Diablotin 2 session 56

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Session date: November 28, 2010
Diablotin date: End of Fourth Month


[Diablotin_Narrator] It is the end of Fourth-month, and the air is warming as spring progresses, bringing a feeling of renewed hope and optimism to a beleaguered Diablotin.

[Diablotin_Narrator] The first vegetables of spring - asparagus, artichokes, lettuces and radishes, along with delicate mushrooms and rhubarb - are appearing in marketplaces alongside the spring lambs, and are snapped up just as quickly.

Sanadhil and Elisabet

[Diablotin_Narrator] Sanadhil, you are in the cramped office you share with Elisabet. As it happens, you are both there today, trying not to tread on each others' toes as you go about your work.

  • Sanadhil is half hidden behind a pile of texts on various subjects....
  • Elisabet stands up from her desk and stretches.
  • Sanadhil looks up at the movement

[Elisabet] M. Orecalo, I believe I have nearly completed this piece I've been writing about the differences in elven and human responses to and beliefs about enchantment.

[Sanadhil] oh?

[Elisabet] I hope to present it before the Society - after it's been made available to the scholars of the Castalia, of course.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] of course.

[Elisabet] Would you be interested in looking it over before I distribute it? You have been quite invaluable in my research, after all, and I would welcome your thoughts.

[Sanadhil] I'd be most eager, I'm sure you're well aware

  • Sanadhil smiles
  • Elisabet smiles back.

[Elisabet] Well, I'll have a copy made and leave it for you on your desk.

[Sanadhil] thank you, much appreciate, and I look forward to it.

  • Prof_Storms pokes his head into the office, as the door is slightly ajar.

[Prof_Storms] Good day, Mlle. Lawfeld, M. Orecalo.

  • Sanadhil looks over in mild surprise

[Sanadhil] Good day,sir

[Elisabet] Good day, Chancellor.

  • Prof_Storms has to sort of squeeze his way into the crowded office, and stands awkwardly leaning against a cluttered bookshelf

once he's in.

[Prof_Storms] Well, well, seems as though quite a bit of work is going on here!

  • Sanadhil glances over at Elisabet

[Elisabet] Yes, sir.

[Sanadhil] We do try and keep ourselves occupied....

  • Prof_Storms nods.

[Prof_Storms] I just came to inform you that Professor Isster is intending to retire at the end of Fifth-month. As such, his position will need to be filled.

[Sanadhil] Oh?

[Sanadhil] (who is that?)

[Diablotin_Narrator] Carlon Isster is the (rather elderly) professor of enchantment, you would both know.

  • Elisabet 's eyes brighten at that.

[Prof_Storms] Of course we will be considering applicants from across the Empire, but inside candidates, as it were, do have certain advantages...

  • Prof_Storms says with a slight smile that creases his broad face.

[Sanadhil] I see...

[Prof_Storms] Should you be interested in applying - either of you - you should submit your names to Professor Cunningham, who will be heading the committee.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Elisabet] Certainly, thank you, sir.

[Sanadhil] Yes, thank you.

  • Sanadhil tries to remember who cunningham is...

[Sanadhil] (is that the bitchy/scary one?)

[Diablotin_Narrator] (yep, that's her)

[Prof_Storms] Very well, carry on.

  • Prof_Storms ambles off.
  • Elisabet sits down, looking slightly stunned.

[Sanadhil] How surprising....

[Sanadhil] I didn't think Isster was looking to retire so soon.

[Elisabet] No, I assumed he'd work until he died :p

  • Sanadhil nods in agreement

[Elisabet] ...Are you going to try for the position?

[Sanadhil] hmm.

  • Sanadhil says as though considering

[Sanadhil] I think If I don't at least make the effort, it would risk appear looking disinterested in future advancement.

[Elisabet] That could be true, yes...

[Elisabet] I wasn't sure if you were aiming for a permanent position here, or if you intended to move on after a few years.

[Sanadhil] well, in terms of relative time, maybe not "permanent"...

[Sanadhil] but I had hoped to stay here for some time, at least.

[Elisabet] Or, for that matter, whether you wanted a position in this department - you could find a place in Languages, I'm sure, or History, with your background.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] (SM)

[Sanadhil] (35)

  • Elisabet seems to be suddenly viewing you as a potential rival/threat, rather than an interesting research subject/office-mate.
  • Sanadhil smiles

[Sanadhil] I'm not in any rush for advancement.

  • Elisabet nods, but seems doubtful.

[Elisabet] Well... good luck, at any rate, if you apply.

[Sanadhil] Thank you..... you as well.

[Elisabet] Thank you.

[Elisabet] Well... perhaps I should go out and have those copies made.

  • Elisabet takes her papers to leave.
  • Sanadhil sits back, looking thoughtful, and nods.

[Elisabet] Good day, Sanadhil.

[Sanadhil] You as well, Elisabet :)

  • Elisabet departs.
  • Sanadhil considers his options, hmmmm.....

Ysabeau, Alma and Danyel

[Diablotin_Narrator] Ysabeau and Alma, you are venturing into the Shambles, accompanied by Danyel for protection, in search of information about Dessa's late grandmother, starting with her full name, and moving on to anything else you are able to determine.

