"Right before you showed up, I was discussing with Ludo how, of course, I want to murder him and take over as head sorcerer of the Salon." Ludo nods enthusiastically that in fact this was so. "But I'm waiting until I perfect a spell where I can remove and keep only his eyes alive, so I can force him to be a captive audience to his own death."
La Siréene considers Ludo contemplatively a few seconds before responding. A slave to the base physical needs of not my own body, but that of someone else?
"If I found myself in such a role, I rather think I would like to either take my own life, or for preference, take yours in such a way as you could observe it happen, as dear Melanie suggested."
La Siréene pauses another moment, considering this further.
"Although, if theoretically I felt vindictive to that degree, my preference would be to put your mind in another body, so that you can experience the chemical feelings related to a nervous system as you see the deed completed."
She turns back to Melanine.
"I don’t usually go in for the emotional approach, though. Do you often feel a overpowering desire to take pleasure in Ludo's death, Melanie?"
Diplomacy Check to improve these people's attitude:1d20 + 13 ⇒ (15) + 13 = 28
Xa tisks, leans away, and removes Ludo's hand from her body. She raises a long blood-red fingernail to her temple, an alienated expression on her face. "Not now, Ludo. I need to get some air."
She rises. Her legs are long and beautiful. She passes by Quinn and pauses a moment. Without meeting his eyes, she touches his hand as if in friendly greeting, and gently scrapes her blood-red nails against the sweaty crook of his palm. She passes a folded note to him.
"I hope everyone enjoys the party," she says softly, looking past Quinn to no one in particular. She continues on in an elegant catwalk and exits the room.
"You misunderstand. My motives are rational, not emotional." She picks up a toothpick, skewers an olive, and pops it in her mouth. "It's just that he stands in my way is all."
"I do appreciate, La Siréene, that you can relate. Who knows? Maybe Paige will end up learning a thing or two from her friends." This last part said rolling her eyes at the Paige in question.
Even Ludo himself looks impressed at La Siréene's characteristic detachment.
Dex Satherdee is restless. He bobs, clenches his fists, and keeps looking around, as if itching for a fight. As it turns out, he decides to discharge this excess energy another way.
"Hey Paige, want to find a place where you and I can get a little more privacy, if you know what I mean?" Dex bellows, as if Paige was hard-of-hearing. The man has an unsavory aura of barely-controlled menace. He's one of the few high-ranking sorcerers who isn't nobility, but instead he is a popular actor in the region. His popularity is confounding, however, because he doesn't have an ounce of charm.
Ludo is looking at Reeva with misgivings. "Oh dear, I think Reeva is a bit too agitated over the state of her "plaything." If you'd all kindly excuse us a moment, I must go find something to help calm her and put her nerves at ease.
He rises, takes Reeva by the shoulders and escorts her out of the room.
Your party is now almost alone in the lounge, with the exception of Lady Foxglove.
"Excuse me, Caromarc, if I may?" She replies to Sandru. "Your question implies the zombies are negative or undesirable, which isn't necessarily so. At the moment, they're giving us trouble, but imagine...if we can discover where they are coming from and how to control them, what a powerful weapon it would potentially be...for the Salon, of course, wielded in the right hands."
"I realize most people would disagree with letting the zombie attacks continue. They might think such things are evil. But they don't have the vision that we do at the Salon. They don't understand power; you don't resist, you must tap into it for your own use."
"Volst was not able to cause all of this," she adds. "He got above his station is all, and wanted too much too quickly. But let him survive the zombie attack. If he does, it will be his initiation. It will definitely show his mettle."
Melanie rests her arm on the bar and looks towards the wall to the night. She falls into thought, as if strategizing how to proceed against the invasion. She doesn't mean to, but she wears her doubts plain on her face.
Thank you for... enlightening me. Within this... Salon, yours are probably the best hands, Mistress Foxglove. I walk away, I can almost feel her ambition.
I don't know if I have her drive, or maybe I don't have it for the same reasons.
|Dr. Hareton Grey|
Hareton sidles up to Sandru and Quinn and tries to subtly confer with them in his own naïve way.
|Earl J V Caromarc|
Caromarc is all too aware that if he starts talking he might destroy their deception. He certainly feels the need to destroy the ones they decieve. When Sandru asks him the question he almost answers, but Lady Foxglove steps in.
At her talk of tapping power for your own use he looks at his servant and familiar, both augmented with what he learned and took from the monsters he has fought this night. Against his will, he finds himself starting to agree.
And That is how I can talk to them. I don't have La Siréene's detatchment, but there is in these people a desire for power that matches my own - albeit theirs is without any moral or ethical constraints.
|Earl J V Caromarc|
|Earl J V Caromarc|
|Earl J V Caromarc|
You are alone in the lounge but a moment before a secret panel in the wall opens, and Xa Io steps back into the room.
"Hello, my friends. I am Hergelund's infiltrator working on the inside. Call me "S". She gives a sharp look to the door leading out to the hallway. "Okay, let's get down to business. We don't have much time."
Huh. What do you know? Paige possessed the motor control required to leave the room. Impressive.
"Madame Foxglove, you have challenged my preconceptions - and I thank you for that, because only by challenging our preconceptions can we truly transcend our faulty intuitive view of the world and achieve true understanding."
Such a very interesting comment. "When what we know is wrong, we must question what we know so that we may be right", perhaps?So do we keep questioning ourselves our entire existence, when all that we are sure of has then been questioned a million times?
Or do we question once, accept everything we have "realized" as absolute, and leave it at that?
Achieve one singular "alpha-truth", as it were, never to be questioned, but remain flexible about other truths, rebuilding reality constantly around one absolute realization?
Or do we never question, simply living with the world with our conceptions as a constant factor, perhaps changing bit by bit but never challenged?
