Ch2 6

Peter|GM: ECAFA, COME THE EVENING AS THE RAIN LIFTS
Peter|GM: Busy with this and that, the party gather as the last of the monsoon storm drips off the awning of a roadside coffee-stand.
Peter|GM: There are two matters that concern them:
Peter|GM: One, an elf, one Captain Xunlu, has promised them free passage to Leviathan aboard his ship, the Proudline, if they can break into the Ecafan Treasury - now the barracks of the Imperial occupation in Ecafa - and destroy a certain treasure, a spear known as a Devil Nail.
Peter|GM: But also: On the ruling council of Ecafa, now, is a woman of house Rivorando - Lucha Rivorando. She has been marshalling the forces of the city to satisfy her old familial grudges, and delaying proper lines of inheritance in the city.
Peter|GM: It has been theorized - or well, so goes the theory within the family Esquip - that she has been elevated for the sole purpose of making the city nonfunctional, so that the Empire will have no option but to rule it absolutely.
MiRA-[CLE] closes up a book she'd been reading as she approaches the group, looking over at Santiago. "So! Over throwing tyrannts and oppressors, right?"
Peter|GM: Unbeknownst to the party, they have come to the attention of a certain Imperial agent, who now questions after their trail, even now… [2/4]
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Yes! And at the top of the list, sorted by accessibility, is Lucha Rivorando, who has burnt a bloody swath across the land, backed by Imperial power."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "We intend to…kidnap her and maroon her, I believe?"
[OOC] Peter|GM: EVENT GAUGES: I'm borrowing clocks from Blades in the Dark. From time to time, I might declare a gauge, which, when certain events bring it closer to happening, increases. When it maxes out, something happens. This particular one represents how much Imperial attention the party has garnered, and when it fills, there'll be a little meeting.
MiRA-[CLE]: "Sounds exciting."
[OOC] Peter|GM: …Event gauges can represent good stuff, too!
Folis: "Honestly I think we should take care of this woman and get in the city's better graces first."
Folis: "I mean, overall, it's not like the Empire could think any lower of us, right?"
Le Masked Buccaneer: "I mean, I would hope not!"
Folis: "Bugger."
Le Masked Buccaneer seems a bit piqued at the very idea.
[OOC] Peter|GM: Anyway, what I was picturing for this phase is some sort of 'doing various stuff to prepare for and investigate attacking one of these goals!' Also the gauge is… it's not too bad? Like, it's not a fail state, it's just that I'm going to introduce a villain when it's full. Yup.
Alianor: "Well, I don't think they could think any lower of our masked friend, anyway."
Le Masked Buccaneer seems a bit mollified.
Folis: "Which, for the time being, is what matters."
Echo: "Where do we find this Ms. Rivorando?"
Folis: "I think that task is best left to Masky here."
Peter|GM: Santiago: Well… she might be keeping her council quarters in the government building. But that old ruin, the Rivorando Estate, would she just… move in there…?
Peter|GM: (…Maybe if she's a vampire? The place was… thoroughly expunged, in its day.)
MiRA-[CLE]: "If you want I can go… make some inquiries."
Folis: "Sounds good."
Folis isn't about to question the wildly enthusiastic automaton.
Peter|GM: (She's probably not staying in the treasury because they want to keep at least some semblance of separation.)
MiRA-[CLE]: "Deeefinitely won't be needing this for that." Mira mumbles to herself as she tucks the book she'd been reading, then start heading towards the seedier parts of town. Time to go toss some crooks for information. [Streetwise]
Peter|GM: Make a bancho roll!
MiRA-[CLE] rolled 5d6 and got 3, 5, 5, 5, 5 ( Total: 23 )
Le Masked Buccaneer: "I might be able to pry some secrets free from some worthy lips…"
Folis: "That sounds lewd."
Folis: "And FASCINATING."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "…I BEG YOUR PARDON."
Folis: "Heheheheh."
[OOC] MiRA-[CLE]: How can I meet the real players?] [Who's on the take, and who can't be bribed?] [Whose loyalties are different from what they pretend?] [What trouble is brewing?
[OOC] Le Masked Buccaneer: Can Santiago leverage Charm to pry out useful info from local socielates about Ms. Rivorando's wearabouts
[OOC] Peter|GM: Yes, Absolutely
Le Masked Buccaneer: "I GO! And I shall disregard your crude comments and laughter, Folis."
Le Masked Buccaneer rolled 4d6 and got 4, 5, 6, 6 ( Total: 21 )
Folis: "Yeah, okay fair."
Peter|GM: Santiago: So that's basically like… insinuating your way into high society situations, getting the lay of nobility a little bit, yeah? I think that absolutely gets you her location, but I think you can ask two other questions, too.
[OOC] Folis: Heh heh heh.
Echo helps provide MiRA-[CLE] with some tall, looming backup.
Le Masked Buccaneer: A) How well is she guarded? B) Who here is still loyal to the old order?
Peter|GM: (Ok, gonna field Santiago's first, since it's easier:)
Peter|GM: That evening, at a masquerade ball - Senicce hosted, with Santiago not the only one wearing a pirate mask. (It's a little popular. Some of them have even bigger moustachios.) Folis, if you're there too - what mask are you wearing?
