Diablotin 2 session 53
- Session date:
- Diablotin date:
[DiablotinNarrator] It is the middle of Third-month, and the city is showing some faint signs of spring, though not enough to give much comfort to those who are still without shelter or food.
[DiablotinNarrator] Grain and other supplies are gradually arriving in the city, but merchants are charging exorbitant prices for what in better days would have cost only a few coppers.
[DiablotinNarrator] Some free bread distribution is organized by the Imperial government, and though the lines are so long that people spend hours waiting for a meagre portion, that doesn't stop them lining up.
Seth and Leonien
[DiablotinNarrator] Meanwhile, Seth, Leonien Kizer requires your presence.
- Seth is thankful for not needing to eat!
- Seth will dutifully head over to the Duke's mansion.
- Seth has been making an effort to bathe regularly and not be a weird hobo.
[DiablotinNarrator] (going in through the door, or your 'normal' way?)
- Seth will go in through the walls, so as not to be seen.
[DiablotinNarrator] (internal walls are wood, so you can go through the floor I guess?)
[Seth] (just into the building. once i'm in I don't care who sees me.)
- Leonien is in his study when you arrive.
[Seth] Good day, Your Grace.
[Leonien] Ah, Seth. Good morning.
[Leonien] How are you?
[Seth] I am well, thank you. And yourself?
[Leonien] Well enough. I have a question I'm hoping you can assist me with. Possibly nothing to worry about, but I want to be certain.
[Seth] What is it?
[Leonien] You may not be aware that I am a part-owner of Oracle's, the gambling parlour.
[Seth] I was not aware, no.
[Leonien] It is not something I advertise widely. I consider games of chance incredibly foolish, but I don't mind taking the funds of those who feel otherwise.
[Seth] Of course.
[Leonien] I have known for some time that Fredericia Hartzell is in the Companions of Silence. In and of itself, this is not something that worries me - I know what she does, and as long as she doesn't interfere with my operations, there is no reason for dispute between us.
- Seth nods, perhaps a bit uncertainly.
[Leonien] However, her brother Aldrian is causing me some concern. I don't know if he is also part of the Hush, or whether this is an unrelated matter.
[Seth] Hmm. Go on.
[Leonien] He had incurred some... considerable debts at Oracle's. This in itself is not unusual for young gentlemen.
[Leonien] It seems he has also been seen in some... less savoury places of business.
[Leonien] Lately, he has been repaying his debts, with no visible run of good luck to explain his new source of funds.
[Leonien] I want to know where his money is coming from.
[Seth] I see. And you would like me to find this out?
[Leonien] Is he blackmailing someone? Found a patron? Working for the Hush?
[Seth] I see. I don't suppose the sums of money are ones he could have acquired through family connections?
[Leonien] The Hartzells aren't especially wealthy - they mostly depend on their ties to more illustrious families.
[Seth] I see - and I presume you have excluded those ties as the source of the income.
- Leonien nods.
[Seth] What is the sum that is owed, and what are the sums that have been repaid?
- Leonien can give you the amounts. The total was in the low thousands, about 3/4 has been repaid.
[Seth] Yes, of course I can investigate this matter for you, Your Grace. I must say, having met M. Hartzell more than once, that I do not suspect him of anything untoward.
[Leonien] I've known him since he was a baby, and I cannot say the same.
[Seth] Do you have more information, then, Your Grace, that might be of use to me?
[Seth] Any information on his contacts, romantic entanglements, professional work, or the like, would be of assistance.
[Leonien] He and his sister are reasonably close. Their parents are both deceased. He is a cleric in the Order of the Wolf, so he's certainly not getting his money through his work.
[Leonien] I am not aware of any... romantic entanglements.
[Seth] Where does he live at present?
[Leonien] He has a flat in the Pav.
- Leonien gives you the address.
[Seth] He lives there alone?
[Leonien] I believe so.
[Seth] One moment.
- Seth will use clairvoyance on its interior right now
[DiablotinNarrator] All right...
[DiablotinNarrator] You see a modest apartment, kind of messy - definitely looks like a young man's place, and not one where he often has visitors. It's mid-morning, so Aldrian is probably sleeping - alone.
[DiablotinNarrator] Anything else you were looking for in particular?
[Seth] (not especially)
- Leonien eyes you with puzzlement.
[Seth] The interior of his home is modestly decorated and shows no signs of lavish living. So if he does have additional moneys coming in, it suggests that he is sending it to Oracle's, as of course he should.
- Leonien nods.
[Seth] I presume that someone from Oracle's has spoken to him sternly about his predicament. Perhaps that has scared him straight.
[Leonien] Perhaps so...
[Seth] I will, of course, investigate further and report back to you. I presume that you do not wish me to actually speak to him about the matter - that you are seeking my other skills.
[Leonien] If you feel that speaking to him will assist you in this task, of course you may - provided you don't tell him who you work for.
[Seth] Of course. He does know, however, that I am close to Prince Menard.
[Leonien] Ah.. well, use your discretion, then.
[Seth] I will, of course. But there is one last thing.
[Leonien] What is it?
[Seth] You seem very concerned about the Hush, and Aldrian's potential involvement with it. Is there some reason in particular that that would concern you? One hears many things about the Companions these days, and it seems as if there may be some tumult in the ranks. But I do not understand its nuances, so perhaps you could clarify?
[Leonien] I can try.
[Leonien] Maze Olivier and Cornelia Nash are struggling for control of the Hush. At present, I suspect that most of its members are loyal to one or the other, with a certain percentage playing both sides, and no one being entirely sure who they can trust.
[Leonien] I am... waiting to see who wins.
[Seth] And where does Fredricia Hartzell lie in this matter?
[Leonien] I suspect she sides with Nash - it would suit her temperament, at any rate.
[Leonien] But she's clever - she may have a foot in both camps, and, like me, wait to see who wins.
[Seth] Very clever indeed.
[Seth] Well, thank you, Your Grace. I will ensure to return promptly with the information you are seeking.
[Leonien] Thank you, Seth.
[Seth] You are most welcome, as always.
Alma, Dominik and Reverend Father Velten
[DiablotinNarrator] Alma, you wished to go and speak with Reverend Father Velten of the Order of the Rat. You make an appointment to meet with him, and arrive at the appointed time.
[DiablotinNarrator] When you arrive, the antechamber is crowded with people, many of them poor, all waiting to see him with their requests. You sense that this may be a long wait...
- Alma takes the time to meditate, or talk with the other guests.
[DiablotinNarrator] Dominik, you have been told to speak with Velten du Champe, who is Reverend Father of the Order of the Rat. You make an appointment to meet with him, and arrive at the appointed time.
[DiablotinNarrator] The antechamber is crowded with poor people waiting to see him, probably looking for hand-outs. This looks like it's going to be a long wait...
[DiablotinNarrator] However, you do spot Sister Alma amongst the crowd, apparently also waiting.
- Dominik sighs and tries to be patient
- Dominik will approach her
[Dominik] Hello Sister
[Alma] ... Good afternoon, Mr. Rademacher. It's a surprise to see you here.
- Alma puzzles that over in her head.
[Alma] What brings you to see the Reverend Father?
[Dominik] Maybe I've become pious?
[Alma] One generally starts in the pews :)
- Dominik chuckles
[Dominik] I suppose so... but I like to take the fast route sometimes.
[Alma] Are you here on behalf of the Princess?
[Dominik] Oh no, this is my own initiatie.
[Alma] (SM 31 :3)
[Dominik] (no deception)
[Alma] Well, hopefully your wait won't be terribly long.
[Dominik] I had found a very interesting book and I'm just following the investigation.
[Dominik] I hope so too.
[Alma] Does it relate to... our expeditions?
[Dominik] What brings you to speak with the Reverend Father... Churchie stuff?
[Dominik] It does.
[Alma] Coincidentally, I am also here for the same reason.
[Alma] What was this book?
[Dominik] A journal
[Alma] Matriarch Pasith's?
[Dominik] No, Althea'3
[Alma] What do you hope the Reverend Father knows?
[Dominik] I'm hoping he knows how to find someone mentioned in the journal
[Alma] You know, if you would be amenable, we could save the Reverend Father some time and conduct our meeting together.
[Dominik] It would save waiting, thats for sure.
[Alma] I do have somewhat of a head start :)
[DiablotinNarrator] At that point, Alma, your name is called by the steward.
[Dominik] And things are likely interelated... and you being there with me may help the Reverend Father take me a little more seriously
[Alma] I will ask the Steward if they would object.
- Alma does so.
[DiablotinNarrator] It's fine with them.
- Alma will head in with Dominik then.
- Reverend_Father Velten is seated at his desk, which is strewn rather messily with papers. He is a short, stout man of around fifty, with thinning once-red curls and freckles.
- Reverend_Father looks up from his notes.
[Reverend_Father] Sister... Alma, is it? And...?
[Alma] Good afternoon Reverend Father :)
[Alma] This is Mr. Dominik Rademacher.
[Reverend_Father] Good afternoon.
[Dominik] Yeah, thats me.
[Reverend_Father] What can I do for you?
[Alma] We met in the antechamber and it seems our appointments were for similar matters.
- Dominik looks at Alama
[Alma] Would you like to begin?
- Alma wishes she had time to consult with him before we came in ;_;
[Dominik] No you can start.
- Alma nods
[Reverend_Father] So long as one of you starts.
- Reverend_Father says, perhaps slightly impatiently.
[Alma] I've been looking into the diaries of Matriarch Pasith, looking for information regarding the Arch or Vrag.
- Reverend_Father pays a bit more attention at that.
[Alma] I trust that you have heard that the Order of the Black Down is looking for someone?
[Reverend_Father] That news has not escaped my attention.
- Alma pulls a notepad from her robes.
[Alma] And this omen?
[Alma] "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."
[Reverend_Father] Where did you come across that?
[Alma] The Society member Seth Argo overheard it during a ritual by the Order in the Palace the night of the Royal Weddings.
- Reverend_Father nods, listening intently.
[Alma] It is the reason we have been wondering if the Lady Chancellor might be the one in question...
- Reverend_Father stands, and goes to bar the door.
[Alma] I have reason to suspect from the Matriarch's diaries that at some point, Ms. Deverara was with child.
- Alma pauses as he stands, then finishes.
[Reverend_Father] I hope you will not object if I cast a few spells, to ensure both that we are secure and that you are trustworthy.
[Alma] Certainly, Reverend Father.
- Alma looks to Dominik.
[Dominik] I'm fine with that.
[Dominik] This is the reason I'm here
- Alma quirks a brow.
- Reverend_Father nods, then casts some spells.
- Alma will try to see what they are, but not resist any.
[Alma] (I mean, unless I realise mid-cast that one is like, Destruction.)
[DiablotinNarrator] (Alma, you can roll Spellcraft to identify them if you want)
[Alma] (32, 33, 34, 18, 22, 25)
[DiablotinNarrator] (just checking desc, sec)
[DiablotinNarrator] Detect Evil, True Seeing, Zone of Truth, and you're not sure.
[Alma] One moment, Reverend Father.
[DiablotinNarrator] (you can roll to save vs. the Zone of Truth if you are so inclined, either of you)
- Alma takes the choker and cloak off.
[DiablotinNarrator] (ok - failed)
[Dominik] (not like I know what the spells are doing since neither of them explained :P)
[DiablotinNarrator] (yeah... so you can be evasive or not answer, but not directly lie)
[Alma] (I think that's the only magic auras Alma would have.)
- Alma suppresses a frown.
[Reverend_Father] You're looking for Theonée's child.
- Reverend_Father returns to his desk.
[Alma] In a matter of speaking... they might be in danger.
[Reverend_Father] Do you mean harm to this person?
[Alma] Absolutely not.
[Reverend_Father] Tell me what you know so far, so I don't spend time repeating what you're already familiar with.
- Alma looks to Dominik
[Dominik] I'll go first on this.
[Dominik] Theonee had the child, the father is Butler Belden
[Dominik] Although he does not know this
[Dominik] Kalman Vak Andras and the Empress Tristain had the child hidden... I'm not sure if that is the right word.
[DiablotinNarrator] It works.
[Reverend_Father] It works.
[Dominik] When I discussed this with Katia Dyess-Talavera-vak Andras, she suggested I speak with you.
[Dominik] and asked me the same questions if I wanted to hurt the child, which I don't.
- Reverend_Father nods.
[Dominik] I want to try and keep her safe, in fact.
[Reverend_Father] As do I... though it is beyond my power these days, I fear.
- Alma looks a little surprised.
- Reverend_Father glances to Alma.
[Reverend_Father] Did you have anything to add, Sister?
[Alma] I came across entries in the Matriarch's diaries which talked of a closeness between the Butler Belden and Theonée Deverara... then following an extended trip, Ms. Deverara took a retreat to Greywatch...
[Alma] I came on the hunch that you might be able to point me in the direction of more information.
- Reverend_Father nods.
[Reverend_Father] Theonée gave birth in Greywatch.
[Alma] ...because the Matriarch's reforms were not yet in place?
- Alma thinks of her church history -_-
[Dominik] that and Butler was engaged.
[Reverend_Father] Among other reasons, I suppose. Above all she did not wish Butler to know about the child - he was recently married, and...
- Reverend_Father nods to Dominik.
- Alma looks at her notes again.
[Reverend_Father] (er, should say 'recently engaged')
[Alma] Oh, yes...
[Reverend_Father] When the child was born, my father was among those who were... consulted.
[Reverend_Father] I was only recently married myself, and my wife and I came to Greywatch as well. We were friends, and... I was worried for Theonée. She named the child, but seemed to want nothing to do with it beyond that.
- Alma looks down at the dates in her notes again.
[Alma] Pasith du Champe?
[Reverend_Father] My daughter? What about her?
- Reverend_Father looks puzzled.
[Alma] Did you ... take her in as your daughter?
[Reverend_Father] Oh, you think I took her in... ah, understandable I suppose, but no. Pasith was born in the autumn of that year.
[Reverend_Father] No, but I did help find a suitable location for the child. Friends of the family.
[Dominik] Are you going ot tell us who it is?
- Alma frowns at Dominik
[Alma] I'm sure that the Reverend Father has experience keeping her safe, and will not falter more knowing that the Order may have an interest.
[Reverend_Father] At birth, she was named Hespera. My father, in an effort to disguise her identity, changed her sex. *He* - Hesperus, I mean - was raised by Nyeri and Cleon Desrosiers. Nyeri's mother and my father worked closely together, and they were trusted, but not so close that it would seem suspicious...
[Alma] (K-Nob: 24 if that tells me anything.)
[Reverend_Father] He grew to adulthood, then left the city some years ago for Greywatch, seeking more information about his birth - I don't believe he had been told anything beyond that he had been born there.
[DiablotinNarrator] (they're not nobles, so no)
[Reverend_Father] He's returned to the city recently, under a new name. Martan Olivier.
[Alma] Well that's another question answered...
[Alma] .oO( Then what was in the portrait? )
[Reverend_Father] We - those of us who knew his secret - have kept an eye on him all these years, out of ... concern, I suppose you could say.
[Alma] Because of Theonée's ... unique situation?
[Reverend_Father] Because of who his parents are.
- Alma nods.
[Reverend_Father] The change of sex effectively cut off most any effort at locating Theonée's child through divination, so we hoped...
[Dominik] Would Maze Olivier know his history?
[Reverend_Father] If they are now trying to locate her through other means, then that causes me considerable concern.
[Reverend_Father] Falke knew, and I would not be surprised if he told Maze.
[Alma] I'm not sure if they know that she has borne a child, though I imagine they suspect it, from the message.
- Reverend_Father nods.
[Alma] I suppose Reverend Father Theron did not have the opportunity to relay the whole omen... I'm glad I came, then.
[Reverend_Father] Which omen?
[Alma] That which tells of the one are seeking.
[Alma] (I just called it an omen since I am blanking on what properly to call it)
[Reverend_Father] Oh, he relayed it.
[Reverend_Father] I'm sure they must know it refers to Theonée - there is really no one else I can imagine it *could* refer to.
- Dominik is lost in though
[Reverend_Father] What they have concluded about the child... I don't know. There are factions on both sides who would be interested in that knowledge, to use or misuse.
[Alma] Who is the one reborn?
- Reverend_Father sighs.
[Reverend_Father] I suspect it means that Theonée's father was Martan Kizer - who 'died' and was reborn as Lord Grey. Also her grandfather, if that is the case.
[Alma] Ah, I see.
- Alma blinks at that last bit.
[Dominik] Do you know anything more about the dragon from the corination... has anyone had any luck locating it?
[Alma] Is... this something that you would prefer I not pass on to Reverend Father Theron?
[Reverend_Father] I realize that you have your own intentions in this, which I do not fully understand, and so my words are likely useless, but I would ask that you not pass it on, indeed.
[Reverend_Father] I have not heard of anyone locating the dragon - I believe I would have heard if there was any news on that front.
[Reverend_Father] Are you going to attempt to contact Martan Olivier?
[Dominik] thank you.
[Alma] I have learned that Brother Phineas Strauch was involved in the theft, Mr. Rademacher...
[Dominik] Yes I will be trying to speak to both him and Maze Olivier.
[Alma] I ... was also planning to speak with the Lord Grey.
- Alma quirks a brow at Dominik
[Reverend_Father] Very well. I can't prevent you, of course. I only hope that you will be cautious. I have not seen the boy for several years, and do not know what has become of him in that time.
- Dominik nods
[Dominik] Again thank you for speaking with us on this.
[Reverend_Father] You are welcome.
- Alma bows respectfully before she leaves.
Alma and Dominik
[Alma] Would you care to join me for a late lunch, Mr. Rademacher? I'd be interested in talking about this news further.
[Dominik] Considering what we were just told, a late lunch, with a good drink seems appropriate.
[Alma] I know a lovely place for lunch.
- Alma invites you to ride with her in her carriage.
- Dominik accepts the offer
[Dominik] so this is what the inside of your carriage looks like. Comfy.
[Alma] It does the job :)
[Alma] So it seems one mystery is solved, so to speak. The identity of Martan Olivier...
[Dominik] How do you magic a girl into a boy?
[Alma] That's a good question. For the spell to deflect attempts to scry, I presume it was very powerful, perhaps a Wish or Miracle.
[Dominik] and can you magic it back... would he be a she or even remember... its like a bad tradgic poem.
