Unmasking

posted Dec 12, 2020, 7:57 AM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak   [ updated Dec 19, 2020, 9:52 AM ]

Ethyltina 8th, Year Two of the Reign of High King Ran

You have been trying to suss out the Blue Midnight infiltrator in Ran's court. The first day at it almost got Rael possessed, but he resisted. As a result, Ran and his archmage erected wards around the court to prevent outside influence from The Paragon from interfering.
Perri and Rael continue their presence in court with Fennimore shadowing over the next week slowly narrowing down their pool of suspected infiltrators.
Caelius Casian, Rael's concerned friend is still under suspicion, though even Mosifort is certain he is not the infiltrator.
Balbina Iulius has been ruled out and has been avoiding Perri like the plague.
Antonius Blasius has also been avoiding Perri, but he is still under suspicion.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: Gah! How long do we have to hang around the court with these posers?
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: As long as you are training to be a bladesinger?
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: Merp.
Crispus Horatius has been making regular contact with Perri, interested in her status as The Bladesinger. It has become more and more unsettling over the course of the week.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Throw a few more winks around the court and see if it draws anyone out.
Perri Elastime wanders around the court occasionally winking and giving knowing looks.
Hermina Faustus, the noble that reciprocated pleasantries with Perri, is still under suspicion, but seems unlikely to be the infiltrator.
Snorri Geir is a hulking barbarian from the southern plains that has arrived in court in the last couple of days. He reacts to Perri's advances quite favorably, in a playful sort of way.
Snorri Geir (smiling): Aren't you a pretty little thing.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Watchout for Snorri, he looks like a rough tumble in the hay.
Perri Elastime: Aren't you a big strong delicious man.
Snorri Geir: You look almost as out-of-place as I.
Perri Elastime: I make my own place wherever I go.
Fennimore listens in on the exchange between Snorri and Perri.
Snorri Geir: A trailblazer?
Perri Elastime: The world just bends around me.
Snorri Geir laughs.
Snorri Geir: I have experienced that with Fey before.
Perri Elastime: What brings you to court?
Snorri Geir: I am an emissary from the southern plains seeking counsel from your High King.
Perri Elastime: You have been to The Feywild?
Fennimore listens for clues or deceit from Snorri.
Snorri Geir: No, but I have encountered a couple in the wilderness.
Perri Elastime: Between is quite the breath of free air.
Fennimore finds Snorri to be perfectly honest. No deception at all.
Perri Elastime smiles broadly.
Fennimore approaches Perri and Snorri.
Fennimore: Perri, looks like you've made a new friend.
Snorri Geir looks down at Fennimore curiously.
Perri Elastime: Yes, but we haven't gotten to exchanging names yet.
Snorri Geir: Ah, a halfling.
Perri Elastime: I'm Perri and this is my friend Fennimore.
Snorri Geir looks slightly embarrassed.
Fennimore: A halfling I am. In court, they call me Fennimore, but my friends call me Fenn.
Snorri Geir: I am Snorri Geir, clearly not a diplomat.
Perri Elastime: Good!
Fennimore: But, you are a mountain of a man. Perhaps, someday, I may climb you.
Snorri Geir laughs again.
Snorri Geir: Maybe when we are friends enough that I use your nickname.
Fennimore shares the laugh.
Perri Elastime: I haven't been to the southern plains.
Fennimore: Well met, Snorri.
Perri Elastime: We should take him to The Stag for a meal. Court is stifling.
Snorri Geir: Well met, Fennimore...and Perri.
Perri Elastime: Are all the folk of the plain large?
Fennimore: That's a good idea. I wonder if we can pull Rael away from his duties as well.
Snorri Geir: The Stag? The Fiery Stag? I take a room there.
Perri Elastime: We should find out when his audience is first. Hate to miss it. Again, we need Rael.
Fennimore: You picked a good inn to stay at.
Perri Elastime: Ah, perfect.
Reggot calls out over the court announcing that Snorri Geir may approach the High King.
Snorri Geir: That would be me.
Perri Elastime: See you soon.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: Shall we try and eavesdrop?
Snorri Geir: Thank you and good meeting you. We can find each other at The Stag later on.
Fennimore: Sounds like a plan.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: I like the way you think.
Perri Elastime tries to get to a vantage point where she can hear.