Peter|GM: When Santiago's dancecard provides the consul-of-docks (an elected position - she's a merchant, a commoner), she laughs, as she looks out the window - "…But of course, Lucha couldn't make it. I don't know why she holes up in that old castle at all hours. Cavorting with devils, I'm sure."
Peter|GM: "Shouldn't she know we have all the best ones," she elbows an elderly, massive man in devil-masque - "Down here?"
Peter|GM: Someone tells her to hush - she shouldn't speak so loudly, like that, at a Senicce party. (They're trying to get a marriage to her, is the rumor…)
Folis is wearing the mask of an exotic avian creature with vivid green plumage, tinged with gold. Why, she even has little decorative wings of similar color pinned to the back of her cloak!
Peter|GM: How charming! And as conversation turns, with a woman in porcelain mask pushing back one of Folis' feathers - "Ah, driftin. You aren't one of Lucha's bodyguards, are you…?"
Peter|GM: (…It just so happens that she's not keeping city guard, or Imperial guard, at her chateau - she's being protected by a small mercenary company. Foreigners, of the same nationality, from the south sea.)
Peter|GM: (…How strange.)
Le Masked Buccaneer: "If so, would they be so good at dancing? I think not!"
Folis: "Aye, yeah. Workin' myself out of a bad spot, I am. Glad to have the good lady smile upon me." Whether she's referring to Lady Fortune or Lady Lucha is vague, at best.
Peter|GM: With all the talk of Lucha, the others Esquip… remain resolute.
Peter|GM: MEANWHILE, MIRA[CLE] BEATS FACE:
Peter|GM: So you start small, right? There's a protection racket to bust up, which is always real satisfying, letting maybe a few packs of young muscle kiss the wharf.
MiRA-[CLE]: "Okay, maybe I wasn't making myself clear the first time -" Mira slams a random hoodlum into a wall - the one that didn't run off fast enough - before spinning them around and tossing them to Echo as she draws her shotgun. "I wasn't *asking* you to tell me information, you're *going* to tell us what we want to know."
Echo picks the thug straight off the ground.
Peter|GM: He blanches. "So like - the boss - Bemesne, right, he's Iviquan? In deep with the Imps - he promised that he'd get all the materials through for the dry-dock, rush quick, so we're just… we're just calling up every loan we got, right? If there's another fire there, he said there's gonna be Imperial hell to pay-"
MiRA-[CLE]: "Ah. don't worry. That heat's going to be coming down on us. Keep splillin', then you can get out of the line of fire."
Peter|GM: It comes out that him - and a Hundred smuggler-lord, a lady by the name of Counting Three, are laughing it up with the Imperials - the occupation governor and an admiral - and somebody from House Seville - out on Bemesne's pleasure-barge pretty much every night.
Peter|GM: (House… Seville?)
MiRA-[CLE]: "Seville, not Rivorando?"
Peter|GM: "Nah, they don't let the Rivorando gal near em. She's… she's… something's off about her."
MiRA-[CLE]: "Huh. Interesting."
Peter|GM: Anyway, there's… there's a little bit more of that. It comes out that the local crooks don't much fear the Ecafan guard - they're stretched pretty thin with infighting, and apparently the Consul-Of-Guard is in deep to Counting Three.
Peter|GM: Bemesne's thrown his lot in with the Empire, but apparently the Imperial Guard haven't gotten the memo.
Peter|GM: That might erupt into trouble, too.
MiRA-[CLE] tilts her head towards Echo. "That should be enough to work with, yeah?"
Echo nods, setting the man down.
MiRA-[CLE] makes sure they got direction to the pleasure barge's location, then lets the thug go; and strongly suggesting they stay off the streets for a while.
Echo: "Definitely information we didn't have before. And maybe something else to look into."
MiRA-[CLE]: "That's good!"
MiRA-[CLE]: "Also allow me a hearty gwaff that you fuckers are still using physical currency down here. Ahahahah. Okay."
Echo: "…what else we use? The barter system?"
MiRA-[CLE]: "Digitial, man. Digitial." She slaps Echo on the back, then starts head back to were they were planning on meeting back up with Santiago.
Echo isn't even sure what that means…
Peter|GM: Hey Santiago, where were you planning on meeting up? A little park with memories? The Valerran? A second storey apartment, unfurnished, opposite the treasury?
[OOC] Le Masked Buccaneer: Le Park Petite!
Peter|GM: A quiet park - the nightshade is in bloom. The statue, solemn and graceful, is an Esquip.
Peter|GM: Doves, visiting from the neighboring estate, come to this park for their second helping. They've gotten a little fat.
MiRA-[CLE]: "Hey! We found some stuff out but you probably know what it means better than I do:" So she relays their findings.
Le Masked Buccaneer feeds them. Fat doves are a good omen.
Le Masked Buccaneer: "A Seville! I…I can not believe that."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "But families have been betrayed by their own before."
Peter|GM: They coo softly, taking their feed with courtly patience.
