Private Tales The Legend's Heir

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Serafina

The Heir of Marcell
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Sera's sleep deprived mind hadn't put together what she had translated meant in reality. What she'd latched onto was the fact it could be solved and the town could be freed. Marion could be free. The nice man they had piled with beer could be free. The children they saw hidden behind doors. The weight of Sol's hand almost sent her slumping back into the chair but instead she just swayed on the spot and rubbed at her eyes.

"Maybe that's a good idea," she mumbled and stifled a yawn. Then she looked up at him properly and offered a small frown. "You haven't either, and you did..." she still hadn't asked the details. "You've had a harder day than me."
 
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Solgrin

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Solgrin was about to point out that he had slept a little in the corner of the room, but that would likely not equate to the type of rest that Serafina would want for him. Lips thinned for a brief moment, and then slowly nodded his head.

"You're right." It was hard to admit.

A year ago, a few months ago he would have simply denied it all and simply walked away. It would have been a simple thing, in his head it would have been the right thing. Another burden for his shoulders to bear in the midst of everything else.

That had changed now, oddly enough. "Let's go get some rest."

He told Serafina, offering a hand to pick her up from the chair.

The Inn was safe for now. They had stumbled upon another trail of breadcrumbs. For now that would have to do. Least until the morning.
 
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Serafina

The Heir of Marcell
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When he didn't protest Sera let him help her up the stairs then promptly collapsed into the feathered bed.

It was past noon when she finally woke and made her way back downstairs to where a group of Bandits were already gathered to discuss the next step. She took a seat at the bar, accepting a grateful cup of coffee from Marion, in order to listen.

"Well how do we figure out which families are still involved?"

"Who cares, torch the whole city. That'll sort it and draw them out."

"Idiot, anyone we kill is fuel for them. We need to be tactical."
 
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Solgrin

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That was the way of Bandits.

Burn. Torch. Eviscerate.

It was a solution that would fit a thousand different situations, one that they had flocked to hundreds of times over. It might even had worked in this place. A way to put an end to it all. A pact brought to it's fruition. A deal signed.

Solgrin didn't blame a single one of them for thinking that way, but he knew it wasn't right.

Not this time.

He came downstairs a few minutes after Serafina. There was a worn and haggard look on his features. An age that had not been there before. It was almost as though he had aged five years in a single night. "I'll have one of those."

Solgrin said with a motion to the coffee, ignoring the whispers around them.
 
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Serafina

The Heir of Marcell
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Sera took the jug as Marion went to deal with another Bandit and poured Solgrin his own mug. Her fingers grazed across the back of his hand to share of that energy born from the living magical essence inside of her. Concern was written across her face though and she turned her back to the arguing to focus on the man in front of her.

"Are you unwell?" was this the beginning of his magic failing him? The horror at the idea tightened something in her chest. "Maria and I can handle this, perhaps you should stay and rest," Sera had no intentions of letting them butcher the town and she had an idea of how to find the families and press them into renouncing it. If it failed Maria had agreed to do the stabbing bit.
 
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Solgrin

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"I'm alright." He said quietly, though that haggard touch did not escape from his tone. He smiled briefly, offering Serafina a consoling touch. Both of them were capable, he knew that, but he wasn't going to put more of the burden on them.

Not now.

He knew that she wouldn't like it, would try to insist that he rest, but they had no time for that. Solgrin didn't have time for that. There was simply too much to do still, too much that he needed to take care of before the end. A day of rest was a day wasted.

"There's questions we have to find answers to." Solgirn said, deciding it was best to continue on, not linger on the question of his health. "We need to find out who in the village knew about the pact."

He glanced towards Marion for a moment, watching the woman as she walked beyond earshot. "Then maybe ask some questions."

That was a kind way of doing it.
 
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Serafina

The Heir of Marcell
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The concern did not leave Sera's face and though she seemed on the cusp of pressing further she sunk her teeth into her bottom lip instead and merely listened to what he had to say instead.

"Yes," she agreed with a nod, having come to much the same conclusion. Her eyes also went to Marion who was laughing with young Scout who had taken a particular liking to the barmaid and the sweet treats she slipped him when they thought nobody was looking.

"I was thinking how best to do that.... I think a town meeting would be the easiest. If half the town want this pact to be over they might... take control of the situation themselves when they find out how to break free of it. They might also help us find the rats."
 