[Alma] I suppose that depends on how you magicked them back. If you didn't TRY to block out the memory, I expect it would be a jarring experience.
[Alma] How would YOU like to wake up a woman tomorrow?
[Dominik] I've never really thought about it, to be honest... and I don't really want to think about it.
[Dominik] So you know who the Cult is after... what are you going to do about it?
[Alma] I don't know that anything has changed in that regard, we always thought quite strongly it was Theonée... the question is whether her child has any role in all this.
[Alma] What do hope to learn, or achieve, by talking with Martan Olivier?
[Dominik] Come on, if it was just Theonee, they would have done something by now I would think, since that is the obvious candidate, unless they really don't know what they are doing.
[Dominik] As for talking to Olivier's... I'm more interested in talking to Maze then Martan.
[Alma] Well, they could simply be unsure, and unwilling to play their hand until they have proof. Knowledge that she and Butler had a child may just be what they needed.
[Alma] As much as I entertained the idea that the clues Mr. Argo overheard simply pointed the way to a person who would lead to who they want, they do strongly imply that it is Theonée herself who is the one.
[Dominik] Like I said, its been months since the wedding. Unless they have a specific reason for waiting which we do not know about, I'm more inclined to believe its Martan they are looking for.
[Dominik] and the other thing, its all fine and dandy to hid a pregnancy and an unwanted child, but to go through the trouble of magically changing the sex of the kid is not something you do unless you have a DAMN good reason.
[Alma] Would they have done all that without telling Reverend Father Velten? It sounds like at best they had... hunches, concerns, but no real proof.
[Alma] Matriarch Pasith's diaries are filled with her concerns over Theonée's odd behaviour.
[Alma] Though Maze Olivier is a good candidate to talk to, in case Falke Sathin did tell him more...
[Alma] I would like to go with you to see him. I had planned to ask to speak with him myself, about the necklace.
[Dominik] I don't have an answer but I'm betting those involved knew something was up with the kid to go through that much bother... I mean how difficult is it to cast a spell like "wish" or "miracle"... if it was so easy, why not wish up a supply of food for the city
[Alma] Well, if you call, or in the case of Miracle, ask for something out of the ordinary, it is quite taxing... not something to be done lightly.
[Dominik] Yeah I want to talk to him about the necklace too... see if he knows who ordered it to be taken.
[Alma] Yes... about that...
[Alma] Did you hear about the murder at my Church?
[Dominik] I heard the sermons could be long, but I've never heard a priest call them murder.
[Alma] Oh, you are awful!
[Dominik] Bad taste... my appologies
[Dominik] no I hadn't heard.
[Alma] Humour doesn't always ask when is the best time to make an appearance, it's alright :)
[Alma] Well, it was in some of the broadsheets... quite brutal... the victim was the head priest at the Nine Elms in Rhenea, Brother Phineas Strauch.
[Dominik] that name sounds real familiar
[Alma] Well, the night of the Coronation, the Lord Grey asked me to dance... and it wasn't a purely social function. He asked me to look into Strauch to see if he had anything to do with the theft of the necklace.
[Alma] I admit I was completely useless. I'm a priest, not a spy. The best I could do is use my talents to see that he wasn't an evil man... I just wasn't willing to pry deeply into the man's life, or follow him home on Maze Olivier's suggestion.
[Alma] I chose to investigate his death personally, as it was I who found him in the crypt...
[Dominik] I've seen a body cut from groin to mouth and gutted. Not something I would wish on anyone.
[Alma] ... that was what they did to Brother Phineas...
[Alma] I saw the vision of what happened in the crypt the night of his murder, and then chose to Speak With Dead, a divine spell. Realising that my first few questions were not enough to solve his murder, I chose to satisfy my own curiosity with the last question... and Strauch was indeed involved with the theft.
[Dominik] thats... a strange coincidence.
[Alma] When did you see someone killed that way?
[Alma] I read that that is how the found Theodis Maez...
[Dominik] I found Theodis Maez
[Alma] Did you know her?
[Dominik] Yes. SHe works for Maze Olivier
- Alma looks completely surprised... and then a little pale.
[Alma] Have you heard of The Hush?
[Dominik] I should say worked.
[Dominik] Oh yes. I'm quite familiar with the Hush.
[Alma] Is murder a customary tool? :|
[Dominik] I would have to say no.
[Alma] I'm sorry... but Brother Phineas was murdered in retaliation for the murder of Theodis Maez... and before he died, he felt it was the Hush who were responsible.
[Alma] I saw them kill him, viciously, and one said "This is for Theo."
[Alma] Do you know anything about Ms. Maez and a ring?
[Alma] (for the answer)
[Dominik] I know about a ring that Ms Maez had, but I didn't know anything special about it. What was so special about the ring.
[Dominik] (that seems truthful)
[Alma] I'm not sure, but from my questions it seems it was worth killing her for.
[Alma] This suggests rather strongly that Maze Olivier himself may be responsible for the murder.
[Alma] Of Strauch, that is.
[Dominik] I don't think so... unless Strauch betrayed him somehow.
[Alma] Strauch worked for him too?
[Dominik] I think its more likely that those responsible were trying to silence him.
[Alma] Responsible for what?
[Dominik] responsible for the murder of course.
[Alma] Of Theodis?
[Dominik] Maybe... let me explain a few things to you...
[Dominik] The night THeodis was murdered, she was supposed to be meeting Strauch.
[Dominik] I've also heard that Strauch KNEW that there was extra body in the rubble after the corination and he intended to speak with the body somehow, likely magic to find its identity.
[Alma] (We don't all know there was an extra body, do we? I forget :/ )
[Dominik] (there were bodies but I think they were all identified... not sure on the details there)
[Dominik] (i've had two sources tell me this)
[Alma] (Both in solos?)
[Dominik] (in games)
[Alma] .oO( I could try that... )
[Alma] Are you suggesting Strauch did NOT kill Theodis Maez?
[Dominik] Unless you've magiced up some proof I don't think he did.
- Alma ponders.
[Dominik] That doesn't mean the one who stabbed him didn't think he did.
[Dominik] and I have a good notion who it was.
[Alma] Well, it's conceivable that I misunderstood his answer, but I specifically asked "Who killed Theodix Maez." and he replied, brokenly "This one"
[Dominik] Then maybe I'm wrong.
[Alma] Well, I have asked the Guard to keep his body for me to ask again. I will ask unambiguously this time.
[Dominik] Maybe he is the corrupt evil fucker he was pretending not to be and in that case, he deserved to die.
[Alma] Well... it seemed to me that he was a believer in law... a bit cold, and traditional... but there is magic as well to hide that.
[Alma] For all I know, whoever murdered Brother Phineas knew that I could do what I did, and put on a show. Maybe it's not even Brother Phineas' body. Magic can do lots of things if you are committed.
[Dominik] I'm surprised they didn't cut out his toungue... thats what they did with Theo
[Alma] It seems like a flight of fancy, but for all we know, whoever wanted vengeance for Theo could have turned the culprit into Strauch, physically, and left him to be found. Maybe Strauch is in a basement somewhere... I don't know.
[Dominik] body cant talk without a tongue... right?
[Alma] But I want to speak with M. Olivier even more, now.
[Dominik] I can try and arrange something. We can talk with him together.
[Alma] If Strauch worked for him, and could get access to the body, perhaps he can get me access to the body and the Hall of Worthies. I would be interested to see what happened... surely that would have left an emotional impact I could view...
[Alma] So you're involved in this Hush are you?
[Dominik] I help out with tasks that don't go against my principles.
[Alma] What exactly is its function?
- Alma looks generally dubious about it (:P)
[Dominik] Right now, I don't really know for sure. It's split into two factions both seem to have different agendas.
[Alma] So Maze Olivier could have had good reason to suspect Strauch of doing something he didn't know about?
[Dominik] I would say yes... but the other agenda is being directed by Nash... and I don't think Maze Olivier was directly involved in the whole necklace afair.
[Dominik] The Warlord.
- Alma says in disbelief.
[Alma] It's as if nothing is unconnected, these days.
[Alma] Well if Maze Olivier didn't steal the necklace, doesn't that imply Cornelia Nash did?
[Alma] I should say, couldn't it imply that?
[Dominik] It would if Nash didn't start plying her influence until she became warlord, AFTER Marl's corination.
[Dominik] But she could have been working in the background before that.
[Alma] I see...
[Alma] That just calls for more questions.
[Dominik] This is a bid dangerous snarl we've gotten ourselve into. As we both know, people have been killed for getting involved. You need to be careful with this information.
[Dominik] I have a certain affinity for people who've gone into battle with me. I don't want anything bad happening to you.
[Alma] I've already told the Guard the result of my vision and my questions for Strauch.
[Alma] Thank you, Mr. Rademacher, I appreciate it :)
[Alma] But I dare say that this is not the beginning of my danger... ever since all of this began, with the necklace and the society...
[Dominik] Soldier needs to know the man or woman beside him has thier back... when life and death are involved.
[Alma] You're always so quiet in our meetings, and yet here you are, all sorts of things running under the surface... even a little poetry.
[Alma] I dare say Ysabeau could do worse :)
[Dominik] That's probably the best thing you've ever said about me.
[Alma] You make it sound like I've said bad things. :o
[Dominik] I'm no scholar so when our little club meets, I have little to contribute, but I listen and learn.
[Alma] Well, we all have our roles.
[Dominik] Until we meet with Maze Olivier, I suggest you keep the information about Martan to yourself. I intend to do the same.
- Alma nods.
[Dominik] It's been a good talk, even if we didn't get that lunch. Price of bread is rediculous these days anyway.
[Alma] I imagine it will come up at some point at the Society, but... if it truly is who the Order are looking for, it may be best that Sanadhil not learn. I'm concerned that he may be ... careless with that information.
[Alma] I just... I am not confident in anyone's ability to hold off a succubus forever.
[Dominik] Both he and Ilphere have been spending time with Phedra.
[Alma] Well, that's not surprising, as he is trying to learn as much as he can about the Order, but...
[Dominik] yeah they both learn from those interactions
[Alma] Well, I'm sure it would be worse if we had no one in their privileged situation.
[Dominik] Maybe. Time will tell.
[Dominik] I'll be in touch when I know more about a meeting
[Dominik] Thank you for the lovely carriage ride.
[Alma] Have a good afternoon, Mr. Rademacher.
- Alma drops you off somewhere.
[Dominik] I recommend a cache of whiskey, or brandy for the cooler months. It will help the decore.
- Dominik will hop out
[Alma] Oh... I hadn't thought of that.
Sanadhil and Bessa
[DiablotinNarrator] Sanadhil, you receive notice that there is to be an induction ceremony tonight. You can only presume it is for Ilphere...
- Sanadhil would hope she would tell him if she had heard anything, but will get prepared regardless?
[DiablotinNarrator] You arrive at the stone circle before full dark, and descend the staircase alone this time.
- Sanadhil isn't 100% sure what is expected from him on this end of things ;)
[DiablotinNarrator] The ritual room is not empty - several others have arrived ahead of you, and are getting changed into their robes and masks.
- Reverend_Father is now known as Bessa
- Bessa comes over to you when you arrive. She has a robe and mask neatly folded in her hands, and offers them to you.
[Bessa] Here... for you.
[Sanadhil] Thank you.
- Bessa smiles. She doesn't have her mask on yet, and she looks so... ordinary, out of place in this strange setting.
[Bessa] I was so excited you joined us. It will be good to have someone in the Antiquarian Society I can really talk to about my research.
- Sanadhil smiles
[Sanadhil] yes, I was quite surprised to see you as well - what are you researching, then?
[Bessa] Well, the main goal of my research is an effort to determine what has gone wrong with the Arch.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] I have been contemplating that as well..... though regardless, I'm not certain it can be repaired
[Bessa] Once the Serpent was freed, it should have been able to use the Arch as we believe it did in the pre-Imperial period - to enter and exit it freely, and communicate with its followers that way.
- Bessa nods.
[Bessa] I'm not sure it can either, or at least not by human hands.
[Sanadhil] have you had any luck with your topic?
[Sanadhil] I have a fair anout of notes amassed on the early period, some of which may prove helpful
[Bessa] Limited, so far. I would certainly be interested in seeing your notes, and sharing mine with you as well.
[Bessa] [q] Part of me wonders if the damage is not to the Arch, but to the Serpent itself.
- Sanadhil raises his eyebrows
[Sanadhil] :how do you mean?
[Bessa] (are you telepathing at her?)
[DiablotinNarrator] (did I forget you have that spell?)
[Sanadhil] (you forgot I have that innate ability?)
[DiablotinNarrator] (oh right)
[DiablotinNarrator] (hahah, prestige class)
- Bessa looks mildly surprised, but will reply in kind.
[Bessa] :If it was injured somehow in its escape... if there is something we still need to do to fully restore it.
[Sanadhil] ;interesting.... and plausible. We know little enough of the effects of its confinement.
- Bessa nods.
[Sanadhil] It is certainly a matter worth considering.
[Bessa] I think so...
- Sanadhil seems thoughtful
- Cynthea comes over to join you. She is strikingly beautiful, with olive skin and thick brown hair that falls to her waist, which is so narrow (especially compared to her more abundent hips and bosom) that she has to be wearing a corset under that robe.
[Cynthea] It's lovely to meet you, Sanadhil. I'm sorry we didn't have a chance to talk last time, but it can be so hectic after ceremonies...
- Cynthea says, smiling prettily.
[Sanadhil] You as well, Mlle.
- Bessa rolls her eyes slightly.
[Cynthea] Phedre has told me a great deal about you.
- Cynthea says from under lowered eyelashes.
[Sanadhil] oh, has she?
[Cynthea] Mm, yes.
[Sanadhil] . o O ( sigh )
[Bessa] We were having a scholarly conversation, Cynthea.
- Sanadhil smiles slightly more than politely, but not entirely encouragingly
[Sanadhil] Indeed, a very interesting one at that.
- Sanadhil says to Bessa
- Bessa smiles slightly.
[Sanadhil] I am certaily looking forward to the potential of collaboration
[Cynthea] Oh, well, I wouldn't want to interrupt your fascinating ... collaboration.
- Cynthea not-quite flounces away.
[Bessa] Don't mind her. She's just excited to have new meat :p
[Sanadhil] Yes well. I'm a vegetarian. :p
- Bessa laughs.
[Sanadhil] Perhaps that was crude...
[Bessa] Oh, I started it.
- Sanadhil smiles
[Bessa] Come, we should get ready...
[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere, 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.
[Sanadhil] of course...
[Ilphere] (does that include items as far as I know?)
[DiablotinNarrator] (presumably so)
[Ilphere] (ok :x)
- Ilphere will trust that, if nothing else, Sanadhil would try and stop anyone from doing anything too horrid to her.
- Phedre welcomes you when you arrive.
[Ilphere] Good evening...!
- Ilphere is filled with nervous excitement...!
[Phedre] Good evening to you as well.
[Phedre] I hope you won't be offended if I ensure that you're free of any magical auras?
[Ilphere] Please, go ahead...!
- Phedre casts a spell, looking you over.
[DiablotinNarrator] (no magic, I presume?)
- Phedre nods, satisfied.
[Phedre] Everything seems in order. We should depart - we don't want to keep the others waiting.
[Ilphere] Of course...!
[Ilphere] .. Will Sanadhil be there..?
[Phedre] I can't say, I'm afraid.
[Ilphere] I understand...
- Phedre escorts you to her waiting carriage, which carries you through the twilight streets until you reach Templewood Park in Rhenea.
- Ilphere tries to keep from fidgeting too much...
- Phedre dismounts from the carriage and walks the last way, through the trees to a ruined circle of ancient stones. By the time you reach your destination, it is fully dark, but Phedre knows her way.
- Phedre touches the stones in a particular pattern. One of the crumbling slabs on the ground slides open smoothly, revealing a stairway leading down into the darkness.
- Phedre gestures for you to go first.
- Ilphere steps into the darkness (I do have darkvision, I forgot about that... would that ping her detect earlier?)
[DiablotinNarrator] (we can assume you explained it if it did?)
[DiablotinNarrator] You proceed down the narrow stairs slowly, taking care not to slip on the mossy stones. Phedre closes the door behind you and follows you down the stairs.
[DiablotinNarrator] Finally, you reach the bottom. You are in a small antechamber of some sort, and there is a crack of light from beneath a door.
- Phedre turns to you.
[Phedre] There is no turning back now. 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.
[Phedre] Do you need any help disrobing?
- Ilphere nods, eyeing the doorway ahead.
[Phedre] Very well. You can leave your clothing here, and I will summon you when it is time.
- Ilphere nods again.
- Phedre then slips through the door and shuts it behind her.
- Ilphere strips off rather self consciously, and tries to cover herself as best she can while she waits.
- Ilphere wonders why this part is strictly necessary... :(
[DiablotinNarrator] "Enter, Aspirant," says a voice from the other side of the door.
- Ilphere steps forward and tentatively opens the door...
[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 stone altar with a large goblet sitting atop it.
[DiablotinNarrator] There are robed and masked figures standing on the far side of the chamber, eleven of them. You can recognize Phedre, of course, but the others are not easily identified.
- Ilphere looks around, taking in the scene...
[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, surge, merge into the darkness that surrounds you.
[Phedre] What do you seek, Aspirant?
[Ilphere] Knowlege... understanding.
[Phedre] What do you see before you, Aspirant?
[Ilphere] (anything other than the description thus far..?)
[DiablotinNarrator] (nope - the group, the altar, the cup, shadows)
- Phedre nods, seeming satisfied with that answer.
[Phedre] Look to your own shadow, cast by your mortal flesh. Before you can gain understanding, you must put the flesh aside, to gain mastery over your mind, body, and soul. Will you proceed?
- Ilphere thinks of the dream-Hali who ate her eyes.
[Phedre] This is the abode from which none leave unchanged, a path from which there is no turning and no return.
- Phedre draws a straight razor from her sleeve and opens it. The blade gleams in the firelight.
- Phedre makes a cut across her palm and holds her hand out, allowing the blood to spill 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.
- Ilphere takes it, and tries not to wince as she cuts her palm...
- Phedre takes back the razor, then takes out a small vial, unstoppers it, and adds its contents to the mingled blood.
[Ilphere] (can I see what it is at all...?)
