Diablotin 2 session 77

From RocksfallWiki
Diablotin 2 session logs
Previous Session 77 Next



Session date:
Diablotin date:


[DiablotinNarrator] (OK, what's your plan?)

  • Sanadhil is gog to use shadow walk to take us to the SP

[DiablotinNarrator] where are you starting from? the society?

[Ilphere] Meet Sanadhil for pre-shadow plane snacks!

[Sanadhil] heh

[Ilphere] Society is probably ok

[Sanadhil] The soeciety woudl work, or the Castalia

[Sanadhil] it woudl put us closer to Imraen

[Ilphere] good point

[DiablotinNarrator] Society it is. It would indeed put you close to where you need to be.

[Sanadhil] okay

[Sanadhil] I wasn't sure :3

Some PCs wake Imraen

  • Nycaise will join you there, then.

[Sanadhil] Once we're at the tower, Mme Olivier can use her magic to increase our mental fortitue, to make sure everyone can approach Imraen

[Sanadhil] Once we close, you can secure her and I suppose I will... go to sleep.

[Sanadhil] after which you can proceed with awakening her...

  • Guillame crosses his fingers

[Sanadhil] Though i'm not sure if we have a clear idea*exactly* how to proceed in that matter...

[Sanadhil] I trust you all can figure it out

[Ysabeau] M. Orecalo, I will be able to make all of you more resistant to charm or fear-based spells. As for increasing mental fortitude I will only be able to help one.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I think that the Duke may be the best choice then - no offence, monsieur.

  • Sanadhil inclines his head to Guy

[Guillame] I*am* the liability, it seems!

  • Guillame says, trying to be lighthearted about it

[Sanadhil] You're not a caster - I am hoping Mlle L'Averti will not be influenced by the spell surrounding the Tal'Antar because of her heritage.

[Ysabeau] Only insofar as mind control type spells. If there were traps or things like that, you'd be the expert. I'd stumble into them all unawares.

[Nycaise] It's an aversion spell of some sort? Antipathy?

[Sanadhil] yes

  • Sanadhil nods to both ladies

[Ilphere] I can cast a spell to enhance the mental fortitude of the group...

  • Ysabeau remembers how Guillame nearly killed her with one shot back when we were dealing with Sanadhil's statue.

[Ilphere] That should help as well...

  • Nycaise nods.

[Nycaise] Well, are we prepared, then?

[Sanadhil] I believe so

  • Sanadhil will cast mage armour before we go, just in cast, then hold out his arms for everyone to take hold so that he can cast the spell

[Ilphere] (Mage armour here too)

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok)

  • Sanadhil will pull us all the way from the border of the planes to the SP proper

[DiablotinNarrator] You proceed to the plane of Shadow, with the intent of waking its queen and then bringing her into the realm of dreams, where Ruchard says he can help her.

[DiablotinNarrator] The strange sights of the abandoned city are almost familiar to you now - the haunting flashes of colour and movement left by long-ago moments of pain or fear or madness that have left their psychic impression on this world.

[DiablotinNarrator] You make your way to the spire where Imraen remains in her suspended animation, passing by the silent statues and abandoned rooms, climbing the long, winding staircase that leads to the summit.

[DiablotinNarrator] As before, Imraen lies motionless on her slab of stone, her hands folded atop her simple grey robe, her eyes closed, her white hair held back by a silver circlet set with a moonstone on her brow.

[Nycaise] Do you wish me to test whether I can approach her?

  • Sanadhil walks around her while the thers prepare the spells that will make sure they can get closer

[Sanadhil] yes.

[Sanadhil] if you try to flee, we can restrain yiu and break the enchantment

  • Nycaise nods.
  • Nycaise will cautiously attempt to approach the queen, then.

[Nycaise] Nothing so far...

  • Sanadhil nods
  • Nycaise comes right up to her without apparent difficulty.

[Sanadhil] You shouldn't need to touch her, I dont think

  • Sanadhil smiles in satisfaction
  • Nycaise looks down at her with a strange expression, something between scholarly curiosity and affection.
  • Sanadhil looks to the others to complete their preparations, then

[Nycaise] She's been here so long... poor thing.

  • Ysabeau will sing her songs if this is when we need them?

[Sanadhil] It is a fascinating situation... it is difficult not to feel some sympathy, even knowing whst the world she created for herself can be like.

  • Guillame digs out the handy cup from his pack

[Sanadhil] (yes songs now!)

[Sanadhil] I suppose I will set up over here...

  • Sanadhil brought a bedroll, and has probably not slept or rested much before coming, so that he can hopefully go to sleep wthout much trouble
  • Sanadhil listens to ysa's singing and tries not to think about the fact that he is making hmself vulnerable in front of all these people, etc @_@
  • Sanadhil watches to make sure guy does't immediately freak out though

[DiablotinNarrator] (also, don't think about pink elephants)

  • Ysabeau sings Inspire Courage so all of you get +1 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 morale bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls

[DiablotinNarrator] Guy, the cup's faint light seems brighter here, reflecting off the pale walls.

  • Ysabeau sings a special song for Guillame to Inspire Heroics (a +4 morale bonus on saving throws and a +4 dodge bonus to AC)

[Ysabeau] (These last for a minute after I stop singing them, so better act fast... ;) )

  • Ysabeau will continue singing Guillame's song, though

[Sanadhil] (Presumably Ilphere can cast her mass OW now too])

[DiablotinNarrator] (yes, I'm assuming she does)

[Guillame] Uh, so...

  • Guillame tries the simple approach first, touching the cup/hand to Imraen

[DiablotinNarrator] As you approach her, make a Will save, please.

[DiablotinNarrator] (including your various bonuses of course)

[Guillame] (Sec, google docs is being slow)

  • Guillame rolls 1d20+12: (20)+ 12 = 32

[Guillame] (Woah!)

[DiablotinNarrator] You approach her without encountering any resistance.

  • Nycaise is also standing nearby, just in case.
  • Guillame is looking nervous

[DiablotinNarrator] You do feel some slight discomfort at being there, but nothing that would make you have to flee - and maybe it's just nerves anyway?

  • Guillame holds the chalice close over imraen, and tries to pour/shine it's glow onto her

[DiablotinNarrator] The light gleams on her skin, but nothing seems to happen.

  • Guillame touches the base of the chalice to her forehead
  • Guillame allows the hand to rest against her skin

[DiablotinNarrator] As the hand touches her skin, its grip loosens as it cracks, then crumbles to grey dust, whatever force that preserved it so long having apparently vacated it.

[Ilphere] ..Shine the light in her eyes...!

  • Ilphere suggests.

[Ilphere] (oh too late)

  • Guillame waits for a reaction before trying Ilphere's suggestion

[DiablotinNarrator] Something in the hand's dust is swirling - shadowy tendrils rising from the remains. A figure, about humanoid-sized but still amorphous, is taking shape, and you can feel a sudden surge of hatred and rage.

[DiablotinNarrator] (you all, that is)

[DiablotinNarrator] Will saves all around!

  • Sanadhil too?

[Ysabeau] (27)

[DiablotinNarrator] (San - how good are you at sleeping? ;)

[Guillame] (again?)

[Sanadhil] (not very good ;_;)

[DiablotinNarrator] (yes, again for you)

  • Guillame rolls 1d20+12: (2)+ 12 = 14

[Sanadhil] (also is it enchantment, and/or mind affecting?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (we'll go with mind-affecting, the desc is ... unclear, let's say)

  • Guillame rolls 1d20+12: (13)+ 12 = 25

[DiablotinNarrator] (yeah 14 isn't going to cut it - if you want a Destiny reroll, this might be a good time to use it...)

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok)

[Sanadhil] (I got a 40 he can have some of that @_@)

[DiablotinNarrator] San, with a roll that super, you can stay asleep - no telling what the 'surge of hatred' might to do your dreams, though...

[Sanadhil] (yaaaay -_-)

[DiablotinNarrator] The mental howling continues, but you seem able to resist the worst of its effects. And now we'll roll init.

[Ysabeau] (11)

[DiablotinNarrator] (Nycaise is at 14, Hate Spirit or whatever it is is at 21.)

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

[DiablotinNarrator] So our order will be Spirit, Guillame, Ilphere, Nycaise, Ysa.

  • HateSpirit is right next to Guillame, conveniently, so will attack him.

[DiablotinNarrator] (AC to hit, minus armor?)

[Guillame] (Google docs so sloooow :( )

[Sanadhil] (Don't forget your +4 though!)

[Guillame] (19)

[Guillame] (Unless it's a trap :P)

[DiablotinNarrator] Its shadowy tendrils sweep through you, chilling but not harming you.

[DiablotinNarrator] Guillame's turn.

[Guillame] Brr!

  • Guillame leaves the cup precariously balanced on Imraen, so as to draw his short sword

[DiablotinNarrator] OK, that's fine - anything else?

  • Guillame will return the swipe, if I have enough actions?

[DiablotinNarrator] (it's a move action to draw, so you can still attack, or move half your movement)

  • Guillame attacks

[DiablotinNarrator] ok, roll

  • Guillame rolls 1d20+18: (1)+ 18 = 19
  • Guillame rolls 1d20+13: (16)+ 13 = 29

[DiablotinNarrator] (that's a magic weapon, right?)

[Guillame] (Yes, +2)

[DiablotinNarrator] (just checking for purposes of DR)

[DiablotinNarrator] The second one will hit, you can roll damage.

  • Guillame rolls 1d20+8: (7)+ 8 = 15

[Guillame] (Forgot I have 3 attacks)

  • Guillame rolls 1d6+5: (1)+ 5 = 6

[DiablotinNarrator] ok.

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere's turn.

  • Ilphere begins to summon a Babau.

[DiablotinNarrator] Ok - on to Nycaise.

  • Nycaise will cast a MM at the shadow-thing.

[DiablotinNarrator] Ysa's turn.

  • Ysabeau will summon celestial brown bear(s)

[DiablotinNarrator] OK - back around to the Spirit, then.

  • HateSpirit will attack Guy again, since he's so conveniently located.

[DiablotinNarrator] You take 8 damage from its attack, but also feel strangely... drained. You have gained 2 negative levels.

[DiablotinNarrator] Guy's turn.

[DiablotinNarrator] (Guy, while you're there, make a Spot check)

  • Guillame rolls 1d20+17: (6)+ 17 = 23

[DiablotinNarrator] You note, out of the corner of your eye, that the cup seems brighter than before.

  • Guillame swaps his sword for the cup and attacks again

[DiablotinNarrator] (so, trying to club it with the cup?)

[Guillame] (yup!)

[Guillame] (How do the -ve levels affect my attack?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (I pasted the effects in ooc)

[Guillame] (kk)

[DiablotinNarrator] You lift the cup, and suddenly the light is blinding, filling the room with the blazing light of day.

[DiablotinNarrator] The shadowy figure shrinks back from the light, and you find that you can direct the beam to some extent.

  • Guillame tries to keep the beam on the shade

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere's turn.

[Ilphere] (OK, if I can aim it so it doesn't hit Guillame I will cast flame strike)

[Ilphere] (or any other ally :p)

[DiablotinNarrator] (doesn't your thing show up too?)

[Ilphere] (oh also that... I'll have him show up after this I guess; it's easier?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok)

[DiablotinNarrator] (flame strike away!)

[Ilphere] (53, half flame half divine)

[DiablotinNarrator] The shadow dissipates and is gone.

[Ilphere] Whew...!

[Ilphere] Is Sanadhil still asleep...?

[DiablotinNarrator] (he looks to be, yes)

  • Sanadhil seems to have slept through all of that somehow, although he may look a little distressed, I dunno :3

[Ilphere] Guillame... shine it in her eyes...!

  • Guillame will do so, if she's not already waking up
  • Ilphere gets ready to cast Dream Walk...
  • Imraen 's eyes and mouth open, and she sucks in a deep, shuddering breath.
  • Nycaise is ready to cast too, if the queen does anything potentially dangerous.
  • Ilphere springs forth to cast!

[Ilphere] (so what is that, a touch attack?)

[Ilphere] (I assume I have surprise at least ;)

[DiablotinNarrator] (yeah - and you will also have to make a Will save vs. antipathy to touch her)

[Ilphere] (will save 42)

[DiablotinNarrator] (np then ;)

[Ilphere] (which bonuses do I get from Ysabeau for attacks?)

[DiablotinNarrator] I think nothing... she had stopped signing to cast, and had been doing Heroics for Guy before, so I think the duration on her previous song has run out.

[Ilphere] (does 24 hit?)

[DiablotinNarrator] Yes, 24 will hit. Make a roll vs. SR also, please.

  • Ysabeau will start singing again...

[Ilphere] (that's just caster level right?)

[DiablotinNarrator] ye

[DiablotinNarrator] yes

[Ilphere] (17... I think I have a destiny left if that's not enough...)

[DiablotinNarrator] It's not.

[Ilphere] (I can't remember the last time I used one)

[Ilphere] (25?)

[DiablotinNarrator] 25 makes it.

[Ilphere] (ok... DC is 24)

[DiablotinNarrator] You feel a mental struggle as you grab Imraen - she is resisting, but you manage to overcome her, for now, and drag her into San's sleeping mind...

  • Ysabeau is inspiring courage once more, I suppose. Which gives everyone a +1 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear

effects and a +1 morale bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls

[DiablotinNarrator] You are in a narrow, dark space. You sense that you are underground somewhere - you can almost feel the weight of tons of earth pressing down on you from above. It is hot and there is a fine dust in the air, which sticks to your skin as you begin to sweat. You feel dirty just being here...

  • Ilphere looks around for Ruchard...

[DiablotinNarrator] From somewhere, you can hear men's voices - laughing sometimes, but other times shouting in anger, occasionally a bellow of pain. You do not see anyone else; however, you can hear something scrabbling around in the darkness with you.

[Ilphere] (does my darkvision work here?)

  • Ilphere looks for the source of the noise

[DiablotinNarrator] Yes, I think it would, even in a dream, since you're used to having it by now.

[DiablotinNarrator] You can see Imraen, standing with her back against a wall, looking alarmed and wary, and a small, hunched figure, filthy and clothed in rags. It is a child.

  • Child has scraggly long hair... but slightly pointed hears and slightly almos eyes and is staring back at Imraem, terrified

[Child] (almond)

[Ilphere] (does he look like a little San?)

[Child] (maybe? I don't think dark vision is in colour.... he is very very scrawny... like count the rinbs through the rags scrawny)

  • Child coughs horribly, and his voice is quiet and hoarse

[Child] What are you doing here, you're not supposed to be here.....

[Ilphere] ...Sanadhil...?

  • Child seems to just notice Ilphere and starts back away from her too

[Child] Did you... get lost?

[Ilphere] This place is horrid...!

  • Child 's eyes go big and he looks back towards the narrow corridor where you came from
  • Ilphere will try to use her Lucid Dreaming to make it less claustrophobic.
  • Child just nods, eyes watery

[DiablotinNarrator] OK, make a check.

[Ilphere] (29)

[Ilphere] Sanadhil is that you...?

  • Child looks confused at you

[DiablotinNarrator] You try to change the dream, but you feel some sort of force - another mind? - struggling against yours. The walls of the mine shift strangely, moving away, then closer.

  • Ilphere frowns.
  • Ilphere remembers something from... somewhere...

[Ilphere] ...Tristan?

  • Child looks at her nervously

[Tristan] ...Are you here to take me back?

  • Tristan sniffs, then falls to his knees with another horrible coughing fit

[Ilphere] Well, that depends on where 'back' is...?

[Ilphere] Don't worry, we'll be out of here soon...

  • Ilphere glances over at Imraen.
  • Imraen is edging slowly down the passageway.

[Ilphere] (what is she doing? do I think it was her resisting me?)

  • Tristan is still coughing and may or man not be able to actually hear you

[DiablotinNarrator] (it could have been, yes)

[Ilphere] You come back here...!

  • Imraen breaks into a run.
  • Tristan freezes when you yell
  • Tristan looks after her thouh

[Tristan] you don't.. don't go that way @_@

  • Ilphere goes that way...
  • Tristan wipes something off his chin
  • Ilphere will try to cast Black Tentacles to catch her.

[DiablotinNarrator] k

  • Imraen is caught in them, struggling.

[Ilphere] Ruchard, wher are you...?

  • Ilphere calls.

[Ilphere] (where)

  • Tristan watches and shrinks down into a little ball, shaking

[Ilphere] Don't worry... this is just a bad dream...!

  • Tristan shakes his head
  • Ilphere says to the child, as the horrid black tentacles writhe in front of her. :D
  • Tristan shrinks away form her

[Tristan] I promise I'll be good, I'll try, I'll try harder...

