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The Hunt is On- to Catch a Shade Messages in this topic - RSS

Bertrand Lyndon
Bertrand Lyndon
Posts: 95

3/18/2017
The white is stained with red.

A figure lies face-down in the snow, motionless. A sword cane is a few inches from its hand, almost completely covered in white. He looks down. The gun at his feet is cold now, but the snow around it is still half-melted. It had shot not too long ago.
A black horse-carriage is waiting behind him. He can see the face of a young woman peeking from a window. She looks scared, and worried. He turns towards the young man next to him. His hands reddened by the cold are fidgeting. He stares back at him with his gray eyes that are so familiar. “T-This… I-I didn’t mean to… He...”
He nods, and picks up the murder weapon. “I know. All will be well, A____w.”
There’s a long, awkward pause, before realization dawns on the young man’s face. “No! I can’t let you do this, B_____d!”
He shakes his head and smiles. A calm, serene smile. “All will be well.” he repeats. “This is how it was meant to be.”

Lyndon wakes up covered in sweat. His head is still throbbing, but his thoughts are much clearer now. That nightmare… he hadn’t had it in years. It still makes him want to get horribly drunk, though. He looks around searching for a quick drink, and realizes that he has no idea of where he is. He sighs. His memories of the previous day’s events are quite blurred, and he’s not sure he wants to remember all of them.

He’s lying in a bedroll in an underground room. Since he’s not bound or otherwise restrained, he assumes the other hunters have brought him to some sort of safehouse. He tries to get up. His body aches everywhere, but he manages to raise to his feet without too much trouble. He stumbles to a nearby table. His coat has been left there in a heap, too ripped and bloodied to salvage. His sabre is also there, and in much better conditions, fortunately. He searches his coat for his Rattus Faber Rifle, takes the sword and leaves everything else there.

The earthen corridors are dimly lit and resound with whirrs and sounds of moving machinery. Is he in some sort of laboratory or workshop? It doesn’t matter. He has something to take care of before worrying about his whereabouts. Lyndon explores the place for a while, searching for a way to the top. He sometimes see other members of the hunting party in the various rooms, but he avoids them carefully. His head aches too much to chat with anybody.

He finally finds a way out, ending up on a flat roof. The landscape isn’t familiar, but it’s definitely somewhere near Watchmaker’s Hill. Good enough. There must be some of them roaming around here. He whistles part of a storm-threnody. The sound is somewhat faint, but the light breeze carries it far.

Lyndon lights himself a cigarette and waits. For a good while, nothing happens. Finally, a small silhouette emerges from the fog and flies up to him. The bat perches on a nearby railing and gazes up to him.

“Oh, it’s you. You’re quite far from your territory, aren’t you, Sergeant?”

Lyndon lets out a puff of smoke that blends with the fog. “London’s my territory.” he retorts. “Anyway, I need you to carry a message for me.” He produces a small notebook and a pen from his trousers and starts scribbling.

The bat flies on the Sergeant’s shoulder, trying to get a peek of the message’s contents. “Is it official business or are you using the network for your personal reasons again?”

Lyndon snorts and glares at the little creature. “You ask too many questions, considering you’re just a diminutive mailman.” He finishes writing, rips the page from the notebook and folds it a few times. “Deliver this at my quarters. Do you know where I live?”

The bat lets the Sergeant tie the note to its leg. “The official address? Ye.”

“You’re good to go, then.”

The bat leaves Lyndon’s shoulder and he looks it disappear in the fog before returning inside the safehouse.
edited by Bertrand Lyndon on 3/19/2017

--
Bertrand Lyndon, a former Sergeant of the 7th Dragoon Guards who deals in crime and secrets.

(My main profile: a Midnighter available for Orphanages)

Jordan Farchild, a kid who often meddles in things bigger than herself, and Bertrand's ward.

(I check this profile less often than Bertrand and I use it only for very light roleplay)

Call me Barren on the IRC.
+4 link
John Moose
John Moose
Posts: 200

3/18/2017
Later that night, Noah dreams of the smells and sounds of jungle. Oddly for a dream, he still sees nothing, but he feels the eyes of hungry beasts upon him. When he hears them moving closer, he brandishes his cane and shouts.

"No! Not yet! I'm still useful! I know you want the Shade. I'll get it! I don't need eyes, all I need is a mouth to get the rest moving!" He draws a breath, trying to stay calm. "The Stormstrider spook can stop it, there's no way he can't. He just needs information and time; I'll see to it he gets those. The Orosenn woman can find it if she wants. If she's too slow on her feet, all I need to do is make her think the Dynamo woman is threatened, that'll get her moving. And if I fix the relationship of the Dynamo siblings, I will have the gratitude of whichever leads us at the end, and I will get a share of the Shade." Noah straightens his back and draws his new sword, careful not to show any weakness. "Nothing has changed. Our contract is still in effect, I still work for you. Don't get in the way."

The jungle around him explodes with laughter. "Oh ho! The worm has teeth!" exclaims a jeering voice behind him. "Don't worry, blind little worm! You're still plenty of fun. Stay a good little boy, and we might even help you escape all the scary enemies you see in every shadow when this is all done." A low voice, directly in front of him grumbles: "But we do want our share of that beast, and we need to keep an eye on our investment. We'll follow you closely, now. And", Noah almost hears the grin, "we'll need to make sure you're better prepared for sudden assaults in the future." He hears a soft rustle, as if a dozen great cats lowering themselves for a pounce.

"The night is still young", grumbles the last voice. "Run."

--
Gone. http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/John Moose
A doctor with aspirations beyond his station, as well as an apiary enthusiast http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Noah Rache
+3 link
JimmyTMalice
JimmyTMalice
Posts: 190

3/18/2017
Locke Lockhart holds the bottle upside-down, letting its last few crimson drops trickle out onto the cavern floor. Out of wine for the third time today.

He supposes he’ll have to do something about that.

Locke stands up from his cross-legged position, his muscles stiff and cramped after sitting there for so long. He leaves the bottle with the others; he seems to be amassing quite the pile. And yet it never affects him like it used to, back in the days when he spent every night out on the town in Veilgarden getting black-out, roaring, stinking drunk. It’s maddening.

He grabs a lantern and lopes off down the tunnel in search of the wine cellar. Perhaps some of the Black Wings Absinthe will stir something in him. It’s not the usual buzz, but at this point he’ll take thinking he’s a bat-person over being sober.

---

Gideon locks the door of the shrine behind him; the bolts slide home with a pleasing clunk. Out in the less stifling air of the tunnel, he starts to wonder if he’s done something very unwise.

After their little chat, Voice 3 has returned to its usual taciturn state. Gideon has a feeling that that won’t last long.

Now that everyone is getting settled in, the others will need something to alleviate the tension that’s been brewing ever since the carriage ride. If every moment together is spent in stony silence punctuated by angry outbursts, the team won’t have a chance of formulating a better plan. He’s seen it before in his more unconventional scientist associates on their occasional visits; put a dozen strangers with strongly-held views in a room together and sooner or later a fight will break out.

Gideon doesn’t consider himself a people person, but he’s not stupid. One more calamity might be enough to break this team, leaving them to get picked off one-by-one by the implacable Shade.

He reaches a junction in the dimly-lit tunnel and starts making his way towards the wine cellar. If there is one thing he can count on, it’s that alcohol is the great leveller.

One of the Ninefold Cat slinks out of a side passage and falls in step with Gideon. Like his other selves, he is a grizzled ginger tom with part of his right ear bitten off in some long-ago fight. He munches on a freshly-caught rat as he pads along.

“Not much to report, boss,” the cat says in a gravelly voice, mumbling around the remains of the rat in his mouth.

Gideon has told him time and time again that he’s not his boss and he’s free to leave any time they please, but most of him seems perfectly happy to skulk around the tunnels of the laboratory when he’s not out hunting secrets.

“You got quite the gang here at the moment, eh, boss? I seen ‘em all coming in. Trouble up top, is it?”

“You saw them coming in,” Gideon corrects. “If you don’t learn to speak properly, you’ll never reclaim your grandfather’s lost title.”

The cat rolls his eyes. “Why would I want to go back there? Bunch of toffs, the lot of ‘em. I’d much rather be Neath-side, hunting rats with tiny guns and listening for scrumptious secrets.”

