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  #1  
Old Jan 30th, 2023, 04:47 PM
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Morgan, Rilar

Morgan strides up to the site of the ruined blacksmith's, its metal-worked sign still reading "Bragnorr's Smithy" and "Superior Ironworks." The building is still standing, made mostly of stone, iron and slate, but it is clearly gutted by fire.

There are a few looky-loos watching the fire brigade finish up their work, but they seem to be the usual day-trippers. The others nearby about continue their business--other smiths and metalwork shops, jewelers, carpenters, glassblowers and so on.

A muscular young woman in a blacksmith's apron, dark hair under her leather kerchief, stands among the debris that's been hauled out onto the sidewalk, looking angry, one fist on her hip, the other holding a hammer. She looks as if she'd like to smash something with it, her face stormy beneath soot stains. Morgan recognizes her as Murshida, her cousin.

Murshida notices Morgan viewing the scene, recognizing first the oddity of her clothing, for Amber--denim jeans and denim jacket--taller than she, with flaming red hair. She's met this one somewhere--one of her cousins, she feels sure.

Last edited by David VanDyke; Mar 24th, 2023 at 01:30 AM.
  #2  
Old Jan 31st, 2023, 02:51 PM
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Morgan had not been expecting the destruction to be this recent. Seeing the young woman standing among the remains, she paused and checked her memory of the last-but-one New Years Ball. Yes, that was Murshida - she remembered wondering if Murshida was Gérard’s daughter at the time.

She resumed her approach, not daunted by the angry look on Marissa's face or the blacksmith’s hammer (or not sufficiently daunted, anyway). “Cousin, might I have a moment of your time?”

Last edited by David VanDyke; Mar 24th, 2023 at 01:31 AM.
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Old Feb 4th, 2023, 12:57 PM
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Murshida turns and stares at Morgan, a distant and preoccupied look on her face. "Not right now, cousin. I have to go tell my father of this...whatever this is." She hurries off.

Morgan is left to survey the mess.

Last edited by David VanDyke; Mar 24th, 2023 at 01:31 AM.
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Old Feb 4th, 2023, 01:16 PM
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There comes a small burst of rainbow in the air in front of Morgan, and an envelope with her name on it, written in Fiona's hand, flutters to the ground.

Inside is a note that reads, "Talk to Rilar," and a Trump of the person in question--a son of Llewella, a bookish fellow who usually dwells in Rebma, if memory of the last family gathering serves.
  #5  
Old Feb 4th, 2023, 02:12 PM
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Morgan sighs. She does take a quick peek inside the forge - surely fires aren’t that unusual? Maybe there would be something to see.

But that’s all the time she allows herself before following up on the new errand (it seems to be important for some reason). She takes the card in hand and looks upon the young man depicted there. Focussing her psyche she imagines that it is Rilar himself, not a mere static image, and wills that it be so.
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Old Feb 4th, 2023, 03:16 PM
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Morgan finds some matted white fibers that look like fine spun glass--but glass would have melted and puddled, she feels sure. That's all which has survived the heat of the forge. As for fires in a forge, well, forges are made to contain fires. Sudden near-explosions that ignite everything inside the building in a burst of flame are unheard-of.
  #7  
Old Feb 4th, 2023, 03:33 PM
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As Rilar stretches in the sunlight contemplating his morning exercises he senses a mental contact reaching out to him.

"Who is it?" He asks.
  #8  
Old Feb 4th, 2023, 05:25 PM
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“Your cousin,Morgan” she replies, expecting to be recognised. “Mother said we should talk. May I join you, or would you prefer to come here?” It seems polite to let him choose the venue, and to talk in person.
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Old Feb 5th, 2023, 01:02 AM
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“Of course! Please join me.” Rilar extends his right hand to Morgan.

After she accepts his hand, he smiles. “Welcome to Griffon Bay, one of my favorite Shadow retreats.”

Morgan finds herself at a beachfront patio gazebo connected to an ornate tan two-story villa. The architecture is of an earlier time than found on Shadow Earth. The white sands of the beach extend a hundred yards from the patio to the Cairn Ocean. A warm spring sea breeze gently blows inland.

Rilar tilts his head slightly upward to compensate for being an inch shorter than her. “It’s been so long since I’ve seen you. I apologize for not visiting Amber more. But, like Mother, I frequently stay in Rebma. Please, make yourself comfortable.”

