Roleplay - A Masked Ball in Padova

AuthorMessage
Commodore
Feb 29, 2012
892
Anne Radcliffe on Oct 24, 2013 wrote:
(OOC: I almost fell out of my chair, Omar, with you referencing some of the music I love. That is pretty exciting for me; I mean, most people think I am odd for thinking that the best pop tunes are the ones most popular in the Renaissance and Baroque)

Anne had been initially elated to find that they had safely passed the Armada inspection -- until Chrissy told her the news that there had been instead a loss. Her usually animated face became still and sober. Her first instinct was to do something about the abduction -- for this had been no proper arrest. Yet here she had no ship, and another mission to perform that she had already promised to do. She could only inwardly sigh, and like Chrissy, promise silently a rescue attempt later -- if their teacher of dance and social strategy on this trip was still alive.

Still, her heart couldn't help but feel a little cheered a moment later as she came on deck into the rarified atmosphere of the Spiral between Worlds. Though not entirely comfortable, as one's chest felt compressed and it was hard to breathe, the journey between Worlds was a dizzying combination of cosmic beauty and electric excitement. Anne always loved this journey, despite its dangerous nature, though if she was completely honest with herself, perhaps she loved it all the more because it was dangerous.

Yet, this time, there was something different. Music was playing, music with a rather mechanical air. Music that was familiar. Anne gasped, and immediately made a beeline for the music box.

Scarlet, more careful, made a grasp for Anne's sleeve but missed. "Fais attention! Anne, you don't know where it has come from!"

Anne heard the warning, briefly considered it, but then dismissed the caution. Something with such lovely music couldn't be bad, she rationalized rather naively. Her heart filled with the tune being played, and with such fullness of spirit, began to sing along:
Fortune, my foe, why doest thou frown on me?
And will thy favors never better be?
Wilt thou, I say, forever breed my pain?
And wilt thou not restore my joys again?

So very true, Anne thought with another inward sigh. But her mind led her to the very last verse as the others came around her to see the strange music box that had appeared on the vessel, and she sang again in her light soprano:
Die not in fear, nor live in discontent,
Be thou not slain, where never blood was meant.
Revive again, to faint thou has no need,
The less afraid, the better thou shalt speed.

Though the song was technically about the pursuit of love, Anne felt herself heartened and all the more ready to take up the fight against the Armada, even if it was in ways uncertain and unfamiliar
To restore her cool and play it fine like the older girl she was, Emma inhaled before humming a few melodic notes of the song Decretum by name. The orchestral melody brought tears to her eyes whenever she heard it, most of the time. Deciding to change the song, she instead started on a separate one: "Hast du etwas Zeit für mich. Dann singe ich ein Lied für dich Von 99 Luftballons Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont." She sang in German. 99 Luftballons, a catchy song from elsewhere in the Spiral.

What was up with Anne? Emma soon speculated. Was her friend alright? Why was she singing as well? Was the singing really just meant for assisting the nerves?

Gunner's Mate
Oct 11, 2012
283
Omar, not getting the coins to stay, Omar returned to the square just beyond the shipyards. There a great fountain sprayed water several feet in the air before cascading down tree great bowls and landing in a massive pond surrounded by statues glorifying the figures of Padova's magnificent past. There the unicorn sat, playing what looked to be a mysterious instrument.
It had the body of a lute , but with several peculiar attachments and devices. The strings were played by the musician's steady hand turning a crank at the bottom that turned a wheel in the body and played by a keyboard covering the strings which the gray rascal's fingers flew expertly on the keys.
Omar envied the instrument Valencians call the Hurdy Gurdy, not because of hatred, but because he had fallen in love with the device long ago and had unfortunately been unable to find a suitable replacement for the beloved one the Armada destroyed. Nevertheless, he walked towards the minstrel and tossed him a coin.
After he finished the song, the musician stood up and invited Omar to play with him.
"It would be an honor to play with such talent as you possess." replied Omar with deep sincerity.
After two songs (la Volta and Petit Reins if you wanted to know). Omar and Aloetti as the unicorn was named, got to talking. As it turned out, he too was hired to play at the Doge's ball and soon became well acquainted with each other.
"By zee way, would you help me find a room or zee night? I am penniless and in need to meet certain 'friends' when they come from the docks." said Aloetti respectively.
"But of course" replied Omar "I too am waiting for some people."
"By the way," whispered Omar while preparing to resume playing"I believe we art waiting for the same people Aloetti Di'Algelo."
Omar winked at him before they began to play their dance tunes once more.

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1189
Quentin Atherton on Oct 25, 2013 wrote:
The Duke was smart to keep an eye on Quentin, but what he didn't know was that Quentin took every precaution to make sure he was safe. The Armada platoon that ambushed Quentin and Valona burst through the door and collapsed from lack of steam.

The Duke: What is it, make it quick.

Clockwork Commander: Your highness, we have a problem.

The Duke: I told you to capture Quentin and bring him to me, that is the only problem I noticed.

Frightened Dragoon: B-b-b-b-b-b-but sir, Quentin is legally p-p-p-p-p-p-p-p-p-protected.

The Duke was shocked to hear this notion, then he was furious.

The Duke: WHAT?!

Nervous Battle Angel: It's true s-s-s-s-sir, every governmental and royal seal in the Spiral. He even somehow got a seal from here in Valencia.

The Duke: THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE, I MADE SURE NO ONE HAD A SEAL LIKE THAT! I EVEN DESTROYED MOST OF THEM AND GAVE THE LAST SIX TO KANE AND HIS COURT!

Clockwork Commander: Did you say last...oh no, you even gave one to Phule?!

The Duke: Of course, why?

The platoon glared at him.

Battle Angel: You idiotic, dimwitted, lame-brained, half-brained, NITWIT!

The Duke: HOW DARE YOU CALL ME THAT!

Clockwork Commander: Actually she is right, you entrusted something very important to the most untrustworthy and dimwitted clockwork in the Armada.

The Duke then realized his mistake, and then he slapped himself in the forehead.

The Duke: Then if he commits a crime, how are we going to arrest him?

The Doge: We can't, if we arrest someone that is protected by the entire Spiral, every leader will be up in arms against the world that arrested him. Even Kane would declare war on his home world, he respects the law more than anyone in the Spiral.

The Duke ground his teeth furiously.

The Duke: Blast that little brat Quentin. Leave us.

The platoon walked out the door.

The Doge: Don't worry sir, I will steal his letter of protection and tear it up at the ball. This way we will be able to arrest Quentin when he commits a crime at the ball.

The Doge left to go home and make final preparations for the ball. At the Vinaldi mansion, Quentin and Valona kept waiting and waiting, they are starting to get impatient.
Wait --- No. This can't happen in the context of this story.

I was dithering about whether to ask you, Quentin, whether you were sure you wanted your previous sequence to stand. I didn't want to always seem to be making annoying comments about consistency and plausibility. But I think it would be really fun for you, if you would just give this type of story a chance. So my points:

1) The Armada soldiers are inherently fearless. This doesn't mean they are courageous, simply that they feel they are so much better than mortal beings that they really don't consider they can be beaten. The only clockwork yet to show fear has been Bishop -- and he did so after sequential analysis (he thought it through, making him very dangerous). So the Armada soldiers wouldn't run from you; they would never imagine the need for doing so.

2) Extending point (1)- the Armada soldiers attempting to arrest you don't really know who you are! I'm taking some liberties here (as well as the liberty of us being together even though we exist in separate Universes). Here in Padova, the Armada has not yet received the memo that you (and all our pirates, of course!) are the "Armada's Most Wanted". There's just some vague information that you might have attacked some Armada ships in the Aragon skyway. They have just the slimmest pretext for arresting you -- that's my point! If they knew who you really were, they would come in with a deadly trap, and it would very difficult to escape from, rather than a simple detachment of 6 clockwork soldiers. So, warning here -- don't give them more information.

3) In some roleplays, characters may take on aspects of superheroes. In this one, I am trying to make a story consistent to the Pirate101 world. So none of our characters here are more important than the others, all of them are vulnerable; we all will have limited choice of weapons and fighting field in the most dangerous part of the story. But that is what makes us heroes, isn't it? That we bravely go up against greater odds, using our
courage and wits. You can't have carte blanche or a universal letter of protection (how could such a thing exist?). And even if you could, if the Armada found you pretty much alone in a field, would they pay attention? No. It would be a perfect opportunity to attack without witnesses. They are no true respecters of persons, even those they pretend to protect. And none of us fall under that latter category.

