View Full Version : Giovanni Chronicles
2012-10-13, 02:46 PM
Act 1:Scene 1
In the Company of Strangers
Though the night is young, it is almost pitch black when you arrive at the Red Lamb Inn. A soft rain strikes the ground, only adding to the dreary atmosphere. It has been a long journey over bumpy roads and inhospitable terrain, so the modest inn stands out of the darkness like a beacon. It is where you will spend the evening. Tomorrow a coach will arrive and take you to Earl Giovanni's manse.
Entering into the Red Lamb, you all find yourselves in a modest common room that could seat perhaps thirty guests. It's largely empty at the moment, perhaps indicating that the locals did not want to brave the impending storm to get here. Besides yourselves, there are five other people here. The innkeeper and a servant are scurrying about, attempting to prepare everything for the honored guests of Earl Giovanni. A young man who has the bearings of a solder sits alone in the middle of the room, staring forlornly into his drink. A middle aged monk sits near the fireplace, his eyes darting constantly towards the entrance to the inn. Finally, an old woman with a beggar cup in hand sits all the way in the back of the room, humming a folk tune quietly to herself.
The innkeeper greets you all in turn, a large smile on his face that nonetheless seems a little forced.
"Warm greetings to you yer Lord(or Lady)ship! Please come in, away from the nasty weather. Can I get you some stew? Perhaps some wine? Lord Giovanni has paid for everything for his guests. Please, sit anywhere you like. Still plenty of space near the fire."
He speaks first in Romanian, switching to Italian if it becomes apparent that you cannot understand. For those who still can't understand, he gestures to one of the tables near the fireplace.
Okay, welcome everyone. You all arrive at the inn individually, though feel free to arrive at the same time as some of your companions. Have fun!
2012-10-13, 09:02 PM
Luca had spent every waking moment of the last week in preparation for the job. He'd memorized the cover story, dabbled in the lord's area of expertise, and checked every element of his guise that might expose him. Even now, Luca couldn't relax. Giovanni probably had spies all through the town. The innkeeper would be a good choice. He flashed the man a smirk and coolly replied, "Stew and the best wine you have... though, I shan't get my hopes up." Luca breezed across the room, taking the time to examine everyone in it. The innkeeper probably meant him no harm, even if he was a spy. His servant could be an assassin sent by rival nobility, as could the soldier, the monk, and even the beggar woman. Luca flexed his ankles, reassured by the rigid steel of his knives. To take a blade meant for some noble swine... "Focus. Think of the money." He took a seat near the fire, keeping his back to the wall and some distance between himself and the monk.
2012-10-13, 09:41 PM
For a moment the innkeeper scowls, before he remembers that he's in the presence of an honored guest of the Earl. He smiles widely again, nodding almost frantically.
"Of course yer lordship! Please, get comfortable, yer food will be out in just a moment." He looks at his servant, a young man that looks to be in his late teens. "You heard our guest! Go get him his order boy!"
The fire lets off a nourishing glow, its warmth helping to refresh Luca after the long and exhausting trip. He has barely sat for a moment before the servant returns, placing a steaming bowl of stew and a tall glass of wine in front of him. He leaves without saying a word, perhaps afraid to attract the innkeeper's ire.
Said innkeeper comes over to Luca's table, looking both eager and apprehensive. "I hope that my humble inn's fair satisfies yer Lordship," he chuckles nervously. " We don't often get guests of this stature. Earl Giovanni has done us a great honor."
At the mention of the Earl, the monk glares at Luca, but says nothing.
2012-10-13, 10:57 PM
An elderly man and a teenaged boy entered the inn, throwing off their cloaks as they cross the threshold to toss the water from their garments.
"We need a room for two," the man said.
He was perhaps in his mid or late forties, with a slight build, and a brown complexion and salt and pepper hair.
"With a hot bath," the boy chimed in.
"Mind your manners, master Erwin," the man said, "see to the room, while I tend to the horses."
2012-10-13, 11:14 PM
"Yes, well. Do a good job, and I shall see Lord Giovanni hears of it," Luca added with a small smile. He arched a brow at the monk, then looked at the stew. Eating slowly always tested his restraint, so he started on the wine. One glass would relax him a bit. Not enough to impair his judgment, but some.
He watched the new arrivals with some interest. "Some noble brat and his manservant. Now there's something to bear in mind. Maybe the guests have valuables, but don't get off track with frivolities."
2012-10-13, 11:36 PM
"Of course, yer Lordship. But please, eat and drink first. My assistant will run you a bath afterwards. Don't trouble yourself with the horses m'lord. The stable boys will see to them.'
He offers Seth and Erwin a seat, and brings them out warm stew and wine.
"Are you both guests of the good Earl? Lord Giovanni has visitors from all over the world. He even has Turks visiting his manor," the innkeeper looks a bit uncomfortable. "Well, not my place to question my betters. Please, relax after your long trip. And if there's anything humble Sigismund can do for you, do not hesitate to ask. Tis my pleasure to serve you."
2012-10-14, 12:27 AM
Andrei entered the room, stepped to one side, and closed the door quietly behind him. As he waited by the door for the innkeeper to introduce himself, he took in the room as he set down his gear. First he unslung the quiver from his back and propped his bow next to it. Then he drew back and untied the bearskin hood and cloak, shaking it out once before neatly folding it and placing it in a satchel. Untying a strip of leather from his wrist, he pulled back his hair and tied it behind his head as he always did to eat.
After watching the innkeeper speak, he picked up his goods and moved to a seat between the old woman and the fire along the wall. He nodded at her as he set his goods down, stretched his sore neck and shoulders, and sat cheated out so as to miss nothing in the room.
2012-10-14, 06:39 AM
The door opens once again and a tall, thin, middle-aged man with a long mop of dark hair and the clothes of a practising physician beneath his travelling cloak enters the room. Behind him comes a shorter but slightly sturdier young man in simpler clothes, who carries two large suitcases with some difficulty. The older man turns back to his companion and speaks to him quietly in Romanian.
"Take the bags up to our room please, Maxim, and then have some rest. We've got a long journey tomorrow!"
The younger man smiles wearily and hurries up to the innkeeper, exchanging hurried pleasantries, asking for directions to the good doctor's room and then (barring any problems) disappears with the bags into the room. The older man, carrying only a small satchel, stands for a few moments and looks around the room, his face screwed up slightly as he peers around. The other guests of the tavern seem like an unusual bunch, but the man doesn't appear to care. He waits for the innkeeper to become available and then approaches him and addresses him politely, again in Romanian.
"Thank you for your welcome. A little wine and some stew would be ideal, yes. Please bring it to me when it is ready."
He nods to the innkeeper and sits down by the fireplace, smiling politely to the short but handsomely-attired nobleman and the monk by the fire. Once seated he begins to drum his fingers on the table whilst his mind seems to wander, his gaze drifting towards some point on the distant wall.
2012-10-14, 08:16 AM
Having arrived in town within the gentle embrace of a well-furnished carriage, Alenka Vasa peers out of her passenger window with barely restrained glee as it pulls up alongside the Red Lamb inn.
"We're here, Herman!" she spoke loudly as she turned to the other passenger, her blue eyes bright with possibility.
"Oh I know this dreary rats nest doesn't look like much, but it's just a stepping stone to Lord Giovanni himself!"
The carriage stopped and from atop its drivers seat stood a tall, broad-shouldered man that tested the vehicles suspension as he stepped from his elevated position. Gracefully, he lowered himself and opened the carriage door with one fluid motion. Entgraved upon the portal was the ornate heralrdy of Alenka's station.
"We're here." he uttered, his voice surprisingly smooth for a man of such a beastly physique.
"Thank you dear." Alenka smiled as she dismbarked. As she did, one of the stable-boys approached to take the vehicle to the stables.
"You must be exhausted after enduring that patch of bad weather up there, Aldric." Alenka spoke over her shoulder as she stretched her legs. "I'll see that a hot bath is prepared for you!"
"You're too kind."
Look ing back into the carriage, Alenka held out one arm and patted the nook that it made with her abdonem. "Come along Herman!"
A white cat sprung from the comfortable confines and into Alenka's waiting embrace. Following this, the woman grabbed an decorative cane from within the carriage.
Turning back to the Inn, Alenka twirled her cane around to hold it beneath her arm while carrying her pet within the other. Aldric was quickly by her side with several boxes of luggage affixed to his body for carriage. He gestured forward with an arm and opened the door for Alenka, who then slid into the Inn with her bodyguard/manservant in tow.
The pair are dressed well, but not with the flashy pomp one would expect of blue-bloods of the day. Instead they appear as well-to-do travelling merchants.
2012-10-14, 11:54 AM
"We are, in fact," Seth replies, "though anything more, we'd rather not say."
The young master Erwin closes his mouth and focuses on his stew.
"Turks you say, interesting, very interesting," Seth continues, "are they merchants perhaps?"
2012-10-14, 02:56 PM
Don't worry too much about the timeline right now. If one of the NPC's is engaged in two conversations at once, we'll assume they happened roughly after the other.
The old woman smiles gently at Andrei.
Sigismund headed over. "Can I get you anything M'lord? M'lord?"" He switches to Italian, then finally sighs before disappearing. A short time later he appears with a bowl of stew and some wine, setting it out for the mute man.
Sigismund gives directions to Maxim, before hurrying over and greeting his new guest.
"Wine and Stew will be out in but a moment, yer Lordship. In the meantime, please have a seat by the fire, rid yourself of the dreariness of yer trip!"
The monk does not return the smile. He scowls briefly before looking away, muttering to himself.
Sigismund greets the newest arrival. "Yer Ladyship! An honor to have such fine company in my humble inn. The Earl has chosen well for guests for tomorrow's dinner! Please, have a seat the both of you, and I'll bring some wine and stew out."
As he hurries off, Alenka notices that the young solder in the middle of the room is starring at Aldric.
The innkeeper looks flustered, then afraid. He forces a cheerful smile on his face before he responds. "Oh, as I said, it's not my place to question my betters. Earl Giovanni is a wise ruler. He can invite anyone he chooses. I'd assume the Turks are merchants, but I've only heard rumors, yew know. His guests apparently come from all over Europe an..." At that moment,a loud crash gets everyone's attention. The innkeeper's servant has tripped and broken a bottle of wine.
Sigismund growls. "What the hell is wrong with you boy! I give ye one task and you're incapable of even that?" He turns back towards Seth and Erwin, offering hurried apologies before heading off to clean up the mess.
2012-10-14, 03:02 PM
A lean man indeterminable young age and skin that even by this dim light has seen quite a bit of sun walks in, a bit after the others. His green eyes and short, trimmed beard , and halts for a moment to take a stock of his surroundings, looking the inn quickly up from the floor to the rafters. His clothes are plain, but well made and a bit of metallic shine suggests that he seems to be doing quite well for one of his station. "Good even, all," he says in Italianto everyone and no one, making a respectful nod towards the monk before turning to the innkeeper, addressing him in accented Romanian. "A stew would be good, and some wine will not be amiss. His Lordship is most kind, bless him."
His eyes take in some of the others, some with more interest than others. He sits near the soldier, and nods at him. "Good health to you, man. May I have your company?"
2012-10-14, 03:37 PM
Still in a bit of a foul mood, Sigismund barks at his servant to get the food for the newest guest.
"It will be out shortly yer Lordship. Please, make yerself at home in my humble establishment."
The solder looks up from his drink and gives Benghi a small smile as he sits down. "You certainly may sir, though I see no reason why you or any other would wish it."
2012-10-14, 03:57 PM
"Lordship, ah?" Benghi repeats, as if weighing the word, then shakes his head and continues quietly, likely hard to hear by anyone not immediately nearby". "Not sure how I came to be called that - apparently the Lord Giovanni's power is so great it elevates others just by being near him, though I'm not sure why I've been selected. Last I checked, I was just a mate on a ship far from here. No reason why I can't have a drink with a soldier such as yourself," he says, raising a glass. "Are you a local man, or just passing?"
2012-10-14, 04:57 PM
"This is as much as I can call a home for the moment. I'm not a solder, not anymore. I fought for Lord Hunyady in his crusade against the Turks. But I ... I was wounded in my left leg. I'll never walk without a limp again." he sighs.
"I came here because I heard that Earl Giovanni was hiring guards for his manor. Even with a limp, I could still guard his household, if I was but given the chance." His eyes take on new urgency, and a spark of hope shines in them. "You are a guest of Earl Giovanni, like the others? Could you perhaps put in a kind word for me? I have no skill but soldering. If the Earl does not accept me, I shall be reduced to a beggar. I spent my last coins in getting here. I can offer you nothing but my gratitude." He looks doubtful that that will be enough.
Sigismund brings the food over. He glares at the solder. "Paul, this is a guest of the Earl. I trust you're not bothering him?"
2012-10-14, 05:30 PM
"Yer Ladyship! An honor to have such fine company in my humble inn. The Earl has chosen well for guests for tomorrow's dinner! Please, have a seat the both of you, and I'll bring some wine and stew out."
"Yes!" Alenka beamed brightly, "He certainly has!"
Taking a small sweep of the inn, Alenka notices the young soldiers preoccupation with her brother, Aldric. The smile remained in her lips, albeit it twisted slightly by her devious sense of humor.
"It seems you have an admirer." she whispered softly in Latin,
Aldric said nothing, instead choosing a polite smile and curt nod of acknowledgement.
Enjoying herself thoroughly, Alenka moves to take a seat in one of the corners where her back is to a wall and everyone is within her sight. Aldric sits next to her, while her ladyship relaxes the tired muscles of her body and lovingly pets her cat.
2012-10-14, 05:38 PM
Lordship? He thinks I'm a nobleman? How odd.
The man relaxes a little in the chair but jumps as the bottle of wine breaks. Stirred from his reverie, he looks around the room and stares for a moment at the elderly dark-skinned man, curious as to where he comes from.
It's been said that physicians in certain foreign lands possess medical knowledge that is not known here. Perhaps this man could be from one such place, and be a useful source of information? Then again, perhaps not. He could be from anywhere.
The man drifts away again until he overhears a newcomer at another table talking with the soldier. The man pretends not to be listening but pays close attention, wondering what the sailor will choose to do.
2012-10-14, 08:08 PM
The next man to enter is broad shouldered and just under six feet. He's fairly plain looking, commoner written all over his face. A wide, flat nose, dark chestnut hair with some hair as the light hits it. Most of all, it's the way he fails to make an impression of any sort. It's likely some in the room think he's just hired help. Soaking wet from the rain, he moves close to the fire.
Those who take more than a passing glance at him see he's wearing a piffelo at his side as a warrior might carry a sword.
2012-10-14, 09:15 PM
Erwin stifles a snigger at the servant boy's misfortune, but he is not fast enough as Seth boffs him on the back of the head, almost nonchalantly.
"Keep your eyes and ears open," the older man says, "something feels amiss here."
The boy, a clearly a dark haired youth, now that he's clear of his cloak, gets a puzzled look on his face as he looks over he common room.
2012-10-14, 09:34 PM
Sigismund is slow to greet the newest arrival. Finally however, he wanders over.
"Aye, can I get ye anything?
Overhearing Seth's warning, the monk nods vigorously.
"You are correct! Tell me, are you a Christian? If ye are, I warn you, do not go into the devil's trap! Claudius Giovanni is Satan incarnate! He wishes to lead ye all into damnation!" As he says the Earl's name, the monk spits on the floor. Thankfully, Sigismund is too distracted to notice.
Other guests begin to arrive. A young woman dressed in upper class fashion. An aging priest. A gruff looking mercenary. A heavyset merchant. Sigismund greets each of them in turn, and they all take seats for themselves. There is a tension in the air. Some of the guests can't believe their fortune. Others are nervous at being summoned to a Lord's manor.
2012-10-14, 09:50 PM
The man looked around and could see bottles of wine on some of the table. "A simple drink will do. Whatever your normal patrons have." He offered a warm smile to the man, then focused back to warming his hands, until he overheard the monk. He sighed, if Claudius Giovanni was a sinful man it might make things easier, or more difficult. He did not know.
"Is Claudius Giovanni a pagan?" Solland did not look directly at the monk, instead looking at the fire. Anyone who bothered to look at Solland would see that he looked sad.
2012-10-14, 09:53 PM
The older man smiles politely. As a child he'd learned of the gods of his ancestors. Passing through the holy lands and the lands held by the Ottomans, he witnessed many different ways of worship. In truth, he wasn't sure who was right, but since working for his employers, he'd adopted the rituals observed by them, which reflected the faith of Constantinople.
"Fear not, my friend, our faith shall be our shield," he replied, "and look, see, even a man of the cloth has been invited."
He nodded towards the priest who had just entered.
2012-10-14, 10:13 PM
Solland and Seth
"Bah! No, he is far more insidious. He presents himself as a good Christian man, all while he practices devilish rituals with his fiendish guests! You heard the innkeeper, he even invites Turks to his parties!" The monk slams his hand down on the table. "Of course he invites the pure hearted to attend his unholy mass. The devil that is Claudius Giovanni likes nothing more than to corrupt the pious! He sacrifices virgins and conducts foul orgies!"
Sigismund returns with the food and wine, looking more than a little annoyed. "Brother Clement. I'll not have ye say another word. These are the Earl's guests!
Clement ignores the innkeeper, leaning intently forward. He yells, spittle coming out of his mouth. "Listen to me brothers! Tomorrow ye enter into the abode of evil! Mark my words,you will lose the protection of our almighty God if you go into the devil's palace! If you value your souls, leave now and return to your homes! I swear to you that the harsh storm outside is nothing compared to the damnation you will receive if you enter into the dwelling of Claudius Giovanni!"
Sigismund looks rather displeased, but also reluctant to contradict a man of the cloth.
The other priest returns Seth's nod, but looks decidingly ill at ease. He crosses himself before taking a seat in the corner. Brother Clement notices and rises to join him, eager to convince as many of the patrons as he can.
2012-10-14, 10:16 PM
The physician looks slightly startled for a moment at the monk's pronouncement, then smiles wryly and turns away and returns to his absent-minded daydreaming. His smile begins to slip from his face as he focuses on his thoughts.
Such a disparate group of people are being assembled here. What Earl Giovanni possibly desire with some of them is a mystery. I myself may well be of some use, and the nobles here are probably of interest, but what of the common folk? There are many things that do not make sense yet. With luck, all will be revealed soon.
As the monk speaks again the man finds himself disturbed once again and turns to face him as he rants about the impiety of the Earl. For a few moments the man looks perturbed but quickly regains his composure and returns to his thoughts.
Rumours and nonsense, I'm sure. These people always invent stories about those they don't like, and never consider the activities of those that they barely notice. At least that is to my benefit.
2012-10-14, 11:09 PM
Solland is surprised by the reaction. No Brother Clement was not exaggerating his claims, he truly believed in them.
Solland looked troubled, and unlike the physcician, his face stayed in the state. His eyes searched for an answer in the flamers. "Maybe I should go." His words this time were much more quiet, but it was likely a few could here.
2012-10-15, 01:07 AM
Luca had been content to merely observe the other guests' conversations but could not resist a wry laugh at the musician's barely audible remark. "Really? You would travel all this way just to turn back now?" He inched a bit closer, lowering his own voice. "I'm sure our dear Brother has his heart in the right place, but the man is clearly delusional." Luca thought the same of all religious people, but could not say as much. He smiled and took another sip of wine. "Even if he is right, someone will have to rescue all those extremely grateful virgins." Luca laughed at the shocked reception. "Good lord, man! That was a joke." He extended a hand. "Augustin Golescu, Lord of Giurgiu. Apologies for any offense. It was purely unintentional." The introduction rolled right off his tongue. If the real Lord Golescu were here, Luca could probably convince most of them he was the genuine article. Fraternize with a few more of the guests, and he would be all set for the party tomorrow night.
2012-10-15, 01:08 AM
The guests had disappeared from Andrei's world for several minutes as he proceeded, in workmanlike fashion, to down the contents of the soup bowl. Life as a peasant, and more importantly as a younger brother, had trained him to down his meals quickly. The faster down, the faster he could go for any seconds, and the less chance that what he had would get stolen. The stew proved good, but that was a secondary concern.
He finished just in time to see the serving boy drop the bottle of wine. Andrei cringed inwardly, knowing that the boy would probably have the value of that bottle pulled out of his hide. He watched the others file in, regarding each in turn.
His eyes came to rest on the monk as he spoke. While the way his mouth moved was a bit unusual, Andrei thought he could tell what the man was saying . . . but it made no sense. If some of these people are pious Christians, then I'm a newt. And even supposing he brings in the pious, why would he draw them from around the world rather than right here? He leaned forward slightly, trying to catch his wording better. Gavril had always said Andrei was good at telling when someone was lying; he figured it must have been because of how closely Andrei watched faces.
2012-10-15, 01:27 AM
"Solland Rowe, and no offense taken friend." Solland shook Luca's, going by Augustin, hand.
"Yes, you are probably right about the monk. It's not his words that give me pause though. I came here to turn down Lord Giovanni's request. It only seemed righ to do so in person though." He turned his attention to Luca. "It seems as if he is looking for men and women of many talents. What brings you to his company?"
I call dibs on the first roll! Solland isn't looking for any lies, moreso he's trying to get a general impression of him.
Perception + Empathy = 8
2012-10-15, 01:52 AM
Damn, that's some roll! Let's see if I can match it.
Manipulation + Subterfuge = 8
Not to uphold the lies, but to obscure his true emotions. Should Luca fail (likely), you get the sense that he's equal parts nervous, excited, and starving.
"Turn it down? Really? What did Earl Giovanni ask of you that was so objectionable?" Luca half-wondered if Solland might not be working an angle himself. To reject a nobleman's coin... Some people were just notoriously moral. All the better for the rest. "Well, if you're going to do it, definitely better to come in person. Shows respect. Best of luck to you." Luca called up the research he had done. "I'm in the business of textiles down south. Earl Giovanni has his fingers in markets all across the country, so I'm hoping to make a rather profitable business connection." That last part was technically true, nevermind that Luca intended to partake of the Earl's vault instead of his contacts.
2012-10-15, 02:12 AM
Actually I meant more of the content of Luca's character than his emotional state. More on if Luca's a good person deep down and the like. Only one more success though, so looks like Solland only gets a small glimpse.
"It's nothing of consequence, just that I'm no longer in the trade he seeks from me." It was clear he did not want to share details. "I offer you luck with your business deals. I never have had much mind for coin. Just enough so I can stay well fed." He chuckled as if it was somehow funny.
2012-10-15, 03:12 AM
"I can let mention it to his seneschal if time permits," Benghi said, wincing as he looked at the man's leg. "though I can't promise much. It is a sad thing to happen to a man who fought under the cross against the Turks."
He knew enough about fighting to know how important having two sound legs was, and the man was of dubious value as an actual soldier, maybe even a guard. Words were cheap, he reflected - but who knows? If this man could shed some light on what was going on, a few words would be only paying him back. "Truth be told, I am curious why the Earl would call so many men, and so different. You say he is hiring guards - is he perchance thinking of marching his own men... somewhere? I am not a local, I am afraid, and do not know of what is being said."
He slipped the man a coin, likely more than enough for a drink. No one liked talking on a dry throat, and he knew that a bit of charity to people like those could pay well in knowledge.
The cleric's outburst surprised him, perhaps more than it should have. Fire and brimstone preachers were not that rare in ports, but frequently ignored by most unless there was a catastrophe in town. Still, it got on his nerves a bit. "Who is this brother?" he whispered after his companion had said his piece.
2012-10-15, 10:38 AM
Alenka and Aldric remained quiet and fastened to the corner as they observed the cabaret before them. From the chitterings of the newly arrived to the amusing, pious outburst of the monk - it was all jolly good fun.
After ensuring that her brother would have a warm bath prepared for him when they turned in for the night, Alenka ate only a small portion of the warm stew and wine before letting her cat have pickings of the rest.
"What an interesting assortment!" she whispered excitedly to her brother in German.
Looking over at the old woman that was within arms reach, Alenka reached out and gently tapped her on the shoulder.
"You there, crone." Alenka said gently as she placed a copper piece into the womans begging cup.
"You live in an interesting land beneath the purview of an exalted lord - you must have some tales to tell!"
Soras Teva Gee
2012-10-15, 03:13 PM
The carriage approached well into the night. Had anyone been able to see to the driver's face swathed within his thick cloak they would have found sullen boredom as he drove the horse team. The carriage itself was of unmarked and unadorned but a knowing eye would show it to be of the latest Hungarian design, the chains of its suspension rattling with the inevitable bumps of the road. Behind the coach tied off on long leads were two more horses. Inside the coach two men spoke with one another.
"My lord, it is not to late to ignore this invitation," said the older of the two, his hair greying as he had entered his fourth decade, "We can claim a broken wheel, lamed horse, or bandits waylaid us."
"Enough Stellian," said the younger of the two, just shy of thirty summers. It was not a loud voice, but it spoke with a firmness of tone invoking an hard command. "You've talked my ear off with this all day. It is decided. I'll not lie to merely evade a social call. The Giovanni have a dark reputation for those that offend them. Most of our salt ends up on Venetian tables, as you well know."
"I promised the Lady I would attempt to dissuade you," The older man let out a sigh, "Your wife is most adamantly against this. She knows I'm the only one who immune to your silver tongue as well, being the son of your wet nurse has its advantages young Adam."
The younger party let out a hearty laugh and smile, "My wife is pregnant and crazy. Not a month gone she was arguing I should take a concubine from among her handmaidens because she was and I quote 'a bloated fattened calf too unpleasant to service a man's needs' as if she didn't spend all the months before complaining she was thinner then a peasant waif. She was just as moody her last pregnancy, and that's all it is. And it is well to have one I've known so long Stellian, you are my Memento Mori, though surely I am no Caesar I value as much as he would have."
The two continued in friendly conversation for some time after. A word from the driver let them know as the inn approached which silenced it. Pulling up in front the driver reigned in the horses and brought them to a halt as close to the door as possible with the ill weather then hopped down to open the door to the coach.
Lord Adam, Count of Brandusa stepped out of the coach and entered the inn. He was dressed in a long robe of dark black silk, shorter then many houppelande as it dig not quite drag upon the floor. His head was swaddled in the cloth of a burgundy chaperone making a torus shape about his skull with a fringed like a minature cloak about the back of the head. As he stepped down from the coach there was with soft rattle of metal on metal, but none was visible save for some simple jewelry. A jeweled ring on each hand, with the addition of a worked gold signet on the right hand. One a golden chain hung a square pendant with a small diamond at its center. His bearing was upright but without the exaggeration of arrogance, his grey eyes like a hawk scanned everything without seeming to move much. More then anything physical though there was an air about the Lord Brandusa. Disquieting and hard to describe, as if the wind and rain could not touch him since he was a part of a world beyond them. It was strange though not unpleasant. Certainly every inch the lord.
Adam entered the inn with an easy grace, but a small amount of haste for the weather. Stellian stayed to speak with the driver for a few moments. Once inside Adam spoke to the innkeeper, introducing himself.
"...So the Earl has made arrangements has he? A courtesy but I've no need of any such charity. My man Stellian shall be but a moment and he shall see to my wants for a room and that you are appropriately compensated for your services to me in particular. I shall take wine and something to eat."
With that Adam left the innkeeper. Stellian followed and went to speak to the innkeep. Adam knew the older man would see to accomadations. It seemed several people had already arrived. He made guess that many were also guests of Lord Giovanni. An eclectic group by any means. He avoided the monk at once, the so-called 'Men of God' always managed to irritate him. though letting that on would not be appropriate. Adam selected two men seated at a table to approach, both he judged to be more well traveled. One looked of the Italian lands, a look Adam knew well from spending time there. The other seemed a soldier.
"A good evening to you my good men," He said on approach, "Could you perhaps do me the favor of sharing what news you may have heard? I've been out of the hearing of things a while and my land lies north of here. Neither of you have the look of being just locals."
Speaking to Paul and Benghi here just to be crystal clear.
Also sorry for the delay, I had a post eaten over the weekend then got smacked with a bit of writer's block.
2012-10-15, 03:16 PM
"Thank you sir, that's all I ask, Paul looks somewhat relieved.
"I know not why the Earl is recruiting so many guards. My main concern is that he is hiring them. But you are correct that surely there's a reason behind that."
The young solder looks at Clement's outburst and frowns. "His name is Brother Clement. He has been here the few days I've been at this inn. He's been ranting about the Earl the entire time. When he found out that I wished to join in his service, he warned me not to go, but I have no other option. I fought for our Lord against the heathen. Surely that is enough to protect me from any witchery. Once I told him this, he called me an "enemy of Christ" and has been ignoring me."
The old woman smiles at Alenka, offering her a fresh flower in return.
"Bless you dear. I'm afraid this old woman has been too preoccupied trying to survive to care about the politics. My home was burned in the endless fighting between the Turks and the Christians. Sigismund let's me stay here, provided I don't bother any of his guests. I am graceful for his charity, and yours. It seems less and less people exhibit it."
Sigismund knows a valued patron when he sees one. He makes a half bow. "Ye are too kind yer Lordship! I'll ensure all your needs are taken care of, thank ye!" He speaks with Stellian, his manner clearly promising the man the best room in the inn.
Paul looks up at Adam, smiling as he arrives. "Greetings your Lordship. Are you a guest of the Earl's as well? I'm merely a former solder looking for employment in his guard ranks," He thinks for a moment. "I've not heard much, having just arrived here myself a few days ago. Some feel the Earl is planning a military campaign, but I know not the validity of those rumors."
2012-10-15, 04:23 PM
"Such men tend to be driven, for the sins of mankind they say," the Genoese shrugged slightly, "but sometimes a shadow is just a shadow. If a man who shed blood for Christ and the Lord would not be safe, who among us would be?" he said, clicking his tongue in levity. "Perhaps the Earl is no friends with the Church, or his order. Such things happen, sadly. Has there been any attempt by the Earl's men to ... stop him from talking such?
Benghi sees the apparent nobleman enter and address them, and nods as politely as he can manage. "God bless you this e'en, milord. I'd like to help with what I know, but it's quite little - I'm no local, myself. Things are mostly quiet in the south."
Soras Teva Gee
2012-10-15, 05:36 PM
Adam, Benghi, and Paul
"Indeed goodman soldier I am here in reply to the Earl's gracious social offer," Adam answered the soldier, "And I took correctly for a veteran then? Perhaps you can tell me how the Crusade against the Turk Mohammedans has fared. My lands lie at the mouth of a pass through the Carpathians and I had the honor to host troops moving south under King Władysław earlier this year. Good reports coming back north though are harder to come by."
He made no comment on Giovanni's military build up. That was interesting, to what end could he be seeking forces? There were the Turks to the south, was he to aide the Pols and Hungarians then? Certainly there was not much else to use them for. A foreign noble could not take lands by force whatever his wealth. A fascinating development.
