House of Tramino
[OOC: This is a supernatural themed horror PRP. It's open to anyone and I can handle up to 5 characters. There will be some danger, but no combat skills necessary.]
Jan. 31, 2020, 11 p.m.
Outside Arx - Ischia - Tramino Estate
Comments and Log
Having arrived in Ischia in the morning, the party is treated to an early lunch in the city by Livia, the Seraph of Ischia. Afterward, the party from Arx, along with Livia make their way upward through the streets of Morisco, and pass through the gates of the Tramino Estate to arrive at the doors. An elderly servant stands before the tall black double doors that lead into the large two story mansion upon the hill overlooking the Southern Sea.
The wispy white hairs of the elderly servant stir slightly in the afternoon breeze, as he bows in a slow, labored manner. "Welcome to the House of Tramino. I am Ernesto, the head servant. It is an honor to host you here." His voice is raspy and ancient, and his expression solemn, but sincere.
After eating anything sweet she could find at that brunch, Mabelle is all ready for some travel. The old man that welcomes them gets a compassionate smile from her, perhaps even tinged of fondness like you share a grandparent. She scans the walls as they enter the mansion, but does not add much herself.
The Malvici woman, always clad in black and red leather accented by steelsilk, has been mostly staying to herself or talking to the Kennex pair, whom she is quite familiar with already. The others she's made gruff and short greetings to on the journey but has otherwise not conversed much; mostly she drinks from her flask instead. "Thank you," she says in her throaty voice to the servant, giving a nod of her head. "I just hope we're able to do some good and all."
Ringvald has come on this trip for the simple reason of exploration and information, eager to go to another new place, more so in the name of investigation. He has been quiet much of this time, observing the differing people and any minute changes in their society, writing it in his journal as he does. Respectfully he puts it away, giving a bow as they're brought into the mansion, his eyes taking in the architecture of this place, likely not paying very good attention to much else around them.
Ian is clearly here because SOMEONE (Dianna) decided it was a good idea to talk Zoey into going with her, and There Are Always Demons. (When there are not demons, yes there fucking are.) He's wearing most of his armor, minus the steelsilk hood that got torn up by Zombie Bruce Lee. Coiled at his hip where a sword would normally be, like the worlds brightest, most garish, most awful whip, is The Scarf.
Appolonia was glad to get out of Arx for a little bit for some strange reason. Maybe she hopes to hide in the volcano if Eurus conquers them.
She has been wearing lighter hues lately, though, and was quite pleased to dine on salt cod and squid-ink pasta for her lunch. "Thank you, Ernesto," Appolonia tells him: "You do your lords credit. I hope that the weather has been pleasant for you, of late?"
Lycene to the core - and Mirrormask, which may be incredibly evident by the mirrored armor she wears - Sister Dianna Godsworn is literally glittering in the sunlight that catches the mirrorsilver discs all over her body - with the exception of her arms. And yet, the priestess' expression is grave, serious as she scans the streets, checking for anything apparently out-of-the-ordinary or suspicious. She wears on her back a bright orange backpack, as well as her mirrorsilver glaive. Lunch consisted of light foods and brandy, though not too much; she's learned well that she needs to keep her wits about her, should she need to connect with the gods.
"Hello," Dianna smiles warmly to Ernesto, her amber gaze resting gently upon his gaze. "Thank you for having us. I'm Sister Dianna Godsworn," the priestess introduces herself before gesturing to the others and naming the others - excepting Eirene, who has kept to herself.
Zoey is actually here because a *Scholar* is missing, thank you very much, and now that she is no longer burdened with carrying another life within her she wants to be of help in finding him. She stays at Ian's side, and too be clear, it's the side *away* from that nasty old scarf.
Zoey gets a supple fitted sharkskin jacket with a violet sailing ship from a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.
Zoey gets a lilac-tinged grey pair of sleek sharkskin pants from a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.
Zoey gets a lilac-tinged grey pair of sturdy sharkskin boots from a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.
Zoey puts a silvery silken sideless surcoat in a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.
Zoey puts pointed dress slippers made from umbra organza with floral beading in a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.
Ian nods when introduced, but is otherwise tending towards sticking near Eirene, keeping an eye on Zoey, and not doing a lot of talking.
"As do I, My Lady," says Ernesto to Eirene. He offers an additional bow to Appolonia Seraceni, and says, "The breeze has been pleasant, My Lady." To Dianna, he replies, "I'm sure you will find the shrine to Limerance a delight." The aged man's posture is immaculate, and with a glance towards Livia, he pulls open the great double doors and leads the party into the mansion.
Ernesto pace is not fast, but he it is a steady tred beneath a great pair of stairs, and through a central hallway. On the left, an open door reveals a rather large library, where the light streams in from tall latticed windows. Finally Ernesto leads them to a second pair of doors, and out onto a great patio. To the west, a great garden is visible, with many trees, and tropical plants native to Ischia, which appear well maintained. Just ahead, a young man, dressed in white and gold sits at an easel, painting the seascape, which spreads out to the north, several hundred feet below the end of the patio, which stretches out to the end of the cliff upon which the mansion itself is built.
"Young Master," intones Ernesto. "The guests from Arx have arrived."
"So tell me about that scarf," Appolonia asks Ian, during the walk - there's time, after all. It's something to fill the air as she turns her eyes round the gardens, hands clasped before her and smiling in a vaguely genial way.
Mabelle walks behind Ernesto, peeking subtly into the rooms as they pass. The library keeps her attention for a brief moment and just as she feels like she is falling behind, she moves faster. Avoiding any information about Ian's hideous scarf, she catches up to her cousin Zoey and walks beside her. When they reach the young man, she smiles to him, "Thank you for having us, we came as soon as possible"
Eirene rolls her eyes a little as she's left out from the formal introductions. "And I'm Lady Eirene Mal-fucking-vici, apparently not worth noting." A smirk catches lightly on her lips before it fades and she resumes being professionally neutral. "I once threatened to send a lover my scarf dunked in whiskey and leather polish, so he could always remember me by it... Yours smells like someone -- nevermind. Latrines would be too pleasant a word," she comments wryly to Ian. As they're brought before the young lord, she falls quiet and settles into a parade rest with her arms behind her at the small of her back. "My lord," she says simply.
