Diablotin 2 session 60

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Session date:
Diablotin date:


[DiablotinNarrator] It is the beginning of Sixth-month, the start of summer in Diablotin, but the weather is anything but summery at present. It has been rainy and gloomy, the temperatures cooler than usual.

[DiablotinNarrator] Despite the weather, rebuilding efforts have begun on the Market Bridge, and continue in the fire-ravaged sections of the Place d'Iena.

[DiablotinNarrator] The Emperor has also selected a new Chief Sorceror, replacing the late Lyra Hartzell. He has bestowed the position on Loick Silveira, the youthful Duke of Brissarthe.

[DiablotinNarrator] This is a controversial choice for several reasons - because of the relatively young age of the gentleman, and because he had formerly, and against tradition, suggested himself as a candidate for Emperor, though he was not permitted to run in the end.

[DiablotinNarrator] Still, his politics are a matter of rather dubious speculation, and some whisper that if he wished to, he could bring the reign of the Cat one step closer with a wave of his hand, now that he is so close to the throne.

Guillame and Portia

[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame, it is also the month of your wedding - now just a little over two weeks away. Portia has been taking care of most of the arrangements, especially since your mother's death. She still needs to consult with you on occasion, though...

  • Guillame tries to be as useful as possible
  • Portia meets you for dinner one evening early in the month.

[Guillame] (Keen)

[Portia] We really ought to sort out the titles before the wedding - it will save headaches after.

  • Portia says without preamble.

[Guillame] I was thinking much the same thing

[Portia] Good.

[Portia] What were your thoughts on the matter?

[Guillame] Well... initially I didn't have much of an opinion, but as I took the time to think about it, I find it's important to me to maintain the work my Father did to create a place for House Rat among the noble families.

  • Portia nods, listening.

[Guillame] But I see two options to fulfil that requirement - either I retain the title and you adopt it, or I pass it directly to my sister. Which I would like to think wouldn't be a problem be she... has a lot to learn

[Guillame] . o (And her own matters to deal with)

[Portia] Yes. She's still underage, however, isn't she?

[Guillame] Yes.

[Portia] So it would be reasonable for you to continue to act as her guardian until she's fifteen - there isn't really anyone else to do it, is there?

[Guillame] No, that's true also.

[Portia] So really it would be you managing the estates, doing the day-to-day work - she would still have two years to learn the responsibilities of a Duchess.

[Guillame] If I'm honest, there are some... problems that Silvia has, which I'm not sure of how they'll resolve. She could grow out of them, or they could become permanent.

[Portia] Hm... that's rather more worrying, I agree.

[Guillame] I suppose the best solution would be that, as you suggest, I pass the title to her, act as guardian, and then we'll re-evaluate as we see how she develops.

  • Portia thinks for a moment.

[Portia] The only other option I can imagine is that we could - well, you could - arrange to have the title held in trust for her when she reaches the age of adulthood. You could say it's because she's studying in the church now, if you don't want to raise any questions about her ...problems, as you say.

[Portia] If in the meanwhile we had a child, then when the time came, if you felt Silvia wasn't suited to the role, you could perhaps pass the title to our child instead.

[Portia] I don't know if that's strictly speaking legal - it would have to be approved by the Chancellor, of course.

[Guillame] That's an intriguing option - and Silvia still seems content to follow her church teachings, so it's not impossible that she'll decide to adopt that life. I'll make an appointment with the Chancellor to get her opinion on that idea.

  • Portia nods.

[Portia] If she decided to pursue a career in the church and ever rose to a high rank there, she would have to give up her title in any case.

[Guillame] Yes, exactly.

[Portia] Either way, it would give us a few years to see how things go.

[Guillame] I'm so glad you made this proposal to me, Portia. You're a great friend, and I think we'll do well as a married couple - I certainly will try to be a good husband.

  • Portia smiles at that.

[Portia] I know you will. And I appreciate your willingness to give this a try.

[Portia] I do think, if this works, that we should begin to try for a child immediately after. In case it takes some time...

[Portia] I know we had said we could wait, but it seems imprudent if we might have to make this decision in less than two years.

  • Guillame gulps, but nods

[Guillame] That makes sense, yes.

  • Portia puts a hand over yours.

[Portia] After the wedding, then, you'll make arrangements with the Lapidary - she's aware of the situation already, and she's quite happy to help us with our... situation.

[Guillame] Certainly, yes - I can make those arrangements

[Portia] Good - of course, I can't, it would sort of defeat the goal, so I'm glad you don't mind doing it yourself.

[Guillame] I don't mind at all

[Guillame] It's still a good plan

[Portia] I hope so.

  • Portia seems a little tense, but smiles.

[Portia] You're... you're a good friend, Guillame. I hope we'll be happy together, however unconventional this marriage may be.

[Guillame] I'm surprisingly optimistic about it... my biggest worry is whether it will end up hurting Aden.

  • Portia nods.

[Portia] He and Mlle. Rademacher will have to come to their own arrangements. I would be more concerned about her, in truth.

[Guillame] Well, yes... I'd actually been hearing similar concerns, to be honest..

[Guillame] But I meant rather that I hope he really is comfortable with the kind of life we'll all be living. As you say, it's unconventional.

  • Portia nods again.

[Portia] Not unprecedented, but unusual, yes.

[Guillame] I... I'd ask you to be cautious for a while, Portia. Make sure our wedding has good security arrangments, for example.

[Portia] We can't predict what the future will bring for any of us, all of us. But if we're honest with each other, then I hope it will work out well for all concerned.

  • Guillame changes the subject

[Portia] Oh.. security. I ... of course, I understand your concern.

[Guillame] I still don't know why my family were attacked.

  • Portia nods.

[Portia] We'll take all the precautions we can, then.

  • Guillame nods
  • Portia will turn the conversation to wedding plans, then.
  • Guillame will try and take it all in

Ilphere and Ruchard

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere, you fall asleep beside Menard, and immediately, it seems, you find yourself in Ruchard's garden, outside his house.

  • Ilphere takes a second to get her bearings, then approaches the house.
  • Ruchard opens the door for you, as though you were expected.

[Ruchard] Ilphere! :)

[Ilphere] Hello...!

  • Ilphere waves hello.

[Ruchard] Please, come in.

  • Ilphere steps inside.

[Ilphere] Thank you... how have you been...?

[Ruchard] Busy.. reading extensively. And yourself?

[Ilphere] Very busy, yes... I have had some interesting dreams, or visions, which have expanded my investigations...

[Ruchard] Oh?

  • Ilphere will tell him about Thaleus...
  • Ruchard listens with great interest.

[Ruchard] Fascinating! This may connect with the research I've been doing... we'll have to see.

[Ruchard] Where are my manners... can I offer you anything... a drink, or..? Forgive me, I'm not used to having visitors.

[Ilphere] Oh...! Some tea might be lovely... :)

  • Ruchard leads you into the kitchen, then, and puts on some water for tea.

[Ruchard] I always knew there was something unusual about our family.

[Ruchard] I didn't expect this, I must admit.

[Ilphere] No indeed...!

  • Ruchard looks as if he's considering how to begin.

[Ruchard] I was fifteen when my father told me about the Serpent and the Rat.

[Ilphere] (who was his father?)

[Ilphere] What did he say...?

[Ruchard] (someone Rademacher? you can make a K:nob roll if you like)

[Ilphere] (19)

[Ruchard] (you think his name was Tobin Rademacher)

[Ruchard] He said that the gods we worshipped weren't the only ones - that there were others that were lost.

[Ruchard] But that the knowledge of them had been handed down through our family since the time of the Founding.

[Ruchard] And that one day, they would return.

  • Ilphere nods, listening raptly...

[Ruchard] I thought he was mad, but he showed me things - books, artifacts - that seemed like he might be right. Or at least, that it wasn't his own private insanity, but one he shared with his father, and his grandfather, and so on...

[Ruchard] That was before the dreams started, though.

[Ruchard] He didn't want me to go through with the testing, but I insisted. After I did, the dreams became stronger.

[Ruchard] I learned to control them - to protect myself.

[Ilphere] Your studies at the Castalia...

  • Ruchard nods.

[Ruchard] This place... once I came here, I knew it was safe.

[Ruchard] There's an Arch here, of course - there is one on every plane. But somehow, it felt different here.

[Ruchard] Would you like me to show you?

[Ilphere] Oh yes... please!

  • Ruchard smiles.
  • Ruchard puts the tea in to steep, and then takes you out into the garden behind his home.

[DiablotinNarrator] The garden looks like autumn, with red leaves on the trees and ground, only a few flowers remaining.

[DiablotinNarrator] But at the far end of the garden, there is an arched trellis, covered with white flowers.

[DiablotinNarrator] A light breeze lifts their gentle scent to you.

[Ruchard] You see what I mean?

  • Ilphere breathes deeply...

[Ilphere] Yes.... incredible...!

[Ilphere] Is there another part to it?

[Ruchard] Yes, underground.

  • Ilphere nods.

[Ruchard] The roots of the plant, or at least that's how they appear.

[Ruchard] It blossoms even through the winter.

  • Ruchard admires it for a moment longer, then turns to you.

[Ruchard] Our tea is probably ready by now...

  • Ilphere nods.

[Ilphere] Yes, of course...

  • Ilphere tears her eyes away from the trellis.

[Ruchard] Your dream provides more information about this ... this knowledge that seems to have descended through our family.

  • Ruchard says as you walk back into the house.

[Ruchard] At least, that seems the most likely explanation.

[Ilphere] Some of my associates have suggested that the jug I saw in my dream may reference an actual artifact... we are going to try and find it, if it exists, and use a bardic spell to gather more information...

[Ruchard] Hm, interesting. I would be curious to hear what you learn, if you're successful.

[Ruchard] But it could as easily be symbolic.

[Ilphere] Well, if we do find anything I will certainly share it...! :)

[Ruchard] A vessel for blood - a person... a family.

[Ruchard] So, it seems there was a bargain made in the earliest days of the city, before it could even reasonably call itself an Empire.

[Ruchard] Made with, I can only presume, our ancestor.

[Ilphere] Yes... Laeken.

  • Ruchard nods.

[Ruchard] And for a time, the knowledge of the Serpent and the Rat must have been widespread, but after a time - perhaps about the time of Patriarch Thaleus - it vanished, or became confined only to our family.

[Ruchard] Perhaps the worship was passed down too, but by my day, it had become .. an academic knowledge only, at least as far as I know.

[Ruchard] After I ... left, I don't know who the knowledge was passed to.

[Ruchard] Perhaps no one, I'm not sure. Perhaps it died out with me... :/

[Ilphere] There are those who wish to restore the serpent...

[Ruchard] From our family?

[Ilphere] Mostly not, no...

  • Ruchard seems a bit puzzled.

[Ruchard] If the terms of the bargain were no longer upheld, I wonder what the consequences would be.

[Ilphere] Most of them are descended from the group that moved the Arch some ... 50 years ago?

[Ruchard] Hm.

  • Ruchard sips his tea.

[Ilphere] Do you know what the terms were...?

[Ilphere] I tried to ask Thaleus in my dream, but it was... not entirely helpful.

[Ruchard] Well, you said Thaleus told you it was "to preserve what little could be saved, within a human bloodline", is that correct?

[Ruchard] So perhaps it was this knowledge, which we carried down through the centuries.

  • Ilphere nods...

[Ilphere] But to what end..?

[Ruchard] The Serpent had been ... trapped? attacked, perhaps harmed...

[Ruchard] Perhaps it was our responsibility to keep its name alive, until it returned.

[Ilphere] Perhaps...

  • Ilphere mulls...

[Ilphere] But in the meantime it seems to have become unbalanced...

  • Ruchard nods.

[Ruchard] I sensed that when I passed through the Arch. This ... entity seemed different than I had expected.

[Ruchard] Threatening.

[Ruchard] And I felt as though it had... gotten inside me, somehow, after that.

[Ilphere] Those in the group I spoke of hope to restore its balance.

  • Ruchard nods.

[Ilphere] Perhaps... perhaps the true blood has a role to play in that?

[Ruchard] Perhaps so.

[Ruchard] But by now, the bloodline must be so diffuse...

[Ruchard] I don't know.

[Ilphere] Nor I do...

[Ilphere] (do I)

[Ilphere] I do know that I felt... different after drinking from the vessel...

[Ruchard] Different? How?

  • Ilphere thinks for a moment...

[Ilphere] (while I check something :p)

[Ilphere] I'm not sure...

[Ilphere] Just that... something has changed within me.

[Ruchard] I felt something like that, after passing through the Arch. I don't know if it's the same or not.

[Ruchard] Be careful, in any case, Ilphere.

[Ruchard] You are dealing with matters that may be beyond human knowledge...

[Ilphere] I will...

[Ilphere] there is one other thing I wanted to mention...

[Ruchard] Yes?

[Ilphere] A group of us are considering returning to Imraen's dream, to speak to her about some of these matters...

[Ruchard] Ah... yes?

[Ilphere] We are of course, concerned about the loss of self that happened the last time.

  • Ruchard says warily.

[Ruchard] Indeed... while you might be all right, as your skills have grown since then, I would be concerned about your companions.

[Ilphere] I am more confident in my own ability to retain my faculties... yes, exactly.

[Ilphere] I wondered if perhaps you might have any advice... or be if you might even be able to help guide a small party, if we were to meet in a less hostile dream environment...

[Ruchard] If you decide to go, please tell me - I'll accompany you there, and perhaps I can assist if anything goes amiss.

  • Ruchard nods.

[Ruchard] Perhaps meeting here might be safe.

[Ruchard] If you can bring them... I don't know.

  • Ruchard ponders.

[Ilphere] It was a thought I had just now... I will think on it further.

[Ruchard] As will I - I do believe that if I was with you, I might be able to shield your companions from the influence of her will.

[Ilphere] Would it be possible for you to find us in the dreams of one of my companions, were I to cast Dream Walk on them?

[Ruchard] Yes, perhaps - if I knew who I was looking for.

  • Ilphere nods thouhghtfully.

[Ilphere] I will speak to them soon, then...

[Ruchard] Very well.

[Ilphere] Thank you very kindly...!

[Ruchard] She's powerful within her own realm, but my powers extend between dream-worlds, so I think I can handle her if she tries to cause trouble.

  • Ilphere nods...

[Ilphere] That is very reassuring..!

[Ruchard] Thank you as well, Ilphere - you've given me much to think about.

  • Ruchard bids you farewell, then.

