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Night of the Golden Witch 2.0

Discussion in 'Role-Playing Games' started by TheSequelReturns, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. TheSequelReturns

    TheSequelReturns Phantom Thief

    Look!

    Can you see them?

    The golden lights? The sparkling wings?

    Can you hear them?

    Can you hear how they cry for you?

    Do you feel the weight of their grief?

    Can you count the passings of the moon? The lights in the dark?

    Those wings beat for you, you know?

    They beat like little hearts in the deep. Slowly. Quickly.

    Are they getting closer? Or are they fading away?

    How many sins do those wings carry?

    Can you feel their weight? Do you even notice?

    How long will it take for night to fall? For dawn to break?

    Can you wait that long?

    Can you see them?

    The lights in the dark...


    -----

    ~ Night of the Golden Witch ~



    This letter arrived for each of you on the 30th of March. It was just barely enough time for each of you to organize the required trip to the northern coast lands of the island nation of Britannia. The date is the 4th of April, 1985.

    For anyone in the Leonhart family, life has been what they make of it. The name carries prestige. Power. Respect. It makes them a target for everyone. Some to earn favor. Some to seek blessings or positions of honor. Some to seek a quick path to riches or title. Not many of them with good honest intentions.

    But the name is not a curse, it is a birthright. The name of Leonhart opens doors. It clears a path. To easy success or quick ruin, as each family member handles their life the way they will.

    And it is all because of the efforts of one man, Kieran Leonhart. Sixty years ago, he wrested the other great families out of power and turned the disaster of the Great Earthquake into a crucible that forged his family's name in gold and steel. Now, that man is on his deathbed, and his family is gathering to pay their respects.

    Some are eager to learn the truth behind the rumors of his estate. The tales of the Golden Witch, Beatrice, and Kieran's legendary fortune were enough to make even the richest Leonhart wonder. The mystery behind Cainhurst, the mansion no one had ever seen, drew others to the meeting. And some simply wanted to see Kieran as the man he was, one more time, after a decade of isolation.

    Each for their own reasons, the Leonhart familiy members who took up the invitation gathered at the pier. It wasn't on any map. Not located near any fishing hamlet. It barely had a road that led to it, a simple gravel and dirt path marked with potholes and overgrown with weeds. It was truly hidden in the lush hills of the countryside.

    There, at the pier, waited a simple ferry boat, the steam-driven kind with the turning wheel and the smokestack. The only person anywhere around appeared to be the ferry's driver, a stiff and formal old man with only the faintest Asian accent. He introduces himself as Saizo, and claims to be Kieran's personal butler.

    Though many of the other relatives arrive, Saizo is adamant that only those who received a letter addressed to them were to be allowed on board the ferry. The ones turned away even included the spouses of Kieran's own children.

    Once everyone was on board, the boat pulled away from the dock and started chugging off towards the horizon where a small dark shape marked their destination, Cainhurst Isle.

    As the ferry approached, the island slowly took shape. It was a low sitting island covered in dense trees. Even the mansion itself was hidden from view as they approached. All one could see was the small concrete pier jutting off of the beach, the small path leading into the woods, and the dense wall of trees.

    The trip took a few hours, and by the time the ferry arrived at Chainhurst the sun was starting to set. Without wasting any time, the group was hurried off the pier. No sooner had the ferry parked at Cainhurst than dark clouds began to cover the horizon. Before the last of the new arrivals made it onto the path and into the woods, the sky had started to darken and the wind was picking up. In another hour or so, the storm would be upon them.

    Despite the size and apparent severity of the storm, it had seemingly come out of nowhere.

    The group made it to the end of the path through the woods, and at long last beheld Cainhurst Manor with their own eyes...

    ---

    ~ Forest Path (Pier -> Manor) ~

    - The Assembled Leonhart Family -

    "That storm looks like a real doozy." Jules said to no one in particular. He was a tall but wiry man. The sort of person who looked like they were constantly scrutinizing every last detail, his gaze was restless and his his brow creased with concern.

    "At least we shall all be indoors." Orianna replied. She was not much like her brother. A little on the plump side from living a life of luxury, though the years had been kind to her beauty. What few wrinkles had marked her face were clearly from smiling a little too much.

    The two siblings were Kieran's children, and they carried themselves like it. They walked near the back of the group, to better keep an eye on their own children who walked together up ahead where Saizo, Kieran's butler apparently, led them through the woods. Not that any of them needed a guide, the path was easy and there wasn't much incline as it gently curved through the trees.

    "Its a shame Claude couldn't make it." Jules said as he turned to Orianna, "he had always wanted to see this place. I suppose his daughter will have to tell him all about it when we return. To be honest, I'm surprised you managed to find the time to be here yourself."

    "Oh, don't bother with your pity Jules, I know you're glad Claude isn't here. You wouldn't want him trying to impress father into giving him your inheritance after all." Orianna laughed as she put a hand to the side of her face. It was a classy gesture, common among noble ladies when they laughed. "But let's not talk bad about family. Now, that wife of yours certainly looked offended at getting told she couldn't come. I knew she was in it for the money from the start." Her tone made it hard to tell how much of what she was saying was a joke.

    Jules tried his best to look only moderately offended. "Such nerve, dragging my poor wife into this when your husband looked as if he had been mistaken for a vagrant." Jules pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. "That was your husband right?"

    Orianna huffed. "The nerve. Together for a few hours and already sparring."

    Jules shrugged. "Some things, sister, do not change."

    Up ahead, Saizo led the kids through the forest path. He was droning on about the natural beauty of the island, and about how many kinds of trees and plants you could find and how many were edible or used for medicine. It was probably boring most of the young folks.

    The man himself looked to be of Asian descent. If he wasn't native born then he hid his accent well. But the collection of wrinkles and his clearly graying hair betrayed his age despite the ease with which he seemed to lead the march through the forest.

    "And that bush there grows the most dazzling yellow flowers in the late summer. Such a shame that you won't be able to see them on this trip. They have quite the aroma I tell you."

    He seemed oblivious to the talking of the children, that is until they rounded the last corner and beheld Cainhurst Manor.

    The Manor was a huge classical style building. The main part of the manor was built of the finest wood and stonework, rich dark planks polished to a smooth finish with nary a single gap or flaw and river stones of all sizes set perfectly in pleasing patterns.

    Large ornate windows over looked the path which led right up to the main doors which sat at the top of a small stone stairway. The mahogany doors themselves were quite large and carved in fine craftsmanship. To anyone with the knowledge to notice, the carvings were mostly Celtic braids and symbols. More ornate windows dotted the rest of the flat front of the manor, curtains closed in all of them, but light visible from within as though every light in the house was on.

    At either end of the manor stood a castle like section, providing a rounded corner of heavy stone blocks at each end. The rough but sturdy stones contrasted with the elegant design of the manor to give the whole place a strange appeal as though it was a building out of place in time. A large peaked roof rose high above the intricate metal work at the tops of the walls, a single weather vane spinning wildly at the top.

    It was part castle and part mansion.

    "And here is Cainhurst Manor itself. Commissioned by Kieran in 1953, the manor itself is a timeless style reminiscent of the architecture of the old family estate destroyed by the earthquake back in the 20s." Saizo continued.

    "We should make our way inside before the storm arrives." the butler said, a note of worry in his voice.
     
  2. *Jean Grey*

    *Jean Grey* Night Triumphant

    Alena Leonhart
    Forest Path (Manor - Pier)


    "Damn, Mira…what did I tell you about those high heels?" Alena scolded good-naturedly as she tugged on her black leather jacket, a chilly wind whipping her long, silvery hair across her face. She then turned around, held out a hand for her fancily-dressed younger sister and helped her off the boat. Already, her cousins Callaway and Bianca had hopped off, and she didn't want to miss out on all the fun and excitement in exploring a place that, up until the day she received the letter, only seemed like a Leonhart family myth. "Cisrian not being here, and there being no hospitals aren't legit excuses, man."

    "Ally, may I remind you that there is nothing wrong in looking formal or pretty," her father, Jules, chided from behind her. The violet-eyed girl looked back at her father, immaculately dressed as usual. Like Mira, unlike herself. She still did not understand why her father had to place so much importance on bearing and formality, even in what was going to be the middle of a damned forest. Bringing along fancy things was one thing, but wearing them all the time was something else altogether. She had brought a nice dress of her own after all, thanks to Mira badgering her about needing to take at least one along.

    "And who would you blame if she gets hurt, pops? Surely not her?" Alena smiled ruefully, pushing her fair, windblown hair away from her face. It was no secret that her father outwardly (though only outwardly) favored her younger sister, and she understood why. Mira knew how to put on appearances after all, and made the effort to keep the family's reputation intact, her less-than-respectable tendencies notwithstanding. Alena on the other hand, was a different sort who didn't care for ladylike pretenses. "Besides, be sensible. Wearing heels at Cainhurst, and wearing heels while trekking aren't the same damn thing. I sure as hell don't think you want to see expensive heels getting broken either," she snorted in a most unladylike manner.

    "Language, Ally...but if you're asking me, I wouldn't blame either her or you," the older man sighed fondly, half of him wondering whether it was a wise battle to fight, yet the other part of him acknowledging that Ally wouldn't be his Ally without her roughness. In the end, he kept his mouth shut...there was something he admired about her wildness after all. Alena's expression softened as they reached the edge of the woods.

    "Don't you worry alright, pops? It ain't going to happen, and if it does, you wouldn't have to worry about Uncle Cisrian," she assured, knowing all too well that their feelings of distrust towards the Transylvanian nurse was mutual. Sometimes, Ally wished that her father would stop being so focused on image and bearing in certain instances, and be more open. She knew he had an adventurous spirit there, and she had caught him on more than one occasion being much more fun than he let on. Then again, she was one lucky girl to begin with. He had fought to have her legitimized, he had searched for her for four years, and he never once thought of disowning her. For Ally, all of that was enough for her to know that he loved her more than he showed, and that did not include his secret smiles and his more affectionate moments. She urged Mira to stay close as they walked among the dark trees on the surprisingly smooth path, smooth enough for anyone to walk with little difficulty, that cut through the forest. You're in luck, little sister, she thought. Saizo, the butler, was leading the way, explaining the local flora.

    "Maybe gramps isn't as stodgy and stuffy as we think. I mean, he could've withheld a fucking letter from me. Then again, what are the chances that I'll be chosen anyway?" She suggested. Frankly, she didn't care whether or not she was chosen if the selection process was that random. Doing it by order of succession was one thing - she had a leg up in that respect. However, from what she heard about her grandfather, it was likely a much more complicated matter than that, and would likely be settled differently. The chances were very slim to begin with, with how many of them in the family to begin with, and she was admittedly more into the excitement and adventure that came with a place that was shrouded in mystery for all the nearly twenty-four years of her life. If there was one way she wanted to live her life, she wanted to do it on her own terms. It wasn't responsibility that she had a problem with - she was a grown woman after all. Rather, it was expectations and pressure. If, by some miracle, she was chosen, she wasn't sure if she was willing to give up her love for mechanical work, or put on the dignified mask that was expected from a Leonhart. She wasn't the best actress or the most dignified person after all. But on the other hand, didn't being head of the family theoretically mean that she could have all the say she wanted when it came to living her own life? Two sides of a coin, yet more similar than most thought.

    "Well you know what, fuck it. Cainhurst's a big ol' mansion in the middle of nowhere, might as well enjoy it. Go exploring, look for secret passageways, get in trouble, find some lonely staff...you get it," she continued, squeezing Mira's shoulder at her last phrase, and winking almost conspirationally. She didn't know how much excitement was to be had in the estate, but she wasn't about to let its inevitably noble air cow her in any way. The path made a sharp bend, and at the end of it, stood a stately manor that looked half mansion and half Gothic castle.

    "And here is Cainhurst Manor itself. Commissioned by Kieran 1953, the manor itself is a timeless style reminiscent of the architecture of the old family estate destroyed by the earthquake back in the 20s." Saizo continued, motioning to the enormous building, which put even their family mansion to shame. "We should make our way inside before the storm arrives." At this point, Ally and Mira had reached the clearing and were staring up at the building. Ally looked at her younger sister, a mischievous grin spreading on her face before running up to the manor, just a short distance away.

