Red King's Command
<~brock> == START LOG ==
<~brock> Last time, you successfully snatched Seth Davies out of Las Vegas and got him on a plane to DC.
<~brock> You arrived quite late at the airport, where some other DEAR agents took over and escorted Seth to a holding facility. Another person drove you to a hotel.
<~brock> It is now mid-morning on Monday, and you have slept, showered, shaved, ate, drank, and are merry(ier).
<havrasti> “So, Llewelyn, will we finally get a tour of the DEAR offices?”
<llewelyn> “Sure, if you’d like to do so.”
^ Ellie doesn’t look like she has any particular objections to seeing DEAR.
^ Llewelyn has a car – not his big suburban, but a sedan – and gathers everyone at the hotel and drives to DEAR.
^ Sila looks like she might have shorted the “sleep” part a little
<ellie> “You still look a little tired, Sila. Too keyed up to sleep much?” Ellie asks as they drive to the offices.
<sila> “…bad dreams. Kept waking up.”
^ Havrasti gives Sila a hug
^ Sila leans gratefully into the hug
<llewelyn> “Dragonhunter elves? Or dragonhunter giants?”
<ellie> “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. I’m not sure how I made it through without nightmares, actually…”
<sila> "Both, actually. The common theme was “dragonslayers sneak up on my helpless mother while I’m away,” mostly."
^ Llewelyn nods.
<sila> “Which is…you know, silly. For one thing, Sam is there, and for another the people who know we’re dragons and are elves or giants are probably not inclined to sneak up on us anyhow.”
<sila> “Dreams don’t do ‘reasonable’ though.”
<llewelyn> “Though I’m not sure I’d have classified your mom as ‘helpless’, even now.”
^ Sila snerks
<sila> “Not really, except by comparison to how she was. Plus Sam’s there.”
^ Llewelyn pulls into the parking lot at DEAR.
<sila> "Anyway – " yawn “-excuse me, Anyway, I’m glad you at least got some sleep Ellie. I was kind of worried about you when we first got in the air yesterday.”
<ellie> “Heh,” Ellie laughs a little ruefully. " I was kinda worried about me, too. My sanity, mostly. As in, which part of my sanity thought I was cut out for that kind of thing…"
<havrasti> “Hope you’ll be feeling better soon, Sila.” me looks around the place when they arrive
<sila> “Eh…I’m just a little tired, really. I’ll be fine.”
<~brock> As previously accounted, the DEAR main office looks like a mix of actual office and an industrial-style bay. Llewelyn parks up front and heads inside.
<llewelyn> “Did everyone remember their ID cards?”
^ Ellie pulls hers out of her purse, which is generally speaking on her at all times.
<sila> “Yeah – we need ’em out?”
<llewelyn> “They open the security doors.”
<havrasti> “Got mine, yes.”
^ Llewelyn opens the front door and shows everyone into a nice lobby – you didn’t get to see this part of the building on your last visit. There’s a receptionist.
^ Ellie follows along, looking around at everything.
^ Sila nods to the receptionist
<~brock> The receptionist smiles. “Hello, can I help you?”
<sila> “I’m with him, so I guess I’m set, but thank you.”
^ Llewelyn comes in last, and waves. “Good morning, April.”
^ Sila gestures to Llewelyn
^ Llewelyn nods to the receptionist. “Talked to your husband a bit last night. I’m afraid we kept him up late.”
<sila> “Oh…is it April Lamb then?”
^ Llewelyn then turns to the others. “April is Colin’s wife, yes.”
<sila> “Pleased to meet you.”
<~brock> April: “Oh, hello.”
<~brock> April takes her hands out from under the table and introduces herself to everyone.
^ Ellie shakes hands with April and introduces herself, as well.
<ellie> “Good to meet you. Ellie Ross,” she nods politely.
<sila> “Sila Leto.”
<~brock> April: “Hello Ellie; Sila; and you’re Havrasti, is it?”
<havrasti> “Havrasti Dvorak.”
<~brock> April: “A pleasure.”
<llewelyn> “I’m taking them on the official tour, April. Figured I’d start up here at the front. Is Douglas in?”
<~brock> April: “The director’s out for the morning. He’ll be arriving at 11:30 with the interrogator.”
<~brock> April: “But you know where the coffee is, Lew.”
^ Llewelyn nods and uses his key-card to swipe in through the security door.
^ Llewelyn shows you all through the front part of the building, which has offices and cubicals for people to work in. A number are completely empty; others are filled with personal effects but darkened.
^ Ellie follows closely with the others, watching attentively and learning the layout of things.
^ Sila shakes her head at the empty offices, and works on memorizing the location of shared spaces (like the break room :P )
^ Llewelyn does show off his own office, which is spartan. He has a wooden staff, with iron-capped ends, stuck in one corner.
<sila> “Ah, here’s that staff you mentioned.”
<llewelyn> “Useful for computers, yes.”
^ Ellie giggles a little.
<~brock> Sila can hear Llewelyn’s laptop quietly whimpering in fear. :P
<havrasti> “A very good sentiment, indeed.”
<sila> “Heh. Do you work here most of the time, or is this just the place you store your analog intimidation device?”
<llewelyn> “Oh… I’m here maybe one week out of four. It’s useful for paperwork.”
<ellie> “Heh. Like all the paperwork we’re presumably going to need to file from yesterday?”
<havrasti> “Wait… we need to do paperwork?”
^ Sila tells Llewelyn’s laptop <handshake>
<llewelyn> “In the words of the noble warrior Tonto, ‘What do you mean ’we’ Kemosabe?’”
<llewelyn> “If by ‘we’ you mean ‘I’ as the agent in charge, then yes, we need to do paperwork.”
<ellie> “Heh. Aaah. I guess I assumed that learning paperwork came with badges as much as learning how to properly run away from bad guys,” Ellie quips.
<sila> “My sympathies. Remind me to think twice about accepting any promotion to ‘agent in charge,’ eh?”