[DiablotinNarrator] (something dark and thick)
[Ilphere] (any roll to guess what it might be?)
[Ilphere] (or just 'probably blood')
[DiablotinNarrator] (heh - K:Arcane, maybe?)
[DiablotinNarrator] (it reminds you uncomfortably of the black, viscous substance you've seen in some of your visions, you can say that much. it doesn't look like blood from a human or animal... maybe something extraplanar, though...)
- Phedre lifts the goblet in both hands, leaving a smear of her own blood on the outside.
[Phedre] Great Serpent, master of creation and destruction, open the path for this Aspirant who comes meekly before you. Bestow your wisdom upon her, that she may work your will in this world.
[Phedre] With this cup, bind her to us, your humble servants, body, mind, and soul. If she should ever betray us, or work against your will, let her body waste away, her mind grow feeble, and her soul be forfeit to the Abyss.
[Phedre] Come, Aspirant, and drink deep.
[Ilphere] (is that a Geas?)
[DiablotinNarrator] (you can make a spellcraft check)
[Ilphere] (bah, 22)
[DiablotinNarrator] (you don't think so? this is something weird, not a spell like you are familiar with.)
- Ilphere steps forward...
- Phedre holds the cup out to you.
- Ilphere takes it and glances inside.
[DiablotinNarrator] The contents of the goblet are dark, darker than blood should be, and oddly shimmery in the light.
- Ilphere holds her breath and takes a big drink, hoping not to embarrass herself by gagging... :x
[DiablotinNarrator] You drink, feeling yourself grow light-headed. It tastes... surprisingly good. The shadows and lights around you seem to swirl and flare, or perhaps it's your head that is spinning...?
[DiablotinNarrator] You feel as if you're falling down, but you don't hit the floor. Instead, you fall and keep falling into a sleepless dream.
[DiablotinNarrator] You find yourself in the frozen landscape of Ruchard's land. The cold bites at your exposed skin, and the wind snarls and tangles your hair.
[DiablotinNarrator] The hill, the tree at its summit, the sleeping Emperor, and the bird await you.
- Ilphere wraps her arms around herself, teeth chattering.
- Ilphere stuggles toward the sleeping Sovereign.
[DiablotinNarrator] You can barely feel your extremities by the time you reach the summit, and your skin is mottled blue and red.
- Hali (or whatever this creature is) flutters down from its perch atop the tree.
[Hali] Will you wake him?
- Hali asks you once more.
[Ilphere] I must speak to him...
[Hali] He dreamed himself into a dream within this dream. Too clever for his own good, eh.
[Ilphere] I must know how our family is bound to the serpent.
- Ruchard looks warm, or at least not freezing, despite the cold.
- Ilphere reaches out to touch him.
- Ruchard feels warm to your touch.
- Ilphere decides to cast Dream Walk.
- Ilphere hopes it will be warm wherever Ruchard is dreaming...
Ilphere and Ruchard
[DiablotinNarrator] As you cast your spell, you notice that the tree looks different - twisted and black as always, yes, but also bowed over nearly to the ground...
[DiablotinNarrator] You concentrate on entering into Ruchard's sleeping mind, despite the beady, watchful eyes of the bird on you.
[DiablotinNarrator] You feel yourself drifting away - the cold fading into a memory as you plunge into the next layer of dream.
[DiablotinNarrator] You find yourself in an orchard, apple trees heavy with fruit. It is autumn, then, and the air is crisp but nothing like the icy chill of the wasteland you have just left.
[Ilphere] (do I have clothes?)
[DiablotinNarrator] You are still naked.
[DiablotinNarrator] There is a path winding through the orchard, between rows of trees.
- Ilphere will follow the path, looking all around for signs of life...
[DiablotinNarrator] You hear sounds of wildlife, birds and perhaps some small animals, but you don't see anything larger than that.
[DiablotinNarrator] As you emerge from the trees, you see a house ahead. It is well-appointed, not overly grand but quite handsome and comfortable-looking. Smoke comes from the chimney, and the path leads up to the door.
- Ilphere approaches the house, feeling very self-conscious again...
[DiablotinNarrator] The door is slightly ajar.
- Ilphere knocks first...
[DiablotinNarrator] You hear no answer from within.
[DiablotinNarrator] But it's definitely warmer in there...
- Ilphere pushes the door open and steps inside.
[Ilphere] (i don't suppose there are any coats hanging up near the door or anything? :D)
[DiablotinNarrator] Inside, the house is decorated in a style that seems quite old-fashioned to your eyes. And, in fact, there is a cloak hanging near the door which you could appropriate.
- Ilphere appropriates it... :x
[DiablotinNarrator] The door opens onto a corridor, which has several rooms off it, and a staircase as well.
- Ilphere will check the rooms first.
[DiablotinNarrator] You can manage to wrap the cloak around you in such a way that you feel less exposed, and check the rooms.
[DiablotinNarrator] There is a kitchen with a small dining table (for no more than two people, you'd say). There's a sitting room with a few musical instruments that look well-cared-for.
[Ilphere] (if there are any books I'd like to see if they are of interest...)
[DiablotinNarrator] A few - some histories, music books, works of fiction.
- Ilphere continuest to investigate...
[DiablotinNarrator] Some date from quite recently, you would say - certainly not all hundreds of years old.
[DiablotinNarrator] You look through a few more rooms, but find no one downstairs. That leaves the upper floor...
- Ilphere slowly climbs the stairs...
- Ilphere calls again.
[DiablotinNarrator] From upstairs, you believe you hear some faint movement.
[DiablotinNarrator] A slight creak of a floorboard, as if someone moved.
[Ilphere] (heavy footstep like a man, or lighter?)
[DiablotinNarrator] (not really like a footstep - more just like someone shifted their weight, perhaps?)
- Ilphere keeps moving, but cautiously.
[DiablotinNarrator] Upstairs, you see a couple of bedrooms with their doors open, and another room at the far end of the hall which, from the glimpse you can catch through the slightly open door, might be a library!
- Ilphere stops to listen for any sounds first...
[Ilphere] (28 listen)
[DiablotinNarrator] You can hear someone in the library - occasionally a page will rustle.
- Ilphere walks slowly toward the library then, peeking in the open doors on the way.
[DiablotinNarrator] One bedroom looks fairly uninhabited - maybe a guest room? if such a thing is possible. and the other looks more lived-in, with some shoes at the foot of the bed, a few personal items in evidence.
[DiablotinNarrator] (men's shoes)
- Ilphere will stop in the library doorway... What can I see?
[DiablotinNarrator] Peeking through the library door, you can see walls lined with books, a carpet on the floor, and shadows of a chair or two that indicate there's a fireplace lit within.
- Ilphere creeps toward the fire.
[DiablotinNarrator] A figure stirs in one of the chairs as you enter the delightfully warm room. [Ruchard] I wasn't expecting you until tonight... oh :o
- Ruchard says as he stands and sees who you actually are.
[Ruchard] Hello, Ilphere. I'm surprised to see you - pleasantly, though.
- Ilphere smiles.
[Ilphere] I am pleased that I could find you...
[Ruchard] Are you well?
[Ilphere] I think so...
- Ruchard 's beard is neatly trimmed, his hair tied back in an orderly knot at the back of his neck, and he wears a tunic and rather tight pants. Much nicer than the scruffy man in the wasteland, but certainly the same person.
[Ilphere] I was taking part in a ritual... I drank something, and found myself on the frozen hill, by the tree, with the bird...
[Ilphere] The tree was bent over almost to the ground... Does that mean anything to you...?
[Ruchard] The Arch... every plane has one, even such small ones as mine.
[Ilphere] It's an arch...?
- Ruchard nods.
- Ilphere smiles in spite of herself...
[Ruchard] Oh, you must be cold. Do come closer to the fire... can I get you anything?
- Ruchard suddenly realizes.
[Ilphere] No, thank you... unless you have a robe I could borrow...!
[Ruchard] Of course.
- Ruchard goes quickly to fetch a dressing-gown from his room, and brings it to you.
[Ilphere] Oh, thank you...!
[Ruchard] Oh, not at all.
[Ruchard] ...oh, I suppose you want to put it on.
- Ruchard turns his back politely.
- Ilphere shrugs into it quickly.
[Ilphere] Thank you...
- Ilphere says again.
[Ruchard] You're welcome.
[Ruchard] So you've studied my spell, I take it.
- Ruchard seems vaguely pleased by this prospect.
[Ilphere] Yes... I have used it before, although this has been more... successful... In that I haven't become an unhinged alternate version of myself, at least...!
[Ruchard] Ah... yes, that can happen :/
[Ilphere] I have been hoping for an opportunity to travel into your dream for some time now.
[Ruchard] I was aware of your ... contact with me, at some level.
[Ruchard] It's ... well, something like a dream, or a dream as I recall them at any rate.
[Ilphere] Dreams within dreams...
[Ruchard] Yes.... my refuge.
[Ruchard] It took some effort to get here.
[Ilphere] How did you do it...?
[Ruchard] I contemplated for some months how I could possibly put myself into my own dream - pondering magical means of watching myself while I slept so that I could cast the spell.
[Ruchard] In the end, the simplest way to see myself dream was... to dream that I saw myself dreaming.
[Ilphere] I see... fascinating... :o
[Ruchard] I had gained considerable control over my dreams, and it was not difficult to summon up a dream of myself, asleep.
[Ruchard] The wasteland was... intended as a deterrent, I suppose.
[Ruchard] At least, my mind was quite insistent on keeping it .. inhospitable.
[Ruchard] Fortunately, I've been able to make this plane more to my liking.
[Ilphere] It is very.. homey! :)
- Ruchard says with a slight smile.
[Ruchard] I'm glad you like it. I don't get many visitors :)
[Ilphere] But you're expecting someone else...
- Ilphere tilts her head slightly, curious.
- Ruchard blushes, looking aside.
[Ruchard] My mind does occasionally provide me with... companionship.
[Ilphere] Oh, I see...
- Ilphere blushes as well.
[Ilphere] I did not mean to pry, I jsut thought perhaps another dreamer...
- Ruchard clears his throat.
[Ilphere] Never mind that...!
[Ilphere] I came to ask you about my own dreams... and those of others in our family.
- Ruchard nods.
[Ilphere] I had hoped you might have some insight... as to why those of us who have passed through the arch dream of the Serpent...
[Ruchard] It is our burden, our ... taint.
[Ilphere] But why...?
[Ruchard] It only became clear to me after I was tested... when the dreams began.
[Ilphere] Where does it come from...?
[Ruchard] From our ancestors. From Patriarch Thaleus, who removed all references to the Serpent and the Rat from our Faith.
[Ilphere] I see...!
[Ilphere] For some of us... the dreams are becoming more... insistent.
- Ruchard nods.
[Ilphere] The Patriarch figures in some of them, saying that the Wheel Must Turn True...
[Ruchard] For me they did too. It was why my study of dreams became so pressing to me - to try and control them, understand them, end them if I could.
[Ilphere] There is a threat there that something very unpleasant will happen if it is not restored...
[Ruchard] Perhaps it indicates that the Faith as it stands is... out of balance?
[Ilphere] That is what I feel, more or less
[Ruchard] It seems the most likely explanation.
[Ilphere] But the threat may be more immediate; I'm not certain...
[Ilphere] The serpent's servant, Kavreshar... do you know of it..?
[Ruchard] It is a name I've only read.
[Ilphere] It is a sort of dragon... and it is free in Diablotin.
[Ilphere] I and some others shared a vision of it laying waste to the city.
- Ruchard nods slowly.
[Ruchard] My bond with the city is ... attenuated, here, but still not entirely severed.
[Ruchard] I would not care to have it destroyed.
[Ilphere] I am seeking to discover what we must do to restore the wheel...
[Ruchard] One of the benefits of my library here is that I am able to retrieve books from more recent times than my own.... and from other planes of existence.
- Ruchard gestures to the stuffed shelves.
- Ilphere 's eyes widen...
[Ilphere] Amazing... :o
[Ruchard] I will seek here for any information that could be of assistance to you.
[Ilphere] I.. thank you...! :o
[Ilphere] THat is... even more than I had hoped for.
[Ruchard] If I find something, and bring it to you in your dreams... would that be acceptable to you?
[Ilphere] More than acceptable...
[Ilphere] I am in your debt.
[Ruchard] I ... I failed in my responsibilities to the Empire once.
[Ruchard] I would like this chance to do what I can to save it.
- Ilphere smiles.
[Ilphere] Our chances of success will be far greater with your aid.
- Ruchard looks modestly embarrassed.
[Ruchard] I hope so.
[Ilphere] I should return... I do not know how much time will have passed outside...
[Ruchard] Of course. But know that you are welcome here whenever you are able to return. Now that you have been here once, your dreams will lead you back here again, I suspect.
[Ilphere] I hope so... :)
- Ruchard puts his hand on your shoulder.
[Ruchard] Pleasant dreams, Ilphere.
[Ilphere] And to you as well...
[Ilphere] Until we meet again.
- Ruchard nods.
- Ilphere will step back and cast Dream Walk once again.
[DiablotinNarrator] You feel the world around you fading away, and you wake, wrapped in a blanket, in the ceremony room, with the cult members around you, looking variously worried or intrigued.
- Ilphere eases herself up to a sitting position.
[Phedre] Are you all right?
[Sanadhil] (How long was she out?)
[Phedre] (maybe a quarter-hour?)
[Ilphere] Yes... yes I am...
[Ilphere] How long has it been...?
- Sanadhil would seem concerned if Phedre was lookign concerned...
[Ilphere] (so can I see people's faces now?)
- Phedre was a bit concerned, but not super-worried yet.
[Ilphere] Oh, Sanadhil... You *are* here...! :)
[Phedre] (do you want the list of members again, or do you remember them? :)
[Ilphere] (more or less... a list of D1 descendents :V)
[Phedre] (yeah, that's more or less it)
[Sanadhil] Of course.
- Sanadhil smiles in return
[Ilphere] I spoke to Ruchard Rademacher again...
[Ilphere] He is going to help us... He has access to tomes from this world and... many others.
- Phedre looks intrigued at that.
- Ilphere nods.
[Ilphere] After drinking I found myself on the icy hill again... and I was able to contact him using his own spell...
- Sanadhil eyes the other cultists
[Phedre] (They are mostly not paying too much attention now that she's obviously come around... chatting amongst themselves, apart from Phedre who's sticking with Ilphere)
[Sanadhil] (keen then)
[Sanadhil] you went into his dream... in a dream?
- Ilphere nods.
- Ilphere nods.
- Sanadhil looks to Phedre.
[Phedre] Come, let's get your clothing, my dear...
- Phedre will take Ilphere off to get her dressed again.
- Ilphere goes off to get clothed, then...!
Ysabeau and Dryden
[DiablotinNarrator] Ysabeau, you have made plans to meet once again with Nestor Dryden, in hopes of finally getting some information out of him.
[DiablotinNarrator] Where and when would you like to see him?
[Ysabeau] (At a Revelators meeting seems the most practical)
[Ysabeau] (After one, whatever. )
[DiablotinNarrator] (ok - after the meeting, then)
[Ysabeau] (Was Terral Eichorn in evidence in the crowd? LOL)
[DiablotinNarrator] you didn't see him there, no
- Ysabeau makes her way towards Dryden since he usually doesn't linger.
- Ysabeau smiles, going over the spells in her mind once more...
- Dryden sees you approaching and waits for you.
[Ysabeau] (Oh, my email question about glibness, if I cast it before the meeting began, would it still be in effect now?)
[Dryden] Good evening, Mlle. Chanuier.
[Ysabeau] Good evening, M. Dryden. How have you been?
[Ysabeau] (Also what did Stavenger talk about tonight, in a sentence or less?)
[DiablotinNarrator] (it would probably be close to ending - I imagine meetings last maybe 60-70 minutes or so, so you might have 40 or so minutes left on it)
[Ysabeau] (Ought to be enough for our conversation, so I have Glibness on as a precaution.)
[DiablotinNarrator] In a sentence or less, he talked about the recent fires, how they are a punishment for sins, etc. and about helping those who have been left without homes or food.)
[Ysabeau] (OK, thanks!)
[Dryden] I'm well, thank you. And you?
[Ysabeau] I'm doing well. A bit uneasy about the future, though.
- Dryden nods.
[Dryden] I think that's understandable, these days.
- Ysabeau nods, fidgeting with her gloves.
[Ysabeau] Were you just about to leave, M. Dryden?
[Dryden] I was, yes. I have a carriage waiting.
[Ysabeau] May I... may I come with you? I need to speak with you.
[Dryden] Of course.
- Dryden offers you his arm.
- Ysabeau takes it, smiling up at him, and fixes her hat with her free hand.
[Ysabeau] Out into the chill evening then, shall we?
- Dryden escorts you to his waiting carriage, which is down the end of the street.
- Ysabeau lets him hand her up into the carriage, etc. and settles herself down on one of the benches inside. There's room for him to sit next to her if he likes.
[Dryden] Where would you like to go?
[Dryden] Are you hungry? We could go to a restaurant, or....?
[Ysabeau] A restaurant, a park, your house. Wherever you'd be most comfortable with a "suspiciously charming young lady," as you put it, the first day we met.
[Dryden] ...My house?
[Ysabeau] If you wish.
- Dryden will give the instructions to the coachdriver, then.
[Ysabeau] (to his house?)
[Dryden] What did you wish to discuss? Or would you prefer to wait until we arrive?
[Ysabeau] We can begin as we travel.
- Dryden nods.
[Ysabeau] How strongly do you feel about M. Stavenger's speeches?
[Dryden] I believe them.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] They strike a chord with me, as well - insofar as he teaches kindness for others and leading a good life.
- Dryden nods.
[Ysabeau] What if I told you he might be right?
[Dryden] Then I would agree with you.
[Ysabeau] About Hell, and... punishment.
- Dryden nods again.
[Dryden] I would still agree. I think he has seen truly on those matters.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] M. Dryden... what if I were to tell you that we - the entire city, that is - might be in danger of one of your demons.
[Dryden] I would say it's what I've believed for a long time.
[Ysabeau] Would you want to save them? The good, the bad, the poor, the rich - all the inhabitants of this grand and tragic city?
[Dryden] I would want them to be able to save themselves.
- Dryden says after a moment's consideration.
[Ysabeau] Well, would you start with me, then?