[Ilphere] It's okay sweetie... I'm not here to hurt you...!

  • Ilphere glances at Imraen.
  • Imraen has fallen still for the moment, perhaps biding her time @_@
  • Ilphere tries to open a path to Ruchard's realm... maybe a new tunnel...

[Ilphere] (can I roll again?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (sure)

  • Tristan will try and sneak away from these scary woman and find somewhere to hide @_@
  • Imraen dissolves the tentacles and turns to run again, down a new tunnel that's just opened to... somewhere.
  • Ilphere chases after her...
  • Ilphere continues to battle Imraen...
  • Ilphere tries to subtly shift the tunnel to lead somewhere else... Perhaps she won't notice..?

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok, where do you want it to lead?)

[Ilphere] (to Ruchard! D:)

[DiablotinNarrator] Tristan, there's a tunnel leading ... somewhere else now, that wasn't there before @_@

[DiablotinNarrator] The scary ladies went down it, though...

  • Tristan peeks down it :3

[DiablotinNarrator] There's fresh air that way...

  • Tristan looks back into the dark

[DiablotinNarrator] and it's not as hot

[Tristan][q] Tara....

[Tristan][q] I'll come back for you @_@

  • Tristan sneaks down to what may be freedom, oif it isnt some horrible trap@_@

[Tristan] (with tentacles)

[DiablotinNarrator] You find yourselves on an icy plane, barren and wind-swept. The hill ahead, topped with its strange, twisted tree, is by now familiar to you, Ilphere, but the others have never been here... advantage, you! :D

  • Tristan shivers in his rags and collapses in another coughig fit
  • Ilphere will try to make Tristan a warm coat :(

[Tristan] (Unless I'm no longer kid me, I have no idea how this works @_@)

[Ilphere] (37)

[DiablotinNarrator] You create a perfectly-fitted warm coat and pants and boots, which envelope the shivering child.

[Ilphere] Stay close to me, Tristan...

  • Tristan gasps and stares

[Ilphere] (what is Imraen doing..?)

  • Imraen looks up at the grey sky and screams with frustration.
  • Ilphere will try to subtly shift things so that the ice is impassably slippery except heading toward Ruchard's hill...

[Ilphere] (25)

  • Imraen melts the snow around her feet.
  • Imraen is running in that direction anyway, though.
  • Ilphere pursues...!

[DiablotinNarrator] You stumble, your belly making you ungainly, as you climb the steep, ice-slick hill, but you manage to keep going.

[DiablotinNarrator] Ruchard, or whatever part of him is dreaming, sits as before, with hands bound and water spilling constantly from the jug at his feet.

[DiablotinNarrator] The raven-creature is perched on the edge of the jug, waiting for you, perhaps even expecting you.

[Ilah] Will you wake him?

  • Ilah asks, not for the first time.
  • Tristan tries to keep up, so confused/scared
  • Imraen is making for the 'Arch' of thorns.

[Ilphere] Ruchard...!

[Ilah] Oh, she's new.

  • Ilah quorks, sounding interested.

[Ilphere] She's here to see him.

[Ilphere] I wish to wake him...!

[Ilah] She has a long way to go.

[Ilphere] . o O (... Peck her face off)

[Ilphere] ]:|

[DiablotinNarrator] You can feel her trying to shift the parameters of the dream around you.

[DiablotinNarrator] (you can resist, of course)

  • Ilphere tries to hold her here...!

[Ilphere] Help me...?

  • Ilphere implores the bird.
  • Ilah flaps its wings and takes flight, heading for Imraen.
  • Tristan hangs back from the tentace bird D:
  • Ilphere will try to block the thorn arch by sinking it under the ice...?

[DiablotinNarrator] You encase the arch in ice, blocking her escape route.

  • Imraen wheels around to face you, and gets a face full of tentacle-bird instead.
  • Imraen screams.
  • Ruchard stirs slightly in his sleep.

[Ruchard][w] Bring her... in...

  • Ilphere grabs Imraen while she's distracted by the bird.

[Ilphere] (Dream Walk!)

[DiablotinNarrator] You grab them both, then...

[DiablotinNarrator] You slip into Ruchard's dream as easily as into a bath of warm water, for it feels just as comforting, after what you've just been through...

  • Ruchard stands at the door of his house, waiting, shifting slightly from foot to foot nervously.
  • Ilphere sighs with relief.

[Ruchard] You made it!

[Ilphere] Yes...! :)

  • Imraen looks around, confused.
  • Ilphere looks at Sanadhil/Tristan...

[Ilphere] (is he still a kid?)

  • Tristan seems to be more himself though he still looks a litle pale, and is still dressed in the coat and such

[Ilphere] I told you I would keep you safe...

  • Sanadhil just nods

[Ruchard] Come in, please...

[Ilphere] (does he mean all of us or just her ;)

  • Ruchard speaks to all of you.

[Ruchard] It was a difficult journey, I imagine...

  • Sanadhil looks around the little realm

[Sanadhil] . o O (Never. Again.)

[Sanadhil] Thank you...

[Ilphere] Yes, rather...

[Ruchard][q] Don't worry, though. My grip here is relatively... unshakeable.

  • Sanadhil says quietly, but will take his cues from Ilphere
  • Ilphere nods, and moves toward the house...
  • Ruchard says with a glance to Imraen, who is looking at the garden.

[DiablotinNarrator] (brb bio)

  • Ruchard ushers you into his cosy home.
  • Ruchard has tea and biscuits and cheese waiting for you.
  • Sanadhil will strip out of the dream winterwear, hopefully wearing his normal clothes beneath
  • Imraen looks confused and somewhat frustrated. you think she's probably testing limits in her head right now, and meeting walls she

can't scale.

[Ruchard] I did take the liberty of preparing some clothes too, just.. in case.

  • Ruchard says, perhaps remembering the time you showed up naked.
  • Ilphere laughs lightly...

[Ilphere] I'm all right this time...!

  • Ruchard smiles.
  • Ruchard looks to Imraen.
  • Sanadhil will accept some tea, and smiles thinly, still dealing with the walls in his own head atm @_@

[Ruchard] There are clothes for you too, if you want to change.

  • Imraen looks wary.

[Imraen] You want me to give up my robes and circlet.

[Ruchard] I just want you to be comfortable. It's your choice.

  • Imraen wanders off to explore the house.

[Ruchard] Go ahead, look around...!

  • Ruchard calls after her.

[Ruchard][q] It will take some time... it's a big adjustment for her, obviously...

[Ilphere] Indeed...

[Ilphere] I hope for the best, though...

[Ruchard] So do I...

[Sanadhil] (is the bird here?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (the bird is nowhere to be seen)

[Sanadhil] Is the Raven your familiar? or somethig else?

  • Sanadhil asks Ruchard, trying to think of...anything but the dreams they went through @_@

[Ruchard] Not mine. I think it's a ... an observer.

[Sanadhil] ahh.

[Ruchard] I don't think it means ill, and I probably couldn't make it leave there anyhow, so...

[Ilphere] It did help me...

[Sanadhil] It wants you to wake?

[Ruchard] Maybe... I think it's just curious what would happen.

  • Sanadhil nods
  • Sanadhil sips his tea, and looks to Ilphere

[Sanadhil] Do we need to pass...back, to return?

  • Sanadhil asks warily
  • Ilphere shakes her head.

[Ilphere] No, I shouldn't think so...

[Sanadhil] Alright.

  • Imraen returns downstairs, wearing a green dress, very old-fashioned in style (although probably about what Ruchard would remember from women's clothes of his day).

[Sanadhil] Perhaps we shoudln't keep the others waiting, unless you have further business?

  • Sanadhil looks up at her

[Imraen] I want to look outside.

  • Imraen says to Ruchard.

[Ruchard] Of course. You're welcome to...

  • Imraen goes out, then.

[Ruchard] ...

[Sanadhil] :|

[Ilphere] Good luck...

[Sanadhil] Yes...

[Ruchard] Maybe you should ... take her things?

  • Ruchard suggests, uncertainly.

[Ilphere] That's probably a good idea...

[Ruchard] She might want them back, I suppose... but maybe it's better if they're not there.

  • Ilphere nods.

[Sanadhil] Indeed.

[Ilphere] Upstairs...?

[Ruchard] I suppose so :o

  • Ilphere will go and collect Imraen's things, then...

[DiablotinNarrator] You gather the robe and circlet from the upstairs bedroom (not Ruchard's, the spare one ;) where they were left.

[Ruchard] Thank you again.

  • Ruchard says when you return.

[Ilphere] Thank you for your help as well...

[Sanadhil] Yes.

[Ruchard] I'll let you know how things go...

  • Ruchard says with a glance out the window.

[Ilphere] But I think Sanadhil had the most difficult task today.

[Ruchard] I'm sorry that it was difficult.

  • Sanadhil shake shis head dismissively and sets down the tea cup.

[Sanadhil] Its done.

  • Sanadhil says, but glances at Ilphere.

[Ilphere] I guess we should be going...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ilphere] I'll speak to you soon, I hope...!

[Ruchard] I hope so too :)

[DiablotinNarrator] You emerge from Ruchard's dream, back to the spire where San is just waking up.

  • Ilphere sighs with relief again.

[Ilphere] (Do I have all Imraen's stuff? :D)

[DiablotinNarrator] (you do!)

  • Sanadhil sits up quietly, shaking away the vestiges of sleep and dreams
  • Sanadhil takes a deep calming breath

[Ilphere] (detect magic :D)

[Guillame] (Is her body still here?)

[Ysabeau] Welcome back!

[Ysabeau] How did it go?

[DiablotinNarrator] (body is gone)

[Guillame] ...

[Ilphere] We were successsful... The rest is up to Ruchard.

[Guillame] Did you... take her clothes?

[Ilphere] She changed.

[Ysabeau] Changed?

[Sanadhil] clothing

[Ilphere] We thought it best if we took her old things...

  • Guillame shakes his head

[Guillame] I'm glad you're ok

  • Sanadhil clarifies as he stands, rolling up the bedroll

[Guillame] You're ok, aren't you?

[Sanadhil] Yes.

  • Ilphere glances at Sanadhil.

[Ysabeau] :/

[Ilphere] ... Yes.

[Guillame] Quick, tell us something that only you would know!

  • Guillame says with a cheeky grin
  • Sanadhil eyes Guillame

[Ysabeau] You were very brave, M. Orecalo.

[Sanadhil] ...Saddlebags?

  • Ysabeau murmurs.
  • Sanadhil says dryly
  • Ilphere laughs out loud.
  • Guillame stifles a giggle

[Guillame] Welcome back

  • Sanadhil nods and smiles, though perhaps a little tightly

[Ilphere] ... Let's go home. :)

  • Ysabeau smiles.
  • Sanadhil nods.

[Ysabeau] Let's.

[DiablotinNarrator] You make your way back to the place that should take you to the Society. You re-emerge into the Material Plane, and are briefly disconcerted by your surroundings.

  • Guillame collects the hand-less cup on the way out

[DiablotinNarrator] (good idea!)

  • Ilphere tucks Imraen's clothes into her bag.

[Guillame] . o O (How am I going to explain this...?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (it's still glowing very brightly, though not the blinding beams it cast during the fight)

[Ilphere] (a raccoon got it?)

  • Guillame hopes it's still glowing by the time it gets to the museum!)

[DiablotinNarrator] The room you return to is filled with smoke, you can hear the crackle of flames, and the heat is palpable.

[Guillame] Wha?

  • Sanadhil coughs

[Ilphere] ...!

[Sanadhil] kavreshar?

[Nycaise] Fire o_O

  • Guillame nods

[Ilphere] The building is on fire..!

[Sanadhil] the starflake

[Guillame]*kaff**kaff* Cover your mouths!

[Sanadhil] (where is hat again? @_@)

  • Sanadhil already is
  • Ysabeau is alarmed.

[DiablotinNarrator] (Vianca's office, most likely - upstairs)

[Ilphere] I can teleport us outside...!

  • Ilphere says through her sleeve.

[Sanadhil] we have to get it

[Sanadhil] (also the Pheria/)

  • Ysabeau tears fabric off her skirt and ties it around her face.
  • Guillame covers his mouth with his sleeve and nods at Ilphere

[DiablotinNarrator] (I imagine you didn't return that yet? I mean, explaining how you fixed it would be a .... challenge ;)

[Ilphere] Ysabeau, use Dimension Door...!

  • Sanadhil will start upstairs unless there's too much fire @_@

[Ilphere] To take us to the office...!

[Ysabeau] Out or to the artifacts?

  • Sanadhil waits because that's such a better idea @_@

[Sanadhil] artifacts

  • Sanadhil says wheezily
  • Nycaise disappears herself...
  • Ysabeau nods and grabs hold of you all to take you to the office, hoping it isn't already an inferno.

[Ysabeau] (or whoever's left)

[Ysabeau] . o O (I'm going to have a lot of explaining to do when I get home charred and smelling of smoke.)

  • Sanadhil casts freedom of movement, on the pregnant ladies, then himself, then guy, if there is time

[DiablotinNarrator] You are at Vianca's office door, on the balcony overlooking the main room. In the room below, the confusion is even greater - people are rushing about, trying to save books and artifacts before the fire reaches them.

[DiablotinNarrator] Flames are licking at the walls, the beams of the roof, the papers... Such a conflagration could not have started accidentally and spread so far without people noticing - it must have had a supernatural source.

  • Vianca stands in front of her office, casting a spell.

[Sanadhil] the library ;_;

[Sanadhil] ...

[DiablotinNarrator] (you're behind her, though, you can get into her office if that's your goal)

[Ilphere] (what spell is she casting?)

  • Sanadhil feels a wave of dejavu pass through him and shivers despite the fire

[DiablotinNarrator] spellcraft?

[Ilphere] (29 :/)

[Ysabeau] Get what you need, I'm going to try to help put the fire out.

  • Sanadhil will try too

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere - you think she's trying to duplicate a spell with Wish or Limited Wish maybe... something to put out the fire, possibly Quench.

  • Ysabeau starts summoning a medium water elemental.

[Ilphere] (*nod*)\

  • Vianca completes her casting. The fire diminishes somewhat, but is not entirely eliminated.

[Sanadhil] (34, heh)

[Vianca] This isn't a normal fire - everyone, get out!

  • Vianca shouts to whoever is still in the building.

[Sanadhil] the starflake...

  • Sanadhil sounds increasingly panicked though
  • Ysabeau will finish and have the water elemental Drench the place
  • Sanadhil will try and pass his way into her office

[DiablotinNarrator] San, you are in her office. You don't see the starflake anywhere obvious, though.

[Ilphere] Good idea... sanadhil, get the flake...!

[Sanadhil] where...

  • Ilphere will begin summoning a huge water elemental.
  • Sanadhil will DM
  • Vianca joins you.

[Vianca] In there!

  • Vianca points to a chest.

[Vianca] Just grab the whole thing, really @_@

  • Sanadhil tTK grabs it, nods to her, and will teleport back to the palace, or as close as he can get

[DiablotinNarrator] (yeah, you can teleport to outside the palace, not directly in.)

  • Ilphere will Teleport back to the palace as well when she can't do any more..!
  • Sanadhil looks back towards Rhenea to gauge the size of the fire

[Ysabeau] (Me will get herself out, then...?)

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere and Ysa, your water elementals are helping to extinguish the unnatural flames.

[Sanadhil] not agaaaaaain @_@ D:

[Ilphere] (yeah, I will stay and direct my elemental until it expires or I can't stand it anymore)

  • Ysabeau can summon one more, with her last 5th level spell for the day.

[DiablotinNarrator] San - there is some smoke, but it doesn't look like large parts of the city are on fire. A few buildings at most, you think. Targeted @_@

  • Ysabeau too.

[Ilphere] (I can summon one more as well if needed)

[Sanadhil] (does the palace seem okay?)

[DiablotinNarrator] THe palace is fine.

[Ilphere] (either way it's only a few minutes... 14x 6 seconds :p)

[DiablotinNarrator] yeah

[DiablotinNarrator] You do what you can to help, then make your escapes.

  • Sanadhil will try to find somewhere realaively safe tocopllapse foer a moment @_@
  • Sanadhil clutches the box, then shoves int in his BoH

[DiablotinNarrator] The Society's hall still stands when finally the fires are out. The extent of the damage is yet unknown... we'll find out next time @_@

  • Ysabeau returns home and makes her explanations. Poor Martan; I must make him worry a lot.


Sanadhil and Dozilva

  • Sanadhil is curled up in a chair surrounded by a rather random seeming pile of stuff, cluthcing a pair of rather expensive looking books but starring in sort of vacant panic at a small wooden box that's been up-ended and/or tossed across the room....
  • Sanadhil looks pale, singed, dishevelled, and smells vaguely of fire
  • Dozilva comes in, already looking anxious, and sees this scene before her.

