Diablotin 2 session 62

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Session date: March 6, 2011
Diablotin date:


[DiablotinNarrator] After you have had a chance to drop off your findings at the Society, and clean yourselves up, you have regathered to make your journey to the Mausoleum - with the exception of Ysabeau and Dominik, who sent messages saying they had been summoned to the palace, and to proceed without them.

[DiablotinNarrator] Bessa has also elected to remain behind at the Society, in order to cast Identify on the ring you found and to begin the process of cleaning and attempting to repair the mundane items.

[DiablotinNarrator] It is late afternoon by the time the rest of you set out. The Mausoleum lies outside the city, some half-dozen miles to the north. The road there is broad and well-travelled, and it will take you perhaps an hour or so to make the trip.

[DiablotinNarrator] The road there is lined with ancient elm trees, giving the feeling of passing through a tall, leafy tunnel. The sky has clouded over as the day wanes, and the air feels damp and close, as though it might rain by nightfall.

[DiablotinNarrator] (You have the opportunity to talk a bit on the way there if you wish)

  • Sanadhil seems more together, at least, but is quiet and subdued.

[Alma] We haven't actually decided which tombs we will investigate today...

[Sanadhil] I'm not sure they've been individually identified.

[Ilphere] I would be interested in the tomb of the founder of House Wolf, obviously, if we could locate it..!

[Seth] (what do I know about the Mausoleum from architecture school?)

[Guillame] I'm still interested in those tunnels, but I suppose I shall organize another excursion to explore them.

[Sanadhil] Its only after Loch Duchamp's research that we know much about the founders.

  • Sanadhil nods to Ilphere

[DiablotinNarrator] (Seth, you know that the Mausoleum is built in layers, like an onion - with the oldest sections at the middle, where the Tomb of the Founders is)

[Seth] (37 on my roll, if it matters)

[DiablotinNarrator] (you would also know that no one has really explored the Tomb of the Founders, or at least not and come back to talk about it)

[Alma] I was thinking that we ought to look for Amhara's tomb as well, as it is she who Loch du Champe experienced.

[Alma] And obviously Empress Dorea.

[Seth] I will be very interested to see the way in which the Tomb of the Founders differs from the outer layers, in which the more recent emperors lie.

[Alma] (Tirizhian would be at Saltgrove Julie?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (yes, Alma)

[Alma] (Man why didn't we raid him too pfft)

[Sanadhil] It may not be clear which belongs to who - they aren't marked, or at least in any legible way.

[Alma] We ought to have looked for the tomb of Tirizhian as well...

  • Alma muses.

[Sanadhil] It's primarily custom which identfies them.

[Alma] Oh?

[Sanadhil] Its possible that they may not have begun to differentiate the burial aeas at this early stage, anyway.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Location also.

[Seth] You seem to know quite a lot about our people's burial customs, M. Orecalo.

[Sanadhil] I have been considering this expedition for some time, M. Argo.

[Alma] So what should we expect to find exactly?

[Seth] The Mausoleum consists of four layers, each built around the earlier.

[Ilphere] ...like an onion...!

[Seth] The Founders, the earliest of course, lies in the centre, and is rarely if ever visited.

  • Sanadhil inclines his head to let Seth answer for now.

[Seth] Exactly so, Princess.

[Seth] It is at a moment like this that I regret all too keenly that my powers do not function outside the city.

[Alma] That IS a shame.

[DiablotinNarrator] You can see the Mausoleum from some distance off, as it is a large and impressive columned structure of white stone, seemingly carved and ornamented over every inch of its surface.

  • Seth pulls out his sketchpad and begins drawing.

[DiablotinNarrator] As you approach, you pass through an imposing pair of gates. Within, between the walls and the Mausoleum itself, is a beautiful garden, just reaching its summer glory, with a large round pool of water, graced with an elegant fountain, at the centre.

[Alma] How lovely!

[DiablotinNarrator] There are a number of people there - casual visitors, workers tending to the gardens, guards posted at the gate and at the entrance to the building itself, a few vendors who provide refreshments and guidebooks for the tourists.

[Sanadhil] [To Ilphere only] :The fragments we found earlier definitely retain some strong divine power.:

[Ilphere] [San] :Oh...! I was sure that was it! How exciting..!!:

  • Alma holds Danyel's hand while she walks ^_^

[DiablotinNarrator] The many steps up to the doorway are quite impressive, although one has to wonder whether the Emperors' coffins are actually carried in this way, or whether they have a secret entrance...

[Sanadhil] :I thoughht you woudl appreciate the confirmation:

[DiablotinNarrator] You enter into the remarkable Shrine of Repose, where the body of the most recently-deceased Emperor is always laid to rest, until such time as his or her successor passes on and the predecessor is moved to a more permanent tomb.

[Ilphere] :Thank you..!:

[DiablotinNarrator] This is normally the only part of the Mausoleum where visitors are freely permitted, as many subjects often wish to pay respects to the latest Emperor. The grand sarcophagus at the centre of the chamber is liberally (though tastefully) decorated with flowers.

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth, you feel oddly comfortable here - as though the unease you normally feel upon leaving the city has been erased.

  • Sanadhil presumaby has some kind of permit to let us get beyond, which he will sow to the guards as appropriate.

[DiablotinNarrator] (You have a letter of Authorization, with the various high-ranking folks who approved your trip's signatures)

[DiablotinNarrator] Once you make it known who you are, a guard can escort you to speak with Brother Aubert, Keeper of the Mausoleum, in order to be granted access to the tombs you are interested in.

Brother Aubert

  • Brother_Aubert is located in a small chamber down a narrow corridor, which you presume is his office and probably also his living quarters.
  • Brother_Aubert is quite an elderly man, probably near eighty, short and slender, mostly bald, with blue eyes that are still bright. He wears the purple robes of the Order of the Owl.

[Sanadhil] Good afternoon, Brother.

[Alma] Good afternoon, Brother :)

[Brother_Aubert] Good day.

  • Guillame bows
  • Sanadhil will make introductions.

[Sanadhil] ....and we are here from the Royal Antiquarian Society.

  • Brother_Aubert nods politely to the royalty/nobility among you.
  • Sanadhil will pass him the letter.
  • Brother_Aubert reads it, his brow furrowed.

[Brother_Aubert] The Mausoleum normally closes to visitors at sunset...

  • Brother_Aubert doesn't seem exceedingly overjoyed with this letter.
  • Sanadhil nods.

[Brother_Aubert] Do you know much about the structure and history of the Mausoleum?

[Seth] I have studied it, to some degree, from an architectural perspective.

[Brother_Aubert] Then you would know that building you see around you was completed in 1515, during the reign of Empress Eleana. It was built around the Mausoleum of Emperor Maxence, which was built around the original Mausoleum of Emperor Sallustre, which was in turn built around the Tomb of the Founders.

[Brother_Aubert] There is no way to reach the Tomb of the Founders without passing through the other structures first.

[Brother_Aubert] Venturing into the oldest structures is strongly discouraged. There are defenses in place intended to prevent unauthorized intrusions, the control and operation of which are now but poorly understood.

[Alma] Traps :|

[Brother_Aubert] Indeed, Sister.

[Brother_Aubert] None but the Keeper of the Mausoleum can traverse the path safely, and even then... it is not an experience I would care to repeat on a whim.

[Sanadhil] This is not an unexpected problem - I think we should be qualified to deal with any we encounter.

  • Sanadhil looks to Guillame.
  • Ilphere nods, glancing at Guillame.

[Brother_Aubert] I have read in the accounts of previous Keepers that another group - scholars such as yourselves - were granted permission to enter the Tomb of the Founders during the reign of Emperor Cazimir. They never returned.

[Alma] :o

[Guillame] I have a little skill in detecting dangerous devices

[Sanadhil] We understand the danger, Brother, but are determined to our course.

[Brother_Aubert] I beseech you to reconsider this plan. I cannot vouch for your safe return if you insist on undertaking this expedition.

[Seth] We do not ask that you so vouch.

  • Brother_Aubert looks displeased, but resigned.
  • Alma nods, resolute.

[Sanadhil] I believe the Princess and the Countess can provide us wth an exit in an emergency, as well.

[Ilphere] Yes, that's correct... :)

[Alma] Indeed, I was just thinking we ought to discuss what qualifies such an emergency...

[Brother_Aubert] The First Mausoleum, that of Emperor Sallustre, and indeed the Tomb of the Founders, were built using skills and magics we no longer possess. Scrying and divinations fail to pierce their walls, and teleportation, dimension door and the like will not grant access to them. I do not know if making an exit with such spells would be successful.

[Ilphere] Fascinating...

[Alma] Such security for a mausoleum so new in the Empire's history...

[Ilphere] It may be that it was intended to keep people out rather than in... Still, best not to count on an easy exit, it's true...

[Sanadhil] We shall proceed with due caution, I assure you.

[Brother_Aubert] If you cannot be dissuaded, very well...

[Brother_Aubert] Sister Enarda will open the door for you that will permit you to enter Emperor Maxence's Mausoleum, and for the sake of security, she will lock the door again behind you. If, Gods willing, you return, ring the bell there and she will open the door once more to let you out.

[Sanadhil] Thank you, Brother Aubert.

[Alma] Thank you, Brother :)

[Seth] (sm on this dude)

[Seth] (29)

  • Brother_Aubert seems to expect you are likely to die, and he will get blamed for it.

[Seth] Princess, might you write a brief note exonerating the good Brother for any harm that would come to us, before we enter?

[Brother_Aubert] I see that your note authorizes you to take items or remains with you - may I request, respectfully, that you do not damage the buildings? No prying statues off the walls, that sort of thing?

[Ilphere] Oh, certainly...!

[Sanadhil] Of course.

[Ilphere] Not that I think it will be necessary...!

  • Ilphere will write a quick few lines in her notebook, then carefully tear out the page and pass it over.
  • Brother_Aubert accepts your exoneration note.

[Alma] Brother, would you advise a casting of Find the Path, or do you suspect it would have no help against the defences?

[Brother_Aubert] The path is not so complex... but I do not know if it would assist with the defences. As Keeper, I am able to pass through them safely.

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] That's quite interesting in itself...

  • Sister_Enarda arrives, having been summoned to escort you.

[Brother_Aubert] Gods go with you.

  • Brother_Aubert makes the sign of the Wheel before you depart.

[Alma] Thank you, Brother.

  • Sanadhil nods to him and smiles to Sister Enarda

Sister Enarda

  • Sister_Enarda is a middle-aged woman of the Order of the Owl, with curly brown hair threaded with grey. She has a bundle of keys at her belt.

[Alma] Good afternoon Sister :)

[Sister_Enarda] Good day.

  • Sister_Enarda leads you through the corridors until you reach a large door.

[Sister_Enarda] When you pass through this door, turn left, then right - keep following that pattern, and eventually you will reach the entryway to the First Mausoleum. Beyond that door, I have never been, so I cannot tell you how to reach the Tomb of the Founders from there, but it should not be very far - the buildings are much smaller, of course.

  • Guillame nods

[Guillame] Alternate left, then right.

  • Sister_Enarda nods.

[Sanadhil] Thank you.

[Sister_Enarda] I have no keys for unlocking the door of the First Mausoleum, although it certainly *has* a lock. Brother Aubert told me once that it requires taking "the right hand, each according to its direction and turning according to its number," but I don't know what that means.

  • Sister_Enarda unlocks the large door with one of the keys at her belt, and steps aside.
  • Sanadhil expects Knock will not cut it here
  • Alma pulls out a small notepad and writes that down
  • Sanadhil muses on the riddle.
  • Guillame notes it down also

[Guillame] ... turning according to number.

[Guillame] One second before you lock the door, Sister...

[Sister_Enarda] Yes?

[Guillame] Is this the bell mechanism, here?

[Sister_Enarda] That's correct. I will return immediately upon hearing it.

  • Guillame makes sure everyone knows where the "let me out" button is.

[Sister_Enarda] We have to keep the doors locked, for security... can't have people wandering in, of course.

[Alma] (She means "something wandering out" doesn't she? :P)

[Sanadhil] Of course.

[Alma] (SM 44)

  • Sister_Enarda probably means both of those things, Alma.

[Sister_Enarda] Good luck...

[Alma] Thank you, Sister.

  • Sister_Enarda waits until you are all inside, then shuts the large door behind you. You can hear the key turn in the lock.

The Exploring Begins

  • Sanadhil looks around the area

[DiablotinNarrator] The corridor curves away in both directions, following the outline of the old building inside the newer one. The way is well-lit with magical lights mounted on the walls, and this area bears signs of being visited fairly often - it is clean and well-maintained, certainly.

  • Guillame starts looking for traps right away, just in case.

[Alma] Well, our options for flight are severely limited if there is some sort of effect like Forbiddance preventing intra- and extraplanar travel... though some do have the option of fleeing as mist if you can find the time to transform

[Seth] (any footprints or other signs of recent human presence here?)

[DiablotinNarrator] On either side of the passageway are sealed doors bearing the names of each Emperor and the dates of his or her life and reign.

  • Ilphere will cast Mage Armour, after all the ominous words we've just heard... :)
  • Alma will focus with deathwatch as we walk.

[DiablotinNarrator] (it's clean and well-maintained, that suggests humans visit here at least occasionally, Seth ;)

  • Sanadhil also casts MA
  • Seth will attempt to merge into a wall.

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth - no luck.

  • Alma chuckles quietly

[DiablotinNarrator] You do, however, hear something when you try to do so, Seth.

  • Seth listens more closely.

[Seth] Shh!

  • Seth motions for silence.
  • Sanadhil is quiet

[Alma] o_o

[DiablotinNarrator] [w] come, join us...

  • Sanadhil listens

[Seth] [w] Does anyone else hear that?

[DiablotinNarrator] (Seth is the only one who hears it)

  • Sanadhil shakes his head

[Ilphere] Ah, no...?

[Alma] [q] No...

[Guillame] It seems almost silent to me...

  • Alma sweeps around us with Deathwatch

[Seth] It's saying 'come, join us'

  • Ilphere eyes Seth...

[Seth] (male or female voice, can i tell?)

  • Sanadhil touches the wall and listens

[Ilphere] How... welcoming...

[Sanadhil] Perhaps it is the whispering of the dead.

[DiablotinNarrator] (Seth - like a large number of whispering voices)

[Sanadhil] This is their city.

[Seth] A chorus of whispers, the whispers of shades and phantoms.

[Sanadhil] Indeed.

[Alma] I suppose this is a Necropolis of sorts.

  • Alma will try to detect spirits around us

[Sanadhil] I advise against heeding them.

[DiablotinNarrator] [w to Seth] the bell is tolling...

  • Sanadhil says somewhat dryly.

[Seth] What does that mean? "The bell is tolling" ... for them, I suppose?

  • Alma looks somewhat uncomfortable as she remembers that the dead around us have all passed through the Arch.

[Ilphere] It could refer to the eternity bell that tolled as they passed...

  • Sanadhil nods to Ilphere

[Sanadhil] Or perhaps just a comment on the inevitability of mortality...

[Alma] Why only Mr. Argo?

[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame - you don't detect any traps in this area as you proceed down the corridor.

[Guillame] I'm not seeing any traps yet...

[Sanadhil] not in this section...

[Guillame] Well, I wouldn't go that far! Just... not yet.

  • Guillame smiles
  • Alma switches back to deathwatch as we walk
  • Sanadhil nods

[DiablotinNarrator] Alma - lots of dead people, not surprisingly...

[DiablotinNarrator] Following the directions Enarda provided leads you, without further excitement, through the Second Mausoleum.

The First Mausoleum

[DiablotinNarrator] You reach what you can only presume is the entryway to the First Mausoleum - the style of this doorway is surely much more ancient than the halls you have been walking through thus far.

  • Seth will proceed cautiously, sketchpad out for drawing features of interest.
  • Sanadhil examines the door.
  • Guillame maps any other turnings we pass, so that returning should be more simple.

[DiablotinNarrator] The doorway is set back some distance from the corridor. The walls leading up to it are lined with six rather crudely-formed clay statues, set into alcoves. A seventh stands directly in front of the door.

[DiablotinNarrator] (GT for map :)

[Ilphere] Here we are...

[Sanadhil] Perhaps it would be wise to make sure the entrace itself contains no defenses?

  • Guillame checks carefully for traps again

[DiablotinNarrator] Make your Search check, Guy.

  • Seth will also search

[Seth] (38)

  • Guillame rolls 1d20+16: (5)+ 16 = 21

[DiablotinNarrator] (anyone else wanting to Search in general can also make a check)

  • Sanadhil casts detect magic
  • Sanadhil can actually search for traps also @_@

[Alma] Yes, checking for magic is good

[Sanadhil] (18)

[Ilphere] (I'll search)

  • Alma checks for evil, spirits, invisibility in that order

[Ilphere] (27)

[Alma] (specifically where the main statue is)

[DiablotinNarrator] Ok - all of you search can notice the following things: In the chest of the largest statue are six holes, of small but varying sizes, set in a circle. Some examination reveals that the alcoves along the sides are numbered in archaic script - 1, 2, 3 along the left-hand side (from furthest from the door to closest) and 4, 5, 6 along the right (from closest to the door to furthest).

