Diablotin 2 session 75

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Session date:
Diablotin date:

Pre-session planning

[DiablotinNarrator] I have a question! given that Terry's here, are you guys going to include him in Thea-questioning, or not? Either is fine with me.

[Sanadhil] yes, he can either come with the warlord or sit in for her

[Seth] as indicated last week (in ooc), I told Marl we were doing this, so he knows where/when/etc.

[Alma] And the RF and CS :P

[Alma] Status party!

[Dominik_R] I'm fine attending

[DiablotinNarrator] Marl will send Loick to sit in for him.

  • Alma plants a bomb

[Alma] This was Kavreshar's plan

[DiablotinNarrator] And Fred can tell Dom to, sure, that's plausible :)

[Seth] so are we walking in the front door? or all teleporting there?

[DiablotinNarrator] Up to you, really.

[Alma] Presumably we're still maintaining discretion, despite the increased pool of people aware.

  • Sanadhil came in early, so if you want to teleport youll have to come with ilphere

[Sanadhil] not that i can teleport

[Sanadhil] so the 'so' is kinf od irelevant ;p

[Seth] i agree that we should be discreet and teleport in

[DiablotinNarrator] Loick can teleport in some peeps too.

[DiablotinNarrator] Let us assume that you can all get transportation there ;)

[Alma] Danyel floats in like a fog bank :3

[Sanadhil] ^-^

[DiablotinNarrator] ok, let's start.

Thea is questioned

[DiablotinNarrator] Since your successful capture and domination of Thea Vermillion, you have each made your respective arrangements for security where you have deemed it necessary.

[DiablotinNarrator] One or more of you have remained with her at all times since she was imprisoned, both for her safety in the final days or weeks of her pregnancy, and in order to ensure that she does not escape.

[DiablotinNarrator] Now, on a cold and rainy day, you have have reconvened at the Mausoleum in order to question the former Leveller leader.

  • Thea sits passively on the chair you have arranged for her. Her expression is vacant, her hand absently stroking her swollen belly.

[Sanadhil] (I will take that as a 'yes, she is still successfully dominated')

  • Alma has been keeping an eye on her regardless (aka SM).
  • Sanadhil will sit across from her for now, and will see if he can telepathically read her thoughts just =in case she is somehow

hiding things

[Sanadhil] Hello Thea. you are going to answer all the questions i ask of you, as best as you you.

  • Thea 's thoughts are fairly blank - idle thoughts of thirst or hunger, nothing serious.

[Thea] All right.

  • Sanadhil smiles and nods

[Sanadhil] Do you know who Phelix really is?]

[Thea] Kavreshar.

  • Alma sits to the side to watch for now, casting Discern Lies.

[Sanadhil] tell me what you know about his plans.

[Thea] He wants to destroy this city, and the Empire. He wants to bring fire, famine, war, and plague, to clear away the filth so that things can being anew. He wants to find Emkathon.

  • Guillame listens and looks disappointed

[Sanadhil] How is he trying to accomplish this?

[Thea] Through the hands of others, and through his own workings.

[Sanadhil] who is working with him?

[Thea] Me. Others of the Levellers - Rickard Liebe, Garlan Hyde, Delsa... I don't think she has a surname. Vescan Corriveau. Other demons, I don't know their real names - some only briefly, when he summons them, some longer term. Maybe others I don't know about.

  • Alma shakes her head.

[Sanadhil] Do they know what they are doing?

[Thea] Some do. Some don't know all.

[Sanadhil] has he been involved in stirring up the war with Psyra?

[Thea] Yes.

[Sanadhil] how?

  • Sanadhil sighs internally
  • Sanadhil coughs

[Thea] One of the demons he works with killed a man - his name was Anstine Kypros. Then he took his form, and used his influence to manipulate the duke of Psyra's son into making certain treasonous statements.

  • Ysabeau is going to have to go give Garlan a talking to. ]:(
  • Alma shakes her head.
  • Sanadhil nods.

[Sanadhil] what other plots has he been responsible for?

[Thea] The granary fire. The Bridge of Vanities.

  • Sanadhil nods, unsurprised

[Sanadhil] Why did you want to kill Leonien Kizer?

  • Alma shifts a little in her seat.

[Thea] Because he deserves to die. Because he is a parasite and a predator.

[Sanadhil] Was that your desire, or Kavreshar's?

[Thea] Mine. But he was glad to assist.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] What powers does he possess?

  • Ysabeau wonders who Leonien predates.

[Thea] He can't be hurt by fire, and he can burn you just being near him, he can summon other demons, and breathe fire and fly in his true form. His true form also inspires terror in all who see it.

[Thea] He can uses charms and suggestions, sending, invisibility, true seeing, shapechanging. And he's very difficult to affect with magic or weapons.

[Thea] Other spells, I don't know all of them.

  • Thea seems to have completed her list.

[Sanadhil] Why does he want to find Emkathon?

[Thea] To destroy her, for her treason.

[Alma] ...

[Sanadhil] hm.

[Sanadhil] what has he told you about your...offspring?

[Thea] That they will be a boy and a girl. That will be strong, great, powerful.

[Thea] That he will look after them, always.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] [To all]: Does anyone else have more questions?

[Seth] What did Leonien do for you to think he is a parasite and predator?

[Sanadhil] Answer him.

[Thea] He lives off wealth he hasn't worked for, and he exploits those who can't defend themselves. Like my mother.

[Seth] What did he do to your mother?

[Alma] This is ... not really on topic.

  • Sanadhil shrugs

[Sanadhil] Answer him.

[Thea] He took advantage of her sexually.

  • Seth nods.

[Alma] This is just going to become purient, and has no bearing on the greater issues.

[Guillame] Why my family? It was his doing, wasn't it?

[Sanadhil] Does anyone else have any questions they want to ask now?

[Seth] He killed my mother, who never lived off anyone's wealth.

  • Seth says, almost under his breath but not quite

[Sanadhil] Answer him

  • Sanadhil nods to Guillame

[Ysabeau] Won't you be around to look after your children, too?

[Sanadhil] One at a time.

  • Sanadhil says, sounding mildly annoyed.

[Thea] Yes. He thought you suspected him... thought to punish you for that, warn you.

[Guillame] So why let Silvia live?

[Sanadhil] When Guillame is through You can have your chance to question her, madame.

[Thea] I don't know. He only said that she had more important things to do, later.

[Guillame] O_o

  • Ysabeau nods, she didn't mean to interrupt.
  • Sanadhil raises his eyebrows as well

[Guillame] Last one for me: Why sabotage the leveller meetings? Just for the riots?

[Thea] Because our anger is righteous. Because we too believe in cleansing the Empire and starting anew, in bringing justice.

[Guillame] But... no, that's stupid. By sabotaging the meetings, you undermined the cause.

[Sanadhil] do you have more questions?

  • Sanadhil asks Guy
  • Sanadhil looks to Ysabeau then.

[Ysabeau] Won't you be around to look after your children, too?

[Sanadhil] Answer her

[Thea] I don't know. No mother knows.

[Alma] Did he tell you of the risk?

[Ysabeau] Fair enough. That's all I have for now.

  • Ysabeau nods her thanks to Sanadhil.

[Sanadhil] Princess?

[Ilphere] I just want to know if he is acting on behalf of the Serpent now...

[Ilphere] Or if he has gained more independence...?

[Sanadhil] Answer her

  • Sanadhil indicates Ilphere

[Thea] He acts of his own free will, but in memory of the Serpent.

[Sanadhil] Does anyone else have further questions?

[Alma] Yes.

  • Dominik_R nods as well

[Sanadhil] countess, then.

[Sanadhil] Answer her questions

[Alma] Does Kavreshar communicate with Serpent?

[Thea] I don't know. I don't think so, but I can't be sure.

[Alma] Why does Kavreshar not simply raze the city and look for Emkathon afterwards?

[Thea] He cannot - she prevents him.

[Alma] In what ways is Kavreshar limited?

[Alma] By Emkathon

[Thea] I don't know.

[Alma] What was Emkathon's treason?

[Thea] Mingling the blood of the Serpent with those humans who were responsible for imprisoning it.

[Alma] Did Kavreshar tell you of the added risk of bearing the offspring of an ousider?

[Thea] No.

[Alma] Do you have any idea what the role of your children will be?

[Thea] To help rebuild the world.

[Alma] I think that's all for now...

[Sanadhil] Does he know that you carry Emkathon's bloodline?

[Thea] Yes.

[Sanadhil] hmm

[Sanadhil] Now answer M. Rademacher's questions.

[Dominik_R] Where do you believe Kavreshar will focus his retaliation for your kidnapping?

[Alma] [q] An excellent question.

[Thea] On you, and your families.

[Alma] Did he know of us before?

[Dominik_R] Does he know of us before?

[Thea] Yes.

[Alma] Gods.

[Dominik_R] Will he attack his allies to conceal his secrets?

[Thea] If he must, yes.

[Dominik_R] Anyone else?

  • Sanadhil looks around

[Alma] Does she know where the others are? Garlan? Delsa? Rickard? Vescan?

[Sanadhil] We can question her further later if needed.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] do you know where his allies might be found?

[Sanadhil] Specifically.

[Thea] At the Bonemire, the Castalia, and in Pearl.

  • Thea can give you a specific address for where Rickard lives, but not for Vescan.

[Guillame] Why not kill me?

[Sanadhil] Answer his question.

[Thea] I asked him not to.

[Guillame] :|

[Guillame] Ok, I'm done

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Thank you, Thea, that's all the questions for today

[Thea] All right.

  • Thea goes back to staring off into space, then.

[Sanadhil] There is food and drink for you, be sure to take care of yourself.

[DiablotinNarrator] OK - if people want to talk amongst themselves in GL, that's fine - you can drop in and out for your scenes I guess, if conversation is still going on over there?

The PCs plot amongst themselves

[Alma] Mr. Orecalo, it would make sense at this point to direct Thea to answer all questions put to her while she is here, and to comply with our orders. Considering the situation, we cannot only question her in your presence, and as well I need compliance in order to prepare her for, and guide her through childbirth.

[Alma] She's just been sitting there like a lump, and that's not something I can work with.

[Sanadhil] I'm sure we can make arrangements along those lines

[Alma] Preferably before you leave today.

[Sanadhil] Very well.

[Alma] Thank you.

[Alma] If anyone needs any sort of assistance arranging protection for their families, Danyel and I are of course here to help, with what time we have.

[Seth] I do not think that directing her to answer all questions asked by anyone makes a great deal of sense.

[Seth] We should, at least, prepare for the possibility that someone else would locate her.

  • Ysabeau sits quietly, wondering whether Garlan had something to do with Dessa's death, in addition to Vescan. :/

[Sanadhil] Agreed - I will make sure she will be more compliant to Alma, and any of the other midwives we may provide, in regards to the birth.

