Private Tales Problems to Solve

Discussion in 'The Chronicles' started by Djana Mahin, Mar 5, 2019.

  1. Djana Mahin

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    The small manor house, for that was what it was, stood nearly three leagues away from Castle Iralith. It was in comparison to the farmsteads and inns around it a massive thing. Four bedrooms, several bathrooms(with indoor plumbing), as well as a kitchen and a stable. The abode belonged to a wealthy merchant, not quite a noble, but wealthy enough to garner the same respect.

    He had been kind enough of course to open his doors to Djana and her escort, something that had taken only a little convincing.

    The Manor was nice enough, but not near the accommodation she'd had in Castle Iralith before her discovery of Niall's betrayal. He was a Count, not a relative to the King, but close enough to have influence. It was why she'd recruited him to the Great Lord's cause so long ago. He had been a useful tool, and then...then he'd betrayed them.

    It still put a sour taste on her tongue.

    She was not quite sure what had caused him to turn, it certainly hadn't been a noble change of heart. Yet she had sensed it. The contract between him and the Dark Lord had been broken, the string cut.

    Djana knew not what power had done it...but she'd had not the time to investigate. These lands were foreign to her, and Niall had been the only other Servant of the Great Lord nearby. Her guard would protect her, but it could not root out the trouble at hand.

    Thus she'd had to satisfy that need in other means...more dangerous means. Yet it would be worthwhile.

    If she could play this right not only would Niall be brought to...justice, but she'd gain another ally. If unwittingly.
     
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  2. Anastasia

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    It had been an easy week's ride out to reach the outskirts of Thirel. As hard as it was to leave the others back to the chaos that had taken over the Templar compound lately, the trip had brought a sense of buzzing life to the trio again.

    None of them were suited to stagnate, indoor affairs, so the chance to stretch their legs and do something had been well received by both Leona and Owin when Ana brought it to them. It also fostered a sense camaraderie for Ana again with the others-- a bond she had not stopped worrying she had broken since that day with the ship. The worry was of course pointless.

    And so she arrived at the manor's stone walkway with an uncharacteristic smile tugging at her lips. Or rather-- uncharacteristic for Templar. But to see Ana in such a state again had even Leona's stoic expression softening for a moment in turn.

    Ana dismounted, her heavy boots trodding up the pathway. She spared a glance back at the others as they fell in besides her and then knocked, her fingers slipping the mission request out of her pocket.
     
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  3. Djana Mahin

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    The Merchant who owned the manor was not present, but his servants were still running around the house as actively as though he'd never left.

    It only took one of them a few moments to notice the Templar wandering down the stone walkway, their faces and dress illuminated by the oil lamps lit along the path. An old and hunched man approached Ana, his face gnarled with age and his knuckles a pale white as he clung to a small cloth.

    "Welcome good Master Templars."
    The man spoke as though he could barely catch breath in his long.

    "Lady Mahin has looked forward to your arrival equally, she is in the waiting room."
    With a low bow the old Servant gestured passed himself and urged Ana and the other two to move towards the already opened front door. Behind it stood another servant, this one dressed in fine Silk livery.
     
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  4. Anastasia

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    Ana pulled off her helmet, blonde frizz sticking to her face as she stepped inside and looked around. A single glance over of the servant made her abruptly aware of the mud and sweat that coated their bodies. Hardly suitable for the polished marble floor. She grimaced apologetically as she followed and tracked her footsteps with her.

    Imagine if the compound was built this way? It'd be chaos.

    "I'm sorry for our states, we came directly." See, she could be diplomatic.
     
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  5. Djana Mahin

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    Djana heard the woman's words as they entered the waiting room, her head perking up from a small book that had been resting within her lap.

    "We can't all spend our days in Lavish Manors." The Cultist cooed, a smile touching her lips as she pushed herself out of the high backed chair and met Ana's eyes. Her lips pursed for a brief moment as he glanced at the other two Templar.

    Her expression was pleasant, though there was a tightness at the corner of her eyes.

    "I am glad you came so swiftly." Her voice was soft, honey'd. "Please, sit down. I'll have a meal brought."

    Wordlessly Djana glanced towards the gnarled servant, the man taking a deep bow as he scurried out of sight.
     
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  6. Anastasia

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    Ana look a ed to the others, getting a soft nod of approval before speaking for them. "Thank you, it'll be good to have proper meal before starting out on this task." She pulled out her chair by the table, resting her helmet on the ground besides her as she sat down. Her templar armor clanked in protest, the uncomfortable mass weighty and digging into her thighs. She hated wearing it, but formal arrivals required it of her.


    "You're the writer of the missive?" Obvious. "Could you tell us more about this rogue problem?" Right to the point.
     
