Scenario – The Art Dealer
Character – Monk
Skill – Augmentation
To Mme. Arcpont,
The blessing of St. Emilien be upon you, and upon our correspondence. My abbot has requested I contact you regarding a painting of our saintly Prince. He gave me two reasons for this, as he often does with the tasks he gives us. First he wants me to tell you we are interested in discussing the terms of purchasing this work. Second he asks that you lend we poor, unworldly holy men your skill in a delicate matter.
Even here in our humble mountain home we know the sins man can do. Our kind are not immune from the snares of dishonesty, and there are those in our history who have made fakes of our pieces of art and even our holy relics. I’m sorry if I am rude, but I must ask if you can verify the provenance of this painting you are selling. We hear the saints have granted you great abilities in such matters.
Before we come to discussions of price, please send us your assessment of the truth of the thing. Bidault’s work is known to be very good. There must be no shortage of forgers who might try to pass off their paintings as his. Please be sure to look at the size of the brush strokes to make sure they match the choppy style Bidault is known for. Also check the blues, because they fade with age more than the rest of the colors.
Another thing to look for is the accuracy of the depiction of the placid Fountain of Aleah behind the Prince. I read a biography of Bidault that said he never went to Soucisse, and had to guess what the fountain looked like. A genuine would probably have the water gushing into the air. That and the inscription should be looked at closely for signs of falseness.
Once you have sent us your evaluation, we will be better equipped to talk about the money. Please understand that it is only to avoid embarrassment on both of our parts that we take such precautions. The abbot and I would sooner insult my mum than offend you.
May the saints guide your hands,
Monastère de St. Emilien
Result: Arcpont’s response is mild, but she has clearly taken some offence. She will sell the painting, but for double the price.