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The Asterian Adventure: Murder After The Parade (Act I & II)

Nov 13th, 2019
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  1. *******************
  2. || P R E F A C E ||
  3. *******************
  4.  
  5. Town centre of New Thera.
  6. Everything about you is obscured by a heavy fog. Flattened cobblestones form a broad circular plaza, alternating bands of blue and brown stone radiating outwards from the centre in a broad spiral pattern. Spring Lane and Summer Street intersect at this, the most bustling part of town, surrounded by newly built shops and filled with the clamour of ongoing construction. Broad stone benches alternate with freshly laid flowerbeds on the circumference of the plaza. Behind the benches, newly planted white elm trees, barely more than saplings yet, promise the sweetness of future shade. Bookending each bench, white oil globes dangle from tall cast-iron poles, ready to provide soft illumination during the deep of night. The aroma of baked bread and the perfume of azaleas and violets drifting from the flowerbeds lend a heady complexity to the air. Awash in a constant array of blossom petals, an amber-gold metal and marble statue of Ariel, the former mayor of Thera, sits here. A dyed black poster bearing the title "Mayaween Treats!" has been hung here. A marble fountain sculpted into a lifelike blossom tree within a basin sits at the centrepoint of the plaza. There are 2 burly Theran guards here. The shining figure of a guardian angel floats in the air here. A spotted stallion lingers here, awaiting direction. Looking gallant, Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry is here. She wields a nimble, double-edged longsword in each hand. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar is here. She wields a Lupine bow in both hands. Riding side-saddle, Sister Berenice, by Siduri waits patiently for Her Majesty. Her face is partially concealed beneath the raised hood of a hooded flowing ivory cloak with black fur lining. Insid'ari Stheno Aristata is here, shrouded. Standing quietly, Squire Heldurk is observing the area. He wields a shortsword in his left hand and a Targossian cavalry shield in his right. Unsworn Azazell is here. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace stands here, arms folded behind his back. You may ENTER the WILDERNESS map from here.
  7. You see exits leading north, northeast, east, south, and west.
  8.  
  9. - l tahquil
  10. She is a mhun that shines with refined beauty. Blonde hair glows golden, as if the warm light of the sun is
  11. entangled in her tresses as they tumble to her mid-back. The make-up she wears is light and natural, accenting
  12. her pleasing, youthful appearance rather than inventing false attractions. Working with her modest bust, the
  13. dress she wears does its best to convey a sense of maturity, but her overall appearance still lingers
  14. distinctly on that of one still a teen.
  15.  
  16. She is wearing:
  17. a stately dancing dress of imperial styling
  18. a charming pair of two-tone explorer's boots
  19. a white pair of elbow-length gloves
  20. a silver tiara set with topaz
  21.  
  22. Misc:
  23. bracelets of fragile, dried flowers
  24.  
  25. - l alasiel
  26. She is a winged atavian, slender and of average height for her race. Her lustrous golden hair has been braided
  27. and coiled elegantly at the nape of her neck. Her bangs are swept neatly to the side, barely grazing her dark,
  28. gently curved eyebrows. Large, almond-shaped grey eyes framed by long eyelashes gaze out over her delicate
  29. features, a fierce light burning within their stormy depths. Her wings are predominantly light grey, although
  30. the feathers are tipped with white.
  31.  
  32. She is wearing:
  33. a radiant white and silver cloak
  34. a cascading sea lily gown of blue silk
  35. a pair of delicate crystal adorned slippers
  36. elbow-length lace gloves
  37.  
  38. Containers:
  39. a courtier's petite watersilk handbag
  40.  
  41. - l siduri
  42. She is a mhun and is a gaunt, if not emaciated person. Her elusive, fragile figure exudes an aura of
  43. sweet melancholy. Nature has not graced her with many curves, and her short stature, no more than
  44. four feet in height, could be misleading at first glance. A better look would otherwise debunk this
  45. idea, the woman fully grown in her ways, and her expression showing a confidence which only comes
  46. with age. Two large, smokey eyes observe their surroundings, their coal-grey irises shimmering with
  47. the dimmed light of an unseen moon. Broad streaks of kohl and long, black lashes deepen her gaze.
  48. Her skin is bronzed, and devoid of any wrinkles or scars despite what her age would call for.
  49. Unrestrained in any way, her long, jet black hair falls down to the middle of her back. She has
  50. split her hair at the front and casually tucked the rebellious strands between her ears, though this
  51. hardly prevents them from covering half of her cheeks. At times, it is possible to see parts or the
  52. whole of a large, serpentine tattoo on her back. The silvery, red-eyed asp so lifelike that one
  53. could almost see it moving. While her chest is very small, the tiny woman's hips have a nice
  54. feminine flare which complement a firm, curved bottom. Swirled sable and gold warpaint is artfully
  55. brushed over her cheek to form the image of an imposing sword.
  56.  
  57. She is wearing:
  58. a hooded flowing ivory cloak with black fur lining
  59. an empire-cut dress of cream and gold
  60. a pair of ash-grey suede court shoes
  61. a platinum icosahedron amulet of celibacy
  62. an exquisite phoenix hairclip
  63.  
  64. Weapon holders:
  65. an indigo-edged beltloop
  66.  
  67. Jewellery:
  68. a fiery phoenix feather earring through her left ear
  69. a fiery phoenix feather earring through her right ear
  70.  
  71. - l rackham
  72. He is a human. He is tall, with long limbs. Almost comically so, despite attempting to carry himself with
  73. importance. Blue eyes wander, failing to settle on any one thing for any real period of time. He shuffles in
  74. place restlessly, eager to return to whatever draws his attention.
  75.  
  76. He is wearing:
  77. an elegant cloak of radiant swan feathers
  78. a white and frilly shirt
  79. a quilted merlot velvet doublet
  80. a pair of neatly tailored black tuxedo trousers
  81. dress shoes of ebony cobra skin
  82.  
  83. Jewellery:
  84. a polished, skull-shaped bone stud through his right ear
  85.  
  86. Misc:
  87. musk-scented perfume
  88.  
  89. - l jocindi
  90. She is a human. Blonde hair is piled on top of her head, ringlets framing her face. Thick makeup
  91. adorns her face, wide gray eyes gaze about her surroundings. She looks both haughty and obsequious
  92. in turn depending on who she's looking at.
  93.  
  94. She is wearing:
  95. a stylish silk gown of deep burgundy
  96. ballroom shoes of wisteria brocade
  97. a sapphire and obsidian ring
  98. a Ceylonese bracelet
  99. a steel hairpin resembling a budding fireflower
  100.  
  101. Containers:
  102. a silver-threaded knapsack
  103.  
  104. Misc:
  105. a glacial sapphire brooch
  106.  
  107. - l stheno
  108. She is a beautiful siren, dressed in the dark, sober colours of a ruling lord. Tall and leanly muscled, she
  109. moves with an officer's graceful efficiency. Dyed black with ash, the length of her hair is slicked back and
  110. twisted tightly beneath the high collar of her coat, giving the impression of a shorter military crop. Serious
  111. brows draw together over sleek cobalt eyes, her lashes perhaps a little too long. A stern countenance offsets
  112. them, her lips thin and pressed firmly together with the set of her jaw. She carries herself with an air of
  113. noblesse oblige and its accompanying generations-long austerity, observing the environment and the people
  114. around her as though they fall within her demesne.
  115.  
  116. She is wearing:
  117. a debonair black frock coat
  118. a dark blue tunic
  119. pressed black trousers
  120. a pair of warm black leather boots
  121. dashing black gloves
  122. a dapper cravat of cerulean blue
  123.  
  124. Weapon holders:
  125. a dragonskin quiver
  126. a stygian wrist sheath
  127.  
  128. - l keorin
  129. She is a winged atavian. Standing at about average height, she holds herself with a simple, balanced grace. Her
  130. skin is a light tan, unblemished except for a thin tattoo of a band of fire around her left wrist. She has a
  131. lean build with distinct female curves, while obvious muscles show that she is no stranger to physical
  132. excercise. Her face is almost perpetually curved up in a slight smile, with her small nose causing her light
  133. brown eyes to appear larger. Jet black hair falls in neat waves down to her shoulder blades, where the tips
  134. have been dyed to a fiery crimson hue. The ends of her hair brush against the two large wings that emerge from
  135. her lower back, her plumage a mottled brown that fades into a matching red. A rune shaped like a mighty oak has
  136. been sketched onto her (jera: +1 con and str).
  137.  
  138. She is wearing:
  139. a sleeveless jacket of fine burgundy velvet
  140. an ivory doublet with yellow topaz buttons
  141. courtiers breeches of gold silk
  142. a thin black leather belt with silver buckle
  143. a pair of black boots with silver trim
  144. dashing black gloves
  145. an Aldar Diadem
  146.  
  147. Jewellery:
  148. an amber stud earring through her right ear
  149.  
  150. - l ryx
  151. He is a horned satyr of about six feet, with sun-kissed skin and hazel eyes. Tied into a neat, clean bun, his
  152. long auburn hair matches his shaggy, full beard. Black horns, a foot from base to tip, stand proud upon his
  153. head. Almost straight, there is a subtle curvature of the horns outward. Nearly obscuring his night-dark hooves
  154. is long, shaggy fur of clay-red. A long, thin tail, ending in a fluffy black tuft, often wags slowly behind
  155. him. Pulsating with entropic might, his blackened veins stand stark from his skin at the behest of the Lord of
  156. Oblivion's highest regard.
  157.  
  158. He is wearing:
  159. a lovely suit of ornamental ring mail
  160. a quilted merlot velvet doublet
  161. elegant charcoal trousers
  162. a polished gold ring
  163. a signet ring
  164.  
  165. Weapon holders:
  166. an exquisite hazelwood scabbard
  167.  
  168. Jewellery:
  169. an amber stud earring through his right ear
  170.  
  171. Misc:
  172. a fire pendant
  173. a stately tabard emblazoned with the world tree
  174.  
  175. - l frances
  176. She is a crystalline tash'la, or is she a human? You can tell that some form of illusion is altering
  177. her appearance for the current time. She stands at a rather diminutive height, somewhere around the
  178. realm of five and half feet, but her posture gives a more domineering air than height ever could.
  179. Hair reminiscent of starless night frames her angular face and glides passed rounded ears and
  180. against rigid shoulders, while her well-tended brow, nearly perpetually half-cocked, crowns a
  181. viridian gaze set in half-lidded eyes. An aquiline nose dominates her features, while apricot-tinted
  182. lips quirk into natural smile. Her overall physique appears well-trained, though it shows more in
  183. tone than in bulk.
  184.  
  185. She is wearing:
  186. a charcoal military jacket
  187. a pristine white cotton dress shirt
  188. elegant charcoal trousers
  189. knee-high boots with silver embellishments
  190. a diamond-studded aster pin
  191.  
  192. Misc:
  193. a pair of horn-rimmed glasses
  194.  
  195. - l azazell
  196. He is a winged atavian. He stands only a few inches above five feet with a flamboyant gait to his step to
  197. reflect the part of Alphonso, General Orin Grandier's personal tailor. His face is caked with make-up, paling
  198. his complexious considerably.
  199.  
  200. He is wearing:
  201. a toga resembling the night sky
  202. a black leather belt with a silver clasp
  203. rustic lace-up sandals woven with blossoms
  204.  
  205. Weapon holders:
  206. an exquisite hazelwood scabbard
  207.  
  208. Containers:
  209. a canvas backpack
  210.  
  211. - l zackery
  212. He is a human. Tall and slender, they stand with an effortless assurance and a lofty air of equanimity. Their
  213. elegant gown emphasizes their androgynous physique, with wide yet slender shoulders narrowing into a thin
  214. waist. The bust of the gown lifts and squeezes their pectorals into something of a chest, if a small one. Their
  215. usually insouciant curls are dyed black and tamed neatly beneath a gauzy black veil, that would conceal their
  216. features without the emphasis of striking cosmetic decor. Their agate eyes are framed by thick but tasteful
  217. eyeliner and mascara beneath dark shades of blue eyeshadow. Long, toned legs stretch from beneath their gown to
  218. their stiletto heels, lending even more height to their imposing figure.
  219.  
  220. He is wearing:
  221. an ebon gown of austere elegance
  222. a pair of black cage stiletto heels
  223. an elegant silver ring with emeralds
  224. a gauzy black veil
  225.  
  226. Misc:
  227. an application of black eyeliner
  228. an application of dark blue eyeshadow
  229. an application of black mascara
  230. an application of bright red lipstick
  231.  
  232. - l darrod
  233. He is a winged atavian and stands around six feet in height from what you can surmise. Looming behind him are a
  234. pair of large, avian wings that round near the top portion and sharply scythe downward into a point at the
  235. opposite ends. Flakes of red and black pepper the matte silver feathers with black tips that fold over each
  236. other like a naturally arranged suit of armour. Deeply-tanned skin belies a life lived outside or on the deck
  237. of a ship, further reinforced by strong arms leading to powerful shoulders that flow into a dexterous frame.
  238. Pulled back into a tight braid that drapes over his neck to the base of his broad shoulders, the full silver
  239. mane he boasts has been cleanly shaved up to the crown of his head. A variety of small runes have been tattooed
  240. onto the sides of his head, the patterns trailing around his ears and down the back-sides of his neck. Fierce,
  241. stormy-blue eyes squint out from behind a perpetual scowl as he looks sharply about his surroundings. His
  242. angular nose sets atop a kept moustache that draws down into a full beard that has been grown out to the upper
  243. part of his chest. Starting near the middle of his ears, the silver facial hair of his cheeks have been trimmed
  244. much closer to the skin despite the chin being left long. A pattern of scar-tissue lay branded into his skin
  245. near the wrist on his right arm, the escarbuncle of Mhaldor worn openly as a sign of service to his city and
  246. Master.
  247.  
  248. He is wearing:
  249. a baleful suit of blackened scale mail
  250. a handsome tuxedo jacket in classic black
  251. a formal white tuxedo shirt
  252. a pair of sharp black tuxedo trousers
  253. a thin black leather belt with silver buckle
  254. polished black dress shoes of basilisk skin
  255. a dapper cravat of cerulean blue
  256.  
  257. Misc:
  258. a red rose
  259.  
  260. - l lyndee
  261. She is a beautiful siren. She is dressed for the role of Lord Damen Kephry, having taken on the visage of a gallant knight. Her feminine features are completely masked by the steel helm that covers her face. Monochromatic men's clothing, a set of fullplate armour, and a stacked heel boots offer her a slightly more imposing figure than is typical. Dressed for a special occasion, the armour is polished to a gleaming sheen and a velvet cloak is fastened jauntily across her shoulders.
  262.  
  263. She is wearing:
  264. a heavy suit of gleaming full plate
  265. a black cloak with a falcon clasp
  266. a simple ivory shirt
  267. a reinforced leather jerkin
  268. unadorned jet black breeches
  269. a belt of sturdy black leather
  270. black military boots
  271. dashing black gloves
  272. a lightweight veil
  273.  