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  7. Djana Mahin

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    For a moment Djana observed the woman, then glanced at the other two Templar who also sat down at the table. Silence reigned for a few seconds, then she herself moved to sit down at far end of the table. "I cannot be sure of course."

    That was a lie.

    "However, there have been...rumors and certain...signs." Djana did her best to feign fear, her lips tightening and her eyes closing for a moment as though the subject were actually difficult for her to talk about.

    She'd always been good at this.

    After a moment more passed she continued.

    "I believe Count Niall and many of the other Nobles are involved in some sort of Cult." She said quietly. "I'm a foreigner to these lands but...the signs are there. Young women are disappearing from the surrounding villages. Monsters have been spotted in the forests. There has been no sun for weeks."

    An aspect of the ritual Niall utilized. "Not to mention the Count himself has...changed."
     
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  8. Anastasia

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    "Changed?" Owin's attention perked distinctly, curiosity amongst his reserved expression. Always one for a good puzzle.

    Ana watched the woman's face carefully, her need for water or rest forgotten. "That doesn't necessarily mean the occult," she noted softly. But of course, she expected it to be. They wouldn't have bothered to come out otherwise.

    "Can us you tell us about this .... change?" She sounded as if she didn't quiet believe the woman. Almost.... patronizing. In a way that usually drove said patronized person to speak up and say more than they would normally be inclined, if she to prove their words true.
     
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  9. Djana Mahin

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    "There are reports of his..." Her lips thinned for a moment, a breath filled her lungs. "Eyes....once emerald green now an inky black. His skin has turned pale and he has become far more cruel."

    For a moment she paused. "He is hosting a party tomorrow night."

    Djana allowed her gaze to drift between the Three Templar. She had never thought about what 'Cult Activity' actually looked like from the outside. Worship of the Great Lord was a private thing, and the only outward sign of it had been the symbol of the Great one himself.

    Having to manufacture reason was difficult, but at least Niall was fool enough to receive the blessing of whatever lesser demon he now called his patron directly.

    Fool.

    "I believe he intends it to draw more to his following." She explained. "All the nobles are invited."
     
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  10. Anastasia

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    "And let me guess, you were not," Leane (spelling? hellpppppp) snorted, not seeing what Ana had when she had accepted the missive.

    Ana gave her a look.

    "What we mean to say is-- That could mean a dozen different things. We need more proof of your suspicions before we step forward and start dealing with people." She leaned forward, her gentle expression urging. "Think hard, has anything else occurred. Anything at all? Has anyone seen anything? Any evidence of this magical dealings left behind?"
     
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  11. Djana Mahin

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    "I was." Djana said, her tone notably more cool this time. Her lips pursed for a moment as if she had to think, then her nails clacked against the wooden table top.

    "There is..." She cleared her throat. "Someone who could attest to all of this."

    Djana did not enjoy playing this card, not when it put her in danger as well, but she could weave a way around this if she did it correctly. She would just have to be careful.

    Her gaze flickered to Ana. "There is a girl, a maidservant. She saw Niall and some of his cohorts within the depths of his manor. She was sent away...however I happen to know to where."

    Mostly because she was due for death after all of this. Those 'cohorts' of Niall included Djana herself, though she was not sure if the girl could identify her.
     
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  12. Anastasia

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    Ana raised a brow, then nodded softly and sat back. "That will do." A good place to start, anyway.

    "Thank you." She pulled over her cup, ignoring how ever awkward it felt to move when so encumbered in her armor, and served herself water.
     
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  13. Djana Mahin

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    She paused for a moment as the servant from earlier brought out a platter of meats and cheese along with some bread. The food was only the highest quality, the merchant who owned this place never having skimped on the luxuries.

    "I can take you to her." Djana said finally, glancing at the three templar. "She will be...hesitant to speak."

    To put it mildly.

    "What she saw was...unnatural." Djana did her best to appear queasy, something she had to practice before their arrival.
     
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  14. Anastasia

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    "And what did she see?"

    Slowly, with more manners than usually given, the trio made move to eat. The week had been long and the food bland. No doubt the fine table spreads were the best part of a mission anyway.
     
  15. Djana Mahin

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    "Some sort of..." Oh here she was playing at trepidation.

    It seemed silly considering that in the basement of this manor there was a man hanging from chains whom she had personally flayed. One of Niall's pathetic little servants who had tried to come and end her life. The Count had a high opinion of himself, higher than he deserved.

    Lessons needed to be taught. "...Ritual."

    She swallowed.

    "I'm sure she will remember better than I." Her head shook. "Poor girl had it burned into her mind."
     
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  16. Anastasia

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    Ana's brows furrowed, something... off about this. She couldn't put her finger on it, she was sure Saul and the others would laugh and pat her head for such a suggestion. But something struck her odd about the girl sent away. And it was gonna bother her, like a hangnail too shallow to pick.

