2020-03-16 - When You Wish Upon A Stone


A Wishing Stone and an invisible Jackal.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Mar 16 06:14:43 2020
Location: Patna

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Theme Song



The Mahavir Mandir temple is the largest one in Patna and one of the most famous. It draws millions of pilgrims every year. It's a busy day today as well with crowds thronging around the place to pray at its shrines and interact with its priests.

Which is just perfect. The wishing gem that they want to acquire is most easily done inside a crowd.

Fenris isn't present. His aura would be too conspicuous. So it falls to Ambrose and Astryd to get the gem, which is sure to be either in the sub levels or in one of the locked rooms that house relics and the like.

Hard to say which. Either way they're going to need to get past the civilian staff and whatever supernatural guards are around.

Just another man on the street for all he appears, the Jackal, and it's to his druthers. He says very softly to the blonde nearby, "I think the ring will come in useful for this." It is, after all, being very gently handled between fingertips in the depths of his coat pocket even as he eyes the temple's entrance. The ebb and flow of visitors is being gauged as well as the off-chance of anyone lingering or looking less than…normal.

"You might prove an excellent distraction as well, perhaps…?" Ambrose adds with another glance back at Astryd. "Your hips are distracting enough." A note mostly in jest, but with also just a touch of complaint.

Astryd is missing Fenris. She didn't think that she would, but she does. She's also been very focussed on trying to curb her … reckless tendencies.

Of course, Ambrose isn't helping with comments like that and the blond gives him a chilly stare. "I can be very distracting if I want to be. I just don't usually want … to be."

"I think the ring will work well and I'm happy to act as a diversion." The blonde shakes her hair out and unbuttons the top couple of buttons on her shirt. "They won't know what to do …"

With a smirk to the master thief, she gestures with her chin. "We'll need to find it first and if we're not going to ask directly, then we'll have to work through the building carefully."

She's reticent to let Ambrose go in alone - invisible or not - but once they know where it is, she can draw attention to herself.

"I think we should start in the secure archives at the back there. If it's not in there, then the sublevel is where we will head." She's already moving.

And so through the crowd of people they weave. Their first obstacle is the fact that they have to get past the mortal security. That's no problem. Distractions and invisibility rings make light work of such things and Astryd has hundreds of years of experience sneaking into places that she doesn't belong.

The Secure Archives is a large round room full of books. It's easily, oh, a hundred twenty feet across, right in the center of the base of one of the towers. Outside there are hallways that the public wanders through but in here there are only a couple of monks doing some quiet reading. They're easily avoided.

Still, there's nothing here in the archives. No gems, certainly no magical ones. Just as the pair are about to leave, there's the sound of scraping stone and one of the floor tiles is pushed up by a very large, very simian looking being. One of Hanuman's attendants no doubt. Well, he is often depicted as a monkey. Or at least monkey faced.

The faintest puckish smile can be seen to flicker across Ambrose's lips at the Raven's retort to his suggestion about distractions. He doesn't do more than showcase this brief curl of a smirk before his attention turns in the direction of Astryd's motion.

"I agree entirely, milady. To the secure archives we go," murmurs the Jackal airily even as he can't help the gleaming grin displaying a sliver of teeth. Someone's thrilled to be back in business, even if there's a high chance of supernatural interference. Oh, adrenaline, his oldest friend.

On goes the invisibility ring with a warning to Astryd and a reminder that he'll be within arm's reach unless otherwise noted. Ambrose sticks to her shadow as they travel. It might be somewhat hilarious that he drifts noiselessly to one side, half-obscuring his unseen self behind one of the bookshelves.

"I daresay that might be where our quarry hides, yes?" The whisper floats crisply to Astryd. "Shall I be rid of him or would you like the honor of punching him?"

Astryd does a credible job at being a flirt. It doesn't come naturally to the blonde and none of these guards are really to her liking. But needs must and all that.

"I can find nothing of interest." She says to Ambrose, turning to leave as the stone scrapes and the gentleman thief disappears. "I think, we will need a guide, don't you?" She whispers back.

As the Simian creature turns towards her, Astryd beams. "Well hello. What have you got hiding in there?" Before he knows it, the blonde has an elbow lock on the creature. "I'd think I'd like the VIP tour, please. Lead on…" beat "Don't worry, we're not looking to take anything, except that which belongs to us."

Oh Astryd. So reckless.

The monkey-creature immediately starts to struggle. Astryd is strong so it getting away isn't a worry quite yet however it IS making a lot of noise. "Who are you?! What are you doing here?! LET GO OF ME!!!"

