The Golden Web of Intrigue

The Final Threads
All Webs Must Be Complete Eventually

Verboden’s Epilogue
• V made his way to Helenia, and then over to Farna, and quietly lived out his life like the baron that he was, but in the peaceful area of Farna. Dyed his hair, grew it out, and lived a quiet, simple life enjoying everything that he could in a calm and quite way, with no more lawyering. During the Farna Festival that year there was a strange stall, costing very expensive to reach into a bag to pull out items. Several get quite strange items, such as a mask, crystal, and box. V then walks over when no one else does, and sets down his money. The stall owner looks up at him and shakes her dainty head, saying; “This is not for you. You’re story is already finished.”
Yvette’s Epilogue
• She married Duke Underkeeper, enjoying the secret club that she and her spouse were a member of.
• As Power she expanded across every field that she could, trying to not draw attention to herself and expand upon that group.
• She has a daughter that is born, names her Alice, and then goes on to continue refining her body and training herself to improve upon her own powers.
Zac’s Epilogue
• Z spread his name out their as a sword instructor, saving up enough money to open up his own school and build it up and its reputation as well. Would also open with 1-2 slots for the less fortunate in order to give them free service, then spread it out as well. Afterwards he and Baroness Jaclyn Tonberr continue their relationship now that their death threats against each other they further their relationship, although it is a strange and backwards way. They have two daughters, both as lovely as their mother, and the eldest is taught Aquarius as her father ages. He also teaches the nobles that fencing doesn’t always win. Eventually with Age Control he keeps helping to teach others for a great long while.
Aggro’s Epilogue
• He returns to his tribe in Nanwe, dressed in the finery that he possessed from Gabriel. He then educates his tribe on the ways the Gabrielense behave, with their manipulation, backstabbing, and some of their strange behaviors. After all of that, his other members agreed that they were really the civilized people.
Other General Epilogue Stuff
• The court case, Abercrombie wins it well, putting a good financial dent into Veis’ Gabriel Standings. John Cambry had returned home before the court case started. After they lost, the heads of the Gabriel groups were found dead within a week.
• Hyacinth went to Hausser with Nathaniel and Helmut in order to continue her education, then was able to go on to the Great University of Lucrecio.
• Frans went to Estygia and was able to find the love that he sought while also improving his family standings over seas.
• Elise became an excellent Deva and traveled abroad sharing her gifts and aiding her country.
• Stefan learned to inherit the company, working on basing things on both how his father and his step-sister Lillith for how to keep his game face.

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Falling Petals
Will They Fall Into Place, or Disorder?

• Sunday, January 1, 990
• Eve and Duke Underkeeper were taken to the hospital, E holding his hand the entire way. They reached the hospital, and the Duke is entered into surgery for 6 hours.
• After E leaves Baron V goes to find some guards, finds them, and then tells them to take the body of Demonica from his home, but not report that he is dead yet. When the guards asks why, V tells that then the man that hired him won’t hire another one. The guards agree, and V says the news can come out in a few days but to keep it quiet. Then V goes to Sapphire’s house, and tries to pick the front door with one of his newly acquired lockpicks, gets it stucked, then it stays stuck despite a great deal of work, so then breaks it off at the lock with his rapier, and then walks back to the Marquis’. He arrives, the guards let him in when he says that he is still alive. He meets up with the Marquis, who has his entire family and half the guards, plus Z and Asha with them. V looks it over, and says that Demonica is dead. The Marquis asks if V is sure, and he confirms it that he ran him through himself. The Marquis says that Veis must pay for this, V agrees, and everyone goes to bed then. Before sleep V drafts 3 letters to Abercrombie Zerro, commenting that there has been an attempt on his life, and that he would like Abercrombie Zerro to take over for him in the case against Veis should anything bad happen to him.
• After the hours the doctor comes out and informs Eve that the Duke will live, but that he will need a great deal of damage, and suggests she not see him for a while then. E agrees reluctantly, goes back to her home, finds it burnt down, so goes and naps in a corner of the Halmeister Estate for a time. Then she goes looking for those that are up, but they are still asleep so she goes and trains at the grounds for a time.
• When V wakes up he goes looking for a locksmith. Finds it, tells him he is watching a friend’s home for a few days but his key has stopped working because something appears to be blocking it. The locksmith asks who he is, Baron V says, and so the locksmith eagerly goes to help. They get there, and the locksmith brings out the broken bit of lockpick. The locksmith comments on it, so they go to look around and see that everything seems to still be in order, so V shows the locksmith out, searches the bedroom but doesn’t find what he was looking for, Gaston Beauregard’s will. Then he goes to the study, and finds Nathaniel enjoying a drink with Lorenzo standing above him shaking his head. V and Nathaniel discuss what was each of them doing here, both saying checking up on things for her since she is deceased. V asks if Nathaniel found anything interesting, and he brings out a small letter. Nathaniel says that it seems to be a will, Sapphire’s will. V asks to see it, and Nathaniel accepts, seeing that it is indeed Sapphire’s will, leaving everything she owns to Hyacinth. V comments on that being surprisingly generous of her. Then Nathaniel calls behind him for Helmut to follow him out, and Lorenzo, now Helmut once again, follows him out so that Hyacinth can get all that she has earned. V searches the rest of the home, but doesn’t find the will that he is looking for. He goes to the bank, asks to have the 200,000 GC writ to be cashed, the staff member is unsure, gets a manager, that recognizes Baron V and so just tells the man to get the wealth, which they provide to him in a large crate filled with variously valuable gems. Then he goes back to his home and begins organizing and copying all the Veis evidence that he has.
• Z wakes and goes to train, with E already there. Then Z notices High Inquisitor Norinus coming up to the gate. Z lets him in, before he has to punch more guards. Norinus asks regarding Baron V is there, and they do not know where he is, or when he will be back. So Norinus says that he will wait, and asks for sparing partners. Everyone but Eve and Z step back. Norinus and E fight first, enjoying each other’s company and fighting back and forth, exchanging blocking strikes, until Norinus falls helm first into her shield, and then she counters. Norinus compliments her on her odd technique. Then Z offers to battle, and the two battle throughout the day in a great deal of time exchanging back and forth, each getting their own solid blows in.
• Towards the middle of the day Frans prepares to leave. The family and he head to the docks, but he does bid Z and other important people he cares for goodbye. Frans, now that the crisis is over, boards his boat to take him to Estygia. His happiness can be barely concealed, although there is sadness in his leaving his family.
• When the Marquis returns E talks to him regarding the end of her contract and that there won’t be any renewal. The Marquis agrees since there is no one left for her to protect, and also says that she will not be paid. E was not going to bring it up, but she agrees entirely with it. They part saying that they are sad things could not have been better, and the Marquis wishes her the best in the future with her future family.
• As the sun goes down V is not back so Norinus stops the sparring and goes off to Baron V’s to try and find it. E goes as well. Z goes to grab a lot of food after the long day of sparring.
• Norinus knocks on the door and V answers it himself. Norinus comes in, mentions that he has finished looking into Veis, and that while there is no evidence that they are linked to it there is the reek of evil and corruption, so they wish to deal with it and end it. Norinus informs V that he has been able to persuade the case to be moved to the Church’s Court, with Bishop Opimo overseeing it, and that it will be at January 31st now. V is surprise, which Norinus assumes that he is pleased and so Nornus leaves. Then V lets E in and takes her in to the study. E asks about the money that was taken from Demonica. V persuades her that it would be best they try to avoid cashing it, and to also cover the values regarding all of the attacks against the Marquis. E reminds him that her fiancee’s entire estate was burnt down and that he nearly died. V says that a Duke would be able to bounce back more easily then a Marquis. E accepts reluctantly, but says that she wishes to be there when he talks to the Marquis.
• E goes back to the hospital, where she spends the night with the Duke, and they each apologize for what happened to each other. Then the Duke offers that should E need a place to stay she could try and stay for a while at the Club they attended. E spends the night.
• V goes back to the Marquis’ and discusses with him. He gives him a copy of all the evidence for the court case against Veis, saying he may need it in case the worst should happen to him. He also tells the Marquis about Norinus’ visit, that the court case will now be in Church Court, which the Marquis is happy about, until V points out that there are the connections with Opimo and the Mahakala group. Marquis accepts that it could be more difficult, but is hoping it could work out well. Then V says that there is also the letters he sent to Abercrombie Zerro to take over should anything bad happen to him. The Marquis hopes that things go well for them. Then V goes back to his home and continues making some additional copies. When he is done with the copies he goes to tell Z regarding all of the things going with Baroness Tonberr, that she wants him dead, and that he was supposed to present Z to her without his cloak in exchange for Aggro’s life. V says that he could accept the loss with Aggro since he is hired help, but hopes that something else could be arranged. V suggests they pretend to turn him over, with V holding his cloak, then being able to deal with her afterwards. Z agrees, if V can get him his cloak back quickly. They expect they can. V sends all his guards and Benjamin Rell back to his home. After the chat he asks Z if he can have one of their guards escort him home, Z turns him over to Asha, and Asha allows him to take one. V gets the guard that looks like him to take him home, then says he might be looking for more help, and buy the contract from him should he be interested. The guard says it would really be up to Asha and the Marquis, then leaves. V sends a letter to the Baroness asking where they would like Z delivered since it will work very soon. He gets a response saying just before midnight the next day would be the perfect opportunity. V goes to bed, but burns Gaston’s will first.
• Monday, January 2, 990
• In the morning Eve goes to Baron V to see about the discussion with the Marquis. V tells her that he has many other things to do in order to accomplish, so he may not get to the conversation for a while. E decides to wait. V continues drafting more work. Riccard asks if he should allow E to loiter in the hall, since she isn’t a Duchess yet. V says that she will be one day so let her. After the paperwork V goes over to the Marquis’ in order to discuss things with Z, so E follows him. When E sees that V is going to talk to Z she grumbles and heads off to the hospital again. V tells Z that the plan is on for a night, where they will take him to her this night, with one of his guards coming. She will pretend to knock him out to make it look like he has been incapacitated, take him over to the Baroness, then throw him his cloak back so that they can, deal, with her. Z says alright, but asks if it is just his cloak, or any cloak at all, so the guardshould probably take that one from him as well. V sees the logic in that. Z agrees, so they prepare to do it that night. V goes and tells Dolia the plan, and begins making some of the arrangements, copying the evidence agains Tonberr so that he can give her the original and his other copy, then goes to the Marquis’ tells him that he can’t take the first letter he gave him back since he won’t need it anymore. Then V prepares for the night ahead.
• Z takes the satchel containing all of Shin Kaminari’s possessions that he took. He then goes over to the Marquis’ finds Hyacinth and Stefan being tutored by Nathaniel and Helmut. Z asks to speak with Hyacinth alone, and she comments on being so very popular of late, but then agrees. Z gives her the satchel, on the condition that should he die it be given to the Dannils on his behalf. Hyacinth asks if Z is going to kill himself because of the prank they pulled, because they still like him and want him to live. Z says that isn’t the case, but that there is the risk. Hyacinth accepts, looks at the sword inside, and then they go back into the room. Stefan asks what was going on, Z says he doesn’t need to know. Nathaniel asks what’s in the bundle, and Z says they can look when Stefan isn’t here. Z then goes and orders a sword-wrap sheath in the Dannils so that he can give them the katana after things are solved.
• In the night V and Dolia takes Z to Baroness Tonberr’s estate, they enter saying they are there to meet with her.
• Z stands and grabs his cloak and eyes Tonberr. Tonberr comments on how disappointing this is, draws her short sword and backs up. V draws his rapier and calls for Dolia. Z moves forward, but doesn’t attack, so Tonberr attacks the greenhouse behind her and breaks a pane of glass behind her. Then V asks why Z isn’t doing anything, moves up and harms her slightly. Then Dolia comes in with her daggers drawn, telling them that her guards are coming. V tells her to hold the door before attacking again, cutting through Tonberr’s dress but not her, while Z charges out to try and save Aggro. Z cuts down one of the guards in a flurry of his cape to defend Aggro. Then V tells Dolia to help him, who comes flying in, carving into Tonberr solidly with her first dagger, but the second is ducked under from the force. Tonberr attacks and manages to cut V, Z kills the second guard outside to protect Aggro, and Dolia gets another solid hit in on Tonberr. Zac runs back in, but can’t see if there is any blood so waits. Tonberr then tries to roll out through the hole she made, but is caught up on a large shard of glass and is stuck. V tells Tonberr to drop her weapon and they won’t kill her. She drops it, Dolia and Z lift her from the glass, prop her up on the wall. V says they won’t kill her if she forgets about all of the vengeance and plots against them, help in order persuade Opimo for a good word, and V takes his evidence back. V asks if she will need medical attention, Tonberr weakly nods. Dolia and Z carry Aggro back. Then V mounts his horse, they leave, and V fires his pistol in order to draw guards to help her since they also leave the gates open.
• Tuesday, January 3, 990
• In the morning E sees that Baroness Tonberr was brought into the hospital with a great deal of cuts and lacerations. After looking over her Duke and seeing that he was still mostly aslepp, E went to check on her. E asked if Tonberr was alright, which got her a grimace, and saying that Tonberr fell through a window of her greenhouse and was cut up by far too much glass. E hopes she will recover soon. Later E sees a Gabrielense maid go in to talk with Baroness Tonberr. As the maid is leaving she gives E a letter with a seal that she doesn’t recognize. Opening it she sees that there is an invitation for her +1 to supper with an Archduke Misrightnan for tonight. She goes out and buys a new dress to wear, since she only has the one she is wearing.
• Z sleeps, goes about his duties on the compound, tells Hyacinth to keep the satchel for the time being, but that he would like to deliver it personally to the Dannils. Then a maid comes and gives him a letter that is the same as the one that E got.
• V goes to the Marquis’ and invites the guard that looks like him over for supper. The guard, not working that night, happily accepts. V then goes to the bank and places a copy of the evidence regarding Tonberr into his safety deposit box with instructions to be opened upon his passing. V finds the guard that has some evidence, and says not to let it out until after the court case, should he die. On the way back he hears of the death of Duke Alfons Cheosan’s family, and that he is looking for help, but V is quite busy no matter how interesting the case may sound. He returns home to find Riccard with a letter the same as what Z and E got. V drafts up a polite decline as he already has plans that evening, and sends Riccard with it. When Riccard returns, he has another letter inviting Baron V to supper the next day. V sends a letter enthusiastically accepting. While Riccard takes that letter, V gives Scamic and Dolia the night off after paying them, and then tells Aggro that his services will no longer be necessary, giving him 100 GC for his trouble, and voiding his contract.
• E and Z each receive another level from the Gabrielense maid apologizing that they must reschedule the dinner until tomorrow, but providing them each with a valuable gem as compensation.
• The guard arrives at Baron V, they enjoy supper with a bottle of Halmeister Reserve, with Riccard keeping the guard’s glass very full. V tells the guard that he has already bought his contract from Asha and the Marquis. The guard tells V tales of his wife and two wonderful children, as well as his infirm parents that he takes care of. Since the guard is quite drunk by the end of the meal, V offers to let the guard sleep it off in his home. The guard sleeps in a chair, and with a single precise strike V kills the man with a single slice through the neck. V then switches clothes with the man, gives the corpse his pistol, gathers up the crate of gems and ties it to his horse, grants Riccard the payment that he was due for all his loyal service, and then the pair set his house to the torch. Riccard escorts the mounted V near to the gate leaving the city, then they part ways. When asked by the guards where V is going, he simply says he is on duty for Marquis Halmeister, delivering things outside the city. They let him pass, and he rides away.
• Wednesday, January 4, 990
• E buys a new better dress for herself for the party, telling the Duke where she will be going for the evening.
• Z goes about his usual routine as he waits for supper.
• Before supper Z and E meet each other outside the Misrightnan estate. E is wearing a beautiful dress, and has none of her weapons. Z is dressed as per usual. They ask why each of them would be invited, and neither is quite sure. The gates open, and the maid and a butler welcome them and invite them in. When Z and E continue to wonder why they were invited the maid and butler say that it was because their master has heard quite interesting things about them of late, and wished to meet them in person. It takes a long walk of pleasant conversation to even reach the mansion.
• Entering the mansion, all the furniture and mirrors were covered in white linen, even though the floors were kept immaculately polished. They travel through the dreamy silence glancing around. Both Z and E notice that they haven’t seen a single other servant or guard since their two guides gathered them. Then they reach the grand dining hall, a single table holding over a hundred seats with the shrouded and small figure of Archduke Misrightnan atop the throne at the back. He welcomes them in a reed thin voice and asks them to be seated.
• The meal is composed of countless courses, each as exquisite and succulent as anyone could ever hope for. Misrightnan says that he wanted to have them here to congratulate them on their enthusiasm and audacity towards the challenges that have approached them of late. Several courses later he also commented that it is sad that they also had to remove two of his pawns in the process. During the gaps in discussion, the maid and butler have quick banter back and forth as they serve. Z asks for more information regarding the pawns, and Misrightnan explains the power that he possesses, the group that he runs (but only mentioning the individuals that Z and E met and only by their titles), and why they are there. He explains that what they do is to guide the path of Gabriel in a proper way, to ensure its protection and prospering, and removing anything that might threaten that. Misrightnan offers to let them join. Z says that it is a lot to take in, to which Misrightnan counters by saying that that is why he invited them for supper, so there is plenty of time to mull things over between courses. By this point Z only samples each course, and the plates brought before him are smaller to compensate. Z asks what would happen if he refuses, or if they both refuse. Misrightnan replied with that leaving would have them forget everything that occurred here, so as to protect himself. The rage in Z’s eyes was obvious, but his Code of Conduct kept him from attacking. Misrightnan said that he allows those that serve him to maintain their own operations, to improve things as they see fit, with no orders from himself. He then pointed out that there are times when Jezebel of Frezno notice a problem that needs to be solved, and would make a request of a member to deal with it. Jezebel and Frezno then leaned in as they handed out the latest course, saying that of course they are simply suggestions not orders, and that if one doesn’t wish to do it they would find another of the group that would. Misrightnan then offered both E and Z a place within his group, to do what they see fit to improve Gabriel.
• Both accept, E for her lust for power, and Z in hopes of bringing down the organization from the inside. E takes the persona “Power” for herself. Z says that he can’t think of a name for it, but that it would be the gathering of martial prowess over wealth. Misrightnan hopes that he will one day find a proper title to reflect it. Then, Misrightnan gave the only order that he would, that now they would belong to his group, do all that they could to improve Gabriel in their own way, and forget about him and this event so that his presence would not hang over them. The power washed over Z and E, sweeping Z’s mind into obedience, but E was able to remember. With the last desert finished, a chocolate lava cake, Jezebel and Frezno escorted E and Z out so that they could begin their work.

