An Evening of Indelicate Tomfoolery

(So, Owlor and I are voting for taking on separate missions. Any thoughts Narcissus/Duke?)

(Most agreed. Sounds fun to me)

“Well” he let out with a smile. “If we’re divying up the missions, know I’m game. Whoever needs the blasted fork for identification can have it. Of course, I’m more than willing to carry it myself. Hell always interested me, and to see the gates…why that would be marvellous. Of course, Mrs. Plenty intrigues me too. I know plenty about good old Miriam, and can imagine…some certain distractions to establish for her. A certain…pursuit to trigger. Have you noticed she never tastes her own rubbery lumps? I think…I don’t want to go to far…but I believe we may have to remedy that.”

(Oh goodness, now I know that Theodore travelled to Hunters Keep. He’s growing interestingly…)

“hmm, there was one thing that struck me”, Owlfisher said. “Mrs. Plently has a known fondness for for secrets, and in this town, a few stray secrets getting loose can cause more havoc than an army of monsters. If whoever is willing to face to face the wrath of mrs. Plenty where to bring with him even a handful of espescially juicy gossip, I bet you a hundred Echoes I could get them printed in the next edition of the London Gazette. I estimate that at least a few thousand copies will be printed, delivered and sold before it’s discovered. Since we now have reinforcements, I think we can afford to raise the stakes a bit, what do you think, Dorian?”

“Now THAT is a fine notion Jack!” Dorian remarked, a sly grin spreading across his face, “I’m a fine duellist, but my strength lies in the art of words. Now, since I was the one to get you all into this, I’ll be the gentlemen and let you pick first. But, if I could be oblidged, I’d be more than happy to volunteer my services when it comes to facing Mrs. Plenty. I’ve got a certain…ahem…expertise with difficult hearts”

He sweeps up a piece of paper, studying carefully.

“Of course, this could be a two-man job easily. There’s likely to be a score of papers kept in the vault, if someone was brave enough to face the Tomb-Mercenaries and beasts”

(having said that, any of these could be a two man mission. It just means writing two separate stories for different aspects of the same mission :))

As he spoke, the boards over one window, strained to their limit by the only slightly incautious eavesdropper leaning against them, gave way with a crash. Into the room fell a young woman, wearing a resplendent blue dress and gloves. She was dressed more for a ball than for sneaking around.

The woman had had quite a time coming here. She had not been invited. Discovering the existence of the lettered summons during another (similar, though less ill-fated) bout of eavesdropping, it had taken all of her wits to ‘obtain’ her selected item from deep within the Duchess’s palatial abode. The item now hung around her neck, waiting for the right moment.
With the untimely giving-way of the window, however, the eavesdropper would be putting her past actions to the test.

Getting up and dusting herself off, the woman smiled a charming smile. “How do you do, gentlemen,” she said. “You may call me Jane Narbon.” She held out one hand for the others to kiss, while her other hand moved down to a secret pocket.
She was as much of a trickster as any of the others— and she was hoping at least one would take her hand. Then, she could start the evening off with a trick!

[color=rgb(153, 153, 153)](Hello! I hope you don’t mind my jumping in. This looks like fun!)[/color]
edited by ladymadsci on 2/25/2012

Never let it be said Narciso missed the chance to kiss a lady’s hand. He holds his grinning hat to his chest, and bows deep. “A pleasure and a wonder! Wherever did you fall from?”

Jane smiled, deeply. “From the moon!” she said. “From the false-stars…” The hand that had reached into the secret pocket closed around a rubber bulb. “…bringing mirth, magic, and gaiety to all.”
As Narciso bent in to kiss Jane’s hand, Jane squeezed the bulb. An unobtrusive rosette on Jane’s glove sprayed a stream of wine into Narciso’s face. “You looked like you could use some,” she said, with a grin.

Smiling at the others, Jane retrieved a necklace from around her neck. “As you all seem to be expecting a token of some sort, please, take this.” The necklace looked to be made of some strange sort of Jade, with a rough carving of a cat at the necklace. “If you wish to know where it comes from, I’m sure the Duchess will be glad to tell you.”
Settling herself into an empty chair, Jane finished by saying, “I… er… overheard your earlier plans, and I must say— they sound lovely. I’m game for any, though my talents lean towards the verbal— and the shadowy.”
Jane looked around at the group, now 5.
“Any suggestions?”
edited by ladymadsci on 2/25/2012

“I am not sure what amuses me more, the fact that we are being this indiscreet or the fact that rather than cal lthe authorities, people wish to join in. I like this Neighbourhood you live in, Dorian, if I wasn’t so comfortable in my room at the Brass Emassy, I’d move here for sure. Anyway, Good evening Ms. Narbon, I am Jack, and this is my partner in crime, Melody”, Jack pointed as his head, on which a rather grubby but cute kitten still perched. The cat meowed sleepily at the mention of her name. “I am sort of an Underworld Educator, but I am always looking to learn more about the tricky and the shady. I would not say no to a glass of wine to get my brain going, but would you kindly serve it in a glass rather than a stream to the face? I know it must seem ineffective, but drinking from a glass is sort of a habit I’ve developed”, Jack chuckled at the sight of NArciso trying to clean wine out of his collar. “You do strike me as the fun-loving type, how about we team up to rock the Carnival? I wouldn’t dare to face the warh of Mrs. Plenty alone.”

