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Blue Rose: Cat's Cradle (Actual Play)

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  • #76
    It’s time for a new story. Ready for tea and murder?

    Session LIII

    The Art of Murder Part I

    Ashlin’s Reports

    Report from Ash, decoded by Kait, sent 5 Gravihain

    You know, I think I like Garnet. It’s properly sized, for one – not quite Aldis City sized, but then again, where is? Still, it’s big enough to get lost in, and it has lovely roofs. There’s also the sea, which is quite beautiful, and I enjoy boating more than Jadzia, though that says less than I mean to. It is Aldin, which, if I’m being frank, I much prefer, but it is such a crossroads that it gets some interesting people. I could do with a little less murder/murderous intent.

    Of course, if there was less of that, I wouldn’t have call to be here, and besides, I’m given to understand it is perhaps not the usual state of affairs. Our current job is certainly connected with it, so let’s begin there: a long time ago, across the sea in Lar’tya, there was a pair of buddies who were definitely not friends with benefits because one of them was Lar caste, and the other was Hagen caste. Still, they went on adventures together, and the Lar was so fond of the Hagen that they gave them (and their family) the land that a certain bunch of mines were located on. Cut to now – their families are definitely not fucking (because they dislike each other) and the Lar family, who still own the mine, are somewhat displeased, shall we say, that one of the Hagen families (you know the type) owns the land. The Lar are threatening to stop working that mine, divesting the Hagen of their main source of income, and I’m given to understand it has come to blows on a few occasions.

    So our task is to mediate, as it often is. Both families have sent a representative and an assistant: Kamya of the Lar caste with her assistant Midra of the Bleyin caste and Pari of the Hagen caste and her assistant Jairaj of the Hagen caste. We arrived two days ago, they arrived today and in another 2 days, there shall be a salon hosted by them to which all Lar’tyan and Lar’tyan-curious are invited. Then the negotiations shall begin. In addition to mediation, we are also in charge of security. As Jadzia is quick to point out, assassination does seem to often be on the table where Lar’tya is concerned. Specifically, Arjun stands to lose ground should Kamya and her family gain advantage in this negotiation, and we know his stance on assassinations. (It’s yes. His stance is yes.)

    We arranged to have a full floor of the hotel (the eighth of nine) held aside for our use. It has eight two room suites. Kamya and Midra obviously can’t share a room so they get a full suite, and so do Pari and Jairaj, for fairness sake, even though they can share a room should they desire. Leathea Draun, a woman who should clearly read as an Aldin equivalent of Hagen caste (as Darcy, Jana, Jadzia and Tanith do) will stay in the room adjacent to Pari and Jairaj, while Davro Telris, a man who works as a scribe and thus clearly should belong to the Bleyin case (as Maria does) will stay nearest Kamya and Midra. Hopefully that all will be scaffolding that doesn’t come into play, but I can hardly introduce one of them later should I need them, so I’ll just practice my quick changes until one of them is needed. The others are staying across from the diplomats, and Tanvi is staying in one of the two remaining suites.

    Tanvi, you say? But she’s not one of your team, I hear you say from across time and space. You are as correct as you are beautiful, but she is far from the only colleague, compatriot, ally or old problem we have run into in the few days we’ve been here. I met her the first night, and since she was in town looking for work, and I had no desire to risk having to work against her again, I offered on behalf of the group to hire her to help with security. Set a thief to catch a thief and all that, yes? She has alarmed and trapped the outside of all the windows except for one in each of my suites. There is some kind of gas trap in each of the diplomats’ rooms, as well as a temporary semi-immunity trick, so that they can get out if they need to trigger it. She will also possibly rig up a snare in the closets (which have their own window, for whatever reason), if the diplomats are ok with giving up use of the closet. The rest of us have them.

