Disclaimer: The Secret World and all associated characters, settings, and situations are the property of Funcom and Electronic Arts. All use of them here is purely for entertainment purposes, without permission or intention to profit.
The Biker and the Fortune Teller
Thursday, November 2, 4:15PM
Near the Sheriff's Office, Kingsmouth, Maine
I check around the corner of the house. There are a couple zombies idling there, kicking listlessly at the siding. I draw back and whisper to the big bearded man, Moose, "We've got some company."
"Tell them Namaste for me," Moose whispers back, and I can see a slight grin beneath his beard as he works on installing one of the security cameras on an abandoned porch.
"Namaste?" I repeat.
"It means hello," he says, then looks at my shotgun and gives me a wink.
I nod. Moose is obviously no lover of zombies, and after what I've seen on Solomon Island, neither am I. I cock my shotgun and step around the corner. But when I do, I find that the zombies are already shambling around the far side of the house, attracted toward the street by some other noise. Pursuing them now would mean leaving Moose defenseless, and that's not a risk I'm willing to take. I step back and join him on the porch. "They decided they had better things to do," I say.
"We'll catch 'em next time," Moose says. He finishes up with one screw and starts on another.
I stand for a moment, keeping watch, but it feels a little awkward to be standing next to someone and not talking to them. "Where are you from?" I ask at last. "Namaste isn't English. Is it from the local Indian tribe?"
Moose shakes his head. "It's Hindu actually, from the other kind of Indian," he says. "And before you ask, I'm not from there either." He picks up the final screw. "Born, raised, and worked in New York City most of my life—office job. There's nothing like the confines of a cubicle or a packed subway to give a man perspective. I was so caught up in the grind of office politics and the endless hunt for affirmation and money, I didn't realize I was gettin' sick." He shakes his head and looks at me. "Friend, I was no more alive than those things out there, and a sight less mobile. The disease that grew inside me was as black as theirs."
I can't imagine a man like Moose sitting in an office or working in a cubicle. "What happened?" I ask.
"Well, Robert Frost said, 'Freedom lies in bein' bold.' So I boldly quit my job and traded my rent-controlled apartment on Christopher Street for a vintage Harley and an old poncho," he explains. "Found my salvation in the open road, and I haven't looked back since."
"So you were just passing through Kingsmouth then, when the Fog hit?" I shift in place. "That must have been a nasty surprise."
"Not as big a surprise as you'd think," Moose says. "When you're living on the razor's edge of society your eyes open up to the possibility that there's something more to this world: something most people are too blind or too preoccupied to notice, even if it's right under their noses, and has been all along."
I look back at him. "You know about it then? The Secret World?"
He nods. "I only noticed small things at first: roads that appeared and disappeared, folks who traveled by way of gates drawn in chalk on brick walls, houses bigger on the inside than the outside, magic trinkets sold at yard sales, street shamans capable of taking out the cancer inside you," he explains. "It wasn't until I found myself face to face with werewolves in New Orleans that I realized there was a secret war going on. After that, I couldn't escape it. I saw signs and sigils everywhere. I've met recruiters for the Templars, the Illuminati, and the Dragon. They all seem to think I'd make a useful operative."
I'm a little taken aback by what he's said. "You know about the Secret World, and all the societies have been trying to recruit you?" I shake my head. "I only found out earlier this month when I gained my powers, and the Templars were the only ones who contacted me."
"And you snapped up their offer?" he asks, an edge of challenge to his voice.
"I didn't have much choice," I say, a bit defensively. "I couldn't control my powers on my own. They were destroying my life! I was a danger to myself and everyone around me."
"And let me guess, now you're only a danger to their enemies." Moose grunts and finishes up the screw, then meets my gaze. "Well don't let me judge you, kid. We all find our own road in life. Myself, I told all the recruiters that I'd take no sides. I want no part in the secret war between the cabals. But this," he says, thrusting his screwdriver towards town, and the sound of zombie screams. "This united against darkness thing I can get behind. We're all in this together…and we all got work to do." He plugs in the cable and aims the camera down the street, so it has an unobstructed view of the approach to the barricaded Sheriff's Office. "Speakin' of work, our part in this early-warning system's done. Time to head back in and see how your Illuminati friend is doing."