Rising from his seat, the black haired boy turns to address his guests. His skin is pale, and green eyes rather sunken. In reply to Mabelle's greeting, he says in a soft voice, "Welcome. My name is Paolo Tramino. I understand you have come to help search for Messere Esteban. He was my beloved tutor, and a very good friend." The boy, perhaps having seen thirteen summers, seems exhausted just to utter those few words, and sinks back into this seat, though he remains facing those who have arrived, smiling weakly and offering a polite bow to Eirene.
Ian's gaze is fixed almost entirely on his feet as he walks, but he pauses from time to time to get a look around him, taking in his surroundings -- not in the 'admiration of nice architecture' way, really, but rather in the 'looking for choke points and defensible positions' way or the 'making a mental note of all the exits' way. His player may or may not have just sketched out a map. "Scarf's a long story," he says in the distracted tone of someone who doesn't do walking and talking at the same time very well. His free hand runs over the scarf with more affection than is reasonable for something that smells like that. Then they're out in the courtyard and, after a brief nod to their host, he's back to taking in the surroundings the same way he was looking around the house.
Ian checked perception + war at difficulty 20, rolling 16 higher.
Ringvald is almost pained to leave the library, listening to the harsh but perhaps friendly bickering of the others in the party. His dark blue eyes wander down until they're set ahead to the young master, a gloved hand rising to the northerners chest as he gives another small bow. "I am Lord Ringvald Clearlake, do you know where he was last seen? We should look there first, as well as his work area if he has one."
Of course, it very well /could/ have been Dianna who 'convinced' Zoey to come - because, as all of Arx (and half of the Lyceum know), Sister Dianna Godsworn is The Most Alluring Temptress Ever. (Not really, but rumors will be rumors.) Regardless, Dianna is nonplussed about Ian's predicament and remains just ahead of Zoey - just-in-case-of-zombies, of course. "Ahh, at last I meet the illustrious ''Aunt Eirene,'" Dianna's eyes twinkle merrily at the Malvici. "Your family says nothing but wondrous things of you; it's a pleasure to finally meet. I beg pardon for not yet familiarizing myself with you... though one would hardly wish to interrupt your thoughts."
Upon entering the area with the man painting a seascape, the priestess' eyes fall on the young man who is painting and she smiles gently. "What has you so tired, my lord? Are you not sleeping well?" Dianna's voice and manner is full of gentle empathy.
Mabelle takes in the image of the boy. His skin, the dark rounds of his eyes. He is far lacking an energy for such a young man. If he can even be called a man. When he sinks in his chair, she wonders, maybe joining Dianna's question, "Have you been unwell at all? I can take a quick look at you if you will permit me".
Eirene checked perception + medicine at difficulty 30, rolling 30 higher.
Appolonia tilts her head forwards a little, smiling, as if hoping for the story from Ian -- but then they are faced with Paolo. With a swirl of silk Appolonia advances on him, worry painting her face as she reaches to clasp the boy's hand in both of hers. "Oh, Paolo," she says, "my poor brave Paolo. I want to assure you that we shall do our utmost. Dear Ringvald is extremely correct, but may I add to his questions...? Did anything change in the short time before his disappearance?"
"And isn't this a wonderful view, Eirene?" Appolonia adds, glancing towards her with raised eyebrows. "It would be so dramatic any time of the day." (She also moves clear if Mabelle is authorized for a more proper inspection.)
A look of concern touches the weathered features of Ernesto, though whether it is concern for his master or for Esteban, it is difficult to ascertain.
"Of course, My Lord," replies Paolo to Ringvald. The young man coughs violently for a moment, seeming to struggle to take in a breath. Ernesto quickly moves to his side, but Paolo waves him away, hiding the red stain on his sleeve as quickly as he can slip it into his lap. "His quarters are on the second floor. Ernesto will show you in due time." His green eyes linger on Mabelle for a moment, and his lips open, and then shut. "Perhaps later, My Lady," he says softly, trying to smile. "I will be fine."
Dianna checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 0 higher.
Eirene checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 5 lower.
Mabelle checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 32 higher. Mabelle rolled a critical!
Ian checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 8 higher.
Appolonia checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 2 lower.
Zoey checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 33 higher.
Ian leans towards Eirene and mutters something to her under his breath, leaving more socially inclined people to do the social things.
Ian checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 30, rolling 8 higher.
Ringvald checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 9 higher.
At Appolonia's question, Paolo and Ernesto exchange a look. "Yes," he says slowly. He opens his mouth to speak again, and suddenly a great stone vase falls from aloft. It lands directly on the eisel that Paolo had been working on, sending fragments of wood and stone in every direction. Paolo falls from his chair, and appears to have received a nasty gash to his forehead, and the shattering fragments would certainly have gashed Appolonia and Eirene, save for the preternatural danger sense of Lord Ian Kennex, who dashes between the women and the fallen vase with great alacrity.
25 inflicted and Ian is unharmed.
25 inflicted and Ian is unharmed.
"Oh my gods, Ian...!" Dianna exclaims, startled more by Ian's ability to move so quickly than by the falling vase. She steps forward immediately, though, skimming Ian's body first.
Zoey gasps, having been caught by surprise when the vase fell. She goes quickly to Ian's side, first looking him over before glancing up to where the vase had fallen from.
It really looks like some kind of danger sense, but maybe it's just that Ian's had demons throw vases at him before. Or, you know, statues. That happened once. Without warning, Ian grabs Eirene and hauls her bodily a few steps over, spinning while bringing up his cane to deflect a particularly large shard of broken stone. And then he stumbles a little bit, because he's not nearly steady enough on his feet for what he just did, but he manages to keep his footing. That's what that cane is for. There was a collection of pinging noises as shards of sharp stone ricocheted off of his braced boots, but those diamondplate braces stop anything from penetrating the leather.
Dianna checked intellect + medicine at difficulty 15, rolling 22 higher.
Dianna checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 15 higher.
