Diablotin 2 session 76

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[DiablotinNarrator] It is the middle of Twelfth-month, and the weather is cold. Each morning there is frost on the windows, and even light dustings of snow, although the first real snowfall has not occurred yet. The river remains unfrozen, but puddles in the streets have thin crusts of ice that shatter beneath feet and hooves and carriage wheels.

[DiablotinNarrator] The recent death of the Patriarch, although not unexpected, has unsettled affairs in certain quarters, and the question of who will succeed to the white robes is not yet answered. Reverend Father Theron is the most likely candidate, but some hold out hope for Reverend Father Velten of the Rat.

[DiablotinNarrator] Meanwhile, preparations for the holidays are well underway, despite the uncertainty that blankets the Empire and the city in the face of religious indecision and possible war. The Emperor is said to be planning to provide free food to the poor during each day of the holiday season, and a great ball at the palace to mark the start of the new year, 2249.

Seth and Schesutte

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth, you have been hard at work on reconstructing the golem you discovered beneath the Greysmoke Temple, which you believe to be Schesutte.

[DiablotinNarrator] Of course, you are not alone in this task - others are also working on the project. At last, the great construct is reassembled into its full form, but the question of the amulet is still vexing, and without that, the device is useless.

[DiablotinNarrator] The seven amulets you collected from the hidden chamber are all thin metal, all slightly different, and none seem to work to control the golem.

[Seth] (I presume we have detected magic on them - do they all radiate, and if so, what sort?)

[DiablotinNarrator] None of them radiate magic.

[Seth] (ok - who among those working on it is a spellcaster?)

[DiablotinNarrator] I'm sure the Chief Sorc. has been one of those involved in this, although... he's busy with lots of things atm, so probably just gets called in to consult occasionally.

[DiablotinNarrator] And there's always Marl, of course...

[Seth] (ok - what I want to find out is if there is any way that the seven thin amulets are really able to be combined somehow into one)

[Seth] (I have Use Tech. Device but not UMD)

[DiablotinNarrator] You can examine the patterns on them, which are series of ridges and depressions, bumps and holes. You do think they could fit together, if put in the correct order.\

[Seth] . o O (Ah, a puzzle!)

[Seth] (I will try on my own to work with them, placing them in 'traditional' order first, but trying various other combinations if not)

[DiablotinNarrator] You can puzzle around with them, attempting to fit them into place.

[DiablotinNarrator] (i.e. You can make an Int. check...)

  • Seth will of course ensure that there is nothing in his books on the matter, but otherwise will just fiddle.

[Seth] !roll 1d20+5

  • Alma rolls for Seth: [ 1d20+5 ] getting [ 7 ] which, after the modifier [ 5 ] totals [ 12 ].

[Seth] (bah, 12)

[DiablotinNarrator] This effort will take you many hours of fiddling, but eventually, you are able to place them together in a way that makes them all connect and hold in place.

[Seth] (do they snap together firmly, or do I have to hold them together?)

[DiablotinNarrator] They click into place - you feel that they could come apart again, but they don't fall apart if you're not holding them together.

  • Seth will take them to a nearby caster to get DM cast on it, anyone will do really

[DiablotinNarrator] DM now detects enchantment magic.

  • Seth will take it to the completed golem and see if he can get it to work using mental control.

[Seth] (btw, where are we storing/housing the golem?)

[DiablotinNarrator] At the Treasury, for convenient comparison with the working one.

[Seth] (makes sense, also secure)

[Seth] (who else is there atm?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (No one is immediately in the room with you; others are probably nearby, though, if you need someone.)

[Seth] (nope, just me and my golem)

  • Seth will try to give a mental command: Walk forward.
  • Golem takes one slow step forward.

[Seth] Aha! AHA!

  • Seth gives another command: Halt.
  • Golem halts.
  • Seth gets Howell Ivie in here.
  • Howell comes in to see what all the fuss is about.
  • Seth gives the command: Raise your right arm.
  • Golem raises its right arm.
  • Howell laughs out loud.

[Howell] Excellent! Oh, good work!

[Seth] I've done it! What a day!

[Seth] Mr. Ivie, I would like to get the Emperor and the Chief Sorcerer here for a demonstration, as soon as is feasible.

[Howell] Of course, I'm sure they will want to see it.

[Howell] I'll send word now.

  • Seth will continue to ensure that all the limbs move independently, and tests the range of commands he can give.
  • Howell departs to go and send a message to the palace.

[Seth] [q] Welcome back ... welcome home ... you have been missed.

[Golem] [q] Thank you.

  • Golem says... inside your head? You're not sure.

[Seth] [q] My name is Seth. Seth Argo.

[Golem] [q] I know you, Seth Argo. I have met you before.

[Seth] [q] In the other place?

[Golem] [q] In a hidden place.

[Seth] [q] Where?

[Golem] [q] Thank you for this body.

[Seth] [q] You are most welcome. Do you ... have a name?

[Golem] [q] I am the city.

[Golem] [q] I am the city's soul.

  • Seth nods, deep in thought.

[Seth] [q] Were all the Sentinels built to house ... your soul?

[Golem] [q] No. But they do, nevertheless. This city was not built to house me, but it does.

  • Seth nods.

[Seth] [q] Do you suppose ... if this body were to be taken or directed out of the city, would you remain in it?

[Golem] [q] I think so. It would be a piece of the city, even outside the city.

[Seth] [q] Like the mausoleum. Yes, that makes sense.

[Seth] [q] Shortly the Emperor and his chief sorceror are coming to see this body, to see it follow commands.

[Golem] [q] Very well. I will follow your orders, then.

[Seth] [q] I deeply respect that choice.

  • Golem falls silent, for the moment.

[Seth] [q] I ... I have dreamed of you, many nights of late.

[Golem] [q] I dream too, Seth Argo. I have dreamt for so long. But soon, it will be time to wake.

[Seth] [q] How can I serve you?

[Golem] [q] You already do. But there will be more. I will tell you when the time is right.

[Seth] [q] I understand. Others, especially the emperor, may not. He has a great mind, but I fear he sees this body as a weapon of war.

[Golem] [q] The body is a tool, and I will not use it for harm. If that is the order that is given, then I will withdraw from this body.

[Seth] [q] I ... I see. That is good to know.

[Seth] [q] What is the purpose of this tool?

[Golem] [q] To give me eyes and ears and hands, when they are needed. And to let me speak with you, Seth Argo.

  • Seth smiles.

[Seth] [q] City, I understand.

[Seth] [q] Thank you.

  • Golem falls silent once more.

Ysabeau and the Lapidary

[DiablotinNarrator] Ysabeau, you and Martan have come up with a plan that should hopefully allow you to safely extract Vescan Corriveau from the Jewelbox - assuming that is in fact where he's hiding - with a minimum of upheaval.

  • Martan takes you to the Jewelbox one frosty morning in order to meet the Lapidary.
  • Ysabeau will have dressed up nicely for the occasion, so as to present herself in the best light possible. It's a job interview, after all.

[Martan] I have something for you. I don't know if you'll need it or not, but I thought it might come in handy.

  • Martan holds out a small glass bottle with some dark liquid in it.
  • Ysabeau takes it gingerly.

[Ysabeau] What is it?

[Martan] It's made from obliviax moss - it'll erase someone's memory of the last little while. The exact amount of time varies depending on how large or small the person is, and how much of it they consume, but I'd say half an hour is a good estimate.

[Ysabeau] All right... so I would just have to figure out how to get it into them.

[Ysabeau] Does it have to be ingested, or is it a contact... thing?

[Martan] Ingested. But even if you compel them to drink it, they shouldn't remember you doing it.

[Ysabeau] All right. And just so I'm clear, if they drink the entire bottle, it would maybe cover one half hour? But if they drink only half, then about 15 minutes?

[Martan] That's right.

[Martan] It could be slightly longer, but I'm erring on the low side, just to be careful.

[Ysabeau] All right. Thank you.

  • Ysabeau slips it into her cleavage, since her clutch purse could be misplaced or taken from her.

[Martan] We're nearly there. Just remember, you can leave if you feel you have to.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[DiablotinNarrator] The carriage draws up at the Jewelbox, and Martan escorts you to the door.

[DiablotinNarrator] The interior of the Jewelbox is much different than any brothel you've been in before. The furniture is of fine quality, there are paintings and sculptures to decorate the rooms, and, at least at this time of day, it is quiet and peaceful.

  • Ysabeau assumes her working persona... which he probably hasn't seen.

[DiablotinNarrator] A servant shows you into one of the sitting rooms, and departs. One wall is mostly covered by a large laquered screen.

[Ysabeau] (It wouldn't be very obvious yet, though.)

[Ysabeau] (Me alone or is he with me still?)

  • Martan is with you for now.

[DiablotinNarrator] A woman's voice speaks from behind the screen.

[Lapidary] Good morning, Lord Grey. And my lady, welcome.

[Martan] Good morning, madam. Thank you for welcoming us. I trust you have received my message, then.

  • Ysabeau also murmurs her greetings politely.

[Lapidary] Indeed, yes. It is a provocative request, but ... for future considerations, one that I can certainly accomodate.

