Joined: 5:57 AM - Jun 19, 2016

8:09 AM - Jun 09, 2017 #11

From the look on Jason's face, it seemed as though Volker had made a mistake in associating himself with the Cotterills. Confound it all, he had been over-confident. He should have prepared better. Jason had not been exaggerating when he was worried about meeting the Grand Matrons. Volker thought he would be pulling the wool over the eyes of a few dull nobles, but these old bags were as sharp as they came, and they were about to put the screws to Volker...

As Jason took a cookie from the platter, Volker poured them both a cup of tea. He smiled and gently stirred his brew as the woman prattled on about the history between the Cotterills and the Amedea house. While this information wasn't exactly helpful with regards to his investigation, it did give him some insight into Rylen's relationship with the General. Volker wondered if Rylen was indeed the boy Ileana seems to be so fond of. Volker smiled again, imagine if Rylen could have heard that for himself. He'd be a pink, blushing mess no doubt.

The women took turns talking, interrupting one another, and so forth. So far none of them had introduced themselves as Volker had. Rather rude, but perhaps they just assumed that the help would already be familiar with them. Rather self-important, but then again such a thing was to be expected of nobles.

One of them mentioned seeing Rylen at the ball. Damn. So some of them had been there too? Hopefully, they did not recognize him. Volker resisted the urge to suck his teeth at the mar on his face comment though. Volker had covered his scars up today with makeup to appear less recognizable, but he still took offense. He had even more scars than Rylen did. He had always thought them to be a badge of honor, a symbol of his hardships and how tough he was. Apparently, these dainty nobles were of a different mid.

But who was this Val character? Jason had called out his name when they had first arrived, but had failed to mention him when he was giving Volker a run down of all the ladies. One of the ladies mentioned something about Val hoping to win the General Amedea's hand, was he another Amedea bachelor like Arthur? If he was hoping to take over as head of the Amedea's house, then he could very well be a suspect. Volker made a mental note to ask Jason about him later.

The ladies continued to talk amongst themselves. One said something about lowly peasants and Volker raised an eyebrow. It seemed that the ladies all had different opinions on the matter of keeping marriages within the nobility. Volker felt as though this was all building up to something, but couldn't quite figure it out yet. Then, one of the crueler looking ladies shifted her gaze back onto Volker, a sinister gleam in her eye.

[Uh oh... she looks like she could be trouble./b] Volker thought to himself. Something was coming, he'd have to think on his feet if he wanted to keep up the ruse. Die with the lie, that was always the first rule of a good con. Never give up if there is even a chance you can snake your way out of the truth again.

wrote:“but alas! The family and their relatives are dirt poor through and through.” She smirked, “and I feel I must inform you, Mr. Johann, the Cotterills work for my dearest sister Elissa here, not Caithe...and,” she paused, “...this is also the first time I have heard of a Goethe being related to them.”
Elissa was her sister... So then this must be Madame Seraphina addressing him them. Volker had thought the Cotterill's family tapestry to be a confusion mess that no one cared about, but apparently, it had been the subject of a thorough investigation. Bad luck, but then again these things happened. He took the risk, and it didn't pan out. He wasn't burned yet. There was still room to finesse his way out. Volkers heart was a flutter. This really was a thrill. Volker had to keep his wits about him, he'd get careless again if he started having too much fun.

"Oh my apologies Seraphina, you are quite right. I'm afraid I misspoke." Volker smiled, setting his teacup down,"It was the Lady Caithe that hired me, and I was referring to her personal maid Marlene Cotterill. The rest of the family is of course in Gadik."

Volker paused to sip his tea.

"Pardon my blunder your ladyship. Also with regards to the name Goethe, I fully understand your confusion. You see Goethe is actually a name I took on self as a musician. Not to much benefit it would seem, I guess I still have a ways to go as an artist if Madame Seraphina has never heard of me, haha~"

A subtle compliment, couldn't hurt. However it looked as though Madame Seraphina would be a tough customer. He couldn't rely on the same old tricks he'd use to befuddle most people. He had to up his game. Volker looked to Jason. Relying on Jason would be a risk, but Volker would have to take that chance.