<havrasti> “Oh, ok, that works for me.”
^ Ellie adds under her breath, “I’d be better at the paperwork part…”
<sila> “…we probably have a date with procedures manuals, Havra.”
<llewelyn> “Somewhat, yes.”
<havrasti> “I suppose that’s fair, learn how to reduce our boss’s paperwork.”
^ Llewelyn heads out of his office. “You should probably meet the other mages here, too.”
^ Ellie follows out of the office.
^ Llewelyn pokes into the next office over.
<~brock> There’s an elderly woman sitting at the desk. She looks up as you enter.
<llewelyn> “Hey Betsy . Showing some new folks around.”
^ Sila follows Llewelyn in of course.
<llewelyn> “Ellie, Sila, Havrasti, this is Betsy Mercer. Betsy, these are the new recruits: Ellie Ross, Sila Leto, and Havrasti Dvorak.”
<~brock> Betsy: “Hello.”
<sila> “Pleased to meet you, Betsy.”
<~brock> Betsy’s voice sounds more antiquated than she actually looks. She looks like a kindly grandmother.
<llewelyn> “Betsy’s one of our resident half-elves – but not an Esserean, like most.”
<havrasti> “And we’re your new resident dragons.”
<~brock> Betsy: “Ah. Dragons. Feisty critters, them. My Da told me about them.”
<ellie> “Heh, well, they are, at least. I’m also a half-elf.”
<sila> “We’ll try to be feisty in the right direction.”
<havrasti> “Yeah, that got me in a whole lot of trouble when younger.”
<~brock> Betsy winks at Ellie. “It’s so much more fun being some of both.”
<ellie> “Ah, heh, I haven’t had a chance to know yet. I just recently learned about the elven half…”
<ellie> “Still kinda figuring out what that part really means.”
<~brock> Betsy then waggles a finger at Sila and Havrasti. “You young sprouts. I was feisty back when I was your age, but it’s important to know when to… you know, I don’t really remember the rest of what I was saying. That’s the problem of getting to be this old.”
^ Llewelyn smiles. “We’re celebrating Betsy’s hundred and seventieth next week. Steak and cake.”
^ Ellie looks a little stunned, but says nothing.
<havrasti> “Sounds good, I hope we plan to be here.”
<sila> “Huh – 770 and not Esserean? I didn’t know elves had been on Earth that long.”
^ Havrasti nudges Sila “170”
<sila> “…that’s what I said, isn’t it?”
<~brock> Betsy: “A few elves fell through over the years, just as humans trickle across into Esserea.”
<sila> “Ah. Well that makes sense I guess.”
<~brock> Betsy: “But I was born here. My Da started a plantation in Georgia before the Civil War, but then we moved west afterward.”
<sila> “Heh, I understand completely. My mother moved here shortly after the revolution.”
<~brock> Betsy: “Ahhh. Dragons must live longer than I thought… when did she come to Earth, or has she always been here?”
<sila> “No, she and my father came through just in time to meet Sir George. Mom was afraid to quicken our eggs after that, and spent most of the intervening centuries trying to find a time and place stable enough to hatch eggs in secret. I’m only 26.”
<~brock> Betsy: “Hum. I thought Saint George was back in the… fourth century? Oh dear, that’s quite long.”
<~brock> The intercom beeps, and Hickory’s voice comes across. “Parwell and company, please report to the Director’s office.”
<sila> “Is it 11:30 already?”
<llewelyn> “Nearly. Must’ve come in early.”
<havrasti> “Whereas I’ve only come here from Esseria back in the 90s.”
<~brock> Betsy: “Well then, welcome to the best country on this planet.”
<~brock> Betsy: “But I’ll see you all later, I’m certain.”
<ellie> “It was good to meet you, Ms. Mercer,” Ellie gives Betsy a nod and a smile before making her way out of the room.
<~brock> Betsy waves goodbye and gets back to her work.
<sila> (as we walk to Doug’s office) “So Llewelyn, we didn’t get a chance to ask her – what kind of mage is she?”
<llewelyn> “A Glamourer.”
<llewelyn> “A bit of enchantment, too.”
<llewelyn> “I’ve taught her some sorcery, but she doesn’t really care for it.”
<sila> “Glamourer – so is she the local disguise expert, then?”
<llewelyn> “Yes. For herself and others.”
^ Ellie listens to the discussion, but she grows a little absent and considerably soberer as you go along.
<llewelyn> “I think that if she wanted, she could look like a wild young movie star fresh off the red carpet.”
<~brock> You arrive at Douglas’s office. Hickory is sitting behind the desk, and Douglas is in the corner chomping on some Kibble.
<llewelyn> “Morning, boss.”
<ellie> The irony does manage to get a smirk out of Ellie, but only just.
<~brock> Hickory: “Douglas says good morning, though his mouth is full.”
<~brock> Douglas finishes off his dogfood before turning around to look at you. “I understand you had quite the adventure last night.”
<ellie> “One could call it that,” Ellie replies reservedly.
<havrasti> “But we got out alive.”
<sila> “Heh, good morning Doug. We met some more goblins.”
<~brock> Douglas: “Yes, and you completely accidentally led to the arrest of a Vegas mobster.”
<sila> “God is good that way. His latest victim survived the crash and escaped his trunk, too.”
<ellie> “…I suppose if we had to have collateral damage, that /is/ the best kind…”
<~brock> Douglas: “Said ‘victim’ was actually in Witness Protection. So it’s a good thing he got out.”
<sila> “Do you happen to have records on those mercenaries who came to, ah, talk to us?”
<~brock> Douglas: “None. We’ll be investigating that as soon as we can.”
<havrasti> “So what’s up next?”
<~brock> Douglas: “Not unusual to get undocumented migrants, particularly if they came here more than ten years ago.”
<~brock> Douglas: “In any case, we’ve got our friend you brought in. I had a crazy idea and thought I’d bring in an interrogator.”
