Diablotin 2 session 51

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Session date:
Diablotin date:


[DiablotinNarrator] It takes several days for the Place d'Iena fires to be extinguished thoroughly enough for an inventory of the damage to be conducted.

[DiablotinNarrator] When all is said and done, it seems the death toll is about 150 people, with several thousand more left homeless. The fire consumed many shops and businesses in the market district as well, but the worst losses were the large granaries, where whatever remained of the city's grain supplies were stored.

[DiablotinNarrator] Without intervention, there is likely to be widespread starvation in Diablotin before the earliest crops will be ready for harvest.

[DiablotinNarrator] What form that intervention might take, if any, is currently unclear...

Guillame and Thea

[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame, Aden is, as expected, exceedingly busy with work, barely home at all. Meanwhile, the Levellers are meeting within a few days' time at their hideout in Rhenea, presumably in order to discuss what to do next, and of course you are invited.

[Guillame] Of course I will attend!

[DiablotinNarrator] When you arrive, the room is subdued, not filled with the usual before-meeting chatter, and the crowd seems a little smaller than usual.

  • Thea calls the meeting to order when it seems like no one else is likely to show up.

[Thea] Thank you all for coming at this difficult time. I know some of you have lost homes, workplaces, loved ones, and I know how hard this is for everyone.

[Thea] So I want you all to know what really happened. Phelix was there that night, he can tell us what he saw.

  • Phelix stands, nodding his thanks to Thea. There still seems to be a faint smell of smoke lingering about him.

[Phelix] Well, you all know about our efforts to provide food for the poor, by whatever means necessary...

[Phelix] The Imperial granaries were our target, like they'd been all along. We weren't taking from ordinary merchants.

[Phelix] But it had seemed like they were catching on to us - the last time we'd hit them, security was tighter, and we barely managed to get in and out in one piece.

[Phelix] Anyhow, we had made our plans for one last big raid. I figured that would be enough to see a good number of people through to spring, at least if we did it right.

  • Guillame looks grim

[Phelix] There weren't any guards posted that we could see. It seemed like they'd relaxed - I should have been wary at that, but at the time I was just glad that we were going to make it without any trouble.

[Phelix] So we got in, no problems, and started loading like usual, but something seemed off. I couldn't put my finger on it, I just felt antsy for no real reason.

[Phelix] Then, looking around more, I realized there wasn't nearly as much grain there as there ought to have been. I mean, I'd been there before, and this place was a lot emptier than I would have expected.

  • Guillame sense motive?

[DiablotinNarrator] (sure, you can roll)

  • Guillame rolls 1d20+19: (15)+ 19 = 34

[DiablotinNarrator] You believe that he is not telling the full truth.

[Guillame] (ok)

[Phelix] Then we hear the doors lock. We're stuck in there, with guards or who knows what outside. I figure we're screwed, so we all start grabbing what we can and Guibert gets ready to teleport us out with as much as we can carry, our emergency exit plan.

  • Guillame SM's Thea for good measure

[Phelix] But I heard the guards - I assume - outside laughing. I'd swear I heard one say "This is what you get for thieving," and then suddenly everything was on fire. We barely got out of there with our lives... two of us, Ardea and Horace, didn't make it :/

  • Guillame rolls 1d20+19: (7)+ 19 = 26
  • Thea isn't saying anything atm, but seems to believe him.

[Guillame] (thanks)

[Phelix] So that's what happened. I figure either they moved the bulk of the grain first, then trapped us to try and kill us. Maybe they were also hiding the thefts so they wouldn't get into trouble, I don't know.

  • Phelix sits down, amid the murmur of the crowd.
  • BalthCat is now known as Alma

[Thea] We will be stepping up our efforts to help those who've lost their homes, finding them places to stay as much as we are able. If anyone has room to spare, we could use it.

  • Guillame makes a mental note to talk to Mother about providing some space

[Thea] As for the supplies.. well, we have what we had already taken, we'll just have to ration it out more slowly and try to make it last as long as we can.

[Thea] Guillame, Rickard, I trust the public meeting will be proceeding as previously planned?

[Guillame] (I think so?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (no reason why not... I have assumed you are making the arrangements.)

[Guillame] (Absolutely)

  • Guillame nods to Rickard

[Guillame] No problems on that front

[Thea] Good... We may have a larger-than-expected turn-out, I would imagine.

  • Guillame nods, face still grim

[Thea] All right. Unless anyone has further business, we'll wrap things up. Those of you who have accomodations, or know of anyplace that could take in some guests, please talk to me afterwards.

  • Guillame waits to talk to Thea
  • Thea will talk with you once the crowd has thinned out a little.

[Guillame] Do you have a moment, Thea?

[Thea] Of course, what can I do for you?

  • Guillame gestures towards a quiet spot
  • Thea joins you.

[Guillame] Well, first of all, I'll certainly see if I can persuade my family to take in refugees for a while.

[Thea] Thank you, that would be much appreciated.

  • Guillame nods

[Guillame] And secondly... um, if I'm not being too rude - did Phelix leave anything out of his account?

  • Thea looks puzzled.

[Thea] Why would he do that?

[Guillame] I don't know... I just got the impression that he wasn't being completely forthright...

[Guillame] I thought we had agreed to hold off the raids for a while?

[Thea] He did - for a month, like we'd said.

[Guillame] That's right, sorry - the time went so fast while I was away.

[Thea] The others who were with him, and made it out - Guibert and Lizia - confirm the gist of his story. They didn't hear the people outside talking, but other than that, it matches up.

[Guillame] Probably it's nothing, I suppose. It's an awful business, anyway.

  • Thea nods.

[Thea] Terrible...

[Thea] Thank you for talking to your family. I know your house could accomodate a lot of needy folk.

[Guillame] Maybe some of the nobles could be encouraged to subsidise or invest in farming... it won't help for the rest of this year, but it's worth thinking long term...

[Guillame] It could, yes. I hope Mother sees it that way!

[Thea] I hope so too.

[Thea] Was there anything else?

[Guillame] No, I think that's everything. Rickard and I will stay on top of the meeting.

[Thea] Great. Thank you so much.

  • Guillame nods, and heads off

Ilphere, Ysabeau and Nash

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere, you intend to talk to the Warlord, and bring Ysabeau with you. It is somewhat challenging to get hold of her in the days immediately after the fire, but you manage to pin her down a week or so later.

  • Ysabeau follows Ilphere to wherever we're meeting her. This is mostly Ilphere's show. :)

[Ilphere] (what is the setting for the meeting... am I cornering her in the hallway or do we have an appointment? :V)

[DiablotinNarrator] (an appointment - it can be in her offices, or you can have arranged another place if you prefer)

[Ilphere] (Well, her office is fine )

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok)

  • Cornelia is waiting for you at the appointed time, then.
  • Cornelia looks harried, her braid frizzy as though it hasn't been undone and rebraided in several days.
  • Ysabeau follows the princess in, and makes the proper sign of respect for the Warlord.
  • Ysabeau will cast detect thoughts just before entering the room and doing the proper obeisance

[Ilphere] Thank you for agreeing to meet with us, Warlord... I appreciate that the timing is not ideal.

[DiablotinNarrator] (DC?)

[Ysabeau] (17)

[DiablotinNarrator] (Ilphere should save too, fwiw)

[Ilphere] (lol fail)

[DiablotinNarrator] Ysa, you detect two minds, Ints of 24 and 20. You can detect Ilphere's surface thoughts but not Nash's.

[Cornelia] Not really. What is this about?

[Ilphere] Well, I assure you that I do not intend to waste your time; the matter is of utmost importance...

  • Cornelia nods, listening.

[Ilphere] May I assume that our conversation will be private here?

[Cornelia] Of course.

[Ilphere] Very well...

[Ilphere] Then as we are being time conscious I shall cut to the heart of the matter...

[Ilphere] We know that you are the keeper of the arch...

[Cornelia] Not 'are', 'was'. But yes. I presume you've been speaking with Seth Argo.

[Ilphere] In a manner of speaking.

[Ilphere] Have you heard anything about our recent expedition to Kholm? from Seth or other sources?

[Cornelia] I have heard a few details. Feel free to tell me anything you feel is important, though.

[Ilphere] Well...

  • Ilphere will tell her about the other Arch, about Aushinre's tale, and so on.

[Ilphere] (unless you want me to type it all out)

  • Ysabeau remembers her notebook and brings it out, along with a fountain pen.

[DiablotinNarrator] (no, that's fine - unless there's anything you specifically don't want to tell her, i will assume you tell her everything.)

  • Ysabeau will take notes as needed rather than stand around and pparently do nothing.

[Ilphere] (no, I tell her everything)

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok)

  • Cornelia listens intently to your story.

[Cornelia] Another Arch.... how fascinating. I always believed there was only one.

[Ilphere] Now we believe that the fires that destroyed that civilization were those of Kavreshar, the dragon that serves the serpent... the one that was released here in Diablotin.

[Cornelia] Hm. An interesting theory.

  • Ysabeau poises her pen and studies Nash for her reactions, body language etc (SM?)

[Ilphere] We have seen other civilizations destroyed by the same entity... or at least echoes of that destruction, in the Shadow Plane.

  • Cornelia seems interested but not completely convinced.

[Ysabeau] (31 for the SM roll, if anything comes up worth noting)

[Ilphere] And I believe that Diablotin is very much in danger of being 'cleansed' in the same fashion... if we do not restore the Arch.

[Cornelia] Restore the Arch how?

[Ilphere] The serpent must be restored to its proper place.

[Cornelia] Restore it to how it was fifty years ago, or two thousand years ago?

[Ilphere] Its original state, yes...

  • Ysabeau glances over at Ilphere.

[Cornelia] Then I cannot support this, I'm afraid. To leave it free, without any check on its madness, would be disastrous not only for the city, but for our world.

[Ilphere] It is meant to be a force of balance...

[Cornelia] I would be overjoyed to see it rebound within the Arch, but only if it is balanced by some other entity - as the Rat formerly served to keep it in check.

[Ysabeau] Excuse me, my lady... madness? The Serpent is mad?

[Ilphere] It has become... unbalanced, yes.

[Ilphere] It must be restored to its original state, that is what I meant...!

  • Ysabeau asks as if to clarify what she is writing in her notebook.

[Cornelia] What do you think? You've seen its... echoes, if you will.

[Ilphere] I think that something humans did, during the founding years of Diablotin, caused this state.

[Cornelia] Its original state was a state of total dominance. Unimpeded will.

[Ilphere] I believe that somehow, the Rademacher bloodline was involved...

[Cornelia] Good for them, if it's true. By containing it, breaking the Arch and trapping it there, they allowed this civilization to grow, free of its malignity.

[Ilphere] According to Aushinre's people, to what we discovered in Kholm, this was not the case...?

[Ilphere] (re: dominance, etc)

[Ilphere] Listen, I and others of this bloodline have been shown... visions, about the Arch...

[Cornelia] Why was their Arch destroyed?

[Ilphere] (madly reads logs and stuff)

[Ysabeau] I don't think we know. Do you?

[Ilphere] Because their priests tried to meddle with it, and were punished.

[Ilphere] The Patriarch, Thaleus Rademacher, told me that the wheel must turn true, else...

[Cornelia] Else what?

[Ilphere] Else I fear that we will face the same, now that the dragon is free from its bonds.

[Ilphere] I have seen the city aflame.

[Ilphere] This city.

[Cornelia] So their priests meddled with their Arch, and were destroyed? What were they seeking to achieve?

[Ilphere] (SM her if I can)

[Cornelia] Were they trying to bind the Serpent, as happened here, or were they seeking something else?

[Ilphere] (35)

[Ilphere] That we were not able to learn... most regrettably.

  • Cornelia seems skeptical, but certainly concerned.

[Cornelia] That would seem an important point, then, in deciding how to proceed with our own situation.

[Cornelia] Our society thrived for thousands of years with the Serpent trapped - if we were going to be destroyed for this, wouldn't it have happened by now?

[Ilphere] Kavreshar, its servant, was bound.

[Ilphere] Until that day at the Council.

[Cornelia] Well, if it was bound once, it can be bound again.

[Cornelia] It is not a god. Powerful it may be, but it can be overcome.

[Ilphere] Well, perhaps...

  • Ilphere is now the skeptical one.

[Ilphere] From the artifacts we unearthed in Kholm, Aushinre's tales, my own visions, everything... everything tells me that the Serpent *is* the wheel. It has become something other than what it was meant to be, a force of balance. That is what must be righted...

[Cornelia] My own belief is that the Serpent must be balanced, yes, by some great force of good. I believe that the Centre has arranged things so that this may occur...

  • Ilphere quotes from the text Sanadhil sent her... (tell me where/if this gets cut off)

[Ilphere] "The Centre loves the Void, which was made to be filled; Knowledge loves Ignorance, which it enlightens; Force loves Weakness, which it sustains; the Good loves the Evil, which makes it glorious; the Day is amorous of the Night, and incessantly pursues it around the world. Love is at once a thirst, and a fullness that must flow forth abroad. Whatever gives movement receives it; and whatever receives it gives it. It is a perpetual exchange. Wherefore, as we have said before, the Universe is balanced by two forces, which maintain it in equilibrium; the force which attracts, and that which repels. This is the equilibrium of the mountain of gold, which the Angels on one side, and the Demons on the other, hold tied by the Serpent; this is the universal law of Sympathies and Antipathies."

[Cornelia] How sweet. It would indeed be lovely if things were that orderly.

[Ilphere] This was written in a book of philosophy also coming from the Shadow Plane.

[Cornelia] Well, perhaps restoring these 'angels' would be something to be sought, if you are concerned with balance.

[Ysabeau] Sounds good to me. Now, if only we knew how.

[Ilphere] They have not been in evidence since Aushinre's time.

[Cornelia] There are other entities that have lived that long. Perhaps they know more.

[Ysabeau] You mean demons?

[Cornelia] Yes.

[Ysabeau] Well, we know of at least one in the city.

[Ysabeau] I guess it's a start.

[Ysabeau] Problem is, they aren't exactly trustworthy.

[Ysabeau] I'm not sure I could believe anything he says.

[Ilphere] He does know something, but he cannot or will not speak of it.

[Cornelia] Well, no. But there are ways of getting him to talk.

[Ysabeau] That's what I thought you might suggest... :/

[Ilphere] He is bound as well... Those spells would have to be broken.

