Ongoing Games (In-Character)Play-by-post games are going on in this forum as we speak (well, read). All threads on this board are actual games, so please, only post on a thread if you are a player of that game.
"Not too long," says the driver, and floors the pedal.
In less time than however long this is, the taxi finds itself pulled over by two police cars. The cab driver curses the speed limit in a most unprofessional manner as he pulls over.
Four policemen get out of the cars and knock on the cab's windows. "Out," orders one of them, the oldest, by the look, with a pouchy, middle-aged face. Once everyone has got out, he says "Not you," to the little cabby, who clambers into the driver's seat again and speeds away with a final curse.
"Identification, please, sirs," continues the policeman to his now liftless suspects.
"Gentlemen, you do realise who i am, correct? If anything were to happen to me there would be massive repercussions for you and who so ever gave orders to do this." Mortimer stands large and mildly intimidating due to his sheer size.
roll fast talk (d100) also, my credit rating might come into effect?
easy 1 step guide to impersonating Sean Connery;
step 1: repeat after me "I moustache you a question, but I'm shaving it for later."
Originally Posted by Kallisti
Phn'glui mglw'nafh Roland GITP not-wagn'nagl not-fhtagn!
The leader of the policemen laughs. "Orders? We're some sort of flunkies, are we? You really don't know what's going on at all, do you? Listen, if you don't make like your friend there and get out of town by next time we see you, you'll be making it that much worse for yourselves."
They put their truncheons away, get into their cars and drive off, yelling threats.
Averell rejoins the group. "You lot have no instinct for self-preservation, do you? So, you think they have something to do with the curse, or the heart? And what does 'Preness den! Soyuz fort!' mean?"
"And where exactly were you planning to run that would have allowed you to outrun police cars? Panicking like you did is a surefire way to get yourself killed. As for why they stopped us, my first instinct is that it's related to our business with the LaVoies, but I'm beginning to entertain the idea that it could be both. It would be foolish to immediately assume that there is no common thread between the two."
I am within your stronghold inflicting fatal attacks upon your conscripts.
I Am A: Chaotic Neutral Human Wizard (4th Level)
Charisma-12 What D&D Character Am I?
"It might be foolish to assume there is a connection as well," Averell says. "Not every coincidence is conspiracy, causation is not correlation, and I was counting on them pounding on you whilst I got away."
"Well we can't just leave," Ian says with a sigh. "However, it would be advisable to get our business done as soon as possible. I'm fairly confident this business is related to Jean-Claude and the rest of his family, since they said we were "hanging around the wrong crowd." "If that's the case, hopefully we can resolve the matter by tomorrow evening."
"Now gentleman, shall we continue to the library?" He processes to attempt to hail a cab, provided none stop him.
The one consolation to almost being roughed up by corrupt and overzealous police is that only half the cab fare for the distance travelled had to be handed over.
At the relatively newly-established Université de Montréal, there's yet another choice to be made: find a professor to translate the bowl, work on the translation independently in the university library, or search through the library for a bit more on James Andrews, also known as James of Andrews and Saint Cutis. The library opening hours indicate that it's open daily from seven in the morning until three in the morning, with a warning that late at night it will be staffed by only one library porter.
The answer Mortimer receives, wherever he goes, is "Go and see Professor Steele".
Professor Isaac Steele is Head of the Linguistics department, and an old, old man, in his late eighties at least. He is bent and shrunken, and looks like nothing so much as a wise old scholar you'd find in a fantastical book, advising a king. On his door is tacked a notice: Don't bother to knock. I won't hear.
The shelves of his office are packed, floor to ceiling, with books of every description. Modern novels and old books in every language – in every alphabet Mortimer's ever seen, plus a few more, and dictionaries between many, many languages. The old professor, dressed in a somewhat shiny smoking jacket, is perusing a manuscript and cross-checking it with a book and a dictionary. He flips the pages and makes corrections with shaking, twiglike hands, murmuring all the while.
"Can I help you, young man?" he says in a surprisingly resonant voice, when he sees Mortimer enter.
Steele takes the bowl gently and examines the inscription through thick spectacles. He takes a couple of thick volumes from the shelf and sits down with them and the bowl. Finally, he looks up.
"This isn't any of the common dialects of Tibetan. Definitely not written to any sort of standard. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's..." He tails off and consults another book from the shelf.
"Yes, this is an obscure dialect of Tibetan that's been unchanged in its orthography for thousands of years. Too obscure to translate on the spot, but if you'll transcribe the writing for me, I could get a translation to you by tomorrow morning, provided the small condition of a reasonable commission is met. Fifty dollars should suffice."
A quick relocation and a much slower search turns up "James of St. Andrew's Cross" in the Bibliothèque Nationale: records indicate he was christened, then adopted into the Holy Heart of Mary orphanage after his parents died in a fire, and later fostered by one Hatum Cutis, a trader and Muscovite, who died in another fire when James was seventeen. The dates given are contemporary with those Philip provided. There is a very vague allusion to a relic in the parish of Saint Pious VIII in Faggia, a town in Tuscany.
A similarly long and dull search in the Archives Nationales turns up James Andrews again: on a cargo manifest dated 1694, much later than his presumed death. A ship called Le Cœur d'Éléphant, which James Andrews had chartered, docked in Montréal and unloaded cargo, listed as only Andrews' household goods, to be delivered to 89 rue Sainte-Thérese. As the ship was under French colours, no import duty was collected. A salt tax was levied, however, as the ship was ruled to be carrying an excessive amount for household consumption. The other passengers were Andrews' servants, foreigners from "Tartarie".
