Diablotin 2 session 5
- Session date:
- Diablotin date:
[Narrator] Fifth-month in Diablotin, and the rains of early summer have begun, covering the city in a warm, soggy haze.
[Narrator] Two weeks have passed since Emperor Marl's coronation, during which time things have settled down, at least slightly.
[Narrator] The dragon that burst from the roof of the Hall of Worthies has not been seen since it seemingly vanished from the sky, leading some to speculate that it was simply an illusion or a summoned creature that subsequently returned to its own native plane.
[Narrator] Surely everything is just FINE now.
[Narrator] Those who were there, however, tend to feel differently. And the fact is plain that several people were killed by the creature, either burned to death or crushed when the dome collapsed, including the Lord Chancellor Adrius Armitage and Guard Captains Deveral Harnage and Amea Tavares.
[Narrator] Despite the chaos, the work of government is proceeding more or less as anticipated. The new Emperor has begun the process of appointing the members of his Inner Council (with the exception of the Patriarch, of course).
[Narrator] Lyra Hartzell is retaining her position as Chief Sorcerer, although there are rumours that she offered to resign. Nestor Dryden is also staying on as Lord Treasurer – the Empire's finances have flourished under his direction.
[Narrator] As Warlord, he has chosen Cornelia Nash, who has served as Guard Captain of the Grand for nearly twenty years. She is not known as a great warrior herself, but as a skilled leader of troops.
[Narrator] He has chosen Yanina Trueblood as his Secretary of State, and Martine Sathin as Chamberlain, both fairly unextraordinary appointments from the noble families of House Wolf.
[Narrator] The biggest surprise thus far has been his choice as Chancellor, Theonée Deverara, eldest daughter of the late Empress Tristane. The Duchess of Combermere has a reputation for eccentricity, and has spent much of her life engrossed in her studies rather than enmeshed in court politics, so few know what to expect from her.
[Narrator] Rumour is also afoot that the Emperor may wed his former rival for the throne, Lavinie Rademacher, but so far it is no more than gossip.
[Narrator] Meanwhile, the Antiquarian Society is resuming its regular weekly meetings, which had been disrupted due to the recent chaos surrounding the election.
[Narrator] Tonight's meeting has drawn a considerable crowd; practically all of the Society's members who are in the city are in attendance, as Vianca Belden, the group's leader, will be speaking this evening.
[Narrator] The hall is crowded but not over-full, and there are enough seats for everyone, fortunately, though it is rather uncomfortably warm, the windows being closed against the rain.
- Vianca steps up to the lectern, a slim woman in her mid-sixties with curly salt-and-pepper hair in a simple coiled braid, wearing a plain dark green dress.
[Vianca] Good evening, everyone, and thank you for coming out in this miserable weather.
- Seth will sit as close to Vereth as possible without arousing suspicion ...
[Vianca] It's customary for speakers to deliver talks related to their recent research, and that is just what I intend to do tonight. I hope it will prove informative, and that you won't be disappointed if my conclusions are necessarily somewhat tentative - this research is still ongoing.
[Vianca] As I'm sure most of you have heard by now, a sapphire necklace that was being stored here for study was stolen from this very hall shortly before the election.
- Ilphere listens with great curiosity...
- Guillame pays close attention
[Narrator] Many eyes stray to Tiphaigne Deverara, who looks recovered from his injuries, if rather embarassed.
- Ysabeau shifts in her seat since she was helping Vianca with the research a bit.
[Vianca] Despite its disappearence, however, I wish to share with you the results of my research into this item, for I believe it must have considerable bearing on recent... noteworthy events.
[Vianca] The necklace was purchased by Mr. Conquaine from a young woman who calls herself Ninon de Quercy. She claimed that it had once belonged to the infamous Noira Langevin, illegitimate daughter of Duke Marcau of Blackhope, who wed the failed candidate for the throne Raimar Langevin and bore him one child before her death in the Blackhope Rebellion.
[Vianca] I believe that this part of the story is likely true. A necklace matching the description of this one was reported stolen by Noira Langevin during the Festival days of 2195. The young guards who dealt with the case were known to me personally, and their names are no doubt familiar to all of you as well - Pasith Belden, Boden of Gouge, Kalman vak Andras, Pavo Arsenios, Loch du Champe, and Tristane Dizon.
[Sanadhil] . o ( who? :p )
[Vianca] My late sister-in-law, Matriarch Pasith, remained suspicious of this case throughout her life, believing that her squad had been manipulated. The necklace was quickly recovered and delivered - by Miss Langevin's request - to a home on the Street of Whispering Leaves.
[Vianca] This house, they eventually came to believe, either belonged to or was a drop-point for Nouel Izaguirre, then head of one of the largest criminal organizations in the city. The precise reasons for this seeming duplicity were never uncovered, and I do not care to speculate on them at this juncture, nor can I absolutely confirm that the necklace was ever in the hands of Mr. Izaguirre.
[Vianca] Miss de Quercy claimed that her grandmother, Tatiane Corriveau, had been given the necklace in her youth by an admirer. Again, I cannot confirm or deny this. What I *can* confirm is that the necklace had an overwhelming aura of evil and very strong magic upon it, namely a Binding spell.
[Vianca] Something or someone, presumably an entity of great evil, was imprisoned within the stone.
[Vianca] The necklace was, as I mentioned at the beginning, stolen from this hall on the night of the 20th of Fourth-month, by two men. Mr. Deverara was present, and was badly injured during the theft, though fortunately he has made a full recovery.
[Vianca] Despite the necklace's disappeance, I continued with my plan to cast Legend Lore upon it, though it took much longer than it would have if I had still had the item in front of me. I also requested that my niece, Reverend Mother Mayne, use her efforts to divine the intentions of those who sought the necklace.
[Vianca] My spell yielded the following results: "The soul-eater's servant, bound against its will by a blessing under flames, is confined within the stone of black hope."
[Vianca] While the Reverend Mother's message was as follows: "The star-crossed seek the key to the serpent's prison, while unknowing silence opens the door."
[Vianca] It seems clear that the being identified as 'the serpent' is to be identified with 'the soul-eater's servant', and the 'prison' with the 'stone of black hope.' I have yet to decipher the meaning of 'a blessing under flames', 'the star-crossed', or 'unknowing silence', though various theories have been bandied about.
[Vianca] The necklace's subsequent movements are currently impossible for me to trace. However, I believe that by the 24th of Fourth-month, that is the day of the election, it had passed into the hands of someone on either the Inner or Outer Council.
[Vianca] The Disenchanter's Stone used during the election process radiates a powerful anti-magic field, one of the few methods of removing a Binding spell.
[Vianca] I cannot say whether the necklace was deliberately brought into the field in order to release the entity, or whether it was an accident. However, it seems safe to say that the dragon-like beast that appeared in the Hall of Worthies would seem to fit the 'serpent' bound within the stone.
[Vianca] I say 'dragon-like' only because the last reputable sighting of a dragon was some fifteen centuries ago, during the reign of Empress Azura.
[Vianca] The description of this creature does not quite match the accounts of dragons that have come down to us, in that its colour fluctuated and, according to my husband (who was much closer to it than he would have preferred), it seemed uninjured by most physical attacks directed against it.
[Vianca] I am uncertain whether its abrupt disappearance was the result of invisibility, teleportation, a return to its native plane or some other cause.
[Vianca] My investigations into this matter are ongoing - if you have any information that could aid in this research, I ask you to come forward or, if there is something you would prefer to share in confidence, please speak to me privately. Thank you.
- Vianca steps down, to much murmuring from the assembled group.
- Alma sits, holding her silver Wheel anxiously.
- Altheo waits to see if there where any questions.
- Ysabeau is a little annoyed but hides it well. All in all her contribution wasn't that important, she guesses.
- Sanadhil leans back in his seat, thiking about Earric's cult
- Alma looks about to see if she can see Medan.
[Ilphere] I wonder if any work is being done on tracking it to its home plane...!
- Ilphere muses aloud.
- Alma will join Ilphere.
- Ysabeau looks around to see if Dominik is here.
- Guillame thinks about what he remembers
- Alma shakes her head... her suspicion over the necklace having been confirmed.
- Dominik is lounging near Ilphere, peering into a small book
[Alma] To think, it was here, in our hands?
[Ilphere] Oh yes... amazing...!
[Alma] I knew I should have taken it to the church...
- Ysabeau has a thought but would rather ask Vianca about it in privacy in case it's stupid.
[Ilphere] Does the necklace still exist, or was it destroyed when the creature was unbound?
- Ilphere wonders.
- Guillame looks around to see who is here, and heads towards Alma and Ilphere
- Ysabeau will get up to sneak a look over Dom's shoulder at what he's reading, if people start getting out of their seats.
- Altheo watchs all the groups curiously.
[Alma] Stripped of magic, it might have been destroyed by the creature
[Guillame] The necklace? I don't remember seeing it afterwards... I'm not certain, though.
[Ilphere] I shall have to ask Vianca...!
[Alma] I wonder what the Emperor will do about this.
[Sanadhil] Is the guard still investigating?
[Guillame] I'm wondering how it got away. It couldn't have gotten out unnoticed just by being invisible - surely there'd have been some sign of it?
[Alma] A creature of such power...
[Sanadhil] I wonder if it is a spell caster
[Guillame] Yes... or any of the other methods Vianca suggested. Invisibility seems unlikely, though.
[Guillame] Knowing the guard, I bet they've dropped it by now.
- Ysabeau steps up behind Dom and looms over his shoulder (well, as much as a girl of 5'3" CAN loom)
- Ysabeau smirks, overhearing Guillaume's remark.
[Alma] They *can't* just drop it.
[Sanadhil] why not?
[Alma] A creature like that, loose in the Empire?
[Alma] You can't just... pretend it left for good.
[Guillame] Maybe not "dropped" then - but maybe somebody's argument about who owns a particular horse or something has taken priority
[Alma] It could be searing up the countryside as we speak.
[Ilphere] Really, what do you expect a bunch of policemen to do about it anyway..!
- Ilphere laughs lightly.
- Ysabeau is paying more attention to the central knot of conversation than Dom's book, now.
[Guillame] Well, that's a pretty good point
[Sanadhil] It's more of a matter for the chief Sorceres, I'd thnk
[Alma] Certainly, Ilphere, it's not as if the heroes of the uprising were guards or anything :(
[Ysabeau] I think they'd know if it was searing up the countryside.
[Ilphere] Well maybe they *started* out that way, but you can't just go and arrest an extraplanar dragon.