It would seem I have found my self a little list with which to identify stages of "realization". It bears thinking about.
Althought apparently lost in thought, La Siréene replies to "S". "By all means, lets get down to buisness."
Quinn walks over to S and crumples the paper she had given him."Had a feeling that you were my contact. You know we all cant disappear from the room. It would look too suspicious. By the way how did you know I was your contact?"
|Earl J V Caromarc|
|Earl J V Caromarc|
Blackacre, too, is confused by Foxglove's suggestion that the sorcerers are not behind this.
If not this lot, then who is responsible? I should have scanned her mind for lies. She seems ready to compromise anything or anyone for her endless ambitions, so why not lie to us?
As "S" enters the room, Gaston shakes his head, as though waking from a trance.
Mr. Quinn, in case you should find yourself alone with the Lady Carlisle, know that she seems to find you appealing, and is very... creative.
I could use a drink, or perhaps a bath, after an encounter with those twisted souls. Agent "S," we are all ears.
He crosses to the bar and mixes a cocktail of pastis and cognac.
At least Volst is getting what he deserves, though I should like to see him actually get the justice he is owed before I think him done.
Quinn responds to Gaston's statement,"Good to know, but I think she is more attracted to the idea of taking Lady La Sireene's man. There are other available bachelors here. Why pick the only guy who has a lady? Ah... the ways of women baffles me. We can discuss further when we are less preoccupied and sitting by a fire with some ale."
Quinn moves towards S and offers his hand for a handshake. "Like I said before, how did you know I was your contact?"
He looks towards the others saying "I hope the drow witch Glamer doesn't have any holes."
The monk questions S,"My friends have heard that the Salon is not responsible for the undead situation. Who is responsible then?"
Quinn waits for a reply.
"I'll tell you what I know quickly."
"I have seen you before," S replies to Quinn. "You are an upstanding officer of the law by profession. But remember, I am a spy. Hergelund brought me in a while ago. I observed you at your job on several occasions. Do not feel chagrined. I had to know your face and more importantly, how you'd respond in a high-pressure scenario."
"As for who is behind the undead crisis, I do not know. But the key is the way we will find out. Hergelund informed me the sorcerers took it from him and were in possession of the key. At first, we worked off this assumption. In my time here, I have learned that they once held the key in this very mansion, but have sinced moved it to another secret, secure location."
"This isn't as bad as it sounds, for if the key was here, it would be imperiled by the undead. The sorcerers hid the key at another residence within the city. They keep the address of this place in a small orb, and locked the orb within their vault."
"Quinn, we are in luck. None of us have to leave this room at all, for this is the room where the vault is kept."
She motions to the hearth. "The fireplace has a double nature. It is also a magical vault."
"Truth be told, I have stopped dabbling in the arcane a while back. I prefer the power within onself rather than the arcane or devine. The best person or persons that can aid us with this magical vault are my new friends here, Lady LaSireen, Master Caromarc and possibly brother Blackacre."
"While the magical trio work on this magical vault, the rest of us should watch over the perimeter and all entrances/exist into this room."
Quinn casts Message spell on LaSireene in order to warn her when people are coming into the room and without making any noise.
Blackacre sets down his cocktail without taking his eyes off of S. Interesting. I have two questions, my dear: First, what is this key of which you speak? Second, have you seen anyone access this vault before?
As he awaits a response, Blackacre crosses to the fireplace and begins to look it over. He casts detect magic on it.
Spellcraft check: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (14) + 9 = 23
S meets Blackacre's gaze with her onyx eyes. Her manner is strong, like a soldier, quite different from her performance as the wilting Xa Io. "The key is an item of divination. Hergelund implemented a tiered system of double-blinds regarding information about this item. I can assure you we will know it when we see it. I can not say more."
"I have seen this is where the sorcerers keep the information. But it is protected by one of their signature spells, and no amount of seduction or mind-scans was able to extract the information."
Ianez looks rueful at S' words. "Given the power of the Salon's sorcerers, I don't think I'll be able to remove that signature spell by brute force." He moves near Gaston and contemplates the fireplace, looking for any indication of how the vault opens.
Perception check: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (7) + 16 = 23
The vault appears to open by a lever mechanism, and there are three black urns here on the mantle. Unless there is a magic alarm or a trap that I have not seen, opening the vault may just be a matter of pulling the right lever.
"They likely use mage hand or similar cantrip to open the vault, so it's not likely we'll find fingerprints on the more-used urn. However, if it has been some time since the area was last cleaned there may be signs to be read." Ianez will turn his attention to the urns. Is there any sign that any of them have been recently moved? And do you want another Perception check, or should I continue to use the one I made already?
Perhaps the protections are only on the orb inside.
Blackacre will have a look at the urns (without yet touching them) as well.
Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (5) + 12 = 17
If it make sense, feel free to treat this as aiding another. In either case, he will cast guidance on anyone and everyone who is looking over the urns.
We should move quickly now - who knows how long we have until someone comes back?
The mantle is dusted and well-maintained. The light in the room reflects off the polished surfaces of the urns.
@Sandru, have you approached the fireplace to examine it too?
|Dr. Hareton Grey|
Quinn moves over to the group, quickly, and says,"'S'....you were here for a while...building your cover. Did you not ever see anyone from the Salon open the vault?"
After asking his question the speedy Monk makes his way back to guard duty.
|Earl J V Caromarc|
Caromarc winces in anticipations as he attunes his sixth sense casts Detect Magic
Perception 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
Spellcraft 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (5) + 16 = 21
"Remember - perfect as the spell may be, arcane magic is currently suffering some external effect that affects its efficacy. This may provide an opportunity."
While we're at it, what level does Caromarc know or think of Ludo's barrier? Wondering about effect and level.
Spellcraft 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (3) + 16 = 19