Diablotin 2 session 80

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Diablotin date:


[DiablotinNarrator] It is the middle of First-Month, 2249. The temperature has fallen dramatically in the past few days, and snow now covers the city with a blanket of pure white that has not yet had time to turn into mud and slush.

[DiablotinNarrator] Some news items of the past little while that may be of interest to some or all of you: reports have come in that the Lord Admiral Temair Metivier, who for most of the past year has been absent from the city with part of the fleet, has been lost at sea. At the same time, however, an exciting discovery was made - a previously unknown chain of islands, which are being named in his honour.

[DiablotinNarrator] An apparent earthquake caused minor damage to several buildings on the North Bank, including the Nine Elms temple. No injuries are reported.

[DiablotinNarrator] The body of Vescan Corriveau, until recently head of the notorious Corriveau crime family, was discovered hanging from the Shadow Bridge in the early hours of the morning. The speculation is that it was murder, and that someone else is taking over the organization, but who that might be is yet unknown (at least, by the newspapers...)

[DiablotinNarrator] There is also small, unobtrusive note in the Oracle and the Scourge, probably noticed only by an interested few, that the Rutting Boar is under new management.

Dominik and Seth

[DiablotinNarrator] The plan is in readiness. The crack team has been training together since the mission was announced, and you feel as prepared as you can expect to be.

[DiablotinNarrator] You have studied the maps, memorized all the possible routes from the teleportation circle to the duke's private chambers, and have formulated plans for what to do if you are separated.

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth, the only change to your role is that you have been asked - well, demanded really - to bring both of the Great Constructs with you. The thought seems to be that even if one cannot (or will not?) fight, its presence will deter those who might consider trying to re-take the circle.

[DiablotinNarrator] You assemble at the Hall of Worthies in the early hours of the morning, well before the sun is up. The air is frigid and still, a few flakes of snow silently drifting down.

[Seth] (I will need to talk to Schesutte before I agree to this. If necessary I will plead that I'm not done testing her.)

[DiablotinNarrator] (the response from your superiors will be 'too bad'. Schesutte will agree to go, but not to fight.)

[Seth] ( grrr, ok)

  • Fredericia is there to see you off at the teleportation circle, along with a bunch of guards who will stay on this end, in the event that any enemies make it back through this way.

[Fredericia] I have every confidence in you, soldiers. You are doing a great service to your empire, and hopefully averting a full-scale war.

  • Dominik is armed and eager to begin
  • Fredericia gives each of you a few words or a pat on the back before you go through the circle.

[DiablotinNarrator] You all have to go through as quickly as possible, of course, since there are likely to be guards on the far side.

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth, you and your golems are up near the start.

  • Seth tries not to grumble too much.

[Fredericia] Good luck.

  • Fredericia tells you as you step through with your 'companions'.

[Seth] :I am sorry, my friend. I will do what I can.

  • Dominik nods at the comment

[Fredericia] Come back safe.

  • Fredericia tells you, Dom.

[Dominik] Always my intention

  • Dominik winks
  • Fredericia smiles and sends you through, into a battle that has already begun.

[DiablotinNarrator] The air feels as if it is pressing against you, the change in humidity is so sudden. It is warm here, almost sweltering compared to what you have just left.

[DiablotinNarrator] The circle's guards are attacking you before you have time to process much more than that...

[DiablotinNarrator] After a brief fight (which we will all imagine is very dramatic) and with the assistance of your comrades, you manage to secure the teleportation circle, at least for now.

[DiablotinNarrator] Then your group splits into two teams - a smaller group, including Seth and his golems, to remain holding the circle, while the rest of you proceed to the duke's private quarters to retrieve him.

[DiablotinNarrator] We'll deal with the group who are going ahead, which includes Dom, first.


[DiablotinNarrator] The ducal palace is a grand marble building, ornate with columns and carvings. Your feet echo on the floor as you pound through the corridors, no time to take in your luxurious surroundings with anything more than a glance to tell you you're going in the right direction.

[DiablotinNarrator] After a few skirmishes, you emerge into a wide, high-ceilinged gallery lined with columns. You believe that once you get through this, you should be in the duke's private quarters.

[DiablotinNarrator] There is an obstable, however...

[DiablotinNarrator] A massive black stone statue with the torso of a six-armed woman and the body of a serpent is approaching from the far end of the corridor (see gametable for details ;)

[DiablotinNarrator] Having defeated the giant construct, you are left with several wounded, and Laurine's husband made of stone.

[Dominik] If someone can fix him fast, then do so, otherwise we move on.

[Nais] Leave him for the priests, they should be coming up behind us. Leave any who are too wounded for them too.

  • Nais suggests, standing by the doorway she has managed to open.
  • Dominik will chug his cure moderate potion then look to Cesar, the only other wounded.

[Dominik] Stay or go?

[Cesar] I'm ok, I've got potions too.

[Dominik] Lets go then

[Nais] This way, or continue down the main corridor?

[Dominik] lets use the secret door, more chance of surprise

[Nais] Good. It should get us right into his quarters.

  • Nais leads you down a passageway that looks, by the dust, as though it hasn't been used for centuries.

[Nais] [w] I'm amazed... maybe they forgot this was here.

[Dominik] [w] well take whatever pluses we can get, glad you spotted it.

[Nais] [w] Yeah...

  • Nais holds up a hand for you to slow.

[Nais] [w] Going to check for traps, hold on.

  • Nais creeps ahead carefully.
  • Nais fiddles with something along the wall.

[Nais] [w] OK, should be clear now. They obviously haven't forgotten about this passage entirely...

  • Nais proceeds.
  • Dominik nods and follows

[DiablotinNarrator] After some distance, you emerge, dusty and trying not to cough, through another hidden panel.

[DiablotinNarrator] You are evidently in the duke's private rooms, as Nais (somehow!) predicted.

[DiablotinNarrator] Although the duke is not.

[DiablotinNarrator] or at least, nowhere you can see him.

[Cesar] Shit! Where'd he go?

[Nais] He can't have had much time to escape.

[Nais] Search the place. Top to bottom.

[Dominik] Can't be many other ways out of here. Can we magic up a trail?

  • Dominik will start searching

[DiablotinNarrator] Everyone does as instructed, pulling open wardrobes, tossing mattresses aside, etc.

[DiablotinNarrator] Opal pulls open a door and gives a little scream.

[Opal] Something... stabbed my finger.

  • Opal then stumbles to the floor.

[Nais] Poison.

[Dominik] Void, trap

  • Nais goes to check on her.
  • Dominik will head over to the door Opal opened

[DiablotinNarrator] Inside the door is a small room - probably the duke's dressing chamber, by the looks of it. Inside, you see a man hanging from the chandelier, a chair kicked over beneath his feet and a silken cord around his neck.

[Dominik] Cesar cover me!

  • Cesar hurries to do so.
  • Dominik will run and and cut the man down

[Nais] She's gone :/

  • Nais says from Opal's side.

[Dominik] (is it our man- now hung?)

[DiablotinNarrator] You cut him down. He is deceased, however.

[Dominik] Toss the room... get be a blanket to wrap him...

  • Cesar does as instructed.

[Nais] Let's take the body and get out - it'll have to do.

  • Dominik will use the remainder of the scarf to tie the body up

[Dominik] We found him alive and took him in a struggle, thats how Opal died... everyone got it.

[Cesar] Of course.

  • Nais frowns, but nods.

[DiablotinNarrator] Meanwhile, mages are scamming anything useful they can find in the duke's rooms.

[DiablotinNarrator] You can head out... I'll go back to Seth now.

Seth and Schesutte

[DiablotinNarrator] Seth, you are stationed at the teleportation circle with your golems (and several others of the team) hoping that you won't really be needed much, now that the initial assault is done.

[Schesutte] :... so much death...

  • Schesutte 's voice seems fainter than usual, perhaps because you are so distant from the city? Or perhaps there is some other reason...

[Seth] :I am sorry, my friend.

[Seth] :You sound ... far away? Is that because we are far from the city?

[Schesutte] :... perhaps... there is much... confusion...

[Schesutte] :...I am sorry, Seth... but I cannot stay here...

[Seth] :Where are you going?

[Seth] :Back to Diablotin?

[Schesutte] :...I am being called...

[Schesutte] :... I will see you again, I hope...

[Seth] :No, wait! I need you!

  • Schesutte does not respond. Her stone body is as inert as any ordinary rock.
  • Seth attempts to use the amulet to reposition her body.
  • Schesutte moves at your bidding.
  • Seth weeps.

[DiablotinNarrator] The soldiers left with you look askance at you, but don't ask.

  • Seth barely even notices them.

[Seth] :Please, please! Can you hear me?

  • Schesutte gives no reply.


[DiablotinNarrator] Dom, what are you going to do re. Sylvain the statue?

[DiablotinNarrator] I mean, not that you can fix him, but will you ask the priests present to fix him, or attempt to carry him back, or leave him there?

[Dominik] (damn moral dilema)

[DiablotinNarrator] (heheh)

[DiablotinNarrator] (none of the sorcs present have stone to flesh prepped, or they would have presumably used it when he was first petrified, fwiw)

[DiablotinNarrator] (er, have it on their lists, I mean)

[Dominik] If we can get him fixed fast, we leave him, were in the middle of an enemy castle, we still have to make it out of here, we cant afford to carry a 250 lb statue.

[Dominik] (can't)

[DiablotinNarrator] No one can do it right now, no. Everyone agrees to leave him there - maybe they can get him back later, is the optimistic consensus.

[DiablotinNarrator] You return to the teleportation circle - any guards you encounter on the way back basically run away from you.

  • Dominik rests a hand on him before he goes

[Dominik] [w] I'm sorry

[Dominik] We have him, lets get out of here.

[DiablotinNarrator] All right - although there were several casualties in the process, you have mostly managed to return safely through the circle.

Alma and Patriarch Theron

[DiablotinNarrator] Alma, you are aware that the Order of the Owl has been meeting to make its decision on the next Reverend Mother. As a candidate for the position, you have been making your case as well as you are able, but you are not permitted to vote or attend the final meetings.

[DiablotinNarrator] Moreover, you are aware that Cesar has been training for some sort of mission, so although you don't know the exact date it will take place on, it is weighing on your mind nevertheless.

[DiablotinNarrator] Trying to keep your mind on other matters, you are just settling down to a relaxing session of scrying on people, when there is a knock at the door.

  • Alma finds herself somewhat relieved that it is over, the need to promote herself passed.

[Alma] Hmm?

[DiablotinNarrator] There is a messenger there, with a note.

  • Alma sits looking at the crystal ball and really wishing her staff were here... before standing up to answer the door.

[Alma] Ah... thank you.

  • Alma will tip him well.

[DiablotinNarrator] The note, on the embossed stationery of the Patriarch, reads "Please come see me at your earliest convenience."

[Alma] .oO( Could they be done already? )

  • Alma will leave beside her scrying and prepare to go to the Patriarch's palace.
  • Patriarch Theron greets you warmly when you arrive. It is still strange to see him in his white robes, after being so accustomed to seeing him in purple.

[Patriarch Theron] Good morning, Sister. I trust you are well?

  • Alma greets him likewise, though perhaps tempered a little with decorum for his station.

[Alma] Yes, I am, your (Eminence). And yourself?

[Patriarch Theron] I am quite well, yes, thank you.

[Patriarch Theron] I wished to speak with you about the process for elevation to the post of Reverend Mother.

  • Patriarch Theron says with a warm smile.

[Alma] The deliberations are over? :o

[Patriarch Theron] The meeting last night was conclusive, at last. The Order has chosen you, Alma.

  • Alma takes a deep breath.

[Alma] Oh... dear...

[Alma] I hope you knew what you were doing...

[Patriarch Theron] Sit down, please... I don't want you to faint, these floors are very hard.

  • Alma permits herself a smile though.

[Alma] Gods allow me the strength to do well -_-

  • Alma will sit, actually...

[Patriarch Theron] I trust that they will.

[Patriarch Theron] There will be a ceremony of elevation in two weeks' time. In the meanwhile, you do not officially hold the title of Reverend Mother yet - but you can probably expect most clerics, at least, to treat you as though you do, once the word is out.

  • Alma nods.

[Patriarch Theron] We will do great things together, Alma. Great things.

[Patriarch Theron] Starting with cleansing the Empire of this cult of the Serpent that has begun to take root.

[Alma] Well... at least in its present form...

[Alma] Esmena, and Phedre, the Order...

  • Patriarch Theron nods.
  • Alma looks a little bit confused.

[Patriarch Theron] Are you well? Do you need a drink, perhaps?

[Alma] No, I'm fine Patriarch, thank you.

[Patriarch Theron] Good, good. Now, tell me about this damage to the Nine Elms - is it serious?

[Alma] (Have I had time to go see?)

[Alma] (It's totally on her list.)

[DiablotinNarrator] (you have not, yet)

[Alma] I haven't been able to go to see it yet... I was hoping to take Danyel this evening, and see if Emkathon is as we left her.

[Patriarch Theron] I think that would be prudent. Perhaps even sooner, if you are able.

[Alma] Certainly, I will go as soon as I can.

[Patriarch Theron] Very well, then.

  • Patriarch Theron will chat with you a while longer, but not keep you indefinitely, you both have plenty of things to do!

[Alma] (I was thinking about asking if we should announce Serpent before we oust Esmena?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (ok, you can ask that :)

[Alma] I was thinking that perhaps it would be good for us to announce the return of Serpent to the public, before we try to remove Esmena.

[Alma] As you said some time ago, this could be the beginning of a process of righting a wrong long in our past...

[Patriarch Theron] Yes... perhaps you are correct.

