Diablotin 2 session 45

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[DiablotinNarrator] The holidays have come to Diablotin at last, the span of days between the end of one year and the beginning of the next, a time for celebration and indulgence.

[DiablotinNarrator] The weather is co-operating with the festivities by providing a light dusting of snow, just enough to mask some of the city's unsightly blemishes.

[DiablotinNarrator] The holiday excitement is only accentuated by the Imperial weddings, to take place on the Day of the Wolf. While parties and other diversions are planned for the entire week, the weddings will certainly be the highlight of the season!

[DiablotinNarrator] The morning of the weddings dawns clear and chill, but that does nothing to prevent the crowds of eager onlookers who are already gathering to line the streets of the Imperial Isle, from the High Temple at the east of the island, where the triple ceremony will take place, up to the very gates of the palace, where the remainder of the celebrations will occur.

[DiablotinNarrator] The traffic on the bridges that lead on and off the Isle is at a near-standstill from midmorning onwards, and you can hardly imagine what it will be like after midnight, when thousands of nobles make their exodus.

[DiablotinNarrator] The Scourge and the Mercury have both come out with special editions this week, devoted to the (theorized) details of the weddings, who will be in attendance, what they will be wearing, the food that will be served, the entertainments offered, etc.

[DiablotinNarrator] Those of you who are in the wedding party would have spent the night prior to the weddings at the palace, to ensure that you will be where you need to be on time.

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere, your gown is certainly the most expensive thing you have ever worn - and the heaviest! It is silver lamé over white satin, fitted through the bodice, low on the shoulders, and trimmed with so much lace you can scarcely imagine the cost...!

[DiablotinNarrator] The immense skirt is supported by an incredible under-structure, and you are grateful that at some point there will be servants to help you out of it, as you're not certain Menard could manage on his own.

[DiablotinNarrator] To keep you warm on the ride from the temple to the palace, you have a mantle of ermine, soft and luxurious.

[DiablotinNarrator] Your hair is styled to within an inch of its life, scraped and curled and fastened into place so tightly you doubt so much as a single strand will stir. A silver tiara studded with diamonds, which apparently belonged to Menard's great-grandmother, holds your veil.

[DiablotinNarrator] Ysabeau, you have reason to be pleased with your gown - it's not horrible! It is a rich shade of purple, and trimmed with creamy white lace, the colours of the Kizer family.

[DiablotinNarrator] (maybe something like these if you want a visual aid: mdm387.gif)

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere, your six attendants are a mix of your own friends (Ysabeau and Triana), your relatives (Zivia and Lavinie Rademacher) and some relatives on Menard's side (his cousin Livianne, and Fredericia Hartzell, also a cousin of his, though more distant).

[DiablotinNarrator] It is quite unfamiliar to have so many ladies fussing over you...!

[DiablotinNarrator] Your mother is regularly in tears from her nerves, and your father just looks pale. Your great-grandmother is, you suspect, enjoying herself the most of any of you.

[DiablotinNarrator] The ceremony is to take place in the early afternoon, then a dinner will be served at the palace that will probably take several hours, followed by a grand ball.

[DiablotinNarrator] Fireworks will conclude the evening's entertainments.

[Ilphere] . o O ( How is one supposed to eat in that gown...? )

Seth and Menard

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth, Menard seems relatively composed on the outside, but you think he's nervous. His five other attendants are all noblemen, including Ilphere's cousins Jarvis and Theron Rademacher, and some more distant relations you can't seem to keep straight.

[DiablotinNarrator] Theron in particular devotes his time to some playful winding up of the groom, talking about how many people will be watching, suggesting things that could go wrong, making lewd comments about Ilphere, until finally his brother tells him to shut up.

[DiablotinNarrator] Two hours before the ceremony, the gentlemen set off for the temple, a journey that on a normal day would take no more than perhaps a quarter hour by carriage.

[Seth] . o O (And this is one gifted with visions from the Centre?)

[DiablotinNarrator] The High Temple is a magnificent domed building, ornate and elaborate and close to a thousand years old - not ancient by the standards of some, but certainly freighted with history (and gold... lots of gold).

[DiablotinNarrator] Guests are already filling the seats when you arrive, about an hour before the ceremony is expected to begin. You are taken to a side entrance, so that you don't have to go through the masses of crowds at the front.

  • Menard takes a deep breath.

[Menard] Everything's going to be okay, right?

  • Menard looks to you, his best friend, for reassurance.

[Seth] Yes, of course. Your grandfather hasn't waited seventy years to see this screwed up.

[Menard] Heh.

  • Seth says, tight-lipped.

[Menard] Thanks.

[Seth] It's going to be talked about for decades.

[Menard] Gods.

[Menard] Er, sorry.

  • Menard says to any deities who might be listening.

[Seth] So, you know, don't screw up your lines, ok, Nardo? :)

  • Seth fails to inject levity.

[Menard] I'm pretty sure all I have to say is 'I do.

[Menard] I can manage that.

[Seth] Just don't ask me to catch you if you faint dead away.

  • Menard nods and goes back to fiddling with his cufflinks.

[DiablotinNarrator] The ladies, meanwhile, set off about an hour before the ceremony. The carriages are enclosed, but that doesn't stop people trying to see in the windows. The press of bodies in the streets makes progress very slow indeed...!

[DiablotinNarrator] About a quarter hour, the grooms and groomsmen are to take up their positions at the centre of the temple. It's a bit difficult for all the attendants to find places to stand, but fortunately there are discreet servants stationed about to tell you where to go.

[DiablotinNarrator] The temple is built like a great wheel, with six aisles radiating out from the centre. You will be entering from one, Eglantine's betrothed Tymas and his attendants from another, and Marl and his party from a third. The brides will enter from the other three directions, and you all meet up in the centre.

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth, when Tymas Maez and his party make their appearance, you are startled to see an all-too-familiar face among the groomsmen.

  • Seth looks up.

[DiablotinNarrator] Though, the last time you saw him, he was a good deal more naked than this. You never did learn Aldrian's last name...

[Seth] . o O (OOOOOOH SHIII ....)

[DiablotinNarrator] You are distracted from your musings when a huge cheer goes up from outside the building. The brides must have arrived.

  • Seth attempts to remain composed, then nods politely.

[DiablotinNarrator] (to him?)

[Seth] (yes)

[DiablotinNarrator] It's funny it never occurred to you how he does kind of look like Menard, a bit... they must be related or something... maybe just House Wolf inbreeding, who knows..

  • Aldrian nods back politely.

Ilphere and Lystain

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere, it is quite astonishing how eager everyone seems to be to see you, Eglantine, and Yanina. The shouts and applause from the crowd could go to a girl's head if she wasn't careful...!

[DiablotinNarrator] Your father is waiting to escort you in. Eglantine's grandfather will be giving her away, and Yanina's uncle, as both of their fathers are deceased.

[Lystain] You look so beautiful...

  • Lystain says, offering you his arm.

[Ilphere] Thank you...!

  • Ilphere takes it lightly...

[Ilphere] I feel strange...!

[Ilphere] So much attention...

[Lystain] Well, I'm sure it's just nerves. You'll feel more relaxed when this part is over with.

  • Ilphere nods...
  • Lystain pats your hand.

[Lystain] So will I, for that matter.

[Ilphere] How much longer do we have to wait...?

[DiablotinNarrator] Some helpful servant takes your mantle, Ilphere - you hardly even notice it's gone, it feels so warm in the temple, with so many people inside.

[DiablotinNarrator] The bridesmaids are to process in first, in reverse order of precedence - Ilphere's first down one aisle, then Eglantine's down the second, and finally Yanina's down the third.

[DiablotinNarrator] The brides will follow, in the same order, allowing a bit of time between each so as not to detract from one another's moment in the spotlight.

  • Ysabeau is flushed with excitement and is, for the most part, not too nervous.

[DiablotinNarrator] The blare of trumpets from the balcony above signals the beginning of the procession. The music being played here is likely a new composition especially for the occasion, or at least that's your professional opinion, Ysabeau.

[DiablotinNarrator] It's a bit too staid and dignified for your taste, but certainly very impressive and Imperial-sounding.

[Ilphere] Oh, oh...!

  • Ysabeau takes up her required position... I suppose Triana and I will be at the back of Ilph's other bridesmaids since we're pretty much nobodies.
  • Ysabeau flashes Ilphere a brilliant smile.
  • Ilphere wishes she had a free hand to fan herself (I assume I am burdened with flowers).
  • Lystain gives you a quick kiss on the cheek.
  • Ilphere smiles gratefully at him.

[DiablotinNarrator] Yep, they're very pretty - and heavy ;)

[DiablotinNarrator] Ysabeau, you manage to walk down the aisle without tripping or doing anything else embarrassing, and take up your appointed place.

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere, you make your way down the aisle, and are very glad that your father's there to hold on to - much more comforting than having to go alone.

  • Menard looks so handsome in his suit - certainly the most handsome man of all those being married today, you are certain...!

[Ysabeau] [w] Think of hellhounds, Ilph!

  • Ysabeau doubts Ilphere can hear her.
  • Ilphere wishes Hali were here too...!

Wedding Vows

  • The_Patriarch takes up his position on the central dais.
  • The_Patriarch is an older man, around sixty or so, with grey hair that is thinning, but fortunately concealed by his little hat. He wears a simple white woolen robe, banded at the hem with the colours of the seven Houses.
  • The_Patriarch begins to speak. His voice is loud, though somewhat quavery, and he has a bit of a tendency to ramble...
  • The_Patriarch speaks for what seems like a very long time about the Gods, the duties of marriage, and so forth.

[The_Patriarch] May you need one another, but not out of weakness. May you desire one another, but not out of lack. May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy. May you always know love, and may you find it loving one another.

[The_Patriarch] In your days and years ahead, may you make each other laugh more than you make each other weep. May you take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of your union. When clouds of sorrow or fear hide the stars that guide you, remember that even if you lose sight of them for a moment, the stars are always there.

  • The_Patriarch seems to be wrapping up his speech and getting to the vows part.
  • The_Patriarch turns to you and Menard first.

[The_Patriarch] Menard Kizer...

[The_Patriarch] Do you vow to take this woman, in the sight of all the gods, into your life, your house and your heart? To cherish her and keep her, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, for all the days of this life?

[Menard] I do.

  • Ilphere 's heart flutters...!

[The_Patriarch] Ilphère deQuesennet...

[The_Patriarch] Do you vow to take this man, in the sight of all the gods, into your life, your house and your heart? To cherish him and keep him, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, for all the days of this life?

[Ilphere] I do...!

  • The_Patriarch then turns to Tymas and Eglantine and repeats the vows, and finally to Marl and Yanina. All of them answer in the affirmative, as one would expect...
  • Ilphere feels a few little tears escaping, even though she is smiling widely...!

[The_Patriarch] Is there any just reason why these couples should not be joined here today?

  • Ilphere holds her breath without realizing it...

[DiablotinNarrator] There is no objection from the assembled guests.

[The_Patriarch] Then by the power vested in me by the Six, I pronounce you to be wed. What the gods have joined together, let no one dare to sunder.

[The_Patriarch] You may now kiss the brides.

  • Menard turns to Ilphere for that kiss...
  • Ilphere looks up at him...
  • Menard kisses you.
  • Ilphere kisses back happily (church tongue).

[DiablotinNarrator] (lol)

[DiablotinNarrator] Then there's some more rambling, blah blah blah, church stuff, and then you can finally leave ;)

[DiablotinNarrator] You are all exiting through the same aisle, so that the people gathered outside will get to see all of the happy couples.

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere and Menard go first, followed by Eglantine and Tymas, and then Marl and Yanina. All the attendants pair up as directed and file out in a huge line afterwards.

  • Ysabeau beams at Ilphere and Menard and gives them the thumbs up when no one else is really looking.

Seth and Ysabeau

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth, you and Ysabeau are paired together. Maybe none of the noble folks wanted to be seen walking with you ;)

[Ysabeau] Well, that's that, eh M. Argo?

  • Ysabeau looks pretty merry.

[Seth] Yes, well, as Menard said, he only had to say 'I do' so for his part, nothing much could go wrong.

[Seth] So much effort, so much money, and really it's just those few seconds that count.

[Ysabeau] Yes, well... ceremonies are important to people.

[Ysabeau] Can you imagine the populace if they *hadn't* put on a big show for them?

  • Seth wanders along beside Ysabeau.

[Seth] I wonder whether it's too big.

[Seth] With the food shortage, maybe some will think it too lavish.

  • Ysabeau has her arm through your elbow as is proper.

[Ysabeau] There is that risk, yes.

[Seth] I suppose the Emperor can always justify it on the grounds that you only have to have one wedding instead of three.

[Ysabeau] Possibly.

[Ysabeau] I fully expect there to be some articles in the papers offering many differing viewpoints on today's festivities.

[Ysabeau] And perhaps I am being naive if I choose not to think about the negative ones too much, today.

[Seth] Well, indeed.

[Seth] The positive effects will more than outweigh any negatives, in any event.

[Ysabeau] I hope so. :)


[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere, you receive your mantle again before you leave the temple. Menard squeezes your arm tightly.

[DiablotinNarrator] The crowds outside go even wilder when the couples emerge. Some throw flower petals (where did they get them this time of year?) or confetti, and all of them seem to be shouting at the top of their lungs.

[DiablotinNarrator] Guards line the steps down from the doorway to the carriages, in order to keep the citizens back at a slightly safe distance, but it's obvious they're having some difficulty controlling the situation.

[DiablotinNarrator] One girl who slips through their line of defense is hauled back roughly, and then you don't see what happens to her.

  • Marl waves to the crowds, who cheer loudly.

[Marl] People of Diablotin, thank you!

  • Marl says, as if anyone can hear him over the noise.

[DiablotinNarrator] And then, out of nowhere, he is struck by a series of magic missiles!

[DiablotinNarrator] The guards immediately spring into action, hustling the Emperor and new Empress back inside the temple, the rest of you into your carriages as quickly as possible, while others rush into the crowd to try and locate the attacker.

[Alma] :o

  • Menard helps Ilphere into the carriage quickly, then joins you there as it takes off. The two of you are riding alone, attendants following in other carriages.

[Menard] Are you all right?

[Ilphere] Wh---what was that..? Magic Missiles..?!

[Menard] Idiots.

[Menard] He's protected from those things, but still... it's got to be alarming.

  • Ysabeau scans the crowd for a possible source.

[DiablotinNarrator] (You don't get much of a chance to scan, Ysa, you are being hustled along with the rest)

  • Seth allows himself to be hustled, trying to see whether the Emperor is injured.
  • Marl seemed more surprised than injured.

[Menard] I'm sure he's fine.

  • Menard says, but he's obviously a bit shaken himself.

[Ilphere] Are you alright...?

  • Menard nods.

[Menard] Fine. Pretty clear they were only targeting him.

  • Ilphere squeezes his hand...
  • Menard squeezes back.
  • Menard waves dutifully to the crowds, but he's obviously distracted.

[Ysabeau] (Who is in the carriage I got hustled into?)

[DiablotinNarrator] Other bridesmaids.

[Ysabeau] (so no more talk with Seth, ok)


[DiablotinNarrator] It takes a rather long time for all the guests to make their way to the palace, given the crush of people lining the streets, and despite the guards' best efforts to keep the way cleared.

[DiablotinNarrator] Once you are finally through the gates, it becomes easier, and somewhat quieter as well.

[DiablotinNarrator] The palace is, of course, in full splendour, gleaming and grand.

[DiablotinNarrator] When the rest of you arrive in the dining hall at last, you've had time to work up an appetite, at least! There are servants who seem to know where each of you is supposed to sit.

  • Ysabeau would have jostled a maid out of the way of a window in the carriage so she could monitor/gauge the crowds on the way to the palace...

[DiablotinNarrator] In the banqueting hall, there is a high table on a dais for the wedding parties and the brides' and grooms' immediate families, as well as many long tables for the other guests.

  • Sanadhil wonders where he and Dozilva will be seated...and with who :o

[DiablotinNarrator] Word has of course gotten around about the attempt on the Emperor's life, even if you didn't witness it personally, but everyone says he seems to be unharmed, fortunately...

  • Seth will try to rejoin with Menard as quickly as possible.

[DiablotinNarrator] (I'll do the menu up front, then brief scenes with each of you during dinner, then we'll move on to the ball when you can have more flexible scenes)

  • Ysabeau takes the place she's expected to take.
  • Menard can be found easily, Seth - he's just a little way up the table from you.

[Seth] Are you OK?

[Menard] Fine... You?

[Seth] Fine, fine. Did anyone see who did it?

[Menard] I heard that the guards caught someone... I don't know anything else, though.

[Ilphere] They did...?

[Ysabeau] Maybe when their Imperial Majesties join us we can find out from them.

  • Ilphere is a little shaken and subdued.

[Menard] It might just be a rumour, I don't know.

[Ysabeau] You okay?

[Seth] I imagine we are going to be told to act as if nothing happened, and ask no questions.

  • Ysabeau gives Ilphere a comforting half-hug.
  • Ilphere nods...

[DiablotinNarrator] That is indeed the impression you have - not to talk about it tonight, at least, everything is to go on as planned, and no one is actually hurt after all...

[DiablotinNarrator] The first course is a thick squash soup flavoured with saffron and ginger, which does an excellent job of warming you up after the chill outside (and the chilling events as well).

[DiablotinNarrator] It is followed by thin slices of roast venison, boar, and beef served with fresh-baked bread, still warm from the ovens, and a wide assortment of vegetables: slender stalks of asparagus, little tomatoes, artichokes, carrots sliced into the shape of flowers...

[DiablotinNarrator] They must either have been imported from the far south or perhaps grown by magic at this time of year.

[DiablotinNarrator] Little dishes of grainy mustard and horseradish, spicy enough to make your eyes smart, accompany the meat for those who enjoy it.

[DiablotinNarrator] The next course is a whole quail for each guest, served atop red cabbage and stuffed with tiny, succulent pearl onions, rosemary, and sage.

[DiablotinNarrator] Platters of cheese, different varieties from all over the Empire, are served - soft, creamy ones, crumbly and pungent ones, sharp-flavoured ones riddled with holes, and many more.

[DiablotinNarrator] The dishes are cleared between courses by a veritable army of servants.

[DiablotinNarrator] At last the desserts begin to be brought out - wine-soaked fruit trifles, careful stacks of chestnuts and orange slices atop bite-sized pastries glazed with sugar, poached pears glazed with honey and cinnamon...

[DiablotinNarrator] And of course, along with each course comes more wine - red, white, sparkling - as well as brandies, ports, ciders, and just about anything else you can imagine.

  • Sanadhil is glad he does not eat a whole lot, and politely declined the meats D:

[DiablotinNarrator] (you can fill up on veggies and cheese ;)

[Sanadhil] (nom nom nom)

  • Ysabeau will have done her bardly best to delight and captivate her fellow diners with conversation etc.

Sanadhil and Dozilva

[DiablotinNarrator] Sanadhil - you and Dozilva are seated near a bunch of other Castalia people, including the head of the Castalia, Prof. Corwen Storms. Maybe you have a chance to schmooze a bit ;)

  • Dozilva is quite overawed by all of the people and the sights...

[Sanadhil] How are you doing?

  • Sanadhil checks on her

[Dozilva] All right... it is very loud here :o

[Dozilva] And so many lights...

[Sanadhil] there are rather a lot of people, its true

[Sanadhil] things will fan out some after the donner - we can find a quieter room, if you like

[Dozilva] Perhaps. We will see :)

  • Sanadhil smiles

[Sanadhil] as you like.

[Prof_Storms] Good afternoon, M. Orecalo.

  • Prof_Storms greets you politely. Apparently he knows your name :o

[Sanadhil] . o O ( exxcellent )

[Sanadhil] And you as well, Professor.

[Prof_Storms] And who is your charming companion?

[Sanadhil] Zilvia Baru... this is Profrssor Corwen Storms, Head of the Castalia

[Prof_Storms] A pleasure to meet you, Mlle. Baru.

[Dozilva] And you, Professor Corwen Storms, Head of the Castalia.

  • Dozilva glances at you to make sure she got his very long and complex name right.
  • Prof_Storms smiles.

[Sanadhil] ...

[Prof_Storms] What a delightful young lady... and such a fascinating accent. Where are you from?

[Dozilva] Mirithene.

  • Dozilva says after a pause.
  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I met her there on my trip this past fall

[Prof_Storms] Hmm, interesting. A very isolated place, I don't believe I've ever had the chance to meet anyone from Mirithene before.

[Prof_Storms] Well, she must have made quite an impression on you, that you brought her from Mirithene for the wedding :)

  • Sanadhil smiles at her
  • Dozilva smiles.

[Sanadhil] She is quite charming.

[Dozilva] And we are fucking.

