[Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

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Straken
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Straken » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:10 pm

The procession of bad jokes continued along the smaller street as the duo made their way to the safehouse. As it happened, they rode West as the French morning progressed on. The original hustle and bustle they had seen after first entering town had slowed down. Ruarc had also gone back to mostly focusing on the task at hand, looking at the buildings to try and find the one the safehouse. After they had gone far enough to where they could once again see the water front, Ruarc pointed to a thin, two story building that looked like it was well over a hundred years old, and rather run down.

"Ah'm," the Irishman started, a sense of disappointment coming through in his voice. "Not, exactly sure what Ah was expecting."

Once they officially arrived, Ruarc dismounted and walked up to the front door. Drawing a key from his pocket he unlocked the door and swung it open. Sure enough, the inside looked cramped and run down. More disappointed in how different his expectations were from reality than having to stay in the place. Upon stepping inside though, his eyes immediately felt dry, and he reached up to rub them. When he reopened his eyes, the room he was a far cry from what he had initially seen. What he saw was a wonderfully rustic cottage, completely out of place in the heart of a six hundred year old city. The room had rough cut stone cobble walls, exposed timber ceiling, and oak plank flooring with a rich brown finish; off to the side there was even a hearth.

"A glamour?" Ruarc pondered as he began to walk around the living room. As he pass a hand along the wooden frame of the couch in the center of the room he noticed the kitchen on the other side of a stone topped island. White paneled walls covered the walls along with matching cabinets. A gas range punctuated the counter, and on the far wall was an honest to goodness masonry oven. On the counter top something caught his eye. Picking it up, it was a note addressed to him.
Dear Mr. Flynn,

I was quite pleased when Miss DuMonde informed me that you had accepted her offer to utilize some of our organization's assets. As a show of good faith from us to you, and as a reward for the work you have put into Safeholme, I arranged for this safehouse to be styled in a way that might help you feel more at home. I hope it is to your liking.

I sincerely hope this is a sign of an improved working relation between the Occultis Magica and our favorite Druid.

Respectfully,
Z
Nodding to himself, the situation made more sense to Ruarc. Setting the note back on to the counter, he turned and went to check out what appeared to be a closet. As he guessed, the door led to a staircase leading upward. Checking it out, the upstairs consisted of a study with a large hard wood desk along with several respectable bookshelves filled with a plethora of magical texts, and the last room was the bedroom. While it was a lovely room, with a large queen bed with oak frames and a wonderfully comfy looking quilt, a large rug over top of more oak flooring, and a small reading nook with a rocking chair and end table; there was a slight issue in that there were no more floors to the safehouse, and thus only the one bedroom and bed. It was at this point that he realized the note, and that there must have been a misunderstanding when DuMonde passed along the news that he and Jane were taking a trip to France.

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Mr. Blackbird Lore
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:44 am

Jane slid from the saddle and tethered No Name to the post out front. Inside, she gave a dubious glance, then rubbed her eyes. A small smile crept onto her face. "Clever." After shutting the door she perused the first floor. Cozy. Familiar. Just the right thing for a druid-- and an old-school American cowgirl, coincidentally. She tossed down her bags by the couch and sat down. Some rummaging produced a reloader and a kit full of bullets, casings, and powders.

She shouted up to him while scrutinizing a silver bullet, "Expectin any werefolk er such-like?"

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Straken
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Straken » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:31 pm

"Not particularly," Ruarc called back down, then deciding to simply head back to the common room since there was nothing else to see upstairs. Squeaky steps signaled his descent, and once after reaching the bottom walked back to the kitchen to on a counter and check his own equipment. "With luck, we won't need to shoot at anyone, but doesn't hurt to be prepared. As for what to expect, well, its the Church. We could end up facing anything from gargoyles and skeletons to crusaders and inquisitors. But, never heard of them using werebeasts, so shouldn't need much in the way of silver."

On top of the stone counter separating the kitchen from the common area, Ruarc spread up some of his notes, a map of the city, and a floor plan of of the Palace. He also laid out an array of runes with a wide variety of both effects and materials. After rechecking the rune inscribed leather bands around his forearms, he repacked his now condensed rucksack.

"Alright, if you've got everythin' ya need, we can head up to the palace. Start scouting around."

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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:00 pm

Jane tucked away the silver with a frown. "Hope yer wrong bout gargoyles. Ain't got anythin fer em. But it's a holy site n we're rootin round fer ancient holy texts, so trouble's only a prayer's breath away."

The bag was repacked by the time she had finished airing her concerns. She's scooted it under the coffee table with a boot before rising. "Ready, Mr. Flynn, though not t'the degree I'd appreciate."

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Straken
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Straken » Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:42 pm

Ruarc finished up his own preparations by putting on a small holster he had made some time ago, and after putting on his flannel button up over top of it he tucked a small stack of paper runes into the leather pocket. Buttoning the shirt and rolling up the sleeves, he topped everything off with one of his favorite Irish flat caps; doing his best to look like a right proper tourist. Pulling a satchel out of his strangely spacious rucksack, he slung it over his shoulder and tucking a sketchbook and pencil inside before making for the entrance. "Today we'll plan on simply scoutin'," the Druid assured the Gunslinger. "Scope out the layout of the Palace, look for anythin' that stands out, any potential security, an' what the best approaches are for our heist. Also, worth sayin', Ah s'pose, let's try an' keep a low profile startin' out. Don't need ta be drawin' attention ta ourselves to quick."

