Turn 5 Thread

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Re: Turn 5 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:49 pm

Gracious seems busy, his mind focused on handling the situation in the Villa von Klossner. Though his reply will come in time, Laval feels uneasy as Marina readies for battle. Marina, for her part, is perhaps downright suspicious. Her charge seems to be very reliant on this Gracious Obscura for her compact, and Marina has already experienced what relying on Gracious involves.

The Aventine mercenaries hurry the deacon into the Villa von Klossner. At this distance, neither of the pair - now both blessed with the wych-sight - gain a sense of what is going wrong in the mansion. They wait, nervous but ready, for the situation to develop.

[I'm waiting on Wren's responses, which we'll say is largely reflected by delays in Gracious getting back to Laval (due to being busy). Hence, if you'd like to wait for Wren, that will represent Laval waiting for Gracious.]

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Re: Turn 5 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:58 pm

Laval briefs Marina shortly on Gracious' statements while they kit her up. Marina keeps quiet. Maybe this whatever-this-is will give her a chance to get back at him.

"Get a bit closer and see what's going on?" Laval suggests.

Marina looks at her flatly. "You want me back in there, already, after what happened last time?"

"They're distracted at the moment," Laval points out.

"Just makes them harder to predict."

"And you're very good."

Marina sighs. "Fine. I'll do your recon."

Marina inspects the situation, trying to gauge a time and angle which would be good for her to sneak in closer again. Once she's on the move, Laval edges up closer to the fence, staying low to the ground, and tries to keep an eye on things.


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Re: Turn 5 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:11 pm

Before Marina makes the decision to head out, Laval receives a response from Gracious: 

One of the younger Klossners was possessed. She had been talking to something - she had told me, some sort of tempter. And then just now, she was floating in mid-air, something awful was happening... and then she fell, and her throat was slit by an invisible blade. It did something to the Lady too. Yes: I need you in here; I could be in danger and in any case I need your sight. It's not safe for Marina: and probably not for you; unless you can think of a clever way to hide your marvellous smoke...

But Gracious' mind soon after grows clouded, and Laval has difficulty reaching him. There is something very strange going on in the Villa von Klossner. Marina is just about to head out when Gracious gets in touch again.

Laval, Gracious reaches out. You... did you respond to my last? I... well, the problem is not a problem any more.

What happened?? comes the response.

...but whatever did it is still out there, I think. I helped the deacon exorcise the demon from Lady Klossner. So in, uh, in good news my cover is hella good.

Do you still need me? I was just helping Marina get her armour on... I can try and bluff it if you need a hand.... Laval seems worried.

Not immediately. But something - or someone - did all this... Gracious responds darkly.

Let me tell you what Marina saw? Laval suggests.

Go for it.

Ghosts - or that's how she conceived of it, in the workshop. A young aristocrat and a soldier - the former suturing the latter's wounds.

That makes sense, Gracious muses. The young Klossner saw the aristocrat, and I saw the solider, I think.

She saw them and they saw her, but then they vanished and nothing came of it. Then in the main bedroom, a ritual site.

Not ghosts, I thought: too recent, too cognsicent of the here and now.

Fair assessment... Laval agrees.

Is there any means you know where people or demons could walk in the veil between words? Gracious asks.

Not specifically, but... powerful daemons do that sort of thing.

But these beings didn't appear to be such... Gracious probes. He feels Laval's contemplation. Damn it! Things don't just happen.

Sometimes they do, Laval remarks. But, yeah... I know what you mean...

Yeah. Now? In this place? Let me see. Have you seen any other sign of fellow followers of Chaos, since the priestess of Despair?

Aside from this? No.

That is what concerns me: daemons will tire quickly and in any case are localised. If we're dealing with mortals, though...

Daemons don't usually do rituals, we clearly have rivals here, Laval notes.

Right. Thanks, good confirmation.

Patrick said they were speaking to his sister? Laval continues.

Yes, that's it: Gerhild, the one who's dead. Now, her throat was slit invisibly...

Oh, and please don't tell Marina I'm telling you all this... Laval pleads.

Could they be simply invisible? Gracious queries.

Yes. But how would we know?

Fear radiates from Gracious' mind. We wouldn't. He pauses. Something was definitely speaking through her. Could someone do that remotely, or would they have to have been in the room?

