<Taking on the Darkness with a Flashlight and a Prayer> <At the Welcome Party> Thû resists the urge to run a frustrated hand through his turbaned hair when Will chivvys him and the two ladies off to help Levita without so much as a chance to speak. One of the more glaring downsides to impatient, apathetic, and oblivious bosses. Again with the patience, Little Lord. We need to have words, and soon. As they depart, he salvages as much of the situation as he can and subvocalises to Will by vox over a private channel, which he shares with the ladies. @Colapse @Kalle @Casavay "Young Master, if I may offer some advice - watch these folk carefully. Examine them and the surroundings for anything unusual - anything at all. Observe especially their faces and bodies, their religious dogma, their iconography. I do not trust them." With that, they are out the door, back into the blazing sun, and heading towards the Palace, which he will take care to examine as much as possible before they take the elevator down. <Elevator> As they descend into the depths of the planet, Thû feels well the old, foul thing lurking in the shadows below. The sense of a rival predator adds spice to the welcome sensation of slipping back into the cool embrace of darkness, but lends also urgency and tension to the mission. Were he alone down here, it could be nothing more than a delightful hunt, two killers competing for territory, to eat or be eaten. Now, however, he had others to mind. No one ever said the life of a shadow knight was easy. @Kalle @Casavay "Something is down here," he subvocalises to his companions, "Can you feel it, Little Witch? Down in the shadows, in the bowels of the world. I would normally suggest you not follow me past the foot of the elevator until I find out more, but I do not trust our hosts, either. That they have coexisted with this...thing for so long raises suspicions of complicity. I am open to suggestions as to how to proceed, but I am going to take the time till we reach bottom to observe our hosts for signs that all is not right." With that, he turns his masked, hollow gaze onto the guards first of all. Passing a silent, alien stare over them with predatory slowness, he takes in every feature, every quirk of both physiognomy and fashion alike. Unlike most denizens of the Dark City, Thû has learned to tell the difference between mon'keigh very well indeed - as well as he can his own kind - and this ability has saved his skin more than once when moving amongst covert followers of the Dark Powers...or other things, equally foul. Letting slip the reins on his own unnerving presence, he allows the air to turn cold and the shadows to cling to him...just a touch. Sufficient to be noticeable, slight enough to be dismissed as a trick of the mind brought on by descent into the depths and the unnerving stillness of the masked stranger. Men reveal more of themselves when they sweat...or when they don't sweat where others would. When his curiosity is satisfied, he turns his gaze to Levita. He makes as though to speak to get her attention, but pauses instead to silently run his gaze over her from head to toe, and up again in a manner he has found tends to make females extremely uncomfortable...occasionally also receptive. His courtly manners in the conversation that follows feel jarringly at odds with the heavily-implied predatory lasciviousness. "Mamzel Levita," he says, altering his vocal cords to produce a pleasing baritone purr, "Would you be so good as to tell us more about the history of incidents down in the tunnels? The frequency and nature thereof sounds more than coincidental. One might almost suspect deliberate malice. Has ought unnatural ever been sighted where we are going?" Abruptly, he sweeps a courtly bow, one hand to heart, another behind his back. "Ah, but where are my manners? Thû, at your service - a humble serving-man of the Lord Savoy."