Jump to content
Akiris

[Quest] Stand Up and Fight

Recommended Posts

Rollo accompanied Anastasia and the rest of the crew. As they drew closer to the city square, he looked out to the populous Inns'th who were passing by on their own business. He failed to see a single person they had passed who has not taken notice to how large their group was, and how armed they were. Some of their faces read fear; others read annoyance; some curiosity, and even a few looks of fascination. Part of him seemed to empathize with the kind of lifestyle that he observed looking onto the various homes they passed, which emeinated simplicity. Of course, simplicity was something that many people of the developed parts of the continent held no value in; but here, it was prevalent.

 

He was more confident with their mission the more he experienced the streets of Yh'mi. However, he knew very well they were about to perform this job at a great risk, and had no intention of tempting any kind of mistake. Now, it was up to him to begin the drive towards the first phase of their plan.

The neo-cleric nodded to Anastasia, as he stepped toward those people who drew closer to the group, but kept within at least the outermost perimeter of the soldiers at the ready. Rollo remembered hearing sermons and speeches of various clerics, priests, and paladins of his own order that had such riveting language, and enthusiasm for the life praising the divine. Recalling these speeches, and professing such fervor in words should provide the group the sufficient attention they needed to make this conscription mission a success. He would leave the rest to the actual recruitment and silver testing; he wanted to make these people not only pool together out of a curiosity or fear, but out of incentive and desire.

Rollo looked onward, pondering his choice of words. He knew that he would need to do more than just tell these people about their efforts to recruit. He needed to declare a call for action, and to effectively inspire them to come forward and join the ranks. As he debated his thoughts, the middle knuckle of his index finger pressed against his upper lip, everyone would witness him standing almost aimlessly at the front for an awfully long time, long enough to make his two counterparts scratch their head as to whether or not he was going to do anything at all. Rollo had almost intentionally used the silence to both provide him time to choose his wording, and to bring that sense of unease out of the audience and draw the attention towards him. Then, approving their gaze with a smile, he slowly brings his arms up with open palms to address the bystanders in the fashion of a devout cleric. This would quickly progress into a sufficient level of body movement to passionately emphasize his wording, evolving into a more striking expression of self. 

"Good people of Inns’th! May I have your attention!

It is with a sense of thrill within me that I share this news with you! Listen closely, for what you are about to hear may by a life changing opportunity!

Today, this very afternoon, the paladins of the Order of the White Hand have opened their doors to new recruits in the effort to offer stability and support for the community. In these troubled times of ours, you may have heard the strange stories about various creatures from the wilds that threaten the property and lives of ordinary people. The Order is seeking fresh conscripts to provide ample training in order to valiantly combat these threats, and safeguard your way of life. The only question is,… will the next hero of your land be you?

For those who hold the bravery to stand forward and join the ranks, you are about to enter the halls of something greater than the life before.  Under the guidance of the Order, not only will you be given a chance at honor, but you will  be clad in the love and protection of the divine. But if you stand to join, be wary. This is not merely your normal guard duty. It just might change your life.

The recruitment begins at this very moment.
Please gather, and line for sign-up!"



 

Edited by Nam3lessOne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unity had provoked two people, but it didn't take long for the fight to affect four, then six, then a dozen.  It was as if she'd lit a fuse: rage simply exploded in all the nearby men, and even the few women.  Their frustration had been pent up and nurtured in this place, growing in their minds like a cancer.  Now, it moved forth into the real world, in the form of swinging fists, grunts of pain, specks of dirt sent flying by the mayhem.  There were brief flashes, as knives were drawn.  Screams, shouts, the crack of bones breaking.  It was unlikely any of the blows would reach Unity, but it would become difficult to see what was going on in the mass of flailing limbs.

 

The brawl barely lasted twenty seconds before it was over, the fighters groaning on the ground or fleeing.  Three now lay dead, two from stab wounds and one from strangulation.  Perhaps the viciousness of this place was enough to turn a simple scuffle into a deadly melee.

 

Or, then again, perhaps something had simply seen an opportunity, and taken it.

 

The large man Unity had noticed at the start of the brawl was not present.  If her eyes were sharp enough to notice all of those fleeing, she'd see that he was not among them either.  Somewhere in the scrum, in a single moment, the man had simply disappeared.

