Ancestral Voices - PCs - Mark - Diaries - Welcome to Amber

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Act 1, Scene 1 - Welcome to Amber

Date: Started 27/02/2007, Ended 27/05/2007
Synopsis: The battle outside Chaos is over and Mark is sent back to Amber with a message for Gerard. Initially, he is quarantined having been at the battle. Quarantine, now over, he is welcomed into Duke Halbon's residences.

It's some time in the evening, and Mark has been at the house for a week or so. Amber can be a very dull place when there are no companions but servants, although in this case the servants are highly-paid soldiers, most of whom have an adult sense of humour. By Adult, we mean very childish.

One of the soldiers comes in to announce, "Jurabin Halbon's here!" He's Gerard's Prime Minister, if Mark recalls correctly.

Very childish indeed! This isn't the first time a soldier has made such an announcement. In fact, the first time Mark had been relaxing in a nice warm bath and after much fluster made his 'entrance' into the appropriate audience room only to find the soldiers chuckling to themselves. Mark picked who he thought was the ring leader out during afternoon practice and soundly beat him across the piste, but it did stop them catching him a second time two days later.

So, recognising the soldier as one of the culprits, he ignores the announcement and continues reading, boots off, in an overstuffed chair, feet up.

"Shall I show him in, m'lord?" the man asks with an impudent grin.

Affecting a 'bored' look, Mark waves a magnanimous hand, "Of course, Joel, you really shouldn't keep him waiting." While Mark may be calling the Soldier's bluff, he is politic enough to realise that making a good first impression is important. As such, he will wait, eyeing Joel over the top of the book, until he turns and leaves - and at that point, he'll slip on his boots, stand, and quickly brush out any too obvious creases in his trousers and shirt.

Just in time, too, as the corporal opens the door and announces, "The Right Honourable the Viscount Jurabin Halbon."

The short and rather barrel-chested man who comes into the room is not familiar to Mark, however. It could be anyone.

Is this a Game? Mark has to wonder about the man. He’s clearly not a soldier and as far as Mark is aware, he’s met most of the servants. Better safe than embarrassed. “Good Morning, Viscount Halbon.” While Mark has not been in Amber before, he’s been around those who would consider themselves ‘Noble’ – and they are very much like those who are not. Respect where respect is due but I am my Mother’s son, after all! “You are well?”

Indeed," the man agrees. His Thari is pure and upper class in accent. He glances at the soldier, who gets the hint and leaves.

"I come from the Regent, who regrets that he cannot visit for the moment, and wishes to know if there is anything you will require while in Amber?"

Shoo. That could have been a close one. "Of course, and please send my thanks to Prince Gerard. As to my needs, unfortunately, my arrival was rather rushed, as the message I brought was urgent. That has left me somewhat inconvenienced in that I was only able to bring with me, what I wore. I have money, of course, but being cooped up here has left me with little chance to shop." He chuckles, "And there is the little matter of my quarantine which I hope is over? If it is, I'd hope to spend some time in the Castle proper? This is my first visit to Amber."

"As of an hour after I leave, you may consider that this house is now open. The soldiers will stay if you wish, but only if so." Halbon smiles, "I have great pleasure in welcoming you to Amber, as the Prince Regent has requested you be given the freedom of the city."

Mark smiles broadly, "Excellent news! And thank you for the welcome. I will allow the guards leave as I am sure they are as tired of being stuck in this house, despite its hospitality, as I am." He pauses before asking, "Would you be able suggest somewhere for a light lunch? And maybe a glass of wine? That is assuming I'm not expected to present myself to the Regent. I am unsure of the protocol here."

"I fear you have missed lunchtime, but if you would care to take a short ride, my father's kitchen is justly famous."

"That sounds like an excellent plan. A moment while I ask the groom to ready my horse."

Mark walks over to the door and looks outside for Joel who is standing off to the side allowing privacy but still without shouting distance should he be required. “Joel. Would you mind finding a stable hand and asking them to ready my horse. The Viscount and I will be heading out shortly…. And could you have someone bring us something cool and refreshing – fruit juice if there is any cooling, please?”

