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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Rules-based RPGs --> Dungeons and Dragons --> The Embodiment - A FUZIONfantasy Game
Parent thread: The Embodiment Q&A
GM for this game: Bromern Sal
Players for this game: Vanadia, suicidolt, Blammm, YeOlde, gboy
This game has fizzled.
    Messages in The Embodiment - A FUZIONfantasy Game
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Wee Grugglet
Karma: 57/27
1669 Posts

Smart guard? Isn't that an oxymoron?

Llyod carefully searched the wagon. Interesting... it was empty, save for a bunch of barrels which were stacked on top of each other. They clearly didn't leave any room to hide in the wagon. Unless... Lloyd's brow furrowed. Methodically, he began tapping on each of the barrels, testing whether they were full or not. If one was hollow, it was possible that the man was hidden inside of it. And that would be his ticket to the reward.

At Witigus' question, Lloyd drew in a slight intake of breath, but didn't change his actions at all, still tapping away of the barrels. In a seriously low voice, Lloyd whispered to Witigus.

"Aye, I do have reason to believe this has to do with the assassination. Stakeouts do wonderful things like that. I heard a man, his name was Tales, talking with someone, or something, inside of his house. The second voice told him that a man named Madius would get him out of the city, and they'd be safe. Tales had no idea what Madius looked like, so he got a physical description... which matches that man right there perfectly. This Madius is trying to sneak the assassin out of the city, and I'm just making sure that he doesn't get away with it. Justice before fairness, you know?"

Lloyd glance up taking in his surrounding. If Tales was in one of these barrels, then it would be a gentle revealing. With one hand still tapping on the barrels, Lloyd faked a shiver, and stuck his other hand inside of his cloak, as though to warm it. However, what he was really doing, was resting a hand on his rapier, so that it would be easy to draw if need be.

Posted on 2009-02-14 at 19:50:04.

Bromern Sal
A Shadow
RDI Staff
Karma: 155/11
4193 Posts

Two of Five Continued

Noble’s Ward | Solan Manor, outside the wall | The City of Davnor | Sendria | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 6:57pm | Partly Cloudy and Snow-Covered

Shiften had grown up in Davnor. For the most part he’d spent the majority of his life wandering the streets in this, the capital of Sendria, watching the People suffer at the hands of the evil beings that ruled this country. Like most in Sendria, he’d done what he’d needed to do to survive, and that meant developing skill set he was so well-known for, or at least the one that people associated with the near-mythical figure that he became in their minds after a ghostly heist similar to what he’d just pulled.

With his familiarity of Davnor, the second-story man knew what lay between him and a clean get away. If he went west, he’d have to make his way over the wall separating the Noble’s Ward from the Scholar’s Ward. From there, he’d have a few city blocks between him and the People’s Ward. There he could hide out until the heat had died down and he could effectively move the merchandise. Alternatively, he could make his way east, again over the Noble’s Ward wall, but this time he’d wind up in the Merchant’s Ward. That route would take him through the Markets of Davnor to the People’s Ward. This was a less appealing route as it forced him to cross over the Guardian Street, and the Guardian Street was usually host to more than a few of the Obsidian Dragons; Sendria’s knighthood. Their squires and low-ranking knights were forced to walk patrol as a display of might, and if word had already spread about the burglary these individuals would be on heightened guard. Not that they’d pick him out in the crowd, but Shiften hadn’t gotten to where he was by being reckless. So, it was the westerly route that the rogue took, passing through the winter wonderland that blanketed the beautiful and grand estates of the upper echelon until he came within view of the wall.

There were two gates leading into the Noble’s Ward from this direction, and both were heavily guarded by privately owned guards donated to the duty by those who lived within the ward. This always made the situation at these gates tense as each had their own master to report to, and each had their own suspicions to court, but it was effective enough in keeping order as any problems that occurred would result in everyone sharing equal blame, and no one wanted to come under the scrutiny of Piers Aelfgar, the Hand of Amer’Loc. This time of night the gates were light with multiple lanterns hanging from awnings and posts driven into the frozen earth. There were no gatehouses, per se, and the troops involved in guarding the ward were gathered about their respective fire pits. Despite the opportunity for a rather bedraggled appearance, they kept the area neatly organized and at least acceptable to view. But it wasn’t the appearance of the gate guards that Shiften would have to be concerned with. It was the fact that even with all of the social activities presented the nobility of Sendria, there was little to no passage taking place through these gates as most of the nobility was either hosting parties for their peers, or attending parties hosted by their peers all within the Noble’s Ward, or the Inner Circle of Davnor. This meant that Shiften had to decide whether to try his luck at the gate, or work his way over the wall somewhere between the two gates.

The wall was twenty feet in height, made of smoothed granite, and topped by dangerous-looking iron spikes showing early oxidization that mixed a lime green color into the rusted reddish hue. There was a thick foundation, but even standing atop the thin outcropping such provided, it meant that Shiften was still twelve feet shy of the top.

Noble’s Ward | About two hundred yards from the gate separating the Noble’s Ward and the Scholar’s Ward between the two gates | The City of Davnor | Sendria | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 7:18pm | Partly Cloudy and Snow-Covered

The West Ward | Westgate Guardhouse | The City of Ethryn | The Kingdom of Ertain | Claise 24th, Viladay, 452ER, 6:47am | Partly Cloudy and Snow-Covered

“Voices?” Witigus responded with raised eyebrows as he watched Lloyd take over searching the wagon. The wagonmaster also turned a questioning eye to the man in the gray cloak, watching his every move with interest.

“So that’s Madius then?” The shift sergeant and Lloyd were blocked from the view of Madius, Fenaril and Etaulph by the wagon and its cargo, so Witigus was able to give their direction a conspicuous nod without fear of a repercussion.

(OOC: Assuming an affirmative response)

“Then we take him in for questioning, proper-like.” Witigus dropped his hand to the hilt of his blade and began to stride around the wagon, obviously intent on arresting Madius without any further ado. His path will take him right past Lloyd’s position, around the back of the wine wagon.

The West Ward | Westgate Guardhouse | The City of Ethryn | The Kingdom of Ertain | Claise 24th, Viladay, 452ER, 6:50am | Partly Cloudy and Snow-Covered

Posted on 2009-02-22 at 20:39:57.

Wee Grugglet
Karma: 57/27
1669 Posts

One Problem.

"Witigus, I have to disagree." Lloyd keeps knocking on the barrels, trying to find a hollow one, maybe with Tales inside. "Most people say one in hand is better than two in the bush. I disagree completely with that. I believe that if you take precautions and act as is required, that you can take both in the bush."

He sighed, giving Witigus a little nudge hoping to shake his hand off the hilt of his weapon so that it wouldn't be obvious that they suspect Madius. "What I'm trying to get at here is that if we take Madius in now, lets suppose that he hasn't met his companion. If he hasn't, then the companion is still out there. He's the one who attacked Count Urolin. So, even if we take in Madius now, there's a chance that Tales gets away. However, if we wait until we find both of them, then we make sure that the threat does not spread. Do you understand what I'm getting at?"

Lloyd shivered, for real this time. This was a dangerous situation here. Madius could, at anytime spur an attack on them. But if they found Tales and brought them both in... then it would be a job well done. A few barrels down, a few more to go. Lloyd hoped that one of them were hollow.

Posted on 2009-02-27 at 18:36:39.

Den Mother
RDI Staff
Karma: 111/12
1188 Posts

Patience is a virtue

Caterina prepared herself to wait in patience for any response from Sanya, or of any discoveries in the investigation of the dagger and its poison. Rydor helped those who helped themselves, however, so Caterina promised herself that she would not wait idly. There was, however, the matter of giving Rydor His due, and so the paladin needed to make herself presentable for the noontide service.

Fetrese promised her the use of a cell, and beckoned over an acolyte to show her the way and to bring her water and refreshments. As Caterina strode behind the silent girl, she wondered at the girl’s attitude and posture. Most people were in awe of the Right Hand of Rydor, yet it was neither awe nor fear that flickered along with recognition in young Jenora’s hazel eyes.

Caterina thanked her young attendant gravely as she poured out the water by a fresh towel, and still the woman offered no more regard than any other higher ranking member of the order. There wasn’t any insolence, at least not openly displayed, but the matter of the young woman was a distraction from the greater matters at hand. As the last scion of the House of Aguilera D’Oro began to cleanse the dust of the road from her hands, she looked to the young acolyte with curiosity glinting in her golden eyes.