[Ilphere] We will speak again soon...!

  • Ilphere will be off, then.

[Ruchard] I hope so.

Alme and Reverend Father Theron

  • Reverend_Father receives you at the appointed time, Alma.
  • Alma has brought Danyel to the team meeting ^_^

[Alma] Good morning, Reverend Father :)

[Reverend_Father] Good morning, Sister Alma, Ser Danyel.

  • Reverend_Father seems older than the last time you saw him, more drawn.

[Alma] I hope you're doing well. We were both very sorry to hear about your loss. :(

[Reverend_Father] Thank you. I'm as well as can be expected, I suppose.

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] Well, you are in our prayers. :)

[Reverend_Father] Thank you - I appreciate it.

  • Alma will sum up some of her earlier reports, in case he has any questions: meeting with Adrius, and Corwen; briefly the story of Brother Phineas' murder, though it's not entirely church affairs.
  • Reverend_Father listens, makes notes as appropriate, etc.
  • Alma will also mention that the others made contact with the Shadar-kai, and those details.

[Alma] I also recently chose to Commune with Owl, to mixed results, of my own fault.

  • Alma provides a copy of the questions and answers.

[Alma] I have asked Vianca Belden to arrange a meeting with Rab to tell him.

[Reverend_Father] Communing is always difficult - it's often only after you've asked the question that you realize it wasn't really what you needed to ask.

[Alma] (tell him about X results, forgot I didn' explicitly sum up the Belden part)

[Alma] I hope he takes it well...

  • Reverend_Father nods.

[Alma] You may be surprised by the last two questions...

[Alma] I was recently informed by Ms Ysabeau Chanuier that an acquaintance of hers among the Revelators told her about four fiends who were living among us...

  • Reverend_Father listens attentively.
  • Alma tells him of the four. "... the last one alleged to be the mistress of Reverend Mother Esmena."

[Reverend_Father] ...

[Alma] I attempted True Seeing at the celebration for the new Hall of Worthies, and was only able to confirm that Rouillard is in fact a succubus.

[Alma] So I attempted to confirm this information during my Communion, but the responses are ... ambiguous.

[Reverend_Father] The Reverend Mother is a private person - I have never met her... mistress, as you say.

  • Reverend_Father seems a little discomfited by the idea that she *has* a mistress, in fact.

[Alma] I have no idea whether the allegations are true in any way...

[Alma] The responses could mean that she is not a fiend, even if she is her ... acquaintance. Or that if she does know a fiend that it is for ... research...

  • Reverend_Father nods slowly.

[Alma] I felt it was time to bring this to your attention, since I have confirmed the allegation with regards to Rouillard, and I'm ... not sure how to investigate this "Diamond", as True Seeing cannot pass through a Scry...

  • Alma is as awkward as the Reverend Father.

[Reverend_Father] ...

[Reverend_Father] Well, certainly it would be inappropriate for you to .. engage her services in order to examine her.

[Alma] .oO( He did not seriously say that out loud. )

  • Reverend_Father totally did, but looks horribly awkward.

[Alma] I will continue to look into the remaining three as I think of ways to do so.

[Reverend_Father] Perhaps someone trusted... I don't know who that might be.

  • Alma nods.
  • Alma also mentions the plane-touched bit for Nash, Belden and Deverara.

[Reverend_Father] This Evalier Moncaire, he was employed by the late Chief Sorceror?

[Alma] Yes, I had hoped to see him at the celebration... and I wasn't able to free up time in the wake of her passing to try to get into the late Chief Sorceror's offices to attempt True Seeing.

  • Reverend_Father nods.

[Reverend_Father] I had wondered about her death - surely if anyone was able to escape that... disaster, it would have been her.

[Alma] I admit that with how everything seems to be so interconnected these days, that I had considered the same.

[Reverend_Father] Now I worry that perhaps he was involved somehow.

[Reverend_Father] If that is the case, it may be difficult to locate him now.

[Alma] I don't see how it would benefit, necessarily, unless she found out somehow.

[Reverend_Father] It depends on her place in the larger picture, I suppose.

[Alma] I would like to volunteer, if the Church choses to take action against Rouillard. I'm not sure if that would be handled by us, or passed on?

[Reverend_Father] If removing her was useful for some reason - because of something she knew, or because it would allow her position to be filled by another... I don't know.

[Reverend_Father] I will bear that in mind, Sister. Your offer is appreciated.

[Alma] (sec phone)

  • Alma reports on what Earric said about Angels.

[Alma] Whether or not that's true...

[DiablotinNarrator] (sorry, what exactly?)

[Alma] (I'll have to go look and see what Sanadhil told me)

[Alma] (sec)

[Alma] (([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] Mr. Orecalo asked me if they could be "fixed" in some way.

[Reverend_Father] How could they be?

[Alma] It's suggested that Kavreshar was once an angel.

[Alma] I'm not sure, but if they were once corrupted, could they not be redeemed?

[Reverend_Father] Even if they could be, it would be the gods' choice, not ours.

[Alma] Perhaps... but it may still start with some... long hidden desire for their old life?

[Alma] Anyhow, I was not able to ask that question during my communion, as Mr. Orecalo had hoped...

[Reverend_Father] Desire is not enough to make up for years, centuries of evil.

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] I imagine they would not want forgiveness from the Seven, anyhow.

[Reverend_Father] Perhaps not, no.

[Alma] If it's not all a tale for Mr. Orecalo's benefit

  • Reverend_Father nods.

[Alma] The last thing I wanted to mention was that we have confirmed that it is Theonée who is The One that they are looking for, as the final piece of that omen has been solved.

[Reverend_Father] How so?

[Alma] Reverend Father Velten has asked me to keep the identity in confidence, but we have identified the child of Butler Belden and Theonée Deverara.

[Reverend_Father] I see...

[Alma] Martan Olivier is the one reborn, Althea the one failed, Tristane the one chosen.

[Reverend_Father] (Kizer?)

[Alma] Sorry, Martan Kizer.

  • Reverend_Father nods.

[Alma] I think that's everything ... -_-

[Reverend_Father] Thank you for your information, Sister, it's very valuable. I will keep you informed if we decide to move against the entities you have mentioned.

[Alma] You're welcome, Reverend Father.

[Alma] It's possible that Earric or even Rouillard might have more information about the what happened...

  • Alma also asks about the expedition -_-

Ysabeau and Tiphaigne

  • Tiphaigne is doing some work in the Society's library one day, Ysabeau, if you want to talk to him.

[Ysabeau] (sec, trying to find the name etc.)

[DiablotinNarrator] (http://wiki.rocksfall.org/rocksfallwiki/Diablotin_2_session_56#Ysabeau.2C_Alma_and_Danyel)

[DiablotinNarrator] (I assume is what you're looking for)

[Ysabeau] (thanks)

  • Ysabeau greets Tiphaigne cheerfully.

[Tiphaigne] Ah, good afternoon, Mlle. Chanuier :)

[Ysabeau] Hello M. Deverara. How are you?

  • Tiphaigne is a rather fat, brown-haired man of around 30 years of age or so.

[Tiphaigne] Oh, quite busy. Not to busy to talk to a young lady, though ;)

  • Ysabeau laughs.

[Ysabeau] What are you working on?

  • Ysabeau asks brightly.

[Tiphaigne] A new play...

[Tiphaigne] well, I hope it will turn into one, at any rate.

[Ysabeau] Oooooh - any singing parts?

[Tiphaigne] There might be - are you interested? :)

[Ysabeau] Always. I love the stage. :)

[Ysabeau] And the bouquets from admirers after the performance. ;D

  • Tiphaigne chuckles at that.

[Tiphaigne] Well, I might be persuaded to put a singing part in just for you, then.

[Ysabeau] Don't feel obliged if it changes your play too much.

[Tiphaigne] There's hardly any play there yet. Mostly just notes.

[Ysabeau] I'm a performer though - got to keep my eyes and ears open for any opportunities that may come up.

  • Tiphaigne nods.

[Ysabeau] Oh, it's in the very early stages then?

  • Ysabeau will ask what he's thinking it might be about.

[Tiphaigne] Yes, still doing the background research really.

[Tiphaigne] Something about Empress Temoura. Such a fascinating character...

[Ysabeau] (K:H and/or K:N - who's she?)

[Ysabeau] ( and what is she famous for?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (http://wiki.rocksfall.org/rocksfallwiki/Temoura_Wrenn)

[Ysabeau] Oh yes, she is pretty interesting, isn't she? A strong woman.

  • Tiphaigne nods enthusiastically.

[Tiphaigne] And of course, as she lived so long ago and we know fairly little about her personally, I'm free to make up whatever seems most interesting ;)

  • Ysabeau laughs again.

[Ysabeau] Clever playwright.

  • Ysabeau will indulge his interest in Temoura for a while, conversing brightly about her.
  • Ysabeau will go on to Rosyvor once he seems to be done.

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok... go ahead)

[Ysabeau] Oh, say, have you ever been to Rosyvor?

  • Ysabeau asks during a lull in the conversation.

[Tiphaigne] Certainly - my family's estate is near there. I've been many times.

[Tiphaigne] Why do you ask?

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I've been trying to track down a fellow named Renald Underdown... my last lead on his whereabouts said he might be a servant there.

  • Tiphaigne smiles.
  • Ysabeau will SM from here on in since I've been forewarned about Tiphaigne possibly being hazardous.

[Tiphaigne] I hope he didn't break your heart and then run off :)

[Ysabeau] No, nothing like that.

[Ysabeau] (28, just to watch his body language etc and make sure he’s not getting shifty on me)

  • Ysabeau smiles.
  • Tiphaigne is more flirty than shifty, you think.

[Ysabeau] (for now! ;) )

[Ysabeau] No... my sister's friend left some things in our keeping, then got her throat slit, about a year ago.

[Tiphaigne] Oh, how awful.

[Ysabeau] I've been trying to track down her living relatives to pass her things on to them.

  • Tiphaigne nods.

[Ysabeau] He's the only one I've got left, if he's even alive.

[Tiphaigne] I seem to recall there was a fellow named Renald who worked in my family's stables when I was young. I'm afraid I don't recall his last name, though, and I'm not sure if he's still there.

[Ysabeau] Oh, that's too bad. :/

[Ysabeau] Is there any way you could find out for me?

[Tiphaigne] Certainly - my father's factor there should know all the staff, I can drop him a line and ask.

[Ysabeau] Thank you *so* much! I really appreciate this.

[Ysabeau] I'll be so relieved when I've discharged my obligations to her family.

[Tiphaigne] Not in the least. Perhaps, as thanks, you might join me for dinner :)

[Ysabeau] (Dinner and bed, as usual?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (well, that could be the implication, yes...)

[DiablotinNarrator] (but maybe he just means dinner)

  • Ysabeau smiles charmingly.

[Ysabeau] I'm afraid that my beau might take exception to me going out with other men.

[Tiphaigne] Ah, that's quite understandable.

[Tiphaigne] Another time, perhaps :)

[Ysabeau] Perhaps.

  • Ysabeau smiles again.

[Ysabeau] As a thank you, though - my quartet and I could possibly play for a party if you're planning one sometime in the near future?

[Tiphaigne] That might be a lovely idea - I'll certainly keep it in mind.

[Tiphaigne] I'll let you know once I hear back from Rosyvor, then, Mlle. Chanuier.

[Ysabeau] Thank you, M. Deverara. I'll look forward to hearing from you.

  • Tiphaigne nods politely.
  • Tiphaigne goes back to his research, then.
  • Ysabeau will go look up Deverara genealogies.

[DiablotinNarrator] (anything in particular you're looking for?)

[Ysabeau] (Althea Deverara... Martan Olivier DOES look suspiciously like Martan Kizer. But I know who both of his parents are, and who Theonee's mother is, and to a certain extent, whose Butler's are. Althea is the mysterious one.)

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok, I can send you info about that in an email most easily I think)

[Ysabeau] (thanks)

[Ysabeau] (I'll look for Theonee's father's identity while I'm at it, because I don't have it... sorry)

Sanadhil and Earric

[DiablotinNarrator] San, you drop by Phedre's place for a chat with Earric...

  • Sanadhil has backup plans to use the library if he isn't being coperative ;)
  • Earric is lounging in the library, in fact.

[Sanadhil] (Is phedre home, as far as I know)

[Sanadhil] (?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (no, she's out atm)

[Sanadhil] Good afternoon...

[Earric] Oh, hello.

[Sanadhil] pleasant to see you as well.

  • Earric looks bored, but perks up a bit when he sees you.
  • Earric tosses aside the book he was looking at.
  • Sanadhil smiles somewhat guardedly

[Earric] What brings you here?

[Sanadhil] I was hoping I might have an opportunity to ask you a few things.

[Earric] Oh, certainly. I'm always happy to entertain you.

[Sanadhil] You don't seem to be terribly otherwise engaged at the moment, in any case.

  • Sanadhil smirks.

[Sanadhil] Indeed.

[Sanadhil] I know Phedre has already asked you about Emkatheon

  • Earric gestures to the armchair across from the one in which he sprawls.

[Earric] Mm-hmm.

  • Sanadhil sits
  • Sanadhil is dressed elf casual today, for the record, in black trouseres and a long rich blue shirt that closes in the front with a series of frog clasps

[Sanadhil] I'm still curious to hear what you knew about it - him?

  • Earric shrugs at that.

[Earric] It, him, her... those terms don't really apply.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Earric] I suppose Emkathon was more often female, but only because that's what humans seemed to expect from her.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Earric] Mercy - it's such a female sort of thing, you know.

  • Earric says with a little smirk.

[Sanadhil] So they say.

[Sanadhil] She, then, for simplicity's sake... She was some kind of counterpart to kavreshar?

  • Earric nods.

[Sanadhil] Were there only the two - justice and mercy?

[Earric] They were the most ... exalted. There were others, but lesser ones.

[Sanadhil] what was their relationship to each other?

[Earric] They were the co-created, firstborn... you could think of them as twins, if you like, it's as good a term as any.

[Sanadhil] I've heard it hypothesize that they were meant to balance each other

[Earric] If you can say that one side of a coin balances the other.

  • Sanadhil looks thoughtful for a moment

[Sanadhil] some might argue that they balance the coin.

[Earric] Yes, that's it.

  • Earric looks pleased with you.

[Sanadhil] So with Emkathon destroyed.... Vrag is unbalanced?

[Sanadhil] or do they have any effect on the serpent?

[Earric] It could be.

