was nothing. [Kalman] Yes, we may. [Sendhel] (How long ago did I send the message at this point?) [Sendhel] (a day or so?) [EvilNarrator] (sounds about right, yeah) [Sendhel] I have not yet had any news in return... but I am hopeful still [Kalman] Have you had any word back yet?

  • Kalman nods.
  • Sendhel 's thoughts seem far away for a moment, but he smiles again, a bit hopefully

[Sendhel] I am certain he will want to if he can arrange for it! [Kalman] Then I hope, for your sake, that he's able.

  • Sendhel nods

[Sendhel] When I first came to you.... the though of seeing him again was all that was in my mind. Now that I have some time to consider the real possibility of it, however...

  • Kalman listens.

[Sendhel] I crave a better solution [Kalman] Do you have something in mind?

  • Sendhel bites his lip

[Sendhel] I had a thought, my lord, but it is not something I can enact on my own.... for a number of reasons. [Kalman] Yes? [Sendhel] I hate to think of him living in that rat infested sewerhole.... or driven from the city completely - as much as I hate to think of him returning to the arena to face punishment, and the constant risk of death.... [Sendhel] I can't afford to free him, nor, I suspect, would his sister allow him to return in *my* custody

  • Kalman nods...

[Sendhel] But if someone less...offensive to her cause were to take pity on his plight

  • Sendhel looks up at Kalman hopefully

[Sendhel] Then he would be spared both those terrible fates... [Kalman] You are referring to me, I take it.

  • Sendhel sighs a little, despondently, as if he doesn't really dare to hope there is a shot at this

[Sendhel] Indeed my lord. [Sendhel] I am certain he could be of some use to you...

  • Kalman looks mildly surprised.

[Sendhel] I would be.... in your debt. [Kalman] Indeed, this is no small sum of money we are talking about, if he is a fully-trained gladiator. [Sendhel] I am all too aware of that, my lord. If I had the funds to buy him myself, perhaps this might have never been an issue

  • Kalman nods.

[Kalman] I haven't been to the arena in many years, but nevertheless I've heard his name bandied about as an up-and-coming star. [Kalman] How long have you known him? [Sendhel] He's very handsome.... and skilled I'm sure, though I don't know if I could stand to watch him fight.... [Sendhel] ... [Sendhel] Long enough? :( [Kalman] Ah. [Sendhel] Not measured in days, perhaps... [Sendhel] but long enough to matter.

  • Sendhel says with more conviction

[Kalman] And you care for him greatly, that much is evident. [Sendhel] I would do ... anything for him

  • Sendhel says, a bit surprised that he does really mean that
  • Kalman sighs, but not in an annoyed way, more wistful.

[Kalman] . o O (Kids.) [Kalman] If he is willing to return to the surface, then I will see what I can do about purchasing him.

  • Sendhel smiles in great relief!

[Kalman] Would you want me to tell them that he's been with me all this time? If he needs some explanation... [Sendhel] . o O (Ahhh! yay! [3 Cesar! Off the hook! Suck it you undead bitch!) [Sendhel] I am certain we can concoct some reasonable story, my lord...

  • Kalman nods.

[Kalman] Then let me know when you have heard from him, and we'll go from there. [Sendhel] Thank you so much.

  • Sendhel makes Sendhel version 'grateful' eyes

[Kalman] I'm doing this for him. No one deserves to be forced to fight for their life on a daily basis. [Sendhel] . o O (I could give you such a blowjob right now, 'my lord')

  • Sendhel nods

[Sendhel] Of course. [Kalman] Was there anything further? [Sendhel] I was simply trying to think of how I could best express my gratitude... [Sendhel] . o O (Seriously, jump your bones, right here.) [Kalman] o_O [Kalman] Perhaps we should save the, uh, expressions of gratitude for when this plan has actually succeeded.

  • Kalman smiles, though.
  • Sendhel smiles

[Sendhel] Very well then [Sendhel] . o O (three-way?) [Kalman] I hope to hear from you again soon. [Sendhel] I hope to have good news for you. [EvilNarrator] There is some commotion from down the hall. [Kalman] Ah, it sounds as though my children are trying to kill one another - perhaps I ought to intervene. Until we meet again, then.

  • Sendhel nods

[Sendhel] Good day, my lord. [Kalman] Good day.

  • Sendhel will slip off, then, a very happy half elf ^-^

[Mother_Alma] (Who should I talk to first?! D: [Mother_Alma] (I suppose César would be right there when Biatrix talks to me.) [EvilNarrator] (Well, if the note comes to you and you send it to Biatrix's, you could follow it there and talk to both of them.) [EvilNarrator] (yeah)

  • Mother_Alma will visit Biatrix first, in her quarters.

[Mother_Alma] (Maybe Marielle sent it on to Biatrix?) [EvilNarrator] (sure) [Mother_Alma] Sister? [Biatrix] Yes, Sister? [Mother_Alma] Marielle tells me that someone sent a message to César? [Biatrix] Yes, he's been poring over it. [Mother_Alma] Who did it come from? [Biatrix] Well, I believe the messenger was one of Lord Vak'andres' men. [Mother_Alma] (K-Nob 16 on him. I don't think I know he's a sympathiser do I?) [EvilNarrator] (probably not with that roll, no) [Mother_Alma] A Shadar-kai noble? D: [EvilNarrator] (but if he has people delivering messages to the undercity often enough that they're recognized, then it would make sense...) [Biatrix] Yes, but one who is... sympathetic to our cause.

  • Mother_Alma narrows her eyes dubiously.

[Biatrix] I know, I know. [Mother_Alma] Do you know what it said? [Biatrix] But he has been helpful on many occasions in the past. [Biatrix] I didn't feel it was my place to pry... though I could probably guess. [Mother_Alma] What could this Lord Vak'andres want with César? [Biatrix] Well, it is said he has a fondness for gladiators, but I doubt that's it. [Mother_Alma] Degenerates. [Mother_Alma] The whole race. [Biatrix] No, I rather wonder if it might not be a message from one of his friends on the surface, who has chosen this means to try and reach him. [Biatrix] But perhaps you should simply ask him.