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Solgrin

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It wasn't a bad idea, but it was an extremely dangerous one.

With what Serafina had discovered it was all but confirmed that the men who had attacked them lived inside of this village. That meant any meeting would draw their eyes as well. Any presentation was an opportunity for violence.

A fact that Solgrin was more than aware of. "I..."

He glanced for a brief second at Marion, then towards Serafina. He wanted to say no. Suggest that his men simply went from door to door, did what they had always done...

But he couldn't.

He couldn't introduce that violence to this place, not in front of her. Teeth sank into his tongue, and slowly he nodded his head. "We'll have to be careful."

Very careful. "But a meeting will do it."
 
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Serafina

The Heir of Marcell
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Sera beamed up at Solgrin, apparently having missed the hesitation in agreeing completely. A warmth of validation and helpfulness welled up and filled her with more energy than three cups of coffee could have done. She bounded to her feet with this renewed rigour and kissed him on the cheek.

"Thank you!" This was going to work, she could feel it. "I'll get right on it," she sounded full of determination.

Giving him another kiss against the cheek she stepped away to begin telling the Bandits the great plan.
 
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Solgrin

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Solgrin smiled as Serafina practically bounced up from her seat with excitement.

In a way it was…it was nice to see such excitement. It was an innocent thing, a taste of the world that he had left behind so long ago, A piece of…a piece of what might have been if things had gone a different way.

As Serafina began to rush off to tell the other bandits Solgrin caught Maria looking at him. She was smiling, but in her eyes he knew that she could tell what he was thinking. Knew that this might all blow up in their face if they weren’t careful. Solgrin frowned.

He had to make sure this worked.

He had to make sure that no knife slipped from the dark and found their backs waiting. Fingers curled into fists, and he began to plan out in his head just how they could manage to pull this off without anyone else dying.
 
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Serafina

The Heir of Marcell
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Organising the town meeting hit a snag when they attempted to find the Mayor, or whoever was in charge when the mayor was not. Nobody really seemed to know for the Mayor had never simply disappeared before. In the end his son offered to step up and lead the meeting with the headline conversation being the issue the Mayor had disappeared, for he was sure it would draw everyone willingly to the hall.

The bandits spread out to inform the citizens of the Mayors son calling such a meeting and sure enough the hall began to swell with numbers within the first half an hour of the first people being told. By the time it reached the hour the meeting was meant to start the place was heaving and the noise of people chattering created quite the din.

"We're just rounding up the few scragglers," Kip informed Sera and Sol who stood to the side of the podium where the Mayors son was talking to an elderly woman about chickens.

"We should be able to start soon then," Sera took a breath. Her stomach fluttered with nerves but her conviction was still strong. This was the quickest way to find out which families still held the bond.
 
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Solgrin

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Solgrin didn’t like this.

The hall was open, there were a lot of people, and he felt like ghosts were ready to jump out of the shadows at any moment. Paranoia had set in now, a tenseness clinging to him that screamed of discomfort.

He was worried for the safety of his men, and more importantly for Sera. She was going to take a lead in this, she would be standing on this podium…entirely open.

In a strange sort of way Solgrin felt…vulnerable. He didn’t like it. ”Good, good.”

He said with that tension still in his voice, eyes flickering up and down the crowd as though he were trying to see if any of them had knives hidden under their coats. He frowned a moment. He’d set the boys to guard the place, but that didn’t mean someone couldn’t sneak something in.

Maybe I’m getting paranoid. Solgrin thought to himself, glancing over at Sera.
 
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Serafina

The Heir of Marcell
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Sera could feel Solgrin's unease though, as usual, she didn't share in them. The innocence was its own protection in a way. It's what made her able to squeeze his hand and offer him a genuinely warm smile before stepping up to the stage. Carefully she cleared her throat.

"Thank you all for coming at such short notice," she spoke into the soft bubbling murmur the conversation had died down to when she limped out. By the end of her sentence the room was so silence she could have heard a pin drop. Not that she let it bother her. Blindly she carried on. "My friends and I were only passing through here and you have made us all so welcome with your hospitality," a brilliant smile. "But we noticed that many of you were not happy. When we asked why we discovered a... unnerving truth about the town that many of you know though you pretend not to," a ripple of unease ran through the crowd.

"But... I think we have found a way for you to rid yourselves of it."
 