4) You aren't with the Vinaldis. If you were, their subtle ploy would come under suspicion.

5) My last story post was intended to make a major point: the Doge did not send the Armada after you. Quentin is supposed to assume he did; the player is supposed to read and say -- wait, if the Doge didn't send them, who did? So you see, that last sequence is impossible.

I sent you a fight, Quentin, to allay your impatience. Perhaps, with some revisionist history, you should reconsider your response to the Armada meeting you in the vineyard?

Commodore
Sep 20, 2009
811
Anne Radcliffe on Oct 24, 2013 wrote:
(OOC: I almost fell out of my chair, Omar, with you referencing some of the music I love. That is pretty exciting for me; I mean, most people think I am odd for thinking that the best pop tunes are the ones most popular in the Renaissance and Baroque)

Anne had been initially elated to find that they had safely passed the Armada inspection -- until Chrissy told her the news that there had been instead a loss. Her usually animated face became still and sober. Her first instinct was to do something about the abduction -- for this had been no proper arrest. Yet here she had no ship, and another mission to perform that she had already promised to do. She could only inwardly sigh, and like Chrissy, promise silently a rescue attempt later -- if their teacher of dance and social strategy on this trip was still alive.

Still, her heart couldn't help but feel a little cheered a moment later as she came on deck into the rarified atmosphere of the Spiral between Worlds. Though not entirely comfortable, as one's chest felt compressed and it was hard to breathe, the journey between Worlds was a dizzying combination of cosmic beauty and electric excitement. Anne always loved this journey, despite its dangerous nature, though if she was completely honest with herself, perhaps she loved it all the more because it was dangerous.

Yet, this time, there was something different. Music was playing, music with a rather mechanical air. Music that was familiar. Anne gasped, and immediately made a beeline for the music box.

Scarlet, more careful, made a grasp for Anne's sleeve but missed. "Fais attention! Anne, you don't know where it has come from!"

Anne heard the warning, briefly considered it, but then dismissed the caution. Something with such lovely music couldn't be bad, she rationalized rather naively. Her heart filled with the tune being played, and with such fullness of spirit, began to sing along:
Fortune, my foe, why doest thou frown on me?
And will thy favors never better be?
Wilt thou, I say, forever breed my pain?
And wilt thou not restore my joys again?

So very true, Anne thought with another inward sigh. But her mind led her to the very last verse as the others came around her to see the strange music box that had appeared on the vessel, and she sang again in her light soprano:
Die not in fear, nor live in discontent,
Be thou not slain, where never blood was meant.
Revive again, to faint thou has no need,
The less afraid, the better thou shalt speed.

Though the song was technically about the pursuit of love, Anne felt herself heartened and all the more ready to take up the fight against the Armada, even if it was in ways uncertain and unfamiliar
"Anne, you can be so impulsive!" Scarlet cried in exasperation as Anne began to sing along with the strange music box.

"Well, I will 'ave no problem pretending you are a little sister at least, you act very much like one already. Juste because somezing looks beautiful, or sounds lovely does not make it safe. I consider ze armada clockworks to be beautiful pieces of construction and engineering, but zat does not mean zey are safe."

"Et maintenant," Scarlet continued while gracefull sitting down on a packing crate near the music box, " I know zat we cannot do anyzing for Maestra Lia at ze moment, mais, when we are done I zink zat zere will be a certain Armada ship or prison zat needs to be reduced to a fine dust."

Gunner's Mate
May 28, 2013
282
Sam Underhill on Oct 22, 2013 wrote:
Magdelena Vendelino frowned as she reread the letter. Glancing around to make sure no one aboard the Black Star was paying too close attention, she casually ripped the letter to shreds and (in time honored tradtion) proceeded to eat the bits. The taste was no better than the contents, for the news was most disheartening. Just when you thought the Armada could be predicted, they went and did something completely unexpected. Detaining Maestra Lia was not good for the evening's plans at all. That meant the Armada was capable of doing anything, including ruining the entire scheme.

The Unicorn slowly chewed her missive and glanced across the deck. Sam was getting dressed in his costume, 'helped' by his crew. They were all merrily chatting and laughing together like this was just another lark, and not a cloak and dagger mission of great importance. Of course that was what she had led them into thinking all along, but now her conscience was beginning to bother her. She looked again at the young man surrounded by a Rat, Bull, Mouse, Horse and Cat. Each of them would throw themselves in harm's way without a moment's thought for one another's sake. Rather like a floating mini-Resistance. Could she now sacrifice him for the sake of the Resistance? He was doing more good than any one of the so-called Leaders who made sure of their own safety and security first. That kind would easily sacrifice others as long as they personally survived to 'fight' another day.

No, she thought, I don't think so. Besides - she rather liked the young fool.

But this business with Maestra Lia... Enough phony 'invitations' had been sent out to known 'Persons of Interest' to the Armada to keep everybody busy watching everyone else for the night. Hopefully that would mean the Ball's true objective could be carried off without a hitch, something she would only tell Sam about if it became absolutely necessary. But it would only take one hothead doing something completely foolish to destroy over a month of planning. Those were the risks one took when counting on the actions of others. Life was not a script to be simply acted out. But it was now too late in the game to change any plans.

Finally, all that was left was for Sam to don his oversized Lion mask, and that wouldn't be done until the ship docked, and it was the night of the Ball. Each weapon he carried had been triple checked by his crew. Magdelena only carried the one stilleto strapped her thigh, hidden under her black and gold gown, her own mask of black feathers depicting a Raven.

Sam walked over, smiled, and said, "Let's go make this Michaelangelo of yours jealous."
Sam did the same thing all new arrivals in Padova did - gawked like a country yokel. This place was HUGE! For a lad that grew up in what barely qualified as a hamlet, then a fishing village, and who thought Skull Island the biggest and best place in the spiral, there were no words left for Padova. Magdelena took great pleasure in telling Sam about the buildings and plazas in the city. They stopped to hear a pair of street musicians play a lively dance tune (Gathering Peascods it was called).

"Pip, pip, cheerio!" Sam called out with evident pleasure, tossing a small coin in the proferred hat.

"And what, mi amico, was that supposed to be?"

"Marleybonean, you know. Rather, wot?"

Magdelena shook her head sadly, but said nothing. Hopefully he'd grow out of it.

"I say, rather fancy meeting another Old School Tie here, eh wot?"

"Oh, please stop," Madelena begged.

"That wasn't me." The pair turned to see a rather pudgy red haired human - poorly dressed up to resemble a unicorn.

"I say, Reggie Throckmorton at your service." The young man offered what must have been a hand, or hoof, to shake. Sam took it warily.

"Sam, um... ah... Throckmorton."

"Not Belladonna's young whippersnapper? Course you are. The spitting image of Old Uncle Leo you are."

"Thanks. How's Great Aunt er... Honoria?" Sam hoped there were a lot of unknown relatives in this borrowed family.

"Haven't seen her in a dog's age. Ha, dog's age. But must toodle, costume fitting before the Ball. Pip, pip, cheerio!" Reggie wandered away.

Magdelena didn't know whether to laugh with relief, or cry at the assault on her ears. "Molto bene, I am guessing your background story will be most acceptable."

They chatted amiably as they wound their way through the maze of streets. A festival atmosphere exuded as preparations for the Grand Ball spilled over from the Palace. They snacked on genuine Sausage on a Stick for him, and a Mooshu Alfalfa Wrap for her from a vendor dressed up as a Samoorai. They didn't want to spoil their appetites before the evening.

The Black Star had been left at the unfashionable end of the docks, where few Armada patrols could be seen. But it would take a long run back through town to reach the ship in a hurry, especially since it looked as if the streets would be packed. There were signs of local peace keepers, wearing the livery of the Doge, but aside from a couple of pick pockets, everyone seened intent on behaving themselves.

"Listen, I must disappear for a few minutes. Why don't you wait for me by that fountain?"

"Super secret spy stuff?" Sam teased, but then saw a fleeting glimpse in his friend's eye. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't joke like that."