I'm a little surprised that Moose knows Dan's Illuminati, but then again, I suppose I shouldn't be. Moose evidently has a lot more experience in the Secret World than I do, and Dan's dropped enough hints of his allegiance for someone like Moose to put the pieces together.
We hurry back to the barricade. Deputy Garnder opens the gate for us and Moose greets him with a big smile and a shout of "Andy!"
Andy's return smile is a little nervous. "They're, uh, eatin' inside," he says. "The Sheriff broke out some of them canned goods you brought back, Miss Warden. You better get some while you can."
My stomach gives a painful rumble, reminding me that I haven't had a real meal all day. "Thanks," I say, but Andy's already busy locking up the gate. Moose shrugs and we head inside.
A table has been set up in the middle of the interior with opened cans and food packaging on it. All of the cans and packages are empty except for one can of beans. Moose gestures for me to take it, but before I can respond someone shouts, "No!"
I turn to find Kaiyo sitting on an old mattress in a corner. She has two opened cans in front of her, and she pats a spot on the mattress beside her, opposite Dan McFadden. "I saved you a can and a spot," she says.
I leave the beans on the table for Moose and join her on the mattress. She hands me a can labeled Fruit Cocktail and a plastic fork as I sit down. I begin eating gratefully, then tell them, "The cameras are all installed and hooked up. All we need now is the computer system to monitor them and pass the footage on." I glance at Dan. "Are you ready with that?"
"I fucking wish," Dan mutters, spooning some beans into his mouth.
I'm a little surprised, and annoyed, to find he isn't done yet. "It took us hours to get all those cameras and set them up. What's taking you so long?"
"Well, I'm mot dicking awound wiff fuckming mutant manitors, mike mum people," he says around a mouthful, pointing a plastic spoon at me.
Kaiyo cocks her head to one side, as if considering. "Actually it was a pretty serious monster down in that basement…and I don't think either of us have dicks," she says, then turns to me. "He's having trouble with the computer," she explains.
"T'a fuckming computor," Dan says before swallowing.
"Right, well, apparently the software's a little older than what he's used to," she says.
"Its operating system is from fucking 80's and runs on actually floppy floppy disks," Dan explains. "The monitor only displays lines of text, and only in green. There's no mouse; the whole interface is press 1 for this, press 2 for that…and half the time it doesn't fucking tell you what buttons to push at all! And to top it all the fucking thing has less memory and processing power than my fucking phone." He gives an exasperated sigh. "It's one fucking step above an elementary-school kid's calculator and I'm trying to make it monitor video feeds in real time and upload them to the three most advanced information networks in the world. It's a fucking nightmare! I'm having to write half the code myself, from scratch!"
"Oh, I guess the Sheriff wasn't lying when she said she didn't have much technology budget," I say, suddenly understanding his frustration. "I didn't bring my laptop, but I might be able to have it sent here. Would that help?"
He shakes his head. "I just spent the last half hour convincing the networks to accept an upload from that outdated piece of shit. I'm not gonna start from scratch now." Then he gives me a slight smile. "All the same, thanks for the offer, babe."
"You're welcome," I say, "And don't call me babe." Or hit on me, ever, I want to add, but that might completely shatter the fragile cooperative mood. Besides, I think that was the first genuinely nice thing Dan's said to me, and he is sort of handsome, for a jerk.
"I still don't understand why it's a big deal that the computer's thirty years old. Lots of things that are much older work just fine or even better," Kaiyo says. "But as long as you can manage it, it's not really a big deal, right?"
Dan chuckles and shakes his head. "I suppose not. I'll sort out the fucking thing in a few more hours anyway."