[DiablotinNarrator] (let me put in the numbers so it's less confusing ;)

[Seth] (are these constructs?)

  • Seth concentrates

[Guillame] "take the right hand, each according to its direction and turning according to its number,"

[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame and Seth, you can also notice that there are a number of small holes in the floor.

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth - all of these are constructs, yes.

[Seth] These entities are constructs!

[Seth] We should be very cautious lest they activate.

[Alma] How can you tell?

  • Guillame examines the holes - do they look like a lock or like something spiky could come out?

[Seth] I have a scarab that allows me to discern their true nature.

[Alma] Oh yes...

  • Guillame blinks

[DiablotinNarrator] Guy - they look like something could come out of them - you can't detect any spikes, but possibly they could release a gas...

  • Seth will look at the hands of the constructs - do they appear to be movable?

[Guillame] A scarab, of course...

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth - each of the 6 statues has a crude key shape graven on its right hand. The end of the 'key' points to one of the fingers.

[Guillame] These holes could be a means to poison any who can't open the doors - we should handle this very carefully.

[Seth] See here, the engravings on the hands point to specific fingers.

  • Seth points it out.
  • Sanadhil nods

[Seth] This surely links to the riddle.

[DiablotinNarrator] (Seth, you can also make a search check on the statues as you examine them)

[Seth] (40)

[Sanadhil] Do the fingers corelate in any way with the alcove numbers?

[DiablotinNarrator] (Seth, you think the finger that is pointed to in each case could be removed - there is a very fine seam)

[Alma] I don't suppose the hands come off?

[Seth] Look - the fingers can be removed.

  • Seth shows Alma.

[Alma] Oh... so perhaps they go in the holes.

[Seth] Yes, but let us be cautious, the riddle is complex.

[Guillame] Well, turning according to the number seems straightforward - a number of turns, correlating with the statue numbers.

[Seth] It seems the most probable.

[Guillame] But what of the directions?

[Seth] Some may be turned clockwise and others counterclockwise?

  • Alma stands back
  • Sanadhil nods

[Guillame] Maybe a way to map the constructs to their keyholes, but which directions?

[Seth] And what does 'take the right hand' mean?

[Sanadhil] perhaps relating to the side of the alcove....

[Alma] It's the right hand that has the key

[Seth] The right hand, or the correct hand?

[Alma] Either, I imagine.

[Seth] Yes.

[Alma] Well, perhaps from the centre of the room, facing the statue, the holes would match up to the placement of the alcoves...

  • Alma stands in the middle and looks

[Seth] The simplest possibility is that each finger should be removed, inserted in the hole, and turned the number of times as its number,.

[Seth] I do not understand you, Sister.

[Alma] (Does Julie? :P)

[DiablotinNarrator] (you're asking which finger goes in which hole? ^-^

[Sanadhil] the other issue is that the statues are numbered, but not the holes. Perhaps that is a matter of size?

[Guillame] I suggest we take a few precautions before we take any action

[Seth] (where are the holes?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (in the chest of the big statue, arranged in a circle)

  • Guillame dampens a rag and ties it across his face

[DiablotinNarrator] (well, and there are also little holes in the floor...)

  • Guillame takes some more cloth, and gingerly begins plugging the floor-holes as best he can.

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok, you can make a Disable Device check)

  • Sanadhil watches him
  • Guillame will take 20, which gives me 30

[DiablotinNarrator] Ok - you believe they are thoroughly blocked, Guillame.

[Guillame] Well, with any luck that's one less thing to worry about.

  • Sanadhil examines the holes just plugged to see if they are at all similar to the ones in the statue
  • Alma notices there's a hole at 12 o'clock or something and tosses that idea out
  • Seth examines the six holes on the statue.

[Seth] (are they all different sizes, or are two of them the same?)

[DiablotinNarrator] San - smaller, regularly spaced around this room.

[Sanadhil] (okay)

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth - they are all slightly different sizes, you would say - some are pretty close in size, but you think they're all a bit different.

[Alma] (Are the side-statues different from each other? How their hands or fingers are for example?)

[Seth] (yes, that was my next question - I check that too!)

[DiablotinNarrator] Well, as on a human being, each finger is a different size - pinky smaller than ring finger, etc. Apart from the keys engraved on them pointing to different fingers, they aren't otherwise substantially different from one another.

[DiablotinNarrator] It is possible each finger to be removed would only fit one hole, you think.

[Seth] All right, I believe we should just begin removing the fingers, starting with the first.

[Alma] Oh, maybe it is as simple as clockwise or counter-clockwise...

[Alma] Four clockwise, three counter...

[Seth] Pardon?

[Seth] There are only six holes, Sister.

[Alma] Yes, I meant finger numbers four and three.

[Alma] As four is on the right, you turn it four times clockwise, and as three is on the left, you turn it three times counter-clockwise.

[Alma] I think M. Orecalo said something of the sort

[Seth] I think that is not necessarily valid.

[Guillame] I am still not clear as to how the finger keys match to the locks...

[Seth] Why would the ones on the right be clockwise, necessarily?

[Seth] I suspect the direction they turn may not matter, or indeed, they may only turn one direction.

[Alma] Well I'm not sure what else "each according to its direction" might mean, as the hands are not pointing in a particular direction, and the location of the statues does not correspond to the holes.

[Sanadhil] indeed.

[Alma] Seth: One might as well ask why our clocks turn they way they do...

[Seth] Clocks turn rightwards from the top, but leftwards from the bottom.

[Sanadhil] The ancients did not have clocks.

[Seth] Indeed.

[Alma] That's not necessarily relevant.

  • Sanadhil says with a bit of tired peevishness

[Sanadhil] the question is whether we turn the fingers in the directon of the statue.

  • Alma shrugs

[Seth] I do understand, yes.

[Seth] I will begin with #1.

[Sanadhil] I suppose the alternative is ti turn them i the direction the statues face

[Alma] That matter of perspective still applies there.

[Seth] We can debate this endlessly, it will not solve our problem.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Alma] I just think it's quite reasonable to assume an upright person would consider the issue at the top.

[Sanadhil] hopefully the trap is sufficiently stopped up

  • Seth goes over to statue #1 and examines the fingers on the right hand, then sees if he can remove the one pointed to by the key.

[DiablotinNarrator] You are able to remove the finger, Seth.

  • Sanadhil gestures to Seth to go ahead, but retreats to the edge of the alcove just in case
  • Ilphere moves back as well...
  • Seth goes over to the main statue and examines it to see if the finger might fit best in a specific hole.

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth - you think it would fit best in the topmost hole.

  • Guillame takes a closer look at the chest holes to see if he can glean any knowledge of the mechanisms
  • Seth inserts it, then.

[Seth] (does it feel like it can turn?)

[DiablotinNarrator] Yes - there is enough left sticking out that you could grip it and turn it.

[Seth] (either way? or just one way?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (are you randomly wiggling it around to find out? ;)

[Seth] (no, just seeing if I can tell)

[DiablotinNarrator] (You think it could turn clockwise)

[Seth] (but not counter?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (maybe if you really pushed it?)

  • Seth will turn it clockwise, once.

[DiablotinNarrator] All right - the finger-key clicks once.

  • Alma looks at the holes

[Seth] All right. We're not dead. Yet.

[Sanadhil] so - the direction it faces, then?

[Seth] We shall see. That one seemed most naturally to turn clockwise, not counter.

[Alma] Perhaps... I suppose we won't know unless we get one wrong.

[Seth] Perhaps they alternate.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Seth] Odd clockwise, even counter.

[Sanadhil] That seems less likely

[Alma] It specifically mentions direction...

  • Seth goes back to #2 and removes the finger.

[DiablotinNarrator] Ok - finger 2 would fit in the next hole clockwise from the top, you believe.

  • Seth goes over and inserts it.

[Seth] (does this one also seem to turn clockwise?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (You believe it does)

  • Seth turns it clockwise, twice.

[DiablotinNarrator] *click click*

  • Seth repeats the process with #3, turning it clockwise three times (if it seems to move clockwise readily).

[DiablotinNarrator] *click click click*

  • Seth goes to #4 then, and removes the finger and brings it over.
  • Sanadhil relaxes a bit

[Alma] [q] I suppose if it was based on which side they were on, it would be "each according to it's placement" or "location" or somesuch.

  • Alma looks at Danyel... "What a contrived mechanism..."
  • Danyel shrugs.

[Seth] Sister, please stop, lest I invite your gods to smite you.

  • Seth inserts #4 - does it turn naturally clockwise or counter?
  • Alma frowns

[Guillame] This seems too straightforward to me also - each number in turn, turning that same number. It's not much of a cypher. Still, it may be correct.

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth - you think it feels a little different than the others - maybe it is supposed to turn the other way?

[Sanadhil] it would be considerably less straightforward without the cipher.

[Alma] Without the riddle, you would have no clue at all.

  • Seth turns it counterclockwise four times then.
  • Sanadhil nods to Alma

[DiablotinNarrator] *click click click click*

  • Seth does the same with #5 then, counterclockwise 5 times

[Sanadhil] Certainly as regards the number of times it must turn

[Guillame] Ah, a different direction?

[DiablotinNarrator] *click click click click click*

[Seth] Indeed, towards the direction each statue faces.

  • Seth does #6 last.

[DiablotinNarrator] *click click click click click click*

[Alma] .oO( Yes, towards that direction *at the top*! ) -_-

[DiablotinNarrator] The great clay statue creaks into motion.

  • Seth backs away.
  • Sanadhil watches
  • Alma takes a defensive posture

[DiablotinNarrator] It steps forward, allowing the door to swing open.

[Alma] Ah, excellent.

  • Sanadhil gives a little sigh of relief

[Ilphere] Excellent...!

[Alma] I wonder if perhaps Sister Enarda was not supposed to tell us that...

[Sanadhil] . o O (Argh, my nerves @_@)

[Seth] If she was not supposed to tell us that, who exactly was she supposed to tell? Why would Brother Aubert have told her?

[Danyel] It does seem a little odd - why would Brother Aubert not have explained it himself?

[Alma] Indeed. It seemed she mentioned it in passing, as if told in passing.

[Alma] She is, after all, a caretaker here, and may perhaps replace Brother Aubert some day.

  • Seth listens - do I hear any voices/whispers?

[DiablotinNarrator] [w to Seth] another one is here...

[Sanadhil] Perhaps we shoudl investigate the way beyond.

  • Guillame examines the doorway and hall beyond for more surprises
  • Alma nods and will step forward just a step behind Guillame, deathwatch active.

Going Deeper

[DiablotinNarrator] The passage you find yourself in now is much narrower - only just wide enough for two people to stand abreast. The carvings on the doors to the Emperors' tombs are worn and rather dusty, and the lights fainter, giving the place an eerie atmosphere that the previous section did not have.

  • Ilphere looks around with interest...

[Alma] It's amazing, when you think of it, how long these lights have been lit.

  • Sanadhil casts DM again

[Danyel] Maybe Brother Aubert has to relight them every so often...

  • Sanadhil concentrates while Guy checks the area ahead

[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame can make a Search check

[Alma] I suppose he did say he could come this far.

  • Guillame rolls 1d20+16: (9)+ 16 = 25

[DiablotinNarrator] You don't detect any traps in the corridor up ahead, Guillame.

  • Guillame moves forward, staying alert

[DiablotinNarrator] The corridor spirals inwards. The air feels stale and close, stifling, and the sound of your footsteps seems loud and echoing in this resting place of the ancient dead.

  • Sanadhil will focus on his spell as we proceed, keeping towards the ear but not right at the back

[DiablotinNarrator] (brb bio)

[Alma] Do you hear anything else, Mr. Argo?

[Seth] Whispers again ... 'another one is here' ...

  • Seth says, smiling.

[DiablotinNarrator] [w to Seth] seek your soul's redemption...

[Seth] [q] seek your soul's redemption ... me, or another?

[Alma] Perhaps "they" think you are an Emperor...

[DiablotinNarrator] [w to Seth] do you hear us? you... you...

[Seth] I hear you ... speak to me ...

[DiablotinNarrator] [w to Seth] listen... his heart's still beating, so loud...

[Seth] who?

[DiablotinNarrator] [w to Seth] just to see the city again, once more...

[DiablotinNarrator] The voices are overlapping with each other now, becoming harder to understand.

[Alma] What do you hear?

[DiablotinNarrator] [w to Seth] beware the bones that never sleep...!

[Seth] The voices of dead emperors ... they are suggesting that one of their kind is living still, I think.

[Sanadhil] Hmm.

[Alma] Do they mean you, or another?

[DiablotinNarrator] It's a constant low background murmur now, Seth. You can't really pick out clear words anymore.

[Seth] "Beware the bones that never sleep" ... I do not think they mean my bones.

[Alma] Oh

[Alma] I wouldn't call that "living"

[Ilphere] Undead...

[Alma] Yes.

[Alma] I will try to hide us from any undead, so that at least we might have surprise.

[Sanadhil] (No magic, I assume?)

  • Seth looks at the walls and floor and ceiling around - anything unusual?
  • Alma casts Hide from Undead on everyone here.

[Alma] (Two hour duration)

[DiablotinNarrator] San - the doors are arcane locked, but other than that, no.

[Sanadhil] (to the tombs?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (yes)

  • Sanadhil maintains the spell as long as it lasts, but does not recast

Tomb of the Founders

[DiablotinNarrator] You finally arrive at a simple archway. Beyond, you feel sure, must lie the Tomb of the Founders, your goal.

[DiablotinNarrator] Over the archway is a simple but puzzling inscription in archaic Aveyronnais: "Truth is first is least" is what it seems to say.

  • Seth pulls out a sketchpad and draws the archway including the inscription.

[Ilphere] Hm...

  • Alma translates.
  • Ilphere jots it down as well.

[DiablotinNarrator] Beyond the archway but before the entrance to the tomb lies a pattern of carvings on the floor. Roughly-engraved depictions of animal forms mark each square.

[DiablotinNarrator] puzzle.png

[Alma] A word search?

[DiablotinNarrator] (X = ox, btw :p_

[Sanadhil] Rat

[Sanadhil] ?

[Seth] Seven houses, not six. Interesting.

[Alma] We don't know the order... :|

[Sanadhil] Rat - the rirst Empress

[Ilphere] The Rat was not... forgotten until later.

[DiablotinNarrator] You are standing at the left-hand side, and the door is across, at the right.

[Sanadhil] (first)

[Sanadhil] rat was first, in truth, and also the smallest...

[Seth] That makes sense.

  • Guillame is beaming

[Seth] Perhaps it means the first we need to step on is the R immediately in front of us. Perhaps not.

[Sanadhil] I imagine so

[Sanadhil] if yo trace the order of ascention afterwards, it does for a path

[Alma] Oh of course...

  • Sanadhil points out that you can easily go from one to an adjoining square of the next house

[Sanadhil] (form a path)

[Seth] M. Orecalo, I am not sure I agree with your analysis.

[Alma] That only works if you consider Dorea as Rat and then Bear...

[Seth] If we start at the R, we would need to proceed, B, L, X, W, O, C, correct?

[Sanadhil] ye, truth.

[Sanadhil] yes

  • Sanadhil agress with Alman, and then Seth

[Seth] Oh, I see, you mean on different rows, using diagonals.

[Sanadhil] yes, proceeding across.

[Sanadhil] they are not all diagonal, but some are, yes

[Ilphere] I see what you mean...

[Alma] (Julie, are we near the tomb of Sallustre?)

[Seth] Well, I cannot see any more fruitful line of inquiry, so perhaps one of us should take that path?

[Alma] Hmmm.

[DiablotinNarrator] Alma - yes, fairly near.

[Alma] (There's no extra Bear Emperor before him is there?)

  • Guillame looks for the booby-prize

[DiablotinNarrator] Not that you can see.

[Alma] I don't see any tomb of a long lost Bear Emperor...

[Guillame] Let me see if I can find out what the prize is for failure...

[Alma] Doesn't mean that isn't how it should work.

[Sanadhil] perhaps Hroc followed Dorea.

  • Guillame rolls 1d20+16: (16)+ 16 = 32

[Guillame] (looking for what could be triggered by a misstep)

[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame - you think that these are Glyphs of Warding - each one could have a different effect, in theory.

  • Guillame blinks

[Alma] Yes, that would make sense.

[Guillame] I think they're magical glyphs... it's beyond me to know the repercussions of triggering them.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Alma] Hmm.

[Sanadhil] It woudl be difficult to know without careful study

[Alma] (Can we see the glyphs or are they hidden?)

[DiablotinNarrator] The carvings are actually animal symbols, not letters - presumably each one is a glyph.

[Guillame] Ok, let's give this a try, then. Rat for the first?

[Alma] Well, wait a moment...

[Sanadhil] It coudl be dispelled, but then we may not be able to open the door.

  • Alma casts Read magic
  • Guillame hesitates, ready to take the first step.

[Seth] Sister, the answer is not going to become clearer through greater reflection.

