Ancestral Voices - PCs - Mark - Diaries - Summons to the Castle

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Summons to the Castle

Date: Started 29/08/2007, Ended 23/09/2007
Synopsis: Mark has a strange dream - and then answers a summons to a meeting at the Castle.


[Alright - we've had a shake-down, we know what our PCs are up to, it's time to move on to things actually happening... Feel free to kick me if you feel there's not enough action for you.


You have a dream, on the night of day 8. (If you have time before then, feel free to tell me what you are doing, and I'll tell you what's going on. If you don't have a day number in your subject line, assume you have one day free.)]


You are sitting in an amphitheatre of some sort, with other people around you. Miles away, but still clear, there is a stage, with a light on it, lighting up what looks like the throne of Amber. Even to those who have not seen it, it's obvious what that is - the seat of power.


A trick of the shadows leaves a small man sitting in the seat. "Hello?" he says. "Is this damned thing working? Good. You're to go visit Gerard in the morning. The password will be Wixer. You'll need..." He fades away, still speaking, and you wake.


[Questions to me, but then I'm going to throw everyone who attends into a meeting, so tell me if you will or won't come. There is plot, and those who've discovered it will be invited to share.]


The Day in Hand

Mark'll want to investigate the figurehead again - and quickly (in case Miss Greene decides to do something about it). My suspicion is that it is somehow hollow. I want to get it down from the rafters (when I get home) and go over every inch of it to check for a hidden compartment where something could be hidden. I don't want to resort to hacking it to pieces, so hopefully I'll find something!


It's been stolen by the time you get there!


I'll try and find out if any of the servants spotted anything happening - as I assume most people will be asleep, I'll not wake the Duke. There must also have been footprints and the like leading away from the gazebo so I'll try and track down where the thing was taken to and sleuth any clues.


There were many many drunk people involved, as far as he can make out. A gang of young men with their cravats pulled up, or in some cases with pre-prepared masks, took it out of the summerhouse, heaved it up over the wall by main strength, and walked it away. It's easy enough to track its route - it went down towards the docks, where it disappeared for a while, and was then delivered to the Bride. The warehouse where it was put is now empty, alas. Other than a very very expensive-looking masks, and someone's dance card...


If you could work out who had danced with a particular set of ladies, you could probably find the guilty party. But that's going to take a while, although there is a Lady Sally Greene down on the card.


Elementary.... I'll take both the mask and the card back to the Duke's residence and make my way to Miss Greene's rooms. Hopefully she'll be awake. The fact that it was returned to the bride leads me to believe that either she was involved anyway, or someone else found out about it. Did I notice if Miss Greene left the party earlier than expected? And I assume all the footprints were male?


The footprints were male, as far as he could read.


Miss Greene opens her door, looks at Marcus, and says, "You know you're not chaperoned?"... After a little explanation, she looks at the card and says in disappointed tones, "My sister. I'm Candia."


"Your sister? My apologies then, Miss Greene. For disturbing you." He pauses, "You don't happen to recognise this mask?" He may ask her where he might find her sister if she doesn't recognise the mask.


"It's black?" she suggests. "But no, nobody was masked last night. This is about last night, isn't it?" And to the question of her sister she sighs. "At my father's house. The Greene residence, just under Falcon House."


Mark nods, "It is...." He nods at the address, "I may have to pay your sister a quick visit." Then almost as an afterthought, "You didn't tell anyone about the figurehead did you?"


"The horrors were telling anyone they could find. But yes, I did. Sally." She sighs. "We're hardly on speaking terms, so I wanted to make conversation."


"The 'horrors' were just being children. You were one once, remember?" Maybe a trifle stern, but Mark likes kids. "As for your sister. It would appear that she told someone, and they took it upon themselves to steal the darned figurehead. Is there anything about it that you've not told me? Because we're both guests in this house and I don't want anything to happen to our Hosts because of this slip-up - especially since the thing has been returned to the Bride."


"It was probably put there by the Prime Minister's set, if not his club. They all served in a different fleet, you see?" She leans on the door jamb - if she were pretty it would look better, but she has a certain intelligence to her look.


What is she wearing... Mark hadn't really considered the fact that he could be interrupting! "You're going to have to help me here, please, Miss Greene. You think that the Prime Minister, who was part of one of the Fleets at some point, has attempted to frame the Duke, who sailed with another fleet? Which fleet does the Bride belong to?"


She fiddles with her cuff for a moment, thinking. The dress is expensive, slightly brocaded and cinched in at the waist. Of course, it's green. "The Bride's a privateer - a private letter of marque, you understand? But it was attached to the Southern Fleet - when Gerard took control, he moved the Whites and the Greens about, but most of all he stripped the Home Fleet, the Northern. The Greens are protecting merchants, and the Bride was acting as a... as an I can't remember. But the Northerns and the Whites especially won't like it."


Shoo. She's still dressed! "Uhm. I think I understand that... So whoever took the figurehead in the first place wanted to blame the Duke." He sighs, maybe in disgust, "It sounds like a schoolboy prank!" He shakes his head, "And if I find out who stole it back, I'd probably just be aiding the original pranksters."


