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Justice Cobalt
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Location: Shadowell Manor: State Dining Room
Skills: Perception
Hit Points: 6
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Once they had gotten moving, the group hadn't hung around. The Lord of the Manor had led them through a string of rooms, and while Cobalt was pretty sure he could find his way back, he couldn't be totally confident. The only room that really caught his eye was one he could only describe as a room of swords. Something potentially useful to remember for the future, if nothing else. Regardless, the room they arrived into certainly didn't disappoint.

A ring of statues circled an almost outlandishly long table, seats laid out for more than two dozen diners, and Cobalt found his eyes drawn to the grand domed ceiling above. The room almost smelled like wealth, and for a moment, Cobalt's breath was taken away by the spectacle of it all. But when he did tear his attention away, he noticed that the group weren't the first to reach the room. The four musicians had already arrived, but thankfully they were sitting in silence for now. The figure that intrigued him far more, was the one that sat with them. Figure was the right word, and it took Cobalt a second to realise that she was still wearing her mask. Finally, he wasn't alone in keeping his identity hidden, although whether that would subside the side-wards glances, or only increase them, he didn't know.

Hearing the Lord's instruction to be seated, Cobalt decided that it would be a good idea to not ignore the man. Just as they were at the mercy of whoever had blown the bridge, they were at the Lord's manor so long as they were in his house, or on his grounds. Despite not relishing the idea of taking a seat, considering the chair-related incidents that had already occurred since his arrival, he moved towards the end of the table that the Lord had sat at. Not wanting to assume that other members of the household wouldn't be joining them, Cobalt paused at a seat a few places to the Lord's left, before pulling it out and sitting down, glancing back at the rest of the group as he did.


William Fraser


Location: Road to Gretna Green From The Kirkpatricks
Skills: Perception



Wise words. William had almost been caught up in those webs before himself, once or twice, and he knew how deep they ran. The rich and powerful lived in their own world, and it wasn't luck or manners that let them keep their grand titles and fancy country homes, it was a ruthless determination. It was cut-throat, and anyone who thought that the world of nobility was all parties and good food was a fool. William opened his mouth to reply to the driver when the carriage suddenly jerked to a halt. It only took William an instant to realise why.

His hand went instinctively to the ebony hilt of the dirk on his belt, and he frowned slightly. Whoever the figure was, it didn't move, despite the carriage sliding to a halt just a few paces behind it. William didn't like the look of this, and he glanced around where they had stopped, wary of a trap of some kind. Bandits weren't unheard of in this region, but it wasn't the thought of bandits that was worrying him. The surroundings seemed clear, but some instinct told him that they weren't alone. Years on the road had taught William to not ignore that instinct.

He put his hand on the driver's shoulder, keeping his grip on the hilt of his dirk as he gestured towards the brush to the side of the carriage, where he could have sworn he saw movement. Confident that the driver would stop them from being caught unawares, William turned back to the hunched figure on the road in front of them. Shifting forwards slightly in his seat, William shouted out to the man, hoping that his voice would not only carry to the figure, but also to the two passengers within the carriage.

"Greetings, stranger. Do you mind clearing the road for some fellow travelers?"

Justice Cobalt
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Location: Shadowell Manor: Second Floor Stair Landing
Skills: N/A
Hit Points: 6
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The rest of the group hardly seemed to be in a rush, something that Cobalt found surprising, considering the situation they all found themselves in. Other than the Lord, he counted only three other guests that were either already on the landing, or on their way up the stairs. Titian of course, but then the big man was hard to miss, but the two others were more interesting. The woman was striking, but not Cobalt's type. Although if he had to hazard a guess, he didn't think that he was her's either. On the other hand, the man was slight and short, a good few inches shorter than Cobalt, and almost a child next to Titian, but he wasn't ugly. His clothes were a little unusual, but each to their own. A door opening behind him suggested that another was joining them, and Cobalt turned to see who it was, half-expecting Mauve to step through.