That's all in Hindi. Astryd understands it just fine. Ambrose doesn't have all-speak to work with but he has lived here before. They ARE rather close to some public areas and there are bound to be other monks around and he really, really, is making a hell of a racket.

Ambrose doesn't hesitate to grin like a Cheshire Cat the very second after the simian-like creature is corraled. It solves a good number of issues, yes, and thankfully leaves them with a guide indeed. However, there is the issue of the amount of sound the thing is making. Like a breath of cold air, the master-thief slips over from his hiding place.

"I daresay it does not agree with your approach, milady," comes the whisper of the Jackal's voice again. There's a reach towards the struggling creature with the intent of a palm landing on its arm; afterward the prickling chill and then fever-flush to follow, Ambrose hisses to the being in Urdu,

"I Suggest you aid the young lady politely and post-haste in her requests. Truly, we mean you no harm. We are not here for you."

"Seriously…." Astryd claps a hand over the creatures mouth and is getting ready to knock him out when Ambrose makes his Suggestion. "Who we are is not important. What you need to know is that we are seeking to undo the fever and the madness that is taking Patna, and soon the world, and to do this … we require a gem. A gem that you have here in this temple."

He's got a moment to decide to comply with Ambrose's suggestion, if he doesn't - Astryd is going to clock him good and hard and continue down that secret passage on their own.

The monkey creature looks a bit dazed at Ambrose's power and it blinks several times. Over the period of thirty or so seconds it stops squirming and doesn't appear to be trying to shout anymore. "I can show you the gem." He says. He gestures down the ladder he just came up - under the floor - and starts down it as soon as he's released.

There's a whole temple under the temple above. The decor is the same and the layout is identical. And thus down they go. Down down down and… oh. Chanting. That's the sound of prayers and monkey-guy is taking them right toward it. Monkey guy seems to have accepted that he should help them but… that's like 20 people up ahead from the sounds of it.

And they'll all know that Ambrose and Astryd aren't supposed to be down here.

Pulling the Bane from the creature's body takes some self-control; the tendrils of the selfish curse slip back into the master-thief's aura rather than linger to sup on life-force. Unseen, how his eyes glitter carmine at their centers, and he remains yet an arm's length away from Astryd as promised as they descend.

The chanting brings him to slow his steps. He mouths some generous curses to himself in Farsi before he's present again beside Astryd in a flicker of bootsteps barely heard.

"They will not be able to see me. Allow me to go ahead once the gem is revealed. Trust me to stay out of trouble…?" The barest hint of an invisible grin can be heard in his words.

Astryd smiles as the creature agrees to lead them. "Tell him where the gem is." She says quietly. Could she fight that many people? Highly likely and part of her is acheing to - but Fenris would be disappointed and she doesn't want that.

"We will create a distraction to give you the time you need."

"We'll knock over that vase and slip into that corridor - if we're caught, I'll act like I'm lost…. "

Because that will totally work, won't it.

"The Gem is ahead in the sanctum. It is through the chantry and on the right." The simian creature says. And then…


The creature they have looks surprised. They'd been talking about doing that but that still pings on his awareness as 'not okay'. The noise from the chantry changes from chanting to well… curiosity. And then the sound of someone moving in that direction. After all just because something fell doesn't mean a chase is on, does it?

Well. Unless someone is running.

"I shall be as the East Wind," breathes the Jackal to Astryd in particular before he gets to steppin'. The crash of the vase has him pausing to look back wide-eyed, his grimace unseen — augh, priceless antiques getting damaged makes him twinge?! — and then tucking himself into the slight recess of a door to allow the curious sound-seeker to past him. He doesn't dare breathe until they've passed and, praying silently that Astryd manages to keep her proverbial cool, he moves on.

Skirting about the chantry means sticking close to the walls and attempting to roll each booted step as quietly as can be managed until he reaches the sanctum noted on the right-hand side. This, he attempts to enter as silently as can be managed, still paying very close attention to the fine hairs on the back of his neck and the Bane-influenced gut instincts.

"Don't worry. That ones not all that old. It's only about seven centuries, if that." Astryd says of the vase as she moves into a side corridor and waits.

She can keep her cool, really she can. And she can be patient. One doesn't get to be over 3000 years old without that.

They're taking their sweet time to get here, but that's ok. They might just get out of here without too much trouble.

Ambrose is right to be careful. There are people here who likely don't need their sight to locate him. Still, he manages it well, sipping by to find the sanctum and the end of the hall. It's an octagonal room with a plinth in the middle on which the gem is kept in a display box. Looks like glass but this being the magical part of the temple… it probably isn't. Good news, it is hinged, which means that the box opens.

Bad news. There's a young blue skinned woman kneeling in front of it, hands folded before her in prayer. She doesn't hear Ambrose come in but she does clearly sense something because she looks up.