‘I should not need to ask much of you,” she began quietly,” Although I normally travel with a squire, he was a man, and so I looked after my own needs, mostly, for propriety’s sake. You should be able to return to your other duties soon enough.”

(If met with silence or some politely non-committal response…)

“Perhaps you could look upon this an opportunity to learn something from Rydor’s teachings,” Caterina continued as she dipped a corner of the towel into the water and scrubbed at her face.” My brother was an impatient one; never able to sit still. Our father made him keep watch in the foaling stable, when our mares were close to their time, so that he had to stay quiet and relatively still for hours at a time.”

“As for me,” the paladin continued,” I would take forever to reach a decision, pondering every side, every possibility until I had backed myself into a corner of hopeless indecision. Do you want to know how my father addressed that? With a game of chess,” she answered her own question, reaching now for a comb to shake the dust from her hair,” Father would set up the chessboard at the edge of our pasture, and we’d each bring our fastest steed. One of us would ride to the end of the pasture and back, as fast as we could, while the other made their turn at the board. If I could not complete my move before Father made it back to the board, the game was forfeit. Eventually, I stopped forfeiting games, and after some nasty spills and a broken arm, I even began to win a few matches.”

Caterina finished her abulations, basic as they were, and tilted her head to catch the averted gaze of the acolyte.”What might Rydor be trying to teach you, in making you serve me this short time?”

Posted on 2009-03-02 at 01:31:15.

RDI Fixture
Karma: 44/13
612 Posts

The gates of Heaven and Hell....meh, let's go for Hell

Shiften hadn't gotten to where he was by being reckless. There wasn't a nobleman who thought he was above the grasp of the thieves' guild. Shiften had made sure of it. Politicians: trash of the upper class. He had spent the evening reminding one of them to keep her laws to herself, lest she find herself dead while sleeping in her heavily guarded mansion.

Still, he was making his way directly from the theft home. This meant a lot of things, but the most important thing it meant was: until he saw a runner pass him, no one he would meet would know of the theft. It was a decidedly uplifting thought. So he had to be careful not to draw attention to himself. It seemed the transition out of the Noble's Ward left him no choice but a bit of attention. However, given that he hadn't seen a runner, there was no sense in drawing extra attention by scaling a wall.

He would try his luck with the gates. Both gates headed east to west, which meant one gate was north of the other. The south gate gave him an image of the underground market, the workings of the thieves' guild, and the lingo peasants would use so the guards would not know the things they were saying about the politicians. The north gate gave him an image of over-the-top tactics. Politicians use open truth to cover up their secret lies, and it disgusted him. Shiften chose the south gate. With any luck, passage would be easy.

Posted on 2009-03-02 at 17:17:13.

Bromern Sal
A Shadow
RDI Staff
Karma: 155/11
4193 Posts

Everyone's at a crossroad...Where will they lead?

The West Ward | Westgate Guardhouse | The City of Ethryn | The Kingdom of Ertain | Claise 24th, Viladay, 452ER, 6:50am | Partly Cloudy and Snow-Covered

(Rolls: Awareness/Notice [36. 29]; Human Perception [28]; Initiative [20])

“…Do you understand what I’m getting at?” Lloyd asked while continuing to rap on the barrels. The watch sergeant gave study to the gray cloaked man for a few breaths in silence before releasing the grip on his sword’s hilt and acquiescing with a nod.

“Um,” the wagon driver intoned with some hesitation. “Am I—uh—free t’ go, yer lordships?”

With all of the barrels apparently full of dull-sounding content, Witigus waved the driver on.

“So,” the watch sergeant said as the wagon lurched forward and one of the draft oxen bellowed in protest. “What does this fellow—this Tales—look like?” At the same time as this, he motioned Fenaril and Etaulph back to position.

(OOC: assuming a response such as: I don’t know.)

“Don’t know what?” Fenaril drawled, holding a middle-aged couple bearing large sacks over their shoulders off for a second while he and his fellow guardsman walked between them and the departing wagon.

“What the fellow he feels is worth troublin’ that bloke yonder for looks like,” Witigus answered, spitting on the frozen ground and eyeing Lloyd from beneath his eyebrow. “We’re supposed t’ see who meets up with him and assume that the new arrival is the murderin’ scum that seen t’ Count Urolin this night last.”

“Him?” Etaulph glanced over his shoulder to where Madius still stood watching them, his heavy cloak draped about his shoulders, shielding him from the cold wind. “He had somethin’ t’ do with that attack on Count Urolin?”

Etaulph wasn’t the only person staring at Madius at that point. The two with the sacks, and the group of ragged-clothed individuals behind them were also eyeing the colorless man.

“Don’t be starin’ at him you idiots!” Witigus hissed and used an open hand on the side of Etaulph’s helmet to bring his attention back to matters at hand. “No you’ve like gone and warned him off, you smelly pile of orc s***e!”

“Sorry,” Etaulph ducked his head in shame. “It ain’t like we gets much action here this time o’ the year. Wasn’t thinkin’.”

“No,” the watch sergeant growled. “No, you weren’t. Now, search these poor folk here and git them out the gate, you sodden lock of ogre tail feathers!”

Etaulph and Fenaril hurried to comply with the grumpy NCO’s orders while Witigus followed their headway with his eyes. He offered Lloyd no apology for his men’s actions, but neither did he look at the tall bounty hunter. For his part, Lloyd had returned his attention to the crowd about them. All of the commotion brought on by the stupidity of guardsmen could very well warn Tales off, and that would cost Lloyd his bounty. So, the tall man gave careful study to those within a quick jaunt of the gate, studying their faces—particularly those carrying packs—and that’s when he spotted just what he was looking for.

Appearing somewhat harried, a man of average height broke free of a small crowd gathering to say their goodbyes to a loved one, and while they were still saying their farewells to the fellow in their midst, this man rapidly searched about with his bulbous, watery eyes. His blonde hair was oily and matted to his balding head; wisps of which were clinging to the day’s growth of stubble about his sallow cheeks and jutting chin. His nose wasn’t exceedingly large, but it did protrude at a crooked angle from his face, and his lips were partially parted emitting blasts of frosted air in such intervals as to indicate someone who had been hurrying for some time. He wore a heavy wool tunic over patched cotton, long-sleeved, tan shirt, and dark gray leggings wrapped tightly with coarse rope about the thighs and waist. His boots were low and were obviously worn, making travel an uncomfortable prospect, and he carried a burlap sack over his left shoulder, holding it with two hands. The traveling cloak that he wore was filled with holes, and the bottom already bore the mark of old mud and water stains.

Having suddenly found himself away from the crowds, the man stopped short until his eyes settled on Madius. With a smile that could only be read as relief creeping across his face, he started towards the earth-tone garbed man, releasing the bag with his right hand long enough to offer Madius a wave.

As Lloyd followed the man’s approach, movement caught his attention from the corner of his eye, and to his dismay he saw Madius fling his cloak aside and begin to raise his right hand. Lloyd saw the glint of pale sunlight on the drawn cord of a hand crossbow and ripple down the bolt as though accentuating the danger there, but Shinara was on his side that morning, for Madius’ weapon got momentarily caught up in his cloak—the frustration he suddenly felt apparent on his face.

The West Ward | Westgate Guardhouse | The City of Ethryn | The Kingdom of Ertain | Claise 24th, Viladay, 452ER, 6:54am | Partly Cloudy and Snow-Covered

The Temple of Rydor | The Empire of Drannon | The City of Drefast | Claise 4th, Viladay, 452ER, 10:23am | Abnormally Warm

(Rolls: Human Perception [33])

“What might Rydor be trying to teach you, in making you serve me this short time?” Caterina queried of the young acolyte, eyeing her with those golden eyes that so many bards had composed songs about.

“I wouldn’t pretend to guess at my lord, Rydor’s wisdom, your holiness,” Jenora kept her gaze averted towards the floor and her voice no more than a whisper. To the paladin, it wasn’t that she was showing reverence towards the woman in the room with her, but their shared god with her attitude. She still appeared to be unimpressed with the Lady Aguila D’Oro’s achievements and status.

As Caterina continued to watch Jenora’s reaction, the rustling of heavier robes came to her attention just before the wood door to her cell was gently pushed open. Standing in the doorway was the Master of the Iron Tomb and Hiterung of the Compassionate Law. Manderes’s countenance was one of worry until he realized that young Jenora was present, and then his furrowed brow was immediately smoothed, and a calm smile overtook the pressed lips.

“You will wait the Lady D’Oro’s wish in the corridor, Acolyte,” Fetrese ordered softly while stepping aside so that the beautiful young lady could follow his orders. Jenora said nothing, but offered a deeper bow than before and slipped from the room, allowing the other two men to step inside and close the door behind them.