  • Ysabeau has given them a briefing on how to minimize attention, from her own years living in the Shambles.
  • Alma has her cloak and choker well hidden under Ysabeau's suggested outfit, unless she has advised against bringing them.
  • Ysabeau will head in to the Shambles with them in tow and start at the most logical places. (Gather Information?)
  • Danyel keeps his hand on the hilt of his sword and his eyes peeled as you pass from Rhenea into the Shambles.

[Diablotin_Narrator] The streets are fairly busy, as the combination of spring air and hunger encourages people to get out and about. Vendors with carts stacked with what food is available are doing a brisk business, and other denizens of the neighbourhood, such as musicians, acrobats, prostitutes, and pickpockets, have come to try and make their money off the crowds.

[Diablotin_Narrator] Ysa, you know the area well, and are able to find your way to the narrow street where Dessa's grandmother lived without too much trouble. It is criss-crossed with clotheslines, as people take advantage of the fine weather to wash their linens, perhaps for the first time in months.

[Ysabeau] [q] It's really not that awful a place... there's a lot of really nice people here.

[Ysabeau] [q] You've just got to look out for the predators...

[Diablotin_Narrator] The house where Dessa grew up is now occupied by a young family who evidently know nothing of the woman who lived there before them (perhaps several tenants before, at this point...)

[Diablotin_Narrator] Across the alley is an alehouse - nothing so fancy as to have a name or a sign, but the smells of brewing and the steady stream of people in and out the door give it away.

  • Alma wrinkles her nose a little at the smell of ale.

[Ysabeau] (Do I remember it having been there for a long time, maybe even when Dessa's grandmother lived across the street?)

[Diablotin_Narrator] (yes, you think it's been there for a long time)

[Alma] Where should we ask next?

[Ysabeau] We could try that tavern. It's probably frequented by locals, and I remember it's been there for a long time. Someone in there, maybe even the barkeep, might remember Dessa's grandmother.

[Alma] Lead the way :)

[Ysabeau] Righto. :)

  • Danyel looks wary as you head into the alehouse.
  • Alma gives him a smile.
  • Ysabeau heads for the door and looks inside, allowing her eyes to grow accustomed to the dimmer light before actually stepping inside.
  • Danyel smiles back, but still looks a bit on edge.

[Diablotin_Narrator] There are a number of patrons in the poorly-lit little room. The man behind the counter looks maybe in his forties or so. There is also an old woman, her face wrinkled like a walnut, stirring the ale.

  • Ysabeau steps in and goes up to the counter and orders something to drink, alert to the other customers as she does so.
  • Alma tries not to look supremely awkward.

[Ysabeau] [Shambles Accent/Dialect] You want anything?

  • Barkeeper will get you each a pot of ale, since that's all they have ;)
  • Ysabeau asks Danyel and Alma.

[Alma] No, I'm fine.

  • Ysabeau takes a draught of her draught, smacking her lips with satisfaction.

[Diablotin_Narrator] The patrons are keeping an eye on you, but not seeming particularly dangerous at this point.

[Ysabeau] [SA/D] 'S good.

[Barkeeper] Mum's brew.

  • Barkeeper says with a nod to the old woman.
  • Ysabeau smiles over at the old woman.

[Ysabeau] [SA/D] You been making ale here for a long time, then, love?

[Old_woman] Since I was a girl.

[Ysabeau] [SA/D] Is that so? Maybe you can help me, then. You must know the neighbourhood pretty well.

[Old_woman] No one better. What'd you wanna know?

[Ysabeau] [SA/D] It's actually a really horrible story. :/ There was a lady, across the way, who had a grandaughter named Dessa. You remember 'em?

[Old_woman] Sure enough, poor thing.

  • Ysabeau nods, looking sad.

[Ysabeau] [SA/D] Dessa was a friend of mine. She left some stuff with me, that was her grandmother's. Then she went and got her gullet slit.

  • Old_woman nods sadly.

[Old_woman] I heard about that. Not surprised...

  • Ysabeau also looks sad, which isn't an act.

[Ysabeau] [SA/D] I been trying to find out why, though I probably never will, and should keep my nose out of it before the same thing happens to me, you know?

[Old_woman] Not a bad idea, dearie.

[Ysabeau] [SA/D] But I got this stuff still. It ain't worth much, but I don't feel right having it.

[Ysabeau] [SA/D] Trying to find out if there's some other family it could go to. But I don't rightly know if she had any other grandkids, that lady... what was her name, again?

  • Ysabeau looks like it's on the tip of her tongue.

[Old_woman] Jolaine Underdown.

[Ysabeau] [SA/D] That's it! Thanks. Do you know if there's any other family I could track down?

[Diablotin_Narrator] (make a Gather Info check :)

[Ysabeau] (29)

[Old_woman] She didn't have no other grandkids, not that I know of. One of her sons went off to the other end of the Empire, t'other one stayed here and got himself dead, not before having little Dessa though.

[Old_woman] She had a sister...

[Ysabeau] [SA/D] Oh yeah? Who was that? Maybe I could pass this stuff to her.

[Old_woman] Althea Dark - but no one's seen nor heard of her in some fifty years, so good luck finding her.

[Ysabeau] [SA/D] Ah... well, thanks. Dunno whether there's any sense trying to track her down after 50 years.

  • Ysabeau looks a little disappointed but maybe also relieved because now she could maybe sell the stuff and buy some food with the earnings.

[Old_woman] They were close in age, she'd be my age if she's still alive. She run off when she was about fifteen.