[Dryden] ...Of course.
[Ysabeau] I would like to be able to save myself, and my sister. All the children like we were, the ones yet to come.
[Ysabeau] But to do this... I need to know the people you suspect of being demons.
[Dryden] I ... we already discussed this, and... I believe you refused me.
- Dryden seems confused.
[Ysabeau] Did we? I misunderstood your intentions, then.
[Dryden] I thought I was quite clear.
[Ysabeau] Me, for your information?
- Dryden nods.
[Ysabeau] For how long?
[Dryden] Tonight... perhaps longer, if you wish.
[Ysabeau] I... I have a beau, you know.
[Dryden] You might change your mind.
- Ysabeau smiles at him.
[Ysabeau] . o O (I doubt it.)
[Dryden] Here we are...
- Dryden says as you draw up at his house.
- Ysabeau looks out the window at it while she tries to make up her mind.
- Ysabeau turns back to Dryden.
[Ysabeau] M. Dryden, you understand... I am in school, and a child... a child would interfere with that.
[Dryden] I understand.
[Dryden] We can take whatever precautions you prefer.
[Ysabeau] Even if it means we avoid that particular act?
- Dryden nods.
[Dryden] There are plenty of other options, after all.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] One night. You'll tell me the names by dawn.
[Dryden] I swear it.
[Ysabeau] Would you consent to my casting Detect Thoughts on you, when you tell me, as part of my price?
[Dryden] ...I accept that, yes.
[Ysabeau] Very well then, M. Dryden.
- Dryden escorts you into his house, then.
[Ysabeau] . o O (I'll slip away so I can cast Modify Memory...!)
- Ysabeau goes over her plan in her head.
[DiablotinNarrator] (so, going through with it, then?)
[Ysabeau] (she will slip away but suffer a crisis of conscience... doesn't want to be like Pheria... so yes, no spells. )
[Ysabeau] (Except for the Detect Thoughts as agreed upon.)
[Ysabeau] So what was it like, any physical or emotional/verbal abuse? Since he thinks I might have reason to dump Dominik in favour of him, after this one night, is he like the world's best love-machine or something?
- Dryden is not at all abusive - he's actually oddly sweet and really attentive to Ysa's needs.
- Dryden seems fairly plain with his clothes on, but actually with them off he's not that bad - decent body, nothing gross about him, and actually pretty, uh, impressive in certain departments, shall we say.
- Dryden is, in fact, really very good in bed, probably makes Dom seem like, well, a fumbling 18-year-old ;)
- Ysabeau reciprocates.
- Ysabeau is a professional and would do what she can to make it memorable for him. No shoddy craftsmanship or anything like that.
- Dryden will get you a drink or some refreshment afterwards if you like.
[Ysabeau] Yes, thank you. :)
[Ysabeau] A red wine, if you have one.
[Dryden] Of course.
- Dryden gets you some wine, and some for himself as well.
- Ysabeau stretches out languorously on the bed looking as naughty and as sexy as a whore-come-out-of-retirement can.
- Dryden rejoins you in bed, with drinks.
[Dryden] You're wonderful, Ysabeau.
- Ysabeau sits up, close enough to be touching him as she sips her wine.
[Ysabeau] As good as you?
- Ysabeau smiles coyly.
- Dryden laughs modestly.
[Dryden] Maybe when you're my age ;)
- Dryden says, joking.
- Ysabeau raises an eyebrow and smiles over the brim of her glass before taking a sip.
[Ysabeau] Not so many more years to go, then.
- Dryden chuckles and sips his wine.
- Dryden seems much more at ease than when you've talked with him before - perhaps not surprisingly.
- Ysabeau knows from Mijanou that he does relax a lot afterwards... but then that can be said for many people.
[Ysabeau] Are you tired at all?
[Dryden] No, I'm fine. Ready to go again? ;)
- Ysabeau laughs and sets her glass on the table, then positions herself behind him and starts giving him a skillful massage.
[Ysabeau] Perhaps, if the sun doesn't rise too soon.
[Dryden] I suppose that's my incentive to hurry up and tell you what you want to know, isn't it.
- Ysabeau cranes her neck over his shoulder, allowing her long hair to trail up his arm as she dusts his shoulder with light kisses.
- Ysabeau whispers near his ear.
- Dryden sighs happily.
[Dryden] There are at least seven individuals... seven I've noticed, anyway.
[Ysabeau] A moment please, M. Dryden
- Dryden pauses.
- Ysabeau sings several bars of a sad sweet song about two lovers who failed to share their secrets with one another, resulting in an untimely and tragic end.
[Ysabeau] (That's my Detect Thoughts going off, obviously.)
- Ysabeau continues to skillfully and attentively rub his neck, back and shoulders.
[Ysabeau] Go on.
[Dryden] Seven around the palace, that is.
[Ysabeau] (The DC is 17, by the way, but he did say he'd allow it when we were discussing the price, so he better not resist.)
- Dryden doesn't seem to be resisting anything you do right now!
[Ysabeau] (Well, I'll lap up his surface thoughts, then, yumyum.)
[Ysabeau] You know of others outside of the palace, then?
- Dryden chuckles.
[Dryden] These are the ones you should be concerned with.
[Dryden] Evalier Moncaire. He's personal secretary to the Chief Sorceror. Madelen Levernois. She's mistress to Reverend Mother Esmena vak Andras. Maryse Rouillard, she's a musician at court and mistress to one of the gentlemen of the privy chamber, Patric Arguelles.
[Dryden] Temair Metivier, the Lord Admiral. Butler Belden, Lord Marshal of the Order of the Spoke. Cornelia Nash, the Warlord. Theonée Deverara, the Chancellor.
[Dryden] The last three, I concede, may not be outright demons. They are planetouched, though.
- Ysabeau leans over him from behind, caressing his chest and planting a few more kisses where opportunity presents itself, before returning to the back massage.
[Ysabeau] Have any of them appeared since the Coronation?
[Ysabeau] Or, become demons since the Coronation?
[Ysabeau] (He's got no surface thoughts?)
- Dryden is thinking what he's telling you, and probably also "that feels *really* good".
- Ysabeau will be alert for any signs of deception, and will play up on the stuff he thinks feels really good.
[Ysabeau] (SM roll is 29)
[Dryden] Some of them, I don't know anything about them before the coronation. Levernois and Rouillard and Metivier, I couldn't say.
[Ysabeau] So they may have appeared since, possibly?
[Dryden] The others were certainly around before that point.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] Do you know anything about an entity called Kavreshar?
[Dryden] It was discussed at one of the last Inner Council meetings before I was dismissed. I don't know anything about where it might be, though.
[Ysabeau] Do you know anything of the machinations of the palace demons you have already named?
[Dryden] They don't all work together - I suppose that's to be expected from demons, though. I suspect they know of each others' presence, though.
[Dryden] Mlle. Levernois also works at the Jewel Box, if that's of interest.
- Ysabeau makes an approving noise in her throat as she continues to be all sexy and amazing for him.
[Ysabeau] What kinds of demons are they? All the same, or different types?
[Dryden] I can imagine that would be a fruitful line of work if she was gathering information for some purpose.
[Ysabeau] It has its uses.
[Ysabeau] What kinds of demons are they? All the same, or different types?
- Ysabeau repeats.
[Dryden] Levernois and Rouillard are succubi.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] Like Earric.
- Dryden nods.
[Ysabeau] And the others?
[Dryden] Metivier is, I believe, what is known as a glabrezu. The violet eyes give it away.
[Dryden] The others, I am uncertain.
[Ysabeau] Very well.
[Ysabeau] Was it the demons that conspired to have you fired?
[Ysabeau] Was that someone else's decision?
[Dryden] I attribute it to Nash, at least in part, though the final decision was the Emperor's.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] Is there anything else you think I should know about the palace demons?
[Ysabeau] Or Nash, or the others you named...
[Dryden] I would be very cautious in approaching them, if that is your intention. Most, if not all of them, would not hesitate to dispose of an inconvenient young woman.
[Ysabeau] I will be, thank you.
[Dryden] And I would hate for anything to happen to you.
- Ysabeau smiles and slides herself around on the bed so she is straddling his lap.
[Ysabeau] Is that all you will tell me, M. Dryden?
[Dryden] You never asked why I became interested in demons in the first place ;)
[Ysabeau] True. Why did you become interested in demons in the first place?
- Ysabeau smiles saucily.
[Dryden] My mother was one.
- Dryden says with a slight smile back.
- Ysabeau raises an eyebrow.
[Ysabeau] How would you know?
[Ysabeau] Does that make you a half-demon, then?
[Ysabeau] Let me guess, she was a succubus.
[Dryden] Yes, I suppose it does. Fortunately for my own self-preservation, I look more like my father.
[Dryden] How did you guess?
- Dryden says, with a playful twist of his hips beneath you.
[Ysabeau] Perhaps your personality took more after your mother's.
- Dryden nods.
[Ysabeau] Seriously, how did you find out?
- Ysabeau is genuinely curious and if she is afraid, she is hiding it well.
[Dryden] Because I remember seeing her in her true form, when I was a child, just before she left.
[Dryden] Her name - the name she went by, at any rate - was Livith, but I'm sure that wasn't her true name.
[Dryden] They all have true names... ones they don't share, at least not with the likes of us.
- Ysabeau runs her hand through the hair on the side of his head (he is balding, isn't he?)
- Ysabeau regards him gravely.
[Dryden] (thinning on top, not totally bald)
[Ysabeau] You said that you once trained for the priesthood. Is that true?
[Dryden] It is. I thought I could... could get rid of this ... taint within myself.
[Ysabeau] Didn't the priests notice?
- Dryden looks pained.
[Dryden] They did. That's why I never became a full-fledged priest.
[Dryden] No matter what was in my heart - my blood mattered more.
[Ysabeau] I have an inkling what that could be like.
[Ysabeau] But I would never have guessed, if you hadn't told me.
- Dryden nods.
[Ysabeau] So your human side must be the stronger.
[Dryden] I like to believe so.
[Dryden] Come, we shouldn't talk of such bitter matters when we could be enjoying ourselves. There's still a few hours until sunrise...
- Ysabeau will be extra cautious that nothing that could result in a little 1/4 demon baby occurs.
- Dryden would promise to be extra careful ;)
- Ysabeau entertains him until dawn, then, and then takes her leave of him.
- Ysabeau is dead tired by then, I'm sure, and probably doesn't get too far from his house before she starts crying.
- Ysabeau heads home and buries her face in Rye's fur.
- Rye licks you
- Ysabeau won't be going to school or anything like that today.
Guillame and Rickard
[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame, you and Rickard have been preparing for a public Levellers' meeting, to be held at the Castalia. At last, the day has arrived.
- Rickard has arranged for the meeting to be held in one of the largest lecture halls, a room that can hold some three hundred people.
[DiablotinNarrator] What preparations will you have made, that I should know about, if any?
- Guillame will have arranged for members of the levellers to act as unarmed security, looking for troublemakers among both our ranks and the attendants. He has also done some publicity work, spreading word about the meeting. Probably no catering though, given the circumstances :/
[DiablotinNarrator] (ok, that's fine)
[DiablotinNarrator] As the hour of the meeting draws near, the room is certainly filling up. Some, by their robes, are curious scholars, while others look as though they came from the streets of the Shambles, and yet others are probably craftsmen or lesser merchants.
[DiablotinNarrator] A few, though dressed down, have the distinctly uncomfortable look of the out-of-place noble.
[Guillame] (No Phelix on security :P)
[DiablotinNarrator] The room fills to capacity, and people sit in the aisles and stand at the rear of the room.
- Thea asks you before-hand.
[Guillame] A little... I feel like there should be more prepared...
[Thea] People want to be heard. Letting them know we're listening is more important than talking to them.
[Thea] You'll do fine.
- Guillame nods
[Rickard] Maybe we can write people's suggestions down on the blackboard as they speak, so we don't forget anything.
- Rickard suggests.
[Guillame] I can do that?
[Rickard] I suppose we should get started...
- Rickard seems nervous as well.
[Guillame] Yeah, we'd better
- Rickard moves to the front of the lecture hall and waits for people to quiet down, which takes some time.
[Rickard] People of Diablotin...
- Rickard begins, then freezes up, as if he's forgotten what he was going to say. He looks to you, vaguely panicked.
- Guillame smiles and nods to him
[Rickard] Uh... we are the Levellers, and we're trying to make this city a better place for all of us. And we want to hear your ideas on how to do that, too.
[Rickard] So if everyone can be, uh, orderly, and so on, let's begin...
[DiablotinNarrator] The crowd does remain relatively orderly - people stand in turn to speak of injustices they have witnessed or experienced at the hands of the guards, of insufficient food, of corruption in the justice system and the church, of high taxes, of not having their voices heard.
[DiablotinNarrator] You write down notes about the expense of the teleportation circles (though others argue that those are worthwhile, seeing as how they can be used to transport food from the far reaches of the Empire), about nobles and their wicked, wasteful ways, complex proposals for representative government...
- Guillame makes notes of the suggestions, and encourages people with grievances to suggest solutions
[DiablotinNarrator] The blackboard is becoming full of suggestions and notes... It's the kind you can flip over, fortunately, so you don't have to erase it all to keep writing.
- Guillame sees if he can co-opt somebody to transcribe the back
- Sanadhil lurks in the back, listening - silly humans
- Rickard can come over to flip the board so you can keep going.
[DiablotinNarrator] On the other side of the board is a sentence written in some foreign or arcane tongue, perhaps something left over from a previous class in this room...?
[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame, you are surprised to find that you can read it, though you don't know how. It says "Freedom. Justice. Revolution."
[DiablotinNarrator] A murmur passes through the hall like a wave.
[DiablotinNarrator] (San, make a Will save, please)
[Sanadhil] (mind affecting?)
[Sanadhil] (ench or illusion?)
- Guillame strikes through it with his chalk, and keeps writing
[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame, you can't seem to strike through it.
[Sanadhil] (can we all read it?)
[DiablotinNarrator] No - San, to you it just looks like some foreign language you can't read.
- Sanadhil notes it down for later
[DiablotinNarrator] You feel mildly disoriented, but you're ok.
[DiablotinNarrator] However, some people jump to their feet, shouting, and begin to storm out of the room. Others just look confused.
- Sanadhil can DM?
- Guillame marks a cross by revolution, and writes "a better way" nearby
[DiablotinNarrator] There's probably a lot of magic in this room, San! I presume you're looking at the board?
[Guillame] Thea... I can't mark it.
- Thea is distracted by people basically starting to riot around her.
- Guillame flips the board back.
[Sanadhil] (If it is magic, I can try to dispell)
[DiablotinNarrator] Strong magic, San. you can try to determine the school if you want.
[Sanadhil] (sure! i can never remember if that is arcana or spellcraft)
[Guillame] Order, please!
- Guillame tries to make himself heard
[DiablotinNarrator] Illusion, San.
- Sanadhil will try to dispell
[DiablotinNarrator] Other people are also trying to calm the crowd, and there are probably some others trying to dispell, San, so you're not alone...
[DiablotinNarrator] The words disappear from the board - you're not sure if you were the one who dispelled it or someone else, but it's gone.
[Sanadhil] (Are people still going crazy, and is there anyone notably important amog those who are riotous?)
[DiablotinNarrator] But it seems to be too late for those who have already been affected by it - they are storming out of the Castalia, heading for who knows where.
[DiablotinNarrator] It's too confused to tell who is affected and who isn't, really. There is basically a riot going on in this room, and spilling out into the hallways.
- Sanadhil will try to keep out of the way, then, and maybe get to Guillame
- Thea hurries over to Guillame as well.
- Guillame looks horrified
[Thea] What's happening?!
[Sanadhil] Magic - some kind of mind affecting illusion
[Guillame] I don't know... the words must have been magic, because I could read them - they said "freedom, justice, revolution"
[Thea] I could read them too.
[Thea] I don't know why everyone went nuts :o
[Sanadhil] (can I make a roll to see if i can figure out what spell?)
[DiablotinNarrator] (San, you can make a spellcraft check)
[Guillame] Mind-effecting? So they're not in control of themselves?
- Rickard will also make one.
[Guillame] We have to let the guards know...
[DiablotinNarrator] (San - Illusory Script. It plants a suggestion in the minds of those who attempt to read it, but the caster can designate some people not to be affected, but to see the true message instead.)
[Sanadhil] Illusory script - but you were not affected?
[Thea] I guess not :o
[Sanadhil] The caster can choose to exclude specific people...
- Sanadhil silent casts detect thoughts
[DiablotinNarrator] It's a madhouse in here, San....
[Sanadhil] (true -_-)
[Rickard] Come on, Guy, let's go try to stop them getting themselves killed!
- Guillame goes with Rickard, trying to guide the unaffected away from the mob and break apart the ruckus
[Sanadhil] There isn't much you can do, I'm afraid....
[DiablotinNarrator] All right, you can do that, Guillame. Thea will also accompany you, trying to at least guide the mob if she can't stop it...
- Sanadhil will go to the library and make sure no rioters get out of hand there :p
[DiablotinNarrator] lol, ok
[DiablotinNarrator] The riot seems to be heading to the Imperial Isle, so no library riots :p
[Sanadhil] (well, we were on campus ;)
[DiablotinNarrator] (true ;)
- Guillame sends someone to brief the guards, if possible
[DiablotinNarrator] The guard will find out soon enough, but yes, you can send someone to try and warn them.
[DiablotinNarrator] The worst part is, you're pretty sure that people who weren't even *there* are joining in as the mob surges through the streets...
[Guillame] (About the riot, but also about the mind-effect)
[DiablotinNarrator] The crowds storm to the palace gates, shouting for justice, for food, for blood...
[DiablotinNarrator] The guards, being forewarned, have closed the gates fast, and are on the other side.
- Guillame looks to make sure they're not going to shoot anyone this time
[DiablotinNarrator] The crowd throw themselves against the gilded bars, hurling insults (and rocks, if they have them...)
[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame, you see spellcasters appearing at the top of the walls, casting... something, you're not sure what.
- Guillame points the out to Rickard and Thea, moving back
[DiablotinNarrator] A rock hits one of them, and she staggers, falls forward into the crowd - you can't see what happens to her after that, but it can't be good...
- Guillame tries to get to her
[DiablotinNarrator] You can try... but it's a dangerous proposition.
