Chapter One: En Passant.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
Genevieve Galatea
 player, 26 posts
Wed 19 Jul 2017
at 02:10
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
Genevieve watched the soon-to-be-dead boy go. She was meeting a lot of heroes today. Genevieve could only hope so many would throw themselves into hell for her sake should she ever come to peril. Good sense dictated they leave now. She had Lucia Tallier, and by some miracle her brother (Carel, was it?), the guardsman and the hooded lady Giovanna had all made it out alive. Saving two members of a noble house was fabulous enough for what lay within.

Yet for some godforsaken reason, she found herself probing deeper.

"Messieurs, mesdemoiselles - Do you know that boy? And who is Mirelle?"
Giovanna D'Agostino
 player, 470 posts
 Your mind is but an open
 book
Fri 21 Jul 2017
at 00:22
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
Serafyna Wiselzjka:
"Wait!" the young girl barked out urgently. "This Mirelle person - she's trapped in there?! And there's a chance she's still alive?! Then no - I can't leave her."

What?

Giovanna's brow creased and furrowed in complete confusion. To this moment, there was little indication that there was anyone else in the manor but the ones who barely managed to escape with their lives. She heard no other voices besides those belonging to Signore Tallier and his female companion -- evidently his sister. Had she known --

No, she did all she could. Those that were readily available to her were saved. There was neither time nor sufficient reason at the moment of truth to remain any longer than she had.

It appeared that Serafyna thought differently. Even after recounting the harrowing experience to her, she insisted on traversing into the home where Satan's swarm could have very well been at large. To do such was not only foolish and possibly unnecesary -- there was no guarantee that the woman in question was even still alive at this point -- it also surely would lead to Serafyna's demise.

No! She wouldn't allow her to throw her life away! "No, you cannot go in there," she stated firmly. "Satan himself resides in that manor now. Does that mean nothing to you!"

quote:
"The b...?"

Even in her urgency, the question was met with an expression of utter bafflement. And then it dawned.

First clearing her throat, when the reply came it was in an exceedingly artificially deep voice.

"Oh, er, me. Yes." she said, brows furrowed earnestly.

"Don't worry. Assuming I get out of that place safely; and believe me I'm very good at getting myself out of a tight bind; we'll get Sadler the aid he needs very quickly. I have a knack for finding a means of transport even when it's extraordinarily sparse."

On that note, Serafyna wheeled round on her heels and began hurtling toward the house in an almost inhumanly-fast sprint.

Yelling over her shoulder as she ran, she added a question and a request.

"Where is Mirelle, by the way? Or where was she when you last saw her? And please... I suggest you look away now."

She hoped an answer would come, but it mattered not. She was going in regardless.

Libertas - Free Spirit

[OOC: Serafyna rolled 139 in Ki Detection / Erudition]

A sprig of confusion sprouted within her for a brief moment until she caught on. Serafyna must have taken on the guise of a young man... for some reason. Surely a good one, she was sure. However, that did not matter. What was important was making sure she did not undertake any foolish tasks.

Footsteps. Inhumanly fast footsteps.

NO!

"Wait, come back! You will die!"

<Giovanna rolled 160 for persuasion>

Her still quivering hands balled into fists that hung uselessly at her sides. Serafyna did not encountered what they had encountered. She had not yet felt the sting of the swarm that was within those walls. She would learn, quickly, but it was a lesson that need not be taught.

A small part of her wanted to join her, to accompany her within that demonic manor to help her confront what lay inside. The larger part had long learned not to press her luck too much. God's grace allowed her to escape the first time. To reenter would be to put Him to the test. A feat she dared not even consider.

She was on her own now.

Father in heaven, guide my friend to safety.

This message was last edited by the player at 00:23, Fri 21 July 2017.

GM
 GM, 918 posts
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 guide the story.
Wed 26 Jul 2017
at 18:12
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
"No!"

Carel's shout joins that of Giovanna's, and he manages to pull an arm free from his load enough to reach out...but that's all, before Serafyna sprints for the manor.  "You fool boy!" he cries, slowly letting Sadler to the ground.  "Mademoiselles...while I know him not, I cannot leave the boy to perish," he snaps, clearly half-terrified and half-frustrated.  "Care for the man!"

With that, he follows Serafyna...albeit slower, almost as if fighting against a wave.  And, in a way, he is, for the dark manor seems emanate the distilled essence of nightmares, clenching the gut and tightening every muscle of those in the street.

"Carel!" screams Lucia as her brother jogs back through the gate.  The noblewoman collapses to her knees.  "No, no...Mirelle is my nanny," she whispers, her stare nearly blind from panic.

Three on the road.  One through the gate.  Another approaching the manor.

None else on the street, though lights shine in the windows of nearby nobility, and who could say what awaits in the darkened home.
Genevieve Galatea
 player, 28 posts
Sun 30 Jul 2017
at 06:54
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
In reply to GM (msg # 831):

"Wait, come back! You will die!" Giovanna cried, her words flowing off Carel Tallier's back as he disappeared into the mansion. Having just witnessed the horror that stalked the halls within, Genevieve found herself in agreement with the hooded lady.

Genevieve watched the man run into the jaws of death. And for what, a boy he'd never met? Damned heroes! In another time, another place, Genevieve would have found Carel's righteousness and altruism valuable, excellent for inspiring confidence and leading others in the direction she ever so gently pointed. That he didn't seem devoid of good sense, frustrated as he had been with the boy's decision and earlier willing to abandon his servant to ensure his sister's safety made the man possibly invaluable. In a country of self-interested, cut-throat climbers like herself, noble men like Carel were a rare commodity.

Genevieve ran through her options. Lucia was young, and from first impressions rather pliable. They would be retreating to the Roselle household, in all likelihood.  House Roselle had actually sent agents to the house on purpose, and were the first to come to the aid of the Talliers, as opposed to Genevieve who had but stumbled upon this dreadful affair by sheer chance. If Genevieve chose to flee and Carel died, Lucia would still be grateful to Genevieve, but even more so to Viscount Renard and his agents. Lucia would be in their care, Genevieve a guest and ally, but without a doubt a lesser party. If Genevieve chose to flee and Carel lived, he would have saved the boy. She stole a glance at Giovanna balled, trembling fists. Giovanna was close to the boy. So Carel's success would likely ingratiate him to House Roselle, or at the very least an important agent of the same. Again, Genevieve would be left a lesser third party.

If Genevieve wanted a seat of equal size at this table, she would need to risk the mansion again. Was it worth it? Her eyes narrowed. She would need to make her decision soon. The wager: her neck. The prize: Carel, the boy, and the gratitude of both houses Roselle and Tallier. She drew her shortsword.

"Mademoiselle Giovanna, keep Lucia safe and flee to House Roselle. Someone has to. Tell the Viscount that Genevieve Galatea sends her regards," Genevieve said, pointing the sword inward and slashing down. The fabric of the robe surrounding her skirt parted from her lower thighs downward, the cut strands making a sound that satisfied her ears and pained her heart. She had liked this dress. When she was done, the skirt flapped breezily with its high cut, leaving her legs free to move and scandalize. Her work done, she sheathed the sword once more.

