Saturday, December 3, 2011

Chapter 41: What Foul Magic

"I don't understand, this where I feel her presence most strongly, but there's nothing here," Aymeri says when they arrive at the spot he said Sage would be located. On the long drive to the remote location, Aymeri had explained to Joffrey that only one of the four children he had with his human wife Allyriane inherited his dragon blood. The rest, he said, were like their mother, more human than fae, and no trace of dragon at all. But Tearney was a true dragon, and all of her children and grandchildren had at least little dragon in them, enough for him to sense their presence at any distance.

"I know where we are," Joffrey says, recognizing the place. How could he forget it, when it was the first  view he ever had of the outside world?

The stairs leading down to the underground facility were well hidden, but Joffrey new where to look for them.

Before he descends, Aymeri has a quick conversation with a moth hovering nearby. "Make sure he's here before dawn."

Inside was just as Joffrey remembered, gray and lifeless.

"That's the security office," he says, "The locks are controlled by the computer inside."

As a MorcuCorp executive, Joffrey knows the security codes, and has the main entrance unlocked easily.

"I mislike this place," Aymeri says, his voice low and growling, "Terrible things have happened here."

"This is where MorcuCorp creates the clones," Joffrey tells him. "Why did they bring Sage here?"

"You know your brethren better than I," Aymeri answers, "What do you think they'd want with a dragon-blooded woman?"

Joffrey can think of any number of experiments the MorcuCorp scientists would like to try. "Let's find her, fast," he says gritting his teeth.

They searched all the rooms, but found nothing. Aymeri insists he still feels Sage's presence here, so Joffrey begins to look for secret doors the way Sage did when exploring tombs.

Joffrey may have been created and raised in this underground lab, but he had not been privy to all its secrets. After much probing and tapping in walls, he found a door to a level below that he never knew existed.

Even this deep into the facility, there are more doors that require security codes to unlock.

Every passage is riddled with mazes and traps.

And more creepy laboratories where MorcuCorp could run its secret experiments.

Joffrey feels around the in the cubby hole, looking for a trigger to open the locked doors around them.

But the trigger he finds releases something else entirely when pulled. Aymeri springs into action.

"Foul, undead creature," Aymeri says, "You are an abomination!" Defeated, the mummy dissolves into dust and rags.

"It has been a long time since I've done battle," Aymeri tells Joffrey, satisfaction in his voice, "I forgot how exhilarating it could be. But what was that undead thing doing here? Shouldn't it be lurking about in a tomb?"

"MorcuCorp did some research on mummies some decades ago," Joffrey explains while he tries another cubby hole, "They wanted to use them as shock troops or something. The documentation we have on the project ends abruptly, though. Even with my clearance, I could never find out what came of that research."

Joffrey finally finds the trigger to open the doors. The next chamber holds something even more foul than a mummy.

"Vile pollution!" Aymeri exclaims, "It's a dead end." The only other door leading out is securely locked.

"I'm afraid not," Joffrey sighs, "That's a dive well. The way out of here is through there."

This is for Sage, Joffrey tells himself as he prepares to dive into the foul brown pool of what may or may not be water.

He swims through the tunnel and comes out in another room. The computer there unlocks the door in the chamber where Aymeri waits for him.

"You must love my great-granddaugter very much," Aymeri remarks when Joffrey surfaces again.

Finally, thy come to an ornate door, completely out of place in this sterile lab. Very Landgraab, Joffrey thinks, it must belong to someone very important.

Everything about this room is unexpected. The dull grays are turned to rich crimsons, the plain laboratory furniture is replaced with fine antiques. And the woman waiting inside has been dead for generations.

"Cecilia Landgraab?" Joffrey breathes. Her portraits fill the Landgraab mansion in Brooklyn Heights, the family seat. Born a Tricou, Cecilia had been Harris Landgraab's wife, and had died not long after her husband. or so Joffrey has believed.

Cecilia barely spares Joffrey a glance, instead focusing her attention on Aymeri, "You!" she says, "You're dead! I attended your wake, I saw your body for myself, though I scarce believed one such as you could die."

"You saw a glamour," Aymeri says, "Summerdream cast it for me so my children might have some closure, and believe I had followed their mother into death. I would have thought one such as you, even though you are but a halfling, would have seen through it. And how is it that you are still alive so long after your death?"

