Geometric Archipelago:Dragons on Semicircle Island/Chapter 15
Chapter #15: Do Not Pass Go
<mainstreet> ---BEGIN GAME---
<Ascii> "Please don't. I don't think that spell works the way you think it does."
- Vivi nods in agreement with Ascii.
<mainstreet> Nenni desists.
<mainstreet> For now, Voranath is in the cavern. You hear the splattering of acid.
<Vivi> "I hope Voranath will give us a teleport back to the city," Vivi says, trying not to picture all the dying going on in the cave.
- Vivi examines the loot while she's waiting.
<Ascii> Ascii sips from a coffee mug as he listens to the sounds of horrible screaming gooey death. "Mmm. Anything good in that pile?"
<mainstreet> Vivi: You take a look at the cape, feel the delicate feathers, and realize you have a pair of Wings of Flying.
<mainstreet> Vivi: Wow, this is a really, really nice rapier. You've never seen one as nice. It can leap out of your hand, doing things on its own! It can slice the opponent with ice, and even more so on critical hits! It can hit that with cannot normally be harmed!
<mainstreet> Vivi: The gloves are Gloves of Dexterity, and the rod is a Rod of Security.
<mainstreet> Vivi: You don't immediately figure out what the headband is doing for you, but after a few minutes of contemplation, and logic, having seen it on a wizard, you realize this is probably a headband of intellect.
- Vivi decides that the blue feathered cape is prettier than the broom and puts it on. She also happily puts on the headband. Then she holds out the gloves and rod and rapier. "Who wants these?"
<Hildyr> "I could always make use of a superior weapon. Let me try that rapier, please."
- Vivi hands it over.
<Ascii> "I don't suppose the wizard has anything in that bag for me." He frowns. "Stupid spellcasters. Where's the spell-deflecting shields and undead-destroying weapons. Pah."
<Ascii> Ascii takes the rod to at least keep it safe.
<mainstreet> You hear the click-clack of boots heading your direction from inside the cave.
- Vivi puts on the gloves, since no one else grabbed them. She admires the style, but wonders if it matches the coat.
<mainstreet> The click-clack continues until a tall woman stands before you, harsh and menacing. A cool six feet three, with blonde, wavy locks cascading down to her neck. Glaring green eyes, with scaled armor, a casual reptilian deep green, wrapping around her slim, lithe figure, set off her look. She's pulling a small wagon, which you can look into and see the three eggs lying inside, packed in with a lot of sand and straw. She moves with careful, deliberate grace, unwilling to relax her vigilance for even an instant in this delicate situation.
<Ascii> "Voranath, I presume."
<mainstreet> She nods a slow acknowledgment. "I interrogated the morons in there. Where's the wizard?" Voranath demands, all business.
- Vivi looks at Ascii, a little dismayed that the save-a-life-by-toading-them technique didn't work this time.
<Ascii> "He got toad."
<mainstreet> Voranath raises an eyebrow. "Show me."
<Ascii> Ascii produces the Pouch-O-Toaded-Wizard.
- FluffyRaven eyes the eggs and the lady, standing up with his ever smug if small posture. .oO(Still no eating the wizard I assume.) He's joking, not that is easy to tell.
<mainstreet> Voranath nods approvingly. "Fitting." Voranath looks over at Fluffy. "Of course not, that's not even one bite in that form."
- Vivi briefly wonders if Fluffy is even one bite to Voranath, in dragon form.
<Ascii> "Wasn't sure what to do with him, to be honest."
<Vivi> "You will let the mayor go now, correct?"
<mainstreet> Voranath closes her eyes in frustration. "Guess I can do that. In any case, I'll be taking these eggs back to my cave. No offense, but I'd rather you didn't know where that was right now. Bad enough Mr. Jones will know about it. Especially right now, I'm not really interested in having visitors. So I will be leaving. However..." she tosses Vivi a familiar-looking rope. You're not exactly sure where she pulled it from. "Rope to just outside the YGP Inn. Name of the city will activate it."
- Vivi nods and tries to think of more questions to ask the dragon, but can't think of any important enough to ask before she leaves.
<Ascii> "Thanks. Good luck with parenthood."
<mainstreet> Voranath gives a haughty sniff before vanishing in a sparkle of light with her wagon.
- Vivi turns to Lauren. "Are you coming with us?"
<mainstreet> Lauren frowns. "Guess I'd better, yeah. If Father's sending people looking for me... he's not going to stop. I'm sure you're not the only team he's sent."
<Vivi> "Can you tell us anything more about your mission here? Was there anything involved beyond this Tiamat plot to convert the eggs?"
<mainstreet> "Not as such, but I will no doubt continue to engage in missions, especially here on the Island. I'm looking forward to working more with Kerth." She blushes a bit. "He's been really helpful."
