We'll Always Have Paris
Session 3 Log
[16:14] <st> Gawain stands triumphantly before Alexis and Cerise, arms crossed, ignoring the blood dripping down his arm onto his bathrobe.
[16:15] <voxpvoxd> Alexis: “Pardon me, Priscus. Did you say ‘going Invictus’?”
[16:15] <mirdath> Cerise folds her arms. “I think he did.”
[16:17] <st> “The Circle has spurned my requests for assistance. Forsake me? Their most promising disciple? I’ve grown tired of pretending to belong to that group of malcontents and fools, so I shall seek security elsewhere.”
[16:17] <mirdath> “Assistance for what, exactly?”
[16:20] <st> “Help with Vogler’s aggression. I hadn’t predicted he’d move so soon, and when Johan was confronted, well, I contacted them.”
[16:20] <st> “They told me to wait! As if my servants weren’t deserting me, as if I wasn’t anticipating Vogler’s men besieging my estate…”
[16:23] <mirdath> “So much for the appearance of neutrality! Does Josephine know we’re coming, or are we going to surprise her as well?”
[16:24] <st> “Josephine? Josephine has been missing for months. I suspect Vogler killed her.”
[16:26] <mirdath> “Oh, that’s too bad. I hadn’t heard. Who’s in charge there now?”
[16:26] <voxpvoxd> Alexis: “Forgive me, you said you requested assistance, and were rejected… I was under the impression that you were in charge of the Acolytes.”
[16:27] <st> “Bernard Cavey, a ventrue, has assumed the mantle of leadership. The Invictus has become a shell of its former self, but with my arrival I suspect they shall feel more secure. Did I say my arrival? Excuse me, I meant our arrival, of course.”
[16:28] <st> Gawain sits back down. “I was in charge of the Circle in Paris…all twelve of them. The Acolytes have always been more powerful out in the country, and so I had to suckle at the teat of their leader in France.”
[16:29] <voxpvoxd> “Leader in France?” Alexis glances at Cerise here. Is she any less lost than he is?
[16:31] <st> Gawain waves his hand and sips from his bottle. “It’s beyond your understanding, neonates. Just be here tomorrow night, and dress appropriately. Good lord, the number of times I’ve had to introduce some idiot who fancies themselves a warlock, wearing a bird or a loincloth or nothing at all…”
[16:33] <mirdath> “I’ll be here. If you haven’t gotten yourself run out at bayonetpoint by then.”
[16:34] <voxpvoxd> Alexis: “Appropriate for the Invictus, you mean.” Carrel does a quick mental inventory. He doesn’t… think he owns any ruffled collars…
[16:34] <st> “Appropriate for Vogler’s court. I don’t suppose you own jackboots, do you?”
[16:35] <st> “Aha. Ha.”
[16:35] <mirdath> “I could get you some. Give me sizes.” Cerise smirks.
[16:36] <voxpvoxd> Alexis: “That won’t be necessary, I’ve attended Court before. Is there anything else you require, Priscus?”
[16:38] <st> “That’s it, doctor. I’ll have a servant pick your things up if you wish to live here, otherwise…see yourself out, I suppose. Anyway, the night is yours.”
[16:39] <voxpvoxd> Another glance, uneasier, at Cerise. He doesn’t want to stay, not a bit, but nor does he want to be The Neonate That Didn’t Stay. Hopefully she leaves too…
[16:40] <mirdath> “Well, I had better get Marie set up to run my place then. Let’s go, Alexis. Be seeing you.”
[16:41] <voxpvoxd> Oh, thank God. “Yes! Yes. Good evening, Priscus. Until tomorrow night.”
[16:43] <st> As you pass through the front door, an ancient looking butler is making his way up the steps holding groceries in each hand. You can tell he’s a ghoul.
[16:45] <voxpvoxd> Carrel walks out of the decaying mansion with Cerise. He doesn’t spare the help a second glance – you train yourself not to – and doesn’t speak until they’ve cleared well past the rusted wrought-iron gate that rings property. “Do you think he’s insane, or just desperate?”
