When Falls the Hammer of Night
<dry> It’s the afternoon of a gray, dreary day in Sylmore. Business is slow, traffic is slow, everything is slow; it’s just that sort of day. Happenings, however, are afoot…
<dry> [Time: Afternoon. Weather: Oppressive, sullen. Place: Common room of the Full Plate]
<dry> [Free to Act: All]
<sissil> Sissil seems rather comfterable with the surprisingly gloomy weather. Or at least, more at ease then she is in the bright sun. Still, she has a frown on her face as she looks at her drink.
<bira> “…although if you’re looking for an introductory treatment, Gaetal the Elder’s Commentaries on the Second Treatise provides a decent conversational treatment.” Bira had been discussing Aska and her Treatises nearly all day whenever they were together. Apparently the mention Rellis had made of a supposed fourth treatise had stirred something in her.
- Seong is idly trying to solve her puzzle-box, half paying attention to Bira.
<zekki> While exploding someones drink in their face the next time they pick it up, it would not help the situation in the least. So Zekki is pretending to nap.
<sissil> Sissil sighs. “Magical theory was never something I was all that interested in… though I seem to recall an odd note about one of the Treatises mentioning an Empire on which the sun never set.”
- Seong “The sun never setting? Sounds like torture for you.”
<bira> “Mmm,” Bira mumbles around a mouthful of mug. “It referred more to the amount of land they held. At any given time, something in the Asirian Empire was assumably in daylight.”
<corwyn> Corwyn has been flitting about most of the evening in preparation, this time when she pops into the common room, she’s dressed in what passes for the uniform for the boarding house Lucille was at – she claims it’s so she can still blend in somewhat should things go awry. As she steps in the door, she crosses her arms, looking to the others. “Is everyone still okay with this? We’re
<corwyn> inviting a lot of trouble.”
<sissil> “Compared to what?”
<zekki> “Another lecture on magical history anecdotes?”
- Seong “I can’t imagine a life where I’m not inviting trouble.”
<bira> “Ah, you were awake.” Bira elbows Zekki playfully, then sobers a bit. “We should probably ask ourselves why we’re doing this. Challenging a woman who might be a lich and is certainly in possession of a large amount of high-energy substance. Not conducive to a peaceful life.”
- Seong “Peace is relative.”
<sissil> “… The alternative is letting such go unquestioned. And then wondering what happened when the world blows up on us.”
<sissil> “Not really a winning choice that.”
<bira> “Fair point. For me, it’s a little more about solving the mystery. Who is she, why is she doing this, why frame an innocent girl, that sort of thing. I want to know, and write it down so the future will know. Ensuring there is a future to know about it is a plus.”
- Seong gives her puzzle box an annoyed look and puts it away. “They’re playing with a substance that could put the world out of balance. For their own benefit, I presume.”
<corwyn> Corwyn shakes her head. “All I care about is finding out happened to Lucille. If such an… apparently wonderful really took this kind of turn, or if someone has set her up terribly.”
- Seong “She might be a willing part of the conspiracy. Don’t forget that.”
<sissil> "so… the sneaky of us will go play bait and swat. The rest of us go try to chase down questions raised by books on magical treaty, and we meet back here around midnight or so if nothing goes wrong?
- Seong nods slowly. “Yes.”
<bira> Bira drains her mug and closes her book. “Sounds like a plan.”
<dry> Courses set, the groups split up and go their separate ways—one group searching for evidence of what might have happened to the missing girl, the other searching for lore that might shed some light on Sterton’s research…
<dry> The way to Chartreuse House is not long; traffic is slow enough that there aren’t a lot of eyes to see Corwyn leave the Full Plate—or Seong shadowing her. It’s also slow enough that the plainclothes watchman lurking outside Chartreuse House isn’t able to conceal his presence from Corwyn and Seong; he’s lurking there, in an alley down the street, clandestinely watching the entrance.
<dry> [Place: Outside Chartreuse House. Free to Act: Corwyn, Seong]
- Seong keeps out of sight, silently signaling she’s ready to Corwyn. She’s not ENTIRELY sure she could knock out a watchman before he was able to call for help.
