May You Live In Interesting CRIMES, Or, Department Of ISLAND Revenue

<RandBrittain> Anyway, as I was saying, preludes are for players who can't handle being thrown into the middle of the action without context.

<RandBrittain> Much like…

<RandBrittain> RIGHT NOW

<HollyhockGod> Your bee-driven sailboat is under attack by ghost pirates.

<HollyhockGod> It's a problem.

<Love-in-Idleness> "It is always something," Idleness says, her voice like soft rain. "Where does one even find ghost pirates?"

<Sarabande> "Here. Evidently."

<Sarabande> "… We admit to being uncertain where 'here' is."

<HollyhockGod> You consult the GPS, and also your short-term memory.

<HollyhockGod> You appear to be in the North Sea, have recently left the island of the time sisters with a cask of ancient gold.

  • Love-in-Idleness sighs slowly and unsheathes a slender katana from the sheath belted at her waist. It sings with prismatic fire.

<HollyhockGod> The pirates begin firing their ghost cannons.

<Nomen> (just a sec, gotta hit the drugstore)

<HollyhockGod> The cannonballs arc spookily through the air toward your vessel.

<Love-in-Idleness> (Are these canons firing actual ghosts?)

<HollyhockGod> They fire the ghosts of cannonballs.

<Vauncey> Who is driving the bees, again? …ah.

  • Vauncey tugs on the bee-reins to signal a sharp turn. Gently, though, since they're bees.
  • Sarabande assists the bees - this manoeuvre may require extra a few hundred more beepower!

<HollyhockGod> Are you using your Derring-Do skill?

<HollyhockGod> Ah, well, let's say you do.

<Vauncey> Is this doing derring? I suppose we shall call it such.

<HollyhockGod> Aided by Sarabande's extra beepower, you pull the ship out of the path of the first volley.

<HollyhockGod> Alas, the buzzing you hear on the lower deck seems to indicate that additional ghost pirates are attempting to climb aboard from below.

<Sarabande> "We wonder if we may have been paid in stolen currency."

<Love-in-Idleness> "I sincerely question the legitimacy of pirates."

  • Love-in-Idleness says this as she leans over the bough of the ship to where the pirates are climbing aboard and exhales an aurora of green-gold light.

<Love-in-Idleness> (Lesser Enchantment on some ghost pirates to fill them up with Blossoming life so they're not ghosts anymore)

  • Vauncey leans over the edge, reins trailing in one hand, and strokes his beard with the other as he peers down at the ghost pirates.

<Vauncey> (using a diff 0 persona miracle to assess whether the pirates are delinquent on any of their taxes.)

<Vauncey> (I am assuming they probably are, but I don't want to stereotype!)

<HollyhockGod> Hm, these pirates appear to have been domiciled in England during the Age of Sail.

<HollyhockGod> Their taxes are shockingly delinquent.

<HollyhockGod> Some of them might even be alive now and subject to evasion charges.

<HollyhockGod> Said non-ghost pirates are so surprised they fall off the ship and into the sea.

<HollyhockGod> Possibly they aren't used to having mass.

<Love-in-Idleness> "Well, life is fickle, and often short."

<HollyhockGod> Yeah, I suspect the North Sea is cold.

<Nomen> (back)

<Sarabande> Assuming the back taxes information is passed on…

<Vauncey> Quite.

  • Sarabande dances an intricate mandala, and the humming dies suddenly… at least in actual sound.

<Vauncey> (Sorry, was digging through rules. Still getting a handle on what I can do and how)

<Sarabande> (Lesser Creation of Cooperation (with the Authorities) on the pirates - they really ought to deal with their tax problems.)

<HollyhockGod> No one is ever quite sure how you managed it, but somehow, the pirates wind up forming an orderly queue as you try to work out the relevant medieval tax codes, and their application to reanimated ghosts.

<Nomen> "Might as well take their ship as collateral for now."

  • Vauncey is seated down with the lead pirate with a ledger in hand to work out their debentures and establish a payment plan.

<HollyhockGod> Captain McGillicudy is completely confused, and also uncertain about how he's ever going to pay off the sums you're naming.

<HollyhockGod> Then an idea occurs to him.