Kaiyo grins. "Well then, great! You can sort out the computer while I take Chris to the fortune teller I found!"
"Fortune teller?" I repeat. "I thought you were taking me to see a survivor who was good with dreams."
"Yup," says Kaiyo, "She's a fortune teller!"
I balk at the prospect, picturing the shady con-artists my Dad warned me against when I was younger, but Kaiyo did say that she had some enchanted artifacts. "I guess we can at least check her out," I say, before forking the last of my fruit into my mouth.
"You'd better hurry," says Dan. "It'll be dark in a couple hours."
"No problem!" Kaiyo says, smiling to show off her fangs. "I'm a dhampir, remember?"
"Yeah, but she isn't," he says, pointing a spoon at me. "And if you get her killed, it'll be quite a loss."
"Yeah, who will you pick on then?" I ask sarcastically, "Kaiyo?"
"Exactly," says Dan. "So come back alive or this little monster will eat me," he tells me, pointing at the Japanese girl between us.
"Aww, you're too kind, Dan!" Kaiyo says. She gives him a peck on the cheek. He wipes it quickly away with his sleeve. The dhampir girl laughs and rises, offering me a hand up.
I take it, and together we go to the gate. Andy lets us out and we head down Arkham Avenue, then turn down Lovecraft Lane. The shadows are getting longer and the Fog on the horizon looks darker than ever, but most of the zombies seem to be elsewhere, so I think we'll probably be alright as long as we're back before nightfall. Still I pat the pockets of my army coat and am glad to find that the flashlight I took out with me when I was helping Moose install the cameras is still there.
Suddenly, Kaiyo makes a sharp right hand turn and heads down an alleyway between a house with carved pumpkins already out for Halloween and a larger, two-story building. "She's this way," the dhampir girl says by way of explanation, pointing to a large white sign plastered to the side of the larger building. It bears the stylized name The Raven's Knock and an arrow pointing down the alley. Magick, Psychic Readings, Potions, Charms, and Spells the sign promises. I frown. This looks like exactly the sort of place I should avoid…but I've trusted Kaiyo so far. I shrug and follow her down the alley.
The alley twists a little, but soon opens up into a large dirt-paved yard, evidently being used as a parking lot, judging from the old van that's been left pulled up diagonally to the wooden fence. The fence surrounds most of the yard, separating it from the property of the backsides of the houses around it. The only house that isn't fenced off this way has evidently been converted into a condominium. A large wooden porch has been added outside the backdoor, as has a set of stairs leading to a second-story entrance. Over the backdoor a white sign hangs, with the same black stylized lettering announcing The Raven's Knock. Miniature plastic jack-o-lanterns and paper ghosts have been strung up beneath it, but I think their festivity looks out of place in a town that had become actually haunted (albeit from zombies, not ghosts). The door stands open, waiting, and the hallway beyond it is deserted. That makes me nervous. I heft my shotgun. "Is this the place?" I ask Kaiyo.
She nods. She walks right up and raps on the door frame. I bite my lip and raise my weapon, ready for anything.
"Rogêt-san!" Kaiyo calls. "It's me, Kaiyo Yako! I've got a friend I want you to meet!"
"Come in, and shut the door behind you!" a woman's voice shouts from somewhere inside. "I've been expecting you!"
I lower my weapon and allow Kaiyo to lead the way inside. I pause to close the door behind us, and lock it for good measure. I don't think the zombies are smart enough to figure out doorknobs, but I'm not willing to risk my life on it. With the door secured I turn back to Kaiyo, following her down a short hall. The carpet is covered by Indian rugs and tie-dye tapestries with pagan symbols hang on the walls. "You told her I was coming?" I ask, tucking away my shotgun in my backpack.
"Nope!" Kaiyo says, turning a corner and leading down some stairs. They're carpeted with Indian rugs, but otherwise barren. "She's a fortune teller, remember?"
