Research Group III
OOC Rule: No @clue sharing without context. If you don't talk about it IC, no clue for you. No huge clue dumps, either. PACE THYSELF, NERD.
Oct. 28, 2021, 3 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - Vellichorian Academy - Hall of Tutelage
Comments and Log
Becoming Archscholar does not mean any wardrobe changes for Oswyn, really, which means he still looks like a regular commoner scholar of no particular importance. He is presently leaning on one of the desks, pulling writing supplies out of his ever-present satchel and setting them up there. A sheaf of notes follows and is shuffled about.
Caprice has arrived early. That she's fashionable about it is just a perk of her profession, probably, but as it happens, early (book)worms also get first choice of the good seating. She's taken up one end of a couch, a writing box in her lap, inkpot and quill neatly in their notches. In the quiet before the more official start of this research session, she angles a quick smile towards the newly-minted Archscholar.
Having also arrived slightly early, Sorrel has taken her notebook with her over to sit by Caprice, and she's not exactly fashionable, but she is armed and armored as much as one can comfortably be. Just in case of... something. She has a pencil, though, better for smudging mistakes.
Cassiopeia arrives nearly exactly on time, escorted by her guards, the lot of them draped in silks, fashioned in southern styles. Familiar with these events by now, Cassiopeia wears a warm expression on her face and curiosity in her eyes. There is a little book held in her hand, and a quill tucked between pages. There is a friendly smile offered to those already present, with a nod to Oswyn in recognition.
1 Iron Guardsmen, 3 Black Fleet Reavers, Moonsilver, the pale-feathered raven arrive, following Raven.
Oswyn squints at people as they filter in, and nods amiably with a slight smile even if he doesn't necessarily recognize someone. "Alright. Ah, for anyone that hasn't been to one of these before - and there haven't been many - we're here to talk about things we're interested in learning about. If you're working on some research and you'd like some help, this is a good place to get some references to work with. I have some assistants available to lend a hand, too. Does anyone have a subject they're curious about?"
The red haired woman that slips in after a few others is not a familiar face to the Academy, but then, she doesn't much look like a scholar, and the plain, peace tied sword she sets to one side once she finds a seat only adds to that impression. Once that's done, she gives the room - and its occupants - a bit of careful scrutiny.
Oswyn nods amiably to the red-haired woman with faint smile, even though he has no damn clue who she is. He clears his throat gently into his fist, shuffling his papers again and squinting at those assembled.
"Ah, right. Subjects. I have so many on my list, but my present curiosity involves black stones," Sorrel volunteers after a quiet lull wherein everyone waits to see who will speak up first. "I know a bit about the symbolism of obsidian and onyx, but not jet. It's listed as one of the meaningful black stones, but I don't know the meaning."
Cassiopeia finds a seat, slipping into it as she folds her gown so it keeps appropriately draped as she sits. The notebook is opened, pages flipped until one is bare from information. The quill held in her hand, she isn't one to jump into the conversation, rather merely observe it and listen. There is a warm smile forming at Oswyn speaks. As Sorrel talks about black stones, Cassiopeia quirks a brow but seemingly has nothing to add to the conversation at this time. Feeling the need to say something, "I am merely here to learn and listen and offer my assistance." There are probably topics that come to mind, but she seems content to be part of the background at this time.
Oswyn considers that, then notes, "I'm afraid I don't know much about jet, either. I believe it's mentioned in some of my notes as one of three black stones used by shav'arvani and Mirrormasks in rituals. Have there been more people wearing black gemstones in their jewelry or is that just me? I'm admittedly not so much involved in fashion." He has a nice waistcoat at least.
The red haired woman tips her chin in response to Oswyn's nod. There's a faint twitch at her mouth as well, but if that's meant to be a smile, there's not quite enough of it to be clear. Settled, she fishes out a small notebook of her own, but she doesn't appear to have brought any writing implements.
Caprice slips the quill from its spot, dips the nib in her inkpot and dabs the edge clean before scratching out a first light note onto paper, angling her head in a thoughtful nod towards Sorrel. "I likely have the same information as the Archscholar, though I do feel I've come across references on occasion while in pursuit of something else. I'll double check and follow up with you about it, Your Highness, if that's alright with you."
For her part, she remarks, "I've been somewhat casually following up on research into heirlooms, jewelry, and crowns in particular - a topic of interest for the late Archscholar Sina, and part of the joint Scholar-Crafters Guild project launched some time ago by Duke Apollo while he was still Guildmaster. It's still at a broad and shallow level, but - at least tangentially related to focus on stones."
Raven frowns, "I have some notes on Onyx, are we looking for relics or account of the fractal?"