[Ysabeau] (Do I know what his request was...?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (you do not, no)

[DiablotinNarrator] (oh, his request - you assume it was for you to be considered)

[DiablotinNarrator] (the future considerations, you don't know what they might be, though)

[Ysabeau] (ah)

  • Lapidary steps out from behind the screen to see you properly.
  • Lapidary is a short, plump woman of about 40 or so, dressed in a blue so dark it is nearly black, with piercing blue eyes and a knot

of red hair caught in a snood at the nape of her neck.

  • Lapidary eyes you both.
  • Ysabeau smiles at her confidently.

[Ysabeau] Shall I stand?

  • Ysabeau offers.

[Lapidary] Certainly.

[Lapidary] I would confer with the young lady alone, my lord.

[Martan] Oh, yes, of course.

  • Ysabeau rises as gracefully as she can, being 8 months pregnant.

[Martan] I'll wait outside, then.

  • Martan gives you a quick glance and a smile before he leaves.
  • Ysabeau smiles back a bit distractedly; she's more interested in what the Lapidary thinks than what he does. ;)
  • Lapidary looks you up and down.

[Lapidary] You will know, of course, what high standards we adhere to here. What do you believe makes you suited to work here?

[Ysabeau] I'm confident, skilled, not shy, and openminded.

  • Lapidary listens.

[Ysabeau] While I have enjoyed the company of many, I know that there is always something new to learn and to appreciate.

[Lapidary] The foremost virtue of this house is discretion. No names are exchanged here, no tales told outside these walls.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] The Jewelbox is highly regarded because of this.

[Ysabeau] I appreciate the discretion.

  • Lapidary nods.

[Lapidary] It functions in both directions, of course. It is for your own protection as much as that of our guests.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] That's what I appreciate about it.

[Lapidary] Good.

[Lapidary] Have you previously worked professionally?

[Ysabeau] I have. Will that be a problem?

[Lapidary] No, not at all. We will have your health verified, of course, but that's just as a precaution.

[Ysabeau] Of course. I would expect nothing less.

[Ysabeau] Do you apply a similar screening process to your clientele?

[Lapidary] We do not make them submit to an examination before-hand, but if you ever suspect that someone is ...unwell, you are permitted to refuse their visit until such time as they have been cured. I also do what I can to pre-empt such unfortunate situations, but they do arise from time to time.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Some illnesses are not immediately noticeable. Do you retain the services of a priest? Are your girls required to pay out of pocket for Remove Disease?

[Lapidary] We have an agreement with a priest, yes, and if ever you require her services, we will cover the expenses.

  • Ysabeau nods, apparently satisfied with that answer.

[Lapidary] Here, I make sure that the ultimate power is placed in the hands of my Jewels. You are the authority - you may refuse any request that goes against your wishes.

[Lapidary] ...You *are* here of your own free will, are you not?

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] Of course. I've always made my own decisions.

  • Ysabeau says, looking and sounding rather proud, perhaps.

[Lapidary] Good.

[Lapidary] I see by your condition that you will give birth before too much longer. Some women choose to leave at that point - but I'm not looking to take on a new Jewel who'll leave in a few months. Would you keep working after the baby arrives?

[Ysabeau] That's a good question.

  • Lapidary awaits your answer, then.

[Ysabeau] It would be my intent to return.

[Lapidary] Of course, a short break is quite understandable, and even necessary.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Lapidary] Well, would you please step behind the screen and disrobe?

  • Ysabeau smiles a bit wickedly.

[Ysabeau] Certainly, Madam.

  • Ysabeau saunters behind the screen and does so.
  • Lapidary examines you with a critical eye.
  • Ysabeau appears very comfortable in her own skin, even with the scars and stretch marks.

[Ysabeau] Do you like what you see?

[Lapidary] Not bad.

  • Ysabeau laughs lightly.
  • Lapidary smiles.

[Lapidary] Provided that when the baby arrives you can lose the weight, you should be quite acceptable. And you're young, that helps. You'll bounce back into shape quickly, I suspect.

[Lapidary] Very nice breasts, though - don't lose those, if you can help it :)

[Ysabeau] Oh, they are large even when I'm not pregnant. But if I lose too much weight, they will get smaller.

[Lapidary] Oh, I don't mean you should waste away to nothing, by any means.

[Ysabeau] I should hope not. I am used to lovers and clients who like a girl with substance.

[Lapidary] Some of the girls here are thinner, some are plump... our guests have varied tastes, and if we all looked the same, then that would be quite boring, would it not?

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] I'm glad we agree.

  • Lapidary is of a fairly similar build to yours, fwiw, although 20-some years older ;)

[Lapidary] Very well - get yourself dressed again. Do you need a hand?

[Ysabeau] I may. The belly does make certain things a bit awkward.

  • Lapidary will assist you as necessary, then.

[Ysabeau] Thank you, Madam.

  • Ysabeau smiles graciously.

[Lapidary] You're most welcome, Diamond.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] All the colours of the rainbow. I like it.

  • Lapidary smiles back.

[Lapidary] We work on an appointment schedule here - things would become much too complicated otherwise. It will be a few days before I secure your first guest, although there will be many who are eager to pay you a visit - there always are with new Jewels.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] With returning guests, do you have a pretty good understanding of their preferences?

[Lapidary] Yes, I do. And even with new ones, I do attempt to ascertain before-hand what they are looking for, as much as possible at any rate.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Lapidary] I expect my Jewels to work four nights a week, unless an emergency of some sort arises - whether on your side or mine. Is that acceptable to you?

[Ysabeau] It is.

[Lapidary] Wonderful.

[Ysabeau] To spare anyone the discomfort and embarrassment of being turned down by me, I should let you know that I am open to almost everything, but I do draw the line at coprophagia and watersports. I hope that won't be a problem.

[Lapidary] That's fine.

[Lapidary] As to the question of pay - your fees will be split three ways. One third to you, one third to me, and one third to the house, for food, drink, furnishings, servants' salaries, and so forth. I trust you'll find that fair. Any gifts given by patrons will remain yours.

[Ysabeau] The fee is typically 100 Imperials, isn't that right? So I would take home 30 or so each time?

[Lapidary] That's correct.

[Ysabeau] That's very fair.

[Lapidary] Certainly better than you'd find most places.

  • Lapidary agrees.
  • Lapidary presents you with a gold-coloured key.
  • Ysabeau accepts it.

[Lapidary] This is to the adjoining house. That's the private quarters, where you can ready yourself, relax before and after sessions, and so on. No one lives there, but some of the girls do like to socialize there sometimes.

  • Ysabeau smiles warmly.

[Ysabeau] I should like to meet them. I don't suppose they'd be around at this time of day, though...

[Lapidary] Those who are, I expect are sleeping. If you return after dinner, however, you would be welcome.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Well, if I may go take a look anyway, to familiarize myself with the place? Would that be all right?

[Ysabeau] I'll be quiet.

[Lapidary] Very well. I'll show you around the place.

[Ysabeau] Thank you. Also - which door do you prefer we come in by?

[Lapidary] By next door. This house is normally reserved for guests.

[Ysabeau] Excellent. Thank you.

  • Lapidary will take you on a tour, then.
  • Ysabeau will follow her, but suggest that we let my gentleman companion know how much longer we'll be so he can leave if he has other business to attend to.

Alma and Thea

[DiablotinNarrator] Sister Alma, Reverend Father Theron has issued an invitation to you and your husband, along with (you expect) most of the other prominent priests of Owl in the city, to his home for dinner on the evening of the 14th.

[DiablotinNarrator] Although it isn't explicitly stated in the invitation, you suspect that this is intended as an informal means of discussing the succession to the post of Patriarch, and also of who will succeed the Reverend Father if he assumes the white robes.

[Alma] .oO( hooray -_- )

[DiablotinNarrator] You arrive at the appointed time, and are unsurprised to see quite a large number of people you recognize also in attendance. Brother Obern is there, and Sister Biatrix, so you know you won't be completely without support, at any rate...

[DiablotinNarrator] You also can't help but notice that you are almost certainly the youngest person in attendance.

  • Alma greets them warmly.

[Alma] .oO( Heh... heh... )

[Alma] .oO( Maybe he's told some of them so they won't look surprised when he suggests it out loud -_- )

[DiablotinNarrator] The meal is simple but filling - roasted pigeons, accompanied by carrots and onions, and some dense rolls of brown bread, served with water or tea, and stewed apples with a light glaze of honey for dessert.

[DiablotinNarrator] Conversation over dinner is kept to fairly casual topics, fortunately.

[Alma] (I suppose I have probably told Beatrix unless I have had no time to visit.)

[DiablotinNarrator] (you can have told her, that's fine)

  • RF_Theron stands to speak after the meal has concluded and the dishes are cleared away.

[RF_Theron] Thank you all for coming. I know that this is a difficult time for all of us, so I especially appreciate your presence tonight.

[RF_Theron] As some of you know, I intend to put myself forward as the next Patriarch. I know that some of you feel that the Order of the Rat have been overlooked for too long, and to this I can only say - I sympathise with your concerns, but in times of such uncertainty, the church's role is to provide stability.

