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PRP: Abandoned Saikland Castle

Deep within Saik lands stands a castle upon their holdings. The castle is covered with ivy and thorns, and has long since been abandoned. Not even the abandoned themselves seem to go near it, staying far away. Perhaps a nest of nasties is there, or perhaps there's a curse on the place, or perhaps something so sinister lives there that no one goes near the place. Yet, there is a rumor of untold treasure within the castle, of jewels and gems, and books of lore that were once thought lost, but are written in an old dialect of Arvani. Allies and friends of House Saik have been asked by Baroness Lucita to help uncover the mystery of the castle holdings.

OOC: The players participating have been invited to this plot. I am taking wait list names if there are no shows should you like to attend. The location will be updated once I set up the plotroom.

Date

Nov. 16, 2018, 8 p.m.

Hosted By

Lou

GM'd By

Lou

Participants

Aiden Lucita Vitalis Rosalie Saoirse Giulio Aisha

Organizations

Location

Outside Arx - Lyceum near Saikland Greens - Abandoned Castle - Saikland Greens

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log


Rosalie wields luminous edges of pale gold concealable blade.

Rosalie wields gleaming Diamondplate scalpel.

Friends, family, relatives.... or, just people in general, have been gathered together to help Baroness Lucita Saik with this rather intriguing, or perhaps terrifying, opportunity. What is this opportunity you say? It is a castle, deep within the terrain of Saikland Greens, which is hidden amongst several of it's tallest rolling hills. This might explain why it hasn't shown up on maps or been discovered before. This particular patch of Saikland Greens comes with the foreknowledge that no one, not even the shav'arvani, have been seen around it. It's abandoned, completely. There are a few stories that say this castle is cursed, and those that try to go within it disappear. What happens, no one knows. Why that happens, no one knows. Anyone who's tried to come to this particular castle has never returned. . . but, perhaps the next set of brave souls who does, may yet get a chance to do so.

Lucita travels with the group of people to a spot they can oversee the castle and study the surroundings. The horses on which they traveled are left back out of sight to graze and get water, one of the saikland grooms taking charge of them and the supplies the group use. "This is part of the newly acquired land to our west. The Society of Explorers did the initial survey and helped us get an overview of the territory we added to our existing area. Have any of you visited here before or know anything about Saikland? Lord Giulio, I know you do after we talked some time back, but you others?

"I've done the requisite tour of the Velenosa holdings," the Lycene princess says from Aisha's side. Saoirse gives the other woman a quick glance, then addresses Lucita again. "And I've read stories here and there about the lands' ownership manifests - but nothing a schoolgirl couldn't pick up." A /diligent/ schoolgirl, maybe. What kid reads tomes about real estate?

There's a sort of casual consideration given the area, Giulio's dark eyed gaze slowly tracking over the area. As always, there is a sort of watchfulness to his demeanor, his attention raking over the ground beneath them. Slowly, his eyes rest on the castle, before he nods to Lou. "Mostly, I've hypothesis and conjecture related to the Platinum Guard retiring to the area and the emphasis on the Platinum Ban. The particulars, though? Who can say." As they approach, his fingers move to the bracer at his wrist, opening it for a quick scan against the mirror held within, before shuttering it again.



"Do we have any greater details as to the nature of those that have attempted to observe? Or is it mostly conjecture and hearsay?" All the small talk in the world, clearly.

Princesses wanting to 'adventure' of course gets the slow and lacking of physical prowess Aisha to go with her with no arguements. Being dutiful can be both bad a good. Who knows what this time with be. The Inverno noble has opted to sit extremely watered down wine, that she probably brought along to brace herself with. Some 'normal' stuff is also with her and offered to Saoirse, "I know little." says the Mirrormask, "I have never been oen to take with many travels." One can tell just by looking at her that she does not have the physical healtth to travel a lot.

"I looked over the survey that was left in the Society's library, but the only other time I've been into Saik lands was for that last, um, issue that we took care of." Rosalie offers gently with a smile towards Lucita before glancing between her and Giulio, then to Saoirse. "As to Platinum, there's more that could be said about that particular subject, but I'm unsure how much of it would be currently relevant. Do we know if anyone has even found any recordings or documentation from the previous parties that have attempted to scout the castle?"