 

***

The noise of the fight drew glances from the townspeople near the rest of the group, but it was relatively far away, and they were soon distracted by Rollo's speech.  They gathered around, listening.  Some were wide-eyed, others squinted suspiciously.  The lost, the homeless, the battle-hardened veterans and former criminals, not an easy crowd.  But they heard him out, for they had little else to do.

 

But as soon as he was finished a voice rang out, loud and male.  "That's right, everybody!  Sign-up to be monster foddah!"  This was followed by mocking laughter.

 

Feet shuffled awkwardly.  Some were thinking, hesitantly, about this opportunity.  But the words gave them pause, and nobody wanted to step forward first. 

 

The speaker moved to the front of the crowd.  A strong jaw, shaved head, and a scar over one eye.  He wore leather armor, with a sword in his belt and a shield on his back.  "I'll give it to 'em, the Order are a right clever bunch of cunts.  No, it's not your normal guard duty.  They're recruiting bait, for the Twisters!"   He pointed an accusatory finger at Rollo as he shouted this.

 

In spite of this, however, someone stepped forwards.  A girl, thin and frail with messy brown hair and tough, worn clothing.  She crept towards the Company's representatives, glancing around her nervously.  When she spoke, her voice was barely above a whisper.  "C... Can I do it?  To sign up... what do I need to do?"

 

This was a critical juncture.  If one person signed up, others were likely to follow, but the dissenting voice could easily turn things sour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Fucking try it!"

 

The hecklers response was immediate. And Lovotovna really couldn't have handed him a better set up line. Nobody like being stalked long term and it had made the locals irate and violent. Normally people didn't kill each other over shoves in the streets but the pent up need to exact vengeance on something for the current situation would continue to swell, burst, and then reform until the root of the problem was dealt with. And the root in question had turned out to be maddeningly elusive.

 

Now they finally had something, a black and white situation where the one before them had declared herself their enemy and made clear her intent to kill them. Any and all of them. Really?

 

Blades, various types of bows... even guns and the hum of magic made their appearance. And the latter weren't in insignificant number either. One had to remember that this was Yh'mi and there was no way just being in town meant safe. There were creatures out there that were known to swarm, did one really expect they did that just for to pick off small groups of people? True, Inns'th was very much a pit compromised of mostly those who really had an issue with society. Needless to say they really weren't by and large decent people and could cheerfully knife each other.

 

These were not the folks you wanted to be a common enemy of.

 

Rollo would feel a tug on his sleeve. The rather meek girl was trying to get his attention. "Um, it's... hard to write standing and holding the book right? Ah... T-table! L-lets go find one!" It was rather obvious that she could read the situation and did not want to stick around for what she seemed pretty sure would come next.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"My oh my, you seem to be misunderstanding."

 

Anastasia's voice filled the air once again, seeming to come from everywhere at once. In a sense, it was; the sorceress was projecting her voice into the material plane through the shadows around the camp. From the rabble's shadows below her voice came, and above, and all around. If any of them were particularly aware, they would notice the way the ominous night seemed to be pressing in on the camp, its darkness congealing like old blood, becoming less the absence of light and more a 'thing'.

 

Darkness Sign - Watcher in the Dark

 

The shadows rippled and writhed, and then suddenly there were eyes. Sapphire eyes glowing with malicious humor, appearing and disappearing from every mote of shade in the camp. A youthful laugh filled the air for a moment, echoing across this sphere of pitch black night. Then the sorceress' voice spoke, as sweetly and courteously as any noblewoman.

"You don't get to make a different choice. We were sent here to assist in your struggles against the... twistlings? Perhaps that was the word. Regardless, we're only being paid to eliminate the shape-shifters who have infiltrated this charming abode. I don't believe there was anything said about keeping you all alive. Perhaps you should consider exactly what the dear Kommander told you. The only options you have are fighting or dying, and I'm afraid the former is rather... mandatory. I assure you that the Kommander won't hesitate to eliminate any opposition. And I would be more than happy to examine your corpses to determine if you were one of the shapeshifters or not."