Jane thought for a moment, taking a small dainty from the tray in the center of the room. “Ah, Mrs. Plenty…” she said, smiling at a memory. “You know, I once tried to make off with that strong-box of hers? For my troubles, I got a number of half-bricks, a sorrow-spider, and an impudent note.” She scooped the necklace back around her neck once everybody had examined it. “I tamed the sorrow-spider. He lives in my jewelry box.”

Jane turned her full attention on Jack and Melody. “Hmm. From what I overheard, we’re trying to release the beasts beneath the Carnival? And, perhaps, make off with a few… trifles?” She thought for a moment, putting one gloved hand on her chin. “I’ve experienced the joy of show business before, at Mahogany Hall. That was me in the ‘Bride’ skit, along with some other vignettes. That means…”
She began to count off possibilities on her fingers.
“First, I could create a distraction of some sort at the Carnival, to let others sneak into— or out of— wherever they need to go.
Alternately, I hear Mrs. Plenty is always on the lookout for performers. It might be good to have someone on the inside to smooth things along.” She lowered her voice, slightly. “Not to spread rumors, but I hear that a good third of the pickpockets there work for her as well— she might be receptive to someone who has skills in both subjects.
Of course, I could always accompany you to the vaults, instead… I’m not too good with weaponry, but I think I could defend myself if need be.”

“Sneaking into the Carnival dressed as performers would be an excellent idea”, Jack said, "at the very least it would help us find out more about how to get into the vault. I’l probably let you do the talking, if you let me do the observing. Now, I do not think raw strength is going to be our greatest asset when breaknig into the vault. If there’s something I’ve learned from my time as a theif is that if you just have resources, you can quite easily outmatch Strength using more Strength. Even the strongest man alive do not stand a chance towards an army for example, and you are generally trying to break in because they have something and you don’t, so you can usually assume that they have more resources than you. However, a measly rat in the right place can put an entire empire on its knees. Stealth and cunning always beat raw strength, any day of the week and twice on sundays. Now how does that plan sound like to you?

(OOC: I guess we’ll simply write it by taking one paragraph at a time, since this mission will require a fair bit of collaboration. But I think even those who choose to do a more solo mission can benefit from writing it one paragraph at a time rather than all at once. Then you don’t have to plan everything out at once and can jsut go form scene to scene as it strikes you. )

((I just want to say that I’m really enjoying reading what you guys are writing, even if it would be grotesquely out of character for Yana to participate.))

(Yeah, we’ll need significant collaboration on this one. Still, it shouldn’t be hard. Also, thanks, Patrick!)

Jane nodded. “That seems like a good idea. I’ll get myself hired on as a performer, then you can come in with me a few days later and no one’ll suspect you. From there, we play it by ear.” She thought for a moment. “Now, there’s just the matter of exactly what kind of performer you’d look best as— we’ll need to work together on the disguise.” She rummaged around in her secret pocket, taking out a flask. Disconnecting it from the trick she had used earlier, she poured Jack and herself each a glass of wine. “I suspect this may be one of those… complex problems.”

Jack took the glass and examined it for a while, then shrugged and drank from it. “well”, he said, “I moonlight as a detective and I’ve gotten pretty good when it comes to reading people, I could probably pass myself off as a Mentalist. There’s a number of Cold Reading techniques I could use, and I’m not sure yet but I may… have something of a secret weapon for that, should one be needed.”, Jack helped himself to another glass of wine, “Now frankly, what worries me is my performance here, you are pretty much a Performer already, you should pass with ease, however, I am not. I may give off an air of being a criminal, or I may give off an air of being a detective, either would be devestating for our plan. Do you think you could help me make a disguise that makes me look like enough of a scroundel to be a Mentalist, but not enough of a scroundel to be someone that may swindel her?”

Jane smiled. “Of course I could,” she said. “Come to my apartment tomorrow— it’s in the tall Bazaar spire with the orange symbols. I have a supply of disguise materials.” She poured herself a new glass of wine, and took another dainty from the table. “But enough of this. I understand some of you were intending to take on Hell, and the Masters? Intriguing. I do have one tip, for the Masters— watch out for the bats. They’re in on it, somehow.”
She leaned back in her chair, fiddling with a watch she drew from somewhere, and settled down to listen to the others’ plans.