  • Earric 's fingers lazily stroke the leather of the chair arm.

[Sanadhil] Hmm.

[Sanadhil] Do you know if Emkathon played any role in Am?

[Earric] She was busy elsewhere.

  • Earric says with a little smile.

[Sanadhil] oh?

  • Earric pats the arm of his chair.

[Earric] Come sit at my feet and I'll tell you where she was.

  • Sanadhil sighs/frowns

[Sanadhil] How was she seen by the Shadar Kai here?

[Earric] As a weakness.

[Sanadhil] and Kavreshar?

[Earric] As a threat.

[Sanadhil] hmm.

[Sanadhil] Do you think he was changed at all, after Am?

[Earric] Kavreshar? I don't think it troubled him, if that's what you mean.

[Sanadhil] Not troubled, no. Maybe.... encouraged?

  • Earric considers, still idly patting the arm of his chair.

[Earric] It was his task. I suppose it might have been... satisfying for him.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] What did they think of the demonic onfluence on the Shadar kai worship?

[Earric] I can't imagine they approved.

[Sanadhil] but they didn't interfere.

[Earric] They used words, first. If there had been more time, they might have resorted to other methods.

[Sanadhil] but the Gods took things into their own hands before then.

  • Earric nods.

[Sanadhil] hmm.

[Sanadhil] did they target Emkathon? Or was Kavreshar harder for them to catch?

  • Earric waits, tapping his fingers.

[Sanadhil] fine.

[Sanadhil] if you want to bargain, then...

[Earric] I do enjoy it.

[Sanadhil] If you answer my questions today, I will show you something that i'm sure you will be excited by.

[Earric] Oh?

  • Earric looks intrigued at that.
  • Sanadhil just smiles

[Earric] Is it something I just get to see, or is there more than that?

  • Sanadhil considers

[Sanadhil] We'll see how cooperative you are.

  • Earric chuckles.

[Earric] You do so love being in control, don't you.

[Sanadhil] Don't you?

[Sanadhil] Where was Emkathon when Am was destroyed?

[Earric] She was at Gsran - for those who survived.

[Sanadhil] but you don't know what they did to merit retribution?

[Earric] One thing I do know - they divided their attention.

[Sanadhil] between what?

[Earric] Between their god and their ancestors.

[Sanadhil] the totems?

  • Earric nods.

[Earric] I don't think that alone was enough, though. I don't know what the last straw was.

[Sanadhil] Did they give them power?

  • Earric nods again.

[Sanadhil] or did they have it in and of themselves?

[Sanadhil] I see.

[Earric] They imbued them... fed them... I don't know how to describe it.

[Sanadhil] drew the power from the stars...

  • Sanadhil says half to himself

[Sanadhil] and After Am, the tottems came and challened what they found and overtook the Center...

[Earric] The Serpent was... weaker. They grew stronger.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] what do you know of other demons in the city?

[Earric] We don't have a social club or exchange correspondence, but I know they're there.

[Sanadhil] do you know if any of them are involved.... in the cult, or with Kavreshar?

[Earric] Not with the cult directly. Peripherally, though...

[Sanadhil] what does that mean?

[Earric] Involved with people who are involved? Like me, say.

[Sanadhil] who are they?

[Earric] Esmena has a ... friend, a young lady.

[Sanadhil] hmm.

[Sanadhil] . o O (You said you didn't know about her....)

  • Sanadhil loks as though something has just occured to him
  • Earric arches a curious eyebrow.

[Sanadhil] Is there something in the ritual that Phedre performs that prevents those who join the cult from being bound to you? Or are they?

[Sanadhil] The others.

[Earric] That's something I have to do myself.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Wwell then.

[Sanadhil] Do any of these others share your particular heritage?

[Earric] Not that I'm aware of.

[Earric] But I wouldn't necessarily know...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Earric] So when do I get my reward for all of this valuable chitchat?

[Sanadhil] do you know if any of them have any links to Kavreshar?

[Earric] Mmm.. they could. He probably also has the ability to summon up extra help as needed, though.

[Sanadhil] hmm

[Sanadhil] *(sec looking something up)

  • Sanadhil regards Earric to decide if he is being less cooperative to be petulant or if he doesn't really know, or is just lying

[Sanadhil] (I assume he is as inscrutable as ever though)

  • Earric might be waiting on a answer to his question about when he gets paid ;)

[Sanadhil] (yeah that was what I meant ;)

[Sanadhil] After I'm through with this line of questioning.

[Earric] (he could def. be withholding until he gets an answer)

[Earric] Then yes - I think some of them are.

[Sanadhil] which ones?

[Earric] I don't know what names they're using here - the one who looks like a scribe or some such, at least. The redhead is most likely working to his own goals, though I'm sure Kavreshar could call on him for help if need be.... they'd come to some sort of arrangement, anyway.

[Earric] As for the pretty girl... I couldn't say. She might be independent.

  • Earric says with a slight smile.

[Sanadhil] Those are not the most helpful descriptions.

  • Sanadhil says dryly

[Sanadhil] the pretty girl is the revrand's companion?

[Earric] I do apologize. As I said, we don't normally get together for tea.

  • Earric looks puzzled at that.

[Earric] I was thinking of the one at the palace - the musician.

[Sanadhil] ahhh....

[Sanadhil] of course

[Earric] I suppose there are a great number of pretty girls. I apologize.

  • Earric says more sincerely.
  • Sanadhil just nods

[Sanadhil] are any of the others likely to be ...contextually dangerous?

  • Earric chuckles.

[Earric] 'Contextually dangerous'?

[Earric] Any of them could probably kill you - or make a good effort at it, anyway.

[Earric] They'd have to have a good reason to, though.

[Earric] Under cover like this, they won't want to ruin it unless they have to.

[Earric] Worry more about the ones you don't know.

[Sanadhil] I was thnking more about whether they would care to involve, or risk, themselves in regard to the matters of kavreshar or the Serpent, should there be any real conflict

  • Earric shrugs.

[Sanadhil] right.

[Earric] I suspect that most of them would stay out of it, unless they saw some profit to joining in... even then, though, loyalty isn't our strong suit ;)

[Sanadhil] you don't say.

  • Sanadhil says dryly.
  • Earric just smiles.

[Sanadhil] alright then.

  • Earric perks up a little.
  • Sanadhil will try to maintain his air of confidence as he starts to undo the first couple clasps of his shirt

[Earric] Good start, anyway.

[Sanadhil] mm-hmm.

  • Sanadhil will undo it about half-way, and show off his gift from Dozilva
  • Earric sits up straighter, leans in to look.

[Earric] You little tart.

  • Earric says admiringly.
  • Sanadhil will let him look clos*er*

[Earric] When did you get that?

[Sanadhil] A month or so ago.

[Sanadhil] maybe two?

  • Earric reaches out a hand to touch it.
  • Sanadhil narrows his eyes slightly but will allow it for now.

[Earric] Did you do it yourself? or did someone do it for you...

  • Earric says, giving it a little flick.
  • Sanadhil straightens his shirt

[Sanadhil] That's not any of your concern.

[Earric] I just want to know how to picture it. If you won't tell me, I'll imagine you doing it to yourself ;)

[Sanadhil] whatever you like.

  • Earric slides his hand down your torso to your waist.

[Sanadhil] That's enough.

[Earric] Enough for you, maybe.

  • Sanadhil sits back a little further, removing Earric's hand

[Sanadhil] (or trying anyway)

  • Earric takes his hand off, but stands and comes over to you.
  • Sanadhil stands also, then and starts to do up the clasps

[Earric] Not yet.

  • Earric half-orders, half-begs.

[Sanadhil] You don't have limits. I can hardly use your desire of a gauge of ...fairness.

[Earric] So give me everything, and we don't have to play this game anymore.

[Sanadhil] No?

  • Earric smiles.

[Sanadhil] Maybe I like the game.

  • Earric laughs softly.

[Earric] Do you like it because it lets you feel like you've won?

  • Earric slides his hand under your shirt again.

[Sanadhil] It is a pleasant -

  • Sanadhil grabs his hand.

[Sanadhil] illusion ]:|

[Earric] One of these days, I might not feel like playing any longer.

  • Earric grabs you by the back of the neck, pulling you close.
  • Sanadhil freezes when he says that, and tries to slip away

[Earric] (what's your Str? ;)

[Sanadhil] (8 :p)

[Sanadhil] (but my dex is 12!)

[Sanadhil] (I lie - dex is 16)

[Earric] (you can slip out of his grip - but you think he might have let you go)

[Earric] Did you have any more questions for me today?

  • Earric says, casual once more.
  • Sanadhil takes a moment to compose himself, and finish fixing his shirt

[Sanadhil] Do you think I'm only playing against you?

[Earric] You're playing against the entire world.

[Sanadhil] I think we're through for the day. Thank you, M. Boyne.

  • Earric waves a hand dismissively.
  • Sanadhil will aim for a graceful exit
  • Earric turns and walks over to look out the window, so he probably doesn't see it.

[Sanadhil] (fine with me :x)

Seth and Cornelia

  • Cornelia will receive Seth in her office.
  • Seth is generally clean, clean-shaven, and dressed according to his station these days, today being no exception.

[Seth] Good afternoon, Warlord.

[Seth] I thank you for your forebearance, and apologize for not having spoken to you sooner.

[Seth] Much has happened these past two months.

[Cornelia] Indeed - we've all been busy.

[Seth] I wanted to report to you on my findings, both with Raimar Langevin and with ... another excursion of some significance.

[Cornelia] Certainly. Have a seat, and tell me what you've learned.

  • Seth sits.

[Seth] I spoke to Raimar a short time after meeting with you, perhaps a week or so, and he told me some things of great interest ... including things about you.

[Cornelia] Oh?

  • Cornelia looks intrigued at that.

[Seth] He told me that at the time of Empress Tristane's seclusion, none of the three candidates were marked by the Arch, and that you chose Tristane from among the three of them.

[Seth] Can this be true?

  • Cornelia laughs.

[Cornelia] Just because he couldn't see the mark, doesn't mean it wasn't there.

[Seth] That isn't an answer.

[Cornelia] I assure you, she was marked.

[Seth] Fair enough.

[Seth] We also had a very interesting discussion about Althea's pregnancy.

[Seth] He doesn't know, or claims not to know, who the father is.

[Cornelia] If *she* didn't know, I don't know why he would.

[Seth] Do you know?

[Cornelia] No. Not my concern.

[Seth] I suppose it is irrelevant to the questions that interest you, but given the interest in Theonee now, it would seem like a relevant fact.

[Cornelia] It might be relevant, or might not.

[Seth] (is she being evasive?)

[Seth] (sm 29)

[Cornelia] As I have no way of learning the answer, short of opening Althea's legitimization file, I try not to worry about it.

[Seth] There is a file?

[Seth] Who keeps it?

[Cornelia] The Chancellor, of course. She is in charge of all matters related to the inheritance of titles, the legitimization of heirs, and so forth. So you can see why no one's gained access to it.

[Cornelia] If it would potentially disinherit her, she has every reason to keep it tightly hidden. If she hasn't destroyed it, that is.

[Seth] Hm. Well, that is a strange irony. Do you have any reason to think that she is doing so? Certainly Chancellors before her have said no such thing.

[Cornelia] Why is it strange?

[Seth] Strange that of all the people who would be chosen as Chancellor, it would be she.

[Cornelia] Heh. Well, perhaps so.

[Seth] In any case, I will follow up with Raimar in the future, but since then, I have been party to a much stranger discussion.

[Cornelia] And what was that?

[Seth] I and some of my compatriots recently met with a scholar from the Shadow Plane, an expert on matters relating to the Shadar-kai and their history.

[Cornelia] Oh? Very interesting.

[Seth] It seems that the Shadar-kai arch, known to them as the Well, has been damaged for over two thousand years, and was the original motivation for the invasion of this world.

[Cornelia] The fact that their own such device was damaged?

[Seth] Yes, perhaps.

[Seth] The damage was apparently done by a group of anti-theists, who felt that the power of their deity was too great and unknowable.

[Cornelia] Interesting...

  • Cornelia chuckles at that.

[Seth] These anti-theists are apparently numerically vastly predominant today, although there are still a handful who hold to the old faith, or a version of it.

  • Cornelia nods.

[Seth] Strange parallel, don't you think - here, the arch is damaged by theists, but similarly, to effect political change.

[Seth] In Sarasagel, like in Diablotin, the Well was a source of power in terms of monarchic succession.

[Cornelia] There are always those who are afraid of things they don't understand - or who think they can control things they don't understand.

[Seth] Are we not so ourselves, Warlord?

[Cornelia] Indubitably so.

[Cornelia] At least, one or the other. Perhaps both - I don't know about you.

[Seth] I feel that I understand so little about this - angels and demons, Serpents and totem spirits, Arches and wells damaged and destroyed.

[Seth] And yet I know vastly more than virtually everyone else in the city.

[Seth] So what does that say about anyone else?

[Cornelia] Well, almost everyone else isn't involved in this.

[Cornelia] So their ignorance is likely to have little impact.

[Seth] What are your feelings about the gods, Warlord? Do we serve them, ultimately, or the Center? Or can we even make that distinction any longer?

[Cornelia] We, you and I? We, this entire society?

[Cornelia] We, humanity?

[Seth] You and I. Everyone else, right now, is on their own.

[Cornelia] I can really only speak for myself. I don't serve the gods. I serve the Centre. I believe there's a difference between the two, but ... it can be difficult to perceive, at times.

[Seth] Can what the gods want be wrong? They wanted the Reverend Mother Pasith to do what she did fifty years ago, but now we seek to reverse it.

[Cornelia] The gods are entities - not like us, but with motives and desires of their own nevertheless. And yes, I think that what they want can be wrong, by absolute standards.

[Seth] So perhaps you are also an antitheist, only one seeking the restoration of the Arch, not its destruction.

  • Cornelia smiles at that.

[Cornelia] Perhaps I am, at that.

[Seth] It seems, at any rate, that the dreaming Queen Imraen was an antitheist, brough as an infant from Saraknyel to the Shadow Plane. Her name, taken at adulthood, means 'devoted to the void, sacred to the void'

[Seth] Or so it is said.

  • Cornelia nods, listening.

[Seth] How that relates to what happened here, at the time when humans of the tribes conquered, I cannot say. I am not a historian of that period. But my compatriots and I are thinking of two further expeditions to clarify the matter.

[Seth] First, we are thinking of going to visit the tombs of the founders, given some information that might shed some light on our deep history.

