[IC] Ynn by way of Knave

Voros

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I'm going to pass on the greenhouses assuming the dog couldm't have gotten into any of them.
 

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Gambon: The tower is set in a small courtyard which has a sundial and several overgrown planters where flowers have been choked by weeds. There's a stout oak door which is hanging askew from its hinges, leaving a gap Gambon can wriggle through. The interior is only dimly lit by dusty windows, but the ground floor looks completely empty. There are scuff marks on the tiles that make it look like furniture was dragged out, but nothing else apart from the staircase.
Gambon has a slow look at the ground floor before heading for the staircase, looking upward as he ascends.
 

spittingimage

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Axel: Axel makes his way up the side of the chasm without too much difficulty and finds himself looking at the rose garden gate.

Flim: None of the greenhouses have visibly ajar doors or broken glass panes. The odds are against Montmorency being in any of them. Passing on to the next area, Flim finds himself in a small orchard of tree-shaped steel frames which are draped with a variety of coloured silk threads. The colours are vivid and clashing.

There are also five dead people here, trapped in the silk which has a glistening, sticky appearance on close inspection. They've been partially eaten.

Gambon: There's nothing to be seen above in the stairwell. The second floor has a variety of furniture that would have been rich and comfortable at one point, but is now dusty, rotting and starting to fall apart under its own weight.
 

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Gambon pauses a moment on the second floor, wondering what this place was built for, seems kind of sad that such a building has fallen into disuse.

He then looks around to see if there are stairs to another floor.
 

Voros

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Flim decides stumbling around by himself here is a bad idea. I head in the direction I last saw one of my companions.
 

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Before deciding where to go next, Axel took a moment to brush the worst of the earth of his clothes. Now he was shorn of all his possessions bar the knife, he first checked that there was no immediate threat.
Then he weighed the newly acquired satchel in his hands, muttering 'let's see what you've collected...', before removing the contents and examining them more closely.
 

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Gambon: The staircase continues up, and the third floor looks like it was a reading room. There are shelves of books (some of them coated with mold) and a couple of wingback chairs next to a table with a drinks cabinet.

Flim: Flim finds himself back in the shooting range, where the vine-entwined skeletons are still trying (and failing) to pull free of their stakes. There's a grating buzz coming from somewhere nearby that wasn't present the last time he came through here. The source isn't visible.

Axel: Inside the satchel are 8 pineapple-smelling pieces of venus flytrap, carefully wrapped in waxed paper. There's also several bird snares and a handful each of chalk and charcoal pieces.
 

Voros

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I move past carefully keeping an ear out for any sounds assuming the buzz fades.
 

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'Well better than nothing', muttered Axel, stuffing the various bits of string, chalk and charcoal into his pockets. 'I wonder why he was so desperate to get hold of this stuff?' he mused, sniffing the sweet fruit. He looked around quickly to check no-one was watching, then took a bite out of one of the pieces.
 

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Gambon: The staircase continues up, and the third floor looks like it was a reading room. There are shelves of books (some of them coated with mold) and a couple of wingback chairs next to a table with a drinks cabinet.
Gambon has a look at the book titles passingly and the drinks cabinet to get a sense of age for the place, before looking for the next set of stairs.
 

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Flim: A fat bumblebee the size of Flim's head hovers into view, weaving erratically through the air. It has tinfoil wings and a reddish crust in place of fuzz. It spots Flim and makes a beeline (heh!) directly for him.

Axel: The plant flesh tastes like cook's pineapple tart, if a bit fresher and sweeter. A few moments later a big hermit crab using one of the wine bottles from the herb garden distillery as a shell wanders drunkenly past. Seeing that may or may not be related to eating the flytrap.

Gambon: The room seems oddly mixed in the age of its contents. Some of the books are hand-lettered and bound, others are printed. The drinks cabinet has a crystal decanter, but also a stoneware jug stopped with wax. That one sloshes a bit, the others seem to have lost their contents to evaporation. Most of the books have been ill-treated by time, but there's one that seems completely unaffected. The title is in an unknown language, but the lettering seems to catch the minimal light in here and concentrate it.
 

Voros

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Is there anywhere I can duck into nearby to avoid the bumblebee? If not I prep my sword and watch its approach. If it seems like it will attack I strike.
 

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'Well', said Axel, 'almost worth getting cracked on the bonce by that hideous harvester for this' as the tasty juice dribbled down his chin. Spotting the crab he gave it a cheery wave and greeted it with a loud 'hallooooo there!' before trying to get his bearings again.

