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Old Jan 16th, 2012, 08:38 PM
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Chapter Four: Complications

OOCReally sorry for the delay. There was a bit of family fall-out around Christmas (got caught between my sister and father again, plus a few other familial issues) and when I've gotten online I've found it difficult to write anything, hence the dry spell.

Just over a week after the engagement party and Vulcar's announcement of his intention to take the fight to the Fiends more directly everyone was set to gather together for the first time. Morgan Crescent, Lt. Micaiah Whistler and Alyyryk were officially speaking with the King in regards to Celes' protection, while the others were each delivered special scrolls to read at a specific time which would transport them into Vulcar's audience room.

Upon arrival they would be greeted with a concerned looking Vulcar sitting on his throne in the centre-back of the room with Alyyryk leaning against a wall waiting with a pensive but impatient expression on his face and Micaiah standing to attention with her hands clasped behind her back looking a little pensive herself. There were also two masked and hooded people standing on either side of the throne, working some kind of magic. Their masks were black and featureless, as were their clothes.

Within a few seconds the main host was fully assembled - the host who's original task of looking into an attempted assassination was quickly blooming into greater mysteries. As well as the original group of Nevh, Didina, Misa and Morgan Wainraith there were others. Elouise Watson, a reknown Halvan private investigator, accompanied Morgan while Anorde and Celi appeared amongst the group too, not to mention the three new additions that were waiting in the room. Once everyone had arrived the masked pair stopped their magic and stood back, seemingly backing out of the conversation.

Vulcar leaves everyone time to exchange pleasantries, fetch a drink (of which there was a great variety to choose from present) and/or choose a seat (all of them comfortable looking and somewhat fanciful chairs), before speaking. "First of all, I would like to thank everyone for coming, and those of you who have been helping from the start in particular. In some respects you have already accomplished what I asked - it seems almost certain that Zera is somehow responsible for the attempt on my life - however these revelations have brought up a great many worrying questions, not to mention thus far failed to discover who might be helping Zera." He stands up. "I'm not complaining though. I wasn't expecting this much this quick in the first place, I just want to...clear the air first of all, and to amend the original investigation afterwards. Simply put, I would rather look at things more broadly as well as try to discover who Zera is working through, rather than focussing completely on the assassination attempt."

Vulcar runs a hand through his hair and glances around the room. "There have been a great deal of complications recently. At least one of which I am directly responsible for, since I've no doubt earned the attention of the Fiends. Before giving you all the option to back away at this stage I'd like to put all my cards on the table. Someone - almost certainly Zera - tried to kill me and got closer than I care to admit. Even ignoring that threat there are a great many people within Halva itself that I don't trust including the Dragonblaze Kin who happen to be one of three most powerful families in Halva (with my own among them). I've also painted a giant target on my back by announcing my intention to try and unite Aheka against the Fiendish threat as well as to a lesser extent by involving Aldamil in the engagement celebration, harbouring Emlen Sakean and, of course, getting engaged to the future Queen of Shali, which is bound to upset their plans in Sharak. There are other forces at work too, not least a mysterious 'blue woman' who may or may not have links with Zera, the three so-called 'Survivors' of the Demongate Wars (including the one and only Shade) and the dissapearance of the Paragons."

He gives a tired sigh before sitting down again and resting his elbow on the arm of his throne and his chin in his hand. "More worryingly, it has only just come to my attention recently that the Drow might not be as extinct as their surface kin, but in fact very much alive and active (albeit underground). This is further compounded by possible links with Deimos, Zera and some kind of mission from Fisali."

His gaze moves around the room, resting on one person after the other. "So what do I want? Principally I am still concerned with Zera and the assassination, however depending on circumstances I may ask you to look into one of the other things I've mentioned or even something completely different that pops up too. I guess you could say I want to make you all my own team of trusted private investigators. It goes without saying that you'll be rewarded handsomely for helping me, whether you want gold or something else in return for your services. So...what do you all have to say?"

Without pause Micaiah is the first to speak up, her tone steady and measured. "I am yours until death Your Highness. Use me however you will."

The Tyyrykan doesn't take long to reply either, his expression much harder than before. "So long as Zera remains your primary concern I will stay and help, but you can keep your gold. I only want the chance to avenge my siblings and get revenge on the one responsible for their condition."

Anorde simply breaks into one of his grins. "Business with you has always been fruitful and interesting so I see no reason to stop now that it's getting really interesting." Celi nods enthusiastically in agreement with him, beaming from ear to ear.