“I’m afraid it is not the news we’d hoped to bring,” Manderes’ expression returned to that of concern.

“Our message to your friend could not be delivered,” Hiterung followed up.

“Perhaps you should explain the nature of the request you sent through Rydor’s power, Brother. Then she might, indeed, see the magnitude of such a statement.” Manderes Fetrese smoothed out the front of his robes and waited for his subordinate to comply.

“The sending prayer,” Hiterung breathed. “Delivers a message across any distance, without error, on the wings of Rydor’s power to the individual designated. Only then can the message be refused—if so desired by the receiver—but this was not the case with your friend in Rayther. It was as though the message were…blocked. Something blocked the power of Rydor from completing.”

“My Lady D’Oro,” Mandrese took a deep breath. “Your dagger has been sent to our alchemist, but it is likely going to be some time before we see the results of their work. For whatever reason, your message to your friend was countered. What would you have us do at this point?”

The Temple of Rydor | The Empire of Drannon | The City of Drefast | Claise 4th, Viladay, 452ER, 10:26am | Abnormally Warm

Noble’s Ward | About two hundred yards from the gate separating the Noble’s Ward and the Scholar’s Ward between the two gates | The City of Davnor | Sendria | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 7:18pm | Partly Cloudy and Snow-Covered

(Rolls: Persuasion & Fast Talk[19])

His mind made up, Shiften set off for the south gate, arriving at the road through a snow bank just out of sight of the guard’s vision, engulfed in the blanket of darkness that comes between when the moon and the sun agree to take over each other’s shift. Strolling down the street, he arrived in short order amongst the flickering lights of the pylon torches, his white cloak having been replaced by his usual blood red cloak with the deep cowl. Tucked inside his tunic was the priceless trinket so recently stolen from the estate of the Lady Solan.

The first of the guards to spot him sauntered out to the street and dragged the cuff of his gloved hand across beneath his nose as he sniffed loudly.

“Oi there!” he called, bearing a deep Pardinal accent. “Ware ya ‘eadin’, an’ wot be da business yer abou’?”

(OOC: Shiften’s answer?)

“Fine,” the guard sniffed loudly again and waved the thief on. “Buggar off den, an’ quit wastin’ me time.”

So it happened that Shiften managed to walk right through the gate without so much as a problem. The streets of the Scholar’s Ward were far less cluttered than that of the People’s Ward. As this was the ward that housed the Church of D’hurgen, most treaded lightly through this area of Davnor lest they disturb the priests of the quarter, and that was a frightening thing indeed. But for Shiften, this was a casual stroll. There was still no indication that his heist had been discovered, and most of the people he passed were in a hurry to be out of the cold, or were priests of D’hurgen about their business. Shiften passed by the towering complex that was the church of D’hurgen and continued down Lestral Lane to the Home of Heroes, and from there, wrapping about the circle, he turned due south and walked into the depreciating buildings of the People’s Ward.

There are many opportunities for a man of Shiften’s talents to join the thief’s guilds in any given city, but Shiften had always remained apart. He was a man of mystery, and though people who walked in the shadows knew of his deeds, and attributed them to one man, no one knew who he truly was. It was a luxury that had helped keep him alive through the many years he’d been practicing his trade, and the enigmatic nature of his being was something he desperately fought to maintain, so he had no safe houses to go to, no guild to lay low within. He did, however, have Old Pen…if he so desired it.

Old Pen had worked a local stablehouse for as long as Shiften had known him—the man had first allowed the thief to quarter then unbeknownst to the stable owner during a rainstorm when Shiften was but seventeen summers. He still operated that stable in the People’s Ward, and he still didn’t know what Shiften did for money; only that occasionally, Shiften showed up at his door and spent a couple of nights in good company.

Aside from Old Pen, Shiften’s possibilities were to find a run down inn and rent a room for a few nights. The latter would insure Old Pen’s safety, but it wasn’t nearly as enticing as having the old man’s company. Without pausing in stride, the thief caught his bearings. He was approximately five minutes walk from Old Pen’s stable, and this time of night the hostler would be settling down with a bottle of rot gut, and a small fire to keep him warm, having tended to the horses. He would likely have one or two other hostlers with him—who exactly, Shiften couldn’t be sure. He hadn’t been to visit Old Pen in close to a month, and many times that was more than enough of a passage in time to replace those that he got to know in Penewen’s company. As far as inns went, he was three minutes from the Dead Wench House, and seven from the Unicorn Cellar.

He’d been to both of them at one point or another. Both were run down, but the Dead Wench was ran by Nadallu, and Nadallu was something of a unique character in Davnor. She was a Syl, and a worshipper of Salerna. She and Shiften had never tasted each other’s embrace, but she was a very attractive woman who valued privacy. He’d once discovered her private sanctum in the bowels of her little inn, deep down a cellar stair. He’d heard screaming one night while entering the inn late and had quietly made his way to investigate. He’d discovered Nadallu in a vigorous love-making session with a fellow who looked to be in quite a bit of pain. Nadallu had somehow caught sight of Shiften (he’d been much younger then) and though she could have reacted in any number of ways that would have resulted in the young thief being very much in trouble, she’d just smiled in her naked glory and continued her worship. Since that time, Shiften wouldn’t exactly call them friends, but she tolerated his occasional visit to her inn and they minded each other’s business.

The Unicorn Cellar was less dramatic, and more run down. The second story had collapsed in an unfortunate fire some years back and the owner had been crushed to death in a rather fiery fashion. Since then, shadier of the denizens in the ward had taken over it as rats would, hollowing out the land beneath it to form a series of rooms that were interconnected by low corridors, ladders, and iron gates. It stank, it was often damp, and every time Shiften had spent time there, he’d been properly ignored.

People’s Ward | Just to the south of the Home of Heroes by about a block and a half | The City of Davnor | Sendria | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 7:45pm | Partly Cloudy and Snow-Covered

Posted on 2009-03-02 at 22:38:50.

RDI Fixture
Karma: 44/13
612 Posts

Where do you go? My lovely! I wanna-I wanna know. Where do you go?

“Oi there!” he called, bearing a deep Pardinal accent. “Ware ya ‘eadin’, an’ wot be da business yer abou’?”

"F you ya rotten b******!" Shiften thought it, but didn't say it. The security around here was an old boys club of friends of the politicians. They were all trash to him.

"Headin' home. Just buying clothes."

“Fine,” the guard sniffed loudly again and waved the thief on. “Buggar off den, an’ quit wastin’ me time.”

Shiften went through without any visible response, but on the inside he was grinning like a child the first time he snuck a candy out of the store without anyone noticing. The job was done. Now he just had to lay low until he could find some direction for a seller. He could start that from anywhere, but it was late, and he'd earned a good night's rest. He just....had three locations to choose from.

First, there was the always enticing choice of visiting his boyish fantasy. The Syl was the first woman he'd seen naked. It was on his mind for a long time. But, he wasn't stupid. He'd never been stupid. It was common knowledge what belief system she had. He had no desire to get caught up in it. That was years ago though...many years. He had a bigger focus this evening. She and he kept to themselves now-a-days, which meant if he stayed there, he could avoid any awkward questions, but it was likely search would start soon. If they went to that inn asking questions, the Syl had two choices, both of which seemed equally likely. She could be forthcoming with excitement of seeing those in her establishment tortured in pursuit of the truth. Or she could be quite the opposite with the hope of setting off the tempers of the semi-retarded guard population. The truth is, either would draw attention to Shiften. Neither were a good outcome. Shiften decided her inn was out.

Then there was his favorite place to lay low when the heat was on. The Unicorn Cellar was a haven for those who didn't want to be known. This, of course, meant it would be the first place any intelligent person would search. It was right out. He could always backtrack to a more upscale inn with the risk of more questions....but there was always Old Pen.

Old Pen...Shiften was never for bringing other people into his schemes. Not because it was cruel. No, Shiften knew his work was a help to the world. Shiften didn't like involving others because it meant more people had to keep their mouths shut. And people talk...people talk too much. Still, Old Pen was a good man, who worked a crappy job. He took care of Shiften on many occasions in his time of need. It was time Shiften repaid the favor.

Shiften started The walk to Old Pen's, taking out of the way back roads and alleys just in case someone was tailing unlikely as it was.

Posted on 2009-03-07 at 03:01:55.

Wee Grugglet
Karma: 57/27
1669 Posts

I thought so.

