The Penrose Offer - Scene III

The Storyteller (10:11:46 PM): "That was exciting." Rakesh said, looking back across his shoulder as the trio made their way down the side of the museum and into the alleyway that had been their hideout earlier. "I sincerely hope that this lump of hair is worth it to Ms. Penrose."
The Storyteller (10:11:48 PM): "All this and more, Lupine." A shivery voice spoke, though one with just a hint of a northern accent. There was a feeling of revelation, similar but more powerful than that which happened when Caelan revoked her cloak of shadows. A woman stood before you, clad in a tattered dress of years gone by, her hair wild, her fingernails as long as Rakesh's claws, her eyes filled with a terrible sanity. "It is worth all this, and more." She nodded to Caelan, dark eyes piercing the veils. "Greetings Neonate, Compradors." ||
Caelan (10:16:20 PM): Caelan jumped. Whether this was her own reaction or the primal one of her race wasn't clear. "Hello?" she asked softly, still holding bezoar in her cold hand. ||
Ilkin (10:17:39 PM): Ilkin didn't seem too surprised. He watched the vampire woman quietly, waiting for her to make her move. This was Cae's business more than his anyway. ||
The Storyteller (10:21:41 PM): "Greetings Neonate." The dark-eyed woman repeated, clasping her hands together. Her clothing was hard to place, but from before the First World War at the least. There was something very distant in her voice, as though she wasn't quite talking to you. "I have dreamed of you and your friends. Do you cast your lot in with the whig?" ||
Caelan (10:25:06 PM): Caelan glanced between her companions then bowed her head stiffly, wondering if that was what the vampire desired. "Greetings...?" She didn't know what to call her.
Caelan (10:25:06 PM): "I'm sorry, I don't know any Whigs. Well I suppose Ilkin's..." she trailed off somewhere along the tangent of Liberal Democrats and Labour Party in her head. ||
Ilkin (10:26:05 PM): Ilkin is quite comfortably Free Council but says nothing. He glanced at this woman, looking at her through the eyes of a master of Fate.
The Storyteller (10:27:28 PM): "The traitor hunter, the Beast who believes she is a Man, the Dead who believes she is Alive." The dark-eyed woman said, without the hint of impatience. She tilted her head to look at Caelan, the neck twisting in ways that probably wouldn't work on a normal human. With visible effort, she continued. "The Lady Penrose... who intervenes in mortal affairs." ||
Caelan (10:29:55 PM): Caelan peered down at the bezoar. "To be honest I am not quite sure-- beg pardon, madam, but who are you?" It suddenly occurred to Caelan that she was not obligated to give up her personal feelings to a stranger.
Caelan (10:29:58 PM): Even if it felt ungodly like someone she knew, some kind of kin. ||
Ilkin (10:30:30 PM): "Someone who can read the tapestry," Ilkin answered for Caelan.
The Storyteller (10:33:45 PM): "A walking dreamer, abroad in nightmare." The dark-eyed woman said, then smiled suddenly, a gesture that was probably meant to be friendly but mostly showed very large and very sharp fangs. "The weaver Abonde, who wakes the Prince from slumber."
The Storyteller (10:33:46 PM): "Caelan?" Rakesh said softly. It would have taken someone familiar with the werewolf to catch the slightly questioning inflection. The fact that his hands now bore a very strong resemblance to claws was more obvious. ||
Caelan (10:36:35 PM): Her attention flicked to Rakesh and she shook her head. It was all right, for now. "I don't know why Penrose wanted me--us," she amended, and swallowed to wet her mouth. "But I'm sure I don't know what you mean, madam." ||
The Storyteller (10:40:42 PM): The dark-eyed vampire paused, and when she spoke again, her voice was sharper, clearer, though still sounding scratched and distant. "The Lady of Pennyroyal and Rose wishes the Bezoar, for it is sovereign... it is proof... against our bane... fire... and uses you to her ends. When waking I saw this, and in dreaming I speak with you... now."