"Probably. I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I don't think it was anything sinister." She sounds disappointed as well.


He laughs then, "More's the pity. I think sI'll try and track down who did it anyway - for laughs. You never know when 'holding' someone's secret could come in handy. Besides, who knows, maybe those 'jewels' are inside the figurehead?"


"Perhaps. Oh, you mean Arnek-Ptah's? Oh, yes. That would be a thrill." She is running out of things to say, but trying to prolong the conversation.


Is she really? Does Mark even notice? A brief realisation leaves him in an awkward situation too as he adds, "Your dress is really quite something...."


She blushes, and then shrugs it off. "You're not chaperoned," she says more firmly. "Go away."


A short sharp burst of laughter, "Strange customs. But ok. Because you blushed so prettily.... Sweet dreams, Miss Greene." And is about to turn and leave....


...when she closes the door behind her.


So, off we go to the Greene residences. I intend requesting to speak to Miss Greene, aiming to work out who she told about the figurehead.


It's a strange time in the morning to call, but Mark can manage it. However, rather than getting Miss Greene, he gets a big man with dark hair and an etched expression that borders on anger.


"My name is Greene," he says a little too loudly. "State your business with my daughter."


"Good Evening to you. I'm here to see your daughter about a incident that occurred this evening. I am investigating." He weighs the word with what he hopes will be a certain element of authority and gravity. "While your daughter is not a suspect, a dance card was found at the scene with her name on it and I was hoping find+ out who she danced with this evening."


"What /authority/ have you?" He weighs heavily on the word, as if he's going to come down on anyone who sent Mark here.


"My own. As a Prince of Amber, my authority extends to investigating and apprehending _anyone_ involved in a crime that could endanger Her." He pauses to let that sink in, "Your daughter could provide us with an invaluable link in discovering if the perpetrators are in fact acting out of simple ignorance, or if there is a more insidious plan."


"You, sir, are not a Prince," he says in tones that indicate he knows Princes. "I will thank you to leave my house."


A raised eyebrow, "I forgive you your ignorance. I am newly returned from Chaos were I was part of the war effort so I'm probably not familiar to you. You are, of course, welcome to check my credentials with the castle - However, standing in the way of my investigation is simply not an option. All I require is a few words with your daughter and I am willing to speak in your presence."


[The Scene petered out here as the main scene in the castle took precedence. I am assuming Mark laughed it off and left and will rub it in when he seen 'Greene' in a setting more appropriate to his station.]


The Ante-Room

Mark and Gwyn arrive at about the same time, into an ante-room, where you'll have to wait to be escorted in.


So... Mark arrives in good time for the 'event'. He's a confidently handsome, suave and well dressed young man. Sparkling green eyes generally dance with an open smile and while this may be a 'nervous' situation for some, he appears to be taking it in his stride. His red hair is stylised and neatly trimmed and frames soft features. At 5’9” his frame is athletic though not overly muscular. He is currently wearing black trousers with dark purple banding down the sides (much like tuxedo trousers) and black boots. And a smart, probably silk, shirt features a purple stylised 'Knight' figure on the left collar, which is open at the neck. He bears a sword if the guards have not requested that it be left on entering this area of the castle.


Having looked briefly around the anti-room, Mark turns to the female. "Well met. I assume you were summoned as well?"


The young, petite woman, with clouds of dark hair pulled back into a sensible braid and startling hazel green (no they're blue, no really they're green, although from this angle they seem almost golden) eyes, looks around, "Summoned? I'm not quite sure. But it seems that Uncle Gerard needs me so I had to come. I swear if he has been injured again, I'm going to harm him myself. I'm so sorry, I'm being rude. I'm Gwyn. Gwynehar actually. And you are?"


"Well, Given that Prince Gerard is your Uncle, I suspect you can call me cousin Mark." He smiles, "As to his wellbeing, he was fine a few days ago so hopefully he'll be just fine...."


Gwyn smiles back. "Another cousin. Delightful. Who are your parents, if you don't mind my asking."


"My mother is Princess Fiona. We never really spoke about my father. I think he passed away during my early childhood and it pains mother to speak of him."


"Where did you grow up? Here in Amber, or in shadow?"


"This is my first visit to Amber... How about yourself? Lived her long?"


"No, I've never lived here. I was raised in Avalon and spent quite a few years in shadow furthering my education, then working and living. It was quite nice to be a nobody," she says reflectively. "Did you grow up in shadow as well?"


Mark nods, "Avalon? I've only heard stories about a place called Avalon though I doubt it is the same place you're from." He chuckles, "Unless your father is King Arthur and you lived in Camelot!"


Gwyn looks a little uncomfortable, "My grandfather was Lancelot du Lac. My mother is his direct descendent. It wasn't Camelot, but it was a very nice place to grow up. In what shadow did you grow up?"