  • Mother_Alma nods.

[Mother_Alma] You say he was pleased to receive it? [Biatrix] He seemed... puzzled, but not displeased. [Mother_Alma] Well... hopefully it is good news. [Mother_Alma] Where is he now, sister? [Biatrix] In the room I've given him to sleep in.

  • Biatrix nods in that direction.

[Mother_Alma] If you'd excuse me then? [Biatrix] Of course. [Mother_Alma] ... [Mother_Alma] How has he been? [Biatrix] It hasn't been easy. [Mother_Alma] He'll be OK, won't he? [Biatrix] I pray for him. [Mother_Alma] Thank you, sister.

  • Biatrix nods.
  • Mother_Alma will go see César
  • Cesar is sitting on his bed, with this letter in his hands.
  • Cesar has several days' growth of kind of half-assed beard.

[Mother_Alma] César?

  • Cesar looks up as you enter.

[Cesar] Oh, hello Alma...

  • Cesar folds up the letter.

[Mother_Alma] I hear you received a letter? [Cesar] Yes. [Mother_Alma] From a friend?

  • Cesar nods.

[Mother_Alma] Good news? [Cesar] Well... I don't quite know. [Cesar] He wishes to meet with me. [Mother_Alma] Who? One of your fellow gladiators? [Mother_Alma] Could it be a trap? [Cesar] [q] No... Sendhel. [Mother_Alma] Oh... [Mother_Alma] Did he say why he wants to meet? [Cesar] I think, to smooth things over between us. [Cesar] He misses me... doesn't want me to think ill of him... [Mother_Alma] I suppose he assumes I have spent your days filling your head with lies... [Cesar] Maybe. [Mother_Alma] Do you think he is sincere? [Cesar] I... I'm not sure. [Cesar] But I want to find out. [Mother_Alma] It could be dangerous... [Cesar] Perhaps. But he leaves it to me to choose the meeting-place. Do you know somewhere safe? [Mother_Alma] Your face is still fresh up above...

  • Mother_Alma nods.

[Mother_Alma] I'm sure we can find a spot... and make sure someone is nearby in case something goes wrong. [Mother_Alma] You really want to do this? [Cesar] And... I know that you'll stay to watch, so if anything goes amiss, you can help me. [Cesar] I need to know, if I'm going to have any chance at peace. I can't just leave this... this wound open. [Mother_Alma] (SM 21, does he mean that in the "annoyed at me violating his privacy" way?) [EvilNarrator] (mmmm, medium? Maybe he figures you'll stay whether he wants you to or not, so he might as well ask you ;) [Mother_Alma] Alright, I'll see to arranging a spot. How will you tell him? [Cesar] I can send a note back with the same messenger. [Cesar] Thank you, Alma.

  • Cesar says sincerely.

[Mother_Alma] You're welcome, brother. I pray for you to be at peace :)

  • Mother_Alma will go to set a time/place, and will give César the details.

[EvilNarrator] (ok - so we shall presume a meeting is set up, and people show up at the appropriate time/place) [Mother_Alma] (I have Danyel at the very least, lurking somewhere.) [Sendhel] (yus please! *Glomps César*) [EvilNarrator] (ok) [Sendhel] (but an idea as to where we are would be good) [EvilNarrator] (let's say... a bar in a really crappy part of town, where nobody important ever goes ;) [Mother_Alma] (A HUMAN bar.) [EvilNarrator] (a whoever's paying bar ;) [Mother_Alma] (Fine.) [EvilNarrator] (it could be a private room, or out in public, as you prefer) [Sendhel] Private!

  • Sendhel insists with the barkeeper

[EvilNarrator] Can do.

  • Cesar will arrive in due course, then.
  • Sendhel tips the barkeep some silver
  • Cesar looks rather scruffy and run-down, but you'd totally still hit that.

[Sendhel] Darling!?

  • Sendhel holds out his arms
  • Cesar will go into them, but he seems a little uncomfortable, perhaps.

[Cesar] I got your message. Um, obviously.

  • Sendhel holds him for a moment, but lets him go if he seems tense.

[Sendhel] yes, clearly... [Sendhel] what's wrong? [Sendhel] .. [Sendhel] :( [Sendhel] That's a foolish question. [Cesar] Well... first, we're not really alone, and second, I don't know what to think right now. [Mother_Alma] .oO( Well I suppose honesty is a virtue. ) [Sendhel] ...ahh.

  • Sendhel looks around the room as if trying to guess where she might be

[Cesar] Don't worry - I don't think she'll intervene, unless you try to kill me or something :/ [Cesar] She's just... concerned.

  • Sendhel looks upset

[Cesar] She's my sister. She's got the right to be... a bit overprotective right now. [Sendhel] I could never hurt you, darling. Never... [Cesar] I know. [Cesar] But I thought, when you said you didn't want to buy me, that it hadn't meant anything to you. It hadn't been anything serious.

  • Sendhel looks crused for a moment, but then smiles and ives a regretful laugh

[Sendhel] (gives) [Sendhel] More serious than anything else in my life [Sendhel] for what that's worth [Cesar] Really? [Mother_Alma] (SM 32 :3)

  • Sendhel stpes up to him again, and rubs a hand along his scruffy cheek
  • Sendhel is being honest, even :x

[Sendhel] I...

  • Sendhel looks around again and looks really frustrated

[Sendhel] ]_[ [Sendhel] Yes, darling, really.

  • Cesar smiles.

[Mother_Alma] .oO( Owl droppings. )

  • Cesar bends down to kiss you, evidently not caring if his sister's watching.
  • Sendhel is an old pro at performative 'are you sure you really want to watch this?' makeouts
  • Cesar will draw back, reluctantly, before things get too out of hand.
  • Sendhel sighs a litte, and squeezes his hands

[Cesar] I don't know what we should do now. Unless you want to keep meeting in places like this... :/ [Sendhel] No, darling.

  • Sendhel smiles a sly very content smile.