He walks to a counter and pours two glasses of sun tea, offering her one.

“I wish to speak with you regarding an attack on my life while visiting Shadow Earth. An unknown gunman shot me in the back, piercing my lung while I was preparing to return home from a remote location that I regularly frequent. I narrowly escaped and spent two weeks recovering in Rebma. I just recently returned to my villa to exercise and restore my physical strength and prowess.”

He sits down and sips his tea before continuing.

“Mother shared that someone attacked you as well. I’m wondering if it might have been the same assailant. I suggest we share experiences and perhaps we can work together to learn who is responsible and why.”

“My attacker used a rifle. The hunting sized bullet passed through me. But, as I was using Trump to escape, they got closer and fired again. That second bullet fell to the ground in Rebma. I don’t have it with me, but could get it if needed to compare with another.”
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Old Feb 5th, 2023, 07:30 AM
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Morgan gently takes Rilar’s hand, and steps through. She smiles as he looks up at her face (too many men don’t). “I confess, I’m not in Amber much myself - there is so much to see out there!” she admits with a pleasant laugh. “I should visit Rebma one day.”

She gratefully relaxes into a lounger - she does look a little frazzled - and looks out over the sea. She accepts the tea, stretching out an arm to take it.

She listens carefully to his story, without interrupting, weighing up his words.

“Interesting” is her first response after he finishes, “The methods were very different - very. I doubt it was the same attacker, but it could be the same mind behind the attacks. I also was visiting Shadow Earth when the attack began. But before I tell you about it, I have some questions..”

“First, had you been recently engaged in anything that might attract such attention from local forces? Anything that might have been interpreted as a threat - even if it was not? Or is there anything that rules out a purely local problem?”

“Second, did you see anything of your attacker - especially the colours he was wearing?”

“Third, where - roughly speaking - is your retreat?”

“Fourth, when did this occur? - what local date?”

Last edited by David VanDyke; Feb 5th, 2023 at 08:40 AM. Reason: Please don't use OOC inside game threads. Use your GM chat thread instead.
  #11  
Old Feb 5th, 2023, 12:40 PM
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Rilar sits down pondering her questions as he drinks his tea.

“After talking to a local, I took a cab to the outskirts of Los Angeles. I stepped away from anyone’s notice, or so I thought. Then the bullet knocked me to the ground. I was facing away the whole time, struggling to remain conscious as I grabbed my Trump.”

He winces a little as he straightens his back slightly.

“This retreat is in a personal Shadow of mine. I feel safe here.”

He looks toward the ocean as he focuses on recalling the recent events. He pinches the bridge of his nose while closing his eyes.

“Oh, I must amend my time spent in Rebma. When I arrived, they quickly operated on me and only spent the following day recovering. Everything happened so quickly, but my recovery feels like it’s taking an eternity.”

“Mother suggested Dara may by responsible, but I've no proof of her involvement. Perhaps you have someone in mind?”

He turns and faces Morgan. Listening with great interest in what happened to her.

Last edited by Redwing; Feb 5th, 2023 at 12:44 PM.
  #12  
Old Feb 5th, 2023, 01:53 PM
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Morgan makes sympathetic noises. “Does it still hurt? Even our recuperative powers have limits. I hope the time passes quickly here.”

She takes a long draught of her tea, to delay the moment, then starts her story.

“The attempt on my life was different and more revealing of our enemy’s capabilities. I was in England, playing tourist, visiting ancient monuments. I was walking around a place called Avebury when I was shifted through Shadow. A swordsman attacked me from behind and it was only by good fortune that I managed to evade his attack. He was inhumanly good with a blade, which was how he was able to cut me” - her hand reaches up to touch the wound on her face - “but I was able to overpower him.” She pauses to give the next sentence more impact.

“That was when he tried to Trump out. Fortunately I was able to stop that. But he went limp, seeming dead. It appears that he was a construct of some sort. Right then I decided our elders needed to know about this, found transport and helldrove to Amber, with the body. I met Uncle Julian in Arden, got taken to Mother, and she’s examining the body. Uncle Julian has informed the King.”

