May 2nd, the year 751 BC (continued)
I suppose it doesn’t matter what they did to me. Who knows if they really did? I’m certain at least the others will aid me.
That’s why we had to talk. Esera couldn’t seem to understand how speaking of the incident would impact all of us. Arden said little but Kraj understood. He agreed. I even made a sign of my intentions by showing them the strong box. I’m glad it actually had gold in it. If it hadn’t, then very little would have come of such a show.
What I wanted to make clear was that we had to work together to get through this. We couldn’t just talk about private matters that affected everyone. We needed to be smart. Fairs made the need clear. They seemed receptive for once, despite how new to this they all were.
But everyone was tired, so to bed we went…
I had to change back to Ellelana for Kraj to look at a painting. Woven carefully into the sun’s rays was the word Illusion. That’s odd, isn’t it? I wouldn’t be surprised if AuBen’s artwork always includes such tellings of his work. Kraj wants to see if any others hold such hidden messages. None did.
In bed, I tested and Esera, while strangely perceptive, sleeps just like everyone else. Good. Her ability to notice even the most minute detail, as well as her ability to overcome all the carnage and insanity around us, has got me questioning what all she knows. Her behavior rarely makes sense. It’s not even consistent. There’s something deeper going on with her.
May 3rd, the year 751 BC (continued)
In the morning Dorothy came for us. She spoke to Kraj out in the hall a while where he made it clear Arden was a wizard. She seemed surprised. The girl is either a half wit or has a terrible memory. Maybe she’s cracking under all the pressure, but why at the oddest times? I have to review later.
Breakfast was awkward. The room was decorated like a morning room but there were racks on the door. We ate fruit and cream while we talked of werewolves. Dorothy did not like that at all. How very curious… Arden shot me a few furious glances. I didn’t realize it would be wrong to ask about. She wanted to be a writer so I figured with the local lycanthropes… Arden was acting pussy-whipped. What a bitch.
Faris, leave your comments to your own notes.
Arden went to take a walk with Dorothy. I understand why but I hope he’s careful. Kraj and I want to explore and Esera is hesitantly coming with us. I’m glad she understands it could be difficult and dangerous. First we found the cart and Kraj changed out his weapons. Was that necessary?
I took copious notes as we explored, diagramming as best I could. Most rooms were barely touched. The office hadn’t been. The library was covered in dust and filled with books on the area. The smoking room had a secret storage room and I found it odd Kraj wanted to explore. Esera would barely enter the room. Strange she knew what the Billiards were. I’d never heard of it but apparently it’s a game. Kraj was too busy drinking to worry I think.
Upstairs things got stranger. A music room filled with abandoned, cracked instruments? Why would anyone who cared for such things just leave them? Half-finished paintings? Disturbing even erotic charcoal drawings? A crazed mosaic of shadow, faces, doors and dark tendrils? There was a poorly cared for organ. A long hall of nobles’ portraits. So much oddity but nothing as odd as downstairs.
The secret space in the middle of the first floor. It was filled with fey-like creatures. The white group seemed good, the black group seemed evil. How typical, but how lifelike! There was a tiny hornet woman with a dagger on the black leader’s shoulder but-
Esera angered me. I couldn’t help it, though I bit my tongue after. She kept lecturing, not wanting to get involved. She seems far too trusting and she left. Fine, she wasn’t helping anyway.
The dagger drinks magic. I let Kraj use Mage Hand to bring it over to us. I could have, but I wanted to see him do magic. I mock him, but in a loving joking way. This is actually getting fun. He believes everything’s a fake construct. That’s his illusion as it were. The dagger makes it easy to find sensitive, dangerous areas. It doesn’t make you want to hurt the person but I let Kraj test it. He feels it too. I kept the dagger. We need to ask about it, but to be honest I… I feel like I was destined to find it.
((OOC: A picture of the Dagger of Arak appears here. It has a bloodstone upon the pommel, a shadowy stiletto composed of mithral with a black leather hilt. ))
We went back up and checked the carriage garage. I was going to go to the library but instead we went back down to the fey chamber. My initial guess was right. I don’t know why I didn’t check. I suppose the dagger distracted me but there was a secret door behind the wall the dwarf-like creatures were making. Kraj had wanted to go back down and he was right to. Unfortunately it was simply a giant storage chamber. I went to the library.
((OOC: This represents the notes Lily took regarding the The Ghost of Guir House. ))
Eventually we met back up to prepare for dinner. Curiously, Esera spotted a secret door. We’ve been here a day and she only noticed it now? She wouldn’t show me where it was at first but I convinced her. Heading down, she won’t come but does warn us to be careful. There’s an iron door that Kraj works his way into through the supporting wood. It’s barred from the other side. There’s also brick…
Arden goes in. He seems troubled by it. There’s terrible paintings? There’s a body? One of them looks like Dorothy Arden said. Even Kraj checks. What does this mean? I tried to inform Esera and she only seemed to care about not staying here tonight. I wish she would make up her mind. She trusts too easily and just seems to be going along with what we say when we have proof she can’t deny. For a healer, she’s surprisingly closed minded.
The other paintings were of three other women. Someone mentioned the statues. Getting back up we find Esera has barred the doors. We pretend all is well when Dorothy arrives. Down at dinner I asked of the secret door. She seemed aware but immediately troubled so I wait… There’s something more to this and we need to get it out of AuBen. At least Arden seems to be fine with me asking questions again.
AuBen understands. I get Dorothy to run off for a scarf and he tells us the truth. They all died and he came back, clawing his way from beyond after killing himself in that room. He was the body. Well this is disturbed. There’s more talk of perception and what’s real, what’s illusion and what’s not. Why does this feel familiar?
He is annoyed by the dagger however. It’s form the Araq and keeps appearing no matter how many times he sends it off. I’m going to keep it. The Araq lived in the northeast but the mountainous area vanished. I jotted down the names of the creatures like the Tolly, the white babies, and the Gremlins, the black babies. All are known as the Fur or something similar. AuBen doesn’t know where they went but something tells me they’re still out there.
Back to the other matter, they all died. He wants Dorothy and Arden to fall deeply in love so that she is free from this trap. We quiet as she comes back but I quickly urge her to bed. In the study the conversation just continues and Arden is looking incredibly sad. Esera seems to have little to say and Kraj looks a mixture of amazed and annoyed. I’m simply wondering if Dorothy can even come with us or won’t she disappear.
The necklace is apparently a coincidence. Additionally, AuBen doesn’t think she changed. Arden made an important distinction however. AuBen hasn’t created any art since before his death. Is it possible something else came with him or changed them? I think Arden hopes so…
He agrees to let her come with us. I’m so glad. If we can’t bring at least a little-
No. Oh no. No no No! The clapping is deafening. It’s a stage. The woman from the laundry… She’s a dead person. I can’t believe it. Damn it all. It was always an illusion.
Fuck Lemot and his entire mockery of me. This trap was such bullshit and I finally fell for it. I hope he’s happy because I’ll not let it continue. I can’t believe he got these others involved, but really maybe I shouldn’t. Arden was part of the story. Kraj hates arcane magic but has been pushing us forward, even going off and surviving werewolves? Why?
And Esera… Esera never falls for it. She doesn’t want to interrupt anything. She only went along with things when we threw it back in her face.
I was amazed anyone could be so stupid to wear the handkerchiefs and now-
Damn it. I trusted- I told- Did these people- I can’t-
All the world’s a stage.