Tom D01s05

TheTale: Day One - Morning.
TheTale: Fires are being put out in Prospero as the foreigners return to their caravan. A crowd teems to meet the trio at first, but… soon subsides, pulled back with hushed whispers and little tugs. Though a beggar asks ERis for alms, it seems the current consensus, for now, is to give the new arrivals a wide berth.
Eris‘ doesn’t really have anything to give that would be worth anything in this place, and says as much without paying the begger any more mind than that.
Charlotte: "Both curious and yet wary of us…"
Eris: "Well, it's not as though they get many visitors."
Charlotte: "Especially not lately, it sounded like."
Linlea: "I thought people would be all over us after fighting back that huge giant!"
TheTale: Sophia's taking grim inventory when the trio come back to camp - tallying up what supplies remain. She waves them over.
Linlea puffs out her cheeks annoyed. "Was no one watching or something?"
Eris: "I do not believe many saw. The giant himself did not even notice the barrier."
Eris‘ heads towards Sophia
TheTale: "Master of the gates came calling in your… well, in your absence." Fumbles in her pockets for three lengths of gold cord. "These are… a token, or something? They get you up where it’s posh."
TheTale: "For the heroes of the day, he said, which I guess means not me or Jack." She exhales a puff of air - it fogs in the chill.
Eris: "Ah, good." She takes one, wrapping it around one of her wrists.
Eris: "Almost certainly not Jack."
Linlea takes the token rather satisfied with the remark.
Linlea: "Hey, Jack is a different kind of hero!"
TheTale: Sophia smiles wearily.
Charlotte takes her own, softly smiling. "I guess that means they did notice somewhat, Eris."
Eris: "Mm. Anyway, I suppose that means they're ready for the meeting…?"
Linlea glances around a bit before speaking up again. "Guess nothing came to harass you guys, huh?"
TheTale: Sophia frowns. "We're a little worried. We aren't exactly in the most… defensible of positions, and with you three gone, there's only one or two of us that can fight."
TheTale: "The doctor's as helpful with that as ever, of course."
Charlotte: "Naturally."
TheTale: "Naturally."
Eris: "I'm sure he'd have no quams setting up something simply as a defense if asked in the right way, form what I've been told of him."
Linlea: "Come to think of it, do you have a way to contact us? Reliably?"
TheTale: Sophia finishes her count of the salted fish, frowns, and starts counting it again in feeble hope.
TheTale: "…No, I don't think I do."
Linlea scrunches up her face. "Probably should look into bugging the service HQ or something for one of those communication devices. Not sure if anyone else would have them around here."
Linlea: "Embassy? Whatever."
Eris: "Didn't you have… those portable communication devices… phones? a world or two ago? Or does this world not have the necessary infastructor for them to function properly?"
Linlea: "Jack might?"
TheTale: "Well, you know what they say." Sophia shrugs. "Always bet on Jack."
Charlotte: "Those do sound handy."
Linlea: "Something you should ask them. Maybe you can get something together next time we show up?"
TheTale: "Just with Jack, or should I send somebody up to the embassy?" Sophia furrows her brow.
TheTale: "I mean, I'd be the best at talking to them, but… my gut churns at the thought of leaving the camp alone."
Eris: "Just Jack for now, then."
Linlea glances at the others before nodding.
Linlea: "If they don't have it we were probably going to end up at the embassy eventually anyways."
TheTale: "Yeah." Sophia's look is neutral. "Yeah."
Linlea: "Anyways we don't have an invitation time on these things so I don't really want to keep them waiting too long? Intention is probably as soon as possible."
Eris‘ pats Sophia on the head once, before turning to leave. "No use in worrying so much, just take things as they come."
TheTale: Sophia exhales. Count and recount…
Linlea: "Let us know if you need anything. Bye!"
Charlotte gives Sophia a curtsey. "Take care."
TheTale: Heading to the Palace Quarter, then?
Eris: Yup!
Linlea chews at her lip after they are out of earshot. "So… think some of our stock is missing or something? She was checking the inventory as if she was unsure if there was a mistake."
Eris: "No, I imagine she was simply trying to determined how many days of goods we had without any outside assistance and wasn’t happy with the number she caculated."
Linlea: "Well. It's not like we can get lucky and find something to eat on the road when we're stuck here. As things stand we're set to starve."
Eris: "Hence," Eris holds up her left wrist and points to the golden rope.
Linlea: "Which is nice and all, but it still doesn't help the fact that anything that can expire goods wise will and we can't exactly load it off here when they don't have lucre."