Folis: "That's all well and horrible, but where we headin'?"
MiRA-[CLE]: "Yeah, definitely saw a few stories of second in command's betrayin' the head to seize commands."
Folis: "I've got the mind to go scope it out first."
Folis: "The good Lady Lucha has an, ah, irregular bodyguard, you see."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Ah! She is in her ancestral estate, guarded by mercenaries, as Folis so aptly states."
Alianor: "Not by the Imperials? That's… interesting."
MiRA-[CLE]: "Well. I duno exact who's who or what's what, but. Seems like we can find the people actually running things if we head on down to the docks and crash a party."
Folis: "Nope! So it'd be a little easier than I thought to slip in and do some thinking."
MiRA-[CLE]: "Which, I'd assume, could open up access to whatever else we needed."
Folis: "Crashing parties sounds like a good time."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "You are right, friend-from-the-sky! and also Folis."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "So. A party, before we see the doleful Ms?"
Folis: "Correct-o."
Folis cracks her knuckles.
Folis: "Let's go bloody the dance floor, shall we?"
MiRA-[CLE]: "I'm down with whatever, and will follow your lead."
Alianor: "Let's hope that pleasure-barge is docked, because I really don't want to go swimming again…"
Le Masked Buccaneer: "We shall secure a row-boat and muffle the paddles if required." \
[OOC] Le Masked Buccaneer: Workable plan, Peter?
[OOC] Peter|GM: It might be trickier than waiting another night and faking your way aboard the guest list, but it's not impossible. the relevant roll is probably Stealth that way
Folis: "Right, so I'm not the buccanneerest sort… how the hell do you muffle paddles?"
MiRA-[CLE]: "Row… gently?"
Folis: "Oh, I thought he was speaking literally."
[OOC] Le Masked Buccaneer: Are any of us good at stealth?
Folis: "Touche."
[OOC] Folis: lol not me
MiRA-[CLE] does most things loud and proud.
Le Masked Buccaneer: "…Orrrr perhaps we should simply get some invitations the way my great uncle Fabio Esquip always did."
Folis: "Fabio sounds like a fun kinda person."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Oh, most certainly!"
Peter|GM: That'd be a Lying check under false pretenses, or a very audacious Charm check if you're actually attending as the Masked Buccaneer!
MiRA-[CLE]: "Like I said, you know how things work here better'n I do, so."
[OOC] Le Masked Buccaneer: Folks have a preference, because I'm going to lean into AUDACIOUS otherwise
[OOC] Le Masked Buccaneer: lso anyone else got charm?
[OOC] Folis: GO LOUD
[OOC] Folis: I have 1 bonus in Charm.
Le Masked Buccaneer: "You know, depending how this goes, we may very well free the country just in time for dear Fabio's exile to end!"
Folis: "T'would be nice."
Le Masked Buccaneer shall go to see some grand old dames about introductions to their socially ascendant children in order to discuss the plausibility of an absolutely audacious invitation.
Peter|GM: Let's have a Charm check. First for the invitation, afterwards, spend successes: [And the Empire doesn't know you're coming], [And You Borrow Magnificent Clothes for the Whole Party], [You Borrow a White Tiger, Which is In Fashion as an Accessory], [And You Aren't Expected to Surrender Your Weapons]
Le Masked Buccaneer rolled 4d6 and got 5, 1, 3, 1 ( Total: 10 ) for SUGAR DON'T FAIL ME NOW
[OOC] Folis: May I assist?
[OOC] Peter|GM: Sure!
[OOC] Peter|GM: What's that like, Folis?
Folis has done some skulking around here and there, people-watching to see what the fashion trends are. If you can blend in, suspicion is reduced, no matter how audacious you are.
Folis rolled 1d100 and got 17 ( Total: 17 ) for 1d6
Folis rolled 1d6 and got 1 ( Total: 1 )
[OOC] Folis: :|
[OOC] Le Masked Buccaneer: So, right now I have the invitation and nothing else, correct?
[OOC] Peter|GM: Yup! And you can spend LP for more, depending on how you wanna do this thing.
[OOC] Le Masked Buccaneer: I can blow all my LP for two more success; I'm thinking the Empire doesn't know we're coming, and…
[OOC] Echo: [And You Aren't Expected to Surrender Your Weapons] ?
[OOC] Le Masked Buccaneer: OR…We aren't expected to surrender our weapons, and the white tiger.
[OOC] Le Masked Buccaneer: WE'RE ALREADY GOING LOUD!
[OOC] Folis: I mean we're here to CRASH the party.
Le Masked Buccaneer: (People want fancy duds or a tiger bud?)
[OOC] Folis: Fanciest duds
[OOC] MiRA-[CLE]: tiger is Maximum Audacity and so my vote
[OOC] Le Masked Buccaneer: ONE VOTE EIThER WAY! NEXT VOTE GETS IT
[OOC] Folis: actually the tiger would be really funny for Reasons
[OOC] Le Masked Buccaneer: SO! Spending all 6 of my remaining LP for: Weapons_OK and Tiger_Friend
[OOC] Echo: tiger
Peter|GM: Marvelous.
