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Table 5 at a Hallowmas Party of 1894 Messages in this topic - RSS

Lord Gazter
Lord Gazter
Posts: 669

11/3/2016
Lord Gazter sits down and takes a sip from his glass. "I would agree with you Profesor Thursday," Lord Gatzer takes antoher sip from his glass. "And I would propose that quick wit is of a greater virtue than wisdom."
edited by Lord Gazter on 11/3/2016

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Ginneon Thursday
Ginneon Thursday
Posts: 273

11/3/2016
lethifer wrote:
...and at one point he manages to send a white-winged moth soaring lazily across the table under its own power before it crumples to the floor near another table.
The Professing Rose regards Lethifer’s ephemeral creation where it lands. “I quite like your white moth, Mr Lethifer. Interesting you should make it now, as a white moth figures in my story. You see, I am something of an aurelian. I find moths fascinating. And as a professor of mycoenolgy (although we really are all still students) - I study how to improve mushroom wine. The trick is in the interaction between the two.” He gestures to the neighboring table, and a guest sends the antennaed sculpture flying back to the prof’s hand.


“Lepidoptera bodies make fertile ground for some very fine fungal species. There are even stories of a family of fungi that will attach itself to moths, extending the mycelium into its host’s brain.” Here, he digs his fingers into the winged glider’s head, deep into the folds of fabric. As he continues, he guides the glider onto the table.


“Once thus embedded, it will effectively direct the moth to a place of optimal temperature and humidity, instruct the moth to latch on, and, ultimately-” He claps a loud, flattening hand down on top of the napkin moth. “Kill its host entirely.”

--
Ginneon Thursday: Revelrous Professor of Benthic
Departments of Mycoenology, Lepidoptery
Cider sips and Temple Club invitations
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Appolonia
Appolonia
Posts: 248

11/3/2016
"Oh! Poor moth."

Appolonia frowns, but she is still leaning towards Ginneon in her posture. Curious.

"I did not know you were an aurelian, Professor. A lepidopterist. Is that the only reason moths fly towards heat and light? I thought they almost all did that. I have been trying to learn about moths here since I learned what happened to my father."

"Do you have a card? Perhaps sometime I can call on you, and see if you have any insight on that matter."

"Ah, but I am interrupting you! I'm sorry. Go on."

--
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Ginneon Thursday
Ginneon Thursday
Posts: 273

11/3/2016
The professor turns to Appolonia. “I’d be happy to tell you all I know, Ms Ravenscroft.”


“Moths used to orient themselves by the stars in the Heavens. Since humankind created terrestrial sources of light - fire and the gas lamp - we’ve thrown off their instruments. Imagine on the Surface sailing a ship by the North Star - only now Polaris is millions of leagues closer to you than normal, hovering just above your head. To keep it in the right place off the horizon, you start to circle it. And you circle it some more to get the positioning just right. And on, and on. Moths are not attracted by lights. They are undone by them.”


He takes the silken moth from the table, and folds it back neatly into a square. “But the fungi - many of them shun light, hungering rather for a cooler clime, more moisture in the air. So a separate phenomenon, you see. They and the moths are entirely at cross-purposes.”


He hands Appolonia his card. “I digress, but I would enjoy a longer discussion later.”
edited by Ginneon Thursday on 11/9/2016

--
Ginneon Thursday: Revelrous Professor of Benthic
Departments of Mycoenology, Lepidoptery
Cider sips and Temple Club invitations
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Sara Hysaro
Sara Hysaro
Moderator
Posts: 4514

11/3/2016
Sara gives a friendly greeting to the additional new guests to the table, drinking more from her glass of mushroom champagne. She watches Lethifer's moth with wonder, impressed with the skill in folding the fabrics into such a shape. That it could fly for even a moment was even more magnificent.

As she listens to Ginneon's story Sara places a curled finger to her chin in thought, attempting to recall some minor trivia she had picked up in her time in the university. "I've heard of this sort of fungus...can't recall the name, unfortunately. And the tale I had heard pertained to ants, not moths."

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Ginneon Thursday
Ginneon Thursday
Posts: 273

11/3/2016
“Ah, then you’re familiar, Ms Hysaro. When I first descended some years ago, I sought out a cousin to the predatory fungus you just described. The Ophiocordyceps mongoliamensis. In the Khanate, its hosts’ fruiting bodies are consumed to restore vigour and to increase one’s…” he looks about with a puckish smile, “amourous appetites.”


