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  #31  
Old Jun 6th, 2019, 07:28 PM
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Alone in the shadows

Dolan
He felt a pang of guilt when he sat down, knowing that he missed the beginning of the service. But to be honest, he didn't care much for the religious ceremony of the whole thing, if it weren't for Thom, he wouldn't even be here. He was glad that he didn't miss any of the sermon, and as it began, it resonated with him immediately.

Up to us--up to me--to shape this new year. He thought to himself, he could be better, and felt inspired at the prospect of change. At the mention of family he felt cut deep at the core, he felt vulnerable, alone, and a surge of the guilt that followed him everywhere. He couldn't not think of Sara and how he let her down. But he was able to steady himself at the prospect of a new year, and a new beginning. Only now had he realized how aloof he had been since returning. Sure, he tried to take Wensel under his wing (and look how that turned out), but he hadn't done much at all for the community and even still felt like a stranger. That thought hit him especially hard with the words, Argillon Falls. It seemed so distant, so far away, and yet he had been back--he had been home--for nearly six months now. Maybe it was time to stop sitting back in the shadows.

As the service ended, Dolan was feeling quite content. He waited in the receiving line to greet Thom, and when he did he took his hand and said "I don't know how you do it, but you always manage to say exactly what I need to hear. Thank you. He turned to go, but stopped himself to add, "I.. I've never really been devout, but.. if you ever need a hand around here with anything, let me know. Thanks." He nodded, feeling like he had said what he needed to and then quickly walked away, for some reason feeling embarrassed. Even with his warm welcoming demeanor, something about Thom intimidated him.
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Last edited by DonaldJWafer; Jun 6th, 2019 at 07:33 PM.
  #32  
Old Jun 6th, 2019, 08:30 PM
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Unexpected Interruption
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The attendees began to get up to join the line moving past the preacher to congratulate him on a job well done or heading by a collection box to make a donation. The official services were over but the populous often used this time to catch up with their neighbors or make sure that people saw that they had shown up to services. Thom was almost universally greeted with smiled and hand-shakes of congratulations.

Suddenly the front door of the church burst open and a young teenager in big, heavy work-boots stomped her way into the congregation, accompanied by a cold wind from outside. Her cheeks, ears, and nose were bright red and her chest rose and fell quickly as she tried to catch her breath. The light gray dog that had been following her wisely waited outside of the church, panting to itself. An elderly man tried to pet it and it barked hotly at the man. Those in the church could see that the girl who had burst in was none other than "Unexpected Treasure". She was a cute, fit, young woman but what made her most memorable was her adoptive father: a Tabaxi known as Shadow at Dawn. The 2 made an unlikely pair that often stuck out in people's memories, even though they visited South Reach rarely.

"They..." Treasure said to Thom between gasps for air, "...arrested... my father..."

Orilo found his charge Bryenn not far away, just looking around at the various people who had come to the day's services. But when Treasure burst in, his attention - as well as most others nearby - was drawn to the young girl.



Last edited by girlplay; Jun 6th, 2019 at 08:42 PM.
  #33  
Old Jun 7th, 2019, 08:22 AM
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Introduction InterruptedA Dolana familiar face that she couldn't put a name to passing through the reception line finally snapped Sam out of her daze. Greyer than it looked like he should be, she'd seen the man many times the last few months out and about in the Southern Reaches, but not before -- which was a bit of a mystery. Though his clothes were cleaner than Sam's, he looked at least as uncomfortable, and even more hungover. Curious about his story, and figuring anything was better than listening to her mother recount, yet again, that Susannah Rogers had four different gentleman callers last week, Sam slides carefully through the gathered crowd to speak to the man.

"Howdy stranger -- not many folk I see around the Reaches but can't name. I'm Rosamund Smith, but most folk just call me Sam. Looks like I wasn't the only one who drank too much last night..."