The eyes stopped moving. They froze in place, peering from the darkness with a gleam of... hunger, perhaps? Countless crystal blue eyes looked down upon the cowards unwilling to fight to live.

"If you choose to fight us here and most certainly die, I advise you to let the Kommander be the one to take your life. My methods are a bit less... efficient."

Laughter from the darkness. The weight of Anastasia's malice was at the very least equal to that of the insidious shape-shifters. No, perhaps more; at least the twistlings weren't openly threatening a horrible death. Though with Anastasia's manner of speaking, the dagger pointed at their hearts was soft as Kashmir, with a menacing edge beneath. What choice would they make; that of cowardice and death, or finally mustering some courage to survive?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tensions heightened, and reason began to slip away into the night.

 

Rollo was tempted to speak, trying to keep things civil, and return to a more diplomatic conversation. Yet, it seemed the powers of Anastasia would reveal themselves in further, as her presence almost seemed to meld with each and every shadow in their vicinity, speaking in dark confirmation of the groups power. However, as convincing of a display that he himself was not expecting, and somewhat chilled due to its nature, his eyes on the crowd and the major players involved told him that all of this flexing wasn’t helping.

 

Rollo was dismayed by the situation, a clear expression of worry on his brow. The heckler was something he could tolerate, but the soon eruption of the crowd was a different matter. Tugs at his clothing seemed to beckon him away, trying to prompt him for the safety and security. This pinpoint in time had his mind racing; there was no way to determine if the heckler was a disgruntled citizen, or a twistling. His gaze turned to the frail girl, the urgency on her face indicating her desire to get out of this situation. A part of him lay susceptible to her persuasion to leave, wanting to escape the pit that they had crawled into, but clearer thoughts punctured through the mist. If he left with her, it would mean his abandonment of the most crucial moment of their arrival. Regardless of any paranoia over who was twistling, and who not, it became certain that a statement would need to be made. Something not only bring back the calm, but would speak louder their mission without raising tensions further.

 

Gazing to the girl, his eyes would change from worry to determination, as if his aura of emotion had reversed altogether. His look to her spoke of his own sense or urgency. Kneeling slightly to level with the girl, he looked to her eyes; sternly, yet pleading. “Listen! I need you to do something for me. This is very important. Follow my lead, and if anything goes wrong, I swear I will protect you.”

 

Rollo stands up, closing the book and withdrawing it underneath one arm, raising the other to grab the crowds attention. “Inns’th! Listen to me. We did not come here to challenge or insult your honor. We are here to empower you to act on your desire to rid your town of the horrors that have been tormenting you even before we came here. These creatures are not invincible, and you are not without hope. … I know every one of you is carrying that fear; you’ve accepted that there is nothing that can be done. I am telling you, there is something! There is always hope. But that hope exists only for those who dare to act. I don’t expect all of you to act, but I expect all of you to know that action is the only path to ensure your safety. … You want to express your anger? Good! Follow our lead, and we can give that anger justice!”

Rollo expected the heckler to react; there was little doubt that convincing him would be successful. He needed not to win the heckler, but the group. What would come next would be the most important part of his display; the first signature. If the group saw the first pen strokes, the dynamic of the entire situation would likely change. Rollo handed the pen to the girl, retrieved the book from his arm, and opened it. Facing the girl, he bears the first page to her. It needed to be declared; he had to gamble on someone to make the first signature, and fate chose it to be her. With all of his silence and lightened expression,  his gaze pleads her to trust him. He was trying his best to hold back the anxiety of the situation, as heavy breathing was suppressed. He hoped that she would empathize, and realize how important her signature was, and that if the crowd indeed went ablaze, that he would do everything in his power to keep her safe. Overcoming the tension, he miraculously manages to smile and slip out a little bit of wit.

"Don't worry about the table, miss. I'll do just fine." He winks at her.

Edited by Nam3lessOne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a loud muttering as the eyes appeared in the dark, and the crowd huddled together.  Anastasia had spooked them, and now the tension in the air was raised, violence on the verge of breaking out.  A single rash action here might have sent the whole situation toppling into utter chaos.

 

But instead, at this moment, someone chose to speak up.  Rollo's words were enough to hold things together for a few more moments, to force people to think and consider what was going on.  And the frail girl, though terrified, was the first to realize how things might be defused.