Tit for tat, she might be uncomfortable, but hopefully Mark is showing his willingness and openness. "A place they called 'Earth' though as I understand, there are many shadows called that." He shrugs, "It was a good home. Mother chose well." He smiles, "So, who is your father?" There we go, no way to wiggle out of that question, hopefully!


Gwyn brightens, "Oh, I wonder if it's the same Earth where I went to college and took my advanced degrees. I loved my time there." She sighs, "My father is Corwin, Prince of Amber and King of Avalon. My mother is Catherine, Queen of Avalon." She gives Mark a wry look, "So, do you want to tell me rotten things about my father now? I confess I do not know much about Amber or her politics. Growing up, my father was wonderful, my hero, but as an adult I've found that maybe I don't really know him at all."


He chuckles, "Now why would I say something bad about your father when I don't know him either!" He pauses, considering something....


"What? I can almost see the wheels in your head turning."


He hmms, "I don't know if I should be telling you this just yet, but you'll find out soon enough. Your father was at the final battle - obviously. He's safe." He smiles, hopefully the news is pleasing.


"Oh, yes, I know. I've just left him actually. And, now that I think of him, I probably should let him know I'm here so he doesn't expect me back today."


"Oh...." Well, that's disappointing considering the time he spent in quarantine! "Ahh. Well, it's good that you know."


"I don't know how disappointing it is. We've had a rough time of it lately." She sighs, "I guess I'd better let him know." She takes a card out of her pocket and stares at it intently.


Mark peers at the card trying to not be too obvious about it....


It has a picture of Corwin on it. Looks like a Trump.


....Gwyn appears a little stiff, "I just wanted to let you know that I'm going to be visiting Uncle Gerard for a while."


It's one of those 'Twiddle your Thumbs' moments as he knows enough not to interrupt, but has little else to do but watch the one-sides conversation with interest.

...Gwyn sounds as if she's speaking to a stranger, she's so polite, "No, but thank you for asking. I'll give Uncle Gerard your regards, shall I?"


....Gwyn raises one eyebrow, " Right. I'll do that and duck afterward. Let Mother know I'm gone, would you? Thanks."


Gwyn runs her hand over the card and looks at Mark. She slants the card in his direction, "Does your card of Corwin look the same?"


Mark is focusing on you so much that the completion of the call and your words catch him off guard. "Uhm.. Ehh. I don't have one." He shrugs, "Though I've seen a similar trump, I think."


Gwyn appears a little non-plussed. "Oh, my father gave them to me when he felt I was "of age" and he told me of his family. I just assumed that all my cousins had similar decks. "


"I must be one of the poorer cousins.... So what happened? Did you do something wrong? You seemed rather... worried when you were talking to your father?"


Gwyn thinks for a moment, "I don't know that it has anything to do with wealth. Now that I think about it, I really don't know much about the trumps, I just took them for granted, possibly because my father does. Would you like to see the card of your mother? She's quite lovely. Not as beautiful as Aunt Florimel, but, who is?"


He snorts, "Don't be silly. Aunt Flora doesn't hold a candle to my mother's delicate features!" He grins though and motions to her deck.


Gwyn grins back, "I had a sorority sister in shadow who was actually that pretty. Evil, but very, very pretty. " She hands him the card of Fiona.


At this point, a steward comes to bring them in to the room where Gerard is.


The Meeting

Lorenzo will look the room over, nod to Gerard and stand near the window, "Okay we are talking about the Dragon. Name of Zirnitra I am told. An old powerful, returned from the dead Dragon that for some reason is coming our way. Have any of you heard before of the Dragon?"


At this point more people start coming in, interrupting Lorenzo's fine flow. First of all Gwynehar and Mark, then Jessamyn, and Zero a few minutes later. Zero, a seven foot tall black cat anthropomorph, is very distinctive.


Gerard stays at his desk, finishing off paperwork while he listens.


Mark will remain quiet for the time being although he is more than a little interested in the strangers in the room. If you are interested in Mark, well, you've probably not seen him around before. But what you now see is a handsome, well dressed young man with green eyes, neatly trimmed red hair, and an open smile for anyone who cares to meet those eyes. He's not particularly tall, standing only about 5’9”. He's currently smartly dressed in black trousers with dark purple banding down the sides (much like tuxedo trousers), black boots and an open-neck white shirt featuring a purple stylised 'Knight' (as in the chess piece) figure on the left collar.


Lorenzo will smile and nod to Gwyn, and pause in what he was saying as the others settle. He will then repeat, "We were talking about the Dragon. Name of Zirnitra I am given to understand. An old powerful, returned from the dead Dragon that for some reason is coming our way. I know Lady Jessamyn is already aware of the Dragon. Is anyone else aware of it?"


-- INCOMPLETE --


Lorenzo nods, "Of course Chance, private? I won't be going to the library just in case my earlier statement wasn't clear on that."


"I would likewise appreciate a quiet word with you, dear captain, if I might join the queue."


"You can talk with me then," Gerard tells Jessamyn, "While they're pow-wowing."


Mark leaves the room, heading for the library....



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