Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

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Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by Myds6 on Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:36 pm

The Sylvan Crown
((This will be a hybrid story / campaign.  It won’t necessarily follow regular Enferia rules, but will here and there adhere to something of the sort.  A character who is stripped, could still take some action, and might find new clothes to wear.  Things will likely happen—they might involve getting stripped, or suffering some other kind of non-injurious humiliation.  The characters might well split into multiple small parties, allowing the story to continue in the absence of moves from one of the players—although the storylines will inevitably come together again at some point.  I guess this can run anytime, and I will leave open-ended when it will wrap up.  Feel free to post, and don’t worry about turn order until any further notice—I expect this story to grow quickly when I have the time, but I will generally wait for your character’s moves, hence the party splintering.  If, for some reason, I really need a move and am not getting it, I’ll send you a private message, wait a reasonable number of days, then have your character somehow indisposed and not quite in the middle of the action—nothing serious will happen to that character in your absence—unless you decide it should be otherwise and give express permission.  Also, let's not get too hung up on when this story happens in time--feel free to reference things that already happened in other threads, or not.  We'll figure it out.))

Niniane was working at the tavern as usual on a Friday night, when she noticed a face she hadn’t seen before.  Strangers were by no means an unusual sight in the Ripped Bodice, but this elf was well-dressed.  But not like a noble, or a merchant; she looked like a servant of someone very wealthy.
The elf flashed a large coinpurse at Niniane.  While not an advisable act, it was not unusual, either.  People who wanted to impress the barmaids to make sure their cup was full all night, or perhaps hoping that their bed might be full at the end of the night flashed their purse.  “You…wench, come here.”  Ninine didn’t really appreciate being referred to as a “wench,” but walked over to the elf, holding her tray at her side and hands at her hips, ready to take her order, but in a stance that showed it might be ill-advised to use such a term with her again.

The elf leaned in and spoke in a low tone, “I represent certain…well-funded parties.”  “You don’t say,” Niniane responded, with mock surprise.  “My mistr-, um, employer, is looking to hire a team of adventurers.”  “Oh, how unusual…that never happens in this tavern,” Niniane responded with more than a hint of irony.  The elf blinked at her, as if clearing the table of her sarcasm, and continued, “Are you familiar with Marquesa  Anastase, of Place de Melrosa?”  “Isn’t she the one the gossip heralds are always going on about?  Who throws lavish parties?”
The elf’s eyes widened as she nodded eagerly, “The most lavish parties.  Her army of maids and chefs serve up enough cake and gateaux to feed a small city.  Her décor is far ahead of our time, her guests are the most elite of elite, and they make certain to wear the newest and most lavish fashions, because her parties are where the rich and powerful gather to see one another at their best.  As for the Marquesa, she seems to have arisen quickly from obscurity.  All of the nobles speak well of her.  It is known that those who speak ill of her tend to suffer misfortunes that are very detrimental to their social status.”  
Niniane, looked away, toward a customer waving a coin and an empty tankard, “What does this have to do with anything, is she your employer?”  The elf blushed, “Oh, dear me, no!  My employer wants to hire people with the right kinds of skills—magic, stealth, combat, which we hope won’t be necessary—to attend the party, and…..find something.”  
“A burglary?  Why doesn’t she send her own guards and servants?  Why not you?”  
“As I said, she needs to find those most skilled for the best chance of success.  She will pay for your…disguises.  She will compensate whoever brings her the crown with a royal sum.  I know that you are no ordinary barmaid, can you find others with exceptional skill?”  Niniane looked defensive, “how do you…” she blushed before finishing her sentence, as she realized her time in the arena had brought her some recognition.  “But, I’m no thief.”
“It’s going to take more than thieves—the security of the Marquesa’s mansion is legendary.  Aside from her guards and servants everywhere, those who have tried to leave the great hall have claimed the mansion is haunted.”  “Many nobles spread rumors that their mansion is haunted, to deter thieves.”
“Well, then, you are not afraid?”  “I’m not afraid, but I’m not sure I want to participate in theft.  Who are you working for?  What are you trying to steal?”  “I am not at liberty to say who my employer is.  Suffice it to say it is someone who will get you into the party—a party no one can get into, which should be a fine compensation in itself.  She will provide you with the best clothes by the best tailors, so as not to break the illusion that you belong there.  Once inside, you’ll be on your own.  Your goal is a very special crown—the Sylvan Crown.  And you will be doing the public a great favor.  The Marquesa obtained this artifact through ill and underhanded means, and she wields the magic in it to the detriment of all.  Think of the theft as a public service.”
“And I am to believe that your undisclosed mistress, or employer, rather, intends to use the magic for good?” Niniane said, noticing the customer with the empty tankard starting to shout and get rowdy, out of the corner of her eye.  “She will compensate you.  What she does with the artifact is none of your business.  If you aren’t willing to take part in this, I will find others, perhaps those who won’t ask so many questions or be hung up on the ethics of the task.”  The elf stood up from her chair, and turned to leave.
“Wait,” said Niniane, as if folding in a card game because she ran out of trump cards.  “I’ll do it.”  “You will find a party of capable people?”  “I am concerned dragging others into this—I’m barely sure I want to be involved myself—but…yes.”  “When you have a full team, give this calling card to a herald.  I will meet them here, and they can determine individually if they want to be part of this.  That way, you can assuage the quarrels of your conscience.”  Niniane nodded, then went to the office in the back of the tavern, ignoring the scream of, “Aaaaaaay!  Some Ale ovah heah!” from the angry customer.
When she returned, she posted the message she had penned on the notice board:  

She then returned to serving the tavern customers, and waited for a response from adventurers.