 

Quickly, almost desperately, she reached out and wrote in the book held out by Rollo.  Mara Owens.  "There!" she exclaimed, her words quiet and rushed, "We're set, right?  Now... maybe tell your friends to stand down?"  She moved to his side, hoping for protection.

 

Her actions spurred another wave of muttering.  For the people of Inns'th were very scared indeed by Anastasia's shadows and sheer intimidation factor of these strangers.  But Rollo had offered them an out, and someone had just safely taken it.  Ironically, the fear sown by Anastasia actually made Rollo's reasoned proposition more attractive.  After all, heroes always stand out more in the presence of a villain.

 

There was a shuffling of feet as a young man broke free of the crowd.  He was dark-haired, with an elegant face and nimble hands that had no doubt emptied many pockets in the past.  Like the girl, he could feel the tension and was unnerved by it, and saw Rollo as his best chance of making it through this.  When things had gotten bad in the city, he'd fled to Inns'th, and now, once again, he'd take what looked like the easiest way out.

 

But he did not show his fear, for people would mock him as a coward for that.  Instead, he swaggered forth, calling out to his fellows.  "Dare to act, he says!  But look at the lot of you, standing around like a bunch of chickens!  Well, I'm no coward."  He snatched the pen from Mara, and scribbled his name down, before standing at her side, confident that he was safe now.

 

This sparked a wave.  Now, not only was signing up seen as a way to escape a potentially deadly battle, not signing might be viewed as an act of cowardice.  The huddle of people came alive with movement as those who saw this pushed their way to the front, heading towards Rollo.

 

But the heckler was not ignorant of this change.  He wasn't going to let himself, or anyone else, get manipulated or pushed around by the damn Order or its dogs.  Before anyone else could sign, he stepped forwards, spreading his arms to prevent others from passing. 

 

"All right," he said loudly, "ridding the town of these 'orrors that torment us sounds pretty good to me!"  He moved closer to Rollo.  "So let's start with that one."  His finger jabbed out, pointing at the eyes that Anastasia had summoned in the shadows.  "So you say you're here to 'empower' us?  Well then, why don't you help us get rid of that bitch laughing at us in the dark!"

Edited by bigfatcat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"You!"

 

Akiris looked up from his reading to blink at the paladin who'd suddenly burst in and tore his attention from study to the paladin that had just burst in. He really didn't think this stuff was off limits, especially since one of the higher ranks said it was fine as long as the records themselves remained here. "Is something wrong?"

 

"Your minions are about to rampage. Fix it before we do."

 

A split second of silent conversation passed between the two men. While such a thing was filled with subtle nuances the content could roughly be translated to. Shit, seriously? And. Yep.

 

A fraction of a second later Akiris had bolted out of his chair and out the door. To his dismay he was confronted by  all pervading shadowy evil that talked. To his even greater dismay he  knew it was Anastasia doing it. This was due to the fact that he'd issued orders on the assumption that everyone with him could adhere at least loosely to simple orders. Well shit.

 

He sprinted. There was a saving grace in the fact that the town was could be better termed an encampment, his response time could be measured in under twenty seconds. As he skidded into the open ground created by the Second and the support troops he was rather displeased to find himself at gunpoint from his own men. Catching sight of Rollo led him to the conclusion that of the four he brought with him only one had the capacity to not screw up simple tasks. To be fair, this actually counted for a lot. Many of the powerful were often merely that. Powerful. They were the mere sum of their powers and would succeed of fail based on if they could throw enough at the other guy to overcome their brute power. Useful, very useful. If you had the right sort of person to do the thinking for them. The right sort was a truly hard find as power and common sense were difficult to find mutually inclusively.

 

Which was why Rollo was rather neat. Disregarding the rifles being pointed at him from mercenaries who had just began to realize who the were aiming at Akiris gave Rollo a nod almost radiating approval. While he did have room for improvement his baseline was at good and rising. He looked forward to seeing how far that kid went.

 

Also, to be fair, he hadn't seen Unity. But one issue at a time now.

 

Returning his focus to the support troops he noted that most of them had realized who he was and had lowered their weapons looking nervous. Specifically the 'we were just following orders' nervous look. Great.