Oswyn nods quickly in Caprice's direction. "Mmhmn. I once meant to inquire about the heirloom blades of the noble houses so I could perhaps draw them and... you know what, we can get back to that. I'd like to know more about any projects Archscholar Sina had, so I should really put word out..." He turns to the table, sliding some patchment closer to himself and whipping out a quill to make a note.
Cassiopeia lets a blonde brow naturally arch at the conversation, she flips through her books, but seems to lean into listening. "I'm afraid I know little about gems and heirloom blades. Though I imagine such things are quite interesting," she murmurs.
Watcher shakes her head. "About the only thing I can offer is that black stones always seem to lead to some sort of trouble, usually the type that's hard to get out of, and some people enjoy wearing them just to make others think they're very daring and mysterious, but I don't know anything specifically about jet."
Caprice "I... both, for me," Caprice admits towards Raven after an encouraging nod towards Oswyn. "I'm newer to focused study; most of my efforts to date have been compiling notes on subject categories, then seeking experts and aficionados to help fill in some of the details from there." To Cassiopeia: "I'm certainly biased but the stories behind heirlooms are consistently fascinating."
Cassiopeia's lips quirk into a small smile at Watcher's comment about people wearing black stones to seem mysterious. To Caprice she smiles warmly, "I can imagine, each one would have a story of its own, no doubt tied to the history of the family that holds it. An item can uncover so much more, paint an entire picture, though the journey it's taken to be held in hand."
"Well, yes. People who wear black stones tend want to others to think they're edgy. Or they have no idea what they mean, and still want people to think they're edgy," Sorrel agrees with a little nod. "And I'd be more curious about artifacts, but first I want to learn the basics."
Oswyn rubs his beard and notes, "I have seen a reference to heirloom blades suggesting that many of them are from the time of the Elven War. That many are elven in origin." He pauses. "Oh. Hmn. I wonder if people want those back."
"I believe that a lot of those blades were either gifts or from elves who are no longer alive or themselves," Sorrel remarks thoughtfully. "So I doubt that they're looking for them."
"Have you heard about the Sword of..." Oswyn consults notes again. "Sword of Solace? Galathurang?"
"I've a vague recollection that the color as a whole has some... sinister history," comes Caprice's murmured comment. "Possibly a bit of a forgotten tradition which, if true, presents some unfortunate obstacles on the field of fashion. Anyone who knows I'm a Disciple of Jayus," does anybody -not-? Woman can't go a day without mentioning it somewhere, "is probably not surprised by my interest in those stories. A... certain disgraced Dominus once wrote that the dream loves stories, after all - and those stories a blade helps create, or slashes through," her quill vibrates excitedly while the hand holding it gestures, "they build upon that weapon's, mm. Well, 'power' may be too easily misinterpreted in this context."
Caprice answers Oswyn, brows perked in interest, "Not many details about Galathurang in particular, but... Sandrine was the Sword of Solace, wasn't it?" She hums a few notes of some song, mumbles some words, "She'll brandish her sword.." papers rustle while she seeks something in her writing box, "Was that -her- name..? Hm. Ohh, maybe it wasn't three -weapon- names but rather..."
Oswyn shakes his head. "Sorry. Were those lyrics just now? I don't know any involving Sandrine."
A messenger slips in and passes a small note to Cassiopeia, unfolding it with her fingers she reads the content and her lips frown ever so slightly. The young woman stands up and offers a warm smile to Oswyn, "thank you so much for organizing this, it's always a pleasure to learn and be amongst those that are curious."
Cassiopeia is overheard praising Oswyn: He keeps us learning!
3 Proscipi veteran guards leaves, following Cassiopeia.
Raven rises and bows to Cassiopeia as she leaves. She frowns and glances between Oswyn and Caprice, still trying to fathom the interest in swords so listening attentive for now.
It's a bit of work, attempting to neatly write out lyrics while also trying not to stall conversation for the group at large. A distracted glance over finds Raven and Watcher among faces Caprice didn't notice yet and she offers a quick smile...as well as a, "Hmm..? Apologies, I might have missed what you said," possibly misinterpreting her frown.
Raven's eyebrows shoot up, "No, no. fair assumption. Blackheart and all." She flashes a lopsided grin.
"Speaking of lyrics," Oswyn says, looking up and squinting over at Sorrel. "I'd like to have a meeting with you at somepoint to discuss what you know of the Metallic Order, as I understand it to be quite a lot."
The significance may be lost on Caprice, honestly, but she doesn't dwell. Instead, curious, she notes towards the woman, "If I recall, you publicly sought help with research before? If it's on subjects not meant for sharing, of course I don't wish to pry, but I'm wondering if you were successful at finding others willing to take on the legwork."
