Logs:The Grapes of Wrath: Quid Pro Quo

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"Caveat emptor." she says, acknowledging a universal truth.


------------* Signet Library -- High Street -- Old Town - #726 *------------

Every jewel needs its setting, and the Royal Society resides in unsurpassed grandeur at Caledonia's basalt heart of temporal and mystical power. Stately white marble columns tracing the length of the long hall support the weight of the Royal Mile on slender acanthus capitals, inlaid by sigils painted with semi-precious gemdust. Casement bookcases preserve collected occult knowledge, receding into the background on a relentless march. Ornate cryptids entwine the balustrade enfolding the upper balcony, the mythical creatures tamed by emblems of the respective paths: coins, vines, crowns, arrows, helixes. Thistle purple carpets cushion the feet over an interlocking parquetry floor cut from polished stones, the fine channels running between them divided into an intricate mandala too great in scope to appreciate from below.

Tables and chairs occupy the grand hall when in session, all facing forward towards a slightly raised podium which takes full advantage of the superb acoustics. Diffused light limns Georgian astragal windows containing radiant depictions of arcane symbolism, though without a source being so far underground. Shadows dance along the immense coffered ceilings, recesses clad in copper and the ribs in a pearly lacquer, drawing the eye upwards to the crowning monument directly overhead. Gilt cornices focus all attention upon a glorious cupola depicting figures representative of each Order and Path, seated and reclining as though part of the assembly below. Winding around the inlaid glass oculus, a crimson and an alabaster dragon perpetually chase one another's tails.

Current Time: 10:26:13 on Fri Dec 03 2010 Moon Phase: Waxing Crescent

Jewels need things holding them fast to their Hollow Crowns and their rings. Agrivain, may as well be one of those. The Mastigos' takes his time in stepping into the Signet. Each step taken, measured, weighed and measured again in the spans of breath that he takes. Sharp eyed and well groomed, it's only his suit that softens what might be thought of as a sense of aloofness. His right hand's fingertips drag along a nearby table and lowering himself to a seat. He takes his time though, while his eyes rake over the surroundings of the Grand Hall while in a moment he crosses his leg - ankle to knee. There's a purpose to all of this, but that purpose doesn't define itself in the ephemeral moments of opening.

Not long after Agrivain, Morgaine makes her way in out of the cold. The chill of Edinburgh in December has put pink to her pale cheeks, and once inside, she takes a few moments to divest herself of coat, gloves, and hat. It gives her an excuse to glance around and see if she can spot the man to whom she'd corresponded within the Order - faceless message, written by hand, in request to meet. She was surprised he'd agreed. Smoothing her dress, she walks with purpose toward the tables.

It almost sounds like the start of a really poor, likely Invisible College devised joke. Because, when three members of the Silver Ladder walk into a place, it is no secret that plans are likely to be made. A while after Morgaine, Invidia strides in, stopping beside the door to blow warm air into her cold fingers. It may have been more wet in London, but at least it was a little warmer! She removes her outer clothes and hangs them neatly when she catches a familiar face from the corner of her eye. "Morgaine?" she calls quietly, curious.

Morgaine's entrance causes a smile to light up in Agrivain's eyes immediately. Considering his profession (s), it's well within the bounds of reason that he knows a bit of what she looks like already. His smile is slow to follow but once it does, curling at the edge of his lips is, at least, sincere. Getting to his feet, he slides his hands into his pockets. A light inclination towards Invidia, but, his attention - attentive as it is - is on Morgaine. Imminently patient.

Morag starts the walk toward Agrivaine. Her expression is intent, but hearing her voice from another locale in the room throws her briefly off her intended direction. "Ah! Invidia!" There's a smile for her old friend, and a tilt of her head in Agrivain's direction, a silent please excuse me a moment, as she turns her attention to her acquaintance. Approaching the short haired woman, she says with a smile, "I'm so glad to see you again. I've got a meeting in a few minutes with the Provost, but it's good that we've bumped into each other - we do need to catch up."

Glancing over for a moment, Invidia catches the eye of the waiting man, giving him a polite little smile before her attention moves back to the other woman. "The Provost? That /is/ exciting. I paid a visit to the Herald the other day. Nice woman, though I am afraid that I do not have the bravery that she does when it comes to fashion; I doubt that neon pants will never look flattering on me. Please, if you have a meeting, do not allow me to interrupt."