No, not Mauve, but Cobalt wasn't going to complain. The girl was pretty, but certainly not joining them, quickly moving down the opposite staircase towards where they had come from. A shame. Cobalt turned as Titian spoke, not surprised that the man's spirits didn't seem to have been dampened. At the very least, he seemed to share Cobalt's growing impatience. Murders and plots there might be, but it hadn't stopped people from dawdling. For now, Cobalt held his tongue, standing back slightly from the group as they waited for them to move onwards. No-one seemed to have noticed his absence, and if anyone knew more about it, they were hiding it well. Very intriguing...



William Fraser


Location: Road to Gretna Green From The Kirkpatricks
Skills: N/A



The driver was right, William knew that just because someone had the means to pay, it didn't always mean that they would. Not only that, but his point about Millicent was an interesting one. Was she the wealthier of the two? Would that go some way to explain the strangeness of the whole coupling? William still couldn't quite figure out what was happening between the two. From what little he had heard Millicent say, it sounded like there was little love between the two, that there was something darker behind the marriage. To be frank, William's interest was starting to wane. He'd taken the opportunity to play, and the potential of adventure, but so far, his journey had been fairly disappointing.

The Soulless attack had been a point of interest, there was no doubt of that, but he'd only arrived in time to see the aftermath. The Kirkpatrick House, and indeed Lady Kirkpatrick herself, had also provided some entertainment, but he'd seen plenty of grand houses in his life, and although he wasn't sure he'd ever met anyone quite like Lady Kirkpatrick, he knew her type. Perhaps on another day, he would be more committed to freeing Millicent from the prison of a marriage she appeared to be careening towards, but in truth, she didn't seem like she wanted to free herself. He didn't like Rutherford, some part of him recoiled every time he looked at the man, but he was hardly about to fight the man over a woman he'd only just met. Especially not one already engaged, after all, he'd made that mistake before. Realising that he hadn't replied to the driver, William looked across at the other man and shrugged slightly.

"Perhaps. I always find it hard to tell with this sort. The sooner we get to Gretna Green, the better."
Justice Cobalt
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Location: Shadowell Manor: Central Hall -> Second Floor Stair Landing
Skills: Perception
Hit Points: 6
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Cobalt was glad that the Lord of the Manor was moving onwards, he had just been beginning to feel the faint scratching of impatience as the group continued to swell at the foot of the stairs. Not wanting to be left behind, least of all if it meant spending more time with the doctor, Cobalt set off up the stairs himself, close behind the Lord. As he climbed, he glanced over his shoulder at the group behind him. Any one of them could have arranged to blow the bridge, any one of them could be blackmailing any one of the others. He had a feeling that the drama of the night was only just getting started.

As Cobalt scanned the group of faces, he felt the slight headache from earlier spring back into life, causing him to wince slightly and look away. His mask suddenly felt tight, and he reached out to lean on the banister for a moment, at least until his head stopped spinning. He hoped that it was just brought on by stress, and not some lingering reminder of whatever had knocked him unconscious earlier. Maybe he should remove his mask, it should help him focus better if nothing else. But no, he had kept it on for a reason, and a slight headache wasn't going to change his mind.

Looking up, Cobalt saw that the lumbering giant of a guest had already passed him on the stairs, presumably bounding up while Cobalt had been struggling to focus. He seemed to be amusing himself waiting for everyone else, and who was Cobalt to disappoint? Taking his own ascent more carefully, Cobalt climbed up the staircase, towards whatever lay above.



William Fraser


Location: Road to Gretna Green
Skills: N/A



William half-turned as the driver spoke softly, but before he could reply, a heavy double tap on the roof of the carriage signaled for them to be on their way. They moved slowly up the drive, the house falling away behind them. William cast one glance back at it before it was lost from view, and wondered if he would ever see it again. William had no attachment to the house itself, nor to the people within, although they had seemed pleasant enough, but he regretted not being given the freedom to wonder the corridors, or to perform in the halls. He had spent most of his life as a performer, a travelling musician, and he knew that performing at a place like that, for a family with the type of reputation that the Kirkpatrick's possessed, could line his pockets for weeks. As the house was lost from view, William turned back to watch the road in front of them. Besides, he'd already been hired by Rutherford, and for all the bad qualities that Rutherford seemed to have, he hoped that not paying the bill wasn't one of them.