[Cornelia] I see...

[Seth] And also the grave of the Patriarch Thaleus. I am not certain of all the details, but the knowledge we seek is to help us resolve some of these thorny issues.

[Cornelia] Well, if you learn anything of import, you will let me know, I trust?

[Seth] Obviously we would formally seek Imperial consent before embarking on such a task.

[Cornelia] Certainly.

[Seth] And of course, Warlord, I share what I learn with you, because you have not yet given me reason not to.

[Cornelia] You probably also need church approval, at least for the Patriarch's tomb.

[Seth] I believe that Sister Alma is already seeking such permission.

  • Cornelia nods.

[Cornelia] Very good, then.

[Seth] The second expedition is potentially even more revelatory - a second trip to the Shadow Plane.

[Seth] I for one would like to know, not only if we can discern the location of the Shadar-kai Well, but also, I have not forgotten my interest in the golems of the city, and their possible whereabouts.

[Cornelia] I think examining this 'Well', if it can be located, would be most useful.

[Seth] Indeed, we might learn more about it than we did at Gsran.

[Cornelia] Its condition might inform our own Arch's.

[Seth] Perhaps so.

[Cornelia] If it was damaged similarly... was anything trapped inside it?

[Seth] I do not know, although the tale our scholar told us was complex and filled with material about factions, demons, and other entities. I would not rule it out.

[Seth] Certainly if we go, we will not go undefended!

[Cornelia] Very prudent.

[Cornelia] I wished to inform you of some progress on a matter we had discussed earlier as well.

[Seth] Oh?

[Cornelia] The issue of securing a demon to interrogate.

[Seth] Ah! What have you learned?

[Cornelia] I have several options - I'm considering which would be least ...disruptive.

[Seth] Where is your demon? And who is your demon?

[Cornelia] Well, there is of course Earric Boyne - his .. wife, patron, whatever you wish to call her, might cause trouble if he was taken. So I was pleased to learn of another option - a creature disguised as a musician here at the palace.

[Seth] Really?

[Cornelia] Indeed - going under the name 'Maryse Rouillard

[Seth] How interesting ... although how exactly a position as a court musician would serve a demon's interests is not clear to me.

[Cornelia] She is entangled with one of the Gentlemen of the Privy Chamber, but the relationship doesn't seem to be serious as of yet.

[Cornelia] So he might not make a fuss if she were no longer ...available.

[Seth] Well, that is a problem that seems to be well under control, then.

[Cornelia] We'll see.

[Cornelia] Would you be willing to observe the creature for a time, see if there is anything we need to know before taking her out?

[Seth] Of course, as long as it does not interfere with my other research.

[Cornelia] At your leisure, M. Argo.

[Seth] Oh, there was one last thing I had been meaning to ask you.

[Cornelia] Yes?

[Seth] Have your eyes always been ... the way they are, even when you were a child?

[Cornelia] No... that particular trait was acquired later. At the time of the Arch's removal from the palace.

[Seth] A ... parting gift?

[Cornelia] Perhaps. Perhaps just an indication of things humans aren't meant to see.

[Seth] Do they allow you to see such things?

[Cornelia] Fortunately not!

[Seth] It would seem to attract unwanted attention, especially when you were so young.

[Cornelia] It's usually only visible in dim lighting, and I took to wearing spectacles just as a precaution.

[Seth] I see. Well, I apologize for the intrusion into what is obviously a private matter.

[Seth] I will trouble you about it no longer.

[Cornelia] No offense taken.

[Seth] Was there anything further?

[Cornelia] I don't believe so. Please inform me if you gather any useful information about "Mlle. Rouillard", or in the Shadow Plane.

[Seth] Thank you for your time, Warlord.

  • Seth lingers just a moment, then prepares to depart.

[Cornelia] You're welcome, thank you Seth.

  • Seth leaves.


Dominik and Fredericia

  • Fredericia will receive you at her less-than-grand house in the Grand.

[Dominik] (its not that bad is it?)

[Fredericia] (it's not as nice as yours ;)

[Fredericia] (not awful like Ilphere's though!)

[Fredericia] (you know, still has furniture and stuff, just not the nicest)

  • Dominik reminds himself that not everyone has Trueblood money backing them

[Fredericia] Hey, Dom.

[Dominik] It's good to see you back on your feet... should I be calling you Countess now?

  • Fredericia looks a bit thinner than usual, still a bit pale maybe.

[Fredericia] Ugh, I suppose technically? Please don't, though.

[Dominik] I wont

[Fredericia] How are you doing?

[Dominik] OK I guess. Kinda confused about things, really.

[Fredericia] Still getting settled into the new position?

[Dominik] Yeah... its a change.

[Fredericia] I know what you mean.

[Dominik] I wish yours was under better circumstances.

  • Fredericia shrugs.

[Fredericia] It was always going to be because she died... just a question of whether it's now or later I guess.

[Dominik] Did you two get along?

  • Fredericia makes a so-so kind of gesture.

[Fredericia] After my parents died, she took us in, but I always had the sense she sort of preferred being alone.

[Dominik] I'm not trying to be cold, but with the way things are with my family.

[Fredericia] Not that she resented us really, but just ... wasn't the motherly type.

  • Fredericia nods.

[Fredericia] It was harder on my little brother. I didn't really need another mother.

  • Fredericia looks aside.

[Dominik] One mother can be more than enough

[Fredericia] Heh, true.

[Fredericia] How *is* your family? Or is it too shitty to talk about?

[Dominik] I haven't really sat down with them since I got my position... I'm sure their reactions would vary quite widely.

[Fredericia] From shocked to horrified? ;)

[Dominik] More like fiercly proud to envious, to... as you said, shocked and horrified.

[Fredericia] Well, that's a pretty good range. You should be proud.

[Dominik] It does bring a smile to my face when I think about it some times, although I think the reality of it would be a little of a let down.

  • Fredericia nods.

[Fredericia] From what I know of the role, it'll involve a lot of sitting around.

[Fredericia] Interspersed with training, occasional errand-running, and some partying.

[Dominik] There are worse roles to play and this one puts me in the midst of very big players.

  • Fredericia nods.

[Fredericia] I wonder if Marl knows... about your involvement with us, I mean.

[Dominik] You mean has Nash confided in him? Hard to say.

[Dominik] I assumed there was already a Hush spy on the privy council.

[Fredericia] Or whether he's heard it through some other channel.

[Fredericia] But sure, it's not as if he's not already being watched. If he does know, he probably figures it doesn't matter.

[Dominik] Who knows the real mind of the Emperor... maybe he just wanted to piss Zivia off.

  • Fredericia chuckles.

[Fredericia] You know, of all your family, she'll probably be happiest about it.

[Dominik] She does like to see the Rademarcher name fly high.

[Fredericia] Precisely. Your prestige is her prestige, after all.

[Fredericia] She'll leech off you as much as she can, no doubt.

  • Dominik rolls his eyes

[Dominik] No doubt

[Dominik] I find myself strangly nervous around you.

[Fredericia] ...because of what happened?

[Dominik] Yes... its hard to explain... I feel exposed with you.

[Fredericia] Do you think it was a mistake?

[Dominik] I'm not saying that. I'm not a moral shining beacon... you've seen me do some questionable things to people I supposedly cared about.

[Fredericia] Sure. I could say the same for myself.

[Fredericia] It was kind of a spur of the moment thing. I don't know if I would have done it if I'd thought about it more. Not to say it wasn't fun, or that I regret it or anything.

[Fredericia] But I'm older than you, and we work together, and maybe it just makes things too awkward.

[Dominik] I think I can get over the awkward... I just had to get out what I was thinking.

  • Fredericia nods.

[Dominik] We both can be morally reprehensible. We both know that. Neither of us is flinching from it, so on we go.

[Dominik] But I just have one more question...

[Fredericia] mm?

[Dominik] You and Jarvis?

[Fredericia] ... you asking if we've had sex?

[Dominik] I'm just asking what was going on with you two.

[Dominik] I had certain assumptions in my head... I just want to know if they are correct.

[Fredericia] I need someone to take to parties - for the looks of things. So does he. We agreed to go together, that's all.

  • Dominik nods

[Dominik] that fits with my assumptions

[Fredericia] ... if I was going with you, obviously I wouldn't need him anymore.

  • Fredericia says with a bit of a shrug.

[Dominik] Glad to see you're will to trade up for the better brother.

  • Fredericia laughs at that.

[Fredericia] *Best* brother. The competition isn't that stiff ;)

  • Dominik laughs

[Fredericia] So, we'll go to parties together, and keep fucking occasionally? Or do you want this to be something more...?

  • Fredericia just seems to be trying to figure out where exactly you stand.

[Dominik] I don't see why it couldn't be something more if you were intersted in more.

[Dominik] Its not like I have any deep dark secrets that you probably don't already know about.

[Fredericia] I'm not so worried about that.

[Fredericia] What about when I'm thirty and you run off with some younger woman, though? ;)

  • Dominik chuckles

[Dominik] And what woman is going to be brave enough or stupid enough to cross you?

[Fredericia] true.... I'd cut her good.

  • Fredericia may not be joking about that.

[Fredericia] So... all right then, we'll see where this goes.

[Dominik] So if we were married... would I be a Count?

[Fredericia] Yes, gold-digger, you'd be a count.

[Fredericia] All of this could be half yours.

  • Dominik has a smug pleased look on his face
  • Fredericia says with a grand gesture at her threadbare tapestries and old-fashioned furniture.

[Dominik] I can already see your claws in my inheritance being used for redecorating.

[Fredericia] Hah. I don't care what it looks like - as long as it's not falling apart.

[Fredericia] Senedor's got some beaches, between the swampy parts.

[Dominik] When I'm a count, and the Warlord, the place will have to look nice... or at least intimidating.

  • Fredericia laughs.

[Fredericia] Maybe we can put some spikes out front for the heads of your victims.

[Dominik] I think it could only help the feel of the entrance

[Fredericia] Maybe a hidden spiked pit? Parapets for the boiling oil?

[Dominik] Bah... I hear steam cannons are all the rage for keeping the barbarians away from the gates now.

[Fredericia] Ooh, steam cannons :)

[Dominik] How could I be a wolf without the best technology at my door.

  • Fredericia grins.
  • Dominik steps closer and puts his arms around Fredericia

[Dominik] See what we can accomplish.

[Fredericia] I was waiting to see how long you could keep your hands off me. What's the point having a teenage boyfriend if he doesn't want to fuck every minute of the day?

[Dominik] Well, I wouldnt want to wear out an old lady like yourself.

  • Fredericia punches you in the kidney - just enough to be annoying.

[Dominik] It seems I was mislead... you have plenty of energy... best do something about it.

  • Dominik will lean in and kiss her
  • Fredericia stands on tiptoes to kiss back.

[Fredericia] Planning to do it here, or should we respect a tiny bit of propriety and go to the bedroom?

  • Fredericia asks once you break apart.
  • Dominik will scoop her up in his arms

[Dominik] I'm new here so you'll have to give me directions

  • Fredericia doesn't put up (much of) a fight.
  • Fredericia is perfectly happy to give you orders :p

[Dominik] (lol)

Ysabeau and Martan

  • Martan knocks at your door one evening around sunset.
  • Ysabeau is practicing on her lute, having finished the supper dishes.
  • Ysabeau goes to answer the door.
  • Martan has a bouquet of flowers.
  • Ysabeau is SO HAPPY when she sees who it is!

[Ysabeau] Oh!

  • Martan smiles and offers you the flowers.

[Martan] Good evening...

  • Ysabeau accepts the flowers, beaming, and does an excellent job of kissing him with only one arm free.

[Ysabeau] The *best* evening!

[Ysabeau] Come in, come in.

[Martan] I hope I'm not interrupting - I found myself unexpectedly free, and thought I'd come by...

  • Martan says, stepping inside.

[Ysabeau] No, not interrupting!

[Ysabeau] I was just practicing on my lute, trying to relax after an afternoon of doing battle with the weeds in the garden.

[Ysabeau] These are *lovely*.

  • Ysabeau breathes in the scent of the flowers.

[Martan] I'm glad you like them. I wasn't sure what kind you liked, so I just picked some that looked pretty.

[Ysabeau] (Is he wearing a coat or anything like that? It's not an especially nice sixth-month after all.)

  • Ysabeau laughs.

[Martan] (he has a cloak in case of rain - it's not raining just this moment, but it's been grey and cloudy all day)

[Ysabeau] You did well.

[Ysabeau] Here, let me help you with your cloak.

[Martan] Oh, thank you.

  • Ysabeau sets the flowers down gently on a sidetable and hangs his cloak on a hook by the door.

[Ysabeau] Have you had supper already?

[Ysabeau] It's too bad you couldn't come by earlier, you could have joined us.

[Martan] I had... lunch, but it wasn't that long ago ;)

[Martan] I wouldn't mind something to drink, though.

  • Ysabeau nods and picks up the flowers once more.

[Ysabeau] Follow me!

  • Martan does.
  • Ysabeau leads him to the kitchen.

[Ysabeau] Something hot or something cold or something room temperature and alcoholic?

  • Martan chuckles.

[Martan] The latter, if that's all right with you.

[Ysabeau] Certainly.

  • Ysabeau smiles and brings out some wine and glasses.

[Ysabeau] You're sure you're not hungry? It would be no trouble for me to reheat some of the stew.

[Martan] No, that's fine - thank you for the offer, though.

[Ysabeau] You're welcome.

  • Ysabeau pours some wine for each of us and sets about finding a vase for the flowers while we're in the kitchen...

[Martan] I'm sorry I haven't been around more...

  • Ysabeau glances over her shoulder and smiles at him.

[Ysabeau] It's all right. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

[Ysabeau] I hope your business went well?

[Martan] It was... difficult, but I suppose ultimately, yes, it went well.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Martan] And you? Have you been keeping busy?

[Ysabeau] Oh yes... quite busy!

[Ysabeau] I didn't want to mention it in the letters, but His Majesty offered me a position as a court composer.

[Martan] Really! And have you accepted?

[Ysabeau] I have.

[Martan] Well, congratulations then :)

[Ysabeau] Thank you! He wants me to live in the palace, but I'm not sure I'm completely comfortable with that.

[Ysabeau] So I'm keeping this place and will have to split my time between the two.

  • Martan nods.

[Martan] That seems prudent. You should always have a safehouse to fall back to, just in case.

  • Ysabeau glances at him and smiles.

[Ysabeau] A safehouse?