Lloyd threw off his own cloak with his free hand, as he knew it would only get in his way. With his hand inside the cloak already, he drew his rapier, keeping his eyes locked on Madius. He called out to Witigus, and the rest of the guard.

"Oy! Witigus! That's him! The one with the blond oily hair and the watery eyes! He's got a crooked nose and a sack over his back! Get him now! I'll take care of Madius! And remember; we want these men taken alive so that they can be brought to justice in front of the court! Plus..." He smiled as he showed off a bit of his signature swordsmanship.

"Lloyd von Schtreider doesn't let anyone escape the law."

With that, he charged at Madius, closing the distance as quickly as he possibly could. A shot from a crossbow wasn't the best way to start the fight against you, but if you could catch a criminal with his crossbow out while you were in his face, he wasn't going to have a good time.

This was it. He was going to get Madius, and hopefully Witigus and the rest of the guard was able to get Tales. And then he was going to get the reward for finding Count Urolin's murderer. And he would be able to pay Cynthia back for all she had done... staying with him all these years. He would get a house...

But that would have to wait. With a thrust, he jabbed at Madius' arm, hoping to immoblize it and render it useless. Two arms are definitely better than one. And so the fight of Law and Lawbreakers was joined.

Posted on 2009-03-08 at 20:29:39.

Bromern Sal
A Shadow
RDI Staff
Karma: 155/11
4193 Posts

A clean get away, and a not so clean getaway (2 of 5 posted for)

People’s Ward | Just to the south of the Home of Heroes by about a block and a half | The City of Davnor | Sendria | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 7:45pm | Partly Cloudy and Snow-Covered

(Dice Rolls: Awareness/Notice [25])

With his mind made up, Shiften continued on his chosen path towards the all too familiar stables at which one of his only, and one of his oldest, friends worked. The journey through the dark streets and alleys of the People’s Ward went by quickly, and without concern. There were precious few people who chose to be out in the cold at night, and those that were tended to be so concerned with finding a way to get inside that they ignored practically all others who found themselves in similar situations. The guard were about the only exception to the rule, and they patrolled the buroughs of the People’s Ward in far less force than they did the other wards of Davnor. So, within a little longer than he’d originally anticipated due to the roundabout method of approach, Shiften soon found himself peering across a wide street that separated him from the stable house.

The street had never been paved, and wagon tracks mixed with horse and people tracks had torn the muddy earth up shaping it into small ridges and ruts that were now frozen solid, making the path a treacherous one should a person not be careful. After all he’d pulled off this night, to sprain an ankle on something as ridiculous as a muddy road was nearly a humorous thought. The conditions continued right up to the two extremely large barn doors, but Old Pen had spread hay across a good ten feet of ground there, and it looked a little more inviting with the golden light of the lanterns and fire he likely had running spilling through the cracks of the stable’s structure.

Another five minutes spent watching the area, looking for any telltale signs of a tale, or someone keeping their eye on one of his haunts was just another careful method Shiften had for surviving as long as he had in the dangerous profession he’d chosen. Despite the cold that threatened to eat the very marrow of his bones, the thief remained steadfast in his chary practices; not making his way towards the door set within the door until he was as positive as he could be that it was a safe move.

Lifting the latch to the small door, Shiften pulled it open, his head turned slightly to the side so as not to be blinded temporarily by the soft hue of the lantern light, and then he was through, the door being dragged behind him.

“Well, I was jus’ sayin’ t’ Ruthtundrel here tha’ it’d been some time since yer las’ visit, Boy,” Old Pen’s voice was deep and gravelly, and he had a way about him of speaking slowly as though he hadn’t a care in the world. The old man made no move to rise up from the bale of hay he sat upon, brown ceramic jug in hand, but he chuckled a bit as Shiften drew his hood back.

Just as the rogue had figured, Old Pen had started the night’s fire, and he and two other men were seated about it sharing a jug of alcohol, stories, and just comfortable silence. Ruthtundrel was one Shiften knew: a broad-faced young man with the intellect of an umber hulk and no tongue to spout off any stupidity as the favor of having it removed had been taken by a Sendrian priest of D’Hurgen some a couple of years earlier for making just such a stupid comment. The other man was new.

“This here’s Tyrugyn. Been workin’ here close to a month now. Good chap, an’ all, but has himself a hunger for things above his station,” Old Pen chuckled again at the sour expression tossed his way by the heavily bearded, black-haired man seated on the hay-covered floor across from him.

“Only thing above one’s station’s what they let it be,” he whined in a surprisingly high voice.

“C’mon then,” Pen lifted the jug up towards Shiften and thumbed indication at a bale of hay. “Have a seat, Boy. We’ll drink away this Winter’s bite.”

The evening’s tensions washed away as Shiften enjoyed the company of simple folk. Tyrugyn was prone to talking about how he deserved to be living a better life, but he was a good, down to earth individual otherwise, ready to share in a joke, or pass the jug just the same as Pen. Ruth would sit and smile broadly, making throaty sounds when he wanted to pantomime something that would usually leave the group in stitches, and Old Pen was true to form in his easy-going, noncommittal manner. As the mid of night rolled in upon them, it found Ruth passed out drunk, drooling from his damaged mouth down his chest.

“Well, one more pass around t’ see t’ the horses, an’ then I’m gonna catch me some shut eye,” Tyrugyn moaned as he struggled drunkenly to his feet, stumbling over the corner of the bale he’d been leaning against and nearly toppling to the floor. Old Pen chuckled and then seemed to freeze with that goofy smile on his weathered face.

“I would have thought you’d have kept better company for the caliber of thief you are,” a female voice stated from slightly behind Shiften and to the right. Spinning about, the thief caught sight of the very woman he’d stolen the necklace from that evening standing just outside of the shadows of an empty stall, her evening gown very much out of place for the scenery. She appeared casual, beautiful, cold of countenance, and her narrowed eyes were upon him with an intensity that sent a shiver down his spine.

“Don’t bother trying to run,” she crooned. “I would just find you again. Magic is rather useful for such things, and besides, I would like the opportunity to talk.”

People’s Ward | Old Pen’s Stable | The City of Davnor | Sendria | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 11:55pm | Partly Cloudy and Snow-Covered

The West Ward | Westgate Guardhouse | The City of Ethryn | The Kingdom of Ertain | Claise 24th, Viladay, 452ER, 6:54am | Partly Cloudy and Snow-Covered

(Dice Rolls: Lloyd [Fencing 26, 28, 26, 23]; Madius [Dodge & Escape 27, 25, 16; Crossbow 31]; Tales [CON Save 13])

Lloyd sprang into action, calling out instructions to the watch sergeant and his men in the hopes that they’d comply as he pushed past the pilgrims standing between him and Madius. He didn’t have time to confirm whether the men would do as he’d asked as his full attention was on clearing the distance between him and his target before that crossbow was pulled free of the cloak. His rapier sang as it was lifted free of the frog and Madius’ eyes narrowed at the quickness of the bounty hunter.

Years of training brought the point of the rapier in line with the man’s arm as intended, but Madius arched his back and rolled away in a move that tangled his crossbow further, but kept Lloyd’s first strike from connecting.

“Out of the way!” Etaulph’s excited voice rang out behind Lloyd.

“You there! Hold your position!” Fenaril bellowed.

Lloyd stepped after Madius and slashed at his bicep, the black tearing through the sleeve of the man’s tan shirt, but scraping off of his chainmail.

“Don’t move!” Etaulph echoed Fenaril’s orders from somewhere in back of Lloyd.

“Stop him!” the other guardsman called out, obviously trying to get the crowd involved.

Lloyd danced left and then quite suddenly lunged forward, putting the point of his blade into the upper left shoulder of the assassin’s friend as it presented itself when the man tried to step backward. If it hadn’t been for the tall bounty hunter’s reach, Madius likely would have avoided yet another attack, but as it was, Lloyd felt the blade slip through the chainmail links and penetrate at least an inch of muscle. When he withdrew, blood followed almost instantly, and Madius grimaced with the pain.

“He’s heading for the alley!” Etaulph cried.

“I’ll cut him off!” Fenaril advised.

It was obvious to Lloyd that Madius’ attention was split. The man was forced to deal with the dancing blade in front of him while he very much wanted to keep an eye on his charge, and the bounty hunter took full advantage of the distraction. In repost, Lloyd feinted to the left, then rolled with Madius’ natural tendency to move to his own left and placed another telling blow to the man’s chest, this time on the right side, a little lower down the peck. Again, the blade penetrated the chainmail and the assassin’s friend grunted with pain as Lloyd quickly withdrew.

