Historical Earth The Rose, The Rogue and The Raven

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  1. Winged_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    A MESSAGE FROM THE BESPECTACLED MAN:


    Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a story.

    Had you come across me threescore and four years ago, you would have found me as a merchant, and a beggar shortly afterwards. I have been counted as conman and judge, and occasionally both at once. In my youth I was spy, soldier and sailor. That last one most of all.

    There was even a time where I was hailed as a demi-god, by men too primitive too distinguish between magic and musket.

    But above all I am a storyteller. I have told this particular story many times. Now I offer it to you, within these unique trappings, in the guise of a game. To respond, you simply need to reply to this post In Character. Do not put much thought into your creation. A sheet is undesirable and unnecessary. This first character is merely a cipher, a tool for securing your advancement into the real story. I recommend that this first character be someone rich, enigmatic and perhaps slightly shady, for reasons that will soon become clear.

    As seems to be a growing trend in this particular den of tale-tellers, I will provide you with a musical accompaniment to help set the scene.

    Consider our location to be

    Portsmouth

    A once-proud city (indeed, still proud- but no longer justifiably so) on the south coast of England, and once the naval heartland of the Empire. At its height it was home to the largest industrial site in the world. Now it is a salty, rugged place, home to retired sea-dogs by day and patrolled by hooded youths at night. For everyone outside Hampshire, it is a place to be treated with a modernist breed of disdain.

    More specifically, we are drifting on the outskirts of Portsmouth's quays, inside a

    Luxury Yacht

    The home of a billionaire. His place on the annual Forbes Rich List is always assured. He likes to cast a disconcerting veil of misdirection over what it is he actually does to earn his living, but the official line is that he is an oil baron. Perhaps he is.

    But I digress. You have been invited to a mysterious midnight event aboard this yacht, and upon entering you find yourself ushered into

    The Dining Room

    An elegant room of classic design. Once inside, you find me waiting for you: a middle-aged, tuxedoed Englishman with spectacles perched upon the end of a bulldog face.

    Perhaps some images will assist you.

    [image=http://www.richardedwardsphotos.co.uk/images/photos/portsmouth_harbour.jpg]

    [image=http://www.marilynjenettlocations.com/images/LuxuriousYacht/yacht-night.jpg]

    [image=http://www.navis-yacht-charter.com/upload/iblock/388/Ionian_princes_luxury_yacht_charter_greece_interior_8.jpg]

    [image=http://us.movies1.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/movie_pix/golden_globes/golden_globes_2006_arrivals_photos/bob_hoskins/globes.jpg]


    Now we have woven this complete setting from new cloth, you may use the traditional header. It should read like this:

    The Dining Room, Luxury Yacht, Portsmouth

    If you wish to play, just make a normal IC post. Write in character, describe your arrival into your new surroundings, and your reaction to myself and the other guests (as they arrive). There is nothing more to it than that...for now.

    If you have any questions, then send a Private Message to Winged_Jedi. Not that you should trust a man like him.

    I'm forgetting something.

    Oh yes-

    TAG: you



    Note from Winged_Jedi: Now that my friend is finished, allow me to shout out a warning from the sidelines: if you think the story above sounds unpleasant, the story-within-the-story is even worse. In fact it is a truly wicked tale, to the extent that I have recently taken to leaving my bedroom lamp on before going to sleep. If you wish to continue slumbering peacefully, then press />/>
  2. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    The Dining Room, Luxury Yacht, Portsmouth

    The sway was minimal - non-existent, even. Good. That would keep certain things settled in certain places as the night wore on. After all, one couldn't have both one's self and the floor wobbling around like a newborn calf; that would be atrociously unseemly. If one was, shall we say, so marvelously intoxicated, so brilliantly tipsy, even so simply sloshed that one's legs attempted the two-step and tango independent of each other, that would be enough trouble without the deck tipping and swaying about like a see-saw on narcotics. I certainly thought so, and indeed think so, but as for the future tense we shall leave that be.

    So - the deck was steady and the environs very stunning, or at least that certain definition of stunning that certain folk would use when looking at the brilliance that wealth could purchase. Or rent, but in this instance I believe the word purchase is more appropriate. It was quite nice, though even that can be considered a hasty word used when other words are, shall we say, lost in the recesses of confusion. And the anesthetic of alcohol. But indeed, it was spectacular, for such a spectacle I had never witnessed - at least, not in person - and had never been privy to the luxury and sophistication so clear from the boat's - yacht's - decor and decorum.

    There are an awful lot of words to describe very nice things, though, aren't there? So many little ones that mean a lot and so many large ones that mean a little. For example, I could use the word "pretty" as descriptor of my surroundings, but what does it mean? Generally, pleasing to the eye - and that "generally," that's the hang-up, isn't it? That's where the problems arise. I chose the word "elegant" as more appropriate - it can connote prettiness, indeed, but it means more. It's funny - the thought just came to me now - using the right word is a bit like fine surgery.

    Or perhaps you don't agree - I like the simile, myself, so I believe I will stand by it. I shall cease my digressions for the moment simply to say the bulldog-faced gentleman in the tuxedo was close at hand and that this was a curious moment. Certainly, he must have been the reason why I was in attendance at the soiree being so happily enjoyed by others - or at least he was an important figure to someone aboard the vessel, or indeed an important figure of the vessel. Whatever his role, I felt a need to speak to him but no words came, only a strange, toying smile upon my lips, leaving my eyes oddly disconnected from the face, the graying irises - twinkling? - floating softly with no hint of importance or intelligence. Is humility the same as self-deprecation, I wonder...