    "Hey, guys." she greeted in her usual casual manner before laughing roughly, her hair whipping around her in the rising wind. As predicted, Bianca and Cal were walking up just behind her. "Hehehe, I got first dibs on exploring, punks. No Ally, no party." As she spoke, the first drops of rain began to fall.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
  3. Monster Guy

    Monster Guy Fairy Tale Man

    Bianca Leonhart
    Forest Path (Manor, Pier)


    "This is so exciting, isn't it Callaway?" Bianca asked her brother, even though she wasn't expecting an answer from him. In their entire relationship, she was the one that did most of the talking. "A mysterious fortune, a grandfather we've never met, the possibility of magic being at work, it's like something I've read in a novel!"

    Bianca looked at all the blooming flowers, and sighed. I'm sure Alistair would have loved this... Bianca frowned. He had been dead for some time now, and she still got sad thinking about him. She immediately pushed the unpleasant thoughts out of her mind. Now was not the time to be mourning lost loved ones.

    The butler that was called Sazio was talking, but Bianca wasn't paying attention, and she was sure her sibling and cousins weren't paying attention either. So, she kept on chatting to her half brother, whether he was listening or not. "There's also the possibility that one of us might become head of this family. Could you imagine if it were me?" Bianca covered her mouth with her hand, and laughed out loud at the thought. She couldn't care less if she became head of the family or not. While being a Leonhart certainly opened doors for her, she wasn't sure she could handle all the responsibility that would certainly come with the title. Then again, she wasn't sure her grandfather was handling it well either, considering she was only now meeting him because he was on his deathbed. "Although... if I get it, I could certainly have a use for my own private island. I could bring potential suitors here. It would be so romantic!" She sighed wistfully, then leaned in, and whispered into Callaway's ear. "Or maybe you could bring potential suitors here?" She said teasingly. "You could do whatever you wanted, and no one would ever find you." She hoped no one had heard what she told him. She didn't feel right to go telling everybody she knew he had a preference for other men. He should do that himself. "Of course, this experience would be much more enjoyable, were it not for the weather," She went back to speaking at her normal volume. "But Mother Nature can be fickle sometimes. What can you do?"

    The group finally arrived at the mention. Their parents were still behind them. Although Bianca had seen plenty of mansions in her lifetime, including her own home, Cainhurst Manor was still a sight to behold. It was literally part mansion, and part castle. Like something straight out of a Fairy-tale. Sure, Bianca had seen plenty of huge estates, being a member of one of the most prestigious families in Britannia. This was different. Cainhurst Manor was truly legendary. Bianca gasped in awe at the sight of it. She was tugging on her brother's arm, and had to restrain herself from jumping up and down like a child, and looking foolish in front of the entire family. "Do you see this Callaway? It's even more grand than I imagined!"

    "And here is Cainhurst Manor itself. Commissioned by Kieran 1953, the manor itself is a timeless style reminiscent of the architecture of the old family estate destroyed by the earthquake back in the 20s." Saizo continued. "We should make our way inside before the storm arrives."

    Bianca nodded. "Yes, we should. I for one wouldn't want to get caught in the rain." Then she took Callaway by the wrist, and quickly started heading for the entrance. As quickly as one wearing heels could go at least. "Come on Cal! Aren't you just brimming with curiosity to see what this manor looks like on the inside? I bet it's just as elegant as the outside!"

    To the surprise of no one, Ally made it to the entrance of the manor first, and claimed she had first dibs on exploring the manor first. Bianca simply giggled. "It's a large manor, I'm sure there's plenty of things for all of us to discover."
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
  4. Schade

    Schade They're coming for you Barbara.

    =-------------------~♚~-------------------=
    Callaway Labolas Leonhart
    Forest Path (Manor, Pier)

    The trip over to the island where Callaway's grandfather wated was a long one, especially with the constant nagging of his mother, and the curious attempts to make conversation from his sister. Though he loved her very much, he didn't speak much to her on the trip, as he disliked showing off being comfortable around his mother, who also wouldn't shut up about that apparent fortune of her father. Callaway had little to no interest in his grandfather's huge fortune and mysterious attitude, but decided to come along as a gesture of politeness to him as he was sick. "A mysterious fortune, a grandfather we've never met, the possibility of magic being at work, it's like something I've read in a novel!" his sister went on. "Oy, mother. you've certainly done your toll on this one." he replied, not to his sister, but towards his mother whow as walking a few feet in front of them.

    "Be quiet Callaway, stop mocking your sister." she simply replied.

    "I'm not mocking sister, I am mocking you." Callaway replied coldly, which made Orianna stay quiet. He knew it was mean talking to his mother like that, and he didn't enjoy the coldfront between the two, but it was she who had started it, and Callaway simply grew tired of trying to win her over throughout the years.

    "There's also the possibility that one of us might become head of this family. Could you imagine if it were me?" Bianca said, as she covered her mouth with her hand in a surprising manor, and laughed. "Sure, sis. I'm sure you'd be a pretty decent matriarch for our family." Callaway responded, still pretty distant. "Although... if I get it, I could certainly have a use for my own private island. I could bring potential suitors here. It would be so romantic!" she continued. "Because, of course. That is the main reason anyone would pick up such a role in the first place." Callaway replied, and chuckled by the thought of his apparent airhead sister by a pool with tons of hot guys on her own island while the rest of the family more or less died out. he was pulled out of his thoughts as his sister pulled him in closely to whisper. "Or maybe you could bring potential suitors here? "ou could do whatever you wanted, and no one would ever find you." in a suggestive manner. God, he hated that she was the one to figure out his orientation, though it would be better in the long run if it was her instead of his mother. He shrugged by the thought. "Yes, Callaway, when are you going to get a girlfriend?" his mother chimed in, having somehow heard Bianca. Calaway froze in expression as he walked. "When my education is done, mother. and perhaps when I get a permanent residence somewhere, and a well-paid job. So maybe... at 35?" he said. though it was grim, he wished his mother to die before he got romantically involved in something serious.

    "Of course, this experience would be much more enjoyable, were it not for the weather," She started saying to distract from the developing gloomy atmoshpere. "But Mother Nature can be fickle sometimes. What can you do?"
    "On the contrary, dear sister. I quite like this rain." Callaway responded as he took a deep breath. He did enjoy stormy weather, allthough this seemed to be a bit too much even after his taste.

    after some more walking, they arrived at his grandfathers manor. It looked quite grand, even compared to the vast variety of mansions Callaway had already seen in his lifetime. Though the huge and gothic architecture was pretty, he personally enjoyed the more modern housings, and not as huge. He noticed his sister being impatient as she held his arm. "Do you see this Callaway? It's even more grand than I imagined!". Poor girl was clouded by mistruths about reality due to all the fairytales mother had read for her. Callaway was somewhat happy she never bothered doing something like that to him. "I do, sister. It looks quite... extravagant, even by our standards."

    "And here is Cainhurst Manor itself. Commissioned by Kieran 1953, the manor itself is a timeless style reminiscent of the architecture of the old family estate destroyed by the earthquake back in the 20s." Saizo the butler said. "We should make our way inside before the storm arrives."

    "Yes, we should. I for one wouldn't want to get caught in the rain." Bianca said before she took Callaway by the wrist, and yanked him towards the entrance with a surprising force despite her wearing heels. "Come on Cal! Aren't you just brimming with curiosity to see what this manor looks like on the inside? I bet it's just as elegant as the outside!" she bursted with joy.

    "No.. Not really, sister. I would much rather find a quiet spotstay as incognito as possible." he said. as he didn't have any interest in this whole ordeal in the first place, he didn't plan on making any huge fuss over it. He could sense his sisters distaste though, and gave her a sly grin. "After we explore every inch of this giganormous mansion, that is!". The two then ran off, leaving their mother and cousin behind.
     
  5. Minteh

    Minteh It's so shiny!

    Sybil Leonhart
    Forest Path (Manor - Pier)


    Oh, how she wished she'd dressed warmer for this visit...

    The storm had seemingly came out of nowhere, with dark clouds beginning to form and the wind beginning to pick up almost as soon as they had stepped off the boat. Sybil was grateful that she had bought a blazer along with her - even if it wasn't very thick and not particularly good at keeping her warm. She was hopeful that they'd reach the manor soon and could escape before the inevitable rain came lashing down upon them.

    Sybil found herself huddled amongst some of her relatives as they made their way through the woods. Most of those who surrounded her were of a similar age, or younger, in the case of her half-sister, Haze, whom Sybil had insisted walk beside her. Two more relatives walked further behind this group and both were older than them, though the woman appeared quite youthful for Sybil presumed to be her age. She assumed that they were likely the parents of some of the cousins in front of her. Sybil had met them before, but it had been years ago, and she could hardly remember much about them, though she did have some vague recollection of their names. Whilst the other Leonhart's chattered contently amongst themselves, Sybil was more focused on the words of Sazio, who was talking about the natural beauty of the island, and listing many facts about the local fauna that grew here.

    "And that bush there grows the most dazzling yellow flowers in the late summer. Such a shame that you won't be able to see them on this trip. They have quite the aroma I tell you." He said, causing Sybil to glance over at the rather plain looking bush.

    "I wish they had been in bloom," Sybil sighed softly, as they continued walking. She would have loved to see the flowers in bloom. The very mention of it reminded her of the gardens at her family's estate, sprawling with flowers of every shape and variety, that when in bloom, created a blotch of colour that seemed out of place in their usually grey surroundings.

    Eventually, the group finally arrived at the mansion. Sybil had seen plenty of mansion and stately homes in her twenty-two years, including her own home, but there was something about Cainhurst that truly made it a sight to behold. It was part castle and part mansion - it was magnificent.

    "And here is Cainhurst Manor itself. Commissioned by Kieran 1953, the manor itself is a timeless style reminiscent of the architecture of the old family estate destroyed by the earthquake back in the 20s." Sazio continued. "We should make our way inside before the storm arrives."

    Sybil nodded her head in agreement, glad that she would soon be out of the cold. Two of her relatives rushed on ahead, the female of the two rather excitedly yelling about wanting to see the inside. Sybil was rather excited about getting to see the inside herself, though she was not excited that she intended on running inside. Still, she could not fault the girl's enthusiasm.
     
  6. Tealeaffs

    Tealeaffs ヒマワリ

    Hester Leonhart
    Forest Path (Manor - Pier)


    "This is so exciting, isn't it Callaway?"

    The excited question from her cousin had startled Hester. She had so focused on the path in front of her, trying her best to remain quiet whilst her cousin's talked amongst themselves, that she had seemingly zoned out, only to be startled by Bianca's question. In front of them, a man named Saizo was talking about the natural beauty of the island, telling them about all the different trees and plants you could find, and which ones were edible and could be used for medicine.

    "And that bush there grows the most dazzling yellow flowers in the late summer. Such a shame that you won't be able to see them on this trip. They have quite the aroma I tell you."

    "I wish they had been in bloom," a girl behind her sighed, seemingly in response to the statement. Unlike Hester and her cousin's the girl who the voice belonged to and a younger girl kept further behind, though not as far back as her aunt and uncle. She was familiar with the older girl, though could not place her name, but the younger girl she had no clue of. If it weren't for the white-blonde hair that most Leonhart's had, she would not have thought her to be related to them at all. Bianca and Callaway continued to talk to each other, and Hester picked up on Bianca stating that one of them could become the new head of the family, and Callaway, responding with a somewhat distant tone mused that she would make a fine matriarch for the family. Hester scoffed at this, rolling her eyes ever so slightly. She was certain her father would have something to say about that.

    For the rest of the walk up to the manor, Hester remained quiet, trying her best to listen to what Saizo had to say, in case there was something important in his words, whilst trying to keep up with her cousin's conversations. When they rounded the last corner, and finally got to see the manor with their own eyes, Hester couldn't help but feel a sense of awe at the sight of it, almost gasping alongside Bianca. As a daughter of one of the wealthiest families in Britannia, Hester had seen her fair share of luxurious mansions and estates, but Cainhusrt was truly spectacular.

    "And here is Cainhurst Manor itself. Commissioned by Kieran 1953, the manor itself is a timeless style reminiscent of the architecture of the old family estate destroyed by the earthquake back in the 20s." Saizo continued. "We should make our way inside before the storm arrives."

    It seemed everyone was in agreement at this, with Bianca and Callaway practically running all the way to the entrance. To the surprise of no-one, it was actually Ally who made it to the doors first, calling dibs on getting to explore it first. Bianca had simply laughed in response, pointing out that it was a large manor, and that was bound to be plenty for them all to explore.