“Move!” Etaulph and Fenaril called practically in unison, but Lloyd did not know to what they referred as he continued his focus on Madius. Two flesh wounds and perhaps the fellow would find himself more interested in saving his own skin…at least that was the hope.

That’s when Madius’ crossbow came free of its binds. The man did not level it at Lloyd as the bounty hunter had originally suspected he would, but instead twisted about and pointed it off to Lloyd’s left. The twang of the cable and the whistle of the bolt filled Lloyd’s senses as the man successfully released his shot.

Lloyd couldn’t help but glance after the bolt, watching as it slammed into the right scapula of the panicked Tales some forty meters off. It was a brilliant shot considering the man’s wounds, the sporadic darting of the assassin, and Lloyd being right in Madius’ face, but what was more disconcerting was the fact that as soon as Tales began to stumble from the impact he suddenly exploded into gray dust, clothing and all.

One moment he is running through a crowd of alarmed people darting away from the two city guardsmen who are in pursuit, and the next it is as though he didn’t exist. Turning his attention back to Madius, Lloyd knew that he had to capture this one, or all would be lost.

“Hey there!” Witigus’ stammering declaration echoed across the now silent courtyard. “You—you just hold your position, now!”

Lloyd had no idea of the exact position of the watch sergeant, just that he was apparently still near where Lloyd and he had been searching those wanting to leave Ethryn.

Lunging forward once more, the bounty hunter hoped to capitalize on Madius’ lack of focus, but the assassin’s killer was already trying to roll from the attacker resulting in the rapier scraping along the man’s chainmail shirt.

“Almost,” Madius winced, offering Lloyd a pain-filled smile through his salt and pepper beard.

Frepreci!” the man declared dramatically. There was an explosion of smoke and a rather brilliant—if momentary—flash of light that left motes of light dancing in Lloyd’s eyes and his throat constricted.

“He’s—he’s gone!” Witigus had arrived at the bounty hunter’s side and stood looking at the bluish gray smoke that the wind was dissipating with wide eyes, and sword in hand. “He just vanished!”

Sure enough, Madius no longer stood bleeding in front of Lloyd. The courtyard was again filled just with the frightened and confused general populace of Ertain’s capital city. In the span of a few seconds, Lloyd had lost two marks and the five thousand royals he’d been counting on to set things right with Cynthia.

The West Ward | Westgate Guardhouse | The City of Ethryn | The Kingdom of Ertain | Claise 24th, Viladay, 452ER, 6:54am | Partly Cloudy and Snow-Covered

Posted on 2009-03-08 at 21:48:11.

RDI Fixture
Karma: 44/13
612 Posts

Calliber? 45ACP

"Well, I was jus’ sayin’ t’ Ruthtundrel here tha’ it’d been some time since yer las’ visit, Boy,”

Shiften was quite happy to see Old Pen and someone else he knew he could trust. He was, however, quite upset that he had to find out if he could trust the third person in the room. The talk of status meant Shiften wouldn't be getting much sleep that evening because he would have to watch him. Still, Old Pen's was the safest place to be tonight. He just had to put up with the new person.

The men were drinking, and Shiften was quiet as always. It was part of his persona. It had always been part of it. He didn't speak much, and when he did, it was only in a whisper. In fact, just mumbling to the guard earlier had hurt his throat. It was bothersome enough that he was tempted to drink. Too bad there were important things going on at the moment.

He relaxed and listened to the usual drunken conversation. There were a few reasons he didn't want to talk to Old Pen yet. He'd keep it to himself until morning. Pen was about to head out for his final rounds, assuredly showing Shiften to his bed for the night, when a woman's voice echoed into the room.

“I would have thought you’d have kept better company for the caliber of thief you are,” It might not have echoed anywhere outside of Shiften's mind, but it certainly brought on a chill. He'd been cautious. He'd done everything perfectly. No one was that good. No one could already have found him. It wasn't just anyone though. It wasn't some observant outsider. It was her. It was Lady Sanuril Solan.

“Don’t bother trying to run,” she crooned. “I would just find you again. Magic is rather useful for such things, and besides, I would like the opportunity to talk.”

Shiften didn't respond. He didn't like to talk, and he didn't want to talk at the moment. Still, there were a few questions going through Shiften's mind which he was able to answer by himself, almost without any input. Locate Object. That was the first answer. He'd heard about it. It didn't take an immensely skilled mage to do so. But that also meant she was a mage. Why? Because she was still in her nightgown, and her party was just getting started. She couldn't have asked for help yet.

Mages...goddamn mages. They were the cheaters of the world. The rest of the population worked their butts off to survive each day, and maybe eek out a copper for their hard labor. The mages would just flick their wrists and poof, a 50,000 gp necklace would appear in their wardrobe. Cheaters.

Still, the questions were clear. This necklace held considerably more valuable, and some impressive magical properties to be sure. She wasn't going to kill him...or at least, she couldn't without the necklace. That was clear. Those mages could snap their fingers and make heads explode. Either she wasn't very good, only just capable of her location spell, or she relied on the necklace too heavily. Either way, it meant she wasn't getting it back without some impressive convincing.

He considered saying "I'll just steal it again." but he didn't need to. She knew it. She knew that she was standing here in her nightgown. She knew that he'd been in her home. She knew he could've killed her in her sleep. She knew that she only had the upper hand because she could flick her wrists in pretty ways and make things explode. She knew he could remove those hands and solve that problem.

Still, she wanted to "talk". It wasn't the first time someone had tried to convince a thief to return their valuables. But it was the first time in many years for Shiften that someone had tracked him down. Why not hear it?

He waited, silent and without movement (aside from his initial turnabout that faced her) for her to continue.

Posted on 2009-03-09 at 00:24:50.

Wee Grugglet
Karma: 57/27
1669 Posts


Lloyd couldn't believe what had just happened. Two marks had, two marks gone. Bloody hell.

Though he resorted back to his usual way of acting when something such as this usually happened. He was fairly well respected, and usually could get some help. He began barking out orders. "I want as many wizards as we can spare down here. Spells leave magical trace, and they can track it. I want this are untouched until they get here."

Turning on Witigus, Etaulph and Fenril, Lloyd was furious. "What happened? It's three men against one, and the one got away! If Madius hadn't happened to be a magic user, I would've at least had him! And you call yourself the city guard."

Dammit! he thought. I was that close! How could he have been able to cast magic? I was right on top of him! The bloody bastard. Lloyd sheathed his sword, and began scuffing the area around where Madius had disappeared, marking a large circle. "Nobody is to enter here except for the mages sent by the king, alright? I'm going to speak with him now." Anger was painted on Lloyd's face.

As he walked off, shoving some people who managed to get in his way, he was frantically going over everything in his mind. Cynthia... the money... the assassins... everything was just a massive jumble. He couldn't bring himself to believe what had just happened. Nor would he permit himself to do so. The castle was in the distance, but he was going to make it there soon enough. The king would want to know that the bounty got away. No... they didn't get away. They just delayed the inevitable.

"Nobody gets away from Lloyd von Schtreider. I'll find those two, and bring them to justice in the most painful way possible." He muttered to himself.

For the first time since he had been bounty hunting, he had lost his target. Not only was it one target, but two. And they were very important targets, for sure. He was fuming. He had left his cloak at the gate, but it didn't matter. He couldn't feel the cold. He was fueled by rage. The king would hear him. He wouldn't stop until he did.

Posted on 2009-03-09 at 00:39:09.

Den Mother
RDI Staff
Karma: 111/12
1188 Posts

A wee post

“I wouldn’t pretend to guess at my lord, Rydor’s wisdom, your holiness,” Jenora answered Caterina’s question so softly it may have been imagined, and the paladin was further puzzled. Rydor’s nature did not draw the meek and the timid to worship, certainly not as clerics, and Caterina had sensed fire in the girl; though carefully banked.

Fetrese and Hiterung’s arrival forestalled any further conversation, even if Caterina had had the heart to press further. She of all people understood the right to a certain privacy of one’s feelings when everything else about you was mandated by others. She noted the swiftly hidden worry in Fetrese’ face as he ushered the acolyte out into the hallway, and so she kept her own face serene as Jenora left the room.

Habit kept the mask of serenity in place as the two holy men described the failure of the prayer to deliver a message to Sanya, but inwardly, Caterina thought of an oath that would have made most ladies blanch.

“What would you have us do at this point?” Mandrese finished, and Caterina considered her options. To know that Rydor’s might could be blocked was astonishing, and spoke of even greater power behind this than she’d originally imagined.

