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Rogue Trader - Masquerade
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:07 am    Post subject: Rogue Trader - Masquerade Reply with quote

The expanse of Footfall, seen from the portholes of an Aquila-class Lander is daunting. Scores of asteroids stretch into the depths of the void, and innumerable small craft ferry goods and people from one place to another. The Lander passes underneath a three-kilometre long transport vessel, whose dark underbelly is criss-crossed with a seemingly needless sequence of chains hanging electro-lanterns.

The Lander makes its way to an enormous asteroid, large enough to be the basis for what appears to be a great hive of structures – a conglomeration of illogically placed spirals, towers, and tunnels which, in conventional gravity, could not possibly exist. Near to the middle of this great rock is a network of docking bays, some of which are mammoth enough to swallow battleships. Into one of these caverns, the Lander flies.

Within the asteroid and ancient vessel, millennia old, is moored to the bay by dozens of spider like clamps and ramp ways. The vessel – the Armageddon class battlecruiser, Maiestas – is painted in stark white and gold, a veritable glittering cathedral of wealth, and a bristling platform of naval might. The great warship stretches some five kilometres long. Batteries of guns line her port and starboard sides, each carved into the mouth a cherub; dorsal lances the length of the Invictus Aeterna face forward; numerous torpedo launch bays dot the prow. Kilometres from her the bay level on which the Lander sets down, the command section of the battlecruiser is flanked by two monolithic statues of imperial saints, who appear to hold the bridge itself in their hands.

The Maiestas,’ Gabriel Kaustis-Yuril III nods, glancing at the awe inspiring sight. ‘One of the most powerful vessels that one could possibly find in the whole of the Expanse’.

Navigator Julient gazes out the window, momentarily losing her detached and aloof demeanour. ‘A testament to the God-Emperor’.

‘A testament to Cyrus Deltael,’ Gabriel nods. ‘But I imagine he thinks that’s one and the same thing’.

The interior of the Lander carries Garrius Amphael and the four members of his crew invited to the prestigious Masque of the Rogue Trader Cyrus Deltael. Gabriel Kaustis-Yuril III sits in an ostentatious and inlaid dress coat and tunic. He holds a golden mask in one hand, which off-sets the striking red of his garments. Navigator Julient is adorned in a stylised version of the robes she customarily wears as a navigator. Her clothes are of a rich fabric, though they are deliberately understated, and everything she wears screams of her natural elegance and grace. Her mask is a stylised carving of her own face, with the third eye of the navigator exaggerated, and surrounded in tiny gems.

[I shall leave it to Garrius, Andrea and Praetus (assuming he accepted the invite) to describe themselves]

While the party leaves the Lander and makes their way to the Maiestas, Gabriel elaborates upon House Deltael. ‘Cyrus Deltael is one of the richest and most influential men in Segmentum Obscurus. Truly . . . his kind of wealth is rivalled only by the very highest people. Indeed, it is said that even the High Lords of Terra receive word of his holdings and his deeds. There are very few in the Expanse that could equal him in standing, and almost none in wealth.

‘But Deltael has not been in the Imperium in at least two decades. He has advanced the cause of the Emperor – so his servants say – by frequent conquest, war, and trade. Needless to say, he has many enemies’.

The group makes its way towards the central access ramp of the Maiestas, wide enough to roll two tanks abreast of each other. A platoon of soldiers stands at the base of the ramp, resplendent in white uniforms lined in gold trimming. Men and women in hideously wealthy attire make their way up the ramp, covering their faces in garish, beautiful, and beguiling masks.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrea is wearing a white gown, with gold trim, full and ruffled down to her ankles. Every inch of her is covered in white, from the white wig and headdress, to the white mask, to the white opera gloves. Beneath the gown, she's freshly waxed, skin moisturized and pampered by a day at one of the nicer spas on Footfall. Even the unmentionables match, though they're designed for maximum long-term comfort. Her hair has been pinned and molded inside the headdress, and should stay comfortable all night. The white xeno-fur trimmed half-cloak is light and breezy. And the entire ensemble is mildly ionized, to prevent dirt from sticking to it. It's also an interesting experience to touch.

The mask is specially designed to fit onto her implants, so that the edges of the mask do not impede the hearing of her ears or the vision of her eyes. There's a low-grade rebreather/air conditioner in the front of the mask, since she won't be taking it off all evening. Not enough to count as an actual air filtration unit, but it will be comfortable for extended wear.