    "I must agree with Bianca," Hester commented, coming up behind her cousins, and waiting patiently for their other relatives to catch up. "Do save some for the rest of us, Ally."
     
  7. GoldenHouou

    GoldenHouou Up To No Good

    Miraela Leonhart
    Forest Path (Manor - Pier)


    While her father and sister were busy squabbling, Miraela remained a few deliberate steps behind, silently caught up in a battle of her own. Her family could argue over her footwear all day, but the truth of it was that the heels did not bother her any. She had learnt the old, noble art of running in heels at the tender age of twelve, and perfected it seven years later. At twenty-one, she was a champion undefeated; icy roads, rocky hills and winding cobblestone roads had all failed to tip her off balance. A little trek through the woods on even ground was barely worth a mention.

    If anything, it was the rest of her outfit that gave her trouble.

    The wind was a relentless whip, mercilessly lashing where clothes offered no cover. Every now and again it threatened to steal away Miraela's fur stole altogether, and once or twice it forced her to hold onto her dress lest it reveal too much. She had been fighting the incoming storm ever since Alena first helped her off the boat, and it looked as though there was no winning the war for her - only surviving it.

    Over and over again, instinct told Miraela to hunch and hug herself for warmth, but time and again she refused to do such a thing. She kept walking upright, prim and proper and stubborn, not yielding her opponent a single shiver. A lady had to maintain her poise and elegance, irregardless of the elements. Particularly her. After all, it was very likely she would be the next head of the Leonhart family, should this meeting not declare otherwise. She was the daughter of Kieran's eldest son, and though Alena was older, her circumstances were... quite unique, as it were.

    Besides, Miraela was certain that should her sister be given the title through one miracle or another, her mother would rise from her sickbed to rain hell upon them both.

    That thought nearly drew a shiver from her.

    As the party ventured deeper into the forest, Miraela stayed close to Alena like she was instructed to, but remained silent. She was hesitant to butt into the two's conversation - and had little idea what to say, besides. All she could have done was tell the two not to worry for her, but neither was likely to listen. Big sisters and fathers worried; that was just the truth of it.

    At the very least, her silence gave her an opportunity to listen to their guide. From what she gathered, very few did; most seemed all too busy talking among themselves to pay the poor man's words any mind. Miraela thought it rude - and a great shame, too! Quite a few of the things he pointed out were interesting and made for beautiful shots - though Miraela did wish she'd had a little more light to work with. The storm truly was her enemy today, it seemed.

    Still, Miraela wasn't the only one listening to Saizo, thank goodness. If she wasn't mistaken, at least two other girls seemed to share her sentiment. Sybil and Hester. She gave Hester a little smile, glad that her dear cousin was on the same page - though she would not have expected anything less. As for Sybil, she knew her by name and reputation as was proper, but was not terribly well-acquaintanced with her. Perhaps she ought to change that today.

    The manors's exterior was beautiful, and Miraela found herself staring up at it in awe for longer than she realized. A marvel of old design, it did not quite belong among the dark trees or the cloudy sky. They did not do it justice.

    She took a picture, giving her cousins a polite nod as she settled to wait beside them. Their parents should be the ones entering first.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
  8. Vern

    Vern Why not both?

    Haze Leonhart
    Forest Path (Manor, Pier)


    As she disembarks from the boat along with all the others, Haze looks apprehensively at the clouds gathering on the horizon. It seems like a storm is on its way, and while they’ll likely be inside by the time it arrives, she still can’t help but feel like it’s some sort of terrible omen, foretelling disaster. Well, whatever - its probably just her nerves getting to her, in the end. And if there’s one thing she feels apart from apprehension, it’d be nervousness. She is in the midst of a group of some of the most wealthy, influential people in the country, after all. For a moment, she tries to imagine her father among these people, wearing the same fancy clothes, then puts the thought out of her mind.

    A woman who Haze had discovered is her half-sister had insisted she walk besides her, and she’s grateful for that. There’s not much worse than being stuck in unfamiliar territory all on your own, and while the two of them haven’t really talked, it’s still nice to have someone you can follow around. Everyone else is pretty much completely unfamiliar to her, and as she walks, she tries to glean as much information she can from their scattered conversations. The butler who’s leading them towards the manor was called Saizo (a distinctly asian-sounding name), and was talking about how they’d missed the yellow flowers, which were beautiful when they were in bloom. Her half-sister mentions wishing that they had been, and she nods in agreement, murmuring that ‘yeah, that would’ve been nice’.

    Haze’s eyes widen as they finally lay eyes on Cainhurst manor - it’s by far the largest home she’s ever seen, and with its ornate windows and imposing roof, it was a sight to behold. One of the others whipped out her camera to take a picture. A punkish-looking girl who seemed quite out of place among all these nobles called first dibs on exploring the manor, and is soon followed by two people who seem to be brother and sister. The girl had blonde hair, unlike everyone else’s white - was she from a different branch of the family? Did their mother marry twice? Or was it just the magic of genetics? Well, she supposed she’d find out in time.

    Tucking her face deeper into her scarf as the first raindrops begin to fall, Haze makes her way inside the manor a few steps behind Sybil, nodding her thanks at the butler as she does so. She can’t help but feel like there’s something rather ominous about the whole ordeal - but that’s probably just her nerves getting to her, right?
     
  9. TheSequelReturns

    TheSequelReturns Phantom Thief

    ~ Cainhurst Manor - Approach ~

    “What do you suppose is the real reason we've all been called here?” Jules asked his sister.

    Orianna feigned ignorance; or at least, Jules assumed she was feigning. She was suspicious too right? "Whatever do you mean, Jules?"

    "Think." he scolded, perhaps with a bit too much familiarity, "Father suddenly contacts us out of the blue? You know him as well as I do. Surely this can't all be about the family line? He could have prepared a will for that."

    "He does love his ceremony." Orianna mused. She tapped her chin with her finger. "Isn't it proper to pass the title on in person?"

    Jules tugged at his cravat nervously. "I suppose. Still, something doesn't sit right with me about all this. Its far too sudden."

    Orianna nodded quietly, too suspicious to disagree but not sold enough on the idea to add anything more. Instead, she pulled out a mirror and contented herself with checking her make-up. Typical Orianna behavior when she wanted a conversation to end.

    Jules sighed and turned his attention to the younger family members walking ahead of them. A few of them he hadn't seen in years. One he was fairly certain he had never met. And he couldn't help but notice that he and Orianna were the only ones of their age group present. Why all the young people, Kieran?

    The group continued onward until they came up towards the mansion itself. Most of the group was trying to take in the sight of the manor when several of the younger adults present, Jules's own children included, took off towards the manor. Saizo took no offense, as was proper he supposed, but Orianna looked like he was trying to find the proper phrasing for a good old parental scold. Jules placed a single hand on her shoulder and shook his head. "They aren't kids anymore. Let them enjoy this."

    Orianna looked both relieved that she didn't need to scold anyone and annoyed that it was Jules who had to tell her that. "You're right. They havn't exactly barged in."

    The group made it halfway across the grounds before the rain drops started to fall. Saizo, having hurried ahead after the young people, hastily opened the huge doors and let the family inside. By the time everyone made it into the safety of the manor, the rain was starting to fall in sheets and the wind was howling in the distance. The heavy wooden door slammed shut, locking out the wet winds of the storm and muffling the sound of the tempest, almost a little too well.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    ~ Cainhurst Manor - Grand Foyer (1st Floor) ~

    The Grand Foyer of Cainhurst manor certainly lived up to its name. As the first room anyone would see of the house, as well as the main entrance, no expense had been spared.

    The expansive space was open up to the second floor, where a balcony with exquisitely crafted railing overlooked the entryway. The walls were natural wood paneling, but were lacquered and polished to a glorious finish. The furniture was all real mahogany and cherry wood, and each and every piece from the side tables to the lamp stands to the large chests and cabinets was a unique handmade item. Luxurious rugs, obviously imported from some far off country, covered the floor in visually appealing places leaving the golden brown marble tile to shine in the light of the enormous chandelier that hung from the ceiling high above the room.

    But taking focus above everything else in the room, which was saying something, was the twelve foot tall portrait that hung on the wall beneath the balcony. Hanging directly opposite the main doors, the painting was a portrait of a woman, her beauty made larger than life by the detail and scale of the painting.

    The woman's hair was a rich blond like spun gold. She wore a dress of deep purple, a red so dark it was almost black, and shimmery golden accents. She wore no jewelry. Her ethereal beauty seemed at odds with the very idea that she would need adornment. Skin like smooth porcelain made her face stand out against the dark background. Her curves were gentle but there, and her dress was so modest that even her hands and neck were covered. Her blue eyes seemed alive, and her gaze was unfocused enough so that no matter where you were, she seemed to be looking right at you. The name plate of the painting said simply "Beatrice", though no one knew who she was or why such a painting even existed.

    Everyone in the family however, had heard the rumors.

    As the group entered, the only other occupant was a petite young woman in full maid attire. She had strawberry blonde hair tied up in bushy but short twin tails with red ribbon. Her back was to the group as she was busy dusting the furniture. But when it became clear that more than just Saizo was entering the manor she turned to look at the assembling family members as they shuffled in. She let out a tiny gasp, her freckled face betraying only some of her panic as she quickly scurried out of the room like a frightened mouse.

    A moment later, and the door she had escaped through opened up again to reveal two butlers and another maid.

    The first butler was a young man with a strong jaw and broad shoulders. A mop of unruly brown hair rested on his head. It was at odds with the rest of his prim and proper appearance, and the spotless black and white tuxedo he wore. He carried himself confidently, but not quite with the polish one would expect from a butler of the highest regard.

    Behind him came another butler. The second man was a good two inches taller than the first, with wavy black hair and well tanned skin. He wore a charming smile and seemed the more professional of the two.

    Trailing behind them, the maid walked prim and proper with her hands clasped in front of her. Her hair was black as night and lay long and straight down her back like a curtain. Her maid outfit was marked with small spots and stains, seemingly from soot, but was otherwise tidy and straight. All three of them bowed deeply when the family was finally assembled and facing them, as was the custom.

    "Please, allow me to introduce you to some of our finest caretakers here at Cainhurst Manor." Saizo gestured towards the trio. "This young man here is Gregory. He is our newest staff member here and as such he handles most of the odd jobs around the estate."

    Gregory, the one with the brown hair, gave a well practiced flourish with his hand and gave a shorter, more stylish bow. "Well met." he said with a clean but obvious British accent. He winked one of his green eyes at Bianca and Alena. Jules stiffened ever so slightly.

    Saizo gave Gregory a stiff look for a split second before moving on to the other butler. "And this young man is Ronaldo. He has a long history here and prides himself on the quality of his service."

    Ronaldo gave a much more well practiced bow. He spoke with a spanish accent. "Please, do not hesitate to rely on me for anything you may require."

    "And this young lady is Lucy." Saizo gestured towards the dark-eyed maid. "She is our head maid here in charge of the cleaning operations of the house. She also serves double duty as our kitchen manager. Fine work she does."

    Lucy smiled and gave a nod of her head, hazel eyes closed. "It is my pleasure to serve." Her voice was as smooth as silk and very neutrally accented.

    "Do not hesitate to call on any of them, or any of our other staff, should you desire anything." Saizo said. "But for now, Gregory and Ronaldo will see to your luggage."

    The two butlers bowed again and headed back outside. It wasn't a long walk to the boat, but they had a decent amount of luggage to grab between the two of them before the storm set in.

    "Will the luggage be okay in this rain?" Orianna asked.

    Sazio nodded. "Absolutely, madam. We have a small trolley on site for heavy lifting. Your belongings shall remain clean and dry. Now, if you would kindly follow me we have prepared some refreshments while you wait. Master Kieran has given strict orders that he is not to be disturbed until dinner, which will be served shortly."

    Saizo spoke as he calmly led the group to the door on the right side of the room which opened into an anteroom. Though much less lavish than the foyer, it was still large enough to comfortably seat the entire group. It had enough chairs for the job too. A large banner dominated the back wall of the room, a golden tapestry emblazoned with the Leonhart family crest, the One-Winged Lion. Sweet aromas lifted up from the plates of pastries and tea, so freshly made they were still steaming, scattered around the room.

    Lucy didn't follow them in. The other maid from earlier wasn't present either.

