Logs:Albergo Gancia Tree Lighting
|Albergo Gancia Tree Lighting|
"What about the fog?"
|Dramatis Personae|| |
December 3rd, 2016
Holiday Event in the gardens of Albergo Gancia
Snowy Gardens of Albergo Gancia
The garden even though the weather did not call for snow, was coated in the soft white fluffy stuff. Violet June Party Planning Inc had rented a snow machine to pump out some of the holiday spirit. The trees throughout the yard have yet to bit lit and the garden overlooks the mainland however, dreadfully foggy as it is no one could make out land. Each tree has a theme, even though there is a mix holiday feel to the whole thing. There were giant sparkling snowflake bag luminaries lined up like a menorah. One tree happens to be decorated like the 12 days of Christmas, top of the tree with two turtle doves. There is a tree decorated like sugary treats, gingerbread men and sugary plums and the like, a giant round peppermint at the top. Then there was a tree that... well it just doesn't fit in like the others, a mismatch of broken toys and such. A giant box on the bottom with a sign.
Each broken toy, is a broken Christmas wish.
Please give today, to make a child's day.
All caterers and staff that was hired on for the party today Violet had them dressed as shiny nutcrackers. There is a bonfire set up not to far away and giant fake presents and ornaments lining the walkways.
One first may notice the sparkly green and white stripe tights along her legs, up to the red velveteen dress. Violet looks like a marvelous peppermint elf. She even had the ears and sparkles on her cheeks. Looking serendipitous she has a tray in hand with hot coco on it, Peppermint hot coco. She has little white fluffy earmuffs as well. Her hair colored green on one side and red on the other, braided like a Swiss miss. Among the crazy configuration of hair is a little coco cup, which looks like it's spilling the braids and sparkles.
Milo arrives, smiling, but the smile does not reach his eyes. He stops and looks around, looking painfully at any children present. He is troubled, but putting on a good face. He appears twenty-something, standing 5'11" tall, and is ruggedly handsome with an easy smile and laughing eyes in a heart-shaped face. His hair is sandy brown and wavy. He looks a bit weak, like he is recovering from an illness, and carries a pure titanium walking cane adorned with a metal dragon pommel. He is wearing a made-to-measure Ermenegildo Zegna Sartoria Jacket with microjaquard structure in blue, worn with a twill Shirt with light blue check and French collar, light blue High Performance Wool cardigan and blue jaquard tie. The dots on the tie are actually small butterfly designs. All of this is paired with Milano trousers in wool flannel
Tonight, Lisette is wearing all white, a tailored dress that clings close to her figure before swirling out around her knees. To offset it, she's wearing a red shawl, and green earrings and necklace, both sparkling. Neither the dress nor the shawl probably provide particular warmth, but when it comes to fashion there's not much of a contest: fashion wins out over comfort. "What's wrong, cousin? You look... mm, here, let's go and see what Miss June has in her coco," the brunette says with a smile, reaching to hook an arm through her cousin's and guide them towards Violet.
"Good Afternoon folks!" Violet waves cheerily, "Welcome to the tree lighting. I think we will have a special guest soon in regards to the lighting." She offers coco. "Peppermint coco? If not I have some coffee and tea near that sugar plum fairy over there." She gestures. "I wish you Happy Holidays." She winks with a grand smile.
Milo looks at Lisette and for a moment the smile is real. "Hey cousin. Peppermint Coco sounds like a good thing, delicious. I am troubled, I was in an altercation last night with an, umm illegal alien trying to abduct children. I came out of it ok, but only barely." He sweeps his arm to indicate Lisette should lead the way.
Lisette jerks in surprise, glancing sharply at Milo. "Wait... were they wearing fashion from like the nineteen hundreds? I... I think we need to talk later, cousin." She squeezes his arm, looking equally troubled, as she leads the way towards Violet, putting on her best 'the show must go on' expression, brilliant smile greeting the other woman: "So good to see you again, and happy holidays to you as well! Another lovely party, may I say," she adds, effusively, as she leans closer to murmur, "Any chance you have coco with something a little stronger?" the brunette asks, with a wink.
