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Author Topic: The Barker Street Irregulars case 1 Crowned Panic.  (Read 10580 times)
MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #475 on: July 25, 2015, 03:05:43 pm »

"Keep it down, will you, Master... Purcell? Sorry, but I'm a bit busy for pleasantries at the moment. I'm Whippett, Sir Marley Whipett, Knights Temporal; I have an idea who you are for various reasons I can't g0 into right now, but the White Lady's rising, and it's not a good idea to tick her off, you know?"

Marley watched upon turning back to the tomb, as the lid came off but did not fall; instead it floated to the floor and set down as if set there by a giant hand. The magic of the dead was suddenly as thick as molasses in the air - buit there was something else as well, a bolt that hung on the edge of release that smelled like London collectively. He turned to Celia. "Fine, keep it ready, just in case, but that's not a being you can blast to flinders and kill. She's already dead, for one thing." To the figure rising up from teh sarcophagus, he said, "I bid thee god den, Milady."

"Who has freed me?! Was it thee, O Tardy One?" The Lady was not pleased. "Those who defiled my demesne did trammel me here! I cried out in vain for help! Didst thy brothers and thou not hear?"

"You were immurred in a circle of salt, milady," Marley answered, pointing to the now-partially-erased circle of carefully-poured salt that surrounded the Lady's sarcophagus. Tiny figures and runes could still be discerned amid the wreck of the circle. "We could noyt have heard thee even if we stood in this very crypt. It would appear that the Whites have been busy not only on this timeline but many others as well. We of the Temporal Order have a great deal of work to do, it seems," he finished grimly.
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« Reply #476 on: July 25, 2015, 03:07:05 pm »

Reid stepped in front of Celia and Toby and drew his katana.  The tight spaces would complicate using it, but there was an entire style of fighting designed around close quarters and the full length blade.   And it was a style that Reid had learned well.   He just hoped he didn't have to use it here.


He had been about to speak to the being in the crypt, but Marley had stepped in.  "Fair enough" he thought.  "He seems to know more about some of this stuff."
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #477 on: July 25, 2015, 03:42:32 pm »

"Lady Nimue?"  Celia was shocked that such a powerful person was tucked away under her nose.  "London welcomes you back to this plane and I am very sorry for the poor treatment of your tomb."
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #478 on: July 25, 2015, 04:45:24 pm »

"Verily," Lady Nimue answered, just as grimly. i bid thee good hunting."

"I bid thee welcome, Lady Ballast... It is Celia, is it not?" Nimue seemd lost in thought fop ra moment. "Ah. Yes, I npow i see. You have come through a great crisis, daughter, yet still there is that which needs to be done, you shall find."

She turned back to teh group and Marley. "Now, to matters at hand; I hear they young friend has found his mother, but she is not yet free, and thy fire hath made both somewhat fearful." As if to confirm the White Lady's words, a rather indignant "caw!" sounded from a  dark, feathered shape in the gray pool of light under the grating, and a smaller dark shape said "Looby Marley," in a voice that as yet still sounded like a miniature and sarcastic Inkpot.

"Im getting powerfully tired of the word 'Looby,'" Marley muttered back to his companions. Then, to the Lady, "I offer thee our help in restoring thy demesne, Milady Nimue', in exchange for helping us to find the miscreant hiding among these honored dead. An alliance, if thou dost wish it."

"We already share an alliance, Sir Marley of the Timeguard," Nimue said reprochfully. "had thou forgotten? Beware the curse of time, it can estrange one even from one's fondest memories." a faint trace of regret tinged her voice. "But, of course. I shall help thee." She turned, as if mounted upon a carousel, to her left, and cried, "AROINT! Seize him who would use us for ill!" there was a cry as a figure, obviously one of the dead, but not of the dead of the crypt, sprang up as if alive and tried to run away, only to be grabbed from many different angles as hands and even bodies shot out of their sarcophagi and even up from beneath the maze- enspelled tiles of the floor, and grasped him at all points. "Name thyself," Nimue commanded, her words dripping with power...
« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 04:56:41 pm by MWBailey » Logged
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« Reply #479 on: July 25, 2015, 06:19:39 pm »