[Ysabeau] I mean, messages would have arrived.
[Guillame] Unless it's loitering?
[Alma] The Empire is vast, Ysabeau.
[Sanadhil] Do you really thik it is extraplanar, then?
[Ilphere] Oh yes, I'm sure of it.
- Sanadhil asks Ilphere
- Ilphere nods emphatically.
[Sanadhil] would it necessarily hav any method to return to its own plane, if it weren't summoned?
[Ysabeau] The guards aren't just policemen - they have clerics and mages among their ranks as well as fighters.
[Ysabeau] Alma, I know it is, but there are trains, and nobles with pet mages who can teleport them.
[Sanadhil] It apparently didn't want to be bound, but that oesn't imply it didn't want to be here, at some point
[Ysabeau] Probably a few messenger pigeons floating about too. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that if it is attacking the countryside, someone somewhere might see it and have reported it.
[Guillame] It certainly *seems* plausible that it could still be around...
[Ilphere] It could have gone somewhere outside the empire.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] Or it could be disgusing itself as something other than a dragon, too.
[Ilphere] Yes, of course...!
- Alma shudders slightly.
[Ysabeau] Maybe - I mean does anyone really know what an extraplanar dragon can or can't do?
[Ilphere] A creature that powerful, it is certainly within the realms of possibility that it could possess shape altering magic..!
- Ilphere seems excited.
[Alma] I just have a foreboding that it will want vengeance...
[Sanadhil] Against who?
[Sanadhil] those who bound it may be long dead by now!
[Alma] Whoever imprisoned it... which I suspect would be us.
[Ysabeau] If it seeks vengeance, logically it would be against whoever trapped it in that stone.
[Sanadhil] Us who? the empire? the church?
[Alma] Either, or both...
[Ysabeau] Why couldn't it be a particularly powerful individual?
[Alma] It is profoundly evil, it may not care that centuries, or millennia have passed.
[Guillame] If it's that evil, its dangerous with or without a motive!
- Alma nods.
- Altheo will do a quiets "Sense Evil" Sweep of the room. (I know that will take me a bit of time to do.)
[Alma] Vianca must know of the Disenchanter's Stone...
- Ysabeau rests her hands on the back of Dom's chair and remembers she wanted to see what he was reading before getting involved in the conversation.
[Ysabeau] (What are you reading, Dom? ^-^)
[Sanadhil] what is that? Was it part of the ceremony?
- Ysabeau nods.
- Dominik is reading a collection of not very good and overly dark sonnets
[Ysabeau] I think it's to keep people from stacking the votes magically?
- Seth wanders over in your direction.
[Alma] I was thinking of the Reverend Mother's divination, and she spoke of "unknowing silence"... the Disenchanter's Stone is a powerful object that suppresses magic, to prevent interfering in the election.
[Ysabeau] Or attacking candidates they don't like, magically, or whatever.
- Ysabeau nods. I was wondering if it might mean that too.
[Sanadhil] Is that a well known part of the proceedure?
- Guillame listens
- Seth sort of moves in unobtrusively.
[Ysabeau] But the problem with riddles is that they can mean almost anything, depending on who's looking at them.
[Alma] I'm not sure, Sanadhil... but I suspect that those who stole the necklace knew :/
[Sanadhil] So you think it was done on purpose?
[Sanadhil] brought there specifically to be released?
[Seth] What else could it be?
[Sanadhil] what is the radius of the stone's effect?
[Alma] I'm not sure, Sanadhil...
[Guillame] It did seem that way - why else would it be there?
- Ysabeau looks towards the more noble members of the group, shrugging.
[Alma] The coincidence is far too great :(
[Sanadhil] it does seem that way
[Sanadhil] did the stone need to be activated?
[Ysabeau] So, who would it benefit to have freed the dragon?
[Ysabeau] Some radical group.
[Seth] Depends on why it was imprisoned in the first place, I suppose.
[Alma] Certainly no one sane could see benefit in it...
[Sanadhil] perhaps someone has other means of controlling it now that it has been released
[Seth] I don't know about that ...
[Sanadhil] or serve it to some other end.... there are many possibilities, with so little evidence
[Alma] Sanadhil: I believe that when the stone came into the area of the council chambers, the effect came over the necklace and the serpent was released, if that's what you are asking?
[Guillame] Yeah - some people could turn anything into a reason for people to trust them...
[Guillame] It's true - we're all just speculating :/
[Sanadhil] Alma - that's what I';m getting at, yes, but surely the stone's effect would move before it if it were always active?
[Alma] Sanadhil: As a radius, yes?
[Ysabeau] Well speculation is not such a bad thing - from speculations we might be able to form some hypotheses to test.
- Ysabeau smiles at Guillaume.
- Sanadhil nods to Alma
[Sanadhil] I doubt we'd ever have the opportunity, Ysabeau, even if we could
[Seth] Why not, Sanadhil?
- Alma doesn't seem to see where Sanadhil is going with his questions.
[Sanadhil] I doubt the guard would be interested in the random speculations of some curious scholars
[Ysabeau] That's why we don't go to them until we've got something more concrete.
[Seth] I wasn't suggesting we would cooperate with the guards. I just don't think that the guards will be very useful in this situation.
[Ysabeau] Meanwhile, we draw upon the expertise and connections of Society members.
[Alma] Surely the guard will be coordinating their efforts with the Church and Castalia.
[Ysabeau] Look at this room: we have a diverse group of people from all walks of life. We have a lot of resources to draw on.
- Alma turns to see Medan...
[Sanadhil] You think we could learn more about the Disenchanter stone?
- Seth shrugs.
[Ysabeau] I think so, if we think things through and ask the right people.
- Seth nods.
[Guillame] Wouldn't someone have already done some research on it? Maybe we already have resources here...
- Ysabeau nods.
[Sanadhil] that's possible
[Sanadhil] is there an archive of society research?
[Guillame] I assumed we stored most of it in the library...
[Ysabeau] That would be the logical place to begin looking.
- Ysabeau agrees. :)
[Seth] I would think we would want to ask a different question, which is: who else could have access to the knowledge about the necklace, or the Disenchanter Stone?
- Sanadhil nods to Seth
[Sanadhil] that's also a good point
[Guillame] Good question
[Ysabeau] Why not pursue both avenues of investigation?
[Ysabeau] There's enough of us.
[Seth] Inevitably the two questions will be interrelated.
[Seth] But we know roughly speaking what the artifacts do or did, but a lot less about who would have known that weeks or months ago.
[Ysabeau] Well, we can compare notes along the way.
[Sanadhil] it may be easier to learn about the artifacts -_-
[Sanadhil] But I think Mr. Argo's question is more interesting
- Alma returns to you all once she has finished speaking with Medan.
[Sanadhil] how would you propose to anser it?
- Sanadhil asks Seth
[Alma] Which question is that?
[Seth] My question.
[Alma] I'm sorry, I missed it :)
[Sanadhil] Mr. Argo suggested that it might be more fruitful to lok in to who could have known about the effect of the stone befoehand
[Alma] That is a very long list, Mr. Orecalo.
[Seth] Ah, well. I would want to establish what sort of knowledge exists, as Ms. Chanuier suggested. But the information itself is not particularly important, or at least, it may not be important.
[Ysabeau] And the necklace.
[Seth] Yes, the necklace in particular.
[Seth] Presumably the knowledge of the Stone is far more considerable.
[Ysabeau] Hmmm... I suppose that if the knowledge IS in our library here, it could make us all suspects.
[Alma] Anyone of Title during the selection of Empress Idaia could have known of the stone, as well as their companions during the ceremony.
[Seth] Yes, I agree that we are all suspects, Ms. Chanuier.
[Sanadhil] Well, i suppose that comes back to the initial question
[Ysabeau] But we would also have to check other libraries to make sure there aren't duplicates around which would make our list even longer.
[Sanadhil] How exactly does the stone work, ecetera
[Ysabeau] Then who knows if anyone has copies in their private libraries...
[Alma] When within the area of the effect, no magic can exist, Sanadhil.
[Sanadhil] yes... but what is that area?
[Ysabeau] It seems like a rather ambitious task.
- Ysabeau is mostly muttering to herself, thinking out loud.
[Ysabeau] Well, I'm going to start looking in our library, I think. I'll let you know what I find, if anything.
- Seth nods.
- Ysabeau taps Dominik on the shoulder. "I'll find you something more artful to read, too."
- Ysabeau heads towards the library.
- Alma thinks for a bit.
[Alma] Sanadhil: There were magical lights in the center of the chamber... I remember them flickering out as the procession neared.
[Alma] It would probably be... at least 50 or 60 feet in radius?
[Sanadhil] that narrows down the placement of the necklace, then
[Sanadhil] Though that doens't mean anyone was wearing it.
[Sanadhil] It could have been planted ahead of time... Anyone wearing it would have surely been killed
[Guillame] It seemed like the "dragon" came out right in the centre - I thought someone must have hidden the necklace there in advance
[Alma] I think if some one were...
- Alma nods to Sanadhil
[Alma] It would be the location to guarantee the stone would affect it... there or at the entrance to the passage.
[Sanadhil] but if someone were looking for its remains, that would be the place to look
[Guillame] If it *had* been at or outside the entrance to the passage, less people would have seen it - so surely whoever did it wanted to cause a stir... what I mean to say is that the release itself probably wasn't the only objective, but to have someone or everyone present *see* it released was?
[Alma] I ... I might be able to determine something about who stole it, if I could find the remains.
[Sanadhil] I was wondering about that, Countess
[Alma] Though I imagine there would be more powerful divination techniques that might benefit... perhaps I should mention it to Vianca nonetheless
- Sanadhil nods
- Seth wanders off.
- Ilphere has been making a few notes in a well-worn journal
- Altheo will wander casually over to Alma.
- Altheo looks around to see who is around Alma at this time.
- Sanadhil half shrugs to himself as people seem to disperse a bit
[Alma] Good evening M. Renaud.
[Altheo] Good Evening Countess.
- Altheo gives a very appropriate bow.
[Alma] Who would have seen all this coming, standing in M. Conquaine's shop?
[Altheo] (So who all is around us?)
- Altheo gives a wry smile.
[Alma] (Sanadhil, Dominik and Guillame I think?)
- Sanadhil is there but the conversation seems to have petered out so I could wander ;)
[Altheo] I do beleive I said I had a bad feeling about all this.
- Dominik is still flipping through his small book while lounging in a chair
[Altheo] (well, you can pick if your there or not, I would still talk to her if you were there.)