Agrivain dismisses Morag's silent apology as wholly and truly unneeded. Instead, though, he heads over towards the pair of them. The smile, though, continuing to play on his features. "Seems Fate is just a hair too generous tonight?" He says in good humor towards them both a light little head nod to Invidia and a glance, askance, to Morgaine. "You must be speaking about Herald Dextra then," winking a little to Invidia and then offering his Arm to Morag, "Apologies, if I might be able to steal her for a few minutes then?"

"We really /do/ need to catch up." Morag stresses to Invidia, but she steps toward Agrivain and after a moment of seeming hesitant, accepts the man's arm, and lets him lead her...well, wherever.

"No apologies are required; please, take your time," Invidia assures both, seemingly not bothered in the least. She's happy as a clam, content to wait. She gives Morag an assuring little grin.

With that, Agrivain leads Morgaine not very far. But, far enough for a mote of privacy to wheel and deal as need be. In fact, it's the Diamond table that he leads the young Morgaine to. Every movement lissome, as though he truly did miss his calling as a dancer. Or maybe he didn't, time would tell.

You take a seat at the Diamond Table.

You paged Morag with 'Type join 4'

Morag takes a seat at the Diamond Table.

Morag joins you.

At the table, Agrivain "I hope you found your way into our fair city easily enough," Agrivain asks Morgain as he settles down at a seat at the table.

At the table, Morag says affably, "I was born and raised here, so it was really more like coming home." Morgaine lets her hands rest comfortably in front of her; body-language that suggests she's putting her cards out. "Thank you for agreeing to meet with me. I realize you're a very busy man."

At the table, Agrivain inclines his head just slightly towards Morag. His gaze on her isn't some frozen thing, but, rather more curious. "Of course. I am busy, true, but not too busy to neglect newcomers or, shall I say, returning members of our Order. I'm not in too much of a hurry," Agrivain explains, "but I am both surprised and pleased you've taken the initiative. So, please..." an open hand bidding Morgaine to take it from there.

At the table, Morag cuts to the chase. "Niniane has tasked me with investigating the poisonous meat." she says. It seems silly now that she comes out and says it. "I have a Guardian acquaintance who is doing what he can, but...I thought perhaps my own research might go more easily if I had certain credentials. I thought perhaps they might be within your power to give."

At the table, Agrivain visibly weighs the words 'Poisonous Meat' in his mind. A flicker of bemusement crosses Agrivain's features before he returns to the matter of hand with an, "I see." Tapping the tips of his fingers against the table, "It is within my power." A beat, "But it isn't something I will _give_." Another beat raising a single finger, "However, this doesn't mean I will not help you. If, however, you help me first."

At the table, Morag's own brows lift. "Caveat emptor." she says, acknowledging a universal truth. "What is it you would have of me?" She hasn't agreed yet, of course.

At the table, Morag regards him levelly, and says, "I am - or I was, Nimue's apprentice. I was raised to be priestess." That also might sound ludicrous. "I've studied Arthurian history and ritual, I was raised to speak the native Gaelic, I'm active in the Pagan Federation of Scotland, I'm allegedly quite good with people, though I can't say as to how true that is, but I do manage social gatherings very well. I also don't think I'm telling you anything you don't already know. Niniane's task is well out of my baliwick, so I'm trying to what angles I can, thinking outside the box."

At the table, Agrivain doesn't seem as though he would laugh. Or if Morgaine's comment was actually ludicrous. He returns her forthright stare with one of his own. "You are also a Thearch from Anglesey," a possible confirmation of the fact he does probably know a bit more than Agrivain is letting on. "So, now that I know what you can do, what kind of work do you - hope and want to do for me?"

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble. The round about entrance to the Signet Library through the city chambers and the law courts at least conceals those who come and go. Janitorial staff and solicitors must be offended mightily by someone daring to enter holy judicial territory in acid-wash neon green leggings studded with insets of unholy pink. A huge puffa coat with owl-beak hood smothers the tiny pixie of a Herald underneath, and she bops open the door with a bony hip because her hands are full with a drink in one hand, a two-fer pack of cupcakes in the other. "Na! Mo ghun ur sioda, mo ghun grinn caligo, gun rachainn as a' ruidhle le'm ghun grinn caligoooooo!"