  274. Weapon holders:
  275. a blackened steel scabbard
  276.  
  277. Misc:
  278. a ranger's bow
  279.  
  280. - l heldurk
  281. He is a winged atavian. Standing proudly, Heldurk reaches somewhat past seven feet in height. With a slender
  282. build, his most powerful physical attributes are his majestic wings. Rising from his back past his head, they
  283. then trail almost to the ground behind him. The feathers covering them fade from deep grey at the base to a
  284. pale smoke colour at their tips. A calm expression is most often found on his face, although a rare smile
  285. brightens his mien and brings a sparkle to his deep sapphire eyes. Precise shaving exposes most of his scalp,
  286. other than a wide strip down the center, raised into a proud crest before flowing almost to his waist. Careful
  287. dyeing brings a similar shading to his feathers, created an ombre of greys against his pale skin.
  288.  
  289. He is wearing:
  290. a suit of ring mail
  291. a sturdy black linen tunic
  292. a pair of full-length dark grey trousers
  293. grey doeskin boots
  294. dashing black gloves
  295.  
  296. - l ellodin
  297. He is a graceful tsol'aa, dressed in armour, who moves with an almost feline grace. Each of his movements
  298. carries a certain purpose to them, and his dark eyes shift warily.
  299.  
  300. He is wearing:
  301. a lightweight suit of steel full plate
  302. a crimson cloak
  303. a pleated white dress shirt
  304. a satin waistcoat of bright green
  305. elegant black tuxedo trousers
  306. a black pair of knee-high, oiled leather boots
  307.  
  308. Weapon holders:
  309. a dragonbone scabbard
  310.  
  311. Misc:
  312. a rosewood reflex bow
  313.  
  314. - l jurixe
  315. She is a mhun. Bright silver hairpins keep raven-black hair up in an elaborately braided style, not a dark curl
  316. out of place. Her pale, angular face sports a brush of pink colour over high cheekbones, the colour a touch too
  317. bright to be a natural glow. Deep purple eyeshadow and dark eyeliner expertly accentuates a pair of large grey
  318. eyes, while black mascara enhances her already long lashes. Rose-pink lipstick lends a sweet hue to her soft,
  319. full lips, completing the painted look. Slight in stature, she moves with a dainty grace.
  320.  
  321. She is wearing:
  322. an ebon gown of austere elegance
  323. elevated open-toed sandals of ebon and silver
  324. a pair of delicate lace gloves
  325. a black velvet choker set with a cobalt sapphire
  326.  
  327. Jewellery:
  328. an onyx teardrop earring through her left ear
  329. an onyx teardrop earring through her right ear
  330.  
  331. Misc:
  332. glistening, seductive rose pink lipstick
  333. striking black eyeliner
  334. perfectly applied black mascara
  335. perfectly applied rose-pink rouge
  336. mesmerising purplish eyeshadow
  337.  
  338.  
  339. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says in a low, silken voice, "If you would follow myself, then."
  340.  
  341. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says in a low, silken voice, "If any are not here, indicate such."
  342.  
  343. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says in a low, silken voice, "Otherwise, we begin."
  344.  
  345. Tahquil offers her arm to Siduri and Alasiel to join with her.
  346.  
  347. Jurixe nods her head at Jarrod.
  348.  
  349. Jarrod has left the group.
  350.  
  351. Jurixe clasps her hands together as she surveys the gathered crowd.
  352.  
  353. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says in a low, silken voice, "On behalf of the Asterian Restoration, we first wish to thank you: not just for being here and participating in this event, but for being the first few to believe in us and support our event."
  354.  
  355. Helpless before the indomitable will of Pandora, reality parts in a kaleidoscope of colour to allow Her ingress.
  356.  
  357. Alasiel smiles at Tahquil, stepping to her side.
  358.  
  359. Jurixe turns around, extending a hand outwards to gesture at her surroundings, before bowing slightly to Pandora.
  360.  
  361. Zackery gathers the lace skirt of their gown in one hand and dips into an elegant curtsey before Pandora.
  362.  
  363. Heldurk bows respectfully to Pandora.
  364.  
  365. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says in a low, silken voice, "It seems appropriate, then, that we should depart from here to begin our first Asterian Adventure."
  366.  
  367. Alasiel dips her head respectfully toward Pandora.
  368.  
  369. Azazell flamboyantly bows.
  370.  
  371. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says in a low, silken voice, "This, of course, is Thera, home of Nikolas and Severian, later Emperor Nicator and Lord Severian."
  372.  
  373. Siduri politely nods at Pandora.
  374.  
  375. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says in a low, silken voice, "Charged by Lord Sarapis, Emperor Nicator founded the great nation that we know now as Seleucar, and spawned a legacy that would cross generations."
  376.  
  377. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says in a low, silken voice, "We are about to turn back time, back hundreds of years, into the middle of that legacy. When a kingdom was in turmoil, split in twain by forces that would tug it every which way."
  378.  
  379. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says in a low, silken voice, "Prepare yourselves. We begin."
  380.  
  381. You follow Jurixe west to A bridge over coastal waters.
  382. A bridge over coastal waters.
  383. The recurrent thunder of perpetually crashing waves accompanies the shrieking of seagulls as they glide blithely overhead, untouched by the ocean fog that clings heavily to skin and stone alike. A pair of ornate bronze braziers resolutely illuminate each end of the parapet-less bridge, providing only the light necessary to pass over the roiling waters that churn beneath the treacherous limestone brick. In the distance, a great granite castle looms into view from the depths of the fog, its massive doors barring entry to the edifice.
  384. You see exits leading east and in (open door).
  385.  
  386. Jurixe crosses the bridge quickly to stand just before the walls of the Athenaeum, turning again to face the gathered.
  387.  
  388. Tahquil pulls her shoulders back as she takes a long intake of breath, steadying herself for what is to come.
  389.  
  390. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says in a low, silken voice, "From here, we cross the bridge into another time."
  391.  
  392. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says in a low, silken voice, "Leave behind who you are now, and become who you are meant to be, at this moment."
  393.  
  394. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar smiles and says in a low, silken voice, "Welcome to Seleucar."
  395.  
  396. As Jurixe rings a simple silver bell, the world blurs around you with dizzying speed before becoming something new.
  397.  
  398. ***************
  399. || A C T I ||
  400. ***************
  401.  
  402. You are moved by a simple silver bell.
  403. An illusion of the Royal Square of Seleucar.
  404. The sun shines brightly overhead. Majestic in its expanse, this massive city square of worn flagstones affords an unimpeded view of the heart of the city. The Royal Palace looms imposingly over the square, alabaster marble towers casting long shadows over the ground as they spiral into the heavens. Branching off from the Royal Circle Road around the palace, the Avenue of Swords stretches westwards past the Castle of Twelve, while South Riverwalk follows the glimmering Mnemosyne River east. The square itself is pristine but bare save for a small, canopy-covered dais at one end; behind it, Southern Way leads deeper into the crowded shops and homes surrounding the area. Cooling breezes waft occasionally from the nearby waters of blue Kelanium Lake, providing welcome relief from the stifling humidity. Proud and regal, an ebony charger stands here awaiting its master's will. The shining figure of a guardian angel floats in the air here. A spotted stallion lingers here, awaiting direction. Riding side-saddle, Sister Berenice, by Siduri waits patiently for Her Majesty. Her face is partially concealed beneath the raised hood of a hooded flowing ivory cloak with black fur lining. Alasiel, as Riana Galford, friend of Catarin is here. She wields an elegant damask silk fan in her left hand and an insubstantial dagger in her right. Looking gallant, Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry is here. She wields a nimble, double-edged longsword in each hand. Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley is here. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale is here, shrouded. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin is here. He wields a Shield of Absorption in his left hand. Unsworn Azazell is here. Imperiate Keorin, as Count Adiel Tremayn, is here, riding a midnight charger. She wields a knotted willow staff in both hands. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace stands here, arms folded behind his back. Standing quietly, Heldurk, Squire of Damen is observing his surroundings. He wields a shortsword in his left hand and a Targossian cavalry shield in his right. Ser Darrod, Honour-Guard to Castomira stands here next to Castomira with a haughty expression. Lord Marshal Ellodin Rahal is here. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar is here, shrouded. She wields a Lupine bow in both hands.
  405. There are no obvious exits.
  406.  
  407. Keorin ceases to wield a knotted willow staff.
  408.  
  409. Frances straightens her uniform, her nose upturned into the air as she casts a gaze over those in attendance.
  410.  
  411. Jurixe snaps open a fan as she walks over to a high dais, watching the nobles and royals stream towards it.
  412.  
  413. Jurixe begins to wield a glittering amethyst silk fan in her left hand.
  414.  
  415. Heldurk gazes around quietly as he flanks Lord Damen Kephry.
  416.  
  417. Tahquil's breath catches noisily before she silences her awe with of press of gloves fingers to her lips.
  418.  
  419. A peasant exclaims, "It's Catarin! Princess Catarin!"
  420.  
  421. Siduri calmly rides by Catarin's side, turned side-saddle towards her Queen.
  422.  
  423. Lyndee ceases to wield a nimble, double-edged longsword in her left hand.
  424.  
  425. Lyndee ceases to wield a nimble, double-edged longsword in her right hand.
  426.  
  427. The peasants nearest to Catarin begin to cheer as heads turn and flags wave in excitement.
  428.  
  429. Alasiel walks at Catarin's side, flashing a quick reassuring smile toward her friend.
  430.  
  431. An old lady croaks, "Prince Mycale! All hail the future King!"
  432.  
  433. Trotting into the Royal Square atop her steed, Stheno guides the Prince along with a look.
  434.  
  435. On the other side, another group of peasants waves frantically at the prince.
  436.  
  437. Keorin follows behind Duke Errikale, keeping a steady pace atop her horse.
  438.  
  439. Lyndee offers a shallow nod of acknowledgment at Catarin's announcement, and then into a deeper and more grandiose one at the announcement of Prince Mycale.
  440.  
  441. Taking care not to dirty their gown, Zackery rides side-saddle on an elegant steed through the square alongside the Prince, Darrod close at their side.
  442.  
  443. Tahquil turns to Alasiel, then Siduri. Reassured by her childhood friends her smile becomes easier as she rides to the right of Ryx.
  444.  
  445. (Orin's Group): Advisor Charen Lietz, who looks a bit like Frances says, "Future king, indeed. They will see where their future lies."
  446.  
  447. Stheno tells Tahquil, "Ah, radiant Catarin."
  448.  
  449. Fanning herself boredly, Jurixe straightens as the entourage of Prince Mycale and Princess Catarin approaches.
  450.  
  451. Zackery graces the croaking old lady with a slight, but pleasant smile from atop their steed.
  452.  
  453. Ryx rides in next to Catarin, looking at the crowd stoically.
  454.  
  455. Ellodin glances through the crowd, watching for potential danger.
  456.  
  457. Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says to Ryx in a light, youthful voice, "There are so many people here. I never imagined this many lived in the city."
  458.  
  459. Azazell lifts the cape in a procession behind the General, making sure no dirt or refuse dirties the grace of General Orin Grandier. He rides atop a donkey, less than stoically.
  460.  
  461. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says to Tahquil in a deep voice, "These will be your people, should you become queen, your majesty. Remember their faces well."
  462.  
  463. Siduri's eyes widen. The young priestess, used to the tranquil life of New Hope, rides for the first time within the Capital.
  464.  
  465. Jurixe waits for the royals and nobles to begin ascending the dais and taking their seats, curtseying slightly to each as they do so.
  466.  
  467. (Catarin's Group): Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says, "I am so glad you were both able to make it to the city. I know it is a long way from home and quite the rough travel."
  468.  
  469. Tahquil coldly tells Stheno, "Duke Erikale."
  470.  
  471. (Catarin's Group): Alasiel, as Riana Galford, friend of Catarin says, "I wouldn't have missed it! You've been having a rough time of it lately."
  472.  
  473. (Catarin's Group): Sister Berenice, by Siduri says, "It is. I am glad Mother Superior allowed me to come."
  474.  
  475. Slipping from the saddle, Stheno lands lightly on her feet and strides ahead of Keorin, coming to Castomira's side. She offers an unassuming arm to guide the Duchess Brangwin to her seat.
  476.  
  477. Stheno steps down off of a spotted stallion.
  478.  
  479. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says to Tahquil in a deep voice, "Shall we take a seat, princess?"
  480.  
  481. Keorin steps off her saddle, passing the reigns to a nearby worker as she follows a respectful distance behind her liege lord.
  482.  
  483. Tahquil nods to Ryx as she lifts her chin higher. Her eyes scan the crowds slowly as she smiles pleasantly in her attempts to repreesent everything the populace want her to be.
  484.  
  485. Zackery takes Stheno's arm with a demure smile, following the Duke to their place on the dais.
  486.  
  487. Ellodin steps towards each of the remaining lords and ladies in turn, respectfully ushering them to their seats.
  488.  
  489. Lyndee waits for the ladies and gentlemen to take their seats before picking his way to one on the end, the image of chivalry. He nods silently at Heldurk to take a seat behind him.
  490.  
  491. Ryx smiles slightly in pride as he watches Princess Catarin.
  492.  
  493. The clarion blare of trumpets and the rhythmic pounding of drums reverberate from all sides, heralding the neat formations of Seleucarian soldiers near each city gate.
  494.  
  495. Ryx slowly gets off his horse, careful in his old age. He offers Catarin a hand down.
  496.  
  497. Jurixe's head snaps up in anticipation, and she cranes her neck to see better as she gazes out at the distant road.
  498.  
  499. Heldurk steps quietly behind Lyndee's seat, before neatly seating himself.
  500.  
  501. Darrod trots in alongside Zackery before drawing his horse to a halt. Dismounting, he glances about the gathered faces before passing the reigns over to an able hand and following his charge to their seat.
  502.  
  503. Tahquil takes Ryx's slips from her saddle, landing lightly and patting down her skirts before finding her seat beside the Prime Minister.
  504.  
  505. At a signal, the leaders of each formation yell out the order to march, and the instruments fall silent as a loud, steady drumbeat resounds in the air, setting the marching tempo.
  506.  
  507. Alasiel follows Catarin onto the dais, waiting for her Queen to sit before taking a seat herself.
  508.  
  509. The steady clop-clop-clop of hooves upon cobblestone add staccato emphasis as spear-wielding riders in front urge their horses forward in a slow, controlled trot.
  510.  
  511. Arms swinging in straight lines and footsteps sounding in perfect accord, the infantry follows behind the cavalry at a steady, synchronised march.
  512.  
  513. Lyndee sits stiffly forward as Lord Damen Kephry, offering Catarin a polite nod as she passes before turning his eyes to the road before him.
  514.  
  515. Siduri raises an eyebrow questioningly.
  516.  
