2020-07-07 - Once Upon A Wish


Rumours of strange behaviour after visiting a gallery draws a God Wolf and a Gentleman Thief out.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Jul 7 05:46:46 2020
Location: New York

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Theme Song



It's strange how things go once plans are put in motion. Fenris might say that it's Fate - or the meddling Norns at least.

It's come to Ambroses and Fenris' attention through different means that there's been strange behaviours from patrons of an antiquities exhibition - nothing overly untowards that has slipped the attention of most others, but enough that people looking for patterns will see.

In this case, the patrons have donated large sums of money to the exhibition after their visit - a fact that those near them really don't appreciate.

It's worth checking out though and what better way to begin with, than actually visiting the exhibition to see what the appeal is?

Heck, it might even be open when Ambrose and Fenris do ….

Fenris opens the door. For it is open. The sign on the door says it is so and lo. So it is. The mortal world makes sense that way. Not that many deities would be open with a closed sign hanging on their door. Well… Loki might. He might find it amusing and he might also be goldbricking. Of course with Loki it might involve actual gold or actual bricks or even rarely actual bricks made of gold.

But that is not the case here and for many reasons - most of them tautological - that is a good thing.

In any case Fenris steps into the exhibition and looks around. Thus far the only behaviors he has observed are the ones normal in his presence. Paranoid looks, scurrying out of his way, whispering to security guards, etc etc. But nothing else unusual at least not yet.

This time, apparently, they aren't breaking in. Ambrose no doubt had a short-lived argument in the vein of this being the wiser of the two options, but he's present nonetheless in Fenris's shadow. Very blithely, he looks around the immediate area of the exhibit and sucks a canine tooth behind closed lips.

"Would it be that someone is suddenly inspired to donate a large sum of money to me. I have a birthday present to consider soon enough for Kazimira," he says softly to the Dread Wolf with a wry little smirk to himself. Civilian garb today for Ambrose, a simple light blazer and jeans tucked into boots. He could be any dweller of New York proper in his nonchalance and hands tucked away into blazer-pockets.

It's a nice little gallery, like these things tend to be with various bits of arts and sculpture displayed around. The artifacts, for that's what they are, are from a region that is now Turkey - but from several centuries ago.

People move out of the way of the newcomers, giving Fenris frightened glances and the security guards move a little a nervously. "Can I help you, Sirs?" It's a sweet young thing, no more than twenty or twenty two, dressed in a nice slack suit with her hair, artfully falling over her shoulders.

As they stand there, a man brushes past them "I really must see that tearstone … I hear that it's out of this world." He's saying to his companion.

"What would you do with all that money though, Ambrose? I suspect you'd get bored if you ever had too much of it. Where's the challenge of getting something that you could do without if it goes too badly?" Fenris isn't sure that Ambrose would be bored and he is teasing a little bit but he suspects that he is at least partly right.

"Anyway the best birthday presents aren't cursed by powers unknown. Well. If they are it's a very particular kind of curse." His attention slides over to the young woman. She looks a bit like Zee in that she's smartly dressed and has dark hair. She looks a bit like a number of other people Fenris has known but Fenris has known a LOT of people.

"Just looking at this fine gal-"

The Dread Wolf is cut off as someone brushes past him. He looks at Ambrose incredulously. That never happens. People would rather walk in puddles or swerve into the rain than actually touch him. He once saw, a few hundred years ago, someone deliberately decide to walk in a gutter in London rather than be that close to him. And London gutters at the time were vile.

Fenris gets an arched brow. "I would never buy my daughter anything cursed, good sir." He's still faintly amused by the sally offered by the Dread Wolf nonetheless and glances over still wearing the coy little smile when the young curator asks after them.

Apparently, the smooth talking will be from the other man, so the Jackal contents himself with another scan of the room. He'd heard the comment from the passers-by earlier and there's now a very deliberate manner in which he's categorizing what he can see. No tearstone here, but…there was a mention in the journal of a jewel one could cry for — according to the scrawling penmanship, at least.