[Cesar] oh? [Mother_Alma] .oO( ¬_¬ ) [Sendhel] I've thought of something better - it it can be done, and you would agree...

  • Sendhel says to Cesar... and then glares around the room

[Cesar] What? [Sendhel] And you.

  • Sendhel says to the air

[Sendhel] (but less tenderly) [Mother_Alma] ... [Sendhel] Lord vak'Andres has agreed to purchase you away from the Arena [Sendhel] As far as i understand... he is one of yours, in some snse or other [Cesar] What? Really? :o

  • Sendhel says to the air again

[Sendhel] yes!

  • Sendhel kisses César again

[Cesar] I can't believe it... [Cesar] What would that mean? [Sendhel] A fair amount of freedom, I expect [Sendhel] though he may have some use for you, or make a show if it [Cesar] I could still see my sister? [Mother_Alma] .oO( ;_; ) [Sendhel] could he stop her? [Cesar] Well, probably not :o [Sendhel] I don't think he would, though... [Cesar] But I could even... help her? She ... she's been so alone, I think. [Sendhel] Darling, it is best if I don't know anything about that.

  • Cesar nods.

[Sendhel] :/ [Cesar] And I could see you... [Sendhel] yes :) [Cesar] It sounds too good to be true. Like a dream. [Cesar] Alma? Are you there? [Mother_Alma] ... [Sendhel] Who cares if it is?

  • Mother_Alma manifests directly above Sendhel.

[Cesar] I care. I want it to be true. [Mother_Alma] (though on the ceiling) [Mother_Alma] Yes, César. [Cesar] I guess you probably heard all of that, huh? [Mother_Alma] ... I did.

  • Sendhel looks up and gives her a resevedly cool look

[Cesar] Do you ... would you consent to this arrangement?

  • Mother_Alma removes her onyx mask, revealing her smooth ethereal face, young and perhaps eerily similar to César's.
  • Mother_Alma lowers to a position on the floor beside the table.

[Mother_Alma] The choice is yours to make, brother... [Mother_Alma] He is ... telling the truth. [Cesar] I know, but I can't make it if I know it's going to make you miserable. I love you.

  • Mother_Alma looks at Sendhel intensely, hoping perhaps to watch the truth fall away and reveal something sinister.
  • Mother_Alma turns back to César and smiles.
  • Sendhel gives her no such satisfaction
  • Sendhel is just awesome.

[Mother_Alma] I'm pleased you care, brother. If ... it makes you happy, and you are living a good life, then I am happy. [Cesar] For what it's worth, I know of Kalman Vak'andres from things I've heard at the arena. People say he's a good man. I wouldn't have to fight anymore. [Mother_Alma] You would still be a slave though?

  • Mother_Alma looks to Sendhel, a bit coldly

[Sendhel] Are you so concerned with technicalities? [Cesar] Well... one of the things I've heard about him is that his slaves tend to end up, uh, sort of part of the family. Or even freed. [Sendhel] indeed

  • Mother_Alma will approach, and reach out to rest her hand on César's shoulder, her oddly tangible touch squeezing it gently.

[Mother_Alma] If it is what you want... [Cesar] I want to try it, at least. [Mother_Alma] We can make arrangements in case... something goes wrong with this Lord.

  • Cesar nods.

[Cesar] I can't say what will happen in five years, or ten... who can see that far into the future? But for now, this is what I want. [Sendhel] ... [Mother_Alma] We'll have to make sure this "sympathiser" is truly so, and that he can pull this off... [Sendhel] . o O (;_;) [Sendhel] He can.

  • Sendhel smiles to César

[Sendhel] We just have to explain where you've been, darling, that's all [Cesar] Oh... yeah. What will we say? [Cesar] I mean, obviously I can't say I was here. [Sendhel] we need something *you* can tell people that thy will believe, darling [Sendhel] that's the only trick [Sendhel] because you'll have to tell everyone that story [Cesar] I'm no good at thinking up stories.

  • Mother_Alma watches Sendhel intently...
  • Sendhel smiles

[Sendhel] I'll take care of that [Cesar] All right. You just tell me what I have to say, and I'll try to make it convincing. [Mother_Alma] Now, remember to be discreet about the undercity, César... [Sendhel] Of course... [Cesar] I won't say a thing, of course. [Mother_Alma] (Did Sendhel say that?) [Mother_Alma] (to Alma?) [Cesar] It's not like I saw anything more than your house and Biatrix's, anyway. [Sendhel] (I was saying it to C, but whatever ;)

  • Mother_Alma looks at Sendhel again.

[Mother_Alma] Please keep his people in mind, when you lead the rest of your life, Mr...Sendhel.

  • Sendhel just smiles

[Sendhel] . o O (Die... again... in a fire, bitch) [Mother_Alma] (SM 29 :3) [Sendhel] (he seems pleased) [Mother_Alma] ... [Cesar] So.. where do I go now? [Sendhel] back with Alma [Cesar] Back to the arena, or somewhere else, or...? [Cesar] All right. [Mother_Alma] Would you like some... privacy for a short while, César? [Sendhel] I'll send word once i've finalized things with Lord Vak'Andres [Cesar] Uh... [Cesar] . o O (oh god, embarrassing -_-)

  • Sendhel gives him a big hungry smile

[Cesar] If you don't mind. [Mother_Alma] ... .oO( That is not what I meant. ) [Mother_Alma] Very well. Find Danyel outside when you are done talking, I will be nearby. [Cesar] I will... thank you.

  • Mother_Alma will evaporate into wisps of ectoplasm :3
  • Mother_Alma then floats away...

[Cesar] And thank you too.

  • Cesar says to Sen.

[Sendhel] Darling....

  • Sendhel leans up against him
  • Cesar wraps his arms around you.

[Sendhel] You make me feel things I don't even know how to explain [Sendhel] I couldn't just give you up [Sendhel] I'm far too selfish for that

  • Sendhel kisses him

[Cesar] I missed you so much... I didn't think I would, but I did.