Didina's response is a little more delayed, but no less firm. "Things haven't changed enough for me and Misa to change our minds either, so I'm afraid you're still stuck with a Tiefling and a blind girl." Misa smiles slightly at the reference, raising a playful eyebrow.

~MTWC
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Old Jan 17th, 2012, 05:37 PM
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Morgan, Eloise, and Mortimer arrive at the same time.

The last week had been a very busy one for Morgan and the mage is looking more than a little haggard. Nevh does however notice that Morgan appears to be in better spirits than the last time she'd seen him. Not happy necessarily but certainly less emotionally beaten up.

Eloise Watson is a woman in her mid twenties. She has pale skin with hair so black it seems to absorb light itself. Her most arresting feature however are her arctic blue eyes, sharp and calculating. Her cheeks and jawline are somewhat angular and sharp, and she does look as if she could stand to spend a little more time in the sun, but that would be nit-picking. On a whole her features are striking, pretty, possibly even beautiful if one were being kind. She wears a very prim and proper dress, ladylike, of quality make and tasteful cut, but not flamboyant or overdone.

Mort is a cat, hard to argue with that. An alley cat tom to be more precise. He's large, closer to thirty pounds than twenty, and has notched ears and a small scar across the bridge of his nose from presumed scraps with other cats. Jet black fur and luminescent yellow eyes. He stays close to Morgan's legs, peering suspiciously at the others, particularly at Nevh and Miciah.

”Between my friends, my family, my god, and the targets painted on my own back I've as much invested in this as anyone. You'll only be rid of me by force.”
There were other considerations, unspoken ones, but Vulcar knew of them already.
”Someone needs to put this Zera guy in his place. Might as well be us.”

”Your highness.” Eloise says by way of greeting, adding a deep curtsy. ”My usual rates apply. I'm sure you'll find them acceptable.”
This was the first time Eloise had met Vulcar directly, same with nearly everyone else present as of yet. For now she felt she did not have a solid enough appraisal of the group dynamic to say more.


oocMort spoke that out loud and in understandable Halvan.
Purple=Eloise Blue=Mortimer Black=Morgan
 
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 10:09 PM
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Nevh was very quiet even before the king began his speech. She didn't seek conversation or tried to give the impression that she wanted to speak with anyone. If anything one might think she didn't really want to be there and, if such was the case, made weary efforts to hide it.

The young king spoke and invited them all again to join his league of super detectives.
It also seemed that he had yet to lose a single member over and through to the new objective set, not to mention the acquisition of some new faces. If Vulcar had just found himself a talent in coating himself with blood before jumping in a sharkpool, it at least couldn't be said that he didn't know how to make friends, and convince them to dive after him.

She ignored the cat's stares but snarled inside. She was a druid but had never been particularly fond of animals.
When she felt like it was about her turn now to speak, she winced with a half smile, dismissing on the moment the phrase she had prepared and rehearsed for the occasion.
"I'm all tangled up into this mess whether I want to or not. 'Might as well be with you guys."

She felt somewhat feverish suddenly. Unsure why, but hoping it was not one of those ill-omens.
Nevh palmed her forehead, puzzled by her state, then masked the gesture by prolonging it into a brush of her hair.
"Yeah. Vulcar - I'm in. Still kind of a maverick, I fear, but I'll serve when I can."

With that said she'd spy a glance at whomever hasn't spoken yet. Glad to finally be done with it, and not dissatisfied with her final decision.
Still, she made sure she didn't lock eyes with the two Morgans, unwilling to give them the much deserved attention for their influence on the matter.
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Old Jan 20th, 2012, 02:49 PM
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The silver-haired Lakarn had been leaning against one of the pillars as Vulcar spoke, seemingly unable to stand up straight unless he had to. He'd been unaware of some of the developments the king had mentioned, having been rather tangled-up in his own matters once he had found out about Will, not to mention dealing with the new arrivals who had brought them news of the return of the Drow.

"What do you think, Grace?"

"We both know what you're planning to do, Morgan, and you're going to drag me with."

"Oh, I know what I'm going to do. But it's dangerous, and I'd never expose you to danger without your consent. Remember, I know you're not just a fancy block of wood with a smart tongue in there."

"Well, so long as you remember that...And you know I'm not letting you out of my sight. I made a promise."

"Thank you for keeping it."


When it came to be his turn to answer, Morgan tugged off his feather-bearing hat and ran a hand through his slightly-mussed hair, appearing to considering the offer. It was mostly for dramatics, though, the bard having made up his mind rather a long time ago.