  517. Citizens cheer and wave brightly coloured flags as the parade converges upon the Royal Square from all cardinal directions. The rows of soldiers are straight and clean as they pass by in freshly pressed uniforms and brightly shining boots.
  518.  
  519. Siduri daintily slips down of her steed, leaving it to the care of the hostler. She casts a glance around her, and quick-footedly moves towards Catarin and the General. Her mace softly clinks at her thigh. The young priestess pulls down the hood of her cloak.
  520.  
  521. (Catarin's Group): Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says, "I must admit, there is a unlterior motive to why I have asked you both to come today. I am in dire need of advice and I know noone else I can trust."
  522.  
  523. Grains of white rice and stalks of vibrant flowers rain down upon the troops, flung in joyous abandon by the celebrating citizens.
  524.  
  525. Unfazed, the disciplined army maintains their focus as they march in time to the ever-present drumbeat, approaching ever closer to the square.
  526.  
  527. (Damen's Group): Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says, "Take a seat, Squire. Do not allow yourself wrapped into the commotion."
  528.  
  529. A rowdy man shouts, "For Catarin!"
  530.  
  531. (Damen's Group): Heldurk, Squire of Damen says, "Yes, my Lord."
  532.  
  533. A wizened old woman croaks, "Your service for the King!"
  534.  
  535. A brawny youth yells, "Seleucar! Hail the Empire!"
  536.  
  537. (Orin's Group): General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says, "You two are free to sit beside or behind me!"
  538.  
  539. Zackery surveys the cheering crowds with a slight smile, though their eyes remain impassive as they flourish their wrist in a regal wave.
  540.  
  541. Ryx smiles at the young priestess.
  542.  
  543. One by one, each squad maneuvers into place before the dais upon the square, assembling themselves into a complete army.
  544.  
  545. A sudden blush rushes to Tahquil's cheeks as the voices ring clear across the general rumble of the crowds.
  546.  
  547. The thunderous footsteps of the soldiers shake the ground as they stamp tirelessly in sync, fists clenched at their sides.
  548.  
  549. Azazell approaches behind the General, patting him enthusiastically in a greeting.
  550.  
  551. As one, the generals yell, "Squad....halt!"
  552.  
  553. (Catarin's Group): Sister Berenice, by Siduri says, "I'll advise you the best I can. I know little of politics, but virtue is universal."
  554.  
  555. With a conclusively dramatic stomp, the soldiers snap to rigid attention. The generals, each with a Seleucarian banner in hand, trot forward to present themselves, each sharply saluting the assembled nobles.
  556.  
  557. Ryx nods his head at Azazell.
  558.  
  559. A stocky, dark-skinned man says loudly, "Presenting the Third Battalion from the North Gate, sir!"
  560.  
  561. A scarred, wiry Mhun says loudly, "Presenting the Fifth Battalion from the East Gate, sir!"
  562.  
  563. (Catarin's Group): Alasiel, as Riana Galford, friend of Catarin says, "I'd be glad to try to help."
  564.  
  565. A tall, burly Troll says gruffly, "Presenting the Sixth Battalion from the South Gate, sir!"
  566.  
  567. A russet-winged Atavian says loudly, "Presenting the Ninth Battalion from the West Gate, sir!"
  568.  
  569. A gaggle of peasant girls crane their necks to look at all of the soldiers, then towards Duke Errikale, hoping for a rare smile.
  570.  
  571. (Catarin's Group): Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says, "I want.. no, need to talk to my brohter in private. His actions of late are getting worse and worse and I fear for his soul. There is something wrong with him."
  572.  
  573. Zackery leans slightly toward Stheno, whispering a few words in her ear without taking their eyes off the generals.
  574.  
  575. (Catarin's Group): Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says, "But I do not know how I can get him away from Castomira of that Duke."
  576.  
  577. (Damen's Group): Heldurk, Squire of Damen says, "The troops are looking good today, My Lord and Captain."
  578.  
  579. Stheno nods at Zackery's whisper, a faint touch of pride on her face at the soldiers' display of uniformity and discipline.
  580.  
  581. Azazell winks conspiratorially at Ryx.
  582.  
  583. Frances stands just behind Ryx, her posture at attention as her eyes rest on the soldiers.
  584.  
  585. (Catarin's Group): Alasiel, as Riana Galford, friend of Catarin brightly says, "I could always try distracting them."
  586.  
  587. Ryx stares meaningfully at Azazell and furtively makes a small gesture in front of his neck.
  588.  
  589. Tahquil smile beams brightly as the troops rally in turn, though as her eyes slip past the assembled lords and ladies her smile slips as she she's Stheno and Zackery whispering.
  590.  
  591. (Lucius' Group): Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says, "We've served with most of these men."
  592.  
  593. Rackham inclines his head politely.
  594.  
  595. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  596.  
  597. (Catarin's Group): Sister Berenice, by Siduri says, "I could perhaps offer a small prayer service for the imperial line? I am not certain this would work, however."
  598.  
  599. Ellodin steps quickly towards Mycale deSangre and his follower, ushering them to their seats on the dais.
  600.  
  601. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  602.  
  603. Ryx stands from his seat, taking his place in front of the crowd.
  604.  
  605. Rackham Leisurely strides over to his seat.
  606.  
  607. (Damen's Group): Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says, "Their training shows. They are in excellent shape for troops."
  608.  
  609. Ryx clears his throat.
  610.  
  611. Zackery smiles thinly to her tardy Prince.
  612.  
  613. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "The Parade of the Gates is a longstanding tradition that has served to honour our soldiers ever since Seleucar succeeded in defeating the first Black Wave."
  614.  
  615. Alasiel's glance quickly sweeps over Castomira and Lucius before she tilts her head at Catarin, a faint smile on her lips.
  616.  
  617. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "Emperor Nicator was granted the wisdom to prepare for this threat by the Logos Himself, and were it not for his and his progeny's diligence in maintaining our armies, Seleucar would have fallen to the horrors of the Tsol'teth."
  618.  
  619. (Damen's Group): Heldurk, Squire of Damen says, "Indeed so, My Lord. It takes good leadership to produce good troops."
  620.  
  621. (Orin's Group): Advisor Charen Lietz, who looks a bit like Frances says, "And they believe that is an appropriate prince. Hmph."
  622.  
  623. (Catarin's Group): Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says, "At this moment I am willing to try anything, Sister Berenice."
  624.  
  625. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "The Black Wave is no more, but we must be ever-vigilant. That is why we are blessed to have these fine men and women to protect our city and watch over us while we sleep. Every day, they defend us from threats seen and unseen, even if it demands the sacrifice of their very lives."
  626.  
  627. Ryx throws his arms out, hailing the audience.
  628.  
  629. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "For this, we honour you, soldiers of Seleucar. Your service, your loyalty, is incomparable."
  630.  
  631. Siduri gently whispers at Catarin, and offers the Queen a gentle, understanding nod before turning her attention towards Orin's speech.
  632.  
  633. Azazell congratulates Ryx with some wild clapping.
  634.  
  635. Ryx sweeps his hand towards the soldiers.
  636.  
  637. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "Look at our soldiers, citizens! Are you not proud, to see our men and women-in-arms? Surely there can be no finer army in the entire world!"
  638.  
  639. (Catarin's Group): Alasiel, as Riana Galford, friend of Catarin says, "I can embroil one or both of them in a terribly slow, interminable conversation, if you like."
  640.  
  641. Tahquil turns away from Ryx's speech for a heartbeat, nodding to Siduri.
  642.  
  643. Loud cheers and applause rise from the gathered crowd in response to Orin's words, stamping their feet in appreciation.
  644.  
  645. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "Listen to them cheer, soldiers. Remember what you fight for, and what you must protect above all costs."
  646.  
  647. Frances' cheeks pinken with a light blush, her eyes glued to Ryx.
  648.  
  649. Ryx clenches a fist.
  650.  
  651. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "For you fight for the very preservation of modern civilisation itself: an ancient legacy born from the rejection of tyranny and greed, a bastion of light that has held against the horrors of the unending dark."
  652.  
  653. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "There is no other cause higher than your own, no greater act of service you can perform for the love of Seleucar. When the day comes that you are called to take up the sword and shield, let it be in service to the Throne, to preserve the greater good of our beloved home."
  654.  
  655. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "Let it be in the name of a benevolent ruler, one who we love dearly, who always has our best interests at heart."
  656.  
  657. Siduri claps her small hands in applaud to the soldiers of Seleucar!
  658.  
  659. Stheno puts her hands together in her soft leather gloves for General Grandier, though she soon restrains herself. A small, close-lipped smile appears at the honourable words spoken.
  660.  
  661. Ryx pauses, gazing into the eyes of the citizens, one by one, his gaze finally landing on Catarin.
  662.  
  663. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "But today, your vigilance has bestowed upon us the enduring gift of peace. So let this be a day of remembrance, of celebration, for your sacrifices and service in making Seleucar the greatest nation in the world. Without you, none of this would be possible."
  664.  
  665. Ryx throws his fist into the air.
  666.  
  667. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "Hail, Seleucar! Hail to the Throne!"
  668.  
  669. Cries of "Hail, Seleucar!" reverberate around the square as citizens echo the call as one, erupting into cheers shortly after.
  670.  
  671. Guard Captain Ellodin Rahal says in a commanding voice, "Hail Seleucar!"
  672.  
  673. Advisor Charen Lietz, who looks a bit like Frances says with a posh Seleucarian accent, "Hail, Seleucar!"
  674.  
  675. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says loudly in a low, silken voice, "Hail, Seleucar!"
  676.  
  677. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  678.  
  679. Tahquil's eyes drift from Ryx to Rackham as the speech continues, guilt and concern in equal measure on her features.
  680.  
  681. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says gruffly in an unnaturally deep voice, "Hail, Seleucar."
  682.  
  683. Alasiel says, "Hail, Seleucar!"
  684.  
  685. Heldurk, Squire of Damen says joyfully in a slow, rumbling voice, "Hail, Seleucar!"
  686.  
  687. Alphonso, the tailor who mildly resembles Azazell exclaims in an eccentric, lilting voice, "Hoo hoo! Hail Seleucar!"
  688.  
  689. Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says loudly in a light, youthful voice, "Hail Seleucar!"
  690.  
  691. Ser Darrod, Honour-Guard to Castomira says in a regal, pontifical voice, "Hail Seleucar!"
  692.  
  693. A group of cheering peasants shout, "Hail, Seleucar! Hail to the Princess!"
  694.  
  695. Stheno turns her head slightly towards Prince Mycale.
  696.  
  697. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says in a firm voice, "To Seleucar! Hail to the Throne."
  698.  
  699. Sister Berenice, by Siduri says quietly in a soft, reserved voice, "Hail Seleucar!"
  700.  
  701. Saluting again amidst the cheering, the generals wheel their steeds around and trot back to their
  702. squads, some managing a wave or nod at the cheering citizens as they ride past.
  703.  
  704. Shouts tumble over each other as the generals command, "Forward...march!"
  705.  
  706. Obediently, each troop performs a sharp about-face and restarts their march to the renewed beat of the drums.
  707.  
  708. Zackery glances wearily toward Ryx, but nevertheless proclaims an enthusiastic, "Hail Seleucar!"
  709.  
  710. Heading northwards, the Third and Fifth Battalions vanish from sight behind the Royal Palace, while the Sixth and Ninth turn south to the Southern Way and are quickly swallowed up by the buildings.
  711.  
  712. A smile touches Ellodin's face at the show of military discipline.
  713.  
  714. (Damen's Group): Heldurk, Squire of Damen says, "A few to many Hail to the Princess to my tastes, My Lord."
  715.  
  716. Jocindi inclines her head politely at Zackery.
  717.  
  718. (Catarin's Group): Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says, "Riana, do you think you could distract Castomira enough for me to get close to Mycale? I know he will listen to me if I can just talk to him."
  719.  
  720. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "There will be a feast in the palace for the royals imminently. I welcome you inside now."
  721.  
  722. With a flourish of his arm, Ryx bows deeply.
  723.  
  724. Some enthusiastic citizens trail behind the parade, waving their flags happily, while the greater majority slowly begins to disperse.
  725.  
  726. As Jurixe rings a simple silver bell, the world blurs around you with dizzying speed before becoming something new.
  727.  
  728. You are moved by a simple silver bell.
  729. Hall of Visionaries. (indoors)
  730. Each step echoes off the polished marble floors of this grand chamber, easily capable of accommodating hundreds of people. Tall, broad windows and a pair of heavy gold chandeliers ensure that the hall is brightly lit at all hours, while red velvet stools at the sides offer respite from standing. Beautifully painted frescoes adorn the walls and the ceiling, each depicting either a historical personage or a memorable event in striking detail. Most prominently, the incandescent Flame of Yggdrasil smoulders within the World Tree, the lifelike depiction spanning several of the panels overhead. At the far end of the chamber is a wide dais in the shape of a half moon, meant to be used as a simple stage for performances and addresses. An ink painting of Nikolas is framed upon a wall, limned in an elaborate masterpiece of curves and lines. Proud and regal, an ebony charger stands here awaiting its master's will. The shining figure of a guardian angel floats in the air here. Imperiate Keorin, as Count Adiel Tremayn, is here, riding a midnight charger. Riding side-saddle, Sister Berenice, by Siduri waits patiently for Her Majesty. Her face is partially concealed beneath the raised hood of a hooded flowing ivory cloak with black fur lining. Alasiel, as Riana Galford, friend of Catarin is here. She wields an elegant damask silk fan in her left hand and an insubstantial dagger in her right. Ser Darrod, Honour-Guard to Castomira stands here next to Castomira with a haughty expression. Standing quietly, Heldurk, Squire of Damen is observing his surroundings. He wields a shortsword in his left hand and a Targossian cavalry shield in his right. Rackham Moliuvia, as Prince Mycale deSangre is here. Jocindi D'Ischai-Azon is here. Alphonso, the tailor who mildly resembles Azazell is here. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar is here, shrouded. She wields a glittering amethyst silk fan in her left hand.
  731. You see a single exit leading east.
  732.  
  733. Lyndee offers a gruff nod at the disappearing troops, but his eyes continually flicker to Rackham, observing the Prince dutifully as he stands from his seat, motioning to his squire.
  734.  
  735. Rackham inclines his head lazily towards Lyndee, before taking his seat.
  736.  
  737. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  738.  
  739. Jurixe takes a look at the decorations as she steps into the hall, quickly hurrying to one side to make room.
  740.  
  741. (Catarin's Group): You cheerfully say, "Consider it done! I'll come up with some terribly lengthy topic to keep her distracted."
  742.  
  743. Holding her skirts carefully out of the way, Zackery takes a seat by her Prince's side.
  744.  
  745. (Damen's Group): Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry, "The mantle of his role is weighing on him, I imagine."
  746.  
  747. Within the expansive chamber, servants clad smartly in the royal colours wait patiently next to high-backed chairs surrounding a long table in the centre.