The nearness of the exhibit visitor to Fenris has the master-thief doing something very near to a double-take first at the visitor and then at Fenris himself. What. MADNESS. Still, he speaks up.

"I overheard tell of a tearstone…? You see, I have traveled from quite far and to miss such an opportunity to gaze upon beauty… How to resist it?" Ambrose dimples at the young curator.

The mans companion yanks him away from Fenris, giving the Old Wolf a fearful look. The sweet young thing is pale and nervous but that would be something that Fenris is used to, right?

"Tearstone?" The girl looks at Ambrose, managing to speak again when she finds her voice. "Oh. You mean the Tear of Chokqu. The crowning piece of the display and very popular." She glances to the far side of the gallery - where there's a small crowd filtering through.

Very popular indeed.

"It's part of a collection of an Ottoman Queen and has a rather interesting tale attached to it." The girl finds a brochure and hands it to the men - trying to put more distance between herself and the God Wolf and trying not to show it.

"Fascinating. We will take a look. My companion here did after all come from the land of fish and chips to see it." Yes, he is teasing Ambrose. Quite a bit. "And we'll let you get back to your greeting duties." Because it is obvious to him that she really would rather not be talking to him right now. Though she PROBABLY wouldn't mind talking to Ambrose a bit more. The man's got charm to spare and people in this part of the world LOVE a cultured British accent. For. Some. Reason.

"Shall we, Lieutenant Aetherton?" He says with something of a flourish. Once they're moving he speaks a bit more quietly.

"Zatanna's ancestor who is mixed up in all this was from around that part of the world. Wonder if that's a coincidence." Fenris does not hold much with coincidences. Nor they with him, as it turns out.

He hands Ambrose the brochure as they walk. Probably nothing useful in it but maybe Ambrose will spot something.

Land of…fish and chips. Ambrose continues wearing his charming dimples as if he hadn't heard the prodding. "Yes, I am certain it does have quite the history if it once belonged to a queen. Thank you for your time." Even a nod just that touch courtly to the young curator — the Jackal is determined to not be the Scary One in memory here, apparently. "Indeed, we shall," Lieutenant Atherton appears to demur magnanimously as he falls into step beside Fenris.

As they meander towards that section of the exhibit, he glances over at the Dread Wolf, brows lifted. "Me and mine own would say 'fate' rather than coincidence or luck," he agrees. Taking the offered brochure, it's flipped open.

Ambrose does allow himself a pithy moment as they approach the back of the queue. "Land of fish and chips? Ruddy fucking hell." If the eyeroll were audible, it'd be a foghorn. "Do be mindful of the cologne you are wearing next time, hmm? Whatever you rolled in before you arrived, it does not suit anyone well enough," he mutters as he skims over the brochure's contents truly now.

The brochure is the typical thing. A catalogue of the exhibit and some words on each item. The Tear of Chokqu is featured on the first page - the centrepiece of the exhibition. According to the blurb, it was said to have been … gifted to one of the wives of a Sultan. The tale isn't clear but one version has it that the minor goddess Chokqu was responsible for the gift - and the jewel, a beautiful citrine teardrop gem, was said to grant the deepest wishes of the owner.

The crowd about the exhibit moves through - it's not quick but it is steady. Both Fenris and Ambrose can see the man that pushed past them disappear into the room - and they both can feel the faint pulse of magic coming from there. Like a heartbeat.

"Eau de Victorious Hunt. But I'll freshen up next time." What DID he roll in? Probably something with gunk instead of blood. He does smile a bit as Ambrose reproves him for his ribbing. This is part of the fun or at least… Fenris thinks so.

"Mmmmm. Well I think this would explain any strangeness coming from here." Fenris is very learned in the arcane. He can't actually use most of his knowledge but does know quite a bit. And this has the same kind of feel that the wish granting stone in India did, only weaker. Good thing too or people might be acting more than just a little odd.