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The Demonica of Veis
Some Beasts Should Be Kept Caged

• Tuesday, December 27, evening
• L suggests just hiding in a hole and letting everything blow over, but V says that he can’t simply vanish. One, the conditions of living in a hole are beneath him, and people ask questions about it. Z wishes to bring the information to the Marquis, V says they shouldn’t, Hyacinth points out there is already another Halmeister in charge, Baron V says he is in charge and wins the counter argument. Baron V then suggests that they should increase the guards for the time, claiming hearing about rumors regarding a threat. Baron V says that he has his extra guards to hopefully protect himself from Baroness Tonberr, and that they have to deal with her, but should they kill her or not? L says she can’t really persuade the Baroness with her ‘assets’. Baron V suggests inviting her to a meeting, and then having L killing her. L points out how the Katarina attempt at that went. V hopes that Tonberr is ignorant to her actually being Bloodflower and that the metal is simply a hobby of her, to make things easier. L reminisces about the good old work they had a month ago, V “The easy stuff.”, L “It paid the bills.” V “I much preferred the things that didn’t have a target on my head.” L “It paid the bills.” L stares at V for a while. V “Right now my best thought is to stage a meeting and then remove her at it. L asks where it would be, V says he wouldn’t want it at his place but he might have to. L asks if she doesn’t want to meet at V place where they would go. L doesn’t like the idea since it puts them both there and makes the risk of them both dieing. V says that if they don’t do anything then he dies, but then L points out that she would still be alive. V suggests then she could try to run from it while V tries to deal with it. He also suggests just going and saying the truth of knowing her identity, and saying if she leaves them alone he won’t reveal her identity. They seem to prefer that idea to the others, but then V should make all the different copies of it, hide some, and give out others in order to reveal it should he die when he talks to her. V also asks L to escort him to go pick up Aggro. They walk close to the place, V with his hand casually on his pistol, but can’t find Aggro so they go back to his place. L sleeps in Aggro’s bed and watches Benjamin Rell for the night. V makes copies of all the evidence that he has (3 copies). V then writes up a new last will and testament, leaving the house to Riccard, the money to be split between Lillith, and Zac, and all his stuff to be claimed by anyone that he knows (let them fight over it), and the letter with the copy of the evidence to be delivered to the guard upon his death. V gives another copy of the evidence to Lillith, the originals to the Marquis on the morrow, and the last copy to the guard that still owes him a favor from back in the day. Baron V refuses to sleep for the night and waits it out with his guard.
• Eve has a dance lesson with Baroness Tonberr, but she is two hours late. Eve waits patiently, Tonberr apologizes when she arrives, but they then gives the full lesson as per. Then she goes and enjoys some food, since she actually has to eat the actual amount. Scamic asks why, V says he is troubled as he polishes his gun. Dolia asks about the hazard pay clause, but V says that at the moment they aren’t doing anything out of the ordinary.
• Wednesday, December 28, 989
• Eve goes in to work for the day, eating normally. With the end of her contract coming up Fernand becomes slightly more lenient, but Eve still helps with the moving of heavy things.
• V has Scamic stay to watch Benjamin, gives V a letter to Tonberr requesting a follow up meeting. Then V, with L tailing him go to look for the guard that still owes him a favor, finds him at home, knocks on the door, gets a disgruntled response, but then hands him the letter and tells him that if something happens to him to get it to someone influential. The guard asks if it makes them square, they agree, and then V goes to the Marquis’ with the other packet and L. Hyacinth, Nathaniel, and Z are doing the usual studying. Asha shows V and L over to the Marquis’ office, where they go in and V hands him the form and informs him that should he vanish to have them go to and dealt. Marquis asks if it has anything to do with him or his family, V says that it shouldn’t, Marquis notes the extra guards and V says for the best. V and L return to his home, and Scamic gives him a letter. V opens it expecting it from Tonberr, but it is actually from John Cambry to try and get an organization together in order to focus on the lawsuit with V and the Marquis to meet with them regarding it. V waits for the Marquis’ input before responding. Then Riccard returns with a letter from Tonberr inviting V to meet with her at a tea shop at 8 in order to meet up. V sends Riccard asksing The Marquis when it would work for him, and a letter to Tonberr, confirmingfor the appointment. Then he waits for a response.
• Eve goes back home, asks the Duke a little more about his interests, gets food, tobacco, firearms and that he keeps and arquebus under the pillow at night. They chat.
• V receives a letter from the Marquis, saying he will base his schedule around it since it is quite important. V and L then go out to the tea shop in order to meet up with Tonberr. She is already there grabbing a cup of tea. L sits in a corner and has a cup as well while V sits down with her. V greets Tonberr, she welcomes him back and asks regarding what this meeting is, and V asks regarding what she will do since he knows she is Blood-flower. That makes Tonberr set down her tea. They discuss the tablet and what it could be returned to its owner, Tonberr says that her employer would not allow that, and that she no longer even knows what it is there for. Toberr also comments on whether any more of V’s friends will be murdering her companions, V says that Z defended himself and tends to tell the truth. V asks regarding his bodyguard, Tonberr says she has him safe in her estate. Tonberr the offers a trade for him back, giving V his life, and his bodyguard, for the man that killed Shen Kaminari presented to her or dead, and without his cape. V asks about the cape, Tonberr doesn’t elaborate. V says that it could possibly work. He also then points out that he has taken steps to keep his life safe should he die her story is blown. Tonberr points out the other players in the game that V has pissed off, and V then suggests she protect him as well. Tonberr frowns and leaves. V gets up and leaves, and L follows him. L suggests that that didn’t went terribly too well, but that he is still standing. They discuss whether to betray Z, pretend to betray Z to spring a trap, or just have L kill him and deliver the head. They figure they would rather not. Then they decide to head back to V and turn in for the night.
• Thursday, December 29, 989
• Eve goes in to work not carrying her lance but otherwise equipped, checking on the guard situation and what kind of armor they wear (partial, 2 light plates). Eve sees if there are any extra pairs, but everyone keeps their own stash. She then talks to some of the other guards about their armor preferences as she is thinking of improving her armor. Thinks about her military skills and other things
• V has Riccard take a letter to the Marquis in order to get the date that would work for him to meet with Veis, and then take the letter over to Veis. Riccard returns and tells him that they have a meeting right at 3 pm. V makes it before the Veis continuity there. He meets with the Marquis, so they discuss what to allow for the buyout, V suggests protection of assests, people, and property from future attacks, a large sum of money and such. Points out the case is 3 months and that much can happen in that time. The Marquis trusts his judgment, and says that he will add things as necessary. Asha arrives to show that John Cambry and a half-dozen heavily armed men have arrived to see him. The Marquis has Zac and 10 of Asha’s guards to stand behind. Then they let Cambry in. He enters, places a piece of paper on the desk and says that it is the offer available for them to accept or decline. They look it over, and it is an offer of 200,000 GC. While the sum is good, V points out that there aren’t any of the other of the protective caveats that they would need to reach an agreement. Cambry points out that there isn’t any evidence except for the claims of keepers and this one other staff member that made offensive comments and also appeared to be greatly disgruntled and no longer employed by Veis. V tries to persuade an off the books agreement, but Cambry denies that offer, says the cash offer is the one that matters. The Marquis and V look them over, and then the Marquis says that no agreement will be made. Cambry stands, tears up the offer, and he and his guards leave. V comments that things may get more interesting very shortly. Marquis agrees, and tells Asha to post extra guards, no days off, pay them extra, and to have them placed every where with the family in their rooms at night, after V reminds the Marquis about the whole other witness being assassinated. V goes to the Veis office, and asks to speak with John Cambry, is told he will have to wait for a moment, which turns into about two hours. He is then escorted to a massive boardroom with Cambry, the Veis heads, and twelve guards. V hands over his weapons to have the guards leave. Then he offers to throw the court case and hand over the witness, in order to ensure the protection of his friends and assets. Cambry says that he will think on it, have a lawyer draft an official looking report regarding those offers and then work with it to have everything going well. V then goes back to his home, takes a stiff drink, and turns in for the night.
• L is awoken to the unpleasant sensation of having a sword pressing up under her ribs. She awakens to see Umbra and Penumbra standing over her. They apologize for the interruption, asks about where V is since they promised not to bother him again, so they could say everything. L asks why they are there, they say to inform them of something that is going on. Then they inform everything regarding The Demonica, being hired for 200,000 GC later in the day but earlier the same day, with regards to make an example of V, the Marquis, the shops, F, and E, in order to do the bidding of Veis. Umbra and Penumbra comment that they would have liked to work with The Demonica under other conditions. The Umbra and Penumbra then asks L to tell them which room V is going to be sleeping in tonight. L offers to take them to him. L knocks on the door, Scamic answers the door, asks about the other two when L demands entrance. V asks why he is being woken up, and Scamic says that there are L and two cloaked figures are waiting outside. V tells Scamic to let them in, then to leave. They enter, give the same general information regarding who they are, what it is, and what it is planning to do. V asks for a time when the deal was made, and it was 5, during the bit when he was being kept down in the lower areas waiting for things. Then V and L ask if there would be a way to persuade Umbra and Penumbra to help, and they say that they would rather watch, but if a good offer were made they might. L asks how they assume the other identities regarding their powers. Umbra and Penumbra do not respond. Then L suggests that if Demonica were to die they could be him. The two look at each other, whisper and argue about only being one, and other options that are present for them to take, but not L since she is a friend. Then they consider the options that they have, and offer to keep V and L informed of the events that occur, while they leave through the window in order to arrange for things. V and L chat over a stiff drink, V telling her about the old arrangement, the will, the murder groups and organizations and the other situation that then led to it. L commented on how he lied right to her face then, V said he thought it was necessary. L then gives the long list of individuals that are on the list to be killed.
• In the middle of the night there is a knock on the door of the Duke and Eve’s room. A guard lets himself in, and tells E that there is a man waiting for her. E asks who, and is told that it is Fernand. E puts on her weapons and armor, given that everything Fernand asks her to do something she gets into trouble and has to fight. She is lead down the stairs, doesn’t see anyone, and then has the guard apologize and say that he was doing it for the Duke. Then the guard’s neck is broken by a massive man, The Demonica. He strides out, and tells Eve that if she wishes to see her charge again then she has to simply get past him. E asks what he is doing and why he is doing it, but gets no response. Then she shouts for guards. The guards come running down the steps, so The Demonica laughed and began slowly walking down the dark path. E followed until Demonica rounded a corner, and then couldn’t see him. E talks to the guards to ask about that in order to look for the culprit. E then returns to bed in order to look forward to the morrow.
• Friday, December 30, 989
• Eve goes to the shops in order to see if Fernand is there. The shop is still closed down. E then goes to Fernand’s house, and finds the front door ajar. She announces herself and pushes the door open, and finds the body of Helga torn and demolished across the lower floor. She also smells something from above, and so goes to Fernand’s bedroom and finds the mangled and demolished remains of humans, as well as the far wall of the room being on fire by the window. Hearing breaking glass, she looked behind her to see the oil soaked lower level ablaze. Trying to run through the upper floor she through herself out the window, tumbles and lands hard in the snow on the ground. She does one final search of the other stores, and then heads to the Marquis’.
• Having been given that report, Baron V, L, Riccard, Benjamin Rell, Dolia, and Scamic all leave the Verboden Manor and attempt to make it to the Marquis’. They get there, explain to the guards why they are here and what they need to do. Then they move Benjamin Rell into the guest house and then inform the Marquis of exactly what is going on. No one is happy about it at all, and so they begin thinking about things, at which point one of the guards also lets E in. She goes to the Marquis and also tells him about the kidnapping of Fernand and the slaughtering of his servants, and the burning down of the home and throwing oneself out the window. They discuss what is going on, and what they should do. They begin the fortifying the plans, Hyacinth going down with Nathaniel and Lorenzo in order to begin preparing something. Eve goes down to see also, and sees that there are Hyacinth fusing swords together to form a large barreled cannon, using the Lightning Scepter in order to give it solid blasts and fuse the metals together. E asks what they are doing, and Hyacinth says they are making a cannon to fire the Doom Sphere at this intruder should he arrive. E thinks of questioning it, and then figures that it is above her paygrade. Then Eve and Hyacinth go up in order to check with the people in the control room. All the Halmeisters, V, E, L, and a guard Captain from the city to go over things. Outside there are the screams of a maimed woman (hobbled, no fingers, no eyes), as two guards brought her in to be treated by Nathaniel and Lorenzo. They used another piece of the healing salve in order to save her life, and in exchange she says that Demonica says that he has Fernand, and that they need to come to the location where the battle arena was, alone, in order to get him back. None in the house wished to go since alone would be foolish and trying to sneak up in his place would be a problem, and Z wishes to stay within and protect and guard the family. The Guard Captain assumes that the rumors regarding Demonica aren’t true and that a group of guards should easily bring them down. Some of the others aren’t big fans of it, but the Captain is determined and so gets a group organized. L decides to follow later in order to see how they do, what happens to Fernand, and also what Demonica is capable of. The others begin to sort through the options that they have, and what they need to do. Hyacinth mentions the Doom Sphere Cannon, and Baron V gets a new idea on how to more effectively use the Bound Sphere of Thalmos. He thinks over the ideas for a bit.
• Late that night the Captain of the guard, 35 extra guards, and L following a way back. Down into the base they go, then they pass the headless remains of an old man holding a book of Varjan Legends. Then they go down into the pit, seeing Fernand tied to a chair, the food and drink restocked, and L noted that the sands were darker then before and Viscount Kaminari was still there. The Captain jumped down to start working through in order to try and free him. Then Demonica appeared in the hallway, descended into the pit, snapped the Captain’s neck, killed another guard, stood up and said he told you to come alone, then throws a torch down into the pit to ignite the oil soaked sand to begin burning them. The guards start trying to flee and Demonica kills several that tries to get past him, then he walks the slow laps killing others, using a torch to butcher another, and then picks up the last one and grabs a bottle as well. L sneaks up behind him, puts her dagger against his throat and draws a great deal of blood from him. Then he turned around. Eyes wide, L stabbed again, but had her sword blocked with one knee and then too a hard elbow to the chest. Then, with a great elbow Demonica broke L, leaving her to collapse to the ground. As she lay dieing, she could hear the bottle going to work on the last guard.
• Saturday, December 31, 989
• Early in the morning, while still heavily dark, Umbra and Penumbra paid another visit to Baron V. They knocked and were let in by Scamic, and then Umbra and Penumbra informed V of the instance at Duke Underkeeper’s, and then about the result of the failed raid and the death of L. Penumbra then pulls down her hood to reveal that she is wearing Lillith’s face. They had to kill three guards and a dog to get in, because they didn’t really listen. V shrugs it off. Then, since L died and they had the other instance, that they would be willing to provide assistance in the killing of Demonica in order to obtain his face as well. V accepts, and offers to let them stay in his room for the time being in order to arrange things. They agree and will follow his leave. Also, they give V a gift of candies and chocolates in honour of New Years. V can’t help but laugh at the simplicity and authenticity of the offer. Penumbra states that she felt it might be a good gesture given all that was going on, a taste of normalcy.
• A disruption at the gate draws people’s attention, and Baron V sees High Inquisitor Norinus trying to get in, but the guards trying to deny him. V goes to tell the Marquis, then goes to talk to Norinus, who punched out one guard and then the other opened it up. V greeted him, and Norinus demanded to know what the meaning of the 40 person sacreligous imagery containing guards, Fernand, Lillith, and Viscount Shen Kaminari in a major square demanding Marquis Halmeister pay for these people’s sins. V tells Norinus what they know about Veis, even though they have no proof. Norinus says he will investigate it, and sends two church guards to also watch over the Marquis’ grounds. Fire rises from the wealthy estate district as he leaves.
• In the ‘war room’ they discuss what their options are, and V suggests that he use himself as bait to lure Demonica back to his place, with E as his bodyguard, and then having Umbra and Penumbra jump out from behind slightly moved forward bookcases to unleash a sneak attack that will hopefully bring Demonica down. V also brings the Bound Sphere of Thalmos with him, to place on his desk as an extra distraction in hopes of using it against Demonica. The group goes to the office, moves the cases, Umbra and Penumbra get into position, V places the sphere on his desk, and they wait.
• Sunday, January 1, 990
• It is as the new year arrives, with the cries of joy and retorts of fireworks echoing that Demonica opened the door to V’s study. V rose to greet him, and Demonica stared at him and E. Demonica offered them a deal, that while he enjoys the visceral death and pain that he can inflict, that others should also get the chance. He says that if V kills E he will let him leave and give him the 200,000 GC Veis paid him, and he says that if E kills V he will let her live and tell her where the Duke is. E is shaken, but V turns down the offer and gives a counter offer, saying that if Demonica can solve the puzzle sphere on his desk, both he and E will let Demonica kill them without resistance. Demonica says that that would remove the fun, and that are they sure they decline his offer. V does immediately, and E does after a while, drawing her sword and stepping forward. Staring intently at the sphere, Demonica says he accepts V’s challenge, steps forward to grab the sphere, it smoking and burning his hand slightly, V takes a step back and then hell breaks loose. V fires his pistol into Demonica, drawing blood, dropping the weapon, and pulling out his rapier to replace it. E slashes at him with her sword and also draws blood. Demonica swings at E and has her shield block the strike, although the energy from the sphere still harms her a fair bit. Then, like a pair of ghosts Umbra and Penumbra scramble up from behind the bookcases, and unleash a volley of attacks on Demonica. Umbra’s first stab catches Demonica completely by surprise, digging hard into him. His second, and both of Penumbra’s were deflected by well timed knees and elbows. Demonica allowed the sphere to fall to the ground. V lunges across the desk, stabbing Demonica solidly in the chest and dropping him to the floor. He does not rise. Umbra reaches down, removes the masks, and takes a strip of skin from Demonica’s face, which he places under his hood, waits a few moments, then stands and reveals Demonica’s face. Umbra and Penumbra take all of Demonica’s masks, but leave the rest for the others. They bow and say that all their debts are now paid and they will be leaving. V and E thank them, and V asks if they can help find the Duke for E. Umbra and Penumbra ask for a description, and then set off to look around the estate. V and E split up Demonica’s coin, V grabs some of the lockpicks, E grabs the general gear, and V takes the essentially anonymous 200,000 GC note that was uncashed in his pockets. V stares and contemplates it for a long time. E tells him to keep it for now while she looks for her fiancée. V stares at the paper for a long while before tucking it away.
• E runs through the streets to the charred remains of the Underkeeper Estate, littered with the broken bodies of guards. Penumbra taps her on the shoulder to draw her from her search, and takes her to a well where her fiancée has been lowered, badly beaten but still breathing. E thanks Umbra and Penumbra, who take their leave as they would rather not be seen when the guards arrive to help, since they had to kill two to gain access. E runs to get more guards to help her rescue the Duke. They raise him up with ropes and pulleys, lower him onto a wagon, and the Duke and E ride off to a hospital to help him.

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Gotrelas Will
Darkness in Light, and Truth in Lies