  748.  
  749. Hundreds of candles blaze merrily within the ornate chandelier overhead, gilding the fine silverware in gold and sparkling off a stunning ice centrepiece sculpted into the Seleucarian coat-of-arms.
  750.  
  751. Ryx says to Tahquil in a deep voice, "There are many foods available today, your majesty. I hope you find at least some to your liking."
  752.  
  753. (Damen's Group): Heldurk, Squire of Damen says, "I shudder to think of the weight and stresses of that, My Lord. I will wish him well always, striving to support him and give honour to your teachings."
  754.  
  755. Ryx says in a deep voice, "Will the prince and princess please be seated first?"
  756.  
  757. (Group): Sister Berenice, by Siduri says, "Would you like to slip next to Mycale, and perhaps Rina can sit by Castomira?"
  758.  
  759. Ryx gestures for Catarin and Mycale to take their seats.
  760.  
  761. (Group): Sister Berenice, by Siduri says, "Or is this too public?"
  762.  
  763. Rackham casually walk to his seat and sinks lazily into it.
  764.  
  765. As Stheno passes the General in the grand hall, she lays a conciliatory hand on his arm and notes, "Well spoken, old friend." She resumes her place chaperoning Mycale, nodding at the most ornate seat at the table head.
  766.  
  767. "I am sure with the finests chefs in the duchies preparing the meals today that everything will be delectable," Tahquil smiles to Ryx as she takes her seat beside her brother's chair.
  768.  
  769. Azazell ogles the food hungrily, licking his lips.
  770.  
  771. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  772.  
  773. With that, Ellodin bows to the other lords and ladies, gesturing to the remaining seats.
  774.  
  775. Guard Captain Ellodin Rahal says in a commanding voice, "Please be seated."
  776.  
  777. Ryx smiles at the princess, but then takes a seat next to Lucius.
  778.  
  779. Holding her skirts carefully out of the way, Zackery takes a seat by her Prince's side.
  780.  
  781. (Catarin's Group): Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says, "This will do just fine. Once everyone is seated and settled, please engage her."
  782.  
  783. Siduri smiles softly at Catarin, and gently pulls the seat to the Princess' left.
  784.  
  785. Azazell takes a seat on the other side of General Orin, elbowing him with a wink.
  786.  
  787. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  788.  
  789. Ryx nods his head at Azazell.
  790.  
  791. A flurry of activity ensues as the servants begin pushing chairs in closer to the table and shaking out napkins for their esteemed charges, carefully laying them across their laps before stepping back respectfully.
  792.  
  793. Lyndee sinks into a seat at the table, sheathing his sword into a scabbard at his hip.
  794.  
  795. Alasiel hesitates for a moment, then seats herself next to Castomira with a polite bow of her head.
  796.  
  797. Alphonso, the tailor who mildly resembles Azazell whispers in an eccentric, lilting voice, "Oooh, I thought it'd be forever before they'd sit... can we eat yet?"
  798.  
  799. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace asks Stheno in a deep voice, "How goes work lately?"
  800.  
  801. The doors in the side of the hall open, revealing a train of servants carrying heavy platters of decadent-looking delicacies and cold jugs of some sort of liquid. They move around the table with a quiet efficiency, spooning food onto plates and filling glasses with drink.
  802.  
  803. Azazell coughs softly.
  804.  
  805. Making way for the greater nobility, Keorin steps over to take the nearest seat to Errikale, though Grandier and Alphonso end up in between.
  806.  
  807. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  808.  
  809. Heldurk stands quietly behind Lyndee, respectfully observing past his Lord.
  810.  
  811. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says to Azazell in a deep voice, "Soon."
  812.  
  813. Darrod keeps pace with Zackery as he follows her to his Lady's seat, drawing out her chair for her before she sits. Passing a pleasant smile in the direction of a few important faces, he joins her.
  814.  
  815. Tahquil bobs her head, whispering quiet gratitude to those her serve her meal and drink. SHe waits until everyone is served before trying to catch the eyes of Ryx, Alasiel, and Siduri.
  816.  
  817. Tahquil nods her head emphatically.
  818.  
  819. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  820.  
  821. Alphonso, the tailor who mildly resembles Azazell says in an eccentric, lilting voice, "Hoo... not soon enough..."
  822.  
  823. Ryx quickly eats up his helping of the food as it's served to him.
  824.  
  825. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin says to Ryx in a lilting voice, "A rousing speech you delivered, my friend. 'Horrors of the unending dark?'"
  826.  
  827. Zackery smiles charmingly to Ryx as she continues.
  828.  
  829. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin asks Ryx in a lilting voice, "My dear General, surely you do not mean to scare our gracious citizens with these imagined 'unseen threats' in this time of revelry for Seleucar?"
  830.  
  831. Siduri's eyes boggle at the service, and she whispers a soft prayer of gratitude to the Garden. Then, she gives Catarin and Rina a warm, comforting smile.
  832.  
  833. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says to Zackery in a deep voice, "Thank you kindly."
  834.  
  835. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says to Lyndee in a deep voice, "Did you enjoy the parade, Damen?"
  836.  
  837. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says to Zackery in a deep voice, "Of course I don't mean to scare the citizenry."
  838.  
  839. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says to Zackery in a deep voice, "But they should not be left unawares, either."
  840.  
  841. When viewed at different angles, the Theatron Sarapin depicted upon an ink painting of Nikolas appears darker and more solemn, as befits the momentous occasion.
  842.  
  843. Stheno glances away from Catarin surveying the table, turning his full attention to Castomira.
  844.  
  845. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says gruffly to Ryx in an unnaturally deep voice, "Quite the display, such as our Prince deserves."
  846.  
  847. Tahquil turns her head slightly as she picks up her cutlery. She whispers, perhaps a bit to loudly to Mycale, "We should talk, don't you think? I think father would think it silly we haven't spoken in months."
  848.  
  849. Rackham quietly drums his fingers on the arms of his chair, occasionally sipping his drink or picking at his plate.
  850.  
  851. Darrod's mouth curls into an amused smirk before leaning in towards Castomira and whispering something to her.
  852.  
  853. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says to Lyndee in a deep voice, "Are you certain you wish for the Prince to take the throne, Damen? I believe Catarin is more capable and would do more for Seleucar."
  854.  
  855. Alphonso, the tailor who mildly resembles Azazell says in an eccentric, lilting voice, "It's not like there's anyone scarier than the General himself. Ooh hoo hoo hoo, you should have seen him when he first requested me."
  856.  
  857. A golden-haired Bard takes her seat next to a large mahogany harp, placing her fingers upon the strings with easy familiarity.
  858.  
  859. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  860.  
  861. Alphonso, the tailor who mildly resembles Azazell says in an eccentric, lilting voice, "You should have seen that wardrobe!"
  862.  
  863. Ryx leans in and whispers to Damen.
  864.  
  865. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  866.  
  867. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says pompously to Zackery in an unnaturally deep voice, "The general is correct, we must never rest easy, Lady. It is unwise in such times as this."
  868.  
  869. Rackham whispers to Lyndee, "I hardly think we have anything to talk about..."
  870.  
  871. Zackery's brows raise just slightly at Darrod's whisper, but she simply smiles and nods to her honour guard.
  872.  
  873. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "Just look at how lazily he slumps in his chair... that's no way for royalty to act."
  874.  
  875. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says admiringly to Zackery in a firm voice, "Perhaps the Lord knows what brave souls inhabit Seleucar, and seeks only to stir them to action."
  876.  
  877. Stheno firms her mouth into a thin line at the criticism.
  878.  
  879. (Catarin's Group): Alasiel, as Riana Galford, friend of Catarin says, "She seems sufficiently distracted for the moment. I'll watch her closely, though."
  880.  
  881. Stheno tells Rackham, "Sit up and be attentive, Your Highness."
  882.  
  883. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says to Ryx in an unnaturally deep voice, "The Princess is more than capable, and yet it would be inappropriate. Besides, we have a rightful heir."
  884.  
  885. Imperiate Keorin says to Ryx with a slight Arcadian accent, "Prime Minister, respectfully, I'm not certain this is the place to be questioning his Highness."
  886.  
  887. Lyndee nods toward Rackham.
  888.  
  889. The soft, ethereal tones of harp music echo sweetly into the air as she begins to pluck out a gentle tune, underpinning the low hum of conversation and the clink of cutlery.
  890.  
  891. Ellodin stands at the edge of the hall, surveying the assembly with a proud demeanor.
  892.  
  893. Heldurk lightly clasps his hands at his waist as he listens to the surrounding conversations.
  894.  
  895. Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley whispers to Rackham in a light, youthful voice, "Don't be ridiculous. Haven't you heard the rumors that swirl around you? About the.."
  896.  
  897. Tahquil curls her nose up and grimaces awfully.
  898.  
  899. Stheno nods at Lyndee.
  900.  
  901. "I'm sure I don't know what you mean, General," Zackery says to Ryx, her tone gently surprised. Still, she subtly nudges her Prince, encouraging him to sit straight in his chair.
  902.  
  903. Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley whispers softly to Rackham in a light, youthful voice, ".. the children."
  904.  
  905. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry whispers to Rackham in an unnaturally deep voice, "Be unworried, my liege. The...fine lady knows not of which she speaks, I am sure."
  906.  
  907. Ryx nods his head at Tahquil.
  908.  
  909. Lyndee throws Tahquil a cordial but fierce gaze.
  910.  
  911. Alasiel sips at her drink, rather distractedly listening to the conversation surrounding Castomira.
  912.  
  913. Rackham sneers at the insinuation. "I'm sure it's just more rumors being mongered by your constituents. All of which Im sure you encourage.."
  914.  
  915. (Catarin's Group): Sister Berenice, by Siduri says, "Ouch."
  916.  
  917. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin asks Tahquil in a lilting voice, "The libellous claims of the easily led-astray masses, Princess. Surely you could not believe such a thing of your own brother?"
  918.  
  919. Tahquil eyes widen, taken aback at the interruption and accusation.
  920.  
  921. Jurixe bites into a wild duck with a darkbrew glaze, juices dribbling down the meat as she consumes it.
  922.  
  923. (Catarin's Group): Sister Berenice, by Siduri says, "Oh no, she was listening!"
  924.  
  925. Ryx takes a bowl of pheasant soup from a portable buffet table.
  926.  
  927. Ryx opens his mouth to eat a spoonful of pheasant soup with mushrooms, tomato, and egg noodles.
  928.  
  929. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  930.  
  931. Lyndee looks about the anti-Mycale detractors in shock and outrage.
  932.  
  933. Stheno leans back in her chair as a platter of wild duck is set between her and Keorin.
  934.  
  935. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says in an unnaturally deep voice, "This is absurd. In the Palace, on a celebratory day like this, you all should be struck down for speaking ill of the Prince's rule!"
  936.  
  937. Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says in a raised voice, "He is my brother! I would never say anything of the sort."
  938.  
  939. Darrod takes a bowl of pheasant soup from a portable buffet table.
  940.  
  941. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  942.  
  943. Ellodin's gaze flickers momentarily to the consumption of tasty animals. It soon returns to general staring.
  944.  
  945. (Catarin's Group): Sister Berenice, by Siduri says, "The public rumour differentiates not between vice and virtue."
  946.  
  947. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says conversationally to Ryx in a firm voice, "I think the message of unification spoken to the people today points the way to our future. The kingdom will unite rightfully, and we won't have to squabble at the table."
  948.  
  949. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin says demurely to Tahquil in a lilting voice, "Of course, Princess. Do excuse me, I can be rather protective of my dear, sweet Prince Mycale."
  950.  
  951. Jocindi says, "All the great monarchs have false accusations thrown at their feet, our Prince will be the greatest, so he is sure to have the rumours thrown out to discredit him."
  952.  
  953. Keeping an ear to the conversation at the head of the table, Keorin beckons a server over to have a portion of the duck served to her plate.
  954.  
  955. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says to Stheno in a deep voice, "Indeed, that is the future I hope for as well."
  956.  
  957. Lyndee nods gratefully at Stheno. "Precisely!" he offers, lifting his glass to take a drink.
  958.  
  959. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says to Lyndee in a firm voice, "Peace, Lord Kephry. Our rince will usher in a new golden age."
  960.  
  961. Stheno tilts her cup and takes a polite sip.
  962.  
  963. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  964.  
  965. Siduri slowly picks from her plate and brings the food to her lips. The young priestess, however, makes no sound. Her attention seems to pass from one guest to another, studying just what a wasp nest her friend has stepped into.
  966.  
  967. (Lucius' Group): Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says, "See anything suspicious? Even at a royal table, I can almost feel the assassin's blade."
  968.  
  969. Alasiel takes a platter of wild duck with darkbrew glaze from a portable buffet table.
  970.  
  971. Jurixe fans herself as she takes a sip of her wine, grey eyes sparkling with amusement at the pointed conversation.
  972.  
  973. Keorin gives an appreciative nod as she takes a bite of the duck, as she turns to make idle conversation with a nearby noble.
  974.  
  975. Azazell noisily eats his food, occasionally taking a piece from the General's plate when he averts his gaze to other attendants.
  976.  
  977. Heldurk gently motions the servers to pass him by, maintaining a respectful watch from his place behind Lyndee.
  978.  
  979. Darrod grimaces after sampling the soup before looking down to the bowl with disdain. Setting the spoon down and bringing a napkin to his mouth, he careful blots at the corners of his mouth before pushing the bowl away from him.
  980.  
  981. (Lucius' Group): Imperiate Keorin says, "Besides the Prime Minister's nearly public treason? If these are the blades her Highness' supporters hold in the light, you are most right to worry, my Lord."
  982.  
  983. Tahquil remains silent and the supporters of Mycale begin to speak of his rule among themselves. Then, she reaches out to touch Mycale's arm and whispers to him in almost a plead, "Please Mycale, I just want to talk with your privately. Like when we were younger and all this .. " Catarin gestures to the hall ".. This was our father's worries."
  984.  
  985. Jurixe opens her mouth to eat a spoonful of pheasant soup with mushrooms, tomato, and egg noodles.
  986.  
  987. Alasiel takes a bite of the wild duck, casting a look of concern in Catarin's general direction.
  988.  
  989. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  990.  
  991. Alasiel bites into a wild duck with a darkbrew glaze, juices dribbling down the meat as she consumes it.
  992.  
  993. Ser Darrod, Honour-Guard to Castomira whispers to Zackery in a pontifical voice, "What -did- theymake soup from?"
  994.  
  995. Ser Darrod, Honour-Guard to Castomira whispers to Zackery in a pontifical voice, "Bathwater?"
  996.  
  997. Jocindi wrinkles her nose and sniffs.
  998.  
  999. (Lucius' Group): Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says, "It is rankling, and especially so from someone who usually speaks the truth. The Princess has wound many good men around her finger. She seems to believe she is doing good."
  1000.  