<HollyhockGod> "Yarrr, but ye be havin' our cursed gold," he says. "That can be the payment. We'll sign it over to ye."

<HollyhockGod> "Then at last our souls be free to, uh… stay here, now, I be guessin'."

<Love-in-Idleness> "Is that what you want?" Idleness asks, slowly and sadly.

<Love-in-Idleness> "To stay here?"

<HollyhockGod> The former ghost pirate captain considers this question carefully, looking for the trap.

<Love-in-Idleness> There isn't one. If anything, an offer.

<HollyhockGod> "Be ye suggestin' that we consider a career as ghost auditors? Takin' up the Letter of Marque an' taxin' people?"

  • Love-in-Idleness raises an eyebrow, genuinely suprised.

<Vauncey> "It isn't for everyone, but I always say you should try anything once."

<Vauncey> It's true, he does always say that.

<Love-in-Idleness> "That wasn't necessarily my idea, but certainly one worth exploring."

<HollyhockGod> It appears that you have acquired a PIRATE SHIP.

<HollyhockGod> Or the ghost of one.

<Nomen> "We should use this to go collect the unpaid taxes of Al Capone. I bet his ghost has money"

<HollyhockGod> Deep beneath Chicago, the ghost of Capone sits in his vaults.

<HollyhockGod> And awaits the return of Prohibition.

<HollyhockGod> I think he was Prohibition-era. My gangster lore is deficient!

<HollyhockGod> Anyway, while you're considering your next shakedown, I mean assessment, you pop down to the hold to check on your cursed gold.

<HollyhockGod> It glitters, suspiciously.

  • Vauncey is a bit late getting down to inspect the gold, as there were a number of forms and sign-offs required. He comes up behind the others, peering through the gap. "Do you suppose we ought to do anything about the curse?" His mind wanders. "I've done it both ways, of course, and there's an argument for either…"

<Nomen> "Do you reckon the curse makes it more or less valuable?"

<Sarabande> "We now own the curse in addition to the gold itself. Are there likely buyers for a pirate gold curse?"

<Nomen> "I'm sure one could find interested buyers…I know some Cammora who might want it depending on the curse"

<Love-in-Idleness> "It is talk like this that has given us our charming reputation for ruthless, mercenary values."

  • Nomen goes and picks a coin to see what happens

<HollyhockGod> The ship begins to sink.

<Vauncey> "I once knew a lady — quite charming, really — who would pay a good sum of money for the right curse. She died some time ago, though, on account of all the curses."

  • Nomen lets go of the coin

<HollyhockGod> The ship continues to sink. Another leak is sprung.

<HollyhockGod> Ah, this is a cursed cask of gold, indeed!

  • Sarabande plugs the leaks with wax!

<Nomen> "Someone take the wheel!"

<Sarabande> (Aspect 3)

<HollyhockGod> The leaks are duly plugged as they appear. But it keeps happening.

  • Nomen tries to use his sorcery to keep the ship afloat ignoring all this nonsense

<HollyhockGod> After a couple of hours of this you'll be sailing a ship made entirely of beeswax.

<HollyhockGod> Hm, what sort of Intention are you forming?

  • Vauncey dashes from the hold to steady the ship. Every time a new leak springs, it careens wildly to one side, and he jerks in the opposite direction, steadying it. Rather bumpy ride, this.

<Vauncey> (Aspect miracle + doing the best thing at the time passion)

<Vauncey> (er, aspect 2)

<Nomen> Hmm "I can keep this ship from sinking despite the curse"

<Nomen> as my INtention

<HollyhockGod> Okay, but what Skill and how much Will are you going to put into it?

<Nomen> "My magic is stronger than the curse" works too

<HollyhockGod> Also, what exactly do you want your magic to do

<HollyhockGod> ?

<Nomen> I'm using Supreme Sorcery 3, and throwing in 2 Will

<Nomen> Flying ships!

  • Love-in-Idleness returns to the cabin, takes a seat even as the chairs roll to and fro, and pours herself a cup of tea.

<Nomen> (pizza at door, brb again X_X)

<HollyhockGod> Hm, that's a level 5 Intention. Given that the Obstacle involved is something like "ships don't fly" (3) you wind up with a net 2 Intention.

<HollyhockGod> You feel pretty good about the way you incant the pervulsions, but the ship more or less stays where it is.