- Guillame tries anyway
[DiablotinNarrator] The casters - you think they're mostly priests, some hard to tell - are going on with their spells nevertheless. Gradually, very gradually, things seem to be calming down...
[DiablotinNarrator] You manage to reach the area where you think the woman fell, and find her huddled against the wall. You can't tell if she's still alive, she's covered in blood.
- Guillame makes sure that nobody else is trying to hurt her first
[DiablotinNarrator] Nobody seems to be trying to hurt her deliberately, but she's certainly been trampled and battered by the crowd.
[Guillame] (can I see up to the casters from here?)
[DiablotinNarrator] You're right at the base of the wall, so looking straight up, you might be able to see one?
- Guillame waves and yells to get her/his attention
[DiablotinNarrator] You aren't sure if you manage or not - it's so noisy, and the person draws back from the edge...
- Guillame tries to check if the hurt girl is alive
[DiablotinNarrator] The woman groans slightly - still alive, then, for now.
- Guillame puts his jacket over her to keep her warm, and looks for more people to alert to her position
[DiablotinNarrator] You can manage to get some other people whose emotions have been calmed to come and help.
[Guillame] Does anyone know any healing, or medicine?
[DiablotinNarrator] Someone can use Heal to stabilize her, at least, and you can get her out of there.
[DiablotinNarrator] There's nothing you can do beyond that, really.
- Guillame will keep hold of the person who used heal and go looking for more casualties in the calmed areas
[DiablotinNarrator] Ok - I will presume you do that.
[DiablotinNarrator] The End, for now...
Guillame and Aden
[DiablotinNarrator] (ok - I would like to pick up in the aftermath of the riot - basically what you think G would do after things seem more or less under control at the palace, injured people are being cared for, etc....)
- Guillame would probably encourage the other levellers involved in the meeting to approach the guard with him
[DiablotinNarrator] Ok - the gates are still shut fast, so approaching these particular guards is tricky.
[DiablotinNarrator] But eventually, as things get cleared away, a smaller door opens for you.
[Guillame] (Other guards is fine...? Is there a guardhouse nearby? Or we could disperse, discuss it, and approach them later...?)
[Guillame] (Ok :) )
[DiablotinNarrator] The palace guards who are there look wary as you enter, and have their weapons drawn.
[Guard] Is one of you Guillame Rionet?
[Guillame] Yes... that's me.
- Guard appears to be the one in charge here.
[Guard] Very well. Come with me. Take the rest away for questioning.
- Guard instructs the other guards.
[Guard] (Thea probably looks annoyed at this, but won't put up a fight.)
[Guillame] . o O (Why me?)
- Guard waits for you to follow him.
- Guillame follows him
- Guard escorts you into the palace itself.
[Guard] You've got some nerve.
- Guard says conversationally as you walk along.
[Guillame] ... why do you say that?
[Guard] Starting a riot, then walking in to discuss it.
[Guard] Takes balls, that's all.
[Guillame] We didn't start the riot... not intentionally.
[Guillame] Someone hijacked our meeting.
[Guillame] So it seems best to me that we tell you what we know.
[Guard] Well, I'm sure your little friends are doing that right now.
[Guillame] I know how it looks, but... running or lying wouldn't make it look better.
- Guard nods.
[Guard] Like I said - takes nerve. Gotta respect that.
- Guard stops outside a door, and knocks.
[Guillame] Do you know if the mage was ok? The one who fell?
[Guard] I don't, no.
[Guard] Got him, my lord.
- Guard calls through the door.
- Aden throws open the door, looking immensely relieved to see you, and pulls you into a hug regardless of the guard who is still standing there.
[Aden] You're alive.
[Guillame] Yes... I am
- Guillame grins
[Guillame] But look, I should be talking to the guards about the riot...
[Aden] There'll be time.
- Guillame looks at the guard, unsure
- Aden shuts the door.
[Aden] I heard what was happening, and I just knew you'd be in the middle of it, somehow.
[Guillame] More in the middle than was sensible, probably, yes. But I'm fine... thanks for worrying!
[Aden] What happened? :o
[Guillame] A spell... somebody hijacked our meeting.
[Aden] What? Who?
[Guillame] Maybe they started the riot at the other meeting, too...?
[Guillame] I don't know.
[Guillame] But they planted a spell, and it made the people at the meeting riot, except for a few of us.
- Aden nods, looking uneasy.
[Aden] Someone's trying to frame the group.
[Guillame] There was a message on it, but only some of us could read it
[Guillame] Yeah, it seems like it.
[Aden] It feels like the assassination attempt all over again.
[Aden] Look - I'll do what I can to keep the authorities from coming down on you like a ton of bricks, but ... I don't know how much I can do this time.
[Guillame] Well, it's probably best for us to take it down a notch anyway.
[Guillame] I mean, what with this, and the last thing
[Aden] Maybe so. I hate to say it, but ... yeah.
[Aden] I would hate for more people to be hurt.
[Guillame] I don't trust all the members any more...
[Guillame] Something else...
[Guillame] There was talk at the society... not widespread, but possibly credible... of the dragon from the amulet being in disguise, as a human.
- Aden listens.
[Guillame] I... I don't know if knowing about that could help you, but, just in case.
[Aden] It's certainly something we've discussed.
[Aden] Short of combing the entire city with a True Seeing spell... well, let's just say that's basically what we're trying :p
[Guillame] Wow, ok.
[Guillame] That's... thorough!
[Aden] It'll take time. I don't know exactly how they're going about it, but I know that the Warlord is definitely intent on the task.
- Guillame hugs Aden again
- Aden hugs back.
[Aden] Are you okay? You must be shaken up.
[Guillame] I am... and I'm worried that it'll look badly on you that you pulled me away...
[Aden] I don't care. I can say I was questioning you.
[Aden] Interrogating you deeply ;)
- Guillame smiles
[Aden] Do you still want to go and talk to the guards?
- Guillame closes his eyes and shakes his head, then sighs
[Guillame] I can't let them think we meant for it.
- Aden nods.
[Aden] I'll have a carriage waiting for you when you're done, to bring you .. well, home if you like, or to my place.
[Guillame] I'll look for it
[Aden] That means they'll have to let you out ;)
[Guillame] Hah, yeah
[Guillame] Unless they arrest us!
[Aden] There is that.
- Aden sighs.
[Aden] I can have a word with the guard, for what it's worth.
[Aden] But I think if they were going to arrest you, they wouldn't have brought you here.
[Guillame] I... let's see what they do, first
- Aden nods.
[Guillame] I don't want your standing damaged
- Aden smiles weakly.
[Guillame] And I know you don't care, but you're as much of a hope for the city as all of the levellers, right now.
[Aden] Well, thank you.
- Aden pulls you close again for a long, passionate kiss, pressing you against his large, impressive... desk.
[Guillame] . o O (Oh...)
- Guillame kisses him back, hard
- Aden will (eventually, reluctantly) let you go.
- Guillame steels himself up to rejoin the guard
[Aden] Good luck... and see you tonight.
- Aden straightens his jacket and smooths his hair before opening the door once again.
- Guillame looks exhausted, and tries to look cowed
- Guard escorts you back to be questioned, and politely doesn't say anything.
[Guard] (You get questioned for several hours, and eventually they'll let you go, after telling you to halt any further Leveller meetings you might have had planned.)
- Guillame is honest and forthcoming about the conference and riot
[Guard] (ok - we'll assume you tell them everything you know, then)
[Guard] (anything else, or are we all set? :)
[Guillame] (Everything about *this* conference, yes ;) )
[Guard] (ok :)
Alma and Sanadhil
- Alma is surprised to receive the invitation, but accepts nonetheless.
- Alma eyes the Black Down warily as she passes by it in her carriage -_-
- Sanadhil does live very close!
- Alma asks Marielle to wait close and knocks at the door -_-
- Sanadhil answers, and smiles
[Alma] Good afternoon, Mr. Orecalo.
- Sanadhil is dressed.... elf semi-formal, you might guess
[Sanadhil] And yourself, Countess.
[Sanadhil] Please come in.
- Alma is dressed in her robes, as usual.
- Alma enters and looks around.
- Sanadhil 's house is neat and nice, but there is definitely a very foreign flavour to the decor
[Alma] I couldn't help but notice how close to the Arch you live. I suppose you might not have known of the Down's bad reputation when you first moved here.
- Sanadhil will show you in to the living room area
[Sanadhil] it wasn't something I gave much credit to, no.
- Sanadhil will let you sit where you please - there are a few chairs and a divan style couch thing.
[Alma] Perhaps much like the waypoints in Kholm, there was something to that superstition, once upon a time.
[Alma] Though grass does finally grow upon the mound now.
[Sanadhil] I was more interested in the clear view of the sky from here
[Sanadhil] There is less smoke and haze.
[Sanadhil] And the skyline is fairly clear...not that I have much time for stargazing these days.
[Alma] I haven't been out here at night, that I recall.
- Sanadhil nods
- Alma probably looks a little awkward.
[Sanadhil] Please, sit.
[Alma] Thank you.
[Sanadhil] Would you care for some tea?
- Alma sits where suggested.
- Sanadhil nods, will pour you a cup from the pot he had readied, anticipating that you would be fairly punctual.
- Alma was ^_^
[Sanadhil] There are some dried fruits and lembas as well - please help yourself.
- Alma takes a last look around while you fetch the tea.
[Alma] (Are we alone? :P)
[Sanadhil] (There is probably even a little area that looks like it might be a shrine of some sort, with candles and incense and a five pointed star, and some other charts or what have you)
[Sanadhil] (and yes)
- Sanadhil appears to live on his own, and has a *lot* of books, judging from the shelves down here
- Alma looks at the shrine once she determines this isn't some sort of trap...
- Sanadhil returns with a tray of tean and the aforesaid snacks, and some little plates.
- Alma takes her plate and puts a snack upon it, all politely ^_^
- Alma sniffs the tea to see if she knows the kind.
- Sanadhil settles himself as well
[Sanadhil] (nothing too exotic, but it is a nice blend)
[Alma] It smells quite nice.
[Sanadhil] thank you - I've been stockpiling a few things since rations started to run short last year.
[Sanadhil] of course, it isn't the luxury good that are difficult to come by these days.
- Alma nods.
[Alma] It's a good thing that the Emperor chose to bring in food via the teleportation circles.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] It will be helpful for justifying the expense, at least.
[Sanadhil] I assume you heard about the riot?
[Alma] Well, such a permanent device is invaluable, in some ways.
- Sanadhil ndos
[Alma] Well, I heard that it began after a meeting put on by the Levellers...
- Sanadhil nods
[Alma] Perhaps it's a shame that Aden Olivier became the Lord Treasurer, he didn't seem the type to cause such trouble...
[Alma] Then again, neither does M. Rionet.
[Sanadhil] Someone left a spell on the board they were using to take suggestions - Illusory Script.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] M. Rionet was quite distressed, yes.
[Alma] I hadn't heard that part... just the suggestion of magic. Did M. Rionet tell you that?
[Sanadhil] no, I saw it myself.
[Sanadhil] the meeting was being held on the Castalia campus - I was curious to see what the group might suggest
[Alma] Do they have any indication of who might have done it?
[Sanadhil] I don't believe so - though ti must be smoeone familiar with their leadership, at least
[Sanadhil] I should speak to M. Rionet about that.
- Sanadhil says as though takign a mental note.
[Alma] To know of the meeting plans, you mean?
[Sanadhil] that, yes, and because of the way the spell is designed.
- Alma thinks
[Sanadhil] The message appears as, well, garbled nonsense, to those who view it, though the caster can chose to have its true meaning appear to cetrtain individuals..... which was apparently the case here.
[Alma] So... some individuals, among the leadership, were not affected?
[Sanadhil] apparently..... the situation was quite chaotic, though. I only spoke to M. Rionet briefly before he ran off to try and mitigate the damage, I suppose.
[Sanadhil] it picked up momentum fairly quickly, in any case - that was hardly a magical impact
[Alma] Times are hard, and spirits are low, that sort of thing can become contagious...
- Sanadhil sips his tea.
[Alma] If you do speak with M. Rionet, let him know I would be willing to see if I can see who cast the spell. I trust the vision of the outburst would be of no difficulty, but the casting itself might have been... dispassionate. It's worth a try, though.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] I've been hoping to see him at the society, though perhaps I will send him a message instead.
[Sanadhil] In any case..
- Sanadhil smiles politely
[Alma] The papers don't seem to put much stock in the idea magic was used... though I suppose despite M. Rionet's position, it's not entirely sensible to take his word fori t.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] Those who were present are painted as biased... though the castalia is full of curious and perfectly competent practictioners of magic.
[Sanadhil] I don't know that there are any qualified casters among the Leveler leadership, however.
[Alma] Perhaps you could write up your observations and send them in to the editors?
[Sanadhil] It was a fairly powerful enchantment.
[Sanadhil] I'll speak to M. Rionet about it.
[Sanadhil] I'm not certain how much impact my opinion might have in the public eye, however.
[Alma] Well, presumably you are less invested in the movement... and you have knowledge of illusion and enchantment.
- Sanadhil nods.
[Sanadhil] If he think it might have any positive impact, I will do so.
- Alma nods
[Sanadhil] I had hoped to speak to you of another matter
[Alma] I suspected this was not entirely a social call :)
[Sanadhil] Not entirely.
- Sanadhil smiles almost apologetically
[Sanadhil] (I can't think of the right word, bleh)
[Alma] How can I be of service?
[Sanadhil] I was hoping to revisit an early conversation...
- Alma nods.
[Sanadhil] I wanted to ask whether you might consider, if you are thinknig of trying to commune with Owl, still, asking whether it is possible that the angels could be....reinstated.
[Alma] I'm not sure what you mean by "reinstated"...
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] I did have the opportunity to... pick Earric's brain, somewhat, as you put it.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] Of course it is always difficult to gauge how much you can trust anythign he says
[Alma] Of course, but I admit that memory of his age has been recurring with frustrating frequency -_-
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] He was present for the events that transpired here, though he claims he was young -relative to his race, that is.
[Alma] What did he claim happened to the angels?
[Sanadhil] he calimed that those that were not destroyed by the gods were forced out of the center, where they were captured by the forces of... hell, I suppose? And transformed into deaemons, either by choice or force.
- Alma frowns.
[Alma] And presuming this is correct, you want to know if those which became demons or devils can be ... fixed?
[Alma] What do you hope this information would bring us?
[Sanadhil] I'm honestly not sure yet.
- Alma nods.
- Sanadhil says after a moment of consideration
[Alma] Communing with Owl is taxing, and not something to be undertaken lightly... my questions are limited, and I'm not sure that one is... worth it.
- Sanadhil nods
[Alma] If Earric is even being truthful, there remains the question of how such a recovery might come about, whether knowing that answer tells us anything...
[Sanadhil] A fair assessment.
- Alma looks down at her tea.
[Sanadhil] I suppose it would be as easy to explore possibilities without any certainty.
- Sanadhil shrugs.
[Sanadhil] there was more to his story that might interest you.
[Alma] How would you experiment with such a thing?
[Sanadhil] I don't know, but it may be possible to learn how the initial transformation was enforced.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] But yes.
[Sanadhil] If I am interpreting his comments correctly....
[Sanadhil] and it is possible that I am not, and equally possible that he was being purposefully evasive, it seems that the... decision the gods made to overthrow The Serpent may have been linked to the Shadar Kai
- Alma nods.
[Sanadhil] I am guessing.... that they took offense to the nature of the worship that was established here.
[Sanadhil] The Shadar Kai came for the Arch
[Sanadhil] They had some...relationship with demonic forces.
[Alma] I expect not far removed from our experience within the Tal-antar's dream.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] I had assumed that what we experienced there was a projection of the culture she had known.
[Alma] Mere decades after the events of Diablotin's founding.
[Alma] If I recall correctly.
[Sanadhil] I think the timescale is less certain.
[Sanadhil] The few record we have, at least, suggest that it took some generations for the city founders to rech the arch here - which Earric tells me was formed after the destruction of the old
[Sanadhil] and the Shadar kai came quickly
[Sanadhil] Certainly, the city we saw mirrored on the Shadow Plane would have taken more than a few decades to build.... or am I misunderstanding you?
[Alma] Yes, I meant the Tal-antar's slumber, it began, if I recall the document, no long after the city's founding, when we retaliated... or set out to finish things, I'm not sure.
[Sanadhil] ahh, yes.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] yes, a few decades, then, at most.
- Alma thinks
[Alma] I was wondering if it might have been Empress Araille Falgout, though, which would have been more than a centry later, if I recall correctly...
[Sanadhil] The arch vision that Char had suggests that she was initiated into her position as the city fell, I thought.
[Alma] I suppose it's not really the matter.
[Alma] I find it easy to chose between the cult of Vrag in the Tal-antar's dream, and the world we have here.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] that is an easy choice - but that is not the one we have at hand, I don't believe.
[Alma] What makes you think that?
[Sanadhil] I think that what little we have learned of Am, the cilivilzation that was once in the Silver Desert, is more representative of the intended relationship between the Center, Vrag, and ...humanity.
[Alma] What we know is almost nothing.
[Alma] And the indication is that Vrag destroyed it.
[Sanadhil] We know that it was, at least, a positive relationship
[Alma] I'm not sure how, exactly, destroying an entire civilisation and spreading it to the winds is a "positive relationship"
[Sanadhil] We don't know what they did to merit the punishment they received, either.
[Alma] You think it plausible that an entire civilisation might merit punishment?
[Sanadhil] I don't know what was intended - but possibly the destruction of the arch itself caused much of the backlash.
[Alma] That is possible, but not really indicated.
[Alma] I think that assuming that Vrag is required for the balance of this world is ... premature.
[Sanadhil] And I think that assuming that the Serpent can only be 'Vrag' - the old Shadar Kai's view - is likewise a biased assumption.
[Alma] I'm not.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] There is still much to learn, for certain.
[Alma] But, even if there is another, older form of balance between humanity, and the Serpent... who is to say that what exists now is not superior?
[Alma] Humans pushed out the Shadar-kai.
[Sanadhil] What exists now is unstable.
[Alma] And, while perhaps in their terms this is but a moment, we've had twenty two centuries without the Gods destroying our civilisation.