[Dozilva] Oh, you're all right!

  • Sanadhil seems to proicess her entrance and address a little slowly, and starts a moment or two after she speaks

[Dozilva] I heard there was a fire, at the Society, but you are safe.

[Sanadhil] I...

  • Sanadhil clutches his books
  • Dozilva would hug you, but you are full of books. So instead she tries to gently take them out of your hands.

[Sanadhil] No.

[Dozilva] ...

  • Sanadhil shrinks back with them in hand still, a little wild eyeed, as though he is only half seeing her
  • Dozilva crouches down beside you.

[Dozilva] It is all right... It's safe here.

  • Sanadhil shakes his head.

[Sanadhil] no.

[Sanadhil] Its gone, and everythings burning

  • Dozilva shakes her head too.

[Dozilva] No.. I heard that the fire is out.

[Sanadhil] I keep seeing it - I can't stop seeing it... every time

[Sanadhil] and its all..

[Sanadhil] everything is mixed up

[Sanadhil] and its gone

[Dozilva] What is gone?

  • Sanadhil 's eyes are watery and red and it looks like he is trying not to cry, or not to blink, or maybe both

[Sanadhil] The star

[Dozilva] The ... oh.

[Sanadhil] Its all I could do

[Sanadhil] I couldn't*stay* there

[Sanadhil] and its still gone

  • Dozilva is confused, but listening.

[Sanadhil] All the fire.. again the fire...

[Dozilva] You were very brave.

  • Sanadhil shakes his head, looking down away from her, curing even more around his books
  • Dozilva takes you by the shoulders to hold you/keep you from completely curling up in a ball.

[Dozilva] You saved all these things?

  • Sanadhil is possibly shaking a little

[Sanadhil] The books are all they would let me take

[Sanadhil] I coldn't carry it all

[Sanadhil] they toook everything else

[Dozilva] No one could have carried it all. You did everything you could.

  • Dozilva strokes your hair.

[Sanadhil] There was no one else*left*

[Dozilva] Of course - everyone had to get out.

  • Sanadhil tries to choke back a sob

[Sanadhil] no that' not... its not right.

[Sanadhil] I'm sorry, I can't...

[Dozilva] It's all right. I'm here now.

  • Dozilva holds you.

[Sanadhil] I can't make it*stop*

[Dozilva] In your head?

  • Dozilva asks uncertainly
  • Sanadhil nods

[Dozilva] You can meditate. Deep breaths. It will stop eventually. Then you can think more clearly.

[Sanadhil] I can't!

[Dozilva] Yes, you can.

  • Sanadhil makes a token effort, drawing in a shaky, vaguely wheezing breath

[Dozilva] You know this is real. Here, now. This is what is real, not in your mind.

[Sanadhil] I can still see it - I can still smell it.. all the burning... the books, people...

[Dozilva] Yes, but you are safe, and these books are safe, and I'm sure that other people saved others as well.

  • Sanadhil looks up at her again

[Sanadhil] he thought we were there...

[Dozilva] Maybe. We cannot know ... why. But he did not get you.

[Sanadhil] I know why.

[Dozilva] All right... why?

[Sanadhil] Because of Thea.

[Sanadhil]*takes another breath, trying to hang on to this line of thought

[Dozilva] If so, why are not your other friends attacked? THey have not been, as far as we know?

[Dozilva] So maybe there is another reason we do not know.

[Sanadhil] we haven't been together, not so many

[Dozilva] He can go where he wants - he could attack them in the street or their homes... you do not have to all be together.

  • Dozilva realizes this is probably not comforting, and stops.

[Sanadhil]*take another panicky breath*

[Dozilva] Maybe the target was not you, is all that I mean.

[Sanadhil] It was.

[Sanadhil] We have been careful

[Dozilva] Yes, you have.

[Sanadhil] I still can't think!

  • Dozilva nods.

[Dozilva] It will get better... you are still distraught.

[Sanadhil] I keep seeing everything...

[Sanadhil] And I've looked everythwere and it isn't here!

[Dozilva] Maybe someone else took it.

[Sanadhil] They'll think it was me

[Sanadhil] The Countess will think it was me

[Dozilva] Maybe... but if someone else has it, then it will turn up soon I'm sure.

[Sanadhil] No one was supposed to have it.

[Dozilva] maybe not... but in the confusion, perhaps someone else took it.

[Sanadhil]*shakes his head*

[Sanadhil] Vianca was*right there*

[Dozilva] It will all work out... you are not to blame.

[Sanadhil] I can't... I don't know.

[Dozilva] You need to rest now.

[Dozilva] It will be clearer when you are calm again.

[Sanadhil] I've been trying...

[Sanadhil] But I keep thinking of the fire, and the dreams

[Dozilva] What dreams?

  • Sanadhil just shakes his head again

[Dozilva] You can tell me.

  • Dozilva says more firmly.

[Sanadhil] I can't

[Sanadhil] I can't talk about it

  • Sanadhil shrinks back around his books

[Dozilva] ... a different fire? a dream about fire?

  • Sanadhil fights back more panics

[Sanadhil] Stop.

[Dozilva] No. you cannot do this alone. I am not going to stop and leave you to curl yourself into a ball.

[Dozilva] It would be better for you to rest, but you cannot, and you will not, until you tell me what is going on.

[Sanadhil] There was afire... at the society... Kavreshar came, when we were in the other planes...

[Sanadhil] We came back and everything was burning... I tried to save things

[Sanadhil] Vianca couldn't put it out

[Sanadhil] She gave me the box

[Sanadhil] but it was gone

[Sanadhil] The star

  • Dozilva nods

[Dozilva] I understand that much...

[Dozilva] I understand it is worrying, to not know where it is, and frightening to be attacked in that way - if it was directed at you, which we cannot know for sure.

[Dozilva] But you are ... more upset than that.

  • Sanadhil takes a deep breath, trying to seem calm @_@
  • Dozilva seems unconvinced by your fake calm :

[Sanadhil] I don't wan't to think about it - I don't want to talk about it, it won't help, please...

[Dozilva] ... All right.

[Dozilva] But I am not going away.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Dozilva] Put these things down - they will be safe here.

  • Sanadhil looks down at the books - ancient handbound volumes in Cozovode, and strokes the cover of the top one
  • Dozilva gently takes hold of them
  • Sanadhil tenses up, but lets her take them, not taking his eyes off them

[Dozilva] trust me - I am a librarian.

  • Sanadhil nods slowly

[Sanadhil] (they are [probably a little singed themselves @_@)

[Sanadhil] (Though not freshly)

  • Dozilva puts them carefully on a table.

[Dozilva] Now, come rest. We can talk more when you are feeling calmer.

  • Sanadhil looks back at her
  • Sanadhil looks are the mess around him, and winces, and reaches out for her
  • Dozilva wraps you in her arms
  • Dozilva will lead you to lie down and rest.
  • Sanadhil will try @_@

Alma and Ysabeau

  • Alma takes some time to answer the door when you arrive, which is odd both because of the delay and the fact that she's answering the door herself.

[Alma] Ah, good afternoon Ysabeau :)

[Ysabeau] Good afternoon, Sister.

  • Ysabeau smiles; her cheeks are rosy from the cold.
  • Alma opens the door wide for you to come in.

[Alma] Come in, I've got some hot tea waiting.

[Ysabeau] Thank you, that would be lovely.

[Ysabeau] I was at the Castalia for the morning; those halls sure get draughty in the winter.

[Alma] Yes, I recall having to bundle up to keep from freezing :)

[Alma] I have some sweets set out as well, something I picked up at the market a few days ago.

  • Ysabeau smiles, but behind the smiles she is also concerned.

[Alma] The wetnurse, her name is Marla, is tending to the twins for now.

[Ysabeau] How are they?

  • Ysabeau asks, her concern coming through more clearly.
  • Alma seems a little preoccupied, or harried.

[Alma] They're well and... normal, almost.

[Ysabeau] (Do you seem frightened by them...?)

[Alma] Would you like to see them now?

[Ysabeau] Yes, please!

[Ysabeau] I just can't help thinking of them, those poor little babies and their Mama dead.

[Ysabeau] At least I got to know my mother... :(

[Ysabeau] I know she might not have been a very good person but it is still sad, to me at least.

[Alma] We did our best, but it was... a very hard birth...

[Ysabeau] And their father probably couldn't care less for them except as means to whatever ends he has in mind.

  • Alma will lead you up to the impromptu nursery in one of the guest beds.

[Ysabeau] Do you think he cared about her at all?

  • Ysabeau seems quite distressed by it all.

[Alma] Maybe on some level... there's something of what he was left behind... but it's just not in his nature to care anymore. I mean... WE can be driven by rage and hate to forget our humanity... and his entire being was perverted.

[Alma] I think the simple answer is that he didn't even warn her.

[Alma] You don't do that to someone you care for.

[Ysabeau] Get them pregnant...?

  • Ysabeau looks puzzled.
  • Ysabeau is plainly distracted by babies...

[Alma] If you know the birth will likely kill them, yes. And if you do, you certainly tell them what to expect.

  • Alma has had the room set up with standard nursery things, and two rocking chairs, one of which is likely occupied by Marla.
  • Ysabeau drags her attention back to Alma.

[Alma] This is Marla, she's helping us care for the twins :)

  • Alma introduces her, gives a last name ^_^
  • Ysabeau greets Marla kindly

[Alma] Marla says she's there's been quite an increase in the number of babes sharing her name since the Emperor's coronation :)

  • Alma takes you over to the cribs

[Alma] This is Mercy... and Justen.

  • Ysabeau smiles and laughs a little for the joke.

[Ysabeau] Oh...!

[Ysabeau] (Are they sleeping?)

[Ysabeau] Mercy and Justice, might as well say.

[Alma] Yes...

[Ysabeau] Did you name them?

[Alma] (1 = asleep)

  • Alma rolls [ 1d2 ] getting [ 2 ]

[Alma] (awake!)

[Alma] No... she did. I thought they were... an odd choice from her.

  • Ysabeau reaches down and carefully scoops Justen up.
  • Ysabeau looks kind of sad.

[Alma] They seem normal for the most part...

[Ysabeau] Poor little one, you're going to be teased and bullied a lot, aren't you...

  • Ysabeau gently hugs him.
  • Alma smiles.

[Ysabeau] And look at you, you little sweetheart...!

  • Ysabeau peers down at Mercy while she cuddles Justen.

[Alma] Something tells me neither of them will have a normal childhood...

[Ysabeau] Who knows?

  • Alma does seem less communicative in front of Marla.
  • Ysabeau coos over the babies.
  • Alma begins to realise you may not be easily separated from them.

[Ysabeau] They're lovely...

  • Ysabeau smiles shyly at you, then turns her attention back to the babies.
  • Ysabeau will kiss Justen and put him carefully back down so that she can cuddle Mercy for a while, too.
  • Alma will stand beside Justen's crib and look down at him.

[Ysabeau] You're so small!

  • Ysabeau smiles and coos and plays with Mercy gently, as she did with Justen.
  • Alma hesitates a moment but will put her arm over the rail and wrap her warm hand around his.

[Alma] Yes, they are...

[Ysabeau] These little ones are going to need all the love they can get...

  • Ysabeau holds Mercy close.

[Ysabeau] Is he older...?

  • Alma seems... perhaps guarded.

[Alma] Hmm?

[Ysabeau] He's so much bigger.

[Alma] (Is he?)

[Alma] No, he was born last...

[Ysabeau] (I remember Julia saying that the boy, who came out second, was bigger than the girl.)

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] I don't know much about twins.

[Alma] Neither do I, really...

[Alma] I suppose we could have our tea in here if you'd prefer...

[Ysabeau] Not while I'm cuddling a baby... I'd be afraid of dripping on them.

  • Ysabeau seems reluctant to put Mercy down, though.
  • Ysabeau does though, eventually.
  • Ysabeau gives them each another kiss once they're both in cribs.
  • Ysabeau looks a little misty-eyed.
  • Alma will eventually lead you back to the kitchen, which you've probably never seen before, where she's had a table set, and has

dragged some comfortable chairs in, which seem somewhat out of place.

[Alma] Danyel and I have just been eating in here for now. It seems silly to carry everything back and forth to the dining room or the sitting rooms.

  • Alma probably has stacks of things sitting around "her" chair, including her crystal ball.

[Alma] It's comfortable despite the mess :)

  • Alma gets the tea from the stove and a plate of treats.
  • Ysabeau smiles.
  • Alma does look somewhat out of place in the kitchen, but not completely useless :P

[Ysabeau] Can I help you...?

[Alma] No, no, I'm good.

  • Alma has not planned a big feast after all :)
  • Alma brings the tray over and sets it on the table.

[Ysabeau] Thank you.

  • Ysabeau is still kind of distracted.

[Alma] Well...

  • Alma will sit after pouring some tea.

[Ysabeau] Thanks.

[Ysabeau] What are your long term plans? Are you and Danyel going to adopt them?

  • Ysabeau sips her tea.

[Alma] I have no idea... I'm not even sure there ARE long term plans...

[Ysabeau] :/

[Alma] I mean, a long term...

[Alma] I haven't had time to do any divinations...

[Ysabeau] They'll need stability...

[Ysabeau] Safety.

[Alma] It may not matter.

  • Ysabeau has a sudden worrisome thought.

[Ysabeau] Is your house protected from scrying and the like?

  • Ysabeau looks at you.

[Ysabeau] What do you mean?

[Alma] I have begun casting protectives and I have asked the Chief Sorceror for assistance.

[Alma] At least until we find out what to do next.

[Alma] Well, Kavreshar orchestrated this... them. And it seems fated that Emkathon will be released.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Change isn't... necessarily a bad thing, in the long term. :/

  • Ysabeau knows that there could be lots of short term trouble, though.

[Alma] They may be ... pulled into whatever purpose Kavreshar has for them. And if we're lucky, and he is thwarted, then perhaps they will be taken up by their... grandmother.

[Ysabeau] Their grandmother?

[Alma] She IS their grandmother.

[Alma] I left out the "Greats" :)

[Ysabeau] Emkathon?

[Alma] Yes.

[Ysabeau] Oh...

[Alma] So, for now, I'm focused on keeping them ... from interference.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] If there's anything I can do to help, I'd love to.

[Alma] Well, I do want to conduct Legend Lore as soon as possible... but I don't want to spook Marla any further.

[Alma] If you could tend to them while it is cast, that would be a great help. I'm not sure whether the incense would bother them, and if they started to cry halfway through...

[Ysabeau] I can do that, certainly!

[Alma] Aside from that... I think we've got things in hand. If you and Martan can think of anything else... like magical protections...

[Alma] Anything else is... well until we know what their future holds, maybe there's no point in planning too far ahead.

[Ysabeau] Maybe if you made a list of what you've thought of so far... we could go over it and see if there are more to add.

[Ysabeau] Maze's house - that's where we're staying - it's already safe.

[Ysabeau] It'd be crowded, but I could ask them.

[Ysabeau] I wouldn't mind!

[Alma] Well... perhaps...

[Alma] But can you imagine what the gossip would be like if Danyel and I moved in with the Lord Grey? -_-

  • Ysabeau laughs.

[Ysabeau] I meant the babies and Marla.

[Ysabeau] You and Danyel would have to share a room with me and Martan and Marla and the babies, if Martan and Maze would agree and if you came too. ;)

[Alma] You've only the one room? :o

[Ysabeau] Maze's house isn't the biggest in the Grand.

[Ysabeau] That's why Muri and Merrow are staying in my rooms at the Palace.

[Ysabeau] I'd have more space there... but I don't think I'd want to put those babies in the Palace.

[Alma] Neither did I...

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Alma] I hadn't thought that far ahead, I suppose... but when the Chief Sorceror asked me what to do with them... I just knew that was not the right thing.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Alma] I suppose nothing can be done if the Emperor insists... but until then.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I'd be willing to defy him, if I had to.

[Alma] And it's a sensible offer... if the Chief Sorceror cannot help us here... but you've a child of your own coming, and just as you'll need that space is perhaps when all of this will happen...

[Ysabeau] Well, actually, with my baby on the way, I could probably help Marla with nursing these two.

[Ysabeau] I wouldn't mind.

  • Ysabeau smiles dreamily, thinking of babies.

[Alma] You might not be so eager when there are two sharing a room with you dear, they cry at all hours of the night.

[Ysabeau] I know.

[Alma] If it wasn't for the situation I would have asked for another wetnurse to help Marla.

[Alma] And I have room to spare.

[Alma] It's a shame we can't just move the protection...