[Alma] Dark is an odd name, isn't it? Whereabouts is it from?

[Old_woman] I wouldn't know, ma'am.

[Ysabeau] [SA/D] Might as well ask where any name's from.

  • Ysabeau laughs.

[Old_woman] She said she was going off with her father, but we all figured she lied and was running off with some boy.

[Ysabeau] [SA/D] Anyone see which boy she left with? Hope he was handsome!

[Old_woman] I heard some say she'd taken up with Izaguirre - you wouldn't know him, my dear, before your day, and you're the better for it.

  • Alma looks at Ysabeau. "Maybe Dessa's mother's kin are still about?"

[Ysabeau] [SA/D] Now there's a smart thing to ask. You know who was Dessa's mother, if she got any family left?

[Old_woman] Oh, sure enough, plenty of them around - the Falluns. Her mother was Aimey Fallun... think she's got some brothers still living.

[Ysabeau] [SA/D] Where do they live? Could go talk to them next, I suppose.

[Ysabeau] [SA/D] Might as well ask the name of the boy who left, too. Miz Underdown's son. Might still be alive in some palace on the other side of the Empire, who knows? Might be he'd like to have this stuff.

[Old_woman] You'd most likely find them round one of the cab stations - one or two of 'em drove cab, as I recall.

[Old_woman] The younger Underdown boy.. what was his name?

  • Old_woman asks her son.

[Barkeeper] Renald, was it?

[Barkeeper] Went off to Rosyvor or somewhere, I think.

  • Ysabeau turns to the barkeep.

[Ysabeau] [SA/D] Was he in the military?

[Barkeeper] Nah, he got a job in some nob's household, stables or something like that.

  • Ysabeau nods sagely.

[Ysabeau] [SA/D] Might have done good for himself, then.

[Alma] (20 K-Nobility on Carn Eige)

[Alma] (Just if anyone in the Duchy is notable in all this.)

[Diablotin_Narrator] (it's a Lizard duchy, in the hands of the Deverara family at present)

[Barkeeper] Might be, yeah.

  • Ysabeau glances questioningly at Alma and Danyel... anything more to ask here or should we go question cabbies?
  • Ysabeau swallows down the last of her ale and smiles broadly at the lady and her son.

[Ysabeau] [SA/D] Voided fine ale. Thank you for it, and for your help!

  • Ysabeau will pay for the ale and leave a nice tip, not too conspicuous but nice, and I guess we leave.

[Diablotin_Narrator] You can go and try to locate Dessa's mother's relatives, but without too much luck for the moment.

[Ysabeau] (We would do that, so thank you for anticipating it.)

  • Alma sighs as we step out of the tavern.
  • Ysabeau glances at Alma.

[Ysabeau] It wasn't that bad, was it?

  • Ysabeau grins.

[Alma] I suppose it confirmed that her sister was Althea. But what else do we have, except her name now?

[Ysabeau] You could always go talk to Lord Grey and see if he has anything to add now that we've figured that much out.

[Alma] I've already asked for another appointment with Mr. Olivier, but I'm told he's quite busy. :|

[Ysabeau] I imagine so. Running the empire's spy network would be rather time consuming, I think.

[Alma] I think he already assumed that the locket was Althea's at one point.

[Alma] Where do we go from here?

[Ysabeau] Well, we could check into Renald Underdown.

[Ysabeau] He may well be alive still in Rosyvor, and maybe he knows something about the whole sordid story.

[Alma] I do wonder if there's any connection with Carn Eige, actually; the Duke is a Deverara at present.

[Ysabeau] ...

[Ysabeau] Wasn't Althea the Empress Tristane's wife a Deverara?

[Ysabeau] That's how come she could be put forward as a candidate for emperor.

[Ysabeau] And why Theonee is a Deverara.

  • Ysabeau blushes, that was a stupid observation.

[Ysabeau] Well, lacking anything else, I think someone should look into the Carn Eige connection.

[Ysabeau] It all seems quite fishy to me.

[Ysabeau] Then, with the child...

[Ysabeau] Ugh, Dom might be right. Everything may somehow be connected, even though that seems preposterous.

[Alma] The child?

  • Ysabeau glances at Danyel. Does he know?

[Ysabeau] You know, the one everyone's after for reasons unknown.

[Alma] Oh, yes, sorry.

[Alma] I'm wondering if the Izaguirre Althea ran off with is the same one involved in the necklace affair. Nouel, I think it was.

[Ysabeau] Could be. Would that be in guard records?

  • Alma seems lost in thought as we walk.

[Ysabeau] I could ask Merrow. He's been able to tell me something from guard records before.

[Alma] That might be helpful, yes.

[Ysabeau] I'll do that, then.

[Ysabeau] It's all a bit ridiculous to think that there's this massive conspiracy spanning years and lives.

[Ysabeau] And somehow Dessa is tied into it.

[Ysabeau] It feels like a particularly absurd dream.

[Alma] So much to think about...

[Alma] Izaguirre and Althea, in a sense, connect the necklace and the locket,

[Alma] Perhaps not in any meaningful way.

[Alma] Could Althea be both women?

[Ysabeau] Then again, it may be meaningful. We won't know until we can see the whole picture, if that ever happens.

[Ysabeau] All these little glimpses are maddening.