[RF_Theron] As Patriarch, I would do what I can to help further the cause of the Order of the Rat, so that when the next time comes - and at my age, that may not be long...

  • RF_Theron says, provoking a slight chuckle from the audience.

[RF_Theron] ...that they will be prepared to lead and, more importantly, the church will be prepared to accept their leadership.

[RF_Theron] There is a great deal of work that needs to be done. For the past year or more, we have lacked strong leadership, due to the unfortunate illness of Patriarch Morlan. Dangerous forces are at work, and the church is threatened - from both within and without.

  • RF_Theron says, assuming a more serious tone.
  • Alma looks to see the reaction from those assembled at the implication.

[DiablotinNarrator] Most seem puzzled, but some are nodding along.

[RF_Theron] I would work to bring the necessary cleansing that is required, no matter how difficult or painful this may prove.

[DiablotinNarrator] There is some applause from the audience.

[RF_Theron] If I am blessed by elevation to the Patriarchate, then the question of choosing my successor will of course arise. Although it is not in my power to compel your choice, I would like to strongly suggest that you consider Sister Alma de Béziers as a worthy candidate.

[DiablotinNarrator] There is some murmuring from the group at this.

  • Alma does her best not to look extremely uncomfortable.

[Brother_Aimon] Forgive me if I speak bluntly, but such a young woman taking on the responsibilities of a Reverend Mother... well, does she have the years of learning and wisdom that such a position requires?

[Brother_Aimon] Besides, she may have distractions that will arise in her life, if she has children for instance.

[Sister_Biatrix] What a ridiculous thing to say. Are you suggestion a woman with children would be unsuited to the rank of Reverend *Mother*?

  • Brother_Aimon frowns slightly, but shuts up.

[RF_Theron] I know that Sister Alma is young, and she still has much to learn. But she is both skilled and dedicated to the church, and her youth may bring with it a certain ... freshness of perspective, which will benefit us in these uncertain times.

[RF_Theron] She has my support, but of course that is not all that is required. If she is to succeed, she must also have your support, and that of the rest of our Order as well.

[RF_Theron] I would welcome Sister Alma to say a few words on her own behalf.

  • Alma weighs the value of speaking in her own defence, as a ... leader should.

[Alma] .oO( Well that settles that. )

  • Alma will stand, if the RF stood to speak, if only so that she's not behind heads and tableware.
  • RF_Theron did indeed stand, but now sits to allow you the floor.

[Alma] I would like to start by saying that you are not the first to be surprised by the Reverend Father's decision in this. When he first asked whether I would accept such a recommendation, I thought he was speaking rhetorically.

[Alma] When I came to Diablotin, my goals were simple. I would begin my education as a priest, to serve the people of the Empire as they and their loved ones enter their final days.

[Alma] I suppose for context... I should add that I became a priest because of the immense benefit I received during dark times in my own life...

  • Alma realises she sounded a litle morbid.

[Alma] That benefit is what drewme to the priesthood in the first place.

[Alma] Anyhow, I thought I would learn of tradition, and history, and then I hoped I would travel to learn what could not yet be taught here. Then, perhaps I would understand what this time, at teh end of our lives, meant... to us, to our families.

[Alma] Of course I've learned rather suddenly that life does not go how you plan.

[Alma] Instead I've been watching as events unfold that boggle the mind.

[Alma] I see so much change coming, and I admit I am not sure that the Reverend Father has made the best choice. I have barely had any time within the Order. How could I possibly lead all of /you/?

[Alma] But I have placed faith in the Reverend Father's wisdom, and his surprising faith in me. I have had to change my plans, so will I change them again, if you chose to give me the opportunity.

[Alma] I know I am not experienced within the Order and the Church, and so I know I must work to change that. I know that we are in a time of change, and so I know I must work to guide is through it... whether or not I am Reverend Mother.

[DiablotinNarrator] Alma, as you are in the middle of speaking, you receive a Sending - you recognize the voice of the Chief Sorcerer.

[Loick] The babies are coming. Something is wrong, too much blood, need help, come quickly. Also sending to midwives, tell me if you can come.

[Alma] Oh... no...

[Alma] I must go....

[Alma] Reverend Father, the Mausoleum.

[Alma] If you will all excuse me.

[RF_Theron] ...Of course.

  • Alma teleports away.

[DiablotinNarrator] The room in the Mausoleum looks like a slaughterhouse. You expected there would be blood, of course, but not this much...

[Alma] Oh Gods...

  • Loick is there, his hands and clothes stained with Thea's blood, looking more than a little stunned.

[Loick] Do you have enough to teleport to the midwife and get her here? Or should I?

[Alma] Go ahead, sorry, I can only teleport once with precision...

  • Loick nods, goes out of the room and disappears, then.
  • Alma will immediately cast any spells which benefit constitution and gives her a look over with deathwatch as well real quick
  • Thea is in a fragile state.
  • Alma will cure away anything that will actually cure.

[Alma] (Is she dominated still?)

  • Thea seems to be, but since no one's giving her commands, she's mostly just working on giving birth @_@

[Thea] [w] Make it stop... please...

  • Thea says to you, or someone else, or no one in particular.

[Alma] I'm here to help, dear.

  • Loick returns a few moments later with a midwife.

[Alma] (It makes sense to ME that she could function better free of the enchantment? What about Alma? Etc.)

[Alma] (Etc being actual mechanics)

  • Alma will ask the midwife that?

[DiablotinNarrator] The midwife thinks it doesn't matter, and doesn't want to take time to do anything but help her right now.

[Alma] .oO( It just seems wrong... if she dies like this.)

[Loick] [q] Should we try to dispel it?

[Alma] I can break enchantment. It seems... right.

  • Loick nods.

[Loick] Go ahead. I'll take the blame if anything goes wrong.

[Alma] (BE will work against it right?)

  • Alma will attempt to Break Enchantment when the midwife doesn't need her assistance.

[DiablotinNarrator] (you can roll)

[Alma] (28)

  • Alma makes sure Bear's Endurance remains active in the meantime (in case it takes that long)
  • Thea doesn't seem that different out from under the effects, but does struggle and scream more...
  • Alma figures the midwife is used to that at least...

[DiablotinNarrator] You assist the midwife as much as you are able. She hands you the first baby as it emerges, waiting for the second...

  • Alma will clear the mouth, etc. as is required.

[DiablotinNarrator] The one in your arms is a girl, and looks like any other baby you've ever seen - no horns or glowing eyes or wings or anything weird.

[Alma] (and some deathwatch just in case :P)

[DiablotinNarrator] The baby seems healthy, if a bit on the small side.

  • Alma will not let herself get distracted, though, as things aren't over.

[DiablotinNarrator] The second baby seems to be turned somehow, and is more difficult to deliver...

[Alma] (Is the midwife a priest?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (yes)

[DiablotinNarrator] But finally, the midwife manages to extricate it, and hands it to Loick, since your hands are already full.

  • Alma fully intends to show Thea... she's a traitorous bitch but hey...
  • Loick looks rather stunned, but then, he's been looking like that since before you showed up.
  • Alma will swap babies if there's something she has to do for the second baby :P

[DiablotinNarrator] The second baby is a boy, and larger than the first. Most notably, however, you notice that its eyes are red, which seems... not normal to you.

  • Alma will detect evil.

[DiablotinNarrator] it radiates an aura of BABY :)

[Alma] (Well at least it's not infused with evil energy :P)

  • Alma will proceed as with the other child.

[DiablotinNarrator] The midwife continues to work on Thea, trying to staunch the flow of blood, but you think without much success :/

[Alma] Here, Loick, bring the child to her.

  • Loick does as he's told.
  • Alma lets Thea see them. .oO( This is the right thing, right? What value is there to punishing a woman as she dies. )
  • Thea looks at the babies, tries to hold them, but is too weak.
  • Alma will lower the child to her, positioning the child if she can so that the eyes aren't visible.

[Alma] .oO( Maybe she won't care. )

[Thea] [q] They're so beautiful...

[Alma] You did a good job today.

[Thea] [q] I hope so. I hope it was right.

[Alma] I don't think so, dear. But maybe good will come from them anyway.

  • Thea nods weakly.

[Thea] [q] Justen, Mercy... I love you both. I'll love you always.

  • Thea doesn't manage any more words after that.

[Alma] May you find your way to peace, Thea Vermillion.

  • Alma will bring the children over to the midwife.

[Loick] ...Where should we take them? To the palace?

[Alma] I'm not sure... they would need to go somewhere protected but...

[Alma] Pardon my temerity but perhaps the palace is too ... political a place.

[Loick] Hm. Do you have a better suggestion?

[Loick] Would you take them to your own home?

[Alma] ... I would be willing, but perhaps that is not safe for them.

[Alma] (Do I know of anywhere else?)

[Loick] I don't know if anywhere will be safe for them...

[Alma] I don't know...

[Alma] All I can do is...

[Alma] It feels like they should be with Emkathon...

[Loick] You think?

[Alma] Well, not in the cave, no...

[Loick] They need to eat, and ... I don't know what else babies need.

