Most castle bedrooms are not full of cobwebs, ancient tapestries covering secret passages or furniture placed specifically to cast ominous shadows but Igor is nothing if not a traditionalist. What does stand out of place in this mix are the two large four-poster beds. They have gargoyles on the posts and carved clawed feet, as expected, but the second must have been moved in to make room somewhere else in the castle.
One of the beds is already occupied by the oversized Jupani called Bravil. Igor turns down the sheets of the second bed now so that Zahn can place the comatose body of a Lapi doe into it. Amelia paces about, still keyed up. "I saw Axel down in the basement pipe room as we were coming up," she chatters. "I told him to take the boat back and pick up Miranda and Liliana I think he understood me."
"You never can tell with him. I'm not sure he can find his own feet on some days," Zahnrad comments as he leans in to check the scalp of the sleeping Lapi. "Igor," he says after a moment, "Would you fetch Doctor Pike to come look at this? She isn't too busy right now, is she?"
"Thee wath puttering about in her lab," Igor notes, then shuffles out to fetch the resident crackpot Eeee.
Amy looks over to the bed with Bravil in it, checking to see if the big man is showing any improvement after the harrowing 'dream therapy' attempt.
"You don't think we're imposing too much on her, do you?" Zahn asks the pacing Amelia once Igor has left the room. "First Bravil, now … Clover. Possibly a sucked-out-brain Clover, but still Clover."
"I think she likes having the company," Amelia says. "So long as it's mysterious. And it's not like Clover was a genius or anything."
As Amelia looks at Bravil, Bravil looks right back at Amelia. "Viktor, actually," the large Jupani comments, sounding rather tired. "I should note, I've never seen a naked flour dance before. That was both insane and brilliant at the same time."
"Oh… you saw everything that happened then?" Amelia asks. "You sound better. Have you eaten anything?"
"I remember parts. Some things stand out more than others," the Jupani comments, "And no, I have not eaten." Zahn, meanwhile about jumped into the ceiling, having not expected him to be awake. He has, however, turned into a huge puffball and is busily trying to pat himself back down.
"Igor has sausages," Amelia notes. "He's always got sausages… I can ask him to bring some if you want."
"Mmm. That would probably be good. I cannot remember the last time I ate," Bravil says. "I am sorry for the trouble I have been."
"Trouble, flour dances, naked?" Zahn says in rapid succession and eyes Amelia. "Just what have you been doing? Do you have another boyfriend I should know about?"
"What trouble?" Amy asks, as Dr. Pike and Igor return. "I'll tell you later, Zahn," the Kadie girl whispers quickly.
"Oh my, another patient!" Pike squeaks when she sees Clover, and goes over to examine the bunny. Igor nods to Bravil, and asks, "Feeling better now?"
"Ah, you must be the lady of the manor," the Jupani says as he struggles to sit up. "Thank you for your hospitality and vigilance. Your kindness is only overshadowed by your beauty." Apparently, he does remember how to be polite, even if it's a bit of a lie. To Igor, he says, "I feel as though I have left a storm I have been lost in for … I do not know. I remember fragments … but it all blurs together. What year is it?"
"Something sucked her hair off," Zahnrad tells Pike and points to the blotchy scalp. "We were wondering if it sucked out her brain too."
"Well… oh!" Pike starts to say, until Bravil's speech derails her. "Oh my!" she sputters, blushing to her eartips. "Well, you are quite welcome to stay as long as you like." Igor ignores Pike, and answers the Jupani, "6107 RTR, latht I checked."
Bravil mulls over the date for a bit. His eyes then slip closed and he nods, saying, "A long time. Much will have gone."
"But, I cannot change the flow of time," Bravil follows up with a moment later and looks to the strange creature called Igor. "Are you the Lord of this manor?"
Amelia nudges Igor, and asks him, "Can you fix him something to eat? Without… you know… frying it too much?"