[Cornelia] It might be possible.

[Cornelia] I presume you are referring to the entity that calls itself Earric Boyne.

[Cornelia] Or is there another?

[Ilphere] That is the one we know of, yes.

[Cornelia] There are probably others in the Empire, it might be possible to seek them out.

[Ysabeau] They're very difficult to identify though, aren't they?

[Cornelia] A divination spell to seek them might be simplest.

[Cornelia] I know there are some in this city who bear demonic blood, but not of any other full-blooded demons, though I wouldn't be surprised to learn they are here.

[Ilphere] If the imbalance has shifted things so that the demons are free while the angels are... elsewhere, it will definitely require some work to entice them to cooperate...!

[Cornelia] We don't require their co-operation in the endeavour, necessarily - just their information.

[Ysabeau] Yes. :/

[Ilphere] Do you have a way of making them share it?

[Cornelia] Oh, I have rooms full of ways.

[Ilphere] I can create a magic circle, but my talents at this stage lie more in summoning and less in coercion.

  • Cornelia nods.

[Ilphere] Nevertheless I would be very pleased to assist if I can.

[Cornelia] Very well. I will see what I can do about... procuring an information resource.

[Cornelia] I thank you for sharing all of this with me, Princess. It was most... informative.

[Ilphere] I thank you as well...

[Cornelia] I will be in touch.

[Ilphere] I will look forward to hearing from you again soon...!

  • Cornelia nods.

[Ysabeau] Thank you for your time, Warlord.

[Cornelia] Thank you as well, Mlle. Chanuier.

[Ysabeau] (SM? Thank me for what? Creepy eyed lady)

  • Ysabeau curtseys or shows whatever sign of respect is necessary.

[Ysabeau] (28)

  • Cornelia is thanking you?

[Ysabeau] (I'm suspicious, so give me abreak ;) )

  • Ysabeau tucks her notebook into her bag and follows Ilphere out. She's silent for a bit, until she judges that they are out of earshot of Nash and sundry servants/nobles passing in the corridor.
  • Ysabeau clears her throat delicately.

[Ilphere] Hm...?

[Ysabeau] Sanadhil... and Earric, Ilphere?

[Ilphere] What...?

  • Ilphere is taken off guard.
  • Ilphere looks at you quizzically.

[Ysabeau] I must apologize. I cast Detect Thoughts before we entered the Warlord's room. My hope had been to overhear her thoughts. I did not succeed with her. You, however...

[Ysabeau] This about Sanadhil and Earric concerns me.

[Ilphere] You *spied* on my *thoughts*...?!

[Ilphere] And you did not *tell* me...?

[Ysabeau] I thought of it on the spur of the moment. It's not really in my nature to use it, really.

[Ysabeau] There was no chance to tell you; you were opening her door.

[Ilphere] Ysabeau I *trusted* you with, with all this...!

[Ysabeau] And that is why I am telling you that I used that spell, as soon after I did it as I possibly could.

[Ilphere] You could have dropped the spell when you realized it had not worked on Nash...!

  • Ilphere seems ... upset!

[Ysabeau] You're right. I could have. I didn't think of that.

[Ysabeau] I'm sorry.

[Ysabeau] The damage is done.

  • Ysabeau looks like she feels bad for not thinking of dropping it.

[Ilphere] You didn't think of it..?

[Ilphere] !

[Ysabeau] I don't *use* it, Ilphere.

[Ilphere] My thoughts, my *private* thoughts, are just that - private...!

[Ilphere] I cannot even *cast* it and I know that...!

[Ysabeau] I know. I *know*. That's why I try not to use it.

[Ysabeau] I thought it would help with Nash. I made a mistake, forgetting I could drop it.

[Ilphere] Well, drop it now.

  • Ilphere says hotly.

[Ysabeau] It's gone.

[Ilphere] You know what I mean.

  • Ysabeau nods.
  • Ysabeau is quiet for a while, chastened and feeling miserable and guilty.

[Ysabeau] So, do we leave Nash to find a 'suitable source of information?' Or should we work on that ourselves?

  • Ysabeau ventures, eventually.

[Ilphere] Well, I'm sure that she has resources that we do not have access to...

[Ysabeau] Well, I guess it depends on how urgently this matter needs to be tended to.

[Ysabeau] If there *is* some urgency then it might not hurt to double our chances.

[Ilphere] Well I suppose you already know I wish to avoid dealing with Alma.

  • Ilphere says sourly.

[Ysabeau] I don't need magic to tell me you don't much like her.

[Ysabeau] Still, she has some skill at divination.

[Ysabeau] I could be the one to deal with her, but I won't if you absolutely don't want her involved.

[Ilphere] Not unless it becomes absolutely necessary.

[Ysabeau] How will we know when it becomes absolutely necessary?

[Ilphere] She is blinded by Church doctrine... I am not sure she would not hinder rather than help us in this.

[Ysabeau] I don't know, she might like to be one of the first people in a hundred generations to contact an angel.

[Ilphere] I intend to invite more visions...

[Ysabeau] "Invite" them?

[Ilphere] Yes.

[Ysabeau] How do you invite visions?

[Ilphere] There are ways.

  • Ilphere says evasively.

[Ysabeau] :/

  • Ilphere seems less than inclined to share everything with you just now, for some reason.

[Ysabeau] Just be careful, okay, Ilphere?

[Ilphere] Of course...

[Ysabeau] I don't want anything bad to happen to you. :/

[Ilphere] Don't worry... I can take care of myself...!

[Ilphere] I am not so fragile...

  • Ysabeau sighs.

[Ysabeau] I know you're not, but I worry all the same. That's what people do, when they care about you.

[Ysabeau] I am getting the feeling that you'd like to see me gone. So with your leave, I'll oblige you.

[Ilphere] ... I'll let you know if I hear from Nash.

  • Ilphere says a little more softly.

[Ysabeau] Thank you, Ilphere.

  • Ysabeau touches you on the shoulder.

[Ysabeau] I'll see you around?

[Ysabeau] Oh, that song Aushinre sang?

[Ysabeau] I figured it out. :)

[Ilphere] Oh..?

[Ysabeau] It's a bardic spell, that we must have forgotten long ago.

[Ilphere] What does it do?

[Ysabeau] That's how she blinded Danyel and Saandhil and the others.

[Ysabeau] Well, you gain the beauty of a nymph, and some of a nymph's particular abilities.

[Ilphere] Fascinating...!

[Ysabeau] you can sort of tone it down if you want.

[Ysabeau] The one thing is, you have to plan in advance if you want to cast it.

[Ysabeau] You can't have sex for a week beforehand.

[Ysabeau] Isn't that strange?

[Ilphere] How bizarre... @_@

  • Ysabeau nods, grinning.

[Ysabeau] I don't know if I'd want to use it or not.

[Ilphere] What counts as 'sex'...?

[Ysabeau] Oh, actual fucking. I think you can kiss and stuff, still.

[Ysabeau] Well, on that note...

  • Ysabeau loses her grin and looks guilty and unhappy again.

[Ysabeau] Talk to you later, Ilphere.

[Ilphere] See you soon...!

  • Ysabeau waves and leaves, smiling a tiny bit.

Seth and Rab

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth, Rab has asked to speak with you again, at Vianca's house.

  • Seth will clean himself up nicely and head over there, mind full of questions.

[DiablotinNarrator] Vianca's home is in Rhenea, not too far from the Society's hall. It is a half-timbered oak-framed building which you would estimate dates from the reign of Empress Eleana, and has a well-maintained but lived-in look about it.

  • Rab greets you politely when you arrive.

[Rab] How have you been?

[Seth] Well, thank you. My life is ... unencumbered, to a degree I find very refreshing.

[Seth] And you?

[Rab] I am fine, thank you.

[Rab] I am hopeful that we are on our way to resolving this problem.

[Seth] I see! How do you hope to do so?

[Rab] I have spoken with Reverend Mother Mayne, and she agreed to attempt to Commune with Ox and ask a series of questions that might help us.

  • Seth nods.

[Rab] I have these answers, and would like you to relay them to Pasith.

[Seth] Are you concerned at all that the Church hierarchy now knows of this ... situation?

[Rab] Mayne is Pasith's niece... I think she is trustworthy, and will keep her silence as long as possible.

  • Seth nods.

[Seth] Very well. What were the questions and answers?

  • Rab passes you a sheet of paper.
  • Seth reads it.

[DiablotinNarrator] (I will c/p here, let me know if it gets cut off or anything)

[DiablotinNarrator] 1. Is the soul of Pasith Belden in the Void? No.

[DiablotinNarrator] 2. Is the soul of Pasith Belden in the Centre? Yes.

[DiablotinNarrator] 3. Is the soul of Pasith Belden within the Arch? Yes.

[DiablotinNarrator] 4. Is her soul divided between these two states? Yes.

[DiablotinNarrator] 5. Will Pasith Belden's soul someday be reborn as a Seventh? Unknown.

[DiablotinNarrator] 6. Is this division of her soul preventing her rebirth? Yes.

[DiablotinNarrator] 7. Can her soul to be reunited? Yes.

[DiablotinNarrator] 8. Is this division of her soul against the gods' will? No.

[DiablotinNarrator] 9. Will Rab ever be reunited with Pasith Belden or her reborn self? Unknown.

[DiablotinNarrator] 10. If the physical Arch was destroyed, would Pasith Belden's soul be released? No.

[DiablotinNarrator] 11. If the entity known as the Serpent was trapped once more within the Arch, would Pasith Belden's soul be released? No.

[DiablotinNarrator] 12. If the entity known as the Serpent was destroyed, would Pasith Belden's soul be released? Yes.

  • Rab gives you a few moments to read it.

[Seth] Hmm. Do you trust the answers?

  • Rab considers that.

[Rab] I don't know what it all means. I guess my hope is that Pasith will understand this better than I do, and may be able to guide our actions.

[Rab] The sticking point will be this one.

  • Rab points to Question 8.

[Rab] I... I would gladly challenge the gods themselves to have her back again. But she may well feel differently.

[Rab] I can hear her saying that if this is not contrary to the will of the gods, that it is not our place to try and change it - that it must be for some greater purpose we cannot understand.

[Seth] Just because it is not against the gods' will does not mean that it *is* their will.

[Rab] A fine distinction. She would probably call that sophistry ;)

[Seth] Perhaps it is. I can imagine that someone of her goodness might also oppose the effort to destroy the Serpent, because its consequences are unknown, and in any event would surely result in many deaths.

  • Rab nods.

[Seth] I find myself in the unenviable position of acting as a messenger who will almost certainly be called upon to defend these questions and positions when I go through.

[Rab] I apologize for that. If I could deliver it myself, I gladly would.

[Seth] I understand. Given that I am in the position, though, I would seek more information with which to arm myself.

[Rab] Of course.

[Seth] Tell me: the Seventh, you take your name from the fact that after six lives, you go on to some sort of greater state, yes?

[Rab] Yes.

[Seth] And did the re-introduction of the Rat change that in any way?

[Rab] I don't know for certain. I believe it probably did.

[Seth] So it is possible that Pasith would have to go through a lifetime as a mortal of House Rat before proceeding to ... her new status?

[Rab] Perhaps, yes. We had weighed that possibility when she was alive.

  • Seth nods.

[Seth] And so, what was supposed to happen was that, when she died as Pasith, she would go to this other state, or to her next life? But if she returned as a Seventh, you would know it immediately? Or, she would seek other Seventh out instinctively?

[Seth] How was it meant to happen?

[Rab] We are able to recognize one another. She would have found us, or I would have found her, in time.

[Rab] Her memories of past lives would likely have led her back to the city, if she was not reborn here.

[Seth] But in some way, this split in her soul, both in the Center and in the Arch, has delayed this if not prevented it.

[Rab] It seems that is so, yes.

[Seth] How do you, and others of your kind, interpret or understand your place in the world with respect to the Wheel and the Centre? Or rather, how might Pasith understand it?

[Rab] Hm. I cannot speak for all of my kind, but most that I know believe that we have been chosen by the Centre to return and do good in this world.

[Seth] And all Seventh are human and have all their past lives here in the Empire?

[Rab] Does that answer your question?

  • Seth nods.

[Rab] To the best of my knowledge, yes.

[Seth] And how do the Seventh view the Arch? How does it fit into your beliefs?

[Rab] Well, I believe that there were beings - gods, I suppose - bound within the Arch. And I believe, because Pasith believed, that the current gods wanted them to be released. That they asked it of her.

[Seth] The other gods wanted the Rat and the Serpent released?

[Rab] Yes.

[Seth] But we do not know for what reason or to what end?

[Rab] I couldn't venture to guess.

  • Seth nods.

[Rab] But I know that Pasith had... a theory, at least.

[Seth] Oh?

[Rab] I think she came to feel that the gods wished for the Rat to be released so it could rejoin them. For the Serpent to be released as well was... a trade-off they were willing to make, perhaps.

[Seth] Is the Serpent, in your view, a god like the other seven, or of a different ultimate nature?

[Rab] I'm not a theologian. I think it is a being with godlike powers, which I suppose makes it a god. Whether it's exactly akin the others or not, I don't know. My gut instinct is that it is different somehow, but I can't be certain.

[Rab] Perhaps it is merely changed by its centuries in captivity.

[Seth] Hmm. Given what you know of Pasith, how will she view the news that she is trapped inside the Arch, neither in the Center or the Void?

[Rab] I think she will accept it, if told that it comes from communion with Ox.

[Seth] Do you believe that what the Reverend Mother told you constitutes the actual answers? Is there any possibility that she may have misinformed you?

[Rab] I don't think Mayne would do that. Not where Pasith's concerned. She always looked up to her.

[Seth] Very well.

[Seth] Is there anything else I need to know, or anything else you would like me to tell Pasith, when I go to her?

[Rab] Tell her I love her, of course, and that I'm doing everything I can think of to resolve this.

[Seth] I will.

[Rab] I won't accept 'this is the gods' will' for an answer.

[Seth] Then nor shall I.

[Rab] Good.

[Rab] Thank you.

Dominik and Fredericia

[DiablotinNarrator] Dominik, Fredericia pays a visit to talk to you, which usually means a job.

  • Dom smiles when he sees her

[Fredericia] I have a little something for you, by way of a gratuity for your recent assistance.