The Ninefold Cat is something of an infamous figure among the feline inhabitants of London – a seemingly omnipresent and terrifyingly savage information broker. Until he turned up on Gideon’s doorstep he was just another scrawny alley mog willing to undergo any experiment in exchange for secrets. Now he is nine scrawny alley mogs with a single calculating mind, and that makes all the difference.

“Locke’s around here somewhere,” continues the cat. “Up to no good, as usual. If you’re going to the wine cellar, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s ransacked the place.”

Gideon frowns. When he gave his wastrel cousin permission to come round here in event of dire emergency, he didn’t expect him to actually take up the offer.

“Oh, one more thing, boss. One of me overheard a conversation between the grumpy woman with the harpoon and the slightly less grumpy woman with the funny accent that I think you might be interested to hear…”

---

The silent wine-racks loom over Locke, throwing shifting shadows on the stone walls in the light of his lantern. The cellar is draped in cobwebs – from what Gideon has told him, he only drinks on special occasions. What sort of life is that?

Locke peeks between the bandages on his face to get a better look at the labels on the bottles. There isn’t just wine here, of course – there’s mushroom beer, mushroom brandy and some rather disgusting mushroom port. He considers himself a connoisseur of all things alcoholic; it only seems right that he sample a bit of everything. The rows near the entrance are already depleted from his earlier expeditions, so he moves further in, holding the lantern high.

The contents of the racks become ever more alarming as he walks past them. In addition to the horizontal bottles of wine, there are transparent bottles standing upright with curious labels like “Sulphuric acid - WARNING: CAUSTIC”, “Methylated spirits” and “Fluke Extract”. Judging by the array of warning labels and the way some of them seem to be glowing, Locke decides to pass.

At last, he reaches the end of the wine cellar. Here are the truly strange drinks, the airag and absinthes of the collection. A connoisseur could really cut his teeth on these, provided they didn’t outright disintegrate on contact with the liquid.

There it is: a single bottle of Black Wings Absinthe sitting forlornly at the end of the row. Locke grabs it in a bandaged hand and holds it up to the light, watching the absinthe roil and bubble like something alive.

As he examines the numerous warnings on the label, he becomes aware of a change in the quality of the air. A faint draft tickles the hairs on the back of his neck. He whirls around and comes face-to-face with a figure shrouded in purest night.

Locke’s other hand is halfway to the sword at his belt before he hears a familiar acerbic voice.

“I wouldn’t try that stuff if I were you, cousin,” says Gideon.

--
Gideon Stormstrider, the Episcopalian Esotericist
Vela Marek, the Studious Intriguer
Locke Lockhart, the Bandaged Bruiser
Jimmy T. Malice, gone.

A Squid in the Polls
+7 link
Drake Dynamo
Drake Dynamo
Posts: 414

3/20/2017
Drake rises from a fitful sleep, feeling not-at-all rested. His pocket-watch indicates it is just before five in the morning. There is a knocking on the door, and Drake goes to answer: it is the Cardsharp Monkey. Under one arm it carries a large decanter full of Hesperidean Cider.

"How did you get past the traps?" Drake asks, and the monkey merely shrugs in response. Drake takes the decanter from the monkey.

"Stay in this room. Don't touch anything." Drake commands, before marching off with the decanter.

Time to find some of the others.

-------------------------

After a harrowing fifteen minutes navigating through corridors and rooms filled with no small number of disturbing inventions (including one particularly frightening encounter with the monster-woman, who stared at Drake for a solid minute before moving on), Drake finally arrives in the wine cellar, and finds himself in the midst of confrontation between Gideon and a tomb-colonist. Drake clears his throat.

"Uh, gentlemen, I hope I'm not interrupting anything." Drake says. They don't immediately respond.

"I'm hoping we might find the others to discuss our plan of action. Perhaps you two would like some Cider?"
edited by Drake Dynamo on 3/20/2017

--
Oh no. Another post from that goon who goes on about statistics.

Drake Dynamo -Correspondent, Hesperidean Cider Drinker & Matchmaker
Emma Dynamo- Pulled from the past, ready to make a splash
The Antioch - The Coffee God (I do not check this account often)
Mr. Mauvais - A ghostly skulduggerous fellow, chopped up for the time being (Only active during seasonal events)

If you need to discuss RP matters, I can typically be found on the IRC in #Argo.
The Shade Hunt has commenced, PM if you want to look at the relevant google docs.
+3 link
phryne
phryne
Posts: 817

3/20/2017
(OOC: Co-written with Shadowcthuhlu)

Evensong pulls their spouse along, trying to keep Dirae Erinyes' functional hand away from Gideon’s inventions. Claiming one of the may labs-turned-guest-rooms and with some borrowed tools, Evensong gets to work. Peel back the flesh on the finger, then find the severed joint. With some dainty work with a blowtorch and hammer, they reforge the finger joint back onto the hand. Some quick stitches on the flesh to hold it together while it heals. The tricky part is the arm - not only does its metal and bone need to be reforged, but the careful symbols of runes, Greek letters, and hieroglyphs need to be examined for any fractures. A few will need to be recarved after the forging is done. The muscles will need to be rewired before the skin is stitched together.

Dirae Erinyes ignores the pain, letting the moment of calm stretch on by. It’s rare that they get to feel the cool air of the neath on their sickly greenish skin. There will be work soon enough, especially with the woman who came with them.

“Phryne?”

“Hm?” She has been humming that Wagner piece about the dragon for a couple of minutes. Slowly, her eyes focus on Dirae Erinyes. She smiles weakly. “Yes?”

“That’s a neat trick you pulled there. Where did you learn it?”

“Trick…” A shadow falls over her face. “I don’t really remember much of it. I remember being angry. I found the corpse… the dead woman. She was a friend. Well, I knew her.” After a pause, she asks: “Who was that guy with the scimitar?”

“Drake calls him The Shade. Apparently it’s his shadow mixed with mountain blood and cider while zailing. It’s been killing people in London for half a year now. It seems to have an interest in Drake and his sister. Has an army of hobos for some reason.” Dirae Erinyes rattles off the information while Evensong’s brow creases in concentration. “A s--t philosopher. That answer your question?”

“By killing you mean, killing permanently? Over several months?” Phryne seems aghast at this news.

“Aye. The police don’t seem inclined or able to catch him. Thus, this rather patched together hunting party. But how come you know nothing about this? All of London’s been talking about it for months!”

“I wasn’t here for a while. I left London… I don’t exactly remember when, but sometime late last year. I was looking for a… different kind of place to live in. You’ve probably heard of the Iron Republic…?”

Dirae Erinyes frowns, and Evensong stumbles slightly in their work, dropping their tools. With a deep breath, she resumes. “We’ve been there once. Not eager to return. I take it you enjoyed your time more than I did. What brought you back to London?”

A maelstrom of emotion plays on Phryne’s face. It is a long time before she speaks. “Liked it… yes, I did. Maybe a bit too much. I…” Her voice changes, suddenly she sounds like an old woman. “I can draw no line between imposture and self-deception. It’s…” She spasms. “Shut up!” Now, that sounded a little too much like the beast from Seven Devils square! But shortly after, the spasms subside. A single tear flows from her left eye. “I know the ugly faces the moon makes when no one is watching,” she whispers. Then, as if waking from a dream: “I’m sorry… what were we talking about?”

“You remind me of myself when I was younger.” There is a dark chuckle. “There was a man on the surface much like Dr. Schlomo who helped me somewhat. Maybe you should visit him after we finish our hunt.”

Phryne snorts. “Psychologists! I don’t trust them. I don’t believe they have anything to give us. I’ll take care of my soul myself, thank you very much.” She looks at Dirae Erinyes curiously. “Say, do you have a soul?”

“At least one, but it’s as cobbled together as my body.” They give a self-deprecating grin. “I’m surprised the devils chased it as long as they did. Sometimes I’m many, sometimes I’m one.”

Phryne watches Dirae with genuine concern. “Cobbled together…” She shakes her head. “I guess I don’t have to ask why someone would do that. Some megalomaniac trying to create something perfect.” She basically spits that last word out.

“They didn’t want to build something perfect. My parents only wanted to bring their loved ones back to life.” Dirae Erinyes tone is sympathetic. “I can understand that.”