<~brock> Douglas: “You can work with him.”
<sila> “I’m all for letting the experts do what they’re expert at.”
<ellie> “Um… why is bringing in an interrogator crazy?”
<~brock> Douglas: “Because I had to brief this one about the nature of the universe, first.”
<~brock> Detective Schaffer walks in the door behind you.
<havrasti> “you mean you didn’t have your own before now?”
^ Ellie turns, then starts a little in recognition. “Hi!”
^ Havrasti blinks, “…didn’t expect he’d be you.”
<~brock> Schaffer nods. He looks a little weary.
<~brock> Douglas: “He’s important because he knows more than anyone else we know how our suspect thinks.”
<havrasti> “Well, good to see you again.”
<sila> “Well. That’s true I guess. I imagine you’re pretty motivated too, Detective.”
<~brock> Schaffer nods again. “Thank you. And yes, Miss Leto, I’m not exactly a bystander in this case.”
<ellie> Ellie studies Schaeffer rather compassionately, guessing that this has probably been rather hard for him, seeing as he’d seemed to like his former partner."
<sila> “I’m sorry we couldn’t just explain everything in the first place. Did the director tell you what had been done to your badge and your coffee mug?”
<~brock> Schaffer: “He started.”
<ellie> !7d6: Reading faces – how have new revelations affected Schaeffer?
<karmabot> [Ellie] rolled “Reading faces – how have new revelations affected Schaeffer?”: (1+2+3+5+2+5+2) = 20.
<~brock> Douglas: “And he finished.”
<~brock> !3d6: oppose for Ellie
<karmabot> [Brock] rolled “oppose for Ellie”: (3+5+5) = 13.
<~brock> Schaffer clearly had his mind blown by these revelations, and is desirous of a bottle of bourbon and a baseball game to assist with reconciling his views of the universe.
<~brock> But for now, Schaffer is feeling rather betrayed by his former partner.
^ Ellie studies the floor for a moment, then looks up at Schaeffer and says, “You look like you’re where I’ve been the last couple weeks. But… when we talked the other day, I was… deeply impressed by how much you care for the truth. So… I’m glad you know.”
<~brock> Schaffer glances at Ellie, then nods. “That means a lot, thank you.”
^ Sila tries for a chuckle: “My brother’s paper airplane was a tool for detecting those enchantments; so now you understand what was with the paper in your coffee anyway.”
<~brock> Schaffer: “Ah… never would have expected that. Or believed it, if I hadn’t seen a Pixar-quoting talking dog.”
<~brock> Douglas mimics the movie: “Oh, a ball, a ball! I do ever so much want the ball! I will go get the ball, and then I will bring it back!”
<sila> “Hah! I keep wanting to ask how his search for a new master is going, but since he’s my boss now, I keep biting my tongue instead.”
^ Ellie actually manages to look mischievous, “Careful, I’ll be tempted to bring a ball in one of these days…”
<~brock> Schaffer: “But I think we should get down to business. I’m going to let the four of you try talking with him first, while I observe through the mirror-glass.”
^ Havrasti shakes his head, “So were you briefed on our particular natures?”
<~brock> Schaffer: “I want to see what he has to say, and get more of a feeling for the information that you have.”
^ Ellie sobers quickly once Schaeffer begins talking about the questioning.
<~brock> Schaffer: “When I worked with Mark… Seth… in interrogations, I played the Good Cop, and he played Bad Cop.”
<~brock> Schaffer: “So I’d like to suggest that you lot play the Good Cops, while I play Bad Cop. Seeing me in the Bad Cop roll will really shake him, I think.”
<sila> “I think Havrasti and I have the Bad Cop part nailed this time. We might have implied an intention to eat him.”
<sila> "Llewelyn and Ellie can be “Good Cops” maybe."
<~brock> Schaffer: “Yes. We need someone to play Good Cop.”
<llewelyn> “I can do Good Cop.”
<sila> "…although, if manage to come off as the “less-bad” cops…hmm."
<~brock> Douglas: “Good. One thing I did wish to note from the morning duty guard…”
^ Ellie is silent and very pensive during this discussion.
<~brock> Douglas: “…apparently, twice last night, Seth woke up from nightmares, screaming.”
<sila> “Huh. Didn’t think I was laying it on /that/ thick. Did he say anything about them?”
<ellie> The information brings an even more thoughtful look to Ellie’s face, though one might wonder how much more thoughtful it could get…
<~brock> Douglas: “I don’t think it was about being eaten. He refused to talk about it, though.”
<~brock> Schaffer: “Anyway, shall we go?”
<ellie> Ellie breaks away from what appears to have been an intense study of the floor, and nods.
^ Sila follows the rest out of the office, thinking about that last bit…
<sila> “Do you think he’s got family that someone is threatening, like Z?”
^ Llewelyn leads everyone to a very large interrogation room. There are four tall stones, each with designs carved onto them, standing in each corner of the room.
^ Llewelyn stops everyone before they go in. “We’ve got him between the menhirs at the moment to keep his ability for magic dampened. But it’ll do the same to us.”
<sila> “It won’t suppress my jewel will it?”
<llewelyn> “It will.”
<sila> “Best to shift first then.”
^ Sila sets down her shoulder bag, and checks the space to be sure she has room.
<~brock> There’s plenty of space for both dragons in the interrogation room.
<~brock> Seth is handcuffed in a chair in the center of the room.
^ Ellie waits by quietly, merely noting that life will be back to the “normal” pre-magic era for a bit, then seemingly finding that the floor here is also an intriguing study.
^ Sila takes of her bracelet, shakes out her wings, and puts the bracelet in the bag.
<ellie> She does, however, cast brooding glances up toward Seth from time to time.
<havrasti> “…uh, any changing rooms around here?”
<~brock> Douglas: “Use my office – I have a changing screen set up for that purpose.”
<havrasti> “Ok, I guess the halls are big enough to squeeze through.”