[Guillame] Which shop is that?
[Alma] Mlle de Quercy came to Medan Conquaine's shop to sell the necklace... he asked us for our opinion.
[Altheo] The Countess for her remarkable talents, and myself for my more mundane ones.
- Altheo says amiacably.
[Guillame] Oh, I see... you both saw it yourselves?
[Altheo] We did.
- Alma nods.
[Guillame] No wonder you know so much about it!
[Sanadhil] And that's how it wound up here?
[Altheo] Well, In truth, I don't. But I've found out a bit about Mlle De Quercy.
- Altheo nods to Sanadhil.
[Altheo] Medan was worried it may have been stolen goods. He didn't want to traffic in that.
[Altheo] But I put his mind at ease.
[Alma] I felt it wasn't stolen... but felt the great evil inside of it, and knew we had to make sure it was in safe hands.
- Alma :/
- Altheo nods in agreement.
- Altheo looks around at the group semi-conspiratoriously.
- Alma is looking at the floor a little ruefully.
- Guillame looks at the floor in sympathy
[Altheo] [q] and what do you think of Mr Devarera's story?
- Sanadhil arches his eyebrows
- Ilphere wanders back over and sits in a chair close to Dominik's.
[Sanadhil] [q] I hadn't heard the details.
- Dominik glances up at the whispered conversations, acknowledges Ilphere's return with a nod and goes back to his book
[Altheo] Well, its a hard thing, being the victim of a crime.
[Alma] From what I can tell, he was enchanted, and then beaten for no reason :(
[Altheo] Well, that is exactly what he just mentioned to me.
- Altheo looks at Sanadhil.
[Altheo] Do you play cards?
[Alma] I did a meditation on the room the necklace was located...
[Alma] It was terrible :(
[Altheo] Ah well, If your a gambling man, I may sugest you try your hand with Mr. Deverera. I think if it were me I could walk away with a tidy sum.
[Altheo] Which room Countess?
- Altheo also glances at the Countess to see if she picked up what he was getting at there.
- Sanadhil is pensive
[Alma] (I forget if it was this room or another room, but the room they put the necklace in.)
- Alma has not picked it up at all.
- Sanadhil gives Altheo a curious look
[Altheo] I can only imagine how hard that would be for you Countess. A being of that power must be a terribly thing to feel.
[Alma] Oh, I was speaking of the attack on M. Deverara...
[Alma] But yes, the necklace was overwhelming.
- Altheo nods.
[Guillame] I must be off - it was fascinating, this topic
[Guillame] Goodbye, all
- Guillame wanders off to speak to fern
[Alma] Good evening Mr. Rionet
[Altheo] I must be off as well.
[Sanadhil] god evening, sir
- Altheo nods to the group, and bows to the Countess before heading off towards the library.
- Sanadhil says to both
- Alma nods in return.
[Sanadhil] Countess, I must be off myself - I need to discuss some other matters of research with Miss Lawfeld
[Sanadhil] good evening.
- Sanadhil smiles
[Alma] Good evening, M. Orecalo.
- Alma will take a seat near Dominik for a rest.
- Sanadhil will go find Elisabet then
- Dominik glances over at Alma as she sits down but says nothing
[Dominik] in a lot of stories... people who have been imprisoned, rightly or wrongly, are known to grant boons to those that free them...
- Alma is a caught a bit off guard by Dominik, as he's said nothing so far today.
[Alma] Oh... yes.
[Dominik] it's inspired many rescue stories.
[Dominik] I can see the attraction... the chance for power.
[Alma] How would they ask for this boon though? There's no legend behind this necklace...
[Dominik] that you know of.
[Dominik] but someone seems to know much more about it, don't you think.
[Alma] The Empire is vast...
Ilphere and Vianca
[Narrator] (If any of you wanted to talk to Vianca, or any of the other members of the society, you can do so now :)
[Ilphere] (I wanted to ask her a quick Question (Vianca))
[Narrator] (shoot :)
- Ilphere catches sight of Vianca.
- Vianca has been rather surrounded by people with questions, but now there seems to be a space free.
[Ilphere] Oh, excuse me...!
- Ilphere breaks free of the group to approach her.
- Sanadhil watches briefly after Ilphère but doesn't follow
- Dominik watches Ilphere slip away but does not follow
[Ilphere] That was a very interesting lecture!
[Vianca] Oh, thank you. I'm glad you thought so.
[Ilphere] I'm utterly fascinated with the whole affair of the dragon...! I've never seen an extraplanar being of such power before, obviously...!
[Vianca] I suspect few have, and lived to tell about it.
[Ilphere] I was just wondering... was the necklace it was bound to destroyed completely when it escaped?
[Vianca] I don't know. No traces of such a necklace have been found in the rubble, as far as I'm aware.
[Ilphere] Have they been looking? Do you know if it's possible toa ccess the site...? For study...?
[Vianca] I believe it's still quite dangerous there - parts of the building are still at risk of collapse, although they are trying to stabilize it.
[Vianca] My husband has access to the site, however, and is part of the ongoing investigation, so I have certain sources of information that most do not ;)
[Ilphere] Oh, I see...!
- Ilphere knits her brows together slightly...
[Ilphere] ... I wonder when it might be possible to get in... Do you know who I might be able to talk to about that...?
[Vianca] You could ask Trimmon if such a thing would be possible. Cornelia Nash, the new Warlord, is in charge of the investigation, at least until such time as a new Captain of the Guard for the Imperial City is named.
- Ilphere nods...
[Ilphere] Do you think he would mind... If I came to talk to him?
[Vianca] He wouldn't mind talking to you, certainly. I don't know whether he would be able to give you access to the site, however.
- Ilphere nods again, perking up.
[Ilphere] Would you be willing to ask him to meet with me, or should I come see him myself?
[Vianca] I'll mention to him that you might stop by, how would that be?
[Ilphere] Wonderful...! Thank you so much!
[Vianca] Not at all :)
- Vianca gets cornered to talk to some other folks, if you're finished.
[Ilphere] (yeah I'm good)
Alma and Medan
[Narrator] Okay, Alma, Medan approaches you for a word.
[Alma] Good evening Mr. Conquaine.
[Medan] Good evening, Sister.
[Medan] I must apologize to you.
[Alma] (Is he speaking in front of everyone or has he pulled me away?)
[Medan] (well, in the same room, but he's probably stepped aside with you)
[Alma] What for?
[Medan] I will repay the money as soon as I possibly can.
[Alma] No... that is not necessary, you have done nothing wrong...
[Medan] I insist - the obligation is mine.
[Alma] It is not your fault the necklace was stolen from the Society...
[Alma] I wish I had purchased it myself outright :(
[Medan] I ought to have made sure the security here was stronger.
[Alma] And taken it to the church.
[Alma] How were you to know it would be stolen?
[Medan] I wasn't, but... I should have taken greater precautions, nevertheless.
[Alma] As I feel I should have, Mr. Conquaine. I will not have you lose any more of your hard earned money for it.
[Medan] You're too kind, Sister. I remain indebted to you.
- Medan gives a polite bow.
- Alma nods politely in return.
Altheo and Tiphaigne
[Narrator] Okay, Altheo, you have been scanning the crowd with your Detect Evil ability.
- Altheo is trying to be subtle about it.
[Narrator] So, you do detect the presence of evil.
[Narrator] Faint, but present.
- Altheo tries to find the location.
[Narrator] Two auras, on two people in the group.
[Narrator] One is Navis Culpepper, the other is Tiphaigne Deverara.
[Altheo] (sec, looking up those npcs to see if they are on my list.)
[Alma] (Tiphaigne is the one who was beaten when hte necklace was stolen.)
- Altheo will go up and talk to him then.
[Alma] (And the basics of all the Society people are on the Wiki. FYI.)
[Altheo] How are you doing after the ordeal?
[Tiphaigne] Much better, thank you.
[Altheo] I must admit, I didn't expect that sort of thing to happen at the society.
[Tiphaigne] Nor did I. I've had words with them about the security here, you can be sure of that.
[Altheo] what kind of changes will they be making?
[Tiphaigne] I don't know. I suggested they post a guard here permanently, but that, I think, was deemed too expensive.
- Altheo nods
[Altheo] I guess I never really thought about how valuable some of our works would be.
[Tiphaigne] Absolutely. This place is a thief's paradise. It's remarkable that more wasn't taken.
[Altheo] (This guy is old, but how frail does he seem? Also, do I know if he has any magical ability?)
[Altheo] Well, I do think they theives knew what they wanted.
[Altheo] Could you describe them to me? I'd like to hear it first hand.
[Tiphaigne] (he's not old, he's like 28. He's pretty fat and you don't think he would do well in a fight. You don't know of any magical ability he has.)
[Tiphaigne] As best as I can remember, certainly. I was hit on the head, you know, and since then my memory doesn't seem to be quite what it used to be.
[Altheo] That must be hard in your line of work.
[Altheo] (SM on this guy now.)
[Tiphaigne] Insufferable, you have no idea.
[Altheo] (Am I misremembering that they charmed him somehow?)
[Tiphaigne] (that was the claim, yes)
[Tiphaigne] There were two men who approached me. I was just preparing to leave when they came in. They had an official sort of demeanour - I immediately thought they must be guards, though they weren't in uniform or anything of that sort.
- Altheo listens to his tale.
[Tiphaigne] One was perhaps about your age, short, with sandy-blond hair. The other was an older man with grey hair. They asked if they could have a word with me, and the next thing I knew it seemed perfectly sensible to take them to the cabinet where the necklace was stored, as they requested it so politely.
[Altheo] (sorry, I'm not sure if I roled a 19 or a 26 on the SM check, I'm unsure if the dicebot added my +7 or not.)
[Alma] (It doesn't)
[Altheo] (ok, so that was a 26 then)
[Narrator] You think he's not telling the entire truth.
[Tiphaigne] The older man unlocked it and removed the necklace.
[Altheo] What kind of lock was it?
[Altheo] Did he do so with lockpicks?
[Tiphaigne] I don't know much about locks, but he didn't use a key as far as I recall.
[Altheo] Any tools to open it?
[Altheo] did you see him pull something out?
[Tiphaigne] My memory is fuzzy on that point, I'm afraid.
- Altheo nods.
[Altheo] (Do I think he's lying about that? I'm not sure if I get another roll, or how the rules work.)
[Narrator] You do think he's lying about that.
[Tiphaigne] After they'd retrieved the necklace, they turned to go, but the younger one whispered something I didn't hear to the other fellow, and they turned back.