As the carriage started to pick up speed, William smiled, enjoying the feeling of the wind on his face. He spent enough time travelling, but it was on horseback, not the level of luxury that a carriage afforded. He could get used to this. The driver quickly cut short that idea, reminding William that they were only a short ride away from their destination. Regardless, William resolved to enjoy it while he could, he had a feeling that things wouldn't be so relaxing when they did reach Gretna Green. William paused mid-thought. If. If they reached Gretna Green. Millicent had felt the need to try and warn him off, and it was clear that there was something dark lurking behind that relationship. There were dark things at work, and they weren't entirely limited to the Soulless that had started to emerge from the shadows.

William could tell that the driver was starting to get restless about his own hiring, and he could hardly blame him. What was probably promised to be a quick journey the short distance to Gretna Green had quickly gone off-track. Not only had they stumbled across the chaotic scene of the Soulless attack, that chance encounter had then seen them detour even further. And now that they had finally set off again, it was already getting late, and it was unlikely that he would find another customer in Gretna Green, which meant that he would be travelling back to Port Annan on his own fare. William could understand that life, always looking for the next customer. He smiled, trying to show some sympathy, even if it was only to distract the driver from the long ride back to the port, keeping his voice low to save it reaching the pair sitting within the carriage itself.

"I hope the pay will be worth it. Rutherford may be a piece of work, but at least he's a rich one."

Justice Cobalt
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Location: Shadowell Manor: Central Hall
Skills: Perception
Hit Points: 6
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Cobalt's decision to not follow the example set by the others and shed his mask had clearly not gone un-noticed. But then, he hadn't expected it to. Considering he was the only one in the room who had decided to maintain any sense of anonymity, it was always going to draw some attention. Cobalt had lived his whole life drawing attention, he didn't see any reason to stop now.

Unfortunately, it seemed that the good doctor wasn't as wounded as he had first appeared, or at least not wounded enough to shut his mouth. Cobalt had hardy liked the man when they were competing for the Chanteuse's attention, but that was quickly turning into an active dislike. He was lecturing about pettiness, but Cobalt was sure that Walnut had her reasons for revealing her hand so early and shooting him. That, or she had some personal vendetta against the doctor.

As if he could hear Cobalt's thoughts, the doctor turned his attention towards him, and the other man's tone made Cobalt's skin crawl. He suddenly found himself wishing that Walnut was a better shot. Regardless, the man's words were speculation at best, and nonsense at worst. Clearly Cobalt had done something to ruffle Swamp's feathers, but Cobalt wasn't the type to cower. He held the doctor's gaze, his own face impassive before returning the smile. He let the other man finish before speaking himself.

"You make a good point, doctor. Someone wants to trap us here, and I would hate for pettiness to rear it's ugly head any more than it apparently already has."
Justice Cobalt
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Location: Shadowell Manor: Starry Salon -> Central Hall
Skills: Perception
Hit Points: 6
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Cobalt stayed close to the Lord, and he was one of the first to step through the doorway, moving towards the stairway leading upwards. It was there that they encountered another group of guests. It looked like a servant was leading them, and Cobalt recognized all three of the guests, although only from their clothes and general appearance, seeing as they too had apparently decided to remove their masks. A strange sight certainly, a masquerade ball where everyone had apparently decided to remove their masquerades at the first opportunity. Cobalt winced again slightly at the thought of removing his own, some did not only wear a mask because the invitation had called for one.

As the two groups neared each other, Cobalt surveyed the other group. The good doctor seemed to have gotten his wish to be closer to Amaranthine, although he might have been less pleased about the apparent circumstances, leaning on the slight woman for support. The brief conversation between the servant and the Lord answered the question of why, Cobalt's brow rising slightly in surprise beneath his mask. Shot? That certainly shook things up. Not only that, but another of the guests had apparently met their demise. Cobalt may not have been gone for too long, or at least he didn't think he had been, but he had certainly missed a lot.

A thought suddenly crossed Cobalt's mind and he glanced around at the guests now gathered in the room. He counted seven guests between the two groups, including himself. Mauve was not among their number. Could she be the recently deceased? The thought sent a slight shiver down Cobalt's spine. They had been in the same room when he had passed out after all. He had hardly enjoyed waking up with a pounding head in an underground chapel, but had she met an even worse fate? Come to think of it, he had been with the good doctor and Amaranthine just moment before he had passed out. Perhaps if he had lingered with them, it would be him that had been on the receiving end of a gunshot! Cobalt hadn't heeded Jane's warning enough, there seemed to be death and injury waiting around every corner!