The Storyteller (10:40:43 PM): "I wish to offer you a different path to walk." The vampire Abonde said now. ||
Ilkin (10:41:23 PM): ( What's the sense motive? )
The Storyteller (10:41:31 PM): [Wits+Empathy]
OnlineHost (10:42:03 PM): Ilkin rolled 5 10-sided dice: 8 8 1 5 7
Caelan (10:43:40 PM): Caelan was especially confused now, considering the vampire who had hired them. Why them? And yet they had gotten the job done.... She gripped the bezoar tighter now. "What is that?" ||
Ilkin (10:48:21 PM): Ilkin just waited. He seemed to have an inkling of what all was going on but was waiting for Cae to hear this vampire out
The Storyteller (10:50:19 PM): "Solitude. Wisdom. Absence. Dreaming." The vampire in the tattered, rotted dress said. Her eyes fell upon Rakesh and Ilkin. "Your compradors give you influence, neonate. Your path will be strewn with blood and bone, with gold and yes, with roses. I dreamed this."
The Storyteller (10:50:21 PM): "You will walk this path, will ye or nil ye. Perhaps alone. Perhaps with the Dragon's get. I wish that you walk with me. " Abonde said. She smiled suddenly. "It would bring me power, and dreams. I am greedy, Neonate. I am also honest." ||
Ilkin (10:52:25 PM): "She is honest enough," Ilkin assured Cae.
Caelan (10:52:37 PM): Her face contorted like a child's whose just been told she cannot go home. "But they're all I have," she said meekly. Cae was struck dumb standing there, mass in her hand, clueless as to the implications. ||
The Storyteller (10:54:47 PM): "A harsher mistress than I will carve them away with a reaper's scythe." Abonde said simply. "Your story-eyed poet serves her as well. I would but prepare your road." ||
OnlineHost (10:55:41 PM): Caelan rolled 7 10-sided dice: 4 7 3 4 5 8 4
The Storyteller (10:55:49 PM): "Honest does not mean trustworthy, I note." Rakesh said with a dark look. The werewolf was not pleased with this." ||
Caelan (10:58:23 PM): Cae understood at least part of what Abonde had just said. "Then there's no reason I can't stay with them, until they're..." she cut off, not able to finish. Until they're done. ||
The Storyteller (10:59:36 PM): "I would not separate you." Abonde said, perhaps only now realizing a slight confusion. ||
OnlineHost (10:59:57 PM): Ilkin rolled 5 10-sided dice: 8 5 9 10 4
onlinehost (11:00:00 PM): Ilkin rolled 1 10-sided die: 3
Ilkin (11:00:05 PM): ( That's my Wits + Int )
Ilkin (11:01:35 PM): "She's saying you should stay with us," Ilkin said, "She's not Acanthus but I recognize a familiar spirit." He glanced at Cae, then Rakesh, then Abonde.
Ilkin (11:01:52 PM): "You see her threads like I do, don't you?" ||
The Storyteller (11:02:33 PM): "Threads of dreams, a path through stars." The dark-eyed vampire said simply. "A moment of waking truth amidst the nightmare." ||
Caelan (11:02:43 PM): "I see. That is different," Cae said more slowly after hearing Ilkin. "What should I do with this?" She widened her hand to let the bezoar sit on her palm. It wasn't exactly an offer, but it was an open gesture. ||
Ilkin (11:07:36 PM): "She also wants to be part of your destiny and part of whatever greatness you're bound for," Ilkin explained.
The Storyteller (11:07:38 PM): "I would take it, if you are willing." Abonde said.
The Storyteller (11:07:39 PM): "Mmm. And there is the catch." Rakesh said. He rubbed the bridge of his nose, being careful not to dislodge his glasses. "On the whole, she reminds me of some of my elders. I'm afraid I'm not sure whether or not that's a recommendation." ||
Ilkin (11:09:25 PM): "She doesn't mean you harm," Ilkin said, "I'm quite certain of that."