<corwyn> While it is Corwyn who sees Seong’s signal, it’s not Corwyn who approaches the boarding house. Rather, it appears to be Lucille, even dressed in some of her usual clothes – the
<corwyn> results of a long talk with Rosalyn and the studying of sketches provided by the Inspector. The disguise likely isn’t perfect, but she hopes it’ll be enough to get by. It should be enough, at least, to fool a guard like this. But getting spotted now… that’s not part of her plan. And with Seong signal, she sets about attempt to make her way past as stealthily as she can.
<dry> The watchman glances down the street, but his gaze slides right past Corwyn, missing her entirely.
<corwyn> Corwyn lets out a sigh, giving a quick back to where Seong waits, before slinking past the guardsman and towards the door. With no further impedements, she slowly turns the knob, attempting to enter without further noise
- Seong is still waiting quietly, unless Corwyn wanted her inside the house. In that case, her plan would be to come in through a window.
<dry> The door opens quietly; it’s well oiled. A bell hangs from it, but Corwyn’s careful entrance doesn’t cause it to jangle. There’s the sound of someone bustling about the back of the house—probably the old woman, judging by the sound of the footfalls and the audible humming.
<corwyn> Eyes narrowing, Corwyn slips in to the building, looking momentarily for the source of the bustling. She ultimately decides to pay it no mind, instead making her way toward the steps – attempting to be mindful of the creaky step she hasn’t forgotten about along the way.
<dry> The stairs are silent, thanks to Corwyn remembering about that step—the bustling downstairs continues unabated.
<dry> Lucille’s room is unlocked, and that door, too, opens silently; there are a few sounds from the other rooms, but thankfully no one appears to be out in the second story hallway at the moment.
<dry> The room itself appears unchanged.
<corwyn> Corwyn lets out a long sigh as she closes the door behind her, thankful that the stairs didn’t give her away. Taking in a deep breath, she nods, going to the window and peering out for Seong.
- Seong is watching the front and the watchman at the same time. She makes eye contact with Corwyn, and gives a little wave.
<corwyn> Finding a piece of paper, Corwyn writes a note, for Rosalyn – “I’m here. Waiting for a good moment.” With a look back into the hall, once it’s clear she moves to Rosalyn’s door and slips it under, before making her way back to Lucille’s room. For the moment, it’s a waiting game it would seem.
- Zekki is unobtrusively somewhat near the back, with Ambrutus rolling in the grass over in that park by the way. Terrifying the parents and thrilling the children by being a Vicious Dog and chasing the squealing spawn until they are ‘defeated’ by vigorous kisses.
- Dzeintra is now known as Zekki
<dry> She doesn’t have to wait long. Footfalls can be heard in the room about a minute after Corwyn slides the note under, then a minute or two after that, there’s a soft knock at Lucille’s door.
<corwyn> Corwyn wrinkles her brow, glanving at the door. She assumes it to be Rosalyn, but- she can’t be too sure. Still, she doesn’t have much choice as she makes her way to the door, turning hte knob and slowly pulling it open.
<dry> Rosalyn stands outside, wearing a rather plain dress. She blinks on seeing Corwyn as Lucille, then ducks in quickly.
<corwyn> “Hey,” Corwyn says in a low voice, closing the door quickly after Rosalyn. She’s doing her best at impersonating Lucille down to her voice, but that’s always the trickiest part – and the part least covered by her magic. “Sorry about all a’ this. I’m hopin’ it works out.”
<dry> Rosalyn peers closely at Corwyn; she seems a bit stressed, but manages a smile. “You… you look the part. For a moment I almost—” she breaks off, takes a deep breath, and summons calm. “As do I. Have you spoken to Miss Chartreuse yet?”
<corwyn> “No. I wanted t’ get up here first. Get my bearings. I had t’ sneak past one a’ the watchmen as it was.” Corwyn glances at the door again, then back. “I wanted t’ let you know I was here first. But I suppose now’s as good a time as any.”
<dry> Rosalyn nods, frowning in concentration. “I think so, too. Do you have an explanation for why you were gone?”
<corwyn> “I, uh-” This had always been the weakest part of Corwyn’s plan. She’d had a few explanations in mind, but none of them ever really stuck in her head. “Sudden trip t’ visit family had been my go t’. I dunno how well that sells, though. Sabbatical over a broken heart perhaps? Need t’ get away after the professor died, not realizin’ it implicated her was a thought too…”
<dry> Rosalyn considers carefully; her calm is betrayed only by the fact that she’s gnawing her lower lip slightly. “Lucille didn’t have a family. None of us do here, really; that’s why we’re all here. The… professor… was her only relation, but she was close to him, so that might work.” Rosalyn nods.