Eirene had given Dianna a grin at being called 'Aunt'. Indeed, that is her nickname. Like with the others, as they're brought into Paolo's company, she's concerned for the young man's poor health. Eirene doesn't ask, she simply looks him over from afar with a measured eye. She grunts, apparently coming to some silent conclusion. It's this and Ian's comment which distracts her attention. She looks at Ian questioningly and doesn't notice the heavy vase rocking and tumbling downward. "Shit on a shingle," she swears loudly as Ian, always faster than he looks, pulls her aside.
Zoey checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 4 higher.
"Gods above, Ian," Dianna scolds the man as she checks the Kennex lord for injuries. "Is it not enough what happened to you last time?"
Mabelle jumps back as the vase fall. Probably just instinct. As all are fussing over Ian, Mabelle walks over to Paolo, crouching next to him, "Are you all right, child?", she inquires, inspecting him.
Mabelle checked perception + medicine at difficulty 25, rolling 64 higher. Mabelle rolled a critical!
There is a moment where Appolonia is thunderstruck, her hands coming up as she flinches - she is about to say something aloud for a moment when Ian interjects, and she looks at Paolo, mouth hanging open in frank shock...
And then she takes a deep breath and speaks with great force.
"I see," Appolonia shouts, "that there is a COWARD and an aspiring KILLER in this realm!" She turns to face where the vase had been - moving several steps to the side, so she (thin as she may be) is between Paolo and this person. "Shall our foe be revealed? What a hero! Songs shall surely be sung of the one who THREW A VASE AT A BOY WITH A PAINTBRUSH! Reveal yourself and live, knave! Raise your bare hands to the heavens themselves or you shall not be asked again so sweetly!" (Appolonia's had a difficult last-little-while.)
Zoey wields Dawn's Light, an alaricite bow.
Ian gives Dianna a dry look once he's sure he's not going to topple over. "You're welcome to step in whenever you like."
Zoey spots movement on the balcony and swiftly grabs and nocks her bow.
"I will," Dianna's eyes flit to Ian's eyes. "Thank the gods you're alright. /This/ time." Dianna stands and extends an arm to Ian, "There was someone up there..." She glances to Zoey and nods, then waits for Ian's hand.
Appolonia checked mana + occult at difficulty 30, rolling 30 higher.
Ringvald remains mostly still as the vase falls, moving would have increased his odds of injury. Instead he looks up at where it had come from inquisitively. "That shouldn't have happened." He says simply as Appolonia begins to put on her display. "I don't think anyone is up there, who would attempt a ridiculous assassination with a vase with so many witnesses? If they wanted to blatantly do it, and could sneak above the young lord, almost anything would have been better. Bow, throwing dagger."
Ian traces his gaze up the... wall? Fence? Cliff? "Do you want me to climb after him?" He asks, not taking Dianna's arm, probably because nobody has spelled it out to him that's what he's supposed to be doing. "Zoey's probably going to take care of this."
"If they were sensible they wouldn't have done it at all," Appolonia says quietly in a normal-people voice. "If it is an accident I'll buy them a present." She does not seem to think an accident likely, or else she would have looked at Ringvald to say that.
Mabelle reaches into her bag, pulling it a dainy kit and some vials. She tends to the wound on his forehead first, from which Paolo is bleeding profusely, cleaning it, icing it, stitching and dressing it. His bloody cough is not overlooked though and she murmurs to the child, "How long has this been going on? The cough? When did it start?", she inquires. Once her work on his forehead is done, she searches her bag for a little vial of oil. Turning to Earnesto she asks, "Can you get some water, please? This is rather bitter". She hands the vial to the boy, awaiting his response and te glass. Meanwhile her eyes travel up to see if anyone is attacking them. Because she's curious, not because she would be useful.
"That might have been a warning," Zoey comments, holding on to the arrow. "I don't have the shot. I don't know who or what is up there."
Sweat runs down Appolonia's back as she sucks in breath through her teeth, pushes it out, and says in a low voice, now somewhere in between the withering tone she'd had just then and the normal talk to Ringvald, "There is something... up there. For a moment, I felt a spark of something wicked. Evil." Her eyes flick to the side for a moment and she says, "Abyssal," before half-pausing to see if people get it.
Eirene mutters something-something-something, drama-queen, something. "Convient accident. Who'd want to kill someone who's..." she cuts her self off. Some tact can be had on occasion. With Mabelle advancing on the young lordling she lets the younger medic take a look, but she seems satisfied with the care being provided. Eirene also looks upward to see if she can spot where the assailant came from. "Looks like down ain't the only option, Kennex," she says towards Ian. Appolonia's comment snaps her out of any amused reverie and she reaches for something at her belt.
Eirene gets a small thin scalpel with an alaricite blade from a black leather belt with a silver falcon buckle.
Ringvald checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 11 higher.
The priestess understands Appolonia perfectly well and glances aside to catch her gaze. "...Oh," Dianna expresses with mild realization. "Handy to have you with us, my lady." She glances up to the area where the vases sit. "Has anything like this happened before?" Dianna turns to regard Ernesto.
"That goes to a balcony," Ian points out to Eirene, because that's absolutely the most important thing for him to be focusing on right now. He looks over to Appalonia, then sighs. "Alright. We'd better go get it. What room is that?" Someone here can probably answer the question. He's not really directing it at anyone in particular. Yet.
Ringvald points to the balcony, specifically at some curtains that are above separating a room. "Behind that curtain, what is it?" He asks simply, stepping back to try and get a good look for a moment. "I believe I saw movement."
"My lord, I pray for your quick and bloody triumph," Appolonia tells Ian. She also gives Ernesto an extremely intense sideeye at Dianna's question. (DIanna herself gets a little smile of appreciation.)
"Thank you," wheezes Paolo. "Will you help me get him inside?" Ernesto asks Mabelle and Eirene, bending his aged body slowly downward, and reaching to support Paolo. The boy looks at Mabelle and says, "It has gotten worse over the past two years." His eyes begin to close, and though the bleeding has been completely stopped through Mabelle's skilled care, he seems to be falling in and out of consciousness.
"That is the master bedroom, My Lord," replies Ernesto to Ian and Ringvald. To Dianna, he does not offer a supply, but the nervous twitch of his lips and look of fear in his eyes seem to speak volumes.
Dianna checked charm + seduction at difficulty 30, rolling 33 higher.