“The alchemists must continue their work, that is clear. We must know the nature of the poison in order to divine the intent of the sender. As for the message, the capability to block a god’s will is worrisome, to say the least. Is there a discreet way to inquire among your peers at other temples to determine if this phenomenon was isolated? Would any of our own learned cleric know what it would take to do such a thing as this?

As for myself, I think I shall hunt a little further afield. Could you send a runner to the town home of Andre Magnotta? If he is in residence, I’d like to request his hospitality for an evening. He may have news of the world that may not have come to my attention. Until then, I shall attend the noontide service.”

Posted on 2009-03-20 at 13:08:23.

Bromern Sal
A Shadow
RDI Staff
Karma: 155/11
4193 Posts


People’s Ward | Old Pen’s Stable | The City of Davnor | Sendria | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 11:55pm | Partly Cloudy and Snow-Covered

“Ah,” the Lady Solan said sweetly. “The strong silent type. Adorable.”

Gliding from the shadows of the stall, the cold, beautiful woman’s silken dress flowed about her feet as though carried on the backs of invisible, restless spirits. She was elegant, desirable, and completely unconcerned with the condition of her surroundings as she made a slow circle in front of the rogue while his evening companions remained frozen, held in time by magic.

“We’ve been looking for just the right sort of individual—with just the right mix of disposition and philosophy—for some time now. There have been others who we thought would meet our rather high marks, but they proved to be unfortunate gambles. With you, however, I’m more sure than I’ve ever been before.

“You are nameless, a shadow, practically a myth if you’ll pardon the drama.” A smile turned up the corners of her supple lips; a smile that promised many things while at the same time guarding her against the insult of exactly that which it promised. “You are a champion of the poor, a robber of the rich, and a reminder to the privileged that they aren’t safe behind their stone walls and hundred-men.”

She continued her graceful and ghostly circle where the sway of her hips and the rise and fall of her bosom was accented by the cut of her gown. She was the essence of that which she had just proclaimed Shiften stood against.

“Sendria is a corrupt monarchy,” she whispered in a voice that sent shivers down the rogue’s spine. “The people of this great land deserve better. They are a good, decent people who work through their hard existence with very little in the way of thanks from the aristocracy, and it is the intention of my organization to change all of this—to make a better life for the people you champion.

“To do this, we would like to recruit you.”

The Lady Solan laughed a gentle laugh that appeared to change her entire disposition from that of a cold noblewoman to a young and vibrant young lady. “You should be flattered, really. My title, my estate, the necklace, they were all a ploy to draw you to us. We’ve already invested thousands upon thousands of bulrin in recruiting you, and we’re more than willing to offer you that necklace—which I can assure you is very real—as payment. In return we ask but one thing:

“We want you to steal the Catalyst from Amer’Loc. Without it, we will not be able to rid Sendria of their lich-queen. Without it, we will not be able to free the people of Sendria—your people—from their pitiful plight. Will you do this for us, Agent of the Shadows?”

People’s Ward | Old Pen’s Stable | The City of Davnor | Sendria | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 11:57pm | Partly Cloudy and Snow-Covered

The West Ward | Westgate Guardhouse | The City of Ethryn | The Kingdom of Ertain | Claise 24th, Viladay, 452ER, 6:54am | Partly Cloudy and Snow-Covered

"What happened? It's three men against one, and the one got away! If Madius hadn't happened to be a magic user, I would've at least had him! And you call yourself the city guard."

“You can’t expect us to act on partial information!” Witigus growled back. “We had no idea what this fellow you were after looked like—you had no idea what he looked like—so you can’t blame us for what happened here.”

The other guardsmen matched the hard stare their watch sergeant was delivering the bounty hunter, but remained quiet.

"Nobody,” Lloyd began to mark a large circle in the snow. “Is to enter here except for the mages sent by the king, alright? I'm going to speak with him now." Anger was painted on Lloyd's face.

“King’s mages?” Witigus eyed the circle and then turned his gaze upon Lloyd, but the bounty hunter was already striding away. Lloyd could barely hear the watch sergeant’s muttering, but couldn’t pick out what he’d said as he strode through the parting crowd.

The palace stood within sight of everyone within the city from almost every vantage point, and Lloyd had no problem making his way through the awakening streets as he’d been there before. But what he wasn’t expecting was to meet a troop of the king’s personal guard resplendent in their polished plate armor and rich, blue tunics. The captain of the troop—holding a gemstone up to his eye as though peering through a spyglass—nearly missed Lloyd in his disguise, but after a couple of glances and then a penetrating stare, he raised his right hand and brought the company of ten soldiers to a halt a mere three paces from the gray-cloaked man’s position.

“Lloyd von Schtreider? By order of the king you are to accompany us back to the palace immediately.”

The man before him was of a powerful build with a very neatly trimmed black beard and mustaches, angular features, and narrow blue eyes. There was a thin, white scar that turned down the left corner of his mouth. The helmet that he wore bore a crest with the symbol of Ertain prominently displayed over a half-visor that covered the upper half of the man’s face. From the crest of his helmet there were three plumes of horse hair dyed blue, then white, then blue. He wore a silver sash across his chest, and carried a longsword sheathed at his side. Were these men at ceremony, they’d also be carrying heavy steel shields bearing the symbol of the king as badges of their responsibility, but this morning they were without their shields.

(OOC: assuming compliance)

Lloyd wasn’t in the mood to enjoy the grandeur of the palace of Ethryn, home to King Jarom Strongblade, Beloved of the People. He was still fuming over the improbable escape of his query. He’d had that wrapped up, them in shackles, and the money in hand…until magic intervened. So it was that he found himself entering a quiet room in one of the side halls of the palace and himself face to face with Jarom himself.

Strongblade was a tall man, regal in appearance, and of late with gray streaking his long, flowing hair. He wore his gray facial hair short and neatly trimmed, and his usually powerful and inspiring gaze was tired—filled with sorrow. He wore a lounging robe over simple clothing of muted color, and as Lloyd entered the room, Jarom was standing with his elbow on the frame of a window, peering out at the frozen gardens beyond.

While Lloyd had worked for Ethryn and Ertain before in his capacity as a bounty hunter developing a well-earned relationship, he had never had the pleasure of actually meeting the king. His was a lonely profession, and didn’t usually warrant that caliber of company, but he’d seen Jarom Strongblade from afar at public presentation, and this side of the king was not one he was familiar with.

“You are Lloyd von Schtreider, I presume,” Jarom’s voice was tight, controlled, and quiet, barely heard above the clang of the door closing, and the clanking of the honor guard’s armor.

“Yes,” the king glanced at the tall bounty hunter as he said this. “You are as the wizard described you.”

Jarom straightened, but the look on his face was momentarily unguarded as he turned from the window and there, Lloyd saw pain-filled resolve. “Please, be seated. Would you care for some hot spiced ale?”

(OOC: should Lloyd accept the offer a bell pull will be activated by the captain that accompanied him to the palace.)

“I’ve heard tell of you and your accomplishments, von Schtreider. I am counting it a blessing from Rydor that you are in my kingdom in this age, for there is foulness afoot, and I am told that you are privy to the first of the keys to unlocking this mystery.” Strongblade walked slowly to a trestle table near the fireplace and set his left hand upon a stack of papers there.

“It is a strange thing that when the diviners that serve this kingdom—this rare kingdom in which strong magic is at our disposal—performed their art in relation to this most heinous attack it was not an assassin so foul that plagued their thoughts, but you; a bounty hunter who has never acted against this kingdom.

“So, I brought together my council to deliberate the reason, and I asked the diviners to seek deeper into the more nightmarish unknown for a reason as to why I shouldn’t bring you in and charge you with the murder of my dearest friend.” The king’s steely eyes never left Lloyd’s worn face, but his tone was not harsh. Instead, it remained filled with sorrow and fatigue. “The diviners returned with but one more item for consideration, and that was that you were the beginning to the end. How? We know not. It was, however, enough to help the council and I end our deliberations and seek you out.

“The most frustrating concern in this atrocity is that even with all of this magic at my disposal, it cannot penetrate the veil enough to grant me immediate closure, but disguised though you may be; a magical artifact on loan from one of our universities was enough to alert us to your true identity.”

Jarom Brightblade lifted a piece of paper from the table with his left hand and passed it over to his right where he studied it in momentary silence for the space of a few heartbeats before looking upon his guest once more, the darkness under his eyes appearing more pronounced than before.