  • Dozilva adds helpfully.

[Sanadhil] .........

[Prof_Storms] o_O

[Dozilva] Oh, I'm sorry. That is the impolite term. We are 'sleeping together'.

[Sanadhil] Mirithehe is quite an... open society

[Prof_Storms] I gather so :o

  • Sanadhil tries to cover

[Prof_Storms] Well, this is certainly some excellent wine.

  • Prof_Storms says, changing the subject.

[Sanadhil] Indeed...

[Sanadhil] What did you think of the ceremony?

  • Prof_Storms will make polite conversation.
  • Dozilva will mostly keep quiet.
  • Sanadhil takes her hand under the table
  • Dozilva seems relieved when you do so.

[Sanadhil] . o O ( -_- )

Guillame and Portia

[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame, you are seated with your mother and sister, and with Portia and her family.

[Guillame] . o O (Hurray.)

[DiablotinNarrator] Aden is escorting his cousin Dahlia, so at least you don't have anyone to be jealous of ;)

[Guillame] . o O ( Aww :3 )

  • Guillame keeps half an eye on Silvia

[DiablotinNarrator] (other sister :)

[DiablotinNarrator] (Alesia. Silvia's still too young to be out in society ;)

[Portia] What did you think of the ceremony, M. Rionet?

  • Portia asks, referring to you by your surname because you're not yet officially engaged.

[Guillame] I enjoyed it - the ceremony itself was much sweeter than I expected, although the excitement was unpleasant.

[Portia] Yes... although perhaps not entirely unexpected. At least the Emperor was well protected, it seemed.

[Guillame] Yes - extremely prudent. I didn't realise how much some people must be angry with him...

  • Portia nods.

[Portia] I have heard, at least, that there is to be some food distributed to those who are standing outside.

[Guillame] Well, that's something.

[Portia] Yes... something.

[Guillame] . o O (Probably Aden arranged that...)

  • Portia seems disquieted.

[Portia] Well.

  • Guillame listens attentively, but doesn't want to pry in public

[Portia] When do you think we ought to make the official announcement?

[Guillame] (At least, not *this* public!)

[Guillame] I'm all for as soon as possible. Unless there is some reason that we should be hesitant?

[Portia] No, not at all.

[Portia] We could begin telling people tonight, in fact, if you wanted.

  • Guillame looks questioningly at both sets of parents

[Guillame] I'd be delighted!

  • Guillame smiles

[DiablotinNarrator] Both of them seem quite pleased with this arrangement.

[Portia] Splendid :)

  • Guillame is actually pretty stoked, despite being nervous of The Future

Dominik and Sydona

[DiablotinNarrator] Dominik... as all your siblings are in the wedding party, you are seated with your mother.

[Sydona] Well, that was lovely.

  • Sydona says, to make conversation.

[Dominik] yes

  • Dominik says curtly

[Sydona] Such a beautiful wedding. Ilphere looked like a dream, don't you think?

[Dominik] She looked fine.

[Sydona] And your friend, Mlle. Chanuier - she looked very pretty as well.

[Dominik] Yes she did.

[Sydona] ...

  • Dominik takes a drink of more wine

[Sydona] [q] I know you're upset with me, Dominik. I understand why.

[Dominik] [q] Do you really understand how upset I am?

[Sydona] [q] I think so.

  • Dominik hand shakes a little as he puts the cup down

[Sydona] [q] I received a message from the Duke of Wray...

[Sydona] [q] I know ... I know about ...

[Dominik] [q] please stop

  • Sydona will stop, and pick at her food a bit.

[Sydona] [q] I should have told you.

  • Sydona says into her plate.

[Dominik] [q] how hard would it have been for you to tell me.. tell me something years ago?

  • Sydona nods sadly.
  • Dominik does a controlled stab into his quail

[Sydona] [q] I kept thinking that Darion might return... might acknowledge you... that if I said something, it would ruin any chance of that ever happening.

[Dominik] [q] you made your choice.

  • Sydona nods.

[Sydona] [q] There have been plenty of choices I've made, and they've all been wrong.

[Sydona] Excuse me.

  • Sydona rises from the table, presumably to go and compose herself.
  • Dominik stands politely to let his mother leave the table.
  • Dominik watches her go and sits down

Alma and the Rackleys

[DiablotinNarrator] Alma, you are seated with... Danyel's family, whom you are meeting properly for the first time.

  • Alma is doing her best not to seem totally awkward in her dress, horribly bloated and constricting.

[DiablotinNarrator] There is his father Thymas and mother Elsa, and his three siblings - the twins Leodis and Leodanna, who are 23, and brother Ciril, 19.

[Danyel] Mother, Father - may I present to you the Countess of Béziers.

  • Alma smiles in greeting :)

[DiablotinNarrator] His parents greet you politely.

[Alma] It was a lovely ceremony, wasn't it?

[Mme_Rackley] Yes, it was.

[Mme_Rackley] It is Alma, is it not? I haven't seen you since you were a tiny girl.

[Alma] Yes, it is :)

[Alma] I barely recall it, myself.

[Mme_Rackley] Well, there would be no reason for you to...

[Alma] All those visits with relatives when all you want to do is play. :)

  • Mme_Rackley says with a wave of her hand.

[Mme_Rackley] Béziers is quite lovely - you must miss it. Good hunting there, from what I recall.

[Alma] I do... but it is in good hands.

[Alma] And my work here has been rewarding... I could likely visit whenever I please, now.

  • Mme_Rackley nods.

[Alma] Do you have much opportunity to return to Kholm?

[Mme_Rackley] We haven't been there since the children were small.

[Mme_Rackley] But I gather you and my son will be taking another lovely little vacation in the new year?

[Alma] (SM 30, any cheek there?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (why yes, she does seem to be a bit ... snippy, perhaps?)

[Danyel] Mother.

  • Danyel says calmly.

[Mme_Rackley] Oh, well, modern young people do what they wish, I suppose.

  • Alma probably can't entirely hide her sheepishness.

[Danyel] [q] There is nothing untoward going on.

  • Leodis steps to your defense as well.

[Leodis] Mother, you should be glad Danyel's finally found someone good enough for him ;)

  • Danyel shoots his brother a look.
  • Alma blushes a little.

[Danyel] Alma and I are good friends. Perhaps one day we may be more than that, if I am so fortunate, but for now - let us talk about something else.

  • Alma looks relieved to be rescued.
  • Danyel will turn the subject to safer matters.

[Alma] A fellow member Imperial Antiquarian Society has learned of some ruins in Kholm he would like to explore, and depending on how things are in the city, I thought it might be an interesting voyage...

[Alma] And a good opportunity to pay my respects to the Duke and Duchess.

[Danyel] Indeed. This Antiquarian society are doing fascinating work.

[Danyel] Why just last meeting, I heard about... (blah blah blah safe topics not about family ;)

  • Alma makes a note to herself to talk to Danyel about moving back out -_-

Seth and Aldrian

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth - you are seated at the Imperial table, of course, though maybe down one end a bit. Sort of across from Aldrian, if you wished to speak to him. Though perhaps you wish to stick with polite nods, I don't know ;)

  • Seth is curious enough that he needs to find out his name at least.

[Seth] Good evening.

  • Seth smiles at the 'stranger' politely.

[Aldrian] Ah... good evening.

  • Aldrian looks a bit nervous, but smiles.

[Seth] We have not been formally introduced, I believe. Mr. Seth Argo.

[Aldrian] Aldrian Hartzell.

[Seth] . o O (He uses his real name ... interesting.)

[Seth] Quite the event, isn't it? People will be talking about this for ages.

[Aldrian] Oh, yes, definitely.

[Aldrian] I, ah, we haven't met before, correct?

[Seth] Correct.

  • Seth says firmly.
  • Aldrian seems to be double-checking that you're not going to rat him out, not actually forgetting who you are.
  • Aldrian nods, looking slightly relieved.

[Aldrian] So, how do you know the Kizers?

[Seth] They are practically a second family to me. My own family has been in the service of the Kizers for generations, and the Prince-Imperial and I are close friends.

[Aldrian] Oh, I see.

  • Seth lets Aldrian draw whatever conclusions he likes.

[Aldrian] Well, it seemed everything went smoothly today, considering...

[Seth] (how are the Hartzells connected to the Kizers?)

[Seth] Yes, considering ...

[Aldrian] (K noble?)

[Seth] (bah, only 16)

[DiablotinNarrator] (they're all related somehow... ;)

[DiablotinNarrator] (the main Hartzell you're aware of is Lyra Hartzell, who is Chief Sorcerer... and of course there is Fredericia Hartzell, who was an unsuccessful candidate for Emperor)

[Seth] It's been ages since I've had asparagus - I wonder how they conjured it up.

[Aldrian] I suppose they could have teleported it from the south...

[Seth] I suppose so. I'm not complaining!

  • Aldrian nods.

[Aldrian] I hear they've done some splendid work on the gardens, as well - perhaps I'll go and see them later this evening.

  • Seth nods noncommittally
  • Aldrian will turn his conversation to others around you, then, unless you are talking to him further.

[Seth] (nope)

Ysabeau and Zivia

[DiablotinNarrator] Ysabeau, you are fortunately seated where you can see Muri, who is near to Alma. She seems to be doing fine.

  • Zivia is seated beside you.

[Zivia] So, you and my brother, hm?

  • Ysabeau has been putting her bardic skills to use to entertain her fellow table-mates and keep the conversation lively.
  • Ysabeau braces herself inwardly but does not let it show outwardly. ^-^

[Ysabeau] What about us?

  • Ysabeau smiles warmly with an eyebrow raised questioningly.

[Zivia] You are... fond of one another, I take it.

[Ysabeau] (SM... is she looking for ways to torment Dom? :P)

[Ysabeau] (nat 20, for a 35)

[DiablotinNarrator] (you think she's puzzled, mostly)

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] Do you find that so strange?

[Zivia] Well, I suppose not. It's Dom, after all...

[Ysabeau] (any hint of what she means by that? her tone of voice could lend it any number of meanings)

  • Zivia says with a casual shrug.

[DiablotinNarrator] (she seems to be suggesting he probably can't do any better/doesn't have high standards)

[Ysabeau] I see. The friend of a princess imperial isn't good enough for him? I didn't realize you cared so much about his wellbeing.

[Zivia] Oh, no, it probably IS good enough for him.

[Zivia] But there's the rest of the family to consider as well.

  • Ysabeau looks amused.

[Ysabeau] Go on.

[Zivia] On? I think I've made myself clear enough.

[Zivia] I just don't understand my brothers' priorities sometimes...

[Ysabeau] It must run in the family.

[Zivia] [q] I will not hear you speak of my mother in that way.

[Ysabeau] [q] I wasn't speaking of her. I actually kind of like her.

  • Ysabeau turns her attention to someone more worthy of it.

Ilphere and Menard

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere, you are of course seated beside your new husband...!

  • Menard is hardly paying attention to the food.
  • Ilphere is trying to enjoy herself but a bit saddened that Menard had to be upset by the unpleasantness earlier...
  • Menard seems to have recovered somewhat, and is mostly focused on you.

[Menard] How are you holding up?

  • Menard asks after the fourth course or so.

[Ilphere] I'm alright... It's strange to feel so constricted and yet still hungry, though...!

[Menard] Hm? Oh, the dress?

  • Ilphere looks longingly at the food she's only been able to pick at.

[Menard] Well, it looks beautiful...

[Ilphere] But otherwise... Oh...! I am so happy...!

[Menard] [q] Better without it, though. ;)

  • Ilphere giggles behind her hand.

[Ilphere] [q] I can't wait...!

[Menard] [q] Maybe they won't notice if we leave early ;)

[Menard] [q] Skip the dancing.

[Ilphere] [q] If only...!

[Menard] [q] Everyone will be paying attention to Marl and Yanina anyway.

  • Menard 's foot touches yours under the table.

[Ilphere] [q] My grandmother will be terribly disappointed if you don't give her one dance, at least...! ;)

  • Menard smiles.

[Menard] [q] Well, all right, for her :)

  • Ilphere smiles back, though...

The Ball

[DiablotinNarrator] When the meal is finally concluded, after several hours, the guests begin to make their way to the ballroom for the after-dinner entertainments. [DiablotinNarrator] The ballroom is as grand as ever, with its tall, slender columns, its delicate chandeliers, its marble floors and and its vibrantly-coloured ceiling, depicting scenes from ancient history. [DiablotinNarrator] Further refreshments, for those who aren't quite thoroughly stuffed yet, are available in the adjoining Marble Gallery, where the memorial statues of all the previous rulers of the Empire stand in eternal vigil. [DiablotinNarrator] In nearby smaller chambers, there are other entertainments - tables for cards, carambole, smaller groups playing music, comfy chairs, secluded nooks, and so forth. [DiablotinNarrator] (You guys can talk to one another in gnomeland if you wish, when not otherwise occupied :) [DiablotinNarrator] (this part is pretty open - I'll just go around and ask you what you want to do - pretty much everyone noble and/or rich is there, if there's someone you want to talk to, or else I can make something happen to you :)

Alma, Danyel and Butler

[DiablotinNarrator] Starting with... Alma!

[Alma] (eee!)

[DiablotinNarrator] (shall I make something happen, or did you have a plan? :)

[Alma] (I'm kinda curious to see what you would make happen. I could talk to Murienne or Biatrix, or I could see if I can bump into that train magnate if Alma thinks she has proper info?)

[Alma] (or I could kick Danyel out of my house)

[DiablotinNarrator] (I will make something happen - we can do those other things in solos, perhaps)

[Alma] (sure :3)

  • Danyel will dance with you, of course.
  • Alma is pleased to dance with Danyel :)
  • Lord_Marshal will greet Danyel after one of your dances together.

[Lord_Marshal] Ser Danyel, good evening.

[Danyel] Good evening, Lord Marshal. May I present the Countess of Béziers?

  • Lord_Marshal will bow to you politely.

[Alma] Good evening, Lord Marshal. :)

  • Lord_Marshal is about fifty, average height, with his brown hair tied back in an orderly queue.

[Lord_Marshal] A pleasure to meet you, my lady.

[Alma] And you.

[Lord_Marshal] May I have the honour of a dance?

[Alma] Certainly.

  • Lord_Marshal offers his hand.
  • Alma smiles at Danyel and extends her hand
  • Danyel smiles back, and can find someone else to dance with, or go get a drink or something ;)
  • Lord_Marshal looks quite a bit like his father, whom you have recently met of course... though much older ;)
  • Alma tries not to be caught noticing that -_-
  • Lord_Marshal is a very good dancer, if a bit stiff.
  • Alma still probably seems a bit out of her element, despite her time in the city.

[Lord_Marshal] So, I gather you and Ser Danyel are quite serious about one another.

[Alma] O-oh?

[Alma] I'm not sure that's ... precisely the case. We are getting to know one another.

[Lord_Marshal] It seems so... at least, I have never known him to visit young ladies' homes for extended periods of time, or to go on vacations with them.

[Alma] Yes, well... it is a bit of a convoluted story.

[Alma] Ser Danyel first came to help protect a woman in my care, Felise Lozada.

  • Lord_Marshal nods.

[Alma] The rest is accidental...

[Lord_Marshal] I mean no disrespect, of course. I'm certain he has behaved as a gentleman... or rather, with decorum and restraint.

[Alma] .oO( What does everyone know I took a trip? )

[Lord_Marshal] I merely hope that you two will be very happy together.

[Alma] Thank you. I hope that is where things lead as well. :)

[Alma] I had ... I suppose naively imagined no one would pay attention while I figured out where things were going -_-

[Lord_Marshal] Ah.. well, Ser Danyel had to report his departure from the city to me, so I was aware of it. I don't know that it is generally known.

[Alma] Oh, yes I suppose so...

  • Alma looks a little bit foolish for being overly sensitive about it...

[Lord_Marshal] You could check the recent editions of the Scourge, perhaps, and see if it's made the gossip columns.

[Alma] D:

[Alma] You don't think?

[Lord_Marshal] I don't know - I don't read it, myself, though my daughter sometimes does - for research purposes, I'm sure.

  • Lord_Marshal says dryly.
  • Alma hopes he's joking -_-

[Alma] It's all very foolish... gossiping.

[Alma] What's a person to do, kick him out *because* he's a lovely gentleman?

[Alma] Really.

[Lord_Marshal] Indeed. So often there is nothing to the stories they claim are reliable.

[Lord_Marshal] You know your own heart, Lady Alma. Listen to it, rather than to what others may say, and it will not steer you wrong.

  • Lord_Marshal bows politely as you conclude your dance together.

[Alma] A pleasure, Lord Marshal.

[Lord_Marshal] And you, Countess.

Ysabeau and Dominik

  • Ysabeau will see that Murienne is comfortable and enjoying herself, and seek out Dominik.

[Ysabeau] Hello Dom... or should I say M. Rademacher for the sake of decorum?

  • Dominik has taken refuge near a post where he can watch the goings on without having to participate.
  • Ysabeau smiles beautifully.
  • Dominik gives a dry chuckle

[Dominik] Say what you like. You look quite stunning.

[Ysabeau] Thank you! You are dashingly handsome, as usual. But why are you lurking in the shadows again? One might start to wonder if you're from the Shadow Plane. It's a party, Dom! You should be asking girls to dance.

[Dominik] I find myself in a mood not to party.

[Dominik] But don't let me stop you from enjoying yourself.

[Ysabeau] Oh, Dom... sometimes you are so dreary. :/

[Ysabeau] What you should do is ask me to dance, and I can tell you about Zivia, and you can tell me about whatever's troubling you.

[Dominik] Fine... shall we dance?

  • Dominik offer her his arm

[Ysabeau] (Is he being a grumpypants or did I actually manage to maybe make him smile a bit? )

[Dominik] (still mostely grumpypants)

  • Ysabeau pouts.

[Ysabeau] Dancing with me isn't supposed to be a *chore*.

[Dominik] It's not a chore.

[Ysabeau] Well, if that's so, then could you try to look like it's something you want to do, maybe?

  • Ysabeau smiles, a little uncertain if maybe she's pushing you too hard.

[Dominik] You're trying to cheer me up, and I appreciate it, so I'm showing my gratitude, but just because you are trying does not mean you will succeed.

[Ysabeau] :/

  • Ysabeau leans back against the pillar next to you.
  • Dominik sighs

[Dominik] What did Zivia say to you?

  • Ysabeau will tell you about Zivia, repeating the conversation pretty much word-for-word and with the tones of voice used intact
  • Dominik rolls his eyes

[Dominik] typical for her

[Dominik] My mother received a message from Alestin

[Dominik] she knows everything

[Dominik] or at least I assume so based on the way she was talking

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] And how is she?

[Dominik] upset

[Dominik] I was mean to her... she made me so angry.

  • Dominik looks down at his hands
  • Ysabeau gives you a surprised look.

[Ysabeau] What did she do to anger you?

[Dominik] made excuses... about why she didn't tell me who my real father was earlier... dreams of her husband accepting me fully.

[Ysabeau] Well, Dom... maybe they weren't excuses. Maybe she was genuinely trying to do what she thought was best at the time.

[Ysabeau] People make mistakes, Dom... I do, you must have.

[Ysabeau] Will you hold it against her all your life?

[Dominik] It's like she's always choosing between me and him and its me who gets punished and him who gets to walk away from everything

[Dominik] I shouldn't be this angry about it but I am.

[Dominik] I feel bad that I hurt her but I also don't regret doing it.

  • Ysabeau looks at you sharply, then tries to soften her expression.

[Ysabeau] Do you really mean that?

[Dominik] I don't know

[Ysabeau] Maybe you need to think about whether some of your anger right now isn't directed towards yourself.

[Dominik] of course I'm angry at myself

[Ysabeau] But not because you regret hurting your mother?

  • Ysabeau crosses her arms and waits patiently.

[Dominik] I wanted her to hurt. I wanted her to know the pain her choices caused.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I can understand that. But did you not feel even the slightest twinge in getting your revenge there?

[Dominik] I don't know. It didn't make me feel any better.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Dominik] And I don't know if I *want* to feel better.

  • Ysabeau raises an eyebrow.

[Ysabeau] Is feeling better so terrible a prospect? Why are you so frightened of being happy, Dom?

[Dominik] I don't know what being happy is. Sure some things can make me happy. You can make me happy but being happy?

  • Dominik shakes his head

[Ysabeau] It's not that difficult, Dom... you just have to let things go.

  • Ysabeau slips her arms around one of yours and lays her head against it.

[Dominik] you make it sound so simple

[Ysabeau] It is the hardest thing to bring yourself to do.

[Ysabeau] But the simplest thing once you've done it.

[Ysabeau] How do you think I got where I am...?

  • Dominik looks down at Ysabeau

[Dominik] hard work, dedication, a desire to become something more than what you were.