[Alma] It may be best if it is we who begin the story of his return, rather than the Order of the Black Down

[Patriarch Theron] While we cannot permit this cult to infiltrate our church and usurp its power, it is impossible to deny that they have genuine power... even if its source is .. suspect.

  • Alma nods

[Patriarch Theron] I will consult with the other members of the Council, and if we are in agreement, then that is what we shall do.

  • Alma nods

[Alma] Hopefully there can be harmony between the Seven and the Serpent...

[Patriarch Theron] We can hope that will be the case...

[Alma] And in time perhaps between their followers -_-

  • Patriarch Theron nods.
  • Alma continues to get a feel for his plans and priorities.

Ilphere and Theonee

[DiablotinNarrator] Ilphere, immediately upon the conclusion of the holidays, Menard departed for his military post. Although he looked most dashing in his uniform, it is still difficult to shake the feeling that you might never see him again...

[DiablotinNarrator] You have been distracted from too much misery, however, by little Vera, who demands a large portion of your attention, and by a steady stream of visitors wishing to pay their respects and present the new princess with gifts.

[Ilphere] :(

[Ilphere] (:( for the first part ;)

[DiablotinNarrator] (smilies for presents? :)

[DiablotinNarrator] (oh, and the baby I suppose)

[Ilphere] (hehe)

[DiablotinNarrator] It is after the first flood of well-wishers has dwindled that the Chancellor comes to pay you a visit...

[Theonee] Princess Ilphère, how are you?

[Ilphere] Oh... well enough! :)

[Ilphere] What an unexpected pleasure to see you, chancellor...! :)

  • Theonee smiles.

[Theonee] Well, I could not let such an occasion pass without a little something...

  • Theonee offers you a small, nicely-wrapped box.

[Ilphere] Oh, thank you...!

  • Ilphere accepts it gracefully.

[Ilphere] I should open it now...? :)

[Theonee] If you wish, certainly.

  • Ilphere carefully opens it without tearing the paper.

[DiablotinNarrator] It contains a small, child-sized amber necklace.

[Theonee] I hope it will suit the little princess.

[Ilphere] It's beautiful...!

[Ilphere] Thank you so much!

[Theonee] You are very welcome.

[Theonee] Is she sleeping? May I see her?

[Ilphere] Certainly...

  • Theonee goes quietly over to the sleeping child.

[Theonee] She's so small... It's easy to forget how tiny they are, when one is not often around babies.

  • Theonee glances back at you.

[Theonee] I want you to know, it will be all right.

[Ilphere] It... what will...?

  • Ilphere asks slowly.

[Theonee] I forgive you for what you must do.

  • Theonee says with a gentle smile.

[Ilphere] I don't understand...

[Theonee] No... but soon...

  • Theonee pauses in the middle of whatever she was about to say, and her eyes seem to glaze over.

[Ilphere] . o O (She is one of the ones...)

[Ilphere] ... Chancellor?

[Theonee] [w] Ohh. She's almost free...

  • Theonee twitches, slumping to the floor.

[Ilphere] ... !

  • Ilphere crouches down with her...

[Ilphere] Chancellor...? Theonee!

[Theonee] [w] Nine... elms... You have to ... go...

[Ilphere] Emkathon...

  • Theonee manages a nod.

[Ilphere] But I can't leave Cordovera here... and you...

[Theonee] [w] I'll be... all right...

[Theonee] [w] Take the baby.

[Ilphere] .. Yes... Yes, I should. @_@

  • Ilphere bundles up her tiny daughter.

[Ilphere] Are you sure you're alright....? :/

  • Theonee has managed to get herself into a chair.

[Theonee] Fine... call for a servant, before you go...

  • Ilphere will do so.

[Ilphere] [w, to C] We're going to go see something very special...

  • Ilphere will Teleport to Nine Elms, once someone has arrived to help the Chancellor.\

Guillame, Portia and Silvia

[DiablotinNarrator] Guy, you and Portia are sitting down to a late breakfast/early lunch together - she is off to work tonight, and you have plans to see Aden later, to continue talking him through the process of his wedding, which is taking place tomorrow.

[DiablotinNarrator] Silvia is having her second private lesson with Reverend Father Velten. From anything you heard, the first went fairly well.

  • Portia picks at her food, seeming distracted.
  • Guillame rambles a bit about how pleased he is with Silvia's arrangemebt
  • Portia nods politely, but doesn't have much to add.

[Portia] I have some news...

[Guillame] Oh?

[Portia] I'm pregnant.

  • Portia watches carefully to see how you react.
  • Guillame 's eyes light up

[Guillame] That's great!

  • Portia smiles.

[Portia] I suppose it's probably a relief to you that we can stop... all of that, for now anyway.

[Guillame] i suppose it is... and for you, too - I know it's been hard.

  • Portia nods.

[Portia] Not as bad as I thought, though. You're very ... patient.

[Guillame] Hah, well I'm glad

[Portia] So am I.

[Portia] I suppose, in future, I would not be averse to ... further efforts, as necessary.

[Guillame] Nor would I, of course.

[Guillame] Well, I suppose there are a lot of arrangements to make now! I always assumed that Mother would know what happens next, but we'll just have to handle it ourselves.

[Portia] Some parts were actually quite... oh.

  • Silvia wanders in, apparently having returned from her lesson.

[Guillame] . o O (Phew...)

[Silvia] Good morning.

  • Silviagoes to help herself to a sweetroll from the table.

[Guillame] Hello little Sister! How'd it go?

[Silvia] I think I was a bit distracted today, though. I had a hard time following...

[Silvia] The singing's louder. Much louder now.

[Guillame] Louder? Ok, I'll look into that...

  • Silvia nods.

[Silvia] Can we go see?

  • Silvia asks, after swallowing her bite of roll.

[Guillame] I... don't know if that's a good idea. I'll ask some people, find out if it's safe.

[Guillame] If we go down there and it's safe, you can come.

[Silvia] ...All right.

  • Silvia seems disappointed.

[Portia] Go down where?

[Guillame] Well, you know. *Reasonably* safe. Safe enough,

[Guillame] There's something in the basement that sings at Nine Elms... some of my colleagues know more about it than me.

[Guillame] Silvia can hear it, although most can't.

[Portia] Huh.

[Guillame] I... did we forget to talk to you about Silvia after the ball?

[Silvia] It's very beautiful. I can't hear it here, though.

[DiablotinNarrator] (I will assume you were able to tell her about what happened at the ball, if you wanted - you've had plenty of time :)

[Guillame] (Yeah, I intended to - and if she seemed ok with everything, to go on and tell her about Silvia being a seer and her lessons with Raina)

[DiablotinNarrator] (*nod*)

[Portia] Do you want me to come with you?

[Guillame] i'll find out what the antiquarians know about it first.

[Portia] All right.

[Silvia] You'd better hurry...

  • Silvia says, finishing up her roll.

[Guillame] ...Why?

[Silvia] Well... I think it's going to happen soon. Whatever it is.

[Guillame] I... ok. I'll see who I can meet tonight... maybe Ysabeau, or Seth, or Princess Ilphere.

[Silvia] All right... tonight might even be too late, though. It feels... close.

[Silvia] Let me know if I'm allowed to go?

[Guillame] Hrm.

[Guillame] Well...

[Guillame] Do you think it's safe?

[Guillame] (sm on the answer)

[Silvia] I don't think anything that sounds like that could be bad.

  • Silviais perfectly sincere on this.

[Guillame] I'm not so sure about that.

[Guillame] Regardless of what is singing, if you think about going down into the Nine Elms basement tonight, do you feel anything as to whether it's safe or not?

[Silvia] I don't see anything bad.

[Silvia] But if you want me to stay here, I will. But you should go.

[Guillame] Ok. Let's all go and try to find Alma and Ysabeau, and we'll go and see what's going on.

  • Silvia and Portia will come with you, then.

[Guillame] We're going to tell Alma that you actually heard singing for now, though. Ok?

  • Silvia nods.

[Guillame] Yes, and you can come too.

[DiablotinNarrator] You can go by Alma's and I will assume, for the sake of convenience, that you manage to catch her at home, after her meeting with the Patriarch but before she goes to Nine Elms, and you guys can talk about that in gnomeland if you want, while I deal with San's scene.

Guillame and Alma

  • Guillame arrives, with entourage, at the countess' estate
  • Alma does not answer immediately, but eventually opens the door herself, looking somewhat flushed.

[Alma] Oh, good afternoon... Your Graces.

[Alma] To what do I owe the honour?

[Guillame] Good evening!

[Guillame] We wondered if you would join us for an investigation of sorts - Silvia heard loud singing from the basement of Nine Elms. Louder than before, it seems.

[Alma] You're more than welcome to come in, though I am somewhat at a lack in the hospitality department. I've sent my staff on leave while we deal with Kavreshar...

[Alma] Oh... my husband and I were just preparing for such an expedition...

[Guillame] Oh really?

[Alma] Yes... well, I made sure to visit to see if everyone was alright as soon as I heard about the tremor, but I did not feel it sensible to go down alone after what happened ...

[Alma] Come in, come in, Danyel is just getting together his things.

[Guillame] Thank you.

  • Alma will see you into a sitting room.
  • Guillame ushers his family inside

[Alma] So the singing is louder now?

  • Alma packs a few things into a back that she might need.

[Guillame] Yes... much louder, she says. Like it was building to something.

[Guillame] That's why we didn't wait until tomorrow.

[Alma] Perhaps the quake is related to the increase in ... power...

[Alma] I suppose all this time the suggestion has been that she's to come free of her own power, or will...

[Guillame] I don't really understand what's going on down there...

[Alma] (Did you tell Alma about the Serpent vision?)

[Guillame] (I don't think so... I've been avoiding telling people about Silvia, especially Church people)

[Alma] (Ok. I thought you said you wanted to talk to Alma last week so I wasn't sure if that was it.)

[Alma] Well... you're not alone. Imprisonment is not something from which you just... break free. None of this, the fact the city is somehow protected by her, the effect on all of you from her presence, makes any sense compared to what I know of the spell's effects.

[Alma] She should be separated from us completely.

[Guillame] Her... who is she? What's down there?

[Alma] Emkathon?

  • Guillame looks bemused

[Alma] (Oh right it was Seth with me)

[Guillame] (I wasn't ever really part of that)

[Alma] Oh, I'm sorry... ... things have been so... chaotic.

[Alma] (Well Emkathon was brought up at some meetings)

[Sanadhil] (I thought I told you.... but maybe not, heh. I meant to! :V)

[Alma] (She was brought up during the discussion of the Phereia)

[Guillame] (I think Guillame just sort of glossed over at those points - he's been dealing with family stuff and didn't know what you were all talking about)

[Alma] ... from what I know, Emkathon is ... the Mother of Mercy, one of two of Serpent's most powerful servants, at least of the Celestial sort.

[Guillame] (Probably didn't want to end up volunteering for more work)

  • Guillame listens

[Alma] She volunteered to be imprisoned to protect the city from Kavreshar, who I suppose had already warped from Justice into Vengeance.

[Alma] And it seems to protect something of Serpent until... perhaps now?

[Alma] Laeken imprisoned her, and it seems she's been breaking free for some time.

[Alma] Perhaps we will see it.

  • Alma will tell Guillame and Silvia everything about Emkathon at this point, really...

[Guillame] I don't suppose we can really know about what the consequences of that are...

[Guillame] (Portia is here too)

[Alma] (Yeah.)

[Alma] ... she's the Mother of Mercy

[Alma] An angel. A being of goodness.

[Alma] As much as this all troubles me, I cannot believe that her freedom is bad...

[Alma] What it sets in motion?

[Guillame] Yes, I understand

[Guillame] Well, let's get moving then.

  • Alma nods

Sanadhil and Earric

[DiablotinNarrator] San, you have passed by Phedre's home to pay a visit to Earric. You went to see him once since the ball, but found him seeming drained and unwell. Today, however, he seems more like his usual self...

[Earric] How's your charming companion?

  • Earric asks with a rather suggestive grin.

[Sanadhil] She is well, thank you for asking.

[Earric] Did she enjoy the ball?

[Sanadhil] Of course.

[Earric] Glad to hear it.

[Sanadhil] It's a shame you weren't there.

[Earric] Yes, well.

  • Earric shrugs.
  • Sanadhil says, maybe being facetios, but also a little not.

[Earric] Too many people with True Seeing walking around.

  • Sanadhil nods.

[Sanadhil] Mmmhmmm.

[Earric] I hope that didn't cause any trouble for your friend.

[Sanadhil] Well. She's known to a small but significant group, and should be safe enough.

[Earric] She really is quite fascinating... I hope you'll permit me to get to know her better.

[Sanadhil] We'll see.

  • Earric laughs, but then stops and looks around abruptly, as if he can hear something you can't.

[Sanadhil] What is it?

[Earric] Something's happening. With her.

[Sanadhil] ...

  • Earric is now talking about a totally different 'her', of course.

[Sanadhil] Should we go see?

[Earric] We have to go. Now.

  • Sanadhil nods.

[Sanadhil] To the church or the cavern?

[Earric] I... don't know. The church, first.

[Sanadhil] How quickly is 'now'?

[Earric] How much time do you need?

  • Sanadhil asks meaning 'teleport y/n'?

[Earric] ...Let's take the carriage - save that for later, in case we need it.

  • Sanadhil nods
  • Earric pulls a coat on and hurries out the door, then.
  • Sanadhil hurries with

[Sanadhil] Do you know what it is?

[Earric] She's ... closer. I don't know exactly, but I think she's... going to be freed.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Earric] I don't know why now, though. I don't know what happened.

  • Earric looks fearful and yet excited at the same time.

[Sanadhil] there's so much going on...