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<corwyn> Corwyn nods, before offering a smile to Rosalyn. “I’ll do with that, then. If it makes it seem like more of a misunderstandin’, the better, right?” She tries to sound reassuring, both for Rosalyn and for herself, putting a hand on the younger girl’s shoulder. SHe takes a deep breath, and with a nod she makes her way toward the door.
<dry> Rosalyn nods. “I’ll ‘greet’ you at the front counter. Ring the bell when you’re ready.”
<corwyn> Corwyn nods, slipping her way back out the door and downstairs – again mindful of the crack, as well of any movement or people she heads or sees, before finally making her way up to the front counter. With a heavy sigh, she closes her eyes and rings the bell.
<dry> Rosalyn plays her part well. “Welcome to—” she begins… then, looking stunned, she raises a hand to her mouth. “L-Lucille! Hold on just a moment. I’ll get Miss Chartreuse—” she exclaims… then waits
<dry> The bustling in the back stops immediately, and there’s a loud thump; sounds like a laundry basket being dropped, followed by heavy footfalls.
<corwyn> Corwyn blinks, trying to look surprised by Rosalyn’s reaction to her. “Wha- Rosalyn!” she calls after her, feigning confusion.
<dry> Old Mrs. Chartreuse bursts onto the scene, breathing heavily. “Lucille! I was—” she begins, then frowns, tilting her head. “Lucille? You look… different.” She squints, leaning closer.
<corwyn> Corwyn leans back reflexively as Mrs. Chartreuse leans inro her , turning her head to obscure a better look. “I’m- really tired, maybe it’s that,” she replies in a small voice, eyes sliding back to look at both her and Rosalyn. “What- what’s all the commotion?”
- Zekki has quit IRC (Ping timeout: 183 seconds)
<dry> The old woman eyes ‘Lucille’ for a moment longer, shakes her head. “I… child, you’ve been missing for two days now,” she says slowly.
<corwyn> Corwyn frowns, hanging her head a bit. “I’m… I’m sorry. I had to get away after…” she wrinkles her nose a bit, "After what happened to the professor. I meant to leave a note, but just… " She falls silent again, hands on the counter in front of her. “I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to go missing!”
<dry> That, at least, seems to placate the old woman. “Oh, dearie…” she says, pulling a handkerchief out and dabbing Corwyn’s eyes. “You know, if you’d wanted some time off, you could’ve asked. I’m not that hard-hearted,” she sighs. “You’re not alone, you know; you still have all of us. We’re here for you.” She sighs sympathetically, then reaches out and pulls Corwyn into a hug.
<dry> After a few seconds, the old woman steps back, composing herself. “Well. You’re back now. We’re glad to know that you’re alright; the police may have their questions later, but let them ask. No girl of mine is a murderer,” she says, looking ready to kick someone in the teeth—probably Raines, if he was around.
<dry> “So. Do you need the rest of the day off, or are you ready to get right back into things?”
<corwyn> Corwyn is surprised by the hug, yelping a bit as she’s pulled into it. It takes her a moment before she returns the hug, sniffling. “I’ll- I’m sorry. I’ll try to remember that…” She steps away, hands folded in front of her and still looking down at the floor. “Can I have the rest of the day? I’ll… I’ll be ready tomorrow, I promise.”
<dry> The old woman nods after a moment. “Of course, dearie. We have Juliette covering your shifts; it won’t hurt to have her finish the day out,” she says, smiling kindly. She hesitates a moment longer, looking like she has to more to add, but settles for smiling apologetically. “Well. I have to finish a bit of laundry; work waits for no woman. Excuse me.” With that, she takes her leave; Rosalyn watches her go, pale as a sheet.
<corwyn> Corwyn stands there for a moment, still looking at the floor. It takes a moment, but she looks over at Rosalyn, and once she’s sture no one else is around, she gives a small smirk, and then makes her way upstairs. She hopes Rosalyn follows, if only so she can see how her performance was.
<dry> Rosalyn follows along quietly.
<dry> Once they’re both back in Lucille’s room, Rosalyn leans back against a wall, breathing heavily. “I thought she was going to see through you right there,” she says. “That would have been dreadful.”