But Dolan just has time to briefly respond before Treasure bursts onto the scene with news of her father's arrest. Though Sam didn't know the girl well, she immediately ran to her side, and was about to give her a hug before she remembered her scale armor and thought better of it, merely patting her on the back.

"It's alright, Treasure. It's alright. Paul, get her some water?" she called over to the candlemaker's son. "Marhsal loves to place the blame on poor folk and outsiders, but I know that Shadow didn't -- what's he 'spose to have done?"
  #34  
Old Jun 7th, 2019, 11:03 AM
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Thom Morgan
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The sermon and the service appeared to have gone over well enough, and Thom breathed a small sigh of relief as people moved their way through the line. Many left, but plenty more chose to stay in the narthex and converse which was heartening. A church should be a sanctuary, and it was nice to see people feel comfortable enough here to linger.

Thom glanced up when the door burst open. He immediately recognized the young woman, and had expected her and her father much earlier for the service, but he could immediately tell something was amiss. It took him a moment to extricate himself from the latest handshake, but he was able to hear most of what Sam had asked by the time he made it over to her and Dolan. Hearing Sam's rush of words come to a halt and being careful not to interrupt her, he put a calming hand on her armor clad shoulder. His voice was low and soothing as he spoke carefully, "Sam, maybe not here with all these people. Let's step into the sanctuary and talk."

"Treasure, I'm sure it is just a misunderstanding," Thom began, kneeling down to be on a level with the girl, "why don't you come with us and we'll see what we can do."

Rising and gently guiding both Sam and Treasure back towards the double doors into the now empty sanctuary, he met Dolan's eyes earnestly, "Dolan, if you don't mind, could you go find Orilo, if he hasn't already left? If there's legal trouble, he'll know who we can talk to. He's the well dressed Goliath. He's hard to miss. We'll be right in here."


 
  #35  
Old Jun 7th, 2019, 01:10 PM
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OriloWaiting was never one of Orilo's strong suits. He took the opportunity look for Bryenn and drill him about his strange behavior...yet just as he caught the eye of his young charge there was a sudden disturbance at the entrance! Bryenn and Orilo look toward the front. Orilo frowns, then remembers where he has seen the young woman before.

"Unexpected Treasure...so that means..." Orilo mutters to himself. Yes, a few years ago when her adoptive father Shadow first came to town, there was the matter of the property dispute. That had been when Orilo was a newly minted Assistant Ambassador; turns out that folk become much more honest with a seven foot Goliath towering over them, regardless of how flamboyantly he dresses. Orilo speaks briefly to Bryenn.

"Stay here, Bean. Don't get into any trouble."

Orilo crosses the hall in a few, swift strides. Hearing his name, he smiles.

"Oh, these old rags? I just wanted to make sure these fine folks could concentrate on Thom's delightful sermon without being dazzled by my...usual attire. Treasure..." Orilo smiles upon the girl as he accompanies her and Thom into the sanctuary. "I don't know if you remember me, but I made you and your father's acquaintance a handful of summer past. I never forget a friend; as an Ambassador," Orilo omits the prefix to his title in this moment, as he often does, "I am certain my influence will more than sufficient to clear your father's name in no time. Never met a more honest man than Shadow, barring the Reverend here." He nods respectfully to Thom.

 
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  #36  
Old Jun 8th, 2019, 02:19 PM
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Shadow moved along with the lawmen, causing no fuss. That could only get him in hotter water here, and he certainly knew it. But it didn't stop him wrinkling up his nose and letting out a guttural growl at the idea that one of his neighbors whom he had sheltered and defended in whatever manner he was able had somehow conspired against him. But...but that was unfair. If they had discovered a body on his land with claw marks, what were they to think? It went against good sense to think he'd have absolutely nothing to do with it, even if on closer inspection it would be immediately clear that him murdering a man on his property would not have happened in that way. He gathered his evidence.