    I felt the need to introduce myself - but how would I do so? What name would I give myself, for at parties such as these, often one ignores one's given name in favour of a nomme de guerre more fitting with one's self-image.

    "Excuse me, sir," said I, taking a chance, "but...this wouldn't happen to be your party, would it? Forgive me, I ask only because I am curious - and my apologies, sir, for making your acquaintance without giving my name first. I am- " Ah! The moment of truth, that second wherein one's fate is sealed by a pseudonym. What would it be this time? " -Eugene," Ah, Pushkin. How superfluous. "just Eugene - of no real importance to you and yours, I suspect, just another reveler looking for the right man to thank."

    Tag: The Bespectacled Man
  3. blubeast1237 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2007
    star 5
    The Smoker
    The Dining Room, Luxury Yacht, Portsmouth

    Smoking. Something he liked to do. Something he was quite exceptional at. Something that, while he could find other, quicker ways to get the job done, would kill him in the end. But The Smoker is someone who views death as something like a butterfly. Something to only take an interest in as if flickers by. However, this is too philosophical for a man who smokes.

    The Smoker is a short man, stocky man of about 5'6 height with large shoulders and arms. He had a wonderful black goatee with skin the color of a polished penny. His head was shaved, but it was delightful to see the light of the ballroom reflecting off of his chocolate oiled head. He stood in the room with a fine black tuxedo with a red tie. Others were arriving and he took notice of them because as any gentlemen would tell you, it is not what you know, but who you know. Unfortunately, at first sight, the Smoker knew none of the faces, but this did not phase him. It was an unexpected invitation that had guided the man here, so his lack of knowledge of the fellows of the ballroom did not sway nor encourage him to greet any of them.

    There was a man. He was bald, but with what people would call a culdesac. Spectacles lounged on his nose and it, being the image of such a man, gave the Smoker, who lit a cigarette, the impression that in his past life, this bespectacled man was a vampire in his past life. The Smoker, Mr. Clox, puffed lightly on the cigarette. Oh it would be an interesting night he was sure, full of new acquaintances and experiences that he would have to mentally log, seeing as the former Lawyer no longer had an assistant. No, he was no longer Mr. Clox, attorney at law, well...he was, but it did not seem like it anymore. No, not anymore.

    Tag: Eugene, The Bespectacled Man
  4. Winged_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4


    A MESSAGE FROM THE BESPECTACLED MAN:


    Feel free to use TAGs.

    Also, it should be 'The Dining Room', not 'The Ballroom'. That was my fault- it was an error I made in the invitation, and has now been corrected.



    />
  5. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    The Dining Room, Luxury Yacht, Portsmouth



    The yacht certainly was the sight of a party. There were rich people, more rich people, and more riches on board than any person could ever imagine. Then it would help that the card game enthusiast that he was was not looking to take any money off of the others . . . at least not yet. These people could not give up the opportunity to play a card game, and that's where he came in. He was a master of the card, master of all kinds of games that anyone in this party environment would ever want to play. Poker was always his favorite, but he could always morph into another realm of card gaming if it meant making a profit. Card sharks needed to be on their toes at all times and alert, and also had to have an immense knowledge of every little loophole in the game to exploit. He had done it hundreds of times before; how could these rich buffoons tell the difference?

    Standing up from the table at which he sat alone, the card player started to look around for familiar faces. No one in his vicinity looked to be a victim of his tricks, which was good for him. if no one knew that he ws a card shark, then he could easily make a profit. Just give him a table and a pack of cards, maybe a smoke and a brandy, and he could make your head spin with his dizzying array of card tricks and knowledge. He had always been like that, ever since he was a child. The other children had always marvelled at how he could spend entire days inside the house, staring at individual cards as he placed them out on the floor in front of him, divining new strategies and developing master plans to become what he had long sought; to become rich through gambling. It was easy to gamble, but hard to come out of it in the black; and even harder to be as successful as he was. Flexing his gambling muscles always excited him, and the shrewd negotiator that he was gave him the uncanny knack to find easy ways to make money and recoup any losses along the way.

    The invitation that had brought him here was mysterious indeed. He had no idea who had sent it, nor did he recognize any more of the people who had popped into view. But he was not concerned; new victims for his card tricks, new money to line his pockets. What had the inviter wanted with him? He was a card player, not a businessman; he could never stand one day in the shoes of an entrepaneur or CEO. Instead, he made his money in the off hours of the employees of the men he despised, and they despised him back for taking so much of their workers' wages during gambling matches. However, over time, with some subtle convincing and a few drinks, he made some friends with the bigwigs. Had one of these connections come through for him, and thus he got an invitation?

    The dining room was a marvel; the paltes were made of the finest China, the napkins were nice and fluffy, and the silverware sparkled like new. Picking up a spoon off of the nearest table, the card player examined himself; the hair that he had was not properly combed; he needed to impress before he could put his plan into action, and that required combed and slicked hair. Rubbing his hair down with his other hand, the card player smiled and placed the spoon back on the table. It was at this point that he noticed the man in the tuxedo. The man wore spectacles, his face a bit similar to that of a bulldog. Raising an eyebrow of suspicion, the card player neared the man, who had just been approached by another man, who had named himself Eugene when he introduced himself. Walking up to the spectacled man, he opened his mouth.

    "I take it that this is your party? It's rather lovely."

    TAG: Bespectacled Man, Eugene, The Smoker
  6. Ktala Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    The Lady in Red
    The Dining Room, Luxury Yacht, Portsmouth


    Her limo pulled up to the area, where the boat was docked. Oh yes, she knew this area well. It was the home of a billionaire. The boat was beautiful, with fine lines, and graceful curves.