Caelan (11:10:44 PM): Cae retracted the bezoar. "I need to think. I don't know any of you." There was a strong emphasis on you, being the vampires now popping up and demanding allegiance. ||
The Storyteller (11:14:04 PM): What happened next happened in a blur. Abonde, who had been standing several feet away, was now standing right in front of Caelan, her clawed hand grasping Caelan's wrist. You hadn't even seen her move, she was so fast. "Your path travels amidst blood and bone. Perhaps your own." Her voice hadn't changed a whit. "I will meet you again when the world is shrouded in utter darkness, and the moon hide's her face." ||
Caelan (11:15:50 PM): Caelan winced and recoiled. "Fine! New moon." ||
The Storyteller (11:18:19 PM): Abonde released her grip, and turned. She tilted her head slightly first to Ilkin, then to Rakesh. "Fellow weaver and fellow dreamer, compradors. I wish you fortune. Good night, and good hunting." She turned, and in contrast to her sudden appearance, glided on down the alley, her movements smooth and unnaturally graceful.
The Storyteller (11:18:30 PM): "Charming." Was all that Rakesh said of the matter. ||
Caelan (11:19:47 PM): "I want to go now," was all Cae managed out of for words. Her expression was less dumb and more disturbed. ||
Caelan (11:20:00 PM): -of* ))
Ilkin (11:20:43 PM): "Sure thing. The sooner we get away from this place, the better." ||
The Storyteller (11:21:33 PM): [Well, I'm done for plot stuff until Cae makes a decision, though since it's still early, I propose we continue the RP and move to some place for the three of our characters to unwind. Rakesh's apartment, or one of Ilkin's trendy little cafes?]
Ilkin (11:22:11 PM): ( I'm content to move forward. Could even use Ilkin's expensive flat if you want. He and Ben are pretty rich. )
Caelan (11:22:45 PM): (well I'm free!)
The Storyteller (11:23:02 PM): "I think that would be a very good idea." Rakesh said, then simply shook his head. "Where to?" ||
Ilkin (11:23:19 PM): ( Wherever, you pick Nerit >P )
Ilkin (11:23:56 PM): ( We could even visit some place run by one of Ilkin's fae courtier friends )
Caelan (11:24:08 PM): (Cae wants to go somewhere safe)
The Storyteller (11:25:29 PM): [Then let's head for Ilkin's apartment. Mage-inhabited flat ought to be safe. Plus we haven't been there yet. Kage, set the scene!]
Ilkin (11:29:20 PM): Ilkin lived in a nice, two-floor flat overlooking a large park in the Harrow borough of London. The living/dining/kitchen/bar area ceiling spanned both floors and large windows looked out over the park.
Ilkin (11:30:54 PM): The place was decorated in a comfortable, spacious style. Above half the apartment was the second floor where Ilkin and Ben had their bedrooms and personal areas. The main area could easily be cleared out for a party, though.
Ilkin (11:32:05 PM): The place was also very clean. Everything seemed shiny and new. Undoubtedly the two men had maidservice. Ilkin was a famous reporter and heavily involved in film. Between that and his Mage life, he wasn't home much.
Ilkin (11:32:53 PM): Ben was a professional rugby player, so he wasn't home much either. Plus he had the expected attitude of a jock -- kinda lazy around the house.
Ilkin (11:33:30 PM): Ben was at home watching bad late night horror movies when the trio arrived. "Allo," he greeted, "Oh, Jay, you brought your mates over? Should I head upstairs?"
Ilkin (11:34:00 PM): Ilkin shrugged indifferently and tossed his keys on the foyer stand. "Either of you want a drink?" he asked Rakesh and Caelan as he headed to the bar. ||
Ilkin (11:35:18 PM): ( Oh, right, they have one of those giant TVs. And Ilkin has some unearthyl alcohol in his stash. Hedge wines and maybe even something for vampires' tastes. )
The Storyteller (11:36:36 PM): "...Tea." Rakesh said. For reasons that were never entirely obvious, the werewolf tend to become quiet on the rare occasions he visited Ilkin. "Dark, three teaspoons of sugar." ||
Caelan (11:38:28 PM): "I'd love something," Cae said with really, really wide, significant eyes. The kind of YESBUTYOUKNOWICANTSAYITINFRONTOFPEOPLE stare that anyone should get. ||
Ilkin (11:39:07 PM): ( Ben's a Mage, he isn't "people" )
Caelan (11:39:58 PM): (she's still embarrassed)
The Storyteller (11:40:48 PM): "I'll get you something to drink, Cae." Rakesh said. "Ilkin, where do you keep the glasses?" ||
Ilkin (11:40:54 PM): "I'll have another beer," Ben called. "Get it yourself," Ilkin retorted. The fridge opened on its own and a can of beer zipped into Ben's waiting hand.