Last edited by Myds6 on Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by westley24 on Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:12 pm

"A large reward, eh?" Alison said aloud to no one in particular as she regarded the message. "Well, I'm always up for one of those. Perhaps I should contact this Niniane?" Again, to no one in particular.

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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by Myds6 on Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:45 am

A heavy-set tavern maid with dark hair called from a few feet behind Alison. "Considering on of the job posts? Which one?"
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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by Big Mara on Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:07 pm

"Hrm...fascinating..." a soft voice murmured from Niniane's other side. Should she or Alison care to look, they'd spot the voice's presumed owner: A short, slender young girl with faintly-tanned skin, her large, curious brown eyes peering at the newest job offer. They were the sort of eyes one might expect to find hidden behind a pair of thick librarian's glasses; finely-tuned information receptors.

So single-minded was this girl in deducing what sort of posh party might require spells and weaponry that even when a strand of shoulder-length, mousy brown hair fell in front of her pouted lips, she would just let out a soft pff and blow it aside. This happened twice, total, and neither time seemed to dissuade her hair from intruding upon her mouth, mussed as it was. It wasn't so much unkempt as just slightly kempt. She'd clearly made an effort to make it presentable that morning, but it seemed to have a natural muss to it, as evidenced by her small ears peeking out of her otherwise-straight locks. It was exactly the sort of small, inconsequential quirk that attendees of a posh party would quietly ridicule behind their manicured hands.

A small snub nose and softly-pointed chin completed the girl's pretty face, and the youthful smoothness of her features indicated that she was, at oldest, in her early twenties; more likely freshly an adult, really.

She wore a silky white blouse, tight leather trousers, and a pair of sensible brown leather hiking boots. Beneath her clothes, she was obviously quite petite, with modest swells of breasts, a small waist, and slim hips, which flared out just enough to give her small bottom enough noticeable plumpness compared to her breasts. Slung across her shoulder was a large leather bag, which a keen eye might note was stuffed full of thick, heavily-bound books. A bookworm, through and through, if they ever saw one.

"Excuse me, are you Niniane? I've been staying here a few days now, and I think I remember saying your name before." the mousy girl asked, turning her curious eyes to the barmaid. "I'm very interested in that job, there. Could you tell me some more about what needs to be done? I'm actually looking for some field work right now, and this one about the party looks really interesting! What sorts of gear should I bring for a job like this? Oh, right." the plucky girl smiled, having the grace to look momentarily sheepish. It only lasted for that moment, though.

"I'm Annie Everest: Inventor and explorer extraordinaire. Pleased to meet you."

The mousy girl's introduction only took a second, really, but that was plenty of time to get a measure of her demeanor: Curious, adventurous, studious, and maybe just a little brash. What she could bring to the table might be a mystery, but her enthusiasm was evident in her wide, curious brown eyes. She was ready for adventure.

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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by Myds6 on Sat Sep 20, 2014 3:14 pm

Niniane regarded the inventor curiously, but without judgement.  She smiled, and tried to make her feel at home, "Pleased to meet you Annie, and yes, you have correctly deduced my name.  This job is a bit of a puzzle for me, really.  We have to locate an article of great power in a mansion that no one usually gets to enter, except during the huge fete that the owner hosts once a year.  I'm not a burglar, but the employer's representative has tried to suggest that relieving the owner of this powerful artifact might be for the public good.  She has some guards, and plenty of maids to make this difficult in addition for the wealthy socialites from all over the kingdom and beyond.  But some have reported that the very house has come alive and prevented them from entering the more private areas of the house.  But aren't such ghost stories just designed to keep the privacy of the mansion's owners?"  Niniane looked down, and cleared her throat.  "Anyway, the representative for our mysterious 'employer' will be here tomorrow night.  I wanted to make sure applicants heard it directly from her mouth; I don't want to mislead anyone.  I know so little about this, and I am a bit worried myself.  but she said if I don't do it, she'll find someone who doesn't ask so many questions or worry about what's right.  At least if I'm there, I can add my own voice to what's happening."

From behind her, a red-robed girl with brown hair spoke, "Are we talking about this job?  We might be interested."

Niniane turned, and seemed to recognize the girl, but instead addressed the taller woman beside her.  "Yes, you might be handy, come meet the messenger tomorrow night."  The mages nodded, and trudged off, arm in arm, in the manner of a new, young couple who are saccharinely cute.      

Niniane added, to all she had just spoken to, making her voice as discreet as their distance allowed, "We'll have to wear disguises--those will be supplied.  Now, if we had some infiltration specialists to deal with the locked doors...tell your friends!"

She turned back to the inventor and the warrior next to her.  "I can try to answer any other questions, the messenger will know as much as we're allowed to know."