  • Alma is not very chatty as she does her best to piece together a puzzle without all the pieces.
  • Ysabeau is fine; she's busy keeping alert for trouble and trying to find Falluns to talk to.
  • Ysabeau will suggest they call it a day, before darkness falls.
  • Ysabeau doesn't want to be wandering the Shambles after dark.

[Alma] Yes, a good idea. Let's go for something to eat.

[Alma] Or do you need to head home to Murienne?

[Ysabeau] I should go home, actually. I haven't seen much of Murienne at all today, plus I have a lot to work on.

[Ysabeau] Thank you, though, Sister. I do hope you and Ser Danyel have an enjoyable evening together.

  • Ysabeau smiles sweetly.

[Alma] Thank you :)

  • Alma returns home for something to eat, and a nice warm levelling bath with Ser Danyel ^_^

[Ysabeau] You're welcome. Thanks for your help!

  • Ysabeau heads to her own home to spend time with Rye and Murienne.

Guillame and Aden

[Diablotin_Narrator] Guillame, following your rather alarming conversation with Thea, you have decided that speaking with Aden is a priority (moreso than usual...)

[Guillame] (Indeed!)

  • Guillame will hurry over to fluster at Aden

[Diablotin_Narrator] Are you going to track him down at the palace, or try to get him at home?

[Guillame] (At home first, I guess - if I can't catch him there today I'll try the palace tomorrow.)

  • Aden comes home late, but you can be waiting for him.

[Guillame] kk

[Aden] Oh, Guy :)

  • Aden seems pleasantly surprised to see you.

[Guillame] Hey Aden :)

[Guillame] I... something big is happening, and I wanted to make sure you were up to date, and it was a good excuse to come and visit, too.

[Aden] Oh.. ok, let me just get my coat off, and tell me about it.

  • Aden does so, then settles in to talk with you.
  • Guillame helps him take his coat off

[Aden] What's wrong?

[Guillame] So, well, the punchline is that I think Thea might be in danger, and I'm not sure what I can do about it... but there's a rather big backstory to it... can I make some tea?

  • Guillame is clearly wound up

[Aden] Of course. ... this is about Thea?

[Guillame] In part. It's about the city, but she's more involved than most, and she's your friend.

  • Aden nods, listening.

[Guillame] And mine, a bit. I think.

[Aden] Well, I know she wasn't too happy about you at first.. I'm glad that she's coming around a bit.

  • Guillame explains that we've been looking for Kavreshar, that it's probably the same dragon from the hall, that we thought it might have been Martan, why Phelix looks suspicious, and finally how he went to tell Thea and put his foot in his mouth.

[Aden] ...

[Guillame] (over tea)

  • Aden listens to all of that, looking rather stunned.

[Aden] If it is him... do you think she's going to tell him?

[Guillame] I don't know... I tried to make it sound like I must have been wrong, so that she might just forget about it...

  • Aden nods.

[Guillame] I couldn't think of anything to say that would make me sound credible, if she's close to him.

[Aden] If it *is* him... and she tells him your suspicions, then you could be in danger. And he could disappear, take on some other identity...

[Guillame] Yes... those are both concirns.

[Aden] All right. We need to act on this, then.

[Guillame] If he comes after me though, at least I'll be a bit prepared.

[Aden] Get you to safety, and get the guards onto investigating him.

[Guillame] Oh... I suppose, yes...

[Aden] Come on - we're going to the palace.

[Aden] You're staying with me tonight, whether you like it or not ;)

[Guillame] We have a way to find out if it's him... if he isn't tipped off.

[Aden] The Warlord - we'll let her handle this.

[Guillame] Well, I was hoping you'd say that anyway, although I hadn't planned for protective custody!

  • Aden grins.

[Aden] The handcuffs are for your own protection ^-^

  • Guillame snick
  • Aden gets the carriage ready to return to the palace.

[Guillame] But... the others who have been investigating. They've got a lot to go on, and I... maybe we shouldn't just have the guard trample on their research?

[Aden] If you're right in your suspicions, this could be our only chance.

[Guillame] Then again, I don't know what we were going to do when we found the dragon anyway.

[Guillame] Ok.

[Diablotin_Narrator] The two of you ride through the darkened streets back to the palace.

  • Guillame watches nervously out the window - everything seems more serious now
  • Aden escorts you directly to the Warlord when you arrive there.
  • Barkeeper is now known as Cornelia
  • Cornelia looks as if she just got out of bed, but wide awake.

[Aden] Go ahead - tell her what you've told me...

[Guillame] (What is the proper way to address the warlord?)

[Diablotin_Narrator] (My lady would be fine)

[Guillame] Well, my lady... I have to apologise if this all sounds far-fetched, but... these seem to be rather far-fetched times

[Cornelia] Believe me, nothing can surprise me at this point.

  • Cornelia says dryly.
  • Guillame tells her about the search for Kavreshar the hell-wyrm, why he thinks it's Phelix and that he might be tipped off.
  • Cornelia listens intently.

[Cornelia] Where does he live?

[Guillame] Of course it might not be him at all, but...

[Cornelia] If it's not, then he doesn't have anything to worry about.

[Cornelia] But it needs to be checked.

[Guillame] (k. local? city lore?)

[Diablotin_Narrator] (you can try a k. local check)

[Guillame] (17)

[Diablotin_Narrator] (no idea)

[Aden] I know where Thea lives - you could try there first, if they're... involved.

[Guillame] I don't know where he lives, I'm afraid.