"I promised the princess I would aid her in any way I could until she was safe, and as her safety is tied to yours, consider me at your disposal, your majesty," The bard said before giving a respectful nod of his head. "Also, I still have some business that both sir Wainwraith and miss Nevh have offered to aid me in, so I will not be leaving their company soon either."

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Old Jan 21st, 2012, 02:24 AM
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Morgan clears his throat.
”Well it looks like we're all in. I'm going to give an overview of the discoveries I'm aware of since the last meeting. I'll try to keep it brief.”
Eloise's mouth twists into a wry expression.
”That would be a first.”
Mort snickers audibly.
Morgan continues, pretending the other two had not spoken.
”Starting with Zera since he's connected with most of the other topics.

Some time before the founding of Ikra Zera captured and bound Airis and Malvain.

As a result he has acquired the ability to recover from death or injury in a manner similar to Malvain himself. Jester has tried to kill or trap him a number of times in various ways and thus far he hasn't been able to make it stick.

In addition Zera has the ability to enter a Seer's visions. He did so to the Seer known as Kala the Silent Seer. In that instance he appeared to be searching her out and went from far and fuzzy to progressively closer and clearer. This is the last one.”

Morgan draws out Kala's painting and unrolls it It is a watercolor painting. a young (mid 20's to mid-30's) man with Halvan and Elernan features, dark brown hair and grey eyes appeared to be leaning towards you as you looked at it, his hands even gripping the side of the parchment as if he was about to lean out of it and touch you. His expression was the worst bit though, a dark, predatory look that reminded of Lucius' depraved smirk - except that this man lacked the lunacy and ferocity in Lucius' demeaner and expression, replacing it with a calm arrogance.for all to see.
”Get a good look, according to Esiard Emlyn that is definitely Zera.

Twelve days ago, shortly after the final vision, a force of trolls lead by two women attacked her hometown of Edgewater, which lies on the coast one day south of Mayasoris.”

Morgan withdraws his two sketches of the women in question.
”This one, the taller, appears to be a Psion Shaper. The other, is an enchantress of some sort capable of telepathy. She may be connected to Innanan's church. Didina was going to look into her.
There is also circumstantial evidence of the presence of the Blue Lady during the attack.”

Morgan frowns.
”The attack itself was sloppy and violent, not the sort of thing I would attribute to Zera. I suppose it is possible he has his own version of Lucius working for him, someone with a lack of self-control. Still it seems out of character.”

”Zera appears to be in direct conflict with a group we've come to know as The Hands of Sammael, having gone as far as to capture and dominate two of their members, Lyytas Alyyryk of the Lykast and Kelta Alyyryk of the Tykast. Lyytas Alyyryk of the Lykast was the one who attempted the assassination of King Vulcar and is currently in our custody. The location of Kelta Alyyryk of the Tykast-” Morgan pulls out yet another sketch to show the rest ”- is currently unknown. More on the Hands later.”

“The last known actual sighting of Zera was at the Dragonblaze estate here in Halvana. He appeared five weeks ago, shortly after the Demon's Moon End celebration ended. He was brought there by Kerberos and was involved in recruiting a group of people to investigate the troubles five years ago. According to Jester Aiden Dragonblaze claims Kerberos “Sprung it on him” in relation to Zera's presence.”


Morgan pauses briefly to think.

”That is everything I currently have on Zera. Does anyone have anything to add?”
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Old Jan 21st, 2012, 07:31 AM
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"I managed to get some information from friends of mine in Ikra regarding the shorter woman." Didina begins. "Unfortunately it's not very helpful. She showed up a few months ago using the name Melissa and expressing a desire to join Inanna's clergy. They're not the type to turn people away without good reason so they accepted and started running her through the motions but she vanished without a word two weeks ago. On the bright side, a few of them mentioned seeing her talking with a tall woman who matches the descriptions given for the other Troll companion, so I'm reasonably sure its the right duo - there just wasn't much to say. I'm waiting on some more in depth knowledge from a friend of mine who's coming down in person to speak to me about it. She should be here in a few days. Given that she's a Gate who works with new initiates a lot I'm hoping she might be able to give some insight into what kind of person we might be dealing with."

"Since you've brought up the Dragonblaze now is as good a time as any to show you what we saw when we managed to place a spy into Lyrason's estate while he's been out of the city visiting some rural friends of us." Vulcar makes a gesture towards the larger of the masked pair standing beside him, who steps forward to cast a major image spell.

Before the group a study appears, decorated with rich and overly lavish paintings and sculptures that looked more like a show of wealth than any real liking of them. It is completely empty for the first few moments before the door is slowly and silently cracked open before a familiar figure slips in.