"I will be along shortly."

With that, she sprinted into the looming darkness of the doorway, darkness already beginning to overwhelm her bravado. You had better be worth this, Monsieur Carel.

This message was last edited by the player at 17:12, Tue 01 Aug 2017.

Giovanna D'Agostino
 player, 471 posts
 Your mind is but an open
 book
Mon 7 Aug 2017
at 04:14
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
After Serafyna foolishly charged into Hell itself to rescue a woman whose fate had already been sealed, but also may very well have already been dead, Signore Tallier charged in after her. Even after they barely escaped by the hairs on the back of their necks, he chose to go back in.

Fools. Both of them.

Giovanna had learned some years ago that running back into danger was a to test God, and testing God was an examination one never passed. It was foolhardy, regardless of the motive. If Serafyna wished to throw her life away on the chance that someone could still be alive to be saved, so be it. Her doing so then had not only endangered her own life, but that of Signore Tallier's, as well.

And still another. The mysterious woman willingly chose to go after Signore Tallier. The very same woman who was more than willing to leave Signore Sadler to die withing abysmal confines of the mansion. The very same woman who had spent all of her energy fleeing the mansion ahead of him. This woman went back inside.

Not only that, she left her with the care of not only a terrified Signorina Tallier, but also a very injured and barely alive Signore Sadler. With instructions to guide the both of them back to the Roselle manor.

Even discounting the fact that she was very much blind, rendering such a feat impossible, who could she -- a very small girl with very little in the way of strength -- not only lead a terrified, ill-thinking woman through the streets of a city she knew not, but also while carrying the dead weight -- a very poor choice of words, that -- of a fully grown man on her back.

It was possible. At least not without exposing her secret abilities to the world.

She let out a frustrated shriek and tried to think of what to do. The best recourse was to stay put. However, there was no telling what kind of seedy characters liked to roam about at whatever time of day it was. They were merely two women with no means of protecting themselves outside of the supernatural, which would almost assuredly bring true Hell down upon her.

"Damn it all!" She breathed in deeply to calm herself, then exhaled slowly. "Signorina, I regret to inform you that I am very much incapable of carrying this man's weight for any significant period of time, and it would be unthinkable for me to leave him here prone to danger while I escort you to Manor Roselle. I am terribly regretful to suggest this, but we must remain here until your brother and my friend, as well as the other woman, return safely with your bambinaia."

<Giovanna rolled 88 for Persuasion.>

This message was last edited by the player at 04:15, Mon 07 Aug 2017.

Serafyna Wiselzjka
 player, 583 posts
 This is MY story, so I'll
 tell it how I WANT to!
Tue 8 Aug 2017
at 18:02
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
GM:
"No!"

Carel's shout joins that of Giovanna's, and he manages to pull an arm free from his load enough to reach out...but that's all, before Serafyna sprints for the manor.  "You fool boy!" he cries, slowly letting Sadler to the ground.  "Mademoiselles...while I know him not, I cannot leave the boy to perish," he snaps, clearly half-terrified and half-frustrated.  "Care for the man!"

With that, he follows Serafyna...albeit slower, almost as if fighting against a wave.  And, in a way, he is, for the dark manor seems emanate the distilled essence of nightmares, clenching the gut and tightening every muscle of those in the street.

The futile cry behind her she could blot out. That part was easy. As much as the idea of entering this building filled her with a gnawing knot in the pit of her stomach that bunched ever tighter with every step, the prospect of someone else being left in there; trapped and at the mercy of... whatever was in there; was one she was unwilling to countenance.

And as she distanced herself from the others, she felt, in turn, the world detach itself from her with a soft crackle. The evening breeze; what there was of it; blew through her as though she were the softly-swaying branches of a weeping willow.

But just before Serafyna reached the doorway, the sound of laboured footsteps padding heavily behind her and echoing through the barren streets could not be ignored.

She did not look back. Bellowing upwards, as if letting the words stream behind her as her unruly mop of hair was wont to do when she ran at full pelt, she yelled out to her pursuer "Stay here, Monsieur! If I find Mirelle, I will try to liberate her quickly. If I cannot find her, I will try to liberate myself."

The door loomed in front of her, the darkness within eating away at her resolution.

RUN, GIRL! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! AND DON'T STOP RUNNING!

Steeling herself she bit down hard on her bottom lip. Even in her insubstantial state she could taste the coppery tang as a trickle of blood ran backwards into her mouth, which she briskly swallowed down along with her doubts, even if the taste of both remained with her.

"But two lives at a time is my limit for this evening, Monsieur! So please... STAY!"

Re-emboldened, and now utterly oblivious to footsteps or protestations behind, all that held her focus now lay within the house. Though the door stood open before her, her vaporous form was not intended for the benefit of the front door. The search would be much, much quicker were walls equally inconsequential as obstacles.

And so the slender wisp of smoke breezed in through the front door and the search commenced.
GM
 GM, 923 posts
 Helping to
 guide the story.
Thu 10 Aug 2017
at 12:08
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
Something changes, oddly enough, as 'the boy' hurries toward the manor.  It changes in him, and...it changes in the air.  As Genevieve slashes at her dress and begins to follow, as Carel makes his weary way after Serafyna, there comes an almost audible 'pop' in the air.

The dense spiritual pressure upon the world dies; suddenly the lamps of the street and the risen moon blaze more brightly.  Or perhaps it is only the perception that the dark beyond those lights has become less filled with unseen horrors, less atavistically threatening.  Whatever the reason, the night suddenly seems safer...

...well, as safe as night upon Chaville could be, of course.

As Serafyna bursts into the manor's foyer, a sudden cloud of flying vermin swirls about her and...passes through her form, scudding its way out the door.  Scuttling forms - rats, mice, insects and even a pair of spiders the size of her hands together - bolt for the darkness and low-lying areas, a confusion of many legs dissipating in every direction.  Outside, Carel shudders to a halt with a shout of sudden fear as the cloud of fliers erupts through the door, but the bats and stinging, biting things do not assail him; instead, they disperse into nothingness.

Outside the manor, Lucia doesn't seem to have caught any of this; still locked in her near-hysteria (matching quite well with Carel's pendulum swings of emotion at the moment), she stares back at Giovanna with saucer-wide eyes.  The Remano girl cannot see this, of course, but the almost-whine accompanying the other woman's breathing is a clear sign of her mental state.  "Doomed," she finally gasps, throwing herself to the ground.  "We are doomed!"

Clearly not the case, but that might not be apparent to people not operating at their best capacity; Lucia's has quite obviously been overloaded for the night.

With Genevieve just inside the gate, Carel nearly at the door - but halted in his progression - Serafyna finds herself within the dark manor itself.  There are few lights at all, but the moon shines through the broad, open windows above and behind her.  It illuminates the floor, the dark mouths of the hallways to either side, the stairs.

