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Seas Of Erin > Cecilia > The General Idea
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Apr 9 2008, 05:00 PM
Ariel bounced as she walked a little bit ahead of her two older companions, her braid flapping in the wind as she stopped in front of one of the impressive-looking houses with its well-cared-for lawn.
"This one," she said, gesturing to the door. "This is the General's house."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 9 2008, 05:03 PM
Marcello's eyes went wide, and he looked quite taken in by the setting for a moment before he looked to Niabheara, loosed his grip on her hand, and stepped up, looking up into the air at the bell-pull for a moment before tugging it.
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 9 2008, 05:08 PM
Niabheara assumed an expression of polite interest, but did not seem necessarily impressed by anything save the groomed lawn and the neat, low hedges. "They must have sheep."
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 9 2008, 05:12 PM
A young woman, pretty if a bit worn-looking and clad in a neat blue dress that gave the distinct impression of being uniform-issue, soon came to the door, with a little bob for the gentleman. Behind her general air, she looked sly, suspicious. "Good morning," she said nicely in Cecilian. "May I ask who is calling?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 9 2008, 05:18 PM
Marcello hesitated for a moment, then nodded politely. "Buongiorno. La Contessa da--"
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Apr 9 2008, 05:21 PM
Ariel stepped past her brother. "Bon Journo, Lucilla!" she said, waving her hand at the girl. "Remember me?! Um. Il Generalay e Constanzia...um." She prodded Marcello's arm. "Mi...um...bro-thor-ay? Dovay?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 9 2008, 05:23 PM
Marcello rolled his eyes. "Fratello," he corrected, and then looked to the maid. "E mia sorella."
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 9 2008, 05:34 PM
The girl's eyes widened. "Ah, si, Signora Jonson!" And she dropped eagerly back into Common: "The General say to tell him if you or the little one comes back." She bobbed again and held the door wider. "Please, come inside, I fetch him."
The girl turned to start away and nearly collided with the General himself, who had just appeared in the entranceway to the antichamber; she gave a little squeak of dismay and excused herself. "No need, Lucilla," he said. "It's all right, be away with you." He wore a pale grey morning jacket, and the usual deep-grey gloves. "Ariel, is something the matter? I assumed you'd taken with the lady commandeur?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 9 2008, 05:37 PM
"She was," Marcello answered, as he held a hand out to the older man. "And I can't thank you enough for returning her to safety. I'm her brother, Marcello Basciano."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Apr 9 2008, 05:37 PM
"Lysander Jones," Ariel corrected.
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 9 2008, 05:40 PM
Marcello shot the girl a sidelong look. "Miranda Jones," he chided, before giving the older man a plaintive look. "Marcello Basciano, and this is my mistress, Countess Niall. The lady Commandeur's daughter."
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 9 2008, 05:58 PM
He raised an eyebrow. "There appears to be some confusion." Hand pressed to his front, he bowed low to the countess. "My lady." He straightened. "Lorenzo del Grigio, sir. Is there particular reason for this visit?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 9 2008, 06:03 PM
Marcello blinked. "Del Grigio?" he asked, looking to Ariel with an incredulous expression. "Del Grigio?"
He coughed, looked sidelong to Niabheara as he reached for her hand again. "Ah. Yes, actually, there is. Apart from thanking you for caring so kindly for my sister...I believe we've been having some trouble at the hands of some of your acquaintances. Which we would very much like to sort out."
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 10 2008, 05:20 AM
"Your sister was no trouble--though I will admit, we had quite the influx of guests there for a time." His eyes were lured as if by instinct to the countess, before they focused back to Marcello. "Which associates? If by 'associates' you mean the late Commandeur Dieudonne, then I would hesitate to count him amongst my associates."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 10 2008, 05:26 AM
Marcello put a hand up. "No, no, not that one, believe me," he said politely, as he reached into his pocket. "More specifically, Red, Black, and possibly Blue, only I'm not entirely certain which of you passes these out," he said, holding up the coin with a questioning look.
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Apr 10 2008, 05:28 AM
"You were with us," Ariel said, sounding hurt, "In the belltower. And you didn't tell us you knew anything."