“Well, I guess I understand it, too,” Phryne grudgingly admits. “But the reason doesn’t always justify the means. Anyway, you seem to be holding together well enough,” she says with a wry smile. “You’re probably more ‘alive’ than me at this point.”

“You don’t think you’re alive? As for holding together, that’s thanks to years of love and practice. Some days are better than others.”

That wry smile again. “Evensong, maybe you should check my pulse, just to make sure I’m alright?” Evensong places down their tools with an annoyed grunt and rests a hand on Phryne’s wrist. “No pulse, cool to the touch.” Her tone is dry. “Ma’am, you seem to be a perfectly healthy corpse.” Dirae Erinyes gives a surprised expression. “Never thought I would meet anyone deader than me. The Iron Republic really did do a number on you.”

Phryne sighs ruefully. “Most of it I did to myself. The Republic, if anything, protected me. Still protects me. I was surprised not to fall down dead when I entered my ship to return to London, nor when I touched London ground. I should be dead. I definitely shouldn’t be walking around and talking to people.” She shrugs. “No one really understands how the Iron Republic works.”

“Well, count yourself lucky then. I’ve seen worse walking corpses before I came down to London and that’s saying something. Might want to be a bit careful taking a sip of the Dynamos’ cider. At least your body seems to heal up on it’s own. It’s awful to be trapped in a rotting, broken body.”

Lucky… well, I guess that’s one way of looking at it. And I don’t heal on my own. I have to concentrate on it. And it gets harder.” The cider is an interesting notion. “Did the Dynamos promise you all Cider as a reward for taking part in this venture?”

“They promised the cider to those who got hurt. Though, you didn’t sign the contract. With Emma in charge, I’m sure she will be willing to pay whatever you ask for - especially since you did save her girlfriend. If the cider doesn’t help, there is always mountain blood to consider.”

“Maybe, maybe not,” Phryne muses. “I’d still need a new heart first, that won’t grow on its own.” She seems unwilling to discuss cider, or blood, further. “But, if stopping this ‘Shade’ is what you’re all after, then I’d like to join. Maybe I can add an… unconventional approach to your tactics.”

“I’m sure Emma would be glad to have you on. Take care, little sister... sorry, I meant Phryne. I guess I’m not over my shock from earlier.” With that Evensong finishes her work and wipes away the sweat from her brow. They need a shower, and some tasty candles, but mostly they need sleep. As Phryne slips away, they curl up on the already prone Dirae Erinyes. Their eyes close, and their dreams are permeated by the strange lights of Gideon’s many inventions.
edited by phryne on 3/20/2017

--
Eva May Canning, a Scarlet SaintLady Orosenn, a Monster-HunterPhryne Amarantyne, changed...
“Away with restrictions, and in with the bold, the daring, and the brazen!”
#Feducci1895 - Now let's see how much worse it can get!
+4 link
Bertrand Lyndon
Bertrand Lyndon
Posts: 95

3/21/2017
A girl prowls the paths heading towards Watchmaker’s Hill. She grunts and pants as the drags a huge bag behind her, covering it in dirt and scratching it on the sharp stones that litter the ground. The road is becoming more and more uneven as she moves farther from the Bazaar, and her feet are starting to hurt. She stops and sits on the ground, trying to catch her breath. She checks her hand-drawn map: her destination is still quite far, if what the bat had told her was correct, and it probably was.

Why did I think this was a good idea again?

She folds the map and takes out the other scrap of paper she has brought with her. A crumpled note scrawled by a familiar hand.

There has been a setback. I need more ammunition and a new set of clothes. Bring my carbine, too. I’m in a safehouse somewhere near Watchmaker’s Hill. Ask the bat for the way. -L.
P.S.: Don’t forget the coat.

When will he learn that people react better to detailed, circumstantial requests? He could be more polite, too. She sighs. He'll never learn. That note probably was never meant to her anyway. But Big Sis was too busy running his network, and he did told her to be more useful since she didn’t pay any rent since, like, ever.

She gives one last check to the bag. Yes, she has brought everything he has asked for with her, and even something more. She considers the idea of leaving the carbine behind – it weights like an iron anvil. He wouldn’t forgive her for that, though. He had held onto that gun since the War of the ‘82. It was like family to him.

Finally, her breath becomes even, and her feet seem to hurt a little less. She waits a little longer before getting up. It’s time to move on: he won’t wait for her forever. She grabs the huge bag and continues down the path, grunting and panting all along.
edited by Bertrand Lyndon on 3/21/2017

--
Bertrand Lyndon, a former Sergeant of the 7th Dragoon Guards who deals in crime and secrets.

(My main profile: a Midnighter available for Orphanages)

Jordan Farchild, a kid who often meddles in things bigger than herself, and Bertrand's ward.

(I check this profile less often than Bertrand and I use it only for very light roleplay)

Call me Barren on the IRC.
+2 link
JimmyTMalice
JimmyTMalice
Posts: 190

3/21/2017
(Co-written with Bertrand Lyndon/Barren)

The Ninefold Cat studies the battered figure descending from the ladder that leads to the roof. He’s moving slowly and sometimes winces as if he’s in pain. Once he’s down, the cat can get a better look at him: a rather short, yet sturdy human with messy brown hair. He reeks of smoke, cordite and blood. His shirt is tattered and bloodied, and he looks like he’s just been trampled by a stampede of wild horses. The cat remembers seeing him being carried inside the Shed the night before, unconscious and wounded.

The human turns and finally notices its presence. He frowns a bit. “You’re not the woman’s cat. Do you live here?”

The cat closes in and stops at the man’s feet. “Yeah. You looking for the bathroom? It’s just round the corner. You look like you could use a wash.”

The man raises an eyebrow. It’s hard to tell if he’s amused or annoyed. “Good to know. Do you also know where I can fix myself a drink? I’m thirsty.”

“Well, there’s water in the bathroom. You apes seem to like it that way, since you’re so poorly equipped to groom yourselves.”

The human grins. “I’d rather have something stronger. Something bottled.”

“Ah, right, you’re looking for the wine cellar!” says the cat, with what could be interpreted as a sly wink. “Last corridor to the left, and then go straight until you see the stairs down.”

The human brings his right hand to the head, as if he’s searching for something that’s not there. The motion looks a bit silly. “Well, thanks.”

The cat looks him walking slowly down the corridor. “What’s your name anyway?”

The human raises a hand to bid the cat farewell, but he doesn’t turn. “I’m the Sergeant.”

---

Gideon slips through the shadows of the much-depleted wine cellar toward the faint glow at the far end, trusting in his bombazine suit to drink up any light that hits him. The stealth isn’t entirely necessary, but he wants to see the look on Locke’s face – or at least in his eyes, since most of his face is swathed in bandages.

The inventor pads closer and catches sight of Locke holding up a lantern to examine the more specialised vintages. He supposes he’ll have to stop the man before he tips over a bottle of something pyrophoric and sends the whole place up in flames.

“I wouldn’t try that stuff if I were you, cousin,” he says as the bandaged drunkard turns around.

There it is – the eyes widening in recognition. He’d like to think there’s some guilt in there for raiding his wine cellar, but that may be wishful thinking.

“Gideon! What a surprise!” splutters Locke. “Have you come to join my little party? There’s plenty of booze here for the both of us, I imagine, though I seem to have developed something of a tolerance.”

Gideon massages his temples. Talking to Locke always brings on a headache.

“I don’t recall giving you permission to waltz in here whenever you felt like a tipple. In fact, I said ‘emergencies only’. So what’s the emergency?”

Locke’s jaw works beneath the bandages. “Ah, that,” he says, drawing out the syllables. “Big emergency. Had a bit of a disagreement with the Pratt sisters at the Bomb with Two Necks – they disagreed with me living there rent-free for the last six months, I disagreed with their disagreement, then they brought some disagreeable blokes to eject me from the attic room. So I thought ‘who’s an excellent fellow, a loyal brother in the Cause and family to boot?’” His teeth flash between the wrappings in a grin.

“Could it possibly be me?” Gideon sighs.

“Actually I went to Normal Edgar first – he’s my great-uncle, see, and he’s got this great rapport with the L.B.s so he can get you pretty much any kind of drink as long as it comes in rat-sized bottles. ‘Course, you’ve got to get in with the rats if you live in a skip.”

“So then you came here.”