<HollyhockGod> Oh, well. At least two of you don't need to breathe.

<Vauncey> Hmm. One doesn't suppose a curse on gold is close enough to a tax to apply, does one?

<HollyhockGod> You would have to construct an argument for that.

<Vauncey> Well, it seems to me that a curse is a sort of balancing punishment meant to correct the positive effect of some other thing, yes? Not unlike a carbon fee or what have you.

  • Vauncey tosses a fish out of the boat.

<HollyhockGod> So, if you don't invite the bad fairy to your daughter's christening and she hits her up with the standard spinning-wheel package, she's actually levying a Hurt Feelings Tax?

<HollyhockGod> Reallocating the kingdom's awakeness resources to her own household.

<Vauncey> It works better for cursed objects, one supposes, but certainly one could make that argument.

<HollyhockGod> Sure, let's go with that for now.

<Vauncey> Capital!

<HollyhockGod> So, what are you doing with this definition of taxation, then?

  • Vauncey holds the bee-reins with one hand, flips open a panel in the air, and scrutinizes the interior. He reaches in and flips a few switches, flinching at the shower of sparks. Nodding, he flips the panel closed, leaving nothing behind.

<Vauncey> 2 MP for a Domain 6 miracle to change the nature of the curse to "Living in interesting times."

<Vauncey> I mean, tax. It's a tax! Clearly.

<Vauncey> Probably I could just remove it for 1 MP, but don't you want to live in interesting times? Better than not, I say.

<HollyhockGod> The universal tax code is duly altered to note this.

<HollyhockGod> And thus, the curse is altered as well.

<HollyhockGod> Thus, the ship….

<HollyhockGod> …falls to pieces.

<HollyhockGod> Oh, what interesting times in which you live!

<Nomen> Can I make some bags of magic without spending Will?

<HollyhockGod> What would a bag of magic be in this case?

<Nomen> Standard looting bag

<Nomen> I just wnato create them from nothing

<Sarabande> "Problematic."

  • Sarabande continues their earlier work and builds a basic beeswax boat.

<Vauncey> "Now that is interesting."

<Sarabande> "We had best retrieve our belongings, there should be space in here."

  • Love-in-Idleness leaps from her chair to the top of the table as it falls towards the water, landing with a splash. She sips her tea from atop her makeshift raft.

<Sarabande> (Aspect 3 - that probably happens in the nick of time, so just before someone runs out of strength to keep paddling?)

<HollyhockGod> Well, you'd need to construct an Intention to conjure objects ex nihilo.

<HollyhockGod> The thing about magic skills is that they can do anything but anything they do is really draining.

  • Rimblade is now known as Darryl

<HollyhockGod> But let's just say you do for now.

<Nomen> Awesome

<Nomen> Nomen dives in and starts collecting the gold in his standard looting bag

<HollyhockGod> Thus, you evacuate your ship in the emergency beeswax boat with your stuff stashed in emergency looting bags.

<Nomen> That too

<HollyhockGod> Thus it is that you are cast away on a rocky island in the middle of nowhere.

<Vauncey> Did we manage to save the gold?

<HollyhockGod> Failing to bring the cursed gold would not be interesting, so yes.

<Vauncey> Quite right! Excellent.

<HollyhockGod> You are on a DESERTED ISLAND. Exits are to N, S, W, and E. You have a BAG OF CURSED GOLD. You also have A COLD (unless you are immortal).

<Nomen> (WINNING!)

<Sarabande> I don't have that sort of respiratory system.

<HollyhockGod> The island also contains a large TREE. Its ROOTS tangle through everything.

<Sarabande> we

<Sarabande> we don't.

<Darryl> (Literally or figuratively through everything?)

<HollyhockGod> Everything nearby.

  • Love-in-Idleness puts a hand on the tree and listens. Is it ready to blossom?
  • Vauncey beams. "Well, that was quite a jaunt, what? Come along and let's see if we can't get some shelter up."

<Nomen> I ask my estate how much we have till Night comes

<Nomen> time

<Nomen> How much time

<HollyhockGod> Oh, about an hour.

<HollyhockGod> Hm, it seems the tree is destined never to blossom.

