[2/23/2013 7:46:31 PM] Josie: You received a letter, in a black envelope embossed with silver and sealed with a red and black blob of ink, offering you a job: exploring a very old, very unusual haunted house. The House of Masks, as it's called, is quite a bit larger on the inside than on the outside, and is haunted by a number of spirits. The person who hired you wants you to clear out the malicious ones but leave the helpful and harmless ones alone, and try to map the house if the house allows you to do so. The letter was signed by Lady Faustina d'Amici, and it included instructions on how to get to the house. You are permitted to live anywhere you like in the safe East Wing, but the North and West wings are dangerous.
[2/23/2013 7:50:21 PM] Josie: There's also a note in your letter that there won't be any servants there yet--they should be arriving at any time, though, but you should be able to just walk right in. [2/23/2013 7:53:05 PM] Josie: Marilla, Trystan, and Arwen all end up on the steps of the mansion at the same time.
[2/23/2013 7:53:14 PM] Josie: This would be a good time to describe yourselves.
[2/23/2013 7:55:05 PM] Josie: It's a beautiful day out today, considering you're dead in the middle of the nastiest part of winter. But the sun is shining and all the ice in the trees is either glittering or melting and falling off the branches, and quite a bit of snow and ice on the sidewalk and roads has melted too. It's nice enough that you're going to want gloves and hats, but maybe not a heavy scarf unless you're walking a good way.
[2/23/2013 7:56:06 PM] Trystan: Trystan is a short, slightly effeminate half-elf, dressed warmly in well-made, well-tailored, but not particularly decorated clothes. He's looking up at the building, gray eyes wide in anticipation, with the wind ruffling through his short gray-brown hair and whipping the red locks that hang before his slightly pointed ears. There is a russet and white weasel reclining on his shoulder.
[2/23/2013 7:56:46 PM] Josie: Unlike the others, you get a good look at the house's exterior as you head up to it. It's massive on a scale like no other mansion you've ever seen, at least five or so floors high and seemingly miles and miles long. One of the wings visible from the front is dark inside and the windows have been tightly drawn; the other seems to be occupied, judging by the state of the curtains.
[2/23/2013 7:58:19 PM] Arwen: Arwen arrives, with a green velvety cloak hanging loosely over her petite figure. The hood is pulled low enough to almost disguise her youthful face, but not entirely and a few locks of her curly, untamed red hair escape the hood. She looks around, and gives a good look at the others that have recently arrived.
[2/23/2013 7:58:20 PM] Trystan: ((When I say red, I mean RED. Fire-engine red. Literal scarlet. His hair, man...))
[2/23/2013 8:00:45 PM] Marilla: Marilla is a tall woman wearing a coat of not exactly the finest but certainly warmest fur. She has long black hair and bangs that frame her face, one that appears years older than her actually young age. She is accompanied by a black and white badger, hanging timidly behind her as she approaches the house.
[2/23/2013 8:01:18 PM] Trystan: Trystan realizes he has company only when his weasel gently bites his ear, and turns to face the two women. "Hello. Are you members of the house d'Amici?"
[2/23/2013 8:03:11 PM] Arwen: "I'm afraid not. I was summoned here by a Lady Faustina. I'm afraid I'm just as much a stranger to the house as you are."
[2/23/2013 8:03:44 PM] Trystan: His lip actually quirks slightly at that particular choice of words.
[2/23/2013 8:04:39 PM] Marilla: Notices the short man and other woman only because her companion had begun to shiver in seeming fear of them, as she had been gazing up at the enormous mansion, "Oh? My story is the same, I'm afraid I know not more than either of you."
[2/23/2013 8:05:53 PM] Arwen: "Well, I suggest we all get to know each other a little bit better after we get out of this cold." Arwen steps forward and knocks on the door.
[2/23/2013 8:06:36 PM] Trystan: Trystan stands back. He'll let the ladies go first.
[2/23/2013 8:06:53 PM] Josie: There's no answer--but given that the servants are gone, there probably wouldn't be.
[2/23/2013 8:07:44 PM] Marilla: "Try the handle."
[2/23/2013 8:08:09 PM] Arwen: Arwen does as Marilla suggests, and tries the handle.