"No, no, it is alright. I'll be right back." She gave him a quick peck on the cheek, then dashed off. He watched her turn a corner, then began looking more closely around. An unscrupulous pirate could make a small fortune in this place. He'd have to keep the crew aboard ship.

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1189
(The evening two days before the Ball still...)

The ship quietly entered the shallow skies around the Island of Padova. The day was now lengthening towards evening; the shadows were long and the brightest stars just becoming visible. The ship drew near to a rather forbidding area of rocky coast. A beautiful villa stood on the hills beyond.

"That is the ancestral home of the Vinaldis, and ahead is a small fishing village which is part of their demesne," Dona Graziella informed them. "I will send scouts ahead first to be certain all is safe before we bring our captains on land. Emma, Scarlet, Elizabeth, and Anne, this is where you will meet with the Vinaldi family."

"Originally Jack was intended to take the role of a footman of the Vinaldi. However, I need a footman's accompaniment to be suitably escorted if I wish to confront the Doge this evening. Chrissy, although you will still be the girls' maid of honor at the ball, I hope you would consider playing my maid this evening. Few observe servants, I would welcome the witness and aid from both of you."

The ship anchored off the rather forbidding shore, and a longboat went out with the scouts. After a while, they returned with the news that all was well. The four pirate captains impersonating the Vinaldi children and Graziella slipped into the boat, hiding from any watchful eyes under sailcloth.

More time passed. The longboat returned with the crewmembers and Dona Graziella. The drop had been a success: the Duchessa had met them and would herself lead them through secret ways to the Vinaldi villa. Now they could sail to the city of Padova itself.

The sky was just beginning to turn indigo when Omar saw a ship sail into his view as he played by the upper docks of the city...

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1189
The Undead Obeah on Oct 26, 2013 wrote:
Omar, not getting the coins to stay, Omar returned to the square just beyond the shipyards. There a great fountain sprayed water several feet in the air before cascading down tree great bowls and landing in a massive pond surrounded by statues glorifying the figures of Padova's magnificent past. There the unicorn sat, playing what looked to be a mysterious instrument.
It had the body of a lute , but with several peculiar attachments and devices. The strings were played by the musician's steady hand turning a crank at the bottom that turned a wheel in the body and played by a keyboard covering the strings which the gray rascal's fingers flew expertly on the keys.
Omar envied the instrument Valencians call the Hurdy Gurdy, not because of hatred, but because he had fallen in love with the device long ago and had unfortunately been unable to find a suitable replacement for the beloved one the Armada destroyed. Nevertheless, he walked towards the minstrel and tossed him a coin.
After he finished the song, the musician stood up and invited Omar to play with him.
"It would be an honor to play with such talent as you possess." replied Omar with deep sincerity.
After two songs (la Volta and Petit Reins if you wanted to know). Omar and Aloetti as the unicorn was named, got to talking. As it turned out, he too was hired to play at the Doge's ball and soon became well acquainted with each other.
"By zee way, would you help me find a room or zee night? I am penniless and in need to meet certain 'friends' when they come from the docks." said Aloetti respectively.
"But of course" replied Omar "I too am waiting for some people."
"By the way," whispered Omar while preparing to resume playing"I believe we art waiting for the same people Aloetti Di'Algelo."
Omar winked at him before they began to play their dance tunes once more.
People bustled busily towards their homes as the sky began to darken towards evening, though some still stayed to listen to the musicians for a few moments. A small dark-haired fairy of a child slipped out of her mother's grasp with a "Mama! My song!" and scampered eagerly towards Omar and Aloetti as they played Petit Riens, and began to dance -- performing the hopping saltarelli of the dance quite credibly but adding a great many improvised spins. Her mother, a woman well burdened with groceries in a basket in one arm and a small child in the other balanced on her hip, laughed and stopped to indulge her elder daughter, then her little one, who squirmed to be let down and 'dance' with her sister. Comically, the little one, dark-haired with lovely almond shaped eyes like her sister, could not manage the hops: she had not yet figured out how to get a foot to leave the ground. Still the children danced after their fashion until the tune was done, their mother smilingly throwing a few small coins into Omar's hat, and chivying her children towards home.
~
(OOC: I couldn't resist... the player's eldest child loved the tune of Petit Riens when she was very small, and had to hear it over, and over, and over...)
~

Omar felt a familiar warning sensation steal over him -- not danger, but simply that someone he needed to know was approaching. He began to play Fortune My Foe, Aloetti swiftly following his lead.

Dona Graziella stopped and looked with a seemingly distant curiosity at the musicians. Jack was now attired in the more elegant garments of a footman: blue breeches, white waistcoat, and blue frockcoat -- the livery colors of the Albioni house to which Graziella belonged. His hair had been drawn back with a black silk ribbon and powdered white [unless Jack's hair is short, in which he would be wearing a wig for the same effect.]

Chrissy had also received an upgrade in dress, as she was now playing the personal maid of a lady. Her gown was a serviceable but still quite fine green wool, the open gown front displaying a dark blue indigo petticoat -- a fairly expensive color. Her cap, now a fine linen one, was graced with a dark blue silk ribbon to match the petticoat.

Dona Graziella hesitated. She did not recognize these men as agents of the Resistance, yet clearly this song was intended as a code for her -- or perhaps her pirate allies. Were the musicians allies, or was this a trap?
She glanced at Jack and Chrissy, wordlessly inquiring if they knew these people, and provided an opening:

"Jack, I fancy music when I take supper later this evening. Please inquire if these two are free this evening. I will offer both supper and bed in exchange."

Pirate Overlord
Mar 10, 2009
6038
Anne Radcliffe on Oct 27, 2013 wrote:
People bustled busily towards their homes as the sky began to darken towards evening, though some still stayed to listen to the musicians for a few moments. A small dark-haired fairy of a child slipped out of her mother's grasp with a "Mama! My song!" and scampered eagerly towards Omar and Aloetti as they played Petit Riens, and began to dance -- performing the hopping saltarelli of the dance quite credibly but adding a great many improvised spins. Her mother, a woman well burdened with groceries in a basket in one arm and a small child in the other balanced on her hip, laughed and stopped to indulge her elder daughter, then her little one, who squirmed to be let down and 'dance' with her sister. Comically, the little one, dark-haired with lovely almond shaped eyes like her sister, could not manage the hops: she had not yet figured out how to get a foot to leave the ground. Still the children danced after their fashion until the tune was done, their mother smilingly throwing a few small coins into Omar's hat, and chivying her children towards home.
~
(OOC: I couldn't resist... the player's eldest child loved the tune of Petit Riens when she was very small, and had to hear it over, and over, and over...)
~

Omar felt a familiar warning sensation steal over him -- not danger, but simply that someone he needed to know was approaching. He began to play Fortune My Foe, Aloetti swiftly following his lead.

Dona Graziella stopped and looked with a seemingly distant curiosity at the musicians. Jack was now attired in the more elegant garments of a footman: blue breeches, white waistcoat, and blue frockcoat -- the livery colors of the Albioni house to which Graziella belonged. His hair had been drawn back with a black silk ribbon and powdered white [unless Jack's hair is short, in which he would be wearing a wig for the same effect.]

Chrissy had also received an upgrade in dress, as she was now playing the personal maid of a lady. Her gown was a serviceable but still quite fine green wool, the open gown front displaying a dark blue indigo petticoat -- a fairly expensive color. Her cap, now a fine linen one, was graced with a dark blue silk ribbon to match the petticoat.