I remain unconvinced. The stairs end at a fairly-large windowless room in the basement, which has been extensively decorated. Every wall and surface seems taken up with occult trappings. There's a circular rug depicting the signs of the zodiac on the floor, and weird purple tapestries swathed across the ceiling. Bookshelves line the left hand side of the room, and bear more than dusty tomes. There are several lit displays of colorful crystals and several odd clay jars and vials. There's even a human skull, but looking closer I see that it's plastic. To my right the wall is taken up with abstract tapestries, and behind me in that corner is a set of African drums sitting beneath a large Indian dream-catcher. Checking the other corner I find a small desk decorated by The Raven's Knock logo, with a smattering of other occult knickknacks surrounding a cash register.
Opposite the register, nestled between the bookshelves and the door to the next room, is a circular table with a white crystal ball on a lit stand prominently in the center. A woman in an old scarlet gown is seated in the corner chair, across the table from us. She's slumped across the table at first, but as we enter she grunts and straightens, giving us an obviously-forced smile.
I make myself smile back. The woman is tall with red hair. She seems middle-aged but it's hard to tell. Her face is caked in too much makeup, which has smudged and run in places. She looks from Kaiyo to me, but then looks quickly back to Kaiyo, blinking. The Japanese girl takes this as her cue. "Madame Rogêt, Chris Warden," she says, making introductions.
"Hi," I say. The woman acknowledges it with a nod but still won't look at me. I shift my feet, uncomfortable. "So you, uh, knew we were coming?"
The woman smirks and spreads her hands dramatically over the crystal ball. "I sensed it," she answers in a thick accent. "I sense…I sense an alien presence. You and your foreign companion have come to seek it, but it will not yield easily. Dee Fog obscures a terrible truth, concealed behind a veil of…" Her voice trails off and she drops her hands to a natural position on the table. She shakes her head and when she speaks again there's no accent at all. "Sorry, old habits," she says. "Yeah, like your friend probably told you, I'm a fortune teller, but I don't give readings anymore. She jabs a thumb at toward the entrance of the house. "I've been outside. I don't need second sight to foretell our future. We're all doomed, and I'm not gonna need the money, so if that's what she brought you here for, well…" She shrugs. "Sorry to disappoint."
"Actually we're here about some dreams," says Kaiyo.
"I don't suppose there's anything in your crystal ball about creepily-real nightmares, or nightmare things turning out to be real?" I ask, crossing my arms.
"Funny you should ask that," says Rogêt. She makes a sweeping gesture at the crystal ball and the rest of the room. "You see, all this was always about deception. The light-up crystal ball, the Gypsy clothes, the fake accent: cheap props to make the fortune cookies easier to swallow."
"You mean you never really told the future?" Kaiyo looks genuinely disappointed. I'm not surprised, but I feel for the girl, my friend, who was taken in.
"Of course not," Rogêt says. "My customers, they bought into it because they wanted to. You know, if there's no free will, if it's all about fate, then life's a whole lot simpler. We can just say, Hey, it was meant to be, and then get on with it."
"You mean, just because I wanted to…" Kaiyo actually looks like she's about to cry. I bite my lip and give her a hug to comfort her.
"Sorry, dear," Rogêt says, rising. "Hate to break it to you, but that's the key to fortune telling. That's why people fall for it. We're all prisoners of our search for higher meaning."
"Some of us find it elsewhere," I say, glaring at the con artist, but she doesn't seem to notice. She still refuses to look at me.
"Suit yourself. It's all mutual deception anyway," she says. "I never believed I was telling anyone anything they didn't know…at least not until now."
Kaiyo perks up instantly and pushes away from me with a triumphant grin. "I knew it! You are a real fortune teller!"
But Rogêt shakes her head. "Not that way. No crystal balls, no Tarot cards: nothing normal or manageable." She closes her eyes for a second, then turns to face us. Her hands wring each other nervously. "Call me crazy, but I have…waking dreams. Visions." She hesitates for a moment, frowning over her own choice of words.