"Beware the curse of time, it can estrange one even from one's fondest memories." Dear lady, I know of that impairment too well, James Thought to himself, "But then, so does the touch of death cause such loss."
As the intruder was brought to the light, James smiled his wolfish grin but stayed put so as not to affront the Lady in white.
"What Happened to our pet man in white?"
« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 08:25:24 pm by CPT_J_Percell » Logged

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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #480 on: July 25, 2015, 08:15:15 pm »

Celia thought for a moment. "He is still hogtied in the market as far as I know.  As soon as we came under attack I dropped him like a stone."

"Fagin" came the dead voice as if the air was forced through unwilling lips.  

"Fagin? Dickens' Fagin?  But he is fiction." Celia said confused.  "Wait you were the lord of thieves. You are supposed to be nameless.  Oh no those stupid medical students that were playing at necromancy actually did it, they bound a soul."  Celia was going to have to crack down on dabbling or at least see if she could get the schools to do so. Realization hit her like a bolt. "You stole the raven. No man alive could have and not be done in by the wards but what harm can curses do to the dead? Those bastards." Celia stepped forward to get a better look at the runes around the tomb.  She was starting to get a clearer idea of who exactly was pulling the strings when her breath was taken as a steel dart slammed in to her from behind.  Celia crumpled to the ground gasping as blood bloomed from her back.

"I am not so far my lady."  The white hound said with a vile grin.  The dead reached for him but they were turned away by some magic that gave him a sickly glow.

"You hurt my Mama!" Toby screamed and hurled a bolt of blue fire that Celia had no clue he knew how to cast.

The bolt was absorbed like a raindrop in a pond "And I will hurt you too in good time kingling unless your mother obeys and opens the gate for me."  He sent the bolt back and it would have hit the boy in the chest if not for Celia pulling him to the ground and protecting him with her body.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 02:48:56 am by Stella Gaslight » Logged
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« Reply #481 on: July 26, 2015, 09:04:43 am »

"Sorry Lady Nimue, but it looks like I may have to disturb your home." James said as he turned around to confront the familiar man in white, "Is this time for round two?"
"I know what you are Void Wolf, my charm protects me from you and that shadow sword of your's!"
"I don't understand what you mean?"
"I know what you did outside the clock tower to our king Arthur, am am prepared for you this time!"
James felt confuse, what ever happened in the market had to involver another version of him as the Daemon sword was locked away from the worlds. Drawing on every part of himself, he summoned light and freedom, his Katana and attacked. What ever protected him from the shadows didn't stop his sword and cut deep into his chest. Drawing the Katana back he swiped with a claw that was partially blocked by the charm but still managed to damage is white suit that was now slowly turning red around the cut to his chest.
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walking stick
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« Reply #482 on: July 26, 2015, 10:44:17 am »

Beety ripped away Celia's bodice and began tending the wound carefully withdrawing the dart before making sure to include magical protection in the binding. It wasn't clear how much of Celia's strength would be tied to her healing.

As Beety produced a stylish blouse to replace the ruined bodice Nimue looked down and spoke in an almost motherly fashion "Biridonia, child, so nice to see you well, you have never forgotten what you owe."
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« Reply #483 on: July 26, 2015, 12:37:28 pm »

Reid had started towards the man in white when the large were had dove past with his blade.   Still, nothing could stop the Ranger's rage.  

