The Museum of Mistakes Gift Shop

The Museum of Mistakes Gift Shop

A well-known pub on the edges of Veilgarden, catering mostly to writers, and to those that writers would find interesting. It’s scandalous enough to fashionable, and respectable enough that anyone who is (or simply wants) to be anyone pokes their nose in.

A devil tends the bar, with a flock of equal black and white ravens to help serve orders and provide a friendly ear. The napkins here are generous and stiff enough for good notes – and every table has a cup with pens on it.

Upstairs, there are books not yet written, never to be written, and merely forgotten. But those require a special password to the bartender. To everyone else, the booze is cheap and strong, the food filling and even cheaper, and the words plentiful. The cuckoo clock on the wall boings out an obtuse angle, two minutes before the opening time at five o clock.

(OOC: This is location for characters to wander in and get to meet each other. So far there are only two rules: Don’t tell the decency evaluators about what happens here, and don’t break the furniture.)

“Are you sure this is a pub?”

A small chuckle. Red orbs glanced at the humble sign of oak. Its owner’s wrapped his dark travelling coat around his slim figure, the crimson waistcoat beneath it seeming glaringly obvious in the lamplight of Fallen London.

“Yes. I’m sure this is a pub. A rather silly name but its reputation surpasses such trivial matters.”

The speaker tilted his fedora, casting a shadow over his smooth features, jet black bangs of unruly hair covered his eyes, which gleamed with amusement. 'Let’s go Sebastien."

His Suave Henchman sighed before going inside. 'You go it gov’nor." The man smiled. He was a good boy. If only he had more people like him. Good workers were hard to come by nowadays.

Richard Eleison, the Conniving Scholar, walked into the misappropriately titled pub.

It was still a jolly place after all.

“A mug of the strongest, if may.” Eleison asked as he took his seat at a corner table. “Absinthe for me. And a pint of ink! And a quill. Fetch me a quill. Never liked pens.”

The black raven simply ruffled their feathers in slight annoyance before flying off to tend to his needs. Sebastien dusted off the imaginary dust on his brown suit before turning to his boss. “So…why are here?”

Indeed. That was a good question. What business did two gentlemen of shady practice have in a little pub in the streets of Veilgarden? Criminal networking? Anarchist plotting? Rubbery murdering? Truth be told…

“I haven’t the foggiest idea.” Eleison shrugged. He just heard of the pub’s fame and decided to pay a visit. Nothing too serious. His bearded henchman said no word of complaint, though he couldn’t help but notice the slightest twitch of his jaw.

Their order arrive in the form of a miniature flock of ravens ferrying a tray to the duo. The beer was gladly accepted by the Suave Henchman. The absinthe was quite satisfactory in the Conniving Scholar’s opinion. The ink more so.

Deft hands jotted down bits and bobs of ideas and plans, criminal networking and such. The stuff mentioned earlier. His eyes never left the door of the pub. What wondrous individual may pass through that small frame?

Richard Eleison’s signature smile flashed once again as he thought of the possibilities, it’s gleam outshining the sinister glow of the Crooked Cross. My my. This will certainly be a delectable evening.

The particular sinister air surrounding the duo vanished in an instant at the woman’s query. Instead of thinking what sort of person she may be in any scheme or how much potential she possessed, they instead ha one singular thought running through their minds.

She’s on to us.

Eleison cast a glance at Sebastien, only to find his cheeky Suave Henchman ducking under the mug of fungal beer as he took a massive draught. And he kept on drinking.

Clever b_stard. But now it was he who had to answer the question.

It wasn’t his fault the plant ended up on his doorstep. It wasn’t his fault that said plant got rooted to the parlour, which caused many a stir at the Embassy. And it definitely wasn’t his fault that said plant required oddities in order to be sustained, goldfish amongst them.

He found it weary to purchase more goldfish at the Bazaar just to feed the plant. So he decided to simply gather up as much as possible and stuff them in a tank. Sadly, the passed away in not a day. The backyard served to be a suitable storage/graveyard.

Starvation kills.