<HollyhockGod> It's only fruition is nonexistence.

<Vauncey> I will use an Aspect miracle to Show Others a Good Time (2+5) for the intention to make things here cozy and not inimical to life.

<Vauncey> I can use the skill for that, can't I? It does seem like it would make things more enjoyable.

<HollyhockGod> That sounds about right!

<HollyhockGod> You start making things cozy.

  • Vauncey gathers kindling and starts a fire in a firepit near the tree, but not so near to it that it would catch on fire. That's a lesson he learned after the last time!

<Love-in-Idleness> Idleness is going to try and enchant the tree, then, and spur it into growth and flowering.

<HollyhockGod> You can use a salvaged sail to make a crude shelter, and light a fire by rubbing two rolled-up bits of paperwork together, and make a start on beeswax stew.

<Sarabande> "We will attempt to find nearby land."

<HollyhockGod> Idleness enfruits the tree.

<HollyhockGod> The tree vanishes!

  • Vauncey does that!

<HollyhockGod> It was a building all along!

<Sarabande> "hmmmmmm. or perhaps not."

<Sarabande> Some workers head in to explore the building - in a while they'll return and explain what they have found by waggle dance!

<Love-in-Idleness> "You know, I've been at this for a while, but I am always surprised by how much I still have never seen before."

<Sarabande> A while is, of course, not very long for a Power with Aspect 3.

<Vauncey> After much clattering, Vauncey sticks his head out from the sail-tent. "Do you think there's enough salt in this?" He does a double-take at the building. "Fast work! I hadn't thought of that at all."

<HollyhockGod> You have discovered, hidden under an illusion, a large covered portico which largely serves as decoration for a large stairwell leading downward.

  • Nomen tastes the stew. "Not enough salt," he says. Nomen can't lie.

<HollyhockGod> Your worker bees report that it leads quite a long way down into the earth.

  • Vauncey takes a sip from the wooden spoon and nods. "Mm. Right you are."

<Love-in-Idleness> "So, explorations into the bowels of the earth? Or stew? I mean, tempting options."

<Nomen> "As the Power of Night I cannot allows us to dine before it is night. Let's go explore a bit"

<Vauncey> (The power of ramadan!)

<HollyhockGod> You wander down the opulent staircase. It only grows more opulent as you progress further!

<HollyhockGod> Eventually you arrive at a gigantic underground palace in a subterranean cavern about the size of Manhattan.

  • Sarabande buzzes quietly and feels for the elusive presence of their kin.

<Sarabande> (Level 2 Lesser Divination of Bees: are there bees down here?)

<HollyhockGod> There are not bees.

<HollyhockGod> Well, there's a golden honeybee brooch.

<HollyhockGod> It's worn around the neck of a tall and beautiful woman who… whoops, she raises a hand, smiling, and gestures.

<HollyhockGod> You've been cut off!

  • Sarabande hums.

<HollyhockGod> The palace is abruptly replaced by an underground lake.

<HollyhockGod> Man, you have just about had it with things that look like other things.

<Sarabande> "We were about to tell you there is a worker of miracles down here. We are not sure if this knowledge is now redundant."

<Vauncey> Is the tall, beautiful woman still there? Priorities.

  • Love-in-Idleness is groing tired ot things being replaced by other things.

<HollyhockGod> The scent of stew wafts down temptingly from above, much saltier than it smelled before.

  • Nomen winks at the woman

<HollyhockGod> You cannot actually see the woman. She is a feature of Sarabande's divination.

<Sarabande> Do I know where she is?

<Vauncey> I see! Or, I suppose, not.

<Sarabande> (we dammit)

<HollyhockGod> …unless you have some power for flirting with people in other people's divinations that I missed.

<Vauncey> Something to work towards.

<HollyhockGod> I suppose you know where she was. /points

<Darryl> (What if she offers you dinner? Then you have to either turn her down or let your stew go to waste.)

  • Sarabande points the way. By forming a large arrow shape, and flying backwards and forwards for emphasis.

<HollyhockGod> Oh Malachi, Oh Malachi, you are the pointing bumblebye.

  • Vauncey flips through his ledger. The pages are darkened with pencilled notes. He frowns at one page, nodding to himself, then flips the ledger shut. "Well, what do you say? Back for a bite, or shall we have a look around?"