• Friday, December 23, 989
• In the middle of the knight, L goes to Z’s house, tries the door, finds it locked, unlocks it, and then begins searching for a study. Finds the study and begins searching it, but does not find the letter from Shen she was looking for. She then goes to the bedroom, examines the chest and determines that it is untrapped but locked. She attempts to pick it for a while, then a while longer, successfully opens it, finds the wrapped package containing Viscount Kaminari’s family katana, kimono, pendant, rapier, and foil. She rewraps the package, places it back, closes the chest but can’t relock it, and then makes her way out, closing the doors and relocking the front door. She then goes home and goes to bed.
• Z cleaned everything to the best of his ability, and does a very good job of it with a great deal of work. Z then tends to Nathaniel’s needs, bringing him water as he tends to the needs of him, including food and water, and then opens the case, pulls the Bound Sphere of Thalmos out from it with a large pair of tongs, has Z bring the buffalo Z down, then has Lorenzo pull its tail to open its mouth and shoves the sphere inside. Z watches as the buffalo dies rapidly and is consumed by the darkness, killing and drying it. Nathaniel then begins cutting of strips of jerky from dead Z, and making Lorenzo and ‘Beau’ eat some of them. Lorenzo eats them with bitterness and silence, Z tries to only eat a sliver, and Nathaniel tells ‘Beau’ to eat more in honor of Lorenzo’s noble performance. Z demands some salt for it to taste better, and Nathaniel provides it. Z continues to eat, offers the salt to Lorenzo who denies it and gives it back to Nathaniel. Eventually they eat all of it. Nathaniel is disappointed that it didn’t kill them, but is glad to know he can handle anyone the sphere kills. He then continues to butcher Zac the Buffalo. Afterwards Z changes, and then goes to bed.
• Baron V takes Aggro with him to enjoy breakfast and then go out into the city. He listens for the news, and hears about the duel between Z and Dannils, the appearance of a strange old man entering the Marquis Halmeister estate and not leaving yet, Viscount Kaminari not being seen for several days, as well as that Veis is sending a major player to the city. Baron V asks more about him, and merely learns that it is someone quite important. Then he goes to the bank, cashes his bonds, and shows Aggro the sights. Then goes to the jail in order to meet with Benjamin Rell. Baron V tells the guard Captain that he will be taking the prisoner into his own custody at his home, fills out the necessary paperwork, and then goes to tell Benjamin Rell that he has found the protective state outside of the jail, and in his own home. Benjamin is unsure how to respond, eyes Aggro, asks that it is for his own protection, Baron V says of course, they take him out, Benjamin is given free range of the house, but not grounds, and that he will be guarded in his sleep. Then Baron V goes out shopping to buy a new bed for Benjamin, and gifts for the Marquis’ family.
• L looks through the Baroness’ jewelry collection that she had, and picked out some things for the females of the Halmeister women, a broach for the marquess, earings for Elise, and a ring for Hyacinth.
• Eve spends her day at work, goes to get her hairdressed at a fine salon, then goes back to the Duke’s manor, but he is going out for the night.
• Saturday, December 24, 990, (Weinacht Eve)
• Z attempts to go about his daily business, but Nathaniel wishes to go shopping. Z tells him that only one form of establishment would be open. Nathaniel insists Z take him there, and so he is taken to Black Tom’s. Nathaniel goes through the awkward introductions, gets things arranged, wishes to pay a visit to them, asks for three of their finest girls. Nathaniel then has Z choose from them the three best. After looking them over, gazing at their height and assets, he selects Cynthia, Jade Mei, and Haathor. Then Nathaniel has them taken into the back, asks Z if the others should be acceptable for the gifts, asks Lorenzo but he merely grimaces and reminds Nathaniel of certain other expenses that were made. Then Nathaniel smacks Z on the back, tells him to enjoy and walks out. Z is shocked, then since they are already paid for goes and enjoys the three to the fullest. Afterwards Z thanks each of them in their own accord and then goes home to relax.
• L goes to enjoy the day with the Halmeisters, and also gives her gifts under the tree, receives her own, and then is given her own and then spends time with them and the meal for the supper.
• Baron V gives Marquis a luxury cane, the Marquess a luxury rosary, Frans an imported bottle of import Estygian Date wine as well as an exceptional Gabrielense wine, Hyacinth with an exquisite notebook, Elise a jewelry box containing a metal mirror, and then goes to visit his family, but they do not get gifts.
• Eve wakes up, and finds herself horribly sick. She realizes that she should go and talk to a female member of the family. She goes to see her aunt Angeline Deville-Rousseau. She congratulates Eve on the whole thing of getting in the place with a Duke, and then Eve tells her of the symptoms and her aunt suggests she must be pregnant. Eve is shocked, and then asks if her aunt is sure. Her aunt says that she is, and that it is the best thing that could possibly ever happen to her. Her aunt suggests that she move forward and take advantage of all the money and situation that she can. Eve thanks her, talks to her uncle Leopold Rousseau, who tells her he is composing a song for her wedding, and hopes to be in charge of the music for the wedding. Eve says they haven’t discussed it yet, but is sure that she could manage it. Eve then goes back to the Duke, spends the time with him, and then at supper, before the ice wine and desert tells him. He is so happy he nearly begins to cry, and then says that he will give her the best gift that he could ever hope to provide. He sends his head butler to fetch ‘the admission cost’ and sends the man out. Then, at the night Duke underkeeper gives her a sleeve of iron-studded leather, a cloak, and takes her with him in his studded and masked glory into his carriage. They streak off through the night, going through the cobbles, almost running over a peasant, and then going to the finest districts to a seemingly abandoned estate. However, there are a dozen other carriages hidden beneath a hidden alcove. Then they enter the estate, followed by the six guards carrying a massive chest, which is dusty and abandoned. The Duke goes over to a massive mirror, knocks twice, and then pulls it open to descend into a lower level.
• Down Eve and Duke Underkeeper travel, further and further until they find a lower area, with a masked man sitting behind a counter, and two statue guards hovering to either side. He asks about why the unknown individual that is not on their registry is present. Duke Underkeeper then has the guards bring the chest forward. It is opened, and countless gold coins are locked within. The man behind the counter begins counting them rapidly, then eventually nods and places them back in the chest. Your 100,000 GC charge of admission was allowed. Then the masked man asked for the hall she would need, and what gives her pleasure. After a very long time of thinking, she responds that the Duke gives her pleasure. The man behind the counter nods, brings out a stuffed cushion covered in bug shaped masks. From them Eve selects a Preying Mantis and puts it on. With a clap of his hands the man behind the desk has a pair of grand stone doors open. Then they walk down the hall, until it branches down the four different paths. The Duke and Eve part ways, she goes down the insect hall, passes many smoked glass doors with shifting shadows behind, and then picks one she thinks is empty. It wasn’t. There were three dominators, and nine tied down submissives. One of the dominators sees Eve, points at a table and says “Down,” and Eve listens. The proceding events were exceptionally painful for her. Afterwards she leaves with a limp, goes looking down the rest of the halls, and then eventually it goes in a circle to find the entrance and the Duke. The Duke tells her that there is a special event going on for Weinacht, and says they might make it still. They go back to the entrance, ask the masked man, and then he claps to open a new passage, that takes them to a new passageway to a large room with about 100 other masked people on the ground floor (5 wearing human conditions masks), and the Master of Ceremonies and Pleasures hovering on a higher area. They are all greeted by the Master of Ceremonies, commenting on another successful year and all the other events and talking about a hint of working for the Hall of Human Condition. The demo is three bound people being brought in to the top, naked and heads covered, and then three of the Human Condition members go through the paces of slowly taking fine knives to them and then kill them for enjoyment. People watch, others interested, some bored. Then the Duke and Eve go back for the night in order to sleep and relax. Eve mentions that she may wish to try another hall, which the Duke says they are indeed allowed to try different things, but aren’t allowed to discuss them.
• Sunday, December 25, 989 (Weinacht Day)
• Baron V, Eve and the Duke, the Halmeisters, and Z all go to church. V, L, and Z open their gifts from the Halmeisters, Eve opens her gift from Fernand and the Duke.
• While the others are at church, L goes to see Nathaniel. Nathaniel asks why she is here, commenting on the redundancy of the religious beliefs, and L says that the Halmeisters are really her only family so they are who she would be spending time with. Then Nathaniel asks what she would like to do, asks about how the different items down below mean to her. She says what each do, and the name of the sphere. Nathaniel wants to know what they mean to her, not what they are. L comments on the sphere helping her with things. Nathaniel mentions being able to perhaps help her with that, as her job would require it based on what “she” told him. Then the two try to evade around things and Nathaniel avoids the questing of who “she” is. Then Nathaniel suggests they take the sphere somewhere to have others attempt to open the sphere for him, since Lorenzo could only try and fail once. L suggests the slums, and asks how, and if these morals seem to have any actual real import to be able to do such a thing. Nathaniel brings out a letter, reading that according to it individuals in Chaville that do not have enough money are not even people, but things. L snatches the letter away and sees that it is from Baroness Tonberr. Nathaniel takes it back, tucks it away. Then the three of them go into the slums, Nathaniel offers a shiny GC if anyone can open it. One man threatens them since there are so many, but Nathaniel convinces him to just try after L draws her knives. The man dies immediately upon poking it. The other slummers back up. Then when the gold is still offered, four more try and die. After that there are no more takers, so they begin heading back. Nathaniel grumbles that now he will need to open it himself. L looks at him and asks if he could otherwise open it by himself all this time. Natahniel says it would take him a while to translate it and says that he had the others try since it is better to be lucky then good, and he hasn’t been lucky in a long while. L comments on the whole being brought out here thing, but Nathaniel says that it was Lorenzo that got all the different things. Then Nathaniel mentions it would be easier with a tablet that they don’t have anymore, L asks about it a bit more and the letter she read from Baerin, and then talks regarding the acquiring of a group of merry individuals that could attempt to retrieve this said stolen item for monetary of itemary rewards, anything that she could ask for. Cautiously L asks about them, and what she could get, if something better for her job then the sphere. Nathaniel says that he is sure he could find her something if she can find the group, it might merely take some time. L accepts and then begins moving forward to try and get things arranged.
• After church Z moves back to the Marquis’ with the family. Outside Nathaniel and Hyacinth go off, to strange looks from the Marquis, and he tells Z to keep an eye on them. Z follows, finding Nathaniel giving Hyacinth a lesson on thermodynamics, that almost lights some books in the library on fire but Z stops it. Then L arrives, and asks him about the tablet, then working out on trying to retrieve it should they have any leads or information to help. There is some banter regarding who is hiring whom for who, which Nathaniel pipes in at moments, and Hyacinth adds her own jokes as she talks about it as they study. Eventually Zac accepts and asks about finding others that could help.
• Baron V talks with Benjamin Rell regarding the operations of Veis Industries in the city, regarding the dead drop locations and functioning of them, the unnatural speed that they are made and the like. Also, Benjamin also was able to provide him with the names of every member of Veis Industries that works in the city.
• L goes to Baron V’s, has Aggro open the door and surprise her. After asking Baron V about L Aggro is told to let her in and show her to the study. Aggro goes with Baron V, and he asks why L is here. L explains that she is looking for trying to find some assistance from others in the retrieving of an item stolen from the Marquis on behalf of Nathaniel, who V didn’t really talk to during the dinner. They discuss the details and any leads, ask Aggro to leave, and then mentions Bloodflower and trying to discover more information about it. Baron V is interested in the offered rewards, and says that he will look into whatever information that he can regarding it. L says that she will contact Eve the next day, and Baron V offers any of his new hired guards in order to help protect or go with her.
• Z receives a letter from Baroness Tonberr about being interested with the pendant, and agreeing to meet with Z about the pendant. Z sends a homing-return pigeon saying either her place or a busy café. Baroness Tonberr suggests that he can meet at her place at 7 the next night.
• Monday, December 26, 989
• Eve goes to work with Fernand regarding things at the shop.
• Z goes about his usual duties waiting for the time to meet with Baroness Tonberr.
• Baron V looks around and learns that Devonia and Katarina had a slight grudging respect but Devonia was jealous regarding her being a better dancer then goes to find Devonia the Great, finds her hung over sitting on a fountain. She flinches from the horse-hooves. V hops down, and then Devonia says that she doesn’t actually feel like dancing for that moment. V comments that he doesn’t always need a dance in order to see her, does he. Devonia smiles up at him and asks how she can help. V asks if there is anything Devonia can tell her about someone, thing, or group known as Blood-flower. Devonia can only recognize the plant. V brings out one of Katarina’s fans and fans himself saying he was hoping for more. Devonia focuses in on the fan. V says that he also has her entire outfit that he would be willing to give Devonia the cloak if she could help better. Then Devonia says she will look into it, cringes, and then limps and runs off.
• Hyacinth announces that Nathaniel will be taking over as her new private instructor.
• L goes to talk with Eve, who tells her that her contract will soon be done, so she might be interested but it couldn’t be illegal. L asks more, Eve says that she is pregnant and so doesn’t wish to risk herself too much. L congratulates her and asks for more details. Eve says that she might think about it a bit, and also asks about whether or not this tablet was actually the Marquis’ to begin with and why he wouldn’t then report it to the guards. L isn’t sure if he did report it already or not. Eve says that she needs to think it over eventually, L tells her to talk to Nathaniel whenever she decides.
• Z then goes to get the brooch from his home, and goes to Baroness Tonberr’s residence. The guards let him in and tell Z to go to the greenhouse. There Tonberr is working on her flowers. Z brings out the pendant and asks if this was what Tonberr had been looking for. The Baroness touches it gingerly, and says that yes it is. Z offers it to her, and she accepts it, putting it on and turning back to face her flowers. Z waits for a few moments, asking how she knew the Viscount. She says that the two were professional friends. Z waited for a few more moments, then he bows out and takes his leave. Z also mentions Nathaniel, and the Baroness seems distraught that he is within the city, and asks why. Z doesn’t say much about him. As he is leaving the Baroness comments “Say hello to the whores for me.” Z laughs, but she does not join in and he leaves for his home and goes to bed.
• That night Devonia returned with the information that Baron V had asked for. She placed a few sheets of parchment on his desk for him. V asks what they are, and Devonia lists them as a list of murders, thefts, vandalism, and other crimes committed by an individual based on the assumption that they are Blood-flower, a single individual. There are a great number of them, but they all seem to be connected in some way or another. He looked over them, in order to try and find patterns and connections within the buying patterns of certain items from estates, jewelry and art objects from the murders, but can’t narrow it down much, so he turns in for the night.
• Tuesday, December 27, 989
• In the morning, Baron V goes through and organizes the list again, and still can’t narrow it much, but there are only six lots that contain a group of jewelry and items that were purchased, each containing at least one item described as being made of a strong black metal with strange runes. There were lot numbers and information regarding these, so he head to the major courthouse and then attempt to find the information on them by asking an elder clerk that manages the deck. He asks about the lot number, and then if he could learn the information regarding who purchased these. The clerk asks for his credentials, and he points out what kind of permission a Baron can have. The man finds the information for him and gives it to Baron V. In it was the information who bought the lots. Bought Lots: Baroness Jaclyn Tonberr 2/6, Viscount Shen Kaminari 1/6, Alystaire Fardelys 2/6, Bishop Opimo 1/6. V frowns down upon the names, and then mentions that if anyone asks about who looked over these names that there would be no one that looked into them, and sliding 5 GC to him he says that the clerk was merely looking over it. Then Baron V goes back home, and receives the letter from Baroness Tonberr about meeting her in person at her estate that night. V goes to talk to talk to L at her home, provides her with her findings, and then talks about the information and items that provided by Devonia. In order to see if what is going on, V mentions the names on the list in the following order; Bishop Opimo (L narrows eyes), Alystaire Fardelys (L narrows eyes further), Viscount Shen Kaminari, and our old friend Baroness Jaclyn Tonberr (L flinches visibly). V and L discuss what they need to do, who they should look in on. V nixes Opimo and Alystaire due to their very high ranking, L wants to look into Shen’s house, and V suggests checking with Tonberr in person, since she is still alive. They discuss a bit, V says that he will check with Tonberr, and suggest L look into things on her end. When L leaves, V drafts a letter and sends it to Baroness Tonberr, suggesting a meeting in respect to possible mutual business venture to arrange a meeting at the earliest convenience for her, at a location of her choosing. He then went to the Marquis’, found Zac, Hyacinth, Nathaniel, and Lorenzo working on combustion in the library with a cannon aimed at the door. Z tells V to evade, which he does, and the cannon fails to launch. Hyacinth and Nathaniel argue over how best to fix it, and Z says that they shouldn’t do it in the house. Nathaniel reminds Z that Hyacinth technically has superiority, tries to send Lorenzo to get his mattress to shoot at, then they decide to stop doing it so that Baron V can discuss things with them. They disassemble the cannon, Hyacinth stays as she mentions that she was there for an earlier discussion and knows everything so they don’t feel the need to keep her out of this once. V says that he will help find the tablet, and that he would like something to help prevent a recurrence of an opposing lawyer messing with his brain in events, and so Nathaniel says that he would probably be able to do so. V is pleased, and then he and Aggro left. Returning home, V received a letter from Baroness Tonberr saying that she would like to meet him over the course of the evening at her estate.
• L returns to the Marquis estate in order to have a word with Nathaniel. She finds him, Lorenzo, Z, and Hyacinth down in the room with the black metals, with Nathaniel trying to teach Hyacinth how to use the Thunder Staff. He goes over the instructions, informs her where to put her fingers, the words she has to use, and the feeling that is needed. He also comments on how much easier he can activate it, then says it is because he is older things come easier for him, and L reminds him that he is less lucky then. Nathaniel has Hyacinth activate the thunder staff, sending a bolt of lightning into the gauntlet, that then begins to move on its own, and Nathaniel caresses it to his head allowing it to scratch his head for him. L then asks if there were others that could use that power of throwing lightning without the staff. She mentions Shen Kaminari, his power, and the fact that it was what killed Baerin. Nathaniel grows very serious, stands up straight, sets the gauntlet down, and his entire voice and demeanor changed as he asked L to confirm what she said. L did and Nathaniel expressed his anger. Lorenzo tried to calm Master Gotrelas, but was eventually told to be silent, and fell to his knees clutching his head. Nathaniel answers all the questions that they have honestly, directly, and coolly, informing them of his working with Shen Kaminari in order to help translate the tablet that was stolen from within the Marquis’ residence. He also mentions that Shen was a member of a larger group that claims to work for some being known as Mahakala, although no one knows anything about this being, or even if it actually exists. Nathaniel worked for them on the understanding that no one that could understand and analyze the black metal would be harmed, and is infuriated by the death of Baerin through this. Therefore, he offers to help. L asks about Blood-flower and if Nathaniel knows anything about this person. Nathaniel says that he does, and that it is…
• Baron V and Aggro arrives at Baroness Tonberr’s estate. The guards let him in and point him in the direction of the greenhouse where she is. Once they greet each other V says that he hears she has some expertise with possessing and locating strange black metal objects. She snips the head off one of her flowers, and V knows that he has the right person. He speaks of possible assistance in finding other items that could be of interest to his employer, Tonberr asks what kind of things he has, V says the healing salve, gauntlet, and bent piece of metal, Tonberr asks how she would be paid for her services, V says gold of course, Tonberr asks for some time to think things over, V allows it. When leaving, V asks Aggro to follow Tonberr, and if she should leave to follow her discreetly. V then goes to the Marquis’
• Nathaniel, still serious, tells those gathered that Baroness Jaclyn Tonberr is the one known as Blood-flower. Z mentions that she trained him in his new ability, so that she has some powers. L asks for any more information. After providing some Nathaniel suggests that they all leave this alone, that it is too much for them. Should they continue forward, he does offer his and Lorenzo’s assistance. Then, stoop shouldered and doddering once more, he shuffles up the stairs shouting for Lorenzo to pick himself up and accompany him to supper. They pass Baron V on the stairs, where V finds Z, L, and Hyacinth arguing over what to do now. V begins to say that Baroness Tonberr is definitely, L cuts in Blood-flower, we know. L explains that Nathaniel apparently believes there is some advantage to be obtained by having others believe him to be a doddering and senile old man, but that he knows more then he is letting on. V describes what happened at his meeting, leaving Aggro to watch, and the other details, and L fills him in on what happened there. Hyacinth suggests that she will help them as the organizer and planner for their ventures, L tells her to keep the thunder staff close at all times, she might need it. They begin discussing possible plans, with V unhappy at the prospect that Opimo and Alystaire might belong to this group that most likely either worships or works with Mahakala, and L is unhappy of facing off against people with godlike powers. She has never faced such a thing before after all, and the thought terrifies her. Z points out that he was able to kill Shen easily enough, and that while Tonberr has skills, she may fall just as easily. L points out that she just stabs people in the back, and doesn’t know if it would work on a god. V suggests they catch them sleeping and try to find out. Z says she may just have to stab them more then once. They hope to plan for their next moves, but after learning so much they are exhausted. L breaks for supper. V states that he no longer has any appetite.

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Shock and Awe
Force to Be Reckoned With