Back inside the room, “Excuse my manners. I didn’t offer you something to drink. I took the liberty of requesting something while we wait.”

"That would be delightful. I fear that now we have coffee in the castle once more, I am drinking far too much of that elixir."

A short burst of laughter, "Be careful not to drink too much of that stuff. You won't believe the headache I had when I quit drinking it. It is seriously addictive!" He smiles, "So tell me, what can you tell me of Amber and its populous? How has the war affected them? And the Royal family? They must be mourning the loss of their King?"

Jurabin says quietly, "It's been ten years since your family left. Settled, would be the word."

"Oh," He is clearly surprised. "I apologise if I brought up a sore topic. There must however be some family members other than Prince Gerard here in Amber?"

"The younger lords and ladies of Amber are in residence," agrees the Viscount. "However, Prince Gerard has seen fit to mention the news you brought. A victory."

He smiles in return, possibly a little woodenly, "Ah yes. A victory is always good news! And I look forward to the family returning as I am sure you do." Half question, half statement - Mark is trying to be subtle about this as he is wondering just where this man's loyalties lie.

Halbon looks for a moment as if he might even relax. "It will be good to pass on my responsibilities for a time," he admits. "Unless the new King should need me."

Nodding sagely, "A good man is indispensable. Unless you step down from the post, I assume the new King... or Queen as the case may be, could do with someone who knows the ropes. That and considering what war will have cost Amber, there will doubtlessly be more than a few vacant posts amongst the gentry."

"There will be much rebuilding," admits Halbon, as the drinks arrive. Iced juices, water, and a cold infusion of some sort. He chooses the infusion and waits until the room is private once more.

"Of course, Amber is going to need good men to do such work. Will milord be staying in the city?"

“Mark… please. I’ve done nothing to warrant any ‘titles’.” He chuckles, “As for staying, I will gladly help Amber in any way I can. I had actually hoped to speak to the regent about this as I am unsure where my skills could be used and, being last to arrive, I’d hate to step on anyone’s toes!”

"The Regent will be back in town in a few days. Right now, he is unavailable," says Halbon, sipping at his cold drink. "Speaking of that, if rather at a tangent, do you know how we get ice into Amber?"

He received a quizzical look in response, “Uhm. Well, I could hazard a few guesses although I don’t know for sure. I suspect though that you import it along one of the Shadow paths into Amber – from a cold shadow kingdom in the Golden Circle?” He pauses and then continues, “You could always try a Ranque-Hilsch Vortex Tube powered by a windmill or even wave energy. But I don’t know if it would work very well here in Amber.”

"But finding out how to make ice wasn’t the question. Is there a problem with the supply of ice in Amber?"

"It's a general question. Yes, we import ice - we import everything, and I believe the Regent will be asking you to help with that in some way."

"Of course. I figured that as the ‘newest’ addition to the list of available family members, I’d probably be given a soft ball first up.” He chuckles, “But I guess someone has to do it.” He smiles, “You know, I could try and build a vortex tube. It wouldn’t take that long and could be quite a profitable business venture considering we could do it right here in Amber.”

"Just what is a vortex tube? It sounds quite terrifying." Halbon looks politely worried.

"Well...." And then he blushes, chuckling, "It's actually pretty simple, but it may not work here. You just have to blow air into a T shaped pipe. And hot air comes out one side and cold out the other. If you send that cold air into a 'cold room', it will slowly cool down and will hopefully freeze water in ice trays." He continues to blush, "But I'm babbling again...." He grins.

"I think all you would get is tired lips," Halbon quips. "But I'm sure you'll find a way to try." He has nearly finished his drink, and puts it down as if ready to go.

Mark smiles, "We'll see." He chuckles and then stands with the Viscount, "I appreciate the visit and the chat and hopefully we can talk again soon? Mayhap even over a newly chilled drink." He offers his hand to shake - though the Viscount may not be accustomed to this gesture.