Mabelle glances at Appolonia when she hears the word abyssal. Her eyes are drawn helplessly toward the balcony, but Earensto's request shifts her out of focus and she attempts to help the boy rise as he faints. Mabelle might be dainty, so attempting to lift the boy could be a feat, she manages it though, "He's so thin", she murmurs toward Eirene, "Two years? Did something happen when it started? Or when it worsened?", she asks.
Mabelle checked stamina at difficulty 20, rolling 13 lower.
"It's alright," Dianna gently exudes warmth to Ernesto. "You've nothing to fear of me. I'm a priestess; I promise to keep you safe." She steps gently to the servant and rests her hand gently on his shoulder, looking into his gaze. "When did this happen before? ...And, how many times?" Softly, she smiles at Ernesto and lowers her voice to a private tone, "Truly, it's alright."
Ian looks to Dianna. "Alright. Give me a boost. If it's still up there, I'll try to flush it towards the stairs."
Zoey tells Ian, "I'll see if I can catch it on the way down." She heads back in the direction of the stairs to do exactly that.
Maybe she's not as strong. Maybe the boy ate a really big lunch. Either way she fails to lift him and falls herself, cradling him, gazing at Ringvald for some help.
Ringvald turns his eyes on the boy as Mabelle fails to lift him, approaching to help get him up. "Bloodied nose, cough, fainting." He says, muttering mostly to himself as he does so. "Two year span. Moving object. Abyssal suggestion." He's rattling, then falling silent again.
Eirene wraps an arm under Paolo's shoulders to help Mabelle carry him but soon finds she's supporting most of the weight. Make that all the weight. That shining little scalpel stays firmly clutched in her hand though. "Let's get him into the bedroom then," she says to the room as a whole. "Maybe we should split up, cover more ground that way." She seems to be amused for a moment at that saying and then goes back on it with a more serious suggestion. "No, really, that's a bad idea to send someone alone after an abyssal -thing-."
Appolonia sidles nearer to Mabelle and the others, moving together with them even if she doesn't quite reach out to pick them up - then again Paolo is probably already ten pounds heavier than her, despite being sickly and thirteen. "I feel as though we should be cautious, my dear lady," Appolonia says, "if there's really... THAT in that bedroom."
She says, largely to herself, "Enough of fear..."
Ernesto dark eyes gaze into Dianna's. The tone of her voice seems to relieve his apprehensions, and he says, "We have been prone to tragedies, Sister. Fabrizio woke up screaming. Something had taken his ear, and poor Tonina... and Esteban... all since..." his words go no further, as he slumps a little when Paolo and Mabelle seem to lose their balance, until Eirene adds her support. He nods to the Lady of House Malvici, and begins to help carry Paolo into the mansion with their help.
"Take him to the --" And then Mabelle falls, and Ian just... looks at her for a beat. He clears his throat. "... to the library. I'll be alright," he assures Eirene. "If it was really dangerous it wouldn't have thrown a vase at us." It's hard to tell if be believes what he's saying because his voice doesn't have much inflection.
Ringvald checked intellect + occult at difficulty 50, rolling 6 higher.
Mabelle glances at Eirene and the Ian and then all the others, wondering if she should apologize for being skinny. She then shrugs and admits, "I did not like the way the library looked but I'm guessing the bedroom aint better. We should inspect both."
It is difficult for Dianna /not/ to call back the eager Kennexes (oh my gods, though; what in the ...No. No, they'll discover soon enough what has left the Abyss). She focuses, instead, upon Ernesto's gaze and on his words. "Something took his ear, you say?" The priestess glances to Mabelle and Eirene briefly and frowns as she loses her information-gathering. So... she has. Little. And steps to Ian, instead.
Mabelle she turns her gaze to Ernesto, "I'm sorry, since what?"
Dianna checked strength + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 5 lower.
Ian checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 50, rolling 15 lower.
10 inflicted and Ian is harmed for minor damage.
"Tell us everything, messere," Appolonia says. "Lives are staked on this."
Eirene narrows her eyes at Ernesto. "I think you better spill it, old man," she says, not too unkindly but without any friendly warmth. Nowhere near as nice as Appolonia. "Because everyeone's life is in danger here, yours included. Since -what-."
"Why... am I helping you ... with this...???" Dianna asks, struggling to push him upward. "I'm... Not... STRONG... enough...! UUGH!"
Mabelle checked mana + occult at difficulty 30, rolling 15 lower.
Eirene checked command + intimidation at difficulty 40, rolling 13 higher.
"Wasting curse." Ringvald says, grimacing as he comes to some conclusion. "Alternatively, we can move the young Lord out while we deal with the issue of abyssal work at hand. If it is capable of leaving, we can deal with it somewhere else. If it's not, he could potentially see great improvement in his health. He is the only one affected though? Personal relation, moving him out or threatening to take him away could arrange the creature or person in question perhaps."
When Ian feels Dianna starting to fall under him, he makes a grab for the railing, but the wood comes away, and down he goes with a curse worthy of a sailor. It takes him a couple of tries to pick himself up; that fall sounded like it hurt. But once he does, he heads after Zoey, apparently not willing to waste time out here while his wife is going inside alone.
Ernesto murmurs something to Eirene softly. There is a great deal of dread in his eyes.
Swearing with as much vehemence as Ian, Dianna stands and helps Ian stand. "Next time, Ian Kennex? /I'm/ the one climbing up...!" She chases down Zoey - faster than Ian (or she ought to be, gods damn it...!)
Piles of people, piles of people everywhere. While Mabelle straightens, she begins to lose patience and maybe its the fear climbing in, "So which way are we taking him? If scholars are infected, I still think its coming from the library".
She can be scary, Lady Eirene. She gets the old man to murmur something to her and for a moment, she softens. She can see the dread in his eyes. "Pietro?" The name is softly echoe'd but not -too- loudly. She looks over at the others helping to move the boy inside. Ringvald's proclamation about a wasting curse gets a raised-eyebrow look. "Where did he go, and how'd he come back," she asks the servant, back to the topic.
"We could take him to Arx, perhaps," Appolonia muses, "but then what would become of these lands?" Her eyes flick after Zoey, fleet of foot as she may now is.