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 10 2008, 09:48 PM
"Well, yes, that would imply that I knew something, wouldn't it?" He gave Marcello a rather chilly look, but took the coin, looking it over, before offering it back with a shrug. "I have no idea to whom you are referring, but if you want to complain about counterfeit coinage you might better report it to the local Justice of Treasury."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 10 2008, 09:55 PM
Marcello returned Lorenzo's look with a dry one of his own. "Sir," he said politely. "I'm not trying to cause trouble for you. We're trying to end the trouble. The girl i-- the psychopomp is a friend of mine," he said, seriously.
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 10 2008, 10:03 PM
Lorenzo remained unmoved. "I have a daughter," he said stiffly, "and I would like to keep her as far removed from this nonsense as possible. If you have a friend who knows more about it than I do, Dog bless you both."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 10 2008, 10:07 PM
"I have a friend who can't tell me anything about it because she's not allowed to interfere," Marcello pointed out. "And these two young ladies in my charge, and two more young girls and two boys back staying with us, and I would personally like to keep them all as far away from this as possible. Which I am sure would be more easy to accomplish if everyone were cooperating with each other."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Apr 10 2008, 10:10 PM
"The skull head man said there's a curse on the city because they were Judas and had prisoners wrongly imprisoned and stole things and there's a mirror and it's not really the hunt, it just looks like it," Ariel interrupted. "Jesus, 'Sander. You have to get him to let you in the door before you start accusing him. Is Constanzia home?" she asked the old man.
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 10 2008, 10:24 PM
"She is," he replied, addressing Ariel, before adding under his breath, "or at least she was when she spoke to me ten minutes ago; she might easily be one country over by this time."
He studied Marcello carefully. "Your friend who can't interfere has the most interesting ways of not-interfering. Clearly, she's interfered enough that you are here on her behalf. Why come to me?"
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Apr 10 2008, 10:28 PM
"Can I see her?" Ariel asked hopefully, bouncing on her feet.
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 10 2008, 10:31 PM
"To be honest, I didn't know I was coming to you until I showed up at your door," Marcello replied. "And that in itself is too much of a coincidence to not pay it its due. I don't think it was her interference that landed me here, precisely. That was my sister's. She didn't ever mention you to me. I was coming here because we're trying to find the source of the problem and Miranda, whom you apparently know as Ariel, so kindly offered that you have magical powers and were with her in the bell-tower, and that you also happened to take in a young boy who is the charge of my lady's mother."
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 10 2008, 10:49 PM
"Both your sister--Miranda?" He raised a brow to Ariel for confirmation before proceeding. "Your sister and the young man were being harrassed . . . well, imperiled is possibly the better word . . . by a group of infiltrators representing the nation of Eurastad. Your sister had nowhere else to go. The young man did, but I didn't know that at the time; by the time there was someone to contact for him, he had left. It's a convoluted story, but I assure you, there's nothing sinister about it."
He stepped back from the three of them, a small, rueful grin on his face. "Oh, you're here on her behalf, all right. She's good at what she does." Finally, he gestured them further into the house. "Tea? Wine? Cake?"
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Apr 10 2008, 10:51 PM
Ariel stepped on Marcello's foot. "How come you get to use your fake name?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 10 2008, 10:57 PM
"Because I'm older," Marcello replied cheerfully, as he grinned disproportionately to the situation. "Is it chocolate cake?" he asked, taking up Niabheara's hand again. "I would love a slice of chocolate cake."
He took a deep breath as he entered the house. "If I'm here on her behalf...I expect I've got some kind of message to deliver? Or one of us does?" he asked. "Only I'm afraid we've got to guess at what that is, as well."
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 10 2008, 11:17 PM
"I am not sure. She just said cake." And he smiled. "She's a bit more specific with me, I think, but I assumed she said 'cake' because she was planning on putting in an appearence . . . " He led them toward the drawing room.
Posted by: Constanzia del Grigio Apr 10 2008, 11:17 PM
Upon the sound of footsteps, Constanzia jumped to peer with extreme interest out of the drapes. The only evidence of depredation was that all the little sugared violets decorating the top of the chocolate cake had been hastily rearranged to cover any gaps in the pattern.
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 10 2008, 11:23 PM
"She said cake," Marcello repeated, sounding terribly amused. "She said cake. She-- she's been promising me cake for months," he informed the older man. "Every time I see her, she says I'll get my cake next time."