  • Martan smiles back.

[Martan] This one seems fairly safe ;)

  • Ysabeau laughs.

[Ysabeau] As long as Vescan Corriveau doesn't break in, it ought to be.

[Ysabeau] I did have good locks put on.

[Martan] If Vescan ever gives you trouble, he'll have to deal with me. Believe me, he wouldn't enjoy that.

  • Martan says lightly, but you think he's quite serious.

[Ysabeau] I don't anticipate he will. But he did break in to the house we lived in in Pearl City.

[Ysabeau] He was after something in that locket of Martan Kizer I showed you.

  • Martan nods, listening.

[Ysabeau] Since then I haven't been troubled by him.

[Martan] Good.

  • Martan sips his drink.
  • Ysabeau smiles, glancing at him fondly as she puts the finishing touches on the floral arrangement.

[Ysabeau] Would you like to stay in the kitchen or move to the parlour? I'm fine with either place - not big on formality here. ;)

  • Ysabeau picks up her own glass and leans against the counter as she takes a sip.

[Martan] Wherever you'd prefer. As long as you're there, it doesn't matter to me.

  • Ysabeau blushes and grins, coming to sit across from him at the kitchen table.

[Ysabeau] We're here now, might as well stay for a while.

[Martan] All right then :)

  • Martan takes your hand.
  • Ysabeau squeezes his gently, gazing into his eyes.

[Ysabeau] I'm so happy you're here.

[Martan] So'm I.

[Martan] I've been thinking. A lot.

[Ysabeau] You'll probably think I'm silly, but every morning when I woke up, my first thought was "Perhaps today will be the day!"

  • Martan shakes his head.

[Ysabeau] And every night my last thought was "Perhaps I'll see him tomorrow."

[Martan] Not silly...

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Martan] Flattering, maybe :)

  • Ysabeau smiles wider.

[Ysabeau] I've been thinking a lot, too.

[Martan] Oh?

[Ysabeau] So... who goes first? i vote for you, since you were the first to bring it up.

[Martan] Very well.

[Martan] I don't wish for you to be hurt, Ysabeau. I know I can't guarantee that, and I know that my position makes it more likely than if I were, oh, a tailor or something like that.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Possibly.

[Martan] I could stop seeing you, except... I can't. Clearly.

  • Martan says, giving your hand a squeeze.

[Martan] I could take you into protection, but that would hardly be fair to you. You have to be able to live your life, freely.

[Martan] The only other choice I can see is for me to be as honest with you as I can - to tell you about the risks, the possible threats, so you can protect yourself.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Martan] Which I know you're quite capable of doing...

[Ysabeau] Did I mention I thoroughly trounced Vescan Corriveau after he broke in?

  • Martan grins at that.
  • Ysabeau grins back.

[Ysabeau] More seriously though - yes, I think that would be best. If I had an idea what to expect, and could prepare for it.

[Martan] Obviously, you might not want that burden. So ... it's your choice, really. If you want me to keep quiet, I will - I'll hate to do it, but I will.

  • Martan nods.

[Ysabeau] I can change the spells I know, if necessary, to be able to better protect myself. We're able to do that, once in a while.

[Martan] There will be information that could be used to harm me, or others who are close to me. I would be trusting you with our lives.

[Ysabeau] I would never, ever wish to harm you, my dear.

[Martan] I know you wouldn't.

[Ysabeau] I don't know who else you are talking about but if they are your friends and family, I would want them to be safe, too.

[Martan] Lord Grey... others of his associates, potentially...

[Ysabeau] Okay... there's something I think I need to know, then.

[Martan] Ask me.

[Ysabeau] I know the Hush is split right now... but I don't know why.

[Ysabeau] I know the Warlord is part of it.

  • Martan nods.

[Ysabeau] I don't think I really agree with her having authority over the Hush as well as the guards as well as the army...

[Ysabeau] That is too much power for one person.

[Ysabeau] But I have to ask why she is trying to gain control of the Hush.

[Martan] She wants to take control of the organization - she sees it as being outside the law, therefore dangerous. But it was created to be outside the law - to do the things the law can't do.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Martan] If she has an ulterior motive aside from not liking the very basis of the organization, I don't know what it is.

[Ysabeau] All right.

[Ysabeau] I guess I am also uncertain whether Lord Grey is... working for the Empire or not, anymore.

[Ysabeau] Originally that was the intent, wasn't it?

  • Martan nods.

[Martan] He has the interests of the Empire at the forefront of his mind. If you mean, does he report to the Emperor... that's a bit more difficult.

[Ysabeau] Can you try to explain it?

[Martan] The Warlord has done her best to cut off his access to the court - driving him further outside the circles of power.

[Ysabeau] (I should be SMing him... just to cover my ass. ;) )

[Martan] So - I think he would, if he could easily do so.

[Martan] But right now, no... he's operating using his own best judgment, and that of close advisors.

[Ysabeau] (22 which probably is not going to be good enough if he's a similar level to me and a spy. ;) )

[Martan] (heh - you don't think he's lying, anyway)

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Martan] So... will you tell me what you've been thinking about?

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] How to convince you that I am not helpless, among other things.

[Ysabeau] But I think we've already got that sorted, possibly.

[Martan] I know you're not. I think you could be a strong ally, even apart from any other ...personal considerations :)

[Ysabeau] There may be ways I can pass messages along, I suppose... but I'm a researcher, not a spy.

[Ysabeau] I admit there is a certain overlap in skill sets, but I like to think research is slightly less likely to get me killed or imprisoned.

  • Ysabeau jokes.

[Martan] I wouldn't ask you to do anything you're not willing and able to do, of course. That's all part of the not wanting you to get hurt thing :)

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] As to what else I've been thinking about, I suppose it goes back to the last time we met.

  • Martan listens.
  • Ysabeau tucks a lock of hair behind her ear, a bit uncertain how to proceed.

[Ysabeau] Did you ask Lord Grey about anything...?

[Ysabeau] If not... I could tell you what I know. I have been putting those research skills to use to try to learn a little more about it.

[Martan] We've ... 'talked' would be putting it politely. Argued, more like it ;)

[Martan] So.. I assume you're talking about who my parents are?

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Martan] How did you find out?

[Ysabeau] Well, to be honest I only had an idea of your mother's identity a month ago.

[Ysabeau] But since then I've got a good idea of who your father is too.

  • Martan nods.

[Martan] I realize it's hard to be certain about these things...

[Ysabeau] The truth is, a number of people at the Society are interested in you and your parents.

[Martan] Me specifically, or the abstract me?

[Ysabeau] It's run the gamut, to be honest.

[Martan] I mean - do they know it's me they're interested in, or do they just know there's a person they should be interested in?

[Ysabeau] Two of them know it's you... they're the ones who went to see Lord Grey about you, and brought me along on a different but possibly related matter.

  • Martan nods.

[Ysabeau] Two that I know of, for sure.

[Ysabeau] Sister Alma de Beziers and Dominik Rademacher.

[Martan] Well... I'm glad I'm not a society-wide research project, at least.

[Ysabeau] Yes, I understand.

[Ysabeau] It's really like more gawking, isn't it.

  • Martan shrugs.

[Martan] I would just hate to be the last to know.

  • Martan says, making light of what you think is actually a fairly painful subject for him.
  • Ysabeau squeezes his hand.

[Ysabeau] I'm sorry. I can only imagine...

[Ysabeau] There may be others at the Society who are more aware of the abstract you. But two of them are associated with the Order of the Black Down.

[Ysabeau] And so I hope they don't know it's you.

  • Martan nods.

[Martan] That was one thing that Lord Grey *was* willing to tell me about. I suppose on the theory that the more I know, the more I can avoid them.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I'm glad he told you that, at least.

[Martan] Really, he did tell me everything, eventually. I think, anyway.

[Martan] It just took a lot of arguing to get to that point.

  • Ysabeau squeezes his hand once more.

[Martan] ... I think part of him preferred having me think he was my father. *I* liked thinking he was my father.

[Ysabeau] (Does he look like he needs a hug? )

  • Martan could probably, yeah.
  • Ysabeau gets up and moves around the end of the table to give him a hug.
  • Martan embraces you tightly.

[Ysabeau] I'm sorry that things have been so difficult for you.

[Martan] It's just a lot to take in at once. And I don't really feel like I know what it all *means* yet.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I'll tell you what I know.

  • Ysabeau will do that, and tell him the riddle Seth got from the Order that we think is about him.
  • Martan listens to all of that.

[Ysabeau] (Well, about his mother, but he's mentioned in it.)

[Martan] (*nods*)

[Ysabeau] It was interesting to me that you signed your letter with stars, in light of that riddle.

[Martan] I .. it's about my real name. That was what I was thinking of, anyway.

[Ysabeau] Listen... if you want me to, but only if you want me to, I could cast a Legend Lore to see if it might reveal anything more about what this all might mean.

[Martan] If you think it might help, I'd be happy of anything you can find.

[Ysabeau] It might help, but the spell usually only gives a fairly cryptic message about whatever the subject is.

  • Martan nods.

[Ysabeau] It would take less than an hour, with you right here with me.

[Ysabeau] And of course I would tell you anything I learn from it.

[Ysabeau] There's also Sister Alma... you may not know, but she has a talent for reading objects.

[Martan] All right... but... not right now?

  • Martan still has his arms around you.
  • Ysabeau holds him close again.

[Ysabeau] I was hoping you might be able to stay the night.

[Martan] I was hoping I might be able to too.

  • Martan stands, keeping hold of your hands.

[Ysabeau] Well, I'm glad we're of a mind on that.

  • Martan kisses you passionately.
  • Ysabeau is at least as passionate as him. ;D

Sanadhil and Dozilva

  • Dozilva applies a bandage to her new decoration in the morning.
  • Sanadhil probably starts awake, whenever he wakes up

[Dozilva] You slept. Feel good?

  • Sanadhil doesn't remember any dreams...

[Sanadhil] better now.

  • Dozilva nods.

[Sanadhil] Have you been up long?

[Dozilva] A little while.

[Dozilva] It is... intense, yes?

  • Sanadhil smiles

[Sanadhil] yes, very intense.

[Dozilva] Afterwards, when it has all flowed away, you have to rest.

  • Sanadhil looks over at the bandage

[Sanadhil] It caught me off guard.

  • Dozilva smiles.

[Dozilva] The first time... so long ago now, but yes - it is surprising.

[Dozilva] On both sides.

[Sanadhil] mmm.

  • Dozilva crawls back in beside you.
  • Sanadhil trails a finger along her exposed scars, looking pensive
  • Dozilva rests her head on your shoulder.
  • Sanadhil just smiles a little, and brushes her hair out of her face

[Dozilva] You'll know how it feels too... when you are ready :)

[Sanadhil] Of course.

  • Dozilva teases your nipple-ring gently.
  • Sanadhil tries to hide any undertones of 'ah ha ha ha never ahhhhh D: D: D:'

[Sanadhil] mmm.

  • Sanadhil closes his eyes
  • Dozilva brings her mouth to it, since you seem to be enjoying that ^-^

[Sanadhil] YOu're right, it does feel.... mmm..

[Sanadhil] :)

[Dozilva] Mmm :)

  • Dozilva murmurs around your flesh.
  • Sanadhil lets his hand trail across her body, skimming some of her body art with the edge of his fingernail but being careful around her bandage

[Dozilva] I want to do something to please you today - whatever you like. Since you were so very good to me last night.

[Sanadhil] hmm?

[Sanadhil] I will have to think about that.

  • Dozilva nods.

[Sanadhil] Last night was.... very special.

  • Dozilva smiles.

[Dozilva] For me as well.

  • Sanadhil frowns a little, because he doesn't really understand it all, but smiles again as soon as she speaks.

[Sanadhil] I'm glad.

[Dozilva] I feel more... strong for you.

[Sanadhil] Strong?

[Sanadhil] Strongly?

[Dozilva] Yes... strongly. But also, more deep? More strong feelings.

[Dozilva] [sk] I feel like we're truly bonded now.

  • Sanadhil nods
  • Dozilva says, not having the right words in your language.
  • Sanadhil switches to Sk

[Sanadhil] bonded?

[Dozilva] (just chekcing something)

  • Sanadhil looks over at her, hoping he didn't seem as uncertain as he felt, suddenly

[Dozilva] That we have made an agreement... a commitment. I don't know if you feel the same way, though - if you were one of my people, maybe, but you aren't, so...

[Sanadhil] Ahh.

  • Dozilva looks a little anxious, but doesn't seem to want to pressure you into answering quickly.
  • Sanadhil nods, feeling entirely out of his depth

[Dozilva] Be honest with me? If it isn't what you wish, then I want to know.

  • Sanadhil takes her hands.

[Sanadhil] Doziliva, ...I care for you. I just... don't know what that means.

[Dozilva] What it means to care for someone?

[Sanadhil] Maybe.

[Sanadhil] I'm ...not used to having close relationships

[Dozilva] I forget, sometimes, that you're so young...

  • Sanadhil tries to sound calm, even if he doesn't feel it at all.

[Dozilva] What it means changes for every person... we can decide for ourselves what we want it to mean.

[Dozilva] And we can change our minds later - it isn't cast in iron.

  • Sanadhil nods again

[Dozilva] Would it help if I tell you what I feel it means for me?

[Sanadhil] I don't know.

[Dozilva] All right...

[Sanadhil] Its frigtening. I know that's not right.

  • Dozilva smiles.

[Dozilva] It sounds right... of course it is frightening.

[Dozilva] Frightening and wonderful, together.

[Dozilva] I don't want to control you - to make you do anything you don't wish.

[Sanadhil] ...

  • Sanadhil sits up and takes a deep breath

[Sanadhil] I know.

  • Dozilva sits up as well.
  • Sanadhil take another breath, but blows it out too fast, frustrated

[Dozilva] ...

[Sanadhil] Maybe it would help

[Dozilva] If I tell you what I think it means for me?

  • Sanadhil nods

[Dozilva] Very well...

[Dozilva] Before, I thought we had fun together - but that other things would make it too difficult to have more.

  • Sanadhil keeps a (relatively) tight hold on her hand

[Dozilva] The distance, the cultures, the age... everything, I don't know.

[Dozilva] But now I feel like, even though those challenges are still there, I want to try to overcome them. So that I could be with you, together, not just visiting once in a while.

[Dozilva] ...

  • Dozilva waits to see what your reaction is to that.

[Sanadhil] This is already the closest I have every let someone into my life.

  • Dozilva nods.