As the researchers leave the Archives, there he is again, the gaunt coachman, clopping past in his carriage and smirking.
The next day is most likely another late morning and Philip is again absent. Madame d'Anjou has made provision nonetheless, offering an English-style breakfast of tea, ham, eggs and fried potatoes and, again, the morning papers in French and English.
There are two stories of interest. On page fourteen of the Montréal Star is a most unpleasant story, which has been sidelined (likely because it contains more conjecture than actual reporting):
BLOODLESS BODY FOUND
By Alain Gaston
The body of an unidentified man was found yesterday on the east side of Mont-Royal.
The authorities have appealed for information concerning missing white men between 25 and 35 years of age, about 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing approximately 160 pounds. The deceased has blond hair and is smooth-shaven.
Police seem to be without significant clues in this apparent murder.
The ghastly discovery was made last evening by M. Christophe Namena. He and his family had been out for a picnic. The unclothed body seemed to have been in the secluded area for about two days before discovery, according to authorities.
Detective Dane Deroz reports that "the heart was surgically removed and the body deliberately drained of its blood." Later, he modified that statement, saying he wanted to withhold details until the coroner's inquest.
Foul play is the expected verdict for today's proceedings, but some authorities termed the episode a medical student prank.
Police headquarters were quickly abuzz with rumours about the matter. Several sources independently compared the murder to London's Ripper murders of two generations ago.
Buried deep within the newspaper is a second article, which seems to have been rewritten from yesterday and perhaps lightened in tone.
By Alain Gaston
Extensive damage was done to a row of antiques shops along Notre-Dame, it was reported yesterday.
Police received two calls about break-ins which had apparently occurred late the previous night. The police report that at first they did not take the matter seriously because of the unsubstantiated descriptions of the prowlers as "grotesque, shambling zombie-things."
A hasty patrol of the area tuned up nothing, but the next morning shop workers found losses totalling $4,000 worth of damaged fixtures and goods.
Police continue to favour the student-prank theory, because, despite the damages, nothing was reported stolen. Police also speculated that the pillagers might have been looking for something in particular.
Authorities take a dim view of such behaviour. They warn that perpetrators of such mindless destruction could face serious criminal penalties, and that the cases will remain under investigation until the culprits are brought to justice.
"I'm worried about the Father," she says frankly, as she serves it. "He didn't touch his pot au feu last night. That wouldn't be unusual, he often didn't eat, but his bed hasn't been slept in and his fresh shirt hasn't been worn. Also, Claire, the part-time maid, says she saw a strange priest in his room yesterday afternoon."
As Ian reads the stories, something catches his eye.
"Interesting... odd that the Detective would change his story. Perhaps he is under pressure of some kind? If we have the time later, I'd like for us to speak with Detective Deroz. As a doctor, medical mysteries of this type fascinate me."
He says nothing during the rest of his breakfast, enjoying the hearty meal. Madame d'Anjou's unexpected entry into the conversation startles him, and her news unnerves him even more.
"I myself am worried about Philip. It's not like him to ignore his friends. Aside from the first brief visit, I've hardly seen him. I understand he is most busy, but he may be becoming too invested into that business surrounding the Heart. May be taking a toll on his health."
He sighs. So many different problems have popped up, and the doctor's not sure he has the tools to solve any of them. This was business for a younger man then he.
"Very sad. His dreams overtake him. His heart is confused," says Madame d'Anjou sagely. "I tried to tell him that the voice from the relic and the voice from the corpse were different people, but..." she shakes her head heavily: "He would not listen."
Madame d'Anjou, normally in constant motion, stops moving of a sudden. "There are patterns and auras in my world that aren't in other people's worlds," she explains, matter-of-factly. Her tone brokers little argument.
"Ever since I was a little girl, things have had voices in them. When I was a young woman, I learnt to let the voices speak. But the corpse has a different voice in it than the heart and the relic. Perhaps you could learn something from the voices?" she offers.
"I would as well," Offers Ian. "From what the craftsman told us, I do not trust the powers of the so called Saint's heart to be entirely benign. If we could somehow talk to the corpse, perhaps we could ask him if it even belongs to him."
Though he's half joking,Ian is curious. He's seen enough odd things that the notion of communicating with a corpse no longer phases him. Perhaps if it went well, he could even talk to his own Alice.
He shakes his head. Best to focus on the task at hand, rather then getting lost in personal memories.
Within the hour, everyone has gathered in the room with the safe to let the voice from the heart speak. The safe door turns out to be slightly buckled. Someone has tried and failed to force it with crowbars.
The heart is still inside, but the Coptic book is gone; presumably, Lowell still has it.
The heart, which hasn't deteriorated at all over the last few days, is removed and placed on the floor in its silver case.
Everyone sits around the heart, joins hands and relaxes, trying to clear their minds. Within a few minutes Madame d'Anjou falls into a light trance, her head rolling forwards. Slowly, the room begins to warm, and from no discernible source the scent of flowers fills the air. Madame d'Anjou's breathing becomes deeper and more audible. Her head tosses loosely and rolls back. She sighs.
"Pax dei." Her lips move to say the words, but the voice is not hers. It's male, for a start.