[Alma] As well to questioning, Mr. Orecalo.

[Alma] If I think of a question I don't see the point in waiting two days to ask it.

  • Sanadhil smiles and looks to the others

[Sanadhil] Is that something you all feel comfortable with?

[Seth] I suggest that restricting her compliance to our group would be sufficient, but yes, of course, questions are reasonable from our group.

[Sanadhil] Very well.

  • Alma nods, grateful.

[Dominik_R] Can we use her to lure him out and end this threat? Would an attack against him be successful if we were well enough prepared?

[Sanadhil] I don't know

[Alma] We had brought up the same possibility in our discussions with Laeken...

[Sanadhil] he doesn't seem to have a very quick reaction time, thankfully

[Alma] -_-

[Ilphere] If we were to think of our questions more carefully, we *could* try using her to form a strategy to defeat him.

[Alma] Gods that was close.

[Sanadhil] but if he is dificult to damage with magie *and* weapons...

[Dominik_R] Difficult, not impossible.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Alma] There has been talk of recasting the spell which locked him away in the necklace in the first place.

[Sanadhil] you would know better than I what resources might be available

  • Dominik_R nods

[Sanadhil] Even rebinding him would require some kind of confrontation

[Seth] We would certainly need to know much more about his powers should we try to do this.

[Ilphere] It would be prudent to learn more in any case...

[Ilphere] A confrontation may not be avoidable, seeing as he is targeting us and our families...

[Sanadhil] Indeed...

[Seth] Certainly our families should be apprised of the risk.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Alma] Yes, I... wonder how ... broad our concern should be.

[Seth] We do not even know to any degree of certainty whether he knows all of our identities, although he easily might.

[Ysabeau] He knows mine, if Garlan and Vescan are his minions.

[Seth] Yes, that is likely.

[Ysabeau] He knows who my sister is, and my husband.

[Alma] And our expeditions are public knowledge at the society.

[Ysabeau] I can only hope there is little reason for them to know of my recently rediscovered cousins.

[Alma] From them has come a great deal of information.

[Sanadhil] we can try and learn specifics from Thea, if need be, but I think it is fair to be broadly concerned, knowing what we do of his penchant for retaliation

  • Sanadhil says with a sympathetic look at daydreamy Guy

[Alma] Yes, I don't think now is a time to worry about inconveniencing cousins... they'll thank us later.

  • Sanadhil is kind of relieved to have no family?

Sanadhil and Ilphere

  • Sanadhil will see if he can catch Ilphere privately at the palace after we return

[Sanadhil] do you have a few momentsd? I know it's been a long few days

[Ilphere] Of course...

[Ilphere] I need to speak to you as well.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] :I told you Phedre is almost ready for the ritual to reconstruct the Phaeria?

[Ilphere] :yes...

[Sanadhil] :Bessa du Champe came to me, asking about the starflake

[Ilphere] : yes..?

[Sanadhil] :she suggested that what happened in the Shadow Plane may have sealed away part of The Serpent's power, allowing it to be bound here more readily

[Ilphere] : Yes, that makes sense...

[Ilphere] : So breaking that seal would aid in the restoration of the Serpent...

[Sanadhil] :We went to Phedre to see if she could draw out any insight into the matter, to commune somehow with the Serpent... I think I told you that at least

[Ilphere] : Yes.

[Sanadhil] :The full divination from the ritual was "Four cupbearers hold the key to the serpent's prison, and the shattered star opens the door."

[Ilphere] : I see...

[Ilphere] : so what comes next...?

[Sanadhil] :This was only the night before last, I apologize if I'm repeating myself - I haven't had a chance to rest much @_@:

[Sanadhil] :I'm not sure. Phedre has been working intently on the ritual since them. I'm sure it will be soon - a few days at most

[Ilphere] : I hope that I will be allowed to be present...

[Sanadhil] :I think you're a key part of it!

[Ilphere] (you all do everything without me ]:( )

[Sanadhil] :You, Theron, yanina... and Thea.

[Sanadhil] :She'll be the fourth cupbearer, I imagine.

[Ilphere] : A good thing she is in your thrall, then...

  • Sanadhil glances over as if realizing you feel left out from the rest @_@

[Sanadhil] :Yes, precisely...

[Ilphere] (just a little ]:( )

[Sanadhil] :I'm sorry.

[Ilphere] (no you aren't... :/)

[Ilphere] : well, never mind.

[Sanadhil] :It was't anything planned.

[Sanadhil] :It was... well.

[Sanadhil] :Phedre's rites, at the down.... it isn't all talk.

[Ilphere] : Who ever said that it was..?

[Sanadhil] :I really don't know what will be involved in the restoration, other than that it will need blood, from each of you.

[Ilphere] : How much..?

[Sanadhil] :I just meant... I'm not sure if it would have been somethig you would have...wanted to participate in

[Sanadhil] :I don't know. Originally she meant to use three, to minimize the risk.

[Sanadhil] :She only considered using Thea also after the rite.

[Sanadhil] :I just wanted you to be aware...

  • Ilphere nods.
  • Sanadhil falls quiet for a moment

[Sanadhil] :You said you had something you wanted to speak to me about as well?

[Ilphere] : Ruchard needs us to move on Imraen.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ilphere] : Soon, as soon as possible. He is concerned that she is trying to break free.

[Sanadhil] :What do we need to do?

[Ilphere] : We will use the Chalice to awaken her, and then I will cast Dream Walk to bring her to Ruchard.

[Ilphere] : I will likely need assistance to overcome her will...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ilphere] : And one of our number needs to be asleep, so that I can bring her into their dream.

[Ilphere] : I am not sure who would be willing or best suited to that task.

[Sanadhil] :There are spells and potions that can help overcome her will

[Sanadhil] :Who are you going to bring?

[Ilphere] : I was going to ask if you thought it wise to bring anyone outside our original circle... Nycaise, Guillame, you and I.

[Ilphere] : Ysabeau's skills might be useful but I have doubts that she would be amenable... among other things.

[Sanadhil] :I don't know. I'm not sure if Mlle L'Averti will wish to return, after last time, though it should proceed more smoothly. You could ask her. Her magic would be useful. As for Imraen - we can always secure her before we awaken her, so that she will be less able to resist, or cast spells in return

[Ilphere] (Do you mean Ysa's magic would be useful or are you still talking about Nycaise)

[Sanadhil] (Ysa)

  • Sanadhil shakes his head

[Sanadhil] :Mme Olivier, I mean, It would be worth asking her.

[Ilphere] : Very well, I will.

[Sanadhil] :She wouldn't be able to stop us I don't think, in any case.

[Ilphere] :Indeed... Will you speak to Mlle. L'Averti?

[Sanadhil] :What will be the risk to whoever provides the dreams?

[Sanadhil] :Of course

[Ilphere] : With Ruchard present, minimal I should think, other than what might happen in the outside world if subduing Imraen proves more difficult than we anticipate.

[Sanadhil] *nods*

[Sanadhil] :If you can overcome her will, that should not be dificult.

[Sanadhil] :So, you will go into their dreams with Imraen and meet Ruchard there?

[Ilphere] : yes.

[Ilphere] : I assume you are not willing to ... host again..

  • Sanadhil considers

[Sanadhil] :I think... I would prefer not to...expose so much to the others again. If the dreamer doesn't need to be strong minded, perhaps the duke would be willing. If that is a concern, and it would only be you...

[Sanadhil] :I would accept that.

[Ilphere] :I am not sure Guillame will be willing after what happened in the dream world last time, either...:

[Sanadhil] :there is that.

[Sanadhil] :It is a shame that none of the rest of us have your skill at controlling dreams. that wold be ideal. But unless there is someone else you might consider, I can do it.

[Ilphere] : I will ask him, at least. I am not sure there is anyone else *to* ask. I think Mlle. L'averti is equally unlikely to agree...

[Ilphere] : But you could ask her, if she chooses to accompany us...?

[Sanadhil] :I will.

Guillame and Reverend Father Velten

[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame, you have been extraordinarily busy of late, helping Aden through the final days of his mother's life, the funeral that followed, and his assumption of the title of Duke of Greywatch.

[DiablotinNarrator] Although he and Zivia Rademacher still intend to marry early in the new year as far as you know, it is to you that he tends to come when he needs peace and comfort.

[DiablotinNarrator] After a brief hiatus while you were away, you have also resumed your convoluted efforts to conceive a child with Portia - no luck there yet, or at least you assume she would tell you if there was.

[DiablotinNarrator] With the recent capture of Thea, and the inevitable threat that comes along with that action, what precautions are you taking?

[DiablotinNarrator] Aden would of course offer to find space in the palace for you and your family, if you feel unsafe.

[Guillame] I suppose I'll take that offer - and I'll tell Aden that he should take care too

[Guillame] Thea knew about us.

[DiablotinNarrator] All right.

[DiablotinNarrator] You are at the palace, then, when Reverend Father Velten approaches you.

[DiablotinNarrator] You most recently saw the Reverend Father at Emoune's deathbed and her funeral.

[RF_Velten] Good day, your Grace.

[Guillame] Good day, Reverend Father

[RF_Velten] I wish to speak with you about a matter of some concern to me. A matter of faith, as it happens. Do you have a few moments?

[Guillame] Certainly

[RF_Velten] Thank you.

[RF_Velten] I understand that your sister, the Duchess of Coindeliere, has recently absented herself from her theological studies.

[Guillame] Yes... she is taking some time to reconsider her devotion, following our Mother's passing.

  • RF_Velten nods.

[RF_Velten] There are not so very many priests of Rat yet, your Grace. I can ill-afford to lose any of them.

[Guillame] I understand - that's an issue dear to my own heart, and I speak to Silvia of the quality of a priestly life. Ultimately it must be one of her own choosing, I'm sure you'll agree.

[Guillame] How are the other acolytes progressing?

[RF_Velten] They are faring well enough. The system is still ... adjusting to accomodate them. Their particular abilities are not well- represented in the church hierarchy yet.

[Guillame] You mean our sense of smell?

[RF_Velten] I was thinking of the domains of influence granted to priests of Rat.

[RF_Velten] They are still... challenging for some in the church to come to terms with.

[Guillame] I can understand that

[RF_Velten] And there are few enough senior priests to teach the younger ones...

[RF_Velten] Would you be willing to have me speak with your sister on this matter?

[Guillame] I'll ask her about it. She may not be ready yet.

[RF_Velten] That's understandable.

[Guillame] Would you consider allowing her to train part-time? That might be easier for her.

[RF_Velten] Certainly, if we can more easily accomodate her that way. I would even be willing to undertake her training privately, if the conditions at seminary were not... conducive to her education.

[Guillame] I'll talk to her for you, and try to get her to agree to a meeting

[RF_Velten] Thank you, your Grace. I appreciate it. From anything I have gathered, your sister is a very good student, and has the potential to be a great priest one day, if she chooses that path.