At the table, Morag tilts her head back as if to regard the man askance. Momentary fantasies of being escorted on his arm to posh parties on his arms while he's in a tux, while momentarily pleasurable, are not well grounded in any form of reality Morgaine accepts. "I'm not a Mastigos." she says quietly, "And I'm quite incapable of reading your mind. What is it you think I can do for you, Agrivain?"

Morag's eyes briefly dart toward the entrance, but then promptly return to Agrivain. She's speaking to him with an air of intrigued reserve. Sort of like how one might regard a Siamese cat. You can't help but want to pet it, even knowing it will inevitably scratch you.

At the table, Agrivain lightly smiles at Morgaine, lifting his hand and cradling his head in his hand. "It'd be uncouth of me, to read you here. And, besides, what you say has a bit more weight than what I can read. That and it's less fun." A beat, "It gives me a bit of insight into how you see yourself and how you see your own abilities. What you admit." There's not a single way, in how he speaks and how Agrivain handles this that his Shadowname is not apropos at the moment.

At the table, Morag's brow lifts as she looks him square in the eye. "No one's hidden the expectations that many have from me. I can try to demand payment and privilege and bank on a Destiny I have yet to earn, or I can /earn/ it. But I'm not afraid of it." And I'm not afraid of you, is the unspoken addition. Oh, foolish witch. She must like baiting tigers. "I won't ask for credentials in exchange for a marker or an unnamed favor. I can be an advocate and a lobbyist. I am conditioned to remember anything I've seen or heard. Are you looking for an employee or an asset?"

Turner steps into the library and is instantly more comfortable. Lucky for him, the only possibly clothing combination /more/ obnoxious than his loud kilt and jacket combo, would be Dextra's pants. He nods, checks this place off mentally, and begins to stroll about, taking in the architecture.

The chirpy little song on Dextra's lips is smothered as she realizes a conversation of some sort of importance is going on. At least she tones it down a few notches, sashaying in all her electric revolution glory towards a linen-draped table. The cupcakes are put down and she flops into a chair like a collapsing Ikea bookcase, fishing out a notepad and starting to flip through the scrawled in pages. Turner's appearance is not lost on her and she points a pen at him. "Hey. You. Not three steps further, you haven't done the formalities yet."

At the table, Agrivain's turn, now, to raise a brow. Though, perhaps for a different reason, "You aren't afraid, are you?" He laughs, a low rich brogue, full bodied and dark. "An asset doesn't think for themselves. An employee denotes someone who does things just for a pay-check rather than anything enlightening. I need you to recover a grimoire, perhaps you are the one who carries the Tithe. I'd like to see for sure. There's truth in the tangential after all. Get this grimoire and I'll give you information you seek."

Suddenly, from the quiet, intense discussion from the Diamond Table, Agrivain laughs. A full bodied, dark brogue that fills the air around him and Morgaine. A quick nod of greeting to Dextra in the interim.

At the table, Morag's brows remain arched. "Get you a grimoire, a host of Supernal knowledge, in exchange for mortal credentials which may or may not help me to get more information on a task I've been issued by our /Councilor/ and is therefore in your best interest to assist? Tell me which of these applies: that you think I'm an idiot, that you're banking on your looks and charm?"

At the table, Agrivain corrects, "Not credentials. Information." Agrivain sighs a bit at that, "I'll get the information you need. Using my own connections and allies, in return for it. This isn't just about Poison Meat, once and future Lady of the Lake. This is about your present and your future. Neither of us, in this society get something for nothing. Show us what you can do. Show us you are not afraid as you say."

At the table, Morag shakes her head. "I didn't come to you for information. I came to you for credentials. And even then, you're trying to bargain for supernal power in exchange for information that Councilor Niniane wants that is considered a more broad threat. It has nothing to do with being afraid and everything to do with not letting you take ridiculous advantage of me and treat me like a puppet."

Turner pauses, hops a short jig to change tracks, and follows his new path right on over to Dextra's table. He offers her a deep bow, reaches into his inner jacket pocket and produces a small, hardback, leather-bound book. He fingers the snap-clasp on it to make sure it's still 'sealed', sets it on the table between them, spins it, and slides across. "Name's Turner. I think you'll find my papers are in order."

At the table, Agrivain says, "Bargaining, would consider one of us was getting the better deal out of it. If it is as important as Councilor Niniane getting involved then I would need to be aware of who to quiet. And to know who knows what. Information, no matter the source, is powerful. Whither it be a grimoire or, even, thoughts and articles lingering in the mind of everyone else. You place too little value on what the Sleepers know and think." Agrivain tsks at that, and, in true honesty -- a mite disappointed in that. A quick roll of his shoulders and he adds, "You aren't the slightest bit interested in this Grimoire I need recovered?"