  • Earric nods and squeezes your hand tightly as the carriage sets off.


[DiablotinNarrator] Seth, you have returned to the city with your golems. What will you do once you are safely back?

  • Seth will try to communicate with the city / Schesutte.

[Seth] :Please! Are you here?

[Schesutte] :....Iiii..... ammm....

  • Schesutte seems very distant, however.

[Seth] :Where are you? I will come to you!

[Schesutte] :... in the dark... underground... almost out, though...

[Seth] :I ... am coming.

  • Seth will head to the Nine Elms, checking every once in a while to see if her voice is getting stronger.

[Seth] :I will not abandon you.


[DiablotinNarrator] All right. I don't have any idea who will get to Nine Elms first, so let us just assume you all get there at roughly the same time.

[DiablotinNarrator] So present are: Guy, Portia and Silvia, Alma (and Danyel?), Seth, Ilphere + baby, Sanadhil and Earric. Correct?

  • Alma would teleport if Silvia expressed urgency.
  • Alma will carriage otherwise.

[Ilphere] (yup)

[Alma] (Yes, Danyel)

  • Sanadhil will stop Earric before we get out of the carriage, and kiss him.... just in case...
  • Earric kisses back, desperately.

[DiablotinNarrator] You all pile in to the church, surprised to see each other and yet somehow... not.

[Sanadhil] ...let's go.

[DiablotinNarrator] There is some damage to the temple, mostly minor and cosmetic. The main thing that seems more serious is a large, jagged crack across the floor.

  • Guillame nods

[DiablotinNarrator] The strange sensations you experienced before seem multiplied - a chill in the air, a shivering tension that presses in on you from all sides, making your head ache and your skin prickle.

  • Alma looks warily at the others...

[Ilphere] Soon... @_@

  • Ilphere clutches Cordovera tightly.
  • Alma eyes Earric especially.
  • Seth is in shock, not sure what to make of all this.

[DiablotinNarrator] The baby cries.

[DiablotinNarrator] There is a shuddering beneath your feet, as though the stones themselves are trembling, and suddenly all that pressure is released, so abruptly that it knocks you back, staggering.

  • Sanadhil is all kinds of tense for various reasons, but sticks with his succubus [3

[Ilphere] [w] Hush, hush... it's alright...

[DiablotinNarrator] The crack in the floor begins to open, and the flagstones start to shatter and crumble into the depths that are revealed below.

[Sanadhil] !

  • Alma will cast Wind Walk on all those near her.
  • Ilphere steps away from the chasm but cranes her neck to try and see into it...

[Alma] (If she can.)

  • Sanadhil tries to keep his balance, feeling vague deja vu to dealing with bessa

[DiablotinNarrator] You are all able to step back from the edge in time, and the chasm doesn't open any further... yet...

[DiablotinNarrator] From out of the darkness, you can see light, colours... beautiful and bright, so much so that you have to avert your eyes. The smell of flowers surrounds you, although it is midwinter.

  • Earric falls to his knees.
  • Sanadhil tries to remember to breathe, but looks to Earric when he falls

[Earric] [w] Mother.

[DiablotinNarrator] A woman stands - no, floats - above the rift. She is naked, her skin white as milk, so fair that it seems to glow. You have the impression of wings more than the direct sight of them - a shimmering iridescence behind her and the soft shush of feathers.

  • Sanadhil has a hand on his shoulder

[DiablotinNarrator] Her hair drifts past her waist, a cloud of red curls, shifting colour from dark auburn at the roots, gradually fading to a strawberry blonde at the ends. Her eyes are striking, pale blue and peaceful as she looks you over.

[Ilphere] [w] Emkathon...

[Sanadhil] ...

[Alma] :o

  • Emkathon steps onto the solid ground and makes a shrugging gesture as though drawing her wings about her. The shimmering light swirls and solidifies into a pale, diaphanous robe which, if you look closely, you can see is made of near-translucent feathers.

[Seth] :I love you.

[Emkathon] That's better.

  • Emkathon 's voice is soft and calm.
  • Guillame stands silent

[Emkathon] Where am I?

[Sanadhil] You...'re in Diablotin

[Emkathon] I see.

[Sanadhil] ...Free.

[Emkathon] It has changed, but that is to be expected.

[Ilphere] (Is Laeken here? ;)

  • Sanadhil looks around warily

[DiablotinNarrator] (not that you can see)

[Sanadhil] Kavreshar.... is here too.

[Emkathon] I know.

[Alma] And Laeken of the Wolf.

  • Sanadhil NODS

[Sanadhil] ...why...what now?

[Emkathon] Is he? That is... more surprising.

[Emkathon] How long has it been?

  • Sanadhil will provide appropriate time estimate

[Alma] We reckon our dates from the year of Founding, and it is the year 2249.

[Emkathon] A while, then.

[Emkathon] I do not know why now.

  • Emkathon replies to San.

[Alma] So you did not expect to free yourself either...

[Emkathon] Only that I have felt the bonds of my solitude loosening, and finally falling away.

  • Sanadhil looks down at Earric to make sure he isn't melting or anything
  • Earric is weeping, not melting though.

[Seth] We have spoken, often, these past few weeks.

  • Emkathon nods.
  • Sanadhil squeezes his shoulder

[Ilphere] What will happen now...? What will you do...?

  • Alma looks at Seth in surprise.

[Emkathon] It was the first way I could find to talk...

  • Emkathon glances over to Ilphere.

[Emkathon] You... Do you have the vessel?

[Ilphere] The... Phereia?

[Emkathon] Yes.

[Ilphere] It is near...

  • Ilphere glances to Sanadhil.

[Emkathon] Good. I will require it.

[Ilphere] Of course...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] We can bring it...

  • Emkathon continues looking at Ilphere, scrutinizing her.

[Emkathon] You must be a descendant. You have his look about you.

[Ilphere] I was told that I carry the true blood...

[Emkathon] You do. And your child as well.

  • Emkathon looks at Cordovera, who has stopped crying and is staring at her with wide eyes.

[Ilphere] Yes...

[Emkathon] My blessings on this child, then, and all who came before her, and who will come after her.

[Ilphere] ... :o

[Sanadhil] ...

[Ilphere] Thank you...

  • Emkathon touches Cordovera's brow lightly.
  • Alma fights with spite in the presence of someone who symbolizes mercy...

[Sanadhil] What about... your other children?

[Alma] The twins...

  • Emkathon looks over to you, San, and consequently sees Earric.
  • Emkathon approaches him.

[Alma] .oO( Or him... )

  • Alma holds her breath, one hand clutching Danyel's, the other her silver wheel.

[Emkathon] Oh, little one. You've suffered, haven't you.

[Earric] [q] And made others suffer in return.

[Emkathon] Yes. I can see that.

[Earric] Can't you take this away?

  • Earric begs.

[Sanadhil] . o O (Is she going to take *him* away?)

  • Sanadhil still doens't let him go

[Emkathon] I can grant you the mercy of nothingness, yes, if an ending is what you truly want.

  • Earric remains silent.

[Alma] .oO( Take it. Let your story end on the right note. )

[Emkathon] Or I can give you a first step towards redemption. But it will be a difficult path, and one you will have to travel on your own, with no guarantee that you will succeed.

  • Earric glances sidelong at you, San.
  • Sanadhil looks down at him in return.

[Earric] I ask for a chance at redemption, Mother.

  • Emkathon nods, and extends her hand over his head.
  • Sanadhil squeezes his shoulder again, feeling relieved, slightly

[Emkathon] Then I return to you what was taken from you. The rest is in your hands, Arektherem.

  • Earric bows his head, then suddenly pitches forward onto his hands, crying out as if in pain.

[Sanadhil] !

[DiablotinNarrator] You can see something moving on his back, beneath his coat and shirt...

  • Sanadhil crouches beside him

[Earric] [w] help...

[Sanadhil] [w] what do you need

  • Earric tears at his jacket, trying to remove it, and mostly failing, as though his arms aren't quite working right.
  • Sanadhil will help with that, certainly
  • Earric struggles, impeding your efforts as much as helping, but finally you manage to remove his jacket. His shirt is stained with blood all down the back, and something beneath the fabric is struggling to be free, tearing at the cloth.
  • Sanadhil will cut the cloth free if he has to

[Ilphere] :o

  • Earric 's wings unfurl when you cut the fabric away from them, blood-wet and bedraggled, like a new-hatched bird.
  • Alma gasps

[Sanadhil] (what kiiiind of wings? Demony still?)

  • Earric lies still on the floor, gasping.
  • Sanadhil will hold him, if he can
  • Earric 's wings are feathered, like a blackbird's, with red tips at the end.
  • Emkathon looks down at him once more, and turns away.

[Sanadhil] :Let me help you...

  • Earric lets you, but seems unable to speak, even with his mind.

[Alma] E... .oO( Oh Gods what do I call her. ) ... Emkathon?

[Emkathon] Yes?

[Alma] There are two more of your blood who may need your help...

[Emkathon] Who are they?

[Alma] Kavreshar plotted to have progeny with one of Laeken's line, in the hopes that they would wreak vengeance on us...

[Alma] Now there are two, twins... Mercy and Justen.

[Alma] And ... we're not sure what is best for them.

  • Sanadhil will be all calm and comforting at him, anyway

[Emkathon] I will have to see them.

[Emkathon] If his power is on them, I may not be able to overcome it, but I will see.

[Alma] I divined as to their fates, and they seem to be their own...

[Alma] But... of course, we would take you to them.

[Emkathon] If they are within this city, I can go to them.

  • Seth nods.

[Seth] Of course.

  • Alma looks to Seth again

[Ilphere] And we can take you to the Phereia...

[Emkathon] Thank you.

[Alma] They're at the home of Maze Olivier, with Martan and Ysabeau

[Emkathon] There is much to be done, I see.

[Emkathon] I will do what I can.

[Alma] Is... is there anything that we can do? Those of us who follow the Seven?

  • Emkathon considers.
  • Seth wonders how many of us that actually applies to anymore.
  • Alma does mean it as a priest, with her paladin husband at her side :P

[Emkathon] You can speak to your people - keep them calm, show them that even if things are changing, it is not cause for fear.

[Alma] Of course.

[Alma] Thank you.

  • Alma turns to Danyel and wraps him in a hug.
  • Alma is crying.
  • Danyel holds you close, still stunned that this is happening.

[Alma] [q] It's going to be OK.

  • Danyel nods.

[Silvia] Can I ask a question?

  • Silvia asks shyly.

[Emkathon] Of course, child.

[Silvia] Can you let everyone hear the singing?

  • Alma turns to look again.

[Emkathon] Not everyone is able. You hear it, though, and you can tell the others what you hear.

  • Silvia nods uncertainly.

[Seth] Are you .... going away now?

  • Seth asks, almost afraid to hear the answer.

[Emkathon] I have much to do. And when my brother finds me, I cannot tell you what will happen.

[Seth] How can I serve you, and this city?

  • Seth says, voice trembling.

[Alma] ... there is a plan... to try to trap Kavreshar again...

[Emkathon] You already do, when you act out of mercy, out of love.

[Emkathon] To trap him...

  • Emkathon says, turning to Alma.

[Alma] Should we ... continue ?

  • Emkathon frowns slightly, a terrible expression on such a lovely face.

[Sanadhil] ..

  • Alma ...
  • Sanadhil looks up from Earric and over at Alma

[Emkathon] I do not know. It may be the only choice... but I would not have it, if there is any other way.

[Guillame] I... Lady Emkathon...?

  • Alma nods

[Emkathon] Yes?

  • Silvia turns to Guillame.
  • Silvia squeezes his hand.
  • Guillame smiles at Silvia

[Guillame] I struggle sometimes to find the place of my people in the circle... If it's not too much, might I ask; What is Rat? Who are we?

[Emkathon] Your god made a great sacrifice, and for that I respect him. Your people, too, I judge, have sacrificed much. But there comes a time, always, when sacrifice is no longer what is needed.

  • Guillame nods.

[Emkathon] Then, you must decide your own place, where you may best serve.

[Guillame] I think I understand...

[Guillame] . o O (We DO belong...)

[Emkathon] My time of sacrifice is over too. Now, I have work to do.

[Alma] ... thank you.

[Alma] From us... the city.

[Sanadhil] if we can help you further...

  • Emkathon inclines her head slightly in recognition, or thanks.
  • Seth smiles cryptically.
  • Sanadhil says, looking up again from Earric/Arek....
  • Alma will bow to Emkathon as she would the Emperor.
  • Guillame bows also
  • Emkathon disappears.
  • Sanadhil can't really as he has a lap full of boy
  • Alma hopes this isn't heresy @_@

[Alma] .oO( I'm sure it can't be heresy @_@ )

[DiablotinNarrator] The temple feels vacant, despite all the people standing in it.

  • Alma looks around at those assembled in the awkward silence that follows.

[Ilphere] Amazing... :D

[Sanadhil] yes...

  • Seth checks: can I still feel the city around me?

[DiablotinNarrator] Yes, Seth, you can.

[Seth] The city resounds with her song still.

  • Silvia nods.

[Silvia] She isn't really gone.

[Alma] Do you think the city is protected still?

[Ilphere] Let's go get the vessel...

[Seth] She is too big to be contained by any one place.

[Seth] But this is still HER city.

[Alma] So it was her all along you were connected to?

  • Sanadhil looks over at Ilphere, and then down at Earric

[Alma] (Does Arektherem mean anything?)

  • Earric is in no shape to do much wandering around, you would say.

[Seth] It was ... yes, and no. There is still much to understand.

[Sanadhil] I need to take care of him, first.

[DiablotinNarrator] (not that you know of, Alma)

[Alma] (k)

  • Sanadhil said to Ilphere

[Sanadhil] I can find you...after.