Sadao Takeo is a smallish human dressed in silks and you almost collide as you turn to follow Snorri.
Sadao Takeo: Many apologies.
Perri Elastime: Oops, pardon me.
Sadao Takeo looks closer at Perri.
Sadao Takeo: Ah, The Bladesinger, I presume? I am Sadao Takeo of The Orient.
Rael Octavius approaches.
Perri Elastime: Greetings, I am Perri.
Rael Octavius: Ah, Master Takeo. I see you have found Lady Elastime.
Sadao Takeo bows low.
Fennimore: Rael, were your ears burning? We were just speaking of you.
Rael Octavius: When are they not burning? I was practically born of fire.
Perri Elastime: Master Takeo, a pleasure to meet you.
Fennimore grins at Rael's joke.
Sadao Takeo: I have heard of Bladesingers and was visiting this realm to meet with the High King to discuss swordsmanship and blades.
Perri Elastime: My, that sounds like you are singing my song.
Sadao Takeo: I think including you in the audience would be most appropriate.
Perri Elastime smiles.
Rael Octavius: I should go and make the arrangements for this audience. It will not be here in court at large.
Fennimore: Will you meet with us and Snorri at The Stag for dinner tonight?
Sadao Takeo: Yes, producing weapons here would be unwise.
Perri Elastime: I love to make blades sing and courtiers wail.
Rael Octavius: I will be there.
Rael Octavius wanders off through the throng.
Perri Elastime: Do you make weapons? Train?
Sadao Takeo: I am a procurer and seller of arms. I have the products of the greatest smiths of The Orient.
Perri Elastime studies Sadao, looking for clues of his profession.
Sadao Takeo: I am aware that High King Ran is also a master smith, so I wish to admire some of his work while peddling some of my stock.
Fennimore: Oh, really? I'm in the market for a new rapier. Something special.
Perri Elastime: Do you have special stock?
Sadao Takeo: Rapier? I am not familiar with that term.
Perri Elastime: I would show you, but we are in court and drawing a blade is frowned upon.
Sadao Takeo: Thus, the separate audience that Master Octavius is arranging.
Perri Elastime creates an illusion of her own rapier.
Perri Elastime: It looks something like this.
Fennimore: Perhaps when you meet with the King.
Sadao Takeo: Ah, that is quite a talent you have there. If only I was able to do that.
Perri Elastime: Light, quick, wicked fast.
Fennimore: Sharp and pointy.
Perri Elastime: Probably shouldn't do that in court either.
Sadao Takeo: I can imagine. Blades such as this are usually on much longer shafts.
Perri Elastime: Like a spear?
Sadao Takeo: In a manner of speaking.
Fennimore: Interesting concept, but seems a little unwieldy for close quarters.
Perri Elastime: It will be amazing to see your wares then.
Sadao Takeo: Weapons are generally outlawed in close quarters such as buildings and city streets where I come from. Weapons are used in war with much wider areas in which to wield them.
Fennimore: You should take care here in "The City." It can get a bit rough at times.
Perri Elastime: Means few buyers for a merchant.
Fennimore: Although, if you are outfitting a whole army, you only need to make one sale to be wealthy for a lifetime.
Sadao Takeo: Precisely.
Perri Elastime: Sounds like a lifetime of work to me.
Sadao Takeo: It has been a pleasure meeting you. I have more nobles to visit while here in court. I don't want to miss an opportunity.
Perri Elastime: It has been intriguing.
Fennimore: Enjoy your visit.
Sadao Takeo (bowing low): Thank you.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: Bet we missed our chance to eavesdrop.
Sadao Takeo wanders off into the bustling court.
Fennimore looks to see who is talking with the King.
You notice that Snorri has been invited to the top of the dais and is conferring with the High King and his military advisors.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Snorri's still talking to the King. Let's go.
Perri Elastime looks around for a vantage point to overhear.
Fennimore tries to sneak closer to the dais to gain a good vantage point.
You approach the dais and find that several castle guards have occupied the lowest step, preventing any closer approach to the conversation above.
Perri Elastime moves stealthily closer too.
Fennimore finds that the conversation is low and drowned out by the combination of the distance and the chatter of the court.
You do notice that the conversation is rather animated and there is concern on the faces of all involved.
Perri Elastime: Must be serious.
Fennimore looks for Rael.
Fennimore: Looks like it.