[Alma] I can take them until we know what else to do?

[Loick] ...

[Loick] We'll find a wetnurse, and I'll send her to your house, then.

  • Alma looks overwhelmed.

[Alma] Ok.

[Alma] And then we can decide where they can best be cared for.

[DiablotinNarrator] The midwife will help you wrap the babies warmly for transport, probably better than either you or Loick would be able to manage.

  • Alma prays to Owl not to let the red eyes interfere with doing the right thing.
  • Loick has one more teleport, I think, so he can get you and the babies back to your house, then head off on foot to find a nurse.
  • Alma can always Word of Recall

[DiablotinNarrator] that works too

[Alma] No, that's fine, I can get home on my own.

Dominik interviews potential officers

[DiablotinNarrator] Dominik, the preparations for war have been taking up much of Fredericia's time lately, and she has been more than usually curt and tense as a result.

  • Fredericia meets with you and other military leaders to discuss tactical matters and plans, but that is nearly all that you see her lately, except for the occasional quick fuck - and even those are usually in her office.

[DiablotinNarrator] You have, you think, a fairly clear grasp of what the plans for attack are. A group of elite fighters will be sent through the teleportation circle, which is likely to be heavily guarded.

[DiablotinNarrator] Their goals will be to control the circle and allow passage for further troops, as well as to subdue any forces, especially spellcasters, in the vicinity.

[DiablotinNarrator] The second wave through the circle, once it's secured, will be elite casters, and their goal will be to subdue and contain the Duke and his immediate household. If all of this can be successfully accomplished, then it may be possible to avoid large-scale battle.

[DiablotinNarrator] However, the mass of common troops will be waiting in the event that they are needed - they are being deployed to Korytsa, the nearest duchy, where they will travel by river to Psyra and await further orders.

  • Fredericia calls you in to talk to her alone this particular day.
  • Dominik will go to the office as called

[Fredericia] I have a job for you.

  • Dominik nods
  • Fredericia says without further preamble.

[Fredericia] I have a list here, people in the city who might be competent to lead troops, but there are... problems with each of them.

[Fredericia] I need you to pay them visits, and evaluate whether they're qualified and trustworthy or not. If they are, great, we have a few more Lieutenants, maybe Majors if they're that good. If they're not leadership material, you decide - are they still competent to fight at all, or do they get scratched from the list?

[Fredericia] Think hard about whether you'd want these people serving under you - because they'll probably end up there.

  • Dominik nods

[Dominik] Give me the list and I will test them.

  • Fredericia hands you the list. It provides names, addresses, ages, and a few brief notes about each individual, including whatever factors make them questionable.

[DiablotinNarrator] You skim down the list. Many of the names are unfamiliar to you, but a few jump out at you.

[DiablotinNarrator] Laurine Talavera (not updated to her married name yet...) - questionable factors are "recently gave birth."

[DiablotinNarrator] Cesar de Béziers - questionable factors are "dismissal from officer training due to insubordination."

[Dominik] Hmmm

  • Fredericia looks up, as if slightly surprised you're still there.

[Fredericia] Yes?

[Dominik] Nothing... I'll get this done.

[Fredericia] Good.

  • Dominik will head out then and start tracking these people down... He'll bring a runner in case he needs them, and to make it look more official :)

[DiablotinNarrator] (heh)

[DiablotinNarrator] You can locate Cesar's address fairly easily, a bachelor's flat sort of place.

  • Dominik will knock hard and loud on the door :)
  • Cesar looks as though he just dragged himself out of bed, even though it's not that early, as he opens the door.

[Cesar] Yes?

[Dominik] Cesar de Beziers? I believe we've met before. Dominik Rademarcher

  • Cesar is a big, burly-looking guy, around your age, with red hair and freckles.

[Cesar] Oh. Yeah, I think... you know my sister, right?

[Dominik] Yes I do. I need to come in and talk to you.

[Cesar] ..Uh, ok.

  • Cesar looks worried.

[Cesar] Did anything happen to Alma?

  • Dominik nods to the runner to wait at the door and steps inside.

[Dominik] Nothing happened to your sister, as far as I know.

  • Cesar looks relieved.

[Dominik] I'm here about your duty to the Empire.

[Cesar] I just worried... with all the shit that's going on...

[Cesar] huh?

[Dominik] You're a strong young man of noble birth. There is a war coming, if you were not aware.

[Cesar] Yeah, I've... heard.

[Cesar] You're asking me to serve? Even after ... I quit my training?

[Dominik] Someone thinks you might have potential. Why did you quit, in your words?

[Cesar] I thought their orders were stupid.

[Cesar] Not all of them, I mean, just the stupid ones.

[Dominik] And what makes you think they were "stupid"? And what makes you think you were qualified to know the difference?

[Cesar] What difference does who you sleep with make to how well you fight?

  • Cesar asks, sounding more angry.

[Cesar] It was a stupid rule, and I told them it was stupid. That's it.

  • Dominik laughs

[Dominik] So you're some expert fighter, is that it?

  • Cesar shrugs.

[Cesar] I'm not bad. I did pretty well in school, at least. I know that's not like the real world, though.

[Dominik] Maybe not but its a good start, probably better than what most people walking into this are capable of.

[Cesar] Yeah, probably. So you want me to ... what, exactly? Join back up?

[Dominik] Your trained, which means that in the heat of battle it wont be just your life your training saves but those around you as well.

[Cesar] Oh. OK.

[Dominik] There are some shit rules in the army, thats a fact, but its to help those that are less trained and experienced keep their heads.

[Dominik] Sometimes we have to swallow our pride and take it.

  • Cesar nods.

[Dominik] Are you capable of doing that?

[Cesar] Yeah... if it's the right leader, sure. I'd take it from you.

[Dominik] I'll make you a deal... you come back, show me your skills with arms, and I'll keep you under my command.

[Cesar] All right. Uh, right now?

  • Cesar sort of glances in the direction of the bedroom, then stops himself from glancing in the direction of the bedroom, and acts casual instead.

[Dominik] I've got others to talk to today, and I want you well rested. Tomorrow. I'll make the arrangements to let them know your showing up.

[Cesar] Right. Tomorrow, then. Sir.

  • Cesar adds.
  • Dominik nods.
  • Dominik gives him a good slap on the shoulder
  • Cesar grins.
  • Dominik will leave him to his fun
  • Dominik will tell the runner to "add him to the list"
  • Dominik goes to Laurine

[DiablotinNarrator] You can go to her new home - a fancy mansion in the Grand.

  • Dominik does so... wondering if her new husband is there as well.

[DiablotinNarrator] A servant replies to the door, inquiring for whom you are calling.

  • Dominik says his name, representing the Warlord, asking for Laurine under her new wedded name.
  • Sylvain is seated with his wife when you are ushered into the parlour. He is probably about 50, very tall and still in good shape, with blond hair cut quite short.
  • Dominik will tell the runner to wait in the lobby.

[Sylvain] Good day, sir. What can we do for you?

[Dominik] Good day.

  • Sylvain says politely. If he knows who you are, he gives no sign of it.
  • Laurine smiles, but not too blatantly.

[Dominik] As I am sure you are both aware, there is a war apon the Empire. Many have stepped forward to offer thier services in arms to protect the realm.

[Sylvain] Yes, indeed. I am intending to serve, despite my age, if I am called upon.

[Dominik] I have been personally asked by the Warlord to approach some and determine if some, who may have some question on thier ability, are willing and capable of stepping forward.

[Sylvain] Question? Such as my age, I take it? I assure you that I am still quite capable of swinging a sword.

[Dominik] I am glad to hear that. Experience will be needed.

[Dominik] And your new wife (nods to Laurine), has the recent events of your child birth limited your capability?

[Laurine] I'm back to my old form...

[Sylvain] It's too dangerous for her.

  • Sylvain says, cutting her off.
  • Laurine frowns slightly.
  • Dominik raises an eyebrow

[Dominik] All skilled nobles will be of value in the upcoming campagne

[Sylvain] Forgive me - but my wife is dear to me, and I would not wish to see her harmed. And besides, there is every chance that she could be with child once more.

  • Laurine looks surprised that he said that.

[Dominik] My appologies, I was unaware.

[Laurine] Well, I don't know... I mean, it could be, or maybe not... it's too early to tell, my dear.

  • Laurine says to him, or to you.
  • Laurine seems a little flustered.

[Laurine] I wouldn't want that possibility to prevent me from serving if I'm needed.

[Dominik] I would not prevent you, but this is not my decision.

[Sylvain] Laurine, would you leave our child motherless? You know where you belong right now, and it's here.

[Laurine] I... yes, you're right -_-

[Laurine] I'm sorry, sir, but ... with things as they stand, I cannot serve right now.

[Dominik] At least I will have one name to add to my list.

  • Dominik looks to Sylvain

[Sylvain] Certainly.

[Dominik] I had hoped to test the lady's skill at arms... but alas I will be without my chance to strech my muscules.

[Sylvain] Well, I hope my own skills are not in doubt.

[Sylvain] Now, if there is nothing further?

[Dominik] No, that is all. Thank you both for your time.