<corwyn> Making ehr way back into Lucille’s room, Corwyn leaves the door cracked behind her, letting out a long sigh as she moves to sit at the edge of the bed. Pme Rosalyn is in and the door is shut, Corwyn offers a smile – perhaps a bit unnerving considering she still looks like Lucille. “I told you I could do it! I just gotta work on it a bit. Tomorrow will be better.” She takes a deep breath.
<corwyn> “Hopefully I won’t have to keep it up for long. Thank you, Rosalyn.”
<dry> Rosalyn looks at Corwyn, nods. “Hopefully not. Hopefully you’ll be able to lure whoever it was out, and… maybe we’ll find out what happened to Lucille.” She musters a tired smile, but it’s soon eclipsed by worry again.
<dry> “You will have to deal with the other girls, though. They’ll start filtering back in anytime… and then there’s her clients. Do you want a list of where she worked, so you can maybe familiarize yourself with the places before you go in tomorrow?”
<corwyn> “Hmm. I suppose that would help if I’m going to go back to her work tomorrow,” COrwyn responds thankfully, a finger placed against her chin. “I guess I didn’t plan on going back to her work while I was doing this, but… the way she made it sound, I thought it might sound suspicious to say otherwise…”
<dry> Rosalyn hesitates for a moment. “Missus Chartreuse is… very keen on a strong work ethic; she says it’s the single thing that will take you the furthest in life. It’s a sign of how glad she is to see you that she didn’t press.”
<corwyn> “Hmph. Well… I’ll have to do my best in Lucille’s stead, I guess. I’d hate to tarnish her reputation further.” SHe closes her eyes, nodding. "That’s lucky for us, at least.
<corwyn> Corwyn rubs at her face, standing up from the bed. “Do you think the other girls will stop by? Or can I play this as a… girl in mourning sort of thing, staying in here? Aside from you, of course.”
<dry> “They will almost certainly come by, though they may not stay long if you’re able to fool them as well as you did Missus Chartreuse.”
<dry> Rosalyn giggles nervously again. “I was sure she had you there…”
<corwyn> “So was I,” Corwyn remarks, leaning back a bit and looking up at the ceiling. She sits back down on the bed, not sure why she even stood to begin with. "I just have to hope no one stops by while I’m unprepared. “But it worked out. Practice makes perfect, after all.” She pauses. “What did you think? Any tips? Anything I didn’t do that Lucille might’ve?”
<dry> “No, you did well enough. Lucille was… kind to all of us.” She laughs, a little sadly. “Most of us don’t have family, or not anyone we’d care to claim, so… we’re the only family each other have.” After a moment, she giggles, this time with a little more humor.
<dry> “She could be a real firebrand if someone irritated her, though. I remember there was some thug who kept making passes at me on the job; Lucille went with me one day and told him that if he didn’t leave me alone, she’d use her magic and turn his ‘staff’ into a snake. I never saw him again after that.”
<corwyn> “Ha!” Corwyn gives a more genuine laugh at that, nodding. “Good t’ know, then! Hopefully it never comes t’ that, but at least if it does I know how t’ respond at least.” She clears her throat, realizing she’s slipped back into her accent. “Well… hopefully this ends out well. The House has a friend in me, at least. Even if you’re not always going to want it.”
<dry> Rosalyn looks vaguely quizzical at that, but after a moment, she just nods, smiling vaguely. “Alright, then. I’ll get you that list.” She starts for the door, then hesitates, looking back. “Just… be careful. I still don’t know what’s happened to Lucille, but… I fear the worst. And I’d rather not see someone else I count as a friend disappear.” With that said, she turns and is out the door.
<corwyn> “I think it’ll be fine,” Corwyn lies, hands on her knees as she waits for the list. She has no idea what happened to Lucille either, or if this’ll even work. She can only hope, after all. Hope that something comes of it.
<dry> A few minutes later, a list slides under the door. Sterton Alchemicals is on it, a few private residences, a ‘Maddigan Haberdaschery’, and an ‘Alen Jewels’.
<corwyn> Corwyn walks to the door, picking up the list. A bit surprised Rosalyn herself didn’t return, but probably for the best, she starts looking it over. “A haberdaschery?” she whispers to herself. “I might be in over my head on this…”