[Ysabeau] Maybe those had something to do with it eventually.

[Ysabeau] But first I had to have an epiphany. I had to let things go.

[Dominik] its easy to let go when you already have so little but to be brought up surrounded by so much and told that you don't deserve it...

  • Dominik shakes his head
  • Ysabeau lets go of you.

[Ysabeau] Now you're the one making excuses.

[Ysabeau] I'm going to go find someone to dance with. I'd prefer that he be you, but I'm sure someone will honour me if you want to think about things still.

  • Ysabeau might be... a little mad. ;)
  • Dominik says nothing and watches her go

Sanadhil and Dozilva

[DiablotinNarrator] Next up, San! Want to do something, or shall I inflict something upon you?

  • Sanadhil wants to introduce D to Ilphere :x

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok :)

[Sanadhil] (maybe talk to her a bit first, if there is time?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (a short time, sure :)

[Dozilva] I am sorry.

[Dozilva] I spoke wrongly...

  • Dozilva says once you have safely left the table.

[Sanadhil] Don't worry about it.

  • Sanadhil says reassuringly

[Sanadhil] People here are generally more... private about their relationships, though.

[Dozilva] I see...

[Sanadhil] are you still enjoying yourself?

[Dozilva] I am :) Everything is so beautiful here.

[Sanadhil] It is... Though they have gone to extra effort to be overawing today, i think

  • Dozilva nods.

[Sanadhil] Did you want to meet my friend/

[Sanadhil] The one who was married?

[Dozilva] Oh, yes!

[Sanadhil] She will know who you really are, but she may be a little surprised

  • Sanadhil warns her
  • Dozilva nods.

[Sanadhil] Very well.

[DiablotinNarrator] San, you notice in passing that Phedre is there - but you don't see an Earric with her, which is a bit odd.

[Sanadhil] (who is she with?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (just with her daughter)

[Sanadhil] ('k)

  • Sanadhil will try to find Ilphere, then, and explain in brief, on the way, how D should addess her
  • Dozilva will accompany you, and try to memorize her instructions.
  • Sanadhil will also tell her that Ilphere probably won't really care, but everyone else might :p

[Sanadhil] Your highness?

  • Ilphere is looking longingly at a pastry she's holding on a little plate

[Ilphere] Oh...! Sanadhil!

[Ilphere] Hello...!

  • Sanadhil smiles broadly
  • Dozilva will attempt a curtsey, as she has seen other ladies doing.

[Sanadhil] Congratulations

[Ilphere] Thank you...! :)

[Dozilva] Yes, congratulations, your highness.

  • Ilphere eyes your unusually-dressed friend...
  • Dozilva says carefully.

[Sanadhil] I wanted to introduce you to my companion, while you had a free moment.

[Sanadhil] This is.... Mlle. Zilvia Baru.

[Ilphere] Zilvia... That's an unusual name...!

[Dozilva] I think so, yes.

[Sanadhil] She is from rather far away.

  • Dozilva nods.

[Ilphere] (22 sm ... but I think I have enough info to figure it out now anyway)

[Ilphere] Oh really...!

[DiablotinNarrator] (yeah, you can piece it together :)

  • Ilphere 's eyes light up.

[Ilphere] Welcome to Diablotin...!

[Dozilva] Thank you. It is very ... impressive.

[Ilphere] Well, it is not always like this...!

[Dozilva] Is this your house?

[Ilphere] Ah...

[Sanadhil] Well, I thinks she gets to live here, now, at least/

  • Ilphere hesitates...

[Ilphere] I suppose it is, now...!

[Sanadhil] but it belongs to the Emperor.

  • Ilphere nods.

[Dozilva] Oh, I see.

[Dozilva] It is very nice.

[Dozilva] So many colours...

  • Ilphere is dying to ask her how she processes 'colour'...!

[Dozilva] I don't know the names for all of them yet, but I am learning them :)

  • Ilphere nods...

[Sanadhil] I am just hoping she won't be disappointed if she comes back next and finds things much less grandiose

[Ilphere] Well, we can make up for it with more interesting conversation...

[Sanadhil] indeed...

[Dozilva] I am also learning about what conversations are and are not 'appropriate' :)

[Ilphere] Ah yes...

[Sanadhil] Yes, dinner was very interesting...

  • Sanadhil smirks slightly

[Ilphere] Where did they seat you, in the end...?

[Sanadhil] With others from the Castalia

[Sanadhil] neat Profesor Storms...

  • Ilphere nods...
  • Dozilva looks to you to see if you're going to tell her or not.

[Sanadhil] He was very polite.

[Ilphere] Of course he was...

[Sanadhil] :)

[Ilphere] (sm Dozilva?)

[Ilphere] (29)

  • Dozilva seems a combination of amused and embarrassed, maybe ;)

[Sanadhil] Are you enjoying your big day?

[Ilphere] Oh yes...! Very much so... with the exception of that brief... unpleasantness of course...!

[Ilphere] Are you two enjoying yourselves...?

[Sanadhil] very much

  • Dozilva nods enthusiastically.

[Ilphere] How long will you be staying...?

  • Ilphere asks Dozilva.

[Dozilva] I think.. until tomorrow?

  • Dozilva glances to San.

[Ilphere] (SM SM SM)

  • Sanadhil nods

[Dozilva] Is it one of the things I am not supposed to talk about?

[Ilphere] (30... are they boning)

[DiablotinNarrator] (survey says 'yes')

[Sanadhil] No, its fine.

[Ilphere] Oh I see...! :)

[DiablotinNarrator] (or if not already, then later, at least ;)

  • Dozilva nods.
  • Ilphere seems pleased.
  • Sanadhil feels strangely awkward for some inexplicable reason

[Dozilva] I will always remember today.. it has been so amazing so far :)

[DiablotinNarrator] (Ilphere, you probably have other people waiting to talk to you, so we should wrap up and move along :)

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ilphere] Well, I hope I will get a chance to speak to you again soon....!

  • Sanadhil nods
  • Ilphere looks askance at the hoverers.

[Dozilva] I hope so.

[Sanadhil] Mlle, baru, would you care for some wine?

[Ilphere] Enjoy the evening...!

  • Sanadhil will guide her away

[Dozilva] Yes - more of the fizzy kind, please :)

  • Ilphere says as she glides off in her massive gown.

Ysabeau and Marl

[DiablotinNarrator] Ysabeau, you are just entering the ballroom when you hear a familiar tune beginning!

[DiablotinNarrator] They have evidently chosen to play your composition!

  • Ysabeau smiles happily!

[DiablotinNarrator] (what will you do?)

  • Ysabeau indulges herself, just listening to the orchestral arrangement for a bit.
  • Ysabeau will look for Ilphere and Menard.

[DiablotinNarrator] It sounds very good, you think - maybe the cellos are a little too quiet, but it's not bad :)

  • Ysabeau will try to gauge other people's moods/reactions to the music - HER music! ^-^

[DiablotinNarrator] Everyone seems to be enjoying it - certainly lots of couples are dancing, and even people who are not are tapping their toes to it, etc.

  • Ysabeau is pleased and will again try to spot Ilphere and Menard.

[DiablotinNarrator] (They're probably dancing or swarmed with people :)

[DiablotinNarrator] After the piece is finished and before the next one begins, you notice someone - a palace servant, by the livery - speaking to the head of the orchestra. They exchange a few brief words, and then the servant departs.

  • Ysabeau will manoeuver around as close as she can get to them and wait for them to finish their dance, or for her chance to push through the crowd...

[DiablotinNarrator] The servant then goes and speaks to the Emperor himself!

  • Ysabeau wonders what that was about.
  • Ysabeau tries to make herself fade into the crowd...
  • Marl nods and dismisses the servant.

[DiablotinNarrator] The servant then wanders around the room, as if looking for someone... :o

[DiablotinNarrator] (you can make a Hide check if you're trying to escape notice)

  • Ysabeau heads for one of the small rooms where lots of people are... (with a one, I fail utterly)

[DiablotinNarrator] The servant locates you, then.

[DiablotinNarrator] "Mlle. Chanuier, the Emperor wishes to speak with you."

[Ysabeau] Oh, I will attend him at once, M. ...?

  • Ysabeau can't very well do anything else. :P

[DiablotinNarrator] The servant will escort you back to the Emperor, then.

[Marl] Mlle. Chanuier, good evening.

  • Ysabeau makes the appropriate obeisance.
  • Marl greets you politely.

[Ysabeau] Good evening, and congratulations, Your Majesty.

[Marl] Thank you.

[Marl] That was a delightful piece. I'm given to understand that you composed it.

[Ysabeau] (SM: does he recognize/remember me this time? :P)

[Marl] (well, he knows your name, anyway)

[Ysabeau] Indeed I did, as my wedding gift for your brother and his new wife.

[Marl] How charming - I'm sure they must be thrilled :)

[Ysabeau] I think at the moment they are too thrilled with one another to take much notice of the music, Your Majesty.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Marl] You are a very talented young woman. I wish to offer you a commission.

[Marl] And if the results are satisfactory, then a permanent post at court would be a distinct possibility.

[Ysabeau] I am honoured, Your Majesty.

[Marl] I will have the details drawn up, then.

[Marl] Good evening, Mlle. Chanuier. Enjoy the party.

[Ysabeau] I will look forward to receiving them. Thank you, Your Majesty.

  • Marl returns his attention to his new wife.
  • Ysabeau makes the appropriate obeisance before taking her leave of the Imperial couple.

Guillame and Aden

[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame's up next...

[Guillame] (rdy)

[DiablotinNarrator] Did you wanna do something, or have something inflicted upon you? :)

[Guillame] Well, I want to tell everyone I meet about the engagement, but other than that I'm easy :)

[DiablotinNarrator] Ok :) I'm always happy to inflict!

[Guillame] (Hurray! :V)

  • Aden_ will manage to seize a few moments with you.

[Aden_] How are you doing? Having fun? :)

[Guillame] Actually, yes, surprisingly

[Aden_] Good, glad to hear it.

[Guillame] I- we- hum. We're making the engagement official, Portia and I. So, we're telling people about it.

[Aden_] Oh, wonderful! Congratulations :)

[Guillame] It's fun to see how people react

  • Guillame winks
  • Aden_ chuckles at that.
  • Zivia sweeps up to the two of you.

[Guillame] How about you-

[Zivia] M. Olivier, what a pleasure to see you :)

[Aden_] Mlle. Rademacher, likewise.

[Aden_] Have you met M. Rionet before?

  • Aden_ introduces you.
  • Guillame bows

[Zivia] I don't believe I've had the pleasure. Good evening, M. Rionet.

[Guillame] Good evening, Mmle Rademacher - pleased to meet you

[Guillame] Tell me, are you related to Dominik Rademacher?

[Zivia] I am, yes. He's my younger brother.

  • Zivia kind of looks a bit like Dom - prettier, though.

[Zivia] How do you know him?

[Guillame] Through the antiquarian society - I'm studying my house's history there.

[Zivia] Oh, I see.

[Zivia] I've never known Dominik to study much of anything, but he must go along with Ilphere I suppose.

  • Zivia says with a smile.

[Guillame] Yes, I believe he's her bodyguard?

  • Zivia nods.

[Zivia] I suppose I should call her Princess Ilphere. So hard to get used to...

[Guillame] Are you enjoying this splendid event, Mmle Rademacher?

[Zivia] Oh, it's lovely :)

[Zivia] One does feel a bit of a wallflower, though, as a bridesmaid ;)

[Aden_] Well, we can't have that. Would you do me the honour of a dance?

[Zivia] Why, yes, certainly :)

  • Aden_ gives you a slightly rueful glance that you aren't getting to spend more time together, but he'll lead her off.
  • Guillame winks at him as he goes

[Guillame] . o O (You rascal :V)

Dominik, Sydona and Alestin

[DiablotinNarrator] Dominik, you are busy brooding at the edge of the dancefloor, in the shadow of one of the pillars, ignoring girls who try to persuade you to dance.

[Dominik] *nod*

[DiablotinNarrator] You can't help but notice that Laurine's family are here - but not her. They probably made her stay home out of shame :p

  • Dominik tries not to seethe on that fact, but does anyway

[DiablotinNarrator] You also notice Alestin Talavera, the Duke of Wray, and - apparently - your father, cautiously approach your mother.

[DiablotinNarrator] You can't hear what they might be saying from here...

  • Dominik will carefully move closer

[DiablotinNarrator] You can't help but wonder what happened between them, 19 or so years ago... were they in love? was it just a casual fling? You can't tell from their faces...

[Sydona] ...told him....

  • Alestin shakes his head.

[DiablotinNarrator] (you can make a Listen check)

[Dominik] (24)

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok, you can hear them pretty well)

[Sydona] I should have told him long ago...

[Alestin] You did what you thought was best.

  • Alestin sounds a bit uncomfortable.

[Alestin] For all your children, not just for him.

[Sydona] I know, but... once they were grown, I could have...

[Alestin] Or I could have. It's as much my fault...

[Sydona] As much?

  • Sydona says dryly.

[Alestin] More, even. I know that.

[Alestin] If things could have been different... I don't know.

  • Alestin shakes his head.
  • Dominik moves closer and makes his presence known

[Sydona] I should have tried to keep them apart, even if I couldn't...

[Sydona] oh :o

  • Alestin turns to see you there.

[Dominik] you two look so conspiratorial... it's like you have a deep dark secret.

[Sydona] Dominik, please don't make a scene... :(

[Dominik] As much fun as that would be, I would hate to ruin such an important day for my cousin

[Alestin] :/

[Dominik] I'm just so glad to see you two together and so happy.

[Sydona] Dom...

[Alestin] You have no idea what you're talking about.

[Dominik] I'm sure you're right. I'm sure I really don't have any idea what I'm talking about.

[Dominik] And that is the rub isn't it.

  • Sydona starts to cry, quietly.
  • Alestin 's fists are clenched. He may be a bit old and heavy, but he looks like he knows how to swing a punch.

[Sydona] Do you ever think about anyone but yourself?

  • Sydona cries before she leaves. She was not quiet, and some people turn to stare.

[Dominik] I was the only one who was, as far as I knew, for quite some time.

[Alestin] [q] She has sacrificed a great deal for you, boy. She's earned a bit of forgiveness.

  • Alestin turns and walks off.
  • Dominik shakes his head and walks away

Sanadhil and Ysabeau

  • Sanadhil is finishing his champagne and watching Dozilva be whisked away by some handsome young nobleman.
  • Ysabeau checks Ilphere and Menard once more... they're still surrounded by a wall of bodies, bleah...
  • Ysabeau looks for someone she knows.
  • Ysabeau spots Sanadhil and gives him a smile.
  • Sanadhil smiles in return

[Sanadhil] Mlle Chanuier, good evening.

[Sanadhil] You look lovely

[Sanadhil] Would you care to dance?

[Ysabeau] Thank you, M. Orecalo. A good evening to you, as well.

[Ysabeau] Oh - certainly!

  • Sanadhil will offer you his arm
  • Ysabeau slips her small hand onto your arm so you can guide her out into the floor.

[Ysabeau] You'll be my first dance of the night.

  • Ysabeau mentions, a bit ruefully.
  • Sanadhil tries to figure out how to do this with your stupid giant skirt ;p

[Sanadhil] Oh?

[Sanadhil] How unfortunate.

[Sanadhil] is Mr. Rademacher not about?

[Sanadhil] or shoud I not enquire.

[Ysabeau] He is brooding.

[Sanadhil] His loss, then

  • Sanadhil smiles
  • Ysabeau smiles back.

[Sanadhil] I hope you are having an enjoyable evening nonetheless?

[Ysabeau] Yes, quite.

[Ysabeau] Perhaps seeing me dancing with you will jar him out of it.

  • Sanadhil laughs slightly

[Ysabeau] Thank you.

[Sanadhil] perhaps

  • Ysabeau settles her hands chastely and gets to dancin' with you... she is a waaaaaaaaaaaay better dancer than you remember. ;)
  • Sanadhil is still sort of keeping an eye on Dozilva, ish, but not, like, ignoring you or anything

[Sanadhil] Are you dancing as part of your Opera?

  • Ysabeau keeps glancing at a girl-child who looks remarkably like herself, dancing with some young fellow.

[Ysabeau] Oh, there is a ballroom scene, yes.

  • Ysabeau draws her attention back to you.
  • Sanadhil smiles

[Sanadhil] is that your sister?

[Ysabeau] Opening night is coming up so quickly!

[Ysabeau] Yes, that's Murienne.

  • Ysabeau smiles indulgently/proudly.

[Sanadhil] YOu look quite alike.

[Ysabeau] She's my date tonight. ;)

[Ysabeau] So everyone says.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ysabeau] I think her nose is cuter though.

[Ysabeau] And she is still growing up, hasn't grown *out* yet.

[Sanadhil] Indeed...

  • Ysabeau grins mirthfully.

[Sanadhil] She seems to be enjoying herself, in any case!

[Ysabeau] Indeed.

[Ysabeau] You could ask her for a dance, if you're so inclined. At least I know you. ;)

  • Sanadhil smiles

[Sanadhil] perhaps later - I will have to see how much more dancing my companion feels up to.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Who is your lady?

[Ysabeau] I don't believe I have met her.

[Sanadhil] A friend from out of town.

[Sanadhil] Zilvia Baru.

[Sanadhil] This is her first time in the city, and I think she is finding it... pleasantly overwhelming.

[Ysabeau] Well, that is a good deal better than unpleasantly so.

[Sanadhil] true!

  • Sanadhil smiles

[Ysabeau] Where is she from?

  • Ysabeau smiles back.

[Sanadhil] Mirithene

  • Ysabeau looks pensive.

[Ysabeau] Oh - one of those little islands down south?

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Just out of Colwyn Bay

[Ysabeau] ...

[Sanadhil] hmm?

[Ysabeau] Where you went on vacation... right?

  • Sanadhil just nods.
  • Ysabeau 's eyes shine with pleasure at having placed her.

[Sanadhil] I suppose some good things came out of that trip.

[Ysabeau] Aside from the relaxation and rejuvenation? ;)

[Ysabeau] How long is she in town for?

  • Sanadhil says with more of a hint of mixed feelings than you might normally get out of him - must be the wine :x

[Sanadhil] Only a few days, I'm afraid, though she may be back.

[Ysabeau] Oh, that's too bad.

[Sanadhil] Quite :/

[Ysabeau] I should like to get to know what kind of woman captured M. Orecalo's attention. ;)

[Ysabeau] I suppose she must be into scholarly pursuits.

  • Sanadhil smiles mysteriously

[Sanadhil] She does enjoy books quite a lot.

[Ysabeau] She would. ;)

[Ysabeau] You'll have to introduce us if you have the chance.

[Sanadhil] of course.

[Ysabeau] I'd love the opportunity to learn some songs or tales from the far south.

[Sanadhil] It will be a late evening, I expect

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Another occasion might be more fitting, but we shall see.

[Sanadhil] It's so loud here.... though the music is quite good

  • Sanadhil muses

[Sanadhil] Some of it, at least

[Ysabeau] Did you like the one (#) songs ago?

[Sanadhil] That is the one I was thinking of primarily, yes

[Ysabeau] (I don't know how many songs would have played between mine and what's being played now ;) )\

  • Ysabeau smiles hugely.

[Ysabeau] Well, thank you.

[Sanadhil] You're welcome.... but what for? :)

  • Ysabeau shrugs.

[Ysabeau] I am glad you enjoyed my work.

[Sanadhil] Yours?

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Sanadhil] Well, indeed, congratulations, then

[Ysabeau] That was my wedding gift for Ilphere and Menard.

[Ysabeau] I couldn't really afford to buy anything princely...

[Sanadhil] Indeed... one downside to being friends with an imperial bride...

[Sanadhil] . o O ( or two :p )

[Sanadhil] . o O ( ish )

[Sanadhil] . o O ( "friends" )

[Sanadhil] a thoughtful gift, in any case.

[Sanadhil] I didn't realize you also composed

[Ysabeau] Thank you. I hope they liked it, too... it's hard to get in to see them, though.

[Ysabeau] I don't do *much* composing, to be honest...

[Sanadhil] yes, i was lucky and slipped in while Menard was fetching her a drink.

[Ysabeau] But it looks like I will have some more lined up now...

[Sanadhil] oh?

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] His Majesty seems to have liked it as well...

[Ysabeau] So I seem to have agreed to a commission.

[Ysabeau] I'm trying not to think about it too much, in case I panic.

[Sanadhil] Ah - it must be an excellent opportunity

[Sanadhil] daunting?

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Very.

[Sanadhil] well, put it out of your mind, for now

  • Sanadhil smiles reassuringly

[Ysabeau] Like I said, I don't compose *much* and what I have composed, I've done because the idea sprung, almost fully-formed in my head...