^ Havrasti goes to change
<~brock> Douglas: “Oh… um, just grab the screen and bring it out here.”
<sila> “I thank God weekly at least for my parents’ forsight in bringing the jewels with them.”
<~brock> Douglas: “The halls are big enough, but not the doorways…”
<~brock> Schaffer is behind a one-way glass, looking in.
<sila> “Last I tried, I could still fit through a door if I had time to work at it. The trick is to wiggle through on my side.”
<llewelyn> Llewelyn goes in and sits down opposite Seth. He looks Seth in the face. He says nothing.
^ Havrasti returns with the screen
<~brock> Seth: “So… um, this is well-lighted for an interrogation room, huh?”
^ Llewelyn says nothing.
^ Ellie watches Llewelyn and Seth, but holds back, listening.
<~brock> Seth: “…how’s the weather?”
^ Llewelyn says nothing.
^ Havrasti shifts into full form then enters the anti-magic area
^ Llewelyn looks elven, since his illusion is gone. But he doesn’t look as elven as Havrasti or Sila would expect an elf to look.
<ellie> Seeing that the others are here and ready, Ellie walks over toward where Llewelyn and Seth are sitting, but doesn’t sit down yet.
^ Sila enters with Havrasti and sits upright, cat style, with her tail curled around her feet, looming over Llewelyn’s left shoulder
<~brock> Seth: “So… hum. Dragon. I guess you guys weren’t kidding about the eating part.”
^ Llewelyn says nothing.
<sila> “Remind me to thank your properly some time for introducing me to a pair of Noroth.”
<~brock> Seth appears discomfited by this.
<ellie> Ellie’s face snaps to a decided expression. She paces for a moment, trying to collect her thoughts and her composure, then whirls on Seth, saying, "Well, at least you look a little less glib than a moment ago. Still…
<ellie> I have trouble believing you’ll care about a word I have to say. You’ll shrug it off, block it out… whatever. But I /need/ to say this to someone, and you happen to be the one tied there. So you get to hear it, whether you listen or not.”
<ellie> She breaks her stare and draws in a breath, then looks back toward him again, her tone still hard, though not quite as emphatic, “How could you? You people watched my family for months, sifted and examined every area of our lives… so you had to KNOW what we were to each other. You had to /know/ the love we shared. And so you /knew/ what you were /destroying/. WHY?!”
^ Llewelyn says nothing; he just keeps staring Seth in the face.
<ellie> Ellie’s voice cracks, and the accusing tone takes on an almost pleading note. “Why would you do that, purposely? What could possibly justify it? And /why/- why of all possible means did you have to use /me/? How could /seven months/ of a lying relationship and magically manipulated emotions possibly have been crucial to what you ultimately did? I… I /refuse/ to /hate you/,” she insists
<ellie> emphatically, as though he’d just been rather persistently begging for her to do just that, “but… but what makes you a /person/, rather than just a destroyer? A tormenter and torturer, as you have been to me?” Ellie’s tone drops a little, as do her eyes. “At least… even though Zachary did more, at least I know that /he/ wasn’t entirely willing, that some part of his role was forced.”
<ellie> She looks upward at Seth again, now with a nearly compassionate expression. “I know you’re afraid of something. We were told you woke last night with nightmares. Were you like Zachary? Was Braithwick threatening you or someone you care about, too?
<ellie> If so… if you tell us nothing else, you should tell us that. I would like to help them, if we get the chance. I… fear we’re probably too late for whoever Braithwick was holding over Zachary’s head.
<ellie> One of your people saw Llewelyn fight off Zachary’s curse – the one he was supposed to kill me with. I guess we don’t know for sure if he recognized what he was seeing, or what he would’ve said about it, but… it seems at least likely that Braithwick knows Zachary failed.
<ellie> …I would have liked to help whoever Zachary’s person was, though. For their sake.” She pauses, then adds sadly, “No one should have to become the weapon used to hurt their loved one.”
<~brock> Ellie, roll Charisma.
<ellie> !7d6: charisma with persuasion
<karmabot> [Ellie] rolled “charisma with persuasion”: (4+3+2+5+4+5+4) = 27.
<~brock> !4d6: Seth’s charisma plus a skill
<karmabot> [Brock] rolled “Seth’s charisma plus a skill”: (2+6+1+6) = 15.
^ Llewelyn shall donate a green.
<ellie> !6d6: Shall keep one five
<karmabot> [Ellie] rolled “Shall keep one five”: (1+2+6+3+4+1) = 17.
<ellie> Will use Ellie’s gold, because this is important to her…
<ellie> !14d6: charisma with gold
<karmabot> [Ellie] rolled “charisma with gold”: (4+2+6+3+5+3+1+6+3+1+6+6+4+5) = 55.
<ellie> !2d6: crit coin
<karmabot> [Ellie] rolled “crit coin”: (3+1) = 4.
<~brock> Seth cracks. “All right… it was friendship.”
<~brock> Seth eyes Ellie: “People in the real world don’t have a fairy-tale family life. Zach and I, we grew up on the streets. His parents abandoned him, and mine ignored me… on the best of days, at least…”
<~brock> Seth: “We look out for each other. That’s the only reason I’m here. I’m looking out for my best mate.”
^ Ellie sighs. “I’m… sorry you didn’t have what I had. But… that doesn’t mean you – either of you – had to take it away from me. Protecting someone you care for… that’s what I’m trying to do, too.”
<~brock> Seth: “Zachary didn’t have a choice.”
<ellie> “Why not?”
<~brock> Seth: “Because…”
<~brock> Seth looks uneasy.
<~brock> Seth: “Zachary… well, he’s got a silver tongue, you know? When we were growing up, he might’ve charmed a few pounds out of gullible people too rich to even notice it was gone.”
<llewelyn> “You were con men.”
<~brock> Seth: “Yeah. But we paid our debt to society, you know what I mean?”