[16:47] <mirdath> “Can’t it be both? He’s never been exactly the picture of normalcy, but this is unusual. And we’re in it with him.”
[16:50] <voxpvoxd> Carrel: “But to behave so erratically… even in times as dangerous as these. I don’t understand the elders. They’re so dramatic, even as everything crumbles around them. How do you manage to live that long, if you’re that imprudent? It eludes me.”
[16:53] <mirdath> “/Especially/ in times as dangerous as these, I think you mean. Grand gestures are all well and good but you’re right, these are getting to be a bit much. Either they’re losing their grip or there’s something we don’t know.”
[16:54] <voxpvoxd> Alexis smiles a bit. “Can’t it be both?”
[16:55] <mirdath> Cerise laughs. “It could!”
[16:56] <voxpvoxd> Alexis: “You know, I’d never actually seen it done, before.”
[16:59] <mirdath> “A bit anticlimactic, isn’t it? Were you looking for the altar pouring blood into grooves on the floor?”
[17:01] <voxpvoxd> Alexis: “I had… assumed, yes, that there was a ritual space. Not necessarily anything so formal as an altar, of course. But, a quick chalk circle on the floor, or something. It’s very abrupt, though. Very messy. Do you know much?”
[17:04] <mirdath> “Some. I’m not the most studious of the lot, and I’m still pretty new to, you know, this.” Cerise waves her hand at nothing in particular. “I’m getting the feeling that’s going to change whether I like it or not.”
[17:05] <st> At the abandoned synagogue,
[17:06] <cbn> Gilles has slept off getting shot a few times long enough. Feh, it’s bullets, always bullets. Besides, he needs to figure out what the scribblings of a dead man mean.
[17:09] <cbn> The easiest way to contact someone with a clue was always a dead-drop. Good thing he concluded the previous evening by leaving a suitably-vague note reading ‘PSBL INTEL. NEED MEET.’ in a downspout a few hundred paces southeast of the synagogue, then, wasn’t it?
[17:10] <cbn> And so it is that he returns to its paired drop, a stone’s throw in the opposite direction from his current location, to see what’s been stuffed behind a loose brick in a certain wall.
[17:11] <st> A man is waiting by the wall, wearing a heavy coat and a hat drawn over his face.
[17:13] <st> “You needed to meet, Gilles?”
[17:14] <cbn> Gilles, erring on the side of politeness in the face of maybe meeting people who won’t shoot first this time, is a little more swathed than usual. He rumbles from under a hood. “Yes.” He looks from side to side, takes a step closer, and extends a hand to shake, palming the note and scrap.
[17:14] <cbn> “Found the other night. Utterly meaningless without context. Figured you might have that.”
[17:16] <st> “The gestapo aren’t patrolling this street tonight, don’t worry.” The man reads the note. “Johan? Gustafsson? Where did you get this?”
[17:17] <cbn> “Would you believe I followed someone into the sewers?” Gilles relaxes a bit. “And then he died—-not my fault—-and this was on him?”
[17:18] <cbn> “He also asked me if I was the walker, you have any context for that either? Escapes me completely.”
[17:21] <st> “Jesus. If this has anything to do with that, I can’t touch it. I’m supposed to stay the hell away from the Ordo Dracul.”
[17:23] <cbn> “The—-you mean those gibbering heretics who sat on the sidelines like the rest of the damned French?”
[17:23] <cbn> “Is the walker—-ahem, Walker—-one of theirs?”
[17:24] <st> “I got no idea who the walker is. All of that shit is beyond me, friend. You want to do me a favor with this stuff?”
[17:24] <cbn> “I have no idea what to do with any of it, I hoped you would. So shoot.”
[17:28] <st> The man scribbles something on the back of the diary page and hands it back to you. “Take it to this address. There’s a guy, Roget, used to be in with the Ordo but a couple months ago he showed up on our doorstep, kicked out or left or I don’t know. See if he knows anything. And then tell me, yeah? I might not be able to snoop around them myself but I sure as hell don’t wanna walk around blind.”