Linlea: "Basically, this sucks."
TheTale: A yellow-swathed citizen stares from her spot huddled beneath an archway as the trio pass by.
Eris‘ sighs, glances to Charlotte. "You understand the point of attempting to work for them is to resupply. yes…?"
Linlea rolls her eyes. "I know we’re going to get food! I'm talking about profit margins from the inventory in the caravan. We're taking a huge loss from this."
Charlotte: "Yes, having actual items of all sorts would be all kinds of useful, since we don't have any right now."
TheTale: The trio reach the way up into the Palace Quarter.
Eris: "I cannot imagine anyone other than Jack cares terribly much about that."
Eris: "I wonder who the lucky one was that got to inform her they don't even use money here…?" Eris smiles to herself.
Charlotte: "I'm just glad it wasn't us."
TheTale: Marfan D'Eglys is waiting for them, just beyond the checkpoint - a cursory examination of the cords. (They know you - or at least, they've been told.)
TheTale: "I rather believe it's time to introduce you to the court."
Eris: "Quite."
Linlea nods. "Sure thing!"
TheTale: "Full acclaim for your valor earlier, by the way. This will make this easier."
Eris: "I didn't think they'd object to driving off an invader, at the very least.
Eris‘ is still smiling, pleasently.
Linlea: "It was only a giant much much bigger than us. It wasn’t a big deal."
TheTale: "No," Marfan says. "No they don't." The Palace Quarter is built on and from the Palace of Life, the Palazza Vita:
TheTale: The colosseum like shape of the Court of Wishes (that extends, with its vault, deep along the cliffs below) - the flowing water from its founts, its open galleries and rows of houses that run along courtyards, passing in and out of marble hallways -
TheTale: Even, flying out towards the sea on a precarious support, the Monastery at Farshore -
TheTale: They share one foundation.
Eris: "Hm. Not bad."
TheTale: Marfan stops at a frozen canal, climbs into a blade-bottomed gondola.
Linlea: "Always wanted to ride one of these."
TheTale: Wearing a scarlet, hook-nosed mask, the gondolier smiles inscrutably.
TheTale: "Well, we are where wishes come true." Marfan says.
TheTale: It's a joke.
Eris‘ climbs in.
Linlea steps in.
Charlotte smiles with a soft shake of her head as she joins them.
Linlea: "… kind of miss cannon travel though. It’s been a while since I've seen one."
Eris: "Why in the world do you miss being shot out of a cannon towards distant locales…?"
Charlotte: "I think someone's a bit of a thrill junkie."
Linlea: "Did you even try it?"
Linlea: "I think that sounds like someone who didn't try it."
Eris: "I cannot say I've ever had much … need of it. Or lived in such a place where it was considered a good idea."
TheTale: The gondolier navigates the canals, passing indoors and outdoors, skating at first along the top of the ice, until eventually the water grows so warm and the ice so thin that the boat slices through it, and he simply paddles along. At times, he pauses -with other gondoliers, with little barges carrying fragrant cargo of figs and herbs - to be lifted up, as water is pumped into a lock.
TheTale: And then… gardens. Flower-gardens. Fruit-trees. Everything - everything is in bloom, a phantasmagoria of pinks and purples and blues and yellows.
TheTale: "The court," Marfan says, as he steps out. "Awaits."
Eris: "The water ways certainly are complex…" She trails off as the gardens come into view, taking it in for a few moments before rizing to step off the gondola.
Linlea glances around at the scenery as she steps off of the gondola. "At this rate we may need a map of the city."
Charlotte: "Well, the ability to grow stuff is certainly a good sign…"
TheTale: "The gondoliers study for years. I wouldn't expect you to be able to master it in your… brief stopover."
Eris‘ nods.
Linlea stage whispers. "(That was a hint, right? The brief part?)"
TheTale: Marfan D’Eglys leads the party forward, pushing through bronze double-doors, into the Chamber of Celestial Light, where the court is taking breakfast -
TheTale: The knights in their turbans and formal dress, the Queen an island to herself, dressed in mourning-whites, the prince shrinking in her shadow -
Eris‘ glances at Linlea for a good moment or two with no expression on her face, before mouthing ’yes', before turning her attention on the room and its occupaants.
TheTale: And the nattering of prismatically-dressed lesser nobles, currently outdoing one another to attempt to compliment the freshness of the grapes. One overhears a comparison to someone's breasts, and this is considered a great joke.