- Altheo nods, keeping his disposition like he beleives waht Tiphaigne is saying.
[Tiphaigne] Then they attacked me. I tried to defend myself, but...
- Tiphaigne shrugs.
[Altheo] Attacked you you?
[Altheo] With weapons? Fists?
[Tiphaigne] Fists, one had a... sap, is that what it's called?
[Altheo] Its a common tool of the theives trade.
[Tiphaigne] The next thing I remember is the healer.
[Altheo] Who found you?
[Tiphaigne] I gather Benalda did, as she was returning to her rooms late that night. She called for help.
- Altheo nods.
[Tiphaigne] That's all I can remember.
[Altheo] Thank you for your time. If ever you need a friend that can help you with the more nepharious sort. Let me know. I'd be happy to help.
[Tiphaigne] Thank you, I appreciate it.
- Altheo shakes his hand and gives him an honest smile.
- Tiphaigne returns your handshake.
- Altheo will wander off to see what other people are talking about.
Seth, Nycaise and Vereth
[Narrator] Seth, you are wandering near the refreshments, and Nycaise L'averti beckons you over to speak.
- Seth comes over to her, trying not to draw attention to himself.
- Nycaise is in her mid-forties, tall and lean, with light brown hair tied back from her rather nondescript face.
[Nycaise] I hear you paid a visit to the Bonemire.
[Seth] Ah ... yes, that is correct, Mme. L'averti. Your sources, whoever they may be, are impeccable.
[Nycaise] I do keep my ear to the ground.
[Nycaise] What did you make of the place?
[Seth] A very impressive structure.
[Nycaise] Quite remarkable, isn't it.
[Seth] Yes, quite. Obviously not what it once was, or what it could be again, given proper attention.
- Nycaise chuckles at that.
[Nycaise] No, absolutely not what it once was, that's the truth.
[Nycaise] And yet, still standing when everything around it has sunk into the mud. Remarkable work, really.
[Seth] Yes ... a testament to the standards that this city once possessed.
- Nycaise nods.
[Nycaise] Once, yes.
[Nycaise] Vereth isn't doing you any good, you know. You could do much better.
- Nycaise says conversationally.
[Seth] Oh? How so?
[Nycaise] For one thing, she'll drop you when she gets bored of you, and there goes your training.
- Seth tries to hide a look of panic behind an arched eyebrow.
- Nycaise 's voice is low, so you don't think anyone overheard that.
[Seth] Mme. Dundrennan and I have an excellent agreement. My tutelage has been unparalleled.
[Nycaise] I understand, you're the loyal type. Just keep what I've said in mind, and when you find yourself out on your ass, you know where to find me. I don't have any interest in the contents of your trousers, but I do know a thing or two about this city you won't learn from Mme. Dundrennan.
[Seth] Hmm. Curious.
- Nycaise smiles and allows you to go on your way.
- Vereth approaches you as you leave Nycaise.
[Vereth] What was that about?
- Vereth asks discreetly
[Seth] Mme. L'averti approached me with a proposition.
[Seth] Apparently she is under the misapprehension that you and I are romantically involved ...
[Vereth] I wonder how she got that idea.
- Seth looks around distractedly.
[Seth] Yes, well ... she suggested that perhaps I should look to her for my professional needs since you are planning to discard me.
- Vereth laughs.
[Vereth] Oh, gods, that's amusing.
[Seth] How so?
[Vereth] I never plan anything.
- Vereth says, smiling.
[Seth] Hah. Yes, well.
[Vereth] Don't worry.
[Seth] I'm sure she thinks she has some use for me.
[Vereth] No doubt.
[Vereth] I'll have a word with her, if need be.
[Seth] What do you know about the plans for the rebuilding of the Hall of Worthies?
[Vereth] Ah, what a fascinating job that will be!
- Vereth can tell you some of what she's heard about that, which isn't much so far.
- Seth will pepper her with relevant questions, but is definitely distracted.
Ysabeau and Altheo
- Ysabeau browses the stacks in the library, supposing anyone else comes into the Society library to look, I thought I'd mention it here.
- Altheo will wander into the library looking a bit lost.
- Ysabeau is in one of the aisles poring over the titles written on the spines of books.
[Altheo] Find anything interesting?
- Altheo asks in a friendly way, but not in a I know you way.
- Ysabeau jumps a little; she thought she was alone in the library.
[Ysabeau] No, not yet.
- Ysabeau smiles.
[Altheo] You seemed intensely interested in the talk. Are you doing some of your own research on the subject?
[Ysabeau] I'm just trying to see if there's anything written here about the Disenchantment Stone - supposing such manuscripts haven't mysteriously disappeared from the library, if they even exist.
[Ysabeau] I guess it's something of a wild goose chase.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] To share with the others.
- Altheo nods as well.
[Altheo] I'm not much of a researcher really.
- Altheo says, looking at the spines of all the books.
[Ysabeau] No, you strike me as more a man of action.
[Altheo] Its true. But I like people, very interesting sorts.
- Ysabeau looks away, trying to suppress a naughty grin, since we're not supposed to 'know' one another.
[Altheo] Like that Mr. Deverera.
[Altheo] He is an interesting sort.
- Altheo says casually.
[Ysabeau] Is he? I've never really had a chance to speak with him, myself.
[Altheo] I mean, he's a playright, so you know he must have vices.
- Altheo looks around to make sure he's not overheard.
[Altheo] But I'm not sure I fully believe his story.
[Ysabeau] What is his story?
[Ysabeau] I heard he was attacked.
[Altheo] Yes, well, first he was charmed in some way, and led them to where the necklace was, and then they opened its container with some means he can not recall.
[Altheo] Then after the had it, the decided to beat him down with saps.
[Altheo] He woke up quite some time later, when he was brought to the healers.
[Altheo] His poor memory has not been the same since.
[Ysabeau] Poor dear.
[Altheo] Yes, it is quite sad.
[Ysabeau] I'm not sure what I could do to help him, though...
- Altheo says, but not quite meaning it.
[Altheo] True, true.
[Altheo] I supose there is nothing we can do for him.
[Altheo] Anyways, if you do find out anything about the stone, I'd love to hear about it.
[Altheo] I must say, an artifact of that power is most fascinating.
[Ysabeau] That's the intent.
- Altheo smiles fondly at Ysabeau.
[Altheo] Well, I supose I'll be off. I wouldn't want to sully your reputation.
[Ysabeau] It was nice talking to you, M. Renaud.
[Altheo] The pleasure was mine. And I have every confidence you'll find what you are looking for.
- Altheo will wander out of the library.
Sanadhil and Fleurisse
- Fleurisse seeks Sanadhil out one afternoon.
- Sanadhil can be found in the Castillia library, most likely
[Fleurisse] (what is he doing?)
- Sanadhil is reading something and taking notes
- Fleurisse clears her throat delicately so as not to startle Sanadhil.
[Fleurisse] Master Orecalo?
- Sanadhil looks up
- Fleurisse speaks in Cozovode.
[Sanadhil] [c] Yes, miss Monomonie?
[Fleurisse] [c] Do you have a moment?
- Sanadhil continues in Cozovode
[Sanadhil] Of course
- Fleurisse also continues in Cozovode.
- Sanadhil closes the book and sets his notes on top
[Fleurisse] I was wondering if you might be free (blah) night?
- Sanadhil regards you carefully
- Fleurisse looks quite composed and assured of herself.
[Sanadhil] what for?
[Fleurisse] There's a new play showing and some of us will be attending. It is 'The Elven Ambassador' and I was wondering if you would care to join us?
[Sanadhil] who all is attending?
- Fleurisse lists off a bunch of names of students, both male and female.
[Sanadhil] What is the play?
[Sanadhil] A local production?
[Fleurisse] (I'll have to check with Julia, sec)
[Fleurisse] It was written by Ayfara Amis, a famous but now-deceased human playwright from this city.
[Fleurisse] It's a comedy about human-Cozovode relations.
[Sanadhil] That certainly sounds interesting.
- Sanadhil considers
[Fleurisse] I thought it might be interesting for you to see what stereotypes existed about the Cozovode when the play was written 25 years ago.
[Fleurisse] And It would certainly be interesting for us to discuss with you what she got right and what she got wrong.
[Sanadhil] It would be an iteresting opportunity in that regard, yes.
[Sanadhil] Very well - when is this?
[Fleurisse] It's a local production... so most of the players probably will not have met too many of your people, unless they have actual Cozovode actors playing the Elven roles.
[Sanadhil] that seems unlikely
[Fleurisse] It begins at the eighth bell on (blah) night.
[Fleurisse] And it's at (such and such playhouse). We could swing by to pick you up?
[Sanadhil] I think I would prefer to meet you there.
- Fleurisse shrugs graciously.
[Fleurisse] Very well. We shall see you there, then.
- Fleurisse smiles.
- Sanadhil smiles in return
[Sanadhil] yes, thank you for the invitation.
[Fleurisse] You're welcome! I look forward to it. I'll let everyone else know you're coming, too.
[Sanadhil] thank you
[Sanadhil] . o ( I think? )
- Fleurisse curtseys politely and takes her leave.
- Sanadhil nods politely in return and will return to his studies
- Sanadhil will see if he can find a copy of the play here to flip through ahead of time
Ilphere and parents
[Narrator] Ilphere, your parents have been ecstatic since you told them about now-Emperor Marl's offer for you to wed his brother, making grandiose plans for what they'll do once they're part of the Imperial family.
[Narrator] However, when they call you in to speak with them this morning, they seem upset about something, even despondent.
[Justine] Darling, we have some bad news.
- Justine says, sitting you down.
- Ilphere frets with a curl.
[Lystain] It seems that the Emperor made a variety of promises to people in the days before his election.
- Lystain looks displeased.
[Lystain] His brother Menard is now reportedly engaged to Marelda Trueblood.
[Justine] And Alwen Falgout.
[Ilphere] My goodness!
[Ilphere] I see...
[Justine] You have to get him back, Ilphère!
- Ilphere is somewhat disappointed, but harldy crushed.
[Justine] It shouldn't be hard - Marelda Trueblood looks like a walrus, and Alwen Falgout is only fifteen.
- Ilphere blinks.
[Lystain] Besides, he's already placated the Truebloods by appointing that Yanina as Secretary of State...
[Ilphere] Get him back...? I never had him..?
[Justine] ...and the Falgouts are minor, really, compared to us. You're almost a Rademacher, my dear!
- Lystain looks mildly annoyed at that.
- Justine waves a dismissive hand.
