Geometric Archipelago:Dragons on Semicircle Island/Chapter 05
Chapter #5: An Egg-citing Afternoon
<mainstreet> ---BEGIN GAME---
<mainstreet> The five of you wander out of the Purple offices, having obtained an address for the mayor's house, as well as having a meeting set up at the Inn for sunset. You've still got a couple of hours until sunset though.
- Vivi looks at the address to see if she can figure out which way to go, based on what little she knows of the town.
<mainstreet> Vivi: Yeah. Actually this particular location is only a few blocks off the main road. You can see where to go.
- Vivi heads in that direction.
<mainstreet> You walk over to the indicated location, and find a fairly spacious wooden house, extending farther back than most of the houses in this area. A sign in the window says "ARMS HERE". There's a bell pull on the outside, clearly meant to gain the attention of those inside. You realize this is likely a business as well as a house.
- Vivi pulls the bell pull.
<mainstreet> A woman wearing a red bandana on her head opens the door a crack. She's holding some sort of large, roughly cylindrical object in her hands that you can't quite make out. She looks at you. "Looking to buy an arm?" she asks.
<Vivi> "*An* arm?" Vivi inquires. "What kind of arms do you sell?"
<mainstreet> "Bear arms, of course!" She waves the thing in her hand, which you can now see is the sawed-off arm of a brown bear. "I've got all kinds here! Have for many years! We're the top supplier here in Moosehead!"
- Vivi stares at the lady. "What do people use them for?"
<mainstreet> "When treated correctly, you can use them for a lot of things. The standard enchantment set provides for projectile claws as well as being able to gain the power of a bear unto yourself. Dead useful, I say!"
<Vivi> "Hmm," Vivi says thoughtfully. "The power of a bear? How much?"
<Ascii> Ascii just stares.
<Ascii> Ascii whispers. "Vivi, focus. The mayor?"
<mainstreet> The woman sighs. "Fine, fine, it's just a Bear's Endurance casting each day. But it does work."
<Vivi> "But it's a *bear arm*!" Vivi whispers back at Ascii.
<Vivi> "What's the price?" Vivi says to her.
<Ascii> "I can cast that spell even without the arm!"
<Vivi> "But then you have to use a spell up."
<mainstreet> "Depends on the type of bear arm you want... come inside..." She opens the door a bit wider and gestures for you to come in.
- Vivi follows her in. "We do actually need to ask about the mayor, too. He is the reason we came, although I am most intrigued by your bear arms."
<Ascii> "What would you even do with it? Scratch your back?" Ascii, clearly exasperated, follows her inside.
<Vivi> "Shoot people with the claws, perhaps."
<mainstreet> "Yes, the claws fire as projectiles. Bigger bear, more damage," the lady asserts.
<mainstreet> She leads you inside and you see... bear arms. Lots of bear arms, all over the walls. Black bears, brown bears, polar bears, even what look like panda bear arms, because apparently scientific accuracy isn't relevant. A large blue sign on the wall says "MOOSEHEAD ARMS -- PRESERVING RIGHT TO KEEP BEAR ARMS SINCE 1020"
<mainstreet> "Well, this is my arm shop," she plops down at the register in the middle of the room. "Have a look around, see what you want."
- Vivi examines the panda bear arm, looking especially for a tag that indicates what it might accomplish, leaving someone else to follow up on mayor-related questions.
<mainstreet> The panda bear arm has a tag with "220" on it. You don't see any other information.
<Vivi> "Do ALL the bear arms grant Bear's Endurance?" she asks the proprietor.
<mainstreet> "Indeed. They all have that power. The main difference is in the projectiles."
<Ascii> "Wait, how does that even work?"
- Vivi nods and jots down "panda - 220" in her notebook.
<Ascii> "Do they actually fire claws or something?"
<Vivi> "Once fired, can the claws be returned, or must a whole new arm be purchased once the set of claws is finished?"