Appolonia's head also finally swivels, like an owl, away from watching the manor for some invisible assailant. (Never mind that she wouldn't see it if it were invisible.) Ringvald had her interest, but Eirene has now gotten her *attention*.
As Zoey quickly makes her way inside, overhears a pair of voices saying, "They are the nobles from Arx, are they not? Why are they here?"
"Surely it is to see the shrine," comes a slightly lower voice.
"Perhaps it is about -"
"Shhh!!" As Zoey enters the dark hall, and her eyes adjust to the light, she sees a pair of servants - a young man and woman, standing before the library door. They bow to Zoey. "Good afternoon, My Lady," says the male servant.
Ernesto cringes visibly when Eirene states the name. He focuses on walking with his young master behind Ian and Dianna with the help of the Lady physicians.
"Good afternoon," she greets them brightly and breathlessly from running inside to ready herself at the stairs. As she finds an ideal place to stand with a clear view of the door to the master bedroom she asks, "What were you thinking this was about, if not the shrine?"
Zoey checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 25, rolling 12 higher.
The pair, whose names are Sergius and Mercedes, stand between Zoey and the hall leading into the foyer and the stairs. "Surely the shrine," replies Mercedes, glancing at Sergius. "What else would bring you here?" she asks. Neither move from their position.
Zoey smiles at the pair. "If you'll kindly move aside, hopefully you'll find out the easy way once we flush it out of the master bedroom." She attempts to move past them.
Unwilling to bar the passage of such a charming and powerful noble of Arx, the pair step aside with only a hint of reluctance. Zoey moves swiftly down the hall, noticing, out of the corner of her eye, a figure she'd not noticed before in the library.
Coming in on the heels of Zoey, Dianna flashes a warm smile to the pair - and follows the speedy Kennex - glancing around for anything unusual.
Zoey checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 36 higher.
Dianna checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.
Mabelle meanwhile pulls out some smelling salts to wave before the boy's nose. Perhaps he will provide answers. Perhaps escorting him will be easier if his legs arent noodles.
Mabelle checked intellect + medicine at difficulty 25, rolling 34 higher.
Unable to go dashing about after his wife, Ian entrusts her into Dianna's care, and stays with the party carrying the boy.
Peering into the library as she hurries past, Dianna notes something - and halts. "Ohmygods," she murmurs to herself. She steps into the library and warmly smiles to the boy. "Hello there," Dianna purrs warmly. "What's your name? Are you a twin? I am. I'm Dianna."
Zoey makes a note of the figure she spots in the library as she continues onward to the stairs.
Appolonia comes in with the group, her resolve against fear not apparently making her eager to get in front of those of a more knightly nature. She comes up near Ernesto, in fact a bit behind him. She leans over.
"You spoke of the shrine to Limerance," she tells Ernesto, eyes turned towards the people who vacated the premises. "Is it a recent innovation, or is there something more?"
The smelling salts do their work, and Paolo stirs to consciousness. He comes to support his own weight, but still leans slightly upon Ernesto and Eirene. "Let us go to the sitting room, Master Paolo," says Ernesto. "Yes," rasps the boy. "Please bring me my tonic as soon as possible," he says, as the group moves down an eastern passage opposite the door that opens to the library.
Eirene says, "Right. So. We don't talk about him, apparently." She continues escorting the limp young man in to where-ever the elderly servant best thinks he should be. "That means mad, tainted, cursed, or dead. Or combination of the four." She looks over her shoulder at the outside party for their thoughts. She's serious about her suggestion. But the boy awakens so she says simply, "If you have the flux, a tonic or a chest paste may be helpful to get your lungs working more steadily."
When Zoey arrives at the grand foyer, she finds the doors to the master bedroom, readies and arrow, and waits. She does her best to steel herself against whatever sight may come through those doors.
The boy in the library, in every way resembling Paolo, save for his fitness and vivacity, rises from his seat, and smiles warmly at Dianna. "You too are a twin? How blessed I am to meet you!" He bows graciously and says, "I am Pietro Tramino, and I am at your service." In spite of his years, his voice is smooth and charming.
Ian WAS going to go with the group towards the library, until he sees Dianna already in there, having a chat with someone. Zoey's had a lot of time to get ahead of him by now, due to the lack of dashing. Assuming Dianna doesn't tear off after her, however, he'll continue towards the stairs.
Mabelle travels beside the pack leading the boy, she is inquires of him, "How long have you been drinking tonic?", just in case he might be poisoned or something. But the name uttered by the boy in the library makes her look at Eirene.
Paolo nods drowsily to Eirene, but seems to relax a bit, when the group arrives in the sitting room, and he is helped onto a crimson cushioned couch. Ernesto disappears, presumably to find some tonic. "Thank you again for your help, My Ladies, My Lords," he says in a voice barely above a whisper. "A year or so," he replies to Mabelle. "Since my constitution began to fail."
"You're Pietro Tramino?" Dianna asks sweetly, her entire demeanor quite charming. "What a pleasure to meet you, Pietro. Why, I was told you were in Lenosia. When did you return home?"
Appolonia does that head-twist thing to look directly at Pietro when this question arises, having been among those walking with Paolo.
Zoey keeps her arrow ready and her eyes on the master bedroom as she slowly begins to ascend the staircase.
"Only since the winter, though I have made a few trips home now and then. It is the shrine that brings me back," says Pietro with a grin. "Care for some wine?" asks the thirteen year old, his green eyes shinning as he speaks with Dianna. He holds up a bottle of Ischia Ruby.
Eirene takes a knee beside Paolo and checks his pulse, her fingers light on his pale wrist. "Was that when your brother returned," she asks, keeping her gruff voice low. "When all this started to happen?"
"Not right now, but I thank you for your kindness, Pietro," Dianna replies gently. "Your brother is quite ailed, isn't he. Has this been for very long?" She glances in the direction of the staircase, though she doesn't leave, "And, I saw a very strange thing: Some odd movement from up beyond the staircase. Have you seen anything strange since you've been home? Had any... odd sensations?"