"Lord Hanuman?" She asks to the empty air in front of her. She's not even looking the right direction.

Astryd sees several people come around and peer at the vase. The creature she was with just mutely points in her direction. They look up… see her…


Now it is a chase.

Slipping into the eight-walled room with ease given the growing chaos in the chantry and beyond, Ambrose still attempts to move as a breeze rather than a physical presence. He pauses, seeing both figure and box alike, and slowly tips his upper lip with his tongue, eyes gone narrow and carmine-bright at their pupils. Glass is…far too easy — that, and it appears that he's not entirely as sneaky as he wishes to be, not when the devotee asks her question of the space before herself.

There's a slow swallow, all of this unseen as the Jackal still wears the ring of invisibility. That is…a Daeva to boot.

Think, Ambrose, think-think-think —

"Indeed, my child, it is I." Okay, so, it's again not Hindi he speaks, Urdu instead, but the man desperately tries to interject a bouncing whimsical cheekiness to his tone. "I thought to try and best your guard as you prayed, but as always, you are attuned. I come to borrow the gem, you see, for a little errand. Worry not your pretty head, it will be returned soon enough. Please, get it for me? I am unable to shed my disguise of invisibility right now for I wanted to be certain it would hold in the face of my task!" Ambrose even lifts and shakes a finger most theatrically above his shoulder; the hysterical, nervous laughter bubbles up beneath his ribs like a shaken soda can and only barely is kept in check.

"It was his fault." Astryd says as the simian creature points at her, rolling her eyes. This is not how she thought it would go. "Would you believe I was lost and he took a fancy to me? We knocked over the vase in our …" She smiles "… passion."

The blonde moves backwards until she's certain they're following and then turns, breaking out in a run.

There's a chorus of shouts and the monkey creatures take off after her. The rest of the chantry empties as they try to catch her. This will be slightly tricky as these towers are large, complicated circles and unless she can go up or down floors she will be run down eventually. Or cut off. But that's something for her to worry about in the next thirty seconds. Right now the name of the game is staying ahead of them.

In the sanctum relief floods the woman's face. "Oh praise be great Lord Hanuman. Then you heard my prayer. I knew you would answer me. Tell me, will he fall in love with me soon? Can you tell me what his heart most desires?"

Uh. Oh. She'd being… yes that makes sense. She'd been praying over the wishing gem, apparently for a matter that no sane Djinn would attend to.

Love. It's always so messy. But then Ambrose knows that.

"He has the most wonderful smile and the brightest eyes and when I see him coming out of the river glistening in the evening light…"

Ahem. Right then.

Ambrose's mouth slowly morphs from a perplexed rounding to a more slack drop of jaw before he shuts it silently, muting the click of teeth. Love: eternally messy and full of too much information. Is this guy even human?


The Jackal still winces, but presses on.

"Whyyyyyy, say no more, my child!" Such a grandiose tone he takes now. "Of course I can reveal what your lover's heart most desires! But first, the gem, if you please. I will gladly share his innermost secrets once it is in my hands, for that is but a paltry thing in comparison to the vast possibilities of love, is it not?"

It's a bummer no one can see the bold, sweeping gestures he's doing now within the confines of invisibility. Globe Theatre staff, eat your heart out. He does cringe and looks over his shoulder towards the door at the sounds of muffled cries beyond — bloody hell, worry sprouts for Astryd now.

Astryd is having a wonderful time as she leads the monkey creatures on a lovely chase. She's fast, of course, with her Asgardian physiology. "I take it you didn't believe me?" She calls out, slowing her pace to let them draw near - making sure they're all nicely bunched up before she takes off again.

There's the stair well ahead of her and she hits the steps, enticing those chasing to keep doing so. She's going to lead them away from Ambrose - although he's going to have to get through the crowd in a moment. On the next landing, the Valkyrie is going to stop and turn to face them - hopefully they'll stay nicely bunched together.

"You're not nearly hairy enough!" One of them calls back. It's unclear which one. That is possibly the first time that this has ever been said to her or anyone like her. Or, well, the first time it has been said by someone who hoped to survive.

When she turns to face them they all comically halt, lurching as the ones in the back stop later than the ones in the front. Then they stare. Then they look at eachother.

And then they rush her in a chorus of hoots.

"Oh of course!" The woman opens up the box and takes the gem in her hand. She turns and starts to offer the gem to Ambrose, or well, his voice, but then stops, pulling it back as a whistful look comes across her face. "Oh! Will he be kind? Is his heart as lovely as his body? Oh I wish very much that I could see you in your glory, it would be so reassuring…"

She wished. With the wishing gem in her hand. And Ambrose is revealed in his 'full glory'… whatever that is.