<OOC> At the table, Agrivain give me a quick Wits + Empathy check?

Morag rolls Wits + Empathy

3 4 9 9 - (2) for success!

"Not until you've been checked out and vetted." Dextra eye-narrows just a little, sweeping the pen around to tap the top of the table. She gives a look at the book, her fingertips poised just so. "Until then, you can plonk your butt right there and give me the whole mouthful of it. Who sent you up here, for starters?"

At the table, Morag's brows cinch together. "If you were actually listening to what I was saying, you'd realize that's that's not true at all. You're the one trying to get me to go seek out further supernal power for yourself - and let's be honest, my interest in the grimoire is irrelevant. You'd rather have me waste time pursuing your advancement in power than work toward helping the Sleeper population." There's a sudden tilt of her head as she eyes him. "What's the point of this, /really/?" The question is offered with evident suspicion that she may already know the answer.

"Of course, m'lady." Turner offers Dextra a winning smile. The kind of smile that should really be accompanied by lens flare and one good ringing /ting/ noise. He sits down, apparently well-practiced in his kilt by now. Surely he grew up with one, anyway. It's just been a while. Either way, he manages to lean back, cross his legs, AND not flash anyone. "Anika sent me. She said everything would be tucked in there, but I'm happy to just talk if you prefer, and, if this is a safe place to do so." He glances around, over each shoulder in turn, clearly a little dubious about the wisdom of having high-level conversations in a place like this.

Mind you, wearing imperviously uncharismatic leggings like that will blunt any man's success at tilting the Herald's opinion. She flashes a look yonder towards Agrivain, no doubt aware the Provost can hear her just fine. Then she flicks her bangs back, so they're only partially vertical. "And where?" Notebook set aside, she pockets the bound book. Just like that, doesn't even read it, barely even bothers to see the contents. Such a philistine!

At the table, Agrivain is about to say something but stops asking, "So, you _are_ interested in the Grimoire? Honestly, calling it a grimoire is somewhat of a misnomer. But, it is protected by a few Spirits which might be of interest to yourself. And, your own advancement." Then, Agrivain puts his head back in his hand, "You may have made the dots but as a Courtesy : you are new to our Consilium. New enough as a Mage, Lady of the Lake. I want to know what type of Wizard you are and what type of Wise you will be. And, perhaps, set you upon the Path of Advancedment within the Ladder here. I want to know if you truly carry the Tithe. But," he sighs, affectedly, "you refuse."

At the table, Morag says quietly, "I've been tasked by Niniane to find out about the poisoning. The fact that I didn't refuse even though I'm not a chemist, a chef, a butcher, a farmer, or have any real relevant ability to the task I imagine speaks to my determination as well as anything. If you're willing to assist me with that, as a fellow Thearch who cares about and is concerned about the Sleeper population, you have my thanks and appreciation. If you'd like to talk about this grimoire, or whatever you wish to call it, and use it as an assessment of my arcane capability, that's another matter, but one I'm willing to broach. Which would you like to address first?"

"I studied with her in London," Turner says. He eyes the cupcakes, and the disappearing book, but doesn't remark on either. "Started about five years ago, so. Two weeks ago she told me to pack. Last week my train pulled into Edinburgh. Sorry it took me so long to get in touch. I was robbed on the train. It's taken me a little while to get my act together. Still stuck with with ridiculous kilt for the moment."

At the table, Agrivain says, "The two are not separate things, Lady of the Lake. You treat them as though I treat them as separate things, I do not. Simply, that I'm asking you to solve a problem, while I solve one for you."

The cupcakes look scrummy. Better than scrummy, they're deliciousness incarnate. The scent is almost concealed by the case, but not quite, that light lemon water goodness. "Robbed on a train? Perish the thought, don't tell me you fell asleep past Euston or something. London trains are the worst for that. Don't envy you one bit. As for the kilt, well... serves you right, they're half English anyways." At the table, Morag looks distinctly frustrated, and doesn't bother hide it. "I have a press contact who's gotten everything he can for me already. Is there any garuntee you won't hand me the same exact information?"