Turning the Benghi now Adam continued to speak. "Ahh but to the south is what I wish to here of. I spent much of my youth in fair Venice and remain interested in the broader affairs of the world. Where have you travelled that is not local?"
2012-10-15, 09:16 PM
"Nothing has happened to the Brother in the time I've been here, though I heard him mention that he was expelled from his order. He blames the Earl for that as well," Paul works up a smile.
The solder nods enthusiastically. "Aye, that I am sir. I served in Lord Hunyady's army, where I was wounded," the smile is now gone, replaced with only regret. "I had thought the Crusade would be easy, but it was more difficult than we expected. The Lord is on our side, so our ultimate victory is assured. But I feel many more brave Christian men will fall in battles first."
"I have heard the Earl is hiring household guards,as I told his Lordship here," he motions to Benghi. "Tis my only alternative to a life of begging, so I spent my last funds to come here and ask for a place in the Earl's manor."
2012-10-15, 09:24 PM
"Yes." Alenka nodded, listenig to the old woman.
"The Turks have certainly brought with them a shadow that creeps forth into more civilised lands and withers what it touches."
2012-10-15, 09:31 PM
"Let go of me!"
The relative calm of the inn is shattered by the sight of two of the Earl's guests fighting. Turning to look, you see that the gruff looking mercenary towering over the young upper class woman. He grabs her arm harshly.
"Aye, I've been cooped up in a carriage with barely a lass for miles these last three weeks. I deserve some pleasure, and I know you want some too," He slurs his words as he leers at her. It's obvious he'd had too much to drink. "Why don't we go up to my room, and fair Jurgen here can help you to relax?" His laughter is harsh, the type of laugh one has when he is used to having a few sycophants around to join in.
The young woman responds by spitting in his face. "If I wanted to fornicate with an animal, I'd go to the stables outside," The man responds by growling and tightening his grip.
Brother Clement looks up, but quickly returns to his urgent conversation with the priest. "You see the type of guest Giovanni invites, brother..."
Unwilling to risk offending the Earl by correcting his guest, Sigismund heads into the back of the inn, looking for more wine.
2012-10-15, 09:48 PM
Rough-houser and maiden.
The scuffle drew the attention of both Vasa's as they peered at the commotion in play. Alenka wore a mask of surgical distance while Aldric furrowed his brow.
"Soldier-of-fortune," Alenka spoke up, nearby enough to keep her voice to a modest pitch but with the forcefulness behind it that she was able to muster.
"Surely you do not seek Earl Giovanni's ire by sullying one of his guests? I imagine he would look upon it with great displeasure."
Rolling to convince him!
Manipulation + Expression, I believe, and using her voice, so -2 difficulty. Come'on rolls don't fail me now...!
2012-10-15, 09:50 PM
"No." Solland stood up abruptly at the scene. Solland walked over to the mercenary, seemingly much larger than he had been before.
However, when he stopped right next to them, he did not try to intimidate the man. Instead he put a reassuring hand on the man's arm, the arm holding the young woman. "My good lord, what I think you need is a song first. Shall I sing of your bravery Mister..." He let the words hang waiting for the man to say his name, offering a glance to the woman in hopes that she understood his distraction to help her move away from the drunkard. He would not release his reassuring hand until the mercenary had let go of the woman.
Because rolls can be fun... let's say manipulation + performance?
2012-10-15, 10:20 PM
Alenka and Solland
As Alenka approached the commotion, the man glared at her. Clearly he did not enjoy being told off by a woman. He opens his mouth to reply, but something about her words seems to get through to him even in his drunken state. He pauses, hesitant.
It is then that Solland approaches him with an offer of a song. The prospect seems to appeal to him.
"Yeah. Yeah, a song would be good. Sing of my bravery!" He laughs again, but it turns into a scream at mid guffaw. The reason soon becomes obvious. The young woman he is bothering took advantage of the distraction and kicked him in a most sensitive spot.
Cursing and screaming, The mercenary collapses to the floor, the young woman looking at him with resentment. She smiles at her would be rescuers.
"I appreciate your help. It's nice to know that some among the Earl's company are civilized."
2012-10-15, 10:32 PM
Solland and Alenka
Solland only nods slightly. He did not want to make a big deal at what little he did, and he felt even a simple thanks was more than needed, especially as he as merely a commoner.
Without another word he picked up his instrument, and began to play a light hearted, but slower tune. It was a song from Northern Italy about a knight's journey to the Holy Land for any familiar with the folk songs from the region.
He played near the mercenary, but certainly out of arm's reach if the man blamed Solland for any part of his groin pain.
Just because I'm having fun with the rolls, let's see how well he does with the song.
Charisma and Performance
2012-10-15, 10:44 PM
Several other white knights had already leapt to the woman's aid. Still no reason Luca couldn't benefit from their efforts. He caught the woman's eye and, scooting over in his seat, gave her a courtly nod. Hopefully, she would understand that he was offering her a safe place to escape from Jurgen.
2012-10-15, 10:57 PM
Jurgen seems to pay no attention to the song. Slowly, he gets to his feet and retreats back to his table, calling for Sigismund to bring more wine over.
The rest of the inn pays a little more attention. Several of the guests listen intently to the performance, and even Brother Clement stops his ranting for a moment. When Solland finishes, there is a scattering of applause, including from the young maiden. "What a wonderful song!
Paul whispers to Benghi and Adam, "I suppose we know why he is being invited to the Earl's manor."
Noticed I had the same color for Paul and Clement, so Paul's orange now.
The young woman catches Luca's eye, but seems reluctant to join another man. After a moment however she excuses herself and goes over to him, Perhaps deciding that her recent actions served as an effective deterrent.
She sits down, offering Luca a chaste smile.
Good day to you sir."
2012-10-15, 11:04 PM
Seeing that her work there was done, Alenka nods gently to acknowledge the young lady's thanks. With that out of the way, she enjoys the song played by the other would-be do-gooder and savours the mastery with which he fiddles with his instrument.
2012-10-15, 11:33 PM
Andrei sat, his eyes only gradually moving off the man-at-arms as he changed gears. As the noblewoman to the crone's right moved to sit down, he stepped back from his position flanking her and shielding the crone to allow her free movement. From behind, he hadn't been able to catch what she had said, but it had seemed effective, as had the offer from another man to finger-dance. As he went to sit, he flipped the longknife he had held back-handed along his forearm and sheathed the blade. Good thing she was so persuasive. Andrei had never used a blade on another human being before, but in the spur of the moment, it had found its way into his hand before he had known what he was doing.
As he watched the others react to the performance, Andrei felt another old pang of longing. From the reactions of the others, the musician seemed to finger-dance with some skill, and Andrei felt the old longing both to know what hearing was, and to get the same enjoyment others seemed to feel when they listened to a finger-dance. Andrei had tried imagining it, but had no idea how closely it matched reality. For that matter, he doubted anyone who had hearing could really imagine what it was like, not merely to hear nothing, but to not have the function entirely.
As his eyes tracked the room, he settled eventually on the face of the noblewoman again, then, to his consternation, to the food she had set aside. He jerked his eyes away, hoping that she hadn't noticed his peasant manners eyeing her food like a hungry wolf.
2012-10-16, 12:52 AM
"The same to you, milady." Luca replied with a small bow. "Augustin Golescu, Lord of Giurgiu." She had a sharp wit if her animal quip was any estimation, and her features were lovely and delicate. He wouldn't mind being stuck at a fiendish orgy with her... Unfortunately, the woman seemed to have an iron-grip on her virtue, but Luca would settle for an interesting conversation partner to pass the time.
2012-10-16, 01:29 AM
"Marianna. Marianna Fontana," Her smile grows wider. "A pleasure to meet you, Lord Golescu. The Earl seems to be recruiting guests from all different sorts of stations."
Soras Teva Gee
2012-10-16, 02:10 AM
Adam, Benghi, and Paul
"Ah, I've heard much of Lord Hunyady. He seems an able general of good wit and strong leadership...."
Adam was about to comment on how wite and skill would be better then pure faith alone. For all their faith it was clear Christendom had been pushed back by the Mohammedans for centuries. He doubted the Creator paid the slightest mind to man's wars. Though he certainly the Turks and the rest needed to be opposed as long as possible. However more then having no men to spare, and no interest in arming peasants had kept Adam from sending men to that fight.
The comment died still born though as the altercation broke out. Adam stirred and took a single stride. That was not how men would behave around women, certainly not while he was present. Yet another intervened almost as soon as it began. As it resovled itself Adam remarked that the bard had a fine tongue, and the song was one he felt he had heard before. In Venice perhaps? Must have been. A beautiful tongue for a beautiful land, doubtless he would have remained with Maria there had not family obligation called him home. That was long ago now.
"So it would seem Paul," Adam said to the soldiers later comment, "Both you and that brute look to be men at arms. I dare say though you comport yourself more as a soldier should. If that is one of his Earlship's guests he should have invited you instead. I'd recommend you ahead of him myself, for either the Earlship's or mine own castle guard."
2012-10-16, 03:13 AM
The older man placed a hand over Erwin's forearm, lest he try anything foolish.
"The woman has enough defenders already; let the brave fight it out." he thought.
A glance to the boy and he realized he had nothing to worry about. Erwin was simply staring at the table, and had barely noticed the commotion.
"Drink up," Seth said, nodding to the stew. The boy looked a bit pale, nothing a good hearty stew wouldn't fix...
2012-10-16, 03:44 AM
Andrei(ooc: I assume it was myself you were leering at)
Finishing the last of her wine and shifting her weight into a more comfortable position, Alenka reached out and stroked the bloated white belly of her cat, Herman. The feline had gorged itself merrily and was now asleep after the arduous demands of today's eating.
Noticing a shadow lingering in her proximity, Alenka looked over her shoulder and caught a glimpse of Andrei peering in her direction. Or rather, that of her bowl.
"It is rude to stare." Alenka spoke softly with a smile, amused instead of scornful.
2012-10-16, 03:45 AM
The Italian was starting to speak of his (not enirely unbiased) opinion of Venice and the troubles it was causing for honest merchants, before the altercation broke in and he remembered that the Giovanni themselves were such - and they were to be the guests of one of them. He eyed the scene as it unfolded. It was unusual for a mercenary to act in such a way to an upper-class woman, at least with so many witnesses - he might end up regretting it later. However, he didn't see a reason why it should concern him yet - and soon afterwards, the matter was handled. Benghi raised an eyebrow slightly at the drunk mercenary being told off by another woman - apparently one quite used to wielding authority, and not to shy from a drunk with a sword.
Indeed, this was quite the company. The minstrel's skills apparently justified his invitation... so the number of guests with strange reasons for attendance shrinked further. He wasn't so keen that he himself was on it. He didn't actively dislike Venetians, and he was fairly sure the ship he was on didn't have any trouble with the Giovanni ventures... perhaps they were planning to recruit him as a spy, but why the fancy charade?
Benghi keeps his eyes on the gnashing mercenary as he sips a drink, keeping this thoughts to himself. He nodded absent-mindedly at the nobleman's courteous words, but couldn't help doubting if the man would be so eager to hire a cripple. Words are, usually, cheap. "It seems you keep a sharp eye on the world at large, Milord. Are you from around these parts? Forgive my ignorance, but I would not insult you by talking of things you know better than me."
Would Benghi need an int+finance roll to know what regions are notable salt explorers? Adam did mention something about "their salt" ending in Venice
2012-10-16, 01:56 PM
I'd say no. He was a smuggler, so chances are he'd know that already from his line of work.
Adam and Benghi
"I wouldn't dream of questioning the Earl. If he picked a man like that, surely he has a reason for it," Paul replies nervously. However, once he realizes Adam has offered him employment, he brightens up considerably.
"Your Lordship, thank you! I am eternally grateful for your generosity. I still will attempt to gain employment with the Earl, but I am grateful to know I now have another option." Already, he seems more alive.
Soras Teva Gee
2012-10-16, 11:27 PM
"An attitude of considerable wisdom Paul, but the truth is not avoidable by men of any station. And think nothing of the offer, I've a paucity of men with any actual experience in battle in mine own castle. Though my service would perhaps not as rewarding as what his Earlship could bring you. The fortunes of the Giovanni are by all accounts vast by any standard you choose to measure"
From there Adam turned to the his other social partner,
"I am from these parts only in relative degrees. Brandusa is in the northern portions of Transylvania. The estate is small as these things go, but well situated. We lie at the mouth of a decent path through the Carpathians so do decent business in trade, but our best coin comes from the salt. If you believe certain aged grandfathers our mine dates to ancient Dacia. That was a pagan kingdom in the time of the Emperors in the century following the Savior. I had the great pleasure to tour Rome and can attest to there is a mighty sprialling column remembering the deed, so Dacia must have been fierce. To be sure, gold and salt and other valuables can still be found. But enough history I am babbling. As I mentioned, I spent much time abroad in past days."
"My wife is Venetian and we export through mostly Italian factors so I do like to keep apprised of broader affairs. My duties now though keep me from travelling so your journey's must be more recent then mine. Tell me goodman I've not caught your name yet, what is it and what bring you here?"
By the by that's Trajan's Column I'm referring to here, and Dacia is more/less modern Romania. When Transylvania, Wallachia, and Moldova were unified it was even invoked.
2012-10-17, 12:43 AM
Andrei noticed the noblewoman moving in his peripheral vision. He turned back to catch her with an amused expression and speaking ". . .to stare." His brow furrowed in confusion and he turned his thoughts inward, considering.
After a moment's consideration, he figured she must have thought he was looking too intently at her. Looking at her, he tapped his cheeks twice with the index and middle finger of his left hand, pointed at her, and then shook his head. Then he pointed at her food, and shrugged apologetically.
2012-10-17, 01:47 AM
Benghi nodded, trying to sound intrigued, but the ancient names meant little to him. He had some knowledge of the trade routes that crossed the region,though, and recognized that the noble in front of him did, indeed, sit on a sizable route. Supposedly nobles there did not care much about trade, but this one would seem to be an exception in that - as well as in his choice for a wife. A wife from Venice, hmm... A natural match in his homeland, yet he had heard nobles elsewhere were more picky.
"My name is Benghi Pascale, milord, and I come from the land of Genoa; I am a seaman by trade. I received an invitation through my patron, summoning me here. It would appear I have caught his Lordship's interest, though I am not sure just why Providence has seen to grace me with it."
2012-10-17, 06:20 AM
The door to the inn suddenly bursts open, and six men shuffle in. Observant guests see that the storm outside has picked up in intensity.
The leading man has a slim build. He is a well dressed middle aged man and carries himself as a typical noble. Even just walking, there is a slight arrogant air to him. He is handsome, or would be, if not for a long, deep scar that runs down the right side of his face. Behind him, two solders stand at attention.
The well dressed man looks around the room. After a moment, he speaks.
"I am Sir Lothar, steward to Lord Giovanni. I am he who chose the thirteen of you for the great honor of meeting the Earl and attending his meal," Lothar explains, speaking in Italian. The steward pauses, and two of the other men begin to translate his words for any present whom need it.
"Tomorrow shall be the most important day of your lives, " continues Lothar, before the final man steps forward, stopping a small distance behind the steward. "This is Roderigo. He is the coachman who shall bring you to the Earl's manse tomorrow." Roderigo is a tall, young man with a rough face. He smiles slightly as introduced.
"Rise and form a line, so that I may get a good look at all of you." The other guests begin to do so. Lothar does not seem the sort whom takes being disobeyed well, even in trivial matters.
Everyone but Luca
Make a Perception+ Alertness roll.
At 3 successes
You recall seeing Lothar around your village before.
Lothar was specifically asking about you.
2012-10-17, 08:48 AM
Seth looked at Erwin, but he seemed not to have noticed, staring off into space.
The older man gave the youth a nudge.
"Best gather your wits, and quick, if you're going to make any impression of the right sort on the Earl tomorrow," he says.
2012-10-17, 11:06 AM
The Genoese raises and comes forward, a bit to the side as probably the nobles would prefer to be in the middle. He appears diffident, and yet also somewhat interested by this man. Perhaps it is because it is the first sign of the Earl's strength and intentions. As Lothar goes around - either before the seneschal comes to him or after he starts looking at the others, depending on which side the man starts from - Benghi throws some careful glances at the man's clothes, arms and manner.
Soras Teva Gee
2012-10-17, 11:21 AM
"Everyone please remain as you are a moment," Adam said in Romanian loudly enough to let his voice carry about the room clearly. Leaving his group he approached Lothar swiftly and spoke to the new arrival in Italian more quietly though in the same firm tone.
"Good Sir, I can understand that as his Earlship's steward you are used to being obeyed but I must ask you to turn over treating even the least among so abruptly as if slaves at a Turkish market to be examined. Your lord would surely not approve of you besmirching his name by being unnecessarily rude to his guests. For why should a lord call upon or have dealings with another if proper respect between men is not to be expected."
Two Rolls, both Cha+Leadership to be compelling, one for the NPCs in the room:
-2 Difficulty (Enchanting Voice)
and one for Lothar:
-2 Difficulty (Enchanting Voice)
(Also Sancity perhaps in play for something if this goes south)
EDIT: Should be 5 for the room and 3 for Lothar
2012-10-17, 11:49 AM
Adam's words are enough to cause several of the guests to hesitate. They sit down slowly, finding comfort in another Lord expressing outrage at their treatment.
Lothar looks at Adam with barely concealed disdain. It's obvious he does not like being contradicted, even by his betters. He pauses for a moment to compose himself. When he does speak, it is in a measured tone.
"Of course, Lord Brandusa. You are our honored guests. Where are my manners." He addresses the room. "Most honored guests, forgive my brashness. The customs of the Earl are different then some of his contemporaries, and some of you may find them odd."
Brother Clement makes a disgusted sound, but says nothing.
"Lord Brandusa, please be seated. Allow me to come to you," he bows, though it is difficult for Adam to tell if it is genuine or mocking.
Soras Teva Gee
2012-10-17, 12:21 PM
Adam caught the look but let it pass. Surely a mere knight and steward even to one of a the wealthiest lords in Europe did not expect even the least of lords to dance upon his whims. Did the Earl know his steward was such an oaf? Or if he did, they said to judge a man by the character of those he keeps. A disquieting thought. Perhaps Maria had been correct in her notions?
"Of course Sir Lothar, travel is hard upon all souls be it short or long," Adam said with a calm voice still in Italian, then switching back to Romanian to speak to the whole room. "Clearly everyone the good steward has just entered and it is as if he never spoke"
The tone was the same even polite speech of before, but with a slightest of emphasis upon the title. Let Lothar's station be clear to the whole room accordingly. With that Adam turned back to move to much his original position. Looking around briefly for his he motioned for Stellian to join him, hopefully he'd acquired the stew and wine the innkeep had spoken of.
2012-10-17, 12:33 PM
The doctor remains where he is, unsure of the situation. The conversation between Lothar and one of the guests is incomprehensible to him, but he gets the impression that something important has passed between them. The man decides to remain seated on the cue of the lordly guest, but pays close attention to the steward and his men. Inwardly he laughs. The most important day of my life? There's very little that Giovanni can offer me that I don't already have. Still, it's not every day that I get an invitation from such a man.
2012-10-17, 12:59 PM
Sorry, personal issues distracted me. I'm back now.
Luca was conflicted. One noble's idiot demanded that he stand, while another noble idiot demanded that he stay seated. He obeyed the latter. It would give him more time to talk with Marianna. In a low voice, Luca inquired, "So, what brings you to accept an invitation to Earl Giovanni's manor?" While she answered, he looked over at the steward. Tomorrow was definitely the most important day of his life, and it wouldn't do to have some Sir Lothar ruin it.
2012-10-17, 01:38 PM
The Italian stifled a grimace. Sit up, sit down... he didn't care nearly as much which it was, as long as they made up their mind. The nobleman's remark had made a mark on him, however. Was there a reason that they should have to be taken a look at? There was little reason to doubt that they had taken their invitations; a man would have to be bold indeed to try to impersonate the guest of such a man as this Earl.
He sat down, and gave Paul a look that silently betrayed his confusion at these proceedings. "Have you heard of this man," he whispers, barely giving any breath to the words he mouths.
2012-10-17, 04:51 PM
"One does not simply refuse an invitation from an Earl. My father saw it as a good chance to marry me off," She leans forward, her voice lowering. "Despite how I may look, I'm the daughter of an innkeeper. Said inn happens to be the most successful in the region, but despite all of our wealth I'll never be... one of them. Not unless I can marry the Earl." Her light blue eyes sparkle at the notion.
Paul shakes his head in the negative. "But he says he is the steward for Lord Giovanni. Could you ask him to consider allowing me to join the guard? Surely if he heard the request from a guest of the Earl, it would have more weight behind it."
Lothar makes his way to each guest, greeting them in turn. He starts with the priest sitting next to Brother Clement. The outspoken monk glares at Lothar with anger, but says nothing. Perhaps being so close to the Earl's men has robbed him of his courage.
"A pleasure to meet you Father Dytel," says Lothar, as he grips the priest's hand in greeting. He holds onto it for a long time, bringing it to his nose and sniffing it. The aging priest looks more then a little disturbed by the behavior. Lothar pays him no heed, and releases his hand. Lothar then moves on to Jurgen, the mercenary still nursing his wounds.
"Sir Jurgen, so glad you could join us." Again Lothar grips the man's hand, sniffing it. Jurgne makes a muffled sound of protest, but the guards behind Lothar prevent him from truly vocalizing it.
Lothar continues performing the unusual greeting, leaving Luca and Marianna for last.
Feel free to respond to Lothar's action. I imagine some of you will take offense.:smallamused: But short of physically preventing him from touching you, he'll do it and dismiss all protests, saying something like "This is one of the customs in Stavlachia."
As Lothar greets you, he grasps your hand and licks it.
2012-10-17, 05:40 PM
She enjoyed the coach ride up, the patter of the rain was soothing in its own way and the private carriage showed a wealth that she could appreciate for the journey, it also allowed her to consider her dress sense, something to show the figure could be taken as appropriate for her role and set the tone, or could be taken as a sign of low class and poor breathing, for a first meeting she decided on the latter.
She chose a noble gown with some minor jewellery to highlight her ears and neck, with a broach to decorate her left hand, the jewels were not overly high quality such as some of the gifts she was given but they were pleasant and allowed for damage should roughness be involved, finally she used some ground herbs to provide a pleasant smell and mask any sweat built up over the journey.
The carriage had stopped once due to flooding and the driver was frantic until she touched his arm and smiled, "it is no fault of your, and your master will understand that ... if he does not I know work you could likely do, so be calm", waiting for the water to pass she saw how he looked at her and had she been earlier in her career she likely would have entertained him but no longer, or at least not tonight.
Finally they moved on to the destination for the night where she could see from the outside that there seemed to be a small gathering, taking the hand of the driver she stepped down and walked across the pavement.
He opened the door for her and she entered the room, not having heard the earlier conversation "Isabella of Venice", her voice light and pleasant as she spoke the Italian words, she added a curtsy for good measure long practised "my apologies there was flooding on the road which delayed me", she allowed the door to close behind her as the coachman went to attend to his coach, she could have made a joke of the message indicating not to arrive early which she had lived up to but it would be crass.
She gazed around the room looking at her partners depending on the lords predications ... she made a mental note to have a seneschal detail payment when the time would be opportune, perhaps this tavern would allow for that early meeting.
2012-10-17, 06:04 PM
The doctor stands as Lothar comes to him, holding out his hand with a mild look of distaste on his face but saying nothing, merely gripping the steward's hand firmly in return. What a strange custom. I had not thought the people in Stavlachia so different from those in Timisoara.
The doctor makes to return to his seat but stops as the door opens and a radiant young maiden enters the room. Although slight in figure her luscious hair and perfect features are incredibly striking, and the doctor has to shake himself and make an effort not to stare. He sits down once again after the beauty has spoken a few incomprehensible words, wondering as to what the new arrival - and, indeed, all those present - was summoned here for.
2012-10-17, 07:55 PM
Whereas Solland was willing to stand up for a maiden in distress, he was not going to stand against the voice of Sir Lothar. He did stand for the steward, though his concern only grew. He was certain he had seen Sir Lothar before. He kept quiet though.
2012-10-17, 08:51 PM
Andrei had already risen at the sight of Lothar's approach when the door opened and the breathtaking vision entered the room. Andrei had found some of the young women in Baia Mare quite pretty, beautiful even, but they were nothing compared to this woman. For the moment he didn't even notice that he couldn't understand a word she said. The absurd thought crossed his mind that if she was one of those famed courtyzans his brother had sometimes mentioned when puffing himself up with his friends, he doubted that everything in his entire village could pay for one night with her. With that thought and the admonishment of the noblewoman to his right still lingering, he pulled his gaze down towards the approaching Lothar.
His gaze darkened at the stewards approach. Custom my eye, he thought to himself. While he was unsure if it was a matter of class, Andrei had spent too many years on the receiving end of too many barbs not to know the look on Lothar's face. It was the look of getting away with something because of superior position. He had dealt with it his whole life, a life he had hoped would change with Giovanni's offer. Offer or no, however, Andrei had no intent of letting the man make mock of him. As Lothar took his hand, he clasped with his right while his left slipped out to encircle the grip. He stepped forward slightly to put his weight above his wrist. While he would allow the man to shake and release, any attempt to pull the hand up would have to lift Andrei's entire bodyweight with it.
2012-10-17, 11:46 PM
Lothar visibly pauses as Andrei outwits him. He glares at the peasant man, but releases him from his grip without incident and moves on.
It is then his eyes catch the newest arrival, and he leers at her.
"Ah, I see our final guest has arrived. Fashionably late, yes?" He moves over to her, taking her hand. "I am the Earl's Steward, Sir Lothar. Lady Isabella, thank you for gracing us with your presence." he lifts her hand and gives it a long lick, as if savoring the taste of her flesh.
With the exception of Luca, everyone can assume Lothar has greeted or attempted to greet them when you post.
2012-10-18, 12:17 AM
I admit, this fever befuddles my senses a bit. What you're saying is that Lothar doesn't try to greet me in this manner, am I getting that right?
Sweat beaded on Luca's brow at the mention of inspection, but he calmed down in short order and continued, "I think the Earl would have to be blind or a fool to turn down an offer from an angel such as yourself. Possibly both." When a third woman entered, this Isabella of Venice, she certainly turned some heads. Luca's was one of them, but it wasn't on account of lust.
Familiarity. That's what fueled his anger and clenched his jaw. There was something... sickeningly familiar about this woman. Luca realized he had ignored Marianna for too long, and so turned away from Isabella with a sneer. "My dear," he reassured her in a near-whisper, "I doubt she's got half the wits that you do. If the Earl's enticed by pretty packaging, then he's no good for you anyhow."
2012-10-18, 02:53 AM
The green eyes of the Italian narrowed slightly at the sight of this curious inspection. A strange custom, indeed, and more than a little disturbing. He half-consciously muttered the beginning of a prayer under his nose to protect from witches, pagans and evil men. Then the woman entered the room, and he did not bother to hide his awed look. He had seem women... no, not like her - of the type, they weren't that rare in his hometown, but he had yet to see one like her. He could now understand some of the outrageous sums paid to those of her ilk - were he so rich, he would have tried the same, he thought. It was the look of a man raised on oatmeals when he sees and smells a roasted boar. masterfully done and seasoned with spices from the Levant. His throat went dry and it took no small amount of will to get back to the inspection. What had he been thinking, again?
He tried to focus on Lothar's curious behavior as the man drew near. The man's behavior was quite off-putting. He had heard of the Tatars in Crimea doing things like that, but this man was no heathen Tatar, yet a seneschal to a Christian lord. He allowed himself to be studied thus without flinching, using the opportunity to examine the man up close while he was sniffing at him.
"If I may ask, sir? This man here is a brave soul, veteran from the wars with the heathen Turks. He fought bravely before he was wounded, and he's come from far to see if the Earl would have him serve as a guard, or some other way. He is a humble man and eager - would you, er, take him? I am sure there is some way he could be useful... and it would be a sin to allow such a man to go to waste as a beggar."
Soras Teva Gee
2012-10-18, 06:56 AM
Christ but that he was a married man. The new comer was, quite simply the perfection of the female form. Helen of Troy with blonde hair. Adam felt his mouth water and heart race. He was sure everyman (and perhaps some of the women) must feel the same way. Adam made himself look away, before he embarrassed himself.
Around then Lothar was making his way to Benghi, who spoke up of Paul's case. A shame the soldier had not asked him, a lord's recommendation could do much. Though that might not have ended well given the stewards ill conduct. The more Adam saw of the man as he made his way around the room the less he like the man. That was no custom he'd ever heard tell of that was certain, but what could be the purpose. No he would not recommend any man to the Giovanni, his wife was right to the cautious. A greater shame Paul had not taken up Adam's offer, but then he was under no obligation to.
2012-10-18, 08:43 AM
Alenka raised an eyebrow at Andrei's perculiar behavior when it dawned on her that not all of his faculties may be with him. Watching his interaction with Lothar, however, it would seem that his mind was perfectly intact.
She was soon to push the remnants of her stew forward with a congratulatory smile so that Andrei could be rewarded for his wit...that is if he turned back around.
When Lothar came to take the hand of Countess Vasa, she gave him no such due. She had seen his perversions visited upon the newcomer and she had no desire to wet her hand with the saliva of some underling.
Instead she stared at him with a polite, customary smile as he stood there awaiting her appendage. Looking him up and down during the awkward silence, she held up her hand close to her body, and twiddled her two longest fingers to simulate the legs of a person walking away. "Run along, you can go." she spoke and ignored whatever sneer followed as he pulled away.
2012-10-18, 11:12 AM
Seth inhaled, intending to 'educate' Erwin some more, but the sight of the stunning woman entering the common room took his breath away. He watched her silently, both his charge and the Earl's servant's strange behavior now vying for the furthest thing from his mind.
I've no idea what she's saying, but it doesn't much matter; I can sit here and watch her all evening.
2012-10-18, 01:19 PM
She smiled warmly showing her white teeth in reply to his leer, likely he fully approved of his masters dealings with one such as her "of course the privilege is mine Sir Lothar" or perhaps she was to be a gift for good service as occurred infrequently, as he took her hand she allowed him his taste, a few years ago she would have complimented him on the use of his tongue a feature many men simply did not use but now was likely not the time, she was practised enough to part her fingers imperceptibly to allow him better access between them if he should wish it.
As he pulled away she caught his eye her eyes laughing in mirth but not at him, he was certainly not the kind of man that would object to his masters tastes "I would if you have a moment speak with you regarding some matters of import later tonight", in truth it was not needed she could accept gifts or not (in which case Lord Claudius's name would be spoken poorly of in some circles in Venice) but she liked to know the expectations before hand.