On her person, she has her microbead [I suggest that Garrius also have one, as well as the rest of our NPC shipmates.], her Ancestral Family Seal (not displayed... this is a masque ball, after all... can't go wearing name tags), and the normal personal effets like ID and soforth.

Gabriel wrote:
‘A testament to Cyrus Deltael,’ Gabriel nods. ‘But I imagine he thinks that’s one and the same thing’.


Where nobody can see it, Andrea quietly makes a 'warding against heresy' gesture, thankful that her mask hides any facial expression of distaste she might make.

Noticing the color scheme of the honor guard, Andrea comments "It seems Lord Dalteal has chosen to model his ball after my costume. I shall have to thank him personally."


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garrius smiled slightly at his seneschals remark. For all her unorthodox ways, she certainly had character.

Garrius could make no such quip about his own outfit. Not wanting to go dressed in standard ball attire, he had gone for a slightly different look, more light hearted than his fellow ball goers.

His mask was made of policed chrome, and shone and gleamed under the lights of the ramp. Covering his cheeks, nose and forehead, leaving his mouth and jaw exposed. But what was interesting about the mask was the shape it took. A long greenskin style nose pointed out and down, with a curve along its length. Atop the eye holes were brows knotted in an angry frown, and sprouting from the outer edge of the mask were two ears pointing up and outwards an inch or two.

Atop all of this sat a black Bicorne style hat with a small plume made of some exotic xenos feather.

The rest of his ensemble followed the slight nod towards the green skins. He wore a long crimson sleeveless jacket. Its trim was a contrasting white and black sawtooth pattern. Underneath this he wore a deep green shirt, which had its puffed sleeves showing along the jacketless arms. The jacket was button to the waste where it was belted with Garrius's best belt. As it fanned out below, it exposed his black breeches that went down into his knee high lack leather boots.

Over his right shoulder was slung his characteristic scaly Xenos pelt cloak. And hanging from belt was his fine mono-sword, in the best scabbard he possessed. The sword was a fine display of craftsmanship and was worthy of any outfit, no matter how fine the occasion.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Garrius and his guests approach the checkpoint at the base of the rampway, Julient quickens her pace, without losing any sense of poise or decorum. In a short moment, she is alongside the Rogue Trader. 'It would be indecorous of me to refuse your arm, should you offer it, Lord-Captain. On the other hand, I should not want to assume you wish your arm burdened with that of one of your guests'.

[If Garrius wishes Julient to hold onto his arm she will. Yet it is unlikely she will take offence if he does not - after all, the navigator gene is disturbing to most, even amongst space-farers]

Once the party reaches the checkpoint, they are greeted by a tall and well-spoken soldier, dressed in an immaculate white uniform and burdened with decorations and medals.

'Welcome,' he nods. 'I am Colonel Vandyre, commander of Cyrus Deltael's first shock brigade. These gentlemen you see here,' he motions to the forty or so soldiers standing in tight ranks, 'are some of my men. If it would not trouble you sirs and ladies, I will go over a few essential rules for the ball".

As Colonel Vandyre talks, one soldier glances through what appears to be a scanning device, rigged to old but well-kept machinery. Vandyre explains - 'You are Garrius Amphael and, as such, you are granted the right to announce yourself at the Ball. This is reserved only for Holders of the Sacred Warrant, though you may want one of your guests to do the honours.

'Cyrus Deltael is to be spoken to directly by a Rogue Trader only. Unless he speaks to someone other than a Warrant Holder, he is in no fashion to be addressed either publicly or privately. You understand that Deltael's importance eclipses that of anyone else gathered here and, although he wishes all to be comfortable, he can only devote so much time to each guest.

'Of course, no firearms or explosives are permitted. Swords may be worn. Security at this function has seen to it that there is nothing to be feared in the way of violence or other discomforts.

'Do you have any questions before procceeding into the Maiestas?'
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garrius was slightly surprised by Julient's words, although the mask did well to hide it. After a moments though, he decided that there could be no great harm in such a thing.

"Indeed, Julient, it would be my honor if you were to accept my arm." With this, Garrius cocked his elbow, offering the navigator a place for her own.

Garrius was silent as he listened to Vandyre. When the Colonel had finished, he spoke up.

"Whilst I realise that such an event will be full of note worthy people, I am curious, other than Cyrus Deltael, is there any other guests of particular note attending so far? I always like to know who I am about to walk into."
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Julient wrote:
'It would be indecorous of me to refuse your arm, should you offer it, Lord-Captain. On the other hand, I should not want to assume you wish your arm burdened with that of one of your guests'.