((Since this is a hybrid story with some dice thing, and we'll split up at time, I'm going to send some of my PC's to keep the characters company, and possibly suffer the worst things that are so terribly bad I'd be nervous to write otherwise!  Just waiting on one more player/applicant maybe.  Feel free to add thief/rogue types into the mix if you want to send two (especially if the two might manage to team up, getting along or not getting along!).  We seem short on that so far. Really excited to run this, there are some crazy things planned.))
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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by westley24 on Sun Sep 21, 2014 1:20 am

"I'd like to be attending this posh party if there's still room for me," Alison answered Niniane before Annie joined the conversation. Staying quiet for most of the ensuing conversation, the freelancer left after telling the barmaid, "I'll be there."

Not long after Alison had left, Caterina found herself regarding the message board. She soon found Niniane and confronted her about the job. "I'd like to ask about the party with the large reward. The last noble party I was at didn't exactly end well for me, but I'm sure this will be different."


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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by Myds6 on Sun Sep 21, 2014 5:28 am

((It has come to my attention that the title I made up for this adventure is also a World of Warcraft item--I've never played it, so I had no idea.  But, just a disclaimer, it has nothing to do with that item.  It just sounded good. Just waiting on one more bit of input, then we'll get this rolling. I can't wait.))

Niniane nodded.  "Hmmm, you've done this kind of thing before?  Care to tell me what skills you have, and what you mean by didn't end well?"
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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by westley24 on Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:48 pm

"I'd rather not go into details on the party, and if you knew what had happened, you'd understand why. For this job, however, I am quite proficient in both stealth and combat, so I feel I'd be perfect." Caterina started her explanation unable to look the barmaid in the eye, but soon recovered her composure.

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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by Myds6 on Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:29 pm

Niniane nodded. For some reason, Enferia was full of stories and memories people would rather not elaborate on. "You sound perfect. Welcome along, then. we're waiting for one more team member, then we'll meet with our mysterious messenger. I'll let you know the allotted time."
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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by westley24 on Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:38 pm

"I'll be there," was all Caterina said before quickly leaving the bar. Coincidentally, some guards entered just before she discreetly exited.

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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by Myds6 on Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:57 pm

Niniane stood casually with her back to the covering the poster on the notice board as the guards passed by her. "You can never be too careful," she thought.
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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by Myds6 on Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:21 am

((Hi! I'm going to get this going Cerindclvr says he's really busy right now and may be able to post in a few days, so I'm going to add his character to the adventure and just take her up to the point where it separates out and the rest of us can move independently. The post after this will be a big one, it will happen very, very soon. It offers a few basic choices, then we'll all head to the party!!))

The guards poked around the tavern, getting a good look at all the patrons, and then as quickly as they had came, they left. Just as they passed through the doorway, a petite woman in a green cloak nimbly dodged around them, playfully posing dramatically as her long cloak flew around her as she leapt unnecessarily nimbly from their path and entered. Continuing her trajectory, she half danced, half-ran on her tiptoes until she was directly in front of Niniane, finishing with a flourish. She gestured to the poster Niniane was covering, and tilted her head in the direction of the door as the last guard exited. "I take it this is your poster, then?" she said, smiling, conspiratorially at Niniane. Niniane was taken aback at the tiny woman's playfully dramatic demeanor. She didn't find it tasteful, but paused for a moment as she searched for the words to reply appropriately, finally just nodding. "I'm Halia, and I'd like to come along."

Niniane nodded again, "Uhhh...the elf we have to meet is already upstairs, everyone else should be arriving right about now. Let's go upstairs." "Let's!" Halia agreed.
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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by Myds6 on Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:22 am

___


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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by Myds6 on Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:59 am

((This is a huge post—our mysterious elf tells you the plot, gives each character disguises and assignments, and a way to opt out if they change their minds.  Basically, after this each character makes their decision and boards a carriage (or not) the next post I make should include arriving at the party, and splitting into smaller groups—Like I said above, the reason I’m taking so many of my own pc’s is to help guide the action if need be, but they will be by no means safe, either.  Pity them.))




At the appointed time, the adventurers gathered.  The Elven servant had arranged for an upstairs room where they could speak in private, and change into their respective disguises.  Walking into the room, Jessica blushed as she saw Caterina, and briefly considered leaving immediately instead of reliving her humiliating defeat, and how hard Caterina had spanked her, even after Jessica had pleasured her.   But Irlana was behind her, and put a hand on her shoulder.  They had agreed they’d both be involved in this.

“Welcome,” said the mysterious Elf, her black hair in a ponytail that revealed her pointy ears.  She was wearing an odd outfit of a pink blouse and red waistcoat, with a red tabard-style skirt.  “I’m glad to see you’re all here.  This mission really needs to succeed, and we have some real talent in the room.  I know of many of you and your abilities from our Queen’s favorite entertainments in the arena.  Unfortunately, our guests may recognize you as well.  That’s why I brought these.”  She gestured to a large bag that had been delivered to the room.    Holding up a hand to intercept any questions,s he continued her speech.  “Niniane, you did an admirable job of gathering a talented group.  As promised, I’ll explain the mission to them and each will have the option of backing out—your conscience can be clear.”