[Ysabeau] Then it's just a matter of putting it down on paper, and working out the problems.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ysabeau] But I've never yet written something for someone on command.

[Ysabeau] What if whatever he wants doesn't inspire me in the slightest?

[Ysabeau] But yes, I'd rather not dwell on it now.

[Sanadhil] Well, it may be a commission, but he has hired you as an artist

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Sanadhil] that would imply to me, at least, that he expects an artistic rendition - and I'm sure you will find some space to work with whatever outlines he provides

[Ysabeau] I hope so.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Sanadhil] In any case, my lady, thank you for the dance :)

  • Ysabeau blushes.

[Ysabeau] It was my pleasure, my lord.

  • Sanadhil will give you a little bow
  • Ysabeau curtseys back.
  • Sanadhil will go collect D from whoever's got her :x
  • Ysabeau will go chat with Murienne and maybe dance with her. ;)

Seth and Menard

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth, you wanted to talk to Menard?

[Seth] (yes)

[DiablotinNarrator] Your family, whom you haven't talked to in months, are also of course present - but you can probably avoid them if you wish ;)

  • Seth needs to find a quiet(er) place where they can have some privacy

[Seth] (indeed!)

  • Menard probably has to go pee at some point :p

[Seth] Well, how's married life so far?

[Menard] Well, it's not like I've got to the fun parts yet - but good :)

  • Seth laughs.

[Seth] Good. I'm glad.

[Seth] You know that I want all the best for you and Ilphere.

[Menard] ...Yes?

[Seth] Walk with me. Just for a minute.

[Menard] Sure... something wrong?

  • Menard asks as he walks with you out to the patio, say.
  • Seth leads Menard away from the crowded areas.

[Seth] (does the patio have stone walls going back into the palace?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (well, it's made of stone itself - and is connected to the palace - does that count?)

[Seth] (ok)

[Seth] Well ... yes and no.

  • Menard looks puzzled.

[Seth] Look, I've been meaning to talk to you, but we've been so busy.

[Menard] OK... so, spit it out.

[Seth] And until this was all done, until I saw it through, it wouldn't have been fair, anyway.

[Menard] Huh?

[Seth] Menard, I've decided it's time for me to leave your service.

[Menard] What?!

[Seth] You and Ilphere need space. And so do I.

[Menard] But.. you can't...

[Menard] I need you. What would I do without you?

[Seth] You'll find someone else.

  • Menard looks upset.

[Seth] But look, you deserve an explanation.

[Seth] I mean, I'm not mad at you, or unhappy with my work.

[Seth] You're the best.

[Seth] But ... well, first of all, a lot of things have changed with me ... like the things that I told you about.

  • Menard listens, but still looks upset.

[Seth] I need to figure out why it's happening to me, and why now.

[Seth] And I need time, and peace, to do that.

  • Menard nods uncertainly.

[Seth] And ... well, there's more.

[Seth] I mean, there is something I haven't told you.

[Menard] What?

[Seth] When we were in the Shadow Plane, in the dream-world, me and Ilphere and the others ... well, you asked if you and Ilphere were together, and I told you yes.

[Seth] And that was true.

[Seth] But the thing is ... you and I ... were also together.

[Menard] ...

  • Menard laughs, that sort of boyish, embarrassed laugh.

[Menard] You're kidding.

[Seth] No.

[Menard] ...

  • Seth is very serious.

[Menard] Well, that doesn't mean anything, though.

[Seth] Well ... maybe not. I mean, other people did things in that other place ...

  • Seth shudders.

[Seth] But it's not just that.

[Menard] ...it's not?

[Seth] I mean, sometimes dreams tell you something you knew was true anyway.

[Menard] Oh, Void -_- Seth...

[Seth] Look, I'm not exactly happy about this.

[Seth] I mean ... Menard, don't look at me like that.

[Menard] What am I supposed to be feeling here? Gods...

[Menard] I thought we were friends.

[Seth] You and Ilphere deserve to not have me hanging around all the time.

[Seth] She's a great woman, and you will be so happy together, I know it.

[Menard] ...

[Menard] Please, Seth, don't do anything stupid.

[Seth] But now it's time for me to go ... to figure out what I am, and where I belong.

[Seth] I've been stupid for years now.

[Seth] This is the least stupid thing I've done in a long time.

[Menard] -_-

[Seth] Goodbye, Menard.

  • Seth walks over slowly, towards the palace wall.

[Menard] [q] Please, don't leave...

[Seth] I'm sorry.

[Seth] I love you.

  • Seth slips into the wall.

[Menard] ...


[DiablotinNarrator] (ok, where are you going inside the wall?)

[Seth] (as arranged, will go to a place where no one is going to find him)

[DiablotinNarrator] (there might be something happening at that place, so you should probably just say it ;)

[Seth] (ok, I am going to the old under-arch room down where Nash took me that time)

[DiablotinNarrator] In the empty chamber, there is silence.

[DiablotinNarrator] The silence does not last long, however. There are voices...

[DiablotinNarrator] You sense a change in the stone of the wall - not the one you're currently in, another wall of the chamber, as if it's being opened somehow. The opening lasts a short time, and then vanishes again.

[Woman] Is everyone prepared? You know your roles?

[Man] Let's just get on with it.

  • Man grumbles. He doesn't sound young - maybe middle-aged or so.
  • Seth slips back into the wall!

[Woman] (I assumed you were still in the wall :)

[Seth] (fair enough)

  • Woman begins chanting, then, in a language you don't understand. She has a very beautiful voice...

[DiablotinNarrator] The others join in her song. The sound is haunting and oddly compelling.

[DiablotinNarrator] This goes on for some time, maybe 5-10 minutes you think, though it could be longer.

  • Woman invokes... something.

[Seth] (I'll try to remember it as much as I can, esp. any particular words I can make out)

[Woman] Child of Chaos and the Void!

[Woman] Guardian of the Abyss!

[Woman] Lord of Dimensions!

[Woman] Riddle-knower!

[Woman] Guardian of the Secrets!

[Woman] Lord of the Labyrinth!

[Woman] Master of the Arch!

[Woman] Lord of the Gate!

[Woman] Opener of the Way!

[Woman] By Chaos, by the Void, by the Light, by the Darkness, by the Air, by the Fire, by the Water, by the Earth, show us the one we seek!

[Woman] Lead us to the one who will die and live again!

[DiablotinNarrator] The very stone that embraces you grows cold, clammy, strangely... unwholesome feeling.

[DiablotinNarrator] Another voice speaks - not anything human, you are certain of that.

[Seth] (how many are there, as far as I can tell?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (you would estimate 8-9 people)

[DiablotinNarrator] "She was conceived by one reborn, carried by one failed, raised by one chosen. Before her very birth, I spoke to her. Her womb is barren, except for he of whom she dreams, but she bears the light of the stars within her."

[Woman] Thank you... thank you...

  • Woman gasps.
  • Man is a different man than the one who spoke before, and sounds younger.

[Man] Let's get her upstairs, see what she can find before it wears off.

Ilphere and Menard

[DiablotinNarrator] Meanwhile, Ilphere, you feel oddly dizzy, and there seem to be little sparkles in your eyes...

[DiablotinNarrator] Perhaps it is simply the exertions of the day, the wine...?

  • Ilphere rubs her eyes...

[DiablotinNarrator] Suddenly, you feel a presence, a divine presence. Not here, not immediately here, but nearby, somewhere...

[DiablotinNarrator] And you hear a sound, a clattering, ragged sound, like that of a broken cart-wheel still trying to turn, that grows and grows until it almost deafens you, drowning out all the noise of the thousands of people, the music...

[Ilphere] ..the wheel...

  • Menard comes up to you. He looks upset, but you barely notice...
  • Ilphere looks around, feeling panicked...

[Ilphere] (Can I see Theron?)

[DiablotinNarrator] You can't see him, but you can sure hear him...

[Menard] ...Are you all right?

[Ilphere] Something's wrong...!

  • Ilphere grabs on to him...

[Menard] Come on - let's get you out of here...

  • Menard holds you tightly and will start steering you towards a door.
  • Ilphere winces against the deafening sound, letting herself be steered for now...!

[Ilphere] (can I still feel the presence?)

[DiablotinNarrator] You try to sense it, but you can't - it's gone, if it was ever there.

[Ilphere] (and the noise?)

[DiablotinNarrator] the noise is still going.

[Ilphere] It won't stop...!

Dominik and Zivia

[DiablotinNarrator] Dom, Zivia comes up to you, looking very alarmed.

[Zivia] [q] Dom, help. Theron's having one of his spells and we need to get him out of here, NOW.

[Dominik] dammit

[Dominik] where is he

  • Zivia will lead you to him.
  • Dominik looks for Ilphere on his way
  • Theron is in one of the side-rooms, and basically freaking out, screaming, clawing at his ears...

[Zivia] [q] I don't care what you do - knock him out, whatever.

[Dominik] I wish you were away for this...

  • Dominik slugs him to KO him
  • Theron doesn't put up any meaningful resistance, and you can manage to subdue him.

[Dominik] I need to find Ilphere. Did you see where she went?

[DiablotinNarrator] Ignoring the stares of the guests, you and Zivia can begin to get Theron out of there.

[Zivia] I don't know... probably with her husband?

[Zivia] Look, she's not your problem anymore - this, however, is.

[Dominik] Somethings going on. This can't be a coincidence.

[Zivia] Maybe he's on drugs... I don't know :o

Dominik, Sanadhil, Alma and Ysabeau

  • Dominik scans the room for any of our little fellowship as he helps Theron out.
  • Ysabeau is being protective of Murienne.

[DiablotinNarrator] You can probably spot all of them but for Seth or Ilphere.

  • Sanadhil is probably abaou also, staying with D and trying to figure out what is going ion
  • Alma presumes then that she is with Murienne and Ysabeau

[Sanadhil] (or watching M take ilphere away)

[Dominik] I'll meet you outside... Help her.

  • Dominik grabs someone and pushes Theron into his arms

[DiablotinNarrator] Someone looks surprised, but Zivia can probably persuade him to help :p

  • Dominik heads over to Alma/Ysabeau, nabbing Sandahil if he can on the way
  • Ysabeau raises a querying eyebrow at Dom.
  • Alma asks Biatrix to keep an eye on Murienne.

[Ysabeau] Visions?

  • Sanadhil is certainly nabbable, but will Keep D with him
  • Ysabeau is keeping Murienne close, too.

[Alma] Was that Theron Rademacher?

[Sanadhil] yes.

[Dominik] Theron's gone nuts and Ilphere has slip away.

[Sanadhil] She is likely with menard

[Dominik] and we’re in the palace with just about every important person in Diablotin.

[Sanadhil] ...

[Sanadhil] Earric isn't here.... or possibly Phedre isn't here.

[Ysabeau] How would you know?

  • Ysabeau asks Sanadhil.

[Sanadhil] I saw her earlier, and she is with Vivienne

  • Alma scowls darkly.

[Sanadhil] of course... Earric is a shapeshifter

[Ysabeau] So... he is a demon here, too, then?

[Alma] Yes.

[Sanadhil] Yes.

  • Ysabeau isn't surprised.
  • Alma says exceedingly quietly

[Ysabeau] Good to know.

  • Sanadhil whispers quietly to Dozilva

[Sanadhil] [w] Cultists of Vrag... one is a succubus.

[Ysabeau] Well, what do you suggest?

  • Sanadhil looks about for Phedre

[Dominik] I'll track down Ilphere, keep an eye out for anything strange.

[Alma] Does your brother require the assistance of a healer, M. Rademacher?

[Dominik] anything else strange

  • Sanadhil casts locate person on Earric

[DiablotinNarrator] You don't spot her, San.

[Dominik] yeah, go look at him Alma, I hit him pretty hard.

  • Dominik says as an afterthought

[Ysabeau] Well Dom, hopefully she *isn't* just enjoying her wedding night with her husband...

[DiablotinNarrator] But it's a big room... and also lots of side rooms, gardens, etc.

  • Alma will go see if Theron can be helped.

[DiablotinNarrator] San - Earric is not within range of the spell.

[Dominik] if she is, its gonna be a messy experience likely.

  • Ysabeau looks for the Emperor.

[DiablotinNarrator] Alma - Theron is unconscious, looks a bit bruised.

[DiablotinNarrator] Ysa - he's around.

  • Sanadhil casts it on Phedre
  • Dominik will seee if he can find Menard/Ilphere, or a guard who could direct him.

[Sanadhil] (and if that doens't work i'll try vivienne as well)

  • Alma casts Detect Magic and Detect Evil
  • Alma will make sure he's OK with Deathwatch

[DiablotinNarrator] San - also not within range. Range is like circle with 800ft radius, right?

[Ysabeau] Maybe we should mention things to the guards...?

[DiablotinNarrator] (that would not even cover the whole palace ;)

[Sanadhil] (yeah :/)

[Sanadhil] (but it means they are all gone, anyway)

[Ysabeau] To be on the lookout for weird activity?

[Alma] (I do evil first then magic if he's not hurt-hurt.)

[DiablotinNarrator] Dom - you go and try to find Menard and Ilphere. You can learn that they left to go to the Imperial living quarters, and guards are not going to let you just wander in their on their wedding night!

[Sanadhil] They've all left.

  • Dominik returns

[DiablotinNarrator] Alma - you don't detect evil on Theron.

[Dominik] Menard and Ilphere are off to thier quarters.

[Sanadhil] (well, I supose they could be in one of the side rooms, but probably not in the main ball room)

  • Alma then detects magic.

[DiablotinNarrator] (sec, checking something)

[DiablotinNarrator] Overwhelming, Alma.

  • Alma clutches her head
  • Ysabeau glances at Alma.

[Alma] (I assume that means no concentrating on it to determine it's nature?)

[Ysabeau] What's wrong, Sister?

[Alma] A powerful magic...

[Ysabeau] Where?!

  • Ysabeau looks around, and for the Emperor again.

[Alma] Theron...

[Ysabeau] Theron's magical?

[DiablotinNarrator] (I already said, the Emperor's around - he doesn't seem to be paying much attention to this)

  • Alma tries Break Enchantment.
  • Sanadhil will check the side rooms just in case but isn't expecting to find much

[Ysabeau] (I know, I was looking at him in reaction to Alma saying there is powerful magic afoot)

[Ysabeau] (In case it is directed at him, since there was the MM attack on him earlier today)

[DiablotinNarrator] (you can make your check, alma)

[Alma] (:P)

[Alma] (13!)

[DiablotinNarrator] (or not)

[DiablotinNarrator] OK - Zivia and her burly protector will get Theron out to a carriage and away from the palace, then.

[Ysabeau] Alma, where was the magic?

  • Ysabeau is still confused.

[DiablotinNarrator] The party is basically going on as normal - ok, someone had a little episode, but everything is basically fine, right? Right?

[Alma] Something affecting Theron.

[Ysabeau] Dominik... maybe you should follow him home.

[Ysabeau] Maybe a bunch of us should.

[DiablotinNarrator] We can do solos related to your further plans, if any ;)

OOC talk of next steps

[Ysabeau] (to be continued?)

  • Seth will, after the people have left, check out the room, see how many people, anything left behind, etc., etc., using tracking.

[DiablotinNarrator] I think I would rather not pick up straight from here next time, but move along further, unless there is urgent cause. But if you have further stuff to do at the ball or in the immediate aftermath, we can probably arrange solos.

[Dominik] (Ill think about what to do next... likely I'll take Theron home with Zivia)

[Guillame] (Cool - I'd like to catch Martan if I can, which is probably perfect for a solo)

[Ilphere] I just want to know if I have any further 'experiences' and if I actually get any kind of a wedding night with my husband :/

[DiablotinNarrator] Once you are away and in a quiet place, it seems to recede, Ilphere.

[DiablotinNarrator] Menard is pretty upset - and probably not just about you, but he's not going to talk about anything Seth-related tonight.

[DiablotinNarrator] So probably once you get out of your ridiculous clothes and into a more peaceful environment, you can manage ;)

[Alma] So are we going to talk a bit as a group while Terry's on? If he's able?

[Dominik] I need to go as well... sorry

[Curtana] you could go to follow Theron

[Curtana] and the others left could still talk if they wanted.

[Alma] Oh, also I would have cast CLW on Theron as they put him in the carriage

[Ilphere] so is there going to be anything else happening ic tonight that I could watch? :3

[Sanadhil] I want to cast Locate creature on Theonee as well

[Sanadhil] now that I'm thnking about it more

[Alma] I sooo wish I had LC

[Alma] Kinda wish I'd gone with Theron actually.

Alma, Sandhil, Ysabeau and NPCs

  • Alma supposes Danyel is here too if he has anything to add at any point :3

[Alma] Has anything else happened this evening? Did you find Ilphere?

  • Sanadhil casts one more Locate Creature spells (while we're here)

[Dozilva] (on?)

[Sanadhil] (You know @_@)

[Dozilva] (heh - she's within range)

[Sanadhil] (in the room?)

[Ysabeau] Nothing untoward, so far as I know...

  • Sanadhil focuses his attention

[Dozilva] (well, all you get is direction, right?)

[Sanadhil] (yes, but I'll lok that way ^-^)

[Dozilva] (ok - you don't see her in the direction, but there are some smaller rooms over there.)

  • Alma looks to Sanadhil but is fairly certain she saw him cast something.

[Sanadhil] Not that I am aware

  • Sanadhil says, somewhat distractedly
  • Alma waits patiently.

[Sanadhil] There is one more thing I wanted to check, however...

[Ysabeau] Mmmm...?

[Alma] Yes?

[Sanadhil] The Chancellor.

[Ysabeau] Who's that?

[Alma] Theonee Deverara?

[Sanadhil] yes

[Ysabeau] Oh?

[Alma] What for?

[Sanadhil] Just in case....

[Alma] You think she might be the one?

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ysabeau] The one that died?

[Alma] You sense her now?

[Sanadhil] yes she's over that way.

[Alma] Lead the way, M. Orecalo.

[Sanadhil] I'll check on her in a moment...

[Sanadhil] She's rather skittish, i don't think she would appreciate the posse.

  • Alma quirks a brow.

[Sanadhil] we shouldn't be discussing this here, in any case.

[Alma] If you have reason to believe that this may be connected, it would be advisable that you check as soon as possible, no? If she is truly "skittish" we can simply wait outside?

[Sanadhil] or here?

[Sanadhil] I'm sure she is fine.

[Alma] If you are certain...

[Sanadhil] 9She's not gong anywhere is she? I can also sense movement)

[Danyel] What *did* go on here?

[Danyel] (no seems still)

[Sanadhil] I have no idea.

[Alma] Did you want to find us somewhere more private, M. Orecalo?

[Danyel] No one else really seems to have noticed much...

[Sanadhil] very well.

  • Sanadhil nods.

[Danyel] We could go for a walk in the gardens, perhaps.

  • Alma will wait until we're a bit into the gardens before resuming.

[Sanadhil] that would be fine....

[Alma] Theron was under the influence of incredibly powerful magic.

  • Sanadhil looks to Dozilva
  • Dozilva comes along, of course.

[Dozilva] (oh, I can use my garden desc. I never got to use)

  • Ysabeau looks at Murienne. "Would you like to come, or stay here...?"

[Alma] Biatrix has likely not left yet.

  • Alma will also look to Dozilva and then look at Sanadhil, a little questioningly.

[Alma] It was exceptionally powerful, like something from the Gods or their servants.

[Sanadhil] that's not surprising

[Alma] Divination.

[Sanadhil] yes...

[Sanadhil] he has been having visions for some time

[Alma] I have recently become aware of that myself.

[Ysabeau] Him and Ilphere...

[Sanadhil] something in the bloodline.

  • Alma looks at Sanadhil.

[Sanadhil] yes?

[Alma] Nothing?

[Sanadhil] ....In any case, i don't know that there is anything more for us to do at the moment.

[Ysabeau] Alma, speaking of which... do you have access to any information about the Patriarch Thaleus Rademacher?

[Alma] I may, why do you ask?

[Ysabeau] A smith in white robes seems to feature in some of their visions... working on a wheel.

[Sanadhil] He was instrumental in creating the Way of the Wheel, and it may be related to the visions, yes

[Ysabeau] I know he developed the Way of the Wheel, or at least had a strong hand in it.

[Ysabeau] But I wonder what else he might have done, that isn't generally known.

[Ysabeau] That might explain why he keeps showing up in their visions.

[Ysabeau] If the smith is not him, then I thought it might also be Ruchard, in the robes he would have worn before going through the Arch, during the ritual purification.

  • Sanadhil shoots Dozilva a slightly apologetic look

[Ysabeau] But I think that's less likely than the Patriarch since he is forging a wheel in the visions, and forged the Way in real life.

[Alma] What else has featured in Theron's visions?

[Ysabeau] I think there's too much coincidence in the symbolism...