“Nah, then I went to the docks to see if anyone would give me somewhere to lay my head in exchange for blowing up a few warehouses, but the folks I talked to seemed surprisingly opposed to what they called ‘Bolshevik sentiment and gross vandalism’”. Locke shakes his head. “They don’t know what they’re missing.”

“Did you at least avoid touching my inventions?” Gideon says despairingly.

Well…” Locke avoids eye contact. “I may have nudged one of the mirrors in that sunlight thingy you keep banging on about. And it may have caught on fire, just a little bit. And just possibly, I might have tried putting out the fire with the only thing I had to hand. Which was a bottle of whiskey.”

deck him, mutters Voice 1. I CONCUR, adds Voice 2.

Gideon’s fists clench. He rounds on Locke, and his cousin backs into a wine rack.

At that moment, he is interrupted by someone clearing their throat. Gideon turns to see Drake grinning sheepishly.

“Uh, gentlemen, hope I’m not interrupting anything.”

Gideon frowns. Behind him, Locke makes a pleading look and nods frantically.

“I'm hoping we might find the others to discuss our plan of action. Perhaps you two would like some Cider?”

“Cider?” Gideon says. “Oh, of course, the Hesperidean stuff. Yes, if you could spare a little to mend my bruises, that would be excellent-“

Locke dashes past him and grabs a cup of Cider from Drake, gulping it down in one go. He pulls the bandages apart on his arm and sees a little colour begin to return to his pallid flesh.

Then the cumulative weight of a dozen hangovers crashes down on him all at once.

“B____y hell, this stuff has a kick!” he yells, and promptly collapses onto the floor.
edited by JimmyTMalice on 3/21/2017

--
Gideon Stormstrider, the Episcopalian Esotericist
Vela Marek, the Studious Intriguer
Locke Lockhart, the Bandaged Bruiser
Jimmy T. Malice, gone.

A Squid in the Polls
+5 link
Azothi
Azothi
Posts: 102

3/22/2017
HE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN T -

Light. Light like the memory inscribed on her skin, the memory of the world before this darkness had become it. Her eyes bathed in white light beneath a blue sky, the air tasting of brine and salt as the ocean waves lapped against the shore. It was a picturesque scene, like one out of a painting or a postcard ... though, to be fair, paintings and postcards were all she really had to remember the Surface, wasn't it? If she closed her eyes, it would feel like ... no, home was too strong of a word. It would feel like the past again, when things were simpler, when things were brighter. When she wasn't trapped in a clockwork city, where pieces moved and all she could do was stand there and push as hard as she could against the tide.

Things had been simpler back then. Perhaps she could've lived a simple life, one ignorant of all the wonders she'd seen down here, all the hidden mysteries of the Neath and beautiful secrets found in the darkness. It would've been a life bound in its totality by light and law, one where she would've stayed bent and bowed ... but it might have been a life where she could be happy.

Closing her eyes, she felt the cool breeze rush across her skin, the chirping of birds filling the morning air. She wanted to linger there forever, alone in the nature of the above, beyond the false-stars and dark sky to the memory of a home that never was. But that wasn't to be. Only a fool would believe they could come to such a place, a paradise found only in song and story. No, this was a memory, that was all, and a false-memory at that, one born from longing and nostalgia. She wouldn't find that place anywhere the starlight touched.

She lay back with a new weight on her heart. This was but a dream and a dream was fleeting, but she would savor this dream for every moment it afforded her.

Seconds faded into minutes and minutes seemed to fade to hours and days until she next opened her eyes and there was darkness.

Azoth groaned as she sat up from her bedroll, stretching, the Surface-longing still heavy in her heart. I really should visit, just for a day, she thought, still groggy. I hear Naples is nice this time of year. Get out by the Mediterranean, maybe visit the rest of Europe too ... maybe Vienna. Always wanted to go there. Just enjoy the sunlight and the stars for a bit before they decide to kill you. Caution had done her good in the Neath. Her face was still an alien one to the Boatman, so as long as she didn't linger for long, perhaps she'd avoid the consequences of Surface travel. After the hunt, she decided. Once this is over, provided I don't die first.

Standing, she checked her pocket watch almost on instinct: five in the morning, precisely. Not that it mattered. Her plans for today had definitely been disrupted, but that wasn't too important. Provided that her associate remained sane and didn't decide to sell an orphanage's worth of souls to the devils on a whim, things would be fine. Looking around, Bastet was still sleeping soundly, curled into a ball beside the bedroll. Gently picking her up, Azoth slid the kitten into her pocket and left. This shed was an intriguing place; sure, it was a safe house, but either Gideon was the most paranoid person she knew or he was hiding something.

The Surface could wait. There was fun to be had here.
edited by Azothi on 3/22/2017

--
Azoth I - Midnighter - Available Watchful Patron - Long History - Appearance

Daneri, the Nothingness of Everything: Old soul. Where are you going, old soul?
+4 link
Barse
Barse
Posts: 485

3/22/2017
The Scorched Sailor, perched on a high Watchmaker’s smokestack, drums his new fingers against a chimney, sending small stone chips and clouds of brickdust into the street below. The Clay Scholar might be a maniac but there’s no denying his work is good. A hand that is only slightly less dextrous than its flesh predecessor taps out the beat of patriotic war-hymn that had been popular in Mahogany Hall more years ago than he cares to admit. The pain is gone too, although replaced with an unsettling dysmorphia. Although it responds to his requests, the arm is not his, not really. Rough-hewn and inelegant, the Sailor has done his best to cover the arm up in reams of wrapped bandages, his coat and garments still sliced – as the limb underneath it has latterly been – clean around the elbow. A ribbon of white shale runs from elbow to palm like a vein. He is surprised whenever he sees it.

A low whistle from across the rooftops breaks reverie. “Oi! Mister! Sumfink’s strange, here.” A small urchin has poked his up from a few rooftops over. The Sailor makes his clumsy way across the tiles, wincing every time he hears the shattering of slate on the street below. More often than he would like. He is not as nimble as he was. The urchin regards him with curiosity, and stares without a hint of decorum at his badly disguised arm.

It hadn’t been hard to trace the party after he’d stumbled groggily from the Clay Quarter. Back in Seven Devils Square, stories of the massacre were already taking on the quality of bloodthirsty folklore, and a number of people – most deep in their cups – had been eager to tell him all about the group, bloody and stupid, who had fought the Shadow and limped towards Watchmaker’s Hill. An uneasy clamber to the Watchmaker’s roofs had followed, where he was quickly surrounded by a gaggle of fierce looking urchins bearing the insignia of the Regiment. His rookery password turned out to be a month or two out of date, but his information about a storehouse by the Docks where the Admiralty stores its ordnance was greedily accepted. The Regiment’s cannon is its pride and joy.

Now it looks like his little net of urchin lookouts has paid off. The urchin, managing to look away from the Sailor’s arm, points downward. “Not quite wot’cher asked fer, but mighty odd don’t’cha fink?” Below, a young girl is struggling with an oversized sack, pulling it along the ground behind her as if it contains an anvil. “She ain’t one of ours,” the urchin asserts. “And this time o’ the morning everyone else is usually asleep, drunk or dead.”

The Scorched Sailor nods. He’s been up here a while now, and this is the closest thing to suspicious activity any of the urchins have noticed in the area. Besides, he hates to see a child struggle. “Thank you. Try not to blow yerselves up.” The urchin chuckles, and a number of other small, grubby heads pop out from improbable perches to laugh at him as he makes an inelegant descent back to street level, leaving faint handprint-indentations in a few bricks on his way.

“Worry about yourself, you old sunnelcot!”

___

Rounding the corner, the Sailor approaches the young girl and does his best not to look threatening. It occurs to him that this is, perhaps, a doomed endeavour. He is bloody, heavily bandaged, his clothes are ripped and torn, there is something quite obviously wrong with one arm, and his unwounded flesh is still… well, hideous. Maybe the smile is not helping.

Still, she has not run away yet, and there is curiosity mingled with the wariness in her look. He gestures to her sack, which looks to contain all manner of improbable and heavy things. Time to see how strong this arm is. “You need a hand?”
edited by Barselaar on 3/22/2017

--
The Scorched Sailor, Captain of The Reckoning Postponed.
+7 link
John Moose
John Moose
Posts: 200

3/22/2017
Noah wakes up soaked in sweat, lying mostly next to his bedroll. He feels as though he'd spent the night running or his life, but can't remember what, exactly, he dreamed of. His nose is full of the earthen smell of the floor he's had his face against as he pushes himself into a sitting position. He takes the cane-sword from against the wall where he left it, and rummages his pillow, also known as his doctor's bag, to make sure everything's still in there. He opens the small box with his tiny friends, and smiles as he hears the quiet buzzing. He gently pours some more honey on the small piece of rag they eat from and tucks them away. Carefully lifting himself up, he heads off towards the washing areas.