    "Yes. Poor girl," she mused, falling silent into her meal as Owin began to ask a host of smaller questions. Where was this girl, what was the landscape around her? Was she at risk, were they out there?

    The basic Templar business commenced while she was left pondering out this girl and the strange set of circumstances that surrounded her.
     
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  17. Djana Mahin

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    Djana answered each question in turn.

    The girl was in a Village to the west, squirreled away by her grandparents on a farm just outside of town. There was no risk currently, though Niall would eventually send someone for her. The Landscape was forest and farms, as was everything else around here.

    "I suggest we wait until tomorrow to see the girl." Djana said eventually, frowning for just a brief moment. "Three armored Templar coming to her in the middle of the night might spook her."

    It would be...unfortunate if she ran off.

    For everyone.
     
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  18. Anastasia

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    "Alright," Ana agreed, voice remaining deceptively soft. She wiped off her hands on the too nice clothe that made up a napkin. Even Saul did not use something so fine, not even as Lord Commander, she noted offhandedly.

    "We will turn in early then. Rest and bathe for tomorrow. Where is your water well?"
     
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  19. Djana Mahin

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    "Theodore will bring you what you need." Djana made a motion to the old Servant.

    The man happily made a bow and began to ask the Templar to follow him to their rooms.

    For her own sake Djana simply remained seated. Her expression wore a crease of concern and worry, a hand coming up to fiddle with the end of her hair.

    She knew that appearing a certain way would help with these Templar, especially considering what her role was supposed to be here. Djana was an outlander, a concerned one, and one that most certainly did not want to see the spread of cults and other nefarious thing within this world.
     
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  20. Anastasia

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    As the day turned to dusk the rest became something of a small torture for Ana. Dressed down in her simple clothe tunic, Templar symbol stitched over her chest, she pulled herself from the unwelcoming depths of her surprisingly soft bed and padded to Leane's door. She glanced over her shoulder as she did so, comforted by the weight of her daggers tucked under her clothing.

    Knock knock.
     
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  21. Djana Mahin

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    Leane was of course as alert as ever in this unfamiliar place.

    Their surroundings were nice, their host was equally so, but one could never be too certain. She was experienced enough to know that even a kind face might stab you in the back down the line. Particularly one that flouted it's beauty and did its best to play with your emotions.

    She would have none of that.

    "Come in." Leane called softly, sitting on her bed with a knife tucked beneath her pillow and her hand wrapped around the hilt.

    Never could be too sure.
     
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  22. Anastasia

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    Ana stepped in, glancing over her shoulder once more as the door clicked closed behind her. She glanced back to Leane, unsurprised but never the less concerned to see her so alert. Her gaze fell with intention to the hand at the edge of the pillow, an amused quirk to her lips pulling up as she pressed in regardless.

    "You feel it too," she stated vaguely, sitting on the edge of the bed. She crossed her arms over herself, showing her discomfort in her own subtle way.
     
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  23. Djana Mahin

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    A soft nod tipped her head for just a second. "We're missing something."

    Though just what that was Leane had absolutely no idea. This situation was off though, it didn't feel right. A part of her wished the others were here, she at least would have felt more secure about all of this knowing that they had more back up behind them.

    A frown touched her lips, they would have to make due with what they had. No qualms about it.

    "That woman is holding something back." She said quietly. "But I have a feeling prodding her more won't get us anything."

    Nobles were slippery like that. It was likely that the Lady had been involved with the Count in some way, perhaps even dabbled on these practices herself.

    Though, perhaps it wasn't like that either. "She could just be trying to use us to gain power. We kill the Count, she takes his place in these lands."

    That seemed far more plausible.
     
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  24. Anastasia

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    Ana frowned, her mind spinning as she considered all the plausible hidden motives.

    "I don't think this hidden maid is who we should be talking to," she concluded, her voice remaining low. Leane would feel the air grow almost dense and electrified around them, Ana's antimagic encasing them and protecting from prying magical spells. It was handy, beyond handy, really. And a pity that no one else could manage to replicate it.

    Still, it left them protected. At least from spying eyes beyond the doors.
     
  25. Djana Mahin

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    She nodded slowly in agreement, though in truth she had no idea whom they should be talking to instead. As far as she could tell the Count was really the only other being who could know what was going on. Though perhaps some of the surrounding villagers would know some of the rumors surrounding everything.

    She frowned.

    "Perhaps we ask around in the local villages too." Leane suggested quietly, though in truth she had no idea whether or not that would actually work.

    "The moment we get too close to the Nobles though and they realize we're Templar..." She paused. "It won't end well."

    Not with only three of them.
     
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