"Ah but, don't take my word for it. Just ask My lord Jason." Volker smiled as he gestured to Jason with his free hand, "He knows all about my family~"

Volker prayed that Jason had some insider knowledge that might drudge up an appropriate family name to use. If not?... well Volker always had plan B.

Either way. Things were getting off track. Volker was here to investigate rumors of assassination. Not to cluck with a bunch of hens. Volker hoped Jason realized this too. If the matrons didn't have any information, then they were wasting their time here.
[+] Spoiler
Plan B is to spill hot tea on Jason's pants and use it as an excuse to leave.
Last edited by Volker Faust on 8:52 AM - Jun 09, 2017, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 5:36 AM - Apr 11, 2016

2:09 AM - Jun 13, 2017 #12

“H--! Oh. Y-yes, that’s right.” Jason smiled tremulously towards Seraphina, taking a sip of his tea. He really didn’t want to make known to anyone within this room that his mother had been harboring a Cotterill, one who had run away from home at that, but it seems that it was out of the bag now. “Johann here is...um, Marlene’s husband.”

“What?” Seraphina leaned back, a frown marring her face and making her wrinkles more pronounced despite the heavy layers of makeup caked on her face. “YOU were hiding her? And this man is the father of her child? Elissa! Did you know about this?”

The younger sister merely smiled secretively, “I see...so Marlene has been staying with you.” She looked over to Jason and then to Volker and then back to Jason, “her family has been quite worried, worried enough to come to me. So that was what my Delphina meant when she told me that you are shrouded in darkness. You were the man Marlene had been keeping a secret.” Elissa shot Jason a secretive smile again, stroking her doll’s hair. Jason resisted the urge to loosen his tie in nervousness. Madame Elissa always had this air about her that made him feel she knew all about his deepest darkest secrets. He wondered if others felt the same way.

“I don’t care about your weird divining-with-your-doll-hullabaloo-thing!” Seraphina snapped, “you knew about this, didn’t you? And you!” She turned to Jason again, “what were you hoping to accomplish by harboring her? Hmm? Were you and your mother hoping to gain approval from Ileana by keeping her lover’s only sister?”

Jason spluttered, “no! That doesn’t make sense!” just as Valerio grumbled, “he isn’t her lover.”

Rosalia giggled and Florianne rubbed her temple.

“Hmm, so that’s why we could never find out what happened to this woman.” Noelle spoke. “Someone else had been covering her tracks for her. Why go that far?”

“Because. Caithe wants Jason to win Ileana’s hand that bad.” Seraphina said coldly, shooting Jason a glare.

“You keep saying that, Madame Seraphina, but aren’t you interested in marrying one of your grandsons to Ileana as well?” Florianne said, raising an eyebrow.

“Indeed. Among us here, you seem to be the most interested in Ileana’s love life.” Valerio added. “Even going as far as to have this Rylen boy’s entire family tree investigated. You seem to want your branch to posses the seat of power that bad...”

Seraphina narrowed her eyes. “What are you implying boy? And don’t pretend none of you haven’t looked into this Cotterill boy as well.”

“Shouldn’t it be fine now? That boy seems to be doing well in the Training Order. He’d become a rich and powerful man in no time. That is, if he didn’t die. But that would solve your problems then wouldn’t it?” Florianne said, trying to soothe the sudden tension her brother had knowingly kindled. She glared at Valerio who glared back at her.

“So...um, where is Madame Sophia? Why didn’t she join you?” Jason asked, trying to change the topic’s direction. He wasn’t sure how a soldier from Training Order would feel upon hearing nobles talking about their deaths like it was nothing but a weather forecast. “And does anyone know if my grandfather brought a retinue of trusted guards with him?”