Fresh and clean, Noah walks the corridors quietly. He can hardly say he feels good, but walking seems to come a lot easier than he'd expected. Oh sure, he keeps bumping into things and having to stop and correct his direction before hitting a wall, but he'd expected it would take him weeks before he dared take such long strides. Curious but thankful, Noah is considering finding Gideon and asking for coffee, when a voice calls out behind him.

" You're going to break something soon, you know."
Noah freezes up; he hadn't heard anyone approach, and he'd been listening. "I'm sorry. I still have some getting used to all this."

"Not that I'd care," the voice continues. "But you humans seem to be obsessed with that kind of stuff." You humans, Noah thinks. Something about the way the voice sounds like it's not only bored, but wants you to know it's bored and think that this is probably your fault... "My apologies, sir, but mighty you possibly be a feline?"

"You're a snivelly one, aren't you?" the Ninefold Cat sneers. "Of course I am a cat. Do you have somewhere you need to go or are you just trying to see how long it takes until you break something?" Noah considers this; the cat seems helpful enough, and he's really getting sick of the stuffy air of the tunnel, now he thinks of it. "Could you lead me up to the shed we arrived through? I would like some fresh air." The cat chuckles. "Don't know how fresh you'll find the air up there, but sure. Make sure not to step on my tail, though."

The cat leads Noah onwards. Climbing the ladder takes some time, during which the cat deactivates the traps Noah would be most likely to otherwise trip on. How he does this with paws is anyone's guess. "Sit here," the cat calls out. "There's a stool and you can open the window next to it if you want." Noah thanks him and finds the seat he was offered.

The air that greets him from outside is moist and smells of swamp, but also cold and fresh, and goes a long way towards actually waking Noah up. He stays there for a long time, just listening to the cries of bats, the baying of marsh-wolves and the trickle of condensing water dripping from the fungus caps. He feels like he should be terrified, or in anguish over losing his sight, but honestly he's starting to just feel glad he's still breathing. That monster would have taken much more from him had the Sailor not stepped in, and now Noah was more aware of the blood that yet pulsed through his veins than he'd ever been. He needs to be careful, to plan things out carefully - maybe fake his death, adopt a new name - but right now, all he feels is a strange calm at having faced death, both razor sharp and jasmin-scented, and yet he lives. Fine. I can't see, so I'll listen. I'll think, I'll plan, and I'll get others to carry those plans out. I've heard a true player of the Great Game can stop and start wars without ever leaving his chair. Very well! Let's see how good I am at playing games, then.

A far-away sound of something trudging through the marshes, slowly approaching, brings Noah back to the present. "Is that..." he begins to ask the cat, who responds "Yep, people. A man and a girl, the man carrying something big. You know if they're boss's friends?" Noah considers this. The Sailor was still missing, he'd heard. Hearing the Sailor might be returning should have been disappointing, since the Sailor saving his life left him awkwardly indebted, but curiously all he felt was the lifting of a leaden lump in his stomach he hadn't even known was there. "A member of our team got separated - an old sailor going by the name of Barselaar. He dresses by covering himself in rags so that as little as possible shows, and should be missing an arm. Could you be so kind as to check if it might be him, sir?" he pleads his guide. The Ninefold Cat stretches, yawns, and starts making its zig-zagging way towards the approaching shapes.

--
Gone. http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/John Moose
A doctor with aspirations beyond his station, as well as an apiary enthusiast http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Noah Rache
+3 link
Bertrand Lyndon
Bertrand Lyndon
Posts: 95

3/22/2017
(Co-written with Barselaar)

Jordan had thought she would have been alone and safe at such a late hour of the night, until the Scorched Sailor turned the corner and stopped in front of her. She looks up to the imposing figure with a mixture of awe and weariness. He – she thinks he’s a ‘he’, but she isn’t quite sure – is covered in blood, bandages and tattered clothes, but the bandages around one of his arms are loose and what lies beneath looks more like clay than flesh. Is he one of the Unfinished Men? A shiver runs down her spine: she has heard terrible stories about those who left Polythreme lacking something. Tales that often ended with dead girls. Her eyes dart around in panic: there’s no other people in sight to ask for help, and she knows she is an easy target even with a bag full weapons with her.

The Scorched Sailor doesn’t make any threatening gesture, but rather tries to… smile? Jordan isn’t sure if it’s supposed to be reassuring, but she doesn’t feel reassured at all. She feels tears welling up to her eyes, but she manages to stop them. The sailor points at the heavy bag behind her. “You need help?”

Jordan gapes in surprise. Is he really going to help her? “Y-You’re not going to k-kill me?” she blabbers, immediately turning as reed as a beet. She always ends up saying the stupidest things when she is scared.

The Scorched Sailor looks rueful and ashamed. “No. Why would I? Don’t make a habit o’ killin’ girls on the street.”

“Well, but you’re an Unfinished Man, aren’t you?”

Surprise turns to realisation on the shawled and bandaged face. “Unfinished Man. That’s a new one.” He examines the badly bandaged arm. “It’s… a long story, really. But I’m as human as you are, missy.”

Jordan lets out a sigh of relief. He looks scary, but he isn’t an Unfinished Man, and if he did want to harm her, he would have done it by now. “I-I’m sorry, really. It’s just that… London can be a dangerous place for a girl: you never know who you might run into.” She holds out her hand and smiles. “I’m Jordan, Jordan Farchild.”

The Scorched Sailor shakes the hand lightly, as if he’s worried he might break it – which seems very possible.. He says his name, too. It’s somewhat hard to say. “Barsal– Barzeel-” Jordan frowns. She cannot say it right. She gives him a sheepish smile. “Can I call you Bart?”

The Sailor looks down at her hopeful face, flustered. Most people take a lot more convincing of his good intentions, and even then regard him with suspicion and disgust, as if appearances are indicative of some deeper-seated evil. But he sees nothing in Jordan’s face but sincerity and worry, as if scared her choice of nickname might cause offense. He thinks better of attempting another reassuring smile. “Bart will do just fine.”

“Well, I’m in a bit of a pickle here, so I could really use your help, Bartie. I need to get this bag to Randy, who’s somewhere in Watchmaker’s Hill. I have a map, look.” Jordan takes out her map and hands it to the Scorched Sailor. It’s little more than a few crudely drawn landmarks joined by a dashed line. The line ends in a huge X with ‘Randy!’ written next to it.

The sailor looks at it with a frown. As far as maps go, it’s extremely poor, but he’s found his way to port at zee with less. Reorienting it a few times, he squints at the end of the street. “Well, this won’t be easy, but I might have an idea of where your friend is.”

§§§

Lyndon idly wonders whether or not he got his priorities straight as he slowly makes his way towards the wine cellar. He knows he reeks horribly and looks worse, but taking a bath without clean clothes would just be wasted effort. He can only hope that bat isn’t a slacker. He grins. A drink will make the wait more enjoyable.

The corridor becomes a bit cooler as he approaches the stairs. He can already smell a faint, but unmistakable aroma of mushroom vintage. It seems that the cat’s instructions are quite precise. Good news, finally.

As he descends the stairs, Lyndon hears some noises coming from the cellar. It looks like he’ll have to share. Fair enough, he didn’t plan to drink the whole cellar by himself anyway, and wine will make whatever company expects him there more bearable.

He arrives just in time to see a bandaged man – one he had never seen before – snatch a cup from Dynamo’s hands and empty it in one gulp. The fellow manages to remark the quality and strength of his drink before passing out.

“Well, I did come looking for a stiff drink, but I might want to pass on whatever he took.”
edited by Bertrand Lyndon on 3/22/2017

--
Bertrand Lyndon, a former Sergeant of the 7th Dragoon Guards who deals in crime and secrets.

(My main profile: a Midnighter available for Orphanages)

Jordan Farchild, a kid who often meddles in things bigger than herself, and Bertrand's ward.