3 living men know the sacred sword dance.  It is a specialized style of bagua.  Maybe 10 people have even heard of it.   By his long association with the sword, Reid had developed his own,version for tight spaces.   He whirled and danced between the living and the dead, and as he did the blade became a part of him.  At times the naked sword lay against the Ranger's body, other times it seemed to spin of its own volition.   Suddenly it was sticking into the man in white.   The evil man smiled as his enchantment held.   Reid matched his,smile and waited.   The dagger had been unseen.  But from where it stuck out of the man's stomach the glow of enchantments faded. The blade was draining his magic.  Reid twisted the katana and the magic language of the dead it had absorbed at the door moments earlier quietly issued out of the tip.   The same commands Celia had used to order the dead to "open this portal" were issued from within the man's chest.  What followed was gruesome,and bizarre.   Dead hands were clawing at the man in white.  His eyes grew large and he cried out a name Reid had never heard before, and said "you said they couldn't touch me!!!!"   suddenly there was a foul green cloud and the man disappeared leaving behind only a pool of dark blood.  

Reid turned to see Celia on the ground and dropped both blades in panic.  He dove to her side, and held her hand as he wept.   "Please Beety...  What can be done?"    Reid realized that Toby was by his side, and the man wrapped one arm around the boy.  They both held Celia's hand together.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 01:12:03 pm by Ranger Reid » Logged
MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #484 on: July 26, 2015, 03:12:15 pm »

"Such is the danger of barrier magic," Marley said gravely, but with a wan smile for some reason. "As with any fortification, if the attacker gets inside, it becomes compromised, and is easily defeated."

There were some things that he, as a Temporal Knight and a guardian of the timelines, could do adn those he must not, in situations involving causality. In cases like the one that had just transpired with the White's reappearance, it was preordained that he take a step back and let others do things that were necessary.

He knelt beside Celia, and tried to be as gentle as possible while still being truthful. "I'm sorry, Ranger, but there are nodes at which certain things have to happen, and at which other things have a high potential to affect the future - and in some cases, the past as well. This is such a thing, and such a time. I cannot tell you whether Lady Celia will live or die, here.; that is not for me or anyone else to know. I can tell you that whatever the outcome wuill be, it will have a lasting and important effect on things to come, and things that have been.  That's what happens when one tampers with Time, though in her case it was someone else who did the tampering." He started as Bill alighted on his shoulder once more, and his Mother fluttered around above theri heads.

Lady Nimue intoned, "I thank you for your service, Sir Guardsman, and for that of the rest of you all.She knelt down in midair, then, and touched a finger to her lips, then touched that finger to Celia's forehead, and then to the bound wound. Bless thee, child, May it be."

She turned to Marley and Reid, and added, "It might be best, good gentles, to remove her and the ravens from this hallow of death. Perhaps life will better be regained in the world of the living."
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 03:38:29 pm by MWBailey » Logged
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« Reply #485 on: July 26, 2015, 03:18:45 pm »

As Reid looked at the bloody wound, his eyes lit up.   "I don't know magic, but..."  The ranger dug into his belt.  Where others carried hidden money, Reid had a vellum wrapped packet of herbs.  "This is dried Swamp Doc and Cayenne.  It is a styptic and will slow the bleeding or stop."   He carefully pulled one wad of dried leaves out and crushed them into the wound.

He carefully lifted Celia as if she were made of glass.   Reid looked at the group and waited to see if they had any other business.  

Reid was pleased and surprised when Toby came beside him holding the ranger's blades.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 04:13:00 pm by Ranger Reid » Logged
walking stick
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« Reply #486 on: July 26, 2015, 03:44:54 pm »

Beety packed up her tools and stood up, dressed now as an elegant gentleman with a gold handled cane. "Everybody I think we need to return to Barker Street before we do anything else."  At the sound of the Ravens she smiled "Yes of course you as well."  She carefully used a piece of oiled silk to wrap Reid's blades, then she bowed to Nimue, "Would you care to visit us for tea?"
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #487 on: July 26, 2015, 04:10:05 pm »

Celia was in the garden curled up beside Grandmother Rose.  "I have been doing my job badly.  I didn't even notice my soul was split."  She sighed at her failure.

Rose smiled and patted her head.  "Someone was working very hard to make sure you didn't. You need to take care of yourself little butterfly. I know the city is important but you can't serve it if you get run down and stubbornness will only carry you so far."