Halbon shakes in return, although Mark gets both of his hands.

"In the mean time, we can ride over to my father's at leisure," says the young man. He does look very young up close. "The Duke will no doubt be pleased to have such a guest."

“Excellent.” He finishes the last of his drink and returns the glass to the tray, “A moment though, I have a bottle of wine I’ve been saving for a special occasion and this seems like a good one. I’ll call Joel the corporal to see to our horses.” Dependant on Halbon’s reply, Mark will go to the door to call Joel and arrange for his horse to be saddled and Halbon’s and his horse brought round to the front of the house. While this is happening, he’ll quickly head to his bedroom to ‘tidy up,’ make himself presentable, and belt on his sword as, while Halbon might not be wearing a weapon, Mark thinks that it a tough of formality to ones dress.

"By all means bring it, if it travels." Halbon waits politely, looking at the room in general.

Mark talks to Joel who says, "Horses are already saddled, boss, like you asked. Want an escort?" He's never been one for the pronouns.

To be honest, Mark is more comfortable without the titles, “No thanks Joel. I think we should be able to manage just fine. And you guys deserve a break from the strenuous job of teasing me!” He grins and after Joel’s reply, heads off to his room to shine his boots, strap on his sword, and grab his riding cloak and the bottle of wine.

He’s back quickly enough, “Shall we head out? The horses are ready and I look forward to meeting the Duke.”

"I'm sure he looks forward to meeting you," says Halbon. "It's been so long since there was quality in the set."

So they set off, and they ride, and they reach a rich house somewhere on the upper shores of society. Jurabin is greeted with very little pomp, by a short but very attractive lady, on the curvy-with-dark-hair axis, and two children who bear little resemblance to the Prime Minister, but call him Papa. Jurabin introduces, "Delores - and the mob. They are being trained to throw me out of office. I'm rather afraid we're stuck with them."

"Charmed," Delores says, with appropriate huskiness and flirt. She has a non-Amber accent.

"I'm Pamulo," pipes the one who's probably a boy. "She's Sonia." Sonia is trying to climb Jurabin's leg, to get to a sweet he is holding out of reach. Pamulo puts his hand out to shake, big eyed and confidant.

He shakes the young man's hand with both of his - the way Halbon shook his earlier, "A pleasure to meet you, Pamulo. I'm Mark." He smiles as Sonia attempts to tackle her father, "I hope you look after your little sister?"

Pamulo brightens up, looking very proud. "I am going to be Viscount one day," he says. "If grandfather dies. I don't want that to happen, though."

Halbon tries not to look amused, but Delores looks slightly embarrassed by the announcement.

He has to chuckle, "And I'm sure you'll make a fine Viscount when your time comes. Until then, I'm sure you've a lot to learn about your position? What's your favourite subject?"

"Arms and armour! Papa says I may be a soldier only over his dead body."

Jurabin tries to look innocent, while Delores tries to look irritated. Both fail.


So dinner is discussed, and small talk happens, and then the bell rings and the children are packaged away, while Delores comes over to Mark, obviously waiting for something polite to happen.

Hoping that he has things right, he offers the bottle of wine, "A gift for the House. One I collected on my travels. It should be at its peek. I hope you like it."

Delores takes it with a splendid smile, and hands it to Jurabin, who is looking very impressed, possibly too much.

"Would you walk me in?" Delores asks, with a hint of the smile remaining.

"Of course, my Lady." He offers her a small bow before raising his arm, "I will, of course, follow your lead."

Delores steers him very gently, and Jurabin follows.

The dining room is magnificent, and set for four. At the head of the table a man is already standing. His bearing is not exactly Jurabin's, but his build is. A badge on the front of his left shoulder seems to show a boar goring some unfortunate. He nods to Jurabin, and gives Mark a short smile. "Good evening."

"Father, this is Lord Mark," says Jurabin, "Beloved of the Castle. Mark, my father, Duke Halbon."