[RF_Velten] I won't trouble you any longer, then, unless there is anything else I can help you with?

[Guillame] I can't think of anything, Reverend Father, but I'll be sure to contact you if I do.

[RF_Velten] Thank you. And please let Aden know that if he needs anything, I am there.

[Guillame] Certainly! I see him often enough...

  • RF_Velten nods, and bids you farewell.

Seth and Menard

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth, you wanted to speak to Menard... how/where?

  • Seth will speak to him at the palace, privately.
  • Seth will have made an appointment.
  • Menard seems surprised to see you, but not displeased.

[Menard] Seth, how have you been? And... why did you make an appointment? :p

[Seth] I didn't want to come at an inopportune time.

[Menard] Well... all right.

[Seth] After everything that's been going on the past few months ... I don't know. It's very complicated and stressful right now.

[Menard] Tell me about it.

[Seth] It's not every day that you face a dragon in combat.

[Menard] You did what now?

[Seth] ... uh ...

  • Seth steps back.

[Menard] What?

[Seth] You ... didn't ... err ...

[Menard] Oh, come on, Seth.

[Seth] I would have imagined either Ilphere or your brother would have mentioned it to you.

[Seth] I'm sorry.

  • Menard laughs.

[Menard] I think I would remember that.

[Menard] A literal dragon?

  • Seth nods.

[Menard] Or, like, a metaphorical one.

[Seth] The dragon that destroyed the Hall of Worthies.

[Menard] Uh... huh.

[Seth] It wasn't in dragon form ... we were in an underground passage, trying to capture one of his allies.

[Menard] And Ilphere was there? o_O

[Menard] Can she even fit through a tunnel anymore? ;)

[Seth] Uh, yes, and M. Orecalo, and Guillame, Alma ...

  • Seth laughs.

[Seth] I won't tell her you said that!

[Menard] Yeah, that's probably best.

[Menard] I'm glad you're all safe, anyway.

[Menard] Come on - I want to get out of here. Can we go somewhere? Like old times?

[Seth] Uh ... sure.

[Seth] Just so you know, though, there's every possibility that it's going to come after us, and our loved ones.

[Menard] ... all the more reason I need a drink, then.

[Seth] Sure, let's go.

  • Menard will get you to a carriage, and thence to a tavern.

[Menard] I have some news too...

[Seth] Oh?

  • Menard shrugs.

[Menard] It's still secret, but ...

  • Menard eyes you.

[Seth] What?

[Menard] You're not allowed to laugh.

[Seth] Okay ...

[Menard] Marl's going to make me a Major-General, leading a division of the Imperial Cavalry forces.

  • Seth laughs.

[Menard] Oh, shut up!

[Menard] It's all I'm actually good at, you know.

[Seth] What? Generaling?

[Menard] Yeah, well... it's mostly a symbolic thing, I think.

[Menard] I don't have to make the actual decisions, just tell the troops once they're made.

[Seth] What does Ilphere think of all that?

[Menard] I haven't told Ilphere yet... I don't think she'll take it well :/

[Seth] Ah. Well, that's probably because she's afraid you'll do something idiotic.

[Menard] You mean like crawling into a sewer after a dragon?

[Seth] I didn't say she'd have the moral high ground.

[Menard] Hmph.

[Seth] Well, hopefully the war turns out to be nothing, anyway.

[Menard] Maybe...

  • Menard doesn't sound too confident about that.

[Seth] Although it certainly does provide me lots of resources to build my golem.

[Seth] You did hear about *that*, right?

[Menard] Yes, that I heard about.

[Menard] Are you in charge of it? Like, telling it what to do?

[Menard] Or how does that work?

[Seth] I never made the emperor any promises, but you can see that look in his eye.

[Seth] Right now it's a collection of pieces

[Seth] It doesn't do anything, yet

[Menard] Ah.

[Seth] I'd guess it will be months, maybe even a year, before we know whether it will work.

[Menard] Well, when it does, you can get it to carry you around like a giant servant, that would be cool.

[Seth] Yes. Yes it would.

  • Menard laughs.

[Menard] Come on - I'm buying.

  • Menard says as you arrive at the tavern.
  • Seth laughs.

[Seth] Of course, Your Imperial Generalness.

[Menard] Shove it, your Imperial Golem-master-ness :p

[Seth] I always said you were a 'major' something ...

  • Menard puts his arm around you, laughing, and for a minute it's like things never changed...

Ysabeau and Theonée

[DiablotinNarrator] Ysabeau, you wished to speak with Theonée - how do you want to arrange that?

  • Ysabeau would have attempted through the courtly route of making an appointment with the Chancellor on some pretext...

[Ysabeau] (Something that would normally fall under the realm of her duties?)

[DiablotinNarrator] Got any problems with titles?

[Ysabeau] (Haha, guess not - is that all she deals with?)

[DiablotinNarrator] it's her main job...

[DiablotinNarrator] But you can have a meeting with her arranged, it's fine.

[Ysabeau] (ok)

  • Ysabeau shows up on time for her meeting, anxious...
  • Theonee welcomes you politely.
  • Ysabeau curtseys politely.

[Theonee] Good afternoon, Mme. Olivier. How can I help you?

[Ysabeau] Thank you for agreeing to see me, my Lady. I imagine it is rather unusual for a court composer to ask to meet with you.

[Ysabeau] (Is there anyone around besides us? Within earshot, that is?)

  • Theonee 's office is quite private, as far as you can tell.

[Theonee] Somewhat... I imagined you were here to see me on behalf of your husband, not because of your musical talents.

[Ysabeau] It's rather a delicate matter. I assume we may speak freely here?

[Theonee] Of course.

  • Theonee offers you a seat, and takes one herself.

[Ysabeau] Thank you, my Lady.

  • Ysabeau gathers her thoughts as she arranges her skirts about her.

[Ysabeau] My Lady, this may be awkward, or difficult for you. You see, it's about your daughter...

  • Theonee nods.

[Ysabeau] So please accept my apologies in advance, if... anything I say causes hurt or embarrassment to you. It isn't my intent.

[Theonee] I understand.

[Ysabeau] I have met your child; we're very close.

[Theonee] As I said, I assumed this was because of your husband.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] A sensible assumption.

[Ysabeau] But let us say I am actually here on behalf of a very dear friend.

[Theonee] Very well, if you prefer.

[Ysabeau] We're aware of a Legend Lore that was cast on her by the late Emoune Olivier not long after her birth... do you know it?

[Theonee] Yes, I recall it well.

[Ysabeau] And there is a companion Legend Lore, cast on Butler Belden.

[Theonee] I learned of that ...more recently.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I needn't repeat either one here, then?

[Theonee] I assume they haven't changed.

  • Ysabeau smiles dryly.

[Ysabeau] They form two pieces of a very complicated puzzle, which we are having difficulty interpreting. As with most Legend Lores, there is a lot of room for ambiguity.

[Theonee] Indeed... that is part of the difficulty with them, as always.

[Ysabeau] We've thought up all sorts of possible meanings, but haven't been able to settle on anything that seems more likely than the others.

  • Theonee nods.

[Ysabeau] As time is running short, I thought I might approach you, to see if you can shed any light on the matter.

[Ysabeau] I would dearly like to prevent anything awful from happening to your child, or anyone else's. Or Butler.

[Ysabeau] If there is any way to prevent such a thing...

  • Theonee smiles sadly.
  • Ysabeau trails off, not hiding her own sorrow and anxiety.

[Theonee] Ysabeau... may I call you Ysabeau?

  • Ysabeau smiles slightly.

[Ysabeau] You may; I don't mind, my Lady.

[Theonee] Thank you. You may call me Theonée, also.

[Ysabeau] Thank you, Theonée.

  • Ysabeau seems a little shy about using the first name of someone more important than she is, but will give it a go.

[Theonee] I wish that I could tell you that everything will be well. I don't know that it will be. I do know that things - many things - are going to change, and I feel it will happen soon.

[Theonee] Your...friend...will be involved, as will I, as will many others.

[Theonee] We put ourselves in the hands of forces more powerful than we can comprehend, and we must trust that the outcome will be... what is best.

  • Ysabeau listens carefully, trying to keep her heart from sinking as it sounds like this might be another dead end, not helping us figure out what will happen.

[Theonee] I know this is probably little consolation... :/

  • Ysabeau shrugs.

[Ysabeau] It was a gamble.

[Theonee] But I also know that nothing that dies - nothing - is ever truly gone.

[Ysabeau] I suppose so.

[Ysabeau] It is a bitter pill to swallow though, if I am going to be left behind.

[Theonee] I don't think that you will.

  • Theonee reaches out, a bit awkwardly, and takes your hand.
  • Ysabeau allows her.

[Ysabeau] How did you find out? Or have you known all along?

  • Ysabeau squeezes her hand gently in gratitude for the offered comfort.

[Theonee] I've known...

[Ysabeau] He has been thinking of speaking to you himself, but... he wasn't sure if you would want to.

[Theonee] If he wishes, I am willing to ... but I don't know that I can offer any more comfort than I've shown you.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] He might want to see you for entirely different reasons.

[Theonee] I don't know all the answers, Ysabeau. All I know is that, long ago, I put my fate in the hands of a higher power, and that has shaped my path to bring me to my destiny.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Was it the Serpent?

[Theonee] Perhaps... perhaps a piece of it.

[Ysabeau] What can you tell me about it? This possible piece of Serpent?

[Ysabeau] If it's not too personal, I mean...

[Theonee] It is what was in the Arch... but it is greater than that. It reaches into all worlds, all times.

[Theonee] It has been diminished, weakened... but never destroyed.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Theonee] It speaks to me in the stars, and in my heart. It speaks to Butler too, but he... shut himself off to it.

  • Theonee says, a bit sadly.

[Ysabeau] :/

[Ysabeau] What does it sound like?

  • Ysabeau wonders if it sounds masculine or feminine, or both.

[Theonee] Like my soul.

  • Ysabeau smiles slightly.

[Ysabeau] What about it... made you feel comfortable enough to put your fate in its hands?

  • Ysabeau asks, softly.

[Theonee] Its power... its vulnerability...

[Theonee] Its balance.

[Ysabeau] It was balanced?

[Theonee] It struggles to stay so - I can feel it.

[Ysabeau] Does it ever tell you what troubles it?

[Ysabeau] How it can be mended?

[Theonee] With sacrifice, and with forgiveness.

[Theonee] Part of that sacrifice will be mine - and I will make it willingly.

[Theonee] And I will do everything in my power to prevent him from being taken from you, Ysabeau.

  • Theonee releases your hand.

[Theonee] If you cannot have faith in a god, then have faith in a mother.

[Ysabeau] I have prayed to it on occasion, but always with the other gods... hedging my bets, I suppose.

  • Theonee smiles slightly at that.