Schakri Bastni-Dragonblaze widens the door a little so he can slip in, although his attire seems very odd for someone walking around another Lord's house, namely because he is currently bare-chested and bare-footed with what looks to be hastily thrown on trousers and his ever-present dragon-topped cane being the only things he has on him. Contrary to his usual jovial appearance Schakri looks intent and very deliberate, which throws out the possibility that he's just stumbled here by accident. He begins to carefully examine various objects in the room - from paintings and sculptures to any letters on show - after casting a True Seeing spell and is very careful to place things back exactly as he found them.

Just as he moves on to the desk he jerks his head around at a faint noise, hastily but carefully closes the drawer and locks it again before stumbling towards the door in a manner that, if they hadn't just seen him acting normally, would have led them to believe he was severely intoxicated. Before he reaches the door another figure pushes it open: that of an equally scantily clad and only slightly less intoxicated Lady Lyrason. "Ah!" Schakri stumbles backwards, tripping over his own feet drunkenly onto his arse. "Thank the Saviours-" He slurs while unsteadily getting back to his feet. "-this place is a bloody maze. What's a man to do to find the wine around here?"

Lady Lyrason's face relaxes from one of growing suspicion to flirty. "I do hope you weren't planning on drinking alone or, worse yet, with someone else were you?"

"Of course not-" Schakri grins drunkenly. "-I wanted to surprise when you woke up. So since you're here and I'm here and the wine's..." He looks around. "...well, not here but somewhere, how about we carry on where we left off while we still have the floor to ourselves, eh?" Schakri's grin turns into a charming smile that seems to be working as the married woman's face goes red. The image fades away just as Schakri playfully hoists her over his shoulder and walks them out, sending her into a fit of giggles.

Before anyone else can say anything Didina bursts into a grin of her own. "Well, that's what you get when you marry a woman several decades younger than you. I'm guessing my dear old father is rather disappointing in the bedroom. That or she's just generally sick of him, which I can't blame her for."

Vulcar gives Didina a withering look. "I'm less interested in Lord Lyrason's sex life and more interested in what Schakri was looking for in his study and why. I can't say I'm entirely surprised that Schakri is less of a fool than he appears to be, but I didn't expect him to act like and behave as if he's experienced in doing this sort of thing."

~MTWC
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Old Jan 21st, 2012, 09:36 PM
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Morgan nods.
”As it happens I was already of the opinion Schakri was something along the lines of a spy, this just confirms it.

Think about it.
He plays the foppish playboy with no real job. He is the Dragonblaze's unofficial diplomat. Between the two of those he can travel freely nearly anywhere without arousing undue suspicion.

Nevh indicated the vapid playboy routine was just a mask he wore, that he was more intelligent than he let on.

There's always a problem of trust with a professional spy. With someone suckled on deceit and trained to show false allegiances it's easy to believe that the allegiance they have for you is also false. The Dragonblazes are insular and tight knit. What better spy then than a Dragonblaze? Keep it in the family and you can more easily trust him.

It could even be why he was so eager to “make it up” to Alyyryk at the party. Now that Alyyryk is close to Celes he could be a good source of information to Schakri.

The question now is how to turn this to our advantage.”


”Well right off the bat we have some juicy leverage.”

Morgan frowns.
”Maybe, maybe not. Infidelity is not exactly bizzarre among the aristocracy.
We could use it against Sophia. Considering her husband's state of mind I think she would be pretty eager to avoid him discovering her dalliance.
Schakri however might not be moved too deeply by that threat. His reputation isn't going to take too much of a hit, it's almost expected of him, and his family name and connections would be sufficient shield against Aleron, especially with his current troubles.”


Eloise rolls her eyes.
”I'm not talking about some noblewoman's inability to keep her legs closed.” Her scorn is almost palpable. ”I'm talking about Schakri's status as a spy. His whole routine seems to rely on his cover as a playboy. If it gets out exactly what he is it will ruin him as a spy and a diplomat, and could even hurt the Dragonblazes as a whole. Everyone he's seen as a diplomat will look over their previous interactions with a much harsher eye. It could mean cooling of friendships, renegotiating deals, accusations of further espionage.”

Even if the damage individually was difficult to determine it would be far reaching, affecting many interactions and perceptions.
It also had the potential to start something vicious and ugly. Morgan isn't sure Schakri would take that sort of blackmail lying down.

”Sounds risky.
Do we as of yet want to start something with the Dragonblazes?”

