Stone Man Pass

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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Graybeard » May 4th, 2010, 7:24 pm

Me and my big mouth, Sister Rose thought. They couldn't really be thinking about ...

She put the thought out of her mind and tried to concentrate on the wagon, but it didn't take long for her to realize that another concern had been raised that she should know more about. "Kim, what's wrong?" she asked. "Why do you not like that place? Have you been here before?" Somehow it seemed unlikely.

Rose couldn't see the wild girl's expression clearly out of the corner of her eye, but the firmness of her "No" response was clear enough. Dare I pursue this? Rose thought, then decided she'd better. "Well, then what's wrong with it?" This time she turned to see, as well as hear, the answer.

"There was another just like it. A bad place. A very bad place, with bad people," the girl insisted, and the revulsion on her face couldn't be missed.

Well, well, well, Rose thought. I wonder if someone has been to the Millenarian castle, maybe ...
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Drusia » May 4th, 2010, 9:52 pm

Argus snorted. "Give me a model, and I can handle the redesign," he commented. "Though I suspect that greeting the patrons would be a bad idea for me. Depending on what kind of nightclub you want it to be, Harker could even do the murals."

I grin. "Need any dancers? Or other forms of entertainment? I'm sure I could manage... something." I smile wickedly, waggling my eyebrows suggestively.

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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Sareth » May 4th, 2010, 10:11 pm

"You people are insane," Lillith laughed. "Especially if you're going to let Harker do the decorating. Still, I think we should listen to Kim and find some place else to spend our time. We don't need to go making her any more uncomfortable than a couple of devils from Tsuiraku, a priestess, a nun, the nun's brother, an assassin and a perverted rodent would make anyone." She smiled to Kim.
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Graybeard » May 5th, 2010, 8:59 am

Sister Rose laughed along with Lillith; not only was the thought of a night spot run under those ... circumstances ... amusing, the laughter might help set Kim at ease. Then again, it might not. The girl wasn't really looking any more comfortable than she had been when she first saw the castle. Just what had set her off? Rose wasn't sure she wanted to know, but if her surmise was right, it was just another thing to report back about the Millenarians.

"As much fun as that might be," she said, "I don't think it's practical. Gervasiel isn't a very big town, and most of the populace is likely to be ultra-Orthodox, as usual for these little towns in the middle of nowhere. It's also not on any major travel route that I know of. You'd be unlikely to get enough of a clientele to keep the thing going. Still fun to fantasize about, though." Dare she say anything about any "fantasies" of her own in connection with the night-spot idea? Probably not.

The road went around another hairpin curve, and the ruins were now behind them, with no sign of a side road leading over there. Rose could see that now Kim's discomfort was waning with every step the horses took; putting the castle in the rear-view mirror was having an effect that the banter hadn't. Anyway, she was getting over the skittishness, and that was good. Maybe she'd be comfortable enough with the party to stay with them until some more satisfactory long-term arrangement could be found. That wouldn't be likely in Gervasiel, but they had to pass through Lorenzel on the way north ...

Lost in her reveries, it took Rose a while to notice that there was another parrot circling overhead.
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Drannin » May 6th, 2010, 7:07 am

Argus followed Rose's gaze upwards and noticed the parrot. "Need a quick stop so you can get a report?"
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Graybeard » May 6th, 2010, 8:40 am

"I'd probably better," Sister Rose sighed. The parrot was being sufficiently stand-offish that it was probably carrying one of those sensitive MARIGOLD messages, as she confirmed when she parked the wagon and walked off to hear it out.

(UNCLASSIFIED) We have a bit more information now on your destination as you journey south. Please treat the following as "for your ears only" and do not share with your Tsuirakuan friends.

(LUMINOSITA'S SECRET) The excavation where the "Artifact of Absonial" was discovered is apparently at or near a large castle ruin complex to the east of Gervasiel. Based on your last parrot, it sounds like you may see these ruins as you come into Gervasiel from Stone Man Pass. Professor Indianel has been evasive as to the exact location of the dig, but most likely it is not at the castle itself, which has something of a bad reputation in the region, for reasons not fully understood. I'd recommend avoiding the temptation to snoop around there; nothing specific, but curiosity killed the catgirl.

(LUMINOSITA'S SECRET) Please continue according to plan and meet Professor Indianel in Gervasiel, and he'll take it from there. We understand he is staying at the "Red Parrot Inn," a rather odd name for an inn in a place that doesn't have any parrots, don't you think? Please do NOT take rooms there yourselves. There are other inns in town, and it would probably be best to avoid suspicions of your motives in visiting the place. (Suspicions on whose part? I have no idea, I'm just relaying the message.)