"Through my work at Benthic I was able to obtain it in great quantities. Combined with the common codling moth, early attempts at cultivation produced some of the best wine I’ve ever tasted. And quite popular with my students.”


“That was when I first read the works of the zoologist Doctor Alfred Russel Wallace. He’d been holed up in Port Carnelian, studying the habits of a colony of Tyrant Moths. Though he’d never published on wine-making, his work fueled my research, and my ambitions.”


"Imagine! If moths could help produce the Neath’s finest mushrooms, which could produce the Neath’s finest wine, why, what vast, delicious fields we could cultivate on the backs of the Tyrant Moth!”


“A mad plan seized my every thought: meet this Dr Wallace, procure one such behemoth, and return to Fallen London where its body would yield a source of unending revels and delight. Of course, I needed a vast field. Acres and acres. I journeyed far inland, then up and down the coast of London, finally narrowing my sights on a remote spot by the zee. Up in the Prickfinger Wastes. Remote, cool, moist. Quiet and untouched. The Moth’s exoskeleton would form the framework of a field of scaffolding. It would be the largest vineyard in the Neath! But, as I soon learned, this was a spot owned by the Masters of the Bazaar."


"My grant money had run dry, so I staked everything I owned…in a game of chance.”
edited by Ginneon Thursday on 11/4/2016

--
Ginneon Thursday: Revelrous Professor of Benthic
Departments of Mycoenology, Lepidoptery
Cider sips and Temple Club invitations
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Sara Hysaro
Sara Hysaro
Moderator
Posts: 4514

11/4/2016
"Oh, yes yes, that's the one. Ophiocordyceps." Sara's eyes light up in the delight of recalling some stray details left in the dark corners of the mind, though her dark lenses obscure the expression. "O. unilateralis to be...well, I would say specific, but it's a collective of species. Sensu lato."

She settles back down, not wanting to detract from the story any further, especially as it was reaching the height of its intrigue.
--
edited by Sara Hysaro on 11/4/2016

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Ginneon Thursday
Ginneon Thursday
Posts: 273

11/4/2016
“I met a certain vicar on a certain night and delivered a certain experimental bottle of 'Mothmush Wine' - one that had intensified the, ah, tonic effects touted by the Khanate’s pharmacists."


"He gave me instructions to say certain words at a certain door in the Bazaar, which led me to a small room with a disgraced viscount, a honey-addled ingénue (whom I believe I would later recognize from one your operas, Ms Ravenscroft), and an unnamed Master. We each sat down to play the Master’s game. I wagered everything I owned, and several things I didn’t.”


“We played all night. It was a furious blur of clacking tiles - like the rattling of bones. By the lighting of the gas lamps, I lucked into a hand of Thirteen Unique Wonders.”


“The land was mine. I sped off that morning on a steamship south, south, south. To Port Carnelian. And to Dr Wallace.”
edited by Ginneon Thursday on 11/4/2016

--
Ginneon Thursday: Revelrous Professor of Benthic
Departments of Mycoenology, Lepidoptery
Cider sips and Temple Club invitations
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Appolonia
Appolonia
Posts: 248

11/4/2016
Appolonia listens to the tale attentively.

When Ginneon talks about the fungal infected hosts’ fruiting bodies being consumed to restore vigour and to increase one’s 'amorous appetites', she blushes in the parts of her cheeks visible beneath her mask.

She lifts her mushroom champagne glass and stares at it for a moment. Is it something similar?

Her glass is nearly empty.

--
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Ginneon Thursday
Ginneon Thursday
Posts: 273

11/4/2016
Ginneon catches Appolonia's furtive glance. “I do promise - aside from tasting really rather delicious - this bottle has no particular effects other than the normal joys that accompany champagne.”


“Now, when I finally arrived in Port Carnelian, I found the colony in turmoil. People thronging quayside to leave. Burst luggage contents strewn about the street. I asked about Doctor Alfred Wallace and - after being much ignored - a genteel tiger finally directed me to a teashop.”