Clearing her throat, she continued, “Marquesa Anastase, de Place de Melrosa.  Here in Enferia, she sometimes goes by Anastasia or simply Marquesa.  She is the wealthiest and most influential foreign noble to have a mansion in Enferian territory.  As you may have heard, every year she holds a ball, for the richest of the rich, the noblest of the noble.  Served by a veritable army of maids, the party is famous for the quality and quantity of its baked goods.  In fact, beyond the cakes, pies, and gateaux, or which hundreds are served, there is no other food.”

“Mmmmm…” Miryala the Elf said out loud, looking left and right, embarrassed, when everyone stared at her for interrupting.  She gestured to the mysterious servant to continue.

“In reality, the Marquesa is evil and vindictive.  The sycophants that attend her party, hoping to increase their social station, do so as much out of fear, as greed, and few actually love or admire her.  However, she has an unusual ability to make those who challenge her pay.  They aren’t injured, they merely suffer some mishap that ruins them socially, makes them the laughing stock of the nobles for some time to come.  In fact, all of the nobles laugh viciously at them, but uncomfortably, because they know they could be next.”

Jessica and Irlana had been holding hands and smiling at each other when the elf walked right up to them, and pulled them apart.  “Listen.  This is important.  That’s what brings us to your mission.  The source of the Marquesa’s power is an object of great magical power.  It is known as the Sylvan crown.  My employer was able to establish this much with the spies she sent to the Marquesa in the guise of security guards and maids, before they were weeded out.  No one knows exactly what the object looks like, but, presumably, it’s some kind of crown.  Whoever finds it can claim a royal reward from my employer, or you can choose to share the reward amongst your whole team.  That much is up to you.”

Niniane had been waiting patiently for the elf to take a breath.  “You already refused to disclose your employer’s name.  May we know your name?  How will we know that this is legitimate?  How will we know there really is a reward?”

“My name is not important,” the elf responded as gruffly as someone with her degree of etiquette could.  “My employer will be in attendance at the party.  She will reveal herself to you later in the evening, by offering a toast to the Marquesa.  As many such toasts will be offered, my employer’s will honor her as the ‘Mistress of the wooded estate at Place de Melrosa.’  Obviously, this is to remind you that when you find the Sylvan crown, you should return it to the person who made that toast, for a great reward.  Do not let the Marquesa see you with the crown.  I cannot explain how badly that would turn out.  She is a formidable mage in her own right without the artifact.”

Niniane nodded.

“In a moment, I will open the field for questions, at which point, you will change into your disguise and board the carriage waiting at the back door of the tavern, or decide not to partake in this adventure.  Let me offer a quick note on the challenges the await you:  I have mentioned the Marquesa herself as a risk.  She makes use of a relatively small body of armed guards, and a large army of maids who can report, or even deal with threats to the security of her mansion.  They will be particularly recognizable by their black-and-white uniforms.  The last threat, I know little about.  Some of our previous operatives tried to make their way into the more private areas of the house, and shortly thereafter quit, claiming that the mansion was haunted.  They say the very house itself came alive to prevent them from going any further.  I trust you’re not afraid.  There’s no such thing as ghosts, of course, just the rantings of an employee who found herself too incompetent to complete her task.”

“Lastly, you will not be able to get weapons into the party.  You might try a small knife, but it’s likely to be confiscated at the door.  That is why some of you have particular disguises that might help you smuggle in weapons that don’t look like weapons.  Annie, have you ever played a lute before?  In order to bring I your glove and golem pack, you’ll have to pose as the entertainment.  You might need to spend at least part of the time mingling with the guests in the great hall.  It might also afford you an opportunity to collect intelligence on sponsors for your inventions, which performed so…interestingly in the arena.  Oh yes, we know a great deal about you.  My employer takes this mission seriously enough that she has agents watching the tavern, watching the ad, comparing notes about your skills, and even judging your measurements.”  With that, she handed Annie a lute and a minstrel’s outfit, a navy-blue dress and pants of fine velvet.  “Unless, you’d prefer the jester’s outfit,” the Elf joked, but actually did produce a jester’s outfit in Annie’s size.  “It’s up to you, put on an outfit and come along, or withdraw and speak of this to no one.”  She gestured for Annie to change her clothes behind a small screen in the corner, and continued, “Next, Miryala; Unfortunately for you, the Marquesa has little use for elves, unlike my employer.  While she does not invite elves who have their own wealth or stature to the party, there are a small number on the maid staff.  Feel free to try this on.  It will allow you some access to the main area of the party, but also make it easier to find your way around the serving areas and perhaps act as a servant in the private areas of the mansion.”  The elf handed Miryala a maid outfit in her size, and turned to Caterina.  “Here, assassin, take this lovely light blue party dress.  It’s very expensive and tailored to your size.  We’ve checked the RSVP’s to the party, don’t ask how, and you will present yourself as the Contessa di Asti.  It should suit your accent admirably—just be careful in the presence of the Marquesa—she has visited the Contessa di Asti’s castle, and would surely recognize her, and have shared memories.  The other nobles likely won’t be able to tell the difference.”  She handed over the dress, then looked at Niniane, “Ah, Niniane.  You are a bit more full-figured than the Marquesa’s general taste in maids, but you certainly have the skillset to blend in—just remember, maids who serve the nobility do not possess a sharp tongue.  You might want to try to get upstairs and look around when the opportunity presents itself.”  She handed Niniane a plus-sized maid outfit, then looked at Alison, producing a fancy red dress.  “Ahhh, the sellsword….I apologize that you won’t be able to get your swords, regardless of how short, into the party.  But I suspect you have weapons beyond those you wield in your hands.  You can represent yourself as Lady Edwina of Glastonbury.  She is…indisposed to attend, what would have been the first of the Marquesa’s parties for her.  Now, the lovebirds.  Irlana, I have a maid’s outfit for you.  I want you to look around the kitchens and work areas.”  Irlana nodded, excited at the prospect of a new adventure.  “Jessica, I have a dress for you.  You’ll keep an eye on Annie in the public areas of the party, at least for a start.”  “Why can’t I go with Irlana?”  “You two need to concentrate on the mission.  You can climb all over each other when you come back here after it’s all over.”  Jessica frowned, but took the dress.   “Last to sign up, but certainly not the least.  I suppose you heard what I said to Miryala, Halia.  Your elven heritage is less obvious than that hers or mine, but the Marquesa will notice.  Here’s a maid outfit.  You can put your skills to use looking for the fabled vault in the mansion’s basement, through the servant hallways.  Perhaps one of the other ‘maids’ can accompany you.  Oh, and, we managed to get maid uniforms, but you’ll all have to wear your own underwear.  And some of the stockings don’t match all of the other uniforms.   Hopefully, that won’t be a big deal.  Here, I think these fishnets should fit you.  Good luck.”


