Geometric Archipelago:Gangs of Octagon Island/Chapter 23
Chapter Twenty-Three: A Metaphorical Discussion
<mainstreet> ---BEGIN SESSION---
<mainstreet> Catalina leads "Yolanda", "Gerald", the Invisible Man, and 5 others through the streets of Moondale, taking a few twists down alleys, main streets, side streets, though staying well away from Wall Street... and eventually coming upon a large mansion protected by a gate, and several guards at the entrance.
<mainstreet> Catalina pauses in front of the gate, and the guards stare at the group, waiting for something to happen.
<mainstreet> One of the guards smiles at you, and gently pulls the gate open. "Welcome, Great Mistress," she acknowledges. "Do you wish to be announced formally?"
<mainstreet> The guard nods, and walks over to a small box on a pole in the ground. "Presenting, our Great Mistress, Yolanda Barlow," she speaks clearly into it. You remember from your briefing that it will be easily heard throughout most of the mansion proper as well.
<Capn_Ascii> Ascii hovers invisibly nearby, trying his best to not make any noise. And also checking out all the cute Green girls since nobody can see him oogling, heh heh.
<mainstreet> Catalina leads the way into the mansion proper, opening the main door. "Straight to the top floor, I presume, ma'am?" she asks "Yolanda".
<mainstreet> Catalina nods acknowledgement and proceeds to find the stairs... and again... and again... and eventually, you find yourselves on the fourth, and uppermost, floor.
<mainstreet> The fourth floor has all the most important rooms in the Command Mansion... that is to say, the Leadership Audience Chamber (middle left) and the Great Mistress Council Hall (dead center of map). It also has a small storage room (bottom left), the Mistresses' offices (right-ish), Eralia's quarters (top left), a shady room known to many as "The Exchange" (far right), a room that has been
<mainstreet> co-opted, with a wall removed, for dark clerics to hang out and coordinate (below the Council Hall, left), and a small library and archive (below the Council Hall, right).
<mainstreet> Yolanda has told you that 2 of the 4 Mistress slots have been stolen by her "friends" that you remember from the previous campaign... which leaves her, and one other. Ariana is a Mistress who just might be sympathetic and willing to help -- mainly because she fears her position will be targeted next. Also, Yolanda's own office might be a good place to coordinate and organize yourselves.
<mainstreet> As far as the actual confrontation... you can attempt to confront Eralia directly in her own Audience Chamber, which means that she'll only have a few people around, but all the guards in there are guaranteed to be loyal to her, and the room likely has traps she's set up... or you can attempt to challenge her in a Council meeting, of which one will soon be convened due to the imminent attack
<mainstreet> that's been planned... but Theresa and Veronica will be present there, and you will have to deal with all their forces (well, that aren't involved in the battles outside)... however, if it's believed that Yolanda is making the challenge, her own "faction" will be able to help out and take that heat off of you.
Kanzel leads the way to her office, opening the door wide enough for someone to slip in if they wanted "Everyone wait here."
<Capn_Ascii> Ascii slips in, if he wanted. And he does.
<mainstreet> The lady sitting at "your" desk gets up and greets you, kissing the floor at your feet. "I am honored by your presence, Great Mistress."
Kanzel nods, sitting. "Any pressing matters?"
<mainstreet> The secretary shakes her head. "Not that I'm aware of, Great Mistress. Seems to be a slow day. For now, at least."
<Kanzel> "Could you go see if Ariana is busy? I need to speak with her."
<mainstreet> The secretary nods. "I will check," she comments, wandering out.
Kanzel quickly checks the drawers for anything interesting.
<mainstreet> Kanzel: Other than Yolanda's signet ring, a pair of emerald earrings, and a bunch of work-related papers and other office supplies... nope, nothing here.
<Capn_Ascii> Ascii looks around the office, trying to identify A) likely hiding places, B) easily lootable objects of obvious value, and C) treasure chests to open for 100% completion.
<mainstreet> A) there is a tall potted plant in the corner... not much, but better than nothing... B) Perhaps the cabinet in the back? C) Nope!
<Capn_Ascii> Ascii goes over to open and look in the cabinets while they wait for what's-her-name to come back.
<mainstreet> Ascii: The cabinet seems to be mostly paperwork... old paperwork... a big box is labeled "TO ARCHIVE", and another box is labeled "TO INCINERATOR"... oh wait, what's this... Score! A bottle of Chateau St. Moon, from 33 years ago!
