A Bride for Merlin
Session XII, 19 May 2000
Duke Flark takes Baroness Yvette and her candidate, Lady Janyth, to a ball at House Barimen. This is the first of several events that Flark is obligated to attend.
Shandor and Alana have received an invitation to a dance hosted by Dutchess Galina Barimen. Mandor highly recommended that Shandor take his sister Alana, and his sister’s maid (and covert bodyguard).
Seonaid talks to Fendrith about playing hooky from her concert schedule. Fendrith recalls something Flark mentioned about a new hunt, and calls him. The call fails. (!)
Seonaid tries too, with the same result: no connection. Seonaid tries for Shandor. The connection is warped, and Shandor has a connection to both Seonaid and Fendrith (!!).
After a little surprise at the nature of the (Logrus) connection, Fendrith talks about the upcoming hunt for the ninja demons. The lack of contact with Flark is mentioned, which Shandor attempts to rectify with a Logrus tendril. This encounters a protection barrier usually used by mages in their workshops.
Shandor "knocks" on the wards.
Meanwhile, Flark is practicing his sorcery, when he senses a disturbance in the wardings he had erected around his workshop. Flark reinforces the wards and shuts down his gravity spell.
Shandor uses the Logrus to embed a message within Flark's wards, so that Flark will receive a time-delayed message when he lowers his shields.
Flark realizes something has been done to his wards so that as soon as they come down, something is going to happen. Flark considers using the Logrus to escape the wards. He goes really far away, shuts down the wards, and gets a message from Shandor. This was quite exhausting, all for "Call me Back, - Shandor".
Flark returns the call, and allows Shandor to bring him into mental connection with Seonaid and Fendrith. "Shandor, never do that again," Flark begins, choosing not to "reinforce" this because he likes Shandor. They talk briefly about the hunt being tomorrow, and Flark attending a ball at the Ways of Barimen tonight.
Shandor detects a large toad-like demon with a large hat and cigar, trying to magically communicate with Seonaid. He shows the image to her, and she says to send the connection elsewhere. Next is Lady Ellionis. Shandor explains he doesn’t know where Seonaid is, physically. Shandor puts her on hold, forces her into connection with Ellionis.
Ellionis demands to know Seonaid’s whereabouts. She rudely uses the Logrus, only partially mitigated by the 'no-contact' spell, to yank Seonaid elsewhere. Fendrith comes along, and Seonaid is dragged along, kicking and screaming. Getting berated, and with her Aunt shifting into battle form, Seonaid surprises everyone.
[Especially the GM! --GM]
Seonaid starts shifting to battle form herself, and shouts at her Aunt about the rudeness of hauling her ass into this room, interrupting her communication, etc., etc., without so much as a how do you do. Seonaid ends her (totally unexpected) counter-tirade with "And don't you DARE take that form with me!!!" and then instantly teleports elsewhere, leaving behind a flabbergasted Fendrith all alone with the thunderstruck Ellionis.
Flark gives Shandor directions to the hunt. Flark disconnects, returns home, and requests a better warding spell from the experts.
Q: "Flark isn’t evil, he’s just efficient."
Seonaid teleported using her 'quick' teleport, the one with a hard-coded destination; thus, she returned to her bedroom. There, her little brother insists to come along if she’s playing hooky, and she says 'sure'. He excitedly shows Seonaid a secret exit, not only from her room, but from the entire Ways of Minobee. At her suggestion he then shows her a way into Axsum, and they proceed there, as wolves.
Fendrith, still in the the Ways of Minobee, has snuck away from Seonaid’s furious aunt. By way of the Bazaar, he attempts to call Seonaid and fails. He heads for the frontier, heading out of the Courts of Chaos.
Ghislain makes trumps for Flark. Some are parodies. During his breaks, he goes to the Bazaar. He buys a knock-off CD of Seonaid’s music. Getting home, he realizes the forgery, makes a trump of the dealer, and attempts to contact Seonaid’s manager. He notifies Jesby of his delay, they mention that Flark is her uncle. He is quickly connected with Hraalk, chief of security. He explains the forgery, exchanges it for an original. Then offers the trump card of the man who sold it, in exchange for a backstage pass and meeting Seonaid. He mumbles about the rumor of Seonaid being pregnant, which Hraalk vehemently denies.
Ghislain returns to the Ways of Jesby, tells of his adventures to his assigned page. Ghislain returns to work on Lady Yvette’s trump.
Flark considers inviting Ghislain to the Barimen Ball and does not, because they would know Ghislain for a trump artist.
Bren is being contacted for a job. An assination at a ball tonight. An extremely lucrative contract, offered through an intermediary. The target is Duke Flark Jesby. He is given a contact, Jethys, who will help him infiltrate the ball. Jethys is a demon employed by Barimen. Bren accepts the contract.
Bren considers contacting Duke Jesby via Jarek, the assassin, leaking word that a contract is out on the Lord. Bren offers to find out who placed the contract, if Flark were to match the money involved. Jarek is to leave word, "green" for Flark matching, or "red" for Flark not matching, with the bartender at the Red Herring Bar. Jarek, upon hearing the amount involved, considers someone may be setting Bren up. Bren mentions the hit is to be tonight at the ball.