[Ysabeau] Gorgons... an arch buried in the sand...

[Sanadhil] many things that this is still neither the time nor the place to get into.

[Ysabeau] That is why some of us are really interested in the upcoming trip to Kholm.

[Alma] I see.

  • Sanadhil idly wonders how Ysabeau even knows

[Ysabeau] Sometimes a crowd is the best place to remain unnoticed, but I take your point, M. Orecalo.

  • Alma looks at Sanadhil for real this time.

[Ysabeau] I just wanted to mention it while I was thinking of it.

[Alma] I am quite interested to learn what else Mr. Rademacher dreamt of, M. Orecalo. Perhaps we could arrange a time to discuss it.

[Sanadhil] I'm afraid i don't have access to the greater details, Countess.

[Sanadhil] You'd need to speak to her Highness.... or apparently Mlle. Chanuier.

  • Sanadhil smiles.
  • Alma smiles back.
  • Ysabeau raises an eyebrow at Sanadhil.
  • Dozilva is busy admiring the stars.

[Ysabeau] I don't remember what he wrote verbatim.

[Sanadhil] he was keeping a journal for her highness.

[Ysabeau] Just the things that stood out to me.

[Sanadhil] I haven't examined it, and know only a few things.

[Alma] Well, I suppose there is but to wait until Her Highness is out and about again to find out if she was struck by more visions.

[Sanadhil] indeed.

[Ysabeau] I'll ask Dom about Theron, in a few days, too.

[Sanadhil] I expect it will not be tonight

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] In which case...

[Sanadhil] Good evening, ladies.

[Alma] This does tell us, however, that Theron's visions are a significant event, regardless of their accuracy.

[Ysabeau] . o O (If he realizes he might need to apologize. :P )

[Alma] Good evening M. Orecalo.

  • Sanadhil will turn away from the others with Dozilva :x
  • Dozilva will walk away with you.

[Sanadhil] My apologies

[Dozilva] It's fine...


Ysabeau and Martan

  • Ysabeau is amusing herself finding gentlemen to dance with, and spots the mysterious Martan.

[Ysabeau] . o O (Perfect!)

[Ysabeau] (Does he look pretty much exactly like the miniature portrait?)

  • Ysabeau will approach him.
  • Martan seems to be quite popular ;)
  • Martan looks very similar to the portrait, yes, but probably not 100% the same - hairstyle different, for instance.
  • Martan wears a rust-red jacket with gleaming gold buttons.
  • Ysabeau is prolly one of the hottest ladies in the room (at least in the top 10%!) so hopefully the men aren't avoiding her. ;)

[Ysabeau] Excuse me, my lord... would you care for a dance?

[Martan] Certainly, Mademoiselle...?

[Ysabeau] Chanuier, Ysabeau Chanuier, M...?

[Martan] Martan Olivier, at your service.

  • Martan bows politely.

[Ysabeau] I thought so!

  • Ysabeau curtseys.

[Martan] (how tall is ysa, i forget? 5'3"?)

[Ysabeau] (yeah, she is short)

[Ysabeau] (5'3")

  • Martan is only 2-3 inches taller.
  • Martan offers his arm to lead you to the dance floor.
  • Ysabeau takes it and follows him out.

[Martan] Are you enjoying yourself, Mlle. Chanuier?

[Ysabeau] Oh yes, and you, M. Olivier?

[Martan] Very much so.

[Martan] It's quite the celebration.

[Ysabeau] What?

  • Ysabeau looks around, joking.

[Ysabeau] A triple imperial wedding? Commonplace affairs, these...

[Martan] Well, I am but a simple fellow from the countryside, not like you sophisticated city folk :)

  • Ysabeau chuckles.

[Ysabeau] I've only adopted this place...

[Ysabeau] Home will always be Val des Fentes, in Greywatch.

[Martan] Oh, you're from Greywatch?

  • Ysabeau nods, smiling.
  • Martan smiles back.

[Ysabeau] I was born there, and lived there until I was nine, at which point, my parents decided it was time to move us to Diablotin.

[Ysabeau] But my best memories are from there. Life is not so sweet in the city.

  • Martan nods.

[Martan] I hail from Greywatch as well, and I quite agree. I often feel... rather overwhelmed and out of place here.

[Ysabeau] Yes, you are quite new in town, aren't you?

  • Martan nods.

[Ysabeau] You'll get used to it eventually, I'm sure. Most do.

[Martan] Oh, I'm sure.

  • Martan says with a smile.
  • Ysabeau smiles back.

[Ysabeau] Will you be staying here long, or returning to your cousins...? duchy?

[Martan] I'm not certain yet.

[Martan] I suppose I shall stay as long as I'm needed here :)

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Hopefully that will be for a while.

[Ysabeau] The ladies can't seem to get enough of you; it would be a shame to let them down.

  • Martan laughs at that.
  • Ysabeau smiles, pleased that she made him laugh.

[Martan] I imagine if I left, they would quickly find someone else to entertain them.

[Ysabeau] Quite probably. Noble ladies for the most part do strike me as fairly flighty.

  • Ysabeau makes a bit of a long-suffering face.

[Martan] Oh dear... Has someone wronged you?

[Ysabeau] Oh, no, not at all.

[Ysabeau] Just a general observation.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Martan] Oh, good :)

[Ysabeau] Are you related to His Majesty at all?

[Ysabeau] There's a fellow with your name in his family tree. I've seen old portraits. The resemblance is, I must say, quite striking.

[Martan] Only by marriage, so far as I know.

[Martan] But I suppose one can never tell about these things.

[Ysabeau] (SM to make sure he believes he's telling the truth)

[Martan] (sure)

[Ysabeau] (30)

  • Martan seems to be telling the truth, as far as you can tell.

[Ysabeau] Remarkable.

[Martan] I don't know anything about my father's parents, so ... one never knows.

  • Ysabeau nods with equanimity

[Ysabeau] Funny to say, I know nothing about my parents' families, either.

[Martan] No?

[Ysabeau] No. They passed away when I was still a girl, and I don't remember meeting any aunts or uncles or grandparents.

[Martan] I'm sorry to hear that.

  • Ysabeau shrugs.

[Ysabeau] It happened so long ago, now.

  • Ysabeau smiles a thank you for the offered sympathy, though.

[Ysabeau] I don't think they were from Greywatch or I would remember aunts and uncles and grandparents.

[Martan] Perhaps they came from the city, as my father did.

[Ysabeau] It is entirely possible.

[Martan] You could have relatives here you don't even know about :)

[Ysabeau] I would that I could meet them if it were so!

[Ysabeau] It's a bit lonely, knowing only of myself and my sister in this whole empire.

  • Martan nods.

[Ysabeau] Ah well, I am sure you do not need to hear about that.

  • Ysabeau smiles apologetically.

[Martan] Well, I will hope for your sake that you will find others of your family one day :)

[Ysabeau] Thank you, M. Olivier. And thank you for the dance as well. :)

[Martan] It's been a pleasure, Mlle. Chanuier.

[Ysabeau] Hopefully I shall see you again in the future, M. Olivier.

[Ysabeau] I'd like to hear what Greywatch is like these days.

[Martan] That would be a pleasure.

  • Martan bows politely before taking his leave.
  • Ysabeau curtseys in return.

[Ysabeau] Enjoy the rest of your evening!

  • Ysabeau flashes him a brilliant smile.

[Martan] And you as well.

[Ysabeau] Thank you.

Ysabeau and Leonien

  • Ysabeau will pause for some refreshment after her dance with M. Olivier... and recognize Leonien, though she has never met this version of him.

[Ysabeau] (what is he doing, jooc? ^-^)

  • Leonien wears a well-tailored brown jacket over an embroidered waistcoat. His hair is white, and he is slightly portly, but he carries himself well.

[Ysabeau] (how does he compare to the dream version?)

  • Leonien is also helping himself to some refreshments.

[Leonien] (a bit stouter, you'd say, otherwise similar)

  • Ysabeau will smile at him, a strange mix of shy and bold in her expression.
  • Leonien notices you smiling at him, and nods politely.

[Ysabeau] Your... grace?

  • Ysabeau curtseys for him.

[Leonien] Good evening.

[Ysabeau] Good evening.

  • Leonien makes a shallow bow in return, out of politeness.
  • Leonien waits to see what it is you want.

[Ysabeau] I am sorry... you look like someone I once knew.

[Leonien] Oh? Who was that?

[Ysabeau] Very difficult to explain and hardly believable.

[Leonien] o_O

  • Leonien takes a sip of his drink.

[Ysabeau] Would you care for a dance?

  • Ysabeau asks, a little awkwardly perhaps.

[Leonien] Dance?

[Leonien] Very well.

  • Leonien seems mildly surprised.
  • Ysabeau smiles warmly.
  • Leonien offers you his arm.
  • Ysabeau takes it gently and gracefully, a little surprised at herself for asking him.

[Ysabeau] . o O (I just want to see if there's anything of the other Leonien about him, that's all...)

[Leonien] I must warn you, I'm not much of a dancer these days.

[Ysabeau] . o O (Why do I want to see that, though? o_O)

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] I don't mind.

  • Leonien nods.

[Ysabeau] As you are the gentleman, you may lead as slowly or as quickly as you like.

[Leonien] Yes, I do recall a few details.

  • Ysabeau grins.
  • Leonien says dryly, but you don't think he's cross.
  • Leonien will lead you at a relatively sedate pace.
  • Ysabeau is an extremely accomplished dancer and hopefully can make up for any deficiencies he may possess due to extreme age.

[Ysabeau] You must be proud to see all your grandchildren married today.

  • Leonien is doing all right, though perhaps somewhat out of practice.

[Leonien] Not quite *all* my grandchildren, but yes, very proud.

  • Ysabeau smiles and blushes a little; she didn't mean to omit the cousins; it just came out wrong.

[Leonien] I hope they will all be very happy together.

[Ysabeau] I know that Il- Their Highnesses the Princess Ilphere and Prince-Imperial Menard will be.

[Ysabeau] I'm afraid I don't know the others as well as Il- Her Highness, though.

[Leonien] You are good friends with her?

[Ysabeau] Oh dear, I can see this is going to take some getting used to.

[Ysabeau] Hmm?

[Ysabeau] Oh, yes... we met at the Castalia and have become good friends.

  • Leonien nods.
  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] Though I haven't known her as long as her friend, Triana, has.

[Leonien] Well, she seems a very clever girl. I'm sure she'll fare well in the palace.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I should hope so.

[Leonien] She'll look out for Menard.

  • Ysabeau nods.
  • Leonien says, again quite dry.

[Ysabeau] (SM)

[Ysabeau] (26)

[Leonien] (he thinks Menard probably needs looking out for, you suppose)

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] He seems like a nice enough young man.

[Leonien] Very personable, yes.

  • Leonien agrees.
  • Ysabeau really wants to talk about the dream but there's no way to do it without sounding CRAZY or saying too much.
  • Ysabeau isn't sure what she wants, really.

[Leonien] Young lady, I feel compelled to let you know that, if this is an attempt at seduction, it is highly likely to fail.

  • Leonien says, but not unkindly.
  • Ysabeau blushes.

[Leonien] If it is not, then forgive my bluntness.

[Ysabeau] It's not.

  • Leonien smiles.

[Ysabeau] The man you remind me of was very good to me... I didn't really realize how good until he was gone, that's all.

[Leonien] My sympathies for your loss, then.

[Ysabeau] And you are not him, but it is somewhat comforting, I suppose, to share this one dance with you.

[Leonien] I understand.

[Ysabeau] Thank you.

[Leonien] My wife has been dead for many years, but I still think I see her from time to time, in the faces of others.

  • Ysabeau nods, eyes tearing up maybe a little.

[Ysabeau] He had lost his wife too. I think he was very lonely.

[Ysabeau] I am sorry for your loss.

  • Ysabeau smiles gently.

[Leonien] And I for yours.

[Ysabeau] Thank you, your grace, for indulging a foolish girl. You have been most gracious.

[Leonien] You're still young. You will find another you'll care for one day.

  • Ysabeau looks at him and smiles, a little mysteriously, but says nothing.

[Ysabeau] I hope you have a good evening, your grace.

[Leonien] And you, mademoiselle.

  • Leonien bows politely to you.
  • Ysabeau will curtsey for him.
  • Ysabeau will go look for Murienne and take a break from dancing for a while; that was weird and awkward and she wonders if maybe she shouldn't have bothered him.

Menard and Ilphere

  • Menard escorts you hurriedly to the bridal suite. The corridors here are basically deserted, but you expect there will be some servants once you get there to help with your dress, etc.

[Ilphere] The wheel is broken...!

[Ilphere] @_@

[Menard] Ssh.

[Ilphere] (is it getting quieter now?)

[Menard] [q] Don't know who might be listening.

[Menard] (it is fading away, yes... you can still hear it, but distantly)

  • Ilphere looks around, still a bit wild-eyed.

[Menard] It'll be all right...

  • Menard doesn't sound totally confident of that, but he's trying.

[Ilphere] It's... it's quieter now... I'm alright...

  • Menard opens the door for you. As expected, there are two maidservants stationed there. They look surprised to see you this early, though they curtsey politely.
  • Ilphere gathers her composure...

[Menard] (The servants will go to start getting your wedding dress off, unless you have other orders for them)

  • Ilphere can't really think of anything to say to them, so just lets them get on with it...

[Ilphere] (what's Menard doing during this?)

  • Menard is just looking out of a window, not really watching you.

[Menard] (They will leave you in your shift, underclothes, etc. and then depart. Not totally stripping you ;)

[Menard] ...

  • Ilphere feels cold and awkward...

[Menard] Are you... what happened?

  • Menard asks, uncertain.

[Ilphere] I'm fine... I ...

[Ilphere] I felt something... like a vision...

  • Menard comes over to you and takes your hand.

[Menard] A vision?

[Ilphere] Not exactly, though... I heard it more than saw it...

[Ilphere] Sensed it...

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

[Ilphere] I'm sorry... I wanted today to be perfect... it's all gone wrong.

[Menard] It's not your fault :o

  • Menard embraces you.

[Menard] We're together...

[Menard] That's all that matters.

  • Ilphere nods mutely...
  • Menard sounds like he's trying to convince himself as much as you.

[Ilphere] (sm... is he freaked out he married a nutjob, or because of something else)

[Ilphere] (or both)

[Ilphere] (26)

[Menard] (he seems bothered by something else, you think.)

  • Ilphere looks at him uncertainly...

[Ilphere] Is there... is something else wrong?

[Menard] It's just been... such a long day, and... with everything...

  • Menard holds you close, burying his face in your neck.

[Menard] I'm just glad to be here, with you.

[Ilphere] (sm :|)

[Ilphere] (34)

[Menard] (liiiiiiiiiiiiies, he is hiding something ;)

  • Ilphere doesn't understand what happened to her special day...

[Ilphere] Y... yes...

[Menard] With the attack on Marl, and everything...

  • Menard manages a weak smile.

[Menard] Maybe we could both use a drink?

[Ilphere] I... I suppose...

[Menard] (Fortunately, there are some light refreshments set out for you, including a couple of bottles of wine.)

  • Menard brings one of them over.
  • Menard takes a drink, then passes it to you and sits down on the edge of the bed.

[Ilphere] (what like, out of the bottle?)

[Menard] (yep)

  • Ilphere blinks...

[Menard] Oh.. I could get you a glass.

[Ilphere] are you... quite certain there's not something you want to tell me...?

  • Menard looks down.

[Menard] It was just... Seth and I had some... words, I guess, not really a fight, but...

[Ilphere] Seth...?

  • Menard nods.

[Ilphere] What did he say...?

  • Ilphere frowns...

[Menard] Just that he's got to go and, uh, figure out what's happening to him.

[Ilphere] And that's all...?

  • Ilphere is unconvinced

[Menard] Well, he's leaving my service. I guess I was upset by that... I didn't see it coming, anyway.

[Ilphere] (s...m?)

[Ilphere] (only 19 this time)

[Menard] (well, you believe him... there could be something else, but maybe not?)

[Ilphere] So he doesn't work for you now... that doesn't mean you can't be friends...! Surely he will not be gone forever.

[Menard] I don't know. I don't even know where he went. He just... vanished.

  • Menard holds his hand out for the bottle, if you're not currently making use of it ;)

[Ilphere] Into the wall I suppose...!

  • Menard nods.

[Ilphere] So he thought the best time for such a melodramatic scene was our wedding night...!

[Ilphere] because...?!

[Menard] I don't know.

  • Ilphere decides to have a drink after all.
  • Ilphere suddenly thinks of CharSeth and frowns.
  • Ilphere will pass him the bottle after taking another pull...
  • Menard takes it and has another swig himself.

[Menard] I don't want to think about it tonight.

[Menard] This is our night, I want it to be perfect for you.

[Ilphere] . o O ( It's already ... off... )

[Ilphere] I.. I wanted it to be perfect for *you*.

[Menard] Oh, sweetheart...

[Menard] I'm with you, we don't have to sneak around or worry about being interrupted... that's already perfect :)

[Menard] And we have the whole honeymoon to make it *more* perfect ;)

  • Ilphere looks at him uncertainly.
  • Menard takes your hand.

[Menard] I love you, Ilphere.

[Ilphere] I love you too...

  • Menard kisses you.
  • Ilphere kisses back, but still feels as though something isn't quite right... Maybe it's just after effects of feeling that presence... maybe...
  • Menard will draw you onto his lap.
  • Ilphere lets herself be drawn...

[Menard] Everything'll be all right.

[Menard] (the sound has basically completely gone now - just a really faint echo that might just be your imagination..)

[Ilphere] [m] Promise...?

  • Ilphere clings to Menard.

[Menard] I'll do everything I can to make sure it is.

[Menard] Now... I think it was nice of them to leave me a little something to undress, don't you? ;)

  • Menard toys with the ribbons on your shift.
  • Ilphere looks down at herself...

[Ilphere] Well, I suppose it is... customary...?

[Menard] Heh.

  • Ilphere smiles a little...

[Menard] Not just customary, but fun!

[Ilphere] (does he actually want to or is he putting on a game face? :p)

[Ilphere] (sigh, 19 again)

  • Menard does actually seem to want you - you're sitting on his lap, you can tell he's not faking *that*, anyway ;)

[Ilphere] (haha)

  • Ilphere smiles more easily, then...
  • Menard smiles back.

[Ilphere] (so what is his suit like, then...?)

[Menard] (fancy, multiple layers to remove ;)

[Menard] (jacket, waistcoat, shirt, etc.)

[Ilphere] Yours is a lot more complicated, for a change...!

[Menard] Well, they didn't leave helpful servants to assist with mine ;)

[Menard] I suppose they trust you to handle it... I don't know what that says about their confidence in me.

[Menard] Maybe it just means your dress is a lot more expensive and they don't want me to wreck it ;)

[Ilphere] Are they going to re-sell it...?

  • Ilphere laughs.
  • Menard laughs.
  • Ilphere tugs playfully om a button.

[Menard] They'll probably sell the pattern for all the society brides who want to imitate it ;)

[Ilphere] I'm sure they would rather have Yanina's...

  • Menard lets you work on his buttons.

[Ilphere] (heh... well I guess we will get down to business then)

[Menard] (ok then!)

  • Menard is 19, his libido can take the emotional trauma and keep on goin' ;)

[Ilphere] hee

[Curtana] So basically, you will be leaving on your honeymoon in a few days, but you have a bit of time between the wedding and then if you need to talk to people, etc.

Seth, Sanadhil and Dozilva

[Seth] (before entering, I will slip into San's wall and listen through the other side - is anyone awake / talking / doing anything noisy?)

[Dozilva] (probably not at this hour?)

[Dozilva] (I expect they were up late...)

[Sanadhil] (true)

[Seth] (ok, then without entering, I slip back out and then knock on the door)

  • Sanadhil is probably meditating downstairs, though, rather than in his room
  • Sanadhil blinks a few times after he hears the knock, refocusing his consciousness..... then will glance upstairs to see/hear of

Dozilva is stirring

  • Sanadhil will then check the window
  • Seth is there, dressed in the same clothes as last night. I'd say he looks like he hadn't slept, except he doesn't need to sleep so that looks like normal now.
  • Sanadhil is probaby wearing a light robe?

[Sanadhil] (silky housecoat sort of thing :V)

  • Sanadhil opens the door slightly

[Sanadhil] Good morning, M. Argo?

[Seth] M. Orecalo. I need to speak with you imminently and with regard to a matter of the greatest import.

[Sanadhil] ...I see....

  • Sanadhil will open the door to let you in.
  • Seth steps in.

[Sanadhil] Is it too important to allow me to get dressed?

[Seth] Ah ... no, please, feel free to do so.

[Sanadhil] Very well, I shall be but a moment.

