IC-Ep 2-The Initiation(Caelia only)

Story and his companions infiltrate the conspiracy and break into various houses in an effort to uncover evidence, and Senator Scaevola is implicated. Caelia Alba courageously visits Scaevola's secret lair to gather information. While their Roman friends spend an uneasy night dreading what may come tomorrow, the TARDIS crew bluffs its way in to Scaevola's villa to thwart his schemes, but all does not go as planned.

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IC-Ep 2-The Initiation(Caelia only)

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:59 am

Scaevola's Villa- southwest of Rome, Italia
Late evening- March 14, 44 BC

Caelia Alba followed Senator Scaevola through the peristylium and into the exedra. This indoor garden had some of the same plants as in the outdoor garden through which they had just passed, though only the smaller ones. There was no room here for trees or large topiary. It also had a few specimens she hadn't seen before, some of which she knew to have medicinal properties. Two Egyptian manservants, each with a khopesh across his back, stood on either side of a large wooden planter in the center with a large idol of Thoth looming behind it. Scaevola stopped in front of the idol and turned around to face her. "The first part of the initiation rite is the oath of secrecy," he explained to Caelia. "What you observe during these rites, and any secrets revealed to you of the mysteries of Thoth, may only be revealed to those who have also been initiated, such as myself and these two men here. You will also learn how to identify fellow initiates, and to make yourself known to them as one without the uninitiated being any the wiser. Once you take this oath, there is no going back. Are you certain you wish to proceed, my lady?"
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Re: IC-Ep 2-The Initiation(Caelia only)

Postby aine » Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:41 pm

Caelia looks Scaevola in the eye and raises her chin just a little; in her pursuit of knowledge she has traveled far and studied long, this is an altogether different tack and one not without some danger she thinks; but she feels capable to handle whatever Scaevola may have in store. With a silent prayer to Juno, she nods once.
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Re: IC-Ep 2-The Initiation(Caelia only)

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Aug 25, 2016 3:11 am

"Good," said Scaevola. "You must kneel before Thoth and repeat the following oath: I swear by Thoth and by all the gods that I shall not reveal the secrets that I shall learn to anyone other than a fellow initiate. Should I break my oath, may my eyes be burned out by the fires of Ra, may my tongue be severed, may scorpions sting my nether regions and venomous snakes bite my neck, may crocodiles bite off my limbs, may hyenas consume my entrails, may Anubis weigh me and find me wanting, and may my ka be forever condemned to wander aimlessly."
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Re: IC-Ep 2-The Initiation(Caelia only)

Postby aine » Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:45 pm

Caelia kneels before Thoth; she studies the statue intently for a moment, wondering if he is actually watching. She constantly finds herself torn between religion and science and this evening is no exception. Would Ra really burn out her eyes?

"I swear by Thoth and by all the gods that I shall not reveal the secrets that I shall learn to anyone other than a fellow initiate.

Should I break my oath, may my eyes be burned out by the fires of Ra, may my tongue be severed, may scorpions sting my nether regions and venomous snakes bite my neck, may crocodiles bite off my limbs, may hyenas consume my entrails, may Anubis weigh me and find me wanting,

and may my ka be forever condemned to wander aimlessly."

She is glad she has a quick memory.
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Re: IC-Ep 2-The Initiation(Caelia only)

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:58 am

"Arise, my lady," said Scaevola, nodding in acknowledgement. "We may proceed. In case you are wondering, I have taken the same oath myself when I was initiated, in the Temple to Thoth in Khmun many years ago. I have since risen to the status of adept, which allows me to bring in new initiates if both I and Thoth find them worthy. You will witness some of the secrets during this rite, of course. Legally, you are considered an initiate during the process, so that I may share them with you while still keeping to my oath. Now, let us venture into the Underworld."