”What if he's after the ring? He might get to it before we do.”
”I think it's far more likely he's after incriminating evidence. What made you suspect the councilman of involvement in the assassination attempt in the first place?”
”I think I see where you're going with this. Aleron is a distant relation of the royal line, his house has been sliding for some time even before his Sol troubles, and his growing mental instability. All of which are not really big secrets, and all of which make him a likely suspect.”
Eloise smirks.
”Which would imply...”
”If they're investigating him for involvement in the assassination attempt then they are not themselves involved in the assassination attempt. They would already know if they were.”
”That's a big if. There's any number of reasons he could be pawing through Aleron's stuff.”
”So we need to find out more. The question is who does it and how.”
The three of them nod almost in unison.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2012, 02:12 AM
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Nevh listened wordlessly, taking mental notes here and there for the possibility of a piece of information becoming important later on.
The monitoring of the dragonblaze ambassador hadn't really surprised her but certainly caught her full attention.
Schakri being a spy was pretty obvious but it was interesting to know he had his sight, hands and manhood fiddling in and through the lord's affairs.
When Eloise mentioned the possible leverage, she simply frowned pensively, wondering what good would come of it.
The advantage was usually in the target not knowing that you know... more than waving it at its face with a threat, at least, but it could be situational. As usual, she had way more questions than anything to share with the group.
It was natural that the strongest vassals of a ruler may be tempted to join a powerful enemy to insure its victory and a seat of power in the new regime, especially when the ruler has little odds of victory. What would Aiden gain in siding with Zera and giving a chance for the fiends to pierce in and enslave humanity? The Dragonblaze's head, Scion, certainly had a strong voice in the choice of path the family would ultimately follow and discerning its feelings on the matter would be difficult considering its perpetual absence, if the dragon was even still alive or not used as some sort of puppet to give orders through. She still wanted to know who introduced the idea of the Deceiver's Bane to be worn by Celes, and which Dragonblaze brought it to her, but it wasn't a priority right now.
In any case, Schakri's actions only made one thing clear: he had received information that Lyrason probably had something worth finding, and would likely return until he finds it.

Nevh's frown deepened, she pursed her lips with a sliver of hesitation and spoke.
"I'd say the most important piece of information thus far is Kerberos' reunion at Aiden's, where Zera was seen. If the Eight's archgate has him around as part of his investigation, then we must equally consider that whatever Zera is planning might well be likely linked in some way to the incident. Jin left Walking Dead to itself to join that investigation and considering, there were apparently no hostilities Fisali might not have perceived Zera as a threat to Aheka as a whole. Perhaps if we look into the incident ourselves we might find traces of Zera as well - something that would help in the current case, with luck."

She turned her head to Vulcar, remembering something. She licked her lips, a little uneasy.
"How's the search for the Elan twins going? Was it possible to contact them by Sending through someone who knew them well?"

 

Last edited by Blue; Jan 22nd, 2012 at 02:13 AM.
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Old Jan 25th, 2012, 09:15 PM
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"While we're on the subject of the Dragonblaze..." Anorde cuts in. "I've noticed some unusual behaviour from them lately. The Dragonblaze have always been a tight-knit group, even their servants, so getting rumour from them is more difficult than with most Noble families but lately..." He gives an annoyed sigh. "...well, lets just say that it's like talking to a brick wall at the moment. Something has got the servants spooked and/or scared enough to completely shut them up. So much so that I've not been able to get any direct information from them, only second hand information which is questionable at best without a way to verify it. The last time they did this was a little before they revealed that Edan was ill."

Vulcar shakes his head at Nevh's question. "Not yet. I'm hoping that if the talks with Elern go well we might be able to get further with that, but as it stands they're keeping what they know to themselves and our attempts to contact the 'twins' have failed." He glances at Alyyryk. "I don't suppose you could ask your friend about it? Even if we could get the names of the Elernans who've met them it'd be a help, especially if they're civilians now."

The Tyyrykan looks distinctly uncomfortable at the suggestion. "I could try but I very much doubt Lucius would ever reveal such information without approval."

"And Fauve?"

Alyyryk outright frowns now. "The same."

~MTWC
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Old Jan 26th, 2012, 03:53 AM
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Nevh noticed something about the Tyyrykan that bothered her. She rolled her shoulders to relief her uneasiness slightly, suddenly finding her chair uncomfortable. Perhaps being a little subtle would pass over the question of pride, if it was part of the issue.
"If you stressed her about how important finding them may be to the restoration of your brother and sister to the Circle, mayhaps she would be more sensitive to the issue and a little more willing, yes?"

