Geometric Archipelago:Ignorance on Circle Island/Chapter 19
Chapter Nineteen: Those Meddling Kids
<mainstreet> ---BEGIN GAME---
<mainstreet> Our heroes find themselves east of Mount Cylinder, north of the traveled parts of the East Eagle Forest, Evil Lady in hand, and apparently unsure of themselves what to do next.
<Capn_Marcus> "Okay, folks. It's late, we're all tired (well, you guys are, at least), and you're probably hurting from that epic butt-whooping we just handed out."
<Capn_Marcus> "The more I think about it, the more I think we should turn in and head back with Eralia in the morning."
<Brellius> "We'll have to stay awake in shifts so we can keep an eye on Eralia."
<Capn_Marcus> "No, you won't." Marcus glances at himself, and frowns, as if to punctuate the whole "I'm still dead, you know" thing.
<Brellius> "Oh, right."
<Kanzel> "Okay then."
<Capn_Marcus> "Somebody grab my spellbook and leave it open for me, though.
Brellius digs around for the spellbook and lays it out in front of Marcus.
<Kanzel> "we're sleeping out here in the forest?"
Brellius pulls a bedroll out of his haversack. "I came prepared."
<Capn_Marcus> "May as well."
Kanzel pulls out her bedroll and unrolls it. "Just making sure."
Kanzel looks at Eralia "Tie her to the tree or something."
<Capn_Marcus> "Not like it matters to me, anyway."
<Kanzel> "You know what, I'll get her."
Kanzel ties her to the tree.
Kanzel crawls into her bedroll.
<Capn_Marcus> Marcus hovers there, staring at Eralia.
Brellius takes off his armor and instantly falls asleep in his bedroll
<mainstreet> *ribbit* *ribbit*
<mainstreet> The frogs croak in the night pointlessly.
<Capn_Marcus> Marcus listens. And still sits there, hovering.
<Capn_Marcus> (And reading through his book to replenish his spells.)
<mainstreet> Brellius and Kanzel go to sleep, secure in their knowledge of one thing: In a few hours, the sun will rise!
<mainstreet> -zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz----FFFFFFFFAST FORWARD----zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz-
<mainstreet> TA-DA! Brellius and Kanzel wake up to the rising of the sun! Just as predicted!
Marcus is floating there, staring at them.
Brellius puts his armor back on. "Had a good night, Marcus?"
<Capn_Marcus> "No. It was boring. Also, I'm hungry and I can't eat anything."
<Capn_Marcus> "So, I guess now we should take the b*tch back."
<Kanzel> "Sounds like an idea to me."
<Capn_Marcus> "So...who do we see?"
<Kanzel> "I was hoping you knew."
<Capn_Marcus> "Well, the conference hall would be easiest. It's also more dramatic."
<Brellius> "Sounds good to me."
<mainstreet> Sanni reappears dramatically, in her normal shape once more, carrying Marcus's body on her back still... somehow.
<Capn_Marcus> "Hey, Sanni! Where've you been hiding?"
Sanni gently tosses Marcus onto the floor
<Sanni> "Here and there, been a bit busy."
<Capn_Marcus> "Hey, careful! I need that."
Kanzel holds her hand out for her rope.
Sanni hands Kanzel the rope, "Thanks for letting us borrow it."
Kanzel nods and shoves it in her bag.
<Capn_Marcus> "Look, we caught Eralia!"
<Sanni> "Really now?"
<Capn_Marcus> "I guess we should haul her off down to the conference."
<Capn_Marcus> "Well, *you* should. Us ghosts don't exactly do heavy lifting."
<Capn_Marcus> "Hmm, maybe I should stay this way. It's the perfect excuse for not doing any real work."
<Brellius> "On the contrary! You can't get tired now, nor do you have to sleep."
<Sanni> "That would be something you would say."
<Capn_Marcus> "So, somebody grab her, somebody else grab my bod, and let's commence ta walkin'."
<Brellius> "I'll carry Eralia." Brellius unties Eralia from the tree, then makes sure her limbs are still tied up.
<Capn_Marcus> "Alright, then, let's go." Marcus leads the way towards the conference."
Brellius tags along while hauling Eralia
<Capn_Marcus> "Hey! Somebody grab my corpse already!"
<Capn_Marcus> "So help me, I'll haunt your butts from now until doomsday..."
<mainstreet> As you all approach the conference hall, a pocket dimension safely tucks Marcus's body away.
<mainstreet> You all reach the doors of the hall. It is guarded by a pair of Circle Island guards.
<mainstreet> "Stop right there! Just where do you think you're all going?"
<mainstreet> "...hey, wait a minute, it's a ghost!"