    "I'm afraid that the amenities may not be what you all are accustomed to." Saizo apologized, "This manor is quite old and the Master has never seen fit to modernize it. We have the basics. Electricity, indoor plumbing, air conditioning, and the like. But no televisions or radios are present here and the only phone line is in the Master's room." Saizo took a moment to straighten a few of the white roses in a flower vase by the door. "Is there anything else you require?"

    "You said dinner will be served shortly?" Jules asked.

    "Correct, sir." Saizo nodded curtly.

    Jules continued, "And my father will be joining us then?"

    "Quite so, sir."

    Jules nodded. "That will be all then, Saizo."

    "Thank you, sir. If you'll excuse me then, I shall go and check on the meal. I will return to inform you when the preparations are complete." And with that, Saizo left the room.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  10. Monster Guy

    Monster Guy Fairy Tale Man

    Bianca Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor; Grand Foyer > 1st Floor Anteroom


    The group was quickly escorted inside before the rain started. Just in time too, because the storm started to get a whole lot worse once they stepped inside. When she set her eyes on the grand foyer, she first saw the maid run away. Poor timid girl... Then she studied the room itself. She could see that it really was grand and richly decorated. No expense had been spared to make this room live up to it's name. But the standout of the entire room was a painting of a gorgeous woman with the title Beatrice written on the nameplate. Bianca was familiar with the legends surrounding her father. About how he supposedly made a deal with a witch to obtain the gold to bring the Leonhart family from ruin. It was unclear if this was indeed a portrait of said witch, or just some other random woman named Beatrice. Bianca didn't spend much time pondering that thought. There was something far more interesting that got her attention, or rather someone. Multiple someones.

    Standing on either side of the painting, there were two butlers, and a maid. They appeared to be close to Bianca in age, but still carried themselves with class. It was the two handsome butlers that had gotten Bianca's attention. First, there was the man known as Gregory. He was handsome, that was for sure. That suit he wore appeared perfectly tailored to him. He had a mop of unruly brown hair on his head, that contrasted with the perfectly polished suit he wore, but Bianca rather liked the contrast. It reminded her of how Alistair kept his hair. He never could be bothered to comb it, even when he dressed up. Bianca sighed at thoght of him, she missed him greatly. Being a commoner, he wasn't caught up with all the maxims of high society, but she found that rather refreshing. It was nice having a man she could actually be herself around. Though, she knew now was not the time to be pining over lost love. Not when there was new love to be found.

    Then, there was Ronaldo. He was the embodiment of the words tall, dark, and handsome. He also appeared more put together than Gregory was. Did she notice an accent too? Even better! With his tanned skin, and spanish accent, he reminded Bianca of a character in one of the romance novels she liked. She imagined him carrying a rose in his mouth while they performed one of those sexy latin dances together, and he would whisper sweet nothings to her in spanish. Bianca couldn't help grinning at the thought of it.

    Both young men bowed, and gave their introductions. Bianca could have sworn she saw Gregory winking at her. Bianca smiled, and giggled at the gesture, then gave a glance at her mother. Then she whispered into Callaway's ear. "Aren't we fortunate. There's two dashing young men."

    "Do not hesitate to call on either of them, or any of our other staff, should you desire anything." Saizo said.

    "Oh, I won't hesitate. Don't you worry." Bianca said suggestively. She winked at both of the butlers, and blew them a kiss. "Ciao bellos!" Before following Sazio and the rest of the family into the next room. Gregory and Ronaldo did not follow them into the next room, much to Bianca's disappointment. Although, the image in her mind of two strong young men carrying their luggage, and getting wet from the pouring rain made Bianca feel a little better about it.

    Sazio led the group to the door on the right side of the room. Though much less lavish than the foyer, but it was large enough to comfortably seat the entire group. The focal point of this area was a golden tapestry emblazoned with the Leonhart family crest, the One-Winged Lion. The aromas of pastries and tea also filled the air

    "I'm afraid that the amenities may not be what you all are accustomed to. This manor is quite old and the Master has never seen fit to modernize it. We have the basics. Electricity, indoor plumbing, air conditioning, and the like. But no televisions or radios are present here and the only phone line is in the Master's room." After taking a moment to straighten up the flowers, he went off to check on their dinner, leaving the rest of the family alone.

    "Grandfather really was a recluse..." Bianca commented to no one in particular once Sazio had left. "No television or radios? Surely he must get newspapers delivered here or something. I couldn't imagine life being completely cut off from the rest of the world." She then strode over to where her mother was standing. While she liked to talk to Callaway about guys, since being male himself he understood how men functioned better than another woman could. However, she actually could talk to her mother about guys publicly. That was not something a lot of girls had. "So, mother, I know this probably isn't the right time to be discussing this but... Two handsome butlers! Oh, goodness me, whatever will I do?"
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  11. Schade

    Schade They're coming for you Barbara.

    =-------------------~♚~-------------------=
    Callaway Labolas Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor

    Many of his relatives had started to arrive now, consisting mostly of cousins and generally distant older relatives Cal never really bothered getting to know. Not really getting the time to greet everyone, the rain gre stronger, during which time the family was escorted into the large mansion. The grand foyer was pretty much exactly as one would expect from a building of this grandour. The foyer was open to the second floor, where a balcony was overlooking the entrance in a very royal fashion, as if to underline that you were looked down upon during your entire stay. The furniture matched the grand pizaz of the foyer, standing out in their own individual way while maintaining the exclusive theme throughout. The eye-catching feature of the foyer was the huge painting hanging under the balcony. Everyones eyes were sort of drawn towards it from the moment you entered the manor, and it depicted a beautiful yet spooky-looking woman everyone knew to be the famed witch, and benefactor for his grandfather's riches.

    sailing back t reality, Cal finished viewing the foyer. Sure it was pretty, but definitely not his style. A lone maid was dusting off the furniture as the group entered, and hastily scurried away when she saw the family gathering. Before any could really react to the scene, two butlers and a maid entered the room. One of them seemed like he was ni a hurry getting dressed that morning, his suit near spotless on his broad, handsome shoulders. His hair was another matter. Though Cal liked the tousled look, and despite how good-looking the man was, tousled hair was a big nono for any butler with respect for themselves. The other butler, however, seemed to be more professional. His tailored suit was generous to the mans physique, and his black hair was neatly styled, as any butler should. He had one of those storng faces one couldn't help but stare at, though Cal manage to look away and eye the maid accompanying the hunk-twins instead. The maid looked like a grey mouse compared to the men standing next to her, with he straight black hair and dirty apron.

    "Please, allow me to introduce you to some of our finest caretakers here at Cainhurst Manor." Saizo gestured towards the trio. "This young man here is Gregory. He is our newest staff member here and as such he handles most of the odd jobs around the estate.". "Well met." the brown-haired butler said, making it obvious he had practiced for the occasion. He had an absolutely adorable british accent, and Cal noticed a stain on the carped to fidge at with his foot to avoid staring. Gregory then winked one of his green eyes at Bianca and Alena. Cal couldn't help but feel a bit envious.

    "And this young man is Ronaldo. He has a long history here and prides himself on the quality of his service.", Saizo then said and gestured towards the black-haired butler who responded in a perfect bow. "Please, do not hesitate to rely on me for anything you may require." he said. "Well don't mind if i do.." Cal mumbled to himself, his voice drowned by hs sister saying practically the exact same thing.

    He then introduced the Maid but Cal didn't pay attention.

    The rest of the introductions ended with the family being guided to an anteroom. Considerably less fancy as the foyer, this looked more inviting and borderline cozy. Saizo informed them that h manor was old, and that his grandfather never bothered with renovating the place, meaning it had very little electronics, and nothing in terms of televisions or radios. That would be a bit boring, but Cal would survive. He never watched the Tv ayway. Surely there was an old newspaper laying around somewhere. "No television or radios? Surely he must get newspapers delivered here or something. I couldn't imagine life being completely cut off from the rest of the world." Bianca said, breaking the ice. "Well, that's why they invented books, deary." Cal answered her. She then walked over to where him and their mother were standing. "So, mother, I know this probably isn't the right time to be discussing this but... Two handsome butlers! Oh, goodness me, whatever will I do?". she asked their mother. "Yes, mother. Tell us what you think." he continued in a slightly complaining tone, before scoffing to himself as he walked away to find a seat. Helping himself to a Vodka Martini from a bar situated to a wall in the back of the room, Cal sat down on a chair and crossed his legs. Saizo told them that dinner would be ready soon.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  12. Minteh

    Minteh It's so shiny!

    Sybil Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor


    Whilst some of her relatives rushed inside, Sybil was slower, and only truly entered when the rain started to fall. She gave a brief nod of thanks to Saizo, and then walked inside, water beginning to seep through her clothes. Once everyone was inside, the wooden door slammed shut behind them, almost instantly muffling the sound of the roaring storm outside.

    The foyer they were currently stood in was much like the exterior of the manor - exquisite. Sybil had expected a certain kind of opulence, the Leonhart's were the richest family in Britannia after all, but this was beyond anything she could have imagined. Sybil eyed the room in awe, taking in the splendour of the place, and admiring the ornate styling of the room. Sybil had never been one for such expenses, but even she could admire the beauty and grandeur of the room.

    Perhaps the most prominent piece in the room was the painting that hung below the exposed balcony. The painting itself was at least twelve feet tall, and practically dominated the wall opposite the doors; it was hard not to focus on it. The painting was of a woman - Beatrice, if the plaque below it was to be believed - whose beauty was made larger than life by the sheer scale and detail of the image. This was the supposed witch associated with their family. The woman was strikingly beautiful, with soft porcelain skin and hair like spun gold. She dressed in a gown of rich purple and red, accented with gold. And yet, despite such regal colours, the woman was dressed surprisingly modestly. She wore no jewels, but Sybil was sure she wouldn't have needed them. The most striking part of the portrait had to be the eyes. Her blue eyes seemed alive, and it seemed that no matter where you moved, her eyes followed. Whilst it was certainly interesting, it was also quite eerie.

    When the family first entered, the only other occupant in the room had been a young woman in full maid attire. She had strawberry blonde hair tied up in bushy but short twin tails with red ribbon. When the doors had first opened she had not turned to see them, preoccupied with her dusting of the furniture, but when it became apparent more than Saizo was entering, she turned to look at the assembled family members. Upon seeing them all, she let out a small gasp, before quickly scurrying out of the room like a frightened mouse. Before any of them had time to think over the situation, the door she had hurried out of opened up to reveal two butlers and another maid.

    The first of the butlers was a young man with a strong jaw and broad shoulders. He has pleasant green eyes and a mop of unruly brown hair. It seemed well-suited to his young age, but Sybil couldn't help but feel they were at odds with his prim outfit. The second butler was taller and presumably older and had wavy black hair and tanned skin. The maid who trailed behind them walked prim and proper. She was a pretty young woman with dark eyes and hair, and she wore a neat uniform, otherwise spotless save for some marks and stains presumably from soot. Saizo introduced them as Gregory, Ronaldo, and Lucy respectively. Gregory winked flirtatiously at two of her relatives, but Ronaldo and Lucy remained neutral in their greetings. Although she had spoken with a more neutral voice, Sybil had found Lucy's voice the prettiest, finding it was like honey to her ears.

    Saizo informed that if they needed anything they need only call on his staff. He sent the two butlers to fetch their luggage, which prompted a small conversation between him and one of her older relatives about whether the luggage would be okay. After assuring her that it would, Saizo led them to the right of the room, which lead to an antechamber. Not as large as the foyer, it was still large enough to accommodate all of the group, and some tea and pastries had even been laid out too.

    Whilst explaining that the amenities might not be what they were accustomed too, Sybil approached a pot of tea, pouring herself out a cup whilst listening to him. One of her female cousins commented on the lack of communication to the outside world, and the lack of television and radios, to which the only male cousin in attendance answered her by saying, "Well, that's why they invented books, deary."

    Sybil chuckled a little at that. The lack of television and radios was surprising, but Sybil could make do with her great-uncle's no doubt, vast collection of books. A few of her cousins lingered close together, but Sybil didn't feel right entering into their conversation. She barely knew them, besides the few times they had met in her youth when her father had still been around. Instead of moving towards her cousins, Sybil moved towards Haze. She offered out the cup of tea she had made earlier, "Would you like some tea?" Sybil asked, smiling softly. "Careful though, it's rather hot."
     
