Allons a la banque - Part 2
OOC: First pick goes to those who went on Part 1. Standby list to be available.
March 30, 2023, 9 p.m.
Lou Jan Cassiopeia Titania Volcica
Outside Arx - Crownlands near Graypeak - A collection of forested hills
Comments and Log
The ring bearing a coin of Alaric the 2nd has to be fake, yes? But the 'antiquities dealer' swears it and several other artifacts are authentic. Which includes a ring bearing the sigil of Gild. The Explorers Guild has countered the dealer and with a bit of good-old-fashioned title slamdown, he's caved and grovels at Lou's feet.
"My apologies, Princess," Odan says in a timid voice. "A girl named Kalli brought me the items. As far as I can tell, they're all authentic. Where she found them, that I can't say. I can, uh, send for Kalli if you want to ask her?" And shift the blame away from himself in the process...
"Please do send for Kalli." Lou responds simply to the shopkeeper, keeping her expression neutral, yet stern. She's since slipped the Gild ring in question on her right pinky, to keep it safe and sound so it might be returned to the Faith later.
Jan looks towards Lou "I vote we hold onto him until this is sorted out."
Being over six feet, Cassiopeia just stands in the background, doing her best to look imposing, despite her warm nature. Arms cross over her breastplate as she stares down the shop keep, there's something cool in her gaze that contradicts everything about her.
Titania had spotted some of the the Explorers heading into the shop, one of them being her cousin. Moving for the shop now since her curiosity is peeked, she slips into the shop. She is dressed in her corset and leathers, her ocean blue eyes looking around but she does not say anything at the moment as she remains near the entrance.
"JULES! Can you go run off and find Kalli? She's usually at the Murder this time of day," Odan yells. There's the noise of someone going out a back-door. He casts Jan and Cassiopeia a fearful look as he stands himself back up, dusting his knees off. "Kalli's been reliable in the past, only this last haul was really something. Old. But new - like that coin I sold to Mistress Bawing. The ring, the inkwell, the table and chair... all of it seems to date back to your great-grand... whatever His Majesty Alaric the Second was," he says to Lou. He motions to his counter. "While we wait, do you want to see the other coins she brought? There's a half dozen of them."
He produces a small lock-box from below the counter and unlocks with a key kept on a chain around his neck. Inside, nestled in red velvet, are five more coins of an ancient design but shiny silver as if newly minted or kept in limited circulation.
Jan notes "If you've done nothing wrong there's nothing to worry about, eh? We're just going to sort this out. Sure, by all means."
Cassiopeia checks perception and investigation at hard. Cassiopeia is successful.
Lou checks perception and investigation at hard. Lou fails.
Volcica checks perception and investigation at hard. Volcica marginally fails.
Jan checks perception and investigation at hard. Botch! Jan fails completely.
Lou is curious about the other coins, so follows after Odan to see if she can pick out anything else that might be real like the Gild ring. She squints at it distrustfully. "They all look like the one you gave Ms Bawing," she denotes, because to her they do. "Too new to be real. But I'm sure there's someone in the group more studied than I who might be able to tell the difference."
Cassiopeia peeks at the coins, lips pressing together as she does, she studies them in silence for a moment, watching how the light glints off their surface. "These are brand new, or pretty new at least. There's a little wear on the edges and the imprint isn't perfect, but the hallmarks of a coil this old are all there," she points at them. "It's a good thing I listen to my cousin go on and on about something or something," she waves her hand, clearly she listened though or absorbed some information. "It's weird though, it's like...they've got all the makings of an old coin and they are real coins but...it's like they were brought forward in time, so to avoid the...well effects of age."
Jan peers at the coins "No fucking clue. All I know to do is to bite them to make sure it's real gold or real silver. IF it cracks a tooth it's fake." she advises confidently as if, yes, this is a quality control process Jan absolutely uses.
Titania checks perception and theology at hard. Titania fails.