[Alma] Move you and Martan in here :)

  • Ysabeau laughs.

[Ysabeau] I can ask him, but he kind of wants to stay near Maze, I think.

[Alma] Well I doubt Mr. Olivier's protections are mobile anyhow :)

[Ysabeau] Almost certainly not... :/

  • Ysabeau looks kind of sad again.

[Ysabeau] I just love babies, so much! And children. I always wanted to be a mother...

  • Alma laughs

[Alma] You will be.

[Ysabeau] I want those two to have the best, happiest childhood they can.

[Alma] Hopefully when we've had time to learn more, we'll know ... if they have a future.

[Alma] Maybe even today.

[Ysabeau] I hope they do; they've done absolutely nothing wrong.

[Alma] I have been thinking...

[Ysabeau] They can't help who their parents are, any more than Martan can.

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] That's what I wanted to ask...

[Ysabeau] What's that...?

[Alma] If you could ask Martan what he would think about... doing something similar with the twins.

[Alma] His eyes...

[Alma] He'll carry that his entire life.

[Ysabeau] I know, that's why I said that about him being bullied and teased, poor little fellow. :/

[Alma] And if the people raising him know... well how will that affect things?

[Ysabeau] Alma...

[Alma] So I thought... if they have a chance to live on their own terms...

[Alma] MAybe the best thing would be for them to disappear like Hespera did.

[Ysabeau] ...

[Alma] We could do it.

[Ysabeau] I don't know if Martan would agree, Sister.

[Alma] That's why I want you to ask.

[Alma] He understands the cost.

[Alma] And I trust him to understand the possible benefit to them as well.

[Ysabeau] He has told me that he always felt like something was amiss.

[Ysabeau] Even though the people who raised him knew nothing about his origins, he still knew something was strange.

[Ysabeau] It would be the same for them, I think.

[Alma] And what of living openly? Knowing you're different. Being different physically.

[Ysabeau] There are lots of people who are physically different.

[Alma] What if some part of them is touched by Kavreshar's nature? What if that sort of... alienation is enough to push them towards evil?

[Alma] Do you think Justen will ever be able to take pride in his eyes?

[Ysabeau] Alma... they may be half demon, but they are half human too.

[Ysabeau] That means they have as much potential for great good or great ill as a human baby.

[Alma] You don't know that, Ysabeau.

[Ysabeau] That is the blessing we have, compared to the angels and demons. The gift of choice.

[Ysabeau] What choice did Martan have when he was turned into a boy?

[Ysabeau] None.

[Ysabeau] They took choice away from him.

  • Alma considers.

[Ysabeau] And for what?

[Alma] They did it to protect him, and also because they felt it was necessary.

[Alma] It's not entirely the same.

[Alma] It could be as simple as finding them someplace to live, and changing his eyes. That's not the same as changing a girl into a boy.

[Ysabeau] It isn't that simple, really, Alma... you know it isn't.

[Ysabeau] He'd have to be raised to believe he is something he isn't. Both of them would.

[Alma] No, it isn't, because they aren't simple. Even if they do not have a fate in store for them, who is to say anyone who knows their natures could raise them any better?

[Ysabeau] Who is to say that anyone who doesn't know their natures could?

[Alma] I'm not saying this is... some sort of decision I have made... I'm just looking for Martan's guidance.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Why don't you come over to Maze's for tea later this week and ask him yourself?

[Alma] I can do that, if I have time.

[Ysabeau] I think you should.

[Ysabeau] And half-demons are not necessarily evil.

[Alma] It's hard enough to do the right thing when you don't have potential... spiritual pollution like that.

  • Ysabeau sighs.

[Ysabeau] I know a half demon. Aside from being maybe a little selfish - a flaw many full humans share - he is a good person.

[Ysabeau] And before you ask, no, I am not going to tell you who it is.

  • Alma blinks

[Alma] I wasn't going to ask.

  • Ysabeau shrugs.

[Alma] Ysabeau, this is not about what people can or cannot be, it's about what people are driven towards.

[Alma] It would be naive to raise someone who is influenced by evil without taking that into account.

[Ysabeau] I understand.

[Alma] Then I don't understand why you seem to be accusing me of writing off their fates.

[Alma] If there's some greater tie than those eyes, and it's not counterbalanced by a tie through Emkathon, then the child is at greater risk of falling astray.

[Alma] In a sense, he may have choice, but it will be burdened... handicapped... through no fault of his own.

[Ysabeau] Changing his eyes will not change that chance. I think there's as much chance of them falling astray as any other baby. If they are raised in a loving, stable environment with good role models, then I think it's very unlikely that they would have a reason to 'fall astray'.

[Alma] People can chose the wrong path no matter who their parents are, Ysabeau.

[Alma] Take a look at Phedre. Pavo Arsenios was by all accounts a good man. He was one of the guards who restored the Arch, and now his daughter is leading a cult.

[Ysabeau] I didn't say it was impossible. Just that there is less of a chance of someone turning to a life of crime if they feel loved, secure and safe.

[Alma] What about feeling alien?

[Ysabeau] Yes, I agree, that could influence a child's development negatively. But then again, it might not, if their most important rolemodels do not treat them like aliens, and help them see that lots of people have differences, and it doesn't matter.

[Alma] Besides, we were talking about ... half-demons, not red eyes. We've gone in some sort of ... loop.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] We have very different opinions on this, you and I. We could probably debate it for hours.

[Alma] Do we?

[Alma] I think you believe our opinions are profoundly different, but to me they do not seem to be so different.

[Alma] I hope too, Ysabeau.

[Alma] But it's naive to think that an actual, tangible, mystical tie to the plane of evil is something that never needs more than hope.

[Alma] Hope fails to keep humanity good, how could it possibly be a guarantee against actual spiritual pollution?

[Ysabeau] I am arguing to let Justen be who he is, red eyes and all, and equip him to cope with that. You seem to be in favour of possibly changing his identity. I know something of how that has affected Martan; I wouldn't want Justen to go through that too, is all.

[Alma] Well I'll thank you to keep from assuming I am careless with the futures of others.

[Ysabeau] That is very sad, that you feel that way, Alma.

[Ysabeau] Humanity is, on the whole, good.

[Alma] And those who aren't?

[Ysabeau] For me that's saying a lot... I've experienced a lot of bad. But I have faith in people, as well as the gods, and I see so much good.

[Ysabeau] Well, sad to say, I think that for there to be good, there must also be bad. But that doesn't mean we should just give up, and not strive for good.

[Alma] At what point did I suggest that?

[Ysabeau] I'm not explaining myself well.

[Alma] The reality is that some people are not good. They can be selfish, sadistic, and callous. Not only that, but there is an entire race of beings which are made up of the pure energy of this darkness, and they are by nature selfish and cruel.

[Ysabeau] Yes, but Justen and Mercy are not those beings. Not those beings alone, anyway. They are also human, and there is a great deal of hope in that.

[Alma] ... but if there is a real link, a true link, then it is important it is addressed.

[Alma] Hope may not be enough.

[Alma] I can hope that the world around me will get better, that this year I won't have to pressure my House to donate food, that I can just wake up in the morning and have breakfast with Danyel and not laeve the house.

[Alma] But I can't.

[Alma] Hope is not enough.

[Alma] And I'm surprised that you can think it is, after what we've seen.

[Ysabeau] I am surprised that you feel so pessimistic about the world.

[Alma] I'm not pessimistic.

[Alma] I'm being realistic.

[Alma] You've seen me pessimistic, Ysabeau.

  • Alma regrets saying that...
  • Alma takes an awkward sip of her tea, which is now cold.

[Ysabeau] We should go cast those Legend Lores so I can get home before dark, if you want to.

[Ysabeau] That may well put an end to our debate!

[Alma] Ok.

  • Alma puts her cup down and stands.

[Alma] It hurts to learn that you see me this way, Ysabeau.

[Alma] But I guess how we seem is our own fault.

  • Ysabeau shrugs.

[Ysabeau] Everyone has their weaknesses.

[Ysabeau] Gods know I have plenty.

  • Ysabeau smiles warmly.
  • Alma is not comforted by that response, and turns to lead the way.

[Ysabeau] They are part angel, too...

[Alma] We hope.

[Ysabeau] I believe.

[Alma] Well that is not something I can afford to take on faith.

  • Ysabeau smiles a bit sadly.

[Alma] I meant to ask you...

[Alma] About your contact, the one who told us about all the demons.

[Ysabeau] That'd be the half demon I mentioned earlier.

[Alma] I need to speak with hi-

  • Alma sighs.

[Alma] Well the need remains...

[Ysabeau] What do you need to ask him about?

[Alma] Well, I thought perhaps he might be able to tell us about the twins.

[Alma] But that's not all...

[Alma] The thing inside of Madelen Levernois... it's something we have never seen before. It's in none of hte books. The place it comes from... The Cyst, we've never even heard of.

[Ysabeau] Huh.

[Alma] We need to know how he could tell it was in her.

[Alma] It may be crucial.

[Alma] If something else like that is in the city, maybe no one else could identify it.

[Alma] So we need his help.

[Ysabeau] Except these babies, now. ;)

[Alma] ...

[Alma] That ... may turn out to be prophetic.

[Ysabeau] I can ask him about it. And I can let him know you'd like to speak with him. But, I really wouldn't feel right telling you who he is; I'd be betraying his trust.

[Alma] But... until then, we have no idea how to find them...

[Alma] I understand.

[Ysabeau] If he feels comfortable speaking with you then he can seek you out himself.

[Alma] And I'm glad he's won his battle...

[Alma] Even if you think that's a pessimistic way to put it.

[Ysabeau] :/

[Alma] Try to let him see how important it is...

[Ysabeau] I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings, Alma.

[Alma] Well, like I said... we're responsible for how we project ourselves.

[Alma] If I'm to be a leader, I should learn to ... shape my image better.

  • Alma leaves that thought alone -_-
  • Ysabeau glances at you but says nothing.

[Ysabeau] Let's see what the Legend Lores say. Are you going to cast one on each, or one for both?

[Alma] I'm not sure it can be done on both simultaneously... and it's not a metaphysical question I'd like to waste the incense on.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Alma] Though perhaps if they're asleep, we could perform it simultaneously.

[Alma] I do have the incense for it.

[Ysabeau] I kind of hope they're not asleep, because I'd love to hold them more.

  • Alma chuckles.

[Alma] As for that bit a second ago... I suppose it's not a secret anymore.

[Alma] But it's not really "public" exactly either.

[Alma] Reverend Father Theron has recommended me to replace him...

[Ysabeau] Oh! Congratulations!

[Alma] So I've been... considering what I need to do to fill such a role.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Alma] Thank you.

  • Alma says, politely, still dubious herself.
  • Alma continues on, as we've been babbling on the stairs.

[Ysabeau] Part of my bardic training is about how to present oneself to the public... I could probably give you some pointers, if you like.

[Alma] I had already added you to my mental list :)

  • Ysabeau laughs.

[Ysabeau] Okay. Let me know when you'd like to begin your lessons. ;)

  • Alma will relieve Marla once she gets there.

[Alma] It looks like they're asleep...

  • Ysabeau pouts.

[Ysabeau] Ah well.

[Alma] [q] Well, there'll be other days.

  • Ysabeau nods.
  • Alma will get out the components for two Legend Lore castings and give you the second.
  • Ysabeau gazes lovingly at the sleeping babies...
  • Ysabeau will set up the incense around Justen's crib.
  • Alma will do the same with Mercy.
  • Alma will reach out to squeeze your hand before we begin.

[Alma] [q] Here's to hope?

  • Alma is definitely nervous
  • Ysabeau squeezes your hand back, not nervous.

[Ysabeau] [q] Alma... I'm really serious about raising them, if Martan will agree... I know three babies is going to be a ridiculous amount of work... But I think we'd have a lot to offer them. I'm already in love with them... and if Martan dies, or is returned to being a woman, the day mine is born... well.

[Ysabeau] [w] We won't be able to have those 5 or 6 we would have liked to have.

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] [q] A good omen, then. The first thing they have is support.

  • Ysabeau almost breaks down for a moment, thinking of Martan dying... but collects herself so that she can concentrate on casting the spell.
  • Alma turns back and begins to cast as quietly as she can.

[Alma] :)

  • Ysabeau starts humming her own.
  • Alma ends just slightly before you do.
  • Alma says the results of her Legend Lore quietly... "Twinned vessels, separate but inseparable, where bloods are reunited and reborn, a father's wishes are inherited and dashed, and destiny is created, not bestowed."
  • Alma looks relieved.
  • Ysabeau smiles happily.

[Ysabeau] That sounds... not bad.

[Alma] [q] I think it's what we want...

  • Alma draws you away from them so we can talk.

[Ysabeau] [q] See? Have a little faith.

[Alma] What did you learn?

  • Ysabeau teases

[Alma] The same?

  • Ysabeau nods.
  • Alma will hug you, her relief palpable.
  • Ysabeau is teasing because she knows you're the priest while she's just a sometime churchgoer. ;)
  • Ysabeau hugs back.

[Alma] I was so worried that they would turn out to be just pawns in Kavreshar's plan...

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Alma] It was so hard, just... trying to keep that distance... trying not to think about what might have to be done.

  • Alma starts to cry.
  • Ysabeau holds you tight... her baby bump pressing into you. ;)

[Ysabeau] [q] They're half human, too.

[Alma] [q] That's what made it so hard.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] [q] They are so tiny and innocent.

  • Alma tries to stifle a laugh.

[Alma] [q] Now I'm a little sad they're asleep.

  • Alma composes herself

[Ysabeau] [q] There'll be other days...

[Ysabeau] ;)

  • Alma smiles back.
  • Alma will lead you back downstairs to the kitchen, or at least out of the room so we can talk.

[Alma] I think it tells us that they're at least... balanced.

[Alma] Bloods reunited and reborn

[Ysabeau] And they have choice.

[Alma] I wonder what it means to be a vessel and make your own destiny though...

[Ysabeau] Well, suppose the vessel part is just about them having both Kavreshar and Emkathon's blood.

[Ysabeau] Then it doesn't mean anything; they have good and evil; same potential for either as any human child. In a way they are freer than either of their ancestors.

[Alma] Do you think it's too optimistic to hope that "a father's wishes are inherited and dashed" means Justice is inherited and his wish for revenge is dashed?

[Ysabeau] Not at all.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Alma] I hope we're not missing something...

[Alma] But it's a good first step.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Alma] It would still be good if your friend could come and see them.

[Ysabeau] And my husband?

[Ysabeau] Still want me to ask about changing them?

[Alma] Yes... even... even if it's just when they're young, or when they leave the house or something like that.

[Ysabeau] I think you should drop by, still - because then if you have more questions about it for him, he'll be right there and can answer them, whereas I can't really speak for him.

[Alma] I will try, or if you want to drop in... maybe he won't feel right giving advice without seeing them. But if he has some time to think about it...

  • Ysabeau nods. I'll talk to him...

[Ysabeau] Are you and Danyel going to adopt them, do you think?

[Ysabeau] Because if that's the case then it makes no sense for me to bring that up with Martan... :/

[Alma] I don't know what is the right thing to do... maybe neither of us are right. They've got relatives, after all...

[Alma] I mean, not just Emkathon

[Ysabeau] Oh, I didn't realize.

[Ysabeau] Yes, if there are relatives they should be tracked down. :/

[Alma] It's ... complicated, and maybe ...

[Alma] Maybe that's not the best plan either.

  • Alma looks down at her holy symbol.

[Ysabeau] Something to clarify with Owl, maybe...

[Alma] Oh Gods, give me strength.

  • Ysabeau looks at you with concern.

[Ysabeau] Are you going to be all right?

[Alma] There's just so many decisions, and none of them easy, or small.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Alma] And giving them away wouldn't make them any smaller, so ...

[Alma] I have the incense to perform your Legend Lore, if you'd like...

[Ysabeau] Oh...

  • Ysabeau looks anxious, suddenly.

[Alma] We've had a long evening, if you'd like to wait.

[Ysabeau] I... I don't know if I want one.

[Ysabeau] I'm trying to come to terms with the ones I already know, and I think I have, mostly.

[Ysabeau] Another one... especially if it's as ambiguous as Martan's and M. Belden's...

  • Alma nods.

[Ysabeau] I'd rather just live the time I have with him to the fullest.

[Ysabeau] But then he... he might want to know.

  • Ysabeau looks conflicted.

[Alma] If... you think there's any chance that we could learn something to put your fears at ease, then you wouldn't have to live with this anxiety.

[Alma] I wish I could guarantee that...

[Ysabeau] I spoke with Theonee... she knew who he was, before I spoke with her.

[Alma] Oh?

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] She doesn't know anything more about this than we do.

