The Case of the Honey Dream Phantom

Evensong fluffs the pillows and smooths the silk on the divans. They are few candles in this den and they burn faintly. Dirae Erinyes writes down the facts of the case on several sheets, and waits for their guests.
“The deceased is one Victoria Hicks, prodigy of a the Dreaming Scholar. The time of death was estimated 10:00 PM. Time of discovery was 2:00 AM, when her room’s hourly rent was up. Her location was in Room ‘The Satin Quarters’ of the Kubla Khan’s Palace – a well-known honey den. Cause of death, strangulation. Hand prints were found around the throat, no other trauma found. Murderer was mostly attacking likely from above – the deceased was laying down. Self-strangulation is a possibility, through possession. No evidence at the scene for accidently auto-erotic death. After waiting two weeks, permanent death has been declared. Only one locked door, the only way in and out of the room. Security reported that only Victoria Hicks was seen entering the room at 9:30 PM. No one else entered or left. Security’s reputation is pristine – no hint of corruption. Rumors from some of the honey dreamers of a phantom that kills dreamers. So far, it’s been rumored in the death of three other dreamers. Nothing has been proven. The rumors is that phantom is a black cloaked person, with clawed hands, burning eyes and the ability to breathe fire. The goal: to seek more evidence about this phantom in the world of honey dreams and disprove/prove its existence.”
Dirae Erinyes sets a sheet on every divan and waits for their guests to arrive.
edited by Shadowcthuhlu on 6/24/2016

Eglantine, in their second-best suit, makes their way up the street, the nape of their neck prickling with tense excitement. Here it is: a chance to find out more,and protect their honey-sipping friends from whatever terrors are stalking the places beyond the physical reality.

They have known the taste of honey-dreams, have walked in places impossible in a waking world, have worn the scar and followed the trail of the Eater-of-Chains, but this is… different. This time, it might be a person wreaking havoc.

Lightly, they tap upon the door to which their steps have carried them. “I hope I’m not late.”

Bertrand arrives and takes a seat quietly.
He keeps an eye on the door, expectantly.

“A Locked-Room murder mystery involving honey – and thus Parabola…”

“You have my interest Dirae. How can I help?”

“If it does turn out to be about honey, I may have an expert friend who we could ask as well.”

The Euphemian Game-Carver enters the room, the Parabolic shine of Linen contrasting with Bombazine’s utter darkness. They carry a small pot of Violant, and a thick snakeskin-clad notebook. Calm determination leaks from the smirk often worn by them as of late.

&quotParabola and fire - the symbol of law and the Correspondence. Only a small outcropping of espionage could make this case fit me more. Will we get to taste the honey?&quot
edited by Vavakx Nonexus on 6/24/2016

&quotThis may seem an odd question, but … can this phantom, er, jump?&quot

Dirae Erinyes opens the door with a wide and slightly forced grin. “Come in, come in. Evensong has informed me that the honey should be safe and untainted. Of course we will taste the honey - it’s where our investigation will take place. As for a jumping, I assume that phantom can jump as I likes in the honey dreams. There still might be some spycraft - she was the protege of the Honey Dreaming Scholar. . .”

OOC: Sorry about they delay - I’ve been away from the computer for the last couple days and posting from my phone is pain. I only posted to the Flowerdane rockery due to the time limit.

“Any other questions before we get to our dreams?”

“Well, except a more detailed retelling of the Phantom tale, nothing comes to mind.”

“That would be useful.”

“Perhaps it involves someone being caught in the lane.”