[Dom] Oh? Lets have it then.

  • Fredericia says once you're safely ensconced in her carriage.
  • Fredericia pulls out a purse, which she hands over to you. It feels pretty substantial. (100 Imperials)

[Fredericia] There's another a little job for you, if you're interested.

  • Dom glances at it quickly and pockets it.

[Dom] I'm always up for a little light entertainment.

[Fredericia] No violence involved this time, I'm afraid - at least, if there is, you're doing something wrong.

[Fredericia] And you'll be on your own. Are you all right with that?

[Dom] That's fine I guess. What is the task?

[Fredericia] Very well. There's a particular book in the Imperial Archives. Princess Ilphere's in and out of there pretty often, right? So you should have an excuse to be there.

[Fredericia] This book needs to be ... disposed of. Thoroughly.

[Dom] Book burning... thats a little odd.

  • Fredericia shrugs.

[Dom] What is this book anyway?

[Fredericia] I don't ask why, I just relay the information.

  • Fredericia hands you a slip of paper.

[Fredericia] That's all the info you should need to get hold of the thing. You can tell the desk-monkey that it's for the Princess's research if they ask why you need to take it out, I suppose.

[DiablotinNarrator] The paper says "Althea Deverara, financial account book, 2217-2222".

[Dom] It doesn't fit the regular research Ilphere is involved in, but I'm sure I can manage it.

[Fredericia] Good.

[Dom] Have you read the paper?

  • Dom holds the paper up

[Fredericia] I know what it says. I don't believe for a minute that that's really what this book is.

  • Fredericia says with a shrug.

[Dom] So you have no idea what it really is?

[Fredericia] No idea.

[Fredericia] Who knows, maybe it is her finances. Maybe they decided that there were too many payments for man-whores, and it needed to go.

  • Dom chuckles

[Fredericia] Well she must have got those kids somewhere :p

[Fredericia] Anyway - shall I drop you off at the palace, then?

[Dom] Thats fine. It shouldn't take long to procure it.

[Fredericia] Wonderful.

[Dom] I'll let you know when the task is finished.

  • Fredericia nods.
  • Fredericia will drop you off at the palace, then.

[Dom] Anything else I should be aware off, before I head off?

[Fredericia] You know everything I know about this particular job.

  • Dom nods
  • Dom will wander the palace for a bit before heading to the archives to procure the book

[DiablotinNarrator] You make your way to the Imperial Archives. You've no doubt been there with Ilphere, but never on your own before. It's part of the palace complex, a vast labyrinth of papers and books that seems dusty and mostly irrelevant. Surely they won't miss one little book...

  • Librarian at the front is a young woman, kind of plain.

[Librarian] Can I help you, sir?

[Dom] Hello, have I seen you here before?

[Librarian] I.. don't think so. I don't believe I recognize you.

  • Dom nods

[Dom] Must not have been in on those days... or were someplace else in this vast archieve.

  • Dom muses

[Librarian] That could be.

[Dom] Regardless, I've been tasked by the Princes Ilphere to retrieve some documents associated with her research.

[Librarian] Oh?

[Librarian] What can I do to help?

[Dom] Directions might be useful, as you are likely more familiar with this place than I.

[Librarian] What are you looking for?

[Dom] Looking for Financial books dating 2217-2222

[Librarian] Imperial finances, or someone's personal account books?

  • Dom glances at the piece of paper he has as if he hasn't a clue what he's looking for

[Dom] I think its personal account books... there's a name... Althea Deverara whoever that is?

[Dom] Does that make any sense to you?

[Librarian] Oh, yes. Althea Deverara was, uh... Empress Tristane's companion.

[Dom] I'm guessing its a big book otherwise why send me.

[Librarian] I suppose her personal accounts would be with the Imperial family's records for that time period.

[Librarian] I can help you find them if you like...

[Dom] I wouldn't want to trouble you too much... but if you have the time that would be a big help. To be honest, I'd probably spend all day looking in here and never find it.

  • Librarian smiles.

[Librarian] I don't mind.

  • Dom smiles

[Dom] that would be great

  • Librarian stands and leads you into the shelves of books, then.
  • Librarian seems to know where things are, though it all kind of looks the same to you.
  • Librarian eventually stops at a certain shelf.

[Librarian] It should be right around here...

[Librarian] Aha!

  • Librarian pulls out a book, slim and bound in black leather.

[Dom] So small... not sure why she needed me to help her...

[Dom] Thanks.. uh... I didn't catch your name.

[Librarian] I don't know. But I don't mind that she did ;)

[Librarian] Oh, it's Pasith.

  • Librarian says with a smile.
  • Librarian is now known as Pasith

[Dom] Pasith... nice name. Sounds very familiar.

[Pasith] I suppose there are a lot of us :)

  • Pasith hands you the book.

[Pasith] Well, if I can just get you to sign for it, you'll be all set.

[Dom] Sure thing

  • Pasith leads you back to the desk, where there is a big ledger of signed out books.

[Pasith] Just right here...

[Dom] Do I put my name down or the Princess, since that's who it's for?

[Pasith] Oh. I guess yours would be best- you can add that it's for her, if you like, since I suppose you won't have it if they should happen to have to come looking for it.

  • Dom nods
  • Pasith glances at your signature.
  • Dom will sign his name and make refernce to Ilphere's research

[Pasith] Thank you very much, M. Rademacher.

  • Dom glances quickly at the other names in the book

[DiablotinNarrator] (in the ledger?)

[Dom] (yep)

[DiablotinNarrator] Most recently, Martine Sathin, Aden Olivier, Yanina Kizer - you know, folks like that. Some others you don't recognize too, no doubt.

[Dom] wow, lots of important people come through here

[Dom] and you get to meet them all

[Pasith] Oh, yes. It can be quite busy at times.

[Dom] Sad about the fire. Hope it didn't affect you too much.

[Pasith] Very sad. Fortunately I wasn't badly affected, not like so many others.

  • Dom smiles

[Dom] Glad to hear that

  • Pasith smiles back.

[Dom] Anything I need to tell the Princess about the books being signed out? When do you need it back by?

[Pasith] Well, there's not a firm deadline for members of the Imperial family - whenever she's done with it is fine.

  • Dom nods

[Dom] Thanks.

[Pasith] No problem.

  • Dom will head out with the book then

[DiablotinNarrator] Ok - what will you do with it?

[Dom] (Look at it first)

[DiablotinNarrator] It looks excruciatingly boring. It records payments for new gloves, sums for presents bought for weddings and birthdays, musician's fees, and so on. In fact, it's almost suspicious how *unsuspicious* this book is...

[Dom] (odd...)

Dominik and Ilphere

[Dom] (can I track down Ilphere?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (sure, we'll say you can :)

[DiablotinNarrator] You can find her in her chambers, let's say.

  • Ilphere is feeding Hali some scraps from lunch.

[Dom] Greeting Princess

[Ilphere] Oh, hello...

[Dom] I took a book out of the Imperial Records for you. Take a look.

  • Ilphere looks the account book over...
  • Dom tosses the book to Ilphere

[Ilphere] ...Why did you take this out...?

  • Ilphere looks at him quizzically.

[Ilphere] (can I see anything special about it at first glance?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (not at first glance, no... it seems very mundane)

[DiablotinNarrator] (well, you can see who it belonged to - I suppose that's sort of noteworthy.)

[Dom] anything special about it? Magical or otherwise? It seem so ordinary that it makes you wonder.

  • Ilphere casts Detect Magic...

[DiablotinNarrator] (there is dim transmutation magic on this book)

[Ilphere] (I will continue to concentrate on the spell to see what else I can get... and then roll spellcraft or arcana I guess?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (sure, spellcraft)

[Ilphere] (24 :/)

[Ilphere] There is a faint aura...

[DiablotinNarrator] (You believe it could be a Secret Page spell in effect. That would require a dispell, or a true seeing + comprehend languages to read what is actually written there.)

[Ilphere] But really... *why* did you take this out?

  • Ilphere 's curiosity is mounting.

[Dom] Someone wants it destroyed

[Ilphere] who? ... *Why?*

[Dom] there are lots of possible Why's... there is something secret concealed in it that is not wanted to be revealed?

[Dom] Trying to get leverage on me by having me destroy something of value?

[Ilphere] Here's a deal... you tell me who, I'll try to find out why. :)

  • Ilphere waves her fingers around in a vaguely spellcasty fashion.

[Dom] It's the hush of course... and not Nash's side either.

[Ilphere] Mmm-hmmm...

[Ilphere] I see...!

[Ilphere] Well, what have we got here, then...

  • Ilphere will cast Dispel Magic.

[DiablotinNarrator] (I think you can't fail? it's such a low-level spell...)

[Ilphere] (coo')

[DiablotinNarrator] (maybe you can... I guess it's DC 14, roll your 1d20+10)

[Ilphere] (I got 15)

[DiablotinNarrator] (keen :)

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok, will send you both actual contents of the book... it's long, so I'll email it.)

  • Dom peers over the book to see if anything has changed from the spell.

[DiablotinNarrator] Dom, it's become a diary of some sort.

[Ilphere] Oh my...!

[Dom] any chance you can magic a copy of it?

[Ilphere] (let's read it!)

  • Ilphere shakes her head...

[Ilphere] (is there a spell that would do that though?)

[Dom] (magic page I think)

[DiablotinNarrator] (sent email)

  • Dom reads

[Ilphere] Fascinating...

[Ilphere] (would that be a spellcraft roll then?)

[Ilphere] You know... in the other world, Butler had a daughter...

[Dom] right... what was her name?

[Ilphere] Marrith?

[Ilphere] Why would the Hush want to destroy a record of her existence?

[Dom] If they wanted this destroyed, why send me? There would be subtler and easier ways to do it.

[Dom] I would say they wanted us, likely you to know about it.

[Ilphere] Perhaps ... but again, why...

  • Ilphere purses her lips together thoughtfully...

[DiablotinNarrator] (got K:nob? make a roll :)

[Ilphere] (I am rolling for shit today, ubt I'll try)

[Ilphere] (33, not so bad!)

[DiablotinNarrator] (Butler has a daughter named Marith, with his now-deceased wife Cora. This would be no secret :)

[Ilphere] (oh hurrr)

[Ilphere] Oh, never mind... Marith is Cora's daughter, that's not it... but there is another...

[Ilphere] (did Falke have any protegees of about the right age that might be known?

[DiablotinNarrator] (roll k:nob again, I guess)

[Ilphere] (31)

[DiablotinNarrator] (no, not that you know of. His grandchildren are all younger than that, and no protegees that you are aware of.)

[Dom] Kalman was house Bear...

  • Dom wonders aloud

[Ilphere] Who might he have considered a trustworthy young family...? Hmmm...

[Dom] the Gouge family was close to his.

  • Ilphere tries to remember something...

[Ilphere] "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] The light of the stars...

[Dom] so this child would be that girl.

[Ilphere] yes...

[Ilphere] Do they think I know who she is...? Do they think we might lead them to her? Or do they already know and... I just don't...

  • Ilphere frowns.

[Dom] regardless of thier motives, us knowing is a good thing.

[Dom] and either way I am going to burn the book

  • Ilphere nods...

[Ilphere] I think we do need to find her... somehow...

  • Dom nods

[Dom] I'll copy the journal entries of import and burn the book.

[Dom] I can talk to Halden... he should know if there is anything tied to the Gouge family

[Dom] other than that, I have no other leads as to who the Empress and vas Andrak would turn to.

[Ilphere] Nor do I, but I will see if I can find anything...

[Dom] I hope I don't have to mention keeping these discussions between us quiet

[Ilphere] Of course...

Alma and Pasith

[DiablotinNarrator] Alma, you are presently undertaking research in the church's massive central archives, where most of Matriarch Pasith's records are kept.

[DiablotinNarrator] You learn very quickly that there are a huge number of them - she was Matriarch for fifteen years, Reverend Mother for over thirty years before that, and she wrote quite prolifically on many subjects. Fascinating as this is, it means a great deal of material to comb through.

  • Alma hopes she was allowed to bring her assistant ^_^

[DiablotinNarrator] (sure :)

[DiablotinNarrator] One afternoon, you (and your assistant) are seated in a corner of the airy, luminous reading room, poring over one of the Matriarch's personal journals, with a few other items stacked beside you for later.

[DiablotinNarrator] You are just admiring a fine pencil sketch for the portrait that was painted when Pasith became Reverend Mother, when a young woman approaches you.

  • Woman is perhaps a few years older than you, in her late twenties or so, with short, wavy brown hair and dark eyes, a square, solid build discernable beneath her rather plain gown.

[Woman] Excuse me, but I think you have one of the items I was looking for. Do you mind...?

  • Woman says politely.

[Alma] Oh? Uh, which one is that?

  • Woman glances at her notes.

[DiablotinNarrator] You can't help but notice that she bears a distinct resemblance to the sketch you were just looking at.

[Woman] Some of Matriarch Pasith's journals...

  • Alma stands beside the table of books.

[Alma] Ah, we do have several of those...

  • Woman glances at the stack that's on the table.

[Alma] Family research?

[Woman] Oh, heh.

  • Alma shows the sketch.

[Woman] She was my grandmother. My mother was Trenta Belden before she married. Everyone says I look like her...

[Alma] An easy comparison to make, it seems :)

[Woman] I'm sorry, I ought to have introduced myself. My name is Pasith du Champe.

  • Pasith looks mildly embarrassed at her famous name.

[Pasith] And you are...?

  • Alma smiles

[Alma] Sister Alma de Beziers.

  • Alma takes her hand for a shake, etc.

[Pasith] A pleasure to meet you, Sister.

[Alma] And you.

[Alma] Were you planning to withdraw the journals today?

[DiablotinNarrator] You realize that her name makes her not only the grand-daughter of a Matriarch, but the daughter of a Reverend Father, Velten of the Order of the Rat.

[Pasith] Well, I work at the Imperial Archives, actually.

[Pasith] I was just over here because someone was interested in consulting some of my grandmother's writings, and I was sent to fetch them. But I see you're busy with them...

[Alma] .oO( That's bound to be fairly common. )

[Alma] I would be happy to drop them by the front when we are finished?

[Pasith] Well, it's for the Lady Chamberlain, Martine Sathin. Of course it's quite understandable she's too busy to come here herself, so she asked for the items in question to be brought to her.