Violet eyes narrow a bit. "Someone's stealing children?" She has a hard time keeping up on the stairwell in the garden in though high heel pointy toe elf shoes of hers. The garden is in levels on the side of the cliff. So there are well maintained paths and stairs to each level. Like it's own little snow globe. "There is so warm hard apple cider, and eggnog with rum.. I believe. You can think of it.. I think the bartender can make it." She smiles with those sparkly cheeks.
Milo reacts to Violet, realizing he did not speak low enough. "Umm, perhaps. It would be best to keep any child relatives close tonight, and watch out for anyone that looks strange..perhaps sick, with an ashen color."
Ambroise arrives wearing a long coat and scarf over his jacket. With the sun now down he removes a pair of dark glasses he had been wearing on boat trip over, revealing a nice bruise under his left eye. As the party is taking place outside he leaves his gloves on for the moment as he glances about for anyone he might recognize. As he spies Milo and Lisette in conversation with Violet he makes his way through the crowd in their direction.
Lisette is more than happy for Milo to field that question from Violet, adding, "As I said... be good for something a bit harder," with somewhat of a grimace. Milo's words about it being not over yet earn a sharp look, an exhale, and a nod of her head. "I... see. Uhm. I might get some of that apple cider, I think. Cousin?" as she glances at Milo, she notices Ambroise's approach, looking surprised. "Professor!"
Violet smiles to Milo. "Hello Milo. No, I keep trying to reach her. I haven't had any luck." She shrugs sadly. "I'm surprised anyone made it out in this fog. I'm glad you all made it here safely though!" Violet is just dressed like a peppermint elf don't mind her dazzling adorableness. She lofts her tray of coco so not to drop it. "I think that's why I have a low turn out tonight. The fog."
Milo's expression turns serious, and foreboding. "Yes, the.. fog."
Ambroise smiles to Milo as he extends a gloved hand to the man. "Mr. Cavanaugh," he says in way of greeting. He turns to greet Lisette and Violet as well, each in turn, with a quick, "Miss Cavanaugh. I didn't realize I would be running into you again so quickly," and a final "And you must be Miss June. Pleased to meet you."
Biting her lower lip briefly, Lisette studies Ambroise's bruised eye with a visible wince. "I have some foundation I could use to cover that up a bit, if you wanted..." she offers. She glances sharply at Milo. "What about the fog?"
Milo sighs, in for a penny, in for a pound. "It rolled in with the fashion challenged individual attempting to reallocated children last night."
Violet smiles cheerily even with that upper tooth gap of hers. "Welcome, yes I am Miss June. Whom am I addressing?" She blinks at Milo, listening. Fog, creep dude and missing children. She holds her poker face, doesn't ever spoil a party.
Ambroise inclines his head slightly to Lisette and smiles. "No, thank you," he says. "It's not all that serious and should heal up within a few days." He turns back to Violet. "I'm sorry," he says, extending a hand to her and smiling once again. "Ambroise Dubois."
"Ah, yes," Lisette says, briefly. With a nod towards Ambroise, at his response, she murmurs something to Milo and slips away towards the bar as introductions are made.
Ambroise turns to Milo as Lisette temporarily excuses himself. "Do you know much of what happened last night?" he asks. "The news has been rather quiet about the whole thing."
Violet takes Ambroise's hand and shakes it, she is able to balance her tray in the other when she does it. "Pleasure. Professor Dubois?" She did hear the word professor she was sure of it. "That is a lovely long coat you are wearing, I wonder who your tailor is?"