[Sanadhil] I dont know how to do....more.

[Sanadhil] it makes me nervous, because I don't want to deceive you

[Dozilva] That is fair...

[Sanadhil] I don't know what I would do.

  • Dozilva nods again.

[Dozilva] It would not be a sudden step, from this to... always together, all the time.

[Dozilva] I wouldn't want that either.

  • Sanadhil nods again

[Dozilva] But... I would be willing to try living here, in this city.

[Dozilva] Then we could see each other more often, without such large efforts.

[Sanadhil] I would be scared for you.

  • Dozilva smiles slightly at that.
  • Sanadhil says, more easily, but honestly.

[Dozilva] I can take care of myself... and I could find a way to conceal my appearance, I'm sure.

[Dozilva] I could seem to be no more a foreigner than you are ;)

  • Sanadhil nods

[Dozilva] Others have done it before me... it isn't impossible.

  • Sanadhil is thinking about Earric.

[Sanadhil] We would have to be careful...

[Sanadhil] There might be other dangers, for you that others might not have had top concern themselves with.

[Dozilva] Oh?

[Sanadhil] because of my research...

[Dozilva] ahh...

  • Sanadhil waves his free hand

[Dozilva] I will consider all of this - talk to some who know more than I do about how it could be done.

[Sanadhil] alright.

  • Dozilva squeezes your hand.

[Sanadhil] I do. I do care, I do want to see more of you.

  • Dozilva smiles at that.

[Dozilva] That would please me.

[Dozilva] But now... have you any thoughts about what pleasurable thing I could do for you today? :)

  • Sanadhil half-laughs
  • Sanadhil will kis her
  • Dozilva kisses back.

[Sanadhil] I need some time.

[Dozilva] Very well.

  • Sanadhil will just hold her for a bit then :3
  • Dozilva seems contented with that.

Sanadhil, Alma and Dozilva

  • Sanadhil will invite Alma to tea on the premise that he needs to talk to her before the Rionet wedding
  • Alma rides in her new carriage in silence, wondering why Sanadhil has made another tea date so soon. .oO( It would be nice if he was going to be more... forthcoming? productive? but how would that relate to the wedding? )
  • Alma arrives promptly and knocks.
  • Sanadhil answers.

[Sanadhil] Good afternoon, countess - thank you for coming.

[Alma] Thank you for the invitation, M. Orecalo.

  • Sanadhil nods
  • Alma is holding a chilled carafe of bright orange liquid

[Sanadhil] There is a mater I wanted to discuss.... and someone I wanted you to meet, beforehand.

[Alma] Oh?

  • Sanadhil explans as he ushers her inside.
  • Sanadhil nods.

[Alma] I brought this to supplement our tea... mango juice. I believe they grow in Psyra.

  • Alma will hand it to Sanadhil.

[Sanadhil] Ahh, thank you.

  • Sanadhil smiles and takes it.
  • Alma follows her host, presumably to the same room she's been a few times before.

[Sanadhil] I'll find some glasses - please, come in.

  • Dozilva stands beside the table. She is a young human woman with bright red hair and a pale complexion. She smiles, perhaps a touch nervously.

[Sanadhil] I'm not certain if you remember Mlle. Baru, from the imperial weddings?

  • Sanadhil sets the juice with the other snacks and such :3

[Alma] Ah, if I recall correctly, she was present for Theron Rademacher's troubles?

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] yes.

[Alma] Good afternoon Mlle. Baru. :)

  • Alma will extend her hand.

[Dozilva] Good afternoon...

  • Dozilva does as well, though seems a bit awkward about it, as if it's not a very familiar gesture to her.

[Sanadhil] ...and this is Sister Alma de Beziers, countess of Beziers.

[Dozilva] It is good to meet you, Sister Alma.

[Alma] Likewise :)

[Sanadhil] Please, have a seat.

  • Alma will take a seat. .oO( He wants me to meet his date? )
  • Sanadhil indicates to both ladies.
  • Dozilva sits too.
  • Sanadhil will pour tea, knowing aleady how both take it (heh)]


  • Sanadhil sits as well after passing it around.

[Sanadhil] I wanted to have a chance for you to to meet under more controlled circumstances

  • Sanadhil explains to alma.

[Alma] I see... .oO( No, I don't. )

[Sanadhil] Because I didn't want you to be caught off guard if it was something you discovered on your own - Mlle Baru is Shadar Kai.

  • Sanadhil puts his hand on Dozilva's.
  • Dozilva nods.
  • Alma grips her tea cup a little more firmly and turns a little too quickly to look at Dozilva.

[Alma] I see.

[Alma] So the scholar was not the first Shadar Kai you met outside the dream then.

[Sanadhil] No.

[Sanadhil] It is a personal matter - but as I said, I didn't want you to be caught off guard.

[Alma] Not at the wedding, at least.

  • Sanadhil nods his head in acknowledgement.

[Sanadhil] I'm sure it is a surprise, nonetheless.

[Alma] It is, rather; considering how it seemed only recently that the Shadar Kai were distant history to this plane.

[Alma] I suppose that is perhaps silly of me. Your people have the ability to cross over at will, yes?

  • Alma says to Mlle "Baru".

[Dozilva] Yes... some of my people have visited here in the past, some even have stayed if they were able.

  • Alma sips her tea awkwardly.

[Dozilva] I... I am considering coming to stay. At least to see how it is.

  • Dozilva says with a sidelong glance at San.
  • Alma can't quite hide her surprise at that, either.
  • Sanadhil smiles neutrally, but still has her hand, and nods.

[Alma] I would be interested to know what it's like where you come from, Mlle. Baru.

[Dozilva] I would be quite willing to talk with you about it, Sister Alma.

[Dozilva] Sanadhil has told me some of what you saw in the dream-world... I can tell you that it is very different in many ways now - and that I don't believe it was ever like that, not precisely.

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] You can understand then, why I told Sanadhil that it concerns me when we catch the attention of your people...

[Dozilva] I am a scholar... a librarian by profession. So it is of some interest to me, the changes...

  • Dozilva nods.

[Dozilva] I can understand that, yes. But a few of us visiting from time to time does not mean an invasion is coming, by any means.

  • Sanadhil sips his tea, giving them a chance to talk.

[Alma] Of course... and a dream is not reality, even one so old.

  • Dozilva nods.

[Sanadhil] Indeed.

[Alma] I would be so bold as to say that the dream had a very strong impact on all of us.

  • Alma says in the archaic Shadar Kai of the dream... "One does not usually wake from a dream of two days and know another language."
  • Dozilva smiles.

[Dozilva] (sk) No, certainly not - and you learned it very well, I would say.

  • Alma forces a smile at the compliment...

[Sanadhil] (now is the time for the sensing of motives @_@)

[Alma] (26)

[Sanadhil] (27)

[Alma] (Alma is still uncomfortable with the topic of the dream.)

[Alma] M. Orecalo tells me that your people no longer worship Vrag, or any God.

[Dozilva] No, that is true... most, anyway. There are a few, very few, who hold to the worship of Vrag, but they are seen as... very strange.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Alma] He said that the scholar he met with... Rhyl... thought that perhaps it, and the Gods of our people as well, were perhaps cut off from your plane.

  • Alma wonders to herself how to ask if they practice horrible slavery.

[Dozilva] It is possible. I have never known a priest such as you have here, who can draw on such powers.

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] Do you have... mundane spiritual leaders instead? or perhaps like the Cozovodë, arcanists?

  • Dozilva considers the question.
  • Sanadhil frowns sligtly at that - the Cozovodë do have priests....

[Alma] (Aren't they wizards?)

[Sanadhil] . o O (but there are no stars in the Shadow Plane....)

[Sanadhil] (also wizards)

[Alma] (Ah)

[Dozilva] We have leaders - clan elders, for example - who show us by their words and example how to live. I do not know if they are 'spiritual leaders'...

[Alma] Forgive me for what might seem a morbid question, but what do you believe happens when you die?

  • Sanadhil blinks, not expecting *that* :o

[Dozilva] We believe that we become part of the Shadow.

  • Alma nods.
  • Sanadhil looks at her curiously, but says nothing for now

[Alma] How do you learn about the Shadow, without priests? Do your arcanists study these things?

[Dozilva] The Shadow is... it is difficult to explain for one who has not lived there, but I will try. The closest I can think of is like what you call here 'Nature'? It is... what we live in, what surrounds us, where life springs from.

[Dozilva] So to study it is to study... our world.

[Dozilva] Shadow is not the world itself, but the ... essence of the world?

  • Dozilva has some trouble expressing these concepts, but is trying.
  • Sanadhil listens with interest

[Sanadhil] Like star-substance...

[Dozilva] Perhaps it is similar, yes.

  • Sanadhil nods
  • Dozilva agrees.

[Dozilva] Although of course we have no stars.

[Dozilva] They are one of the things I like best about this world... :)

  • Alma smiles
  • Sanadhil smiles also

[Sanadhil] Would either of you care for some juice?

[Alma] Certainly.

  • Sanadhil asks to fill the conversational lull

[Dozilva] Thank you, yes.

  • Sanadhil nods, and will excuse himself to fetch some glasses

[Alma] How did you and M. Orecalo meet?

[Dozilva] Ah... it is an amusing story, I think.

[Dozilva] He took a book from my library. I was charged with retrieving it.

[Alma] :o

[Alma] And they let him back in?

  • Dozilva smiles at that.

[Alma] I suppose Ms. L'averti helped with that.

[Dozilva] Well, they did not know it was him who had taken it, also :)

  • Alma shakes her head.

[Alma] He's lucky, then, that it was you they sent.

[Dozilva] Yes... it could have been much less pleasant for him, certainly.

[Alma] .oO( And that the book didn't, say, corrupt and sacrifice a bunch of sewer people. )

  • Sanadhil returns from the kitchen.

[Dozilva] I had sympathy for his curiosity.

[Sanadhil] hmm?

[Dozilva] Oh - Sister Alma asked how we met.

  • Sanadhil pours juice and tries to gauge the conversation

[Alma] I suppose it is not as if he could have asked to borrow it... ?

[Sanadhil] ...ahh, I see.

[Dozilva] Not without some sort of disguise, certainly.

[Alma] What do you think your people would think of us, Mlle. Baru?

  • Sanadhil starts to say something, but changes his mid as the conversation is directed elsewhere

[Dozilva] My people are like any people, I think - there are some who would be curious, some who would wish to remain isolated, some who would see opportunities for profit...

  • Sanadhil passes each of the ladies a glass

[Alma] Thank you.

  • Alma nods.

[Dozilva] Most of us know of your existence, certainly. But we typically keep our distance.

[Alma] So my concern is mostly moot, then? We're... maybe even boring?

  • Dozilva chuckles slightly at that.

[Dozilva] I think the word may be 'intimidating.'

[Alma] o_O

[Alma] Intimidating?

[Sanadhil] This is an overwhelming place.

[Alma] Well, there's always the countryside...

[Sanadhil] So much coulour...

[Alma] Ah...

[Dozilva] Even there... The colours and sounds are all very strange to us, and some find it too much to endure.

[Alma] Yes, the darkness...

  • Alma recalls Saraknyel

[Dozilva] And moreover, we have tales of the last time we ventured here, which tend to serve as warnings.

[Dozilva] The kind one uses to scare children...

  • Dozilva says with a slight smile.
  • Sanadhil nods again.

[Alma] I suppose I can understand that, considering what we learned from the scroll M. Orecalo translated.

[Alma] As much as anything it was that which made me nervous about contact with your people, Mlle. Baru.

[Alma] I know you're not as long-lived as the Cozovodë, but I had no way of knowing how long your people might hold a grudge :)

[Sanadhil] ...They are...

  • Sanadhil glances at her.

[Alma] (I thought they weren't.)

[Dozilva] Well... not quite, I think.

[Sanadhil] And it is do Baru.... Dozilva do Baru

  • Sanadhil nods

[Dozilva] I am not certain - they can live a thousand years, do they not?

[Sanadhil] Some do.

[Sanadhil] Less for most - usualy around 800.

[Dozilva] It is difficult to translate between your years and our cycles, but I think our eldest might reach half that.

  • Dozilva nods.
  • Sanadhil nods

[Alma] .oO( I wonder if their children occasionally cross over by mistake... )

[Alma] So you are coming to the wedding of the Duke of Coindeliere and the Duchess of Corcyra.

[Sanadhil] Yes.

  • Dozilva nods.

[Dozilva] I was at the large wedding at the palace, but this will not be like that, I gather...

[Alma] I trust it will be a pleasant event, but it will be much less grand, yes.

  • Dozilva nods again.

[Dozilva] I find the weddings very interesting. We do not have things quite like that.

[Alma] It is about as important a wedding in our society as you can get, aside from the Imperial family.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Alma] Do you celebrate romantic partnerships otherwise?

  • Dozilva considers.

[Dozilva] People may choose to join together... romantically, I suppose is the correct word... but it is a private thing, not a large ceremony.

[Dozilva] There is usually a celebration when a man joins the house of his... mother of his children, however.

[Alma] Oh?

[Alma] Does he then only ... partner with those of that House?

[Dozilva] Well, it does not happen very often, and so it is cause for celebration I suppose.

[Dozilva] You partner with those from outside your own clan, always - unless the man has joined, after three children are born.

[Alma] Ah, so until the third child is born to the same woman, the partnership is private?

[Dozilva] That is right, yes.

[Alma] Hmmm.

[Dozilva] It is made and ended as the people involved wish it. After the third child, however, then they are bonded forever.

[Alma] I am sure there are numerous among us who would like it to be that way here, as well :P

[Alma] Though they usually can continue on as such, unless they have a duty to marry :)

[Dozilva] Heh. Well, I see that your way has some good things about it - such as the food at the celebration, which was very delicious.

[Alma] Haha

[Dozilva] Do marriages end, here? Or are they forever?

[Sanadhil] They are intended to be forever - I think most are... For life.

  • Sanadhil ammends at the end, because of reicarnation stuff :x

[Alma] Ideally, yes... but that may not be realistic.

  • Dozilva nods.

[Alma] The vows provide a reason to work to keep the pairing whole, despite hard times.

[Dozilva] That makes sense.

[Alma] But in the end, it would be cruel to say that nothing can ever be cause to dissolve the vows.

[Dozilva] Certainly... people may change their feelings, yes, or be deceived?

[Alma] Yes, exactly.

  • Sanadhil nods, not entirely comfortable with the conversation but covering it fairly well

[Dozilva] Well, that seems fair.