“He did. My husband went with him as well so don’t worry Jason.” Florianne answered with a smile.

“I did invite Sophia, but she had important matters to discuss with her husband.” Seraphina answered, “I wonder what was so important that it had to be discussed right now?”

“They are...wary.” Elissa commented, “that is what my Delphina says.” She turned to look at Jason. “Don’t you have anything else more important to ask? A woman who brought death. So close to death. She isn’t here anymore. My Delphina told me.”

Jason’s blood almost curdled in his veins. His breath hitched and he immediately stood up, ignoring the questions the others around the table threw at him. “Well, it was good seeing all of you! I should go and see Monsieur Antoine and Madame Sophia to let them know I’d brought a new assistant! Goodbye!” He said hurriedly and walked towards the door. “Come Johann!”

“What was that supposed to mean?” He heard Valerio ask, he presumed to Elissa just as he went out the door and walked a few paces. Then he turned and waited for Volker, praying that none of the others had come after him. But only Volker had come out of the door and he sighed in relief.

“So that woman was really an assassin!” He said in panic. “But why does Madame Elissa know? Do you think she was the one who...” He shook his head, fearing that the old woman would hear him. He couldn’t decide whether to believe she had some sort of divining powers or was simply very good with espionage.
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Joined: 5:57 AM - Jun 19, 2016

6:08 AM - Jun 29, 2017 #13

"I don't know how much faith we can put into the ramblings of a mad woman talking to a doll~"Volker shrugged, "I can't say I believe in such a thing a clairvoyance or divination, but it could simply be the way her delusions process information. Madame Elissa may indeed know something. Whether it is just more rumours or something sinister I cannot say."

Volker stroked his new beard thoughtfully. The general's family was indeed filled with more than its fair share of drama. It made Volker's job all the more complicated.

"As it stands, Madame Elissa is a suspect... but I am interested in Madame Seraphina and that other man that was in there. What was his name again?" Volker asked, he was referring to Valerio.

They both seemed to have a motive for wanting the Lord Ciro Arbore killed, and they both seemed fully capable of committing such crime. Maybe not personally, but Volker figured one of them could be behind the hired assassin that Madame Elissa's doll had alluded to. Was it the green haired woman Jason had mentioned?

"A woman who brought death... So close to death... meh~" Volker shrugged again, "That could be the assassin, but then again Madame Elissa could maybe have just been talking about a sick old lady or something. That's the problem with fortune telling, they are often vague and left open to interpretation. It's a great scam, but not super helpful in an investigation."

Volker then reached out and placed a hand on Jason's shoulder.

"You did pretty well in there, but I sense that I've made some trouble for you and your mother..." Volker said apologetically, "I'm sorry if I've upset things. From now on I'll confer with you before saying anything risky. If anyone asks after our whispering, say that I'm just a lowly peasant asking you for permission to speak."

Volker stopped to fix Jason's collar and to brush some fluff from his shoulder.

"I'll try and make things up to you. I promise to do my best to protect your grandfather, but beyond that let's say I owe you one. A big one. Feel free to call it in anytime, but for now, let's get going. Didn't you say something about meeting with Monsieur Antoine and Madame Sophia? Shall we?"

Volker bowed slightly, gesturing with his hands as if to say 'after you, my lord'.
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Joined: 5:36 AM - Apr 11, 2016

3:23 PM - Jun 30, 2017 #14

Jason started walking as he pondered Volker’s words until he calmed himself. “Er...don’t worry about me and mother.” He said dismissively. “My mother can hold herself against whatever our relatives throws at her. Besides...I’m sure stuff about this Rylen and Ileana will turn out to be nothing...” He trailed off and his brows furrowed. Jason had forgotten but this man should be familiar, perhaps even good friends with Rylen Cotterill…

He wanted to ask what Volker knew about Ileana and that man’s relationship but...he wasn’t quite ready to hear...if it turned out the rumors were true...