He frowned. "So this is definitely not a coincidence."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Apr 10 2008, 11:23 PM
"Zia!" Ariel hooted playfully. "This is my brother! And his faerie-princess-girlfriend!"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 10 2008, 11:27 PM
Niabheara gritted her teeth in embarrassment at the introduction. "Tuatha countess, actually."
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 10 2008, 11:30 PM
"Keep it up long enough and you'll discover that there is no such thing as coincidence," the General replied, almost cheerfully. "There is only long and short chains of circumstance. Signoir Basciano, Countess, my daughter Constanzia. Ariel you know, although I'm still not certain which name she prefers."
Posted by: Constanzia del Grigio Apr 10 2008, 11:32 PM
Constanzia bounced away from the windows. "Ariel! You're back! You--oh, sorry, Papa." She offered her best properly trained, company-manners curtsey to the two strangers, and very nearly went into a small trance at the sight of Niabheara--or more specifically, Niabheara's ears.
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Apr 10 2008, 11:35 PM
Ariel squirmed. "Well, Ariel is the one with magic powers," she pointed out.
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 10 2008, 11:36 PM
"Ariel is also the one who's a slave," Marcello added wryly.
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Apr 10 2008, 11:40 PM
Ariel glowered at her brother. "Miranda," she said, finally, relentingly, as she pointed at her brother. "But his name is Adonis Lysander Quattro Jones."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 10 2008, 11:43 PM
Marcello gave Ariel an increasingly patient look, and then gave a little bow to the young blonde. "Signorina Constanzia," he said politely. "What a lovely name."
"I'm starting to learn that," Marcello admitted to the General. ""And I'm starting to learn how many of them are arranged or at least not unknown to our mutual friend. So. Ah. Where do were start? One of us is apparently meant to do or say something to the other, but I'm not entirely sure what. Should I just explain what I thought we were coming here for?"
Posted by: Constanzia del Grigio Apr 10 2008, 11:55 PM
Constanzia brightened. "Oh! This is the one who pretended he was thirty when he was seventeen?"
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 10 2008, 11:55 PM
Lorenzo let out a small sigh as he regarded his daughter. "Constanzia, sit down, please. I think you're old enough to be included in this conversation."
He waited for the girl to take a seat. "Why did you think you were coming here?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 11 2008, 12:00 AM
Marcello put a hand to his temple. "What did you tell her?" he asked Ariel.
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Apr 11 2008, 12:01 AM
"Everything," the younger girl chirped cheerily. "She knows about the reverend's wife's bosom, and she knows about the time you fell in the pile of chicken-shit, and she knows abou--"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 11 2008, 12:12 AM
"I think we get the idea," Marcello said pleasantly to his sister.
He took a deep breath. "You saw the skeleton man, am I correct?" he asked. "I...he came to the inn where we were staying last night, and he spoke directly to us there, and we were attacked by dogs and these coins rained in on us." He held up the tin coin again for a moment before putting it away. "As eager as Miranda is to help, I don't know that her memory of the situation is entirely accurate."
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 11 2008, 09:19 PM
"We saw the skeleton man," Lorenzo agreed easily; he was more distracted by his daughter's presence than the question. "It gave us as much roundabout information as could be expected of a faerie--no offence to present company, Lady Niall. But it seemed quite convinced that it was keeping back the Hunt with the bells. I didn't know what to make of it then, nor do I now. Something about the real storm biding its time, watching, while the hunt sought out its prey." He looked grim.
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Apr 11 2008, 09:22 PM
Ariel sat down beside Constanzia. "He said the hounds, then the horses, then the hunt. But we're still on the hounds. And I think he said something about sunrise chasing them away or something, too, but I don't remember," she said, looking a bit frustrated. "And he did. He said the bells were to keep the Hunt away, but...it seemed silly, when the bells started the same time the hounds did."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 11 2008, 09:28 PM
"No offense, but I think certain mysterious, omniscient, and seemingly omnipresent young lady in black is a bit more roundabout than any Tuatha I've ever met, especially now that I've seen her favored method of cake delivery," Marcello pointed out, eyeing the cake hungrily. "Do you recall exactly who was with you at the tower?" he asked curiously. "I-- like you said, there are no coincidences."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 11 2008, 09:37 PM
"It may be so," said Niabheara quietly, leaning against the back of Ariel's chair. "'Tis said the Wild Hunt will pass o'er at the sound of church bells."