She looked around the room again noting the faces and nodding in polite greeting with a friendly smile as she did an invitation to talk but she made no move to initiate conversation at this time, she also and more importantly noted the dress sense, an odd bunch to be sure odd enough to make her wonder if something was occurring in the area, but she disregarded the notion as irrelevant to her this was after all mostly about whether Claudius would be a suitable contact for her and she was not going to engage in the politics of the situation unless it affected her home.
Approaching the tavern master, "please sir could I have a warm short glass of wine, and some bread if it is available", considering the area she spoke Romanian to the man, and regretted not introducing herself with such earlier it was a poor introduction in hindsight.
2012-10-18, 03:53 PM
Lothar listens to Benghi's request with obvious disinterest. "The Earl has enough guards. I see no reason to hire one more mouth to feed." He turns to move away before catching a glimpse at Paul. It seems to make him reconsider.
"On second thought, perhaps there is space available for you after all solder. Come, you can ride back with me, and explain to me why the Earl should hire you."
Paul's eyes go wide. He thanks Lothar exhaustively, but the steward is already moving on to the next guest. The young solder smiles excitedly at Benghi.
"Thank you my Lord. I am in your debt. Thank you both," he says, including Adam in his praise.
Lothar waves off her questions."Please withhold all of your questions into you meet with the Earl. He will answer them far better than I could hope to."
Sigismund stares at her for a long moment, before breaking eye contact and stammering out a promise to bring her the best food in the inn.
It is only after he greets all of the other guests that Lothar makes his way over to Luca. He looks the conman over carefully.
And then he smiles, extending his hands to greet Luca.
"Ah, Lord Golescu, you grace us with your presence." He brings his hand to his nose and inhales deeply, before releasing Luca and turning away.
"Now that I have properly greeted all of you, I must be on my way. Please, relax and enjoy the food and wine the gracious innkeeper has provided you with. Roderigo will be back tomorrow morning to escort you to the Earl's manor. For any of you who have brought servants, know that they are not invited. They can wait here until your business is concluded. I hope you all enjoy the hospitality of..."
"Demons! Foul demons all!"
Few need to turn to understand that it is Brother Clement whom has risen, shaking with fury.
"I warn ye all one final time!! Lothar is but a toady of Claudius Giovanni, Satan incarnate! You are entering into eternal domination if you go with him! I warn you good people! Flee this accursed place! Your very souls are in danger!
Lothar looks annoyed at the interruption, and this is an annoyance he does not need to bite his tongue for. He glares at the monk.
Brother Clement merely laughs. "Your hell born wizardry has no effect on me!
"I need no wizardry fool!" He motions to his solder escort. They move to the man's side silently, wrestling him to the ground. Clement shrieks in outrage.
"Throw him out into the rain! He has lost the Earl's hospitality with his outrageous behavior."
2012-10-18, 04:06 PM
Alenka watched the exchange between Clement and Lothar with a dichotomous interest. On one hand, she had grown weary of his doomsaying and preaching. If Alenka had received a penny for every fools vague, apocryphal visions of apocalypse and gloom that had not come to be then she'd be even more fabulously wealth than she already was.
But...on the other hand...his craziness had a certain...innocence. Genuine, even. THe monk didn't seem to desire the cultivation of converts, but rather that people be kept cleared of a certain area...even if that area was inhabited by a marvelously plush and connected merchant family.
When Lothar's men wrestled the corpulent monk to the ground, the Countess mostly lost interest until it was raised that he were to be cast out into the rain. In this season only a cold, lonely sentence awaited those who found themselves without shelter out there at this time of night.
Wanting to hold her tongue and just retire after a long carriage trip, Alenka scolded herself for possessing an ounce of empathy as she gracefully appeared by Lothars side.
She leaned over to speak into his ear, quietly.
"Throwing him into the rain would only grant him another threatre to spread his misinformed preachings to the lower orders. I'm sure the cellar would provide more suitable apprehension for the evening until he can be sent on his way tomorrow at morning."
Manipulation + Expression: [roll0]
-2 Difficulty for Lyrical Voice.
2012-10-18, 04:36 PM
She nodded her understanding to Lothar "of course" hmm ... this was interesting normally noblemen did not wish to discuss such matters directly leaving it to servants or wives.
Taking her seat she waited on her food, meat and pastries with a fine wine ... truly a feast for an inn such as this and then he made to leave without payment, she stood and placed a hand on the man's face looking him in the eye, "thank you sir, but I could not accept this as an offer of simple kindness" taking a small purse from her gown she counted out a few coins not a lot but more then enough to cover the meal with a sizeable tip, and taking his hand gently she placed them in to it, "it may be a hard winter and I would not deprive you".
She was wealthy now and could easily afford this and more and she did remember what it was like to go hungry when she was a child and her mother had acted poorly over nothing ... plus people remembered such kindnesses from others.
Starting in on the meal she certainly enjoyed it, it was well worth the price she paid after her trip.
The shout made her look up, at the brother he seemed so genuine not corrupt nor a hypocrite but honestly a man of faith ... the very notion was amusing, the violence that followed was not, "Sir Lothar", she noted the woman speaking "my lady, if this man has lost the hospitality of the Earl then I take it he is no longer welcome in this area at all?", her voice thoughtful, "that being the case I am happy to offer him hospitality in the common room out of my own pocket and to have him accompany me home once our business here is concluded", turning to the brother her smile kind and warm, "if that is acceptable I may be able to assist in finding a monastery to take you in".
This was more then a simple act of kindness, she was interested to hear what the monk had to say, if Claudius Giovanni was involved with devil worship then it would not do to be involved with him, very little would protect from the full weight of the church and very little reward was worth the danger, not that there was not a certain virtue in assisting the old man on its own.
2012-10-18, 04:39 PM
"The pleasure is all mine, rest assured." Luca breathed an internal sigh of relief. He passed whatever test Lothar had used to verify his identity. Before the conversation with Marianna could continue, Brother Clement exploded in another outburst. "Good people. Guess that doesn't mean me," Luca thought with amusement. The busybody woman chimed in again, and he noted the fear in her voice. "Oh, he'll be fine.." Luca felt a pang of anger as he remembered his own cold nights in the rain, which he quashed by beginning in on his stew.
2012-10-18, 04:45 PM
Lothar considers the Countess's words. It's clear he'd rather throw the monk out and be done with it, but her words about the monk winning more converts through his treatment clearly concern him.
"...Fine. Throw him into the cellar. Maybe he'll learn how to address his betters after he spends a night down there."
He dismisses Isabella's offer. "That is not necessary. He can remain at the inn after he spends a night in quiet contemplation. He should be glad he is a monk. Were he an ordinary man the punishment would be far more... severe."
Sigismund returns with Isabella's food and drink, seeing the commotion for the first time. He looks as though he wants to say something about he monk's poor treatment, but he remains silent, perhaps not wanting the same fate to befall him. He smiles sincerely at the coins she gives him.
Clement is dragged from the room and to the cellar, fighting every step of the way. He bites. He kicks. He screams and curses. The guards shove him in and hastily lock the door, cutting him off mid scream.
Lothar smiles, though it comes off as more of a sneer. "Now that that unpleasantness has been taken care of..."
"How dare you."
Father Dytel rises from his seat, casting a stern look at Lothar.
"I first felt that the things my brother was accusing you of were baseless, but now I am beginning to think they are not. First you greet us like cattle. Then you disrespect the church by treating one of its representives in such a manner. Our Lord is a vengeful one, and He will remember your treatment."
Lothar's eyes flash. "Be silent! Do you want to lose your invitation to the Earl's feast?"
Dytel takes it from his pocket and rips it up. 'I have no desire to spend an evening with one such as yourself whom would so gleefully treat others in this manner. I am going home!' The priest storms out the door, slamming it in his wake. Lothar looks furious.
2012-10-18, 05:33 PM
The Italian shrugs at the soldier's thanks. "I owed you as much for all you told me earlier. Besides, fighting the good fight against the heathens should count for that much, at least. I had friends on some ships those saracens sank. I hope that position works well for you - but if you hear more about what the Earl wants us all there for, I'd be thankful," he added, again nearly inaudibly and once Lothar was some distance away... and distracted. He kept his eyes on the man and his strange custom, but did not comment. Perhaps people here were just weird.
Speaking of distractions, he viewed the unfolding scene with distaste. Monks being abused was something that did not seem to appeal to him, although the man was hardly the most pleasant company. He thought about interfering, although he was honest with himself - he did not care for the man overmuch. Before he could decide, others have spoken against him - or for him. The father's rage he found somewhat disturbing. Sailors were often described as godless, but they could be quite superstitious at times. When you spend months on end with nothing but a bit of wood between you and a hundred fathoms of water, you do not take to insulting any god lightly. "Now, that's hardly a good omen." he muttered.
2012-10-18, 06:07 PM
The doctor watches the rough treatment of the monk, feeling strongly disgusted with the brutality of Lothar and his men but doing nothing to help the man in his struggle. He watches and listens to the other guests argue over the fate of the man, and watches the Father as he decries Lothar's actions and strides out of the inn. The doctor shifts in his seat uneasily and twists his hands together in a shifting knot of nimble, nervous fingers, deeply unsettled by the evening's events. He clearly doesn't enjoy violent confrontation, and as Lothar's rage flares the doctor looks away quickly and goes back to picking at his stew. Occasionally he looks at the other guests to gauge their reaction to events, but never looks back to Lothar.
What an unnecessarily savage man. He really needs to be taught a lesson, though I'm not the one to do it - unless it involves scalpels, needles and thread. But I'd never do that to a living person...not even him.
2012-10-18, 06:35 PM
Her smile faded, imprisonment without charge - yes the accusations were heinous - but that was what the legal system existed for, this was simple a mockery, and one that could have been avoided if the man had just let the monk go.
Still the indication was that the monk would be allowed to stay a after tonight and as such his accusations carried less weight, further compounded my the other priest being able to leave unmolested.
She continued to savour her food and sip her wine slowly, considering the situation ... from a practical standpoint she would have preferred to have arrived the following night rather then having to wait around for an extra day.
She stood her voice calm and measured, "Sir Lothar, I understand your annoyance, your lords good name has been besmirched in front of his guests by one he has done a kindness for in allowing board. However as you can see from the father's exit there are certain issues of confusion at play which could affect the feast tomorrow", she was considering leaving herself it was far from home after all, "if you consider this matter serious enough for imprisonment then I would suggest taking the man to stand trial", her eyes pleading now "however I would consider it a personal favour if you would simply allow me to offer accommodation to the monk as discussed. I would be happy to repay this my speaking to the father and seeing if he will return so as not to disrupt your lords feast", she knew how lords could react to disruption to plans like this and she would not be surprised if he simply cancelled the entire feast, making the trip a total waste ... also it would give her an chance to confirm with the monk without difficulty, while appearance kind and thoughtful to the others who she was uncertain of.
I don't normally like rolling but it is probably needed.
1 willpower to get an automatic success.
-2 difficulty for Enchanting voice.
Taking Etiquette as it seems appropriate for convincing Lothar he is out of line but in a gentle fashion.
2012-10-18, 07:44 PM
Andrei watched the unfolding situation in mute horror. While the priest had spoken in a way that gave Andrei serious reservations about how sane he was, throwing a man of God out was . . . just not done. But by the same token, there were limits to what one could say about nobility, and the priest had given the little man his opening. It was one thing for Andrei to force that twisted little bully into a position where he could indulge his power games or act politely, but not both. It was another thing entirely for a simple villager to try and wrestle two larger and stronger guards acting at the behest of a noble's right-hand man.
He stood uncertainly, looking at the other men for a sign to jump into the fray.
2012-10-18, 08:34 PM
Solland said nothing at the exchange. One woman being harassed by a drunkard was one thing, it was something he had done before. To stand in between a steward to a great lord and a man of the cloth... it was far above his station.
He sat in his spot, simply watching it unfold. Yes, Sir Lothar was clearly not a moral man. It did not necessariyl mean Lord Claudius was worse for it, but it certainly didn't mean he was any better.
Solland simply sat, ate his stew, and drunk his drink.
2012-10-18, 09:29 PM
The older servant watched the exchange silently. Experience had taught him to stay out of the way when those speaking for nobility wished to flex their power. Beside him, the sullen youth watched passively, and muttered something unintelligible.
"What's that?" Seth asked, but Erwin just shook his head.
2012-10-18, 10:18 PM
"Do not bother with Father Dydel. If he is so intent on rejecting the Earl's grace, he does not deserve his spot at the feast. As for the monk, his behavior is outrageous and a night in the cellar will serve as a lesson to him. However, I cannot stop you from talking to him, if you feel the need. Not that it will do much good. The fool is convinced of things he knows nothing about," Lothar mutters darkly.
"I must go now. As I've said, Roderigo will arrive here tomorrow morning and escort you to the Earl's feast." He nods curtly to you all, and motions for Paul to come forward. The young solder sends one final nervous smile to Benghi and Adam, and then he joins Lothar and the rest of his entourage in leaving the inn.
Okay, I'll let you all do whatever final things you wish, and I'll have the next scene up sometime tomorrow. Congratulations on surviving the first scene!
Everyone have 1 xp for good roleplaying, and an additional 1 for this being the first scene and you all doing a great job at establishing your characters.
Benghi gains an extra xp for getting Paul the job. Adam gains 1 xp for showing up Lothar, Alenka and Solland gain 1 xp for jointly "saving" Marianna.
Throughout the game, if you feel like you did something to deserve extra xp, pm me and I'll consider it. Having so many players I may miss an action that deserves some, so feel free to let me know if you think I did. Within reason. :smallsmile:
2012-10-18, 10:28 PM
I feel like Solland deserve 500XP.:elan:
Solland spent the rest of the night, mostly to himself. He played a couple more songs, the first one a lighter one to brighten up the mood after Loathar's strange customs and Clement's rantings. The last song he played was solemn to set up the mood for a good night's rest.
He spoke briefly to people. If asked if his playing was why he was summoned, he claimed he was not certain, and left it at that.
2012-10-18, 11:16 PM
Alenka had had quite enough of Sir Lothar's bullying and so returned to her position by Aldric. If Andrei wished it the bowl of stew was still available for him to take.
Spending a little more time petting her cat, Herman, Alenka retired for the night. As she did so, she slipped Sigismund several coins and asked him to give Celement a blanket against the cool interior of the cellar.
And I'll post back at the beginning of the next scene.
Soras Teva Gee
2012-10-19, 12:34 AM
Adam retired from the common room early with his retainer to room he'd acquired. He'd no idea if it was truly the inn best but it served his purpose. Stellian appeared a few more times to retrieve hot water for bathing, and then some wine after that. An ear that listened close could hear murmurs late into the night though.
2012-10-19, 01:27 AM
Benghi stayed a bit later than the others, ordering some more wine. What was the value of having a free stay if you did not make good use of it? Besides, he'd gotten the Earl a dedicated (though arguably not that useful) man, a bit more wine would not be too much to ask for.
Plus, he wanted to wash the bad taste off his mouth. This Lothar did not strike him as a good sort, not at all. True, men of power seldom took well to insults from the clergy, and supposedly the monk had been loose with his tongue before... but just because something was occasionally done didn't make it a nice sight. He would have asked the noble - what was his name again? - if this sniffing and licking was a custom he had heard of. The way the man had reacted, it didn't seem all that common where he was from, or at least not done to nobility. He looked around to see who else from the remaining people looked more knowledgeable. Maybe the innkeeper, though he seemed quite wary of talking much...
Anyone for a chat?
2012-10-19, 02:12 AM
"Why don't you get to bed, you've got a big day tomorrow," Seth said.
Erwin simply nodded his head listlessly and made his way to their room.
Seth watched the boy go and then took another sip of wine, letting the red liquid warm his belly. With the excitement over, the room had seriously begun to clear out. He figured he would probably give Erwin ten minutes before following.
2012-10-19, 12:29 PM
The doctor remains in the main room, ordering some more wine and spending his time leafing through his notes and making alterations. With a pen he works on a sketch of the human hand with sections of skin peeled back to reveal the internal workings, based on some of his private work. The doctor occasionally glances about the room worriedly to see if anyone can see his work, but for most of the evening he occupies himself with his drawings. After a while he goes to bed, pleasantly distracted from his concerns about Lothar.
2012-10-19, 02:13 PM
Luca would love to chat, but he might not actually know anything. :smalltongue:
Marianna had headed for bed with barely a word, but Luca wasn't really all that tired. He scanned the room for someone else to converse with. He locked gazes with the sailor. "Finally, someone who's not a noble or a goody-goody musician." Luca grabbed up his glass, then slid into a seat next to Benghi. "So, that was an interesting turn of events, and we haven't even reached the earl's manse yet."
2012-10-19, 02:27 PM
She wasn't happy about about the monk's night, but she smiled warmly at Sir Lothar all the same, "apologies I am likely unaware of the full situation, until tomorrow have a safe home".
She listened to the musician while continuing to eat her food and sip the wine, and clapped lightly at the end meeting his eyes with hers, he seemed good alright, she would try to remember him, but he was plain enough that she would have trouble describing him after he left the room.
Taking the remainder of the food and her glass of wine she approached the cellar asking the inn keeper to open the door, "I would speak to him and offer him food" she said warmly.
2012-10-19, 03:58 PM
Now that Lothar and his men are gone, Sigismund is all too happy to allow Isabella to take the food to the monk. He leads her to the cellar. It is a small one, cold and damp.
Brother Clement is still muttering to himself as the door opens. He fixes his manic eyes upon Isabella.
"You must leave good Sister! The Earl seeks only your damnation! Please, if you've any concern over your immortal soul, turn your back on the foul manse and flee! " He accepts the food without a word.
Feel free to respond. Everyone with some buisnees to conduct can finish it up in the next few posts.
Act 1: Scene 2
By the next dawn the storm has ended, and the sun shines brightly on the assembled guests. After a nice breakfast of fresh eggs and bread, the guests wait around until just after noon, when a carriage returns for them. The Coachman Roderigo greets them all in turn.
"Please watch your step as you board. The terrain is a bit rough, but I promise I'll go as gently over it as possible. You won't feel a thing in my able care."
The inside of the carriage is luxurious, and the seats are soft. It would be a very relaxing atmosphere if not for the heavy shutters fastened over the windows. The shutters block out all sunlight, and contribute to a rather gloomy atmosphere. Roderigo sees this and unbolts them, letting in light and air.
"Forgive the look. It is for protection from brigand attack."
With a yell to the horses from Roderigo, you begin your journey to the manse.
Continue to get to know each other if you like. Also, make a Perception+Alertness roll, difficulty 7.
Outside the window, you catch a glimpse of three crucified bodies in the woods.
2012-10-19, 04:24 PM
"Brother" she said humbly, "you must tell me more. The earl is powerful and respected, if you have proof of his foul deeds I will leave tonight and take you with me so you can be heard in Venice", her eyes taking a sad look "but I cannot act on your word along" she reached out tenderly to make him look her in the eye - and also to tell if her was running a fever.
"Tell me your full history with the Earl and I will judge for myself", looking at the man, his passion and drive in the face of frustration she could not but help be impressed to a degree.
Medicine + Perception (to see if she notices a fever): [roll0]
Charisma + Empathy (to put him at ease and get him to open up): [roll1]
- 2 diff for enchanting voice.
2012-10-19, 05:35 PM
"Bah, you think that will do any good? The Earl and his entire vile family control large amounts of the nobility. Even the Church has been perverted by them! When I first began speaking out against the Earl, I was expelled from my order. My pleas to higher ups went unanswered, even to His Holiness himself! There are very few left whom remain uncorrupted by Claudius Giovanni. He is the Antichrist himself! I cannot flee, dear Sister. I must continue to expose the truth about the Earl, and pray that my faith shields me from Satan's reprisals.
"If you need further proof of his foul deeds then the treatment I have received tonight, consider that among his guests are the heathen Turks. What good Christian would permit them to be among their company? The Earl claims to give full support to the crusades against the heathen, yet he has not contributed one solder to the cause!"
Clement shivers a bit, but appears to be in decent health. He will likely get through the night with little more then discomfort.
2012-10-19, 06:01 PM
Lets see how this goes.
She would have sighed except that it would not be civilised, the man was holding his own mistreatment and the guests as proof enough that his enemy was the devil himself ... which was something that she could not accept as rational enough.
Still it had been a long trip and she had a party tomorrow, a bit of mental foreplay with an unknowing man who sought no such action could put her in the right mood for tomorrow, and allow her to keep her mind sharp.
She smile was intended to be dazzling, her clean and bright teeth showing and her eyes holding a look of wonder as of to say she accepted his words at face value, "Brother that is incredible, and I am humbled to tell you that you have already saved one tonight ... the father you were speaking to was so offended by your treatment that he refused the invitation in no uncertain terms and left".
Her intention is seduction, she is not sure how far she will take it, or even if she will get anywhere it has been a while since she had a challenge.
I am using the Dark Ages book at the moment for this, where the rules are for three rolls as follows, these seem different in different books though but these are likely the easiest in terms of dice rolling on PbP.
1. Establishing a rapport: Appearance + Subterfuge, difficulty Wits +3. Successes beyond one lower the difficulty of the second roll on a one for one basis.
2. Contact, flirting and wit: Wits + Subterfuge, difficulty Intelligence +3. Successes beyond one lower the difficulty of the third roll on a one for one basis.
3. The final hurdle before intimacy: Charisma + Empathy, difficulty Perception +3. Success indicates the outcome determined by the seducer.
I will roll separately depending on how the scene takes place.
Appearance + Subterfuge [roll0]
Diff (Max 6 (+ storyteller judgement), providing 5 for wits plus 3 and minus 2 for enchanting voice).
2012-10-19, 06:31 PM
Before he went upstairs for the night, Benghi tried to get a few words with the innkeeper, quietly and while the others were mostly gone or too tired to mind.
"So, this is the seneschal of the lord. A man of ... distinction, indeed, but his was a strange custom. Have you perhaps heard of it before?"
In the carriage, Benghi sneaks the occasional peek at the world outside. "Tell me, Rodrigo, are there still bandits around these parts? I would imagine they are dealt with quite thoroughly," he says, and those close to him can see the grimace he makes.
2012-10-19, 08:04 PM
Andrei gratefully accepted the bowl from the noblewoman and heartily dug in. As the others gradually filed out, he remained in his corner, eating his fill and switching to ale when his first glass of wine was finished. It had been a rare thing in his life to be able to eat to his heart's content, and the stew was quite good.
As he worked on the food, he had time to mull over the events of the last hour. He had come thinking that Giovanni needed a hunter who knew the Carpathian mountains. He had suspected it was for a hunt, but there was always the possibility he needed a scout. Andrei had heard from some of the older men in the village, those who had been concripted into service against the Turks, that most of the fighting was along or near the Danube, which ran like a highway straight into the heart of Christendom. Since the fall of Constantinople, the Turks had used that highway to advance into Europe. While it wasn't likely, it was at least possible that Giovanni would assemble an army and then, using scouts, bypass the Turks by moving troops through the passes of the Carpathians.
That thought had been dashed by the other arrivals. There was no coherent set of skills between them, nor was there any single reason to unite them in common purpose. And yet, if they were here for entirely different reasons, why schedule so many different arrivals at the same time? No, there's a piece missing here. Or several. Something didn't add up. And the only man who might know something about it was now in that cellar having been locked up in most unChristian fashion.
That, along with the completion of his fourth bowl of stew, settled the matter. Waving over the innkeeper, he signaled for two more stews. With that done, he opened his bag again and drew out the bear-skin cloak, still neatly folded. Picking up the new stews and the cloak, he went to the cellar door. If I can get some answers from the priest, I will. If not, I can still do my Christian duty. With a brief knock he opened the door . . . and found that the beautiful woman was already there. While he couldn't read what she was saying, he had long ago learned to read body language. And what he was reading . . . wasn't the most Christian thing he could have seen either. He averted his eyes quickly, pretending that he was focused on keeping the stews from spilling as he finagled with the door knob.
Manipulation + Subterfuge to try and convince either or both parties that Andrei didn't see what he thinks he just saw between them. Which is probably going to fail, because a manipulator Andrei is not.
2012-10-19, 08:10 PM
Let's try that roll again:
2012-10-19, 09:22 PM
"You must go, master Erwin," Seth said.
It was now well past dawn, but Erwin remained in his nightclothes huddled over the small bucket, his face now a distinct shade of yellow-green.
"Bloody stew," he muttered, and heaved again.
"Seth, I cannot go," Erwin said, wiping his mouth with the already soiled cloth, "I can't even dress myself, how am I to travel through the day and sit with the Earl tonight?"
Seth shook his head.
"The senechal was very clear, only those invited are to attend," Seth replied.
Erwin responded by pulling off a ring from one of his fingers.
"Take this," he said, "the Earl will know you speak with my voice. Send him my apologies and return tonight, and we can hopefully put this farce of a trip behind us."
The sound of spattering bile followed Erwin's words, and Seth looked away, unable to help feeling disgusted. The boy had feigned illness before, but he had been looking forward to this trip, and it was very clear on this fine morning that this was no facade. They could simply not go, but that might offend the Earl. No, the illness did not appear serious, and Erwin was right; he should go in his charge's stead and make apologies to the Earl.
Seth made arrangements with the innkeeper to see that Erwin was taken care of, then strode out into the sunlight, pocketed hand fingering Erwin's ring. He was glad to be into the fresh morning air, and hesitated for a moment before stepping into the gloomy carriage. Feeling out of place, he kept to himself unless spoken to directly, and occupied his time by staring out the window.
"By all that's holy," he muttered as he caught sight of the three crucified men. Reflexively he crossed himself, then glanced around to see if anyone else had noticed.
2012-10-19, 09:51 PM
Clement's eyes widen. It seems he is not used to his pleas being heard. It actually seems to make him less agitated.
"That is joyous news! I am glad my words were able to lead one away from damnation," He leaned forward, and she could smell his rancid breath. His eyes bore into her, unblinking. "Though I'd rather have saved two. Tell me Sister, will you be taking my warnings to heart?
The sound of the door opening caused Clement to jump back, paranoia written all over his face. He regards the new arrival with suspicion.
If the opportunity arises, you can just make the final roll if your aim is seduction. I don't think too many rolls are needed. Even if holy, Clement's a heterosexual man, and so far he is very... let us say intrigued by Isabella. Though Andrei's entrance might prove quite the hurdle.
Sigismund shook his head."I've never heard of such a thing. But I know little of the Lord's customs, frankly. Surely they are different than ours," he laughs, but it is strained.
"Aye, bandits remain a problem. The Earl punishes them most sternly however, so I expect their number will dwindle soon enough."
As Roderigo sees Seth, he frowns.
"I'm afraid only guests are allowed to attend the Earl's dinner sir."
2012-10-19, 10:01 PM
"My apologies sir," Seth replies, "but the young master has taken ill and is unfit for travel. I go not to attend the dinner, but to make personal apologies to the Earl, and then take my leave."
"Master Erwin has bade me make the trip in his stead," Seth continues, producing Erwin's ring, "and it would be improper to simply ignore the Earl's invitation without so much as an explanation, don't you agree?"
2012-10-19, 10:03 PM
"Aye, that makes sense. I fear that the Earl will insist you have dinner in the young master's stead, but perhaps... perhaps it is for the best. Especially if he has taken ill. Please, welcome aboard."
2012-10-19, 11:02 PM
I am assuming that Andrei left the room again after his act?
Perception + Empathy: [roll0]
To get a feel for if it was an act.
Gazing into his eyes she noted his breath, poor but she had tolerated worse, at the interruption she turned her head and smiled at the man - so far she had said some words and looked pleasant nothing more - and the words themselves were not sinful in nature.
The man was making a show of his stew, but as he left she turned her attention to the monk again, "I am considering" she said thoughtfully, "on the one hand", she looked at her hand "you make a compelling case and despite your order expelling you I can tell you are a man of great conviction", she placed the hand on his knee to cushion the ego blow of the expulsion and to establish contact, "but ... " taking her other hand "I would not dream of second guessing the holy churches judgement", she placed the hand at his neck noting his pulse to see if she was having an affect, put also to take his attention fully back to her.
"While I would not wish to admit to weakness, occasionally we woman do not a strong moral man to take us and make things known" she whispered.
Wits + Subterfuge: [roll1]
Difficulty max 6 minus extra successes on the previous roll, so diff 2 baring him having bonus.
As I am assuming at least 4 success I will go on to the next section.
Charisma + Empathy: [roll2]
Assuming diff 2, and assuming at least a single success I will continue.
Seeing that she had him she was actually not sure what to do with him, it had been too easy, but still the man needed to be given a reason for her going to the castle.
"I should retire to my chambers and not disturb you longer" making to stand she slipped and touched him lightly in the groin area, "my apologies" she gasped in shock, she began to too smooth his robes in the area, and encountered a hardness, and she said in a horror, "I did not mean ... did I hurt you there is swelling", she gulped "it is my fault for falling" her eyes begging forgiveness, "if you wish I have some knowledge of healing I may be able to assist with tending the wound", she eyes screamed innocence and purity as she gazed up at him.
Now it was up to him, she would not force the issue further he needed to show some initiative, of course rejecting her offer would likely be seen as harsh and her soul was at stake, but accepting would almost certainly break his vows.
She was curious as to how he would handle it, as to his mind either could damn her.
2012-10-20, 02:52 AM
Alenka sat in the carriage and looked out into the passing country-side. She wore a n elegant affair that was typical of her tastes: stlish, well-presented, but not flashy. She still carried with her the ornamentally decorated and inscribed cane that rested at her side.
She said nothing, instead seemingly captivated by the woodlands beyond.
2012-10-20, 02:34 PM
(Assuming Andrei left.)
Clement swallows loudly. "Thank you sister. No, ye did not hurt me. But I would be most interested in you... tending to my wound. I have spent many nights without shelter. It is a harsh life I lead in opposing the devil wherever he may be found. Occasionally I do desire...comfort."
He begins to disrobe.
Okay, let's stop here, since I don't want to break any of the forum rules. Suffice it to say that Clement and Isabella have an enjoyable night. Clement seems to think Isabella's "care" has proven that she will heed his warnings. When she awakens in the morning he will be gone. if asked, Sigismund will mention that he rode into church, an urgent look on his face.
Have 2 xp for seducing the monk. :smallsmile:
Will update the main story in a few hours.
2012-10-20, 03:38 PM
Luca watched the hills roll by, taking only a mild interest in the crucifixion victims. "If those were state-sanctioned, the monk got off easy." He did not elect to address any of his compatriots. Instead he walked himself through the ideal version of tonight's events. Get out of the carriage. Eat some. Pretend to get drunk. Wander off. Find valuables. Steal valuables. Steal horse. Ride home. Get filthy rich. Simple in theory, but Giovanni was bound to have guards. Not to mention, some of the guests had fairly sharp eyes, judging by their horrified gasps.
2012-10-20, 03:55 PM
If I can just change a bit of the scene without getting into details, it is the crux of her 'villainous' plan.
To detail the plan.