Volcica has made her own way into the shop-- quiet as she catches on to what's going on. The Northerner doesn't interrupt, but instead starts looking curiously at the goods being discussed. She studies the coins, glancing to Cassiopeia. "Maybe they were just kept really safe? Not moved or really used? Fresh from the press, however long ago."
Lou gives Jan an amused look, unable to hide the smirk that takes shape on her lips.
Jules, a skinny kid of about nine, brings in Kalli. She is also a skinny kid but in her mid teens. She stops when she sees the group of imposing women in the shop and it looks like she's about to book it out the back door when Odan yells, "No, wait. It'll be worse if you take off, they'll bring the Inquisition on us all. Just... answer the questions about the haul, please."
Titania moves now over to Jan slipping in just behind her, there is a poke to her cousins side but remains quiet when Kalli is brought in.
Lou glances over at Kalli when Odan addresses the girl. Where her look was stern for the older man, it softens when she sees the scared teenager. She doesn't look as imposing as when she was bearing her full Princess Voice - I Know People (tm) rendering. "We just want to know where you got this stuff," she motions to the box of coins, the one set in the ring on Ms. Bawings finger, and wiggles her pinky finger with the Gild ring on it; the one thing they know for sure could be real.
Jan turns her head and her eyebrow lifts, "Cousin! Small world. Just doing some window shopping what brings you by? You know anything about coins by any chance?
Cassiopeia glances over to Kalli when she appears and notices the age and the size of here, there's a small look of empathy in her eyes. As Lou ask the question, Cassiopeia smiles gently, so to encourage the woman to talk to them. "We are kind folk, if you help us, we will be sure to remember that," she says though she only speaks for herself, she still uses loose terms, besides there's nothing specific in her statement.
Lou checks charm and empathy at hard. Lou is successful.
Cassiopeia checks charm and manipulation at hard. Cassiopeia is successful.
Volcica checks charm and empathy at hard. Critical Success! Volcica is spectacularly successful.
Volcica looks to Kalli when the teenager arrives, and something in the cold demeanored woman softens a little. There's a look of understanding, an attempt to be a solid and calming presence. She remembers, perhaps, what it was like when she first joined the Compact, when she was always viewed with suspicion-- far more than now, anyway. Volcica speaks quietly. She's trying! "You're not in trouble, Kalli. We just want to find out where these came from."
Titania checks command and manipulation at hard. Titania is successful.
Kalli sighs, eyes rolling as only a teenager can manage. But their sympathy and kind words are catching hold with her, especially Volcica. She really seems to like Volcica and smiles at her. Maybe it's all the bad-ass skull jewelry. But she seems really eager to tell them the story now. "My brother works with the Archives doing book-binding. Sometimes they bring the oldest books to him to re-bind so they don't fall apart. A few months ago, he found a journal from a bank teller in the Crownlands who escaped a cave-in." She looks hesitant at that but then Volcica's words encourage her to continue. "We pooled our money, along with a couple others and got really sharp rubicund picks and... well. We dug a new tunnel to get into the bank from the outside. That's where I found 'em."
She pulls a yellowed page out of a pocket inside her shirt and holds it out to them. "The teller drew a map to get back to the bank someday. I guess he never did. Maybe they didn't have the tools to dig 'em out or make a new tunnel."
Eirene drops A torn page of an old journal.
Titania looks to Jan, "I don't know, depends on the markings on them maybe." she speaks softly looking to Kalli, encouraging her to talk. Her voice can be very soft, very sing song like but with a tone of command to it. She smiles sweetly to the teen, nodding her head as she speaks. She looks to the page that she hands over and hmmms.
Jan crosses her arms and watches. She scans the crowd passing by the shop and on the exits but currently is a bit of scenery while those with people skills ply those skills.
Blonde brows perk upwards as the paper is produced and she looks at Kalli with an easy smile. "You did well, Kalli," she tells her before looking down. "How exciting!," she cannot help but exclaim, because it is and Cassi is easily excitable. "Duck, Ant, Spider?," she looks at the others, unsure of what this means. "Does that ring a bell with anyone?," she wonders of the other women. "I assume it is code for something, are we going to find the cave?," she asks, trying to temper her bubbling energy.