[Alma] Actually, it may.

[Ilphere] Go on, Guillame...!

  • Ilphere says encouragingly...
  • Alma will attempt to identify the glyphs on R and then B

[Guillame] Are you attempting to find out what the glyphs do, Sister?

[Alma] (Spellcraft 28, 32)

[DiablotinNarrator] I suppose the DC 13 spellcraft check is no problem ;)

[Alma] (Yeah no, but I rolled to see in case you put penalties :P)

[Alma] Yes, exactly.

[DiablotinNarrator] R = contagion, B = ray of enfeeblement.

[Alma] :o

[Guillame] Then I feel quite willing to let you continue before I put my feet in danger.

[Alma] One stores contagion, and the other a ray of enfeeblement...

[Alma] But I suppose that doesn't say anything to the trigger...

[Sanadhil] Indeed.

[Guillame] Duly noted.

  • Guillame steps onto the R

[Alma] Well, at least we know you won't explode.

[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame, you step onto the R with no ill-effects.

[Guillame] Well, that's a good start

[Guillame] Bear next, was it?

[Sanadhil] yes.

  • Guillame steps to the bear

[DiablotinNarrator] Fort save, please, Guillame.

  • Guillame rolls 1d20+6: (20)+ 6 = 26

[Guillame] (I also get +2 vs clerical)

[DiablotinNarrator] Ok - you succeed, although you can tell something felt a bit off there.

[Alma] Do you feel... weaker?

[Guillame] Ugh

[Guillame] That... something happened there.

[Sanadhil] hmm

[Guillame] I don't think that one was right, although I don't seem to be harmed.

  • Alma will identify the spell in the Lizard in front of Guillame, in case we're supposed to hop

[Alma] You can shrug spells like that off, sometimes... but it does throw off our assumption.

[DiablotinNarrator] Alma - L = inflict serious wounds

[Sanadhil] hmm

[Alma] Lizard is an inflict spell...

[Sanadhil] Perhaps it is just a straught shot across....?

[Sanadhil] (Straight)

[Ilphere] Now we *are* just guessing, though...

  • Sanadhil will also cast RM and try to identify the spell on the W

[Sanadhil] yes.

[Sanadhil] but the riddle give no direction further than the initial step

[Guillame] Yes, I'd rather not test each square

[Sanadhil] if it isn't an order, I think a line is as likely as anything else.

[DiablotinNarrator] (San - spellcraft check?)

[Guillame] True enough. Let's find out what I'm going to be stepping on.

[Sanadhil] (23 with no roll ;p)

  • Alma checks Owl in front of Rat

[DiablotinNarrator] San - W = bestow curse

[DiablotinNarrator] O = blindness

[Sanadhil] Bestow curse on the W, blindnes son the O

[Alma] Yes, I can remove blindness...

[Alma] That doesn't make sense though...

[Sanadhil] I can remove the curse

[Sanadhil] if it becomes necesary.

[Sanadhil] our other option is to attemtp to dispell them and see if we can open the door on our own

[Alma] I don't think the order would be based on size of the animal either, at least it doesn't form a path...

[Alma] That I can see...

[Sanadhil] no.

[Guillame] Well, if I step to my right, onto the O, that would be the blindness. Or I could move right and onwards, onto the W, which concerns me more greatly but takes me further across the riddle.

[Sanadhil] try the W

[Sanadhil] if you go blind.... we will fetch you.

[Alma] Removing a curse is no more difficult than removing blindness... but I would be careful not to fall.

[Guillame] Either way, I can probably make it back to the Rat unless I go blind, so here goes.

  • Guillame steps onto the W

[Alma] I wonder what would happen if we just floated over.

[Seth] Presumably whoever designed this trap thought of that.

[Alma] Yes. Perhaps just being above the glyph would activate it.

[DiablotinNarrator] so you step from the B in row 2 to the W in row 3?

[Guillame] (... yes? :( )

[DiablotinNarrator] Will save, please.

  • Guillame rolls 1d20+4: (20)+ 4 = 24

[Guillame] (+2 vs clerical again)

[DiablotinNarrator] Ok, succeeded.

[DiablotinNarrator] (still feels wrong, but you're not cursed at least...)

  • Alma will try to read L in front of him.

[Sanadhil] Well?

[Guillame] That... also wasn't right. I think it would be best to return to the beginning in order to determine the pattern - it may be that the square I move from is part of the trigger.

[DiablotinNarrator] L = inflict serious wounds.

[Alma] Yes, possibly.

[Guillame] Any objections?

[Seth] I agree. Also, reading the letters seems not to tell us whether it's correct, simply what it might do to us.

[Sanadhil] no, that makes sense

[Sanadhil] yes

[Alma] Oh, wait a moment...

[Sanadhil] if one of these triggers is a fireball, I would rather be forewarned

[Alma] If it is from smallest to largest...

[Alma] No, nevermind.

[Seth] You think, from smallest to largest animal?

[Seth] Rat, Owl, Cat, Lizard, Wolf, Bear, Ox? Or ... ?

[Guillame] There doesn't seem to be a clear path that way either.

[Ilphere] some owls can be quite large...

[Sanadhil] that's a little subjective.

[Alma] No, I thought I saw a path but I was wrong

[Seth] It has a large wingspan, but is lighter.

[Guillame] Yes, the Owl-cat-lizard part is pretty subjective

[Guillame] So, back to the beginning, then?

[Sanadhil] Yes.

  • Sanadhil rubs his temples
  • Guillame takes a two-footed jump back to the floor past the puzzle, before the rat

[Ilphere] Oh dear, it seemed so promising...

  • Ilphere sighs.

[Alma] Oh n...

[Guillame] (Jump roll?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (Yes, and you're passing over O so also a Fort save)

[Guillame] (OK)

[Seth] So Rat is first. We know that. What could come next?

  • Guillame rolls 1d20+5: (13)+ 5 = 18

[Seth] It could be that it goes inversely in the order of the houses, so from Rat to Cat, but that's a very long jump.

[Ilphere] Are there any clues that we are missing...?

[Guillame] (as always, +2 vs. cl)

[Seth] Unless we step sideways from Rat to Cat...

  • Ilphere scans the room just in case...

[Guillame] Oh wait, that was my jump

  • Guillame rolls 1d20+6: (10)+ 6 = 16
  • Alma watches Guillame to see if he goes blind

[Guillame] (That one gets +2 vs cl)

[DiablotinNarrator] You make it back over successfully, and unblinded.

[Alma] You OK, M. Rionet?

[Guillame] Ugh, again - I think it is only by luck that I am.

[Guillame] I would advise against the floating suggestion.

[Ilphere] Is the glyph on the first rat still active? The tile Guillame touched without incident?

[Alma] Yes, I realised that about glyphs... -_-

  • Ilphere casts DM.
  • Guillame prepares to step on the rat again.

[Sanadhil] (I was just typing that, but you go ahead ;)

[DiablotinNarrator] Yes, still active.

[Ilphere] ... Yes, it is.

  • Ilphere answers herself.
  • Guillame steps onto the rat.

[Seth] What else could follow Rat, logically?

  • Alma scrapes her memory for any old or archaic order for the Gods. (Religion, history?)

[Alma] (The order clockwise from Rat in the sky?)

[Seth] Perhaps we should try going from Rat to Owl, straight across?

  • Ilphere will also rack her brain for any pattern that we could try...

[DiablotinNarrator] (You can make both checks, Alma, if you want)

  • Sanadhil nods to Seth

[Seth] Once we determine the second step, the pattern will become clearer.

[Sanadhil] yes

[Guillame] If nobody has a better suggestion, I will try that next.

[Alma] (26 religion, 18 history)

[Seth] Right now, with only one clue, that gives us the first step, there is no way to tell.

[Sanadhil] indeed

[Alma] Perhaps you merely need to step on the tile of the smallest animal around you...

[Ilphere] (33 religion 28 history)

[Guillame] (Do the animals all face the same direction?

[Alma] (Divine Insight 30 if you want to make my last suggestion sound really good :P)

[Guillame] Would I step next on the Owl or the Cat, in that case? I suppose we could find out by testing the owl.

  • Alma begins plotting a course with her last suggestion

[Guillame] Here goes, then.

  • Guillame steps onto the owl.

[Ilphere] I would try skipping over the bear to the lizard...

[DiablotinNarrator] Fort save, please.

[Ilphere] Since there was actually no Bear emperor in the first set of Emperors...

  • Guillame rolls 1d20+6: (16)+ 6 = 22

[Alma] Yes, that's not a bad idea... perhaps the trigger is if you do NOT jump over it.

[Guillame] (+2 if clr)

[DiablotinNarrator] (success)

[Alma] We appreciate your good work, M. Rionet -_-

[Guillame] Wrong again... I'm glad I can tell, I suppose.

  • Guillame hops back to the edge and steps to the rat.

[Guillame] (Do the animals all face the same direction?)\

[DiablotinNarrator] (yes)

[Alma] Now try hopping to Lizard, over Bear.

[Ilphere] Try the lizard...!

  • Ilphere urges.

[Alma] If the puzzle is this literal, I imagine there will not be another Rat.

[Guillame] That's twice I could be wounded... are there no better suggestions?

[Guillame] A justification behind trying wolf?

  • Alma checks to see what Wolf is.

[Ilphere] I would try it myself if I were as athletic as you... :|

[Seth] I would say that more likely would be to step sideways, to the Cat

[Seth] Going in reverse order.

[DiablotinNarrator] W = bestow curse

[Guillame] Is there a path that way?

[Alma] I do have a very good feeling about Mme.'s plan.

[Seth] Yes, if you feel like jumping.

[Seth] But I agree that Lizard is more likely.

[Sanadhil] What about Find the Path?

[Seth] Alas.

[Alma] Yes, there's always that.

[Guillame] I do not - that's the reason I'm asking for alternatives

[Sanadhil] perhaps this is the time. We have been here some time and have no clear answer ahead of us.

  • Guillame smirks

[Alma] Though we do have more indication that the spell might be needed for something else...

[Guillame] That's worth a try - I'll jump if it's fruitless.

[Guillame] Oh, we do?

[Sanadhil] ahh.

[Alma] Yes, the bones that do not sleep?

[Sanadhil] that is a fair point.

  • Guillame sighs, and hops over to the nearest lizard.
  • Alma prepares herself to jump out after him, just in case...

[DiablotinNarrator] so hopping to L in row 1? or L in row 3?

[Guillame] To L in Row 3

[DiablotinNarrator] All right - you land on L in row 3 with no ill-effects.

[Guillame] That... seemed ok. Very encouraging.

  • Ilphere hops up and claps her hands...

[Ilphere] Yes...!

[Guillame] So it's the Ox next?

[Seth] All right, then to Ox ... one hopes.

[Ilphere] :D

  • Guillame steps diagonally forward and left.

[Sanadhil] Well done, Ilphere....

[DiablotinNarrator] You step to Ox safely.

[Guillame] Then to wolf...

  • Sanadhil reads the remainng glyphs in our path?
  • Guillame steps forward-right to the wolf in row five.

[DiablotinNarrator] You step to the Wolf safely.

[Seth] Then straight on to Owl, then diagonally onto Cat, and you should be there!

[Guillame] Owl...

  • Guillame steps forward

[DiablotinNarrator] Owl also doesn't zap you.

[Guillame] And cat!

  • Guillame says as he steps forward-right again, onto the cat.

[DiablotinNarrator] And you are safely across!

  • Guillame steps across to the other side.

[Alma] Excellent.

  • Seth will follow along the same path Guillame took.

[Guillame] Excellent judgement, Princess.

  • Alma will proceed.

[Ilphere] Thank you, sir...!

  • Alma makes sure her robes don't stray
  • Ilphere beams, then follows Alma.

[Guillame] Something is watching over me today, I must say.

  • Sanadhil follows along as well

[Guillame] Never before have I been marinaded in so many curses.

  • Guillame examines the door.
  • Danyel also crosses over.

Inside the Tomb of the Founders

[DiablotinNarrator] The door to the Tomb of the Founders is low and narrow, most unlike the grand structures of the later buildings that surround it.

[Alma] Perhaps a salt bath is the secret to preparing for ancient puzzles and coming out hale :)

[DiablotinNarrator] The door is locked, with no visible keyhole or other means of opening it.

[Sanadhil] Hmm

  • Alma looks for glyphs while read magic is still active.
  • Sanadhil will *try* knock?

[DiablotinNarrator] San - the door opens.

[DiablotinNarrator] Alma - no further glyphs in this room.

[Guillame] [w] Founders guide us, if we be of worth.

[DiablotinNarrator] The chamber within is low-ceilinged, dark and earthy and womb-like. There are no lights.

  • Sanadhil smiles

[Sanadhil] (can I still see a bit of the way in?)

[Ilphere] (what do those of us with dark vision see?)

[Guillame] (indeed)

[Seth] Perchance a light would be in order?

[DiablotinNarrator] You can see scattered remains lying on the floor, some niches in the walls that may contain other remains...

[DiablotinNarrator] (those of you with darksight, that is)

  • Sanadhil 's smile fades a bit when faced with the cave-like tomb, but he sets his expression

[Ilphere] Some of the remains may have been disturbed...

  • Alma will open the lantern from Gsran

[Ilphere] I see bones scattered on the floor...

  • Alma checks for undead

[DiablotinNarrator] Alma - you detect no undead.

[Sanadhil] or they may be more recent than the founders.

  • Ilphere nods to Sanadhil.

[Guillame] Yes... it's uncharacteristically disordered.

[Sanadhil] there was another party, we were told....

[Guillame] That does make sense.

[Alma] Yes... that's true, if they made it this far :|

[Ilphere] We should be wary, then... whatever killed them may well still lurk here...!

[Guillame] And would suggest that we ought to be extremely cautious right now.

  • Guillame nods to Ilphere.

[Seth] Perhaps someone should detect magic?

  • Sanadhil will cast Arcane Sight

[DiablotinNarrator] San - there is a lot of magic in this room.

[DiablotinNarrator] (let me count auras, sec ;)

[Sanadhil] There is a great deal of magic within...

[Ilphere] Oh...?

  • Sanadhil blinks his sligtly glowing eyes

[Sanadhil] yes

  • Ilphere also casts Detect Magic, then.

[DiablotinNarrator] (9 auras, unless I'm miscounting...)

[Sanadhil] Nine separate Auras.

  • Sanadhil will give some basic info re schools and such
  • Seth will draw the tomb while everyone else is looking at auras.
  • Alma will cast Detect Undead which will give her a 60' cone instead, and step in to try to cover the whole room.

[DiablotinNarrator] Alma - you detect no undead in the range of your spell, which can certainly cover the whole chamber if you look around.

[Alma] Well... no undead here.

[DiablotinNarrator] San - you think this is mostly items, lying in the remains on the floor.

  • Guillame looks for more mechanisms

[DiablotinNarrator] These bodies have been dead for perhaps as much as 500 years, certainly not 2000 or more - they still have scraps of clothing and hair, for instance.

[DiablotinNarrator] Guy, you can make a Search check.

[Alma] When was Emperor Cazimir...

[Sanadhil] predominantly items carried by the deceased whose remains lie scattered...

  • Guillame rolls 1d20+16: (6)+ 16 = 22

[Alma] He followed Ruchard, didn't he?

[Sanadhil] (26 for history roll)

[Ilphere] SHould we collect them...?

[Seth] I believe that we have every right to do so.

[Alma] I don't see why we wouldn't.

[DiablotinNarrator] (Alma's right)

[Sanadhil] after we know whether the area is safe, yes.

  • Alma checks for spirits and invisibility

[DiablotinNarrator] Guy, here is what you notice: The skeletal remains of the Founders lie in the niches around the edge of the room - looking somewhat disturbed (an arm or skull fallen off here and there) but not completely messed up.

[DiablotinNarrator] Their names are carved above each niche in simple, almost crude characters.

[DiablotinNarrator] In the centre of the room is a raised, round platform, perhaps a foot or so high and five feet across. Strange symbols are scribed around the edge, and in the centre is a large glyph.

[Guillame] Ok, I can see in there quite well...

[DiablotinNarrator] Alma - no spirits or invisible creatures here.

[Sanadhil] is it safe to proceed?

[Guillame] It looks like someone's moved the founders' bodies some - there's even a skull displaced.

[Ilphere] Could it be, ah, vermin...?

  • Ilphere doesn't say 'rats'.

[Alma] Or a tremor even?

  • Alma looks over the displaced founders to see if it could be as simple as that.

[Guillame] There's also a platform in the middle, with inscriptions and a large glyph, which I cannot read, but I could draw for you to look at before we proceed?

  • Sanadhil steps over to where G is and sees if he can make out the glyph

[Sanadhil] (or the inscriptions)

[DiablotinNarrator] (you have low-light vision, right? not dark?)

  • Ilphere will examine the glyph from where G stands (darkvision).
  • Alma has a lantern open

[Sanadhil] (yes, but Alma has the lantern out :)

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok, that's fine)

[DiablotinNarrator] You can try to read magic on it if you like.