(I check this profile less often than Bertrand and I use it only for very light roleplay)

Call me Barren on the IRC.
+6 link
phryne
phryne
Posts: 817

3/22/2017
For many hours, Phryne wandered the tunnels of Gideon Stormstriders "research facility". She was careful not to touch anything that looked like it shouldn't be touched, but she did poke her nose into every nook and cranny. She met a lot of cats, who all looked the same.

When the members of the Hunting party awoke one after another, she kept herself apart, leaving the main tunnels ever further behind. She did run into Drake Dynamo once, the man who looked like the twin of the thing she had fought the night before. She considered him for a while, but just when she was about to say hello, he moved on, looking unnerved. Oh yes, she remembered now: it wasn't considered polite to stare at someone like they were an interesting, rare specimen in an exhibition.

She also came to a locked and bolted door which she pondered for many minutes, quite intrigued, but she did not try to open it. She was a guest here, after all, and she had not yet forgotten all her manners.

Her mind was mostly elsewhere though. Something was bothering her: a physical sense of tiredness, of depletion. She felt like she was running out of energy, which was really quite surprising considering her body was already dead.

Energy. There was a lot of that, down here. Forms of energy that only existed in the Neath: the Light of the Mountain, the Irrigo of the Nadir, the Chaos of the Iron Republic.

Nobody really understood any of these forces. Maybe no one ever would. But as ever and always, humans had begun to work with them, to try and fashion them into new forces they understood even less. Hesperidean Cider. The Shrines of St Joshua. The Dawn Machine.


There is something here.

I don't care. Leave me alone.

The voices inside her head had been silent since Seven Devils square. She was not keen to welcome them back, especially not this one. It had a particularly persuasive quality which she found hard to ignore. It seemed to know things.

I can help you. If only you'd let me...

Well, look at the last time you 'helped' me. How did that turn out? I'm glad I didn't kill someone. Again. Also, I think the Mountain-Bloodor the particular mixture running through the Shade's veinsdidn't agree with me. It is sucking... whatever holds me together out of me. I feel... more human. Which may not be a good thing in my current situation.

Take the left there.

Why?

There is... something that might help you.

Who are you, anyway?

I am in your head, who should I be? I am you.

Indeed? And who am I?

You are you, too. All of us, we're you. When will you accept that?

She then came to a small room at the end of a long and dark tunnel. Indeed, it was utterly dark there, but to her dead eyes it was clear as day. The room was a jumble of boxes and abandoned things, both mundane and esoteric. Gideon's junk room, apparently.


he sun the sun the sun the sun the sun the sun t


Do you feel it?

Yes. There, on the lowest shelf.

Such a small thing, but so powerful.

Even from here, I can feel its madness. Its hatred. I don't want this.

Together, we can deal with it.

Slowly, Phryne bowed down and took the battered, dusty cargo box from the shelf. She briefly wondered how Mr Stormstrider might have come upon it. A New Sequencer would treat it as a holy artifact, a piece of his living god, like the Southerners treated Mountain-Shards. But here it was, stored away—or hidden away?

She blew the dust off the lid and opened the box. Bright light flooded the cluttered chamber, and some of the tunnel outside.


HE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN T


Such a small thing, but so powerful...

This should keep us going for a while. Long enough to deal with this Shade-abomination, if we're lucky.

Lucky... she couldn't help but smile at hearing that word, again. She was quite sure she once knew what it meant.


Phryne Amarantyne opened her mouth, far wider than any human being should be able to, and swallowed the Element of Dawn whole. What was one more voice inside her head?
edited by phryne on 3/22/2017

--
Eva May Canning, a Scarlet SaintLady Orosenn, a Monster-HunterPhryne Amarantyne, changed...
“Away with restrictions, and in with the bold, the daring, and the brazen!”
#Feducci1895 - Now let's see how much worse it can get!
+7 link
Drake Dynamo
Drake Dynamo
Posts: 414

3/24/2017
(Co-written with Bertrand Lyndon and Jimmy T. Malice)


Drake watches the tomb-colonist stumble backwards after ingesting the Cider.

“Good lord! Perhaps take some smaller sips, eh?” Drake remarks.

“Well, I did come looking for a stiff drink, but I might want to pass on whatever he took.”

Drake turns to see Sergeant Lyndon approaching.

“Hello there, Sergeant.” Drake says, cheerfully. Gideon nods at the Sergeant’s entrance.

Lyndon glances at Dynamo. He looks sincere enough, although he’s a little too cheerful to see him, considering he had just punched him the day before. Suit himself. “I see you started the revel without me. Oh, well. I’ll take a seat and have drink with you.”

“No seats in here, I’m afraid,” says Gideon. “Unless you want to take turns sitting on Mr. Lockhart’s unconscious body. He certainly has the padding for it.”

That last remark gets a chuckle out of Lyndon. “I might consider that, but he doesn’t look terribly comfortable.” he says, looking at the unconscious man. He shrugs. “Fair enough. This is a cellar, after all.”

“Would you care to peruse the vintages?” Gideon says, waving an arm expansively across the racks of wine. “I have drinks you’ve probably never seen, and some that you’ll wish you hadn’t seen after a few sips. I was thinking of bringing a few bottles of the ‘79 up for everyone, but perhaps we could crack open something a little more specialized while we’re down here.”

“Perhaps, Sergeant, I can make up for Emma’s, shall we say, ‘roughhousing’ with this Cider. It has a bit of a kick, but I’m certain you’ll feel much better afterwards.” Drake offers, holding up the decanter.

Lyndon accepts a glass of Cider with good grace. “I’m used to being ‘roughhoused’, as you say, but I guess there’s no harm in trying a sip of this. At least, it’s something I’ve never tried.”

Down on the hard floor, Locke makes a noise somewhere between flatulence and an anguished groan. Gideon pointedly ignores him. Lyndon raises an eyebrow and looks at the scientist. “An acquaintance of yours?”
“He’s family. Unfortunately.” Gideon wanders off to root through the shelves of hazardous chemicals. “I have something here for his hangover, although he probably doesn’t deserve it. I’ll bring enough for everyone; I’m sure more than one of us would like to get ruinously drunk after that disaster in Seven Devils.”

“Do we have time for drinking though? We must get back to tracking the Shade. It’s weak, and on the run now!” Drake exclaims, gesticulating furiously.

Gideon turns his head from his rummaging. He perches precariously on a tall step-ladder which seems to have materialized out of nowhere. “We’re weak and on the run too, in case you hadn’t noticed. You may be immortal, but the rest of us need time to recover. And while we’re here, I may as well get building something that might help. My Folding Snake-Skinner Rifle did less than nothing against the Shade, and it’s usually frighteningly lethal. This thing is too fast and too durable for us to even think about fighting it again without a proper plan.”

“Honestly, I think that right now we’re playing the prey’s part, rather than the hunter’s. Our host is right. We need a plan, and a better set-up. However, I’d rather get drunk right now.” Lyndon concludes by taking a long sip from the glass. The cider is surprisingly refreshing, but it also packs quite a punch.

Footsteps sound from the entry to the cellar.

“I can agree with that, Mr. Lyndon.” Emma’s voice rings out in the cellar. “We ought to strategize, not blindly pursue the monster.”

Lyndon turns towards the Dynamo woman, who is accompanied by the tall one, Lady Orosenn. Their clothes are somewhat ruffled. “Oh, it’s you two.” He gives the shorter woman a meaningful look. “Glad that we agree on something for once.”

“Ha! Found it!” shouts Gideon from up on his step-ladder, brandishing a jar of glutinous liquid. As he waves it in the air, the step-ladder topples and he crashes to the floor in a heap.

--
Oh no. Another post from that goon who goes on about statistics.

Drake Dynamo -Correspondent, Hesperidean Cider Drinker & Matchmaker
Emma Dynamo- Pulled from the past, ready to make a splash
The Antioch - The Coffee God (I do not check this account often)
Mr. Mauvais - A ghostly skulduggerous fellow, chopped up for the time being (Only active during seasonal events)

If you need to discuss RP matters, I can typically be found on the IRC in #Argo.
The Shade Hunt has commenced, PM if you want to look at the relevant google docs.
+5 link
Bertrand Lyndon
Bertrand Lyndon
Posts: 95

3/24/2017
(Co-written with Barselaar and John Moose)

Jordan slowly trudges along the muddy path following the Scorched Sailor’s lead. Even with Bart carrying the bag, the road is still hard on her feet. Maybe she should have worn more comfortable shoes. Her guide suddenly stops. “This should be the place, Jordan.”