"In the baggage compartment, actually." Turner is distracted by the brightly colored frosting again, and then realizes he should clarify, "The robbery. Not my falling asleep, I mean." He chuckles to himself, apparently amused by the idea of falling asleep in the luggage compartment. "But they got a lot of my books as well. I deal in rare books." He offers a conspiratorial wink, as if it's even necessary. "I'm a little concerned that it wasn't a random bit of bad luck."

At the table, Agrivain replies, "I can guarantee, that there's some things that your Contact more than certainly missed. It isn't really their fault, but these things happen. You do not have to give me an answer right away. These, however, are the terms. Give me an answer tomorrow. The cupcakes Herald Dextra has look delicious."

"How bizarre. I wasn't aware they had rats in the baggage areas," Dextra replies, as much sympathetic as vaguely alarmed. "Good thing our trains barely run at all up here, if that's the case. What's the chance someone messed up and grabbed the wrong bags?"

At the table, Morag says dryly, "Why waste time? You're the one with the power. Have whatever information you have about this grimoire ready for me by tomorrow, and I'll start jumping though the hoops for your entertainment. Hopefully the treat at the end of the course will be worth it. Now. We shan't keep you from cupcakes, hmm?"

Turner nods. "I was surprised too. But no, I'm sure. Some of my bags were only partially rifled." He touches his finger to the side of his nose before then using it to trace the shape of the rune for the Time arcana on the surface of the table, and then lowers his voice. "I took a good look back too, when I got to my hotel. Definitely not an accident." He leans forward and practically whispers, "They left a /sword/ in with my trunk of clothes..." He leans back again and holds his hands out in an exasperatedly confused shrug.

"Maybe they wanted you to feel perfectly at home with such attire. Or did they mistake you for some kind of warrior? You don't strike me as a Legionnaire." Dextra quirks a brow, trying not to look at the kilt too long. "But at least they chose a splendid colour. Bit of an odd choice. Don't let any of the herald sorts see you, if it's not registered, you might be chased out of town."

Standing smoothly and fixing his cuffs, Agrivain tells Morgaine, "Then, I'll have a packet of information ready for you mid morning tomorrow." Then, he hands his hand out towards Morgaine offering to help her out of his seat and looking over to Dextra, "Herald! I do hope there are more of those cupcakes left to share?"

Turner rolls his eyes at the Legionaire comment. "No m'am. I work with the College." Then he shrugs at the comment about his kilt. "It's what I got. They stole half my clothes, and the wherewithal to run my business. It'll have to do for now, sensibilities not withstanding." He grins and watches Agrivain's approach.

Morag puts her hand in Agrivain's as if he was escorting her to a ball and she has glass slippers and a midnight curfew. "Cupcakes would be lovely. Hello again, Turner. Did you find your pants? Or acquire new ones?"

"Birdie. It's a decent kilt, but try one in the blue threads. It might be a bit more interesting to match. Put it with a Heart of Midlothian shirt and you're set!" No one in their right mind should listen to Dextra's fashion advice, but how many mages are? Maybe it's a test for Hubris.

Guiding Morag over from the Diamond table over towards Tuner and Dextra, where, Agrivain releases the woman upon his arm. Quite dapper, if relaxed in a suit without a tie even if the rest of him and his status within the Consilium might promote a more aloof aire. Agrivain inclines his head a bit to Turner. In the meantime, he steals a cupcake from the box. "Apologies for the swiping and running, Herald but I should be on my way. Word is the Sword after all."

Turner just shrugs and smiles at Dextra. Apparently his state of broke-ness just isn't going to sink in. Oh well. He's always made do before. He stands when Morgaine greets him though, and makes a polite curtsey in his same old kilt from the other night. Avrigain gets a nod and a smile. "Afraid not, Morgaine, but thanks for asking. Something will come along soon, I'm sure." Or he'll just mug someone about his size. Either way...

Morag is released from Agrivain's arm and left to flutter free. She seems like she doesn't know what to make of her former escort, but she carries a faint feeling of frustration. "May I have one?" A cupcake, she means.

"Never you worry." Dextra does not call Agrivain "Aggy," but it's probably on the tip of her tongue at all times. She nods politely and then slides out from her chair. "I need to scroll through some of the mail anyways. You know how it piles up lately and all those requests..." Her eyes roll heavenward and hands clasp in an almost prayerful pose.

Well, considering the state of the Cupcakes and there not being very many, Agrivain instead hands his to Morgain. Chuckling, then, he tips an imaginary hat and glides from the Library himself.

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