<Vauncey> (Domain 2 miracle: can I infer anything about this place from the magnitude and nature of its property taxes?)

<Love-in-Idleness> (Also, anything here in the process of becoming itself, ala the Sight?)

<HollyhockGod> An interesting question… hm.

<HollyhockGod> There's supposed to be a Chancel here, only… not yet.

<HollyhockGod> Lir, Imperator of Dreams and Avarice, gave notice of an intention to build a Chancel here about ten years from now, when he can bring his current sortie in the spirit world to a close.

<Love-in-Idleness> Can I incarnate into it?

<HollyhockGod> Well, you can incarnate into the blossomingness of it.

<Love-in-Idleness> What do I sense when I do so? What is it trying to become?

<Love-in-Idleness> Or rather, how.

<HollyhockGod> It is a Chancel! And a mine.

<HollyhockGod> It is blossoming… surrepetitiously!

<HollyhockGod> And too soon.

<HollyhockGod> Somebody has built this place early and hoped nobody would notice.

<Love-in-Idleness> If I extend myself into a Greater Incarnation, can I try and trace this process back to some source or influence?

  • Vauncey checks his pocket watch to double-check that it isn't ten years later. But no, it's definitely now. The nerve.

<Nomen> (I don't think we know anything of that yet)

<HollyhockGod> That's outside the scope of Incarnation.

<HollyhockGod> You're present in the now!

<HollyhockGod> But you can't read its memories.

<Love-in-Idleness> But someone, somewhere, is spurring it into being.

<Love-in-Idleness> Trying to tend it as a secret, precious garden.

<HollyhockGod> You can feel yourself being spurred!

<HollyhockGod> Most of the actual work is being done by tiny gnomes.

<Vauncey> "Tch. People can do as they like, but there are procedures to follow. We'll have to look into it, I suppose."

<HollyhockGod> This work involves a lot of mining precious stones.

<Vauncey> He says that before the gnomes. After the gnomes he's like "gnomes!"

<Darryl> Wait, are you conducting an audit of that mine?

  • Love-in-Idleness returns to her own body and shares what little she's learned.

<Nomen> back up a bit, we're seeing the lake or the palace

<HollyhockGod> The lake replaced the palace with suspicious swiftness!

<HollyhockGod> If there was a palace.

<HollyhockGod> Your certainty about that is eroding!

  • Sarabande hums.

<Nomen> Ah man I don't like that

<Sarabande> "Is that palace hiding from us, or did it realise it does not exist yet?"

<Nomen> "Maybe it's both?"

<Nomen> "It might have noticed it shouldn't be here, and tried to hide so we don't start taxing it"

<Nomen> "I say we tax it aniway"

<HollyhockGod> That's the spirit!

<Nomen> "Vauncey, you have the forms I presume?"

<Love-in-Idleness> "This is why we're never invited to parties."

  • Vauncey cracks his knuckles and pulls a sheaf of documents from the inside of his blazer. "You can go to parties without being invited," he advises. "Just look like you belong." He taps his pencil on the page. "What do you estimate the square footage is?"

<Nomen> "Meh, after I went to that party where the Power of Illusion disguised himself perfectly as Lord Entropy and got wasted on mead, every other party is kinda bland."

<HollyhockGod> And thus it was that the Tenacious and Taxing One did enact an assessment most atrocious! In red ink, even!

<HollyhockGod> Now I guess you just have to deliver it.

<Nomen> (I'm also gonna start a project, on how we started taxing properties by the cube footage, rather than square. I think height should count too!)

<Darryl> I think there is an audit going on and I would like to incarnate in it.

<Vauncey> (that is a great idea. should we look into other dimensions?)

<Nomen> (Sure, why not)

<Vauncey> We could definitely use the assistance of a professional auditor. I'm not quite sure where the palace has gotten off to.

<HollyhockGod> Yeah, someone's got to interview all those gnomes.

<HollyhockGod> Do they all have their W2s done?

<HollyhockGod> Well, I say gnomes. Right now there's just a lake.

<Darryl> Well, then the obvious first step is to interview the lake.

<Darryl> Who has got a dihydrogen monoxide-to-english translator?

<HollyhockGod> Lakes speak English!