Dona Graziella hesitated. She did not recognize these men as agents of the Resistance, yet clearly this song was intended as a code for her -- or perhaps her pirate allies. Were the musicians allies, or was this a trap?
She glanced at Jack and Chrissy, wordlessly inquiring if they knew these people, and provided an opening:

"Jack, I fancy music when I take supper later this evening. Please inquire if these two are free this evening. I will offer both supper and bed in exchange."
Chrissy listened to Scarlet's impassioned speech and it was just the thing she needed to help fortify her resolve to do whatever was necessary to protect this family and to complete the rescue of Maestra Lia. "Well said Scarlet and please know that you can count on me to assist you in any way possible to accomplish a thorough dusting to avenge the inappropriate treatment or our beloved Maestra Lia." Chrissy had come to greatly respect and had become quite fond of the noble and wise dance teacher.
Her soul thus armored with knowing that plans were in the process she went topside and just stood and took in the beautiful scenery that was Padova. She had been here before in past adventures and the grandeur was just as breathtaking as she remembered it. Knowing that she was here to help protect those that lived here triggered a desire to shelter them and keep them safe from the destruction of the unfeeling Armada.
Dona Graziella's surprising request to have her assist her for that evening's phase of the plan heightened her sense of responsibility to protect at all costs. She eagerly changed into the beautiful green gown. Although it was a servant's dress it was finer than anything Chrissy had ever worn. She loved how the green matched her eyes perfectly and made them appear like lovely jade accents on her face. The blue petticoats just took her breath away. She had never worn such a lovely shade and became overwhelmingly aware of the influence the Lady had that she would be attending. For a mere servant, even a lady's maid to be so richly attired really sent the message home in her heart what a very important mission this truly was. More than just children's lives were at stake & Chrissy took her position very seriously that she must stay vigilant & remember everything she saw for it's importance was beyond measure. Making sure she would be able to protect Donna Graziella she strapped her favorite daggers to her leg and up one sleeve & made a very clever pocket to secure a rapier inside her petticoat. She would not allow any harm to come to her charge.
Chrissy came out of her cabin and pulled Jack aside and let him know that she was armed so that he could more freely assist Donna Graziella knowing that he would not have another damsel to protect and that she was indeed a fighting partner. Jack chuckled at her assessment and said "We shall see if you wind up needing my protection or not" with a jaunty smile. Jack remembered watching her spar with Scarlet and didn't take her idea of an equal fighting partner very seriously but he admired her spunk.
As the trio walked through the square Chrissy kept her position just behind the Donna and stayed alert for any danger. Her sharpened ears picked up on the lilting strains of Fortune My Foe and she nearly stopped in shock. This could not be mere coincidence. Here was a connection with that mysterious music box. Was it as harmless as Anne had supposed or were Scarlet's warnings going to prove to be prophetic?

Captain
Mar 09, 2011
709
Anne Radcliffe on Oct 26, 2013 wrote:
Wait --- No. This can't happen in the context of this story.

I was dithering about whether to ask you, Quentin, whether you were sure you wanted your previous sequence to stand. I didn't want to always seem to be making annoying comments about consistency and plausibility. But I think it would be really fun for you, if you would just give this type of story a chance. So my points:

1) The Armada soldiers are inherently fearless. This doesn't mean they are courageous, simply that they feel they are so much better than mortal beings that they really don't consider they can be beaten. The only clockwork yet to show fear has been Bishop -- and he did so after sequential analysis (he thought it through, making him very dangerous). So the Armada soldiers wouldn't run from you; they would never imagine the need for doing so.

2) Extending point (1)- the Armada soldiers attempting to arrest you don't really know who you are! I'm taking some liberties here (as well as the liberty of us being together even though we exist in separate Universes). Here in Padova, the Armada has not yet received the memo that you (and all our pirates, of course!) are the "Armada's Most Wanted". There's just some vague information that you might have attacked some Armada ships in the Aragon skyway. They have just the slimmest pretext for arresting you -- that's my point! If they knew who you really were, they would come in with a deadly trap, and it would very difficult to escape from, rather than a simple detachment of 6 clockwork soldiers. So, warning here -- don't give them more information.

3) In some roleplays, characters may take on aspects of superheroes. In this one, I am trying to make a story consistent to the Pirate101 world. So none of our characters here are more important than the others, all of them are vulnerable; we all will have limited choice of weapons and fighting field in the most dangerous part of the story. But that is what makes us heroes, isn't it? That we bravely go up against greater odds, using our
courage and wits. You can't have carte blanche or a universal letter of protection (how could such a thing exist?). And even if you could, if the Armada found you pretty much alone in a field, would they pay attention? No. It would be a perfect opportunity to attack without witnesses. They are no true respecters of persons, even those they pretend to protect. And none of us fall under that latter category.

4) You aren't with the Vinaldis. If you were, their subtle ploy would come under suspicion.

5) My last story post was intended to make a major point: the Doge did not send the Armada after you. Quentin is supposed to assume he did; the player is supposed to read and say -- wait, if the Doge didn't send them, who did? So you see, that last sequence is impossible.

I sent you a fight, Quentin, to allay your impatience. Perhaps, with some revisionist history, you should reconsider your response to the Armada meeting you in the vineyard?
You have made some excellent points, Anne, and I would like to add my opinion to Quentin's posts as well.

1) Wow! No matter what happens, I always seem to love your posts. When your characters went to the university and you explained that Quentin had graduated at the age of 15, my jaw dropped and I nearly said aloud, "Hey, that's my goal!" I'm really proud of Quentin that he set such a goal for himself and achieved it, that shows some real character and willpower.

2) When you said that the clockworks collapsed from lack of steam, I grinned. The fact that clockworks don't have emotions make them scary, but when you make them have emotions, it adds some humor and lightens the story. I always enjoy reading little gems of humor, please keep them coming!

3) You've definitely proven that you've got some excellent ideas for the story, what with mentioning that Quentin has a universal seal of protection. This shows that your character is even greater and more important than we originally thought, even though we already know that Quentin runs Atherton Industries.

4) I love how Quentin and Valona go everywhere together. It shows how close your characters are and what an excellent relationship they have, and having characters like these, I feel adds to the story. We are a band of pirates, skillful and cunning and willing to do what it takes to get what we want. Having characters that are loyal and kind to each other definitely rocks.

Although what Anne says is true, I wanted to point out the fact that we enjoy your posts all the same.

Petty Officer
Oct 29, 2012
56
Hi everyone! I know it's extremely late to be asking this, but do you think it's possible to fit in one more character?

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1189
Ruthless Alura Bri... on Oct 30, 2013 wrote:
Hi everyone! I know it's extremely late to be asking this, but do you think it's possible to fit in one more character?
Sure Alura! It is easier for me if you bring in one character (no clockworks , they're the bad guys of this piece), here are some possibilities:
-- You are already with the Vinaldis, as a volunteer agent like the other girl pirates. Since the children of the Vinaldis have already been established, you may be taking on the role of a lady's maid, like Chrissy.

-- you are an agent of the Resistance already planted in the Doge's palace, probably as a servant, but you can let your imagination give you another role instead!

-- you are, like Omar, infiltrating the palace by joining the musicians. Sure the Armada will be checking the papers of musicians just like everyone else, but not closely -- they don't think highly of musicians at all. (They'd arrest the lot, but know the music-loving inhabitants of Valencia would really protest at that)

-- you could be an independent agent, investigating another rumor that our heroes have not yet heard of, such as a rumor that the life of one of Council members may be in danger. Or, perhaps it is the Doge's life which is threatened...

-- you could be an agent involved in a side plot (that our heroes do not know about) arranged by the Resistance. Since this is a tale of intrigue, there are potentially quite a few things going on at the same time .

Or you could come up with something else? Just some ideas to fit you into the story line...

Gunner's Mate
Oct 11, 2012
283
Anne Radcliffe on Oct 27, 2013 wrote:
People bustled busily towards their homes as the sky began to darken towards evening, though some still stayed to listen to the musicians for a few moments. A small dark-haired fairy of a child slipped out of her mother's grasp with a "Mama! My song!" and scampered eagerly towards Omar and Aloetti as they played Petit Riens, and began to dance -- performing the hopping saltarelli of the dance quite credibly but adding a great many improvised spins. Her mother, a woman well burdened with groceries in a basket in one arm and a small child in the other balanced on her hip, laughed and stopped to indulge her elder daughter, then her little one, who squirmed to be let down and 'dance' with her sister. Comically, the little one, dark-haired with lovely almond shaped eyes like her sister, could not manage the hops: she had not yet figured out how to get a foot to leave the ground. Still the children danced after their fashion until the tune was done, their mother smilingly throwing a few small coins into Omar's hat, and chivying her children towards home.
~
(OOC: I couldn't resist... the player's eldest child loved the tune of Petit Riens when she was very small, and had to hear it over, and over, and over...)
~

Omar felt a familiar warning sensation steal over him -- not danger, but simply that someone he needed to know was approaching. He began to play Fortune My Foe, Aloetti swiftly following his lead.

Dona Graziella stopped and looked with a seemingly distant curiosity at the musicians. Jack was now attired in the more elegant garments of a footman: blue breeches, white waistcoat, and blue frockcoat -- the livery colors of the Albioni house to which Graziella belonged. His hair had been drawn back with a black silk ribbon and powdered white [unless Jack's hair is short, in which he would be wearing a wig for the same effect.]