    Not unlike herself.

    She checked herself one more time in the lighted mirror, making sure her makeup and hair were perfect before she stepped out from the limo. The driver opened the door, and a curved leg emerged, decked by a red stiletto heel. A leg hugged with a champagne colored stocking, which seemed to glow, as it follow its way up her leg, to a decadent slit above. A hint of Chanel no. 5 floated on the air. The dress, bright red, followed, it gracefully swept alongside her leg, as she stood. A silver fox fur, circled her shoulders, as the front of her dress fell to a deep plunge. Long graceful earrings dangled from her ears. Lips, as red as the dress, smiled slightly as the driver extended his hand, as she used it to stand up in a graceful rise. Her blue eyes twinkled in amusement.

    "Relax, Thane. I think I'll be here awhile." she told the man.

    "Yes, madame." her replied, as he tipped his cap, and watching her slink her way onto the yacht.

    She took a small breath as she looked around. It was an elegant room of classic design. Yes, quite lovely indeed. As she entered, she was met by someone who handed her a drink. She had seen someone standing outside at the railing, smoking. Least he had the decency to smoke outside.

    Inside, a few more men stood around, another man. Their host. The middle-aged, tuxedoed Englishman with spectacles perched upon the end of a bulldog face. Well... there were worst things to look upon. Actually, he wasnt that bad looking. A few of the other men, looked as if they might have potential.

    Holding a glass of champagne, she walked slowly towards the group, giving them ample time to watch her approach.

    "Good evening, gentlemen." she spoke, her voice sounding like a melody. "Seems as if the evening is just starting." She smiled, as she gave them a nod.



    TAG: Bespectacled Man, Eugene, The Smoker, the card player
  7. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    The Dining Room, Luxury Yacht, Portsmouth

    Further guests eager to express themselves along the lines I had laid out once before? I was quite glad to have been something of a trend-setter, and gladder still that my words were, shall we say, a touch more poetic. And well they ought to be - or ought not to be, depending on one's perspective - for my chosen name carried with it - or did not - the connotation of certain stanzaic structures. Actually, I would hazard a guess that my name meant little to anyone besides myself, and that thought wasn't entirely displeasing, mind you. It was that strangely droll feeling that tinges on being patronizing, that sense of knowing that one only experiences when one is informed of things others are not. Should I feel guilt? Perhaps, perhaps not. I'm no Lensky or Pushkin, certainly not a Dante or Tennyson.

    This new arrival was certainly appetizing, though. A woman in red - very appetizing indeed.

    My head dipped in a courteous nod, a coy smile upon my lips. I wasn't certain I wished to play out this charade with her, beautiful or not, and yet I went through the motions regardless. I am indeed a creature of habit.

    Tag: The Lady in Red, The Bespectacled Man, the card player.
  8. Jedi_padawan_leigh Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2003
    star 4
    The Dining Room, Luxury Yacht, Portsmouth


    I play around with the delicate silver bracelet on my left wrist as I stand in the corner of the extravagant dining room. The room is indeed beautiful, the tables laden with the finest of china and decorated superbly. The yacht itself was a sight to behold upon arrival, but inside even more so. Music fills the room and around me mill the other guests, decked out in their best finery, greeting acquaintances old and new with over the top air kisses or firm handshakes. I catch my reflection in a decorative panel on the wall. My dark blonde curly hair has been pulled up and styled into a simple but elegant up-do, a decorative silver beret holds it in place. My floor length evening dress is a pastel shade of pale turquoise, it is a simple design but apparently I wear it well. My face to made up but not over the top, I prefer the understated natural look.

    Truth be told I wasn?t really expecting to be attending an event of such luxury tonight. My father, a well known and greatly respected London businessman was supposed to be attending, however he had received an urgent call from his company headquarters and had to jet off to New York straight away. And that is why I am here, because in his words ?it would be rude and improper for a member of the Wesley-Drakes to turn down such an invitation? Tonight I am acting as my family?s representative. Father says it would be good for me to mingle with societies high flyers more, but in all honestly such events always seem to make me feel uncomfortable, even more so that I am here alone. (I also think he hopes that I snag myself a beau ?Elleri my dear, don?t you think its time you found yourself a nice young man? he would say. But society boys?ugh?they are all the same) Its times like this that I wish I was doing what other young 20-somethings were doing, you know, going out to the cinema, drinking in the local social club, maybe even giving into the temptation of the greasy kebab shop in the high street while stumbling home at 2am.

    But no, I?m here primped and preened and prepared, and had been lectured by my fathers snooty PA before I left. ?Mind your P?s and Q?s, remember you are representing your family and first impressions are everything. Oh and do try and smile will you? I resist the urge to roll my blue green eyes at the memory. Who did he think he was talking too, a 6 year old child?

    I sigh softly to myself as a smartly dressed waiter approaches me and offers me a drink. I smile gently and accept it, and watch him walk away towards a throng of other guests. I?m not much of a drinker but at least holding the glass will stop me fidgeting. My eyes scan the room, and surprise surprise I don?t recognise a single person. I continue to look upon the crowds and my gaze eventually settles on a portly bespectacled man. I had been informed that it was he who had organised this extravagant shin-dig and that I was to show the utmost respect and gratitude to the host. The man however was already besieged by other guests so I decided to hold back for the moment and take in the scene, trying to look relaxed but probably failing miserably.