Divone Bevyn: Hello, again.
Divone Bevyn has approached. She is a courtier that you have interacted with a couple of times over the last week.
Perri Elastime: Ah, one of my favorite persons.
Guy Neale has also approached. He is usually accompanying or nearby Divone.
Divone Bevyn: That is nice to hear.
Divone Bevyn smiles.
Perri Elastime smiles.
Guy Neale: She is?
Perri Elastime: Why of course!
Perri Elastime: What is your pleasure today?
Divone Bevyn: Just making the rounds. You have been around a lot the last week, Lady Elastime. Is this going to be the norm?
Perri Elastime: I truly hope not, but we shall see.
Guy Neale: Right. You have made more appearances the last week than all previous months combined.
Divone Bevyn: So, what is the occasion that you are so present. Is it Rael?
Divone Bevyn smirks.
Fennimore (coolly): I hope her presence is appreciated.
Perri Elastime: True. My Professor thinks I might be safe for civilized folk now.
Guy Neale rolls his eyes.
Perri Elastime: Oh, Guy, if you do that, I might be forced to smack the back of your head to get your eyes more firmly seated.
Divone Bevyn: You still take to the less civilized noticeably well.
Guy Neale: That wasn't very nice, Divone.
Perri Elastime: Isn't he divine?
Divone Bevyn's eyes widen.
Perri Elastime: I require a little wildness in my life.
Fennimore: That's an understatement.
Guy Neale: The court can use some brutishness sometimes.
Perri Elastime winks and grins at Fenn.
Germana Varius: Really? You two run along.
Germana Varius approaches. She is an elderly baroness that you have exchanged pleasantries with on occasion.
Perri Elastime: Come on, Fenn. Let us go.
Germana Varius: No, no. Lady Elastime, please stay. I meant these two busy-bodies.
Perri Elastime: Oh, my mistake. Baroness Varius, so nice to see you.
Divone Bevyn and Guy Neale retreat into the throng, not inclined to deal with Baroness Varius.
Perri Elastime: How may I serve you today?
Germana Varius: I have been watching you...maneuver around court these last few days with Rael Octavius and now I wonder what it is you are up to.
Perri Elastime: I have been trying to mingle. Is it so obvious that I don't fit in?
Perri Elastime looks crestfallen.
Germana Varius: You are improving, but not at the pace at which your training with King Ran is.
Germana Varius smiles disdainfully.
Fennimore: That's why we need to practice more.
Germana Varius: So you will be a fixture in court in the future?
Perri Elastime: Training with the King is fun. This is painful.
Germana Varius: I see no bruises from this activity. Are you sure?
Perri Elastime: I guess it depends on how badly I screw up.
Germana Varius: Well, I have some advice for you, against my better judgment.
Perri Elastime: Hmm...I'll listen.
Rael Octavius watches from a distance to the exchange.
Fennimore listens intently.
Germana Varius: You are attracting some attention from some unusual folk. You have interacted with them, but do not have the history to understand the danger you may be in.
Fennimore looks around to see who else is watching the Baroness.
Rael Octavius begins to slowly approach.
Perri Elastime: Danger? What do you mean?
Fennimore sees there are regular waves of attention from those surrounding the baroness as she goes about the court.
Rael Octavius: The danger we are aware of and trying to suss out, Baroness Varius.
Perri Elastime: There are people who don't like me, but I hardly think anyone takes me seriously.
Germana Varius: Ah, Master Octavius.
Rael Octavius: It is the ones that are taking you seriously for whom we are looking.
Germana Varius: Precisely.
Rael Octavius: Who has seems most interested in you, Perri, aside from Snorri, I mean.
Perri Elastime: Many avoid me.
Germana Varius: Who regularly approaches you and takes an interest in you?
Perri Elastime: Well, the two you just chased off.
Germana Varius: They are teasers and busy-bodies.
Perri Elastime recalls Crispus Horatius and one of his friends, Ennius Iovitar.
Fennimore: There is Crispus Horatius, though I haven't seen him today.
Perri Elastime: Umm, Crispus and his buddy Ennius. they do come around regularly.
Rael Octavius: He was interrupted in his approach by your encounter with Master Takeo.
Fennimore: The traveling salesman seemed naive enough.
Fennimore: He claims close quarter fighting is forbidden in his homeland.