I would have to be in the room to try something like that. But with ritual magic, it could probably be remote. Or she might just have been possessed? I'm guessing here, Laval admits.

Yeah, it's hard to say.

Frightened humour filters from Laval's mind. When did possessed become "just"? Oh dear.

Yes... We need answers, I think. Could you attempt to divine them?

Only ritually, I might have notes on that sort of thing... but I've no equipment and no sacrifice, so I'd rather not. Laval thinks. Throat slit... I don't suppose someone shutting her up would make sense in context?

Well, it would certainly stop her saying what had happened... Gracious acknowledges, But at the time, not... really. I was there in the room.

Sacrifice? Laval asks, worry flashing through her mind. I hope it wasn't sacrifice...

It was just after that that Lady Klossner became possessed, and we were in the ritual site...

Sacrifice makes most sense, then.

It had asked Gerhild to lead them to the Lady. Gods knows what it - they - wanted.... It accused the Deacon of fucking the Lady - which sounds plausible, and he seemed shaken...

All I know is it had been trying to get to Lady Klossner through Gerhild for a while.

More worryingly it fingered me for a heretic, Gracious recalls, Though in context I could brush it off. We have to assume they know more about us than we them. 

Most ritualists are psykers, Laval notes, They might have seen your mutations.

Ah, of course. It's always possible they could be hiding in plain sight, too: the mercenaries? Who knows.

Frustration echoes from Laval's mind.

Yes, I feel it too, Gracious admits. An invisible enemy... unknowable capacity...

What are our goals, specifically? Laval asks.

Good question, Gracious returns. I hope to leave this villa with the corruption here growing well. I should be able to achieve that within the next few days. Better yet, I think I've made an ally in the Deacon - and if the Prince wills he may even succumb to an addiction...

Laval's thoughts express irritation. I could just put a daemon in him. That would make a right mess in the Makuu.

That gets me into the Makuu, Gracious continues, Where we get to see what effect your poison's had - there I want to finish off the rot within. Now, I don't know what you still intend, but I'm happy to assist if possible... We'll need to alert our... allies... in Kifodini and Imani if it looks like it's time to push the Makuu into the abyss.

My plans are a mess, Laval admits, I'm a mess. I don't know what I'm doing. Fear and shame creep from her mind.

Hey, Gracious admonishes, You're fucking amazing, Laval. Despair doesn't suit.

There is a flash of sharp anger - directed at what? - then a forcible snap back to emotional neutrality. Yeah. I'm letting emotion get the better of me. Sorry. Thanks.

...are you angry at me? Gracious asks.


I felt it.

Maybe a bit jealous, Laval confesses.

Of me?

Yeah. Mostly angry with myself for not having a hold of myself.

Why in the void would you be jealous of me? Gracious objects.

Because you seem to have your shit together! Laval exclaims.

Ahaha! My secret is I never have my shit together, that way I cope better when I fuck up. As, let's not forget, often happens...

Okay. Sure. So, plans. Going round in circles fretting is not going to help anything.

Yep. You need a way of reliably hiding your mutations, or a robust bluff. Because it seems like you're going to want to enter the Makuu at least, soon.

Yes. She lets forth a mental sigh. Ritual magic? Ritual magic.

Actually, I was going to suggest lho sticks. If you're constantly smoking... People don't want to see weirdness, right? They'll explain it away.

I've been using a censer with incense.

Yeah, that works too.

Fools some. Others notice how it comes out of my eyes and doesn't really behave like smoke.

Shame that... Gracious trails off. Damn it. I guess gifts are funny that way.

Frustration emanates forth again from Laval.

Facemask? Gracious suggests.

Laval seems amused. Might help. She projects a brief image of herself wearing a blank mask, Warp fumes seeping from under the edges, and a blurry-featured figure in Ecclesiarchical robes asking "Um, are you on fire under there?"

...always with the worst-case scenario, Gracious admonishes.

Hey, maybe I should just light myself on fire, that would distract from it!

Don't be on fire, Gracious advises, That's my hot tip.

Worry coils from Laval's mind. Yeah, it hasn't worked out well for anyone we know.

... good point. Practically, how are Marina and Ari?