    TAG: The Lady in Red, The Bespectacled Man, the card player, Eugene, the smoker
  9. blubeast1237 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2007
    star 5
    The Smoker
    The Dining Room, Luxury Yacht, Portsmouth

    He dropped his cigarette into the ashtray and grabbed a drink of...something or another. Despite people always drinking around him, he had stayed away from alcohol and saw not the temptation of the drink. Instead, the drink he sipped on, had a strong taste of carbonation and orange, citris flavored. He enjoyed it, smiled as the carbonation snipped at his throat. The host, with his spectacles, had been engaged by other fellows and members of the party, particularly a fine, curved woman in red.

    He raised an eyebrow to himself at the sight of her. Hmm...Would be a good night if he could find out more than just her name and the fact that she looked good in a dress. His eyes continued to survey the party. Surely, surely, he would be able to find a like minded individual somewhere among the crowd, but that was one of the smoker's weaker points in socializing. He was fine in conversation, but a terrible conversation starter. His bald head tilted to the side as he tried to figure out why he was so bad at initiating conversations. Maybe it was his old high school curse that people always thought that he was being sarcastic when he approached them, or maybe it was because they could sense the confidence in himself and immediately gathered a negative tone from the short and stocky man.

    He stroked his goatee before moving over to a young, 20 something, socialite. She was done up, not overly done to the point where he could no longer see the natural beauty that her youth exalted. By the looks of her, he was probably about four to five years her senior, but from the look of her, they were going through a similar dilemma of being uncomfortable in a room full of sexily rich and beautifully famous people. He held out his free hand, the one that was not occupied by his orange tasting drink. It was more of an offer of his hand because he had been taught to shake firmly another man's hand, but to be more gentle, but not rudely so, when taking a lady's hand.

    His arm still extended, he told her a name that sounded like "Clocks", complimented her on her turquoise dress, and informed her that he was similarly uncomfortable in these types of circles. He asked her what her name was because one should always introduce one's self before asking someone else's name.

    Tag: 20-Something
  10. Ktala Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    The Lady in Red
    The Dining Room, Luxury Yacht, Portsmouth

    She smiled as she spoke to the gentlemen in the room. One man dipped his head in a courteous nod, a slight smile on his lips.

    She noticed him, and dipped her head in reply. It was always good to acknowledge when one has been noticed. Another person came in. A woman.

    A quick scan. The woman stood in the corner. Alone, playing with a bracelet. Unsure of herself. She was pretty. Nice dress, but it didnt seem like her.

    Fish out of water.

    OOoo. Well now. She decided to come over. She stopped again, just outside the ring of people already speaking. The man who I had seen earlier smoking outside, walked over towards the girl. He stroked his goatee before moving over to a young, 20 something, socialite. He extended a hand towards her. How cute.

    She turned her attentions back towards the man near her. "So, what reason are we gathered this evening...not that we need one., of course." She smiled. "Just to be in such fine company, is well enough for me. The food is exquisite ,,, also." She laughed lightly. All of this silly whispering. Might as well see what she could find out. After all, she had a talent for such things.



    TAG: The Bespectacled Man, the card player, Eugene, the smoker, 20-something
  11. Jedi_padawan_leigh Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2003
    star 4
    The Dining Room, Luxury Yacht, Portsmouth


    I take a small sip from the glass I am holding As I stand and continue to survey the other guests who have congregated around the bespectacled man. One of the guest turns her attention from the host for a moment and I feel her gaze on me, Another women in a daring red dress with lips to match, tall with enviable curves. For a moment it looks as if she is intent to approach me, but her attentions are guided elsewhere, but I'm not alone for long as I am approached by another. He holds his hand outwards towards me in greeting

    He was not the tallest man at the party, appearing to be around 5 foot 6 inches tall at the most. Like the other patrons of the party he was immaculately dressed. A black tuxedo set off nicely with a red tie. I notice his head was devoid of hair save for his eyebrows and a black goatee he sported. I surmised that he was a few years older than me, hmm, maybe by around four or five years?

    Arm still held out towards me he introduced himself. He said that his name was ?Clocks? or a name that sounded like clocks. He compliments me on my dress. Such a polite man. It also seems we have something in common that we are both feeling like the proverbial fish out of water while at this decadent party. He asks me my name. ?Elleri? I say softly ?Elleri Wesley-Drake? as I accept his hand ?A Pleasure to meet you?


    TAG: The Lady in Red, The Bespectacled Man, the card player, Eugene, the smoker
  12. blubeast1237 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2007
    star 5
    The Smoker
    The Dining Room, Luxury Yacht, Portsmouth

    He smiled as she took his hand and nodded, responding that it was a pleasure to meet her as well. Graciously, he let her hand go and returned to his normal height, which, to his disdain, was not very much taller than his bowed stance. The Smoker, being the honest man he was, admitted to not knowing much about the Wesley-Drakes to the young woman and then went a step further and admitted that he had just been randomly invited to this gathering of the apparently rich and powerful and had nothing else to do for the night.

    The Smoker than joked as to what he should call her, Ms. Wesley or Ms. Drake. It was a joke, but maybe only to him. He paused, looking around the room, observing the dining room and its inhabitants before asking how she had found herself here and what was her line of work.

    Grabbing another glass of the orange tasting drink from a passing waiter, he offered to get her a glass as well, commenting on the strong citrus flavor of the drink, but to not take his word for it because he was no expert on wine or beverages in general.