Zahn nudges Pike a bit. "Brain sucking," he prompts.
"I'm jutht the caretaker," Igor replies. "What would you like to eat?" He quietly ignores Amelia's critique of his cooking skills.
"Brain sucking?" Pike asks, turning her attention back to Zahn, then to Clover. "Oh… the marks… well. They look a bit like burns really, but no breaking of the skin. Certainly you'd need a very big hole to suck out a brain."
Bravil has to actually think on that. "I do not know the food styles anymore," he ends up saying. "Amelia mentioned something about sausages. Those would be sufficient, I believe."
"Couldn't they have sucked it out through her ears or nose?" Zahn asks Pike. "I mean, it's not like Clover had a large brain in the first place… "
"Would you like 'em in a bun?" Igor asks next. "I hear that'th very popular in thome platheth. Thauthage inna bun."
"I would not wish to harm the other guest by stuffing sausages in her," Bravil comments quietly.
"Well, I don't see bits of brain or indications of trauma to her nose or ears," Pike comments, then casually goes about removing the tatters of Clover's dress while giving her a more thorough examination. "Signs of struggle though, from the way her limbs are cut and bruised. Probably was carried off by at least four people on for each limb."
"Hm. Any signs of having fallen?" Zahn asks next. "And what did they do to her head? Was that from something deliberately gnawing on it, or was it, well, shaved somehow?"
Igor blinks and actually laughs, and not his usual 'hen hen hen' noise. "Ah, the mathter ith feeling well enough to joke, I thee. I will go fetch you thome thauthageth and finger food." The Skreek is still chuckling as he waddles out of the room.
"What a peculiar fellow," Bravil comments with a glance to Amelia.
"If it was pulled out there'd be signs," Pike notes, and adjusts her thick glasses as she leans in for a close look at the Lapi's scalp. "Shaved, I'd have to guess, with a very sharp razor."
"Any idea why? Any sign of other shaving or work on her body?" Zahn asks as he actually tries to get a look himself, even if she's naked.
"Umm, you get used to him, sort of," Amelia notes, and sits on the edge of the bed, so she can keep an eye on Clover as well. "Do you remember the gypsies and Natasha?" she asks the big man.
"Well, it looks like some fur was trimmed around her cuts, but that could really just mean the fur was cut when the skin was," Pike observes. She pulls up Clover's eyelids to check on pupil dilation as well. "No sign of concussion yet, or serious head trauma beyond the scalp scarring. It looks like… uh, maybe somebody wanted her hair," the Eeee says, apparently changing what she was about to say at the very end.
"I do," Bravil notes as he leans back against the headboard. It creaks a bit ominously as he does so. "It would be difficult to forget her or them."
"So you'll be going back to them soon?" Amelia asks. "Once you get your strength back, that is. You were out of it for a few days."
"It looks like what? You were going to say something else?" Zahn asks and peers at the Eee. "They haven't implanted anything in her, have that? Those trolls had all sorts of bits sticking out of them … the ones I saw at least."
"I have nowhere else to go, so yes," the Jupani answers quietly. "Besides … I do not, I… Natasha means a lot to me."
"Trolls?" Pike asks, her eyes looking huge behind her magnifying glasses. "The cuts seem too small and clean, and certainly there doesn't appear to be anything stuck into her head."
"Are the cuts around where she would have just been grabbed? They might have been accidentally caused by claws," Zahn considers and peers at the cuts. "Do you have anything to wake her up?"
Amy smiles and pats Viktor's shoulder. "I'm glad to hear it. It looks like whatever was clouding your mind is gone now."
"Is that such a good thing? I am a monster," Bravil remarks as he looks at his overly large hands. "I should have been put to death. But … my son could not bear that responsibility."
"I have chemicals that smell pretty bad," Pike says, and checks Clover's pulse. "I don't know if waking her now would be wise though, as she's probably still suffering from shock. You have to be careful with Lapi, when they are this deeply unconscious."