[DiablotinNarrator] You can disperse accordingly, then, to wherever you intend to go.

  • Alma looks over at ... Arektherem before they go.
  • Ilphere nods to San.
  • Sanadhil will take him back to his place and try to make him comfortable, etc
  • Sanadhil might invis him for ease of transport, etc @_@

[Alma] (Does it LOOK like you need help?)

[Sanadhil] (DO you think I would accept it from you ;)

[Alma] (Irrelevant)

  • Sanadhil can probably manage
  • Earric can walk under his own power, but invis would probably be sensible, yes.
  • Alma does seem to linger until he's up on his own before she follows Danyel out.
  • Sanadhil is covered in his blood, whee! Preobably illusions spells would be good there too :V

[DiablotinNarrator] Or you could just teleport.

[Sanadhil] (Well, true)

[DiablotinNarrator] since you saved it for later ;)

[Sanadhil] (there is that, I wasn't sure if he could! or if I still could, for that matter :3)

[Sanadhil] (but if we can, that is the way to do it)

[DiablotinNarrator] You find that you can.

[DiablotinNarrator] And we'll end it there, for now...


Sanadhil and Arek

  • Sanadhil will bring Earric... or Arek? Back to his place in Rhenea and settlew him somewhere while he builds a fire to warm the empty house
  • Earric just lies wherever you put him, shivering.
  • Sanadhil will find him a blanket for now, and sit/lay beside him while the fire builds.

[Sanadhil] Once the fire's going, I'll heat some water....

  • Earric lets you wrap him up, although with the wings it's a bit awkward you manage to get it adjusted eventually.
  • Earric nods almost imperceptibly, eyes still closed.

[Sanadhil] (Is he human looking with the wings?)

  • Earric 's features are perhaps slightly changed, it would be hard to pinpoint the difference though.
  • Earric doesn't look demony, though.
  • Sanadhil runs a hand through his hair, but it is mostly an excuse to touch him
  • Earric 's eyes open a sliver.
  • Sanadhil leaves his hand there
  • Sanadhil is watching, but doens't say anything right away
  • Earric 's eyes are an unfamiliar blue now.
  • Sanadhil is curious but a little apprehensive to see if he still feels as attuned, or of he feels unfamilair

[Sanadhil] hmm.

[Earric] [w] how do I look?

  • Earric manages to mutter.

[Sanadhil] ha.

  • Sanadhil is trying to decide whether that is a vanity question of it he's not sure, or wondering what *I* think

[Sanadhil] Well, I would say you are very hansome, but apparently my tastes do run to the more exotic, I'm told.

  • Earric gives a small smile.

[Sanadhil] It's little differences, mostly

[Sanadhil] Your eyes are blue..

[Sanadhil] Also the wings.

[Earric] Yes... those.

  • Sanadhil says a little dryly.

[Earric] I didn't think it would be like this.

[Sanadhil] How do they feel?

[Sanadhil] No?

[Earric] That it would hurt as much to get them back... or maybe I'm just imagining that. Maybe it was worse then. I don't know.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Is there anything else I can do?

[Earric] I think the warm water might be a good idea.

  • Sanadhil nods
  • Earric still has dried blood on him, especially on his back.
  • Sanadhil will grudgingly get up then, and see what he can do about that
  • Sanadhil huddles near the fire for a moment once he has the water on to wasrm up again.... cold house is cold
  • Earric stays wrapped up.
  • Sanadhil comes back over to cuddle for a bit until the pot is steaming

[Earric] This will change things...

[Sanadhil] I know.

  • Earric just nods, then.
  • Sanadhil look over at him, not sure how to say the things and ask the things he wants to bring up
  • Sanadhil sighs

[Sanadhil] Well of course it will change things. But that's very vague.

[Earric] I don't know how they'll change.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] ...Do you know how you've changed?

[Earric] I'm not... not anything I've ever been before. Something new.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Earric] She couldn't just ... put me back to the way I used to be, back before everything...

[Sanadhil] I wondered...

[Earric] What colour are my wings? They're not what they used to be.

[Sanadhil] Black, with red tips

[Sanadhil] Very striking

[Earric] Mm.

[Earric] It probably means something.

  • Sanadhil sort of lifts ahand to touch them, but doesn't

[Earric] You can...

[Sanadhil] maybe

[Sanadhil] (to his earlier statment, that was!)

  • Sanadhil has robably touched them incidentally before, wrapping him and such.

[Earric] It's all right. They don't hurt now.

  • Sanadhil will touch them now though, more curious, and nods

[Sanadhil] Maybe its part of your path, to make something new of yourself...

  • Sanadhil says, as though that makes perfect sense to *him*
  • Earric nods.

[Earric] I don't know what this will mean for Phedre... or what it will mean for you...us...

[Sanadhil] We'

[Sanadhil] will have to see.

[Sanadhil] ...

[Sanadhil] Do you still feel the power you had before?

  • Earric closes his eyes for a second to concentrate.

[Earric] I still feel you here. I can't sense anyone else.

[Earric] I don't know if it's .. the same... I don't know if I could still hurt you.

[Sanadhil] I could still teleport here... I wasn't sure, if that meant anything

[Earric] There's still something ... joining us.

[Earric] She left that.

[Sanadhil] I...I'm glad, then

[Earric] Mercy.

  • Earric says quietly.
  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] The water should be warm.

[Earric] Thank you.

  • Sanadhil will fetch, glad that the room is a little warmer now too
  • Sanadhil will bring ot over, and look at his cakec with blood wings

[Sanadhil] We'll probably need more...

  • Earric nods.
  • Earric rolls onto his stomach, pushing the blanket aside.
  • Sanadhil will set more to heating andstart with the easy parts
  • Sanadhil will be careful with the feathers, even thoug he said they don't hurt anymore, because he doesn't really know what he is doing o_O
  • Earric mostly just lets you work in silence...

[Sanadhil] She called you... Arektherem?

[Earric] ...yes.

[Sanadhil] That was your name before?

[Earric] Yes.

[Sanadhil] Mm.

[Earric] I shouldn't have been surprised that she would remember me...

[Sanadhil] I'm not sure how much she was aware of the passing time

[Earric] Yes... but even if it really had felt like two thousand years, that's not so very long for her.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I suppose so

  • Sanadhil says realizing Earric can't see him atm

[Sanadhil] Are you going to stick with Earric?

[Earric] I don't know.

[Earric] Earric, Erik, Airrick... it doesn't matter, really.

[Earric] What do you want to call me?

  • Sanadhil is thinking of his own ambiguous relationships with names

[Sanadhil] Whatever you choose.

[Earric] All right.

[Sanadhil] Be who you want to be.

[Earric] I'm... not used to that.

[Sanadhil] It can be difficult.

  • Sanadhil continues cleaning off the matted blood

[Sanadhil] (How big are his wings?)

[Earric] (large - the ends probably reach to mid-thigh on him)

[Earric] (and they're still quite furled at this point)

[Earric] ... were you afraid I would go?

[Sanadhil] (this is gonna take a while - whyyyyy dont' beguilers get prestitigitation)

[Sanadhil] I.... was concerned that I might lose you.

  • Earric nods.

[Sanadhil] Somehow

[Sanadhil] ...I suppose that's not completely resolved.

[Earric] I don't know if you haven't. I don't know if I'm the same person you ... cared for.

[Earric] I don't know if you'll still want me, like this. Whatever I am now.

  • Earric 's voice is a little muffled by the pillow.
  • Sanadhil runs a hand gently between his wings

[Sanadhil] I find I am still rather attached, for the moment.

  • Earric shudders.

[Earric] Did I stay for you? Or did I stay because... like always, I'm too afraid to die? I'd rather have whatever comes, even if it's terrifying, than face nothingness.

[Sanadhil] Its okay if you stayed for yourself.

[Earric] I was going to say I stayed for you, but... I don't know if that's a lie. But I think maybe... if you hadn't been there... I wouldn't have thought that maybe I deserved to stay.

[Sanadhil] Hmm.

  • Sanadhil is not sure what he means by that.

[Earric] I was ... not so bad, with you. Wasn't I?

[Earric] I could be something different, just a little, with you.

[Sanadhil] I don't undertand that. But if it helped, then I'm glad.

[Earric] You don't?

  • Earric turns slightly so he can look at you.
  • Sanadhil pauses his cleaning

[Earric] I had so many chances to hurt you... to take advantage of ... of your trust. But I didn't. Because I ... loved you, in whatever way I was capable of then.

[Earric] Not because you forced me, or controlled me. Just because of you.

  • Sanadhil nods even though he still doens't understand
  • Earric sits up, turning to face you.
  • Earric takes your face in his hands.

[Sanadhil] ...

[Earric] I don't know what's coming. But ... I don't want to leave you.

  • Sanadhil opens his arms to pull im coser

[Sanadhil] Good.

  • Sanadhil says, souding relieved
  • Earric seems relieved too.
  • Earric draws back slightly, his face close to yours.
  • Earric kisses you.
  • Sanadhil kisses him back

[Earric] (awwww)

Ysabeau and Emkathon

[DiablotinNarrator] Ysabeau, you have been occupied much of the recent weeks with caring for the twins, transporting them around to your various safe-houses in an effort to keep them hidden.

  • Ysabeau does her best to juggle babies and Martan-time.

[DiablotinNarrator] Today, they are with you at Maze's house - they have been fretful all morning, it seems, unable to be soothed or settled, and you have been almost at your wits' end. Quirille has been some help dealing with them, but Martan is out.

[Ysabeau] (Is Marla still with us?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (Marla is there, but at present is busy washing diapers.)

[Ysabeau] (Aww, poor girl... I'd do my share but at the moment I am probably trying to soothe fussy babies.)

  • Ysabeau tries every trick she knows to get them to settle down. Poor little bubs...

[DiablotinNarrator] You are just juggling the two of them in your arms when a woman you have never seen before appears in front of you, which should be impossible as far as you know.

  • Woman is slightly taller than you, with curling red hair that shifts from dark auburn at the roots to a pale gold at the ends. She wears some sort of robe that seems to be made of ... semi-transparent feathers?
  • Woman is accompanied by a faint odour of flowers.
  • Ysabeau is immediately on her guard in case she or the babies are in danger.

[Ysabeau] Marla...?

[Woman] Be at ease. You must be Ysabeau.

  • Ysabeau doesn't take her eyes off the strange lady, but nods slowly.
  • Ysabeau hugs the babies to her protectively.

[Woman] I am Emkathon.

[Ysabeau] ...

[Emkathon] And these must be the babies... I have heard about them.

  • Ysabeau looks suddenly quite panicky.

[Ysabeau] So soon...?

[Emkathon] What do you mean?

[DiablotinNarrator] The babies are still restless in your arms. Mercy seems calmer, but this is counterbalanced by Justen seeming even more upset than before.

[Ysabeau] I hoped... my husband and... I would have... a few more days together.

[Ysabeau] At least until our baby was born.

[Emkathon] That must be soon, I see.

  • Ysabeau glances down at the babies and backs away from Emkathon to see if that helps pacify Justen.
  • Ysabeau nods.

[Emkathon] I am not here to do you any harm.

  • Ysabeau nods, feeling kind of numb.

[Ysabeau] It's just Justen...

[Ysabeau] He has red eyes. But we cast a Legend Lore on them; it didn't seem bad.

  • Emkathon nods.
  • Ysabeau looks sadly down at him.

[Emkathon] May I hold him?

[Ysabeau] ...

  • Emkathon asks gently.

[Ysabeau] He's just a little baby. He's half-human, too! And part angel, from you.

[Emkathon] I know.

[Emkathon] I will do what I can to help him.

  • Ysabeau seems reluctant to hand him over, but doesn't know what else she can do.

[Ysabeau] I'm sorry, Justen.

  • Ysabeau braces herself for him to really start screaming. ;_;
  • Emkathon holds out her arms to accept the baby.
  • Ysabeau hoists him up to her as best she can with only one arm.
  • Ysabeau looks very worried, and dashes some tears from her eyes once Justen is in Emkathon's arms...
  • Emkathon cradles the screaming child, holds him up to her breast. She parts her robe to let him nurse. Justen twists and shrieks for a few moments, but she manages to get him latched on.
  • Ysabeau cuddles Mercy while keeping a watchful and hopeful eye on Justen...

[Emkathon] [q] There, little one...

  • Emkathon looks back to you, smiling slightly.

[Ysabeau] Is he going to be all right?

[Emkathon] You have been caring for them well.

[Ysabeau] I always wanted to be a mother.

[Ysabeau] And I'm an orphan too.

  • Ysabeau says simply, as if that explains everything.
  • Emkathon nods.

[Emkathon] To answer your question... I do not know. I hope that he will.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Do you need to see her as well...?

  • Ysabeau looks down at little Mercy.

[Emkathon] I will, of course.

[Emkathon] When he is finished...

  • Ysabeau nods, stroking the fine hair on Mercy's head lovingly. She keeps a watchful eye on Justen, though.

[Emkathon] Their father... he must be looking for them. You have done well to keep them hidden so long.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] He tried to compel me to take them to him...

  • Ysabeau 's eyes well up again, thinking back to the terror of that day.

[Ysabeau] I'm sorry.

  • Ysabeau rubs her eyes once more.

[Emkathon] You do not need to be sorry, my dear.

[Ysabeau] I've just been under a lot of strain.

[Emkathon] Of course you have.

  • Ysabeau is apologizing for not being able to control her tears, more than anything.

[Ysabeau] Did you... did you hear any of my prayers?

[Ysabeau] I wasn't sure if you could, Imprisoned...

[Emkathon] I felt them.