Rael Octavius: Yes. He only arrived the day before yesterday and only gained access to court today.
Perri Elastime: I wonder if he can improvise a good weapon.
Germana Varius: Crispus and Ennius have been closely watching you, as I have, all week.
Fennimore: And, why have we attracted your attention, Baroness?
Germana Varius: Because you seem to have been fumbling around, though I am pretty certain not Rael, my dear.
Rael Octavius: Operating very cautiously, my lady.
Perri Elastime: I'm just poking about and seeing what squawks.
Fennimore: Forgive us, if we are not born to the Court as you were.
Germana Varius: You won't find squawkers here. You are a target, Lady Bladesinger. Be prepared.
Rael Octavius: Thank you for your advice, Baroness.
You see Crispus approaching from one direction and Ennius from the other as Baroness Varius moves away from you.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Speaking of Crispus and his friend.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: Yeah. Stick close.
Crispus Horatius approaches with his customary smile.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Play it coy.
Crispus Horatius: Good day, Lady Elastime.
Perri Elastime smiles at Crispus.
Perri Elastime: Isn't it though.
Crispus Horatius: You seem to be taking to this court thing, bit by bit.
Perri Elastime: I think perhaps it just got better.
Ennius Iovitar moves around to be next to Crispus.
Perri Elastime: I'm testing the waters.
Ennius Iovitar smiles thinly and nods stiffly.
Perri Elastime: Sniffing the wind so to speak.
Crispus Horatius: Testing? That is an interesting turn of phrase.
Perri Elastime: Well, life is a challenge, do you think?
Perri Elastime winks.
Crispus Horatius: So you aren't in court out of formality and status?
Ennius Iovitar looks sideways at Crispus.
Perri Elastime: Formality? Status? What are these things to me? I'm just here for a good time.
Rael Octavius begins to look concerned.
Fennimore listens quietly.
Perri Elastime: I think I'm having fun.
Crispus Horatius: Really? I am certain you referred to court as painful...more than once. Would you not rather be hit by The High King in training than being here?
Fennimore: Are you to say she can't enjoy the pain of sparring with the King or the Court?
Crispus Horatius: I have conversed with Lady Elastime enough to understand her adeptness in combat. She is fully capable of defending against the King at this point.
Perri Elastime: Court is painful. It is so hard to know who is your friend and who just wants something. It can be exhausting. I prefer not to be hit and not to be hit up.
Crispus Horatius: So, maybe you should leave and not return to court. Stay in your realm.
Perri Elastime: Now that isn't very friendly. I'm trying to expand my repertoire.
Rael Octavius: She has a duty and the privilege as Bladesinger to be here.
Crispus Horatius glares at Rael.
Perri Elastime: I certainly would not want to be a one-note song.
Rael Octavius: You will not provoke me, Crispus. I know what you are trying to do.
Perri Elastime: Crispius would you like to be my beau?
Perri Elastime notices the nearly imperceptible revulsion he betrays at the thought.
Perri Elastime: I don't know that you could handle the likes of me.
Ennius Iovitar looks positively ill all of a sudden.
Perri Elastime: I am a very demanding woman.
Fennimore: Crispus, you must be a real man if you want to fulfill the desires of an elf.
Crispus Horatius can't hide his disgust any longer.
Ennius Iovitar doubles over as if in pain.
Perri Elastime: He may be a little undone for the job.
Fennimore: Have pity on the poor man.
Crispus Horatius: You are an abomination in this court.
Perri Elastime: What? I didn't say he was too soft.
Fennimore: He looks rather flaccid from my point of view.
Crispus Horatius (looking in terror at Ennius): Oh, no!
Perri Elastime: Really, you think you can recognize an abomination?
Fennimore: Perhaps he prefers men?
Fennimore: Is your friend alright?
Ennius Iovitar is beginning to glow with a sickly greenish light.
Ennius Iovitar shudders and begins to convulse.
Perri Elastime: He does not look well.
Crispus Horatius dashes away, screaming.
Fennimore (shouting): Is there a healer in the Court?
The area around you begins to widen as courtiers begin to move away.
Perri Elastime: Give the man some room. He is not well.
Fennimore readies to draw his rapier as he thinks we have drawn the attention of The Paragon.
Ennius Iovitar seems to molt and then lunges with supernatural speed at Perri.