<~brock> Seth: “The Conners caught us in a gig. Sting operation. Put me away for four years. Started with the enchantment stuff when I was in the cage. Hid it from everybody. After all, you start doing magic, then the Prote comes and takes you. Got no choice, since he’s the big man.”
<~brock> Seth: “The Prote is what we call the Lord Protector. I guess his full title would be ‘High Steward and Lord Protector of Brennin.’ You know, Anthony Braithwick?”
<sila> “Ah, of course. I didn’t recognize the abbreviation is all.”
<ellie> “So… you apparently didn’t manage to hide the magic entirely, then?”
<~brock> Seth: “Zach, he got discovered. Shapeshifter like him can’t keep it all in sometimes, you know. He can do a bit of shaping, and can talk you into buying the Brooklyn bridge. But he’s a small mage, unlike Thunder and Lightning over there.” Seth nods in Sila’s direction.
<~brock> Seth: “Zachary got a get-out-of-jail free card. Ninety days with me in the box, then he goes to work for the Prote. Different kind of prison…”
<~brock> Seth: “He did well for himself, though. Visited me every chance he got. Made the rest of the Conners treat me right in the box. We both worked off our debt to society.”
<~brock> Seth: “I got out last year, but guess what? I’m a leper now. Nobody in Brennin hires a con, not unless they’re real stupid or real compassionate or both. And I didn’t want to go die in the Prote’s war. But Zach, he stood by me.”
<~brock> Seth nods slowly. “He was trying to turn his life around, Prote or no Prote. Met Sienna, got his two little brats.”
<ellie> A stricken look crosses Ellie’s face, and she turns away…
^ Llewelyn speaks up. “Sienna is his wife, I take it?”
<~brock> Seth: “Yeah.”
<sila> "I think that defines “them” as in “just don’t hurt them.” Oy."
<~brock> Seth: “Yeah, Zach and Sienna have been married for two years now.”
<ellie> Ellie doesn’t turn back, but she does speak up, and there is deep hurt in her tone. “Why? Why… include me… in your plans?”
<~brock> Seth: “I don’t know. Wasn’t my plan. Zachary didn’t like it either, but there weren’t many other ways for him to get that close to Laureae… Laurie Ross.”
<sila> “And why did he need to get close to Laurie Ross in the first place, then?”
<ellie> Ellie whirls back. “Oh, so help me! He didn’t even interact that much with Mom!”
<~brock> Seth: “No, neither of us did.”
<~brock> Seth: “The Prote sent Zachary over to watch Laurie. First day he’s here, he realizes he’s gotten tossed into the deep end of the pool with a man-eating shark.”
^ Ellie shakes her head. “I… don’t understand.”
<~brock> Seth glances at Ellie. “You might only know the kind and generous side of your mother. But when I compared her to a man-eating shark? She’s a big shark. A mean shark. The kind that eats other scary sharks.”
<ellie> Ellie’s eyes narrow, and she’s actually beginning to look angry.
<ellie> “Mom. Was never. Mean. To anyone.”
<sila> “So she’s a competant mage. We got that from the cloak. Why did Braithwick want her taken?”
<~brock> Seth: “I… I don’t know.”
<sila> “You say he’s at war. Who’s he at war with?”
<~brock> Seth looks frightened. “Nasty things that hide in dark places eating the light.”
<~brock> Seth lowers his voice to a whisper. “The Mataru.”
^ Sila mutters, “I need a database of non-human sapients so I don’t have to keep wondering if things exist…”
<ellie> Ellie has been pacing, still angry at the seeming accusations against her mother. However, she does pick up the change in Seth’s tone. “And who are they? Aside from descriptive nonsense.”
<~brock> Seth: “I… not sure I can describe them. They look like people with horns.”
<~brock> Seth: “Sometimes.”
<sila> “And are they literally photovores?”
^ Ellie goes from angry to alarmed.
<~brock> Seth: “Dunno. Never got close. Don’t want to. Left Brennin to run away.”
<havrasti> “So that’s what that thing is.”
<sila> “Look, if there’s a guy wandering around with antlers leaving leaves, do you want us to worry about making sure he doesn’t hear your name?”
<~brock> Seth: “I think it’s too late for that. A huntsman showed up in Grand Rapids before I left. That’s why I ran.”
<ellie> “And you drew his attention to /my family/!” Ellie bursts out in frantic anger.
^ Sila sighs
<sila> “Seth, my friend, you are running seriously short of ‘good cops’ here.”
<havrasti> “We thought that thing was with you, as it was visiting the places of significance in regards to your abduction.”
<~brock> Seth: “Yeah.”
<~brock> Seth: “Growing up in Brennin… only the brave or the foolish stand fast when Mataru come.”
<~brock> Seth: “Maybe I’m the latter, but…”
<sila> “Ever hear what the brave do when they’re standing in a corner?”
<sila> “…and where the chaos is Brennin??”
<~brock> Seth: “No?”
<~brock> Seth: “Brennin? Uh… I’m not exactly sure I can explain that. Not sure I even know how to try. It’s a place, and it’s in Britain somehow, but it’s not exactly… well, it’s not exactly HERE, if you know what I mean. It’s not here because it’s somewhere else, but it’s still here.”
<havrasti> “Not here or Esseria?”
<~brock> Seth: “Where?”
<ellie> Ellie would show curiosity about the paradoxical place if she weren’t pacing madly, fixated on the idea of the scary evil apparently stalking her father.
<sila> “…I’m going to flag that one ‘other-Britain’ and call it good for now I guess.”
<llewelyn> “Are you talking about a pocket world?”
<~brock> Seth: “Good enough name, I suppose. Apt.”
<ellie> “Pocket world. Fine. Whatever. Back to those Mataru things. Not only have you helped to steal my mother, but you’ve now targeted them to my family. There was one /stalking my dad’s house/ before we left. What do we do about them? And where is my mother?”
<ellie> Ellie’s “good cop” has apparently been at least temporarily driven out of her.