[Sanadhil] If the Serpent and Rat both remained in the arch, there would be no issue
[Sanadhil] The situation is different now than it was in those past centuries
[Alma] Perhaps, but why is that so?
[Alma] Why would only one God's sacrifice keep the balance with Vrag?
[Sanadhil] You essentially have two stray Gods that have not been placed properly into your cosmology.
[Alma] They may not care that we have not placed them properly into our cosmology.
[Sanadhil] If nothign else, the dreams that ilphere has received, and others in her lineage, suggest that there is something amiss.
[Alma] If Ilphere's dreams come from Vrag himself, it would be no surprise that they would indicate some sort of undesired state.
[Sanadhil] There is no evidence that they do.
[Sanadhil] at least, not all of them
[Sanadhil] Theron's, even less so
[Alma] Well, perhaps not, but I admit to being somewhat suspect that they both have been dabbling in the Order.
[Sanadhil] I think the dreams are related to the Arch, and not the order itself.
[Alma] The Arch is Vrag's domain, no?
[Sanadhil] I don't know if Domain is the proper term.
[Sanadhil] there is a connection, certainly, but to more than just Vrag.
[Alma] There is no indication from either our world or the Tal-antar's dream that the Gods of Aveyrone have yet manifested any control over the Arch.
[Sanadhil] ...the Serpent
- Sanadhil corrects himself, frowning slightly
[Sanadhil] That depends on what influence you think Rat has ever exerted.
[Alma] I haven't come across any mention, but I suppose there is little information at all about Rat.
[Sanadhil] other than the fact that it was also bound into the same arch for the stabel duration of your empire... barring the past 50 years.
[Alma] That may simply be by virtue of holding Vrag in check.
[Alma] I know of no rituals to invoke Rat through the Arch. Vrag was clearly in control of the Arch in the Tal-antar's dream...
[Sanadhil] From within the Arch?
[Alma] That... makes a certain sense to me.
[Sanadhil] Rat wasn't bound into the arch in the dream.
[Sanadhil] at elast.... not that arch.
[Alma] Yes, I know.
[Sanadhil] but even so, if Rat was able to even mitigate Vrag's influence from within the arch - I wouls suggest that indicates some kind of control
[Sanadhil] remember that the Gods didn't attain their current cosmologoical position much before Vrag was imprisoned - if it didn't happen at the same time.
[Sanadhil] They may not have had an opportunity to explore a further relationship with it.
[Alma] That's not necessarily the case.
[Alma] We don't know at what point they... changed their natures, or whether they ever did.
[Alma] Let alone whether it happened at the exact moment of Vrag's imprisonment.
[Sanadhil] I think it was close.
[Sanadhil] ....again, if I can trust Earric's account.
- Sanadhil sips his tea
[Sanadhil] It was not a conversation he was eager to have.
[Alma] .oO( I am so profoundly sympathetic. )
[Sanadhil] (I meant moe in a 'it was hard to get info from him' way :p)
[Alma] Well, I don't suppose there's any value to a succubus in telling all your secrets.
- Alma sighs
[Alma] I am blessed with the chance to speak to Owl itself for guidance, and still I want more.
- Alma shakes her head.
[Sanadhil] I can sympathize.
[Sanadhil] There is always more to know.
[Alma] I would still prefer things be less... crucial.
[Alma] I came across something in Matriarch Pasith's diaries.
[Alma] It seems she dreamt of the rebel Paseth's sacrifice to Vrag.
- Sanadhil nods
[Alma] She didn't know what it was, but it was about the right time.
[Sanadhil] we know there were people in that workd who dremt of this one
[Sanadhil] it stands to reason the reverse is true
[Alma] It wasn't a good dream. And I think that is why I still remain doubtful that we will learn that it is a good thing that the Serpent is free...
[Sanadhil] It was still a dream of a tainted world.... But worth noting.
[Alma] Was it tainted?
[Sanadhil] the tal-antar's dream?
[Alma] As much power as she has over the dream, can it match the power of the Gods?
[Sanadhil] can the gods force any soul to conform that doesn't wish to? they weren't her Gods.
[Alma] Vrag was her God, and the dream is not her soul, necessarily.
[Sanadhil] The others, though, were only ever known to her as enemies.
[Alma] That wouldn't necessarily reduce their power there.
[Sanadhil] it's difficult to say, I think
- Sanadhil considers
[Alma] I suppose I should say that I worry it *was* tainted, by Vrag.
[Sanadhil] Its all conjecture - we stll don't know how her dream is linked to this plane
[Sanadhil] I don't know that it was necessary
[Sanadhil] Vrag did not create his own worship
[Alma] What was?
[Alma] That is not necessarily the case.
[Alma] And is the proper thing in the face of something like that not to correct it?
[Sanadhil] Your gods take no more of an active role in the maintenance of their religion - they leave it to their followers to say what is right and what is wrong
[Sanadhil] even if the followers are wrong, they let misconceptions rule until one of you chances to ask the right questions, and has the power to cause other followers to change.
[Alma] That is not necessarily the case. We can consult with the Gods. It is just such a thing that brought about the reforms with regards to the Houseless.
[Sanadhil] why do you expect different from Vrag?
[Alma] There is a difference... even between something as unfortunate as our mistake with the Houseless, and human sacrifice.
[Alma] And didn't you say that Earric's tale suggested that it was specifically the Shadar-kai worship of Vrag that may have lead them to overthrow it?
[Sanadhil] yes - their worship, not vrag itself
[Alma] You're suggesting that they were unable to see the difference between the two, while we can?
[Alma] It wouldn't be logical to object to the Shadar-kai, but instead trap Vrag.
[Alma] If they did not see them as one and the same.
[Sanadhil] No, but this way allowed them to advance themselves as well.
[Sanadhil] Perhaps they thought they could do better for their charges.
[Sanadhil] But they still murdered all the angels, save those who escaped into the void.
[Sanadhil] is *that* acceptable to you?
- Alma frowns
[Sanadhil] Vrag is problematic, but so are your Seven.
[Alma] Even if Earric is telling the truth, he may not be telling all the truth.
[Sanadhil] That's possible
[Alma] And the Void is not actually the home of demons and devils, it is something else.
[Sanadhil] I know.
[Sanadhil] But that is where they fled - into the void - and that is where the demons found them.
[Sanadhil] I don't know how else, at this stage, to investigate that particular matter.
[Alma] Well, perhaps I may ask something ... related...
- Sanadhil nods.
[Alma] I intend to ask if there need to conflict, if there can be peace. Perhaps the conflict lies only between the Church and Phedre.
[Sanadhil] if you do, i would be very eager to learn what you find out.
[Sanadhil] if there needs to be conflict between the seven and the Serpent?
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] That, also, I would like to hear.
[Alma] Who knows, perhaps the Church will gain second forgotten God in a century... and we'll only need to throw Phedre in jail for her crimes as a mother.
[Sanadhil] How is her daughter?
[Alma] The one who escaped is well.
- Sanadhil nods
[Alma] It's the other that concerns me more, now.
- Alma nods
[Sanadhil] how so?
[Alma] Her spirit is lost.
[Alma] Did I not mention this?
[Alma] I suppose there's no proof that it was Earric's meddling. People grow up to be heartless all on their own, often enough.
[Sanadhil] I am not certain what you mean by that.
[Sanadhil] he doesn't seem inclined to that sort of....meddling, though i'm sure he would take advantage of it if it suited him....
[Sanadhil] . o O (which it surely does :p )
[Alma] Doesn't seem inclined to what, conversion?
[Alma] You've seen him interact regularly with a new, young spirit?
[Sanadhil] (how old is she now?)
[Alma] (She's a teenager, I think young enough that suing for custody was on the table)
[Alma] What you see of Vivienne is after years of exposure.
[Sanadhil] Even so. I don't think he has the interest, whatever the outcome.
[Alma] He's three millennia old, and you think you have him, no *IT* all figured out?
[Sanadhil] Do you?
[Alma] It's far more likely that he's true to his nature. Succubi are evil, with no respect for law, no loyalty.
[Alma] I just can't imagine how quickly you toss away the idea that he might not take a perverse delight in corrupting a young mind to similar... predatory desires.
[Alma] Like making a child.
- Sanadhil was about to retort, but you lost bhim at that last one o_O
[Alma] Some people merely want children because they want to create a duplicate, or a reflection of themselves.
[Sanadhil] I think his drives are baser that that.
- Sanadhil says dryly.
- Sanadhil wonders why he is defending Earric.... Ugh.
[Alma] Perhaps that's what it wants you to believe.
[Alma] From what I've read, succubi are not stupid...
[Sanadhil] Certainly not.
[Alma] Well, the mystery of Vivienne is likely not one that threatens the Empire or the planes... only time will tell if there can be change there.
[Alma] What's done is done.
[Sanadhil] Perhaps you are correct.
- Sanadhil nods
- Sanadhil sets down hisempty tea cup
[Alma] We will have to get together at the Society again sometime soon, once I've followed up with a few other things I found in the Matriarch's diaries.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] I would like that. I'm sure they must have some interesting perspective to cast, fifty years on.
[Alma] Interestingly, I found that she remained suspicious of the events surrounding Noira Langevin's necklace. Not that she could figure out what bothered her. I suppose we don't even know what went on then.
[Alma] She was also quite wary of Theonée Deverara.
[Sanadhil] no, but there may be records with the guards
[Sanadhil] Perhaps one of us coudl access them, if it might be at all relevant...
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] did she say anything in particular about her?
[Alma] She found her unsettling, but she couldn't explain why, exactly.
[Alma] A hunch?
- Sanadhil nods
[Alma] I also have a lead on who stole the necklace from the society.
- Alma briefly explains the murder and how she was tipped off that it might be him, but didn't really believe it, but asked during SWD.
- Sanadhil listens carefully
[Alma] The week is almost up, and I will try to learn more.
[Alma] ( Don't mention Maze Olivier for now. )
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] (I can't remember if your version includes which side of the hush he was on?)
[Sanadhil] (well I gues I can ask)
[Sanadhil] What tiopped you off that he might have been responsible?
[Sanadhil] ...and what would he have wanted it for?
- Sanadhil muses
[Alma] I'd prefer not to say who suggested I look into Brother Phineas, at least not until I've determined that this is relevant to ... all of this.
[Sanadhil] it rather depends on whether or not they knew what they bwere looking for, I suspect
[Alma] I plan to ask for whom it was stolen, which may reveal why, as well.
[Alma] Indeed, he could simply have been tasked with retrieving it.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] do you know if anyone ever investigated the fire during the reign of the blessing emperor?
- Alma blinks
[Alma] A blessing under flame.
[Alma] No, I don't think any of our group has...
[Sanadhil] Adrius BLesing
[Sanadhil] he was a sorceror, but not a very powerful one.
[Sanadhil] I should look in to that more, hmm.
- Sanadhil makes another mental note
[Sanadhil] I looked up that much and never went further with it
- Sanadhil smiles
[Alma] That does fit Vianca's Legend Lore.
[Sanadhil] His son was head of thr Castalia for a long time, and an incredibly accomplished sorcerer.... but was only an infant at the time of the fire in his father's reign.
[Sanadhil] The fire is what reminded me....
- Sanadhil smiles grimly.
[Sanadhil] So many questions, not enough time.
[Alma] As compelling a fit as any of the others we've cobbled together, like Theonée.
[Sanadhil] ....earric suggested that Kavreshar may have gone somewhat mad during the time of his imprisonment.
[Sanadhil] which is.... concerning.
[Alma] In just over a century?
[Sanadhil] He was already bitter and venegeful - I expect it may not have taken much.
[Alma] Are you suggesting that Kavreshar was one of the converted angels?
[Sanadhil] I will research the matter, in any case.
[Sanadhil] I think he was greater than the other angels - but he was certainly not the creature he is now, whatever that may be.
[Alma] So says Earric.
[Alma] It seems convenient that all his infernal and abyssal servants began as angels.
[Alma] Well, perhaps you could ask him whether it was all :)
[Alma] Earric, that is.
[Sanadhil] I don't think we have much of a list compile, as regards servents of The Serpent.
[Sanadhil] but yes - they were angels, and those that survived did so by coming to some kind of arrangement, willing or otherwise, with the lower plane.
[Sanadhil] At the moment, the only servent we know of is Kavreshar, is it not?
[Alma] I'm simply saying that if they all did become demons or devils, it's a convenient story to hear from a succubus.
[Sanadhil] It is possibe; that some may have found other shelter in the void, or on some other plane
[Sanadhil] but he didn't know of any.
[Alma] No, I mean that it's a convenient excuse to explain how "the soul-eater's servant" is an enormous hell wyrm.
[Alma] Without us feeling alarmed at the fact that this newly refound God enlists the aid of hell wyrms.
[Sanadhil] I don't think earric particularly cares how we feelk about Kavreshar...... or Vrag.
[Sanadhil] ...The Serpent
[Sanadhil] (bah, Vrag is easier to type ;p)
[Alma] Or he could enjoy deception for its own sake.
[Sanadhil] A corroborating source would certainly be convenient, however I can't thik of where to find any - unless you know of any other demons.
[Alma] No, I don't.
[Sanadhil] Then the gods are the only other witnesses.
- Alma nods.
Alma and Seth
- Alma has left a message for you at the Society, asking when you might be able to meet. (So we arrange a time to meet at the Society?)
- Seth has nothing but time on his hands since he gave up sleeping, eating, and bathing.
- Seth is already there when you arrive.
- Alma sincerely hopes that comes with a companion power of not stinking.
[Alma] Good afternoon Mr. Argo :)
[Alma] Care to join me in the Oak Room?
[Seth] Ah, good afternoon, Sister Alma. Yes, of course.
- Alma will close the door gently behind us.
[Alma] I thought it would be productive to touch base, now that I've finished looking through the Matriarch's journals.
[Seth] Yes, I agree. Have you come to any additional insights?
[Alma] I didn't find very much about the Arch or Vrag. The Matriarch was as ignorant of their natures as we are.
[Seth] Hm. Well, I suppose if she had, she probably would not have kept it to herself.
[Alma] Mostly I found a few references which would have meant nothing if not for the past year. Apparently the case of Noira Langevin's necklace bothered her for years... intuition perhaps, a sense that something was not quite right.
[Seth] What particularly bothered her?
- Alma pulls out her notes.
[Alma] She just wondered at its import, whether it was a payment for an assassination or was to help get Izaguirre on his side in the uprising...
[Alma] Interestingly she says it was not magic, though it was clearly so by the time it found itself in Mr. Conquaine's hands.
[Seth] Mr. Conquaine?
[Alma] The fellow who arranged the purchase of the necklace on behalf of the society.
[Seth] Ah, I see.
[Seth] Well, yes, then.
[Alma] It does make me wonder if perhaps it was modified in the interim, or whether it was simply hidden at the time.
[Seth] It does raise the question of where exactly one finds a hellfire wyrm on short notice to entrap in the thing.
[Alma] Well even if it was modified, Kavreshar could have been trapped in something else for any amount of time.
[Seth] Yes, I suppose so.
[Alma] It might be interesting to compare the description in the case at the time...
- Seth nods.
[Alma] She was also distinctly uneasy about any sort of relationship between her son and Theonée Deverara.
[Seth] Hmm. Tell me more about that.
[Alma] It was throughout her records, from their childhood through to adulthood, a general unease that she couldn't shake, that there was something wrong about them being together, or with Theonée herself.
[Seth] Understandable. The power of the Arch ... is not to be trifled with.
[Alma] I think that what you heard during the Order's ritual does indeed indicate Theonée...
[Seth] Yes, I see no other plausible interpretation. Although it does raise the question of why they have not acted against her.
[Alma] There may not be anything to gain from acting. She may have to be... wooed so to speak.
[Seth] I suppose so. The question, then, is what link exists between Theonee and Kavreshar.
[Alma] They may in fact be doing their best to befriend her as we speak... it's not exactly a conspicuous activity.
[Alma] Kavreshar, or Vrag?
[Seth] Well, either, but I was thinking of Kavreshar.
[Alma] I hadn't thought of a connection between her and Kavreshar... what makes you think there is one?
[Seth] Well, Kavreshar escaped around the time of her return to the city, for one.
[Seth] Also, the fact that the people involved in the necklace investigation turn up as highly relevant to Theonee's life.
[Seth] None of which is proof, I grant.
[Seth] Lastly, simply the fact that if Kavreshar is a hellfire wyrm, we need to ask what its goal is here in the city.
[Seth] If Kavreshar is connected to Vrag, in other words.
[Alma] The early visions connected to the necklace indicate that Kavreshar is a servant of Vrag...
[Alma] "The soul-eater's servant, bound against its will by a blessing under flames, is confined within the stone of black hope."
[Seth] Yes, and if they are correct, then we must think that perhaps Theonee is connected as well, no?
[Alma] Yes, to Vrag perhaps...
[Alma] I begin to wonder if she doesn't know a lot about what is going on, but just... not care.
[Alma] I have no real reason to believe this... perhaps just the stereotype of the jaded, long-sighted seer.
[Seth] Perhaps so. I'm not that knowledgeable about her. Nash doesn't seem overly interested in her.
[Alma] Speaking of Nash, it appears that the quirk of her eyes dates at least to... 2227.
[Alma] The Matriarch mentions it specifically in an entry about her elevation to Guard Captain.
[Seth] Were you surprised to learn this?
[Alma] Somewhat... it's quite out of the ordinary, and if it is a magical effect, it's probably quite expensive... not to mention I have no idea what it is.
[Alma] Neither did the Matriarch... perhaps because our forte doesn't lie with arcane magics.
[Seth] I had presumed it was an effect of her unusual nature. And thus, present in her since childhood.
- Alma nods
[Alma] Along those lines... I've been curious to know what my particular ability might tell me about the Warlord.
[Seth] How so?
[Alma] Well, any illusions I had that the city is populated entirely by humans and a few Cozovode are dashed to a thousand pieces... I'm curious to know if Nash is even human.
[Alma] Has she ever given you anything of hers?
[Seth] Ah ... not that I recall.
[Alma] I admit I'm curious as to her age as well...
[Seth] I do not know if Nash is fully human, in the sense we might understand it, but according to her, she was born human, and only became ... affected ... later.
[Alma] Chosen, so to speak, by the Centre...
[Seth] You think she is older than the 60 or so that her history would suggest?
[Alma] No, I have no reason to question her story except its improbability, which is a bit of a dated concept for me, really...