The Duke bows. It's one of those Fiona-style tests, where the politeness has to be automatic.

And the response will hopefully appear automatic as Mark bows in return – a little lower as befits a visitor to a noble’s house, “Duke Halbon. It is a pleasure to meet you.”

It seems he passes the test. Halbon sits, and invites everyone else to. Jurabin is on his right, with Delores. Mark gets his left.

"How are you enjoying Amber so far?" the Duke wants to know. "Have you seen much?"

Mark sits down, appreciating the fact that he has been provided a seat of honour. “Unfortunately not. Jurabin was the first person I’ve seen outside of the quarantine I was under. Unfortunately, Chaos is a hostile place and the worry that I picked up some sort of virus while I was there – was clear an issue to consider. But enough of that, the war is over and I do hope to spend some time here in Amber as the only other time I’ve been here, was with some secrecy!”

"Why, this is insupportable!" Halbon looks severely at Jurabin, who is politely blank. "Hmm. And you're busy at the Castle, aren't you? And Simon's useless. Very well - my household is at your disposal, Lord Mark."

Simon... He doesn't recall the name but knows it isn't Jurabin - so Mark doesn't have to defend him. Simon must however be Jurabin's brother? As for the blank look - well, everyone needs a secret and Jarabin may tell him later, "Why thank you, your offer truly honours me."

"Oh, stuff and nonsense. Of course you need someone to show you around, introduce you to the right crowd. I'll have letters drawn up. It's decided. So, Jurabin - what have you been doing that you /can/ tell me?"

Jurabin considers, and then says with a smile, "I ate lunch today."

Delores carefully avoids eye-contact with Mark.

Mark is clearly taking a liking to the older man - he's never really had a father figure in his life, but the Duke seems to be making as good an impression as any. "Come now." He grins at Jurabin, "You shouldn't tease your father like that. You must have something interesting to share?"

Jurabin smiles. "Yes. It's mostly, as can probably be guessed, about the preparations for the return of the Royal Family. There's going to be a gala, and a full naval salute - the lot." He speaks to Mark, happy.

He purses his lips, "It all sounds wonderful.... But I wonder. With so much time passing while I was away, when I spent only a short time in Chaos. Will it not be quite some time before they return?"

"It should be a few months - enough time to organise the celebrations, and keep the bloom on the rose." Jurabin looks happy still. His father seems content by it as well.

"More potatoes?" asks Delores, but she's asking her husband, who tries not to smile. She has a wicked way with cutlery.

"Then for the next few months, my house is your house," says Duke Halbon. "Don't say you'll refuse me?"

Mark smiles, "I had assumed I'd be staying in one of the guest suites at the castle. While I'm sure I'd enjoy that, I could never refuse such an offer - assuming it is not too much trouble, of course." He grins, "I don't eat that much and I'm willing to do the washing up after dinner!"

Halbon seems surprised for a moment, before he realises it was a joke, and then he looks amused. "I'm sure we can find someone to do that," he says. Then he shoots a dark look at his son.

So... Mark gets a meal, which has some pretty amazing wine as well as a cook who should be famous. Then he gets invited to move anything he wants to the house, either today or tomorrow.

In other words - it's up to him to decide what to do. He is a free man in Amber, but it /is/ late.

Mark grins, taking the look as jest and enjoys the meal thoroughly. While he may not actually be a part of this family, it is good to, for even a short while, be a part of a 'normal' one! As the evening draws to close, Mark happily be lead to his room for a good night's sleep. Any belonging that were in his previous abode can easily be packed and moved by one of the servants as there is little of value there - Marks has all the important belongings with him considering what he brought on the rapid journey here from Chaos.

The morning dawns, then, with two small children standing at the foot of his bed, all eyeballs and untidy hair. "Good morning!" Pamulo and his sister. "Would you like breakfast?"