[Alma] I find that hard to believe...

[Ysabeau] She's resigned to sacrificing herself.

[Ysabeau] She said she'd do everything she could to... save him.

[Alma] Precisely. She knows what that sacrifice is. She knows the Order may come for her, and what they want to do.

[Ysabeau] I don't think it's the Order.

[Alma] When I spoke with her, she said something like, if the Order wills it, they will come for her.

[Alma] I've thought about going back and asking her about what *I* will. If that's all it takes to get her to do something, then I can will her to do something.

[Ysabeau] And she probably meant it. She is very accepting of things. That doesn't mean it's the Order that will come.

[Alma] So she didn't say anything about that?

[Alma] Well she certainly sounded like she meant the Order, as that's who I was talking about.

[Ysabeau] Well, I wasn't there, obviously.

  • Alma nods

[Ysabeau] But I think it's much more metaphysical than the Order. That's the impression I got, anyway.

  • Ysabeau sighs.

[Alma] It just makes me question how she truly can't tell you more...

[Alma] I think she's seen something. She's seen something, and it seems inevitable to her, so she has no will to change it.

[Ysabeau] I think it's more that she believes whatever the change is, will be for the best.

[Alma] Then she certainly can tell you more.

[Ysabeau] But I don't get the feeling that she really knows what that change will be.

[Ysabeau] Other than what we already figure it will be: the Serpent returning.

[Alma] What gives her such confidence then?

[Ysabeau] The same thing that gave me such confidence in Justen and Mercy, perhaps.

[Alma] Well I'm sorry, Ysabeau, but faith and hope aren't everything.

[Ysabeau] I guess... maybe a Legend Lore of me would help you figure out what is going on.

[Alma] I don't want Aveyrone to be another Am.

[Ysabeau] But if it confirms that Martan is going to die, or I am going to die, or the baby is going to die, then I don't want to know it.

[Alma] But if I don't tell you what it says, you'll just worry...

[Ysabeau] No.

[Alma] I could promise not to tell you about it at all...

[Alma] I suppose.

[Ysabeau] You can cast it, and tell me about it or not.

[Alma] Come... we'll sit somewhere more comfortable...

  • Alma gets you a little plate of something to drink and snack on and takes is to one of the more comfortable rooms and lights a lantern.

[Alma] I think the best thing would be if I don't tell you tonight, until I've had time to think it over.

[Ysabeau] All right.

[Ysabeau] I can tell Martan you did it, then he can come ask you about it if he wants.

  • Alma nods.
  • Alma will set things up and waits until you're comfortable before she begins to cast.
  • Ysabeau seems fine.
  • Alma is only ten minutes or so before she stops her slow chant as the lore comes to her.
  • Alma writes it down.

[Alma] Well... I hope that wasn't too long.

  • Alma closes her notebook and sets it aside.
  • Alma helps you up.

[Ysabeau] No, only about ten minutes.

[Ysabeau] Thank you.

  • Ysabeau stands up heavily.

[Alma] Did you come by carriage?

[Alma] What a silly question...

  • Alma looks down at your stomach.

[Alma] I can walk with you there if you'd like.

  • Alma is intently not thinking about the Legend Lore.

[Ysabeau] What's the weather doing? He'll kill me if I walk home in a cold rain. ;)

  • Ysabeau peeks out a window.

[Alma] You didn't walk here? :o

[Alma] I said it was a silly question because walking here so big and round would be silly!

[Alma] I'll send someone for a carriage...

[Ysabeau] I hired a carriage from the Castalia to here, but I let the driver go when I arrived; figured another cab would come by.

[Alma] I'll have someone fetch one for you.

  • Alma probably has some sort of runner nearby, though not at the house, or arranged with neighbours to have their urchins sub-in for the moment.

[Ysabeau] Thank you.

[Alma] If you'd like to go see them again, until I get back?

  • Ysabeau grins happily.
  • Alma will return and visit with you adn the sleeping twins until teh cab arrives.

Ysabeau and Martan

  • Ysabeau is resting in her room at Maze's before supper. It's been a busy day!
  • Martan comes in, smiling to see you.
  • Ysabeau has a habit of singing, humming or chatting at her belly sometimes, and is sort of lazily crooning - but she stops when she hears him come in.

[Martan] I hope I didn't wake you.

[Ysabeau] Not a chance; the baby has been practicing at fisticuffs for the past hour.

  • Martan chuckles.

[Martan] Can I feel?

  • Ysabeau pulls herself up into a sitting position and leans against the headboard.

[Ysabeau] Of course.

  • Martan puts his hand to your belly.
  • Ysabeau smiles and settles herself comfortably so that she won't move while he tries to feel the baby.

[Ysabeau] Right here.

  • Ysabeau takes his hand and guides it to where she feels the kicks or punches.

[Martan] Heh. Feisty little thing :)

[Ysabeau] Yes, we might have a fighter on our hands. ;)

[Martan] That would be all right with me.

[Ysabeau] Well, as long as he or she is a clever fighter. ;)

[Martan] Of course! With you as a mother, how could they be otherwise?

[Ysabeau] Well, look who the father is. That counts for something.

  • Martan smiles.
  • Ysabeau smiles back.

[Ysabeau] How was your day, my dear?

[Martan] All right... At least I'm home before dark today.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I'm glad for that, too.

[Ysabeau] It will be nice to have supper together, and be able to chat for a while before bed. :)

[Martan] I was just thinking that.

[Martan] Are you ready for some food? I could just bring up a tray for you so you don't have to leave your comfortable spot :)

[Ysabeau] Dinner in bed? I don't know, sounds like the height of indulgence.

[Ysabeau] Would you rather not eat with the old folks?

[Martan] You deserve to be indulged!

[Ysabeau] You do too, my very hard-working husband.

[Martan] Well then, I'll get food and eat it sitting with my lovely wife :)

[Ysabeau] All right. I'll wait here... since by the time I get up, you will probably already have been to the kitchen and back. :P

  • Martan grins and goes to find you both some dinner.
  • Ysabeau asks the baby firmly to stop kicking in the same spot as it is starting to feel bruised.
  • Martan returns a little while later with a tray laden with apples, sharp, crumbly cheese, bread, and some sliced sausages.

[Martan] If this isn't enough, I can get more ;)

[Ysabeau] Lovely! :)

[Ysabeau] No, it looks fine. Thank you.

  • Ysabeau smiles warmly.

[Martan] I tried to get things that wouldn't make a mess eaten in bed. No soup or duck in orange sauce for us.

[Martan] Not that there was any duck in orange sauce to be had.

  • Ysabeau laughs.

[Ysabeau] I'm relieved to see it's finger food; I was worried about balancing a plate and using cutlery since there is no space left on my lap.

[Ysabeau] Thanks, darling.

  • Ysabeau leans across to give him a quick kiss.
  • Martan reciprocates the kiss, then joins you in bed, passing you a knife so you can cut things for yourself.
  • Ysabeau thanks him once more.
  • Ysabeau eats a little before telling him about her day.
  • Martan listens, alert, and concerned at some parts.
  • Ysabeau starts by telling about the morning at the Castalia, which isn't much of a concern!

[Ysabeau] So, I dropped off my thesis... they set a date for the defence, after sending me all over campus to talk to people and sign various forms.

[Martan] That's good - it will be a relief having that over with.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I already feel relieved - it's handed in, nothing more I can do except defend it to my examination committee.

  • Martan nods.

[Ysabeau] And I'll be defending [blah - date that will be fairly soon, I imagine, since the Festival Days are coming up].

[Ysabeau] Do you think you'd be able to come, maybe?

[Ysabeau] It would be nice to have a kind face in the audience.

[Martan] Of course, I'll make sure to be there.

[Ysabeau] Thank you so much.

  • Ysabeau smiles at him, relieved.

[Ysabeau] I have this probably unreasonable fear that it's all awful, even though Verity did look it over and she thought it was good.

[Martan] I'm sure it's great.

[Ysabeau] I hope so.

  • Ysabeau will eat a little more and see if he has anything to say about his day, before she tells him about the afternoon at Alma's.
  • Martan will relate some of the things that happened to him, which I'm too lazy to make up ;)
  • Ysabeau is a good listener and will make appropriate comments, etc.

[Ysabeau] So, this afternoon I was at Alma's...

[Martan] Oh?

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Thea had her babies [blah] days ago... but she didn't make it. :/

[Martan] That's awful. I'm sorry to hear that.

  • Ysabeau nods.
  • Ysabeau kind of pauses for a moment to collect herself.
  • Martan takes your hand to squeeze it.

[Ysabeau] Their names are Mercy, she's the elder, and Justen, he's younger, although he is bigger than his sister.

[Martan] How are they? Healthy?

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] They seem so.

[Ysabeau] He has red eyes...

[Martan] ...

[Martan] That's ... a bit odd, maybe not surprising though.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] But they're both otherwise just the tiniest, sweetest little babies...!

  • Martan smiles at your enthusiasm.

[Ysabeau] (He can probably tell I'm like half in love with them already.)

[Ysabeau] Alma wanted to cast a Legend Lore on them, so we did.

  • Ysabeau tells it to him.

[Ysabeau] So... that doesn't sound so bad.

[Martan] It could certainly be worse.

  • Martan agrees.
  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] It actually sounds pretty hopeful.

[Ysabeau] Alma was relieved... I think she might have been ready to... maybe... kill them if it was revealed that they'd be super evil demigods.

[Ysabeau] She started crying, she was so relieved.

[Martan] Wow...

[Ysabeau] But she wanted your opinion on whether they ought to be hidden, to protect them. Like you were.

[Ysabeau] Especially Justen with his eyes.

[Martan] Oh.

[Martan] Hidden how?

[Ysabeau] Disguised, by magic, or something. :/

[Ysabeau] Like you.

[Ysabeau] She's worried about their adoptive parents knowing who their parents are.

[Martan] ... I don't think it would be safe to put parents into that situation, not knowing what they were potentially getting into.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I agree.

[Ysabeau] She thought maybe by disguising them, they could grow up without anybody's preconceived notions of them, without anyone fearing them...

[Ysabeau] Anyway, she trusts your advice on this, since you kind of know what it would mean, from your own experiences.

[Martan] Maybe. But wouldn't it be better to watch what happens to them normally? What if the boy might grow fangs, or wings, or ... who knows what. I think I'd rather know that.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] I argued for them to be raised normally by parents who know exactly what they're dealing with, too.

[Martan] I think that would be best too.

[Ysabeau] All right. She might come by here at some point to talk to you herself, but she didn't know if she'd find the time, so I can pass your answer along to her, unless you'd rather visit her yourself some time...?

[Ysabeau] You should see them, Martan. They're so tiny... I feel a little sorry for Justen, because he'll be teased so much by the other children.

[Martan] Probably easiest if you can pass along my answers, you'll see her sooner.

[Ysabeau] All right.

[Ysabeau] Until it's decided who will raise them, I guess they'll be staying at Alma's.

  • Martan nods.

[Ysabeau] She's sent away all her servants, you know. In case he finds out.

[Martan] That's... probably best. We can try and provide some additional protection, if she wishes.

[Ysabeau] I think she would. She's been casting some protective spells herself but was wondering what Maze has on this house.

[Ysabeau] She doesn't want those babies anywhere near the power games in the palace, which is why they aren't there.

[Martan] I don't know all the details myself - but I can talk to him and see if he can provide someone to cast whatever's helpful on her place as well.

[Ysabeau] She'd be grateful, I'm sure.

[Ysabeau] ...

[Ysabeau] This is probably crazy since we're going to have our own baby very soon, and we don't have a house big enough, and oh there are probably a million other reasons why this is a bad idea... but I was kind of wondering if maybe we could adopt them...?

[Martan] ...

[Ysabeau] Probably not right away...

[Ysabeau] But maybe after our baby's born?

[Ysabeau] . o O (Once we know what the future is going to look like... :/ )

[Martan] Ysa... I don't know. They'll quite likely have a dangerous life to begin with, and to add in the danger of our lives on top of that... I don't know if it's fair to them.

  • Martan is considering, though, not just dismissing the idea.

[Ysabeau] Okay. Well, it's a big decision, I don't expect an answer right away.

[Ysabeau] I just thought it was something we could both think about.

[Martan] All right. I'll think about it.

[Martan] You would really like it, wouldn't you...

[Ysabeau] I think I would... but with three babies in the house all with different sleeping and feeding schedules, I might change my mind! ;)

[Ysabeau] It's something I'd really like to consider.

[Martan] It would be a lot of work, even setting aside any complications that might come from their... parentage.

[Ysabeau] I know. It just feels like the right thing.

[Ysabeau] But maybe it isn't; that's why we need to think about it.

  • Martan nods.

[Martan] All right.

[Ysabeau] I don't know if I can really trust my feelings about babies right now.

  • Ysabeau smiles sheepishly.
  • Martan smiles, squeezing your hand.
  • Ysabeau hugs her belly gently.

[Ysabeau] She... cast a Legend Lore on me, too. But I asked her not to tell me what it is.

[Martan] ...why?

[Ysabeau] I don't want to know, if it's bad. And if I asked her to tell me only if it was good, then, if she doesn't tell me, I'd know it was bad.

[Ysabeau] And I would worry it and worry it to the bone.

[Ysabeau] You know how I've been with the ones about you and Butler. :/

  • Martan nods.

[Martan] Then why did she cast it in the first place?

[Ysabeau] I suppose she wanted to know.

[Ysabeau] If you want to know what it is, she'll tell you.

  • Martan shakes his head.

[Martan] I couldn't keep it from you... if you don't want to know, I shouldn't know either.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I'm sorry...

  • Ysabeau feels like she's kind of let him down somehow, for some reason. :/

[Martan] Why? it's not your fault.

[Ysabeau] Well, maybe it means I'm not as brave as you think.

[Ysabeau] I mean, you took yours with equanimity, but I wimped out of hearing mine.

  • Ysabeau looks down at her hands.

[Martan] There's nothing wrong with not wanting to be terrified by a vague piece of poetry, love.

  • Ysabeau smiles and laughs slightly before glancing back at him.
  • Ysabeau sighs and hugs her knees to her chest (as much as she can...).

[Ysabeau] I've kind of been thinking of going back to the Nine Elms Church, to see if Emkathon feels any stronger.

[Martan] Do you think that's safe?

[Ysabeau] I'm not sure.

[Ysabeau] I'm worried about our baby, of course. If the baby is sensitive to her like you are...

  • Martan nods.

[Ysabeau] And if she does feel stronger, I don't want to put the baby through that. :/

[Ysabeau] But unless I go, I won't know. Even if I do go, what would it tell me? Is it worth knowing if she feels stronger? How do we interpret that?

[Martan] I don't know. I don't know what it means.

[Ysabeau] Does it mean she is closer to coming back? We kind of think she is, anyway.

[Martan] I could go, if you want to keep the baby at a safe distance.

  • Ysabeau tries to gauge if he really wants to or not.

[Ysabeau] What if it hurts a lot more than last time? :(

[Martan] Then I should know even sooner.

[Martan] I won't get closer if it starts to hurt, and we can compare if it's further away than before.

[Ysabeau] If it's something you'd like to do, then it might tell us something. I'm not sure what, other than that you are linked to her somehow.

[Ysabeau] It is probably too much to hope for that she could talk to you. :P

  • Martan smiles.

[Martan] I'll give it a try.

[Ysabeau] I'll be coming with you if you go.

[Martan] All right.

[Ysabeau] I can cast some healing spells if it comes to that, though I hope it won't.

[Ysabeau] I don't want you to get hurt, either.

[Martan] It was a headache - it went away quickly when I left. It should be all right.

  • Martan reassures you.

[Ysabeau] Well, if you're sure...

  • Martan nods.
  • Ysabeau takes his hand and idly traces designs on his palm with her thumb.

[Ysabeau] When would you be willing and able to do that?

[Ysabeau] With my thesis done, my days are looking pretty free from here on.

[Martan] Tomorrow, if you want.

[Ysabeau] All right.

[Ysabeau] I really love how brave you are, too.

  • Ysabeau smiles at him.
  • Martan smiles back.

[Martan] I try to be, anyway.

[Ysabeau] You are.

  • Martan nuzzles your neck, kissing you.

[Martan] If you say so :)

  • Ysabeau grins and they do stuff until bedtime.

Sanadhil and Taralynn

  • Sanadhil tap gently at the door to his shared chambers upoing returning from teaching to let Dozilva know it is him
  • Dozilva comes to the door, in her human disguise.
  • Sanadhil opens and is vaguely surprised to see her in that seeming

[Dozilva] My dear, there is a young lady who has come to see you... she's inside. We've just been talking.

[Sanadhil] A young lady?