So with a roll of his eye, Eleison answered her question. &quotYes. We have slain, inadvertently mind you, many a goldfish. And many a goldfish now lie in the backyard.&quot

Using the short interval between his answer and her follow up, he simply decided to ponder one thing about his life. Why hasn’t he sold the d_mn plant already? It’s more trouble than its worth anyways.
edited by Reinol von Lorica on 1/5/2018

Eleison blinks once in surprise as he read the letter. His thought on the matter came out in an insant.

“Are you sure they’re not drunk?” A fair question, in his eyes. His Suave Henchman on the other hand, had other ideas.

“I’ll have a keg of rum. The proper stuff. None of that mushroom swillery.” Well at least he has his priorities straight.

…wait…has he been seeing Silas? Nevermind. Eleison clears his throat after and while and hands the paper back to her. “If that is what you wish then you may.”

A sip of absinthe. A absent minded thought. This was proving to be a rather interesting encounter. “Say…” He swirled the spirit as he chose his words carefully, “…I think it’s time for some introductions. Richard Eleison, the Conniving Scholar as they call me, and often labled as an inescapable and midnigh gentleman. My companion goes by Sebastien, a Suave Henchman. Some say he’s terrifying.”

He took another sip as he waited for her to respond.
edited by Reinol von Lorica on 1/9/2018
edited by Reinol von Lorica on 1/9/2018

"The back room…’ Eleison trailed off. Ah yes, the one filled with books. Both finished and unfinished. A room closely guarded by a password. Yes, he heard of it. And he knew very well that is was no mere rumour. Nay. even if it was, all smoke leads to a fire. Always.

Sebastien thanked the young lady, Dione of Argos, or so she says. It was then he decided to speak. "I suppose access to such a place would be enlightening. Perhaps a little nudge can open this door…’

He cast a glance at the bartending devil who simply shrugged. Guess not. The first glass was drained, and so he moved on to the second.

‘Dione of Argos you say? And a singer as well. You a Bohemian?’ He sipped his drink. Delicious. 'Nothing much for me. Just a scholar of the Correspondence and other such matters."

And a Crooked Cross. And of course, a good friend of the Liberation. Perhaps she may be a new recruit for the Cause.

A tomb colonist marvels at the sprig of fragrant rosemary in their hands, like a miracle plucked from beyond the false stars above just seconds ago, and a promise of miracles still to come. They look up from the impossible herb to the woman sitting before them, as though begging for the answer to an unspoken question.

She produces from her green cloak a small bottle wrapped in twine, and gives it to them, with a whisper.

&quotWe found them. All of them. They called to us, and now they call to you. They’re home.&quot

The tomb colonist takes the bottle into their hands, and gazes at it through tear-stained bandages. The woman smiles with genuine warmth as they tightly clasp her hands and thank her, then make their way out of the shop quickly. She sighs contentedly, and orders a glass of chanterelle Chartreuse at the table.

“I have not seen the library. But I know someone who has. They were rather secretive in sharing the information but I have some information regardless. Not much but something I suppose.” Eleison admits. His…contact so to speak wasn’t the msor co operative sort. Nor was he the msor polite. If he’d he’d known any better, he’d probably say it was just to tease.

“The library’s contents vary. Perhaps they are the unfinished works of artists and scholars. Maybe material that would’ve been regarded as a crime by the Decency. Or if we’re being plain, knowledge simply not meant to be shared. A curious thought eh?” He says with a smile. “I do however, expect something about the Fallen Cities. Well, one really in particular.”

Few speak of that city. Those that do may incur the wrath of the Masters.

A table down, bloodshot eyes quirk upward at the mention of fallen cities.

&quotJust another bottle of the 1882, if you please,&quot she murmurs, sufficiently distracted. The raven by her elbow squawks, reproachful, as the woman’s scarf prods questioningly at its wings before acquiescing in a smattering of dusty feathers.

As the woman absentmindedly waves the ensuing cloud away and shushes the discontent whispering of her overcoat, she finds her attention wandering again towards the back door. Her lips quirk upward ruefully. Just when one finally sets it out of mind. Damnably loud strangers. Her eyes flicker over them quickly; she keeps her vision sweeping back and forth over her novel as she thinks. The lady…a singer? Bohemian, perhaps. Forthright–transparently so–so either naively optimistic or a new arrival. And the man…a quill? Who uses a quill, in this day and age?!