Peter|GM: You obtain your invitations through Counting Three, the rat-Hundred smuggler lord who - it just happens - funded Santiago's fateful voyage to Leviathan. (He is still in quite a bit of debt, her lieutenant gently alludes to.) He laughs when Santiago mentions he'll be coming armed. "Purely decoratively, I'm sure," he jests.
Peter|GM: In the process, you also obtain a promise to lend you a tiger. Take very, very good care of him.
Peter|GM: …Hm, did you want to do that next…?
[OOC] Le Masked Buccaneer: Someone else want to take the lead?
[OOC] Folis: Man, I want to get this party because it sounds AMAZING.
[OOC] Le Masked Buccaneer: OOC question: We want to try busting in and kidnapping/marooning whatsherbutt first? Peter, you up for running that tonight, or is this just a Prep and Planning session?
[OOC] Peter|GM: I think I'm mostly just up for prep and planning tonight! <3
[OOC] Le Masked Buccaneer: OK! Anyone else have other non-combatyadventurerystuff to do?
[OOC] Folis: Well, I do have some snooping I could do if we have our target location.
[OOC] Peter|GM: Yeah, she's holed up in the old Rivorando estate, apparently…
[OOC] Folis: -pokes Peter?- Would it be plausible to go to the estate and check the environs?
[OOC] Folis: Righto.
Folis: "Okay, so… in the interest of not getting played at the worst moment, I'm gonna do a little detective work. See you for the party."
Folis pads off toward the estate, scuffing herself up and rubbing dirt into her armor at key points to make herself look a little more like a worn, battle-weary mercenary.
Peter|GM: Let's see a Lying check.
Folis rolled 4d6 and got 6, 6, 1, 2 ( Total: 15 ) for +1 Lying, +1 Thief
Peter|GM: In addition to the ordinary scouting-as-a-thief questions, you might be interested in [What's Lucha's Secret?]
Folis makes some inquiries and checks the schedule of the guard, posing it as the weary dutifulness of one in dire need of coin. As she makes her way about the premesis, noting this and that, she's starting to sweat a little. It clings to the grit, making herself look all the more grubby and lowly, almost. It was out of nerves, but she absolutely willed it to herself that it was part of playing the act. [-7 LP for +4 and +3 to
Folis the last two rolls, respectively.]
[OOC] Folis: -7 LP for +4 and +3 to the last two rolls, respectively.
[OOC] Folis: What's the best escape route?] [What's the route to my objective?] [What's Lucha's Secret?] […And you get back out without raising suspicion.
Peter|GM: Bordering one of the ancient canals, the Rivorando estate is a decrepit hulk sitting at the height of Ecafa. The mercenaries are ragged canine-Driftin from the south sea, hailing, on special contract, from the pirate port Fearnaught.
Peter|GM: After a game of cards, Folis is given the task of bringing up Lucha her nightly meal - a heavy platter of fresh fruit and a goblet of wine, and nothing else, all the ways up a very-recently repaired staircase up the keep tower.
Peter|GM: (Though, one could probably scale the outer edge, too, so loose and jarred is the stonework there…)
Peter|GM: All the way up to the door.
Peter|GM: (What an ominous feeling.)
Folis takes a moment to dab away some of the sweat that had been building. She wanted to remain somewhat presentable once she opened the door to bring the meal, and the action of doing something else slightly dispelled the… unusually building fear of the present. Thus satisfied, she enters -
Peter|GM: Lucha, in her night-gown, is a pale beauty, obsidian-haired. She is already seated at a little table, a single candle burning. She gestures to it. "Ah, perfect. If you would be so kind as to set it there for me?"
Peter|GM: In the darkness of the room: The smell of decay, but not death.
Peter|GM: Platters just like those are piled on the side of the room, hastily blanket-covered.
Peter|GM: The fruit is drying, rotting, moldy.
Peter|GM: There are flies.
Folis: "Of course, my good lady." There's a polite incline of the head, then she steps over to the pointed location, and places the goods down.
Folis: "Will there be anything else tonight, Lady?"
Peter|GM: "Anything else…?" She looks Folis in the eye. A little smile.
Peter|GM: "Well,"
Peter|GM: "…Let me think."
Folis 's expression flickers, for but a moment. Her tail swishes nervously, this way and that.
Peter|GM: She holds the smile, for just a moment. Her tongue swishes into her cheek for just a moment. For just a moment…
Peter|GM: "…No. That will be all. And thank you."
Folis: "You are quite welcome, Lady. May the rest of your evening be enjoyable."
Peter|GM: A gentle nod.
Peter|GM: And then you're out.
Folis bows, a deep, polite sort of thing. Then she gives the Lady one last, almost curious look, before slowly turning and making her way out of the chambers, quietly shutting the door behind er.
Peter|GM: Your stomach is… it wasn't pleasant being in there, that's for sure.
Peter|GM: And you slip out, shed disguise, and…
Peter|GM: Well, that answers most questions!
Folis scowls, on her way back, one hand on her stomach. She lurches, once or twice, but by some great power of will, the contents of her stomach remain where they are for the time being.