Marina's annoyed because I keep changing my mind about whether I want her to break us back into the Villa. She seems fine. Healing well. Ari... There are feelings of sadness, worry, revulsion.

If Marina was willing to break back in, I could pass along some supplies to her... I have a dose of rose going spare.

Laval's worry persists. Maybe. I want the Deacon, Gracious. I can't just walk away from this empty handed. But I don't have a plan.


Nearly snatched him on the way in, but Marina was naked and we didn't like the odds.

See, now I know that, I can deliver him to you, Gracious tells her. You want to put a demon in him?

He can perform exorcisms, you say? Laval queries. She transmits empathy and gratitude - maybe slightly belated.

Yes! Gracious mentally exclaims. Are you thinking... Faruha?

Oh, I wasn't- Laval feels guilt, quickly replaced by anger. He won't. He hates the locals.

No, true...

I was just thinking that I'd need a strong daemon to overpower his will. I'd need a smart one, anyway... It's a mad scheme and possibly more trouble than it's worth. Hmm... Laval trails off.

Mmm, Gracious acknowledges. Though his will will be weaker after coming off the nootropic...

Oh, you put him on that. Lovely. Humour radiates from Laval.

Well, he was nearly pissing himself, Gracious remarks. He pauses. I have to say I'd rather like the sanctuary into the Makuu he could bring me.

Most people do, confronted with daemons.

It was quite dull, as daemonic encounters go... which I think is frankly a bad sign. I'm getting rather too used to them.

It's a handy skill, Laval remarks. Let's make possession a Plan B, then.

What do you fundamentally want the Deacon for: what is his place in your plan? Gracious queries.

Take out the leaders, and the rest are thrown into disarray, Laval responds. With "take out" being a rather broad term. Talking should probably be Plan A, which probably hinges on him not immediately pegging me for a mutant.

Talking to what effect?

Let's see... he is not necessarily so keen on Hasek... who we will already have put in a right rage with our antics in Kifodini...

Hasek? Gracious queries.

Turning them all to Chaos would be optimal, of course, but setting up a rift between them might work... Laval muses. Preacher Elias Hasek. Friend of the preacher I killed in Kifodini.

Interesting. Hadn't heard that name I think - and I've got a good memory.

Not the official preacher, sorry, Laval corrects. The fanatic. The - you know -? She seems agitated.

I know the one you mean, Gracious reassures her.

So. Gamble with what I have now and hope he doesn't notice, or attempt a perilous ritual to forge myself some sort of glamour like the one you're blessed with....

Well, now that the Lady Klossner's dead, I can't think the preacher will want to stay here. I think he feels a lot of... guilt?

Over what? Laval asks.

Well, they were fucking, or whatever. That's what was all over his face when he arrived - guilt.

Wait, she's dead too? Laval suddenly twigs.

Yes: she didn't survive the exorcism... or rather she did, but...


Horrible mutations. All at once, too.

Poor woman, Laval responds.

Oh, they're all a right lot here, Gracious remarks. Leonard's quite the artist.

Still. Must be even harder on Imperials than it is on us. Oh well. He's the tailor?

Yes. Quite brilliant.

Laval transmits acknowledgement. I went through Marina's memories, but it's all a bit of a jumble. Patrick have any terrible sins so that I can stop feeling so bad for him?

Not that I'm aware of, Gracious confesses.


Markus is clearly awful, Gracious notes, Patrick and Gerhild might have been fucking too, they seem the type. Seemed.

Laval contemplates for a few moments. He said she confided in him?

I think so.

If anyone knows anything more about our "ghosts" it would probably be him then... but I suspect he already told Marina everything he knows.

May have a little chat, but it's, uh, it's not the best time.

No. Laval seems a little sad. Maybe we should just give him back to her, might shut her up.

Not an awful plan, from my point of view. Really I need Markus out of the way...

At that point it would pretty much just be us and our unknown rivals... Laval continues. I would absolutely love to take and hold territory, but I'm not sure it's a useful strategy. What do you need Markus out of the way for?

Then we have the villa - I can control Leonard, Gracious responds. And we have a solid base with supplies.

Is Leonard useful? Laval wonders.

Leonard has a massive house, Gracious points out. And mercenaries. Non-local mercenaries.