  13. *Jean Grey*

    *Jean Grey* Night Triumphant

    Alena Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor


    "It's a large manor, dear. There's plenty of room for all of us." Bianca giggled. Cal laughed as well, though the thunder drowned out his voice. It was a refreshing sight to see her cousin let loose around the adults though. He was usually so formal and put on a facade, but she knew he could always let loose around her.

    "I must agree with Bianca," Her other cousin, Hester commented, coming up behind her cousins, and waiting patiently for their other relatives to catch up. "Do save some for the rest of us, Ally."

    "Sure, sure. Huge house, huge party!" Alena snickered. At this point, the storm began to get worse. Saizo responded to this quickly and herded the family in as the rain began to pour in sheets.

    ---

    As soon as the heavy doors shut behind them, Alena shook the water off her soaking newsboy cap and put it back on as she gazed upon the grand foyer, noticing a petite blonde woman, dressed in a maid's uniform, scurrying away as quickly as she could. If the outside was already grand, the inside was even more so. The space opened up to the second floor, an exquisite crystal chandelier hanging from the high, painted ceiling, and a balcony with exquisitely crafted railing overlooked the entryway. The walls were gleaming wood, and all the pieces of furniture were carved and made like no other, as if they had been created with Cainhurst Manor specifically in mind, even if their details took inspiration from many different styles. Beautiful rugs covered the gleaming marble floor artfully, and it looked as if her grandfather only used the best of the best to furnish his keep.

    However, the purple-eyed girl's eyes were most drawn to a gold-framed twelve-foot tall oil painting that hung on the wall just beneath the balcony. It was a portrait of a woman, her beauty and elegance only made more apparent by the size and attention the detail that the painting had. Thick golden blonde hair piled atop her head in a classy cameo braid, though from the way the woman held herself, she wore it like a queen wore a gilded crown. She was clad in a fine dress of deep plum and wine red, with golden accents here and there, and wore no jewellery. Then again, she was so gorgeous that she didn't even need jewels. Her eyes were sapphire blue, and were painted in such a way that they appeared alive, as if they were peering at everyone in the room, yet looking at nothing. Under the picture was a nameplate that read Beatrice. It was a name that Alena was all too familiar with, having grown up hearing the stories about her grandfather, his gold and his deal with a witch named Beatrice. Was she the woman in the painting, or was it another Beatrice altogether?

    When she broke her gaze, she noticed three people, two butlers and a maid, had entered and were now standing on either side of the painting like sentries. They weren't that old - close to her age or a bit older, if she was estimating correctly, yet carried themselves with an air of class and sophistication. One of the handsome butlers was a bit of a paradox - finely attired in a black and white tuxedo, yet having a messy brown mop of hair and mischievous green eyes. The other butler was taller and more polished, a little bit older as well, yet no less handsome. The maid on the other hand, was more serious-looking yet beautiful in an enigmatic way, with straight, dark hair that reached her back, and a uniform that bore traces of soot but was otherwise clean. Alena smirked, wondering if any (or all) of them would possibly be taken by someone like her. In her mind, it was easy to picture, her being a breath of fresh air from typical upper-class stodginess after all.

    "This young man here is Gregory. He is our newest staff member here and as such he handles most of the odd jobs around the estate." Saizo introduced as he gestured towards the handsome, younger-looking butler, who made a well practiced flourish with his hand and gave a shorter, more stylish bow.

    "Well met." he said, before winking one of his green eyes at her. Alena was taken by surprise, and looked to her side to make sure that he had indeed intended it for her. Sure enough, Bianca was at her side, and she was less certain about who exactly he intended it for. She was pleasantly surprised at his boldness, expecting someone more subdued and less exciting. Definitely someone who might meet the disapproval of the older folks, but of course, that was to be expected. She wasn't going to let him win this first game, however, if it was indeed that kind of game he was playing.

    "And this young man is Ronaldo. He has a long history here and prides himself on the quality of his service." Ronaldo gave a much more well practiced bow, which perhaps indicated that he was the more experienced of the two butlers. When he spoke, assuring them that they could rely on him, Alena noticed his Spanish accent. She remembered the last time she got a Spanish man into bed - he really was the passionate sort, and extra on the snogging as well. She heard a girlish giggle from her side and rolled her eyes instinctively. Bianca, of course. Alena herself wasn't one to swoon or giggle excitedly and outwardly like a young, unicorn-crazed girl. Already, she saw her younger cousin whispering into Cal's ear, as if she couldn't make her attraction any more obvious.

    "And this young lady is Lucy. She is our head maid here in charge of the cleaning operations of the house. She also serves double duty as our kitchen manager. Fine work she does." Saizo gestured towards the dark-eyed, dark-haired maid. Cooking? Alena was relieved. At least that meant good food during their stay. And Lucy's dark features weren't hard on the eyes either - an enigmatic sort of attractive. Gramps sure likes 'em pretty and I wonder why, she thought.

    "Do not hesitate to call on either of them, or any of our other staff, should you desire anything." Saizo reminded, to which Bianca replied suggestively that she wouldn't at all hesitate, before blowing a kiss at both butlers. It was at this point that Saizo began to lead the group to the next room. Alena lingered behind the group, and, unnoticed by the rest of the family, she steered towards Gregory and Lucy, up for a challenge as always. She poked Lucy and Ronaldo in the ribs and brazenly smacked Gregory's bottom while keeping a hard, deadpan expression. Once her face was out of sight, however, her expression morphed into a careless, wolfish grin. She managed to rejoin the others, yet didn't look back.

    -----

    Saizo had led them to an anteroom which, while simpler in design in comparison to the foyer, was still large, well-lit and elegantly-decorated. It had enough chairs for the group to comfortably seat everyone as well. Mounted on the back wall of the room was a golden tapestry emblazoned with the Leonhart family crest, the One-Winged Lion. She smelled the heavenly scent of pastries - well-baked pastries - wafting in the air. Her stomach growled, and she just remembered that the last meal she ate was breakfast, which consisted of strong black coffee and a handful of Tater Tots - hardly a proper English affair. She leaned against one of the walls, looking at the tapestry as if willing it to open up and reveal a hidden passageway. Everything seemed so...normal, judging from the way Saizo seemed to go about. That was probably a good enough reason to explore when they were left to their own devices, however.

    "I'm afraid that the amenities may not be what you all are accustomed to. This manor is quite old and the Master has never seen fit to modernize it. We have the basics. Electricity, indoor plumbing, air conditioning, and the like. But no televisions or radios are present here and the only phone line is in the Master's room," Saizo apologized, taking a moment to straighten some roses in a vase by the door."Is there anything else you require?"

    "You said dinner will be served shortly?" Her father asked, which Saizo confirmed. Gramps would also be making an appearance, he said. At this, Ally grinned at Mira, remembering the time when they took her out to watch the Star Wars movies - the first time she watched movies that Dragomira did not specifically approve. At the time the second movie had come out, Mira began to wonder whether Gramps was anything like the character Darth Vader, something which made the silver-haired girl laugh to this very day. And with that, Saizo left the room. As they were left to their own devices, Alena already overheard Bianca telling her mother about none other than Gregory and Ronaldo.

    "So mother, I know now is probably not the time to be discussing this, considering the situation, but... Two handsome butlers! Oh, goodness me, whatever will I do?" She asked sweetly, prompting Ally to snort. The chase was so much more fun than asking. Cal echoed Bianca, though his voice held a note of sarcasm. She turned away, not wishing to be privy to the girl talk that was inevitably going on. Instead, she made her way to the tapestry and gave it a good look, before placing her hand on the gleaming wood of the wall next to it, running it down. Nothing, but smooth, polished wood. She stuck out her other hand and reached for the wooden wall on the other side of the tapestry. Nothing. She gave a disappointed pfft, before turning away.

    Whatever, this is just one room in a huge-ass manor, she reminded herself as she spotted Cal sitting in a corner and drinking a vodka martini, a la James Bond, while another distant cousin of hers, Sybil, was talking to a relative that Ally had never seen before, until today that is. Everybody seemed to be either eating, drinking or chatting in small groups. She couldn't blame them, not when there seemed to be no form of modern entertainment in the manor. She had brought a few other books herself, as well as a music player and a few of her favorite heavy metal albums, including her newest one - Venom's Possessed, which she bought only a few days ago. She wanted to explore the manor more, but her growling stomach protested. Deciding to save it for when she filled herself up comfortably, she looked to where her father and sister were sitting and picked up a plate of pastries, making sure it had a good amount of chocolate-flavored ones, and made her way to join them.

    "Pops, Mira...didn't remember seeing you guys eat before we left," she said as she set the plate down in front of them, and pulled out her own seat. She draped her leather jacket across the back of the chair, then sat down in her usual laid-back posture, with her legs apart and her elbow on the table. She made a mental note to ask Mira what she thought about Lucy, Ronaldo and Gregory later. Like herself, Mira did swing both ways. For now, she wanted to know more about the mansion...and if Gramps wasn't going to be giving answers anytime soon, then maybe her father would?

    "Oi, come join us," she called out to Hester with a smile, knowing that Mira and her were close friends. Ally and Hester did not get along very well, thanks to their differing attitudes, but they were still cousins, and Uncle Claude not joining her on the island meant that she had come alone. Ally did not want to see her left out, seeing as everyone else came with their family, and even Sybil seemed to be preoccupied by their recently-surfaced relative. She pointed at an empty seat beside Mira, before turning her attention towards her father.

    "Pops, tell me more about the time when you lived here," she began, pausing to take a bite out of a chocolate pastry. "Does this place have any...interesting areas you've seen or discovered for yourself? Or does this house just come with its own rumors, all of them just bollocks?"
     
  14. Tealeaffs

    Tealeaffs ヒマワリ

    Hester Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor

    "Sure, sure. Huge house, huge party!" Ally snickered in response to Bianca and Hester's comments. At this point, the storm had gotten progressively worse, so before Hester or anyone else could respond to this, Saizo was there to usher everyone into the safety of the manner. After everyone hurried in, he shut the heavy wooden doors behind them, which muffled out most of the sound of the storm.

    Once inside, Hester took the time to shake out her hair a little which had gotten soaked in the sudden downpour, which sent droplets everywhere. Once that was done she took the time to finally absorb her surroundings. The grand foyer certainly lived up to its name, at least. The outside had been fairly lush and grand, but the inside seemed more so, which Hester had expected from the private residence of the head of their family. The expansive space was opened up to the second floor, where a balcony with beautifully crafted railings overlooked the entryway. The walls consisted of wood panelling, lacquered and polished to an exquisite finish. The furnishings which were of an equally impressive standard seemed to a perfect fit for this entire space. Hester particularly admired the enormous chandelier that hung from the roof.

    Despite such ornate furnishings, the item which stole the most focus in the room was a painting hung below the balcony. It was a gorgeous painting, Hester had to admit; the beauty of the woman made larger than life by the sheer size and detail of the portrait. The nameplate of the painting read "Beatrice". Hester didn't know who she really was, but was quite aware of the rumours surrounding her and the family. Her father had told her often of the tale surrounding her mysterious grandfather. Nobody really knew what she looked like, however, so it was difficult to tell whether the portrait really was of the supposed "witch", or if she was a different Beatrice altogether.

    Hester's attention was caught when three people - two butlers and a maid - entered the room. Besides a maid who had scurried away after the family entered the manor, these three were the only other occupants on the island they had met. They didn't appear to be too old and were dressed in neat uniforms, the only standout amongst the three being the younger of the two butlers, whose mop of unruly brown hair seemed at odds with the rest of his outfit. Saizo introduced them as Gregory, Ronaldo, and Lucy, who in turn acknowledged the group with polite bows and words. Save for Gregory, who winked at Ally and Bianca. Ally seemed a little startled at the gesture, but Bianca giggled, and suggestively blew a kiss to them when the family were ushered away. Hester simply sniffed in disapproval, though it was unclear if she found the behaviour improper, or was simply a little jealous from not being acknowledged.

    After the introductions were over and done with, and Gregory and Ronaldo were sent to collect their luggage, Saizo lead the family into an anteroom, located through a door to the right of the entryway. Although simpler in furnishing, it was no less lavish, with a large tapestry emblazoned with the Leonhart crest mounted on the back wall immediately catching Hester's attention.

    Although Hester wanted to admire it, she headed over to get herself some food, helping herself to two pastries and a cup of tea, which she sipped at heartily.