  1001. Alasiel takes a bowl of pheasant soup from a portable buffet table.
  1002.  
  1003. Lyndee takes a bowl of pheasant soup from a portable buffet table.
  1004.  
  1005. Azazell takes a bowl of pheasant soup from a portable buffet table.
  1006.  
  1007. Siduri takes a bowl of pheasant soup from a portable buffet table.
  1008.  
  1009. Azazell opens his mouth to eat a spoonful of pheasant soup with mushrooms, tomato, and egg noodles.
  1010.  
  1011. Siduri opens her mouth to eat a spoonful of pheasant soup with mushrooms, tomato, and egg noodles.
  1012.  
  1013. Jurixe raises a glass to Darrod in amusement, taking a sip of wine as she glances over at Catarin and Mycale.
  1014.  
  1015. Rackham pointedly jerks his arm away from Tahquil. "We're much beyond talking at this point, and how dare you bring him up to sway me. I'm sure he rolls in his grave, watching his daughter's attempt to climb the rungs of society so.."
  1016.  
  1017. Ellodin spares a longing glance at the buffet table before looking straight forward, over the heads of the assembly. He learns the ins and outs of the chandelier.
  1018.  
  1019. Lyndee nods at Heldurk before looking toward the buffet table after the ladies retrieve their food.
  1020.  
  1021. Stheno lowers her voice to join Keorin briefly in conversation with another noble. She directs a server to Castomira's wine glass, her eyes lingering on the Duchess in her dark veil.
  1022.  
  1023. (Damen's Group): Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says, "You may eat."
  1024.  
  1025. (Damen's Group): Heldurk, Squire of Damen says, "If we could find a way to fit one of those tables within a pack saddle, camp morale would be through the roof, my Lord."
  1026.  
  1027. Zackery laughs quietly at Darrod's suggestion, before gently chiding, "You do know how to make me laugh, Ser. But I rather enjoyed it. A matter of tastes, I suppose."
  1028.  
  1029. Suddenly, the main doors to the great hall slam open with a heavy 'BANG!'
  1030.  
  1031. (Damen's Group): Heldurk, Squire of Damen says, "Yes, my Lord."
  1032.  
  1033. Frances takes a bowl of pheasant soup from a portable buffet table.
  1034.  
  1035. A serving girl rushes in through the doorway, her face white.
  1036.  
  1037. A traumatised serving girl screams, "Help! Someone's been murdered! On the first floor!"
  1038.  
  1039. Frances blinks.
  1040.  
  1041. Ellodin rouses from his chandelier-entranced stupor.
  1042.  
  1043. Jocindi gives a horrified gasp.
  1044.  
  1045. Ryx stands up, knocking over his chair.
  1046.  
  1047. A gilded, indigo broadsword rings out brightly as Ryx rapidly draws it from an exquisite hazelwood scabbard.
  1048. Verdant luminescence bathes the length of a gilded, indigo broadsword for a brief moment as it is drawn.
  1049.  
  1050. Zackery's brow quirks in mild surprise as the girl rushes into the hall.
  1051.  
  1052. Jurixe's eyes widen at the interruption, dropping her napkin into her lap.
  1053.  
  1054. (Damen's Group): Heldurk, Squire of Damen says, "Later, my Lord, this must take priority."
  1055.  
  1056. "I'm sure he'd roll in his grave seeing what you have become," Tahquil spits back at Mycale with uncharacteristic venom. "If your Duchess hasn't sold the tomb to the highest bidder yet."
  1057.  
  1058. Lyndee stands suddenly from his chair, unsheathing his longsword.
  1059.  
  1060. Lyndee begins to wield a nimble, double-edged longsword in her left hand.
  1061.  
  1062. Azazell opens his eyes wide with shock.
  1063.  
  1064. Darrod quickly rises to his feet and begins reaching behind him, perhaps for a hidden weapon.
  1065.  
  1066. Rackham's eyes grow wide in shock.
  1067.  
  1068. Ellodin's demeanor changes completely, shifting to readiness. He shouts orders to the other soldiers in the hall.
  1069.  
  1070. Stheno rises smoothly from his chair and moves in front of the Prince.
  1071.  
  1072. Keorin gives a scowl as she's forced to set aside the duck she had been enjoying, looking up at the commotion.
  1073.  
  1074. Tahquil rises to her feet, her chair scrapping noisily on the floor.
  1075.  
  1076. Siduri stands up, startled by the interruption and places a hand to squeeze Catarin's shoulder.
  1077.  
  1078. Alasiel pushes her chair back from the table in alarm, setting her napkin down.
  1079.  
  1080. Even amidst the panic and shock, Zackery shoots a deathly glare at Tahquil's accusation.
  1081.  
  1082. Ser Darrod, Honour-Guard to Castomira says sternly to Zackery in a pontifical voice, "Stay close to me, my Lady."
  1083.  
  1084. Guard Captain Ellodin Rahal says in a commanding voice, "Lords, ladies, remain calm."
  1085.  
  1086. Rackham stands abruptly beside Stheno.
  1087.  
  1088. Lyndee says to the serving girl, "MURDER?? Where?"
  1089.  
  1090. Heldurk lifts his hands, wielding a cavalry shield and shortsword professionally as he flanks Lyndee.
  1091.  
  1092. Guard Captain Ellodin Rahal says in a commanding voice, "Allow us to investigate. Stay here."
  1093.  
  1094. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says in a low, silken voice, "My goodness."
  1095.  
  1096. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  1097.  
  1098. Jurixe pushes her thumb against the mahogany handle of a glittering amethyst silk fan.
  1099.  
  1100. Ellodin whispers something to the servant girl before turning towards the door of the hall, looking out.
  1101.  
  1102. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "Stay here? With a potential -murderer-?"
  1103.  
  1104. Jurixe fans herself frantically in her chair.
  1105.  
  1106. Tahquil moves towards Lord Orin, placing a hand on Sister Berenice and Riana's shoulders as she passes.
  1107.  
  1108. "The peasantry can't even manage to respect a day such as this one..." Keorin grumbles beneath her breath.
  1109.  
  1110. Guard Captain Ellodin Rahal says softly in a commanding voice, "Bring the body here after you've inspected it."
  1111.  
  1112. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale whispers to Darrod in a firm voice, "Protect your Lady with your life."
  1113.  
  1114. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  1115.  
  1116. (Catarin's Group): Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says, "Please I am sure this is a misunderstanding..but, be alert and stay safe."
  1117.  
  1118. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says to Tahquil in a deep voice, "Stay close... I wouldn't trust anyone but you right now."
  1119.  
  1120. (Group): Sister Berenice, by Siduri says, "I uh... I mean... I could always resurrect the murdered..."
  1121.  
  1122. Guard Captain Ellodin Rahal says firmly in a commanding voice, "Keep the doors sealed. No one will come in and out after the body is brought here, except on my command."
  1123.  
  1124. Ser Darrod, Honour-Guard to Castomira says to Stheno in a pontifical voice, "But of course, my Lord. My life for Castomira."
  1125.  
  1126. The soldiers nod as they scatter, pulling the doors to the hall closed behind them.
  1127.  
  1128. Stheno firms her jaw and nods, awaiting word from the guard.
  1129.  
  1130. (Damen's Group): Heldurk, Squire of Damen says, "I have your back, My Lord."
  1131.  
  1132. Ellodin turns towards the assembly of nobles, bowing his head briefly.
  1133.  
  1134. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar whispers in a low, silken voice, "What an inauspicious occasion, when both the Prince and Princess are here, too..."
  1135.  
  1136. Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley whispers to Ryx in a light, youthful voice, "Lord Grandir, could there possibly be? In the Palace? It's impossible, isn't it?"
  1137.  
  1138. Alasiel positions herself closer to Catarin, her fingers tight on the fabric of her skirt.
  1139.  
  1140. Noting that order seems to have largely been restored, Keorin returns to her meal, neatly sampling a bowl of pheasant soup.
  1141.  
  1142. Guard Captain Ellodin Rahal says in a commanding voice, "We will find the murderer. This is the safest place for all of you at a time like this."
  1143.  
  1144. Zackery leans toward Stheno once more, talking quietly under her breath amidst the panic.
  1145.  
  1146. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says to Tahquil in a deep voice, "If it's old enough... perhaps they are indeed not here. We will see."
  1147.  
  1148. Siduri casts a glance towards Catarin as the Princess walks to Orin's side. She steps a bit closer
  1149. to Riana, whispering a nervous prayer under her breath.
  1150.  
  1151. Lyndee steps toward Rackham, features hardened with concern for the Prince's wellbeing.
  1152.  
  1153. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says coldly in a firm voice, "To mycale Likely a rebel intrusion, my Prince. No one here wishes you harm. See that your sister isn't frightened."
  1154.  
  1155. A knock resounds at the opposite side of the door, followed by the voices of soldiers.
  1156.  
  1157. Ellodin turns towards the door as it opens.
  1158.  
  1159. Lyndee bristles at the sound, gripping his longsword tightly.
  1160.  
  1161. Guard Captain Ellodin Rahal says impatiently in a commanding voice, "Yes, yes, bring it here."
  1162.  
  1163. Tahquil places a gloves hand over her racing heart as the knock resound through the hall.
  1164.  
  1165. Jurixe cranes her neck, trying to see better.
  1166.  
  1167. Heldurk maintains his place behind Lyndee as his Lord moves toward Rackham.
  1168.  
  1169. Alasiel puts a hand on Sister Berenice's arm, watching the door tensely.
  1170.  
  1171. Ellodin's eyes gleam with generosity.
  1172.  
  1173. A soldier arrives bearing a young boy's body. Ellodin assists, and they lay it on a side table.
  1174.  
  1175. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "A... a boy."
  1176.  
  1177. Rackham gasps audibly as soon as the body comes into view, before moving himself close to Castomira.
  1178.  
  1179. Ellodin nods to the soldier, ushering him to the door and sealing it once again.
  1180.  
  1181. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  1182.  
  1183. Seeing the body of a mere serving boy, Zackery exhales slightly through her nose, her lips thin, as if irritated at the interruption.
  1184.  
  1185. Ryx shoots a glare at the prince, then looks again at the body.
  1186.  
  1187. (Catarin's Group): Sister Berenice, by Siduri says, "Where was that boy found? In Mycale's room?"
  1188.  
  1189. Ellodin returns to a young boy's body, turning towards the assembled lords and ladies.
  1190.  
  1191. A shadow falls over Azazell's countenance as he furrows his brow.
  1192.  
  1193. "Such panic. This is what we have a guard for, yes?" Keorin murmurs to no one in particular, as she shifts about to try and catch a better look.
  1194.  
  1195. Darrod all but scoffs as he seems to visibly relax upon seeing the dead child, joining in Castomira's disapproval.
  1196.  
  1197. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  1198.  
  1199. Guard Captain Ellodin Rahal says in a commanding voice, "You must all be eager to know what's going on. Here's what we know."
  1200.  
  1201. Guard Captain Ellodin Rahal says in a commanding voice, "The boy was found near the prince's room, but he is not from the palace. None of the servants recognised him."
  1202.  
  1203. Tahquil's hands swiftly move to her lips, horrified at the child so young as she ducks her head behind Lord ORin's shoulder to shield herself from the sight.
  1204.  
  1205. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "How... bizarre."
  1206.  
  1207. Ellodin glances briefly towards Rackham before bowing his head.
  1208.  
  1209. Jurixe shakes her head sadly, looking at the small corpse.
  1210.  
  1211. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin says mollifyingly in a lilting voice, "A tragedy, to be sure. The boy's family should be compensated for their loss, but let us not get carried away. Serving boys are easily replaced."
  1212.  
  1213. (Lucius' Group): Imperiate Keorin disapprovingly says, "Look at how the Princess acts, as if she has never seen a dead body before. And some think she should lead."
  1214.  
  1215. (Catarin's Group): Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says, "I... I don't know.. They are just rumors. They are.. just rumors. It can't be. They are just rumors."
  1216.  
  1217. Jocindi says, "The meal is ruined! Must we really have dead servants paraded before us before dessert?!"
  1218.  
  1219. Rackham furrows his brow, nodding affirmatively with Castomira's words.
  1220.  
  1221. Ser Darrod, Honour-Guard to Castomira says to Zackery in a pontifical voice, "Yes, yes. Quite. A few dozen pieces aught to cover the cost."
  1222.  
  1223. (Lucius' Group): Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says, "She is disarmingly young, isn't she?"
  1224.  
  1225. The attending servants crowd around one corner of the room, whispering to themselves worriedly as they peek at the boy's body.
  1226.  
  1227. Ellodin turns towards the lords and ladies. His expression remains even.
  1228.  
  1229. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace asks in a deep voice, "Does he have any apparent wounds?"
  1230.  
  1231. Stheno begins to stand down slowly, though she takes step towards the boy's body.
  1232.  
  1233. (Damen's Group): Heldurk, Squire of Damen says, "Can you see anything of the victim, My Lord? I'm trying to notice if anyone seems suspicious."
  1234.  
  1235. Severian stands out distinctively amongst the gathered crowd upon an ink painting of Nikolas, a wry smirk gracing his lips as he listens to Nikolas.
  1236.  
  1237. Siduri softly pads towards Catarin and murmurs. "Perhaps the Gods could answer my prayers, and bring him back from beyond?"
  1238.  
  1239. (Lucius' Group): Imperiate Keorin says, "Even by her age, I would expect better from a daughter of our late Emperor. You can tell who was preparing for the throne."
  1240.  
  1241. Lyndee listens to Ellodin's report as the Lord takes in the image of the deceased child and then shoots the crass followers of Castomira a glance of distaste.
  1242.  
  1243. Tahquil's skin prickles as she hears Castommira and Darrod's words. "How dare you! That is somebody's son!"
  1244.  
  1245. (Lucius' Group): Stheno says, "If only all Seleucar had your eye for imperial succession."
  1246.  
  1247. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin looks surprised and says in a lilting voice, "I mean no disrespect, of course, Princess. I only wish that the evening not be ruined."
  1248.  
  1249. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  1250.  
  1251.  
  1252. *****************
  1253. || A C T I I ||
  1254. *****************
  1255.  
  1256. (Damen's Group): Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry say, "Keep an eye on the Prince. I see nothing just yet, but this is violence too close for comfort."
  1257.  
  1258. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale grimly asks in a firm voice, "Why strike down a child?"
  1259.  
  1260. Ellodin coughs softly.
  1261.  
  1262. (Damen's Group): Heldurk, Squire of Damen says, "Yes, My Lord."
  1263.  
  1264. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "I have heard someone here has a... bizarre liking of children."
  1265.  
  1266. (Lucius' Group): Imperiate Keorin distastefully says, "Seleucar does, I believe. But commoners and those they elect are easily swayed by a pretty girl, I suppose."
  1267.  
  1268. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "Perhaps only rumours, however."
  1269.  