  • Ysabeau seems pretty overwhelmed to be talking to a demigod and breaks down once more.

[Emkathon] Their strength helped give me strength in turn.

[Ysabeau] I just want him to have a choice, please. I know I can't ask for him not to be sacrificed. I have no right...

[Ysabeau] If he must die and be reborn, can he please, please at least choose what form he's reborn into?

  • Ysabeau clutches Mercy to her and cries.

[Ysabeau] I love him so much... He's so excited to meet his child.

[Emkathon] Oh, child... A sacrifice must be willing for it to be worth anything at all.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Emkathon] He would not willingly leave you.

[Emkathon] You or your child.

[Emkathon] But ... there are others who may not understand that.

[Ysabeau] I think he might leave us, if he knew it was the right thing to do.

[Ysabeau] But no one knows if it is.

[Emkathon] Someone knows. It will be in their hands.

  • Emkathon slides Justen from her breast, and crosses the room to put him down in the cradle. He seems to be sound asleep.

[Emkathon] The girl, please.

  • Emkathon says, turning back to you.
  • Ysabeau carefully passes Mercy over, quiet for the moment.
  • Emkathon puts Mercy to her other breast. The baby smacks her lips hungrily as she begins to suckle.

[Ysabeau] Sister Alma said that since Serpent has been gone, no new souls have been born.

[Emkathon] This 'way of the wheel' - it reuses them. It cannot form new ones, though.

  • Ysabeau nods. "What does it mean for us, though? Do the existing ones wear out, eventually?"

[Ysabeau] Will people be born without souls?

[Emkathon] A soul can only bear so much... knowing.

[Ysabeau] What happens to it when it knows too much?

[Emkathon] It must be put to rest.

[Ysabeau] Forever, or for a while?

[Emkathon] ... as things are now, forever.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Mother, please... what is Serpent? What is its nature? What does it represent?

[Emkathon] Balance. Unity. Creation and destruction. It divides the nothingness from what is.

[Ysabeau] Are we all part of it, or is it something apart from us?

  • Ysabeau tries to wrestle with metaphysics.

[Emkathon] It is above and around us.

[Ysabeau] So we are in it, but it is not in us?

  • Emkathon smiles.
  • Ysabeau is calming down a little as she tries to work through all of this and reach some sort of understanding.

[Emkathon] Ultimately, it created each soul, so in some sense, it is in you, yes.

  • Ysabeau nods thoughtfully.

[Ysabeau] How did our ancestors worship it?

[Emkathon] Ah... that would be a lengthy story, for another day perhaps. They worshipped it in different ways, each according to their understanding.

  • Ysabeau nods hesitantly.

[Ysabeau] The temple in Saraknyel was set up for sacrifices...

[Ysabeau] My husband and his mother have to be sacrificed to bring it back...

[Ysabeau] In Queen Imraen's dream, they also sacrificed people to it.

[Ysabeau] The emperors in the Arch, too...

[Emkathon] Souls must be returned to it in order to be renewed. Some have been willing to return certain souls prematurely.

[Ysabeau] If it comes back, will we have to keep sacrificing people to it to keep it placated?

  • Ysabeau asks fearfully.
  • Emkathon considers this question.

[Ysabeau] I'm worried, because its only priest that we know of... she has enslaved a sentient being. She also has used mind control to try to force her daughters into doing things.

[Ysabeau] Does Serpent condone such activities? That's what I'm afraid of.

[Ysabeau] I don't know if I want to live in a world where that is okay.

[Emkathon] It is not a question of placating it. And, as I said before, sacrifices that are not willing do not accomplish their desired intent.

[Emkathon] Mortal beings will behave as they see fit - they have free will, and sometimes that will mean they do wrong.

[Emkathon] Would you prefer to live in a world where you were compelled to act in the way a deity wishes you to act?

[Ysabeau] No...

[Emkathon] I envy you sometimes - being able to decide your own course.

  • Ysabeau smiles slightly.

[Ysabeau] For the most part.

[Ysabeau] It's probably not the same, but a lot of people's courses are decided for them by others, such as their parents.

[Emkathon] Yes. Others can decide their own courses as well, and that can alter yours in turn.

  • Ysabeau nods.
  • Emkathon places Mercy beside her sleeping brother.

[Emkathon] I can tell you this, Ysabeau.

  • Emkathon says, turning back to you.
  • Ysabeau looks up at her respectfully.

[Emkathon] I will strive to protect you and your family. Your husband does not need to die.

[Ysabeau] Thank you, Mother... But will Serpent be able to come back if Hesperus doesn't die?

[Emkathon] A single soul, even such a worthy one, is not required.

[Emkathon] But there are those who will not see it that way. And it is possible that they will succeed.

[Ysabeau] I have to keep him safe, then.

[Emkathon] Yes.

[Ysabeau] Are Mercy and Justen safe from those people?

[Ysabeau] They aren't mentioned in any of the Legend Lores about Serpent's return.

[Ysabeau] But I'm just worried about them, because of who their father is.

[Emkathon] They may have another role to fulfill. But I hope that they will not be needed, and can grow to choose their own paths, like any other children.

  • Ysabeau smiles lovingly.

[Ysabeau] That's what I hope for them, too. And this one...

  • Ysabeau runs her hand down her own belly.

[Emkathon] It is what every mother hopes for her children.

  • Ysabeau nods.
  • Emkathon smiles in return.

[Emkathon] Be safe and at peace, Ysabeau.

[Emkathon] We will meet again, I trust.

[Ysabeau] Thank you for taking the time to soothe my fears, Mother... You honour me.

  • Ysabeau says shyly and humbly.
  • Emkathon smiles and disappears.

[DiablotinNarrator] Mercy and Justen sleep for several hours, giving you an unaccustomed break.

  • Ysabeau will nap...

[Ysabeau] (And tell Martan about it all when he comes home... And tell him it's more important than ever that he not let the cultists catch him unawares... or Kavreshar, who might decide to deliver Martan to the cultists out of spite for us keeping his babies away from him...)

Group meeting

  • Ysabeau has invited all of you to meet with her in her suite at the palace (since it has room, unlike Maze's house, and is theoretically safe from Kavreshar).
  • Seth will attend. There is something odd about his demeanour - perhaps increased confidence?
  • Sanadhil will come also
  • Ysabeau has had some refreshments sent out, though of course you probably won't eat them, Seth. ;)
  • Ysabeau welcomes you as you arrive and invites you to make yourselves at home. Martan is there, too.
  • Ysabeau looks a little more hopeful than she has for quite a while.
  • Alma will also come...
  • Ysabeau plays the hostess, chatting with you all, while glancing at the clock fairly often.

[Ysabeau] I'll get down to business soon; I just want to see if any more of you can make it.

  • Ysabeau explains.
  • Sanadhil is polite chatty but seems a bit introspective
  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I expect to speak with Ilphere later - I can relay anything you have to say to her, if she isn't able to come now

  • Ysabeau nods gratefully.
  • Alma is probably caught evaluating the three of you every so often...
  • Ysabeau smiles at Martan and gives his hand a quick squeeze.

[Seth] Certainly, I think it is high time that we shared what information we have, given the recent events.

  • Ysabeau nods at Seth.

[Ysabeau] Well, I'll get started...

[Ysabeau] I guess most of you must know by now that Emkathon is free?

  • Alma nods

[Ysabeau] Sister Alma told me She'd probably come to look at the twins; She had already been and gone by then, though.

[Alma] We were there... as were (list)

[Seth] What was her purpose in coming to see them?

[Ysabeau] I think She wanted to check them out.

[Seth] Of course, but to what end? To determine what?

[Alma] Well she said she wanted to ensure that KAvreshar had no influence over them...

[Alma] How did that go?

[Ysabeau] I think they passed muster?

[Sanadhil] Hmm.

[Alma] Good... good.

[Alma] Was there any sign of influence?

[Alma] In either?

[Ysabeau] She didn't say. Both had been very unsettled all day until She arrived. Then Mercy settled a little, but Justen got worse. She nursed them both... Justen was at first very fussy but She got him to calm right down.

[Ysabeau] Mercy was perfectly content with Her.

  • Sanadhil blinks at the TMI, but mantains an impassive mask

[Alma] So, if there was anything, she would surely have ... taken care of it? purified it?

  • Ysabeau shrugs.

[Seth] If it were in her power, presumably.

[Ysabeau] I did ask Her if She thought Justen would be all right. She said She didn't know, but She hoped that he would.

  • Alma nods

[Alma] That's all we can hope for anyway... I suppose.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Any more questions about the twins?

  • Alma shakes her head.

[Seth] No.

[Sanadhil] No.

[Ysabeau] All right.

  • Ysabeau takes a deep breath.

[Ysabeau] I asked Her about Serpent.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Ysabeau] What it is, what it represents, all that.

[Ysabeau] She told me that it is balance, unity, creation and destruction; it divides nothingness from what is...

  • Sanadhil nods, already having known that

[Ysabeau] She confirmed that no new souls have been created since whatever happened... The Way of the Wheel can't do it. I asked what that means for us.

  • Sanadhil nods again

[Ysabeau] She explained that eventually souls are burdened by too much knowing, and they need to rest. Serpent made that possible; since it lost its power, those burdened souls can't be renewed. Although I did ask Her if this means that people would be born without souls, I didn't exactly get an answer.

[Ysabeau] Basically, as things stand, those souls rest forever.

[Ysabeau] But I don't know if that means people will be born without souls, or whether that means people will stop being born because there are no souls left to go around. :/

[Seth] Does that have any bearing on the Matriarch Pasith's current state?

[Ysabeau] I didn't think to ask; I'm sorry.

[Alma] I am not inclined to think it is. I believe she is... in waiting.

[Seth] Waiting for what?

[Alma] For a time when her service is needed...

  • Ysabeau pauses to see if there will be further discussion along this vein.

[Seth] Hmmm ... I just think that, given that she ought to have become one of the Seventh, or so I understand, but did not, that ... this is similar to what Ysabeau just described for ordinary souls.

[Alma] I see where you draw a comparison, but if she was to be Seventh, then surely she should could not have already "known" too much.

[Alma] Unless... perhaps somehow her experiences as Paseth Belden in Andusk ... tipped the balance.

[Seth] Well, of course, I am no theologian, Reverend Mother Alma, but obviously there is much that is not known in current theology, as recent events have elucidated.

[Alma] Then perhaps she awaits a time when that extra "knowing" can be relieved, and she can truly serve the Seven.

[Sanadhil] I doubt that - it seems more likely that the Seven - or the Six at the time, had some power to extend the existence of some special chose, but not to do the same for all/.

  • Ysabeau gives Martan a brief smile and squeezes his hand; he might not be especially interested in this part of the conversation?
  • Martan is listening, but obviously the parts that are most relevant to him are yet to come...

[Alma] Hmm.

  • Alma considers bringing up Lora...
  • Alma sits on that for now.

[Seth] At any rate, given that we now understand the special relationship of Emkathon to the city, and in fact, that we might adequately describe her as the soul of the city, what is the bearing of this discussion to the present understanding of the tension between Emkathon and Kavreshar?

  • Sanadhil eyes Seth

[Sanadhil] The Soul of the city?

[Sanadhil] I'm not convinced.

[Seth] That was her language, not mine.

[Sanadhil] Hmm.

[Alma] Her power did clearly pervade the city, despite her imprisonment. And it seems that Mr. Argo's powers are connected.

[Seth] When she was communicating to me through the vessel of the golem Schesutte, that was her self-description.

  • Alma quirks a brow, remembering the dream Schesutte.

[Sanadhil] Perhaps that relates to her pact with Laeken then - in which case it isn't clear to me what her relase means for that relationship.

[Alma] Hopefully it will continue.

  • Alma looks to Seth

[Seth] I wouldn't be able to say. What is clear, though, is that her release has not affected my special relationship with the city.

[Alma] Do you feel a change in it?

[Alma] It continues to sustain you?

[Seth] Yes.

[Sanadhil] Hmm.

[Ysabeau] Well, this is certainly an interesting discussion; one which we should continue - but I have a little more to report from my conversation with Emkathon.

[Seth] Go on.

  • Sanadhil nods
  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] All right. I asked about sacrifices, since so much of the little we do know about Serpent worship seems to involve them.

  • Sanadhil listens

[Ysabeau] This gets complicated; I'll do my best to pass on what she said.

[Ysabeau] All right...

  • Ysabeau takes a moment to gather her thoughts.

[Ysabeau] Basically what it boils down to is... it's not a sacrifice if it's made unwillingly.

[Sanadhil] How do you mean?

  • Sanadhil is going to sm you to see if he can tell if/how much you are spinning this to protect your own interests

[Alma] Someone really ought to fell Fedra that.

[Alma] And possibly Phedre too.

  • Alma looks at Sanadhil.

[Sanadhil] (39)

[Sanadhil] Hmm.

[Ysabeau] (I'm not bluffing so I'm not going to roll. I am telling you the truth as I understand it from Emkathon.)

[Sanadhil] (okay)

[Ysabeau] She said that souls do have to be returned to Serpent to be renewed.

  • Sanadhil nods
  • Alma frowns

[Ysabeau] But sacrifices that are not willing do not accomplish their desired intent.

[Sanadhil] Maybe that's why the souls in the arch are trapped - they're waiting to be renewed.

[Ysabeau] She said that some cultures and peoples have been willing to return souls prematurely...

[Ysabeau] I fear that Phedre might be inclined that way, based on her willingness to enslave a sentient being, and use mind control on her daughter.

[Sanadhil] She understands.

  • Ilphere knocks on the door.
  • Sanadhil says, thinking about Thea.