[Dozilva] Her name is Taralynn Rademacher? You know her, apparently.

[Sanadhil] Ahh...

[Sanadhil] I see.

[Sanadhil] . o O ( Apparently? What ahve they been talking about @_@)

  • Dozilva steps aside to let you into the room.
  • Sanadhil steps inside, then

[Sanadhil] Good Afternoon.

  • Taralynn is sitting in one of the two chairs, with a baby in her arms.
  • Taralynn looks upset.

[Taralynn] I'm sorry... I don't mean to bother you...

  • Sanadhil glances at Dozilva

[Sanadhil] What's going on?

  • Sanadhil asks tara

[Taralynn] I...

  • Taralynn looks at Dozilva too, uncertainly.

[Dozilva] I can go, if you need to talk in private.

[Sanadhil] Maybe that would be best.

  • Dozilva nods, and will step outside then.

[Taralynn] Is she your lover? I suppose she must be. She's very pretty...

  • Sanadhil watches her go, his expression unreadable, before turning back to tara

[Sanadhil] What's the matter, Tara?

  • Taralynn bursts into tears.

[Sanadhil] ....

[Taralynn] They want to... try to take him away from me... again...

[Sanadhil] what?

  • Taralynn says between gasps.
  • Sanadhil will try to appear very calm hoping that it willtransfer @_@

[Sanadhil] The baby?

[Taralynn] Tristan.

  • Taralynn says, nodding.

[Sanadhil] Who's trying to take him away?

[Taralynn] Theron's family... well his mother... she's hired a nurse, and she says I shouldn't nurse him myself anymore, and that it'll be better if I let her take care of everything...

  • Sanadhil comes a little closer, but not super close @_@

[Taralynn] And Theron just goes along with whatever she says.

[Sanadhil] Let who take care of everything? The Nurse?

  • Taralynn nods.

[Taralynn] She says that *ladies* don't nurse their own babies, only common folk who don't have any choice do that.

[Sanadhil] Ah...

[Taralynn] It makes me so scared... I just want to take him and run away.

[Sanadhil] They don't understand.

[Taralynn] No...

[Sanadhil] Does Theron know?

[Taralynn] well, they don't know.

[Taralynn] No!

  • Sanadhil nods again, slowly.

[Taralynn] I wish we had never moved into that house, I wish we had just stayed on our own.

[Sanadhil] You moved in there?

  • Sanadhil sounds surprised at that
  • Taralynn nods.

[Taralynn] Well, after the baby was born, Theron thought it would be good to have the extra space, and the help... and I agreed, but his mother is so... I don't know...

  • Taralynn searches for the right words.

[Sanadhil] possessive?

  • Sanadhil guesses @_@
  • Sanadhil eyes the baby in question

[Taralynn] I don't think so.

[Taralynn] I don't know.

[Taralynn] She doesn't want to take care of him herself. I don't really think she much likes babies at all.

[Sanadhil] Hmm.

[Taralynn] She just thinks I ought to do the same. So that people won't think I'm the help, instead of a proper lady :p

[Sanadhil] Does this Nurse have any more sense?

[Taralynn] I heard her say that to Theron, I don't think she knew I was listening...

[Taralynn] Oh, she just does what the person paying her tells her.

  • Sanadhil shakes his head

[Taralynn] I know nobles are different... I didn't know it would be like this, though.

[Taralynn][q] And I'm afraid that she'll tell me I have to go, but keep Theron and Tristan.

[Sanadhil] You don't have to listen to her.

[Taralynn] She never wanted him to marry me in the first place, and maybe they can find some way to dissolve the marriage, I don't know...

  • Taralynn is getting more anxious again.

[Sanadhil] If she wanted you gone, she wouldn't care if you seemed liek a proper lady or not.

[Sanadhil] She wouldn't expect it of you.

[Taralynn] But if I can't be! If I'm not good enough!

[Sanadhil] Of course you're good enough.

[Taralynn] I never know the right fork to use or the right thing to say.

[Sanadhil] Those are things you can learn.

[Taralynn] What if I let him go and something happens to him?

[Sanadhil] its just training... it doens't make them better people

  • Taralynn holds her sleeping baby closer.
  • Sanadhil sits down across from her

[Sanadhil] What are you afraid will happen?

[Taralynn] Anything could happen. What if the nurse doesn't take good care of him? what if he gets sick?

[Sanadhil] You're still there, Tara.

[Sanadhil] YOu can see what she's doing.YOu can tell her what to so.

[Taralynn] ...If they don't need me anymore, then they can send me away.

[Sanadhil] Theron still needs you.

[Taralynn] Not as much... not with his mother there.

[Taralynn] He listens to her more than me :(

[Sanadhil] Maybe you should convince him to move out again.

[Sanadhil] Agree to keep the nurse... but once you are all out of her house, she'll have to listen to you instead

[Taralynn] I don't think he'd listen. He just says that the baby is wearing me out too much and wouldn't it be nicer to get to sleep more, and goes along with what his mother says.

[Taralynn] There's not the room at his flat, either. I don't know where we would go... we'd have to find somewhere with enough room.

[Sanadhil] YOu do look.... very tired.

  • Sanadhil says, though he is really not one to talk @_@

[Taralynn] I haven't been sleeping much...

  • Sanadhil nods understandlingly

[Sanadhil] Maybe he's just concerned.

[Sanadhil] About you.

[Taralynn] ...

[Taralynn] Maybe.

[Sanadhil] He probably thinks his mother knows what she is doing....

[Sanadhil] They can't understand what they're asking you.

[Taralynn] I think he probably wishes we hadn't had the baby... he wishes things were like they were before, and he thinks if I stop nursing him that it'll go back to that.

[Sanadhil] Mmm.

[Taralynn] He hasn't said that in so many words, but... that's what he thinks.

[Sanadhil] He misses you?

[Taralynn] I suppose so.

  • Sanadhil shakes his head

[Sanadhil] You don't have to tell them the truth tara, but you should tell them something they can understand.

[Taralynn] Like what?

[Sanadhil] That's you've lost a child before.

[Sanadhil] ?

[Taralynn] ...

[Taralynn] Lady Sydona already thinks I'm a whore... that'll just confirm it in her mind :/

[Taralynn] but I suppose she wouldn't think worse of me, anyhow.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Tell Theron - let him deal with her.

[Taralynn] Maybe you're right...

[Taralynn] I know I can't really run away.

  • Sanadhil nods again

[Taralynn] They'd find me...

[Sanadhil] it's terrifying, isn't it @_@

  • Taralynn nods.

[Taralynn] It's funny... I was ready to stay with Theron forever. Or I thought I was. It took me a long time to feel that way, but .. he needed me.

  • Taralynn says with a shrug.
  • Sanadhil nods

[Taralynn] But all of this, and I'd leave him in a second if it meant I knew Tristan would be safe.

[Taralynn] but I wouldn't really know, would I.

[Sanadhil] he'll be safe, Tara.

  • Taralynn shakes her head.

[Taralynn] I can't ever be sure.

[Sanadhil] ...

[Sanadhil] :|

[Taralynn] And he needs me more.

  • Sanadhil nods
  • Sanadhil is feeling a little lost in the conversation at this point, with no real frame of reference @_@

[Taralynn] She wants me to act like a lady? Well*real* ladies do what they want, don't they.

[Sanadhil] The empress still feeds her child.

[Taralynn] Exactly! I can tell her that.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Taralynn] They won't take him away from me.

[Sanadhil] No, they won't.

[Taralynn] And Theron will just have to understand that things will be different for a while.

[Sanadhil] Yes.

  • Sanadhil tries a supportive smile

[Taralynn] I mean, there are lots of things we can still do...

[Sanadhil] ...

[Taralynn] just I'm a bit more tired, that's all.

  • Taralynn says stubbornly.

[Sanadhil] You should try to get some rest, Tara.

[Sanadhil] YOu can't look out for him if you can't look after yourself.

[Taralynn] I... I'll try.

[Sanadhil] I know its hard.

[Taralynn] I feel like I have to be watching all the time, in case... I don't even know what.

[Taralynn] In case something awful happens.

[Sanadhil] You're not alone, now, Tara.

  • Taralynn nods slowly.

[Taralynn] I know... I know in my head that it's not the same this time. But it's so hard to trust them...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I understand.

[Taralynn] But.. I can try to let them watch for a while, and rest.

[Sanadhil] Yes.

[Taralynn] ...you look tired too.

[Sanadhil] Mm.

[Taralynn] Can she - your friend - can she watch for you?

[Sanadhil] ...

[Sanadhil] She tries.

  • Taralynn nods.

[Taralynn] And you try to let her?

[Sanadhil] It's very....exposing.

  • Sanadhil says, somewhat warily

[Taralynn] Yes.

  • Taralynn agrees.

[Sanadhil] And its tiring.

  • Sanadhil sighs at the irony.

[Taralynn] :/

  • Sanadhil waves dismissively
  • Taralynn juggles the baby to her other arm as he starts to wake.

[Taralynn] I should probably go. They'll be wondering where we are...

[Sanadhil] What did you say to her?

[Taralynn] I told her I was an old friend of yours.

  • Taralynn says as she stands to get ready to depart.
  • Sanadhil nods

[Taralynn] Nothing else, really...

[Taralynn] I asked about her, more, to keep her from asking about me.

[Sanadhil] Ah.

  • Sanadhil stands as well.

[Taralynn] She seems nice.

  • Taralynn says with an effort at a smile.

[Sanadhil] Thank you.

[Taralynn] Maybe some evening you two can come to the Rademachers' house for dinner.

[Sanadhil] Perhaps, yes.

[Taralynn] I'd like that.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I'll see, then.

  • Taralynn wraps her shawl around herself and the baby to go back out.

[Sanadhil] Good luck, Tara - take care of yourself.

[Taralynn] ...thank you. Nobody else understands.

[Taralynn] And you - practice what you preach, hm?

[Sanadhil] I'll try.

  • Taralynn smiles, a bit more genuinely this time, and leaves.
  • Sanadhil will go curl up in a chair for a bit.
  • Dozilva knocks at the door a little while later.
  • Sanadhil will get up to answer the door

[Dozilva] Can I come in?

[Sanadhil] Yes.

  • Dozilva does, then.

[Dozilva] Poor girl...

  • Sanadhil stops her once she closes the door behind her, and takes the hairclip out and sets it aside.
  • Dozilva shakes her head a bit to let her hair fall loose.

[Dozilva] Are you ... well?

  • Sanadhil nods, then runs a hand through her shaken loose hair, and then hugs her, maybe a little awkwardly
  • Dozilva is slightly surprised, but hugs back.

[Sanadhil] No.

[Dozilva] You held together for her, though.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Dozilva] That was very strong.

[Sanadhil] It was just...necessary.

[Dozilva] She must be a very good friend.

  • Dozilva sounds oddly ..respectful.

[Sanadhil] She needs me.

  • Dozilva nods.
  • Sanadhil finally lets her go @_@

[Dozilva] And what do you need?

[Sanadhil] I don't know.

  • Sanadhil says, honestly.
  • Dozilva considers this for a moment.

[Dozilva] Do you need me?

  • Dozilva 's tone is not flirty, but more practical.
  • Sanadhil hesitates

[Sanadhil] I...

[Sanadhil] That's a hard question.

  • Dozilva nods.
  • Dozilva isn't letting it drop, however.

[Sanadhil] I don't know. I don't know what I would do, without you.

[Dozilva] I am not going away.

[Sanadhil] I know.

[Dozilva] You hope, or you know?

  • Dozilva takes your hand, bringing it to her chest.

[Sanadhil] You scare me.

  • Dozilva doesn't seem too surprised to hear that.
  • Sanadhil squeezes her hand though

[Dozilva] Need is scary.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] You don't seem very scared.

[Dozilva] I...

  • Dozilva hesitates.

[Dozilva] I have had all my scared. When I decided I would come here for you, not knowing what it would bring.

[Sanadhil] (SM?)

[Dozilva] Maybe still I have some.

  • Dozilva admits.

[Dozilva] But it is less each day.

[Sanadhil] ...

[Sanadhil] Why?

[Dozilva] Because you let me in more. Because you let me need you more.

[Sanadhil] I'm....sorry, that I'm so difficult.

[Dozilva] Being together with you here, in this room... I know it is not what you wanted.

[Dozilva] I know it is hard sometimes, when you would rather be alone.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Dozilva] But you do it anyway. That is ... important.

[Dozilva] It makes me feel that it is all right for me to want to be near you.

[Dozilva] That you will not push me away.

[Sanadhil] YOu won't let me.

[Dozilva] Not easily.

[Dozilva] I would not like it... but if you pushed hard enough...

  • Sanadhil shakes his head

[Sanadhil] I don't want you to go.

[Dozilva] I know.

[Dozilva] I don't want you to go either.

[Sanadhil] Good.

  • Dozilva strokes your hair.
  • Sanadhil squeezes her hand again, and will lean forward to kiss her
  • Dozilva kisses back.

[Dozilva] ...anything you need... you can tell me...

  • Dozilva says, between kisses.

[Sanadhil] It's not you.

[Sanadhil] There are just some things.... I can't talk about @_@

  • Sanadhil tenses again/more

[Dozilva] I mean now... what you want from me...

[Sanadhil] oh @_@

  • Dozilva rubs her hands down your back, trying to loosen those tensed muscles.
  • Sanadhil quells that rising panic

[Sanadhil] I just... Let me show you.

  • Sanadhil says, trailing his thumb along one of the scars on her face
  • Dozilva nods.
  • Sanadhil will draw her back toward the bedroom @_@
  • Dozilva goes willingly.

Ysabeau and Martan, Nine Elms

  • Martan will get up in the morning to go to Nine Elms with you.
  • Ysabeau hopes it won't be traumatic... but also hopes it will tell us *something* possibly useful ;)
  • Martan will ready a carriage to take you there.
  • Ysabeau will let him drive since her body is so not comfortable these days.

[Ysabeau] (Unless we have a driver)

  • Martan will drive, so as to avoid a possibly hard-to-explain scene.

[Ysabeau] I look forward to being able to drive again someday...

  • Ysabeau says wistfully.

[Martan] Soon enough :)

  • Martan draws up near Nine Elms, to walk the last little way.

[Martan] I probably shouldn't drive too close, just in case.

  • Ysabeau nods.
  • Martan hands you the reins to hold them.
  • Ysabeau looks for someplace to tie the horses... she is worried about him and wants to walk partway with him. :(
  • Martan walks closer, outwardly calm, but you can tell he's anxious.
  • Ysabeau will dutifully hold the horses if there's no way she can go with him until he starts feeling something. :(
  • Martan walks into the courtyard of the church, looking around.
  • Martan rubs his forehead a bit, but approaches closer to the doors.
  • Ysabeau will abandon her post if he gets out of her sightline.
  • Martan walks up the steps, stops at the doors, turns around and comes back to you.
  • Ysabeau is craning her neck trying to keep an eye on him; she looks relieved but maybe a little disappointed that nothing strange happened.

[Martan] I do think it's stronger.

  • Martan says when he returns to your side.
  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] No voices in your head, though, huh?

  • Ysabeau tries to make light of it.
  • Martan shakes his head.

[Martan] It seemed to come on faster, but maybe that's because I was expecting it.

[Martan] But by the time I was at the steps, I could feel it sort of... pressing inside my head.

[Martan] I don't know if I could have gone inside... I was a bit worried by that point, honestly, so I decided to come back.

  • Ysabeau takes his hand with her free hand and nods.

[Ysabeau] It's just as well... I was going to drop the reins and run after you if you went inside.

  • Ysabeau supplies sheepishly.

[Ysabeau] Didn't want you out of my sight.

  • Martan smiles.

[Martan] Well - it feels fine now.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Do you think it would be okay for me to go close?

[Martan] I... don't know. I'm worried about the baby.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I know. I'm not a very good mother, thinking of experimenting with my child, am I. :P

[Martan] I didn't mean that.

[Ysabeau] I do.

[Ysabeau] I just keep hoping there's some way we can figure out what's going on, before it actually happens. :/

[Martan] I know...

[Ysabeau] I'm glad it wasn't awful for you.

[Martan] I stopped before it got worse.

[Martan] It's hard to describe.

[Ysabeau] Try?

[Ysabeau] It will just feel like chills, for me. :/

[Martan] It's like a headache, but ... like pressure, inside my skull, like something is trying to break out.

  • Ysabeau squeezes his hand.

[Martan] Maybe it's what.. she, it, whatever... feels.

[Ysabeau] An empathetic link?

[Martan] Maybe.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Martan] It's interesting that it seems to feel different for everyone.

[Ysabeau] Well... M. Orecalo, Ilphere and I all just felt chills, really.