  • Cesar 's crappy beard is scratchy ;)
  • Sendhel has had worse :V

[Father_Willem] (What "time" of "day" are you coming to "visit"? :V) [Char] (not sure ... right after I talk to Alma, but I have no idea what time that is.) [Char] (basically I don't care, I'm just going to show up, and if you are asleep or whatever ... well, too bad!) [Father_Willem] (That's cool, I'm just wondering what or whether you're interrupting ;) ) [Father_Willem] (If I'm in sermon you might have to wait)

  • Char appears in the room.

[Father_Willem] (Julie says afternoonish - I'm probably bookkeeping) [Char] i am here.

  • Father_Willem scritches in a book

[Father_Willem] Hum? [Char] have you ever heard of a place called diablotin. [Father_Willem] Oh, welcome, Char.

  • Father_Willem considers it

[Father_Willem] I don't believe that I have, at that. [Char] hm. [Char] have you heard what lies beneath the arch. [Father_Willem] No... has someone unearthed something?

  • Father_Willem feels woefully uninformed

[Char] no. [Char] what do you know of Mother Passeth Belden. [Father_Willem] Just that she was a rebel, and later a sacrifice... [Char] hm. [Char] and cornelia nash. what of her. [Father_Willem] I feel like I'm missing something, here... [Char] yes. [Char] i have been there. [Father_Willem] Ok, I'll play. Cornelia... she wants to destroy the arch, if I remember rightly, and that starts to fit a pattern... something to do with the arch, I suppose. [Char] yes. [Char] she took me there. [Father_Willem] Dia... diabolot..in?

  • Father_Willem tries out the word

[Father_Willem] Or the arch? [Char] arch. [Father_Willem] Hum. [Char] beneath it, another arch curves down, forming a wheel, above and below. [Father_Willem] Oh! [Char] i entered this chamber - she told me how. sealed from men. [Father_Willem] Which chamber, Char? [Char] a chamber beyond a sealed portal. the under-arch lies within it. [Char] speak the word 'diablotin' to pass the seal unharmed. [Char] the arch, it spoke to me. [Char] showed me things long past.

  • Father_Willem listens

[Char] showed me a man, Laeken of the Wolf, negotiating with filth. [Char] showed me a filth darkie queen, sacrificing her daughter's blood beneath the arch-shadow. [Char] to make her tal-antar.

  • Father_Willem nods
  • Father_Willem takes a few notes - this'll be good for a sermon, if nothing more

[Char] then it invited me to enter it, to go within. [Char] and so i did. [Father_Willem] Into the lower part of the arch? [Char] i slipped between its cracks. [Father_Willem] Hum. [Father_Willem] Continue. [Char] i entered a place, a waiting-hall for thousands of fragments of men. [Char] those who had been stripped of essence. [Father_Willem] Stripped...? [Char] the ones sent through the arch. [Char] but one, one inside truly lived, and was not a fragment. [Char] Passeth Belden.

  • Father_Willem nods and continues to listen

[Char] she spoke to me of a city of light. diablotin. [Char] a place where there is no filth. [Char] a place more real than this shadow realm. [Char] in that place, there is also a belden, or was. [Char] that belden and five companions travelled through the under-arch of diablotin. [Father_Willem] Wait... let me see if I'm following so far...

  • Char waits then, impatiently.

[Father_Willem] Cornelia took you to the arch. You passed through a portal into a chamber below, and found a lower counterpart to the arch. You "slipped" into it - the material of the lower arch. Inside there were... parts of people? Their bodies, or souls, separated? I wasn't clear on that. Then you met Passith Belden, whole, who spoke to you. [Father_Willem] Oh - and the arch communicated with you, before you entered... is that accurate, so far? [Char] yes. [Father_Willem] Carry on. [Char] belden was the one who explained all to me. [Char] she was, is whole, there, because she is twice-eaten. [Father_Willem] There and here. But you said that it is "more real" there...? [Char] in diablotin, yes. [Char] that is what belden told me. [Father_Willem] How can somewhere be more real...? I'm interrupting again, sorry. [Char] that saraknyel is a shadow of diablotin. or a dream. or both.

  • Father_Willem raises an eyebrow at that, but waits to see if you have more

[Char] i do not have all the answers. [Char] that is why i come to you with questions. [Char] which you also cannot answer. [Father_Willem] Yes... questions and more questions. [Father_Willem] Are there gods, in Diabolotin? [Char] yes, i believe so. [Char] belden invoked them. [Char] did not mention their absence in diablotin. [Father_Willem] And no abominations? [Father_Willem] It sounds like this other land is the dream.

  • Father_Willem sighs

[Char] nash knows more than she says. [Char] how did she know where this place was? [Char] she claims she heard the name diablotin in a dream. [Char] but how did she know it was the password for the seal. [Father_Willem] Did you speak to her since? [Father_Willem] Why did she take you there? [Char] only briefly. [Char] because the seal is over a stone wall, not a door. [Char] only i can pass it freely. [Father_Willem] She took you to go where she couldn't? That makes sense, at least. This all... do you believe there is something to be done about it? Or is it merely conundrum? [Char] clearly nash believes there is something to be done. [Char] clearly she knows more than she says. [Father_Willem] Then maybe we should speak with her further, if she's willing. [Father_Willem] . o O (Maybe she'll make more sense... this is like talking to Raina) [Char] i plan to. [Father_Willem] If you want my support, you have but to ask. As before, we rely on each other. [Char] if i were to return to speak to belden, what would you wish to know. [Father_Willem] I want to know more about the nature of the two worlds. It's far-fetched to suggest that this world isn't real. But if the other world *is* real, then... maybe we can use it. Find allies. Set this world on fire and escape to this heaven of Diablotin. [Char] yes, i agree. [Father_Willem] But it's hard to believe any of this, Char. If you're able to show me something to support it, I'd appreciate it. A corroboration from Cornelia, or showing me the arch, or something of it. [Father_Willem] I'll help either way, of course. [Char] yes, i can see that. [Char] i will find you corroboration. [Father_Willem] My thanks. [Father_Willem] Hum. [Father_Willem] It is almost a pleasant thought, to imagine that heaven dreams of us, rather than us dreaming of heaven. Nonetheless, unless something can come of it, we must continue to strive to fix the flaws here. [Char] yes. [Char] i should mention. [Char] along with belden, the other belden, her five companions, all lost souls like the other fragments. [Char] but here, many of them live still. [Char] loch duchampe is one. [Char] kalman vak'andres, who perhaps you know, another. [Father_Willem] And three more? [Char] yes, others, pavo, falke, and boden were their names. [Father_Willem] The hypothesis, then, would be that their fragmented souls could be restored the same way that Belden's was. Hum. It doesn't sound very attractive to me... what would be the benefit? [Char] not clear. [Father_Willem] Noted. [Char] i will return if i learn more. [Father_Willem] And I will keep my ears open... more ears every day. [Char] yes.