Chrissy had also received an upgrade in dress, as she was now playing the personal maid of a lady. Her gown was a serviceable but still quite fine green wool, the open gown front displaying a dark blue indigo petticoat -- a fairly expensive color. Her cap, now a fine linen one, was graced with a dark blue silk ribbon to match the petticoat.

Dona Graziella hesitated. She did not recognize these men as agents of the Resistance, yet clearly this song was intended as a code for her -- or perhaps her pirate allies. Were the musicians allies, or was this a trap?
She glanced at Jack and Chrissy, wordlessly inquiring if they knew these people, and provided an opening:

"Jack, I fancy music when I take supper later this evening. Please inquire if these two are free this evening. I will offer both supper and bed in exchange."
Omar was amazed at the busy hum of the preparations for the Doge's ball that be taking place already. This must be a ball of real extravagance. Already nobles were coming from their manors for a few day to enjoy the beautiful city before the grand masquerade takes place.
Then, this peculiar sensation came over him, inciting him to play certain notes. It wasn't until five measures when he realized he was playing Fortune My Foe and by then, Aloetti was playing along as well. Unable to stop now, he decided to lose himself in the tune. When he did so, the whole square paused a moment to hear the tune's mourning of loss and it's promise of happiness.
During the time he played the sad melody, he had a vision. He saw a group of partiers in masks, some of which seemed to spread to their whole selfs, all in need of a form of supernatural backing. He also envisioned a three card spread, the pictures blurry. A reading to be made. Finally. He foresaw himself surrounded by floating instruments playing a tune in front of a painting, that seemed to slowly start moving.
The song ended and there was a loud applause from the people. Many coins were thrown and both Omar and Aloetti bowed deeply to their audience. After collecting the coins, we were about to look for a place to stay when we heard the need for music at their dinner. The two boys glanced at each other, nodded, and walked towards them.
"Pardon fair Lady," said Omar respectively "but might ye be interested in some music to fill thine halls?"

Bosun
Sep 09, 2010
352
The warning were not propethic but right when scarlet and Anna was going to tell the armada appeared outrageous mad they planned to take romantic rebbeca ivring we tried everything but it was too late they already took her to pad ova her sister her crew and her friends cried.Kane said take the prisoner to Cadiz .The armada capital it is too late replied Madame vadima .but then she escaped with out any notice and then went to Scarlett's and Chrissy house. What is pad ova asked romantic rebbeca ivring?pad ova is your home aside from krokotopia.The blonde blue eyed witchdoctor began to understand .She touched the mysterious music box it began to make her faint then she got into a gown with jewels and her outfit was diffrent was mysterious. Why was the armada there?she did not know but it probably had to do with that mysterious music box.the end of my play on the role play .Chrissy I really liked your post with the mysterious music box and how detailed your posts are.

Petty Officer
Oct 29, 2012
56
Anne Radcliffe on Oct 30, 2013 wrote:
Sure Alura! It is easier for me if you bring in one character (no clockworks , they're the bad guys of this piece), here are some possibilities:
-- You are already with the Vinaldis, as a volunteer agent like the other girl pirates. Since the children of the Vinaldis have already been established, you may be taking on the role of a lady's maid, like Chrissy.

-- you are an agent of the Resistance already planted in the Doge's palace, probably as a servant, but you can let your imagination give you another role instead!

-- you are, like Omar, infiltrating the palace by joining the musicians. Sure the Armada will be checking the papers of musicians just like everyone else, but not closely -- they don't think highly of musicians at all. (They'd arrest the lot, but know the music-loving inhabitants of Valencia would really protest at that)

-- you could be an independent agent, investigating another rumor that our heroes have not yet heard of, such as a rumor that the life of one of Council members may be in danger. Or, perhaps it is the Doge's life which is threatened...

-- you could be an agent involved in a side plot (that our heroes do not know about) arranged by the Resistance. Since this is a tale of intrigue, there are potentially quite a few things going on at the same time .

Or you could come up with something else? Just some ideas to fit you into the story line...
Hmm, I think Alura will be a lady's maid like Chrissy, although I have no idea how to play one, I'll try my best. Is it okay if you introduce her though? I can't think of a way to fit Alura in

Gunner's Mate
May 28, 2013
282
Sam Underhill on Oct 27, 2013 wrote:
Sam did the same thing all new arrivals in Padova did - gawked like a country yokel. This place was HUGE! For a lad that grew up in what barely qualified as a hamlet, then a fishing village, and who thought Skull Island the biggest and best place in the spiral, there were no words left for Padova. Magdelena took great pleasure in telling Sam about the buildings and plazas in the city. They stopped to hear a pair of street musicians play a lively dance tune (Gathering Peascods it was called).

"Pip, pip, cheerio!" Sam called out with evident pleasure, tossing a small coin in the proferred hat.

"And what, mi amico, was that supposed to be?"

"Marleybonean, you know. Rather, wot?"

Magdelena shook her head sadly, but said nothing. Hopefully he'd grow out of it.

"I say, rather fancy meeting another Old School Tie here, eh wot?"

"Oh, please stop," Madelena begged.

"That wasn't me." The pair turned to see a rather pudgy red haired human - poorly dressed up to resemble a unicorn.

"I say, Reggie Throckmorton at your service." The young man offered what must have been a hand, or hoof, to shake. Sam took it warily.

"Sam, um... ah... Throckmorton."

"Not Belladonna's young whippersnapper? Course you are. The spitting image of Old Uncle Leo you are."

"Thanks. How's Great Aunt er... Honoria?" Sam hoped there were a lot of unknown relatives in this borrowed family.

"Haven't seen her in a dog's age. Ha, dog's age. But must toodle, costume fitting before the Ball. Pip, pip, cheerio!" Reggie wandered away.

Magdelena didn't know whether to laugh with relief, or cry at the assault on her ears. "Molto bene, I am guessing your background story will be most acceptable."

They chatted amiably as they wound their way through the maze of streets. A festival atmosphere exuded as preparations for the Grand Ball spilled over from the Palace. They snacked on genuine Sausage on a Stick for him, and a Mooshu Alfalfa Wrap for her from a vendor dressed up as a Samoorai. They didn't want to spoil their appetites before the evening.

The Black Star had been left at the unfashionable end of the docks, where few Armada patrols could be seen. But it would take a long run back through town to reach the ship in a hurry, especially since it looked as if the streets would be packed. There were signs of local peace keepers, wearing the livery of the Doge, but aside from a couple of pick pockets, everyone seened intent on behaving themselves.

"Listen, I must disappear for a few minutes. Why don't you wait for me by that fountain?"

"Super secret spy stuff?" Sam teased, but then saw a fleeting glimpse in his friend's eye. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't joke like that."

"No, no, it is alright. I'll be right back." She gave him a quick peck on the cheek, then dashed off. He watched her turn a corner, then began looking more closely around. An unscrupulous pirate could make a small fortune in this place. He'd have to keep the crew aboard ship.
Magdelena glanced back after turning the corner. She had the sixth sense that someone had been dogging their footsteps through the city, but she spotted no one. She entered a tavern called the Quetzal's Revenge. The atmosphere was pleasant, and the clientele of a midling sort. Pausing a moment to see if anyone followed her in, she made her way to the barkeep. "Excuse me, I'm looking for Professor Deluca."

The barkeep, a dour seeming Unicorn who looked more than capable of acting as his own bouncer, looked her over. Apparently he approved of what he saw. "He's not here, but Dottore Luciana is."

Magdelena smiled at the countersign. "No, no, perhaps Maestro Samala is available?" The barkeep nodded once and led her to a back room. Two Unicorns wearing hoods which effectively masked their features, sat at a table within, nursing mugs of Yum. They did not rise at her entrance. Nor did they offer her a seat, or a glass.

"Maestra Vendelino, it seems you have found a suitable candidate. Excellent. Now here is what you will do next..." The one who spoke did so with great authority, a voice used to giving commands and having them obeyed.