1. Get the man to doubt his holiness/virtue.
2. Get the town to turn on him to at least an extend.
1. Prove to herself that the man is as corrupt as any other when offered temptation instead of shown force.
2. Get the man to stop pestering the Earl.
3. Allow the monk to get on with his life moving past his feelings of misplaced anger for his misfortune.
Current status from Isabella's point of view.
Goal 1 is complete.
Goal 2 and 3 are nearing completion.
By the end of this post I intend to have him doubt his purity, and have the village telling of his deeds to deprive him of succour here and force him to leave or adapt, either without blaming the earl.
Isabella gasped at the monks disrobed and she was passive in the interaction that followed allowing him to take her rather then the other way around, offering only the subtlest of encouragement when needed, her only two primary goals during this were to ensure that while he assisted in disrobing her to an extent that her dress would accidental tear, and that during the act he would hear her murmur 'please' followed by a mumble a number of times.
As the night ended and he reached his peak and finished he would finally make out that the mumble had been the word 'stop' and would know that it had always been that word, she had been passive to his lust not willing ... never willing.
Tears in her eyes would tell that story to him, she dressed the clothes dirty from where she had lay on it and torn from earlier completed the overall image, her voice breaking as she spoke "I am sorry ... I have lead you to sin. I should not have come here", she made for the door and stopped visibly trembling "apologies but I must speak before leaving, you say that Claudius is the devil - but all men sin, perhaps he has made mistakes and could repent as other men could" she left unsaid the direct comparison, "for only the lord our god is beyond reproach", she then fled the cellar.
As she entered the common room she kept her face shielded but noted that most had left with only the innkeeper and the beggar woman left, she made as of she could not face the innkeeper but the tears were obvious on her face as was the thorn dress, and she approached the beggar taking a coin from her purse, her eyes were haunted as she looked at her as she handed it over and whispered "he ... he didn't mean too ... but ... but I would not wish it on me that a warning was not given the woman folk need to be aware" she tone deeply hurt and scared, and then she quickly retreated to her room.
As she washed herself and prepared clothes for the following day she considered the night, the monk should doubt himself now as he had broken his vows and committed a grave sin, the village would likely hear of the deed by the morning from the beggar lady who had likely come due to the amount of guests and hoping for some easy coin and from the innkeeper who would likely warn the men folk not to trust the brother with there wives or daughters, and these two together would cause the monks talk of sin on behalf of the earl to fall on deaf ears, the man having his release may very well now move town and become a normal worker having experienced the pleasures of the flesh or return to his monastery having seen in himself the capacity from great sin and wanted to avoid the opportunity again after confession ... and may even believe that he was mistaken about the earl having been shown a comparison with himself.
All in all she was pleased with herself it had been an entertaining night to show the righteous their own hypocrisy, and if the earl found out he would know she could be a good ally and friend to him as she was to many in Vienna, and he would also know that if she could convince a man to sin like this that she could be a enemy he did not wish either.
She slept soundly that night.
I will post the following morning is a bit.
2012-10-20, 04:26 PM
Andrei stood for a moment, awkward and unsure of how to proceed. As he looked at the two of them, something cold and hard settled in his stomach, and his eyes flinty chips. Any thought of discussing matters with the priest were gone. You came to do your Christian duty. Do it and leave.
Steeling himself, he traded his uncertainty for brusque, business-like efficiency. Moving towards the priest, pointed at the man, then made a motion as if bringing an imaginary spoon to his mouth, then pointing, rather forcefully, at the food. Setting them down on the floor in front of the priest, he then set the cloak on a barrel. Pointing at the cloak, he put his hands together as if for prayer and tilted his wrists roughly 45 degrees to the right. Drawing his hands up to appear between his head and shoulder, he tilted his head to place his head on his hands and closed his eyes momentarily. He repeated this gesture after pointing at the cloak three times, each more emphatic than the last. He then walked off without turning around, closing the door behind him, if he had heard it, with a thump.
Returning to his seat, he quaffed another ale as he steamed at what he'd witnessed. The problem, as he saw it, wasn't the sex. He'd spent years in the wild, and perhaps more importantly for establishing the banality of sex, he'd lived for years with his handsome older brother in a two-room thatched hut. Which meant that accidentally walking in on . . . that, even between two unmarried people, wasn't exactly a new experience for Andrei.
No, the problem was loyalty. When one of the girls he'd seen awkwardly trying to play coy with Gavril after the obvious came back sweaty and nervous, Gavril had announced that he was getting married to her several days later. They now had three children together. And after Brother Alfred had taught him to draw words that stayed, he had asked why brothers were not allowed to take wives. Most of the explanation went above his head; Alfred believed in teaching ideas in much the same way you might teach a child to swim by chucking them in a river. But what stayed with him was the matter of loyalty: part of a brother's vow to God meant taking no wife. It was a part that Andrei identified with; parts that made him remember why he loved his brother and Alfred so fiercely.
And it was that same part that now looked at that priest with cold condescension. Draining the last of his ale, he went to bed, hoping remorselessly that the priest wouldn't soil his cloak.
2012-10-20, 04:49 PM
Andrei and Isabella
"Brother Clement maintains his composure.
"Thank ye brother. Your act of Christian charity will not be forgotten." It is unclear if he is voicing this for Andrei's benefit, or for Isabella's. He waits until after the mute man leaves.
And then his eyes turn back to Isabella, and they are hungry. He moves forward as he strips.
When the act is over, Isabela's reaction startles Clement. He looks confused. Then he just looks angry. He begins to yell.
"Most foul harlot! You are the devil himself, come to tempt me with your witchery! You bewitched me and lured me into sin, and I say to you now, your soul is damned! Ye and Claudius Giovanni shall burn together!" He continues to rant, until Isabella closes the door on him. Sigismund looks up at the beautiful woman curiously, before seeing her torn dress.
The Beggar woman looks grave as Isabella tells her story, but she nods at the request.
"I have seen many holy man fall short of their duties in my long life. It does not surprise me that this one has as well. I shall inform the good townsfolk to beware of the monk."
"No longer shall he be given shelter in my inn," Vows Sigismund. "He insults the Earl, and I only allowed him safe haven because I felt it wrong to deny a monk. But now he attacks the earl's guests. I won't allow it! Tomorrow morning I shall send him on his way!"
2012-10-20, 05:04 PM
Though it's a long trip, Roderigo is a man of his word. The ride is unhurried and comfortable. Aside from the crucifixion victims it's all rather relaxing for the guests.
It is twilight when the party finally arrives at the manse. It is a large structure, imposing even from the outside. Guards patrol the higher levels, keeping a watchful eye out for trouble. It is well fortified as well. There are very few windows, and only one large set of stone doors allow access into the manor.
Roderigo stops the carriage, and assists the ladies in the group in getting out. He guides you all forward, waving at the guards as he does so. One of the sentries lets out a shout, and the large doors slowly and noisily open.
The coachman continues to guide you inside, and no sooner have you entered the manse then the doors close shut behind you, plunging the entrance way into almost total darkness,a few flickering torches providing the only source of light.
Roderigo leads you down a long and narrow hallway. Gargoyles adorn both sides of the hall. They look almost as if they move in the darkness, eying the unknown guests as they pass.
Finally, after what seems like forever, Roderigo comes to a stop in front of another large door. He grasped the handle and knocked, the sound carrying in the silent hallway. There was no answer. He knocked again, and waited.
2012-10-20, 06:01 PM
As she left she whispered - but in a voice that would carry - to the monk speaking perfect thought accented Latin, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her", and left him to his outrage.
Hopefully the monk would rethink himself, but at least it had proven beyond a doubt that she had no more to fear from the earl then she did herself - all people that he choose were the devil to the man - as if the devil would not have better things to do.
The following morning she awoke and washed thoroughly, making absolutely sure she was in impeccable condition for the party then considering decorum she donned a clean gown, considering the colour carefully she went with a blue gown for the association to the virgin Mary and purity within silver to represent sadness and modesty, it would match the needs of the villager seeing her who had heard the stories, further the silver would indicate security, reliability, intelligence to the Earl when she arrived.
Examining herself carefully she decided to don a dark hennin to further indicate fear and unhappiness to the common folk while showing power, sexuality and sophistication to others, the affect along with her hair allowed her to appear as she needed for any occasion that might arise during the day.
She went down stairs and met the eyes of no one, keeping her head down in her grief.
As she entered the carriage she moved to sit with the other woman, she was unsure how long to continue this charade but she figured that the guards should see her upset to ensure the correct truth was heard by all.
The bodies troubled her, fine able bodied people put to waste as food for the birds, when a more peaceful solution may have worked to the benefit of all, set as workers, game hunters, information gathering, scouts but the noble game of violence she had never understood or been truly involved in other then as a pawn to encourage such action, she turned away and kept her thoughts private.
Arriving at the manor she decided that after hours from leaving the inn it would be appropriate to put the events behind her, and taking Roderigo's hand she allowed herself to be assisted in leaving with grace and to be escorted inside with humility a gentle smile to thank the man.
She enjoyed the darkness and the atmosphere, it was the feel of a place that had secrets, history and character to it ... the kind of place that she could make a client that would be of assistance to her, she placed her hand on the other young ladies shoulder to notify her in the dark before speaking, and whispered "magnificent is it not, you can feel the history of the place".
When they reached the door she checked herself to exude both a confident body language and humility, her face ready to show the appropriate characteristics based on the scene before her.
2012-10-20, 11:15 PM
Another paranoid concern arose, namely that, in addition to flubbing some simple noble's task, Luca could also display too much prowess in the thieves' ken. It was for that reason that he, a man who jumped across city rooftops, stepped gingerly from the footman's stair with assistance from the door jambs. Luca offered a confident nod to Roderigo, then set about his work.
Guards were numerous and well-trained, both of which spelled bad news. Luca could count no more than a half-dozen windows. A few might not even fit his body through them. Troubling. He made a note of every detail he could gather. The interior darkness put him at ease. So much shadow... Luca could hide from anyone in this hall. "Except maybe them," he thought, frowning at a particularly expressive gargoyle. Luca tended to not believe in superstition, but statues were frickin' creepy. "It seems finesse will be key. Perhaps, with some help, Lord Golescu and his newfound wealth will escape yet." He flashed a smile towards Marianna in the darkness before setting his eyes on the closed door.
2012-10-21, 12:10 AM
Marianna returns Luca's smile, her left arm grasping her right as she walks. It is clear she is nervous. The waiting only makes her more so.
After several moments the door finally opens, and the party finds themselves facing Steward Lothar. He is flanked by a pair of solders, and carries an annoyed expression.
"You are early."
Roderigo bows humbly. "A thousand pardons Steward Lothar."
Lothar is about to interject, when his eyes fall onto Seth. His frown grows wider.
"What is he doing here? He is not one of the Earl's guests. Where is the boy?" His tone is harsh, and the guards next to him place their hands on their scabbards, preparing to draw their swords.
Soras Teva Gee
2012-10-21, 01:21 AM
The Count of Brandusa had been quiet all through the ride, his grey eyes dark with troubled thoughts. The more he thought of this the less he liked it. Well there was nothing for it. He could have made excuses still, if his eyes and ears did not lie another of the guests had taken ill in the night. What could happen to one could happen to another. Still coming this far then evading his social responsibilities, he was a lord and a the native to this land and was confident could probably survive the insult of any Italian. He'd considered simply heading home, but looking at the castle before him decided it was wise.
The Giovanni family commanded influence beyond any he mustered. This was no mere far flung country estate. Stellian and his wife had both argued to bring a few of the house guards, he'd been right on that account at least. He have needed to rouse the peasantry or hire mercenaries to have kept him safe in such a place, better his small guard have remained at home. There they could do some good. Alone if the Earl had intentions to do him harm it would be he that suffered the consequences. Most likely this was all a show to intimidate the Earl's guests to put pressure to make some political concession or another. Perhaps the Giovanni wanted some trading agreement. He'd have to consider that as seemed best.
Approaching the entry to the keep Adam frowned deeply. What was this, now? Of course the one who'd fallen ill and sent his man instead. That was quite polite. The guards though, ridiculous.
"Sir Lothar, men of the Giovanni, I hope you are not about to shame your lord by shedding blood before guest," Adam said in his calm voice of command and giving the guards a sharp look indication their swords with his eyes, "It should be obvious at a glance that one of the Earl's guests had a complication arise, and sent his man in his stead. Doubtless to render an apology or some such. There is no need to delay our entry over such trifles."
Charisma+Leadership again to get those hands off swords and have Lothar not be so rude. People really do need to stop acting so aggresively.
[roll0] (-2 Difficulty Again)
Edit: Yeesh I hope those guards pop to attention or something.
2012-10-21, 03:25 AM
The older gentleman steps forward, eying the overzealous guards with unease.
"My apologies sir," he says, bowing deeply, "My fellow guest has guessed correctly. Master Erwin has fallen ill and bade me personally extend his apologies to Earl Giovanni."
Seth produces Erwin's ring as he speaks, holding it up to be visible in the last of the fading twilight.
"I shall not attend the dinner unless invited, of course," he continues, "but would request that, as night is falling, I might depart at daybreak tomorrow instead of immediately as I had planned."
2012-10-21, 05:12 AM
To the Innkeeper:
The Italian regards the bartender's answer with some surprise. "Oh? I thought the Earl's family had owned these lands for a while. Why, back home, some knights made a great show of reciting their parents, and their parents, back to..." he thinks, and looks at his fingers. "nine generations, one did."
Benghi notices the small youngish man next to himself, and nods in agreement. "I'll say. There were some curious happenings here, and I'm not sure it's just local custom. I do not think I caught your name, good fellow. You are another of the Earl's guests, right?
((BTW, what language does Luca speak, and does he have a particular accent?))
Benghi nodded absent-mindedly during the trip, though he preferred to look outside. He liked seeing new lands and, occasionally, their people - while it didn't usually put coins in his purse or wash away his sins (he had to trust God to be merciful in that, and in his experience that was what old age and monks were for) it brought him a degree of primal enjoyment.
The ride eventually ended, and he took a few moments to appreciate his surroundings. The land was not without its charms, and the mansion before him was quite impressive... though he had seen grander. This one had a somewhat forbidding air, however, with its strong walls and few windows. He made a mental note about what parts he could navigate if need be. He had climbed up and down some pretty impressive buildings (and riggings) as well, and he took some pride in being some of the best in the business. Not THE best, perhaps, unless that crazy Saracen in Tunis finally broke his neck during his capers, but still quite good.
He entered the house, still unsure what his role in this situation could be, and it took his eyes some time to adapt to the darkness inside. He looked up and around, at the gargoyles and what other ornaments this place had. It didn't quite unnerve him yet, but he was getting the sense that the owner of this place did not much appreciate any meddling in his affairs, not even to show pomp and glory.
When he and the others saw Lothar again, Benghi tried to keep his face duly respectful. He did not like the man much, but he was the steward of the Earl - he was owed that much from a man like himself. It was becoming harder with everything Lothar did or said, however. Whatever the Earl wanted them for, he at that moment wanted it done with as soon as possible.
2012-10-21, 05:24 AM
As the door opened she made to curtsy, but was caught off guard by the sudden and brash nature of the opening of the meeting. She had been at these before but never had she encountered a steward so ill versed in etiquette she had seen servants beaten and verbally abused but always out of sight never like this ... never in a manner that indicated the lord or steward was not in control of his staff and aware of all there actions.
So they were early, and this was obviously an error on the guides part a different steward would have welcomed them into a waiting area with a musician to provide entertainment and apologies while the finishing touches on the evening were prepared - and then chastised the servant in private.
Worse was the blatant hostility and the aggression of the guards, the illusion of security vanished immediately if they truly were this on edge then assassins seemed to be the most likely worry.
She was glad when another member of the party took charge, speaking with calm reassurance and the old man confirmed the situation, hopefully this would be the end of any harshness, but given the last few days she was unsure about that.
2012-10-21, 09:55 AM
Luca speaks Romanian, and that's it. I may have him learn Italian later. Here's hoping we can actually communicate. XP (If so...)
"Yes indeed. Lord Augustin Golescu of Giurgiu." Luca extended a hand with a smile. He was definitely ready for Claudius. "It is no custom I know of, though I am not from this region. I wonder..." Luca withdrew his invitation and held it to his nose. Perhaps it carried some scent that Lothar had used to identify the guests.
Perception + Alertness = 6 [roll0]
Luca was relieved, in a way, that Lothar was so upfront. As Giovanni's right hand, his attitude confirmed that a conman would receive no mercy. If questioned, lie through your teeth, and if caught, come out swinging. "Rodrigo might have been able to get a courier here ahead of us, but a bit of chaos is better." Luca kept his expression neutral as they awaited entry into the manor. Curious that Giovanni was so particular about timing. He'd snuck into a few parties in the past, and fashionably early was just as normal as fashionably late.
2012-10-21, 11:39 AM
"Of Guirgiu?"Benghi looks at Luca with some curiosity, then begins wondering for a moment why the man is starting to smell things too. He catches on quickly catches on. "We have been traveling for a time - perhaps weeks? There's probably no smell on it but one's own, unless it's a hound and not a man doing the smelling." He thinks for a second. "So, do you know why the Earl might have called on you here?"
2012-10-21, 12:30 PM
Alenka drew in the surroundings of the Earls manse with an eye for character. Any lord with money at their disposal would often build a dwelling to reflect at least a sliver of their nature, and if the oppressive and over-bearing architecture that rose up before the party was any indicator, this Lord Giovanni fellow had an unforgiving demeanor.
Stepping into the passageway, Alenka was fascinated by the gargoyles that flanked the walk way and so reached out to touch one with the tip of her finger. Drawing across some dust, she smiled and angled her head to view the construct from multiple levels so that she might appreciate its craftsmanship.
"You are certainly the work of a master." she smiled to herself and spoke as if the thing could hear here. Happy with her observation, she gave the head of the stone thing a pat before turning on her heel and making her way over to the assembled group.
She seemed to arrive in the wake of a scuffle however, as soldiers seem to have their fingers around the hilts of weapons and the distinguished looking gentleman from before - the only other Count aside form herself, if Alenka recalled correctly - who had placed himself in front of them.
Whatever was going on, Alenka perked up her ears and focused her eyes to watch.
2012-10-21, 01:22 PM
Luca chuckled. "A thousand pardons. That introduction has been the crux of my conversations these days, I forget most people would be clueless where Guirgiu is located. It's a small barony to the south, recently bestowed upon me. As for the reason I was invited, I assume Earl Giovanni wishes to expand his influence southward. Lending my assistance is the best way I can think of to protect my people."
His cheeks tinged red at Benghi's skepticism. "Yes, well, Lothar certainly has the disposition of a bloodhound, if not the nose." It had been a farfetched idea, but that Sir Lothar was onto him was by far the more disturbing notion."
2012-10-21, 02:06 PM
Benghi nodded. "A pardon, milord, I did notwant to imply the idea was not good, just... difficult." He sounds conciliatory, as if he might have given offense. "And yes, I have heard of Giurgiu, although I have yet to be there. It was a river port on the Danube, was it not? I know some people who sailed there once or twice. My name is Benghi, I sail on the La Poiana."
His mouth turns upward in a sour smile at the mention of Lothar. "He no doubt has some talents that make him useful to his lord," Benghi says cautiously as he shrugs.
((Giurgiu was supposedly founded or at least heavily supported by the Genoese, surprisingly enough, as a port they could use on the Danube. Benghi has some contacts among the Genoese sailors, so he would have at least heard of it. Mind you - has Benghi got to hear Luca's name somewhere?))
2012-10-21, 03:15 PM
The guards are used to obeying a Lord without question, and Adam's confident tone makes them release their scabbards. However, Lothar is not so easily deterred.
"The invitations were given to a very special set of individuals. I cannot allow a mere retainer to take the place of the young lord at the feast."
At Seth's answer, Lothar grows even more agitated.
"I don't care! Erwin was the one I picked, not you! He should understand what a great honor this is. His refusal is an insult to the Earl."
It is then that Roderigo speaks up. "Steward Lothar, surely Lady Amisa would find him better company then a boy who is barely a man. Please, allow him to attend the feast."
Lothar glares at the coachman. Then, fast as a whip, he punches Roderigo. His nose makes an audible crack. Roderigo whimpers, but does not protest.
"Do not think to presume that you know more than me," his voice is soft but laced with venom, as he returns his focus to Seth. "I suppose you'll have to do. Come on then." He gestures you all into the room.
All except Roderigo. Lothar stops him. "As punishment for your presumptuousness, you will not be attending this evening's feast. You will have to be content with scraps." He shuts the door before Roderigo can reply.
"Wait here. I've some final preparations to take care of." Without another word, he exits the room, leaving you alone with the two guards. Looking around, you appear to be in some sort of sitting room. Lavish furniture decorates the room, an idle reminder of the Earl's wealth. Those guests who keep up with Italian fashions recognize it as the latest of that style.
Marianna turns to Luca. She says nothing, but the fear is evident in her eyes.
Soras Teva Gee
2012-10-21, 03:54 PM
"Sir Lothar, you and your lord are well within your rights to send the man away right here." Adam explained calm, his tone as if explaining as if to a child, "You overstep yourself in presuming that I'd suggested a commoner and servant at that dine with us, I care not either way. I know though that I prefer to receive apologies as directly as possible. I also find interesting that you would consider this matter more important then greeting your actual guests."
With that Adam brushed past the knight paying the man no further mind. The man was no fit steward that much was clear. Entering the castle he found himself in an anteroom. Here at least things seemed as it should.
"At least someone on this estate has taste it seems," He remarked quietly to no one in particular
Let's make this social roll, Manip+Ettiquette to call Lothar out on his crap.
[roll0] (-2 Difficulty)
2012-10-21, 04:19 PM
"Give it three seconds until some busybody-" Adam's voice cut through the silence. "Called it." Luca tried to keep calm when the noble spoke of commoners. Yes, how dare they have the audacity to dine with their betters. As they were welcomed into the antechamber, Luca slipped his hand around Marianna's and gave it a reassuring squeeze. He'd broken away before the light fell upon them. "It'll be all right," Luca whispered.
2012-10-21, 05:11 PM
She was grateful when the guards sheathed their swords, only for her mind to start racing at the implications of Lothar's words, 'I picked', not the earl invited, then the mention of a Lady Amisa indicating further guests more familiar to the earl likely those he invited personally ... this was terrible she had travelled all the way here on the claim of a man who was acting beyond his abilities.
Her voice soft and delicate as she spoke looking around the room, her eyes were fought with worry and her ready smile was a replaced with a worried quivering, she began in Italian "please tell me ..." but switched to Romanian to try to ensure she was understood and to correct herself, "if I have heard that correctly we were chosen by Sir Lothar himself not the earl, and the earl has his own guests ... meaning we are simply here to make up the numbers based on what Sir Lothar believes his lord will find suitable for a dinner feast?", it was evident that she may have doubts as to Lothar's ability to meet his lords needs in that regard.
She looked around the room to confirm if anyone else had heard the same, reviewing the guards for signs that they understood and agreed.
2012-10-21, 06:35 PM
Stefan, who has remained fairly quiet for most of the journey - occasionally muttering a response if anyone asks him anything, but generally lost in thought and in observing the world around him - nods in agreement with the beauty as she speaks. The sight of the crucified men set him on edge during the journey, and the fresh reminder of Lothar's temper and violent nature only exacerbated his concerns. The doctor takes a seat and speaks slowly in Romanian.
"I fear you may be right, the...(the doctor pauses, conscious that there are guards left in the room)...Lothar certainly appeared to imply that. At least, he seems to have chosen us as guests, and there will be others. I feel uncomfortable knowing that we are here at the steward's behest: I am unsure that I would be here if I had not thought that Giovanni himself wanted me to come."
It seems unlikely that I'm here to be offered employment if I was picked merely to fill a seat at the feast. But is that really why I am here? It seems so trivial a thing to drag us all here to simply dine together.
2012-10-21, 08:32 PM
Used to such outbursts from self-entitled lords and their personal servants, Seth merely nods in understanding at Lothar's outburst.
"Unfortunately, the young master is unfit for travel, and is not in any fit state to dine," he reiterates, "of course, I fully understand the Earl's invitation would not extend to myself, and it would cause no offense if I did not attend the Earl's feast, but after many decades of service, I am fully prepared to sit in my lord's place."
"As I'm sure you would understand." he thought to himself.
Later, as others gave voice to the idea, he spoke again (Romanian).
"Yes, it does seem Lothar was the one responsible for our invitation, and I do remember seeing him about our hamlet recently," he says, "the thread stitching us together, however, I do not know."
2012-10-21, 09:32 PM
Before leaving, Lothar glares at Adam.
"Our ways are different than yours, Lord Brandusa. I suggest if you find my treatment inhospitable you direct your complaints to the Earl."
The guards remain silent, making no effort to even look at the guests as they wait.
Finally, after ten minutes or so, Lothar returns. In contrast with his usual attitude he seems almost cheerful. He smiles warmly(or at least, warmly for him) at the guests.
"Forgive the wait. The Earl will see you now."
He leads the party through another door, the guards following behind the eclectic group. Various side paths litter the hallways, but Lothar continues to lead you straight. Finally, he arrives in front of a door that looks
indistinguishable from all the others. Behind it, a faint sound of music can be heard. He taps four times on the frame before opening it, and leading you in.
This room must be the dining area. It is a large hall, dimly lit by a few tapers. Musicians play a merry tune, seemingly at odds with the gloomy atmosphere. The center point of the room is a large thick table. Thirteen men and women stare back at you, each of them sitting next to an empty seat. Before you can really get a good look at any of them, The man at the head of the table slowly rises, and for the first time, you find yourselves face to face with Earl Giovanni. He is a short, stout man with the finest clothes and jewelry, and he wears a skull pendent around his neck. He looks the party over, before breaking out in a hearty grin.
"So these are my honored guests. Welcome, welcome, all of you. Welcome to my humble home. I trust Roderigo made your journey pleasant?" The Earl addresses you all in Italian, but as with Lothar, translators stand by and translate his speech into other languages as needed.
Lothar steps forward and bows. Unlike his behavior with just about everyone else, it is clear he holds the Earl in high regard.
"Lord Giovanni, lords and ladies, it is with great pride that I introduce you to your dining partners for this evening. I have scoured the land, and selected only the finest guests to attend our feast."
The Earl chuckles. "They seem to be an exquisite bunch, my faithful Steward. Tell me, I trust Lothar treated you all well, and with the respect and deference those of your station deserve? "
2012-10-21, 09:43 PM
Seth steps forward and speaks in a clear voice, so that all in the room can hear (Romanian).
"It is clear that Lothar has only your Lordship the Earl's best interests at heart, and this is reflected in all his efforts so far as I have seen," he replies.
He pauses to take a breath.
"I must express the apologies, Earl Giovanni, of the young master Erwin Kona, for his inability to attend this evening. He wishes to impart no insult, and very much regrets being absent. I have been empowered to speak in his place, and should the Earl wish it, may sit in his stead at this evening's dinner, though no offense shall be taken if this would not be appropriate."
Having made his peace, Seth will stand quietly and await a response.
2012-10-21, 09:47 PM
OOC: Sorry, I was out today, and I missed your reply.
Golescu does a lot of textile business, mostly domestic but an increasing amount internationally, so you might not have heard his name much before he was ennobled. Now he's in charge of the region, but he's not a hugely public figure. Which works out well for Luca's purposes. :smallamused:
2012-10-21, 09:52 PM
Over-hearing the concerns of the Doctor and the other female, Alenka chimes in when it would be most polite.
"Without meaning to contradict you, I believe what he means is that Lothar has selected us, then passed on our recommendation to the Earl who then in turn gives his approval. So worry not, we are here at his behest - the punishment awaiting such a presumptive move by a steward would be too terrible to comprehend otherwise."
When the group continued once more and were brought to the dining hall, Alenka's eyes lit up at the gathering before her. Unlike others, she found the gloomy atmosphere to be a little amusing: a coven of shadowy players consorting deep within the bowels of a fortress at the time of dusk. It was all very conspiratorial. Her dark, sarcastic sense of humor approved: how amusing!
When it was her turn for personal introductions, Lothar introduced Alenka's by name, station and lands the Countess curtsied pleasantly and offered a gracious smile.
"Your excellency, your well-kept house signals a man with an astute attention to detail and enviable prosperity. Your invitation imparts a privilege and an honour, and for that I thank you."
With that, she withdrew for the next in line to speak.
2012-10-21, 10:59 PM
Luca was admittedly surprised by the Earl's dining area. It reminded him more of how he and some of the boys ate in the guildhouse, but these nobles enjoyed it well enough. While he had no problem staying in darkness around those he trusted, Luca was hesitant to do so here. "Focus. You don't know half the people here. Fix that." He distracted himself by scanning the dimly-illuminated faces. What did they want? What weaknesses could he exploit? "I wonder who my, er, Lord Golescu's, dining partner is..." When it came to his turn to speak, he stepped forward and, in a clarion voice, replied, "Earl Giovanni, you honor me with this invitation. I can say without hesitation that Sir Lothar is an honorable man and an efficient problem-solver. He is quite the asset to your domain." Luca turned away. Isabella's reaction would surely be worth the price of admission.
2012-10-22, 12:40 AM
As the other woman politely corrected her she considered the words ... and ultimately did not agree with the assessment, yes the Earl likely knew that people were coming but the exact specifics would likely be less then his concern.
I should have stayed in Venice , she thought to herself, "Perhaps you are correct milady", she smiled at the woman wondering if she was in the same profession as herself but perhaps more familiar then herself with the region, she accented her head in thanks at the reassurance.
She followed along with the others considering how the night may progress, Lothar may have seen her at court and mistaken her for a noble, or perhaps he was unaware of her unofficial standing in her home and thought her nothing more then a common harlot who would provide service for no more then a meal to warm her belly and a spare coin.
That she did not know which if the two were more likely let alone the countless other options available was troubling.
Entering the main room she allowed herself to put thought behind her temporally and curtsied deeply on entrance, reviewing the table she wondered to the identities of the guests and almost did a double take when the man at the head of the table stood and introduced himself - not a single other guest stood when he did it was a clear statement from other regions that he was the lowest of them.
Worse was when he indicated the guests 'station' and as her companions spoke they seemed to be nobility (or on behalf of nobility) at least so far.
She curtsied again when the general question was asked about the trip and replied in Italian, "Your Excellency it has been a most memorable journey and Sir Lothar's has handled himself quite uniquely, I do believe that I have never seen the like", she paused momentarily well better make the most of the night now that I am here, "I am of course your humble servant for the evening, and gratefully accept your invitation", she left that should make it clear that she was not of noble blood herself one while maintaining politeness.
To make a good first impression on those present.
1 willpower for a success, she feels that the only way the trip can be salvaged and worthwhile is to duly impress those assembled.
Appearance + Etiquette: [roll0]
Not sure of the enchanting voice would function for this (if it does -2 diff).