[2/23/2013 8:08:36 PM] Josie: The door opens!
[2/23/2013 8:08:52 PM] Josie: Even though it looks like a classic haunted house, the doors don't creak at all.
[2/23/2013 8:09:30 PM] Arwen: Arwen steps through the threshold and examines her surroundings.
[2/23/2013 8:10:23 PM] Trystan: Trystan will enter once the women do. Ladies first and all that. He's a gentleman, to match his pretty face.
[2/23/2013 8:10:31 PM | Edited 8:10:37 PM] Josie: It's an entryway, in white marble and red embroidered tapestries--about ten steps on the room opens up into a much larger room and you can see two grand stairwells crisscrossing each other.
[2/23/2013 8:11:42 PM] Trystan: "... It's lovely here."
[2/23/2013 8:11:42 PM] Josie: They go up several floors, and they have deep red and black carpets lining them, just as the floor does.
[2/23/2013 8:12:09 PM] Josie: There aren't any lights on, but you have some light from the door and a bit from the windows.
[2/23/2013 8:12:21 PM] Marilla: Marilla enters, striding through the threshold and through the passageway, stepping into the much larger room and inquiring, "Now, where can I put my coat?"
[2/23/2013 8:12:39 PM | Edited 8:14:48 PM] Josie: There are three exits to this room--the big double-doors on the right, which are open, leading to a long hallway done in red.
[2/23/2013 8:13:32 PM] Josie: Straight through past the stairwells there's another set of double doors, carved wtih intricate scenes and surrounded by lapis lazuli inlay.
[2/23/2013 8:14:14 PM | Edited 8:14:56 PM] Josie: To the left, the big double doors are also closed. There's a rope tying these shut, and another rope ties the lapis lazuli doors shut.
[2/23/2013 8:14:40 PM] Josie: Er. Let me edit that, I've gotten my directions mixed up, sorry.
[2/23/2013 8:15:28 PM] Josie: On the right is the East Wing, with open doors; on the left is the West Wing, with roped shut doors, and in the center is the North Wing, with roped shut doors.
[2/23/2013 8:17:23 PM] Arwen: Arwen calls out, "Hello? Lady d'Amici?"
[2/23/2013 8:17:35 PM] Trystan: "...Looks like we should head east then."
[2/23/2013 8:18:01 PM] Arwen: "I concur."
[2/23/2013 8:18:28 PM] Josie: There's no answer--just an echo-echo-echo...
[2/23/2013 8:19:06 PM] Trystan: "Shall I take the lead?" He's trying to be gentlemanly still.
[2/23/2013 8:19:33 PM] Arwen: "Lead, kind sir."
[2/23/2013 8:20:02 PM] Josie: The door closes behind you with a boom. BOOM-oom-oom-oom.
[2/23/2013 8:20:23 PM] Marilla: Marilla peers into the East Wing, declining Trystans offer, "No need." She enters the doors.
[2/23/2013 8:20:50 PM] Trystan: Trystan follows Marilla and leads Arwen. He's totally not power-walking to get away from those doors, nope.
[2/23/2013 8:21:32 PM] Arwen: "Is anyone else finding this dead-silence both eery and exhilirating?"
[2/23/2013 8:22:11 PM] Trystan: Trystan finds it mostly eerie. But says nothing.
[2/23/2013 8:22:19 PM] Josie: You head down the hallway!
[2/23/2013 8:22:39 PM] Josie: Eventually, near the end, and after a *very* long walk--it's a damned big house--you hear voices up ahead.
[2/23/2013 8:23:04 PM] Arwen: Arwen walks a little bit faster towards the voices
[2/23/2013 8:23:18 PM] Trystan: "More people?" He also speeds up.
[2/23/2013 8:23:45 PM] Josie: The voices are all coming from a room up ahead; the door is open if you want to walk in.
[2/23/2013 8:24:19 PM] Marilla: Marilla pulls her animal companion along with her when she falters, eventually bringing her up into her arms, "Coo my darling, it's only a house. How exciting, hello! Is anybody there?"
[2/23/2013 8:24:30 PM] Trystan: Trystan knocks on the frame first, to make people aware of his presence, THEN enters.