“Inside I found a forlorn gentleman writing in the corner, occasionally staining his tremendous beard with ink. ‘Juniper, cedar, lavender…no,” I heard him say. I introduced myself, and was welcomed as a fellow scholar. He explained the furor that had eclipsed the colony’s newly-forged tranquility:


‘The Tyrant Moths have grown more aggressive. Attacking outlying villages. Every street corner, every teashop is abuzz with mad accusations. ‘The Tigers lured them there to weaken Her Majesty’s defenses!’ ‘The Navy ejected foodstuffs from their ships to make better time, attracting the beasts like a trail of breadcrumbs!’ And on and on. Regrettably I have found nothing in my studies to drive them away.’


The good Doctor invited me to lodge with him. In his home we were greeted by a beautiful creature - an elegant, white frost-moth. When I asked Dr Wallace about the moth, he replied:


‘Ah, my new companion.’ He pet the creature affectionately, if somewhat wistfully. ‘Before heading to Port Carnelian, I retrieved my sister from her permanent residence in Venderbight. I thought seeing more of the world would do her some good. When we finally arrived, she assisted me in field work - collecting the remnants of the fruit the Tyrant Moths eat, testing various repellant measures. On one such outing, the Moths attacked. We escaped, though Fanny was injured. I tended her wounds as best I could and redid her bandages, leaving her to recover here.’


At this point the Doctor’s hand began to shake. ‘I went out again to a farm ruined by the Tyrant Moths a few weeks ago. When I returned I found she had passed. And this curious creature had made its way inside. I couldn’t bring myself to show it out.’ A proud man, Dr Wallace held back his tears as best he could. ‘I once was driven by science. Now, my only thought is revenge.’


I proposed that, together, we devise a plan to rid the Port of the Tyrant Moths. He asked what drove me - why would I risk so much? Could it be he had found a pure soul willing to aid him in his singular purpose? It didn’t seem the appropriate time to mention my vision of a vast field of mushrooms producing the world’s finest wine. And it was here I prevaricated. ‘Yes,’ I replied."

--
Ginneon Thursday: Revelrous Professor of Benthic
Departments of Mycoenology, Lepidoptery
Cider sips and Temple Club invitations
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Ginneon Thursday
Ginneon Thursday
Posts: 273

11/4/2016
“I told Dr Wallace all about the Ophiocordyceps mongoliamensis, and we devised a plan to place it in the rotting fruit that drew the Tyrants. I had only used it on the tiny codlings, so I requested a trial on his substantially larger Frost-Moth. He was hesitant, but ultimately gave his assent - to avenge his sister.”

“The trial was a success. After a day, the Frost-Moth grew sluggish, and found its way to the cellar, where it began to sprout a white, fungal fur. We swiftly put our plan in action, injecting the predatory fungus into fruit at a recently attacked farm. Suffice it to say, we succeeded. Fungus-addled, the Tyrant Moths were directed to some distant corner of the Neath - probably in a far land where the walls of the great cavern meet the zee."

"All of them went, save one, whom I bound, captured, and had lashed to the deck of a hulking merchant cruiser. The Colony returned to normal, and as a parting gift, I offered to turn the Doctor’s sprouting Frost-Moth into a very fine wine.”
edited by Ginneon Thursday on 11/4/2016

--
Ginneon Thursday: Revelrous Professor of Benthic
Departments of Mycoenology, Lepidoptery
Cider sips and Temple Club invitations
+2 link
Ginneon Thursday
Ginneon Thursday
Posts: 273

11/4/2016
“I will spare you the tale of the crossing home. Of the time the Tyrant Moth fitfully awoke from its torpor and strained with all its might, breaking the lines, casting zailors into the unforgiving depths."


"I will not tell you how - frenzied by the Tyrant’s dripping vital fluids - the Sharks crowded our bow. I will not tell you how their armature broke our hull and we listed into the Pelagic Upheavals."


"I will say nothing of the curses and prayers bellowed to Salt and Storm. Nor how, when the captain spied shrieking aerial terrors, he pleaded to cut the beast loose to appease them. I will not recount my insistence that the lives lost would be given in vain, should we return without our prize."


"The true story of those things, I cannot bear to repeat.”

--
Ginneon Thursday: Revelrous Professor of Benthic
Departments of Mycoenology, Lepidoptery
Cider sips and Temple Club invitations
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Appolonia
Appolonia
Posts: 248

11/4/2016
"Oh! How terrifying and awful that must have been. I am so sorry to hear it. But glad you survived."