“OK,” said the Elf, “everyone make your decisions…which disguise, if you have a choice?  Team up for a reward, or everyone for herself?  Then put on your disguises, and load into the carriage.  About a quarter-mile from the party, the carriage will stop and let you out.  I’ll accompany you to that point, then stagger your arrival.  We wouldn’t want a large number of suspicious guests and unrecognized employees showing up together, would we?”


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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by Myds6 on Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:40 am

Halia put on the maid's outfit she was given. Although her cheeks turned pink at how revealing it must have looked, with its short skirt, thigh-high stockings, and stupidly frilly little hat, it seemed worth the promise of reward. She joined the others in the carriage as the remaining adventurers made up their minds and changed clothes.

"Let's go," said the elven servant. "The possibility of a large reward awaits!"
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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by Myds6 on Sat Sep 27, 2014 1:12 am

((To Whet your appetite, assuming everyone agrees to go and wear the outfit given them, this is what it might look like:))


((Also, since this isn't exactly a regular Enferia battle thing, clothes will have far less durability than usual, but replacements might be able to be found.  Just imagine that clothes go fairly easily, and come a little less easily.  I think the girls look great, although maybe I have Halia pouting a bit too much!))
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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by westley24 on Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:38 am

Caterina happily took the dress when it was presented to her. "Playing noble shouldn't be much of a problem." she boasted, "I think we should split the reward; I know if one of you found the crown, then I'd still like to be paid."

"Right, right," Alison said half-heartedly, regarding the dress, "the reward. I suppose I should put this on." The freelancer then began to unashamedly strip off her normal clothes without so much as stepping behind the screen.

"We should definitely split the reward, I think," was what she told the party, but Alison had absolutely no intent to give any of them anything should she find the crown.

Caterina began undressing soon after Alison did, but the assassin moved behind the screen to do so. Just watching Alison brought a slight blush to her face.

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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by westley24 on Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:52 am

((This post is separate because it's less about plot. Also, I forgot to include it in the first post. Also, those are some hot maid outfits.))

Once Caterina was able to talk to Jessica relatively alone, she tried to apologize. "Look, I'm sorry about what happened in the arena. I don't know what came over me."

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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by Myds6 on Sat Sep 27, 2014 4:03 am

((Thanks--the maids will be wearing them--if you want your character to wear one, I wouldn't be surprised if the opportunity presents itself at some point!  So long as you don't get too bored seeing them--the nobles have a lot more variety in their outfits.))

Jessica looked up from admiring how the grey and pink dress fit her.  She had barely had any clothes other than the red robes of the academy since before puberty, and was enjoying wearing anything else more than anyone could have been aware.  She bit her lip as she remembered the events of the arena.  Her backside had been sore for days, but the other parts of her "punishment" were fairly pleasant.  And, of course, having to kiss Irlana got something out in the open they had both been hinting at since they had met a few days earlier, under equally difficult circumstances.  Jessica tried her best to smile pleasantly..."You did what you had to, it's all behind us now."  She paused for a moment, as if trying to change the subject, "Oh, by the way, I think we should split the reward as well.  We'll work better as a team if we can trust each other."  Irlana, unusually quiet, nodded in agreement.  Adjusting the maid outfit that she clearly deemed too immodest, especially in its failure to totally cover her ample backside, Niniane added, "I agree, what about you, Miryala?"  They obviously knew each other.  "Yes, I think we'll need to work together." 

"Good, good," the elven servant chimed in, "I was hoping you'd realize that.  It's important, since we don't know where it is in the house.  If you rush in, trying to beat the others, your chance of failure is higher.  It could be upstairs in the private rooms, in the basement vaults, or even the serving areas.  And, of course, it could be hidden in plain sight around the party.  All are serious possibilities.  The spies we planted brought back little useful information about its appearance or location."
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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by Big Mara on Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:02 am

((I really like the outfits, Myds.  Annie looks perfect, by the way; she looks like she's feeling a bit shy in her outfit, and nervous about how she's going to manage to pass as a minstrel.  I'm definitely going to have to try and get her into one of those maid outfits sometime, too. Wink))

"I've...never tried playing a lute, to be honest." Annie admitted, taking the outfit graciously.  It was quite thin, and seemed like it would tear easily if they needed to make a swift escape from the manor.  Not good.