  • Sanadhil slips away upstairs

[Sanadhil] . o O ( o_O )

  • Dozilva is resting in your bed. Naked.

[Sanadhil] (Is she awake?)

  • Sanadhil half smiles, but also rns a hand through his hair.
  • Dozilva rolls over as you come in, but still seems asleep.
  • Sanadhil will grab some more normal clothes, and sort of hopes she wakes up a bit more as he is dressing

[Dozilva] mmm

[Sanadhil] Good Morning....

  • Sanadhil says quietly

[Dozilva] Hello.

  • Dozilva sits up and stretches, distractingly.

[Sanadhil] ...

[Sanadhil] I.... have an unexpected visitor...

[Dozilva] Oh?

  • Sanadhil tells her, distracted, but still keeping his tone low.

[Dozilva] Should I stay up here? Or leave?

[Sanadhil] Stay.

  • Sanadhil smiles
  • Dozilva nods.

[Sanadhil] I hope it wont take long.

  • Dozilva will put on one of your robes and find one of your books to read ;)

[Sanadhil] You can come downstairs if you like, but use the ring if you do.

  • Sanadhil has a lot of books in many languages @_@

[Sanadhil] sorry...

[Dozilva] It's all right.

  • Dozilva smiles.
  • Sanadhil gives her an apologetic look, and finishes tyng his pants, mentally cursing seth.
  • Sanadhil steps out into the stairwa, and takes a deep and hopefully relaxing breath
  • Sanadhil returns, dressed elf-casual, but at least actually dressed.

[Seth] Ah, good, you're back.

[Sanadhil] Where did you think I might go?

  • Sanadhil asks, raising his eyebrows

[Seth] Nowhere.

[Sanadhil] Would you care for some tea?

[Seth] Ah ... yes, please. I don't often take sustenance now that it's unnecessary for me to do so.

[Sanadhil] ahh, yes....

  • Sanadhil will make some tea though, because mmmm, tea
  • Sanadhil makes good tea.

[Seth] What time last night did you last speak to the Princess Ilphere?

[Sanadhil] Around X, though she and His Highness apparently slipped away around the same time her cousin Theron had his fit.

[Seth] Fit? I didn't hear about that? What happened?

[Sanadhil] which was closer to Y.

[Sanadhil] he was having some sort of vision - the Countess detected a very powerful Divination about him, as though he were experiencing some sort of Divine intervention.

[Seth] (can I put 2+2 together and figure out that Y was also when I saw the ritual?)

[Sanadhil] Mr. rademacher rendered him uncomscious, and his sister saw him home.

[Sanadhil] I only witnessed the aftermath.

[Sanadhil] Do you know anything more?

[Dozilva] (it would have been roughly the same time, you suspect)

[Sanadhil] What is your important news?

[Seth] Yes, I'm afraid I do.

[Seth] For reasons that need not concern you, I had reason to slip away from the party last evening and travel down to the sub-areas of the palace, including the area where the Arch was once housed.

[Seth] While there, I chanced upon a gathering of eight or nine individuals, led by a woman, who conducted a ritual.

  • Sanadhil rainses his eyebrows again, but just nods

[Seth] I remained within the walls, so as not to be observed, which permits me to hear but not see what transpires in the vicinity.

[Sanadhil] Mrs. Lozada-Boyne had disappeared from the party by that point as well, as well as her daughter

[Seth] Hmm, curious.

[Sanadhil] Her husband was not present.

[Sanadhil] (I assume they didn't come back?)

[Dozilva] (nope)

[Dozilva] (well, not that you saw, anyway)

[Seth] The ritual was, it appears, an invocation, to Vrag, perhaps, or to the Arch itself, to learn the identity of the 'one who will die and live again'.

[Seth] The entity besought was named only by a series of epithets, never by a proper name.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] what were they?

[Seth] Child of Chaos and the Void was the first, and Guardian of the Abyss. The last three I remember very well - Master of the Arch, Lord of the Gate, Opener of the Way.

[Seth] The others less well, although the word 'labyrinth' was mentioned.

[Sanadhil] what language was the invocation?

  • Sanadhil looks truly intrigued

[Seth] That part was in Aveyronnais.

[Seth] It was preceded by a chant in a language I do not know - perhaps Gravonian?

[Sanadhil] or Infernal

[Sanadhil] can you recall any of the words?

[Seth] (ask Julie : I asked at the time to try to remember a couple)

[Sanadhil] Gravonian is related to Shadar Kai.... you might have been able to recognize or decypher some of it

  • Sanadhil muses

[Dozilva] (you can remember a couple - from what he says, it sounds like it was probably Infernal, same as the OBD sometimes uses.)

[Seth] Surely the Shadar-kai we know is much changed from the ancient Gravonian.

[Sanadhil] yes, infernal...

[Seth] Hmm.

[Sanadhil] They are a longer lived people - their language changes more slowly.

[Sanadhil] in any case... what else did you hear?

  • Seth doesn't buy that argument ... but whatever!

[Seth] The answer was spoken by an entity that I can only describe as inhuman.

[Seth] It was: "She was conceived by one reborn, carried by one failed, raised by one chosen. Before her very birth, I spoke to her. Her womb is barren, except for he of whom she dreams, but she bears the light of the stars within her."

[Sanadhil] the stars...

[Sanadhil] That..

[Sanadhil] well that is meaningless? Hrm.

  • Sanadhil doesn't seem quite convinced by his pronouncement

[Seth] I must presume that the woman being referred to is Theonee Deverara. Which we had surmised, of course.

[Sanadhil] either it means nothing, or possibly she is immortal

[Sanadhil] yes, it must be her

[Sanadhil] Perhaps he father was a reincarnated Emperor.

[Seth] Perhaps ... or perhaps Martan Kizer!

[Sanadhil] that would be the logical interpretation

[Seth] Or perhaps, just perhaps ... 'reborn' is not meant literally.

[Sanadhil] ...

[Seth] What if her father is a deity, such as Vrag or Rat, that was 'reborn' upon its release?

[Seth] Or what of the Arch itself, 'reborn' upon being reunified?

[Sanadhil] her mother was pregnant before she entered the arch

[Dozilva] (suspected to be... ;)

[Sanadhil] or she was notably premature

[Seth] Was she?

[Sanadhil] (I know I have looked into this julie, but I don't know the months, etc. Was she?)

  • Sanadhil thinks, and pours tea, passing a cup to Seth as he does

[Sanadhil] (it is lemony and zingy!)

[Dozilva] (best estimate, Althea would have had to be less than a month pregnant, if she in fact was pregnant, when she went through the Arch. Th. was not substantially small/sickly at birth, as far as you know.)

[Sanadhil] close to a month.... the child seemed heathly, according to the records.

[Sanadhil] I understand she woudl have been relatively smaller?

  • Sanadhil half shrugs

[Sanadhil] it is possible.

[Dozilva] (she was born like 8.5 months after, say ;)

[Sanadhil] but I am dubious

[Seth] Well, in any case, from what you have told me, M. Rademacher's 'fit' corresponded well with the time of the ritual.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] that makes sense.

[Sanadhil] Ilphere may have experienced something as well...

[Seth] And moreover, once it was completed, the woman was apparently exhausted, yet a younger man instructed some of the others to take her upstairs to see what they could find, "before it wears off", they said.

[Sanadhil] Hmm.

  • Sanadhil frowns

[Sanadhil] well

[Sanadhil] I know the chacellor was at the party shortly after this all happened.

[Seth] I do not know Mme. Lozada-Boyne's voice, but if it was her leading the ceremony, I think I would recognize it.

  • Sanadhil casts a spell, summoning a minor illusion of OPhedre's voice chanting in Infernal

[Dozilva] (it could be, Seth)

[Sanadhil] hmmm...

[Seth] (I have preternatural city senses ... how sure can I be?0

[Seth] I believe that could well be the voice.

  • Sanadhil casts again to mimic earric just doning some generic greeting.

[Sanadhil] "Hello, good evening, it is good to see you again, I am certainly not a succubus."

[Dozilva] (doesn't sound like the man you heard - you think the one you heard was older)

[Seth] No, not that one. An older man than that, and another one, younger.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Seth] Those three alone spoke, plus the entity itself.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] but there were others?

[Seth] Yes, at least eight in total, possibly nine.

[Sanadhil] I know there is an inner circle, and i don't think Earric is necessrily part of it.

[Sanadhil] so that agrees

[Seth] We hold this as an advantage over them: they do not know that we know this information.

[Seth] They have no way of knowing.

[Sanadhil] ...

[Sanadhil] for now

  • Sanadhil frowns

[Sanadhil] but yes.

[Seth] I am going to suggest ... that we keep this from Princess Ilphere, at least for now.

[Sanadhil] Can we assume thay will know who they are looking for]

[Sanadhil] why?

[Seth] Because she has just been married. She has ... enough else to worry about.

[Sanadhil] I'm not planning to seek her out, but I see no point in keeping it from her purposely.

[Seth] That is acceptable.

[Seth] You may hear some information, on unrelated matters, that may make my reticence more understandable.

[Seth] But I do not wish to speak of such things today.

[Sanadhil] (sm)

[Seth] (well, let's just check my bluff and ... oh right, still 0)

  • Seth is definitely concerned / hiding something

[Sanadhil] I see.

[Sanadhil] If they are unrelated matters.... then I especially see no reason to keep this information from her.

[Seth] Well, as I say, if you happen to be speaking to her anyway. But I am not seeking her out today, or anytime soon.

  • Sanadhil nods
  • Sanadhil wonders what you did to piss her off :V

[Seth] I suppose we should also discuss this with others, as we see them.

[Sanadhil] Indeed

[Seth] Sister Alma's witchhunt will be much aroused by this revelation.

[Sanadhil] I am sure she will simply decide that the names used to invoke the creature cannot be proven to have any basis in reality

[Sanadhil] She already knows about the Chancellor.

  • Seth nods.

[Sanadhil] The church knows of the inner circle as well, though no one knos their identities as yet

[Seth] It would have been only a single step, to see all their faces.

[Seth] But then they would have known mine.

[Sanadhil] a pity you can't use scrolls.

[Sanadhil] ...

[Sanadhil] though I supopse you might borrow M. Rionet's ring.

  • Dozilva wanders downstairs, dressed in one of San's robes, loosely tied about her waist. She is the attractive human lady he was with last night.

[Seth] Ah, yes, the ring ... but better perhaps that he should have it. I do not wish to seem greedy.

[Sanadhil] Indeed.

[Seth] Oh, ahhh, good morning, m'lady.

[Sanadhil] Good morning.

[Dozilva] Good morning.

  • Sanadhil smiles at her

[Seth] I do not think we were introduced properly last night.

  • Dozilva smiles back.

[Seth] M. Seth Argo.

[Dozilva] Nice to meet you.

  • Dozilva glances to San a bit uncertainly.

[Sanadhil] Zilvia Baru

[Dozilva] (what an odd name...)

[Sanadhil] would you like some tea?

[Dozilva] Thank you, yes.

  • Sanadhil will fetch her a cup, then

[Seth] Perhaps I should take my leave.

[Sanadhil] Good day, then, M. Argo.

[Seth] Good day, M. Orecalo, and thank you. And good day to you as well, Mlle. Baru.

[Dozilva] Farewell.

  • Sanadhil will see him out
  • Dozilva sips her tea.

[Sanadhil] Would you care for some breakfast?

[Dozilva] What do you have?

[Sanadhil] mmmm... porridge and honey?

[Dozilva] All right.

  • Sanadhil will make some then

[Sanadhil] Did you sleep well?

[Dozilva] Mostly. The sun coming up is very... bright.

[Sanadhil] ahh, yes...

[Dozilva] Even at night, it is never truly dark here.

[Sanadhil] I have heavier curtains, somewhere.... but I don't seep very much anyway

[Sanadhil] no, not with the stars.

  • Dozilva nods.

[Sanadhil] the city has so much ambient light, too

  • Dozilva nods.

[Dozilva] What was your visit about?

[Sanadhil] Apparently the vrag cultists had some kind of ritual last night

[Sanadhil] and he happened to witness it.

[Dozilva] oh?

[Sanadhil] they are tryig to find someone, to make a special servant for Vrag.

[Dozilva] A special servant?

[Sanadhil] I think we know who it is - i don't know if they do or not, but after last night, they likely do.

[Dozilva] What will they do to this person?

[Sanadhil] I'm not sure.

[Sanadhil] I half expect they want her to conceive a child, after what he told me.

[Sanadhil] but that is one thing we don't know.

[Dozilva] Hm.

[Sanadhil] Her mother was pregnant when she passed through the arch.

  • Dozilva nods, listening.

[Sanadhil] here is a man about her age, whose mother was also pregnant, and passed through the lower half

[Sanadhil] in the dream I told you about, he had dreams of her, I think, though they had never met.

[Dozilva] Have they met here?

[Sanadhil] I don't know

[Sanadhil] it is possible, I suppose.

[Sanadhil] They are both in powerful political positions

  • Dozilva nods.

[Sanadhil] but I didn't have a chance to speak to her last night

  • Sanadhil smiles.

[Sanadhil] somehow, I was distracted.

  • Dozilva smiles back.

[Sanadhil] . o O ( although also, argh )

[Dozilva] I did not know your party would be so much work for you ;)

[Sanadhil] I was hoping for fewer intrusions on my enjoyment.

[Dozilva] You seemed to enjoy my intrusions ;)

[Dozilva] Oh, I made a joke in your language!

  • Dozilva seems pleased with herself.
  • Sanadhil smiles

[Sanadhil] well, You were certainly my favourite part of the evening.

[Dozilva] :)

[Dozilva] You are certainly not boring.

[Sanadhil] well, thank you.

[Sanadhil] Did you have to leave today?

[Dozilva] I told them I would not be at work today.

[Dozilva] so I have to leave enough time to get back for tomorrow.

[Sanadhil] How long does it take yo to travel?

[Dozilva] Well... do you have a map of your Empire?

[Sanadhil] of course.

  • Sanadhil will out out one of his geography books

[Sanadhil] ....though it isn't really 'mine...

[Sanadhil] here.

  • Dozilva looks it over.

[Dozilva] It is a little similar to my home. The rivers, mountains, and so forth.

  • Sanadhil listens, and nods

[Dozilva] When I go between the planes, it takes me to the... similar spot?

[Sanadhil] ahhh

[Sanadhil] corresponding point

[Dozilva] So if I go from here, I would be in the cursed city. I have to teleport elsewhere first.

[Dozilva] Yes, that is it.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] how do you do it?

[Dozilva] My home is on the ocean... here in the west.

  • Dozilva points to a place somewhere near Ariege or so.

[Dozilva] I go there, then change planes.

[Sanadhil] and then teleport?

[Dozilva] then I will be home.

[Sanadhil] I'm thinking backwards.

[Sanadhil] well.

[Sanadhil] YOu don't have to go soon, then, do you?

[Dozilva] Not so soon, no. I will need to study my spell to make sure I can go when I need to, though :)

  • Sanadhil nods
  • Dozilva leans over to you. The robe is rather loosely tied, and you get a nice view as she does so.

[Sanadhil] ...

  • Sanadhil puts his arm around her

[Dozilva] You are not too tired after last night, I hope?

[Sanadhil] No.

[Sanadhil] And I need to make sure you're going to want to come back...

[Dozilva] You already have.

[Sanadhil] good.

[Sanadhil] But it can't hurt to have insurance.

  • Sanadhil will kiss her
  • Dozilva smiles.

[Sanadhil] . o O ( good, I think? )

[Dozilva] Here... on the table.

  • Dozilva suggests playfully..
  • Sanadhil pushes aways the teapot
  • Dozilva lets your robe fall to the floor.
  • Sanadhil pulls off his tunic.... etc?

[Dozilva] (indeed, etc.)

---Saandhil and Ilphere===

  • Sanadhil will send Ilphere a note, once Dozilva has left (@_@), saying that her has information for her, and to contact him at her leisure
  • Ilphere will arrange to meet Sanadhil...

[Sanadhil] (Society, castalia, or home, your choice :D)

[Ilphere] ... at the palace?

[Sanadhil] (ooOOoo)

  • Sanadhil wonders if he will need a wardrobe upgrade ;p
  • Sanadhil will go to meet her, in any case
  • Ilphere will shoo away the maids that are packing for her trip.

[Sanadhil] Good afternoon, your highness...

  • Sanadhil says as the last of them scurries off crrying some linens

[Ilphere] Oh Sanadhil, don't call me that...!

  • Sanadhil smiles

[Sanadhil] Only when I have to, Ilphere.

  • Ilphere smiles...

[Sanadhil] How is life at the palace so far?

[Ilphere] Intrusive...!

[Sanadhil] how unfortunate...

[Sanadhil] I can't sday I envy you in that regard.

[Sanadhil] But I trust all is well with Menard?

[Ilphere] ...yes...!

  • Ilphere hesitates just a fraction of a second.
  • Sanadhil raises his eyebrows slightly

[Sanadhil] In any case, while I hope you are enjoying each others company, I have learned of something that You showl be made aware of.

[Ilphere] Is it... to do with what happened?

[Sanadhil] Possibly - what are you speaking of?

[Ilphere] Something happened... at the reception...

[Ilphere] I'm sure you heard Theron...

[Ilphere] There was the sound of the broken wheel... it was *so loud*...!

[Sanadhil] I know that Theron had an....episode, but not the details. we ooked for you, but you have gne off. We weren't certain of the circumstances, but thought it best not to disturb you.

[Ilphere] And I felt... a presence

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Apparently, Seth was a partial witness to a ritual of the inner circle of the order.

[Ilphere] Oh he was, was he...!

[Sanadhil] he was inside the walls of the room where the arch used to be kept, and overheard them summon... well, likely Vrag.

[Ilphere] Inside the walls, of course he was.

[Ilphere] Yes, Vrag.

[Ilphere] I'm sure it was...

[Sanadhil] Alma sensed overwhelmingly stron divination magic on Theorn....

[Ilphere] We likely experienced something similar...

[Sanadhil] I don't know all the details of the ritual - Seth doesn't speak Infernal - though they invoked him using a number of titles

[Ilphere] I would love to speak to him, if I could but get away...

  • Sanadhil will relate them

[Sanadhil] Seth?

[Sanadhil] He seemed to think you may be....displeased with him.

[Ilphere] I am *quite finished* with Seth Argo.

[Ilphere] I was referring to my cousin.

[Sanadhil] Ahh, yes.

[Sanadhil] Of course.

[Sanadhil] Regardless... Vrag, as you know, manifested.

  • Ilphere nods...

[Sanadhil] Given his response, i am quite certain it is the Chancellor that they seek.

[Ilphere] As we suspected...

[Ilphere] Has anyone seen her since...?

[Ilphere] (have I? :V)

[Sanadhil] She was at the reception party after and during Theron's fit.

[Sanadhil] I had hoped to check on her, but could not effectively disengage myself to do so.

[Curtana] (no, you haven't)

[Ilphere] Perhaps I might be able to...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I shoudl tell you the wording, as it seemed significant as well:

[Sanadhil] She was conceived by one reborn, carried by one failed, raised by one chosen. Before her very birth, I spoke to her. Her womb is barren, except for he of whom she dreams, but she bears the light of the stars within her.

[Ilphere] Butler...!

[Sanadhil] Yes, precicely.

[Sanadhil] It causes me to wonder whether it is she alone that they require....

[Sanadhil] And the part about the stars, is important as well.

[Ilphere] Yes... before that all started I saw... sparkling, twinkling... like the stars.

[Sanadhil] Are you familiar at all with Cozovodë beliefs?

[Ilphere] And it was the stars I saw the first time, at the Arch...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ilphere] (K: R)

[Ilphere] (36)

[Curtana] (they don't worship gods, but venerate something called star-substance that they believe is part of themselves (and other living things?)

[Ilphere] Somewhat, yes...

[Sanadhil] The stars... star susbtance... is the power of life

[Sanadhil] All things are made of star substance, but it is what gived, well, sentinece, I suppose, to beings of a higher order

[Sanadhil] It is the sorce of magic, as well

[Sanadhil] (source)

[Sanadhil] Some races have more....

[Sanadhil] That is why elves live longer than humans, for instance.

[Ilphere] Perhaps... a great deal more...?

[Sanadhil] yes.

  • Ilphere nods.

[Sanadhil] Jahrom is..

  • Sanadhil tries to think of how to explain it

[Sanadhil] he was a great teacher, and most of our priests follow his ways

[Sanadhil] he taught that the immortality of the gods is only a facrot of...concentration of this power

[Sanadhil] they have more, and are therefore more powerful

[Ilphere] Fascinating...

[Sanadhil] but they are not in any way inherently *beter*, or worthy of worship, because of it....

[Sanadhil] but they *do* have more.

[Ilphere] This is the part where our dear Alma accuses you of blasphemy...!