[Ysabeau] But the important thing here is that She said that not a single soul, not even Martan's, is required to bring Serpent back...

[Ysabeau] Excuse me for a moment...

  • Ysabeau goes to see who's at the door.

[Ysabeau] Hello, Ilphere!

[Ilphere] Oh hello...! I apologize for my tardiness... Vera would simply *not* go to sleep...!

[Ilphere] Who else is here...?

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] I know what that's like.

  • Alma forces a polite smile.

[Ysabeau] Come in, you'll see.

  • Ysabeau invites you in.
  • Sanadhil smiles more genuinely
  • Ilphere bustles inside.

[Ilphere] Hello...!

[Sanadhil] Hello.

[Alma] Princess.

  • Alma nods politely.
  • Ilphere returns Sanadhil's smile cheerily.

[Ilphere] Countess.

[Sanadhil] Mme. Olivier was telling us what she learned from speaking to Emkathon...

[Ilphere] Oh, you spoke to her too..?

[Sanadhil] We were discussing Serpent, and sacrifices

[Ilphere] Yes, what have I missed...?

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Sanadhil] Emkathon reinforces that sacrifices need to be willing to have any power

[Sanadhil] And also said that no souls are necessary to bring back The Serpent...

  • Sanadhil looks back to Ysa

[Sanadhil] And that is where we were when you came in.

[Ilphere] No souls... but that is not the same as lives.

[Ysabeau] She said Martan does not need to die.

  • Ysabeau replies firmly.

[Sanadhil] They are connected...

[Ilphere] Well that is wonderful...

[Ilphere] I believe I know one who is willing, though...

[Ilphere] They seem to expect it.

[Alma] ... she may not view a life which ends and continues on as "death" ...

  • Sanadhil nods to Alma.

[Sanadhil] But the willingness is an issue.

  • Sanadhil eyes Martan.

[Seth] Whom do you believe is willing?

[Alma] The One.

[Ilphere] Yes...

[Ysabeau] Emkathon's message was very clear: willingness is key.

[Seth] Have you spoken to her about this?

[Sanadhil] . o O (One of them..... does that mean more than one is needed, or there is more than one possible candidate?)

  • Ilphere nods.

[Ilphere] I have...

[Ilphere] Just before Emkathon emerged.

[Alma] Ysabeau and I have also spoken with her...

  • Sanadhil thinks of that... and then relays the question telepathically to Ilphere

[Ilphere] : I do not know... let us hope it is the latter.

[Sanadhil] :Indeed...

  • Sanadhil nods, then

[Seth] What would be the result, if the Serpent were to return?

[Ysabeau] That's another topic worthy of discussion, M. Argo. But might I please finish up what I wanted to say? Then we can move on to consider these other very important topics.

[Ysabeau] Basically... I am just asking for your help in keeping Martan safe. Please.

[Sanadhil] Of course.

[Seth] How can we assist you in this?

[Ysabeau] Well, for those of you involved with the cult, if you could share what Emkathon told me, try to convince them that Martan need not die to accomplish their goal of bringing back Serpent, please.

[Sanadhil] He's never been mentioned, to my knowledge

[Alma] Do we suspect that any other group may seek a sacrifice for Serpent?

[Ysabeau] For you others, it's business much as usual, only I am not sure what to expect from Kavreshar. He knows Martan and I are involved in harbouring the twins and has tried to get them back once. We've continued to thwart him with help, but I wouldn't put petty vindiction beyond him...

[Alma] Have any of us come across anything to indicate another source of danger?

  • Alma will look at each of your faces in turn with her SM on

[Seth] No, nothing.

[Sanadhil] Not related to the Serpent, though I'm sure his position puts him.... you (Looks at Martan) regardless, especially in the current political climate.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Martan] Well, yes.

  • Ysabeau smiles at him.

[Ysabeau] We know, M. Orecalo.

[Alma] So... the danger may not be another element in this whole... prophecy, but rather incidental?

  • Alma sighs at that idea.

[Ysabeau] We deal with regular danger as it comes up. But I think being in a prophecy about returning a lost god to power is a little beyond the ordinary.

[Alma] My concern is that perhaps the Order is not the source of the danger...

[Alma] None of the divinations I can recall indicate that he is of benefit to them, and M. Orecalo - as much as he is able to be honest - says that they have not mentioned him.

[Seth] Is there any reason to believe that there are multiple supernatural sources of danger?

[Alma] It need not be supernatural.

[Alma] Butler Belden's Legend Lore merely says that the birth of one child signals the death of his.

[Alma] No source is implied.

[Alma] Though...

[Sanadhil] Hmm.

  • Alma pulls out her notes to read.

[Ilphere] Interesting...

[Alma] Ysabeau, I think perhaps it's time we considered the import of your own Legend Lore?

[Ysabeau] ...

[Ysabeau] If you say so.

[Ysabeau] I don't know what it is, of course.

  • Alma nods.
  • Alma looks to Sanadhil.

[Alma] I could... share it with the others instead, if you'd prefer?

  • Sanadhil looks back curiously

[Martan] It's up to you, Ysa.

[Martan] If you want to hear it or not.

  • Ysabeau sighs.

[Ysabeau] Since you're bringing it up here, it must not be good.

[Ysabeau] I'd rather know, so we can help formulate some sort of plan.

[Ysabeau] :/

  • Ysabeau squeezes Martan's hand, a little crease of worry appearing between her brows once more.

[Alma] It's not really more ominous than Butler Belden's...

  • Alma will read it...

[Sanadhil] That is fairly ominous...

[Alma] "Showing mercy to an enemy means losing the one you love, but love takes many forms and cannot be destroyed merely by wishing it so. A mother's courage and a father's faith hold your hope."

  • Martan squeezes Ysa's hand back, trying to be reassuring.
  • Ysabeau glances at Martan, full of worry now.
  • Ysabeau turns back to Alma, trying to rally her courage.

[Alma] In a sense, this has more hope than Butler Belden's, we just need to find out what it means, and how to protect Martan.

  • Sanadhil shakes his head

[Sanadhil] Well

[Ysabeau] Any thoughts on what it means? Which father? Which mother?

[Alma] The best hope found in Butler Belden's was that one of his other children would die ... which is ... not very comforting.

[Sanadhil] My instincts say it speaks of Theonee and Butler

[Martan] ...Don't show mercy to any enemies?

[Ysabeau] Mercy the baby, Mercy the angel, or just plain old mercy?

[Ysabeau] Gods, I hate these things!

[Sanadhil] Indeed.

  • Alma nods

[Seth] The proper conclusion is that no one should ever again be named after an abstract concept.

[Sanadhil] Heh.

  • Alma looks at Seth ... oddly.

[Ysabeau] What if I've already unwittingly showed Mercy, Mercy or mercy to an enemy? Who the void is the enemy?

[Ysabeau] Kavreshar seems too easy.

[Sanadhil] Ysabeau.... Are you certian that 'the one you love' refers to Martan?

[Alma] Wishing...

[Sanadhil] And that losing means death?

  • Martan glances to Ysa.

[Ysabeau] It could be Martan, Murienne, Justen, Mercy or my baby.

[Ysabeau] Merrow, any of my friends for that matter.

[Alma] It says "the one" though, not simply "one", that ought to imply... import.

[Seth] I note the presence of the definite article, presuming that the Reverend Mother has recounted the prophecy accurately.

[Seth] Indeed, we are thinking along the same lines.

[Seth] Presuming that the gods are not fickle grammarians.

[Alma] Oh... the Matriarch...

[Ysabeau] I don't want want to lose any of you.

  • Alma flips through her notes.
  • Ysabeau starts crying... this is a bit too much.
  • Martan puts his arm around Ysa's shoulders.
  • Sanadhil looks down/away politely
  • Alma looks up, but seeing Martan is there to comfort her, returns to flipping.

[Ysabeau] Excuse me...

  • Ysabeau looks embarrassed to be crying in front of you and gets up to go into another room.
  • Martan moves to go with her, unless she seems like she wants to be alone.

[Ysabeau] (He's welcome to join her.)

[Sanadhil] Well.

[Sanadhil] I think that one is out of our hands, regardless.

  • Sanadhil says once she has made her escape

[Seth] But it may not be out of our hands to determine whether or not the Serpent's release is even desirable.

[Alma] Serpent is released already. What remains is merely restoring Serpent to order.

[Sanadhil] indeed

[Alma] If Serpent is indeed ... that which defines what is, then surely having it in order is desirable.

[Alma] Are you concerned that Emkathon is wrong?

[Seth] I am not concerned, no, on that account.

[Seth] I do want to find out what others think.

[Sanadhil] Is anyone here oposed to the full restoration?

  • Alma laughs.

[Seth] I do not believe that I am. However, I do not possess all the knowledge that you might, from your sources, regarding the consequences.

[Ilphere] Not I.

[Seth] Which is why I asked that question, earlier.

[Alma] I'm sure no one truly knows what it means.

[Sanadhil] Indeed...

[Alma] Maybe not even Emkathon herself.

[Alma] Yet I imagine it will happen anyway.

[Seth] If it is inevitable, then we still need to prepare to deal with the consequences, if any. Including, but not limited to, our earlier discussion of required sacrifices.

[Alma] Chilling

[Sanadhil] Willing sacrifices.

  • Sanadhil amends

[Seth] Yes.

[Alma] Perhaps at first.

[Seth] And presumably, our knowledge of potential results might influence their willingness.

[Sanadhil] I think the only knowledge we have is partial... and mostly metaphysical

[Sanadhil] (Has Alma's new position been announced?)

[DiablotinNarrator] (yes but she hasn't had her official ceremony yet)

[Alma] It sounds like the Chancellor is resigned to her fate regardless.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Alma] As for the Matriarch, Mr. Argo, I'm beginning to wonder if she's not mentioned in Butler Belden's Legend Lore...

[Alma] "... the death of your love and the rebirth of another..."

[Alma] Of course that could merely mean the Chancellor is reborn as some "other".

  • Alma looks unimpressed with her notes.

[Sanadhil] All these divinations just seem to cloud the issue more...

  • Sanadhil looks back to Seth,

[Sanadhil] I don't know what there is for us to discuss, concerning your question.

[Alma] I doubt there'd be any sort of clarity without them. It's more like chosing to look up at the sky and not seeing the stars for the clouds. What is better, to never look up?

  • Ysabeau returns with Martan. She looks rather wan.

[Seth] I agree. At the same time, when such auscultations provide room for such divergence of interpretation, the course of action is rarely clear.

  • Martan has his arm around her shoulders still.

[Ysabeau] I'm sorry...

[Alma] There's no need to apologise.

[Sanadhil] . o O (...ascultations? Really? He's trying now :p)

[Sanadhil] Indeed.

[Sanadhil] Though I'm afraid we've reached no conclusions in your absence

[Sanadhil] Is there anything else for us to discuss?

[Ysabeau] I have nothing more at this time...

[Ysabeau] But M. Argo had raised those questions, earlier...

  • Ysabeau suggests.

[Seth] I am thinking that I may seek further wisdom elsewhere.

  • Alma eyes Seth

[Alma] Such as?

[Sanadhil] If you do learn anything, I would be eager to hear more insights.

[Seth] Such as ... unmediated through the channels we have used to date.

[Alma] The under-arch?

  • Seth nods.
  • Alma wonders if Seth can communicate with Emkathon.

[Seth] Indeed.

[Seth] Although I must insist on no ... interruptions or unexpected visits.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Alma] If I felt the need to visit the UnderArch I'd likely have found my way there already.

[Alma] If you can think of any way I could make it safer for you, you need just ask.

  • Alma does not seem to know of any way off hand though -_-

[Seth] I am confident that I will be safe enough, under Her care.

[Sanadhil] Hmm.

  • Alma chuckles a little.

[Sanadhil] Well, as I said - I would be interested to know if you learn anything of use.

[Seth] I will of course share what I learn.

[Sanadhil] But if there is nothing further to discuss now, I'm sure we all have other matters to see to.

  • Sanadhil turns to Ysa.

[Sanadhil] Thank you, for calling us together.

[Ysabeau] Thank you all for coming.

[Sanadhil] I'm sorry we don't have more clarity for you, but I know we will do what we can to help you.

  • Sanadhil says to her and Martan
  • Ysabeau nods sadly.

[Ysabeau] Thank you.

[Martan] Thank you as well, yes.

  • Sanadhil looks to the others and nods then, and offers Ilphere his arm.

[Sanadhil] Then, good day, and I hope to hear more soon.

  • Sanadhil will escort Ilphere back to her chambers if she likes :3
  • Alma will linger

[Alma] If either of you require my assistance, it's yours. ... I have ideas, but if this is a bad time...?

[Martan] What were your ideas?

[Alma] Well there's scrying... I understand your ... role as Lord Grey requires privacy but perhaps until this is all over, you could benefit from a chaperone.

[Alma] I could check in most of the day, in fact.

[Alma] And... I've considered asking for a guardian for you...

[Alma] I'm not sure how that would work, though...

[Martan] Perhaps a compromise... if you wanted to check in at certain times of the day, which we've agreed upon?

[Alma] If I send a Sending before I attempt to scry, then you can know I am about to try, and chose not to resist it.

[Martan] Very well, I can agree to that.

[Alma] I could use the crystal ball in that case, rather than the ... longer duration.

  • Martan nods.
  • Alma looks between the two of you.

[Martan] What sort of guardian did you mean?

[Alma] Well... I can call on Owl to send a servant... but I'm not sure how best to go about that ...

[Alma] (I mean, I'm not always going to get a 20' tall Owl am I? :P)

[Martan] Well... I'm not an expert in these matters. If you can find a way to do it, that's not going to be overly disruptive, then I would accept your aid.