Milo nods to whatever Lisette said, clearly in agreement, and starts to follow toward the bar. Then he stops at what the Professor asks. "It's unclear exactly what happened, but it seems there was someone or someones in halloween costumes making trouble down at the docks, and rumors of attempted child abductions. If you have child relatives, keep them safe tonight. Now, I think I too need something stronger. It was good meeting you professor." With that he heads toward bar, trailing behind Lisette and ordering a Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA before turning to Lisette and whispering something.
Lisette spends a few minutes over by the bar; some laughter is audible as she chats with the bartender briefly, before she secures some of that apple cider -- the hard stuff -- taking a generous sip as the bartender moves away. She murmurs a low response to Milo, giving a brief, wry sort of smile as she does so.
Ambroise gives a nod to Milo as he considers what the man is saying. Clearly Lisette has not seen fit to tell Milo about last night if Milo feels the need to warn him about people in Halloween costumes abducting children, so he lets the matter lie for the moment. "Valentino's," he says in reply to Violet's question. "They're located in New Haven. I have only been her for a little over a week and haven't needed to find a new tailor yet."
"Well it is beautiful." Violet comments, watching them walk away. "Um.. I'll leave you to your friends. Did you want anything to eat or drink Mister Dubois?" She rests her tray on her hip. Tray is almost bigger than she is, only a bit at 5'5".
Milo chuckles softly in a self-deprecating way, and whispers something in response to Lisette, looking a little sheepish.
Ambroise smiles to Violet. "Thank you," he says to her. "I have to say that your outfit is quite lovely as well. Very festive, and I would love a cup of the cocoa you are carrying."
Reaching out to touch Milo's forearm, Lisette lifts her mug not to drink, but to carry with her. With another murmur, she turns away from the bar, gesturing, "Should we find the Professor, maybe find a tree to claim -- and talk some more?"
Violet smiles slightly. "I was hoping it would lift my spirits for today." She offers some of the peppermint hot coco for him. "What do you do for a living?" She inquires.
Ambroise accepts the peppermint cocoa from Violet, pausing for a moment to blow on it to cool it. "I'm a history professor at the University," he says to Violet. "I just came in as a mid-term replacement for another teacher who had an unfortunate accident and won't be able to finish out the semester." He takes a sip of the cocoa and says, "May I ask what is troubling you that you felt the need to raise your spirits?"
Carrying her mug, Lisette glides alongside Milo as they move from the bar back to where Violet and Ambroise are talking, not seeking to interrupt, and yet the brunette looks to be trying to catch Ambroise's eye.
Milo glides along silently behind Lisette as she tries to catch Amroise's attention.
Violet smiles some. "Oh, that's interesting. I never went to University. But I think history is fascinating." She frowns. "That's terrible. I've been here for about 9 months now. So welcome to Fallcoast." She smirks and winks, holding up a finger to her lips, signing 'shh'. "That -is- a secret." She says cheerily. "My troubles stay out of my parties." She looks like she just remembered something. "Sadly, as a party planner I don't have time to socialize.. I have things to do to move this event along." She nods politely. "It was nice speaking with you." She quickly excuses herself form the conversation scurrying and bouncing down the garden stairs to see to a tree.
Arriving late, perhaps having had to arrange her own water taxi, Aurore arrives - wrapped up in warm Winter overcoat, with woollen hat, sensible boots, and gloved hands thrust into her pockets. She peers around with cheerfully wide-eyed curiosity... before spotting Violet and striding in the direction of the elf-for-the-night. Busy though she's sure Vi is, Aurore has every intention of stealing at least one hug, if allowed to do so.
With a nod for the departing Violet, Lisette turns a smile on Ambroise, "Professor, won't you join my cousin and I for a chat? I see a lovely looking tree over there that I want to admire." She gestures vaguely towards one of the gingerbread ones. "Now that we've gotten drinks," she adds, wryly, adjusting her shawl with her spare hand.