[Sanadhil] likely yes...

[Sanadhil] In a sense it renders the statement about the'Chosen one' meaningless

[Sanadhil] unless it is a matter of degree]

[Sanadhil] If they are trying to create some kind of immortal servant...

[Ilphere] Right...

[Sanadhil] That is what it would be..... Someone with more star substance.

[Sanadhil] When the Serpent and the Rat were released, a new constellation appeared.... I have bever quite been able to decide what it meant.

[Ilphere] (I thought that was the rat?)

[Sanadhil] (Well that's what most eople say :V)

[Ilphere] You don't believe it is the rat...?

[Sanadhil] Perhaps.

[Sanadhil] the gods are not stars

[Ilphere] The sound of the broken wheel... it was deafening...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ilphere] It must be set right... but I do not know in what way it is broken...

[Sanadhil] I don't know if we are understanding the relationship between your visions and the Serpent properly

[Sanadhil] do you think he sent you this impression, or that it occurred because his power was manifest locally?

[Ilphere] In this instance, I do not necessarily think that the vision came from Vrag, no.

[Ilphere] It was so strong, though...

[Ilphere] Perhaps it was because of the.. unexpectedness, the circumstances... but... I was frightened...

  • Ilphere admits.

[Sanadhil] I think that is a quite reasonable reaction.

[Sanadhil] To be a thrall to such awesome powers is not something I envy.

  • Ilphere sighs...
  • Sanadhil offers a sympathetic look

[Ilphere] It will be more than a fortnight before I will be able to speak to Theron, unless I can get away in the next day or so...

[Sanadhil] you could write him?

[Ilphere] I suppose... but it is easy to ignore a note, harder to ignore ... a princess, I suppose.

[Sanadhil] indeed

[Sanadhil] it would be better than nothing, I expect

  • Ilphere nods... "I will send something, at least."

[Sanadhil] very well.

[Sanadhil] I hope you will have a lovely time away, in any case

  • Sanadhil smiles.

[Ilphere] Thank you... !

[Sanadhil] I should let you return to your packing.

[Ilphere] You will have to update me when I return... I fear I will miss a great deal..!

[Sanadhil] Your insights will be missed, as well as your company.

[Ilphere] And yours as well... :)

[Ilphere] We will speak again as soon as I get back!

  • Ilphere promises.

[Sanadhil] of course.

  • Sanadhil will give a little bow and take his leave

Dominik and Ysabeau

  • Dominik trudges through the cold streets to Ysabeau's home on the day after the weddings.
  • Ysabeau and Murienne slept in and are having a late breakfast.
  • Dominik knocks at the door and waits

[Ysabeau] (We're in the apartment by now so... you know where that is because you helped us move... but it's small, much smaller than the house that Verity had provided)

  • Ysabeau goes to answer it in a day dress of cotton, with a white pinafore overtop from her cooking efforts.
  • Ysabeau 's hair is loose and down, at the moment. It is so long and pretty!

[Ysabeau] Oh... good morning, Dom.

[Dominik] Morning

[Ysabeau] We were just having breakfast. Would you like some? And how is your brother?

  • Ysabeau moves aside to let him in.

[Dominik] My brother seems to be fine for now.

[Dominik] No food for me thank-you

  • Murienne quietly gets up and starts clearing off the table, taking the dishes into the kitchen.

[Ysabeau] May I take your coat?

[Dominik] I left rather abruptly last night without getting a chance to speak with you.

  • Ysabeau offers politely.

[Dominik] Sure

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Indeed.

  • Dominik takes off the long coat he is wearing
  • Ysabeau takes it and hangs it someplace near the woodstove to warm it up.

[Ysabeau] So, what did you want to talk about?

[Dominik] I was in... a foul mood yesterday.

  • Ysabeau nods.
  • Ysabeau settles on a chair, arranging her skirts about her.

[Dominik] I let my anger lash out and you got caught in it. It wasn't right and you did nothing to deserve it.

  • Ysabeau waits.

[Dominik] I am sorry for what I said to you.

[Ysabeau] (SM - truth?)

[Ysabeau] (21)

[Dominik] (no attempt to disuade or conceal the truth)

  • Ysabeau smiles, a somewhat pained smile.

[Ysabeau] Very well. I accept your apology, Dominik.

[Dominik] I'm glad.

[Dominik] I should go.

[Ysabeau] That isn't necessary.

[Ysabeau] I'm sure you weren't really thinking about what you said...

  • Dominik pauses

[Ysabeau] I need to clarify something with you, too, Dominik.

[Dominik] yes?

[Ysabeau] When I said you need to let things go, I didn't mean your material things. The things, which you pointed out, that I didn't have.

[Ysabeau] What I let go of, what you need to let go of, are the anger, the hurt, the pain. You said you didn't want to end up like the Dom in the dream.

[Ysabeau] Well, if you continue this cycle of hurting your family and being hurt back, that's exactly how you'll end up.

[Ysabeau] You need to forgive your mother, Dominik.

[Ysabeau] You need to tell her you forgive her. You might never understand why she made the choices she made; you don't need to.

[Ysabeau] You just need to forgive.

  • Ysabeau is deadly serious.

[Dominik] I really did not want to talk about this.

[Ysabeau] Too bad. It's something you need to hear, if you're serious about not wanting to end up like that other Dom, consumed by anger.

[Ysabeau] I don't want you to end up that way, Dominik.

  • Ysabeau tucks a long curly strand of hair behind her ear.
  • Dominik stands in silence lost in his own conflicted emotions
  • Ysabeau watches him, hoping he'll see reason.

[Dominik] I have to go

  • Dominik picks up his coat
  • Ysabeau looks sad.

[Dominik] You talk with such love in your heart... I don't want to hurt you or bring you down with my hurt and anger.

[Dominik] I've heard what you've said.

[Dominik] I will think on it.

  • Ysabeau stands up.

[Ysabeau] That's all I can ask for.

  • Ysabeau helps you with your coat, a touchingly domestic gesture.

[Ysabeau] When will I see you next?

[Dominik] I don't really know.

  • Ysabeau pulls you down for a kiss.

[Ysabeau] Well, I'm busy with the opera for a few nights yet, anyway.

  • Dominik kisses her back

[Ysabeau] Please take care of yourself, Dominik.

[Dominik] You too

  • Dominik will leave
  • Ysabeau goes to finish her now-cold breakfast, then help Murienne tidy up the dishes.

Alma and Sanadhil

  • Alma will arrive by carriage, sans Danyel.
  • Sanadhil is already tere, reading in the library
  • Alma will peek through the rooms to see if you're already here.

[Alma] Ah, good afternoon M. Orecalo.

  • Sanadhil nods and closes the book he was looking through

[Sanadhil] good afternoon

[Alma] I believe the Blue Room is empty.

[Sanadhil] very well.

  • Sanadhil stands
  • Sanadhil will accompany you in that direction
  • Alma closes the door behind us.

[Sanadhil] Have you had an opportunity to meet with the Lord Marshal?

[Alma] Not exactly. We talked briefly while dancing, but it seemed an inopportune time to get into ...all this.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I think it is imperative that you do, as soon as you can.

[Alma] Why the sudden urgency?

[Sanadhil] Mr. Argo witnessed... in a sense... something the evening of the wedding

  • Sanadhil will give you the general run down.... chanting, woman who was probably Phedre, etc, invocations, summoning of vrag...
  • Alma takes ahold of the wheel hanging from her neck...

[Sanadhil] He told them who they are looking for - I'm sure it is the Chancellor, now

[Sanadhil] "She was conceived by one reborn, carried by one failed, raised by one chosen. Before her very birth, I spoke to her. Her womb is barren, except for he of whom she dreams, but she bears the light of the stars within her."

[Sanadhil] The dream experience suggests that it could be referring to the Lord marshal...

[Alma] Because he dreamt of her?

[Sanadhil] yes....

[Sanadhil] Both of their mothers passed through the arch while they were pregnant

[Alma] What do you make of "one reborn"?

[Sanadhil] that I'm not certain of.

[Sanadhil] You're all reborn, in some sense.

[Sanadhil] but 'one' in both other cases refers to emperors, or imperial candidates

[Sanadhil] perhaps the father was a direct reincarnation of one?

[Alma] Perhaps...

[Sanadhil] Mr. Argo seemed to think it might refer to Martan Kizer... but that seems incredibly tenuous to me.

[Sanadhil] I think he is perhaps a bit fixated.

[Alma] Short of beseeching the help of the Gods, there is no real way to determine who a person was in past lives...

[Alma] And there is some indication that Martan Olivier may not be Martan Kizer reborn.

[Sanadhil] Precisely.

  • Alma looks pensive.

[Alma] Wouldn't it be more effective to ask the Chancellor if she herself dreams of Butler Belden?

[Sanadhil] she is more difficult to access.

[Sanadhil] she's busy, and anti-social.

[Sanadhil] Mlle.... I mean Mme Kizer may have the best opportunity, and I'm sure she will attempt it when she can

[Alma] Confirming the Lord Marshall's dreams would not truly confirm anything... unless you're suggesting we see if he will speak with her.

[Sanadhil] No....

[Sanadhil] Knowing if they have any kind of connection is important, Countess.

[Sanadhil] we know they are seeking her...

[Alma] It seems sensible then, to inform him that she might be in danger.

[Sanadhil] we don't if it is *her* they need, or possibly her issue?

[Sanadhil] I think it is better not to draw them together at this point.

[Alma] Let's... imagine for a moment that Vrag wants them to consummate some sort of relationship... surely the best way to avoid that is to inform them of its danger.

[Alma] What if they are already wooing?

  • Sanadhil shakes his head

[Alma] As the Lord Marshall, he will learn of this eventually, surely being forewarned is forearmed.

[Sanadhil] possibly...

[Alma] He is Ser Danyel's superior, and would very likely be informed by the Reverend Father.

  • Sanadhil thinks

[Sanadhil] you may be right, but it would be better if we could learn 8something* of the dreams first

[Alma] Perhaps...

[Alma] .oO( Maybe I can discreetly ask him if he knows her ^_^ )

[Sanadhil] It will be a matter of judgement, at that point.

[Alma] I wish we could have seen who was within the chamber of the under Arch.

[Sanadhil] it is possible they know each other - they are similar in age, and their parents may have been somewhat friendly

[Sanadhil] indeed...

[Sanadhil] Mrs Lozada Boyne and her daughter for certain, but i couldn't say for the others.

  • Sanadhil frowns
  • Alma thinks again...

[Sanadhil] Still, the fact that her husband was absent....

[Sanadhil] I had no opportunity to speak to her, either

[Alma] It's possible that with a potion of Major Image, Seth could duplicate the voices in attendance.

[Alma] You said he did not think the man's voice belonged to Earric?

[Sanadhil] possibly, but unless they are voices we know, it may not be incredibly helpful.

[Sanadhil] No, it was too young

[Alma] True, but the illusion could be recreated for a group, and if we recall it, it may help us if we meet them later.

[Sanadhil] That's an expensive if, and would require a very precise recall on M. Argo's part

  • Sanadhil sounds....dubious.

[Alma] It would be worth asking M. Argo if he thinks he is capable.

  • Sanadhil nods.

[Alma] I will leave that to you, then?

[Sanadhil] if I can find him, certainly..

[Alma] If you have trouble, I can attempt to send him a message... :|

[Sanadhil] Magically?

[Alma] Yes.

[Sanadhil] I'll keep that in mind

  • Sanadhil smiles

[Alma] Sending works across the entire plane, or beyond.

[Sanadhil] I think that should be sufficient.

[Sanadhil] I'm hoping he is still keeping a more mundane address.

[Alma] I am wondering whether we should speak to Theron Rademacher regarding what he may have seen during the divination that overcame him.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Alma] (Did you mention that Ilphere also experienced it?)

[Sanadhil] his brother may have the best shot at that, though Mme Kizer was planning to write him

[Sanadhil] She had a similar experience....

[Alma] I see. That explains her early departure...

[Sanadhil] the deafening sound of a wheel that could not turn properly.

[Sanadhil] indeed

  • Alma looks uncomfortable.

[Alma] .oO( The implications... )

[Sanadhil] she said that she felt an overwhelming presence also

[Alma] Could she determine its nature?

[Sanadhil] No, I think the experience was too overwhelming, though she believes it may have been Vrag.

[Alma] I will look into what possibilities there are to defend against such an event... M. Rademacher may appreciate such a thing.

[Sanadhil] I'm sure he would, I understand that is his primary concern at this point

[Alma] It must be awful...

[Alma] I trust the Princess is more prepared for such things.

[Sanadhil] more mentally

[Alma] Indeed.

[Sanadhil] but I think it was unpleasant, at least.

[Alma] If I find out anything that might be effective, I'll make sure she learns, should she decide to give up the potential revelations.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I expect there are times that she would prefer not to be disturbed by them.... her wedding night being a prime example.

[Alma] Two terrible disruptions...

[Alma] Did she enjoy herself nonetheless?

[Sanadhil] I hope so!

[Sanadhil] she seemed in good spirits when I spoke to her.

[Alma] Well, it is good it does not weigh too heavy on her.

[Alma] Well... I myself have no come into any new information about this affair. If that is everything, I should probably go and see to arranging a few meetings.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] If anything comes of them, please let me know.

[Alma] I will.

  • Alma stands and goesto leave

[Sanadhil] and if you see any of the others, they should likely be informed as well.

[Alma] I will likely speak with Mlle. Chanuier in the near future, I will tell her of the events of the wedding night.

[Alma] If you haven't already.

[Alma] Have a good evening, M. Orecalo.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] You as well, Countess

Alma and Rab

  • Alma has asked to meet Rab, via Vianca, offering to meet him, or host him for a meal.
  • Rab will agree to come to your home for a midday meal, say.
  • Rab arrives punctually.
  • Alma will have Sagesse prepare something lovely, or hire someone to cater _

[Rab] Good day, Sister.

  • Alma answers the door herself.

[Alma] Good day, Mr. Belden!

  • Rab smiles.

[Alma] It's an honour to have you :)

[Rab] I haven't been called that for so long, it sounds strange to my ears now.

[Rab] You have a lovely home.

  • Rab admires.

[Alma] Thank you. :)

  • Alma will lead him into the room where we'll be taking our lunch.
  • Rab follows.

[Alma] Sagesse has made a lovely lunch for us.

  • Alma will take a seat as Rab does.

[Rab] I'm sure it will be wonderful.

  • Rab has a seat.
  • Alma will call Sagesse in and offer Rab the standard meal bits, drink etc.

[Alma] May I ask whereabouts you've been traveling lately?

[Rab] Most recently, the Chalcedon mountains... I stayed for a few years in a village on the Sarande side of the border.

[Alma] Do you... generally perform the same occupation in new places?

[Rab] Occupation?

[Rab] I try to blend in, I suppose.

[Alma] Yes, as a career?

[Rab] I don't know that I have a career, as such :)

[Rab] I hunt, or farm, or do what needs doing.

[Alma] I don't know what I'd do with myself if I didn't have something to do every day...

[Rab] Eventually, that need runs out.

[Rab] But things arise in my path, and I manage.

[Alma] I think Sister Biatrix would agree, but I can't imagine it... things that need doing never go away.

[Rab] No, that's certainly true.

[Alma] Would you mind if I asked a few questions about... well, the Seventh?

[Alma] I understand, of course, if some you won't be comfortable answering...

[Rab] I'll answer as much as I'm able. You must understand that there are some things I may not be free to discuss.

[Alma] I'm just so awfully curious...

  • Rab smiles.
  • Alma seems a little excited actually.

[Rab] Go ahead, please :)

[Alma] Do you know what your past lives were like?

[Rab] Yes, I do, to a certain extent. The details become blurred over time...

[Alma] Are the more recent lives clearer?

[Alma] Or do you recall your most ancient as well?

[Rab] I recall them all - I think perhaps I recalled them more clearly when I first began this life, but perhaps that's just my imagination.

[Alma] Perhaps it is just as we forget things over time...

  • Rab nods.

[Alma] Only so much more to fill the mind?

[Rab] The important things remain - I think.

  • Rab says with a slight smile.

[Rab] Loves... family... children being born... heartbreak... deaths...

  • Alma nods solemnly after a mouthful of food.

[Alma] Perhaps after so much living, I can see the desire to escape to a small village and spend your time hunting.

[Rab] Oh, living in a small village isn't an escape.

[Rab] There are as many problems there as anywhere else.

[Alma] Fewer distractions at least?

[Rab] Sometimes.

[Alma] You said that you are not... assigned a purpose?

[Alma] Do the Gods ever call on you, or do you follow your heart?

[Rab] We are not... though there have been times when a few of us have worked together for what we sense is an important goal.

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] Inscrutable even to you, then?

[Alma] :)

[Rab] If that sense is assigned to us, gifted to us somehow, then we are no different than any other mortals - hasn't everyone felt from time to time that they were in a particular place or met a particular person for a reason?

[Alma] It feels somehow like cheating to ask you questions, when everyone relies on less concrete signs of the Gods, but I know I can't help myself.

[Rab] I don't speak for the gods :)

[Alma] I know, but still... you are something else, beyond the Almas Genara, and the sermons...

[Alma] I feel very lucky to have one more thing to rely on.

[Rab] Well, I'm glad to be able to ... reassure you?

[Alma] Sorry... I'm... gushing...

  • Alma looks embarrassed.

[Rab] Don't worry, please.

  • Alma will call Sagesse in for the next dish.

[Alma] I'm curious about something. I have had this ... ability since I was a girl.

  • Alma tells Rab about her object reading.

[Rab] Hm...

[Rab] I've not heard of anything like that, but...

[Alma] Would you be comfortable if I ... saw what it tells me about you?

[Alma] I understand if it might be a little much...

[Rab] If you wish.

[Alma] .oO( Eeeee )

[Rab] Each of the Seventh has a ... a particular gift, I suppose you could say.

[Alma] When I was young and excitable, I used to wonder if it might be a gift like that.

[Rab] From the gods?

[Alma] Yes.

[Rab] I don't see why it shouldn't be.

[Alma] I can't tell one way or the other though, so I don't dwell on it.

[Alma] It's a fun trick at parties... or to find out if someone is a succubus...

[Rab] That's very sensible.

[Rab] o_O

[Alma] Oh... sorry, the Order of the Black Down... Earric Boyne...

[Alma] M. Orecalo acquired an item of his, and I was able to confirm his nature.

[Rab] Ah yes... I've heard some about that. Very puzzling..

[Alma] He is over three thousand years old :o

[Alma] Well, I can examine anything that belongs to you.

[Rab] Remarkable... though I suppose he's probably spent much of that time on other planes?

[Rab] Oh, yes, certainly.

[Alma] I assume so. And perhaps there could be some ... time difference in the planes. Perhaps most of those years occurred within a fraction of that time on this Prime Material plane.

  • Rab will hand you over a ring, quite plain.

[Rab] It could be.

  • Alma closes her eyes for a moment.

[Rab] (race: Seventh, age: 103 [maybe? may change that if I check old logs and find something else ;], house: none, gained: gift from wife, hasn't lost it)

[Alma] A gift from Matriarch Pasith?

[Alma] Or...

[Rab] Yes.

[Alma] I can also tell you are not ... human exactly, I feel that you are Seventh... no House... and more than a hundred years old.

[Alma] Thank you. :)

  • Alma will hand the ring back.

[Rab] That sounds about right :)

  • Rab takes it back and puts it on.

[Alma] It is interesting... experiencing what it's like to read new objects...

[Alma] I had the opportunity to examine some Shadar-kai possessions from the Shadow Plane as well...

[Rab] It must be...

[Rab] Oh, how fascinating :)

[Alma] And the difference between objects owned by those within the church, or those without, such as M. Orecalo.

[Alma] The Houseless, for example, are different.

[Rab] What differences do you sense?

[Alma] Well, there is a difference between having No house, and being Houseless.

[Alma] I believe that fits what Matriarch Pasith has taught us.

[Rab] That makes sense.

[Alma] As well, when someone undergoes rites to take on a new House, I can feel the change.

  • Rab nods.

[Alma] Well, there you go... my little novelty :)

[Rab] Well, you probably won't be surprised to learn that I agreed with Pasith's decisions as concerns Houses :)

[Alma] The idea of people, forced to live outside society and the Church...

[Alma] The Empire made great strides towards remedying that, in her time.

[Alma] The Houseless, and House Rat...

  • Rab nods.

[Alma] Have you visited with the Lord Marshall?

[Rab] ...

[Alma] .oO( Oh no D: )

[Rab] I... the situation is difficult, I'm afraid.

[Alma] I'm sorry, I should have known better...

[Rab] No, no, it's all right.

[Rab] When I left, it was very difficult for him.

[Rab] Even though Pasith and I agreed it was for the best, Butler was still hurt.

[Alma] Was he young then?