Jordan squints. There’s nothing in sight except a small mound covered in fungi. “Are you sure, Bart? Randy wrote he’s in a safehouse. This doesn’t look like a house. And it doesn’t look very safe.”

The Scorched Sailor nods solemnly. “Aye, I’m sure. That, or your map’s wrong.”
Jordan makes an embarrassed smile. She wonders if maybe she hasn’t drawn the bat’s directions correctly. Well, she should have gotten most of them right. She thinks. “That… that could be.”

As they look towards the mound, they notice something small approaching from its direction. The shape turns out to be a black cat, walking from left to right, sometimes back towards the mound, but slowly making its way toward the travellers. As it gets close, it sits down and takes turns between looking at the pair with an expression of mild interest and washing itself. Before the two say anything, however, it breaks the silence by asking “Hey big guy, what’s your name?”

Rather taken aback by the cat’s forwardness, the Scorched Sailor simply answers. “Captain,” he adds as an afterthought. “Helpin’ the girl with a delivery.” He hefts the bag with his new hand, and the sack clanks and crashes in an alarming manner.

“Well then you’d better follow me, hadn’t you. Don’t step where I haven’t or you’ll blow up, see if you don’t.” The cat starts making its way back to the mound, in the same winding pattern as before, with Jordan and the Sailor following it as best as they can. Following his advice is made slightly difficult due to his paws being the size of the Sailor’s big toes, but in the end they manage not to explode.

Jordan looks up to Bart with an unexpressed question in her eyes. What’s going on here? She’s supposed to meet Randy, but the cat let them in without her even telling his name. Does he know Randy, too? The Scorched Sailor shakes his head. That is a question that is better left for later.

As they arrive, they see the mound is actually a very old and dilapidated shack. A young man with messy dark hair, a white wooden cane and oversized clothes stands at the doorway. “Captain Barselaar? That is you? ...I am glad to find you alive. How is the wound? Did you receive care? We have your arm, but I doubt attaching is even remotely possible anymore...” Noah gulps visibly, looking uneasy. The two notice the blurry texture of his eyes, and that he isn’t looking at them, but somewhere next to their feet without turning his gaze at all. “I… Thank you. Sir, without you, I doubt I would be alive today. I promise I will do all I can to help you, and… Well, if you ever need a favour, I believe I owe you rather many.” An uneasy smile flashes on Noah’s lips, but his eyes remain unfocused. Instead, he seems to be turning his left ear towards the Sailor and Jordan.

The Scorched Sailor grunts. ”Yeah, ‘m alive. Arm hurt like the Cantigaster had at it.” He fights the urge to snap at Noah - fat lotta help you were - but the man has clearly sustained his own injuries, ones perhaps irreparable. “Thanks, but don’t need favours. Need to be not dyin’.” He looks around the dilapidated exterior. “This where you all holed up?”

“Yes, Gideon had a hideout handy. I’ll show you in, the rest are recovering downstairs. Do be careful, mind, I think the place has more boobytraps than the Masters’ towers. The cat is a good guide, though.”

Jordan has listened to the two men without really understanding much. They were in a fight together, maybe? In any other moment she would be glad to know more, but she has a big problem right now. She tugs the blind man’s sleeve. “Sorry, sir. Do you know Randy, maybe?”

Noah bends towards Jordan and smiles. “We might, miss. There’s rather many people here, actually. Could you describe Randy to me?”

“Like, how does he look like?” Jordan’s expression becomes thoughtful. She raises a hand above her head, roughly at the level of the Scorched Sailor’s shoulder. “He’s this tall, more or less. He has brown hair, but he usually wears a cap, so I don’t know if that helps. Oh, yes. He’s, like, suuuupeeeer grumpy all the time, and he doesn’t like to talk to people much. And he has a sword!” Jordan smiles, quite proud of her thorough description.

Noah turns in the general direction of the Sailor. “What do you think? Lyndon, maybe? Or Henchard…?”

The Sailor shakes his head in disbelief. Madmen in the street preach about how accidents don’t exist, how chance is another name for inevitability, and right now he’s inclined to agree. He wonders whether fate is after his death or whether he has a more productive part to play this time. “Noah’s right, it must be one of them. I expect your Randy is inside, lass. Looks like we were both headed the same way after all.”
edited by Bertrand Lyndon on 3/25/2017

--
Bertrand Lyndon, a former Sergeant of the 7th Dragoon Guards who deals in crime and secrets.

(My main profile: a Midnighter available for Orphanages)

Jordan Farchild, a kid who often meddles in things bigger than herself, and Bertrand's ward.

(I check this profile less often than Bertrand and I use it only for very light roleplay)

Call me Barren on the IRC.
+4 link
phryne
phryne
Posts: 817

3/25/2017
Phryne Amarantye reclines on a bedroll, glowing softly from within, smiling like a Cheshire cat on opium, and showing a quite indecent amount of leg.

Everything is wonderful. Everything is just dandy. And even more important, for the first time in her life, everything is totally, absolutely clear.

She is not just feeling well, she is feeling—yes, 'orgastic' sounds about right.

The voices in her head are finally stilled, drowned out by THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN

All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well. Especially for her. She just knows it.

Energy, yes. The kind that could fuel but also destroy you. Never mind the missing heart—soon, she'll have no organs left at all: the Element of Dawn is burning her up inside, her skin like a papier-mâché housing for her soul. Or the thin crust of the Earth enclosing the undying fires inside it. The sheer unlikelihood of her existence makes her giggle. The true child of the Iron Republic, how many Laws has she broken by now?

But never mind that, either. Soon, she'll be done with this body for good. Not with the Law-breaking though. Oh no, far from it.

She has found that absolute certainty that only being one with a god can provide—even if it's just a mechanical god. Far to the South, she can sense the Dawn Machine crying out towards hE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN TH

Oh yes, surely her soul would feed it well. But she has other plans, thank you very much. After all, if you could become one with a god, what's stopping you from becoming one yourself?

Speaking of plans... Slowly, she gets up and makes her way to the hideout's bathroom facilities, softly humming along tHE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN T

Once there, she turns on all the hot water faucets, and waits.

The irony does not escape her. Having left the 'Great Game' disdainfully behind, she has joined a greater one. And she was going to win, too; oh yes, make no mistake. If she could destroy, or hurt, this 'Shade' thing along the way, all the better. But it didn't really matter now. Had people not always accused her of being a tad egotistical? Well, for once she was not going to disagree.

When the bathroom mirror is all steamed up, she writes a message on it, in reverse. Then she waits some more.

After a while, a vague shape materializes on the other side of the mirror. A hand becomes distinct, writing an answer below her own message—in reverse, so Phryne can read it. She smiles and quickly adds a few more words of her own, then wipes everything away.

It's so good to have friends.


Hours later, the shape housing Phryne Amarantyne's soul is still dancing through the tunnels of the hideout. Maybe she'll compose another opera when this is over. That tune was just sUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE S
edited by phryne on 3/25/2017

--
Eva May Canning, a Scarlet SaintLady Orosenn, a Monster-HunterPhryne Amarantyne, changed...
“Away with restrictions, and in with the bold, the daring, and the brazen!”
#Feducci1895 - Now let's see how much worse it can get!
+6 link
Bertrand Lyndon
Bertrand Lyndon
Posts: 95

3/26/2017
Lyndon is still appraising the quality of the dubious liquid his host has generously poured in his glass when a delighted cry echoes in the cellar.

Randy!”

Lyndon manages to do a half-turn towards the source of the noise before he’s hit by something that envelops him in a hug. The sudden contact makes his wounds explode with renewed pain. He looks down at the small girl clinging to him with the same look he would usually give to a particularly slimy Rubbery Man. The kid looks up to him and smiles in blissful ignorance of his shock.

WHAT!?!
No.
Not the kid.
Not here.
Not the kid here.

Lyndon opens and closes his mouth repeatedly in a poor imitation of a fish. He can feel the curious stares focused on him. He can feel the blood rushing to his face and make it an embarrassing shade of red. However, his mind seems unable to articulate any meaningful sound. An awkward silence lingers in the cellar for a moment.