  • Sanadhil sips his delicious juice @_@

[Alma] Sometimes it is necessary that we marry out of duty... I for example, as a Countess, am expected to have an heir within a legitimate marriage.

[Alma] But I think most should marry for love...

[Alma] I'm very lucky to have met a man who I can marry and who I love :)

  • Dozilva smiles at that.

[Dozilva] Are you going to marry soon as well?

[Alma] Yes, my fiancé, Ser Danyel Rackley, and I will be married in Sixthmonth.

[Dozilva] Congratulations, I believe is correct? :)

[Alma] Yes, thank you :)

[Dozilva] So we will see you then, as well? :)

[Alma] Ah...

[Alma] If you would like to come, I would be delighted to show you more of our traditions.

[Dozilva] Thank you!

  • Sanadhil smiles

[Alma] Though mine will be presumably less grand than that of the Duke and Duchess.

  • Dozilva seems pleased.

[Sanadhil] Very gracious of you, countess.

[Sanadhil] Thank you.

[Alma] It would be an honour to show Mlle. do Baru more of our culture. She is an ambassador of sorts, for her people.

[Alma] Though perhaps that isn't a mantle you'd care to take on, Mlle :)

  • Dozilva smiles.

[Sanadhil] We were hoping to keep her presence a little more...low key, yes.

[Dozilva] I would not wish to say I represent all of my people... but I am happy to learn more about your ways, if I am to live here.

  • Sanadhil nods
  • Sanadhil smiles at her

[Alma] Yes, I didn't mean anything quite so official.

[Dozilva] Perhaps one day, who knows... there could be closer ties between our peoples.

[Alma] (SM 38, is that just politeness or does she think it's plausible?)

  • Dozilva seems hopeful about it, though not overly confident that it will happen anytime soon.

[Alma] I'm glad to hear you think it might be so...

  • Alma smiles, very relieved she didn't have to ask the question herself...

[Dozilva] The more such little ties there are, the more likely I think it becomes.

  • Dozilva says with a smile to San.
  • Alma smirks inwardly.
  • Sanadhil just nods

[Sanadhil] Indeed.

[Alma] All the more reason for you to see how our traditions work :)

[Sanadhil] ...

[Sanadhil] Thank you again for coming, Countes. I hope this has helped aleviate any concerns that may have otherwise arisen.

  • Dozilva just smiles and nods.

[Alma] Yes, it has, M. Orecalo.

[Alma] It's been a pleasure to meet you Mlle. do Baru.

[Dozilva] Thank you - I have enjoyed talking with you also, Sister alma. I hope we will speak again before too long.

[Alma] Ah, how should I address you at the wedding?

  • Dozilva looks to San.

[Sanadhil] As Mlle. baru, will be fine.

[Alma] I was thinking if someone should ask for her full name...

[Sanadhil] Zilvia Baru.

[Alma] Thank you.

  • Alma will be on her way, with a much lighter heart than she'd expected shortly into the conversation.

Ysabeau and Martan

  • Ysabeau comes out of her introspective state - she'd been humming a queer little tune for the past ten minutes or so, since you think she began casting the spell.
  • Ysabeau glances over at Martan, eyes regaining their focus.
  • Ysabeau glances at the incense - it's a nice smell, sandalwood or something.

[Ysabeau] Oh... still burning. I guess it didn't take as long as it could have.

  • Ysabeau gives Martan an uncertain little smile.

[Ysabeau] I think I need to sit down.

  • Ysabeau sits next to him on the edge of her bed and takes his hand.

[Ysabeau] Right then. I did warn you it might be quite cryptic...

  • Martan nods, listening.
  • Ysabeau looks a little pale as she turns to face him.

[Ysabeau] Remember the morning after the party, our talk of consequences?

[Martan] Of course...

[Ysabeau] Well, this could have some very big ones, depending on how it's meant to be interpreted.

[Martan] I suppose that's always the trick with these things, isn't it...

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I want you to know that whatever the consequences may be, you are worth my time.

[Martan] ... Now you're making me nervous!

  • Martan says lightly.
  • Ysabeau smiles dryly.

[Ysabeau] Okay... taking the hint. I'll stop rambling, love.

[Ysabeau] Right then.

  • Ysabeau takes a deep breath.

[Ysabeau] "When a woman fathers a child, and her daughter to Greywatch is kin, when the starlight returns to its first form, as the serpent at last sheds its skin, then the mother of mercy seeks vengeance, and the wheel shall soon cease to spin."

  • Martan looks puzzled.

[Martan] I... have no idea what that means. I understand all the words, but together... o_O

[Martan] Does it make sense to you?

[Ysabeau] It might make a little sense...

[Ysabeau] Let me explain...

[Martan] Please do...

  • Ysabeau attempts to gather her wits about her.

[Ysabeau] It would seem to list a number of events which must come to pass before... something really big happens.

[Martan] The wheel ceasing to spin... I got that part.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Martan] That doesn't sound like a good thing.

[Ysabeau] It certainly doesn't.

[Ysabeau] I hope that doesn't mean the end of all things, but I don't really know.

[Ysabeau] I think we'll need to bring in some other people to try to figure that one out... if you are all right with that.

[Martan] I suppose so...

[Ysabeau] The question is, whom?

[Martan] Well... I can give it some thought, but if you have suggestions, I'd be grateful.

[Ysabeau] Sister Alma de Beziers, possibly... although she is, obviously, with the Church, which may not be too keen on the most literal interpretation of the wheel ceasing to spin.

  • Martan nods.

[Ysabeau] Lord Grey?

[Martan] I think it might be good, yes... if nothing else, he would know who else we could safely consult.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Martan] Do you have any idea what any of the rest of it could mean?

[Ysabeau] Let's keep it to those two, for now... unless you'd rather wait with Sister Alma until after we've spoken to Lord Grey.

[Ysabeau] As to the rest of it...

[Ysabeau] "When a woman fathers a child" could refer to Tristane Dizon, in her relationship with Theonee.

[Martan] Right...

  • Ysabeau squeezes his hand.

[Ysabeau] If we go with that explanation, then Theonee is kin to Greywatch, which I think we sort of might have known already.

[Ysabeau] It suggests, again, that our friend Martan Kizer lurks in your ancestry.

  • Martan nods.

[Ysabeau] "When the starlight returns to its first form" - there were doors to a crypt at Kholm, with a design that looked almost like our constellations, but weren't quite right.

[Ysabeau] Then... the Rat constellation returned, 50 years ago, after the Arch was moved.

[Martan] I guess you know how this spell works better than I do, but isn't it supposed to be about *me*? It all sounds sort of ... broad.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] The problem is, I can think of two possible explanations for almost every clause.

[Martan] :/

[Ysabeau] Anyway, both the doors at the crypt and the fact that Rat disappeared and reappeared seem to suggest that our starlight changes, or has changed.

[Martan] so what's its 'first form'?

[Ysabeau] Perhaps it is cyclical like everything else, and we're almost at the point where it will have returned to whatever it looked like at the beginning.

[Ysabeau] Cycles - represented by circles - do keep popping up.

[Ysabeau] The Serpent, biting its own tail, the Wheel, the Arch.

[Ysabeau] The other possibility is... because you seem to be linked in to the starlight somehow... that phrase might refer to you.

[Martan] ... to me returning to my 'first form'? What does that mean?

[Ysabeau] I don't know. :/

[Ysabeau] Well, there is one possibility...

  • Ysabeau takes a deep breath.

[Ysabeau] Did Lord Grey tell you about your birth?

[Martan] He told me about who my parents were...

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Martan] Nothing about my birth specifically, no?

[Ysabeau] Okay.

[Martan] So, this 'one possibility'?

  • Martan isn't letting that go so easily ;)
  • Ysabeau glances at him - she was trying to think of how to break it to him as nicely as possible.

[Ysabeau] Well...

[Ysabeau] From what I can gather, based on the information found in a diary which Dominik Rademacher was sent to find and destroy by Lord Grey, and from what Lord Grey himself told Dom and Sister Alma, when you were born, a lot of people... were very concerned about you. About your safety. Take that as you will....

[Martan] ...

[Martan] Ysabeau, if you know something, tell me.

[Ysabeau] A spell was cast to hide your identity from those who might wish you ill.

[Martan] They changed my form somehow?

  • Ysabeau nods, swallowing.

[Ysabeau] I'm sorry.

[Ysabeau] This is difficult.

[Martan] Just... whatever it is, please. Tell me.

  • Martan says, as calmly as he's able.

[Ysabeau] You were born a girl, according to them.

[Martan] ...

[Martan] I was... but that can't be... it doesn't ...

[Martan] According to who?

[Martan] Whose diary?

[Ysabeau] It was Althea's, I gather.

  • Martan 's hands are shaking slightly.

[Martan] I don't think I'm really a girl, Ysabeau. Wouldn't I ...know, somehow? Feel different?

  • Ysabeau 's eyes well up with empathy and concern.
  • Ysabeau squeezes your hand once more.

[Ysabeau] I hoped Lord Grey had told you, during your argument.

  • Martan shakes his head.

[Ysabeau] I'm so sorry, Hesperus.

[Martan] It's ...not your fault.

  • Martan seems a bit dazed.
  • Ysabeau will give him a hug.
  • Martan automatically hugs back.

[Ysabeau] Darling, I think the spell they used was very powerful.

[Ysabeau] Loch du Champe himself cast it...

[Ysabeau] It might have been a Wish spell.

[Martan] ...how thoughtful of them...

[Martan] I suppose they'd want to do it right.

[Martan] -_-

[Ysabeau] It made me angry, when I heard.

[Ysabeau] To do that to an innocent little baby.

[Martan] I... suppose they thought it was the right thing...

  • Ysabeau nods, brushing tears away.

[Ysabeau] I have thought a lot about it, since. I think they did, Hesperus. I think they did mean well, though that is small comfort now.

[Martan] It doesn't change who I am now, though.

  • Martan says more firmly.

[Ysabeau] No, it doesn't.

[Ysabeau] I thought about that, too. And I think that might be part of why you weren't told.

[Martan] and... it doesn't bother you?

[Ysabeau] No, it doesn't.

[Martan] All right.

[Martan] ...if that's what this means, though...

  • Martan goes back to thinking about the words.
  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Yes, I know.

[Martan] .. then I'll turn back? sometime?

[Ysabeau] I don't know yet.

  • Martan looks more disconcerted by that, if possible.

[Ysabeau] It might mean that, or it might mean some other sort of transformation.

  • Martan nods.

[Ysabeau] A more metaphysical one, perhaps.

[Martan] [m]...fathers a child...

  • Ysabeau nods, biting her lip.
  • Martan looks at you.

[Ysabeau] I suppose we'll have to revisit last night's conversation in light of this new development.

  • Ysabeau sighs.

[Martan] ...This is going to happen, whatever we try to do to stop it, isn't it.

[Ysabeau] It's possible. Unless that part of the riddle *is* about Tristane.

  • Martan nods.

[Ysabeau] There's also a very strong possibility that I'm barren.

[Ysabeau] It might not mean you and me.

[Martan] ... why? how do you know?

[Ysabeau] Well... you said you have a lot of baggage.

[Ysabeau] So do I.

[Martan] I'm sorry...

  • Martan strokes your hair.

[Ysabeau] It's all right. I would have wanted to tell you this eventually, regardless.

[Martan] Did... someone hurt you?

  • Ysabeau half-smiles, a spark of (bitter?) amusement in her eyes.

[Ysabeau] In this instance, I hurt myself.

[Ysabeau] You know we were orphaned when I was ten and Murienne was six.

  • Martan nods.

[Ysabeau] We hadn't been in Diablotin long - only a year or so. Our parents did not own their house.

[Ysabeau] When they died, with no known relatives to turn to, we lost our home.

[Ysabeau] Murienne and I tried to make a living by performing on the street corners. We sang...

[Ysabeau] But no one takes a couple of ragged little singing girls very seriously.

  • Martan listens carefully.
  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] It was also hard to get a good corner where anyone would hear us...

[Ysabeau] People who had been homeless for longer than us had those places pretty much staked out and would threaten us, chase us off, beat us occasionally, if we intruded on their territories.

[Ysabeau] We ended up being pushed into the Shambles which made matters even worse.

[Ysabeau] We could have become thieves... and we did steal, when we were extremely desperate. A loaf of bread here, a pair of apples there. Sometimes clothes.

[Ysabeau] But it was not really a viable alternative.

  • Martan nods...

[Ysabeau] You can probably see where this is leading.

[Martan] I can only imagine... :/

[Ysabeau] The winter I was twelve was especially difficult. We had outgrown our shoes, we had no warm clothes, we were sleeping in the sewers.

[Ysabeau] I was twelve years old and I knew that my sister and I would probably not survive the winter.

[Ysabeau] So, I started earning a living by selling the only thing I had.

[Martan] :(

[Martan] I'm so sorry you had to go through that...

  • Ysabeau shrugs.

[Ysabeau] It was a choice I made. *I* made.

[Ysabeau] The choice could have been made for me if we'd gone to an orphanage, or if we'd become servant girls in someone's house.

  • Martan nods.

[Ysabeau] And then Murienne might have had to go through it, too.

[Ysabeau] But I believe that I was able to keep her safe, by making that choice. And that gives me a great deal of satisfaction, and a great deal of pride.

[Ysabeau] Anyway...

[Ysabeau] As you can imagine it was only a matter of time before I got pregnant.

[Ysabeau] I was fourteen, and what I earned just barely kept us fed, clothed and in a room in a boarding house.

[Ysabeau] I couldn't see how we'd manage if I had a baby.

[Martan] No, of course...

[Ysabeau] I could not afford a healer, so I ended it myself.

[Martan] oh.

  • Ysabeau pauses to brush at her tears.
  • Martan holds you closer, if you don't object anyway.

[Ysabeau] It was another choice I made. One that I have regretted ever since, but I don't really know how else... how else I could have managed.

  • Martan nods.

[Ysabeau] Anyway... I worked in the Shambles for another two years before one client nearly ended it all for me. Thank the gods for Murienne, or you'd never have met me.

[Ysabeau] And after that, I was at the Rutting Boar, which was safer.

[Ysabeau] Then I became Verity Arguelles' mistress for nearly a year, which doesn't really count since she's a woman.

  • Ysabeau manages to smile a little.
  • Martan tries to smile too.

[Ysabeau] In all that time, I have never been blessed with another pregnancy.

[Martan] But you must have been... being cautious?