"There was a story once, that Lord Estaban Saik told me. He told me about a dream, a dream that he had of a castle which was abandoned in grassy hills... He needed something there... But everytime that he when he tried to reach it in his dreams, he woke with a chill of dread and ill omens raced down his spine... My friend felt it was important to find it...," Aiden says after dismounting his horse and looking up toward the castle in the distance that they chose to walk. He side glances toward Lucita, "While I'm here to represent the Society of Explorers, I'm mostly here for you Lucita and the man we both loved, and for his children." He considers the sprawl of the land, how the hills have hidden it, squinting his gaze. A gyrfalcon that had been flying ahead before them, now lands on Aiden's uplifted forearm, bracing for the impact of those talons and thankful for the falconeer glove. He rewards the feathered friend with a piece of meat from his pocket, considering the others before he notes, "I can send Archibald ahead." Who was Archibald, well, he was looking right at the gyrfalcon, so probably the bird.

Lucita says, "Saikland Greens as a holding is only a few centuraries old, founded by Vanessa Malvici after she reformed her pirating ways and swore fealty again. The name 'Saik' has an unknown meaning. It is uncertain if it was her nickname or if, as others claim, it has a mystical or supernatural significance predating the founding of Saikland Greens. So there is that mystery also. A castle was featured in some visions my late husband had, but those were associated with the enemy of Vellichor. As Duke Aiden said, he never located the abandoned castle, with portraits of those he thought, had been 'erased' from memory. And of course, some abandoned areas, not all of them thought to be in Gray Forest I have been told verbally but can't remember by whom... are shardhavens. Whatever it is, we need to proceed with care."

Saoirse sizes Aisha up for a little moment and then turns back to the rest of the group. "May I ask your goal, Baroness? To learn about the castle? Or is there something you wish to find more specifically?" A quick glance is spared for the rest of the group. Oh hey, strangers! "Princess Saoirse Velenosa," she says, an efficient introduction. No ceremony here today.

It is not difficult to traverse the land to get to the castle itself, though the building is dark and foreboding. There are some definite places of disrepair, where it seems like the walls and walkways might crumble at any moment. Thorns and ivy climb high upon the walls, unfazed by the cooler air that the winter provides. Though it's winter in the South, it is a crisp chill at the very worst and the hills are doing their best to guard against the worst of the weather. The stone is a drab gray color, and just above the mantle on the door there's a strange symbol; geometric shapes with hard edges, with vines wrapped around them.

Lucita says, "My goal depends on what we discover. If it is discovered to be dangerous we need to ensure nothing dangerous lurks within the boundry of Saikland Greens, growing into a threat to us and the compact. If it is something the Platinum Guard or whoever or whatever Saik Forebearers were left here, it may be potentially helpful to the Compact and worth investigating. If the castle from Estaban's Vision, we will need to notify faith so they can cleanse it or deal with it. And no, have not found any records from past attempts to explore it."

"Lady Rosalie Redtyde," its offered automatically in response to the introduction from Saoirse, accompanied by a bright smile. Rosalie looks back towards Lucita as she speaks, giving a small nod. Glancing towards the Duke-Consort, she offers quietly, "Given the propensity of those who come here for disappearing, you may wish to keep your companion close to hand." As the approach the door, she catches sight of the strange symbol and muses on it.

Rosalie checked intellect + occult at difficulty 35, rolling 15 higher.

The Mirrormask gives an amused look to Saoirse as the princess sizes her up, and quite uncaringly the Inverno winks at her. Aisha is perfectly at ease in her skin, it seems. As Aisha does not really know anyone she offers over, "Lady Aisha Inverno, a Mirrormask." The Inverno just sticks with following along with the crowd, having no clue on what it is that is being discussed. "Anything and everything can be a threat." says Aisha.

Aisha checked intellect + occult at difficulty 35, rolling 13 higher.

Aiden checked intellect + occult at difficulty 35, rolling 9 higher.

Saoirse checked intellect + occult at difficulty 35, rolling 43 higher.

"Count Giulio Corvini," Giulio replies, with a tilt of his head toward Saoirse, before looking to the sigil on the door. There's a slow tilt of the man's head at that, before he looks towards Lucita. "This will prove most interesting," he murmurs, quietly. "I suspect you are quite correct, however, in your reflections of its interest." He considers the stones for a long moment. "That is, at least according to some of Palladium's writings, Platinum's glyph."

Saoirse takes a quick glance at the glyph in the door and her expression changes mutably. She turns around to face the group. "I believe," she says, "that this is going to be sad."

Lucita pulls out a notebook and sketches the glyph above the door and casts a long glance toward Giulio. "Well, perhaps that narrows down the possibility, yes?