Sleep eyed, Marks sits up and offers a dramatic yawn and stretch for the pair, "My word! You can't go about waking up an old man like that!" He's grinning. "But breakfast... sounds wonderful! What do you suggest?"

"It's in the breakfast room. Grandpapa says we should show you there." Pamulo smiles. "I have a new sword."

Mark steps out of bed and busies himself getting ready. He doesn't chase the pair away yet though, "Oh really? You'll have to show me sometime. A trusty sword is a man's best friend. You need to be able to trust your sword." Assuming there is water and such in the room, he'll begin shaving and the like. "And you, young lady? What have you been up to?"

"I have not been doing anything," Sonia lisps bravely. She is not a good liar.

"The hot water is outside," Pamulo points out. "For shaving. Don't drink it."

He chuckles, eyeing Sonia as he thanks Pamulo for the tip about the hot water. "You do know that it isn't very Lady-like to bend the truth.... Sonia?" The water is fetched and he begins lathering up.

"I'm not bending anything." She is puzzled by that.

"Go away, 'Son'," her brother tells her. "I'll take Lord Mark to breakfast.

He's a lousy liar too.

Mark turns to the pair, a lather beard covering his chin completely and, hand on hips, frowns, "Please stop that.... A raised eyebrow, "Something is going on around here and you two know about it. Have you two been rooting through my saddle bags?" A baseless accusation, but...

"No!" says Pamulo. "No gentleman would so accuse!" His voice is still too boyish for what is otherwise real chagrin.

Sonia looks out of the window, innocent.

"He smiles, possibly not, but would a gentleman keep secrets from his guest?"

The boy thinks about it for a while. "Promise not to tell?"

Mark nods, "Don't worry. I can keep a secret." He smiles and sits down on his haunches so his eye-to-eye with the pair and they can be a little more conspiratorial!

Pamulo whispers in his ear, "There's a figurehead in the gazebo!"

Not knowing exactly what that might me, he pretends interest, "No way.... Really? You sure? You'd better describe it?"

"It's undressed. It's a woman!"

He has to chuckles at that, "And what do you think of her? Is she pretty?" He's only slightly teasing the lad as he begins to shave - quickly - before the lather dries.

"She looks drunk. Only drunken ladies get undressed."

Another chuckle followed by a nod, "Well, if you let me finish up here, maybe we can pop by the Gazebo before breakfast and we'll see what we can do about it. Maybe we can take a sheet or something and cover her up?"

"She's up in the eaves. She's hidden. But we could take her back. You get prizes if you take them back - I heard Papa say!"

"Really? I've not heard that before. What exactly did he say?"

"That... that the figureheads would withdraw, and get medals, I think. That means go back."

Mark musses the boys hair affectionately, "It sure does. Tell you what, if you give me a few minutes to finish up, we can pop by the gazebo before breakfast and take a look?"

"Wait outside, Sonia," he says first, but then he gets the idea and heads out himself, explaining, "He's going to get dressed now."

Mark quickly finishes his ablutions, preparing himself for breakfast with his hosts, before heading to the door and pair waiting outside. While still not sure what the young boy is on about, the implications are intriguing. "Well then, lead on. To the Gazebo."

There is a footman outside, and no sign of the young pair. "Would you wish to breakfast now, sir?"

Bemused, he nods at the footman, "Please, lead on." And then as they're about to leave, "Will we be passing the Gazebo on the way to the dining rooms?"

"No sir," says the footman without hesitation. "The gazebo is in the garden, which I can show you after breakfast if you wish." He walks with the gentle pace of someone used to leading old ladies about, but it picks up a bit as he works out that Mark is not an old lady.

Mark nods, "I'd like that...." He continues to follow the man, "So how long have you worked here?" Maybe conversation with the servants is not a normal thing here, but Mark is feeling inquisitive and it can hardly hurt to make a friend or two on the staff.

"I have been in His Grace's service all my life," the footman says gravely. "And my father, and his father before him."

"A dedicated family. Good on you." He smiles, "I wish I had as dedicated a man."

