The Persistence of Memory

Random stands to his full height (still inches below most of those there) and lifts his hand. "Hold it, folks. Let's not go off hair-triggered here. Morgan is a scion of Amber, and as such, most likely able to look after himself. Besides, he's only been away less than a day. Let's worry if he doesn't show soon. In the meantime, we have this thing with Dworkin, these ravens, the mirrors and the apparitions. Have I forgotten any?"

With a shrug, Gideon answers the king. "If you sent someone to check out the warning our burning friend gave us, then I think that's everything we need to deal with. For now, at least."

Out in the hall, Skye studies the smoke coming out around the door a moment before tentatively touching the wooden surface lightly to check how hot it is. If there's a servant loitering about, she waves them over. Saffron moves with her, checking now for anything arcane around the door and doorway.

Random speaks behind them. "Well, I didn't exactly send someone, but Fi's decided to go check on things there."

The door, while still warm to the touch, isn't actually hot. It's unlikely that there's any fire just behind the door. Nor is there any sense of active arcana around the door - just the remains of whatever the attack was.

Skye pulls her black leather riding gloves on and looks to Saffron as she reaches for the door handle. "Get ready."

Saffron stands well back out of the way, taking several steps back away from the doorway. "Nothing active around the door," she offers briefly. "Try not to charge in before I've had a chance to take a look this time…"

Once Saffron is out of the way or shielding herself, Skye releases the latch and kicks the door open. She skips sideways on the off chance something blows out of the room.

Lucas stands by quietly, his sword held loosely at his side, observing the prospective investigation and keeping a wary eye out for potential trouble. Gwyll stands next to Gideon with a watchful eye, regretting once again not bringing his sword to Random's meetings. Gideon turns to watch Skye kick the door down. He tightens his grip on his staff, but otherwise seems relaxed.

The room is smoldering, with small fires where there were papers, but by and large it's obvious that the fire didn't last long enough to start any major fires. Random's desk and several of the tables are scorched and will undoubtedly need to be refinished, but they still look structurally sound.

Skye enters cautiously with a look at the ceiling beams. She goes to where the Trump card had been dropped by Dworkin. They are supposed to be indestructible, after all, and a clue was a clue.

Stepping into the room behind Skye, Gideon frowns at the destruction. He carefully stomps out some burning paper on the floor. With a twisted smile he rhetorically asks, "Hrmm. Anyone feel like making any casual trump calls now?"

"No," says Skye. "But I do have a sudden craving for S'mores."

Saffron strides in after him, not quite stomping, and heads for Skye and the place where the Trump should be. She's still scanning for magical energies.

Skye lightly kicks at a smoldering table leg and sidesteps smoothly out of Saffron's way. The Ranger is just looking for the physical; Saffron sees things she does not. Skye flips a wool throw up on the back of a chair so it isn't in danger of combusting from a spark or the heat from the smoldering chair leg. She smiles wryly. "Ah. Memories."

Random, leaning against the doorjamb - his cloak wadded up between him and the soot - watches. "Anything of interest, folks?"

Skye squats down and flips the trump over with the tip of her finger. "Huh," says she before picking it up between thumb and forefinger. She holds it up to eye level and stands. "It's blank," she informs the King. "I do not know much of the Art of these things, but that's not right."

"Blank?" Gideon says with a frown."That card was from Dworkin's deck, so I doubt it was a fake."
He sighs. "I don't think there much I can contribute here. I'm going to go eat breakfast, if anyone wants me to speculate wildly, I'll only do it over a plate of food." Gideon shrugs and makes his way back to the hallway and then to where he can eat.

"There isn't enough left to get a good read on what that was," Saffron reports briefly.

Gwyll turns back following Gideon. "There is not much here, Random. I think someone with some knowledge of Trump creation should have a look at Dworkin's. The energy remaining is too faint to identify. Maybe we should start worrying about what's happening here."

Random shrugs. "No one here has that knowledge. It was just Dworkin and Brand. Fiona may know, but she's never mentioned it. Unless one of you is holding knowledge you haven't mentioned."

Rising smoothly back to her feet, Skye moves over to offer the blank card to Random. "My only knowledge of the cards is in their use, and then only the basics that everyone knows."

Saffron shakes her head. "Sorcery I can do, but the Trumps haven't been part of my studies. I will be check-in in with Aunt Fiona later today; I can ask her then."

As he walks away, Gideon shrugs and says, "Sorry, Random, I think you know my opinion of those damn cards."

Random nods. "Didn't think so. All right. Meeting's adjourned for now. Folks, find out what you can. Follow your strengths, though. I'm not interested in forcing anyone to learn stuff they don't want to know."