<mainstreet> "A GHOST?!"
<Capn_Marcus> "Hey there, fellas." Marcus does his best to look non-scary. "Calm down, I'm a friendly ghost!"
<mainstreet> "A... friendly ghost?"
<Capn_Marcus> "Yeah. I'm with the Triangle representatives for the conference, but I was killed recently."
<mainstreet> "Oh. Uh... I assume you wanna talk to them about your, ah, death?"
<mainstreet> "I suppose we can do you a favor, yeah, if we can get a favor ourselves. Preferably something shiny."
<Capn_Marcus> "Sort of. We've got important evidence regarding the allegations against my island that we'd like to present before the conference."
<mainstreet> "Definitely need something shiny."
<Capn_Marcus> "Grah. Brell, what have we got?"
<Brellius> "I've got some rainy day funds. And these noisemakers!"
<mainstreet> "I like the sound of 'funds'."
<Brellius> "I like the sound of noisemakers."
<mainstreet> "I don't. Too loud."
<Capn_Marcus> "How about some enchanted weapons?"
<mainstreet> "Depends on how much they're worth."
<Capn_Marcus> Brell, show the men what we've got."
Brellius sets down Eralia so he can pull out a spare +1 greatsword from his haversack.
<mainstreet> "Hmmm. I like that. How many do you have?"
<mainstreet> "I mean... I'll take it. But my buddy's gonna want one, too."
<Capn_Marcus> "Oh, we've got one for him too."
Brellius pulls out the greatsword's identical twin brother
<mainstreet> "Those are cool. Okay, we'll take 'em, you do your thing."
<mainstreet> The guards each hold out their hands to accept a greatsword.
Brellius hands over the swords and resumes hauling around Eralia
<mainstreet> The guards nod and open the door, letting you in.
Marcus floats, leading the way.
<mainstreet> You all find a lot of people sitting at a large oval table, ringing the near side where you're at, and the, uh, side sides. The "front" side is unoccupied as someone is giving a presentation. You notice the Octagon Island insignia on the presenting lady.
Marcus holds back for a moment, wanting to see what's going on.
<mainstreet> "...and so as you can see, there would be a twenty percent increase in trade and general profit throughout all sectors of the archipelago under this plan."
<mainstreet> A few people scattered throughout the table clap.
Brellius resists closing his rapidly drooping eyelids
<Capn_Marcus> "Oh. Boring." Marcus hovers up to the table. "What's going on?"
<mainstreet> "Be silent," the person next to Marcus hisses without looking at him.
<mainstreet> A minute or so later, a familiar face -- Mr. Olmedo, of Circle Island -- stands up as the presenting lady finishes her (rather dreary) speech. "Well presented, Ms. Jenkins. Let us tally the first vote on this proposal. You have green and red cards numbered '81'. Drop them in the bucket as we go around."
<Capn_Marcus> "Uh. Excuse me."
<mainstreet> As the person you talked to turns around, you realize he's familar -- it's Ambassador Zach Winter, of Hexagon Island. "Oh, hell, it's you. And you're a ghost. Even worse. What do you want *now*?"
Marcus hovers forward, into view of the other delegates. "Excuse me, but who's in charge of this meeting?"
<mainstreet> Everyone blinks. "It's... a GHOST!" "Oh, no, a GHOST!" "Ahhhhh, a ghost!" "Someone call Dr. Venkman!" "Noooooooo! I'm pure, I tell you, I'm puuuuuuuure!"
<mainstreet> The only people in the whole crowd that remain calm are Mr. Olmedo and Carmen. Carmen looks over at Marcus from her position on the far left. "Oh, lovely. You're dead. And interrupting us. This had better be good, Marcus!"
<mainstreet> Mr. Olmedo glares at Marcus. "I agree. What is the meaning of this interruption?"
Marcus addresses Carmen (and mostly ignores Olmedo). "Ma'am, as you can see, I'm quite dead. Also, our friend Dusty is in jail for a crime our island stands accused of, which we did not commit. We have captured the perpetrator of both crimes, and have evidence of her guilt to present."
<mainstreet> Carmen stands up and motions towards the presentation stage, now vacated by the Octagon representative. "Take the stage with me, Marcus, and show us what you have."
<mainstreet> Mr. Olmedo glares but doesn't comment. After the original freak-out, the rest of the group seems to be calming down.
<mainstreet> You notice the Octagon representative taking an open seat.
<Capn_Marcus> "Brellius, Kanzel, Sanni, with me." He follows.
Brellius follows Marcus
<Capn_Marcus> "Alright, here." He motions to the others. "Let her see the book."