[Ysabeau] I guess I am just frightened that it might be too broken. That it can't recover from what was done, that Kavreshar will overpower it.

[Ysabeau] Even though Kavreshar seems to be part of it.

  • Theonee nods.

[Ysabeau] I guess that believing it can fix things and it won't let Diablotin be razed like Am is part of having faith.

[Theonee] Yes.

[Ysabeau] I find it so hard to trust people, let alone something I can't see or even imagine properly.

[Ysabeau] Well, thank you for your time, Theonee.

[Theonee] Once your child is born, you'll understand.

[Theonee] Please tell your husband that he is welcome to speak to me himself, if he wishes.

[Ysabeau] I will. Thank you.

  • Theonee ushers you out, then.

Ilphere, Sanadhil and Phedre

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere and San, upon instruction from Phedre, you have assembled with your fellow cult members in the Mausoleum's inner chamber in order to conduct a secret rite - to attempt to reassemble the Phereia.

[DiablotinNarrator] (I will assume you lot have arranged this at a time when San and/or Ilphere is supposed to be on guard duty ;)

[Ilphere] (yup :D)

[Sanadhil] (^-^)

  • Phedre takes San aside to speak with him for a few moments before-hand.

[Phedre] There are two things I need to ask of you, Sanadhil...

[Sanadhil] Oh?

[Phedre] The first concerns Thea.

[Phedre] She is under the influence of your magic, yes?

[Sanadhil] Yes, she is

[Sanadhil] She will act as I direct

  • Phedre nods.

[Sanadhil] f there is some particular instruction you need me to give her so that we can proceed, I can ensure she will cooperate

[Phedre] I would prefer that she be under her own free will. But perhaps that is too much to hope for...

[Sanadhil] I would not recommend it

[Phedre] Well, if you think so.

[Sanadhil] She has been heavily swayed by Kavreshar

[Phedre] Could we convince her that this ritual would be to his benefit?

[Sanadhil] He views what Emkathon did as treason.

[Sanadhil] But.... perhaps.

[Sanadhil] I can talk to her, and see

[Phedre] Thank you. If you think that she would be willing to participate without the influence of magic, I think that would be more effective.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Phedre] But if it is going to prove too difficult, we will simply go ahead with her as she is.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Phedre] The second matter relates more to details of tonight's rite.

  • Sanadhil listens

[Phedre] I will require assistance in these efforts - or more accurately, those intimately involved in the ritual will require assistance, both during and after its completion.

[Phedre] If you are willing to assist, I can instruct you in what must be done.

[Sanadhil] I will help however I can.

[Phedre] Thank you.

  • Phedre will speak to San privately for a moment, then ;)

Sanadhil and Thea

  • Thea seems unfazed by all these people in her little chamber.

[Sanadhil] Thea, I need you to answer some questions for me, honestly.

[Thea] All right.

[Sanadhil] Kavreshar wants to see the Serpent reborn, yes?

[Thea] Yes.

[Sanadhil] Is that what you want?

[Thea] I want to help him.

[Sanadhil] What we are going to do here is something that will help bring the Serpent back. Is that something you would want to help with?

[Thea] Yes.

[Sanadhil] If you weren't controlled by my magic, would you participate willingly?

[Thea] Yes.

[Sanadhil] Will you try to escape?

[Thea] No.

[Sanadhil] Alright. I am going to let you go, then, so that you can help us with this.

  • Thea nods.
  • Sanadhil will call Phedre over to let her know/have someone keep an eye on her just in case, and release the spell

[Thea] ...Will it hurt the babies?

[Sanadhil] No.

  • Thea asks once she's free, shaking her head slightly.
  • Phedre sets Esmena to stay with Thea, then.

[Sanadhil] No one wants that.

[Phedre] At most it might make them.. come sooner.

  • Phedre adds cautiously.

[Thea] All right... it's past time anyway.

[Thea] I can barely move @_@

  • Phedre smiles slightly at that.

[Phedre] All those participating or assisting should disrobe - it will be best to avoid staining your clothing.

Sanadhil and Ilphere

  • Sanadhil will go find Ilphere
  • Ilphere is hanging around, wondering what Sanadhil and Phedre are conspiring about this time.

[Sanadhil] Are you ready?

[Sanadhil] Phedre wants me to assist you...

[Ilphere] Assist me?

[Sanadhil] yes

[Ilphere] I don't need assistance...

[Sanadhil] in the rite

[Sanadhil] To collect the blood, and so on

[Ilphere] Oh, of course. Fine...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I apologize if this is uncomfortable...

  • Ilphere shrugs...

[Ilphere] It is necessary...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Yes.

[Sanadhil] Well then.

  • Sanadhil will go about disrobing @_@
  • Ilphere will strip down and try not to look as self-conscious as she feels.
  • Phedre positions each of you where she wants you, then raises her hands for silence so that she may begin the ritual.
  • Sanadhil totally has a nipple pierced, and also a scar along his hip bone th shape of a fern-like leaf
  • Sanadhil also tries not to seem selfconscious, even though he is sure people must be staring _@_@

[Phedre] Borne by the Mother of Mercy, it nourishes life out of loss. Blood it held, blood it spilled, blood shattered it and tonight, blood makes it whole.

  • Phedre gestures to the pieces of the Phereia upon the table.

[Phedre] The Phereia. The vessel that bore the true blood of the Divine Serpent, shed by the usurpers in their battle for the Centre, carried to safety by a faithful servant, and hidden in mortal vessels from those who would seek to destroy it.

[Phedre] Mortal vessels whose descendants are now assembled here: Theron Rademacher, Thea Vermillion, Yanina Trueblood, Ilphère de Quessenet.

[Phedre] Each of you brings something special to this rite, aside from your blood - your state as life-givers, mothers and fathers, embodying the sacrifice made by each generation of mothers and fathers since this burden was first placed upon them: to continue the line.

[Phedre] You - father and mother who are, mothers who are yet-to-be - are fulfilling your destiny in creating new lives, new vessels to carry the blood of the Serpent.

[Phedre] Tonight, though, we undertake another task - to use that blood, and that which is within you to give life, to make this vessel whole once more, as has been prophesied.

  • Phedre turns to Theron and Cynthea.

[Phedre] Life begins with the seed of the father.

  • Phedre turns to Thea and Esmena.

[Phedre] Life is sheltered by the waters of the mother.

  • Phedre turns to Yanina and Bessa.

[Phedre] Life is nourished by the milk of the mother.

  • Phedre turns to Ilphere and Sanadhil.

[Phedre] Life is sanctified by the tears of the mother.

  • Phedre nods, indicating that each of you may begin to collect your assigned... substances.
  • Sanadhil takes a deep breath

[Sanadhil] :Ilphere?

[Ilphere] : Yes... I'm not sure how I'm supposed to make myself cry...?

[Sanadhil] :Phedre only asked me to do this tonight, so I'm not sure best how to proceed.

[Sanadhil] :I don't want to hurt you. Maybe I can just tell you sad thing -_-

[Sanadhil] :Do you think that would work?

[Ilphere] : I don't suppose you have an onion :p

[Sanadhil] :...I could use an illusion, but I'm not sure that would be in the spirit of the ritual

[Ilphere] : Well I'll know you're just saying things to try and *make* me cry; so how is that different?

[Sanadhil] :I think it has to be more than just physical

[Sanadhil] :Because they're true?

[Ilphere] : Oh fine.. do what you have to.

[Sanadhil] :Are you upset with me already?

[Sanadhil] :I have that sense, sometimes

  • Ilphere frowns.

[Ilphere] : *I* have the sense that you are leaving me behind...

[Ilphere] : But I don't think this is helping.

[Sanadhil] :No, its making you the wrong kind of upset.

[Sanadhil] :I'm not trying to do anything, Ilphere.

[Sanadhil] :You are my first real friend, ever since I came here

[Sanadhil] :I know I am not always a very good one

[Sanadhil] :It doesn't come naturally

[Ilphere] : It just seems like every time I talk to you you've made another great discovery with Phedre, or someone else, and I wasn't included

[Ilphere] : Argh.

[Ilphere] : Just.. just kick me or something.

  • Ilphere turns away. ;_;

[Sanadhil] :I'm sorry. I'll try to do better.

  • Ilphere sniffles

[Sanadhil] :I'll try to do better.

[Sanadhil] :Its just coincidence, I think, mostly

[Ilphere] : Get the bowl....

[Sanadhil] :I have it

[DiablotinNarrator] You manage to collect a few tears - hoping it will be enough.

  • Sanadhil just feels like he isn't even good at being a friend -_-
  • Phedre takes your respective offerings, combines them in a bowl, and uses the resulting substance to glue the broken pieces of the Phereia together. They hold, somehow, although the seams where it was broken are still plainly visible.
  • Phedre hands the fragile vessel to Celestine, who holds it carefully.
  • Phedre then picks up her razor, sliding the blade open.

[Phedre] Return willingly that which was entrusted to you, and to your ancestors, to the vessel that held it first.

  • Phedre passes to Theron first, who extends his arm, trembling slightly. The cut she makes to his vein is deep, and the blood dark as it flows into the vessel.
  • Phedre next moves to Thea, who is shaking even harder if possible, even before the blade touches her skin.
  • Phedre then proceeds to Yanina, who looks pale but holds her head high, sticking out her arm boldly to receive Phedre's wound.
  • Phedre finally comes to Ilphere. You can see that the urn is three-quarters full, and know how much blood each of the others must have given.

[DiablotinNarrator] The cut doesn't hurt at first, the blade is so sharp. You can see the hearts-blood pulsing from your wrist, falling into the Phereia, mingling there with the blood of your fellow bearers...

[DiablotinNarrator] Your vision dims, narrowing to a tunnel, a tunnel full of stars, a spiral in the heavens...

[Ilphere] Hm...

[DiablotinNarrator] You can feel your heartbeat, and your unborn child's, thundering in your ears, but growing fainter with each beat that passes...

[Ilphere] ..

[DiablotinNarrator] From a distance, somewhere, you hear a voice that seems to speak inside you.

  • Sanadhil holds on to her hoping she isn't going to pass out or die @_@

[Ilphere] (Am I passing out? dying? :D)

[DiablotinNarrator] (passing out, at the very least...)

  • Ilphere sags back against Sanadhil.
  • Sanadhil gives Phedre a worried look @_@

[DiablotinNarrator] The voice thanks you, without words, and your vision fades to black.

[DiablotinNarrator] San, you can see that the vessel is whole, as if it had never been broken, and the blood that filled it is gone.

Dominik and Laurine

[DiablotinNarrator] OK, on to Dom's scene, before we run out of time.

[DiablotinNarrator] Dominik, Laurine's wedding to the Duke of Baudissin, Sylvain Marcoux, is imminent. Laurine will become Laurine Marcoux, and Eloise, your daughter, will be Eloise Marcoux.