Then, with Jane in tow, the duo set out for the Palace of the Popes. No Name would carry them most of the way, but at Ruarc's behest they dismounted and set out on foot as they crested the hill. The street continued on a little ways further, but at the end were several elaborate buildings. Drawing closer, they came to a crowded plaza with a large fountain and obelisk in the center. The most notable sight though was their target. Easily spotted from the moment they topped the hill, the Palace of the Popes stood twice as tall as the buildings surrounding it. The building was quite old, but still quite striking in the afternoon sun. Constructed from brick and covered from base to peak in white stucco, it practically was shining.

Nodding towards the entrance, Ruarc ushered Jane along. Getting inside was as easy as could be. Passing through a large arched doorway, they were greeted by a couple of security guards and a desk with a smiling man behind it. Asking them in heavily accented English, he inquired as to which tour they would like, all while curiously inspecting the new arrivals; in particular the rather out of place woman in a duster. The options were either the free walk around, or an exclusive pass that would get them on to the upper floors and a couple of restricted areas. Happily agreeing to the small price of thirty euros for the premium, Ruarc had to submit to a quick inspection by the guards who wanted to take a look inside his satchel. When all they found was the Druid's sketchbook, he gave a prepared explanation that he was a graduate student studying architecture, and Jane was a colleague in the history department. After they had concluded the brief search, one guard eyeballed Jane, but went back to the door saying something along the lines of "Too obvious."

With wristbands in hand, the duo proceeded through the antechamber and into a large vaulted room. Three of its walls were adorned with tapestries and frescoes, and the fourth wall was punctuated with archways leading to an ornate courtyard. "Alright, we're in," Ruarc said to Jane, slight chagrin in his voice as he looked the cowgirl over and wondered why he had been singled out.

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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:57 pm

Jane stepped up to one of the tapestries to study it with false intensity. Hands on her hips brushed back the duster to reveal a distinct lack of holsters and the familiar pair of Colt Lightnings. She smiled to herself, then to Ruarc. "Shoulda taken yer own advice, Mr. Flynn. Lay low. Yer tryin too hard to be some smarmy kid that ye ain't. Ye jus be yerself, 'n they'll know ye ain't trouble." She gestured to herself to indicate a prime example. "Ain't no harm in lettin in a curious southern belle."

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Straken
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Straken » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:27 pm

"If we were here for a day visit, sure, but what if we hafta come in every day for the next couple weeks? Think they would begin to question why a couple of tourists have such an interest in haughty popes. But, iffen we pass as students here to study the place, we'll stand out less in the long run. Also, don't go callin' me smarmy, Ah put a lot of time into this plan."

Standing off to the side and behind Jane a bit as she inspected the tapestry, he mumbled to himself a bit. "Pfft, curious Southern belle."

Quickly clearing his throat, Ruarc moved to stand beside Jane as he took out the sketchbook. Flipping to an unmarked page, he settled on a series of innocuous notes that he had scribbled in a messy freehand that looked little like his actual handwriting, and every word was in a convoluted regional script of Gaelic. They were important details from the notes the two had searched the day before, and the Irishman was taking no chances as his experience dealing with hidden magic taught him to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best.

Tapping a particular section of the notes, he leaned in close to Jane before speaking, looking from the outside as though he was simply trying to have a chat over the dull clamor of the other tourists. "Alright, keep an eye out for anything havin' ta do with Ol' Julius."

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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:43 pm

She just smiled. "I'm not callin ye smarmy, I'm callin yer cover smarmy. I think rather highly of ye, Mr. Flynn. Ye ought to have realized that by now." The smile faded as she set a serious eye to the tapestry and then his notes and then the druid himself. "Pardon, Mr. Flynn, but I don't reckon ye 'spect me to know what he looks like do ye? I mean, would ye say he looks more like Louis Calhern or John Gielgud? I'm partial to the latter."

It was hard for Jane not to jest. She had no idea why Mr. Flynn had chosen her for this druidic quest. He said 'luck,' but it was unclear thus far what exactly he expected that to deliver. More importantly, she hated it. She wasn't just some good luck charm. She was a damn good shot, rider, and survivalist. So far she'd only applied one of those skills, and only in the loosest sense.

Relax, she reminded herself. Ye felt it. There's somethin amiss here. Yer here fer a reason. She pretended to inspect the tapestry again and set her hands on her hips. The emptiness there shot a chord of unease up her gut.

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Straken
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Straken » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:51 pm

Ruarc was about to turn and start walking, but stopped where he stood when Jane said she did not know what Julius Caesar looked like. "Really? Ya never seen one of the busts of him in a textbook or somethin'?" the Irishman asked in genuine curiosity. Then, thinking about how to describe him. "Uh, he looks a lot like Anderson Cooper?"

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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:08 pm

Jane propped up a brow. "What? In case ye haven't noticed, I ain't exactly a high society gal. I didn't go to Shakespeare in the park or while away my youth in museums, Mr. Flynn." She thought about that last part. "Cooper... Rings a bell, but cain't rightly say where I've heard the tune."

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