Jarek sends a note for Flark to meet him at their childhood playground. Flark attends, and Jarek is waiting. "Bren has been given an offer to assassinate you for a considerable sum of money. He has considered this may be a setup to get rid of you and him. If you match this offer, he will track down the person or persons who attempted to hire him, but needs to know quickly."
Flark replies, "When I have the head of the person placing the offer, I will pay him one and a half times what he asks, and offer him additional work."
Bren gets the "green" message. He checks for others who might have received this contract. Word is out on the street that there might be a hit on Duke Jesby tonight, but nobody else will admit to being hired to do it. Bren feels it is a setup, but will go to the Ways of Barimen to meet his contact, cautiously, it might be a trap.
Bren arrives at the ball, meeting an armored demon, his contact, Jethys. He interrogates the demon, asking who he’s working for. Bren refuses to believe that Jethys doesn’t know his employer. Bren realizes that Jethys is about to attack, and takes out Jethys' knees, severing Jethys' leg. Jethys grabs Bren’s legs, crushing them. Bren severs one arm, the other goes for Bren’s throat, and is summarily severed. Bren rolls away. Jethys screams an alarm. Other demons approach, as Bren flees, using his 'get the fuck out' amulet, but not before capping the contact. A few dozen bullets hit Bren just as he vanishes. He arrives safely, thanks to his incredible armor, with only minor injuries.
Seonaid shows up with front row tickets for her own concert. Security closes in on her, because of her ward, and she is forced to start her concert from the front row. Ghislain watches from the wings while Lady Ellionis fumes.
Fendrith goes hunting in the Black Zone, eventually approaching Axsum. He shifts and goes flying, hunting for extremely large armor-plated boars. Fendrith devours three unfortunate boars. He finds a larger cave than before and takes a catnap.
Shandor, having informed his sister of the engagement, waits for her to get ready. Mandor checks up on him, making sure Alana had sufficient time. Alana is very happy about the fantastic dress Shandor got for her. (!) Mandor’s writing is on the note that accompanied the dress. Shandor considers either thanking Mandor, or killing Mandor.
Flark notifies his bodyguards about the possible assassination attempt, and his intent to attend.
Ghislain annoys Ellionis during Seonaid’s concert, but not so much to get killed, as Ellionis is in an only slightly less than murderous rage. Seonaid rubs salt into the wound by performing her rarely done "isn't family wonderful" song as an encore.
A flunky is shoved towards Ellionis, attempting to get her attention. She glares at him, and he is shoved back towards her, giving her a message, after which Ellionis storms off. He relaxes, still alive for now.
Seonaid considers a second encore, when Ghislain suggests something reminiscent of Don Mclane’s Vincent.
[GM's Note: Who?...]
Seonaid refuses a third encore with a Tracy Ulman farewell. While returning to her dressing room, she searches for her brother. He suggests she go away. He seemed to be in her aunt’s tea room.
Seonaid prepares to meet Ghislain. Hraalk fills her in on his contribution of a trump. The resulting investigation has been quite promising and the merchant in question is very, very dead. Seonaid meets with Ghislain, casually dressed. Seonaid discusses an exchange of services, for consideration of a season pass. This goes badly when it is explained to her that asking for trumps of important people is very, very ill mannered. She does like his mention of trump defenses, signs a CD for him. She gives him a pass in exchange for not drawing trumps of her, and he is walked out by Hraalk.
Ghislain is a little disappointed after his meeting. He re-mentions the pregnancy rumor, and Hraalk insists the rumor is untrue. Hraalk and Ghislain part ways
amiably. (Hraalk did refrain from ripping Ghislain's head off his neck, but that hardly qualifies as "amiable.")
[GM's Note: Please remind me that Hraalk wants to rip apart the next idiot that repeats that rumor...]
Ghislain does not ask his girlfriend to impersonate Seonaid tonight.
Seonaid gets ready for the Barimen ball. Much to the dismay of the two neurons in his brain. He sends someone out, and she decides to leave. Hraalk comes in, in time to see her vanish. She goes to the desert shadow, to finish changing.
Shandor arrives with Alana, greeting Duchess Galina Barimen. Duchess Galina expresses regrets that her husband Istvan could not make it. (he has been incapacitated since the War of Amberite Aggression.)
Andreas and Marina Chanicut are introduced.
Lady Gilva Hendrake, a Commander in the Hell-Maid legion, is introduced.
Lord Kalten Hendrake, Marshal of the Armies of Chaos...
Guildmistress of Bureaucrats, Lady Samaranth Chanicut follows...
Lord Mandor, Royal Counselor...
Princess Dara, with her cousin, Lady Charyss (formerly of House Jesby) and Lady Jasra, Mistress of the Keep of the Four Worlds.
Lord Jendo of House Helgram, on behalf of the Duke Arioch, is then announced (just before the Dukes).
The first Duke is Duke Flark of House Jesby, with Baroness Yvette and Lady Janyth. Flark expresses Baron Laan’s regrets for not attending.