    Tag: Elleri Wesley-Drake
  13. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    IC: The Card Player
    The Dining Room, Luxury Yacht, Portsmouth

    The Card Player, who was staring into space as the moments passed, finally decided to get a drink. A passing waiter was hailed for, and in seconds flat, he had a nice alcoholic shot. He wasn't exactly sure what it was, but when he took a sip of it, he could instantly taste something exquisite and rich. Only at parties like this could the host know what tasted good and what didn't; the Card Player was used to the brandy he frequently chugged down in his tough card matches, and was used to the various drinks sold at a pub. However, this silky drink gave him something else to admire; it was tantalizingly good.

    Looking around, he could see the man who had been smoking a cigarette conversing to a young woman in a turquoise dress. She did seem a little out of her element at the party, but he wasn't really interested in that sort of thing. What he was looking for was a chance to show off his card playing skills; women could wait. Never one for long-term relationships, he had never acquired much in terms of a romantic side, and thus he figured that he should stick at what he was best at; gambling. It was a tough bargain, but he had always told himself to play his strengths, and try to cover up his weaknesses if possible. This philosophy was what got him this far, and he wasn't about to change his ways.

    The woman in red had finally said something that broke the Card Player out of his train of thought. "So, what reason are we gathered this evening...not that we need one., of course." She smiled. "Just to be in such fine company, is well enough for me. The food is exquisite ,,, also." He couldn't exactly say anything, because he really had no idea of why he was really there. The Bespectacled Man seemed like the person to ask about this whole thing, but the Card Player, sensing that no one really wanted his opinion at the time, decided that it would be better to stay quiet until he got some answers to the questions he had about the event.

    TAG: Bespectacled Man, Lady in Red, Eugene
  14. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    Eugene
    The Dining Room of the Luxury Yacht in Portsmouth

    People in my line of work are very, very paranoid about keeping up appearances, but my fellows who had gathered 'round the host made my colleagues look tame by comparison. There was a wild need to speak to the man, to connect and to know him. It would have been insidious if it didn't seem so self-serving, but one mustn't judge others too harshly; indeed, such rapid judgements swiftly put an end to careers such as mine. And one couldn't have that, could one?

    Courtesy was always welcome, most of the time, sometimes, and so I set my mind to that task. To the newcomers, I said, "Pardon me, I seem to have forgotten my manners! I do hope you'll forgive my lack of an introduction," I moved my drink from right hand to my left, and continued with a lie. "My name is Brushka, Eugene Brushka."

    I made a show of reaching for the lady in red's hand, adding in the slightest hint of awkwardness and hesitation. It is, in my opinion, best that a beautiful woman believes her wiles are working according to plan. Indeed, it's best to let others in life believe their plans are running along swimmingly. One wouldn't want to be the one to shatter the dreams of others, would one?

    "A pleasure to meet you, miss...?"

    Tag: Lady in Red, The Smoker, Elleri Wesley-Drake, the Bespectacled Man
  15. Ktala Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    The Lady in Red -
    The Dining Room of the Luxury Yacht in Portsmouth

    She made small talk, hoping that their host would stay SOMETHING on why they had all gathered. Not that she really minded. Good food, powerful people, what was there not to like. A chance to mingle, and find oneself a bit higher on the notch, to learn the faces of others who were moving, some up, some down. No, even in this, there was something of interest.

    One of the gentlemen spoke up then. "Pardon me, I seem to have forgotten my manners! I do hope you'll forgive my lack of an introduction,"He moved his drink from right hand to left hand. "My name is Brushka, Eugene Brushka."

    He made a show of reaching for her hand, with a bit of hesitation. She lifted an eyebrow, but said nothing, as she let him take her hand. These were powerful people. Men, who had worked themselves into a top position. The handshake was not of one of those men. She simply walked on.

    "A pleasure to meet you, miss...?"

    She smiled. "Yes, I know." she said softly, offering him a smile as she removed her hand from his weak grasp. It was a lighthearted joke, but she needed something to lighten the mood. She wasnt sure how to read his attempt. So she simply responded.

    "And the name is Blush."

    She turned, and gestured for one of the other people to give her a new drink. Perhaps something a bit different. Something fruity. These folks drank a lot, they always used fruit juices as mixers. She ordered some juice with a splash of sparkle water.

    After she received her drink, she gave the man a nod, and took a delicate sip. With a nod to the girl in blue, she began to listen to the other conversations nearby, as she enjoyed her drink.



    Tag: Eugene, The Smoker, Elleri Wesley-Drake, the Bespectacled Man
  16. Winged_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    A MESSAGE FROM THE BESPECTACLED MAN:


    Now where was I?

    Oh yes.


    The Dining Room, Luxury Yacht, Portsmouth

    Eugene.

    The Smoker.

    The Card Player.

    The Lady In Red.

    Elleri Wesley-Drake.

    What an interesting assortment. I might tell a tale of how I engaged with each of you, and my judgments of each individual. But as I explained before, this is merely the show before the show.

    So for ease sake, let's say that I simply stood there quietly and watched your interactions with one another. When approached with a question (such as the one from the Lady in Red), I merely mumble some vague pleasantry and smile politely.

    It is clear that I am waiting for new arrivals.

    You may continue to talk amongst yourselves, or you may wait silently alongside me. It will not be long now.

    Tag: Ktala, Penguinator-176, JEDIGUNSHIP, blubeast1237, Jedi_padawan_leigh



    And so let me sound a warning to any other potential players: if you are reading and you wish to play, and you have yet to make a post, now is the time to do so. You have 24 hours. After that, selection begins.


    />
  17. Winged_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    A MESSAGE FROM THE BESPECTACLED MAN:


    Time up.