Returning his mind and memories to the twin brother would hopefully provide them crucial information but it was mostly to the kashyyn's benefit, and something in her head stressed her that she was already putting too much efforts into the matter. Since when was she mingling with the personal issues of strangers?

She sniffed with annoyance. The Dragonblaze problem was making her slightly nervous.
"Maybe something happened to Scion."
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Old Jan 28th, 2012, 02:35 AM
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Morgan remains silent for a bit. Something was obviously going on with the Dragonblazes but what exactly it was was the question.
That was starting to get annoying, so many things where “something is up” but so few things where they actually knew what was up. Still it had only been a few weeks since they had started.

When it became clear that no-one had anything more to say about the Dragonblazes Morgan continues.

”Continuing my report
The group that Kerberos gathered included Phyre Dragonblaze and her half-dragon boyfriend Hran.

Also among them were Sei'Tsatal Faeresril, Dea a Scorned of Demios, Steven Michal half-angel Kairan paladin of Kirin, Lym a tiefling enchanter, Illucia Ailen, Rygtha “Magebane” Caladara (another follower of Demios), Morak Chathema, and a Quen by the name of Isoude (who joined them later). There were also an unnamed Quen Sei.

This group, on the direction of Zera, went to Lalian Shedeth's realm and spoke with High Inquisitor Herne who had discovered an odd “dead” spot in the Underdark using Jalm'aen. Next they went to the capital of Sharak where Demios told them that the dead-spot was a city. Of Drow.”

Morgan gives that a moment to sink in, half of the people here knew of this story already but it was still odd to say out loud.
”Furthermore Demios showed them one captured drow from the city and introduced them to another drow, by the name of Tel'Shar, he had formed an alliance with.
With Tel'Shar acting as guide they were heading north to Kaira's Ice Peaks where supposedly an entrance to the Underdark would lead to the drow city. The intent was to try and find out if the drow were responsible for the mass fiendish attack of five years ago.
Phyre and Hran left the group before meeting with Deimos and Sei'Tsatal and his Quen friend some time before the crossing of the equatorial channel. During the crossing Morak died fighting a dragon and Isoude joined the group.

We know of this because one Captain Cirrocco Windwalker, the adoptive father of Dea, was the one to provide them crossing of the channel. He arrived in Halvana yesterday hoping to pass the story on to Princess Celes. As of now we are working to confirm or refute the story.”


Eloise stands mute, one eyebrow arched. She appears to view the story with no small amount of amazement and more than a hint of dubiousness.

If Mortimer is surprised at all he doesn't show it. Then again cats are masters of inscrutibility.
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  #12  
Old Jan 28th, 2012, 07:42 AM
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Alyyryk frowns at Nevh, obviously angry. "Tell me, if a member of the Rudaa Kinship revealed something you wanted kept secret how would you react?" Without waiting for a response he turns to Vulcar. "And what if one of your Royal Guards did the same?" Again, he doesn't wait for an answer. "Lucien and Fauve are not only members of the Elernan military but they come from a military family that is related to mine by marriage and they serve Elernan Royalty. I will not ask them to betray their oaths, their families or their commander/Prince by revealing information that the Elernans obviously don't want you to have and especially on the chance it might be relevant." He gives a frustrated sigh. "If it looks like it might be more important then I might - might - be willing to try persuading them, but as it stands I will not risk ruining their lives and reputation on a mere curiosity."

Anorde speaks up first after Morgan's explanation. "Just to clarify something Morgan said: Zera supposedly just pointed them in the right direction, it was Kerberos who was responsible for gathering the group together and giving them their goal, he was just an informant."

"As if there aren't enough troubles in this world." Didina remarks dryly. "If it turns out to be true of course. How trustworthy are the sources?"

"As people, good, however Cirrocco is well known for his relationship with Dea - he was exiled from Shali and dishonourably discharged from their navy for 'kidnapping a minor' (Dea) and 'slanderous accusations' (towards the noble who was abusing her) - so its entirely possible he was fed the information deliberately, although to what end and by who is another question entirely. Either way, he's likely in great danger now as, though he has technically kept to his word I doubt Deimos is going to see it that way if he finds out." Anorde looks around the room to make sure everyone is paying attention. "I've also uncovered something rather...worrying in regards to this little group, although it doesn't directly relate to the Drow. I spoke with a high-up contact within Kirin's clergy who outright stated that the Emissary working with their group, Steven Michael, had been charged with 'bringing the Tiefling into the light'. Now, I don't doubt that Kirin has an interest in converting the more moderate Fiendish worshippers like Dea, but the fact that not only was this ordered by Kirin but that it involves one of his Paladins having to take extreme risk by following her into enemy territory strikes me as odd. Either Dea knows something valuable or, and this is just a suspicion on my part, she has as-yet untapped 'potential'."