[DiablotinNarrator] The festivities are to be fairly subdued, as you understand, with Laurine's family not wishing to draw attention to their daughter's previous scandal.

[DiablotinNarrator] You did not receive an invitation, perhaps not surprisingly. But that doesn't mean you can't pay your, uh, respects somehow...

  • Dominik_R will do his best to make arrangements for one final meeting with Laurine before the wedding, of course.
  • Laurine will suggest that you could meet at Halden's training yard, like you used to back in the olden days.
  • Dominik_R agrees with the plan
  • Laurine sets a date a couple days before her wedding, then.
  • Laurine has her hair tied back and her armor on, sword in hand, when you see her.
  • Dominik_R will have a room booked nearby for the month leading up, a place to rest after practicing
  • Dominik_R will maintain the ruse as well, being garbed for practice
  • Laurine doesn't say too much to you while you're training, nothing that would seem out of place or attract suspicion.
  • Dominik_R waits for an opportune time to finally speak to her
  • Laurine takes a breather eventually.

[Dominik_R] Good to see you practicing again

[Laurine] Thanks. I feel out of shape, though.

[Laurine] You look good - you must have been training hard.

[Dominik_R] I understand. My courtly duties don't get me down here often enough. When I do come I tend to practice late.

[Laurine] Hard to tell, you seem stronger than ever :)

[Dominik_R] Have to maximize the time when I get it.

  • Laurine nods.

[Laurine] Well... I should probably get going.

[Laurine] Busy few days ahead :)

[Dominik_R] I have a room I've reserved to rest after my late practices, just around the corner. Yes well, congratulations!

  • Laurine smiles and nods.

[Laurine] Thank you!

  • Laurine will head off, then...
  • Dominik_R will practice some more, mostly to settle his excitement before retiring to the room.
  • Laurine is waiting for you when you get there.
  • Dominik_R beams a smile as he walks in and quickly closes and locks the door

[Laurine] I'm glad I found the right room :p

[Dominik_R] So am I

[Laurine] Someday we'll stop meeting in taverns, right?

[Dominik_R] Yes

[Dominik_R] Most assuredly

  • Laurine smiles at that.

[Laurine] Good.

  • Dominik_R hangs his weapon belt up and moves over to her

[Dominik_R] How much time do we have?

[Laurine] I guess maybe ... an hour? I should be home as soon as I can, really, but I don't think I have any appointments until then. Final dress fitting :p

[Dominik_R] Can we go through with this? Stick with the plan?

  • Laurine takes a deep breath.

[Laurine] I can if I believe you really love me. Because I know I love you.

[Dominik_R] I'm here now because I love you.

[Dominik_R] We can do this

[Laurine] All right.

  • Dominik_R says with conviction
  • Laurine nods firmly.

[Laurine] For as long as it takes. Until we can be together.

  • Dominik_R nods
  • Laurine pulls Dom down for a kiss. She's less nervous than the last time...
  • Dominik_R kisses her back passionately

[DiablotinNarrator] (awww)

  • Dominik_R does his best to make sure any conceptions at this wedding are his.

[DiablotinNarrator] (hahah)

[DiablotinNarrator] OK, The End for now...


Alma and Reverend Father Theron

[DiablotinNarrator] Alma, you have returned to your home, leaving Danyel at the Mausoleum, in an effort to sleep for a few hours before beginning everything again the next day, but there is a message waiting for you when you get there.

  • Alma is not entirely surprised, with all that is going on.

[DiablotinNarrator] A brief note from Reverend Father Theron asks simply that you come to the Patriarch's palace when you receive this message - it is a matter of great urgency and discretion.

  • Alma is also not entirely surprised sleep in a bed is not going to happen.
  • Alma will do the bare minimum of freshening up before leaving.

[DiablotinNarrator] It is close to midnight when you arrive at the Patriarch's palace. It seems you are expected...

[Alma] I came as soon as I received the message, Reverend Father.

  • RF_Theron is waiting for you. The normally bustling palace is quieter than the tomb you just left.

[RF_Theron] Thank you for coming, Sister. I was uncertain whether you would come tonight, it being so late, but...

  • RF_Theron seems as though he hasn't slept for several days.

[Alma] What is so urgent?

[RF_Theron] Patriarch Morlan is dying. He has not awakened at all in three days, he takes no water, not even the potion of poppy to ease his pain...

  • Alma nods sadly.

[RF_Theron] The Council of Reverends is ... divided.

[Alma] With regard to what?

[RF_Theron] On several matters, in fact. The most immediate is what to do about his care.

[RF_Theron] I feel we are leaving him to suffer for our own selfish reasons - to postpone the difficulty of choosing his successor, or because we don't wish to lose him.

[RF_Theron] If he were any other patient... I would not see him suffer this way.

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] Shouldn't that matter be decided by his family?

[RF_Theron] They trust us to make the right choice...

  • Alma nods

[RF_Theron] We should ease his passing into his next life, or into the Centre, if that is his fate. It could be days still if we allow him to linger on.

[Alma] I suppose we have a different perspective on the matter, as servants of Owl...

[RF_Theron] Indeed. Although we are not alone, several others of the council support this choice.

  • Alma makes mention to her ability to snuff out lives with a touch -_-

[Alma] The Council is oddly numbered, so I assume this is not a simple matter of ... voting?

  • RF_Theron sighs.

[Alma] .oO( I wonder what this has to do with me ... specifically. )

[RF_Theron] Reverend Mother Esmena abstains. She says it is not our place to decide in this matter... which is a way of deciding, in fact, as I see it :p

[Alma] Well perhaps she ought to ask Bear for guidance ]:|

[RF_Theron] Yes, well.

[Alma] It's the same as voting against... why not simply vote against?

[Alma] Is she trying to delay some other matter?

[RF_Theron] I agree, but apparently she feels there is some significant philosophical difference between choosing for a man to live out his remaining days in suffering and allowing the same thing to happen by not choosing :p

[RF_Theron] That is also possible, yes.

[RF_Theron] Sister, I believe we agree in this matter as to what is the right course of action, do we not?

  • Alma looks unsure.

[Alma] I'm not sure what is right, here... the family have placed their trust in us, but we cannot decide?

  • Alma reaches up to clasp her holy symbol as she thinks.

[RF_Theron] We cannot decide due to the machinations of ... one who does not deserve that trust.

  • RF_Theron says obliquely, since you're still sort of in public, even though no one else is visibly around.
  • Alma looks up at the Reverend Father as she begins to see what he might be insinuating.

[RF_Theron] The longer this situation persists, the longer we remain paralyzed, all of us.

[RF_Theron] There are those who benefit from this paralysis, as I'm sure you can imagine.

[Alma] Well... the other Reverends, could they be reasoned with?

[Alma] Perhaps some further details and they would understand they're being played with...

[RF_Theron] Perhaps... but in the time that would take...

[RF_Theron] [q] We could end this now, Alma.

[Alma] Are we at such a delicate point that we could not take that time?

[Alma] ... suffering is wrong, yes, but what if it is not what he would have wished?

[RF_Theron] It is too late to know what he might have wished. His mind is already so far gone... :/

[Alma] Then perhaps the Gods would know... surely it would not be an imposition to ask for the Patriarch...

[RF_Theron] I have already prayed to Owl for guidance...

[Alma] Did Owl bid us take one course of action or another?

[Alma] (SM 50, generally.)

[RF_Theron] (sec, coming up with appropriate Divination answer ;)

[Alma] (np, her next question is : Did you ask what the Patriarch himself would have had us do? )

[RF_Theron] I inquired what would happen if we ended the Patriarch's life. The response was ... puzzling, somewhat.

[Alma] Oh?

[RF_Theron] "The end of the Patriarch's suffering is a blessing and a curse."

[RF_Theron] Which is... somewhat unhelpful.

[Alma] Did you ask what the Patriarch himself would have had us do?

[RF_Theron] I did not, but I could...

  • RF_Theron seems sincere in all of this, fwiw, according to your SM.

[Alma] Perhaps that is how we should decide this?

  • Alma clutches her holy symbol.

[RF_Theron] I will agree to that.

  • Alma nods.

[RF_Theron] Do you prefer to perform the divination, or will I?

[Alma] It should probably be me.

[RF_Theron] Very well.

[Alma] And then, you'll know by morning, I suppose.

  • RF_Theron nods.

[Alma] May I pay my respects before I go?

[RF_Theron] Of course.

  • Alma nods.
  • Alma will take the RF's arm.
  • RF_Theron escorts you into the Patriarch's private chambers, then.

[DiablotinNarrator] The room is large and still, except for the unsteady rasp of the dying man's breath. A few servants are nearby, though doing little at present, only waiting until they might be needed.

  • Alma will go to pay her respects by his bedside, saying a prayer for him.

[Alma] .oO( Owl give me the wisdom to know what is right. )

[RF_Theron] Sister, there is another matter, less immediately pressing but still of vital importance.

  • Alma does not delay long though, as she did not truly know him, and this is enough for a good teleport.

[Alma] Of course.

  • RF_Theron says before you depart.
  • RF_Theron walks out of the room with you, away from prying eyes again.
  • Alma accompanies him, listening.

[RF_Theron] The matter we had previously touched on, of the succession.

[Alma] Yes...

[RF_Theron] Have your feelings altered at all?

[Alma] Oh... I thought perhaps you meant the Patriarchy...

[RF_Theron] Well. That too, of course.

[RF_Theron] If I do not succeed, but instead support Reverend Father Velten's candidacy, then that would also affect you.

[Alma] Things are... so unstable right now.

[Alma] I think there is wisdom in what you say.

[Alma] Have you spoken with Reverend Father Velten about it?

[RF_Theron] I know that he is willing to lead, to try and help us find that stability, as you say, if he is given the chance.

[RF_Theron] But then again... I am also not a young man, and this may not be his last opportunity to take the white robes.

  • Alma nods

[RF_Theron] I worry that my thoughts on this matter are clouded by my own ambition :/

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] I suppose we would have cause to worry if you did not :)

[RF_Theron] How can I objectively decide that it is better for me to succeed? I don't know if such a thing is possible.

[Alma] I worry that we would further alienate the House of Rat, and its Order...

  • RF_Theron nods.

[Alma] If it is right that we wait... that Rat wait, then I will trust your faith in me. I'm... I don't understand it, but I will trust it, and I will do my best.

[RF_Theron] Very well.

  • RF_Theron puts a hand on your shoulder.
  • Alma will reach out to give him a genuine hug.

[Alma] I trust you could use one of these.

  • RF_Theron is slightly surprised, but hugs you back.

[RF_Theron] No matter what is decided, Sister, you have earned that faith. I know that you will prove it is not misplaced.

[Alma] Thank you, Revered Father.

[Alma] I'll let you return to your vigil.

  • RF_Theron nods.

[RF_Theron] I will try to rest for a few hours, until we speak again.