[Guillame] His last name is Valtieras...

[Cornelia] We might have further records - Levellers' leadership is a matter of interest, of course.

[Cornelia] But starting with Mlle. Vermillion's is probably a good start, while we try to track down more information about the mysterious M. Valtieras.

  • Guillame nods to both

[Cornelia] Thank you for your information.

[Aden] He's going to need protection - if this is true, at any rate.

  • Cornelia nods.

[Guillame] You're welcome - I'm sorry to raise such a fuss. Again.

  • Guillame is still kicking himself for the indiscretion.

[Aden] He'll be staying here tonight, possibly for the next few days, depending on what you find in your investigation.

[Cornelia] Well, he's probably safer here than most other places. Need extra guards posted on your door?

[Guillame] Unless you need me as a decoy, or something?

[Cornelia] Not just yet, but we'll keep it in mind.

  • Guillame nods

[Aden] Extra guards probably aren't necessary...

[Aden] But please, do inform us as soon as you know anything further?

[Cornelia] Certainly.

[Cornelia] Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some work to do, it appears.

[Guillame] Yes, my lady.

[Aden] Come on, let's let them do their work.

  • Guillame goes with him
  • Aden gives your hand a squeeze.

[Aden] You did the right thing.

  • Aden reassures you.

[Guillame] I should have been more discreet... she said that she trusted him once before.

  • Guillame says when he's sure they're alone.
  • Aden hugs you.

[Aden] I'm worried for her. I hope she'll be all right.

[Guillame] Yes. I mean... she can take care of herself, though.

[Guillame] Hopefully if she does ask him, she'll be more careful about it than I was.

  • Aden nods, but looks anxious.

[Aden] I hope so. At least, I hope that it's put the idea in her head that she needs to be careful.

  • Guillame nods, equally anxious.
  • Aden tries to take your mind off it for a little while, but you both need sleep, really.

Seth and Raimar

[Diablotin_Narrator] Seth, you have been granted a rare, possibly unprecedented, privilege - to meet Raimar Langevin, who is possibly the last person alive to have passed through the Arch when it was functional.

[Diablotin_Narrator] How functional *he* will be, after fifty years of imprisonment, is less certain...

  • Seth will have ensured to brush up on imperial history of that period before going.

[Diablotin_Narrator] The entrance to the tower where he is held is well-concealed, but with Nash's directions and your own particular... skills you are able to find your way without difficulty.

[Diablotin_Narrator] A guard sits inside, looking exceedingly bored.

[Seth] (can I use clairvoyance on the room beyond?)

[Diablotin_Narrator] (sure)

[Seth] (ok, I'll try)

[Diablotin_Narrator] (it's a tower - are you just trying on this level, or higher up somewhere?)

[Seth] (uh, I guess I assumed I was already at the room. But if not, then I'll wait)

  • Seth approaches the guard.

[Guard_] Huh? Oh!

  • Guard_ stands up straight as you approach.
  • Seth pulls out his sealed letter.

[Seth] I wish to speak to the ... resident.

  • Guard_ looks at it, puzzled.

[Guard_] This is ... well, it all looks in order.

[Seth] Yes.

[Guard_] All right then.

[Seth] Tell me, soldier, how long has it been since the resident has received a visitor?

[Guard_] Never on my watch, sir.

[Seth] Do you ever speak to him?

[Guard_] I ... try to avoid it, to be honest. It's unsettling.

[Seth] Very well. I'll take that back, then.

  • Seth gestures towards the unsealed note.
  • Guard_ hands it back.

[Seth] The uppermost level?

[Guard_] Up the stairs. Top rooms are his.

  • Guard_ nods.

[Seth] Thank you, soldier. Carry on.

[Guard_] If you need anything, just call.

  • Seth heads up, and then upon reaching the top landing, tries to use clairvoyance beyond.

[Diablotin_Narrator] You can see into the room, which is furnished in a simple but reasonably comfortable style. It seems like there used to be a window, but it's been long since bricked up. An old man sits in a chair.

  • Seth will knock at the door. If no one answers, he will enter.

[Raimar] Come in.

  • Raimar says before you knock.
  • Seth enters.
  • Raimar is an old man, white-haired, with a blindfold across his eyes. His pale skin looks slack, as if somewhat too large for him these days.

[Seth] Good afternoon.

[Raimar] Is it?

[Raimar] Who are you?

[Seth] It is. M. Langevin, my name is Seth Argo, and I have come to speak to you, if you are willing.

[Raimar] It's not like I have much else to do.

[Seth] Why do you remain blindfolded?

  • Raimar takes off his blindfold by way of answer. His eyes are obviously missing, the lids sunken in.

[Seth] Ah.

[Raimar] The light hurts, so I leave it on.

[Seth] M. Langevin, I have come to talk to you about the Arch.

[Seth] You are the only living person to know what it is, what it feels like, to pass through it while it still held power.

[Raimar] Am I?

[Seth] To my knowledge, and that of others wiser than me, yes.

[Raimar] Hm.

[Raimar] Well, ask your questions, if you must.

[Seth] I want to know ... what one sees, what one experiences, what you saw that day during the testing.

[Raimar] It's a fearsome thing, to place yourself in the hands of a god.

[Seth] Indeed.

[Raimar] It sees inside you... sees everything about you, even things you don't know about yourself.

[Seth] What did it see in you?