"I know but I want so much to take good care of it,  So many people depend on me." Celia knew her time here was nearing it's end. The pain was starting to creep back in.

"My dear butterfly let your people help.  London is too heavy a load to take alone. Besides who else will look after my little great grandson"  She held her granddaughter close.

A woman in blue appeared and smiled down on them. "Ladies It is time to leave my realm. The land of the dead is not hospitable to healing."

"Thank you Lady Nimue for granting me this time with my stubborn butterfly." Rose kissed Celia's cheek and smiled.

"Wait I have things to ask you."  Celia said worried.

Nimue smiled. "I have been invited to tea, now it is time for you to wake up."

Celia woke slowly to sun on her face and quiet voices. "Is Toby all right?" She croaked out.  It was amazing how much such a small wound could hurt.
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MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #488 on: July 26, 2015, 04:20:43 pm »

"Toby's fine and right as rain," Marley answered. "Let's get her out of here, my friends."

"I would be honored to share your repast!" Nimue answered Beety, with somewhat more enthusiasm than graveness "One grows tired of dusty marble at times. I thank thee for thy kind invitation, Daughter." She smiled, a sight that very nearly restored life to her cold complection. "-but sir Knight, who shall guard the crypts?"

"I'll have the captain of the Linnaeus (er, our airship) send word back via aetherphone for an interim guard detail," Marley answered, nearly checking himself. He supposed current comnpany could be trusted, but the Aetherwave Relay apparattus were supposed to be a state secret, at least for the nonce. "Er, it's something we've been developing," he said in explanation to the others.

"Looby," quoth Bill yet again, as if knowing the real story for himself. If only Lady Nimue would stop smiling like that. I guess the dead really do know everything, he thought, as they left the crypt.

Teh Linnaeus descended to gangway altitude (a mere ten feet above the cobbles), and put out the gangway, the first officer and two crewmen hurrying down and asking Reid to lay Celia on the stretcher they bore.

Marley addressed the two ravens, perched in the iron gate of the churchyard. "Bill, your Mother needs to go home to the Tower. You can stay with her if you want, they'll probably keep you in style there. 'Course, they'll have to clip one wing, like your mum's, to keep you there, but it's not a bad life on the whole." He suppressed a shudder. That had been a very weird experience, and an even weirder case. It took Mollesley a whole half year to figure out how to change him back, and he still had the oddest ocasional craving for raw steak; not to mention the hairs on his left arm never did grow back right.

Bill and his mother simply cawed twice in response, and flew off, taking wider and wider circles, but tending generally in the direction of the Tower of London. Part of Marley wanted to take wing and fly along. He shook himself, and turned to Purcell. "Caw-! Er, Not to worry, I'm sure they'll be back soon enough..."
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 04:22:26 pm by MWBailey » Logged
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« Reply #489 on: July 26, 2015, 05:25:01 pm »

James looked at the device in his pocket, the shiny clean brass looked just like a pocket watch to the unobservant. He popped open the cover and smiled. "0.000002 degree deviation," he muttered to him self, He put a hand on Toby's shoulder and showed him the display on the device. "Do not worry dear boy, it's not Celia's time yet, she still has a good long life left to live."
"How can you know that?" Reid asked.
"Marley, do you know what this is?" he asked holding out the device, Marley opened the cover has his eyes opened wide, "Temporal Deviation counter, but how do you have one?"
"I have come from the future, and acquired this from an antique dealer in London."
Marley smiled, closed the cover, and handed it back with a smile. He put his hand on Reid's shoulder, "We will get her home and after some rest she will be fine." he said as the carefully carried Celia out of the crypt.
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #490 on: July 26, 2015, 05:52:44 pm »

"Mama!" Toby shouted and pushed Reid and James aside to hug Celia like she was made of the most delicate spun sugar.

"Hush darling. I am going to be just fine, promise." Celia smiled brightly and ruffled his hair.  "You were very brave.  I guess it is time for me to realy start teaching you magic."