[Justine] Talk to him. Win him over. If he falls in love with you, then he'll do as you wish and won't be so cowed by his brother, even if he *is* the Emperor.
- Ilphere tries to suppress a frown.
[Lystain] To marry into the Imperial family! All of our problems would be over in the blink of an eye.
[Ilphere] Yes... yes, that's true...
[Ilphere] It was much simpler when it was just going to be arranged. I don't know about this making him fall in love business.
- Ilphere calls Hali over and strokes the bird's head anxiously.
[Justine] None of these betrothals are set in stone yet, dear, yours included.
[Justine] If you don't move, you'll have missed your chance.
[Justine] You could be trapped in a terrible, terrible marriage.
- Justine says, not at all looking at your father.
- Ilphere sniffs... I'm not going to marry just any old person just because I missed out on the Imperial family, don't worry about that...!
[Lystain] From anything I know of Menard, he's not the lecherous type... You might do better trying to sway him with your brains, oddly enough.
[Ilphere] What do you think I should do...?
[Ilphere] It will be very obvious if I just approach him directly.
[Justine] We can invite him over for tea.
- Ilphere pulls some dried corn kernels from a pouch and feeds her familiar.
[Justine] I'll help with your hair. And even the ones who don't seem lecherous don't mind a little cleavage, dear.
[Ilphere] I don't want to look like a tart...!
[Justine] No, no, not at all! We'll be very tasteful.
- Ilphere shifts uncomfortably in her chair.
[Ilphere] All right...
- Justine beams.
[Justine] I'll arrange everything. And when he arrives, I'll make sure to be 'called out of the room' so you have a chance to speak to him alone.
[Justine] We can salvage this yet!
[Ilphere] What should I say to him?
[Ilphere] And... what about Dominik?
[Lystain] Ask about him. Men don't want women who talk about themselves all the time.
- Ilphere makes a bit of a face.
[Ilphere] Where will he be?
- Lystain says, not at all looking at your mother.
[Justine] Where? Why, in the parlour, I imagine.
[Justine] We'll spruce things up in there, as much as we can.
[Ilphere] Does he have to be there? He is so sour all the time...!
[Justine] Maybe I can borrow that silver tea service from his parents...
[Justine] Well, perhaps we can see.
[Justine] We don't want Menard to get the wrong idea, after all.
[Ilphere] Certainly not...!
- Ilphere agrees emphatically!
[Justine] I suppose if we're in the house, not much improper could happen, could it dear? ;)
[Lystain] [m] You'd be surprised.
[Justine] What was that?
[Lystain] Nothing, dear.
[Ilphere] Ah, well... When will this be happening?
[Ilphere] I have to make sure I can set aside the time from my studies...!
[Justine] Well, I'll send a note along to the palace and ask him to stop by at his earliest convenience. We have to accomodate him, after all, not the other way around.
- Ilphere lets Hali nibble her fingers a little.
[Justine] Oh, Ilphere, I know we can make things work out yet!
- Justine gives you a little fake hug.
- Ilphere smiles a little, gamely.
- Justine avoids the bird ;)
[Ilphere] I'm sure it will be fine, Mother...
[Lystain] We cannot lose this chance. *You* cannot.
- Lystain says firmly.
[Ilphere] I understand, I do.
- Ilphere nods solemnly.
[Ilphere] I will try my best.
[Ilphere] Please let me know when you've got his reply...!
[Justine] The very instant!
- Ilphere puts on her brave face. :)
Guillame and Alexior
[Narrator] Guillame, you arrive at home one afternoon to find your family's servants rushing about.
- Guillame looks about, quizically
- Maid spots you and hurries over.
[Maid] Sir, Emperor Alexior is here. Your mother is with him right now, but I heard him say he came to speak with you personally.
- Guillame is taken aback
[Guillame] Er, certainly.
- Maid nods, bobs a quick curtsey, and hurries away.
- Maid stops.
[Guillame] Where are they now?
[Maid] In the front parlour, sir.
[Guillame] My thanks
- Guillame nods
- Maid hurries off again.
- Guillame heads to the front parlour
[Narrator] Your mother and the Emperor of House Rat are sitting together in the parlour, having tea.
- Alexior is a short, stocky man of about fifty, with curly red hair going to grey and bright blue eyes.
- Janelle rises as you enter the room.
[Janelle] Oh, Guillame, I'm glad you're here! The Emperor wishes to have a word or two with you.
- Alexior smiles warmly and rises to shake your hand.
[Guillame] Hello mother. I am honoured, your Imperial Majesty!
- Guillame 's voice squeaks a little as Alexior touches his hand
[Alexior] It's been quite a while since I've seen you, Guillame. I think it must have been when you came of age, wasn't it?
[Guillame] I suppose it must have been! I suppose we've all been rather busy.
[Alexior] Even so, I haven't got so many subjects that I can't visit them all - I ought to make the time more often :)
[Guillame] I'm glad to hear that it's still important to you
- Guillame smiles
[Alexior] I was saddened to hear that you jilted Leland Pervenche's daughter.
[Janelle] We all were...
[Alexior] I'm speaking to the young gentleman.
- Alexior cuts your mother off firmly but politely.
[Alexior] The match seemed as though it should be perfect for both of you. What went wrong?
[Guillame] I'm sorry that I disappointed you
- Guillame looks ashamed
[Guillame] Things became very unusual between us... awkward
- Alexior nods, listening.
[Guillame] I'm not really sure what was wrong in the end... we just didn't seem to *work*.
[Alexior] (Hm, rather)
[Alexior] Is there any hope of the two of you reconciling?
- Guillame ponders
[Guillame] I don't see any reason why not, if she were amenable.
- Guillame says awkwardly
- Alexior nods, looking pleased.
- Guillame pulls himself together
[Alexior] There are so few of us. We all have a responsibility to preserve our bloodline, to build strong families...
[Guillame] Of course
[Alexior] And if this proves impossible, I'm sure I could arrange something with another eligible young Celjad lady.
[Guillame] You're so very kind, Emperor Alexior
[Janelle] Yes, very kind.
- Janelle agrees.
[Alexior] I appreciate you giving this a second try, Guillame. I'll speak with her father as soon as possible.
- Alexior rises to depart.
- Alexior pats you warmly on the shoulder.
[Guillame] I'll wait to hear his reply!
[Alexior] Good lad!
- Guillame forces a smile
- Janelle flops into her armchair as soon as he's safely gone.
[Janelle] Gods, how awkward was that.
[Guillame] Yes... I'm afraid I was completely unprepared. I hope I didn't embarass us...
[Janelle] No, you did well, considering the circumstances.
[Janelle] I just... sometimes I think it's really none of his business, you know?
[Guillame] Yes, I certainly see your point there!
[Janelle] The r- the Emperor doesn't go about arranging people's marriages unless they're in his immediate family.
- Janelle might have been about to say 'the real Emperor' there...
[Guillame] He's trying to ensure that we have a strong place among the houses, I suppose. I hope he doesn't offend anyone less obliging than we are with his intentions.
[Janelle] You're probably right. And I think he feels an extra obligation towards our family, ever since your father...
- Janelle looks away.
[Guillame] Really? I suppose that might be so.
[Guillame] I think we're holding our own, though.
[Janelle] Well, I think so too.
[Janelle] Still, just to make him happy, I suppose it can't hurt to try things again with Ciatha.
- Guillame looks a little distracted, and is being more forthcoming than usual
[Guillame] I suppose not. We got on well, to start with.
[Guillame] She's very... headstrong
- Janelle nods.
[Janelle] You stand up to her, dear :)
- Guillame smiles
[Guillame] I've done so once before, at least!
- Janelle chuckles.
[Janelle] Very true.
- Guillame realises what he's saying, and straightens his face
[Janelle] Oh, before you arrived, the Emperor invited our family to dinner at his home, next week.
[Janelle] They don't stand on much formality there, but even so, I think you could do with a new suit.
[Guillame] That should be nice! Did my sisters hear?
[Janelle] I was just going to tell them.
[Guillame] I'll arrange a trip to the tailor
- Janelle gives you a kiss on the cheek.
[Janelle] You're a good boy, Guillame.
- Janelle departs, then.
- Guillame slumps into a chair
Sanadhil and Fleurisse
[Narrator] Sanadhil, tonight you are apparently (and possibly against your better judgment) attenting the theatre with Fleurisse.
[Narrator] The Duke of Mericourt Theatre in the Place D'Iena is quite an old theatre, and it has seen better days, but there are still traces of its former grandeur here and there.
[Narrator] The play being presented this evening is the classic Amis comedy "The Elven Ambassador".
- Sanadhil will meet F and co at the theater ahead of time
[Narrator] (you can talk for a few minutes before the show starts, if you wish :)
[Narrator] (unless you've done your talking already)
[Sanadhil] Good evening, Miss Menomonie
- Sanadhil greets the other students as well
- Fleurisse is dressed up for the theater, wearing a taffeta gown that changes from blue to green depending on the direction of the light. The blue tones pick up on her eyes most harmoniously. Her hair is carefully arranged in an up-do.
[Fleurisse] Good evening, Master Orecalo.
- Sanadhil s dressed ncely, but in Empire style clothes as he wasn't sure he wanted to stand out here or not
- Fleurisse smiles. She speks in Aveyronnais since not everyone in the group is a fluent Cozovode-speaker.
[Fleurisse] So glad you could make it. Do you know everyone?
[Sanadhil] Most, I think
- Fleurisse will introduce everyone she is not sure you know, just in case.
[Fleurisse] We have seats in my box.
- Sanadhil nods
[Fleurisse] So we ought to have a splendid view!
[Narrator] As you take your seats, you see that the crowd is quite full.
- Fleurisse shows you to your seat and arranges her skirts around herself as she sits down next to you.
- Sanadhil looks out over the theater
- Fleurisse smiles in anticipation of the play; apparently she is quite fond of the theater.
[Sanadhil] It must be a fairly good production to be so full...
[Fleurisse] Yes, I haven't ever seen it before, only read it. But I enjoyed the script.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] I've yet to see a production in the city
[Sanadhil] It shoudl be interesting
[Fleurisse] Oh, you're in for a treat. We have some very fine players here.
[Sanadhil] are you familiar wth any of the cast?
[Narrator] The crowd goes more or less quiet as the lights dim and the show begins.
- Sanadhil quiets down
- Fleurisse mentions a few names but goes silent as the lights dim.