Lou takes a moment to pour over the map with the look of someone who is well and truly used to looking at maps for long periods of time. "That's just outside of Graypeak," she confirms, furrowing her brow somewhat. "Making it Grayson territory." Suddenly a bright smile touches her lips. "I guess we'll get to see first hand if these coins are real or not, as I declare there will be an expedition." She looks to Kalli and says, "As Voice of House Grayson, I'm well within my rights to offer you a reward for potentially finding a piece of lost Grayson history. Assuming there are still things there to find."
Maybe it's Volcica's -lack- of social skills that helps the teen warm up to her? She's a little bit awkward, a little bit distant-- and very much covered in cool skulls and bones. "Thank you," is offered to Kalli quietly, and she's studying that old paper just like the rest of them. "Could we keep this page?" A glance to Lou then, naturally, since.. Grayson, and all.
Jan offers a shrug to Cassopeia and wonders to Titania "What do you reckon the words mean, cousin?" she glances then to Lou "Recognize them, Pathfinder?"
Titania shakes her head, "Who knows, it could be nick names, it could mean anything cousin." she looks between them all. her eyes fall on Lou as she watches her.
Kalli's eyes go wide. "Really? A reward?" You can see the dollar signs in her eyes. "There's a -lot- more. We couldn't find the vault, but there's old furniture, and coins. And uhh, dead bodies. But old dead bodies." She nods to Volcica, "If we're all going back there, then yah. I guess it -does- belong to the Graysons," she admits, eyeing Lou.
Odan asks, "Well, what about me, do I get a finder's fee?"
Bawing, the merchant woman who started all this, seems smugly satisfied. "Thank you for your help, Princess Pathfinder, I'm going to assume my coin is real then." she says, curtseying. She's taking this as her cue to leave if they're going to go treasure hunting.
"If I had to hazard a guess," Lou looks to Jan as she speaks, "It's something he marked along the way to remember what direction he should be going in, but that's hard to say. I once followed a path of magical markings left behind by Brass, which lead us up the side of a mountain to a puzzle table. Once we worked out the puzzle, a magical map appeared that showed us the location of where he relocated the dwarves of Arvum. That general location led to our discovery of several dwarves of Arvum stuck in time, and we managed to unthaw them and allow them to rejoin their people." Oh yeah, Lou's standing in the middle of the shop, talking about dwarves like they are real people, or something. "They were a very nice family that helped us, in turn, find our way back home since the main entrance to where they were stuck in time had been covered over by an avalanche of snow." Lou smiles fondly of the memory. Explorers, always caught up in their tales! "They let us know how to get in touch with them again too!"
Lou raises a brow in Odan's direction. "Did you do the actual work of finding them or just selling them?" The answer to that question will likely be his answer.
Jan looks towards Lou and jerks a thumb towards Bowing, eyebrows lifting. Wordlessly asking if the princess wants the woman detained or not.
Cassiopeia shifts her weight from foot-to-foot, looking ready to move when the time comes. Sandaled feet allow her toes to wiggle about freely as she listens to the others. "It could be anything. I guess we will find out," she shrugs her shoulders.
"Selling, highness," Odan says. He knows what her answer will be, judging by the look in his eyes.
Lou gives a shake of her head at Jan, letting Bawing leave. She turns her look back on Odan again. "Mistress Kalli may decide what she wishes to do with her reward, freely of her own choice after the treasure has been verified and after she has been rewarded. The details of what she receives is between she and House Grayson." Which means he might still have some hope of something. "I suspect her choice may depend on if she feels you were lowballing her in the deal you both had for whatever she found."
Titania looks between Odan and Kalli as she remains silent watching, listening this is what she does. She leans slightly into Jan as she does giving her cousin a smile.
"We'll see. You've always been fair, Odan," Kalli replies with a small grin. She turns to the ladies and asks, "I can get my stuff if we're headed out there again? There's a few doors we weren't able to open, so there may be more cool treasure in there."
