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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:18 pm 
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"We gotta do something to get to the bottom of this," Felix says. "I say we avail ourselves of the room and board and figure out things as we go along."

"Well, he's stuck babysitting us and we're doing mercantile activities if that helps any," Felix says.

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 Post Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:00 am 
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The Count waves a hand. "It is of little matter to me what your true mission is," he says, "if it is such a secret. You are welcome to remain within my halls until the storm is over."

The BOOOM and crack of a nearby lightning bolt shakes the room; followed by what sounds like a distant scream and a peal of insane laughter from further in the Castle. The Count merely sighs.

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 Post Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:56 pm 
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Arkady glances off towards the sound, then turns to the count. "We've been told you have a sister?"

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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:31 pm 
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"I do," says the Count, "though you will not be meeting her. She is... not well. A malady of the mind, you understand. It is not susceptible to cure, unfortunately."

Ivan, the hunchbacked servant, shuffles into the room again. "I have fed her, m'lord. No change. And, gentlemen and ladies, the guest rooms are ready."

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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:16 pm 
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"Thank you," Felix says. Unless anyone has any objections he'll follow along to the guest rooms.

If they make it to the rooms, he turns to Piper in the solitude and asks her a question.

"Any ideas?"

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 Post Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:52 am 
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Ivan sees the group off to a set of comfortably appointed guest rooms, indicates where the chamberpots can be found, and which bellrope rings a bell that can be relied to call on him if necessary, before heading off on some errand of his own.

"There's a darkness in this place," says Piper, speaking very quietly. "An oppression that hangs over this entire valley... centred over that way."

The direction that she points is not back towards the Count, but further into the Castle - perhaps the general area in which the insane laughter had been heard before.

She turns slightly towards Arkady. "Can you not feel it? No, no, you're too -"

She pauses, spending several seconds in silent contemplation, before asking Arkady "Will you permit me to explain to you how to put your natural sense for magic to use, accepting all the costs and consequences of said permission?"

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 Post Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:53 pm 
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Arkady contemplates her for a couple of seconds while he thinks. "Will those 'costs and consequences' alienate me from, or make me less useful to, my people, wife, or God?"

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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:22 am 
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Piper thinks about this for a long moment. "I don't know," she says. "I honestly believe it will make you more useful to your allies, not less, but I can't see enough of the future to be sure. It's - if I were to teach you how to be a better pugilist - which I probably can't - then you might get overconfident, and end up in a fist fight with someone even better, and get killed, where without the training you would have run away and thus continued to live. But - in most cases, that training would help you become a better fighter."

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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:28 am 
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Arkady nods, and grins faintly. "I can not be holding you responsible for my foolishness, then. All right, Piper. I accept the costs and consequences. What do I need to know?"

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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:31 pm 
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"You have a gift, for sensing magic," says Piper, with what looks a lot like a sigh of relief. "It's internal. An inbuilt sensitivity. Something that's part of you - and probably your bloodline, to some degree. I think you've probably noticed it already. It can be used a little more effectively if you know how to look, though; if you calm yourself, quiet your mind, and just take in the world around you, then you'll be able to pick up what's out there. There is a danger, though; when you open up like that, if there's someone, or something, hostile around that's intelligent enough to think or lucky enough to aim something at you at the right moment, any magic will have a much easier time affecting you. It's a lot like opening the door of your house so you can see what's outside. It lets you see what's out there, but if what's out there is a large man with a club then it might be trouble."

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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:10 pm 
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Arkady nods, and says "There is no time like now, is there?" With that he calms himself as if he were getting ready to pray, but instead of considering the divine tries to just take in the world around him.

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 Post Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:44 am 
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The first thing that Arkady notices is Theresa. There's something... crawling on her. Covering her skin. Reaching into her head. Something foul, dripping with blood and gore, smelling like sewerage. It doesn't seem intelligent, but it also really doesn't look like the sort of thing one wants to get on oneself.

But that's not the only source of foulness he can sense. There's something else, further in the castle, in the direction that Piper had pointed earlier. A black hole of something so dark and disgusting, so foul and fetid, that it would make sewerage smell like spring roses in comparison.

He doesn't immediately see Piper, for the simple reason that Piper stepped behind him as he was calming himself. He could easily turn his head and see what she looks like to this sense; without turning his head, all he can see is that there's a pleasant bluish glow coming from more or less where she's standing, and a slight scent of spring.

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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:15 am 
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Arkady nods. "That is...interesting. Spells can be looking like being possessed or infested. And Piper and Theresa are right; something foul is in this castle, and it is in the direction of the sister."

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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:56 pm 
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"Do you need to see it, Piper?" Felix asks. "I feel like we should investigate that."

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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:34 pm 
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Piper's face twists in disgust. "I don't want to see it from close up," she admits. "But if it is what I think it is - then it might have what we need to cure Theresa and the minstrel sleeping out in the truck. And it'll be better dealt with than not."

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