  • Father_Willem wonders if See, or whatever Raina decided to call her in the end, would make a good spy...
  • Char slips away.

[EvilNarrator] Dominik, you arrive at the arena for your usual morning training session. It's sort of odd without César there, but you'll no doubt get used to it in time. Hardly anyone stays forever, after all. [EvilNarrator] The mood of the other fighters is more grim than usual. Halfway through the morning, a quarrel breaks out between Halden and Butler. You didn't hear how it began, but once the yelling begins in earnest most everyone stops their training to watch. [Butler] It's stupid. You teach her to slide her hips like that to look sexy for the crowds, but it'll get her killed one of these days.

  • Butler is evidently talking about his daughter Marrith, who just looks embarrassed at this display.

[Butler] But you don't care about that, do you. Put on a good show, who cares if someone dies as long as the crowd's happy at the end...

  • Halden crosses his arms, probably to keep himself from punching Butler in the face.

[Halden] You're hung over. Maybe you're still drunk, I don't know - it's hard to tell these days. But you're obviously in no state to train today. [Butler] Fuck you. I've forgotten more about fighting than you've ever known! [Halden] Get the hell out of my yard until you sober up. [Butler] Then don't expect to see me again anytime soon.

  • Butler throws down his weapons and storms off.
  • Butler is now known as Marrith
  • Marrith looks uncertain what she should do.

[Marrith] Should I go talk to him? [Halden] No, why give him the satisfaction?

  • Halden looks around at the rest of you.

[Halden] Get back to work, you think this is a fucking theatre?

  • Halden approaches you a short while later.
  • Dom shakes his head in disgust over the whole display and turns to go backt to what he was doing

[Halden] Dom, go check on him, at least make sure he's not doing anything stupid.

  • Dom looks at Halden, his eyes narrowed, but turns to go check on Butler without a word.
  • Butler can be found in the common room where the gladiators rest when they're not performing, a comfortable underground chamber with low couches, plenty of cushions, and usually some food lying around for snacks.
  • Butler has evidently got some other source of nourishment, judging by the half-empty bottle in his hand.

[Dom] whew... I was thought you might be doing somethin' stupid. Glad I'm wrong. [Butler] He send you after me?

  • Dom shrugs

[Dom] What of it? [Butler] Just wondering.

  • Butler takes another drink, then offers you the bottle.
  • Dom takes it and drinks as well

[Dom] So what the hell was that shit? [Butler] I think it's made from potatoes... [Dom] I don't care if its made from goat piss as long as it has kick... I'm talking about that shit with Halden. [Butler] He's an idiot, that's what it's about. [Dom] From where I'm standing your the one being an idiot.

  • Butler looks at you like he might be about to punch you, but evidently it's too much effort.

[Butler] I keep having dreams. Every night I see Kora die again and again... worse than it was in real life. More blood. Or sometimes it's Marrith who's dead...

  • Butler says eventually.

[Dom] The potato piss if fucking with your head. [Butler] It knocks me out, only thing that seems to stop them for a while. [Butler] Other dreams too, strange ones that don't make any fucking sense at all. I dream I'm at the head of an army, I dream about searching everywhere for a dragon I can't find - how do you lose a fucking dragon?! [Dom] How the fuck do I know... Sounds like you've been smacked the side of the head once to often, or some back magic shit's been done to you. [Butler] Maybe. I wish that was it. [Butler] Sometimes I dream of my mother as an old woman - but she never had a chance to grow old... Those ones aren't so bad, at least. [Dom] People have forgotten about your mother... be glad to with all the rumors of shit going on, they might start knocking on your door again.

  • Butler is getting sort of maudlin, takes another swig from the bottle.

[Butler] Hah. [Butler] The weirdest... sometimes I dream about a woman I've never met, with black hair and eyes like the ocean, who takes my hand and tells me that we knew each other before we were born. [Butler] I don't know what the fuck is going on in my head anymore. [Butler] I think I'm going mad.

  • Dom shakes his head wondering what the hell he's supposed to do about it.

[Butler] He's not going to put me in the ring today, is he. [Dom] and what if he did? What are you going to do about it? [Dom] You think you're going mad... then go mad... [Butler] If he did, maybe I'd slip up. Maybe it would finally all be over.

  • Butler sounds almost hopeful about it.

[Dom] If you're dreaming that someone is killing your daughter and wife... use that anger and hate against your opponent. [Butler] Yeah... that only works so long. [Butler] Eventually it just eats away at your insides, like poison. [Dom] It works for as long as you want it to. As long as you let it simmer. [Butler] That what you do? [Dom] I know what I need to do to survive. [Butler] Yeah, well, see how it works in thirty years or so.

  • Dom smiles

[Dom] I don't intend to linger like you. [Butler] Good plan. Go out fast if you can.

  • Dom turns and starts to walk away.
  • Halden is now known as Tristane
  • Butler curls up with his bottle.
  • Tristane strolls into the room as you're about to exit.

[Tristane] He wants to know what's taking so long.

  • Tristane says to you.

[Tristane] I told him you were probably just sucking each others' cocks, but he didn't buy it. [Dom] Hey you're here now though. I wouldn't mind some service after talkin' to girl.