 

"So right now I have two issues of insubordination. If I had actually ordered the two of you to pull something like this I'd be backing you up right now or taking the blame. That's not the case. So what I need is for the lot of you to stand down so I can actually make sense of this."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ink stained in graceful lines, spelling out name after name as each patron of their gathering opted for recruitment.

 

It was to his profound relief that the key to their success had exchanged hands to the frail girl, followed by an ambitious young man shouting out a challenge to the crowd. At this point, the rest would follow suit shortly. From the corner of his eye, he could see the appearance of Akiris emerge from the crowd to witness what was going on. Rollo, standing there with book still in hands, would look over to him, and raise his brow with a smirk, showing a glimpse of approval in his own work. Indeed, even he was surprised that his gamble had momentarily de-escalated the situation the way it did.

 

He then looked over to the overbearing image of Anastasia. Part of him felt that her occult visage, and successful intimidation had something to do with it as well. These people had been fearing something that they had considered undefeated, and the presence of someone who was powerful enough to frighten them into realizing there were more powerful things in this world, and joining the side which also possessed the more terrifying power would save them. A shame that Rollo didn't see the usefulness of her tactic to begin. Regardless, the powderkeg kept, and little else was getting in the way of the first phase of their plan.

 

Of course, not everything went as smoothly as he would have hoped, and the heckler standing in the back, shouting and rambling on seemed intent to derail the flow of things. Rollo was not in the mindset to relish the upsetting of anothers plans, and thus, he had only hoped that the heckler would let well enough alone. At this point, his words only sounded like scorn for an attempt to incite chaos thwarted. He was still betting everything on the failure of their plan, and it saddened him. Rollo did not reply, or respond. He was not about to feed this individual, in all of his childish recklessness. He knew at this point that the momentum has already begun, and surely Akiris was to make sure the flow was going to continue with or without him.

 

Rollo did wonder in the back of his mind, however; would the dynamic of this mission thus far encourage the other participants to continue the work? After seeing how volatile the people had gotten a few moments ago, was this the kind of chaos that the others on this mission would find entertaining, or discouraging? The others, Unity included, seemed far more experienced than he, and he would have assumed this was within the kind of work they could endure as professionals of their craft, despite any rough patches. This is unless the rougher edges of this whole thing were something they simply didn't wish to deal with, as a point of preference. He had just figured they were the vigilant type. Odd how he didnt seem to notice Unity anywhere,... unless she was still busy in her own work? Whichever the case, it didn't matter. The crowd was motivated to take them up on their offer, and their intent was made evident.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The sub-commander was not pleased. She had this matter in hand and by cowing the entire encampment they would have had a much more impressive number of recruits. After a show of force they would have simply fallen in line then....

 

"Yeah, if you don't stop spacing out I'm gonna throat punch you."

 

Akiris was annoyed. There was a lot of context in the current situation, one part being that this person came highly recommended. To that point the information that he had used to put her in charge of other was likely false. Which meant there was no delegating the reasoning. He was just gonna have to drag them through it himself.

 

"While fear can be a motivator it's a terrible one to use to attain our goals here. Unless of course any of you feel like staying here the rest of your lives to enforce it. We're here to recruit a police force. That means these people need to be retained after we as a mercenary company leave. Which is why I instructed most of you to stand in as security and one of you to detect anything exotic. I'm not going to ask why you did what you did because I honestly don't want to know and I don't really feel like starting the blame game. You were in charge here. It's your fault."

 

Scanning the crowd Akiris played the which one is not like the others game. When searching for an inhuman thing pretending to be human your target will usually be the one standing out. True, it might not be a 100% chance but it gave one a place to start.

 

"So, I'm assuming that the heckling fellow over there came back negative after a test and is still pissed about being singled out?"

 

The blank faces were disappointing but really told Akiris quite a bit about what to expect. In addition to everything else of course, one couldn't forget that load.

 

"I'm pretty sure trying to identity and then kill a twistling in front of these people to rally them was a rather integral part of the strategy. But good news, Rollo is doing fine despite the lot of you so don't bother."

 

This headache was a near catastrophe, but it seemed to be turning out alright.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
“Great thanks for your co-operation, sir.”