OOC: any chance of picking up the tracks of the others on this side?
 

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Gambon: The room seems oddly mixed in the age of its contents. Some of the books are hand-lettered and bound, others are printed. The drinks cabinet has a crystal decanter, but also a stoneware jug stopped with wax. That one sloshes a bit, the others seem to have lost their contents to evaporation. Most of the books have been ill-treated by time, but there's one that seems completely unaffected. The title is in an unknown language, but the lettering seems to catch the minimal light in here and concentrate it.
Gambon has a look through the intact book.

"Hope there's pictures..." he mumbles to himself upon seeing the unknown language.
 

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Flim: There are some straw targets nearby that might provide some cover. Ducking behind them would mean getting uncomfortably close to those straining vine-skeletons.

Axel: The crab belches and falls over, then picks itself up and stumbles off. Axel looks for his friends' tracks but the ground has been so shaken by the chasm opening up that any clear marks have been erased.

Gambon: The language is unknown, but it's intuitively clear what sound each symbol represents. Gambon could read it aloud, if so inclined. There are several diagrams that resemble a human shape melting into a puddle and then reforming. (Go ahead, read it out loud. It wants you to. :skeleton: )
 

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Gambon: The language is unknown, but it's intuitively clear what sound each symbol represents. Gambon could read it aloud, if so inclined. There are several diagrams that resemble a human shape melting into a puddle and then reforming.
Gambon looks at the diagrams a bit and then closes the book and puts it in his sack. He looks to see if there is another staircase continuing up.
 

Voros

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I stand my ground and attack if it gets too close.
 

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Unable to tell what had happened to his companions, and rather amused by its appearance, Axel decided he would follow the crab for a while. Maybe it would lead him to something that would go well with his newly acquired fruit.
 

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Gambon: There's another staircase up, and a floor with a thick layer of cobweb over everything. The furniture is grey and indistinct under a thick coating of dry and dusty spider silk.

Flim: The bee's hum ratchets up threateningly and it darts in, but Flim is quicker. He swings and scores a hit, which skewers the bee on the end of his sword. It struggles for a moment, then goes limp. In lieu of blood, oil begins to drip down the blade.

Axel: Weaving back and forth, the crab's path soon crosses a set of tracks. They're small and irregular, like tiny rodent feet. Whatever left them wasn't in a particular hurry, occasionally stopping to investigate this or that object of interest. Probably something like the rats the party encountered in the herb garden.
 

Voros

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I examine the oil to see if I can determine its properties.
 

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Gambon: There's another staircase up, and a floor with a thick layer of cobweb over everything. The furniture is grey and indistinct under a thick coating of dry and dusty spider silk.
Gambon tries dusting off one or two pieces of furniture to get a sense of how valuable they might be.
 

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Flim: The oil is black, greasy and viscous. It has a sort of mineral smell about it, vaguely like coal dust. It stains Flim's fingers grey, and resists being washed off with water.

Gambon: Under the obscuring webs, the furniture is easily the equal of anything in the Glencoe household. The wood is stained with a rich, glossy varnish, and ornately carved. The upholstery is plush, patterned and warmly fuzzy like velvet. The sort of furniture that proper nobs pass down through their family for generations.
 

Voros

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I leave it on the blade and move on. An ear out for any kerfuffle that would lead me back to the others.
 

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Spotting the new tracks, Axel's decided to see what might have made them and where they were going. He was beginning to wonder if he'd ever see his fellow gardeners again, let alone that pesky mutt!
 

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Gambon: Under the obscuring webs, the furniture is easily the equal of anything in the Glencoe household. The wood is stained with a rich, glossy varnish, and ornately carved. The upholstery is plush, patterned and warmly fuzzy like velvet. The sort of furniture that proper nobs pass down through their family for generations.
"Alright, this might satisfy those oddballs below, but let's just see..."

He looks for the next set of stairs.
 

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Flim: A few minutes walk brings Flim back to the kennels, which are no longer easily traversed thanks to the crevasse bisecting them. Axel is no longer visible on the other side, but there are obvious signs that someone sat and had a meal on the same side of the chasm Flim stands on. It's not clear who it might have been.