Aiden looks up at the castle walls, side glancing to Rosalie when she suggests to keep his companion close, noting, "You'd be surprised what he can see that we cannot." He turns back to studying the walls and the features of the castle, pausing on the symbol with hard edges and the vines. "I know this..." he says thoughtfully, though doesn't immediately spill what it is to everyone in attendance, as if he was contemplating the deeper meaning.

"Not just Platinum's... Platinum and Silver's combined glyph... see the vines wrapping around the hard edges? Those belonged to Silver, and it wasn't until they fell in love that this single glyph was born from his geometric shapes and hard edges, and her vines and malleability," Rosalie goes full nerd mode for a moment, even pointing a gloved finger to trace the air around the twined glyphs. Glancing back to Aiden, she smiles softly, "I don't doubt his ability to see things, Duke Rubino. But when entire groups of people are known to disappear in this area, it behooves us to keep the party together as much as possible."

Since everyone says what Aisha would have said she does not repeat it. Instead she says to Saoirse, "Seems like it is going to be sad, yes." The mirrormask slides her eyes to the others to listen to their thoughts.

Aiden checked command + animal ken at difficulty 25, rolling 45 higher.

When Aiden asks his bird to take flight, it takes off in a flurry of wings and feathers, and then starts to soar around the castle. It flies around a bit, dipping and swooping through the air before it goes down low to get a better look at things.

Aiden mutters to Archibald, "You know what to do. High flight. Don't put yourself in danger my friend." There's a scritch to the white gyrfalcon's chest, before the raptor makes a shriek, and with a swift movement, Aiden lofts his arm upward to cast the feathered companion into the sky. Archibald starts climbing and climbing, higher and higher, wheeling up to heights to soar clear of the castle, but yet, bird eyes are alarmingly precise from these heights. Aiden smiles at Rosalie, "He knows what he's doing. He's done a lot more than soar above an abandoned castle. I trust him to keep himself safe."

Lucita says, "Anyone have any thoughts or questions so far? I don't know why they would have come here if that is indeed Platinum's Glyph. To rest, to combat something in the area, or wonder if more primum here or something. I'm not knowledgeable about such things, just curious and idly wondering. Speak up if you have ideas."

Those dark eyes track over the shapes for a moment, his eyes narrowing slightly, before he nods. "We should proceed with caution. It is impossible to know whether or not the sigil is a warning, a remark, or something else." One of Giulio's shoulders lofts slightly, shading his eyes a moment as he surveys the stones a moment longer. Then, at the last, he offers Aiden a nod. "Do we wait for the results of the scouting?" he asks, his gaze resting on Lucita.



"I think it depends on the nature of matters. My suspicion is that it is a ward of some stripe, or a warning. But, I fear I know little of the particulars. It might also have been simply their castle, fallen into disrepair."

"I.. wait for ..." Saoirse watches the bird fly away, squinting to see it. She can't. It is too far! "Wait for a bird? To do what?" She gives a blank look at each member of the party, then says, "I think we have to go in."

Aiden chuckles at Saoirse's response and gestures toward the castle, "He's amazingly in tune with ... things that are evil." His hand goes up to shield over his eyes to keep the sun from his gaze so he can spot the antics of his birding. "Well, it certainly is abandoned. Looks like there's a few holes in the roof, so, it's been a considerable amount of time..." He squints, "Nothing... physical, at the moment, that seems to be threat." He gestures to the symbol, "Although it's as Count Giulio has said, we are not sure what sort of purpose or reason this was left before us." A beat, "Oh yes, I'm Aiden Rubino, Duke of Gemecitta." He smiles up at the raptor, sending him a shrill whistle, which starts to bring the gyrfalcon back in.

The Inverno watches the bird fly off then she focuses on the castle once more, idly inspecting it more. Then Aisha says, "Im for going in too."

Saoirse's eyes narrow skeptically at Aiden, but the group seems to be headed metaphorically in the direction she suggested, so she moves on. She does keep a sort of careful eye on the Rubino lord, however, and noticeably keeps her distance from him for the duration of the quest. An ice frosts her voice when she speaks to him, a coolness emanates when her gaze falls on him, but, you know maybe that's just the Velenosa in her.

Lucita nods to everyone and takes a deep breath, she takes a few steps forward and knocks on the door. A respectfuly polite knock that perhaps might avoid triggering a ward trap that a pounding demand for entry or a simple attempt to force the door open or to open and walk in uninvited might cause. Perhaps it may seem silly to others but at least it is doing something other than gawking at the castle and waiting on someone else to take the first step.