“Let’s what I can remember of such fireplace tales. . .
One of the most popular ones is attributed to a M. Kapenias. I’m sure you’ve run into them if you visit the honey dens regularly. Their client had paid them to help construct a shared dream - a madcap tea party. Not very original but popular with novices. They party was well underway, with the melting tea cups and the saffron sandwiches when a dark figure approached their table. They reported noticing the cloak, and that it kept it’s head down as it approached the table. They had first assumed it was Lord Gaspoder, who was known to be rather reticent at the best of times and not a fan of honey. It sat without a word, and they didn’t notice any odd behavior until Lady Taldor leaned over to offer them lion ant sugar. The phantom reached over and grabbed her throat with one of it’s clawed hands. The other guest scattered. M. Kapenias tried to intervene but the phantom breathed fire into their face, paralyzing them with pain and panic as the dream burned. M. Kapenias reported seeing the bright red eyes as the phantom bounded away with their prey. When they woke up, their face was covered in burns. Of course, M. Kapenias is known to be a braggart and Lady Taldor had not shortage of enemies.”

"There were definitely several cases like this back in the '40’s. "

“Please share them with us.”

“Well, it seems we have old Spring-Heeled Jack on our hands.
Not to be confused with Jack of Smiles.”

“Well, the description does rather match up. Cannot help but wonder what the ‘folk hero’ has in store for us. Any considerations, Captain?”

“I think perhaps this is more intellectual than action, at the moment. Frankly, honey-dreams are not my area of expertise, I dislike sharing my intimacies with others, and I do not find anything more intimate than dreams – even crude physicality does not approach it.”

Absimiliard pauses, “I think perhaps I should go get my Particular Friend and return. She is far more expert in these matters than I.”

Appolonia arrives, and warmly greets the people she has met, and introduces herself to those she has not met. She is dressed in an elegant ivory gown, decorated with black ribbons. She has a fluffy green sorrow spider on her shoulder.

“Absimiliard gave me some background in the note he sent.”

“You are investigating a creature – or person – that attacks honey dreamers?”

“I have certainly done my share of honey dreaming. I study dreams. I have more often been physically burned from dreams that did not involve honey. But that much is true. Dreams of fire can burn, and create real wounds.”

“In my experience, a honey dream is shared if the participants are touching when they take the honey initially.”

“I expect it may be possible to enter a dream if you found a person already under the honey’s effect, took a bit, and touched them.”

“The best defense against anything crossing from Parabola is to remove your mirrors. My dreams of fire that burned me were improved by that technique. Having dream hounds also helps. The Dreaming Scholar uses them, so her prodigy likely did also.”

“But, it is a route. Perhaps a person who travels through mirrors, and, if they find a person asleep with the honey on the table or bed beside them, takes a lick and touches the person, and stumbles in after them?”

“Perhaps, mirrors are part of the decorum of Kubla Khan’s Pleasure Dome. However, I don’t know if that was true in the other cases.”

The Marked Lyricist slips into the salon with a solemn expression, a midnight-black cat trailing behind her. The teen-aged Correspondent’s multitude of scars are hidden under her irrigo gown, so that the amber crown resting in her scorched blonde bun, and storm-grey eyes stand out more distinctly. She examines the case-notes, frowning pensively, and then takes note of the other individuals in the room. Violant ink. Another, at least, of her occupation among her. She curtsies politely and sits, her cat settling on her lap.

&quotI doubt the culprit is more than a mortal with a god-complex, but we cannot discard our options yet,&quot she suggests, &quotExpect nothing and everything, find the murderer, take them out, end-game.&quot

Rosaline gestures dismissively with a lace-gloved hand at her previous statement, then folds her hands below her neck.

&quotDreams. I have been killed by dreaming not long ago; not this way.&quot When she had started pursuing the Name, she cried out in a drowning-dream and was there cut to paper. She had woken up with a fatal-looking gash across her chest, that she now feels weeping under her bandages. &quotIn such, if we are going to need enticement for our boogeyman here, it would be careless to engineer multiple targets at one instance. With all we have gathered here as security, without resources spread out into uselessness, it would not be all too perilous a role to play as bait. The less time over selecting whom, the quicker this case shall be resolved. In short: when the plan is laid, I volunteer to be put in danger if needed, as I am confident in my own abilities, and yours, to escape Miss Hicks’ fate.&quot

“Let’s make sure we have all of our party before we set the plan and the home base.”