"Uh, Amelia here thinks she should be put in chains and kept here until she wakes and can be interrogated," Zahn says quietly.
"Monsters are never as bad as they look, in my experience," Amelia says. "Besides, you don't act or sound like a monster. You didn't when your head was still messed up either."
"I can have Igor rustle up some chains, I suppose," Pike notes, rubbing her chin. Then she actually thinks about it. "Oh… I don't think that will be needed. I doubt this girl could stand on her own if she were to wake up now."
Bravil huffs a bit at that. "Then you have had little experience with monsters. Walk the borders of Bosch to learn of true horror some day," he comments dryly.
"Maybe just one of those collar things like you have on that Eee you're keeping here, then," Zahn suggests.
"Didn't I just do that in your head?" Amelia asks. "I'm descended from a monster, you know. The worst kind too the ones that don't look like monsters."
Bravil's brow furrows a bit. "Ah, yes, the Bloodfurs. I remember the signs," he says after a moment.
"Bloodfurs?" Zahn turns and asks Amelia.
"Oh, that collar wouldn't stop him, it's just… uh, well, let's not go into that," Pike says, waving a hand at Zahn and looking away. She then busies herself with tucking Clover into the bed. "If she's been gone a few days, she's probably dehydrated now."
Amy glances at Zahn. "You know how our community was founded, right?" she asks him.
"Oh, so he's staying of his own free will, then. So, what can you do about her being dehydrated? She was lying in a pool of water, covered by snail monsters," Zahn notes, then looks back to Amelia. "No?" he admits.
"I'll get a sipping tube for her," Pike says, and then folds her ears at the mention of the town's founding.
"The Kadies and the Lapis marched here from Tursdi a few centuries back," Amelia says. "They were led by the Bloodfurs including my namesake. They pretty much left a path of destruction worse than the Gallisians until they came to their promised land right here. Wiped out everyone but the Skeeks and settled in."
"Geh," Zahnrad says and steps back a bit. "I'm a descendant of marauders too?"
"Yeah, probably," Amy admits. "There aren't exactly any Kadie communities out here to have brought in new blood. They were called the Bloodfurs because the leaders would cover themselves in blood and go into berserker rages in battle. We were really barbarians back then."
Zahnrad frowns at that. "I can't see it. I can't imagine any from my family killing anyone," he admits. "And why here? This place is … well, a dump."
Amelia just shrugs. "It was some religious vision or whatever they were following. I never asked too much about it, I just wanted to know what the painting in our dining hall was all about."
"The stories of that clan reached even my lands in Chronotopia," Bravil comments from where he lays.
"In your dining … wait. Isn't there supposed to be a big dinner there soon?" Zahn asks, looking worried.
"Not surprised," Amelia says. "Barbarians nibbling on the fringes of civilization… oh, yeah, that's tomorrow night Zahn! Do you have something nice to wear? Olivia is making me a new dress. But don't worry, they always take down the stuffed heads for company."
"Something nice … er, I don't know," Zahn admits lamely and rubs his hands over his eyes. "Am I expected to do anything there? Or do I just get to sit off to the side and hide?"
"No idea why Erik wanted you there, Zahn," Amelia says, then turns back to Bravil. "Anyway… the point is… uh… even monsters can be kind, sweet and gentle. Like me!"
"I don't exactly remember you as being gentle… " Bravil points out. Zahn also gives Amelia a brief, odd, look.
Zahn does also look a bit relieved, at least. "Well, at least the dinner can't be anything about us, then, right? Just some town business that requires Wingnut attendance."
"I can be gentle!" Amelia claims, with a bit of a growl. Igor returns at that moment, carrying a platter of sausages, cheese and bread. "Yeth, pleathe be gentle with me mithtreth. Thomeone around here thould be."
"True, she can. She's wonderful to share a bed with," Zahnrad has to admit. Bravil gives Zahn a look … which immediately prompts Zahn to say quickly, "Not that kind of sharing!"
