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I'll throw my hat in the ring for this, looks very interesting. The first idea that comes to mind is playing a splinter group of a now-collapsed empire, that have become a pseudo-scavenger/pirate faction in recent years, a haven for renegades and runaways based around a Port Royal style home-planet/star-base. Would that be something that could work?
Justice Cobalt
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Location: Shadowell Manor: Confinement (Attic)
Skills: Intelligence
Hit Points: 6
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So the group clearly weren't about to start holding hands and singing songs around a campfire, but they weren't totally at each others throats. And when the woman spoke, then Cobalt's attention certainly was piqued. It appears that she had all of the rest of them at a disadvantage. She claimed to not have had a chance to properly inspect the list, but who's to say she was telling the truth? With Cobalt's own disappearance, he had no idea how long the woman could have been alone with those supposed list, it could have been more than long enough to learn the real identity of the other guests, Cobalt included.

Titian seemed to be entertaining himself with the idea of breaking down the door, or rather some of the other guests were entertaining the idea of Titian breaking down the door, and Cobalt didn't doubt that the man-mountain would be able to. But should he? Cobalt didn't fancy the idea of annoying the household any more than they already had, and even if the wall opened up to reveal an escape from the room, Cobalt wouldn't leap at the opportunity. For now, their best bet was to put their heads together, and try and work out what the brief clues they had all seen could mean.

As if she was reading his mind, the woman that had so intrigued Cobalt earlier spoke up, continuing her condemning of Swamp. Cobalt didn't like the good doctor, but his dislike apparently paled in comparison to hers. Hardly surprising, she had tried to kill him after all. Maybe it would have been for the best if she had succeeded...


William Fraser


Location: Gretna Green
Skills: Perception



William had to move quickly to keep up with Rutherford, the other man clearly knowing where he was going, and determined to not waste any more time. The slight smile that Millicent cast back towards him had more of an effect on William than he had expected it to. Something linked him to the woman, it had been scratching at the back of William's head since he had first seen her across the crowded inn, but every time he tried to put his finger on it, it darted away. The storyteller in him wanted to call it fate, and maybe it was. All that William really knew is that he had stumbled into the midst of something, and for now, that meant he was the rogue piece, the piece that didn't fit in these grand plans because he couldn't have been accounted for in them. And that gave him an advantage. Picking up his pace slightly, so that he was only a few paces behind the couple, William glanced at Rutherford.

Maybe it was his recent revelation, but something granted William a rare moment of clarity, and he finally had a better idea of what he was up against. A dagger in the Lord's belt, and a pistol in his jacket. William had known Rutherford was armed, and now that he could tell with what, he could start to plan. If it came to it, then Rutherford held one advantage over William, range. With that pistol in play, then William would need to close any distance between the two men quickly. Once he was close, then William would be able to use his short swords, and if it came to it, he could make use of his training in Kadlin. Some part of William still hoped that it wouldn't come to violence, but if it did...

Something else caught William's eye, and as he looked over towards Millicent, he saw a flash of metal. It was only for an instant, and for a moment, William questioned he had even seen it at all. But some part of him knew that he had. He had learnt a long time ago not to judge people by appearances, and it appeared that he had found another example in Millicent. The meek and slight woman was armed; the cat had claws so to speak. Frowning slightly, half-expecting every new turn to reveal some new detail, William continued after the increasingly unusual pair.
Justice Cobalt
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Location: Shadowell Manor: Confinement (Attic)
Skills: Perception
Hit Points: 6
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Cobalt had almost felt proud of his speech, a little long-winded perhaps, but he'd held his tongue for long enough, and he felt that his words had been charismatic enough. It certainly seemed to have some impact on his fellow guests at least, in fact it seemed to provoke another speech, from the woman that had been so adamant to keep her mask on earlier. What information she offered was exactly what Cobalt had wanted. They had all seen different parts of the house, whether voluntarily, or involuntarily in his case, and if what the woman said was true, then it certainly cast Swamp in a different light. But was Cobalt willing to practice what he preach and trust her?

His attempt to gauge how genuine the woman's reaction was only caused the headache that had been plaguing him since he arrived to rear it's ugly head again. Cobalt winced slightly, pinching the bridge of his nose for a moment as he struggled to focus. The other guests mostly seemed occupied with getting more information about this apparently incriminating evidence, and Cobalt could hardly blame them. He doubted the good doctor had made any friends amongst those gathered, his only companion seeming to be the Chanteuse, so any information that could bring the man down, would be welcomed.