Peter|GM: Hmm. Next-up: A party?
[OOC] MiRA-[CLE]: Seems like!
Peter|GM: Who's handling the tiger?
Echo is looking after the tiger for now.
Peter|GM: The tiger's owner took some assurances that Echo would not be eating the tiger before handing the leash over, which, let it be said, conveys certain misunderstandings as to the nature of the Hundred. The pleasure-barge "Indulgence" is docked on the sprawls, with the party arriving, at time invitation specified, well into the boarding process.
Peter|GM: It's a catamaran, its two lower decks shining with light, bridged by two walkways running between them.
MiRA-[CLE]: "Indulgence… yeah, fits."
MiRA-[CLE]: "Nothin' else around looks half as fancy."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Hmm. Could outrun a tug in that, if you had to…"
Alianor: "Yes, they're definitely not keeping a low profile…"
Folis: "Definitely more enjoyable than what I just went through."
MiRA-[CLE]: "(Not at nice as Maribelle's, though.)"
Peter|GM: There's a bit of confusion as to the invitations, with the dockman leaning over to peer at Alianor's, and- "What's that mark mean?"
Peter|GM: A scarred turtle-Hundred walks over, inspects it.
Peter|GM: "Means they're permitted onboard armed."
Peter|GM: "A…a…all of them?"
Peter|GM: "They're permitted onboard armed. With," a nod to Echo. "Their tiger."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Such indolence." He himself is attired in shining feathers, a peacock fan of mirror-plates in shimmering colors behind him, every other inch of him gleaming in stained glass colors. His mask, polished to a sheen, may be the dullest part. He taps his baton, as though it is a fashionable walking stick. "It is our accouterment, of course. Can't leave the look incomplete!"
Alianor very much appreciates that stipulation getting added to their invitations, because she very much wouldn't want to have left Priscilla in some dumb smuck's hands
Folis is bedecked in her earlier masquerade accessories, but more extravagant. Her cloak is a more foresty sort of green now, with four pin-wings, gold-topped, with their feathers fading from green to white. She waggles her fingers at the dockman, bearing false, fearsome-looking claws.
[OOC] Folis: er. weirdly phrased. fearsome looking false claws
Peter|GM: The party: Liqueur is flowing (An Ecafan one is popular, from the oranges.) The starboard deck is a little louder, with a full band playing. The port deck quieter, with many lounging about on long couches, every need attended by quiet servers.
Peter|GM: (…The same white-eared driftin from the Valerran is working here tonight, still veiled, still silent.)
Echo has put on some of his more 'traditional' affects, with various bone-and-feather accessories, and a real bear skull overlaying his head as a mask.
MiRA-[CLE] certainly hadn't bothered changing, but to most she probably looks like she's dressed up in some strange, exotic style regardless. She cuts straight for the open bar while looking around the ship.
Folis follows Mira to the bar, to chase away the lingering memory and scent of decay with the finer spirits.
Le Masked Buccaneer gets a snifter of delightful drink before circulating, keeping the rest of the party in sight.
Alianor made sure her clothes were properly cleaned up after the swimming and rainfall of the last couple days, bringing out some of her mother's jewelry as well. She follows some of the others to the bar, not really knowing how else to fit into this kind of environment.
Peter|GM: I think, as you mingle… there's a few interesting people you might want to check in on.
Peter|GM: Port: [Governor Duex and Bemesne, Talking about the Drydock] [Counting Three, Who's Happy to See You] [The Man All the Guards are Watching]
Peter|GM: Starboard: [The Admiral Tulin and His Cups] [The Guard-Consul, And Hired Company]
Peter|GM: Top-Deck: [The Silent Server Sneaks a Break] [Chatter with the Help] [A Scarred Woman, Dressed Sharply, Needs a Light]
Peter|GM: Alianor, tell me about your wallflowering.
Alianor drifts a bit aimlessly, trying to listen for any kind of conversation that piques her mechanically-inclined interests, when she spots that server not exactly serving at the moment. "Busy night?"
Peter|GM: She smiles shyly, a little tired, leaning against the balustrade on the top. She's gazing out towards the stars, tail swishing gently. A faint sweat. She gestures with a waver of her hand - a little of column A, a little of column B. She then gestures, inquisitively, to Alianor.
Alianor lets out a breath, her strained smile relaxing some out under the stars, without the feeling of the people crowding around. "Me? Mostly here with my… friends; I'm not really one for these parties, I think, but it's an interesting change of pace."
Peter|GM: A little tilt of her head at the mentions of the 'friends' - she points them out in the crowd, as if to check - and then nods, smiling.
Peter|GM: An interesting change of pace? She nods eagerly at that. And then, after gazing at the stars for a moment, she directs Alianor's gaze…
Peter|GM: Down to shore, and…
Peter|GM: Just like that, as if on cue, the scaffolding on the drydock bursts into green-blue flame, silent and quick, consuming a whole portion of the construction before being snuffed out.
Peter|GM: No one else notices, and the waitress in white nods - mysteriously, apologetically, and gets back to work.
Peter|GM: Hey Echo, who you showing off the tiger to?