"I'm good with my hands, though, so I'm sure I'll figure something out." That bit was really more to reassure herself.  How on earth was she going to pass as a talented lute player?  The guests would be expecting someone extremely skilled, obviously, and she was...not.  She'd worry about that later, she supposed.  With that, it was time for her to get changed.

Annie still felt a little self-conscious, standing there in her underwear.  Even with the privacy screen shielding her from the main group's view, she was still acutely aware of who else was in the room:

As she lifted her leg to step into the silky pantyhose she'd been provided, her eyes glanced down at the little messy pile of Halia's discarded garments.  She'd seen her walk out in her maid outfit, and now that she was in about the same boat, the mousy girl wished she hadn't said anything about being good with her hands.  That certainly brought back some embarrassing memories.

Once she'd finished changing, Annie stepped back out in her elegant, blue minstrel's tunic, silky pantyhose and thigh-high boots.  Grinning a bit sheepishly, she murmured a little "Ta-da", almost sounding as though she were teasing herself.  She really did like the outfit, though.  It was the sort of thing she'd have loved to wear to a party under normal circumstances, and the fabric was silky and smooth against her skin.

"Well, I'm as ready as I'll ever be." Annie said, nervously smoothing down the wrinkleless hem of her short skirt.

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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by Myds6 on Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:51 pm

((Thanks for the compliments.  I always try o take into account how personality should express itself in the artwork, and Annie seems unsure of herself except with inventions and science.))

Halia had given Annie a sheepish look when she mentioned being good with her hands, and almost subconsciously nodded in agreement. 

"Well," said the elven servant, putting an end to an awkward moment for more than just the two of them, "it seems like we're all ready.  Your coach awaits."

Walking down the serving stairs and through a back door of the tavern, they arrived in small alley that smelled of urine and rotting food.  Looking at the large, dark carriage pulled by an impressive team of horses, Jessica needed no further urging to jump inside, "It smells here, let's get in this thing and get rolling."  The other women didn't take long to load onto to the oversized conveyance either.  It was driven by a masked dfriver in a dark attire, looking more a highwayman than a coachman.  The vehicle itself was large and lavish enough to make anyone seeing it wonder to whom it belonged, but the windows were decorated with dark stained glass, preventing anyone from seeing inside to answer that question.  When the last of them had loaded in, the carriage starting moving, at first, very slowly because of its massive size and weight, but eventually the well-muscled horses brought it up to a respectable speed, except when it had to turn corners in the city streets.  Soon, even those sitting in the middle could tell from the lack of corners that they were outside the city and on the country roads, which were just as bumpy, but turned more gently and occasionally sloped up or down.

The space inside was quite cramped.  Jessica and Irlana sat in the  middle, so close that you could barely describe which one was on the other's lap.  Niniane and Miryala compared their skimpy maid outfits as Halia sat next to them, occasionally stealing a glance at Annie, who sat by Caterina and Alison. 

Three-quarters of an hour or so outside the city, the carriage came to a stop.  The door opened, and the elven servant popped her head in.  "This is as close as we're going to get, now, I send you one at a time, or in small groups."

The women unloaded from the carriage.  "There are small but elegant carriages waiting for the nobles to arrive one at a time and be announced.  The maids, however, will have to infiltrate the back door; try to stay on the path--you'll stand out like a sore thumb serving guests with your legs all muddy from the swamp.  This key will get you in, then go up the stairs--go left for the kitchens, laundry rooms, and servant's quarters, right for the main hall where the party will be."

Niniane nodded and took the key.  She led Irlana, Halia, and Miryala down the indicated path.  They were unusually quiet, realizing that the mission was beginning, and not knowing what to expect.

"Oh, and Annie, I didn't forget you.  This old horse looks appropriate to a minstrel.  Just pretend that you're meant to be there, that the pack is part of your show, and you shouldn't have a problem."

Jessica loaded into the small but fancy carriage provided for her.  The carriage had plenty of dirt on its tires, and the horses looked winded, as if they had made a long trip.  On the plush seat was a parchment reviewing the specifics of her identity for the evening.  She was sad to work separately from Irlana, but this was so exciting, taking on a new persona for undercover work.  She had never done so before, and hoped she could pull it off.  At least they had picked a noble whose accent marched hers.  She wondered how her mysterious employers were certain that so many of the invited nobles wouldn't be showing up.  On the ride, she rehearsed the details reading aloud, at least when far from the manor.    "I'm Margravine Alelot.  That's a mouthful.  I live on an estate called Knickerswatch.  I was a child the last time the Marquesa saw me.  I should avoid this list of ladies who will see through my disguise.  OK, got it."  Luckily, she was an excellent student, at least academically.  She'd have no problem remembering these things.  Now if she only had a way of recognizing the ladies she was to avoid.