[Pasith] She asked for her journals from around 2219, 2220... these ones here.

  • Pasith says, pointing to some of the books you haven't looked at yet.

[Alma] (What years are those, in particular?)

  • Alma looks a little sad they're ones we haven't looked at yet.

[Alma] (pfft history 14)

[DiablotinNarrator] (it would be about 10 years before she became Matriarch... you don't know of any especially noteworthy events around then in her life, though.)

[Pasith] Look, I really shouldn't, but if you're in the middle of using them, I could tell her the staff here were unable to locate them, and come back and "find" them in a day or two :)

  • Alma frowns a little.

[Alma] Well, I wouldn't want you to get into any trouble...

  • Pasith shrugs.

[Alma] Could they be delivered a little late?

  • Alma looks hopeful?

[Pasith] I don't imagine she would be pleased, but I don't think it would be trouble either - these things happen all the time, that books get misplaced.

[Pasith] I don't really know why she needs them anyway. My best guess is, perhaps one of the Reverends' children is getting married, and she wishes to read about how my grandmother organized matters when my uncle Butler and my mother were married.

[Pasith] That was in 2219 and 2220, and I don't know of anything else terribly important that happened around then. Well, I was born, but I'm sure that's not it!

  • Pasith says with a chuckle.
  • Alma smiles.

[Alma] (I was briefly confused how her mother and Butler married each other.)

[Pasith] (hahah - married to different people :)

[Pasith] If you wanted to drop them off at the palace archives when you finish with them, I'm sure that would be fine.

[Alma] Well, thank you very much... we'll look through them quickly... and if anyone gives you trouble, you can tell them I had put them back in the wrong place :)

  • Pasith smiles.

[Pasith] Thank you, Sister. I appreciate it!

[Alma] It was a pleasure, Ms. du Champe. :)

[Pasith] I'll leave you to your work, then.

  • Alma will do as she said, and switch to working on the books in question.

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok - writeups of their contents will be forthcoming... at some point, hopefully this week :)

Sanadhil and Phedre

[DiablotinNarrator] Sanadhil, you have been given instructions to present yourself, alone and without any magic upon your person, at Phedre's house at about an hour before nightfall on the 26th of the month.

  • Sanadhil is still going ahead with the telepathic bond at least, and also nondetection, because that's just Sensible

[DiablotinNarrator] (telepathic bond with Ilphere?)

  • Pasith is now known as Phedre

[Sanadhil] (yes)

[Phedre] (ok)

[Sanadhil] (nondetection has a caster check of 21.... which is not great but better than nothing)

[Sanadhil] (works agains detect magic, but I dunno about the more portent versions)

[Sanadhil] (potent)

[Phedre] (Really? isn't it 15 + caster level?)

[Alma] (If it's on yourself it's 15+CL)

[Sanadhil] (oh yes, because it is on myself. so 26)

  • Phedre greets you when you arrive.

[Phedre] Welcome, Sanadhil.

  • Phedre wears a loose robe, belted at the waist, and has her hair down. The necklace is, as usual, around her throat.

[Sanadhil] Thank you, and good evening.

[Phedre] I hope you won't be offended if I ensure that you're free of any magical auras. It wouldn't do to get in there only to find that we have to start all over again because of some little spell that was overlooked.

[Sanadhil] of course.

[Sanadhil] : Alas...

  • Phedre casts what you presume is a dispel magic, then a detect magic to make sure you're all clear.

[Sanadhil] (dc 19 for the nondetection, 22 for the telepathic bond)

[DiablotinNarrator] (smashy smashy)

[Sanadhil] (figures)

  • Sanadhil tries not to seem overly nervous - a little nervous is probably acceptable though ;)
  • Phedre smiles.

[Phedre] Very well. Let's be on our way - we don't want to keep the others waiting.

[Sanadhil] of course not...

  • Sanadhil smiles slightly
  • Phedre escorts you to her waiting carriage, which carries you through the darkening streets until you reach Templewood Park in Rhenea.

[Phedre] Do you know why the park is called Templewood?

  • Phedre asks as you approach.
  • Sanadhil tries to recall

[Sanadhil] (it has to do with that domed temple doesn't it?)

[Sanadhil] (history or city lore?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (CL)

[Sanadhil] (16 :p)

[DiablotinNarrator] (presumably there's a temple on the grounds or nearby? you're not sure)

[Sanadhil] I believe I have read something about it, but I can't recall any connections other than the obvious...

[Phedre] There are ruins here, very ancient ones. There isn't much to see above ground any longer - a few stones, that's all - but people say it was an old temple.

[Phedre] They are correct, as it happens. Their only error is in presuming they know what gods were worshipped here.

[Sanadhil] I see.

  • Sanadhil tries to remember what was in this general area in the shadow plane

[DiablotinNarrator] There are prostitutes around the gates of the park, who call out to your carriage as you pass, but once you are into the woods, it is quiet and still, apart from the occasional calls of night-birds.

[DiablotinNarrator] The air is chill and you can smell smoke, whether lingering from the great fire or from a closer source, you can't tell.

  • Sanadhil watches around
  • Phedre exits the carriage where the path circles around, and walks with you through the woods some distance.
  • Sanadhil is dressed smi formal elfy, for the record
  • Phedre was right, there isn't much to see here - a few knee-high stones arranged in a circle, a few flat slabs on the ground that might once have been a floor, that's all. It does seem odd to you that no trees have grown up within the confines of the circle, though.
  • Sanadhil silent/still casts DM
  • Phedre has magic on her. You don't detect any magic on the stones.

[Sanadhil] (shocking :p)

  • Phedre touches the stones in a certain pattern, then steps back. You see one of the slabs on the ground slide open smoothly, revealing a stairway leading down into the darkness.
  • Phedre gestures for you to go first - presumably she needs to close the entryway after you're in.
  • Sanadhil watches carefully...
  • Sanadhil nods, and will descend
  • Sanadhil will silent/still cast heroism while he is thnking of it :V

[DiablotinNarrator] The staircase is narrow, the stones slick with damp, but there is a wafting smell of incense from somewhere down below that overcomes the wet scent of moss and underground.

  • Sanadhil waits for her, looking back

[DiablotinNarrator] You proceed down the stairs slowly, taking care not to slip. The meagre hint of light from the moon and stars is snatched away as Phedre closes the door behind you and follows you down the stairs.

[Sanadhil] (is is completely dark, or is there still enough light for elfy eyes?)

[Phedre] Finally, you reach the bottom. There is a crack of light, as if from beneath a door, which lets you see that you are in a small antechamber of some sort.

[Phedre] (ww)

[DiablotinNarrator] Finally, you reach the bottom. There is a crack of light, as if from beneath a door, which helps you see that you are in a small antechamber of some sort.

[DiablotinNarrator] (probably enough from the door below that you can see ok)

  • Sanadhil feels a little better at that point
  • Phedre turns to you.

[Phedre] There is no turning back now. But I wanted to reassure you, in case you are feeling apprehensive. I cannot lie and tell you that there is no danger ahead. But no harm will come to you tonight if you do exactly as I say, and answer all questions that are posed to you honestly.

[Sanadhil] I understand.

  • Phedre nods.
  • Sanadhil says, likley sounding calmer and more confident than he feels at that particular moment
  • Phedre gives you a kiss.
  • Sanadhil smiles

[Phedre] Leave your clothing here, and I will summon you in when it is time.

[Sanadhil] Thank you...

  • Sanadhil tries not to feel overly self conscious as he strips, then
  • Sanadhil tries to find someplace that is not to manky to put his stuff :x

[DiablotinNarrator] (there's a little shelf)

[Sanadhil] (sweet)

  • Phedre then slips through the door and shuts it once more behind her.

[Phedre] A cloud of incense escapes in the moment the door is opened. It makes your eyes sting a little, but also seems to clarify your thoughts, calm your emotions somewhat.

[Phedre] (ww)

  • Sanadhil tries to see if he can hear anything

[DiablotinNarrator] A cloud of incense escapes in the moment the door is opened. It makes your eyes sting a little, but also seems to clarify your thoughts, calm your emotions somewhat.

  • Sanadhil casts freedom of movement, and nondetection again

[DiablotinNarrator] You have a few minutes to stand there, feeling chilly.

  • Sanadhil tries to calm his mind

[Sanadhil] (can't hear anything though the door?)

[DiablotinNarrator] "Enter, Aspirant," says a voice from the other side of the door.

  • Sanadhil takes another deep breath, and will enter

[DiablotinNarrator] You enter into a low-ceilinged circular stone room. At the centre, there is a brazier, which provides the only light in the room, and there is a slab of stone like an altar, with a large silvery cup sitting atop it.

[DiablotinNarrator] There are robed and masked figures standing on the far side of the chamber, ten of them. You can recognize Phedre, of course, but the others are not easily identified. Just judging by their builds, you would say there are three men, seven women.

[DiablotinNarrator] Their shadows seem to writhe and coil across the floor and ceiling in the flickering light, though they are still as statues. Your own shadow too seems to grow, twist, and merge into the darkness that surrounds you.

  • Phedre steps up to the altar, facing you.

[Phedre] What do you seek, Aspirant?

[Sanadhil] . o O (likely just an effect of the incense....)

[Sanadhil] Knowledge.

  • Sanadhil answers easily

[Phedre] And what do you see before you, Aspirant?

  • Sanadhil pauses, trying to figure that one out

[Sanadhil] Opportunity.

  • Phedre nods slightly. That seems to be an acceptable answer.

[Phedre] Look to your own shadow, cast by your mortal flesh. Before you can gain wisdom, you must put the flesh aside, to gain mastery over your mind, body, and soul. Will you proceed?

  • Sanadhil mentallys scoffs at 'mortal flesh,' briefly, but alas he is not of pure blood...

[Sanadhil] Yes.

[Phedre] This is the abode from which none leave unchanged, a path from which there is no turning and no return. Will you still proceed?

[Sanadhil] ...All life is change. I will proceed.

  • Phedre draws a straight razor from her sleeve and opens it. The blade glints redly in the firelight.
  • Phedre makes a sudden cut across her palm and holds her hand out, allowing the blood to drip into the goblet.
  • Phedre then offers the razor to the other members of the group, who each step forward in turn and add their blood to the chalice.
  • Phedre offers it lastly to you.

[Sanadhil] . o O (Another binding in blood....)

  • Sanadhil takes it carefully, though, and trying not to either wince or blanch, likewise cut open his palm
  • Sanadhil bleeds some of his elfblood into the chalice

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok - it'll cost you 3 HP, if that matters...)

[Sanadhil] ('k)

  • Phedre takes the razor back and puts it away, then takes out a small vial, unstoppers it, and adds its contents to the mingled blood.
  • Sanadhil thinks of the stars... we are all the same material, afterall, what can it matter...
  • Phedre lifts the goblet in both hands.

[Phedre] Great Serpent, master of creation and destruction, open the path for this Aspirant who comes meekly before you. Bestow your wisdom upon him, that he may work your will in this world.

[Phedre] With this cup, bind him to us, your humble servants, body, mind, and soul. If he should ever betray us, or work against your will, let his body waste away, his mind grow feeble, and his soul be forfeit to the Abyss.

[Phedre] Come, Aspirant, and drink deep.

  • Phedre holds out the cup to you.
  • Sanadhil feels a shiver run down his spine

[Sanadhil] . o O ( My soul.... is not for any of you)

[DiablotinNarrator] The contents of the goblet are dark, darker than blood should be, and oddly shimmery in the light.

  • Sanadhil tries to convince himself that these human gods and powers don't have any real claim on him, regardless...
  • Sanadhil takes it.

[Sanadhil] . o O (It doesn't matter)

  • Sanadhil looks into it for a moment, and will drink until he feels naseous

[DiablotinNarrator] It tastes... rich, thick, and heady, intoxicating even. It is like starlight itself coursing through your veins.

  • Sanadhil feels surprisingly empowered and envigorated

[DiablotinNarrator] You drain the cup, and feel a surge rush through you as you hand it back to Phedre.

[DiablotinNarrator] The room seems to spin around you, as if you had drunk wine instead of blood, and you stagger slightly.

[DiablotinNarrator] Shadows flood in at the edges of your eyes, and the last thing you see is Phedre's face over yours, as you pass out.

  • Sanadhil tries to stand steady
  • Phedre 's face also the first thing you see as you wake up. You're not sure how much time has passed, but you don't think it could have been too long.

[Phedre] Welcome to the Covenant of the Serpent Reborn.

  • Phedre says as she helps you up again.

[Sanadhil] (am I still naked? ;p)

  • Phedre , or someone, has draped a robe over you, which you can now put on properly.

[Sanadhil] ...thank you..

[Phedre] Are you all right?

  • Sanadhil feels a little strange - lightheaded perhaps?

[Sanadhil] Yes.

[Phedre] Good.

[Sanadhil] Was that all... typical?

  • Sanadhil looks around at the ten others, realizing it may be hard to judge :V

[Phedre] Not unusual. Not everyone faints, but it's happened.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Phedre] It's the demon blood - it's very potent.

[Sanadhil] Ahh. of course....

[Phedre] Come... I want you to meet everyone.

[Phedre] (The others are taking off their masks, so you can see them now.)

  • Sanadhil finishes slipping into the robe, and belting it, or what have you
  • Sanadhil looks around at them

[DiablotinNarrator] There are three men, six women other than Phedre, as you had surmised. A few of them you probably recognize.

[DiablotinNarrator] Bessa du Champe, you have met fairly recently at the Society.

[DiablotinNarrator] You probably recognize Martine Sathin, the Chamberlain, though I don't think you've ever actually talked to her.

[Sanadhil] (no)

  • Sanadhil takes in all the faces, hoping that the fact that his head is still reeling a little will legitimately cover any surprise

[DiablotinNarrator] Also one of the Reverend Mothers, Esmena vak Andras, and the head of the Order of the Spoke, Butler Belden. I... don't think you would likely recognize any of the others.

[Sanadhil] (or....lack of it, since I already knew about martine ;)

  • Phedre will introduce each of them in turn.

[Sanadhil] (aactually, Butler is a surprise, and I've never met or seen esmena, though I suspected her anyway ;)

[Phedre] Celestine Dizon.

  • Phedre says, indicating a short woman with blonde hair.

[Phedre] Dianne Kizer.