Once the knocking is done, she gives a sheepish grin over her shoulder to the others. "If someone else wishes to go first, they are welcome. I just appreciate all your help and did not want to back out on doing this now that we are all here.

Aiden checked perception + empathy at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher.

Saoirse gestures to Aiden. And maybe his bird! "I think the Duke should head in. After all, he has the omniscient avian."

"I can go first. I'm not Lycene, so if there's going to be a bad reaction, its most likely to happen to me anyways," Rosalie volunteers gently, nudging her way up towards Lucita, offering the Baroness a faint smile before looking over the door briefly.

Aisha gives a cough after Saoirse's words, perhaps it was covering up something or the Mirrormask is just that bad off physically. "With the wise bird, we'll surely know of threats." agrees Aisha. Her tone is pretty even, if a bit breathless already.

Aiden becomes aware of the immediate distance that Saoirse puts between herself and him, so when she looks at him he'll flash a soft cautious smile and generally try to stay out of her way. He shrugs his shoulder at her gesture, "He can see what we cannot." The raptor however is gestured to a tree rather than back to his arm, since birds generally don't like going into buildings. There's a soft chuckle, something that amuses him. He does step forward, looking side ways at Giulio, "Well, how about it? In we go?"

There is no answer when Lucita knocks on the door, other than the hollow ring behind it. The wood seems perfectly preserved, and neither weather nor time as worn it away. To the right of the door is a series of levers, and there are symbols all about the door; old Arvani numbers - 1, 2, 3, 4. The numbers, however, are out of sequence. Around the edges of the door there's a story, written in an old Arvani dialect, not the pidgeon that the shavs use, however.

Giulio has rolled a critical success!
Giulio checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 35, rolling 80 higher.

Giulio checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 35, rolling 55 higher.

Saoirse checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 35, rolling 23 lower.

Saoirse checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 35, rolling 17 higher.

Rosalie checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 35, rolling 20 higher.

Rosalie checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 35, rolling 23 higher.

Lucita checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 35, rolling 12 lower.

Lucita checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 35, rolling 23 lower.

Aisha checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 35, rolling 22 lower.

Aisha checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 35, rolling 12 lower.

Lucita glares at the riddles and then looks at the others. "I'll tell you the same thing I di the others when I had a lever to pull, I'm not good at figuring out puzzles like that so just tell me which one to pull when or, even better, I can stand aside and admire the skills of someone who can figure it out adeptly and thank them very kindly.

There is a flat consideration of those present, Giulio's gaze distant for a moment as he considers Lucita, Saoirse, Rosalie and the rest. "I'm hardly the leader of the expedition," he says, with an inclination of his head towards Aiden. He does, however, spend a brief moment looking the door over, before, if there seems to be no other threat, offering Lucita the nod. "I would recommend keeping on the alert."



His own demeanor is a thing of masklike pleasantness, before he looks to the levers and then, letting his lips quirk, he spends some time musing on the matter as he speaks with Saoirse and Rosalie. "Third, second, fourth and first, you think?" he asks, one brow raised in question.

"I don't know why," Saoirse says, whispering with Giulio and Rosalie to figure out the riddle, "they insisted on writing so much damn -backstory- for a math problem." Riddle complete, she murmurs, "Did you two get 3, 2, 4, 1?" When Giulio confirms, she nods.

"I'll go with the same word as the Baroness. Just tell me what you need me to do." Something has Aisha nodding at Saoirse, for the moment saying nothing, while the getting inside is solved.

Aiden seems distracted and doesn't really... pay attention to what they're all going on about. It's likely because he's having a somewhat interesting one-sided conversation with... who? A raptor's cry in the background is the only indication and he shakes his head and mutters something further and looks back at the group. "Math... problem?" Cue the birdlike headtilt.

"Clever... couching it in the story to separate it from the levers and numbers.. that its in an older dialect is likely just to do with the pasing of time. But a fun little puzzle nonetheless," Rosalie murmurs to herself, looking over the riddle and the levers. Giving a nod, she seems to agree with Giulio and Saoirse, "Its not uncommon for riddles to contain math within them. It makes the answer less obvious and forces someone to truly know their stuff to get past the 'lock'."

"I don't mind the math," Saoirse clarifies. "It's the lengthy background of the girl that just makes no sense. I mean," she gestures to the text (which does not, it should be noted, say any of the things she claims). "Who cares that she was sixteen and her mother died when she was ten and that their lives were so hard that she had to sell apples and then her cows died and--" The princess pulls a face. "It's just a -riddle-, not a historical account, my gosh." Someone needs language lessons.