<mainstreet> "Yes, indeed. There's a spot on each arm... which you learn when you buy the thing, so other people can't steal it effectively... that fires off one of the four claws. The enchantments mean that the claw will effectively grow back the next day. The bigger the bear, the more the claw hurts!"
<Vivi> "What does 220 indicate?"
<Ascii> "So...four shots a day? Pfft, pass."
<mainstreet> "That's how much that one costs. 220 gold for that one."
- Vivi puts it down sadly and begins to search the room for a price tag less than 100 gp.
<mainstreet> Vivi: Hahaha good luck with that. The cheapest one here is the black bear arm at 150 gp.
- Vivi makes annoyed noises and reluctantly turns back to the proprietor. "Are you the wife of the mayor, then?"
<mainstreet> She looks at you, frowns, and sighs. "Yeah. I'm Rebecca Jones. Is that a problem for you?"
<Vivi> "Not at all. We're merely investigating the disappearance of your husband and were hoping you had some details to add."
<mainstreet> Rebecca raises an eyebrow at you. "Investigating? Hmmph. Maybe you can do better than the Sheriff. He's found nothing." She shrugs. "I don't think there's much to tell, really. Here one day, gone the next... missing him... but I mean, sure, you can ask."
<Ascii> "Does your husband know you're running an arms dealing outfit out of his house? I mean, it would be hard to miss all of these when he came down for breakfast..."
<mainstreet> "Son, I've been doing this for 15 years, just a tad longer than I've been married to him. House is the back... but this has been my family's house for quite some time. I'm the only one left of mine, though... that was a long time ago. Now it's just me, Adam, and the kids, really."
<Vivi> "When was the last time you or your children saw him?"
<mainstreet> "About two weeks ago. Left for the office in the morning like usual. Never came back."
<Vivi> "Do you know if he arrived at the office that day?"
<mainstreet> "The Sheriff claims he did, had a full work day... never made it home."
<Vivi> "Did you hear anything unusual that day?"
<mainstreet> "I did not."
<Vivi> "Was there anyone in particular who threatened him or your family?"
<mainstreet> Rebecca seems amused. "My husband's in politics. He gets threats every week. Whether any of them were more credible than any others, who knows?"
<Ascii> "So the shairf--ahem, sherrif was the last person to see the mayor?"
<Vivi> "Are there any Yellows who particularly stand out as vociferous or obnoxious in their demeanor? Perhaps someone who came by the house and bothered you?"
<mainstreet> "Well, no. This is just from what I remember him telling me from the investigation they ran two weeks ago when I reported him missing. The last person to see him, for sure, probably would've been the person at the front desk in Administration."
<mainstreet> "Not that I can recall, really... sorry."
<Vivi> "Was there any tension between him and the Sheriff, or Eric, or anyone else within his party or the Administration Office?"
<mainstreet> "Other than Chelsea's general raging about losing the Assembly elections, probably channeling her... ahem... never mind that... not really, no. I mean, Adam won anyway."
<Vivi> "Did Chelsea or her...benefactress...in any way blame the Assembly losses on your husband?"
<Ascii> Ascii leans in. "Are you *sure* there wasn't anyone? Someone *reeeeeeealy* annoying?" He leans in even further. "Someone getting all up in your face, asking questions and generally being intrusive and all up in your face? Kind of like I'm doing now?" He stares.
<mainstreet> Rebecca glares at Ascii and twirls the bear arm in her hands. "Do you *really* want to stay right in there?" she asks him, now pointing the claw end at him.
<mainstreet> Rebecca gives a quick look at Vivi. "I don't think so, no."
<Ascii> "Huh? Is there? Huh? Huh?" He ignores her, seeming oddly insistent on being as annoying as possible. Is he getting at something here?
<mainstreet> Rebecca looks back at Ascii. "Come to think of it... Carolyn has been a right bitch the last few weeks. First smug, then just a consistent steaming pile of anger and rage. Which is odd... her side *won* the election. You'd think she'd stay smug, but she's been really... upset"
<Ascii> "Ah, now we're getting somewhere. Who's Carolyn? And why would she be smug?"