[Alma] I would prefer to... know for myself.
[Alma] That's all?
[Seth] In any case, I do not have anything of hers.
- Alma nods.
- Alma looks uncomfortable...
[Alma] I also found indication that at least once the dream-world may have had an effect here.
[Alma] In... 2214, which would be about the time that Pasith Belden was sacrificed to the arch in the dream world, the Matriarch dreamt of being fed to the arch...
[Alma] Which is perhaps surprising considering the time discrepancy we ourselves felt while in that dream plane... but there you have it.
[Seth] Hm. Very interesting.
[Seth] But other than the time discrepancy, not surprising at all, really.
[Alma] I wonder if others in this world have experienced the same nightmare...
[Seth] It would be interesting to know. And vice versa.
[Alma] It does not speak well of ... the potential that Vrag is simply a displaced God like any other. At least to me... the idea that what was inside the Arch wanted to consume her.
[Alma] But perhaps the dream is different.
- Alma looks less than convinced.
[Seth] What do you think Vrag is, Sister?
[Seth] What do you really think?
- Alma closes her notebook to consider.
[Alma] Perhaps, two millennia ago, the Serpent was a god of humanity, perhaps even the only God we knew. Certainly Aushinre felt that way.
[Seth] Yes, I agree.
[Alma] I don't know what happened, whether the Serpent was corrupted, or ... maybe even deposed.
[Alma] What I do know, is that if the Serpent destroyed our nations, and spread us to the winds because of the mistakes of a few, or the powerful...
[Alma] We've enjoyed centuries of relative stability in the Empire.
[Alma] Perhaps, if something was done, it had to be done, or was best done.
[Seth] And so are you suggesting that what was done, fifty years ago, was ultimately misguided?
[Alma] I doubt that. Unless we suspect the Matriarch was lying, Ox clearly supported it.
[Seth] But what was Ox's interest in the matter?
[Alma] Perhaps freeing Rat was worth the price of freeing an old nemesis.
[Seth] But could Ox foresee all the consequences of that?
[Alma] Or perhaps it has been a human mistake all along, and Vrag is merely the Serpent, and the Shadar-kai cult was a fiction, a heresy.
[Seth] Perhaps so.
[Alma] I believe that my perspetive today is probably still inferior to Ox's foresight fifty years ago. Call it a hunch :)
[Seth] All of us are still fumbling in the dark.
[Alma] Well, as I said, I will be communing soon with Owl. Though I admit I fear some of the answers.
[Seth] My discussions with Pasith have not convinced me that she was doing much more than that, either, however great her wisdom.
[Alma] I don't doubt that she was doing what she thought was right, on what little guidance she had from Ox. That's how we live our lives all the time, really.
[Seth] Do we? How fascinating.
- Alma quirks a brow
[Alma] Are you chiding me for platitudes, or just plain suggesting the Matriarch was foolish?
[Seth] Not at all. I am in fact suggesting that the Matriarch, as you call her, Pasith, has had a great deal of time to think about her situation, and that the answer she might give now might be very different than yours. As might mine.
[Alma] It is possible. But consider that you are speaking with a shade, a fragment of a soul. Her perspective may not be complete, her conclusions impaired.
[Seth] I am aware. But are we not all shades, or parts of our greater selves, joined across multiple realms of which we only have access to the one?
[Alma] No, not like that.
[Alma] The others, are all ghosts, no? Only because of it happening twice is she even able to communicate. Is two enough to be true to her spirit?
[Seth] I am not confident that that is the reason.
[Seth] In fact, I think it is because she is, or is to be, one of the Seventh, that it has happened to her.
[Seth] Otherwise, one would expect many more people to be so ensnared.
[Alma] Maybe... but perhaps we only have analogs in the dream world, not the other planes we saw. And in this world, only those who were vying for the throne would pass underneath the Arch.
[Alma] Though you may be right, even a handful at a time increases the odds over two thousand years.
[Seth] I am increasingly of the opinion that there is only one Arch, or rather, only one realm within the Arch, and thus all worlds, a multitude, would need to be considered.
[Seth] But I am no metaphysician. And I ramble.
[Alma] Yes, I understand... I'm simply saying that WE may only have analogues in the dream world, because the Tal-Antar, and her Shadow Plane, are connected to our Material Plane
[Alma] It may be her long-lived dream that has drawn our spirits into it.
[Alma] We'd have to visit one of those other planes, I suppose :)
[Alma] I wonder if we even can...
[Seth] It is rather a mystery.
[Seth] But some mysteries are answerable, while others are not. Don't you agree?
[Alma] Well, maybe it's me talking as a priest, but I think they're all answerable, even if not today, or by me, or by any human...
[Seth] Such as the question of the age and nature of Cornelia Nash?
[Alma] You're right though, if you're suggesting we should focus on those we think we can solve ourselves...
[Alma] Well, that opportunity may still arise.
[Seth] How would it?
[Alma] She may give you something, or discard something.
[Alma] I half imagined she might have given you a map to the Underarch but that's rather a sensitive thing to put on paper, I suppose.
[Seth] Would it still be hers, if she gave it to me?
[Alma] I would look past you, to her.
[Alma] It doesn't have to be hers *anymore*
[Seth] Ah, understood. Well, I will see if I can avail myself of an opportunity.
[Alma] Do you have any... suggestions for when I Commune with Owl?
[Alma] It is all a convoluted process, but I've been considering whether the Gods want her there... whether perhaps she is serving them there, and her greater soul would consent to the situation.
[Alma] She is, after all, speaking with you.
[Seth] She is.
[Alma] I admit that's wishful thinking.
[Alma] But, it is a sad thing to think of a hero like her trapped in those mists.
[Seth] The questions I have, Sister, all relate to the nature of the Arch, its exact relationship with Vrag (whether just as prison, or as something else), the creation of the Arch - by whom, and for what purpose, and if it can even be said to be created by human hands.
[Seth] I believe that trying to approach it by imagining what seven gods think of one woman is the wrong approach.
[Alma] I admit that is a selfish use... in a sense.
[Alma] Perhaps you would like to think on it, and send me your questions. If they are good enough, and I feel comfortable asking them... I could Commune a second time.
[Alma] Well, it has been good talking with you Mr. Argo.
[Seth] You as well, Sister.
[Alma] Enjoy your evening.
- Alma will take her leave.
Sanadhil and Dozilva
- Sanadhil makes some tea and setles down to do some reading
- Dozilva arrives suddenly, as she is wont to do.
- Sanadhil starts, as he is won't to do when people suddenly appear in his space
- Sanadhil smiles, though
- Dozilva says with a smile.
[Sanadhil] Good evening - very nice to see you.
- Sanadhil sets down his tea cup and stands
- Sanadhil holds open his arms
- Dozilva wears a soft pale grey tunic and wide-legged trousers.
- Dozilva moves to embrace you.
[Dozilva] You have missed me?
[Sanadhil] Of course.
- Sanadhil kisses her
[Dozilva] Mmm :)
[Sanadhil] I hope you missed me too.
- Sanadhil wonders where he learned to say these things...... books probably?
[Dozilva] Very missed, yes.
[Sanadhil] Missed a lot.
[Sanadhil] Would you like some tea?
[Dozilva] Missed a lot, then.
[Dozilva] Yes, that would be good.
- Sanadhil will let her go, then, and fetch another cup
- Dozilva settles into your seat while you're up ;)
- Sanadhil has lot of books and notes, on blood magics tonight, perhaps
[Sanadhil] (in various languages)
- Sanadhil returns with another cup of tea, and some dried fruit
- Dozilva leafs through your books while you're fetching her refreshments.
[Sanadhil] How have you been?
- Sanadhil asks as he returns, wondering what she might be thinking, and ...considering how much he wants to know @_@
[Dozilva] Good... it is quiet.
- Sanadhil nods, offering her the cup and setting down the bowl of fruits
[Sanadhil] I could do with quiet, i think.
- Dozilva curls up her legs, making room for you to sit at her feet if you were so inclined.
- Sanadhil will, after a moment of consideration
- Dozilva sips her tea, and occasionally toys with your hair with her free hand.
[Dozilva] It is too loud for you?
[Sanadhil] (is she still reading, or just sitting)
- Dozilva has set aside the book now.
[Sanadhil] No, this is lovely..... things have just been quite...hectic lately.
[Sanadhil] There was a large fire a few weeks ago, and then a riot only a day or so ago
[Sanadhil] started with magic.... hmmm.
- Dozilva nods...
[Dozilva] You are safe, though.
[Sanadhil] . o O (more or less)
[Dozilva] Why are you reading about blood so much?
[Dozilva] Is it a hint I should bring my knives next time?
- Sanadhil tries to see if she is kidding :o
- Dozilva could be teasing.
[Sanadhil] Just more research into this.... serpent cult.
- Dozilva nods.
[Sanadhil] The book you lent me was very helpful, thank you
[Dozilva] Too bad... patterns would show up so pretty on your skin ;)
- Sanadhil smiles up at her
[Dozilva] Ah, you are welcome.
- Dozilva smiles back.
[Sanadhil] I brought you something back, from our expedition
- Sanadhil nods, standing.
- Dozilva looks curious.
- Sanadhil fetches a fancy little box from one of the bookshelves
[Sanadhil] fairly mundane, I'm afraid...
- Dozilva holds out her hands.
- Sanadhil passes it to her
- Dozilva opens it up.
[Sanadhil] (there is a little jeweled charm of some sort in the local style, and a broken sherd of tile)
[Dozilva] Oh... pretty :D
[Sanadhil] I'm glad you like it...
[Sanadhil] The tile is from a mosaic we found in a ruined temple
- Dozilva picks up the little charm.
[Dozilva] And where do I hang this from? ]:D
[Sanadhil] Anywhere you would like :)
[Dozilva] Where would you like?
- Sanadhil looks her over
[Sanadhil] (I don't remember if she hads any piercings or what :V)
[Dozilva] (I forget too, actually... I remember the scars, mainly ;)
[Dozilva] (Let's say she has ears pierced, and nothing else - yet ;)
[Sanadhil] (scars + face tattoos :3)
[Dozilva] (yeah :)
[Sanadhil] I should have got two, perhaps.
- Dozilva smiles.
[Sanadhil] but if I could put it anywhere....
[Sanadhil] I might put it here.
- Sanadhil runs a finger down her midriff to her belly button?
[Dozilva] Mm, that is a good choice. There are other places for just one, of course, but maybe that is best for now ;)
[Dozilva] Do you want to put it?
[Sanadhil] I wasn't sure if it was too... large? dangly?
- Dozilva weighs it in her palm.
[Dozilva] It will be all right, I think.
- Sanadhil looks thoughtful but feels oddly nervous
- Sanadhil realizes he missed a question
[Sanadhil] I wouldn't know how...
[Dozilva] I can show you... My people do as children playing together, you know? For fun.
- Sanadhil blinks
[Dozilva] You can kiss it better after.
- Sanadhil smiles at that
[Sanadhil] That I'm confident I can manage
- Dozilva holds out her hand for you.
- Sanadhil takes it
[Sanadhil] Shall we adjourn upstairs, then?
[Dozilva] Yes. Immediately :D
- Sanadhil takes his girlfried upstairs to stick her with things ^-^
Ysabeau and Dominik
- Ysabeau hasn't been at school or the Society for the past couple of days, which is unusual for her.
- Dominik will seek her out at her home
- Dominik knocks on the door
- Murienne answers the door, looks a little worried when she sees it's you, and tells you Ysabeau is... sick.
[Dominik] I better check on her then
- Dominik will slip inside the house and try and seek her out.
[Murienne] She's in her room.
- Dominik heads to her room and knocks softly on the door.
- Ysabeau comes to the door after a pause, and opens it up to let you in.
[Ysabeau] Dominik... hi.
- Ysabeau is looking a little the worse for wear.
[Dominik] Murienne said you were sick. Is there anything I can do to help? Do you need me to fetch Sister Alma or someone?
[Ysabeau] No... no.
- Ysabeau looks down and steps away from the door, heading further into her room and picking up some articles of clothing scattered about.
[Dominik] What's wrong?
- Dominik will step in
- Ysabeau puts herself behind the small table she uses as a desk for her homework, trying to busy herself with folding up the clothes and things.
[Ysabeau] I... I learned who the demons in the palace are!
[Dominik] Is it that bad?! They're running everything?
- Ysabeau glances up at you quickly and smiles a brittle sort of smile.
[Ysabeau] There's at least four...
[Ysabeau] Plus three plane-touched individuals, who are ones we already know about, kind of...
[Dominik] Four... I suppose it could be worse.
[Dominik] and what exactly does plane-touched mean?
[Ysabeau] That's probably a good question... a good question for Ilphere.
[Dominik] Sometimes I wish I didn't have to rely on Ilphere to answer all those kind of questions
[Dominik] The demons... they aren't people we know are they? I never found out the best way to fight them. I'll have to look into it more.
[Dominik] It doesn't mater who they are. If we have to face them, I'm sure we can do it. We took on a giant ice lizard.
- Ysabeau nods. Something definitely isn't right with her.
[Ysabeau] There... there's Evalier Moncaire... he's the Chief Sorceror's secretary but I don't know what kind of demon he is.
[Ysabeau] And Madelen Levernois... she's a succubus and Esmena Vak Andras' mistress. She... also works at the Jewel Box. 'Diamond.'
- Dominik waits to see when the big name drops... or even a name he knows.
[Ysabeau] Maryse Rouillard, another succubus, a musician and also Patric Arguelles' mistress.
[Ysabeau] And Temair... Temair Montevier, the Lord Admiral. He's something called a glabrezu...
[Ysabeau] Butler Belden, Cornelia Nash and Theonée... Theonée Deverara are the plane-touched ones.
[Ysabeau] He didn't know... he didn't know about Kavreshar.
[Ysabeau] I'm sorry, Dominik.
[Ysabeau] I had this plan...
[Dominik] You're sorry? I don't undersand. What happened?
- Ysabeau glances up at you, her eyes shiny with tears.
[Ysabeau] Nestor Dryden. There was only one way he'd tell me.
[Dominik] What did he do?
- Dominik has a cold anger in his voice
[Ysabeau] Not him. He didn't do anything. It was me. I had this plan, I would cast Modify Memory and make him believe I did what he wanted, get the answers that way.
[Ysabeau] But when... when push came to shove, I couldn't. Couldn't force my will on someone that way.
[Ysabeau] It would be as bad as...
- Ysabeau shakes her head.
[Ysabeau] So I spent... I spent the night with him.
[Ysabeau] I'm so sorry, Dominik.
- Ysabeau cries.
- Dominik lowers his head visibly trying to wrestle with the information just presented
- Dominik walks over and puts his arms around Ysabeau
- Ysabeau flinches.
[Dominik] No... don't pull away...
- Ysabeau glances up at you, trying to gauge whether she's about to be hit... your words seem to soothe her a little.
[Ysabeau] I told him: nothing that could result in a child.
[Ysabeau] I couldn't do that to you.
[Ysabeau] I'm so sorry, Dominik.
- Dominik tenses when you say it but relaxes quickly
[Ysabeau] He did honour that part... that part of the deal. Some don't.
[Dominik] You're not property Ysabeau. I don't own you or tell you what you can or can't do.
[Dominik] Do I wish you hadn't slept with him... yes of course I do... but I don't get make your choices.
- Ysabeau cries harder and clings to you. She obviously feels pretty bleak about the whole situation.
[Dominik] What I do HATE... is that he treated you like... making you remember a life that you've tried so hard to put past you.
[Dominik] I'll never forgive him for doing that to you.
- Ysabeau sobs raggedly.
- Dominik looks down at Ysabeau
[Dominik] Why did you think this was so important? That you had to take it on yourself... pay so much for it.
- Ysabeau takes some time to pull herself together enough to answer you.
[Ysabeau] I hoped... I hoped he would know something about Kavreshar.
[Ysabeau] I can't... can't let Murienne. No, not just Murienne, anymore. I have to do... to do whatever I can to prevent the fire.
[Ysabeau] It was a gamble, and I lost.
[Dominik] It wasn't a whole waste... its four names more than we had yesterday that could lead to more clues. The Demons may know something that could lead to Kavreshar.
[Dominik] You were doing what you thought you had to do to protect your sister. I know she is everything to you and this whole mess has everyone worried and tense.
[Dominik] It's not much but its something.
[Dominik] I've had some of my own rude awakenings in the past few days. I totally mis-judged someone and I lost a chance to learn some good information.
- Ysabeau wraps her arms around you and pulls herself together as much as she can.
[Dominik] and the same person apparently killed a friend of mine. I felt so stupid for not seeing it.
- Ysabeau looks up at you.
[Ysabeau] Come, tell me about it.
- Dominik has anger in his voice
[Dominik] Do you remember the body we found at the Downs?
- Ysabeau gathers her strength for you, and leads you to sit on the bed.
[Ysabeau] Theodis, yes.
[Dominik] I knew her
[Ysabeau] Why didn't you say anything, before?
- Ysabeau looks at you puzzled and maybe a bit confused that you wouldn't have mentioned that to her when we found the body.
[Dominik] Someone close to her had me help him find who he thought was responsible... I didn't want anyone to fret about me.
[Ysabeau] Dominik... it's my job to fret about you.
[Dominik] Father Strauch... hes dead now... murdered
[Dominik] I talked to him about Theo... I really didn't think he had done it. I was wrong.
[Dominik] Sister Alma used her magic to talk to Brother Strauch's body. It confirmed he killed her.
- Ysabeau looks sad for you.
[Ysabeau] I'm sorry, Dominik.
[Ysabeau] Didn't she work for the Hush?
[Dominik] It's all tied into Kevreshar. The brother was linked to the pendant that contained the dragon.
[Ysabeau] She was with Vescan, that day.
[Ysabeau] Did you know her, then?
[Dominik] Yeah she worked for the hush. I recoginized her but I didn't really know her when we ran into her that day.
[Ysabeau] How did you meet her?
- Ysabeau smiles through her teary eyes, trying to encourage you to share your memories of your friend.
[Dominik] A friend of mine, Fredericia introduced me
[Ysabeau] I didn't know you had so many friends. Why don't you ever talk about them?
- Ysabeau hugs her knees to her chest, resting her head on their peaks in such a manner that she can continue looking at you.