"Intuition, empathy and problem solving, perhaps," Giulio says, offering a certain concision, before nodding to Rosalie and Saoirse. Looking to Lucita, he gives a last check of the area, as if in consideration of some esoteric paranoia, before saying, "I believe, if you press the levers in that order, the door will open." One shoulder rises in a shrug, before falling again.

Lucita moistens her lips and murmurs. "Thank you." She betrays a little trepidation as she reaches forward to pull the levers in the order noted but as soon as the last one is pulled. She attempts to step back. Only then does something Rosalie say sink in and she looks toward the woman. "This is far from over I expect. I will rely on your skills as we go along and appreciate your offer.

Back Aisha steps, putting herself into a spot out of the way since, thus far, she is not needed to do anything.

The levers are pulled, and as each one is pulled there's a cht, cht, cht, cht, SNICK sound as each one moves into place. A loud bang sounds, and then the door opens. Daylight filters inside the building, and there's a long hallway before them, and ending in a staircase upwards. There is archway on each side of the hallway, which presumably moves further into the castle as well.

Rosalie lets out the breath she'd held while waiting to see if the mechanism would work properly. She looks to Lucita and gives a small nod, offering, "We'll have to be on our guard. There will likely be more tricks and traps along the way. If this truly was Platinum's castle, I don't think he would stop at a single riddle lock.."

As the door opens, Aiden looks pleased to have left the riddles to others better skilled at it. He is a profficient scout though and so he steps in with a muttered, "Let me check the corners first... you never know-" and then slips in, quietly.

When the doors open in Aisha slips behind Aiden, whether she heard his order to wait is unclear.

Aiden checked perception + survival at difficulty 25, rolling 1 lower.

Whatever Giulio's suspicions on the matter might be, he remains silent, one corner of his mouth twisting in a faint smile. Then, he begins to move forward, again, his gaze flitting from side to side. He starts to say something, before nodding to Aiden. Glancing to Lucita, he adds, "It is most likely that the matters of greatest import will be at the pinnacle of the building -- that said, I would recommend a slow and unhurried approach to exploring the building unless something screams 'trap' or 'run'. There is much to discern and little of immediate risk. I do have this odd tendancy to feeling an itching between my shoulder blades if I go too quickly." There is a certain dry humor to his tone.

Giulio checked perception + survival at difficulty 25, rolling 49 higher.

Saoirse kind of makes a by alllll means gesture when Aiden volunteers to go first, but she's SKEPTICAL /A/ F. She taps Aisha's shoulder and shakes her head, then points to Giulio, who is also peeking around corners. "Follow him," she mouths obviously enough for anyone to pick it up.

Aisha checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.

Aisha checked perception + survival at difficulty 25, rolling 6 lower.

Lucita awaits Aiden's return. She murmurs to others "We have torches available if needed for light. Anyone want a swig of whiskey or rum before we go in? And agreed, we need to be careful and take time, Everyone tends to have different abilities and skills, so will work together as a team." She moves to distribute unlit torches and checks to make sure she still has her firestarter and walks in when the scouts indicate it is alright to do so.

Lucita checked perception + survival at difficulty 25, rolling 0 higher.

In addition, Giulio flips the lid on his mirror bracer, using it to look around corners and the like. And for seeing casual reflections of stalker-y demonic entities. Paranoid much?

Aiden checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 3 higher.

Raising his hand, Giulio says, "Be careful." He points out a series of tiles on the ground, that make a pattern. "Use those -- it looks like the other tiles may form a trap of some kind or another. If you notice the tiles with the crumbling edges... well, be cautious. It does, however, head to both archways, as well as onwards. My recommendation is checking the side archways after a moment to scan, before continuing on." He looks to Lucita at that, one brow lofted in question.

Lucita's eyes widen and she stops short of advancing down the hall. "Wait? What's that? The floor tiles. Whoever laid those tiles did not have a good sense of design, just look how....oh. Er... ah... You mean that is different because similar to the floor in that room that made something happen to the walls... and the floor and was some kind of a trap? Which ones are safe to walk on?" She is a good follower and will step where the others indicate is safe.

Saoirse takes careful stock of the outer chamber then, when she can peek inside, of what lies within. Her gaze roves the ceiling, the walls, and even the doorjamb - she's a thorough observer.

Oops. Aiden's foot went through one of the plain looking tiles.

Aisha comments to Saoirse, "Maybe there is a stick or two outside to poke at tiles with."

