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May 29, 2020 4:48 PM
lucy is a different kind of eldritch
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"A fine name. Less revealing than my own, certainly... unless someone is already possessed of certain information."

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Once they reach Spite, the Provocateuse leads the Wastelander into an abandoned tenement-house. They ascend several stairs, all the way up to the roof.

"You're not afraid of heights, are you?" she asks, glancing over the edge.

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"Good."

She leads her across a tangle of rope bridges, into the depths of the Flit. Eventually they come to the roof of a handsome townhouse, and the Provocateuse picks the lock on the trapdoor leading inside and beckons the Wastelander in.

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The Wastelander follows. 

"I do hope that either this place is yours or you're quite confident the owner won't be back soon. If I wake to screaming I shall be cross."

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"It's my brother's, but he spends all his time at the University. If he does come around I'll tell him I've got a project in the lab and he shouldn't go in. Which will be true."

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She leads her into a well-appointed laboratory, which has a Correspondence sigil meaning the knowledge that though not everything is in its place, you are home inscribed in a lead plaque hanging on the wall. The persistent smell of burning lead indicates that the lab is usually used for Correspondence-work. She then goes over to a supply closet and retrieves what can only be called a cauldron.

She regards the Wastelander. "You might want to disrobe."

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"Naturally." 

She undresses unselfconsciously, though she does steal quite a few glances at the Correspondence sigil. 

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The Provocateuse notices the glances. "My brother's handiwork," she says with a mixture of distaste and fondness. "I'm sure it's something insipid, he's never told me what it actually means."

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"...Insipid. I suppose I can see that. Or quite powerful, in the right context."

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"Well. Such things often are. Are you ready to attempt to retrieve Dr. Vaughan?"

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The Provocateuse positions her over the cauldron and withdraws a ravenglass knife from her pocket.

As promised, there's hardly any pain. A line of stinging heat on the side of her neck, and a strange sensation as the blood rushes out of her. She feels dizzy, for a moment, and then slips into darkness.

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On the other side of the darkness is a slow boat, passing a dark beach, on a silent river. She's surrounded by pale, shivering people. At the boat's prow stands a tall, skeletal figure. The Boatman.

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The Boatman turns to look at her. His face is clean white bone, under a simple black hat.

When he sees who addressed him, he- flinches.

"You are not meant to be here," he says, sounding almost afraid.

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"Yeah, I know, but unfortunately there's someone I need and I don't have a better way to get her. A Dr. Vaughan?"

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A matronly woman adjacent to the Boatman sits up a bit straighter. "Really? What do you need me for?"

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"Some Master or other decided to perform horrible experiments on people and as a result I have a patient for you with a most unorthodox case."

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"The unorthodox cases are always the most fascinating," Dr. Vaughan says with a gleam in her eye.

"You can't just poach people from my boat," the Boatman says, somewhat indignantly. "This is my domain."

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"What's it matter to you how many people are on your boat?"

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"The Land Beyond requires an accounting," he says. "Her vitality is gone; the Mountain's light does not touch her. She cannot be returned."

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"Oh, I can fix that." 

She starts glowing. 

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