  1270. Guard Captain Ellodin Rahal says in a commanding voice, "More importantly, lords and ladies, the murderer has not yet been caught."
  1271.  
  1272. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "We must know the cause of death."
  1273.  
  1274. Heldurk shifts his stance slightly to ward Rackham.
  1275.  
  1276. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says in an unnaturally deep voice, "And in the palace, no less! And a young, innocent boy. This is an outrage!"
  1277.  
  1278. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin says to Ryx in a lilting voice, "Come, General. Now is hardly the time for such gossip and allegations."
  1279.  
  1280. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says to Ellodin in a deep voice, "Do we know yet how he died?"
  1281.  
  1282. Guard Captain Ellodin Rahal says in a commanding voice, "This is the safest place for all of you, but I'm afraid no one is completely clear of suspicion."
  1283.  
  1284. Zackery's eyes narrow at Ellodin's words and she casts a suspicious glance among the rest of the guests.
  1285.  
  1286. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says in a low, silken voice, "Can we...inspect the body, sir?"
  1287.  
  1288. Tahquil places a hand on Siduri's shoulder, "You can try.. but .. I fear..." presses her lips into a thin line as the rest of her words are lost.
  1289.  
  1290. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  1291.  
  1292. Deeming the meal interrupted beyond repair, Keorin neatly cleans her mouth with the napkin folded in her lap, before standing to move near Errikale.
  1293.  
  1294. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says in a low, silken voice, "That might give us some clues."
  1295.  
  1296. Ellodin glances pensively at a young boy's body before looking at Jurixe.
  1297.  
  1298. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  1299.  
  1300. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says in a low, silken voice, "If truly the murderer is still here..."
  1301.  
  1302. Guard Captain Ellodin Rahal says in a commanding voice, "Please. Whoever wishes, have a look. Many things are yet unclear."
  1303.  
  1304. Jurixe sweeps her gaze over all present, looking worried and suspicious.
  1305.  
  1306. Lyndee nods at Jurixe. "The murderer must be found! Any clues will assist us."
  1307.  
  1308. Ellodin steps back from a young boy's body, though he keeps an eye on the assembly.
  1309.  
  1310. Ryx approaches the body, and kneels down.
  1311.  
  1312. Rackham nods authoritatively. "Indeed. We should waste no time finding who's responsible!"
  1313.  
  1314. Ryx removes dashing black gloves.
  1315.  
  1316. As Alasiel rifles through the pockets of a young boy's body, she pulls out a folded note of fine parchment.
  1317.  
  1318. Zackery maintains her distance from the corpse, a look of slight disgust upon her features at the carnage.
  1319.  
  1320. Stheno comes to stand by Orin as he inspects the body, looking down from a different angle.
  1321.  
  1322. Ryx carefully, and with respect, removes the child's top clothing, inspecting the torso for distinct wounds.
  1323.  
  1324. Frances slips her hand into one of the pockets of the boy's uniform and discovers a yellow handkerchief tied haphazardly into a bundle. As she lifts the bundle up, the unmistakable clink of gold sovereigns hints at its unseen contents.
  1325.  
  1326. Alasiel removes a folded note from a young boy's body, frowning slightly as she quickly peruses the contents.
  1327.  
  1328. Ryx turns a young boy's body over, examining its back side.
  1329.  
  1330. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "Aha!"
  1331.  
  1332. Keorin rifles through a young boy's body's pockets, but comes up empty-handed.
  1333.  
  1334. Frances gives a yellow handkerchief tied into a bundle to Ryx.
  1335.  
  1336. Keorin turns a young boy's body over, examining its back side.
  1337.  
  1338. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "There's a wound on his back."
  1339.  
  1340. Lyndee steps in, leaning in to peer at the boy's body. When Orin turns him over, the Lord straightens up suddenly.
  1341.  
  1342. Zackery exhales in exasperation. She grasps her right hand in her left, perhaps too tightly, and a slight 'crunch' is heard along with a glimmer of emeralds that seems to fall to the floor. She quickly pushes it away with the tip of her stiletto heel.
  1343.  
  1344. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "Thank you for the bundle, Charen."
  1345.  
  1346. Alasiel pushes her way toward Tahquil, slipping a folded note of fine parchment into her hands.
  1347.  
  1348. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says in an unnaturally deep voice, "That is a backstab!"
  1349.  
  1350. Tahquil stays where she is, unwilling to get close to the poor boy's body as she clutches her own hand nervously watching the others.
  1351.  
  1352. Lyndee peers at the wound, then nods with certainty.
  1353.  
  1354. Stheno frowns faintly.
  1355.  
  1356. Heldurk briefly glances toward the boy as he maintains a vigilant pose behind Rackham.
  1357.  
  1358. With a grimace, Keorin steps forward to inspect the corpse herself, eying the wound, before rising back to her feet.
  1359.  
  1360. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says in an unnaturally deep voice, "This is the work of a Serpentlord."
  1361.  
  1362. Alasiel attempts to pry an ink painting of Nikolas off the wall, but finds herself unable to do so.
  1363.  
  1364. Azazell takes a platter of wild duck with darkbrew glaze from a portable buffet table.
  1365.  
  1366. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  1367.  
  1368. Azazell bites into a wild duck with a darkbrew glaze, juices dribbling down the meat as he consumes it.
  1369.  
  1370. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  1371.  
  1372. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says seethingly in an unnaturally deep voice, "Skulking about, waiting until an innocent boy's back is turned, and then..."
  1373.  
  1374. Ellodin watches the flurry of activity around the corpse with interest.
  1375.  
  1376. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar asks Alasiel in a low, silken voice, "You found a note! What does it say?"
  1377.  
  1378. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin pleasantly asks Tahquil in a lilting voice, "You seem awfully nervous, Princess. Are you quite alright?"
  1379.  
  1380. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says to Lyndee in a firm voice, "That seems a strange conclusion to draw. Any man can wield a dagger and surprise a small boy to overpower him."
  1381.  
  1382. Zackery tilts her head slightly with feigned concern.
  1383.  
  1384. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "There was a handkerchief on his body."
  1385.  
  1386. Alasiel says to Tahquil, "This note. He was supposed to be meeting someone."
  1387.  
  1388. Keorin nods in agreement towards Jurixe. "The lady is quite right, perhaps what is found could be presented to the group, and not held in the corner."
  1389.  
  1390. With a wistful look on his face, Azazell touches a portable buffet table.
  1391.  
  1392. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "It contains gold, and is embroidered with the letter 'c'."
  1393.  
  1394. Ryx drops a yellow handkerchief tied into a bundle.
  1395.  
  1396. Ryx rifles through a young boy's body's pockets, but comes up empty-handed.
  1397.  
  1398. Jocindi says to Alasiel, "You tried to hide it! Passing it to the Princess in secret!"
  1399.  
  1400. Ryx rifles through a young boy's body's pockets, but comes up empty-handed.
  1401.  
  1402. Ryx turns a young boy's body over, examining its back side.
  1403.  
  1404. Keorin rifles through a young boy's body's pockets, but comes up empty-handed.
  1405.  
  1406. Ryx reaches out to touch a young boy's body.
  1407.  
  1408. Jurixe ponders a young boy's body with a contemplative expression.
  1409.  
  1410. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  1411.  
  1412. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says in a low, silken voice, "Oh!"
  1413.  
  1414. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says in a low, silken voice, "What's that on his throat?"
  1415.  
  1416. Keorin rifles through a young boy's body's pockets, but comes up empty-handed.
  1417.  
  1418. Alasiel rifles through a young boy's body's pockets, but comes up empty-handed.
  1419.  
  1420. Zackery frowns slightly to Rackham as she observes the proceedings.
  1421.  
  1422. Alasiel rifles through a young boy's body's pockets, but comes up empty-handed.
  1423.  
  1424. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says to Stheno in an unnaturally deep voice, "I am certain of it. I have studied the growing faction of Serpentlords carefully. This is their handiwork. Only they would be so dishonourable."
  1425.  
  1426. Alasiel turns a young boy's body over, examining its back side.
  1427.  
  1428. (Damen's Group): Heldurk, Squire of Damen says, "As an aside note, My Lord, someone attempted to remove the portrait of Nikolas from the wall when everyone was looking at the boy's corpse."
  1429.  
  1430. In an effort to appear less unkempt in front of a young boy's body, Ryx tugs lightly on his clothing, attempting to adjust the wrinkles out of it.
  1431.  
  1432. Jurixe ponders a young boy's body with a contemplative expression.
  1433.  
  1434. Zackery turns a young boy's body over, examining its back side.
  1435.  
  1436. Zackery rifles through a young boy's body's pockets, but comes up empty-handed.
  1437.  
  1438. Zackery rifles through a young boy's body's pockets, but comes up empty-handed.
  1439.  
  1440. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale frowns and says to Lyndee in a firm voice, "Would that there were the truth. All men can be low and craven, if they so desire to be. Can chivalry not be feigned, my Lord?"
  1441.  
  1442. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says in a low, silken voice, "Here, you can see if it you ponder the idea."
  1443.  
  1444. (Damen's Group): Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says, "Is that right? Who?"
  1445.  
  1446. Alasiel ponders a young boy's body with a contemplative expression.
  1447.  
  1448. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says quietly to Lyndee in a firm voice, "Even within the Council of Knights."
  1449.  
  1450. Ryx ponders a young boy's body with a contemplative expression.
  1451.  
  1452. Keorin ponders a young boy's body with a contemplative expression.
  1453.  
  1454. (Catarin's Group): Sister Berenice, by Siduri says, "The boy is dressed as a servant but is not of the palace. The handkerchief belongs to a "C", and he was given gold."
  1455.  
  1456. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "A bruise..."
  1457.  
  1458. (Damen's Group): Heldurk, Squire of Damen says, "One of the hangers of the Princess, My Lord, I believe her name is Riana Galford."
  1459.  
  1460. Alasiel stares implacably at a young boy's body.
  1461.  
  1462. Rackham ponders a young boy's body with a contemplative expression.
  1463.  
  1464. Lyndee reaches out to touch a young boy's body.
  1465.  
  1466. Tahquil carefully unfolds the note to read. She blinks twice, shooing away the tears in her eyes as she reads out loud. "You know what to do. Until l-later.. my sweet?"
  1467.  
  1468. Ryx creases his brow in a frown.
  1469.  
  1470. (Damen's Group): Heldurk, Squire of Damen says, "She was not successful and only attempted it once."
  1471.  
  1472. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "What could it mean...?"
  1473.  
  1474. (Lucius' Group): Imperiate Keorin says, "Even the Code of Chivalry says to meet dishonour with dishonour. They are quick to drop any pretending at their honour the moment it gets in the way."
  1475.  
  1476. Tahquil takes a brief smell of a folded note of fine parchment.
  1477.  
  1478. Alasiel takes a brief smell of a young boy's body.
  1479.  
  1480. Keorin takes a brief smell of a young boy's body.
  1481.  
  1482. With a wistful look on his face, Ryx touches a yellow handkerchief tied into a bundle.
  1483.  
  1484. Lyndee narrows his eyes at Stheno. "Such immoral behaviour would not be tolerated within the Knights," he says firmly.
  1485.  
  1486. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  1487.  
  1488. Lyndee shakes her head.
  1489.  
  1490. Ryx points accusingly at a yellow handkerchief tied into a bundle.
  1491.  
  1492. Alasiel wrinkles her nose at the scent of the corpse, and then casts a quick glance toward Mycale.
  1493.  
  1494. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "What does the C stand for on this handkerchief? Castomira, perhaps?"
  1495.  
  1496. Ryx glares at Castomira.
  1497.  
  1498. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin flatly asks Ryx in a lilting voice, "You do know the first letter of your dear Princess's name, don't you, General?"
  1499.  
  1500. (Lucius' Group): Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says, "The Serpentlords are an easy target, and it draws suspicion away from home. We know what lurks in the dark of Seleucar. Sedition. Treason. The murder of children."
  1501.  
  1502. Jocindi creases her brow in a frown.
  1503.  
  1504. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "Princess Catarin would never do such a thing!"
  1505.  
  1506. Tahquil's eyes gleam with generosity.
  1507.  
  1508. "I.. I don not know," Tahquil holds the a folded note of fine parchment out for anyone to take, her fingers still harbouring a tremble within them.
  1509.  
  1510. Tahquil rubs her hands together greedily.
  1511.  
  1512. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "She can hardly even look at the boy."
  1513.  
  1514. Rackham glares pointedly towards Orin, "Indeed! How dare you make such quick accusations!"
  1515.  
  1516. Stheno gives Lyndee a long, searching look, before she narrows her eyes at the small corpse.
  1517.  
  1518. (Damen's Group): Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says, "A murderer of a boy to attempt to steal a painting amid a party seems absurd."
  1519.  
  1520. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  1521.  
  1522. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin says vaguely to Ryx in a lilting voice, "There are many reasons one might not wish to look upon the evidence of a murder."
  1523.  
  1524. (Lucius' Group): Imperiate Keorin says, "Not to mention, they are so quick to assume a noble, or a group they don't like. Why would anyone in this room strike down a serving boy?"
  1525.  
  1526. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "It contains gold. A payment for murder, perhaps?"
  1527.  
  1528. (Damen's Group): Heldurk, Squire of Damen says, "Indeed so, my Lord. It was something suspicious I noted. Perhaps she was taking what she perceived to be an opportunity for some mischief."
  1529.  
  1530. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says to Ryx in a firm voice, "Are you accusing the gentle Duchess of slaying this poor innocent? The woman has never known such spite. General, you overstep."
  1531.  
  1532. (Catarin's Group): Sister Berenice, by Siduri says, "My...sweet."
  1533.  
  1534. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your
  1535. pulse pound.
  1536.  
  1537. (Catarin's Group): Alasiel, as Riana Galford, friend of Catarin says, "That smell."
  1538.  
  1539. (Catarin's Group): Alasiel, as Riana Galford, friend of Catarin says, "That perfume Mycale is wearing."
  1540.  
  1541. Tahquil eyes catch on a yellow handkerchief tied into a bundle as she sucks in a sharp breath.
  1542.  
  1543. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says to Stheno in a deep voice, "It is the best clue we have right now."
  1544.  
  1545. Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says in a light, youthful voice, "To handerkerchief I know this."
  1546.  
  1547. Keorin takes a brief smell of a folded note of fine parchment.
  1548.  
  1549. Zackery nods gratefully, smiling faintly to the Duke for his chivalrous defense.
  1550.  
  1551. Pandora ponders the situation.
  1552.  
  1553. Ryx takes a brief smell of a yellow handkerchief tied into a bundle.
  1554.  
  1555. (Catarin's Group): Alasiel, as Riana Galford, friend of Catarin says, "A similar smell is on the corpse."
  1556.  
  1557. Ryx takes a brief smell of a folded note of fine parchment.
  1558.  
  1559. Pandora ponders a young boy's body with a contemplative expression.
  1560.  