A laugh caught Cobalt's attention, mostly because of how out of place such a sound seemed, considering their surroundings. He wasn't surprised to see who it was that was laughing. He knew someone would push back, and he would have put good money on it being Titian. Truth be told, he wasn't too devastated. Titian hardly seemed to be the type to knuckle down and solve puzzles, and if the mystery killer managed to kill the big man, then they really were in trouble. Titian could keep to himself, the rest of them could try and work out who it was that had brought them all here, and who was responsible for the growing pile of corpses.



William Fraser


Location: Gretna Green
Skills: Perception



Whoever this Ludwig had been in life, he was apparently worthy of attention from the Duchess, even in death. If nothing else, her ordering of one of the newcomers confirmed that she did hold some power over them, and the 'Bazhooli', whatever that meant, leapt onto his horse, his exit just as extravagant as his clothing. However he did not leave, William noticed, before giving Rutherford a hard-edged look.

Speaking of the Lord, the man was clearly keen to seize upon the momentary lapse of the protection the Duchess had been giving Millicent, grabbing his fiances arm and all but dragging her away from the group. Millicent didn't put up a fight, letting herself be led away by Rutherford, and William suddenly realised he couldn't simply stand and watch any longer. For starters, it was the promise of payment from Rutherford that had seen him begin this journey in the first place. That being said, the Russians promised adventure, even if it was an increasingly confusing one, and William was surprised to see the Duchess let her apparent charge be taken away so roughly.

But if the Duchess minded, she showed no signs of it, despite her two new companions looking obviously troubled by it. It was above William's pay-grade to concern himself with the reasons behind her sudden change of demeanor, and he quickly moved after William and Millicent. He had been hired to do a job, and he planned to do it. And if it came to it, he would at least still be close at hand, in case Millicent really did need help. He was glad he had taken the time to gather his things from the remains of the carriage. He held the wooden case in one hand, and he could feel the violin inside almost humming, hungry for the chance to play once more.
Justice Cobalt
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Location: Shadowell Manor: Confinement (Attic)
Skills: Charisma
Hit Points: 6
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It was an unusual crowd that found itself locked in together, but then nearly everything about the night so far had been unusual. Death and intrigue had walked hand in hand through the house, uninvited and unwelcome guests, but then they all were. Two amongst their number had already met their ends. Cobalt stopped himself. Three. Mauve was gone, whether she was dead already, or quickly on her way there, Cobalt already knew that he would not be seeing the woman again, at least not in this lifetime. There were a dozen of them left now, but who knows how many would live to see the morning.

Cobalt came back to the present in time to see that the imprisonment had hardly drawn the group any closer. The woman that had managed to injure herself at dinner had slid down to sit against the wall, still accompanied by her unusual choice of pet. But it was two of the other guests that seized Cobalt's attention. The woman that had attracted his attention earlier, not just because of her attack on the good doctor, now seemed intent on uniting the group in order to root out the enemy within. It answered one question at least, Cobalt wasn't alone in being drawn to this house by a blackmailer. He had suspected some thread must unite them all, but now that he knew it was crime, Cobalt's imagination was whirring with ideas of what those around him could be guilty of.

Titian was back to his characteristically brash self, and even though Cobalt had seen the two together earlier, there was clearly no love lost between the two now. But in his uncouth manner, he voiced the thoughts that Cobalt had already had himself. Although he didn't like the man, Cobalt could hardly accuse Swamp of killing the Lord of the Manor. If Cobalt knew anything about group dynamics, then things in confined space could get heated quickly. Chances are, people who be drawn towards either one of the two figures, who could hardly be more different in appearance. Some would look for self-preservation in companionship, seeking the safety in numbers, while others would side with isolationism, keeping everyone else at arms length. The two groups could well, unsurprisingly, find themselves quickly at odds with one another. Maybe it was time Cobalt tried to put some of his charm to good use. Putting on his most winning smile, Cobalt glanced across the group, making eye contact with anyone who would let him.