• Sunday, December 18, 989
• Zac goes first, waits, and so has Viscount Kaminari come in, surround himself by an aura of thunder, and attacks, but does no damage. Lilitth watches with the corner of her eye and tries to memorize but fails. Baerin yells “Stop this madness!” draws her sword, and waits. L tries to memorize everything again, but it is still very dark. Take-Mikazuchi attacks once more, but Zac counters easily, sending out an attack to strike and cut him, but the echoing shockwave blasts out to throw Zac into the wall, and in her surprise liquefies her and sends her blood to cover all of the walls and half of L’s face. Z waits, so Take-Mikazuchi goes for another cut, which is blocked and countered once more, but cannot hurt him. L continues trying to memorize. After another she remembers a few things. Z waits, and Take-Mikazuchi also waits, allowing him to attack first. Then Z goes in then, the two attacking each other with blocks, and counters, none getting through. Zac waits once more, L continues to watch. Shen then prepares and unleashes Cataclysm of the Storm, the first bolt is blocked, the second bolt is absorbed by his armor, and the final bolt is easily batted away. Then, Shen falls to his knees, hands smoking in pain. L stares intently and watching. Z watches Shen, seeing that he isn’t getting back up asks “Are you done?” Shen says that “Yes, I am defeated. Now, finish what you started.” Z thinks for a moment, and then refuses, saying that he cannot kill a man that cannot defend himself. Shen says that if he would give him a few moments to recover himself. Z waits, and once the smoking stops, and the armor vanishes, and Shen draws out his family nodachi, and the two return to battle. Several more rounds of inconspicuous and balanced combat between the two of them, and then Z gets the counter in order to cleave off Shen’s left calf, leaving him to bleed down. He tries to help, but Shen dies. Z takes his belongings, searches around the arena and finds nothing but broken things, so leaves. He passes L, that follows behind and watches as Z takes his and B horse back to the Marquis’ residence. When Z steps down from his horse, L sneaks up behind him and tags his cheek with her knife. They discuss the fact that she was following him and saw everything, Z throws a sack of coin down. Z grumbles about her taking advantage of the easier moment, at which point L said that that was what needed to happen. L offers to tag a few more guards first, but three guards were watching, so L is disappointed but unable to do it. Then Z goes to wake up Lord V in order to let him know. L follows.
• Z knocks on the door to Lord V room, the guard looking over him asks who it is, Z admits it is him, and then they are allowed into the room. Z tells the guard that he has already be eliminated, so they need to move on the other tasks. Lord V hopes that there is more details left since he was woken up, and Z tells him that he had killed a Viscount Shen Kaminari. They ask more questions, Z tells him everything, Lord V doubts the thunder story, asks for more information and gets the information on the letter. They go and get Frans, discuss what was going on due to the events that happened, they let him know that Baerin is dead, describe the events Frans asks about the thunder as well. Then they let him leave. Z plans to talk to the Marquis in the morning about it. Lord V suggests he not turn himself in yet. Then Z goes to bed. Lord V goes back to talk to Frans, asking that he not do anything rash yet. Frans says that he will not, since Z is the captain of the guard and a friend.
• L goes back to the arena, and sees two cloaked figures standing over Shen’s body. They whisper, so L sneaks closer in order to over hear some of their chatter, including talk of whether or not this will interfere with things, whether to continue, and whether or not Mahakala should be informed. The two then leave down different paths. L searches and finds the scepter with the thunder crystal topper, and eyes the throne but isn’t able to take it at all. Then she follows the female things path, finds a door, opens it and is barked at by a ton of dogs. She retreats back down the bloodied hall and then goes home to bed.
• In the morning Z goes to the Marquis to inform him, before Church mind you, of the events of last night that attempted to resulted in the death of Shen Kaminari, the death of Baerin, and the fact that L succeeded in assassinating him last night as well. The Marquis is unhappy, going forward with everything, then Z says that Frans gave him the letter. Z is demoted down to Vice-Captain after Z suggests that Asha go with him to Church, so she has been promoted. Then they go to church, and Z goes to wait for the Dannils in order to inform them of their daughter’s passing.
• After Church Lord V goes to his researcher from the University and gets some information on the Yinnun and papers about it as a friendly chat. Lord V then goes bodyguard hunting.
• L goes to Lord V to see if he is there, Riccard informs him of Lord V currently being out, and that if L sees him to tell Lord V that there is mail waiting for him. L asks for the mail, but Riccard refuses. L then goes to look at the house where the tunnel is, but nothing seems to be odd about it at all, there is even an old man working in his gardens.
• E spends the day with Duke Underkeeper, who asks if she has a preferred date for the wedding. She doesn’t, so the Duke sets it for February 14, 990. The two spend the rest of the day together.
• Z meets the Dannils outside after church. He informs them that there is bad news he must tell them. Lord Davas Dannils has his wife step inside, asks what it is. Z tells him that his daughter is dead. Lord Dannils wishes to know why this occurred. Z says that she was trying to stop a fight between himself and an assailant. Lord Dannils wishes to know how she died. Z says the energy pressure wave killed her. Lord Dannils comments on Z lack of injuries, but that his daughter would die. Taking a deep breath, he lashed out with a glove that Z stopped, and challenged Z to a duel on the Wednesday, December 21, 989 at noon. Z remorsefully accepted. Then left.
• Lord V was unable to find guards up to his caliber, hearing only about The Knight of The Roses. Then he went to the Marquis in order to ask if Benjamin Rell can be kept on his premises. The Marquis declines, based on all the events of late, and all of the threat that could be spread out to his family. So Lord V goes over to talk to the captain of the guard, and threatens him into having some extra guards placed on Benjamin Rell, saying he should just take out the guard from the street. Lord V then goes back to his home, gets his letter form Riccard, and then L knocks and is allowed in. She and Lord V discuss things about the events that occurred in the last night, confirms the thunder clap, and then also asks about whether the name Mahakala meant anything to Lord V. It didn’t, he suggested that she ask either Devonia the Great, or the researcher from the university. Then L leaves, and Lord V opens the letter from Duke Underkeeper, congratulating him on his success, and title of Baron Verboden. Baron V “I think I will have this framed.” He write a letter thanking the Duke and has Riccard take it over.
• Zac returns to the Marquis’ and finds a letter from Baroness Jaclyn Tonberr saying that she would love to have dinner at his earliest convenience. Z makes a reservation at the nicest restaurant in the city, with the time on Tuesday evening.
• Monday, December 19, 989
• Baron V goes around looking for the daily news around the city, seeing words about the Weinacht Celebrations, all of the other events going on, including rumors of Lord Dannils challenging a once house guard captain to a duel. There are also rumors that the same guard captain has also attempted to get a dinner date with a Baroness, and that this duel is due to the jealousy of it. Baron V puts two and two together, then goes looking for more guards, can’t find any, but there are rumors that Viscount Chakrosan has hired a group of adventurers for his latest caravan. Baron V goes to Viscount Chakrosan’s manor in order to try and find the adventurers, but is told that they would be with the caravan that would be leaving. He goes, there are several wagons, twenty soldiers, and 8 adventurers. Baron V asks them if they know anyone that is looking for work. They say that they are looking with two old friends Scamic the Red, and Dolia Von Esterbrook. Baron V goes to find Scamic the Red at Black Tom’s brothel, but is told that he is currently busy with the whores and so leaves a note to talk with later. Then he goes looking for Dolia Von Esterbrook, who is apparently looking for a home. He finds her sitting around, looking annoyed. He asks if she is Dolia. She asks who wants to know. Baron V says that he could solve her problems, since he is looking for a guard, and can give her a home as well as other tasks. He says he’ll be hiring others, and that they will need to always be one within his room when he is sleeping, cover jokes, then gives her the address. They return and Baron V sends a message to Z asking to have him help train some new guards, and a letter to the shop keep that didn’t show up in court to have to have most of his belongings taken. Riccard goes to Z, and a pigeon to the shop keep.
• L goes to the University to meet with the researcher, is given the runaround until she drops Baron V’s name and then she is helped, asks about Mahakala and gets very little information except that it might be a god from Baho. L is confused, and then decides to go looking for Devonia the Great.
• Z does his daily duties at the residence, receives a letter from Baron V, and gathers up all the Shen Kaminari objects and tucks them away in a saddle bag to be taken away by the horse, and then goes to Baron V. Dolia stands outside the gate, asking about the info regarding why he is there. Says for Lord V, then Dolia, that knows him as a Baron, gives Z a hard time about his name, and being here, then gets V, they talk, and Z brings out a training blade, and the two spar. It is a good match, back and forth, dodging and blows going against Dolia. After a ringing blow she stops the fight, and Z gives a good review and says that it should work. They wait for a while longer, and then Scamic the Red, in all his 6’10” and massive hair glory. He arrives, talks slowly, and then offers to fight someone. Z and he battle back and forth glancing swords off armor, as they are using real blades until Baron V says they can stop, and also manages to stop it all. He agrees to hire Scamic as well. He asks questions about them, previous employments, whether they drink on the job and smoke around different things, and also how things would work for their days off. Scamic wants a discount on whores from Black Tom, but will take a pay cut in order to get it. They both pass. Baron V receives a letter from the shop keep that didn’t arrive lawyer, trying to refuse paying them. Baron V offers to let them pay him a mere 200 GC in order to avoid the damages.
• L finds Devonia, watches her dance, then after sits, introduces their friend of the Baron V. Devonia asks why she is there, L asks about Mahakala, but Devonia doesn’t actually know anything. L is disappointed and goes home.
• Tuesday, December 20, 989
• Baron V enjoys a day of relaxation, getting the schedule for his new guards prepared.
• Eve does a normal day of work, and spends some time with the Duke, although he has to work through the night.
• Zac prepares for his usual day of work, heads to enjoy and practice some etiquette first. Then, that night he goes out in order make it to the restaurant earlier. He waits for a few hours until Baroness Tonberr arrives. She comments on that her travel issues had some problems (Z forgot to actually arrange for picking her up). They talk, flirt, and enjoy the fine food, discuss past and future dancing lessons perhaps, and the money to have things go. They discuss the struggles, the rumors about the duel tomorrow. Polite flirting occurred, then the Baroness looking out longingly over the dance floor. Z says that he would only embarrass her on the dance floor, but Tonberr ensures that any dancing student from her shouldn’t possibly be able to. With a great performance the two dance around the floor. Then they enjoy desert, a little more flirting, with Z mentioning Romantic Comedy with mistaken tone, which is an interesting tone. Then they take her home, Baroness leaning upon his shoulder, and Z does nothing and remains calm. As she leaves to go home Tonberr asks if there are any interesting pieces of jewelry that she would most like them. Then Z goes back to bed.
• Wednesday, December 21, 989
• Everyone goes to the duel. Baron V goes an hour early. Aggromer of Summer Isle, a massive Kwa in a suit and a monocle asks what is going on with this duel? Baron V explains it to him, gives him his name and his address should he need help in the future. Aggro takes some notes in his book. Then the duel is able to begin. Lord Dannils then allows Z to choose the weapons, and Lord Dannils chooses to go to the first blood. The two face off, Lord Dannils going in with a sweeping swipe, Z blocks, allows Lord Dannils to recover first, and then delivers a solid cut. Lord Dannils falls, the duel is ended, and the medics go treat him. Baron V goes over to inquire and thank Duke Underkeeper in person. The Duke thanks him, gestures over to Eve, and then they leave. Then they all go their separate ways afterwards.
• Eve works with Fernand during the day, then goes to spend the evening with Duke Underkeeper.
• L makes it to the Halmeister estate first, and in so doing finds an old man and a taller servant standing beside him. She looks them over, and the man gives her an eager look. He asks if she works for the Marquis, she asks who he is, and he introduces himself as Nathaniel Gotrelas, here to work with Baerin and the Marquis. N asks where they are. L tells him that the Marquis should be coming soon, and that unfortunately B has passed. N speaks of it sadly, and his servant says they should have written again. N introduces his servant as Lorenzo. They asks L about the glorious things that B keeps, it all sounding various and inuendoe, going back and forth, and they do a great deal of handshaking, that goes on to uncomfortable lengths. Then they see the carriage and Zac coming up, and L takes the chance to escape.
• Z doesn’t notice N moving up in front of his horse, and Lorenzo throws him out of the way, gets run over, and N blames him for bruising that poor horses knees. N asks where to find the Marquis, is told, attempts to open up the door, so Z asks and then opens the door, so the Marquis comes out to talk to him. Given the confusion, and disproportionate confusion of things with the dying, him coming in paying for his own luxury ticket since it is so expensive, and having Lorenzo having to buy his own. They discussed what would need to be done, and that there would be research performed, and that they would be staying in the Halmeister residence for everything. In a confused huff The Marquis has Z show him to his rooms. Z offers the two each a room, but Nathaniel insists that Lorenzo must stay with him should he need the rapid help. They also discuss when N could work with the items. Z says that he will need to discuss it with the Marquis first. He goes, and gets permission from the Marquis, but upon returning finds that N and Lorenzo are not there.
• L goes and finds the Halmeister children working on something of great import in one of the back offices. There are maps of the entire compound, including guard and Z’s usual movements, as well as a list of items. They greet L, asking if she can help them with some things. L asks what, and they tell her that they could use her assistance with some of her plant extracts for a special plan that they are going to do to Z. Interested, L asks what exactly they are going to do. Hyacinth tells her that it is in honor of Baerin, and that telling her would ruin the surprise, but that it wouldn’t hurt him. L asks for the list of things that they need, which includes a wagon wheels, ropes, strings, snails, feathers, tar, and a buffalo. L asks about the buffalo, but they refuse to tell her. She then goes to get some of her belladonna extracts from her home.
• Aggro talks to some guards, since the nobles try to ignore him, asking about where he could find work. Some suggest that he go see Baron V since he was looking for guards recently. Aggro goes to the address he already had, is let in by Riccard, and Baron V asks if he has already gotten into trouble with the locals with a chuckle. Aggro offers his services as a guard, Baron V considers it, runs Aggro through the same rules as he did for the other two, doesn’t have to pay Aggro as much, gets him to sign a similar contract, but with it added that if Aggro is forced to do anything against his will or criminally unsightly Aggro will be able to terminate the contract himself and seek vengeance. Baron V agrees, and has Aggro battle Dolia in order to prove his skill. In one blow Aggro rocks her, and Dolia grumbles that she would like to see Aggro fight “the three letters” that beat her earlier. Baron V assures her that she won’t be fired for that performance, and eagerly hires Aggro as his day-time guard.
• On her way out of the Marquis’, L sees Z looking around. She follows as Z asks a guard if he saw N going anywhere. He points out that N and Lorenzo went looking for the workroom. Z goes down and finds them looking at the items with N holding the thunderstick. Z and the others discuss the things going on with what they know of the items, and then Z mentions that the sphere kills people, so N wants to look at it. Z says that only the Marquis has the key to access it, and that he won’t ask until tomorrow. N offers to tell Z the name of the sphere if he gets the key tonight. Z refuses, and they return to their rooms. Z leaves and locks the door, locking L inside, since she had been stealthily following them to avoid N attention. She opened the lock on the case, and then opened the door and left. She made her way over to the diner table where everyone was eating. L walked over and whispered to N that “It is unlocked”, N eagerly leans forward whispering so loud that everyone can here “It is?! We are talking about the same it, yes?” L confirms, N old-man kisses her forehead, and N loudly whispers to Lorenzo for them to pretend to sleep and then slip in there. Z follows the two back to there room, where as soon as the door closes N makes loud snoring sounds. Z goes down to stand in the room until they arrive. When they do, L warns N and Lorenzo that Z is waiting for them. N gives Lorenzo a serious look, and tells him that Z is an obstacle that must be dealt with. They go down to the room, where Lorenzo opens the door and tells Z that he should leave. Z says that he will stay to watch and ensure nothing too bad happens. Lorenzo tells Z that he can if he must, but that he mustn’t turn around. N keeps peaking his head in when Lorenzo repeats his warning, L watching, and then N walks behind Z to go to the sphere. Z turns around to watch him. In a blur Lorenzo strikes the back of Z’s head, stunning him slightly as N opens the case, pokes the sphere, smiles, closes the case. And walks out. As he goes he whispers to Z “The Bound Sphere of Thelmos”, then goes to bed. Z, head still ringing, goes to bed.
• Thursday, December 22, 989
• In the morning Z tells the Marquis about the name of the sphere that N looked at. Then he goes about his usual duties. He notices that N and Lorenzo go into one of the studies with the Halmeister Children. The sound of a buffalo can be heard around the compound. When Z asks Hyacinth about it, she smiles and says that it just arrived, perhaps it was N’s. Then she says goodbye to Zac the Buffalo and heads inside.
• Fernand, Eve, Baron Verboden, Lillith, each receive a letter inviting them to a special supper in Baerin’s honor at the Halmeister residence tonight, and that they may each have a chair for an extra guest at the table. The letter is from the Halmeister children, and they ask that no one tells Zac.
• At supper a great meal is served. Eve brings the Duke, Baron V brings Aggro, and Fernand brings his four secretaries and has them sit one atop each other in the one extra chair. To top it all off with a flan desert prepared by the Halmeister Children and sprinkled with leaves. L cringes when she sees the leaves. Each dish is given out and consume. N comments on the offensive consistency but delicious flavor. Lorenzo almost smiles. Z resists the belladonna poison within his serving, and so leaves, while the Halmeister Children have everyone else follow them outside.
• Everyone hides behind one of the hedgerows where there is a lever, a rope for each of Hyacinth, Frans, and Stefan, and a delicate string for Elise. They watch as Z spots the gold coin of bait, and after a moment of consideration bends over to pick it up. Stefan pulls his rope and sends a bucketful of snails to strike Z’s backside to crawl over him. Then as Z continues Frans pulls his to unleash some swinging bright lanterns, which Z easily sidesteps, which puts him into the path of the tar Hyacinth triggers, covering him. On their swing back the lanterns have a container of feathers, but Z dodges that as well. Then Elise pulls her thin string, and Zac The Buffalo is unleashed to wander forward with a strawberry push in a planter on its head. Z walks around the buffalo as it sits down. Then N brings up his hands, with a string attached to each, and begins to manipulate them. The strawberry plant flies from the pot to strike Z’s lower back, the pot lands on his head like a helmet, and the buffalo soars through the air to embrace Z in an awkward, hovering, creature hug. Lorenzo then pulls the lever before him, and a single firework launches into the sky. Sparks light up the night, a light snow begins to fall, and a bag of feathers comes back to explode over the pair of Zacs.

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Shades of Veis
Some Challenges Rise Up Once More