"Milord is very kind," says the footman, and a moment later, "The breakfast rooms." He opens the door for Mark, to show a Duke, his daughter-in-law, and two small well-behaved children, plus a lady in a window seat, watching the gardens outside.

Pamulo and Sonia stand up when Mark comes in, radiating innocence. Delores and the Duke break off their conversation to greet him.

He smiles at younger pair, a raised eyebrow indicating perhaps that he's he's on to them... before turning to the Duke and Delores, "Good Morning. I'm sorry I'm a little late for Breakfast. I didn't mean to hold everyone up." Inquisitively, he'll probably take a peak at the unknown lady in the window seat.

The lady turns around and gives Mark a curious look herself. She is short enough to have to look up, which gives her a quizzical air. Brown hair, and a touch of freckles. Not very pretty, and she just seems to be coming to the same conclusion herself.

The Duke speaks quietly, "Miss Greene is staying here for a few days," as if that explains everything.

Mark inclines his head, "A pleasure to meet you, Miss Greene." Then to Delores and the Duke, "You slept well?"

"A pleasant morning is it not... Miss Greene?" Hands held behind his back in a relaxed manner, "Today would appear to be full of promise. Do you have anything interesting planned?"

She gives him an almost-startled look. "Why... not yet. Had you some diversion in mind that does not include scandal?" She speaks low, as if to avoid notice.

He chuckles, "I would ask if my reputation had proceeded me - but I've not spent long in Amber." He smiles, "I merely speak of a day where the war is won and we are free to go about our business and enjoy our freedom."

"The war?" She perks up. "Yes... There will be celebrations, won't there?" Her eyes are sad, but she is trying.

"I'm sure there will be. In fact, the Duke spoke of them last night at dinner." He pauses, trying to decipher what exactly the matter is, "Did I say something wrong, Miss Greene?"

"No. Not at all - it's all long ago." She glances down at her hands, and then tries to turn it into a casual gesture. "Do you think the Navy will race?"

No 'missing' engagement or wedding ring present? Possibly and 'Earthy' thing to look for but he's not familiar with the customs here.

She's ringless.

Ahh, but does she have the slightly less tanned ring around one of her fingers where a ring should have been?

Not that Mark can spot.

"Maybe...." He smiles, "You have a fondness for the Sea?"

"I love the sea." Her expression clears from the forced smile to a gentler look. "Its moods are the best company -" Then she shrugs, awkward.

Not wanting to ask directly and upset her any further, Mark lets the top drop, "Maybe... if you're saying here a while, we could arrange to go dinghy sailing? I'm sure we could hire or borrow a boat from someone."

"I have a yacht. It's best manned by six, but two can do it, if there is no need of rowing. If you'd like to, that is."

Mark is not one to scorn either an invitation nor a chance to relax on a yacht and he enthusiastically and genuinely accepts, "That would be lovely. If you trust my skills, of course." He grins, " Don't worry though - I've always enjoyed sailing and it has been a while since I've had the opportunity." HE pauses, "So why are you here with the Duke?"

"He is a friend of my father. I think the children are after you. Little horrors."

He gives her the benefit of the doubt and assumes she's teasing... "Aren't all kids." He grins, "They wanted to show me something - so I'd best not keep them waiting or I'll never hear the end of it!" He smiles, "Give me a call when you're keen to go sailing."

"I don't know. I've never had brothers." Miss Greene gives a little smile. "I shall send word to the port. Have a good morning."

And with the pleasantries complete and Mark still a little confused, he heads over to the children.

Pamulo and Sonia are waiting patiently, with Sonia watching the door and her brother keeping his eyes on Mark. "Can we go now?"

He grins, the enthusiasm infectious. "Of course we can. Lead on...."

Pamulo stays as lookout while Sonia leads Mark to a wooden hut with two open and four cloth sides, out in the garden. "Up there," says Sonia, pointing up and skipping away.

A wooden face looks down on Mark at an angle. White eyes stare in the dark, as if following him.