[17:30] <cbn> Gilles takes the page back, glances at the address, and tucks it away. “I couldn’t agree more.” He glances from side to side again. “I’ll leave you to your night then, friend. Viva.”
[17:31] <st> “I can’t meet you like this for a couple of weeks, okay? Go to the house in the 17th next time, challenge will be what instrument do you play, answer is viola. Good luck, long live France.”
[17:33] <st> He walks away quickly, leaving you alone on the street. The address he gives you is a few blocks away.
[17:34] <st> As Gilles is thinking, snow starts to fall.
[17:35] <cbn> And Gilles heads there with just enough of a drag to his step that he can enjoy it.
[17:36] <cbn> He makes a mental note to grab a meal on the way back home after this; been a dry few days.
[17:37] <st> Roget’s townhouse is in the middle of a block of nondescript residences. The streets are as empty as you’ve ever seen.
[17:39] <cbn> Loathe as he is to just come knocking on doors late at night, that’s where he is, now. So that’s what he does, spare hand open and at his side, all the better to not get shot by someone rightfully paranoid.
[17:40] <st> The door swings open. Snow starts to fall in the hallway.
[17:42] <cbn> Gilles steps in, clears his throat best he can. “I was told…” He pauses and waits for the door to shut, then raises his voice again. “I could find Roget here.”
[17:43] <st> No response.
[17:43] <cbn> Gilles sighs and braces for the hail of gunfire. “I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE WALKER.” He announces, louder, taking a few more paces in.
[17:45] <st> No one answers. You’ve gone in far enough to see into a kitchen on your right. Nobody in it, but it’s a mess. Plates piled in the sink, flies circling.
[17:46] <st> Something in the air smells metallic and familiar.
[17:47] <cbn> Gilles freezes, quietly lowers himself nearer to the ground. Quietly begins pacing through. Best silent act.
[17:50] <st> You pass a trashed bedroom, a parlor, a bathroom, and then you get to the study.
[17:50] <cbn> If Gilles didn’t consider breathing optional, he’d hold his breath approaching.
[17:51] <st> There’s a body slumped over in the chair, and the bookshelves and cabinets have been overturned or thrown open. Books and random items are everywhere.
[17:53] <cbn> Gilles approaches cautiously, checks the corners before moving too far in like a good little sneak-thief, then checks around the body. Pool of blood on the floor? Any, say, gunshot wounds to the back?
[17:54] <st> The back of the head has been smashed in. There’s blood all over the desk.
[17:58] <cbn> It’s always harder to figure out what isn’t there than what is. Just the same, Gilles looks at the shelves, at the cabinets, at the debris on the floor. “What could they have been looking for?” He asks the air.
[17:59] <cbn> And while he’s looking—-anything of note that is/was on the shelves, cabinets, etc.? If this is Roget’s study, what was his subject?
[18:01] <st> The books all have long, confusing titles and seem to be about things you’ve never heard of. Physics, biology, astronomy. The items seem to be junk, mostly. Watches, scales, random souvenirs.
[18:03] <cbn> Mostly?
[18:04] <st> There’s one item in the back of a shelf that seems cleaner, or at least more expensive looking, than the rest. It’s a black lacquered stone box, about the size of a man’s palm.
[18:05] <cbn> Gilles feels around for a latch, a switch, any mechanism that would make it open. Failing that he just removes the lid and looks inside.
[18:06] <st> Inside is a plain brass ring. It’s been polished to a shine.
[18:08] <cbn> Gilles closes the box, ring still inside, and concentrates, holding the box in his hand. It needs to not be Here, if he’s going to walk out of here with it. Just in case anyone else is still about.
[18:09] <st> The ring vanishes!
[18:09] <st> Along with the box its inside.
[18:11] <cbn> And Gilles pockets it. He then quietly, carefully retraces his steps out of the study. Shuts the door behind him as he leaves the home, and makes a mental note: I need to meet people who aren’t dying so much.