[Narrator] The show is a rather clever but dark comedy. The naïve title character dallies with a manipulative human woman, only to discover that she expects him to stay with her for the rest of her life. In the end, he agrees to do so, because he knows she'll die in 30 or 40 years, hardly any time at all. Much of the comedy derives from the elf's lack of understanding of human culture, and the humans' efforts to take advantage of him.
[Narrator] Of course, their views of elven culture, behaviour and dress are hilariously wrong at times, but the crowd doesn't seem to mind. They laugh at all the expected places.
- Sanadhil probably laughs, or at least smiles at other points
- Fleurisse notices and smiles at him when she catches him at it, an amused look in her eye. She'll have to ask him about those places.
[Narrator] Your eye keeps being drawn, though, to one of the women playing a minor role as an "elf". She is slender enough, with brown hair and eyes, quite pretty for a human, and seems to have made some effort at depicting actual Cozovodë mannerisms, unlike most of the other actors.
[Sanadhil] (is she actually an elf?)
[Narrator] You don't think so, but could be half, like you...?
- Sanadhil watches her more closely, then
[Narrator] She's not in many scenes, and has only a couple of lines, along the lines of "Yes, sir" and "Right away"
[Sanadhil] (are here programs?)
[Narrator] There are playbills posted... not everyone has a little list, though, no.
[Sanadhil] (or a cast listing posted somehere?)
- Sanadhil makes a mental not to check the playbill later
[Narrator] The play ends, to considerable applause.
- Sanadhil claps
[Sanadhil] (takes back the not)
- Fleurisse claps as well.
[Sanadhil] (or turn it to a note)
- Fleurisse turns to confer with some of the other students seated in the box with us.
- Fleurisse turns back to Sanadhil.
[Fleurisse] Did you enjoy it?
[Sanadhil] It was entertaining, if expectedly inacurate
- Sanadhil smiles though
- Fleurisse laughs musically.
[Fleurisse] I noticed your amusement at certain points.
[Fleurisse] Well, the consensus is to go deconstruct the play over some drinks. Would you care to join us?
[Sanadhil] Perhaps for a short time
- Fleurisse beams.
[Sanadhil] I woudl be iterested to hear how you assesed it
[Fleurisse] My assessment has been coloured a bit by your reactions. Obviously, there were some things that Amis got completely wrong or you would not have been smiling at odd times.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] thatt's fair
[Fleurisse] Come to my carriage, we'll speak on the way to my favourite tavern.
- Fleurisse invites some of her friends too so you won't feel trapped.
Alma and Beatrix
- Biatrix is always glad to welcome you to her home.
- Biatrix is a short, stout woman of about sixty, with grey hair. She wears her holy symbol, but otherwise is dressed in ordinary clothing for a woman of her age and station.
- Biatrix 's maid serves you tea.
- Alma is wearing her robes, as she normally does.
[Alma] Good evening Biatrix :)
[Biatrix] Alma, it's always a pleasure to see you :)
[Biatrix] How are you doing?
[Alma] I am well, all things considered. How about you?
[Biatrix] My hip is bothering me with all this damp weather, but other than that, well enough.
[Biatrix] Have you been keeping busy?
[Alma] Too busy!
[Alma] My studies, and my work... but I enjoy it :)
[Biatrix] Oh yes, your studies :) Are you learning much of interest at your little antiquarian group?
[Alma] I even get the time to visit the Society I mentioned last time.
- Biatrix nods.
[Biatrix] It's informative, then?
[Alma] Yes, though not really applicable to my studies... it's just interesting :)
- Biatrix nods.
[Biatrix] And have you met any eligible young gentlemen? ;)
- Biatrix teases gently.
[Alma] I'm sure I was too busy to notice, if I did :)
[Biatrix] Ah, you sound like me when I was your age.
- Biatrix says a bit wistfully.
[Alma] I'm trying to keep open to it though.
- Alma does have a duty, after all.
[Biatrix] Good. Don't let yourself grow old alone, Alma.
[Biatrix] If only I knew some more young men of appropriate station, I could introduce you.
[Biatrix] Alas, the only young men I know these days are the ones I'm related to, and there are precious few of them I'd recommend as potential husbands.
[Alma] Oh, I'm sure you're being too harsh on them :P
[Biatrix] Oh, I don't know about that. Patric (the Count of Childress, my dear) is by all accounts a rake and a scoundrel - those sorts rarely have happy wives.
[Biatrix] The least reprehensible seems to be Verity's boy, Tristan, but that would be horribly inappropriate for someone of your standing, my dear.
[Alma] Well, I will have to be patient then :)
[Biatrix] Don't be too patient, though - you don't want to turn forty and realize you'd waited all those years for something that wasn't coming.
[Alma] Alright, I'll make sure to buy a husband by 35 :)
- Biatrix chuckles.
[Biatrix] I know, you're young, and it seems like it will be that way forever.
[Biatrix] Don't mind me, I'm just a meddlesome old biddy ;)
[Alma] Sometimes meddlesome is how you have to be :)
[Biatrix] It works better when you get to be this age, actually.
[Biatrix] People listen more, or don't chalk your advice up to ulterior motives as rapidly.
- Biatrix pats your hand.
[Alma] Well, that and experience :)
[Biatrix] Oh, I suppose there's that too. I haven't had much, to be honest ;)
- Alma chuckles.
[Biatrix] But I do have many long years of observing other people's experience.
[Alma] We all have our places.
[Biatrix] You've got the priestly tone down very well, dear. :)
- Alma blushes
[Alma] I just mean...
[Alma] If nothing else, I'll be happy doing my work.
- Biatrix nods.
[Biatrix] I know how you feel.
[Biatrix] Oh, here I am monopolizing the conversation. Tell me what you've been up to, then :)
[Alma] Well... I wanted to pass something on to you. It started back before the Great Council...
- Alma tells Biatrix about the necklace and how it may/probably ties into the wyrm.
- Biatrix listens intently.
[Alma] I am sure Reverend Mother Mayne will be passing this on to the Church, but I didn't want to sit back and watch again.
[Biatrix] I think that's a good instinct, Alma.
[Biatrix] I'll have to give this some thought, but I'll be sure to get back to you about it.\
[Alma] If I'd been more sensible, I would have just bought the cursed thing from her myself...
[Biatrix] Don't beat yourself up about it - they could have stolen it from you just as easily, and you might have been hurt or worse in the process.
- Alma nods... not entirely taking that to be a good enough excuse.
[Alma] If there's anyone else you think I should tell, let me know.
[Alma] It may get around anyway, the entire Society heard Vianca Belden's presentation.
- Biatrix nods.
[Biatrix] I'll give it some thought.
[Alma] Thank you, Sister :)
[Biatrix] Thank you :)
Ysabeau and Murienne
[Narrator] Ysabeau, Verity is quite busy these days with everything that's been going on, and though you miss her company, it does give you more time to spend with your sister.
- Murienne is a pretty girl of thirteen, with curly black hair that she keeps fairly short. Her clothing is modest but presentable, certainly much nicer than what you had when you were her age!
- Murienne is reading a book in the comfortable chair by the window.
- Ysabeau comes home from school and throws her books down on a sidetable before seating herself in a chair near Murienne and taking off her shoes to massage her sore feet.
[Ysabeau] Hi Muri!
[Ysabeau] How was your day?
- Ysabeau asks cheerfully.
[Murienne] Oh, all right. Quiet.
[Murienne] What about you?
[Ysabeau] Busy - I'm trying to find out information about the Disenchantment Stone used in the Imperial elections.
[Ysabeau] On top of my usual school work.
- Murienne nods.
[Ysabeau] How is your schooling coming along?
[Murienne] It's fine. I'm reading this history book.
[Ysabeau] Oh? What period does it cover?
- Ysabeau asks with interest. It may be something I never heard of since I wasn't in school when I was 13.
- Murienne holds it up to show you - a history of the reign of Myrtha Taliaferro.
[Murienne] She was this cobbler's daughter who grew up in Pearl City, and she got to be Empress.
[Murienne] Well, she was a sorcerer and stuff too.
[Ysabeau] Oh, wow! I've heard about her but I never got to read much about her yet.
[Ysabeau] Is it interesting?
[Murienne] It's pretty good.
[Murienne] She only reigned for seven years, though, she died having a baby.
[Murienne] So that part is sad.
[Ysabeau] (does muri have any leanings towards sorcery or anything herslef? What does she want to do when she grows up or is she still undecided?)
- Ysabeau nods.
[Murienne] (still undecided as far as you know)
[Ysabeau] It's one of the hazards of living.
[Murienne] If you're a woman.
- Ysabeau smiles.
[Ysabeau] If you're a woman.
[Murienne] Are you happy?
- Murienne asks out of the blue
- Ysabeau is surprised.
[Murienne] Happy. Here. Now.
[Ysabeau] Well, happier than I've been in a long time. Why? Are you... not happy?
- Ysabeau looks worried.
[Murienne] I don't know. It's comfortable here, I don't worry as much all the time.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] It's a lot to adjust to, I know.
- Murienne nods.
[Murienne] I miss people from back then, too. I hardly see Hettie or Merrow anymore. I haven't seen Dessa at all since we moved here.
[Ysabeau] Oh, Muri...
- Ysabeau smiles.
[Murienne] It's like we're trying to put all of that behind us. Like it never happened.
[Ysabeau] I've seen Merrow a few times... but he's pretty busy, you know that.
[Murienne] I know...
[Ysabeau] There's nothing to stop you from going to visit any of them, you know.
[Ysabeau] I drop by Altheo's sometimes.
[Ysabeau] I miss the friends I had there, too. Mijanou and them.
[Murienne] Well, I know, but going into the Shambles, dressed like this and everything, it's sort of asking for trouble.
[Murienne] Can I invite Dessa over here?
[Ysabeau] Of course!
- Murienne smiles at that.
[Ysabeau] We can go down together to invite her, if you feel anxious about going.
[Murienne] I'd like that.
[Ysabeau] Um... would you want to learn how to fight? to protect yourself? Like I've been doing?
[Ysabeau] I'm sure Merrow would be happy to teach you, too.
[Murienne] Could I?
- Murienne sounds excited at that prospect.
[Ysabeau] Of course! Anything to make you happy, and that would have the added benefit of making me worry a little less about you.
[Murienne] And then I'd get to see Merrow sometimes too.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] There's always Rye, too... he is supposed to be a guard dog. ^-^
[Ysabeau] So we'll take him when we go see Dessa.
[Murienne] That's true. I could take him with me, and if anyone tried anything, he'd bite them.
[Ysabeau] Yes, but it would be good to know a thing or two yourself, as well.
- Murienne nods.