The creature lashes out at Perri and Rael with its arms, striking both of them.
Perri Elastime raises a magical shield.
Even with the shield, Perri is still struck again.
Rael raises a shield, as well, which blocks the creature's blow.
Rael Octavius places an additional shield on Perri.
Fennimore draws his rapier and maneuvers to flank the creature with Perri.
Fennimore stikes the creature.
Perri Elastime begins a bladesong.
Perri produces a shadowy blade out of nothing and thrusts it at the creature, but misses.
The crowd in court retreats from the melee, blocking the castle guards from intervening.
In a twist of fate, Perri's recovery slashes the creature.
The creature that was once Ennius howls in pain.
The creature continues to attack, striking out at Perri and Fennimore this time.
This time the creature misses with its flailing.
Fennimore: Can you heal Perri? She's looking woozy.
Rael Octavius lays his hands on Perri and heals her.
Perri Elastime: Thanks.
Fennimore skewers the creature, but it remains standing.
Perri slashes the creature again with her shadowy blade.
The creature collapses with a shriek and then returns to the form of Ennius Iovitar.
Perri Elastime: What was that?
Fennimore: You tell me?
Fennimore: I wonder if the traveling salesman saw the benefits of close-quarters fighting?
Fennimore: Where did Crispy run off to? He has some answering to do.
Perri Elastime: I wonder if we are in trouble for spilling blood in court?
Rael Octavius: Clearly, our infiltrator is revealed.
Perri Elastime: Yes, let's find Crispy.
High King Ran approaches through the parting crowd.
Fennimore: Do you think Ennius was the only one?
Perri Elastime: I don't know.
Fennimore wipes his rapier on the body and sheathes it as the King approaches.
Several guards have Crispus grappled a short distance away.
Perri Elastime: Let's her blade dissipate.
Rael Octavius reaches down and touches Ennius.
Rael attempts to spare Ennius from dying but the magic is repelled and he expires.
Perri Elastime: What happened, Rael?
Rael Octavius: He resisted it?
Fennimore: Is that common?
High King Ran: The Paragon expends many in their efforts.
Perri Elastime: Do you know what that creature was?
Rael Octavius: I have never seen anything resist healing before.
High King Ran: Ennius was transformed into an abomination in service to The Paragon.
Perri Elastime: Funny, that is what he called me.
The guards drag Crispus over toward the King.
High King Ran glances at the guards.
High King Ran: Take him away.
Fennimore: I hope Lord Mosifort can get something useful out of him.
High King Ran: Only if we can manage to keep him alive long enough.
The archmage joins the guards and begins to weave wards around them and the prisoner as they leave the court.
Perri Elastime: Court is not usually this exciting.
High King Ran: Oddly, it is not supposed to be.
Fennimore: Pity, I prefer sparring with a rapier rather than with words.
High King Ran: Thank you for rooting that one out.
Perri Elastime: He was an unpleasant little git.
High King Ran smiles shallowly.
High King Ran: A temporary respite now that this infiltrator is out of the way. The Paragon will have to recover some power before striking again.
Rael Octavius: How long though?
Perri Elastime: Perhaps we could find out something from Crispus' home?
Fennimore: Or Ennius' for that matter.
Perri Elastime: Or Ennius'.
High King Ran: Likely not, but see what you can find.
Perri Elastime: Who knows what clues are left about.
High King Ran: I am sorry to have put you in that position, but it turned out to be effective and you survived.
Perri Elastime: Hey, I like prodding people.
Fennimore: The Lady Perri bore the worst of it.
Perri Elastime: Rael fixed me up.
Fennimore: Your training has been effective, if I may be so bold.
Rael Octavius nods.
Perri Elastime: But I still can't live by your rules, man.
High King Ran: You did well.
Perri Elastime: I like my new spell. I didn't draw steel in court.
High King Ran: Only the one that was already lost died.
Fennimore: And it drew first blood.
High King Ran: You were entitled to draw, but that blade was effective.
Perri Elastime: I don't think he hurt anyone else; just me and Rael.
High King Ran: It could not have attacked anyone else.
Perri Elastime: I'm going to need a lot of pie.
Fennimore: It seemed intent on attacking Perri.
High King Ran: I am sure the plan was collateral damage done by you, so I appreciate that it was limited.
Perri Elastime: He thought he could handle me. Mistake.
Comments