<mainstreet> (Kanzel and Sanni also follow)
<mainstreet> "First off," a booming voice comes from the other side of the table. "You will release my wife. Immediately," Baron Yoloff commands.
<Capn_Marcus> "Not a chance, dude. She's the guilty party."
<mainstreet> "I think not. She's a Baroness of Septagon and wouldn't even associate with people such as yourself. You will release her, this minute, or I'm leaving this conference for the remainder."
<Capn_Marcus> "I'm sorry, but she's under citizen's arrest until we clear this matter up. And by that, I mean send her to prison for murdering me."
<mainstreet> "Maybe you'd better do as he asks," Mr. Olmedo comments nervously. "We don't need to disrupt this conference over minor trivialities."
<mainstreet> "It's not like she's going anywhere in front of us," he adds.
<Kanzel> "You're right. she's not going anywhere."
<mainstreet> "This is not a negotiation, or anything else. Do it, or I'm considering it kidnapping, leaving, and returning with a strike team," the Baron replies heatedly.
<mainstreet> "Excuse me?" Carmen asks. "You're going to strike team this building?"
Kanzel crosses her arms. "This isn't a negotiation. It's a hostage exchange."
<mainstreet> "I think you'd better quiet down, or it'll be my strike team, and Circle's, hammering *you*," Carmen points out.
<Capn_Marcus> "Shut up, Kanzel."
<Capn_Marcus> "You're going to make things worse if you keep that up."
Kanzel sighs. "Fiine."
<mainstreet> The Baron sneers. "I don't have anyone, lady. Exchange? I have nothing to exchange with. This is a simple order from a social superior, and someone necessary for this conference."
Marcus leans in and whispers to Carmen. "It's up to you, Ma'am. We don't think he's involved in the plot, but we know *she* is."
<mainstreet> Carmen rolls her eyes, whispering back. "They're a married couple in the nobility. You'd better find a way to implicate him at least knowing about it, or he's likely to just buy her freedom. This is Circle, with enough money you can buy anyone out of prison."
<Capn_Marcus> "Alright, alright. Brellius, hold up that book, let me look through it real quick."
<mainstreet> "Well? We don't have all day, ghost," some random heckler from the audience says. "Let's hear this already!"
Kanzel pulls a book out of her bag "I had it. Here." Kanzel hols it up open for Marcus
<Capn_Marcus> "Oh, right." Marcus looks through for any indication of who else besides Eralia might have been in on this.
<mainstreet> Marcus: You don't see anything that specifically mentions Eralia's husband. She apparently either kept her husband in the dark, or just was smart enough to not put it in the manual... but it does mention improving Septagon's position... and why would she care, unless it was for him, in theory?
<mainstreet> Marcus: She definitely seems to be top in her own organization, regardless. Using a lot of the house's finances to fund this thing.
<Capn_Marcus> "Good point." Marcus mutters to himself, not addressing anyone in particular, before returning his attention to Carmen. "Alright, here's the deal. Eralia was behind the attack on the ship; she had her men pretend to be Triangle in order to disrupt the conference and, she hoped, start a war. She intends to capitalize on the fighting to improve Septagon's economic position and her own family's power, and has been using her family's resources to pull it off."
<Capn_Marcus> "She had her men attack us when we tried to investigate. Also, she's renting a semi-secret facility on the far end of the island as her base of operations."
<mainstreet> "I see," Carmen comments neutrally. "Well, I believe you, but it's not me you have to convince."
<mainstreet> "I flat-out don't believe it," the Baron replies. "I would know where my finances go, and to nefarious purposes, they have not gone!"
<Capn_Marcus> "I know, just thought you'd want to know what we're aiming for here." Marcus turns and addresses the assembled delegates (especially the Baron), giving more or less the same speech. "We have here in our possession her personal records, showing all of the illegal activities she's been involved in in her pursuit of this plot. Also, she killed me, which both I and my increasingly-aromatic corpse can both attest to."
<mainstreet> "I want to see this book," Mr. Olmedo demands.
<Capn_Marcus> "Feel free to step up and take a look. You'll have to excuse us for not passing it around the class."
<mainstreet> Mr. Olmedo nods, walks up, and flips through it. "Hmmm... I see, yes, yes... well, there's one way easy enough to check this. Mr. Graham! I believe you have a Zone of Truth spell prepped. Let's have it, if you please!" The Five-Pointed Star representative stands up and nods slowly. He mutters a spell, and hits the area containing Eralia, Marcus, Kanzel, Brellius, Sanni, and Carmen.
<mainstreet> "Ungag her, and let's see what she has to say for herself," Mr. Olmedo orders.