  • Laurine gives you a little smile before you depart, when her husband's not looking.
  • Dominik will subtly acknowledge the look and head out.

[DiablotinNarrator] All right - you can finish up your list, and report back to Fred as appropriate.

[Dominik] (ok)

[DiablotinNarrator] And we'll end there, for now... hahah, I am so deluding myself to think that we can do half the number of scenes in half the time ;)


Ysabeau and Vescan

  • Ysabeau will follow her, but suggest that we let my gentleman companion know how much longer we'll be so he can leave if he has other business to attend to.

[Lapidary] Of course, that's fine.

  • Ysabeau follows her out to where Martan is waiting. Along the way she asks discretely (but maybe not so discretely that Martan could not overhear):

[Ysabeau] Before we go, could you perhaps direct me to the powder room...?

  • Ysabeau plays on being pregnant.

[Lapidary] Oh, certainly. Just this way...

  • Lapidary will escort you along the corridor, to a small room at the end.
  • Martan is waiting in an adjacent sitting room.
  • Ysabeau turns into the room to put her purse in his care so she doesn't have to take it into the ladies' room with her.

[Ysabeau] Lord Grey, could you be a dear and watch this for me?

[Martan] Oh, of course.

[Ysabeau] I have to powder my nose.

  • Martan takes it, smiling.

[Martan] Did all go well, then? :)

  • Ysabeau glances at the very nice clock in the sitting room.

[Ysabeau] Was it really half an hour? It seemed much quicker.

[Martan] Just about, yes.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] We're almost done, I'm just going to have a little tour.

  • Ysabeau turns to the Lapidary.

[Ysabeau] I shan't be long.

[Martan] Very well, of course.

  • Lapidary will wait and chat with Martan, then.
  • Ysabeau goes to the ladies' room.
  • Ysabeau hopes he clues in and feeds her the stuff so I don't have to actually show up for work. ^-^
  • Ysabeau will exit the room as quietly as she can and if the Lapidary's back is turned, I will try to catch Martan's eye...

[DiablotinNarrator] When you return from the bathroom a short while later, Martan and the Lapidary are enjoying a drink together, and he nods to you discreetly.

  • Ysabeau mouths "Meet you at the carriage."
  • Martan nods.
  • Ysabeau will try to not make any noise as she finds her way out to the front door (if they're not in the way)...

[DiablotinNarrator] They are still in the parlour, so you can get out the door without attracting attention.

[DiablotinNarrator] You slip out silently out the door.

  • Ysabeau looks at the neighbouring houses to try to determine which one is the attached one.

[DiablotinNarrator] It's a row of attached houses, but you judge by the direction the Lapidary entered from that it must be the one to the left...

  • Ysabeau will try that one, then.
  • Ysabeau wonders if there will be security inside... -_-

[DiablotinNarrator] The key fits in the lock.

  • Ysabeau turns it.

[DiablotinNarrator] The door opens, and you are looking into a similarly-laid-out corridor.

  • Ysabeau heads in and closes the door quietly behind her.

[DiablotinNarrator] It is not as lavishly decorated as the Jewelbox itself, but pleasant and elegant nevertheless.

  • Ysabeau will listen for noises, and if she hears none, will begine a systematic check of the rooms starting with the ones on this floor.

[DiablotinNarrator] Make a listen check.

[Ysabeau] (22)

[DiablotinNarrator] You don't hear anything on this floor, at least.

  • Ysabeau will check the rooms then, hopefully not too many have closed doors.

[DiablotinNarrator] There are several larger rooms on this floor, including a kitchen, a few sitting rooms, a powder room, much like the house you were just in. The rooms are currently empty, but with many traces of female presence - hairpins, magazines, ribbons, perfumes and such.

  • Ysabeau is looking for male presence, heh.

[Ysabeau] (Are there stairs going down, or only up?)

[DiablotinNarrator] Only up.

  • Ysabeau will head upstairs then.

[Ysabeau] . o O (I wonder if he is with one of the Jewels...)

[Ysabeau] . o O (Please, powers of good, don't let Kavreshar be here.)

  • Ysabeau will listen again at the top of the stairs.

[Ysabeau] (15)

[DiablotinNarrator] Upstairs, there are some bedrooms - most with doors standing open, and looking casually occupied - some with clothing strewn about, that sort of thing.

[DiablotinNarrator] Make a Search check also, please.

[Ysabeau] (15)

[DiablotinNarrator] There is also a trapdoor with one of those ladders that slides down, presumably to an attic.

  • Ysabeau takes a deep breath. Kavreshar could be up there with Vescan. But Dimension Door worked once... ;_;

[Ysabeau] (Do I see any people, sleeping or awake?)

[Ysabeau] (Before I open the trapdoor, which will be noisy...)

[DiablotinNarrator] You do not see any people on this floor either.

  • Ysabeau will take another deep breath and try the trapdoor then.

[DiablotinNarrator] The trap door slides down with a slight creak, but it's not toooo noisy at least.

  • Ysabeau checks the ladder for signs of recent use, though she doesn't have tracking...

[DiablotinNarrator] You can't tell, although it probably has been recently oiled at least, as it didn't make much noise.

[DiablotinNarrator] The room under the eaves is chilly and fairly dark, with the only light coming from small windows.

[DiablotinNarrator] Make one more Move Silently check, please.

  • Ysabeau listens and looks carefully...

[Ysabeau] (15)

  • Vescan is reclining on the bed in the low-ceilinged chamber, looks like he's sleeping.
  • Ysabeau looks around once more for hellwyrms.

[DiablotinNarrator] No sign of them.

  • Ysabeau will sing a nice lullabye to wake Vescan... this will be my Fascinate attempt.

[DiablotinNarrator] OK, roll for perform :)

[Ysabeau] (39)

[DiablotinNarrator] yyyeah, pretty sure it's impossible for him to beat that @_@

[Ysabeau] (hee hee)

  • Ysabeau will gently shake him if her voice isn't enough to wake him.
  • Vescan sits up, listening, seemingly mesmerized.
  • Ysabeau will sing the song to its end.

[Ysabeau] Handsome Vescan. Haven't seen you in a long while.

  • Ysabeau smiles captivatingly.

[DiablotinNarrator] (is this for the Suggestion?)

[Ysabeau] How about we go for a walk? We can catch up on each other's doings.

[Ysabeau] (That is my Suggestion. I do have the bardic music feat so my bardic songs last for a minute after I finish singing.

[DiablotinNarrator] (right - but he still gets a Save vs. the Suggestion)

  • Ysabeau will smile and start singing again once she has made the Suggestion.

[DiablotinNarrator] (although the DC is still pretty ridiculous ;)

[Ysabeau] (Yup - he needs to beat a 23)

  • Vescan nods and will accompany you, then.

[Vescan] What brings you here?

  • Vescan asks conversationally.

[DiablotinNarrator] (once the bardic fascination has worn off and he can talk again ;)

  • Ysabeau will link her arm in his once I've put the ladder up.

[Ysabeau] What brought you to my house more than a year ago?

[Vescan] I was looking for a locket, and its contents.

[Ysabeau] 'Beautiful Ysabeau' you called me.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Vescan] Well, you are :)

  • Vescan says with a smile back.

[Ysabeau] Charming knave.

[Ysabeau] What did you need the locket's contents for?

[Vescan] For my grandmother.

  • Ysabeau is walking out towards the carriage as we chat, with her arm linked through his so she can feel if he pulls away to try to run...
  • Vescan is accompanying you without a fight.

[Ysabeau] What did she need them for, do you know?

[Vescan] It was evidence... she could use it for blackmail.

[Ysabeau] Against whom?

  • Ysabeau looks adorably puzzled.

[Vescan] The Chancellor - Theonée Deverara.

[Ysabeau] What could be used as blackmail against her, exactly?

[Vescan] The letter - it shows her mother wasn't a Deverara, so neither is she - no claim to her inheritance.

[Ysabeau] Oh, clever. Who stood to gain her inheritance in her stead?

[Vescan] I don't know. Grandmother probably did, but I didn't pay much attention to that. I just took it straight to the Chancellor instead.

[Ysabeau] Did you give it to her?

[Ysabeau] Or do you still have it?

[Vescan] I showed it to her. So that she would know what I had. So that she would help me. But I still have it.

[Ysabeau] What did you need her help for?

[Vescan] To get rid of the rest of my family. So that I'd be in charge.

[Ysabeau] After Tatiane is gone?

[Vescan] When all of them were gone... they left, so I took over. Except my aunt, but she didn't want it - she's happy here.

[Ysabeau] So... Altheo, Ninon, and Avery - they're dead?

[Vescan] Not dead... I don't think, anyway. They left the city with Grandmother.

[Ysabeau] (By 'here' he means the Jewel Box?)

[Vescan] (seems so, yes)

[Ysabeau] Do you know where they went?

[Vescan] Ariege, probably. I know Grandmother has contacts there.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] How did you find out where the locket was?

[Vescan] I tracked it to a girl - the granddaughter of the old lady, I guess.

[Ysabeau] Did you kill her after you got the information you needed?