[Murienne] Okay, we'll do that :)
[Ysabeau] It's good to be able to rely on others, but only if you also know you can take care of yourself if need be.
- Ysabeau smiles.
- Murienne smiles back.
[Ysabeau] Let's make it a date - hopefully Dessa will be around on our foray into the Shambles. This Seventhday? No school for either of us, then.
[Murienne] That sounds good. Thank you, Ysa :)
[Ysabeau] You're welcome.
- Ysabeau tousles Muri's hair.
[Ysabeau] I guess we'd better think about cooking some supper.
[Murienne] Here, I'll come help.
- Murienne puts her book aside to join you in the kitchen.
- Ysabeau chats with her as they work.
Dominik and Zivia
[Narrator] Dominik, since Marl Kizer was elected Emperor, your family have been scheming as to how they can possibly get closer to the Imperial family.
[Narrator] Your sister Zivia, in particular, is working to get back into Marl's favour.
- Zivia is quite beautiful, with long, straight black hair and hazel eyes, petite and delicate.
[Zivia] Dominik, I want to talk to you.
- Zivia orders you about quite often, like the rest of them, but she does that with everyone, not just you, so it's not as bad somehow.
[Dominik] Very well Zivia, what do you want?
[Zivia] You've been, ah, 'guarding' cousin Ilphere, haven't you.
- Zivia says in a way that suggests 'guarding' is a euphemism for something much more interesting.\
[Dominik] That is what I have been doing, yes.
- Dominik doesnt react to Zivia's implications
[Zivia] Right. Well, is she or isn't she going to marry Menard Kizer?
[Dominik] As far as I know, they're doing thier best to make it an is.
[Dominik] ruining a plan of yours?
[Zivia] Because, if his brother marries her, then Marl might think he doesn't need any closer ties with our family.
[Zivia] And that would be... annoying.
[Dominik] And you are assuming that because of my position, I might be able to do something about this?
- Zivia shrugs.
[Zivia] I wasn't sure if you might have some gossip that would make such a match... inadvisable.
[Zivia] If you don't, I can always make some up on my own :)
[Dominik] I'm sure it would be something oh so clever coming from you.
[Dominik] I just don't see why I should tell you anything useful. Not much in it for me.
[Zivia] Just suggesting that *you're* fucking her wouldn't be enough, I don't think.
[Zivia] It would have to be someone much more scandalous.
[Dominik] Probably not... I don't think I'm her type.
[Zivia] And if I'm Empress, you don't think there's anything in it for you? :)
[Zivia] How could I forget my dear brother? ;)
- Dominik smiles
[Dominik] Sabatoging a possible marriage wont make you Empress... even if I do help you, you've got your work cut out for you.
[Zivia] Oh, I know they're saying he'll marry cousin Lavinie, but that couldn't be true.
[Zivia] She's so... insipidly sweet :p
[Zivia] I know I can win him over again.
[Dominik] Some men like sweet.
[Zivia] Not Marl.
- Zivia says, quite sure of herself.
[Zivia] What about you? What do you like?
[Dominik] I know Menard has been invited over to meet with Ilphere. If an opportunity presents itself, I'll see what I can do.
- Zivia asks casually.
- Zivia nods.
[Dominik] As for my interests... thats nothing for you to be concerned with, dear sister.
- Zivia smiles and saunters away, then.
[Narrator] Altheo, the Spokesmen are very concerned about recent events, in particular the sudden appearance and then sudden *disappearance* of something remarkably like a dragon.
[Narrator] The Lord Marshal is apparently so concerned that he has called a general assembly of the Order, which is rarely done outside wartime.
[Narrator] The headquarters of the Order is a large, simple building in the Imperial City, designed for training and housing soldiers more than for ostentatious display. Nevertheless, it conveys a certain imposing strength.
[Narrator] The hall is crowded today, much more than on any ordinary day, as hundreds of Spokesmen from around the Empire are gathered to hear what their leader has to say.
- Altheo is dressed in such a way as to be less recognizable.
[Altheo] like, hood and what not.
- Lord_Marshal , a middle-aged man, wiry and not overly tall, with long brown hair in a tight braid down his back, steps up to the
dais to speak. A hush falls over the crowd.
[Lord_Marshal] Brothers- and sisters-in-arms, a great threat lies before us, perhaps greater than any our Empire has faced in centuries.
[Lord_Marshal] I wish that I had an easy target to point you at, to say "There, there is our enemy," but I do not.
[Lord_Marshal] On the election day, an evil was unleashed. It struck fear into the hearts of brave warriors, and even to stand in its presence burned like flame. It destroyed the Hall of Worthies, killing eight people including the Lord Chancellor, two guard captains, a duchess, a count, and three servants.
[Lord_Marshal] And then, as suddenly as it appeared, it vanished. Since then, no one has been able to trace it by any means.
[Lord_Marshal] Divinations call it the Serpent, the soul-eater's servant. Though some may disagree with me, I believe the soul-eater is the being that was trapped in the Arch along with the Rat.
[Narrator] There is quite a bit of murmuring at that.
[Lord_Marshal] Whether or not that entity survived the joining of the Arch fifty years ago, it is abundently clear that its 'servant' did.
[Lord_Marshal] It may be that further prophecies or ancient tomes speak of this being, its motivations, or even give us information about how it can be defeated, but that is work for scholars, work that may take weeks or months to complete.
[Lord_Marshal] By then, it could well be too late.
[Lord_Marshal] We need to be vigilant in searching out and destroying this fiend before it can do further harm to the Empire.
[Lord_Marshal] If anyone has any information that may aid in our duty, I ask you to stand now and speak.
[Ser_Patience] A tall, thin woman in her forties with long black hair stands.
[Lord_Marshal] Yes, Ser Patience?
- Altheo sighs. He sort of hates the Lord Marshal.
[Ser_Patience] I don't know if this is connected, but it could be. Just after the election, three houses caught fire in Rhenea. The strange thing was, they all burned very quickly and from the roof down - and one had a slate roof. Some said they had been struck by lightning, but no one saw the bolt strike, and it was a clear day.
[Lord_Marshal] Was anyone hurt?
[Ser_Patience] No, the residents escaped safely, and the fires were contained before they could spread very far.
[Lord_Marshal] Thank you. I don't know if it's connected, but I will bear it in mind.
- Ser_Royse is a tall, burly, bearded man of around thirty.
[Altheo] (Did she say what houses burned?)
[Ser_Royse] Would we not have more success seeking out the person who released or summoned the creature? It must have been someone in the Hall of Worthies, which narrows it down considerably...
[Narrator] (she gave the addresses, sure)
- Altheo makes a note of them.
[Lord_Marshal] Yes, to only the thousand or so most powerful people in the Empire and their servants. Investigations into that matter are ongoing, Ser Royse, and I will keep you apprised if anything comes to light.
- Ser_Royse sits, then.
- Ser_Tymon is a very young man, no more than fifteen or sixteen, with black hair, an attempted moustache, and a nervous look.
[Ser_Tymon] Do we... do we know we're looking for a dragon? In stories, sometimes dragons can take on other forms, and...
[Lord_Marshal] We can't rely on fairy tales about dragons - they're all a thousand years old or more, and might not be reliable. We should be on the look-out for anything out of the ordinary, dragon-shaped or otherwise.
- Ser_Tymon sits down hurriedly, looking embarassed.
[Lord_Marshal] Anything further?
[Narrator] There is no response from the crowd.
- Altheo glances around, sort of wishing I coudl stand up and speak, but knowing it would blow his cover.
[Lord_Marshal] If any of you see this creature, be sensible - it will do us no good if you attack it and get yourself killed, leaving no trace or information behind.
[Lord_Marshal] I faced this creature, and I can confidently say I could not have slain it on my own. So don't assume you can. You're not Ser Carleon or some other hero from legend.
[Lord_Marshal] Use your judgment as to whether it would be a greater good to observe it surreptitiously for a time, in order to gather what information you can and convey that information to HQ, instead of making a heroic sacrifice that will cost more lives in the long run.
[Lord_Marshal] Thank you for coming. Take advantage of the time while you're here, please - if you need equipment mended or other supplies, see the smith or the quartermaster.
- Altheo will see if he can find Sir Julian on the way out.
[Narrator] You wanted to talk to Julian afterwards?)
[Narrator] (oh, okay :)
[Altheo] (one quick question, the whole thing about the necklace and all that, is that common knowledge? How many peopl ein th eorder know about that?"
[Narrator] (not common knowledge, no - though Julian knows, of course, since he was at the meeting)
- Altheo approaches Julian as we exit, someplace where people won't really see us.
- Ser_Julian will walk to a more secluded area with you.
[Altheo] Hi there,
[Ser_Julian] Hello, ser.
[Altheo] Did you happen to hear anything new about the theft of the necklace?
- Altheo says, being watchful that know one is around.
[Ser_Julian] I think Royse Dyess is an ass, but he's right in this matter - we have far more hope of finding the person responsible than of tracking the beast itself.
[Altheo] Ah, well I talked to Mr. Deverara the other day after the meeting. I'm pretty sure he's not telling the whole truth about the robbery.
[Ser_Julian] You think he was in on it?
[Altheo] yeah, I was sort of checking to see if there was any lingering evil in the place, when I noticed he himself is not a pure man.
[Altheo] I see two possibilities.
[Altheo] One is that he was in on it.
[Altheo] And the other that he was so scared he offered to take them right to it and opened it up for them.
- Ser_Julian nods.
[Ser_Julian] The first is more worrisome than the second.
[Altheo] But he's definitely lying.
[Altheo] I'm sure of it.
- Ser_Julian nods.
[Altheo] Its just a matter of finding out about what.
[Altheo] Do you know what other avenues the spokesmen are using to investigate this?
[Ser_Julian] If he wasn't a Deverara, we could just take him quietly into custody and get him into a Zone of Truth.
[Ser_Julian] The Lord Marshal probably doesn't want a hundred Spokesmen who think they're being cunning descending on the nobles of the city to ask them polite but leading questions about whether they've released any evil entities lately.
[Ser_Julian] I wouldn't be surprised if he's putting together his own little taskforce, though.
- Ser_Julian says with a smile.
[Ser_Julian] He might find a use for you yet, if he can overcome his innate dislike of... your methods.
[Altheo] Well, so far my methods have been helpful.
[Altheo] So I do hope he comes around.
[Ser_Julian] I know, and he can't stand it ;)
[Ser_Julian] It's good for him, though.
- Altheo smiles broadly.