  • Alma nods
  • Alma will reach out to give Ysabeau a hug

[Alma] You two call on me whenever you need me.

  • Ysabeau hugs you back, a little mechanically.

[Ysabeau] We will. Thank you, Sister.

  • Ysabeau will see you out.

[Seth] This has been most informative. Thank you.

[Ysabeau] You're welcome, M. Argo. Thank you for coming.

  • Alma looks a little surprised when she sees Seth still there, and makes her way to the door.

[Ysabeau] I only wish we knew more.

  • Seth departs.
  • Alma will talk with Seth on the way out?

Alma and Seth

[Alma] Ah, well it's fortunate you're still here after all, Mr. Argo.

[Alma] I had a question for you.

[Seth] In what way, Reverend Mother?

[Alma] Hmm?

[Seth] In what way is it fortunate?

[Alma] Oh... I'm just Sister for another week or so.

[Seth] Ah. I heard the announcement of your elevation.

[Alma] Yes, I suppose you might have... the actual elevation is not until (date), though...

[Alma] It's strange to hear... though I suppose I'll have to get used to it.

[Seth] Congratulations. I am sure that it is richly deserved.

[Alma] Thank you, Mr. Argo. I am a little surprised that the Patriarch, and the Order, have chosen me, at my age, but I have tried quite hard these past few weeks to speak to my strengths, and my willingness to help us... grow through what is coming.

[Alma] So I hope that I will do the position justice.

[Alma] As to my question...

[Seth] Yes, of course.

[Alma] Do you think the Bonemire could be ... restored?

[Alma] All issues of its current inhabitants aside.

[Seth] Restored architecturally, you mean?

[Alma] Yes, the land around it seems a rather ... lost cause? But the building itself...

[Alma] Whether it could again be a temple...

[Seth] I believe the greatest concern would be the soil. It is very swampy. I would not say it is impossible, though.

[Alma] So feasible, if perhaps difficult.

[Seth] I suppose the greater question would be whether it would be desirable. It might be more effective, for instance, to build a new structure on more stable terrain.

[Seth] Is there some reason why you would wish particularly for the Bonemire to be restored?

[Alma] Yes, of course.

[Alma] I ask because the spell I mentioned to Ysabeau and Martan, requires a particular commitment of wealth or effort...

[Alma] It seemed perhaps a nice idea?

[Alma] The Bonemire seems so sad to me... derelict.

[Seth] And yet such places do sometimes have a majesty of their own. But I do see your point. I do think it would be possible, if the land were to be stabilized magically, that a restoration might be effected.

[Alma] It does seem like a project more suited to Druids...

[Alma] Anyhow, thank you for your insight.

[Seth] I was thinking ... well, never mind.

[Alma] Hmm?

[Alma] Now I'm curious.

[Seth] Well, the state of theology in this city is greatly in flux. And ... presuming that Emkathon, or part of her, will remain in this city, after ... after whatever is to happen happens ... there are other Powers to be venerated than the Seven. That much is clear.

  • Alma nods.

[Seth] And it is increasingly clear to me that my ... my role here is to pave the way for Her, and indeed perhaps for Serpent, to assume a new role in this city.

[Seth] Despite others' skepticism about my powers, which of course I realize has now abated as it has become clear that I am not mad.

[Alma] I don't think any of /us/ felt that you were mad.

[Alma] We could see it at work.

[Seth] Hmm.

[Alma] Go on, I didn't mean to interrupt.

[Alma] Merely to interject :)

[Seth] Well, in any case. The shape of what is to come, the shape of ... Belief ... for decades to come, is in flux.

[Seth] And given that I cannot have the Greysmoke, obviously ... since it is in use ... and similarly Nine Elms ... that the Bonemire might be such a place.

[Alma] Ah...

  • Alma considers.

[Alma] I'm glad you brought this up after all, before I'd committed myself before the Gods :)

[Alma] I'm not sure what to say, exactly...

[Seth] Nor am I, to be honest. I am still uncertain about so many things.

[Alma] You can keep something in confidence?

[Seth] I can.

[Alma] I'm not sure I'm any farther ahead of you, picturing the future of Belief, as you said.

  • Seth nods.

[Alma] But I thought that... if it did not offend the Seven, that perhaps Emkathon herself might deserve a temple.

  • Seth nods.

[Alma] I ask you to keep this in confidence because, as a new Reverend Mother, who knows what that sort of thing could mean to those who do not have our context...

[Alma] To me it seemed more fitting that her home over the millennia be the site of this temple... if there is to be one.

[Seth] I know that M. Orecalo believes himself to have been specially touched by Her ... but I do not believe this to be unique to him. What he experienced, so did we. And I, perhaps most of all, because of what came before.

[Seth] I, being no theologian, cannot say what the Seven think of all this, but I recognize the risk you take in confiding this in me, Sister, and I will certainly not defy the Powers, mortal or mundane. I will of course keep your confidence as we explore what all of this means.

[Alma] Things may be quite chaotic in the years to come... and what I wish most is for us to stay sane...

[Seth] Having had my sanity questioned by many over the past year, I earnestly share your wish.

[Alma] It's somewhat impressive we're still sane after all that's happened...

[Seth] I will also be in communication with Mlle Nash regarding all of this.

[Seth] She has a unique perspective that transcends our own - although, of course, there is no guarantee she is any more correct.

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] When you said that your role has become increasingly clear...

[Alma] It sounds as if you are speaking with Faith?

[Seth] I ... do not know what Faith is.

[Seth] I am not even certain what to hope for, out of this.

[Alma] Faith is when you believe in something Greater than yourself. It's when you believe you have a role to play, not just because you have chosen it. It's when you believe yourself protected without assurance that it is so?

[Alma] It seems like you've found a Purpose. And that's a wonderful thing.

[Seth] Then I suppose that is right. That sounds right.

[Alma] I am glad for you, Mr. Argo.

[Seth] Thank you, Sister.

  • Alma will chat with you s'more on the way out.

Sanadhil, Arek and Phedre

  • Sanadhil will have talked to Arek about this ahead of time...
  • Arek is nervous about going to see his wife, but knows it has to be done sooner rather than later...

[Sanadhil] (If it has been a few days already she may be wondering wtf @_@_)

[Sanadhil] (I assume he is gong to look like his normal Earric self for now?)

[Sanadhil] Do you think she will be able to understand at all?

[Arek] I really don't know.

  • Arek looks like his normal human form, yes.
  • Sanadhil nods

[Arek] I think it will depend whether she thinks she still has power over me.

  • Sanadhil will cast glibness before we go, just in case :V

[Sanadhil] ...does she?

[Arek] I don't think so. No more than she has over anyone else.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] She must suspect somethign by now?

[Arek] Maybe... she's so preoccupied lately, but I imagine she's noticed I've been gone.

[Sanadhil] I've never been clear on the nature of that connection...

[Sanadhil] But in any case.

[Arek] Similar to what you and I share - she will know where I've been, maybe that's why she hasn't been worried.

[Arek] at least - she should.. I don't know if that was broken or not.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] We shall see.

[Arek] Yes...

[Arek] Thank you for coming with me.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Of course I would

  • Arek smiles.

[Sanadhil] . o O (Because I dn't trust her with you.)

  • Sanadhil smiles back
  • Arek will depart with you for Phedre's then.

[Sanadhil] (indeed)

  • Sanadhil will let hm lead the way since he lives here...
  • Arek hesitates slightly outside the door but then opens it and goes in.
  • Sanadhil accompanies
  • Phedre is found in her study, upstairs. She has piles of books and papers lying around, and looks up, distracted, when you enter.

[Phedre] Well, you finally came home. You must have been busy.

[Arek] I ... yes, I have.

[Arek] We have to talk, Phedre.

  • Phedre looks up more attentively.
  • Sanadhil nods to her politely

[Phedre] Privately?

  • Phedre says, glancing at San.
  • Arek shakes his head.

[Arek] I want him here.

[Sanadhil] Indeed...

[Phedre] ...very well. We'll talk.

[Arek] Things have changed. Are still changing.

[Arek] And I'm leaving you.

[Phedre] You can't.

[Arek] Actually, I can.

  • Arek shifts his form to reveal his wings.
  • Sanadhil watches her closely.

[Phedre] ...

  • Phedre 's brow furrows.

[Phedre] You... what have you done?

[Sanadhil] It was Emkathon's doing.

  • Phedre glares at both of you.

[Phedre] You took him there, to her, again?

[Sanadhil] No.

[Sanadhil] She's free.

[Phedre] She is? :o

[Sanadhil] Yes.

[Phedre] How?

[Sanadhil] I don't know - through her own power somehow.

[Phedre] What does this mean?

[Sanadhil] That we are close to our goal.

[Phedre] Yes...

[Sanadhil] That Seropernt will be restored soon.

  • Phedre nods excitedly.

[Sanadhil] She wants The Phaeria

[Sanadhil] I presume she will know what to do with it.

[Phedre] Of course - I suppose it's hers, after all.

[Arek] ...

  • Sanadhil nods

[Arek] This is more important, I'm sure.

[Phedre] Of course it is.

  • Sanadhil squeezes his hand.

[Phedre] I knew I wouldn't keep you forever.

[Phedre] But this... this is changing the world.

[Arek] And I've already served my purpose, is that it?

  • Phedre looks at him with greater affection.
  • Sanadhil looks at him

[Phedre] You've done so well, my darling.

[Phedre] Whatever follows, I wish you happiness.

[Arek] ... thank you.

[Phedre] Will I be able to speak with Emkathon? She could answer so many questions...

[Sanadhil] I think that shoudl be possible to arrange, yes.

  • Phedre nods avidly.

[Phedre] Very well. I hope that you're right, that our goals will soon be realized.

  • Sanadhil wants to SM her, to see if she is really just more excited by the serpent stuff

[Sanadhil] !roll 1d20+22

  • Alma rolls for Sanadhil: [ 1d20+22 ] getting [ 7 ] which, after the modifier [ 22 ] totals [ 29 ].
  • Phedre does seem more excited about that than anything else atm.

[Arek] ...

  • Sanadhil looks to him
  • Arek goes to Phedre and puts his arms around her, kissing her.
  • Phedre embraces him briefly.

[Arek] Thank you.

  • Arek says, a little more sincerely this time.

[Phedre] And thank you.

  • Sanadhil relaxes a little

[Phedre] Do you need any of your things?

  • Arek glances briefly to San.

[Arek] I don't know.

[Arek] Some clothes, I suppose.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Whatever you need.

  • Phedre nods.

[Arek] I'll get some things then.

  • Arek goes to pack.
  • Phedre eyes you after he leaves.

[Phedre] He's going to you, isn't he. Not just leaving - leaving for you.

[Sanadhil] ...I think he would have left you, regardless.

  • Phedre nods.

[Sanadhil] She gave him a choice.

[Phedre] And this is what he chose.

[Sanadhil] Yes.

  • Phedre looks down, momentarily.

[Sanadhil] ...

  • Sanadhil goes back to being suspicious

[Phedre] Take good care of him.

[Sanadhil] I will try.

  • Sanadhil tries to decide if he thinks she is sincere.
  • Phedre seems hurt and angry, but trying to keep calm.

[Phedre] It will all be worthwhile, in the end...

  • Sanadhil nods, not really knowing what to say to her other than "i don't know what he was thinking either @_@"

[Sanadhil] Yes.

[Phedre] This will not affect our... work, I trust.

[Sanadhil] As do I.

  • Phedre nods.

[Sanadhil] Emkathon also relayed some other information of relevance...

[Phedre] Oh?

[Sanadhil] Things I'm sure you already know - that an unwilling sacrifice cannot serve its purpose.

[Sanadhil] She said no souls are necesssary to restore Serpent.... of course that is not the same as blood.

[Phedre] That is something I've learned, yes.

  • Phedre nods again.

[Sanadhil] Ilphere spoke to the Chancellor recently, however, and it seems she is resigned to her fate.

[Phedre] It may be that I should simply approach her directly, if she is truly willing to do this...

[Sanadhil] That seems best, yes.

[Phedre] I will, then.

[Sanadhil] I have been thinking also, that perhaps the ambiguous answer from the commune meant one of a few potential candidates, and not that several are required...

[Sanadhil] Emkathon may know more, however.

  • Phedre nods.

[Phedre] I'll ask her, if I get the chance to speak with her.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] She is in the city, you may be able to contact her via Sending, or something similar.

[Phedre] Very well.

[Sanadhil] Prayer, perhaps.

  • Sanadhil muses.

[Phedre] That.. is possible, yes.

  • Arek returns with his things.

[Arek] Tell Viviane goodbye for me?

[Phedre] Of course.

[Arek] We should go...

  • Arek says to San.
  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] Good day, then

  • Sanadhil says to Phedre, and will turn to leave with his BF :3
  • Arek makes himself look human again for the trip home.

[Sanadhil] (...companion ;)

[Sanadhil] That went... better than I had feared.

[Arek] She was too distracted by all the other news...

[Arek] She hardly noticed I was leaving.

[Arek] :/

[Sanadhil] She noticed.

  • Sanadhil reassures him.

[Arek] You think so?

[Sanadhil] I can't decide if she was being graceful, or cruel, to make you think she didn't.

  • Sanadhil nods
  • Arek takes your hand.

[Arek] She wouldn't want to show that I could hurt her.

  • Sanadhil nods

[Sanadhil] I could tell.

  • Sanadhil strokes his face.
  • Arek closes his eyes.

[Arek] What I feel.. felt... for her. It wasn't this.

[Sanadhil] No.

  • Sanadhil agrees, even though he doesn't still know what this is really, but that's okay.

[Arek] Let's go home.

  • Sanadhil nods, and kisses him
  • Arek kisses you, even though people might stare.