Not sure of the roll so went with the above, she is not relying on force of personality or manipulation just natural grace and instinctive first impression which seems to be appearance.
I am assuming that she got the willpower from last night back again.
2012-10-22, 02:37 AM
The Italian winces at the scene unfolding before him, though it doesn't change his overall opinion of Lothar much. He does notice the "picked" comment, though, and it confirms his suspicion. On the other hand, the new information brings more questions. While he can no doubt offer something useful to the Earl, what good would he be at a feast? He wasn't even a particularly useful storyteller, especially for one of such high class. Besides, it made little sense for Roderigo to have planned to attend it either. The Earl, from what little he knew, was not likely to be THAT magnanimous to his servants. Then again, it was unusual for a man like Roderigo to assume to know more about the guests than the seneschal.
It was a weird household, he thought as he entered the well-fashioned room. Now that was something he could imagine the Giovanni possessing. He sat down in a comfortable chair with an expression of content. "Now that is what I expected from an Earl's mansion. Now that you mention it, I think I've seen Lothar in my home port, too. Apparently he was doing some "picking" - but I imagine it would be at his master's behest. Would a lord suffer a seneschal who spends months away on his own business?" Lothar did seem to be trusted enough, and by a lord who did not seem overly kind - as he reasoned, if he was away from the castle for long enough to "pick" people from as far away as these, he must have been following orders. He fidgeted in the chair a little before standing up again, unwilling to sit down for any longer. "Of course, why he was being told to pick us..." he mumbled and his words trailed off.
As they entered the room, he had a sense of something being... strange. It was probably the mix of the hearty tune and the shadowed, almost forbidding room. As he saw how the chairs were arranged, he realized that under the sitting order, they'd be interspersed with the Earl's personal guests - so not only would he be attending a feast, but sat between some of the host's own company. Why, he thought... what sense does it make? It was like an absurd play - a common man, pretending to be a nobleman, sitting on a banquet. Yet he wasn't pretending to be anyone but himself. And he was being told that he was among a selection of the "finest." Finest what? He was with some lords, some artisans,a hunter, and a (probably) courtesan. It made no sense, and he didn't like it when things made no sense.
As he was introduced, he bowed and spoke in his native Italian. "It is a great honor to be here, noble Earl. Your steward has treated me with more grace than I could have expected, and I am at a loss at the splendor."
Soras Teva Gee
2012-10-22, 05:57 AM
Adam returns the Earl's greeting with an appropriate gesture of his own. Now was the time to be cautious. It seemed the Giovanni were already entertaining guests. How then could they have arrived early, if the castle was already hosting? And a quick count, yes a very curious number indeed. Who were these other lords and ladies the Earl had gathered?
Still there were proprities to be observed. When appropriate Adam answered the Earl in Italian.
"It is the pleasure to have finally meet you in person my Lord," Adam said in greeting then continued more quietly, "Aah and your steward? Sir Lothar has a memorable manner, but listens well. An adequate vassal."
2012-10-22, 04:25 PM
As Seth explains his master's absence, Giovanni looks regretful.
"That is truly unfortunate. You will have to give Lord Erwin my well wishes for a fast recovery. as for dining with us... what do you think Lady Amisa? Would this man here provide you with interesting dinner conversation.
One of the guests lounges lazily in her chair. Seth recognizes her as being from his homeland. She is dressed in the finest silks and has an elaborate gold headpiece. She looks him over.
"He'll do, I suppose."
The Earl clasps his hands together in delight. "Splendid. It appears you shall be dining with us after all."
Alenka's words seem to please the Earl. "You flatter me, your Excellency. I do hope that this dinner is a memorable one for you. All of you."
At Luca's words, The Earl looks humbled. "Welcome to my feast, Lord Golescu. I trust you will find it to your liking."
Isabella causes the Earl to chuckle. "My servant? My dear, here you are all among my honored guests, regardless of your station outside this room, you shall all be treated as kings so long as you are in my company!" A few of the other guests seem to find this pronouncement humorous. One woman in particular catches Isabella's eye. She is a heavyset woman with dark red hair and a black dress. She appears to be an older woman, though no less distinguished for it. She watches Isabella intently, the trace of a smile on her face.
To Benghi, the Earl smiles. "My Lord, I can promise you that all will be revealed in time. But for now, relax! Enjoy the atmosphere. there is no rush when among friends, is there?"
Adam's words about Lothar causes the Earl to give his Steward an amused look. "You hear that Lothar? You have performed adequately. It would seem that I have trained you well." Lothar just smirks, casting an arrogant look Adam's way.
"Now! You've all come a long way, so allow me to wet your palette before our main course." A snap of his fingers, and twelve servants come forward from the shadows, each silently handing the guests a goblet of red wine before retreating back to their corners.
"Go on, drink! I think it is time I introduce you to your dining partners. There is one for each of you! I do believe you will all get along splendidly." As the Earl introduces each of them, the guest rises from their chair.
"First we have the prominent mercenary captain, Marchettus The Bold!" A tall, well built man with a thick red beard and well oiled leather armor stares gruffly at you all.
"The famed huntress, Lady Dimitra!" She is a tall, slender woman wearing a traveler's cloak and men's breeches. She licks her lips subconsciously.
"The ever charitable Matron Violetta!" Violetta is a hideous woman of elderly age. Most of her is thankfully hidden under a leper's cloak and hood. she wears a mask over her face, with eye holes and a smelly wet spot in front of her mouth. Leprous scabs can be seen all around her. Even the other guests don't seem to enjoy her presence much.
"Lady Theophana, who graces us with her always unique perspective." Theophana is by far the youngest guest present, looking to be barely sixteen years of age. She is a tall woman with blonde hair going down to her waist, and she wears a torn and soiled gown and decaying flowers in her hair.
"The graceful artist, Sire Wenceslas!" This is a old man dressed in a royal purple tunic. His body is adorned with expensive jewelry. He smiles indulgently at the guests.
"The master of the unknown, Lord Casmir!" Casmir is a portly man with a long white beard. He wears a black robe with silver trimming.
"The good Lady Jadviga Almanov of Bohemia!" The woman who observed Isabella earlier rises. She gives the guests a curt nod.
"Lord Leopold Valdemar, A man whose business sense is second to none! Except perhaps my own," He is a bald middle aged man, his prosperous robes showcasing his merchant roots. He smiles heartily at the guests.
"The pious Lord Mieczyslav!" He is a handsome young man wearing a simple black monk's robe with white surplice.
"My old friend and partner in several theological debates, Lord Bajazet Al-Nasir!" A dark skinned man with chiseled features stares back at you. He wears fine silk Turkish robes.
"The ever beautiful Lady Amisa!" Seth's dining partner rises. She is a beautiful woman, and gives the group a mysterious smile.
"And last but most certainly not least, Gabrin!" He is a short young Roma man who wears a lot off flashy jewelry and a simple tunic. He bows exaggeratingly in your direction.
"These will be your dining partners. As you can see, there is one for each of you," the Earl begins, but frowns deeply. "Oh dear. It would appear that Lady Theophana's partner is not present. That is disappointing."
As if on cue, one of the side doors opens and Father Dydel walks in. He looks around blankly. Claudius approaches him. "Ah father, so good to see you! I'm glad you changed your mind and decided to join us this evening."
Dydel looks at the Earl, speaking in a monotone. "I... had to come."
The Earl throws his head back and laughs, as if sharing some joke. "Of course you did. How could you miss the feast that is to come? Now why don't you go over and join the others."
Without a word, Dydel does so, ignoring their gazes.
Forgive me for the epic size post, but a lot needed to be said. And btw, the stuff in the glasses is actually red wine. Even at a party thrown by a likely vampire, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. :smallamused:
2012-10-22, 05:28 PM
The sailor nods deeply, but the Earl's words don't seem so reassuring. Why was that man calling him "My Lord," of all things? He made a mental note to try to find out more about this strange place. Among friends, eh? He didn't make friends so quickly - acquaintances, sure, but friends took more than a glass or two of wine. It might take him a bit more to relax. He instead focused on the other guests as they were introduced.
Most of them did appear to be of a noble sort, though there were some curious exceptions. A mercenary captain he could understand - men who commanded soldiers were quite close to nobles in his view. Yet a Turk and a Gypsy? Apparently the Earl kept some rather curious company. Though they weren't nobles, he probably wouldn't feel all that comfortably around them either. And a leper? Heaven protect, he thought. Well, if he were to be of some value here, he would probably have to entertain the guests. Perhaps some might consider a sea story or two an amusing distraction - maybe the one who so liked to hunt... He nodded, or bowed slightly, and tried to remember which one one did for which. He probably didn't get it right, he thought. Whatever he was picked for, it wasn't manners.
The priest's entry made him throw a furtive glance towards the man. He didn't seem to want to be here, obviously, so what was he doing? Perhaps he was threatened? Benghi wondered if he could try to have a word or two with the man. He didn't have THAT much respect for men of the cloth, but, well, you had to give them the respect their calling deserved - as long as they showed themselves true to it.
2012-10-22, 05:43 PM
Stefan bows with the others, disoriented and knocked off-balance by the strange seating arrangements: he feels the gaze of the seated guests dissect him and he stifles a nervous twitch in his hands. After the others he responds to the Earl somewhat hesitantly, bowing again.
"Stefan Sokolov, my lord. Your steward has been most passionate in the execution of his duties. He is to be commended for his dedication to his task. I thank you for your hospitality and for the honour of joining you and your guests here tonight."
Stefan sips gently from his goblet, barely paying attention to the quality of the wine: the action of drinking is merely something to keep creeping anxiety at bay whilst he watches the introduction of the new guests. Many of the guests are the type to be expected at such an event - Stefan has seen a number of captains, noblemen, priests and scholars as guests at feasts before - but the sight of the leprous woman and the dishevelled girl surprise him. The doctor tries to subtly catch a glance at Violetta, doing his best to guess how much longer the poor woman might have to live.
The entrance of Dydel, his bizarre monotonous speech and his compliance with the Earl only serve to deepen Stefan's misgivings about the feast. Whatever the Earl did to force Dydel's obedience cannot have been pleasant. Can we expect any better if we should happen to displease him?
Intelligence+Medicine roll to try and determine how close to death Violetta appears to be (I'm not expecting much, particularly for the time period and considering the obscuring clothes, but I'll give it a go).
Intelligence+Medicine (8d10): [roll0]
2012-10-22, 06:27 PM
This is long, apologies, just wanted to get her thoughts sorted in my mind, little happens.
She surveyed the group, carefully as they were introduced they were an odd bunch to match the odd bunch that had recently attended, still she was silently pleased the lord was a joyous sort and in a pleasant mood likely due to alcohol taken but she was quite happy what it regardless of circumstances, when the lord referred to her as a honoured guest she was quite willing not to argue - one did not argue with nobility in its own house - but did not believe it for a second, still she gave the man and the room a dazzling smile as if she was deeply moved by his words and fully believed them while keeping her eyes just lowered enough that no one observant would be fooled into think that she did, kindness was well and good but a lack of respect would not likely be tolerated and the mood could change at parties quickly.
She did however notice the distinguished and obviously wealthy woman as the woman catches her eye, she offered her a flicker of a far more private smile reserved for those that she wished to impress deeply, a subtle promise of entertainment. She had lain with woman before and found them to occasionally be far more rewarding then their husbands, both in terms of simple pleasure but more importantly in terms of daily influence within a localised region, but she broke eye contact almost immediately to avoid offending the woman in the event that she had misinterpreted - assuming standard behaviour the woman would only have seen what she was looking for and thereby no offence could be given.
Taking the wine gracefully and holding it in a fully correct manner she dined to sip on command but did not take more then a taste while the introductions began - still the quality spoke well of the trip improving.
She committed the names to memory with the practice of one who was frequently at court, Marchettus perhaps named for Marchetto da Padova but she would admin to not knowing much beyond the name still the pervasion of the name itself likely indicated he was not Italian but may have dealings he her homeland
Dimitra she could not place the name, it sounded as if is may be Mediterranean she would need to review, still a female famed for hunting was an oddity perhaps a jest. She did not linger on considering her.
Violetta likely an Italian name and known for charity, and a matron as such likely an abbess and thereby not someone to trifle with for any present least then anger the church, she wondered it the woman had heard of the monk the previous night and believe the common story or the monk's base accusations, she gave her a gracious smile but did not linger.
Theophana there was a saint Theophanes thought the origin was lost on her, the dress was soiled and the flowers were dead, she felt for the girl and would if circumstances allowed speak to her during the night to see if she could offer assistance, she may be quite a catch for some noble if she was cleaned up ... thought she supposed that in a few years she would need to consider recruiting a replacement to maintain contacts ... she crushed the thought as it formed this was not the time.
Wenceslas an artist and clearly well off, and as such likely not as well of as some other guests as he felt the need to display it at what seemed to be for Lord Giovanni a casual affair, still he may be useful she mused, she could not place the name however.
Casmir at this point the variety was becoming odd, she could not place this name either and 'master of the unknown' seemed like an odd title she did not overly consider personally but noted the dress sense it was somewhat an odd choice for a party.
Jadviga Almanov of Bohemia, Isabella almost cursed herself for a fool out load but quickly took another sip of wine to cover for herself. Jadviga Almanov of Bohemia was so far the only one with a surname baring Giovanni himself the only one with an area where she felt she belonged to or that belonged to her. The name itself was somewhat lost on her baring that she understood that there was a royal by that name recently but where and who escaped her, she was stuck offering a curtsy now would imply that the others were not worthy - which in truth if the were commoners they were no more worthy then herself - while not offering it was an affront to a likely member of the nobility, she choose to accent her head ever so slightly to acknowledge the she understood the meaning of a surname in this context, still issuing some of the foulest insults that she had heard in relation to herself mentally directed at herself for being so slow.
Her mind working now after its shock placed the previous names as likely Greek and Germanic, which made sense given the region.
She took another sip and realised the wine was gone, only to be refilled by a servant ... excellent, now I am coming across as a gluttonous bore.
She calmed herself with effort.
Leopold Valdemar another with a surname that needed to be stated, another person the be interested in, and one with money which could equate to power also.
Mieczyslav a pious man or so it was claimed, she could not help smile at the memory of the previous pious monk she has met, she wondered if this one was less hypocritical ... but she had nothing to gain from testing it that she could tell.
Bajazet Al-Nasir obviously of Arabic decent at the least which depending on his religious convictions would mean one to avoid as a danger or one to embrace as a potential trading partner for her friends in Venice.
Amisa she considered possible or Arabic decent she took a liking to the woman fine clothes and a single obvious decoration she may very well simple be an older more successful version of herself, she returned her smile with her own warm one.
Gabrin she smiles at him as he bows his action clearly exaggerated for affect, she did enjoy those that could have fun taken at themselves ... unfortunately they were often less useful then those that could not.
As the father entered she frowned for the first time since entering the room but recovered quickly, she had offered to convince him to return but Lothar had indicated he was unworthy but here he was anyway clearly at the behest of Giovanni ... still if he heard of what the monk had done he may have felt lost and changed his mind.
As the introductions wrapped up she moved with gentle confidence over to Jadviga Almanov, "My Lady", less formal then would be ideal but it matched the tone of the evening, "if it would please you I would sit and talk", thats too forward dolt, she is a noble you are peasant you do not speak first, she felt the wine affecting her, she was able to be merry but not drunk but the core heightened awareness that she would have liked for a meeting like this was gone.
2012-10-22, 07:34 PM
Stefan observes Violetta. While her clothes hide the worst of her condition, the physician is able to get a good enough view. She certainly appeared to be a leper. He's seen enough cases like hers over the years. It was strange. She had one of the worst cases he had ever seen. By all accounts she should be dead, or at least in no condition to attend a dinner.
Lady Jadviga observes Isabella approach. Silently, she offers the woman the empty seat.
"My dear, you are very forward. More so then I expected. " Her expression remains pleasant but largely neutral. Isabella could not yet tell if she had amused the older woman or angered her.
2012-10-22, 08:44 PM
Seth merely bows in response to the Earl, and then again to Lady Amisa. He met her gaze for perhaps a little longer than normal when she looked at him. It seemed she might hail from his homeland, but it was often difficult to tell. He certainly had never heard of a Lady Amisa, but then again, he'd been away for a very, very long time.
2012-10-23, 12:55 AM
Offering a curtsy at the invitation and taking the seat she deliberately flushed her checks at the woman's utterly correct denouncement of her to show embarrassment at her own behaviour, "My humblest apologies your excellency" her voice light and breathy conveying nothing more then humble intent, "I am at a loss for my behaviour, and it would be crass and vulgar to blame the excellent quality of the wine for my misdeeds", she offered a sad smiled in apology at the woman making sure not to meet her eyes which could give additional offence.
"I should introduce myself, I am Isabella of Venice, where I act as a facilitator of the common needs of the nobility and the church" her smile at that was simply sinful but vanished into a look of innocence almost before it could be noted "... to for example bring news of a potential trade deal to the correct ears, or to advise of how a feud may be avoided before it had cause to start" or to ensure that it would begin depending but she left this last unsaid.
She felt she had covered that well enough, she had apologised for the abruptness, ensured the woman knew what she was and who she was so as to allow her to feel in control as all nobles wished to me, offered a entrance into Venice for trading or connections and left an unspoken offer of more personal entertainment to facilitate any dealings they may have, only one element left.
She took a sorrowful look in her eye, "of course if you should prefer that I should take my leave so as you may not be sullied further by my presence I would offer my deepest apologies for any offence and depart from your presence", her lip quivered seemingly at the prospect of offending the woman.
Well it looks like I have been using Vienna and Venice interchangeably that is annoying. Venice is correct, I will see about editing previous posts to correct.
Not sure about rolling her or playing it natural, so I will avoid it.
f it starts to go poorly or some scene seems particularly important for her lfor her I will begin to roll to see if she handles it well or poorly.
Let me know if you want me to start rolling.
2012-10-23, 01:31 AM
Luca became increasingly bored as the introductions proceeded. Claudius was kind enough to provide each guest's area of expertise, so it would be child's play to distract them. "Tell me a tale of your hunts!" or whatever it was they enjoyed. Avoid the leper and the madwoman. One would have to be insane to attend a party in that dress. A shame, given her beauty. Religious folk could be irksome, so Luca steeled himself to play a good Christian man. Lady Amisa wasn't his dining partner, and finally...
Oh no. What the devil was some Roma scoundrel doing here? Luca tried not to choke on his wine. Christ. Of all the noble manses in all the world, this "Gabrin" had to walk right into his con! Though, given the time frame, perhaps Luca had walked into his con. This was bad. This was very bad. A con man's greatest fear wasn't nobility, guards, or even men of the cloth. It was another con man, one who knew the tricks and could out them at any time. People tended to believe whoever they heard first, so Luca's denial of, "No, he's the con man!" would convince absolutely no one. He wondered whether Gabrin had been tasked by Giovanni for this purpose. If so, Luca might as well pack up now. It was unlikely that the Roma would garner so much attention if he intended to run a game on the Earl. All hope was not lost, though. Luca would just have to be less transparent in his schemes than usual. When Gabrin did his little bow, "Lord Golescu" chuckled and raised his glass slightly in the Roma's direction.
2012-10-23, 02:09 AM
This day keeps getting better and better!
Andrei had risen at his customary hour of about an hour and a half before dawn. His sleep had been fitful despite the comparatively lavish accomodations, and he had risen rather grudgingly to make his final preparations. Andrei had seen that most of the other guests had worn their best outfits for the ride. As a peasant on his first journey, Andrei's best clothes happened to be his only clothes, and they were still stained with long travel. So while the rest of the house slept, Andrei had gathered up a small basinet and bucket and had scrubbed first himself with water and a brush in the basinet, and then his clothes in the bucket.
Unfortunately, he hadn't had quite as much time as he'd wanted. The hearth in the common room was the only place to dry out his clothes, and he'd had only about an hour or so before the inn started waking up. Rather than parading through the common room in a blanket and all-togethers, he'd beaten a rather hasty retirement to his room, but it meant that his linens had started out soggy and cold, and were now itchy and starchy. No matter how long he sat by the fire, he couldn't seem to get warm, and no matter how he sat, he couldn't seem to get comfortable. Add in the sneaking suspicion about how that priest had used his cloak, and it was all he could do not to clamber out of the carriage and jump in the nearest river.
It hadn't helped that he'd seen several people speak about the priest this morning, and to say that their accounts differed from what he'd seen would be an understatement. Rather than look at the lady while in the carriage, he'd spent his time peering intently outside, which meant his view of those crucified bodies was exquisite. Between that and Lothar's actions, he'd very nearly gone home even knowing that this was his best chance to make a name for himself.
And now he found himself in a room with strangers, where apparently he had to make conversation. He'd done his best to match faces to words, but Giovanni apparently spoke no Romanian and the translator spoke quickly and with an accent that fouled his mouth's movements a bit. That being said, he was pretty sure that the woman in the breeches was a fellow huntsman. Andrei had never seen such a thing before himself, but he supposed it was possible. And in some of the old stories about Artemis and Atalanta and Nemesis, women were supposed to be great hunters. Not quite knowing how better to express himself, he unslung his unstrung bow and edged towards her. Once he managed to make eye contact, he pointed at her, then at the bow quizzically.
Really, did you expect anyone else to make the first faux pas?
2012-10-23, 06:11 AM
Alenka's ears perked up with the introduction of Leopod.
'...a man whose business sense is second to none! Perhaps except my own...'
Well, that certainly sounded like the type of gentleman that Alenka had traveled across this dreary country to meet. She oversaw thousands of hectares, all of which were brimming with produce from livestock to silks, metals to minerals, and finding a way for her wares to directly enter the Mediterranean market would be a magnificent investment.
Taking a sip of the red win and savoring the gentle taste, Alenka gently moved towards Lord Valdemar. When it was polite to do so, she introduced herself with a gentle curtsy and the extension of her hand. Within the centre of her fingers was the only real depiction of flash that the Countess bared upon her: an elegant ring with several ruby indentures.
"Lord Valdemar!" she smiled, her blue eyes bright, "According to a knowledgeable man you are quite the merchant!"
2012-10-23, 07:00 AM
Benghi tasted the wine carefully, still on edge, as he surveyed the room in detail. Chairs, tables, windows, ornaments, lighting, draperies and flags... he takes some time to reassure himself he is prepared against any surprises. He looks at any flags with some interest - while he is a fairly simple man, he has learnt to value what a flag in the distance tells.
By then, he notices with some displeasure that the peasant - whom he had somewhat ignored on the way - has approached that Lady Dimitra. He winces slightly, but it is understandable - most others wouldn't exactly be his sort anyway. The thing is, the Genoese does not consider himself the most understanding sort... but it would be a bit rude to butt in just now. He nears the table, listening in on the other conversations and showing polite (well, for his standards - basically not staring too much) interest at everyone here. He is curious what meals and drinks such a motley collection of nobles and foreigners would have - it is meant to be a feast, is it not? He'd expect that nobles would have already started.
Sadly, most of the nobles seem as disinterested in him as he could expect. He noticed that they didn't seem to care much for food, either. Curious... and speaking of curious, on top of actually being a Turk, Bajezit Al-Nasr's dark skin caught the Genoese's eye. He had not had much truck with Mohammedans on his travels, but there were several ports the Republic had in the East, and Turks and Arabs alike were far from unknown there. He had only seen a few, but this man had a shade darker skin than most. Intrigued, he looked at the man and nodded in greeting, speaking in what he hoped was palatable Turkish.
Good evening to you, honored friend of our noble host. May I ask how your travels were?
((OOC: Benghi's going with Turkish and not Arabic because, well, he only knows Turkish - and I think Bajezid is a Turkic name))
2012-10-23, 03:26 PM
Lady Dimitra Looks confused, then throws her head back and laughs.
"Oh, this one will be interesting!"
"He is mine, honored huntress," The Turk speaks up from his seat, "I suggest you focus on your own guest."
Dimitra looks set to argue, but Claudius interrupts. "Well then, I can clearly see you all wish to get to know your dining partners, and they you. We've a bit of time before the main course is ready, so why not introduce yourself to your patrons?"
The guests all move towards one of you, slowly guiding you away from the others.
Next post will be your individual encounters with the patrons. So don't think I've ignored your posts, they'll respond. Hopefully I'll have it up soon. :smallsmile:
2012-10-23, 09:11 PM
Lord Al-Nasir returns your greeting, seeming impressed by your skill with his language.
Lady Dimitra approaches you, casting one final yearning look towards Andrei. She eyes you, looking curious.
"I've been told that you are a sailor. Good. I appreciate a strong, hearty man who enjoys the outdoors. The so called lure of civilization has never done anything for me. Nothing do I love more than galloping in the woods in full pursuit of my game. Do you enjoy hunting?'
Sire Wenceslas approaches you, a warm(if odd) smile on his face.
"Ah, Solland Rowe! Tales of your skill precede you. When I heard that you were being invited to this affair, I simply had to meet you. They tell me you are good with the piffero. Indulge an old man, would you? Play me a song. I wish to see if you deserve my... mentoring," he gazes somewhat lecherously at Solland.
Lord Casmir approaches you.
"Lord Brandusa, an honor to meet one such as yourself. I am told you are a good Lord, and a good Christian man. Faith is important to you, then?" he pauses. "But truthfully, don't you ever wonder if there is something more to the world then what the Scriptures say?"
Lady Jadviga chuckles. "No harm done. Indeed, I admire your initiative. So many lack it, especially amongst our sex. We are raised from birth to view ourselves as little more then accessories for men, no more useful then their sword or shield. But you appear to have drive. Is that not how you rose from being a mere harlot into something of a merchant?" Jadviga teases.
"Tell me, do you consider yourself to be a leader? Do you possess the drive to mold the world to your liking?"
Lord Valdemar looks amused by Alenka's description.
"Claudius is indeed knowledgeable," he smiles.
"Countess Alenka Vasa. Your reputation precedes you. Perhaps even more then you'd like. I have been told that you are a most excellent ruler of your lands, more so then your late husband had been." He takes her arm and guides her to a dark corner of the hall, far away from the others.
"Before we get down to business, I would know if you are a woman who possesses a sharp mind. I believe you do, but let us make sure.
Tell me, why does the sun rise?'
Lord Mieczyslav approaches you.
"Doctor Sokolov. I am told you are skilled at unearthing the mysteries of the ki...human body. Let me say that I share something of the same pursuit." Mieczyslav waits for Stefan to reply, before asking an apparently unrelated question.
"Tell me doctor. How do you think your enemies should be treated?'
Dimitra smiles at you, but leaves to go speak with Benghi. Instead, you find yourself face to face with the Turk, Lord Bajazet Al-Nasir.
"Good evening. My name is Lord Bajazet Al-Nasir. What is yours?" When it becomes clear that Andrei cannot (vocally) answer, Lord Bajazet grows furious.
"What is this insult? Claudius sends me a dumb man to dine with?" He spits in Andrei's face. "Bah! You are useless to me!"
Bajazet is speaking Romanian
Lady Amisa drifts over to Seth, her body intimately close to his.
"I was expecting young Lord Erwin, but you might yet prove more interesting," She all but purrs. "Come, walk with me."
She leads Seth into an elaborate sitting room, even more luxurious then the one they had happened into earlier. She lounges on velvet cushions, lazily purring him another glass of wine.
"Sit with me. I would talk with you. Forget the trivial matters the others discuss. I would know you better."
Just as Luca feared, it is Gabrin who approaches him. The Roma man smiled widely and mischievously.
"Lord Augustin Golescu. I daresay you fit right in with the rest of the fine Lords and Ladies that are attending this feast. Come, walk with me."
Provided Luca does so, Gabrin leads him outside, to a large and spacious courtyard. Luca notices that Gabrin has taken out a throwing knife, and is idly tossing it up into the air over and over again, all while never looking at it.
"Lord Golescu, did you hear what Claudius-forgive me, Earl Giovanni- called all the other guests? I find it amusing they all received a title. Lord and Lady, Matron and Sire. All but me. A high born such as yourself would probably assume I desire one, but nothing can be farther from the truth. I look in amusement at all of the other guests, each pretending their pretty little titles and fancy clothes make them more important than they actually are," He twirls the knife in the air, before catching it once again.
"Tell me Lord Golescu. Do you think your fancy title makes you better then the lowly "Gypsy" Gabrin?"
2012-10-23, 10:33 PM
Alenka raised a slender, dark brown eyebrow at Valdemars question, or riddle as it were.
The mention of the sun rising made the Countess think back to one of her most prized possessiosn: a collection of books. An eceltic assembly of writings from the European, Turkish and Islamic worlds, she'd had marvelous fun pouring over the volumes and thinking about the ideas presented within and whether she found any merit in them. In a way, it had been her substitute for religious texts - a practice only her elevated station allowed her to get away with.
"Why does the sun rise?" she repeated, her mischevious smirk still across her features. She considered the Lord in front of her; running her blue eyes up and down his immaculate garb and well-groomed features.
"If I may be as so bold," she uttered, thankful that she was away from the ears of the pious that might object to what she was about to say, "May I ask you a question? What if the sun doesn't rise, or fall - what if we're spinning like a top, and that rising and falling are just illusions of our perspective?"
2012-10-23, 10:43 PM
Smiling at the woman's easy manner, "I have found that is often superior to seek forgiveness then to request permission ... within limits. The world offers so much more in this way", she stretched an arm on the table in front of her both to leave the glass down and to allow the woman to establish contact if she desired holding the glass to allow for the ease to be maintained and to allow for her figure to be clearly seen all while not using any cues to indicate this was what she was doing, she would for now allow the woman to take the lead if she wished.
She considered the merchant comment, "Baring the nobility and the cloth, I suspect that most everyone of being a harlot or a thief, a harlot provides service to others in order to survive and thieve if possible, where a thief simple takes from others without offering recompense in order for the same" if she was honest she would factor the nobility and the cloth in there also but even if the intention was understood it could be off-putting to hear it, "as such" she smiled in innocence "my trade has not changed, I am merely more successful then most at it", she eyes twinkling as candlelight caught them.
"A leader?" she considered, this was clearly what the woman wanted however it was not a role that Isabella played, "no, I am no leader currently, but ..." she did not wish to correct the woman "that is not to say that I lack the ability to set the world to my liking, a stance taken, a word spoken, a look given ... all can lead to the fulfilment of ones wishes without the acting party needed to even remember where the thought for the deed originated and thereby free of blame by any who would be offended", she thought of the monk had she been better at her chosen role he may have felt guilt for his crime and not anger freeing her from all responsibility.