  • Sanadhil tries to remember if she is one of the imperial children, or some other Dizon
  • Phedre gestures to a tall, thin woman with a hawkish nose and short brown hair.

[Phedre] (got k:nob?)

[Sanadhil] (ha, no.... but I looked into their tree, at least :p Can I go straight of int?)

[Phedre] (sure)

[Sanadhil] (20)

[Phedre] (yeah, one of Althea's younger kids.)

[Sanadhil] ('s what I thought, heh)

[Phedre] Cynthea of Gouge.

  • Phedre nods to a young woman with long, luxuriant dark hair.

[Phedre] Loric vak Andras.

[Sanadhil] (there aren't many here *outside* of the family tres I've studied - Dianne is the only one I can't place right off)

[Sanadhil] (or loric, but he has to be related)

  • Phedre indicates a younger man with wavy brown hair.

[Phedre] Fitz Olivier.

  • Phedre indicates a middle-aged man, thin and with shoulder-length brown hair.

[Sanadhil] You all have ties... at least most... to those who moved the arch.

[Sanadhil] Or passed through it

[Phedre] Yes, that's correct.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] YOu gathered th-- us?

  • Sanadhil asks Phedre?

[Phedre] You are the first outsider, so to speak, we've brought into our little circle.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] so I see.

[Phedre] I was the first, yes, but others followed swiftly...

[Phedre] Some of us have been friends since childhood.

[Sanadhil] I...suspected.

[Phedre] We have come to believe that our parents, grandparents... that they erred in their actions fifty years ago.

[Sanadhil] At least, their actions were incomplete.

[Phedre] Precisely. They went but halfway.

[Phedre] They released the Serpent, but did not restore it to its rightful place.

[Sanadhil] which is y-- our goal, now.

  • Sanadhil smiles

[Sanadhil] but how?

[Phedre] The usurping gods permitted this to happen so that they might destroy the Serpent at last - for the Arch was its shelter, not merely its prison.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Phedre] We believe there is a person, a particular individual, who can assist in this task - who will die and live again, as do the Seventh, except that she will be empowered by the Serpent.

[Phedre] Most of us believe it to be Theonée Deverara, but some are... less certain.

  • Phedre says with a glance at Butler in particular.
  • Sanadhil nods, not trusting himself to say too much, on account of still feeling a bit drunk/hungover on...apparently demon blood

[Sanadhil] Why not her?

[Butler] Seems too obvious.

[Sanadhil] (sm?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (go ahead)

[Sanadhil] (26)

  • Butler seems to have other reasons which he's not sharing atm.
  • Sanadhil raises his eyebrows, but says nothing

[Phedre] Even if it is her, we are as yet divided on how best to accomplish this death and rebirth.

[Phedre] If we bring it about, would we be fulfilling the Serpent's will, or must it happen naturally?

[Sanadhil] I see..

[Phedre] But I believe that once it happens one way or another, she will be able to convey to us the next step.

[Phedre] She will have been in the Serpent's very presence, she will have knowledge we do not yet possess.

[Sanadhil] What do you believe is the place of the Serpent?

[Phedre] The Serpent is meant to be the circle, the wheel, the boundary between the Centre and the Void.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Yes.

[Sanadhil] and... what of Kavreshar?

[Phedre] The other gods have driven it out and taken this place, together with the beings that once served it.

[Sanadhil] yes, the angels...

  • Sanadhil rubs his temples

[Phedre] Kavreshar was... was once one of the greatest among the angels, if not the greatest of all. The bestower of justice.

[Sanadhil] According to who?

[Phedre] To Earric.

[Sanadhil] You believe him ?

  • Sanadhil asks with slight incredulity

[Phedre] On this subject, yes. He has.. first-hand knowledge of the matter.

[Sanadhil] oh?

[Phedre] Yes. He is... fallen, one might say.

[Sanadhil] fallen, or pushed?

  • Phedre chuckles.

[Phedre] A valid question. I would say he jumped.

[Sanadhil] Why?

[Sanadhil] well... that is maybe not as important

[Sanadhil] but did this happen to the others as well?

[Phedre] To avoid death, or worse than death.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] The Gods?

[Sanadhil] or something else?

[Sanadhil] How did you learn all this?

[Phedre] Communing, and visions, and conversations.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Phedre] My understanding is that those angels who did not .. vacate the premises, so to speak, were obliterated by the new gods.

[Sanadhil] I see.

[Phedre] Earric chose another path, as you can guess.

[Sanadhil] clearly

[Sanadhil] and the choices are irreversible - the angels gone forever?

[Phedre] I don't know. If the Serpent were restored, who can say what might be possible? Even the worst have a chance of redemption, do they not?

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] is that why you keep him?

[Phedre] That, and the fact that I love him, yes. It is often... difficult, but I persevere.

  • Sanadhil smiles again, understanding

[Phedre] I wish to ask your opinion on a certain matter, if you don't mind.

[Sanadhil] of course

[Phedre] The Rademacher visions - Ilphere's, and Yanina's, and most notably Theron's. What do you make of them?

  • Sanadhil glances around at the others, trying to get a sense of what they make if him, and of his inclusion in their membership

[Sanadhil] One of the early patriarchs, a rademacher, helped forge the Way of the Wheel, and his descendant are paying some rpice for that

[Sanadhil] All three have passed through the arch.... unless there are others of the bloodline that are in the order of the Black down, I presume that is what singles them out from the others...

  • Phedre nods.

[Sanadhil] There is some sort of imperative for them to restore balance.

[Phedre] How ... interesting.

[Phedre] 'Balance', hm.

[Sanadhil] Ilphere, I know, currently believe this means restoring the serpent - that if this does not happen, that kavreshar will wreak destruction on the Empire.

[Phedre] Perhaps we should bring her into our number as well...

[Sanadhil] I am sure she would be quite eager for it

[Phedre] My only concern is that her ... prominence might cause difficulties. But then, we have other prominent members, so perhaps it's not a great concern.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] You are under investigation, though.

[Phedre] We know. The Warlord, and the Church. So far Esmena has managed to keep that one low-key, fortunately.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Esmena] If absolutely necessary, the instigating individual can be... handled.

[Esmena] I would prefer not to, but... we'll see.

[Phedre] If the public 'wing' of the organization has to shut down, then it will, of course. Already I've been scaling it back.

  • Sanadhil nods again

[Sanadhil] Well. I can speak to Ilphere.

[Phedre] If you will. I feel some obligation for Theron as well - I don't know if I can help his visions to become less severe, but as I may have been responsible for instigating them, I feel I should try.

[Sanadhil] I know he was very severely affected by the most recent

  • Phedre nods.

[Sanadhil] They saw that kavreshar was responsible for the recent fire...

[Phedre] Literally, or metaphorically?

[Sanadhil] I'm not certain.

[Sanadhil] In the dream, litterally

[Sanadhil] But I do not know how it was meant to be intepreted

  • Phedre nods.

[Phedre] I should tell you - you may find yourself touched by visions as well. It's a common... side-effect, I suppose.

[Sanadhil] I see...

[Sanadhil] is it likely to intensify the visions of those who already have them?

[Phedre] I don't believe it would make them worse. It might in fact make them more... controllable.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I'll speak to her.

[Phedre] If anything happens that you wish to discuss with me, of course I am available. Also, my library will now be open to you, as I had promised.

[Sanadhil] Excellent.

  • Sanadhil smiles

[Sanadhil] Thank you

[Phedre] Thank you as well. You will be contacted before we meet next.

[Diablotin_Narrator] The group will disperse, then, a few at a time, in muted conversation with one another, or in silence.

  • Sanadhil watches them to get a sense of the internal dynamics ;x

[Diablotin_Narrator] (the older ones seem closer than the younger ones, who are a bit more separate, you'd say)

[Sanadhil] ('k)


Alma and Seth

  • Alma has left a message at the Society for Seth, asking to meet with him.
  • Seth is spending a lot of time at the Society already, so it's easy enough to set up a meeting.
  • Seth is engrossed in a book on murals when you arrive.
  • Alma arrives promptly

[Alma] Good afternoon, Mr. Argo.

[Seth] Ah, good afternoon. How are you?

[Alma] I'm well, and you?

[Seth] Quite well. This new paper is going to be quite fascinating.

[Alma] What is your thesis?

[Seth] I'm looking at conceptual linkages between the ruins and some of the older temples of Diablotin. The difficulty is that so many of the active temples have been reconstructed several times over the years.

[Alma] Ah, the temple in Gsran you mean?

[Seth] Yes, exactly.

[Alma] I imagine that won't be easy, with more than two thousand years apart...

[Seth] Yes, and of necessity the linkages are inexact. Still, I am confident it will be well-received.

[Alma] I wanted to ask you about something you said in the tombs of Gsran...

[Seth] Oh?

[Alma] You spoke of priests, who "swung open the dread gate". It sounded like something you had read or heard before...

[Seth] Ah yes, of course.

  • Seth sorths through some old notes for a minute and then pulls it out.

[Seth] When I was doing research into Arch guardians, when Nash first came to our attention, I was doing some investigation into that.

[Seth] Several of the most interesting references are from the Codex Lunaticium. You are familiar with its nature?

[Alma] Yes, I am... I've been thinking I should look into the Codex myself, with all of what is going on...

  • Seth nods.

[Alma] To what was that passage referring, if it was in context at all?

[Seth] It was in volume 3 - that is, in one of the earliest in the series, which has 27 volumes by now, in the accounts of one Talith.

[Seth] The full passage is:

  • Seth reads from the page:

[Seth] "I have found the Gate that leads to the Outside, by which the Watcher, who guards the entrance to our world, keep eternal vigil. I have felt the presence of that Ancient One whose name is written in the forbidden texts, the testament of a dead civilization whose priests, seeking power, swung open the dread gate and were consumed. My fate is no longer written in the stars."

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] Did it refer to those texts by name, anywhere else?

[Seth] The 'forbidden texts'? Not that I found, but then, I was looking for references to Watchers and Guardians, not texts.

[Alma] Yes, of course, it's only now that it appears relevant.

[Seth] Exactly, and hence my words at Gsran, which must at the time have seemed rather cryptic.

[Alma] I do think we should try to find them, if we can.

  • Seth nods.

[Alma] A little, but I assumed you had simply made a connection...

[Seth] I'm afraid I do not have the facility in ancient languages to actually deal with these 'forbidden texts', if we found them. We should recall, also, that the Codex Lunaticium has clearly been translated and re-copied over the ages, and be wary of errors introduced in that way.

[Alma] I have had more practice with the older languages of the Empire, and have magical means as well... should you need something translated at some point.

[Alma] That is a good point, however, older copies would be best.

[Seth] Indeed.

[Alma] Volume three, you said? The words of Talith?

[Seth] Yes, that is correct.

  • Alma makes a note.

[Seth] I am seeking ultimately to learn about the early history of the Arch.

[Seth] I have been led to understand that Antje Dinh and her students are working on the ancient Gravonian inscriptions, and that that might shed some light.

[Alma] Hopefully my research in the Church Archives will uncover something of use to us. So far, however, nothing new has come up. If I come across anything in the writings of the Matriarch, I will let you know which books.

[Alma] Have you spoken with M. Rionet about this?

[Seth] Yes, to some small degree, but not in much detail.

[Seth] Perhaps I should.

[Alma] He may have already made her acquaintance in the past, so it may be a good idea.

[Seth] I also should tell you: I recently communicated with Rab once again, regarding the matter of Pasith.

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] How has he taken that news?

[Seth] Well enough. It is an answer, which is more than he had. Through magical means he has been able to learn that Pasith's soul is divided between the Centre and the Arch, thus preventing her rebirth.

  • Alma sighs

[Alma] At least some part of her has reached the Centre...

[Alma] How did he learn this?

[Seth] I believe it was through the Reverend Mother Mayne's intervention, to commune with Ox.

[Alma] Well, that's good...

[Seth] Ox told her that one way this state can be ended is to destroy the Serpent. There may be other ways, but we do not know them.

[Seth] We also do not know whether Pasith has even the least desire for this to happen.

[Alma] Even if she did... she may not be right...

[Alma] Her account of the rejoining of the Arch indicates they assumed that Vrag was released as a "lesser evil" when freeing Rat.

[Alma] I haven't come across much more, yet, to indicate she learned much more about it.

[Seth] Yes ... It is very complicated, and no doubt made more so by the relatively obscure theological implications of the Seventh themselves.

[Alma] I wonder if Resurrection could recall her spirit.

[Seth] O_o

[Seth] Isn't that heretical?

[Alma] Resurrection is unacceptable, generally, because the risk exists that the soul has moved on properly, to the Centre, or to another life.

[Alma] It may be worth finding out whether a Resurrection in this case might be acceptable.

[Seth] Ah, I see ... given that Ox has told us that this has not happened, Resurrection might be a solution.

[Alma] I have been composing a list of questions for Owl, myself. A ... delicate practice as I feel I should avoid selfish questions... but perhaps I should ask this one.

  • Seth nods.

[Seth] Well, that is between you and the gods, I suppose.

  • Alma chuckles quietly.

[Alma] Well, thank you for your help today, Mr. Argo. I should let you get back to your reading.

[Seth] Thank you.

[Alma] Enjoy your day.

Ysabeau and Dominik

  • Ysabeau has been working at the School and the Society a lot, lately. Dom probably knows that she has been busy researching Aushinre's song and the ancient musical instrument, with the hopes of writing her final paper so she can graduate from the Castalia. She has also been busy composing music for the Emperor.
  • Dominik has been busy with tasks around the palace, visiting Laurin and brooding like he tends to do.

[Ysabeau] (Since we're both busy, i guess we'll have pre-arranged a meeting time/place... heading out for a date or a night home, what would you prefer?)

[Dominik] (Meeting for a meal works for me)

  • Dominik will have set something up at relatively quiet eating establishment... hard to go all out when food is so short.
  • Ysabeau smiles when you pick her up but is perhaps a little troubled. She slips her arm through your elbow, though. Are we walking or taking a carriage?

[Dominik] (Carriage first then walking)

[Ysabeau] Hi... :)

[Dominik] Hi

  • Dominik smiles
  • Ysabeau gives you a quick peck in greeting.

[Ysabeau] So, where are we going tonight? ^-^

[Dominik] It's a quiet place called the "The River Candle"

[Ysabeau] Sounds nice. Quiet sounds good, too.