Meanwhile, Sam was people watching by the Fountain of Three Fish. Some tumblers had gone by, and a Punch and Judy show was setting up for a later performance across the plaza. Couples passed by hand in hand, wandering merchants flogged their wares, children scampered unhindered to and fro, while parents enjoyed their limited freedom. A pair of street musicians had briefly paused to sing a spritely ballad called Stingo, until some patrolling Armada soldiers caused them to move quickly on. In fact, now that he noticed, the Armada did appear to have numerous patrols marching around the City. People had been awfully law abiding as he and Magdelena had walked along.

"Are you here by yourself?" a soft voice materialized near his ear. He quickly turned his head to spy a pretty, teenage blonde girl dressed in stereotypical gypsy garb. Her face only inches away, she smiled winningly at him. Despite all her bangles Sam had not heard her approach. That was disturbing. A quick glance around did not reveal any waiting accomplices, but one never knew.

"No, waiting on a friend."

"Oh, what a pity. I know a place you could buy a girl a mug of Yum while you wait," she not-too-subtly hinted. 'I'll just bet you do,' Sam thought to himself. "You wouldn't be waiting for Professor Deluca, would you?" she asked coyly, batting her overly made up eyes at him. She pouted prettily enough, but Sam was in no mood for flirting games, dazzling as though she appeared to be.

"Doctor who?"

The obvious ignorance at her query caused the girl to quickly lose interest. "I can see I must quench my thirst elsewhere," she declared and flounced off. Just then, Magdelena put in her reappearance.

"Do you know a Professor Deluca?" he asked.

This time she could not disguise her startlement. "How do you know...?"

"We need to talk."

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1189
Ruthless Alura Bri... on Oct 31, 2013 wrote:
Hmm, I think Alura will be a lady's maid like Chrissy, although I have no idea how to play one, I'll try my best. Is it okay if you introduce her though? I can't think of a way to fit Alura in
Of course, no problem. Hmm, let me think about how to do this, maybe with a sideplot you know about and the others do not; give you your own special twist...

Petty Officer
Oct 29, 2012
56
Anne Radcliffe on Nov 1, 2013 wrote:
Of course, no problem. Hmm, let me think about how to do this, maybe with a sideplot you know about and the others do not; give you your own special twist...
Hmm, maybe Alura could be warning the group about... a possible Resistance traitor or an increase in Armada guards at the ball? Does that work out?

Gunner's Mate
Oct 11, 2012
283
Ruthless Alura Bri... on Nov 1, 2013 wrote:
Hmm, maybe Alura could be warning the group about... a possible Resistance traitor or an increase in Armada guards at the ball? Does that work out?
Well, well, well! Now there might be a traitor in our midst? I Love It! The possibility just sounds so... Delicious. Such genius, such danger. Oh Valencia, how I have missed you. Thank ye fer bringing betrayal into this delectable masterpiece of a role-play.

In mine opinion, by all means.

Say it once, say it twice.
Take a risk and roll them dice!

The game's begun, we'll deal ye in,
This shall be fun! Lets see who'll win.

Its high time fer ye to come into the stage of this Rennassance Intrigue, don't ye agree, dear Anne?

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1189
Ruthless Alura Bri... on Nov 1, 2013 wrote:
Hmm, maybe Alura could be warning the group about... a possible Resistance traitor or an increase in Armada guards at the ball? Does that work out?
Ooo, good ideas... and at least one of those is in the offing, but hopefully you will like this idea here. I will just note that one of Sam's posts in this thread mentions Pergolesi (names reminiscent of Baroque Italian composers? I confess the allusions are intentional )
~

Alura bit her lip thoughtfully. She had finally arrived in Padova, completely alone, and with very minimal weaponry. She hadn't liked the idea, and her faithful companions had liked it even less, but everyone had reluctantly agreed that her friend Evalina was right about how to get past the notice of the Armada in Valencia. So here she was. The papers that her friend had arranged for her, naming her an attendant of the influential Pergolesi family, had worked perfectly.

Now in an increasingly wealthy part of the city, Alura approached a townhouse with a handsome grey-veined marble stone façade. Part of the reason she was here was that she was sympathetic to her friend's plea for help, but another part was the opportunity to study enemy territory. One day she would have to do more than interfere with the Armada in a provincial part of their land. One day she would need to seek out the Map pieces Kane held, and she feared, face down Kane himself. Alura shivered. It seemed inevitable. She hoped she would be ready when the time came.

Evalina evidently had been watching, for she came eagerly outside the portico of the townhouse and into the street to embrace her friend. "Alura, I am so glad you came!" Evalina was a plump girl with fine olive-toned skin who usually glowed with health and vivacity. Now however, though her expression was warm and welcoming, Alura could see that she looked anxious. "Please come in. Katerina is most eager to meet you."

Whatever worries she might have, Evalina now bent all her energy into light conversation as she led her pirate friend into a drawing room, a room which had the happy art of appearing both comfortable and elegant. A young Unicorn woman, gowned in light blue silk, was seated by the fireplace, embroidering upon a frame, and she rose as the two entered. Evalina curtseyed.

"Lady Katerina, may I introduce my friend Alura. Alura, this is Katerina Pergolesi, granddaughter of Contessa Beatrice Pergolesi, member of the ruling Council of Padova."

Katerina strode to Alura's side with swift, graceful steps. She was a beautiful young Unicorn, coal black with hair to match that shone with blue highlights in the softer light of indoors. Her eyes were dark brown and filled with a friendly warmth. "I am so glad you have come. You must be tired from your journey. Do you wish to rest now? Or would you care for some tea and cakes?"

Alura was tired, but she wanted information, so she accepted the refreshments. Mandatory small talk of course came first, but finally Katerina came to the point, her hands clasped with tight anxiety.

"I believe someone wishes to assassinate my grandmother."

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1189
CdeWinter on Oct 26, 2013 wrote:
"Anne, you can be so impulsive!" Scarlet cried in exasperation as Anne began to sing along with the strange music box.

"Well, I will 'ave no problem pretending you are a little sister at least, you act very much like one already. Juste because somezing looks beautiful, or sounds lovely does not make it safe. I consider ze armada clockworks to be beautiful pieces of construction and engineering, but zat does not mean zey are safe."

"Et maintenant," Scarlet continued while gracefull sitting down on a packing crate near the music box, " I know zat we cannot do anyzing for Maestra Lia at ze moment, mais, when we are done I zink zat zere will be a certain Armada ship or prison zat needs to be reduced to a fine dust."
Anne blushed, slightly abashed, but opened her mouth to explain that her instincts were always right... then shut her mouth again. The truth be known, she had made some spectacularly wrong decisions in the past few months. Part of that had been not listening to her instincts -- and sometimes her conscience-- when she should have been. On the other hand, even listening to her instincts had not warned her sufficiently about some very dangerous situations, and she was lucky to still be alive. Mostly lucky to have loyal and skilled friends at her side, Anne confessed to herself.

So she just grinned at Scarlet, not terribly repentant, though acknowledging the truth of her words. Yet she was sure that the music box was a good thing. But, Anne had no rational explanation -- just that 'instinct' again.

It was not long after that they docked near the rocky coast away from the welcoming city harbor of Padova, and saying farewell to the others, Scarlet, Emma, Lizzy, and Anne crept into the longboat and hid, even in this remote location with the shadows lengthening towards evening. When given the 'all clear' signal, they crawled out onto a rocky beach and with their guides picked their way along the rocks until they came near the opening of a cave. There at the entrance, stood a tall Unicorn woman in a grey wool cloak.

"Welcome brave captains," she greeted them. She had a lovely rich voice, with air of habitual command. "I am Alcina Vinaldi." She looked towards their guides. "I will lead the young ladies from here. They will be safe," she informed them, and made a certain signal with her hand. The others bowed, then bowed again to the young pirates, wishing them luck, and left them with the Duchessa Vinaldi.

"Come with me, and stay near. The caves are dangerous to those who are not of the Vinaldi family," Alcina warned them. Having no wish to find out this particular danger, the girls followed obediently until the caverns became humble storage chambers, domestic and obviously familiar to the household.

Here the duchessa paused, and drew out from her pocket under her petticoats four small pendants suspended on delicate silver chains. She gave one to each of the girls. The pendants looked to be a polished milky drop of the semi-precious moonstone.

"If something goes wrong, and you find yourself here, these pendants have a temporary enchantment which will allow you to find your way through these caverns safely. Once a week has passed, the enchantment will be gone, and it will be merely a humble momento, the first of those I hope to give to you."