Toby rested his head on her chest and sobbed. He had never considered Celia could leave him and it had scared him badly to see her unmoving on top of him.  "Next time I will protect you better."  He was mad he had been able to do nothing against the man in white.  Next time he would be stronger and he wouldn't need any one to save her.

"You did just fine."  She looked up at Reid and James "Thank you so much."
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MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #491 on: July 26, 2015, 06:42:34 pm »

Marley was actually a bit relieved. At least it wasn't a Brantley Rhomboid Loop Raveller; those things were more accurate, but the damage they did to the individual threads of the timestreams was legendary - which was why they were banned in every era that knew time travel, and had an organization or three to govern it.

Bill had had a narrow escape; the Yeoman Warder in charge of the ravens at the Tower had very nearly caged him, and was already operating the pinfeather shears. Bill had understood every word of Marley's, in a way that only a raven exposed to cross-streaming magics can - and he dodn't care how much free meat he'd get, he wasn't about to spend his life flyting in silly circles. So, with a goodbye call to his mother, he leaped free of the Warder and knocked the cage into the ditch, making hell-for-leather back in the direction that he and mum had generally come from. So it was, that when Marley had boarded the Linnaeus, and the Captain was rolling up the control cars windows, he was surprised to hear a tiny Inkpot-like voice say, "I'm back, ye great Looby" from up among the handholds in the car's ceiling...
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walking stick
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« Reply #492 on: July 26, 2015, 08:03:11 pm »

Beety stayed as calm as possible, inviting Nimue was a risk but those who were more than mortal appreciated both bravery and courtesy.  Thinking of that she gave a little laugh, eventually Bill would remember that she could hear him wherever she was.  Maybe it would make him more polite...Not likely.
  
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #493 on: July 27, 2015, 12:41:33 am »

The club was full of laughter and light that night as Celia and the triumphant Barker Street Irregulars were welcomed home. In fact there might have been too much celebrating near the end when Nimue found the sherry and added her own bit to it that made it sparkle like stardust.  Celia may have challenged Mallard to an arm wrestling match then got a bit too close to Reid wile singing along to a wildly inappropriate song the raven picked up somewhere.  All in all it was a good thing that Toby woke up and got Beety to help put her to bed.  They both had to admit however it was nice to see her taking an evening off.  Celia dreamt of flying over the city on raven wings and it felt refreshing like the smell after a rain.  New power was flowing and tomorrow was going to be a wonderful day.
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« Reply #494 on: July 27, 2015, 01:27:04 am »

in the wee hours of the night Reid stepped outside into a misting rain.  London had grown on him in some small ways, but the smell had been unrelenting.  So coming out into the rain had been a pleasant surprise.  The mist was just enough to keep the smell down.

The ranger stood in solemn thought.  The longer he stayed the more he thought about staying and the less about the turmoil at home. 

"This break was exactly what I needed" he thought.

From the dark night, a voice called out "Hey guvnuh, may I trouble you for a light?"
 
Reid turned to answer and was shocked to to see the person emerging from the alley was not fully human.  And it was no stranger.  Reid had fought this particular humanoid once in Utah.  He was half Orc or something.  Strong as an ox and as smart as a rock.  Reid tried to casually lay his hand on his weapons, only to discover that he had not recovered them.  He dimly remembered Toby, then Beety carrying them.

Reid looked at him and simply said "Turnball." 

"No need for your stickers there ranger.  I was sent to give you a warning not to fight you."

"So give it and go" Reid said.

The beast's features scrunched up as he tried to remember the exact words: "You have friends here that once were enemies.  And enemies that might once have been friends.   The difference between living and dying might just be in knowing the difference."

Before Reid could reply the fiend turned and ran off.  Reid stood watching him recede into the full darkness. 

The only clue Reid had been able to note on the monster was a dark red mud that had caked his enormous boots.  Reid knew that Mallard would be able to explain what parts of the region had such mud, but without any other threat, he wasn't sure it was worth seeking the man out.