    I have seen how you choose your storytellers in this realm and I find it tiresome. We will find our special few using a different method.


    The Dining Room, Luxury Yacht, Portsmouth

    I am finished waiting, and I begin to address you.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard. You have been gathered here to participate in a story. Unfortunately, there is only room for two of you."

    I hand out a small, lightweight laptop to each of you. On the screen is a Private Messaging system.

    "You all have seen something of each other by this stage. I want you to secretly nominate two of your fellow guests to play in the game. You may not nominate yourself. It does not matter in what order you place the nominations. You must make two nominations if you wish to have a chance to play.

    "The guest with the most nominations and the guest with the least nominations will be selected for the main game. In the event of a tie, I will have the casting vote. I recommend that you choose the players you feel will tell the best story. Or, you may wish to vote tactically. Privacy gives you that freedom. I will not judge you, and neither will my host. He is supremely apathetic to such things."

    Tag: Ktala, Penguinator-176, JEDIGUNSHIP, blubeast1237, Jedi_padawan_leigh


    This process will end after a week OR when Winged_Jedi receives nominations from all five of you




    />
  18. Winged_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    A MESSAGE FROM THE BESPECTACLED MAN:


    Really, where we are no longer matters...

    ...as the nominations have been made. As you may have realised, the selection process might as well have been random. There is no incentive for you to desire one over the other, and no way of guessing how others will vote.

    My prompt to vote 'the players you feel will tell the best story' was something of a red herring, then. And any sort of 'tactical' voting is impossible in a situation where first and last place carry equal weighting. Nevertheless, it was intriguing that Ktala, arguably the most experienced RPer of the group, was the only player to receive zero nominations.

    Congratulations Ktala...welcome aboard.

    There was a tie for first place, and at my discretion I have awarded the victory to Penguinator-176, as he expressed his interest in this story many moons ago, when it was nothing more than a teaser in your Introductions thread.

    Congratulations Penguinator...welcome to you too.

    Let the story continue, then...

    The Dining Room, Luxury Yacht, Portsmouth

    The Smoker, the Card Player and Elleri Wesley-Drake are ushered from the room, and are thanked profusely for their time and interest. For the remainder of the evening they are wined and dined, until they finally depart, still somewhat bemused about the purpose of the entire evening.

    Meanwhile, Eugene and the Lady in Red wait with me.

    [image=http://us.movies1.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/movie_pix/golden_globes/golden_globes_2006_arrivals_photos/bob_hoskins/globes.jpg]

    "Now we shall hear a story," I tell you. "It takes place in a world not unlike ours, around the turn of the 20th Century. The British Empire is the dominant global power. At the disposal of Queen Victoria are a fleet of steam-powered dirigibles and warships, as well as the services of a very unusual agency. They are

    The Imperial Bureau for the Investigation of the Supernatural. Or IBIS, for short."

    [image=http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/3866/ibisl.jpg]

    "Allow me to explain how this story will work. It is a story that has many stories within it. You will play an IBIS agent on an extremely dangerous mission. But you will play this agent not as a clearly defined character, but more as a concept of a character, mutable and adaptive. You see, as the story shifts and new truths come to light, your portrayal of the agent may change. They may become harsher, or softer, stronger, or weaker. Their motives may change entirely depending on who is telling the story.

    But their fundamentals will remain the same throughout. And it is those fundamentals which I now wish you to complete."

    And on your laptop screens pops up a new document.

    Service Record

    Name:
    Codename: (service tradition for it to be a reference to your first kill on the job)
    Age:
    Appearance:
    Nationality:
    Languages: (include level of fluency on a scale of 1-10, 1 being a complete beginner and 10 being of near-native standard in both written and oral communication)

    Sun Sign: (Western zodiac)
    Moon Sign:
    Ascendant:

    Favourite Food:
    Favourite Drink:
    Experience of Fasting: (means exactly what it says- has the agent had any experience fasting?)

    Lucky Number (between 1 and 100):
    Age at the time of first kill:
    Longitude/latitude of place of birth: (use this page for help)


    "Please complete the service record for your character, and send it to my host. If you have any questions or queries, direct them there."

    Tag: Ktala, Penguinator
    />
    />
  19. Winged_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    Welcome back. In order to refresh your memories, allow me to re-post the teasers from the Introduction Thread. I suggest you read/watch them if you have time.

    [image=http://img260.imageshack.us/img260/8383/titleki.jpg]


    Preview 1 (of 3): The Prophets


    [What follows is an excerpt of a report authored by Inspector Terence Fairchild of the Imperial Bureau for Investigation of the Supernatural (IBIS)]

    [image=http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/3866/ibisl.jpg]

    "...Echidna and Typhon were near-identical in terms of their structure, execution and overall objectives. They were conceived by the Deputy Director-General, who has since resigned his post.

    Despite the undeniable failure of the twin operations, IBIS Command decided to press on with their original plan. Operation Cerberus was birthed from what meagre intelligence they had gathered, and set into motion at least three months ago*.

    No agents have returned alive, and Command has disavowed all knowledge of the operation (necessitating this internal investigation). IBIS Field Support was able to extract three of our Prophets, who were returned to headquarters for an extensive debrief. I have included a brief profile of each for your consideration:

    The Rose:

    I consider her to be our most valuable asset. She is the illegitimate child of the Japanese statesman Kaneko Kentaro, currently serving as Minister for Justice under the Ito administration. She was born in 1874 to an American mother, during Kentaro?s schooling at Harvard University. Kentaro was never made aware of his daughter?s existence.