Oswyn smiles. Crookedly. If it weren't for the beard, it'd be downright boyish.
Sorrel nods agreeably to Oswyn, offering him a friendly smile in agreement. "I did write the Metallic Cycle based on what I researched," she replies.
Raven inclines her head, "I was told the same thing." she jerks a thumb towards Sorrel, "I have accumulated quite a lot but not nearly so much as the Princess, I am certain." She ahhhs and flashes another grin to Caprice, "I have a few that I ask for help, either helping me understand research I already have or helping me find more. As always my curiosity exceeds the available time of my researchers. So the answer is yes but I've always got use for another."
"Would you be alright with me giving your name as a subject expert?" Oswyn asks Sorrel, eyebrows going up. "I like to be able to refer people to other people who know more about a subject than I do. Which is quite often."
Watcher spares a small glance from Oswyn to Sorrel at the mention of the Metallic Order, but her attention turns back to Raven soon enough. "I probably shouldn't comment on someone with the nickname of Blackheart," she says, though the tone is rather light, and then she asks Oswyn, "Anything specific about the Metallic Order? Or just...all of it?"
Oswyn twirls his quill in his fingers absently. He also totally drops it on the tabletop. At least he doesn't seem too embarassed when he picks it up again and licks a fingertip to try to get the fleck of ink off before it gets into the wood. He clears his throat. "I suppose all of it, which is quite the ask. Focusing on them one by one would likely be best, as the Princess has done with her Metallic Cycle songs. I'm particularly interested in how it came to be, personally."
Oswyn takes FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY KEEP IT IC AS POSSIBLE.
Raven looks up at Watcher and flashes a grin, "I ain't thinskinned, Special prize if you say something I ain't heard before." She offers Watcher an eyebrow waggle.
"I'm up to my a- eyes," Caprice glances apologetically towards Oswyn a moment, then looks back to Raven, "in notes on diamonds lately, but I'm not ashamed to say that I'm nosy and love knowing what interests other people. I like to support efforts where I can, so please feel free to consider me willing to assist any time. If not through direct flipping of pages, then possibly notes on the relevant bits and pieces I might have clomped through in pursuit of something entirely unrelated." Then to Watcher: "And you, Messere? Are there topics of particular interest for you?"
Oswyn helpfully pipes up, "I sometimes say the word 'ass'." He, too, squints in Watcher's direction.
Raven grins, "Well you're
"I didn't say the comment would be original," Watcher replies. "I think that's asking too much of me. But I've heard worse titles, in /fact/, I've heard worse Pravus titles. You could be Raven the Raven of the Ravenblackdarkville Night Fleet, for instance." Her lips purse. "Mn. Yeah, all of them will take you a while." Caprice's question receives a small shake of her head. "Not particularly. Current events are increasingly distracting."
Raven grins, "Well if you're offering. Anything you come across on names, the stealing of or the esoteric quality of, wards, seals, anything concerning sylv'alfar or Nox'alfar magic though the former is of more interest than the latter, or any folklore or historical account of relics and weapons of note." She snickers snorts, "Blackheart of the Blackwater, commander of the Black cresent. How's that?"
"I do have assistants free to lend their help," Oswyn announces. He also does a very bad job covering a faint snorts of laughter, first at Watcher and then at Raven's reply.
"Current events are incredibly distracting, and I imagine that I probably ought to be researching newer, more relevant things, but I got an idea awhile back to look into this niche topic, and here I am. I'm also quite curious about black diamonds, if we're being honest," Sorrel remarks after listening for awhile. "And are you interested in the origins of the Metallic Order? I can probably sum that up fairly quickly."
One curse word added to the accepted academic flavor lexicon! The Guildmaster dips her head in thanks towards Oswyn. "Quid pro quo," Caprice notes to Raven at the end of her list, chuckling softly. "But I'll make a note to look through my ridiculous piles of unsorted writing; feel free to remind me if you don't hear from me by the end of the month? Masquerade season is a particularly busy time for craft work."
"That..." the red haired woman says to Raven, "is pretty damn bad. Still not the worst. It has a...theme?" But her attention pulls back to the topic a little more thoroughly. "Being curious about black diamonds never leads to anything good."
"Speaking from experience?" Caprice wonders to Watcher. Though on the subject of distraction, Sorrel's offer earns an interested look.
"Wandering about being totally ignorant hasn't worked well either," Oswyn says with a faint sigh. "There's a line between the two and it's not a very safe one." He reaches up to rub the back of his head. "It's... difficult."