The floor itself is indeed littered with two types of tiles. There are plain tiles with nothing on them, and then there are patterned tiles - each holding the same symbol as above the door. Guilio notices the patterns just as Aiden starts walking down the hall, and his foot puts pressure on one of the plain tiles. The tile crumbles beneath his foot, causing his foot to go through the floor itself. He is, with some luck, able to catch himself. There is now a hole where Aiden's foot used to be, and a clanking sound as tile bits hit a floor presumably below.

There is a nod and Giulio points out the tiles that match the pattern. He will take a moment to draw out a lantern and quickly light the bullseye'd thing, before proceeding onwards. Raising it, he would make the appropriate steps, peering first to the right, then to the left.

The path is wide enough for people to walk single file.

Aiden wheels his arms back at the last second before his momentum carries him into the hole that his foot just created. He makes a sound of dismay as the tile gives way, looking around with his heart racing to see if anything is going to shoot at him from the walls or swing at him from up above. He certainly is frozen where he's at now, considering the nearest safe tile for walking on.

{ Stairway

oooooooPoooooo

oooooooPoooooo

oooooooPoooooo

Left PPPPPPPPPPPPPP Right

oooooooPoooooo

oooooooPoooooo

oooooooPoooooo

Entrance



Is the pattern being seen by all.

Stairway

oooooooPoooooo

oooooooPoooooo

oooooooPoooooo

Left PPPPPPPPPPPPPP Right

oooooooPoooooo

oooooooPoooooo

oooooooPoooooo

Entrance



Is the pattern being seen by all.

Lucita follows carefully along, placing each foot in the spot recently vacated by the person ahead of her. "Does not matter which direction we go, will need to check them all out eventually. Whoever is ahead, lead the way!

Aiden peers down the space that the tile had been, muttering, "I'll take the stairs, it looked a little difficult to nagivate the upper stories." He doesn't say how he knew that, but he suggests, "It'll possibly go quicker if we go in .. pairs?"

"As you like, it may be a library to the right and an entertainment room to the left." There's a glance shot to the others. "I have some small preference to see if there is in fact a library -- and if there are any intact volumes."

"I'll go with Giulio," Saoirse volunteers. For she, too, is a book dork.

Aiden's mutters to Giulio, "If you find anything do share." He looks to see who will pair with him to go up the stairs.

"I'll go with the Duke..." Rosalie offers from... well, where DID she get off to? Because suddenly she's just... there, again.

Lucita gives Aiden an odd look. "It might if we all had the skills you and Lord Giulio display. The problem is we don't. And some of us have skills others do not that might prove useful." She also murmurs. "I think we all have an interest in what might be discovered." She glances toward the other person, smiling gently. "If the others head off, that leaves you and me. I'm good as some few things but none of htem have been very useful so far. We might fare better to go with one of the other groups. I'm not a coward, just recognize they are more adept in finding traps and figuring riddles out.

"I couldn't find a trap or solve a riddle if my life depended on it." observes Aisha. Around she looks then adds, "Though, they all seem intent on spliting up." Towards the right Aisha indicates, "We may as well go this way."

Aiden checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 29 higher.

Saoirse has rolled a critical success!
Saoirse checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 94 higher.

Lucita checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 29 higher.

Giulio checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 54 higher.

Rosalie checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 31 higher.

Aisha checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 5 higher.

The party splits!



Aiden and Rosalie head upstairs. There are no traps that they can find. There are four rooms to be searched.



Giulio and Saoirse go into the library. Saoirse is able to point out some sort of nasty sort of dart contraption. While there are bookshelves in the library, there does not appear to be any books themselves. Either the books were taken, or age and time have taken their toll.



Lucita and Aisha head into the entertainment room, and like the others, they have managed to avoid some of the traps that have been set. Within this room are a series of wooden instruments. Like the wooden door, they appear to be in pristine shape. There's nothing otherwise special about them, other than they appear to look like new; possibly, perhaps, they've been preserved in some manner.

The party splits!



Aiden and Rosalie head upstairs. There are no traps that they can find. There are four rooms to be searched.



Giulio and Saoirse go into the library. Saoirse is able to point out some sort of nasty sort of dart contraption. While there are bookshelves in the library, there does not appear to be any books themselves. Either the books were taken, or age and time have taken their toll.



Lucita and Aisha head into the entertainment room, and like the others, they have managed to avoid some of the traps that have been set. Within this room are a series of wooden instruments. Like the wooden door, they appear to be in pristine shape. There's nothing otherwise special about them, other than they appear to look like new; possibly, perhaps, they've been preserved in some manner.