Apparently, wishing gem trumps invisibility ring: Ambrose clearly has a hand out to receive the gemstone and, when revealed, he's wearing a dimpled grin absolutely oozing with self-satisfaction at his own cleverness.

And also not a stitch.

He's also in full resplendence of the Bane's influence, from silvered hair to sub-dermal threading of glowing red veins beneath his skin, darkened under-eyes and completely red irises.

"Thank you, my child, you are most — "

Ambrose has a split second to look down at himself before he looks back up at the Daeva, his expression flabbergasted.


It's all one fell swoop of words as he snatches the wishing gem out of her hand and then makes to sprint back into the chantry, heedless of his state. As he does, he plucks the invisibility ring off of his finger and slides it back into place, hoping it might reset the entire invisibility affair. It works — BUT IT'S STILL DRAFTY!

Astryd sets her feet as the monkey folk bunch up in her front of her, look at her, then each other and then her again.

"Hi there." She says, flashing them a great big smile. This is … fun. No, no it isn't - this is serious …

As the monkey people rush her, she rushes them - using her extra density, strength and the power of gravity to aid her. She's going to play ten pin bowling - they're the pins and she's the bowling ball.

Now … where's Ambrose…..

Ambrose is in fact just coming up the hallway that Astryd is coming down. She bowls through the monkeys and keeps going. They all get knocked aside, into walls, into expensive furnishings. There's a lot of noise. All of which will mask the flapping of Ambrose's invisible feet.

A collision seems inevitable and is that really a good thing what with all the BANE that Ambrose is dealing with right now?

They've bought some time, if they can make use of it. But shocked screams are ringing out behind Ambrose along with babbled Hindi that roughly translates to "OHMYVARIOUSGODSTHERESANAKEDTHEIFINTHETEMPLE!!!"

Here they come, the cadence of bootless feet across the chantry and into the hallway containing Astryd and her impromptu game of live-bowling. The outcry behind the Jackal's…behind seems to goose him all the faster. Invisible arms churn and legs blur as he takes the corner, only to come across the outcome of simian bowling —

— and to slam into Astryd with all of the force of lack of tread on his bare feet. He's admittedly a solid force of impact and while momentum carries him past the Raven, there's the sizzling prickle of the Bane temporarily trying to latch onto her. It rips away just as quickly as a rolling vase is suddenly knocked off in a dramatically different direction. Then comes the sound of what must be somersaults into a displaced tapestry that falls half upon the upsot master-thief.

"What the…fucking ruddy…hell…fuck..?!" comes the wheeze as the tapestry seems to rise of its own accord lying across a pair of shoulders. "What in the ruddy blazes are you — "

His winded fluster is interrupted by a sound like 'blrk?!' followed by, "WE NEED TO LEAVE NOW!"

And there goes the sound of naked feet again, down the hallway and towards the stairwell leading up to their freedom.

Astryd grunts as she impacts with the Simians and then grunts again when the Bane zaps her. "Oh, there you are …. run…" she says to the tapestry.

Nothing seems to phase her, really.

"Sorry to disappoint you, lads, but I've a date waiting." She tells the monkey people, extricating herself from the pile and blowing them a kiss.

Turning, the blonde follows that sound of naked feet down the hallway and back up the stairs. "Ambrose? Do I dare ask why they think you are naked…"

Up the ladder they go but it's not going to be safe until they've vanished into the crowds. As they run they pass a couple of children playing a 'patty cake' game and can hear the chant. "Ten lil' monkeys jumping on the bed. One fell off and bumped his head. Mamma called the doctor and the doctor said NO MORE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED!"

The sounds of pursuit echo behind them but they should be able to get away. This, of course, will in no way come back to haunt them later, will it?


The sass flies back over an invisible shoulder as Ambrose darts between startled temple attendees — who's yelling?! He dances through the crowds once they reach outside and he jinks to one side for a brief pause in order to step up beside Astryd when he sees her again.

"I have the gem and that is the important part," the Jackal says, a laugh at the end of every huffing word. "My current state of affairs is not. Shall we away and to safety again?"

Also, it's cold, and this isn't comfortable for a man bereft of his clothing.

As they clear the temple, Astryd slows her bolt to a more sedate walk, flicking her hair out to tidy it. She'll ask - later. And tease the gentlemen thief mercilessly.

The children get a glance from the blonde, she's tempted to stop and play with them but that's not wise.

Not flinching as Ambrose joins her, she nods. "Come then. My Lord will be waiting and I have to tell him of the … mayhem … I caused."

Because that's not going to come back on them at all, is it.

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