And it shines upon the figure standing halfway up said stairs, arms limp at its sides.

Her clothing ravaged, the woman would be shamefully exposed...had there been aught left to see.  But skin is gone, tissue torn, bones exposed, her body as torn as her maid's uniform.  Empty sockets stare down at the boy-dressed girl below, a skull's grin on the near-fleshless face.  Then the corpse ceases its unnatural stance, tumbling down the remainder of the steps like a forlorn, string-cut puppet.

Perhaps an all-too-apt metaphor.




OOC - Combat time is officially over.

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:30, Thu 10 Aug 2017.

Genevieve Galatea
 player, 32 posts
Mon 14 Aug 2017
at 21:14
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
In reply to GM (msg # 835):

A smattering of footsteps echoed through the garden as the boy ran in after the maid, Carel ran in after the boy, and Genevieve ran in after Carel. What a conga line of fools they made.

"Stay here, Monsieur! If I find Mirelle, I will try to liberate her quickly. If I cannot find her, I will try to liberate myself."

Genevieve wished Carel would listen, though she knew he would not. It would make things so much easier. She would quite readily abandon the boy to his fate if he was so insistent on risking his neck for a maid he'd never met. But Carel Tallier, quite possibly the head of House Tallier now, was not so easily replaced.

As she neared the entrance, the boy's thin frame began to fade into the dark confines of the manor. Then something in the air changed...and something in the boy. He seemed to blur, and Genevieve could almost swear she was beginning to see through him to the stairs beyond. Her eyes narrowed. A trick of the light? Genevieve would not get a second look, as she soon felt another change, as if a weight were lifted from her soul and everything around her at once. It felt...better, brighter.

Then a swarm of tiny beasts and vermin burst through the door and obscured her vision of the interior entirely. The beast was here! Genevieve's hand flew to the hilt of her shortsword, but hesitated. She felt no danger, none of the unnatural dread she had felt just moments earlier. Crickets, spiders, rats and other creatures scurried and flew through the doorway and dispersed. They didn't physically run away, their bodies just seemed to blow away like ashes into the air, then nothing. Genevieve blinked, now unable to stop her lips from parting, mouth hanging slightly agape in confusion.

A series of wet, sickening thuds drew her attention to the doorway again, and Genevieve saw the corpse. Maid's clothes stuck to it, torn into naught but rags and exposing flesh ripped apart beneath. The white of bone was mostly obscured by the flesh, leaking bile, blood and guts onto the reception floor. Where there should have been eyes, empty eye stared back at Genevieve, part of a skull with hardly any flesh left on it. Genevieve had seen dead bodies before, seen the dead Tallier guards just a few minutes ago in fact. But not like this. Never like this.

Something rose from Genevieve's throat and she looked away, feeling her body convulse and hurl her previous meal onto the manicured grass. And then again, and again. Genevieve gasped for breath, trying desperately to collect herself. The skull was still staring at her, she could feel it, see it wherever her eyes turned. She took a deep breath, then a few more. Raising her free arm, she wiped her lips clean, then forced herself to straighten. It was the nanny Mirelle, left behind and now dead. Abandoning you was the right decision...but you shouldn't have died like that. Nobody should die like that.

"There's nothing we can do for her now, mousseurs. Please, let us leave this place and tend to the living," she said, trying to keep the tremors from her voice even as some part of her even now picked her words carefully, "Mademoiselle Lucia has been through enough tonight."

This message was last edited by the player at 21:16, Mon 14 Aug 2017.

Giovanna D'Agostino
 player, 472 posts
 Your mind is but an open
 book
Tue 22 Aug 2017
at 04:41
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
By the grace of God Almighty, they were saved. The amalgamation of minds that comprised the demonic swarm dissipated after a brief excursion outside the manor. Giovanna sighed, releasing the tension and anxiety that had been building up within her ever since the ordeal began. With the realization came another -- Signore Tallier, Serafyna, and the other woman were also safe, provided there were no other abominations within the manor accompanying the first.

"Worry no longer, Signorina," she spoke to Lucia. "The creature as vanished from before us. We are safe now."

The joy would not last very long. Questions arose as to the manner with which the creature was summoned. It would have had to have been deliberate, as creatures such as that did not just exist in any place other than the wildest imaginations of a child. Also, why would someone beset such a horrible thing on the Tallier family? And was this connected to the incident in the inn night ago, which saw the gruesome end to Signore Tallier's beloved brothers?

Many questions that demanded answers; none of which she had at present. She could have inquired of Lucia, but the poor girl had been through enough this day. Tomorrow, yes.

"I trust that with this development, your brother and nanny should be returning soon." She hoped, in the latter's case.
GM
 GM, 926 posts
 Helping to
 guide the story.
Mon 28 Aug 2017
at 17:26
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
OOC - I was hoping for something from Serafyna, but I'd like this to keep going and not die.  So.

IC -

While Genevieve cannot hold in her dinner, somehow Carel manages; but judging by his expression, it is not a greater strength of will.  Instead, revulsion and nausea are held at bay by sorrow.  "Mirelle," he whispers, one hand reaching out as he stands close to the doorway, barely able to see the fallen corpse within.

Clearly, it is enough; after a moment, he turns away, his face white as ivory.

"You are correct, madamoiselle," he chokes out in reply to Genevieve.  "I...boy!"  His head turns and he raises his voice to Serafyna, still within.  "Boy!  Remove yourself from the manor and come here!"  Clearly an order, though there is no anger in his tense tone.  His voice drops again, more quiet now.  "Best we be gone from this place.  I...I know a priest.  I will find him in the morning, have him attempt to sanctify my home...and there is also the..."  He swallows.  "The Inquisition.  How I used to laugh at them!"

A shake of the head.  "But for now, we must go."  His eyes seek out Giovanna, beyond the gate with his sister.  "Du Rosselle, she said.  Are you..."  His eyes snap toward Genevieve.  "Are you perhaps Alais Rosselle?  Or do I misstep?"  Clearly, taking refuge in social necessities is a welcome distraction for the moment.

As he speaks, he moves back toward the gate, clearly meaning for Giovanna and Serafyna to follow.

Beyond the gate, Lucia looks ready to collapse.  "Thank heaven and God!" she cries at Giovanna's words.  "And my brother yet alive.  But Mirelle?"  A hopeless tone enters her voice.  "Has she come out of the house?  I do not see her...oh, God.  We should fly from here, find a place of safety if there are any left in this world."  Her fingers clutch on Giovanna's sleeve.
Serafyna Wiselzjka
 player, 588 posts
 This is MY story, so I'll
 tell it how I WANT to!
Wed 30 Aug 2017
at 17:37
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
GM:
OOC - I was hoping for something from Serafyna, but I'd like this to keep going and not die.  So.

OOC - Yeah, really sorry again.