- Vivi raises her eyebrows, but does not say anything else.
<Vivi> "Shall we then?" Vivi holds out the teleport rope and waits for everyone to grab on.
<Ascii> Ascii grabAsciis.
<Vivi> "Rainbow City," Vivi says after everyone has grabbed on.
<mainstreet> The streets of Rainbow City are bustling. It looks like the work day has just ended. The atmosphere appears to be quite jovial in the city as a whole, or at least in the part you are in.
<mainstreet> Your sudden appearance attracts moderate attention from those around you, but people quickly move on with their business.
<mainstreet> Lauren starts walking in the direction of the Rainbow House.
- Vivi follows her.
<mainstreet> Lauren and the Party arrive at the gates. Lauren flashes a smile and the guards open the gate for her. You proceed inside.
<mainstreet> Aeth, Ascii: You hear one of the guards mutter to himself. "I let her in this morning... I don't remember her coming back out... hmmm, I guess she could've used magic out... but then why not magic in... meh, not my job to question her..."
<Ascii> ("Wait, what...?")
<Vivi> As Aeth relates this, Vivi gets a suspicion..."Lauren, were you here this morning?"
<mainstreet> Lauren, walking through the halls, has almost reached the President's office. She stops, and blinks. "No, of course not. You know where I was. Why?"
<Vivi> "That guard back there was muttering about letting you in this morning. I think someone's been using a Hat of Disguise to look like you. Perhaps one of the Winstara sisters?"
<Vivi> "Evangeline, before she came to the cave?"
<mainstreet> Lauren shakes her head. "Magical disguises, including Hats of Disguise, are detected on the way in."
<Vivi> "Probably not Beatrice, since it was past morning when she left us."
- Vivi frowns. "A shapeshifter then?"
<mainstreet> The President's door opens. A woman steps out. She looks... a lot like Lauren, actually, a dead ringer for her, at least in the basics like height, weight, and facial structure. But while Lauren is wearing armor, this woman is wearing an elegant high-society black dress floating down to her ankles. She gasps. "Who the hell are you?" she demands loudly. A couple of guards take notice and head in your direction.
<mainstreet> Lauren winces, and responds through the Aethnet. ("Or just someone that looks like me and is good enough at disguising herself. More than that, she's showing exactly the woman Father *thinks* I am, rather than the woman I *actually* am.")
<Ascii> Ascii frowns. "Who the hell are *you*?"
<mainstreet> She sniffs. "*I* am Lauren Michaels, daughter of the President. And *this* looks like a poor attempt at claiming a reward by dressing up a fake version of *me*."
<mainstreet> The President hears the commotion and walks out. "What's going on here?" he demands.
- Vivi casts Detect Thoughts and concentrates on the woman to see if she can find out who she *really* is.
<mainstreet> Vivi: You sense nothing. Your sense is such a blank that you realize she's being magically protected from such attempts.
<Vivi> "Dammit," Vivi mutters, so frustrated she resorts to cursing.
<Ascii> "Say, Mr. President...hwo well do you know your own daughter?"
<mainstreet> "I think I know all of my daughters quite well, good sir," the President replies tightly.
<Ascii> Ascii points at the two Laurens.
<Vivi> "Does your daughter have any...druidic tendencies?"
<Ascii> "We're pretty sure the one in the dress is a fake, but your opinion would he helpful here."
<mainstreet> "Yes, I see this very well, and I have to ask the question: What do you think you're trying to pull here? I'm completely certain otherwise. Guards! I want this group arrested on charges of fraud!" the President demands.
<Vivi> "Retreat?" Vivi says to the group, including Lauren, via Aethnet.
<mainstreet> Vivi: You notice there is now a troop of guards behind you, making retreat implausible. "You're under arrest," the lead guard announces. "Come quietly, and you will not be harmed."
<Ascii> "Calm your tits, prez. You paid us to do a job, and we're doing it."
<Ascii> "What makes you do sure this one is the real deal?"
<mainstreet> Lauren grimaces. ("As I said, whoever that is is showing Father the woman he wishes I was. He's more than ready to believe everything she says. We're not winning this one. Not while she's present.")
<mainstreet> ("If we just accept the arrest for now, as long as neither the President nor the impostor accompany us, we'll be out by the end of the night, because law enforcement will know the real me.")
<Vivi> ("But...but they might take my spellbook!" Vivi wails.)
<Ascii> ("Are you sure about that? The last time someone said 'we'll be out by the end of the night' I spent three days tied to a bed.")
<Hildyr> ("I'd rather not have to deal with the law again.")
<mainstreet> ("I'm not *sure* of anything. This sure never occurred to me.")
<mainstreet> ("But I do believe it's our best option. However, if you'd rather teleport out of here, I will accompany you.")
