Story Nine- A Farewell To Lemonade, Part Two

<borogove> What'd I miss last week?

<HollyhockGod> Well, you went to visit Atlantis and see Anna's Familia.

<HollyhockGod> Who are Seals and Faith, respectively.

<HollyhockGod> While riding in Maebara, who has reincarnated as a whalemobile.

<borogove> Really?

<Benhimself> You have to ask?

<Benhimself> It's Nobilis. If the events of the last week don't incur vast amounts of skepticism, you're doing it wrong.

<HollyhockGod> Well, everybody in that Chancel reincarnates as something weird.

<Benhimself> "Oh, yes, our giant rabbit escaped, so we built a second moon to house him."

<HollyhockGod> That's not even a bug. It's a feature!

<Benhimself> Yes, half the charm is that it all makes sense in context.

<borogove> For certain values of 'makes sense'.

<HollyhockGod> He's somewhat unhappy about being incarnated as an aquatic mammal, but everyone who works for Ryan is unhappy!

<HollyhockGod> I'm seriously going to put that on his character sheet.

<HollyhockGod> Restriction: Can't find good help these days.

<Benhimself> Would that mean I'd start getting MP for it?

<HollyhockGod> Yes.

<borogove> Only when it's actually a problem, presumably.

<HollyhockGod> Yes, just being sassed is not enough.

<Benhimself> I suppose it's my own fault for being based on Realm and High Summoning, both of which are primarily powers based on ordering other people around.

<HollyhockGod> Unless they sass you in front of somebody important.

<HollyhockGod> It's your own fault for letting me me the God this time.

  • crusher_bob has joined #childrenofeve

<Benhimself> Yes, that too.

<HollyhockGod> Because I just think that's funny!

<Benhimself> The only solution: Steal the divine Hollyhock Ambrosia!

<borogove> Hey. crusher.

<crusher_bob> Hello.

<HollyhockGod> No usurping my godlike prerogatives!

<HollyhockGod> So, where exactly did we leave off?

<Benhimself> I think we had just asked them if they knew who was likely to have seen Anna last?

<Benhimself> I'll be right back, need to round up some breakfast.

<HollyhockGod> And the answer was "Who knows!"

<HollyhockGod> For those who weren't here, Anna's two siblings are greeting you in the Atlantis vestibule.

<Ebba> Was she the one who had seals, silver, and faith in her Familia?

<HollyhockGod> Rhys Bellamant is the Knight of Faith. He's tall, blond, and young, and would be the hottest male you have ever seen if he weren't openly sobbing.

<HollyhockGod> Yes, I forgot about Silver because he isn't here.

<HollyhockGod> Bertha Blue is the Seal's-Regal. She's a short old lady with sardonic eyebrows and an enormous bun of hair.

<HollyhockGod> "I really don't know who Anna might have spoken to," says Bertha. "She was an impulsive girl, often running off without informing anyone."

<RyanSherbrig> "Unfortunate. Has any contact been made with her anchors?"

<HollyhockGod> "I'm not even sure who they were, except for Karen, who was her designated successor."

<Ebba> (Also, weren't we going to meet her replacement, who she had picked out some time ago?)

<HollyhockGod> Nobody has offered to introduce you.

<RyanSherbrig> (Well, I'm stumped as to any other leads for potential investigation, guys. Any ideas?)

<Ebba> (Let's see: she hasn't been to her place in around 2 weeks, her Familia has seen her more recently, but don't know what she was doing.)

<RyanSherbrig> (I suppose questioning Thorpe might be handy, but she's kind of in custody, and I suspect the Locust Court might not let us do that.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Especially if they are knowingly participating in a framing.)

<Ebba> (Besides, she might have been replaced with a Deceiver anyway.)

<Fiona> (I think it's more likely Thorpe was under the Blind Lie, myself.)

<Ebba> (Then we could try tracking down that immortal lying Excrucian and kicking him until he admits everything!)

<RyanSherbrig> (Eh, there's limits to what Blind Lie actually does.)

<Ebba> (This may be difficult, of course.)

<HollyhockGod> Well, you do know an all-seeing oracle.

<HollyhockGod> I'm just saying.

<RyanSherbrig> (True. I suppose it's our only recourse, now.)

<Ebba> (But what will we ask?)