"Hehn hehn hehn," Igor chortles, after setting the platter down on the night table next to Bravil. "Ith there anything elthe you need, young marthters?"
"All of you have dirty minds," Zahn grumbles as he sulks.
"If this girl is going to be staying with us awhile, she'll need to be cleaned up," Pike speaks up. "Igor, could you bring the sponge and a bowl of soapy water, along with some disinfectant? It shouldn't be as hard to give her a sponge bath as it was for Mr. Bravil."
Bravil peers under his sheet, brow raised. "Ah, that would explain the lack of clothing," he comments. "I am sorry you had to see me indecently, M'lady."
"Oh, no!" Pike explains. "Igor did it, I just had to help… roll you about… uh… well, I am a doctor you know!" the Eeee chatters.
"I'll fetch some bathrobeth ath well," Igor offers before leaving. "I think we thtill have one big enough… "
"If you've examined him then, do you know how to fix his body?" Amelia asks Pike.
"Fix it?" the Eeee asks. "I'm sorry… I didn't realize there was something wrong with it. I was told the illness was in his head!"
"Probably examined him thoroughly, since he is a monster and she has an obsession with monsters," Zahn whispers to Amelia.
"What did happen to you?" Zahn asks Bravil. "Bosch infection," the Jupani replies bluntly.
Amelia just winks at Zahn, then tells the doctor, "Yeah, some sort of chaos curse thingy from Bosch."
"Oh, well, he's not possessed or anything," Pike points out. "And I didn't notice any abnormalities that might affect his health. How long have you been like this, Mr. Bravil?"
"Viktor Von Ril," Bravil tells Doctor Pike. "If your friends date was accurate, it would be … close to two hundred years."
The bat takes off her glasses and wipes them clean for a moment, then puts them back on and takes a deep breath. "Well… I'd really like to do a blood and tissue study if you'd be willing, but anything that's lasted that long probably can't be 'cured' by alchemy. If it is primarily a cosmetic issue, then Igor might have some sort of… surgical solution… "
"Take your samples, then. I have bled enough in my life that it does not bother me," the Jupani says bluntly.
Amelia sneaks a piece of bread off of the platter, and shudders at the mention of Igor and surgery in the same sentence. "Do you think Clover here will recover," she asks the doctor.
"Oh, I don't see why she shouldn't," Pike notes, looking at the sleeping Lapi. "I'll check her blood as well for anything unusual, just in case she's been drugged."
Bravil finally makes a move for the food and starts to eat, albeit rather slowly. "It is a bit … crunchy and oily," he notes.
"The crunchy bits are good for your teeth, Igor claims," Pike notes in a tone indicating a certain amount of disbelief.
"In my day, it was the sign of a poor cook," Bravil notes. He eats it anyway.
"I'd offer to cook for you myself, but I've been known to burn water," Pike admits.
"You are too critical of yourself, M'lady. Everyone knows that the hands of a lady are far too delicate for such a chore as cooking, anyway. It is beneath you," Bravil says with a smile towards the Eee.
"Do women really like men who talk like that?" Zahn asks Amelia in whisper.
Pike blushes, and is about to reply when Igor returns with the washwater and some robes. "Here you go, jutht what the doctor ordered for thmelly bunnieth," he remarks cheerfully.
"I guess older women do," Amelia whispers back to Zahn.
"Going to help wash Clover?" Zahn asks Amelia.
Pike twitches at the 'older women' remark it's hard to whisper low enough for an Eeee not to notice. "Yes, Amelia, she's your friend isn't she?" the woman asks, holding up a sponge.
"Errr, no thanks," Amy says holding her hands up. "I've washed babies, but… well, I just would never live it down if Clover actually woke up while I was doing it."
"I consider 'er mature. An' mature women are de most fun," comes a comment from the hallway. Rey's head peers around the door a moment later. "Dey know jus' vhat dey vant." He grins.