IC -
Serafyna Wiselzjka has seen many things in her comparatively short life. Serafyna Wiselzjka had experienced many horrors; some made by man's hand, others abominations of nature. Despite her diminutive stature and tender age; albeit not as tender as her appearance would lead many to believe; Serafyna Wiselzjka believed herself to be a woman of the world. She took everything in her stride.

But this... Serafyna Wiselzjka had never seen anything even closely resembling this. No horrors she had experienced came close. Woman of the world she may or may not be, but it mattered not a whit when what came upon you was clearly not of this world at all.

She was not taking this in her stride.

The girl-who-was-dressed-as-a-boy simply stood there, staring at the ravaged marionette of flesh that lay before her. Her shoulders quivered just a little as rapid, shallow, petrified breaths escaped her lips. Her face was ashen, her eyes haunted.

This... even Nonna's tales had never mentioned such things, and Nonna had been to Moth, where tales of freakish terrors were far more commonplace than would be considered decent here in Gabriel.

GM:
"You are correct, madamoiselle," he chokes out in reply to Genevieve.  "I...boy!"  His head turns and he raises his voice to Serafyna, still within.  "Boy!  Remove yourself from the manor and come here!"  Clearly an order, though there is no anger in his tense tone.  His voice drops again, more quiet now.  "Best we be gone from this place.  I...I know a priest.  I will find him in the morning, have him attempt to sanctify my home...and there is also the..."  He swallows.  "The Inquisition.  How I used to laugh at them!"

A shake of the head.  "But for now, we must go."  His eyes seek out Giovanna, beyond the gate with his sister.  "Du Rosselle, she said.  Are you..."  His eyes snap toward Genevieve.  "Are you perhaps Alais Rosselle?  Or do I misstep?"  Clearly, taking refuge in social necessities is a welcome distraction for the moment.

As he speaks, he moves back toward the gate, clearly meaning for Giovanna and Serafyna to follow.

Gone.

Yes. Gone. Gone good.


Slowly she edged backwards from the nightmarish, ravaged frame of what was left of, she assumed, Mirelle. Her shuffling heel caught on the step at the edge of the door, and she fell slightly backwards, stopping herself only as she reached out to grasp the frame of the door and re-stabilise herself.

But her gaze never moved from the crumpled corpse at the foot of the stairs.

Backwards still she walked, until she were a good ten paces back from the building itself, and it was only then that she allowed herself to turn toward the gate.

"Transport." the girl rasped, forgetting completely her pretense of boyhood.

"We need to get back to the Du Rosselles. If you'll excuse me for just one moment, I'm sure I can find something suitable for us."

And then her voice cracked, and her legs buckled, sending her down onto her knees. Her chest exploded into a fit of rasping, raucous coughing, and she knelt there, her face down toward the floor. One hand on the ground held her shoulders above the unforgiving cobbles, and the other held aloft, indicating that she was not to be helped. Beads of crimson bursting from her lungs spattered across the stones beneath her, and she could not bring herself to disguise it.

When the coughing ceased and Serafyna looked up toward the others, her eyes were red raw, with tears streaked upon her cheeks. She pulled off her cap; her unruly mop of red hair tumbling down from beneath it; wiped her face with it and then replaced it on her head.

She swallowed hard, tightened her expression, raised herself to her feet and once more began to walk toward the gate.

"Forgive me." she spoke in a restrained voice that feigned resilience but ached of fragility, "Now. Let's see what I can do about that transport."d

This message was last edited by the player at 17:38, Wed 30 Aug 2017.

Genevieve Galatea
 player, 35 posts
Tue 12 Sep 2017
at 06:11
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
In reply to Serafyna Wiselzjka (msg # 839):

Without certain death to throw himself into, Carel was once more amenable to moving to safety. Come the morrow, he intended to bring a priest...good, good, couldn't hurt...and the Inquisition. Genevieve tried to conceal her disapproval. Now was not the time for such discussion. One was supposed to call for the the Inquisition when one suspected sorcery and demons at work, or so the Inquisition would have everyone believe. But she didn't like the idea of relying on religious fanatics. Everything looked too simple to those consumed by zeal and faith, measuring everything by one yardstick and damn the consequences. No, Genevieve would much rather an alternative.

Carel ordered the young boy out of the house, then seemed to think for a moment. Having heard the Rosselle name several times tonight, Genevieve could see the wheels in Carel's mind turning.

"Du Rosselle, she said.  Are you..."  His eyes snap toward Genevieve.  "Are you perhaps Alais Rosselle?  Or do I misstep?"

It wasn't a bad guess, even if a wrong one. But Genevieve was more impressed that Carel could keep thinking and speaking with such grace after his ordeal. Genevieve had seen the monster, but Carel had endured the loss of near his entire household at the hands of that beast before barricading himself behind a door. Maybe he was being strong for his sister. Maybe the shock had yet to set in. Or maybe he really was made of stern enough stuff. She walked with him till they were reunited with Lucia and Giovanna.

"You guess well, Monsieur Carel, but I am not a daughter of Rosselle."

Genevieve spared a few fingers from the hand holding the shortsword to hold one side of her skirt, and held the sheared ends of the other side together with her free hand. A deft shift of knees and ankles later, and she curtsied as best she could under the circumstances.

"Comtesse Genevieve, de noble famille Galatea."

"Transport. We need to get back to the Du Rosselles. If you'll excuse me for just one moment, I'm sure I can find something suitable for us," the boy said, puberty yet to crack his voice. Strange, he didn't look that young.

The boy had yet to take a step when he was overcome with a coughing fit, a bad one. His knees gave way beneath him, and he coughed blood onto the cobblestones. Genevieve's eyes widened in concern and she stepped forward, preparing to at least steady the poor boy. Had the beast gotten to him after all? The boy held up a hand to forestall help, and Genevieve straightened, but she could feel her own lungs ache in sympathy. When he was done, he looked up, eyes red, and pulled off his cap.

Fiery hair tumbled out. A lot of it. The boy had let his hair grow long, and in truth his features were quite feminine. Despite it all, Genevieve found her thoughts idly wandering for a moment. Was he gay, or simply fashionably androgynous?

"Forgive me." she spoke in a restrained voice that feigned resilience but ached of fragility, "Now. Let's see what I can do about that transport."

Genevieve nodded her head, deciding to respect the boy's bravery. It seems he was afflicted with an ailment, one he was used to dealing with. If he thought he could procure transport, she wasn't going to turn him down. The Talliers wouldn't want to be seen in public in this state.

"If your body is able, please hurry monsieur. We will have to wait here while you search."

This message was last edited by the player at 14:57, Tue 12 Sept 2017.

Giovanna D'Agostino
 player, 475 posts
 Your mind is but an open
 book
Tue 12 Sep 2017
at 19:13
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
GM:
Beyond the gate, Lucia looks ready to collapse.  "Thank heaven and God!" she cries at Giovanna's words.  "And my brother yet alive.  But Mirelle?"  A hopeless tone enters her voice.  "Has she come out of the house?  I do not see her...oh, God.  We should fly from here, find a place of safety if there are any left in this world."  Her fingers clutch on Giovanna's sleeve.