“I do not grant favor lightly, Lloyd von Schtreider,” he explained. “But in this time I am need of an agent to act in a manner that my soldiers cannot. I do not command, I but ask and offer a reward as is befitting your profession, and in doing so, I pass to you this writ of authority. With it, you will act in the name of the King of Ertain. It is not a light thing, and it could be as much as blessing as a detriment in the task of tracking down those that would rid me of my strengths. Should my enemies learn of your association through haphazard displays of such a writ, you may very well find yourself the target of their repulsive attacks.

“There is one more thing you should know before accepting, or denying, this charge, and that is that my dear friend Painceit Urolin passed on to the Halls of Jusarin early this morning, and in the wake of his death, I am told that two more of my trusted friends and strong supporters—Lords Rakad Inibromez and Arrai Daphassan (both of whom I have relied upon in the past to help deal with transgressions against the kingdom)—have been found dead in their homes as well. Lord Inibromez was murdered in his bed, but Lord Daphassan had the opportunity to fight, and as accomplished a swordsman as he was, it was apparently not enough.

“Again, attempts to use magic to help put this evil to rest have failed, and my council is telling me that despite all odds, it is as though the magic of wizards and the power of the gods are being blocked whenever we seek insight into these attacks.”

Stepping forward, Jarom offered Lloyd the writ. “The reward for putting an end to this and bringing those who would attack Ertain’s greatest champions to justice will be equal to the effort. You shall have land, estates, and the title of count as well as a sum of one hundred and fifty thousand royals to pad your coffers with. Do you accept this charge Lloyd von Schtreider? Will you help protect this kingdom?”

The Palace District | The King’s Palace | The City of Ethryn | The Kingdom of Ertain | Claise 24th, Viladay, 452ER, 7:32am | Partly Cloudy and Snow-Covered

The Temple of Rydor | The Empire of Drannon | The City of Drefast | Claise 4th, Viladay, 452ER, 10:26am | Abnormally Warm

“The alchemists must continue their work, that is clear.” Caterina said softly. “We must know the nature of the poison in order to divine the intent of the sender. As for the message, the capability to block a god’s will is worrisome, to say the least. Is there a discreet way to inquire among your peers at other temples to determine if this phenomenon was isolated? Would any of our own learned cleric know what it would take to do such a thing as this?

“As for myself, I think I shall hunt a little further afield. Could you send a runner to the town home of Andre Magnotta? If he is in residence, I’d like to request his hospitality for an evening. He may have news of the world that may not have come to my attention. Until then, I shall attend the noontide service.”

“It shall be as you require, Lady,” Fetrese acquiesced with a slight bow. “The acolyte previously assigned you shall continue to serve you for as long as you require it. I shall personally see to it that she delivers the message to Master Magnotta. As for the poison, we will deliver news of its deconstruction as soon as it is delivered us. You are, of course, always welcome at any service—do you require robes, slippers? No? Then we shall leave you in your prayer and look for your face among the faithful.”

The leader of the Drannon sect bowed his way out into the hall once more, Hiterung gracefully following suite. Once they were in the hall, Caterina overheard them instructing Jenora in her new duties, and when the hall fell silent, the paladin could only assume the acolyte had already set about her task.

A couple of hours spent seeking revelation through prayer led to Caterina making her way to the Great Hall in time for noontide service. The temple of Rydor’s architecture was strong and bold with riveted pillars rising up to elegant archways overhead dissecting the whitewashed ceiling into panels upon which murals had been painted by some long revered artist depicting the god Rydor in his most notable tasks. It was a room of stark color befitting the order bent on justice. White was prominent everywhere, offset by the occasion for a dark, polished wood that drew the eye to key places throughout the chamber. This was the place for daily worship, and between services, judges held court from their judicial seats behind the pulpit. Along the wall alcoves were set over which marble representations of women holding the Scales of Justice stood blindfolded, and within which guardsmen in shimmering steel plate mail stood with ransuers bearing the banner of Rydor, their faces masked by the ornate helms upon their heads.

As Caterina entered there was a hushed whisper that spread through the gathered laymen. The populace of the back pews turned about in their seats so as to get a better view of the Blessed Right Hand of Rydor in her fit armor, and like a wave, the motion carried throughout the crowd until even the clergymen about the pulpit were stalled in their duties of lighting the many, many candles upon their tiered platforms to catch sight of the heroine. It would seem that even the sun’s light followed her, reflecting splendidly from her armor in glittering motes of dancing light as she made her way towards the front in perfect ceremony.

Manderese Fetrese, Master of the Iron Tomb, flowed from where he was standing in conversation near the pulpit with Galdecus and Hiterung to greet her at the foot of the ornate pulpit. As was custom, there he offered up another blessing from Rydor upon His servant while Caterina knelt in serene subjugation to her deity. When the pomp and protocol was achieved, the knight retired to stand near the pulpit as a major figure representing the God of the Just, and it was there that she stood in regal attention until the sermon was over.

It was a long and difficult separation from the laymen that gathered about her after His Grace, Manderese Fetrese, closed his admonishments to the congregation concerning breaking their covenants with Rydor even in the hardest of times, but it was eventual. Emerging into the grand corridor outside of the Great Hall, Caterina was met by the proud and beautiful upturned face of Jenora.

“Master Magnotta will be pleased to see you whenever you would deign to grace his household with your presence, My Lady D’Oro,” Jenora affected the perfect poise as she reported her success, though her eyes still showed none of the awe, or reverence towards Caterina that those passing her even then in the corridor showed.

(OOC: fast forwarding to the arrival at Master Magnotta’s estate…feel free to back post anything you’d like to include being taken care of in the interim: conversation starters, tasks attended to, etc. and I’ll back post as necessary.)

The Temple of Rydor | The Empire of Drannon | The City of Drefast | Claise 4th, Viladay, 452ER, 1:45pm | Abnormally Warm

The Commerce District | Andre Magnotta’s Estate | The Empire of Drannon | The City of Drefast | Claise 4th, Viladay, 452ER, 5:30pm | Abnormally Warm

Water drizzled from the melting icicles clinging to the eves of the buildings. It ate into the drifts of snow mining out long canals through their interiors before pooling into the street beneath Rico’s shod hooves. Should the warmth continue it would be certain to cause problems for the spring planting season as too early a thaw meant that the seeds sprouted early, and then when the inevitable frost returned, they would be lost. Offerings to Kith-Jora could be seen everywhere; on window sills, about fountains and statues throughout the city, and even in small, makeshift shrines tucked into the architecture away from the trampling feet of those about their business.

Having made her way through a good portion of the city with Jenora following on a dainty little dunn at the behest of Fetrese, Caterina had witnessed the clergy of the nature goddess lifting their voices to the sky as well as calming the general populace against the stresses of a potentially failed crop, and had felt the tension in the air as she passed vendors of produce who were still hawking their withered wares—the last of the winter stores. The Commerce District was filled with those who felt the oppression of unnatural changes in the seasons where the richer wards were more want to celebrate the warmer weather by holding garden parties and frolicking in the patrolled countryside.

Andre Magnotta’s estate was well positioned within easy proximity of his storage facilities, but far enough away to keep business at bay while he was at home. The outer wall was a pink-hued stone with rising crests every twenty feet, or so, bearing open basins of oil lit in the waning hours of daylight to glow against the darkening sky a brilliant blue-gold. The front gate was guarded by four men wearing studded leather armor, gray wool cloaks, and conical helmets with face guards. The men were armed with longswords, daggers, and light crossbows, but their demeanor was relaxed as the paladin and her newly appointed squire approached.

“Lady Aguila D’Oro,” the heaviest set of them stepped forward and grinned broadly through his wiry black beard. He was approximately the same height as Caterina and built like a bear with the face of a Khord despite being of human heritage. His black hair was shot through with gray now, but Caterina could remember a time when it had been as dark as midnight, and the lines on his face had not been so deep. He was named Usachar Usar, and he had been Andre’s Master of the Gate for as long as Caterina could remember. In happier times, when her father had visited Master Magnotta for the purpose of maintaining a business relationship, Usachar had allowed the very young, very unladylike, Caterina to hang about the gatehouse while the guards there played at their dice games.

“It’s been a long bit o’ time now, hasn’t it, my lady?” Usachar reached for Rico’s bridle as he would any other horse, only to make a hasty retreat when Rico snapped at him. “Heh! One of your famous breeds no doubt. Well, there’s naught but respect bein’ given from me, big fella. Nothin’ but respect.

“My lady,” he grinned at Caterina once more. “My master awaits you in the main house. Been a bit like a blizzard about here ever since that young thing came knockin’ to let us know you’d be gracin’ these halls once again. A bit of a blizzard to be sure, but its calmed down—eye o’ the storm-like—for close to half a turn now.