<Capn_Ascii> Ascii looks under the potted plant, possibly hoping to find a spare key or something. He doesn't know, he's just bored.
<mainstreet> Ascii: Nope.
<mainstreet> A few minutes later, the secretary walks back in. "Great Mistress Ariana is willing to meet you here. She will be in in a few minutes. Shall I remain, Great Mistress?"
<Kanzel> "No, that's okay. Take an early lunch."
<mainstreet> The secretary raises an eyebrow but doesn't otherwise comment, settling for kissing the floor in front of the desk then scurrying off.
Kanzel puts the earrings and ring on
<Capn_Ascii> Ascii totally re-invised himself before the secretary came back. Yep.
<mainstreet> A few minutes after this, a tall and thin woman of around 40 enters. Of immediate note is the green streaks in her hair, mixing well with the black that is the rest of it. Similar to you, her all-green clothing is fairly well embedded with various emeralds and other green-ish stones. Her equally green eyes stare right into you a bit. "You wanted to see me, Yolanda?" Ariana asks coolly, sitting
<mainstreet> down in one of the chairs in front of the desk.
<Capn_Ascii> Ascii suddenly re-appears, scratching his armpit. Realizing he can be seen, he immediately stops. "Whoops! I knew I forgot something."
<Capn_Ascii> He quickly produces the wand and zaps himself with it as footsteps approach the door.
mainstreet switches the lines to make Ariana's entrance after Ascii's re-invis
Brellius quietly continues to not draw attention to himself, and keeps an eye out for any unexpected visitors
<Kanzel> "I did. How have you been lately?"
<mainstreet> "I hope you didn't call me in to make small talk... it's been... interesting, as you know, I'm sure... nice to see advances, as always, but... well, safety matters too," Ariana looks around, as though she's worried about something. "If you get my drift."
<Kanzel> "You seem stressed."
<mainstreet> "You don't seem as stressed. That's... interesting. Who isn't stressed, these days?"
<Kanzel> "I don't need to be stressed. What will be will be. What do you have to be stressed about?"
<mainstreet> "The apparent low life expetancy of emerald miners," Ariana hints. "And I find it hard to believe you don't have a similar concern."
<Kanzel> "Well, we clearly need new safety measures. Or someone who cares a little more in charge of that. Who's in charge of that again?
<mainstreet> Ariana smiles. "It's not me. Or you. Maybe it should be. But change is dangerous. Then again, so is a lack of change. But... opportunity to acheive this change... can be limited. Unless you know something I don't?"
Kanzel smiles in return "Change is always happening. And things are always happening to catalyse it. How would you feel about that?
<mainstreet> "It would be a good thing, but I'm not exactly an agent of change... I've been in my current position for five years... and you, for twenty... but youth can be power... and numbers, too... numbers... the bane of existence... how do we deal with numbers?"
<Kanzel> "It's not really about the numbers in the equation, it's about the timing. And from what I can see, the clock is winding down."
<mainstreet> Ariana blinks at this. "How so?"
Kanzel subtly touches a wand on her belt and casts it. "Take it how you will."
<mainstreet> Kanzel: You notice that the only magical aura in the room is coming from behind the potted plant.
Kanzel drops her voice to a whisper "How soon is too soon?"
<mainstreet> "Now would be fine," Ariana hisses back. "Or any time, really."
Kanzel whispers "You can be mobilized that fast?"
<mainstreet> Ariana rolls her eyes and whispers, "If we can embarass her... the troops that support her now... will turn... and she's not exactly expecting opposition... plus, it's not like we can easily be overwhelmed in the Council Hall, it's big but not that big."
Kanzel nods. "Define embarass."
<mainstreet> "You're asking me?" Ariana asked, amused by the thought. "I've been doing this for a while, but not nearly as long as you have."
<Kanzel> "Well, there is something I had in mind, but I wasn't sure it was enough to embarass her. Guess we're going to find out."
<mainstreet> "So we shall... worth a try, rather than waiting for certain eventual death... Alright, I'm in. When?" Ariana asks softly.
<Kanzel> "Oh, I don't know. Less than an hour, I'd guess."
<mainstreet> "Very well. I shall be ready. What's the signal?"
<Kanzel> "You'll probably know it when you see it, just keep your eyes peeled. If I stand up, it's coming."
<Kanzel> "Could be before then. I don't know yet."
<mainstreet> Ariana nods and stands up, giving a short bow before walking out. "I'll see you in Council."
<mainstreet> ---END SESSION---