Instead, Jason cleared his throat. “Erm...Well, do you really think so? About Madame Elisa I mean. I...guess you could be right. She has always been an oddball with weird things to say...at least, that’s the general consensus.... As far as I’ve heard, she doesn’t really do much when it comes to getting wealth or power. She even married a farmer and she let her only son marry another commoner...

As for Madame Seraphina...she’s a really good suspect aside from Monsieur Antoine and his wife. At 68 years old, she’s actually the oldest member of Terra-Desrochers branch but she just got pushed aside as the head of their branch because Monsieur Antoine’s father had been the eldest while her father was the youngest. And she’s a woman.” Never mind the fact that their house had been ruled by women ever since after the second Head because of the weird circumstance that plagued the Main Branch’s genes. For some reason, the first two children born were always female. Always.

Jason shook his head slightly to clear his thought.

“...And what else? Oh right...I already told you but Madame Seraphina is Madame Elisa’s older half-sister and they had a bad sibling rivalry in the past that caused Gadik to be divided and created Kantik. I don’t know why but for some reason, despite being an illegitimate, their father seemed to have preferred Madame Elisa over Madame Seraphina. Being the only legitimate daughter, Madame Seraphina should have had gotten everything their father had but instead their father divided his wealth and the land he was given between her and her bastard half-sister.

Naturally, they couldn’t see eye to eye and Madame Seraphina, who married the brother of Ileana’s grandfather, petitioned to separate from her sister and create a village of her own, which is now known as Kantik.” Jason sighed. “Madame Seraphina also has a couple grandsons of marriageable age left. It’s no secret that she wants one of them to be married to Ileana. Pretty much all bachelor within our House wants to win her hand, even me.” Jason admitted. “It’s just something we nobles tend to do in order to preserve our wealth and to ensure that no undeserving man could destroy our House and everything we’ve worked for, whether intentional or not.” He explained, though he knew he didn't have to. It was none of Volker's business.

Jason paused, of course some of his cousins probably had other reasons why they wanted to win her hand. To immediately get to the highest rank in the continent barring royalty, or they actually had feelings for her. Like him. But Volker didn’t need to know that.

Coughing, Jason continued, “as for that man? He’s Valerio Arbore II and he’s my uncle...despite the fact we’re the same age. He’s Aunt Florianne’s brother who’s a decade younger than her.” He frowned and turned his head to look at Volker, “you don’t think he’s a suspect right? He doesn’t really have a reason to kill grandfather. We’re the same branch!” He felt a bit insulted at the thought.

He and Val had been close since they were children and while Val had never voiced it out loud, Jason knew he also had genuine feelings for Ileana. If Ileana were to choose anyone else aside from him in their House, he’d rather she chose Val instead of that arrogant prick Arthur.

“It’s just impossible. It can’t be him.” Jason said firmly. “Madame Seraphina on the other hand...as well as Monsieur Antoine, maybe even Arthur...they have clear motives. Monsieur Antoine especially. He got pushed aside in favor of my grandfather after all.”

They turned around a corner. Jason hoped to see a servant to inquire where Antoine or Sophia might be but no such luck.

“---mercenary even good?!” A voice hissed from within a room with an ajar door. Jason stopped suddenly. He recognized that voice to be Madame Sophia’s! He was lucky after all. He glanced at Volker with wide eyes before tiptoeing closer to the door. “The ball is next week and---!!!”

“Pipe down!” That was Monsieur Antoine…

Jason’s eyes widened and he immediately backed away when hurried footsteps approached the door. A second later, the door opened wide and Monsieur Antoine appeared, followed by his wife who suddenly looked nervous upon seeing him.

“Jason.” The elder man greeted, “you’re back?” Then his eyes landed on Volker and his eyes darkened, “who are you?”
My job is to kill characters. Be aware. *insert evil laugh here*

If you are lost, please check our Beginner's Guide.
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