  • Alma returns home, tied in knots of anxiety, her grip on her holy symbol alternatively white knuckled and contritely respectful.
  • Alma prepares herself for communion, leaving strict orders not to be disturbed.

[Alma] .oO( I want a drink. )

  • Alma begins to call for one... .oO( But then I might be impaired... ;_; )
  • Alma settles herself into place and lights the incense, willing herself calm before she begins to cast.

[Alma] 1) Is it your will that the Patriarch's suffering be relieved by death, by act of man before its natural arrival?

[The Gods] Yes.

[Alma] 2) Would the Patriarch chose this course for himself, if he was still capable?

[DiablotinNarrator] No.

[Alma] 3) Would knowing your will change the will of the Patriarch?

[DiablotinNarrator] Unknown.

[Alma] 4) Is the order of succession to the Patriarchy divinely ordained?

[The Gods] No.

[Alma] 5) Is it the will of the Gods that a divinely ordained order of succession be adopted?

[The Gods] No.

[Alma] 6) Is it against the will of the Gods that the Reverend Father of the Order of the Rat be made to wait?

[Alma] For a seat in the Patriarchy?

  • Alma adds hastily

[The Gods] No.

[Alma] 7) If it can be seen, would any offense caused to House Rat and Rat's Priests be more damaging to society than any upset caused by Velten's ascendency?

[The Gods] No.

[Alma] 8) Would leaving the Patriarch to his natural fate offend your will?

[The Gods] Yes.

[Alma] 9) Will leaving the Patriarch to his natural fate cause damage to the Church and society?

[The Gods] Yes.

  • Alma will let the spell die, having asked the most relevant questions, and feeling it would be respectful at least, not to clutter things up with other matters.

[Alma] Thank you, Owl.

  • Alma is relieved only for a moment that the answers were enough to make a decision but... the decision is a hard one.
  • Alma rests briefly as she considers how she will end the life of the Patriarch.
  • Alma first scries the Patriarch.

[DiablotinNarrator] He is in much the same state as you last saw him.

  • Alma looks for the servants, in the hopes they might all leave the room at once -_-

[DiablotinNarrator] Two are there, they look bored and/or on the verge of sleeping, as it's the wee hours of the morning at this point.

[Alma] (Is his floor made of stone?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (sure)

  • Alma tries oh so hard to will the servants to need to pee.

[DiablotinNarrator] Are you keeping watching them?

[Alma] (Yeah. Still trying to think of a way to off him without being seen.)

[DiablotinNarrator] As you watch, one will get up, check on him, then leave. The other one remains, but is clearly nodding off. You have no idea how long the first one will be gone for...

  • Alma will rush to get the cloak she wore outside of Leonien's

[DiablotinNarrator] Ok then...

  • Alma pulls the hood up over her head and...

[Alma] Gods help me, I just...

[Alma] (Was there somewhere behind a curtain she could teleport?)

[DiablotinNarrator] The room probably has several couches/tapestries/bookshelves etc. that she could use for cover.

  • Alma will Greater Teleport into the room behind some cover.
  • Alma watches the servant through her scrying to see for a reaction

[DiablotinNarrator] The servant is nodding, doesn't notice your arrival.

  • Alma will step out, keeping the hood over her face and using the scrying to make sure no one else comes in as she approaches the bed.
  • Patriarch 's breath is shallow and thready, his cheeks sunken and eyes closed.
  • Alma sets her hand gently on his brow and leans down to whisper quietly... "I'm sorry this is not your wish, but it's for the best. There's nothing to be afraid of."

[Alma] May the Seven watch over you.

  • Alma trembles at the edge of tears as she snuffs his life out.
  • Alma will immediately Word of Recall home.
  • Patriarch 's chest falls and does not rise again.
  • Alma rushes to her bedchamber from the entryway to her home and locks the door.
  • Alma has trouble seeing through her tears, but that doesn't affect her scrying as she watches to see if she was seen.

[DiablotinNarrator] You see the servant who left return a short while later, and check again - then she cries out softly, waking the other servant, and there is some commotion as they check for his pulse, breath, anything...

[DiablotinNarrator] You oversleep the next morning, and are awakened by Danyel.

  • Danyel can tell by your puffy, red eyes that you've been crying...

[Alma] Mm? What? What are you doing here?

  • Alma looks out at the insultingly bright sun and scowls.

[Danyel] I waited, but you didn't come, so I left her with some of the others... I was worried about you. Are you all right?

[Alma] Yes, I'm fine...

  • Alma gets up to begin to get ready to go, automatically.

[Alma] Wait, you left her? With who?

[Danyel] You don't seem...

[Danyel] Huh?

[Alma] I told you I didn't want them to have the opportunity to do anything weird.

[Danyel] Sanadhil, and Ilphere - but there were some of the palace guards too. I figured that would be all right. They can't do anything with other people there.

[Alma] Oh, honey... no no no.

[Alma] I'm sure they can do whatever they put their minds to.

[Alma] You stay... get some rest

[Alma] I'll go make sure Sanadhil hasn't bled her over the Phereia

  • Danyel frowns.

[Danyel] You need rest too... you don't look well, Alma.

[Alma] I'm ok.

[Alma] I had more sleep than I expected.

[Danyel] ...

  • Alma hopes Danyel's SM isn't very good...

[Danyel] Did you hear about the Patriarch? :/

[Alma] Ye... no, what?

[Danyel] I guess you probably wouldn't have.

[Danyel] He passed away last night.

[Danyel] Not unexpected, I suppose...

[Alma] No... the Reverend Father said it was only a matter of time....

  • Danyel nods.

[Alma] I'm sure it's for the best... he was in a lot of pain.

[Danyel] The funeral arrangements and everything... well, we can talk about it later.

  • Danyel embraces you.
  • Alma hugs you back tightly and then it all falls apart...
  • Alma shakes in Danyel's arms as she recovers her composure.
  • Danyel makes the executive decision that you're staying home a little longer :p

Ilphere and Ysabeau

  • Ilphere has heard that you are working at the palace today, conveniently enough, and will come and find you...
  • Ysabeau is in one of the music rooms, finishing an arrangement of her newest composition for the Imperial Orchestra.
  • Ilphere will tap on the doorframe...

[Ilphere] Hello...?

  • Ysabeau looks up; she looks tired.

[Ilphere] Am I interrupting...?

[Ysabeau] Oh, hello Ilphere.

  • Ysabeau smiles.
  • Ilphere is looking a bit pale herself.

[Ysabeau] No, it's all right. I was just thinking of taking a break anyway. My hand's cramping.

[Ilphere] Oh, I know how that is...!

[Ilphere] So you have a few minutes...?

  • Ysabeau nods and sets her quill down.
  • Ilphere closes the door...
  • Ysabeau wipes the excess ink from her fingers onto a sooty-looking cloth on the table next to her.

[Ilphere] I have a sort of proposition for you... I'm not sure what you'll think of it..!

[Ysabeau] Well, I am willing to listen to it, anyway. :)

[Ysabeau] Then I'll let you know what I think of it. ;)

[Ilphere] Sanadhil and I, and probably Duke Rionet and possibly Mlle L'Averti will be returning to the Shadow plane again. Very soon...

[Ysabeau] Oh yes? More studies of the Arch and the Well?

  • Ilphere shakes her head...

[Ilphere] We are going to wake up Imraen, so that Ruchard can take charge of her.

  • Ysabeau 's eyebrows raise a bit involuntarily.

[Ysabeau] You're going to have to give me some background information.

[Ilphere] She's already been removed from her old dream world... It now continues free of her influence.

[Ilphere] Nycaise had asked if we could take her there before, so we entered her dream again. We had hoped to reason with her, but... things did not go as planned.

[Ilphere] Ruchard has her contained for now, but she is trying to free herself...

  • Ysabeau listens carefully.

[Ilphere] We will re-enter the tower and wake her, then I will use my dream spell to bring her into the dream of one of our own - probably Guillame or Sanadhil I imagine. Then Ruchard will take charge of her.

[Ysabeau] To what end?

[Ilphere] He feels that he can... help her.

[Ysabeau] That is nice of him... What happens if he can't?

[Ilphere] Then he can... do something else.

[Ilphere] He is very powerful in the dream realm.

[Ilphere] We felt that she deserved that chance... She never asked for what happened to her.

[Ysabeau] I suppose, he was coming and going freely to her realm...

[Ysabeau] I understand. More than you might give me credit for...

[Ilphere] I'm glad...

[Ilphere] Because we wanted to ask for your assistance...

[Ilphere] We expect she will be quite disoriented, which will give us a certain advantage... Nevertheless, the greatest difficulty will be in overcoming her will.

[Ysabeau] I'm the girl who wishes Earric could be freed, too, after all. Me and my crazy ideas of freedom and autonomy...

[Ilphere] So... you'll come then...?

  • Ilphere smiles brightly.

[Ysabeau] Well, I'm wondering what you hope I can contribute?

[Ysabeau] I admit I'm a bit vague on that.

[Ilphere] Well, your talents have always been helpful at enhancing the abilities of others.

[Ysabeau] So you want me to sing to boost your spells, or help everyone fight if we have to?

[Ilphere] Basically, yes... ! :)

[Ysabeau] I guess I could do that. But I would like to know what provisions are there for her if she can be helped, can adjust to the modern world, and does not wish to stay with Ruchard?

[Ysabeau] I wouldn't want to free her from one sort of captivity only to place her in another.

[Ilphere] We've spoken to her... Believe me, she cannot adjust to this world.

[Ilphere] Not anytime soon. @_@

[Ysabeau] :/

[Ysabeau] It sounds more and more like we'll just be putting her in Ruchard's custody...

[Ysabeau] I guess you trust him to be kind to her and not take advantage of her...?

[Ilphere] Absolutely.

  • Ysabeau seems a little uncertain about things still, but seems like she'll go with it.

[Ysabeau] When is this happening?

[Ilphere] Very soon. Probably as soon as I can talk to Guillame.

[Ysabeau] All right. I'm staying at Maze Olivier's with Martan for now... do you know where that is?

[Ilphere] Please, keep this to yourself until then... Others may not be so understanding of what we are trying to accomplish.

  • Ilphere nods.

[Ilphere] Yes, I have been there...

[Ysabeau] I'll have to tell Martan something.

[Ysabeau] Especially if it happens at odd hours.

[Ysabeau] It's only courtesy, so he doesn't worry if I don't come back by the usual time.

  • Ysabeau takes a deep breath.

[Ysabeau] And so he knows where to start looking... :/

[Ysabeau] Is there somewhere my physical body would remain while we're doing this?

[Ysabeau] If I could tell him that, and that I'm doing something with you, that would be enough, I think.

[Ilphere] We'll be in the Shadow plane... In the tower.

[Ysabeau] Right. Well, he hasn't been there, but I guess that will have to do.

[Ysabeau] It's not just me... we both agreed to keep each other posted if there's any expected variation in our daily routine...