While Giovanna was relieved and thankful that Signorina Tallier had finally calmed down somewhat, her frenetic insistence that they were still in some manner of mortal danger was wearing thin on her nerves. Not to say that she was annoyed -- how could she be -- but rather she was attempting to remain calm and think rationally about the situation they suddenly found themselves in. How could she when the only other person out of doors was steadily going made from fear?

She breathed in deeply, both to calm herself and give herself an opportunity to ruminate over what words would be most effective in steadying Signorina Tallier's tumultuous heart.

"I am certain, Signorina, that both your brother and your nanny will both be on their way out of the manor. Possibly even in the next few moments. Thus, it would undue for us, two young women, to travel the streets of this city alone. Let us both wait here, and then when everyone returns, we can travel to Du Rosselle's manor together."

<Giovanna rolled 112 for Persuasion.>

Those words she spoke regarding her bambinaia were untrue. She knew in her heart that the woman had perished. It only made sense the more she thought about it. She had no intention of voicing this position aloud -- for obvious reasons -- but giving way to blind hope was pointless. The only reason she was letting Signorina Tallier give herself over to those blind hopes was because the woman was at the threshold of insanity, and needed an anchor to keep her from falling over the edge.

The truth, when it was revealed shortly, would crush her. It was regrettable, to allow the woman beside her to hope, only to stand idly by as reality ripped that hope asunder. What else can I say? she thought bitterly. To tell this woman that her bambinaia is dead would be an unthinkable act!

She just wanted this day to be over, to fall behind her and drift away into the past as she moved forward. Eventually, with hope, the memories of what she encountered this day would fade with time. How long time would take remained to be seen, but she looked forward to being free from this horrible, nightmarish images.

This message was last edited by the player at 19:14, Tue 12 Sept 2017.

GM
 GM, 937 posts
 Helping to
 guide the story.
Tue 19 Sep 2017
at 18:16
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
While Giovanna herself is a tad off her game, Lucia seems to be at the point of grasping at whatever rope is thrown her way.  "Yes, yes," Lucia whispers, her tone dropping along with her hysteria.  We shall...guest at the Du Rosselle's."  Eyes still wild, but her hands beginning to relax upon Giovanna's arm, she continues to murmur to herself.  "Everything will be fine.  Nobody will know."  A june, lamplight, buzzes past her face and she flinches violently.  "God!  My...my apologies, mademoiselle."

Within the estate, Carel cannot help but stare.  It's difficult to decide which has upset him more - Serafyna's transformation, or the bloody froth she brings up with her coughing.  "Boy...girl?"  He reaches out a hand as she turns away, heading for the gate.  "Are you well?  Take your ease!"

Turning back toward Genevieve, he stares at her blankly for a moment.  "I thought she was..."  His eyes blink, sharpening.  "My lady Galatea."  He bows - it's roughly a bow between equals, appropriate given their status.  But when he straightens, none of the perplexity has faded.  "I shall not forget your assistance.  You...seem less than appropriately dressed for the weather."  Clearly, it's all he can come up with at the time, weak as it might be.  Doffing his indoor coat, he holds it out.  "Perhaps this might avail you better...Lucia!"  Passing to the gate, he hurries to his sister as best he can, taking her arms.

"Carel, tell me this is a nightmare," she whispers.

He shakes his head.  "But over, for the moment.  My thanks to you, mademoiselle, for safeguarding my sister," is his first statement to Giovanna.  "We owe our lives to you and your man, who I pray will rally."  Giovanna catches the rustle of clothing as he bows, releasing his sister.  "I hope that you have escaped injury?"  The statement, in his tone, is a question.

And Giovanna also catches the sound of an approaching coach.

Serafyna, making her weary way out onto the street, spots the coach first, moving through the distant street lamps.  It's a large one, for a city carriage, but some that size do exist.  A bit of luck that one has come along at this time, though.  The coachman pulls back on his reins as his horses clop up, peering myopically at the group through the crude lenses he bears on his nose.  "Ah...are you waiting for a ride, my lords and ladies?" comes his uncertain question.

Clearly he can't quite make out the full nature of the group before him, else it's possible he'd just continue onward.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:00, Thu 05 Oct 2017.

Genevieve Galatea
 player, 38 posts
Tue 26 Sep 2017
at 07:49
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
In reply to GM (msg # 842):

Carel returned Genevieve's greeting with a bow, one exchanged between those of equal social st and status. True enough. Of course, Carel now owed Genevieve a great deal for his own life and that of his sister, but as far as rank went they were peers. Both of them had benefited from family funds, buying their nobility in Gabrielense society. But Genevieve had taken on the risk when House Tallier was on the brink of extinction, and that gave her an edge. She felt a twinge, just a little one - was this how she was supposed to be thinking just after a massacre?

The fear in the bulging eyes of dead Tallier guards would be forever etched into her memory. The gory bones of the nanny were still fresh, picked clean by whatever supernatural forces were at work. Yet here she was, plotting political advantage. Giovanna, appeared to be comforting what was left on Lucia's social media.

The boyish girl ran off in search of a gar, and before long had a solid coach pulling up in front of them. Time to get out of here.

"Your timing is satisfactory," she said simply to the coachman.

Genevieve ascended into the carriage, gesturing for her fellow nobles to follow suit. Then she turned to the unconscious Tallier guard, and her eyes narrowed, conflicted.

"Bring him in too, the poor man. He kept many of us safe tonight."

This message was last edited by the player at 16:15, Tue 03 Oct 2017.

Giovanna D'Agostino
 player, 476 posts
 Your mind is but an open
 book
Wed 4 Oct 2017
at 05:23
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
GM:
While Giovanna herself is a tad off her game, Lucia seems to be at the point of grasping at whatever rope is thrown her way.  "Yes, yes," Lucia whispers, her tone dropping along with her hysteria. "We shall...guest at the Du Rosselle's."  Eyes still wild, but her hands beginning to relax upon Giovanna's arm, she continues to murmur to herself.  "Everything will be fine.  Nobody will know."  A june, lamplight, buzzes past her face and she flinches violently.  "God!  My...my apologies, mademoiselle."

While it was not the most believable lie Giovanna had ever told, Lucia graciously believed every word. Truly, the girl was at the point where any good news, no matter how farfetched, was preferable to the truth. So long as it calmed her nerves to the point of being easier to manage, Giovanna was thankful.

However, this sword had a second edge. Once the truth was revealed that her bambinaia had perished within the manor, the girl would be crushed. That was an inevitability. An unfortunate one, but one nonetheless.

With hope, the truth would come out the next day, once Giovanna had time to rest and regain her wits about her. Tonight had not been a good night, and her usually sharp tongue had dulled considerably.

quote:
"...Lucia!"