• Tuesday December 13, 4:00 pm
• Lord V takes the poisoned letter over to the Marquis’ residence to discuss with B. She is currently working on the strange objects in the basement of the workshop. B hears Lord V come down, he greets her, and says that the letter is the important part, excuse the dust. B asks about the dust, Lord V says that it was in there before, and that the letter is the important part. B stares at the image upon it, realizes what it is, and its importance, hopes to be bringing in the expert as soon as possible. B then goes to the Marquis to request the key to the “Doom Sphere”, and the Marquis sends Z down there with her. Lord V leaves, frustrated at the lack of word of thanks.
• Lord V listens to the rumors on his way back, hearing of the big party for Weinacht, with the Arch-Chancellor’s party for it, and that there are rumors involved with Lord V, going into some form of witch hunting lawyer thanks to the events with the high inquisitor.
• B and Z go down towards the case. Z moves forward and insists he open it after B tells him that it has killed several people. Z unlocks the case, opens the door, and backs up cautiously, B watches to make sure Z doesn’t do anything dumb. B attempts to sketch the runes first, but as Z looks over her shoulder he notes that none of them really look the same. B grumbles, and then looks over the quadrants to memorize and try and draw them, getting the images together, but then scratches out the last bit of paper when she sneezes. Frustrated she pokes it. Nothing happens. She pokes it five more times, then the orb’s dark aura lashes out and scorches up her arm. After picking herself up, she grumbles, says that she wants to try something between her and the sphere next time, then locks it away. Z says that she probably shouldn’t play with it again. B glares at him, then goes to get some rest, patches herself up exceptionally well first.. Z gives the key back to the Marquis, then writes up a letter for L and one for Baroness Tonberr. Z asks L to meet with him at the Marquis’, and he asks Baroness Tonberr if he may take her out to dinner.
• Eve tries on every single piece of the new wardrobe that she got from Duke Underkeeper.
• Wednesday, December 14, 989
• L checks her mail, finds the letter from Z, and begins heading over to the Marquis’
• B finds a letter from Nathaniel Gotrelas, showing a great deal of interest in the items, asking if he could get more information to be sent to him. B gives some teasers regarding the thunder stick, and says that it is two sensitive to be sent, so she invites him to come in and enjoy himself.
• Lord V has breakfast, listens to the news on the street, and then goes for an entire day to a fine spa, treated to all the things that he could hope to enjoy (4 GC).
• Eve prepares for guard duty, goes over to Fernand’s, finds him in the armor shop followed by his four women from the earlier days carrying leather folders. Eve just looks at them, then with a smile F says that E will now be guarding him and his minions. E says that the contract is just for F, and that he would need to discuss the plan with the Marquis first. F grumbles, and then says that she can either guard all of them or carry the big box in the corner. E carries the box of armor and then goes back to her guarding.
• Z places the corpse of the Veis man in the crate in his room, and plans to move it that evening.
• L arrives at the Marquis’, finds Z leaving the guest house dusting his hands. They greet each other, go to Zac’s office, and then Z gives the whole plan for the mock assassination training, where L will come in, pretend to kill Z, marking guards that are killed with paint, and if they reveal L presence after being beaten Z will dock them a month’s pay. Z asks if they should no the actual details of the night, L says that that would defeat the principle of things. They agree, figure they should tell the Marquis and give him extra guards until it is done (should L be trailed by a real assassination). They go to speak with the Marquis, who is sitting in a study staring out the window at nothing. Z knocks, asks if he is busy, Marquis gives a sarcastic response, then invites them in. They go over the plan, the Marquis asks how much it will cost, L says half her usual rate (250 GC), which the Marquis agrees to pay if the attack is thwarted, and Z pays if the attack succeeds. They agree, Z goes to tell the guards. Z and L say that they will need to have extra guards on the Marquis and his family until this is done.
• L goes to talk to B, sees the injury of her arm and asks about it, B grumbles about the injury, pain, and burning. L says that she came to visit because she was bored, B says that she didn’t know L came around so much. Then B mentions that she received a letter with some white powder in it. L is interested and asks for it, so B brings out the letter and gives it to L, both pass their VR, L identifies the poison as Dried Blood flower Pulp (Inhalation, quick unconciousness). L asks if there have been any negative impacts from people opening it, B says no, asks if L knows what it is, L says that it isn’t lethal. Noting the Blood flower label on the envelope L asks if they know where they got it, B says she doesn’t know it came from Lord V, which makes L think even more, and then L asks if B has a vial for taking the poison away. B leads L down into the room of black metal objects, L is fascinated by everything within. B says L shouldn’t touch the shock stick, or the box. L asks about the box, B says that it is the sphere inside that kills people, and that it may have done her arm. L asks about the stick, B says that it seems to be about pain and shock, then shows it by hitting some metal with it. B mentions they were going to use it for an interrogation, but they were too persuasive early on. L offers her assistance in learning more about them, B suggests they not do anything until they learn that it won’t actually kill them for sure. L accepts, gets the vial and takes the powder, then leaves.
• Back at the Armor shop, Eve notices some strange individuals walk in, four soldiers, and one guy from Veis Industries. Veis asks to speak with the owner. F sees the symbol, and tells E to kill them. The Veis man is surprised and begins backing up. Eve asks “What”. F gives the same order. E says that she won’t actually break the law, but she will defend them. F then tells the Veis man that he either needs to buy something or else E will kill them all. Veis tries to leave, F persuades them to go buy something first, so they buy the suit of armor already packed. F then tells E she will need to stay in order to defend the shop over night. E refuses, so F tells her to tell the Marquis or else get down on him. E leaves to the Marquis’.
• Z tells the guards things about the plan, and that there will be 2 extra guards on each of the Halmeisters during it. He also tells the 6 head butlers and serving ladies, that spread it around and gossip fiercely.
• Lord V listens for rumors regarding while at the spa, hears the same things, that The Knight of the Rose has been quiet of late, and that there is to be a mock assassination at the Halmeister residence in order to train the guards. Lord V shakes his head as he hears this.
• E arrives at the Marquis’, goes to find him drinking in the study. E tells him of the events, the Marquis tells her to guard the shop. E tells of the lewd comments F has made, and the Marquis says that she can punch him anywhere it wouldn’t bruise, and gets it in writing.
• Z puts extra guards on the Halmeisters, an extra dog in the hallway at night, then placing everything around in order to get things ready.
• B hears about the mock assassination, goes and asks about the security, then asks about being able to stay with Hyacinth at night. Z says okay if Hyacinth says so, Hyacinth says that it is okay. B thinks the defenses sound pretty good, but would need extra specialists, but this would be expensive. Then B goes over to Hyacinth.
• L shakes her head regarding hearing about her own mock assassination attempt.
• Lord V goes home, does some falconry, gets an owl and brings down an enormous letter. He has Riccard cook the owl up, takes the large vellum wrapped package into his study, opens it, and has a yinnun that he can’t see throw a fireball into the room that Lord V dodges, the fire scorches the room and smoke begins to fill the room. He opens the door, shouts for Riccard to fetch water, then takes his sword and looks at the box. Riccard comes, and is able to extinguish the fire rapidly. Lord V watches the box, nothing happens, then flips it over to look inside. Sees papers covered with sealing comments in Jashù and the word Yinnun outside. He tells Riccard to bring out some wine for the meal. Lord V enjoys the meal and some wine.
• Eve spends the night inside the blacksmith shop, hear some people approaching. Goes to the window, sees the Veis guy and four soldiers with glass bottles and wicks. E goes outside, kills one that has standing by the window, covering the man with his right leg cut off shrouding him in flames. The Veis man runs, and then the guards stare at her, she scares them into dropping the bottles, one starting the shop on fire, the second the one man on fire, and the other starting the street on fire. The two okay soldiers run off, E puts out the shop with her cloak, then ran through the fires in order to chase after the Veis man, she catches up with him, chases him, they shout for guards, and then they bring forwards all of the individuals. The guards on duty take both E and the Veis man inside, in order to check their stories.
• Z takes the corpse out on a cart, reaches the closed gate, the guard is unhappy by the stench and asks what Z is doing. Z says that he is taking rotting meat out of the city. They open the door for him, let him take it out, then lock it out behind. Z sleeps outside for the night.
• Thursday, December 15, 989
• Lord V gets a letter from E saying the state that she is in jail again. Lord V goes over to the courthouse.
• Z goes over to the gate, the doors are open, and he is held up with all the taxation, requests regarding where he went and what they did, and then after all the run around he bribed the man 10 GC to be let back in.
• Lord V meets up with E within the prison, gets informed of all the information that they wished for. Talks to the guards, asks to meet withThe Veis man, Benjamin Rell. He cringes when he learns Lord V is working for his opponent. Refuses to give a statement until his lawyer arrives. Lord V gets the information of the guards that did the arrest, finds that 3 of the four still owe him that favor. Lord V waits until the other lawyer arrives, and it is Abercrombie Zerro, who greets him happily in order to suggest that they may get to face off. Lord V then gets his statement from Benjamin Rell, which claims that it was drunken revelry, and then she assaulted them. Lord V thanks Abercrombie and Benjamin for their time, and then leaves. He goes to talk with the Captain of the Guards, who says the drunken revelry story, and that they will stay until bail is paid. Benjamin gets his bail paid right away (19 GC), and E regretfully pays hers (109 GC). Then Lord V goes to talk with his rent a guards, but realizes that they can’t really be used, since changing the story would be quite problematic, so he asks them to keep things stable, not change their story, but comment on the strangeness of the bottles of alcohol and cloth in their packs. Then Lord V goes to prep, and looks up all the other stores that were burned down, the owners are slightly afraid, so Lord V shows the list and then they all might be able to strike them down.
• Baerin continues looking things up, and suspects the objects are from a different lost era that wouldn’t be human most likely.
• L wanders the grounds, pets the dogs, helps make dinner spending time with the sadder servants.
• E goes over to tell the Marquis, informing him of the events, and asks what kind of reimbursement she could expect. The Marquis offers to cover the cost of Lord V, but the Marquis also comments then that there might be more that could be charged after. Then E goes over to Duke Underkeeper’s. He asks where she has been, says he heard she had been arrested, and then she tells him it was Veis. He is quite angered by hearing this. Then E tells him that tomorrow is her birthday, so he offers to cancel his other plans (the strange armor and gear) to stay with her. He goes out in order to find her gifts. E stays for the night.
• Friday, December 16, 989
• Eve’s birthday.
• Lord V writes up an immense pile of letters forcing the previously burnt down shop owners to come to court, delivers them, goes to the courthouse in order to try and get the court as soon as possible, and there turns out to be a judge available tomorrow, gets it set, and finds that Abercrombie is actually in the courthouse, enjoying a cup of fine coffee. Abercrombie greets them, Lord V asks when they would be ready, Abercrombie says whenever they would be able to start the next day. Abercrombie accepts it, and looks forward to their meeting. Lord V then informs the shopkeeps that they would need to appear the next morning. Then Lord V goes to the shops, finds four new guards with Fernand and all the bimbos still following him. Lord V asks what they are doing there, they say Duke Underkeeper hired them. Lord V goes then goes to the Underkeeper estate, but is told they are busy, and so leaves a message for E to go to court in the morning after.
• Eve goes to the Duke’s, where she is told she doesn’t need to get to work, so they enjoy a 30 course meal with dancers, entertainment, and other things. For the final meal there is a massive pie with doves that fly out, and Duke Underkeeper proposes with massive jewels, silver, and an enormous ring, with a silver and sapphire chainmail bikini thong. She immediately accepts, and they go to try out the bikini.
• B enjoys another day of teaching with Hyacinth and looking things over.
• L continues to go around the compound, talk to guards, deal with the dogs, and helping cook supper with the more depressed people.
• Z maintains his usual guard type duties.
• Saturday, December 17, 989
• Z does his normal guard routines. Goes to talk to the barber after trying to listen in on anything regarding unique weapon trainers, and only really hearing about the Order of Justine. At the Barber’s he asks the question in just the wrong way about The Knight of the Rose, trying to learn where he is, and gets lightly cut by the barber’s razor. The Barber apologizes, and says that he may be able to provide assistance. Z gives him 5 GC and leaves. Once outside, he realizes that the Barber cut him through his damage barrier.
• L does her lap around the compound, talking to guards about the courtcase, ensuring them that Lord V is usually quite good at these things and should succeed.
• In the morning a knock on the door awakens Duke Underkeeper and E that there will be a court date that they must attend right from the beginning. They rapidly dress and make their way there.
• Lord V arrives early, sees that all his witnesses but one (that he intends to take to the cleaners thanks to the contract afterwards), and sees that Abercrombie Zerro has no other witnesses besides his client. Lord V notes E coming in with Duke Underkeeper, and the massive ring on her finger. Going into the court the judge enters, comments on the strangeness of both individuals being defendant and plaintiff, and the judge lets Abercrombie begin. Abercrombie admits that there would be a simple case, where his client admits to being drunken and disorderly, that damage could have been caused accidently, he would be willing to pay for the damages, but they would naturally not be able to cover the other cost, and the murder of one of his companions in cold blood cannot be forgiven. Lord V stands up, opens his mouth, and finds that he cannot speak the truth. He says “This case is not simple,” is surprised, takes a drink of water, and sits down. They look on with surprise. The judge then allows Abercrombie Zerro calls forth Benjamin Rell. They give the traditional story that they agreed upon before, discussing how it occurred. Lord V “So you were out drinking with friends?” Benjamin “Yes, we were enjoying the night.” Lord V “And you were just enjoying yourselves, not intending to do any harm?” Benjamin, “No, we only wanted a good time.” V “Why did you have so many bottles of alcohol with you, with napkins and cloths.” B “In case we spilt on ourselves and such. Clean up any mess.” Lord V sits down. They call E to the stand. Lord V gets her to give her story honestly. In cross examination, Abercrombie inquires about certain things, such as what kind of shop it was, if she cried out any announcement (argues need to make snap decisions as a soldier, sometimes they cost lives), whether or not the value of a human life would be there, how many things were occurring there, and how long she had to decide upon things, the value of a human life, how hot it would require a fire to be in order to melt steel like she claimed around them and the harm that could be done from it, as well as whether things were to do. Going on to the store keepers, V moves forwards in order to show what happened, Abercrombie moved forwards in order to point out that none of the men in charge wore any badges for Veis, and that others could have been behind it since it is quite important. Then the guards come in, and the first argument was whether or not the man was actually drunk, what the items on him were and their intent, and what quality of alcohol you would drink if able, and that nicer is better. Then they go to the final statements. No longer believing it to be true, Lord V simply states “The matter of this case is a simple one. I trust you to make the correct decision.” Abercrombie simply reminds them that his client has already said what he would be willing to do to cover the cost, and that Eve is clearly a cold-blooded killer that simply enjoys the act of slaughtering people. The judge then thought for several moments, and then gives his verdict. Eve is acquitted, while Benjamin Rell is found as guilty of arson in the most extreme way, and so must pay for all the damages as well as for all of the legal bills. Abercrombie compliments V on his well performed his case, drops the maintained spell, and congratulates him on everything that he did. Then he informs the very angry 5 Veis members that they should send the rest of his money to him after, before leaving with his walking stick. V congratulates E being free on her charge, E thanks him very well, while Duke Underkeeper claps V in a massive crushing hug reeking of smoke, thanks him for all his hard work, and says that rewards and future work and cases should be coming his way in the future. V thanks him for it. V then moves for a class action lawsuit against Veis Industries in order to determine if they are indeed behind these rash of hostile takeovers. The judge agrees, and sets the court date for May 23, 990. Lord V persuaded him to move it up, so that information wouldn’t stagnate quite as much, and so he is able to get it moved to March 23, 990. Lord V goes to the Marquis’ in order to stay there for the night, due to the risk against his own life now after that case.
• Eve returns home with Duke Underkeeper, where they celebrate the victory.
• Z while on his rounds, is approached by Frans, who gives him a letter from Viscount Shen Kaminari. Z opens it, and finds a map pointing him to a home in the midlist districts, and its cellar. The message says to be there for midnight tonight. Z does his rounds during this time.
• Frans finds B, asks her if she has discussed “You know what” with Z. B says that she hasn’t, and so Frans mentions the letter for Viscount Kaminari, that people normally aren’t invited in that way, and so asks B to keep an eye on Z. B accepts.
• Watching Z’s behavior, L takes the time to change into her hunting clothes. She expects that tonight will be the night.
• As night falls Lord V sees Z leaving, with B following shortly after to catch up. V “What, is there some party that no one informed me of?” With a shrug he found Asha, and requested one of her guards to protect him while he slept over for the night, standing in front of the window of his guest room.
• Z notices B, and asks why she is following him. B says that she wanted to know where he was going. Z asks if he can’t have a life outside of work. B doesn’t believe that that is really what Z is doing, and so says “Lie to me if you must, but know that I care about what happens to you.” Brushing the comment off, Z mounts his horse and leaves. After a few moments B mounts up and follows, slightly behind L that she noticed skulking in the shadows of the street. So focused on Z’s white cloak, L didn’t notice B following slightly behind her.
• Through the streets they go, until they reach the house in question. Z dismounts, and knocks on the cellar door. When no one answers after a time he opens it and descends the lit stairwell beneath.
• Behind him L stares down the stairs, and finally notices B when she dismounts. B “What are you doing here?” L “Following Z. Why are you here?” B “He was acting strangely, I wished to see why.” L “Then after,” she stands aside and gestures down. B “This is no place for him or for you. You should lead.” L doesn’t reply, and B descends. L sneakily follows.
• Down below they pass through the well maintained lower study, the open bookshelf passage, and find the Bloodied Rose Arena, food and drink prepared but no one present. Drawn to a gleam down in the sand pit below, Z approaches in full defense and finds a black wooden staff topped with a crystal thundercloud. Viscount Shen Kaminari then makes his presence known, apologizing for what must be done, but that Z pulled back a veil that he should have left alone. When B enters Viscount Kaminari welcomes her, and asks that she need not participate, but that she should hold the hall to ensure that Z does not flee. B argues that Z is a good man, and wishes to know what is going on, if Z really must die. Viscount Kaminari states that in order for the way that they do business here in Chaville to survive, Z must die. He has been approaching questions that he should not have, and the risk of discovery was too great. Hiding in the tunnel, L realizes that this appears to be more of an assassination then a duel, albeit an incredibly polite and courteous assassination since food and drink is available, and she has no idea what the legal effect of such actions could be. She stays to watch. Viscount Kaminari offers to allow Z to draw his blade, but Z says that he is happy to keep his weapon sheathed for the time being. Viscount Kaminari then says that he will draw his own blade then, and leaving the swords at his waist alone holds his hands out in front of him to clutch a bolt of lighting that forms a long blade with a resounding clap of thunder. The thunder drowns out L surprised gasp. Viscount Kaminari “Now you shall face the true me, a god of war within a man; Take-Mikazuchi!”

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Shadows in the Dark
When is a whisper louder then a shout?