Yes. Good call. Very smart. Well, I'm pretty keen to get one of me or Marina back inside.

For the Deacon? Gracious asks.

Also I'm getting really thirsty.

Water running low?

Yeah. Damn stuff is so heavy.

Well, if I can engineer things here, it should all be fine, Gracious assures her.

Doubt you're going to turn the mercenaries against Markus... Laval advises. Poison him?

He's already taken my obscura once.


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Re: Turn 5 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Wed Sep 28, 2016 1:24 am

"Well?" Marina demands, watching Laval stare into space. Probably doing her stupid wychy thing again.

"Okay," Laval responds, "So... the situation's like this..." She picks her words carefully, trying not to let on that she's been poking around in the other heretic's head again. Sparing occasional glances at Ari, she keeps her voice low. Marina listens, nods sullenly, offers nothing. Neither of them broaches the topic of the tension between them. It doesn't seem like a good time to hash out their personal differences.

"So," Marina asks eventually, "What's the plan? Am I going in, or can I go back to sleep?"

"Just, give me a moment to think?"

Laval wants to walk into the villa, take it by charm or by force, hole up inside with Gracious and hide from the world. But she has a job to do. It's so hard to set emotion aside lately and think clearly. Thankfully, Marina stays quiet and gives her the chance to put her thoughts in order.

"Let's wait," she declares eventually, "Unless something else dramatic happens. Once everyone's asleep, you can steal us some more supplies if you're up for it. Or we can ration ourselves and make it last."

If you think you're safe for now, I'll wait. Laval sends to Gracious. Though I'd feel better with you sleeping out here under watch than in there with our invisible rivals. Your call. If you need help, say the word and I'll come running.

"More waiting," Marina sighs. "Get your act together."

"Okay," Laval admits, "So coming here was probably a mistake. But maybe it would have gone more smoothly if you weren't deliberately keeping me out of the loop! What is the point in agreeing to scout if you won't share anything you find?"

"Why should I tell you anything?" Marina retorts, "You hate me!"

Both of them are struggling to keep their voices down now, whispering angrily at each other.

"I don't - why would you think that?"

"I'm not blind, stupid! I see the way you look at me. I brought you food, hid you, fought for you, got shot for you, saved your stupid life, and I don't even get a thank you! It's just 'Marina do this', 'no Marina, don't do that' all day long!"

Laval is taken aback, chastened.

"Well I don't like you either," Marina forges on, taking advantage of the wych's silence. "I promised to help you, so I'm helping you. But I didn't promise to like you!"

"Marina, I'm sorry," Laval manages. "You're right, I shouldn't have... I should have..."

"Of course I'm right," Marina grumbles, "I'm always right." But she lets Laval continue.

"I am sorry. And grateful. I should have said thank you before. It was... it was wrong of me to take you for granted."

"Damn straight," Marina agrees. But she is a little mollified. She was expecting this to be harder. Maybe she should have said something earlier.

"I've been stressed, and I've not been thinking straight, and I've been rude," Laval continues. "Worse, I've made stupid mistakes and you've paid the price. Can you forgive me?"

The silence drags out for a while.

"I guess," Marina concedes reluctantly. "If you promise to be nicer to me."

"I promise," Laval assures her, wondering if she means it.

So Marina tells her everything that's happened since she started sulking. Laval, accustomed to pretending not to know things she's stolen from people's minds, nods and makes appropriate commentary and feigns interest. Marina eyes her suspiciously from time to time, suspecting something is off, but does not push the point. After all, she does not know that Laval can read minds without being entirely obvious about it.

When it comes to the final topic of Gracious' betrayal and Marina's close brush with death, she grows animated and angry again.

"He betrayed us," she accuses. "He tried to get me killed. He's not our friend. Why do you care about him? Let's kill him and take his stuff."

"Gracious panicked," Laval suggests as a peace offering, "He was scared that they'd kill him too."


"He told me he was sorry. He said he'll get you some top quality Rose and someone to use it on, to make it up to you." The borrowed memories of Marina's past escapades with the drug turn Laval's stomach. But she does not let it show.

Marina thinks about it. She would like those things. But nobody crosses her and gets away with it.

"Please, Marina," Laval begs, seeing her expression. "He's important to me. He made the wrong call, but he didn't mean to get you caught. He's useful, I promise."