Alianor nods back, knowing they kind of stood out at the other place, but… That's rather interesting. She gives the server a small wave, peering at that part of the drydocks for a little longer before going back to drift about.
Echo grabs a mug of something to drink, wandering around the ship for a bit, mug in one hand, lead in the other.
Peter|GM: People make way for a Hundred!
Peter|GM: People make way for a tiger.
Peter|GM: People make a lot of way for a Hundred leading a tiger.
Peter|GM: And - hm, swinging by the admiral, was it?
[OOC] Echo: yes
Peter|GM: Admiral Tulin is easy to spot - he's right before the band, kicking back against the roar of Iviquan horns and the blaze of brass, a mug in each hand.
Peter|GM: He laughs when he sees the tiger:
Peter|GM: "Oh, that's a proud one. Dignified, too. Hells, he'd rip my throat off he had half the chance, wouldn't he?"
Peter|GM: "Well, he's got company on this boat, lemme tell ya right, like that."
Peter|GM: "Hundred, are ya? Full skull mask and everything. Proper brave and bold that, have a seat, see if you can't ruin a chair."
Echo: "They tell me he's well-trained. He's been behaving so far, at least." He find a place to tie up the tiger nearby, and then finds a suitable seat before pulling up beside the Admiral. "I'm fairly new to city-life, but I figured my accoutrements would at least pass for 'quaint."
Peter|GM: "City-life…" the admiral pronounces, very boldly. "Is a hell! An earth-devil kinda hell, all sweetly-scented and lurin' you in and then SNAP, it's years an years later and yer damn men ain't got no discipline and half of em got kids with the locals."
Peter|GM: He shouts above the band. "RUS-CAAAAAA! If you can't fix my damn ships, at least get my fightin' force some damn RUBBERS, they're weighin' damn more anchor than I can proper approve of!"
Peter|GM: He scoffs, lowering his voice, turning to Echo.
Peter|GM: "You Hundred… marry?"
Echo: "Yes. I haven't myself, but I was thinking of looking soon. Yourself?"
Peter|GM: "Guess you'd have to," he says, as if struck by some deeper truth in the universe. "Don't think they'd make any in your size. Ain't no MARKET for it, is the thing." He laughs, at his own joke, because he thinks it is hilarious.
Peter|GM: "Nah, nah, my wife's back home, hopefully living in all the luxury all my damn toil merits."
Peter|GM: "She's a sweetheart, she is. Don't think she's got the youth to land a lover while I'm gone, but she sure as hell has the money. Least I can do for her, init?"
Echo: "Even for a Hundred, I'm a bit on the taller side. But yes, providing for your home and family is admirable."
Peter|GM: He laughs, and laughs, and laughs, till he's crying.
Peter|GM: "Ad-mir-alble."
Peter|GM: "Get it?"
Echo: "Yep." He grins as only a Bear Hundred can.
Peter|GM: Folis, how's the evening treating you?
Folis has a little wander, a little tipsy, a little giddy from the exquisite orange liqueur. She scans the crowd, looking, looking - she spots a tough-looking lady, who had produced a smoke but had not the means to light it.
Folis: Grinning ferociously, she saunters her way over to the woman, stage-glancing left and right. She brings a finger to her lips, as if to signify silence. She lets out a little puff of breath, and when she brings that finger back outward, the tiniest wisp of sorcerous flame dances above it.
Peter|GM: The scarred woman in the tight grey coat touches her cigarette to Folis' flame and smiles. "Thanks. Funny, for all the movers and shakers here, you're the first willing to admit that she can light a fire." A beat.
Peter|GM: "Which is funny."
Folis: "Why's that, darlin'?"
Folis makes a flicking motion, and the wisp vanishes with a puff of smoke.
Peter|GM: "Well," she says. "Darling. It's superstition. The reason this barge has been sailing every night…" A little laugh.
Peter|GM: "It's an alibi."
Peter|GM: A long, slow drag of her cigarette.
Peter|GM: She finds it awful satisfying.
Folis: "Oh?" Her ears perk, and her tail curls into something of a question-mark. "Do tell, I enjoy a good tale."
Peter|GM: Exhale, out to sea.
Peter|GM: "Same, but yours," She gently reaches down and unquestionmarks Folis' "Can keep its quizzical expression to itself."
Peter|GM: Folis' tail, I mean.
Peter|GM: "Night after night, the drydock construction has been going up in controlled burn at roughly this hour."
Peter|GM: "Careful enough to not spread to the city. Chemical burn on wet wood."
Folis: "That's fetching peculiar."
Peter|GM: "And Bemesne is happy to buy everyone drinks for the pleasure of knowing that everyone knows where he is right now,"
Peter|GM: "And he knows where everyone is right now, and they all know where eachother are, and-" A very, very dry frown.
Peter|GM: "Et. Cet. Er. A."
Folis: "So it's a power play?"
Peter|GM: "I'd say that if I thought it was going to accomplish anything. But, it doesn't prove anything."
Peter|GM: "For example, how good of an alibi can this be, if…" She pauses to take another drag off her cigarette.