    I found her while I was trawling for rumors, but she gave the most concerning news of all. Pisha is here in Garnet, and while it is quite reasonable that she would avoid the woman who spent some time trying to kidnap her and take her home, she also avoided me (though I could just have been collateral damage, such as it is). She did respond to Maria’s Psychic Contact, and even gave Maria her address, making a big deal about how she trusted her and Aisha wouldn’t have, not that I blame her. We were obviously worried about a relapse, after all. At that point, we also knew that Arjun was coming into town on the same boat as the diplomats, so we had significant reason to be worried. Jadzia says she saw her in the crowd this morning, with an emotionless mask on, so I don’t think the worry is over.

    We knew about Arjun from another old friend whose path intersected ours. Jana’s friend Marcus is serving as a bodyguard to an investigator by the name of Tandel Tane. What I knew of her matched with information Tanith was able to dig up. She has a stellar record, with only one mystery going unsolved. That one was questionable, as she had a suspect, but not enough solid evidence to have him arrested. That suspect wound up dead in a ditch, which is not completely out of the ordinary for his line of work, but she is known to have something of a temper. She is reportedly terrifying when angry, and stronger than she looks. Descriptions about how she throws people around, and that her voice gets very high, are quite similar to descriptions of our Kernish agent Camilla Monette when she gets… riled. And as it so happens, they are second cousins.

    That hasn’t come up yet. Mostly she has just been exceedingly undiplomatically direct, super serious, very observant, and made good use of the Read Object Arcana. Tanith is pissed at her, because Tandel called Tanith her assistant in front of the Lar’tyans who Tanith was assisting her in interviewing. She also likes to get up at dawn, and doesn’t care who doesn’t, even if they are foreign royalty.

    Her investigation, after all, was into a murder, the murder of an Aldin citizen on the ship. Still likely to be related to our mission, as Kamya had been staying in that room until the day before the murder. She apparently did not find it up to her standards, and made a stink about it, so there is still the possibility it was correctly targeted since it was not a quiet switch, but with the way they were killed, it could have also been a message. It was a brutal killing. All I could see was the blood and the mess and that was enough to give me that impression – Tandel’s Object Reading revealed that the woman who did it lifted them up on a pair of curved swords and ripped them in half. The killer clearly has Sound Shaping, since the walls were not that thin. They were wearing Lar’tyan traditional garb, though that got tossed over the side of the boat. The killer was careful to keep her face covered, however, and Tandel had the impression that she was excited by the hunt aspect of things.

    Tandel’s preliminary questions of everyone on board the ship didn’t reveal much. Two people stood out to me (I stuck with her while she interviewed the non-Hagen and Non-Lar, for translation, as Tanith was interviewing the Hagen and Lar): a Bleyin named Delaja who, well, floated most of the time, and was keenly interested in what was going on, even asking questions of Tandel in return, which had her a bit flustered and a Nuit named Kiana who was mostly just responding rebelliously to Tandel’s officiousness, though part of that involved being very evasive, so it’s not something that can just be pushed aside. My guess is that she has come to Aldin to escape the caste system, however, as it didn’t seem to fit her well.

    The interviews shall continue, some at the hotel with us, and some at the salon in a few days – it should be easier for Tandel to speak with the Hagen and the Lar there. It will be good to have her eyes there anyway. She was already quite helpful in identifying some wine bottles that the restaurant where the salon is to be held had been holding aside for the salon whose labels had been switched since they were bottled. It didn’t turn out to be poisoned, though there was a foreign substance in it. My dagger could tell it wasn’t lethal though, and nothing happened when I drank it. At a guess, it was a test to see if we would notice. I’ll have to decide whether we want to pass fully or not. Probably. Poison is still a danger – I can’t test every single thing every moment, and maybe it would be better to simply scare them off that tactic, even if it means they’ll came from some other direction.

    I haven’t even mentioned Ava Longshadow and Red Handed Maggie’s reconcilliation negotiations, or Vicious Whispers’ vacation bar-hopping with Melpomene, and Annis and Minerva’s tussle at the docks, largely because they probably (probably) don’t have anything to do with any jobs we or our allies are involved in. Annis and Minerva I actually spoke to, seeing as I have a fairly decent reputation with their boss. They are just having some business run-ins with a local rival, seems highly unlikely to have anything to do with us. I will have to keep an ear out for any rumors of gem sales. I haven’t seen any of the others directly, just heard rumors. I’m mostly just hoping that Vicious Whispers isn’t here for an assassination job (especially as the salon restaurant is hiring a number of seafolk to help with hospitality at the salon). I’ll probably need to track her down and have a conversation. Unless I can rope one of the others into it...