"Now let us go above and meet my children," Alcina commented smiling, addressing those who would be playing her children.

In an elegant drawing room with a flowery painted mural upon the walls, four human girls and two Unicorn boys rose from where they were nibbling sweets from a tray, and greeted the newcomers with grave courtesy.

"You are very brave to have come," began the eldest girl, Isabella.

Gunner's Mate
May 28, 2013
282
Sam Underhill on Oct 31, 2013 wrote:
Magdelena glanced back after turning the corner. She had the sixth sense that someone had been dogging their footsteps through the city, but she spotted no one. She entered a tavern called the Quetzal's Revenge. The atmosphere was pleasant, and the clientele of a midling sort. Pausing a moment to see if anyone followed her in, she made her way to the barkeep. "Excuse me, I'm looking for Professor Deluca."

The barkeep, a dour seeming Unicorn who looked more than capable of acting as his own bouncer, looked her over. Apparently he approved of what he saw. "He's not here, but Dottore Luciana is."

Magdelena smiled at the countersign. "No, no, perhaps Maestro Samala is available?" The barkeep nodded once and led her to a back room. Two Unicorns wearing hoods which effectively masked their features, sat at a table within, nursing mugs of Yum. They did not rise at her entrance. Nor did they offer her a seat, or a glass.

"Maestra Vendelino, it seems you have found a suitable candidate. Excellent. Now here is what you will do next..." The one who spoke did so with great authority, a voice used to giving commands and having them obeyed.

Meanwhile, Sam was people watching by the Fountain of Three Fish. Some tumblers had gone by, and a Punch and Judy show was setting up for a later performance across the plaza. Couples passed by hand in hand, wandering merchants flogged their wares, children scampered unhindered to and fro, while parents enjoyed their limited freedom. A pair of street musicians had briefly paused to sing a spritely ballad called Stingo, until some patrolling Armada soldiers caused them to move quickly on. In fact, now that he noticed, the Armada did appear to have numerous patrols marching around the City. People had been awfully law abiding as he and Magdelena had walked along.

"Are you here by yourself?" a soft voice materialized near his ear. He quickly turned his head to spy a pretty, teenage blonde girl dressed in stereotypical gypsy garb. Her face only inches away, she smiled winningly at him. Despite all her bangles Sam had not heard her approach. That was disturbing. A quick glance around did not reveal any waiting accomplices, but one never knew.

"No, waiting on a friend."

"Oh, what a pity. I know a place you could buy a girl a mug of Yum while you wait," she not-too-subtly hinted. 'I'll just bet you do,' Sam thought to himself. "You wouldn't be waiting for Professor Deluca, would you?" she asked coyly, batting her overly made up eyes at him. She pouted prettily enough, but Sam was in no mood for flirting games, dazzling as though she appeared to be.

"Doctor who?"

The obvious ignorance at her query caused the girl to quickly lose interest. "I can see I must quench my thirst elsewhere," she declared and flounced off. Just then, Magdelena put in her reappearance.

"Do you know a Professor Deluca?" he asked.

This time she could not disguise her startlement. "How do you know...?"

"We need to talk."
Magdelena had to admit to herself, with 20/20 hindsight, that revealing her role to Sam was a weight off her shoulders. Of course, she hadn't told him everything, but it was enough to make her feel better.

"So we have someone following us who knows your passwords, can move silently, and knows all about your Resistance plan for tonight." They had settled on a bench in a neighboring plaza, where a tarnished statue of a former Doge reigned. Someone had made a half hearted effort to clean it up recently.

"This gypsy girl of yours probably only knows one password, and is fishing for more information. But we shouldn't take that for granted." They stopped a passing Yum vendor and bought two paper cups of a pathetic yum / pomegranate mixture. Across the way a pair of minstrels were strolling, playing a flute and hurdy-gurdy duet to great acclaim.

"Once we're inside the Palace, you leave me to find some important document or another, while I stand around looking suspicious, or gorgeous, but make myself be seen so you can wander off unnoticed."

"Si, caro mio. I regret using you like this, but..."

"That's alright. What shall do about the gypsy girl, try and find her, or let her go?"

"Let's see if she reappears. Why don't we meander around some more, maybe she'll be foolish enough to show up again. Besides, I wish to show you a few more things about Padova." So off they went, with Sam again playing the tourist while Magdelena proudly acted as the historian / lecturer / librarian she truly was. And Padova did indeed have some amazing sights to behold.

"So this is what you spurn me for, a man-child?" A tall, midnight black Unicorn stepped in front of them, dressed as a dandy and oozing contempt. He flipped his short cape back over his shoulder to reveal a long knife, although it was peace bonded. His threatening stance drew the attention of several passers-by, who continued hurriedly on their way.

"Leave us be, Michaelangelo," Magdelena sighed. "You are not welcome here."

"I have an invitation to the Ball, as no doubt do you," he sneered. Unsure how to break in on this reunion, Sam took Magdelena's arm and starting leading her away.

"Go ahead and run, boy, I'll find you later!" the black Unicorn called after them. He hurried away as an Armada patrol turned the corner and started marching down the street.

"Nice fella, I can see why you dumped him."

"He dumped me!!" Magdelena cried. "Of all the... he's an arrogant, overweening, conceited, egotistical, contemptuous, insolent, pompous..."

"I get the idea," Sam laughed. He attempted to cool her down with some ice cream. Sam assessed his chances against his rival should a fight ensue. Ha! Sam knew he could take the Unicorn, two others just like him, with a gaggle of Troggies thrown in before breakfast. But Sam didn't want to actually hurt anyone, and that might prove trickier to manage.

Neither noticed the blonde teenager watching them, casually hidden behind a cone of cotton candy.

Petty Officer
Oct 29, 2012
56
Anne Radcliffe on Nov 3, 2013 wrote:
Ooo, good ideas... and at least one of those is in the offing, but hopefully you will like this idea here. I will just note that one of Sam's posts in this thread mentions Pergolesi (names reminiscent of Baroque Italian composers? I confess the allusions are intentional )
~

Alura bit her lip thoughtfully. She had finally arrived in Padova, completely alone, and with very minimal weaponry. She hadn't liked the idea, and her faithful companions had liked it even less, but everyone had reluctantly agreed that her friend Evalina was right about how to get past the notice of the Armada in Valencia. So here she was. The papers that her friend had arranged for her, naming her an attendant of the influential Pergolesi family, had worked perfectly.

Now in an increasingly wealthy part of the city, Alura approached a townhouse with a handsome grey-veined marble stone façade. Part of the reason she was here was that she was sympathetic to her friend's plea for help, but another part was the opportunity to study enemy territory. One day she would have to do more than interfere with the Armada in a provincial part of their land. One day she would need to seek out the Map pieces Kane held, and she feared, face down Kane himself. Alura shivered. It seemed inevitable. She hoped she would be ready when the time came.

Evalina evidently had been watching, for she came eagerly outside the portico of the townhouse and into the street to embrace her friend. "Alura, I am so glad you came!" Evalina was a plump girl with fine olive-toned skin who usually glowed with health and vivacity. Now however, though her expression was warm and welcoming, Alura could see that she looked anxious. "Please come in. Katerina is most eager to meet you."

Whatever worries she might have, Evalina now bent all her energy into light conversation as she led her pirate friend into a drawing room, a room which had the happy art of appearing both comfortable and elegant. A young Unicorn woman, gowned in light blue silk, was seated by the fireplace, embroidering upon a frame, and she rose as the two entered. Evalina curtseyed.

"Lady Katerina, may I introduce my friend Alura. Alura, this is Katerina Pergolesi, granddaughter of Contessa Beatrice Pergolesi, member of the ruling Council of Padova."

Katerina strode to Alura's side with swift, graceful steps. She was a beautiful young Unicorn, coal black with hair to match that shone with blue highlights in the softer light of indoors. Her eyes were dark brown and filled with a friendly warmth. "I am so glad you have come. You must be tired from your journey. Do you wish to rest now? Or would you care for some tea and cakes?"

Alura was tired, but she wanted information, so she accepted the refreshments. Mandatory small talk of course came first, but finally Katerina came to the point, her hands clasped with tight anxiety.

"I believe someone wishes to assassinate my grandmother."
OOC: I love it! I'll be able to work with that.