  • Alma is carrying the starlight lantern from Gsran. She looks over the bodies of what is most likely the previous scholarly team to see if

she can tell what happened.

  • Sanadhil will!
  • Ilphere will also examine it with read magic

[Sanadhil] (so it is magic also then?)

[Alma] (Heal 27 if you want it)

[DiablotinNarrator] yes

  • Seth keeps drawing, including the bodies.

[DiablotinNarrator] those of you reading magic can also make spellcraft checks, not that it probably matters ;)

  • Alma will eventually read the glyph

[Sanadhil] (29)

[Ilphere] (27)

[Alma] (27)

  • Alma looks back to trying to see what killed the scholars...

[Ilphere] (so we can't tell what spell it might be, if any?)

  • Ilphere would like to look over Laeken's tomb...

[DiablotinNarrator] Those of you reading magic, are you also reading the symbols around the edge, as well as the big glyph?

[Sanadhil] (hyes)

[Ilphere] (oh yes, I missed that)

[Seth] (do I hear any more voices?)

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth, the voices are quiet for now.

[Alma] What school is the glyph, Mr. Orecalo?

[Sanadhil] (Julie? even if my spell is gone now, I'd have seen it before I let the Arcane sight go)

[DiablotinNarrator] Enchantment.

[DiablotinNarrator] (which you already knew, sir ;)

[Sanadhil] enchantment.

[Alma] Hm... probably not a glyph then?

[Sanadhil] (...yes, I did -_-)

[Sanadhil] (K: arcana?)

[Sanadhil] (34)

[DiablotinNarrator] (with your spellcraft check, you would know it's a Symbol of some sort)

[Alma] We seem to be alright though...

[Sanadhil] A symbol....

[Alma] Hmm. What about the ring?

  • Sanadhil frowns, as he should have known better :p
  • Seth casts Barkskin on himself, and makes sure Nell keeps behind him.
  • Alma is not looking very hard at the moment -_-

[Alma] (Do you just activate that or cast it?)

[Seth] (cast it)

[DiablotinNarrator] The arcane symbols around the edge form syllables - it could be an incantation of some sort, but not one you understand or recognize.

[Alma] Mr. Argo, was that a spell?

[Seth] Yes, of a sort, I suppose.

[Sanadhil] The ring is a spell or incantation, but it is not familiar to me.

[Sanadhil] (Cna I tell anything about it? school?)

[Sanadhil] It is meant to be read aloud

[DiablotinNarrator] (not a spell - a series of syllables. It could be a password of some sort?)

  • Sanadhil copies down the sylables though

[Sanadhil] Well, not a spell.... some kind of activation...

[Ilphere] Is it in Archaic Aveyronnais, perhaps?

[Sanadhil] A passcode.

[Sanadhil] No.

  • Alma leaves the bodies alone... "I can't see how they died, though they have been there a long time."

[Sanadhil] (is it gravonian or any other language I recognize? )

  • Alma looks over the ring to see if it's in any language she knows.

[DiablotinNarrator] (well i don't know what languages you all know ;)

  • Sanadhil copies down the sylables in his notebook, and will cast Comprehend Languages

[Ilphere] (same question... if I look at the syllables do they make words in any of the languages I know?)

[Alma] (Everything but Gravonian and the elemental languages)

[Sanadhil] (Aveyronnais, Cozovodë, Draconic, Gravonian, Archaic Aveyronnais, Middle Aveyronnais, Infernal, Psyrene, Placensial, Shadar Kai)

[Alma] (Oh, no Draconic.)

[DiablotinNarrator] (they are not words in any language any of you know)

[Sanadhil] (Cl it is!)

[Alma] They could be purely magical syllables.

[Alma] I don't recognise it, and I know quite a few dialects.

  • Sanadhil will touch his notes to translate, rather than the ring itself
  • Seth steps into the room and scans for constructs

[DiablotinNarrator] (it's magical writing, so CL doesn't work)

[DiablotinNarrator] No constructs here, Seth.

[Sanadhil] (Oh, n/m)

[Ilphere] (how many syllables are there?)

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere, you would read it as 7 syllables.

[Ilphere] Seven syllables...

[Ilphere] (are they placed roughly corresponding to the founders' tombs?)

[Sanadhil] (I assume 17 is not good enough for decipher script ;)

[DiablotinNarrator] (no)

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere - roughly, yes.

[Sanadhil] Hmm.

[Alma] (Is the number of syllables notable at first glance?)

  • Sanadhil will examine the remains more closely to see if there is anything with them

[DiablotinNarrator] (alma - you could notice it with casual observation)

[Ilphere] Roughly corresponding to the placement of the tombs...

  • Ilphere is mostly thinking out loud.
  • Seth looks at the remains of Laeken, though not getting too close ...

[DiablotinNarrator] San - anything like... magic items? mundane items?

[Sanadhil] (both - pesumably I've already earmarked the magic items?)

[Ilphere] (are the syllables part or all of each founder's name maybe?)

[DiablotinNarrator] All magic items are in the pile on the floor - it seems like whoever the previous group were, they had gotten as far as looting, anyway.

  • Sanadhil will start carefully recovereing anything of note, then, from the floor and then checking the tombs

[DiablotinNarrator] There are some mundane items remaining with the Founders' bodies.

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth - anything particular you're looking for there?

[Seth] (anything out of the ordinary? waiting for a dark message? I dunno)

[Alma] If you take anything from one of the alcoves *please* note which one you took it from; I would like to get readings from them.

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth - the only thing you notice out of the ordinary is that his skull is missing.

[Sanadhil] of course

[Seth] (it's not nearby anywhere, like behind?)

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere - you think so - first syllables of each name.

[DiablotinNarrator] You can make a search check to try and find it if you want.

  • Sanadhil will take careful notes :)

[Ilphere] They're the first syllables of each name...!

[Seth] (38)

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth - you are confident the skull is nowhere in this room.

[Seth] Laeken's head is missing.

  • Guillame checks the walls and pedestal again for traps, taking his time

[Ilphere] ... W... what? O_o

[Sanadhil] Perhaps it had to be placed somewhere special, as in aushinre's time

[Seth] It is not here, anywhere that I can see.

  • Ilphere goes over to look, distracted from the puzzle.

[Seth] The other skulls are undisturbed.

[Alma] You would assume the others would also hav... yes.

  • Sanadhil says as he moves over to start taking any of the remaining items from the other tombs.

[Sanadhil] Perhaps it was a custom only of the wolf

[Sanadhil] ?

[Alma] Possibly...

[Ilphere] (what kind of mundane items are with Laeken's corpse?)

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere - nothing is with his body.

[Sanadhil] but there is no woflskull in its place either, I suppose.

[Sanadhil] (but the others all have stuff?)

  • Sanadhil will make sure none of the deceased party had a bag of holding and skull stealin' tendancies ;p

[DiablotinNarrator] The others all have small amounts of stuff - maybe a piece of jewelry or weapon, not a ton of things)

  • Alma will select at least two effects from each of the founders which have them, and put them somewhere to take back to the Society.

[Alma] He has no possessions with him either?

[Ilphere] Nothing...

  • Sanadhil nods to affirm

[Guillame] Maybe they looted him first...?

[Alma] I'm not sure that's it...

[Alma] Perhaps it is some sort of ascetic tradition?

  • Alma doesn't sound convinced.

[Sanadhil] or they wanted ot for something.

[DiablotinNarrator] Oh, I never had Guy make his other Search check... go ahead and do that, Guy.

  • Alma will also search for good measure

[DiablotinNarrator] (sure - anyone who hasn't made a Search check yet can make one if they want)

[Alma] (24)

[Ilphere] (searchin'

[Sanadhil] (13, whatever :p)

[Guillame] (I'll take 20, so that's 36)

[Ilphere] (37)

[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame and Ilphere, you think possibly the raised platform could move somehow. Maybe it conceals a further chamber?

  • Alma frowns

[Ilphere] Huh...

[Ilphere] It looks like this might move...?

[Guillame] It seems like this platform could move...

[Alma] [q to Danyel] How am I going to verify which magic items are Laeken's if I can't tell what he "feels like"

[Alma] Oh?

[Guillame] Maybe the inscription invokes its opening?

[Ilphere] Perhaps if one spoke the syllables in the correct order, yes...

[Sanadhil] Starting with Dorea's name?

[Sanadhil] or perhaps....

  • Sanadhil tries toremember which died first

[Sanadhil] Hroc?

[Alma] Why Hroc?

[Sanadhil] Did he die first?

[Guillame] Maybe Laeken's head is below...

[Sanadhil] him or damodar...

[Sanadhil] perhaps

[Sanadhil] we could try the opening spell.... but it could be dangerous

[Sanadhil] regardless of how we open it

  • Sanadhil eyes the symbol out of the corner of his eye

[Guillame] Yes, it seems like the probably source of whatever killed these looters.

[Guillame] Who were surely so very unlike us.

[Alma] Yes, it was probably not the symbol, if it is Enchantment.

  • Guillame says loudly.

[Sanadhil] Oh...

[Sanadhil] You can have Symbol sopells that can kill instantly

[Sanadhil] that could certainly have been it.

[Alma] Yes, but those are Necromancy, I believe.

[Alma] I forget if you said the ring is magical itself.

[Sanadhil] They could have gone mad and killed each other

[Alma] Hmm... good point :|

[Alma] Should we ... dispel that?

[Guillame] (Is there a clear starting point, or does the inscription form a circle?)

[Sanadhil] I was just thinking that.

  • Sanadhil will cst dispel

[DiablotinNarrator] (There is a symbol, like a dot, at one point - maybe that indicates where to start?)

[Alma] Shall I?

[Guillame] There's a point here which could be the start...

[Ilphere] Oh... I see...!

  • Alma looks closer.

[DiablotinNarrator] (San, you can make your dispel check)

[Guillame] If you dispel it, there will be one less defence next time the tomb is looted

[Sanadhil] (24 -_-)

[Alma] If it's another expedition under the sponsorship of a scholarly society, I don't see that as a problem -_-

[Guillame] Well, if we know the way to open it, I don't see leaving it in place as a problem.

[Ilphere] I think we should go ahead and try the names...

[Guillame] I agree.

[Alma] Shall I?

[Ilphere] If you like...

[DiablotinNarrator] No luck dispelling it, San.

[Sanadhil] (figured)

[Sanadhil] hmm.

[Guillame] I'd vote for yes.


  • Alma will cast Resistance, and read the seven magical syllables.

[DiablotinNarrator] Alma - when you read them, the circular platform lowers slowly into the ground, revealing an opening.

[Ilphere] Excellent...!

[Alma] Well that was... anticlimactic.

[DiablotinNarrator] The space below is completely dark, almost foggy in appearance. And no, your darksight/low-light/lamps do not let you see into it.

[Alma] Hmm.

[Seth] (can I hear anything now?)

[Alma] Magic?

[DiablotinNarrator] You hear nothing apart from the sounds of your companions, Seth.

  • Alma checks for undead, and then spirits

[Guillame] There's... something stopping me seeing into it.

[DiablotinNarrator] Alma - no undead, no spirits.

[Guillame] Not normal darkness.

[Sanadhil] *that* may be worth dispelling.

  • Alma pulls out her morningstar and casts Daylight

[DiablotinNarrator] To no avail, Alma.

[Ilphere] I will attempt to dispel it...

  • Guillame sighs

[Alma] (Could it be a portal to the Shadow Plane?)

[Guillame] [q grumble] We're going to jump into that, I just know it.

[DiablotinNarrator] (it *could* be anything...)

[Danyel] Do you wish me to descend first?

[Ilphere] (only rolled a 14, which is never enough anyway)

[DiablotinNarrator] (yeah, no)

[Alma] (Are the stairs wide enough for two?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (who said anything about stairs? :)

  • Ilphere shakes her head...

[Alma] (aaagh)

[Ilphere] That did not work...

[Alma] Well, we don't know what's down there... there might be no stairs

[Alma] Perhaps one of us who can float...

[Ilphere] Drop a stone or something...?

  • Guillame finds a stone and drops it.
  • Ilphere listens.

[DiablotinNarrator] The stone falls into the darkness. You do not hear it land.

[Alma] Oh lovely.

[Ilphere] :/

[Sanadhil] . o O (This is.... not a good day.)

[Ilphere] It could be that this... effect also deadens sound...

[Alma] Yes...

[Alma] Are we to continue?

  • Sanadhil carefully sticks a hand into the smokey darkness

[Seth] Can you honestly say you would come this far, only to leave this here unexplored?

[DiablotinNarrator] San - you stick your hand into the darkness and pull it out again, unaffected.

[Ilphere] I am not willing to turn back, no...

[Sanadhil] well

[Alma] Then I will float down and see.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Guillame] I'd like to answer yes to that, Seth, but if you recall we didn't baulk at entering the mind of a slumbering Queen, so I suspect that the answer is "no"

  • Alma begins to mist slightly as she begins to become insubstantial

[Guillame] The things we do for archaeology.

  • Alma will float up above the shadow after about half a minute and slowly drift down past it.

[DiablotinNarrator] Alma - you can descend into the hole.

[Guillame] Is anyone expecting her to emerge unassisted?

[DiablotinNarrator] As you pass through the fog-like layer, you find yourself in a strange, dark chamber. Got any way to see?

[Alma] (Uh, that depends on whether my light still works.)

[Ilphere] Can you hear us...?

[Alma] (Or the lantern)

  • Ilphere calls down, not expecting an answer.

[DiablotinNarrator] (Let's say it does, for the sake of moving on ;)

  • Sanadhil tenses sligtly as Alma disappears with all our light

[DiablotinNarrator] (you can have dropped it down first if you want)

[Alma] (Sure.)


[DiablotinNarrator] The walls are lined with books, papers, scrolls, tablets... On a stone table is a skull, along with a number of other papers.

[Skull] Hm. A visitor.

[Alma] :o

  • Skull hovers up in mid-air to... look? at you.
  • Alma ... reforms slowly.
  • Guillame lowers himself into the hole, bracing for Transportation To Another Plane or somesuch

[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame, you lower yourself past the foggy barrier as well and find yourself in the same room - it's really not far down at all.

[Ilphere] M. Rionet..!

[DiablotinNarrator] (no sound can pass the barrier, for the record)

[Guillame] Hello Sis... er...

  • Ilphere is frustrated at being left behind...

[Alma] Good... afternoon.

[Skull] Goodness.

[Ilphere] I am going in... :|

  • Ilphere starts to clamber over the edge.

[Skull] You certainly took your time.

[Guillame] Erm... Good day... Sir?

  • Guillame bows.

[Seth] Tell them to come out and get the rest of us if possible!

[Sanadhil] ...yes...

[Alma] We were uncertain ... as to whether it was safe to come in.

  • Seth says to Ilphere as she goes down

[Alma] Laeken, I presume?

  • Sanadhil will wait until she goes down and try to contact her telepathically!
  • Skull nods in mid-air.
  • Alma detects under -_-

[Alma] (undead)

[Sanadhil] :Ilphere?:

  • Ilphere lowers herself to the ground below...

[Ilphere] (can I hear San?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (Your telepathy works through the barrier, yes)

[Ilphere] : sanadhil...!:

  • Seth casts Speak with Animals on Nell, and tells her to go down and then come back and report.

[Alma] (deathwatch even, not the detect undead where his epic level hurts my brain.)

[Ilphere] :o

[Sanadhil] :Is all well?:

[Ilphere] : It's... the skull is here...!:

[Ilphere] Sister? M. Rionet...?

[Sanadhil] The skull is down there, and Ilphere seems fine, if excited.

[Ilphere] : it's floating...! :

[DiablotinNarrator] Deathwatch gives you no result, Alma.

[Sanadhil] apparenlty it is floating.

[Guillame] He can hear you, Princess. And respond quite eloquently, if I may say so, for one... in such a state.

[Alma] (As I would get from a construct?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (mmmaybe?)

[Ilphere] I see...

[DiablotinNarrator] (more like... no result, not 'neither alive nor death nor undead')

[Alma] (Ok.)

  • Sanadhil will slip carefully over the edge.

[Guillame] You have been waiting for us, then, Founder?

[Ilphere] Are you... Are you truly Laeken of the Wolf?

[Skull] Waiting for someone.

  • Seth goes in.

[Skull] Someone worthwhile. You seem to be it.

[Guillame] We're honoured.

[Alma] ...

[Skull] And yes, I am Laeken of the Wolf.

  • Alma looks at Guillame.
  • Sanadhil marvels at all the books and papers, oooooooh :o

[Skull] Or was.

[Sanadhil] (What language is he speaking, or is it going directly into our heads like my telepathy does?)

[Ilphere] ... There are... so many things I would ask you...!

[Sanadhil] ....What are you now?

[Alma] (26 on my sense enchantment SM on Guillame, Julie)

[DiablotinNarrator] (what now?)

[Alma] (You can SM someone to see if you think they're under the effects of an enchantment.)

[DiablotinNarrator] (you think he's fine)

  • Guillame sms the skull, because somebody has to.
  • Alma looks a little confused

[Skull] Well, why not take me with you? We can talk at our leisure.