    Her abilities manifested at the age of four years old, and through considerable good fortune we were able to ?acquire? her shortly afterwards.

    She is timid, submissive, and fiercely intelligent. Many a chauvinistic agent has dismissed her advice, to their (occasionally fatal) disadvantage.

    She specialises in the interpretation of astrological signs and portents, and has an accuracy that rates in the ninety-eight percentile.


    The Rogue:

    A volatile and devious creature, to be sure. He was born in Wyoming around 1860, and raised as a rancher?s son. He stayed there right up until 1892 and the breakout of the Johnson County War. He fled after almost being lynched for rustling. After a series of travels, he ended up in Washington D.C.

    There he became friends with the writer Robert Underwood Johnson, who introduced him to Nikola Tesla. Tesla in turn recommended him to us.

    He displayed great keenness from the moment his training was completed. His precognitive skills were already highly developed, and he has several successful missions to his name. This year he led the investigation into Field Marshall Roberts? discovery in Pretoria.

    He is temperamental, though, and prone to bouts of impulsiveness. His preferred method of precognition is to combine gastromancy and extispicy, by devouring the entrails of particular creatures and then allowing them to speak 'through' him.

    The Raven:

    A more enigmatic and unemotional gentleman I have rarely encountered. We have no details of his birth or of his upbringing. We know from his own passing remarks that he spent much of his adolescence in Dublin. We also have reason to believe that he spent several years working as a dirigible engineer in Venice.

    He is alternately engaging and withdrawn. He has a habit of analysing whichever poor soul is assigned to work with him, and very often foresees a grisly death for them. He maintains a mask of utter impassivity throughout the entire game. To say that he is eccentric would be supreme understatement.

    He is our only numerologist. He practices the art with such mathematical precision and religious devotion that I doubt there is anyone in the world who is more skilled in the field. He has been known to produce inaccurate results from time to time- and has persistently claimed that our ?unsophisticated interpretations? are at fault, rather than his predi
    />/>
  20. Winged_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    Preview 2 (of 3): The Murder


    [What follows is an excerpt of a report authored by Inspector Terence Fairchild of the Imperial Bureau for Investigation of the Supernatural (IBIS)]

    [image=http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/3866/ibisl.jpg]

    "...at this juncture I feel it is appropriate to re-visit the crime which triggered this investigation in the first place. The body is in the care of Scotland Yard, and their coroners are still attempting to determine the cause of death. They have so far been able to establish only that Mr Barrie was already dead before being abandoned to the Thames.

    We had been forewarned to some extent by our Prophets (a full transcript of The Raven's prophecy is attached). Regrettably, we were unable to prevent the murder.

    We set about confiscating the deceased's property, including all papers pertaining to his work. As he was an author, the volume of documentation seized was not insubstantial. Most of it was of little use to us, though of course his unfinished draft for 'Nevergate' provided the basis for Operations Echidna and Typhon.

    Appended to the draft was a brief poem. Almost no attention has been paid to it by our investigators. I believe it merits a forensic examination. The handwriting does not closely match Mr Barrie's, and there are notable stylistic departures from his normal work:



    Fireflies

    I walked by the window
    And stopped in the light
    I stood there watching
    The fireflies
    Went down to the ocean
    In search of a song
    Wherever I'm going
    That's where I belong

    Fireflies, fly on by
    You will never, ever see me cry
    You won't see me cry
    You won't see me cry.

    Sand puddled pavements
    Appear on the shore
    If you ask for nothing
    You'll get nothing more
    I walked by the window
    And stopped in the light
    I stood there counting the fireflies

    Fireflies, fly on by
    You will never, ever see me cry
    You won't see me cry
    You won't see me cry.

    Fireflies, fly on by
    You will never, ever see me cry
    You won't see me cry
    You won't see me cry.

    I'm watching fireflies
    Watching fireflies
    I'm watching fireflies
    Watching fireflies
    I'm watching fireflies
    Watching fireflies.



    Considering the information our Prophets have given us about Cerberus's failure, particularly the manner in which our agents apparently met their demise, these verses become all the more disturbing..."

    />
  21. Winged_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
  22. Winged_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    [image=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f1/Sobek.svg/500px-Sobek.svg.png]


    Preview 4 (of 3): ???




    Where lies the deceit, if the deceiver does not realise his own deception?

    I will be in touch.

    P.S. When in doubt, clap your hands.

    />/>
  23. Winged_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4


    Ktala

    Name: Tatiana Blush
    Codename: Shanghai Sapphire
    Age: 23
    Appearance: 5'6", curvy and athletic in form. Long black hair, smokey blue eyes with
    lightly tanned skin. Usually wears something red, as it is her favorite color.

    Nationality: American/British
    Languages: English-(Native), Latin-3, Mandarin-7 , German-5

    Sun Sign: Gemini
    Moon Sign: Leo
    Ascendant: Scorpio

    Favorite Food: Eggplant Parmesan and Tiramisu
    Favorite Drink: Honey Mead
    Experience of Fasting: She female. Of course. (Gotta keep that figure!)
    But nothing longer than 2 weeks.

    Lucky Number (between 1 and 100):30
    Age at the time of first kill: 20
    Longitude/latitude of place of birth: 51.621407,0.305749
    Brentwood 73,200 (Borough)-Essex, NE of London


    Penguinator-176

    Name: Pavel Evgenevich Rodionov (Pavel Evgenevich, Pavel Evegen'ich, Pasha)
    Codename: Cross
    Age: 30
    Appearance: Slightly above average height, clad generally in dark, simply tailored suits and long jackets. Wears a hat. Angular features, dark eyes, calm smile.
    Nationality: Russian
    Languages: Russian (10), English (9), Ukrainian (7), Arabic (9), French (8), German (8)
    Sun Sign: Capricorn
    Moon Sign: Scorpio
    Ascendant: Taurus

    Favourite Food: apples
    Favourite Drink: Water
    Experience of Fasting: Near-starvation in Siberia during a routine inspection gone wrong, extreme heat stroke in the Sahara from lack of hydration.