[Ysabeau] you and Silvia were the outliers.

[Martan] She heard something, didn't she? Singing?

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I keep wishing I could ask her if she's had any visions, but she's so painfully shy. And I don't want her to think I only introduced her to Murienne because I wanted to use her.

[Martan] Maybe her brother could help smooth the way, or ask on your behalf.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Thea did say he let her live because she has some role to play in the future.

  • Martan nods.

[Ysabeau] That raised a red flag for me, possibly for others... Alma, almost certainly.

[Martan] I wonder what a creature like that would consider worth letting her live for.

[Ysabeau] I'm sure I can't even begin to guess.

[Martan] Yeah...

[Ysabeau] I don't feel like it must automatically be something evil...

[Martan] Maybe not evil, no.

[Ysabeau] Maybe I'm too optimistic. Alma seems to think I am. ;)

[Martan] If what it wants is to bring down the Empire, though, maybe she has some role to play in that.

  • Ysabeau sighs.

[Ysabeau] Who told me we're all pieces on a gameboard, not so many months ago?

  • Martan smiles bleakly.

[Ysabeau] Oh yes, that was you. :/

  • Ysabeau gives him a hug.
  • Martan hugs you back.

[Martan] I'll take you home, unless there was somewhere else you wanted to go?

[Ysabeau] I should visit Murienne and Merrow, but today I think I might just like to rest now that the thesis is done.

[Martan] All right, home it is :)

[Ysabeau] Babies make you tired, even before they're born. It doesn't seem fair.

[Ysabeau] Yes, home.

  • Ysabeau smiles and lets him help her back up into the carriage.

Alma, Guillame and Silvia

  • Alma has invited Guillame and Silvia over for the LL, unless the other way works best, though that likely involves dragging babies.

[Guillame] (ok)

  • Silvia will accompany Guillame to Alma's house.
  • Alma answers the door herself.

[Alma] Good afternoon :)

  • Alma invites you both in and will lead you through the quiet house to a sitting room which she's prepared ahead.

[Alma] How has the day been treating you both?

[Silvia] Fine, thank you.

  • Silvia says politely.

[Guillame] Not too badly, thank you.

[Alma] Glad to hear :)

[Alma] I've prepared some refreshments and some reading so as not to let you waste away from boredom if it takes me a while :)

  • Alma indicates

[Alma] How are your studies going, Your Grace?

  • Guillame scans an eye over the 'reading'
  • Alma speaks to Silvia

[Silvia] Oh... I'm sort of taking a break from the seminary, and doing some ... home study.

[Alma] Oh?

[Alma] What are you studying in the interim?

[Guillame] We're considering now when it would be best for Silvia to return to the Castalia

[Guillame] . o O (Probably best not to tell her about Silvia's studies with Raina)

[Silvia] Nature.

  • Silvia says blandly.
  • Guillame thinks loudly
  • Guillame smiles

[Alma] Well, naturalism is quite interesting.

  • Silvia nods.

[Alma] I felt it was a shame we couldn't carry that scorpion thing back so that someone could study it.

[Guillame] (Guillame is telling the truth about what he's telling)

  • Alma is politely ignoring any awkwardness.

[Alma] Well, shall we begin?

[Alma] Do you have any questions, Silvia?

[Silvia] I don't think so... I just have to wait while you cast the spell, right? I don't have to do anything.

[Alma] That's right.

[Alma] It could be done in your absence but it would take days, rather than minutes.

  • Silvia nods.
  • Alma directs you both to the seats and the piles of reading and snacks
  • Silvia takes a seat to wait patiently...
  • Alma pours tea before settling herself into a seat near the incense and begin casting.
  • Alma casts for more than half an hour before she begins to scrawl out the Legend in her mind.
  • Alma considers its meaning... her brows furrowed.

[Alma] Silvia?

[Silvia] Yes?

  • Silvia looks up from the book she had chosen.

[Alma] "You will make your own path through the wilderness, so that those who follow you may walk more surely, and find their way home at last."

  • Guillame tries to stifle a grin

[Guillame] That sounds... pretty positive.

[Silvia] What do you think it means?

  • Alma seems a little... disappointed? very briefly.
  • Silvia asks Alma.

[Alma] Yes, of course it is.

  • Alma marshals a smile.

[Alma] The danger, sometimes, is that these can be ambiguous and tricky... so when things seem plain, one ought perhaps to be suspicious...

[Alma] But it seems to say that you will be a leader.

[Silvia] People will follow... me?

  • Silvia seems a bit surprised by that idea.

[Alma] It seems so.

[Alma] It may be some time still... for you to find out... who you are... what you want to be.

[Alma] But yes... it's positive. What can be bad about people finding a home?

  • Silvia nods slowly.

[Silvia] Do you think it really means the wilderness-wilderness? Or is it a .. metaphorical wilderness?

[Alma] Possibly both.

[Alma] Do you feel a calling to the land outside the city?

  • Silvia pushes her glasses up her nose.

[Silvia] I've never really thought about it.

[Alma] What does call to you? What interests you about nature?

[Silvia] Well... I like animals.

[Silvia] I've never really spent much time outside the city - I don't know if I would like it or not.

  • Alma smiles.

[Alma] Well...

[Alma] .oO( What am I doing? )

[Alma] Perhaps it's time you took a trip?

  • Silvia glances to her brother.

[Guillame] Maybe... I can arrange that.

[Guillame] We could discuss it later, Silvia?

[Guillame] . o O (With Raina, maybe?)

[Silvia] All right.

[Alma] As for the Legend Lore, I don't think you should worry too much about it.

[Alma] If you are to be a leader, I imagine it means you are already someone who can be a great leader.

  • Alma considers.

[Alma] That is... follow your own path, and it will likely be one which others would like to follow with you.

[Silvia] That makes sense, I guess.

  • Silvia smiles.

[Alma] So I suppose all you really have to do is expect some company :)

[Silvia] Thank you, Sister Alma.

[Alma] You're welcome, Your Grace.

[Guillame] Thank you very much, Sister

[Alma] Did you want to talk about what Thea said, M. Rionet?

  • Alma tries not to use her "infront of the children" tone.

[Guillame] Yes... Silvia, could you wait for me outside?

[Silvia] All right.

[Silvia] Can I borrow the book, Sister?

[Alma] Oh, yes, of course dear.

[Silvia] Thank you.

  • Alma looks to see if she can tell what it is.
  • Silvia has a girl's adventure book.
  • Alma smiles.
  • Silvia takes it along to read while she waits.

[Alma] I know we were both concerned when she revealed that Kavreshar felt she had a destiny...

[Guillame] Well, yes... it wasn't exactly reassuring.

[Alma] I've been trying to consider less ominous possibilities, and I think this Legend Lore bodes well.

[Guillame] Then again, Kavreshar's motivations aren't really clear to me. Who's to say that there isn't *something* positive hidden in his twisted plans.

[Alma] Could it be that Kavreshar simply does not hold ill will for House Rat as a whole?

[Alma] Or perhaps I should say, the people who became House Rat?

[Alma] I have read that the being in the Arch was still revered, and that would be Serpent, yes?

[Guillame] I... don't know. Maybe. Maybe at least for whoever she's supposed to lead.

[Guillame] Yes, as far as we know that's Serpent.

[Alma] Do you think a part of House Rat may never fit in?

[Guillame] I hope that's not the case. But... I think for all of House Rat to fit in, society may have to adapt to accept some of our old culture. My, uh, studies suggest that there are some aspects that some among us may be... unwilling to give up.

[Guillame] . o O (Or unable)

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] Well, whether it is a metaphorical wilderness or not... it's a big Empire, and hopefully a home can still be made with us.

[Guillame] Yes.

[Alma] Know that House Rat will always have my support.

[Guillame] I thank you for that, Sister. Would you like me to convey it to Emperor Alexior and Empress Char?

[Alma] I would be honoured.

  • Guillame nods

[Guillame] Very well, then

  • Alma is not entiiiirely sure what to think about those titles but... growing pains.

[Alma] Well, I ought not to keep you and make Silvia wait.

  • Guillame nods

[Guillame] Good day, Sister. Thank you again, for your help.

[Alma] It was my pleasure.

Ysabeau and Alma

  • Ysabeau will have sent a note saying she'd drop by with some news...
  • Alma is likely sticking closer to home these days :3 *scries all day*
  • Ysabeau shows up with a basket of goodies.

[Ysabeau] Hello, Sister...

[Alma] Hello Ysabeau :)

[Alma] Come in.

[Ysabeau] They let me into the kitchen to bake, after much begging and pleading.

  • Ysabeau offers you the basket and comes in.

[Ysabeau] How are you?

  • Alma will carry it with her as she leads you to the kitchen again.

[Alma] I'm well, and you?

  • Ysabeau removes her cloak etc. Brrr it's cold out!

[Ysabeau] Pretty good, thanks.

[Ysabeau] I asked Martan about disguising the babies.

[Alma] Yes? What did he feel?

[Ysabeau] He has concerns about it, mainly that if one of them sprouts wings, horns or fangs, he'd rather know about it than have it hidden.

[Ysabeau] Also, he was very concerned about giving them to adoptive parents without full disclosure.

[Ysabeau] He doesn't think that would be safe or fair, to either the children or the adults.

  • Alma nods

[Ysabeau] So, to summarize, he doesn't really think it's a good idea.

[Alma] I expected more of a ... personal perspective, I suppose... but his concerns are reasonable all the same.

[Ysabeau] I tried to get a personal perspective from him, but... he was too caught up in the other concerns, I suppose.

[Alma] I suppose that any sort of ... disclosure would undo the advantage of presenting them as normal.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Alma] Even if you just said that they were destined for drama in their lives, or something to that effect... the parents would wonder why...

[Ysabeau] We don't know if they'll develop any innate magical abilities.

[Alma] That's true. I hope I can learn that, in time.

[Alma] Perhaps we'll be lucky and your friend will have some perspective.

[Ysabeau] Imagine unexplained, unexpected fires? It would almost certainly be traumatic to them if they accidentally set their puppy on fire. And it could be deadly to them or their family.

[Alma] :/

[Ysabeau] I haven't been able to speak with him yet, but I should be able to soon.

[Ysabeau] I'll let you know what he says...

[Alma] That reminds me... I meant to talk to you about the fire but forgot... and only just read you were there for it...

[Alma] I've been trying to get ahold of Vianca but I'm having trouble managing to find her /and/ stay about the house...

[Ysabeau] :/

[Alma] Do you know what happened?

[Alma] What about the artifacts?

[Ysabeau] Well, when we got there, Vianca was trying to get people out, saying it wasn't a natural fire.

[Ysabeau] My immediate thought was Kavreshar.

[Ysabeau] Ilphere and I began to summon water elementals to put the fire out, save as much as possible, give people some extra time to get out.

[Ysabeau] Well, I had told them to go rescue the artifacts, but Ilphere came to help me instead.

[Ysabeau] So, I'm not sure what happened to the artifacts... you'd have to check with Vianca, His Grace M. Rionet or M. Orecalo.

[Ysabeau] Sorry... :/

  • Alma nods

[Alma] It's not your fault.

[Ysabeau] I haven't heard anything since... do you know how much we lost, in the end? :(

  • Alma looks puzzled briefly, before you say that.
  • Ysabeau raises her eyebrows questioningly.

[Alma] No, I still haven't heard a good account :/

[Ysabeau] Huh. Well, it's early yet. Maybe Vianca hasn't been able to tally it. :/

[Ysabeau] It's only been a couple days.

[Alma] All those books :/

[Ysabeau] Yes. :(

[Ysabeau] Listen, yesterday, Martan and I revisited the Nine Elms...

[Alma] Oh yes?

[Ysabeau] I didn't go close because we were worried about the baby, if it's sensitive to Emkathon like he is.

[Ysabeau] But he went as close as he could... which was to the doors.

[Alma] Yes, that makes sense.

[Ysabeau] He believes it is stronger now.

[Ysabeau] He described it as a feeling of pressure inside his head, as if something was trying to break free.

[Ysabeau] He wondered if he was feeling what she feels. :/

[Alma] Hmm.

[Alma] Such power.

[Ysabeau] I... actually wonder if Emkathon beat Kavreshar to it, with him.

[Ysabeau] If Mercy might not be the being Kavreshar was expecting, because Martan already is.

[Alma] He may not have been trying for a new "Mercy" at all...

[Alma] His ideas of restoring what was are likely warped by his new nature.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Alma] Can he even properly conceive of the value of mercy anymore?

[Alma] I tend to think not.

[Ysabeau] I would agree with you, Sister. I just wonder if he wanted a child with a link to Emkathon under his control, is all.

[Ysabeau] For what purpose, I couldn't say.

[Ysabeau] Oh-

  • Ysabeau digs in her purse for a sheet of paper.

[Ysabeau] We asked Maze about protective spells for you...

  • Ysabeau gives you the sheet of paper.

[Alma] Ah, suggestions.

  • Alma nods

[Ysabeau] This is what he recommends.

[Alma] Thank you.

[Ysabeau] He knows people who can cast them, if you can't.

[Ysabeau] You're welcome.

[Ysabeau] Just send a message if you need assistance.

[Ysabeau] How are they...?

[Alma] That would be very helpful. I imagine the Chief Sorceror might be amenable as well... he did seem at least understanding that I didn't want to take them to the Palace.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Could I see them again maybe...?

[Alma] They're well, I suppose. Even with Marla I find myself woken at strange hours, but I suppose that's normal :)

[Alma] Yes, of course.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] I asked Martan to think about adopting them, maybe... I mean, if you and others would be all right with that.

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] .oO( Not that the others matter in this... )

[Ysabeau] He was concerned because our lives are already kind of precarious because of his being Lord Grey... but he didn't say no.

[Ysabeau] So we are going to think about it, and about what's best for them.

[Alma] There's time, at least... to make that decision.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Alma] And you're welcome to visit them any time.

[Alma] But...

[Alma] I would hate to see you become very attached to them so soon... with whatever is to come.

[Alma] We don't even know if they'll remain in the city, or on this plane.

  • Ysabeau shrugs.

[Ysabeau] If they have to go, they have to go. That doesn't mean they shouldn't be loved, for the time they have with us here.

[Alma] I know... but it can hurt even when someone leaves us for good reasons, for a good fate.

[Alma] I just don't want to see you hurt :)

[Alma] And now I suppose I shall endanger my advice by taking you to see them. :)

[Ysabeau] I'd rather love them and lose them, than not acknowledge my feelings at all, and deny myself the joy of having had time with them.

  • Ysabeau might not be talking about the twins. :P
  • Alma might not have only had the twins in mind either...
  • Ysabeau smiles bravely and follows you in to their room.
  • Ysabeau spends a goodly amount of time mothering the little ones, aww.
  • Alma keeps you all company, unless you take a very long time and then maybe she'll go scry someone :3

Alma and Cesar

  • Cesar will come over for dinner one night, probably without giving you proper warning ;)
  • Alma peeks through the hole in the door before opening it. She's wearing her regular robes, except they're all dusty.

[Alma] César!

  • Alma will give him a big hug.

[Alma] How are you :)

[Cesar] I'm good... I'm sorry I didn't send a note first to let you know I was coming.

[Alma] It's fine, I was just trying to get rid of some dust in my study...

[Alma] Danyel's gone out for a meal with some of his colleagues.

[Alma] Have you eaten?

[Cesar] No, not yet.

[Alma] Well, we can find something in the kitchen.

  • Alma dusts herself off a bit and leads the way.
  • Cesar follows you.

[Cesar] (does he know about the babies yet?)

[Alma] (I doubt it.)

  • Alma will assemble an assortment of things for us to eat and put it all on a platter

[Alma] Danyel and I have just been eating here in the kitchen while Sagesse and Marielle are on holiday.

  • Cesar nods.
  • Alma directs him to sit in Danyel's spot and sets down the food, probably mostly stuff from market runs.
  • Cesar picks at his food.

[Alma] I haven't been able to come see where they arranged for you to stay because of a new development...

  • Cesar looks up, puzzled.

[Cesar] What new development?

  • Alma will tell Cesar about the twins upstairs.

[Alma] (Maybe a quick rundown of parentage, kidnapping, glossed over birth and then the fact they're here now)

  • Cesar looks surprised.

[Cesar] Are you going to keep them?

[Alma] I have no idea what the future holds for them.

[Alma] It may not even matter... they might get swept up into greater events, greater things.

  • Cesar nods.

[Alma] My friend, the performer, Ysabeau Chanuier, might like to adopt them.

[Alma] Though her husband is unsure.

[Cesar] I imagine it's a big decision.

[Alma] I suppose with their unique situation... they can't just go to anyone.

[Cesar] I guess not.