“What the h__l?” cries the Sergeant, as soon as he manages to regain a measure of self control. “What the h__l are you doing here, kid?”

The kid lets go of him immediately, as if he was covered in spikes all of a sudden. She pouts and hands him a crumbled piece of paper. “No fair! You asked me to come, Randy.”

Lyndon accepts the note with a look of horror on his face. He doesn’t need to open it to know what that is. He also realizes that he should have seen this coming, considering how nosy and meddling the kid is. He makes a mental note to strangle the particular bat responsible for this should he run into it again. “You know that… this wasn’t meant for you, right?”

“Yeah, but there was no one else home, and it sounded urgent. What was I supposed to do?”

“Anything that wasn’t coming here on your own and without what I asked for would have been great.” snorts Lyndon. “I swear to Stone, you should be dead by now. How did you even manage to get this far?”

Obviously, the kid is all teary-eyed at this point, and she’s about to cry. However, Lyndon’s frown doesn’t mellow. “T-That’s not true! I-I was with Bart, and I brought everything with me! Even more than what you asked! Guns, knives, swords… I took everything I could! It’s all in a big bag, and Bart’s carrying it.”

Lyndon is about to cry he doesn’t know any Bart and wonder how could she be so foolish to ransack his armory only to give it to a complete stranger, when the shambling figure of the zailor enters the cellar, carrying a huge bag in his hand.

Lyndon knows that the situation warrants a clever quip, but he cannot think of anything but obvious platitudes. He settles for the least meaningful one. “Oh. Fancy meeting you here.” he extends his free hand. “Now hand over my belongings.”
edited by Bertrand Lyndon on 3/28/2017

--
Bertrand Lyndon, a former Sergeant of the 7th Dragoon Guards who deals in crime and secrets.

(My main profile: a Midnighter available for Orphanages)

Jordan Farchild, a kid who often meddles in things bigger than herself, and Bertrand's ward.

(I check this profile less often than Bertrand and I use it only for very light roleplay)

Call me Barren on the IRC.
+4 link
Barse
Barse
Posts: 485

3/27/2017
"Glad yer not dead too, Sergeant." The Sailor hefts the bag and gets a grim satisfaction from watching Lyndon register, in sequence, the arm, the clay and the apparent ease with which it lifts the clanking sack. "Sounds like you got a lotta stuff in here. Sent this poor young lass across half o' London, luggin' this behind her. Let's hope it's good." He tosses the bag to the floor at Lyndon's feet.

The Sailor looks around at the assembled faces, ranging variously from shock to puzzlement to curiosity. "Thanks fer waiting up. Don't spose you killed the b_st__d after it...?" he wiggles stony fingers. A glance around the room confirms that no, they did not. "Shoulda gone back to the Reck," he mutters to himself, before swiping a drink - with his real hand - from the Sergeant and sagging against a wall. He downs the drink - whatever it is, he doesn't care - in one long, inelegant draught.

To Jordan, who still looks rather lost and on the verge of tears, he now turns and crouches so that the two are face to face. "We found him, lass! You did good. Brave, gettin' all the way here with -" a gesture to the bag "-all that stuff. But you look after yerself, you hear? Especially around... Randy."
edited by Barselaar on 3/27/2017

--
The Scorched Sailor, Captain of The Reckoning Postponed.
+4 link
Drake Dynamo
Drake Dynamo
Posts: 414

3/27/2017
Upon seeing the Scorched Sailor, Drake sets his Cider down and races over, wrapping the old fogy in a big embrace.

"You're alive! Thank god! I couldn't live with myself if I was the last one left!" Drake exclaims. The Sailor cringes, but is too startled to resist. Emma sighs.

"Now that we've got the reunions out of the way, I think it's best we call the others and discuss our plan of action. Mr. Stormstrider, I take it you have some sort of communication system that runs throughout this, uh, 'lair?' So we can get the remainder of our party down here?" Emma interjects.
edited by Drake Dynamo on 3/27/2017

--
Oh no. Another post from that goon who goes on about statistics.

Drake Dynamo -Correspondent, Hesperidean Cider Drinker & Matchmaker
Emma Dynamo- Pulled from the past, ready to make a splash
The Antioch - The Coffee God (I do not check this account often)
Mr. Mauvais - A ghostly skulduggerous fellow, chopped up for the time being (Only active during seasonal events)

If you need to discuss RP matters, I can typically be found on the IRC in #Argo.
The Shade Hunt has commenced, PM if you want to look at the relevant google docs.
+3 link
JimmyTMalice
JimmyTMalice
Posts: 190

3/27/2017
Gideon untangles himself from the collapsed step-ladder, looking around to see if the hangover cure jar is intact. It seems to be getting quite crowded down in the cellar now. So much for all his fine vintages. The place may well be stripped bare by noon.

His head is throbbing, and there are some alarming bruise-like colours creeping across his vision. Perhaps he hit his head on the way down. He very much hopes he hasn’t suffered any brain damage.

COULD ANYONE TELL THE DIFFERENCE? mutters Voice 2. Since its natural tone of voice is roughly the same volume as a foghorn, it’s still louder than most people’s shouts, but it’s an improvement.

He leaps upright and shuffles over to Sergeant Lyndon. The man seems to be pouring out the jar of hangover cure into a glass! “No, no, that’s not how it works at all!” says Gideon, snatching the jar and glass from him. “This is for afterwards - you can’t cure a hangover that you don’t have yet!”

He pauses, struck by a thought. “Actually, I may need to do some more research into that.”

There seems to be a small girl standing next to the Sergeant. A child? In here? Surely he would have remembered one coming in with them. Unless something has gone terribly wrong with the Tyrannical Timepiece, and this is actually Emma… no, she’s just over there. Of course.

The girl looks at him sullenly with teary eyes. Gideon smiles, and holds up a finger in mime – hold on a moment – as he rummages through his coat.

His clenched hand comes out of the pocket, glowing blue from within. “Hold out your hand,” Gideon says. The girl frowns, but does so after a moment. Gideon reaches out and opens his hand, dropping a small faceted stone into her palm. Its soft blue radiance lights up her face, and she looks down at it, confused.


“It’s a piece of a false-star,” he says. “Or, at least, something very powerful and ancient. Think of it as a good-luck charm. Or, if you’re not one for trinkets, it’d probably fetch a pretty penny on the Spite markets. Either way, it’s yours now. Do what you want with it.”

The girl frowns, but she no longer seems to be on the verge of tears. Gideon looks up, hearing his name called by Emma.

“A communications system? Well, I suppose I have something like that, although he tends to be rather temperamental. He’s fond of fish, though.”

Gideon removes a tin of sardines from another coat pocket. He opens it with a curious red contraption resembling a knife-handle; it seems to contain an arbitrary amount of useful tools, including corkscrews, pliers and, appropriately enough, knives.

A few moments after he lays the sardine tin down on the floor, the Ninefold Cat slinks out of the shadows and begins eating from it. Gideon holds up a hand to forestall any protests from Emma and lets the cat finish his meal before speaking to him.

“Would you mind sending some of yourselves to inform the rest of our guests that we’ll be convening in the Scheming Chamber in ten minutes?”

The cat turns his head as if looking at something nobody else can see, and nods curtly. “Done.”

“And try not to scratch them too much.”

“I can’t make any promises.”

Gideon pops open another sardine tin, and the Ninefold Cat returns to his feast. Elsewhere in the tunnels, his other selves head out to give the remaining party members a potentially rude awakening.
edited by JimmyTMalice on 3/27/2017

--
Gideon Stormstrider, the Episcopalian Esotericist
Vela Marek, the Studious Intriguer
Locke Lockhart, the Bandaged Bruiser
Jimmy T. Malice, gone.

A Squid in the Polls
+6 link
Mr. Hamilton
Mr. Hamilton
Posts: 77

3/27/2017
Mr. Hamilton groggily stumbles to the rest of the party and sits down in a chair, then looks up at the rest of them, waiting for further instructions.

--
I am open to any calling cards and most other social events.



My alt: http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/George~Albany

My alt's appearance: http://community.failbettergames.com/topic9363-your-characters-appearances.aspx?Page=8#post164336

My main profile: http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Mr%20Hamilton

My main profile's appearance: [urlhttp://community.failbettergames.com/topic9363-your-characters-appearances.aspx?Page=6#post164298
+1 link




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