The Golden Web of Intrigue

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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