TheTale: …Oh, and the diplomat, Millevich is there, swimming in her fur-coat shrugged around her shoulders, nibbling at a steak sandwich. She seems to be eating her own meal unlike anyone else's.
Linlea surveys the crowd staying silent for the time being until they're introduced proper.
TheTale: Seating is loose and abstract - breakfast is casual, after all, and people come and go - low, curved tables, pillows, blankets, and from above, the brilliant roar of day through the crystalline skylight.
TheTale: The Chamber of Celestial Light!
TheTale: Marfan brings the trio over to the Queen:
TheTale: "Announcing the ladies Eris, Linlea, Charlotte, foreigners who have even now shown their valor in defeating the enemies of humanity, and seek boons for their people, and further voyage."
Linlea goes to bow before realizing she still has her hood on. She lowers it and then proceeds to do so.
TheTale: The Queen's hair is brilliant blue. Her smile shines lke diamonds - a heavy chain locket, engraved "#1,011" sits around her neck.
Eris‘ curtsie’s in such a manner one step above the bare minimum required for politeness.
TheTale: "Have a seat, you three. I'm sure you've broken fast already - you arrived traveling, I imagine you've been up before dawn."
TheTale: "But allow the city to treat you again."
Linlea smiles taking a seat. "Well, if you insist."
Eris‘ nods, before making her way towards a nearby open spot.
Charlotte curtseys herself before taking her own seat. "Thank you, your majesty."
TheTale: "You’re very welcome. Loosely, how many number your caravan?"
Linlea: "Twelve?"
TheTale: Internal mathematics.
TheTale: "And you are aware that we have been called the City of Infinite Plenty…"
TheTale: "…And yet there are those who would starve in our streets?"
Eris: "It's been brought up."
Linlea: "(I'm getting the feeling we're going to get hosed on this deal.)"
TheTale: "(That might well be so.)" The Queen says, smiling.
TheTale: "I will speak a truth that everyone in this room knows but yet no one will admit to."
TheTale: "I'm the Queen, after all. Who's going to stop me?"
Linlea opens her mouth before closing it again. She listens.
Charlotte refrains from her own snappy comeback, playing it safer instead. "Few would, if any at all, I imagine."
TheTale: "Right now, we are the city of infinite plenty for one sole reason: The Foreign Service have incredibly deep pockets, and an insatiable appetite for our water of life. Our lavish meals in the court are their gifts, and our supplies proper - which you might recognize as that which we feed our city with - are that which we pay for, and pay dearly for."
TheTale: "…That is to say, there are many in the vaults who are sorely needed… and many who arrive there, each day, that cannot be allowed to linger."
TheTale: "…And there are many, from our gutters, the people that we have failed - to feed, to shelter, to protect - who, yes, arrive in the vaults each day. They pile higher and higher."
TheTale: "Our accounts and our war may balance better that we keep them dead."
TheTale: The Queen smiles painedly.
Eris: "So it would seem."
TheTale: "Even for visitors, this city is a city of infinite generosity."
Charlotte: "That's… rather grim."
TheTale: "But yet, my duty requires me to ask another question:"
Eris‘ picks up a bagel and begins to munch on it.
TheTale: She extends a hand in a shining, jewel-studded glove.
TheTale: "Should I feed your caravan by letting others die, or by keeping others dead?"
Eris: "I’d imagine the latter would be the easiest, given that your benefactors seem to want the water for themselves anyway."
Eris‘ takes another bite, fully aware that was probably a rhetorical question.
TheTale: "Sometimes I fear they have more dead than us. They speak little of their homeland."
Eris: "That would be because it no longer exists."
Linlea: "Ah. I was thinking they wanted to study the water. Didn’t realize that many people on their ship ended up dead."
Linlea: "Wonder what happened…?"
TheTale: "That," she takes a bite of a sliced apple. "Would certainly fill their crypts, no, would it not?"
Eris: "Mmhm."
Charlotte: "Is it just from their ship, or does the Water's reach extend beyond that…?"
Linlea: "There's no way the dead people from there would end up here though unless their ship literally brought over dead people?"
Charlotte: "Oh right, they probably would need the bodies?"
Linlea: "I find that unlikely though since there's no way they would have known about the fountain before hand."
Eris: "Likely only their own, I believe someone mentioned their ships do not tend to maintain even communications between one another particularly well."
TheTale: "If the bodies are recovered, then… anything is possible." The Queen has a far-off look.
TheTale: "…What strange guests we seem to be receiving, this year."