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 11 2008, 09:40 PM
"Your sister, Brother Rocco of the Order of St. Canis Familiaris, Brother Lockwood of St. Frog's, myself--" As there was no way around it, he let out a brief sigh of resignation and concluded, "--and another friend of your lady in black."
Posted by: Constanzia del Grigio Apr 11 2008, 09:40 PM
Constanzia, who was being oddly shy and quiet around strangers, ripped herself from her stilted politeness. "D'you mean Aunt Seraphima?" she asked her father.
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 11 2008, 09:40 PM
"Yes, darling," he confirmed with a sober nod, "your aunt Seraphima."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 11 2008, 09:42 PM
Marcello blinked. "Aunt Seraphima?" he asked. "She's your sister?"
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 11 2008, 09:43 PM
Lorenzo actually laughed, waving the question aside. "No, no, she's an old friend of the family. No actual relation. Constanzia named her."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 11 2008, 09:48 PM
Marcello gave the general a dubious look. "I...I understand if you can't answer this, but...so far I've heard of Scarlet, who doesn't even have her own body, Fantasius, who...I know nothing about apart from the coins, and your Seraphima, who isn't really permitted much interaction on this plane. Where do you fit in? You...clearly you're established here; you've had a career, a daughter...You seem like the odd man out in this arrangement. I don't know what Grey does."
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 11 2008, 09:58 PM
The older man let out another sigh, this one longer and full of regret. He ignored Marcello and held out his hands to his daughter. "Darling, come here a moment."
Posted by: Constanzia del Grigio Apr 11 2008, 09:58 PM
Like a small, curious puppy, Constanzia forsook her chair and wandered to her father's side, taking up his hands.
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 11 2008, 09:58 PM
"A very long time before you were born," he explained carefully to the girl, "I used to work with some people. Seraphima was one of them, but there were quite a few more. It was a great secret, and very important to keep it so. We were not harming anyone, nor were we doing anything illegal or wrong, so please, get that out of your mind well in advance. Then I met your mother." He squeezed the girl's hands. "I had to leave the others so that I could be with her. But that's how I know your aunt Seraphima--and how she knows you, for that matter; she was always fond of your mother."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Apr 11 2008, 10:09 PM
"Wait, so this is such a big secret that 'Zia doesn't even know about it?" Ariel asked, frowning. "And now all of us-- I mean, all these strangers know? How come?"
Posted by: Constanzia del Grigio Apr 11 2008, 10:15 PM
Constanzia snatched both hands away as if she had been burned. She clapped them together under her chin, glancing up only briefly at Ariel's remark. "Why isn't . . . what's going on? Why are you telling me now? I knew Aunt Seraphima was a friend of Mama's, but I didn't . . . Is this important, these people you knew? Do they have something to do with the dogs going mad, or do they want you to come back, or . . . " The girl was on the verge of all-out blubbering.
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 11 2008, 10:18 PM
"No," he told Constanzia firmly, "this isn't about me going back. We're not going anywhere."
He pressed his lips together in annoyance as he addressed Ariel. "I don't know why she's suddenly decided to let half the world know and leave me at the bottom of the list," he said irritably. "The last news I heard regarding that lot, they were looking for my replacement. Now this."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 11 2008, 10:22 PM
"They're replacing you?" Marcello asked. "Ah. Not to be...what exactly does Grey do, that they're replacing you? Do they...does this happen often?"
He looked rather sympathetically at Constanzia, letting out a sigh. "I'm sorry, Miss," he said to the girl. "We didn't mean to cause anyone any distress."
Posted by: Constanzia del Grigio Apr 11 2008, 10:38 PM
"I am nuh-nuh--" Constanzia sniffled, then dabbed at her eyes. "Nuh-not distressed. I just huh-hate it when people don't tell me things that are supposed to be important." She gave her eyes another swipe, then stood away, looking sullen and miserable, with her arms wrapped tight around her chest.
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 11 2008, 10:40 PM
For the first time, Lorenzo looked deeply chagrined. "If it is in any way important, no. They don't seek out replacements every day."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 11 2008, 10:47 PM
Marcello now looked rather distressed at the girl's response, and he stepped over to the cake, slicing out a rather sizeable piece. He put a fork on the plate and held it out to the blonde girl. "So, why, then?" he asked Lorenzo. "Why now, of all times? Doesn't that-- doesn't that strike you as curious? That they'd decide to replace you, and then all...this would start up? Who's this other fellow who was with you?" he asked. "You said there was another one who is one of her acquaintances? Does...it wasn't Fantasius, was it?"