Alyyryk looks confused. "'Potential'?"

Surprisingly, it's Didina who clarifies. "He suspects she has divine potential." Even Misa looks oddly at her. "The friend I mentioned is actually a daughter of Inanna and the one who initially got my involved with the church, although she has outright told me she has no interest in 'painting a target on her back' by trying to realise her potential. One of the benefits of being a notable member of Inanna's clergy as opposed to any other is that people tend to leave you alone or, at worst, give you a bit of verbal abuse."

Alyyryk looks dumbfounded. "You worship Inanna? Why?"

Didina gives him a dry look. "Because I'm a horny devil who needs all the loving I can get, why else?" Both Anorde and Misa burst out laughing at her rather matter-of-fact response, especially when Alyyryk initially looks like he's taking her seriously. Once the Tiefling cracks a smile of her own he quickly realises he is being made a fool of.

"Was that really necessary?" Alyyryk's tone is more fed up than actually anrgy.

"Necessary? No. Entertaining? Definately." She smirks. "To answer your question though: my faith is none of your business. Suffice to say you've no need to worry about it though. Inanna is only nominally a member of the Fiendish pantheon. She leaves them alone, they leave her alone and everyone else tends to just keep an eye on her to make sure she's not up to anything sinister and that suites everyone fine."

~MTWC
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  #13  
Old Jan 28th, 2012, 09:46 PM
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Nevh cuts in, resolute that she would not let herself be questioned and dismissed so easily. Leaned in, her face stern with a cold expression.
"It's pretty much what I've had to do for weeks, so I'd say I'm reacting pretty well considering the situation."

She tried to imagine for an instant what she would do if she had family in that condition. She felt unbound rage well up in her stomach before she willed it to subside on her next breath. In was interesting, at least, to note that Alyyrik's usual stubborn rashness on the matter was contained by his respect for military protocols
She eased back on her chair with half a smile, a vein visible on her front.
"The elan twins are their best chance, maybe their only one. They don't have to give us any information for as long as they can persuade them to come here and save them. Drop that chance if you will."

She looked away dismissively as if she was done giving two cents about the issue, and did.
Nevh brought a finger to her lips, tapping them pensively as she considered the details of that report. Eventually she shook her head disapprovingly, but not in response to the tiefling's japes or questionable faith. She removed her finger from her lips to shake it in front of her.
"Wait... wait wait."
She hung it there while looking distant, considering the information, trying to clear something up before the conversation flipped to more irrelevant matters, like it was.

"Just so I got all this straight."
She rose her hands, making motions as she spoke in emphasis.
"So there is Zera, a master manipulator who wants Halva under his thumb and has mental dominion over at least two Paragons, screwing the power balance in Aheka over and through.
"Then there is Deimos, fiend deity in Sharak driving the nation against Shali, to which Halva is a clear obstacle. Vulcar out would be a blow against the motion against the fiends, and so he, you, almost certainly has an enemy in both of them. If Aheka is at greater risks with the loss of Vulcar, and with the problem of power balance created by Zera, why would Kerberos endure Zera's presence, nevermind heed his counsel?

"Zera tells them: go to the vampire lord's domain. We can assume he knew what Herne would tell them, probably also knew that they would resort to meeting Deimos to explain that discovery and send them to his drow allies... all this to find those responsible for the incident five years ago, which both Deimos and Zera seem to support. Now, all this precious information comes to us from a Shalian exile and adoptive father of a scorned of Deimos, who wished to tell it all to Celes, who is likely one of his adoptive daughter's god's enemies. At least enough to send killers at her heels on her way to you."


She scratched her forehead gently.
"All of this stinks. These investigators are going where they are wanted to go to find what they are wanted to find by people that would crush you if they could. An investigation to preserve Aheka guided by people that threatens it. Kerberos must know something, or perhaps he's been taken by Zera as well."
She joined her hands again. A short twist of the neck and she winced.
"We get a word with Kerberos? Perhaps join up with these investigators to get more of the story before they do whatever they accomplish what they were sent to do... perhaps this leak is one big trap and should be ignored."