"Carel, tell me this is a nightmare," she whispers.

He shakes his head.  "But over, for the moment.  My thanks to you, mademoiselle, for safeguarding my sister," is his first statement to Giovanna.  "We owe our lives to you and your man, who I pray will rally."  Giovanna catches the rustle of clothing as he bows, releasing his sister.  "I hope that you have escaped injury?"  The statement, in his tone, is a question.

And Giovanna also catches the sound of an approaching coach.

It's a large one, for a city carriage, but some that size do exist.  A bit of luck that one has come along at this time, though.  The drover pulls back on his reins as his horses clop up, peering myopically at the group through the crude lenses he bears on his nose.  "Ah...are you waiting for a ride, my lords and ladies?" comes his uncertain question.

Clearly he can't quite make out the full nature of the group before him, else it's possible he'd just continue onward.

Signore Carel returned and immediately took his sister in his arms. Perhaps he would do a better job of comforting and calming her than Giovanna.

Lucia's grip on her arm relinquished, she allowed herself a sigh. Not one carrying any particular emotion, but one simply as a release of all that had been building up inside since the ordeal began. It was beyond anything she had ever experienced. Quite the realization for a young girl who had been on her own for some time.

"Yes, Signore, I am uninjured, thanks to God's mercy. Signore Sadler is slipping away by the second, however. We should return him to Du Rosselle manor as quickly as all possible or else--"

Her words fell away when her ears caught the familiar clop of horses and the scrub of wheels rolling over the roads. A carriage! It was as if God heard her silent prayer and answered it before the words fully left her lips.

"You could not have come at a better time, Signore. Yes, we are in need of transportation. To Du Rosselle, if that is along your way."

If all went well, Signore Sadler would continue to draw breath in the morning. She prayed. At least one life had been lost already because of that hellspawn, and that was at least one too many. She would get the bottom of its appearance, and ascertain its motive for attacking the Tallier household.

That could come later.

Her hands groped for some kind of purchase from the carriage to guide her inside. She must had looked like a drunken fool. Sometimes she wondered if merely telling everyone she met that she was blind would make her life easier. It certainly did with Elaine. Then again, likely not. "Please make sure Signore Sadler has plenty of room. I do not know the manner or extent of his injuries and would rather avoid exasperating them."
Serafyna Wiselzjka
 player, 596 posts
 This is MY story, so I'll
 tell it how I WANT to!
Wed 4 Oct 2017
at 20:49
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
GM:
Within the estate, Carel cannot help but stare.  It's difficult to decide which has upset him more - Serafyna's transformation, or the bloody froth she brings up with her coughing.  "Boy...girl?"  He reaches out a hand as she turns away, heading for the gate.  "Are you well?  Take your ease!"

A poorly-disguised tremor lingered in the girl's speech as she replied to the man's thoughtful; if slightly indelicately phrased; concern for her wellbeing, and both the weeping and coughing had left her throat dry and raw, with a crack or catch in her voice.

"It's 'girl'." she said curtly and in lowered tones, keeping her sentences short and speaking no more than was absolutely necessary, "Easier to get around the city alone like this. And I'm fine... or at least, I live with it."

She paused, then added a little more softly, privately chastising herself, "Thank you for your concern."

GM:
Serafyna, making her weary way out onto the street, spots the coach first, moving through the distant street lamps.  It's a large one, for a city carriage, but some that size do exist.  A bit of luck that one has come along at this time, though.  The drover pulls back on his reins as his horses clop up, peering myopically at the group through the crude lenses he bears on his nose.  "Ah...are you waiting for a ride, my lords and ladies?" comes his uncertain question.

Clearly he can't quite make out the full nature of the group before him, else it's possible he'd just continue onward.

Having donned her cap back once more and tidied the red wisps of hair back beneath it, Serafyna nodded to the driver, acknowledging his arrival with gratitude. Her eyes, still raw from the shock-born tears that had moments before been pouring down her cheeks, were averted to avoid his direct gaze, and in any case she was well aware that her disguise would serve only from a distance or against the most cursory of glances.

In a token attempt to maintain the pretence both of her gender and that she cared a whit for the banal niceties of etiquette, she waited for 'the ladies' to climb aboard and for Sadler and the unconscious guard to be helped in, then followed them up.

She perched herself between Giovanna; the only conscious member of this disparate assemblage in whom she was ready to place any trust at this time; and the wall of the carriage at the edge of the seat. She glanced suspiciously at the well-dressed lady who had joined them; the brown-and-gold-clad newcomer to whom Monsieur Carel was apparently no relation; and then spoke in hushed tones in Giovanna's ear.

"Not just now,..." she whispered hurriedly, "... but we must talk of... of... what that was in there. That thing. And soon."

And then, for the remainder of the journey, Serafyna sat in absolute silence, lost in the haunting, horrifying picture of the walking corpse that seemed to her as if it were etched upon the inside of her eyelids.
GM
 GM, 947 posts
 Helping to
 guide the story.
Thu 5 Oct 2017
at 17:29
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
The coachman looks everyone over - myopically, as best he can.  As he does, Carel frowns.  "A disguise.  I see," he mutters as an aside to Serafyna.  Clearly he doesn't entirely, but the idea isn't lost on him.  A nod to Giovanna - which she doesn't catch - and a whispered "And thank God for that mercy, then," in reply to her assertion of good health.

"Du Rosselle," the coachman begins, uncertainly.  "I can certainly manage this, mesdames and monsieur, but..."

"God above," snaps Carel, urging his sister toward the carriage.  "I will pay, monsieur!"  Struggling beneath Sadler's weight, he grunts agreement to Giovanna.  "I would not have..." another grunt as he struggles into the coach, his legs quivering beneath him "...this brave man die, no."

With a rattle and the clop of hooves, the carriage rolls away from the silent, dark manor.

The moment the carriage begins to move, Lucia slumps in her seat, falling into a near-stupor as adrenaline releases its grip upon her.  Carel, for his part, occupies himself with adjusting Sadler as best he can, while leaning over and listening to the man breathe.  This leaves the others to speak, should they so wish.

OOC - Feel free to talk, if it goes on too long I'll move ahead.  Or if there's silence, I'll move ahead.
Genevieve Galatea
 player, 41 posts
Sat 7 Oct 2017
at 17:10
Re: Chapter One: En Passant

The sound of horseshoes upon cobblestones, the gentle rocking of a carriage, these would normally be familiar things, things to set Genevieve at ease. They hardly registered tonight. It was tempting to break down. The rush was wearing off, leaving only the fear. Genevieve had seen something tonight that should not, could not have existed. Yet it did, and it she had walked into its jaws. The dark creature had never touched her, but she could still hear the buzz of innumerable insect wings, feel a thousand tiny legs crawling over her skin. She could still see that bloody skull, empty sockets staring at her, asking...why.