  • Alma detects evil
  • Guillame rolls 1d20+19: (8)+ 19 = 27

[DiablotinNarrator] No evil detected, Alma.

[Seth] [m] just to see the city again, once more...

  • Alma eyes Seth.

[DiablotinNarrator] (Guillame - hard to read a SKULL, but then, why would you trust a floating skull?)

[Guillame] (indeed. I suppose he looks smug.)

[Guillame] (maybe I can tell something from his "voice"?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (maybe)

[Ilphere] What prevents you from leaving on your own...?

[Skull] Someone would notice a floating skull?

  • Sanadhil checke the books and such while the others chat it up with Smiley McPsycho

[Alma] (SM 35 as well, but without much expectation.)

[DiablotinNarrator] (I suspect Alma is disinclined to trust this entity already ;)

[Sanadhil] :What pact did you make with Emkathon?:

[Sanadhil] (to laeken, clearly ;)

[Skull] Oh, so many questions...

[Alma] You are ... an unusual find.

  • Skull ... laughs? that might be what that sound is.

[Alma] We had hoped we might find some small thing to teach us more about the foundation of the Empire, or the Arch...

[Guillame] Well, I suppose we've found that.

[Guillame] No offence, Sir.

[Skull] None taken.

[Ilphere] I think we should...

[Alma] (K-Death on flying skulls Julie: 38 )

  • Skull is speaking what seems like more-or-less modern Aveyronnais, btw.

[DiablotinNarrator] (demilich? probably the first thing that would spring to mind, Alma)

[Ilphere] The things he - you could tell us...!

[Alma] (D: D: D:)

[Guillame] It seems unfitting to put you in a bag or something, but if you'll answer our questions, then taking you with us seems more than fair.

[Seth] I am surprised to hear myself saying this, but, I agree with Ilphere.

[Skull] Oh, a bag would be acceptable - I've seen worse.

[Seth] I'm sure we can find a safe place for you in the city, where you would remain undetected.

[Guillame] Well, I'm sure that can wait until we're closer to the exit.

[DiablotinNarrator] San - in perusing the books, you can tell that certainly some of them, most of them even, are more recent than Laeken's day.

[Sanadhil] ....Does Brother Aubert bring you these?

[Sanadhil] (or maybe mot that recent, let me reprhase)

  • Alma looks over.

[Skull] He's not nearly as sporting as some of the previous Keepers.

[Sanadhil] Do the keepers bring you these?

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] So he knows you are here.

  • Guillame casts an eye over the room, taking it in for the first time

[Sanadhil] why doesn't he let you out?

[Skull] He may not know specifically, I haven't had the chance to speak with him.

  • Guillame rolls 1d20+16: (18)+ 16 = 34

[Sanadhil] ahh.

[Sanadhil] but the others, who did?

[Skull] There was a time when I had no desire to leave. But I've run out of things to read now.

  • Alma looks around for what might be a soul gem.

[Guillame] (search check)

[DiablotinNarrator] (pft, like he leaves those lying around ;)

[Sanadhil] We could bring you some books.

  • Sanadhil says warily.

[Seth] That would be much more suspicious.

[Guillame] (not looking for anything specific, just taking in the room)

[Skull] Mm. And how would you know what I want?

  • Sanadhil scans through the topics of the books in here

[Sanadhil] Extrapolation?

[Skull] It's been ages since I saw a good library.

  • Skull says a bit wistfully.

[Alma] When was that?

[Sanadhil] You have the makings of one here, certainly..

  • Sanadhil runs a finger acoss the spne of some old tome he would certainly love to read....

[Skull] You like the books, do you.

[Sanadhil] Of course.

[Skull] I've memorized their contents.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Alma] With respect, I believe some of us are concerned about why you might be here in the first place.

[Skull] Take one. Go ahead.

  • Skull offers Sanadhil.

[Sanadhil] ...

  • Sanadhil looks at all the books @_@

[Skull] A fair concern, Sister.

[Skull] I mean no harm to anyone. I'm merely a scholar - like yourselves.

[Guillame] (nothing that wasn't previously mentioned?)

[Alma] Well, not entirely like ourselves.

[DiablotinNarrator] (nope - mainly books, books, books)

[Guillame] (ok :) )

[Skull] Like you could one day become.

  • Sanadhil is trying to figure bout how he would even pick *one* book from all of these @_@

[Alma] I meant more your current state of being, rather than your expertise...

  • Sanadhil nods absently, still lookings at boooooks

[Guillame] Well, as I say, it seems unnecessary to pack you away just yet, but I do have a reasonably soft bag here somewhere for when we get closer to the exit, assuming that you and the Sister can come to some kind of agreement.

[Skull] So did I.

[Skull] Although it's undoubtedly true that my expertise far exceeds yours.

[Alma] .oO( I've some perspective on undeath )

  • Sanadhil sighs

[Seth] Might I suggest that we came here to learn about the Founders, and here, we have found what we are looking for.

[Ilphere] I agree completely...

[Seth] I believe that, despite the reasonable concerns one might have, we need to take Laeken with us.

[Alma] Yes, but it does seem like perhaps the founders, and two millennia of Keepers, have seen fit to leave him here...

[Ilphere] He *is* a founder...!

[Skull] I'm right here, you know.

  • Skull says dryly.

[Sanadhil] What do you plan dto do once you are out?

[Alma] I'm quite aware, I've read the reports of the vision of Amhara.

[Skull] You are scholars, yes? So you take me to your finest library, and I will make myself comfortable.

[Sanadhil] and when you are done with it?

[Skull] Then I will find another.

  • Sanadhil nods
  • Sanadhil would totally be down with spending his eternity flitting around different libraries

[Alma] May I have your word that you will not do acts of evil within the Empire?

[Skull] But of course you may have my word.

  • Sanadhil opens his bag of holding :x

[Alma] .oO( For what good it's worth. )

[Skull] Is this where I will be travelling?

  • Skull peers into the bag.

[Seth] I want your word that you'll stick around long enough to speak with us. We have a lot of questions for you, Founder.

[Sanadhil] if you like.

[Guillame] Well, as I said, I had this pouch, also. And you suggested earlier that we could talk on the way...

[Ilphere] And... we can tell you many things in return...

[Sanadhil] we have others but this one likely has more interesting things in it, and is quite spacous.

[Skull] Oh. Oh, certainly. I will answer to the best of my ability.

[Sanadhil] (Totally books in there ;)

  • Guillame takes a velvet gem bag from his pack.
  • Alma looks at Danyel, having no idea what to do .oO( D: )
  • Danyel shrugs - he also has no idea.

[Danyel] It... he... did give his word...

[Seth] Very well, it's settled then.

  • Sanadhil nods
  • Sanadhil will also pick a book ^-^

[Ilphere] Wonderful...!

[Skull] Splendid...!

[Seth] Shall we collect your library, or is that not relevant any longer?

[Guillame] (is there a means of exit visible?)

[Sanadhil] (maybe a couple if he doesn't stop me @_@)

[Skull] No longer relevant to me... If there are items you want, feel free to help yourselves.

[Ilphere] (I will select a couple of books then)

[Ilphere] Oh, thank you...! :)

  • Sanadhil will take whatever he cat fit, plus skull unless he'd ride with G

[Guillame] Do you have any old literature on House Rat? I'm afraid the current state of knowledge is quite poor...

  • Skull can suggest particularly good books, no doubt.
  • Skull will then hop into the bag for his exciting journey!
  • Seth will see if there are any cool architecture books.
  • Sanadhil will climb out once the looting is complete @_@
  • Alma look for things which were written by Laeken

[DiablotinNarrator] You can boost one another out of the hole without much difficulty.

  • Guillame takes any Rat books, and helps people out of the hole.

[Sanadhil] (which bag did he go in?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (bag of holding)

[Sanadhil] (yay ^-^)

[DiablotinNarrator] You can make your exit from the Mausoleum, bid a polite farewell to Sister Enarda, and make your way home.

  • Seth makes sure to pick up all the other items of relevance from the tomb as well!

[DiablotinNarrator] (I will post the list of your loot ;)

  • Guillame helps him collect the stuff that the previous looters had

[DiablotinNarrator] (it starts with "A Skull")


Ysabeau and Dominik

[DiablotinNarrator] Ysabeau and Dom, you have each received a summons to the palace, unexpected but apparently quite important. You have barely enough time to get yourselves cleaned up after your earlier excursion into the salt cave.

  • Ysabeau does her best to make herself presentable and hurries to the palace, wondering what they possibly could need a warrior and... a musician for on short notice.
  • Dominik responds as appropriate, if somewhat annoyed by the short notice
  • Ysabeau leaves a note for Muri if Muri is not home.

[DiablotinNarrator] Dominik, you present yourself before the Emperor, who is changing for dinner. His other attendants are also present.

[Marl] Sorry for the emergency summons.

[Marl] We have an unexpected guest for dinner.

[Dominik] It is fine, sire. Who is it, if I may ask?

[Marl] You may. A cousin of yours, as it happens. Trevan Rademacher, count of Sephinos, the heir to the duchy of Psyra. Popped in unannounced - downside of the teleportation circles, I suppose.

[DiablotinNarrator] You are aware of Trevan's existence, but barely know him - probably haven't seen him in over a decade, he and his family live in Psyra. He is around Jarvis's age, you believe.

[Dominik] It's been some time since I've seen him.

  • Marl nods, shrugging on an embroidered jacket.

[Dominik] Any reason for the sudden visit?

[Marl] The situation with Psyra is rather... sensitive. I don't know if his visit relates to politics at all, however, or if he's just wanting to see the big city. Either way, it's best if we put on a good show for him, make sure he's happy.

[Dominik] (do I know anything about the "sensitivity"?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (just in general... Psyra was basically the last part of the Empire to join, and has always been a bit touchy. you don't know of anything more recent or specific than that.)

[Dominik] Is there anything I need to be aware of?

[Marl] The usual... the natives are restless, the Duke is paranoid that he'll be overthrown. There is talk that Trevan might be a more preferable candidate than his father, since his mother is thoroughly Psyrene, going back to their native royalty or some such high-ranking types.

[Marl] If you have a chance to speak with him, perhaps he'll be more inclined to speak with another Rademacher. It would be handy to know if he's behind any of the murmurings, or just stands to benefit from them.

[Dominik] no anamosity aimed towards Diablotin then.

  • Dominik nods

[Dominik] I will do what I can

[Marl] None from him that I'm aware of - of course, if you sense anything like that, it would also be beneficial to know.

  • Dominik nods again

[Marl] But in general, I just intend to show him how glad we are that he's here.

  • Marl says, not sounding amazingly glad.

[Dominik] I'll do what I can to help him feel welcome.

[Marl] Good, good.

[Marl] We should be getting to dinner, then - let's not keep him waiting.

  • Dominik nods

[DiablotinNarrator] Ysabeau, you arrive at the palace and are directed to one of the small dining rooms, where you find another musician already setting up her things in a discreet corner - Maryse Rouillard.

[Maryse] Good afternoon :)

  • Ysabeau greets Maryse as if she were a normal musician and Ysabeau had no reason to suspect her of being a succubus.

[Ysabeau] Good afternoon!

[Ysabeau] I guess we are supposed to play, but do you know who we're playing for?

[Ysabeau] I just got here, and don't have much to go on.

[Maryse] We're to play for a small, intimate sort of dinner party - I don't know who all will be there, apart from the Emperor and his attendants.

[Ysabeau] (I'll have brought my lute, I suppose, since the harp is HUGE.)

[DiablotinNarrator] (that's fine)

[Ysabeau] Right then, some chamber music. :)

  • Maryse has a flute with her.

[Ysabeau] Let's compare repertoires, figure out what we can play together on short notice.

  • Ysabeau does so.

[Maryse] I picked a few pieces on my way down here, but if you have any other suggestions, I'm happy to see what we can improvise...

[Maryse] I've been wanting to work with you since we performed your composition - it was just amazing.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] You're too kind. You're a talented musician yourself. I'm excited to work with my peers here at the palace.

[Maryse] Oh, it's wonderful working here - so many talented people, as you say, and so many opportunities :)

[Maryse] I'm sure you'll fit right in.

[Ysabeau] Hopefully!

  • Ysabeau will look over Maryse's list and work out a playlist with her... we can take turns playing solo, and playing together, I suppose.
  • Maryse will help work out a plan for what you'll play, and seems quite agreeable.

[DiablotinNarrator] The table is set for fourteen, and servants are moving in and out of the room, getting things ready as the two of you tune up.

  • Ysabeau tunes up her lute (it's the instrument with the magic strings, by the way...)

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok)

[DiablotinNarrator] Guests arrive informally, not announced by a herald or anything, though the Emperor and Empress still come in last of course. Marl and his attendants (including Dom) and Yanina and some of her ladies-in-waiting, as well as another gentleman, take their seats.

[DiablotinNarrator] Dom, you are seated across from Trevan. He is, as you vaguely recalled, about Jarvis's age, 25 or 26, with blond hair that contrasts with his tanned complexion and brown eyes. He seems quite cheerful to be here.

  • Ysabeau and Maryse unobtrusively play nice relaxing dinner music in their corner.

[DiablotinNarrator] Dinner begins to be served, and people make polite conversation between bites...

  • Ysabeau will be on the alert for any funny business from the demon.

[Dominik] Trevan, its been so long since I've seen you, I'm sure you have such stories.

[Trevan] Oh, no doubt, no doubt... Perhaps most are not suitable for dinner, though, eh? ;)

  • Dominik chuckles at the comment

[Trevan] Is your family well? Your parents?

[Dominik] My family is as well as could be expected... Father it rarely in the city however.

[Trevan] Oh? Quite occupied with his estates?

[Dominik] He is quite facinated with his tinkering these days. We leave him to it.

[Trevan] Perhaps that is for the best, then.

[Dominik] And things with your family? Good as well?

[Trevan] Father is growing older, and is not as healthy as he once was... but well enough, still.

  • Dominik nods

[Dominik] I supose that makes you busier then?

[Trevan] I have assumed certain responsibilities, yes. Also, there is talk that I ought to marry soon, so that he might live to see grandchildren.

  • Trevan says with a shrug, as if he doesn't much care either way.

[Trevan] You are fortunate, you have older brothers who can take care of those sorts of duties.

[Dominik] I've never thought of my brothers being a fortune to me, but I am learning to open my eyes to these things.

  • Trevan chuckles.

[Trevan] Your sister - Zivia? She is also well?

[Dominik] Yes, she is quite well these days.

[Dominik] I you want, I may be able to arrange an opportunity to meet up with her.

[Trevan] I would be delighted to see her, and indeed all of your family, if I have the opportunity. It has been so long since last I visited the city.

[Dominik] If I manage to slip away from my duties at the palace, I would be glad to show you around.

[Trevan] Thank you, I appreciate that.

[DiablotinNarrator] Dinner proceeds, and eventually concludes. The ladies withdraw, leaving the gentlemen to do gentlemanly things like smoke cigars and drink.

[Ysabeau] (where are the lady musicians?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (they have not been dismissed yet ;)

[Marl] So, Trevan, what sights are you hoping to see while you're here?

  • Marl says once cigars and brandy are distributed.

[Trevan] Oh, so many things... One in particular, I hear, is called the Jewel Box? Quite remarkable, as I understand.

[Marl] Of course, arrangements can be made.

  • Ysabeau pretends her smile is because she is so into her music.

[Marl] Indeed, if you wish, we can have a selection of ... jewels brought here.

[Trevan] Well, that *would* be convenient.

  • Marl nods to a servant, who bows and goes off, presumably to make the necessary arrangements.

[Dominik] Anything else that peaks your intrest, cousin?

[Trevan] I would gladly be guided to any other sites of note, certainly. I have an interest in sculpture, if there is anywhere of interest in that regard.

  • Ysabeau gets herself ready in case one of the Jewels is Madelen Levernois. Two demons in one room with the Emperor... not a bright prospect.

[Dominik] I'm aquanted with an architect who has an interest in sculptures, he has mentioned a few to me, so we'll be able to find some of the best in the city.

[Trevan] Wonderful!

[Trevan] Ah, these poor ladies, playing for so long without refreshment - please, enjoy a drink :)

  • Trevan says to the hard-working musicians.

[Marl] Of course - anything you wish.

  • Maryse will gladly take a break and help herself to some wine.
  • Ysabeau glances up and smiles, gently sets her lute down.

[Ysabeau] Thank you, gentlemen.

  • Ysabeau says quietly as she gets up to acquire her own glass of wine.

[Trevan] Your playing was marvellous, enchanting.

  • Trevan gives each of you a kiss on the hand.
  • Dominik will whisper to Marl while this is going on...

[Dominik] [w] is women all he is after? Even with teleporting, this is quite a ways to find them.

[Marl] [w] I can't imagine it is. But if it keeps him busy...

  • Ysabeau will entertain Trevan with cheerful and clever conversation.
  • Marl shrugs.

[Dominik] [w] I'll parade as many as I can for him... he was asking about Zivia at dinner.