"What sort of visions?" I ask. Visions feature prominently in the Bible and I know they can be true, but they're also very close to my own strange dreams.
"All sorts," the woman says. She glances momentarily at me, but again she rapidly looks away, blinking. She begins to pace. "I see auras, for one. Auras!" She shakes her head. "Kaiyo's, for instance, is light but disturbing, all shot through with red and bleeding all over everything. And yours Chris…" She shoots another glance at me, then shields her eyes with a hand, blocking me out. "Yours is bright enough to blind me, with an afterimage like…honeycombs."
"Ooh! That's cool!" Kaiyo pulls that huge leather-bound book out of her anime-bunny-themed backpack and starts rifling through the pages. "Any idea what it means?"
"Not a clue," says Rogêt. She plops down on a chair on this side of the table. She turns toward me, but careful to keep her eyes averted. "Sorry, Chris, but all I can say is I'm glad I've never seen anyone with an aura like yours since I started seeing them."
"It's alright," I say. "Sorry I misunderstood you." I shift in place. "Is there anything I can do to help?"
She shakes her head. "Nothing I can do either," she mutters. She turns to Kaiyo, who's still leafing through the giant book. "If you're looking my symptoms up in your Encyclopedia Grimoire there, you might want to add a few. In addition to the auras I can see through the eyes of others. I can even see into the future—for real! I knew, really knew, you were coming today, and when." She shakes her head. "I didn't want to believe it though. I figured I'd leave the door open for grins, though. You know, if I'm wrong maybe a zombie'll finally come in here and put me out of my misery. I should've known better." She stands and begins pacing again. "I can see the paths of fate, clear as day. It's as if I've become who I pretended to be all these years, sans accent." She shrugs. "Or, you know, maybe I'm just going crazy. I could be going crazy. I wouldn't blame myself at all! I mean, after all I've been through…the Fog, that weird compulsion to drown in the sea, being stuck here, stark naked and handcuffed to my bed for the better part of a day…"
"Uh…," I start, eyes widening.
"Don't ask," Rogêt says. "Let's just say I have the mayor's fetishes and a pair of plush handcuffs to thank for my life though he…well, he wasn't so lucky. He's probably still out there somewhere, zombified, walking around in his boxers…with the keys to the handcuffs. I'm just lucky Andy found me." She giggles. "He turned as red as a tomato, the sweet kid. But I…"
She gasps suddenly and her hands go to her temples. "Oh great, here we go again," she mutters, standing still, eyes closed.
Kaiyo looks up from her book. "What is it?"
"I'm having another vision," Rogêt says. "They come and go like headaches. I can't really control them."
Something about the rueful way she says that reminds me of my own first week with powers, and my own struggle to control them. If what Rogêt says is true, maybe she has powers too, though at least not any destructive ones. I step closer. "Is there anything I can do?"
"Yes," she says. She reaches for me, eyes still shut, hands flailing. "Quick, before it passes!"
I step into her reach and her left hand connects with my cheek. It's a gentle touch but I feel it in every bone. There's power here, unmistakable. I can feel it like I felt the talismans Sonnac gave me. It buzzes in my brain like a whole hive of upset bees and suddenly I am paralyzed in the prophetess' grip.
"I see your twin paths," Rogêt says. "One leads to salvation, the other to defeat. I see black tendrils rising to embrace you, voices whispering in your ear: corruption from within and without. Something is rising from the bottomless deep to devour us all, to turn day into night. You must make the right choices, and you must choose for yourself."
The words remind me instantly of the dream I had the night I received my powers. It was only a few weeks ago, but it seems like a lifetime. The connection shocks me almost as much as the power in this woman's touch. I wonder if that dream, too, was real, and what it can possibly mean. I try open my mouth to speak, but I still can't move.