• After several days of research, working with Hyacinth, and discussing all the things about them, Baerin locates the name of someone that she believes could help; Nathaniel Gotrelas. She takes the name over to the Marquis, who did not know him, or have previous contact with him. B suggests that he may have some knowledge in the material and the meetings behind it, and suggests that they bring him in as an expert. The Marquis asks when she would like him to bring Mr. Gotrelas in as soon as possible. B writes up two letters, runs one by Zac, which he approves of and allows them to be sent. B then goes to get two birds to each take one letter over to Mr. Gotrelas in Hausser.
• Eve awakens in the morning, Duke Underkeeper still asleep beside her. She quietly gets dressed, makes her way to the door, is offered a carriage and accepts it. She makes it back home.
• Lillith tends to her gardens and relaxes.
• In the morning Lord V enjoys his breakfast, then goes down to the zeppelin port in order to meet up with Abercrombie Zerro, in order to gauge what kind of a person he is. Peering through the crowds of nobles he spots a lone man, well dressed, short cropped black hair and beard, and a walking stick. Lord V introduces himself, and also says that he would have been the lawyer against him in the case. When Abercrombie inquires about him not actually being involved in the case anymore. Lord V explains about what occurred with the whole, your client was a witch thing, and then the execution of her in the street. Abercrombie is slightly dissuaded by the discovery of these facts, and wonders what he will need to do now. Lord V apologizes for his traveling all this way for nothing, but Abercrombie ensures him that there would be something for him to do. With a nod the two part. Lord V goes to speak with Gaston Beauregard. Gaston is incredibly busy going through all the pages, so Lord V informs that a client is wondering if he would be interested in selling his home, but Gaston says that it is his family seat, and he intends to keep them and do what he can for his family name. Lord V says that he had expected as much, and takes his leave. He then goes back to and enjoys his afternoon to relax.
• Baerin takes some time to teach Hyacinth, and she discusses that it is sad to see that Gaston will be having such trouble attempting to keep things organized as well as trying to win over her sister Elise.
• Eve returns home, bathes, changes into her armor and goes to the spice shop for work with Fernand. When F sees E enter, he tells her to help with the crates that are being brought into and out of the spice shop. She notes the ones going out are heavier then the ones coming in, so she carries more of the ones that are being taken out. Afterwards she escorts F back to his home, tries to discuss things with her aunt Joceline Garnier-Louis but she is out at the theatre, so then goes to spend supper and the night with Duke Underkeeper. She is not crushed.
• Thursday, December 8, 989
• Lord V goes to talk to Black Tom Fer in order to learn what is going on around, looking for a forger (although he describes him as a scribe), and Black Tom is able to help. He suggests he go to a certain tea shop tomorrow morning to meet with Renaut Duless. Nodding Lord V leaves 50 GC behind and makes his way home, where he tends to his hawk for a while. He draws up a few notes to ensure the void status of the deals between Marquis Halmeister and the Beauregardes and has Riccard take them over for Gaston to sign them. He then tends to his hawk, and sends the bird out. It comes back with a massive grey raven, with an incredibly ornate letter, sealed with a strange seal and addressed only to “Blood-flower”. Pulling out the letter, he brushes away some light powder from it, and sees that it is talking of an etching of a man with an aura over two prostrate men, with sigils that closely resemble other items the Marquis possessed. Noting it, Lord V hides the letter with his others, and enjoys the night. He prepares a will in order to write up a will regarding what should happen if Gaston were to die, allowing for all of his belongings. He makes it so that all of the previous sales are honored, and that all his worldly belonging are donated to The Church.
• Lillith tends to her garden once more.
• Baerin spends time with Hyacinth and waits for the letter from Hausser to return.
• Eve returns from the Duke’s and goes over to Fernand’s, then the two of them go in order to help him tend to things. There are still a few crates to be dealt with, and then sending them out to be transferred. Afterwards, the two of them go to leave. They make their way back to Fernand. Then goes to her Aunt Joceline’s estate, where she is in, and so Eve asks for some help with etiquette, as well as with dancing lessons. When E mentions the Duke, her aunt accepts and demands some money in exchange eventually, and starts taking the switch to her. She then goes over to guard Fernand in order to protect him.
• The spice shop is burned, but Zac and his guards are able to apprehend or kill all of the perpetrators, exactly according to plan. The Veis man is taken back to the Halmeister estate, where he is restrained.
• Friday, December 9, 989
• Baerin spends some time teaching Hyacinth, and then goes over to her home in order to visit with her family.
• In the morning Lord Verboden receives the signed letters from Gaston Beauregard, and takes them with him to the tea shop to meet up with Renault Duless the scribe. They have a polite conversation when describing the work to be done, and gives him the copy of the will. He then goes to speak with Marquis in order to see how things went with their plan the night before. Zac is at his usual post, which Lord V takes as a good sign. He enters to the Marquis’ room, and is informed of the burning of the spice shop, and the apprehension of the individuals responsible were killed or apprehended, the thugs in the hold of the city guard while the man in charge is being held upon his own premises. Lord V nods satisfied, goes over to the city guard in order to see what would work with them. He talks to the guard in charge, that challenges Lord V for why the leader of this group, if they do actually work for Veis Industries isn’t in their personal custody. Lord V stands up and puts the guard down out of lack of trust in his capabilities. Then goes off to the returns home, and has Riccard request that Lillith join him for supper. He then writes up a formal request in order to demand Veis being brought to court by the accusations of work.
• Eve checks in on Fernand, nothing bad has happened, so she goes back to her home, gets ready, sees that the work is progressing along nicely. She then goes back over in order to look around. Goes in to check on Fernand where he would be working. Finds him standing in front of a scorched husk where his spice shop was. F bellows and rage at E for failing to protect his property, and then he drags her over to the Marquis’. Upon arrival he bellows at Zac to fetch him the Marquis, Zac stalls and tries to get him to calm down, then takes him to the Marquis’ study. The Marquis asks what is wrong, F shouts regarding the burning of his spice shop and the loss of it due to E’s failure. The Marquis points out F wasn’t there, and that he is fine, so it is not her fault. F continues to sputter, until the Marquis points out that he won’t be docked any pay for it. Then F calms, straightens, and leaves. Before leaving, E asks if any of it will come out of her payment, and the Marquis says no. They go to F clothing shop, where he fires several of the staff to make himself feel better. E has to help unroll the silk for the others to work with.
• Upon reaching home, Baerin spars with her father. Their match is even, and she noticed some bruises and sweat in his clothes. Afterwards, she persuades her father to tell her what happened to him out of worry. He tells her that he is joined in a member of an elite club in order to be able to learn how to fight under normal conditions, rather then the highly structured scenario of duels. He asks if B would care to meet those that attend with him, and she asks quite interested. Davas Dannils offers to take her to meet them tomorrow night. She agrees, and then goes back to the Marquis’.
• Lillith joins Lord V for dinner, being escorted in to wait upon the master in the dining room. She plops down into a chair while Riccard prepares a great deal of food and drink for two spots. L accepts a glass of wine. Once everything is set, Lord V arrives, greets L, and discusses an offer to deliver this new will into Gaston Beauregard’s home, place it in a secure place where it would be located, find any other will and dispose of it, try to not kill anyone inside, and if he was able to find the Beauregard family seal and seal it in that way. Stealth would be important. L accepts, and says that she would be available to come in the end of the night, in order to acquire the package, and then deliver it as needed. Lillith leaves, Lord V opens a window and begins writing, shortly after he hears a ruffle behind him as Umbra and Penumbra arrive. They discuss the new plan that Lord V made, since he does not like their original plan, and so they agree what is going on regards to the new plan, to ensure that they are able to acquire the wealth that they are due. With another nod they vanish back into the night. Lord V has a few drinks, and goes to bed.
• Saturday, December 10, 989
• In the morning Lord V goes back to the tea shop, takes the new paper from Renaut Duless. He looks it over, and is pleased with the result. He thanks Renaut for the work, gives the man 50 GC, and says that if he needs to contact him again, he would like his contact information. Renaut gives him an address to contact him at. Lord V leaves, pleased that he never left his own name. He then returns to his home.
• Baerin spends the morning instructing Hyacinth, and also Stephan sine Hyacinth says that Stephan has been feeling down, and some training with them might be of assistance. Baerin happily accepts, and she helps instruct them, while also trying to boost Stephan’s morale. B does a bad job for her, but it is enough to help boost his feelings, even if Hyacinth only gave her a raised eyebrow for the poor performance. B just shrugged and said that she was trying to not overwhelm him all at once, Hyacinth doesn’t buy it.
• Lillith tends to her nightshade during the day.
• Baerin goes to her fathers residence, finds him outside waiting on a horse, cloaked, and with his sword strapped. He asks if she is ready, which she is, and they go off in order to locate it. They travel around and reach a different area towards the middle ground, where he goes over to knock upon a cellar door three times. Then he waits for a few moments, opens it, and descends. Within the cellar there is a nice little study area, with an older man, who upon seeing them pushes aside a bookcase to open up another pathway. Traveling through it, they find themselves in the chamber and arena for The Bloodied Rose. There are 11 members within, including a man behind the counter taking and giving bets. In the arena is Frans battling with Solo. After a moment Solo shield bashed him to the ground to a cheer from the crowd gathered. Viscount Kaminari applauds Frans’ effort, saying that Solo remains champion. Then, noting the Dannils’ arrival, the Viscount asks for introduction, which is given, the Viscount greets her, and asks if she would like to challenge anyone in the glorious dance that is this chamber. Looking around, she worries, but then decides that she should try it, and start with the big guy.
• Baerin challenges Solo within the pit, with 91:1 odds. Davas Dannils places 100 GC down on his daughter. Baerin places 100 GC on herself as well. Viscount Kaminari smiles down and watches. Baerin gives a look of fear at her father before they begin, before she lunges in with her katana, two-handed, getting past the shield, but the fur armor and muscle soaks it up. Solo swings in with his lance stabbing her solidly in the stomach with his spear, shedding her blood. Solo then follows up with the shield bash, but she dodges and swings in with her sword, but again the armor soaks it up. B swings in for Solo’s thigh, but the muscle soaks it up. Baerin then plants her sword in the sand and bows. The others applause around the hall as well. She is welcomed happily, goes to get herself patched up. Her father is proud of her performance, saying that she made a very good first showing and that she should fit in just as well as he does. Then they remain and watch the rest of the night’s action.
• Lillith goes to get the will from Lord V, is told the basic outline of the estate, and then waits for the right time to act. Lord V turns in for the night.
• Eve takes the opportunity to meet with the dancing instructor that her aunt Jocelyn found for her. It turned out to be Baroness Jaclyn Tonberr, who teaches her quite well. Then E goes over to the Duke’s residence, but he regrettably tells her that he has plans this evening, as he dressed himself in a leather raincloak and thick gloves. He allowed her to stay the night without him. While exploring the mansion, Eve saw the Duke leaving with six guards, some with helms shaped like boars and others like bulls. They rolled away in a massive carriage.
• Sunday, December 11, 989
• Sapphire goes in at the Beauregard residence at 1 am. She watches the guards at the gate, then moves in order to scale the wall and hop over. Seeing two guards at the end, she then decides to try the back servant’s door. She picks the lock, and sneaks inside. Heading to the office, she looked over her shoulder to see two shrouded figures crouching behind her. They watch her and she watches them, finding that neither actually move or do anything. With a shrug, and considerable discomfort, L brings out her lockpick, attempts to get into the door, but snaps her pick leaving the metal embedded into the lock. She looks over her shoulder, and the other two are still watching her, L “Sigh, I have and audience and now these errors start to begin.” Using her stiletto she pries the broken bit of metal out of the door. She goes looking for the master bedroom, and finds three guards waiting outside, so she goes outside, she finds the windows to each of the study and Then she goes down to the servants’ quarters where all of them are sleeping. Seeing a ring of keys, L deftly slipped it from the walls, and pulled them from the wall. L then went over to the study, opens the door, and notices that no one else seems to be following her anymore. Once inside, she goes to the desk, and finds that the drawer is locked. Using some of the keys as a replacement pick, she opens it, and finds a will, a seal, sealing wax, and a taper. She takes the will, opens it, and reads it. Gaston is leaving 1/3 of the wealth to the church, 1/3 to be divided between the culinary schools of Chaville, and the other 1/3 is to be given to Elise Halmeister as a token of his fallen love. L, in order to compare, reads the will that Lord V gave her, since it wasn’t sealed. She keeps the original, seals Lord V’s and places it in the drawer, relocks it, and then grabs a crystal decanter of scotch and a few crystal glasses as her souvenirs. She closes and relocks the door, returns the keys, closes the back door, and retreats back to her home. She places the crystal ware to decorate her house before sleeping for a few hours.
• In the morning Lord V, The Halmeisters, E, and Duke Underkeeper all go to church.
• L takes the opportunity in the morning to acquire some replacement lockpicks. While out in the market she hears that Gaston Beauregard was found dead in his room this morning, having apparently hanged himself with a belt after the grief over the loss of his parents.
• Lord V hears the same news as L while returning home from church. It makes him smile.
• Baerin works with Hyacinth, goes over the schedule in her head that she received from The Bloodied Rose, and spoke with Frans when he requested it. She accepted, and he asked her not to tell his father how he spends his free time. B responded by saying he had to make sure that he did not die. Frans responded by letting her know that no one had yet died in the pits, and that few are ever even maimed. He also complimented her on her performance against Solo. B replied by saying that she couldn’t even seem to cut his bare leg, and commented on what an incredible physical specimen he was. Frans grinned, and hoped that B and Solo would have plenty of opportunities for some physical sparring in the time to come. B just raised an eyebrow as he walked away.
• L went over to Lord V in order to discuss the completion of her mission. She asked Riccard if Lord V had been acting strangely of late. Riccard said no more then usual. When shown into his office by Riccard, she informed Lord V of the success of her mission. Lord V asked if she found another will. L said that she did, and that it was removed from the premises, and that she still had it on her when V asked. L then asked about the two strange figures that appeared and followed her, to which V played perfect ignorance. She also commented on the death of Gaston, and the fact that she wasn’t able to do it. V assured her that he had nothing to do with it, since she was his go to girl for such tasks. L still suspected that something might be amiss, given the convenient timing. V argued otherwise, that sometimes things just work out fortuitously. L asks about the pay for following the Veis man around, and V says that for that she must ask the Marquis. V asked L what her rate for the night of stealth would be, and L responded 200 GC. V offered her 500 GC so that he could have the letter and burn it. L took the 200 GC, but refused to give him the will, saying that she would deal with it to which V shrugged. V commented that she seemed very attached to this will, and L commented that V seemed to be acting most strangely, and that something about all the coincidences in this job made her skin crawl. They left on awkward terms. V smiled and allowed himself a drink. He receives a response from Veis, demanding all of the details of those captured, the damages and full stock of the spice shop, and all individuals involved so that they can contact them. V did not respond to those demands.
• Heading over to the Marquis’ L sees Z training with the three guards being punished, two already collapsed. She goes in to discuss with the Marquis about her pay. He smiles to her, hopes that things are going well, and gives her 150 GC. Before leaving L mentions that V had been acting strangely of late, and that something didn’t feel right about it. The Marquis commented on how troubling it would be to have to worry about V working behind their back. L suggests someone should watch him. The Marquis asks her to do so, since he trusts her as family. As L leaves she is stopped by Marquess Sylvia Halmeister. The Marquess informs L that there have been darker rumors about her, given her tendency to visit the Marquis and Lord V at strange hours of the day, and that it is casting a dark light on what others think she does. L assures the Marquess that nothing is going on, and the Marquess agrees, since otherwise she wouldn’t allow L inside the grounds. She is merely warning her for her, and the Marquis’, sake.
• Z goes over to the Barber, asking about people that could teach him to do strange things. The Barber points Z towards Black Tom Fer. Black Tom jokes about there not being a raid as he sees the heavily armored man, hoping Z will spend coin on a fine young woman, or man, and then takes him to his office to discuss things, although he brings two of his guards with him. They discuss Z desire to learn “secret, forbidden in some places arts”, and after some innuendo Black Tom agrees to put him in touch with an instructor for what he needs, but not until tomorrow night as she has a dance lesson today. Z gives the man 100 GC in thanks, and then Black Tom tries one last attempt to get Z to sample his wares, which he politely declines and goes back to the Marquis’.
• During the day Eve trains with her aunt and Baroness Tonberr. Eve spends the evening with the Duke, enjoying his company and foods. Once more that night the Duke vanishes with his strange guards as the sun goes down.
• Monday, December 12, 989
• In the morning Zac is summoned by one of the guards, because the Veis man has been found murdered. Z brings B with him, and they enter the room to find the Veis man’s throat slit with a single slash that went deep through his neck all the way to his spine. They look for evidence, but find no signs of forced entry, no one heard anything, the injury looked to be a remarkably thin curved blade like a sickle perhaps, and the cut would have silenced the victim and caused him to suffocate on his own blood. Both the door and window were locked. Z asked the guards if they saw or heard anything, the only report was of one of the dogs whimpering as it approached beneath the window, but then it continued onwards. Z informed the Marquis, who was incredibly displeased upon hearing this news. He wonders what kind of case they have against Veis without the man, and Z tells him the truth, without that man they really have no case. The Marquis dismisses Z. Z goes to inform Lord V, telling him that he has bad news, V responds that he hates bad news. When Z tells him the details, V is incredibly displeased with Z’s guards’ failure. V thinks things over after Z leaves. While wandering, V hears that there have been a few questions raised about Gaston’s will, so it is being delayed in being followed currently.
• After the claims against her, L decides to go out and around the shopping district, to make a public appearance at reasonable hours as it were. She examines some shops, politely plays along to some of the shop keeps flirtatious banter, and leaves without purchasing anything. L hears that another of Count Chakrosan’s caravans has gone missing. This makes the tenth missing caravan for him. She then makes her way home.
• Eve and Fernand are tending to the clothing shop when four incredibly young, incredibly attractive, and incredibly intoxicated women enter. They cast their gaze around the lovely fabrics, until they fall upon F. They begin a long discussion in Jashú, where F seduces all of them back to his place. He tries to leave E in charge, but she refuses to not guard him, so he attempts to get her to join in on the frivolity, but she refuses that as well. So she stands outside and hears all the sounds echoing from within F room, for the rest of the day.
• V went out to find Devonia, and after allowing her to finish her performance, and talk to a possible wealthy and elderly investor, asked her about knowing any individuals capable of the kind of murder that was performed, without leaving any footprints. If it wasn’t for the footprints detail Devonia said she could help, to which V reminded her that he knew several people that could do it leaving foot prints, upon which both agreed. Devonia lightheartedly wished that she could avoid leaving footprints, as he slippers danced across the cobbles, but she couldn’t help anymore. V gave her 2 GC for the performance.
• Z returned to the Marquis’ residence, discussed with B to look outside, and found a few drops of blood trailing from the guest house. B suggests that the lack of footprints even here suggests that the murderer may have been able to float above the ground. They brought a dog over, followed it, and found that it lead to the wall, although the drops stopped earlier. Leading the dog outside they found that they couldn’t pick up the trail amidst all the other smells of the metropolis. Z went to go chat with the barber.
• V arrived to speak with the Marquis, to inform him of what he learned, and that they would need to drop the case against Veis in order to avoid a crushing defeat and counter suits of slander. The Marquis was not pleased, but V reminded him that they both knew it to be a high risk-reward venture when they went in to it. V also said that he would even draft a formal withdrawl of charges and apology letter, no matter how much it pained him. V returned to his home and set out to write the letter. Later he learned that Gaston’s will had been allowed, and his commission of sale was delivered to him. It let him fall to sleep easily.
• At the barber’s Z asked the man about strange sharp weapons that could make the injuries that were inflicted. The Barber didn’t know, although he suggested a straight razor as he was shaving Z’s neck. Z thanked him with 5 GC. Z sent a bird to ask L to meet him at the Marquis’ to discuss things later. Z then went of to meet with his Weight Elimination instructor by a fountain. It turned out to be Baroness Jaclyn Tonberr, who had him try to walk on the fountain, then run through it. After her fun she trained him for 10 hours straight through the night, after which she charged him 500 GC for her time and effort. Z happily paid, the Baroness told him not to be a stranger and left with only slightly exaggerated hip movement.
• In the middle of the night V was awakened by Umbra and Penumbra standing over him. They inform him that the shipment they wanted to acquire had been done so successfully, and that their business could conclude. V held very good composure. The two asked him about the agent that he had used, complimenting her on her skills and her will to stick it out to the very end even when difficulties arose. V agreed on her skills. Then the pair said that there could still be loose ends, such as V and L, and wondered what to do with them. V said that their agreement had been fulfilled so they should leave. The two wondered what they should do now. The two asked if a real will had been found, V said L had it, the two asked for L’s address so that they could get the will. V gave the address and told the two to try and avoid waking, being seen, or talking to L. The two promised they would not bother V again and left. V went straight to the scotch.
• L was awoken by Umbra and Penumbra. She also maintained her composure in only her lingerie. The two complimented her on her skills, and also asked if she had the will from Gaston. L told them she didn’t, but the two doubted her. L told them she burned it, and that seemed to make the two sad. They said they did not wish to need Gaston to die, as his head and face could not be taken. He should therefore still have been allowed to live. They wished to send the will out to allow Gaston a final piece of truth, instead of all the lies. They asked if there were other copies for L to take them out to be seen. They asked if L would attempt to come after them, L said she had no way to find them, so the two asked again, and L asked why. They also complimented L on her skills, especially in one so young, and that they were glad they did not need to clip her before her skills could properly bloom. The two told her that she must savor the chaos that can be caused in the darkness more, for in doing so at the moment of kill she will be able to enjoy an incomparable pleasure. L asked them who they were. The two responded Umbra and Penumbra. L asked what they were, and they responded “We are whoever we wish to be.” With a few parting words the two vanished.
• Tuesday, December 13, 989
• Eve guarding the door sees F strand out naked, where he walks to the basin and splashes himself in water until his skin glistened, and then charged back into the bedroom, where he closed the door and sounds began to issue forth again. His argument was that since the spice shop had been burnt down he could take a day off. E therefore went over to spend time with the Duke. She asked about the strange guards he left with, to which the Duke replied that the details were beyond her dowry, and that if he could bring her with him he would, but he can’t afford to. The two then enjoyed a night, where Duke Underkeeper pinned E to the mattress with his girth.
• V sends the cancellation letter of to Veis with Riccard.
• B helps her teaching with Hyacinth once more, taking a break from the murder.
• L arrives and Z leads her into the guest house. Z asks L what she knows about murderers not leaving footprints, to which L responded; “Why, as a perfectly normal lady of Gabriel I haven’t the slightest idea.” When Z led L to the crime scene, she slapped him, feigned disgust and horror, and retreated to one of the studies on the lower level. When Z caught up L was shaking her head. L “Asking me these things when anyone could overhear. What do you know?” Z gave her the description of the details, and the dogs informing her of things. Z just comments on being unable to figure out how they couldn’t leave footprints, L says that she could do the same, Z challenges her, and so L walks up the wall and stays there. Z “Ah, I see. I learned to do the same thing just the other day.” With a sigh L continues, as the only options she can see was the guards are either corrupt or inept, there is a secret way in, or the person came in through the window, although how they could lock it again from the outside is beyond her. Z is quite positive that it would be the window, as there are no secret ways in. L still has her doubts, and suggests that it might be the guards’ fault. Having provided her expertise L leaves, and Z prepares to grill the guards.

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One Final Dance
Shadows of the Past Laid to Rest