Violet spots Aurore. "Aurore!" She hugs her and gives her cheek kisses which gives Aurore some of her cheek glitter. "I have a party dilemma. I'll be back in a little bit. Good to see you! Go mingle have some food and drink, warm yourself by the bonfire.." She smiles and goes about her party duties, scurries off the glitter elf!
Ambroise smiles pleasantly and nods to Violet as she departs. "Of course, I understand," he says to her. He turns to Lisette as she addresses him once again. "Certainly," he says, pausing for just a moment to take a sip of his own peppermint cocoa.
A party they might be at, but this is Fallcoast, too, and the strange is not that unusual -- perhaps that's why Lisette isn't as subtle as she ought to be, as they walk towards her chosen tree. "The thing earlier, with the children-stealing pirates -- my cousin encountered them as well. And maybe the source of them...?" she glances at Milo for him to elaborate. They're's passing near to where Violet and Aurore are exchanging greetings, so maybe the latter hears some of her words.
Milo continues to listen quietly, letting Lisette broach the subject of interest, waiting to see Ambroise's response.
Ambroise quirks an eyebrow. "The...source of them?" he says, sounding more than a little dubious as he walks along with the two Cavanaughs. "I had not realized that the event was so widespread. Just how many people were involved in this and do we have any idea why they were doing it? It seems odd that the newspapers didn't make at least some mention about it this morning."
Aurore does indeed glance around quickly, brows arching as her post-Violet-hug smile fades... and her paranormal senses confirm that there is absolute bedlam going on, as far as they're concerned. She shivers, takes a deep breath, then risks stepping closer to the 'pirate' conversation, expression a little diffident.
Milo says quietly "We were investigating the docks, where a mysterious ship sailed in. Nine of the ashen figures wielding swords or crossbows debarked onto the dock. They were dispatched. A Sint character showed up on a horse, an amazing shield of some sort protecting it. And all of a sudden a hundred more of the ashen figures were there. We ran."
Milo continues, "Do either of you know anything about Sint? He seems unusual, and I doubt somehow that he's the Sint, maybe something else. Is he connected to another figure from Fallcoast's past? He wielded a shepherd's crook."
Speaking of ashen, Lisette does not look so hot right around now. Fortunately she has a mug of hard cider, and she takes a generous gulp of the contents as she listens to Milo, frowning. They're standing by the gingerbread tree now, and the Cavanaugh dutifully smiles and lifts a hand to familiar figures as they pass by, but otherwise remains focused on the conversation at hand. "I wasn't around last Christmas -- I ended up spending it in New York. Maybe there's some research we can do..." she looks at Ambroise, he is the professor after all.
"I'm sorry, a Sint character?" Ambroise says. "That's..." he shakes his head. "What you're talking about doesn't sound like Fallbrook," he says. "It sounds a bit like Sinterklaas, though a bit twisted up." He seems puzzled for a moment and then asks, "Are you saying something similar happened last year and they never caught the people involved?"
"There were attacks last year as well," Aurore puts in - her voice a distinctive, warm alto, mixing the local accent with more exotic elements. "They were written off in the media as 'gang violence', though the strange weather phenomena were also noted." Hands thrust back into her coat pockets, her shoulders are a little hunched. "I had a brush with one group; managed to escape with minor injuries. Others weren't so lucky."
Milo nods, "So I've heard. There are...unusual things about Fallcoast Ambroise. Has anyone been able to capture one?"
Lisette's shoulders tense up at the sound of a new voice, glancing at Aurore, startled. She looks troubled at the woman's addition. "That's not good. I, uh... well, the woman we were with," she glances at Ambroise, "Took one of the pirates hostage. I'm not sure where she took him though, or even her name. She said she was a bounty hunter."
Ambroise says, "We dropped her off in front of the police station before we took the boy to the hospital." He pauses for a moment and says, "at least I think that was the police station. A little difficult to be sure in all the fog.""
Ambroise says, "I was...rather expecting to hear from the police today, asking me for my statement."