"There's no need for us to become fast friends, hell, I still don't know what to call some of you, and I'm fine keeping it that way, but if we isolate ourselves, then whoever it behind all of this can just pick us off one by one. I say we try and work together so that we can get out of this place alive, after that, we need never see each other again. Someone wanted us all to be here, and from what I've seen so far, it wasn't for a good time, at least not for us. Keep each other at arms length yes, but I agree with the lady when she says that we should combine what we've learnt of this house's secrets."



William Fraser


Location: Gretna Green
Skills: Perception



Things certainly weren't getting any simpler. Millicent seemed to recognise the two men, but considering William had only known the woman for a matter of hours, that hardly helped him. Rutherford may well have recognized them too, but he took the opportunity to curse about the Circus again, although that name still meant nothing to William. Truth be told, William was starting to feel thoroughly out of his depth.

He had names for the two newcomers at least, but one of them sounded like gibberish, and the other was foreign to William. Hardly any clues as to who they were. Things only grew stranger still as William caught sight of the same thing that grabbed the attention of the Duchess. A man, or corpse rather, that the Duchess clearly had some affection for, although he was dressed differently from the three Russians, his clothes plain compared to the extravagance of the others. The mere name of whatever action the Duchess was suggesting she perform was enough to give William a headache, but what was it she was calling for? Some way to stop the body from returning as a Soulless most likely, but William's imagination was already whirling. Who was to say that the woman standing before him wasn't capable of raising the dead...

William realised that he'd half-missed a conversation, absorbed in his thoughts, and hurried to catch up. From the sound of it, the winds that had hit the carriage hadn't just hit them, they were also responsible for the death of this "Zimmer". By the sounds of it, these two men were just as in the dark about what had caused the winds, a fact that did nothing to reassure William. Regardless, the three figures were obviously close, and William struggled to tell if their behavior was out of sorts, to him it was all strange.

It didn't help that the more extravagantly dressed of the two men slipped into Russian, and the marginal grasp of the conversation that William had had slipped into non-existence. All of this was starting to give him a headache, and he was seriously starting to regret his thirst for adventure. If he had known that this is where that thirst would lead him, then he would have found roving the inns of Scotland, and the subsequent barmaids, plenty adventure enough.
Justice Cobalt
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Location: Shadowell Manor: State Dining Room (3rd Floor) -> Confinement (Attic)
Skills: Perception
Hit Points: 6
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Cobalt could see the logic in the words of the other guests. Why leave the good doctor alone in his examination, and give him the opportunity to destroy or alter any proof. He would be accompanied by Amaranthine, but the dynamic between the two had changed somewhat since Cobalt had seen them in the Gaming Room, what seemed like an age ago. Then, the doctor had been following after the woman like a puppy, at least to Cobalt's eyes, but now it seemed as if it was Amaranthine that was doing the following. If she was willing to aid the injured man, the injured murderer if what some of the other guests were claiming was true, then she could be more than willing to help him in other ways.

The difference then, is that Cobalt chose not to voice these opinions. A decision that apparently put him almost in the minority of the unusual dinner guests. Three of the guests voiced their opinions on how things should be handled, but Cobalt held his tongue. Questioning the moral character of the good doctor was hardly something he drew issue with, in fact it was a past-time he had indulged in himself, but to almost outright accuse the man of killing the Lord? That seemed a step too far. As far as Cobalt knew, the doctor had never met the Lord in life, and almost all of Swamp's time since he had arrived at the house could be accounted for. He had spent time in Cobalt's company for a start, then during his fateful examination of the poetry-prone guest, and after that he had been whisked away for his wounds to be tended to. When could he have found time to commit murder? Cobalt checked himself. Commit a second murder.

Accusations aside, the Lord had clearly been irked by those thinking they had the right to an opinion, and if the remaining family shared his pride, then Cobalt didn't want to risk stoking any ire. For all he knew, the late Lord of the Manor could have been a pussycat compared to his mother.

Cobalt's concerns proved to be correct, Lady Oriold's soft speech not entirely covering the edge of her words. Cobalt tried to catch Analia's eye as she was ushered out of the room, trying to express sorrow for the death of her father, but if she saw his efforts, he couldn't tell, and he didn't even know if he would ever see the girl again. They were clearly more prisoners than guests, a point driven home as they were led to a room that Lady Oriold had ominously called "Confinement".