[Vescan] Yes.

  • Ysabeau nods, still looking sweet and charming.

[Ysabeau] What did the letter say, exactly?

[Ysabeau] I don't suppose I could look at it.

  • Ysabeau smiles winsomely.
  • Ysabeau looks out both ways as we get to the front door.

[DiablotinNarrator] Martan and the carriage are waiting a little ways down the street, which is quiet apart from a few pedestrians at this time of day.

[Vescan] I don't know... I don't have it right with me. She - Althea, I mean - wrote it to her foster-sister. It talks about their childhood together, and about how her father is taking her away now, and she loves her very much.

[Ysabeau] How sweet.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Vescan] Adorable.

  • Vescan agrees.

[Ysabeau] Would you tell me where I can find it?

  • Ysabeau closes the front door behind us.
  • Ysabeau gazes up at him guilelessly through her long lashes.

[Vescan] I don't know... you might go and steal it ;)

[Ysabeau] You flatter me if you think I'm such an accomplished thief!

  • Ysabeau laughs.
  • Ysabeau strolls towards the carriage.
  • Vescan accompanies you.
  • Martan opens the door for the two of you to enter.

[Ysabeau] Thank you.

  • Ysabeau smiles at Martan.
  • Ysabeau waits outside until Vescan gets in, counter to usual etiquette.
  • Martan smiles back and gives your hand a quick squeeze of pride.

[Vescan] But since you ask so sweetly - it's in my desk, at home.

[Ysabeau] And home is where?

  • Vescan gives you an address, in Pearl.
  • Ysabeau hopes Martan understands my breach of manners in not introducing him immediately.

[Ysabeau] You darling...!

[Ysabeau] Well, I did say we'd catch up on one another, didn't I?

[Vescan] Yes, you did - so perhaps I get to ask some questions now? ;)

[Ysabeau] Oh you can, but first please let me introduce you to my husband, Martan Olivier.

[Martan] Oh, we've met before :)

  • Ysabeau says, once we're all settled and it will be hard for him to escape.

[Ysabeau] Oh yes, you have mentioned that, come to think of it.

  • Ysabeau smiles at Martan, but will, I think, sit next to Vescan so it'll be easier to grab him if he makes a run for it.

[Ysabeau] Ask what you will, though I may not answer everything. A lady does need to hold on to her secrets.

  • Vescan and Martan both chuckle at that.
  • Ysabeau will answer whatever questions seem harmless?

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok - is there anything else, or can we wrap up there, due to late? :)

[Ysabeau] (Nothing more from me! Thanks!)

Sanadhil and Nycaise

  • Sanadhil will look for Nycaise at the society, and try and make arrangements to see her if she is being elusive
  • Nycaise can be encountered at the society at some point, I'm sure.

[Sanadhil] Good morning Mademoiselle

  • Sanadhil greets her politely

[Nycaise] Good day, M. Orecalo.

[Sanadhil] I was wondering if I might steal a moment of your time, to discuss some research interests?

[Nycaise] Certainly.

  • Sanadhil will pull her aside somewhere we can talk a little more privately
  • Nycaise joins you.

[Sanadhil] I know our last adventure to the Shadowplane didn't go quite as planned...

[Sanadhil] had you given any more thought to what you might write about it?

[Nycaise] I have... I believe I feel most qualified to discuss aspects of Shadar-kai history, and the apparent divergences of this dream world, rather than the phenomenon of the dream itself, which I believe is the Princess-Imperial's area of expertise.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Would you be interested, then, in coming along to observe more of that history?

[Nycaise] Are you planning another trip there?

[Sanadhil] Yes.

[Nycaise] Hm.. well, I could be persuaded, I suspect :)

[Sanadhil] We are planning to wake Imraen, temporarily.

[Nycaise] o_O

[Nycaise] That seems potentially... risky.

[Sanadhil] Yes.

[Sanadhil] The idea is to subdue her immediately, and remove her bodily from this plane to the realm of dreams, and leave her fully in Ruchard's care.

[Nycaise] Interesting.

[Sanadhil] I thought so - he apparently aproached Princess Ilphere with the plan - it is based on what he did to move himself there permanently, I believe.

  • Nycaise nods.

[Sanadhil] She would be able to return to her realm, but the controll she would exercizse there may be somewhat tempered

[Nycaise] She wouldn't pose a threat?

[Sanadhil] No more than she already does

[Nycaise] All right...

[Nycaise] Then yes, I would be prepared to assist with this effort. I admit I'm curious what she would be like... if only there was the chance to speak to her for a moment.

[Nycaise] Awake, I mean.

[Sanadhil] I would be curious also, but we will have to see what happens

[Sanadhil] She may be...resentful

[Sanadhil] There is one other related matter I wanted to ask you

  • Sanadhil mentions, though not especially hopefully.
  • Nycaise nods, listening.

[Sanadhil] In order to for this plan to be carried out, one of our party will need to be asleep, so that Ilphere can bring her in to an active dream, and have Ruchard take control from there.

[Sanadhil] brb

[Sanadhil] it cannot be Ilphere, and Duke Rionet has declined.

[Nycaise] That seems... prudent, given the events of last time.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I believe Mme Olivier will also be accompanying us to provide magical support if it is needed to, but that leaves either myself, or you...

[Nycaise] I'm not sure how much I will be able to observe if I'm asleep...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] There would be little better vantage point for observing what happens after she is drawn inside... but I understand that may not be so appealing.

  • Sanadhil says, sounding resigned.

[Nycaise] If you are reluctant, is there no one else who could be trusted to do this?

[Sanadhil] I'm not ceretain.

[Sanadhil] we had discussed speaking with the princess's cousin. but I believe that his attentions have been refocused on ither important matters.

[Sanadhil] It is a relatively delicate affair, as it stands

  • Nycaise nods.

[Sanadhil] well, in any case, we can contact you with the final arrangements, once they have been made

[Nycaise] Very well, I'll look forward to hearing from you.

  • Sanadhil nods and will bid her good day

Sanadhil and Earric

  • Sanadhil has decided to eschew paranoia over Kavreshar coming to eat him, and spend a quiet night at his actual home, away form all the distractions of the palace
  • Sanadhil will draw himself a bath and have some wine, and flip through one of his well-loved books before realizing that it is too peaceful, after the last few weeks, and that maybe *sime* kind of distraction would be...desirable
  • Sanadhil eventually works up the nerve to cast sending, then.

[Sanadhil] ~I am alone this evening. If you can get free, your company would be...welcome.~

[Earric] ~I'll see what I can do. If I can, I'll bring surprises.~

[Sanadhil] . o O (Surprises? o-O)

  • Sanadhil wonders just what that even means D:
  • Earric seemingly waits just long enough for you to get restless, before teleporting in. He has a long coat with ample pockets.
  • Sanadhil will try to relax some more, though this whole thing is still a little nervwracking for him

[Earric] Hello there.

[Sanadhil] Hello.

  • Sanadhil looks over his coat

[Sanadhil] Surprises?

  • Earric takes off the coat and drapes it over a chair.

[Earric] Impatient, hm?

[Sanadhil] Curious.

  • Sanadhil stands
  • Earric smiles.

[Earric] Thank you for inviting me.

[Sanadhil] You're welcome...

[Sanadhil] I thought it might be a good opportunity, to ah...

[Earric] To what?

[Sanadhil] Explore?

  • Earric asks, closing the distance between you.

[Earric] Just what I hoped you'd say.

  • Sanadhil nods, steeling his nerves, and reaches up to touch his face
  • Earric turns his face into your hand to kiss it.
  • Sanadhil can't help but snile, stepping a little closer in
  • Earric wraps his arms around you.

[Sanadhil] I seem to recall certain offers...

[Earric] Mmhmm?

[Sanadhil] Yes.

[Earric] I suppose this is 'next time', isn't it.

[Sanadhil] That was the idea...

  • Sanadhil will pull his face down for a kiss
  • Earric smiles against your mouth.

[Earric] And I suppose you'd also like to know what I brought, wouldn't you.

  • Earric says a short while later.

[Sanadhil] as I said.... I'm curious

[Earric] Ask nicely ;)

  • Earric teases.
  • Sanadhil raises his eyebrows

[Sanadhil] I hope you don't think you can make me beg...

[Earric] There's more than one way to ask nicely.

  • Sanadhil considers for a moment, then brings his hands to the collar of Earric's shirt and starts to undo his crvat (if he is wearing one, buttons if he isn't)
  • Earric tips his chin up to give you easier access.
  • Sanadhil does so slowly, teasing what skin he reveals with the tips of his fingers

[Sanadhil] So....

[Sanadhil] What did you bring me?

[Earric] Look in the left pocket.

  • Earric suggests.
  • Sanadhil glances at the coat

[Sanadhil] (i assume that is what he meant?)

[Earric] (yes)

  • Sanadhil gives him a saucy lok and will finish unbuttoning his shirt first
  • Earric can be patient ^-^
  • Sanadhil knows ^-^
  • Sanadhil will then turn to go investigate this left pocket

[Earric] (In the left pocket your hand closes around something leather... a strap? no, a collar and lead.)