Claws? Where were the wounds on him? He was a beat up old veteran. If he got into a scrap, he was getting beat too, and he didn't have a mark on him but the old scars. He could call in the doctor to confirm that. Why wouldn't he have hid the body? What sort of premeditated murderer would he be to just leave it out and about on his own land? Nonsense. Everyone around knew he wielded magic. Why would he bushwhack someone with his claws? He nodded to himself going over it. He felt confident justice would be done.

Except...what would justice truly be? Was this just the gods delaying his punishments until it would cut him the deepest? Now that he had a life worth living? Were his sins so heinous that they needed to ruin the life of his child, as well? Was he truly that much of a monster? And was there such a sense of irony about the almighty that with all the horrible things he had done in his life, that he might swing from a noose for the death of a man he hadn't touched? Did he deserve that? He'd certainly done enough wrong in his life that he had some kind of reckoning coming...but why did it have to come when he felt he had been trying so hard to be a good man for so long? If the gods were not cruel...man certainly was.

Shadow didn't appreciate Deputy Sikes' barb as he was lead into his cell. That sort of gallows humor didn't sit well with him, and struck him as cruel in a time such as this. He spent the time waiting by thinking about Treasure... what in the world would that poor girl do without him? She'd already lost one set of parents. She was more cursed than he was if he swung for this. What made him think he could care for her to begin with? He was just an old outlaw. A crook.

A killer.

When he heard Sikes' voice come through the bars at him, he immediately perked up. He stood, but didn't come closer to the bars. One of the questions struck him as plain silly. He cleared his throat.

"I was home last night, as I am near every night. I sleep long and hard. It's perhaps my one vice. My daughter is the only one who lives with me. She would be the only witness to said rest. But she's an honest girl, and would not lie to you. Just... don't be too hard on the poor thing. She's a kind-hearted, and likely to be distraught. And you told me clear you didn't know who the deceased was. Unless you've uncovered that in the last hour, how in blazes am I to know what my relations to them were?"
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Last edited by Sinister; Jun 8th, 2019 at 02:20 PM.
  #37  
Old Jun 8th, 2019, 07:09 PM
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Church meeting
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Bryenn's expression allowed a hint of annoyance to show at Orilo's command but he didn't argue. Instead, he said to Sam, "what would you think of me escorting your mother home, if you're going to be occupied for a time?" As a son of a craftsman, Bryenn was either lower or upper class but somewhere in the middle. She didn't know him well, but his family had a well-established and decently good reputation amongst his peers.

Treasure seemed to take some comfort in Sam's presence, perhaps because in some ways they were pretty similar. In another life, they could have been sisters. She also seemed to appreciate the preacher giving her concern his attention. She took the time for the group to gather back in a more private location to try to calm her breathing. She took a couple of sips from the mug of water handed to her and seemed to remember Sam's original question. She looked down at the mug and her hands as she spoke. "They're sayin' that he killed a man," she paused as if to let the gravity of what she said sink in for a moment. "Three marshals showed up at the house this mornin'. They took him away. I did what father told me and went to the neighbor's house. But they were being weird. They already knew about the... uhm, dead guy. And they were comforting me like my father was going away. Like he did it. And they knew it. So, when I went out to the well, I just took off." Her gaze rose to meet Thom's. "So, I came here. I figured - hoped that you would take it more serious like."



Shadow: Jailhouse "Uh-huh..." Deputy Sikes murmured dubiously, though he chuckled to himself even then. "I guess I couldn't really have expected you to fold over such a cheap question. Well, at least you aren't a dumb man. Obviously, you were smart enough to bury the body in a place that it wasn't so easy to find. Perhaps you just got unlucky. It could have been years before it was discovered." He sighed to himself and paused for a long moment. "So, what do you have on your ranch? Sheep? Chickens? I was never much interested in that kind of thing. What business are you in exactly that 2 people - one of 'em a child - can operate the whole thing by themselves?"