<HollyhockGod> Well known fact.

<Nomen> They don't even need to form words with wateR?

<HollyhockGod> Nah.

<HollyhockGod> In Mythic Earth everything has a spirit and can speak.

<Darryl> Alright. My professional advice is that we avoid spooking the lake. One person should talk to it while the others loiter a few dozen meters back with obvious disinterest in any bodies of water.

<Vauncey> "Ah, perhaps I'll let you do the honours. I got in a spot of trouble last time I was in Mythic Earth."

<Nomen> Do stews count as a body of water, now I'm kinda hungry

<Darryl> Not that stew. It's mostly salt by now.

<Nomen> Good, Nomen is gonna go grab it and bring it here so they can eat

<Vauncey> While someone else (who? someone else!) interviews the lake, Vauncey casts about for signs of gnome activity. You know, like…tiny hats or what have you.

<HollyhockGod> Excellent! Never audit imaginary palaces on an empty stomach.

<HollyhockGod> Gnome activity is conspicuously absent.

<Darryl> Alright, if you two are taking yourselves out of it, it's down to Sarabande or Love-in-Idleness. Since lakes are inimical to bees, I suggest Love-in-Idleness.

<HollyhockGod> Honestly you probably dreamed those gnomes.

<Love-in-Idleness> She's certainly open to it.

<Darryl> Excellent! Just mosey up to that lake and ask if its seen any palaces or underground complexes about.

<Sarabande> "We should probably point out that our divination was cut off - the woman who did that may be hiding other things. Perhaps we should talk to her."

<Vauncey> I wonder what the gnome dream says about my psyche.

  • Love-in-Idleness approaches the lake, transforming as she does so to take on the mein of her own Estate. Flowers blossom in her hair, and her skin is a riot of green, with lips like actual, not-metaphorical rose petals.

<Love-in-Idleness> "Blossoming's Regal calls upon you, gentle spirit of these waters, that we may speak and know one another."

<Nomen> (do I turn those roses and flowers into..well, night bloomers?)

<HollyhockGod> "Oh, hey."

<HollyhockGod> (That is between you and Love-in-Idleness.)

<Love-in-Idleness> "Tell me, what do you know of palaces?" she asks, her voice the practiced honey of a former courtesan.

<Nomen> (I'm gonna go with no. She probably should allow herself whatever flowers she wnats for body partS)

<Love-in-Idleness> (She's technically doing an Emulation, and can pump the Affliction higher than yours, so she's probably not bothered :P)

<HollyhockGod> "Wow, it would be wonderful if there was a palace down here. It's quite dull."

<Love-in-Idleness> "So, you don't know anything about any plans for this place?"

<HollyhockGod> "Does someone have plans for this place? Am I going to be gentrified?"

<Darryl> That puddle knows more than its telling. Turn up the heat!

  • Love-in-Idleness mutters something in circa 1870s Cantonese slang.

<Love-in-Idleness> "Are you lying to me?" she asks, still sweet, but barbed.

<HollyhockGod> "Water would I have to lie about?" says the lake, attempting to sound innocent via water puns.

<Darryl> Insinuate that you're looking for a place to put some sort of horrible mud-belching lily, and that they grow best in lakes who keep secrets.

  • Sarabande hums quietly in the background. That intricate dance of bees is definitely not important.

<Love-in-Idleness> "Tell me, little lake," she says at last, her eyes burning with noble energy, "what is it that you most want in life?"

<Sarabande> (Apart from the fact that it's a Lesser Creation of Cooperation between the lake's desire to talk to people and Love's desire to find out what it knows about palaces and such.)

<HollyhockGod> The lake is forced to be cooperative!

<HollyhockGod> "I guess I mostly want to fool you. But I guess we both know that isn't going to happen." The lake sighs.

<HollyhockGod> "What do the desires of an illusionary lake come down to, in the end?"

<Love-in-Idleness> "Not a hill of beans," she replies, "now tell us the truth, or I'll rot you on the vine."

<HollyhockGod> "Well, you can wander on down through me to the palace," says the lake. "Since I'm not really here and all. Just mind the deadly traps."

<Love-in-Idleness> "Lovely."

<Nomen> "I take point. Can't let you get yourself scarred can we?"