[Ysabeau] His position has certain hazards associated with it, unfortunately. :/

[Ilphere] Well, that is fair...

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ilphere] I think that is more common nowadays...!

  • Ilphere laughs.

[Ilphere] We will take all the precautions we can before awakening her... I am hopeful that it will go smoothly. :)

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Aren't we all.

Seth and Menard

  • Seth orders a beer and hopes he hasn't become an utter lightweight.
  • Menard also orders beer, and finds a place to sit that hopefully won't get him mobbed.

[Seth] So, do you talk to Marl much these days?

[Menard] Oh, sure.

[Menard] More than usual, even.

[Seth] About the war? Or other things?

[Menard] Both... It's kind of nice, he actually asks my opinion on things sometimes.

[Seth] That's ... different.

[Menard] Usually when he says he wants the view of 'the common man' but still :p

[Seth] Uhhh ... you do realize that you have nothing in common with the common man, don't you?

[Menard] Yeah, I know. I think he thinks 'common' just means 'not him.'

  • Seth laughs.

[Seth] Is Ilphere involved with a lot of that sort of discussion too?

[Menard] Not so much... she's really busy with her research and all of that lately.

[Seth] She hasn't presented anything in a while at the Society.

  • Menard shrugs.

[Menard] She'll get around to it, I'm sure. She's just working on so many different things, maybe it's hard to choose.

[Seth] I suppose. I just ... we used to talk quite a bit, and now, she hardly talks to me at all, except when we're all in a group.

[Seth] I'm not really sure what she's working on right now. Something with the Black Down cult?

[Menard] Maybe? There's a lot of stuff about the Shadow Plane, and that dream world and all of that...

[Seth] We haven't done anything with that in a while.

[Menard] Well, I think she has.

[Menard] But you'd have to ask her, really.

[Seth] Why do you say that?

[Menard] Just that I know she went there at least once, not too long ago, and I think she does stuff... in her dreams, but I have no idea how that works.

[Seth] That's ... odd.

[Seth] Ah well, it's not like I tell her about everything I do.

[Seth] Did she tell you about ... the skull?

  • Menard looks puzzled.

[Seth] Ahhh ... never mind.

[Menard] Ok then.

  • Menard takes another drink,

[Seth] These past few months ... have been very weird.

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

[Menard] No kidding.

[Menard] Hey, it's ok. We've all been busy.

[Seth] It's not even that, it's just ... I've ... changed.

[Menard] Changed?

[Seth] I mean, basically I can go to the Void and talk to the dead Matriarch, and I hear the voices of dead Emperors in my head. That kind of changed. That kind of weird.

[Menard] ...

[Menard] So you're sure you're not just... crazy?

[Menard] Because that all sounds kind of ... crazy.

[Seth] I've asked myself that lots of times. But ... no, after some of the things I've seen that I know that other people, like Ilphere, have seen, I'm not crazy. Not like that, anyway.

  • Menard nods.

[Menard] All right...

[Seth] But I'm okay, I mean, I still am myself.

[Menard] Specific dead Emperors, or just, uh, all of them at once?

[Seth] Well, that's a tricky question. Mostly all of them at once, it seems.

[Menard] Because if you can ask them questions, that would be cool.

[Seth] No, unfortunately.

[Seth] I can scry on anyplace within the city.

[Menard] Uh.

[Menard] Awkward?

[Seth] I don't know, maybe? It's nothing that Marl, or hundreds of people in the city, can't do. I just do it differently, without spells.

  • Menard nods.

[Menard] That's kind of weird.

  • Menard makes a giant understatment.

[Seth] Yeah, like I said.

[Seth] As far as I know, there isn't anyone else with my powers, in the city.

[Seth] I've been trying to understand that.

[Menard] I always told you you were a freak.

  • Seth laughs.

[Menard] Maybe you're like some sort of idiot savant mage who doesn't know he's casting spells.

  • Menard suggests helpfully, grinning.

[Seth] I should probably be offended. Honestly I'd be relieved if that were it.

[Seth] Things are going to get worse before they get better, Menard. There are powerful forces at work here, things that make this war seem trivial.

[Menard] Yeah, but it's not trivial. If it happens, a lot of people are going to die, Seth.

[Seth] I know, but ... this other stuff. I mean, it's cosmological. And Ilphere and I are right in the middle of it.

[Menard] Yeah, I sort of got that idea.

[Menard] But I don't know anything about how to stop that. The war is more my speed.

  • Seth nods.

[Seth] Want to trade?

[Menard] Not really.

[Seth] Yeah.

  • Menard sighs.

[Seth] I am going to be giving a talk to the Society shortly ... talking about the rebuilding, or re-empowering, of the Arch.

[Menard] Like... in an 'in theory' sort of way, or...?

[Seth] Well, more than a theory, but still ... like it's not something I could personally do, myself, but ... others probably could.

[Menard] Is that a good idea?

[Seth] It might prove to be the safest outcome.

[Seth] Somebody needs to talk about it.

[Menard] As I recall, there were some pretty smart people who went to great efforts to de-empower it.

[Seth] Yeah, I think I remember reading about that.

[Menard] So they were wrong?

[Seth] I don't know. Things are different now than they were then.

[Seth] The gods ... no one knows whether what the gods want is right, really right. They've been wrong before.

  • Menard ponders this.

[Menard] So have humans. Probably have a worse track record overall.

[Seth] True, but it's not gods vs. humans. It's gods, plus their human believers, against others, with their beliefs.

[Menard] Doesn't something have to go... inside the Arch, if it were going to get ... 're-empowered'? So who's volunteering?

  • Seth laughs.

[Seth] No one has stepped forward.

[Menard] That would seem like a pretty major flaw, then.

[Menard] I'm not some big important scholar, though, so what do I know ;)

[Seth] Does Ilphere ... does Ilphere ever tell you anything about demons?

[Menard] To be honest I sort of tune her out sometimes. It's possible she's mentioned it?

  • Seth laughs.

[Menard] I don't think it's a major thing with her, or I'd probably remember that.

[Seth] Right ... well, anyway ... never mind. I don't want to think about that stuff.

[Menard] Yeah, me neither.

[Menard] More drinks?

[Seth] Indeed.

  • Menard orders more, then.
  • Menard has had several more drinks @_@
  • Seth has a couple more, but is wary that his tolerance may have decreased.

[Seth] This ... is a good bar.

[Menard] It is. It is a good bar.

[Seth] Why haven't you taken me here before?

[Menard] I don't know.

[Menard] I've never been here.

[Menard] But it's good.

[Seth] Definitely.

[Menard] No one's asking me stupid questions. Except you. But that's ok.

[Menard] I'm used to that.

[Seth] Hey!

[Seth] My questions are very sensible!

[Menard] Yeah. OK.

[Menard] So I want to ask a question.

[Seth] ... okay?

  • Menard leans forward, almost knocking over his beer in the process.

[Menard] [w] So are you still, you know... do you still... like guys?

[Seth] ... how am I supposed to answer that?

  • Seth shifts uncomfortably.

[Menard] I don't know.

[Seth] I mean ... Void, if you ask Ilphere she would probably say I'm in love with my golem. What does that say about me?

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

  • Menard looks puzzled.

[Menard] I mean.. is there anyone?

[Seth] I ... well, not exactly *someone*, but ... not *no one*, either ...

  • Seth says cryptically.

[Menard] What's that mean?

[Seth] ...

[Seth] Well ...

[Seth] [q] If I tell you this, you can't tell ANYONE.

[Menard] Who would I tell? :o

[Menard] The tabloids don't come to *me* for gossip.

[Seth] ... right.

[Seth] [q] Well, okay ... your cousin, Aldrian ...

[Menard] Oh my gods. Seriously? :o

[Seth] It's ... look I shouldn't even have said anything. It's ... weird.

[Menard] What?

[Menard] Weird how?

[Menard] You can't say that and then not say that.

  • Menard says, slightly incoherently.

[Seth] Look, I just can't. It's ... we're not dating, or ... whatever, it's just a ... just a thing that happened. A couple of times.

[Menard] A couple of times?

[Menard] A couple like two, or like twelve? :p

[Seth] Look, just ... if you were to ask him I'm sure he'd deny it. Void, if you asked me again now, *I'd* deny it!

[Menard] I'm not going to ask him :o

[Seth] Right. Good!

[Menard] ...Which one of you is the, uh, you know, the girl?

[Seth] MENARD!

[Menard] I was just curious.

  • Seth looks around nervously.

[Seth] Well it's none of your business.

[Menard] Yeah, probably not.

[Seth] I mean, what if I asked you if Ilphere likes to take it in the ass?

[Menard] ... yeah, ok, no.

[Seth] Is that your answer?

  • Seth smiles broadly.

[Menard] One of those is the correct answer.

[Seth] Do you give her a little checklist to tick off a box?

[Seth] "Can I put it in your bum? Y/N"

[Menard] Fuck you, Seth.

  • Seth laughs.

[Seth] I ... am drunk.

[Menard] Yeah.

[Menard] I just mean. Aldrian's a good guy. If you were going to. It would be ok. I mean.

  • Menard is slightly less than coherent.

[Seth] Uhhh ... yeah, let's not, I mean, he's ... no.

[Menard] OK.

[Seth] I mean ... I do like girls too. Sometimes.

[Menard] OK, cool. Good. ... There are no girls, are there.

[Seth] You mean, girls ... that I sleep with? Not since ...

[Seth] [q] Vereth.

  • Menard nods.

[Menard] So, that's been like... what, a hundred years, give or take?

  • Seth laughs.

[Seth] Seems that way.

[Menard] Nobody on the horizon, huh?

[Seth] What, you have a suggestion?

[Menard] No, i don't know. I just... I wish you had someone who made you happy. that's all.

  • Menard takes another drink.

[Seth] Honestly when I look around, what I see is not that marriage makes you happy. I mean ... not *you*, specifically, I mean ... ah, that came out wrong.

[Menard] ...

[Menard] I'm happy.

[Seth] I know. I mean, I believe that. Ilphere's quite a woman. Scary ... but then I can see how there might be an appeal to that.

  • Menard frowns slightly.

[Menard] She's not scary.

[Seth] I guess usually when I see her she's surrounded by weird extraplanar creatures and stuff. It's different.

[Menard] Yeah, that is not so much the case at home.

[Seth] Right. She doesn't, like, summon hellhounds or anything.

[Menard] No.

[Menard] Not so much.

[Seth] Well ... good.

[Menard] ...Do you want me to look out for potential girls?

[Menard] I mean, there are bound to be some around.

[Seth] No, that's all right. I think it's probably for the best that I stay single for now.

[Seth] I mean, my lifestyle is not really conducive to having a stable relationship.

[Menard] I guess, yeah.

[Menard] But... will it ever be? I mean, with all the weirdness.