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Solgrin

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The moment that Serafina finished speaking there was a rumble that went through the crowd. Dozens of voices shot up. Some aghast, some excited, some even calling for more information almost immediately.

It was like every other town meeting Solgrin had ever attended, which of course meant it was an unruly met. Everyone had an opinion, and everyone wanted to make sure that they were heard. It was those that were silent which Solgrin watched the most.

Those that sat in their seat and didn't move.

"Calm!" His voice boomed through the Hall.

Solgrin had learned early on how to project his voice properly. When leading soldiers it was important to know how to yell. Even without a drop of magic his voice seemed to ring through the entire room, and the front row almost immediately shut up. "CALM DOWN!"

He called again, still watching the crowd. "Let her explain!"

His eyes darkened in threat, and slowly everyone else simmered down.
 
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Serafina

The Heir of Marcell
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"... Thank you Sol," Sera said into the deafening silence that followed and cleared her throat as she turned back towards the gathered assembly. "We've discovered that the bond that keeps you here and the... Monks' hold over you is blood," the murmur begun to pick up again as realisation began to dawn. Sera continued on anyway. "That means there are families who were a part of the original pact who are still, annually, refreshing this pact," neighbours began to turn to each other. Wary glances were cast.

"I believe there's a simple spell to undo this but to do that... we need to find who these individuals are."
 
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Solgrin

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"HOW YOU GONNA DO THAT!"​

One of the men who was standing shouted, clearly angry. Solgrin tilted his head slightly, hand resting almost unconsciously on the hilt of his sword as he watched the man.

That paranoia hadn't gone away, not even a little bit. He couldn't help but think that all of this would go south at the drop of a hat. That somehow Serafina might get herself killed. It made him anxious, angry. Emotions he tried his level best to hide.

"The Cauthons have been here for years!"​

Someone else shouted.

"So have the Adlurs!"

"Yeah it must be them!"​

Solgrin frowned, glancing at Serafina. He didn't interrupt this time, deciding that it would be best to let her dictate how this would go.
 
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Serafina

The Heir of Marcell
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Sera quietly motioned for everyone to calm down and sit back in their seats. Begrudgingly - and perhaps surprisingly - people listened to her even if they did mutter as they did. Even the most sour looking man in the room softened however when she flashed a brilliant innocent smile. It seemed everyone found it easy to like Sera even when she was subtly accusing some of them of binding their friends into servitude.

"There's a simple way to tell," she said and picked up a scroll. It looked old but well cared for and she unrolled it with great theatrical care. "This spell is a kind of detector. If somebody has cast a blood bond then this sigil will glow when they stand before it. We just need everyone to line up and stand in front."

This was where her plan could fall apart. The scroll did no such thing but she hoped that those who had cast the blood bond would now attempt to escape.
 
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Solgrin

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Solgrin slowly glanced over to Serafina.

He didn't remember this part of the plan at all, and he was entirely sure because it was bullshit. Lips thinned for a moment, but he didn't allow his face to change more than the slightest flicker. He stood up slightly straighter, shifted.

The people in the crowd seemed to murmur a moment more, whispering among themselves. Then slowly they began to stand up.

One by one they moved into line, cooperating, shifting. For a moment it seemed like everyone in the crowd was actually going to follow through. Yet when nearly everyone was standing a few seemed to linger, one of them shouting.

"This is ridiculous!"​

A man who looked to be in his late 40's stood.

"We're just going to listen to this...girl? She rode in with these fucking bandits! They've occupied our town! Stopped us from going anywhere! We can't listen to this nonsense!"​

People seemed to pause, some glancing at Serafina, others to Solgrin.

Some looked around with concern to the bandits around the room.
 
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Serafina

The Heir of Marcell
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Sera opened her mouth but it was Marion who stepped in with her hands on her hips to round on the middle aged man who was trying to subtly back towards the door. When the barkeep jabbed a finger towards him he almost toppled over a chair.

"Are you afraid of a bit of paper Master Adlur?" People in line began to turn and stare but not just as the retreating man who Marion seemed to have quite under control. They were looking at the few reluctant to move people.

"George?" a wife asked of her husband when he didn't move. He shrunk under her gaze.

"Ma?" a young lad queried his greying mother who folded her arms over her chest and glowered at the floor.
 
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Solgrin

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The air cut be cut with a knife.

Tension was thick. It was a state of being that Solgrin had been used to at a time in his life. He could remember meetings like this. When the King had gathered his barons and arguments had broken out.

