While staying at Chateau Greene you each go about your various whims and interests, but at supper time, etiquette dictates that everyone eats together.
The first night’s dinner, held at around 10 PM was a feast to behold.
The appetizer was a platter of potatoes tossed in garlic, herbs and crumbled bacon, served with a smokey, ginger wine. Robert asks a hobgoblin servant named Renaud to bring him a wine called “Gutblut”.
Over the first course, Robert tells you about how he first came to build this house, nearly a hundred years the prior. He explains that after his escape from Demonhold, he came to befriend The Upholders. With his knowledge of the city and several key players, he helped the Upholders, then only comprised of Peren, Silva and a dark man with hollow, sunken, terrible eyes simply referred to as “A”, with the assassination of several key members of the demon hierarchy of Demonhold and Crossroad.
“Things were good at first.” His first settlement was in the northeast, on the coast of Sirencall. “It was nice, for a time. We had snapper twice a week, and I greatly enjoyed fishing. But it didn’t take very long for word of my resurfacing to get to Crossroad.”
He takes a sip of wine and lets the taste simmer. He smiles sadly.
“I awoke one night to find my house burning to the ground around me. ”/characters/obsidiana" class=“wiki-content-link”>Obsidiana and I barely escaped with our lives."
He goes on to explain that after repeated assassination attempts, he lived in Andlosa. Then, during The Cleansing, another assassination attempt was made, this time by The Upholders. Robert broke relations with them and bought a sea vessel and chartered the gulf with his his wife and child. After many weeks drifting, they came across a spot that looked promising: completely encased by mountains on three sides, with the murky ocean on the last. Over the next year they, with the help of the Hobgoblin Horde, he created a safe haven for himself.
“That was…” he has a look as if he’s counting, and says “a hundred years ago or so. Yet it feels like just yesterday Ruby was helping plant out first garden here.” He looks at Ruby with a warm smile. She smiles back, he lips red as crimson and her large dark eyes glistening.
He senses a feeling of confusion at the table, and addresses the guests.
"You by now are aware that we, " referring to Obsidian and Ruby, “age very well. Or perhaps, not well at all, I suppose. I myself am nearly three-hundred and fifty years old. Obsidiana is -”
“A lady doessn’t disscusss her age, dear.” She says coyly as she pours more wine. She wears dark glasses, even at the table, and her hair is kept in a bundle that slightly writhes and curls. Robert smiles, embarrassed.
“Of course. And Ruby is herself just over three-hundred. Isn’t that right sweetie?”
Ruby smiles and says with some difficulty “…I’m….three…..three….three-one-three old….”
“Three-hundred and thirteen. She hasn’t aged almost at all in over fifty years. Maybe grown a half inch. My little girl with outlive the youngest Everwood Tree in the Kingdom at this rate.” He says with a chuckle as the next course is brought out.
Renaud and two others bring in the main course, which is an entire rack of ribs from an elk, covered in a sweet smokey wine sauce on a bed of chickpeas, caramelized onions and peppers. Renaud passes out a bowl of steamed spiced wild rice to each of you. He then brings to the table a baked foccacia bread measuring roughly 12" by 3 feet long, spiced with rosemary, thyme and sage, brushed with goat butter and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
“Delicious.” Robert begins cutting the rack of ribs.
“Also, I learned some valuable news from ”wiki-content-link-not-found">_Content Not Found: jesper_ when we spoke on the way here. He… Oh Jesper? He’s my inside man, as it were. You see, the train system has several conductors, all having been screened by Silva Montag
himself. It took Jesper two years of ingratiating himself into the city and the workings of the technology to gain admittance to become a conductor. Silva’s screening process is rigorous and in some ways unethically torturous, Jesper told me, but eventually he attained a position.
Anyway, apparently, The Enforcer
has been assassinated. I know that we had heard that recently, but my man confirmed it. He overheard talk from one of the ambassadors from the Western Empire
. Apparently, a terrorist named Tiresias
from a group called the Sightgivers
attacked The Enforcer while he was engaged in a duel with Blackfoot
, the preeminent blacksmith of the Cognitarium
during the Festival of Endless Light
This may be a good thing to use to our advantage. The Enforcer is a hardy hands-on warrior. He would be difficult to deal with."
Obsidiana clears her throat sharply, Robert noticing immediately.
“If, by chance, it came to that. Which, I hope…” Robert stops his speaking, and glances with distaste at Virgil. “Well, let’s try to make sure we have as little contact with the Upholders as possible.”
Dessert is a raspberry-glazed crunchbread with dried figs and sugar-pecan topping. Ruby seems to enjoy dessert the most, but still remains quiet.