Dorian had sat quietly for almost the entire length of the conversation. Even when Jane had unceremoniously crashed through his window, he’d had done nothing, save to give a look of rather bemused helplessness to his tomb-colonist bodyguard. He waited, listening with some interest on the plans that the new arrival had laid out before the assembled company of tricksters. Finally, as it lulled into silence, he stood up, walking over to Jane.

“Well. It seems as though this will be quite a party” he said, elegantly taking her hand and kissing it (albeit with a thumb cautiously laid over the rosette), “You are most welcome, madam, and most correct in your assertions. As for our two other attempts on Hell and Mr Pages, we’ve got twofold plans: to shut tight the first gate, and to alter the printing presses. I have a plan for both. However, in the meantime, I feel it is of the utmost importance to pursue what seems to be the most popular target.

For my part, I have found that the last thing a confidence-trickster like Mrs. Plenty suspects is another confidence trickster in plain sight. I myself have spent occasional periods fooling the customers of the Carnival for the benefit of both parties, which has itself thrown the owners off my scent. If you are willing to lead a troupe of performers to distract her, I believe I could get closer to the more sensitive areas of the show”

(also, thanks Patrick!)

Narciso has been between judging the damage done to his waistcoat and laughing for the joke, once he’s certain it’ll survive – he likes this woman! And he chimes in with, “Oh, do let me play! I run my own con outside the carnival, at times, by pretending to be a fortune-teller – I’ve just the scarf for you, Owlfisher! We’ll make a proper Bohemian out of you.”

Jane raised one eyebrow. “It seems we all wish to devote our efforts in the same direction!” she said. “I have a thought. Perhaps our merry band should concentrate on each target in turn? It would be just as much fun, but for all.” She turned to look at Narciso. In response to him, she said, “Why not? Disguises are an excellent activity to do with friends.”

To the assembled group again, Jane said, “Oh, and one other thing. A toast, to our target of choice.” She lifted her wine-glass. “To the Carnival!”

[color=rgb(204, 204, 204)](This is really fun so far! I wonder what the next scene will be.)[/color]

(Yeah, it seems well be taknig one target at a time, all together, at least the first one, which will be the Carnival. I’ll work on the next scene, but if Duke or Dorian has something they’d like to add, we can jsut flash back)

There was a certain ammount of irony in chosing a Bazaar-side apartment as their base of operations, seeing as one of the Masters was another target on the list. But commerscial districts at nght are great for shady acitivities, they are usually empty, save for a handful of people just as shady as you. The gang of tricksters where burning the midnight candle and conversed merrily as they prepared their plan. Narciso had brought a variety of fabrics and clothing, enough to dress the entire gang in fashionable carnie-getup and Dorian har rought a variety of weapons and ammunition. The rather cozy apartment now resembled something close to a cross between a Tailors shop and an armory.

Jack, together with Dorian and Narciso had also reached out to a network of scandalously interested litterary types to collect material relating to magic tricks, illusions and simple carnie scams. It had required quite a bit of trawling, for once it wasn’t the ministry of public decency that was standing in their way, but rather criminals and other shady types that tends to be rather protective of their trade secrets.
“Now I took the liberty of bringing a case of Morelways to this little gathering, it would be hard for us to pose as carnival workers unless our breath smelled at least somewhat of alcohol…”, Jack announced., “now we’re only waiting for Theodore, I heard he was bringing something special that could be useful.”
edited by Owlor on 2/26/2012

Jane took a glass of Morelways, pouring a little onto the roots of a strange plant in the room’s far corner before sipping delicately. She had yet to acquire a disguise, though the nightgown she was wearing now would be considered scandalous by refined society. (Mrs. Plenty would have described it as ‘not scandalous enough’.)
As the other three fussed over possible confidence-tricks and carnival behavior, Jane leaned in and offered occasional suggestions.
“…and if anyone calls you on it, you can just say that they’ve gained something far more precious than mere jade!” she finished. “You may wish to run, though.”

Jane moved over to Dorian’s pile of weapons, and began rummaging through it. Towards the bottom, several items caught her eye.
“Where did you find these?” she asked, holding up a set of hair sticks with hidden sharp edges. “I think they could be… useful.” Taking a red wig from the clothing pile, Jane attached the wig, then arranged the hair in a complex alignment, securing it with the sticks.
Looking in a mirror, she nodded.
“Do you want to use our given names when we’re at the Carnival?” she asked. “Or would aliases be better, just so no one can find us in between adventures?”