<RyanSherbrig> "Hmmmmm. I must thank you for your assistance and hospitality. Siblings, did you have anything else you wanted to discuss?"

<RyanSherbrig> (Questions!)

<RyanSherbrig> ("Did Thorpe actually kill Anna? Did anyone set her up? Was she manipulated into it?" Etc, etc.)

<HollyhockGod> "I just want to thank you for your kind visit," says Rhys with tear-stained eyes, placing a friendly hand on Ryan's shoulder.

<HollyhockGod> "Yes," says Bertha hurriedly. "Also, I am interested in how you came to be involved in this matter."

<RyanSherbrig> "We became involved in the matter of the Flower Rite against Thorpe's estate while pursuing another project."

<RyanSherbrig> "And felt that this might be part of a Deceiver or Strategist born attempt to murder one Nobilis and frame another for it as part of the Breakthrough."

<HollyhockGod> "How clever!" marvels Rhys.

<HollyhockGod> "Hm," says Bertha. "One might be tempted to say that the regrettable part of the damage is already done."

<Ebba> (Right! Don't drink the water here.)

<RyanSherbrig> "Of course. But if Thorpe is indeed innocent, as is…. entirely possible, it would be quite regrettable to have Anna's death twisted to meet Excrucian ends."

<HollyhockGod> Bertha sighs. "I suppose it's true- although I find it hard to believe Thorpe was more useful to the Excrucians dead than she was alive."

<RyanSherbrig> (/me is really tempted to say "You… have met her, right?")

<RyanSherbrig> "It's a thought. One of our other concerns was seeing if the person arrested was, in fact, Thorpe."

<RyanSherbrig> (And if the person doing the arresting was, in fact, Baalhermon.)

<HollyhockGod> (Isn't that the point of her remark?")

<HollyhockGod> (Well, if it wasn't, you'll find out when you show up for the court date and he isn't there.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Yeah, but it worries me that that might happen, and we didn't bother to test it out of politeness and respect.)

<HollyhockGod> "Which raises the question of why the Dark Horseman would want to kidnap Thorpe without our knowledge."

<RyanSherbrig> (Nobilis: The only game where you greet others by making unreasonable demands in their name!)

<HollyhockGod> "Well," says Rhys, "losing her might distract her Siblings from some important matter."

  • RyanSherbrig looks thoughtful for a moment, perhaps giving one of his Siblings a chance to get a few words in edgewise into the conversation.

<Ebba> (Heh.)

<RyanSherbrig> (I suddenly realize that nobody else has even said anything IC this session yet. My bad, I type too fast for my own good sometimes.)

<Ebba> "Did you want to send a representative to accompany us in our investigation?"

<Fiona> (I just find this medium difficult for doing things like talking in character)

<Ebba> (though at this point is looks like it will be going to a safe place an asking the thing with all the mouths)

<RyanSherbrig> (Yeah. But I don't mind one of them going along if they have questions, too.)

<HollyhockGod> "I feel that we'll be occupied preparing Lady Karen for her ascension," says Bertha, "but if you feel the need to stand in Thorpe's defense, we won't challenge the decision."

<RyanSherbrig> "We'll have to see what our other avenues of investigation turn up before making that decision, but we appreciate the sentiment."

<HollyhockGod> "It's very noble of you to make the effort," says Rhys. "I'm sure Melangell's pranks have caused you some annoyance in the past."

<Ebba> (Pranks!? she cut our sister's head off!

<HollyhockGod> It got better.

<RyanSherbrig> (A worthy enemy keeps you sharp and in practice.)

<HollyhockGod> I wish you had one!

<HollyhockGod> I guess that concludes this encounter, then.

<Ebba> (Off to ask the thing with the mouths, then?)

<HollyhockGod> They aren't likely to introduce you to the new Lady Water during the short window while she's vulnerable to being altered.

<Ebba> (Though I'm not sure what we learned, other than faith-guy possibly having more interactions with Thorpe.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Well, we learned Anna is dead.)

<HollyhockGod> Back on Maebara the whale, then, and home to the Fire Isles.

<RyanSherbrig> (Or at least, that her Familia claims she is so, but that way lies somewhat excessive Paranoia.)

  • RyanSherbrig sets up a summoning room, whistling a jaunty tune as he prepares his various ritual implements.
  • RyanSherbrig creates a few diagrams and twisted-looking candles with a wave of his hand.