Last edited by girlplay; Jun 8th, 2019 at 07:09 PM.
  #38  
Old Jun 9th, 2019, 01:08 AM
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Dolan
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At Thom's request Dolan was eager to help, but just as he set about to finding Orilo, he seemed to materialize before them. The request still seemed to stand as a tacet welcome to accompany the group into the next room, so he did.

As Treasure spoke she reminded him of his own sister Sara. She was young, and innocent, and good natured, she had looked up to Dolan and always wanted to follow him around. Of course he would complain about her, saying she was annoying, but deep down he was flattered by her admiration so he allowed it. As he grew older and began running with a gang in town, he knew better than to involve her, so he tried to keep her out. But she always had a way of showing up, and at the worst times...

He had never met the Tabaxi father (and to be honest, the idea of a Tabaxi raising this child struck him as quite odd), and had no reason to believe his innocence, and yet, he felt a strong urge to help this girl. He wanted to step forward and offer the girl his sword, but he knew that she must have sought Thom out for a reason, and so when he stepped forward he stayed quiet, instead watching Thom, waiting for his response.

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  #39  
Old Jun 9th, 2019, 10:57 AM
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Thom listened to Treasure's story with a look of paternal calm on his relatively young face. He maintained eye contact with the girl, nodding gravely so she knew she'd been heard. Unfortunately, murder accusations and presumed guilt against Tabaxi and even Goliath citizens was not all that uncommon. Thom was actually relieved that they hadn't gone in swords swinging to collect him. It spoke to Shadow's standing in the community, but it certainly seemed to him that additional intervention would be needed.

"Treasure, we'll see what we can do, ok? I know your father, and I'm sure it is a misunderstanding. Mrs. Peel will be here for a little while longer cleaning up and doing the count, and I'm sure she wouldn't mind a little extra help from a smart girl like you," Thom said gently, placing a comforting hand on the girl's shoulder.

"Orilo," he asked, looking up, "do you know anyone at the Marshal's station?"

He turned his gaze to include Sam and Dolan as well. Thom had very little to do with local law enforcement.


 
  #40  
Old Jun 9th, 2019, 01:24 PM
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OriloOrilo strokes his false beard. "Do I know anyone there personally? I've met the Marshal at official functions, though I have not had the honor of his friendship; however, he cannot afford to ignore the suggestions of an influential member of the Royal Court out of hand. Nor I think, the vouch of a prominent, popular, community leader." Orilo stresses the word popular; he was impressed by the large and diverse attendance of the service.

"Still, if we are to save Shadow from unwarranted persecution, it would be well to arm ourselves with the facts." Here, Orilo turns to the other two companions; upon seeing their scruffy experience, however, he thinks better of suggesting they may have friends among the investigating lawmen. "Perhaps the opposite..." Orilo catches his lip twitching, a preamble to a sneer. Schooling his features, he says, "We should be prepared to investigate ourselves, should the Marshal prove intractable."
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Old Jun 10th, 2019, 05:24 PM
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The hotheadThom's hand and warning does little to calm Sam's boiling blood, but she swallows and starts to move to the sanctuary anyway. She's so busy stewing that Bryenn's offer to take her mother home catches her off-guard. "Oh, uh -- I spose she'd like that. Thank you kindly." It was a load off her hands, having Enid escorted home, but she suspects she'll pay for it later, with questions about who the young man was, how she knew him, when they were going to settle down and start a family.

She has little time to dwell on such matters, however, as Treasure soon speaks and gets Sam agitated all over again, punctuating her speech with interjections of her own. "Killed a man! Why, that ain't neighbourly at all -- they're stitching Shadow up, plain as day!" Sam appears ready to go off on a full rant at any moment, but catches Thom trying to calm Treasure as he'd hushed her a moment ago, which throws her off it for long enough to remember that she's in a place of worship, when she really clams up.

Her lips are pursed angrily through the discussion of the Marshal, and it's only when Orilo says "We should be prepared to investigate ourselves, should the Marshal prove intractable." that she finally erupts.