It occurs to Marina that perhaps she could take the apology gift, and then have her revenge. "Okay," she says, and gives her best reassuring grin.

It is not reassuring. Marina is a terrible liar, and it does not take mind reading for even Laval to see that her sudden change of heart is not sincere.

I don't think Marina's forgiven you, she warns silently. Maybe you can convince her with that silver tongue of yours. But watch your back.

With the tension mostly cleared between them, both heretics settle down to doze. Laval, however, quickly finds that once again she cannot sleep. The situation is too precarious, particularly with both Ari and Marina in close proximity.

"Can I borrow your goggles to keep watch?" she whispers.

"Can I borrow your fingernails?" Marina retorts a little sleepily. Laval does not push the point.

Marina wakes after an hour or two, once it is well and truly night time. She shimmies up the tree to have a look at security and estimate whether it is higher after her antics, or lower due to the extra distractions. She is thoroughly tempted to follow Laval's advice and steal more supplies if it looks easy to get away with, but she's feeling distinctly disinclined to take any extra risks.


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Re: Turn 5 Thread

Post by The GM on Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:53 pm

Stirred slightly by the hissed argument, Ari wakes, staring blankly at Laval as if irritated by a quiet sound the wych might be making. The pseudo-daemon shifts, and seems discomforted, sweating profusely from her charred face. But she does not speak, nor does she seem threatening, simply awake and listless.

Gracious responds to Laval in part, noting that he can arrange for Laval to enter the Villa von Klossner in the cover of night, if she would like. Whether or not he has something to say on the issue with Marina is unclear: it is more than possible that he is thinking on it. 

Regardless of Laval's decision, Marina wakes before the wych and shimmies up the tree to consider security. The mercenaries seem to have changed their tack in response to recent events, posting themselves at fixed locations and communicating to one another through micro-beads every couple of minutes to confirm they are still standing. They are spread out, trying to maximise ground and avoid someone sneaking past their ranks. Though a single individual could be taken down, it would give Marina a narrow window of time with which to reach the Villa and conclude her business there. After that, the entire mansion would be on alert. It is not ideal.

It is not entirely clear why the security protocols have changed. Perhaps the Aventine mercenaries have been somewhat chastened for letting Marina sneak past in the first place, even if she is 'dead'. Or perhaps security is simply changed up because the deacon is currently staying at the mansion. In either case, it is probably worth letting Laval know. That way, she can check with the traitor Gracious to make sure he can actually let them in.

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Re: Turn 5 Thread

Post by The GM on Wed Sep 28, 2016 1:50 pm

Gracious replies back: I have control here. Markus is dead, Leonard is under my sway, Patrick is a wreck. It really would I think be possible for you to come. More difficult for Marina, of course. But I've chatted to the mercenaries, I could probably give her enough information to get past their defences...

No sign of our adversaries. Patrick's not saying anything - he's, uh... he's had a bad few days...

Marina worries me. I can't defend myself if she suddenly turns. Fuck, what can I do... I'll think on it...

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Re: Turn 5 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:52 pm

Laval is not asleep, but she lets Marina scout with only a murmur to pass on Gracious' offer. When Marina drops back down from the tree, Laval almost asks immediately what she saw - but she recalls Marina's chastisement against constant instructions and demands, so she waits for Marina to volunteer it.

"So we're not sneaking in without a bunch of effort," Marina declares. "They're being more careful."

"Gracious could let me in, if you're willing to wait out here."

"And what if they turn on you? You'd get killed without me."

"I'm not defenceless," Laval reminds her. "I think it's worth the risk."

"For what? You don't need to go in there."

"There's a couple of things I want. Bear with me on this? Please?"

Marina sighs. But at least the wych is being more polite now. "Fine. But if you get yourself killed, it's not on me."

I would like it if you can get me in, but Marina says they've upped security. She's willing to stay out here, though.


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Re: Turn 5 Thread

Post by The GM on Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:21 am

Come at night, bring a cigarette or something to cover the smoke? I'll find you rooms. Let me know if you're on your way. Tell Marina I can tell her the details of their new security procedure if it would help.

[It is the end of Turn 5. Marina gains 5 Infamy for completing her Tertiary Objective.]

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Re: Turn 5 Thread

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