<RyanSherbrig> "Ah, it's good to be back in the Chancel."

<Ebba> (Are any of the Chancel residents complaining about the searing wave of fire that killed them all?)

<Ebba> :D

<HollyhockGod> (It happens.)

<HollyhockGod> (I mean, the theme of the Chancel is that everything here dies semi-frequently.)

<RyanSherbrig> (There's a red button in the Obsidian Tower labeled 'EVERYTHING DIES'.)

  • RyanSherbrig thanks a crablike assistant that brings him a few requested books, double-checks the prison and fortress circles.

<HollyhockGod> And every time you push it, something sasses Monothaia.

<HollyhockGod> Then, FLAMING DEATH.

<RyanSherbrig> "All right. Come back in precisely two hours and 21 minutes, and the summoning should be complete."

  • HollyhockGod plays the Jeopardy theme music.

<HollyhockGod> with a full orchestra.

<Ebba> " I don't think we have any real leads."

<RyanSherbrig> (Well, maybe they wanted to go do something while I did that? I dunno.)

  • RyanSherbrig shrugs.

<RyanSherbrig> "Feel free to watch, if you prefer. Just stand inside that circle, there."

<HollyhockGod> Mouths erupt from everything!

<HollyhockGod> The crabs!

<HollyhockGod> The wall!

<HollyhockGod> Your books!

<HollyhockGod> The air!

<HollyhockGod> Ryan's skin!

<RyanSherbrig> (It happens.)

<HollyhockGod> Fanged maws open in your own arms and say "Ssssspeeeeak, ssssssorccccccerer."

<RyanSherbrig> "Watcher in the Abyss! I command thee to answer our questions truthfully for a period of one hour!"

<RyanSherbrig> (Spending the SMP for compliance, of course)

<HollyhockGod> I believe that's two SMPs.

<RyanSherbrig> (Oh, wait, was it level 5? 2, yeah.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Hmmm, what did 4 get me again? Non-grudging?)

<HollyhockGod> Full and willing partnership.

<HollyhockGod> Or you can spend nothing and just offer something in return.

<RyanSherbrig> (Yeah, actually, I may as well. Getting straight answers rather than weaselly half-truths is kind of important.)

<HollyhockGod> "Aaaaaaaaaa," come the voices, which, you start to realize, are also coming from the spaces inside your own head.

<HollyhockGod> "Whaaaat do yooou wisssssssssh to knooow?"

<RyanSherbrig> "Did Melangell Thorpe kill Annabelle Beauregarde, and if so, did she do so of her own free will?"

<RyanSherbrig> "Also, how did Baalhermon know to be at that location beforehand?"

<HollyhockGod> "Sssssshe did, aand ssssshe did."

<HollyhockGod> The Lorrrrrd of Desssstrrruction was called to the ssssite by a communicasssssssshun ssssent by Ataulph, the Excruccccccian."

<HollyhockGod> "Ataulph then lurrrrrred Thorrrpe to the sssscene, havvvving called Annna there assss well, then took the forrrm of the Sea-Queen assss he attacked."

<HollyhockGod> "Then he vanisssshed away, thusss drawing Thorrrpe's lethal attack on the Sea-Queen."

<HollyhockGod> "Eye can no longerrrr ssssssee him."

<RyanSherbrig> "Hrm."

<Ebba> "We'd better make sure that he's given up on being the secretary of the treasury."

<Ebba> (and find some nice socialist to put in his place, or something)

<RyanSherbrig> (Ebba for president!)

<Ebba> (Don't the policies he came up with still have to be stopped?)

<RyanSherbrig> (The Greener party.)

<RyanSherbrig> "Is the estate of Fortune secure for the time being?"

<HollyhockGod> "In the absssssence of the Deccccceiver, the ssssspiritssss under Forrrrtune's command will ressssstorree norrrmalcy."

<RyanSherbrig> ("Who would be better to ask out on a date, Death or Candles?")

<HollyhockGod> ("Do you dessssire physsssical congresss? If sssso, how sssssooon?")

<Fiona> (Do you really want the opinion of an entity apparently consisting entirely of mouths with regards to potential dates?)

<RyanSherbrig> "Hmmm. Is there anything important about this situation that we're as of yet unaware of?"