(LUMINOSITA'S SECRET) On a different subject, your clarification on the time-magic question is appreciated, and the OCRAP crapstorm has died down somewhat and negotiations resumed with the Tsuirakuans. I have been informed, however, that any connection between the Ensigerum and OCRAP is to be treated as LUMINOSITA'S SECRET/NOFORN. When I asked for clarification on this odd little order, I was told that I didn't have the need to know, so presumably you don't either. Politicians ... Anyway, pass our regards to Dr. Cleiviein for his assistance in defusing this, and then clam up about what's going on. He'll understand, I'm fairly sure.

(UNCLASSIFIED) Safe travels, and please report your safe arrival at Gervasiel.

Bernie


Rose stashed the remains of the defunct parrot under a rock -- here on the windward side of the mountains, there wasn't as much rainfall (she noticed a cloud cap building again over the ridge line and the lee side), and correspondingly less wildlife, so the local scavengers would probably appreciate the windfall. She went back to the wagon and set it in motion. "Well, good news and bad news," she said. "Kim will probably appreciate the fact that we're giving that castle a pass, anyway..."
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Graybeard » May 7th, 2010, 8:12 am

OOC: Shall we fast-forward to town? I have it on good authority that we're not done with the castle yet, but encounters in town are needed before we go back there.
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Drannin » May 7th, 2010, 1:58 pm

(OOC: Suits me)
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Graybeard » May 7th, 2010, 10:03 pm

[OOC: OK, so lacking dissent, fast forward it is...]

Thunder rumbled in the distance as the wagon pulled into Gervasiel, but Sister Rose ignored it. The mountains were growing more afternoon thunderstorms, she could see, and rain in the high country was in the offing, if it wasn't falling already. It wouldn't reach them here, though, not with the thunderheads forming on the up slope of the ridge, then breaking off to sweep over it to the east. Of course, the down side was that the farm land didn't look as rich on this side of the range, lacking the moisture that they'd be getting shortly at the abandoned site of Leonish ... and at the disturbing camp site of the night before.

Well, the town seemed to be doing well enough without it. Gervasiel was larger than she'd been expecting, with a population of maybe a few thousand. Already on the way into town, she'd seen two small Orthodox temples, the inevitably larger Millenarian one, and a temple that clearly was neither Orthodox nor Reformed nor Millenarian but apparently represented some denomination she didn't immediately recognize. Might it be Calfornican? That ... unique ... sect was located primarily on the west coast of Veracia, but they'd been making some inroads in some of the inland towns near the coast. She hadn't heard of them coming this far from the beaches, but anything was possible. Yes, they must be Calfornicans, she decided; the ... unmistakable ... odor of the burning of the faction's ceremonial herbs could be detected as they passed by the temple.

Back to business. "I've been thinking about your man Kurou," she told Argus; the timing was right for that, as the Red Parrot was visible down a side street that she made sure to avoid. "Tell me more about him. All of your scheming about that castle got me wondering whether he'd be the kind of man who might be sensitive to, shall I say, feminine wiles." This last was said with a sidelong glance at Drusia ... although Rose was remembering that she herself hadn't used her own shapeshifting skills, apart from some wardrobe adjustments, for some time now.
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Drannin » May 8th, 2010, 12:33 pm

Argus involuntarily thought about Arsoro Kurou again. "I've only met the man a few times," he replied. "My interest in architecture, and his in ancient history, meant that he actually came to consult with me once or twice. He was always very careful not to indicate what he was showing me. The drawings were clearly reproductions of another site, most likely developed by himself and concealing what he really wanted to know. Whenever I talked to him, I always got the impression that he was basically done with me halfway through the conversation... but kept talking partially to give no indication as to what he really wanted, and partially because he truly enjoyed talking about architecture." Those conversation had been bizarre. Argus had found himself enjoying conversation with such a clearly well-educated man. Kurou had been so friendly... and his eyes had possessed that frightening light. Argus still didn't know whether he had actually enjoyed Kurou's company.

"I don't know his magical specialty. Kurou strikes me as a highly talented generalist, but probably focuses a bit on divination magic in order to gather more information. As to your question..." Argus thought carefully. "Yes and no. Yes, Kurou would probably be as susceptible as any man to female charm. Especially an intelligent, erudite female. On the other hand, he'd be clever enough to see through any subterfuge."
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