[Seth] I ... don't know. Honestly if I'm still alive in a year I'm going to count it as a win.

  • Menard forces a laugh.

[Menard] If you're going to die, isn't that when you're supposed to cut loose and do stupid, romantic things? ;)

[Seth] I ... I suppose so. I just think that getting involved would take ... more energy than I have for that sort of thing right now. And what would I say about what I was up to all day?

[Menard] I have no idea, man, that's your problem. "Research"? ;)

[Seth] "Hi, honey, home from creeping around through walls and visiting the ex-Matriarch in the Void!"

[Menard] I guess, no.

[Seth] Anyway ... there isn't anybody like that, anyway.

[Menard] OK. If you say so.

  • Menard shrugs.

[Menard] Even just... for fun? I don't know. It just seems like you're getting further and further away. From everything.

[Seth] I just ... all these things that have happened to me, changes in who I am ... I don't understand them, so how can I even think about that other stuff?

[Menard] I don't know. I never found thinking about it too much did any good.

[Menard] You're still you.

[Seth] I guess.

  • Seth shrugs.

[Menard] No?

[Seth] I don't know.

[Menard] ..OK then.

  • Menard shrugs.

[Menard] Another drink?

[Seth] Definitely. You don't realize how much you miss drinking until you don't do it for a while.

  • Menard nods.
  • Menard orders more drinks, then @_@

Ysabeau and Martan

[Ysabeau] Ok, for setting the scene, I figure Ysabeau would have reported the Thea Q&A session to him the very evening after she was questioned. And for this scene it may be a day or two after the questioning... does that make sense to you?

[Martan] yes, that's fine

[Ysabeau] (So I will have spoken to Theonee, probably earlier 'today'.)

  • Ysabeau has been very careful to travel only during daylight hours, and to be 'home' at Maze's before nightfall, in order to limit opportunities for murder and mayhem.
  • Ysabeau is in their room when Martan finishes his work for the day.
  • Martan looks weary, but smiles when he sees you.

[Martan] Hello there :)

  • Ysabeau is curled up in one of two modest but 'new' armchairs set before the hearth, with a mug of tea liberally laced with lemon, to fight off the sore throat she is getting from her Bonemire adventures. And.... the big bed is here!

[Ysabeau] Hi!

  • Martan comes to sit in the other of the two chairs.
  • Ysabeau smiles back. Her voice is a little thin but not hoarse at the moment.

[Martan] How are you feeling?

[Ysabeau] How was your day? You look tired.

[Martan] I'm all right... There's just a lot to do, and not enough time to do it in.

[Ysabeau] I'm well enough, thank you. Still hoping I'll kick this before it gets worse. Also glad I am not singing in any operas this season...

  • Martan nods.

[Ysabeau] I'm sorry to hear that you're being stretched pretty thin, love. Is it Marl?

[Martan] A lot of things...

  • Martan shrugs.

[Ysabeau] :/

[Ysabeau] I am sorry. I'm probably not helping, with all my madcap adventures.

  • Martan smiles slightly at that.

[Martan] Well, you are helping in some ways. With the information from Thea, there are a lot of new leads to follow up...

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Hopefully not on your own. I mean, Dom was there to report to Fredericia, and Loick himself was there, too. I hope they're chipping in with their respective expertise and resources.

[Martan] Oh, yes.. it's not just me doing all of it, of course.

[Ysabeau] That's good.

[Ysabeau] Have any of them been brought in yet?

[Martan] Several, yes.

[Ysabeau] ... Garlan?

  • Martan nods.

[Ysabeau] :/

[Ysabeau] I wish I could speak to him.

[Martan] I know you wanted to see him, but... I don't know if, or when, that would be possible. I'll see what I can do, though.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Thank you...

[Ysabeau] He made some stupid choices. Poor Hettie.

[Martan] He may not have known entirely what he was getting into. I don't know.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I hope the prison guards and questioners aren't too rough with him.

[Ysabeau] They won't... torture him, will they...?

[Martan] Not if they can get information out of him any other way. Hopefully they can get what they need with magic.

  • Ysabeau nods.
  • Ysabeau quietly sips the last of her tea before setting the cup down.

[Ysabeau] How about Vescan?

[Martan] No, not yet...

  • Ysabeau nods.
  • Martan seems a bit hesitant about that, though.

[Ysabeau] Have you heard something?

[Martan] Well, rumours.

  • Ysabeau smiles slightly.

[Martan] All of his usual hiding places seem to be abandoned, but... there's one place no one's checked.

[Ysabeau] Oh?

[Martan] Well, they don't know it's a possibility, I suppose. And ... I haven't told them yet.

[Ysabeau] ... Why not?

  • Ysabeau looks puzzled.

[Martan] Because it's... complicated.

[Martan] And if they go in there, it could have other repercussions.

[Ysabeau] Complicated how?

[Martan] Complicated in terms of me maintaining working relationships with certain key figures in this city.

[Ysabeau] Ah.

[Martan] I want to take care of it myself, if I can.

[Ysabeau] Are you sure that's wise?

[Ysabeau] Kavreshar might be there with Vescan... he was hiding out with Garlan when we found Thea, after all...

[Martan] I agree, I can't be sure.

[Martan] But this is a busy place. It would be difficult for too many people to hide there without being noticed.

[Ysabeau] Fair enough.

[Martan] ...Would you want to come with me?

[Martan] I trust you to back me up :)

  • Martan nudges your foot with his.

[Ysabeau] Of course I would!

[Ysabeau] I'm just surprised.

[Ysabeau] What would you like me to do?

[Martan] Well... it might be a job that would involve disguise.

[Martan] Depends how we want to approach it.

[Ysabeau] Can you get something to aid with the disguises if we do it that way?

[Ysabeau] I only have one fun magic hat.

[Martan] Certainly.

[Martan] ...We'd be going to the Jewelbox.

[Ysabeau] Classy!

  • Martan chuckles.

[Ysabeau] The girls at the Boar used to dream about working there.

[Martan] It's pretty nice. Or... so I hear, anyway. ;)

[Ysabeau] Of course it was a rather hopeless dream for girls like us.

[Martan] Do you want me to get you an interview? ^-^

  • Martan teases.

[Ysabeau] Do you want me to work there?

  • Ysabeau teases (?) back.

[Ysabeau] I didn't realize they were into harbouring fugitives. He must have some close friends there.

[Martan] Relative, actually.

[Ysabeau] One of the Jewels? Or the Lapidary?

[Martan] The Lapidary.

[Ysabeau] Interesting.

[Ysabeau] So she's a Corriveau? Or as good as...

[Ysabeau] Never mind, doesn't really matter.

  • Martan nods.

[Martan] Like I said, it's complicated. Especially if I want to keep on good terms with her.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] They may be wise to tricks, you know... Diamond was kidnapped by clients.

[Ysabeau] Or people posing as clients, anyway.

[Martan] I know. That's why I don't want to barge in... it wouldn't do any wonders for our reputation there.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] 'Our' reputation?

[Martan] The Hush. Or, yours and mine, whichever :)

[Ysabeau] So, what do we pose as?

[Martan] ...with Diamond out of the way, they *are* probably hiring.

[Ysabeau] So... I'm looking for a job or both of us? ^-^

[Martan] Would you be willing to do that?

[Martan] It would get you inside, with access to areas that customers don't see.

  • Ysabeau considers.

[Ysabeau] Would they even hire me? It's going to be hard to hide my pregnancy even with my hat... I'll still waddle. :P

[Martan] ...That is not necessarily a flaw @_@

[Ysabeau] I agree, some people like pregnant ladies very much. ;)

[Ysabeau] But... from an employer's point of view, I might have difficulty working once the baby is born.

[Ysabeau] That's all I'm thinking.

[Martan] I can't guarantee, of course, what the Lapidary would choose. But if you come with good recommendations, a lot of doors may open.

[Martan] ...The Emperor's recommendation probably counts for more than mine, even.

  • Martan says with a slight wince/smile.
  • Ysabeau laughs.

[Ysabeau] "Ysabeau is a great musician, and I think it's cute the way she wants to talk about magic. As for sex, I haven't got a clue." Great recommendation, there. ;)

[Ysabeau] Er, not Ysabeau.

[Ysabeau] If I'm in disguise.

[Martan] Well... your true identity would probably go further in this instance. But maybe it's too risky.

[Ysabeau] I think it would be, darling.

[Ysabeau] People know I'm married to you.

[Martan] Not that many...

[Martan] And I don't know if a magical disguise will hold up under the kind of scrutiny you'd be subjected to.

  • Ysabeau shrugs.

[Ysabeau] How would you feel if I actually have to service someone...?

[Martan] ...

[Ysabeau] I am not sure how comfortable I would be with that.

[Martan] I know. Neither am I.

[Martan] But... I wouldn't think any less of you.

[Martan] More, in fact.

[Martan] That... didn't quite come out right.

  • Martan says, blushing a bit.

[Ysabeau] What do you mean...?

[Martan] I just mean, one of the things I love about you is how brave you are. And how you'll do whatever you have to, when the cause is right.

[Martan] I didn't mean I'd love you more if you slept with someone else. But ... if that was what it took... I would respect that.

  • Martan says, a bit awkwardly.
  • Ysabeau looks down at her hands awkwardly, thinking of Dryden.

[Ysabeau] I could do it, if I had to, yes.

[Martan] I hope you wouldn't have to.

[Ysabeau] Me too.

[Martan] Well.... we can make more formal plans tomorrow?

  • Ysabeau nods.
  • Ysabeau glances back at him.

[Ysabeau] I spoke with Theonee today.

[Martan] ...really?

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Martan] About what?

[Ysabeau] Well, about you and our baby. Only I was trying to play it as if I were speaking about my friend, as you suggested - not my husband.

[Ysabeau] However, she knew.

  • Martan nods, listening.

[Ysabeau] She knew who you were, before I even spoke to her. I didn't clue in at first... she did say she assumed I asked to meet with her because of you, but I thought she meant the you who is the Imperial Spymaster.

[Ysabeau] So anyway, she doesn't know anything more than you or I.

[Martan] I see... :/

[Ysabeau] But she did say that if you wanted to speak with her, you could. She wouldn't be able to tell you anything more than what she told me. But perhaps you would have other things you would want to discuss with her.

[Martan] I... I'll sleep on it. I don't know, right now...

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I understand.

  • Ysabeau reaches over to take his hand in the gesture of comfort they share.
  • Martan takes your hand.

[Ysabeau] She said she has faith that things will work out for the best.

[Martan] Well. That's good, I suppose.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] So I'm going to try to do that, too.

[Ysabeau] I've already been dreaming of those five or six children. ;)

  • Martan nods.
  • Martan smiles at that.

[Ysabeau] I hope they all have your eyes.

[Martan] Come to bed with me...?

  • Ysabeau smiles and nods eagerly.

[Martan] (aww)