[Marl] [w] Well, she may not be... available, but I'm sure she knows who is.

[Marl] [w] She's a good girl, she'll help out.

  • Ysabeau wishes she could get Marl and Dominik aside herself, to warn them...

[Dominik] [w] I'm sure she will

  • Dominik leaves Marl
  • Dominik goes over to Ysabeau and Trevan
  • Trevan is flirting with both girls quite openly.

[Dominik] You can't keep chatting up the musicians, cousin, how will they ever play?

  • Ysabeau is a little confused about why the *Emperor* is falling over himself to please this guy...

[Trevan] Oh, I suppose you're right... a shame, they are a charming pair :)

[Ysabeau] (K: N - can I figure out who he is and why he's apparently important?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (you can roll)

[Ysabeau] (Not a chance with a 10, I'm thinkin')

[DiablotinNarrator] (well, Dom calls him 'cousin' so... some cousin of Dom's? ;)

[DiablotinNarrator] (beyond that, you don't know)

  • Ysabeau gives Marl a questioning look - back to playing, then?

[Dominik] I'm sure they're both well charmed by you.

  • Marl nods that you can continue.
  • Trevan grins.

[Ysabeau] Who wouldn't be charmed by a mystery man? Your cousin, Monsieur?

  • Dominik puts an arm on Trevan's shoulder to start to lead him back to the chairs.
  • Ysabeau smiles as she saunters back over to her lute and settles her skirts around her.

[Ysabeau] . o O (-_-)

  • Trevan lets himself be led, as long as it's in the direction of more drinks.

[Dominik] Yes from Psyra, a long way from home.

  • Dominik says as he leave.
  • Dominik does let his gaze linger a little on Ysabeau before leaving.

[DiablotinNarrator] After perhaps a half-hour or so of further conversation and drinks, by the time the room is cloudy with smoke from cigars, there is a quiet knock at the door, and a servant opens it to admit six masked women.

[Ysabeau] (K: G or K: H - why would Marl be falling over himself to make sure someone from Psyra is granted every comfort?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (you can roll, whichever's higher)

[Ysabeau] (History, got a 23)

[DiablotinNarrator] (blah blah Psyra last to be brought into the Empire, still kind of touchy)

  • Ysabeau is on the alert again... are the masked women colour-coded? Are any of them in white?

[DiablotinNarrator] Their masks are decorated with gemstones, so you can match them up as necessary - Garnet, Diamond, Topaz, Emerald, Sapphire, Pearl.

[Trevan] What prompt service! :)

  • Ysabeau tries to catch Dominik's eye to try to impart some sort of message of caution to him.
  • Dominik is actually a little on edge

[DiablotinNarrator] Ysa and Dom, both of you are reasonably confident that 'Pearl' is Guillame's new wife.

  • Ysabeau has to hope he's aware of the precarious situation they're in.

[Ysabeau] (How many men are left? Just Dom, Marl and Trevan?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (no no, those three plus the five other attendants - so eight)

[Ysabeau] (ok)

[Marl] I gather that they pride themselves on their service, yes.

  • Marl says a bit dryly.

[Ysabeau] (None of the attendants are named Evalier Moncaire or Temair Montevier, are they?

[DiablotinNarrator] (no)

[Ysabeau] (Thank goodness for small mercies.)

  • Marl seems to be doing some similar math in his head :p

[Dominik] (I cant imagin how much this is costing)

[DiablotinNarrator] The jewels seem right at home, joining in conversations, helping themselves to drinks, flirting, etc.

  • Dominik lets Trevan take the lead on the conversations, but will politely join in as well.
  • Trevan seems quite unable to make up his mind - too much choice :o

[Trevan] Cousin, have you any recommendation?

[Dominik] It is a difficult decision, I know... [q] I've visited the jewel box a few times myself, but none of these particular ladies... [normal voice] saphires are an interesting colour are they not.

  • Trevan admires the buxom, blonde Sapphire.

[Trevan] It is a shame there are not more to go around - but then, the choice would be even harder!

[Trevan] Perhaps the young ladies who play the music might also like to join in the fun ;)

[Trevan] Then no one would have to be left out.

  • Dominik looks to Marl, then Marise and Ysabeau.

[Marl] That is their decision - they are under no obligations to provide more ...personal entertainment, unless they wish.

[Ysabeau] Hmm... Who gets His Majesty?

  • Maryse giggles.
  • Ysabeau asks boldly.

[Marl] Is that an offer, Mlle. Chanuier?

  • Marl asks mildly.
  • Ysabeau smiles and shrugs.

[Maryse] See, I told you you'd fit in perfectly ;)

  • Maryse says, nudging you slightly.
  • Maryse goes to sit on her boyfriend's lap, then.
  • Dominik is not too pleased about the whole situation, but tries to hide it.
  • Ysabeau keeps her venomous look deep down inside her.
  • Marl offers Ysabeau his hand.
  • Ysabeau picks up her lute and walks over to him.

[Marl] I can't imagine you'll need that.

  • Dominik heads over to the pair

[Ysabeau] I'd rather not leave it lying about, Your Majesty.

  • Marl smiles slightly.
  • Marl glances at Dom as he approaches.
  • Ysabeau tugs on Marl's hand towards the door.

[Dominik] [q] Sire, you've got some of the best jewels of the city here, should you not at least pick of them first, before Trevan to remind him that you are still the one in charge here?

[Marl] ...

[Marl] Hm...

[Marl] This one seems quite... eager to depart.

  • Marl says with a nod to Ysabeau.

[Dominik] I can go with her instead, being the newest here, I should leave the best picks for the rest, at least for those who haven't chosen.

  • Ysabeau flashes Dom a look which she hopes is reassuring... she has no intention of sleeping with Marl, if she can help it.

[Marl] ...Very well, you're probably right.

[Marl] Another time, perhaps, Mlle. Chanuier.

  • Marl kisses Ysa's hand and goes back to mingling with the jewels.

[Ysabeau] [q] Don't count on it. :P

[Dominik] [q] Do you want out of here now?

  • Ysabeau turns to Dominik, eyes glinting darkly.

[Ysabeau] Please.

[Ysabeau] But I can see myself out.

  • Dominik waves a goodbye to his cousin with a promise to catch up in the morning.

[Dominik] [q] I need to keep up appearances.

  • Trevan seems happily occupied, but will give you a wave before you go.

[Ysabeau] [w] You should stay to make sure he doesn't go with Maryse or Diamond.

[Dominik] [q] I aimed him at Sapphire, and I'll know in the morning regardless.

[Dominik] [w] lets go

[Ysabeau] [w] I'm not talking about your cousin.

[Dominik] [w] Nash knows so Marl knows

  • Ysabeau tries not to look too angry as she leads Dominik out.

[Ysabeau] [q] How does Nash know?

[Dominik] [w] I'm sure our friendly architect has probably told her

[Ysabeau] [q] And that wasn't the only thing I needed to tell him.

[Dominik] (unless I'm totally fucking up and seth wasnt in on that conversation)

  • Ysabeau will tell Dominik about what Martan had to say about the Hush split.
  • Dominik listens

[DiablotinNarrator] (are you guys out in the corridor by now?)

[Ysabeau] (yes)

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok)

  • Ysabeau is careful not to speak when people are nearby so it's a weird few words spoken, then silence until the person is past kind of situation.
  • Dominik will take her back to his room to talk to her if she is willing, but wont say much until they get there
  • Ysabeau will follow him since at least he's talking to her. :P

Alma and Seth

  • Alma asked to meet with you as we left the Mausoleum. Tea at her place? The society?
  • Seth will go to your place, because he spends too much time at the society anyway.
  • Alma has Sagesse bring us tea and snacks once Marielle brings you into the sitting room.
  • Seth will politely partake of what is presented.

[Alma] Well... it seems we are always capable of finding real adventure on our expeditions.

[Seth] Thank you for all this, Countess. Of course, I do not often eat these days.

[Alma] Yes, I only just now thought of that. Hopefully the taste still appeals...

[Seth] Oh, of course.

[Alma] That's good, I wouldn't want to force you to stuff something in if it wasn't at least enjoyable :)

  • Seth smiles.

[Seth] I have given the matter of our expeditions a great deal of reflection since our return.

[Alma] What are your thoughts on our most recent?

[Seth] Obviously, the discovery of Laeken ranks foremost among them. I have been wondering who, if anyone, in the Empire even knew he was there.

[Alma] I'm curious about that as well. I am considering speaking with Brother Aubert about the matter.

[Seth] Do you have reason to think him trustworthy?

[Alma] Ah, that's a complicated question. I may learn nothing more than whether HE knew about Laeken's presence, but I consider that rather important for personal reasons. As for whether he's trustworthy, I suppose that depends on whose trust he was keeping if he declined to inform us.

[Seth] Personal reasons?

[Alma] Well...

[Alma] My concern is that Brother Aubert explains the perils of our expedition in general terms, on the assumption that we would all die, like the previous, when specifics might have been warranted... such as the presence of Laeken.

[Alma] I have a very hard time believing that bringing Laeken back with us was anything but a bad idea. However, by the time I floated down into his chamber, I had little choice.

[Seth] And how will talking to Brother Aubert ameliorate the situation?

[Alma] It won't. Part of my consideration is whether it would be a petty exercise.

[Alma] I'm not sure I care, at the moment :)

[Seth] It would also raise the possibility, if he didn't know, that others, whom we do not want to know, would learn of it.

[Alma] Who do we wish to hide this from?

  • Seth startles
  • Alma frowns, supposing that a bit of a silly question.

[Seth] I would imagine we want to tell almost no one that we have just brought a powerful undead into the city

[Alma] That would be even more irresponsible than letting him out in the first place.

[Seth] Why do you suppose we let him out?

[Alma] I can't speak for everyone...

[Alma] But to a certain extent, we may have had no choice.

[Seth] Well, of course.

[Seth] But now that he is out, we have a tremendous opportunity, and would not want to squander it.

[Alma] He, or it, also has tremendous opportunity.

[Alma] I'm not sure that leaving those that defend the empire completely in the dark is wise.

[Seth] Of course. And we certainly do not want M. Orecalo making judgements on behalf of all of us, let me make that clear. That did not work well last time.

[Alma] I was somewhat surprised how suspicious he DID seem of Laeken. I expected him to be as eager as Mme. Kizer

[Seth] I think he will be circumspect. And of course, we should all be suspicious.

[Seth] He is, after all, an extremely powerful undead who has been trapped in that place for millennia.

[Alma] I do think, however, that the Church, and perhaps the Warlord ought to be informed of this new presence in the city.

[Seth] I would be amenable to the Warlord being informed. I think, as the defender of the city, that is right.

[Seth] As for 'the Church', I think that we need to ask ourselves, why did the Patriarch not know about this?

[Seth] This seems like the sort of thing about which our chief religious officials ought rightly to apprise themselves.

[Alma] Well... I can think of reasons, though it is all speculation. Information lost over time, for example. Or the Patriarch did know. I only consulted the Reverend Father Theron about the expedition to the Saltgrove. It was Imperial permission that allowed us to enter the Tomb of the Founders.

[Seth] Yes, well ... in any case, I think we ought to tell only the Patriarch and Warlord, and emphasize the potential dangers to civic order should this knowledge be disseminated more widely.

[Alma] I am not sure I'm comfortable with seeking to overstep the Reverend Father on this matter. He has been made aware of everything else we've learned, after all.

[Seth] Well, of course I defer to you on matters of Church hierarchy and etiquette associated thereunto.

[Alma] Ah, so you are comfortable with me passing on your... our concern to the Reverend Father for him to do what is necessary with the information?

[Seth] Not entirely, no.

[Seth] I understand your desire to provide the relevant information to the person who authorized the expedition.

[Alma] Well, he didn't, actually, not that leg of it...

[Seth] No, indeed. And I notice that neither one of us is suggesting that we tell the Emperor about our find.

[Alma] Well, presumably that is the job of the Warlord.

[Alma] Ysabeau said something similar recently...

[Alma] Imagine if no one is passing any of this drama on to him?

  • Alma doesn't seem to be concerned that's actually happening though.

[Seth] There are worse scenarios I can imagine.

[Alma] I had actually been considering speaking with you to see if you might arrange a meeting with the Warlord. I'm curious about the entries you found in the Codex, for example... but it wasn't quite compelling enough to bother her. This, on the other hand, is another matter, and there might be opportunity afterwards.

[Alma] If the Warlord shares your concern about informing the Reverend Father, that would be another matter.

[Alma] She is likely better positioned to inform the Patriarch directly.

[Seth] I expect to be speaking to the Warlord shortly.

[Alma] I would appreciate the opportunity to join you, if that can be arranged.

[Seth] Let me speak to her alone, first, and I will convey to her your interest in meeting also.

[Alma] Certainly.

[Alma] There's also a matter which I did bring to the attention of Reverend Father Theron, but didn't think to bring to her attention... regarding outsiders in the city...

[Seth] Oh?

[Alma] Yes, I've confirmed one other, and I've rumour of three others.

[Seth] I do think it would be of some interest to her ... but probably not as much as the matter of Laeken.

[Alma] Indeed, a succubus does not compare to a demilich...

[Alma] I'm hoping that the Order of the Spoke will take care of the former.

[Alma] Have you had any more insight as to the whispers in the mausoleum?

[Seth] Ah - that has bothered me most of all, moreso even than Laeken's existence, but the fact that the whispers knew of and mistrust him.

[Alma] Do you think that the sovereigns knew of him before their deaths?

[Seth] It is possible. At least, they now know not only of his existence but something of his motivations.

[Alma] Most would have a natural distrust for a demilich, if that's what he truly is...

[Alma] Listen to me... trying to explain away the possibility that he doesn't have nefarious goals.

  • Alma shakes her head.

[Seth] The Warlord and I have hypothesized that my intimate connection to the city derives in part from fragments of the souls of dead emperors. While I understand that to be disconcerting to you theologically, it makes a great deal of sense empirically.

[Alma] You've mentioned that previously, and I didn't say it is disconcerting. I said that relying on the energy of a city in place of the Gods might be unwise.

[Alma] The Gods will move you through the cycle, but if you chose to divorce yourself from the cycle and embrace ... whatever this is, well... that is a great unknown.

[Seth] Hmm. Well, not to quibble, then.

[Seth] These voices, which only I heard, clearly were something related to the dead emperors. And while in the Tomb, I was effectively 'within' the city - I no longer needed to eat or drink, for instance.

[Alma] I was more inclined to attribute the power of the city to all of its past citizens, but perhaps it is limited to the Emperors...

[Alma] You could hear the city in the dream, Saraknyel...

  • Alma thinks

[Seth] They said to me, "Seek your soul's redemption." That is open to multiple interpretations, however.

[Alma] It's possible they didn't realise you were not an Emperor.

[Seth] Why would they think I was?

[Alma] Your connection. If your connection is related to the Emperors, then they may assume any being with the same sort of connection is an Emperor.

[Seth] I suppose so.

[Seth] Clearly they told me to beware of Laeken, but perhaps it is through him that I may truly come to understand what I am.

[Alma] You said something about the bell tolling... presumably the Eternit bell.

[Seth] Yes, and the Bell would not have existed in Laeken's day, correct?

[Alma] Well, I was looking over my notes on Loch's vision of the Founding of Diablotin, and he seems to refer to Laeken as already looking ageless... I'm wondering if perhaps he was already trying to prolong his life at the time. He could have lived many years into the Empire before he was finally entombed.

[Alma] Of course, he may have little perspective on the Emperors, as he was not chosen by the Arch, was never an Emperor...

[Alma] It's hard to say WHAT he could perceive in there...

[Alma] [m] or if he was even trapped.

[Seth] I agree, these are all key concerns and questions.

[Seth] I am keenly mindful of the fact, also, that I was chosen to receive a vision of Laeken, and that there may have been a higher reason for that.

[Alma] I ... really would like to know more about what it is that lies in the mausoleum, what ... energy.

[Alma] You had a vision of Laeken?

[Seth] Yes ... as Char, as you may recall.

[Alma] Oh, yes... I had forgotten that.

[Alma] Something ... the prisoner released... how did I forget that?

[Seth] Yes, definitely a subject on which I will want to speak with Laeken, when I have the opportunity.

[Seth] You can see, then, how important it is to me that we not squander it.

[Alma] I am exceedingly interested in knowing what came of his attempt to "parlay", if we can trust anything he says.

[Seth] Indeed.

[Alma] I mean to examine some of his effects later today. Hopefully they might tell me something about him, his nature or his intentions, though I don't hold out much hope, as I was unable to detect anything about his lifeforce.

[Alma] I suspect he is thoroughly obfuscated from divination.

[Seth] Possibly so, although now that he is removed from those environs, perhaps not as greatly.

[Alma] That reminds me, I meant to ask you where it was that you heard the omen about The One? You know, by one reborn, carried by one failed, etc.

[Seth] Ahhh ... have we spoken of this matter before?

[Alma] Yes, you told me about it some time ago.

  • Alma thinks

[Alma] Now that you mention it, it was M. Orecalo who told me.