    "I'm afraid that the amenities may not be what you all are accustomed to. This manor is quite old and the Master has never seen fit to modernize it. We have the basics. Electricity, indoor plumbing, air conditioning, and the like. But no televisions or radios are present here and the only phone line is in the Master's room," Saizo apologized, taking a moment before he left to straighten some roses in a vase by the door."Is there anything else you require?"

    Hester didn't respond to the question at that moment but would make sure to call him back if anything sprang to mind. In truth, the lack of amenities as it were did not bother her slightly, only bothered by the lack of radio, as she would have liked to tune in to her favourite classical station. Whilst Hester settled into her pastries and tea, Bianca and Cal discussed the two butlers with their mother, though Cal did not appear as enthused as his sister about the matter. Ally went over to investigate the tapestry but didn't appear to find anything of note, as she soon returned to her father and Mira, bringing food for them with her. Her distant cousin Sybil, seemed to stick close to the unknown relative. Hester still wondered who she was, and what her relationship was to the family. A sister perhaps to Sybil? Hester knew she had siblings, but she had never met them, so it was plausible at least.

    Hester had just finished her pastries when Ally called out to her.

    "Oi, come join us," she called out to her, smiling as she did do. Rising from her seat across the room, Hester came over and joined them, drawing up a seat next to Mira, and smiling appreciatively at Ally. They didn't always see eye-to-eye, but she did have her moments, Hester had to admit. She was silently thankful for the invitation in truth. Although she did not mind coming alone and was thankful not to hear her father making snide remarks for most of the journey, she could not help but feel a little left out. Bianca and Cal had each other, as did Ally and Mira. She may have gone to Sybil, but seeing that she barely knew the girl and that she was already busy speaking with their newly surfaced relative, she stuck to herself.

    "Pops, tell me more about the time when you lived here," Ally began, pausing to take a bit of a chocolate pastry she'd grabbed for herself. "Does this place have any...interesting areas you've seen or discovered for yourself? Or does this house just come with its own rumors, all of them just bollocks?"

    "Just what are you expecting to find, Ally?" Hester asked with a neutral tone, brow raised in question. Although her tone made the question come off as a bit harsh, she was genuinely curious about what Ally was hoping to discover. The gold, no doubt. She reflected to herself moments later. Or perhaps she aims to solve the mysteries surrounding our family.

    Hester then turned to her uncle. "You will tell us more about your time here won't you, Uncle?" She inquired. "Father hardly speaks of this place at all. Unless it is to lament on what he deemed to be a worthless childhood."
     
  15. TheSequelReturns

    TheSequelReturns Phantom Thief

    - Cainhurst Manor - 1st Floor Anteroom -

    "So, mother, I know this probably isn't the right time to be discussing this but... Two handsome butlers! Oh, goodness me, whatever will I do?" Bianca asked. She had that little mischievous spark in her eyes, that gleam of excitement that Orianna knew all too well from her youth. Her daughter had a little crush. Bianca didn't think that little glance she cast her way after Gregory's cute wink had gone unnoticed did she?

    "Yes, mother. Tell us what you think." Callaway added. That scruffy tone of his couldn't have been any different from her daughter's. Orianna used to be sarcastic like that back in the day. She was his mother though, he had to get it from somewhere.

    Callaway walked off, leaving her alone with Bianca who was still looking up at her expectantly. "Well now. I think that, if I was your age of course, I would be calling on Gegory's service quite often. That hair of his just makes you want to run your fingers through it, you know?" she giggled. "And don't even get me started on Ronaldo..." She trailed off. It was at that moment that her motherly side kicked in and she remembered she was, in fact, talking to her daughter. "Though, I think you could do better than a butler, don't you think dear?"

    She followed that comment with a look that suggested there wasn't much better she could do, at least as far as looks went. Like mother like daughter after all. She wondered if that flirty side of her family came from Kieran or her mother, and immediately killed that thought at the mental images it conjured.

    Meanwhile, Jules was sitting in a side chair with a book he spirited out of some safe pocket or another in his hands. This time he was reading "The Time Machine", one of the few science fiction books in his repertoire. He normally preferred the true classics. The ones about the past, not the future, but scientific stories were gaining popularity and he had to admit they were starting to grow on him. Though he'd die before he'd compare it to Shakespeare.

    His daughter approached with pastries and tea, offering some to Mira as well."Thank you dear." Jules said as he picked up a raspberry tart with chocolate drizzle and took a bite. It tasted as divine as it smelled. "I do hope we won't be waiting too long for dinner to be served, but these will do nicely in the interim."

    Alena then invited Hester over to join them. He had to admit, he was fond of his niece, even if his relationship with Claude was a bit... troubled.

    "Pops, tell me more about the time when you lived here," Alena began, pausing to take a bite out of a chocolate pastry. "Does this place have any...interesting areas you've seen or discovered for yourself? Or does this house just come with its own rumors, all of them just bollocks?"

    The book closed in Jules hands. This was the daughter he knew, the one under all the punk or emo or whatever kids called the dark style these days. A bright, curious, and intelligent young woman. She would grow up just fine, of that he had no doubt.

    "Just what are you expecting to find, Ally?" Hester asked flatly, brow raised in question. Jules smiled slightly. This place was full of legends and rumors. Curiosity hovered over it like a cloud.

    Hester then turned to her uncle. "You will tell us more about your time here won't you, Uncle?" She inquired. "Father hardly speaks of this place at all. Unless it is to lament on what he deemed to be a worthless childhood."

    "Well, I'm afraid I won't have much to tell dear." he shook his head. "I only got to stay in the guest house here on the island back when father first commissioned this manor. It was to be our family's private estate. A little retreat from the hustle and bustle of London." A downcast look clouded his eyes. He took a moment to wipe his glasses off on his sleeve. "Alas, mother passed on shortly before the manor was to be completed. It broke father's heart. After that, Orianna, Claude, and I were sent to the family home in London where we stayed until we went and acquired our own homes. Father, meanwhile, stayed here on the island. As far as I know, he hasn't set foot on the mainland since mother's death."

    He smiled, a little halfheartedly. That was a time of hard memories. A time better left to the past. "As for what I remember of my time here... Well, the guest house wasn't much to look at I'm afraid so I can't even think of a good story for that one. It was a quaint little home farther into the forest. Small, but lavish, as was father's taste. It did have a wine cellar, which I suppose was odd for what was basically a cabin. I don't recall any wine actually being stored there. Either way, I only stayed there for a short time and that was many years ago. Sorry I don't have a better tale for you this time."

    The sound of muffled conversation came from the door on the far side of the room, opposite where the family had entered. One deeper, masculine voice and one soft, dainty voice. For a moment it sounded like they were having a heated discussion. Then, silence. Anyone close to the door might have heard a few more, hushed lines being exchanged.

    Then, the door slowly crept open. The maid from earlier, the one who had fled the foyer, stepped in quickly and quietly, as though hoping to blend in with the wallpaper. She was carrying another tray of food, this one with freshly cut fruit, but stopped suddenly when she saw everyone gathered in the room. A brief look of panic washed across her freckled face, but she quickly stifled it. Regaining her composure, she calmly sat the tray down on the nearest empty table and backed up to the wall where she bowed repeatedly, her strawberry blond curls bobbing up and down as she did so.

    "Please forgive my intrusion. I had no idea that our esteemed guests had already arrived." She took a few deep breathes to calm herself and returned to a dignified pose like a proper maid, hands held low and clasped in front of her, back straight, eyes level but unfocused.

    "You may call me Belle, if it pleases you." she said with quite possibly the smallest and most hastily done curtsy ever. "Is there anything I can do for you? Do you have any questions? Anything at all, I shall do my best to serve you during your stay." She held one hand up to her neck, as though to reassure herself that her head was still attached, and placed it on the large red ribbon she wore there. It matched the ones that held up her hair.

    Another figure entered in through the door behind her. He was immediately recognizable as having nothing to do with the service staff. If a butler reported for the day's work looking half as disheveled and sleep-deprived as this newcomer, they would be fired on the spot. His hair was grey, but his face was soft despite the 5-o'clock shadow. It made it hard to tell his actual age, but he was certainly older than the two butlers from earlier. He carried a still-steaming mug of coffee in his hand and wore what appeared to be an well-worn lab coat over a cheap cotton shirt and blue jeans of all things.

    "You scurry about like mouse afraid of cat." he said to the maid. His voice had a heavy Russian accent. "Is no cat. Is only guests." He made a point to nod to each and every person in the room, including the maid. "Welcome and good morning."

    "Yuri... Its almost dinner time." Belle said softly to him.

    "Seriously?" Yuri practically deadpanned. Belle nodded. Yuri shrugged and took a long sip of his coffee. "Either way, food will be ready shortly." He said and took a seat on the couch next to Orianna, who looked as though she was at a total loss of how to deal with him.

    She looked to Jules for help, but Jules simply shared a glance at his daughters and his niece before closing his eyes and laughing silently for a moment. Better to enjoy this moment than chastise the help.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
  16. Monster Guy

    Monster Guy Fairy Tale Man

    Bianca Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor; 1st Floor Anteroom


    "Well now. I think that, if I was your age of course, I would be calling on his service quite often. That hair of his just makes you want to run your fingers through it, you know?" Her mother giggled. "And don't even get me started on Ronaldo..." Bianca nodded in agreement at all of her mother's statements. Then she suddenly remembered that this was her daughter she was talking to, and added some motherly advice. "Though, I think you could do better than a butler, don't you think dear?" Though after saying that she gave her daughter a knowing look, that Bianca understood the meaning of.

    Bianca giggled. "You have a point mother. But then... I am a Leonhart, who am I going to find better?" Bianca knew it was the truth. The Leonhart family was the most prestigious families in Britannia. As presumptuous as it sounded, everybody she pursued would be beneath her. "Besides, Alistair was a commoner, and that affair turned out wonderfully. Until... well... you know..." She frowned once again at the thought of her previous boyfriend.

    More of the staff entered the room. One was that timid maid that fled from them earlier that was called Belle. Even now, she still looked nervous to be in their presence. Then their was an older eccentric gentleman who Belle referred to as Yuri. He took a seat next to her mother on the couch. She looked at a complete loss with how to deal with this man, and Bianca giggled. Truth be told, she wouldn't know what to do either if she were in that position.

    Bianca took a chocolate pastry, and a glass of tea for herself. Then, approached her cousin Mira. It had been a while since they last spoken. "Mira darling! Nice to see you again. We simply must go shopping together again sometime. Hester too. Between the three of us, the shopping malls don't stand a chance!" Bianca laughed out loud at thought of three Leonhart ladies buying out an entire mall. Then she took a bite of her pastry, and finished swallowing it, before speaking. "Can you believe it? Grandfather has two handsome butlers to tend to our needs. Aren't they both just..." She paused for a moment to think of the proper word. "charming? I can't decide which one I like more. I only hope we'll have time on this trip to get to know them better. What do you think about Gregory and Ronaldo? Actually, come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen you with a man. We should fix that sometime. You certainly have all the right things to get yourself a good suitor." She sipped her tea, while waiting for Mira's response.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  17. Tealeaffs

    Tealeaffs ヒマワリ

    Hester Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor


    "Well, I'm afraid I won't have much to tell dear." Her uncle began, shaking his head a little as he did so. "I only got to stay in the guest house here on the island back when father first commissioned this manor. It was to be our family's private estate. A little retreat from the hustle and bustle of London." He hesitated a moment, a downcast look forming in his eyes. He took another moment to wipe his glasses with his sleeve. "Alas, mother passed on shortly before the manor was to be completed. It broke father's heart. After that, Orianna, Claude, and I were sent to the family home in London where we stayed until we went and acquired our own homes. Father, meanwhile, stayed here on the island. As far as I know, he hasn't set foot on the mainland since mother's death."

    Following that her uncle laughed, albeit halfheartedly. In the end, it turned out there weren't any interesting tales he could tell of the manor, only that it had been small yet lavish, as was their grandfather's taste. He mentioned there being a wine cellar too, which he deemed to be odd for what was basically a small lodge, especially since it hadn't been filled.

    Not long after this little discussion, more of the staff made their presence known. The maid who had scurried away when they first arrived had reappeared, this time carrying a tray of freshly cut fruit. To Hester's amusement, she seemed surprised to see them all gathered here. She appeared panicked for a moment but was swiftly able to regain some sense of composure. After placing the fruit on the table, she apologised for the intrusion and proceeded to introduce herself as Belle. Another man followed behind her, though judging by his clothing, he wasn't a member of the service staff. He looked dishevelled and sleep-deprived, a fact which wasn't helped by the steaming mug of coffee he held in one hand. Judging by his lab coat, Hester thought him to be a doctor or professor of sorts.

