The City of Lives

Shadows and Subterfuge: The Manor Op

Trevelanius’s espionage team decided to leave the party as soon as things quieted down, stopping only long enough for Syler Furbane to tell Metis that he had been saved by Gaius Trevelanius’s people. Piah decided to follow Riduccio, tracking him easily as she was still inside his head, while Content Not Found: gatcha went home shaken, Erillia went to take care of some family business, and Mo Proudhoe, Syler Furbane, and Rasine checked back in with Trevelanius. He complimented them on their work, gave them a small bonus, and told them to follow Riduccio and find out who he was working for and who he was meeting with.

The team reconnected with Pi at the “Cup-and-Ball” tavern and whorehouse in Belltown, where Pi had been telepathically monitoring Riduccio’s sex life with a Leovite prostitute while sampling some cordial. Mo, upon seeing a fellow Rural working as a prostitute, tried to appeal to her sense of propriety to find out more about Riduccio. She demurred, but Syler, after bribing the whore a bit, found out that Riduccio:

  • has a thing for felinoids — Leovites and Kipmen with feline features, while being less picky about gender.
  • is a frequent customer and big tipper, and
  • has occasionally beaten the girls

Upon hearing this, Mo flew into a rage and approached the Cup-and-Ball’s “Madam,” insisting that she do something about her abusive patron. The madam replied that Riduccio had been warned, but the problem appeared to have stopped, and if it were to happen again, she would respond. [OOC: Upon hearing that this happens, Piah’s player asked “is he beating one right now?” The GM responded “if you give me a fate point, he is,” and she immediately handed one over]. Pi reported over the mind-link that Riduccio was in the process of beating his whore, and Mo pushed the madam up against the wall, shouting that Riduccio was in there hitting one of the madam’s girls. Syler, running “To The Rescue,” smashed through the back room door, interrupting Riduccio in mid-backhand, and knocking him to the floor.

The madam consoled and chastised her girl (for not reporting this sooner), while Mo prepared smelling salts to awaken Riduccio. Meanwhile, Rasine, having sneaked into the madam’s office, saw that on occasion Riduccio’s bills were paid by a Tessiria Aderino – and Pi, deciding she could still seduce Riduccio in the future, but not if he saw her with Mo and Syler, headed out to the street. As Riduccio awakened, Mo slapped him across the face, swore at him for his behavior, and threw him out of the Cup-and-Ball. The madam gave Syler and Mo credit for a “evening of pleasure,” and they accepted graciously, then left to pursue Riduccio. Rasine stayed behind [and played Batman], surprising the madam and asking for her real take on Riduccio. The madam assured the mysterious intruder that she hated what Riduccio had done to her girls, and would ensure he never came back – and informed her about Riduccio’s patron Tessiria.

They all followed Riduccio as he went to Tessiria’s manor in Council Heights. Meanwhile, Pi reported back to Trevelanius telepathically, and Erillia, who had just checked back in, did a bit of research on Tessiria – she:

  • is a powerful councilor on the High Council
  • controls significant portions of Sylvennis and Council Heights
  • is not well-liked
  • is cruel to her servants
  • is willing to share power, but inevitably betrays [has the Aspect: “We Can Share… For Now”
  • blocks her manor house from all Sharing to prevent spying.

As Riduccio entered the manor, he disappeared from Pi’s mind, verifying Erillia’s intel. Rasine scouted the house for weak spots in its security, and immediately slipped into the servants’ quarters, sneaking right past the sleeping peons. Pi used her Relicshifting to create magical wire-cutters that shut off the manor’s security system, and the rest of the team entered separately from Rasine.

Acting in three separate groups, the team did the following:

Mo and Pi: wandered around a bit, then found Riduccio’s dressing room and guest bedroom. There they discovered some felinoid pornography and a mysterious notebook hidden in a fake book, filled with a coded message in the ancestral language of the Sky-Carvers. Upon hearing guards walking nearby, they hid in a closet, and Pi stripped naked in preparation for plan B. The guards found Mo’s wolf and chased it out a window. One followed the wolf, but the other headed back to report the animal. Pi burst out of the closet nude, trying to convince the Iversdotter guard that she was a prostitute Riduccio had hired (with the wolf as a “prop”). The guard bought it, and told Pi to stay in Riduccio’s room, but insisted on going to get Riduccio and tell the Mistress. Mo burst out of the closet, and after a short melee, the staggered guard agreed to not tell anyone about Pi and Mo – but only if Pi put back everything she had stolen. Pi refused, and Mo thought it wasn’t going to work anyway, so they gagged and tied the guard up in the closet.

Rasine: stealthily covered most of the house’s grounds, narrowly avoiding every guard that patrolled near her. Ducking into a bedroom to avoid a patrol, she found a note addressed to the occupant (Tessiria’s daughter? niece?) from Tessiria, saying “Remember that girl who embarrassed me by sleeping with a filthy Leovite servant? You wouldn’t want to be where she is…” She took the note, as well as a House Aderino signet stamp.

Erillia and Syler: kept away from the guards’ patrols, and clothed themselves in some servants’ garb they found, before finally finding their way to the upstairs room where Riduccio and Tessiria were meeting – a study or something – and, listening at the door, they found out the following:

  • Tessiria needs the support of Arbron Solfidly, the only Rural on the High Council, for “the vote.”
  • Tessiria and her Niontian allies are sending someone to gain the trust of the Crashers, the
    barbarian tribe that raids the City’s outlying areas.
  • Tessiria is sending her personal army to take over House Daceas’s territory in Sylvennis the very next morning!

For Riduccio’s failure at Metis’s party, Tessiria burnt or branded him (hard to tell through a door). Hearing this – and Rasine’s bird call that meant guards were coming, they ducked into a nearby laundry room. Unfortunately, they had been spotted, and the guards walked right in on them – kissing passionately, as Erillia had been prepared for this eventuality. The guards bought the scam (especially since Syler, long in love with Erillia, bought it as well), and told them to go back to the servants’ quarters and reminded them of the curfew, letting them off with a warning.

The team regrouped outside the manor, noting they had several schemes Trevelanius would almost certainly want them to thwart – and with only four hours until Tessiria’s troops march on House Daceas…

Aspects

  • Erillia Invoked: None; Compelled: None
  • Mo Invoked: Rural Revolutionary, Defender of the Downtrodden; Compelled: Defender of the Downtrodden
  • Piah Invoked: None; Compelled: It’s Not Easy Being Good
  • Rasine Invoked: Embracing the Stereotype, Nothing Gets By Me x3; Compelled: None
  • Syler Invoked: Syler to the Rescue; Compelled: Syler to the Rescue, the Animal Within x2, My One and Only: Erillia

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