“Need I direct you to the stables—I thought not.” The large man chuckled in his gruff way as he stepped to the side allowing Rico to step lively through the gate.

The compound was much smaller than Caterina remembered. The passage of time seemed to make all things smaller. At the stables she was met by a new face, a young man with a bit of charm behind his handsome features and a lop-sided smile that reminded the paladin of Zin on the rare instances when he’d outright grin. The hostler’s name was Ebrai Nilubeth, and as it turned out Denaz, the old hostler, had retired leaving the duties to his nephew. Ebrai was polite, but it was quite apparent that he was smitten by both of the women standing before him, and he stumbled over his feet as much as his words as he rushed to tend to the animals so they could be about their business.

With Jenora following a respectful distance behind, Caterina entered the main structure and was struck almost instantly by the warmth, the scent of exotic cinnamon, and a very large, very cheerful, Andre Magnotta.

Andre was taller than Caterina by nearly a head. His shoulders were broad, but over the years his wealth had allowed him to develop an even larger middle. As he stepped forward, arms stretched wide, he was at least two and a half times the width of the paladin in her full armor! He wore his thinning black hair slicked back upon his head, long, and in a pony tail that was tied off by a thick band of green dyed leather caught by a gold disk clasp marked by intricate scrollwork. His face was like leather, lined and cracked by the weather, and his eyebrows were practically bursting from his brow. He wore his facial hair to match his brows, and added beads and baubles to the mix just to give himself a little more of an exotic flavor. The robes he wore were bright green and yellow with peacock embroidery covering the gold undershirt and huge, gold-plated discs draped about his neck on fine gold chains.

“Lady Aguila D’Oro!” He bellowed in his jovial, deep voice. “I am both honored and distraught by your arrival. Had I been given notice, I would have prepared such the feast as to impress even those drunken sods living large at the House of Alanus, but as it stands I have a mere five course indulgence consisting of braised duck, imported brandy, and what vegetables the winter stores can spare.

“Come! Come! Let us not tarry here when there is much comfort to be had lounging within the cushions of the dining hall.” Andre bellowed his laughter, carrying it deep from within his chest before trumpeting it to the brown rafters of the ceiling.

After the greeting, the fat merchant opened the doors to his inner sanctum (which just happened to be his dining hall). The low rafters were draped with brightly-colored swaths of cloth, and twenty brass cage lamps dangling from the thick brass chains cast warm light in patterns across the floors and walls. Long benches were set strategically about the room to provide lounging positions ideal for conversation and visual access to the center floor, where Andre offered entertainment by hiring dancers, singers, and other performers. Caterina was sure she’d receive such a treat if he could have rounded one or two up in the short notice she’d given him.

As she and Jenora entered, Caterina was greeted by a chubby little girl wearing a bright red dress embroidered with many different kinds of flowers. The adolescent offered up a shy curtsey before turning and sprinting across the floor to where Andre’s wife, Tara, stood waiting her husband’s whim. Tara stood a full head shorter than Caterina, and though she had aged a great deal over the years, she still held about her a composed beauty. On this night her graying hair was done up in an elegant bun, allowing the exotic gold earrings she wore to show off brightly in the lamp light. Her gown was cut very low, and pressed tight against her breasts causing them to appear practically non-existent. The gown was multi-layered with greens and golds to match her husband’s robes. She was a slight woman of a build that better matched Jenora’s than Caterina’s, and when she saw the paladin, her full lips turned up in a genuine smile.

“My youngest!” Andre grinned. “She is named Orinu—it is Gilskalo for Bright Sun, or so I am told by the translator I hired when we were last traveling the Antarian Reach. It was there that I opened my latest trade post—Dun Kav’r might be the toughest city I’ve yet to see!”

The merchant brought Caterina around to one of the benches near the center and motioned for her to sit. “And you remember my wife, Tara. My boys, Salussan, Rusosal, and Araskad will be disappointed that they missed you as they are off minding their father’s business—there business before long!”

Once Caterina was situation, and Jenora was standing faithfully by, Andre positioned himself comfortably on an extra wide bench, lounging among the many pillows placed there, while Tara seated herself at his feat and picked up her embroidery once more. Orinu plopped down at her mother’s side and stared wide-eyed at the paladin.

Andre was a master of small talk, but he was also a master negotiator and each and every conversation was like a game of chess to him. So, he kept their topics light all throughout dinner, and it wasn’t until the desert (a glazed pudding sprinkled with chocolate shavings from a place he claimed was far to the south of Antaron) that he allowed the conversation to turn to business.

“So, my lady Aguila D’Oro,” he began in his loud voice while he tumbled what remained of his wine about in his crystal, Khord-made goblet. “I have heard that there was an attack at your estate, and that poor Ethain now walks in Rydor’s Just Light. How is it that this humble servant of Alanus can be of assistance?”

The Commerce District | Andre Magnotta’s Estate | The Empire of Drannon | The City of Drefast | Claise 4th, Viladay, 452ER, 8:00pm | Abnormally Warm

Posted on 2009-03-22 at 19:36:30.

RDI Fixture
Karma: 44/13
612 Posts

Srong silent type? you have no idea

“We’ve been looking for just the right sort of individual—"

That's all she needed to say. It was a ruse. That much was clear to him. He'd been tricked into robbing this woman. Still, she did go on. She kept talking a lot. The neatest trick was the brief time she drew attention to the reason everyone else in the room was so quiet. Friggin mages.

“Sendria is a corrupt monarchy" blah blah blah I know this already, darlin. "and it is the intention of my organization to change all of this" Really...That's quite a noble cause for an organization with so much dadgum money at its fingertips. It didn't seem realistic, but it still was worth hearing. After all, he was still alive, which meant he could still do what he'd always done. But these people would be a pest until he satisfied them at least enough to regain his cover with another mage's help. It'd been a while since he'd had to ask a mage for guidance. He was starting to wonder if his first contact was still alive, but there was conversation going on. And it had been his life to pick out the important details among the crap, so he had to focus on what this politician was saying.

“You should be flattered, really. My title, my estate, the necklace, they were all a ploy to draw you to us. We’ve already invested thousands upon thousands of bulrin in recruiting you, and we’re more than willing to offer you that necklace—which I can assure you is very real" DUH

"—as payment. In return we ask but one thing: We want you to steal the Catalyst from Amer’Loc. Without it, we will not be able to rid Sendria of their lich-queen. Without it, we will not be able to free the people of Sendria—your people—from their pitiful plight. Will you do this for us, Agent of the Shadows?” It was a lot of crap. It was politician speak, but Shiften had lived through years of sorting through the crap in bar speak to find the facts. Politicians were easier to understand than drunks--if only just.

The truth was, he needed more information. He could ask for it, but he didn't need to. She hadn't really told him anything. She'd asked him to do a job without giving him the details of the job. Whether his answer had been yes or no, she still had a lot more to say, so he just had to keep listening. Still, he knew she was probably holding her breath. The way she talked about him. Heck, the way she looked at him. It seemed like he was her idol. That--more than the ruse--that was the flattering part. Well, his frozen position was no longer useful. He had hoped that she didn't know which man in the room held her jewel, but the others were in some magical spell. She knew it was him, he didn't need to worry about it anymore. He leaned back in his chair and folded his arms across his chest. She had more to say. He was listening.

Posted on 2009-03-23 at 05:31:18.

Wee Grugglet
Karma: 57/27
1669 Posts


"Observant on captain. Can't you tell that's where I'm bloody headed right now? Gah." Lloyd pulls down his hood, showing his face, anger purely evident. "Well, if you're going to escort me, then let's get going already! I've got pressing matters to discuss."

How did he get away, I still can't believe it... Madius... you're dead. By my hand. Lloyd was to concentrated on Madius to notice the grandeur of the palace, until he was brought upon Jarom Strongblade.

"Yeah, your highness, I'm von Schtreider. I hear you want me here for some reason. I don't want any ale, I just want to get to business. And speaking of your wizards... Bah. Royal right and all that. What do you want?"

Lloyd was unimpressed with most of the king's speech, and was quite irritated, until the mention of him came up. At this point, his brow furrowed, and he began paying more attention.

"An agent? Bloody - I don't know. I'll act in your name, I guess, but I need to have the right to act as I choose. Some things are needed that cannot be viewed from the beginning. My actions are my own, and my judgement is necessary to change depending on the situation. Do you give me this right?"

Lloyd smiles. "If that's the case, when do I start?"

Posted on 2009-04-03 at 23:11:23.


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