    After noting how the maid had hurried away, he made a point to nod to everyone assembled in the room, before welcoming them in a heavy Russian accent. Belle had to swiftly point out to him that it was almost dinnertime.

    He didn't seem to care much at this, however, and promptly took a seat next to Orianna, stating that either way food would be served soon. Her aunt shot a look towards her uncle Jules, though he simply closed his eyes in response, laughing silently to himself.

    Moments later they were joined by Bianca, who greeted Mira warmly. She expressed a desire to go shopping with Mira again, and Hester too, much to her own surprise. Hester didn't always see eye-to-eye with Bianca, but they could always bond over the latest fashions. Her cousin then proceeded to gossip about the two butlers, noting how they should set Mira up with a suitor at some point. Hester tuned out after that point. They were handsome, that she couldn't deny, but she didn't really find it appropriate to be saying such things about the service staff.

    Whilst Bianca waited for Mira's response, Hester took the opportunity to jump into the conversation as well, though only speaking about the shopping trip, skipping over any talk about suitors. "That actually sounds delightful, Bianca," Hester said nodding her head in approval. "We should schedule such a trip once matters here are resolved."
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  18. *Jean Grey*

    *Jean Grey* Night Triumphant

    Alena Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor


    "Just what are you expecting to find, Ally?" Hester asked with a neutral tone, brow raised in question. Ally shrugged and grinned. This was the first time she ever set foot on Cainhurst Manor...it was her natural reaction to have the urge to explore the entire place and ask questions, especially since it was enormous and had more than a few of its own quirks...it would inevitably have its secrets and hidden places. Stumbling upon interesting things or places, for her, was just part of the exploring aspect...and it was way better than sitting around for long periods of time without doing anything waiting to be called on.

    "Action? Something that could scare the shit out of me? Jack Nicholson with an axe? Frankly, anything exciting...I can't bear sitting on my ass for hours on end," the silver-haired girl replied candidly and honestly. "After all, who ended up succumbing to cabin fever in The Shining? Danny who had the balls to go exploring? Or his pops Jack who holed himself up?" She added, snickering at that last part. Sure, it was the furthest thing from proper to be making The Shining references and doing anything save for behaving herself at her Gramps' place, but since when did she ever care for propriety anyway? She just hated not being able to do anything but sit and look pretty.

    "You will tell us more about your time here won't you, Uncle?" Hester added. "Father hardly speaks of this place at all. Unless it is to lament on what he deemed to be a worthless childhood."

    "Well, I'm afraid I won't have much to tell dear," her father began, shaking his head. Ally leaned forward, placing an elbow on the table and resting her chin on her hand, eating as she listened. Heh, I think I know what's to blame for that...damn behavioural expectations, she thought to herself. "I only got to stay in the guest house here on the island back when father first commissioned this place. It was to be our families private estate. A little retreat from the hustle and bustle of London." Her father continued, and she could have sworn that she saw his violet eyes - eyes so much like her own - mist over, though he quickly took a moment to wipe his glasses on his sleeve. "Alas, mother passed on shortly before the manor was to be completed. It broke father's heart. After that, Orianna, Claude and I were sent to the family home in London where we stayed until we went and acquired our own homes," he spoke, his tone bearing a hint of sadness. Oh, right...he did tell me that Gran died when he wasn't even a teenager, she remembered as she recalled Saizo mentioning the year 1953 while they were still outside.

    "The guest house wasn't much to look at I'm afraid so I can't even think of a good story for that one. Other than the wine cellar of course, but I don't recall any wine actually being stored there. Either way, it was only for a short time and that was many years ago. Sorry I don't have a tale for you this time." Her father recalled, apologising for not having much to tell and at this, Ally smirked a bit. Of course, she never pictured her presumably hard-nosed grandfather allowing wine to be placed where her father could conveniently discover it! An empty cellar didn't make much sense, however. She definitely had to go take a look at it after the rain stopped!

    "Wine cellar, huh? Damn, isn't it obvious that good ol' Gramps would rather hang himself than see ten-year-old you get drunk off your ass?" Ally wagged her eyebrows and grinned before finishing her pastry. "Besides, Pops, maybe Aunt Orianna and Uncle Claude got there before you did, and guzzled down whatever was there. Bianca's taste in fine wine couldn't come from nowhere," she joked in her usual crass manner before selecting another pastry to eat, this one drizzled with what looked to be mint-flavoured icing. She was already getting antsy, and she just wanted to get up and explore the manor already.

    She got up from the table just as the door slowly creaked open. In came the maid from earlier - the young, fair-haired one - scurrying in as she carried a tray of freshly-cut fruit, but she stopped suddenly when she saw everyone gathered in the room. Ally noticed the look of panic that crossed her face - was she really that easily scared? Of course, she was clearly younger than Ally herself and most likely, new at her job. Yet, Ally couldn't see what was so frightening about her family - physically, at least, as none of them looked truly like monsters. The maid managed to regain her composure, and after she set the tray down on the nearest table, she gathered up the courage to introduce herself.

    "Please forgive my intrusion. I had no idea that our esteemed guests had already arrived." She began, taking a few deep breaths to calm herself. "You may call me Belle, if it pleases you." she said with quite possibly the smallest and most hastily done curtsy ever. "Is there anything I can do for you? Do you have any questions? Anything at all, I shall do my best to serve you during your stay." She held one hand up to her neck, as though to reassure herself that her head was still attached, and placed it on the large red ribbon she wore there. It matched the ones that held up her pigtails. Ally just wanted to go over to her, shake her and assure her that there was absolutely nothing to get nervous about. They were all people, just like her.

    Another figure entered in through the door behind her, a man older than the two butlers from earlier. He was perhaps, around her father's or aunt's age if she had to make a guess and wasn't bad-looking, even though he was disheveled. Rather than a uniform, he was dressed in simple jeans and a casual shirt, over which he wore a long white coat. It was this white coat that caught Ally's attention after his face. It was unmistakeable, really...it was a medical coat or a lab coat. Memories of her bad experiences with Uncle Cisrian, and her failed sexual relationship with Nurse Frost came back to her, and she gave the man a hard glare.

    "You scurry about like mouse afraid of cat." he said to the maid. Ally knew that accent from anywhere - it was Russian, just like her mother's. "Is no cat. Is only guests." The older man made a point to nod to each and every person in the room, including the maid. "Welcome and good morning." Morning? He can't be serious. She began to wonder whether he was a real doctor or scientist at all, or just a quack pretending to be one. Belle reminded the man, who was apparently called Yuri, that it was actually almost dinnertime. He shrugged, took a long sip of his coffee and remarked that food was going to be ready shortly, before planting himself next to Aunt Orianna, whose expression looked as if she didn't know what to do. Ally's father glanced at her, Hester and Mira before laughing silently, the facade he usually used slipping to show the warm person he also was. Ally gave her aunt a teasing look, but her glare turned hard once more as her eyes fell on the doctor, and she instinctively placed an arm on the table, in front of Mira, as if to shield her sister. Mira too, had suffered from Uncle Cisrian's experimental medicines, which led both of them to harbour distrust towards medical professionals.

    "Mira darling! Nice to see you again. We simply must go shopping together again sometime. Hester too. Between the three of us, the shopping malls don't stand a chance!" Bianca announced herself as she joined the rest of them, a chocolate pastry in her hand. The blonde giggled as she took a bite out of her pastry. Ally snorted at that. She didn't hate shopping, but she preferred the Camden Market over the high-end boutiques and malls they seemed to gravitate towards. Ally personally didn't like most of said boutiques, with the odd perfumes that wafted inside and the designs that either bored her or were just flat-out ugly. Mira had to make the extra effort to help her find a dress to bring to this reunion, and Ally remembered having to endure looking at some ghastly designs before she found one to her taste.

    "Can you believe it? Grandfather has two handsome butlers to tend to our needs. Aren't they both just...charming? I can't decide which one I like more. I only hope we'll have time on this trip to get to know them better. What do you think about Gregory and Ronaldo? Actually, come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen you with a man. We should fix that sometime. You certainly have all the right things to get yourself a good suitor." Bianca babbled on, bringing up Gregory and Ronaldo once more and insinuating that Mira needed to get herself a suitor. Ally raised an eyebrow at her cousin.

    "That actually sounds delightful, Bianca. We should schedule such a trip once matters here are resolved," Hester replied at the prospect of a shopping trip, nodding her head in approval.

    "C'mon, B. Mira has a brain. I think she can choose whomever the hell she wants to date or fuck with," Ally commented dryly. Gregory and Ronaldo were definitely hot for sure, but there was also Lucy, the mysterious dark beauty, and Belle, if Mira liked them cute and closer to her own age...and if she wanted to be the dominant in the relationship, of course. And that probably wasn't all of them yet. Such a large manor was bound to have at least a few more members of the staff. Mira was beautiful, she could have anyone if she so wished. Except Yuri, of course...but then again, she was pretty sure neither of them was going to want to snog the doctor anytime soon. The twenty-three-year-old maintained her protective stance towards her younger sister, while eyeing Orianna's lost expression, as well as the dodgy "doctor" or "scientist", whatever the hell he was, who was still taking his coffee.

    "So, Yuri was it? You never told us what you are. Are you a doctor...I mean real, legit M.D.? Or are you more the mad scientist sort who may or may not experiment on people?" Ally spoke, pulling no punches. She was always one who believed in being blunt and direct, rather than tiptoe around things.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
  19. Vern

    Vern Why not both?

    Haze Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor (Grand Foyer -> Anteroom)

    As the heavy wooden door slams shut behind her, Haze can’t quite shake the feeling of being watched. Of course, there’s no real reason for her to be afraid — but nevertheless, something about the way the sound of the rain was almost completely blocked out as the door closed was unsettling to her. Like she was completely cut off from the world. Which could be a good or a bad thing.

    Putting her nerves at the back of her mind, Haze looks up, turning her attention to the hall itself and admiring its splendour. It’s clear that no expense had been spared in constructing it, the walls all polished until they shone and the floor lined with expensive-looking carpets that she can’t help but feel the need to avoid stepping on. A chandelier dangles from the ceiling (she smiles at this — outside of some movies she’d watched as a child, this was the first time she’d ever really seen a real-life chandelier), glistening brightly, the very picture of elegance. But despite all this, Haze finds her eyes drawn to the painting hung beneath the balcony of the second floor.

    A woman with golden hair, a deep purple dress, and an enigmatic smile. Although Haze can’t quite figure out what exactly it is about her, she’s undoubtedly the most beautiful person she’s every seen. The woman, who was presumably named Beatrice, seemed to follow her with her gaze wherever she went. And before she knows it, Haze finds herself wondering exactly sure whether or not she should be happy about this, or deeply disturbed.

    A maid with strawberry-blonde hair lets out a gasp and quickly flees the room (Haze didn’t blame her — she would have done the same), but others are quick to take her place. A young, brown haired man (was he flirting with some of the others?), an older, taller, black haired one, and finally, a black-haired maid wearing a slightly stained uniform. Saizo introduces them as Gregory, Ronaldo, and Lucy, and they each bow and say some variant of ‘pleasure to be of service’. Haze watches this all unfold with a bemused smile, not quite sure how to react. She’d been used to doing everything herself, and the prospect of having someone else take care of her was almost daunting.

    As Saizo shows them to a small antechamber, which smelled of tea, Haze finds herself drawing closer to Sybil, her half-sister, trying not to lose her in the crowd. That woman who she barely knows is still her only connection with the crowd, the only person who was something other than a total stranger. Although they’d never really talked, the fact that they both knew her father is enough to establish some sort of tenuous connection, and with nothing else to hold onto, Haze had no choice but to try and stick with her.

    While the other Leonharts quickly took to conversation, Haze slid to the side of the room, feeling distinctly out-of-place in the midst of all these foreign people and elaborate decor. Someone comments about not having TVs or telephones — and, remembering her earlier feeling of being totally cut off from the outside world, she finds the room suddenly feeling a little bit too cramped, with too many people in too much of a small space, like the walls are closing in. I need to get out of here.
    Before she can transform that thought into action, Sybil approaches her with a cup in her hand. “Would you like some tea?” She asked with a smile, “Careful though, it’s rather hot.”