  • Tristane ignores that.

[Tristane] Come on, let him crawl into the bottle if that's what he wants. We should get back.

  • Dom nods

[Tristane] What were you talking about?

  • Tristane asks as you make your way back.

[Dom] He's drunk and slowly crumblin. Gladiators shouldn't live as long as he has. [Tristane] Oh, fuck that. I've been here longer'n he has, and I'm going fine. [Tristane] It's not because he's old, it's because he's weak. [Tristane] He cry to you about his bad dreams? [Dom] Blood and spit, has he been moaning about that to everyone? [Tristane] Anyone who'll listen, I guess.

  • Dom shakes his head

[Tristane] I told him, "Yeah, and when I dream, I'm the Empress of the whole damn world. Dreams don't mean anything, suck it up." [Dom] If only that were true... the help might look better here.

  • Tristane laughs.

[Tristane] I'd have the place crawling with half-naked bitches. Moreso than it already is, heh.

  • Dom smiles

[Dom] I'd makes sure I wouldn't touch your favourites. [Tristane] That's sweet. [Dom] Just given' the Empress her due respect

  • Tristane laughs again.

[Tristane] Since it doesn't look like my sparring partner's coming back, how about you pair up with me for the rest of the morning. [Dom] Sure why not... its not like it hasn't been a frustrating day or too, lets top it off with beating. [Tristane] Sounds good.

  • Char paces back and forth in his most private of places.

[Char] dream...not dream ... dream...not dream.

  • Voice remains silent, for now.
  • Char goes over to his silent companion and strokes it gently.

[Char] tell me. [Voice] [w] Everything is a dream. [Char] no. [Char] i cannot accept that. [Voice] [w] It matters not what you can or cannot accept, flesh-creature. [Voice] [w] It is what it is. [Char] diablotin. is that also dream. [Voice] [w] Everything is someone's dream. [Char] and the arch. what is it. [Voice] [w] A gate. A trap. A keyhole. [Char] between dreams.

  • Char says, stroking his stony companion's brow.

[Voice] [w] Between worlds. [Char] and you. what are you. [Voice] [w] I am yours, of course. [Char] if i go, you cannot come with me. [Voice] [w] Rest assured, we will meet again. [Char] if i go, the filth will go unpunished. [Voice] [w] You are so important, then? [Char] am i not. [Voice] [w] Are you, are you not... there are others like you. [Char] who. [Voice] [w] A dancer, a witch, a gladiator, a whore, a mother, and a murderer. [Char] they do not know what i know. [Voice] [w] Then perhaps you will enlighten them. [Char] how to find them.

  • Char strokes her cold cheek.

[Voice] [w] You will find them soon enough, with or without my aid. [Char] are you from diablotin. [Voice] [w] From... from... what is 'from'? I am there, and here. [Char] and i am also. [w] And so are we all. [Char] and if i go there, what happens to the other me. [Voice] [w] I do not know...

  • Char leans over and gently kisses her.

[Char] i will not abandon you.

  • Voice says nothing.

[Char] you are mine, schesutte.

  • Ysstvelt will be trying to gauge Marel's mood/behaviour to try to figure out whether her life and limbs are in danger or whether it will not be much worse than a regular beatfucking.
  • Marel is in a rather odd mood this evening, manically cheerful at one moment, sullen and angry the next.
  • Ysstvelt is not reassured.
  • Pheria is always in an odd mood. :V

[Marel] It's so sweet of you to let us stay tonight, my dear. [Pheria] Oh I am delighted...! [Pheria] I am so very... *interested* to see what you might have in mind for our little sweetling...! [Ysstvelt] It is kind, but an inn or a brothel could have been more entertaining. [Marel] Oh, yes, her.

  • Ysstvelt says wistfully.

[Marel] She wants to go to a brothel!

  • Marel seems amused at that.
  • Pheria laughs out loud.

[Pheria] Oh my dear... Oh, oh, oh... [Ysstvelt] Well yes, someone totally unsuspecting could have been fun to play with. [Pheria] Hee. [Marel] I have no money for a brothel tonight, anyhow. [Marel] But if you want someone unsuspecting, we could probably find one. [Ysstvelt] Really? [Pheria] All too easily... [Marel] Of course. [Pheria] No-one suspects, not really... [Pheria] They do not see... @_@

  • Marel laughs at that.

[Marel] Do you want a boy to play with, or a girl? [Ysstvelt] Oh, either would do, really. [Ysstvelt] I suppose it's too late to sneak out a gladiator. [Marel] Apparently that's all the rage these days.

  • Marel says dryly.

[Ysstvelt] I'd heard rumours. [Marel] But I believe Pheria has one of her own. [Pheria] Something we don't have to return would be better... [Marel] I have no idea if he's free or not, though. [Pheria] Oh Dom, dear little Dom... [Pheria] I'm loath to *damage* him though... If part of me is still here we need him for ... the great experiment... [Pheria] ]_] [Marel] That's true... [Marel] Who could we find who wouldn't be missed.

  • Marel ponders.

[Pheria] So many children... [Marel] Perhaps we should just keep an eye open as we make our way home. If we see someone promising, we'll simply ask them along. [Pheria] Yes... ask...

  • Pheria giggles disconcertingly.

[Ysstvelt] So, how did you two meet? [Marel] Oh, I've known Phéria since she was a little girl ;) [Ysstvelt] You seem like a rather incongruous pair. [Ysstvelt] Ah.

  • Marel keeps glancing out the window of the carriage for ... prospects.
  • Ysstvelt looks for someone who looks like they could take care of themself in a fight.

[Marel] Oh, what about her?

  • Marel indicates a young human girl in rather ragged clothing.

[Pheria] (how young?) [Marel] She looks like no one would miss her.

  • Ysstvelt shakes her head.

[Marel] (maybe 14-16 or so?) [Ysstvelt] She looks too unhealthy. Wouldn't last. [Pheria] I can make her last...

  • Marel laughs.

[Marel] Girl!