A truly sinful idea had however formed in her mind some months ago which she felt matched the woman's desires for leadership, "of course, one needs to think of the future and I see a great many woman within Venice alone that could do better then they are with some guidance, perhaps in the future it will be an opportunity to provide stability to a service and ensure protection ... but this is of course merely a thought and I would need church backing" which she felt she had "and the agreement of the nobility" which she felt she could get "and the agreement of the woman in question" which unfortunately would likely be the hardest part as independence was sought after by those that she would regard as the most able, she would likely need to purchase girls young and have them trained as her mother had in affect done with her ... and at that thought she noted how she would need to move on the plan while she was still young and had ready client lists available, she would make sure to do so once she was home, hopefully with Lady Jadviga's backing so as to potentially provide a future of untainted foreigners if the girls in Venice proved too content to act.
2012-10-23, 11:04 PM
It had taken a few minutes for the heady, calming effect of the wine to sink in, but Luca felt terribly relieved once it did. So what if Gabrin was a thief? He'd make an obvious target for the "fine" lords and ladies to monitor, and, if nothing else, the conversation would be interesting. He returned Gabrin's smile. "Why thank you. I did try to dress to standard. Glad to hear you think I succeeded." Seriously. With only a few weeks' prep time, Luca had to alter his borrowed suit as best he could. He tried to make note of the manse's layout as they walked, and his hands twitched as Gabrin drew a blade. Fortunately, the Roma idly tossed it. "Huh. Not bad. I should get one of those some time." Luca had trained in archery, not caring for a ranged weapon one had to lose to use.
Tearing his eyes from the knife, Luca contemplated the questions set before him. Gabrin was a man after his own heart. That much was obvious. If not for this pesky "alternate identity" business, they could have made fast friends... On a whim, Luca ditched his canned answers. Dmitri always said that, "the best lies contain an element of truth." Why not respond with that, if it would fit the character and improve his relationship with Gabrin? "The title isn't supposed to be the important part. It's the responsibilities that come of ruling a particular region, of making sure the people in it don't starve, that really matter. Somewhere along the way, words became more important than the ideals." Luca gave a genuinely mournful shrug. "And no, my title doesn't make me better than you. Luckier, maybe, but certainly not better."
Luca paused. "If I may ask, do you merely come to Giovanni's gatherings to take in the show, or do you have some other goal?" He hadn't missed Gabrin's reference to the Earl as Claudius, which indicated familiarity or perhaps disrespect.
2012-10-23, 11:43 PM
A small smile crosses Valdemar's face.
"You are a clever woman. Our perspectives influence everything. Even if they were able, I don't imagine animals would look at humans and acknowledge their superiority. Maybe mankind is not superior. It has just lulled itself into a comfortable illusion.
"Now, why do birds sing?'
Jadviga seems pleased with Isabella's ambition.
"You have big plans. If given the chance, I do believe you would shake the world to its very core. I would gladly assist you in your endeavors, but I first need to see if you have what it takes to be a leader. Come."
She leads Isabella to another room. It seems to be her own personal chambers. The room is well furnished, the wealth apparent but understated. A young female servant about Theophana's age awaits in the room, looking at her mistress apprehensively.
"Kneel on the floor." Jadviga tells her curtly. The servant does so.
"Now remove your robe."
Hands shaking, the girl undresses. Lady Jadviga moves over to a table that holds many unusual tools, from scalpels to daggers. She picks up a whip, and offers it to Isabella.
"One of the foremost responsibilities of a leader is to guide our inferiors when they stray. This servant needs to be punished. Whip them," she calmly explains. The servant looks up at Isabelle, fear evident in her eyes.
If Isabelle whips the servant, make a humanity role.
"You think yourself equal to me, despite your position? That's rather surprising to hear. Most Lords will do anything to separate themselves from the common rabble. You are a most unusual noble, Lord Zeklos," There was a beat before Gabrin spoke again. "Excuse me, Lord Golescu."
The Roma's smile grew even wider. "I confess I've been having ajest at your expense. I know your little secret. Lothar selected all of the guests. He knew that the invitation fell into the wrong hands almost immediately. For all his other flaws, the man is a capable steward. You know, he was going to have you killed. He was going to tell the Earl, and you'd have ended up crucified like so many others who offend Claudius. But you impressed me. You seem a lot more... shall we say interesting then some dullard lord. Please don't disappoint me. I'd hate to have to tell the others."
Gabrin laughs at Luca's question. "I come to these affairs because I am invited, of course. What other agenda could one as lowly as I have? But what I'm really wondering is, why have you graced us with your presence this evening? What is it you hope to gain?" Gabrin remains casual, tossing his dagger up and down.
2012-10-24, 12:37 AM
"You honour me your excellency", she said as they stood, matching her movements to her current host so as not to appear hasty or delayed.
She was apprehensive about following the woman, while she seemed a rational and reasonable sort there were others in the room to connect with and it was often better not to be seen to operate overly favourably to one individual over others, she had hopes the feast would allow for a group discussion ... still she followed matching pace with the other woman, but avoided taking her arm as it was not offered.
The room was impressive one that showed class and taste, but she focused on the servant into her child rearing years but likely had no experience yet ... a display of leadership was the girl to be trained?
She took the whip gingerly as it was presented having suppressed a gasp at the weaponry shown, "I will admit that I have never used one", she gazed at the woman on the floor her look neutral and approached her to stand at her side "before punishment, I would need to know what has caused the need for it to be carried out, what error has she committed. A physical incentive I would hold to often be the least effective method of ensuring sound behaviour", she placed her hand on the woman's shoulder to achieve the aim of letting the servant know that she was in charge via the physical contact and that she was not unkind even if a punishment would be needed, and to let lady Jadviga know from the look she had on her face that she was not shirting the task - yet - but needed more information.
"To elaborate, if she has stolen she can be made to pay back the value plus extra - as could her family if she has such, mercy can be shown losses can be regained and addition made and the servants can know that they are making life for there personal family harder with there actions ensuring that there are punished by there own", she tried to see if the woman would tense she suspected that theft was most likely, "if she has seduced a noble man and you feared a bastard from the coupling which could damage an alliance that you had, well she would have proven herself a harlot and could be placed to work as such the potential bastard would then have many likely fathers and so no even half claim to disrupt the alliance", for this next section she choose to meet lady Jadviga's eyes "if her presence simply offends you, I would be happy to take her back to Venice where I believe she may be useful to the potential goals I mentioned earlier, and she would trouble you no more", she averted her eyes before offence could be given but after the initiative could be displayed and displayed clearly.
Holding the whip and allowing the strands to dangle before the eyes of the servant as a reminder that the option was ever present, "To mar her seems a waste", she smiled discreetly down at the woman, "and to strike on command without knowing the cause would not display leadership on my part".
There were reasons which could make the whip the best choice, but she wanted to hear them first.
Do you mean roll humanity or do you mean roll conscience for a humanity degradation test.
Just making sure in case she deems it necessary to continue.
2012-10-24, 01:07 AM
Jadviga looks a bit annoyed at being pressed for more information, but elaborates.
"Does it matter? She is a servant. Leaders have a right to dispense justice to their servants for any reason. If you must know, she broke a plate while setting the table for the feast earlier this evening. The others noticed, and they know she serves me. She must be punished, lest I gain the reputation of being one who allows my servants to be sloppy in their duties. I find that the whip is the most effective teacher."
Sorry, go ahead and make a conscience roll if you decide to whip her. Difficulty 6.
2012-10-24, 01:33 AM
A hot, sickly sensation crept over Luca. "Heknowsheknowsohgodohchristheknows." That damned steward had played him for a fool. "Lothar knew I was Golescu because he knew I wasn't supposed to be there... and here I thought he was part bloodhound..." Luca muttered vacantly. "I had a feeling this was too easy, but I just-" He'd let his anger get the better of him. That was his mistake. Luca was too busy fantasizing about revenge to think. He peeked up at Gabrin. "But seriously. Thank you for delaying my crucifixion. Much as I hate these clothes and these sorts of events, they're a fair sight better than that." He quirked an eyebrow and, when Gabrin made no protest, Luca peeled off his overcoat and threw it on a nearby bench. It impacted with a dull clunk. One could never have enough knives. "Theft, and spite. Not sure which was the bigger incentive, but I figure if Giovanni parties hard like the rumors say, then I'm one sober thief in a house full of wasted nobles. Take their stuff, take Giovanni's stuff, cause a little destruction where I can. He looks like an idiot, and I get a lot of money." Then Giovanni hunts the perpetrator down. Luca was fully aware of that. It didn't really bother him. "Why? All this to spite your damned father? He's not worth it."
"Oh, but he is. All this and more." Luca trembled with rage, then realized himself and coughed awkwardly. A new thought occurred to him. "How did you know my name, anyhow? I've made a pretty extensive effort to make sure nobles can't just look me up on a whim, but you found me like it was nothing."
I suppose I should make a concerted effort to be as exciting as possible, as my life hangs in the balance here.
Manipulation + Subterfuge = 8
1 WP for the automatic success. (Luca likes to live!)
2012-10-24, 01:36 AM
It did matter, quite a lot in fact, her opinion on Lady Jadviga diminished due to her not knowing this, but considering the reasoning a broken plate was nothing but a tarnished reputation could be deadly, she looked at the woman before her attempting to see if other scars from similar items were present or if she was unmarked, she also attempting to get a feel for the woman overall.
Considering carefully there were only two ways to proceed and the whip was likely the kinder, before progressing she wished to be sure of the alternative before mentioning it.
To get an overall impression of the servant.
I am assuming that whip marks are obvious enough not to need a roll.
2012-10-24, 02:29 AM
Lord Al-Nasir returns your greeting, seeming impressed by your skill with his language.
Lady Dimitra approaches you, casting one final yearning look towards Andrei. She eyes you, looking curious.
"I've been told that you are a sailor. Good. I appreciate a strong, hearty man who enjoys the outdoors. The so called lure of civilization has never done anything for me. Nothing do I love more than galloping in the woods in full pursuit of my game. Do you enjoy hunting?'
Each with their own guests, eh? Curious. It seemed that the Turk wanted the strange peasant for some reason. The Earl mentioned they had had theological disputes, but Benghi hadn't really heard anything from the man on the way, and the Genoese doubted him having much insight in religion. What else? Sodomy, perhaps (he was told the Turks often had such damnable lusts), but were there no younger, or better-looking, men than that? And he was supposedly to be the woman's companion. Not that he minded, but it was still something on his mind.
Benghi nods respectfully to the lady. "I am a simple man, madam, and the few hunting grounds exist outside my home are for better men to use. My forest is the sea - and I've been on it since my twelfth summer. It's got hunters and hunted, too, but they are all humans, so I imagine they wouldn't count. Well, there's also fish, and birds, but it's bad luck to hunt those, that's what they say." he shrugs, then smiles to himsel. He likes to think of his work at times, and it might get the woman to open up. "It's a hard life on her, the sea I mean - the glare of the sun, the storms, the privations of a journey - but there's no life I can imagine having that I'd like more. Have you been on a ship yourself?"
2012-10-24, 02:47 AM
Seth was doubly glad lord Erwin had taken ill, first because this noble woman seemed to have less than virtuous designs and he was not sure Erwin would have been up to the task, and second because this Lady Amisa seemed to have less than virtuous designs and he was alone in a sitting room with her.
"Yes, the young Lord Erwin was very much looking forward to this event and was much saddened by his inability to attend," he replied.
Seth moved to sit near the lady Amisa and took a sip of the offered wine.
"What is it you wished to know of me, my lady?" he asked in the local Romanian tongue.
2012-10-24, 02:55 AM
Stefan bows slightly as Lord Mieczyslav approaches, flexing his fingers slightly in an attempt to ignore the thoughts running through his head. The doctor does his best to present himself as calm, collected but interested in his noble conversation partner, relaxing his tense muscles and folding one arm behind his back as the other hand gently but firmly keeps ahold of his wine. Stefan smiles pleasantly as Mieczyslav acknowledges his skills - the doctor was always happy when people recognised his work (except when they recognised his other work) - but frowns slightly as the lord claims to have a similar interest.
"You are too kind, my lord. Is your interest physical, or perhaps metaphysical?" Judging from his monk's garb it will be the latter.
Lord Mieczyslav's next question throws Stefan off-balance. Enemies? What a strange question to ask someone you've just met. Is he alluding to something I don't know about?
Stefan coughs and takes a sip of wine before responding. "I have made few enemies, my lord, so I think I lack the experience to answer your question fully. Nevertheless, if someone is truly your enemy then you should make every effort to thwart their ability to interfere with your business, and if possible disrupt their own."
2012-10-24, 03:27 AM
I'm not quite sure whether I was drawn to a private room or simply to another chair in the great hall, but the Rule of Drama compels me to assume the latter. With that kind of response, either I'm going to make an ass of myself, or I'm going to make an ass of him.
Andrei kept his face a level of serene that bordered on disconnected, despite the vitriolic rage boiling up in him. In the span of roughly a minute, Andrei's day had gone from bad to worse to worst. He hadn't been able to understand the woman's words, but it was immediately clear from her laughter that his assumption that the guests were supposed to mingle was incorrect. While she had clearly not taken offense, the sailor he'd seen talking with the young noble whose smile never quite reached his eyes and the Turk had. He had barely had time to offer an apologetic shrug to the sailor before the Mussulman had pulled him to one side of the great hall and begun asking him questions. And then either his gesture of pinching the index finger and thumb of his right hand and moving them back and forth across his left had been ignored or not understood, right before the Moor had spat full in his face.
Oddly, his hands and face seemed to work completely independently from his mind. His mind began to run through a highlight reel of every insult he'd ever been paid in his life for his ears. The mockery of the other children when they thought he wasn't looking or couldn't understand. The jeers at the dance. The howls of laughter that had driven him from the village square when he'd thought to join in the archery contest in the Midsummer festival. And now this, something even the other villagers had never thought to do. Meanwhile, his hands unconcernedly grabbed a napkin, wiped his face, and then went seperate ways as one plucked an apple from a bowl on the table while the other shrugged off the quiver of arrows. Setting the apple down, he pulled his string from it's waterproof protection and began stringing it while without a care in the world as the Turk continued his tirade, now standing and trying to grab the attention of Giovanni.
Stringing the bow, he stood with casual ease and tapped the Turk on the shoulder. When the Turk looked at him, he thrust the bow and quiver into his hands and, also with casual grace, plucked the apple from the table and flicked it sidearm down the length of the great hall. Pointing first at the bow, and then at the apple, he stood back and crossed his arms casually.
Okay, Turk, let's see your best and see how it stacks up against mine.
2012-10-24, 08:00 AM
A small smile crosses Valdemar's face.
"You are a clever woman. Our perspectives influence everything. Even if they were able, I don't imagine animals would look at humans and acknowledge their superiority. Maybe mankind is not superior. It has just lulled itself into a comfortable illusion.
"Now, why do birds sing?'
Alenka's smiled remained. She so enjoyed being complimented. She also enjoyed playful questions.
"Because lyrical quality of their calibre is too good to be kept to oneself!" she grinned.
2012-10-24, 04:13 PM
"Oh Dove, Lothar spent months scouring the countryside for the guests he was going to invite to dinner. He all but spied on the guests. When it became apparent that Lord Golescu had not received his invitation to the ball, he quickly moved heaven and earth to find out who had. Through the use of bribes threats and other unique talents, we've been researching you for quite awhile.
"Ah. A thief, come to score what he thought would be an easy fortune. I admire your nerves. Giovanni is a harsh Lord. You'd have likely been caught, tortured, and eventually killed. As it stands, you are a mouse who has walked into a house of cats" he giggles.
Luca begins to feel rather hot, perhaps due to the stress.
The servant's back was covered in scars, many looking like they had been inflicted by a different tool. She had apparently been stabbed, cut, and burned. Lady Jadviga seemed like a harsh mistress. The girl seems resigned to her fate, clearly terrified but able to avoid excessive shaking.
"What are you waiting for? Whip her! A leader does not hesitate!" Jadviga demands, growing impatient.
Dimitra fondly smiles. "The woods have always been where I have been most comfortable. I've traveled on boat a few times. I've traveled above the sea on occasion," she remarks cryptically. "I respect a hunter regardless of what form they are called to pursue the hunt in." She looks around the hall in distaste.
"These narrow walls and cramped ceilings oppress me. What say you we climb to the roof and howl at the moon?" If Benghi follows her, she leads him to the expansive roof, which contains a breathtaking view of the surrounding wilderness.
Dimitra speaks the truth. She lets out a sharp howl.
"I suppose I shall have to make my own entertainment without him." She arches her head, studying the man before her.
"I want to know What you find good and worthwhile in life.""
"I would say both. Certainly it is at its core an effort to understand our state of being. But to do that one must examine the actual physical state. And there is something about cutting through bone and muscle tissue that I find most fascinating."
Mieczyslav seems to find Stefan's answer curious.
"And what is the best way to prevent them from harming you? If you have your enemy at your total mercy, what do you believe should be done with him?"
Lord Al-Nasir first looks questioning, then amused. He takes the bow from Andrei and turns and fires, fast as lightning. It is clear he is not used to the bow, but his lightning reflexes more than make up for it.
His arrow hits the apple and easily splits it in two. Bajazet turns and gently hands the bow back to Andrei, his face looking much more pleasant then before.
"Most impressive, young one. Please, excuse my rudeness. I have known of your condition from the start. My insults towards you were an attempt to prove if you were a sheep or a wolf. I have my answer," He clasps Andrei on the arm.
"But that's all everyone sees you as, isn't it? A deaf mute. They ignore your prowess, ignore that you are in fact the true master hunter in your family. And yet you let them. You sit back and let your elder sibling take all the credit. But your frustration with me proves you desire some of your own. I could assist you. I could give you a chance to win fame, glory, and most importantly, respect. Are you interested?"
Valdemar seems pleased Alenka is enjoying the questions.
"Let us move on to a harder question. What is life?"
Make a Wits+ Stealth roll, diff 7. Succeed, and you notice that the shadows seem to almost be... pooling around your feet.
2012-10-24, 04:54 PM
She felt a twinge of sorrow for the girl at her feet, and a similar taste of anger at the woman in front of her, she suppressed a sign "Your methods have not worked with this one, and continuing to keep her in your employ will only lead to further embarrassments for you", she squeezed the girls shoulder to get her attention "if your mistress sets you lose I would be happy to have you as maid or a land worker in Venice - it will be hard work but not delicate", her words where kind, her value as a harlot was poor other then dock work and she did not wish a reputation for marked girls to begin with ... a quality over quantity approach may function better she figured.
She dropped into a low curtsy to Lady Jadviga, "I am sorry I have not lived up to your expectations ... and that there will be no business between us", there was a hint of finality to that last, she had no wish to associate with the woman in life or trade her methods seemed flawed in both.
She lay the whip on the table "I will rejoin the feast and leave you to tend your servant as you see fit", she curtseyed low again at the door "have a pleasant evening your excellency".
Not once throughout did she sound anything other then polite, nor did her expression or body language indicate anything untoward at any point.
Turning on her heel she choose to leave without being dismissed, after all the lord of the house had indicated they were equals tonight ... though she suspected that that would be rescinded shortly and that she had no chance of gathering patronage after having offended Lady Jadviga ... she would speak to Lord Giovanni to excuse herself she no longer wished to be here.
Not sure of a conscience roll would be needed for leaving the servant behind to face her mistresses wrath, but given Isabella's standing on humanity I am inclined to doubt it.
I am picturing Isabella being only a single step outside the door at this point rather then having actually returned to the hall, the last paragraph is intention rather then deed.
2012-10-24, 05:20 PM
Isabella words cause Jadviga to fly into a rage.
"Then you are one of the sheep, and not a lion at all!" She locks eyes with the servant. "Rise!"
A calm seems to settle over the girl, and she rises to her feet. Lady Jadviga hands her the whip, before looking at Isabel.
"Kneel down on the floor! You will not be a leader until I have the compassion beaten out of you!
Despite knowing what is to come, Isabella feels an overpowering desire to kneel.
Jadviga is attempting to Dominate Isabella. [roll0] diff 6
2012-10-24, 05:49 PM
At the woman's outburst she looked back, when her eyes met her she felt compiled to obey and not due to the noble issuing a command this was something else, as her knees hit the ground she thought of the monk - You are entering into eternal domination if you go with him - she shock for all of a second while considering this, before trying to stand and finding she could not make herself do so, thinking fast she set her eyes to match the servant "I offered you a kindness and you betray me, hand me the whip", her arm shot out to take it from her hoping the girl was so used to commands that she would simple follow it.
Diff -2 for Enchanting voice.
As far as I know dominate 1 (from dark ages anyway) lasts a scene, so I figure that dominate two should also not simply me a case of kneel and immediately raise again to run away ... let me know if you agree or if you want a clear reason for dominate 1 over 2 at times (other then the rolling pool).
2012-10-24, 06:00 PM
Stefan nods understandingly before catching himself and looking slightly uncomfortable: admitting his own obsessive pursuits in the surgical field is apparently not something he wanted to do in the presence of a complete stranger. Nevertheless, the doctor finds himself opening up a little more than he would normally consider sensible, as it is very rare that he gets the chance to discuss the subject with such an apparently intelligent enthusiast.
"Yes..the human body is truly a remarkable thing, unlike anything else I have ever come across. And you are surely right, my lord, that physicality and spirituality are closely entwined. It has been my honour for years to get to ply my skills on the work of the divine Creator, and I never cease to be amazed at its complexity. Are you a doctor yourself, my lord?"
Mieczyslav's questions puzzle Stefan slightly, forcing him to think for a few moments before replying hesitantly.
"It would depend on the enemy. If the bad blood between us is over something trivial, then a simple reminder of my victory over them would be all that was required. If the enmity between us was greater then I would be quite justified in exacting whatever judgement I saw fit, considering that he would do the same in my position. Those that would directly harm me..." Stefan pauses, uncertain that his answer will be the one that Mieczyslav wants to hear. "Those that posed me direct harm would be rendered incapable of harming me, and others. If a beast is dangerous then it should be dealt with, whether through training, removing its claws or fangs, or by killing it. It would not be right for me to treat a dangerous enemy in any other way. But enemies who do not pose me such a threat should not be treated such."
2012-10-24, 06:31 PM
OOC: Your timing is uncanny. Just as I read that, I started feeling feverish. I'm onto you. :smallmad: ... :smallbiggrin:
Unique talents? Gabrin spoke openly of torture, so... what else was there? More importantly, was Dmitri okay? The others could go hang, but he'd taken Luca in when he was a boy. If this idiotic plan got him hurt... "Lothar and Gabrin are gonna share a grave." Luca had to restrain himself from laughter. He couldn't even sneak into the party properly, but he was going to murder Giovanni's steward and one of the guests? "No one was hurt too badly, I hope?" Luca asked with a laugh. Keep it cool. It wouldn't do any good to sour Gabrin's mood.
"Here I thought I was a dove. Least they fly," he quipped. Luca loosened his collar, but without effect. How could a spring night like this be so damned hot? He deposited himself on the bench and took a few deep breaths.
2012-10-24, 07:16 PM
Alenka was enjoying this conversation: it was always a wonderful feeling to be the centre of someones attention! Though she had approached with a mind for sounding out possible mercantile benefits, she was enjoying this small distraction.
"A sum of experiences!" she beamed.
2012-10-24, 08:08 PM
The girl hesitates for the briefest of seconds, but fear of her mistress wins over. She grips the whip tightly.
"Now you shall learn your lesson. Whip her!"
The servant moves to Isabella's back and begins hitting her. It is agonizing and seems to last forever. Jadviga grows more and more excited. She claps her hands in delight, shouting out directions.
"Yes! Hit her again! Now harder!"
If Isabella shows signs of her pain, Jadviga seems to take even more pleasure in it. If there is one small mercy, it is that at least Jadviga allowed her to retain her clothing.
Eventually, Isabella crumbles to the floor. Jadviga tells her servant to stop, kneeling down to address the beautiful young woman, speaking softly, almost tenderly.
"Let this be a lesson. You showed kindness to an inferior. She capitalized on your weakness, and attempted to gain favor with me as well as avoid her own punishment. A leader never shows compassion," she explains, rising again.
"Seven more blows," The sadistic noble pants.
When the deed is done, Jadviga has her servant help Isabella up. She looks at the bloodied woman with newfound interest.
"Yes, I shall enjoy dining with you," she smiles slightly and leaves the room. Without a word, the servant who previously beat Isabel begins to aid her in tending to her wounds.
Mieczyslav lets out a strange chuckle.
"I suppose you could call me one, in a sense."
He grows irritated as Stefan explains his view on the treatment of enemies.
"Bah! Don't you understand, an enemy you spare will feel no gratitude. All they will feel is humiliation, and a desire to avenge their pride. By letting them off easy you make them only a more committed enemy! No, the way to deal with your enemies is to ensure they can never act against you again. You kill them, and you do it in a way that others learn they do not wish to become your enemy." He turns abruptly and motions for Stefan to accompany him. "Follow me. I have something to show you."
Mieczyslav leads Stefan into the wine cellar. In the corner lies a chained and naked man, bruises covering his body. He looks up in horror as the pair approach.
"This is a spy for my enemies. Show me how you would deal with him." The Lord points to a tray of torture instruments, allowing Stefan to make his pick, if he so desires.
"Please, no! I am just a simple peasant!"
"Oh no. Your acquaintances were forthcoming enough that Lothar did not see the need to torture any of them. He must have been in a good mood."
Gabrin notices Luca's discomfort. "My Dove, you look a little hot. Perhaps your damnation is starting earlier then I was expecting."
He continues to speak glibly, but Luca suddenly realizes that he in fact on fire. The fire had burst out of his chest, and was now spreading everywhere! Every part of his body was covered in greedy flames. He could feel his skin melting, feel clumps of his hair falling out!
Gabron stands by and watches, idly tossing his dagger back and forth.
"Valdemar's smile grows even wider. "A simple answer, but perhaps correct. "
"Is darkness more than the absence of light?
Make a wits+stealth roll diff 6. A success indicates that Alenka notices the shadows are now enveloping her legs.
2012-10-24, 08:14 PM
"Oh," Alenka started, enjoying herself. "I read a proposal by a Muslim scholar on the matter of optics, that darkness was the natural state of things, and that light is the intruder. He lives in a very forgiving society to escape reprisals for his suggestion!"
Whoops, forgot to do the first one.
2012-10-24, 08:45 PM
"Good food, good company," Seth replies, "satisfaction in a job well done."
The older man thinks for a bit.
"I think money exists to make our lives easier, but too much money and seeking any more makes life more difficult. I try to straddle the two, enough to make my life easier, and seeking any more would make life more complicated. I know perhaps I am naive, but I find that whether I have more money or less, unless the company I keep is equally rich, my days are as dull and dreary as any peasant's."
2012-10-24, 09:56 PM
"A most fascinating view, and one I find most agreeable. Darkness excited first, even the Scriptures say so. It is the natural state of all things.
I am glad you are enjoying this so! Few truly consider such things. Let us turn to discussing shadows. Have you ever really considered yours? What is your shadow? Is it more than just a reflection of you? Can it not be considered to be a fundamental part of your being?'
Make wits+stealth diff 5. Succeed and Alenka catches on to the fact that the shadows are now enveloping her body up to her chest. I guess we're assuming she's really been thinking hard about these questions so far!
"It seems as though you are loyal to your young Lord's family as well. You are a very committed servant," comments Amisa.
"What about compassion, kindness? Are these things important to you?"
As she speaks, a small black cat emerges from the shadows of the room, rubbing at her feet. She gently picks it up and begins to stroke it.
2012-10-24, 10:37 PM
"Well, that depends," Seth replies.
"Compassion and kindness of course are good in times of plenty, but when times are difficult, they can mean the difference between life and death," he says.
The thought swings both ways; let's see what you make of that, my Lady.
2012-10-24, 11:36 PM
Andrei's anger was momentarily forgotten, along with pretty much every other thought in his head. How the Devil. . .
He blinked his confusion away and centered himself. The same stillness required for aiming a bow passed through his head, and Andrei was his wary self again. He's better informed than he has any reason to be, but he clearly doesn't know everything. A momentary flash of recognition passed through his mind, and Andrei felt that he knew exactly what this was. It was no different than a feint a wolf will make to drive a deer in the wrong direction.
Gently, he set aside his bow and quiver and, reached for another apple as he drew his longknife and placed it upon the table. Waving over a servant, he pinched his right index finger and thumb together and drew them across his left hand again, moving as if he were writing. As the servant moved away, he held up his hand palm outwards to the Mussulman and then tapped his throat three times quickly, his expression apologetic but reverting immediately back to guarded. Sitting back down on the chair, he began slicing the apple. Lifting the first slice out from the apple, he held it pinned on his knife with a thumb and, with the blade's edge held outward, nibbled on the slice as he thought about how best to respond.
Fortunately, the servant arrived promptly with a sheet of parchment and ink. Downing the rest of the apple slice, he set his knife to one side and wrote in a tight, small script: I might be, if your second impression is more accurate than your first. What do you propose?
2012-10-25, 12:26 AM
Luca breathed a sigh of relief. Gabrin had no reason to lie, so Dmitri was probably okay. Forthcoming? Why would he betray Luca like that? He chuckled at the Roma's curious statement. "I never took you for a Christia-agh!" Fire! How-? It took every once of willpower not to cry out. He had learned young that those who screamed in the night didn't so often attract Good Samaritans as thieves and murderers. With an agonized whimper, Luca flung himself to the ground and attempted to put out the flames.
Dexterity + Athletics = 6
I'm 99% certain that Luca *isn't* on fire, but I figure best make sure that he doesn't really hurt himself trying to smother imaginary flames.
2012-10-25, 01:43 AM
She attempted to snatch the whip but could not, as the first blow falls she cries out in shock, but in truth it did not penetrate the dress true pain occurred on the third strike where the whip bit into the shoulder she carried that poorly the sharp pain shooting through her, she began to cry the tears running down her face freely and it was then that for a while she begged, "stop", "please stop" were occasionally heard between her screams when she had breath to.
Absurdly she considered her work in Venice and wondered if she would even be missed by a soul - here in the devils mansion she thought about home and again wished she had the wisdom to have stayed there.
Time seemed to stop and wear on as the pain continued, her screams stopped as did her begging she had no breath and her mind had simply retreated into itself.
She did not even notice as it stopped only noticing the change when she heard the devils friend Jadviga speak to her trying to teach her to be like her the words rattled around in her head.
When finally the woman left and she was assisted to stand and cover the wounds, she placed the hand on the woman's shoulder to move it towards her neck her every intention to strangle the girl, she stopped just short, that was what Jadviga wanted her to break to be like her, and though she hated the girl she hated Jadviga more, looking at the servant she swallowed the bile that she tasted at the words "I forgive you" Jadviga would know she had failed "leave me".
As the servant departed she knelled again this time to pray, it was not something she had done in years other then for appearances sake, she remembered the words but could not speak them instead making it a more personal message - the very height of hubris - she began, "If you are there I have failed you. I have tried to avoid harm but I am in the enemies den, I have been damned by one of your holy and I have likely led him to condemn his soul to hell", she paused, "I am not sorry for this, and I don't seek your forgiveness, what I do now is not in your name ... but despite that I would ask that if it pleases you that you allow me a more pleasant and personal hell then the other sinners for at least I admit it".