Milo looks that the two of them, "Ah, that would be very useful. Did you catch her name? Or remember where it was you dropped her off? I suspect they are going to be about tonight as well. We might not be together when we spot one, but if either of us manages to capture one take it to my gallery. There's no one there, and its all under construction. We can, umm, ask him some pointed questions."
Ambroise seems more than a bit puzzled over the idea of taking one of them to some gallery rather than dropping them off with the police but he doesn't say anything about it immediately. After all, it is clear that something very strange is going on. Maybe there's something about the local police that he is unaware of? Perhaps that explains the lack of coverage in the newspaper this morning.
After another generous gulp from her mug, Lisette shakes her head. "I'm afraid I don't know much more than that. She wasn't exactly... forthcoming, and we were kind of busy trying not to get hacked to death." She, too, glances at her cousin, looking troubled, if perhaps for different reasons.
Aurore also looks worriedly intrigued, but offers Lisette a cautious nod. "Hostage? I... ahhh. The ones I saw last year... they looked like drowned mariners, from various eras," she says softly. "I've no idea if they were, umm, things occupying the bodies, or trapped souls, or just things using the appearance as inspiration to strike fear.... *What* might be interrogated, I don't know. But this region has a remarkable record in sweeping strangeness out of sight."
Milo looks thoughtful, gazing at each of them in turn silently and thinking.
Ambroise shakes his head to Aurore. "They're just costumes and parlor tricks," he says to her. "I saw one of them get caught up in some sort of cabling last night. I don't know what they were going to do with it but I suspect they meant to try and make themselves appear supernatural."
"Of course it does -- it's Fallcoast," Lisette answers Aurore with somewhat of a wry expression. "Yeah... that's what they looked like. Like they stepped out of Pirates of the Caribbean or something. Why do they need the children, though?" is what she's concerned about. Ambroise gets a confused look, as she asks, "Cabling? I didn't see anything like that."
Ambroise nods to Lisette. "When that one with the halberd was dragged up into the air," he says to her. "It looked as though he was tangled up in something rather than getting whatever the effect was that they were trying to achieve."
Milo sighs, looking at Ambroise. "Costumes. Yes, as I said, that seems likely. I think I need to talk with my cousin and Aurore for a bit professor about something,umm, delicate, would you mind getting the ladies refills? It will only take a moment."
"Uh.." Lisette doesn't really look embarrassed so much as, proud. "That wasn't cabling," she says, firmly. She looks like she's about to add something more when Milo speaks; she glances at her cousin with a furrow of brow, but keeps silent, gulping down a mouthful of her cider to finish out her drink.
Ambroise nods to Milo, "Of course," he says, being well versed in matters where he is politely asked to excuse himself. He turns to the two ladies and says, "What would the two of you like?"
"Cocoa would be welcome," Aurore says promptly, evidently remembering the advertising. "Very welcome, in fact. Thank you." She does her best not to (visibly) kick herself for speaking to openly about the paranormal in front of someone who appears to be a total non-believer. Serve her right for leaping to assumptions...
Lisette offers up her mug with a brilliant smile to Ambroise. "Some more cider would be lovely. Thank you, Professor."
Milo quietly says to his cousin and Aurore, "I think it best if Ambroise is not burdened with just how strange Fallcoast is yet, as he seems uninitiated into it the way the three of us are. If either of you are in a situation to kidnap one of the Black Petes, please do so and hold them wherever you can. I will come with my car and we can transfer them to a location where we can get to the bottom of this. They are not natural, and are a threat to FallCoast. I will do the same, if I can." He looks towards Ambroise, and then gives each of them a card that gives his name, and his phone number, along with the name of his art gallery..Ars Longa.