Ysabeau and Nestor

  • Ysabeau heads to another Revelators meeting... it's been a while.

[Ysabeau] (I probably would have gone to one or two sessions since the night with Dryden, but avoided him, I think. )

[DiablotinNarrator] The meeting is very well-attended.

  • Ysabeau wants to get the pulse of the Revelators... in another winter of hardship, what sorts of things are being preached today?
  • Ysabeau also wants to try to figure out whether Kavreshar has possibly turned his attention to the Revelators, another group of malcontents, since he's lost his criminal minions, and the Levellers probably aren't much use to him anymore, either.

[DiablotinNarrator] Today the message is about charity, about sharing what little is available with one another.

[Ysabeau] (Any vitriol about the Church?)

[Ysabeau] (Or talk about Hell?)

[DiablotinNarrator] Not from the preacher (who is not Marlow today, fwiw.) But some mutterings in the crowd that you might overheard.

[Ysabeau] (Okay)

  • Ysabeau will look around for Dryden...
  • Ysabeau will approach him with caution once she has spotted him...
  • Dryden is near to the back.

[Ysabeau] Good evening, M. Dryden.

[Dryden] Ah, Mlle. Chanuier. It's been quite some time. What brings you here tonight?

  • Dryden glances at your extreme state of pregnancy.

[Ysabeau] Checking out all my old haunts before I'm stuck at home with an infant?

  • Ysabeau suggests.

[Dryden] Well, I wish you well with that.

[Ysabeau] Thank you. How have you been?

[Dryden] Well, not too badly, thank you. I have been involving myself to what extent I'm able with the work in Pearl.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] With Captain Kolbe?

[Dryden] Yes.

[Ysabeau] It's going well, then?

[Dryden] Very well, yes. I think it's making a difference, at least. I'm no fighter, but I can provide assistance with the organizational efforts, at least.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] I finished my schooling, just before the holidays. Well, I had to, didn't I?

  • Ysabeau glances down at her belly.
  • Ysabeau smiles again.

[Ysabeau] There was a good crowd tonight.

  • Dryden nods.

[Ysabeau] Lots of new faces.

[Dryden] People come for the food, but many of them stay to listen.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] How is M. Stavenger? I missed his sermon tonight.

[Dryden] He is well, I believe. He has been handing over many responsibilities to other members of the group, though.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Dryden] He did not speak tonight, so you didn't miss it.

[Ysabeau] I meant that I missed his presence.

[Dryden] Ah, I see.

[Ysabeau] Because he didn't speak tonight. Oh well, it's good there are others to take up the reins.

[Ysabeau] Still...

  • Ysabeau looks a little puzzled.

[Ysabeau] It seems strange that he is passing things off, doesn't it?

[Ysabeau] One of the things that struck me most about him was his passion for his cause.

[Dryden] I think it's necessary - the group is becoming too large for him to do everything himself, and he has said several times as well that he doesn't want to be ... a prophet. He feels the message is more important than who delivers it.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] How do you feel about all the new leaders? Do any of them stand out to you?

[Dryden] Some seem very promising... but time will tell, I suppose.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] As long as none of them smell like smoke.

[Dryden] No, not at all.

[Ysabeau] That's good to hear.

[Ysabeau] (I should SM him, actually, I suppose.)

[Ysabeau] !roll 1d20+21

  • Alma rolls for Ysabeau: [ 1d20+21 ] getting [ 15 ] which, after the modifier [ 21 ] totals [ 36 ].
  • Dryden seems to be sincere.

[Ysabeau] I guess your gifts would alert you if anyone was here who oughtn't to be.

  • Ysabeau concedes with a smile.
  • Dryden nods.

[Ysabeau] Speaking of which - do you have a few minutes?

[Dryden] For you? Certainly.

  • Ysabeau laughs.

[Ysabeau] I'll buy you a drink, come on.

  • Dryden will join you.
  • Ysabeau takes him to a nice tavern and asks for a secluded dining table, and tells him to order what he'd like.
  • Ysabeau orders some tea.

[Ysabeau] Well... my friends looked into some of the leads you provided.

  • Ysabeau gets down to business once the drinks arrive and the serving girl has left.
  • Dryden nods.

[Ysabeau] You might have heard that the Jewel Box is looking for a new Diamond...

[Dryden] What happened there?

[Ysabeau] Oh, the former Diamond is alive and well, doing her own thing now.

  • Dryden nods, listening.

[Ysabeau] She actually wasn't a demon, you know...

[Dryden] No?

  • Dryden seems surprised by that.

[Ysabeau] No. There was something else about her, which I will share with you. But first, I wanted to ask if you could explain how your talent works - how you could tell there was something strange about her. And how you can tell when a person is merely plane-touched?

[Ysabeau] True Sight doesn't explain it all.

[Dryden] No... it's not that, not precisely. It's just a ... feeling. I don't really know how to describe it. I feel a certain kinship with those who are from ... elsewhere.

[Dryden] In a crowd, I'll notice them.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Hmm...

[Ysabeau] That's interesting.

[Ysabeau] I come up as normal, I guess? ;)

[Dryden] Yes :)

[Ysabeau] That's a relief.

[Dryden] Unearthly beauty isn't quite the same thing, I'm afraid.

  • Dryden teases.

[Ysabeau] Oh, you charmer.

[Ysabeau] Well, Diamond was a normal human girl, but she was hosting an entity from another plane.

[Dryden] 'Hosting'? Hmm.

[Ysabeau] So that's what you would have sensed.

[Dryden] I suppose it must have been.

[Ysabeau] It's from a plane called the Cyst, which no one I know of had ever heard of before.

[Ysabeau] Have you?

  • Dryden looks puzzled.

[Dryden] I haven't, no.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Well... it seems like that Cyst-creature might possibly have been a scout.

[Dryden] But there are many little planes in the outer realms... it could be one of those.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] My friends are concerned that... there may be more of them. And they may be slowly infiltrating others in our Plane.

[Dryden] Understandable...

  • Dryden looks somewhat worried himself.

[Ysabeau] They don't have your gift, are unable to see those who are plane-touched. One, in particular, was wondering if you might be willing and able to help locate more unusual persons, so that they can be freed of their Cyst entities, if they have any...

[Ysabeau] I said I would put it on the table for you, but would not provide them with your name.

[Dryden] I ... could try, yes. But I'm not willing to turn over just anyone ... I would want to be sure they were these entities first.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Dryden] I'd need to learn more accurately what they feel like.

[Ysabeau] I understand. I wouldn't want to ruin someone's life with unfounded allegations, either.

[Ysabeau] There is possibly a catch for you, though... this friend is a priest.

[Ysabeau] I know you split from the Way of the Wheel on philosophical differences.

[Dryden] Ah.... and they are still willing to accept my help?

[Ysabeau] I have never revealed your identity to them... when we first met, you asked me not to, because you feared for your life if anyone discovered that you had provided me with sensitive information.

  • Dryden nods.

[Ysabeau] I said I would ask if you wanted to help, but it's purely your decision, M. Dryden.

[Dryden] I thought you might have told them my.. nature, at least.

[Ysabeau] I did, eventually, mention that my contact was a half-demon, yes - but only because they were pressing me hard.

[Dryden] Well, I can tell you this much. If you come across another such entity, and there's the chance for me to observe them for a time... that would be helpful for me in identifying others.

  • Ysabeau nods.

[Ysabeau] Would you like me to provide you with the name of my friend?

[Ysabeau] It's purely your decision whether to reveal yourself to them or not.

[Dryden] Very well.

[Ysabeau] It's Sister Alma de Beziers who asked me to approach you about this.

[Dryden] Really? Hm.

[Ysabeau] I know. She was fine with speaking to you. If you do want to meet with her, but are not willing to do so alone, I'm willing to go with you.

[Dryden] Well, I will consider the matter. Thank you.

[Ysabeau] You're welcome, M. Dryden. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me.

[Dryden] Anytime, Ysabeau.

  • Dryden says, patting your hand.
  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] If you need to get in touch with me, I'm currently staying with my inlaws.

[Dryden] Very well.

  • Ysabeau will provide him the address so he can send a note or a messenger.
  • Ysabeau writes her name as Ysabeau Olivier on the slip of paper with her address...
  • Dryden slips it into his pocket.
  • Ysabeau will make small talk with him, unless he looks like he is itching to get away.
  • Ysabeau will not stay out too late, though. :)

[Dryden] Well, I should say farewell - unless you wanted to accompany me for a more private catching-up ;)

[Ysabeau] M. Dryden, your offer is too kind. Perhaps if I can convince my husband to have a threesome, I may take you up on it.

  • Dryden chuckles.

[Dryden] Another time, perhaps.

  • Ysabeau smiles.

[Ysabeau] Have a good night, Nestor.

[Dryden] And you too, Ysabeau.

  • Ysabeau will pick up the tab, and head out herself.
  • Ysabeau will send Alma a note about how her contact explained his ability, and that he *may* seek her out, but Ysabeau has left that decision up to him.
  • Alma will send a thank-you in return.
  • Ysabeau goes back to minding half-demon babies... there is lots of time (?) to ask Dryden if he wants to be a tutor for their own innate abilities, if they develop any...

Alma and Stavenger

  • Alma first thought to meet with Stavenger while she was promoting herself to her Order, as a good meeting with him might have gone some way to showing she could be a mediator in the times coming... of course the question of what he's seen of Hell remains.
  • Stavenger can be found handing out food in Pearl one afternoon.
  • Alma will approach, careful not to get in the way of those he's serving.

[Alma] Good afternoon, Mr. Stavenger.

  • Stavenger nods politely to you.

[Stavenger] Sister... no, it's Reverend Mother now, isn't it.

[Alma] Ah, still Sister, for now, thank you.

[Alma] I had hoped we might have a chance to talk.

[Alma] Perhaps if I helped you finish your work, you might have the time today?

[Stavenger] Certainly. Help is always appreciated.

  • Alma will help distribute the food.
  • Alma will follow his lead for the moment.
  • Stavenger turns to you once the crowd disperses and the food is gone.
  • Alma brushes her hands off on her winter cloak.
  • Alma smiles politely and waits to see what he says.

[Stavenger] So, you wanted to talk?

[Alma] Yes...

  • Alma sounds awkward, probably.

[Stavenger] Perhaps we could go somewhere warmer.

[Alma] That sounds like a good idea.

[Alma] Lead on :)

  • Stavenger will show the way to a nearby 'tavern'.

[Alma] (Oh, I will deathwatch and detect evil on him as he's leading the way :p)

  • Stavenger seems to be known here, they bring warm drinks to the table as you sit down.
  • Stavenger is alive and not evil.

[Alma] Thank you.

  • Stavenger also thanks the girl who brought the drinks.

[Alma] So, I suppose it goes without saying that many within the Church doubt some of what you preach...

  • Stavenger nods.

[Stavenger] I have heard that, yes.

[Alma] But I have recently come to learn that in one regard it seems perhaps you have insight which we have not.

[Alma] So I wished to ask you about Hell.

[Stavenger] What do you want to know about it?

[Alma] I'd like to know how you came to learn of its threat?

[Stavenger] I was there.

  • Stavenger says simply.

[Alma] In Hell itself?

[Alma] (sm)

  • Alma rolls [ 1d20+35 ] getting [ 13 ] which, after the modifier [ 35 ] totals [ 48 ]

[Stavenger] Yes. At least, that is what I believe I experienced.

  • Stavenger seems perfectly sincere in his conviction.

[Alma] What was it like?

[Stavenger] Terrible.

[Stavenger] It was... torture.

[Alma] How did you return?

[Alma] And how did you come to an explanation of what happened?

[Stavenger] I returned to life.. I was saved by a stranger, as it happened.

[Stavenger] As to my understanding of what I experienced... I returned with the knowledge in my mind.

[Stavenger] I believe I was permitted to understand it so that I could tell others.

[Alma] The Seven?

  • Alma nods.

[Alma] Are you ... aware of some of the other changes?

[Stavenger] What changes do you speak of?

[Alma] Well, the being Kavreshar, and the entity it once served?

[Alma] Was any of this imparted by your experience?

[Stavenger] The forces of evil.

[Alma] It's... a little more complicated than that...

  • Alma wonders if she would be stamping on her own foot by elaborating.

[Alma] The change that has come since the Arch was restored... it's just beginning.

[Alma] And we have no idea where it is taking us...

[Stavenger] I agree.

[Stavenger] The church has corruption within it. Surely you must know this...

[Alma] Any body of men has corruption within it.

[Alma] I came to see how you learned of Hell, but also in the hope that I could assure you that my goal is to serve the Seven protect the Empire

[Stavenger] I'm glad to hear that, Sister.

[Alma] I won't say I think you are always fair... but when we are wrong, I hope that we will do better.

[Stavenger] I hope so too. In this, we can certainly agree.

[Alma] But with what's coming... I hope that we can be allies. Even if you cannot return to us, then let us not be antagonists?

  • Stavenger sighs.

[Stavenger] I realize my message seems antagonistic to you. But if you are unchallenged, unquestioned, then the assumptions of the past will continue, to all our detriments.

  • Alma nods

[Alma] That is fair.

[Stavenger] I hope that we can listen to one another.

[Stavenger] Even if we do not agree.

[Alma] That sounds excellent to me...

[Alma] Brother Stavenger.

  • Stavenger smiles slightly.

[Stavenger] Good day, Sister. I must be getting back to work.

[Alma] Thank you for the drink.

[Stavenger] Thank you for... listening.

[Alma] I don't think we'll be able to survive what's coming if we don't listen.

[Stavenger] That is my fear as well.

  • Stavenger pulls his cloak back on and departs.