Peter|GM: Exhale, forward, smiling. "…You're here?"
Folis: "Ah, me?" Folis looks genuinely taken aback from a moment, then laughs. "What of me, love?"
Peter|GM: "You weren't here the other nights - that is, the guest list keeps changing - which means someone could have committed the sabotage on one night, left it to someone else on another night…"
Peter|GM: "…Of course, the method is unusual, so they'd be in league. Still. Doesn't prove anything."
Folis: "Ah, so it's a long play. But for what…"
Peter|GM: "That," she touches Folis' face. "Is all you're getting for free, darling."
Folis: "Hmhm."
Folis: "And what, pray tell, is your asking rate?"
Peter|GM: She turns Folis' head a bit and frames, for her, between her fingers, like a picture-
Peter|GM: All of Ecafa.
Peter|GM: Laughing, before she can even get a reaction, she strolls down below-deck, into the roaring din of the band.
Peter|GM: Santiago, who's got your attention right now?
Folis is completely dumbfounded for the second time.
Le Masked Buccaneer is headed towards the Guard-Consul
Peter|GM: The Guard-Consul is enjoying respectable music with respectable company, escorts of excellent caliber he could positively never, ever afford. His beard is well-kept, and he maintains the mien of his military background despite clearly no longer cutting a military figure. He is seated at the far edge of the starboard lowerdeck, where the band does not drown out his dates laughing at his jokes.
Peter|GM: "Our beloved national pirate hero," he says, at unclear level of irony.
Peter|GM: "Do sit."
Le Masked Buccaneer perches on a chair. "And our…Guard-Consul."
Peter|GM: "Someone has to do it," he says. "Though it has been made a little clear to me that there were be words with me were I to ever give our army a command."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Ah! I can only assume those words came from the mouths of our current visitors?"
Peter|GM: He nods to his escorts: "You're doing lovely work tonight again, my friends. Could I trouble you to spare yourselves my company for a bit?" - And excuses them.
Peter|GM: A defeated shrug. "In essence. Them and their Lucha and their new ruling-council."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Ah! So who sits the council? The mad dog's work and role is already self evident."
Peter|GM: "None of us consuls, of course. I'd begrudge you being out of date, but we all appreciate that desperate voyage of yours." He rattles off the names.
Peter|GM: It's the head of each house - which means that Esquip can't sit for the time being, with a Senicce taking up the Seville seat right now, and Lucha as the Rivorando head. That means Senicce is over-represented!
Peter|GM: That'd be… Master Julyan Esquip, Master Nadia Senicce, Giosso Senicce, and Lucha Rivorando. (She does not style herself 'Master', though she is clearly house head.)
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Ahhhh. A warped rudder steers the ship of state, it seems. How do you think it would shake out if the mad dog ran off?"
Peter|GM: "Could go two ways," he says.
Le Masked Buccaneer perks up
Peter|GM: "Her seat would go to a Seville. One would be found, I think - there's no Rivorando to have it. Young Master Giosso would stay as the double representative. Senicce continues to block the Esquip ascension, maintains ruling majority. Administrates. Sleeps with the Empire. Life goes on."
Peter|GM: "But if I were to try Lucha for crimes-against, it wouldn't be hard to find a judge to reverse most of what she did. That includes stripping Giosso of her seat. Which, I am certain could just go… well," A smile. "Anywhere."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Ah! But what would such a trial require, beyond her…unescorted presence?"
Peter|GM: "I want the consuls on the ruling council. Seven seats."
Le Masked Buccaneer sighs. "My relatives would box my ears…but I suppose that's why I wear a helmet."
Peter|GM: "Hah, is that a deal, then?"
Peter|GM: "Well, you chase her out of town - or, well, into custody, if you're feeling congenial - and I'll get you your trial."
Peter|GM: "With, allow me to say, a very reliable judge."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Do you trust the lot of you to do what's best for this ripest fruit of nations? No one begrudges a leader their little perks…but it wouldn't do to see more Imperial lapdogs elevated in place of the mad dog put down."
Peter|GM: "Long as they've got their navy and we don't have ours, nobody's going to be dumping the lapdogs on their asses, that's for sure."
Peter|GM: "But I'd keep them off the ruling council, that's for certain."
Peter|GM: "And if we ever got the opportunity, well-"
Peter|GM: A swish of a glass.
Peter|GM: A look out the window.
Peter|GM: A rakish smile.
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Well. I suppose there's any number of things that can happen to lap dogs in a turn of the tide and the sight of black sails."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "It is a deal."
Peter|GM: A laugh, a toast.
Peter|GM: Mira, talk to me.
MiRA-[CLE] hands out at the bar for a bit, then noticed that most of the security details seems to be focusing on one person in particular. So naturally, she refills her glass and then beelines straight for them.
Peter|GM: Young, pony-tailed, in a sharp red waistcoat. Looks a little bit like a poet. Knows he's being watched. Glasses.
Peter|GM: "Oh," he tilts his head. "You're the falling star?"
MiRA-[CLE]: "Huh, didn't know that was goin' around. Your thing must be knowin' things then, I take it?"