In truth, the room was far from the nightmare that Cobalt's imagination had conjured up. It was warm enough, and although it was bare, it wasn't uncomfortable. The only thing that did cause Cobalt to feel a little uneasy was the sound of the room's door being locked behind Jasper. He still couldn't rule out the fact that one of the guests that he was now locked in with was a killer, or even his blackmailer. And even if they were relatively innocent, he could hardly call any of those present friends, and this was a dangerous place to have enemies. In a room without windows, and with locked doors, things could turn ugly quickly. Almost instinctively, Cobalt moved a few paces away from the rest of the group, keeping the wall behind him.





William Fraser


Location: Gretna Green
Skills: N/A



The unusual group made it to Gretna Green, but William quickly realised that that did not mean safety. The place was in chaos, no doubt caused by the wake destruction that the horses had left behind them. William squared his jaw slightly as he look at the chaos. He had liked the driver, the two forming almost a camaraderie, but no-one could have survived the scene before him. He realised with a heavy heart that he didn't even know the man's name. Beneath his breath, William uttered a prayer to the Old Gods. He didn't know what the man had believed, but he hoped that it was enough.

The Duchess had clearly decided it was wise to take the long way into town, and the rest of the group followed after her. Rutherford was lagging behind, but William was in no mood for conversation, and kept his distance from the other man, walking a few paces behind Veta and Millicent, still arm in arm with each other. As they made their way towards the center of town, they found themselves going against the tide, the townspeople heading out and way from whatever chaos had blown in. William saw the two men on horses just as the Duchess did, the mysterious woman calling out to the strangers and waving towards them, joy and relief evident in her voice. Whoever the two men were, she clearly knew them, but William still found himself instinctively gripping the handle of his trusty dirk.

Rutherford wasn't trying to hide his annoyance as he finally caught up with them, but William was almost enjoying himself. The day only continued to get stranger, and the flamboyant and extravagant Russian that leapt onto his saddle when he saw the Duchess was no exception. The other mounted man, also Russian if his thick accent was anything to go by, was more conservatively dressed, but he was clearly just as excited to see the Duchess, although his joy seemed to dip slightly. William couldn't be sure why, or even confirm that he had seen any change in expression, but he knew what he thought he had seen. Something held William back from introducing himself to these newcomers. He had the feeling he had found himself in the middle of something far greater than himself, and for now, he would wait to see where this journey took him.
Justice Cobalt
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Location: Shadowell Manor: State Dining Room
Skills: N/A
Hit Points: 6
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Cobalt half-glanced over towards the short figure of the woman that had intrigued him earlier. He'd wanted to talk to her then, but the imposing figure that had been watching over her had ended that idea then. Maybe in the shock and confusion following the Lord's death wasn't the ideal setting either. Before Cobalt could make a decision, it was made for him, another guest moving over to talk to the woman. Another time then perhaps, Cobalt did still want to learn more about the guest that had apparently shot Swamp. He was sure they would get along swimmingly...

He glanced around the room and noticed that he had been somewhat stranded in the middle. The good doctor had taken to the task of inspecting the Lord's body with ease, the Chanteuse hovering around him like a concerned mother hen. Titian seemed to be amusing himself with the woman that had managed to wound herself with a dinner knife, apparently keen to draw attention to the scar that Cobalt had noticed earlier. If it was an attempt to flirt by the big man, it was a strange one, and judging by the response from the woman, a misguided one. Beyond those two groups, the other guests included Walnut and her new companion who appeared to be in conversation, the reluctantly unmasked woman, who seemed content with issuing vague and foreboding warnings, and the handsome man, who seemed at a loss at what to do. Cobalt frowned slightly. That made two of them.

He needed something to do, if only to keep his mind sharp. One glance at the four musicians put him off that idea, he wasn't at such a loss that he wanted to tolerate the surrealism of four men speaking as one. Not yet anyway. The servants hardly seemed in the mood for conversation, and as he glanced across at Analia, he saw that she wasn't either. Besides, his time with the young lady had been fleeting, and it was far from his place to assume any kinship existed between the two. Even if he had wanted to attempt to talk to the girl, again, a decision was made for him.

The guards that had been summoned arrived into the room finally, led by an older woman. Lady Oriold if Jasper's greeting was anything to go by, although the name meant nothing to Cobalt. She seemed only half-there, letting Jasper issue orders, her own voice quiet. She moved to offer some comfort to Analia, and her words suggested that the power in the house had already shifted. Whoever this dowager was, they were all at her mercy now.
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