  • Sarabande hums.

<Darryl> I would like to use a Lesser Enchantment of Audits to make it so that this interaction was hopefully for the best for this illusory lake.

<HollyhockGod> That's very thoughtful.

<Sarabande> "We were going to offer. We keep forgetting some of you are unfazed by deadly traps, and it seemed better to risk a few of us than the whole of one of you."

<HollyhockGod> You let Nomen wander on ahead.

<HollyhockGod> Thanks to his efforts, you're able to avoid the pit of deadly spikes, and the pit of deadly jelly, and the mashy spike plate.

<HollyhockGod> Well, the rest of you are. Hooray for immortality!

<Darryl> Does it look like the deadly traps are up to code?

<HollyhockGod> They seem a bit slapdash.

<Darryl> Vauncey, let's mark that as a demerit.

<Vauncey> "Already noted."

<HollyhockGod> Eventually you pass through the bottom side of the illusionary lake and arrive at the front gates of a massive stone palace.

<HollyhockGod> The gates are closed and guarded by deadly gnomes.

  • Vauncey steps up to the deadly gnomes and introduces himself. "…and so we'll need to deliver these forms," he explains. It does /sound/ reasonable!

<HollyhockGod> In the face of the forms, the gnomes are forced to let you through instead of casting Gem Missile.

<HollyhockGod> You are escorted through marbled halls to meet the lady of the palace, who introduces herself as Fand mac Lir.

<HollyhockGod> Honestly, she mostly looks like a bunch of floating veils, but presumably there's a woman in there somewhere.

<Nomen> "How does your mother, Flidais?"

<HollyhockGod> "Very well, thank you. And how charming of you to find us," she says. "Maybe next time I'll disguise the front door as a whale."

<HollyhockGod> "It's all a bit disordered right now, since we've just moved in."

<Sarabande> Is this the woman from our vision?

<HollyhockGod> "Most of my records are still in storage, even."

<HollyhockGod> Yep!

<Darryl> I think she's trying to hide cooked books.

<Love-in-Idleness> They're better than raw.

  • Vauncey smiles disarmingly. "I understand — we're quite happy to wait while you get things in order. But, of course, we do have to stay to oversee the process." He sounds a touch apologetic. "You understand. Oh, but we brought stew."
  • Sarabande realises that beeswax stew is not the most appetising of things - we need a sweet! It's time for Honey Production IN THE NICK OF TIME!

<HollyhockGod> "We'd be delighted to have you. And we wouldn't dare expect our guests to cook for themselves, even in these disordered circumstances. Someone bring the roast practically-real dragon!"

  • Darryl thinks that the roast illusion and exigent honey looks delicious, but he can't audit the meal because there's no accounting for taste.

<HollyhockGod> :|

<Vauncey> (is there bonus xp for puns? no wait you need to do a project. well, that was good)

  • HollyhockGod weeps
  • Love-in-Idleness emotes extradiegetic pride

<HollyhockGod> The queen under the mountain praises your honey and offers you all rooms for the night.

  • Vauncey sets the documents down on an end table and takes a seat, rubbing his hands together. "Ah, thank you, it's been quite a day. You know, I haven't had dragon since before the war."

<Vauncey> Whoops! Let's just resequence those two posts. There, good as new.

<HollyhockGod> "Ah, the war," muses Fand. "You do seem somewhat familiar."

<HollyhockGod> "But that's a story for another day."

<HollyhockGod> As is the next installment of your epic audit, IN THE HALL OF THE MAKE-BELIEVE QUEEN, or GEAS ME ONCE, GEAS ME TWICE, YOU CAN ACCOUNT ON GEASING ME THRICE!

<Darryl> We'll have her quasiactual treasures, just you wait!

  • Love-in-Idleness slow claps for the narrator.

<Vauncey> Bravo!

<Vauncey> Darryl won this session, I think.

<Vauncey> Though he may regret using his best shot so early!

<Darryl> I apologize very much for showing up late.

<Darryl> But luckily you all knew when an audit was needful!

<Vauncey> I'm told lateness is fashionable.

  • You are now known as RandBrittain
  • Vauncey is now known as Gayo
  • Darryl is now known as Rimblade

<Nomen> Especially for the bride

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