Is it a statue? I can't possibly be alive? What is the thing? "So when did she arrive?" At the same time, examining the item in as much detail as possible.

It's a wooden statue, well-painted, and slightly badly dressed. Her bosom - ample and coral-to-cream - is peeking out of her painted dress, and her wide eyes simper into the darkness. Definitely a female figure. How it got up there is a mystery.

Mark eyes the figure, "Are you sure this is what they were talking about?" He looks around for something to stand on so he can reach the carving....

The children are gone, but there are chairs here to stand on for a closer look.

It's definitely a lump of wood, apparently torn or cut from a larger piece, which was probably squared off. There might be writing on it, maybe... Maybe.

Writing... He looks outside for the children wondering if this is a gag of some sort - they seemed sincere though. The chair is retrieved, stood upon, leaving mark peering nosily at the figure. Now would not be a good time for the elder family members to arrive!

There are initials carved on it here and there, and a few dates that make no sense to Mark, but are certainly numbers. At the base of her dress (about thigh-height, in fact) there is what might be scroll-work, but has been broken off.

'Could it be part of the prow of a ship... maybe? Or some desecrated artwork?' He taps it, 'A hidden message container?' "Pamulo? What do you want me to do with her?"

It looks like the front of a ship's prow, from the shape of the broken wood. It's solid, not hollow, or if it's hollow Mark can't find the place to knock.

Pamulo is nowhere to be seen, until he wriggles out of the bushes nearby. "It's been stolen, I think," he says. "Father must have let his friends in."

Mark steps down from the chair taking the figurehead with him and returns the chair to its place, "Your father let his friends in?" He sits down on the chair and gestures for Pamulo to come into the gazebo. "You're going to have to explain this to me, son. Who are your dad's friends and why would they hide this here of all places?"

"My father has a set of friends who went to school with him. None of them are Naval, so they must have stolen it. Nobody in the /Navy/ would do that! And it's here, so it must be that he let them in. They are dissolute men, grandfather says."

"Really? 'Dissolute men' you say?" He chuckles, still holding the figurehead. I suppose you want to join the Navy someday?" He looks around for something to 'hide' the figurehead in so he can take it back to his rooms for further examination (and it disappearance could possibly even cause the one who hid it some consternation). While Mark wants to get to the bottom of this, he's not sure if the 'Dissolute men' are hiding this here to implicate the Duke in some way... or whether Pamulo's father is hiding it here as part of some elaborate hoax to upset someone, possibly even the Duke! Clearly he and his Father don't always see eye to eye.

[We've screwed up the scale here, I'm afraid, and I was too tired to read the last post you made properly. She's big - you /can/ step down with her, but she's bigger than Mark.]

"Really? 'Dissolute men' you say?" He chuckles, still looking the figurehead over. "I suppose you want to join the Navy someday?" While Mark wants to get to the bottom of this, he's not sure if the 'Dissolute men' are hiding this here to implicate the Duke in some way... or whether Pamulo's father is hiding it here as part of some elaborate hoax to upset someone, possibly even the Duke! Or maybe it is being hidden to discredit or shame someone in the Navy - if Mark shadow knowledge can be carried into Amber, the figurehead of a ship is it's pride. Anyway, Clearly the Duke and his son don't always see eye to eye. So maybe this is worth a little investigating. Maybe even a quick trip to the docks.

[So'cool. I'm going to assume you do a bit of talking, and can even find rumours, but nothing concrete (the docks are big, after all) because I want to introduce you to another PC, at a party this evening, and he's already at the party.]

What you find out at the docks:

  • The Blushing Bride (aka the Red Harlot) has been taken in for emergency repairs. Apparently the figurehead is damaged.
  • One of the crime-lords, Maat, has had his pub attacked somehow, and the brothel he runs was damaged.
  • There are Weir in a ship at the dog's head end of the docks.
  • The Church of the Unicorn, the Kurikon, is offering money to people who attend services.

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