[Alma] We'll arrange something.

[Cesar] That's good.

[Alma] Maybe we'll give them to you. You could stay home and tend to two magical children all day :]

  • Cesar laughs.

[Cesar] I don't think I'd be very good at that.

[Alma] HAve you ever tried?

[Cesar] ...Not as such, no.

[Cesar] I might be a bit busy, anyway.

[Alma] Oh? Have you finally found something to fill your time?

[Cesar] Uh... sort of.

[Cesar] I'm rejoining the army.

[Alma] The army?

  • Alma looks surprised

[Alma] I thought that didn't interest you anymore...

[Cesar] Well... I feel like it's my duty to do what I can.

  • Alma nods

[Cesar] And they asked me. Personally. Which was a bit odd.

[Alma] Really?

  • Cesar nods.

[Cesar] I gather they were asking a lot of people. I mean, it wasn't just me, like I'm some sort of super-soldier or something.

  • Alma laughs

[Alma] But still, it must mean they saw something in you.

[Cesar] I guess so.

[Alma] Well, I'm proud of you.

[Cesar] Thanks.

[Alma] I just wish it didn't have to be now...

  • Alma sighs

[Cesar] Well, this is the time that it's needed most.

[Alma] I didn't mean it that way... it's just that it just doesn't feel like this should be going to war...

[Alma] (is the demon thing in the papers?)

[Cesar] (which demon thing?)

[Alma] (re Psyra, sorry. that the duke's son was manipulated)

[Cesar] (no, that wouldn't be in the papers)

[Alma] We've learned that Kavreshar had a demon impersonate someone and manipulate the son of the Duke of Psyra...

[Alma] Kavreshar was behind the grain fire, the Bridge of the Vanities, the murder of the Duchess of (Silvia's duchy), and now this...

[Cesar] o_O

[Cesar] Even if a demon was manipulating his son, that doesn't excuse the Duke's actions.

[Alma] (What precisely /are/ his actions?)

[Alma] No, but it calls for exceptional consideration... especially when war is precisely Kavreshar's goal.

[Cesar] (threats, building up troops, etc.)

[Alma] Especially if his actions are the result of a belief that his son could not be guilty...

[Cesar] Maybe.

  • Cesar shrugs.

[Cesar] Maybe it will come to nothing... but we have to be prepared in case it doesn't.

  • Alma nods

[Alma] Which is why I'm proud of your decision.

[Alma] Wait here...

  • Cesar waits...
  • Alma runs and gets a little wooden box.

[Alma] I enchanted these for Danyel, but you may need them more.

[Cesar] What is it?

  • Alma opens the box and inside are two ceramic tokens.
  • Cesar looks at them, curious.

[Alma] I've cast Refuge on them both. If you are ever in trouble, and need to come back here, just break this one.

[Cesar] ... to run away? :/

[Alma] And if you're one of those fools who's more afraid of looking the coward than... dying, well there's this one...

[Alma] It will bring me to you.

  • Cesar smiles weakly.

[Cesar] To put you in danger too? ;)

[Alma] I can handle myself pretty well :)

[Alma] If there's war though... I might already be needed elsewhere... but I'll let you know, and then you can still use the other one.

[Cesar] All right.

[Alma] I'm not suggesting you be a coward, but don't be a fool either.

  • Alma will lean over and kiss her brother on the forehead.
  • Cesar looks embarrassed, but smiles.

[Cesar] Ok, Alma, don't go overboard :)

[Alma] I need you to come back and make lots of beautiful de Béziers. There's not nearly enough of us.

[Cesar] Heh.

[Cesar] I'll do what I can. About the coming back, anyway. I make no promises about the babies.

[Alma] I don't recall giving you a choice, Younger Brother -_-

[Alma] With enough of us maybe we could become an important family in the Empire :)

  • Alma is mostly joking.

[Cesar] Well you'd better get working on that - you have several years' head start, after all, and you're apparently collecting orphans again too.

  • Cesar teases.

[Alma] I don't know when I'll have time!

  • Alma will tell César that she's in consideration for RM, and to be discreet about it.

[Cesar] O_O

[Alma] I may never have time ever again @_@

[Cesar] You'll have lackeys, though!

[Alma] Yes but... I don't think that will cover it all

[Alma] Anyway...

[Cesar] No, probably not.

[Cesar] Do you have any more of this cheese? It's really good.

  • Alma nods and will get him what's left to take with him.

[Alma] There's a pouch in with the tokens to help you keep them safe.

  • Cesar will continue to chat with you until he's ready to leave.

[Cesar] Thanks.

  • Alma will also invite him to see the twins if he cares.
  • Cesar will do so.

[Alma] (I know babies are not v. interesting but magic babies are slightly more so.)

[Cesar] I'll try to let you know before I leave, but I may not have much notice.

  • Cesar admires the babies.

[Alma] I understand... that's why I gave you the tokens tonight, just in case.

[Alma] If I'm not sure, I'll cast Sending, and you can always reply when I do that.

[Cesar] Ok.

  • Cesar gives you a hug.
  • Alma will hug tight, even tighter than when she met him at the door.

[Cesar] [q] Love you, Alma.

[Alma] You be safe, and smart, and good.

[Cesar] I'll try.

[Alma] I love you too.

  • Cesar then departs.

Ysabeau and Guillame

  • Ysabeau will meet with Guillame in a small music room in the palace.
  • Guillame opens the door quietly, to avoid disturbing any practice
  • Ysabeau stands up and curtseys as best she can when you arrive, since you're a duke. She's the only person there aside from you. :)

[Ysabeau] Good afternoon, Your Grace. Thank you for agreeing to meet with me.

[Ysabeau] How have you been?

[Guillame] I've been well, Ysabeau - and you're welcome. Yourself?

[Ysabeau] Well, thank you.

[Ysabeau] Would you like some tea?

  • Ysabeau has a pot handy; she was going over a new musical score while she waited.

[Guillame] Certainly, thank you!

  • Ysabeau will pour you a cup and ask you how you like it doctored, then pass it along to you.
  • Guillame has his with just a little sugar

[Ysabeau] How is Silvia? I haven't seen much of her since Muri moved into the Palace and I into M. Olivier's residence.

[Guillame] She's ok... she's just working through everything that's happened recently.

  • Ysabeau nods... wondering what has happened to her recently.

[Ysabeau] I actually wanted to ask you about her abilities...

  • Guillame waits

[Ysabeau] She seems to have a gift of the Sight?

[Ysabeau] I noticed when we were at the Nine Elms Church...

  • Ysabeau explains.

[Guillame] Yeah... a bit of something like that.

[Ysabeau] She said she heard singing, but decided to wait outside, because 'it was too far down' anyway.

  • Guillame looks uncomfortable

[Ysabeau] And she was exactly right.

[Guillame] Mm

[Ysabeau] I understand why you would want to keep it secret so I've been trying to respect that. If it were Murienne, I'd be worried about unscrupulous people using her, if they knew.

  • Guillame nods

[Guillame] It's partly that, and more besides... people are suspicious enough of our house as it is... Silvia doesn't need any more fuel on *that* fire.

[Ysabeau] :/

[Ysabeau] I grew up with a lot of people from House Rat... I've never really felt like that about them, or you.

[Ysabeau] Ironic, as it turns out. I recently learned my mother was from House Rat...

[Ysabeau] But when she married my father, both families... pretty much disowned them.

[Guillame] I'm sorry to hear that

[Ysabeau] And we were raised to believe we were House Owl only.

  • Ysabeau shrugs.

[Guillame] The disproportionate response, that is... not your heritage

[Ysabeau] Now that I know I was missing something, I feel kind of sad about it. But that's neither here nor there. Gods willing I'll have many years to learn about my mother's House.

  • Guillame nods

[Ysabeau] I was curious whether Silvia's gift extends to the future, or whether she can only know things that are happening right now.

[Ysabeau] With all that's going on, if she had had any visions about the future, it could be helpful.

[Guillame] I'm not entirely clear about that... I've been letting her explore it at her own pace. With some... expert help, as such.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Fair enough.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] I feel kind of bad for asking, to be honest.

[Ysabeau] It's just...

[Guillame] There's evidence to suggest that those with her abilities can in some cases become insane, so I'm loath to push her.

[Guillame] Hopefully her tutor can guide her away from that path.

  • Ysabeau looks concerned.
  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] I don't imagine it's something one can do on command, anyway.

[Ysabeau] I was just hoping, maybe if she'd had a vision about Emkathon, or something like that.

[Ysabeau] Maybe she might tell you?

[Guillame] I don't know. Maybe it is, when one is in control of it.

[Guillame] I could ask her...

[Ysabeau] Could you? It could be ever so important to me.

  • Ysabeau looks and sounds almost desperately hopeful.

[Guillame] I'll ask, yes.

[Ysabeau] Thank you...

  • Ysabeau 's voice wavers.

[Ysabeau] Martan and I went to the Nine Elms the other day...

[Ysabeau] He said she felt stronger to him.

[Ysabeau] I'm really frightened that I might lose him.

  • Guillame nods

[Ysabeau] I don't know if Silvia would have seen anything that would help us understand what is going to happen, but I thought it was worth a try.

[Ysabeau] I wouldn't have asked otherwise.

[Ysabeau] And I promise I won't tell anyone what she can do.

[Guillame] Like I say, I'll ask her. I can't promise anything, though.

[Guillame] Thank you.

  • Ysabeau nods and rubs some tears away.

[Ysabeau] I know you can't, but thank you very much for agreeing to ask her. It means a lot to me.

[Guillame] It seems to me like there are some pretty big things going on with Martan, if everything you've told me turns out to be true. And while I hope that the two of you live happily ever after, it might be a better approach to enjoy the time that you have together, and to help him to meet whatever he faces.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Guillame] As I'm sure he'll help you to meet the challenges you face.

[Ysabeau] That's what I've been trying to do.

[Ysabeau] But neither of us know what he might be facing so it is difficult to prepare.

[Guillame] Well, if it's worth anything, I think asking your friends for help is an excellent way to prepare - so you're probably on the right track.

[Guillame] I'll let you know what Silvia has to say.

[Ysabeau] Thank you.

  • Ysabeau looks really grateful.
  • Guillame will take his leave (and wererogue will head to bed!)

Seth, Marl and Schesutte

  • Marl will eventually show up to see your display of golemry.

[Seth] Ah, good evening, your Majesty.

  • Seth is practically beaming.

[Marl] Good evening. I understand you've made some advances.

[Seth] Yes, yes, you might very well say that.

  • Marl eyes the creature/structure/entity/whatever.

[Marl] It's operational, then?

[Seth] Allow me to demonstrate.

  • Seth gives the golem an instruction: Walk forward.
  • Marl watches as the golem does.

[Seth] What would you like me to have it do now?

[Marl] What is it capable of?

[Seth] Well. That is ... perhaps somewhat complex.

  • Seth has it turn around and come back.

[Marl] Its walking skills are well-honed, I see.

[Seth] Sire, I assure you that it is as capable as Karik in every way.

[Marl] It can be commanded in battle, then?

[Seth] It can be, yes ...

  • Marl nods.

[Marl] Good. Its abilities may be needed before much longer.

[Seth] ... how so, sire?

[Marl] You are aware, surely, that negotiations with Psyra are proving ... uncomfortable.

[Seth] Yes, I spoke to your brother recently.

[Marl] Oh?

[Seth] Yes. I hear you have made him a general. How ... interesting.

[Marl] Well, it was bound to come out sooner or later. These things are necessary for appearance, you must understand.

[Seth] Yes, of course.

[Seth] I must say, though, Your Majesty, that I am rather uncomfortable with the idea of sending Schesutte into battle at the present time, for at least two reasons.

[Seth] Well, actually, three.

  • Marl listens.

[Seth] First, there is the question of ... ownership. The Church feels entitled to control it, since Schesutte was traditionally under church control.

[Marl] I would like to see them try, at this juncture.

[Seth] Well, be that as it may ... the second reason is that, while control of Karik is well-established, we do not yet know enough about Schesutte's power and potential. And ... if she were to be lost in battle, so soon after her restoration, it would be a serious loss to knowledge. So, if it is to be necessary to send a golem into battle, perhaps you might decide to send Karik and leave Schesutte here to guard the Mint?

[Marl] I was expecting to make use of them both, in fact.

[Marl] But, are you saying that this golem's abilities are yet uncertain?

[Seth] Yes, of course. I do worry, though, with the ... with Kavreshar still loose in the city, that there might be some risk in that tactic.

[Seth] I am not saying they are uncertain, not in that sense, no ...

[Seth] I am saying that ... and this is a complexity I had not anticipated ... that while her capabilities are sound, her ... willingness to comply ... with certain sorts of military orders ... is uncertain ...

  • Seth realizes just how crazy that must sound.

[Marl] Willingness to comply?

[Marl] I was not under the impression that these things had 'will', as such.

[Seth] Ahh ... well, that is ... that is a complicated ... question.

  • Seth talks to Schesutte mentally.

[Seth] :My friend ... you see now the problem we face?:

[Golem] :I do... I will not comply with orders of violence.:

[Seth] :You said if such an order were to be given, you would leave this body. If that were to happen - would this body become inert?:

[Golem] :I do not know:

[Seth] :Would you be able to return to the body?:

[Golem] :Again, I do not know. I am reluctant to risk the experiment.:

[Marl] Why is it a complicated question?

  • Marl asks a bit impatiently, as you stand there thinking.

[Seth] :As am I. Dear friend ... is there anything you can do now to ... illustrate to the emperor?:

[Golem] :I do not share the bond with him as I do with you.:

[Seth] :No, of course not.:

[Seth] Sire, it is that ... it appears that within this shell, this body ... there is a will, a force, a soul.

  • Seth says to Marl.

[Marl] I see...

[Marl] What is it?

[Seth] It is ... it is the soul of the city.

[Marl] o_O

[Marl] How did you come to this conclusion?

[Seth] It informed me of its presence.

[Marl] Informed you verbally?

[Seth] Informed me telepathically, Sir.

[Seth] It is ... most opposed to the use of this body for military purposes.

[Marl] Does it communicate so with whoever holds its amulet?

[Seth] I believe it communicates with me alone.

[Marl] Why you?

[Seth] Because of my unusual connection with the city, about which I believe we have spoken in the past, Sire.

[Marl] Hm.

[Marl] Can it then even leave the city, if that is what is... possessing it?

[Seth] It says that yes, it can leave the city.

[Marl] And if it is ordered into military action it will... what? refuse?

[Seth] Yes, Sire.

[Seth] I realize that this may sound ... implausible.

[Marl] It is ... not something I have heard of before, certainly.

[Seth] No, Sire, I believe that this is completely unprecedented.

[Marl] Indeed...

  • Marl considers.

[Marl] I am prepared to hold back this golem from combat until such time as we can discover what is going on - and if possible, drive this force out of the body, perhaps into a more suitable vessel.

  • Seth pauses briefly before answering.

[Seth] Very good, Sire. What are your instructions to me, then, in this regard?

[Marl] I expect you to continue your communication with this entity, and convey any meaningful results to me.

[Seth] Of course, Sire.

[Marl] Endeavour to see if it can vacate the body and occupy another form.

[Seth] I will investigate the matter.

[Marl] Practice also with commanding Karik. I will put it at your disposal.

[Seth] I ... thank you, Sire. I am certain that this will provide a wealth of comparative data.

[Marl] And in the event that its services are required in battle, Karik will be at your command.

[Seth] I ... see. I ... am no soldier, Sire.

[Marl] You will not be required to fight, if you do your job properly.

[Marl] Some rank will be required, I expect.

  • Marl considers this for a moment.

[Marl] Imperial Construct Commander?

[Seth] Ahh ... I do not ... know what to say, Sire.

[Marl] We can have a uniform made.

[Seth] That will ... well, let us hope it is ultimately unnecessary, yes?

  • Seth laughs uncomfortably.

[Marl] We can hope.

  • Marl sounds unconvinced.

[Seth] Well, for the time being, Sire, I will of course continue my research as rapidly as possible.

[Marl] Very well.

[Marl] I'll leave you to it then.

  • Marl departs.

[Seth] :I am sorry, my friend. It is the best I could do for now.:

[Golem] :You have made your choice, even though it causes you pain. I understand this.:

[Seth] :I will not allow the Emperor to interfere with you.:

[Golem] :I appreciate your protection, but there would be little he could do.:

[Seth] :Yes, but my hope is that I can get him to understand, to truly understand. He is wise in his own way, and can be made to see.:

[Golem] :There may not be time. But it is good of you.:

[Seth] :I will do what needs to be done. For now, you are kept from being sent into battle. That is enough.:

  • Golem falls silent for the moment.