[Ysabeau] (My BS detector is currently functioning at a 26/37)
[Dominik] Fredericia and I know eachother through the practice yard... you're not really interested in the arts of swordfighting... I didn't want to bore you.
[Ysabeau] What do you mean I'm not?
- Ysabeau smiles.
[Ysabeau] I have a lovely rapier, or have you forgotten our early practice bouts already?
[Ysabeau] More to the point, though, I'm interested in *you*. I really doubt you could bore me, Dominik.
[Dominik] Ok... you have an interest... but weapon arts and battle training is a big part of my life. Poetry is an interest of mine, but I'm nowhere near the artist or scholar on the subject that you are.
[Ysabeau] I'd like to hear about the things you do, and your friends.
[Ysabeau] Void, I'd like to meet your friends.
[Ysabeau] You know many of mine but I haven't met any of yours.
[Ysabeau] You're not... embarrassed by me, are you?
[Dominik] Despite what you might think, I'm not a charming fellow. I don't have close friends.
[Dominik] I'm far from embarassed by you.
[Ysabeau] I'd really like to meet your friends, Dom.
[Dominik] I could take you to meet Laurine sometime... it might be good if you two met.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] I'd like to meet her, too.
- Dominik smiles
[Dominik] Still feeling sick?
[Ysabeau] (Are you asking because you're going to take me to visit Laurine right now or because you want sex? :P)
[Dominik] (I want to know if I cheered you up)
[Ysabeau] Not as bad as I was...
- Ysabeau 's eyes tear up a bit again.
[Ysabeau] It helps to know that you forgive me.
- Dominik wraps her up in his long muscular arms
[Ysabeau] But it might take a while before I can forgive myself.
[Dominik] After all you've been through and all the efforts you've taken to make a better life for yourself and your sister, you deserve to forgive yourself.
[Dominik] Forgiveness doesn't mean you forget and don't learn... it just means you stop punishing yourself.
[Dominik] But then... I'm the worst person in the world for forgiveness so... coming from me that doesn't mean much
- Ysabeau laughs slightly.
[Dominik] Honestly, I just want you to be happy.
- Dominik will kiss your forhead
[Ysabeau] Oh, Dominik...
[Ysabeau] We are quite the pair, aren't we?
- Ysabeau slips her arms around you and holds you close.
[Dominik] You're something worth holding on to... I still haven't figured out what you see in me.
- Ysabeau looks up at you.
[Ysabeau] Who else would love me, and still love me after what I've told you today?
[Ysabeau] Who else would listen to me say such words and not strike me?
[Dominik] I would assume it would be some very smart hansome young man with lots of redeeming qualities, whose good with a sword, and has a nice smile.
[Dominik] but thats just me
[Dominik] and you question my name?
[Ysabeau] What if I did it again?
[Dominik] Did what again?
[Ysabeau] Traded myself for something we might need to prevent something awful from happening?
[Ysabeau] I hope it wouldn't happen.
[Ysabeau] But it might.
[Ysabeau] And I'll face the same decision again, if it does.
[Dominik] One... you're not property to be traded. Two, if you decide that you need to sleep with someone to get their help, I hope it wouldn't happen but it's not my choice so what can I say.
[Dominik] I love you... that won't change
- Dominik kisses her
[Ysabeau] Okay. Okay, Dominik.
- Ysabeau kisses him back.
Sanadhil and Guillame
- Sanadhil is reading in the society library, and looks up as Guillame enters.
[Sanadhil] Ahh, Good afternoon, M. Rionet - I was hoping I might run into you again.
[Guillame] Good afternoon, M. Orecalo - I trust you're well?
[Sanadhil] Quite, thank you. I was wondering if I might have a word, however?
- Sanadhil glances around the otherwise empty library
[Sanadhil] It's about the unfortunate riot, in fact.
[Guillame] ... unfortunate...
- Guillame looks a little crestfallen
[Guillame] Anyway, yes. The riot.
[Sanadhil] perhaps an understatement. In anycase..... the spell that was used - I wanted to make sure you understood how it worked.
- Guillame listens
[Sanadhil] Its an illusion spell, as i said - Illusory script
- Guillame reaches for something to take notes on
[Sanadhil] only the designated targets of the spell will be able to read the actual message - the rest are susceptible to a mental suggestion implanted by the spell, unless they possess sufficient mental fortitude to resist.
[Sanadhil] generally speaking, the *purpose* of the spell is to leave a coded message, and the sugestion a secondary effect. Whoever used it was.... very very clever.
[Sanadhil] The fact that you, and I believe the other Leveller leaders? Were able to see the intended message means that you were targeted specifically.
[Sanadhil] They wanted, at the very least, for you not to be pulled into the riot.
[Guillame] That's... odd
[Sanadhil] its telling
[Sanadhil] It gives the impression that you were in on the conspiracy, if nothing else.
[Guillame] Maybe... but in that case, you'd expect for someone else to have seen it.
[Sanadhil] even if the idea that a spell was used to create the riot, rather than it being some more mundane act of rabble-rousing, it implies complicity on your part.
[Sanadhil] how do you mean?
[Guillame] It suggests to me that whoever put the message there thought that there *should* be a riot... that they think we should have a revolution - that they weren't trying to frame us, but instead...
[Guillame] If we were to be shown as complicit, why hide the evidence from everyone *but* us?
[Sanadhil] They didn't.
[Sanadhil] YOu were at the castalia - you can bet that there are a fair few who would recognize the spell, other than myself.
[Guillame] But you weren't able to read it... if they just wanted to implicate us, they could have just as well written "got you"
[Sanadhil] I know that there were several dispelling effect tossed at it.
[Sanadhil] So you think it was someone sympathetic?
[Guillame] Well, not to our actual aims, that much is clear.
[Guillame] But maybe to some of our ideals
- Sanadhil nods
[Guillame] I don't see them as an ally, in that scenario
[Sanadhil] At the very least, they would like you ti think so
[Sanadhil] But there has been a fair amount of chaos caused i the city recently
[Guillame] To be honest, I'm surprised that we weren't arrested there and then - that at least suggests that the palace didn't frame us.
[Sanadhil] Since the fire.... Did you hear about her Highness's dream?
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] no, that doesn't seem likely
[Guillame] Someone that smart would have warned the guards before we could...
[Guillame] No, I didn't?
[Sanadhil] She dreamed about the return of Kavreshar - the Coronation Dragon, and that it set the city ablaze....
[Sanadhil] That was the night of the fire - just before it began, in fact
- Guillame doesn't know what to think about that..
[Guillame] Do you think it a vision?
[Sanadhil] She thinks that it means to destroy the city in some way.
[Guillame] I wasn't aware that the princess was a prophet also...
[Sanadhil] I wouldn't go that far.
[Sanadhil] But her mind is more open to....certain forces, perhaps.
- Guillame nods
[Sanadhil] But this dragon - The Countess de Beziers called it a Hell Wyrm - is likely hiding, if it is here.
[Guillame] I... I heard a prophesy myself, recently.
[Guillame] Well... I found Raina.
[Guillame] And she sent me a message
[Guillame] "The man with red hair cannot be trusted."
[Guillame] It's frustratingly vague.
[Sanadhil] Ahh yes.
- Guillame looks at San pointedly.
[Guillame] You remember.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] Of course.
[Sanadhil] I was just surprised.
[Sanadhil] That *is* somewhat vague... There are a surprising number of redheads in this city
- Sanadhil dismisses the Sendhel-induced memory that Alma's brother is among them!
[Sanadhil] do you know any that she may have been referring to?
[Guillame] Well, the message was to me alone, which should narrow it down - and of course I have suspicions, but...
[Guillame] I'll let you know if they pan out.
- Sanadhil nods.
[Sanadhil] be careful.
[Sanadhil] I'd meant to say - this dragon can assume human form, most likely.
[Sanadhil] And your organization could easily be used to promote chaos and destruction, as we have seen...
- Guillame tries to look surprised
[Sanadhil] Take care.
[Guillame] Do you have anyone in mind?
[Guillame] Then I shall take as much care as I am able
[Sanadhil] I am looking in to the matter, if I learn anothing of use, i can certainly pass it along.
- Sanadhil nods
[Guillame] Thanks, M. Orecalo.
[Sanadhil] Most welcome.
[Sanadhil] the Countess had also suggested that, as an outsider, I might be well placed to give a more unbiased account of what happened, with the spell, for instance.
[Guillame] That's a fine offer, and we may have need to take you up on it yet.
[Sanadhil] I'm not certain it would be in your best interest, but if you think it might help clear the Levellers of some mis-cast blame, I would be willing to do so.
- Sanadhil nods
[Sanadhil] Best of luck, in any case, Monsieur.
- Sanadhil will go back to his reading
[Guillame] And to you.
- Guillame will go about his research
Alma and Ysabeau
- Ysabeau is at the Society today, after an absence of a few days.
- Ysabeau is reading some treatise on ancient string instruments.
- Alma pops out from getting an update from the Society researcher. She tends to be in for very short bursts lately...
[Alma] Good day, Ysabeau :)
- Ysabeau looks up at the noise and smiles when she sees it's you.
[Ysabeau] Good afternoon, Sister.
[Ysabeau] I'm glad to see you.
[Ysabeau] I brought the portrait again, if you wanted to try scrying it once more.
[Ysabeau] Also, I'm hoping to get together with young M. Olivier *some* time soon.
[Ysabeau] We met at the wedding, and since he's from Greywatch too... I was hoping he could tell me what it's like now.
[Ysabeau] I'd like to know how much has changed.
[Alma] I would like to examine the portrait again, actually...
[Ysabeau] Anyway, I was thinking I could try to get something from him for you to use your talent on, if you like.
[Alma] I'm not sure when I will have the opportunityto try scrying it though.
- Ysabeau digs a box out of her satchel.
[Ysabeau] I know... I can trust you, though, to return it.
[Alma] Yes, that would be interesting, to see what I can determine. Perhaps he'll grace you with a flower or something :)
[Ysabeau] It's our only link to Dessa's murderer...
[Alma] Yes, of course, I will be very careful.
[Ysabeau] It's foolish, i suppose, but I hate to let it out of my sight.
[Alma] I wish that I could help more with that :/
[Ysabeau] It's all right.
- Alma will sit with you for a bit.
[Ysabeau] I had meant to try to track down Vescan Corriveau again but I am frightened of crossing the Hush. Well, reminding them I exist, that is. It usually isn't a good thing.
- Alma frowns
[Ysabeau] I suppose I shall do it one of these days, though. I've just been so busy with things, lately.
[Alma] I'm sorry to ask this kind of question but... do you recall how Dessa was found?
[Ysabeau] That is a poor excuse for not doing whatever I can for Dessa, though.
[Ysabeau] Oh, yes...
- Ysabeau looks down sadly.
[Ysabeau] She was found in Rhenea, with her throat slit.
[Alma] Nothing ... unusual or out of place?
[Alma] I mean...
[Alma] Something remarkable about the manner?
[Ysabeau] Nothing that I know of, but I wasn't there.
- Alma nods.
[Ysabeau] It was by the Ousel, if I remember correctly.
[Alma] I was wondering if it might have been connected to the other two murders recently... the one at Nine Elms, and the woman found on the Down... but those were different.
[Ysabeau] Well, the young man who told us said Ninon de Quercy thought it had something to do with that voided necklace.
[Alma] ... both Brother Phineas and Theodis Maez are ... connected, and I learned from Phineas that he stole, or helped steal, the necklace from the Society.
[Ysabeau] I don't know. I wish I knew how everything was connected...
- Ysabeau sighs.
[Ysabeau] Oh, there was something else, from the guard report...
[Ysabeau] The guards say she was killed from behind, by a left-handed person who left no footprints.
[Ysabeau] I have no idea how to track down this person, though.
[Alma] No footprints? How odd.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] Maybe he (or she, it could have been a she) had wings. :P
[Alma] Or could fly magically, I suppose.
[Ysabeau] Merrow thought it was probably a man.
[Alma] Why is that?
[Ysabeau] The report said her killer was taller than she was, I guess they can tell by the angle of the... knife cut, or something.
[Alma] Well if the killer was in flight that would account for it...
[Ysabeau] There might be some magic items that would leave no tracks, as well.
[Ysabeau] Boots or somesuch.
[Ysabeau] Anyway. That is as far as I got in my inquiry...
[Ysabeau] Like I said, I haven't tyhe slightest clue how to go about finding a left-handed killer who leaves no tracks, in a city of thousands.
- Ysabeau looks glum.
[Ysabeau] In other news, there are at least four demons in the palace.
[Ysabeau] (Is anyone else around here right now? In nearby rooms or anything?)
- Ysabeau will beckon you into one of the private study rooms just in case.
[Curtana] (probably, someone usually is. You could do into one of the more private rooms)
- Alma follows
[Alma] Where did you learn this?
- Ysabeau closes the door behind us.
[Ysabeau] They're all in positions with some degree of power.
[Alma] Do you know who?
- Ysabeau will provide you with the details - want me to do that in this solo, or will you just go check my scene or the solo with Dom?)
[Alma] (that's fine.)
[Alma] (Presumably the who, and where from, but not the other details?: P)
[Ysabeau] (I will tell you the demons' identities, their positions, their species, connections they have to non-demonic palace folk and the Jewel Box)
[Ysabeau] (I will not tell you how I got the information or who I got it from - I'll just say a Revelator who used to be a priest and has True Seeing.)
[Ysabeau] (Whom I trust as a source of information.)
[Alma] Mistress to Reverend Mother Esmena?
- Ysabeau nods.
[Alma] This can't be...
- Ysabeau sighs.
[Alma] She would surely know if someone so close to her was an Outsider.
[Ysabeau] Quite possibly she does and is fine with it.
[Alma] I'm not surprised to hear that Belden, Deverara and Nash are ... odd somehow.
[Alma] This absolutely must be verified.
[Ysabeau] Do you have True Seeing, Sister?
[Alma] I can, though I haven't prepared the ointment for it yet.
[Ysabeau] Well, then you are the best person to verify it.
[Alma] It's a rather expensive endeavour to go about lightly...
[Ysabeau] This information shouldn't be given to just anybody.
[Alma] Of course not, but I must inform Reverend Father Theron.
[Ysabeau] Sister... if Brother Phineas was corrupt, are you sure that others you know are not?
[Alma] The Reverend Father has been passing along my information to the Council of Reverends.
[Ysabeau] Are you sure that everyone on the Council is free of corruption?
- Alma touches her holy symbol
[Ysabeau] I would feel more comfortable if you did the True Seeing yourself. I'd do it if it were within my skills and my means.
[Alma] It would have to be done for each individual...
[Ysabeau] I know.
[Alma] I may not be able to get such access to the palace.
[Ysabeau] Would it make sense to just strategically check a few of them? If you find one or two to be as my informant has said, would you believe that the information about the others might be eqaully true.
- Ysabeau raises her eyebrow.
[Ysabeau] You're a Countess, Sister.
[Alma] Do you think you could find out more about Maryse Rouillard?
- Ysabeau shakes her head.
[Ysabeau] Not from my informant.
[Alma] Yes but it would seem rather conspicuous if I invited the Lord Admiral out to dinner and rubbed yellow ointment under my eyes.
[Ysabeau] Make it look like part of your cosmetics when you go freshen up?
- Ysabeau suggests with a smile.
[Ysabeau] Perhaps you'll have to host a large engagement party and make sure some of them are invited.
[Alma] Well, it wouldn't be a surprise for Patric Arguelles to be at my engagement party...
[Alma] One would expect he bring someone more appropriate though :|
[Alma] Oh dear, this is awful.
[Ysabeau] I think that's abundantly clear.
- Ysabeau sighs.
[Ysabeau] I'm sorry, Sister.
[Ysabeau] I just think we need to be really careful.
[Ysabeau] I hate not being able to trust people.
[Ysabeau] . o O (Especially friends.)
[Ysabeau] I've told you and Dominik so far.
[Ysabeau] I'm not sure who else I ought to tell.
[Ysabeau] I don't really know who else to trust. You've been quite open with things like this, with me, though others have not.
[Alma] They're not likely to pose an immediate threat to anyone we know... they can't have taken on these identities to do anything rash.
[Ysabeau] Probably not.
[Ysabeau] But I think we must not discount the possibility that those demons might know something about Kavreshar.
[Ysabeau] That being said, they are also very dangerous enemies.
[Alma] The latter three, the Lord Marshall, Warlord and Lady Chamberlain...
[Ysabeau] They're not demons, just plane-touched, whatever that means.
- Alma nods
[Alma] Plane-touched, visible via True Seeing...
[Ysabeau] My informant thought that the people identified... and that quite possibly includes the plane-touched ones, would not hesitate to do away with someone they see as getting in their way.
[Ysabeau] So whatever we decide, we must go about things carefully.
[Alma] Well, if he's lumping them in with the others, that makes sense.
[Alma] But the Lord Marshall and Lady Chamberlain's cases are ... well explainable?
[Alma] I am concerned about Nash, however...
- Ysabeau shrugs.
- Alma fills you in on the details about Strauch and Theodis Maez. (Finding Strauch, Speak with Dead, etc.)
[Alma] The body said Strauch was most loyal to Nash... now he was of lawful bent, so perhaps there's nothing sinister about that...
- Ysabeau listens.
[Alma] (She doesn't get into the conversation with Dominik about the Hush quite yet.)
[Alma] What can we do about this, though, if we can't tell the REverend FAther?
[Ysabeau] You wanted to confirm that they are demons, that's one thing.
[Alma] And then?
[Ysabeau] I suppose if you can swing it, through your Church connections, you could try to ascertain whether Esmena Vak Andras is corrupt or not.
[Ysabeau] If you trust the Reverend Father beyond doubt, could you ask him not to pass the information along to the Council without thoroughly investigating them, first?
[Alma] Well, I'm sure he would be cautious if he learned that Reverend Mother Esmena was consorting with an outsider.
- Ysabeau nods.
[Ysabeau] I could possibly live with that.
[Alma] Well, I ... must get back to my duties.
[Ysabeau] If we find out who Kavreshar is, what I would not happily do to him as payment for all the doubt and dissension he is sowing!
- Ysabeau nods.
[Alma] I'm sure we'll be speaking again very soon.
[Alma] Keep safe. :)
[Ysabeau] You too, Sister.
- Alma goes back out to her carriage with a lot to think about.