--
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Ginneon Thursday
Ginneon Thursday
Posts: 273

11/4/2016
"It may have been better had I never returned, Ms Ravenscroft, for when I did, I realized my dream. Set down in a remote corner of the Prickfinger Wastes, the Tyrant Moth vineyard began to flourish. I harvested many early bottles - all of them exquisite. The spot even attracted several Frost-Moths, who soon fell prey to the Ophiocordyceps. Something about the Tyrant Moth - it drew them all there. I harvested and pressed each of the Frost-Moth’s mushrooms as well, and cellared the bottles away."


"One day I received an urgent letter from Port Carnelian. From Doctor Wallace. His words were pleading, terrified, haunted. He had consumed the contents of the Frost-Moth bottle I'd left for him, and his mind was clouded by the presence of his sister. All her joys, all her fears, all her memories - he felt. It was like she was inside him - like the two shared one body now. He was convinced the Frost-Moth was the ghost of his sister, and he had committed some unnatural, unforgivable act."


"I immediately went to my cellar, locked the door to the Frost-Moth bottles, and threw the key into the zee. Then I laid the Doctor's letter down in the Tyrant Moth vineyard. I burned the entire field until there was nothing left but ash on the charred, splintered rocks."
edited by Ginneon Thursday on 11/4/2016

--
Ginneon Thursday: Revelrous Professor of Benthic
Departments of Mycoenology, Lepidoptery
Cider sips and Temple Club invitations
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Ginneon Thursday
Ginneon Thursday
Posts: 273

11/4/2016
“So, Lady Byron, I gambled and prevaricated. Though the real folly of gambling may not be in the act, but in the winning, and the real folly of prevarication may not be in the lie, but in the lurking truth it keeps at bay.” He says these last words with an air of finality.
edited by Ginneon Thursday on 11/4/2016

--
Ginneon Thursday: Revelrous Professor of Benthic
Departments of Mycoenology, Lepidoptery
Cider sips and Temple Club invitations
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Lady Sapho Byron
Lady Sapho Byron
Posts: 806

11/4/2016
"Your story is well told and your penance is performed, Professor," Lady Byron answers, nod at him in solemn and impressed appreciation.

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Fighting the Menace of Corsetry Since 1892.
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Appolonia
Appolonia
Posts: 248

11/4/2016
At the description of what happened with the Doctor and his sister, Appolonia nods.

She studies the card Ginneon gave her.

"Truths may be like moths. They want to come out to the light, even if it is misguided. Pushing them in shadow only makes them beat their wings more furiously to be free and heard, if only for the moment before contact with the light consumes them."

"That story is rather surprisingly pertinent to the case I wanted to discuss. How fortuitous to meet you here!"

She smiles at Sapho's words of judgment. A tale well told, indeed.

--
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Sara Hysaro
Sara Hysaro
Moderator
Posts: 4514

11/4/2016
Sara offers a sad, sympathetic nod. She had heard rumours of the superstitions of the Tomb-Colonists, the reverence they had for what others considered parasitic, rebirth versus mere incorporation. Ginneon's tale was a dark reality of the nature of Frost-Moths, no matter which side one believes. "Yes, definitely a sad tale, well told. A shame about the outcome."

The matter of truths bring secrets to mind. How many ancient and powerful secrets are out there, capable of being contained by such a process? Such a course is fraught with risks, however. The greater the secret, the greater the chance of being consumed by it. Sara finishes off her glass of mushroom champagne.
--
edited by Sara Hysaro on 11/4/2016

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Ginneon Thursday
Ginneon Thursday
Posts: 273

11/4/2016
Finding himself acquitted, Ginneon smiles and calls over the Harried Maître D’. “Another bottle for the fine guests of Table Five. Personally, I’m leaning towards a Surface vintage.”

--
Ginneon Thursday: Revelrous Professor of Benthic
Departments of Mycoenology, Lepidoptery
Cider sips and Temple Club invitations
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Lord Gazter
Lord Gazter
Posts: 669

11/4/2016
"The tragic fate of the tomb-colonist. If the injustice done to them was not enough, they are also doomed to the wither away or be used a host for the moths to emerge from."

Lord Gazter sighs wearily and places his empty glass upon the table.

"A truly moving story. I hope that life after these tragic events was kinder to you and your ventures since have proven more fortuitous?" Lord Gazter asks hopefully.
edited by Lord Gazter on 11/4/2016

--
Lord Gazter: a charming gentleman of noble birth and a person of significant influence.

Victoria Crow: a spirited la.. young woman and freshly anointed firebrand.

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