Taking the card, Lisette tucks it away into the clutch purse. "I mean... I can throw one up into the air again, but I can't hold them for long. Those bags they were using to carry the children though... it fit one of the pirates without any issue at all. I don't think they're normal bags." She glances over her shoulder, worriedly, at the Professor. "He'll have to learn soon enough. He basically ran into it head first already. You should have seen -- he was playing fistcuffs with these pirates," she says, admiringly.
Ambroise excuses himself from the party as he goes to the bar to order drinks for the ladies. He remains there, chatting with the bartender and just generally killing time while he waits for a sign from the group indicating that they are ready for his return.
Aurore looks startled, then more than a little impressed - also glancing at the card, then tucking it away in her coat. "I got shot with a crossbow, then staggered off to seek help. I was wearing bike leathers, so it turned the worst of it, but... that was pretty much my total exposure to them last year. The fog itself is certainly not mundane. It has been sighted out at sea, both years, before coming in to land. I *think* it is associated with the rider on the skeletal horse - under his control. Whether removing his servants from it weakens them, or lessens his control over them, I don't know."
Mile nods, "My spirit helpers dealt with three, I got one with arrows, and the others dispatched the rest. Good thoughts on whether his servants need the fog. I also noticed a bell ringing in the harbor when they came ashore."
"If he produced a hundred of them, like you said... there's no way to kill all of his servants." Lisette's practically shuddering. "And this Sint thing sounds crazy. I think... it's more important we try and stop the children being taken. I... really need another drink," she exhales.
Aurore shoots Lisette a sympathetic look. "I'm pretty sure that before each set of raids starts, he takes vessels at sea," she says softly. "Not certain, but... it seems to fit. Whether he has a finite limit to his pawns, I don't know. If he *is* reusing the bodies of mariners he's drowned, then there'll be a limit. It just might be a high one."
Milo agrees with Lisette, "Our main thing should be to prevent children being taken." He takes more of his beer, pausing in thought.
Lisette nods, if worriedly to Aurore. She reaches out to squeeze Milo's arm. "I'm going to get that drink now. Text me if anything comes up, will you?" She moves to step away from the pair, headed for the bar where Ambroise is.
Aurore nods to Lisette, then ventures a nervous smile for Milo. "So... cheery party, huh? Though... that topic of conversation has me wondering if we should all be getting back to the mainland before the fog gets any worse..."
Ambroise smiles to Lisette as she draws back to the bar, picking up her hot cider and offering it to her. "Everything all right with you and your cousin?" he asks.
Milo nods at Aurore, "Yes, I think that would be wise. If you run into more of these things, please text me, I'll do the same. We can at least coordinate our actions. Not the most pleasant of conversations, but I am glad we met." He gives Aurore a genuine smile then, probably his first of the evening.
Lisette takes the cider, practically gulping down half of it at once -- very unladylike, truth be told. She gives Ambroise a reassuring smile, "He's pretty intense sometimes -- he was in the military," she explains. "Um. Any chance I could trouble you for a lift back to my car?"
Aurore inclines her head to Milo. "Nice to know that there're people trying to help with this," she says quietly. "I think I'll go and snare that cocoa, then try to find my way back to the mainland."
Ambroise smiles and nods understandingly to Lisette. "It's quite alright," he says. "Sometimes you need to talk to someone about something a bit sensitive. He wasn't rude at all about it and I completely understand, and of course I can give you a ride back."
Milo nods to Aurore, and walks over to Lisette and Ambroise. "Cousin. I'm, umm going to find a colleague of mine. Be safe tonight and text me if anything happens. I'll do the same." With that he turns to the professor. "Professor Ambroise. It is a pleasure to meet you again, please take care." With that he wanders toward his car, a heavily built sedan with what looks like thick windows. He seems to be texting someone along the way.
Milo leaves back to Dockside - Raconteur Island - Open Ocean
Milo has left.
"Thank you, Professor," Lisette says, with a smile, adjusting her shawl as she sneaks another sip or two of that mug before putting it reluctantly aside. "Be careful, cousin," she says to Milo.