"I wonder if it's all out of wish juice or if it still grants them. Why don't you try wishing for something, Ambrose?"

There is no possible way that this is a questionable idea.

A squinted side-long look at Fenris. "Ugh," is the curt reply as to whatever more terrible scent the Dread Wolf might proverbially host next time.

The Bane rises up like a cobra from a basket upon its host noticing the ambient atmosphere of the room they enter. Ambrose's eyes lift from the brochure and for just a moment, his pupils flash carmine. Then, he's simply eyeing the case containing the canary-yellow gemstone. Granted, there is some basic avidity there. It's big, it's sparkly, it's worth a lot, he's a master-thief and already calculating the chances of successfully — no. Kent would not approve. Ugh redux.

"You do realize that last I attempted to get the better of an artifact with the ability to grant wishes, I was left buck-arse nude?" he asides to Fenris sotto-voce with a subtle twist of his nose. UGH REDUX. Still! What a gloriously questionable idea.

For science: "I…wish…" The Jackal lets his thought linger. "…that I remembered where the cache was I hid away after the second World War."

The cache of a handful of extremely valuable artifacts of his own.

Maybe Ambrose's sotte voce isn't quite as sotte as he'd like - that hiss gets the look from a woman next to him. A woman who moves to put some distance between them.

The magic beats gently as the wish is made … but alas, Ambrose has no revelation about the cache.

What does happen is though is something presses against Fenris' and Ambroses individual wills - both have an urge to write a large check to the Gallery. A donation. That's a very good idea, isn't it?

If they're with it enough, they'll notice the man who had been desperate to see this, take out his check book and start writing. "This is what I have liquidated to date. When I sell my house, I'll have more." he's saying, handing the slip of paper to the other curator standing there.

Fenris frowns and then glances behind him. Someone is about to literally give his life's work away and something else wants him to write a check of a hundred thousand - no, a few million! - to the gallery. And for a moment it seems like a fair trade for getting to see an artifact like this. And then he thinks about it.

What? Wait. No. That's stupid.

"Think fast Ambrose." Fenris doesn't give the gentleman Jackal any time to prepare. He just steps over the velvet rope and pushes over the display case holding the gem.


"Oh dearie me…"

What a delightful idea. He could even do it in Kazimira's name — hadn't they just been discussing birthday presents? She would love a donation to the gallery in her name — wait.

Ambrose can be seen to sharply shake his head; the Bane hisses in warning at whatever magic attempts to further influence its host. A grimace and he's then looking over at Fenris with lofted brows. He can almost predict what the Dread Wolf is going to do by the sudden direction of travel.

"What are YOU — " The crash resonates through the room. "Oh, fuck me," the master-thief spits even as he slips his hand into his coat pocket. Go go golden ring of invisbility!

His form is wiped from existence and then, the canary-yellow gem rises from its bedding of shattered glass…only to vanish itself INTO THIN AIR. Rather, Ambrose's coat pocket, but now he's beating a hasty retreat towards the nearest set of door and doing some rather athletic weaving through startled attendees in the process.

Hey, this time, he's clothed.

The curator is taking the check from the man, an obsequious smile on their face. "Your donation is gratefully accep…."


The display cabinet topples and glass shatters everywhere "Sir, real—-" one look at Fenris and they nearly swallow their tongue. All attention is on Fenris and no one sees Ambrose as he disappears. Nor do they notice the citrine gem disappearing either.

That's because the security guards have arrived and moving everyone back out the way. "Where's the gem!" The curator cries. "Lock the doors and call the police. Someone has taken the Tear!"

There's a lot of nervous glances at Fenris, who might just get lost in the crowd. But no one has thought to ask about the gent from the land of fish and chips - at least not yet and he's slipped out the door undetected.

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