    Lucky Number (between 1 and 100): 3
    Age at the time of first kill: 19
    Longitude/latitude of place of birth: 64.5, 40.5

  24. Winged_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    Before we begin. Because it's been a while...

    What You Should Know- A Summary

    1. The story takes place on an alternate Victorian-era Earth, where the British Empire is the dominant global power. At the disposal of Queen Victoria are a fleet of steam-powered dirigibles and warships, as well as the services of a very unusual agency.

    2. That agency is the Imperial Bureau for the Investigation of the Supernatural. Or IBIS, for short. Your characters work for IBIS. Their current focus is on finding out more about the rumoured "Nevergates", a series of portals in separate corners of the world which apparently provide instantaneous transport to and from one another.

    3. At the time the story is being told, your characters are Missing In Action. The story is told by an IBIS Inspector who is trying to uncover what happened to your characters. He does that by consulting three 'Prophets'- the supernatural eyes and ears of the agency (the Rose, the Rogue and the Raven). These three Prophets are telling him the story of exactly what went down on that ill-fated operation.

    4. The style of GM post is different. Please post as you normally would, and use the coloured part of my updates as your relevant "GM post". For example, the first update has a coloured section describing Peng's character on a dirigible heading back to London, and Ktala's character inside a London gentleman's club. So you may use the usual format of


    Agent Cross
    Dirigible, En Route to London

    Cross walked across the deck

    Tag:


    Or something similar. My point is that your posts should remain the same sort of format that you would normally use.

    5. The coloured updates will eventually start to contradict each other. Just go with it. You'll see what I mean. PM any questions to my Winged_Jedi account.

    I leave you in the hands of your host, Inspector Terence Fairchild...
  25. Terence_Fairchild Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2010

    Day One

    It has been suggested by my superiors that I keep a record of the debriefs for their perusal. It was also implied that such a diary might provide a personal benefit to me by facilitating a process of "self-discovery". The boy I once was feels compelled to make a juvenile retort regarding the meaning of such a term, but I shall refrain from doing so.

    This is, after all, official documentation.

    Today was the first day. I started by washing my face and clapping my hands (a gesture for good luck that has been my habit before breakfast for as long as I can recall- an odd superstition, but such beliefs are hardly discouraged here at the Bureau). I ate french toast and a clementine. I read the news sheets. I left for work.

    Perhaps it would be expedient to simply take the ordinary as a given and proceed directly to the extraordinary.

    The Rose was first.

    *

    "Inspector Fairchild," she said, "It is my pleasure to meet you."

    "And you, Agent Rose," I replied. The room was bare and lit by a worn candle. She had agreed upon a venue in advance. She was a comely girl, though young. Her elegant, narrow face hinted at her roots in the Orient. I provided her with the tools she had requested- dossiers on the operatives, a slate, some chalk and charts of the constellations from the Royal Society library.

    She spent three hours marking diagrams on the slate while I waited. At one point I excused myself for no more than half an hour, in order to stretch my legs. When I returned she was still deeply engaged in her work.

    I confess I grew impatient. We had not exchanged a word beyond those meagre pleasantries I noted above. But barely had I opened my mouth to speak to her again, and the most astounding transformation came over her.

    Her chin dropped onto her chest and her eyes rolled in her head. I stood up at once and considered attempting to aid her. I had not thought to bring assistance, and it would have cost me time and attention to have moved her to the local hospital. Fortunately, she soon recovered from her fit, though only to enter a type of trance.

    She then began describing the events that had befallen our operatives. Here, unedited, were her words:

    "Pavel Rodionov AKA Cross. He found himself aboard a dirigible, sailing back home to England. He had just completed a mission on behalf of IBIS, and was awaiting new orders. He had been successful in his last endeavour, an assassination, though the target had proved difficult to track. Nevertheless, Cross persisted with it. He was stubborn in that way...he was born beneath the sign of the Goat, after all.

    As Cross considered the possibility of a well-earned rest back in London, a group of four burly men emerged from the deck cabin, brandishing crowbars. The vessel was a regular and apparently reputable cargo transport, and Cross had boarded having provided full and proper payment. But it seemed that the owners of the ship suspected their passenger might have more in his pocket than he had parted with.

    "Here mister," one of them snarled. "How about you empty out your trousers and we won't have to toss you overboard?"

    They advanced on him."


    She stopped there, short of breath.

    "And the other operative?" I prompted her.

    "Tatiana Blush AKA Shanghai Sapphire. The gentleman's club was like many she had infiltrated before. Seedy and unpleasant. Smoke fogged the entire room, and fat hands constantly reached out to grope at her legs while she served drinks. The position was beneath her, but there was some satisfaction in knowing that it would be over soon. It was a necessary ruse.

    She was in London's underbelly, seeking out information on the Nevergates. Word had gotten to her that one of this particular club's most frequent customers had spoken of the gates while drunk one night. He was here now, a sweaty fat fellow lying slumped in an armchair with a cigar in hand.

    "Yooouuu!" he slurred at Tatiana. "Get over here! Let mee seee thaaat maaagnifice
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