"'Intractable' is dressin' it up too much -- Marshal can barely keep things in order here in the reaches. A Tabaxi, outside city walls -- won't care a lick for Shadow's side of the story, I'd reckon. I'd like to 'investigate' the neighbors, if you get my point -- from what Treasure said, sounds like they set the whole thing up! And he trusted them, sent his daughter to them, the good for nothin' schemin' ... " Sam is agitated and pacing, though she's feeling proud and in control of herself -- she hadn't cursed once.
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Old Jun 10th, 2019, 08:51 PM
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TreasureThe teenager shook her head and held up her hands towards Sam, almost spilling her mug of water. "It's not like that," she insisted. "Uncle Wilbur's always been a good friend to my dad. He's a good neighbor. And, I'm really good friends with Ulla. That's his granddaughter. I'm sure he was just doin' what he thought was right, you know? Findin' a dead body and all. I'm just... kinda disappointed that he won't do anythin' to help."

OOC clarificationJust to clarify so that we're all on the same page: Argillon Falls is not a walled city.



Last edited by girlplay; Jun 10th, 2019 at 08:54 PM.
  #43  
Old Jun 10th, 2019, 09:22 PM
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Dolan
As Treasure addressed the four of them, Dolan took stock of the group. He knew Thom the best of the four, and that wasn't saying much. But he could sense a good heart in Sam, and although Orilo struck him as a bit eccentric, he saw the good in him as well. What's more is that even though they were little more than strangers, he felt a connection with them; it was that feeling of community and belonging that Thom spoke of in his sermon.

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...I'm just... kinda dissapointed that he won''t do anythin' to help."
Dolan spoke up, softly and calmly, "Maybe it's best we start with them. If the marshals saw fit to arrest the Tabaxi, they won't release him to us just by asking nicely, and besides, lawmen have never really taken kindly to me. I'd like to get the lay of the land, go see the farm, talk to this Wilbur fellow, and the other neighbors too if possible.

He then turned to address the girl directly, "Treasure, did you see the body, do you have any idea who it is?"

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Last edited by DonaldJWafer; Jun 10th, 2019 at 09:23 PM.
  #44  
Old Jun 10th, 2019, 09:42 PM
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OriloOrilo puffs out his chest, proud that his idea to investigate themselves has been accepted (never mind that his original idea was ignored).

"Excellent! Thom, might I have leave to borrow ink, quill, and parchment? I will send memoranda immediately to both the Marshal and the Justice informing them of our desire to see the truth prevail this day."

Orilo looks to the group now, a conciliatory half-smile spread on his lips. "I would normally add that we will be conducting our own investigation to ascertain said facts; however, I concede that we may not wish to advertise this endeavor until the deed is accomplished. If you would corroborate or refute this particular addition, I would be most obliged if you would voice your opinion." The twinkle in his eye as his gaze passes over Sam indicates that he thinks she would offer opinion, invited or not.


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Old Jun 11th, 2019, 08:43 AM
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Thom Morgan
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Thom was mildly nonplussed by the course of action taking shape, so it took him a moment to register Orilo's request and get his body moving in the right direction. The preacher had thought to leave Treasure safely at the church and go have a word with the Marshal to see if this couldn't be cleared up directly, but now the sentiment seemed to be toward taking an active, investigative role instead. That was quite outside his expertise, but it seemed like his presence was part of the plan.

Thom had parsed through most of these thoughts by the time he returned from the small writing stand at the back of the sanctuary where visitors could sign in. He held out the writing implements to the Goliath mutely, and returned to Treasure's side, trying to be comforting amid the chaos.

A glance out of the sanctuary showed that most people had moved on with their day, despite the sudden unexpected interruption. A few of the volunteers were starting the clean up and bookkeeping that followed any service, but that usually didn't require Thom's presence. Getting to the bottom of whatever this issue was and reuniting a man with his daughter was certainly more important.


 
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