The other "Ladies" found similar carriages awaiting them, with instructions for the aliases, and a note to shove the instructions between the seat cushions before they arrived, so no one would end up finding evidence of their deception. 

Eventually, the carriage pulled up to a long, winding drive.  While turning the corner, Jessica got a look at the mansion.  It was huge, dark, and foreboding.  Nevertheless, many noble carriages were parked around the edge of the property, and light emanated from the first-floor windows.  As they drew closer, sounds of merriment could be heard from inside. 



"Here it is, my moment of truth," she thought, as she climbed out of the carriage and made her way for the door.  As she neared the door, an imposing woman in armor stepped forward.  Even through the armor, it could be seen that she, like Jessica, was very well-endowed. 

"Halt!  Name?"  "Margrave Alelot."  The guard produced a scroll from inside her armor, from the looks of things, it was inside her cleavage.  "You are on the list.  Now, if Mi'Lady won't mind, I'm just going to check for weapons."

She frisked Jessica, with her gloved hands, lingering a bit on her large breasts.  Jessica wondered if nobles were accustomed to this treatment--it seemed a bit degrading.  "Are you expecting trouble tonight?" she asked, in as innocent a manner as possible.  "Obviously this is mi'lady's first time to this event.  All of the guests are searched.  Don't take it personally."


Having passed the search, Jessica was allowed to enter the party.

((Description of the interior coming soon, maybe later today--if you want to describe the actions or conversation during the ride or how the search goes for your characters, feel free!!!))


Last edited by Myds6 on Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:51 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by westley24 on Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:40 pm

Caterina decide to remain silent for the duration of the ride; it didn't seem like anyone else was talking, anyway. Alison, too, refrained from speaking. The freelancer didn't seem to have much in common with the others.

Once in her own carriage, Caterina briefly looked over her assumed identity. She had never had any trouble imitating nobility due to her training.

At the gate, the assassin allowed herself to be searched; she hadn't even brought her easily-hidden blade. The guard was a bit frisky for Caterina's tastes, but she managed to ignore it.

Alison, on the other hand, was against the search from the beginning, but she didn't voice her concerns because she didn't think it would do her any good. The breast-fondling and the butt-grabbing almost caused Alison to make a scene, though. The large reward stopped her. And she knew Lady Edwina would never do anything like protest a search.

At least, she thought she knew. She hadn't paid much attention to the information sheet provided. In hindsight, maybe not such a great idea, bit she'd have to deal with it.

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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by Myds6 on Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:48 pm

((Characters with magic roll against 8 to sense magic inside—Jessica, Niniane, Halia, Alison,  failed their rolls, Caterina doesn’t seem very magic-based, Irlana, Annie passed.  I’ll describe what Annie senses when she makes her way into the party.  Feel free to imagine that after a quick examination, the guard is convinced that the pack and glove are part of her minstrel equipment…music stuff, or juggling stuff, or stage magic, the guard doesn’t care as long as she thinks it isn’t a weapon.))

The party itself was taking place in the large, open rooms on the lower level of the mansion, which had various doors leading to the kitchens and basement storage areas, and a grand staircase leading up to the mansion’s more private areas.  Everywhere, there were baked goods.  Tables and carts covered with pies and cakes could be found all over the party.  Most notable, however, was a cake that would have been large and impressive even at a lavish wedding, located in the center of the atrium at the foot of a grand staircase.  The Marquesa had invited hundreds of colorful guests, who were being served by her army of skimpily clad maids, and entertained by various jongleurs and minstrels.  The nobles themselves wore their most impressive attire, and were generally gathered in small groups of three to five in the vast room.  Jessica noted from their body language that some were boasting of their wealth or culture, some were sharing boisterous stories, and some were quietly gossiping with one another, possibly about other attendees.  She had the same sense of being in the presence of a pack of social predators as she had when surrounded with Abigail and her like at the academy.

Aside from the stairway and the giant cake, which were impossible to miss, her eyes focused on a few other things of note.  One lavishly-dressed noble, with long brown hair, was standing alone, her back to the rest of the room, and struggling with her garments.  A nearby group of gossips seemed to be looking her way and giggling.  On the opposite side of the room, one of the maids, a petite girl with short brown hair, was locked in a set of stocks, and was shrieking as a golden-haired noblewoman in a green dress with a cruel expression on her face,  applied several hard smacks underneath her short skirt.  A small crowd was applauding her actions, and another noblewoman seemed to have stepped forward, looking for a means to further torture the poor girl.  It wasn’t yet obvious which one of the many attendees was the Marquesa, or if she was even present.  Jessica considered mingling with the crowd to learn more, but perhaps she would wait for some of the others to arrive, in case things went wrong quickly.

Meanwhile, Niniane had success leading her contingent of maids successfully down the swampy path without ever once falling into the mire.  She was surprised by this, as it was rare that, given her inherent clumsiness, she could make it through such an obstacle unscathed.  Luckily for her, the back door was unguarded.  It was locked, after all, and no one expected an intruder to have a key.  The party made their way through the door, and up the stairs, where they split up.  “Halia, I believe you were to look for the vaults, in the basement, through the serving areas.” Niniane remembered.  “I’m going to try to get upstairs.”  Irlana nodded at Niniane, adding, in her unique accent, “I’ll be checking the serving areas, I’ll be with Halia at least until we find the basement.  But I want you to be wary around here.  There is a strong sense of magic…of an odd flavor.  It’s as if everything around us might be enchanted, or has been at some time, but, for all my travels, I cannot place exactly what type of magic we are dealing with.”