There were perhaps four people in the world Genevieve trusted enough to emotionally collapse in front of, and none of them were riding with her tonight. The Talliers, Roselle agents, strangers all. So she took a deep breath, imagining her worries floating away with the air she was leaving behind. It helped, enough. She rested her palms atop her knees, and guided her hair into place with a subtle shift of her head. Her eyes focused on those before her, their faces half-masked in shadow at this late hour.

The hooded one, Genevieve, was a young asher lady, her hair long and features fair. Her green eyes were worth drowning in, but they looked straight ahead, unmoving. Blind?

The one in boy's clothes was either a girl, or the most feminine boy she'd ever met. Genevieve hadn't had the mental room to wrap her head around the concept at the time, but she was increasingly settling on the former possibility. Beside her was the Tallier guard, wounded by whatever creature they had faced tonight.

And then of course, there were the Talliers. Lucia looked like she had had quite enough for one night, and her brother was busy enough comforting her for now.

"We haven't been introduced, I'm afraid," Genevieve said, her voice gentle and cordial, "I am Countess Genevieve of House Galatea, daughter of Count Durell and Countess Rosanne Galatea. I would know the names of the brave souls who ride with me tonight."
Giovanna D'Agostino
 player, 479 posts
 Your mind is but an open
 book
Sun 8 Oct 2017
at 01:55
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
Once she was settled inside the carriage, Giovanna allowed herself to breathe once more. She had been on her own away from her parents for over a year, but never once had she encountered such a horrific creature as she did inside the manor. Her skin crawled as her mind recalled feeling its innumerable bites across her skin. The chittering sounds it made were forever etched into her memory.

Many questions arose the more she thought about it. None of which she had the answers to at the moment, nor did she have any desire to inquire of them. The only things she yearned for were her bed and her violin. After a solemn song to commemorate the fallen and a hopefully restful night's sleep would she then set about figuring out why the Tallier family was attacked this night.

She hoped Serafyna and this new woman were of the same mind.

"Not just now,... but we must talk of... of... what that was in there. That thing. And soon."

Speaking of Serafyna, she wished to speak of what happened. Yes, speaking on it with another would help stem whatever ill-suited trauma that may have been borne from such an uncanny experience. "As you wish," she whispered back.

"We haven't been introduced, I'm afraid...I am Countess Genevieve of House Galatea, daughter of Count Durell and Countess Rosanne Galatea. I would know the names of the brave souls who ride with me tonight."

The new woman spoke, presenting an introduction. Countess Genevieve Galatea was the woman's name of House Galatea. Her high status in society was rather obvious, given her dialect and cordial tone. Giovanna felt wistful for a brief, fleeting moment. Once upon a time, she had rubbed shoulders with people like Genevieve.

Once upon a time, she had been someone like Genevieve. Obviously not as privleged, but who knew what the future would have held for her if the ill-considered words of another had not snatched her country's prominence from under its feet like a rug.

She sighed, releasing the reverie back into the shallow recesses of her mind. Dwelling on the past would do her no good. Dwelling on what should have been would have done even less. There was only the present to live in and the future to live for. The past only served as a bitter reminder of how much she and her family had lost.

"Un piacere, Contessa Genevieve. I am Giovanna D'Agostino, daught--." She would have mentioned her parents -- and nearly did out of habit -- but what was impressive about mentioning two peasants? Not a thing, so Giovanna cut her introduction off at an awkward place.

She cleared her throat. "I would thank you for your timely and heaven sent assistance within the manor. It was quite a brave thing to risk your life for complete strangers, especially for one as highly esteemed as yourself."
Genevieve Galatea
 player, 43 posts
Mon 16 Oct 2017
at 06:34
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
In reply to Giovanna D'Agostino (msg # 848):

Giovanna spoke up first, her breathing beginning to steady as the carriage rolled away from the estate. She'd been in the thick of the horror, more so than Genevieve herself. Good nerves, this one.

"Un piacere, Contessa Genevieve. I am Giovanna D'Agostino, daught--." Giovanna spoke, her features turning sentimental before she caught herself. Few were the lower classes here that would speak of their parentage as so. They'd just look ridiculous in Gabrielense society to boast of a family without renown. A pity too - everyone should be fortunate enough to be proud of their parents, and why belittle showing it? One could live a perfectly good life without being rich. Or at least, Genevieve liked to think so. She'd always been rich herself, and understood well enough that budgeting while studying at an elite university overseas was nothing like poverty. Not everybody could be rich, and if everyone obsessed over it competition would just get unhealthy, like at the Great Lakes. Power was a pyramid, and Genevieve would much rather cultivate people who could find fulfillment serving people like her rather than vying against her.

Where was she? Genevieve's thoughts had gone off on a tangent. Perhaps she was in more shock than she'd realized. She realized Giovanna had spoken, and tried to claw back the sounds she'd just heard. What was it?

"I would thank you for your timely and heaven sent assistance within the manor. It was quite a brave thing to risk your life for complete strangers, especially for one as highly esteemed as yourself."

Ah yes.

Genevieve nodded, accepting the thanks offered as was proper. She'd always had a weakness for acknowledgement of her superiority. It was a shallow thing, but too inherent to her nature to want to change. She'd instead learned to deflect it from her ego with logic - she was powerful, and mere words were the cheapest way to curry favor with the powerful.Still, she felt herself taken in a little more than normal when Giovanna said it. Perhaps it was sincerity, perhaps it was her dignified style, but whatever it was it resonated with Genevieve more than she allowed most to.

Still, back to the original curiosity. Few peasants would introduce themselves as the daughter of anybody.

"I'm glad you and your guard made it out alive. It's a most unusual mess we've been caught up in," she said, pausing to ease the transition, "what of your family? You need not be ashamed of your parentage on my account. Were they once walk in similar circles as I?"
Giovanna D'Agostino
 player, 481 posts
 Your mind is but an open
 book
Tue 17 Oct 2017
at 05:24
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
Genevieve Galatea:
"I'm glad you and your guard made it out alive. It's a most unusual mess we've been caught up in," she said, pausing to ease the transition, "what of your family? You need not be ashamed of your parentage on my account. Were they once walk in similar circles as I?"

Giovanna faltered. She should have expected a inquiry into her parentage, especially after her very pointedly and abruptly shifting gears after nearing announcing herself as their daughter. It was certainly too late to turn back, and just not answering the question would set her off on the wrong foot with a woman who undoubtedly held much power in the city. Yes, a woman such as the one sitting with her should have been an ally, not an enemy. That much she knew of a place like this.

She sighed silently. "My parents are in Remo." There was little doubt that Contessa Genevieve was well connected. Certainly enough to have heard of the fall of Remo. It was too thorough and too sudden for the news of it to not spread like wildfire. "They sent me away last year."

She did not explain why they sent her away. Even so much as mentioning that the Inquisition suspected that she possessed some kind of supernatural ability was enough to scare them into making a rash, unarguably foolish decision. Her father being terribly ill only exacerbated their hastiness.