Ilkin (11:41:47 PM): The Acanthus put a kettle on for Rakesh, then got out some scotch and ice. He pulled a few cups down from a cabinet and handed one to Rakesh. "Go on, then. By the time you're back, tea should be ready."
Ilkin (11:41:53 PM): Ilkin had a strange way of making tea water heat up fast. ||
Caelan (11:46:15 PM): Cae nodded her thanks and realized she still had the thing in her hand. "Do you have some......tuperware...?" ||
The Storyteller (11:46:21 PM): The werewolf regarded this exchange between the two mages with odd memories of his own school days. "...Right then."
The Storyteller (11:46:26 PM): By this point in time Rakesh had the bloodletting down to an exact science. A moment's concentration to elongate a single claw, a slit down the wrist in such a way as to keep the blood flowing, then more concentration to prevent the werewolf's natural regeneration from closing the wound until a fair pint of blood had been provided. When Rakesh finally healed himself, he was feeling just a little light-headed, but it was a feeling that would pass in a quarter hour or so.
The Storyteller (11:46:27 PM): When he came back it was with a tall glass of liquid that could have been wine. But wasn't. ||
Ilkin (11:48:47 PM): Ilkin furnished a container for Cae. By the time Rakesh returned, a large mug of tea sat cheerfully steaming on the bar. Ilkin leaned on the bar from behind, nursing a glass of scotch-rocks.
Ilkin (11:49:04 PM): "Amaranthine tea," the Mage said cheerfully. "Got some leaves last time I was in the Hedge."
Ilkin (11:49:22 PM): "It's horrid stuff," Ben called. The Obrimos changed the channel. ||
The Storyteller (11:50:32 PM): "Fascinating." Rakesh said. He put the glass down and peered at the tea for a moment before taking a cautious sip. ||
Ilkin (11:50:55 PM): ( Amaranthines are actually pretty good, Ben just has no taste. )
Caelan (11:51:30 PM): Cae muttered Ilkin a thanks and daintily took the glass of bl--wine. She could pretend sometimes. She took a sip, then noticed the gargoyle-y dust on her sweater with a casual glance and beat at it. ||
Ilkin (11:52:05 PM): "So, what do you think?" Ilkin asked, glancing between his two companions. In the living room, a woman screamed on TV. Ilkin winced, but not from fright.
The Storyteller (11:52:44 PM): "An exciting night, and I am now thinking that being arrested and you writing prison specials is the least of our worries." Rakesh said, with the tenacity of, well, a wolf in keeping that joke. ||
Caelan (11:55:16 PM): Cae took another sip. She looked sullen despite the immediate comfort of the liquid. ||
Ilkin (11:56:08 PM): "Do you want me to read your destiny?" Ilkin asked. He pulled a tarot deck out from under the bar. ||
Caelan (11:57:29 PM): Cae liked tarot cards. So she couldn't say no. But she had to say yes in a backhanded, begrudging manner because of his use of "destiny." ||
OnlineHost (12:00:29 AM): Ilkin rolled 6 10-sided dice: 2 4 5 4 10 7
onlinehost (12:00:34 AM): Ilkin rolled 1 10-sided die: 9
Ilkin (12:05:50 AM): ( >_> )
Ilkin (12:06:14 AM): Ilkin dealt three cards. He flipped the first to indicate Caelan. The Hanged Man.
Caelan (12:06:46 AM): Cae's face fell at this.
Caelan (12:06:58 AM): (I assume this is simple P-P-F setup)
Ilkin (12:09:38 AM): "You're in a situation where you need to make a decision," Ilkin said, "You're still hanging between your old life and your new and you need to make a choice."
Ilkin (12:09:59 AM): The next card: The Star
Caelan (12:11:48 AM): (I hope you're not using Major Arcana only e_e)
The Storyteller (12:12:00 AM): Rakesh leaned forward, examining the tarot reading very carefully. To be perfectly honest, Rakesh's occult research had never really gotten around to tarot cards, possibly due to the thinking that anything used around the world can't be that secret and mystical. So mostly he watched and waited. ||
Caelan (12:13:23 AM): This one,especially in relation to the previous card, she had to ponder over.