Mabelle raises her eyebrow a bit at Paolo as he lines the timing. "Who serves you the tonic?", she asks Paolo, piling him with you another question for Eirene
Paolo gazes at Eirene, his dull green eyes fixed upon her face. "Surely not, My Lady. I have known my brother all my life, save when he left for his studies."
Eirene checked perception + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 1 lower.
Appolonia checked perception + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 6 lower.
Zoey takes the stairs slowly so she doesn't trip while she keeps her eyes up and looking in the directions from which she expects danger to come. She listens carefully as well, hoping to catch some early warning that her eyes might miss.
Mabelle checked perception + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 4 higher.
Zoey gets stiff leather bracers from a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.
It turns out that Ian can walk up stairs like a normal person (rather than taking them one at a time), albeit slowly, and with one hand in a death grip on the banister. Zoey taking the stairs slowly means he has a chance to more or less catch up with her; he's a couple of stairs below her at this point.
Appolonia moves to sit with Paolo, or at least in the area. She is lost in thought for a few moments, and then she seems to find the thought. "Did his studies affect him much?" she asks the wounded boy.
Mabelle squints a little at Paolo, not convinced by his story. She glances at Appolonia in the connecting hall and asks her, "Who's in the other room? I hear conversation". She lowers her gaze to Paolo anew and asks him, "Are you sure? Your brother returned the same?", she pierces him with her gaze but maintains her smile, "Are you as close as you used to be? Is he the same? Are you scared of him?". So many questions.
Dianna checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 30, rolling 3 lower.
"Pietro," Appolonia says to Mabelle, dubiously.
As Ian slowly ascends the stairs, Zoey hears the door to the master bedroom open, and a plump, middle aged man makes his way out. He has a tray with an empty wine bottle on it, along with a small vial. Glancing up as he moves towards the stairs, he squeals in abject fear, dropping his tray when he notices Zoey aiming her arrow at his heart.
Lifting her mirrorsilver-covered cloak subtly, Dianna flicks her gaze to the mirrors in an attempt to see if, perchance, Pietro is a demon - or a mirrorborn. Regrettably, a ray of light bounces into Dianna's eyes and she winces noticeably. Though she lifts her gaze and smile back to Pietro, it's clear what the priestess was doing. "Mmn, it's such a bright day, isn't it...?"
"Zoey." Ian says Zoey's name in a low voice, close to conversational. Then he says something else, a little softer.
Eirene checked mana + occult at difficulty 25, rolling 51 higher.
"He is my twin brother," replies Paolo to Mabelle with a grim look on his face. "I swore to protect him. I will never break my vow," he says softly. Ernesto then returns with a tincture mixed with tea, and hands it to Paolo. The boy drinks it quickly, and says to Eirene and Mabelle, "Thank you for your help. I must rest in my chambers for a while, but I will see you for dinner, should it please you." He rises unsteadily to his feet, and Ernesto moves to help him.
Zoey lowers her bow with a huff, and when Ian whispers to her she replies with a nod. "It's alright," she tells the man. "I'm not going to hurt you." She puts away the arrow and the bow, then eyes the vial on the tray he dropped. "Let me help you with that."
Dio GM Roll checked composure(5) + performance(2) at difficulty 30, rolling 6 higher.
Zoey checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.
Eirene does what looks like a medical exam but not quite. She holds up her mirrored ring to Paolo's face while examining him and checks his weak breathing on it. The flat of the alaricite blade touches against his wrist. She's looking for a reaction of some kind. Her blue eyes close a moment before she studies him, her hand running along his arm but not quite touching. She stands and gives a gruff nod. "Get some rest, Lord Paolo. We'll see you when you feel better." She shoots Ring, Apple, and Belle a 'we'll talk in a moment' look, indicating the servant and lord on their way out.
Mabelle would have prevented that tea drinking if he wasnt so damn fast. When he says something about protecting his brother, Mabelle gives him a smile and wishes him good rest, mumbling something to herself about the joy of not having siblings. Eirene's look draws Mabelle closer to her presence.
"Bright indeed," replies Pietro to Dianna. Just then Ernesto passes by with Paolo. "My dear brother," he says with a look of concern touching his green eyes. He places a hand on his heart, and then says to Dianna, "If you'll excuse me, My Lady, I must see to my brother's care. I hope I will see you at dinner tonight? In the mean time, please speak to the servants about anything you might desire. We will have your things brought up to the guest chambers."
Appolonia gives Paolo's free hand a brief squeeze, hopefully of hope and not of farewell, as she gets up and trails after Mabelle, after Eirene.
"Thank you, Pietro," Dianna replies kindly, a smile touching her lips. She watches the twins with subtle curiosity, then steps out and moves to meet Ian and Zoey.
"That's quite alright, My Lady," replies the plump Osvaldo, wiping his fingers across his brow, and trying hard to stop the fierce beating of his heart. He quickly collects the vial and the empty bottle, and, with another glance over Zoey and Ian, begins to walk down the stairs, giving Ian an extra wide berth.
"Not so fast," Zoey calls over to him. "Come back here, please, and tell me what is going on in that bedroom."
Mabelle takes the opportunity to walk up to one of the guest rooms, freshen up before dinner, look out the window to the grounds of the estate to look for anything fishy. She also devours some cookies she brought home with her, assuming the food served will not be a wise choice to touch.
Osvaldo freezes in place. "What was going on, My Lady?" he asks. "I was cleaning up, was all." The man's Lycene accent is extremely thick. "Forgive me, My Lady, but I must begin making preparations for dinner."
Ian seems inclined to let Zoey take the lead on this interaction; his eyes move constantly, taking note of the other doors, any signs of shadows moving under them to suggest someone just on the other side. He takes note of the man and the way he moves. The end result is less 'dinner guest' and more 'bodyguard'.
Ringvald watches as the boy goes off to bed rest with a steeled, uncomfortable look, but says nothing. The moment they've turned to go though he's pulled out his journal and sets to quickly writing. "It's going to be a long night." He announces between his mutterings as he writes, his face practically glued to the pages during the wait for dinner, writing notes as he explores around the mansion to whatever extent he's allowed.