"Sorry," Rogêt says, though whether for my paralysis or the content of her vision, I'm not sure. "I see something else…Ravens, thousands of ravens. Flapping wings, black feathers, dead eyes." She shudders. "Beaks and talons tearing, and clawing, and screeching. Black feathers in the grass. Pages in the park. Red blossoms in the pool…" She opens her eyes, but they seem distant, unfocused. "Wings of death, and pestilence," she pronounces. "A black timeless malice covering Kingsmouth like a funeral shroud…"
Then, suddenly, the buzzing in my head stops. The feeling of power is gone and Rogêt closes her mouth so quickly I can hear her teeth click. She withdraws her hand and turns away from me. "Well, you wanted to see your future, ladies? That's as good as it's gonna get. Make of it what you will." She plops down on the chair beside the table again and cradles her head in one hand. "Sometimes I get more visions, like the aftershocks of an earthquake. If that happens, I'll let you know. I wouldn't count on it, though. Whatever that last thing was, it felt…close, very close. Tonight, in fact, if I had to make a bet. Wings of death, and pestilence," she repeats, then shivers. "God, this creeps the hell out of me, and it's totally ruined my beauty sleep."
Kaiyo however, has a white-knuckled grip on her book and wears a gleeful grin. "That was so cool!" she fairly squeals. "You do have visions!"
"Yeah, go me," says Rogêt, twirling a finger lazily through the air like a banner. "Can't say what they mean, though, much less interpret the dreams of others. Sorry to disappoint." She looks toward me, but not at me and gives me a frown I interpret as an apology. "You girls better get moving back to the Sheriff's compound, if you want to make it back before nightfall," she says
"What about you?" I ask.
"I'll be fine here," she says. "I've had enough of their judgmental looks to last a lifetime without this." She taps her head. "At least I can fend for myself and get plenty of warning if something's ever headed my way." She looks up, toward but not at me. "You and your friend should worry about yourselves. I'm sure you're tough and all, but there's worse out there than we've seen yet. Also, look out for ravens. Seriously."
Kaiyo nods, shutting her book. She wrestles it back into her backpack and has it half shut when something on the bookshelf catches her eye. "Ooh, is that what I think that is?"
"Whatever it is, if you want it, it's yours," says Rogêt, her head now cupped in her hands. I wonder if she gets headaches after using her powers, the way I did before. "You don't even have to pay for it. Let's call it a freebie, sweetie."
"Cool!" says the Japanese girl. She jumps up on her tip-toes and snatches a dark glass bottle from the top shelf, shoving it in her backpack. Then she picks up a silver watch and a necklace made of an obsidian fishhook on twine. "You might want these, Chris," she says. She holds the watch out to me.
I'm about to refuse and tell her I just use my phone when I need to know the time but then I feel the buzzing in my brain as she brings the watch closer. It's not a paralyzing outside power like when the fortune-teller-turned prophetess touched me, but it feels like the talismans Sonnac gave me, a power in the watch that amplifies my own. I take it and fasten it around my wrist, pushing up the sleeve of the bulky army coat to do so. I feel stronger now. I feel a similar buzz from the fishhook necklace as I put it around her neck. "Thanks," I say. "I think those might really make a difference."
"Good," says Rogêt. "Take them. Good riddance to them…and good luck to you. Be careful, and, you know: watch for ravens."
Author's Note: I was going to do this chapter and the next as a single chapter, but that seemed too long, so I split it up. I hope you like the resulting two-parter!
Namaste is something Moose will occasionally say spontaneously as a player approaches him, and it is a customary Hindu greeting. It's not really clear where he picked it up, because he doesn't appear to be Indian and his backstory certainly doesn't reference it, but he did pick up an awful lot while traveling. Perhaps Hindu language and culture was one of those things. The parts about Moose being in on the Secret World and approached by agents of all three cabals is actually from the his in-game dialogue, which surprised me. I never really took the time to talk to him in game. I guess it goes to show you that the developers at Funcom put interesting secrets in every little corner and character of their game.
In the game lore, Moose has very strong feelings for Andy, which Andy doesn't return. It's unclear in fact, if Andy has strong feelings for anyone beyond his long-dead kittens, but he is a very nice, mild-mannered young man.