<Ebba> (When has the thing with all the mouths steered us wrong yet?)

<RyanSherbrig> (The Watcher in the Abyss: The Lands Beyond Creation's answer to Ceiling Cat)

<HollyhockGod> "The Locussst Courrrt hasss alrrrready made its arrrrangementsss."

<HollyhockGod> "Meon shall prrreside. He isss indifferrrent to your jusssstice but dessspises Thorrrrpe."

<HollyhockGod> "How to move him, I cannot ssssssay."

<RyanSherbrig> "Hrm. Is Thorpe's familia planning on attempting to bribe him?"

<RyanSherbrig> (If you guys want to chime in and find out anything you want to know (that anybody with eyes would know), I did command it to answer our questions.)

<Ebba> We'd better make sure pan is still outside Creation.

<HollyhockGod> "They dessssire to, but have little to offer. They relied on the power of Forrrtune to supply worrrrdly wealth, and have no ssssourcesss of goodssss beyond the esssoteric."

<HollyhockGod> "Eye cannot ssssee the Lady Pandorrra at thissss time."

<RyanSherbrig> "Are the powers of the First Lord of the Dark yet aware of our ultimate aims to move against them?"

<HollyhockGod> "No."

<Ebba> (Hmm, what sort of stuff would Meon find acceptable as a bribe?)

<RyanSherbrig> ("How to move him, I cannot ssssssay.")

<RyanSherbrig> (Presumably Entropy is aware of the existence of high summoning and has taken countermeasures against it.)

<RyanSherbrig> (At least as far as divinatory-bits goes.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Hmmm, a major warding of our chancel's secrecy might not be a bad idea.)

<HollyhockGod> (I don't know about that.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Maybe Meon also has no eyes. I dunno.)

<HollyhockGod> Meon has eyes.

<RyanSherbrig> "Why are you unable to determine what Meon would desire?"

<Ebba> (So our next objective, in theory, would be to try to find something to bribe Meon with?)

<HollyhockGod> "Eye lack the rrrrelevant underrrrsssstanding of human wisssshesss."

<Ebba> (And for that matter, will anyone be bribing towards guilty?)

<Ebba> (Thorpe has pisssed plenty of people off.)

<RyanSherbrig> "Fair enough. What have others used as bribes successfully in the past, in similar situations?"

<Ebba> (Maybe, at this moment, there is someone going around asking for collections?)

<RyanSherbrig> (Ask IC!)

<HollyhockGod> "Eye cannot predict the future. Assss forrr the passsst…."

<Ebba> "Is there anyone else currently making plans to bribe Meon in regards to this matter? And if so, in what direction?"

<HollyhockGod> (Eye cannot predict…)

<HollyhockGod> "No one hassss ssspoken of ssssuch a plan."

<Ebba> (So what about the past successful bribe question?)

<HollyhockGod> "In the passst, Meon hasss been presssented with one thousssand virrrgins, a unicorn, an operrra, a halfpenny… many things…."

<HollyhockGod> "Eye am unable to deterrrmine any one factorrr which herrralded a favorrrrrable verrrdict."

<Ebba> (Heh, so he took the money and did what he wanted anyway?)

<HollyhockGod> (It's not like he has a motivation not to.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Sounds plausible. Although, if he wants to keep getting 'money' in the future, he'd have to at least make an appearance of being swayable.)

<HollyhockGod> (You can't decide to go to some other court anyway.)

<Ebba> (and overthrowing it in bloody revolution appears difficult as well)

<RyanSherbrig> "Well… my main concern was with finding out the truth of the matter. Do either of you wish to actually go out of our way to attempt to bribe Meon on Thorpe's behalf?"

<Ebba> (so I guess only the desperate come up with brides, then?)

<RyanSherbrig> (I bet nobody has given it an honest try yet.)

<HollyhockGod> (Many people are desperate to avoid the Locust Court's punishments.)

<Fiona> "I guess we could try bribery via minor items of interest?"

<HollyhockGod> (Being a parakeet for a decade is harsh.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Even more so their weddings.)

<Ebba> (Heh, I bet there are many groups dedicated to overthrowing Lord Entropy. He probably started many of them himself.)

<RyanSherbrig> "Is what we've done with the Montessa shard still a secret between us and the world-builders?"