[Altheo] None of us can serve best by being too set in our ways.
[Ser_Julian] You know I agree with you.
[Ser_Julian] I'll have a word with him about your suspicions.
[Altheo] Thank you.
- Ser_Julian nods.
[Altheo] And I may ask Seth to help me look into those few suspicious fires. Just in case.
- Ser_Julian nods.
[Ser_Julian] Don't be surprised if you get a message from him in a few days, then.
- Altheo nods.
[Altheo] I'm always willing to serve.
[Ser_Julian] See you around, then.
- Altheo nods and will head out subtlely
Seth and Menard
- Seth will track down Menard, hopefully at his house before his family moves into the palace.
- Menard is there, watching the servants pack his things with a look of disbeleif.
- Seth wanders in surreptitiously and stands next to you.
[Menard] Yeah, I guess thats the word for it.
[Seth] So ... have you been assigned new quarters yet?
- Menard seems to be dressed a bit more fomally than he normally would.
[Menard] yes, but to be honest, I haven't bothered to check where they are yet. I'm sure they'll be great.
[Seth] No doubt.
[Menard] How have you been.
[Seth] Ahh ... well enough, I suppose.
- Menard shakes his head and turns away form all his things getting packed up.
- Menard nods.
[Menard] I know how that feels.
[Menard] Its good to see a friendly face though.
[Seth] The Society is having a fit over the business at the Hall of Worthies, of course.
- Menard seems to warm up a bit as he takes him mind off of his problems and talks to you.
[Menard] I think everyone is.
[Menard] My mother just couldn't beleive something like that was even possible.
[Seth] Well, yes. I would imagine that Your Esteemed Imperial Ass of a Brother will have to do something.
[Menard] As soon as he's done marrying us off to cover his political debts.
- Menard says a bit bitterly.
[Seth] Ah yes ... what is becoming of your marital fortunes? Any likely lasses been assigned to you?
[Menard] 3 in fact.
[Seth] My goodness ... I suppose there is no chance you can have them all at once, is there?
[Menard] Marelda Trueblood, Alwen Falgout, and Ilphere deQuessenet
[Seth] Ah yes ... I know Ilphere, of course.
[Menard] I don't know, with the poliical winds as they are maybe, but I doubt it.
- Menard says mostly joking.
[Menard] Well, of the 3, she's the one I think might be my best choice.
[Menard] Can you tell me more about her?
[Seth] Well ... she's very bright, there's no doubt about that. I suppose she's attractive enough, in a certain sort of way, but you can judge that for yourself, I imagine.
[Seth] She is however ... well, she is a little odd.
[Menard] How so?
- Menard sounds worried.
[Seth] Well, she is very eager about her work, which I believe focuses on extra-planar beings and such. She gets a certain look in her eyes when she starts to talk about it.
[Menard] What do you mean by extra-planar being?
[Seth] Well, you know, err, demon creatures and that sort of thing.
[Menard] um, wow.
- Menard says, a bit unhappilyl.
[Seth] Well, it's not that bad. She seems like the sort who wouldn't give you any trouble, you know ... she has her own life, and her own interests, and wouldn't care if you were out wenching, or whatever.
[Menard] ah, well, I supose thats a plus.
[Menard] I mean, Marelda is fat, and Alwen is only 15.
[Seth] Yeah ... Ilphere must be around our age, I imagine.
[Menard] Yes, she's the closest.
[Seth] Well, look ... how far along are all these negotiations?
[Seth] I mean, if it's going to be settled by Marl, no point getting your hopes up over something you can't control at all.
[Menard] Yeah, thats true.
[Menard] It probably depends on families more than anything else.
[Menard] But if I hit it off with one of them, even Marl would have to take that into consideration.
- Menard seems a bit sick of it all.
[Menard] (Well, more than a bit)
[Seth] Well, I would be happy to introduce you, if you really wanted.
[Menard] Well, yeah, maybe.
[Menard] It might be awkward though.
[Menard] "Hi there, My brother made promises that he can't keep and now we may or may not be engaged."
[Seth] yeah ... but really, it is pretty awkward no matter what.
[Menard] your right.
- Menard lets out a big sigh.
[Menard] And with that thought, its time for a drink.
- Menard will get us both a stiff one.
[Menard] Ok, now lets talk about you.
[Menard] I need a quick break from my life for a bit.
[Seth] What can I tell you? My life is as boring as ever.
[Seth] My father hasn't quite given up on pulling me back into the family business.
[Seth] Fortunately Vereth is able to make it seem plausible that I might become a real architect someday, even though we both know better.
- Menard chuckles at that.
[Seth] I suppose I should try to do some actual, you know, research, to make myself useful to the Society, though.
[Seth] I went to this very weird old abandoned church called the Bonemire a while ago. I could write a paper, maybe.
[Menard] Yeah? What was so weird about it?
[Seth] Well, for one thing, there's some sort of weird group living there now. But the whole place is just spooky.
- Seth goes on for a couple of minutes about odd architectural features.
[Seth] Anyway ... the thing is that the Bonemire may actually have something to do with the weird happenings at the Hall of the Worthies. But I'm not sure about that part.
[Menard] How so?
[Seth] Well ... basically there's this artifact, this necklace, that might have held the creature that came out at the Hall, and it may have been owned at one point by the woman who runs the gang at the Bonemire.
[Seth] It's a lot more complicated than that, but that's basically it.
[Menard] Has someone from the society told my brothers people?
[Seth] I assume so. But everything is so chaotic, what with Marl having just been chosen, I don't know how much anyone is paying attention.
[Menard] Well, I'll make sure he knows.
[Menard] But I don't think thats the kind of thing someone would forget to mention.
[Seth] Yeah, probably you're right.
[Menard] Well, that place must be really interesting if it has secret evil necklaces hanging around in it.
[Seth] I guess so. I'm more interested in the [blah blah blah architecture] ...
- Menard nods and listens. Happy to listen to you talk if it means he doesn't have to think about how his brother is auctioning him off.
[Seth] ... so anyway, I probably will go back again, maybe next month.
[Menard] man, I'd love to tag along if I could.
[Seth] Uh ... are you even allowed to go around unescorted now?
- Menard says sourly.
Ilphere and Dominik
- Ilphere is sitting in the garden poring over a manuscript.
- Dominik breaks the silence.
- Ilphere has the book spread open on her lap and is looking over the illuminations through her queer spectacles.
[Dominik] I need to talk to you. You have a problem.
[Ilphere] Hm? What?
- Ilphere looks up at you through rose-tinted lenses.
- Ilphere blinks.
[Dominik] Your families intentions with you and Menard Kizer is the problem.
[Ilphere] My family's intentions...?
[Ilphere] What do you mean?
- Ilphere blinks.
[Dominik] Aren't you and your family trying to make Marl's offer genuine?
[Ilphere] Oh, that...!
[Ilphere] What does that matter to you?
[Dominik] I don't really care one way or another, but there are others that do care.
[Ilphere] What's the problem?
- Ilphere frowns prettily, looking slightly puzzled...!
[Dominik] Hmm... could it be that you're trying to tie your family with ruling family and that others might be trying to do the same thing?
[Dominik] That couldn't be it, could it?
[Dominik] Its not like other people wouldn't want to get close to the Emperor's family.
[Ilphere] We're quite aware of that, thanks..!
[Dominik] For one, my sister has a longing eye for Marl.
[Ilphere] Your sister...?
[Ilphere] I didn't know she was on the list...
[Dominik] And she is trying to hedge her bets. Figures that if you manage to get engaged with Menard, it will hurt her chances.
[Dominik] It's not like I think she really has a chance with Marl, but the problem for you is that she thinks she has a chance.
[Ilphere] I thought he was going to marry Lavinie...?
[Dominik] And he probably will.
[Dominik] But Zivia is still trying to make a play for power.
[Dominik] And she has you as someone she needs to get out of her way.
[Ilphere] What do you think she might do...?
[Dominik] Rumors, innuendo... try and embarase or discredit you.
[Dominik] She even asked me to spy on you.
[Ilphere] Oh my!
[Ilphere] That's terrible...!
[Dominik] see what kind of dirt I could dig up on you.
[Ilphere] Well I haven't done anything...!
[Dominik] As if it really matters what you've done... all that matters is what she can convince people that you've done.
[Ilphere] Oh well... anyone can tell a silly lie! What does she think is to stop someone from saying things like that about her then...?
- Dominik shrugs
[Ilphere] Thank you for telling me, though...!
[Dominik] I don't claim to understand the way she thinks, I just know from experience the outcome.
[Ilphere] It is all quite ugly; I shall be happy when it's done...
[Dominik] Do you even want to marry Menard?
[Ilphere] If Marl *announces* he's marrying Lavinie do you think she'll back off?
[Ilphere] It would be best for the family.
[Dominik] No, I doubt she would, figuring she can get him to unannounce... but I didn't ask what was best for your family.
[Ilphere] Well of course, I want what's best for everyone.
[Dominik] How selfless.
[Ilphere] Family is important...!
[Dominik] Yes family is important.
[Dominik] that's why you'll understand why I still have to tell Zivia something.
[Ilphere] Oh really...?
[Ilphere] Like what...?
[Dominik] You tell me.
- Ilphere pushes her goggles back onto the top of her head.
- Ilphere looks at you quizzically.
[Ilphere] I am not sure what you want me to say...?
[Dominik] The only thing I can come up with is your private sessions with the half-elf.
[Ilphere] Our association is a professional one.
- Ilphere says tartly.
[Ilphere] We have mutual research interests...!
[Dominik] Then it seems like something that could be fruitful to use against you, but in the end is harmless.
[Dominik] It's better than Zivia spreading the rumor were sleeping together.
- Dominik says grimly
[Ilphere] Oh that is disgusting...!
[Ilphere] Very well.
[Dominik] I hope you're ready for the battle your putting yourself in. This is only the opening volley.
[Ilphere] I am not ignorant...
[Ilphere] I think you are trying to help me... or at least that you don't desire to help your sister... and I appreciate that...
[Ilphere] But don't think I am entirely without teeth...!
[Dominik] What I desire it not even be in this situation... but that choice was taken from me.
[Ilphere] Well, if I do manage to marry Menard, perhaps you will be free of me.
[Dominik] There are worse ways to pass the time than watching you.
[Dominik] and it
[Dominik] good to see you have some fight in you.
[Ilphere] Well thank you...!
[Dominik] I'll keep my sisters wit aimed incorrectly for a while.
[Ilphere] Thank you for that, as well... I shall be careful...!
- Dominik nods