<mainstreet> "Carolyn is a Yellow party... official... I honestly have no clue what she does. She's smug because her side won, I'd think, at least Islandwide, but... I really don't know what goes on in her head."
<Ascii> "And then suddenly she became aggressive? When did this happen?"
<mainstreet> "Couple of weeks, I think."
<Vivi> "Before or after your husband went missing?"
<mainstreet> Rebecca frowns. "I'd say around the same time, really. Maybe a bit before."
- Vivi taps her pencil against her teeth and then decides she's done for now.
<Vivi> "Very well, thanks for your help."
<mainstreet> "Please find him. Thank you."
<Ascii> "Where can we find Carolyne"
<mainstreet> Rebecca shrugs. "Party office, I guess?"
<Ascii> "Also, do you mind if we take a look at your husband's study and belongings?"
<mainstreet> "I would mind that, yes. We've looked. There's nothing there. Plus you'd have to go into the house to do that, and you might upset the kids, reminding them of their missing father. It's been hard. Please don't make it harder."
<Ascii> "Very well."
<mainstreet> "Anything else? Want to buy an arm, perhaps?" <Vivi> "Would that I could."
<Nenni> * Nenni thinks she doesn't sound overly distraught, at least, not as much so as he'd expect for someone whose life partner has been missing for weeks with an unknown fate. He'd like to gauge her sincerity in all this.
<Ascii> "Sorry, ma'am. We clerics aren't allowed to go around armed in public. It tends to make the parishiners worry."
- Vivi tells Nenni, via Aethnet, that the lady's probably just unwilling to be too emotional around strangers.
- Nenni accepts Vivi's assessment.
<Ascii> ...says the cleric in full plate armor with a mace and shield.
- Vivi waves goodbye to the lady, promising to find her husband if they can, and heads towards the inn.
<Ascii> "Why are we going to the inn?"
<Nenni> "They might have a rat infestation in their cellar."
<Ascii> "What do we care?"
- Nenni just licks his lips.
<Ascii> "I want to go back to the party office and ask about this Carolyn. Why didn't anyone mention her before?"
- Vivi looks at the sun. "Well, I guess we have time. Ok, let's do that."
- Vivi heads towards the Yellow Party office.
<mainstreet> You find yourselves back at the Yellow Party office. Todd is still there. "Oh, it's you guys again. Need something?"
<Vivi> "Is..." Vivi consults her notes, "Carolyn in?"
<mainstreet> Todd frowns. "Maybe. Why?"
<Vivi> "We'd like to talk to her. Is that a problem?"
<mainstreet> Todd sighs. "I guess it's technically not. Don't blame me if you get screamed at..." he points at one of the doors. "Should be unlocked."
- Vivi takes a step toward the doors, then pauses. "What exactly is her role in this office, by the way?"
- Vivi raises her eyebrows in a vaguely disapproving manner and resumes her walk over to the door. She knocks.
<mainstreet> You hear a very loud sigh. "Who is it?" a female voice asks from behind the door.
<Vivi> "My name is Vivi. May I come in?"
- Vivi opens the door and enters. "I think I'll explain face to face instead of through the door," she says drily. "We have some questions for you."
<mainstreet> "Questions? QUESTIONS? Why should I answer QUESTIONS from total strangers?" You hear her get up, and the door suddenly opens!
<mainstreet> Vivi quickly jumps back, avoiding getting a door slammed in her face.
<mainstreet> Carolyn stands there, a short, lithe blonde, with a green dress hugging her frame. She's got a fist raised and looks like she's ready to punch.
<mainstreet> "Oh crap, here we go," Todd mutters.
<Vivi> "How rude!" Vivi scowls.
<Ascii> "Ahem." Ascii politely clears his throat to get her attention. "Please pardon my assistant. She can be rather...brusque."
- Vivi bears this out by scowling at Ascii for calling her an assistant.
<mainstreet> "It's not the brusque, it's that you're wasting my time. I don't have time to answer questions!"