Axel: Wandering in the crab's erratic tracks, Axel is brought up short when it stops and retreats entirely into its bottle, falling prone. There's a gust of wind and a weird beast swoops low overhead. It's a wolf with a bull's head, plus two sets of wings. One looks suitable for a bird, the other for a moth. It's dripping blood from a wounded foreleg as it flies. It settles, apparently without having noticed Axel, and limps into one of the larger kennels, where it curls up grumbling to itself. It's about 10 metres away.

Gambon: The next level is also packed with nobby furniture, but in this case it's coated with a crust of guano. There are several birds in the room. One is adding its contribution to the mess as Gambon's eyes fall on it. Up high on a shelf there's a nest where a mother bird sits on several eggs.
 

Voros

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If I look around from my current position what do I see to the North, West, etc?
 

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Flim: North is the gate that leads to the rose garden. To the south is that chasm, which stretches erratically away east-ish and west-ish. On the other side of it is a broad avenue lined with rows of dog-sized kennels with ornate facing -- probably a display area. The gate from the herb garden is also in that direction. To the east is a path that leads past a row of kennels to what could possibly be a work area for animal handlers. The path borders the chasm and the edge is bumpy and cracked. West is a similar path that leads into an area of larger enclosures, probably for larger animals.
 

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Gambon: The next level is also packed with nobby furniture, but in this case it's coated with a crust of guano. There are several birds in the room. One is adding its contribution to the mess as Gambon's eyes fall on it. Up high on a shelf there's a nest where a mother bird sits on several eggs.
Gambon attempts to remove some of the guano, again to get a feel for how valuable the furniture is. Then he turns to the nest.

"Hmmm, the eggs maybe..."

He tries to approach non-threateningly to get a good look at the eggs.
 

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Flim: There's a cobbled yard here, with work sheds at the edges. One of them appears to be a small forge, with lengths of chain and various-sized iron collars draped over a rack. There's also a cart-sized turtle with a tree growing out of its shell. Its passage between two of the shelves has tangled a string of flags in the tree's branches. It's straining to free itself, but can't seem to make either forward or backward progress. The flags' cord is too strong. It spots Flim and hisses, its head retreating partway into the shell.

Gambon: There's an ordinary robin sitting on the eggs. It scolds Gambon as he approaches and inches back away from his hand but makes no effort to leave the nest. The squawking brings its mate, which flaps around his head without managing to do any harm. There's nothing obviously unusual about the eggs.
 

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'Waste not, want not', said Axel, scooping up the bottle with the crab inside. Then he retraced his steps aways until he came back to the tracks, and started to follow them instead.
 

Voros

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I try to relase the turtle while staying away from its bite.
 

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Axel: Axel has added a bottled (and potentially pickled) crab to his inventory. May it serve him well. On returning along his path, he notices the crab/sailor tracks have been joined by a third set which pause at the edge of the chasm then wander off to the east.

Flim: As Flim approaches, the turtle snaps at him. It's hampered by the tangled rope and not having room to turn itself, making the bite an empty threat.

Voros - are you untangling the rope or cutting it with your sword?
 

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Gambon: There's an ordinary robin sitting on the eggs. It scolds Gambon as he approaches and inches back away from his hand but makes no effort to leave the nest. The squawking brings its mate, which flaps around his head without managing to do any harm. There's nothing obviously unusual about the eggs.
Gambon backs off, not wanting to scare the poor birds. He looks around for the next set of stairs.
 

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Gambon: The next set of stairs leads to another bird colony, this time building up an ammonia-smelling crust on bedroom furniture. There's a wardrobe with its door gaping open, with several rotted robes hanging inside.

Flim: Flim cuts the rope without difficulty. The turtle stops hissing as it realises it's free, but continues to eye Flim suspiciously. It attempts to back out of the yard, but can't manoeuvre backwards between the sheds. It settles for stumping forwards instead, filling the courtyard.
 

Voros

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Is there anything in the trees branches?
 

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Intrigued by the presence of a further set of footprints, Axel slipped his new 'friend' inside his jacket and set off to see who might have made them.
 

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Gambon: The next set of stairs leads to another bird colony, this time building up an ammonia-smelling crust on bedroom furniture. There's a wardrobe with its door gaping open, with several rotted robes hanging inside.
I try to assess the quality of the robes, though rotted I want to see if they were once of the standard of the nobility. Once done with that, I'll place my hand in my sleeve and rub down one item of bedroom furniture with my sleeve to appraise it. A dresser or set of drawers if possible, a chair otherwise. After that I'll head for the next set of stairs.
 
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