"Random, before we part I'd like to ask you if Merlin's brother has told you something that might be relevant to what is happening here and what consequences could have messing up with the Fount of Power." says Gwyll while the others are leaving.

Skye nods to Random and then moves over to Julian. "A moment of your time, sir?"

Saffron stays where she is, waiting for Skye. After all, as unenthused by the prospect as she is, they do have ghosts to hunt.

Julian looks at Skye for a moment, then nods. "Yes, Skye?"

The Ranger fell into a parade rest. Technically, she is still on duty as far as she knows. "Where, exactly, do you want me, sir?"

Julian shakes his head. "You're family, Skye, and we're not in Arden. I won't command you in this. Though I suppose, if I'm honest, I should tell you that if you do return to Arden, I'll see fit to give you the dirtiest, hardest and worst duties I can. It's time you stopped looking to others for your orders, and took your place as a member of Amber's royal family."

She is silent for a moment. An almost too long moment. "Excuse me?" she asks lowly. "Perhaps you didn't realize that being a Ranger was the only thing that kept me here after Patterfall, or perhaps you didn't care. Doubtless you had no idea that if I had stayed in Scythia, the military is exactly where I would be for several more years. I had no idea it offended you so." She straightens to sharp attention. "But if that is how you feel, I shall have my resignation on your desk before lunch."

Skye had never mouthed off to a superior officer in either home, and she wasn't sure what to expect. But if he wanted her acting like the rest of her disrespectful generation, he can certainly get it.

Julian smiles. "I was wondering if I'd ever be able to get a reaction out of you. And no, I don't expect your resignation. But you also have to remember that Royal commands supersede mine, just as Royal duties supersede any you have to the Rangers or to Arden. In this case, I can't command you."

"Tahiti's frilly knickers," she swears colorfully, fisting a hand on her hip. "You're taking away my excuses for missing Court, and now I have to go ghost hunting."

Julian lifts an eyebrow and shakes his head. "I'm fairly certain I don't want to know. In any event, Arden is quiet at the moment, so you'd be off-duty whether this had come up or not. If things start getting noisy again, I'll see what I can do about getting you free of the ghost hunters."

Skye rewards him with a brilliant smile. "I really do prefer to be in Arden. It isn't just me not wanting to get embroiled in courtly intrigue." She cocks her head to one side. "You can understand that, I think."

"Entirely possible." Julian's reply is succinct, filled with unspoken statements. "Especially when Bleys is around. But that's neither here nor there. How do you plan to hunt these 'ghosts'?"

"I have no idea," she admits. "They just appear, and then vanish too fast to see where they go - if they go anywhere at all. There's a Scythian rite for summoning ones ancestors that might be useful, but I am not mystically inclined and Saffron doesn't know it. They may not actually be real ghosts anyway." She quirks a half smile. "I think Saffron is convinced the first one showed up because we were running in the halls."

Julian nods. "Well, be careful. At present, we know little about them. They may yet prove dangerous. I would prefer that you not lose any - thing important to you."

Then you should be careful too," Julian," she responds seriously.

Suddenly feeling a bit embarrassed, Skye glances over to Saffron speaking with Flora. "If you have nothing else, I should go rescue Saffron and get to ghost tracking. Though I have no idea how Last Kiss and Heartbreak are going to aid in this endeavor."

Julian shrugs. "Most likely, better than you think. I would be surprised if these really turn out to be ghosts of any kind."

Skye arches a skeptical eyebrow. "I think I would prefer ghosts to Oberon walking these halls again," she states flatly.

Julian nods. "As would I. As would I. Dad was - often difficult."

"I did pick up on that," Skye replies with a dark look forming behind her eyes. No, she hasn't let that go and shows no signs of doing so anytime soon. "I am curious about the identity of the others, and if there are anymore to look forward to. Why is also a good question, and then there's the timing…"

Julian nods."True. And the fact that none of us have seen them, only you younger folk. Some would likely be inclined to dismiss it for that reason. I know you, however. I'm sure you'll get it sussed."

"Sadly, I cannot do that while standing here talking to you," Skye smiles slightly. "Alas."

"Yes," he smiles. "That would be rather difficult. Especially as I will be returning to Arden soonest. Good fortune, Skye."

She inclines her head slightly. "Safe journeys, Ziba Yek." Skye offers him another smile, then turns smartly on her heel to go fetch Saffron.

He nods and heads off to who knows where, leaving Skye headed towards Saffron - who seems to be doing a similar about face from Florimel.

TOCThe Hunt is On

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