<~brock> Seth: “Don’t be crazy. Mataru probably would have no interest in your father. He’s not a mage.”
^ Sila hooks a clawed thumb at Ellie, and tells Seth, “Good cop. Good luck.”
<ellie> “Crazy? /Crazy?/ I know nothing about these things, but I know there was one skulking around the house; my dad /saw him/!”
<~brock> Seth: “And I don’t know where they took your mom. Brennin, I guess. I stayed here. …I wanted to become the mask I’d made for myself, and never go back.”
<sila> “Her dad spoke to it, and it knew his name.”
<ellie> Ellie sighs in frustrated resignation at the information about her mom, but she’s still giving Seth a rather hard stare.
<sila> “You sure you don’t want to tell the people who have you in custody anything about how to keep these guys out of a place?”
<~brock> Seth: “…I…”
<~brock> Seth: “…Braithwick would know.”
<sila> “Oh, /lovely/ then. We’ll just ask him, eh?”
<~brock> Seth gulps.
<~brock> Seth: “…yeah.”
<sila> “So. How does one reach this Brennan place?”
<~brock> Seth: “…they’re really sneaky. But you can still kill them with guns. Just not magic. They eat it.”
<~brock> Seth: “You take one of the Walks.”
<sila> “Which I suppose are clearly marked with tourist bureau signs?”
<~brock> Seth: “No. You gotta know the right people.”
<sila> “The right people. As in, people who know the way on their own? Or people who can open gateways?”
<llewelyn> Seth: “I can give you a name of a guy. Manchester. He can give you the key you’ll need, and put you on the Walk.”
^ Havrasti attempts to get Ellie’s attention, and points to the top of his head and then to her and back
^ Ellie notices Havrasti’s attempt, but just looks confused…
<brock_> Seth: “But you seriously don’t want to get involved. I mean, you’re mages and dragons.”
<sila> “And why is that ba…no, I got that one, eats magic.”
<ellie> “Whether we want to or not, it seems you’ve managed to involve us, anyway.”
<brock_> Seth nods emphatically.
^ Havrasti mouths the word “telepathy”, though with a dragon mouth rather than a human, so may be harder to comprehend
<sila> “Be we /really/ want to find Laurie Ross, you see.”
<havrasti> “Hey, Llewelwyn, can we get bazookas?”
<brock_> Seth: “Okay. You’re crazy, but I’ll tell you how to do it.”
<ellie> Ellie turns toward Havrasti, muttering as she does, "So tempted to drag him along into “involvment,” considering it’s all his fault."
<havrasti> “I’d like to be dragons with shoulder artillary.”
<llewelyn> “One more thing.”
<havrasti> “Against somethign that eats magic.”
<ellie> When she gets close enough to Havrasti, she whispers, “No magic in here.”
<havrasti> “…oh, right.”
<llewelyn> “Earlier, you started to say another name. You corrected it to ‘Laurie Ross’. What name was it?”
<brock_> Seth: “I… it was…”
<brock_> Seth: “Laureaeruanna.”
<brock_> == LOG INTERMISSION ==
<~brock> We pick up with the interrogation of Seth, already in progress.
<ellie> Though Ellie was momentarily distracted by a request for telepathy, she did turn back in time to hear Seth say Laurie’s name.
<ellie> “I take it that’s elven. What does it mean?”
<~brock> Seth: “Elven? I dunno.”
<llewelyn> “Golden Grace.”
<llewelyn> “Sounds familiar… like something I forgot, once upon a time.”
<ellie> Strangely, hearing the meaning of her mother’s name actually seems to settle Ellie a little. One corner of her mouth turns upward, and she nods, “That fits her.”
<~brock> Seth: “…golden nightmare.”
<~brock> Seth looks like he put something together.
<sila> “Well probably not if you didn’t threaten her or her family.”
<ellie> Aaaaand apparently Seth was not content to let the settling last long. Ellie glares at him, and bites out, “Do. Not. EVER. insult. my. mother. AGAIN.”
<~brock> Seth glares at Ellie: “It wasn’t an insult.”
<sila> “Ellie? I’m not at all sure that’s an insult, considering the source.”
<ellie> “How could calling her a nightmare possibly /not/ be?”
<~brock> Seth: “When we captured… when we captured her, even unconscious, I think she did something to us all.”
<sila> “Because they /were/ acting as bad guys, and bad guys have nightmares about protectors.”
<ellie> “Like what?”
<ellie> (to Seth)
<~brock> Seth: “She was unconscious, and the moment we came near her, Imogen started screaming incoherently.”
<~brock> Seth: “And Finley nearly shot us all.”
^ Ellie is looking both skeptical and conflicted as she listens.
<~brock> Seth: “But I got nightmares.”
<~brock> Seth: “That I’m a rat being chased through a maze by a giant gold cat.”
^ Llewelyn thinks he’s right on the ‘rat’ part.
<ellie> Ellie looks away, not sure what to think.
<sila> (thoughtfully) “I suppose the other two got nightmares too. It would neatly explain the screaming and shooting.”
<~brock> Seth shrugs.
<sila> “Speaking of which, your allies smell funny. What are they?”
<~brock> Seth: “Who?”
<sila> “Imogen and Finley. …and Zachary for that matter.”
<sila> “I hardly know which is which, after all.”
^ Sila sniffs at Seth while she’s thinking of it
<~brock> Seth: “Imogen and Finley aren’t my allies. Only met them the once. I think Imogen might be one of the old Brennin werewolves, but I can’t prove that.”
<sila> “OK, so Imogen’s the one who smelt of canine. Who’s the one smells of goats?”
<~brock> Seth: “…uh. Yeah, I suppose that’s Zachary.”
<sila> “Because? Don’t tell me he raises animals in his spare time.”
<~brock> Seth: “…yeah, Faun. Shapeshifter.”
<ellie> Ellie’s eyes flicker upward briefly, but she doesn’t say anything. She’s apparently thinking hard about something.