Posted by: Constanzia del Grigio Apr 11 2008, 10:57 PM
Constanzia stuck out her bottom lip and, for the first time since she started taking solid foods, rejected chocolate cake.
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 11 2008, 11:02 PM
Lorenzo looked more nearly miserable over Constanzia as he had at any point in the proceedings. "No, no. This is some fellow she rousted up from the Wreath Islands. Maalech. He'd already been doing some research into my former expertise and apparently she's gotten a bit smitten over him."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 11 2008, 11:13 PM
"Smitten?" Marcello asked, looking the tiniest bit affronted. He frowned at the chocolate cake, then looked to the blonde girl. "Are you sure?" he asked. "I...Miss Constanzia," she said softly to the girl. "I've been waiting a very, very long time for this cake. And I'll feel very guilty eating it when you're looking so distressed. Ah..."
He frowned, flustered. "I'm sorry," he said, looking to the General. "I wasn't aware that this was...such a delicate subject. I really-- we're only trying to get the hounds to stop, and this was our only lead."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 11 2008, 11:20 PM
Niabheara, for her part, had gone slightly grey; she seemed nearly to sway in place. She raised her voice suddenly. "What, sir, for the third time, was your field of expertise?"
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 11 2008, 11:21 PM
He looked up at the countess, startled. "Time, my lady. Are you quite all right? You look--"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 11 2008, 11:21 PM
Niabheara balled up her fists and looked hotly to Marcello. "That's Jochy's father."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 11 2008, 11:26 PM
Marcello nearly dropped his cake.
Instead, the fork clattered off the plate, and he picked it up, hastily, putting it on the little table beside Constanzia before he reached for Niabheara's hand, his own clammy.
"Sir. Ah. Sir, there must be...no. That must be a mistake," he said, running a bit cold. "Is there any way to sp-- no. Ah. Everything I know about that man is that he is evil."
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 11 2008, 11:32 PM
"I'm not one to question the lady's judgement. She made the selection, she knows his history well enough. She would be the one to whom you should go--if, of course, she's willing to discuss it." He gave a wry smile, as if all too familiar with the woman's methods of discussing anything. "I would leave the issue to herself. And to the others. It's not wise to interfere."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 11 2008, 11:33 PM
Niabheara pressed briefly on Marcello's hand. "If it is the same man and she knows what he is, then there's nothing to discuss," she replied coolly. "Time? What manner of time?"
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 11 2008, 11:35 PM
"Continuity, my lady. The sequencing of events. Things that take place in actual time, and things that are assumed to have taken place. History that never happened." He looked the countess over. "My lady. Let me state again: no matter what your personal feelings are toward this man, they are not Seraphima's. She judges people differently than you might."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 11 2008, 11:40 PM
"I know the man's wife," Marcello said, slipping his fingers through Niabheara's, more for his own reassurance than hers. "He threw the poor woman out of time. He already has destroyed her own continuity beyond repair."
His face was pale. "If that man...has control over the general continuity? Sir. It will be chaos."
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 11 2008, 11:59 PM
The General very nearly smiled. "I think you and I have a different concept of 'chaos', if it comes to that." He tried to look grave again, but he failed. Rising, he went to play with his daughter's hair. The girl continued stubborn, shaking her head violently to dislodge him; he withdrew, clearly hurt. "I don't suppose I need to tell you that any effort you make to stop her are very likely only following according to her plans?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 12 2008, 12:10 AM
Marcello hesitated, but instead of looking upset, he almost smiled.
And then he laughed. Out loud, but it was a nervous, uneasily laugh. "That's it," he said. "And if I eat the cake? What happens? Do I turn into a hobgoblin? Or maybe I age twenty years. Or turn into a little boy. Or a little girl! Or a chipmunk! It's so very entertaining, isn't it?"
He laughed again, helplessly, a hollow, disconcerting sound, and put his free hand to his eyes. "Right. Then. What can you tell us about Fantasius?"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 12 2008, 12:18 AM
"Marcello, shh." Niabheara moved behind him, stroking the back of his neck as she focused her hard little glare on the General. "And you are somehow immune? Is that why you can be so . . . cavalier about this? I hate to inform you, some of us are subjected to your time."