<Ascii> Ascii talks to Vivi through the Communal TeleNet, or whatever we're calling it. ("Just roll with it. I need to calm her down.")
<Ascii> "Busy, I take it. What's got you in such a tizzy?"
- Vivi huffs, but obligingly moves across the room and sits on a chair, trying to look ... overlookable.
<mainstreet> Carolyn looks around frantically, then looks carefully at Ascii. "Hmmm... perhaps..." she beckons you inside her office, clearly intending to keep this conversation private.
<FluffyRaven> Meanwhile, a silver and black furred cat seems to be quietly resting from the purch of the ladies desk. Quiet, judging, much as any cat.
<Ascii> Ascii steps inside. "May my assistant join us, or would you prefer this be kept private?"
<mainstreet> Carolyn sighs. "Might as well. Just her though. I don't want to be surrounded."
- Vivi joins Ascii in the room and resists the urge to pull out her notebook in sight of the woman.
<Ascii> "That's fine. The only other things around here are these cats." Ascii glances at the grey one. Has it been following them?
<mainstreet> Carolyn closes the door. "It is, of course, all I've been able to think about for the last two weeks. She's been breathing down my neck about it, and all of the rest of those in my position. I can't blame her. I would certainly be this way in her position. It's an outrage... and SOMEONE. WILL. PAY."
<Ascii> "Whoa, whoa, slow down. Who's breathing down your neck? And over what?"
<mainstreet> Carolyn sighs again and sits back at her desk. She pulls out a bottle of some sort of beverage. "What do you know about me?"
- FluffyRaven peeks up, looking over the party with his yellow geeen eyes, what /do/ they know.
<Ascii> "Surprisingly little. We know that you've apparantly been unseasonably moody for a couple of weeks, and...that's about it. Hell, we're not even sure what your job is here. Nobody seems to want to tell us."
<mainstreet> "Ha, someone's actually doing their job. But you made it here anyway. Why are you here? Why am I interesting to you?"
<mainstreet> "Or, let me put this another way: What do you *think* I do here?"
<Vivi> "Tell her we think she's the local contact for a dragon that supports Yellow...or should we not let that on?"
<Vivi> (Vivi says via Aethnet)
<Ascii> "Well, if I had to hazard a guess...I'd say you're the representative of someone other than Lamaranth?"
<mainstreet> "Hahaha, yes, quite. Miss Lamaranth is a valiant opponent to my own Mistress... or at least, she had been. But now..." her face starts to redden. "My Mistress had three eggs hardening. Just over two weeks ago, they were *stolen*. We have taken several actions in an attempt to force Lamaranth to return them, but no luck. She continues to insist she doesn't have them. But my Mistress, I, and the other Dragonagents can't figure out who else could have possibly done it."
<Ascii> ("Okay, so. Not only did we just confirm there's another dragon, she apparantly had babies on the way. Babies that have been kidnapped. No wonder she's pissed. Also, how many other 'agents' are there?" )
<Vivi> ("Ask her if she thinks the Mayor helped with the theft?")
<Vivi> ("At least one agent in each town, probably.")
<Ascii> "Ah, I see. So there *is* a second dragon. Or even four other dragons, potentially. I can't imagine your mistress is happy to have her kids go missing. What's her name? Does she support the Yellow party?"
<mainstreet> "Of course she does. I'm *here*, after all. I thought you'd've figured this out by now. Her name is Voranath. And no, she's incredibly pissed. And so are all of her agents, including me. Because, you know, we're basically not allowed to do anything else but work on this, at this point. I can't blame her for that, but we're not getting any leads, so it's frustrating."
<Vivi> ("Ask her if the eggs went missing before or after the disappearance of Lauren.")
<Ascii> "Is Yellow leadership even aware there's a dragon behind them? Also, you don't have any leads at all?"
<mainstreet> "Of course they are. They needed *someone* to counter Lamaranth to have a chance. And no, we *don't*. No one is willing to talk about it."