The apparent shooter didn't look like much, a short and slender woman, and Cobalt made a note not to judge anyone by their appearance. Besides, if she had already presumably pulled a gun from somewhere within her skirts, who knows what else she could have stashed away? On the other hand, she might be a useful person to know, and she was pretty after all. Not the type that Cobalt would normally be drawn towards, but this was proving to be far from a normal night. Cobalt watched her for a moment, deciding his next move. She intrigued him, if nothing else, and if it wasn't for the sizable servants that seemed intent on watching her every move, he may have even gone over to meet her properly. That introduction, however, would have to wait unfortunately.


William Fraser


Location: Kirkpatrick House
Skills: N/A



William was glad to see that the driver had followed his example. He had to admit that he was reluctant to turn his back on the warmth and hospitality of the kitchen so quickly, but the news that their arrival had brought, and the mood that had subsequently settled, had certainly imbued a chill in the room, and William was loathe to remain any longer than he had to. Regardless, he still had some food, and as he walked, he ate, humming some half-forgotten tune between bites. He glanced across at the driver and saw that the other man was eating on the move as well. William allowed himself a slight smile. The man was rough-edged, but he was a good man, one of the hard-working and honest types. If the bad feeling that William got around Rutherford wasn't just a hunch, then the driver could prove to be a useful ally.

Almost as if just thinking his name could summon him, William caught sight of Rutherford, standing by the carriage, as they came around the side of the house. He didn't look to be in the best of moods. The driver spotted Rutherford at the same time, jumping slightly in surprise and quickening his pace. William saw that Millicent was also standing by the carriage, although whether that was at all by her choice, he couldn't tell. After a quick exchange of words, it appeared that they had been wrong when they thought that Egerton's departure meant that their own would be delayed, it looked like they would be heading on without the other man. This at least brought a smile to William's face. From a practical standpoint, it meant that if this whole thing did come to violence, Rutherford would not have a man at his back. But more importantly, it meant William wouldn't have to endure that toad any longer.

Rutherford and Millicent had already climbed inside the carriage by the time William reached it, but something stopped him from climbing in behind them. For a start, Rutherford had hardly looked like he was in a conversational mood, and there was also the matter of his last interaction with Millicent hardly going as smoothly as he liked. Making his decision, William closed the carriage door, and clambered up to sit beside the driver, taking another bite from the chunk of bread as he settled into his seat and prepared for the journey ahead.
Justice Cobalt
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Location: Shadowell Manor: Starry Salon
Skills: Perception
Hit Points: 6
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Cobalt was half-way across the room when he heard the doors behind him open. He almost fell over with how quickly he turned. People, living, breathing and talking people! Cobalt could have cried out with relief. His nightmare was over, at least for now. He recognized the leading figure as the Lord of the Manor himself, he wasn't going to forget the cold welcome they had all received from the man in a hurry. The Lord spotted him, but if he was surprised by Cobalt wandering around on his own, he didn't show it, simply telling Cobalt to follow him as he headed towards the stairs himself. Seeing as it was the direction that Cobalt had already been headed, he was hardly going to object.

A strange troupe seemed to be tagging along behind the Lord, and it took Cobalt a moment to realise who they were. His fellow uninvited guests, who had apparently all decided to forgo their masks. One of them also spotted Cobalt, and seemed to recognise, booming out an unusual greeting. Cobalt would have recognized the other man's large frame, with or without his golden mask. If nothing else, the greeting suggested that Cobalt had only been missing a matter of minutes or hours, rather than days, which was reassuring. Although the lumbering giant did have a point, it certainly sounded like he had missed quite a lot in his absence. If they were trapped there, then it certainly changed the mood of the 'party', and Cobalt couldn't miss the other man's unspoken suggestion that he remove his own mask.

He winced slightly at the suggestion, one hand instinctively going to light touch his own mask, before hastily bringing his empty hand down to his side again, managing a smile.

"Thank you for the update, friend."

With that, Cobalt turned, following after the Lord of the Manor, keen to see where the group was being led.
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