Last edited by Blue; Jan 28th, 2012 at 11:20 PM.
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Old Jan 28th, 2012, 10:59 PM
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The mage snorts in amusement at Alyyryk's reaction to Didina's ploy.
”Be gentle Di, he's had a rough time of it. I'm not sure he had much of a sense of humor to begin with either.”
What Morgan doesn't voice is the possibility that Didina's statement held more truth than she cared to admit. The yearning for affection and love might be quite strong in a woman who's father had made repeated attempts on her life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevh
”Perhaps this leak is one big trap and should be ignored."
Morgan nods, it seemed that Nevh had a similar first instinct to his own.
”The possibility has already been discussed and does seem to be far from an outlandish idea.

I'm not sure if they went to speak with Herne or use Jalm'aen.

Jin Ieroska, leader of the Walking Dead, and Lyande Ult Ohta, were conducting a parallel investigation of their own. Unfortunately we don't know nearly as much about it. As of yesterday it appears Jin has been captured by an unknown force and when contacted via sending Lyande had become panicked by the situation. Misae Wiat is looking into it.

Just want to claify something for you. Deimos isn't the top player in Sarak. Cinn and her church have the greater balance of influence. Valax and Verrine are her servants for example.

And Zera? He does have reason to want to see the fiends stay sealed away. It eliminates the competition. If the fiends are released he has to compete with them for domination, and he might just wind up ruling over a smoldering crater.”


Morgan purses his lips.

”Joining up with them might just be possible. By the timeline they are either still in the Ice Peaks or already underground depending on how quickly they moved after crossing the channel. But I don't think it would be wise for any of us to do it. Two of Demios' agents are already among them and the Drow is his ally too. Magebane has a fearsome reputation and I get the impression Dea isn't exactly a pushover either. I'm not so sure they would welcome us with open arms and I'd rather not put my chances on convincing the rest of the group to side with us over them.

If it is a trap that could be the trap, lure the investigators out and capture them.

If we were to do something like that I would prefer to find out what happened to Jin and perhaps join him if possible.

As I said it just happened yesterday so we have only a fairly condensed version of the entire story. I've got some confirmation on their movements and presence in places but not much else.”


The mage turns his gaze on the other Morgan.
”Did you get anything more out of your questioning of the Captain? ”
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 08:38 PM
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Alyyryk frowns, clearly not privy to (or not understanding) exactly why the pair were being sought out. "I don't understand. I thought they were being looked into because there was a thought they might have links with Zera?."

Anorde shakes his head at the end of Morgan and Nevh's contribution. "Chances are they're already underground - the main group at the very least. After speaking with Cirrocco last night I did a little digging and found out that Jahran Tark, the Tukaijahn the group were planning on getting to help them reach the cave in the Ice Peaks, is the cousin of Jahlia Tark, the Tukaijahn Tark representative who was present at the recent celebrations. Fortunately, she's still in Halvanna and I was able to track her down this morning. She confirmed the presence of the group in Draas, the Kairan capital, about three weeks ago, although from careful questioning it doesn't look like she knows anything about their mission (she assumed they were looking into the bandits in the local area that had been kidnapping people). When she left they were about to leave along with Jahran for the Ice Peaks and according to her, it wouldn't have taken them more than a week to reach their destination with Jahran leading the way.

He turns to Nevh. "From what I heard from Cirrocco, Zera didn't point them towards Herne - the stop off there was because someone in the original group had connections with Lalian Shedeth - he merely suggested that the Drow-touched who had been going underground had been acting suspiciously for some time and suggested looking into it. And again, they went to Deimos not because Herne told them to but because two of their number were Deimosians. I'm not saying it isn't suspicious of course, just correcting the assumptions. Our best bet is trying to speak with as many of those they met on the way: Jahran Tark, Jar Alyyryk of the Sercyl, Lord Sei'Tsatal Faeresril, this Quen Sei people of mentioned and, if we can get a message to him, Kerberos. I don't exactl have high hopes of the latter though, historically each Kerberos has been the kind to show up when it suites them, however leaving a cryptic message with some of the churches might be enough to lure him out. Personally speaking, I find it hard to believe that he's under Zera's sway though. Not only is he the strongest of the Archgates but he's the Archgate of Fisali." Just as he seems to finish he remembers something else. "Oh, and just to clarify something: do we know he has actual control of the two Paragons he supposedly has? I was under the impression that all we know is that he has them and is somehow using them to power his and Nykal's immortality and possibly using Airis for seer spying. We've no idea of the limitations of whatever magic he's using to control Nykal, but controlling an Archgate and controlling a God are two very different things, especially when said God is a Paragon, which are a damn-sight different to normal Gods in the first place."

~MTWC
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