<Vivi> ("Or you could ask if the eggs were stolen in retaliation for her kidnapping Lauren and Jason.") Vivi's mental tone is quite dry.
<Ascii> "No one's willing to talk on Purple's side, I take it. Have you considered maybe they didn't do it? Have you inquired along other lines?"
<mainstreet> "If Lamaranth didn't do it... I'm not sure who else could have. Voranath's cave is not in exactly a location that is public knowledge, unlike Castle Lamaranth."
<Vivi> Slightly tired of having her suggestions ignored, Vivi asks her next question aloud. "What might people want a dragon's eggs for?"
<mainstreet> "Now that, is an interesting question," Carolyn admits. "The most obvious is to gain leverage, but if that were the case, we'd know exactly who did it. Otherwise... there are rumours of magical rituals that can... alter... the eggs of dragons... or half-dragons, as the case may be."
<Vivi> "Alter them to what end?"
<mainstreet> "Making the hatchlings not true independent beings, but more... controllable. There are supposedly dragon gods as well, and they would probably have some sort of pull here. If a cult for Bahamut or Tiamat was interested in having... greater control. It's a disturbing thought. But to our knowledge, no such cult exists on Semicircle. Mistress does have a small personal shrine to Tiamat, but we couldn't have missed something like this, I don't think."
<Vivi> "So leverage is unlikely, because no one has told your mistress to do something. Cults are unlikely because they should have been noticed. Which leaves...possibly an independent person who wants some dragons under their control?"
<mainstreet> "Yeah. I guess a one-person cult could exist. I don't know though."
<Vivi> "Hmm. Where was Voranath on the day her eggs were taken? How did this happen?"
<Ascii> Ascii, who has been staring into space for a few minutes, suddenly stops zoning out. "Wait, back up. *Half*-dragons?"
<mainstreet> Carolyn sighs. "She was at the bank, dealing with an audit. Or at least, I was *told* to have to her show up for an audit. She was in Rainbow City, at the Winstara Bank. The audit was actually a bit of a joke. Evangeline just went on and on, dragged it out for... most of the day, but ended up exonerating Mistress of any wrongdoing. By the time she made it back to her cave, the eggs were gone, and her boyfriend was founded knocked out. And he remembered nothing of most of the day. And yes, he's a human. That's why half-dragon."
<Ascii> Ascii blinks. "A human male...and a lady dragon..." Dots connect in his head. "...good lord."
<Vivi> "Is...Is the father Jason Carter, by any chance?"
<mainstreet> "What? Lamaranth also has a human boyfriend. Actually the mayor's brother," Carolyn shrugs. "And no, it's not Jason. It's Allan Michaels. I think you've heard of his father."
<Vivi> "Do you know who Lamaranth's boyfriend is?"
<mainstreet> "As I said, the mayor's brother... Keith? Ken? Kyle? Something like that. I forget."
<Ascii> Ascii tries to shake that mental image out of his mind. "So, Evangeline kept her conveniently distracted long enough for someone to make off with the eggs? Seems like she'd be a prime suspect."
<mainstreet> "Well she was there the whole time, and I don't think a bunch of prissy banking sisters have the ability to pull something like this off. But yes, we've been watching her for a while. Investigating bankers is always risky, though, and... frankly, I'm normally paid to be a pretty messenger girl, I'm not an investigator, and all of us Agents are more or less the same."
<Vivi> "What would the Winstara family do with dragon eggs?"
<mainstreet> "That's the other problem. If they have magical talents, they don't show it off. I have no clue what they want with them."
<Ascii> "Maybe they hired someone, or were hired by someone. Have you looked into their financial dealings lately?"
<mainstreet> "Again, I'm not an investigator. I'm actually a bit intimidated to try this with the bank. ...Hey, isn't this your job? Maybe you could help us with this."
<Ascii> "We're looking into quite a few things, but we're not exactly in a position to check up on the richest folks on the island. We already tried talking to them, and they don't seem inclined to cooperate."