[Seth] I could find that area of the sub-basement of the palace again, if it would prove useful. But I do not see any reason why it would be.

[Alma] Well, I was thinking I might be able to get a vision of what transpired then... but I wasn't sure that would be accessible...

  • Alma frowns.

[Alma] Why did they perform the ritual in the basement of the palace?

[Seth] I have no idea.

[Alma] If you find it, even if scrying you to find the location works, teleporting likely won't :|

[Seth] I'm not certain what a vision of that event would do to help us.

[Alma] You're not certain what advantage there would be to seeing who the cultists are?

[Seth] Oh, I see, you would be able to get that much information from being in that place? I was not aware.

[Alma] Yes, like my vision of the angels.

[Alma] Well, if their faces are covered, I might not be able to see anything... but I might recognise a voice other than Phedre or Earric.

[Alma] .oO( How bizarre. In theory I've never heard Earric speak. )

[Seth] Perhaps.

[Alma] I'm assuming this is not an area which is accessible by normal locomotion?

[Seth] That is correct. It was walled off once the Arch was moved from there.

[Alma] Oh... the old Arch Chamber...

  • Alma looks less thrilled by that idea.

[Seth] It is hardly of note or concern. Just an old room, now.

[Alma] Perhaps not, if they chose to have their ritual there, rather than at the Arch on the Down

[Seth] I suppose, if one has not been to the actual under-Arch, one might think that room to be a fair substitute.

[Alma] Do you think Phedre has not yet found the under-Arch?

[Alma] That would be ... surprising, don't you think?

[Seth] Even if she has found it, she can hardly gather an entire group down there for a ritual.

[Alma] There's practically directions in Loch's notes, and it's *physically* underneath the Arch.

[Seth] If she has found it, I do not believe she has been there yet.

[Alma] Without them all having strange visions you mean?

[Alma] I suppose she might not want them to see things she isn't prepared for them to see.

[Alma] Well, if I am in the Palace again, perhaps I will try to find my way there...

[Seth] I mean, it's not accessible by any normal means. One could teleport there, of course, but then how to leave?

[Alma] What would prevent them from teleporting out again?

[Seth] Nothing, but how would you teleport eight or nine individuals in and out again?

[Alma] Dedication?

[Alma] I could take a party of ... 4 plus myself.

[Alma] As an example.

[Alma] I assume Ilphere could do the same for each of two trips perhaps?

[Seth] Well, yes, but of course the Princess is not in their circle of initiates.

[Alma] No, but Phedre is presumably powerful if she is consorting with a succubus and possibly the favourite, at least in Diablotin, of Serpent.

[Seth] I am no powerful spellcaster, Sister - I simply state that no such event has taken place there.

[Seth] There has not been nearly enough disturbance to the place.

[Alma] Yes, I am merely wondering...

[Alma] THERE is a place I would be extremely reluctant to try to receive a vision...

[Alma] Otherwise I would be interested to know if perhaps Phedre has never been there. And if so, why not?

[Seth] It doesn't seem to have harmed me.

[Alma] Yes, well...

[Alma] I ...

[Alma] I suppose I could divine whether it would be an unwise course of action, and then cast Find the Path to find it... should I ever feel the need :|

[Seth] Does Find the Path allow you to find a place to which there is no path?

[Alma] Well... it tells you quite a bit, how to get there, what arcane words to speak, tripwires to step over... but I'm not sure if it will take me to the door at the underarch which Loch and his companions went through, if that has been sealed.

[Alma] Considering I could manipulate the stone itself to get through, perhaps.

[Alma] If nothing else I could chose for Find the Path to take me to the point *outside* the under-Arch chamber.

[Seth] Ah, you are talking about the one in the Palace now. I was confused for a moment.

[Seth] The under-Arch is not accessible by any passage. The chamber in the Palace is properly the former Arch chamber.

[Alma] I'm speaking of the under-Arch chamber, which ... was at one point somewhat accessible by passage.

[Alma] Accessible through a passage near the Down.

[Alma] I forget the name of it.

[Seth] There is no door any longer.

[Alma] Yes, but I may not need one.

[Alma] Were I to do something like this in the first place, which I probably won't.

[Seth] Very well, Sister, I defer to your expertise.

[Alma] Well, is there a new protection on the chamber?

[Alma] M. Orecalo and you both have been within.

[Seth] None of which I know.

[Alma] I am just assuming that if I find the other side of the wall of the chamber, that I could merge with it, or shape myself a door.

  • Seth nods.

[Alma] Anyway, I'm just thinking out loud, I suppose.

  • Alma sips her tea :3

[Seth] If you are planning to go, allow me to help you plot a route.

[Seth] Since I have been that way, and can ensure to minimize the risk to you.

[Alma] Yes, I would certainly ask for your advice.

[Alma] There was this enormous undead creature with tentacles on its shoulders when the others went down.

[Alma] Inside this necropolis.

[Alma] Really you and M. Orecalo have the better way of it.

[Seth] Well, thank you for the tea, Sister, and for the conversation.

[Seth] It has been most enlightening.

[Alma] Yes, I will let you know what I find out from LAeken's things... and I will await your word on Laeken and the Warlord, though I really must ask you to hurry on that matter.

[Seth] Of course.

  • Alma will see you to the door.

[Alma] Enjoy the rest of your day :)

[Seth] You as well.

Dominik and Ysabeau

  • Dominik will quietly close the door to his room.
  • Dominik turns to look at Ysabeau, obviously struggling with this thoughts
  • Ysabeau looks around the room.

[Ysabeau] (Is there somewhere to sit?)

[Dominik] (its a modest room filled with modern furniture and decor to make it look fashionable. There is a large chaise that could be used to sit)

  • Ysabeau turns back to you.

[Dominik] what were you doing back there?

[Ysabeau] Nice place...

  • Dominik is struggling to keep his voice level

[Ysabeau] I was trying to get Marl away from demonesses so I could pass along a couple of important messages to him.

[Dominik] What could possibly be so important?

[Ysabeau] Let's see... demonesses, for one thing.

[Ysabeau] I don't think he could know about all of them. Seth doesn't - unless you told him, or Alma.

[Dominik] It's not your job to keep Marl safe, Ysabeau.

[Ysabeau] No, it's yours.

[Ysabeau] But more importantly I am trying to re-establish contact between him and Lord Grey.

[Dominik] So you do that by offering yourself to him... after what he's done to you!

[Ysabeau] Dom, I'm a musician.

[Ysabeau] I can't just say "Hey, Emperor! Let's go out for a coffee. Got somethin' I wanna tell ya."

[Ysabeau] I've only had one audience with him where other people were not around.

[Ysabeau] I knew he was interested in me and I knew he'd find it hard to turn me down.

[Ysabeau] I have no intention of actually letting him touch me anymore than I must to get him out of there and somewhere we can talk.

[Ysabeau] I probably don't have a large window of opportunity because if Nash finds out I'm hanging out with Lord Grey's protege, she'll find some reason to get me fired.

  • Dominik shakes his head.

[Ysabeau] You should be careful too if you are associated with Lord Grey and you want to keep your job here.

[Dominik] You attended a wedding with him, people already know you're associated.

[Ysabeau] Yes, that's why I am trying not to yell at you.

[Ysabeau] Because that might have been my only chance and you blew it.

[Dominik] And you thought I could just stand by and watch you walk off with him knowing what he had done to you?

[Ysabeau] I hoped that you would realize, because of what you know about my past with him, that I wasn't doing it on a lark.

[Ysabeau] I tried to catch your eye but you... didn't notice.

[Dominik] I had no clue what you were doing or why or why you would risk it for anything.

[Ysabeau] Thank you for looking out for me, Dominik. It's sweet, very sweet, especially since you haven't spoken to me in months and you've avoided even having to look at me.

[Ysabeau] But I am a big girl.

[Ysabeau] I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't feel like it was important.

[Dominik] Yes your a big girl and the big spy now. I'm so glad I introduced you to all of that.

  • Ysabeau sighs.
  • Dominik looks down trying to gather his thoughts and emotions

[Ysabeau] If I'm a spy, I'm more of a private operative.

[Ysabeau] I'm not sure that Lord Grey has any clue that I've undertaken to do this.

  • Dominik shakes his head

[Ysabeau] I am concerned, as a citizen, that one person having control of the army, the guards AND the secret service is a very bad precedent to establish.

[Ysabeau] I doubt it will be an issue with Nash, to be honest. But some Warlord in the future might realize the full extent of that power.

[Dominik] So on your own you decided that it was your responsiblity to bridge the gap between Lord Grey and Marl in attempt to fix a split in the Hush, and you intended to deliver this message by offering yourself to Marl in the hopes that the conversation would be interesting enought that he would change his mind about sleeping with you? Just making sure I got everything straight.

  • Ysabeau laughs.

[Ysabeau] Not my responsibility. But something I was in a position to do.

[Ysabeau] Something I felt needed to be done.

[Ysabeau] I also am tired of being afraid.

[Dominik] thats the first thing you've said that actually makes any sense

  • Ysabeau sighs.

[Dominik] It's too hard

[Ysabeau] (SM)

[Ysabeau] (36)

[Ysabeau] (What is too hard, or am I just in for a wank fest?)

  • Dominik is obviously struggling with his emotions towards you.

[Dominik] That's why I haven't talked to you.

[Dominik] And I do appologize for still caring so much that I ruined your master plan.

[Dominik] I just couldnt... not with him.

[Ysabeau] You're forgiven. I know you meant well. But you need to let go. You need to let me make my own decisions even if you think they're stupid.

[Ysabeau] I need to do the same with you.

[Dominik] So my decisions are stupid now are they?

[Ysabeau] I was referring to the letting you go to live your own life, actually.

[Ysabeau] But since you brought it up... why are you working for him if you hate him so much?

[Dominik] Letting me go! You walked away and never looked back.

[Ysabeau] Is that what you think?

[Dominik] What else was I supposed to think?

[Ysabeau] You didn't want me to look back.

[Ysabeau] When I tried to approach you to ask you how you were doing, you turned your back on me.

[Ysabeau] You didn't want to have anything to do with me.

[Ysabeau] So I decided to give you your space because that's what it looked like you wanted.

[Dominik] I wanted everything to do with you... but it was my fault you left and I couldn't handle it.

[Dominik] So I tried to pretend you didn't matter... I tried to move on.

[Dominik] But the way I acted tonight I obviously havent.

[Dominik] I just can't forget you.

[Ysabeau] I'm sorry, Dominik. It hurts. I know it does. I've been there.

[Dominik] Stop it! I don't want your comfort.

  • Ysabeau looks frustrated.

[Ysabeau] Well what do you want?!

[Ysabeau] You want me to think about you or you don't?

[Dominik] You went right back into why you left... trying to mother me.

[Dominik] I want you to think about me. I want you to want to be with me.

[Ysabeau] I'm sorry, Dominik. I can't give you what you want.

[Ysabeau] I can't turn back time.

[Ysabeau] I'm sorry.

[Dominik] I'm not asking you to turn back time. What happened happened.

[Dominik] I don't want to go back to where we were because that wasn't going to work, but we can try and make things better.

[Ysabeau] It's too late, Dominik.

[Dominik] How can it be too late? You're right here now talking to me. Don't you feel anything?

[Ysabeau] I do. I feel frustration. I feel regret and affection. I feel a certain kind of love for you but it's not the kind we would need to be... together that way.

[Ysabeau] I tried to tell you that when we broke up. I can't change back. I'm sorry.

[Dominik] You gave up, not me.

[Ysabeau] Yes, I suppose I did.

[Ysabeau] In a way, I gave up.

[Ysabeau] I felt like nothing I did could get through to you.

[Ysabeau] Nothing I did would make your life easier.

[Ysabeau] But it's not really my job to make your life easier, is it?

[Ysabeau] You're the only person who can do that.

[Dominik] Why did you think I wanted you to make my life easier?

[Ysabeau] Well, you used to talk about wanting to be happy.

[Ysabeau] I guess I believed you.

[Dominik] Void, you left me because it was too much to want us to be happy together!? You thought I was making it your responsibility to make me happy?

  • Ysabeau gives you a weird look.

[Dominik] I thought we had both had some shitty things happen to eachother and by being together we were making it better for both of us.

[Dominik] and if I was making the relationship seem about all me confiding in you, well that that was my mistake but I had never confided in anyone before, so sorry for being so selfcentered.

[Ysabeau] Oh, for gods' sake, Dominik!

[Ysabeau] Self-centered? Yes, I guess you are. Listen to yourself.

[Ysabeau] It wasn't that you confided in me. It's that nothing ever, EVER seemed to get better for you.

[Ysabeau] You had a shitty family, yes. But at least you had a family!

[Ysabeau] You had clothing. You had as much food as you could possibly want to eat.

[Ysabeau] You had a house and an education and sword lessons.

[Ysabeau] Self centered?

[Ysabeau] Maybe, just a little.

[Ysabeau] You had a lot and you don't seem to be the slightest bit grateful for that.

[Ysabeau] You still have a lot. You are clever and strong and underneath all your selfishness and angst, you do have a good heart.

[Ysabeau] You have so much going for you but you aren't willing to get over yourself and do something with it.

  • Dominik laughs

[Ysabeau] And I am exhausted from trying to talk to you so I am leaving.

[Ysabeau] Good night, Dominik.

  • Ysabeau makes for the door.

[Dominik] Thank you for clarifying exactly how much better a person you are than me. Have a very good evening.

  • Dominik doesnt stop you

Alma, Ysabeau and Martan

  • Ysabeau has tried to bring the Zen back by working in the garden... Martan probably gave her some tips on what plants were weeds and what were not. So even if he is not there, she can remember him being there in the garden with her, and that is soothing. ;)
  • Ysabeau is all washed up and ready to greet Alma with equanimity, I suppose.
  • Ysabeau or Murienne must have found some time to bake because there are some sweets on the coffee table in addition to some little cucumber sandwiches, when Alma arrives.
  • Alma arrives a little early with a tray of fruit.

[Alma] Good afternoon, dear @_@

[Ysabeau] Good afternoon, Sister.

[Alma] Sagesse cut us up some fruit.

  • Alma will hand the tray to you.
  • Ysabeau looks a bit peaked perhaps.

[Ysabeau] Thank you. :)

  • Ysabeau sets the fruit down in the parlour and helps you with any outerwear you may have in this unseasonably damp summer.
  • Alma looks a bit harried :)
  • Alma looks around to see if Martan is here... seeing he isn't, she continues. "I brought my notes incase Mr. Olivier decided to drop in..."
  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] He may come by a little later. He is often quite busy, though, as you can imagine.

  • Ysabeau smiles.
  • Alma nods and finds herself a seat

[Alma] Well... I don't know where to begin.

[Ysabeau] Oh - sorry. I'm forgetting myself.

[Alma] Hmm?

[Ysabeau] I didn't get much sleep last night... had to play pretty late for an Imperial dinner party.

[Alma] Oh, yes, that must have been what you and Mr. Rademacher were called away for.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Please forgive me if I'm not the perfect hostess today.

[Alma] I doubt I'd notice.

[Ysabeau] I'll go get the tea, though. As you have already made yourself at home... I needn't tell you to.

[Alma] Coffee and sandwiches are there, that seems like a good enough job.

  • Ysabeau essays a smile.

[Alma] -_-

[Ysabeau] Be right back!

  • Alma looks a little embarassed
  • Ysabeau is back quickly with a tray with rock sugar, cream etc.

[Ysabeau] You're blushing?

[Alma] Hm?

[Alma] I don't think so? Maybe flushed?

[Alma] I get pink quite easily.

  • Alma looks at herself in a shiny spoon or tray.

[Ysabeau] Yes, us fair-skinned girls do, don't we?

  • Ysabeau pours you coffee or tea, whatever you prefer.

[Alma] Too much time out in the field and then we burn :)

  • Alma goes with the more stimulating coffee @_@
  • Ysabeau sits herself down with a well-sugared cup of tea.

[Ysabeau] So, how did the rest of the expedition go?

  • Ysabeau asks pleasantly.

[Ysabeau] I wish I could have gone...

[Alma] Well, the expedition went ahead as planned. We were cautioned by the Keeper of the mausoleum that the last expedition, in the 1700s, I believe?, never returned... but we set out anyhow.

[Alma] It was quiet inside for most of the outer rings but then Mr. Argo kept hearing voices.

  • Ysabeau sits back and sips her tea, listening.

[Alma] It sounds like it might actually be some sort of ... remnant of the past sovereigns. He even felt like he was in the city, rather than uncomfortable like at Saltgrove or in Kholm.

[Alma] There was a puzzle which we had to solve, but one of the Sisters at the mausoleum gave us the clue. And then another, just before the Tomb of the Founders, which we had to solve ourselves. Poor Mr. Rionet... the Duke, stepped on a bunch of trapped tiles trying to work out the pattern, but he did manage to shake off the effects of the spells each time.

  • Alma tells you in more detail about the puzzles.
  • Ysabeau especially likes hearing about the puzzles and asks lots of questions/guesses what you had to do before you get around to telling her. ;)
  • Ysabeau is good at riddles and things.