  • Sanadhil is dressed very elf casual, in a soft pull-on tunic and pants that tie at the waist
  • Sanadhil pulls it out carefully, watching Earric's face

[Sanadhil] is this...yours?

  • Earric looks a little wary, but also amused/aroused.

[Earric] Technically, it's Phedre's. But I'm the one who wears it.

[Sanadhil] ...is that why you brought it?

[Earric] Yes.

  • Sanadhil is also a little uncertain perhaps

[Earric] She prefers to be the only one who holds the lead. I... decided otherwise.

  • Sanadhil smiles then.

[Sanadhil] Come here.

  • Earric does, shrugging his shirt off as he does so.

[Sanadhil] Kneel.

  • Earric gets down on his knees before you.
  • Sanadhil cradles Earric's 's head against him, still holding the lead in his other hand, thinking for a moment.
  • Earric 's hands creep up your thighs as you ponder.
  • Sanadhil runs his free hand along the line of shoulders

[Sanadhil] :Stop that.

  • Earric looks up at you, a little indignant, but lowers his hands.
  • Sanadhil takes a step back, then leans forward to place the collar around his throat., watching his face again as he does
  • Earric keeps his eyes on your face as you fasten the collar, with a little smile.
  • Sanadhil tries to gauge how well worn it is, and how tight she must cinch it normally, based on the wear @_@

[Sanadhil] :So is this for play? For spite?

[Earric] :for you.

[Earric] (you think it's usually kept fairly tight, maybe enough to slide a finger between it and his throat.

[Sanadhil] :For me...

[Earric] Yes.

  • Earric says aloud.

[Earric] Do you like it?

  • Sanadhil puts a hand back on his shoulder, sliding it around to his chest as he walks around Earric in a circle, taking in the sight from every angle.
  • Earric sounds as if he already knows the answer, but wants to hear it anyway.

[Sanadhil] Yes.

  • Sanadhil says, though his voice still sounds slightly wary.

[Sanadhil] Of course.

[Sanadhil] But I want to see your real self

[Sanadhil] Show me.

  • Earric bows his head, changing form between breaths.
  • Sanadhil comes back over close, cupping his cheeck again, parting his lips with his thumb
  • Earric shows his pointed teeth, nipping gently at your thumb.
  • Sanadhil smiles, thenbends to kiss him
  • Earric 's head tips up, the angle must be almost painful, but he doesn't complain.

[Sanadhil] ...

  • Sanadhil legst go of him, bending down beside his ear to snap the lead on the collar

[Sanadhil] There.

[Sanadhil] Mine....for now.

  • Earric 's red eyes flutter closed for just a moment, and he sighs.

[Sanadhil] Why does that please you so much?

[Earric] Because ... it's chosen. Because there's trust.

[Sanadhil] was it ever like that, with her?

  • Sanadhil will go and sit on a divan that is juuuust far enough away that it pulls on Earric's leash... not that san is anywhere near strong enough to drag him

[Earric] Once. And still. The trust is still there.

[Sanadhil] I don't understand why you would let her *trap* you.... Was it because... it woudn't be for very long?

[Sanadhil] Or something else...

[Earric] It's hard to explain. Especially ... to you.

[Sanadhil] Come here

  • Earric crawls over to you.

[Sanadhil] Why?

[Earric] Because to you, this would be suffering, not comfort.

[Sanadhil] But she does make you suffer.

[Earric] She hurts me... but not more than I can bear. And she always takes care of me after.

[Sanadhil] So then... you never wanted to be free.

  • Earric sighs, and rests his head against your leg.
  • Sanadhil strokes his hair, still sort of fascinated by the bleeding wounds on his shoulders @_@

[Earric] I let myself be trapped. That doesn't mean I never want to be free.

[Sanadhil] You're right. I don't uderstand.

  • Earric nods.

[Sanadhil] But you knew what she was doing...

[Earric] Do you understand that this, with you, this is my choice? This is the freedom I can have, right now.

[Sanadhil] Yes.

[Earric] Good.

[Earric] I love her, and I hate her.

[Earric] And she loves me, in her fashion.

  • Sanadhil nods, still stroking his face, his neck

[Sanadhil] her fashion seems...less trusting.

[Earric] You didn't trust me either.

  • Earric points out.

[Earric] But she does. Or did. I think. She let me press her razor to her throat and didn't flinch.

[Sanadhil] And you dind't hurt her...because you love her?

[Earric] Because ... she made me feel again. Feel *something*, anything.

  • Sanadhil tilts his head, considering

[Sanadhil] How did she do that?

[Earric] She tamed me. She cut me off from my nature, and .... domesticated me, with pain and rewards.

[Sanadhil] She made you something she could trust.

  • Earric nods.
  • Earric 's hand slides up your pants-leg, exploring.
  • Sanadhil doesn't stop him for now, as he'd have to go a fair ways up to find too much of interest ;p
  • Earric 's nails scratch against your skin.

[Earric] you know... the one holding the leash is in charge, typically.

[Sanadhil] I know

[Earric] Just checking.

[Sanadhil] but so should you.

  • Earric withdraws his hands, looking unrepentant.

[Sanadhil] You still had to agree, first.

  • Sanadhil shakes his head, thinking he'll never understand.
  • Earric tips his head to one side.

[Sanadhil] Well.

[Sanadhil] Mine for now.

[Earric] Yes.

[Earric] ... You've never agreed to one thing, only to find out it was something else, something more than you'd understood?

[Sanadhil] ...

[Sanadhil] Of my own free will?

[Earric] Your own sweet, ignorant free will, yes.

  • Sanadhil thinks back to that moment whenre he was still young and his will was nowhere as strong as it is now
  • Sanadhil thinks back beyond that point

[Sanadhil] Maybe.

  • Sanadhil sighs
  • Sanadhil is thinking of Rashena now, and the whole...monastery bthing

[Earric] If you want to see what it feels like, you can wear the collar for me later.

[Sanadhil] No.

  • Sanadhil says automatically.

[Earric] Mmm, we'll see.

  • Sanadhil looks around the room, a little wild eyed for a minute, and then tugs on theleash sharply

[Sanadhil] No, we won't.

  • Earric gasps slightly.

[Sanadhil] Hmmm...

[Sanadhil] Now, what should I do with you....

[Earric] [w] Whatever you want.

  • Sanadhil will @_@
  • Earric says, with what air he has.

Ilphere and Menard

  • Menard will seize some time to talk to you before bed one night.
  • Ilphere is seized!
  • Ilphere is brushing her hair, sitting in front of her mirror.

[Menard] So... you've been pretty busy lately.

[Menard] It's nice to see you awake ;)

[Ilphere] Hm...? Oh well... I suppose so...!

  • Ilphere laughs lightly.

[Ilphere] I guess I am trying to tie some things up before the baby comes...

[Menard] Yeah, that makes sense.

  • Menard seems a bit anxious.

[Ilphere] .. Is something the matter...?

  • Ilphere puts down her brush.

[Menard] I just... there's something I have to tell you.

[Ilphere] ... What is it...?

  • Ilphere looks worried...

[Menard] Marl wants me to lead one of the cavalry divisions... you know. In the war. If there is one.

[Ilphere] The war..? With Psyra...?

  • Menard nods.
  • Ilphere looks horrified.

[Ilphere] But you can't...!

[Menard] I said I would.

[Ilphere] But... you could *die*...!

[Menard] It's mostly a symbolic thing. I wouldn't be out in front... :/

[Ilphere] You don't need to be in front for something terrible to happen...!

[Ilphere] This whole war... Kavreshar is the one stirring it all up...

[Menard] Maybe. But that doesn't mean we can just sit back and not fight.

[Ilphere] It knows who you are...!

  • Ilphere wrings her hands...
  • Menard kneels down beside you, taking your hands.

[Menard] This is part of the job. It's also all I was ever trained to do, apart from know which fork to use and all that stuff.

  • Ilphere looks miserable...
  • Menard doesn't look too happy himself.

[Ilphere] When... ?

[Menard] Look... I'm not supposed to talk about all of this. Not the details. But if things go right, then there won't have to be much fighting at all.

[Ilphere] If Kavreshar is involved you can be sure it will not go smoothly...

[Menard] :/

[Menard] What do you think I should do?

[Ilphere] I... I do not know...

[Ilphere] I cannot ask you to stay... not if it is what you truly want to do.

[Menard] It's not that I want to. It's my duty. It's the least I can do... if people are going to fight because we tell them to, then they expect us to be there with them.

[Menard] You know I'd rather stay with you... I'm afraid that I'll miss the baby :/

[Ilphere] It would be that soon...?

[Ilphere] :(

  • Menard nods.

[Ilphere] Is there no way to avoid this war? No possibility of peace?

[Menard] I don't know. All I know is that there are plans to try and make it end as quickly and with as little bloodshed as possible.

[Menard] So... I hope those work.

  • Ilphere nods but does not look optimistic...

[Ilphere] . o O ( I just don't see how they can...!)

[Menard] I love you, Ilphere...

[Ilphere] And I love you...

[Menard] Are you angry at me?

[Ilphere] No...