The Senator clapped his hands, and the two Egyptian servants each grabbed one end of the planter. They slid it to the side, revealing a dark opening beneath it that had been covered by the planter. Rough-hewn stone stairs descended into blackness. Scaevola took a lit torch from a sconce at the rear of the garden, behind the large idol. "This way," he said, starting down the stairway.
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Re: IC-Ep 2-The Initiation(Caelia only)

Postby aine » Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:32 pm

Caelia regards the gaping maw with trepidation and she swallows nervously. As Scaevola starts down the stairs, she quietly slips off a clay bangle and lets it drop to the floor to show she has gone this way. Then, with a last look at the warm lantern light around her, she steps gingerly into the hole and follows Scaevola down the stairs.

Spoiler:
For dropping the bangle without notice, 19 (sorry, not sure which skill to use for this!)
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Re: IC-Ep 2-The Initiation(Caelia only)

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:49 am

Nobody seemed to notice Caelia drop the bangle. She descended following Scaevola, soon arriving in a cavern that was anything but natural. It was rectangular, with smooth walls carved out of the earth. At the far end of the long room was an archway flanked by two torches, which were not lit. Before the archway stood a large idol of Anubis, some twelve feet tall and nearly scraping the ceiling. He held a pair of scales in one hand. Another archway led to the right, also with unlit torches on either side.

"This way, please," said Scaevola, glancing back to make sure she was behind him. Then he approached the torches at the far end and lit them with his own torch. The cavern flared into a weak, shadowy light.

Spoiler:
That would be a Conceal roll, which barely fails. However, Scaevola couldn't possibly see it with his back to you, and the Egyptians would only see it if they succeeded at a Spot Hidden roll.

Caelia, please roll Listen.
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Re: IC-Ep 2-The Initiation(Caelia only)

Postby aine » Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:57 am

Image

Caelia looks around in the flickering light, no wonder they couldn't find anything at the villa; it was all hidden down below! Who would have guessed such a cavern existed. The foreboding statue of Anubis fills the room with dreadful shadows that play along the walls. Caelia's heart thumps so loudly she can hear little else but still she follows Scaevola.

Spoiler:
(25%) roll:70
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Re: IC-Ep 2-The Initiation(Caelia only)

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:08 am

All was eerily silent as Scaevola led Caelia to the base of the statue. "This is the point of no return," he intoned. "Once you pass beneath the watchful eyes of Anubis, there will be no going back until the initiation is complete. Are you certain you wish to proceed?"
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Re: IC-Ep 2-The Initiation(Caelia only)

Postby aine » Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:32 pm

Caelia feels very alone; it is unlikely Artemis could find her down here. In the flickering darkness, Scaevola seems to loom over Caelia, his face a menacing mask. But she has come this far and if she doesn't continue she'll always wonder...
"I'm ready." She whispers.
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Re: IC-Ep 2-The Initiation(Caelia only)

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Sep 03, 2016 2:46 am

"Excellent," said Scaevola. He led Caelia on through the archway and into a vast square chamber. Murals and carvings, all Egyptian-themed, covered the walls. Some of them were rather disturbing, depicting people being sacrificed to the gods, Thoth being prominent among them. There was also a large idol of Thoth, the same size as the one of Anubis, in the center of the chamber. At Thoth's feet stood a sandstone altar on a raised platform with horns rising from the four corners. Another archway led onwards from the rear of the cavern. All of these underground rooms lay beneath the villa. It would have been expensive in terms of both time and labor to have them constructed, but Scaevola was surely not without those resources.

Spoiler:
Caelia, please roll Spot Hidden.
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Re: IC-Ep 2-The Initiation(Caelia only)

Postby aine » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:47 pm

Caelia looks at the alter with trepidation and tries to lighten the mood with some chitchat. "These caverns are extensive; have they always been here or did you get them built? That's a fine statue of Thoth, very detailed; is it from Egypt or have you had it commissioned?" She looks at the morbid murals, concentrating on examining them from a medical perspective rather than any other. "Your artists are, er, quite knowledgeable."
Spoiler:
(35%) roll:93
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Re: IC-Ep 2-The Initiation(Caelia only)

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:37 am

It was too dark to make out the details of the murals. Caelia could only see the area around the torch that Scaevola carried, near the idol and the altar - and even that, not very well.