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Of course, when the money allowed.

[Ysabeau] But that was not often, until I went to the Rutting Boar.

[Martan] But certainly you've never been ... trying, right? So maybe... you can't be sure, but maybe you've just had very good luck. In a way.

[Ysabeau] It's true, I haven't been trying.

[Martan] Gods know you would deserve some.

  • Martan says with a touch of a smile.
  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] Who says I don't have any? I met you, didn't I?

  • Martan looks pleased at that, though he blushes slightly.

[Martan] I love you, Ysabeau. I'm so lucky to have found you.

[Ysabeau] I love you too, Hesperus... more than I ever imagined it was possible to love someone.

[Martan] Whatever this means... all of it... we'll find our way through it together.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] We will.

  • Martan kisses you.
  • Ysabeau kisses him back, holding him close.

[Ysabeau] Well...

[Ysabeau] Now that you know the sordid details of my existence, as much as I'd rather be doing something else with you at this moment, I suppose we should turn our minds back to the Legend Lore.

[Martan] If we must...

[Ysabeau] You're 28, and plainly no stranger to pleasuring the ladies... do you know if you might already have fathered a child?

[Ysabeau] A rather indelicate question, I know.

[Martan] Heh, uh. I don't know of any...

[Ysabeau] All right.

[Martan] I suppose it's not impossible, but I've never known a woman who didn't take *some* precautions, anyway.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] That's good.

[Ysabeau] Although that does bring things back round to us, doesn't it?

[Martan] ...do you think it's still safe for us to...

[Martan] Yes, that.

  • Ysabeau tucks a lock of hair behind her ear, thinking.

[Ysabeau] Well, there are other ways to enjoy one another's company, if you're amenable.

[Ysabeau] At least until we know what the other parts of the Legend Lore are suggesting.

[Martan] I'm amenable, of course.

[Martan] But... we may not know, until whatever it is happens, right?

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] You're right, but suppose we don't try to tempt fate before we've spoken at least to Lord Grey and Sister Alma?

  • Martan nods.

[Martan] It's just with something like this... I can't shake the feeling that whatever we do, whether we try to avoid it or rush towards it, it's out of our hands... Maybe I'm being too fatalistic here.

  • Ysabeau reaches up to touch his cheek gently with her hand.

[Ysabeau] I don't know all the answers. I wish I did.

[Martan] None of us do.

  • Martan will find some more creative ways to enjoy himself with you, then.
  • Ysabeau can offer plenty of suggestions if he needs them. ;)

Ilphere and Menard

  • Menard is of course available for you anytime ^-^
  • Ilphere will come and talk to him some evening then...
  • Menard is considering his options for clothing on the morrow.

[Ilphere] I like the green...

  • Ilphere says helpfully... :)

[Menard] Better than the tan? I like the colour too, but I think the tan might be more flattering...

[Menard] But if you like the green, then that's what I'll wear :)

[Ilphere] You always look handsome...!

  • Menard smiles.

[Menard] Why, thank you. The pressure of the gossip rags is strong, though ;)

[Ilphere] Oh, don't I know it...

[Ilphere] I actually wanted to ask you something... somewhat related...

[Menard] Certainly.

  • Menard turns his attention away from his clothes, and fully to you.

[Ilphere] A friend of mine was trying to get ahold of the file on Nouel Izzaguirre for research purposes... She asked a guard friend to look into it for her. He couldn't get it but he did tell her that my family was mentioned within...

[Menard] Your family? Why?

[Ilphere] I have, well, very little idea... I would very much like to see it myself...

[Menard] Where is this file?

[Ilphere] (where was it again...?)

[Menard] (the records room of the Imperial Isle guard HQ)

[Ilphere] (ah thanks)

[Ilphere] The records room in the guards' headquarters, I think... on the Island.

[Menard] Hm...

[Menard] Well, it's got to be, what, fifty years old? They can't be using it anymore, can they?

[Ilphere] I wouldn't have thought so, but apparently it's sealed...!

[Menard] I suppose in theory it could have stuff about people who are still alive...

[Ilphere] I'm most interested in what it might say about my Grand-Mère, or her husband...

  • Menard nods.

[Menard] I think we should just go and tell them we're taking it. What could they do to stop us, really?

[Ilphere] Well it would be difficult to say no to the Prince...! :)

[Menard] There have to be *some* advantages to this other than the comfy living quarters...

[Ilphere] Oh, thank you so much...!

  • Menard puts his arms around your waist.

[Menard] If you find out something... unfortunate... what will you do with the information?

[Ilphere] Well I suppose it depends on how unfortunate...

[Ilphere] . o O ( Take it with me to my grave, perhaps, as she did... )

[Ilphere] But I must know.

  • Menard nods.

[Menard] All right. I'll do whatever I can to help you find out, then.

  • Ilphere hugs him tightly!
  • Menard kisses you.
  • Ilphere kisses back enthusiastically.

[Menard] (shall we go on to the efforts to get the file then?)

[Ilphere] (a'ight)

[Menard] (ok, lemme just snag another window)

  • Menard will go with you to the guard HQ the following day, then.
  • Menard does his best to look authoritative and imperial.
  • Guard bows respectfully when he sees who it is.

[Guard] Your highnesses... is there anything I can do for you?

[Ilphere] Yes; we are looking for a particular record housed here...

  • Ilphere looks to Menard.
  • Menard nods.

[Menard] Indeed, yes.

[Guard] Certainly - we hold many of the records of the city guards here. What file in particular interests you?

  • Menard looks to you - he probably doesn't want to screw up the name ;)

[Ilphere] The one concerning Nouel Izzaguirre.

  • Guard looks momentarily startled, but recovers his composure.

[Guard] I... believe that file is sealed, under orders of, um, the late Warlord.

  • Guard shuffles some papers nervously.

[Menard] Surely after this many years, though, it couldn't matter.

  • Menard smiles charmingly.

[Guard] Uh... I don't have the authority to release it, I'm very, very sorry, your highnesses... Allow me to get the Captain, she'd be the one who can authorize it.

  • Guard scuttles away.

[Ilphere] Well that's... interesting...

  • Ilphere looks over at Menard with a raised eyebrow...
  • Menard shrugs.

[Menard] [q] Hopefully the Captain will be more helpful...

  • Franeka of Gouge, the Imperial Guard captain, is a huge, strapping woman with wavy blonde hair and a stern look about her.

[Franeka] Your highnesses. What seems to be the trouble?

[Ilphere] (so the late warlord was her dad?)

[Menard] We find ourselves in need of a particular file, but apparently it's sealed. I expect you can sort this out, though!

[Menard] (yes, that's right)

  • Menard says brightly.

[Franeka] The Izaguirre file. So I hear.

[Franeka] It's no longer an active investigation, of course, but the contents are still highly sensitive.

[Franeka] What need do you have for it?

[Menard] It's a personal matter of interest.

  • Menard says, glancing at you to see if that's right.

[Ilphere] Yes. That's correct.

  • Franeka purses her lips, looking skeptical.

[Menard] (make a Bluff check... or Diplomacy, whichever's higher I guess)

[Ilphere] !roll 1d20+13

  • @BalthCat rolls for Ilphere: [ 1d20+13 ] getting [ 18 ] which, after the modifier [ 13 ] totals [ 31 ].

[Franeka] I can permit you to examine the file here, that's the best I can do. I'm afraid I can't let it leave the building.

[Franeka] And a guard will be present with you in the records room at all times, to ensure that nothing is accidentally lost or damaged. Is that acceptable, your highnesses?

[Ilphere] Yes, that will have to be sufficient... Thank you.

  • Franeka nods, somewhat curtly, and will have a guard take you to the records room to look at the files in question.
  • Guard brings out a box of material - not just a single file as you might have expected, but a rather large amount of paper to sift through.

[Ilphere] :o

[Ilphere] My goodness...!

[Menard] Well... I guess we can have a look through it.

  • Menard doesn't look overjoyed at the prospect of spending his morning in a dusty archive, reading 50-year-old notes, but he'll do it for you, aww.
  • Ilphere flips through a bit to see if it's at least in some kind of order...

[Ilphere] (chronological if I'm lucky :p)

[Guard] (You are able to identify the individual files mentioned by Ysabeau - there is indeed one with your family's surname on it, among the many others.)

[Ilphere] Ah, here we are...

  • Ilphere will selfishly read through hers first, in case they decide there's a time limit on her access...!

[Menard] (aight - I'll send you a write-up with a summary of its contents, and anything else that seems relevant from the rest of the box...)

[Ilphere] (sweet... I'll check on the other stuff she wanted as well -Tatiane and Althea - if I can)

[Menard] (yep - the guard doesn't seem inclined to kick you out, for some reason...)

[Ilphere] (rank doth its privileges have, hoho)

Alma and Sanadhil

  • Alma is in the society putting some of the entries from Belden's diaries into her public file. ^_^
  • Sanadhil enters the library, heading for one of the shelves, and nods and smiles to Alma when he notices her.

[Sanadhil] Good afternoon, Countess.

[Alma] Good afternoon, M. Orecalo.

[Alma] I've added my relatively mundane findings from the diaries of Matriarch Pasith Belden to my notes here, should you wish to have a look some time.

[Sanadhil] ahh, thank you, I certainly willl

[Alma] I did have a question for you...

[Sanadhil] oh?

  • Alma looks around to see that we're alone.

[Alma] I thought of a potential line of inquiry for Earric Boyne.

[Alma] I would be interested to know if he is aware of any other outsiders within the city...

[Sanadhil] Ahh.

  • Sanadhil smiles, then glances around

[Sanadhil] I have actally spoken to him since our last discussion - I asked him something silimar.

[Alma] Oh?

  • Alma looks a little surprised at the coincidence.

[Sanadhil] I was considering whether Kavreshar might have demonic allies here.

  • Alma nods, as it is a reasonable concern.

[Sanadhil] unfortunately, his descriptions are not the most useful.

  • Sanadhil frowns in mild annoyiance

[Alma] Though he is aware of some others?

[Sanadhil] Apparently he is aware of several other demons, yes, but they don't generally interact.

[Sanadhil] There is one, specifically, who is working with Kavreshar

[Alma] I would picture the succubus to be... jealous and territorial...

[Alma] Oh? Which?

[Alma] o_o

[Sanadhil] A male scribe of some sort....

  • Sanadhil frowns

[Alma] That's rather vague :/

[Sanadhil] as I said, his descriptions were not very helpful - but it may be of use to know that he has *some* acgtive agents, at least

[Sanadhil] he mentioned another male, redhead, as someone who coudl be possibly recruited as well...

[Alma] It would be helpful if you could elicit some more ... specific details... where he saw them, perhaps.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I'm not certain how profitable the effort would be

[Sanadhil] It is difficult to elicit much informtation of any use from him.

[Sanadhil] . o O ( -_- )

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] I can imagine his desire to be forthcoming and truthful is not particularly robust. :|

[Sanadhil] indeed.

  • Alma seems lost in thought.

[Sanadhil] have you heard of any other oursiders?

  • Alma snaps back into the conversation.

[Alma] Well, I was thinking about whether Earric was aware of the succubus I spotted, and I realised he might know of others still.

[Sanadhil] oh.... he did mention her, yes

[Alma] Oh?

[Sanadhil] the musician - Rouillard?

[Sanadhil] he said he thought she was independent

[Alma] So Rouillard, "the scribe" who works with Kavreshar, and the red-head who may be recruitably by Kavreshar?

[Alma] Any others?

[Sanadhil] (sec)

  • Sanadhil shakes his head

[Sanadhil] Another 'yong lady'

[Sanadhil] but no other helpful description.

[Sanadhil] though I'm not sure, he migght not consider her to be a pretty as Rouillard

  • Sanadhil says with a mild amount of 'argh, frustating' sarcasm

[Alma] (SM 36)

[Alma] And this one is also not inclined to work with him?

[Alma] Kavreshar tha tis.

[Sanadhil] He didn't seem to consider her a threat, though I may be misintepreting.

[Alma] I wish I had him here to question...

[Sanadhil] (40 bluff)

[Alma] What sort of creature are they... etc.

  • Sanadhil stifles a laugh.

[Sanadhil] Countess.... I assure you, you would regfret that soon enough.

[Sanadhil] I did ask if any of them shared his heritage, but he didn't think so

[Alma] I was just about to ask that...

[Alma] Well, I regret that Earric Boyne is meddling, at Phedre's behest or not, with the Empire, so I doubt I would regret it if I gained productive information about other such fiends.

[Sanadhil] I didn't ask about types - hte conversation was difficult enough to keep on track.

[Alma] Ah, yes, I suppose...

[Alma] .oO( -_- )

[Sanadhil] but they would presumably need to be able to change their shape in some way.

[Alma] Some have the ability inherently...

[Sanadhil] indeed

[Alma] Well, I would love to know if you can wheedle anything more specific about the three unknowns...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] If an opportunity arises, I will see if I can learn more.

[Sanadhil] but what of other avenues?

[Alma] Well, divinations with such vague hints are extremely time consuming...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Indeed, if I had something more to work with, it woudl be easier also...

[Alma] The Red Head could be ... well any number of people, even Guillame's suspect Phelix.

[Sanadhil] wasn't he the one suspected to be Kavreshar itself?

[Alma] Yes, and he HAS since disappeared... but it was just a suspicion. There's also a potentially mundane explanation for the suspicion that ties into the destruction of the Bridge of Vanities...

[Sanadhil] oh?

[Alma] Well, the smell could have been related to explosives?

[Alma] I'm not sure how fireworks are made, but perhaps just being around their creation meant he smelled suspiciously to Guillame. So if he was plotting the attack on the Bridge of Vanities with someone else, it could account for the smell.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] that's true

[Sanadhil] but his disappearance is suspicious nonetheless...

[Alma] Of course that doesn't prevent him from being either Kavreshar OR the red head.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] hmm.

[Sanadhil] well.

[Sanadhil] The 'scribe' concerns be more, regardless.

[Sanadhil] if I have any more luck learning of him, I will let you know.

[Alma] That would be good, considering such a vague description would require we check out most of the Castalia and the city's libraries and archives with True Seeing -_-

[Sanadhil] mmm, indeed.

  • Sanadhil sighs.

[Sanadhil] I hope you will keep me informed as well, in any case.

  • Sanadhil says offhandedly

[Sanadhil] For now I have some other research to look in to.

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] I ought to run, as well. Have a good afternoon, M. Orecalo.

[Sanadhil] You as well.