"My husband sought immortality through his clones," Cecilia answers, "But they are only crude copies, and most of them aren't even worthy of the Landgraab name." She looks pointedly at Joffrey as she says this. "But unlike my beloved Harris, I'm fae blooded, and true immortality was always in my grasp."

"What foul magic did you discover to make this possible?" Aymeri asks.

"Not magic," Cecilia says, "Science. When I married Harris Landgraab, I gain access to MorcuCorp's wealth of knowledge. They experimented with my DNA, isolating the fae elements, enhancing it, to make me as immortal as Tania Summerdram herself."

"You've gained immortality for yourself, but at what cost to your kind?" Aymeri growls, "You've given your essence to these...scientists...these twisted, evil mortals to experiment with. And now you've taken another, one of the last of the dragon-blooded, my kin..."

"You dare speak to me of 'my' kind? The true fae claim kinship to us only when you need something, or wish to cow us. The rest of the time you look down on us as halflings," Cecilia yells, and strikes Aymeri across the cheek.

"Joffrey, go, and see to Sage. Get her out of here. I'll deal with this traitor," Aymeri says in a low growl.

Joffrey hesitates, but his need to find Sage presses him onwards.

The first time she came to in this hospital bed, she was fooled again for a moment by the clone. But his cold smile quickly gave him away.

"What have you done with my Joffrey?" she asks.

"He's not worth our time," the clone laughs, getting up to give her another injection, "Worry about what we're going to do to you," he adds as she's falling back into the narcotic sleep.

"How did you get in here?"

They may be identical, but the clones could always distinguish each other.

Joffrey doesn't bother giving him an answer, and attacks.

Sage begins to awaken at the noise.

Hazy from the drugs, she's not sure if she's dreaming at first.

The martial arts training was worth it.

This time, Sage is sure he's real, her Joffrey, and not some clone.

"I'm getting you out of here," Joffrey promises, shaking with relief has he takes her in his arms.

From the hospital room they found a stairwell leading up to the surface. Outside, dawn is breaking, and a masked man stands waiting for them.

"Uncle Rory?" Sage identifies him.

"Sage," Rory nods at his niece, "I'd begun to worry you'd never get out of there. You two need to clear out of here fast, I've got this placed wired. Remote as this place is, the sun is coming up and the blast will bring a lot of attention."

"Blast?" Joffrey asks, "What about Aymeri? Is he still in there?"

"He hasn't come out," Rory says, "But his orders were clear, demo the place as soon as Sage got out. Even if he wasn't with her."


"Get my niece out of here, now," Rory barks. Rory took over Patricia Bedlington's position as the head of Appaloosa Plains' crime syndicate, and had lost patience for any kind questioning of his orders.

With a push of a button, Rory destroys MorcuCorps secret lab.

Challenge Notes:
This whole chapter is an alternate save.
The secret lab is The Mummy Research Facility by Hackster Manic at MTS. I changed it up a bit, using objects from Hekate99's Hospital Set at MTS.
Sage's actual hospital room was in another building altogether.

Back when I was playing in Brooklyn Heights, shortly after Harris Landgraab got himself cloned, SP married him to Cecilia Tricou. But it just never made it in to the story, I think I only ever mentioned Cecilia in chapter notes. Like Harris, she has the Evil trait.


  1. Great job!

    I love all of the elements from your past legacies you've put in; especially Aymeri (but I think I expressed my love for him time and again already). ;) I am crossing my fingers that he can still make it out of there alive.

    And the picture of Joff carrying Sage out of there is so adorable. I'm happy he finally found her.

  2. I'm so sad that Aymeri got blown up but in my heart I'll believe he's alive and okay <3. That heart is also in reference to Sage and Joffery getting the chance to stay together. I hope Morucorp is distracted enough to leave them alone or think he's dead.

    (I want to write the fruedian implications of Cecilia staying in the laboratory where her husband's clones are created and raised. Is that allowed or would it be considered inappropriate?)

    You did only mention it in the challenge notes. It made me smile to finally see her. I can understand why Harris married her though. They were perfect for each other.

  3. Cecilia and Harris were perfect for each other, and I was very sad I never got to work them back into my story. Until now. There's a lot of stuff about Cecilia's role in clone project and her place at MorcuCorp that I didn't include in this chapter that you'll get to find out later.
    And believe me, the implications of Cecilia and her husband's clones is not lost on me. =D

  4. Mummy apocalyyyyppppsssse.

    *A tear shed for all evil and non-evil lives lost.*

    I loved Cecelia's conversation with Aymeri.