It occurs to me at this point that I haven't given my characters a chance to eat all day...and haven't once mentioned them being hungry. My excuse is that they were too busy with the zombie apocalypse to notice...but I'm totally busted on account of realism! In the interests of redeeming myself, the mattress used by Team KCD does exist in game, and you can make your character sleep on it by standing in the center and using the "/sleep" chat command. The Secret World has lots of fun chat commands!
Dan's description of the computer interface in The Secret World is pretty accurate. The game allows players to interface with in-game computers but the resulting system seems terribly outdated. Gone are the omnipresent Windows XP or Apple Macintosh interfaces many businesses today use, though these are themselves somewhat outdated (someday, this author's note will date this story terribly). In their place is this black screen with green text which players control by pressing number keys. It looks like something straight out of the 80's. Even the most advanced corporations use this interface for their computers. Strangely enough, this anachronism didn't even occur to me until I sat down to write this chapter. On the positive side, using this sort of interface probably makes sense for the developers, as it keeps them free of any legal entanglements with copyrights on modern designs and also simplifies the process of using in-game computers for players. It also prevents them from having to continually update the interfaces as newer and newer operating systems become the norm. So since it's probably a design element of the game, I'll mostly ignore it and use whatever sort of programs in the story I think are appropriate. This time, though, I thought it would be good to torment Dan with something hopelessly out of date!
The sign for "The Raven's Knock" is actually there, right on the side of the building. Like many things in this chapter, I didn't even notice it until I went back through the area in preparation for writing. It does make sense for it to be there, since Madame Rogêt's shop is rather out of the way. The door to the shop is open, which is good for players since the only way to open a closed door in-game seems to be to enter an instanced area. However it has always made me wonder how Rogêt manages to stay alive. The open door of the Sheriff's Office is protected by armed guards that frequently gun down zombies attempting to enter the area. The Raven's Knock has no such protections. I'm curious whether or not this would allow a player to aggro a bunch of zombies and then lead them on a merry chase down to Madame Rogêt's...but developers probably thought of this and intentionally made the path too long (after I wrote this, I went into the game and tested this out. Zombies will pursue a player as far as the base of Madam Rogêt's stairs before evading. Since there is nothing really to prevent them from going into the room itself, aside from their normal range-limitations, it would be interesting to see whether or not you could get Nergal's minions to spawn on you while chatting with Madame Rogêt—I bet that would be something she wouldn't see coming!)
Rogêt's appearance seems to have changed from the earlier versions of the game. When she first appeared, I remember she looked very old. Videos of her first appearance can still be found on Youtube. She looks younger now, but still with very heavy makeup and some slight signs of age—which are consistent with the way she addresses characters such as Andy and the player as if they are younger than herself. Upon entering the Raven's Knock, players may find her in one of her default animations, which shows her slouched across the table.
Her dialogue is patched together from the introductions to the missions "The Raven" and "The Vision." The first part of her prophesy also featured in an early game trailer. I added a bit to that to make the connection to Chris' first dream, which is straight out of the introductory scenes of the game. Rogêt's in-game dialogue is also referenced with regards to how she escaped the Fog, though her way of describing it in the game is much more amusing. I did ad-lib a little. While Rogêt does mention the player having a blindingly bright aura, she does not actually react as if unable to look at the player because of it, nor does she mention honeycombs. Also the part about her having a mind-buzzing paralyzing touch while she prophesies is completely made up by me. Mostly I wanted something that would make a strong impression on Chris and convince her that she needed to heed Rogêt's warnings. I also added a few phrases to the prophesy about the ravens.
There at the end, I used Rogêt shop of curiosities to sneak in a couple upgraded talismans for Chris (which are based on real in-game talismans that I equip on her). I have no idea what Kaiyo grabbed though. You can make of that what you will. Maybe it was an ancient, arcane, blood-flavored soda.
See you soon in part two!