<RyanSherbrig> "And for that matter, the truth about what happened to Pandora?"

<HollyhockGod> "Yesssss, to both."

<Ebba> (Heh, what are we going to do if he says no?)

<RyanSherbrig> (Ask who knew, and… figure out how to deal with it depending on the answer to that question.)

<RyanSherbrig> "Hmmm. Is there anything else either of you wanted to know?"

<RyanSherbrig> (Vesper's cell phone number, perhaps?)

<Fiona> (Ebba can just ask me for it, if she's that desperate.)

<Fiona> (I'm pretty sure Vesper's tried to give it to me at least once.)

<Ebba> "So, are any of is interested in attempting to bribe Meon on Thorpe's behalf?"

<Ebba> (I'd just walk into his bedroom again.)

<RyanSherbrig> "Hmmm. It might help secure an alliance with Thorpe's Familia, which couldn't hurt our ultimate aims."

<Fiona> (to the mouths) "is there any object Meon appears to desire that we could conceivably acquire and present as a bribe?"

<HollyhockGod> "Eye am not able to gauge hisss desssires, which are reckoned to be deviant even by human ssstandardsss."

<RyanSherbrig> "Is there some rare flower associated with desecration, perhaps?"

<Fiona> (I have to go in 10 minutes.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Yeah, 15 or so for me.)

<Ebba> (Well, lets decide about bribery. So that our next adventure can either be looking for it, or just enjoying watching Thorpe get whats coming…)

<Fiona> (I want to try save Thorpe somehow.)

<RyanSherbrig> "Besides Thorpe, does Meon have any enemies? Especially ones who follow the Code of the Dark?"

<RyanSherbrig> "Or at least, people he also despises, if not proper enemies."

<HollyhockGod> "Dozzzzzensss."

<HollyhockGod> I don't know that Meon has allies per se outside of the Locust Court Powers.

<RyanSherbrig> "Have any of them been especially successful at keeping something secret from him, specifically?"

<RyanSherbrig> (Yeah, but I figure there's a difference between 'hating everyone because I'm corrupt and desecratey' and 'hating you, specifically'.)

<HollyhockGod> "Eye cannot judge what Meon knowssssss."

<HollyhockGod> Meon holds himself aloof, on account of his vast power and lack of accountability.

<HollyhockGod> Baalhermon is more like Gaston, in that he has a lot of "friends."

<HollyhockGod> Joktan is the one who seems to hate everybody.

<Fiona> (I'm off now. will see people next week.)

  • Fiona has quit (Disintegrated: Fiona)

<Ebba> So I guess the next adventure will be us looking for something cool to be used as a bribe?

<RyanSherbrig> "Hmmm. How about a list of those things Meon's personal enemies among the Dark act secretive about? And if Meon already knows some of them, hopefully he doesn't know all of them."

<Ebba> I also notice we didn't inquire too deeply about why Baalhermon came running when the Excrucian called, either.

<RyanSherbrig> (Bribe attempt, presumably.)

<RyanSherbrig> (I'm happy just knowing 'we have that information' even if we don't know specifically what it says OOC.)

<RyanSherbrig> (In regards to my last request.)

<HollyhockGod> I'll have to think about what that information is.

<Ebba> Time for me to go

<Ebba> *byebye*

<RyanSherbrig> Later!

<HollyhockGod> And I presume the note just said "If you come to this place at this time, you'll catch a Power committing a capital crime. XOXOXO."

<RyanSherbrig> Yeah, exactly, or something like that. I don't mind OOC not knowing what the place, time, and crime are specifically, just "a list of information that we can reasonably expect Meon to find valuable."

<RyanSherbrig> And off I go. Thanks for game, it was fun!

<RyanSherbrig> Although I still feel somewhat bad about Ryan having all the conversations while the other characters just kind of watched.

<RyanSherbrig> If only Alexa were here!

  • RyanSherbrig is now known as Benhimself

<Benhimself> She'd put her own two cents in.

<HollyhockGod> Speed typing classes are the essence of Nobility.

<Benhimself> It's true!

<Benhimself> I'm thankfully we actually had that as part of our middle school curriculum, these days.

<Benhimself> Of course, doing a lot of chat-based roleplaying in college didn't hurt, practice-wise.

<Benhimself> And anyway, away I go!

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