She hitches her book upward so it covers her face, ears picking out the two new voices from the usual murmur of the pub. They may be of interest yet.
edited by Senforza on 1/18/2018

&quotSubtle,&quot she mumbles conversationally to the sock that coils around her wrist; it wheezes back what nearly might be a laugh. She lowers her book briefly to take a sniff of her glass before her eyebrows narrow imperceptibly. Hm. And this is why you always carry the '44.

Mind made up, the lady carefully takes a look at her page number before tucking it under her shoulder. She reaches a hand into her overcoat as she stands, taking a swig from her silver flask as she makes her way to the table. &quotThere are more interesting ways, perhaps, and also infinitely more foolish.&quot Her tone is carefully mild as she pulls out a free chair. &quotI hope you don’t mind…?&quot

Crimson eyes swept between the two. Eleison leaned back as he pondered on the recent developments. Sebastien paid no heed to what was happening. It was not his business to make an opinion. Eleison’s will was his will. And it was so that Richard Eleison was to act now.

“Not at all.” He waved away at the newcomer. “Sit down and drink. Feel free to speak of your will.” Having said his part, he fixed his attention to Dione. “Such words from someone such as yourself. Presumptuous. Far from foolish though. But very curious indeed. And down here, curiosity can easily spell one’s doom. On the other hand, it can spell out one’s fortune.”

He stares at her, eyes brimming with an unknown light. “Tell me, how do you plan on gaining access. I have my plans. Do you?” It was said in a bored drawl, yet it failed to betray his fascination. Never has he encountered someone like her. Such a fine specimen must be given the required attention.

The lady sits back, content to drink and observe the two strangers interact. She allows a bare hint of a smirk to cross her lips, eyebrow tilting, as the strange man directly contradicts her. As I thought, then. She’s a newcomer. He gives her too much credit, though; only a fool makes promises her hand can’t keep, especially where better people have tried and failed. It’s too soon to pay her such high-handed compliments, unless there’s some ulterior motive.

&quotI’m sorry to interrupt, but would you mind introducing yourselves to me? I’m afraid I’m rather late to this discussion.&quot
edited by Senforza on 1/20/2018

&quotProfessor F. L. Senforza, at your service. May I ask what gave me away, aside from the fact that my darling clothes-colony here is transparent as glass?&quot She smiled faintly, swatting down the fringed edge of a protesting scarf. &quotI do hope you have some suggestions of your own. Devils are used to fire and brimstone; I doubt they bloom easily, so to speak.&quot

&quotYou know, it was it was once the other way around.’ Eleison mused out loud, ignoring the original question for just a moment. &quotOnce upon time, it was the Devil’s who made things bloom. Though I doubt they’re still into that business. Probably are but I never looked into the affairs of the mirror.&quot His eyes glaze over before he focuses once more.

&quotThere are many things a Devil would want. Secrets. Souls. The Once-Princes of Hell. Many things indeed.&quot Crimson eyesnarrowed. &quotWhat are you trying to imply?&quot This could prove to be an…interesting snippet if she proved correct. Out of the corner of his hearing, he idly heard Sebastien introduce both he and himself to the newcomer.
edited by Reinol von Lorica on 1/23/2018

Senforza smiles thinly. &quotMy dear Madam, why do you think I frequent this pub? It’s charming, perhaps, but I find it tiresome to read Correspondence in places where it’s socially unacceptable to catch fire.&quot Her fingers catch on her book contemplatively. &quotNo, the only reason I would consider delaying my studies is to place myself in a position to hear information from people who are not quite as discrete as they believe. Perhaps not so unlike yourself.&quot Her statement is entirely devoid of malice, sounding almost apologetic.

She lowers her voice. &quotWhile I’m grateful to have made your acquaintance, grabbing my attention with such a statement has likely alerted half this pub to our conversation. Loose lips still lock within reason. If your ears are half as good as you say, I would caution you to listen before making your intentions known.&quot

&quot…That being said, if you do indeed have something in mind to convince our sulfuric host, I welcome it.&quot She offers no information or suggestion of her own. Her eyes swing leisurely between the three, coolly analytical.