Miryala simply nodded, and followed Niniane toward the main hall ballroom, while Irlana accompanied Halia further into the serving areas.  She hoped their disguises would be enough, and that the sheer number of maids working here would make a strange face an acceptable proposition rather than evidence of an intruder.  She was surprised that they hadn’t run into any guards or maids yet, but that was certainly going to change soon.

Inside the hall, Niniane and Miryala took in the same view that Jessica had, although they had to look like they were working as they experienced it.  Miryala picked up a few dirty plates that had been stacked on the edge of a buffet table.  She was neither a pampered noble or a servant, but that looked like it needed to be done, and she needed to look busy.  Niniane grabbed a bottle of wine and refilled some glasses as they walked around the room.  Both her eyes and Miryala’s might have lingered longer than Jessica’s had on the many confections and giant cake.  Both of them had a significant sweet tooth and were going to find acting the part of servants, who wouldn’t get to eat these rarified confections, a challenging proposition.  But that’s when Miryala touched Niniane’s elbow and pointed to the maid in the stocks.  They gave each other a concerned look, and then went in opposite directions, doing their best to pretend that they belonged here and were working hard.  Niniane wished she could save the maid.  She always had a soft spot in her heart for those of lower station.  But she couldn't figure out how, in the middle of a large crowd, to rescue her, so it would have to wait until she had backup, or a plan.  She saw Jessica in the crowd, currently standing along awkwardly, which was not good for fitting in to the crowd of gregarious and ostentatious nobles.  She considered talking to her, but didn’t want to blow her own cover, so she continued serving, looking for an opportunity to either help the maid, or go upstairs as the mission plans dictated.



((To help visualizing the main space, there's this image, looking down from the balcony.  The noble who is fixing her clothes is off to the right, the maid in the stocks is off to the left, and there are lots of people, gathered in small groups everywhere.  Of course, if you want to see the people in it, you'll have to walk around and look at them.  I'm a bit ahead on the artwork and can't wait to share, so please, look at them!!!   Very Happy ))
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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by Myds6 on Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:08 am

Jessica looked at the groups of nobles.  They had clearly come from far and wide, and some of them were of the highest ranks.  Queen Syndra, of course, wouldn't need to attend the party.  She had nothing to gain from running elbows with these sycophantic nobles, and she would never deign to be a houseguest of Marquesa Anastase.  

Jessica realized how awkward she appeared standing by herself, but had no means of recognizing those she was to avoid.  She decided to busy herself with the buffet of scrumptious desserts.  The variety alone could provide an excuse to seem preoccupied for a reasonable amount of time.  She walked over to a table on the far side of the room, because no one was standing nearby, picked up a plate, and started considering the offerings.

She had lived for so long on the fare at the academy refectory that these foods seemed unimaginably decadent, unnecessarily so by her reckoning.  Suddenly, she realized she was no longer alone.  "Hello," said a very prim and proper voice.  Looking over her shoulder, she saw a svelte redheaded woman in a shimmering dress.  Resting on her head was an impressive gold crown.  Jessica's mind raced, trying to find the appropriate reaction.  What came out was silence.  



"I don't believe we've met," said the woman, adding,  "Adelia, Princess Adelia of Debrian."  Jessica froze in panic.  Should she shake the woman's extended hand?  Salute her?  Unfortunately, her reaction was probably not the best one available: she kissed it.  "Margravine Alelot."  





At first, Jessica thought Adelia's confused expression was in reaction to the kiss on her hand, but the crowned figure put that notion to rest.  "Alelot?  I haven't seen you in five years, to be sure, but, weren't you blonde?"  That's when Jessica remembered the name from halfway down the list of people she was to avoid.  Her face reddened.  "At least you haven't changed."  Adelia frowned, "I've lost 40 pounds.  How rude of you not to notice."  Jessica was getting dangerously close to that embarrassed feeling where her palms would start sweating.  She had to get away from this princess before things went wrong.  And was that the crown?  



She picked up her plate absentmindedly, "Excuse me, dear Adelia, I see another old friend I must speak to."  As she walked away, she looked down and noticed she had taken an entire pie instead of her plate.  She'd have to pretend she meant to do that.  For now, she just had to get away from Adelia and calm down.
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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

Post by westley24 on Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:14 am

Upon entering, Alison's eyes immediately fell upon the maid trapped in the stocks. Surely there was no better way to befriend her attendees than over the misery of some maid, right?

Alison reached the group of nobles watching the poor maid receive punishment for some misbehaved act just as the second noblewoman began torturing the servant. Even if the freelancer enjoyed the show, she wasn't going to waste an opportunity to gather some information.

"I cannot believe a maid would do such a thing," she said to the attendees nearest her, hoping one of them would elaborate on the specifics of the acts leading to the display.

Meanwhile, Caterina was drawn to the solitary woman who seemed to be unhappy with her dress. "Do you require any assistenza?" the assassin asked helpfully. Caterina was a firm believer in the idea that no one should be unhappy with their clothes.

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Re: Adventure: The Sylvan Crown

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