  1561. Keorin heaves out an exasperated sigh, slipping off dashing black gloves after finishing her examinations of the body.
  1562.  
  1563. (Catarin's Group): Sister Berenice, by Siduri says, "I think Castomira might have... sent the boy to Mycale."
  1564.  
  1565. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says curiously to Tahquil in a low, silken voice, "You do?"
  1566.  
  1567. (Catarin's Group): Sister Berenice, by Siduri says, "The gold, payment for the boy. The note, addressed to Mycale. The bruises on the neck... seem like strangling, or garrotte."
  1568.  
  1569. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  1570.  
  1571. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says to Tahquil in a deep voice, "Where have you seen this before, my liege?"
  1572.  
  1573. (Catarin's Group): Sister Berenice, by Siduri says, "Not that I know of anything... people might do in their rooms. But I feel the death was from the stab, not the strangle."
  1574.  
  1575. (Lucius' Group): Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says grimly, "To make a political point."
  1576.  
  1577. Alasiel wrinkles her nose again, casting a sharp glance toward Mycale.
  1578.  
  1579. Tahquil takes a yellow handkerchief tied into a bundle, running the silk through her fingers. "This is.. one of the lesser noble's has a wife who is a tailor. She has been giving them out to others in the village to wear to the parade to support me."
  1580.  
  1581. Jurixe takes a brief smell of a young boy's body.
  1582.  
  1583. Alasiel says, "The corpse smelled just like that."
  1584.  
  1585. (Lucius' Group): Imperiate Keorin says, "I hate to suggest this, Lord, but I fear they might try to pin this on the prince. The, uh, boy smells of the cologne his Highness is wearing."
  1586.  
  1587. Ryx ponders the situation.
  1588.  
  1589. Ryx takes a brief smell of a young boy's body.
  1590.  
  1591. Lyndee straightens up, examining the assembled onlookers critically.
  1592.  
  1593. (Catarin's Group): Sister Berenice, by Siduri says, "In that case, there were likely two people involved in the murder. And the strangler is not the murderer..."
  1594.  
  1595. Jurixe considers Rackham for a moment.
  1596.  
  1597. Rackham takes a brief smell of a yellow handkerchief tied into a bundle.
  1598.  
  1599. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin shocked asks Tahquil in a lilting voice, "One of your supporters funded this horrific act of violence, Princess?"
  1600.  
  1601. Ryx smells the air around Mycale.
  1602.  
  1603. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar whispers quietly in a low, silken voice, "It does smell suspiciously like the Prince..."
  1604.  
  1605. (Catarin's Group): Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says, "I won't let anything happen to either of you if you wish to speak out loud. I think everyone needs to hear what you have discovered."
  1606.  
  1607. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "Anyone could have gotten one of these handkerchiefs, then."
  1608.  
  1609. A dark look crosses Stheno's face, quickly schooled into stern disapproval.
  1610.  
  1611. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "But this smell is certainly distinct."
  1612.  
  1613. (Lucius' Group): Imperiate Keorin says, "Not that I would question his Highness, but the boy may well have visited his chambers..."
  1614.  
  1615. Lyndee steps toward Stheno, his eyes taking in the Duke's visage.
  1616.  
  1617. Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says to Zackery in a light, youthful voice, "No, it is impossible. I can't beleive anyone would do such a monstrous thing in my name."
  1618.  
  1619. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin says to Azazell in a lilting voice, "You're a tailor, are you not? Perhaps you might grant us some insight into the.. less savoury secrets of the industry."
  1620.  
  1621. (Damen's Group): Heldurk, Squire of Damen says, "Can you see if anything resides within the Duke's wrist sheath, My Lord? i can only see the sheath from here."
  1622.  
  1623. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says in an unnaturally deep voice, "The wound on the body was made by a short blade. Small enough to do deadly damage but not to emerge through his chest."
  1624.  
  1625. Alphonso, the tailor who mildly resembles Azazell says to Zackery in an eccentric, lilting voice, "Hoo, what do you wish to know?"
  1626.  
  1627. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  1628.  
  1629. Heldurk slowly scans the room as he listens.
  1630.  
  1631. Imperiate Keorin says to Ryx with a slight Arcadian accent, "A knife in the back does not leave a smell, Prime Minister."
  1632.  
  1633. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale coldly asks in a firm voice, "A murdered boy just outside the Prince's chambers, stinking of cologne? Is this a jest to entertain rumours too vile to speak of openly?"
  1634.  
  1635. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says in a firm voice, "It is a crude and cruel one."
  1636.  
  1637. Lyndee reaches for Stheno's wrist and lifts it up, a sheathe hanging from it as he nods at stylized serpents.
  1638.  
  1639. Jocindi says, "Plots and deceit, all to frame the Heir to throne."
  1640.  
  1641. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "Castomira. May I see your hands?"
  1642.  
  1643. Zackery nods her head in decisive agreement with Jocindi.
  1644.  
  1645. Siduri coughs softly and kneels next to the body, tracing her fingers across the marks on the neck. "Why would a boy, not of the palace, be wearing a servant's uniform? And why strangle him, from the front, to stab him in the back? This boy was sent by one, to another, and killed by the first or a
  1646. third afterwards."
  1647.  
  1648. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry asks in an unnaturally deep voice, "A short blade such as this, perhaps?"
  1649.  
  1650. Lyndee narrows her eyes at Stheno in an unnerving manner.
  1651.  
  1652. Stheno calmly pulls her wrist free from Lyndee's grasp, tugging at her sleeve.
  1653.  
  1654. Sister Berenice, by Siduri whispers to Tahquil in a soft, reserved voice, "And... my sweet. I have heard this recently, I recall..."
  1655.  
  1656. (Lucius' Group): Imperiate Keorin thoughtfully says, "May I speak in your defense, my lord?"
  1657.  
  1658. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says to Lyndee in a firm voice, "A relic, while I served in an ambassadorial capacity to the Throne."
  1659.  
  1660. Lyndee allows his free hand to grip his longsword tightly. "Show us what is the sheathe?" he says firmly to Stheno.
  1661.  
  1662. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "I believe I saw Castomira crush her ring earlier, in a fit of brutish strength. Strength enough to easily leave a bruise, might I add."
  1663.  
  1664. Siduri lifts her eyes up towards the Prince and the Duchess.
  1665.  
  1666. Zackery all but laughs at Ryx's suggestion.
  1667.  
  1668. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  1669.  
  1670. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin says in a lilting voice, "You do flatter me, General."
  1671.  
  1672. Ryx raises an eyebrow questioningly.
  1673.  
  1674. Tahquil breaths deep, marring her white gloves with make-up as she presses them to her eyes, willing her tears away as she summons up the courage to regain composure.
  1675.  
  1676. Rackham says angrily, "Stop making such absurd accusations! A scented napkin, and assumptions towards some ungodly strength in Castomira..."
  1677.  
  1678. Rackham scoffs arrogantly.
  1679.  
  1680. Rackham says, "Ridiculous..."
  1681.  
  1682. Alasiel takes a brief smell of a yellow handkerchief tied into a bundle.
  1683.  
  1684. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says carefully to Stheno in an unnaturally deep voice, "Relics can be deadly. But perhaps you would be willing to show the contents to us, so that we might ensure no malfeasance."
  1685.  
  1686. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "But can anyone crush a ring like that? It seems... unnatural."
  1687.  
  1688. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says to Lyndee in a firm voice, "I don't presume to draw my blade before royalty, my Lord."
  1689.  
  1690. (Lucius' Group): Imperiate Keorin thoughtfully says, "Or would that not be appropriate, at the moment?"
  1691.  
  1692. Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says to Ryx in a light, youthful voice, "She has always been strong, even when we were children together."
  1693.  
  1694. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin says in a lilting voice, "Crush a ring? It was an old thing, a family heirloom. The gem has been nearly falling from its clasp for years."
  1695.  
  1696. Ryx crosses his arms resolutely, a stoic expression upon his face.
  1697.  
  1698. Stheno glances between Tahquil and Ryx with a look of cold disbelief.
  1699.  
  1700. Siduri takes a brief smell of a yellow handkerchief tied into a bundle.
  1701.  
  1702. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says to Ellodin in a firm voice, "Were there signs of a struggle leading elsewhere? Any facts would help to dispel the madness in this chamber."
  1703.  
  1704. Stheno rifles through a young boy's body's pockets, but comes up empty-handed.
  1705.  
  1706. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "But the gem itself was crushed to bits, and not just the ring itself."
  1707.  
  1708. Stheno rifles through a young boy's body's pockets, but comes up empty-handed.
  1709.  
  1710. Ellodin purses his lips as he recalls.
  1711.  
  1712. Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says to Ryx in a light, youthful voice, "I have no doubt she would have no trouble crushing anything she likes. Rings, throats.."
  1713.  
  1714. Stheno turns a young boy's body over, examining its back side.
  1715.  
  1716. (Damen's Group): Heldurk, Squire of Damen says, "He has many excuses, My Lord. Perhaps the Prince might give an order to show it? I'll ward him from sudden attack if so."
  1717.  
  1718. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin says amusedly to Tahquil in a lilting voice, "Just because I always bested you in our childish competitions of strength does not indicate I have any such supernatural strength."
  1719.  
  1720. Ellodin shakes his head.
  1721.  
  1722. (Catarin's Group): Sister Berenice, by Siduri says, "This seems like the work of a serpent, though... but what would the motive be? That note, it clearly sounds like Castomira's."
  1723.  
  1724. Guard Captain Ellodin Rahal says pensively in a commanding voice, "There were no signs of struggle."
  1725.  
  1726. Zackery takes a brief smell of a yellow handkerchief tied into a bundle.
  1727.  
  1728. Lyndee grips his drawn blade with distaste as his gaze turns from Stheno to glance at the other simmering accusers.
  1729.  
  1730. Guard Captain Ellodin Rahal says in a commanding voice, "It was as if the body was just...there. A swift death."
  1731.  
  1732. (Lucius' Group): Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says, "Speak, of course. If I seem occupied, trust your own judgement."
  1733.  
  1734. Heldurk keeps his shield up as he maintains his warding position near Rackham.
  1735.  
  1736. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says in an unnaturally deep voice, "A swift death."
  1737.  
  1738. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says to Tahquil in a deep voice, "Mm... most peculiar."
  1739.  
  1740. Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says to Zackery in a light, youthful voice, "You didn't just best me though, all the stablehands as well."
  1741.  
  1742. Lyndee repeats.
  1743.  
  1744. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says quietly in a low, silken voice, "Is it not strange that it is not the handkerchief itself that smells of musk, but his entire body?"
  1745.  
  1746. Rackham says, "Likely to feed into these vicious rumors spread by my sisters constituents..."
  1747.  
  1748. Zackery smiles fondly at the childhood memories.
  1749.  
  1750. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says in an unnaturally deep voice, "As if perhaps a serpentlord had tended to it."
  1751.  
  1752. Tahquil touches a crooked finger to her nose as she sniffs.
  1753.  
  1754. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "Those rumours about you are relevant here, Mycale. Things have gone too far."
  1755.  
  1756. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  1757.  
  1758. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says to Jurixe in an unnaturally deep voice, "The entire castle smells of the Prince's novel...tinctures. Surely you jest that the Prince had something to do with this."
  1759.  
  1760. Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says in a light, youthful voice, "Is it possible there were two? One to take and lift the boy, and one to stab his back as he was vulnerable?"
  1761.  
  1762. Siduri turns her eyes away from the couple, to rest upon Ser Darrod, and the back of his belt.
  1763.  
  1764. Ryx ponders the situation.
  1765.  
  1766. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "I think that is indeed possible."
  1767.  
  1768. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "Have the prince and Castomira not been unusually close as of late?"
  1769.  
  1770. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says to Rackham in an unnaturally deep voice, "My Prince. I believe we are owed an explanation about the Duke's wrist sheathe."
  1771.  
  1772. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin says in a lilting voice, "The handkerchief was clearly sprayed with intent. No item would reek quite so heavily of the stuff, were it not intended to."
  1773.  
  1774. Lyndee takes a brief smell of a folded note of fine parchment.
  1775.  
  1776. Alphonso, the tailor who mildly resembles Azazell says in an eccentric, lilting voice, "Ho hum..."
  1777.  
  1778. Lyndee takes a brief smell of a young boy's body.
  1779.  
  1780. Jocindi nods her head at Zackery.
  1781.  
  1782. Ryx takes a brief smell of a yellow handkerchief tied into a bundle.
  1783.  
  1784. Lyndee takes a brief smell of a cobalt silk handkerchief.
  1785.  
  1786. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says to Zackery in a deep voice, "The handkerchief itself has no smell. It is the boy."
  1787.  
  1788. (Lucius' Group): Imperiate Keorin says, "Whoever left the body clearly meant to frame someone. No one would strangle a corpse and stab it in the back, and no one would be so stupid as to leave a body if they were sneaking into the
  1789. palace to kill."
  1790.  
  1791. Siduri takes a brief smell of a young boy's body.
  1792.  
  1793. Frowning, Stheno looks away from Lord Damen and his blade. She casts a disappointed glance at Orin.
  1794.  
  1795. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  1796.  
  1797. Zackery waves his hand dismissively.
  1798.  
  1799. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin says in a lilting voice, "The point stands, General."
  1800.  
  1801. (Catarin's Group): Sister Berenice, by Siduri says, "Ser Darrod almost drew a blade, hidden in his back, when the Guards stormed."
  1802.  
  1803. Azazell takes a brief smell of a black silk handkerchief banded with silver.
  1804.  
  1805. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin says to Azazell in a lilting voice, "You've not yet lent us your insight, tailor."
  1806.  
  1807. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says to Ryx in a firm voice, "Wars are fought with soldiers, General. We shouldn't be involving these innocents. Not the boy, nor the noble Prince. Nor some nest of adders far, far from home."
  1808.  
  1809. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says to Rackham in a deep voice, "How many bottles of that tincture do you have, prince, and who has access to them?"
  1810.  
  1811. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says in a firm voice, "Civil strife abides in Seleucar, and here it comes to our doorstep."
  1812.  
  1813. (Catarin's Group): Sister Berenice, by Siduri says, "Could Castomira have sent the boy to Mycale, and ordered her Honour Guard to dispose of him later?"
  1814.  
  1815. Tahquil turns to Riana and Sister Berenice, "If everyone is finished, could you please return to boy to a more peaceful state? A prayer and some respect after all that hand molestation?
  1816.  
  1817. Zackery bristles at Tahquil's final word.
  1818.  
  1819. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says intently to Stheno in an unnaturally deep voice, "Which is precisely why we must know what is in your wrist sheathe."
  1820.  
  1821. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "I could only wish we weren't involving innocents. And yet, here, someone may not be innocent, and left unattended, may do more harm."
  1822.  
  1823. Alphonso, the tailor who mildly resembles Azazell says to Zackery in an eccentric, lilting voice, "You wish for insight into the dirty, yes? Hoo hoo hoo, well, It is quite a pain to wash dirtied clothes. The scents can last forever!"