• Early morning Friday, December 2, 989
• Zac places the feather from the pool of blood into a small sack, inside out then back in. The city guard notes appearance and location.
• Zac goes to discuss with Baerin and Lord Verboden about the feather, and where it was found. V still doesn’t quite believe Eve’s original story but she may not be entirely crazy. V “I may have to do more research on this.” V has Z and the city guard take the feather to be marked and labeled as evidence, and writes a note stating that if anything happens to the feather, or the bag is open without him, there will be hell to pay. Zac takes the feather and note to the watch.
• V has Baerin do some research on words of feather being used to throw things to hurt people. With science she gives the basis of mass and velocity, and that the feather shouldn’t be able to at all do that damage. V says that he knew that already. Based on Occult, there are old tales and rumors of heroes using strange items to kill fell beasts, but no confirmed accounts. V kicks Baerin out and goes to bed.
• Zac takes the feather to the guards, and the one that received it knew Lord V, so takes careful care of it. Z then goes to bed.
• In the morning Lord V breaks his fast, listens to the morning news and hears that someone tried to kill Katarina the Black Swan in broad daylight. They don’t say where, or who did it. He goes to the University in order to find a professor of mythology in order to learn any information he can regarding heroes of old throwing things to kill them, and that he needs the information for that night. He gives the professor his full payment (20 GC) in advance. Then he goes to the jailhouse to discuss with Eve. They comment on the comfort of the cells, and asks if Eve wishes to actually leave. She says that it is very hard to do her job in side. Lord V goes to talk to Judge Derenzio about getting Eve released. Having worked with the Judge before, he asks to have his client removed from jail, says his word should be good enough, and then he gets the release forms. He gives them to Eve, who asks if she should mend the small hole in her leather armor. Lord V says to keep it for the trial. Then they go, Lord V to have a word with the Veis prisoner, and Eve to find Fernand.
• Eve goes to the various shops, and finds Fernand at the spice shop supervising. Fernand comments that she isn’t in jail anymore, and so he tells her to ‘help’ him carry some of the spice crates. She plainly refuses. Business as usual.
• Lord V gets Zac to let him in to the guest house to discuss with the Veis kidnapped man about what is going on. Still tied to the bed, Lord V takes the gag off of him. Then the Veis asks for some food and water. Lord V and Z tell him he can if they give him the answers they want. He says that he will help. They suggest that he continues to not be able to contact them, they ask if he is being watched by his employer, he hopes they trust him, so both Lord V and Z suggest he is probably being watched. They decide that they should release him, but have Lillith watch over him, make sure that he doesn’t do anything wrong, and allow him to pretend to continue to work for them, Lord V even suggests that he could burn some other people’s shops. Z suggests that they put him back in the crate in order to not let him know where he was. Z offers to give him some food, cheese, bread, water, broth, and then packs him up. They figure to wait until nightfall for that, so Lord V goes to Lillith’s in order to ask her to follow the Veis guy.
• Lord V gets into Lillith’s home, and gets a stilleto thrown at him as he walks in the door. It slightly injures him. Lillith “Oh, sorry. What brings you to my home with that lovely stilleto.” Lord V “I have you to thank for that stilleto.” L “Sorry.” V says why he came, to discuss the whole Katarina situation that they know, the whole problems that happened, Lord V wants to know why no one locked the door behind her. The Lord V informs of the entire offer about having Lillith follow the Veis man that they are releasing. Then Lillith turns the conversation over to the Katarina situation. L is uncomfortable that she is alive, and wants to know what the situation is. Lord V tells her of the mending of Katarina, the four guards that won’t be leaving, and that while L is good, she isn’t that good. Lord V is hoping to oust Katarina as a witch during the trial. L wants to know how. Lord V mentions the feather, that doing that should get her made a witch, and can then have her dealt with and killed by the Inquisition. L likes that kind of ousting. Lord V asks if L can throw insignificant objects through people, but L says she couldn’t even do it. Lord V then says that he will be blaming Lillith as a mystery assailant behind it, Katarina attacked Eve, then they left and defended herself. L says that as long as she is killed she will be happy, and then perhaps let Lillith look in on different homes, and to lay low for a while. Lillith does say that she would attend any public burning.
• That night Zac takes the Veis industries man to the brothel outside from Baron Falon’s home. Then he returns home and lets Lillith follow the Veis guy.
• Lord V then goes to the University to talk with the guy. He has found several cases with more traditional weapons, a few with rocks and other things, and then, the one that he is interested in, a tale from Baho of a hero killing a chimera by throwing a baby spined armadillo down its throat. Lord V asks him to try and find any other information that he can regarding that myth, even if he has to talk to ‘mythic crackpots’ for it. Then he would also be willing to pay him whatever he needed for the time and the work. Then he goes home to bed.
• Lillith follows the Veis guy to a mid-list hotel, where he gets a room and stays the night, she gets the room beside him.
• Saturday, December 3, 989.
• That morning Lord Verboden goes to discuss with the different witnesses in the case, the four guards and nine nobles that saw the exchange between Katarina and Eve and Lillith. Of the nobles, seven of them heard Eve shout “Stop Katarina”, and three of them remember seeing Lillith, although they can’t identify her. He enjoys this information, and then goes on to return home.
• Zac goes to the barber, and asks for word around town. He hears more of the details about the Katarina case and those involved, also identifies Abercrombie Zerro as the lawyer being flown in from Phaion. He also starts to mention The Knight of the Rose putting on a good show, but stops and cuts himself off. Then there is also mention of death threats for Eve. He tips the barber, then sends two letters to, one to Lord V and Eve. The letter to Lord V mentions the lawyer, and the Knight of the Roses. His letter to Eve mentions the threats, and also asks if she would ever like to spar with her to come, and she also sends the bird to Fernand’s not Eve’s.
• In the morning Lillith finds a letter outside with a strange seal. As she follows from 50 feet behind the Veis staff, then reads the letter from Katarina suggesting a meeting so that they may cancel their duet and go about their own individual performances. She follows Veis around, sees him meet some people in the slums and discuss a few things, search a few piles of refuse without finding anything. Then he goes back and turns in for the night. L then goes to meet with Katarina, where they discuss and agree to terminate the duet, go on to discuss the other things, and Katarina complements L on her dancing. L leaves and then goes to discuss with Lord V.
• After a day at the store, Eve goes to Fernand’s, and Helga gives her the letter from Zac. She grumbles, and then stays in order to watch over Fernand.
• That night Lord V returns home, to receive the letter from Zac. Then, in order to learn the information about the letter. He goes to talk with Black Tom Fer, where he is taken into his office, and they discuss what he knows about Abercrombie Zerro, a fair bit, and the Knight of the Roses doing his show. Black Tom is impressed that he knows this, and dances around about fight clubs for a bit, including a more expensive one that has shown up to be quite possible. Lord V then agrees that if he needs more information he might be willing to come back for a little bit more information on it. They leave with compliments, and good graces, leaving 100 GC in payment.
• Returning home, he finds Lillith waiting for him, and they discuss the termination of the duet, so that they can go their own ways and Katarina can leave the cities early. Lord V says that this sounds pretty good, but that they should make sure there aren’t any other ‘dancers’ coming over to try and finish the job. Lillith admits to not even thinking about it, so she agrees to send a letter over to Katarina to see what about that. Katarina sends a pigeon letter over to her. Katarina then goes to bed back at the hotel. Lord V writes up a subpoena so that he can try to force Katarina to appear in court, so that when she doesn’t he can use that too his advantage.
• Sunday, December 4, 989
• Zac, the Marquis and his Family, Eve, and Lord V go to Church.
• Lillith follows Veis industries around, after getting a letter saying there are no replacement dancers coming. Then they go to talk to some people, pay information regarding burning some other places that don’t belong to the Marquis, and then they go look around in order to try and find some things, finds a letter in a refuse pile, reads it and tucks it away. Lillith commits to memory the different locations, and then they go to the hotel. After an hour L goes to visit him, picking the lock and asks if he received any correspondance. He hands over the letter, L reads the letter and sees that if he continues to fail then he will be summarily liquidated. L “Liquidation, that doesn’t sound good.” The Veis man realizes that he is quite screwed, so L says that she might be able to assist him eventually. Then she leaves to Lord V.
• Eve goes home after church, finding it had been scorched and damaged, with a family of pigeons living in her bedroom. She gathers her arms and armor, and then sends a letter over to Lord V in order to ask if he could assist with the removal and charging of the city to cover the damages.
• Returning home, Lord V finds the letter from eve, and goes to talk to Zac’s Barber regarding some names. He gets there, asks for a shave and a haircut, and then begins asking about names regarding the whole situation regarding assailants of Katarina and burning of such homes. The Barber comments on the sadness and regretability of it all. Lord V asks for names, and with an exception persuade gets the names of the four city guards that were to testify against Eve, as well as three Marquis house guards. Lord V thanks the man, gives him 2 GC, and says that he has a new barber now.
• Lord V goes over to the Marquis’, talks to him and asks to see three of his guards due to their burning of Eve’s home. The Marquis shouts up Zac, tells him to escort Lord V in order to get the guards, Zac asks why, Lord V explains, they go in pursuit. 1 is off duty, 1 with the dogs, 1 on gate duty. They gather them up, replace those that were working, and then leads them to Z’s office. With a quick intimidation, Lord V is able to get all of them to break down in order to blubber out that they did it for love they say, Z says he never did anything that stupid for love. They get threatened, they plead, they hope, and they whimper, admitting and identifying which guards were there with them, and where they should be now. Lord V takes Z with him to talk to the guards, telling them not to leave the grounds. Lord V gets them to sign a letter saying that they are indeed behind it and performed it. They do so, then grumble and bicker about it all. Lord V and Z go to the four guards. They asks Lord V why he needs to be there, and he informs them of the entire locating of all the causes of the damages to the home, so they have to side with him, regarding everything about Eve calling for help, and that the other assailant was the one that took Katarina down, and then they would need to side with her when called up. If so, he says he will tear up the paper incriminating them. He then goes to talk to Sapphire about what she has learned, they inquire about what she has learned about Veis industries. L tells him about all of the letter, and the fact that he may very well die no matter what else could have happened. Lord V suggests, that in order to save him, and turn the Veis man over to them that they may have to let him burn the shop. Of course, if they know the day and time, then they could move all of the merchandise out so that they only need to look into the loss of the building, which they could then rebuild since they own the lot. Lord V knows we will have to run it by the Marquis first, and they wish to learn what they can about upon completion of the deal where the money would be delivered, and how they would be able to acquire it. They part themselves.
• In the middle of the night L breaks into Veis man’s room, then crawls over him on the bed, when he wakes up with a knife in front of his face. She asks about payment, which would be in a drop place with a sack of coin and instructions for further operations to run. With a smile L leaves.
• Zac tells the guards that their punishment will be to pay the damages of Eve’s home, and then they will have to serve as his new training partners for the next month. The guards simper and cry, and then go to pray (interesting prayer).
• Monday, December 5, 989
• Lillith follows the Veis man, but today he remains in the room, so she merely stays with him and watches.
• Lord Verboden decides to head over to the Church in hopes of asking a member of the Inquisition. He goes to the Platinum Cathedral, goes towards the Inquisitorial Court. He is stopped by a pair of guards that ask for his business. He says that he needs to speak with an inquisitor regarding all of the different things that it would take to declare someone a witch. The guards ask why they should just have an inquisitor, if they couldn’t check on the details in the library or university. Lord V says that he had tried that already, and none could help him. Then he insists that they should let him speak with them. Then one of the guards go to fetch one of them, and it turns out to be High Inquisitor Norinus and the guard that returns. Norinus asks why he was disturbed for everything, and Lord V says that he wishes to know what it would take to require to consider someone a witch. Norinus invites Lord V into his office to speak. N asks what this is about, if he has found a witch. V attempts to deflect it with mentioning that it is for a case that he is working on, N persists, V then says that it is the plaintiff, N asks which case, V says Katarina. N asks what would make him think this. V speaks of the throwing of the feather and the tearing through armor, leather, flesh, bone, and the out the other side. N glares, grabs his helmet, asks where she is. V tells N, and the inquisitor sets off, with Lord V following to see what happens.
• Lord V and Norinus go to the hospital, where they go to K room and find the door closed. It is unlocked, so N opens the door and sees that the bed is empty and only three guards are there. N asks where K is, the three guards say that she went to the privy, the other guard went to protect her. N goes to the privy, tells the guard to open the door, he almost talks back until he sees who was behind the voice, and then tries to open the door. It is stuck, so he begins to pound on it, but makes the mistake of saying “God damn it.” N calls him on it, but lets the guard kick the door open. Then they see K, on the chamber pot. K asks who they are and what they need. N tells her that she needs to come with her and has been accused of being a witch. K stands up, moves to leave, then grabs the guard and puts him between her and N. K says that she can’t really go quietly based on those charges. Both N and K begin charging Ki, and both ask the other if they are really sure they want to do that. V gets behind N and fingers the hammer on his pistol.
• Katarina bites the neck of the guard, Norinus punches it and hurts him, K then runs away. With the second fist N demolishes the guard, then continues after, V gets the other three guards to join him and draws his pistol, and K grabs her dress and fans on the way out. Katarina dresses, and runs out into the street, Nornus fires his Blurring Streak, Gleaming Bolt, which hits her solidly from behind, so Lord V fires his pistol in order to try and bring her down. He fires the round, strikes her solidly through the left calf and drops her. Norinus walks over, sees that she is still alive, asks if Lord V would like to finish it off, he says that N should do it. He lifts her up for all to see, announces her witch status, snaps her head around and pops it off, then warns those that idolized her that they should go to the church to be cleansed before he has to go to their home in the darkest of the night. Then Lord V asks about her effects, and N offers to let her keep them. He takes them, then goes back to talk to the judge. The judge asks why Lord V is going back there again. He explains that he wants his case thrown out the judge asks how the attempted murder of the incredibly famous, Lord V “Witch”, the judge asks how he knows that, and then he tells them the thing with N, and all the witnesses that he could bring forth. The judge signs the papers, gives them to V, who gives it to Eve, who is so happy to be free that she kisses him fully and deeply. Lord V allows it to happen.
• Lord V goes over to the Marquis in order to wait for Lillith to arrive, so that they can discuss the events that occurred and figure out what to do with the spice shop. As the evening goes on, Zac begins sparring with the first of the three guards that were behind the burning of Eve’s. He doesn’t ever counter, he merely blocks until the man collapses.
• Lillith goes over to Lord V in order to meet up with him, Riccard tells her that his master is at the Marquis’. Slightly annoyed, L strolls up, and begins watching as Zac was about halfway through the training with the first guard. L watches for a bit with Lord V, who then turns to face her and says that he has had a wonderful day. Then Lord V offers S a fan, which she contemplates for a moment and then realizes who it belonged to and happily accepts it. She asks if this means that K has been fully dealt with this time. V says that she was taken down where he could see. L asks just how final it was this time, since she took her down herself once. V says that she is now headless, so quite definitive. L feels that a weight has been lifted from her shoulders. The two of them go to talk with the Marquis while Zac moves on to the second guard.
• Discussing with the Marquis, V informs him of K death, all are relieved, and then they discuss the manner of dealing with Veis industries. They inform the Marquis of their plan to allow Veis to burn one of the spice shops that Fernand is in charge of, while taking out much of the merchandise in order to minimize losses. L suggests they leave some of the cheaper ones inside since they need the shop to smell properly as it burns, and Lord V suggests taking in empty boxes and taking out laden boxes in order to make it look like things were both being added and taken away. V also suggests that guard presence be increased prior to the actual event so that they don’t appear all at once. The Marquis is reluctant, but after a few more persuasive words regarding getting the Veis man to testify for them, shut Veis industries down, and then being able to snap up some of their stores in recompense, he accepts, being sure that Fernand would understand that it is for the best. It will happen on the Thursday to give them the time they need. They plan to take the Veis man alive, bring him back to the guest house, and keep him there until an expediently held trial can take place. The Marquis accepts these, to keep the man far from his family however.
• L goes back to the hotel to turn in for the night.
• V goes to talk to Zac, who has just finished defeating the last of the three guards. They step into his office, where they discuss what must be done. Zac suggests he will take himself and five extra guards for the burning on Thursday, with blunted weapons for the apprehension. He will also add four guards to the guest house (2 of Asha’s) to watch over him, and add an extra dog patrol. With the details sorted out, there is a knock on the door, and one of the guards enters to say that a man has arrived saying that he heard that a talented warrior was looking for a sparring partner on occasion. Zac asks for more details, but the guard says that the man never gave his name. Z and V go outside, and find The Knight of the Rose standing outside with all his weapons. TKotR states that he heard from three men wheeping in a church that there was a talented warrior in need of sparring partners here. He hoped to test him at least once, now if Z had the time. Zac suggested they use training swords, and go to the first hit. TKotR accepted those terms, and graciously accepted a blade. V stayed to watch.
• The Knight of the Rose and Zac spar. Z is faster, and takes a defensive position with his cloak and waits. The Knight of the Rose sends in an attack that is batted away and countered, swings in with his blade which is batted away by the Knight’s sword, and his following counter strikes Z lightly on his armor. Z “Well fought.” TKotR “Indeed. You have skills. Perhaps we shall meet again.” With another shake of the hands and putting the practice blade away he nodded and then left. Lord V “You blocked that with your cape.” Z “Yes.” Lord V shook his head while Z put away the weapons away. Lord V fetches his horse, and rides off, catching up Lord V “What was the deal with him stopping that with his cape?” TKotR “Indeed. It was not a skill that I had seen before.” Lord V “Any idea how he did it.” TKotR “I would need to get a better look at the cape to see, what it was made of, the weight, the feel. To know if it was a block, a deflection, or a snap.” Lord V then comments on how nice it was to see him in person, and offers his services should they ever be required. TKotR thanks him, and the two go their separate ways.
• Following her day of work with Fernand, Eve returns home to find a letter left by her family. They say that they have found a patron willing to pay for the repairs to her home, and that after telling him of her beauty and strength Duke Hugor Underkeeper would love to meet her at her earliest convenience. Knowing the power and wealth possessed by a Duke, and remembering him from his stop in at the tailor’s shop, Eve changed into her good clothes and made her way to the wealthiest districts, where a group of nobles pointed her in the right direction when she asked. Arriving at the gate she introduced herself, and the guards summoned a valet to take E to the estate. It was a 15 minute carriage ride. They arrived before a marbel and ivory fountain to enter the massive estate. Through the wealthy and massive building they went, so that Eve could meet the master. They eventually reached the largest double doors E had ever seen, and with a knock they entered. Duke Underkeeper was watching a group of nude dancers while sprawled out in a massive chair, but invited Eve to join him. They watched the rest of the erotic performance, and then Duke Underkeeper moved on to the pleasantries of business, saying that he could send builders over to her home first thing in the morning so long as she was willing to spend some time with him. E agreed, and so the Duke escorted her through his home, showing his art and gem collections, crystal chandeliers and fine food and drink, and the closets holding the clothes and jewelry of his previous four wives, now all deceased. Eve noted that all the jewelry, gems, and clothes seemed to compliment each other perfectly. After that Duke Underkeeper confessed that he must need turn in for the night, offered to allow her to stay or return home, and Eve returned home via one of his carriages.
• Lord V returns home to a letter from Gaston Beauregard, inquiring to the state of the transactions he was attempting with those impersonating his parents. V responds politely saying that they are of course cancelled, and that he is sorry for his parents untimely passing, and that if anything should need to be sold he should contact him first. He sent Riccard over to deliver it.
• Tuesday, December 6, 989
• Lord V went out to speak with the guards that he still had the written announcement of guilt for. He informed them that the trial was cancelled, but that since they hadn’t helped him yet he would keep the paper until a moment when they fulfilled a small, single favor for him. The guards weren’t happy but they accepted.
• Lord V made his way over to Eve’s home, where the builders were fast at work already. He caught her as she was leaving the home. With a cheery smile he offered E a fan, which she accepted. He then provided her with a bill for his services, 400 GC since they never actually made it to court. E ran back inside and paid the bill immediately. V commented on how quickly E had found builders, and E admitted that she had some help from a generous donor. V then returned home and E went off to work.
• After work E went to the market to find herself a nice necklace. She picked up an excellent silver necklace containing a lapis lazuli, one that would hang down to just the right height. Then she went home to change, and in a low cut dress, her new fan, and her new necklace she made her way over to Duke Underkeeper’s.
• L, being incredibly bored after her charge spent his entire day sitting in his hotel room waiting for orders, waited until nightfall, snuck into his room, and informed him that he and his companions would strike the spice shop on the Thursday of the week. He replied by saying he would gather the men at 7, and then they would hit it when they were all together. L continued by saying that he should try to escape, but allow himself to be captured afterwards if he was smart. Then she went back to her room.
• Reaching Duke Underkeeper’s, Eve was ushered up to his chamber again. He invited her to join him in watching a very rare show that he had paid for, since they had been traveling through the area. She accepted, and they enjoyed fruit and wine as they listened to individuals on instruments, watched people dance to the music, and watched the explosions caused by a small man with a large cart filled with bottles and concoctions, who seemed to be muttering to something in the cart. Afterwards Duke Underkeeper invited E to stay the night if she should so wish, which she accepted. The Duke suggested she get out of those restricting clothes, they made their way to his bed, and E managed to not be crushed beneath the mass that is Underkeeper.
• Late into the night, V was just finishing up some readings when he heard the flutter of fabric and felt the breeze from an open window. A voice told him “You have cost us much you know.” V rose and took a step towards the door, and saw too cloaked figures standing before him, one at the window the other at the door. They mentioned that he had cost them a great deal of money, but V responded by saying that if they had done a better job impersonating their targets it would have worked for everyone. The comment amused the two, so they contemplated what they should do with him. They decided that it would be best if V made an appointment with Gaston Beauregard, had that appointment, and then on his way back home Gaston would have an accident, allowing the property to go up on the auction block, where they would be able to take the money. V said that that left no guarantee that he would be the one to acquire the land, so the pair suggested he find a way, since that was what he was good for. The two said that they would return, either with the money or without at a later time, letting slip their titles of Umbra and Penumbra as they did. V asked when they would return. The two merely laughed and slipped back out the window into the night. V closed and re-locked the window, then took a nice long drink before going to bed.

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A Dance With A Swan
The Dance of Life and Death Begins