    “Ah - um, right,” Haze murmurs, stumbling over her words. She hadn’t been expecting someone to approach her, and as such hadn’t put much thought into what kind of things to say. Somewhat uncertainly, she reaches forward and takes the cup into her own hands, “Sorry -- that would be great, thank you.” Trying and sort of succeeding to smile back, she raises the cup to her lips and takes a small sip. It’s the best tea she’s ever had.

    Before they can say anything more, a door she hadn’t noticed on the way in creeps open, and a maid steps out. Haze recognises the maid as the one who’d turned and fled earlier, and tries to give her a friendly, reassuring smile as she backs up against the wall and starts bowing repeatedly, clearly not used to this sort of occasion. She introduces herself as Belle, and before anything else can happen, some scruffy-looking guy enters the room after her — clearly not one of the service staff. He’s dressed in a lab coat and holds a cup of coffee in his hand — some sort of doctor? Or scientist, maybe?

    Regardless, he has a short conversation with Belle, then sits himself down on a chair right next to one of the older people Haze doesn’t know. She looks around, unsure of what exactly to make of this situation — she’d taken a sort of liking to Belle, if only because she can empathise with her plight, but to go up and talk to her would be… um… would be… not exactly easy to do. Is it better to stand here and wait it out? Or should I talk to Sybil?

    Before she can start dragging herself into the unending whirlpool of trying to figure out how to navigate a room full of people, she’s given a welcome distraction — a punkish-looking girl who stands out like a sore thumb amidst all these nobles walks right past her and goes straight to Yuri, asking him some weird things in an oddly confrontational tone, as though he’d seriously offended her somehow. Haze makes a confused expression, looking almost instinctively at Belle, then to Sybil, who she thought would probably be more likely to have an answer.
     
  20. TheSequelReturns

    TheSequelReturns Phantom Thief

    - Cainhurst Manor - 1st Floor Anteroom -

    "So, Yuri was it? You never told us what you are. Are you a doctor...I mean real, legit M.D.? Or are you more the mad scientist sort who may or may not experiment on people?" Ally said.

    Yuri stared at her blankly while she spoke and took another long sip of his coffee. Unlike the maids or butlers, he clearly did not find it necessary to be overly respectful to the Leonharts. "Is no worry." He said, once Ally had said her piece. "I am having actual degree."

    Belle chimed in. "Ummm," her hand went for the ribbon around her neck again, as though to steady her nerves. "Yuri is actually a doctor in both Botany and General Medicine."

    The doctor nodded. "Is true. Also have, how-you-say, undergraduate in Chemistry."

    "He is very talented." Belle added. "He even works with the roses in the garden. There's some very nice white-"

    Yuri coughed. Belle stopped talking, blushing furiously. A long moment of silence stretched out.

    "What?" Yuri asked. "Is only cough. Coffee is hot."

    The door everyone had originally entered through opened up and Saizo entered the room partway. "Attention everyone, dinner is served."

    The elderly butler shuffled everyone back out into the large foyer. Lucy was there with Saizo, this time wearing a spotless maid outfit. "Lucy will guide you all to the dining hall. Dinner tonight will unfortunately not be a full five-course meal, but three courses have been prepared with the utmost care for your enjoyment. I do regret to inform you that Master Kieran is feeling too ill to join you for your meal but he does look forward to seeing you all afterwards."

    Lucy gave a long, formal bow. "Please, allow me to guide you to the dining hall."

    As the group passed, Yuri nodded and raised his coffee mug towards Saizo and Belle tried to scurry past with her head held low. Saizo gently placed a hand on Belle's shoulder. "Belle, may I have a word with you?"

    Belle stopped cold, then nodded. The group passed into the hall at the other end of the room while Saizo and Belle walked back into the Anteroom.


    ~ Cainhurst Manor - Dining Room ~

    After navigating down a long hallway, past a few closed doors and around a corner, the group stopped at another set of double doors. The smells of tasty food were already in the air. Gregory was already waiting by the doors, and it was clear from his wet hair and fresh cologne that he had either barely had time to shower before meeting them here or had simply changed into fresh clothes after coming in from the storm.

    "Most of the main rooms in the manor, like the dining room for example, have double doors." Lucy said as she and Gregory opened the doors for everyone to enter. "The rooms with single doors are mostly staterooms or rooms set aside for other, non-traditional, uses. That should help you navigate around the manor."

    Inside the dining hall, a long table was set up with more than enough chairs for everyone. Filling the table were a whole collection of covered metal dishes. The maids went about removing the lids, revealing delicious looking item after delicious looking item. Meats both grilled and fried, vegetables cooked a dozen different ways, at least twenty different side items. It must have taken Violeta all day long to prepare this feast. And though the portions of each were probably smaller than what most present were used to, the quality was out of this world.

    "I think you'll find Violetta is the best chef in all of Europe." Gregory said, clearly having to restrain himself from grabbing a chair and digging in with the rest of them.

    "You're damn right I am." a french accented voice called out from the kitchen doors. The door burst open to reveal Voletta herself. They say to never trust a skinny chef, and if that was the case then Violetta was certainly trustworthy. She was a good two or three sizes larger than Orianna, not exactly overweight but certainly plump. This gave her ample curves and a large presence. Her skin was the color of rich dark chocolate and her hazel eyes seemed to sparkle with excitement. What really made her stand out though, even above everything else, was her mop of neon purple hair done up in a beehive hairdo. "I'm not here because I'm the second best chef in Europe, I'll tell you that. There's nothing you all have tried that can hold a candle to my cooking, not a damn thing."

    "Vi, manners." Lucy said through her teeth. "We have guests."

    "You can shove your manners up your-"

    "Vi." Lucy said sternly. "We have guests."

    "Fine, but they should know who it is that cooked for them." she said. "The name's Vi. Best chef all of you will ever find, I promise you that."

    Lucy gave her another look as if to say: And remember your manners from now on. Vi sent one back that very clearly elaborated on precisely where she could shove those manners before ducking back into the kitchen. Gregory was trying very hard not to laugh. Yuri was staring forlornly at his now empty coffee mug.

    "My sincerest apologies." Lucy said with an apologetic bow, her cheeks slightly flushed. "Kieran tolerates her... attitude because she truly is a culinary genius. Please, help yourselves." She and Gregory went about pulling out chairs for the guests and doing their best to act as servers. Yuri acted as though he was as much a guest as the Leonharts and allowed Lucy to sever him as well. Ronaldo joined shortly thereafter, his hair still damp as well, and he too joined in serving the guests.

    The mood was surprisingly festive, despite the storm still raging outside.

    The first course consisted of an assortment of salads and soups of all kinds, as well as breads, fresh coffee, tea, wine, and cheeses. The second course was truly lavish, with grilled seafood, roasted poultry, and braised meats of all kinds, along with a wide assortment of vegetables, fruit, and other side items.

    "I must say, for a single chef to have prepared such a wonderful feast is very impressive." Orianna offered.

    Vi grinned, clearly proud of her work. "The other staff pitches in as well. Normally, my assistants are here too. But with them gone I just cant' prepare my usual spread."

    "Gone?" Jules asked. He rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "Why would the staff be gone when you were expecting this many guests?"

    Vi and Lucy exchanged a concerned look. Ronaldo was the first to answer. "We don't know why, but over half of the staff was sent home just a few days ago."

    "Those of us gathered here," Lucy gracefully waved one hand, palm open and up, across the room, "as well as Saizo, Belle, and of course Master Kieran, are the only ones on the island currently."

    "Oh, I'm afraid that isn't the case my dears." a new voice called out from the back of the room. The voice fell over the group like honey, sweet and smooth and rich. All heads in the room turned to see a figure standing at the far side of the room, opposite the kitchen doors. It was impossible for them to have gotten in the room through the kitchen or the entryway doors without being seen by someone, and yet there they were. The honeyed voice belonged to someone even more impossible though. For the woman who now stood before the group looked for all the world like the woman from the painting in the foyer. She looked like Beatrice.

    "Every tiny detail of this evening, all the things that have transpired and all the things yet to come were all set in motion long ago." Her perfectly paced words fell from divine lips that rested upon the face of an angel. Blond hair as richly colored as spun gold flowed over her shoulders in flawless waves. She wore the same wine red and royal purple and brilliant gold dress depicted in the painting, the same pristine white gloves on her hands with the lace around the edges, the same unearthly air about her that suggested all adornment was beneath her. And her eyes were the same icy blue, her gaze piercing right into your heart, as it had in the foyer when those eyes were but a painting that held you in its gaze. "You all have a part to play dearies." she continued. "There was never any other way."

    "Excuse me, but who are you?" Orianna asked.

    "Is it not obvious?" the woman said. "I am Beatrice."

    "That's not possible." Gregory said. Beatrice laughed, a haughty but strangely angelic sound. "You can't be here!" Gregory shouted. He opened his mouth to say something more but Beatrice simply snapped her fingers and his voice stopped. Gregory stood there, mouth agape, trying to form words but no sound was coming out.

    "I don't recall giving the furniture permission to speak." Beatrice said coldly.

    "What is the meaning of all this?!" Jules was on his feet, eyes burning a hole through the strange woman.

    A thin smile slowly spread on Beatrice's lips. "I'll tell you, Blood of Kieran." Her gaze slowly fell across each of them in turn, but spending a second or two longer on Sybil and Haze than the rest. "The tragic tale you find yourselves in tonight is simply the closing act of a long story. The final, penultimate chapter in the history of this island, the history of your family." She laughed, the angelic tone fading into something far more sinister.

    "I am Beatrice," she continued. "The Golden Witch. And tonight dearies you are at my mercy. If any of you wish to escape this island, there is only one thing you can do..." Her porcelain face broke into a demon's grin. "Play your part."

    No one in the room moved. The weight of this strange woman's presence was suddenly so heavy that the air seemed suffocating.

    "You have four options, and only four options." Beatrice said. "Of course the easiest way off of this island is to die. That is your first option. For the second, if any one of you can locate Kieran's fortune, I will grant you my blessing. No matter what fate befalls the others on this island, I assure you that the one who receives my blessing will survive the night. But be warned, this applies only to the first one to find it. No one else."

    "To the one who can solve the mystery set out before you this evening, the tragic tale of murder and disappearance, I will grant one wish. There are limitations of course, but not many. Even the dead could be restored, if the wish-earner asks." Beatrice smiled that angelic smile from the painting once again. "I am a benevolent witch my dears, so in this difficult pursuit I shall grant you all a boon. Anything I say in red will be absolutely true."

    "What do you mean... 'say in red'" Jules asked hesitantly, as though he were afraid she would do to his voice what she had done to Gregory who still seemed completely mute.

    Beatrice seemed confused. "Why, this of course." She took a deep breath and snapped her fingers. "Anything I say in red can not be a lie." As she spoke those words, the same words appeared in the air before her as bright red letters seemingly made from glowing light.

    "You will see me again, I assure you." Beatrice said. "And anything I say to you in red will be information you can trust. As for anything else... well, I am a witch." she grinned. "Wither you trust me or not is your responsibility."

    "How can we trust you to tell us the truth?" Orianna said nervously.

    "It is quite simple dearie." Beatrice said. "The Red Text can not lie. It is not my rule, it is simply how it works. Let me show you what a lie looks like in Red Text." The golden witch cleared her throat. "My name is Kieran." she said with that same power. But this time, the red letters only appeared as:

    "My name is"

    The word Kieran simply did not appear. Instead, only broken red shards appeared in its place, like the word "Kieran" had been smashed to pieces.

    "Red Text does not lie." Beatrice said sternly. "Doubt me if you will, but the rules of magic are unbreakable." Beatrice sighed, and her face was once again an angelic mask. "You'll be seeing me again soon, don't worry. I'll be keeping a very careful watch over you all tonight. Which of the four options will each of you choose to pursue, I wonder?"

    "And what is our fourth option?" Lucy asked, her face cold and steely.

    The largest and creepiest smile yet graced Beatrice's face. For the first time, she truly looked like a witch. "Your fourth option is simple." she said, a maniacal laugh starting to build in her throat. "I will allow every soul on this island to live if any of you can do one simple thing, prove to me that magic does not exist."

    And with that command, the Golden Witch Beatrice snapped her fingers and exploded into a cloud of golden butterflies that flew through the walls and vanished, her laughter echoing as it faded away.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018

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