[Raimar] Ambition... weakness...

[Seth] Did it see what you would do? Your future deeds?

[Raimar] It saw... futures. Many futures.

[Seth] What did it see?

[Raimar] Futures where I ruled the Empire... where I died in battle, in my wife's arms, in alleyways...

[Seth] And then, in the end, it chose Tristane rather than you. Do you have any sense of why it made that choice?

  • Raimar shakes his head.

[Raimar] None of us were marked.

[Raimar] None of us.

[Seth] None? Then how was Tristane chosen?

[Raimar] The Keeper chose her... maybe there was something she could see, some sign, but I couldn't see it.

[Seth] You called the arch a god ... is that what it is to you?

[Raimar] It's what it is... was...

[Seth] And it craves ... power? worship? Or just the fragments of men's souls?

  • Raimar considers.

[Raimar] It wanted power, certainly - freedom... it gained that power from our souls.

  • Seth thinks.

[Raimar] ...the clock is winding down...

[Seth] So when you emerged ... you were ... changed. But so were the others, and in similar ways?

[Raimar] Changed, yes...

[Raimar] Bonded.

[Seth] And Althea was pregnant.

[Raimar] So I gather.

[Seth] Who was the father?

[Raimar] The father.

[Seth] Were you the father?

  • Raimar shakes his head.

[Seth] Was IT the father? Can that be so?

[Raimar] ...I don't know.

[Seth] Was it because of what happened to you when you passed through the Arch, that you did ... what happened at Blackhope?

[Raimar] I... I don't remember. It was all so.... hazy then.

[Raimar] Out of the city, I didn't feel like myself anymore.

[Seth] ...

[Seth] Did you ever ... have visions, after you were out?

[Raimar] Visions.

  • Raimar says with a little laugh.

[Raimar] I tried to stop them... didn't work, though. Just inside my head now.

[Raimar] ...shadows rise, stars fall...

[Raimar] I wish I could feel the sun on my face once more... but the world is here, within these walls.

[Seth] What about Noira? Did she know?

[Raimar] Know what?

[Seth] About the visions?

[Seth] About what had happened to you?

[Raimar] ...she knew what she could see. That I was changed.

[Seth] After you were out ... you had a child.

[Seth] What happened to it?

[Raimar] My sister, Elesta... she raised it.

[Raimar] After Noira... after she died.

[Seth] I understand.

  • Raimar sighs.

[Seth] M. Langevin, I can only imagine what you have gone through, in light of what I have seen, the little I know. Are you well? Is there anything I can do for you? I can return freely.

[Raimar] You'd be surprised how comfortable one can be without a soul.

[Raimar] And knowing I won't have to do this again... well, there's some comfort in that as well.

[Seth] I ... suppose so.

[Seth] I will return another time.

[Raimar] Very well, Seth Argo.

  • Seth departs (by the door) and down the stairs past the guard.

Dominik and Laurine

[Diablotin_Narrator] Dominik, you have had rather more time on your hands lately, thanks to Ysabeau. Fortunately, you also have a fat wad of cash to spend, thanks to the Hush.

[Diablotin_Narrator] So, which means of drowning your sorrows will you be undertaking (if any)?

  • Dominik is more in the mind of beating the crap out of things with swords for a bit... after that drink will do him.

[Diablotin_Narrator] That can be arranged!

[Diablotin_Narrator] When you arrive at home from the training yard followed by the tavern, there is an envelope that has been slipped under your door.

[Dominik] ehr?

  • Dominik will take the envelope and examine its contents

[Diablotin_Narrator] Opening it, you find a small, elegant card. It reads, "The Duke and Duchess of Wray wish to inform you of the birth of their first grandchild, Mademoiselle Eloise Talavera, on the 24th of Fourth-month, 2248." A handwritten note on the back says "Come by and see her!" and is signed 'Laurine'.

  • Dominik slumps on the ground for a moment before picking himself up.
  • Dominik will visit as soon as he is clean and sober enough to do so

[Diablotin_Narrator] (so, maybe the next day? ;)

[Dominik] (yes)

[Diablotin_Narrator] You can go to Laurine's parents' house the following morning.

[Diablotin_Narrator] The butler will let you in, presumably having been instructed to do so.

  • Dominik seeks out Laurine and Eloise
  • Laurine is upstairs in her room, sitting by the window, with a cradle nearby.

[Laurine] Dom! You came :)

[Dominik] Of course I came.

  • Dominik goes over to Laurine
  • Laurine stands to hug you.
  • Dominik gives her a warm embrace

[Laurine] ... uh, I'm glad you're here.

[Dominik] I should have been here sooner, I appologize

  • Laurine says, disentangling herself.

[Laurine] It's ok...

[Dominik] It's not... but that's not important right now. Can I see her?

[Laurine] I didn't figure you'd want to be called out in the middle of the night...

  • Laurine nods to the cradle.

[Diablotin_Narrator] The baby is sleeping, nestled in her cradle, wrapped up in blankets. She has a chubby pink face and a thick crop of dark hair.

  • Dominik goes over to the cradle
  • Laurine comes over too.

[Dominik] She's... beautiful. Eloise.

  • Laurine nods.

[Laurine] There's one little thing...

[Dominik] oh?

  • Laurine gently unwraps her daughter, and lifts one of her hands up for you to see. It has six fingers.