It was a terrible time and there was no time for lengthy deliberations into the pros and cons of sending their young, blind daughter into The World by her lonesome. It was only because she had an uncanny amount of experience with traveling by herself up to that point that she even agreed to it. The very idea of traveling from city to city, from town to town, carrying the knowledge that her parents would not be coming for her terrified her.

"Once upon a time, I was very much like you. Or, at least, I would have been. My parents were of the bourgeois, my father a famed perfume merchant in Calliardo. If there is one thing I have learned from our downfall, it is that one's words carry consequences not just for oneself, but also everyone else." She chuckled, softly and bitterly. Sometimes, she dreamed about what life would have been like if Prince Maximillian had not made such an ill-thought comment about some as powerful as Eljared.

"Well," she tried to smile through the sadness swelling in her heart. "There is no use in dwelling on the past. What is done is done. There is nothing I can do about it. What of you, Contessa? How did your parents grow to power?"
Genevieve Galatea
 player, 45 posts
Thu 19 Oct 2017
at 07:19
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
In reply to Giovanna D'Agostino (msg # 850):

Genevieve listened quietly, lending a ear as Giovanna related her story. She was from Remo, the site of the Empire's greatest folly, and source of the fractured world everyone knew today. It was there Archbishop Eljared, under the authority of the Mad Emperor, burned an entire principality to the ground. Giovanna's parents used to be bourgeois. To say that there were no Remano bourgeois left would not be a great exaggeration.

Genevieve reached out and gave Giovanna's hand a empathetic squeeze, "thank you, Giovanna of the D'Agostinos."

Then a question, of her own parentage. Well, that posed a minor problem. Genevieve would readily sing her family's praises with pride any day of the week, but this was not the time or place for it - riding a carriage in the middle of the night, minutes from an encounter with an unspeakable horror, with a woman who had just confessed her own family's misfortune. No, a gentler approach was needed here.

"My parents reside in the Great Lakes," Genevieve said, her tone soft, "we have a number of establishments there, helping people to relax and enjoy the beauty around them. Our family has grown steadily over generations, from Lords to Barons to Counts. We've made steady progress in our quiet paradise, fending off naught but cowards who dare not beat us on the open market."

Genevieve's eyes flashed meaningfully, "things have changed, however. Our principality will require bold action if it is to adapt and survive these changing times. I have no intention of being found wanting."

This message was last edited by the player at 18:40, Mon 23 Oct 2017.

GM
 GM, 954 posts
 Helping to
 guide the story.
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 16:49
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
Those of the Tallier family have lapsed into a near somnolence, almost a trance-like state of exhaustion following their ordeal.  Without the full story, it's hard to discern how long they had been trapped in their room, but there seemed little question it had come before sunset, due to the lack of lamps lit in the manor.

And it is about now that the coach arrives at the gates of the Du Rosselle residence; Carel rouses himself, leaning back to mutter something to the coachman, who pulls up short.  "And here we are, madamoiselles," he states with painfully forced cheer, his voice harsh from shouts.  Hopping down, he offers a hand to any who wish it - his sister, listless and stumbling, certainly does.  Finished, he clambers back into the coach and struggles his way through removing the badly wounded Sadler.

From there, it's a short walk to the manor, where the door flings open before the group has fully arrived.  Sterling - an iron-grey, thick-shouldered man - hurries up to stand in the foyer, shadowed by Andreas' smaller figure.  The butler motions the somewhat larger group inside.  "Enter, please," he states with a small bow.  "The viscount is aware of your arrival, and awaits in the study."  He eyes the Tallier siblings, clearly weighing them.  "Consider yourselves our guests, mademoiselle and monsieur," he finally states, taking Sadler from Carel with Andreas' assistance.  "With our thanks."

"God in heaven," Andreas mutters.  "What happened to poor Sadler?"

"But...I cannot appear before the viscount like this," Lucille protests, her tone distant and vague.  Sterling beckons Elaine - to those who have not yet met her, a small woman of Zinner descent, her piled atop her head - to take charge of Lucille.

"Where's Janus?" Andreas groans; he's not a tall man by any stretch of the imagination, and there's something clearly wrong with his leg.  Sadler's weight is giving him difficulty.

"No fucking clue," Sterling grunts, the polished veneer slipping for an instant as he takes over Sadler's weight.  An instant later it's back.  "Andreas, if you would take our guests to his lordship?"

As Sadler pads away, easily hefting the wounded Sadler, Andreas - clearly discomfited - turns back to the group.  A young man of Aion descent, dressed in clothing well-out of fashion for Chaville - is that an Ilmorran style?  It is; the military cut gives it away - he offers a hesitant smile to the 'new' guests: Genevieve and Carel.  "Ah...Andreas Gerou."  A bow follows.  "If you would follow me?"

Tension, it seems, is cutting down on ceremony.

It's a short jaunt - limping, in Andreas' case - down a side hallway to a heavy oaken door, which opens into...

OOC - Please wait, everyone - I need to write a reply to Annais, but certainly will do that today.
Genevieve Galatea
 player, 48 posts
Thu 16 Nov 2017
at 20:59
Re: Chapter One: En Passant
At length, the carriage arrived at the Tallier household. Carel put on some obviously false cheer, and Genevieve raised her opinion of him a notch. Not as much as a meticulous facade would have impressed her, of course, but Carel understood the need to keep people's chins up in dark times. That he summoned the wherewithal to even attempt levity after the nightmare he'd just endured was commendable.

She took Carel's offered hand as she disembarked, stubbornly keeping her poise as her knees threatened to buckle. With the initial rush of survival passed, her body was remembering fear.  Then they took the short walk up to the manor. Her skirt flapped loose from the abnormally high, ragged cut she'd made earlier, but with the state of everybody and the dark of night, she paid it no mind. A noble properly on business would be clearly identifiable as such whether dressed in the finest silks or the most tattered rags.

The doors to the manor were flung open. The residents within had been on the lookout for the return of Viscount Du Roselle's agents. There were four people - an anvil of a man, a butler, a Zinner woman and a shorter man. The shorter man approached, heavily favoring one leg beneath his Ilmoran-styled garb, and gave her a smile. He took the weight of the unconscious bodyguard, Sadler, from Carel, with more manners than sense. Carrying a fully grown man was a strenuous ask for most healthy people, let alone someone nearly reduced to hopping. Thankfully, the larger man soon took poor Sadler off his hands.

"Ah...Andreas Gerou."  The small man bowed, friendly if stiff and off balance,  "If you would follow me?"

“We are in your care, Monsieur Garrou,” Genevieve replied, giving him a grateful nod.

Lucille walked off with the Zinner woman, off to get a change of clothes. Genevieve considered and discarded the idea herself. She was in no state to appear at court, but was plenty fresh enough to be play the dignified noble, enduring harsh trials with stoic pride. She was curious how the Viscount would react to that approach.

This message was last edited by the player at 01:10, Fri 17 Nov 2017.