^ Sila tries to think if they’ve covered everything important
<ellie> "Look… you spoke just now of your nightmares. Well, I know my mom. Well, okay, I don’t know the magical part of her, but… I know she wouldn’t just relentlessly chase someone down if they wanted to make amends for a wrong. So even if she… wanted to chase you down at the time, she’s not merciless.
<ellie> You’ve… you’ve helped us some. Is there anything else you could tell us that would help? Help us find her, or for that matter, help us protect Zachary’s family? Or… just anything else that would help? If you… heh, if you decided to no longer be the rat, I can assure you that she would no longer be the cat…”
<~brock> Seth looks straight at Ellie. “I can tell you how to get to Brennin. I presume Braithwick would have her there in Haddow Tower.”
<~brock> Seth: “And I know how to get from Britain to Brennin without going through Braithwick’s guards on the Walks.”
<ellie> For the first time since the beginning of the interrogation, Ellie actually takes a seat. Now from his eye level, she asks, “Okay, how would we do that?”
<~brock> Seth: “There’s a guy who runs a shop. A toy shop in Manchester. He’s got a secret Walk.”
<ellie> “And would he be willing to help us?”
<~brock> Seth: “I don’t think the word ‘help’ is in his vocabulary. But you could bribe him to let you through.”
<ellie> “Hm. What kind of bribe does he look for?”
<~brock> Seth: “Cash. British pounds.”
<sila> “How many British pounds, would you imagine?”
<~brock> Seth shrugs. “I don’t know. Maybe a thousand or so.”
^ Ellie nods. “And then… Haddow Tower? How would we find it? And what should we expect?”
<~brock> Seth: “It’s in Brennin Hold. You can’t miss it. I think it was raised in the Middle Ages, and then the elf-witch made it her prison for the Mataru, back in the day she kept them as pets.”
<sila> “Someone knew how to keep them from eating a given mage then…”
<ellie> “Anything you could tell us about how to get inside?”
^ Llewelyn stirs, but doesn’t say anything.
^ Ellie glances toward Llewelyn questioningly, but her eyes flick back to Seth almost immediately.
<brock_> Seth: “I don’t know how. I’ve never been inside, myself. Zachary would know, since he works for the Prote. But I doubt you’ll find him.”
<sila> “I take it Braithwick is running Brennin Hold now?”
<brock_> Seth: “He’s been Lord Protector since before I was born.”
<ellie> “…Zachary works for Braithwick, but you seem to have said you don’t. How is it you were on this job, then?”
<havrasti> “That’s something I find curious as well.”
<brock_> Seth: “Zachary needed help when he got here. He had Sienna find me in London and loan me enough cash to get over here.”
<sila> “Hmm. So what were you trying to hire the Noroth to do?”
<brock__> Seth: “I wanted them to remove this golden nightmare.”
<ellie> “Do you know what they would have needed to do?”
<brock__> Seth: “No. I’m not a sorcerer.”
<llewelyn> “I know, though.”
^ Ellie looks over to Llewelyn questioningly again, but she does not ask how.
<sila> “Excuse me please.”
^ Sila gets up and leaves the room, sticking her head into the Detective’s watching place
<sila> “Detective Schaffer. Thoughts?”
^ Llewelyn is mulling his options, but knows the general idea of what’s going on.
<~brock> Schaffer: “…grandmother, what large teeth you have…”
<sila> (sigh) “Yes, yes. Carnivore. Can’t help it. I meant about Davies there.”
<~brock> Schaffer shakes himself back to the subject at hand. “I’m surprised he spilled this easily. Either it was a case of a seriously guilty conscience, or he’s feeding you a story.”
<~brock> Schaffer: “With these Mataru, he sounds more like a coward.”
<sila> “…IS he a coward?”
<~brock> Schaffer: “I know he’s not. Maybe here, away from them, where he can think of how nasty they are… but if he faced one, in the flesh?”
<~brock> Schaffer shakes his head. “Two weeks ago, I’d have trusted him with my life. Each of us knew we would’ve taken a bullet for each other.”
<sila> “Hmm. He seems to still feel that way about this Zachary fellow.”
<~brock> Schaffer looks thoughtful. “Yes. I think that was where you got in, earlier. You played a good card offering to help them both.”
<sila> “Might be. I have to admit, I do hope we can get the wife and kids out, at least.”
<sila> “OK, I’m going to get back in there. Anything you think we should be prodding at before we stop for the day?”
<~brock> Schaffer: “I’m not sure. Maybe about this accident. Seems they wrote Ellie as dead off to this Braithwick guy? But there were two or three other people there who should’ve known better.”
<sila> “Hmm. That…is a good point.”
<~brock> Schaffer: “That’s all I have for now. I’ll interrogate him later for more details.”
^ Sila heads back into the main room.
<~brock> Meanwhile, Seth glances at Llewelyn. “YOU know how to deal with the nightmares?”
<llewelyn> “Yes. It can be done. I’d need to prepare some things.”
^ Ellie looks from Seth to Llewelyn and back. “For what it’s worth… I don’t think my mom would’ve wanted him tormented permanently.”
<ellie> “Not if he… wanted to change.”
<llewelyn> “Probably not. It was probably something almost subconscious – a ‘hurt the people trying to hurt me’ thing.”
^ Sila sits back down
<ellie> “I do have another question for you,” Ellie turns back to Seth.
<~brock> Seth looks at Ellie.
<ellie> “From what you’ve said, you truly do seem to care about Zachary. You’ve also said that we probably wouldn’t find him. But… like I told you, by now it’s likely Braithwick knows that Zach’s attempt to kill me failed. If so, his family, at least, is in danger, if he is not; it would probably be best for all involved if we found both him and them. Can you tell us anything about how to do that?”
<brock_> Seth looks like he’s composing his thoughts.
<brock_> Seth: “Wait, ’Zach’s attempt to kill you’?”