Linlea: "Their ship is grounded though. How would they be re-…" She pauses before dropping the subject. It wasn't worth pressing when she could just ask someone who was informed.
Charlotte: "Though, they might be taking advantage of this arrangement to, as they say, throw bodies at some problem or another."
Eris‘ smiles slightly. "Hopefully things will turn out for the better, after the stangers in a strange land finish passing through."
TheTale: "You find it strange…? I suppose I would, too…"
TheTale: "That said: We will send more water to our benefactors. We will tie up the courts and keep many of our bravest soldiers in their cases."
TheTale: "In return…"
TheTale: "…Well, some innocents seeking shelter from the cold will not perish."
Eris: "Reincarnation isn’t… especially common in most places we go."
Eris: "That said!"
TheTale: "That said."
Linlea quietly munches on some toast.
TheTale: "Your valor speaks greatly of your name, and the deeds that might yet be accrued to it."
Eris: "Most places don't tend to produce people quite as… powerful as my companions and myself. I wager I could handle the combat work load of fifth of your soldiers on my own, and would like to offer our services to the court until such time that we're capable of travelling once more."
TheTale: "I am quite content you raised the matter. It would be an awkward topic for me to introduce, you see." The Queen considers.
Eris‘ nods, smiling slightly.
Charlotte: "Combat services are definitely within our ability to fufill."
Linlea: "-ets he- ’em out first b'fore we make c'mitments." She speaks with her mouth still full of toast.
TheTale: "Spearheaded by the Snowship Narthelius, we are planning on making a military excursion past the Mana-lands into the Denmarche, to extinguish a fortess of monsters."
Charlotte rolls her eyes at Linlea's lack of manners, sipping at a mug of coffee; she might need this today instead of only tea.
TheTale: "The court is prepared to supply your group as a knightly company in support of this endeavor, with full provisioning and support for your rear camp."
Eris: "Delightful."
Linlea swallows before nodding. "Sounds fair enough. I wasn't expecting to get anything for free."
TheTale: "We'll send word to the Narthelius - you may find quarter with them in the field, should you have need of it. I imagine a considerable part of your effort will involve trailmaking and scouting and, as such, all suppression of monsters and progress towards the Denmarche can be considered a meeting of your responsibilities."
Eris: "Of course."
TheTale: "I'll have a contract penned and sent to your caravan leader, though you may expect all termination clauses to be the obvious."
Eris‘ nods in agreement.
Linlea: "When can we start? You said planning so I’m assuming nobody is in the field yet."
TheTale: "At will. As mentioned - scouting and trailmaking. The Narthelius is moored in Glozenfeld as we speak."
TheTale: "I suspect its Captain shall have a better grasp of the situation as-precis."
Linlea nods. Where the Narthelius was more or less answered her remaining questions.
Eris: "Sounds good." Eris dusts off her hands before taking a few orange slices for the road. "Thank you for meeting with us."
Charlotte: "So, sooner rather than later, I imagine."
TheTale: "Thank you." She sips from a goblet of rose-water. "We expect great things."
Eris: "Of course." She gives a nod, before plopping one into her mouth and rising to leave.
Linlea: "Don't get too used to it. Not here forever, y'know." A grin before she hops out of her chair.
TheTale: "I know."
Charlotte drains her coffee and sets the mug down, taking a few biscuits before giving another curtsey. "A good day to yourself and the rest of the court."
Eris‘ coughs into her hand as she leaves.
TheTale: "Ah? Thank you." The Queen says.
Linlea heads out the door.
TheTale: …The prince’s gaze tracks Charlotte on her way out.
TheTale: (And, of course, Millevich gives Eris a little look, one that says "Yes, we both exist, don't we?" )
Eris‘ offers Millevich a smile, makes a vague heart shape with her hands in the service’s direction, then slips out of the audience chamber.
Charlotte raises an eyebrow briefly in the prince's direction before she turns away to head out with the other two.
[OOC] TheTale: Contract Made: The Palazza Vita. Resupply at your will (Healing and recuperating) and stock up to 20B in goods, and again after reporting progress. Unlike most societies, the Palazza can dispense revive items.
Linlea: "Man. That was no fair I was totally whispering and she called me out on it. A fortress doesn't sound much harder than a temple though. For a second I thought they'd make us win the war or something."
Charlotte: "I guess they don't expect miracles right off the bat."
Eris: "You know, Linlea,"
TheTale: The Prince, swimming in a ridiculous shimmering outfit, bearing an unfortunate haircut and a tremendous collar that wraps his face in concentric circles, had rather much the look of a hunted animal. At all times.