Alura nearly choked on her tea when she heard the word assassinate. She knew it all too well and made sure to do everything in her power to prevent it. '' Who is this person!? I'll make sure they won't get anywhere near her!'' She shouted. Realizing her harsh tone by the shocked faces from Evalina and Katerina, Alura sat down on the floor trying to compose herself. '' I'm sorry; I just don't like people who try to kill innocents. Do you know who they are Katerina?''

OOC: I know it's short but I was wondering if I should use Katerina's and Evalina's speech. I'm not 100% sure.

Gunner's Mate
Oct 11, 2012
283
Um, pardon, I don't mean to be rude, but I am in a bit of a standstill until I get an answer. My apologies if this is unmannerly, but I would be grateful if someone helps me out.
Thank ye.

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1189
Anne Radcliffe on Nov 3, 2013 wrote:
Anne blushed, slightly abashed, but opened her mouth to explain that her instincts were always right... then shut her mouth again. The truth be known, she had made some spectacularly wrong decisions in the past few months. Part of that had been not listening to her instincts -- and sometimes her conscience-- when she should have been. On the other hand, even listening to her instincts had not warned her sufficiently about some very dangerous situations, and she was lucky to still be alive. Mostly lucky to have loyal and skilled friends at her side, Anne confessed to herself.

So she just grinned at Scarlet, not terribly repentant, though acknowledging the truth of her words. Yet she was sure that the music box was a good thing. But, Anne had no rational explanation -- just that 'instinct' again.

It was not long after that they docked near the rocky coast away from the welcoming city harbor of Padova, and saying farewell to the others, Scarlet, Emma, Lizzy, and Anne crept into the longboat and hid, even in this remote location with the shadows lengthening towards evening. When given the 'all clear' signal, they crawled out onto a rocky beach and with their guides picked their way along the rocks until they came near the opening of a cave. There at the entrance, stood a tall Unicorn woman in a grey wool cloak.

"Welcome brave captains," she greeted them. She had a lovely rich voice, with air of habitual command. "I am Alcina Vinaldi." She looked towards their guides. "I will lead the young ladies from here. They will be safe," she informed them, and made a certain signal with her hand. The others bowed, then bowed again to the young pirates, wishing them luck, and left them with the Duchessa Vinaldi.

"Come with me, and stay near. The caves are dangerous to those who are not of the Vinaldi family," Alcina warned them. Having no wish to find out this particular danger, the girls followed obediently until the caverns became humble storage chambers, domestic and obviously familiar to the household.

Here the duchessa paused, and drew out from her pocket under her petticoats four small pendants suspended on delicate silver chains. She gave one to each of the girls. The pendants looked to be a polished milky drop of the semi-precious moonstone.

"If something goes wrong, and you find yourself here, these pendants have a temporary enchantment which will allow you to find your way through these caverns safely. Once a week has passed, the enchantment will be gone, and it will be merely a humble momento, the first of those I hope to give to you."

"Now let us go above and meet my children," Alcina commented smiling, addressing those who would be playing her children.

In an elegant drawing room with a flowery painted mural upon the walls, four human girls and two Unicorn boys rose from where they were nibbling sweets from a tray, and greeted the newcomers with grave courtesy.

"You are very brave to have come," began the eldest girl, Isabella.
The young pirates gazed upon the girls they were supposed to impersonate. They didn't look anything like the adopted children of the duke and duchess, really. The Vinaldi daughters all had olive-toned skin and dark hair of varying shades. Indeed they looked to be biological sisters as well as familial ones.

Alcina Vinaldi nodded at the unspoken question as Scarlet looked at her. "Yes, my daughters are all the children of a couple who were dear friends of ours. They perished about a decade ago, and we adopted them as our own. They know of their first parents of course, and their story..."

"All the more reason to fight the Armada -- ourselves," interrupted Kara, the 16-year-old. "The Armada killed our parents! We should be fighting them ourselves instead of running away," she concluded spiritedly.

Anne felt a jolt of unexpected kinship. The Armada had killed her parents too, about the same time. Had they known each other? Had they worked in the Resistance together? Not that she could remember her parents anymore; she had paid the price, perhaps a fair one, for the information she had so desperately needed. Still she felt a brief flush of envy for these girls, not for their wealth or even pretty gowns, but for their present loving family and their certain memories of their deceased birth parents.

The point that Kara brought up, however, seemed to have been part of a continuing argument. "Indeed," said the Unicorn boy, whose name they soon learned was Antonio, "it is not right for us to hide in safety when others come to take our places and perhaps face death thereby!"

"You all are brave, but you don't have experience fighting -- no, not even you, Antonio," said the other young male Unicorn. "A few fencing lessons does not make you into a skilled swashbuckler, not yet anyway. Besides, you are only 14. I'm older by two years and far more experienced," the boy concluded rather smugly, and turned to the newcomers. "Forgive our poor manners, ladies," he gave a graceful bow with a flourish of his hat. "I am Tazio, Resistance impersonator for Antonio here."

"And you have served in the Resistance as what, a messenger boy? I don't know that you are ready yourself to face these dangers," Isabella added worriedly. "I too think it wrong to ask courageous strangers to take our places."

"Not to mention we will miss the Ball," Mariella, the 13-year-old added practically, but with a rather dreamy air as she began to evidently trace out the steps of a dance in her head.

The youngest one, Violetta, had been gazing at the newcomers with wide eyes the entire time. Now she finally spoke, in a light, piping voice: "Are you really pirates!"

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1189
Ruthless Alura Bri... on Nov 4, 2013 wrote:
OOC: I love it! I'll be able to work with that.

Alura nearly choked on her tea when she heard the word assassinate. She knew it all too well and made sure to do everything in her power to prevent it. '' Who is this person!? I'll make sure they won't get anywhere near her!'' She shouted. Realizing her harsh tone by the shocked faces from Evalina and Katerina, Alura sat down on the floor trying to compose herself. '' I'm sorry; I just don't like people who try to kill innocents. Do you know who they are Katerina?''

OOC: I know it's short but I was wondering if I should use Katerina's and Evalina's speech. I'm not 100% sure.
(OOC: you did just right, Alura , no need to repeat their speech unless you are fitting something else in)

While initially shocked by Alura's outburst, Evalina and Katerina very soon smiled. Evalina's smile radiated pride and confidence in her friend.

"I told you she would help us," Evalina commented happily to the Unicorn girl.

Katerina's smile was tremulous with relief. "I can't thank you enough," she addressed Alura. "I love my grandmother very much. She is the only one I have left, you see. My grandfather died before I was born. My father and my aunt supported the Resistance. They weren't fighters, but they did what they could. A few years ago, my father was arrested for being allied to the Resistance. He... he was executed for treason. My aunt was never formally arrested, she just 'disappeared.' We all believe she is dead, too, however."

"People are polite. They pretend Grandmamma lost her children through accident, so as not to taint her with the word 'traitor'. My grandmother was questioned for her involvement at the time, but she had no links to the Resistance, so she was set free. But since then, she has often spoken against the growing power of the Armada and will even express the opinion that perhaps the Resistance is a good thing. Grandmamma is a bit of a 'firebrand'," Katerina explained, evidently torn between pride and embarrassment at this facet of her grandmother's personality.

"But Grandmamma is a member of the Council of Padova. Although her strong opinions are sometimes simply regarded as the cranky notions of the aged, people do listen to her. I have often feared for her open speech, but Grandmamma does not listen to me. She is not a member of the Resistance, but I fear some may see her as such."

"Then, in the past few months, there have been these... incidents. First there was this dinner at a Council meeting, where I fear she was poisoned --"

"Merely some kale in the soup that went 'off', I'm sure," said a new voice, aged and a bit creaky, but still having the resonant depth of a trained speaker. Evalina and Katerina rose again and curtseyed as the Contessa Beatrice Pergolesi gracefully entered the room.

The elderly Unicorn was black, like her granddaughter, but greyed with age, her beautifully dressed hair was pure white and needed no powder to achieve that hue. Giving a light curtsey in return after waiting for Alura to be introduced, Beatrice fluidly lowered herself into a chair and sat, her back ramrod-straight.

"I see you are a woman of action," Beatrice shrewdly assessed Alura in polite terms. "I hope you are not here on my account," the elderly Unicorn confided in a friendly fashion. "My Katerina does worry so."