Rising she began to strip the furniture of loose material and stacking it at a corner, she then used a torch to set it alight, she then began to proceed through the house slowly, occasionally leaning on a wall and leaving a bloody trail, in this manner setting fire to the devils abode as she went.
Knowing that those looking for the starter would be thinking she meant to flee she moved further into the house at all times ... she has spoken to god and understood her faith, a mortal sin such as murder and suicide would not have bearing on her soul now.
Not sure what to use for setting a fire as a roll so we will try this.
+1 Diff for not having Craft.
1 Willpower for an extra success.
2012-10-25, 01:50 AM
"Certainly," Benghi nods with relish at the idea of leaving the crowded, shadowy hall. He follows the strange woman closely up the stairs, though he begins to have some doubts about her sanity. Nobles, he thinks, but shrugs. By what little he's overheard, the others don't seem much better. Traveled above the sea? Probably meant a big ship. He is momentarily distracted by the lithe form before him, and sighs quietly. Now, that would make for a memorable evening, but he doubts he'd have that good of a luck. Though you never know...
On the rooftop, he smiles as he surveys the look of the land below. Despite the darkness, he can see just enough to make for an inspiring sight, and the slight wind from his side makes him feel more alive than he ever felt since he arrived at the inn. "Ah, now this is somethi..." he begins to say with a grin, as the woman's howl interrupts him. He looks at her in confusion. What kind of a lunatic is that woman? . Was she one of those heathens in the northwest? "Madam, what are... where are you from, exactly?" he asks, quite unnerved. He'd heard some stories about witches turning to wolves. Yet that woman had been at a seat with lords and priests, hardly a suitable place for witchery. Perhaps she wants to test my manhood, he think. Courage, Benghi, he told himself. Don't turn yellow before a woman - noble, lunatic, or witch if she may be.
2012-10-25, 02:52 PM
"Allow me to examine your sense of goodness with a less theoretical text."
Amisa strokes the cat one final time before placing it in front of Seth. She reaches over and grabs a mallet, offering it to Seth.
"Will you bludgeon the cat to gain my gratitude?" If Seth refuses, she hands him a gold coin.
"What about a coin? Would you kill the cat for a coin?"
Lord Bajazet looks pleased, but refuses the slice of apple, motioning for Andrei to have it for himself.
The servant reappears, giving Andrei the paper he needs to write down a small message. Bajazet reads it.
"Good, good. I propose a small game. A test of your skills. Succeed and I will take you under my wing. Fail... well, let me tell you about the game. It is known as the game of death.
"Our game shall be in two parts. First, you shall hunt me. I shall stay in only the public rooms. You must come close enough to kill me without me noticing you. If I see you, you must leave my sight immediately and try again. If you lose, then it will be my turn. The rules will become slightly different, but I shall speak of them only should you lose.
You have 15 minutes," he pulls out an hourglass and turns it over. "Starting now!"
Without any explanation, Al-Nasir begins to wander off.
You have a lot of creative freeway with your actions here. Bajazet will stick to public areas, so feel free to make assumptions as to where he is when Andrei attempts to approach him.
Luca's desperate action has no effect. The flames continue to bite at him, blistering his skin. Some small rational part of his brain is aware that he should be dead by now, but that hardly seemed to matter. This was hell. He was eternally dammed to suffer this fate.
A splash of freezing water ends the agony. Gabrin stands above him, holding a bucket .
"You looked as if you needed to cool off, dove!" He laughs heartily, before offering the conman his hand.
"I do believe dinner will be served shortly. Shall we go back and await the other guests?'
Strangely, aside from Luca's now soaking clothes, there appears to be no evidence of the fire.
I'll say your scene is over, but feel free to add any final thoughts. And have 2 xp for some enjoyable rp. :smallsmile:
The servant looks at her with dead eyes.
"We're all doomed. The mistress will harm you for displeasing her. She'll never let you die." She leaves the room without saying another word.
Isabella is able to start a small fire in Jadviga's sitting room, but as she leaves the room she spies none other than the noble lady. Jadviga sees the torch, and Isabella notices that a flash of animalistic fear crosses her face. But it is only for a moment. By the next, she has summoned the guards, and they restrain Isabella.
"Focus on putting the fire out. I shall deal with our guest." Jadviga grabs the beautiful young woman, her grip vice like.
"You apparently have a rebellious streak that must be dealt with as well," she snarls, but then looks contemplative. "Although you have shown a commendable amount of bravery, compared to your earlier craven behavior. There may yet be hope for you as a leader." She locks eyes with Isabella, speaking one word.
[roll0] diff 6
And she does.
Scene's pretty much over, but feel free to rp any final thoughts. Have 2 xp for some good rp. :smallsmile:
"I am from the woods, emerging only to hunt my prey!" Dimitra laughs quite madly. "I'm in the mood for a chase over the rooftops! Indulge me, will you?" She lets out a feral growl.
"Run darling! Let us work up a sweat before dinner!"
2012-10-25, 03:11 PM
Crazy bitch, Benghi thinks. He'd seen women like this, but this was supposedly a lady... guess even ermine didn't really change the one underneath. But by all means, let her work a sweat. He just hoped she knew what she was doing "You want to chase me, here? You must tell me what country breeds women like you," he smirks, then gets serious for a minute "Promise me you will tell the Earl it was your idea, though. I would not relish telling him you were hurt because of me."
He hopes it doesn't have to do it, though. A promise now might not mean much to her if she had a sprained ankle. It was probably not a good idea in the first place, but he did not want to back down from a challenge... especially made by a woman.
((If she nods or otherwise agrees)), he grins, then runs across the roof, seemingly as sure-footed as any cat.
((Dex+Athletics, dex specialty; [roll0], the catlike balance merit should apply for -2 difficulty))
2012-10-25, 03:27 PM
"Oh, it shall be our little secret," Dimitra says.
As Benghi takes off, she lets out a squeal of delight and chases him.
She seems fast, but also uncoordinated. Benghi gains a good distance on her.
I'm keeping track of both your successes. Looks like Benghi scored 8 that first turn, so there's no risk of Dimitra catching him this turn. She only scored one (two counting die I forgot), wow. Okay, next turn, she's going to raise the stakes. She's quite competitive. Whomever has more total successes at the end of 3 turns is the winner.
2012-10-25, 03:43 PM
Agile, but not quite used to terrain like that. Good, the Italian thought. He much preferred winning, especially when there was danger involved. Just as long as she didn't do something stupid. He had put some distance between them, but he may as well do something a bit extra. She was probably used to hunting on the ground - so probably she was not much of a climber.
He nears a small tower that leads to the wall, and scrambles up at it, using the uneven stones, small windows, and jutting beams to climb up.
Dex+ath (lmk if str is required, the roll would be pretty much the same): [roll0] -2 diff if the merit applies
2012-10-25, 03:56 PM
Dimitra increases her speed. She's not laughing anymore. Instead, she goes quiet, like a lion pursuing its prey.
Dex+ Athletics+ Celerity. Dimitra also spends 2 blood to raise her dex. [roll0]
She climbs the tower rapidly and is moving faster, but Benghi still is outpacing her.
2012-10-25, 04:22 PM
Benghi is leading, as expected, but not by quite as much as he had hoped. Quite the woman, that. She was serious, now - so this wasn't just a game to her. Or maybe she hated to lose. Well, that makes two of us, he thought as he grinned fiercely in the darkness. He was starting to feel the first touches of fatigue - he must have gotten a bit out of shape the last few weeks. She didn't seem to slow down, and he gritted his teeth, becoming quite serious himself. He took pride in his abilities, and losing an athletics competition to a woman was not something he planned on doing tonight - or in the next several decades. He continued running, turning, leaping and at times, crawling through the broken silhouette of the rooftops and walls of the mansion. I should have kicked that board that I stepped on, he thought, game or no game. Then he admonished himself - he didn't have time to waste on idle thoughts.
dex+athletics, dex specialty [roll0]
2012-10-25, 04:29 PM
Seeing her prey growing tired, Dimitra pushes herself even faster. The chase which has exhausted an able man like Benghi shows no signs of slowing her down.
Dimitra spends 3 blood to increase her Dex. She's temporary at 10. :smalleek:
2012-10-25, 04:38 PM
She's gaining ground fast on him now, however impossible that seems. Benghi may wonder how much longer she can keep it up. But then, how much longer can he?
Dimitra stops suddenly, looking not the least bit winded. If anything, she looks invigorated. She calls Benghi over, looking both irritated and impressed.
"You are the first of your kind in memory who has bested me. Well done!" She smiles.
"Nothing like a thrilling chase to prepare you for a nice feast. Do me the honor of accompanying me to it." She holds out her arm, inviting Benghi to stroll with her back to the dining hall.
Very fun scene. Feel free to post any final thoughts you have. Have 2 xp for good roleplay and one more xp for beating a 6th generation Gangrel in a footrace. :smalltongue:
2012-10-25, 04:53 PM
It takes a few moments for the Italian to realize this crazy "game" is over and stop. He squats with one hand against the wall, breathing heavily. Maybe it was just his mind playing tricks from the fatigue, but it seemed like at the end this woman was fast... unearthly fast. Maybe she was a witch or something - but he'd never heard of witches running, of all things. He thought of saying a prayer, but the rush of blood - and the sight of her nearing him, gracefully closing in like a big cat - put other, less devout thoughts in his mind. He rose, exhaling loudly before answering. "Of my kind, eh?" . She was weird, that one. "I haven't seen a woman keep up with me nearly as well as you - and damn few men, either. You are something, ma'am. I have to ask, though - where are you from? Haven't met any woman like you where I'm from - and not just in running," he added. The last bit might not have been entirely true, but there was something about Dimitra that was... striking. He let his eyes wander as he took her hand. Normally, he'd be a lot more careful around a woman of such status, but she was definitely not your run-of-the-mill aristocrat. He enjoyed the nice, cool wind on his skinand slowed down for a second, looking up at the heavens. "Do we have to go in just yet? I'm still flustered, and it is a nice night out here."
((Okay, he's eyeing her with more than a purely athletic interest, but that might involve looking for any signs of excitation or physical exertion. Also, do her clothes show anything that might catch his eye?))
2012-10-25, 06:06 PM
As the servant spoke she restrained herself from backhanding her and ignored her instead ... the only reason she had not tried to kill her was to spite her mistress, let the fool think what she would.
Seeing the fear in the witches eyes she stumbled forward - still barely mobile from her wounds and every step keeping then fresh and sending refreshed pain through her - to set her wicked enemy alight, not noticing the guards until they grabbed her and held her back despite her struggling having no option she fell back on old tricks on instinct and stilled herself "please let me go, I am calm and mean no harm", her voice soothing and calm the effect spoiled as her eyes were manic and her grin which was intended to be peaceful was twisted with sadistic spite ... unfortunately they ignored her request and she resumed struggling to free herself to smite the witch.
As the torch was taken away and her enemy grabbed her she imagined her on fire on the pyre, she instantly spat full force unto her gown, the face could simply whipped clean, the gown however would be stained which was far worse for a noble lady who had her clothes burned in her room.
She did not even here the words that were spoken to her at this time, deciding to spit again when she fell into a deep sleep.
2012-10-25, 06:43 PM
Stefan follows the irate nobleman cautiously, unsure of what to expect the man to come out with next. The doctor had expected Mieczyslav to be disappointed with his answer, given the way the lord had phrased his questions thus far, and his opinion made a great deal of logical sense to Stefan (even if Stefan hardly considered it appropriate to kill any of HIS enemies), but what was coming next?
Picking his way carefully down the steps into the cellar, Stefan gasps as he looks up to find the prisoner kept chained in a corner. At Mieczyslav's direction he glances towards a tray laid out with an assortment of shining, mostly metal implements. Many of the items seem surgical in nature, and as Stefan's mind turns to what he is expected to do with them he shudders involuntarily. The shudder, however, is not one of revulsion of the proposed task, but rather a mixture of excitement at the thought of having the freedom to study the body whilst it was still functioning and self-disgust at how quickly his mind turned to such an idea. Stefan approaches the tray and carefully examines the implements, his mind racing with thoughts. I can't do this. I can't torture this man. But is it really torture? Mieczyslav wants to make an example of him, and I certainly don't want to disappoint Mieczyslav. Just think of it as another dissection, only on a living subject. Mieczyslav will kill him anyway. He was a spy. A spy should have known the risks of crossing a man like this. Think what I can learn! Of course I'll feel guilty - the pain will be excruciating. But the gain will outweigh the cost. It must.
After about a minute or so of internal deliberation and picking up and examining various tools, Stefan appears to come to a decision. Picking up a scalpel-like blade with a razor edge, the doctor approaches the captured spy, glancing once to Mieczyslav to catch his reaction. Ignoring the dull throbbing in his head, Stefan takes the blade and begins to apply it with all the skill he can muster with to the poor man's chest, peeling back skin to reveal the workings of the muscles and bones beneath as the doctor's hands shake almost imperceptibly.
Hrmm. Dexterity+Medicine to do this 'properly', I think. Let me know if my Dexterity speciality in Precise/Medicine speciality in Anatomy counts for this.
Dexterity+Medicine (8d10): [roll0]
2012-10-25, 08:31 PM
"I must apologize in advance for my forwardness, my Lady, but if I must kill a cat to gain your favor, then perhaps your favor is not something I desire," he replied.
What game is she playing at...
With the weight of the gold coin in his hand Seth glanced to the cat, shook his head, and held the coin up to Lady Amisa to take.
"I'm afraid I must decline once again," he replied, "what is it you have against this cat? Has it done something to offend you?"
2012-10-25, 09:31 PM
"My shadow?" Alenak repeated, grinning widely.This was a rather fun conversation!
In her preoccupation, Alenka had been taken to a more private room - she had just noticed that now. A woman of privilege and station for most of her life, she was quite used to feelign safe within enclosed walls and so felt no fear at all of beign in the room with this gentleman. Besides, he was a fellow man of rank and status, not an opportunistic brute.
"Well, Aldric isn't here right now but - " her witty joke was cut short by a sudden choke of surprise as she noticed the grasp of shadows coiling around her figure. A primal, otherworldly fear crawled through the base of her skull as she watched, and felt, the cold abyss seeping across her skin with a life of its own.
"What....the devil...?!" she exasperated , trying to swat away at the murk with no success. The heart in her chest accelerated in tempo as the Countess felt a pulse rising behind her eyes and clogging her ears
Soras Teva Gee
2012-10-25, 09:45 PM
Adam was considered carefully before answering. This question touched on several areas quite close to home. Quite the ill chance Lord Casamir had settled on this. In truth Adam had no care for the Church and its lesson, though he had received more then his share of them. Though that should provide an answer.
"I could not say that my faith was more then any other. Though certainly my station has allowed me to plumb greater depths then most men have the opportunity too. Let me see..." Adam paused and closed his eyes briefly to remember a quote."
"amen amen dico vobis non est servus maior domino suo neque apostolus maior eo qui misit illum."
"That comes from the Book of John in scripture. A fascinating quote, the Savior puts the master and servant upon the same tier. An important reminder, that the differences between men have their limits, and nothing against the true power of the world."
That should be enough pious bleating for the moment. What else Casamir said interested Adam.
"However I must admit I do ponder that same question. Certainly I have yet to meet the priest that could direct me to the scripture that tells me how to mount a horse, to pick an example from the air. So certainly it does not contain the sum of knowledge. I believe any man should pursue all avenues to find knowledge."
That's John 13:16 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+13%3A16&version=ESV) in English though I quoted the Latin Vulgate (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2013:16&version=VULGATE). Hooray for web resources.
Apologies this took so long been busy.
2012-10-25, 10:37 PM
Andrei sat back in his chair as the Mussulman left, again briefly at a loss to figure out what the man was playing at, to say nothing of the fact that he had agreed to hear the proposal out, not be a party to a children's game.
No, this is anything but a children's game, he thought fiercely. Certainly when he was a child, he and Gavril had played hide and seek. But whenever Gavril had uncovered him in the bushes or found him under a pile of leaves, he always mouthed the word "found." He had never seen it referred to as a "game of death", nor that the idea was to get close enough to kill. He sliced another piece off the apple and ate it thoughtfully, considering the implications.
Obviously, as in any hunt, the two greatest factors are force and terrain. In theory, Andrei could kill any man within about 75 yards. His bow was hardly a work of art, but he knew the limits of his equipment and knew the range at which he would have to start arcing his shots to counter their pull towards earth, and at that point he was experienced enough to reliably strike a target, but could not count on a reliable kill. But that number, of course, was dramatically lessened by the available terrain: he couldn't no more shoot through a wall than he could see through it. Which meant that in this "game of death", both of them had an advantage, but this Al-Nasir had the greater: a better understanding of the terrain and a head start. If Andrei understood the game right, all the Turk would need to do is go into a room with only one door and stare intently at it.
Which meant he needed to even the odds. As he chewed another slice of apple thoughtfully, he took out the pen and ink and doodled a small, but fairly thorough map of the long hall he was in, including furniture and entrances. Putting the pen down, he hailed the nearest servant. Reaching into his tunic, he drew forth his money pouch, containing all that remained of the bag of silver Giovanni had delivered for travel expenses, minus what he thought he could spare for his family. Unlacing the top as the servant approached, he upended the silver pieces into one palm. When the servant came up to him, he slid one piece towards her, then tapped the paper where he had drawn the map in one corner, then placed the paper and pen in front of her, tapping it again and drawing an imaginary circle in the air with one finger.
2012-10-26, 12:19 AM
Aside from not appearing tired in the least, Dimitra appears normal. Of course, that alone is a bit unusual.
She laughs at his question. "I am from Greece. I can assure you, most woman and men are not like me, even there. I have spent a lifetime hunting my prey. A little footchase does not trouble me."
She seems amused that Benghi's exhausted from the chase, but waits with him until he is ready to go back to the feast. She studies him intently, but only smiles cryptically if he questions her on this.
"Good, Good!" Mieczyslav clasps Stefan on the back. "Keep it up doctor! This is most fascinating!"
The unfortunate prisoner screams for mercy.
"Please stop! He is a demon! They are all demons!"
"Keep going," demands Mieczyslav. "Kill him!"
If Stefan decides to continue torturing the man, make a humanity roll, diff 8.
"The cat has done nothing to offend me. But you seem to place some value on its existence. I merely wish to know the value I must offer before you decide the cat is worth less."
She grabs a punch overflowing with gold coins, and tosses it to Seth.
"What about a pouch of gold? Would that be enough to convince you to kill the cat?"
The shadows hold Alenka tightly, slowly making their way up her form. Valdemar's smile grows wider, and more sinister.
"Do not panic, you are so close to enlightenment! Please, answer my question. Tell me what you see your shadow as."
The shadows are nearing Alenka's neck.
Casmir nods somberly.
"Indeed. Even amongst the nobility, too many of our fellows think that all knowledge must come from the Scriptures. I disagree. I believe that there is a whole world of knowledge out there that man can tap into, if they have but the drive for it."
Do you have the drive for it, Lord Brandusa? Will you join me in traveling down the Black road?"
I'll post your next part soon, just need to clarify a few things first. :smallsmile:
2012-10-26, 12:44 AM
The servant raised an eyebrow.
"No, I don't think so," Seth replied, his expression hardening, "if all choices were as simple as deciding to discard that which is worth less, the world would be a much simpler place."
He placed the pouch full of gold coins, more money than he'd ever held in his entire life, on the bed.
2012-10-26, 12:57 AM
Lady Amisa looks amused. She seems to enjoy the challenge.
"I can see I will need to offer you more." She claps her hands, and a beautiful young woman appears. She is of Egyptian heritage as well, and completely unclothed.
"This is Chavi. She is my most talented pleasure slave, and has assisted me in several... matters. I will give you the gold and her services, if you but bludgeon the cat. "
2012-10-26, 03:05 AM
The appearance of the nubile young woman set off alarm bells in Seth's head.
She just happened to have a pleasure servant waiting to enter the room at a clap of hands?
For an instant he considered crushing the cat's head, but he banished the thought from his mind. This noble woman could just as easily take back what she had promised and have him flayed for assaulting her pet. Besides, even if she did uphold her side of the bargain, all he would be able to think about would be that poor feline's crushed skull, and would likely find little pleasure in taking Chavi.
"I'm sorry mi'lady, at this point I do not think any reward would be sufficient enough to sway my opinion," he replied, "no offense, miss Chavi."
2012-10-26, 03:22 AM
Stefan continues to shake, his entire body quivering as the man screams in agony. Despite knowing that he should stop, that to torture the man was purely evil, Stefan continues, and the scalpel continues to slice and scrape into the poor prisoner's flesh and bone. I know this is wrong. This man can't deserve this. But just look at what I can see! The twitch of nerves, the pulsing of veins and arteries, the throbbing of organs...how can I stop now, when what I'm doing reveals so much? The man will not live even if I stop...best to continue and then finish him off.
The torturous dissection continues for about a minute or so longer before Stefan can take the man's screams no longer and slices deeply into the man's throat, letting out a deep gasp and shuddering in loathing and excitement. Stefan lets go of the freshly-made corpse and turns to face the wall, panting slightly and saying nothing, images of the man's organs still fresh in his mind.
Humanity roll (Conscience 2): [roll0]
2012-10-26, 04:58 AM
Alenka's pulse throbbed in her skull and silenced all other audible sources. Her heart-beat clattered against her rib-cage as the cold shadows slithered further along her form, dousing her image from the world. In the midst of this panic the man still demanded an answer to his question - a bizarre question of no discernible worth.
Fear-stricken and unable to think straight, the Countess compressed against the nearest wall as her features were frozen into a rictus of horror.
A primal terror gnawed at the base of her skull and caused her to vomit incessant pleas from the man, but she received none. His pitiless stare demanded nothing but an answer to his question, a simple few words to seemingly abate the oily nightmare enveloping her body.
Barely able to coalesce any modicum of logic through the thick haze around her mind, Alenka wailed in the vocation of revulsion.
"A-...an extension! An envelope - don't...just stand there mi'lord!"
2012-10-26, 08:35 AM
Aside from not appearing tired in the least, Dimitra appears normal. Of course, that alone is a bit unusual.
She laughs at his question. "I am from Greece. I can assure you, most woman and men are not like me, even there. I have spent a lifetime hunting my prey. A little footchase does not trouble me."
She seems amused that Benghi's exhausted from the chase, but waits with him until he is ready to go back to the feast. She studies him intently, but only smiles cryptically if he questions her on this.
Benghi recovers quickly - while intense, it had been a relatively brief chase, if hectic. Greece, he thinks, no, most people there - those I've seen - definitely are nothing like that one. "What pray is there in Greece that you've spent so long at hunting? I had not thought the wilds hold something exciting enough to capture the full attention of a lady of leisure. Have you a husband who takes care of the rest?"
Soras Teva Gee
2012-10-26, 10:04 AM
Adam went absolutely still. He stared at Casamir, hardly even blinking. A fist clinched his robe tightly and then let go suddenly. His voice was cautious.
"Those words from..." Adam aburptly shook his head noble reserve all but gone, "Forgive me Lord Casamir but are you asking what I think you are asking?"
2012-10-26, 12:42 PM
Amisa examines Seth for a long moment before speaking once again.
"You drive a hard bargain. I can see I must offer you something truly valuable." She looks at Chavi. "Bring me the duchy."
Chavi moves quickly, returning within a minute with a form. Amisa in turn hands it to Seth.
"Read it for yourself. That is the legal deed to a duchy in Austria I acquired recently, after its last ruler died. It means nothing to me. I will let you have it, along with Chavi and a pouch of gold. All you have to do is kill the cat. I am confident you can see that I offer you much more than the life of one feline."
The man's screams stop abruptly. Lord Mieczyslav seems most pleased.
"Doctor, I knew you were a man of wisdom. The life of a spy means nothing compared to the knowledge you have gained! I foresee great things for you. Now come, a servant will dispose of this," he refers to the dead man. "We have a dinner to attend."
Intense scene, but you kept your humanity. For now. have 2 xp for some good role playing of Stefan's emotions. :smallsmile:
"Interesting... then you believe that the shadow an extension of your own will? If that is the case, then can it not be said that I have control over you given that I now control your very shadow? Am I not your master?"
Lord Valdemar seems perfectly happy to debate philosophical questions while Alenka suffers with being covered up to her neck in living shadows. He shows no concern for her plight, only desiring an answer to his question.
"You have seen the prey I hunt." Dimitra answers, before expressing outrage at Benghi's next question.
"I need no man. A husband would think to oppress me. I won't allow it!" Her harsh tone turns into something else. "That being said, I'm not immune to masculine charm." she licks his neck quickly, letting out a moan of pleasure. "Oh, you are indeed of good stock!"
Casmir's stern face half smiles.
"If you truly desire the knowledge, you must be willing to accept it without a safety net. Embrace and claim your desires."
2012-10-26, 01:07 PM
Luca spluttered as the water hit him full on in the face. For a few seconds, he merely laid on the ground, trying to gather his wits. How could anyone survive that torment? He dared to look down as Gabrin pulled him to his feet. The flames hadn't touched his skin. Even his shirt was intact, albeit grass-stained and sopping wet. It was all a trick, then? “Illusion,” Luca corrected. “A trick is what a whore does for money.”
Nevertheless, he was troubled on two fronts. First, how on Earth had Gabrin hexed him? The superstitious often cried witchcraft, and the Roma made for easy targets. Luca thought much of their blather nonsense... until now. Secondly, were those flames but a taste of what awaited him after death? Luca stole, lied, and even put a few men in the ground. Worse, he couldn't recall a good deed he'd done since his mother passed. "Forget it. It wasn't real." Luca tried to push the thought from his mind but remained troubled. He retrieved his coat and fastened it over his wet clothes. "Before the night is through, I should very much like to know how you did that." It would be poor form to just ask Gabrin if he were a sorcerer, but Luca was just dying to know.
2012-10-26, 01:23 PM
Stefan gives a slight nod to Mieczyslav but doesn't immediately move. Instead he carefully places the bloodied scalpel back onto its tray and then brings his hands up, holding them before his face. Vital fluid and various other liquids stain patches of his leather gloves an unpleasant blackish shade. The doctor begins to rub them together, but the stains remain unaffected. Letting out another ragged breath, Stefan gives up after a few furious moments of scrubbing and lets his hands fall to his sides. He turns around to face Mieczyslav, his face a carefully-controlled mask of calm just about covering up his inner turmoil, and chooses his words carefully.
"T-thank you, my lord. I think..I think I still have much to learn. Let us go to dinner." Though I have little appetite now.
I still can't believe Stefan didn't lose Humanity. Anyway, thank you!
Soras Teva Gee
2012-10-26, 05:39 PM
Adam said it half a command half an earnest plea his reserve breaking. The world, his easy life, it was so hollow. The Church spoke of a God, but he had seen its true face. The petty reasons for the wars of men and faith, the corruption of the so-called holy. The dissonance of the splendors taken by cathedrals from the humble speech of scripture. A lie. And yet what of the world, what of its existence. The more he had looked the more he was sure there was a secret, a power he knew not. He needed to know what it was he was missing from the world. What secrets where not spoken of in all philosophy.
His station, his situation, what he might risk. That was the farthest thing from his mind. He had to know what secretes Casamir held. Anything, any tiny hint.
2012-10-26, 05:57 PM
"You have seen the prey I hunt." Dimitra answers, before expressing outrage at Benghi's next question.
"I need no man. A husband would think to oppress me. I won't allow it!" Her harsh tone turns into something else. "That being said, I'm not immune to masculine charm." she licks his neck quickly, letting out a moan of pleasure. "Oh, you are indeed of good stock!"
Seen what prey she hunts... wait, he hadn't seen any beast that she might hunt. Actually, he hadn't seen many animals around. What did she mean... His thought went back to the crucified bandits. Could she be a hunter of people? A strange vocation, especially for a woman... and not one that he expected paid the bills. Her strong opinion against marriage was strange as well, but perhaps not unexpected from what she had heard. He felt a strange, unwelcome thought - could she indeed be one of the wolf-beasts of legend? He regretted not taking one of the silver knives from the table.
On the other hand, her current inclination suited him well enough. Perhaps she liked "wilder" men - and frankly, he had no intention to deny her in that. He shivered at the cool touch of her tongue; it had been a rather chilly night, so perhaps this was understandable. He turned towards her, caressing her chin. "You may yet see just how good, madam."
2012-10-26, 07:05 PM
It took her a long time to put shape on her thoughts floating in the darkness of her own mind the idea that it wasn't real sleep hit her first when she noticed that she was not actually dreaming but experiencing a state of waking sleep.
The outside world was gone she could not hear anything around her, and while she occasionally felt uncomfortable she was not sure if that was outside stimulus or simple phantoms of her mind.
She tried screaming to wake herself but nothing occurred, opening her eyes was impossible ... maybe I am dead, and this is the personal hell I asked for, there was no fire, no torment, no sensation just her own waking mind.
She had time to consider the night in full, and she realised she had embarrassed herself and paid for it, she had been told to whip a servant that was used to abuse by a noble lady and had refused based on the words rather then the scene ... Jadviga did not care about her opinion of leadership or how she would achieve results she wanted to be agreed with and have her ego stroked and Isabella had more or less called her a fool for it.
The servant didn't care she was likely used to it, and of course she would follow her mistresses commands, she had played a role of victim to pull at the heart strings and turned on the one offering her kindness immediately ... as Isabella herself had done with the monk a single night before, lure them and and use them to get what you want ... the servant had her lady's favour again and had not suffered at all.
But was she wrong, she had prayed and god had answered, she had exposed and opposed the witch and tried to burn her so perhaps this was a mercy, her back didn't hurt her head was clear of the wine again, she had managed to keep to the rules she lived by to do no harm ... it was not a bad death.
Regrettable surely but not bad, she had allies who knew where she was and some would take her death/disappearance to be a personal insult so perhaps Giovanni and his guests would be consigned to hell by those acting as her hand.
But she but the petty thought of revenge behind her.
She thought of the servant and this time truthful considered it: I do forgive you, I would have likely done the same.
The thought of Jadviga: You can't escape your devil pact, the lord will have his due, and he needs no input from me. So you are forgiven also.
Her mind calm again she prepared for an eternity of isolation.
Outside her mind her lips unconsciously curled in a gentle and calm smile.
2012-10-26, 07:16 PM
Gabrin's eyes hold a hint of mischief in them.
"I can promise you that all of your questions will be answered at dinner. Of course, you may not like the answers." he laughs.
Casmir looks pleased.
"I knew you were one of the seekers. You have taken your first step to understanding. But now it is time for a demonstration.
"The black arts are perverse and corrupting. I want you to walk to the end of the room in a straight line and then turn your entire body left."