• Wednesday, November 30
• The Veis representative wakes up bound underneath Lillith’s bed. He starts screaming and bellowing, so Lillith goes over, tells him to be quiet. Veis “Who the fuck are you?!” Lillith gags him, so the man begins chewing on the gag. Lillith “And who are you.” The man glares at her and begins chewing on the gag.
• Lord Verboden begins looking around for his daily tasks. Listening to a crier, there are no large announcements. He overhears words about the passing of Gui Montbert and his son in La Roche, as well as the scramble to acquire his belongings, and some issues with the deed for the great galley Elise due to the deed being given over. He then goes to discuss with a few possible buyers for the Beauregard estate, and the best offer is 5000 GC. Then he goes to Viscount Beauregard’s in order to inform the two of them of the offer of 10000 GC for each of the two spice shops, and 5000 GC for the home. They believe this to be a happily agreeable price, after removal of commission. In order to get this done discreetly he asks for 8%. They accept this cost. Lord Verboden sees Gaston Beauregard as he leaves, still looking unsure and unhappy. They say nothing. Then he begins heading over to the Marquis’ residence, in order to discuss some things.
• Eve goes to the clinic of her uncle, Edgard Garnier a doctor, and asks him to come with her. Edgard asks if she can pay, Eve responds that her employer would be able to. He asks why, she said that there was an accident with a lamp. He goes over in order to treat him, and gives Fernand a deal of treatment, some poppy control in order to deal with the pain, leaves an invoice for 20 GC. Then he leaves, Eve has Helga watch over Fernand, Eve goes home in order to wash up, sleep, eat, and then also checks her mail and finds just letters addressed to her about more men her family were hoping to hook her up with. She burns them.
• Lord Verboden goes over to the Marquis’ and finds that he is just done in a meeting. Lord Verboden arrives with the Marquis, Zac, and Baerin sitting in one of the meeting rooms. He informs him of the spice shops, and also that Lillith has an additional ‘package’ that was kept under his bed and that she would like him to be picked up and payment for the lodgings. Then Zac describes what happened the day before, commenting on a certain burning whorehouse, and Fernand being greatly burnt by a falling lamp and a wave of clubs. The Marquis asks if this will cause lack of profit, Zac suspects it might. The Marquis writes a letter, gives it to Zac to deliver to Eve, then he could also take a cart with a box, with one airhole in it, to pick up the package from Lilliths and provide her with the 10 GC payment for the spaces. Then Lord Verboden asks Baerin to step outside for a moment. She does. He tells the Marquis that Gaston suspects his parents may not be who they were based on the sudden desire to sell, and mentions that it was immediately after the party. The Marquis catches the drift, and Verboden clarifies that this is why he keeps an extra set, in case things need to change the date a small amount. The Marquis accepts. He then goes out to discuss matters with Baerin. Baerin takes Lord Verboden down to the private office that has the items within it. She explains about the salve and the shock rod, Lord Verboden tries to ask some questions about the salve, but Baerin continues on about the other items and asks what they could possibly do. While there is a gap, Lord Verboden asks if they couldn’t use the salve on their incredibly damaged and injured merchant friend, in order to help avoid the costs of everything from his injuries down. Baerin says that it belongs to the Marquis, so Lord Verboden would need to ask. They send a note, Lord Verboden also asks about if they could use the shocking stick about the ‘package’. Then Lord Verboden looks over the items, such as the bent piece of metal, and says that he has no idea what they are. He suggests that Baerin contact some external sources in order to bring the outside expertise of someone who might know things about these objects, such as the Twin Islands themselves. Baerin, exasperated by admitting that that was what she planned on doing. Then Lord Verboden leaves.
• Zac goes to get two of his guards, a cart, and a large box. They go to Lillith’s house, where she is carefully trimming her nightshade, they go up and grab the man, who continues to moan and complain, so Lillith grabs his head, slams it on the floor to knock him unconscious. Zac and the guards then take the box back to Marquis’ mansion, asks the Marquis where they should put him, and he says in one of the guest rooms that is further away from Baerin so as not to distract her. They take the crate up, the guards nearly knock over a vase, but then Zac catches it. They put the crate in the room, and then smother it in blankets.
• There is a loud knocking on the door to Fernand’s home, and then Eve goes to open the door and finds a small, urchin girl clutching a batch of dying flowers. She cries and says that unless she brings Fernand to see Riskut, he’ll kill her family. Ever shrugs, grabs her sword and shield, and follows the girl into the slums. They go to the small crap pile of a shack that she has, Eve has the girl stay outside and then she heads in. She finds Riskut, without a left arm, covered in blood and with mace in his right hand waiting. He demands to know why Fernand isn’t there, why a crazy black swan bitch cut his arm off, and then he insults Eve thoroughly. Eve draws her sword and cuts at him. The armor stops it, and he says she’ll never see the family. She pauses, offers to let him leave if he apologizes and lets her have the family, he offers let him go then he would say where the family is, then Eve refuses, deflects a clumsy attack from Riskut, and gives him a heavy cut that sets him to fall from his broken leg. He begs for his life, tells her she can find the girl’s family in the back. She finds the corpses. Riskut sneaks out into the street, grabs the girl and claims that the wealthy armored one killed the family, and has a mob of 22 people try and beat her down while he limps away. Eve walks forward, the mob rushes, she cut down 6 of them, the rest flee. She walks over to Riskut, who threatens to snap the girl’s neck, then Eve attacks and kills Riskut by impaling the small girl he used as a shield. Then, after the girl dies, Eve apologies, goes back to her home, and takes a bath.
• Lord Verboden gets all of the payment offers signed, takes them over to Viscount Beauregard’s, they see that everything is in order, and give Lord Verboden a bank note for his 8000 GC. Then he goes to the bank to get it cashed, but there was a problem with the cheque. Thanks to a persuasion check, the teller explains that there was no proper security code, it appeared to be made up. Then he ensures that the cheques made by his lord and other clients can’t be cashed. Heading back to the Marquis’, he informs the Marquis about the deal, the canceling, the possible difficulties. He suggests informing the guards the next day so that they can do a raid to try and determine things. Then he can try and make the sales still legal. Then Lord Verboden says that he would like to go attend to the package that was delivered, the Marquis says that it is in one of the guest rooms.
• Baerin and Zac hover around the blanket covered crate, Baerin with thunder rod in hand. They discuss how best they should question him. Baerin suggests a “good guard, bad guard” approach. She suggests Zac should serve as the good guard, and that she is just there to watch and take notes, and that most of his guards are pretty friendly. Then there is the fact that they might need to find one. Baerin begins considering how much ale it would take to get a proper bad guard Lord Verboden enters. Lord Verboden asks where there guest is. Zac “In the box.” Lord Verboden “Then let us get him a chair.” They take a chair, bring the man out, tie him to the chair, with only a little bit of blood at the corner of his mouth. Zac posts guards to not let anyone else into the building. Lord Verboden takes the staff from Baerin, accepts, gets the sword from Zac, and then leans over to the man and tells him not to talk unless they ask him a question. He nods in terror, eyeing the staff. Verboden asks the questions, and the Veis man answers them all, about how they are contacted, when they are paid, how they are paid, if they would still continue on the assault, whether others would be sent and what the penalty for failure would be. He says everything, and that it would probably kill him. They ask about when the next payment or contact would be, and where to go looking for them, but he says it wouldn’t be more then a week or so. They nod, think about finding the bird that might be used to track things, back to them. They ask the man his name, he first says they call him Slim, then when threatened Chadae. Lord Verboden makes sparks of the sword in order to see what it does in a shower of sparks LV “Neat.” Gives the staff back to Baerin, the scorched sword back to Zac, and leaves. Zac ties Chadae to the bed, and then leaves to clean his sword. Baerin finishes taking her notes and then leaves.
• Lillith goes to speak with Katarina in the opera house that night after her performances. She seduces her way past the guards, knocks and is allowed to enter Katarina’s dressing room. Katarina greets Lillith and asks why she is here before setting down her powder puff. Then Lillith says of the rumor of Riskut discussing and forging the plot to have him killed. Katarina agrees, and then also discussing that while he had some skills as a forger, there was probably no way for him to actually get anyone into the Baron’s estate, so then she asked what really happened, he refused, ‘his arm strangely fell off him’. L “It just fell off did it?” K “Yes, the strangest of accidents.” L “Might that be a sign of leprosy?” K “I certainly hope not, because my body is my life.” They then continue on, saying that the last think Riskut told her was that his last assignment was from Fernand Vasser. Therefore she has to discuss things with him tomorrow. K “So it seems tomorrow I shall have a very busy dance card tomorrow. Perhaps you shall save me one.” Lillith leaves and goes to Lord Verboden’s. L sneaks into LV’s home, checks the rooms in search of LV, finds him in the third and final one. She pokes him awake. LV is surprised, and asks what he owes the pleasure. L explains the situation that Katarina knows that Riskut wasn’t behind it, and that she is going to go to Fernands, and since he doesn’t know anything then she would come to try and kill me. LV gets up, and puts a robe on in order to conceal himself. They discuss possible methods, such as dealing with getting money, since none of them could afford them, which gives them really only two options. The first, which LV views as very dirty, is to borrow the money to pay off Katarina, or the only other approach they see would be to use Fernand as bait, have him lure Katarina in, and then kill her first. They muse over it for a while, and in finality they decide that they should use Fernand as bait, with the details being used to perform it were left up to Lillith. Then she left for the night.
• Thursday, December 1
• In the morning Lord Verboden finds a guard, and tells them about the failing check with Viscount Beauregard’s manor, and the failed transaction. Hearing about this, the guards charge down the street, a trumpeter and town crier coming along to cheer the apprehension of the decapitating murderer. They arrive, surround the estate, and charge in breaking through the windows and doors. LV remains outside, pistol drawn. Later, the guards invite LV in to discuss what was found, the peeled skin of the Viscount and Viscountess’ faces upon the bedside pillows, as well as all the guards cut down in efficient but unnecessarily brutal attacks. Gaston was not located inside. With some persuading LV managed to convince the guard to let him nose around inside the business ledgers, but finds that there are no entries after Frans’ birthdays. He then left to inform the Marquis.
• During the day Zac went about his usual routine. Baerin worked with Hyacinth discussing appraising of the various valuable information as well as the more specific details that they could focus. Hyacinth comments on the recent news that has already reached her, about the deaths of the Beauregards. She hopes that Gaston is alright, because he was one of the nicer suitors after her sister’s hand.
• Because Katarina has 10:00 am and 7:00 pm, Lillith goes over to Fernand’s home at 10, gets let in by Eve, and then L explains all the situation, with the assassin that will be coming to try and kill F most likely. L goes on to say that she plans on counter assassinating Katarina first in order to avoid this. Emptying the lamps in his room of oil, L makes sure that they are out, in order to decrease the light for her benefit. They go up to F room, L sweeps the dust out from under the bed, takes the clothes from the closet in order to hide them, then she enters the closet. She tested the doors to make sure they move quietly. She leaves the door slightly ajar to watch, and then she waits. Eve sits and walks around in the halls surrounding it.
• Going to the Marquis’ home, LV informs him of the events that transpired with the Beauregard deal, and both men agree to hold off on manipulating the forms until the fate of Gaston has been determined. LV then asks to stay the day at the Marquis’ residence.
• Hours later there came a knock on the door to F’s home. Eve answered it, and found Katarina waiting outside. She asked to come in, claiming that she had business to discuss with Fernand. Eve, reluctantly, lead her to the room, and allowed Katarina to walk in first. She commented on the unsuccessful ability to light the lamps. She spoke to F, who admitted that he didn’t actually know anything, and because it was true, so they attempted to continue forward, discussing the death of the Baron, and other things around it. Noting the closet door being open, Katarina walked over and closed it, stating that it was annoying her. L is unimpressed. As the discussion reveals nothing further from either F or Eve, F gives Katarina the options of leaving his home, or getting naked. She chooses to leave. As she is walking down the hall, L leaves the closet with Eve, sneaks up behind Katarina, and tries to wrap her knife around Katarina’s neck. With a graceful pivot Katarina whisks around, and with a smile says “Ah, it looks like we will get that dance after all.”
• With drawing her sword Eve manages to lightly cut Katarina as she backpeddles and Eve continues to move forward. Sapphire runs up the wall to attack Katarina as well, cutting her with her shortsword quite solidly, but her wounds bleed more then they probably should. They progress to the entryway. Katarina backs up, throws a feather with extreme force into Eve, getting past her shield, into her armor, thorugh her, and out the other side in a fountain of blood, then she vanishes out through the door into the street beyond. L charges out in pursuit, there are 8 guards and 14 other people, shouts “Stop her!”, and then attacks her to cut her faintly. Eve moves out into the street and yells for the guard as well. Katarina dodges Lillith’s attack but chooses not to counterattack. Eve then charges and manages to cut down Katarina. The guards charge, demanding them to drop their weapons. The two sheathe theirs, L tries to dodge but gets handcuffed. They notice Katarina smoke slightly before she is completely covered and carried off. While leading them, L feigns to trip, scraping up her knees and bruising her face. She gets up shouting for them not to touch her, then she runs up the side of a building and away. Four go in pursuit, the other four continue taking Eve away. L tries to jump to get her hands in front of her, but it didn’t work, so she ran off into the slums, then gets her handcuffs off and keeps them.
• Taken into holding, the guards ask Eve if she has a lawyer that could represent her in defense of the charge of murder against Katarina the Black Swan. Eve says LV. The guards cringe, but send a messenger. While the messenger is gone they question Eve, but she says nothing.
• The messenger makes it to the Marquis’ manor, and finds LV. Zac takes the messenger to him, and Baerin joins him in case her expertise are required. Being informed of the charges against Eve, LV and B go to speak with her. Zac is sent to get a member of the city guard so that they can gather evidence from Fernand’s house following proper protocol.
• At night fall Sapphire arrives sneaking into the back of the compound, and speaks with the Marquis. She informs him of everything that has occurred following the assassination of Baron Falon, the hawking, the letter, the Barakah clan, and Katarina and her involvement, as well as the only possible loose thread remaining being Baroness Jaclyn Tonberr. The Marquis is unimpressed, hopes that Sapphire will not be identified since it would lead back to him, and is glad that she is safe. S asks to borrow some of the Marquis’ wife’s make-up to cover her bruised face. Then, switching into her nicer clothes she sets off for home. Two guards see her and offer to escort her home. Lillith allows them to take her as far as the general district, and politely strokes their egos about their skills in combat and their many other talents before turning in for the night.
• Reaching the questioning room, LV persuades the guard to leave by stating that his medical examiner must give Eve a thorough examination for any less obvious wounds she has suffered. Before he leaves, the guard informs them that the charges are attempted murder and endangering the peace; Katarina survived. Then they begin discussing what happed. Baerin takes notes on the strange wound inflicted by a feather. LV suggests that the best way for them to argue it would be for the original assailant hiding in the closet to be a mystery woman, that jumped out trying to attack Katarina, who then attacked Eve out of a mistake. Then, when Katarina continued to attack Eve had no choice but to defend herself. That way the blame would fall on someone that wasn’t really there. B also makes notes about the apparent burning in light detail. Making a few additional notes they then bring the guard back in, give their official statement. LV asks the guard to be able to visit Katarina, sighting that he needs to acquire a statement, and have his medical examiner take a look at her. While reluctant, LV quick tongue and the presence of the female B eventually convince the guard.
• LV and B go to the private clinic where Katarina is recovering. They find her guarded by four Gabrielense Guards. LV asks them to leave, but they refuse, saying they were told to remain here by direct order from Alystaire Fardelys. LV allows it, but makes them all swear that nothing overheard within would leave the room. After all, what better way to get guards to spread rumors. He then introduced himself to Katarina, who was bandaged and not in her usual clothes. He asked her for her statement, which was filled with the sounds of an innocent young dancer being attacked from no where and fleeing for her life throwing up feathers as a distraction. When questioned about the wound caused by the feather, Katarina feigned ignorance, stating she knew little of combat, but that a particularly sharp rapier or knife might have been able to cause such wounds. B examined the wounds suffered by Katarina, also noting that there were no burn marks, she had lost a great deal of blood, was suffering slight nutrient deprivation, her wounds were healing cleanly and nicely, and that she seemed physically superhuman, if such an idea could be expressed. Jotting down the injury reports, B showed them to Katarina first to ensure their accuracy and her approval. With a polite bow LV and B leave with LV saying “Well then, thank you for your time. I shall see you in court.” While they are walking outside, B adds the other details about Katarina’s physicality and informs LV of them.
• Reaching Fernand’s home with a member of the city guard, Zac opens the door in time to see Helga, water soaked cloth in hand and bucket at her feet, about to begin cleaning the blood from the walls. Zac “Helga, if you would be a dear please do not clean that just yet.” With an annoyed look Helga gathered up her bucket and began to shuffle away. Zac “Thank you Helge.” Helga; shuffle, shuffle, shuffle.

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Of Rats and Raids
Creeping into the dark places of Chaville

• Monday, November 28, 989, 9:30 am
• Sapphire buys some ten plants of Belladona, and plants them around her home.
• At Lord Verboden’s estate, he is contacted by Viscount and Viscountess Beuaregard, informing him that they wish to liquidate their estate, and all the shops regarding it as well. They say that they need to make these changes fairly quickly and are willing to give him a large cut. He says that it would be a business with them. Lord Verboden then goes to look around the street in order to see what could possibly be found out about them, learns about their immensely successful spice trade, and that they have one son set to inherit things. He then goes to begin looking for the mansion as well as the stores that they have in the market district.
• Baerin continues comparing runes and functions between the different things that the rod and bent piece of metal would do. Can’t find much overlap for all the runes, bits and pieces but doesn’t know if they are numbers or symbols or idea. He adds different materials to the rod and bent piece in order to see if there is any response, but she doesn’t get any. More research and then lessons with Hyacinth.
• Fernand and Eve go to try and talk with Lord Verboden, but Riccard informs them that his master is currently not within the residence, so he leaves a note with Riccard, then they go to a dark alley and he informs Eve about the Veis Industries situation, and asks about finding clothes that would find them discreetly. Based on the word on the street the docks would be the best place.
• Zac moves to meet with the Marquis, and informs him that Zac believes the security problem is that they currently have too many guards here, so they should fire all but Asha and her chosen soldiers, but wanted to run it by him first. The Marquis disagrees, and asks to have Asha sent in to discuss it afterwards, she says it is a bad idea.
• Going to the slums they go to the docks, and go down from the nice docks to reach the scumy docks, where they go into a clothing store run by someone that chews tobacco and spits it out. He goes looking around for some clothes, finds a metal plated motley first, then a moth eaten set with breezy pants, then finds some dyeless ones that would work. He strips down and puts them all on. He pays the owner for the clothes and cloaks, then gives them 5 extra SC for discretion, so he says it was two old women and a dog that ate the moth. Then he leaves, and has eight sailors walk in pushing past him. Then they walked into the slums, asked around and found Riskut by asking around some whores that offered Fernand a freebie. They find Riskut by a fountain filled with excrement and drowning pigeons. He asks them “what the fuck you are doing here.” They then begin the song and dance of discussing Veis industries and the things that they are associated with, what kinds of things they are willing to do, criminal acts and associates. Then, with enough gold Rikut tells Fernand and Eve that the next target is his spice shop that needs some seasoning, and that it is Fernand’s shop indeed. Then Riskut tells them that he has a meeting with one of the Veis messengers at a poor brothel nearby, in the evening. When asked what to do, he is politely told to smack him up the head to deal with him. They then find the brothel, signless but with naked women and the squeeling of pigs. They then go back to his home.
• Lord Verboden looks over the three spice shops (two for sale) and their awesome mansion. Looks over them, discusses with Viscount Beauregard about how open their leaving should be, and request that it is kept fairly quiet. Then Lord Verboden goes to speak with the Marquis, informs them that all the sales that are available, and the Marquis says he would be very happy to be able to acquire the spice shops, but not interested in the mansion based on everything else and the difficulty about everything else. Lord Verboden then sends Riccard to inform Fernand to meet with his master sometime the next day. Riccard meets with Fernand, who asks Lord Verboden to meet them to the Marquis’ in the morning to discuss the purchases.
• In the night Lillith has a knock on the door, and finds Katarina the Black Swan waiting outside, and she asks to be able to enter. Worried, Lillith allows her to be invited in. She takes a seat, and asks if she is remembered. They talk a little, Lillith asking why she is here. Katarina tells her that in addition to her dancing, she also solves problems for individuals. While spending some time there, Katarina has heard the Baroness Falon hiring a group to deal with an kill her husband’s murderer. Worried, Lillith asks what this has to do with her. Katarina pulls the silver and sapphire necklace out from beneath Lillith’s shirt and says she should probably have the makers marks removed from it. Lillith gets even more paranoid, then dances around the topics, compliments about the way Lillith does things and her skills. Katarina then informs her about that because of a false letter of acceptance for her employ, so either the actual target must die, or the person pretending to be them, or having someone hire her to kill Baroness Falon. Lillith continues to say that she isn’t sure how this concerns her, but then says that Katarina should probably leave because she couldn’t see any weapons. When Katarina leaves, Lillith goes to Lord Verboden’s informs him of the situation that is occurring there, informing the failed letter involvement, asks if Lord Verboden has any ideas about who pretended to be them, Lord Verboden admits that he might have done it. He continues to say that he would rather not die, and he imagines that Lillith would rather not die, and that they probably cannot afford to hire her themselves, so they would probably need a patsy, so Lord Verboden suggests Riskut, given that he is an unsavory and treacherous sort. Lillith turns in for the night.
• November, 29, 989
• Baerin, Fernand, Yvette, Zac, and Lord Verboden all meet with the Marquis in order to discuss the events that are occurring. Fernand tells the Marquis of the knowledge obtained form Riskut, the possible attacks from Veis, and the plan to take them and deal with the representative from Veis in order to eliminate him. What he wants to plan is how best to do so, and if they could get everything dealt with and blamed on Veis appropriately, but Lord Verboden says they would need an actual Veis member right there in order to be able to do so. Fernand thinks they could drag the man from the brothel, but it would be very hard to get him there discreetly. Fernand then suggests looking for mercs to pretend to be sailors to serve them and help, while also preventing harm and betrayal. The Marquis authorizes it, and also asks if there were any other businesses that might be involved in, since they are still looking for information about the missing tablet. There aren’t any. Baerin suggests they have some expert knowing things about more religious or different materials. Unfortunately, they do not know anyone yet, and so the Marquis considers having someone brought in, or else having to send Baerin or someone else to The Twin Islands in order to examine the ruins more specifically. Other then that they aren’t terribly certain. Lord Verboden then informs Fernand about the exceptional offers available, and Fernand is immensely surprised due to the immense success of Viscount Beauregard has been having of late, and says that it would be a wonderful option and that they could easily gain them for 10,000 GC each. He then goes to write up the offers and talk to Sapphire. With Lord Verboden gone, Fernand then begins discussing if some of the guards could be taken in with them from his estate, and the Marquis and Zac say that they could, so Fernand requests 4 extra guards. After mentioning the dead body Eve asks about what they know, and she suggests better lighting, dogs, and checking on all the servants in order to see if any of them have strange purchases or behaviors of late.
• Returning home, Lord Verboden finds Gaston Beauregard waiting outside for him. They go inside, and Gaston reports all of the strange differences in their behavior since the birthday party, and in hopes that they could avoid it all some. Lord Verboden then says that there is nothing that he can do if they wish to sell then he can only do so. He takes notes and remembers it for later. Then he writes up the ones that he needed to. Lord Verboden then meets up with Sapphire, and they plan to frame Riskut with the letter that he hawked from Baroness Falon. Then they go and discuss framing him, and that Sapphire should follow Zac, find Riskut, and plant the letter on him. Then he goes out and finds Doriana The Great, tells her a rumor that he heard about Riskut the Rat knowing who was behind the death of Baroness Falon’s husband. Doriana is repulsed and hated about Riskut, and says that she would happily hear such a rumor. Lord Verboden suggests it not spread until tomorrow. Then he goes back home.
• That knight Fernand, Eve, meet up with Zac outside his home, with Sapphire watching in her gear walking from the shadows. They go to the docks to buy more disguising clothes for Zac and the guards, then they go to the slums and move to the brothel, and find their target inside, with 16 whores, ten other men, and fifteen pigs. The Veis man recognizes Fernand, asks him what the fuck he is doing there, responding that he has things to take care of and deal with him. Then one of the whores storkes Fernand’s face and tries to reach into his pants so he shoves her off while shuddering. Then Fernand says ‘Grab him.’
• Combat in the brothel. The pigs squeel, and Riskut runs up the stairs with Lillith in pursuit, staying out of his view, sees Riskut push a whore out through the window. Fernand draws his classy, classy rapier, and moves to stab Veis in the knee and causes him to collapse and begins bleeding out on the floor. The pigs move in to the pigs. Zac and Eve ask who let the idiot go first since they wanted him alive. Zac places himself between the unconscious man and the pigs, tries to scare them off and succeeds in doing so. The 16 whores inside each draws a jagged knife, so Eve tries to scare them away, and Eve scares them up the stares, where Sapphire dodges their running bodies. The guards draw weapons and keep an eye out, so the ten thugs try to attack Fernand, but the guards attack them but don’t stop them and they fall upon Fernand with their clubs. Fernand responds by dropping his sword and covering his precious, precious face, and one of the thugs breaks a lantern to spread burning oil, and also Fernand. Zac then area attacks the mob in order to defeat them, killing two of them, while his guards continue to fight innefectively. Eve swings out to kill 3 more. Riskut jumps from the window, landing on the window, and crashes on the hooker breaking her and his leg. Sapphire runs down the wall and pursues him. The thugs bring their clubs down upon the burning Fernand, crashing down upon him harshly with their weapons, the five that are left. Zac burns fatigue and unleashes a surprising attack with his cloak, demolishing the remaining five. Fernand rolls on the ground and Zac beats him with his cloak to keep him extinguished and just alive. Eve grabs the unconscious Veis minion, the house guards carry the body while Eve ties off the leg injury to stop the bleeding. Zac tells the whores to jump out the window, and all of them live landing upon the mashed whore below. They carry him away, with the smell of burning bacon filling the air. Zac “So Eve, should we give him real training after this.” Fernand “There were ten of them, ten of them.” Eve lights up cigarette and Zac his pipe. Fernand realizes that his sword was left behind.
• Following Riskut, Sapphire sees him leaning against a wall trying to reset his knee and causing himself more pain, so he soon passes out. Looking around and seeing no obvious around she places the incriminating letter into one of his unused pockets.
• Carrying the body and Fernand, they then begin arguing about where they should take him. Most suggest Fernand’s house in order to go there, but he starkly refuses, saying that he entertains guests and business partners there, so they should take him somewhere where there is a doctor, such as Baerin, but Zac turns down taking him to the Marquis’ immediately. They begin to argue about where to take him, and aren’t able to get anywhere. They suggest leaving them both in an abandoned building within the slums, while Zac also points out that they could take them to Black Thomas Fer’s brothel, but it would be immensely expensive for them. Overhearing this from the far reaches, Sapphire can’t take the arguing anymore, so sneaks over, grabs the Veis man from the guards, so they recognize her long enough for her to vanish back into the dark. The guards stammer it out to Zac, and then they accept the fact and not go after them, so they split up and go back to their own homes.
• Eve tells Fernand that she will get him a doctor tomorrow, and Fernand breaks a bedside lamp to explain where all his burns came from.
• Lillith takes the Veis man, ties him up, and then ties him up under her bed.
• Zac goes back to the Marquis’.

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