Richard Eleison said nothing for while, merely enjoying the absinthe. His eyes were closed in peaceful contemplation as he listened to the two women converse. At the end of the Professor’s speech, he opened his eyes. They flashed with two emotions. Irritation and boredom. The talk had on long enough and his patience was wearing thin. But he kept his voice steady as he answered her.

“Bribery would come to mind. Devils simply can’t resist souls. Those of higher quality more so. My profession provides me with ample amounts. It would be a small matter to hustle up a sufficient bribe to twist the desires of even the most austere of devils. Influence was another road. I have worked with and for Hell. My name is known to even those behind Hell’s gate. They grace me with their favours and promises. Surely that would be enough to convince our infernal host? But I doubt so. I have no desire to see to see the library. If I wanted to, then I wouldn’t bother with asking the devil. I have my ways. Not honest ones but ways regardless.”

After that, a look of boredom entered his features as he returned to his drink. He had enough of such talk. If this Dione had anything else to say, then she better get to the d_mn point already.

&quotIndeed, it seems civility may yet be dead in London.&quot The Professor nodded, vaguely amused. &quotWhile I ultimately may not judge you ready for such a pursuit, I don’t see the harm in exploring the potential. Certainly I’m always on the hunt for new avenues of knowledge. Access to a library of this size would be quite useful to me.&quot

Throughout the exchange, Eleison kept his silence. As he sipped the remnants of his glass, he focused his gaze on dear Sebastien. “And do you have to say, my loyal henchman? You’ve been awfully quiet. And that tankard can’t get any more emptier than it already is.”

Sure enough, the Suave Henchman was pretending to drink an invisible drink, clearly trying to hide his curiosity regarding the library. “To be honest, guv, I’m quite partial to seeing what lies beyind the secret entrance.”

Ah. So That was it. Sebastien deserves a gift anyways. “Very well then.” Spoke Eleison as he fixed his gaze back on the duo. “Would you mind if my good man, Sebastien were to partake of this expedition? Consider him acting on behalf or whichever you prefer. I’m sure he’ll be useful. And perhaps I’ll lend a hand. A good king cares for his subjects after all.”

She stared at the setup doubtfully, pursing her lips. &quotIf anything…&quot She blinked slowly, shaking her head. &quotSo be it.&quot Subtlety may well be out the window anyway.

The Professor ignored the various hors d’oeuvres, instead opting to continue taking swigs from her flask. She closed her eyes for a second, rubbing tiredly at her eyelids. One can only play along for so long. &quotAs much as I’ve enjoyed making your acquaintance, Madam, would you mind terribly if we spoke plainly? If you do indeed plan on sharing a fully-formed idea, I would appreciate hearing it in full.&quot

Sebastien pondered this for a while, occasionally casting glances at Eleison. The constant questions and clues were beginning to grate on his nerves as well. He could see why Eleison decided to pull out when he had the chance. But still, the Suave Henchman pondered her question. What was the only place Hell has yet to gain access to.

It was at that moment did he remember what should’ve been forgotten.

Air, thick with the impossible violet. It drowned memories, dreams, faces, names. The Irrigo light shone at every corner, every eyeless skull. The temptations of the forgetful drug still lingers.

He had a hunch on her answer. His boss dragged him and many others to the place every week, all for the sake of looting its hidden bounty. Many were lost. Others were simply forgotten. Yet the Conniving Scholar thrived there. Even when his mind was naught but hollow. It terrified Sebastien sometimes. More so than their visits to the Iron Republic. Nevertheless, the Suave Henchman opened his mouth and spoke, the hopeful answer.

“The Cave of the Nadir. Where the Irrigo temptations of the Nadir beckons all. Yet it’s location is a well kept secret. Not even those of Hell know the way.”

He very much hoped this was the answer to her question. Somewhere, after the third glass, Richard Eleison smiled. His Henchman was doing him proud.

(That is rather…sudden.)