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 12 2008, 12:18 AM
Lorenzo shook his head. "No, lady, I'm as much part of it--now--as the two of you are. The difference being, I trust her decisions. If he takes such a position, he'll be rendered nearly completely powerless. It's not so much an occupation as it is . . a state of being. You act as if he'll be given weapon to wield."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Apr 12 2008, 12:28 AM
"But you-- you can heal things and destroy things," Ariel pointed out.
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 12 2008, 12:29 AM
Marcello leaned back slightly, against Niabheara's shoulder, and took a deep breath, as he looked from his sister back to the old man. "I'm afraid he might be," he said quietly. "I...look. Fantasius," he repeated again, holding up the coin. "Who is he?"
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 12 2008, 12:35 AM
"I can change time, to a degree," he said to Ariel. "That wasn't healing. Not as you're likely thinking of it. I advanced time to a point when the wounds were already healed. It's nothing like--right, so, let's not complicate this any more than we must." He addressed Marcello again, in a lower tone. "Phantasus is . . . how to put this? Random chance? I confess, I haven't heard him call himself by that name in ages."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 12 2008, 12:40 AM
"Well, the woman who used it is several hundred years old, and I'm not certain when she saw him last," Marcello admitted. He looked uncomfortable. "So...if his coins show up? What does it mean? Anything at all? Or is that random, too?"
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 12 2008, 12:49 AM
"It might mean no more than that he's taken an interest in the proceedings and wants to make his presence known. A calling card, if you will." He moved away from his daughter, with another long look at the countess. "And Scarlet's moved into play as well. That's very nearly half the company. It's not usual for them to work together. It's less usual to make themselves so visible."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 12 2008, 12:55 AM
Marcello sidled over protectively, as if blocking Niabheara from the man. "My lady isn't Scarlet," he said. "She's never heard of her. In fact, she couldn't even see your Seraphima. She's not part of this. Have you-- sir, have you ever seen anything like this before, then? With the events being mirrored, and-- all of it?"
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 12 2008, 01:05 AM
He lowered his head, shaking it no. "Not on this scale, and not deliberately. Usually what you call 'mirroring' means that events are echoing something else. People fall back into their old roles, or assume places in an older story. I'm more inclined to call this incident--the dogs attacking without being part of the true Hunt--as foreshadowing. You--we all--are being shown what will happen when and if the true Hunt arrives. Perhaps as a warning, perhaps as a test."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 12 2008, 01:13 AM
Marcello glanced to Niabheara, and reached for her hand again. "The bard, then," Marcello said. "I told you already, when the skullheaded man came to the inn, he said that the city was paying for the crimes of Judas, which was strange enough, because the religion here-- is not the same. Do you know our Judas? Do you have another Judas? Judas is from my Italy. He sold out the son of God. The skullheaded man said, 'False imprisonment. Anguish. Theft through injury, injury through theft.' We are-- we are trying to discover if this is something the bard could do. I intend to speak with him when we leave here."
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 12 2008, 01:36 AM
"One of their creatures made a mention of Judas?" The man's expression faltered; for a moment he seemed on the verge of either breaking down and crying or bursting out laughing. "That's . . . and the coins appeared at the same time, did they?" This time he did chuckle.
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 12 2008, 01:47 AM
"Believe me, the coins and the Judas reference didn't escape my notice, except that it's tin and far more than Judas sold Christ for," Marcello replied. He gave the man a questioning look. "Why?" he asked. "Why is it funny that they're mentioning Judas?"
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 12 2008, 02:06 AM
"You've just mentioned it. That's not something anyone from this continuity would understand, least of all any sort of faerie creature. You may have just pointed out Phantasus." He fell grave again. "I've met the bard. Curr's father, if I'm not mistaken?" He did not wait for confirmation. "The guard took them both in at the same time. I'd say his state at the time falls well within anguish and false imprisonment."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 12 2008, 02:15 AM
"I would agree," Marcello replied, nodding. "That's the one. Curr's father. And..." He frowned, looking to Niabheara. "Is there a reason Phantasus would act on this man's behalf? Or could he have...could this all be some kind of...synchronicity?" he picked Serendipity's word out of the air.