Andrea turns to Gabriel and holds out her hand. "My lord, is seems that we are pairing up. And as the only other beautiful lady in our group, I feel that it falls upon me to adorn our honored guest. Will you have me?"

Colonel Vandyre wrote:
'Cyrus Deltael is to be spoken to directly by a Rogue Trader only.


To herself, "Then I shall NOT be thanking him personally for matching my color choice. Pity."
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrea Chan-Gauthier wrote:
Andrea turns to Gabriel and holds out her hand. "My lord, is seems that we are pairing up. And as the only other beautiful lady in our group, I feel that it falls upon me to adorn our honored guest. Will you have me?"


'My pleasure, madam'. Gabriel bows and offers his arm.

Garrius Amphael wrote:
"Whilst I realise that such an event will be full of note worthy people, I am curious, other than Cyrus Deltael, is there any other guests of particular note attending so far? I always like to know who I am about to walk into."


'I understand. The guest list is extensive, and everyone invited is noteworthy,' Vandyre quickly scans Garrius's guests, his eyes saying 'I hope'. 'There are a number of exceptionally noteworthy invitees. The Rogue Traders who have arrived thus far include Septarius Galen, Moriah Heale, and Joachim Der Vasil. Also in attendence are Governor Thalos Tor, Admiral Weil Delatant, and Inquisitor Angste Stavram. Numerous merchants, members of the Ecclesiarchy, and the nobility are also present. Only the very best the Expanse and Calixis has to offer.

'If there are no more questions, please feel free to move along. You will find the Great Hall easy to discover - just follow the ramp, and the line of gold candelabras'.

[I'll update this tomorrow, if noone has any more questions for Vandyre. I made a bunch of Common Lore tests for PCs present. The lack of anyone with Common Lore - Rogue Traders is a detriment, though Garrius had an exceptional success on Common Lore - Imperium. Andrea succeeded on Common Lore - Underworld, and she recognised the names of the Governor and Admiral.

The Rogue Traders are mostly a mystery, though you have already herad of Moriah Heale since arriving. From what you little you know, she has an aggressive reputation, and a keen ruthlessness. Septarius Galen is well-known, though all you have really heard is that he ascended to his station at a very young age and is considered extremely cunning and academic. He has been known to aid the Imperial Fleet. Joachim Der Vasil is unknown to you.

Both the Governor and Admiral are famous fugitives from Calixis. Governor Tor was ousted from power after he was discovered to be dealing with Xenos. He fled, with Admiral Delatant to the Expanse. That they are here, invited by a scion of the Imperium is something of a shock. Inquisitor Stavram is unknown, though his very office is enough to inspire fear and respect in anybody. What an Inquisitor is doing in Footfall, beyond the 'official' realm of the Imperium is a mystery
]
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[ Are the Governor and Admiral the governor and admiral of anything currently, or are theirs like most of our ranks: self-aggrandizing labels only?]

Once we are past the guards, Andrea speaks quietly to everyone to share her information on the Governor and Admiral.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrea Chan-Gauthier wrote:
[ Are the Governor and Admiral the governor and admiral of anything currently, or are theirs like most of our ranks: self-aggrandizing labels only?]


[Andrea would figure that they were self-aggrandising. Technically, the Admiral still has a small fleet (with which he and the Governor escaped Calixis in), so he could use the term in a piratical sense. But neither would have the right to being called Governor or Admiral of the Imperium]
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The procession continues up the rampway, and into the depths of the palace-like Maiestas. As the party draws closer to the entrance, they can make out the intricate detail on the vast warship. Statues, ornate columns, and Imperial signals are every where on the exterior, rivalling the most wealthy of Hive cathedrals.

Alistair Peraton, in an immaculate pilot's dress uniform and wearing a silver headpiece, regards the vessel with the same awe that all who walk under it do. 'I served on a Dictator-Class Cruiser, in the bomber wing. I thought that ship was majestic, but this . . . it earns its namesake'.

'Honestly,' Gabriel agrees, 'I am a little in fear at the sheer wealth which must have been spent on remodelling the exterior alone'.

Inside the Maiestas rows of golden candelabras light the way, where the regular illumination has been turned low enough to make the effect quite stark. Stone faces and carvings of beasts peer out from immense alcoves, the dim light casting baleful shadows upon them. Soldiers stand in small groups, at attention, watching everyone as they pass by. The uniforms of the soldiers - modelled after the pattern of the ship itself - are of a superior cut, but the soldiers themselves appear to have been selected based off their handsome features. Each man is a model of masculine perfection.