<Vivi> "Does all this have something to do with why Voranath took Lauren Michaels in? Why DID she do that?"
<mainstreet> "Um, Mistress didn't take *Lauren*, no... I have no idea what *that* is about, no," Carolyn starts to look really nervous.
<Vivi> "The mayor, then?"
<mainstreet> Carolyn visibly gulps. "Um, I plead the fifth."
<Vivi> "Are you suuuure your mistress didn't take Lauren Michaels in? Maybe to visit her brother the consort or something?" Vivi says, frowning.
<Ascii> "Sounds like she took the mayor."
- Vivi looks at Ascii. "If Voranath didn't take Lauren Michaels, then we have a third dragon on the island."
<mainstreet> "Mistress definitely doesn't have Lauren, as I already said."
<mainstreet> "I'm as interested in finding her as you are... or I would be, rather, if this egg business wasn't taking up all my time."
<Ascii> Not necesarily. Maybe Lamaranth took Lauren and Voranath took the mayor.
<Vivi> "Not impossible, but unlikely at this time," Vivi answers.
<Vivi> "One. Because the dragon took Lauren in the wrong direction. Two. Because the anti-dragon coalition guy said that there were rumors of, and I quote, one or two dragons, in the west."
<FluffyRaven> *and the cat is.. gone*
<mainstreet> "For what it's worth, Mistress suspects a recent arrival, but can't prove it. She's noticed hunting options have decreased."
<Ascii> "Well, clearly Voranath has the mayor, otherwise the pretty messenger girl here wouldn't be sweating bullets. Not that she told us that or did anything else that could get her into trouble." He makes a meaningful gesture at Carolyn.
- Vivi sighs. "It's not proof, of course. But the evidence appears to be pointing toward a third dragon. Perhaps it is allied somehow with the Winstaras, since it does not appear allied with either party."
<Ascii> "First, we confirmed one dragon. And second, direction doesn't mean much. Someone could have easily circled around to throw people off. Maybe it wasn't even Lauren? Maybe the mayor just shrieks like a girl when he gets snatched up by a big angry dragon. I know I would."
<Vivi> "Dragon 3 took Lauren and possibly the eggs. Voranath took the mayor in retribution, or to find the eggs. Perhaps Lamaranth took Jason, for symmetry? But there is no motive there."
- Vivi turns to Carolyn. "May I suggest that you recommend to your mistress that she turn her suspicions towards this potential third dragon, instead of Lamaranth? If the two of them work together, we might solve this whole situation and find the eggs sooner rather than later."
<mainstreet> Carolyn sighs. "Mistress isn't really in much of a listening mood. Which is contributing to my stress, yes. But I will try."
- Vivi thinks. "IF Voranath had taken the mayor, could you perhaps tell us whether V would have kept the mayor alive? And could you perhaps tell us what she would have hoped to get out of the mayor, if she had done that?"
<Ascii> "Not that she did that, mind you."
<mainstreet> Carolyn narrows her eyes. "Voranath is interested in one thing: her eggs. She's convinced, for reasons I explained, that it was Lamaranth. If she has anyone affiliated with her, it's almost certainly attempts to pump them for information. It's not working, but she can hardly just release people she has without this situation being resolved."
<Vivi> "Well, perhaps suggest that she...not pump too vigorously...from sources that most likely do NOT have information."
<mainstreet> Carolyn shrugs. "As I mentioned, information stage has probably passed, and now it's just holding on principle, and to prevent her hand from being obviously tipped."
<Ascii> "Yeah, she doesn't want word to get out of what's happened to her. Or that, you know, she exists."
<mainstreet> Carolyn simply smiles at you.
<Ascii> "Is there any way you could arrange a meeting with her for us? It sounds like something big is going on here, and now that we know there's another player in all of this, getting her side of the story could help us put it all together."
<mainstreet> "I've... pretty much told you Mistress's story. If you have some sort of lead that that would change the dynamic of this problem from our perspective, then that might be something for me to consider."
<mainstreet> ---END GAME---