[Rab] Just past the age of adulthood - which is still fairly young.

[Rab] I did visit, after that, when I could, but...

[Alma] I'm sorry to hear that.

[Rab] Well... in an environment where one's work colleagues can - and do - cast True Seeing, it was growing more difficult for me to pass unnoticed as her husband.

[Alma] I would not have imagined it would reveal anything...

[Alma] Oh

[Alma] Of course.

[Alma] The appearance of aging.

[Rab] It would reveal that I still looked twenty.

[Rab] Which is the sort of thing that tends to make people suspicious, for some reason.

[Alma] Yes, I expect so... though I have no idea how Earric Boyne has managed not to be seen...

[Rab] What does he look like, in his true form?

[Rab] I've not encountered a succubus before.

[Alma] I'm not entirely sure... in the dream version of the city, he had red skin, horns and wings (etc.)

[Alma] That might have been an affectation as well, but I think it is close to what they are said to look like.

[Rab] Hm.. well, I agree, I would think someone would have noticed that.

[Rab] But except the wings, he could pass for human, perhaps? if not examined too closely?

[Alma] Both he-not that he is of either sex-and Phedre hide their moral nature. It is blocked from my ability...

  • Rab nods.

[Rab] Not surprised there.

[Alma] I was admittedly hoping that arcane and divine magics would not defend against ME...

  • Rab smiles.

[Rab] Alas.

[Alma] You lived six lives, before you were reborn last?

[Rab] That's correct.

[Alma] Has Ms. Belden ever mentioned a girl named Lora?

[Alma] Benalda Grenrake is working with her... she claims to have recall of her former lives.

[Rab] Yes, Vianca's told me about her.

[Rab] There is something about that girl, certainly...

[Alma] I was curious to see if I could corroborate anything she says... to see if I could tie an object from her past to one of her remembered lives...

[Alma] She recalls five previous lives, I believe.

[Rab] Yes... quite interesting.

[Rab] I wonder...

[Rab] well.

[Alma] She directed me to a house she believes she once inhabited... however I didn't really think I could get away with sneaking up to it and touching it for a few minutes.

[Alma] -_-

  • Rab chuckles at that.

[Rab] You could pretend to be mistaken about an address, perhaps?

[Alma] I'm not sure I could bluff my way out of that embarrassing scene -_-

[Alma] Though I do wonder if it might be good for Lora, if her memories are correct, to be confirmed.

[Rab] Indeed.

[Alma] Perhaps a project for a day when I am feeling adventurous.

[Rab] :)

  • Alma calls in the dessert!

[Alma] Did the Seventh know about Rat and Vrag, before?

[Rab] That's difficult to say - I don't think all of us came into the world knowing about them, but some of us may have learned about them?

[Rab] I learned along with Pasith, but then, I was very young. Still am, really.

[Alma] It's so strange... a whole House under the city, and now a God that is an enemy...

[Alma] The Cozovode do not seem to have any, and I don't think any of the other races beyond the Empire have them...

[Rab] I haven't journeyed beyond the Empire, but there are those of us who have. They would certainly know more than I would about such things.

[Alma] I'll ask Sister Biatrix if she will ask her mother, then :)

[Alma] I just hope we figure out what to do.

  • Rab nods.

[Rab] It's my understanding there are only a few others of us in the city at the moment, but I've put out feelers to locate those that I can.

[Alma] Oh? Are there always a few?

[Rab] I suspect so. In a place this size, I suppose it's inevitable.

[Alma] Very true.

[Alma] Well, we would appreciate all the help we can get...

[Alma] I can't bear the idea of Vrag being here, awake in the Empire... I saw what his cult was like in the dream city...

  • Rab nods slowly.

[Rab] Although I think that many of the trappings of worship are created as much by - and for - the worshippers as the gods.

[Alma] I can't believe that the Gods would allow such degrading worship... human sacrifice?

[Rab] ...The gods allowed the Empire, for centuries, to treat the Houseless with contempt and worse.

  • Alma sighs

[Rab] I'm not comparing that to human sacrifice.

[Rab] But ... the gods give us free will. Sometimes, inevitably, that will be... abused.

[Rab] It's so rare for them to intervene.

[Alma] How can we know then... what if it was the Shadar-kai who twisted Vrag's cult into what it was before the Empire?

[Rab] I don't know if we can know.

[Rab] But I would be willing to entertain the possibility that this god is, in nature, the same as the others.

[Alma] So do we continue on opposing Vrag?

[Rab] Sister... I don't know what you should do. What I've chosen to do is to oppose evil I can understand.

[Rab] The evil that humans do to one another.

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] It is hard to separate opposing worshippers from opposing the God.

[Rab] I'm sorry.

[Alma] Don't be.

[Rab] I only wish I had more answers for you.

[Alma] I value the perspective you've given me.

[Rab] I wish I understood more of what was going on myself.

[Rab] Mataline would know, surely.

[Alma] I just wish it was the easy kind.

  • Rab says a bit wistfully.

[Alma] I ... well I imagine you try to have defenses against this sort of thing, but if you ever need for me to Scry someone, I have a font here, and I am at your service.

[Rab] Thank you, I appreciate the offer.

[Rab] And thank you as well for the wonderful meal. My compliments to Sagesse :)

[Alma] You are very welcome. It was a true pleasure.

[Alma] I did just think of another question...

[Rab] Yes?

[Alma] Are all Seventh good at heart?

  • Rab smiles.
  • Alma is a little anxious to hear the negative.

[Rab] I have not met all Seventh. But all of those I have, I believe have worked toward doing good in the world.

  • Alma smiles in relief.

[Alma] I just ... thought perhaps there might be some out there working against our goals... and that wasn't an idea I cherished.

  • Rab nods.

[Rab] Nor I.

[Rab] There are enough entities that work for evil, we don't need another.

[Alma] Indeed.

  • Alma will see Rab to the door.

[Rab] Thank you again, Sister. I hope we'll have the chance to speak again.

[Alma] I would love to. :)

  • Rab smiles and departs.
  • Alma closes the door behind him and stands, holding her silver Wheel. .oO( Owl, may you see fit to bring Rab and his son together again in harmony. )

[Rab] (aww)

Alma and Ysabeau

  • Alma has invited you to tea in the afternoon, to talk about the Society, etc.
  • Ysabeau dresses nicely in a deep burgundy with little flower sprigs print cotton dress.
  • Ysabeau shows up punctually as usual.
  • Ysabeau is shown in to you by one of your people.
  • Alma is dressed in her typical robes when Sagesse brings you in.

[Ysabeau] Good afternoon, Sister.

[Alma] Good afternoon, Ysabeau :)

[Alma] How has the day been treating you?

[Ysabeau] Well, thank you. And how has your day been?

[Alma] Pleasantly uneventful. I've just returned from services at the Nine Elms.

[Alma] I think Sagesse has prepared a light snack to go with our tea.

[Ysabeau] Oh, you're too sweet, Sagesse.

  • Ysabeau smiles at her.

[Alma] How has Murienne been?

[Ysabeau] Well, thank you. She enjoyed herself very much at the wedding.

[Ysabeau] Thank you ever so much for keeping an eye out for her.

[Ysabeau] As it turned out I had little to worry about.

[Ysabeau] I *am* a bit overprotective, I suppose.

  • Ysabeau smiles dryly.

[Alma] Well, there are quite a few rogues who attend such functions, I don't blame you for being concerned.

  • Ysabeau grins.

[Alma] It seemed to go well, all things considering...

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Have you heard anything further about the attack on His Majesty?

[Alma] I haven't heard anything except what was in the papers, that it was suspected to be a Leveller, who is in custody.

  • Ysabeau sighs.

[Ysabeau] Those Levellers are too extreme.

[Ysabeau] That sort of publicity won't help their cause at all.

[Ysabeau] I suppose it's possible that it wasn't *actually* a Leveller, but that the palace is framing them in order to consolidate power with the elite.

[Ysabeau] The way most of them want it...

[Alma] Well, it's possible that it is precisely the type of publicity some of them want.

[Alma] Why else commit such a foolish act?

[Alma] I mean, magic missiles?

[Ysabeau] I should hope it was a random act by some overzealous member of that group, but then you'd think the rest would be quick to point that out in the papers.

[Ysabeau] I don't know what they're thinking.

[Ysabeau] Nothing particularly clever, at any rate.

[Alma] I'm not sure the Levellers are particularly... centralised, I suppose?

[Alma] Who would make such a proclamation?

[Alma] Mr. Olivier is now Lord Treasurer.

[Ysabeau] They have other leaders.

[Ysabeau] No body can exist without a head.

[Alma] Perhaps there is no proper leadership?

[Alma] I honestly don't know how they function.

[Ysabeau] I think there must be - how else do they coordinate their rallies, Sister?

[Alma] Word of mouth perhaps?

[Ysabeau] I don't think that would be enough.

[Alma] All it takes is a few charismatic busybodies to call a gathering, true leadership is something else.

[Ysabeau] Perhaps.

[Ysabeau] So how is Ser Danyel?

  • Ysabeau smiles, changing the subject.

[Alma] He is well, we had a good time at the wedding, all things considered.

[Ysabeau] Good. :)

[Alma] Have you yet heard of what happened during the party?

[Ysabeau] No - what happened?

[Ysabeau] Aside from Theron having visions.

[Alma] Well, the force also affected Her Highness, which is why she and His Highness retired early.

[Ysabeau] I had wondered but I didn't know for sure.

[Alma] Also, Mr. Argo was witness to some sort of rite in the chamber of the under-Arch.

[Ysabeau] Really? :o

[Ysabeau] Cultists?

[Alma] Yes... Phedre Lozada-Boyne and a group invoked Vrag to reveal more information about who they are looking for.

  • Alma will describe it as Sanadhil explained.
  • Ysabeau listens carefully but doesn't have much to say about everything you tell her; she does look concerned, though.

[Ysabeau] Thanks for telling me, Sister.

[Alma] Well, you're a part of all this, at least as much as you want to be.

  • Alma sighs.

[Alma] I'm planning to look into how we might prevent this from affecting Theron or Ilphere again.

[Ysabeau] If you think that's wise...

[Ysabeau] I know it's awful for them but it seems they have access to knowledge that the rest of us do not.

[Alma] I hear Mr. Rademacher is overwhelmed by it...

[Alma] He should at least have the option, if we can give it to him.

[Ysabeau] I don't really know; I only met him once, briefly.

[Ysabeau] I know little of Dom's family, really, except that they don't seem very happy, any of them.

[Alma] Well, I've spoken with his companion, and M. Orecalo implies the same.

[Ysabeau] His companion?

  • Ysabeau looks puzzled.

[Alma] Yes... Taralynne Pine.

[Ysabeau] Ah, yes. :)

[Ysabeau] They're still together, are they? Interesting.

[Alma] Yes...

[Alma] M. Orecalo says that Mme. Kizer will be in touch with him about what he saw that night.

[Alma] He thought you would know more about his previous visions?

[Ysabeau] I know a little...

[Ysabeau] Not much.

[Alma] Could you tell me about them?

[Ysabeau] He kept notes, and Dom got them to pass along to Ilphere. We talked about them a little, that's all.

[Ysabeau] What do you want to know?

[Alma] Well, anything might be important.

[Ysabeau] I only remember a few things.

[Ysabeau] There was a gorgon - I think it might have been Phedre with snakes for hair? I don't remember if that was the context, just that there was a gorgon.

[Ysabeau] A smith in a white robe pounding out a wheel.

[Ysabeau] I think that was probably the Rademacher Patriarch who forged the Way of the Wheel.

  • Alma pulls a small notebook from her robes to write this down.

[Ysabeau] An arch buried in sand.

[Ysabeau] He got an injury to his forehead on one, too - like Ilphere did.

[Ysabeau] I think that might symbolize the opening of their third eye.

[Ysabeau] But it happened to them in different ways.

[Ysabeau] Hali pecked a hole in Ilphere...

[Alma] I was not aware Ilphere received an injury during her dream...

[Alma] Third eye?

[Ysabeau] She didn't *actually* get injured.

[Ysabeau] She just dreamt it.

[Alma] Ah, I see.

[Ysabeau] Yes... like a magical eye that sees things regular eyes can't?

[Ysabeau] It appears often in stories and folkatles.

  • Alma nods.

[Ysabeau] I just figured it sort of symbolized the way they get their visions.

[Ysabeau] I don't remember how Theron got his injury in his vision. I think it had something to do with a snake.

[Ysabeau] I don't remember, though.

[Ysabeau] You should probably ask Dom and Ilphere; they have the notes still.

[Ysabeau] There was something about Ilphere with tentacles for her arms, too.

[Alma] :/

[Ysabeau] That was interesting because it predated our trip into the Queen's dream... predated Pheria.

[Ysabeau] Theron was jotting down the days that he had the visions but I don't remember that much detail.

[Ysabeau] That's about all I can remember, Sister.

[Alma] Thank you.

  • Alma sighs

[Ysabeau] What is wrong, Sister?

[Alma] Oh, nothing exactly. Just all... this.

[Alma] (Does Ysabeau know that Earric is a succubus for-sure now?)

[Ysabeau] (Yes, you told her that at the wedding)

[Ysabeau] Yeah... :/

[Alma] I had a lovely visit with Rab a few days ago.

[Ysabeau] Oh, you did?

[Ysabeau] You guys, always rubbing elbows with interesting folk.

[Alma] Yes, I had him over for lunch

[Alma] Well, I just had to...

[Alma] I had so many questions, I'm sure I'll have more again in time.

[Ysabeau] I wouldn't know what to ask him...

[Alma] I even got the opportunity to try my power on his ring :)

[Ysabeau] Oh? How did that work out?

[Alma] It worked! He's over a hundred!

[Ysabeau] Interesting!

[Ysabeau] I wonder how you get chosen to be a Seventh?

[Alma] I don't even think HE knows..

[Ysabeau] I wonder if they know anything about what happens... in between.

[Ysabeau] I miss my parents so much...

[Ysabeau] But asking about them probably wouldn't help; he probably wouldn't know anything.

  • Alma will place her hand on yours across the table supportively

[Alma] I think he remembers the same as we saw after Pheria's death...

[Alma] Your parents may already be living their new lives in the cycle.

[Alma] Or perhaps they have already made their way to the Centre... as Mr. Belden described the other day.

  • Ysabeau shrugs and shakes her head.

[Ysabeau] There's no sense dwelling on it, anyway.

[Ysabeau] . o O (They'd be so ashamed of me.)

  • Alma rolls [ 1d20+16 ] getting [ 3 ] which, after the modifier [ 16 ] totals [ 19 ]

[Alma] (nm, ahaha)

[Alma] Well, sometimes there is sense in taking the time to think, and remember.

[Alma] Even grieve again.

  • Alma looks at you.
  • Alma looks concerned for you, and is perhaps trying to read you.
  • Ysabeau half-smiles.

[Ysabeau] I've just been thinking about them lately. Since the wedding, I guess.

[Alma] Do you have other family in the city, or just Murienne?

  • Ysabeau laughs.

[Ysabeau] Funny that you should ask...

[Alma] Oh?

[Ysabeau] I was just talking about that with Martan Olivier while we danced.

[Ysabeau] I don't remember ever meeting any relatives.

[Ysabeau] I only know of my parents. And I don't remember where my parents were originally from, either... if I ever knew.

[Alma] That's a shame.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] It is.

[Alma] Perhaps you should have someone look into it?

[Ysabeau] Who? How?

[Ysabeau] I sort of thought of asking Martan if they keep records of people coming and going in Greywatch...

[Ysabeau] But I don't know if I'll ever have the chance.

[Ysabeau] I doubt we'll run into one another ever again, even though I told him it would be nice to hear about what Greywatch is like now.

[Alma] You could hire someone to look into this for you. They could look here in the city, and travel if need be. It might be expensive, but I hear the composition you wrote is selling.

[Ysabeau] ...

  • Ysabeau coughs.

[Ysabeau] That's a stolen version, actually.

  • Ysabeau looks kind of angry.

[Alma] Pardon me?

[Ysabeau] I don't get anything from it.

[Alma] Really? :o

[Ysabeau] Someone either got their hands on my sheet music somehow, or remembered the tune well enough to jot most of it down on paper.

[Ysabeau] And now that someone is selling it, but I wasn't approached about it.

[Alma] How rotten!

[Ysabeau] And I don't approve. I got a copy of it myself once I read that in the papers and there are a lot of mistakes.

[Alma] Is it credited to you?

[Ysabeau] It makes me angry because, first of all, it was mine to begin with, and now they're selling a bad copy of it.

[Ysabeau] Yes, but that bothers me too. Because it isn't right; it's not the way I wrote it. There are errors and they make me look bad.

[Alma] Perhaps there is recourse in the courts, is this an established place that is selling it, or just some back alley shop?

[Alma] Your work caught the attention of His Majesty, it is criminal that you be robbed of its rewards.

[Ysabeau] I'm working on trying to get an authorized version released...

[Ysabeau] But I need to ask Ilphere and Menard if that's okay or not, first...

[Ysabeau] It was their wedding gift and I never had any intention of selling it to the wider public.

[Ysabeau] But I don't want that bad copy going around either because it casts a shadow on my talents, with all those mistakes.

[Alma] I suspect they will likely agree, considering how things have gone. It's no longer "private" in that sense, and there's no better way to correct it.

[Alma] For that matter, how better to take the wind out of the scoundrels' sales than to put out a free version? :)

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I had thought of that, too. :)

[Alma] Perhaps Her Highness could send them a terse letter expressing her disappointment and suggesting they donate the proceeds to a worthy cause :)

[Ysabeau] Oh, possibly.

[Ysabeau] I could ask her whenever I get the chance to bring it up with her at all.

  • Alma nods.

[Ysabeau] But then releasing a free, authorized version would take away from whatever charity...

  • Ysabeau sighs.

[Ysabeau] Oh, I don't know.

[Alma] I meant the retroactive sales.

[Alma] Well, there's a silver lining to this...

[Alma] Your composition was so popular people tried to steal it.

[Alma] :)

[Ysabeau] Hahaha.

  • Ysabeau smiles a bit.

[Ysabeau] I got a commission out of it, too...

[Ysabeau] But I'm not sure how that'll go.

[Alma] What's that called... sophomore nerves?

[Ysabeau] Hmm?

[Ysabeau] I wouldn't know!

  • Ysabeau doesn't seem familiar with that phrase.

[Ysabeau] :)

[Alma] After your first BIG hit, you're worried about meeting expectations? :)

[Ysabeau] Well, it's for the Emperor himself.

[Alma] :o

[Ysabeau] I don't know what the void he'll want me to write for him.

[Alma] Well that's splendid.

[Ysabeau] Excuse my language.

  • Ysabeau blushes a little.

[Alma] I'm not fragile :P

[Alma] Well I'm sure you can look for advice from others who have been commissioned by nobility.

[Ysabeau] No, but you are a woman of the cloth.

[Ysabeau] Perhaps, if I knew any.

[Ysabeau] ;)

[Alma] Oh there must be someone who can put you in touch at the Society, or at the Castalia.

[Alma] I expect the advice goes something like "Do everything you can to do what he says." :P

[Ysabeau] Ugh.

[Ysabeau] M. Orecalo thought I'd have some artistic license.

[Alma] You'll just have to hope he's not too meddlesome.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Alma] You do have an inside influence in the Imperial Family that might be able to tame him if he seems to be headed that direction :P

  • Ysabeau gives you a sidelong look.

[Ysabeau] You really think so...?

  • Ysabeau seems doubtful.

[Ysabeau] Well, was there anything else, Sister?

[Alma] Well, she might be able to convince the Prince to drop a few delicate comments.

[Ysabeau] It's been really lovely but I do have to get home and start supper! It's my turn to cook tonight.

[Alma] ... make him think that it was his idea all along to give you as much leeway as possible :)

[Alma] Of course. It was lovely to have you. :)

  • Alma will get up and see you to the door.
  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] I don't think the Prince has that much influence, either...

[Ysabeau] His grandfather seems to feel that he needs Ilphere to look out for him...

[Ysabeau] Anyway, yes. It was lovely.

[Ysabeau] Thank you so much, Sister. Have a good evening.

  • Alma looks uncomfortable for a moment, but marshalls herself.

[Alma] You too :)

[Ysabeau] (SM?)

[Ysabeau] (you might beat me there... only got 16)

[Alma] (She wasn't focusing on you when the look came and went.)

[Ysabeau] ...

[Ysabeau] Is everything all right, Sister?

  • Ysabeau looks at you with some concern.

[Alma] Pardon? Yes, everything is fine. I just thought about the dream-plane... that's all.

[Ysabeau] Ah, yes.

[Ysabeau] I think of it far too often when it comes to Marl, myself.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] Take care, Sister.

[Alma] You too, Ysabeau.