Apparently, Dianna catches Zoey talking to a servant on the steps, while the priestess is at the bottom. Dianna lingers there and smiles warmly to Osvaldo when he makes his way down. "Mmmn, Where are you from?" Dianna converses idly to Osvaldo. "Your accent sounds familiar. I was born in Ostraia."
In her own room, Appolonia checks very carefully to ensure that there is nobody else in it, including rapping on furniture and looking beneath the bed and trying the most common points for secret accessways. After this she washes up, frowning all the while. "Oh," she complains quietly, "this is going to be awful, isn't it. Utterly wretched."
Eirene waits until the lords have left and makes sure to check there's no stray servants listening in. "So. Two things. One. Ernesto is mortally afraid of Pietro. Said something happened after he came back. Two. Paolo has... a shining to him. Something somewhat I'd call... divine? Like when someone's beseeching." She looks to Dianna at that. "But there's definately something abyssal too. Bit of both hanging on to him."
Mabelle comments aside to Eirene, "Paolo is lying, I can feel it. Something is off about Pietro, he's protecting him. I would not stay alone with him or eat anything, really".
After taking some time to freshen up after their journey and change into something more appropriate for dinner, Zoey spends time in the room she will be sharing with Ian reviewing one of her notebooks.
Ian spends time going over the room for any unpleasant surprises he should be aware of, since they're theoretically going to be sleeping in here.
"This is going to be difficult, isn't it? I couldn't see anything unusual about Pietro... though he speaks like an adult. It may have been the light that caught my eyes, Aunt Eirene," Dianna takes up the affectation when they have some time alone, "but, ...you should have a look at dinner. A second glance, I think. I know I will."
As the party settles in, the time flies by, and before long, a strangely ominous bell sounds, signaling the guests to make their way down stairs to the dinning room, just beyond the library.
Eirene nudges Mabelle in the ribs playfully. " Worried about poison? Good thing you have Lycene with you, eh?" She then heads up to her room, checking it for any suspicious arcane trappings. When satisfied there's no symbols chalked under her bed, she washes up from the road but doesn't change out of her usual leathers. They're fancy enough.
Mabelle murmurs to Eirene, "Do not dish it if you cannot handle it right?". After the rest has passed and the bell has rung, Mabelle cringes. She hates bells. Childhood trauma. She steps out to the hallway awaiting company to walk with her downstairs. The eerie state of the estate gives her the heebigeebies. At least she's not hungry. Hopefully there will be no tempting cake.
Zoey meets her cousin in the hallway when she and Ian leave their room to attend the dinner.
I wish I owned more dresses, Appolonia thinks as she descends in... the same thing she was wearing before, if with a slightly different drape and with the dirt of the road brushed out. She retains an air of grace as best she can, perhaps to make up for her acrid words. But then again, a boy was injured, she thinks. I was *provoked*.
The priestess has brought dried, honeyed figs on which to nibble, and a few apples. Oh: And brandy. Of /course/, she brought brandy. Having spent some time on her own praying in her room after checking for anything unusual, Dianna moves to have dinner - and has not even had the first thought to change. They were invited here not for a social call, but to do work - and this is pressing every one of Dianna's thoughts.
Ringvald ends his exploration in time for dinner, making no real effort to change. Lined with the normal northern furs and hides he usually has he comes down for dinner, falling in with the rest of the party as he shuts his journal and tucks it away.
Inside the dinning room, a large, dark oak table is spread with with a great many candles. Pietro stands inside, playing a violin with great skill, and filling the room with the most exquisite music. Paolo is seated near the head of the table, looking slightly healthier than he had, his head still covered with the bandages Mabelle applied a short time earlier. Both twins are dressed in fine white and gold silk shirts, and dark gold trousers. Their slippers, too, seem to be of the greatest quality. The similarity in dress only stands to make their discrepancy in their physiques all the more apparent. "Allow me to welcome you again, honored guests," the sickly twin says in a slightly louder voice than he had used previously. "Please, find a seat."
Dio GM Roll checked charm(5) + performance(2) at difficulty 15, rolling 18 higher.
Ian is wearing slightly fewer pieces of armor, and he's good enough to leave the scarf and his beat up old coat behind. He won't embarrass his wife THAT much. Probably. As long as he keeps his mouth shut.
Zoey gets a silvery silken sideless surcoat from a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.
Mabelle wander in besides Zoey. They said its a formal dinner, considering what she wears around the city, Mabelle is clad in an orange and purple dress screaming SUMMER, inlaid with abundances of jewels at the torso, sandals to match and a lollipop pin holding her hair up. She glances between the two boys and opts to sit closer to Paolo, supposedly to keep a close eye on his forehead, "You look stronger", she smiles to him as she settles.
Appolonia is in a silk-panel top with a silver collar, thigh high suede boots, and a long draping silk skirt which has been discreetly pinned up a little to about ankle/calf length in recognition of "not being in Arx, where the streets are swept clean by the constant passage of a huge number of fluffy pet doggies." She has earrings, too, and a full finger ring on her right thumb which is absolutely just some sick jewelry and not a secret weapon. "I suppose the fright has passed, Paolo, darling?" she says as she moves to settle down.
"So, I'm curious about something, my lord" Dianna lifts her voice gently to Paolo before glancing next to Paolo and moving to her seat. "We were called upon to understand what happened to your tutor - and I'm afraid I don't yet know the details of his disappearance. Might you give us some details, please?" The priestess is certainly not dressed in dinner clothes, but wears the same, shimmering mirrorsilver-and-stygian cloak and scanty, snug-fit and revealing armor she wore when they arrived. "I'm quite concerned - considering so many odd circumstances."
Zoey changed from her leathers to a simple white chemise under a sideless surcoat of dark silver brocade. The belt she wears over it accentuates her waist, now that she has a waistline worth showing again.
Zoey puts a silvery silken sideless surcoat in a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.
Ringvald is wearing dark hides on his form, hardly any different from that which you would find on a common shav, but much cleaner. His cloak is more refined, a long pelt of black furs, clasped in the front with engraved steel pauldrons on his shoulders as his only outlying status symbol. If one looks under his cloak they could see his fine dagger on his lower back, just out of normal sight. He takes a seat at the table somewhat away from the young twins by waiting for others to file in first, not wanting to observe them too closely.