[Laurine] The doctor said it happens sometimes... I mean, it doesn't necessarily mean it's because... of us, or that anything else is wrong with her.

[Dominik] She'll be a masterful harp player.

  • Laurine laughs at that.

[Laurine] I hope it doesn't mess up her sword grip :p

[Dominik] I'm sure she'll be fine

[Laurine] It doesn't seem to bother her, anyway.

  • Laurine nods.
  • Dominik looks very sad

[Laurine] What's wrong?

  • Dominik shakes his head

[Dominik] I'm sorry. This is a very happy day

[Laurine] Well.. it's probably normal to have mixed emotions. I know I do.

  • Dominik gives his daughter a kiss on the forehead

[Laurine] Sometimes I just start crying.... just because things will never be the same now.

[Dominik] No they won't.

[Dominik] What will happen now? Do you know?

[Laurine] I'm going to raise her. I mean, with help of course.

[Laurine] I love her, but ... you know. It's going to be hard.

[Dominik] You know I will help in any way that I am able to.

[Laurine] I appreciate it.

[Dominik] So you are fine then? Doing well after everything?

[Laurine] I feel all flabby and empty, and my tits hurt like a sonofabitch, but I guess everything will go back where it's supposed to eventually.

  • Dominik nods

[Dominik] The name Eloise... where does it come from?

[Laurine] I just picked it... not really from anyone in particular.

  • Dominik nods

[Laurine] A bit like my grandfather Loick, and a bit like my grandmother Eglorine... but mostly just herself.

[Laurine] Do you like it?

  • Dominik nods

[Dominik] I think it suites her well

  • Laurine smiles.

[Laurine] I'm glad.

[Laurine] Did you want to hold her?

  • Dominik seems a little hesitant for a second...but quickly recovers

[Dominik] please

  • Laurine picks her up and hands her to you, carefully.

[Diablotin_Narrator] The baby continues sleeping, and feels very small in your arms.

  • Dominik takes her awkwardly but carefully, like handling an expensive fragile vase

[Laurine] She looks like you.

[Laurine] Her hair.

[Dominik] Hopefully she'll grow out of that

  • Laurine smiles.

[Laurine] Well, I think she looks fine :)

[Dominik] Of course she does. I don't know what I was thinking.

  • Laurine chuckles.
  • Dominik will sit down with her in his arms
  • Laurine sits back down as well, and watches the two of you.

[Laurine] I kind of... do you wish, sometimes, that it would always be like this? Like a real family?

[Laurine] A normal family, I mean -_-

  • Dominik looks over at Laurine... his eyes watery

[Dominik] You and her deserve it... I wish I could give it to you.

[Dominik] and to you.

  • Dominik looks down at Eloise

[Laurine] ...Yeah, I guess I do too.

[Laurine] You would be a good father, Dom.

[Dominik] I would be better than mine.

[Laurine] Or mine :p

  • Dominik flinches unable to hide his reaction

[Laurine] Look... it's all weird right now, and I don't know what I'm feeling, and how much of it is real or just from everything that's going on right now...

  • Laurine says hastily.

[Laurine] I'm not trying to rope you in or anything. I know you're otherwise involved.

[Dominik] I'm not anymore... that relationship... ended.

[Laurine] Oh. Oh, I'm sorry, Dom :/

[Dominik] My life is a tragic tale. I'm growing more accustom to it.

[Laurine] Heh. Well, I hope Eloise isn't part of your grand tragedy. She seems happy enough with you.

  • Dominik will stand and place Eloise back in her crib
  • Dominik turns and sits next to Laurine
  • Laurine looks at you uncertainly.

[Dominik] There is something you need to know. There is no good time to say it but you need to know.

[Laurine] What?

[Dominik] First I want to tell you that I do want to be able to make that family that you want... if it is indeed what you desire.

[Laurine] ...

[Dominik] you know I'm a bastard, I've told you plainly

  • Laurine nods.

[Dominik] I have found out who my father is... I only learned shortly after I became aware that you were carrying my child.

[Dominik] And stupidly... or not... I have no way to judge I agreed to keep it a secret, but I just cannot do it.

[Laurine] ...

[Laurine] What are you trying to tell me?

[Dominik] Your father is my father. He and my mother kept it a secret from me since the day I was born.

[Laurine] ...what?!

[Laurine] Oh gods...

  • Laurine looks confused, uncertain.

[Laurine] I... Dom, I don't know, how can they know for certain?

[Dominik] They both admitted it to me. Darion, my mothers husband spent long periods away from home.

[Dominik] If this is a lie to keep us apart, it's been done with masterful skill and too much emotion to be faked.

  • Laurine 's hands tremble.

[Laurine] Why didn't he tell me?

[Dominik] I can't answer that for him.

[Laurine] Oh gods... and you'd still, even knowing that you're my brother...? I don't know whether that's horrible or noble :o

[Dominik] It's likely horrible.

  • Dominik stands and turns away

[Laurine] I need time to think about this, Dom.

[Dominik] I never wanted things to be this way. I never knew.

[Laurine] Please know that I don't blame you - I know you didn't know.

[Laurine] And I still c-care for you...

[Dominik] Your father wanted it kept a secret. He will be very angry at me for telling you.

[Laurine] I can deal with him :p

[Laurine] But please, go now, before I start crying.

