The coming darkness of twilight seemed to further obscure the ever-spreading web of questions and connections in Remy’s mind. As the party made their way to the Silver Swan the discoveries of the recent past replayed themselves. Count Rumford, The “Adversary”, the automatons, the destructive golden beetles, the lenses (from Jabbar Al-Tariq no less!), Cribbage and the tiny Difference Engine, Vaucason dead then not dead, the Dandies and Inigo and the Don. There are surely missing pieces which, when discovered, will complete the intricate machinations and make the whole run smoothly as a well-designed clockwork.
It should have been a simple matter to gain the information from the notes at the Count’s residence, but that evening ended up creating more complications than even any Vodacce fate witch could have forseen. At least we fate-bound companions worked together to insure the survival of resistance to the nefarious plans of the Adversary. If only the details were not so shrouded in darkness as that figure who seems to be following us. If only there were some way to make the pieces fit together in a manner which yields a working understanding. Perhaps Werner and Turlokk will turn up some useful information from this Don of the Docksides. I do hope we can avoid traveling to Jabbar Al-Tariq as that island is certainly a dangerous place to go, not to mention the piracy rampant in that region. Bart Bartelby does have quite a musical talent I shall have to see about having him play one of my pieces, especially if my friend Xavier can be persuaded to attend the performance. However can that seemingly simple decahedron possibly be an integral part of Cribbage’s tiny machine? So many thoughts distracting me.
The lights have gotten brighter… I see we have arrived at the Silver Swan.
The Prince was good enough to furnish all the companions with refreshments following their journey through some almost questionable parts of town. All sat down to compare notes and await the return of the intrepid explorers and their report upon the Don’s domain. Bart got down to the business of entertaining the patrons and companions and the mood of the place improved greatly and seemed to draw in a few more souls from the growing night as the evening wore on. The Prince busied himself with the mammoth patroness. It appeared that a contest of wits or strength was about to take place. Remy busied himself with his writings, if only he could complete this last notation for clarity. There was a distraction and Remy noticed something which caught his eye.
“So sorry, Prince Reinhardt. I believe zat, perhaps, ze lady’s arm it eh.. how you say.. slipped in some puddle of ale upon ze bar?”
And so the contest ensued, Reinhardt eager to win fairly and not wanting any questions as to his honor in a competition. Essie resumed her juggling and Bart his music. Inigo continued his Castillian brooding, Greis his vigilance for the Prince’s well being. Vera appeared to be contemplating the strands of fate which brought together such an unlikely band and Remy continued his writing, apparently unnoticed once again.
“Pardon moi Bart. I ’ave been working on zis composition. Perhaps you could perform it next when you resume your entertainments? Zere are certain technically challenging phrases, but I am sure your talents are more zan up to ze task.”
After the bartender won the next two tests of strength Bart was saddened by his loss and the promise of another musical interlude seemed to brighten his spirits. The audience appreciated the performance, some paid it more heed than others, and Remy congratulated Bart once again on his musical prowess and precision in his delivery. The conviviality was not diminished when Werner and Turlokk reappeared. In fact there was a palapable sense of relief to have new information delivered and received.