Zoey finds a set of three seats together so that she can sit between Mabelle and Ian.
Ian takes a seat at the dinner table and goes about trying not to embarrass his wife very much. By keeping his mouth shut. And trying super hard not to eat like a hooligan.
Eirene made an accomodation to a formal dinner by leaving her umbra overcoat in her room. She also has braided her salt-and-pepper hair into ornate plaits and pinned them with the tourmaline hairpins. But her black and crimson leather hasn't changed. She has adjusted the black silk shirt she wears under her damask steelsilk bodice to show a bit more cleavage, which is considered formal wear for the Lycene. "Nice music," she says in rough voice.
Beads of seat form on the forehead of Paolo as Dianna asks about his tutor Esteban. "By Limerance, I miss him," he says softly letting his eyes fall to the table in front of him. "Ah, it is a shame he has gone missing," replies Pietro, ceasing to play the violin and taking a seat across from Dianna. "I wouldn't worry though. I'm sure he's in a better place. He has always been useful," he adds with a slow grin. "I thank you, My Lady," he says to Eirene. "I have taken up the art in Lenosia. My mentor there is very skilled in all the most interesting arts." Pietro claps his hands, and many of the servants whom the party has previously encountered enter, bearing covered plates. One is set before each of the guests.
Dianna checked perception + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 7 higher. Dianna rolled a critical!
Dianna checked perception + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 13 higher.
The priestess' gaze rests upon Paolo's face, lingering there. "It's clear you miss him, Paolo," Dianna gently empathizes with the sickly boy, then lifts her gaze to look into Pietro's eyes. "What did he do for you, Pietro? Was he a good tutor for you?"
Mabelle wearily regards the covered plate before her. She's not going to be the first to lift the cover. Instead she obsevers Paolo for the longest of time and then turns her gaze back to Pietro, "I'm more curious about the mentor in Lenosia, I am a lover of the arts. All type of arts", her smile aimed to Pietro's eyes, "What other wisdom did he impart on you?"
Mabelle checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 25, rolling 33 higher.
"Yes - you must have had an interesting time," Appolonia asks, "wouldn't you? The two brothers, taught together... Was it hard for you when you two parted ways?" Appolonia doesn't immediately open her plate, waiting instead for all to be served, maybe.
"Esteban was not tutor to me, Sister," replies Pietro to Dianna and Appolonia. "Only to my dear brother." Continuing to address the Lady of Ischia, he says, "It was hard at first to leave Paolo's side - but it was for the best, though sadly my brother's health has deteriorated " To Mabelle, he says, "All manner of history, and fine arts, My Lady. I think she would very much like to meet you should you ever visit Lenosia." His green eyes gleam in the candle light.
When a plate has been set before everyone, a servant standing behind each guest steps forward to remove the cover of the plate. Before each guest, a wonderful salad of the finest Ischian and Lycene vegitables are found, drizzled with delicious dressing - everyone's except Dianna's. On Dianna's plate is a rotting pig's head, swarming with maggots, and casting into the air, a hideous stench of death.
Zoey gasps when she catches sight of where the sudden awful smell is coming from.
Dianna checked composure at difficulty 20, rolling 1 higher.
Mabelle checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 25, rolling 36 higher.
Eirene checked stamina + etiquette at difficulty 20, rolling 13 higher.
Dianna checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 20, rolling 26 higher.
Eirene's able to keep from totally embarassing herself and wretching at the sight and pungent smell. Then again, she is known to be a battle medic and has likely seen some ugly sights. Her eyes narrow as she looks towards the two lordlings.
Mabelle peers at Pietro for a moment as he talks about the tutor. However the stench of the pig makes the cookies climb up. She strains a smile and asks Pietro, "-She- would? Any particular reason?".
Dio GM Roll checked composure(2) at difficulty 20, rolling 12 lower.
Appolonia grimaces, leans back, her eyes flutter, and she manages to push out through teeth that don't part, "Oh -- charming." She had been picking up a fork. She puts it back down. Breathing through her mouth, she says, "I wonder if this is a joke, perhaps?" in a tone of 'standing on the verge of taking Offense.' (Inwardly, Appolonia thinks: I am completely lost here, but at least I'm with the rest.)
Ian's reaction is muted, probably not the least because the smell of his scarf has immunized him by now to the stench of death. Bracing himself on the table, he rises and wordlessly picks up Dianna's rotting pig head plate and, while holding it with one hand, sets his salad in front of her. Then he gives the pig head plate to a servant. Whether they want it or not. "Probably time to fire the cook."
First, a twitch of Dianna's nose when the scent wafts up; her eyes flick to the plate and anger flares in her gaze. Then, Dianna flicks her gaze to Pietro's eyes and holds her ambers there, rather suddenly having cooled back to normal. "My dear friends. I do believe there's been a mistake. Of some sort." She's utterly silent for a moment before she continues speaking with pure sweetness and apparently ignoring the plate beneath her chin, resting her unflinching gaze upon Pietro's gaze. "In all of this excitement and conversation, I've quite forgotten to pray this evening. ...You said there's a shrine here. I should so like to see it."
Dianna rises with extreme grace and elegance and turns to the nearest servant. "Please, would you show me the way?" She bows gently to the table, "Please pardon me, my friends."
When Paolo sees the pig's head on Dianna's plate, he coughs violently, and blood splatters onto his white silk shirt. His face bears a look of horror. Pietro, meanwhile, shakes his head, and turns his green-eyed gaze slowly on Osvaldo who removed the cover from Dianna's plate. He rises from his seat and walks over to the large servant's side. "That joke was in very poor taste, Osvaldo," says the child with a stern look on his face. "You will be punished."
Osvaldo looks mortified. "Master, I -"
"Silence. Remove this plate at once. We will have no more of your insolence." More sweat than ever before pours from Osvaldo's body. He seems to want to reply, but simply cowers, and quickly removes Dianna's plate. "Mercedes, please get the Mirror Mask something more appropriate." Returning to his seat, Pietro says, "Again, I apologize for Osvaldo's poor taste. We are all under stress on account of my brother's failing health."
When Dianna rises and speaks, Paolo rises as well. "I will show you, Sister," he says in a soft voice. Pietro narrows his eyes.
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