[Dominik] nothing too fancy.

  • Ysabeau allows you to help her into the carriage, and waits for you to settle in beside her.

[Ysabeau] How is Theron? Have you seen him?

  • Dominik takes her arm and leads her in.

[Dominik] I haven't really had a chance to speak with him since the fire.

[Ysabeau] I heard that he's really not well... you didn't make the time...?

  • Ysabeau asks softly, and curiously.

[Dominik] I'm keeping an eye on him.

[Dominik] There is nothing I can really do for him.

[Ysabeau] You can be there for him.

[Ysabeau] Maybe that's all.

[Ysabeau] How is your mother?

[Dominik] She's...

[Dominik] she's not been having a good time of things... although things were a little better when we last spoke.

  • Ysabeau squeezes your hand gently, as if to say "I'm here, you can talk to me."

[Ysabeau] What did you talk about?

[Dominik] We talked about me, Laurin, and choices I have to make and choices she made.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] How did it go?

[Dominik] It was difficult.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Most things worth doing are.

[Dominik] There is not much to really say. She told me why she made the choices that she did. I listened.

[Dominik] I know she wishes things had worked out differently, but they didn't.

[Ysabeau] Were you able to understand the choices she made?

[Dominik] Understand? I'm not sure what you mean?

[Ysabeau] I suppose it doesn't really matter.

[Ysabeau] Were you able to forgive her?

[Dominik] I want to... or at least I think I want to... but its too fresh... I try to distract myself because I still get angry thinking about it.

  • Ysabeau nods, and is silent for a bit.

[Ysabeau] How is Laurine?

[Dominik] I just don't know how to get rid of the anger...

[Dominik] She is doing well enough.

  • Dominik frustration seems to melt away with her name.

[Ysabeau] Do you... did you... do you love her?

[Dominik] It hasn't been easy on her in many ways.

[Dominik] Love her? No, I don't think I love her, or did love her, not in that way.

[Ysabeau] But you would have married her.

[Dominik] We were friends and we fooled around because we got caught up in the moment... it never became more than that.

[Dominik] She was a comrade in arms, I was supposed to watch her back, protect her flank, and I failed her.

[Ysabeau] So... it was out of a sense of duty.

[Dominik] And after I let her get stabbed, I can't even be the one to help her get back to fighting form.

[Dominik] A stupid metaphore, I know, but that was how we spent most of our time together, practicing with arms.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Dominik, I know I seemed okay with it when you first told me. But the more I think about it, the more troubled I've become.

[Ysabeau] You didn't tell me until after...

[Ysabeau] You would have left me, without even talking to me about it.

[Ysabeau] It makes me feel like... maybe you don't have very much respect for me... or for my feelings.

[Dominik] I never meant for it to be taken like that Ysabeau... it was a snap decision.

[Dominik] I couldn't let my child be raised without me there if I could do something about it. I wouldn't do to my child what was done to me.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Dominik] Laurine and were together before you and I were. It only happened that one time.

[Ysabeau] (SM?)

[Ysabeau] (30)

[Dominik] (Bluff 30 although I'm not concealing the truth)

[Ysabeau] Ok. I know that. And I understand where you're coming from, about wanting to be there for your child.

[Dominik] We are together and you deserved to know before I made any choice... I wasn't being fair or thinking of you.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] But... I also think, that if I were to find out I was pregnant tomorrow, or next week, or a month from now... I would tell you, because you would deserve to know.

[Ysabeau] And maybe you would ask me to marry you...

[Ysabeau] But I think I would say no.

[Ysabeau] I wouldn't want to just be your duty.

  • Ysabeau looks away, swallowing, anxious.

[Dominik] I can understand that... just as I understand why Laurine told me no as well.

[Dominik] And you deserver to get more than just some duty bound proposal.

  • Ysabeau slides her glance back at you and nods.

[Ysabeau] I do.

  • Ysabeau asserts.

[Ysabeau] I do.

  • Ysabeau repeats, sounding rather more self-assured.
  • Dominik nods

[Ysabeau] We've been together four months, going on five, now.

[Ysabeau] Where do you see this going?

[Dominik] I havn't really thought about where things were going to end up. I've just been trying enjoy this while I can.

[Ysabeau] Well... I need to know, Dominik.

[Dominik] Will this lead to a marriage proposal?

[Dominik] Would you even want to be part of my family?

[Dominik] I could see us getting married in the future... we do fit well together... but I wasn't planning on asking for your hand in the short term.

[Dominik] That is what you were asking, is it not?

[Ysabeau] Not quite.

[Ysabeau] I mostly wanted to know how serious you are about me...

[Ysabeau] I guess that tells me something, though.

[Ysabeau] I'm not angling for a proposal.

[Ysabeau] I just wanted to make sure I wasn't just a... friend with benefits.

[Ysabeau] I'm not very good at relationships, or judging what's going on.

  • Dominik laughs

[Dominik] And you think I am?

[Dominik] We weren't seeing eye to eye the past month or so... I was too upset over what was going on with my family... but I missed you.

[Dominik] I can't promise everthing between us will always be smooth sailing.

[Ysabeau] I don't think anyone can promise that.

[Ysabeau] I just... I'm very conscious about my past.

[Dominik] You know I don't care about your past.

  • Ysabeau shakes her head.

[Ysabeau] I don't know that, for sure.

[Ysabeau] Some horrible little part of me is always trying to sabotage myself.

[Ysabeau] Whispering "No one could *really* care for you... You're shameful and soiled."

[Dominik] I care for you Ysabeau... you are not shameful and soiled.

[Ysabeau] (SM)

[Dominik] You are an amazing woman.

[Dominik] (I'm being sincere)

  • Ysabeau tries to believe you, but you can probably tell this is a very deep psychological scar for her.

[Dominik] You have to trust that I love you. Otherwise there isn't much point in this.

  • Ysabeau reaches a trembling hand up to your cheek.

[Ysabeau] You love me?

  • Dominik takes her hand

[Dominik] I said it without even thinking about it. It seemed so natural.

  • Ysabeau smiles, her eyes shining with tears.

[Ysabeau] You need to say it more often.

  • Dominik smiles

[Dominik] I don't think I've ever said it.

[Dominik] until now

[Ysabeau] You haven't.

  • Ysabeau confirms.

[Dominik] I love you. I said it again.

[Ysabeau] I love you, too, Dominik.

  • Dominik kisses her
  • Ysabeau relaxes into his kiss.

Sanadhil and Alma

[Sanadhil] anyway, society is likely best?

  • Sanadhil will be reading in the library?

[Alma] Yeah, I could be dropping in to pick up something

[Sanadhil] keen, lets go then :)

[Alma] -

  • Alma hums quietly to herself as she makes her way through one of the Society common rooms.
  • Sanadhil is in the society library, reading, and looks up as he hears humming
  • Alma stops to see if the Society researcher has any updates for her.

[Alma] Ah, good afternoon M. Orecalo.

[Sanadhil] And you as well, Countess

[Sanadhil] Looking for anything in particular?

[Alma] I was just wondering if {Name} was about.

[Sanadhil] ahh, I haven't seen them since just before noon.

[Sanadhil] I think they left something for you on one of the shelves...

  • Sanadhil gestures
  • Alma goes over to check.
  • Alma picks up a little update ^_^

[Alma] Ah, there is indeed. Thank you.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Actaully, I have a question for you as well, if you don't mind.

[Alma] Certainly, I have a few minutes.

  • Alma will come stand by you.

[Sanadhil] Thank you.

[Sanadhil] I have been thinking, as I'm sure we all have, about what we were told by the Wolf Shamaness, about how things were ordered.

[Sanadhil] as opposed to how they are now....

[Sanadhil] It seems like while rat and the Serpent were both confined in the Arch, there was some kind of equilibrium which has been lost - can we agree on that?

[Alma] One might argue that Aveyrone's two millennia are demonstration otherwise.

  • Sanadhil shakes my head

[Sanadhil] I'm sorry, i phrased that very wrongly

[Sanadhil] I meant that while they were confined that there was a balance, but their *release* has caused it to be disrupted

[Sanadhil] I was getting ahead of myself, I think....

  • Sanadhil frowns slightly, annoyed at himself

[Alma] I am still reluctant to declare whether there is, or was, a metaphysical imbalance. If you have long held a pitcher of water taken from a calm lake, does pouring it back in result an imbalance, just because waves appear?

[Sanadhil] That analogy doesn't hold though - we know there is an element missing from the original.... lake.

[Alma] I don't believe we do, for certain.

[Sanadhil] Then what happened to the Angels? And are the gods truly no more today than they were when they served only as tribal spirit guides?

[Alma] I do not know the answers to those questions, though I hope to learn more in time. I believe the Gods are more than what Aushinre thought them to be, whether that is because she was wrong, or because things have changed. That does not indicate there is any imbalance, though. And the disappearance of the Angels may be simply a mystery.

[Alma] Were there a great imbalance, you would think that we would be plagued with demons and devils, taking advantage of some sort of ... power vacuum.

  • Sanadhil smiles

[Alma] Again, I think the Empire's history demonstrates no such great chaos.

[Sanadhil] So you have no interest in them, apart from a historical curiousity, then.

[Alma] I do wonder, yes...

[Alma] I simply make no assumptions.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Alma] Have you learned anything new about them?

[Sanadhil] Not as yet,though I am planning some research

[Sanadhil] I want to know, for one, if there is any reference to them in the indiginous religion here, either at the time of, or before, the Shadar Kai

[Alma] Mine is ongoing, though I have found nothing as of yet... I am, however, focussing primarily on Matriarch Pasith's writings.

[Sanadhil] *nod*

[Sanadhil] I don't expect she wrote anything about them..... How would she have known about them?

[Sanadhil] or did you mean unrelated research?

[Alma] Well, tangentially related... and there's always the possibility that some small element was revealed to her throughout her life... though when I am through I will likely look much, much further back.

[Alma] s/throughout/during

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I would be interested to hear if she recorded anything more about her experiences with the arch - either its moving, or passing through it

[Alma] That is more directly the purpose of my research... whether she had any evidence of Vrag's true nature, etc.

[Sanadhil] *nod*

[Sanadhil] And what that true nature may be, also...

[Alma] Have you learned anything useful from Phedre as a result of our trip to Gsran?

[Alma] I would love to have the chance to pick Earric's mind, were he trustworthy... he may have seen it all happen.

[Sanadhil] only that she already suspected much of what we learned there, in terms of what Aushinre told us

[Sanadhil] I suppose, he is old, isn't he?

[Sanadhil] I hava considered that too, but as you say, he is not precisely trutfully inclined

[Alma] Do you know if succubi are immune to magical compulsion?

[Sanadhil] I don't think they are by nature immune, but I believe they may be particularly resistant

[Alma] Have you established what his purpose is in the Order, whether he is a participant or a tool?

  • Sanadhil considers

[Sanadhil] that's a difficult question.

[Alma] How so?

[Sanadhil] As regards the order, the public face of the cult, so to speak, he is a participant certainly.

[Sanadhil] But beyond that..... I can't say.

[Sanadhil] I Went to check after Mr. Argo's report of the cult meeting the night of the Imperial weddings

[Sanadhil] And he was, as reported, quite invalid.

  • Alma puzzles that over.

[Alma] I assume he does not receive the visions that Theron and the Princess do...

[Alma] Was he used to empower a ritual?

[Sanadhil] It is certainly possible - that was my suspicion.

[Alma] (I don't recall, have you ever told me that Phedre has him controlled?)

[Sanadhil] (I don't remember, I tink I may have sugested it as a possibility)

[Alma] I ... am trying to remember if you have established whether Phedre controls this version of the succubus.

[Sanadhil] that is difficult to establish - he's not on a leash, but I can't imagine why he would allow himself to be used so.

[Alma] Does he worship Vrag?

[Sanadhil] I honestly don't know.

  • Sanadhil is going to stillcast Glibness because now we are getting into dangerous territory

[Alma] I have little to inform you of in return...

[Alma] It may ... interest you to know that the Reverend Father himself is not necessarily concerned about Aushinre's revelations.

[Sanadhil] oh?

[Alma] If we have something wrong, well... we have an opportunity to set it right.

  • Alma smiles, perhaps more to herself than to you.
  • Sanadhil nods

[Alma] Well, I should be leaving now. I hope you enjoy the rest of your day.

[Sanadhil] you as well.

[Alma] Goodbye, M. Orecalo.

  • Alma leaves the library and returns to her carriage

[Sanadhil] Goodday, Countess.

Seth and Cornelia

  • Seth will attempt to drop in unexpectedly on the Warlord at the palace, ideally while she is alone in her office.
  • Seth will use clairvoyance in the room before doing so

[Cornelia] (drop in unexpectedly via wall, or through the door like everyone else?)

[Seth] (wall)

[Cornelia] (ok, you can wait until she is alone in her office, then pop in)

[Seth] (pop)

[Seth] Good afternoon.

  • Cornelia looks up, startled.

[Cornelia] ...Don't do that.

[Seth] As if you have never intentionally gone out of your way to be disturbing to others.

[Cornelia] Good way to end up dead.

[Seth] Hm.

[Seth] You were alone, there was no risk to me.

[Cornelia] ... apart from from me.

[Seth] Hm.

[Cornelia] Anyhow. What brings you here?

  • Cornelia says, adjusting her spectacles.

[Seth] The Serpent.

  • Cornelia gestures.

[Cornelia] Have a seat.

  • Seth sits.

[Seth] As you know, recently I have returned from my expedition to Kholm.

  • Cornelia nods.

[Cornelia] I've heard about the expedition.

[Seth] Oh? And what have you heard, exactly, and from whom have you heard it?

[Cornelia] From Princess Ilphère, and a good deal.

  • Cornelia will relate what she was told, which (according to Ilphere) was everything.

[Seth] (are there any obvious errors/falsehoods in her account? i.e., did Ilphere recount things correctly?)

[Cornelia] (she says she did not leave anything out, so I believe it should be correct as Ilphere understands it.)

[Seth] Very well.

[Cornelia] (some of it is theoretical, e.g. that the destruction of the ancient civilization was caused by Kavreshar)

[Seth] (right)

[Seth] Was M. Orecalo with her?

[Cornelia] No.. a young woman, Mlle. Chanuier.

[Seth] Ah, how curious.