  • Dominik nods and walks away

Ilphere and Thaleus

[Diablotin_Narrator] Ilphere, you have been taking certain herbs before bed for some time in an effort to increase the frequency and intensity of your dream-visions.

[Diablotin_Narrator] While you can report that your dreams have indeed become more vivid (at least, the parts you can remember) since undertaking this regimen, so far you haven't noticed a marked increase in experiences that strike you as more than just dreams.

[Diablotin_Narrator] However, you persist, and are encouraged by Phedre's suggestion that your recent induction into the Covenant could have the side-effect of bringing about visions that are both stronger and more controllable.

[Diablotin_Narrator] This particular night, having drunk your herbal tea, you settle into bed with a feeling of eager anticipation (that, in this case, has little to do with Menard being there as well...)

[Diablotin_Narrator] You fall asleep swiftly, and find yourself in a long stone room. There are no windows, and you have the sensation of being underground due to the smell of damp that pervades the atmosphere. Despite the lack of natural light, you find you are able to see clearly.

[Diablotin_Narrator] You can see low vessels, like stone bowls, in orderly lines along the floor of the chamber.

[Diablotin_Narrator] Ahead of you, a white-robed man carries a pitcher. He is going along, pouring liquid from the container he carries into certain of the bowls.

[Ilphere] (is it Thaleus?)

[Diablotin_Narrator] (you believe so)

  • Thaleus 's hair and beard are dark, streaked with grey, and his eyes are weary.

[Ilphere] ... Patriarch?

  • Thaleus turns to look at you.

[Ilphere] (what do the bowls look like?)

[Diablotin_Narrator] Marble bowls, about the size of a cereal bowl. Most of them simply contain water...

  • Thaleus goes back to what he was doing.
  • Thaleus adds a black, thick liquid into some as you watch. Only a few drops, perhaps, but even that small amount changes the water from translucent to opaque, clear to dark.

[Ilphere] What are you doing...?

[Ilphere] (It looks like the stuff in my dreams... the stuff in the cup?)

[Diablotin_Narrator] (yes)

[Diablotin_Narrator] (also, perhaps, something like the stuff Phedre put into the chalice at your ceremony)

[Thaleus] Preserving the blood, the true blood.

[Ilphere] The true blood...?

[Thaleus] The blood of the Serpent, of Nashash, Ophion, Vrag, shed in its fall, given into our family's keeping at the dawn of time.

[Ilphere] ... :o

[Ilphere] Why our family?

[Thaleus] Because of Laeken's pact.

[Ilphere] What was the pact?

[Thaleus] A covenant with its servant, its most faithful servant.

[Ilphere] Kavreshar?

[Thaleus] No. Emkathon, the bestower of mercy.

[Ilphere] Emkathon...?

[Ilphere] I've never heard that name before...

  • Ilphere says, half to herself...

[Thaleus] Because I failed in our guardianship. I cast it aside.

[Ilphere] Please, tell me more...!

[Thaleus] Is she dead or lost or sleeping?

  • Thaleus says, half to himself...

[Ilphere] Please, tell me about her... about the pact...

  • Ilphere presses.

[Thaleus] To turn true, the wheel must first be broken.

[Thaleus] A pact to preserve what little could be saved, within a human bloodline.

[Thaleus] Still strong, after so many centuries...!

  • Ilphere is baffled...

[Ilphere] (does the name EMkathon mean anything at all to me if I think about it?)

[Diablotin_Narrator] (not right atm, no... maybe when you're awake you can check some sources, but not atm :)

  • Thaleus offers you the jug he carries.
  • Ilphere takes it, and looks inside.

[Diablotin_Narrator] You look in. There seems to be nothing but blackness within at first... then, faintly, you can see glints of something sparkling deep inside, like stars in a night sky.

[Ilphere] The stars...

  • Ilphere is drawn to the substance in the jug, lifting it closer to her face.

[Thaleus] We carry the lost stars within us.

[Ilphere] The light of the stars, yes...

  • Thaleus nods.

[Thaleus] Yes.

[Ilphere] Just our family?

[Thaleus] What is a family? A line traced in blood, back to one man and one lost angel? It has spread so far by now, so far from where it started...

[Ilphere] Emkathon was an angel?

[Thaleus] ...was, yes...

  • Thaleus says with an emphasis on the 'used to be'.

[Ilphere] but she... betrayed the Ophion by this pact with Laeken?

[Thaleus] There was nothing left to betray.

[Ilphere] The serpent is no more...?

  • Ilphere furrows her brows, now deeply puzzled.

[Thaleus] Trapped... powerless...

[Ilphere] not released when the Arch was rejoined?

[Thaleus] Yes... now. Not then.

[Ilphere] Ah...

  • Ilphere gazes into the jug again.

[Ilphere] . o O ( Should I...? @_@ )

  • Ilphere lifts it and takes a little sip...

[Diablotin_Narrator] The neck seems to expand, filling your field of vision, until the stars are all you can see, pouring out at you, overwhelming you...

[Diablotin_Narrator] It tastes like... heaven. The taste lingers on your tongue for a few moments when you wake up, but fades quickly.

[Diablotin_Narrator] It's still the middle of the night.

[Ilphere] @_@

  • Ilphere gets up and goes to the window...

[Diablotin_Narrator] The stars look back at you, unchanged and impassive.

[Diablotin_Narrator] You, however, feel as if something has changed within you...

[Diablotin_Narrator] The End, for now...!