Jan lifts an arm to give Titania a lopsided grin "Have all the best fun when the Pathfinder's around. Unfortunately it's gone well and I haven't gotten stab a single soul." A mock pout at titania.
Lou nods to Kalli. "We will be going there. You have time to grab your stuff if you'd like to be our pathfinder," she notes to the young girl, giving her an important title for the journey. After all, she knows the place and where to go, and she's getting rewarded for helping House Grayson out. "I might even teach you a thing or two about exploring, along the way," the legendary explorer grins.
"Are we going now?" Volcica seems open to the idea-- possibly even hopeful? "I was about to ask that you make sure that I, or one of mine, or a Harlequin accompanies the expedition. For the dead." That last bit probably wasn't necessary, but dead people -do- get stoic Volcica talking.
%From sullen teenager to excited explorer - this is the effect they've had on Kalli. She quickly gets her things and makes ready to go.
With the map to guide them, the Explorers and Friends (tm) make the journey out of Arx. The summer sun is warm but the days are cool and clear with crisp breezes blowing. After a little while, they comes out of a forested trail to a hillside where an impressive ediface has been carved directly into the rock. It stands nearly three stories tall, with weather-worn statues of maidens holding trays of carved coins. An urn sits atop a gabled pediment with doric columns supporting. The entrance is blocked by a massive cave-in. Over the door is the same entwined T and Gild's symbol as on the signet ring.
"This way," Kalli says as she leads them around the bend from the bank's entrance. There's a small tunnel carved into the hillside with support beams in miner's fashion. "It took us a few months to get through, and we were wearing the rubicund down. But it would have been impossible with normal tools, no wonder they abandoned this place."
Lou checks perception and survival at normal. Lou marginally fails.
Lou wanders over to the tunnel entrance and leans down to check it over. She pokes and prods and frowns. "I think it might be safe, but it might still go either way. If we shore things up as we go along, it should at least make sure the tunnel is stable enough that it won't collapse behind us and trap us inside."
Jan peers in, "Ahhh, how about I go in first and if I don't die horribly people follow me in?"
Volcica is not an adventurer, but she -is- used to life in harsh climates. Some of that translates-- hopefully enough that she's not a hinderance. A stroll through the woods is easy enough, and she's studying the entrance to the bank itself rather than the tunnel in. She's more interested in the lore, perhaps, than the safety.
Lou gets A golden signet ring with entwined T's and the symbol of Gild.
Lou gets A torn page of an old journal.
Titania raises a brow at her cousin, "Cousin, " she says to Jan seeming concerned. "Please be careful."
Always ready for adventure, Cassiopeia is curious and excited to be on their way. Maybe there will be trouble? She's not really thinking about that, rather she just smiles and there's a bit of a skip to her step. She's out. She's wandering. It's summer. There's a smile on her face and a song playing through her head.
Lou checks perception and teaching at hard. Lou is successful.
Cassiopeia checks intellect and artwork at hard. Cassiopeia fails.
Jan smiles encouragingly at Titania "I was being a wiseass, Titania. I wouldn't offer if I thought it was dangerous. It'll be fine." She glances past towards Lou "Pathfinder, what do you think?"
Titania checks perception and teaching at hard. Titania fails.
Biting down on the corner of her lip, Cassiopeia stops to study that which stands before them. Her eyes settle on the design and the tall Arrakoan isn't quite sure what to make of it. This is out of her depth and she says with a sheepish smile, "well, it's old."
Volcica checks perception and artwork at hard. Volcica fails.
The tunnel stretches into the mountain, with a cold breeze blowing out of it. "We'll need torches inside, but there's old lamps on the walls. Still had oil in them,"Kalli says.
Cassiopeia checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Cassiopeia is successful.
Jan checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Jan is successful.
Lou checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Lou is successful.
Titania checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Titania marginally fails.
Volcica checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Critical Success! Volcica is spectacularly successful.