Saoirse steps further into the library, twisting around the desiccated room. She looks up, at the ceiling; she looks down, at the floor, and then her gaze alights. Quickly, the princess (who wore silks to this, the dummy) strides across the empty room and blows, hard, on a shelf. A dust cloud EXPLODES. Everywhere. On her, on her gown, on Giulio. POOF! But under that cloud, Saoirse pulls a piece of paper. It's so old. But the markings on it, the notes... she murmurs, "A map."

Lucita's eyes gleam as she spots the instruments and she checks around the room carefully, eyeing the walls, the ceiling, the floor, hoping beyond hope she would not find anything amis or something would squasy, stab or tumble her to who knows where. Instruments! Entertainment area! As long as they are not entertaining themselves with instruments of torture or used to perform strange medical experiments, she is in her niche, music she knows and it is with an expert eye she casts her gaze over them one by one. That... looks like something could be interesting. Wonder if they are anything unusual... or special... or have anything hidden inside them.

Towards the instruments Aisha steps, her steps ever slow and precise. She might not be quick but she is very careful. She glances to Lucita, "Shall we look?" asks Aisha, more or less rhetorically as the Mirrormask is alreayd reaching for one to inspect closer.

"Excellently done," Giulio says, tilting his head in Saoirse's direction. He takes a brief moment, before saying, "Simply out of a sense of completeness -- I am going to take a moment to check the shelves and walls." And he would do exactly that, checking the bookcases for any hollow points and then, slowly doing the same for the walls, though with a cautious approach in the general.

Saoirse takes to the map as Giulio studies the room, working to decipher its contents.

Aiden checked perception + survival at difficulty 25, rolling 24 higher.

Giulio has rolled a critical success!
Giulio checked perception + investigation at difficulty 50, rolling 38 higher.

Rosalie checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 24 higher.

"I think... we'd be better off searching the rooms together," Aiden advises to Rosalie, considering his near misfortunate at the front doors.

As people marvel at their findings, meanwhile Aiden and Rosalie comb through the four rooms upstairs. The rooms themselves don't appear to be trapped. They are just living spaces. However, there is a chest within one of the rooms - undisturbed. It is small and wooden, and there is a tiny key nearby that looks like it might open the chest. They both stumble onto it at the same time.



Giulio, however, starts searching further in the book room. His fingers go up and down everything in the room, carefully moving things back and forth, looking for pressure points, etc. In one of his thorough searches he manages to depress what looks like a knot within a piece of wood and one of the bookcases opens to a staircase below.

Lucita asks of her exploring companion. "Do you play an instrument or are you a singer or a dancer? Music is my passion." She looks the instruments over and then adds. "Do we dare try to play any of them? Some instruments are... special but usually only fully usable if created for the person who intends to use it. At least I think that is what the information I got indicated when delving into some of the older references.

"Well, that does seem, interesting," Giulio says, his head tilting in Saoirse's direction. "Shall we?" he inquires, though, he will, if permitted, take a brief moment to look over the map as well.

The path down behind the bookcase is quite, quite dark. There are noises coming from below, sounds like babies crying.

Rosalie checked perception + legerdemain at difficulty 25, rolling 33 higher.

Saoirse glances up when she hears Gilulio's movement -- oh ho! A secret staircase! The princess rolls up the dusty map and sticks it... She glances at her outfit. Uh. Sticks it... Down the front of her dress. Held by boobs. It definitely does not cut an attractive figure and the tailor is probably counting his blessings that Saoirse has not picked THIS moment to model. "Neat," she tells Giulio as she steps after him.

"I can't carry a tune with or without an instrument." admits Aisha. "Many are too heavy for me and I can't last though even a couple verses of a song." Her fingers slide over an instrument, "I wanted to learn." she observes, "As far as I can, tell, though, there is nothing special beyond instruments being well lvoed and cared for." This gets a thoughtful pause from Aisha, "Which is odd, don't you think? It doesn't really seem like this is a frequently used place."

Lucita nods and says. "You'd think, too, if those traps kept others from returning, someon must have replaced the tiles in the floor and reset them to catch other people."

Rosalie checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 35, rolling 21 higher.

"Shall we?" Giulio asks of Saoirse, as he raises the lit, bullseye lantern. "They're just opossums down there. And, I do trust -- well." The man glances at the map, and points to a scroll case on his pack. "There's some paper in there for rubbing, but, it should fit," he says, with a nod to the woman.