TheTale: (I didn't mention him throughout that whole conversation, because he picked at his food and was otherwise unimportant.)
Eris: "For someone so concerned over other people being rude, you don't seem to have a terribly a strong grasp on being polite yourself."
Eris‘ glances to Charlotte, "And you seem to have picked up an admirer…? This might be fun."
Linlea blinks a few times. "Huh? Well, you know what they say about bad habits and those you hang around. We should probably look into taking advantage of these supplies before we go anywhere. Maybe pay the embassy a visit?"
TheTale: Prologue ~ Hold On - COMPLETE
Eris: "Admittedly, I’m unlikely to be a good influence in that regard, it's true."
Charlotte: "We'll have to see what happens with him, though I'm not sure how he'd get me or us alone to talk to us."
Eris: "And yes, we should gather suploies first and foremost, then probably report to the unit we've been asigned to. There's time for services later."
Eris: "As much fun as it would be to drop in before their ambassador returned to mention us." Eris grins a bit, almost predatorily.
Linlea: "Fair enough. It's not like I haven't had to wait to get answers before. If I get any at all. Let's go stock up."
Eris: "You don't strike me as someone good at digging them up yourself, no."
Linlea: "Things aren't as easy as they used to be."
Charlotte chuckles softly.
Linlea scratches at her head. "… do we just supply where they were handing out rations? We didn't ask."
Eris: "Mm. I suppose I wouldn't know." She nods absently, as they make their way towards the quarter master's building.
Charlotte: "That's a very good question, thanks for asking."
Eris: "Shh, shh, don't question it too much." Eris pulls aside a random palace attendent to ask for direction if it seems like they got lost. She's uses to performing investigations and digging up trivial details and such.
TheTale: A few quick chats send you to the office of the Master of Arms, Siemund Altsie. A map of the world dominates his wall - tangled in notes and hypotheses and faint, fleeting hopes.
TheTale: The positions of the snowships are marked with specially carved, gigantic pins - silver figurines as thick as knives.
TheTale: "Oh-ho, you our visiting knights? Or knight-likes, I should say."
Linlea: "Word travels disturbingly quickly."
Eris: "Mercenaries works, or Knight Errant if you prefer."
TheTale: "I'd rather trust my own men and women than you, but-" He curls a finger to his moustache.
TheTale: "Yes, yes, Knights-Errant works fabulously."
TheTale: He slides a few yellowed forms your way.
TheTale: "Place your requests and we'll have them delivered at speed, of course. Not my place to question the Palazza."
Linlea: "We should probably quickly work out who's taking what."
Eris‘ will let the maid handle the particulars. Inventory and stock management seems like the sort of thing one might expect a maid to do…?
Linlea nods glancing at Charlotte with an expectant look.
Eris: "We’ll make sure to not disapoint, regardless, Sir."
TheTale: "There's no one bringing you home if you do, you know. The Court of Wishes has their hands full just lugging around our boys and girls."
Charlotte considers, taking the forms and pulling out a ballpoint pen from her apron, reading quickly over the forms before filling them out meticulously. "We'll do our best not to."
Eris: "Ha ha. Where we come when one dies that's generally all there is to it anyway."
TheTale: "Well," he scrutinizes the form quickly, and stamps it.
TheTale: "I'm sure these will help with that."
TheTale: And tucks it away, setting it in his outbox.
TheTale: "Anything else I can help you ladies with?"
Linlea: "Nah, I think we're good."
Eris: "The quickest way to the Narthelius?"
TheTale: "No way but the Via Via. It's quite the expedition."
Charlotte: "Glozenfeld's where we're supposed to start, though."
TheTale: "Right. So you'll be going through the Quarter to it."
Linlea: "I imagine we'll see it if we stick to the road. Hard to miss something like that."
TheTale: "None of our ships are coming back for some time, you see."
TheTale: "If we had the Svengelion, that would get you to the front lines in a jiffy. But we don't."
Eris` nods.
TheTale: "So you march."
Linlea: "Should be simple enough even for us. Just find the gate opposite of where we came with all the people around it and follow the road."
TheTale: "Right."
Eris: "That should be all then. Thank you for the supplies." Another nod, then she turns to leave.
TheTale: Siemund puts his reading glasses on, starts to go over his papers…
TheTale: …Count and recount.
Charlotte signs off the form and pockets her pen again, before giving the Master of Arms another curstey.
Linlea: "The real question is if roads in this world are safer than other paths from monsters and the like." She trails after the others.

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