Raven inclines her head, "Of course, there is no rush, I appreciate your offer and rest assured I'll be taking you up on it." Her gaze sweeps back to Watcher, "Hah. So many things folk be getting into lately are unlikely to lead to much good but some folks insist on first hand experience. There's a lengthy list of things which are dangerous to be nosy about. Starting to think anything that's NOT dangerous is just flat out boring." She liiifts an eyebrw at OSwyn, "That's one word for it, Brother Oswyn."
"Oh, no kidding," Sorrel replies to the red-haired woman, grinning in spite of herself. "But just because I know something is a bad idea doesn't stop me from trying, if perhaps slightly more cautiously than I would if I don't yet know it's a bad idea." She shrugs slightly. "Anyway. I started researching the Metallic Order because my sister-in-law, Dame Leona, wished to have a good way to teach people that Arx is the Silver Gift and the reasons the King's Own are Silver Swords."
Raven says, "archscholar, beg pardon"
"Not my experience, no," Watcher replies to Caprice. "Thankfully." One eyebrow arches at Sorrel, but there's an easy sort of shrug that follows. "The real problem about looking into black diamonds is that it seems to inevitably lead into looking /for/ black diamonds. The first is dangerous, the second..." She just lets that sit. "I'm not here to tell anyone what to do, though."
Raven frowns, "Like people ain't got enough problems. Foolish folk." She studies Watcher, "How's it you learned betterm hrrm?"
"No, the second is a terrible idea. I agree," Sorrel replies with a serious nod to Watcher, fairly nonchalant. She shrugs once. "I'm already looking for things no one can find."
"Yes. Finding a black diamond would be very bad. Go in the opposite direction, I think," Oswyn says, wincing a little.
"Like what? Good deals on pyreweave?" Caprice asks Sorrel, clearly joking. Probably joking? Maybe mostly joking. As for the diamonds, she leans forward a little to float a question to the group that seems to be all in agreement, "There are reasons those particular stones are dangerous, certainly, but the body of work I've sampled on stones of that same -color- are in, I think, a similar category if not to the same degree. Do you suppose the trend of wearing risky decisions as adornment will bite us in the," another glance to Oswyn, "ass, eventually?"
"I read books," the red haired woman replies, before adding, a little more slowly, "...a lot of books. Which, speaking of," she looks toward Oswyn, frowns, and then offers, "Jet was a Fractal. I'm afraid that's all I know, however. I don't think he's still around, but I wouldn't bet on that either." A beat. "Yes," she says to Caprice. "It tends to."
"I mean, I'd guessed that," Sorrel replies with a nod to the red-haired woman. "I'd surmised that from context clues. But I do find it interesting, how all the Fractals interacted. And their relationships with the Metallics."
"There is one particularly interesting case there," Oswyn tells Sorrel. "But that's probably best reserved for later and I wouldn't be surprised if you already knew it." A faint smile.
Raven chuckles softly and notes to Oswyn, "Looks like I'm not the only one on my best behavior around you, Archscholar." She flashes a broad grin. She purses her lips, "That is curious. Never occurred to me, but you're right, your highness."
Willen arrives, following Lou.
Willen leaves, following Lou.
"Not to give you more work to do as you're settling in, Archscholar," Caprice turns a comment back to Oswyn, "but I think you know a bit about some of the projects I'm working on. Related to them, I'm hoping to host and attend more discussions, but I'm a little worried I'll pick subjects that some might consider, ah, something of a faux pas to discuss casually. -Is- there some sort of official list of things one's better off not talking about in a book shop, or am I doomed to employ common sense?"
"It's not research," Watcher notes, as she sits up a little straighter in her chair. "But I'm interested if there's anything more to know about that kill list that was floating around other than 'it's a list with people on it'. I know it's been a while though. A city being burned down is a little more attention grabbing."
Raven's eyes rivet to Watcher, "I'm not sure it's a kill list. A number of people on that list weren't at the whisper house, as far as I know no one's attacked anyone on that list, and clearly if the Traitor wanted those people dead there'd be more than a list to show for it. I dunno want it's for but I'm skeptical that it's an assassination list."
"I'd recommend common sense," Oswyn tells Caprice, with an apologetic look. "But any time there was a conversation that it would be unwise for some random client to walk into I took it to the back room." He reaches up to rub the back of his head, his expression rueful. "I believe the list is a list of names of people who have irritated the Traitor for a variety of reasons." He glances in Raven's direction, then back to Watcher. "If it's not an assassination list it's still a bad list to be on."
"The kill list? It's interesting in whose names are on it," Sorrel notes with a slight shrug. "There are a lot of reasons someone's name might be on it, after all. And I don't necessarily want to discuss those reasons. And Raven's right. It's less a kill list and more a 'dead or alive' list. A lot of those people are difficult to assassinate for reasons heretofore undisclosed."
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