A few minutes of following the path through the vessel, and the party arrive in a grand elevator, decorated in garish style. Another party of revellers await in the lift - a half-dozen men and women - all dressed in sumptuous attire, and with their faces hidden behind masks. Just as the lift is about to close, a man glides in between the doors. He is cloaked thickly, with his entire body encased in black velvet robes. A plain black mask with shadowed eye-sockets covers his face. Glancing closely at the mask and robes, it is possible to see that they are faintly patterened with astronomic charts.

The lift doors close and the elevator begins to ascend. The man, who is noticeably taller than anyone present, stands silently at the back of the spacious chamber. Noone can recall having noticed him following behind.

[I will update this tomorrow night if noone takes any particular actions, or has anything to say to one another]
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrea leans closer to Gabriel and says quietly, in a playful tone of voice, "I do so love masquerade balls. I enjoy inventing stories for those behind the masks. Take that one, for example: he's so tall, he could be a xenos, and we'd never know it. But my money's on two dwarfs, one on the other's shoulders. I'm sure there's a sordid story there, spies for some abhuman planet, sneaking aboard his Lordship's vessel to influence negotiations to save their planet from the Emperor's cleansing fire. Something like that. There will be daring escapes later, no doubt. But in the end, the Rogue Trader's handsome guards will triumph, and the Emperor's will will be carried out on their planet."

"What do you think of those two?" she asks, indicating a man and woman in matching costumes.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrea Chan-Gauthier wrote:
"What do you think of those two?" she asks, indicating a man and woman in matching costumes.


Gabriel's discomfort cannot be seen under his masque, though the way his words come out a little too measured make it clear that he is somewhat embarrassed. 'I'm not very good at this sort of game, Andrea. But . . . perhaps, well,' Garbiel pauses and thinks. The answer he comes out with is entirely logical, and not at all within the spirit of the game. 'Young nobles, or excessively rich merchants. Older nobles tend to dress in a more restrained style, even at parties . . . the excesses of their youth seeming just loud boasts of wealth and station. Younger nobility, of course, dress to impress upon the galaxy their standing. Wealthy merchants, on the other hand, are usually more obsessed with looking like nobility than those they seek to emulate and join'.

Gabriel stops, clears his throat, and is silent. The tall man, swathed in black robes has remained perfectly still the entire time.

Moments later, the lift doors open and the guests are greeted with a sumptuous room attended by servants dressed in deep-blue, and all wearing masks fashioned to appear like the prow of the Maiestas. One servant, his blue tunic lined with red piping strides towards the group.

'We have the Rogue Trader Garrius Amphael in this group, I am told'. The other would-be-revellers turn back and look at Garrius's party, each searching and attempting to guess who the Rogue Trader could be. The black-robed man strides past and through a great arch leading beyond. Stringed music can be heard playing beyond the arch, and sounds of scores of conversations and laughter accompany the tune.

The head-servant continues. 'I will not ask Lord-Captain Amphael to reveal himself, of course. However, I would like to know who he shall want to announce his presence to the Ball. This may or may not be done by giving away his identity, as he pleases'.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrea finds herself forcing a smile for Gabriel's pitiful attempt, even though her face is hidden behind the mask. She thinks to herself, "Oh dear, this one lacks all sense of adventure or romance. Such a pity, in one so young." But before she can attempt to gently coax more of an attempt from him, the servent poses his question. She waits for her cue from Garrius before speaking.

Then she realizes that for Garrius to simply order, or even to gesture towards anybody in order to give an order, he might be giving away his identity. And she had not thought to ask before they were in public how they would like to approach this topic.

So, to provide a vehicle for her Lord-Captain to give them orders without demonstrating his position, Andrea lead Gabriel over to Garrius and Julient, then held her arm out for Peraton. Hopefully with the five of them huddled together, Garrius could speak quietly to them without giving away his position.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peraton moves closer to the group, closing the circle around the party so that privacy may be maintained. The head-servant waits patiently, his eyes staring out of the torpedo ports on his prow-masque.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garrius slight disappointment at the current predicament was hidden by his mask. HE had expected his Seneschal to just act correctly, without his immediate guidance. He tried to remember that she was young and a civilian so could not be expected to be so autonomous but a small part of his was still bitter.