"It's the right era for Alaric II," Lou says after some scriutinous study of the carvings and such. "I'm going in. You can all decide whether you wish to or not. Mind where you go through, as squeezing through might get tricky."
Titania nods her head to her cousin as she seems awe at how old the ruins are, as she moves along she follows her cousin and as she struggles a little to get through the tight passage and hits her head, she winces and lets out a soft curse.
Jan nods once and squeezes in ahead of Lou, there's grunting and wiggling-she makes it through but it's not graceful.
The adventuring party squeezes through the tunnel with mostly (successful) passage. Kalli carries a torch with her, and when she makes her way in and light starts to flicker off the hewn out room, they can see this was likely someone's office. There's a desk, a pair of chairs on either side, and several scroll racks. Whatever scrolls they once held have become a brittle with age. An open doorframe with an open door leads into deeper darkness. Kalli goes to one of the lamps hanging from the wall and lights the ancient oil, casting a golden glow around the old office.
"These are not even the oldest of ruins that I've been to," Lou tells the others as she starts to squeeze her way through the tunnel, navigating it in a pretty skilled fashion, although not as deftly as some others. "The oldest I've been in have been from the pre-Reckoning era, referred to as the Age of Dreams," she explains as she comes up through the other side of the tunnel and they enter into the office. She continues to follow Kalli, mindful of the contents of each room until they can get a better idea of what might be there. She casts a look around, taking in everything around her.
"This is where I found the inkwell," Kalli admits. She gestures to the desk.
Volcica slips through the narrow entrance with surprising ease, her fingers sliding over the stone with a sense of familiarity. She even helps Titania through, if the other accepts a hand! Once there's items to look at, though, Vola's attention is fully wrapped up in studying them-- trying to find any hints about their age, or who used them, or.. Anything, really. She's a very curious woman.
Jan looks around slowly and her lips purse "Remind me what exactly it is we're looking for? Anything in particular or just having a poke around>?
Lou checks perception and investigation at normal. Lou is successful.
Cassiopeia glances around and then checks to see everyone is making it through. She moves pretty easily, slipping in and then she shoots a smile at Volcica. Glancing back at the two Islander women, Cassiopeia considers Jan's question then looks at Lou. "Now that we know the source of those items, I imagine we are here to see what else we find? If it's a bank, it probably stored a variety of things. Or do you think there's something specific to the bank itself?" Cassiopeia bobs her head and then shrugs, "I'm just here to wander. Look about." Cassiopeia looks. It's all interesting.
Titania takes the hand and makes it through with the help of Volicica, "Thank you." she smiles as she looks around now, her eyes widen as she looks around.
Cassiopeia checks perception and investigation at normal. Cassiopeia marginally fails.
Titania checks perception and investigation at normal. Titania is successful.
"I'm here for the history as well as member of House Grayson interested in the contents of this discovery," Lou says to Jan. "This is an official Grayson expedition to see what can be recovered, and what might need to be returned to various families and the Faith."
Volcica checks perception and investigation at normal. Volcica is successful.
Jan checks perception and investigation at normal. Jan marginally fails.
Lou starts to pick through some of the paperwork. Being a Scholar, she's well used to poking around old tomes and scrolls, so she is being exceptionally careful. "Most of these are records of deposits and receipts." She leans down to try to open a drawer of the desk. It doesn't budge. "This looks locked. I'm not great at it yet, but I might be able to pick the lock."
Volcica looks, but doesn't touch! She nods along with Lou as the pathfinder points out various things, probably having noticed them as well. "I'm not good with locks," she mentions. Really, now she's just studying that old painting.
Volcica tosses votes while she's at it. xD
Jan is overheard praising Cassiopeia.
Azure blues flicker from object to object, taking in the sight of the room that's been sealed off for some time. The dust tickles her nose and she is glancing over one shoulder and then the next. A smile beams at the other women she's adventuring with and then looks about. Peeking through things but they are really quite unfamiliar, given her background. Cassiopeia hasn't spent much time at banks, either. There's just a general shrug, "interesting."
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