Ilkin (12:13:58 AM): "You've got an active and fufilling life ahead," Ilkin said, "It's good fortune, but not without violence and trouble."
Ilkin (12:14:36 AM): The Turkish mage seemed distant, as if he weren't really looking at the cards or at Cae. He took on that same faraway look that Abonde had while he read.
Ilkin (12:15:06 AM): The third card: The Moon
Ilkin (12:15:11 AM): "Dreams," was all Ilkin said.
Caelan (12:15:37 AM): (seriously 3 major arcana?)
Ilkin (12:15:56 AM): (mmyep)
Caelan (12:16:00 AM): "Illusions," Cae countered, but she knew what he meant. ||
Ilkin (12:16:47 AM): "Dreams," Ilkin corrected her firmly as he collected his cards and put the deck away. ||
Caelan (12:19:53 AM): "You're too optimistic," she groused and drank more blood. ||
The Storyteller (12:21:12 AM): Rakesh peered at the cards curiously. "How reliable is this?" ||
Ilkin (12:22:26 AM): "I'm Acanthus," Ilkin archly reminded both of them. "Fate and Time are my business. I can see them like I see you two now." "That's why he's always late," Ben called from the living room.
Ilkin (12:23:04 AM): Ilkin thought about replying but decided not to. "I can see destiny without the cards. The cards just provide a focus for my power. In the hands of a Sleeper, who can say how accurate they are...
Ilkin (12:23:29 AM): "In the hands of an Acanthus, though, they are very indicative of destiny." ||
The Storyteller (12:23:55 AM): Rakesh, who's predictive power (or who's tribes predictive power) had the, in his view, much more reliable source of the Firstborn spirits, nodded sagely to this. "Your thoughts, Cae?"
The Storyteller (12:23:55 AM): ||
Caelan (12:24:25 AM): Cae sighed and looked at the werewolf. "Acanthus has nothing to do with the cards, right? For normal people you just apply your own life through the collective unconscious." ||
Ilkin (12:25:57 AM): "Oh, no, as far as I know, the cards were not designed by the Awakened," Ilkin said, "But the collective association the concept of Tarot has with fate and prophecy makes them useful to Acanthus mages."
Ilkin (12:26:09 AM): "Concepts and collective memory are powerful forces of fate." ||
Caelan (12:26:39 AM): She furrowed her brows, likely in part because her blood was getting cold. Stupid mages. ||
The Storyteller (12:26:50 AM): "Prophecy in seventy-eight bite-sized pieces?" Rakesh said dryly. ||
Ilkin (12:29:49 AM): Ilkin grinned in agreement.
Ilkin (12:29:51 AM): ||
Caelan (12:33:26 AM): The vampire sighed again and finished the drink. "And yet it doesn't help me much." ||
Ilkin (12:33:48 AM): "What have you got to lose?" Ilkin asked
The Storyteller (12:34:14 AM): "It seems we have three choices. Penrose, Abonde, or none of the above." Rakesh said. "Though what we do with the Bezoar becomes an interesting question in the latter case." ||
Caelan (12:34:51 AM): "It's a commodity," she said into her cup. "I'm keeping it." ||
The Storyteller (12:42:53 AM): "Well, let's think on it and discuss things in the evening, on a fresh mind." Rakesh said diplomatically. "I should head off to keep Lord Nelson company for a while soon." ||
Caelan (12:44:34 AM): "I need my beauty sleep," she agreed bitterly. ||
Ilkin (12:44:45 AM): "Do you want to stay?" Ilkin asked Caelan, "We have a spare room. Can pull the shades and it'll be nice and dark."
Caelan (12:45:28 AM): "I'd have to sleep under the bed, unless you have blackouts." She frowned.
The Storyteller (12:46:10 AM): "It would probably be better if there was a room with no windows. Just for safety's sake." Rakesh noted. ||
Caelan (12:47:45 AM): "I think I want to be alone for awhile," she finally admitted, and thanked Ilkin for his hospitality. ||
Ilkin (12:48:10 AM): "All right then. You two take care." Ilkin raised his glass in salute. ||