[Alma] Inside the Tomb we found the remains of the founders... and the previous expedition. We rounded up some items of note, and anything magical, before we turned to examine the dias at the centre.

[Alma] There was a magical Symbol at the centre, perhaps one of Insanity, as I can't imagine another kind that would result in the death of the expedition...

[Alma] Around it were 7 magical syllables, which we presumed activated something, and it did.

[Alma] After it opened there was this inky pool within the dias, and I volunteered to float down inside...

[Alma] ...where I come face to face with a floating, talking skull.

  • Ysabeau blanks.

[Ysabeau] What?

[Alma] Oh, I forgot that the founder, Laeken of the Wolf, his body had no effects, and no skull...

[Alma] He's ... a demilich I guess.

[Alma] Immensely powerful, and probably evil.

[Ysabeau] (23 for my BK to figure out what floating talking skulls could be, hee hee - not that it matters, since you're telling me.)

[Ysabeau] Let me guess...

  • Alma holds her holy symbol.

[Ysabeau] He is now loose in the city.

[Ysabeau] Because you had Sanadhil and Ilphere with you, and they would have been fascinated.

[Alma] I'm not sure where it is *at present*.

[Alma] Maybe if I'd floated up immediately I could have stopped anything from happening, but I reformed rather than appear to be fleeing or rude, and down comes the Duke.

[Alma] He asked for us to take him to a library.

[Alma] I just couldn't think of what we could do that wouldn't end up with half or all of us sitting as piles of dust at the bottom of that well

[Ysabeau] All right. So there is an immensely powerful and probably evil floating skull at the...Society library? The Castalia library? One of the Palace librairies?

[Ysabeau] Is anyone in charge of public security aware of this fact?

[Alma] I'm not sure, to be honest, "Laeken" was in Mr. Orecalo's bag of holding. It's not like I could require he check it in with the other items...

[Alma] Mr. Argo is informing the Warlord.

[Ysabeau] Oh... So *Sanadhil* had custody of the immensely powerful probably evil floating skull?

[Alma] He suggested we inform the Patriarch directly, rather than RF Theron, but I'm not sure how I would go about doing that, so I'm giving him a few days to consult the Warlord. If the Warlord advises I not inform RF Theron, then I will... accept that.

[Alma] Well, forgetting how surprisingly wary he seemed of Laeken, I don't imagine that any one particular person is going to make Laeken more of a problem than he is on his own.

[Ysabeau] True.

[Alma] I just don't have the faintest idea what to do.

[Alma] As soon as it was more than me (or Danyel) down there, there was really no option.

[Ysabeau] If I knew of some immensely powerful forces of good I might mention this to them.

[Ysabeau] Earthly ones, that is.

[Ysabeau] Otherwise, I am at a loss, Sister.

[Ysabeau] Do you know of any Seventh who specialize in lich-nullification?

  • Alma shakes her head

[Alma] I'm not sure what precisely Rab's specialty is.

[Ysabeau] Maybe *he* knows of a lich-nullifier.

[Alma] Yes, I do intend to speak with him soon...

[Ysabeau] The sooner the better, by the sounds of things.

[Alma] I didn't really think of mentioning it to him, he still seems to ... outside of this all.

[Ysabeau] Well, I really don't know what else to suggest.

[Ysabeau] Martan did speak to Lord Grey about the Legend Lore results.

[Ysabeau] Unfortunately, it sounds like Lord Grey was (for once?) mostly stumped.

[Alma] Oh? Did he have anything to add?

[Alma] Oh :|

[Ysabeau] He suggested we speak to Reverend Father Velten and Emoune Olivier, Duchess of Greywatch.

[Ysabeau] But she is *in* Greywatch, so it's not just a matter of dropping by for tea.

[Alma] Well...

[Alma] Almost.

[Alma] I've access to a new teleportation spell that doesn't even require that I've seen the place before.

[Alma] So if you or Mr. Olivier can describe a spot to me, I should be able to take us there.

[Ysabeau] Probably better to ask Martan since he was there more recently. It's been ten years for me; I don't know how much the town has grown.

[Ysabeau] I might land you in the wall of a new inn or something.

[Alma] Actually that's the advantage of this one, that doesn't happen.

[Alma] You just pop back into place where you were, if something's wrong.

[Ysabeau] And lose your spell components?

  • Martan knocks at the door.

[Ysabeau] Excuse me, Sister.

[Alma] Perhaps that's him :)

  • Ysabeau gets up to answer it.
  • Martan greets you with a kiss on the cheek.

[Ysabeau] Well, speak of the devil...

[Alma] I can assure you he's not one ^_^

[Martan] Oh, I hope I'm not interrupting :)

[Ysabeau] Not at all.

  • Ysabeau gives him a peck on the cheek in return.

[Alma] We were just talking about what would happen if Ysabeau tried to get me to teleport into an inn wall.

[Ysabeau] Unintentionally, of course!

[Martan] And what was your conclusion?

[Alma] Well the new incantation I was telling her about means that's not a concern :)

[Alma] And there's no components to waste.

[Ysabeau] Why can't more spells be component-less?

[Ysabeau] It would make life so much easier.

[Alma] It would...

[Alma] I think your arcane spells tend to use more components as well.

  • Ysabeau helps Martan with his outerwear if he has any, not sure what the weather's doing today.

[Ysabeau] At least I have a voice so I don't have to lug an instrument with me everywhere I go.

[Ysabeau] Though of course if someone cast Silence on me I'd be hooped.

[Alma] A lovely one :)

[Martan] Yes, very lovely.

  • Martan agrees.
  • Martan will come in and sit down.
  • Ysabeau flashes you both a smile and settles on the sofa next to Martan.
  • Alma pulls her book of notes from her bag now that Martan is here.

[Ysabeau] What's your opinion of demi-liches?

[Alma] -_-

[Martan] I... don't know that I have one. It's not a matter I've given much thought. Why?

[Alma] Mr. Argo does think that perhaps we should keep that news somewhat quiet.

[Alma] -_-

[Martan] There's news? about demi-liches?

  • Martan looks puzzled but intrigued.
  • Alma rubs the bridge of her nose.

[Ysabeau] Well, one demi-lich, anyway.

[Alma] It's not even certain h- it is a demilich.

[Martan] Uh... should I be concerned? I don't know much about them except that they're supposed to be extremely powerful.

[Alma] Ahh...

[Alma] You should try not to be concerned... for the moment.

  • Alma is clearly concerned in her own way.

[Martan] ...

[Ysabeau] M. Argo is reporting it to the Warlord.

[Alma] Yes, exactly.

[Ysabeau] In case it's something to be concerned about.

[Alma] .oO( Which it probably is. Oh Gods, why did I have to be on that expedition? )

[Martan] Well, in that case, I'll wait until I hear more to know whether I should be worried or not.

  • Martan says lightly.
  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] It's probably best not to let news of it get out to the general populace.

[Ysabeau] But if there's any resources to draw on...

[Martan] Since all I know is that there may or may not be a demi-lich somewhere in the world, I think my ability to spread gossip is fairly low. Unless I were to make things up, of course.

[Ysabeau] Plainly.

[Alma] Well, it's not so much your ability as Maze Olivier's ability... I imagine he's a bit of an information... broker of sorts.

[Martan] You could say that, yes.

[Alma] And his hooligans don't seem to be opposed to making things up when it suits them.

  • Alma frowns

[Alma] Perhaps you should mention there may or may not be news, it might do him good to stew for a week or two. :|

  • Martan smiles.

[Ysabeau] (SM: Is Martan pissed?)

  • Martan doesn't seem pissed, no. I'm sure he's heard worse about Maze ;)

[Alma] Though I suppose that might make our unfinished business with him a little more awkward.

[Alma] Anyway... back to you, Mr. Olivier.

  • Alma opens her notes
  • Martan leans forward slightly to listen.
  • Alma rifles around and pulls out copies of her notes which pertain to him. (I'll tell Ys. which ones so she can read Alma's comments on the

Wiki if he shows her.)

  • Alma puts the results of her object reading on top.

[Alma] Oh, and the scarf.

  • Alma pulls that out as well as she goes on... "You'll see that everything looks pretty normal :)"
  • Martan nods.

[Alma] Oh, those are the results from the handkerchief, Ysabeau, sorry.

[Ysabeau] I knew you meant the handkerchief... I was there when he passed it to you. No need to apologize.

[Alma] (Totally didn't notice his alignment wasn't listed.)

[Martan] (should be NG)

[Alma] (Alma probably leaves that out of his copy.)

  • Alma smiles

[Ysabeau] Well, no mysteries there at least.

[Ysabeau] That's a relief... the Legend Lore is quite enough to try to puzzle out.

[Martan] It all corresponds with what I would expect...

[Martan] I suppose the 'Houseless' part tells us something, though it's not much to go on.

[Alma] Well, I thought that perhaps if something seemed strange it might tell us something, but in some ways I think *I* might be more glad to see the universe agrees with what was in my heart.

[Alma] Even if it doesn't reveal any grand mysteries.

  • Martan nods.

[Martan] It thinks I'm male, which is... reassuring, I suppose.

[Ysabeau] I never had any doubts.

[Martan] That's also reassuring.

  • Ysabeau grins.
  • Martan says with a slight smile.

[Alma] From checking people like Sanadhil Orecalo, the half-Cozovode, I know that some people do register as ... outside of the House system. So I would say that means merely that you are within that system, and yet outside of the seven Houses.

[Alma] Though I do know that by undergoing the new adoption rituals, you can join one, should you decide to.

  • Alma says that like she thinks it's a good idea :)

[Martan] If it mattered to Ysabeau, I'd do it.

[Ysabeau] You know it doesn't.

[Ysabeau] I love you for who you are.

  • Martan smiles.
  • Ysabeau slips her arm around his waist and rests against him.

[Martan] I appreciate your help, Sister.

[Ysabeau] She's offered even more. We were talking about teleportation in case you would like to go to Greywatch to interview the Duchess.

[Alma] It's not a problem. I can only imagine what such a revelation might be like.

[Alma] Yes, though I'm not sure what the Duchess might know which was not included in Mr. du Champe's notes... but if you would like to ask, I am willing to help.

[Martan] I would like to go there anyway - speaking to the Duchess could be helpful, though, perhaps.

[Martan] If she is willing, at least.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] There's also Reverend Father Velten...

[Alma] Yes, it's possible that RF Velten isn't aware of the Legend Lore, or has forgotten it over time.

[Alma] (Oh right, obviously he has.)

  • Martan nods.

[Ysabeau] (has forgotten?)

[Alma] I will send him a message asking to meet with him if he has anything he could reveal about the oracle.

[Alma] (That way if he's got nothing new, we don't need him!:P)

[Ysabeau] (Awesome!)

[Martan] Thank you, Sister.

[Alma] This may sound a bit like preaching, Mr. Olivier, but in my defence, it is my job...

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] You're very good at it. ;)

[Alma] I imagine that perhaps this all... may have made you feel disconnected, not knowing your past, or finding out it's so surreal. But I think that what this tells me *pointing at the results* is that you do belong, whether by your own choice or by the will of the Gods.

[Alma] Of course I've barely just met you... so it's just a thought -_-

[Martan] In a way, I always felt disconnected - not knowing who my parents were. At least now, I have some knowledge of that - even if they want nothing to do with me on the one hand, or don't know I exist on the other.

  • Ysabeau is kinda surprised anyone would doubt he *belonged*...
  • Ysabeau gives him a loving squeeze. This must be some of his baggage.

[Martan] I wonder if it would be worth talking to the Lord Marshal.

[Alma] At least we know now that Houselessness is not being disconnected from society, and the gods.

[Martan] Or whether that would be opening up old wounds to little benefit.

[Alma] That is a very good question.

  • Alma thinks.

[Alma] While this is a much more mundane question, it does have its complications... but nothing that you couldn't prepare yourself for?

[Alma] He probably doesn't know about your birth, so there will be surprise. There may also be old memories from his time with the Lady Chamberlain.

[Martan] I don't know what the worst thing that could happen is - he could deny it, but frankly that wouldn't shock me.

[Alma] Well, it may be difficult for him to deal with, even if he accepts it, based on his relationship with Theonée Deverara.

  • Ysabeau slips her hand up to stroke Martan's back, listening carefully.

[Alma] So I think you may need tact, time and patience.

[Martan] But you do think it's a worthwhile idea?

[Alma] But he seems a strong, resilient man.

[Alma] I think that's a question for you to answer, and perhaps allow yourself to be selfish about.

[Ysabeau] If it's something that would help you, it's worthwhile.

[Martan] It would depend on his reaction, I suppose.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Alma] Which you can't predict :)

[Martan] But I do think maybe he has a right to know I exist, at the very least.

[Alma] And you have the right to BE known.

[Ysabeau] That's something you'll have to prepare yourself for, in case it's not the reaction you'd like.

[Alma] Though, I would caution him to discretion, again, because of the Order.

[Martan] I'm sure my... she had a reason for not telling him. But those reasons may not apply any longer, or not to me...

[Alma] I agreed not to tell anyone your identity, or I might have thought to tell the Lord Marshall myself.

[Martan] I'll consider it, anyway.

[Alma] If this was all because of the Arch, then what threat can the Lord Marshall of the Order of the Spoke be?

[Alma] :P

[Martan] If it was because of concerns about his new wife, well, that's no longer an issue.

[Alma] He may come to value an upstanding gentleman like yourself :)

[Alma] Though he IS a little gruff.

[Alma] When Danyel and I first became involved he... well checked up on me, you could say?

[Martan] How thoughtful of him ;)

[Alma] Sortof loomed over me on the dance floor making sure I was not going to do him poorly :)

  • Ysabeau laughs, picturing it.

[Alma] Well... anyhow, I don't have any more mysteries to reveal, so I will run off and let the two of you enjoy that couch.

[Ysabeau] One of these days, you'll have to meet Merrow and Hettie, in case they feel the need to loom over you.

[Ysabeau] Oh-

[Martan] I was planning to enjoy the floor, actually ;)

[Alma] :o

[Alma] Now Mr. Olivier, did you not notice the robes? :o

  • Alma says in primarily joking scandal

[Martan] I apologize, Sister. It *is* a very nice couch.

  • Ysabeau untangles herself from Martan, laughing.

[Alma] Shoulder to shoulder, my children.

[Alma] -_-

[Martan] [w] Is that how priests do it? ;)

[Ysabeau] [w] Must be...

  • Martan grins.

[Alma] You'll have to ask Ser Danyel about that.

  • Alma heads towards the door to hide her embarassment at being naughty.

[Martan] I'm sure it would be a fascinating conversation.

[Alma] I'm sure he knows better.

  • Martan chuckles.
  • Ysabeau follows Alma to the door, laughing still but trying to stop.

[Alma] [q] Well at least we lightened the mood a little before I go.

  • Ysabeau nods.
  • Alma gives Ysabeau a friendly hug before she goes.

[Alma] Be well :)

[Ysabeau] Thank you for visiting.

[Ysabeau] You too, Sister.

  • Alma will go off to whatever is next on her list
  • Ysabeau returns to Martan and comments on his rascally side, which she hasn't seen before, and likes. ;)
  • Martan must be in a good mood today ;)

[Ysabeau] I'm surprised she wasn't completely scandalized.

[Ysabeau] She's changed so much since meeting Ser Danyel.

[Martan] Scandalized? She started it! She's got hidden depths, I think ;)

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] And you too. I like them.

  • Martan smiles.

[Martan] Well, I feel like I can be myself around you. It's refreshing.

[Ysabeau] I know!

[Ysabeau] I feel the same.

[Martan] I'm glad.

[Martan] Are you feeling well? You look a little tired.

[Ysabeau] I was up late last night. Summoned to the palace to entertain Trevan Rademacher.

[Martan] Oh... was it very rowdy? :)

[Ysabeau] Once the gentlewomen left it started going that way.

  • Martan nods.

[Ysabeau] Maryse Rouillard and I had to stay and play while His Majesty and entourage smoked and drank brandy.

[Martan] Well, I know you can handle yourself, even among disreputable gentlemen.

[Ysabeau] Indeed.

[Ysabeau] I was this close *makes a gesture with her fingers* to getting Marl on his own...

[Ysabeau] But ultimately was thwarted.

[Martan] Ah well... another chance, maybe. I'd have to think of what message to send anyhow.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] That would be helpful.

[Ysabeau] Does Himself know?

[Martan] He knows about you, and your new job... so yes, he's probably thinking it over right now.

[Martan] You know, this *is* a very comfortable couch.

  • Martan points out hopefully.

[Ysabeau] It is, and Murienne is away for another hour at least.

[Martan] Perfect.

[Ysabeau] But I thought you wanted to try the floor?

[Martan] Well if we have an hour, we have plenty of time to try both ;)

  • Ysabeau nods 'sagely'.

[Ysabeau] Very true.

  • Martan and Ysa can conduct some quality testing of the furniture and floor, then.
  • Ysabeau plays up on Martan's playfulness. ;)

[Ysabeau] (Limited by certain restrictions, sadly...)