[Ilphere] Why would I be angry at you...?

[Ilphere] I just... I do not know what I would do if something were to happen to you. :(

[Menard] I don't know...

[Menard] I don't know what I'd do if something happened to you either.

[Ilphere] Perhaps there is some spell I could cast... something to keep you safe...

  • Ilphere thinks...

[Menard] I know they'll have casters there to, you know, cast stuff.

  • Menard says vaguely.

[Ilphere] Or perhaps I can... speak to something outside our world.... @_@

[Menard] What do you mean?

  • Menard looks puzzled.

[Ilphere] Perhaps.. perhaps someone would see fit to aid me.

[Menard] Like...the gods?

[Ilphere] Something like that...

  • Ilphere slumps a little...

[Ilphere] I'll think of something... :/

  • Menard hugs you.

[Menard] It would be great - whatever you come up with. Or even just knowing you're waiting for me.

[Ilphere] I will be... I promise.

[Menard] I knew you would :)

  • Menard kisses you.
  • Ilphere kisses back, wrapping her arms around you tightly...

[Menard] I don't know exactly when it'll be... but not until after the holidays, at least. So we'll get to enjoy those...

[Ilphere] Well, that is something at least...

  • Menard nods.

[Menard] I'm sorry all of this is happening.

[Menard] Do you ... maybe we should think of names now, in case I'm away when the baby comes.

[Ilphere] Oh... perhaps you're right...! :o

[Ilphere] Do you have any ideas...?

[Menard] I don't know... I'm not so good at this, but... I thought maybe you might like to use your great-grandmother's name, if it's a girl. We could call her Vera.

[Ilphere] Oh...! Yes, I would like that.

  • Ilphere smiles wistfully.
  • Menard smiles.

[Menard] I don't know about a boy's name, though.

[Ilphere] Well... What about Ruchard?

[Menard] That's nice... like the Emperor.

[Menard] I like it :)

[Menard] Good, that's all settled then! :D

  • Ilphere is pleased...!
  • Menard stands, helping you up from your seat.

[Menard] Are you tired?

  • Menard asks, obviously hoping that perhaps you aren't.

[Ilphere] Oh, not too much...!

[Ilphere] :)

[Menard] Good :)

Guillame and Silvia

  • Guillame tries to catch Silvia before supper
  • Silvia is in the attic, lying on the floor on her stomach, peering intently at the wall.
  • Guillame watches for a little, loath to disrupt or startle her.
  • Silvia is ... watching mice?

[Guillame] (Does she look like she's listening?)

  • Silvia seems very focused on whatever she's doing.
  • Guillame backs out of the attic, and enters again, being sure to make more noise this time
  • Silvia turns when you come in more noisily, and sits up.

[Silvia] Oh, hello. Is it dinner already?

[Guillame] Not just yet - I was just looking for you.

[Silvia] I was watching the mice... Raina says I should pay attention to the animals around, but so far all I see are mice.

[Guillame] How do you like studying with Raina?

[Silvia] I like her... it's a little confusing sometimes, but sometimes it's wonderful.

[Silvia] I don't know how to think myself into a bird yet, but she says I'll learn.

[Guillame] It's fascinating, I must say.

[Guillame] Is there anything you miss about the Castalia?

  • Silvia shrugs.

[Silvia] Some of my friends, I suppose.

[Silvia] Oh, and they used to have a good squash pie at lunch sometimes.

  • Guillame smiles, enjoying Silvia's focus on the simple pleasures.

[Guillame] I had a talk with Reverend Father Velten the other day... about you.

[Silvia] Me? Really?

[Guillame] Yes, really. In fact, it was he that mentioned you.

  • Silvia looks puzzled.

[Silvia] What did he say?

[Guillame] Well, ultimately, he asked for a meeting with you, to discuss whether you would return to study at the Castalia... but there's more to it than just that.

  • Silvia nods, listening.

[Guillame] He says that there aren't enough priests of Rat, and that he had high hopes for you in that respect. And he seems willing to be flexible about the arrangements - he offered to tutor you privately, ah, how did he put it? "If the conditions at the seminary were not conducive to [your] education."

[Silvia] Oh.

  • Guillame nods
  • Silvia looks ambivalent and uncertain.

[Silvia] It's nice of him to think about me, I guess. But I don't know if I can be what he wants.

[Silvia] But I don't mind talking to him, if that would help?

[Guillame] Certainly - and that's very good of you. I had a similar reaction when he first mentioned it... but then I got to thinking, and... well, ultimately it's up to you, but I thought this could work out well for you... if you're willing to put some work in.

  • Silvia nods.

[Silvia] I'll think about it...

[Silvia] Is it all right to ask Raina about it too?

[Guillame] Of course it is. And I didn't mention it before, but the Reverend Father was also open to making the study part time, so... I wondered if you might want to study under both Velten and Raina at the same time? To learn about Rat as an aspect of the wheel alongside learning about our spiritual heritage, and your own gifts.

  • Silvia nods.

[Guillame] You'd have a bigger picture than any scholar I've heard of living or dead, and it's possible that they each have a bearing on the other - maybe Raina would have something to say about that.

[Silvia] ...Why is Raina poor and we're not? Our grandfathers were just the same, she says, only ours had more furs.

[Guillame] I suppose it has to do with what our grandfathers did with those furs... but really, it's not about that. She's poor and we're not because once you have more money than somebody else, things tend to stay that way - at least in the above-ground city. I'm not sure how it worked before.

[Silvia] I suppose.

[Guillame] If she wanted to, I'd let Raina live here in an instant. I don't think I've told her that, but I don't think she'd accept either.

  • Guillame sighs

[Silvia] I think she likes to be outside.

[Guillame] Sometimes I want to just give it all away - but Father worked so hard for us to be rich, because when you're rich you get to affect big decisions, and he wanted to be able to make the big decision makers think about our people when they chose.

[Guillame] So I'm trying to do that.

[Silvia] I think I understand...

  • Silvia stands, dusting off her frock.

[Guillame] It's not just the money, either - there are so many rules about how I have to act, who I have to be, before they'll listen to me

  • Silvia nods.

[Silvia] There are a lot of rules, aren't there.

[Guillame] Yeah.

  • Silvia takes your hand.

[Silvia] Portia wants to talk to you.

  • Guillame squeezes hers

[Guillame] ... oh? Do you happen to know where I'll find her?

[Silvia] I don't know. I just had a feeling.

[Guillame] ... ok, thanks. I'll go and try to find her now.

[Silvia] All right. See you at supper :)

[Guillame] Talk to Raina, and think it through; I'll set up the meeting, and you can decide for yourself.

[Guillame] See you then!

  • Silvia will go back to her rodential observations, then.

Guillame and Portia

  • Guillame goes to look for his wife.
  • Portia is wandering around the house.

[Portia] Oh, I was just looking for you!

[Guillame] It's nice to be wanted!

  • Guillame winks cheekily
  • Portia smiles.

[Guillame] What can I do for you tonight, dear?

[Portia] Can we talk? Privately.

[Guillame] Certainly - in the study?

  • Portia nods. She looks a little tense.
  • Guillame walks with her to the study
  • Portia waits until the door is shut.

[Portia] I wanted to talk about... this baby that we are trying to have.

  • Guillame nods, listening

[Portia] It's so complicated... and this way, it's taking so long... I don't know :/

[Portia] I've been thinking. That if you wanted, I would be ... well, I would try just... you know. The usual way people do this.

  • Guillame nods again

[Guillame] We could try that - I wouldn't mind

[Portia] I don't know if I can ... but I know you would stop if I said I couldn't.

[Guillame] It would be a lot less planning on my part!

  • Portia nods.
  • Guillame was being lighthearted, but is taking this seriously

[Portia] I know I'm not normal, Guy. I'm sorry. I wish this was easier.

[Guillame] I'm not exactly "normal" either, Portia - and I know this could be hard for you, so I appreciate you trying.

  • Portia manages a smile at that.

[Portia] I keep telling myself that you won't do anything to hurt me. I know that, really I do.

[Portia] Maybe I can actually convince myself, if we try...

  • Guillame nods again.

[Portia] I'm home tonight, anyhow. ...Will you come to my room?

[Guillame] I... I wouldn't ever hurt you.

[Portia] I know.

[Portia] If I can't... well. It's not because of you.

[Guillame] ... Do you want to tell me about it?

[Portia] He was a neighbour. A friend of the family. He made friends with me too... made me feel special.

  • Portia shrugs.
  • Guillame listens quietly

[Portia] I was younger than Silvia. I ... loved him, I suppose, as much as a girl that age can.

[Portia] So when it happened, I just... something inside me broke, I don't know, the part that lets you get close to people.

[Portia] I never told anyone.

[Guillame] Thanks for telling me.

[Portia] Except you, now, I suppose.

[Portia] Thank you for being... you. And being willing to try.

[Guillame] Let's have a go after supper - and if it doesn't work out now, and if you still want to, we can always try again.

[Portia] All right.

  • Portia 's shoulders still look set and tense, but she smiles.
  • Guillame opens his arms to offer her a hug
  • Portia accepts.