<ellie> “The curse he left on me. I know he didn’t want to. I know Braithwick forced him. But he still did it, and Llewelyn stopped it. And one of Braithwick’s people saw.”
<brock_> Seth: “Uh… that was how we creatively reinterpreted Zachary’s orders.”
<brock_> Seth: “If Zachary wanted to kill you, we wouldn’t have gone to such efforts to fake your death.”
<ellie> “Um… fake my death?”
<brock_> Seth: “Yeah. We… um. We made Imogen and Finley think that Zachary… um, put a gun to your head and blew your brains all over the ground.”
^ Ellie looks a little stunned.
<brock_> Seth: “If he’d wanted to kill you, then we would’ve done that.”
<ellie> “So he… hm…” For a moment, Ellie seems a little lost in trying to process this new information. “Well, my question stands. Someone who works for Braithwick /still/ saw me alive. Which means the danger is still real. Can you help?”
<llewelyn> “Well, not original, but messy.”
<brock_> Seth: “Probably not that much. But I’ll tell you what I know.”
<sila> “Explains why the aren’t ratting him out anyway…”
<brock_> Seth: “Braithwick told Zachary he had his family; that’s all. They were in Brennin, so Zachary couldn’t just ring them up and ask if they were alright.”
<brock_> Seth: “If Braithwick still has them, they’d probably be in Haddow Tower, too.”
<brock_> Seth: “Braithwick doesn’t have enough people to run bunches of prisons or anything.”
<ellie> “And Zachary?”
<brock_> Seth: “I haven’t heard from him since he returned to Britain.”
<ellie> “So you don’t have any idea where he might be?”
<ellie> “If we found him… for my part, I would wish to help him get his family back.”
<brock_> Seth: “Maybe in Brennin. Maybe the headquarters of some organization called Safeguard. Zachary mentioned once he worked a few times with them.”
<sila> “Braithwick runs that too…It sounds like we probably need to break multiple targets out from some magical-world equivalent of the tower of London.”
<llewelyn> “Sounds like a good holiday.”
^ Ellie studies Seth’s face carefully for a moment, then sits back in her chair silently.
<havrasti> “More opportunity for excitement.”
<ellie> “Another one? I thought we just got back…”
^ Sila snorts at Havrasti
<ellie> “Then again, we did need to go to England, anyway.”
<havrasti> “Ah, but this one will have the chance of getting your mother back.”
^ Llewelyn cracks his knuckles.
<sila> ((suuure, excitement. We can screw up like amatures on the /international/ scene instead of on our own turf.))
^ Llewelyn stands. “I’d like to spend a few hours preparing to remove the Doom on this guy. Why don’t we step out and chat?”
<sila> “Sure. I’d like to see what our favorite analysis spell says about the doom before you begin.”
^ Sila heads back out of the menhir-space
^ Ellie stands, but then pauses a moment, looking at Seth. “I… thank you, for what you told us. And what you did… for what it’s worth, I forgive you. And I think my mom would, too.”
<brock_> Seth: “I…”
<brock_> Seth: “…I didn’t apologize. But I should. I do.”
<brock_> Seth. “…thank you.”
^ Llewelyn similarly steps out, and reasserts his human appearance.
^ Ellie nods. “You’re welcome. I… wish you well.” Then Ellie turns and follows the others.
^ Sila gets her bracelet out and back on
<havrasti> “Wasn’t really going to eat you either, by the way.”
<brock_> Seth: “…ah.”
^ Llewelyn addresses the stones. “Menhirs, continue to guard this prisoner. You shall not permit him to leave this space until I return. No other change in prior orders.”
^ Havrasti chuckles and heads for the changing curtain
<sila> “They’re /intelligent/ things?”
<llewelyn> “Menhirs? Oh yes. Very intelligent.”
<sila> “I thought menhirs were just runed pillars…”
<llewelyn> “They like to sneak up on people.”
^ Ellie baps Llewelyn. “Kinda like pega-trees?”
<sila> “Do you guys have a database of intelligent creatures? I want it. I want it on my device before I leave this building again.”
<llewelyn> “No. Animated trees turned to horses just wander off. Menhirs don’t wander, they just sneak.”
<llewelyn> “And I’ll see what I can do, Sila.”
<ellie> “And according to Anna, you pull people’s leg.”
<sila> “I haven’t even been connected with all this a month, and already I’m /utterly/ sick of having to ask if there really is such and such a kind of people…”
^ Llewelyn glances at Ellie. “Menhirs are really sneaky. Really.”
^ Ellie looks skeptical.
<sila> “…and there’s a magical world-place accessible by magical ‘ways’ in London, and containing fauns of strained morality. Makes me wonder what Lewis knew that we’re about to wish we knew.”
<ellie> “Heh. Interesting thought.”
<llewelyn> “Ellie… there’s one right behind you.”
^ Sila looks behind Ellie
^ Ellie keeps looking at Llewelyn. “Um, yeah… because I’ve just left the area where they were standing.”
<brock_> There is a menhir that was definitely not behind Ellie a minute ago.
<havrasti> “Um, a new one.”
<sila> “…yeah, but this one is /right/ behind you.”
<sila> “… …Hi there, uh, menhir.”
<ellie> Ellie looks a little miffed. “Of course there is. It’s probably true. And it’s probably just there because it wants to prove me wrong.”
<ellie> “But I’m not going to give it the dignity of looking at it.”
<brock_> The menhir rocks twice back and forth in response to Sila.
<llewelyn> “Oh, hey, it likes you.”
<llewelyn> “…God, now it’s going to follow us like a lost puppy.”
^ Ellie is now almost curious enough to look, anyway, but she is stubborn.
<sila> “Well, you’ve already admitted they’re low profile, it shouldn’t be a problem eh?”
<sila> “Do they have names?”
<llewelyn> “Something inexplicably unpronouncable.”
^ Ellie decides she will at least make it no longer behind her, and steps away.
<ellie> And out of the room.
<brock_> == END LOG ==