<Vivi> As unobtrusively as possible, Vivi fiddles with the teleport rope, holding it where others can grab it if they choose to.
<Ascii> ("Eh, may as well do as they say. I don't want a criminal record (again) and the less we make ourselves look guilty, the better.")
<Ascii> ("Vivi, put that away and let them arrest us.")
<Vivi> ("You'd better be right.") Vivi complies with Ascii's order.
<Hildyr> ("Great. I'm going to end up in a cell again.")
<Ascii> ("Eh, jail's no big deal. Just don't drop the soap."
<Ascii> "Alright, alright, let's all remain calm." Ascii raises his hands. "We'll go quietly."
<mainstreet> The guards nod and start binding your wrists.
<mainstreet> The guards are smart enough to bind the cats as well.
<mainstreet> You all get hauled off. The guards take your fingerprints, put your weapons and other gear into secure storage lockers, and place you into two different cells. Ascii, Hans, and the cats share one cell. Lauren, Hildyr, and Vivi are in the other cell. You still have your armor on, as the guards decided, with this being essentially a nonviolent offense, and no one wanting to see Ascii with his armor off, that it simply wasn't worth the trouble.
<Ascii> Ascii sits on the floor, legs and arms crossed. "Well, this is turning out to be a great day."
- Vivi tries to be stoic instead of just pouting.
<mainstreet> You're only a few minutes in when another guard steps up to your cells. He looks at you all and sighs deeply. "Alright, Lauren, the fingerprints don't lie. It's you. The sheet says you're all booked for fraud, specifically, conspiracy to impersonate you. The guards of course didn't book you by your name, but I confirmed the match. Unlike my subordinates, I actually possess a small modicum of initiative and checked out your claims."
<mainstreet> Lauren nods. "I have no idea, Jack. Clearly this other bitch is the impostor. The problem is... you know my dad, what he thinks of his daughters. He wants to believe I'm that floaty, vapid, model type, like my sister Heather. He sees her, and sees me, and prefers her."
<mainstreet> "And the rest of these here?"
<mainstreet> "They assisted me on a mission I was on for GATO. Which, yes, I'm officially informing you I'm a part of," Lauren flashes her badge at Jack. "Now let us out of here, and we've got to make a plan to expose the fraud."
<mainstreet> Jack nods slowly and pulls out his keys. He opens the door and lets you all out. He hands Lauren a card. "That's the address of a law enforcement hideout here in the city. We're not using it right now. I'm reserving it for your group as of now. You can use it as a base and make your plans."
<mainstreet> Lauren silently passes the card onto Vivi.
<Hildyr> "That was the second shortest stay in jail I've ever had."
- Vivi reaches for her backpack to copy the address down before realizing she doesn't have it. Sighing, she pockets the card.
<Vivi> "We can get our gear back, right?"
<mainstreet> Jack hands Vivi a small key ring. "Lockers 45 through 51," he points down the hall.
<Ascii> "I don't know. I don't think I can handle life on the outside any more. I've been in here too long."
- Vivi smiles at him and heads towards the aforementioned lockers.
<mainstreet> You open the lockers and all retrieve your gear.
<Ascii> Ascii opens his locker ans is mildly offended to find one of those pine-tree air fresheners hanging inside it. "Oh, come on, it's not *that* noticable!"
<mainstreet> Vivi: At the back of your locker, you spot a small pink rhomboid stone. You grab it.
- Vivi slips it into a pocket until she has a chance to examine it more closely.
<mainstreet> You re-equip and work your way out of jail. Night has fallen.
<mainstreet> The streets seem to be largely deserted.
<mainstreet> Lauren sighs. "Wherever we go, we stay well away from Rainbow House until we're prepared to confront my impostor."
<Ascii> Ascii stops to check through his gear to make sure there are no unexpected 'surprises'.
- Vivi pulls out the address card. "Anyone know where this is?"
- Hildyr also goes through her gear to make sure.
<mainstreet> "If we show up a second time and we're not believed, the guards are likely to get violent. And we'll defend ourselves. And successfully. But that will just get us murder charges. And legally, they'll be right, because killing a guard doing his duty is murder under any circumstances, according to Semicircle law."
<mainstreet> Ascii: You find another air freshener tied to your mace.
<mainstreet> Hildyr: It looks like your gear is fine.
<Ascii> He discards it.
<Hildyr> "Murder charges are never good. From what I've heard."
<mainstreet> Vivi: You actually, through your previous mapping, can figure out where this is. It's actually in the roughest part of the city, on the outskirts near the docks. Expect high crime. Watch your step.
<Vivi> "Will the guards arrest us again, if we hole up at the inn instead?" Vivi wonders aloud.
<Ascii> "We need to stay out of sight for now."
<Ascii> "Gonna have to slum it for a while."