  • Marel calls her over.
  • Girl looks puzzled, but approaches cautiously.

[Ysstvelt] (What are Ilphere and Marel looking at?) [Marel] Join us for a ride :)

  • Marel says in his most charming way.

[Pheria] (lots of different things :V mainly you and the girl) [Girl] How much :p

  • Girl says, obviously familiar with the ways of the world.

[Marel] Oh, there's silver in it for you.

  • Ysstvelt will give a very slight shake of her head when she has the chance if the girl looks her over...
  • Girl looks uncertain.
  • Pheria will cast charm person. :3

[EvilNarrator] (what's the dc on that?) [Pheria] (20) [EvilNarrator] (ahah, a roll of 4 doesn't make it) [Pheria] (lawl) [Marel] Come... my name's Marel - what's yours? [Pheria] Oh please, sweetling... ? :) [Girl] ...Dessa... [Dessa] I suppose it can't hurt :) [Ysstvelt] Actually, it can. Very much.

  • Marel laughs.
  • Marel opens the door to let her into the carriage.

[Pheria] we're going to have ever so much fun...! :)

  • Dessa gets in.

[Dessa] Nothing that'll leave marks, right? [Pheria] Of course, of course...

  • Marel just smiles.

[Pheria] (SM on Ysstvelt please) [Pheria] (31, natural 20 :D) [Ysstvelt] (With a 44, you can't tell) [Pheria] (whoah :V) [Pheria] (nice!) [Ysstvelt] (nat 20 for me, too. :) )

  • Pheria half smiles at Ysstvelt...
  • Ysstvelt smiles back but as she is veiled you can only see it by the look in her eyes.
  • Marel strokes the girl's mouse-brown hair.

[Marel] Here, or wait until we get home?

  • Marel asks Pheria.
  • Pheria lets Hali nibble her fingertips.

[Pheria] Home, I think... so much more... comfortable.

  • Marel seems willing to accept that.

[EvilNarrator] You arrive at Pheria's home not long after.

  • Marel makes his way inside as if he owns the place.

[Pheria] Home again, home again...~

  • Pheria sings.
  • Ysstvelt falls in step next to Dessa if Marel and Pheria are going ahead.
  • Marel keeps one arm around the girl Dessa.
  • Ysstvelt doesn't, then.
  • Dessa is wide-eyed at the house.

[Pheria] Shall we adjourn to the playroom...? I'll have them bring up some refreshments...! [Marel] Absolutely. [Pheria] Goodie!

  • Marel knows the way there, of course.
  • Pheria claps her hands excitedly.
  • Pheria will get one of the slaves to get some light snacks and such.

[Marel] Ysstvelt, you can take off your robes. [Ysstvelt] Yes, master. [Dessa] Is she a belldancer?

  • Ysstvelt slips them off over her head.

[Marel] For now...

  • Ysstvelt smiles at Dessa.

[Ysstvelt] For now and always. [Ysstvelt] (SM Marel...?) [Ysstvelt] Shall I dance, master? [EvilNarrator] (you can roll) [Ysstvelt] (16 on my SM) [EvilNarrator] (no clue) [Marel] Not right now. [Marel] Help our guest out of her clothes. [Ysstvelt] Yes, master.

  • Ysstvelt will make out with Dessa as she helps her out of her clothes. If I can, I will whisper in her ear as I do so.

[EvilNarrator] (sure) [Ysstvelt] [w] Be wary. They may kill us both.

  • Dessa 's eyes go wide for a moment, but she covers it with a moan that almost sounds real.

[Marel] Well, my dear, what shall we do with her?

  • Marel asks Pheria.
  • Pheria locks the door...

[Pheria] Hmmm.... which one?

  • Ysstvelt goes down on Dessa while Marel and Pheria decide what they'll do with us.

[Marel] Oh, both, either.

  • Marel seems indifferent.

[Pheria] Well... We could rack them... and then I could call some of my friends... :3

  • Ysstvelt is keeping one ear cocked in their direction, and an eye whenever she can spare it.

[Marel] Your 'friends'? [Pheria] Yesss.....

  • Marel chuckles.

[Marel] Perhaps after we're through with them ourselves, eh? [Marel] We wouldn't want to get them all... messy ;) [Pheria] Oh I would like that, very much... @_@ [Pheria] Not for you, sweet Dessa, of course, just this naughty little slave...! [Pheria] But it's your special night, Marel...

  • Ysstvelt prolongs things by redirecting her attention elsewhere on Dessa's body, she's such a tease.
  • Marel considers.

[Marel] Do you have a second rack, or just the one, I forget? [Ysstvelt] [w] Can you fight?

  • Ysstvelt times her whispers to when Marel and Pheria are talking.

[Dessa] [w] If I have to... [Pheria] That rack is new but I have... other apparatus. [Ysstvelt] [w] You may... they're both wizards.

  • Pheria gestures to the manacles hanging from the ceiling, and the shackles chained to the floor below.

[Marel] You make an excellent point, my dear. [Marel] Put the girl in the rack, and the shackles for Ysstvelt. [Ysstvelt] [w] And once we're chained, there's little hope unless you have a trick or two up your sleeve. [Pheria] Yes, I like that. [Marel] If you two can pull yourselves apart :p [Pheria] Ysstvelt! Here!

  • Ysstvelt raises an eyebrow as she tears herself away.

[Ysstvelt] What kind of manners do they teach these days? I'm not a dog. [Pheria] Animals.... aren't we all...

  • Ysstvelt saunters over towards Pheria.
  • Pheria will snap you into the chains, unless you resist...
  • Dessa waits, uncertain what to do.
  • Ysstvelt will not let you.
  • Ysstvelt will strike you with her poison fists.

[Pheria] (uh, okay...) [EvilNarrator] (ok... make an attack roll) [Ysstvelt] (21 to hit) [EvilNarrator] (does that hit Pheria?) [Pheria] (of course, I'm a wizard :V) [EvilNarrator] (heh) [Ysstvelt] (that's a 2 Con / 2 Con poison) [Ysstvelt] (DC is 25) [Pheria] (nope, rolled a 6) [EvilNarrator] (don't forget to roll the basic damage as well) [Ysstvelt] (What is Dessa doing?)