The chest is set down and Rosalie gets to work. She first checks it over for traps and finds another riddle! It is much like the one from the door outside, but different. This has buttons to be pressed and not levers. She then very carefully works out the sequence of the riddle, and after that same snick, she turns the key. The chest opens, to a tiny fortune. Inside, there's a dawnstone, several precious stones and semi precious stones, about 20,000 silver, and a few pieces of luxury metal.

"Is this not a good look?" Saoirse asks, not removing the map. She seems comfortable enough. Whatever, princess. She pauses on a step to listen. "They sound more like children crying," she tells Giulio flatly. She peers over the man's shoulder, trying to get a better look.

"... it looks fine. Uncomfortable, but fine. As to the sounds, I can understand your thoughts on the matter. I've spent a good deal of time in the woods. Hunting fugitives and the like from my time as a magistrate." Giulio's lips quirk in amusement. "To be fair, my first thought was some form of horrific demon, but, nonetheless." And then, lantern held before him, he would start the process of descending the stairs -- being very, very careful to look both ways before potentially tripping down the trap infested stairs.

Aiden regards the fortunes that are within the chest, noting to Rosalie, "The Baroness can make use of the material within... Good find.." He starts to consider other locations around the room, "I wonder if there's any tapestries or... well.. anything that can hint at more of what sort of ... history this place has." He continues to search, looking for things out of the ordinary...

Lucita looks the Vielle over and its strings, checking that it is tuned well and the bow. Hesitantly she picks it up and plays a few bars on it, watching for any unexpected effects. At the same time she eyes the lute sitting near it and a mandolin. She goes through the same proceedure with each and peeks inside the opening of the sounding board, a common place for musicians to keep notes.

Lucita says, "Do you find any sheet music or scores around here? Check the furniture, sometimes a seat on a bench will lift and give something inside and old songs sometimes bear useful information. I only worry playing the wrong thing may cause a problem."

"Maybe there is something else?" wonders Aisha as she idly starts giving a glance around the room, "Are you any good at investigating things? I'm not."

Giulio and Saoirse go down into the dark, dark, darkness of the underground. If there are traps, and to be sure there /are/ traps, Giulio is able to navigate them pretty well. He's also able to make note of where they are for when they go back upstairs. The room is dark. There are definitely opossum in here, hanging from the smaller rafters. They are VERY UNHAPPY with the bright light. There are a few more shelves in the basement for review.

"Welp, not dying is definitely a part of my long term goals to remain drunk, debauched and dry." Giulio says, as he looks over the shelves. "Witted," he adds, for clarities sake. Holding the lantern, however, he moves to begin looking over the different shelves. First for the obvious -- and then, like the consummate paranoid that he is, the less obvious.

"Are those?!" Saoirse exclaims, leaning back into Giulio. She looks horrified -- opossums?! Oh gosh! Gee! And then she breathes, "Are those --babies--?" Oh. She's kidding. Surely. It's very hard to tell with this princess of Velenosa. Then she, too, takes to the shelves.

Lucita looks over toward Aisha and replies. "Fairly good, I'm not so good as Lord Giulio but manage to do a goodly bit of research into the tomes or trading old songs with other bards and travelers. " She sets the last of the instruments aside and moves to help tap walls, peer under and into any furniture and check over the floor well seeing if anything there.

Giulio checked perception + investigation at difficulty 40, rolling 32 higher.

Saoirse checked perception + investigation at difficulty 40, rolling 5 lower.

Saoirse checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 3 higher.

Lucita reluctantly turns aside and says. " Seems we have nothing new to find. I'm reluctant to take any of the instruments with me though do like that little mandolin, it is smaller than my lute and has just as good a range and voice. Shall we check on the others? Just be careful where we step.

Even with the hooded lantern, things are difficult to search within the basement. Yet, Giulio is able to find one last thing. A small journal. Most of the journal is empty, except for one or two pages of writing. The writing is in a bit of code, though it clearly matches that of the map.

Saoirse not only does not find anything, she AMAZINGLY doesn't find anything -- and all because of an opossum. Saoirse pulls open a drawer and stops at the sight of not one. Not two. But TEN squirming, writhing rodents resting against their enormous mother. Saoirse stares at them. They stare at her. One of them starts chittering and then the rest start SCREAMING and it's a HORRIBLE SOUND and Saoirse can't even move and then one LAUNCHES ITSELF AT HER FACE! That gets her moving. The princess /wheels/ back, twisting and turning and bumping right into Giulio.



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