Peter|GM: "This and that, this and that." A sip. "And also, being in a little bit of trouble."
Peter|GM: A stage-whisper. "Just so you know, falling star, I'm a little bit of a hostage."
MiRA-[CLE]: "How's that work? You got too much dirt on all the players, and everyone's too afraid to let you out of their sight?"
Peter|GM: "Yes, yes, of course! It's awfully important that everyone can overhear my conversations. Just sloshing full of secrets."
Peter|GM: "The burden's terrible."
Peter|GM: "So's, y'know. The guns."
MiRA-[CLE]: "How'd you wind up in your…" She gestures around the room with her glass, "Current predicument anyway?"
MiRA-[CLE]: "And how many of those guns would I need to make point elsewhere to get you to spill your secrets?"
Peter|GM: He makes a show of counting them - "Maybe too many for one night."
Peter|GM: "As for how I ended up in this predicament, I think the simplest way to put it…"
Peter|GM: "Is that my name is Andre Seville."
MiRA-[CLE] tilts her head to the side, trying to remember…
MiRA-[CLE]: "Oh, from that family they're trying to snuff out?"
Peter|GM: "Right. And here I am, being very secretly not snuffed out."
Peter|GM: "Probably all those secrets."
MiRA-[CLE]: "Right. So who's cheerio's did the rest of your family piss in to get the death count climbing? Keeping in mind I literally just landed on this planet a day ago and don't have a full grasp on what's going on yet."
Peter|GM: "Well, we expunged a house. Except, it just so happens that we, in fact, actually expunged-minus-one that house, and in fact somehow managed to spare the most dreadful killer of them all, the young Lucha Rivorando."
Peter|GM: "In our defense, as history has it, they were horrid murderers before that, also."
Peter|GM: A playful little shrug.
Peter|GM: "I believe my house also wrote that history. But, ah, well, she's not on this boat."
MiRA-[CLE] furrows her eyebrows together.
MiRA-[CLE]: "So, like… there's some kind of Rule-By-Clans in place, you guys made a move on one of the others to seize more power… and then it backfired?"
Peter|GM: "In essence. House Seville was in power, and Rivorando accused us of manipulation and foreign allegiance, and attacked the government building to oust us."
Peter|GM: "The coup failed, and we had them expunged in return."
MiRA-[CLE]: "Aha."
MiRA-[CLE]: "Though from what I gather that accusation seems to be true…? Or did that happened after this, uh, Lucha person started murdering everyone else?"
MiRA-[CLE]: "The whole Empire thing, I mean. It's all anyone's talking about on the streets."
Peter|GM: "Oh, no, no, that was - ten years, I'd say, ago."
Peter|GM: "We were accused of cavorting with Iviquan spies, I think…" A laugh.
MiRA-[CLE]: "Huh…
MiRA-[CLE]: "And they… waited ten years, enlisted the help of the empire, then started hunting you down in return?"
Peter|GM: "That's about it. And by 'they' we, of course, mean exactly one woman, the sole survivor."
MiRA-[CLE]: "So is she really good at killing, you guys really good at dying, or the Empire is providing a lot of backing?"
Peter|GM: "It's absolutely the third one."
Peter|GM: "Well, and many of us escaped."
MiRA-[CLE]: "Hmm. So I guess they're basically the biggest gang here and they're muscling in on everyone's territory…" She's mostly mumbling to herself, before downing the contents of her glass.
MiRA-[CLE]: "So, you guys used to rule this turf, right? Does the term Exarch mean anything to you?"
Peter|GM: "That's not innaccurate. And… mm, no, I can't say it does."
MiRA-[CLE]: "Hmm, wonder if maybe they were in fact goin' by a different name down here, then…"
MiRA-[CLE] taps at her temple with a finger twice, before looking around the room one more time.
MiRA-[CLE]: "If you had the opportunity to fight back against the Empire without being shot down immediately, would you take it?"
Peter|GM: "Oh, of course not," he says, waving, vaguely, to the window -
Peter|GM: Which reflects, for a moment -
Peter|GM: A strange, green burst of light, somewhere at shore,
Peter|GM: Which is then gone.
MiRA-[CLE]: "…Huh?"
Peter|GM: "Maybe someone else would."
Peter|GM: He turns to his drink, and laughs, and the facade is back up.
MiRA-[CLE]: "What does copper burning have to do with…"
Peter|GM: He's listened in on very intently, after all…
Peter|GM: …There's a bit more party, but I think those are all the genuinely interesting moments. Feel free to mingle and discuss.
MiRA-[CLE] scratch behind her head as she thinks back onto that conversation. That guys was pretty inscrutable, but then again it's not like she's directly interfaces with very many people before. Maybe there's some good reference material in her memory banks…
MiRA-[CLE] rolled 2d6 and got 2, 3 ( Total: 5 )
MiRA-[CLE] shakes her head after a minute, giving up, mumbling to herself as she starts looking around for other things of interest. "…Mmm… ugh. It's way easier to deal with people you can rough up. Oh well, Santiago can probably read between the lines."
Peter|GM: A pleasant evening, though no other intelligence of note.

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