  1824.  
  1825. Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says in a light, youthful voice, "I am sure his mother will be looking for him. SHe should not see him with his pockets out-turned like a thief."
  1826.  
  1827. Sister Berenice, by Siduri says to Lyndee in a soft, reserved voice, "And in the Honour Guard's back."
  1828.  
  1829. Ryx nods his head at Tahquil.
  1830.  
  1831. (Orin's Group): Advisor Charen Lietz, who looks a bit like Frances says, "The boy smells distinctly of the prince's musk, General. And, further, he was paid in a readily available handkerchief for what I imagine was a less-than-above board interaction."
  1832.  
  1833. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says cuttingly to Lyndee in a firm voice, "A blade unfit for children."
  1834.  
  1835. Rackham says to Ryx, "Still dwelling on this perfume! I think it was placed to quite literally draw off the scent. How absurd to bathe the body in it so obviously."
  1836.  
  1837. (Orin's Group): Advisor Charen Lietz, who looks a bit like Frances says, "I believe, perhaps, this was one of his followers cleaning up his little bout of debauchery."
  1838.  
  1839. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says to Stheno in an unnaturally deep voice, "All blades are unfit for children, and yet.."
  1840.  
  1841. Lyndee looks pointedly toward the corpse.
  1842.  
  1843. Alasiel bends down, swiftly straightening a young boy's body's clothing before stepping back.
  1844.  
  1845. (Orin's Group): General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says, "Why do you believe he still has the handkerchief after his death?"
  1846.  
  1847. (Orin's Group): General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says, "Hmhmm."
  1848.  
  1849. Stheno nods.
  1850.  
  1851. Siduri lifts her eyes and nods at Catarin. She looks around at the people around her, and gently brushes her fingers upon the lids of the boy's eyes. She whispers a quiet prayer to the Gods, the body too cold for prayers to return to the living, but warm enough to usher his soul to eternal, peaceful rest.
  1852.  
  1853. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "We have yet to discuss why the handkerchief contains gold."
  1854.  
  1855. (Lucius' Group): Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says, "You think he was strangled first, then stabbed post-mortem?"
  1856.  
  1857. (Lucius' Group): Imperiate Keorin says, "If it had time to bruise, I would imagine so."
  1858.  
  1859. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin asks Azazell in a lilting voice, "The Princess mentioned that one of her supporters, a lesser noble, is married to a tailor who handed out these handkerchiefs to the Princess's supporters. Do you know any of your colleagues who might fit that description?"
  1860.  
  1861. (Orin's Group): Advisor Charen Lietz, who looks a bit like Frances says, "And considering the urgency with which Lady Castomira wished to dismiss this ..."
  1862.  
  1863. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  1864.  
  1865. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says in a low, silken voice, "Lords and ladies."
  1866.  
  1867. (Orin's Group): Advisor Charen Lietz, who looks a bit like Frances says, "And with her fervour to protect the prince ..."
  1868.  
  1869. Jocindi tilts her head and listens intently.
  1870.  
  1871. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says in a low, silken voice, "We must decide. Is the murderer here among us?"
  1872.  
  1873. (Orin's Group): Advisor Charen Lietz, who looks a bit like Frances says, "I have my suspicions."
  1874.  
  1875. (Orin's Group): General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says, "I too am suspect. The weapon wound is a challenging one though..."
  1876.  
  1877. (Lucius' Group): Imperiate Keorin thoughtfully says, "Could perhaps both the prince and princess be being framed?"
  1878.  
  1879. (Lucius' Group): Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says, "A third party setting them against each other? It's possible. Speak your evidence."
  1880.  
  1881. (Lucius' Group): Imperiate Keorin says, "Placed outside the prince's chambers, with a handkerchief of the princess' supporters."
  1882.  
  1883. Lady Jurixe S. Nithilar says in a low, silken voice, "Who do you believe it is, if so, and why?"
  1884.  
  1885. Zackery's eyes narrow in Ryx's direction.
  1886.  
  1887. (Group): Advisor Charen Lietz, who looks a bit like Frances says, "It was small. It could have been an arrow ... which would suggest the Guard Captain ..."
  1888.  
  1889. (Group): General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says, "Fascinating thought."
  1890.  
  1891. Azazell ponders the situation.
  1892.  
  1893. (Lucius' Group): Imperiate Keorin says, "I imagine if it was the princess, they would not have been so obvious with evidence. And the corpse was almost certainly planted there, so I can't imagine it was the prince, or one who supports him."
  1894.  
  1895. Stheno nods at Keorin.
  1896.  
  1897. Rackham says, "While I can't be sure who held the blade at the time, I'm almost entirely sure Orin is responsible. A shame the general's knowledge of war didn't aide him in a successful coverup. I believe he intended it to be so 'obviously' me.... Leaving the throne open for his Lady."
  1898.  
  1899. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin says in a lilting voice, "The General. He stirs up fear in his speech to keep the citizens on edge, and then stages an attempt on the Prince's life. The child held a handkerchief of gold sewn by one of the Princess's supporters. The would-be-assassin, this supposed serving boy who the staff has never before seen, is caught and slain by another. So he
  1900. seeks to cover it up - sprays the child with my Prince's perfume to shift the suspicion to my dear, innocent Mycale, furthering the vicious rumours already spread."
  1901.  
  1902. Rackham sneers towards Catarin with his final word.
  1903.  
  1904. Azazell opens his eyes wide with shock.
  1905.  
  1906. (Orin's Group): Advisor Charen Lietz, who looks a bit like Frances says, "May I chime in, General?"
  1907.  
  1908. (Catarin's Group): Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says, "My ladies, my closest friends... who do you think it was?"
  1909.  
  1910. Rackham beams towards Castomira, settling comfortably now by her side.
  1911.  
  1912. (Catarin's Group): Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says, "Let everyone know who you think it was."
  1913.  
  1914. (Group): Alasiel, as Riana Galford, friend of Catarin says, "Hm."
  1915.  
  1916. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  1917.  
  1918. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin says in a lilting voice, "Why speak so long on these 'unseen threats' so conveniently before one manifests itself in this very palace? A political ploy, one easily seen through by anyone with an ounce of common sense."
  1919.  
  1920. Alphonso, the tailor who mildly resembles Azazell says in an eccentric, lilting voice, "The General would never! I... I lifted his cape most of the time!"
  1921.  
  1922. Advisor Charen Lietz, who looks a bit like Frances says with a posh Seleucarian accent, "I am under the impression that it was not merely one person. I believe that the Guard Captain may have ... perpetrated the act, with his bow, but that it was on Lady Castomira's command in order to protect the Prince's ... impropriety, for which he paid the boy handsomely."
  1923.  
  1924. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says firmly in an unnaturally deep voice, "I believe Duke Errikale must have seen it through. Perhaps to protect the reputation of the Prince from allegations, perhaps by request of another. Perhaps for personal gain. I do not know. But I do know a serpentlord's work when I see it and his refusal to show his weapon leaves me no choice."
  1925.  
  1926. Jocindi says, "Oh yes, it must be the General, obvious really, just as Prince Mycale said, with the help of Alasiel I think, what lady is so eager to touch a dead boy and then take the contents of the pockets away to hide! Scandalous."
  1927.  
  1928. (Damen's Group): Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says, "Obviously you should agree with me, Squire."
  1929.  
  1930. Zackery scoffs arrogantly at Lyndee.
  1931.  
  1932. Siduri stands up from the body, her eyes looking around the room and peering at the locked door. She stares meaningfully at Ser Darrod, as she speaks. "I believe the Prince and the Duchess did it together. Paid the poor boy to visit his quarters."
  1933.  
  1934. Lyndee narrows her eyes at Zackery in an unnerving manner.
  1935.  
  1936. Ellodin glances towards Charen, still silent, before turning back towards the assembly as a whole.
  1937.  
  1938. (Catarin's Group): Alasiel, as Riana Galford, friend of Catarin says, "I'm inclined to think Mycale, too."
  1939.  
  1940. Tahquil eyes sorrowfully drift from Mycale to Castomira.
  1941.  
  1942. (Catarin's Group): Alasiel, as Riana Galford, friend of Catarin says, "Honestly."
  1943.  
  1944. Ser Darrod, Honour-Guard to Castomira says encouragingly to Zackery in a pontifical voice, "How right you are, my Lady! The scoundrel is CLEARLY to blame! Say the word and I will fetch you his head."
  1945.  
  1946. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says to Advisor Charen Lietz, who looks a bit like Frances in an unnaturally deep voice, "This is not the work of an arrow. It is, unquestionably, a backstab."
  1947.  
  1948. (Damen's Group): Heldurk, Squire of Damen says, "Perhaps, My Lord. I believe you have truth in your words, but how sure are you of this? Evidence is yet scanty."
  1949.  
  1950. Advisor Charen Lietz, who looks a bit like Frances frowns and whispers to Ellodin with a posh Seleucarian accent, "I understand that orders are orders, sir."
  1951.  
  1952. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says quietly in a firm voice, "I hate to think of a manner in which Lord Grandier could fall so low. Just as I hate to think of a nation so divided, a dinner with the royal family cannot pass without a young man's death. I agree that this is a ploy, but I take into consideration the counsel of my fellow Lord. This could be the work of a third party, conspiring to set brother and sister against each other."
  1953.  
  1954. (Catarin's Group): Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says, "Go ahead and voice it."
  1955.  
  1956. Lyndee gestures toward the corpse.
  1957.  
  1958. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin says to Darrod in a lilting voice, "Justice will be served, good Ser."
  1959.  
  1960. Heldurk lifts an eyebrow skeptically.
  1961.  
  1962. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says to Keorin in a firm voice, "Say your piece. We see the evidence before us."
  1963.  
  1964. Turning the boy's body over, you notice a large bloodstain in the small of his back around a small, slitted wound.
  1965.  
  1966. Imperiate Keorin says with a slight Arcadian accent, "There was no sign of a struggle, and more than one wound on the body. It seems most likely that the body was planted. Surely a murderer would not be so quick to leave a handkerchief with only one source, that could point back to them? And surely if it was done by the prince or a supporter, it would have been carried far from the Prince's chambers."
  1967.  
  1968. Advisor Charen Lietz, who looks a bit like Frances says to Lyndee with a posh Seleucarian accent, "Lord Kephry, with all due respect, it is small and slitted, which could very well be the work of an arrow."
  1969.  
  1970. (Damen's Group): Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says, "He is of the serpentlords. This wound is a backstab, done by one experienced in their immoral arts. He will not show us the weapon because it likely still has blood on it."
  1971.  
  1972. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "I believe it to have been done by the weapon of Lord Erikkale, as the wound indicates, with help by Castomira, as indicated by the bruise on the throat, to cover up an act by Mycale, who the rumours implicate."
  1973.  
  1974. Imperiate Keorin says with a slight Arcadian accent, "If it was a clear supporter of the Prince, or the Princess, they would have had to be an idiot, leaving evidence so carelessly."
  1975.  
  1976. Alasiel says, "He was with Prince Mycale shortly before his death, after all. The smell still lingers."
  1977.  
  1978. Rackham says, "To allasiel absolutely absurd. Not only do you question me in relation to these rumors, but you think me so stupid as to helpfully hand you evidence in the form of a poor, scented boy...."
  1979.  
  1980. (Damen's Group): Heldurk, Squire of Damen says, "Very significant in a circumstantial way, My Lord."
  1981.  
  1982. Severian stands out distinctively amongst the gathered crowd upon an ink painting of Nikolas, a wry smirk gracing his lips as he listens to Nikolas.
  1983.  
  1984. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "That is the sort of smell a husband has after a night with his wife."
  1985.  
  1986. Zackery rolls his eyes at Alasiel.
  1987.  
  1988. Lyndee gives a horrified gasp.
  1989.  
  1990. Stheno pulls her mouth to one side, staring down Ryx.
  1991.  
  1992. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin says to Ryx in a lilting voice, "You go too far, General."
  1993.  
  1994. Ryx crosses his arms resolutely, a stoic expression upon his face.
  1995.  
  1996. Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says to Zackery in a light, youthful voice, "There is only one person I know that has this much darkness in their chest, swelling where her heart should be. Castomira... how could you? You grow colder and colder each year. As demonstrated when the boy was brought in you have no care for his life as long as it served you. I saw what you did, you destroyed the ring and kicked away the gem as if was not worth noting."
  1997.  
  1998. The primal scent of musk-scented perfume emanates from Rackham, making your blood race and your pulse pound.
  1999.  
  2000. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "The prince has gone too far."
  2001.  
  2002. Jocindi snorts arrogantly.
  2003.  
  2004. Jocindi says, "More like after a night away from his wife."
  2005.  
  2006. Imperiate Keorin says to Stheno with a slight Arcadian accent, "As the situation seems to call for being blunt, I believe it must either be the Prime Minister, or Lord Kephry. The Prime Minister might well be trying to frame Mycale, and Lord Kephry has been trying to frame you this entire time, perhaps to gain influence among the Lords in the chaos."
  2007.  
  2008. Jocindi mutters discontentedly.
  2009.  
  2010. Azazell lets out an amused gasp.
  2011.  
  2012. Lyndee bristles at the accusation, staring menacingly at Keorin.
  2013.  
  2014. Tahquil Maris, Hedgehog of the Valley says in a light, youthful voice, "I still hope, Mycale, my brother. You still have some of the goodness in your heart you showed me when we were children. I refuse to believe you could fall so low."
  2015.  
  2016. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says to Ryx in a firm voice, "If that is your insinuation after all this time, my friend, then my Lord speaks true."
  2017.  
  2018. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin says sadly to Tahquil in a lilting voice, "You've always sought to see the worst in me. Creating a monster where none exists, just as your General does in his loquacious, fear-mongering speeches."
  2019.  
  2020. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says to Stheno in an unnaturally deep voice, "Why would you and your Serpentlord brethren want to kill a serving boy? He posed no threat."
  2021.  
  2022. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says to Lyndee in a firm voice, "Precisely. Ask yourself the same question."
  2023.  
  2024. Zackery Aristata, as Castomira Brangwin says to Lyndee in a lilting voice, "Precisely. The Duke had no hand in the matter."
  2025.  
  2026. Zackery nods.
  2027.  
  2028. Stheno Aristata, as Duke Lucius Errikale says in a firm voice, "I've no insight into the workings of the Serpentlords, but I know they are far from here and the treachery taking root."
  2029.  
  2030. General Orin Grandier, as played by Ryx Si'Talvace says in a deep voice, "It's clear that whoever committed the act, or commissioned the act, is trying to do so for political gain."
  2031.  
  2032. Tahquil shakes her head at Castomira.
  2033.  
  2034. Lyndee, as Lord Damen Kephry says menacingly in an unnaturally deep voice, "Unless the Serpentlords sought to bring questions upon the Throne. A murder in the Palace would do such quite handily."
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