Rollo nodded firmly to the tall, overbearing gentileman with the bald head and the thick brown beard who approached, inscribing his signature into the book. He seemed to be a solemn fellow, only uttering a light grunt in reply.

Things were progressing along just fine. Thus far, eleven courageous souls from the crowd has opted to join the task force, whose names were now inked upon the page:

Mara Owens
D. Abatemarco (“Marco”)
Shay’ester
Bruce Wagerman
Saphira Runechild
Johannes Runechild
Ayameko Miyamoto (“Kitch”)
Jillian B. Frost
Edgar Sallinger (“Duke”)
Thorwald Grey
Erick “Lug” Bjornsted


After the one who called himself Lug had moved away from Rollo to find a spot next to the Runechild siblings, which required some shifting of feet due to his sheer size and volume, Rollo began to notice a thinning in the herd. Those who had stood to watch, or were otherwise too old or young to participate began to proceed with their own doings, entering shops, making conversation, re-entering the nearby tavern.

However, a specific figure had begun to emerge from the dissipating crowd. It was a young man, wearing plated armor, and the mark of a benevolent deity engraved upon the breastplate. As the young man approached, he noticed that he was nearly as young as himself, if not a year older. As a matter of fact, a lot about this person seemed similar to himself; his build, the way he walked, the length of his hair. What seemed to be the few things that made him look different was his dark hair color, his slightly more endowed height, his more chiseled features, and the long scar across his right cheek.

When he approached, he stood before Rollo, arms at his hips, the height difference now much more apparent. He made a solemn bow, and spoke with a grin, “Blessed be Gaia, friend. It’s a relief to see a preist of Dynath here. … One of the townsfolk had said a group of combatants were forming to stop the recent attacks on the citizens of Yh’mi. With your approval, I would like to submit myself for duty.” A strangely enthusiastic nature seemed to surround this man, which was unlike the general pessimism of the region, as Rollo had seen it. Rollo blinked at this mans eagerness, and had simply figured he was not from around here. His personality could not help but cause Rollo to smile a bit.

“Why not? We can always use skilled fighters!”
Pleased by Rollo’s response, he eagerly took the pen from Rollo, and inscribed his own signature, before returning the pen. With a nod, he begins to walk toward the recruits, turning back to gaze at Rollo with one eye. “Perhaps we can exchange some clerical musings. Take care.”
An odd invitation. And odder that he knew right away that he knew about Dynath. Who was this person anyways?

Rollo decided that the herd had thinned enough for him to flip the book around and see the name of the last entrant.

Brandish Deckland

Interesting. Yet, nothing about the man seemed all that out of the ordinary. Rollo knew that, while the community he was from was isolated, there were a few smaller outposts of devout followers, paladins, and clerics of Dynath. This was in fact the first time he came across anyone from the mainland who recognized the symbol of Dynath on his clothes in such familiarity.

He looks up and towards the row of recruits, just as the one who called himself Brandish stood, falling into line like a well-disciplined soldier. Rollos prejudice left him. He seemed upstanding to someone like Rollo, and he couldn't pin anything outright suspicious about him.

Unbeknownst to Rollo, time might tell if this was a keen observation and successful recruiting of a beneficial member of the roster, or a lapse in judgement as the result of something else's will to deceive by playing upon his familiarity or empathy.

He would return to his duty, assisting any other recruits there may have been. .. if any at this point. Edited by Nam3lessOne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

= Unity =

Y'hmi - Inns'th - Private Dwellings

[url=https://youtu.be/F9ewEpSOGXA]Out of Death, Comes Life...[/url]

 

r4FAjUs.jpg?1

 

Had the sultry rogue been in earshot of what was undoubtedly merely a thought on the part of Rollo, she might have admonished him. After all, the entire point was that she not be seen - or at least considered unimportant. As it stood, the general commotion she had initiated, and that had spiraled into a tense standoff of two very different recruiting methods, gave her an unprecedented level of personal freedom to roam the tiny hamlet with almost no oversight. The brute thug she had antagonized was gone without a trace, but there were several other things of interest to investigate - like the unshuttered windows of storefronts and cottages, all soundlessly beckoning her with their meagre bounty. Admittedly, she'd not be as brazen to smash in a jeweler's display case, but her dark brown eyes did manage to linger on them for a little longer than they should have. Perhaps she would come back later to... visit.