<Brellius> "Could we get a chair for her or something first? I don't want to carry her forever."
<mainstreet> Carmen nods, walking to grab her chair, and plopping it on the stage. "I don't mind standing for a while," she comments.
Brellius places Eralia on the chair and ungags her.
<mainstreet> Mr. Olmedo glares at Eralia. "You've been accused of murder, terrorism, and fraud. What have you to say for yourself?"
<mainstreet> Eralia frowns. "I... I want to go home."
<mainstreet> "Victor, can we please go home?"
<mainstreet> "I'd love nothing more, beautiful, but apparently these men won't let you go until you can talk about this."
<mainstreet> Eralia frowns and shakes her head.
<mainstreet> "She doesn't seem very talkative, I guess," the Baron comments. "She might talk to me. If I can have her. By myself."
<mainstreet> "Uh... I don't think so," Carmen replies. "No one's going anywhere until this gets resolved. Eralia, you have to talk about this. If you can't say here and now that you didn't have anything to do with this, we're going to charge you with these crimes, and put you on trial. A big dishonor for yourself and your house, regardless of the end result. You surely don't want that, do you?"
<mainstreet> "I... I just want to go home!" Eralia yells, pleading.
<mainstreet> The Baron growls. "You're all terrifying her out of her wits! This is completely unacceptable!"
<Brellius> "I believe we're also in this Zone of Truth. Would it help if we gave our own accounts of what happened?"
<mainstreet> "Yes, well, that happens," Carmen replies. "Murder, terrorism, and fraud are also unacceptable, so we're at an impasse, Baron... but yes, Brellius, that would. Very much so."
<mainstreet> "Start talking."
<Brellius> "We searched for and found the secret base she rented, because we suspected she was involved with the imprisonment of our friend and that war thing. We tried to subdue her nonlethally, but she killed Marcus here. After we eventually knocked her out, we found that book in her private quarters, and, after resting, brought her here."
<mainstreet> "I see. Interesting," Mr. Olmedo comments. "And you, ghost?"
<Capn_Marcus> "Pretty much what he said. She's got dozens of guards and other goons in that base to do her bidding. She sent hit men after us earlier, and when he tracked her to her base of operations, she cut me down in cold blood. See, right there." He points at his body. "Just look at all that blood. Also, she confessed to us. Seemed rather callous about the whole thing, really."
<mainstreet> "I see. Eralia, if you don't refute this, we're going to have to accept this as true," Mr. Olmedo replied. "What have you to say for yourself?"
<mainstreet> Eralia deflated a bit. "You've already made up your mind. My words won't change your thoughts."
<mainstreet> Mr. Olmedo sighs. "Guards!" A few guards appear in the room. You notice the two you have greatswords to earlier. "Arrest the Baroness Khellian on charges of murder, terrorism, and fraud. Place her in the best cell we have in Eagle City."
<mainstreet> The guards nod and pick her up. They look at the rest of you, not really wanting to take her away without your approval, as well.
<mainstreet> Carmen opens her eyes wide, nods, and looks at the rest of you as well, jerking her head towards them. "Well?"
<Brellius> "Go ahead."
<Capn_Marcus> "Personally, I'd seek the death penalty, but, eh. As long as she's not going anywhere. Also..."
<Capn_Marcus> "...since Triangle was formerly accused of the attack and our friend Dusty arrested for it, we'd like to formally request his release."
<mainstreet> "The trial for Miss Khellian hasn't been concluded, ghost, this was simply an arrest. We'll have the actual trial soon."
<mainstreet> "As for that... Certainly, once the 50-gold release fee is paid."
<mainstreet> The guards cart the Baroness off.
<mainstreet> Kanzel notices that her husband is slipping away, behind the guards.
<mainstreet> (Eralia's husband, that is :P)
Kanzel points at Eralia's husband trying to sneak away.
<mainstreet> Carmen rolls her eyes. "I did tell you to implicate him, didn't I? Now he's gone. He's going to bribe the guards to let him have her, then they'll get out of here."
<mainstreet> "Well, he's not gone yet, but he will be in, about, ten seconds."
Brellius moves in a sudden blur of motion, coming back into focus in front of the Baron
<mainstreet> The Baron stops and glares at Brellius. "Get out of my way, commoner."
Kanzel runs around the table, standing next to Brellius
<Brellius> "It's your turn for truth or dare."
Marcus hovers over leisurely. "Not so fat, Heir Commandant. Shouldn't you take your turn in the Circle O' Truth?
<mainstreet> "I have no idea what you're talking about."
<Capn_Marcus> "Is that your...final answer?"
<mainstreet> ---END GAME---