“That was nearly two weeks ago. There is talk among some of the populace about the ambassadors being spies or assassins. I had the pleasure of meeting them briefly earlier this month. They weren’t themselves so keen on gainful employment. I don’t see why not. I’d like to think I’m an excellent boss.” He smiles at Renaud who gives each person a small plate with a wetcloth and utensils.
“Absolutely sir. My family is forever indebted to you.” He reciprocates the smiles.
“As mine is to your
people, Renaud.” Renaud courteously nods.
“Anyway, Jesper also mentioned seeing one of the ambassadors earlier this week, on their way to Silvervein. He was an alchemist, with wings. He thought he seemed odd. He was apparently talking to himself, or to some imaginary entity sitting beside him. I was contemplating going to Silvervein myself for my next silver purchase. My own silver mines have all but dried up, and not to mention, the mayor intrigues me.” He crunches into the dessert.
He begins shaking his head and laughing. “Did you know that vampires don’t need to eat? I mean, besides a meager amount of blood per day, I don’t need to consume food or water at all. So why do I do it?” He takes another bite and closes his eyes, enjoying the taste. “C’est magnifique…” He swallows. “A life without simple pleasures, no matter how long, is no life at all.”
The ending of the meal is coffee and an incensed-tobacco stick to smoke, which Robert informs you is a traditional Hobgoblin after-meal ritual. Renaud begins clearing the table, but Robert shoos him away, telling him to take a rest and that he’s been fantastic the entire night. Renaud thanks him, and tells him that he quite enjoys having guests, and that to expect a delicious quiche in the morning. As Robert is clearing the table, Ruby shrieks and slams her fist down into the hard wooden table, clattering the dishes, then scrambles away from the table, her arm swiping and smashing several plates and glasses.
Obsidiana rushes to her as Robert quickly puts down the dishes and does the same.
Ruby falls to the floor writhing and screaming. “GET OFF
ME!” She claws at her arms as if wiping away some crawling thing, opening up cuts in her forearms. “GET THEM OFF
ME! THEYRE CRAWLING THEYRE EVERYWHERE
“Honey!” Robert grabs Ruby by the arms to restrain her. He quickly takes off a black leather bracelet Ruby is wearing, folds it in half and tells Ruby to open her mouth. Obsidiana attempts to restrain Ruby’s arms.
Ruby continues to spasm and then her eyes go wide and she says “HE’S HERE
, MOM MOM HELP
!” She flails madly and sends a sharp slash to Robert, tearing a gash down his face that immediately seeps blood. She screams and kicks and lands a hard kick into Obsidiana’s side, sending her reeling a few feet away. Obsidiana rushes back to her.
Robert secures her legs and one arm as Ruby bites her lip hard enough to draw blood. “HE’S MADE
OF CRAWLING THINGS
!” Robert shoves the leather into her mouth and she bites down into it. Obsidiana secures her other arm by kneeling on it, and she takes off her glasses.
“Shhhh, darling it’s ok, just look at mommy. Look into my eyes. Shhhh. Just look.” Obsidiana grabs the sides of Ruby’s head and forces her to stare into her eyes. The black in Ruby’s eyes then fills the entirety of the space, and there is a crackling sound. “Shhhhh, it’s okay my love. Shhhh, don’t see them. Don’t see them…” Ruby makes a moaning of pain as her eyes begin to turn to a pitch black stone and crack and break. Her breathing slows and her flailing weakens. Robert’s face drizzles blood from the severe gash. Obsidiana repeats “Shhhh. It’s ok…” as she stares into her daughters eyes, which have now become layered chunks and chips of obsidian stone. Ruby stops writhing and her breathing becomes slow as the leather drops from her open mouth.
The room is quiet and still, besides the ragged breathing of Obsidiana and Robert. They help Ruby to her feet and into a chair. She slowly pulls pieces of obsidian off of her face and out of her eye socket, revealing a supernaturally fast healing of her eyes.
“It’s ok darling. Are you ok?” Obsidiana retrieves her glasses from the floor and puts them back on.
Ruby simply nods and then says “I’m hungry.” Robert gives a relieved sigh-chuckle and says “I’ll grab your favorite.” He gets up and goes to the kitchen.
Obsidiana caresses Ruby’s black hair and addresses the guests.
“I’m sorry. She hasn’t had an episode like this in a few weeks. It must be all the excitement. She’ll be fine. We’re a hardy bunch.” She smiles, and Robert comes back into the room holding a small chalice filled with what appears to be a slushed-ice mixed with a deep-red syrup. You can smell a metallic tinge wafting from it’s direction. Ruby sluggishly begins eating.
“Well, I think it’s about time to retire for the night. Renaud will show you to your rooms.”