[Seth] Well, no matter.

[Seth] What do you make of it?

[Cornelia] She did mention M. Orecalo, in passing, but he was not present.

[Cornelia] The princess is quite agitated at the prospect that, if this situation is not resolved, this Kavreshar will 'cleanse' our city in the same way. I attempted to reassure her on that front, but perhaps not successfully.

[Seth] Explain to me, about Kavreshar. I wish to learn more.

[Cornelia] I can tell you what I know, at least. It's not nearly enough.

  • Cornelia rifles through the papers on her desk and retrieves a few sheets.
  • Seth waits eagerly.

[Cornelia] The scholars who consult for the guard on matters of magical creatures believe it to be an exceedingly rare entity they are calling a 'hellfire wyrm'.

[Seth] Sounds friendly.

[Cornelia] More powerful than an 'ordinary' dragon (not that there is any such thing...), it originates in another plane.

[Seth] And what is its relation to the Serpent?

[Cornelia] I'm getting to that.

[Cornelia] They believe that it can alter its form, but not completely into human shape - there would always, they allege, be a sign that it was not .. normal.

[Cornelia] We suspect this is how it continues to elude us, assuming it hasn't simply gone back to its home plane.

[Cornelia] It could probably pass a casual inspection.

[Seth] Hm.

[Cornelia] And of course it no doubt has magical means of preventing itself from being located - that was tried quite early on.

[Seth] Yes, of course.

[Seth] It would seem that the priests would have tried, by this point, speaking to the seven gods to ask about it.

  • Cornelia nods.

[Cornelia] My understanding is that the responses have been ... unhelpful.

[Cornelia] This creature is not a god - as I tried to tell the princess, it was defeated at least once before, and it can be defeated again if need be.

[Cornelia] There is one other record of such a creature - the same creature, I believe - from the notes of the Chief Sorcerer under Emperor Adrius.

[Seth] What did it say?

[Cornelia] In 2128, there was a fire, as you probably know, being a student of architecture. It did great damage to the city, particularly to Pearl and the Place D'Iena.

[Seth] Yes, of course, but I thought it was accidental.

[Cornelia] That was the story.

[Cornelia] It seems that this ... entity, which she names as Kavreshar, was responsible.

[Cornelia] She and a group of other spellcasters, including the Emperor, gathered to perform a binding ritual.

[Cornelia] They trapped the creature within a gemstone.

[Cornelia] You can probably see where this is going.

[Seth] Ah.

[Cornelia] Now, this account raises almost as many questions as it answers.

[Cornelia] Why did the entity choose that moment to strike? It could have done so anytime in the previous two thousand years, no doubt.

[Cornelia] Perhaps it did, and had not been caught before, I suppose, but there is no evidence for that conjecture.

[Seth] Hm.

[Cornelia] It is not recorded how they learned of its presence, or indeed its name.

[Seth] Does that name mean something in a language known to you?

[Cornelia] No.

[Seth] Who would have had access to the gemstone recently, at the time of its release?

  • Cornelia thins her lips.

[Cornelia] I believe that the group of cultists, led by Mme. Lozada-Boyne, attempted to gain possession of the gem and deliberately arranged its placement within the range of the Disenchanter's Stone. I cannot prove this, but it seems to make the most sense, given what we know of their motivations.

[Seth] But again, that suggests that Ms. Lozada-Boyne is in league with at least one very well-placed individual.

[Cornelia] Yes, it does.

  • Cornelia agrees.

[Cornelia] She also has a demon as her... consort, so I would not put anything past her.

[Seth] Yes, but even so - even to have knowledge of this gemstone, and its location, would be extremely difficult. Where was it being kept?

[Cornelia] Tracing its path was tricky.

[Seth] Was?

  • Cornelia nods.

[Cornelia] But if I could do it, then there's no particular reason she or her 'well-placed' associates could not do the same.

[Seth] Yes.

[Cornelia] It was kept safely in the Imperial treasury for many years.

[Seth] Surely there must be records kept of entries, and even illicit entries must be traceable.

  • Cornelia nods.

[Cornelia] And between the inventories of 2195 and 2196, it seems to have gone missing.

[Cornelia] By that point, no one involved with the original binding was still alive, and perhaps its true nature had been forgotten. Or perhaps it was deliberately stolen.

[Cornelia] The next part is conjecture at best.

  • Seth nods.

[Cornelia] It somehow passed into the possession of Marcau Langevin, the Duke of Blackhope.

[Seth] How odd.

[Cornelia] Who subsequently, whether through utter ignorance of its contents, or for some more sinister purpose, gave it to his daughter Noira.

[Cornelia] From whom it was allegedly stolen.

[Seth] I am afraid my knowledge of nobles of the Empire is limited. This is relevant because...?

[Cornelia] You might be interested to hear the names of the guards who took the report.

[Seth] Oh?

[Cornelia] Pasith Belden, Tristane Dizon, Boden of Gouge, Loch du Champe, and Pavo Arsenios.

[Seth] How ... fascinating.

[Seth] Did they have any idea what it was?

  • Seth makes a mental note: Ask Belden about the necklace!

[Cornelia] None whatsoever, at least not at the time. They retrieved it from the alleged thief - oh, you might like to know his name too. Maze Olivier.

[Seth] Now that is *very* interesting. I knew that the Empress Tristane met many of her future advisors in the guard, but I did not know about that connection.

[Cornelia] well, not directly from him - he pointed them to the fence he'd handed it off too, though.

[Seth] It seems too bizarre to be some sort of giant coincidence.

  • Cornelia nods.

[Cornelia] There's more.

[Seth] I dare not ask. Tell me.

[Cornelia] So they got it back, and returned it to an address Mlle. Langevin had given them - which, it seems, was one among many residences of the then-notorious crime lord Nouel Izaguirre.

[Cornelia] This can only have been a deliberate deception on her part. Perhaps she was paying off some debt to him, I'm not sure on that front.

[Cornelia] I have no idea if he knew what he had. I suspect not, because he apparently later bestowed it on a young actress of his acquaintence, Tatiane Renaud. Her married name made her Tatiane Corriveau.

[Seth] Yes, that makes sense.

[Cornelia] And from thence, her grand-daughter attempted to sell it, and the rest is probably known to you.

[Cornelia] So - this took me and my staff quite some time to piece together, and of course there are still elements that are uncertain, but it seems to hang together.

[Cornelia] So - this took me and my staff quite some time to piece together, and of course there are still elements that are uncertain, but it seems to hang together.

[Cornelia] It's possible Mme. Lozada-Boyne heard about it from her father, which would have made her path to discovering its whereabouts much simpler.

[Seth] Yes, although not so simple. How to get from the crime lord to the actress?

[Seth] But I take your point - if you could find out, so could others.

[Cornelia] They were known to be involved, so...

  • Cornelia shrugs.

[Cornelia] Izaguirre seems to have subsequently gone insane and attempted to assassinate the Empress. I wonder if the jewel had some effect on him, or if that's unrelated.

[Seth] It is all very complicated. If I needed to drink, I would need a stiff drink.

[Cornelia] Heh.

[Seth] Oh, yes, by the way, I am now able to see remotely any point in the city, at any time.

[Cornelia] You would of course be welcome to one.

[Cornelia] ...

[Cornelia] 'by the way'?

[Seth] Yes.

[Cornelia] Centre, if I were a more suspicious woman, Seth, I'd have to have you killed. You're becoming remarkably powerful.

[Cornelia] And in quite alarmingly unexpected ways.

[Seth] Thank you, Warlord.

[Cornelia] Is this another side-effect of your bond with the city?

[Seth] Yes.

[Cornelia] Hmm.

[Seth] I felt that your office might wish to know this information.

[Seth] I trust it will not be abused.

[Cornelia] Duly noted.

[Cornelia] Can you tell if there are any demons in the city? Apart from the one calling himself Earric Boyne, that is.

[Seth] I do not know how I would do that, alas.

[Cornelia] Ah well.

[Cornelia] If you run into any, let me know. I'm on the market for an... informant.

[Seth] Of course.

[Cornelia] If only a half-blood would do... but I suspect it wouldn't be useful. Not old enough.

[Seth] Why is age such a concern?

[Cornelia] Well, if they are to be at all informative on matters that occurred upwards of two thousand years ago, it would be helpful.

[Seth] I suppose you have a point.

[Cornelia] The princess' concerns illustrated that we really do not know enough about the origins of the Arch, or the time of the first binding, let alone this still more ancient civilization that was apparently destroyed for unknown reasons.

[Cornelia] And she also spoke of 'angels'. This is something I'd be curious to learn more about, and going to the best possible source seems most promising.

[Seth] Yes. In a way it is a shame that we put the spirit Aushinre to rest.

  • Cornelia nods.

[Cornelia] Perhaps she could be summoned back for a brief interview... I don't know, though.

[Seth] Nor do I.

[Seth] Well, was there anything else you needed of me, Warlord?

[Cornelia] Not at present, M. Argo.

[Seth] Very well. I shall take my leave.

[Cornelia] Good day, then.

  • Seth slips away.

Sanadhil and Ilphere

  • Sanadhil will angle to meet with ilphere ahead of the appointment with Vianca
  • Ilphere is eager to find out what is going on...
  • Sanadhil is waiting when you arrive looking thoughtfully out of a window in the library

[Ilphere] Sanadhil...?

[Sanadhil] :Excellent.

  • Sanadhil turns and smiles

[Sanadhil] Good Afternoon

  • Ilphere stops and eyes you...

[Ilphere] What?

[Sanadhil] I...

  • Sanadhil considers how to go about this

[Sanadhil] I require your assistance.

[Sanadhil] :I can't let Mme belden proceed with her attempts.

[Ilphere] (did I hear that or not? I thought you said you had telepathy now?)

[Sanadhil] (: things are telepath, and yes you can hear them)

[Ilphere] ... Is that a new spell..?

[Ilphere] (can I reply in : or is it one way)

[Sanadhil] (let me doublt check - I think you can reply?)

[Sanadhil] :...No.

[Sanadhil] a natural progression of my studies

[Ilphere] :Not something the order did then...?

[Ilphere] : What is this about Mme Belden..?

[Sanadhil] :not directly

[Sanadhil] :I can't allow her to proceed - its too dangerous.

[Ilphere] : How so...?

[Sanadhil] : for one thing, the opportunity is much to valuable to pass up.

[Sanadhil] :Phedre was very encouraged when i told her you had expressed interest as well

[Ilphere] (sm to see if you're brainwashed :V)

[Ilphere] : Valuable..? What happened...?

[Ilphere] : Are you able to speak of it..?

[Sanadhil] : No.

  • Ilphere does not hide her disappointment.

[Ilphere] : What is the actual danger of allowing Mme. Belden to go forward, though...? Will it harm you..?

[Sanadhil] : that depends on what she attempts.

[Sanadhil] :I believe I can deflect her... but if you will support me, it will be easier.

[Ilphere] : I need to have some idea of what I am supporting...

[Sanadhil] : I intend to tell her that i choce not to go forward with the initiation

[Sanadhil] The more I considered, the greater the risk seemed, and for such uncertain benefit...

[Ilphere] :Do you think that will work...? If she discerns your lie...

[Ilphere] Probably a wise choice...

  • Sanadhil nods, putting on a somewhat grim look

[Sanadhil] :I think I should be able to manage.

[Sanadhil] Though I was, I think, able to do so gracefully enough to preserve my relationship with Mmme Lozada Boyne, and May be able to get some use of the connection, still.

[Ilphere] I hope so...

[Ilphere] I spoke with Mme. Nash, as I mentioned I would...

[Ilphere] Unfortunately that was largely a waste of time...!

[Sanadhil] oh?

  • Ilphere will relate what happened...

[Sanadhil] (do you tell me about ysabeau's DT indiscretion?)

[Ilphere] : The only remotely helpful thing she put forward was that perhaps a demon could be induced to tell us more about the angels and whether they might still be found somehow.

[Ilphere] (yes I do)

[Sanadhil] : I am hoping to corner Earric on the subject, if he can speak of it...

[Sanadhil] : I promise you.... you should consider taking this step as wel. i think you would find it valuable.

[Ilphere] : Well Nash was going to track down some non-specified demon... but if you can get more information from Earric now...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ilphere] (can I sm again or is it too soon?)

[Curtana] (you can try)

[Ilphere] (36. a lil better_

[Sanadhil] (well, i'm not bluffing you overtly, and I'm not sure what you're after :x)

[Ilphere] (just want to know if you really think I should do that, or if you're 'under the influence')

[Sanadhil] (but his visible composure belies his excitement, that's for sure ;)

[Ilphere] : I would be... most intrigued by that possibility!

[Sanadhil] (I sure seem to really mean it!)

[Sanadhil] : Phedre is concerned that you are such a prominent member of society, but I think it need not be an impediment if we are careful

  • Ilphere nods...

[Sanadhil] : if you'd like to speak with her, I can arrange a meeting, certainly

[Ilphere] : Yes... I think that I would.

[Sanadhil] : Excellent - it will be good to have someone with whom I can speak freely.... and you will not regret it, I am quite certain.

[Sanadhil] Shall we find Mme Belden and tell her of the situation?

  • Sanadhil asks, frowning slightly

[Ilphere] Yes... I think she may actually be relieved that you decided against the ritual.

[Sanadhil] Quite possibly, though i think we will all be disappointed for the loss of opprtunity.

[Sanadhil] we shouldn't speak of it so freely in any cse...

  • Sanadhil offers you his arm
  • Ilphere will take it.

Sanadhil, Ilphere and Vianca

  • Sanadhil will lead you up towards her office.
  • Vianca is just arriving, getting settled in.

[Ilphere] Good day, Mme. Belden...!

[Vianca] Oh, hello there.

  • Sanadhil will still/silent cast glibness just before we go in
  • Vianca eyes the two of you.

[Sanadhil] Good morning.

[Vianca] Shall we proceed, then?

[Sanadhil] Well.

  • Sanadhil smiles.

[Ilphere] Well, it seems that may not be strictly necessary.

  • Ilphere looks disppointed.

[Vianca] Oh?

[Sanadhil] Of course, you are welcome to check for enchantments, but Mme is correct

[Sanadhil] : Let me talk.