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 12 2008, 02:33 AM
"Synchronicity would be something arranged between your lady in black and the Grey. Seeing as how there is no Grey at present, assume she's solely responsible." He looked deeply uncomfortable. "The Random could be working with anyone, or he might be working alone. That's no help to the situation, and to be honest it wouldn't change things from this perspective. Go to your bard. Find out what he knows. It could be he's as much used in this g-me as the rest of us."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 12 2008, 02:38 AM
Marcello nodded, looked to Niabheara, then looked to Lorenzo.
Then to the cake. Then back to Lorenzo. "Thank you, sir," he said politely. "We-- we really are just doing this because we want to put things right before we leave. There's not any-- we've no reason to wish you or your daughter any--"
He swallowed. "She did this on purpose, didn't she? Arranged so that when the cake finally appeared, I'd have no stomach for it?"
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 12 2008, 02:48 AM
"I wouldn't put it past her. I've never put very much past her." He regarded Constanzia, but spoke to Marcello: "I was promised when I came here that I would be taken out of her path. Clearly, it wasn't very much of a promise. That, or else things have changed. She's the most dangerous creature in the world. But she'll never lay a hand on you."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 12 2008, 02:53 AM
Marcello sighed, then slipped an arm around Niabheara with a protective air. "I...I appreciate finally feeling like I've gotten an honest answer about these things," he said. "If there is anything we can do for you, I'll be only too happy to oblige, as long as it's in my control."
He hesitated for a moment. "And the others? How many are there? Who should we be on the watch for?"
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 12 2008, 03:13 AM
"Scarlet, Black, Blue. Grey is still in flux, apparently; I had hoped that would be resolved soon. Some of them you may never encounter. If you do, they're harmless. There's a Brown, an Indigo, and a Yellow. The only two you might need to look out for are Orange and Emerald; they're the ones who tend to be . . . how to put this? Interactive." He gave a flat grimace.
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 12 2008, 03:15 AM
Marcello matched Lorenzo's expression. "Have they...got any calling cards?" he asked, his face breaking into a tired smile. "Like the coins, or something else we can at least watch out for?"
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 12 2008, 03:23 AM
"Yellow has her bells. Scarlet . . . I have no idea what that woman's doing now. I'd warn you against well-endowed redheads but that's probably good advice no matter where you go." He managed to say this with a straight face in front of the countess. "Emerald keeps her swords. The others are catch-as-catch can."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 12 2008, 03:25 AM
Marcello blinked at the last. "Who has the wands?" he asked, curious.
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 12 2008, 03:30 AM
"Brown." He studied Marcello with a sudden acute interest. "Please tell me how you anticipated that."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 12 2008, 03:36 AM
Marcello laughed in surprise at Lorenzo's question. "Cups, coins...so if you've got swords, there must be wands, right? I'm just trying to figure out now what paradigm bells belong to, and then I'll have that worked out. Bells aren't in the tarot, unless you count the fool's cap, or maybe here and there on some designs."
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 12 2008, 03:43 AM
"Nor is clockwork," he replied wryly. "Nor hourglasses. It's been a while since I handled a deck or I'm sure I might recall a sundial." He flexed his hands, as if his fingers were cramped.
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 12 2008, 03:51 AM
"Death holds an hourglass," Marcello replied. "The sun card has a sundial. Wheel of Fortune may as well be a clock."
The young man shrugged. "Then again, that's part of the point of the cards, isn't it? We can all find ourselves in them?"
Posted by: Lorenzo del Grigio Apr 12 2008, 04:04 AM
"Now you are getting entirely too philosophical." he rubbed his wrists, looking across the room to Constanzia. "If there is nothing more," he said in a tight, strange voice, "I think I need some time with my daughter."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano Apr 12 2008, 04:09 AM
Marcello bit down on his lip. "Of course," he said politely, looking apologetically at the young girl. "Thank you...ah. Thank you very much. And you too, Miss Constanzia," he added, nodding. "I...I'm very sorry for our intrusion."
He looked back to Lorenzo, as he took Niabheara's arm, and nodded for his sister to follow. "We will let you know if we hear anything more."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Apr 12 2008, 04:10 AM
Ariel looked uneasily at her friend. "Sorry," she added quietly. "I...I'll come back before we leave," she promised.
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