He reached across to her, placing one gloved hand softly upon her own, before nodding, indicating that she announce his presence. He then pointed to himself before pushing his finger to his lips, indicating his desire to remain anonymous.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrea nods acknowledgement, then turns back to the head servant. "I will speak for my Rogue Trader."

[I assume he shows her to a microphone or something? Else she just shouts really loud.

"My most gracious Lord Deltael, honored Lords and Ladies, may I present the Rogue Trader, Garrius Amphael, Lord of..." [assume Andrea knows the full listing of Garrius' titles and itemizes them here]
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrea Chan-Gauthier wrote:

"My most gracious Lord Deltael, honored Lords and Ladies, may I present the Rogue Trader, Garrius Amphael, Lord of..." [assume Andrea knows the full listing of Garrius' titles and itemizes them here]


[You will be led to a balcony to make the announcement where you simply must project your voice. I'll write the intro tonight. As for assumption of titles, alas I won't be so fair. Garrius is Lord-Captain only. He holds no possessions besides the Dynastic Palace on Malfi, and the Invictus. Bragging about the palace in this company would just be embarrassing, though. It would be like saying 'he also owns a fine pait of trousers' This is a challenge. It's up to you to make the Rogue Trader sound impressive... ]
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The head servant leads Andrea and the rest through a portal and onto a balcony overlooking the main room. As she crests the stairs and looks out over the huge gallery, her step falters; her breath catches in her throat. Never in all her life, even in the largest noble gatherings on Malfi, had she ever seen such wealth.

She regains her composure, thankful that her mask hides her expression, and steps to the railing while Garrius and the others descent the stairs towards the ball.

Andrea calls out loudly to those assembled, "My most gracious Lord Deltael, honored Lords and Ladies, remember this day. For, among you today strides Garrius, Rogue Trader of the Amphael line, holders of the Sacred Warrent of Trade, granted by Saint Drusus himself. Hold yourselves fortunate to stand in his presence, masked though he may be."
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Revere the Emperor; Honour the name of Amphael, holders of the Sacred Warrant of Trade.

Blessed be the Imperium of Man; blessed be the Sacred Writ.
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Montresor
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Ball-room of the Maiestas is scene of stupefying wealth and grandeur. Vaulted arches stretch several stories up to a ceiling from which hang Red and Green banners bearing the Deltael House Crest - a man's boot crushing a serpentine beast which bites at his heel.

The entire hall is made from white marble, inlaid with meticulous gold work and filigree. The vaults of great columns end in stylised carvings of famous Imperial heroes, from the Astartes to the Saints. These vaults serve to enhance and amplify the acoustic marvel of the hall, which in itself is accentuated by the small orchestra of musicians playing a variety of stringed instruments. Each wears a masque which matches the instrument they are playing.

Within the chamber, roughly three-hundred revellers talk, dance, and drink. Costumes of hedonistic triumph, masques of glittering wealth and ostentation, and robes of rarest commodity abound within. Servants wander about with a variety of refreshments and appetisers of exceptional quality.

The wealth of Deltael can only be guessed at, but it clearly surpasses anything witnessed by those gathered; the riches of the Koronus Expanse on display.

A large raised stone platform covers the last third of the hall. In the centre of this platform is a great dais, carved into the Deltael crest. At present, no-one but a dozen servants wait there.

As Andrea makes her announcement, she struggles over the noise to be properly heard, though she never does this in an indecorous fashion. At the mention of Saint Drusus, many masqued eyes turn to assess the party, wondering which amongst them could hold such a great Writ.

[It's up to the players to mingle here. The fact that everyone is covered in disguises does not make this an easy challenge, but let me know if and how you do so. Eventually, of course, people will want to approach you.

The Ball-room has a large central area in which a dance, in waltz fashion, is being conducted. Around this, groups of people mingle with one another, discussing and observing. To the Port side of the room, there are a score of lounges, occuppied at the moment only by small groups relaxing
]
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"Yes," I said, "for the love of God!" - Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado.

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Andrea Chan-Gauthier
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having finished her announcement, Andrea descends the stairs in turn, and joins Gabriel. Looking around the room, her eyes stop on the dance floor for a moment. She dances a step or two to the music she can hear, then suddenly turns back to her guest. Still shifting from foot to foot, so that her billowy skirts flow back and forth, she asks him, "My Lord Kaustis-Yuril, would you care to ask me to dance? I do believe that I would accept such an offer, were you to make it."
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Blessed be the Imperium of Man; blessed be the Sacred Writ.
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