"I had the caverns dug beneath my villa," said Scaevola. "It was costly, but well worth the price. Few would even imagine they are here. The statue of Thoth was built in this very chamber by the best Egyptian artisans. I had the materials and the craftsmen brought in, along with far more light than we have here tonight. It was easier than having it brought down here from above. It probably would not have fit through the stairway. Likewise, the idol of Anubis was built where it stands. The murals were also painted by skilled Egyptian artists. Now, lie down upon the altar, on your back."
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Re: IC-Ep 2-The Initiation(Caelia only)

Postby aine » Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:00 pm

"You are very lucky to have such funds at your disposal." Caelia replies. Scaevola points to the alter. "Really?" Caelia mutters under her breath, but Scaevola looks deadly serious. "Tell me, Scaevola; I'm not going to regret this am I? " She looks at the menacing alter with concern and then looks at Scaevola.
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Re: IC-Ep 2-The Initiation(Caelia only)

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Sep 08, 2016 4:59 am

"Once the mysteries are revealed to you," said Scaevola, regarding her with his steely gaze, "you will regret nothing. It is too late for regrets in any event. We have passed the point of no return."
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Re: IC-Ep 2-The Initiation(Caelia only)

Postby aine » Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:09 am

Caelia returns his look with a flash of fire, lifts her chin and then walks resolutely towards the alter. She flicks a speck of dust off the surface and settles herself down gracefully. She looks up into the swirling shadows on the ceiling and waits.
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Re: IC-Ep 2-The Initiation(Caelia only)

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:47 am

The slab was cold and uncomfortable. Scaevola smiled. "Excellent," he said, his voice deepening. "Caelia Alba, the time has come to weigh your soul. You must confess the worst thing you have ever done. Do not hold anything back. Thoth will know if you do."
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Re: IC-Ep 2-The Initiation(Caelia only)

Postby aine » Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:39 am

Caelia wriggles on the slab trying to get comfortable and trying to concentrate. The worst thing? She'd had a very privileged upbringing, wanted for nothing, was well educated and brought up; never had to do anything bad to get to where she was.
She felt guilty about her continual thirst for knowledge but then she put it to good use helping others. She had borrowed a few ancient papyrus from the Great Library and hadn't yet returned them two years later; that was pretty bad. And she'd tried that new concoction of poppy and absinthe on that fatuous noble; he hadn't really suffered from it but at least it had stopped his incessant unnecessary visits.
Maybe the worst thing really was that she didn't truly believe in the gods, they just didn't tie in with what she knew of the world. But how could she confess that? And it certainly wouldn't help her cause in this situation.
"I, I don't know. Truly I don't. I haven't done anything very bad that I know of. Unless you count stolen library books... Or I've caused something to happen that I'm not aware of, there really isn't anything, I'm sorry, Scaevola."
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Re: IC-Ep 2-The Initiation(Caelia only)

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Sep 11, 2016 3:11 am

"No, that's all right," said Scaevola. "It is good that you are an honest and upright woman. Stealing books can be bad, depending of course on the books, but it is nothing unforgivable. Your soul is weighed in the scales of Anubis, and you are admitted into the Underworld. Thoth accepts you as you are. You are now an Initiate in the Brotherhood - the term is used loosely, as obviously women may become members. You may rise, Caelia Alba, and I shall reveal to you the first mysteries."
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Re: IC-Ep 2-The Initiation(Caelia only)

Postby aine » Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:24 am

Caelia sits up, glad to be past the inquiry and glad to be off that cold stone. She looks up at Thoth but the statue is as still as ever. "Yes." She says simply, wondering what the first mysteries might be.
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