The next question required some thought - and the quashing of an unreasoning fear he’s dead, he’s dead, he can’t hurt me. “My attacker wore green and black - but I can’t believe that Uncle Caine is behind it. We’re both still alive for one. If I had to guess I’d say the Chaos Lords who wanted to destroy Amber. But mainly because I can’t think of anyone else who could do it and has a motive.”
  #13  
Old Feb 5th, 2023, 07:58 PM
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“Thank you for your concern. It hurts, but it is healing. And yes, time passes faster here than in Amber.” Then he briefly smiles before looking concerned.

“Your attack must have been terrifying to face one with such skill. I doubt I would have bested him. It is a credit to your training that you survived.”

He finishes his tea and sets down the glass.

“I also don’t believe Caine is involved. The assailant may have chosen those colors to create doubt.”

“While resting after my surgery, I did some research on potential Courts of Chaos enemies. Two members of the House of Hendrake stand out. One or both may seek revenge for the death of Duke Borel during Patternfall: Duchess Belissa Minobee, Borel’s mother, and Gilva, Borel’s niece. I’m not saying either is behind these attacks. Only that each has a motive.”

“I also wish to speak with Murshida and learn more about the incident at the forge. Perhaps it was more than an accident. If it was, I hate waiting to hear of another attack on a family member’s life.”

Rilar pauses for a moment to catch his breath.

“Briefly changing the subject, should we have some time, I would like to craft a Trump to reach you. I’m guessing someone lent you a Trump of me. This way we can contact each other quickly. It will only take two days here, which is roughly six hours of time passing in Amber.”

“Afterward, we could return to Amber and ask if other family members have had recent harrowing incidents. And if so, reach out to them.”

He then takes in a deep breath and exhales before resting his hand on his chest. “Forgive me, this has been the most I have spoken since my injury. I’m open to any ideas you might have about this threat or how to proceed.”

Last edited by Redwing; Feb 5th, 2023 at 10:56 PM.
  #14  
Old Feb 6th, 2023, 09:54 AM
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“Your own experience sounds worse - at least I could defend myself. You weren’t given the chance” Morgan replies, with sympathy.

She mulls over those suggested as possible culprits. “I don’t think so. The motive doesn’t seem strong enough for this. The methods chosen also seem peculiar - especially taken together. We might have two killers with different motives - but if so I feel that they are working together, just because of the timing.”

She toys with a loose strand of hair while she considers Rilar’s suggestion. “I could do with cleaning up - and a good rest. So staying here makes some sense. Mother should be able to reach us if she has news.”

After thinking some more she adds “I suppose it makes sense that we both have Trumps of the other - so, I agree with conditions. First - if Mother claims her Trump of you back, you promise to replace it. Second I get time to rest, clean up and change before we start. Third, it’s understood that I may have to leave before it’s done.”

One final thought strikes her. “And maybe if we have time we should try some sparring - the exercise should help your recovery and we may need a combat edge”.
  #15  
Old Feb 6th, 2023, 11:08 PM
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“More than one party could be responsible. Honestly, that never crossed my mind. I was thinking of an overseer with several perpetrators performing the acts like puppets. Your idea, if I understand it correctly, opens the possibility of a deadly conspiracy coordinating attacks against our brethren. If that is true, then we will need others at our side to combat these enemies.”

He takes a long pause, looking beyond her, lost in thought before continuing.

“Well, that is likely an outcome you have already considered. Forgive me for not seeing the bigger picture. My focus as an artist has alway been on details and only when I have incorporated all those details do I finally see what I have created. In a way similar to completing a jig-saw puzzle. I admire looking at the complete image, but it eclipses my ability to recreate it. I feel the original is the truth and my renditions are merely inexact reflections. Much like Shadows are.”

Then looking at Morgan again. “So, without further ado, allow me to show you around my home.”

The two story residence has four bedrooms and three wash rooms. There is a detached carriage house. Two staff members, Victor and Marylyn, perform household duties. Key locations have Astral lamps for optimal lighting. A variety of art pieces, including statues, paintings, and carvings, decorate each room.

After the guided tour, Rilar takes his leave and goes back to the gazebo and rests until Morgan returns.

“I hope you found everything to your liking. I have been sketching some drafts of your elegance and agree to your three conditions. Plus, my sword skills can always use some improvement.”

He hands his preliminary drawings to her to review.

“Do any of these poses appeal to you?”

For the rest of the day, he uses his pen and brush with inks and paints, beginning to craft Morgan’s Trump. As evening approaches, he puts away his materials and returns with a sword in his hand.

“It’s been a while since I have swung a blade.”
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