    [Cloven hoof mark]

    Tanith’s Diary

    I always enjoy new challenges for my team. This is going to be difficult, but I am so proud of them already.

    A section of jungle with gem mines, including diamonds, is the cause of strife. A family within the Lar Caste and a family within the Hagan Caste. While brotherhood lead to the Hagan clan owning the land the mine was on, the Lar family who own the mine are tired of paying for it to be brought through. Some violence has happened on a small scale, so we must fix it. Of course, there is more to it.

    These Lar, lead by Kamya, are rivals of Arjun. He would love to see the talks fail; his enemies would like to see it succeed. Well, succeed in Kamya’s favor. Parai, the lead Hagan, seems like a fierce woman who cuts a different figure than the sublime Kamya, who is elegance personified. Her assistant, Jiaraj, is also Hagan, a mountain of a man, while Kamya’s is the clever seeming Nidra of the Bleyn Caste.

    Several things further complicate this. For one thing, Arjun is in the city for a Salon that is supposed to take place before formal negotiations begin, a chance for everyone to get to know each other. Pisha has also made an appearance. Yes, Pisha is here. Whether it is her Pisha persona or Aisha remains to be seen. She is an expert liar but seems disinclined to cause us trouble. Still, I see no other reason for her to be here now.

    The ship the diplomats arrived on, the Tidal Jewel, had a murder on it, and Aldin of Lar’tyan descent. The Aldin was in a room Kamya had been in until there was a switch. An inspector from Aldis City, Tandel Tane, is here, and she is arrogant as any Lar. Still she has an impressive mind and sense of perception. I still want to smack the smirk off her face.

    We are not without allies of our own. Jana’s beau, the now Rose Knight Marcus Wynn, is Tandel Tane’s guard but loyal to his lady love. And Tanvi was hired by Ashlin to help us. The master trapper has set about rigging almost all the windows on the floor of the hotel we commandeered and rigged some of the walk in closets to be dangerous for anyone breaking in that way. Including mine, sadly. I told them we have three women in our room we need our walk-in closet.

    Ash has not limited themself to hiring Tanvi. They tracked down Annis and Minerva, Annette’s agents, to make sure they were not involved. They discovered Vicious Whisper is in town, with Melpomene. And they found out about another negotiation between two pirate queens, Ava Longshadow and Red-Handed Maggie. Vicious Whisper is the one I am concerned about, and Melpomene seems to confirm a connection to Llorona.

    Others have not been idle. Darcy called on Amaiala and Nanea who are staying here while deciding their direction in life, and he and Maria went to the restaurant the Salon will be out, determining it to be utterly indefensible. Many ways in and out. However, Maria seemed to endear herself after Tandel seemed to tick off the staff. Tandel was not useless though, she spotted some altered wine bottles that slipped past Darcy and Maria. Ash determined they were not poisoned, but best we can tell it was a test to see if they could pass scrutiny. They could not.

    Ash and Jadzia also familiarized themselves with the roofs. Jadzia in particular found a roost where she could watch the diplomat’s windows.

    The diplomats have finally arrived, so after two days of preparing we can see how it goes. Hopefully it will be enough.

    End Session LIII

    Not much to add here. Tanvi, Pisha, and Arjun should all be familiar. Camilla came up in Dark Tides Cresting but wound up playing a small role. Arjun was in O Fortuna after having been discussed by Pisha earlier. Pisha and Tanvi have shown up a few times. If any other apparently familiar character is mentioned feel free to ask

    I think that covers it. Comments and Questions welcome
    Last edited by Baroness Nerak; 14th February 2020, 02:53 AM.
    Running: Blue Rose AGE (Cat's Cradle) Blue Rose AGE (Big Damn Heroes)
    "That Queer Goth Chick." "You are going to have to be more specific"