  5. I LOVE THIS SCENE :) You are just awesome, I love your legacy :D:D:D:D:D

  6. Wow, awesome chapter Melissa! I'm just blown away. Seriously, to be able to pull off a story that complex and interesting within the confines of the Sims...


    Quick question: Was Tearney a true dragon like Aymeri or a human with dragon blood? I'm just wondering, since Aymeri is immortal and Tearney was not. Also, Thierry was a Tricou, right? Is he related to Cecilia at all? (I should know this, but I can't remember.)

    I'm looking forward to learning more about Cecilia and the clones. =)

  7. *nods and points above*

    agree agree!!

    Can't say more, i'm absolute stunned!

  8. Tearney definitely wasn't immortal, so I guess she wasn't pure dragon. But, had Aymeri taught her how, she could have taken a dragon form.
    Sims is a difficult medium for these kinds fantasy stories, that's for sure.

    Thierry was related to Cecilia. When I set up Brooklyn Heights, the Tricous were elders Jennicor and Jon Smith Tricou, and their two YA daughters, Nylissit and Jennail and their husbands. Jennail's children were Fricorith, Thierry and Laramie (Amit/Aiden's mother). Nylissit's children were Gvaudoin and Anais. Anais was the mother of Cecilia. So Thierry was Cecilia's uncle.
    Cecilia's relation to my legacy family is important, in that it was Cecilia who informed MorcuCorp of the existence of dragons.

  9. Ah, sorry, no, Thierry wasn't Cecilia's uncle, lol. He was some kind of cousin?
    I'm really bad with the whole second cousin, third cousin crap. After first cousins it's all a jumble to me.

  10. Thierry and Anais would have been cousins because their mothers were sisters. So if Cecelia was the daughter of Anais, she and Thierry were second cousins. So Cecelia and Tearney were fourth cousins.

    Making Cecelia and Sage sixth cousins, at which point nobody is alive to remember unless you've been stuck in an elvish RPG loop. And then it all becomes VERY IMPORTANT.

    I assumed Tea could have become immortal if her father had taught her how to transform etc, just because you kept saying "true dragon", but then again that's kinda mean lol.

  11. Okay, I can go with that, about Tearney possibly being able to become immortal. I try not to create too specific a lore at the outset, so if I need to do something later that wasn't originally planned, I don't have to retcon too hard. :P

    So, what relation were Tea and Aiden, I know they were some kind of cousins. (That wasn't the first Tricou intermarriage I had, Allyriane's brother Tristan married Gvaudoin's daughter Adele.)

  12. I was just saying that was my vague idea of what you meant, before I had your word that it was different. xD I'm terrible with lore in my own legacy, because it's sims, so it's just there when I force it to be.

    Tea and Aiden would have been second cousins.

    Inbreeding doesn't bother me much though. Which is good, since I've rolled 5 kids for generation 6.

  13. Well, on reflection, if I'm coming up with dragon lore...Aymeri is one of the first dragons, probably the only one left.
    He told Allyriane of two other children he'd had before her. One a dragon (presumably with another dragon, but he didn't day who the other was) and another with a water sprite, who was a water sprite like her mother.
    With Allyriane he had four children, one a 'true dragon' and the rest fae/human hybrids like their mother, with no dragon at all.
    None of Tearney's children are 'true dragon', but they all have some dragon element to them, which they've passed to their children.
    This is important mostly because MorcuCorp has targeted Tea's line and not the Romans left behind in BH. Therefore, all the dragon blood passed to Tearney and through Tearney only.
    So, it's not entirely consistent, when I started I kind of had the idea of all dragon or no dragon, and now I have some part dragons who probably couldn't transform.
    And yeah, lore is definitely kind of forced on Sims. I mean, I'm talking about transforming into dragons, and that's just not possible in this game no matter what I say.

  14. *he didn't say who the mother was*

    I have a sticky keyboard, lol.

  15. *photoshops a dragon flying out of the explosion, unscathed*


  16. <3
    There were times I was tempted to use some of my Dragon Age screenshots of dragons for this story, lol.

  17. Thanks for the in-depth answer guys! Melissa, your lore fascinates me. <3

    You keep mentioning Dragon Age, and now I really want to get it to see what you all are talking about! =)

  18. you should :)

    and the in-depth answers makes it clearer :D so thanks from me as well :)

  19. Wow, amazing chapter and incredible sets! What a storyteller!!