Somehow, this seemed more significant. In the old days the Barons had simply been defending their wealth. Here? Here it was people’s entire lives. Their homes, their families. The man staring at the floor seemed to almost be twitching.

Solgrin’s hand lowered to the hilt of his sword.

“Fuck this!”​

The man shouted.

“This town will die without the pact! Do you know how vulnerable we are? What’s out there! Men like him!”​

A finger pointed directly at Solgrin, hard eyes staring at the Bandit Chief. A few others glanced over towards him, some following the man’s lead. He could practically feel the anger beginning to rise, long seething rage exploding out.

“YOU’ll KILL US ALL!”​
 
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Serafina

The Heir of Marcell
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"YOU'RE KILLING US! We're not free," shouted someone else. Sera had lowered the scroll, the fake rune all but forgotten now. Clear lines were being formed between those who she assumed were supporting the pact and those who had had no idea. The anger was thick on both sides.

"Let's all just take a--"

"My daughter died and they took her body! AND YOU STOOD BY KNOWING YOU CAUSED THAT!" A woman pointed her finger angrily at the other side. Tears were streaming down her cheeks.

"You're not the only one who could not bury her child, Mildred, but it's for the greater good. So we can live in peace."

"Give up the pact!"

"No!"

Soon the room descended into shouting back and forth. Violence was about to break when Sera picked up a mallet and banged it on the table.

"HOW ABOUT A VOTE?" She shouted and people slowly quieted, turned to look. Sera paused when she found herself at the centre of everyone's attention then continued in a quieter voice. "That's how it was decided for the town before, why not... decide again."
 
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Solgrin

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Solgrin didn't draw his sword, but he nearly did.

Fingers clutched the hilt with a white knuckle grip, lips thin, eyes darting around the room as he waited for someone to do something stupid. He knew that he wasn't as fast as some of the others, knew that there were still more bandits around that would move even before he did.

Yet he was ready to jump.

"A VOTE!?"​

The man hissed.

"WITH YOU LOT STANDING OVER US!? HOW CAN THAT BE FAIR!"​

In any other moment, Solgrin might have given the man credit. He had a point. The Bandits were arrayed around the room, the town. Influencing any kind of vote was easy enough, but...there was simply no interest in Solgrin to do so. "We don't care how this ends up."

Solgrin said simply.

"We have one goal in this town, and we'll get it." He looked over the room. "Whether it's easier, or harder."

Because The Bandit Chief would not deny Einar his daughter. Never again.
 
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Serafina

The Heir of Marcell
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People cast unsure looks at one another and murmured in their little clusters. The larger half of the hall also cast suspicious glances at those who had been identified as being the reason the pact still stood. In total there were 15, far more than Sera had thought to begin with. A vote was a much better way of dealing with this than the slaughter of all of them.

"Our business is with the monks as some of you already know," she lifted the hem of her dress to show off the bandaged look. Three lads sat amongst the 12 outcasts had the decency to at least duck their heads in guilt. "But if our business can help you... then we want to. Half of this town are not happy, surely a vote is the best way to determine the future of your town?"
 
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Solgrin

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There were a few more grumbles, but no one shouted this time. The logic Serafina presented was...well it made sense even to village folk.

Yet trepidation still hung in the air.

Solgrin could see the fear in the eyes of some of the others, the weariness of all of this. They were scared, scared of what might be or what not. A frown pulled at the Bandit Chief's lips. "It can be a secret vote."

He offered.

"Everyone can write what they want." That at least would stop some of the outright malice. "Whatever is decided...will be decided."

Least some could save face then.

The crowd rumbled again, but then, finally. They agreed.
 
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Serafina

The Heir of Marcell
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Sera shot Solgrin a thankful look.

The mayors son had begun to take over organising the vote with papers and ink being handed out amongst the groups. They kept their distance from one another though. Even when it divided a family. She watched the young boy who kept casting hurt looks in his mothers direction who was silently crying as she wrote her answer down on the piece of parchment in her lap.

It took an hour but soon everyone had cast their vote and an hour later they had the results. Sera had purposefully kept a distance from the young mayor and had motioned for the bandits to keep back too; the last thing they needed were accusations.

"I have counted the votes and Mary and Jim here have confirmed them," he motioned to one person from each 'side' who both nodded grimly. "The vote is to end the pact. The blood bond will be broken."
 
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