  • Dessa is doing nothing right at this second, it's still a surprise round.

[Ysstvelt] (9) [EvilNarrator] So 2 Con damage and 9 hp. [Pheria] (got it) [EvilNarrator] ok - roll init, then. [Ysstvelt] (20 for me) [EvilNarrator] Marel goes at 20, Dessa goes at 11. [Pheria] (23) [EvilNarrator] Ok - Pheria, Ysstvelt (who I'm thinking has the higher dex), Marel, and Dessa.

  • Pheria begins to cast Fireball.

[Pheria] (33 damage to Dessa.) [Pheria] (and I take a 5' step away fwiw)

  • Dessa tries to get out of the way, but that drops her. She screams only once.

[Ysstvelt] . o O (Dammit, there goes my ally.) [Pheria] (away towards Marel) [EvilNarrator] (ok, that's Y's turn then)

  • Ysstvelt gives Pheria a Flurry of Blows

[Ysstvelt] (28, 23, 28 and 10) [Pheria] (10 misses) [Ysstvelt] (9, 6 and 14 points) [Pheria] (k)

  • Marel casts a spell and the room fills with a thick, acidic cloud.

[EvilNarrator] (No save, no SR, 2d6 damage a round, and the fog is so thick that any creature attempting to move through it progresses at a speed of 5 feet, regardless of its normal speed, and it takes a -2 penalty on all melee attack and melee damage rolls.) [Pheria] (is that for everyone or just our enemies) [EvilNarrator] (it's in a 20ft radius, I'll say he cast it to catch her but not you, because he's nice that way ;) [Pheria] aw :3 [Ysstvelt] (I'm right next to Pheria though, since I'm attacking her physically... so if I take a 5' step I'm out of it?) [EvilNarrator] (You can't take a 5' step in the fog. You can move 5' and that's your whole action.) [EvilNarrator] (it's physically thick fog, not just blinding) [BalthCat] (The fog is solid, rather than just blinding. It's like a combo of fog cloud, solid fog and acid fog.) [EvilNarrator] (9 damage to Ysstvelt this round from the fog) [Pheria] (am I threatened by her since she's in the fog and I'm not?) [EvilNarrator] Pheria - you can withdraw straight away from her. [Ysstvelt] (How far do you go?) [BalthCat] (No AOO on a Withdraw.) [Ysstvelt] (n/m)

  • Pheria moves back to withdraw something from a hidden compartment.
  • Pheria drinks the contents of a small vial.

[Ysstvelt] (Can't, I guess?) [EvilNarrator] (er, yeah, I guess that's right... /me double-checks the rule) [Pheria] (if that's the case then I'll do something else.)

  • Pheria casts Wrack.

[EvilNarrator] (ok) [Ysstvelt] (And what is that? Does it affect me, does SR work, or do I get a save?) [Pheria] (I rolled a one for SR, don't bother) [Pheria] (would have taken a 5' instead of the withdraw, obv) [EvilNarrator] (ok) [EvilNarrator] Then it's Ysstvelt's turn.

  • Ysstvelt will move her 5' out of the fog, towards the noise of Pheria casting.

[Ysstvelt] (and I think that is all I can do?) [EvilNarrator] you can move up to 10ft, or 5ft and take another action. [EvilNarrator] so you could get up to where she is, but not hit her this round, or you could move the 5ft and do something else.

  • Ysstvelt will move 5 ' and Alter Self to look like Pheria, just to confuse things.

[Pheria] (do we get an aoo for her casting in a threatened square) [Pheria] (not that I have a weapon :V) [EvilNarrator] (heh)

  • Marel 's turn.
  • Marel 's spell slams down a wall of iron, angled to cut Ysstvelt off from the two of you.

[EvilNarrator] Pheria's turn.

  • Pheria will get her potion now.

[EvilNarrator] ok [Pheria] Your slave is *very* *poorly* behaved*...! [Marel] Well, I hardly think I want to keep her at this rate :p [Marel] Are you all right? [Pheria] I am afraid this will be terrible for Verity's reputation. [EvilNarrator] Ysstvelt, you are stuck behind a wall of iron. What would you like to do? [Ysstvelt] (Is it one wall or 4?) [Pheria] I shall survive, but I think she poisoned me...! How droll...! [Ysstvelt] (Am i enclosed, that is?) [EvilNarrator] It's 1 wall, angled to box you in - you're in a triangle, effectively, with the two normal walls and one iron wall. [Ysstvelt] (How high is the wall?) [Ysstvelt] (ie, can I climb over it or does it go ceiling-floor?) [EvilNarrator] Ceiling-floor. [Ysstvelt] (thinking, sec) [Ysstvelt] (Is Dessa in my little cage?) [EvilNarrator] Sure.

  • Ysstvelt will check her for signs of life
  • Dessa is quite deceased.

[Ysstvelt] (Is there a window?) [Pheria] (in a torture room??) [Ysstvelt] (Hey, it's good torture, letting your victim see out the window knowing they'll never likely walk those streets again) [Pheria] (uh, no.) [EvilNarrator] Pheria, you should make your second save sometime. [Pheria] (I think you mean I should *fail* my second save, but I'll roll anyway ;) [Pheria] (7 :V) [EvilNarrator] heh

  • Ysstvelt will take Dessa's body and Dimension Door out of there.

[Marel] Do you want to summon something to keep her company in there? Or shall we just leave her to stew for a while.

  • Marel pets Pheria soothingly.

[Pheria] hm...

  • Pheria thinks...

[Pheria] I suppose...!

  • Pheria chucks a few hellhounds in there.

[Pheria] (and then I guess we go report this to whoever deals with renegade slaves...?) [Marel] (Yep - the authorities, presumably.) [EvilNarrator] OK - we'll deal with the fallout of this in game, then. [Ysstvelt] (Strangely you hear no noises of anyone being savaged by hellhounds in the room...)