 

Instead, her quiet steps brought Unity past the dwellings in the rear of the inn, where the strange dusky twilight of Yh'mi did very little to illuminate the area. Bathed almost completely in shadow, her body seemed to fade into it - not into incorporeal nothingness, like the arcane Anastasia, but more like the hazy outline of someone that is difficult to focus on, as if viewed through a smudged lens. With almost clinical appraisal, each parlor or common room was given a once-over, looking for valuables, or less importantly, signs of twistlings. Her first clue was when she found a darkened house at the far end of the street, near the wall, without a single candlestick or candelabra in any of the usual places. Mantle, table, windowsill... all bare. Even from where she peered in through the slightly frosted glass, one could almost see the settled dust inside, disturbed only in a single, winding path from the front door in towards one of the other rooms.

 

Interesting.

 

The lock on the door resisted her efforts to open it... until a prybar inserted through the clasp revealed that its strength had been in that the thing was rusted shut and likely hadn't been opened in years. Now it lay broken on the ground, leaving Unity with the sudden sour sense of uneasiness. As experienced as she was with her work, the fear of getting caught had never quite gone away. In a way, she liked it. It was needed - a mild paranoia that covered one's bases without being debilitating.

 

Thus she followed the single avenue of shuffled feet across a carpet that may or may not have been molding in the corner, and had faded from a vibrant green to a muted olive with dust, into a dining room that looked like a set piece. It was doubtful that food had ever been served on it in recent memory. An eerie quiet pervaded the space, the tumult of the square long-muted by distance and thick walls. No... there was one sound. ... Two. Two sounds. The rush of breath and blood in the rogue's lungs and veins... and the faintest patter of dripping liquid somewhere in the vicinity.

 

The reek hit her before the sight did, the stench of rotten vegetables and meat like a sudden curtain around the corner leading into the small kitchen. A puddle of... something... pooled from beneath the pantry door - though what it was Unity wasn't going to speculate - especially as it made her gag and retch with its rankness. That wasn't just rotten food. There was a body in there - the place smelled of sweet, cloying death, there was no mistaking it. A typical detective might have suspected murder. Unity knew better. There was a trapdoor to the cellar beyond the bubbling, moldy cesspool... and the trudging footsteps had conveniently marked their way there, leaving scuffs and abrasions on the tile that no human, regardless of origin, could possibly have made except by dragging something coarse and heavy over the floor.

 

Blur and Contrast slid easily into her black-gloved palms, and with a small huff of resolve, she held her breath and crept towards the heavy wooden portal.

 

GLO [][][][]\/[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][] SHA

 

[spoiler][Greyscale] - 10 SHA - [spoiler]Bleeds the color out of the surrounding environment for all observers, turning it a uniform grey. Also useable on a single touched object, turning it any shade of grey between white and black, for no cost and a short CD. Lasts a long amount of time. Long CD.[/spoiler] - 4t remaining!

[Fata Morgana] - 30 GLO - [spoiler]Project a silent but moving image of some reasonably distant object, or an abberration thereof. Alternately can make a close object appear to be very distant. Lasts a medium period of time. Requires proximity for close objects, and line of sight to distant ones. Affects nearby observers. Long CD.[/spoiler] - 3t remaining! 5t CD remaining![/spoiler]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A short while later:

 

Chastity looked over the list with his dying eyes, and smiled.

 

Twelve names.  The mercenaries had been quite disruptive, but it seemed the risk had paid off.  They had their Watch... inexperienced and possibly untrustworthy right now, but committed.  The Order had their ways and means, and they would forge these new recruits into a new line of defense, a shield that protected them from the dangers within.

 

But this would take time.  Which meant for now, some other form of protection was necessary.  Chastity rubbed his bristled chin as he mused on this.  The Free Company had already found some leads on the Twistlings, and they had succeeded in their first task.  He still didn't fully trust them, but nobody here was trustworthy.  They were reliable, that was enough.  He would have plenty of work for them here...

 

Quest concluded.  Result: success.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...