Instead the ranger decided to call it a night.......
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MWBailey
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rtafStElmo
« Reply #495 on: July 27, 2015, 02:17:45 am »

Marley called it a night a bit after Reid left. He finished his bitters and said, "Hey, Bill, you coming home with or staying here?

The Raven actually answered in English. "Coming with. Mum said t' watch you." The little fellow actually sounded more like Inkpot than before, and serious about doing what his mother had said. He stepped off of the bar, spreading his wings as he did so, and swooped up to land on the Knight's shoulder. Marley looked at himself and his small companion in the mirror on the umbrella stand by the door. No more glamour, now; Marley was dressed normally, as always in his rough-woven trousers, vest and flat cap, white shirt open at the collar, the bow tie hanging down undone. He looked down at his boots, and realized they were getting worn. "got to get a new pair, as soon as I can find 'em, he said.

He stepped out into the misty evening, Bill cawing in irritation at the wet night, and added, "Got to get a coat, too." He looked down the street, and saw a used-clothing cart with the lantern still lit, the proprietor smoking his pipe in the scant bit of shelter afforded by what looked like a blanket draped over the ends of the two poles on which the clothing hung on either side of the cart. "Up for a run, friend?" he asked Bill, Bill cawed an affirmative, and took off flying as Marley started running. they both arrived under the rag-man's blanket tent at the same time, A short discussion, a quick haggle, and Marley was soon walking a more sedate pace in the general direction of his lodgings, the proud (or at least less vulnerable to the elements) owner of a used oilcloth watch coat and a floppy wide-brimmed felt hat, under which Bill perched, hunched against the damp.

"How'd that song go again, Bill?"

The weirdly cockney voice of the little raven floated out into the wet evening, and faded into the distance until both he and Marley were lost to ear and eyeshot,

"It's of a gentleman soldier as a sentry he did stand
He saluted a fair maiden by a waving of his hand
And then he boldly kissed her and he passed it off as a joke
He drilled her up in a sentry box wrapped up in a soldier's cloak

And the drums are going a rap a tap tap
And the fifes they loudly play
Fare thee well, Polly me dear..."
« Last Edit: July 27, 2015, 02:33:38 am by MWBailey » Logged
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« Reply #496 on: July 27, 2015, 06:32:58 am »

James stayed the night, but when morning came he gave his apologies and departed. A message had arrived for him in the morning and he had to deal with the contents of it in person. Back in human form, his bag over his shoulder, his cast a look back at the club before summoning a vial gate and steeping into the fog.
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« Reply #497 on: July 27, 2015, 12:15:46 pm »

Beety listened to a few Ravens, lots of portents, no clear details. Ah well, sufficient unto the day were the troubles thereof.  A good nights sleep and a decent breakfast were always welcome. She settled into sleep quite pleased with herself about getting Reid away from his major weapons long enough to listen for once.  She didn't know what he'd been about to be told, only that he'd need to hear it. 
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« Reply #498 on: July 27, 2015, 05:19:16 pm »

light started to bleed through the shuttered windows of the pub, and Mallard was fast asleep at the bar. He was lying on the bar, with one arm draped over the side, drool coming for his mouth. "Hmmf... No... no more pastry..." said Mallard, and his beer mug fell out of his hand onto the floor with a clunk "HUNG? Giant pastries... what?" said Mallard, springing up, proceeding to roll over and fall off of the bar. "where did everybody go?"
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« Reply #499 on: July 28, 2015, 06:25:05 pm »

Abraham approached Mallard, sitting at the bar, "Mallard, my friend, it seems that someone put a little something in  your drink. We have both been missing for awhile now. We best go apologize."

And Abraham stood to stand up, he lifted his color, to hide a black vein that was new to his character.
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Welcome aboard Steampunk Away! We are a small custom order shop, creating jewelry, props, costumes, drawings, and models. Email us at steampunkaway@gmail.com to have us create your special order on commission! Have a mechanical day!
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