"I could help if you want?" Zahn offers.
Pike nearly drops the sponge as the other Eeee appears. "Rey, how did you get loose this ti-… um, why, thank you Zahnrad," she says, offering the sponge to the Kadie without hesitation. "It would be best if Rey didn't see her," she adds.
Zahn takes the sponge and looks at Pike. "Why would it matter if he did see her?" Zahn asks Pike.
"That reminds me," Amelia says, noticing the gypsy. "I'll stop by Bra- Viktor's wagon and pick up some of his clothes."
Rey asks, "Vha 'an't I see?" He steps into the room. "As for gettin' loose, vell, I know how to pick locks. Gots to keep it a challenge, no?" He says with a grin.
Pike actually glares at Zahn for a second, then says, "Because… um… he's not a doctor or a friend."
"Oh, you're afraid he'll leave you," Zahnrad reasons out. The Kadie then shrugs and goes over to the prone Lapi. He looks down, then shrugs, commenting, "Never thought I'd be doing this." And with that, the Kadie starts to slowly bathe the Lapi, being very gentle with the damp sponge and cleaning it regularly. Of course, he also volunteered so he could inspect her injuries closer and look for any other oddities too.
Amelia watches Zahn work, for pretty much the same reasons. "We should cover her head," she says in odd gesture of sympathy for her rival. "Have you got anything like a cap?" she asks Igor.
"I can whip up a wig," Igor notes. "Wouldn't be long though, I ran out of long hair years ago."
"Why have you made wigs before?" Zahn has to ask Igor. "Please tell me you didn't play the lady of the manor for the old Lord… "
"Really, alwayth tho thuthpithiouth," Igor replies to Zahn. "Plenty of people need wigs when they thtart to lothe their hair, you know."
"I have reason to be suspicious!" Zahnrad insists.
"What reathon would that be?" Igor asks.
"Have you looked in a mirror?" Zahn asks.
"Why, ith there thomething caught in my teeth?" the Skreek asks, and starts poking around in his mouth with a claw.
"Uh, nevermind," Zahn says and goes back to the sponge bath. "Huh, I never knew Lapi were shaped like … uh. Nevermind!"
"Dere is a Lapi in here?" Rey inquires and tries to peer over those gathered.
"Not your type, Rey," Pike insists, and stands to try and usher the vampire out. "Oh, the dinner! I have something Erik wanted for that, Amelia, if you could bring it to him? It'd save Igor a trip into town."
"Sure, I can bring… is it one of your vegetables?" Amelia asks suspiciously.
"Old dusty bottle of wine he asked for," Pike replies, trying to pull Rey into the hall.
"Course no'. I prefer Eee," Rey says and actually leans over and nips her cheek as he's ushered out. "I gots no intentions of leaving vou jus' yet. Vou too much fun! I go chain myself back up now." He grins and waves to Pike, then vanishes back into the castle.
"Oh, okay then," Amelia offers.
"Isn't dusty old wine really nasty?" Zahn inquires as he looks up. "You aren't going to get drunk again, are you, Amelia?"
"I don't… wait, what do you mean drunk again?" Amelia demands. "I can hold my wine just fine! Just because I'm small… " she grumbles.
"Your birthday wine," Zahnrad reminds Amelia. "You vomited."
"Vomiting isn't the same as being drunk," Amelia claims.
"What with Rey here, the Doctor ith an expert on being 'drunk' now, hehn hehn hehn," Igor chortles.
Zahnrad snorts loudly, then quickly covers his muzzle. "I think she intends to keep him permanently," he whispers to Amelia.
"Whatever keeps her out of mischief," is all Amy can say about it.
"I think the lands of Bosch must have spread; this land is full of insanity," Bravil comments after the rather odd goings-on. Then there's a rather loud crunch from his sausage. He pulls it back and peers at it. "And lots of little crunchy bits."