Next comes Duke Vanth Hendrake, escorting his mother, Belissa Minobee, the Dowager Duchess of Hendrake.
Then comes Duke Saavish Chanicut (alone).
Duke Despil Sawall is announced next, escorting his sister-in-law, Julia Barnes-Sawall.
Finally, representing Duke Amblerash is Lord Bances, High Priest of the Serpent.
After all this is done, a late entry, "His Grace, the Duke of Kolvir, Lord Merlin." He is very much alone.
Seonaid arrives, and informs the guard that she is part of her Uncle’s party. She is quietly escorted to her Uncle. He is surprised she's here. Yvette introduces Seonaid to Janith (Janyth is the official candidate, to be Merlin's bride, on behalf of house Jesby). Flark comments on what an interesting time it is for her to display such spontaneity. Flark and his party of four women mingle.
Flark points out her (spell)ward, and notes it is rude to keep it up. She drops it.
Bren shapeshifts into demon form, swipes a backup copy of his escape amulet, and returns to the ball, shapeshifted to look like a 'drudge-bot'. He watches for anything suspicious. Flark has several women around him, which is suspicious, but one is just a bodyguard. That rock star, Seonaid, is dancing with many, many bachelors, one after another.
Merlin is introduced to Duchess Barimen, then finds a corner and disappears in a prismatic flash, having made his appearance.
Flark avoids Dara and Charyss.
Feng is noticeably absent, for some reason. Tela claims this is a bad sign, if Feng is trying to kill Flark.
Lord Jendo asks Seonaid to dance.
[RET-CON: After dancing with Seonaid, when Seonaid is off dancing with the next Noble, and when no one else is paying too much attention to him, Lord Jendo catches Duke Flark's eye, and nods.]
Duke Saavish Chanicut asks Seonaid to dance.
Duke Vaanth Hendrake asks Seonaid to dance.
His Eminence, Lord Bances Amblerash asks Seonaid to dance.
Duke Despil does not greet Seonaid, mildly miffed at her 'behavior' today.
Kalten Hendrake dances with Seonaid.
Lord Mandor dances, mentioning her 'recent adventures' with her uncle; she tries to be reasonably charming.
Done with the Barons, she passes over the rest of her admirers to approach Shandor.
Shandor dances with Seonaid. "How has your evening been?" he asks.
"Fantastic... Something’s on your mind?" Upon noticing a mental contact, she asks, quietly, "Is that you." After a slight incline of his head, she accepts the contact.
"Flark has extended an invitation for you and Fendrith to the hunt tomorrow night."
Seonaid replies, "Thank you..."
Fendrith wakes up, thinking about being out of touch with Seonaid. Upon leaving the cave, he notices he’s grown again. He is 15’ from snout to tail, and a 25’ wingspan, in Dragon form. He returns to 'conventional' form, and, using some kind of 'trick', he doesn’t seem to have changed as much in this form. He burns a contact spell.
Shandor notices someone trying to contact Seonaid. Seonaid attempts to accept the call, which Shandor allows.
Fendrith discusses having been out hunting, for no one of consequence, and is checking in. Shandor and Seonaid are dancing at the Barimen ball. Fendrith asks after the concert. All is relayed, and they arrange to meet at the desert tent later.
Shandor puts two and two together about Fendrith ‘evolving’.
Contact is closed, and Fendrith goes flying.
Shandor visits Alana, his sister, and cuts in between songs. She rattles off about how wonderful her evening is. She attempts to wander off at the next song, and Shandor pauses her with a gesture. He agrees to let her stay a little longer.
Seonaid approaches Flark. Flark is contemplating when he can leave.
Bren considers to whom he could offer a poisoned drink... None of the Dukes have been drinking tonight. Duchess Galina had one drink, delivered by a personal servant. Seonaid has been drinking like a fish. Baroness Yvette had a drink. Bren considers time-delayed poison, and auctioning the antidote, but doesn’t, sparing the populace this evening.
Seonaid asks when Flark is considering leaving, offering him an excuse-- exhausted (and drunk). He makes his excuses to the hostess.
Fendrith, flying bipedal, manages this feat. The other form is much faster, and more fun. He cannot hover. He shifts into natural form and goes flying again, considering the desert shadow, holding it in his mind. He thinks about things shifting around him, like they have accidently sometimes. The detail below seems distracting, and he longs for the abstract... he circles higher... pretty high up how... about has high up as he can in the thin air. The trees below blend into various shades of green, passing below him eventually blend into a smooth consistant color... the streams seem to vanish, and the clouds fade away... losing altitude he spots something on the horizon... a tent, perhaps... and there is the machine gun...
Fendrith finds himself at the proscribed tent, on his own. (!)
Duchess Galina is pleased to have met Seonaid, and understands her being tired. Bids farewell, genuinely pleased that Seonaid made an appearance, even after her earlier performance.
Seonaid goes to her tent, meeting Fendrith.
Flark goes home.
Shandor eventually goes home.
Bren noticed nothing revealing while at the Ball. He helps clean and slips out quietly.
Ghislain returns to his studio.