[roll0] Casmir is attempting to use Contradict to make Adam turn right against his will. I messed up his roll and gave him too many dice, so he actually achieved no successes and failed to use the power. So feel free to turn left. I'll leave it up to you whether Adam feels a spell attempting to influence his mind or not.
Benghi catches a glimpse of a hatchet as Dimitra's cloak sways in the wind.
Her eyes narrows as Benghi flirts back. "Oh really? There is yet time before dinner. I have born witness to your passion for a good chase. Can you be as equally passionate in the bed chamber little man? Her tone is teasing, but there is a seriousness to her request.
2012-10-26, 07:51 PM
In Valdemar's smug questioning, Alenka found a tiny reserve of strength to prevent total, animalistic panic on her part. It was quite clear that he was responsible for this phenomenon, or least in league with its creator.
The countess choked slightly as she felt the compression of shadows across her figure.
"It would make you a fiend!" the Countess hissed, her world darkening over as oxygen was squeezed from her lungs. Her further cries for help from anyone listening were muffled by her suffocation as she felt her world topple over as she hit the floor.
2012-10-26, 07:59 PM
The last thing Alenka sees before the shadows overtake her is Valdemar's ghastly grin.
And then, nothing. The countess was consumed by the shadows. She could not move. Could not breath. Was this how her life would end?
Suddenly, the shadows retreat. Alenka lays on the floor, gasping for breath. Lord Valdemar looks down at her, clearly disappointed.
"You were so close to achieving a breakthrough, yet you let your nerves get the better of you. How... unfortunate."
"Well, we still have a dinner to attend. Come along." His tone is resigned, and he seems to have lost much of the interest he had in her.
This scene's pretty much done, but feel free to post final thoughts or resit going with Valdemar.
Have 2 xp for some good roleplay. :smallsmile:
2012-10-26, 09:22 PM
The sailor smirks, raising an eyebrow. "Was that all a test to see if you'd get me tired? I imagine I'd more than keep up... again. The question is - would you? Or do you only want me running for your pleasure?". His hand brushes up her chin, gently pushing the cowl back.
2012-10-26, 09:25 PM
As Seth stood with the document in his hand, the warnings of the crazy monk came back to him. It certainly seemed as if this would be some kind of game the Deceiver might play. In any event, he wasn't about to believe someone would part with an entire duchy to watch a cat be bludgeoned, regardless of how worthless she said it was. He made a show of reading through the contract, wondering if his soul would be the price should he sign at the bottom.
"I'm afraid not, my Lady," Seth replied, placing the contract on the bed.
"The life of a duke, I'm afraid, is not for me. I am a simple man with simple needs, and I fear this great reward would needlessly complicate what remains of my life."
"Plus," he added, with a smile, "I am beginning to take a liking to this cat, whose life hangs in the balance. I hope no offense has been made."
2012-10-26, 10:36 PM
I'll have her attend the dinner to save face, while preparing to expediently retreat back to the inn the first chance she gets.
2012-10-26, 10:47 PM
Dimitra allows the sailor to caress her flesh. Despite the recent exercise, It seems rather cold. Benghi gets the sense this is as submissive as the huntress gets. After a moment, She movers his hand away.
"Let us see if you can keep up. Come!" She all but drags Benghi inside and into one of the rooms. It is a well furnished bedroom, but Benghi has little time to savor it. No sooner does the door close then she pins him to the wall, panting heavily.
"Undress. Or would you rather I tear the clothes off of you?"
Before the sailor can give his response, the door opens, and Claudius Giovanni stands in the doorway, looking amused.
"Well well. I never thought to see the day a mere man could tame Lady Dimitra. You must be of fine stock indeed Lord Pascale."
Dimitra glares at the Earl. "We are busy. Go prattle to someone else."
Rather than looking offended, Earl Giovanni chuckles. " Ever passionate Dimitra. I've come to fetch you. Dinner is ready, and you surely don't want to delay the others, do you?'
The huntress looks reluctant, but picks up her cloak, which she had hastily discarded.
"I suppose not. Come along. We must dine with the civilized beings." She says this last part with considerable distaste.
The change happens in an instant.
Amisa goes from flirty to furious. Her face contorts into a rage. For a moment she does not even look human.
"Pathetic mortal," she whispers. "Your purity disgusts me. Your regard for other life has cost you your own!"
Before Seth can react, Chavi has grabbed him. Her arms wrap around him, lifting him up with ease. A young girl such as herself should not have this type of strength, yet she does. She leads Seth deeper into the room , and right to an open coffin that had been concealed in one of the corners. Unceremoniously, he is thrown in.
Amisa appears, carelessly tossing the cat in. "Both of you can die together!" she laughs cruelly, before closing the lid and engulfing Seth in total darkness. Seth feels the coffin being pushed, and then the sound of dirt landing on the lid. Eventually, even this stops. He is buried alive.
Down near his legs, Seth can feel the cat nuzzling against him.
Make a self control role diff 6. Failure means Seth is now claustrophobic.
The servant wastes no time in drawing a map of the common rooms. Perhaps this is a form of rebellion for these poor souls, trapped in an oppressive manor with 13 bored nobles.
If Al-Nasir was being honest, he would stick to the common rooms for this game. Andrei can see him milling about, speaking and laughing with Lothar. He appears to be paying no attention to Andrei.
A quick glance at the hourglass shows that about half the time has expired.
To try and get close enough to win the game, make a dex+stealth roll. assume there's furniture and such for Andrei to duck behind as he approaches. Good luck!
2012-10-27, 01:17 AM
"What?? It has nothing to do with virtue, let me go!"
The older man struggled, but the girl's grip was like iron.
As the coffin lid closed, a sense of panic set in.
"Wait! I'll do it, I'll kill the dammed cat, just let me out!" he cried in desperation.
Somewhere in the back of his mind, he wondered why there was a coffin lying around, but more immediate concerns took over.
"Help! HELP!!" he yelled, beating his fists against the unyielding wood to no avail.
self control 6: [roll0]
Edit: Will spend a point of will to get a success if possible.
2012-10-27, 01:48 AM
A half hour passes by, though for Seth it may well seem like much longer. Was it getting harder for him to breath, or was it just his panicked imagination?
The cat at least seemed relativity nonplussed. It continued to rub against Seth's leg. Perhaps it was attempting to calm him down, a thank you for refusing to kill it. Or perhaps it was just being a cat, a creature whose motives could never be fully understood.
It is sometimes during this eternity that Seth hears it. Someone is digging! For an agonizing five minutes the sounds continue, and then the coffin opens, to light and fresh air. The servant that greets Seth looks unconcerned at his state.
"Dinner is being served. The honor of your presence is requested." Without another word, the man walks away.
End of the scene, but feel free to post any final thoughts. Have 2 xp for some good roleplay, and have an extra xp for resisting Amisa's temptations and denying her a victory.
For now. :smallbiggrin:
2012-10-27, 03:13 AM
Seth takes a gasp of fresh air, he hadn't realized how stuffy the air inside the coffin had become.
"That's it? Come to dinner?" he asked.
He shook his head his head.
"Some kind of sadistic test?" he thought. Amisa had certainly looked furious.
The cat jumped out of the coffin and landed without a sound, padding over to nuzzle up against Seth's ankle.
He frowned at the feline.
"Come on," he said gruffly, picking up the cat and stroking its head as he carried it into the dining hall.
2012-10-27, 03:57 AM
Benghi's eyes were looking at the woman's face, somewhat puzzled by how cool her skin was. That she was not flushed was strange enough, but surely it was not THAT cold tonight? Perhaps his own skin was too warm. No matter, he thought as he went with her. Better than being dragged by her, he thought. Wouldn't that be a sorry sight, if someone could see them.
One of his hands was around her, the other at his vest as the door opened, catching his eye. The Earl himself? ran through Benghi's head as he was preparing to curse at whatever servant had come through the door. That was bad, he thought - while anyone could see he was hardly forcing himself on the lady, justice wasn't always served between those like him and those like her and the host.
He breathed out slightly - this did not seem to be the case. Perhaps his host was a rather libertine man in his company - although an unmarried woman of Dimitra's age (and out of a convent) was presumed to not be a paragon of virtue anyway. Still, by the offhand compliment the Earl was giving him it seemed situations like this weren't that common.
"Err... yes," he managed to reply to Dimitra, his wit momentarily deserting him. He wished the Earl would have the decency (towards Dimitra, if not him) to not mention the incident. He was aware his face must still be red as a beet. Okay, maybe not that much. "Quite the pity, I much preferred being with you. Can't they start without us," he adds, muttering the last sentence.
2012-10-27, 02:26 PM
Dimitra smiles sadly.
"Claudius wouldn't dream of it. He does so love his feasts. Let us go put in an appearance for him. Besides, I have worked up quite an appetite." She eyes Benghi, and her stare is one of pure animalistic hunger.
2012-10-27, 11:06 PM
Solland had stayed silent for much of the trip, focusing inwards. He inced when Roderigo was hit by Lothar, but had said nothing. When Sire Wencelas approached him, he was almost surprised that he was noticed.
"The... piffero?" His eyes drifted left in an obvious lie, that he was hiding something. "Yes, of... of course."
2012-10-27, 11:13 PM
As the woman turns away, Andrei waves a hand to stop her. Writing in his tight, neat script, he prints a small phrase on the parchment, turns the paper around and, pushing it towards her, taps the paper.
Can you read this sentence?
He looks up at her questioningly.
2012-10-27, 11:28 PM
"Well then play me a song lad. Move me!" " Wenceslas grabs Solland's shoulders, all but shaking him. "Let me see if you are truly an artist!"
The servant nods and listens, but her eyes linger over to the Lords and she looks frightened. Andrei needed to be quick before she decided it was too risky to be seen conversing with a guest.
2012-10-27, 11:56 PM
Setting the handful of silver on the table, he wrote another line in his tight, legible script.
Come back in two minutes and follow the instructions I leave on this sheet, and this silver is yours. I will keep Lothar and the Turk from objecting. If you agree, slap me hard on the cheek and storm off.
Soras Teva Gee
2012-10-28, 12:00 AM
Adam made no further comment at the moment. The fellow lord's warnings he disregarded out of hand. Black was what you did with knowledge, nothing the knowledge itself. What men approved of they labelled good, what they rejected was evil. No doubt the Turks thought they had some great and noble purpose as they took Christian lands.
He walked in accordance with Lord Casamir's directions across the room and turned left. He felt something, no probably just his imagination. If you wanted to find something you often did.
2012-10-28, 12:01 AM
Charisma+Performance = 6
Solland nodded, and began to play. He chose a more traditional Italian song. There was something wrong with this all. The piffero? No, perhaps this man was simply playing with him. Perhaps only Claudius knew of his true talents, and this guest had only heard of his performance last night.
Regardless, Solland knew that there was no reason for him to be here, if it was but for a song.
He's going to be watching Wenceslas as he plays, trying to determine the character of the man, figure out whether he's being serious about him only playing the piffero.
Perception + Empathy
2012-10-28, 12:26 AM
The servant pauses for a moment, before fixing Andrei with a venomous look. To most people it must have looked like genuine hatred, but Andrei had had enough looks directed at him to tell that this one was forced.
Without a word, the servant slaps him in the face and walks off.
Wenceslas listens intently, looking somewhat impressed with what he hears. He claps merrily when the song is done.
"An excellent start! You have a talent for music, that much is true." The old man smile turns more sinister. "But we both know that's not your true talent is it? Come, follow me. I wish to test you on a more challenging level." He leads Solland to another room. An easel lies in the corner, paintbrush and colors nearby.
"No, your art is where you truly shine. I would have you paint me a portrait. And begin!" It is clear from his tone that Wenceslas is not expecting a rejection.
Lord Casmir frowns visibly, before a look of utter fascination crosses his face.
"You resist my power? How unusual. You must be a man of great will indeed! I can see that I shall need to provide a more powerful demonstration." He grabs a large bowl of water and carries it over to the middle of the floor with ease. For an old man, he appears to be quite strong.
"You see this bowl of water? I want you to try and resist my command at all costs. It should be a simple matter, yes?
"I want you to plunge your head into the water."
[roll0] diff 8 Adam must plunge his head into the water. I was expecting a different result. Casmir must not want to be shown up again.:smallamused:
2012-10-28, 12:33 AM
"I... cannot. Forgive me." Solland takes a couple steps back as if the easel itself could harm him. The man shakes his head in frustration. "I've come here tonight to turn down whatever commission is being asked of me. I've learned that art can scar worse than swords, and I would not harm another again."
2012-10-28, 12:52 AM
Wenceslas looks angry, almost like a petulant child. He clenches his fists and screams at Solland.
"No, you will perform for your supper! You came here out of your own free will. You knew what was coming! You will paint for me!"
Wenceslas is attempting entrancement. [roll0] diff 7
2012-10-28, 01:38 AM
Looked it up, looks like Solland's entranced for an hour.
At first, Solland continued to shake his head. However, he stepped towards the easel, a heavy weight on his shoulders as he did so. "I... I draw people, true people." The last two words were hushed, as though uttering them was some sort of blasphemy. He picked up the easel and moved it around so that Sire Wenceslas could not see the drawing, so that Solland could draw him.
Tears came to Sollands eyes as he began to sketch. He would continue to work, only using subtle colors for shading as he did not have time to make anything with too much color.
Solland was going against his own words for Wenceslas, but he knew no other art than what his own perceptions revealed. He could see the strange lust in Wenceslas's eyes, the child-like behavior, the pride. He would draw Wenceslas, but he would bring out the man's true nature.
Rolling perception+empathy one more time to see if Solland picks up anything else about Wenceslas's inner nature to include in his portrait.
And I'll go for dexterity+crafts on how well he truly capture Wenceslas in an otherwise realistic portrait. This isn't a finished work, though even a sketch and some shading should do a good job of what direction Solland is going with his work.
2012-10-28, 01:58 AM
Wenceslas calms down as Solland paints him. He gently strokes the back of the artist's head, in what he probably feels is a reassuring matter.
"Oh I understand Solland. That is why I had to have you paint for me. You have a unique gift. It must be shared, rather than repressed! You shamed a priest into killing himself! The power of your art is unmatched!
Even in his bewitched state, Solland can tell that Wenceslas is a truely wicked man. He seems to enjoy the thought of the priest being broken. More than that, he seems to only appreciate Solland for his ability to bring misery to others through his art.
Solland's portrait is truly a masterpiece. Even in these early stages and with limited time, it is obviously one of the greatest works mankind has ever seen. Wenceslas goes silent, standing enraptured by it for a long moment as the reluctant artist continues his work. Finally, he shakes his head and regains his ability to speak. His movements grow frantic and his tone delighted.
"Yes, bravo, bravo! I knew you would be able to paint me with the beauty of a thousand artists. You truly can transmit my glory onto the easel! Oh it is great child," he places his hands on the back of Solland's neck and peppers it with light kisses. "But it must be even greater still! It must reach a level of perfection that transcends the mortal world and becomes divine!"
He hobbles over to a table and picks up a glass wine goblet, breaking it in on his hand. He picks up one of broken shards and presses it towards Solland's neck.
"Make it perfect child. If you but flinch I shall cut you again and again! Perfection demands suffering! Commitment demands pain! Embrace it, it glorifies the Creator! God created the Earth in pain! Mothers bring forth new life in pain! And so too must you bring your art forth from the depths of pain and anguish! Oh yes child, you will be GREAT, but first your suffering must be greater still!" He laughs deranged, the shard of glass shaking in his hand.
I'll let you decide the "true" parts of Wenceslas that Solland brings out in this. I think you have a lot to work from. :smallamused:
Make a courage roll to avoid shaking and giving Wenceslas an excuse to start cutting. Diff 7.
2012-10-28, 04:30 AM
With a sigh and a shrug Benghi used the small mirror in the room to make sure he did not look like a man who had just had the half-hour he did. He would not care, normally, but he was a guest of the Earl - and if this Lady Dimitra would show deference for her host (and she did not look the deferential kind), he must be powerful indeed. He straightened his clothes, thinking about what else could have happened this crazy night. "How do you know the Earl, madam? He seems a rather singular man."
2012-10-28, 05:07 AM
Courage Roll: [roll0]
Such a man as this, such a man who not only as cruel and mad, but who relished in it? This was not like the drunkard last night who acted from ignorance and lack of inhibitions, this was an intelligent, scholarly being who held no place for God in his heart.
Though his knees shook, he kept his neck still fighting for control over himself as he continued to draw and paint. The madness and violence could now be seen by how the expression was slightly off, almost human but different. The lack of guilt came out the way Wenceslas's chin held strong. Solland's heart felt torn, as he was filled with the desperate desire to continue his work, but how could he love a man so vile? Was sorcery was this? The child-like behavior felt different to Solland now, not as if Wencelas pampered, no, it true from soem more feral, more base.
It was almost as if there were two portraits within one, something Solland had never done. It was as if there was a man, and a monster, and the two joined within the eyes. Yes, deep within the pits of his eyes, Solland focused on a single emotion. It was of Wenceslas's choice to indulge in the pain and suffering of others. To one who as fallible, but tried to rise above himself, there was but one word to truly describe Wencelas; coward. Within the eyes of Wenceslas showed a coward that both man and monster shared.
Solland dropped to his knees, the glass slicing into skin as he did so. He had done everything he had set out not to do. He had come to settle his personal demons only to meet a true devil in the flesh. Solland began to sob. "I want to stop, please let me stop!"
2012-10-28, 02:01 PM
"You can surely see that Claudius Giovanni cultivates contacts from all walks of life. We've gone on a few hunts together. He is far too civilized for my liking, but he has the spark of a predator within him."
As Solland paints, Wenceslas rapidly switches from encouraging praise to harsh criticism, and back again. He shakes his head vehemently as Solland protests.
"You must not stop until it is perfect! My glory must be laid out for the world to see!"
Before he can continue his ranting, the door opens and a servant walks in. He bows quickly.
"Dinner is served."
Wenceslas looks disappointed, but reluctantly removes the glass from Solland's neck. "I suppose that's enough for now. Let us attend the feast. Oh child, it shall be glorious!"
Scene's pretty much finished, but feel free to post any final thoughts. Have 2 xp for some really good roleplaying. :smallsmile:
2012-10-28, 02:13 PM
"He does have quite the colorful company," Benghi agrees, a bit unnerved by the openly hungry stare Dimitra was giving him - he hadn't seen a woman with lusts as strong as that one, and something in her hunter did not really appeal to him. "but how do I and those I came with fit in? He has called us from any direction, with no particular interest to him.What can I offer him that he can't get easier and cheaper elsewhere? That Turk seemed to imply we were chosen for your convenience."
2012-10-28, 05:35 PM
Andrei's head rocked back slightly from the slap. The lady has an arm, he mused, touching his cheek as she left. Taking the silver back into his pouch, he then turned and looked at the room, picking his placements, and then began writing again in his tight handwriting. He then slid the parchment down and wrote a second message at the bottom. Using his longknife, he sliced the second message from the parchment and set both the knife and the message on the table. Slinging his bow and quiver, he started towards Al-Nasir and Lothar.
Contents of Notes 1 (the note for the servant) and 2 (the note cut from the parchment):
Thank you for helping. The Turk has decided to test me, to what end I do not know, but my future depends on victory. Your job in this consists of two parts. First, take the knife and the second note I have cut from the parchment to Lothar and Al-Nasir. Tell Lothar that after bragging about how I would defeat Al-Nasir, I propositioned you, but per your orders you refused to speak with me and, since you cannot read this note, brought it to him. Second, when you reach Al-Nasir, tell him that you hope he wins and direct his attention to the collection of chairs by the fireplace to his left. If he looks, step behind him with the knife. Do not do anything more than that, nor hurt either of them, since this is only a game. Also, do not worry about Lothar becoming angry. I will deal with him in that eventuality.
Thank you very much for your help. You have truly shown more Christian hospitality than any other person I've seen in this castle.
I hope you like the look of this knife, whore. Because after I finish with the Turk and Lothar, I will carve your eyes out with it for insulting me in front of everyone.
Andrei is headed for a nook behind a suit of armor on the wall opposite the fireplace. It's a good place to shoot from, but it's not as good, nor as close, as the spot by the fireplace that the servant is supposed to point at. In short, I'm assuming that there's more than one place from which I could shoot, I'm assuming that one place is ideal while the others are more distant and offer tougher shots, I'm assuming Al-Nasir knows that, and part of the servant's job is to give him exactly what he already expects by saying I went for the best possible shooting position. By contrast, Andrei is confident enough in his shooting that he'll risk a more difficult shot and a harder nook to get to if it's also unexpected for him to do so. If the other part works as well and she can actually slip behind Al-Nasir with the knife, well, then I win that way too.
That being said, he does plan on upholding his word to the woman. I don't anticipate Al-Nasir rejecting help, but if Lothar decides to get rough with her for interrupting, he had best bring his friend Roland Initiative with him to the dustup.
Dex + Stealth: Six d10. Specialty is inapplicable in this case.
2012-10-28, 07:30 PM
Solland nods his head feebly, still entranced by Wenceslas, the weight on his shoulders lifting off. He stands up, and follows Wenceslas to dinner, head hung low in shame.
2012-10-28, 08:47 PM
Dimitra takes his arm, all but dragging him from the room.
"All shall be revealed at dinner. Do not worry what you can offer Claudius. It is what you will offer me that is far more important."
The servant scurries off, heading towards Lothar and Al-Nasir.
Seeming to enjoy the attention from one of the Earl's guests, Lothar looks annoyed as she approaches. His expression becomes more concerned as she explains things, and he roughly grabs the note from her, eyes scanning it.
The servant approaches Al-Nasir. This, then, was the moment of truth. Andrei can see that she does her job well. She only moves her head slightly, but the expert tracker whirls around to confront Andrei by the fireplace. it only takes him a second to realize that he had been tricked, but a second is all the ingenious servant needs. She places the knife at the back of his neck, casing the Turk to freeze.
Lothar is the first to react. He roughly pins the girl against the wall, fuming.
"Remember your place wench! How dare you..."
Al-Nasir places a firm hand on the Steward's shoulder. "Now now Lothar. It would appear that my guest has gotten the better of me. Come out, please!" He locates Andrei and waves him over, a huge smile on his face.
"You have surpassed even my expectations. You utilized the tools available to you and passed my test! Well done! " Lothar looks annoyed, but the servant girl spares Andrei a shy smile before she departs. It would appear he has made a friend.
Obviously I'm not expecting Andrei to be able to read all the dialogue above, but he should at least have a good idea what's going on.
Scene's pretty much over. Al-Nasir shall be in a good mood and jest with Andrei until dinner. post any final thoughts you may have. And have 2 xp for good roleplaying and 1 more for a truly ingenious plan :smallsmile:.
2012-10-28, 11:12 PM
Andrei relaxed his string arm and dropped his aim to the ground as the Turk spotted him. Whatever else he had to say about the Turk, he was very, very fast. Probably faster than me. When he had seen the serving girl drop the blade on Al-Nasir, he was up, moving towards the trio and nocking an arrow even as Lothar made contact with the girl. Had he raised a hand to her, Andrei would have put an arrow through it. But before he could even finish aiming, the Turk had moved between Lothar and Andrei and blocked the shot, to say nothing of calming Lothar down to judge by his facial expressions. He approached and nodded to Al-Nasir as he came close.
Waving for the serving girl to remain momentarily, he reached for the remaining piece of parchment and, folding it, began to write two new notes. Then, pushing the piece to Al-Nasir, he pointed to the serving girl and Lothar while looking at the Turk and opened his mouth in exaggerated fashion.
You have done a most excellent job, showing true bravery. In payment, I give you this necklace. Attached is a claw from the largest bear I have ever seen. It attacked me and, but for my brother's courage, would have slain me. I have kept it as a reminder about the value of courage and skill and now, I give it to you. Wear it with pride.
I sincerely apologize for my designs. They were unworthy of your hospitality, and it was only through trying to be hospitable to me that this serving girl drew your ire. If you must be angry, be angry only with me, for it was my plans that she carried out and only for the sake of being a gracious host that she did so. She did no wrong, and showed great initiative in doing so. In payment for this initiative, I have given her a small token of my esteem. Please allow her to wear it with pride.
Andrei, of course, left unsaid all of the rather choice comments he could have made about Lothar's hospitality. As Al-Nasir looked at the note, he unclasped his necklace with the pendant and, incidentally, the pouch of silver. Drawing it into a bundle, he handed it to the serving girl.
Soras Teva Gee
2012-10-29, 12:56 AM
Frowning at his fellow lord's words Adam approached Casamir as he brought the water bowl. Resist? He'd not done anything in the first place. Distantly Adam noted he did not move to match his apparent age. Well such things were only rough guides anyways.
Adam gave a smile at idea why would he what ridiculous request. No it was so ridiculous he would do it anyways just to spite the damn old man expecting him not to. He did as he please.
Adam pushed his face straight into the bowl.
Oh why difficulty 8 this is still Contradict right, standard Thaum activation difficulties are [power's level]+3 which would make it 4 right? Not that it matters...
2012-10-29, 05:36 AM
"Yes, yes, I'm coming," Benghi said, following the huntress. He was still feeling a little testy, and a bit uncertain what this was all about. Perhaps Dimitra meant he and the others were only here for the amusement of the Earl's guests. He hadn't heard of such eccentricity, but the man was rich and influential. Or perhaps it was just what Dimitra thought. He was probably not nearly as courteous as he should be, but she hardly acted like a noblewoman either. Or was she one? The Earl called her so, but then the Earl also called him "lord." It was like they were all playing a game, and he didn't know the rules.
Either way, she was right. He'd have to get to the dinner to get his answers. Frankly, by now he didn't care nearly as much. Do what is to be done and be away from this strange place, he thought.
2012-10-29, 03:05 PM
The servant girl looks astonished by the gift. So much so that she unexpectedly hugs Andrei, thanking him profusely. She places the necklace around her neck, looking proud.
"Thank you kind sir. I shall... I shall cherish it forever!"
Lothar looks annoyed, but says nothing.
Al-Nasir chuckles, not looking up from the first note. "You may have won the loyalty of that one forever." He hands the note to the servant. She reads it quickly, her eyes shining with gratitude. Apparently she is not given praise often, much less gifts.
Try as he might, Adam cannot pull his head out of the water. Time passes, and the Count begins to drown. Just as his visions tarts to turn black, he feels hands on the back of his head. They quickly pull him out of the water. Casmir smiles triumphantly as Adam catches his breath.
"You see? Do you understand now? That, Lord Brandusa, is a testament to my power. Consider it. You were powerless to resist. If I wanted to, I could put your family in front of you and have you dissect them, all while you retained full awareness of your actions! I could have you jump to your death at this very moment!" His laugh is cold, but he quickly recovers his somber expression.
"This, then, is your first lesson. What you want is inconsequential. What you feel matters not at all. In the hands of a man like myself, you are as easy to direct as the peasant herds. Does that make you angry, knowing that your vaunted title cannot protect you from my power? If you desire to become the master of your own fate, you must master the dark arts. Only then can you truly be free of others control."
A servant walks in the room suddenly, bowing as he does so.
"Dinner is served, my Lords." Casmir dismisses him and turns to Adam, smiling again.
"Your first lesson is over. Your second shall begin at dinner. Come along."
Scene's pretty much over, but feel free to post final thoughts. Have 2 xp for some good roleplaying. :smallsmile:
2012-10-29, 03:56 PM
Act1: Scene 3
The table is laid out with expensive plates and utensils. No food has come out yet, but the hosts seem excited anyway.
Father Dytel looks distressed. He crosses himself again and again, muttering the Lord's Prayer obsessively. Theophana holds his hand in what may be a comforting gesture.
Jurgen seems equally displeased. He continues to feel his face, as if to remind himself that it's still there. Gone is the man's arrogant demeanor. He looks positively terrified.
Marianna stares blankly ahead. Claudius sits be her side, joyously engaging her in conversation. She pays no heed to it.
Valdemar largely ignores Alenka, sparing her only a glance as she joins the table.
Mieczyslav jests with Stefan, seeming rather excited by the surgeon's actions.
Wenceslas praises the glory of Solland's painting. Perhaps he did not notice the hidden touches the artist had made.
Casmir remains mostly silent, only speaking to tell Adam to observe the room and the guests within.
Amisa smiles sinfully as Seth joins the table. Apparently her good mood has been restored.
Dimitra meanwhile can't keep herself off Benghi. She licks him again, in full view of all of the other guests.
Gabrin continues to throw his knife in the air. He hums a merry little tune to himself.
Bazajet continues to chat good naturedly with Andrei, inquiring about some of his hunts.
Isabella wakes up and finds herself sitting down at the table. Jadviga stares down at her reproachfully, but says nothing.
Observant guests notice that there are at least two dozen solders in the room. They seem to be watching the guests, eying them for any sign of trouble.
Lothar provides a distraction to this troubling news. He leads three other servants as they wheel in cart after cart of mouthwatering food. Duck, pork, beef and lamb are all the main entrees. The servants place food on all of the guests plates. Strangely, the food is not offered to any of the hosts.
I'll let you all reply before continuing. The climatic moment approaches.:smallbiggrin:
2012-10-29, 05:31 PM
The darkness receded and the pain returned, now calm and controlled again she could not block it out.
She was keenly aware of her blood matting on her back from the shallow and still active cuts - she could not keep the tears from her eyes.
She silently wished she was dead and kept her head down so as not to meet the gaze of any of the guests.
She would not dine with the devil's minions.
She pushed herself slowly to her feet, and spoke in Romanian to ensure the table was aware of her intent noting the nearest lit candle on the table as she did so.
"Earl Giovanni, I fear I am unwell and not have dishonoured myself with my behaviour here tonight", she nodded apolitically to Jadviga "it has at times been less then civilised" she thought of the spit but it was also intended as the subtlest of digs at the northern woman who knew nothing of civilisation.
"Further I have confirmed with my own eyes that some of your guests are damned and owned by the lord of the pit", her breath was ragged as she winced in pain "and as such I will not dine with them", she paused in consideration "for any of you who have any fear of the lord I would suggest that you leave this place and seek penance... however the choice is yours", she knew she would not once she had her emotions under check much to her shame, it was simply not worth the effort to make enemies of this people over their evil master when she could seek the same vengeance easier for their treatment of her, but for now she would claim piety.
"By your leave as you extended courtesy earlier I will take my leave and return to Venice immediate to recover as best as I can from my illness", she finished with a deep and polity curtsy attempting to ignore the pain she was in, and made to leave in good grace and haste.
To conduct herself with Grace care to be allowed to leave unopposed, and perhaps convince others to leave also:
Charisma + Etiquette: [roll0]
I am not sure how damaged she is so instead of using a dice plenty above I am making a roll to see if she can power through her pain and bloodless to leave unaided, or if she will collapse.
Stamina + Athletics: [roll1]
I don't really expect these to be successful but it could influence how successful she is.
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