<mainstreet> "We've been cleared officially, thanks to Jack, but we should avoid getting spotted by Father or the impostor. They'll just try again. And..." Lauren changes quickly into a cat. ("We really don't want me spotted, at all, right now. I think I'll be a cat as much as possible for a while.")
<Ascii> "Let's go. Wouldn't want to stink up the cops' precious jail." He sounds sour.
<Vivi> "I wouldn't really expect the PRESIDENT to be hanging out at the inn, but fine," Vivi mutters. She begins heading for the address.
<Ascii> "He probably won't, but that imposter or her goons might."
<mainstreet> ("No, but I would. So my impostor might. Though maybe not, if she's playing up the high-society angle. I personally don't think it worth the risk.")
- Hildyr sighs. "Sometimes I get jealous of all that magic stuff. My parents used to tell me I could've been a wizard."
<Ascii> "My parents used to tell me I could've been a cleric. I thought they were nuts."
- Vivi perks up. "If you ever decide you want to learn, I'd love to try to teach you!"
<Hildyr> "I think I've put a bit too much time into martial training since then. But I'll remember your offer in case I change my mind."
<mainstreet> You're in the slums now. The stench... reeks. It smells worse than Ascii does. You can feel the sense of being watched, as a well-armed, obviously powerful group, transits through in the middle of the night.
<Ascii> "Where's that addy, Vivi?"
<mainstreet> Ascii, Hildyr: Out of the corner of your eye, you spot someone following you in the shadows. When you look behind you to get a better view, they dart behind the side of a house.
<Ascii> "Ugh, this again. Should we call them out on it?"
<Vivi> "This way," Vivi says, continuing to lead the way.
- Hildyr keeps a hand close to her shiny new rapier.
<mainstreet> You turn a corner, and lounging against a pole is a lithe, powerful looking woman, dressed head-to-toe in sleek red studded leather armor. A sword rests at her hip. She spots you and steps into the middle of the street. She purrs almost mockingly at you. "Welcome, travelers, to Kelda. Interesting time to be traveling, isn't it?"
<Vivi> ("Fight? Or DimensionDoor straight to the safehouse?") Vivi asks via Aethnet.
<Vivi> "How much to let us pass?"
<mainstreet> She smirks. "I'm feeling generous tonight. The transit is a mere two silver per individual."
<Ascii> Ascii sighs. "Ordinarily, I'd tell you to go fornicate yourself with a Rod of Withering, but it's been a long day, I'm tired, hungry, and apparantly, in need of a shower. How about we give you ten gold, and you and your 'friends' pretend like we're not here if anyone comes asking?"
<mainstreet> She glares. "Ordinarily, I'd gut you on the spot for such an insult, but I will accept the money. And I don't see why anyone would care about your existence, regardless," she holds out her left hand, her right hand having gone to the hilt of her sword.
<Ascii> Ascii hands her ten gold. "Sorry. Like I said, bad day. I'm cranky."
<mainstreet> She puts the money in a pouch. "Just move along."
- Vivi does indeed move along.
<mainstreet> You find yourselves at the address indicated. It's a flophouse, alright. It's at least standing, but it looks like no one's used the place in several months. You walk inside and find a simple house, with little more than bare furnishings. Living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, workspace.
- Vivi immediately sets about examining the stone from the locker.
<mainstreet> Vivi: Hmm, this looks to be the very rare and very magical Ioun Stone!
<Ascii> Ascii grins. "I like this place. Reminds me of my first apartment."
- Vivi wonders if she should feel bad about taking the stone from the evidence locker, but can't quite. She looks around, runs a finger through the dust, and says, "My Secure Shelter spell would be way cleaner than this place. I'd say the spell right here, or anywhere else in this city, if I thought it would fit."
- Vivi hands the super precious stone off to Hildyr in an offhand manner, then tries to find a way to sleep on a bed without touching it.
<mainstreet> Vivi: There's only one bed here. It's big enough for two, but there's only one bed here.
<Ascii> "Eh, you'll live. Heck, it's still better than sleeping outside."
<Ascii> Ascii unrolls his bedroll in one corner.
<Vivi> "Girls get the bed?" Vivi says, looking at Hildyr.
- Vivi climbs on the bed and lays down, fully clothed. "Do we want to discuss plans before falling asleep?" she says drowsily.
<Ascii> Ascii rolls onto his side and waves a hand dismissively at Vivi.
- Hildyr takes off her armor before getting into bed.
<mainstreet> ("My brother or either of my sisters might be able to figure out the problem. Not sure that they have a lot of influence on Father, but if everyone else is agreeing with me, it might help.")
<mainstreet> Lauren comments.
- Vivi hears Lauren but says nothing as she drifts off to sleep.
<Ascii> ("We'll talk about it in the morning.")
<mainstreet> ---END SESSION---