[Sanadhil] (To ilphere, clearly ;x)

[Vianca] (heh)

[Sanadhil] I gave the matter much more careful deliberation after we spoke, and when i arrived at Mme loada-Boyne's, I informed her that i cojuld ot, after all, proceed.

  • Sanadhil looks a little conflicted or disappointed.

[Vianca] (bluff checks, both of you)

  • Sanadhil will still/silent cast detect thoughts

[Vianca] Hm.

[Vianca] I think, as a precaution, it would be best for me to verify that you're free of any enchantments. Even if you refused, there's no telling what she could have cast on you against your will.

[Sanadhil] As I said, you are welcome to check

  • Vianca nods, and will cast DM.
  • Sanadhil will drop glibness, if he can :V

[Vianca] (if you are concentrating enough to drop glibness, I think you'd have to drop DT too, since it lasts based on concentration?)

[Sanadhil] (fair enough, I don't know if I got either, but i can always recast?)

[Vianca] (yeah)

  • Sanadhil shoudl also drop the non-detection, heh

[Vianca] (lol)

[Vianca] (so, dropping all your spells, then)

[Sanadhil] (yeah)

[Vianca] (what magic items do you have on?)

[Sanadhil] (cloak, bag.... i think that's all I have, lemme check :p)

[Sanadhil] (yeah, that's it)

[Vianca] Some abjuration... let's just remove that, shall we, as a precaution?

  • Vianca will dispel magic on you.
  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Habit :)

[Vianca] Of course.

[Sanadhil] anything else?

  • Vianca considers.

[Vianca] You assure me that you are free of compulsion, but... of course, that's what you would say if you were being compelled. I have concerns about this.

[Vianca] Yet, you seem to be free of any spells, so...

[Sanadhil] (Is she still dming?)

[Vianca] (she probably just cast it again after dispel)

[Vianca] (after all, she's got millions of the things ;)

[Sanadhil] (I mean currently ;)

[Vianca] (how would you know? ;)

[Sanadhil] I undertand, but I'm not sure what else I can tell you.

[Sanadhil] (she would be....concentrating? ^_^;; )

[Vianca] (heh)

[Sanadhil] (I could dm her, also. still/silent _)

[Vianca] (heh)

[Vianca] (duelling DM)

[Vianca] Very well. We'll consider this matter closed, then.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Thank you for your assistance

[Sanadhil] (sm)

[Sanadhil] (32!)

  • Vianca seems still somewhat uncomfortable with the situation, but not inclined to press you on it atm.

[Sanadhil] I will try to keep you appraised of any further developments as best i can.

[Vianca] I appreciate that. Stay safe.

[Sanadhil] Thank you.

[Sanadhil] and good day.

[Vianca] ...Good day.

[Ilphere] Good day...! :)

  • Sanadhil gves her a polite nod and again offers Ilphere his arm
  • Ilphere will leave with San, then.

[Sanadhil] : She isn't convinced, but willing to let the matter lie for now...

[Ilphere] : well, we shall endeavour not to give her any reasons to investigate further...

[Sanadhil] : quite!

Alma and Danyel

  • Alma invited Danyel over for dinner, and has asked him to retire with her to a comfortable sitting room to relax or read, making sure it's one with a seat for us to sit together.
  • Danyel will of course attend!

[Danyel] I have a little something for you...

[Alma] Oh?

  • Danyel proffers a small, flat box.
  • Alma puts the paper she was reading on her lap.

[Alma] :o

[Danyel] (small like, palm-sized, say)

[Alma] (Yeah, I was thinking necklace-sized)

[Alma] Now what is this?

[Danyel] Oh, I saw it and thought of you.

[Alma] Oh, how sweet.

  • Alma smiles and scoots close when she takes the box.
  • Alma pushes the paper aside and sets it on her lap to open it.
  • Alma opens it expectantly!
  • Danyel smiles, watching you open the gift. It contains a lovely dark wooden hair-comb, carved with a pair of owls.

[Alma] Oh, they're beautiful...

  • Alma runs her fingertips along them

[Danyel] I'm glad you like them.

  • Alma takes it out

[Alma] It's a shame my hair is so messy right now :)

[Danyel] I thought the colour would look nice against your hair.

[Alma] I won't make you wait to find out though :)

  • Alma straightens her very casual hairdo a bit and puts the comb in.

[Danyel] It looks beautiful.

  • Alma smiles and leans in to kiss her charming spokesman ^_^
  • Danyel kisses you back, naturally ;)

[Danyel] I don't want to mess it up, so soon after you put it in ;)

  • Alma grins

[Alma] Thank you :)

[Danyel] You're welcome.

[Alma] For the gift, that is... I don't think my hair is going to matter for the rest of the day :)

  • Danyel smiles.
  • Alma closes the box on her lap and sets it on top of the paper.
  • Alma leans her head on Danyel's shoulder, readjusting when the comb gets in the way.
  • Danyel puts his arm around you, comfortably.

[Alma] What do you hope for, in a marriage?

[Danyel] ... I suppose I hope for happiness? For companionship, for loyalty...

[Danyel] What about you?

[Alma] Essentially the same things :) A partner in life...

  • Danyel nods.

[Danyel] Children?

[Alma] Someone to share things with, and come home to... or be home for.

[Alma] Yes, someday :)

[Alma] You?

[Danyel] I'd like that.

[Alma] I sometimes entertained the idea of retreating to some monastery and leaving the Comté to César...

[Alma] I think he'd be glad. :P

[Danyel] Oh, really?

[Alma] Well, not really.

[Danyel] Heh.

[Alma] I had just steeled myself for a practical marriage... and thought it would be such a bother.

[Danyel] He should just find some lovely heiress to marry, and then he'll be quite busy enough. In a few years, that is.

[Alma] Do you know of any? :)

[Danyel] Oh, a few... My parents have introduced me to most of them, I think!

  • Alma chuckles.

[Alma] I think children for me... must be years away though... with everything going on.

[Danyel] I never felt this way about any of them, though. I know what you mean about expecting a .. practical arrangement.

  • Danyel nods.
  • Alma looks at Danyel to see if he understands.

[Alma] My work is very important to me... I expect you understand, as a Spokesman.

  • Danyel nods again.

[Danyel] It's not a rush, of course.

[Danyel] Look at us, we're talking about this quite seriously, aren't we :o

[Alma] (SM 36)

  • Alma blushes a little.

[Alma] Well someone suggested early is the best time to learn about these things.

  • Danyel seems fine with the idea of waiting for children, if that's what you were inquiring about.

[Alma] (Yeah mostly... waiting for "domestic bliss")

  • Alma reaches down to take your hand.
  • Danyel nods.

[Alma] Not that this is ... necessarily early, exactly...

[Danyel] I suppose not :)

  • Alma clarifies rather awkwardly -_-

[Danyel] Alma, I know I already said this, but I want to make sure you know...

[Danyel] I would marry you in an instant if you said that was what you wanted.

  • Alma 's face goes red as her face flushes...

[Alma] I-

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

[Danyel] But I feel, so strongly, that we're meant to be together.

  • Alma listens to Danyel as she calms herself down.
  • Alma fails to calm herself and begins to tear up a little.

[Alma] Oh you are so sweet and charming...

[Danyel] Whenever you give me the word... oh :o

[Danyel] Alma, don't cry...

[Alma] Yes, yes, we can get married.

[Alma] I was just... hinting I guess...

[Danyel] ...oh!

[Alma] Since I said no before...

[Danyel] I'm dim, I'm afraid! I thought you were asking to wait.

[Alma] I was THEN.

  • Danyel nods.

[Alma] I just meant... if you wanted me to be at home filled with babies...

[Alma] I was hinting that you could offer again anytime, I guess I wasn't expecting it right now :)

  • Danyel smiles.
  • Alma hugs him tightly

[Danyel] I didn't really come prepared for this, but...

  • Danyel hugs you back.

[Danyel] I should ask properly, at least!

  • Danyel disengages, and gets down on one knee.

[Alma] I would like that :)

[Danyel] *ahem*

[Danyel] Alma, would you do me the honour of becoming my wife?

[Alma] Yes! I would like nothing more :)

  • Danyel looks very happy.
  • Danyel pulls you down-rises up a bit so he can kiss you.
  • Alma embraces him happily!

[Alma] This way we can look for rings together :)

  • Danyel nods.

[Danyel] Tomorrow? :)

[Alma] Anytime :)

[Danyel] Well, I thought it might be a little late tonight for dropping in on a jeweller...

[Alma] I suspect there's another reason you don't want to go out tonight :)

[Danyel] Hmm, why might that be?

  • Danyel wraps his arms around your waist.
  • Alma presses in close

[Alma] I suppose I might as well take the comb out, then :)

[Danyel] We wouldn't want it to get broken.

  • Alma leans away to get the box before we go somewhere private ^_^
  • Danyel will escort you somewhere private, somehow managing to avoid your servants and brother and houseguests, although they probably all know something's up ;)

[Alma] (Practice for the honeymoon!)

[Danyel] (yay!)

Alma and Biatrix

[Alma] I suppose I'd just be dropping in, I figure she's not terribly excited by dinner dates, etc :P

  • Alma brings her some fruit or something.
  • Biatrix will have her servants prepare some tea for the two of you.
  • Alma has brought a bit of fruit and a single flower to brighten things up.

[Biatrix] That's lovely, dear.

  • Alma smiles broadly

[Alma] I thought it was quite beautiful and thought it might look good here :)

[Alma] How have you been? :)

[Biatrix] It's very cheering. This is always the grimmest time of year.

  • Alma nods...

[Biatrix] Oh, I can't complain. Well, I could, but you probably don't want to hear about it.

[Alma] I can take it :)

[Alma] Nothing to make a problem worse than having no one to complain to :)

[Biatrix] Oh no, it would only make me feel worse to dwell upon my petty little problems. They are so unimportant in the grand scheme of things, after all.

[Alma] Fair enough :)

  • Biatrix smiles.

[Biatrix] How are *you*?

[Alma] I'm rather *engaged* actually :D

  • Biatrix looks momentarily puzzled.

[Alma] Affiancéed!

[Biatrix] ...Oh! Oh, congratulations, Alma, that's marvellous :) I presume M. Rackley is the lucky fellow?

[Alma] Yes :D

[Biatrix] Have you set a date?

[Alma] No, not yet, we haven't even picked out rings...

[Alma] It was a bit of an odd scene, truth be told.

  • Biatrix listens avidly.

[Alma] Well, I read that it is best to find out what your partner hopes to get out of marriage and well...

  • Alma tells Biatrix about her awkward attempt, and Danyel's reply...
  • Biatrix chuckles.

[Biatrix] I'm glad you got it sorted out, then!

[Alma] I guess I felt that since I dismissed him earlier that I would leave it up to him to ask again, but when he said that... I just couldn't just leave it at that...

  • Biatrix nods.

[Biatrix] It would get awkward the third time.

[Alma] True... he might have just waited...

[Alma] And I would have wondered why he didn't seem to want to ask again... etc.

  • Biatrix nods.

[Biatrix] Well, I wish the two of you every happiness.

[Alma] Thank you :)

[Alma] I was wondering if you know Elsa Rackley... :/

[Biatrix] (jusst checking my geno chart ;)

[Biatrix] Certainly. Her father is a cousin of mine.

[Biatrix] I suppose we shall be related, distantly :)

[Alma] She seemed to have taken stock in the rubbish gossip about Se... Danyel and I. The looks she gave -_-

[Biatrix] ...Oh, my dear.

[Biatrix] Are you worried she will disapprove of the match?

[Alma] Not that it will change the outcome, but a little, yes.

[Biatrix] She was always a bit of a prig, to be honest.

[Biatrix] Even when she was small.

  • Alma hides a grin.

[Biatrix] I can't imagine Danyel will let himself be dissuaded, if that's any consolation.

[Biatrix] Once you give her a grandchild or two, she'll probably come around ;)

[Alma] Oh dear, I'm not sure I can wait that long.

  • Biatrix chuckles.

[Biatrix] Take consolation with your young man, and don't worry too much about what his mother - or the papers - may say.

[Alma] You don't think I should try to ... talk to her? or someone else?

[Biatrix] Well, I would hazard a guess that once the engagement is announced, she'll keep her mouth shut or risk making herself look worse.

[Alma] I suppose...

[Biatrix] But if she does say anything more to you, or behind your back, you may need to address the matter, certainly.

[Alma] Well, hopefully she won't...

[Biatrix] I hope she has that much sense. It's one thing to badmouth the floozie your son is sleeping around with, another to speak ill of his fiancée and your future daughter-in-law.

  • Biatrix says with a kindly old lady smile.

[Alma] .oO( I suppose I wasn't dressed as a priest at the time... I don't think I looked like a floozie though _ )

[Alma] She shouldn't be reading those rags anyway...

[Biatrix] I suppose she enjoys feeling superior, because she's never mentioned in them ;)

[Alma] Well if she gives me trouble perhaps I'll have to change that. ^_^

[Biatrix] It probably came as quite a shock to her to see her son's name crop up.

  • Biatrix chuckles.

[Alma] Yes, I suppose that might do it...

[Alma] And that was BEFORE the one I read...

[Alma] She must have been livid after the weddings!

  • Biatrix nods.

[Biatrix] Well, now they will have something more wholesome to write about - the wedding :)

[Biatrix] No doubt it'll be relegated to the back pages.

[Alma] I've told Sagesse and Marielle not to let me see that one again...

[Biatrix] While whichever noble girl has gotten herself knocked up lately makes the front pages, poor dear.

[Biatrix] Sensible, very sensible.

[Alma] On another topic... I've been thinking about the fire and the food situation...

[Biatrix] Yes?

[Alma] Did you know the Emperor has constructed teleportation circles that connect the Duchies to the Palace of Worthies?

[Biatrix] I did hear about that, yes.

[Alma] Well, something like that would be perfect to bring in more food. I ... well I've been thinking of how I could do something like that myself, but something like that would have significantly fewer limits, I imagine.

  • Biatrix nods.

[Alma] Perhaps House Owl should make that suggestion...

[Biatrix] I think that's a wonderful plan. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help.

[Alma] Should I speak with Duchess Silana?

[Biatrix] If you wish, certainly. She would have more influence than I would.

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] Perhaps I will then. Thanks :)

[Biatrix] Not at all! You've given me such wonderful news today, I should be thanking you for taking my mind off my poor old hip :)

  • Alma sits and chats longer.